Ianto looked out the tiny window, a half-forgotten cup of coffee in his hand.
The world was gray, all color washed from his eyes like a perpetual rainy day. Of all the things an alien device could have taken from him, Ianto had never thought he would miss color quite so much.
The rational part of his mind tried to argue that he should be happy that he had been the only one in the Hub when the device activated. He'd even made a fresh pot of coffee, knowing the team would need it when they got back from picking up the Rift's newest deposit.
He didn't want to be rational. He wanted his sight back.
Something had triggered the device, or it had reached the end of a count down they hadn't known about; Tosh still didn't know which- releasing a complex mix of gases into the base. They'd contaminated every surface in the Hub and changed Ianto's life in an instant.
He was color-blind, but it wasn't like his friend Daffydd who couldn't see the difference between red or green and managed just fine with everything else. Daffydd was terrible at sorting socks and his wife always picked out his new shirts for him, but he could navigate within the world.
It wasn't fucking fair.
The cup slipped from Ianto's hand, shattering against the rim of the sink.
"Hey." Jack's voice was soft in Gwen's half-kitchen. "You okay?"
"What color is that?" Ianto asked, watching as the liquid stained the Formica countertop, dark against -less dark.
"The cup." Ianto picked up a shard of porcelain. "It was white on the inside. What color was the outside?"
"Purple." Jack took the piece from his hand and tossed it in the bin with the others.
"Violet or plum?"
"Dark, like that shirt you wear just to drive me nuts."
"Don't," Ianto said.
"Tosh's machine is working," Jack said, leaning against the counter, arms crossed in front of his chest. "Another couple of weeks and the Hub will be free of contaminants."
Ianto watched the gray liquid drain down the side of the sink. He was tempted to taste it to make certain it really was coffee. "I'm sure Rhys will be happy to have his living room back."
"Hey, he offered."
Jack turned Ianto to face him. "What is it?"
"What'd you think? You pulled me out of the Hub in a Hazmat suit!" Ianto pulled away, uncomfortable with Jack's kindness. "I'm only here because the damn gas had done its worst."
He fought back the tears and lost.
"I've become a walking film noir, my visual acuity has gone to shit, and I'm nearly blind in full sunlight."
"What if we can't? What if there's nothing Owen can do? What then Jack?"
"I don't want to!"