After Lisa, after Owen took Ianto home, supervised him taking a shower, and left him heavily sedated in his bed, after Jack had taken the time to calm down, shooting up at least two dozen paper targets on the firing range until they were little more than confetti, after all of that, Captain Jack Harkness decided he should maybe check on his traitorous employee. He was still angry, with himself as much as Ianto, but knew he had to shoulder at least some of the responsibility for what had happened.
If he’d been using his head rather than thinking with some other part of his anatomy, the situation might have been dealt with before anyone was hurt. He’d been swayed by the attractive package Ianto Jones presented when he should have been more closely examining his motives for wanting a job with Torchwood Three.
As much as anything else, he’d let Ianto down. He should have seen the strain the young man was under, the desperation hidden beneath his bland smile. Had he learned nothing from the whole Suzie debacle? Apparently not, but this time he wouldn’t let one of his people self-destruct.
While Ianto was still sedated, Jack went through the poky flat where the young Welshman lived, collecting everything he might use to harm himself. Pills from the medicine cabinet, razor blades, bottles of booze, all the sharp kitchen implements… He knew if Ianto really wanted to end his own life he’d find a way, break a glass or a mirror and slash his wrists, or buy more booze and pills, but Jack wasn’t about to make it easy for him.
He was searching the kitchen when he found it, a small, unlabelled glass jar containing about an inch of an unknown whitish, powdery compound, shoved away at the back of one of the kitchen cabinets, hidden behind tins of soup and baked beans, and a box of breakfast cereal.
Taking everything else he’d found out to the SUV and stowing it in the boot, he returned with the little glass jar and sat in a chair beside the bed until at last Ianto woke. He didn’t even give the young man time to react to his presence.
“What is this?”
Ianto blinked owlishly at him. “What’re you doing here?”
“Making sure you don’t try to harm yourself. Answer my question; what is this, some sort of drug? You don’t have track marks anywhere, Owen or I would’ve noticed.”
Ianto sat up, slowly and painfully, and looked at the jar of powder. “You’ve been snooping in my cupboards?” He smiled bitterly. “It’s not what you think.”
“So enlighten me.”
“It’s instant custard powder.”
“A few months back I bought some, Lisa used to like it, but one of the sachets tore when I was unpacking my shopping so I tipped the contents into an empty jar, stuck it in the cupboard. I’d forgotten it was there.”
“Custard powder.” Somehow Jack had managed to misjudge Ianto yet again.