The year was 1977. Captain Jack Harkness was still plodding the slow path through time. He had been since 1869, and he was still searching for the man who had left him behind. When he had landed in the eighteen hundreds, he had almost given up on ever seeing the Time Lord again. He had attempted to fix the vortex manipulator, but without some more sophisticated equipment—a sonic screwdriver, perhaps—there was nothing he could do with it.

Of course, he had eventually figured out that he couldn't die. That was still a tricky question that plagued him. He did remember dying on Satellite Five with the Daleks, and he remembered coming back, too. He doubted there was anyone that could answer that question but the Doctor. Although he had haunted every strange happening he could think of, he worked for Torchwood, and sometimes for UNIT, and generally looked for trouble when it didn't find him, he hadn't yet managed to catch up to the Time Lord or his little blue box that was bigger on the inside.

Torchwood had got angry at him the last time he worked with them, most likely because he had ended up sleeping with the alien he was supposed to be keeping tabs on. That was probably why they had given him a very lame job this time around with little to no information on it. UNIT hadn't been in contact with him for quite some time, but that wasn't unusual. They were an even more closed-mouth bunch than Torchwood. Probably the military influence.

Torchwood had set him on a young woman that they felt was suspicious. They had neglected to tell him exactly why they thought she was suspicious, or what he should be looking for. The director just handed him a picture and told him where to go. For the past month he had been living in a small flat in South Croydon, following the target around and really seeing nothing but a quiet, pretty journalist with an odd love for jelly babies. She hadn't even been investigating things that would be of interest to Torchwood. Jack honestly couldn't see why they wanted him watching her.

It was about seven in the morning and he was heading towards his favorite coffee shop for breakfast. He had found it when he had been following his mark one morning. She had wandered in and ordered coffee and sat for an hour making notes in her omnipresent notebook. He hadn't seen her in there since then, but it had become a haunt of his own that he had become quite fond of.

Sitting out on the patio, he enjoyed a Danish and cup of excellent coffee, wondering vaguely if it was going to rain again today. Just then, a familiar head of thick brown hair caught his eye. She went into the shop and Jack's brows furrowed. She shouldn't have been able to leave her house without triggering an alert for him. Maybe some of his equipment had gone faulty? His mark ordered a coffee and turned around to look out through the glass. She pierced him with a razor sharp green gaze, and suddenly he wished he could just up and leave. Carefully, he picked up his Danish and took a bite as casually as he possibly could.

With a cup of coffee and a bag that contained a doughnut, she walked out of the shop and up to his table. He was the only one outside, so there was no reason for her to have to sit anywhere near him, but she stopped at his table.

With a brilliant smile she asked, "May I?" The sharp edge had not left her eyes, however, and somehow the smile seemed predatory.

"Of course," he replied with a smile that normally could melt anyone. He held out a hand. "Captain Jack Harkness," he said as she took his hand and gave it a surprisingly firm handshake.

"Sarah Jane Smith," she answered, sitting down across from him. "So, what do you think of this place?" she asked conversationally.

"They make a great cup of coffee. I come here almost every morning."

She nodded with a smile. "I used to, a long time ago. I can't make coffee to save my life."

Jack ate his pastry as fast as he could without looking suspicious and all the while, Sarah Jane sat and pecked at her doughnut like a bird. She seemed intent on letting him know that she wasn't afraid of him. Or maybe he had just been imagining the knowing look in her eyes and the surveillance malfunction was just a coincidence. Right, sure. If Torchwood had him watching her, that was about as likely as Nixon getting re-elected as president.

Finishing of his breakfast he stood up. "Well, it was nice meeting you, Miss Smith. Enjoy your coffee."

"Nice meeting you, too, Captain." She put just enough sarcasm in the title that anyone not looking for it wouldn't have noticed it. As he walked away he could feel her gaze boring into his back. It was definitely time to check up on his surveillance alarms.