Authority – Owen

Its dark all around him, wherever he is and he's dimly aware that it is because his eyes are shut, but judging by the ache lancing its way through his head he probably doesn't want to open them any time soon. There's a burble of sound around him, a low murmur of confused voices that he should probably be able to recognise but that task requires too much energy for him right now. He's also dimly aware that someone is holding his hand, running their thumb soothingly across his knuckles but he can't bring himself to care enough about what's happened to him to open his eyes and find out.

Just as he's about to succumb to the encroaching darkness and lose himself in oblivion a strident voice cuts through his stupor. It too is familiar but instead of mumbling softly on the edge of his awareness it cuts through the haze, demanding his unwilling attention.

"Ianto," the voice is stern, it will take no arguments, "Ianto, open your eyes."

He doesn't want to, he's safe in the oblivious dark, and past experience has taught him that leaving it only leads to more pain. But the voice is insistent, and try as his might, he can't ignore the command for too long.

"Dammit Ianto, open your fucking eyes."

The soft voices are mumbling a protest now, and he's grateful. They don't mind him staying here, it's only the irritating shouty one that seems intent on making him suffer. The irritating one seems more familiar now, he's always annoying, but it's only here in the dark that Owen is so bossy.

"Ianto, I know you can hear me," again a mumbling of protest, followed by the Londoner's strident tones, "No Jack, I won't leave him alone. He's got a concussion, and I need to know how scrambled his brains are," there's a change in tone, and he can picture the mocking smirk that accompanies the next comment, "Its not like you've got a lot to spare is it Teaboy? Now open your damn eyes!"

He can't resist it any longer. He's vaguely aware that normally he and Owen will argue over most things – whether or not to open the Rift, what to have for lunch, the colour of the sky, but here in the dark, Owen will accept no argument, won't take no for an answer, and that is what makes him such a superb doctor. Not that Ianto will ever tell him that.

Eventually, he cracks open his eyelids, wincing as the fluorescent lighting of the Hub sends shards of agony into his brain.

"That's it," Owen sounds relieved, and begins checking his awareness , shining lights in his eyes, making him follow the finger and numerous other tests that sound, and no doubt look ridiculous. Yet, he follows the instruction without complaint, because in the infirmary, if not anywhere else, Owen is the boss.