Ianto prided himself on being an even-tempered man. Sarcastic, yes, even snarky, but not given to ranting, raging, threats of physical violence, or actual bodily harm. That simply wasn’t his nature. When something or someone irked him, he usually retaliated by meting out an appropriate punishment after the fact. He certainly didn’t go around beating people up over real or imagined slights like the thugs on the estate where he’d grown up were prone to do.
Well okay, there had been that one time when he’d hit Jack, but that had been the result of extreme provocation when he’d already been unusually emotional and in a temporarily unstable mental state. It’s quite understandable to overreact a bit when your half-cyberised girlfriend is on the rampage, intent of converting your colleagues, while they’re all bound and determined to kill her before she gets the chance.
And yes, he’d head-butted that cannibal a few years back, but that had been in defence of both himself and Tosh. When someone is planning to butcher and eat you, resorting to violence in an effort to escape is the only natural, not to mention sensible, course of action.
Then there’d been the time he’d shot Owen, which had been totally justified and hadn’t caused too much damage to Owen’s person; Ianto had aimed very carefully. It was unfortunate that hitting him in the shoulder hadn’t been enough to prevent him from opening the Rift, in retrospect maybe he should have aimed for a leg instead, but he’d tried his best. Can’t expect a perfect result every time, can you?
Shooting that guy in the head with his stun gun? That was a work-related incident, and the two men he’d stunned had definitely had it coming after the way they’d treated that poor, innocent Space Whale. Okay, maybe there had been a tiny bit of payback in there too, on account of being tied up and held at gunpoint; if the gun hadn’t misfired, Ianto knew he wouldn’t be here now, but he hadn’t consciously been thinking of revenge or anything, it had merely been expedient to put both men out of action as quickly as possible so that he could assist the rest of the team, and because the man had already been down, his head was the most convenient target.
Really though, it wasn’t as if he had a violent temper or anything. Ask his colleagues; they’d back him up. They all knew Ianto to be well mannered, polite, efficient, and above all, good-natured. While a certain amount of violence could be expected in the course of his duties as a Torchwood agent, outside of work situations, he was a perfect gentleman. He didn’t even drink to excess!
This was so out of character for him; honestly, he was at a complete loss as to how such a situation could possibly have arisen. He almost never lost his temper! Now he’d been arrested for disturbing the peace; how much more humiliating could his day get? To cap it all, the instigator of the whole mess was getting off scot-free. Well, he’d see about that! Ianto planned to lodge a complaint. As soon as Jack bailed him out.
Technically, he supposed he had been the one to start the fight, although it hadn’t been much more than a minor scuffle and the other people present certainly hadn’t minded; in fact they’d been cheering him on. If he could have a do-over, he’d most likely handle the injustice differently, but sometimes even the most civilised man will respond instinctively when sufficiently provoked, and despite the early hour, he’d already had an extraordinarily trying day.
He’d spent most of the previous night doing cleanup following an alien incursion. Arriving back at the Hub in desperate need of a revitalising caffeine fix, he’d discovered that his last bag of coffee beans, which would have been enough to sustain the team for almost a week, had been destroyed when an alien laser gun Tosh was trying to repair had misfired. Coffee beans are at their best lightly roasted, not charred to cinders, so he’d been forced to go straight back out in order to get a fresh supply as soon as the Coffee Emporium opened.
Returning to his car with several tempting varieties of fresh beans, he’d just put his bags in the boot when an annoying little sprite, hopefully the last of a bunch the team had rounded up the previous week, had popped up, snatched his car keys, and scampered off with them, leaving him no choice but to give chase. It had taken him nearly twenty minutes to apprehend the little thief, securing it in a hastily-purchased child’s plastic lunch box with a few air holes punched in it, and he’d run all the way back to his car, arriving out of breath with just five minutes of free parking left, only to find he’d already been ticketed. That had been the final straw.
Still, maybe he shouldn’t have punched that stupid traffic warden in the nose before trying to make him eat his ticket pad…