There were times Ianto was completely certain that Jack was not quite all there. Of course, with the amount of weird, unidentified alien tech stored in the Hub, and with more falling through the Rift all the time, the same could be said of the whole team. After you’ve been turned into other things, both animate and inanimate, a few times, been made two-dimensional or a funny colour, or grown extra appendages, or lost some that you’d had before… Well, you get the picture. The fact that they hadn’t all been fitted for straightjackets by now was something of a miracle.
Anyway, while odd behaviour was practically the norm around the Hub, there was odd and then there was… this.
“Jack, do you mind me asking what you’re doing?”
Ianto tried again. “Jack?” Tentatively he touched Jack’s arm.
Jack’s head swivelled towards him, eyes glassy. “Ianto! What are you doing up here? It’s not safe! You might fall!”
“We’re not up anywhere, Jack. We’re on the floor. Be a bit hard to fall off that.”
There was no reply; Jack seemed to have lost interest again. “So where are you?”
“Right. Of course.”
“This…” Jack gestured behind him, “…is my broomstick!”
“No, that’s the mop I keep in the kitchen for cleaning up spills.”
Unsurprisingly, Jack was paying no attention again. Still, Ianto wasn’t one to give up at the first sign of difficulties. Or the fifth. Or the tenth, for that matter. Around here, persistence was often a survival trait.
“Jack? Maybe you should come down now.” He might technically be on the ground, or underground if you wanted to split hairs, but he was definitely high on something and Ianto needed to figure out what before they were all affected.
“Nooooo! Wanna fly!” Jack crouched lower over the mop handle, making zooming noises. It was oddly cute, but that was Jack for you. There was a kind of innocent charm about him at times that let Ianto catch brief glimpses of what his lover might have been like as a small boy.
Abandoning Jack for a minute, since no matter what Torchwood’s leader might believe, he wasn’t actually going anywhere and didn’t show any signs of doing so in the foreseeable future, Ianto went to check the CCTV from the time he’d gone down to the archives to the time he’d returned to find Jack and his mopstick. Whatever was causing the odd behaviour must have occurred somewhere in the hour or so he was downstairs catching up on the filing.
It didn’t take him long to find it; about fifteen minutes before Ianto’s return, Jack had been in his office, fiddling with a small vial that had come through the Rift a few days ago. It was, he’d claimed, a very potent aphrodisiac. Ianto had told him he’d believe that if Owen ran some tests and confirmed it, but the tests hadn’t confirmed much of anything. The only thing Owen had been able to say with any certainty was that it seemed to be an unknown kind of pollen with no noticeable medicinal properties of any kind. Jack had pouted, taken the vial back to his office and put it in the top drawer of his desk. Ianto had forgotten about it until now, but Jack obviously hadn’t.
While he was fiddling with it, the cap must have come loose. He’d pressed it firmly back into place and returned the vial to his drawer before continuing with the paperwork Ianto had left for him, licking his thumb as he turned the pages…
Ianto glanced away from the computer screen for a moment to watch Jack still happily flying while rooted to the spot. So not an aphrodisiac then; more of a hallucinogen. He almost wished he could see what Jack was seeing, because despite the glassy-eyed stare, the expression on Jack’s face was the happiest Ianto had seen him since before he’d gone off with the Doctor. It looked like he was having the time of his life.
Shrugging, Ianto started tidying up the Hub, working around Jack, who seemed oblivious to his presence. The rest of the team had left a couple of hours ago, and as long as there were no Rift alerts or other problems, he couldn’t see any reason to do anything about Jack’s current condition. Not that there was anything he could do that he knew of. If Jack was still like this in the morning, Owen might have to take another look at the pollen, but hopefully the effects of the stuff would eventually wear off on their own. In the meantime, might as well let Jack enjoy himself. At Torchwood, you took your fun where you could find it.