Captain Jack Harkness dodged expertly through the streets of London, tray of coffee in one hand and his nose buried in a file folder. He instinctively rounded a corner and entered a nondescript door, chattering as soon as he crossed the threshold.
"Hey, Doc! Looks like the chief was impressed with our work on that chop shop case. They sent me over with a 'kidnapping,' and I use that word lightly. Some wealthy plastic surgeon is putting up a fuss because someone snatched his wife's akita right out of the yard..."
Jack hung up his coat and keys and set the coffee down in the little kitchen. He entered the main office and stopped dead at the sight that greeted him. Hysterical laughter threatened to overcome him, but he covered it with a cough. "Um...morning...what's all this?"
The Doctor, Jack's partner and friend who also happened to be a 900 year old alien from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation Kasterborus, was contorted impressively on a yoga mat in between their two desks. An Enya song was playing from his laptop, and he was holding a book in his outstretched hand. Still clad in his brown pinstripes trousers, long-sleeved blue t-shirt, battered white trainers and with his brainy specs perched on his nose, he looked every inch the dedicated pupil.
"Yoga," he answered, shooting the book an annoyed glare. "It's supposed to help me get in touch with my inner...well…innerness I suppose. Really I'm just uncomfortable."
"I'm sure I could find plenty of uses for your improved flexibility," Jack flirted with a charming grin.
"Behave," the Doctor admonished, though Jack could see the corners of his mouth twitching. He detangled his limbs and stretched them out with a groan. "Oh, I don't know how some of you humans do this every day. Did you know there is such a thing as Hot Yoga? Yoga in a hundred degree room? Honestly, this is already unpleasant enough, do you really want to be pouring sweat in the process?"
Jack sighed and tossed the file folder he'd been reading down onto the yoga mat. "Chief Tyler wants us to take a look at this one. Dognapping. Beneath your skills in my opinion, but hey, it's money, right?"
The Doctor was already leafing through the file folder. "It was her husband. Couldn't take the yapping."
Jack gaped at him. "How do you do that?"
"Oh, the past is easy, Captain Jack," the Doctor answered breezily as he moved from the yoga mat to sit in his frankly magnificent ergonomic desk chair. "The future's what's dodgy. All those possibilities shifting about, the smallest detail able to change everything at a moment's notice. Madness."
"I don't know how you don't go bat shit crazy," Jack said, sitting down at his own desk.
"My brain is built for it. I spent nearly a century training," he answered simply as he switched off the music and glanced through his email. "Oh, really? I'm sorry, PrettyKitty69, I'm not looking to chat with you. Delete." Jack grinned, but the Doctor pulled off his glasses and scrubbed his hands over his face. "The chief is sending us three cases a week. At this rate, I don't know if we'll be able to keep taking on private clients. Even with how quickly I work through them."
"He may as well bring us on officially," Jack smirked at him over his own laptop. "At least it would be a guaranteed paycheck."
The Doctor glared at him. "Is that all you care about? Getting paid? A couple of thousand pounds for getting a rapist off the street? What about a job well done, hm? What about keeping London safe?"
"It's easy for you to be the noble one. You don't have rent and bills to worry about. Or any pressing social engagements." Jack waggled his eyebrows suggestively.
"You are more than welcome to stay on the TARDIS, you know. Just because she can't move doesn't mean she's died on us. Your room is still right where you left it."
"And what if I wanted to bring someone home? How would I explain it?" Jack asked, crossing his arms across his chest. "'Welcome to my swingin' pad. Oh, it's bigger on the inside? Hadn't noticed. This is my roommate, don't mind him. He's just a grumpy old alien who hasn't gotten laid for several decades. He won't bother us.'"
"Everything is about sex with you humans!" the Doctor shook his head. "Don't know how you accomplish anything-"
The Doctor suddenly stiffened, hands flying into his hair and gripping tightly. Jack was on his feet immediately, crossing the room and standing in front of his friend's desk, trying to get him to focus.
"Doctor, what is it? What's going on?"
"Something's…happened…" he managed to force out through clenched teeth. "A murder…young woman…they just found her. It's…significant, but blocked…like it's part of my timeline…"
"So that means we're involved, right?"
"Can you get us a location? We might be able to save some time, meet the police there."
"They're…" he rested his elbows on the desk and gripped his hair harder, making it stand on end even more than usual. "It's an alley? Trash? There's a restaurant, a yellow awning…Bella Notte?"
"I know where that is," Jack set into action, tossing the Time Lord his pinstriped jacket and long coat. He pulled on his own vintage greatcoat and grabbed his keys. "We'll take the Echo."
Detective Inspector Rose Tyler knelt over the body of a young woman, trying to remain detached and observant but failing miserably. This was her first case in London, and it hit very close to home. The victim was blonde and slender, dressed in a smart suit and heels, clearly on her way home from a late night at work when she was accosted. A situation Rose often found herself in.
The difference seemed to be that Rose was well-versed in self defense and carried her tazer and pepper spray at all times. The woman apparently did not have the same advantage.
DC Jake Simmonds came over to her, holding a black designer purse. "We found this down the alley a bit. Funny thing is, credit cards and cash are still in the wallet. Smith is looking through it now"
"So this wasn't a robbery," Rose once again glanced over at the body. "What was her name?"
"Jocelyn Taylor," Rose's partner, DI Mickey Smith came up behind her and handed over said wallet. "According to her business cards, she was a junior attorney."
Rose sighed, looking at the pretty, smiling woman in her ID photo. "Twenty-six years old. All right boys, let's start earning our paychecks, shall we?"
Rose and Mickey began a cursory walk-through of the scene, trying to recreate the crime for their report. Rose took in everything with her carefully-trained eye, roaming over the dirty alleyway, finally coming to rest on the girl's body.
Initial observations seemed to indicate that she was bludgeoned, repeatedly, in the head. Rose winced internally at her awful wounds. They hadn't yet located the murder weapon, but then they had just begun their investigation. Rose pulled on a pair of latex gloves and crouched down by the body, visually assessing the young girl.
Something was niggling at the back of Rose's mind as she looked her over. She wore very little jewelry, save for a pair of sparkling diamond studs and a silver ring on the middle finger of her left hand. It was intricate and lovely, a thin band that had the look of different strands of metal being woven like a basket. It wasn't flashy or ostentatious, unlike her clothing and handbag, which screamed money.
"Here I thought I knew every beautiful woman in the department," a smooth, American-accented man started from behind Rose. "I've never been so happy to be wrong in my life."
Rose wanted to be annoyed with the person who had the audacity to flirt at a crime scene, but something about his voice made her smile begrudgingly. She stood and turned, completely unprepared for the sight that greeted her.
Standing before her, looking completely at ease in the middle of a grisly murder scene, were two of the most gorgeous men she'd ever seen in her life. The one she assumed had delivered the pick-up line was grinning charmingly at her, his movie-star face nearly making her go weak at the knees. With his old-fashioned coat and thick wavy hair, he was classic Hollywood handsome, and it seemed like he was perfectly aware of it.
The man standing next to him, however…well, Rose couldn't quite get over the way her heart rate sped up significantly at the sight of him. He was tall and slim, his seemingly unremarkable brown hair and eyes combined into an alarmingly attractive face. He was studying Rose intently, and she found she couldn't tear her gaze away from his. One of his eyebrows was cocked, his expression intense and serious, as if he had no idea what to make of her.
Pull yourself together, Rose silently chastised herself. He's just a bloke. No reason to get all gooey over him.
"I assume," she began, attempting to maintain her preferred professional yet personable air. "That my PC's have a good reason for not kicking you out. Are you authorized to be here?"
"Sorry, Rose!" Mickey had jogged over quickly to join them. "I literally just called your…the Chief to bring these guys on. Shoulda known they'd be here before we'd even got the paperwork printed." Mickey turned his attention back to the mystery men and grinned at them. "Thanks for getting down here so quickly. This is my partner, Detective Inspector Rose Tyler. She just transferred from Glasglow. Rose, this is Dr. John Smith and Jack Harkness. They run London Investigations 'n Detective Agency. They're…consultants…sort of."
Rose cocked an eyebrow at the pair. "London Investigations 'n Detective Agency?"
"LINDA for short," the movie star answered, holding out his hand. Rose took it, and he immediately brushed a kiss over her knuckles. "I came up with the 'n. Captain Jack Harkness."
"Stop flirting, Jack. This is a crime scene," Dr. Smith warned, his attention on Rose not wavering in the slightest. She held his gaze for a moment and he smiled gently at her. "Hello."
"Hello," Rose replied softly, holding out her hand almost shyly to him.
"Oh! Er…John Smith!" he finally seemed to break out of his daze and took Rose's hand in greeting. She couldn't help the breath that wooshed out of her lungs at the contact. His grip was cool and strong, and butterflies instantly took flight in her stomach. She'd never felt such a rush as the slightest contact before.
"Good to meet you, Dr. Smith," Rose told him, willing her voice not to sound too breathy.
"Just the Doctor, please," he replied, dropping her hand quickly and turning away to examine the scene. "Well, now that the introductions are out of the way, what do we have here?"
Rose felt a bit dizzy at his abrupt change in demeanor, soft intensity to seasoned professional in five seconds flat. "Oh, um…murder, obviously. Victim was Jocelyn Taylor, twenty-six, was a young attorney according to her business cards. Cause of death seems to be blunt-force trauma, but the coroner will look things over more thoroughly in the autopsy. We found her purse further down," Rose gestured vaguely towards the mouth of the alleyway. "Indicating that maybe she tried to use it as a weapon or dropped it in a struggle. Either way, she ended up twenty feet away."
"Doctor, can you see if you can get anything off the body?" Mickey asked. "Paint us a more accurate picture?" He handed over a pair of latex gloves and took out his pad and paper.
"I'll see what I can do." The Doctor snapped the gloves into place before he crouched down next to the body and took the victim's hand in his.
"What're you doing?" Rose started, appalled. "This is a crime scene, you can't touch the body! Not until forensics has been able to look at it!"
"'S all right, Rose," Mickey calmed her down, putting a hand on her shoulder. "He's a psychic detective, let him do what he's gotta do ."
Rose gaped at Mickey and turned towards Captain Harkness. "A psychic? Seriously?"
"Best in the business," Jack replied, winking at her. "Prepare to be blown away."
"I've gotta see this," Rose rolled her eyes. She was skeptical by nature, but strangely had a hard time questioning this Dr. Smith. Logically, she knew the Chief would not approve such a huge expense if they were useless. They'd apparently worked with Mickey enough times for them to be familiar, and he obviously trusted him. There was also something about this odd pair that made Rose feel almost sacrilegious for doubting them.
She turned her attention back to the Doctor just as his expression suddenly stiffened and he began to speak. Mickey stood poised to take notes. "She was…working late. It wasn't unusual, she was on a pretty big case. Could mean promotion if she nailed it. She left around 22:00, decided to walk part of the way, clear her head. She noticed a shadow following her, so she walked faster. So did the shadow…he caught up to her…she tried to fight back…check her nails, there may be some DNA there, or clothing fibres, maybe some hairs on her handbag…but he was too strong for her. He overpowered her, pulled her into the alley, she lost her purse…Oh, God, he had a bat…"
The Doctor's eyes suddenly shot open and he dropped Jocelyn's hand, breathing heavily. "Sorry," he began, looking directly at Rose, as if he was personally letting her down by breaking off like that. "The last bit never gets any easier."
Jack and Mickey moved to help him up. "It's okay, Doctor, that was fantastic. Thank you." Mickey clapped the man on the shoulder and turned to Rose. "What do you think, Inspector Tyler? Did you get anything else?"
"That…was amazing," she began. "I mean, not much left after that, is there? This was the only thing that struck me as odd," Rose crouched down and gestured to the ring she'd noticed earlier. "I mean, look at her clothes. Designer. Armani suit, Manolo Blahnik shoes. Gucci handbag and wallet. Diamond earrings. What's with this ring? It just seems…out of place."
"Hmmm…" Mickey came down next to her and inspected the ring. "Maybe her boyfriend gave it to her. Sentimental?"
"No," the Doctor suddenly spoke up. He crouched on the other side of Rose. She tried not to let his proximity distract her too much. "No, DI Tyler is right. There's…something about this ring. It wasn't hers…" He again gripped Jocelyn's hand in his, leaning down to sniff at the ring. "This looks silver, but it's actually copper that's been silver-plated. If she'd had it long, the plating would have worn off and turned her finger green. There's your physical evidence. But he put this on her…her killer, he carried it with him, he planned this…"
"The ring…" Rose turned to look at the Doctor, this extraordinary man she'd just met, yet trusted implicitly after barely ten minutes. "It's significant, yeah? There's meaning behind it? This wasn't a random killing."
"I can't get a good reading on the killer," the Doctor was straining, Rose could tell. "I need touch, Jocelyn could have been a conduit but she didn't have enough contact. All I'm getting is...boredom? Indifference? He was...completely emotionless."
"So why give her jewelry?" Mickey asked, puzzled for a moment before realization broke across his face. "Oh, my God…"
"What is it, Smith?" Jack asked."
"Just…this isn't the first young woman we've found dead from trauma…there was another one, last month. Still unsolved, too. Come on, Rose, we need to get back to the station, I want to get a look at those crime scene photos. Simmonds, can you stay? Supervise forensics?"
"Yes, sir," Jake replied.
"We'll follow you," Jack said, gesturing to the Doctor. The pair of them headed towards a deep blue Echo.
Rose turned back to Mickey, raising and eyebrow and sending him a cheeky grin. "I'm driving."