A Question of Jurisdiction

by AND [Reviews - 19]

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  • All Ages
  • None
  • Crossover, General

Author's Notes:
If Torchwood exists to foil alien invasion and yet it's up to Sarah Jane and a couple of tweens to deal with the Bane, there's going to be a question of jurisdiction.

Jack didn't think twice when Owen started drinking that new soda with the strange name. As far as he was concerned, most of the names for food in this place and time period were bizarre. "Bubble and squeak" was not appetizing. Welsh rabbit never had fur. He still wasn't sure what it meant to cut toast into "soldiers." And catch anyone from his time ever putting something called "toad in the hole" in their mouths even if they were starving!

Owen, on the other hand, was the kind of guy who would put anything in his mouth. Except, to Ianto's pique, the coffee.

"Nah, I'm fine," Owen said, waving off Ianto and pulling out his third bottle of the day. "Got this."

"Do you even know what bane means?" Ianto wrinkled his nose. "They've practically named it 'this'll kill you'!"

"Nah, 's all organic."

"So's sheep shit," Ianto warned darkly.

Jack didn't really even pay attention when Gwen and Tosh started slugging the yellow bubbly stuff down on a daily basis. It was just some stupid food fad, like putting coriander in everything (and wouldn't he be happy when that phase was over!) More coffee for him, that was the important part. He and Ianto were the only ones drinking it these days.

When Owen, Tosh, and Gwen chased them around the Hub with open bottles chanting, "Drink this. Drink it," Jack suddenly cared.

***

Three against two were bad odds, and whatever was controlling them was terribly strong. As Tosh approached them, Ianto took the direct route, slapping her outstretched arm aside and trying to throw her over her shoulder. She shook him off, shoving him so hard that he staggered back several feet. Owen grabbed him from behind, but Ianto slithered around to punch him in the face.

Jack tried charm on Gwen, starting with his broadest smile. "I'd love to drink that, but wouldn't you be happier if we could-"

"Drink. It."

"But wouldn't you rather-"

"Drink. It." She lunged, trying to pour it into his mouth.

"Guess not." Jack wrestled her down, pulling her own handcuffs out of her rear pocket and locking her to the leg of the nearest desk. While she flopped and shrieked, he turned to help Ianto, who was still beating Owen down.

Note to self. Find out why Yan's enjoying that so much and try to fix it. He rushed to the other man's aid — no longer entirely sure which he was saving from the other — knocking Tosh back into the water without breaking stride. The foul drink she'd been waving poured out of its bottle, and Jack made a silent apology to the fish of Cardiff Bay as he separated the men. Owen was dropped with a nerve block that wouldn't become common for another 500 years, and this time Ianto was successful in getting the wet, snarling Tosh over his shoulder. Jack gathered up the limp Owen.

"Cells, sir?"

"Cells until we figure this out."

But by the time they got to the cell level, Tosh had stopped fighting. First she went limp, then she grabbed the back of Ianto's jacket for traction and lifted her head. "What…? Why am I… Ianto, put me down!"

"No."

She started to struggle in earnest as they approached a cell. "Why are you doing this? Ianto? Jack? Put me down! Don't — "

"It's for your own good," Ianto grunted a bit as he shifted to reach the keypad.

"No!" She was beginning to panic, and Jack put his hand over the pad.

"Tosh, what is the last thing you remember?"

"I was…" She frowned. "I was working on the analysis of artifact 3375 from the archives. You wanted us to go over the old things, I remember that. And I remember taking it out… did it activate? Did it do something to us? Why am I all wet?"

"I don't think it was the artifact that did this," Jack said grimly.

"Sir," Ianto warned, shifting again under her weight.

"We'll stick Owen in the cell," Jack decided. "Then if it all goes wrong again, at least the odds are even."

Ianto put Tosh down, but kept a firm grip on her arm as Owen was locked up. She stood quietly.

Good.

"You do realize that we've locked up the only person who can do blood analysis," Ianto commented neutrally as they walked back to the main level. Gwen was also calmer, no longer fighting the handcuffs… but doing a fairly good job of trying to wriggle under the desk to get free. When she saw them, she called "Jack! Help!"

She doesn't remember I was the one who did it. Interesting.

"Maybe we don't need blood," Jack told Ianto, picking up a discarded bottle of Bane. "Tosh, I want a full-spectrum analysis of this — AND DON'T DRINK IT!"

While Tosh ran the analysis, Ianto and Gwen scanned the outside world; her on the newsfeeds and him on the CCTV. Something odd had been happening all over the UK; with the provincial blindness of this period they were already passing it off as something odd in Bane that caused temporary psychosis. They were half right. Tosh had already discovered that the ingredients might be organic, but they weren't all from this world.

"We're going to have to shut the factory down," Jack told the team grimly.

"Already done." Ianto was typing rapidly on his keyboard.

"Good job! That was fast even for you!"

"I didn't do it." He pointed at the screen. "Looks like she did."

Jack looked at the screen.

And was lost in memory.

****

The rebellions against the Toclafane and Harold Saxon started within hours, as soon as the world shook off the paralysis of shock. The first came from the Americans, avenging the assassination of their President. Taking the direct route, they lobbed a nuke right at the Valiant. The Master's satellite system deranged its guidance.

The man who had been Saxon thought it was hilarious to drop it on their East Coast, where the population was the most concentrated.

UNIT had led the next few; as the current leaders fell, old ones had been pulled from retirement to keep up the barrage. One, with the gloriously British name of "Lethbridge-Stewart" won enough of his battles to give the world temporary hope. But he couldn't win the war, not with the mass of Toclafane and the technology of the Master ranged against him.

The Doctor had submitted to the tortures of the Master with a certain depressed dignity. Never begging, never crying out. But the day the Master gloated over those reports, the Doctor wept.

Then there had been the resistance movements. Subtler, more diffuse, they'd been harder to pin down. The most successful ran for half the year, until the Master lost his patience and unleashed the Toclafane on another killing spree.

The response had been a signal. Something that bypassed the Archangel system and headed out into deep space, technology that shouldn't exist here or now. Alien technology signaling to aliens, a desperate call for help.

The Toclafane had been on the scent instantly, swarming to a neighborhood of London that hadn't yet been completely gutted for the shipyards or turned into overpacked housing. The Master's cameras were watching and everyone had been summoned to the command deck to watch the execution as the murderous spheres burst down the door and flew through the house, destroying all they could find, tearing their way up the stairs and up more stairs, until they found a door to the attic.

The attic was a wonder; what wasn't covered in papers and pictures was covered in bookshelves, and there were alien artifacts on almost every surface. Jack counted items from 15 different species. He also noticed a picture of a much younger Lethbridge-Stewart up on the wall.

There was a woman on the wall too, or at least leaning against it, one arm behind her, watching the Toclafane with wide, but not frightened, eyes.

"Citizens, rejoice!" the Master enthused into his microphone. "Your lord and Master will punish all terrorists who work against your duly elected leader!"

Her eyes got a little wider as the announcement boomed from every speaker. Then her chin lifted just a bit and she shouted back, "People of Earth, rejoice! The Master can be defeated! I've seen it!"

"LIAR!" the Master shrieked. The Toclafane jeered at her, flashing their knives but not approaching. Like war criminals the universe over, they were waiting for orders.

Her chin went up another notch. "The Doctor has defeated you before. He will again. You never win in the end."

"Master." The Doctor's thin, reedy voice was so rarely heard these days that everyone stopped in shock to stare at him. "Master. Look at her. She's old. How much of a threat could she be?"

The Master's jaw dropped. "Are you begging?" he asked, incredulously. Then delightedly, almost eagerly. "Are you going to beg me for her life? Really?"

The Doctor looked him steadily in the eyes. "Yes."

The Master grinned, rubbing his hands together. "Now what can I ask you to do for her?"

"Anything."

But the sound system only went one way; she couldn't hear them. From her side there would only be sudden silence and the hum of the Toclafane. So she went on, shifting so that they could see the microphone taped discretely to a sloping rafter near her head. "Citizens of Earth, the Master can be defeated. Hope walks the Earth."

Francine gasped. Rumors had filtered back; they knew it was Martha's code name.

"SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!" the Master screamed.

"Hope walks the Earth," she repeated stubbornly, and as the Toclafane moved menacingly towards her, she whipped her arm from behind her back, a revolver in her hand.

UNIT standard issue, circa 1985 Jack thought. So she was one of the UNIT Three. He'd spent a century researching the Doctor and knew that three women had served as his assistant when he worked for UNIT, but the organization was fiercely protective of its own. He knew of them, but not their identities. There was something else too, a huge, bulky bracelet around her wrist, flashing with blue lights. It was familiar but he couldn't quite place it.

The Toclafane laughed, that insane childish giggle. "Guns don't hurt us, little lady," one told her.

"But we'll hurt you," another promised.

"Pretty lady."

"Not so pretty soon."

"No," she said softly, raising the gun. "No, I don't think so."

It passed the approaching Toclafane and stopped under her chin. The sound of the shot went unheard as the Doctor screamed in anguish and the Master in frustration.

Acaleian dead-man switch! Jack suddenly remembered as the tiny body fell, leaving a smear of red across the papers and photos behind and above her. The blue lights were no longer pulsing in time to a heartbeat but stuttering and turning mauve. Can be wired to multiple detonators too-

The cameras went white, then showed static as the top of the building exploded. Multiple detonations. Maximum destruction to the inside, but minimum to the surrounding buildings. They'd been well set.

If she'd hoped to take out the Toclafane, she had failed. They raced through the fireball, whining their displeasure.

"I wanted to kill!"

"I wanted to hurt and cut and kill!"

"So noble, and still nobody ever taught her how to dress," the Master mused. "Honestly, Lucy, who would wear a striped minidress over tights?"

"Mutton dressed as lamb," Lucy agreed twitchily, attempting to smile.

"Oh, stop sniveling," the Master snapped as he passed the stunned, tearstreaked Doctor. "I would have killed her in the end anyway."

"I wanted blood and death and pain!" a Toclafane was still complaining.

The Master turned to Jack with a bright, unhinged grin. "Oh, I think I can make it up to you," he told his pet monster.

It took Jack four days to die.

Each time.

***

"She bought time with her life," Jack mused, looking at the CCTV still. "He thought he'd taken out the leader of the resistance and stopped looking. It was months before he realized they'd just gone deeper underground, and in the meantime, three alien races answered her call. Fighting them slowed the killing on the ground."

"Sir?"

Jack shook himself back to the present. "What do we know about her and those kids?"

"The children are unknown. I've started running facial recognition software on them. She is Sarah Jane Smith, a journo." Ianto's voice became a little bit hesitant.

Gwen called from her monitor "Running scans on that name now."

"There's more." Jack knew that tone.

"She... was a person of interest to Yvonne at Torchwood One. We caught her snooping around one of our projects. You know what that meant."

"Yes." Jack snapped disapprovingly. It meant a disappearance. If the subject was lucky, they would show up in a few days stinking of alcohol and blurry from retcon. But very, very few were lucky. Yvonne liked having test subjects. Gwen fussed that retcon was unethical. She didn't know about the previous alternatives.

"We had her in custody for only a few hours when UNIT showed up. It was made quite clear to Ms. Hartman that Ms. Smith was completely untouchable, or they would shut Torchwood down with extreme prejudice, and they could wield more clout than she could. One of their people, a Brigadier, even accompanied Yvonne to the cells so she couldn't give the order for a retconning."

"The UNIT Three," Jack whispered to himself.

"The what, sir?"

"Nevermind. Something about the Doctor, and his assistants while he worked at UNIT."

"Yes, there were three, sir, and Ms. Smith was one of them. The others are Doctor Elizabeth Shaw, recently retired from the Shaw Research Foundation, and Josephine Jones, nee Grant, who followed her husband around the world until he died. I believe she lives somewhere in on the Amazon now."

"You know who they all WERE?" Jack asked, torn between outrage and admiration.

"It was fairly simple," Ianto said, a bit condescendingly. "After we released Ms. Smith, Yvonne simply took an interest in any civilian woman who had any connection with UNIT. They told us who they were by who they warned us away from."

"I've got something on Smith," Gwen called. A moment later, she amended it to, "I've got a lot!"

"Tell me."

"In addition to being seen breaking into the Bane factory, she was at the Deffrey Vale School when it blew up. Filed a cover story about student vandals who stole her car and faulty wiring."

"We found a great deal of odd technology in the ruins of that school," Tosh pointed out.

"Many of the stories she filed are coming up with Torchwood flags," Gwen pointed out. "Especially in the last year or so."

"Ever since the destruction of Torchwood One," Ianto said.

"There was a vacuum. She must have filled it."

"Speaking of filled," Tosh said ruefully. "I've got an initial report on the Bane."

Jack looked at her, and Gwen, printing and collating reports on the Smith woman. They seemed to be back to normal. "Anything that can still affect you?"

"I don't think so, not if the source has been blown up."

"Still I'll feel better if we're sure. Owen needs to run tests."

"If they're still affected, he might lie to let them loose in the general population," Ianto objected.

"Seeing anything else out there on CCTV? Any problems out in the population?"

"No."

"Then I'm not going to assume he's lying. Go let Owen loose. Try not to hit him again." Jack took a look at the frozen image still up on Ianto's screen. By this time's standards Sarah Jane was getting old, but by Jack's she was as hot and smoking as the building behind her. This might be fun. "Print up everything you've got on Smith. I'm going to go talk to her."

***

Jack didn't take the Torchwood SUV. The big, black monster was meant to be mysterious and vaguely threatening; exactly the wrong impression to make on someone who had already been captive to Yvonne's twisted notions of hospitality. Ianto rented something innocuous, and Jack drove the three hours to Croydon, thinking hard.

He wanted Sarah Jane to like him.

No, he needed Sarah Jane to like him.

He'd taken a huge stack of Torchwood reports and Sarah Jane's articles to bed with him last night, and the omissions were as informative as the print. Her writing proved her to be feisty, observant, intelligent, loyal, and opinionated — just the sort of woman to catch his (and the Doctor's) approval. She had traveled in the TARDIS too, he was sure of it. There were gaps in her work; major stories she had missed as if she'd been unavailable, and once there were two large articles published the same day in two newspapers at opposite ends of Britain. Well-researched, detailed stories they were too, not the sorts of things anyone could work on simultaneously. But it would be possible if someone ended up looped in on their own timeline and had to relive a week or two tucked away from their usual haunts to prevent a paradox.

So the TARDIS had never been that accurate, or the Doctor had always been that bad a pilot. Good to know.

She'd been left behind too, just like him. Run from or tossed out, only she knew, but there had been a sudden spate of melancholy opinion pieces that dripped loneliness and a loss of that bubbling zest for life. The phase didn't last long, but it was there — and ever after, she had filed her stories as regularly as clockwork.

He'd been stranded on this planet for a century without being able to talk to anyone else about what he'd seen and where he came from. He couldn't even confide in his team — but she would understand, he was sure of it. She was probably just as desperate to have someone to talk to as he was... if he could keep her from blowing his head off with that contraband UNIT revolver.

And she might, if he was stupid. UNIT may have warned Yvonne off of Sarah Jane herself, but her neighbors hadn't come under the ban. Torchwood was well aware of the crazy lady with the weird lights and strange visitors. A lot of Torchwood field reports mentioned her as well, usually complaining about how — how did that one agent put it? Right — "that untouchable bint got in the way and ruined the operation."

And yet, Jack had noted with amusement, when Sarah Jane got 'em under her wing, she got 'em good. Torchwood had never been able to nab an alien that made it to her protection. She seemed to be running a sort of extraterrestrial catch and release program, finding and returning them without any trouble to the human race or the visitors. An alien underground railroad. No wonder she had all those toys hidden in the attic. They were probably left behind, or presents from grateful escapees.

That attic full of unearthly contraband wasn't all she had to defend, either. There wasn't a computer in the whole of Britain Ianto couldn't crack, a file he couldn't find. And everything needed for Sarah Jane's adopted son Luke had been right there to be found, innocent as you please... but when Ianto dug a little bit deeper, he discovered that all the files had been somehow zapped into the appropriate places a few hours after the Bane factory had been destroyed. When he dug a little deeper than that, there was nothing. Nada. Zip. And nothing in Sarah Jane's articles had suggested that she had a kid or knew anyone with any child, much less Luke.

It was as if Sarah Jane had walked into the Bane factory and they'd handed her a boy instead of a bottle of soda. Or had they built him for someone else? What would a soda factory run by aliens do with a child? Experiments? Food?

Or something worse? Whatever creature had been in the Bane factory had psychically controlled people through the drink. Had there been a backup system? Was the kid a ringer in case things went wrong, a different form of invasion in the shape of something that would need protection until they were ready to start a new beachhead?

If Sarah Jane was being controlled by an outside force, Jack would free her. He owed it to the Doctor. Companions should stick together.

He turned on to Bannerman Road, and the pleasant tingle he used to get when he began a con started; that delicious mix of certainty and uncertainty when he had a plan but had not yet learned all the variables.

A tiny car was parked outside the house. She was home. He was about to make first contact with another of the Doctor's companions.

The tingle got stronger.

The woman who answered the door was smaller than he expected; she barely came halfway up his chest. Jack gave her his most come-hither smile, but she didn't even look up to see it. "No thank you, I'm not interested in buying anything, please go away, I'm working" came out in a rush to his shirt buttons, and she was closing the door before she'd quite finished speaking.

"I'm from Social Services." Jack was almost as surprised as she was when he said it, but he went with it. He was in the zone, running his con, making it up as he went along. It had been so long!

Now she looked into his face with a worried-rabbit expression. "Sorry?"

Jack pulled his psychic paper out of his coat pocket, flashing it at her. "Social Services; Department for Children, Schools and Families. You're not in trouble, we're just checking up on how your new adoption is going."

"That was fast," she said doubtfully. "He's barely been here for two days!"

"Well, to tell the truth, we've got you scheduled for next month, but I got the paperwork and I was in the area."

"I... see. Well, I guess you had better come in." She very reluctantly opened the door again, and even more reluctantly added, "Would you like some tea?"

"Yes, thank you."

It was a much different house in this timeline without the Toclafane. There was a cheerful, comfortable, clutter of books and knickknacks from all over Earth. Records showed she'd started traveling suddenly in the 80s, all over the world, although she'd never been outside the UK before UNIT. Almost as if she couldn't bear giving up travel even if she'd had to give up time and space.

He'd tried that too. It wasn't the same.

There were almost no signs of the boy. But then again, it was hard to tell. She wasn't much larger than a 13-year-old herself; the jacket on the back of the chair could be hers or Luke's. The new shoes under it though... With feet like that to grow into, he's going to be tall!

"Do sit down; I'll put the kettle on," she said a bit dubiously as she left the room.

The minute she was gone, Jack flipped up the cover on his wristcomm. If there was something wrong with the boy, he'd find it. If Sarah Jane was under any outside influence, he'd see it.

The display went wild. Alien scanning technology, in use at that moment, and not coming from the attic above them. The next room. Something of the boy's?

Jack moved, fast and silent. The lights were off in the next room; there was a small shape looking down at something. He whipped out his gun and turned on the light. "Freeze! Torchwood!"

Sarah Jane squeaked. The face of her watch was flipped up and it had been pointed where he'd been standing. But the stunned-rabbit look disappeared in a moment, replaced by an upraised chin and grim determination. Her expression was so familiar that Jack found himself checking her wrists for the deadman switch bracelet.

"I didn't really think you were from Social Services, not with that accent," she said, ignoring the gun and snapping her watch back into place. "I heard Torchwood had been destroyed. If anything is left, you should know that you aren't supposed to interfere with me." Her eyes narrowed. "UNIT wasn't razed at Canary Wharf."

"We're different now. We work for humanity, not just Yvonne's dreams of empire."

"I can see the difference. Yvonne Hartman had me carried away from her warehouse at gunpoint. You've lied your way into my house to point your gun at me."

Aw, damn, he was messing this all up.

Still, he had to be sure before he put the gun down. Jack flicked a look at his wristcomm. Now that she'd shut off her watch, he saw no active alien technology.

He reholstered his gun. "Okay, let's start over."

"Let's forget this ever happened. Get out of my house!"

"Look, it's not what you think."

"Oh? What do I think?"

"I think that you brought home an interesting souvenir from the Bane factory, and I need to be sure that they're not controlling you through that kid the same way they controlled everyone through the drink."

"You think..."

There was a clattering on the stairs. "I heard shouting," a voice called. "Is there something wrong?"

"LUKE, RUN!" Sarah Jane screamed.

Jack turned his back to look for the boy.

An hour later, he woke up again.

They hadn't taken him far. He was still in the same room, only now his head ached, one of the ceramic lamps and his gun were both missing, the floor was recently mopped, and he had been very expertly hogtied.

By the kind of bonds that came from halfway across the galaxy.

Sarah Jane was standing over him, his wristcomm in her hands. "Welcome back," she said, with no welcome in her voice.

"I usually wait for the second date before I get kinky," Jack said, gesturing as far as he could with his bound wrists. "What's the safeword, beautiful?"

She snorted. Bending over, she held his wristcomm before his face. "Tell me what you see."

"How did you know how to work-"

"Tell me what you see."

He saw really lovely cleavage, but now probably wasn't the time to mention it. "Basic scan results."

"Subject?"

"Subject is..." He read the display carefully. "Human. Male. Pubescent." He blinked, squinted, and realized it was in focus and really did say that. "Healthy, but only... 36 hours old?" He looked up at her. She didn't bat an eyelash.

"Psychic readings? Telepathy, empathy, telekinesis?"

Jack looked back at the display. "Nothing outside species norm."

"Alien influences?"

"None."

She flipped the cover shut and dropped his comm on his chest. "Luke is human. He is not controlling me or anyone else. I've contacted Brigadier Bambera. Any attempt to interfere with my son will bring retaliation. I am going to trigger your restraints remotely. You will leave. You will never return. A courier will bring your weapon to you later. A tourist office on Cardiff Bay, I believe?"

This was all going wrong. "I was just doing my job," Jack pleaded. "Protecting the Earth."

"From the scum of the universe? Cute movie. Bad job description." She folded her arms, scowling at him. "Especially coming from the likes of you. If you were doing your job, why was it up to me to defeat the Bane? How did you let them get a beachhead established?"

"We... didn't notice." She snorted. "It was just a soda factory! Usually they come in with guns or conversion units or big spaceships. Something obvious."

"It was obvious to me that something was wrong. They got their permits far too quickly."

"That's why we should work together."

She turned away.

"We have a lot in common! We could help each other!"

She was walking out of the room.

"Thirty-six hours?"

"Goodbye, Captain Harkness."

"It's bigger on the inside!" Jack blurted.

She stopped as if she'd walked into a wall. "What?"

"The TARDIS. It's a police box on the outside, but it's bigger on the inside."

"Torchwood was founded to-"

"We haven't captured him. I know because I traveled with the Doctor. My room was down the corridors, past the bins, up the stairs, left, then left, then left, then left, then down the stairs and on the right. Where was yours?"

"I don't..."

"If you don't believe me, look around my neck. See the chain? It's my key. He carries his around his neck as well."

She approached and gingerly fished the chain free. "This looks like any key."

"Scan it!"

She didn't open her watch. She went to the next room, and he heard the chink of metal. Coming back, she crouched and held a keyring near the key on his chest.

The flat, shield-shaped charm on it started to glow. So did his key.

Sarah Jane stared at him for a very long time. Finally she asked, "Why didn't you say so in the first place?"

"I had to be sure about the boy."

She stared at him a while longer, then reached into her pocket. The restraints clicked open.

"Luke wasn't created as a soldier. They grew him to experiment on him. To find a formula that would make Bane irresistible to the small percentage that didn't like it."

"Where is he now?"

"Away."

"Across the street with Maria?"

"You didn't know about the Bane, but you know about her?"

"I make it a point to know the names of all the pretty girls, Sarah Jane."

She snorted, but he caught the flash of smile. "She's too young and I'm too old."

"No you're not."

"Hmmm." But that was definitely a smile as she stood up.

Jack pulled himself to his feet as well. "May I still have that cup of tea?"

"Why? You've seen the scan. Luke is human, the Bane are gone, case closed. Nothing more to talk about."

"Isn't there?"

She cocked her head.

Jack held up one of the restraints. "They'll sell these in novelty shops on Praxalilly in the 32nd century. The equivalent of a Chinese finger trap for a species that has six tentacles."

Her eyes unfocused, looking into memories as he talked on.

"You don't see the stars at night. There's an asteroid belt around the planet; it disrupts the atmosphere so that it's all shifting colors, punctuated with falling stars. He likes it there. He likes looking at the night sky."

"The hardest thing," she whispered, still staring into the past, "was learning to fall asleep without hearing the hum of the TARDIS."

"Has there ever been anyone you could talk to? About him?"

"Not since Harry was—" She shook herself back to the present. "You?"

"No. Not since he left me behind."

"He left..." She swallowed, started again. "Yes, I think I'll go put the kettle on, shall I?"

As she left for the kitchen she called over her shoulder, "My room was also up the stairs, four lefts, down the stairs, and on the right. It seems as though you've been sleeping in my bed, Captain Harkness."

Yes! Jack bubbled with happiness as he followed her. "Really? I look forward to doing it again."

"Cheek!"

"Any one of 'em you fancy."

She snickered smuttily.

This was going to be the start of a beautiful relationship.

-fin-