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[personal profile] a_silver_story
Title: SilverFish
Chapter 07/??
Author [livejournal.com profile] a_silver_story
Genre: Alternate Universe
Rating: NC-17 overall
Warnings: None for this chapter
Summary: Jack and Ianto in prison - with plot, and lots and lots of smut. Sorry, I can't help it.
Disclaimer: If I owned anything in this, I'd be a rich rich rich bitch. However, I am not a rich rich rich bitch so you may all, therefore, assume I own nothing. Which I don't. It all belongs RTD and the BBC, in case any of you didn't know. Now pass the retcon ...


Torchwood Index


First Chapter







He couldn't quite remember if he'd ever been this drunk before. Even University hadn't seen him this drunk ... surely?

Dinner had been taken up to them by a disgruntled Owen on Holroyd's orders. Ianto had pulled the door open and revealed their perfectly organised cell and smiled politely. Jack was lying casually on Ianto's bed. Owen rolled his eyes at them.

"At least tell me you used a plastic bag," he sighed, rubbing his temples.

Jack's carefully blank expression broke into a wide grin. "Why would we use protection?" he asked. "We're trying for a baby!"

Owen sighed again. "I wouldn't put it past you, Harkness." He turned to Ianto. "I'm having a proper word with you later," he assured him, and Ianto gulped.

Turning on his heel, Owen left, a wide-eyed Officer Williams lingering behind the door and carefully not looking at them as he closed and locked it again.

After eating, they dragged the mattresses back onto the floor and sat on them as they cracked open the hooch Owen had left.

Which is how Ianto had got drunk.

Very, very drunk.

"Whys so strung?" he asked Jack.

"S'easier to get drunk and to smuggle it 'n' stuff if s'more concentrated," Jack replied, his eyes darting around as if trying to work out where Ianto was. He found him with paw-like movements with his hand, and pulled him bodily onto his lap. Ianto giggled, and Jack started animatedly rocking him.

"You gunna make me sick," Ianto complained.

Jack ignored him, starting up a rather crude rendition of 'Rock-a-Bye Baby' that made Ianto giggle harder. He was so busy being entertained by Jack's song, and Jack's rocking, and Jack's killer smile, that he hadn't noticed Jack's hand sneaking into his boiler suit and below his waistband until a rather emphatic 'come' and Jack's hand squeezing his cock.

Ianto groaned, then grunted as Jack pretty much dropped him for the big finish to his song. He grunted again when Jack's entire weight landed on top of him, and he raised his head with a pout and a frown to find Jack's chin resting on his chest and a cheeky grin to greet him. Ianto stuck out his tongue lazily.

"I want you to start coming to the gym wi' me," Jack mumbled into his chest.

"You jus' wanna perv on me hot'n'sweaty, gruntin' 'n' groanin'."

"Gym is where all the big boys hang out. Now that you won two fights, you're a big boy."

"I didn't win," Ianto murmured, his hand clumsily landing in Jack's hair. "I ran away."

"You outsmarted 'em, kid. That's 'won' enough."

"My body's numb," Ianto frowned. "You're on me. Gerroff. I don' wan' pins'n'needles."

"I can think of something much nicer to stick in you than pins or needles," Jack replied automatically, but shifted until he could flop onto his back. "You gonna come to the gym?" he asked.

Ianto groaned. "I hate excersise."

"You'd look hot and dangerous with muscly muscles."

"Am lookin' hot and dangerous as I am! Am jailbait!"

Jack laughed loudly, then cut himself off. "How old are you again?"

"Twenty-two."

"Ahhhh, that's okay then."

"How old are you?"

"Twenty-eight."

"Really?"

"Yahuh."

"I ... thought were ... you seem a bit older."

"Do I?" asked Jack, as innocently as he could.

Ianto's features scrunched up into a frown. "Yeah, you do."

Jack laughed and fidgeted, turning so that he could throw his limbs over Ianto until he was kneeling over him and clutching his wrists, pinning them above Ianto's head. "Never tell a vain man he's older than he says he is," he growled huskily.

Ianto gave him a shite-eating grin. "How old are you?"

"Mmmmmmmmmmmmm ... not telling," Jack replied, burying his head in Ianto's neck.

"How old are you?" Ianto repeated, tilsitng his head to the side so that Jack could access his neck better.

"I'm thffmffnff," said Jack, the last words muffled into Ianto's neck.

"Didn't quite catch that ..."

"Thffmffnff," he repeated.

"Thuff miff nuff?"

Jack raised his head. "It's Klingon," he explained, before dropping his mouth back to Ianto's neck on the other side.

Ianto knew for a fact it was not. "Fine. Shall I tell you how old I think you are?"

Jack raised his head again, looking bemused to hide his vain wariness. "Go on," he prompted.

Biting his lip, Ianto drunkenly considered his answer. "Thirty-two," he settled on.

Jack barked out a delighted laugh, flopping down and lying beside Ianto.

"You're older?" asked Ianto.

Chuckling, Jack sat up and reached for the half-full bottle of hooch and took a gulp. "A little."

"Thirty ... fffffour?" Ianto suggested, sitting and taking the bottle and a gulp for himself, swaying a little as his head got used to being moved so drastically.

Jack chuckled at that, too. "Nope."

"Older?" frowned Ianto.

Jack was grinning from ear to ear, drawing one knee up and pulling Ianto to sit between his legs, back to his chest. "A bit older, yeah." He raised the hooch to Ianto's lips and tipped it so that he could sip a little more.

"You are literally getting me drunk," Ianto smirked, clumsily running his finger tip down Jack's jawline.

"Any moment now," Jack muttered, his voice low and seductive, his tongue flicking out to Ianto's earlobe. "I might have my wicked way with you."

"... if you can getitup," Ianto reminded him.

"I'm not that old."

"No ... but you're that drunk."

"Am not! My blood is ... y'know ... 'n' stuff!"

Ianto giggled drunkenly. "My head is funny. This won't give us ... like ... alcoholpoisoning will it?"

"Aahmmmmm," Jack replied thoughtfully. "I think we should ... mebbee ease up a bit?"

"We should use a condom ... use a condom ..."

"That would be advisable," agreed Jack.

"No! No!" Ianto shook his head, and he reached for the bottle in Jack's hand. "We should roll a condom down it to seal it off ... and ... and ... and give it back to Owen!"

"... part of me thinks I should come in the condom first ...."

"I can guess which part," Ianto smirked, turning so that he was kneeling facing Jack. He sloppily tried to kiss him, neither of them managing even a fraction of finesse. They parted, and Ianto sat cross-legged, holding onto his ankles like an off-balance four-year-old.

Jack got himself up on his hands and knees, a little precariously, and he shuffled forward with a wolfish grin. His lips parted slightly as he leaned forward to kiss Ianto's mouth, and somewhere between deciding to do it and moving in, he dropped unconscious.

Ianto blinked, processing what had just happened. Jack let out a loud, rasping snore where he'd collapsed in a large lump of tanned flesh and awful uniform. With very little care, Ianto shoved his body off him and scowled at him as he rolled away.

Older than thirty-five, then, he decided.



~*~*~*~




"Morning."

"Owww," groaned Jack, his voice croaking out. "Don't shout!"

"I'm not shouting."

Jack groaned again, throwing his arm over his eyes. "What the fuck happened to me?"

"Owen's hooch," Ianto reminded him. "C'mon - you need to help me get the mattresses back before they bring in breakfast."

"Why are you so happy?" Jack whimpered, a drumming band taking up residence in his temples, his stomach feeling like a bubbling swamp and his mouth ... ugh ... his mouth ... "Where's your hangover?" he demanded.

"I don't get hangovers. Not yet, anyway. My sister says they'll probably hit when I turn thirty-one."

"Why?" Jack wailed, as if it was a general question to everything rather than Ianto's non-hangover status.

Ianto shrugged. "Some people just don't get 'em until they're middle-aged."

Jack's eyes flew open. "Thirty," he glowered. "Is not middle-ag - owwwww my head!"

"C'mon, Captain. Mattresses."

It took five minutes for Jack to stand, let alone stoop to lift mattresses again. "You're tryna kill me," he concluded, the first mattress safely on Ianto's bunk.

"It's the top bunk next," Ianto replied, a little too gleefully.

"Sadistic wanker," muttered Jack, massaging his temples. Ianto laughed, but otherwise ignored the comment, already getting prepared to lift the mattress onto the uppermost part of the metal framework.

With a bit of a struggle, they managed it, and Jack collapsed onto Ianto's bed face-down and groaned. "There's a Carnivale in my fucking head," he complained. "A Brazilian one, with lots of stamping and shouting and drums ..."

Ianto ran a glass of tap water, and set it on the floor by the bed. With a lot of grunting and groaning in pain, he managed to get Jack lying on his back, half sat up and propped in between Ianto's legs. Ianto held the glass to his lips, encouraging him to sip a little. Setting the glass down, he gently began to massage Jack's head and temples, feeling the tension in his body begin to slip away as Jack's eyes drifted shut.

"Mmm," he hummed contentedly.

"You passed out," smirked Ianto. "It would have been funny, if you hadn't passed out on me."

"On you?" frowned Jack. "In the middle of ... ?"

"Ha! No. I'd have several more complaints if you'd have passed out in the middle of ... "

Jack smiled. "I know what you mean. I've been there before now."

"Poor Jack," Ianto cooed, kissing his hair.

Jack's bottom lip poked out. He lay still and relaxed for a few more minutes, before tensing a little. "I think I'm gonna be sick."

"The toilet's in the corner!" Ianto pointed sharply, preparing to drag Jack toward it. Jack made it in time, then collapsed back as he let it flush.

"Ugh. Sorry. That hooch was strong," he groaned, rubbing his head.

Ianto already had his toothbrush and toothpaste ready, and a pillow to sandwich between Jack's head and the wall it was currently resting on. He crouched beside him with the glass of water he'd made earlier, and the empty glass so that Jack could spit into it without having to get up.

Jack gave the glass a doubtful look when he realised its purpose, and Ianto rolled his eyes. "I worked as a legal secretary. Believe me - I've seen worse things than a bit of spit-back toothpaste."

Shrugging, Jack spat it out and Ianto took the toothbrush back and washed it and the tumbler under the running tap. Jack sipped at the glass of water. "I feel a bit better now."

"Well enough to face breakfast?"

Jack shook his head slowly. "No way. I'll get breakfast, but there's no chance in Hell I'm gonna eat it."

"Then why get it?"

"Won't you think it's a bit suspicious if half the wing is skipping breakfast with an illness consisting of the exact same symptoms of hangover?"

"Fair point. I'll have to eat yours when they bring it up."

Jack made a delighted sound. "Of course ... lock-in ... don't have to face the world."

"Fingers crossed Owen has to bring our food up again."

"Yeah ... I can tell him in detail what I'm gonna do to him once I get my faculties back."

Ianto laughed. "I'll take notes. I know shorthand."

Jack smiled sleepily, his head tipping back a little. "That's my boy," he chuckled.



~*~*~*~




Ianto sat where his pillows had been, with them sandwiched between his back and the wall to make it more comfortable. Jack was lying on his front between Ianto's legs, arms around his middle and head on his chest, eyes closed and one ear listening to his heartbeat, the other listening to Ianto reading Dorian Gray. It was getting near the end of their twenty-four hour lock-in, and he was finally starting to feel more like himself.

He sprang back from Ianto when a key slid and scraped in the lock, and Officer Holroyd appeared in their cell. "Cell inspection," she snapped brusquely, and Officer Guppy entered behind her, forcefully ripping a black plastic bag from the roll in her hand.

Jack and Ianto stood up, moving to stand by the railing outside the cell so that they couldn't interfere with the inspection. Ianto's stomach was a tight knot, and Jack leaned casually on the metal beside him with his arms folded tightly across his chest, his expression nonchalant. Guppy and Holroyd bustled around, ripping up bedding and rooting through the cupboard above the sink.

Further down the row, John and Owen were leaning on the railing, too. They caught Owen's eye, and he and John began to move toward them. Owen's expression read 'they know about the hooch'.

"How's things?" Jack asked.

"Variable; could have been worse," Owen replied. Would have preferred this not to be happening; they haven't found anything linking to me yet.

John was leaning far too casually on the railing, bruises blossoming beneath his collar. "Been up to much?" Did you fuck him?

Jack ignored him. I fucked his brains out.

"How about you, Eye-Candy?" Was it any good?

Ianto found himself copying Jack and remaining silent. I could barely walk afterwards.

Owen cleared his throat. "D'you all wanna go play a bit of basketball later, maybe?" Oh God, please don't kill each other ...

John nodded. "Yeah, okay." ... if it means I can 'accidentally' injure Eye-Candy ....

Jack shrugged. "Sure, why not?" ... if it means I can 'accidentally' kill John ...

Ianto shuffled a little. "I don't really know the rules, so ..." OH MY GOD JOHN KNOWS AND HE WANTS TO KILL ME!

"That's okay," John smiled. "You can ref." ... so that I have another reason to hate you.

"He doesn't know the rules," cut in Jack. Not on my watch, John.

"Just a suggestion ..." pouted John. You can't keep your eye glued to him forever ...

"Jones! Harkness!" barked a voice from within their cell.

They shrugged away from John and Owen, entering their cell and finding it in disarray. Holroyd and Guppy were stood in the middle, looking non-too-pleased. "Where is it?" snapped Holroyd.

"Where's what?" scowled Jack, keeping a step in front of Ianto and making himself as big and as menacing as possible.

"We know that someone on this half of the wing has been brewing alcohol. Now where is it?"

"You think it was us?"

Holroyd's lip curled. "No. I think it was you and Mister Hart. Only he moved and you didn't. Now where is it?"

Jack laughed, attempting to dazzle them with a grin. "You've got it wrong. I don't even know how to brew that shit. And yeah, yeah - you think it was me and John? I bet you've said 'I think it was you' to everyone who's cell you've torn apart."

Her nostrils flared and her lips pressed together into a tight, thin line. "I think we're done here," she snapped, and shoved her way out of the cell. "Your lock-in is complete and ... you passed inspection," she spat, as if the idea of either (but probably both) disgusted her.

"Where'd you hide it?" Jack asked, a few hours later. Ianto grinned cheekily, got up from the bunk and crossed to the medicine cabinet. Putting one hand on top of it and one hand below, he lifted it off the wall from the screws upon which it hung. Concealed behind it was a small alcove, and nestled in the hole in the brickwork was the half-full bottle of hooch.

"Oh," Jack breathed. "When did that get there?"

"The brickwork is old and soft. I used one of the spoons and a knife from dinner to scratch it away while you felt sorry for yourself."

"That," Jack pointed. "is genius. Don't tell anyone."

Ianto put the medicine cabinet back carefully, pouting. "I can't share my genius?"

"Your genius is for my eyes only," Jack replied. "Now come here: I need to kiss you."



~*~*~*~




June tenth.

The day John was leaving.

They were letting him out at one 'o' clock, and Jack had been silent since he'd woken up. He'd slept in his own bunk, had barely touched Ianto (not that they'd actually had sex after their first time, which had Ianto a little paranoid) for a hug or a kiss, and had simply curled up with Dorian Gray to ignore him.

Fed up, Ianto announced he was off to Owen's. Of course, when he got there, there was no Owen ... but one whole John.

"You need to say goodbye to Jack," Ianto said before John could get a word in.

"You think he's gonna talk to me?" John snapped back.

"No, but he'll listen."

"Unlike some, I detest one-sided conversations."

Ianto didn't reply.

"So ... he finally shagged you, then?"

Ianto sighed, folding his arms and rolling his eyes.

"Was he any good? - Ha! Stupid question."

"Last day in here and you're hidden away on your own," Ianto finally said, a little unkindly.

John smirked. "Wanna keep me company?" he offered, and he moved closer. "Fancy showing me a few of the new tricks you learned?"

"... like how to block punches and to throw my own with my weight?"

John sighed and crossed to the sink, resting his hands on it and leaning heavily on the basin. "I'm sure I apologised for that whole ... thing."

"Did you? I don't recall."

"How's the bruising?"

"Fading. Doesn't even hurt."

John laughed. "Big man," he replied, sarcastic. "You got lucky. You know you did."

Ianto folded his arms across his chest definsively and leaned back on the wall. "I got lucky when it mattered."

"You can't always depend on luck, Eye-Candy. Sometime soon you're gonna have to use your brain."

Ianto nodded, and John turned from the sink, resting his back against the wall and folding his arms, mirroring Ianto's position. There was a moment of silence before Ianto broke it. "What will you do when you get outside?"

John shrugged. "No idea. I dunno if there'll even be anyone waiting for me. My wife ... well ..." He made a sweeping gesture with his hand. "... long gone. No parents, no siblings. My friends? Ha. Screw them."

Ianto stared at his feet a second. "Jack ... Jack told me that ... that you were in here because you took the flack for your wife."

Stiffening, John's nostrils flared. "Did he now?"

"I ... erm ... I can ... y'know ... I can 'relate' to that."

John's eyes snapped to his, and understanding dawned.

Ianto returned to staring at his shoes. "Don't tell Jack."

"Just hope they're worth it," John sighed. "Do they know about Jack?"

"I ..." Ianto chose his wording carefully. "I haven't seen her since. I think ..." He imitated John's sweeping gesture. "... long gone. I wrote to her when I got in, but ... no reply. And no visit."

"I'm guessing Jack's given you his 'Why Women Are Tempting But So Very Evil' speech?" John asked lightly.

"Erm ... I never told him."

John's eyebrows shot up.

"He never asked," Ianto explained.

"It's not a lie if you don't say anything," shrugged John. "Besides, if she's long gone ... what's for him to ask about?"

"You won't tell him?"

"Would I have time - What do you want?"

Ianto frowned, then turned to the doorway beside him to find Ugly Jack about to rap on the doorframe. He smirked at Ianto. "Perfect timing," he said, then turned back to John, jerking his head in Ianto's direction. "I came to have a word about the runt."

One eyebrow quirked in vague interest. "Oh?"

Ianto felt his eyes widening and all of his instincts tried to force himself to be as small as possible. Ugly Jack pushed the door to within an inch closed. "We both owe him something, don't we, John?" he reminded with an oily grin.

John looked amused. "I guess we do."

He pushed off from the wall to saunter closer, and Ianto felt himself backed into the corner, his mind choosing now to go wonderfully blank of any ideas. The door seemed suddenly and impossibly quite far away, and the cold bricks of the other cell wall touched his back. "Jack won't be pleased," he tried, and Ugly Jack simply laughed, John taking up his position at his side, smirking.

"C'mon, guys," Ianto tried again. "I was just defending myself. If you hadn't have started on me, we wouldn't be here now, would we?"

Apparently that wasn't the right thing to say, as Ugly Jack drew back his fist and got Ianto right in the stomach. Winded, he was bent double, his head pulled up so that Ugly Jack could punch his face. His aim was a little off, the impact doing little but colliding with the left side of his head rather than face ... and then the grip on his hair loosened and Ianto opened his eyes to find empty air where Ugly Jack had been.

There was a muffled grunt and a yell of pain, John wrestling the huge wardrobe of a man onto the floor and raining punches where he could reach. Ianto felt a little dizzy, and putting it down to relief he dived for the door.

"OI!" He heard John yell. "IANTO!"

Ianto burst into his cell, and found Jack as he'd left him. "Jack!" he panted. "You need to ... you need to ... the other Jack ... he attacked me, and ..."

"Not another head off a sink ... ?" Jack asked, sounding amused and tucking his book under his pillow.

"No! John pulled him off ... but ... I can't help, can I?"

"Where?" asked Jack, turning serious.

"Owen's cell."

Jack strode out of the cell and down the row, threw open the door to Owen's cell and stepped inside. Ianto loitered in the doorway, his eyes wide as he watched in morbid fascination: Ugly Jack curled on the floor, John and Handsome Jack stood over him, raining down kicks mercilessly, cheering each other on.

After three minutes or so, they tired, Ugly Jack most likely black and blue all over, already bruises forming on the flesh visible.

John checked his watch, ignoring the whimpering man on the floor and the shocked one in the doorway. "I need to go," he said. "Thanks for the ..." He indicated toward their victim.

"I didn't do it for you," Jack snapped, before crouching by Ugly Jack's head. He gripped his chin in a vice-like hold, forcing him to look up at him from puffed up and bruising eyes. "You do not touch him again," he warned quietly. "What did I say?"

"I ... I won't touch him again. I don't touch him again," whispered Ugly Jack.

"What happens if you do?"

Ugly Jack swallowed, and simply nodded, no other answer apparently required.

"That's right," Jack agreed, as if absconding a child. He tapped Ugly Jack's cheek. "Up you get. The good doctor may be a little pissed off if he finds you pretending to be his new rug."

Staggering to his feet, Ugly Jack somehow managed to haul himself, part shuffling, part limping, from the cell. Ianto kept his eyes downcast and moved out of his way, raising his eyes to give John a questioning glance. In reply, John's eyes darted to Jack, now making his way out of the room.

"Why did you help me?" Ianto asked out loud, once Jack was out of earshot.

John's arms folded and his chin raised. "I figured we were the same - and self-harm isn't my style. And if I had helped Ugly Jack beat the shit out of you? It might have felt immensely satisfying for the short-term, but ... well, Jack would never talk to me agan."

"IANTO!" Jack's voice bollowed, and John flinched.

"Good luck, Eye-Candy ... And start using your fucking head."

"See ya, John."

"Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Bye."

Ianto decided that was all the 'goodbye' they were most likely to exchange, and just as Jack was drawing breath to yell for him again, appeared in the doorway to their cell. "I need a glass of water," he mumbled, his head still spinning.

"Me too," Jack grunted, folding his arms and watching as Ianto ran the tap and filled their two tumblers. "You're nervous," he observed, taking his glass from Ianto.

"After what I just saw, can you blame me? I need to sit down."

Jack sat next to him on his bed, gulping down his water. "You think anything less would have kept him off your back?"

"You didn't have to enjoy it so much."

Ianto just about heard Jack's sharp, surprised intake of breath. Jack couldn't think of a reply, instead rolling his empty tumbler between his hands back and forth. "What did he do to you?" he eventually asked.

"Punch to my stomach and a punch to my head," Ianto replied quietly. He cleared his throat. "I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but ... you ... I do appreciate that you ... I didn't quite expect ... y'know."

"Brutality," Jack said flatly.

"I expected that," admitted Ianto. "You just made it look so much like fun."

He turned to look at Jack, and he could sense that behind Jack's eyes, part of him was saying 'It is'. "It was necessary," were the words that came out his mouth. "And now you'll be left alone for a while."

"Thank you."

Ianto blinked forcefully and rubbed his eye. "I'm tired. I think I might have a nap."

"I want Owen to look at you first."

"He hit me twice. I'm fine," Ianto grumbled, but Jack was already taking his glass from him and putting both his own and Ianto's in their sink.

Fifteen minutes later, Owen had been dragged from an animated conversation with Officer Cooper and up to Jack and Ianto's cell. He looked quite bored as he examined Ianto's torso, checked his heart rate and made him follow his finger with his eyes. It wasn't until Owen hesitated a fraction that Ianto felt anything other than complete disinterest.

"Has anyone got a penlight or anything?" Owen asked, using the thumbs of his hands to open Ianto's right eye a little more. Jack's head snapped up, but unquestioningly exited the cell to find someone who had one. "Which side did he hit your head?" continued Owen. "Where abouts was the impact?"

Ianto pointed to the left side of his head, where Ugly Jack's right fist had collided with it. "About there."

"Okay ..." Owen muttered, gently probing the spot with his fingers. "... and vision?"

Ianto shrugged. "Fine."

"What if I cover your left eye? Is your left eye compensating?"

"Compensating for wha- ? ... oh. It's ... there's a bit of ..."

"Mmm," hummed Owen. "A bit duller? A bit darker?"

"Both ... but ... what? I can't be sure. And ... he hit the other side of my head!"

"All I can think is that the optic nerves cross inside your head," explained Owen. "Look at a point on the opposite wall," he instructed, moving out of the way and keeping the left eye covered. "Any bluriness?"

"Not really ... just ... dull. Like wearing sunglasses. And there's spots."

"Coloured spots?"

"No."

"White spots? Like after you've stared at a bright light?"

"No - like ... tiny black spots."

"Any particular area of vision?

"It's like ... they're moving. I can't keep track of them."

"Any dizziness? Disorientation?"

"Erm ... a little. But that was just adrenalin, really."

"Mmm." Owen didn't sound overly sure.

Jack returned with Officer Cooper behind him, her car keys in her hand, and one of the keyrings was a small LED torch. Owen didn't question her presence, simply taking the key fob and testing it. "May be a little bright, but better than nothing."

He crouched in front of Ianto, and Jack crouched beside Owen.

"Look at your point on the opposite wall again," Owen instructed in his Doctor Voice. "Concentrate on that and ignore the ... ah. See that?" he asked Jack, moving a little so that Jack could see. "Slow reaction, and not nearly enough contraction and relaxation." He moved the light a little, and Jack nodded as he saw what Owen had described.

He bit his thumb in concern. "What's doing it?"

"From what he's told me, sounds like bruising or nerve damage."

"What do we do?"

"If you'd brought him to my surgery, this would be the point I'd refer you to a specialist at your local NHS hospital."

"Can't you do anything?"

"I'm a General Practitioner. He needs a specialist."

Jack lowered his voice. "If he's hospitalised, we'll have to report the incident!"

"I know."

"I've been trapped in this Hell hole long enough without another six months for GBH!"

"If we leave it, another knock on the head could make him lose vision in his right eye entirely, if it doens't simply fade away itself," Owen snapped. "I'm not an ophthalmologist. I'm not a neurologist. I could do fuck all even if I wasn't trapped in here with you."

Jack sat back on his haunches and rubbed his face. He glanced up at Officer Cooper. "He walked into a door?" he offered, and she rolled her eyes. "We were playfighting?" he tried. "Would that work?"

"You'd have to have been playfighting pretty fuckin' hard," Owen muttered.

Ianto cleared his throat. "How about the bunk bed fell over?"

They all turned to him.

"I was changing the bedding, tugged the flat sheet too hard, the whole thing toppled and landed on me?"

Gwen thought about it for a second. "I want chocolate whenever you have it," she bargained.

Ianto shrugged. "Sure."

"... and nobody ever mentions I had a part in this?"

Jack grinned at her. "You didn't get here until the bunk beds crashed."

She nodded. "Right."

Carefully, they worked together to set it up.



~*~*~*~




Pushing over the bunkbeds had had a pretty dramatic effect, but had damaged them beyond repair. Holroyd had gleefully had what was left of the metal frame removed, leaving the two mattresses on the floor. Ianto had been taken to the prison doctor, Doctor Milligan, who had asked the exact same questions, done the exact same tests and come to the same conclusion.

He was taken to hospital without even being allowed to say goodbye to Jack, let alone John.

In the end, Jack had managed to put aside John's behaviour over the past two months for about two minutes and tried to part as at least amiably. He'd joined in the cheering as John had been led out of the wing, and had stood on his tiptoes to watch the top of the gates swinging open and closed again as John Hart was set loose on the world once more.

Had he had his top bunk, he'd have been able to see the exit clearly, but he had to make do.

The rest of the day he spent drifting around, before eventually attaching himself to Alex. He complained about Ianto getting to spend his day surrounded by nurses in uniform, then about his bunk bed, then about John picking today to leave, and then on to Ugly Jack and his intimidation tactics. Alex, usually the image of patience, snapped by dinner.

"Are you punishing me for something?" he asked grudgingly, his annoyance bringing his accent out thick.

Jack blinked. "No?"

"Then. Stop. Talking," he ordered through gritted teeth.

Jack dropped his eyes to his cold pizza. "Sorry, Alex."

"It's okay, son. But seriously, shut up. The way you go on about the Little Fish people'd think you were in love with him!" he joked, laughing to himself.

Owen choked on his water, causing a welcome distraction for most of the table from Jack's wide-eyed, open-mouthed expression.

Alex laughed at him. "It was a joke, Jack. Shut yer mouth, there might be a bus coming."

Jack snapped his mouth shut. "You shouldn't say things like that," he murmured.

Sighing, Alex set down the glass he had been holding part way to his lips. "It was just a joke."

"You never know who's listening."

Alex ignored him, and started talking about some of his ideas for hopefully making Torchwood members getting along with themselves before they could try getting along with Saxons. Jack was pretty much instantly bored, and simply left his tray on the table and climbed the stairs back to his cell. He was aware Owen had followed him, but didn't acknowledge him until he was safely behind his own door.

"What?" he snapped.

"He'll be fine, Jack," Owen assured him without having to ask any questions of his own. Jack didn't reply, sinking down onto one of the two mattresses now lined up head to tail along the wall. Owen sighed and sat next to him, back leaning on the wall.

"What's the worst that might happen?" Jack asked quietly.

"Absolute worst? Total loss of vision in his right eye, maybe chronic headaches."

"And best?"

"Everything is fixed and goes back to normal. Maybe chronic headaches."

"And most likely?"

Owen drew in a deep breath. "Chances are, he'll need glasses with only one prescription lens or something, if the damage doesn't look like it's going to get worse. Everything in the head is very delicate. A knock to it can make you lose your vision, your hearing, your sense of smell, your sense of taste. Everything's balanced, throw it off just a little and there are consequences we can't always fix."

"I've given and taken kicks to the head and come out fine."

Owen shrugged. "Just the right angle, just the right concentrated pressure, just the right time, just the right amount of force. You can be perfectly healthy, then one day stand up, whack your head and spend the rest of your life deaf."

He frowned when he realised Jack was giggling. He caught his eye and raised an eyebrow.

"What if they give him an eye-patch?" Jack sniggered, and Owen felt the corners of his mouth pull. "I like eye-patches," nodded Jack.

"At least he'll already have a costume for the Christmas Fancy Dress."

"Eye-patches are sexy," Jack told him authoratitively, drew breath to say something else, then paused whena voice called from the walkway: "Alex's Cell!"

He sighed. "I ain't going."

"He'll send someone to look for you."

"Then I'll tell them I'm not going, and they can be the shot messenger."

"He'll probably want to talk about the fight - and what happened to Ianto."

"Let him talk about what happened to Ianto," Jack muttered bitterly. "I already know."

"Don't you want to stand next to him, glaring at them all threateningly until they weep? I know how much you love to do that."

"I'd rather tell them I'm too angry to look at them and let them stew."

The voice shouted down the walkway again. "Harkness! Alex's cell!"

Pointedly, Jack got up and slammed his door, listening in satisfaction as the sound of it echoed around the cavernous space. "Ominous enough?" he asked Owen.

"It was all right. Pity you can't do it again for luck."

Jack pouted and went to sit back down, just as his cell door burst open again. Had it been a regular door, it probably would have fallen from its hinges. Alex stromed into the cell.

"I have had it up to here with you!" he growled. "You're supposed to be my second! What the fuck, Jack? Show some fucking solidarity, yeah?"

Owen raised his hand to speak. "He's a bit miffed about John going," he reminded Alex.

"He's the only one who is," snapped Alex, and Jack shot him a daggered look.

"If you don't have anythiing nice to say, don't say anything at all," Jack snapped back. "Go away and have your little conference about getting along and being friends. I've heard it enough times."

"And it never sinks in, does it?" Alex retorted.

"I'd be perfectly amiable if people stopped trying to kill my cell mate."

Alex massaged the bridge of his nose. "He's lucky, y'know. Jones. If Jack hadn't have got to 'im and had him in hospital, Unit and Adam had something brewed up especially."

"Like what?" Jack asked, his tone taking an edge. "Hou know do you know?"

Alex gave him a hard look. "Doesn't matter for now. The point is that we stick together, and teach them not to mess with ours. What was it Abraham Lincoln said?"

Jack raised an eyebrow. "Huh?"

Owen frowned. "'I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends'?"

Alex rolled his eyes. "No."

"'A woman is the only thing I am afraid of that I know will not hurt me'?" he suggested.

"No."

Jack squinted as he thought. "'A house divided within itself cannot stand'?"

"That's the one," nodded Alex.

Jack leaned into Owen and whispered, "I learned that from Night at the Museum 2."

Alex cleared his throat to get their attention back. "We need to show that lot that we're not divided."

"Oh," groaned Jack. "What did you have in mind?" he dared to ask.

"You and the other Jack need to work together, and bring down Unit."

Jack's lip twitched, but he knew Alex would ignore it.

"How far down?" he finally asked.






Alex told Owen to leave.

















Yes, yes. I know it's crap, but I tried.


*kicks fic*











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