Standing in line at the bank had been the last place Captain Jack Harkness expected to find himself on a Monday morning. He'd been determined that Ianto deserved to sleep in this morning and the only way he figured the Welshman wasn't going to be in a hissy fit when he woke up was if Jack had done his morning chores for him so he wasn't behind in his work.
So after feeding all their permanent guests at the hub and with a bankbook stuffed in one pocket and the shopping list in the other, Jack had snuck out of the hub an hour ago and had been standing in his current place in line for half that time.
Folding his arms he surveyed the room, being early Monday morning the still only had the minimal staff on, two tellers, a manager in his office and a security guard who was so young he was still fighting a battle with acne. One teller was counting money and working on some sort of Data entry leaving the other girl to deal with the customers, one of which was the little old lady whom was currently asking her to explain how to fill in her check book. At this rate he would be here until lunch time. There was a welsh couple with their teenage son standing behind him talking about how they were going to surprise their older son and behind them was two young women discussing where they were going for their shopping trip.
Finally the little old lady finished her transactions and headed for the door. Jack waited until the teller had finished what she was doing then made his way forward as she looked up and smiled at him, her smile quickly becoming flirtatious as she looked him over. Jack gave her his biggest smile back and watched in amusement as a flush crept across her cheeks. He could practically hear Ianto's exasperated sigh from here.
Before he reached the counter there was a loud bang from the door and a flash of light temporarily blinding everyone in the room. Jack was still trying to clear his eyes when the first cries of panic and fear began. Shaking his head he managed to clear most of the blur, when he looked up though he found himself looking into a face he hoped he'd never have to see again.
Ianto yawned rolling over in bed only to find the other side already cold, meaning Jack had been up for some time. Glancing at the bedside clock he sat up in shock when he saw how late it was. Seeing a note propped up next to the clock with his name on it. He grabbed it, quickly recognized Jack's handwriting and read through the note.
Jack decided I needed a sleep in and shut off all the alarms... and now he's doing my chores?!
Ianto stared blankly at the page for a minute as he pictured Jack doing his chores... feeding Myfanwy and the Weevils he could imagine as he'd seen Jack do that plenty of times in the past but going to the bank, post-office and shopping...
Nope those images just weren't coming to him at all.
Hearing the tell tale signs of the teams arrival he realized that the alarm on the cog' door must have been what woke him and he rolled out of bed heading for the shower.
Tosh looked up as Ianto entered the main area of the hub.
"Morning," she greeted him with a friendly smile which he quickly returned.
"Morning, would you like some coffee?"
"Yes please," Tosh replied glancing over towards the autopsy bay as Owen stumbled back up the stairs carrying his file, he spotted Ianto and grunted some sort of greeting before flopping into his chair.
"Coffee?" Ianto asked which gained him an affirmative sounding grunt.
"Where's Jack?" Gwen called down to them as she walked out of the hothouse having not found him in her quick search of the hub.
Tosh glared at her computer wishing Gwen was close enough to throw the dirty look at her.
In the reflection of her monitor she caught Ianto rolling his eyes and had to suppress a laugh. Since Jack's return Gwen had managed to slip back into treating Ianto as the hired help rather than a member of the team.
"I believe he's running errands this morning," Ianto supplied as she finally reached them.
"Jack doesn't run errands, he gets you to," Gwen replied confused but Ianto simply ignored her and made his way to the coffee machine.
Jack sat at the back of the bank with the rest of the hostages making sure he kept a close eye on their captors. The last thing he needed was for the Dimets to think he was hostile.
The earlier flash had disabled all communications, alarms and as an unfortunate side effect rendered their weapons useless much the same way the Sontarans do. Dimets were a race of aliens with a love for anything shiny and/or reflective that they can use to decorate their water planet. They could almost pass as human except for their red eyes and their skin was covered in tiny scales that felt smooth to the touch and took on a yellow hue when the light hit them. Most of the race was peaceful and fun except for the 10% of the population who were dubbed 'the collectors' the ones who searched the galaxy for things to take back to the rest of the planet. These ones were ruthless barbarians who would kill to get what they wanted. The manager stood in front of the lead Dimet who luckily spoke English.
Jack listened as the conversation continuously went around in circles, this was the problem with civilians talking to aliens: they just assumed they were dealing with annoying teenagers.
"This is ridiculous; he's getting us nowhere," growled the father.
"Dad, be quiet!" hissed the son, where they sat behind Jack, the mother tucked between the two men protectively.
"Boys, please," she sighed with a roll of her eyes.
"Your husband's right though," Jack said climbing to his feet and slowly raising his hands.
Guns instantly trained on him and he paused, the lead Dimet snapped his fingers and had the manager dragged back to the room where the tellers and guards were being kept. The leader turned to face him and Jack bowed respectfully "Lord Collector may I approach?" Jack asked looking up from his bow. He watched the leaders eyebrows rise in surprise and murmurs swept through his troop.
"Approach," the Lord replied, when Jack was a few feet away he stopped and waited to be spoken to, as their customs dictated was proper respect for a Lord collector. The last thing he needed to do was aggravate their captors when innocent civilians were in the room and he had no weapons. The Lord walked around him looking him over trying to work out who or what he was.
"Arise," stated the Lord and Jack stood to his full height though kept his eyes from the Lord Collectors face. While the Lord circled him again his eyes flickered to the TV above the counter displaying the CCTV feed from outside the building where the police were beginning to organize first contact with their captors. Jack tried not to flinch as he felt the Lord step up behind him taking in his scent. The Lord collector stepped back in front of Jack and clicked his tongue signalling for Jack to look at him.
"You know our customs, know we are not your foolish youth dressed up, that we are 'aliens'. And those are not the pheromones of a man from this century of false scents. You are from the future."
"Yes I am," Jack replied ignoring the surprised murmurs form behind him.
"The 51st Century," Jack replied and as soon as the words have left him mouth the Lord Collector's hand snapped out and grabbed Jack's wrist to reveal his vortex manipulator.
"Time agent," he sneered releasing Jack's wrist as if it had burnt him.
[Not anymore] Jack replied straightening his sleeve to cover his wrist strap once more.
[I despise time agents. They're manipulative liars,]
[Which is why I left the agency, they betrayed me. I've been living in this time for years.] Jack explained.
[Why should I believe you?]
[Because I can help you at what you want and keep them safe in the process.]
The Lord stared at him for a while and this time Jack held his gaze.
[Fine, but one wrong move and I won't hesitate to shoot you. And from what I hear these human weapons can be quite painful if they don't kill you.]
[Of course Lord Collector. Have they asked you for a list of demands yet?]
[Not yet,] The Lord replied after a few moments [Okay, here's what you tell them,] Jack said moving towards the desk where he could write it down instead of relying on the Lord to remember the specifics.
Ianto paced the main area of the hub. Jack should have been back hours ago. There was no way it would take this long even if he'd had to wait in lines wherever he'd gone.
"Oi Tea-boy for fucks sake sit down, you're making me dizzy!" Owen snapped throwing his pencil at Ianto who easily side stepped the flying object.
"Jack should have been back hours ago," Ianto muttered.
"You know what Jack like, he probably met a cute teller and took her back to a hotel or something," Gwen said though you could tell she was highly unimpressed by the idea.
Owen and Tosh flicked glances between Ianto and Gwen not believing she'd just said that in front of Ianto. Tosh's attention flicked back to screen in front of her as it signalled an incoming alert. Activating the program the results quickly covered the screen, the police were dealing with a hostage situation which was normally none of their business but it was the list of demands that had flagged the scanning programs interest.
"Ah Guys..." Tosh said.
"What is it Tosh?" Owen asked.
"I think I know where Jack is," Tosh replied.
"Is that all, I told you he'd be fine," Gwen replied.
"I think he's a hostage in a bank hold up down town," Tosh explained.
"What?" Ianto blurted out jumping forward to look at the screen, Owen and Gwen right behind him.
"Look at the list of demands," Tosh explained.
"Oh you have got to be kidding me," Ianto muttered.
After the ransom demands had been sent out Jack was ordered to sit back with the other hostages. At first they were silent, not quite sure what to say to the man that was technically as alien to them as their captors. It was the son who finally spoke to him.
"So you're from the future huh?" he asked ignoring his father warning look. Jack looked up at the boy, he looked familiar somehow but Jack couldn't quite place where from.
"What's your name kid?"
"Please to meet you Alun, I'm Jack and yes I was born and raised 3,000 odd years in the future, but I live here in Cardiff now and I have for a long time."
"Are you human or part alien or something?"
"Human; maybe a dash of something in there but 98% human,"
"So you can time travel?"
"I used to be able to, that's what my job was as a Time Agent, then things happened, my transportation broke and I settled down here," Jack shrugged.
"Not the best place to pick really, too much rain," Alun muttered and Jack laughed.
"I guess, but I work here, besides I have developed a soft spot for the Welsh recently," Jack smiled remembering the young Welshman he's left in bed.
"Well this is my Tad Gelthin and my Mam Sara, we live in Newport we came to visit my brother today," Alun shrugged.
"I'm Millie," Said one of the two girls that had been at the back of the cue.
"And I'm Francine," replied the other her teeth chattering slightly as she said this.
Jack frowned it really wasn't that cold in here, which meant the girl was likely slipping into shock. Jack easily slipped his coat off and wrapped it tightly around the girl. She smiled shyly up at him and whispered thank you as she pulled the heavy wool tighter around her. Jack smiled back but the smile was ripped from his face as he was suddenly yanked backwards by the neck of his shirt.
He landed on his back a few feet away choking slightly as he heard the scared gasps and murmurs of the other hostages. Looking up the Lord was standing over him furious about something, though what Jack had no idea.
"Forgot to mention that you were armed didn't you Time Agent."
"I didn't bother because it's useless, you made sure of that," Jack replied hissed in pain as the Lord stomped down on his shoulder.
"We rendered this times weapons useless, that does not mean yours will be as well."
"It is a weapon from this time." Jack argues.
"I don't believe you, lying Time Agent," The Lord sneered.
The next few seconds happened so fast Jack almost missed them; two loud bangs echoed in the room, the women behind him screamed and pain exploded through his shoulder and stomach.