Notes: The full oneshot for #7 out of 'Snapshots of Smiles'. Requested by toobeauty. Set after the end of Season Two, but before the addition of new characters to fill the void Tosh and Owen left.
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood and I am not making any profit from this work.
It had been one hell of a night, and Jack was glad, as he secured the new weevil in a cell, that his part in it was over. They'd gotten two completely separate alerts, on the opposite sides of Cardiff, at the same damn time. He'd sent Gwen and Ianto off after the smaller one (which was probably going to turn out to be some more alien junk) while he had gone after what was clearly a weevil.
It was only as he got back up into the main part of the Hub, and his com link started buzzing angrily at him from where he'd abandoned it on Gwen's desk, that he realised the others weren't back yet, and he snatched it up worriedly.
"Jack!" Gwen yelled at him.
"What?" he asked innocently. "I just put it down for a second, and..."
"Get over here," she said, a little wearily. "From what the doctor says, Ianto's going to be drugged stupid when they're done and I don't know where his flat is, so..."
"What?!" Jack exclaimed. "Where are you? What's going on?!"
"Hospital," she said. "It's okay, Jack, we're both fine! We, er...interrupted a mugging, I think..."
"Keep explaining," he commanded, turning on his heel and heading at a run for the outside world and the SUV. "What was the alert?"
"What looked like a rubbish bin that had really been through the works," she said. "I think the Rift just dumped something that was human in origin back onto us, Jack. But we sort of interrupted a couple of kids with knives, and they went for us."
"Jesus," Jack groaned. "Are you okay? What's happened to Ianto?"
"I'm fine," she said. "Ianto got...I think slashed, might be stabbed, not quite sure. But it bled everywhere, so I called an ambulance for him and the cops for the lads."
"Shit!" Jack swore, throwing himself into the SUV and revving it anxiously.
"Jack, he's fine, I promise," Gwen soothed. She was standing outside the hospital to make the call, and it was cold, but she was worried about the anxiety in Jack's voice, and tried her best to calm him down again. "He didn't pass out, he hadn't lost dangerous amounts - he's fine. He was still sitting up and talking when they got him to the hospital."
"Did you go in the ambulance with him?"
"No, drove behind. The whatever is in the boot of my car," she said dismissively. "Ianto's fine, Jack. He even got me to rescue his tie and shirt from the paramedics."
"That doesn't mean anything," Jack said sceptically. "He'd get you to do that if you took his damn arm off!"
The image was amusing, if a little grotesque, and Gwen giggled. It was probably true as well. Ianto always took remarkable exception to his clothes being damaged or destroyed - much more exception than he took to his own body being damaged. Luckily, they hadn't hit on 'destroyed' yet.
"When you get here, give us a buzz and I'll come out and get you," she said. "They're probably going to be doping Ianto up to the eyeballs now, so I'm going to go in and look after him a bit."
That was a good idea. Ianto either barely reacted to drugs at all, or got incredibly agitated and upset. And there was no apparent pattern. Owen had always joked about putting Ianto through drug tests to find out what did what, but he'd never gotten around to it.
Gwen bit down on the thought, hung up, and went inside.
Jack reached the hospital in record time for a Friday evening, and was rapidly retrieved by Gwen. She looked like she'd been standing in the middle of a tornado, but she also looked very calm, and bundled Jack through the A&E and into one of the treatment rooms before he could start harrassing staff.
Ianto was sat up on one of the beds, shirtless and chatting to a young nurse with red hair. She kept giggling and blushing, and Jack had no doubt whatsoever that there was some good flirting going on. Which was probably a good thing - Ianto only flirted when he was in a pretty good mood, which meant that he wasn't hurting, he wasn't upset from the drugs, and he didn't want to remain in the hospital too long.
Then Ianto's eyes flicked towards Jack, and Jack realised that it was to calm him down as well.
"Hey," he said, making his way over and hovering at Ianto's shoulder. The grazes and slight discolorations on his chest were going to be very sore bruises come tomorrow, but he was staring at the gaping, screaming gash into Ianto's shoulder.
It was a gash, not a stab wound, but it was also a fairly bad one. It cut into the muscle on the arch of Ianto's shoulder, and he'd obviously been bleeding heavily. The area around it was covered in cotton wool, which was by then sticky and flat and bright red, but the wound was clotting up again nicely, and the black stitches holding it together were finished.
"Hello," Ianto said, and smiled at the nurse. "I told you something tall, dark and handsome was going to come swanning in here."
"I do not swan," Jack objected as the nurse giggled and swatted Ianto's arm reprimandingly. "How much painkiller are you on?"
"Quite a bit," Ianto said. "I can't drive, operate heavy machinery, stand up without wobbling, or spend the night unsupervised in case I forget the wound is there and pull the stitches and start bleeding again. Did I remember everything?" he asked the nurse.
Jack sent Gwen a look, that she grinned at, that clearly asked how drugged up Ianto really was.
"He's about this close to getting a blood transfusion," she told Jack briskly, her flirty manner vanishing. "If he pulls the stitches and bleeds more, we want him right back here for observation. So we want him accompanied until the morphine wears off."
"Morphine?" Jack stared.
"The knife...took some getting out," Gwen said awkwardly. "It hit the wall and Ianto sort of...slid. And tore it out. So yeah, he wasn't too impressed."
Ianto smiled placidly at her, then the gauze was taped down firmly over the wound and he winced instead.
"Jack, if you're going to take him home, I can get this tin can or whatever it is over to...work," Gwen amended hastily, "and then go home?"
She gave him her hopeful look, and Jack sighed and chuckled.
"Alright. If the alarm goes off, though, come and find me again. I'll be taking Ianto back to the...office...for a bit so I can keep an eye on him and get some more work done."
The nurse gave them a look that suggested she didn't really believe what they were saying, but Gwen ignored it and vanished.
"Right, Mr. Jones," she said briskly, securing the bandages and stepping back to admire her handiwork. "No more fights with the local youth, hm?"
"Okay," Ianto agreed, stood up, sat down, and looked to Jack.
"It's your fault," Jack said, and grinned.
Ianto crashed on the sofa once they were back at the Hub, completely ignoring Jack's suggestion of a shower and going down to sleep in Jack's hole-under-the-office bedroom. For a while, Jack ignored him in return, getting basic reports done, checking the Rift monitor every now and again, and investigating Gwen's find in the alley (which turned out to be a bin from the 1950s, belonging to, according to the paint, the Evans family at Number 44).
After a while, though, and well into the early hours of the morning, Jack gravitated back towards the sofa to watch his employee, friend, something, God-only-knew-what, sleep. His posture was tense and a little awkward, testimony to the drugs wearing off, but he didn't twitch even when Jack fetched a pillow and a blanket and rearranged him so he'd been more comfortable. He didn't even move when Jack eased his shoes off, and Ianto had really sensitive feet.
Jack grinned at him, pressed a kiss into his hair, and decided to stay up tonight instead of sleep.
It had been close, but it hadn't come to pass, and Jack needed to remind himself of that. The time hadn't come to lose him. Not yet.