Owen was a great doctor; that had never been in doubt. He just wasn’t all that good with people. Maybe he had been once, back when Katie was alive; she’d brought out a softer side to him, but that seemed to have died with her. Nowadays, he just didn’t have the patience for patients.
That was one of the good things about working for Torchwood; most of his ‘patients’ were beyond complaining, being somewhat on the dead side. It suited him just fine; he could do research, study alien life forms, and make fascinating discoveries, all without having to deal with the living. At least, that’s how it was most of the time.
The downside of Torchwood was that it was hazardous to your health; every so often, one of the team would be injured and Owen would have to dig out his bedside manner and patch them up. There were days he got the feeling his teammates weren’t properly appreciative of his efforts.
“OW! Damnit, Owen, what the hell are you trying to do to my leg, pull it off?”
“Shut the fuck up, Teaboy, I have to check it’s not broken before we try to move you. If it is, I’ll have to splint it first.”
“If it wasn’t broken before, it will be by the time you’ve finished with it,” Ianto muttered between clenched teeth.
“I head that, you twat.” Owen probed Ianto’s left knee, none too gently.
“You were supposed to,” Ianto ground out. “I’d appreciate it if you’d leave my kneecap where it is. It’s there for a reason. As a doctor, you’re supposed to know that.”
“If you don’t shut up and keep still, you’re goin’ to ‘ave a concussion to go with your leg.”
“How d’you work that one out?”
“I’ll hit you over the bleedin’ head with my med kit!”
“Play nice, kids.” Jack leaned over the edge of the crater Ianto had fallen into. “What’s the news, Owen? Anything broken?”
“Nah, just a bad sprain and a possible torn ligament. I’ll strap him up and you can haul him out.”
“I want a second opinion,” Ianto grumbled. “Preferably from a doctor who doesn’t threaten his patients with bodily harm.”
“What d’you want, a pat on the head and a lollipop?”
“Up yours, Owen. Just get me the hell out of here.”
“Keep your hair on. Okay, that should hold until we get back to the Hub. You’re good to go.” Owen looked up at Jack. “Start the winch.”
Jack signalled Tosh in the SUV and moments later, the rope went taut and they were lifted slowly off the ground, Owen bracing his feet against the wall of the crater to keep Ianto’s injured leg from getting bumped. It was all in a day’s work.
Back at the Hub, Owen’s scanners confirmed his diagnosis and he dressed Ianto’s wounds properly.
“Looks like you’ll live.”
“Still stating the obvious, I see.” Ianto rolled his eyes.
Owen ignored him. “Keep off that leg as much as possible and ice your knee. If you’re a good boy, I might let you ‘ave some of the good painkillers.”
“What, I don’t get a lollipop after all?”
“Only if you want it shoved up your arse.”
“I’ll pass. Jack might be interested though.”
Owen went pale. “Jesus, I didn’t need that mental image!”
“You started it!”
“You’re a sick man, Jones.”
“You should know; you’re passing yourself off as a doctor.”
“Sod off.” Owen started clearing up his equipment.
“Forget it, just doin’ my job.”
He might not have the best bedside manner in the world, but that was okay; Torchwood agents don’t need mollycoddling; they need someone who can get the job done in extreme circumstances, and no one did that better than Doctor Owen Harper.