Jack propped himself up against Owen's desk keeping an eye on Ianto as the younger man kept himself busy near the coffee pot. Jack looked at his mug, nearly empty, and wondered not for the first time if it was some type of spy gadget that alerted Ianto to an impending lack of caffeine. He looked back up at Ianto.

"You don't have to watch him like a hawk, you know. He's doing better." Owen commented, though Jack knew he had been watching the Welshman too. It was second nature now, after a long, hard month, and things were finally settling down into a new sort of normal.

"Oh like you can talk. You were the one who decided to make him report back to you every time he so much as bumped his head." Jack snorted in amusement. "Bet you weren't counting on the fact that he'd give himself paper cuts just to annoy you."

"Yeah well, as we've learnt, he's lousy at taking care of him self. If we don't do it, no one will." Owen spun a pen on his fingers.

Jack nodded, and schooled his expression into one of concerned thoughtfulness. "Yeah...we do need to take care of Ianto. He's ours." Jack stressed the plural.

Owen's head shot up, the pen fell, and he gave Jack a speculative look.

Jack just smiled serenely and tipped his mug up, draining the last dregs of coffee. He raised his eyebrows innocently before pointedly turning towards Ianto, who had descended the stairs and was heading towards them.

Before Owen could say anything, Ianto was there, replacing Jack's coffee, and accepting a thankful kiss with good humour. He snagged two of Owen's empty mugs, then he leaned over to retrieve the fallen pen and replaced it between Owen's fingers before disappearing again without a word, though Jack would bet even money he was smirking.

When Ianto moved off again Owen tilted his head thoughtfully. "Do you think it would be too creepy if I superglued a lo-jack to his back?" Jack wasn't about to admit that he had the same urges recently.

"...maybe. A little." Jack sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. "We've got something in the archives. It's from around my time, nano-tech. It monitors vitals, location, that kind of stuff."

"Like smart-chips for pets?" Owen asked, grinning. Jack thought back to their strange conversation in the SUV.

"Pretty much. I don't normally suggest using future technology like this, but I've been thinking about it for a while. Maybe we should…"

"Get it. Now."

Jack laughed.

"Fine. But you're telling Ianto and the others, and I'm putting all the blame on you." Jack warned making his way to his office to fetch the trackers.

"Yeah, yeah blame the doctor, whatever works." He heard Owen mutter, as the doctor grabbed a video game and leaned back, throwing his feet up on the desk.


Ianto dumped Owen's dirty mugs into the sink. The doctor tended to collect them if not supervised, and hadn't willingly cleaned one since Ianto started working there. Ianto had let them sit once, as a protest, but Owen had just started stacking them into a pyramid, and eventually Ianto ran out of clean cups.

He turned his attention to making Owen a fresh cup, distractedly scratching at the fresh scars through his jacket sleeve. They still itched sometimes, and looked ghastly. One looked, for all the world like a smiley face, though Owen had said that was probably from Jack trying to yank the weevil off.

It'd been a month since his overdose in the woods. A very long, sometimes terrifying month. As Owen had promised there had been a lot of yelling and lecturing on the importance of talking to your doctor. And when he was finished, and managed to keep Ianto sane through his Oxycodone withdrawal, he'd started him on a prescription for antidepressants.

It wasn't perfect. They had nearly driven each other mad finding the right dosage, and he still had moments when he felt the rats gnawing away, or had to escape into the tunnels and just freak out quietly. Life wasn't suddenly perfect and warm and cozy, or anything like that, but things were slowly, steadily improving.

Ianto reached over, tipping the creamer into the cup until the coffee turned nearly tan and then added a splash of rum.

The pain and misery wasn't all consuming anymore. He could actually laugh and joke and feel genuinely happy again. Gwen was still smothering him, wanting to talk about his feelings. Tosh alternated between coddling him, and running interference when the other's got too mother hen-ish. Jack had learnt quickly that Ianto wouldn't put up with the captain treating him like fine porcelain.

Owen though. The man had developed a protective streak that Ianto couldn't shake. The worst thing was he couldn't stub his toe without Owen wanting to hear about it. It seemed Owen was convinced he couldn't take care of him self at all. ...not that he didn't have some reason to believe that. The overdose had been a rather spectacular screw up on his part and Ianto had been mortified when he was fully lucid and not in a medical haze. He couldn't believe he had gotten to a point where he was popping Oxycodone like breath mints.

But things were better now, and it didn't do anyone any good to dwell.

Ianto looked down to see Owen engrossed in a video game, feet on his desk. He grinned, and flicked his eyes over to Jack's office to see the other man watching him intently. Jack returned the grin, and Ianto held a finger up to his lips and winked, before placing Owen's coffee cup on his tray, and quietly descending the stairs.

He made his way slowly to Owen's desk, staying out of his field of vision, and sliding up behind the other man. Owen was completely oblivious. Ianto leaned in, putting his lips near Owen's ear. He paused for a moment, giving Owen one last chance before whispering a quiet, "Boo!"

The results were impressive. Owen yelled and nearly knocked him self out of his chair, feet clattering to the floor. Ianto stepped back quickly, lifting the tray to safety above Owen's head. The doctor spun around and clutched his chest dramatically, glaring daggers at Ianto. "What the fuck was that for?"

"Feet down. Keep them there."

Owen scowled and put his feet back up, deliberately challenging Ianto. "Why should I?"

Ianto responded immediately, schooling his face into a serious expression " I have access to every single alien poison, drug, and piece of refuse that comes through the Rift, as well as being the only one who knows how to operate the coffee machine. Do you ever want to feel safe around a cup again?"

Owen paused as if considering the threat and lowered his feet to the floor with a look that swung between annoyance, and an odd sort of pride, though Ianto wasn't quite sure where that particular emotion came from.

"Fine." Owen groused.

Ianto handed over the steaming mug with a smirk. He had just started to walk off when Owen stopped him, calling his name.

"Yes?" He turned, frowning slightly at Owen's own smirk.

"I never got around to taking you out for the drink I promised, for getting us out of the camping trip from hell."

To Ianto's credit he only froze for a second before he overrode the panic. "Was that a statement or a request?"

"Consider it doctor's orders?" Owen asked.

Ianto glanced briefly towards Jack's office, seeing the other man looking entirely too busy and much too pleased with himself. Jack might have gotten away with it, if the file he had been reading so intently wasn't upside down. You could never trust that man.

He looked back over at Owen and slowly matched the other man's smirk; He countered Owen's question.

"Consider it a date?"

The End