Title/Series Info: Special Treatment
Author's Notes: Deleted scene from Meat - takes place while Gwen and Rhys are on the Plass talking about ice cream and scrapbooking...
Disclaimer: Belongs to the BBC
Jack leaned over the railing to the medical bay, seeing Tosh and Owen talking quietly there.
“Nice job today, both of you,” he said, careful to include Owen in his praise; he knew that having to euthanase the space whale had upset him, perhaps more than he was letting on.
Tosh gave him a soft smile, but Owen didn’t look up.
“Are you both OK?” Jack asked.
Tosh nodded, while Owen responded curtly, “Fine,” looking at Jack briefly before looking down again. Jack nodded, mirroring Tosh; he’d wait and see how Owen was tomorrow, maybe take him out for a beer if he was still like this then. He turned to go, but Tosh called him back.
“Jack, I think Ianto might need some… attention,” she said carefully.
Jack tried to smile at her. “I’m going to find him next.” He’d aimed for a neutral tone, but from the way her eyebrows shot up he suspected he may have said it more abruptly than he’d intended. Did she really think he hadn’t noticed that Ianto needed attention, as she’d put it? Normally he would have been affectionately amused at Tosh’s obliviousness - he was pretty sure that he and Ianto hadn’t been that discreet - but at the moment he could feel the coil of fear in his stomach from seeing Ianto with a gun to his head relaxing into a pervasive sense of unease and annoyance. He tried to ignore it.
As he left, he overheard Owen say, “Really, Tosh, I don’t think Ianto’s exactly lacking in Jack’s attention…” Jack smirked to himself as he strode away. No, they hadn’t been that discreet.
He spotted Ianto on the other side of the hub, and yelled, “Ianto, my office!” without breaking his stride. Even from this distance he could see that Ianto was rolling his eyes, but he stopped what he was doing and began to head for the stairs leading to Jack’s office. They both converged on the staircase at the same time, and Jack let Ianto lead the way up the stairs, noting that he was walking slightly stiffly. He was well aware that Ianto probably hadn’t noticed; that he was probably convinced that he was fine.
For that reason, he didn’t bother to ask Ianto how he was when they got up to his office; instead, he poured him a glass of brandy and handed it to him.
Ianto looked mutinous. “Jack, I thought we said there’d be no special trea-”
“Drink it,” Jack ordered him severely, interrupting him before he could finish the sentence. For God’s sake, was he such a bad boss to Ianto that Tosh assumed he didn’t notice him and Ianto thought that his being concerned after Ianto had been tied up and almost shot constituted special treatment?
Ianto shrugged and took the glass, and Jack let him take a sip before he asked, “Do you need Owen to take a look at your wrists?”
Ianto put his glass down and pushed up his jacket sleeve before unbuttoning one cuff. He looked surprised to see that the skin there was red and raw, and had obviously been bleeding slightly in places.
“I hadn’t realised,” he murmured, taking off his jacket and folding it over the back of a chair.
“I know you hadn’t,” said Jack with asperity. He really had intended to remain completely professional but at Ianto’s implied criticism of his managerial skills the irritation he’d valiantly suppressed earlier came spiralling back, and he couldn’t stop himself from snapping, “And for your information, I’d give any of you brandy after a – a stressful day, and I’ve already checked that Tosh and Owen are alright, so if anything, you’re getting the least special treatment of everyone.” He could see that Ianto was staring at him in surprise as he grabbed a bottle of water from his desk and took what was supposed to be a calming gulp of it, before adding, “And it’s nice to see that you have such a low opinion of me that you think that if I’m worried about a gun in your face it must be special treatment!” He stopped abruptly, belatedly realising that he’d slopped water down his hand as he gestured with the bottle, and glared at Ianto.
Ianto stared back at him impassively for a moment before beginning soothingly, “Jack-”
However, at that moment the sirens went off and the cog door rolled back to reveal Gwen marching purposefully in the direction of Jack’s office.
“For God’s sake, what now?” snapped Jack, striding out of his office to meet her. Behind him he heard Ianto sigh in resignation as he followed.