TITLE: Role Reversal

AUTHOR: Erin Giles


DISCLAIMER: I am not a member of RTD's writing team although I am working on that particular dream.

SUMMARY: When the stress of Torchwood takes it's toll on Ianto the team finally show how grateful they are to the tea-boy.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: sick!Ianto strikes again! Purely shameless fluff on my part. Sort of half written when I was in the same predicament as Ianto and completely unbetad so all flaws are my own doing. Apologies.

"Has anyone seen Ianto?" Jack asked as he came down the steps from his office, empty coffee cup in hand.

"He went down to feed Janet." Toshiko said, not averting her eyes from her latest programme, "Why?"

"How long ago?"

"Long enough." Owen moaned as he surfaced from the autopsy room, also with an empty coffee cup in his hand.

"Don't know," Gwen said, shrugging slightly and putting down the magazine she had been perusing for the past five minutes, "Maybe half an hour or more."

"Tosh pull up the CCTV for the cells." Jack said, going to stand behind her chair, concern rising in him. It wasn't like Ianto to disappear. Toshiko tapped at her keyboard for a second before Janet appeared on the screen, happily licking her lips as she settled in the corner of her cell.

"You don't think she ate him?" Owen teased, peering over Jack's shoulder at the image of Janet looking content. Gwen slapped him on the arm as Jack pointed at the security feed.

"What's that in the next cell?"

Tosh tapped at her keyboard again and the image changed to the cell next to Janet. The light was dim in this cell, but the door was open and all four members of Torchwood could make out the form of Ianto Jones lain flat out on the cell bench, jacket underneath his head.

"Owen, with me." Jack ordered as he put down his mug and made off for the cells, Owen trailing behind him as Tosh and Gwen continued to look at the screen and the unmoving Ianto.

"Do you think he's ok?" Gwen asked as they watched him bring a hand to his forehead, rubbing vigorously before he pulled himself lethargically into a sitting position.

Jack clattered round the corner into the cell just as Ianto was pulling together enough strength to stand.

"Ianto! Ianto, are you ok?" Jack barked, causing Ianto to cringe and shy away from Jack's voice, "Ianto, speak to me!" Jack said, grabbing Ianto's face between his hands, trying to see into his eyes.

"Lower." Ianto said, bringing a hand to his head and pressing it firmly to his left temple. Jack looked at him confused, as Owen came into the cell behind him. He lifted Ianto's chin, trying to shine his pen light in Ianto's eyes, causing Ianto to close them tightly and pull back so far he cracked his head off the cell wall.

"Did you even go to medical school?" Ianto hissed at Owen, clutching tightly onto the side of the bench with both hands, his eyelids still firmly closed.

"Migraine then. You taken anything?" Owen questioned matter-of-factly, pocketing the pen light, still crouched in front of Ianto.

"I just need to go home and sleep it off." Ianto said softly, picking up his jacket and bringing himself painfully to his feet.

"You can sleep it off here." Jack said, putting a hand on Ianto's arm and leading him out of the cells. Ianto couldn't summon the strength to protest.

He wasn't used to being looked after so he sat awkwardly on the edge of Jack's bed while Jack removed his shoes, belt and tie. He gratefully sunk into Jack's pillow though without a second thought, eyes closed before his head even touched the pillow.

"Ianto?" Owen's voice was surprisingly soft, so soft that Ianto thought for a moment he was hallucinating, only opening his eyes when Owen's hand touched his arm. He squinted up at Owen in the dark of Jack's room a questioningly look on his pained features, "Ice pack." Owen said as he gently lifted Ianto's head and placed it on his neck, causing Ianto to shiver involuntarily.

"Thanks." Ianto mumbled, somewhat surprised by Owen's tenderness. Ianto knew that Owen had always hated dealing with patients, and dealing with patients whom he barely tolerated, in which Ianto fell into the category of, with this kind of care was almost baffling. It caused a brief panic in Ianto's chest in which he wondered if he was dying from something serious. He knew though that it was just a migraine, he had had enough of them, brought on by lack of sleep, lack of food, stress and depression. That was what Torchwood did to him.

"Owen sent me down with these." Gwen's voice came through the gloom as Ianto felt the bed dip to accommodate her. He half opened one eye, looking up at her from underneath the pillow he had placed over his head not long ago. She was holding out a glass of water and some white tablets.

"Thank you." He sighed, trying to sit up in the bed, closing his eyes during the process, leaning his tired head against the wall for a moment and relishing the cool of it until the nausea passed.

When he opened his eyes Gwen was putting the glass of water down on the beside table, before taking his shaking right hand in hers, steadying it as she deposited the pills. She raised the glass to his lips without a word before helping him to scoot back down into the bed before pulling a blanket over him.

"Just came to check on you." Tosh said softly as Ianto tried to peer out from underneath the pillow that was half covering his head where he lay on his side, rubbing furiously at his head to try and ease the pain, "Other's have gone out, more reported Weevil sightings."

Tosh sank onto the bed beside Ianto, reaching a hand up to Ianto's head and taking over from his merciless rubbing of his forehead, massaging gently with her fingers as Ianto's eyes drooped again.

"I fed Janet and Myfanwy for you. Myfanwy looked confused." Tosh giggled faintly. Ianto quirked his mouth into some form of a smile in return, his eyelids too heavy to open now.

"Ta." He voiced, barely above a whisper as Tosh's fingers continued to work their magic and he sunk into sleep.

When Ianto woke again his headache had almost disappeared, but he still felt exhausted. The warmth of the covers pressed against his back made him snuggle further into them, only to find they were trying to do the exact same thing. Ianto turned his head slightly to see Jack blinking back at him with a sleepy smile on his face.

"Sorry," He said, not a hint of him being anything near to sorry in his voice, "You just looked so cosy when I came down to check on you, I couldn't help myself." Jack was smiling cheekily at him now and Ianto smiled in return, settling his head back into the pillows and closing his eyes.

"I think I should get sick more often." Ianto whispered lazily.

"Why's that?" Jack asked, his breath tickling the hairs on Ianto's neck.

"Everyone acts like they love me."

"We're not acting you idiot." Jack chuckled into Ianto's ear, "We were all really worried about you."

"Even Owen?"

"Surprisingly, he was the one who called an hour after he went home to check that I was taking care of you." Jack said and Ianto could hear the frown in his voice, "Maybe I should be jealous."

"Maybe." Ianto smiled into the pillow. "Thanks Jack."

"For what?"

"For looking after me." Ianto mumbled sleepily.