Characters: Jack, Owen, Ianto.
Summary: It was an accident, but that’s small consolation to Jack, or to Ianto.
Word Count: 2529
Written For: Challenge 18: Floppy at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
Mooching around the Hub, minding everybody else’s business but his own, Jack’s attention was caught by a startled yell that sounded like it came from the autopsy bay. It was followed in quick succession by a pained yelp from Ianto and a heavy thud. Abandoning his aimless wandering, Jack raced towards Owen’s domain and practically screeched to a halt, an expression of mingled horror, concern, and anger on his face. He opened his mouth to speak, but Owen beat him to it.
“Before you say anything, this was NOT my fault. I was preparing the tranquillizer darts to sedate your bald budgie for her biannual medical when Teaboy there snuck up behind me and nearly scared the life out of me.” He waved his hand irritably in the general direction of where Ianto was slumped limply against the autopsy bay wall. “It was automatic, I just reacted in self defence.”
Jack tore his eyes away from Ianto to glare furiously at Owen. “You stuck Ianto with a loaded tranquillizer dart, didn’t you.”
“Just a bit,” Owen said defensively. “But it was an accident, and I don’t think he got a full dose anyway. There’s enough in one of those darts to down an elephant, but Teaboy’s still conscious. Sort of.”
Kneeling beside Ianto, Jack took hold of a limp hand. “Ianto? You with me?”
“Hi, Jack,” Ianto slurred, trying to focus his eyes on his lover.
“Hey there. How’re you feeling?”
“Um, feel fine, ‘m jus’ bit dreepy ‘n’ sloopy, thas all,” Ianto replied with a lopsided grin. He frowned slightly, a look of vague puzzlement crossing his face; that hadn’t sounded quite right, so he tried again. “’m sloopy ‘n’ dreepy?”
“Sleepy and droopy?” Jack suggested.
“Mm. That. S’nice.”
“Well, as long as you’re happy. We can’t leave you here though; somebody might trip over you. Think you can stand up?”
“Uhuh.” Ianto’s head wobbled about in what was probably meant to be a nod but which made him look more like a bobblehead doll. “Fly ‘way.”
“Okay then, let me give you a hand.” Jack hooked an arm around Ianto and tried to help him up, but the drugged Welshman just slithered out of his grasp, ending up practically folded in half. A muffled giggle drifted up from where Ianto’s head rested on his own knees. Jack spared a brief moment to be impressed by his lover’s flexibility before fixing Owen with a furious look. “Exactly what is in those tranquillizers you use on Myfanwy?”
Owen had gone back to preparing his darts and loading the gun. “Well, a sedative, obviously, and a muscle relaxant so I can spread her wings out to examine them without any risk of damaging them. Why?”
“I think Ianto’s a bit too relaxed. I’m going to need a hand moving him.”
“It’ll have to wait, I’m a bit busy just now.”
Jack had just about had enough. “You tranquillized Ianto and made him go all floppy, now help me get him to the sofa or I’ll stick you with one of your darts and see how you like it!”
Owen gave an annoyed huff, put down the gun and went over to where Jack was trying to unfold Ianto on the floor. “Fine, I’ll help. We just need to get his arms over our shoulders.”
“Won’t work,” Jack said, “they’re like spaghetti; they’ll just slide off.”
“So what d’you suggest?”
“You’ve got a stretcher somewhere around here, right?”
“Yeah, it’s in a cupboard over there.” Owen pointed towards the cupboards across the other side of the autopsy bay.
“So go get it!” Jack snapped.
“Alright, keep yer knickers on!” Grumbling, Owen stomped over to the cupboard and retrieved a bundle of cloth and metal poles, which he set down beside Ianto. “There you go.”
“It’s in pieces,” Jack pointed out.
“Course it is, it won’t fit in the cupboard otherwise. You ‘ave to put it together first; thing’s archaic, hardly ever gets used anyway.”
Jack rummaged through the parts. “How does it fit together?”
“Dunno. I always leave that to Ianto.”
“In case you haven’t noticed, Ianto is currently a bit indisposed.”
“Not to mention floppy.” Owen lifted one of Ianto’s arms and then let go. Unsurprisingly, it immediately flopped back to the ground, landing at an uncomfortable looking angle.
“Stop that; he’s not a toy!”
“He can’t feel anything. I could stick a bunch of needles in ‘im and there’d be no reaction.”
“Don’t you dare!”
“Lighten up, Jack. It’s not often Teaboy’s this relaxed. The rest’ll probably do ‘im good.”
“Owen, so help me, if you don’t stop messing around and do something useful, I’ll…”
“You’ll what? Dock my pay? Suspend me?”
“No, I’ll have Ianto disallow all your expenses for the rest of the year, you’ll have to pay for your own dry cleaning, and he’ll put you on the cheapest instant decaf available!”
“Okay! I was just kidding. Where’s your sense of humour?”
“My lover is lying on the floor, sedated to the point that beyond breathing, he literally can’t move a muscle on his own. Excuse me for being less than happy with the situation. Now shut up and help me figure out how to put this together.” Jack started trying to connect the stretcher rods. He’d almost succeeded when Owen thought of something.
“That doesn’t look right. I think the poles have to go through the loops in the canvas first.”
“Now you tell me!” Jack started to dismantle everything again, until he could thread the poles through the loops. “How’s that?”
“Looks about right.”
“Okay, now give me a hand getting the connecting pins through the holes.”
Ten minutes later, they had something that resembled a stretcher, more or less, although they seemed to have a few bits left over.
“Good enough,” Jack decided. “We don’t need it for long, it just has to hold together until we get Ianto to the sofa.”
With the stretcher positioned beside Ianto, they arranged his floppy limbs and carefully rolled him aboard, ending up with him face down.
“So far so good,” Owen nodded.
“He’s the wrong way up, Owen.”
“He’ll be right side up once we roll him off this and onto the sofa.”
Jack considered that and nodded; it made a sort of sense. “Good point. Okay, grab an end. We’ll lift together on three. One. Two. Lift!” The stretcher wobbled a bit, but held as they lifted Ianto clear of the floor.
“He weighs a ton,” Owen groaned.
“Hnnn!” A faint, offended sound came from the man on the stretcher.
“Ignore him, Ianto. Owen’s just being cranky. You know what he’s like.”
“Right, Owen, you’re shorter than I am, so you’d better go up the stairs first. We don’t want to tip Ianto off.”
“Speak for yourself,” Owen mumbled. Suddenly a light bulb went on in his head. “Oh, that’s probably what those straps we had left over are for; to keep people from falling off.”
“You had to wait until now to figure that out?” Jack attempted an Ianto-style eye roll. “Oh well, it’s too late to do anything about it, so just be careful not to tilt the stretcher too much.”
“I’m not a complete idiot.”
“Ianto might disagree with you on that, if he was able to speak intelligibly.”
Slowly, and with much puffing from Owen, they ascended the stairs, pausing briefly at the top so the medic could catch his breath before they continued their journey to the sofa.
“You’re seriously out of shape if you’re winded just from that,” Jack noted. “I think you need to cut back on the pizza and beer.”
“No thanks; I’ll leave that to the Weevils next time you can’t keep up on a hunt. Watch out for the coffee table!”
“I am!” Owen sidestepped it and shuffled backwards a bit further. “Now what?” he asked as they reached their destination.
“I suppose we just parallel park alongside the sofa and then tip Ianto onto the seat. If we do it right he should end up on his back.”
“Good plan; ‘ere we go then.” They moved as close as they could get and slowly tilted the stretcher…
Amazingly, it mostly worked, although Ianto wound up with his legs twined together and one arm underneath him.
“Don’t worry, Ianto, I’ll unravel you.” Tenderly Jack sorted Ianto’s legs out and rescued his trapped arm, laying it neatly at his side. “There. Better?”
“’nks.” Now that the sedative had completely taken hold, Ianto couldn’t really form words, but he felt too floaty to be concerned about it.
“You’re welcome. You just rest now; I’ll go get a pillow for your head.” Turning away, he looked at Owen. “How long before this wears off?”
“A couple of hours maybe? I don’t really know for sure.”
“How can you not know? You’re a doctor! Besides, I thought you said that stuff was your own formulation!”
“It is, but it’s not designed for use on humans and I don’t know how big a dose Teaboy got, so all I can do is make an educated guess.”
“Stop calling him Teaboy! He has a name. Use it!” Jack snapped irritably and stalked off to fetch a pillow from his little cubbyhole. Owen turned to Ianto and stared down at him, head tilted to one side and arms folded across his chest.
“Does Jack seem a little tense to you? Maybe he could use a shot of sedative himself.” A smirk crossed his lips and after a quick glance to check that Jack wasn’t on his way back yet, Owen hurriedly rearranged Ianto’s floppy legs and arms until he resembled a human pretzel. “Don’t worry; you won’t remember any of this once the sedative wears off. Probably.” He winked at Ianto before scurrying back to the autopsy bay with the stretcher, and had just started dismantling it to put it away when he heard Jack’s yell.
“That’s not funny, Owen! Stop tying my Ianto in knots!”
Just to be sure Owen didn’t try anything else, once he’d rearranged Ianto and made him as comfy as possible, Jack sat beside his lover, gently holding one limp hand and talking quietly to him, glaring at anyone who came near.
With no voluntary muscle control, Ianto couldn’t do anything but lay there, staring upwards but not really registering anything. He felt floaty, like a cloud; a small, fluffy white cloud drifting aimlessly along on a warm breeze. Being a cloud was very restful; he didn’t need to do anything but float. He could hear Jack’s voice, but it was coming from a long way off and he couldn’t make out the words too well. It didn’t matter; he was a fluffy cloud, and clouds don’t need to think, so he carried on floating until he fell asleep.
Ianto came back to himself slowly and at first couldn’t understand why he seemed to be lying on the ratty old sofa under the Torchwood sign. He felt oddly boneless and even the thought of trying to move felt like too much effort. He blinked slowly.
“Ianto? You awake?” Jack shifted onto his knees on the cold concrete so he could look down into Ianto’s face.
“Mmm, sort of. What happened?”
“You don’t remember?”
Ianto tried to gather his scattered thoughts. “Owen wanted me to help get things ready for Myfanwy’s medical.” He frowned. “I went to the autopsy bay, asked what he wanted me to do, and he stabbed me with something!” There was a distinctly indignant note to his voice.
“It was one of the darts he was filling,” Jack explained. “Do you know what happened after that?”
“Mm. I went warm all over, my muscles started to melt, and my head floated away like a fluffy cloud.” Ianto smiled dreamily at the memory. “I like clouds.” He seemed to doze off for a few moments and then his eyes snapped open again. “Owen turned me into a pretzel!” He tried to lift his head to look along his body, but it felt too heavy so he let it flop back onto the pillow again.
“It’s okay, I straightened you out again. Looks like the muscle relaxant hasn’t quite worn off yet. You should be able to move again soon.”
“How long have I been out of it?”
“About three and a half hours. I was getting worried; that’s getting on for twice Owen’s estimate.”
“Anything happen I should know about?”
Jack shook his head. “Not really. It’s been a very quiet afternoon.” He fell silent for a few minutes and Ianto lay still, feeling strength slowly flow back into his muscles. At last Jack spoke again. “Okay, try moving your hands and feet.”
Ianto flexed his fingers and twitched his feet. “How’s that?”
“It’s a start.”
It was another fifteen minutes before Ianto was able to sit up, with a bit of help from Jack. Owen was ordered to check him over to make sure he was alright, which he did, albeit reluctantly.
“Pulse, heart, blood pressure, temperature, all normal,” he declared. “Your boy toy is fine.”
“Owen…” Jack ground out.
“What? You told me not to call ‘im Teaboy, and I didn’t.”
“I told you to use his name.”
“Whatever.” Owen draped his stethoscope around his neck and picked up his other equipment to put away.
“Just a moment please, Owen,” Ianto said politely.
“I remember,” Ianto said calmly. He looked directly into Owen’s eyes. “Everything.”
“Oh.” Owen shuffled his feet nervously. “Shit. It was an accident, mate. You know that, right? I didn’t dose you on purpose; that stuff is too expensive to waste on a prank.”
“I know.” Ianto smiled sweetly. “But trying to tie me in knots wasn’t an accident.”
Owen backed away. “That was just a bit of harmless fun…”
“Fun for you, maybe, you have a warped brain, but I couldn’t defend myself or even object. That was cruel. There will be consequences.”
“I’m sorry, okay?”
“So you should be, but an apology isn’t going to be enough to save you from punishment. Not this time.”
“What if I promise I won’t do it again?”
“I’m not sure I trust your promises. You seem to disregard them when they become inconvenient.”
Ianto was still smiling; Owen knew him well enough by now to know that was a bad sign. It meant Ianto had some fiendish plan in mind, and there would be no avoiding retribution.
“So, what kind of punishment am I facing?”
Ianto’s smile became a smirk. “You’ll see. Eventually.”
Groaning under his breath, Owen turned away and shambled back to the autopsy bay. He should have known it wouldn’t be that easy; Ianto would draw it out until Owen couldn’t stand the waiting any longer, then spring something horrible on him when he least expected it. “I just never learn,” he sighed ruefully, and yet he knew that even if he could turn the clock back and do things differently, he wouldn’t; he’d do exactly the same, because damnit, floppy Ianto had been funny, and that was worth whatever punishment Torchwood’s fiendish general support officer meted out, even the cheap instant decaf.