The Doctor Discovers Roller Skating

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Chapter 4

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Captain Jack Harkness spun around in his swivel chair viciously, agitation and calmness for his job radiating off of him in waves. "Get me that number, Tosh. If he had control over the scanner…" He didn't bother to finish the thought as Toshiko Sato got to work on the other side of the mike. She didn't bother to finish it for him either. He sighed and rubbed his face wearily. Sometimes he really hated the reality of his job. The consequences and penalties of one false move were unfortunately all together too real – and the knowledge of that fact made it worse.

"Owen, I want that MRI scan. I don't care if you have to rip apart the guy's brain – there must be something we can use." His voice over the com was terse, rushed and had the sound of one without caffeine. Whatever Owen Harper's reply was, it wasn't what Jack hoped to hear. His scowl added to the headache as he sipped at a cold soda.

"Self induced," Gwen Cooper declared as she entered his office, setting down a giant cup of coffee for him on his desk. Jack welcomed it with open arms, giving a grateful nod. As he closed his eyes and welcomed the rush of adrenaline pulsing through his veins, Gwen flung a folder in frustration at him and he snatched the folder out of the air with amazing reflexes, not blinking an eyelash. "I don't believe a word of it."

"Doesn't matter," Jack replied abruptly. He tossed the folder right back at her, and Gwen was so taken by surprise she barely caught it in time to keep the papers from slipping out. Jack just went back to nursing his coffee, leaning back to take a moment of a rest out of a day that had never ended for him. The days he could fly a burnt out ambulance into Britain and enlist ten minutes later were long gone, he realized with grim humour. He shook his head in amazement. How he had come from being that to working with capturing aliens in earth and figuring them out still astounded him.

Jack looked up as Gwen coughed, and surprised that she was still there, had nothing more to say to her. "Out," he ordered, but not unkindly. Gwen looked at him blankly at a moment, then stalked out, fuming like usual.

Jack could hear her muttering as she went, "It wasn't self induced… I swear, I checked the records and it wasn't…" He sighed and flipped back in his chair, weariness overtaking him. He didn't want to work for a minute – but he knew it would come as soon as Tosh found the number he had asked her to find. Owen would have an answer for him too.

Suddenly his computer screen went black for a moment, telling him he had received an e-mail. Intrigued, and hoping against hope it was the Doctor or Rose, he clicked on the message. It was from Rose.

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Not more than five minutes after Gwen Cooper had left Jack Harkness' office; she heard hysterical laughing from it. She stopped in her tracks, confused as to why Jack was laughing. He never laughed. Never ever. Well, maybe once or twice. But never liked this. She ran towards the office, afraid someone had sprayed her boss with laughing gas. She ran into Tosh, Owen and Ianto, who, by the concern on their faces, had obviously come for the same reasons she had. Exchanging concerned glances, they cautiously made their way into his office…

Jack was sitting there as silent as usual, his eyes glowing unusually bright as he talked to someone on his cell phone quietly. Gwen and Owen raised their eyebrows when they noticed this and turned to walk back out of the room. Something was going on. Tosh and Ianto followed slowly, and Ianto glanced around before closing the door behind the gang.

Finally, it was Ianto who broke the silence.

"Is he going mad?"

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The reason for the laughter however, was precisely because of the picture Rose had sent Jack. It was a picture. It was a picture of the Doctor. It was a picture of the Doctor flailing his arms and grinning like an idiot. It was a picture of the Doctor flailing his arms and grinning like an idiot... as he rolled around on roller skates.

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