Title: The Private Report of Lois Habiba
Author: nancybrown
Characters: Lois, Jack, Ianto, Gwen, Johnson, Rupesh, Martha, OMC
Rating: PG
Words: 5700
Warnings: mental de-aging
Summary: A day in the life, as seen through a spy in the ranks.
AN: This is a spare fic in my fake third season, not in strong continuity with the rest (i.e. don't ask me the dates - it's somewhere around Promotion). Also, unbetaed. It's just a bit of fun with the characters and the setting, and an excuse to play with them.

The police tracker spit out an alert. "Someone in fancy dress, making a mess in Penarth," Gwen said, just as the Rift monitor emitted its latest beep.

Perry read over the monitor. "Small opening, looks inorganic." His fingers moved ovr the keyboard, zooming in with CCTV to the location. "Looks like tech."

Jack said, "Gwen, tell me about the fancy dress."

"Looking now." The cameras weren't operational in the area, but the police were being helpful in their description. "Could be Hoix. Maybe three or four."

Jack pulled a face. Three or four Hoix weren't a picnic. "Okay," he started. "We'll go deal with the Hoix, then drop back for whatever fell through."

Perry squinted at the screen. Blurry figures moved closer to the area. "I think our tech's been spotted."

"Okay, new plan. Gwen, Johnson, you're with me. Rupesh, bring your kit in case we run into trouble. We're going hunting."

Johnson nodded, already headed to the armoury. Jack turned to Perry. "Ianto, go with Perry and pick up whatever that artefact is before someone manages to accidentally blow up the city or turn everyone into houseplants. Take Lois. She needs more field time."

Ianto nodded, though anyone familiar with his expressions would notice a slight tilt to his mouth that spoke of annoyance with the milk run. Anyone familiar with Jack's expressions would certainly catch the answering lift of eyebrow and set of chin, themselves warning Ianto not to argue with the boss.

Lois was learning. She gathered her handbag, the one she'd bought that fit a handheld scanner, the small weapon she was permitted to carry, as well as the various forms of fake identification she might need. Also, it went quite nicely with her shoes.

"Try not to bleed on the seats," Ianto said, as he led Perry and Lois to the car, which was as sweet a "Be careful" as he was going to say.

The leader and longest term member of Torchwood Cardiff is of course Captain Harkness. Records have been rewritten and redacted; however I have been able to determine his involvement with the organisation since at least the early 1900s. He came to power in January 2000 after the suspicious deaths of the previous team, including team head Alexander Hopkins, whom Harkness blamed for the murders. Hopkins left a suicide note corroborating Harkness's claim, although with the capabilities of Torchwood and the organisation's propensity for faking similar notes for other victims of its reach, there is no reason to believe in the veracity of the claim.

Unfortunately, we know very little about the man calling himself Jack Harkness. The real Captain Jack Harkness died in 1941, and the man leading Torchwood Cardiff assumed his name in order to infiltrate the RAF during the War. A number of time travel incidents and whatever event presented him with his immortality later, he is still using the name. Other known aliases include "James Harper," "John Sangster," and "James Harrison." "Sangster" was an alias provided by the government when Harkness's daughter and her mother went underground.

In his personal dealings, Harkness can be charismatic and ruthless ...

Not a Hoix. Just as ugly, Jack thought, but a different species, and this was a rarity, one he hadn't encountered before, and didn't recognise. Without waiting for orders, Gwen had gone to the police cordon, showing their credentials and swinging around Torchwood authority just as well as Jack ever had. He appreciated the effort. It gave him a little more time to plan.

"We could just shoot them," Johnson said. Johnson always said that, though. Honestly, he was starting to find it part of her charm. There was something to be said for someone who always reacted to every situation with her gun first, and that something was "predictable." Jack was beginning to view Johnson as a portable ballistic weapon that he could throw at problems.

"Not yet," he said, after considering it. "We don't know who or what they are. It's possible they're just lost and need directions."

Rupesh looked around the corner at the raging aliens. "My dad used to get the same way when he was lost."

Jack's mouth quirked as Gwen rejoined them. "All right. Let's try the peaceful method before we blow them away. I'll go in. If they stay belligerent, or if they get me, use all necessary force to take them down. I'd rather you subdue them rather than kill them, but don't let them out of this area."

Gwen nodded. "Good luck."

Jack edged his way around the corner. The aliens were big and ugly, a sallow purple hue to their bulbous bodies, and coverings that could be clothing and could be carapaces. Two were beating on what used to be a Bentley. Another was throwing anything it could find into shop windows, breaking glass after glass.

"Hi," Jack said in Galactic standard. "This is Earth. Who are you and what is your business here?"

The aliens didn't answer. He hoped they were a verbal species. He could communicate with the shades-of-light talkers, and he had some basic gestures in Standard from the races who used signs (he'd spent more than one holiday on worlds where body language was everything), but words were easiest to translate. He tried again, "This is a Level Five society, protected by the Shadow Proclamation. State your business here."

The fourth alien looked at him. In slow, halting, heavily-accented Standard, it said, "Want a sweetie."

Jack frowned. He looked behind him at the others, but waved them back as he saw Johnson raise her gun.

"A sweetie?"

"Want a sweetie." The alien's friends stopped their rampage, and they shambled closer to Jack, repeating "Sweetie!"

"Yeah. Sweetie," said Jack, raising his hands. He didn't see the dull grey box until it was far too late.

Ianto Jones has been working for Torchwood since 2005. He was originally part of the Torchwood London organisation, but accepted a transfer and demotion to the Cardiff site in the wake of the Canary Wharf disaster. Originally thought merely keen, Jones actually returned to Torchwood due to his plan to cure a partially-converted Cyberman listed as a casualty in the battle. Most of his record during this period is terse, and I suspect much has been redacted given the sparse detail. Jones himself may have purged it, as he has full access to the records. I will continue to search for more information.

Jones has acted as general support for Torchwood Cardiff but with the deaths of his colleagues, he has taken on a far more active role in the field. It was his injury that led Capt. Harkness to bring on additional staff from the home office, and my duties have primarily been those formerly covered by Jones. While Capt. Harkness has final say in everything, and his decisions are those that guide Torchwood, I have observed that Torchwood is truly run by the systems Jones has implemented with regards to the general functions of the main Hub, the maintenance of all its systems (including the mainframe, which was previously Dr. Sato's responsibility), as well as the simple necessities of running any organisation. As my roles expand to replace his, I believe I will cement myself in an important position of power within Torchwood.

I believe Jones may be intimately involved with Harkness. Nothing has been said, but they arrive and depart together whenever I am in a position to observe. Capt. Harkness is known for his, ahem, "hands-on" approach to management, but Jones appears to receive the majority of this particular attention. Addendum: The pair are involved. Please see notes regarding the use of others in controlling Harkness's behaviours. Addendum: Captain Harkness has announced his official change in residence to the same flat where Jones lives.

Known associates include one sister, Rhiannon Davies, 28, her husband John, 29, and two children, David and Mica, 10 and 6, all of Newport. I have seen many indications of his estrangement from them, but Mrs. Davies has been making an effort to contact her brother. I do not believe she is aware of Torchwood, nor does Jones have any plans on divulging to her.

In addition to field work, Lois was picking up lessons in driving, Torchwood-style. General support quite often meant taking the team where they needed to be, or picking them up when the main vehicle had been squashed by a heavy-footed alien. Ianto, reluctantly, was allowing her to practise under his supervision with his car, as she didn't own one.

Lois was an excellent driver. Her previous assignments, however, had never involved high speed chases or violating traffic laws with impunity. (Other laws, yes, and chases far more quiet and discreet. Her pride knew she had never been caught out by a target unless she chose, and by then, it was far too late.) Ianto's car, and Gwen's too, was equipped with some backup systems, monitors that could be easily hidden in a glove box, lights that came out only when necessary. It wasn't necessary today, but they practised as though it were, dodging and weaving through traffic on the tail of … something that was likely a broken alien alarm clock or similar.

"Where on Earth did youlearn this?" asked Perry, clinging to his seat as they took a hard turn.

"Jack taught all of us defensive driving." Lois privately mused that the course would best be titled "offensive driving," but she imagined the joke had been made many times before. She hit the pedal harder to show willing. The Captain was also the primary firearms trainer, but that role had been since taken over by Gwen, presumably because she was capable of teaching someone to shoot without molesting them. Lois was excellent with a gun, but had to fake being bad without being so terrible at it to draw suspicion. Competence was easy; faking mild incompetence consistently was wearing her down.

They reached the site, south of Callaghan Square where new construction was in progress. Workers milled around, performing their tasks, as the little team got out.

"Perry, see if you can find where it landed. Lois, I want you to do the actual retrieval, but don't touch anything until we've identified it." Ianto gave her a tight but friendly smile. "My first retrieval mission shorted out the power in half of County Glamorgan."

He reached for his identification as he approached the foreman. "We'll be taking charge here. I'm with Tor … " His eyes went wide, and he only stuttered a moment when he finished with, "Visit Wales." Ianto turned to Lois and Perry with the polite expression she was accustomed to seeing when they were in the Tourist Information Centre. "As you can see, progress is a watchword to go by in Cardiff. New construction like this is happening all around the city as we speak, with a revitalisation of the local economy even with the current situation in the rest of the world."

The patter was smooth and rehearsed. Ianto's face remained bland, but she read the note of desperation. She grabbed Perry's arm. "Did you hear that, honey?"

Perry took his scanner and pretended to use it as a camera, photographing the site even as a large man approached them with an over-friendly: "Ianto!" One of the workers, dressed in full gear, pushed past the foreman to clap Ianto on the arm with a meaty hand.

"Johnny," said Ianto, not wincing at the blow. "I didn't know you were working here."

"Started yesterday. Rhi was gonna phone you." He turned to Lois and Perry. "Got some tourists, eh? Welcome to Cardiff!" He glanced back at Ianto. "You don't normally take 'em out, do you? Giving these two a special grand tour?"

Perry said, "We're moving to Cardiff for work. Mr. Jones here was kind enough to offer to show us some of the high points of the city."

"Aw, where're you coming from?"

"Cornwall," Perry said, at the same time Lois said, "London." They shared a look, which Lois covered with a little laugh. "We're getting a place together." She took Perry's hand.

"That's sweet," said Johnny. He jostled Lois in the arm. "Just you keep an eye on your man, there, or our boy might try to steal him away."

Ianto let out the world's least-comfortable laugh and looked like he wanted to sink through the ground. He turned back to Lois and Perry. "Shall we take a quick look around the site before I take you by those properties you wanted to see?"

"Thanks," said Lois.

Ianto said, "Nice seeing you here, Johnny."

"I'll tell Rhi you said hi."

Ianto led the others off a little way, then let Perry take the lead with his "camera." "It's over here."

The artefact looked like another haphazard piece of construction material, dusty, dented, metallic and small. Except ... Either her eyes were playing tricks on her, or there were extra dimensions shoved into the machine somehow, making it exist both here at the site, and somewhere else, which she could see from other angles. Fascinating. Lois knew better than to touch, and she noticed the extra care with which Ianto used the heavy leather gloves to lift it and place it into the containment box as she and Perry blocked the view from the workers.

"You have to be careful," he said, as they toted the containment box to the car. "Tosh always wanted to reverse-engineer the extra-dimensional ones, but Jack was afraid she'd zap herself inside it somehow."

"I'll give it a look," Perry said. "Two birds with one stone, right?" His smile was bright, and as false as the one they'd given Johnny. Who was still watching them, and walked over again.

"We need to keep on schedule," Ianto said loudly, gesturing towards the car. Lois offered up a shy grin and got in fast, grabbing the container.

As they drove off, Ianto breathed a sigh of not-really-relief. Lois asked, "Old friend?"


She nodded. She'd seen his file and already knew, but this opened conversation for later.

"He get on with Jack?"

"You wouldn't think so, but yes." He glanced at Perry. "He does like you, you know. Jack, I mean. He wouldn't want you pulled into an alternate dimension, either."

"Are you sure?"

"I'm sure. He thinks you're brilliant. Just, give him time."

Perry settled back into his seat, looking at the scanner in his hand as he ran it over the containment box. But Lois caught him looking thoughtful.

Perry Fletcher has joined the team officially. As you will remember from my previous report, he is a Rift refugee, come through time from 1945. He served in the army with Captain Harkness's son Phillip, and was familiar with Harkness from that time. Due to the deaths of Dr. Sato and Mr. O'Mara, Torchwood has been lacking a technology expert, and Cooper and Jones have both convinced Cpt. Harkness of his suitability. I am less certain. How can someone from sixty-four years ago hope to catch up with today's technology, much less the futuristic items Torchwood sees on a daily basis?

More examination will be needed. I suspect this is another example of Torchwood making poor decisions based on emotion rather than laws or logic.

"What happened?"

The device was deactivated, for now. Dull grey, it sat on the table unassuming.

Less unassuming was Jack, who kept trying to play with it. "Stop it," Gwen said in a sharp tone, pushing him back int his chair. Jack frowned, then spun in the chair.

"This is boring," he announced, and stood up. Ianto was closest, of course, and took his arm as Jack tried to walk off.

"Yes," Ianto said. "But you need to sit still anyway."

"I don't want to."

"Yes, but we need you to hold still for a while."

Jack let out a disgusted noise and flopped back into his chair. "Boring!"

Lois cleared her throat. "Doctor Jones will be here this evening. She strongly suggests a quarantine until then."

"We can play quarantine," said Rupesh happily.

Lois glanced over at him. From what the others had told them, Jack had approached the aliens, and as soon as he got close enough, he began acting strangely. Their doctor had gone in to check him, but had fallen strange at the same perimeter.

Gwen, who was not nearly so stupid as to make it three people down, talked a much more immature than usual Jack into turning off the device, which hadn't helped the regressed aliens or their teammates, but at least had made the situation stable enough for Gwen and Johnson to subdue everyone while the rest hurried to their position.

And now they were back at the Hub, with the aliens in cells and two colleagues who acted like five year olds. They seemed to retain most of their knowledge, and thank goodness both were speaking English, but otherwise the processing skills and understanding of both were deeply lowered.

"We don't need a quarantine," Johnson said. "The rest of us have been exposed to them for over an hour and we're no more immature than usual."

Gwen nodded. "We'll just have to keep these two out of trouble until Martha gets here."

Easier said than done. Jack kept wanting to play with everything he saw, bouncing from item to item. By common agreement, the others let Ianto handle him, but this rapidly became a full-time occupation, even when Jack and Rupesh were locked together into a mostly-unused storage area with a portable DVD player and whatever discs Lois could scrounge at the Tesco Express.

"Take him home," Gwen said at last, looking at the mess the pair made.

Ianto shook his head. "I can't leave him at the flat alone, and if I'm gone, we're down three people instead of two. And what do we do with Rupesh?"

There was a soft snore. Johnson pushed Rupesh's shoulder and he fell over, asleep. She had a hypodermic in her hand. "He can sleep. The Captain won't."

Lois didn't suggest locking them in a cell, although that was clearly on everyone's mind. "Isn't there someone who could watch him for a while?"

Known associates are many. Capt. Harkness is known to have once been a companion of the mysterious Doctor, and continues to have dealings with others also involved with that alien. (Please see my report on Dr. Martha Jones, with special attention to the section on her family members.) Harkness has two immediate family members nearby, Alice Carter nee Sangster, 34, his daughter, and her son Steven 10, both of Bristol. Mrs. Carter's mother was Mary Sangster, previously Lucia Moretti, a former Torchwood agent who passed away in 2006. Harkness has one known sibling, his brother Gray (surname unknown) whom Torchwood claims is responsible for the Cardiff bombings earlier this year. Gray is currently kept alive in cryogenic storage in the Torchwood vaults. Harkness also is visited infrequently by a criminal using the alias Captain John Hart (real name unknown) who was Gray's co-conspirator in the bombings. How Harkness knows Hart otherwise has not yet been made clear to me. The mention of his name is enough to induce instant rage in the other members of Torchwood Cardiff.

Capt. Harkness is somewhat infamous for having dated half of Cardiff. While I believe this reputation to be slightly exaggerated, he does have many acquaintances in the area, as well as numerous individuals who no doubt only know him as "that tall man with the blue eyes and the smile" but with whom he has been intimate. Due to his long time here, he also has friends, for varying degrees of the word, in many age brackets. After the death of a former lover, Estelle Cole, Capt. Harkness has spent time with Cole's other associates.

Alice answered the knock on the door with less good grace than she could have. The call had been confusing and brief, and Kate's follow-up call hadn't helped matters. She opened the door to what was becoming the familiar sight of her father and his current toy.

"Hi!" said her father in a voice far too happy and bright. "Ianto says I can play here for a while, okay?"

Alice turned her glare onto Ianto. "Explain this again?"

"He's been mentally de-aged. We're working on a counter-measure."

"Have you tried cyanide?"

Jack pouted. Alice sighed. "Get inside, both of you." As soon as they were in, Jack bounded up the stairs to Steven's room.

"Stay out of trouble!" Alice said at the same time Ianto said, "Be careful!"

"Yes," Ianto said. "We considered that. Unfortunately, we have another colleague affected by the same artefact, and we can't shoot him. Once we have a solution, we'll test it on Jack."

"Because the worst that can happen is that it kills him."


"Why is he here?"

"He needs to be supervised, we can't keep him in the Hub around all the dangerous equipment in case he hurts himself or accidentally hurts someone else, and I can't spare the time to babysit because we're still working on a cure as well as the normal Rift activity. Alice, there's no-one else I can ask." His tone had turned from clinical to pleading. "It's just for the day. I'll come get him tonight, sooner if we've figured out the solution."

"And if you don't? Are you going to leave him here every day?" A thump came from upstairs, and a shouted: "I'm okay!"

"We'll think of something."

"Fine. I'll watch him today. Honestly, it's hard to tell a difference from how he typically acts when he's here."

That drew a furtive smile from him. "Thank you. I swear we'll sort this out as soon as we can." Even as he spoke, his mobile rang, and he put up a finger in the universal sign of "I need to take this." "I'm here, Gwen. What is it?"

Alice sighed again. Then, knowing she was going to find a mess, she climbed the stairs to see her father. This had the makings of a long, long day.

Gwen Cooper-Williams is the second in command of the organization, replacing Suzie Costello (see separate report on the recent history of Torchwood). She was hired directly from the local police, ostensibly to bring her crime-solving skills to the team. She is a well-trained markswoman, very outspoken about her thoughts and beliefs. She is fiercely loyal to Harkness while also taking any opportunity to upbraid him when she believed he has erred. (I did attempt to inquire further about this, and was told "It's complicated.") She is his right hand.

Cooper is everyone's best friend. She is the most outgoing member of the team, regularly coming up with group activities and personal one-on-one interactions. If Torchwood goes to the pub, Cooper suggested it. She regularly opens her home to other team members, inviting them for meals and down time.

Known associates: Rhys Williams, spouse.

Williams works for Harwoods Haulage, having worked his way up from driver to management in a very short time. Williams was made aware of Torchwood approximately one year ago, and has been brought in infrequently to assist, especially in the aftermath of the Cardiff earthquakes and the losses of Dr. Sato and Dr. Harper.

Lois took a moment to herself up in the Tourist Information Centre. This had been a trying day, and it wasn't nearly over yet. While Ianto had still been on the road taking Jack to his daughter's house, and Perry had been elbows-deep into the guts of the de-aging device, the Rift had again belched up something nasty, leaving Lois to help Gwen and Johnson deal with the enraged Gr'nash. Gwen had been forced to shoot the thing, and Lois hadn't missed the unhappy look on her face.

Lois would have let Johnson do it. Johnson liked shooting things. But Gwen had wanted to take on the responsibility for herself, and now she was taking on the self-blame.

The outside door jingled open, and Gwen's husband stamped into the office, rubbing his hands together. The day had turned colder, and threatened snow. "'Lo," he said, startled to see Lois there. "Didn't expect you." He hemmed. He would have been more used to seeing Ianto here, but this was her job now.

"Gwen's downstairs," she said. "Want me to call her up?"

A big smile broke over his face. "That'd be great. Wouldn't want to go down into the secret lair again."

Again? Lois knew Rhys was aware of Torchwood's activities, but hadn't been notified he had been allowed into the base. "It's no problem." She pressed her earpiece. "Gwen, Rhys is up in the office."

"I'll be right up."Her voice was thick even over the comm. She took losses personally.

Rhys looked around appreciatively. "Fixed this place up, did you? I always thought it could use a spot of paint."

"I think Ianto prefers it a bit grubby. Chases the tourists away faster."

Rhys laughed. He had an easy grin, infectious in a different way than Jack's but just as pleasant in its own way. "Oh," he said, holding up a bag in one hand. "Gwen said you were having trouble today, and I brought these." He handed her the bag. It was full of warm biscuits. "Picked 'em up from the bakery on my way over. I, uh, had a few. Just to taste." His eyes pleaded with her not to tell Gwen. "They're for everyone."

"Thank you," Lois said, as the door behind her opened. Gwen flew out, and embraced her husband.

"You are a sight for very sore eyes," she said, and kissed him.

"And you're as lovely as the day I married you. So." He took her hands. "Step out for a bite?"

"I can't. Something's ... " Gwen bit her lip. "We're down three people right now."

Lois said, "Excuse me, but if you stayed close on the quay, we could call you if anything changes." She offered up her perkiest, most helpful expression. Gwen smiled in relief in return.

"That we could do." She took Rhys's hand. "Let's hurry before the Rift pisses on us again." She sent Lois a grateful look as they went out the door.

Addendum: Mr. Fletcher continues to show aptitude with the Torchwood technology, showing an almost intuitive grasp of most devices and artefacts even upon his first sight of them.

Addendum: Mr. Fletcher is integrating into the team. Cpt. Harkness remains stand-offish, in part no doubt due to the circumstances of Mr. Fletcher's arrival in the twenty-first century. However, he is friendly with the rest of the team [Deleted- , and has taken a polite romantic interest in me]. I will continue to monitor him as a member of the team, but see no issues of concern.

Perry was still hard at work as Lois came to check on his progress. Not that she could help. She wasn't a techie, and spent too much time being lectured at why we didn't touch buttons. "Any joy?" she asked over his shoulder.

"Not yet. I think I can see how it operates, but I'm leery of reversing the wiring just yet. Don't want to end up a boy again."

His eyes were intent on the artefact. Perry always threw himself hard into his work, on a never-ending quest to prove himself somehow. She wasn't sure if she admired him for it, or wanted to shake his shoulders and tell him winning Jack's favour simply wasn't worth the trouble. Steady hands poked through the body of the artefact, noticing things she knew she wouldn't understand, that he might not understand either, but knew anyway.

A new expression crossed his face as he made an adjustment: pride, accomplishment. "I think I've got it."

Sometimes she wanted to shake Jack's shoulders instead, and ask him when he was going to see what a treasure he had in front of him.

Agent Kathryn Johnson is already known to you. Since I revealed my true purpose at Torchwood to her, she has consistently been a strong ally. Per your request, I have continued to be wary of her, but aside from the strong loyalty that Cpt. Harkness seems to inspire in everyone, I do not see her loyalties to the mission as compromised.

Agent Johnson has spent a great deal of time in the company of Harkness's daughter, Alice Carter. However, I believe she is merely asking Mrs. Carter for information.

Johnson had locked Rupesh into a cell, and was spending her free time sitting outside. Lois remembered to disable the CCTV in the cells before going down to speak with her. "Why are you watching him?"

"Why do you think? He's mentally a child. Who knows what he's going to say?"

The mission. Always the mission. Rupesh had been brought on to assist them in their observation and, if necessary, their overthrow of Torchwood. But in this condition, he was a liability.

"What are you going to do?"

"Re-sedate him." Johnson's voice was firm, but her hand was on her firearm.

From far above, Lois heard the sounds of the cog door opening. Either Gwen or Ianto returning. "Don't shoot him. It'd be too difficult to explain."

Doctor Martha Jones is not an official member of Torchwood, but has had many dealings with them in the past. Special observation of her was requested, and I will attempt to relate what I can. Dr. Jones is known to be a former companion of the Doctor, and I believe this is how she met Cpt. Harkness. She sped through her medical training, with the assistance of UNIT. (Note: This may be dodgy. I recommend someone research her registration more thoroughly.)

On the job with Torchwood, Dr. Jones has been a good addition to the team. She is knowledgeable about her field, both human and alien medicine, and like Cooper, she is friendly with everyone. She is close to the Captain, but I have trouble describing how. They are not lovers, and she is not a close friend like Cooper, but there is an understanding between them, almost like between old soldiers, if I am permitted the metaphor.

Known associates: Dr. Jones is married to Dr. Thomas Milligan. (Note: I believe Dr. Milligan is also under surveillance. I would like the opportunity to compare notes.) Dr. Jones is close to her family: parents Francine and Clive Jones (separated), sister Letitia, brother Leo. (See separate file for detailed notes on the Jones family.) Addendum: Dr. Jones is expecting.

Martha arrived with Jack in her car. Lois was confused, but saw the nods she exchanged with Ianto as he hurried to help guide Jack inside. He must have called her with Alice's address. Alice was surely not pleased about that.

"I'll examine Jack first," she said, when they got him settled in the med bay. "I've got my file on him from last time." She gave him a friendly grin. "Now, who's been a good boy in the car?"

Jack stuck out his tongue. "You didn't let me do anything fun."

"And I never will. Give me your arm."

Perry came over with the device. "I think I've got this working. Do we want to test it?"

Martha looked to Gwen and Ianto for the call, who then looked at each other.

Ianto said, "You're the boss."

Gwen replied, "Yes, but you're ... " She waved her arm vaguely towards Jack.

Ianto said, a little sadly, "Alice is his next of kin."

"Alice wanted to shoot him," Martha said, absently swatting Jack's hands away from her own face.

Gwen looked at Perry. "Do it."

Perry came into the bay, and carefully shooed Martha away. "All right. If this works, it will work immediately. Everyone get back, in case it explodes." Under his breath, he said, "Please don't explode."

Perry activated the device and ran for it.

Jack sat there on the table, blinking.

"Jack?" said Gwen. "All right?"

"What just happened? I thought we were at the site."

Johnson let out a slow clap, and it took Lois a moment to realise she was applauding Perry, whom Gwen patted on the shoulder. Ianto said, "Nice job," and he hurried down the stairs to where Jack sat in befuddlement. Martha joined them and began checking Jack out again.


"It's a long story. Ianto can explain. Tell Perry he did good."

Jack blinked again. "Okay. Perry, you did good. What did he do?"

Johnson turned. "I'm getting Rupesh."

Gwen walked down the stairs to where her friends waited. Lois walked over beside Perry. "That really was amazing."

"I just reversed it. Anyone could."

"No, they couldn't. The rest of us would have ended up all kids and no grownups." She took his hand and gave it a squeeze. "And we're like that enough as it is." She nodded her head down, where Jack was already back into full form, flirting outrageously with Martha, who was moaning about having driven to Cardiff for nothing, whilst Ianto and Gwen played off them both in relief that everything was okay.

"So we are."

Jack looked up at them and shouted, "Okay, if I understand right, you reversed the polarity and pulled out a miracle in a couple of hours?"

Perry shouted back, "Bit more complicated than that. I'll tell you after your nap."

Jack snorted. "Do that. And Perry?"


"Good work."


Addendum: Harkness fathered a son, Phillip Harrison, in the early 1920s. Harrison came through the Rift with three men from the second war. (See further notes on Perry Fletcher.) Harrison and two of the men were returned through the Rift a short time later, and Harrison was KIA a week after his return to 1945. No children.

[Deleted - Harrison mentioned he had a twin brother.] No other known family members.

The End

AN: My three favorite words are "I liked this." The next story in this series is "The Brief December."