It was a typical cool evening in Cardiff. The streets reflected the lights from the city in puddles leftover from a short daytime shower. Cars flourished on the popular roadways. People busied themselves with getting to where they were going and, as a whole, seemed to ignore the slightly cold breeze blowing through the city. The government's new propaganda posters decorated the city with phrases and images meant to keep the citizens vigilant and inclined to trust the government. An American walked past one such poster that seemed reminiscent of an old WWII poster. It featured two friendly cops helping a boy, who wore a big smile. The poster read: "Need Help? Always ask your friendly local police officer!" The American smiled and hurried down the street alone.
The wind gave a quick flutter to the coat collar and the American turned down a narrow single-lane road, heading further away from the crowd of the main street. One block in and the wind turned into a slight growl. The American stopped and glanced around, then continued the trek back to the hotel.
Between the next two buildings, closed up for the evening, came the sound of something being kicked aside, garbage of some sort. The American stopped to listen and clench a fist.
"C'mon, I know a shortcut!" A drunk Welsh girl slurred from behind the American. Two blondes in short dresses and heels stumbled down the narrow road and headed for the first alley the American had passed. One girl said something and the two erupted into laughter. The girls flicked their mobiles, turning on a flashlight app. The low growl was barely heard by American ears, definitely not by the two Welsh girls.
"Damn" The American hissed before going after the two girls. The girls disappeared beyond building, out of sight, encouraging the American to pick up the pace. Shrieks erupted from the girls just as the American entered the dark alley. Brown hair and a dark coat mingled with the shadows. Down the alley, the two girls stood there, holding onto each other and their lit-up mobiles. Fists were pulled out of their warm pockets as the American quietly approached.
The thing out of sight growled at the girls and they shrieked. It must have moved towards them because the girls moved backwards. The American moved closer and then quickly leapt to action, pushing the girls aside and coming face to face with a hideous creature. The drunk girls with their lit mobiles illuminated the narrow alley with just enough light that allowed the American to land the first few punches solidly to the thing's face. The creature growled, barred its teeth, and moved to strike back.
"What is it?!" One of the girls shrieked. A clawed hand struck the American in the side.
"Get out of here!" The American yelled to the girls.
"Where's a friendly policeman?" The other girl asked with a whiney tone. The American ducked a swinging arm and stepped in to land punches to the creatures kidneys, if it had any.
"We should youtube this" One of the girls said. The light in the alley dimmed.
"Bitch, who are you?" The other girl asked. The American didn't reply. The creature bared it's teeth again and gnashed at the air.
"Get out of here" A man ordered from the shadows of the alley. The two drunk girls heard the click of a gun and the flash of metal as the man stepped into the light.
"Oh shit! He's got a gun!" One of the girls shrieked.
"Go! NOW!" The man yelled. The two girls ran off as quickly as their drunken legs could carry them. The man flipped on a flashlight. He was all too familiar with the creature which was now pinned to the ground by a brunette in navy trousers. "Hold it still."
"Who are you?" The woman asked. The creature dug a hand into the side that was already scratched up, making the woman cry out. There was a pop sound and the creature slowly stilled.
"You're safe" The man said holstering his gun and offering the brunette a hand. She stood with a groan.
"What is that thing?" The woman asked.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you" The man replied with a handsome smile. He looked the woman up and down. She had on navy trousers and a dark plaid jacket. Her hair was messy now, but was still mostly up in a retro hairdo. "Very 1940s, I like."
"It sliced me open a little" The woman said turning into the light to look at her side. Her jacket was torn and after touching the wound her hand was bloody. "Fuck."
"I need to get this thing loaded up" The man said, obviously returning to business. He bent down and started tethering the creature's hands and feet together. The woman watched him put a mask over the creature's head like a muzzle.
It didn't take long for the two of them to move the creature down the alley to a white unmarked van. The back of the van was separated from the front by metal mesh. The man shut the van doors and flashed a smile at the woman, as if they had just completed the most normal task.
"Thanks, it would have been a hassle to do it myself" The man said.
"You're welcome" The woman said softly. She looked around at the building's back lot. It was empty, except for a dumpster and a privately marked entrance to a main street. "What is that thing?"
"It's called a weevil" The man said. His smile never faded once.
"But, what is it?" The woman asked again. Her side felt as if it were on fire. "Would you drive me to my hotel? I need to doctor my side."
"I need to take care of our ugly friend here first, but sure, after that we can go to your hotel" The smile remained and the women rolled her eyes.
The woman pushed herself away from the van, heading for the alley. "I'll walk, thanks."
"Oh come on" The man said. The smile had reached his voice. "I'm just kidding."
The woman stopped, turned around, and studied the man as he moved around the van and got in. He struck her as being someone who knew too much. He rolled the passenger window down.
"Are you coming? That tranquilizer I shot our friend with is going to wear off soon" The man said. The woman took a deep breath and climbed into van. The man smiled even more and started the van. "Captain Jack Harkness."
"Jessie Butler" The woman replied.
The van pulled up to a small warehouse in a not-so-ideal part of town. The sign above the building read 'Seingalt', but nothing regarding the type of business. Captain Jack Harkness had kept quiet for the van ride, until the garage door opened.
"Home sweet home" Jack said. They pulled in and Jack promptly got out. Their cargo had stirred during the trip, but was still out. Jack opened the back of the van and began hauling the weevil out. "Let's get this thing downstairs, then I can tend to your side."
"I have questions" Jessie said. The blood stain on her side was forming a dark stain that had only grown during the car ride. She ignored it and grabbed onto the creature to steady it.
"Get the feet" Jack said. He grabbed the weevil by it's upper body and they began to move towards a heavy fire door. "I'm sure I have answers for you. What are you doing in Cardiff?"
"What are YOU doing in Cardiff?" Jessie asked him. "It seems like you live here. You have a van, a warehouse…"
"I spend time here" Jack replied. "You?"
"Vacation" Jessie replied. They navigated the stairs down to another heavy fire door. Jack pressed buttons on the locking system and shifted the weevil so he could press his hand to the scanner. The door buzzed and they made their way inside.
"Brian?" Jack yelled out. There was noise from somewhere in the basement level, which looked full of offices. A small man came around the hallway.
"You're back" Brian said. "Looks like you got another one."
"Open a cell" Jack ordered. The small man hurried ahead of them and keyed in a code on a lock pad. The short man held the heavy door open for the two as they carried in the weevil. Jack bent down and cut off the restraints.
"What are you going to do with it?" Jessie asked watching the weevil from the hallway through heavy, reinforced glass. The door locked with a heavy thud and a locking click.
"Study it" Brian said. He stood on his tiptoes to peer through the window. He was a dwarf, standing only 4'8" tall, but he was nicely dressed and had a handsome face. "I'm Dr. Brian March."
"Jessie Butler" Jessie said shaking his hand.
"I'm going to fix her up, then send her on her way" Jack said with a small smile. Jessie looked between the two men.
"Isn't he the doctor?" Jessie asked.
"Not that kind of doctor" Brian replied. Jack led Jessie down a side hallway and pulled her into an office that had been turned into a small medical lab. The overhead light was annoyingly bright. Jack tapped the medical table and began opening cabinets.
"So, you're a Captain doing a doctor's job and he's a doctor without medical knowledge?" Jessie asked.
"Yep" Jack said putting a few items onto a tray. He turned around and set the tray onto a small trolley. Jessie slowly unbuttoned her coat and tried pulling it off. "You're one of those rockabilly girls, aren't you?" He pulled off his big trench coat and tossed it onto a chair. "You have some style. I like it. Reminds me of my time during the war." Jack helped her with her coat and then looked at the wound. "That shirt is in the way and your trousers are too high."
"What do you do here?" Jessie asked undoing her short-sleeved button up shirt and shifting to unzip her trousers.
"Think of us as 'high security'" Jack said. He retrieved a bowl of hot water and a stack of washcloths. He eyed the girl before getting started. She had tattoos on both arms and she appeared to be fairly muscular. Her breasts stood pointed out in an old style bullet bra. "Quite the figure. Why were you alone?"
He started by cleaning the wound and was surprised at the nastiness of it. Jessie laid back on the table and held onto her shirt and trousers, keeping them out of the way.
"I was going back to my hotel" Jessie answered. "How's it looking?"
"Its worse than I thought, but not life threatening" Jack said. He opened a bottle and poured it onto a washcloth, then pressed it to the wound. The stinging sensation was surprising and harsh. Jessie cried out and Jack held her down with his free hand. "Sorry. No, what I meant was, why were you alone? Don't you have friends, boyfriend, girlfriend, something?"
"No" Jessie said between clenched teeth. "Oh god, that hurts."
"Almost done" Jack replied. "It will keep the wound clean." Relief washed over the brunette when the washcloth was removed. Jack leaned over and gently blew on the wound, causing Jessie to flinch. "You're going to need some stitches."
"Stitches?" Jessie repeated.
"That thing took a chomp out of you" Jack said. Her knuckles were white as she clenched her clothing. "How did you do it? Why did you do it? You could have just kept walking down the road. How did you manage to get one up on that weevil?"
"I couldn't just let something bad happen to those two half-wits" Jessie said. She looked over at Jack. "Besides, I'm good at fighting."
"For being so short, you're amazing" Jack said with a smile. Jessie was a short 5'3", nearly a full head taller than Jack's little friend.
"That creature was not the easiest thing to fight with" Jessie muttered. She looked away as Jack threaded a needle. Her torso flinched when he spread a topical agent for numbing.
"Okay" Jack said in a calming tone. "So no boyfriend?"
"No" Jessie replied staring intently at the white wall.
"You travel internationally alone?" Jack asked. He got started with the stitches. "That's a bit risky in this day and age."
"Only if you fear terrorists and stuff" Jessie replied.
"What do you do for a living, Jessie Butler?" Jack asked.
"I'm a writer" Jessie replied. The needle didn't hurt too much, but Jessie remained stiff and nervous.
"Relax" Jack urged. "What do you write?"
"Novels mostly. The occasional freelance article" Jessie said. Jack tied two more stitches and then trimmed up his work.
"Almost done" Jack announced. He swabbed a yellowish solution of iodine over the area before covering it up with a sterile gauze pad and a bandage. "There. You should be as good as new."
Jessie's grip on her shirt was slow to let go, almost as if her fingers were stuck in the position. Jack took her hand and gently smoothed out her fingers.
"Sit up" Jack said helping her up. "I have a shirt you can wear."
"I'll be fine" Jessie said with a slight choke. "Can you take me back to my hotel now?"
"Your shirt is ruined, you know" Jack said pulling her shirt around her. Jack was definitely in her personal space. Her fingers found her shirt buttons and she tried brushing Jack's hands away. Instead, one of Jack's hands reached up and lightly brushed a strand of hair from her face. Confusion crossed over Jessie's face and she flinched, her brow furrowed. She pushed Jack from her with a strong shove and stepped around the medical bed.
"I don't do that" Jessie snapped. Her fingers buttoned up her shirt and zipped up her trousers.
"Sorry" Jack said. Jessie pulled her jacket on.
"Just...just do as you promised and take me to my hotel, please" Jessie replied. Jack pulled his coat on slowly, maintaining eye contact with Jessie.
"I didn't mean anything by it" Jack said apologetically. "How about we grab some painkillers to help you with your side and then we go?"
"Fine" Jessie replied shortly.
"I'm crashing from the adrenaline" Jessie said as they pulled up to the small hotel she was staying at.
"Probably best to get to sleep and take it easy with your side" Jack suggested.
"Right, sleep" Jessie said undoing her seat belt. She looked Jack over and nodded, as if agreeing with something. "You're an interesting man, Captain." Jack gave her a big smile. "I'm going to see you again."
"Oh yeah?" Jack said. "How do you know?"
Jessie cocked her head to the side and shrugged. "I don't know, but I know I'm right."
Jessie opened the door and stepped out from the van. "Have a good vacation, Miss Butler."
"See you later, Captain Harkness" Jessie said. She shut the door and hurried inside the hotel.