Title- Criminal Acts and Renegades
Characters/Pairings- Liz, Ace
Rating- K
Summary- "A hand grabs hers, and a voice in her ear commands her to run, things are about to light up like a Christmas tree around here..." Could be considered an AU of Liz's life after UNIT.

A/N- This is a bit short, and a bit nonsensical, but I felt really bad when I realized that despite my great love of Dr. Shaw, I hadn't actually written any fic for Liz, and had to just dash off something as quickly as possible. (If the quality is terrible, that is why.) Ace just somehow worked herself in there accidentally.

Having your eyes opened is both liberating and unpleasant, she discovers. Once you're aware of what's out there- what's very intent on coming here- it's hard not to see it immediately when you find it.

At first, she thinks she's just being paranoid. There cannot possibly be alien life-forms infiltrating the cannery, for god's sake! That's just ridiculous. Except, she quickly realizes that she's not paranoid, and all the things she sees, the things that everyone else just takes for granted and shrugs off, are in fact really happening. No one seems to notice. Well, she's sure that the Doctor has intervened in some of them, because more than once, she has just started to notice the signs of trouble somewhere and it suddenly stops. But aside from that, no one is really doing anything about it.

It's up to her, she supposes. She has the skills to handle these situations, and while she doesn't have any encyclopedic knowledge of alien races the way some people might, she's clever enough to work things out for herself. She didn't earn her chemistry degree at the age of nineteen for nothing.

Her colleagues probably think she's insane for quitting a comfortable tenured job in the research department at Cambridge to work for a medical research company, whose hours are much more flexible but whose pay plan is atrocious. But for nine years, it suits her needs quite admirably.

She has all the money she needs to support herself, and all-hours access (well, if she breaks in through the back window with the faulty latch) to all the lab equipment she could possibly need. She takes care of the world in her own small way. No grand gestures, no epic battles of good versus evil. She's not entirely sure she's that good, anyway. The list of criminal acts she's quite sure she has accidentally-on-purpose committed in the line of dutyover the years is so long shedoesn't even like to think of it. Not, of course, that it is duty, not in the patriotic sense, just her own conscience stabbing her in the back

The difficulty with the mole-creatures from the planet Zog, though, proves beyond her. When she's backed into a corner of the warehouse they've been using as their base, with literally hundreds of the hairless, squinty things crowding in the middle of the building, praying that their keen sense of smell won't pick her up, she suddenly realizes that she is forty-eight years old and very likely not going to get much older if she doesn't get out of here, fast.

Then a hand grabs hers, and a voice in her ear commands her to run, things are about to light up like a Christmas tree around here...

She runs, if nothing else because the sound will have alerted the mole things to her presence, and follows the stranger who is still clutching her hand out of the warehouse, with absolutely no idea how they manage to pass by all the creatures but very glad that they do.

Outside, the newcomer still doesn't stop, but pulls her directly over onto a waiting motorbike, throws up the kick-stand, guns the engine, and skids away down the gravel road until they're about two hundred meters away. At that point, she slows and makes a lazy turn, just in time for the pair of them to witness the tremendous explosion that she can feel all the way from here, which sends the building, and the creatures inside flying in several different directions.

"What did you-?" she asks, eyes wide.

The stranger lifts the helmet off her head to reveal a woman about thirty years old, with wide hazel eyes set in a round face, a broad, smiling mouth, and dishwater-blonde hair pulled up in a ponytail. She's chewing gum, and snaps a bubble before speaking. "Blew 'em halfway to Luxembourg is what! Good bit o' nitro-9'll take care of just about anything." she says in a thick Londoner accent. She sticks out a hand covered by a tight gray glove with the fingertips cut off. "Name's Ace."

"Dr. Elizabeth Shaw," she says as she take the offered hand, trying, as she always does when she's confronted with things she can't understand, to hide how confused she is.

Ace grins. "Nice to meet'cha, Liz. Professor told me about you, once. Actually, I had to wear your UNIT I.D. badge once when we were undercover."


"Oh, yeah, I suppose you wouldn'ta called him Professor. I traveled with the Doctor. Long time after you knew him, apparently, but that's time travel for ya."

She smiles, as the pieces fall into place. "Thanks for getting me out of there."

"Don't mention it. I've heard about some o' your work, thought I'd give ya a hand with a rough patch," Ace said, waving an idle hand. "So... wanna go for a spin?"

Once again, she's baffled. "A spin?"

"My bike. I rigged it up for time travel. And you know what they say about all work and no play..." Ace winks, and then, when she still hesitates, says, "C'mon, Liz. It ain't as sophisticated as the TARDIS, got a lot shorter range, but it's more accurate 'cause of that. I can have you back by five minutes ago, if ya want..."

She wants to say yes. She really does. But... "I belong here. This time, this place. This is where I'm meant to be." She climbs off the bike.

Ace shrugs. "Your choice. But if you ever need a hand again..." She tosses a little blue button about an inch across set in what appears to be sterling silver to her. "Just hit that button. One of my agents'll come running. Heck, maybe I will. You've got an impressive record, y'know. Gotta respect people who do it the old-school way and still have a better record than some of the very best Time Agents... Anyway, I wouldn't try to fiddle with that too much. Sending signals through time is damn complicated, and messing with the technology... well, ya never know what might happen. Might end up on Ice World with no way home or something, if you poke it the wrong way."

Still utterly confused, she nods. "Thanks," she says uncertainly.

"Catch ya around, Liz!"

The bike disappears in a flash of light, and after a few minutes, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw shakes her head and walks away from the burning wreck of the old warehouse, while sirens gather in the distance, making for the car she hid a little way off the main road...