Come On Get Happy
Jack walked towards the Autopsy bay and the team followed him. The four of them stood overlooking the goop covered area. Jack couldn't help but smile at Ianto wearing cleaning gloves, a spare lab coat, a rubber apron, and goggles.
"That's quite a mess," Jack called down. Ianto looked up and Jack noticed he had a tiny smile on his lips.
"It is, but it should only take a few hours. It could be worse. At least nobody was injured." Ianto smiled a little wider and went back to scraping goo off the wall and into a bucket.
Jack exchanged looks with his team. They all silently acknowledged the out of character response.
"Did you get that stuff on your shoes? I hope that doesn't stain," Jack said waiting for Ianto's reaction.
"Yes and yes, it will. Shame, really. I only bought these last week." Ianto made a 'hmmph' sound and went back to scraping.
Jack held up a hand to the others and smiled.
"I'm afraid I have some bad news, Ianto." Ianto turned and looked up at Jack again. Ianto lifted his goggles unto his forehead and Jack noticed the peaceful eyes the others had mentioned. They looked alien on Ianto's face which seemed too relaxed. The only time Jack saw Ianto's facial muscles that relaxed was in bed post-orgasm or pre-nightmare.
"Yes, sir?" Even Ianto's voice seemed without affect.
"I didn't want to bother you earlier so I tried to make my own coffee. I'm pretty sure I broke the machine." There was a small twitch to Ianto's eyebrow, but no other sign.
"Then I tried to help," Tosh added. "I jumped when I heard the globe explode and spilled that bag of coffee you brought in this morning." Another twitch and a long blink proved Ianto wasn't completely unaffected.
"It's okay. Just leave it and I'll fix it when I'm done." Ianto started to turn away.
"Actually," Owen began, "I thought I could fix it without you finding out. I accidentally broke off that handle thing. It must have been poor quality because the metal just snapped!" Ianto took a stuttered breath.
"I'll help you with it, sweetheart," Gwen said. "Or I could finish up for you in the Archives."
"Good idea," Jack announced. "You could make a lot of headway while Ianto's cleaning and fixing. Maybe you could come up with some ideas for a new system. Clearly Ianto's plan isn't working out or he'd have the Archives in order by now."
"Well, I do have a few thoughts," Gwen began.
"No," Ianto said. "Stay out of the kitchen and the Archives. I'm sure you all have other things to do than stare at me cleaning."
"Kind of slow."
"I could really use a coffee, though," Jack said.
"Ugh," Ianto exclaimed. He tossed his goggles down, pulled off his gloves, and threw them at the floor. "I knew it couldn't last. So much for Calm bloody 30!" Ianto pulled the sticker off his neck. He looked around at the goo covered room. "All of you, get out my sight before I forget it's treason to shoot my co-workers! Christ, you're like feral children raised on lead paint chips!" He yelled something in Welsh and Gwen's eyes went wider.
"Ianto," Jack yelled. Ianto shot a glare at him that made his blood turn cold in his suddenly unbeating heart. Jack wasn't going to admit to being terrified by that look. "We were lying about the coffee machine. It's fine. Nobody touched it."
"Or the coffee," Tosh added.
"You were acting strange. We were trying to find out what was wrong with you," Gwen said.
"You've got to admit," Owen began, "you were way too calm about the goo."
"It was the placebo effect," Ianto said dejectedly. He held up the sticker to Owen. "Calm 30 and I convinced myself I was calm. It was nice while it lasted."
"Woah," Jack said. "Did you find those in the Archives?"
"Yeah, they were in a one of those medical junk boxes," Owen said. "They're strange little stickers, but Teaboy likes 'em. It must be a subliminal thing or something. Last night he thought Sexy 20 made him feel hot."
"I did feel desirable," Ianto began defensively, but finished bashfully. "And Happy 12 made me happy and Calm 30 kept me from having a panic attack. It might all be in my head, but they work!"
"Of course they 'work'," Jack said. "They're Moods!" Everyone looked at him blankly. "They're from the future. You go up to your friendly neighborhood pharmacist/drug dealer and you say 'I want to sleep for 8 hours' or 'I want to feel happy' or 'I want to forget my problems' and they give you one of these stickers with the mood or action on it and the dosage. These are very dangerous and addictive! How long have you been using them?"
Ianto didn't appreciate Jack yelling at him. He wished he could give Jack a dose of 'Shut the hell up 50'.
"Just those 3 – happy, sexy, and calm," he explained dismissively. "If they were dangerous, I don't think someone would throw them in a box without marking it so."
"Well somebody screwed up," Jack yelled. Owen coughed. Jack glared at him.
"You wrote the note in the box," Owen said quietly.
"I happen to remember," Jack said defiantly, "Joseph Eggleton asking me about them and I told him the street name was Moods. Then I looked at the box and realized it was a sizable stock of what they call Stickies. I wrote a note to destroy them."
"You wrote a note that can't be read," Ianto replied. "It doesn't even look like letters."
"Show me where they are and I'll destroy them," Jack said choosing to ignore his comment.
"Fine," Ianto said stomping up the Autopsy stairs. At the top, he slipped his shoes off and took off the apron and lab coat. Jack struggled to remember he was mad at him for breaking protocol and tried not to think of him as adorable. It was difficult for him as he found an angry Ianto very arousing.
In his socks, Ianto led Jack to his desk in the Archives. The team, curious, followed. At his desk, Ianto handed the note from the box to Jack.
"And what does that say?"
"It says 'Moods?' in Eggleton's handwriting and then I've clearly written 'Sticky – Dangerous brain altering drugs from the future. Destroy'," Jack said triumphantly.
"No it doesn't," Owen said snatching the note from Jack. "I looked at it yesterday. Can you read that?" He handed the note to Tosh.
"No," she said. Gwen looked over her shoulder and squinted trying to make the squiggle turn into words.
"Maybe I didn't write it in English." Jack threw his hands in the air. "I was in a hurry! Trust me. The majority of the universe can read that language just fine." There were multiple groans.
"Am I going to get sick," Ianto asked. "You said they are dangerous."
"You should be fine," Jack said. "Think of it as taking somebody else's prescription. Consider yourself lucky."
"You said they were addictive," Gwen said.
"Yeah, who wouldn't want to keep feeling happy or have a shortcut to instant tranquility? Some things about humans never change," Jack explained. "Okay, Gwen, Owen, I think you two should work on cleaning up the mess in Autopsy. Tosh, you have that report you're dragging on for UNIT to work on. I need a word with Mr. Jones."
Gwen and Tosh gave Ianto sympathetic looks as they walked out. Owen lingered a behind.
"It wasn't his fault," Owen said. "I should have…"
"Out," Jack yelled. "We'll discuss what you should have done later." Owen nodded without looking up and left.
"I expect better from you, Ianto," Jack said with a sigh dropping into Ianto's chair.
"I'm sorry," Ianto replied slumping against his desk. "We were joking around and Owen slapped the happy sticker on my neck. We thought they were just stickers!"
"Setting aside the breach of artifact handling protocols, once he put it on you, you knew it wasn't just a sticker," Jack said patiently. Ianto would have preferred him shouting.
"I told him I felt a wave of happiness, but I figured it was in my head. Part of me thought it was something more, but it felt good."
"Why did you need Happy?" Jack stared at Ianto. He had a feeling he knew the answer, but he didn't know if Ianto would admit to it.
"Honestly? I was upset. Owen had been hounding me about going out with him. I had hoped you would want to see me last night, but you came back and had other plans. It was stupid. I know I don't have the right to get upset. Then the sticker seemed so harmless and I felt happy. It's been so long since I felt happy it even made the idea of going out with Owen sound good. We joked about wearing Sexy to go to the bar so I tried it. I can see how they can be addictive. I had confidence and I felt like I was the kind of man people would desire."
"And you were," Jack said. "Confident, that is," he quickly added. "People always want you. You just don't realize it."
"Well, two women who would have gone home with anyone who bought them a drink isn't exactly my definition of being wanted, but I wouldn't have gone up to them if that thing hadn't made me feel that way."
"Now you know you can so you don't need these," Jack said tapping the box.
"No, I wouldn't have done that if I wasn't under the influence. Casual sex, besides us, isn't me."
Jack sat up in Ianto's chair. He had conflicting emotions and he didn't know what to say to Ianto. Since he didn't know what to say he let his usually quiet Ianto keep talking.
"This morning I thought I was going to have a panic attack. I told myself I needed to calm down and there they were. I flipped through and saw the one marked Calm. It worked until you pushed me off the nice fluffy cloud the sticker put me on."
Jack opened the box of moods and flipped through them.
"At least you picked three of the more harmless ones." Jack laughed. "I'd hate to see what would have happened if you'd put on Love 50 before you went out on the pull."
"Meaningless sex was bad enough," Ianto agreed.
"Still," Jack said leering at Ianto, "I would have liked to see you on Sexy. I bet you were irresistible! I think you're sexy without drugs."
"Apparently you've been using Desperate which gives you the equivalent of beer goggles," Ianto joked.
"I wish I could make you happy or calm or make you feel sexy or at least make you see how hot you are," Jack said reaching for Ianto's hand.
"Those are three things I'm not naturally built for," Ianto said sadly. He squeezed Jack's hand. "It's not something you can fix."
"Maybe, but I could try to not make you unhappy or upset. I could show you how desirable I find you more often."
"I don't think, other than today, you purposely say things to upset me. Don't worry about it," Ianto said smiling.
"You understand I'm going through a phase right now. I just need to get some things out of my system." Ianto nodded.
"I know, Jack." Ianto didn't like to talk about this. He chalked up Jack's mission to bed half of Cardiff after returning from his trip with the Doctor as one of his failures.
"It's important to me that you know that." Jack tugged Ianto's hand and smiled up at him. Jack tried to convey to Ianto what he meant without saying the words. "I know I don't have the right to ask you to wait for me. Just try not to sink to my level." He smiled wider. "It won't be forever."
Ianto's stomach dropped. He wanted to remind Jack that his time was limited. He was living on borrowed time as it was. He hoped Jack remembered they had two different definitions of forever.
Jack jumped up and kissed Ianto's cheek.
"Burn those things then come up and make me a coffee," Jack said before turning to walk away. He made it five steps before Ianto stopped him.
"Jack." Jack pivoted and looked at Ianto expectantly.
Ianto had wanted express his concern to Jack, but the words wouldn't form in his mind. The words that did form reminded him he wasn't in a position to make any demands no matter how gentle on Jack. He settled for being cheeky.
"Do you really think I'm progressing too slowly through the Archives?"
Jack walked back quickly and tilted Ianto's head. He pulled back his collar.
"Hmm…I could have sworn you were wearing Ridiculous 1000!" Jack kissed Ianto's neck. "You've worked miracles down here, Ianto." He cupped one side of Ianto's face and put his other hand on Ianto's sternum. Jack wanted to praise Ianto more, but he knew Ianto would either be embarrassed or not believe him or most likely both. "I have to warn you, though. I think Gwen was serious about having some ideas she wants to run by you."
"Oh good," Ianto said without emotion.
"Don't forget my coffee," Jack said walking away.
Ianto picked up the box of stickers. Box of drugs, he thought. I'll toss these in the incinerator then make sure they were lying about my coffee machine. Ianto looked down at the box again. Making a decision, he walked to a broken filing cabinet. He tipped the cabinet on an angle, the only way to open the drawers, and opened the second drawer from the bottom. He placed the box of Moods in the drawer and closed it. Ianto wasn't the kind of person who could throw happiness away.
A/N: So from the title how many of you thought of the Arlen/Koehler song "Get Happy" and how many thought of the Partridge Family theme song? The sequel would definitely be closer to "Get ready for the judgment day" to "We'll make you happy" although if you stress it as "We'll make you happy" it does sound a bit ominous! Should there be a sequel? You tell me!