It had all happened so quickly. One minute Ianto was stood on the top step of the concrete stairs that led to the Hub. The next Ianto had traversed the entire flight of stairs falling head over heels down each step with sickening thuds. It was all Jack's fault.
Ianto had been happily minding his own business, working in the tourist office. Filing, writing and working figures for updating leaflets, basically, generally tidying up. He hadn't noticed that he had turned his back to the tourist office door, nor had he noticed when Jack silently entered the room and crept up behind him. Ianto took a couple of steps through the hidden door so he could go down into the Hub. It was at this moment that Jack decided to make his move. He grabbed Ianto around the waist, but misjudged how quickly Ianto was moving. Jack's grip startled Ianto who turned sharply to defend himself, only Ianto hadn't taken into account how close he was to the top step. His feet shuffled away from the threat and his body drunkenly tipped backwards and slipped down the steps. Jack couldn't maintain his grip around Ianto's waist and watched, with shocked horror as his lover plummet down the steps.
By the time Jack had gotten over his shock and made to move down the steps Ianto had stopped rolling and had come to a holt in, what looked like, a very awkward position. Jack rushed to Ianto's side. His head slowly became surrounded by blood, where it rested on the cold, hard floor. Jack efficiently checked Ianto's breathing and found that his heart rate, pulse and breathing were all ok. Jack didn't let any of his emotions cloud his judgement just at that time. He tried to stay calm and concentrate on checking Ianto's vitals.
Typically Owen was not in the Hub, so Jack's only option was to contact the hospital.
"Ianto? Ianto, please open your eyes. I need to know that you're going to be ok."
Jack tried that wake Ianto, and he succeeded eventually, but it took some time. Time which, as the minutes ticked by, took years of Jack's long life. When Ianto did finally open his eyes they were clouded with pain and blankness. Jack quietly spoke to him about any other injuries, but Ianto was in so much pain all over his body that he couldn't give any specific areas of injury.
Forced with the only thing left to do, Jack carefully carried and loaded Ianto into the nearest Torchwood vehicle, strapped him safely in the seat without too much trouble and drove to Saint Helens Hospital. Jack left Ianto in the SUV while he ran into the A & E department to get a wheelchair and a couple of nurses. He explained who he was, and what had happened in minute detail, down to how long Ianto had been unconscious for, and the pattern of the blood. Ianto had lapsed back into unconsciousness, but he had did not regain consciousness throughout the road trip to the hospital.
The nurses thanked Jack for his help, but asked him to wait in the waiting room, and someone would get him when they had had a proper, more in-depth look at 'Mr Jones' Jack couldn't sit down in the hard plastic chairs supplied by the NHS, so he settled for pacing the floor. There were several people in the waiting room, and as Jack was forced to wait and wait, the people came and left wile Jack remained the one constant person.
It was several hours before Jack was allowed to visit Ianto. The nurses had admitted him and he had undergone several X-rays and CT scans to make sure that there was no permanent damage to his brain. The nurse that guided Jack to Ianto's bedside explained that Ianto was still unconscious, and they believed that he had a severe concussion, and that there might be some brain swelling, but they wouldn't know for definite until he awoke. The nurse seemed reluctant to call Ianto's condition comatose, but Jack could tell that things were more serious than he had first thought.
Looking at Ianto from his position at the side of the bed, Jack could see that he had an egg sized lump on the side of his head, probably courtesy of the concrete steps. Jack suddenly placed his head into his hands and tried to calm his emotions. He faced up to the fact that it was his fault, that Ianto was in this condition. All Jack had wanted to do was surprise Ianto and be romantic, but instead he had possibly caused Ianto to sustain brain damage, in the very extreme of cases.
As it was late evening, Jack didn't think he should disturb the rest of the team. They would ring him in the morning when neither himself or Ianto appeared for work. Plus he didn't want to have to answer questions about exactly why Ianto was in hospital – the guilt was killing him. Morning would be soon enough to answer questions like that.
It was sometime during the middle of the night that Jack was woken by a familiar sound. At first Jack was disorientated, as he couldn't figure out where he was, or why his back and legs ached so much, then the memories of what had happened to Ianto came flooding back. Jack sat bolt upright and immediately grasped Ianto's hand in his. The heart rate monitor on Ianto's finger was digging into Jack's hand but he didn't seem to notice.
"Ianto?" whispered Jack anxiously. Jack would give anything for Ianto to be okay.
"Ianto, please, wake up. I need to see your eyes, and hear your wonderful welsh accent. Please wake up."
Slowly Jack felt the fingers wrapped around his tightening, and it made him smile, but want to get more out of Ianto, see what he remembered, or if there was any additional damage to his brain.
Ianto moaned. Jack could tell that it wasn't due to any pain he was feeling, because the nurse had adjusted the pain medication a couple of hours before. Jack continued to talk quietly to his partner, pleading with his to wake. Patting and stroking his hand, weaving his hands through Ianto's slightly greasy hair. It took nearly an hour, but finally Ianto stirred enough to gain consciousness.
Ianto opened his eyes slowly.
"Oh God Ianto. I thought I'd never get to see you again." Ianto just blinked and said, "What happened?"
"Don't you remember?" Ianto just motioned his head from left to right, so Jack continued, "I'm sorry. It's all my fault you're here. I just... got carried away with trying to get you alone, and wanting to spend time with you. I'm so sorry. You were alone in the tourist office, I caught you on the internal security, thought I'd keep you company for a bit. You must have decided to go downstairs, while I tried to surprise your by going through via the invisible lift. I came through the front door, you were just moving towards the stairs when I grabbed you by the waist, you were shocked and stepped back, down the flight of stairs. I couldn't keep hold of you, and you fell so far!"
Jack took a breath before he continued.
"I'm really sorry Ianto." Jack bent his head over Ianto's hand and kissed each knuckle softly.
Ianto waited fourteen seconds before he said, "I'm sorry, but who are you?"
Jack's head flew up so quickly that he almost sustained a whiplash injury. His eyes had widened and he wore a grim, but shocked expression on his face. He was so surprised that all he could say was, "eugh!"
Ianto suddenly broke into a smile and said, "Just kidding. I know who you are."
Jack stood and flung his chair away from him. He flopped onto the edge of the hospital bed and grabbed Ianto by the shoulders.
"Who am I?"
"Joseph???" asked Ianto with an innocent smile. Jack went bright red in the cheeks like he was about to explode, so Ianto thought better than to try to make Jack feel a little guiltier.
"Alright, it's Jack. Captain Jack...Harkness. Really apart from the fact that I can feel the massive egg that's on the side of my head, I'm okay. Just bruised and a little tender."
"Oh Ianto," Jack thought about punching his arm, "Please don't do that again. I nearly had a heart attack."
"Not that that would have knocked you down dead on the floor, right?"
"Not the point!"
"Sorry," mumbled Ianto a little tritely.
Jack patted Ianto's, "I'm going to go leave the others a voicemail about where we've gotten too, so don't go away. Sleep. I think you could use it. Especially after the fall you've had." Jack stood from his position on the edge of the bed and walked out of the private room of the hospital. He turned his head slightly to look over his shoulder. What he saw made his heart soar. Ianto had snuggled down in the bed and was watching him leave with half closed eyes. It was a wonderful sight. Jack hoped he got to see more like that.