Title: All The Little Things
Summary: When Ianto wakes up in a mental institution, he's pretty sure an alien's involved. He's so sure, in fact, that he refuses to believe it when everyone around him tells him that Torchwood is a delusion he experiences due to his schizophrenia. But when evidence begins to mount against him, his unwavering confidence starts to crumble, and he begins to wonder if Torchwood was ever real to begin with.
Setting: Season 2, Post-Something Borrowed
Rating: PG-13 overall
Spoilers: To be safe, all episodes up to Something Borrowed.
Disclaimer: Torchwood and all its properties do not belong to me.
Author's Note: Finishing this story was like pulling teeth, but I'm glad I have it finished. Over all, this story is over 80,000 words with ten chapters and an epilogue. I'll post a chapter a day if real life doesn't prevent me from doing so, and I do hope you enjoy reading!
Ianto jolted into a sitting position, his heavy breathing loud as he felt beads of sweat on his skin. He blinked into the darkness to adjust his eyes, and as soon as they did he looked around, confused. There was a lamp next to his bed and he turned it on, the light illuminating the room. A room that wasn't his.
Ianto shook his head, trying to figure out how he ended up there. The last thing he remembered was running through a park, chasing an alien down along with the others. It didn't look like a hospital room, and a quick check of his person revealed no injuries. It also revealed striped pajamas, and he pulled at the cotton covering his body, wondering where he was and why he was wearing something he didn't recall owning.
As he climbed out of bed, he looked around the room again. It was a bit sparse. There was a desk, an end table, and a bed. There were some other knick-knacks, like books and writing materials, but that was it. There was a window, but it was small and barred. He looked outside, and through the night's darkness he managed to see trees and garden beds.
Where the hell was he?
He approached the door, noting that it was metallic rather than wood. There was a rectangular outline at eye-level, no bigger than a foot wide and about half a foot in length. He grasped the doorknob and twisted, but the door didn't open. He tried again, and again, but the door wouldn't budge.
Worried and uncertain, he knocked his fists on the door, shouting, "Hey!" He used a socked foot to kick it in order to make more noises, and he didn't stop until he heard a noise on the other side of the door. He jumped when the rectangular outline moved, and Ianto realized that it was a sort of peephole, big enough for Ianto to see the eyes of the person standing on the other side of the door. The eyes currently peering at him were dark and curious. "Problem, Ianto?"
Ianto didn't recognize the male voice. He frowned. "Where the hell am I?"
He could see a brow arch. It was bushy. "Where do you think you are?"
"I don't know, why the bloody hell do you think I'm asking?" Ianto banged on the door again. "Let me out, now."
The man tutted. "You know we can't do that, Ianto. Now go to sleep."
Before Ianto could say another word, the man closed the opening. Ianto attempted to open it, but it wouldn't move, and Ianto concluded that it could only open from the other side. Jiggling the doorknob again, he realized that the door most likely could only be unlocked from the other side as well.
Ianto hit the door, deciding to make as much noise as possible, but after several minutes of pounding and kicking, all he got for his efforts were red hands and aching toes. Huffing in frustration, he stomped back to the window. He managed to slide it open and encountered the bars. He curled his fingers around the steel poles and yanked, but they were firm and unmovable. He studied the gardens through the bars, seeing the tall trees, the bushes, and what looked like several beds of different kinds of flowers. There were no clues that pointed to his location.
He moved away from the window and stood in the middle of the room, unsure of what to do. He swallowed and closed his eyes, figuring out his next step. Naturally, he needed to figure out where he was, but since no one was answering his questions or responding to the noise he was making, he tried to remember what had happened that led to his current and unknown location.
It was possible that during his chase, the alien, a Chyla, had somehow managed to capture him and planted him there for reasons unknown. His memory of the chase was sketchy, so perhaps the alien knocked him out or used some kind of alien liquid or gas to disorient him long enough to kidnap him. The alien had been capable of using a purple mist to confuse its enemies, after all. If that was the case, then Jack and others probably already realized his absence. They might be trying to figure out how to locate him right at that moment.
Well, considering the big fight he and Jack had had before the rift alert announced the Chyla's presence, Ianto hoped that Jack was trying to locate him. Ianto told himself that no matter how ugly the fight, Jack wouldn't leave a teammate behind, even if that teammate was a lover who had royally pissed him off.
Ianto lay down on the bed, staring at the ceiling. He detested the idea of being a damsel in distress, sitting on his ass and waiting for Torchwood to come find him, but there was nothing he could do—at least for the rest of the night. But come morning, he would find out more information about where he was, and maybe find a way out.
Ianto was still awake when he heard his door being unlocked. He sat up, a bit tired after staying awake all night. He had been unwilling to sleep in such a strange place. When the door opened, Ianto got off the bed, bracing himself.
A head popped around the door, a man with a bald head and wide smile. "Good morning, Ianto."
Welsh accent. Okay, so maybe Ianto was still in Wales somewhere. That was good. Warily, he asked, "Where am I?"
The man walked further into the room. He was wearing what looked like scrubs. "Jake said you asked that last night."
Ianto moved back when the man stepped close. "Stay away from me."
The man halted and lifted his hands, looking surprised, but then he grimaced. "Damn, you relapsed, didn't you? The doctors aren't going to like this." He pointed at himself. "I'm Glyn, remember?"
Ianto slowly shook his head. "Where the hell am I?" he asked through gritted teeth.
"You're in Whittier."
Glyn sighed. "Whittier Psychiatric Hospital."
Ianto gaped. "I'm in a mental institution?" Memories surfaced of a younger Ianto Jones, walking down the halls of Providence Park to see his mother. He shook those memories away and concentrated on the present. "No, this is a mistake. I don't belong here." Why would the alien put him in a mental institution?
Glyn dug into his pocket and drew out a phone. He tapped on it. "I know you don't want to believe it, but this isn't a mistake." After typing on his phone, he put it away and gave Ianto a placating smile. "You've been here for over a year."
Another shock. Ianto pressed a hand against his stomach. "That's impossible. I've never seen this place in my life!"
Another person walked into the room, a gray-haired man who wore a white coat over his shirt and trousers. "Problem?" The man asked.
Glyn nodded. "Signs of a relapse."
The older man made a face that expressed extreme displeasure. "It was only a matter time," he muttered. He sighed lowly and smiled at Ianto, although the stretch of lips was a bit strained. "Aliens again, Ianto?"
Ianto looked rapidly from one to another. "Who are you?" he finally demanded.
"I'm Dr. Yates, one of your psychiatrists."
"I don't have a psychiatrist." God knew he had been told that he needed one, particularly by Jack whenever a nightmare or two of traumatic events had clutched him in its arms, but he had always considered it a waste of time. He glared at Yates. "Would you mind telling me why in the hell I'm in here?" He jutted his chin at Glyn. "He says I've been here for over a year, but I've never been here in my life."
A glance was shared between Glyn and Yates, a silent message sent and received, and one that Ianto couldn't decipher. Yates turned that smile to Ianto once more. "What's the last thing you remember doing, Ianto? Chasing Weevils?"
Ianto's eyes widened. "I have no idea what Weevils are," he lied, trying to hide his surprise and confusion over the doctor knowing about Weevils. No one knew what Weevils were. True, the occasional Weevil did leave the sewers and was spotted by a person or two, but no one knew what they were exactly, and for those who did manage to discover more about the Weevils, they were quickly retconned. So how did Yates know? Whatever the reason, Ianto would have to make sure he was retconned once he got out of the institution.
Yates looked fairly amused by his denial, a twinkle in his green eyes. "You've been talking about Weevils for years. You even drew a few." Yates glanced at Glyn again.
Glyn walked to the desk and picked up a sketchbook. He approached Ianto and held it out to him. Ianto accepted it warily before flipping it open. Right on the first page was a drawing of a Weevil. A very detailed Weevil. "I couldn't have drawn this," he whispered, flipping through more pages. He felt himself go pale as the pages began to reveal not just Weevils, but other aliens as well, all of whom Torchwood Three had encountered at one point or another. He swallowed and snapped the sketchbook closed. He waved it in the air. "I don't know where you got this from, but it isn't mine."
"It has your name on the back."
Ianto turned it over. There, in bold black colors, was the name Ianto Jones. He tossed it on the bed. "Then someone else drew them and put my name on it."
Yates picked up a leather-bound book and held it out to Ianto. "Maybe this will help. It's your journal. You've had it for the last few months."
Ianto grabbed the journal and opened it, certain that if it was his journal it would contain the entries he'd written as a Torchwood operative. He ran his gaze through the first couple of pages, words jumping out at him. As he read, his heart began to pound in his chest, his breathing becoming erratic. Some sentences did describe Torchwood-related events, but other lines were filled with observations of the mental institution, of other patients, of the medications.
"I don't understand." He swallowed and looked up. "This is impossible."
Yates held out his hands in a soothing gesture. "It's okay, Ianto. You're safe here, I promise you." He hesitated before asking, "You want to know why you're here, right?"
"Yes, and no one has answered my question."
"Okay, then." Yates cleared his throat. "Ianto, you're here because you suffer from schizophrenia." He paused when Ianto made a strangled noise in the back of his throat. He cautiously continued when Ianto was too shocked to do anything more. "You have delusions, which we refer to as psychotic episodes, and for the past few days you've been refusing to take your medications because you thought you didn't need them anymore, and now it looks like you relapsed. You're having an episode that's making you think that it's part of your job to chase down aliens and protect the planet from them."
Ianto took a few steps back, eyes frantically moving between the two strangers standing before him and the journal he still held in his hands, feeling almost horrified at the idea that he was schizophrenic. Panic began to creep in and he barely held it at bay. "I'm not a patient here. There's been a misunderstanding. Last night I was running through a park, chasing a—" He cut himself off.
"Chasing what? An alien?" Yates stepped a little closer, stopping when Ianto backed up. "There are no such things as aliens, Ianto."
Ianto grunted. Of course Yates wouldn't believe that there were aliens; that was the whole point of Torchwood. They were supposed to keep the rest of the world as ignorant as possible about extraterrestrial life until they were ready. Jack constantly said that the twenty-first century was when it all changed, and certainly the people of earth were starting to become aware of strange occurrences, but it was still too soon. Whatever or however the earth's population managed to figure out aliens existed, it wasn't happening today. So no, Yates wouldn't believe in aliens.
But what about his journal and the sketchbook? Ianto floundered for an explanation for them. Ianto had never written anything about a mental hospital in his journal, and the drawings? Ianto was a decent artist, but he had left that hobby behind in his teenage years. He hadn't drawn much since then, so why were there drawings of aliens in a sketchbook that had his name on it?
"I know what you're thinking."
Ianto scoffed at Yates's words. "I highly doubt that."
"You're thinking that I don't believe in aliens, and that's why I keep telling you aliens don't exist. You're thinking that even though there are aliens out there, we mere earthlings don't know anything about it." Yates arched a brow. "Am I hitting the mark?"
Ianto didn't give him the satisfaction of answering the question. Instead, he said, "Just let me get out of here. I don't know how I ended up here or why, but I do know that this is one big mistake."
"There's no mistake." Another glance was shared between Yates and Glyn. "Your episodes tend to revolve around an organization called Torchwood, and you think you're a field agent and an archivist."
Ianto's fingers tightened on the journal, getting more agitated by the second. It was getting harder to hold back the panic. "Look, I don't know what's going on, but what I do know is that I'm getting out of here one way or another."
Yates shifted until he was blocking the door. "I know you're confused, but give yourself some time—"
Ianto didn't let him finish. He threw the journal at him and used the distraction to lunge for the door, but he was grabbed mid-air. He struggled against the strong arms of Glyn. "Get off of me!" he shouted. "This is a mistake. I don't belong here. I've never been here before. Let go."
"We need another orderly in here!" he heard Yates shout.
Another person ran into the room, a man in scrubs, and Ianto soon found himself struggling with two men. He put all his effort in his movements, desperate to get out, panic and adrenaline driving him. His arm was grabbed and tilted, and he felt a prick in his inner elbow. His struggles soon became sluggish, his limbs becoming more difficult to move. His gaze blurred slightly as Yates's face appeared before him. "I'm sorry, Ianto, but you're not getting out of here." Yates's words sounded so far away. "It's going to be okay. I promise."
Ianto struggled to stay awake, recognizing the effects of a sedative, but he couldn't, and eventually he lost the fight.
Ianto looked out his window, watching people walk through the gardens. Some were dressed similarly to him, with striped pajamas underneath a robe and slippers on their feet. Others were dressed in either scrubs or medical coats. Some of the people were in wheelchairs, usually the elderly, but there were a few who seemed uninterested in their surroundings, looking at nothing as they were wheeled around the pathways of the gardens.
He had never heard of the Whittier Psychiatric Hospital. The only hospital he knew of was Providence Park, and while he knew he didn't belong in Whittier, it didn't make it any easier to be in such a place. He felt uncomfortable, reminded too much of his mother's mental disorder, and of his fears regarding his own mental stability.
Ianto pressed his forehead against the window. He had had about an hour to think about his situation, and he was now sure that an alien was involved. For some reason, an alien had deposited him in this place, and he was sure it wasn't the Chyla. While they could be crafty and hostile, Chylas were more direct in their attacks. They were hotheaded and wouldn't waste time moving an enemy into a mental institution.
So it was the responsibility of another alien, one who had decided that putting him in a mental institution was a wise decision. It made Ianto wonder how 'wise' the alien truly was, because he failed to see the advantage of planting him in Whittier.
He had searched the room for his comm-link or phone, but failed to find either one. He couldn't find anything to use as a weapon or even something he could turn into a weapon. There was nothing that was his, except for the journal (which he now believed was tampered with) and the sketchbook. Without any kind of communicating device, he couldn't contact the others, but surely they had realized by now that he was missing. If he couldn't find his way back to Torchwood, Torchwood would find a way to him.
Studying the gardens, or at least the part of which was visible to him, he speculated if he could escape. He was pretty sure the entire facility was enclosed behind brick walls, tall fences, or a combination of both, but there was always a weak spot. He would have to wait until he was outside.
The door opened and he glanced over his shoulder, glare already in place for Yates. But his eyes widened when instead of seeing the gray-haired doctor, there stood Owen.
Ianto quickly closed the distance between them. "You found me."
Owen smiled. "Yes, I did."
"Do you know what's going on?" Ianto glanced over Owen's shoulder, getting a glimpse of a clean and sterile hallway. On the other side of the hallway was another room, its door wide open. Most of the room was hidden from him, but he could see a desk and a girl sitting in front of it, her hair wild and curly. He looked back at Owen.
"What's going on is that you got a bit violent earlier."
Ianto grimaced. "I was a bit taken off-guard by my situation." And he regretted his actions. He was normally so cool and collected during the direst of situations, but this entire situation had thrown him completely. With his personal experiences with his mentally ill mother, the idea of being inside a mental institution was unnerving. He wanted to get out as soon as possible. "But never mind. What's the plan? Are the others with you?"
Owen shook his head. "There's no one with me, Ianto."
Ianto frowned. "Why? Are they waiting in the car?" Owen would probably be the best person to get him out, since he was the one with the medical background. He may not be experienced with patients who had mental disorders, but Owen most likely knew enough to pretend he did.
"Yates warned me that you relapsed." Owen sounded a bit curious, and not at all surprised.
Ianto's relief at being found dimmed. "What?"
"That's why he called me in today. He told me you relapsed and might possibly be having an episode, and since you're more comfortable with me than with Yates—"
Ianto blinked. "Owen, you don't have to pretend with me." He looked around. "Unless there are cameras around." He lowered his voice. "Are there cameras around?"
"Tell me about last night."
"Why does everyone keep asking me that?" he muttered. However, because it was Owen asking he said, "We were chasing after the Chyla."
Ianto threw up his hands. "Who else? You, me, Tosh, and Jack."
"No Gwen this time," Owen murmured.
"Of course not, she's on her damn honeymoon." Disgusted by the situation, Ianto barely restrained himself from hitting Owen just so the doctor could stop asking ridiculous things. "Why are we just standing around here for? Get me out of here."
"Calm down. We're just talking—"
"No, we're wasting time. What's your plan?"
"Relax. I don't want to sedate you."
"Sedate—" Ianto stared and took a step back. His stomach clenched so tightly that it was almost a physical pain. "Owen?"
Owen gave him a soothing smile. "I'm one of your psychiatrists, have been for over a year. I work here."
No, this wasn't right. Owen was supposed to bitch and moan about Ianto's inability to keep himself out of enemy's hands. He was supposed to be scowling at him for his stupid mistake. "Please tell me you're acting," Ianto said shakily, "because you're really starting to scare me."
"This isn't an act, Ianto. I'm a psychiatrist here at Whittier. You're my patient, and I'm helping you with your schizophrenia."
Ianto's mind ran in frantic and confusing circles. It was perfectly possible that Owen was saying that because he couldn't speak the truth. Maybe Owen had to play the part so well that he was unable to verbally assure Ianto that Owen was pretending. However, Owen's left eyebrow always twitched when he lied. It was a quirk that Ianto kept to himself, unwilling to reveal it even when Owen demanded to know how Ianto knew when he was lying.
And just now, that eyebrow hadn't twitched at all.
Ianto took a deep breath. Okay, so something was going on with Owen. No problem. He would just have to remind Owen of who he was. "Owen, I don't have schizophrenia and I'm not your patient. We're both Torchwood operatives and we fight aliens on a constant basis. You may be the medic of the team, but you also go out in the field. Last night we were chasing after a Chyla, a sentient robot."
There was no recognition in Owen's eyes, no flicker of understanding or acknowledgement of Ianto's words. Owen merely shook his head and said, "There's no such thing as Torchwood, Ianto. I'm not a field agent, and neither are you. You're just a bit confused right now."
"I'm not confused! Whatever's going on with you, snap out of it, Owen. Remember who you are."
"Okay, you're getting a bit agitated." Owen held out a hand and gently put it on Ianto's shoulder. "Calm down."
Calm down? How the hell was he supposed to calm down? Not only had an alien taken him and put him in a mental hospital, somehow, someway, the alien had also taken Owen. Worse than that, the alien seemed to have tampered with Owen's memories. It was the only thing that could explain why Owen was acting out of character and why he seemed to think that he was an actual doctor in a mental institution with Ianto as his patient, and it rendered him useless to Ianto's hopes of leaving the hospital.
He flicked his gaze over Owen's shoulder again, and this time the girl was looking right at him. She smiled, her teeth yellow, and her eyes were just a bit on the manic side.
"I'm not crazy," he stated flatly, if only to assure Owen that what came out of his mouth was the truth. He looked at Owen and kept his chin high. "You hear me? I'm not crazy."
"I never said you were." Owen stepped back and shifted, lifting up an arm to encompass the doorway. "You already missed breakfast, but how about some lunch?"
He didn't feel like eating. In fact, he wasn't sure his stomach would be able to hold anything other than the ball of anxiety. He was about to say no, until it occurred to him that Owen was inviting him to step outside the room. It would be able to see the place, perhaps even find a way to contact Jack and Tosh.
Owen opened the door wider, and the smile on his face was so out of place that Ianto was starting to freak out a little. He and Owen weren't the enemies they had been when Ianto had first joined the team, but never had Owen been so nice to him. Not even when Ianto was injured or wounded did Owen play nice. His exams were always accompanied by complaints and mild insults.
"Come on," Owen cajoled.
"I'm not a dog," Ianto snapped, resenting the way Owen was treating him like he was some wild animal who needed to be soothed.
"I know you're not." Owen nodded towards the hallway "But don't you want to see Tosh?"
Ianto's eyes sharpened. "Tosh is here?"
"Of course. She missed you at breakfast."
Tosh was in the hospital. That meant Jack and Tosh had managed to find them. Owen was of little help without his memories, but maybe Tosh had an answer for what was going on. She was probably pretending to be a visitor.
Ianto grabbed his robe and put it on before leaving his room and following Owen down the hallway. He glanced around, taking in the corridor that could only exist in a hospital, with its white walls, white ceiling, and white tiled floor. The only colors seen were the doors that led to patients' rooms, which wasn't saying much when the doors were steel.
While a few doors were closed, the majority of them were open. Some of the rooms were empty, but he spotted people of all sizes and colors in a lot of the rooms. In one room, he saw two men—one of whom was Glyn—struggling with a woman who was screeching and scratching at their arms.
The hallway led to a large area with chairs, a couple of TVs, bookcases, and tables. It looked like a lounge. There were several people sitting around and watching the television, but what disturbed Ianto the most was the few people who seemed to be talking to themselves. They were talking to the walls or to thin air.
Ianto turned to the sound of Tosh's voice, and he smiled when he saw her waving her hand frantically to catch his attention. She sat at one of the tables pushed up against a corner, and his smile faltered when he saw how she was dressed. She wasn't wearing casual clothing. Instead, she was wearing the same thing he was, pajamas and a robe.
Doubt flickered, but he told himself that maybe she needed to integrate herself into the hospital, pretend she was a patient. Patients would have better access to information than a visitor, and they would definitely have better access to other patients. He approached the table and spotted two trays, one in front of her and the other sitting in front of the empty chair. As he sat down, Owen grasped his shoulder and squeezed. "I'll see you in a bit, okay?" With another of his soothing smiles, he left.
Tosh was munching on her sandwich, and with her mouth full she said, "What happened to you at breakfast?"
Ianto looked around and spied a nurse a little too close for comfort. They couldn't talk without being overheard, so he decided to play along. "They sedated me. I got a bit agitated."
She swallowed. "Why?"
Ianto shrugged. "They told me I relapsed and am having an episode, or had an episode, or something like that."
Tosh pouted, which was unusual. Tosh wasn't the pouting kind. "I hate it when you have your episodes," she grumbled.
He felt his stomach drop. He calmed himself down before his doubt had a chance to grow. Surely Tosh was merely acting. She was better at it than Owen, to the point where Ianto still failed to figure out the quirk that was a dead giveaway to when Tosh lied.
"We always have to start all over," Tosh continued casually. "I mean, you know who I am, but you always think I'm a field agent for Torchwood." She took another bite of sandwich, staring directly into Ianto's eyes. "All right, let's get this over with. We're best friends, have been since the day you arrived. I suffer from hallucinations, but medications have helped and I only have the occasional hallucination nowadays."
Throughout her introduction, crumbs fell out of her mouth and onto the table. Tosh was so unaware of her lack of manners that Ianto was rendered speechless. Tosh was always cautious of her manners, especially when she was with others.
The nearby nurse finally moved away and Ianto leaned in close so Tosh could hear across the table. "Okay, Tosh, tell me what's going on. Why am I in here?"
Tosh rolled her eyes. "Because you have delusions."
Fuck. Did the alien get to her, too? There was a flicker of doubt as the prospect that Tosh wasn't acting at all was brought up in his mind. "No," he said anxiously. "I mean, why did the alien put us here?"
"There are no aliens," she said, taking another bite of her sandwich and being completely oblivious to Ianto's budding agitation. "Like I said, you have delusions."
Ianto ran a hand through his hair in frustration. He took a different angle to the conversation. "Where's Jack?"
"I don't know." Tosh huffed, her lips twisting unpleasantly. "Like I give a crap about him. You should really get rid of him, find someone better."
Ianto blinked. "Okay," he said slowly. Tosh had never given her opinion about his relationship with Jack before, nor had she ever spoken of Jack with such vehemence in her tone. Even when Jack had sent Mary to the sun, Tosh hadn't spoken about Jack in that way. She had felt guilty for letting the alien manipulate her into bringing her into the hub, and she had expressed her fear that Jack wouldn't forgive her betrayal. Only Ianto's assurances that her betrayal wasn't as bad as his had convinced her that she would gain Jack's forgiveness.
Ianto shook off his surprise. It really wasn't the time to analyze Tosh's words. "Look, how are we going to get out of here?" Despite the growing evidence of Tosh's memories having been tampered with, Ianto was undeterred, unwilling to believe that not one but two of his usual allies were currently useless.
"When I stop hallucinating and you stop having your episodes."
Abruptly aggravated at the uncaring and casual way she responded to his questions, he hissed, "Tosh."
"Ianto," she hissed back.
Ianto jerked back in shock. Tosh had never acted like that towards him before. Her personality was turned completely upside down, just like Owen's.
Tosh must have caught his surprise because she sighed and reached out to touch the top of his hand that rested on the tabletop. "Sorry. I don't mean to be cross with you. It's just that the only way to get out of here is to get better, and I'm improving. I might be out within the next year at the rate I'm going and I would love to have you with me, but every time you improve you have one of your episodes and suddenly you're back to square one."
"I don't have episodes. Those are my real memories." He paused. Tosh had said that she hallucinated. If the doctors thought that his memories were delusions, then maybe Tosh's hallucinations were related to her actual memories of Torchwood. "What do you hallucinate about?"
"Oh, this and that." She giggled. "I once thought that this place was a dance hall in the nineteen-forties."
It took Ianto no more than a moment to know what memory she was referring to, and it gave him hope that he might be able to shake her memories loose if he could convince her that her hallucinations were a result of her Torchwood memories. He grabbed her hand to keep her attention on him. "Tosh, listen to me. That hallucination really did happen. You went into the past with Jack, remember?"
She scoffed. "I would never go anywhere with him, and it was a hallucination. I know the difference now. I can tell between what's real and what's not, and I'm pretty sure time travel is impossible."
Tosh truly sounded like she believed what she was saying. Damn it, the alien had got to her, but why tamper with her memories? Or mess with Owen's memories? Why let Ianto keep his? Unless Ianto had been strong enough to fight off whatever the alien had used to strip him of his memories. Of course, there was a slight gap in his memories. He couldn't remember what had happened between his chase in the park as he ran after the Chyla and waking up in his room. Something might have gone wrong and it had left Ianto's memories intact, except for that space in time that would let him know he ended up in the hospital.
He needed to remember, though. There might be a clue as to who was behind this and the reason why, and so long as Tosh and Owen thought that they belonged in the institution, they couldn't help him.
Ianto tapped a finger against the table's surface. If Tosh was here as a patient and Owen as a doctor, Ianto wondered if Jack was here as well. "Tosh," he said slowly. "Is Jack here?"
"Stop saying his name," Tosh snapped.
"Okay." Ianto lifted his hands in surrender. "But is he here?"
"I told you, I don't know where he is. Now stop asking me." Ianto was officially exasperated and used the middle finger and thumb of one hand to rub at his temples. "Poor Ianto," Tosh crooned. "Don't worry, you'll start to remember." She returned to her meal, but not before saying, "Now eat up. I want to walk in the gardens today."
Ianto stared down at his food, a simple ham and cheese sandwich with an apple and a carton of milk. Tosh seemed to be enjoying her meal, but Ianto was unsure if the food was safe. He poked at it, examined it, and took a sniff. Looking around, he saw a few other patients eating the food as well. He hesitated as he looked at the sandwich he now held in his hands, but when his stomach grumbled he gave in and took a bite. He chewed slowly, but nothing in the taste suggested that the food had been tainted. As he ate, he considered his options.
He peered at Tosh from beneath his lashes. If Tosh considered them best friends, then that meant they spent a lot of time together. If he could talk to her, convince her that the life she thought she was living was a lie, then maybe she could help him recover Owen's memories or locate Jack.
Unless Jack was in the hospital with them, but after Tosh's less than pleasant reaction to his questions about Jack, he wasn't sure if he wanted to ask again. Whatever the alien had done, it had ensured that Tosh hated Jack, or at least hated the idea of Ianto and Jack together—which sparked another worry.
Jack and Ianto have never publicly announced their relationship, and the only way an alien would know that they were together was by spending a lot of time studying them. A lot of time. That worried him. If the alien was using that kind of information to distort Tosh's memories, then he had to wonder how long the alien had watched them and how much information, if any, the alien had managed to glean from its surveillance.
Ianto put that worry aside and concentrated on his current predicament, which were his two practically amnesiac teammates.
When they finished their lunch, Tosh grabbed his hand and led him to the gardens, linking their fingers together and swinging their hands as they walked down the brick path. The hospital's gardens were much larger than the small area exposed to him from his window, and they all seemed to have different themes attached to particular sections with tiny signs that let people know what the themes were. There was a Japanese garden, a desert garden, an Australian garden, a botanical garden, and many others. Along with the numerous plants and flowers were the large trees, some of which were fruit trees.
Ianto took in the fresh scent of the numerous flowers, the fragrance pleasant. It really was beautiful, and it still made him wonder why he and his two teammates had been placed in the hospital. What was the purpose?
"Where in Wales are we?" he asked. He had been right in his assumption that there was a barrier surrounding the hospital. The gardens were completely barricaded by brick walls that were about eight feet tall. It made it difficult for him to get an idea of where he might be.
Tosh tilted her head up towards the sky. "Don't you know?"
She glanced at him. "That episode really scrambled your brain, didn't it?" Her eyes turned curious. "What were we doing this time? In your episode, I mean."
Ianto resisted the urge to correct her once again that they weren't episodes. For now, he would have to accept her terminology for his memories. "We got a rift alert around nine at night, and the coordinates pointed to a park. We went after it and learned that it was a Chyla. We split apart to trap it, to make sure it didn't leave the area, and it ran past me. I gave chase and then—" Ianto paused, struggling to remember. "I don't know what happened after that because the next thing I knew, I woke up here." He observed her reaction, but just like Owen, nothing about his words seemed to trigger a reaction that indicated she knew what he was talking about.
"You know what I never got about your episodes? Why I was both a computer geek and a field agent." She snorted and bent over to smell a flower. "Can only operate the basics of computers." She pointed at him. "That should tell you how your episodes are delusions and not reality."
Ianto was disappointed by her answer. "You never answered my question. Where are we?"
Thank god. They were still in the city. Ianto's relief melted into confusion. If the hospital was still in Cardiff, why hadn't Ianto ever heard of it? He knew everything about the city. No one knew more than he did. Or had he read about it only to forget it because it bore no importance? Ianto knew about Providence Park only because that was where his mother had been institutionalized. Maybe Whittier hadn't been as important to his mind as Providence Park had been.
Still, being in Cardiff meant that Jack would be able to find him, or give Ianto a chance to locate him and let him in on what was happening. But in order to locate Jack, he needed a bit of help.
Ianto tugged on Tosh's hand. "Please, you have to remember. We do work for Torchwood, and you are the most intelligent person I know, a master with computers." Ianto scrambled for anything that would jolt Tosh's memories. "Remember Tommy? You fell in love with him. Or Mary, do you remember Mary?"
"Mary was a hallucination, and Tommy was someone you came up with in your episodes."
"What about your love for Owen?"
Tosh flushed. "Not so loud," she muttered, looking around as if to ensure none of the patients passing them by overheard him.
Yes! Finally, something the alien hadn't been able to take away. "So you remember you love him."
"That's why I hallucinated about Mary, and that's why you had a delusion about me falling in love with Tommy. You told me the story about him." She shrugged. "I guess we were both trying to come up with a way for me to be happy." She suddenly chuckled. "But really, how can I be in love with three different people in such a short amount of time?"
Ianto couldn't believe it. There seemed to be an answer for everything he came up with.
"My turn." Tosh released his hand to place it and its mate on her hips, arms akimbo. "Do you remember how we met?"
"Jack introduced us on my first day at Torchwood." Tosh had been the nicest to him. Owen had snarked and Suzie had practically ignored him (they both came around once they tasted his coffee, though), but Tosh had said hello and had even spent a few minutes conversing with him before Ianto began his duties. "You gave me tips on how to handle Suzie and Owen."
Tosh had started shaking her head before he was finished. "No, not how we met in your delusions—"
"They're not delusions!" Delusions sounded so much worse than episodes. He could tolerate the word 'episodes,' but not 'delusions.' His mother had had delusions. "They're real memories, and if I can just find the proper trigger for you, you'd get your real memories, too."
She lifted a hand, silently telling him to stop talking. "Okay, let me tell you how we really met. You had just been brought in talking about dinosaurs and Weevils, and a couple of days after you were brought here, I was taken hostage by another patient who was having a paranoid hallucination. You head-butted him and saved me."
Ianto was already shaking his head before she finished. "No, that's not how we—"
She looked so scared, kneeling on the floor, and Ianto didn't even think before he grabbed the patient by the shoulder, twirled him around, and head-butted him, sending the man to the ground and letting her scramble away to safety, her eyes glowing with gratitude.
"—met," Ianto finished slowly as the image flashed through his mind. He turned and frowned. Where in the hell had that come from?
"Well, no, but we met the next day. You were taken into isolation for a little bit—the staff thought you were violent—but once they realized you were just protecting me, they allowed you to interact with the rest of us. I went to your room and that's when we met. I introduced myself, and since then we've been the closest of friends."
Ianto rubbed his forehead. "I remember how we met and that wasn't it."
"You'll remember eventually." She grabbed his hand once more.
They continued to walk, although at this point it was more like Tosh was walking and Ianto was simply dragged. Tosh waved at an old man in a wheelchair, who smiled back. Ianto smiled as well, but his heart wasn't in it. He wanted to go home, and two of his comrades were out of commission—sort of. Either way, unless Ianto found Jack, he was practically on his own, and he wasn't sure what he was supposed to do.
He did, however, look around the gardens to find a possible escape route. Orderlies and nurses were everywhere, and he caught sight of a few cameras perched on the building—a rather large building, now that he was outside to see it—so security wasn't very lax. From where he walked on the paths, he couldn't see any way out due to the brick walls. He wanted to take a closer look at the walls and see if there was a weak spot in the form of a loose brick or two, but he couldn't do it with Tosh. He would have to wait until he was alone.
As they were heading back to the building, they bumped into Owen. Tosh blushed slightly as Owen smiled. Kindly. Good god, it was just so damn creepy.
"Here you two are." Owen studied Ianto. "Still can't remember?"
"I remember just fine, thank you. It's you two who need to remember."
"Well, in the meantime, come along. Time for your medications."
"I don't need medication," Ianto grumbled, but neither one paid attention to him, and with a huff of annoyance, he followed the two when they began to head back inside. He was perfectly aware he was on the verge of sulking, but who wouldn't? He was in a mental institution with two of his co-workers who couldn't remember who they were, Jack was currently MIA, and Gwen was somewhere in Paris with her new husband for their honeymoon.
Gwen. Of course! She should be safe since she wasn't in Wales. He couldn't deny the possibility that the alien might have plucked her from France and returned her to Wales, but the more optimistic possibility was that she was still safe in France, putting her in a good position to provide him with assistance. She had her phone with her, having warned the team to call her if they truly needed her help, and while Ianto hated to interrupt her honeymoon, if Jack didn't show up and if Ianto couldn't jostle the memories of Owen and Tosh, then he would contact her and ask for her help.
"Can I call someone?"
Owen led them to the lounge, glancing at him over his shoulder. "You know the rules, Ianto."
"No, I don't. I only arrived last night."
Tosh had attached herself to Owen's side, grasping his arm. She didn't seem as worried about keeping her feelings to herself as usual. "Supervised calls during the day. No calls during the night," Tosh said over her shoulder, sounding like she was reciting it from memory.
Owen patted her arm. "Very good." She visibly melted and cuddled against his side. "Was there someone you wanted to contact, Ianto?"
They both stopped and turned to stare at him. Tosh's stare was incredulous, and Owen's was more of the caught off-guard variety. Okay, so the name had obviously been unexpected and had managed to elicit strong reactions from both of them. For a moment, he thought that Gwen's name had been the trigger for their memories, but Tosh's words quickly dispelled him of that notion.
"That's another reason why I hate your episodes," Tosh complained. "Your delusions turn that bitch into your friend."
For all the dislike Tosh had showed when he had mentioned Jack, she sounded downright hateful towards Gwen, her voice filled with contempt.
"But you know her," Ianto said slowly. He looked at the two of them. "The both of you know her."
"Only through you."
"So you never met her?" Both of them shook their heads. "But you had an affair with Gwen!" he exclaimed, looking at Owen.
Tosh looked murderous. "He did not," she denied shortly. She turned to Owen with wide eyes, suddenly looking unsure. "You didn't, did you?" Her voice was soft and hopeful.
Owen disentangled himself from Tosh. "I never met Gwen, let alone had an affair with her." Tosh grinned, but Owen's attention was all on Ianto. "But I highly suggest you hold off on calling her. You'll thank me once you get your memories back."
Owen turned towards a nurse, who walked towards them with a tray filled with tiny paper cups that held a variety of pills. Ianto didn't recognize any of them. Owen grabbed two cups and handed one to Tosh and the other to Ianto. Ianto eyed the two pills in his cup, wondering what they would do to him. First rule of thumb was not to take something he didn't recognize, and he wasn't about to take unnamed pills that could potentially harm him. That was probably what the alien wanted to begin with.
He looked up and saw Tosh about to put her pills in her mouth. "Don't!" He hastily took the medication from her. "These are probably why you don't remember."
Owen reached for Tosh's medication, but Ianto dropped both cups he held in his hands to the ground, the pills rolling away. Owen sighed, the sound slightly irritated. "Ianto, why did you do that?"
"Because something fucked with your minds and these pills might be responsible."
"What, like retcon?"
"Yes!" Ianto stared at them, but then the bubble of hope deflated as fast as it had formed. "You don't know what retcon is, do you?
"Of course we do." Tosh shrugged a shoulder. "You told us that they're these amnesic pills that your 'Torchwood' gives to people to make them forget things." Tosh had used her fingers to quote the word Torchwood.
Ianto rubbed a hand down his face. "Of course I did." He saw Owen hand Tosh another cup of pills. Ianto went to grab them but Owen held them out of reach.
"Glyn," Owen called.
Ianto glanced over in Glyn's direction, who was already heading towards them with a determined expression on his face. "Yeah?"
"Stand by in case we have problems." Owen gave Ianto a knowing look, one full of warning. He began to hand the pills to Tosh, and again Ianto shifted, intending to slap them out of Owen's hand, but Glyn had shifted also, now eyeing Ianto intently.
Remembering how Glyn had held him earlier as Yates sedated him, Ianto took a step back and looked away. He would be no good to Tosh or Owen if he was sedated. So he stood by as Tosh swallowed the pills and drank a glass of water.
When Owen held out another cup of pills for Ianto, he said, "I just tried to ensure Tosh didn't take any pills. You really expect me to take them?"
"Don't make this harder on yourself," Owen said. "These help with your delusions."
Tosh nodded eagerly at him, though Ianto wasn't sure if she was nodding because she truly wanted Ianto to take them or simply because she liked agreeing with Owen. "Take them. Look at me! Nothing happened."
"They're not the same pills." He smiled sweetly at Owen. "These might kill me."
"Take them, Ianto."
Ianto narrowed his gaze as he and Owen stared at each other, a silent challenge issued and accepted. "You can't make me." He crossed his arms over his chest. "You'll have to force them down my throat, and I do believe that's against the law."
Owen closed his eyes briefly. "Ianto, please reconsider. These pills are not going to harm you, they're meant to help you with your schizophrenia, and taking them is the only way to get your episodes under control again."
Owen spent a few more minutes trying to persuade him, but Ianto adamantly refused. Owen couldn't force him to take the pills without his consent, not unless Ianto lacked the capacity to make an informed decision concerning medication. Since Ianto did have the capacity, Owen's hands were obviously tied and he didn't have any justification to forcefully medicate him.
As expected, Owen eventually stopped trying to persuade Ianto to take the pills. Instead, he handed the pills to a nurse. Pleased, Ianto turned to Glyn. "Looks like we don't need you after all."
Glyn arched a brow. "For now." He walked away.
A hand landed on his shoulder and he jumped.
"Okay now, Ianto?" Yates asked, moving to stand next to him.
Ianto scowled. "You sedated me."
"I had to. You were getting too out of control."
He couldn't deny it, but that didn't make him any happier. Yates squeezed his shoulder and Ianto shrugged it off. "I would appreciate it if you didn't touch me."
Yates held his hands up. "As you wish, but it's time for your session."
"Session?" Ianto frowned at him. "What session?"
"Twice a week at noon you have a session where we discuss your episodes, you recovery, or other things. You either have them with me or with Dr. Harper, and today it's my turn."
Ianto hesitated and looked at Owen. "In private?"
Owen scrutinized him for a moment before looking at Yates. "Why don't you let me take care of the session today? I think Ianto would prefer that, yeah?"
Ianto nodded, resisting the urge to make the movement frantic. If the session was a private one, it would give Ianto a chance to talk to Owen, find the trigger to reawaken his memories.
But Yates was shaking his head. "It's best we keep the session as planned. You know how Ianto is during an episode. He'll spend the whole hour trying to convince you that you're an agent." Shit. Damn bastard. He glared at Yates, who gave him a smile. "You've done it before," he explained, "and trying to convince Dr. Harper he's an agent isn't going to help in your recovery."
"Now come along, Ianto."
Ianto glowered. What was it with these doctors talking to him like he was an agitated puppy? In defiance, he stayed where he was, tilting his chin high. He tried to look as intimidating as possible, letting Yates know that he wasn't going anywhere.
Yates cocked a brow and said, "Do you really want to be dragged into the session room in a straitjacket?"
Ianto's eyes widened and he glanced from Yates to Owen, uncertain. He knew they couldn't forcefully medicate him, but did the law apply to being purposely restrained? He wasn't sure. The idea of being forced into a straitjacket was just as unnerving as being in the mental institution itself. Hell, perhaps it was worse because only the truly crazy were put into straitjackets. That was what his father had said, and that was what Ianto had witnessed when he had visited his mother. While Ianto was still unsure of what was going on, the one sure thing he knew was that he wasn't crazy.
With a sigh of defeat, he waved at Tosh when she wriggled her fingers at him as he followed Yates out of the lounge.