Summary: The BAU investigates some murders related to the San Francisco gay scene. Jack Harkness is conducting his own investigation. Soon they find there's more to the case than meets the eye. This is a Jack-centric Torchwood/Criminal Minds/Doctor Who crossover.
Characters: Jack Harkness, full Criminal Minds team, The Doctor, bunch of original characters.
Spoilers: "Children of Earth" & "The End Of Time" – no kidding here, big spoilers. Criminal Minds up to Season. This story takes place between "Children of Earth" and "Miracle Day".
Warnings: violence, murder, infidelity, homophobia, (gay) sexual themes (mostly non-explicit, but still)
Author's notes: This story wasoriginally written for a Crossover Exchange more than a year ago. The story really became much longer than planned, and I never finished it in time, hence it never got published in the contest. The story was originally written for notragicmercury, though I've taken some liberties with the original prompt. Thanks to bitterwaters for the initial beta. The story is written as an episode of a TV-series. You can consider every little piece as a "scene" I suppose.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters from Criminal Minds, Doctor Who, or Torchwood nor do I make money out of writing this. However I do own the original characters in this story. All characters created by me are fictitious and bear no relation to actual persons living, dead or undead. I have never actually been in San Francisco and all places described are also fictitious.
Kiss the Boys Goodbye
Cruelty is fed, not weakened, by tears - Publilius Syrus
Carl Jenkins kissed his sleeping son on the cheek with a twinge of regret in his heart. The boy, at age 3, looked like one of those little baroque angels. His face still had that chubbiness that toddlers often have and his blonde curls were an untamed mess on his pillow. The child stirred in his sleep as Carl ran his fingers through his hair, but did not awaken. He turned to one side with a smile on his face, as if knowing that his father was watching over him.
"Do you really have to go?" a voice sounded from across the room.
Carl looked up to see his wife, Eileen, standing in the door opening. She looked quite beautiful in her nightie. Beneath the thin fabric, one could just about make out the bulge of her belly – the undeniable proof that a sibling for his son was on the way. He got up and kissed his spouse. His hands slid down to where her breasts were, round and full. She pulled away from him, almost ashamed.
"Not now," she mumbled, "you know I worry about when we…I worry about the baby."
Carl nodded. He was a good husband. He would respect his wife's wishes. Yet the lust and excitement did not leave his system, fuelled by the thought of what he knew he was going to do tonight. He was having trouble controlling what his body was urging him to do.
"It's only for the weekend," he replied to her earlier question. "The guys have missed me too, you know."
"It's just that…I missed you so much when you were fighting in the war. Sometimes I thought you'd never come back and…" Eileen's capacity to produce words diminished as she remembered feelings of helplessness and loneliness she had felt when separated from her husband.
Carl kissed her on the forehead, comforting her. "Shhh," he whispered, "it's just a fishing trip. I'll be back before you know it."
His wife only nodded. Her eyes never met his again, hiding disappointment. For a single moment Carl thought she knew he was lying to her. No more conversation followed, however, so he simply picked up his duffle bag and walked out the door.
Jack Harkness looked at the stains on the motel wall. It wasn't actually that bad, as far as hotel rooms went. The strange thing however was, that Jack was distracted from the young man beside him. The boy was gorgeous – a tanned blonde with the body of a demigod. All things considered, Jack was surprised he managed to bed him without being charged hard cash. But the boy had been interested - reckless and horny - as was not entirely unusual in men his age, which to Jack's estimate was somewhere around 22. Jack and he had spent the afternoon making full use of the motel bed…and the tattered sofa…and the shower that was so small one needed acrobatic feats to fit in two people.
But then, it was done and an uncomfortable silence had fallen. Now the boy was pushing himself up on the bed with one elbow and looking at Jack intently. His free hand playfully stroked Jack's thigh.
This at least forced a smile on Jack's face.
"Penny for your thoughts," the blonde finally said.
Jack's eyes met his again, and looked at him with a certain sadness.
"I'm sorry…I was just thinking of someone," Jack admitted.
The boy rolled his eyes, and then rolled off the bed. He stood in front of Jack in all his naked glory as he started to gather up his clothes.
"You're not trying to make someone jealous by sleeping with me, are you?" he asked, "Because I'd really, really hate that. That and it's just lame."
The boy's use of words reminded Jack how many years they had dividing them. Much more than the boy even realized, much more than Jack would ever disclose to him.
"No worries," Jack told him with a hint of bitterness. "I'm not cheating on him. He's dead."
This stopped the blonde in his tracks. He already had on his jeans and T-shirt, but still looked generally ungroomed. He looked at Jack with genuine compassion and whispered "I'm sorry".
Jack shrugged and got up. "That's life for you," he said.
The boy walked up to him and hugged him somewhat clumsily, but affectionately.
"You're a good guy, Jack. I had a good time. I hope you'll find happiness."
It was at moments like these that Jack realized he still had faith in humanity. Every now and then, a single member of the species could surprise you, and what you thought to be shallow one-night-stand material turns out to be a really decent human being.
Jack sighed. He wanted to lighten up the mood again, if only for the boy's sake.
"Well, while I'm waiting for that happiness, I might as well go party in San Francisco. It's only a couple hundred miles away. Might even take you along, if you want."
The boy's face suddenly turned paler. "No one is getting me anywhere near San Francisco. Haven't you heard? Someone is maiming and killing gay men in San Francisco."
Jack looked up in surprise. No, he hadn't heard. Yet now that he did, he knew one thing for sure: he was definitely going to check out San Francisco.
Carl Jenkins used the cover of the night to do the things he would not even speak of. He drove his car slowly down the street, one car in a long row of cars, all occupied by men who were willing to pay for their guilty pleasures. The pavement was populated by scantily clad young men – some much too young – who were selling their bodies for money.
Carl stopped as one of the boys walked up to his window. He looked like he was part Latino, with big brown eyes and full lips. There was a lollipop in his mouth and he played with it suggestively.
"Looking for a good time?" the boy asked as he leaned closer to Carl.
Carl merely nodded in silence. The boy glanced at the wedding band on his finger. Carl touched it absent-mindedly but made no attempt to hide it. Surely, Carl thought, he was not the only married man who came to these parts. Sure enough, the young prostitute made no mention of Carl's marital status and simply stated his price. This was met by another nod. The youth walked over to the driver's seat and got into the car.
Moments later, Carl pulled into an abandoned alley and switched off the engine. When he first felt the boy's fingers on him, he moaned in pleasure. With every touch, Carl was getting rid of pent-up frustration. Yet then, he felt that something was completely and utterly wrong. Unfortunately for him, when pleasure started turning into pain, it was already much too late.
Hysterical screams of panic and agony pierced the air. They were the last sounds that Carl Jenkins would ever make.
His lifeless body would not be found until the next morning.
J.J. attached Carl Jenkins' picture to the board with a magnet. His face was the last in a row of five. All were handsome men in their late twenties to early thirties, smiling happily. At the time the pictures were taken, they had been blissfully unaware of the cruel fate that would befall them.
It occurred to her it never got easier. After all this time, the horrible things people did to each other would still get to her. More so even since her son was born. She fought the unthinkable thought that one day it might be his picture stuck to a whiteboard. She looked at her colleagues, regaining focus.
"Five men have been attacked in San Francisco over the course of three weeks. From what we can tell they were all active in the gay scene in one way or another."
"Five?" asked Emily Prentiss. "And we're only hearing about it now?"
"The case is rather curious," explained J.J. "The first two victims actually survived the attack. No-one thought anything of it until local police found the second body and they started to suspect a connection. Someone there checked hospital records and found striking similarities between two previous cases of assault. The third fatal victim was found this morning."
"That sounds like a serial who is just beginning," stated Dr. Reid. "He's only got a taste of it, but this isn't someone who will stop of his own accord. He's perfecting his M.O."
"Agreed," said David Rossi, "the situation will only escalate."
"So what are we waiting for?" asked Derek Morgan.
He received no vocal answer, only the sound of chairs being moved and heels clicking on the floor as people started to leave the room. Soon, he knew, they would be high above the clouds and on their way to San Francisco.
Jack Harkness looked at the detective with certain amusement. The man did not fit in with Jack's stereotype image of 21th century law enforcement. That stereotype involved donuts and double chins, mostly. The man, who introduced himself as Jeremy Hall, was actually quite handsome in the old-fashioned tall-and-dark kind. Some time ago Jack wouldn't have hesitated to flirt with him on the spot, even given the unfortunate circumstances. But things were…slightly less light-hearted now.
"So what agency did you say you worked for again?" detective Hall inquired.
"Torchwood," Jack replied.
"Can't say I heard of it," the man replied in a voice that was more pleasant than his words would imply, "but I'll look into it."
Hall walked into his office and picked up the phone to contact persons unknown. Jack peered into the room, but couldn't make out the words, only some hand gestures. After a few minutes, detective Hall put the phone down and walked back to Jack.
"Well, looks like you have full access," Hall said reluctantly, "Damned if I know why."
As Jack followed him, he thought he could hear him muttering something about everyone thinking they have jurisdiction nowadays. It made him smile.
The coroner was an older woman. Old enough, perhaps, to have retired a few years ago, enjoying the twilight of her years in more pleasant circumstances, with the occasional visit of grandchildren. Yet nothing in her demeanor seemed to indicate that she wanted to be anywhere else than she was right now. She pulled on her gloves as she leaned over the body; the latex making a sound that could chill to the bone under current circumstances.
Jack and Jeremy Hall were standing next to her, looking at the body on the slab, now devoid of all life and color.
The woman carefully touched the dead man's temples as she spoke: "Carl Jenkins, 32-year old male. Wounds to the face, especially the temples. It's unclear what caused them. It seems like a machine of some sort…it's similar to electrocution wounds. His tongue is missing. From what I can see it was removed by human teeth."
"Someone…bit out his tongue?" Jack asked, a shiver running down his spine. Behind him, detective Hall coughed uncomfortably.
"These wounds are not necessarily fatal," Jack remarked, regaining his composure.
"Correct," the coroner replied. "He died of a heart attack. They all did. Oh, and strangely enough…they were aroused even at the moment of their deaths."
High above the clouds, the members of the BAU were still reading up on the case. Special agent Morgan looked at the case file with a frown on his face. He wasn't really a "profiler", but there's one thing that troubled him, and he was not about to keep silent.
"Have you read this?" he asked Reid, pointing to the section in the file where the physical trauma to the victims was described. "A missing tongue, wounds resembling electrocution…could someone be torturing them for information, then trying to shut them up?"
Reid squinted slightly as he was sorting the information in his mind. "But he's killing them. There's no more need to keep them silent. So even if it started out that way, the removing of the tongue has become symbolic, ritualistic in nature."
"Besides," interjected Aaron Hotchner, "what information could he be getting? These men have nothing in common. A history teacher, a car salesman, a gardener, a web designer and an unemployed ex-soldier. Hardly people who have access to sensitive information."
J.J. looked at the photographs in the file again.
"They do look a bit alike", she said.
Reid took the pictures from her and looked at the faces.
"Yes, you could say they're a similar type. And close in age, too. J.J., the file said they were all found either close to gay bars or areas frequented by male sex workers?"
"Are we talking about a gay unsub?" asked Morgan.
"It's certainly a possibility," said Reid. "Or someone trying to repress it."
"That's odd," remarked Hotchner.
The rest of his team looked at him, always eager to hear new insights.
"They were all married."
"Well, it's still a taboo in some families," said special agent Prentiss.
"Of course," acknowledged Hotch. "But it's hardly the 30's anymore. The fact that none of these men outed themselves might be significant.
Reid nodded. It was an interesting new perspective. More evidence would be needed either way. They'd just have to wait until the plane landed.
They were greeted upon arrival by the charming detective Hall. It was a hot day, and the man looked like he was bothered by his uniform, little pearls of sweat forming on his forehead. He shook hands with all members of the BAU, flashing them a genuine smile, making them feel welcome.
"Welcome to San Francisco," he said. "Seems like we're popular all of the sudden. I suppose you'll be wanting to see the body, too?"
Rossi frowned. "Are you implying someone else wanted to see the body?"
"Sure did," detective Hall informed them. "Some government fellow. You missed him by a couple of hours. He was with some organization I never heard of. But his credentials checked out."
"Which organization?" asked Rossi. It could be heard in his voice that he was not at all happy about this development.
"Torchwood, I think," said Hall.
Rossi looked at Derek Morgan. He didn't need to ask his question out loud. Morgan was already of his way out, finding a quieter spot to make a phone call. The cell rang three times before Garcia's enthusiastic voice could be heard on the other side of the line.
"Hello gorgeous. I missed you," she chirped.
When Derek asked her to check out on a secretive government organization, her heart jumped. She always loved a good challenge, and a bit of mystery.
A little while later, David Rossi, Dr. Spencer Reid, and detective Jeremy Hall were examining Carl Jenkins's car. It was a silver minivan, a car one would more readily associate with a soccer mom than with a man frequenting prostitutes. Then again, after all these year, Reid had learned to not judge a book by its cover.
He looked around the alley, and contemplated what a sad place to die it was. The alley had very few windows. Architecturally, someone had chosen to point most windows towards the larger road intersecting the alley, leaving the alley itself to become a refuge for those who did not wish their practices to see the light of day. A myriad of discarded syringes and used condoms stood witness to exactly what kind of place it was. Even if someone had seen what went on here, they would try their very best to pretend they had seen nothing.
Detective Hall peered at the small-yet-visible spatters of blood on the driver's seat.
"We sent the blood to the lab," he said to the BAU agents, "but the only blood that was ever found at the crime scenes was the victims'".
Reid tried to picture the last few minutes of Carl Jenkins's life in his mind.
He knew that Jenkins had probably picked up a re't-boy three streets further down, as that was where they gathered. He would have done so under the cover of darkness, worrying about discretion. He would have let the unsub in willingly, unsuspectingly.
"The unsub probably looks harmless. Possibly doesn't appear to be physically strong. The victim believed that he was in charge, and the unsub could have made use of that. The setting was most likely chosen by the victim. This means that the unsub is an opportunist. He'll kill anywhere. The way he kills is important to the ritual, the setting or location is of little consequence."
"So what are we looking for?" asked detective Hall.
"He probably looks trustworthy. Attractive too, most likely, given the way he finds these men. He might deliberately be taking on a submissive role to look harmless."
"And he's willing to kill anywhere," asked Hall.
"Anywhere he can lull the victim in a false sense of security, and where he feels he won't be disturbed", confirmed Reid.
"Great," muttered Rossi. They had a harmless-looking killer who wasn't all too particular about his hunting ground on their hands. It wasn't exactly the definition of "easy".
Jack Harkness was looking at the unconscious man in the hospital bed. His name was James Miller, and at 26, he was the youngest man attacked. He was in a bad way. His tongue was removed. The burn-like scars on his face spread from the side of his forehead, passing over the temples, down to the cheekbones. A helpful nurse had told him the poor man had had a cardiac arrest twice – once after just being brought in, one several hours later. Yet the man seemed to have a stubborn heart, which refused to stop beating.
He squeezed James Miller's hand for no particular reason, perhaps in the hope that should he find himself hurt and alone, someone might do the same for him. He took a small device from his pocket. He apologized to the unconscious man, even though he was quite unsure that he could even hear it. He was about to infringe on the patient's privacy. A necessary evil, he told himself, as he did with so many things.
The device in his hand was a small copper-colored orb. As he pushed an almost invisible button, the orb came apart in two, looking like a miniature steampunk orange.
He placed one half on his own forehead, one on James Miller's.
Jack remembered the woman who had gifted it to him. Her name was Zyranai, and he met her - a lifetime ago – on a planet called Aiderrah. She was one of the prettiest smugglers he had ever met, a strange creature with icy eyes, almost translucent skin and hair the color of quicksilver. The device, which Zyranai had called an Impression Orb, was used on her planet by the law enforcement to get access to the last few days of memories a person had. The officer would empathically get an impression of images, feelings and sounds experienced by the person being interrogated. It was used on suspects, to either exempt or implicate them, but also on witnesses and victims, to make sure their testimony wasn't influenced by trauma.
Alternatively, it was also enthusiastically used by drug addicts to exchange and experience each others' trip, or between lovers to let each other experience the other's passion, which was why the Impression Orb was a sought-for item on the black market. It sold for a high price, but beautiful Zyranai had gifted it to him for just one night with her, saying there were plenty of Orbs to go around, but not enough men who entertained her.
In a way, Jack thought, it was more effective than the resurrection glove – only the person interrogated still had to be alive. But he figured comatose was alive enough to risk it. He activated the device, preparing to get access to James Miller's memories.
He expected to get some clues about the man's last few hours. A glimpse of his killer even, perhaps, if he was lucky.
But nothing could have prepared Jack Harkness for what he unleashed. A flood of memories came rushing at him. Not just the memories of his last few days, but the memories of a lifetime. He could feel every love, every disappointment, every fear, every sorrow, every broken heart that James Miller had every suffered. He fell to the ground, his body spasming. It was chaos and torture in his head, too much for any man to bear.
Jack yanked his half of the Impression Orb from his forehead. He gasped for air; unsure of what it was that just happened.
The place was called "Over the Rainbow" and was generally considered to be quite a pleasant establishment. The music was varied, the atmosphere was relaxed and the crowd was known to be friendly. The latter was partly due to the bouncers, who were instructed to have no tolerance for troublemakers.
And so it was that when Raymond Pas walked in, he felt rather safe.
He had been here a few times before – times when he could sneak away from his wife and daughter without drawing too much attention.
He gazed at the "merchandise" – a room full of dancing, sweaty boys and men, generally underdressed compared to street wear.
He walked up the bar and took a seat. He asked for bourbon and the bartender gladly obliged. Even though it wasn't his first time here, he felt slightly nervous and uneasy. He toyed with his ring finger: an old habit, playing with the wedding ring that was currently missing, showing just a slight discoloration as a reminder. He was using alcohol to muster courage and he was up to his third drink when a dark-haired boy sat next to him. For a moment he wondered if he was even old enough to be here, but took comfort in the fact that the club was known for thorough door checks.
The boy looked at him intently and smiled.
"Aren't you going to offer me a drink?" the boy's voice sounded. It was a very sweet voice, Raymond thought. It was almost feminine, and sounded like a lyric to a song. He found himself mesmerized wondered if that was the alcohol talking, or sheer lust. He ordered the boy the house cocktail – one of the most expensive things on the list – and watched the boy's as his lips closed around the straw with great joy.
An hour and several drinks later Raymond Pas' head was swimming. He was acutely aware of the beautiful boy's hand in his. The boy led him up the stairs to the lavatory. Despite strict club policies against sex in the toilets, Raymond did not protest as the boy led him into one of the stalls and locked the door behind him.
The boy placed a kiss on Raymond lips. Raymond reciprocated, unable to believe his luck. He was too drunk and too horny to protest when he felt something cold pressed against him temples. The next thing he knew his mind was being flooded with memories. He wanted to scream but his mouth was still entangled with the boy's. When he felt a sharp pain in his tongue a guttural, primal sound did escape his throat. But it was in vain, as all of his cries of desperation were drowned out by the loud music.
It was a few hours before dawn when someone suspected there was something wrong. The young man had had too many cocktails and his bladder was none too happy about it. He vigorously knocked on all 3 stall doors. He got two annoyed replies, but one stall remained silent. Wondering if something was wrong with the lock, he got down on his knees and peered under the door. He saw a lifeless body and blood on the floor.
He screamed and ran out, alerting one of the bouncers, forgetting all about his full bladder.
The BAU arrived on the scene shortly after. Raymond Pas' lifeless body was slouched on the floor. The blood from his mouth stained his shirt and had dripped all the way to the floor. The neon lights revealed the rawness of the scene in all its glory.
"The unsub is getting bold. He's attacking in semi-public places now," Reid stated, slightly redundantly.
Rossi nodded. "It doesn't look like he's afraid of getting caught."
Reid nodded. "Nothing indicates that he tried to cover up any of his crime scenes. A little moment of privacy, to conduct the kill, seems to be all he needs."
"Maybe he thinks he's smarter than us," offered Prentiss.
"Maybe," said Reid, "Or he's already accepted he's not going to make it out alive. And that makes him dangerous."
"Guys," said Derek Morgan to the rest of the team, drawing their attention. He was examining the stall door with gloved hands, eying it with distrust.
"The manager said that they found the door locked, right?"
"This guy sure as hell was in no condition to lock it again," continued Morgan, "so how the hell did the unsub get out?"
J.J. had skipped dealing with the crime scene and went to interview the club owner, the bartender on duty and two bouncers.
The owner could tell her nothing of use. He hadn't even been present that night. He was only worried about two things: The first being that this incident would somehow be blamed on him, the second that news would get out and that people would be afraid to come to his club. He did let her know that there was a security camera at the door, so perhaps that would be useful.
The bartender did prove to be slightly more helpful. He was a bald, tattooed man that looked intimidating at first. Yet he spoke with a soft, pleasant voice and he seemed genuinely shaken by what had occurred here tonight. J.J. interviewed him while the security tape was playing, hoping he recognize the unsub's face.
"So you saw the victim?" J.J. asked.
The bartender nodded quietly.
"He sat here alone for a while, and then was joined by this kid."
"Could you describe him?" asked J.J., wondering if they might get lucky in their investigation.
"Looked like jailbait," the bartender said, "but he must have been older, as we check ID's at the door. He was cute, you know. Blue eyes, dark hair, pretty face, hot body, nice ass. Half of the guys in the club probably wanted to fuck him. He looked…innocent, you know. If I had to bet, I think he'd be the one needing protection."
J.J. nodded. She slipped the bartender a card with the number of a victim's support group before she left. He looked like he needed it.
Then she saw his eyes light up.
"Stop the tape," he exclaimed.
"That looks like it might be him," he said.
The recording was fuzzy at best. The kid was wearing jeans and a hoodie, and his face was mostly turned away from the camera. But it was something. Maybe Garcia could find something.
She thanked the bartender for his time, then spoke with the bouncers for a little while, but it proved to be fairly uninformative. They didn't see anything suspicious. They checked all ID's, but even they had to admit that good forgeries were difficult to pick out.
In the now quiet club; she could hear her friends coming down the stairs. She shared what little info she had to give them.
Reid cocked an eyebrow when the mentioned the suspects age.
"That's strange," said Reid, "even assuming the ID was not a forgery, that would make him 21, 22. While it's technically possibly for a serial killer to start that young, this sort of escalation doesn't usually start until later."
This case was starting to contradict everything he learned, and he didn't like it one bit.
The neon-lit alleyway didn't look all too welcoming. To those who didn't know better, the street housed a couple of strip clubs and some gambling joints. It was also the place where one might find a dealer for your drug of choice. A select few knew that a far rarer commodity than opiates was to be found here, too. Jack walked into a tiny shop, disguised as a fortune teller's business.
An old woman peeked out from the back room. A look of recognition crossed her face.
"Hello Captain Harkness," she said as she moved towards him, "Long time no see. What are you buying today?"
"I'm not buying anything, Tayaga," he said, "I'm looking for information."
"Oh, you are buying then," the old woman chirped. "Knowledge is the most precious of commodities of all, and it does not come cheaply."
Jack sighed. He knew it was pointless to argue. If he'd try to beat it out of her in any way, he'd be attacked by a whole arsenal of alien tech he knew she had set up to protect the perimeter. Even if he'd managed to get to her, he knew she'd die before giving her information. Tayaga's people had found a way to transfer consciousness from body to body, and as her shell was growing old, she'd probably welcome a chance to trade her body for a shiny new one. And he'd be left with nothing.
Jack took his wallet and removed a generous sum, holding it up in front of Tayaga.
"This is yours, if your information is useful."
The old woman nodded.
"Has anyone been asking for alien tech - specifically the kind that steals or accesses someone else memories?" Jack asked.
"Not that I know," Tayaga replied, "but there have been a lot of sellers lately. Too many. And it looks like it's all from the same source. Similar tech, I mean. I think something crashed not far from here, and whoever was on it didn't care much to get back home, if you know what I mean."
"Maybe they got killed," Jack offered.
"Not by the crash they didn't," said Tayaga, "I know my clients. They're not above bringing me body parts to trade."
Jack shuddered ever-so slightly.
"Do you still have some of the tech?"
"Sure," she said. "But it will cost you more."
Jack sighed but nodded. Tayaga walked to the back room again, and came back out with a silver object.
"As far as I can tell it's not a weapon. None of the merchandise was. My best guess is, it's a sonic hairdryer."
Jack would laugh if the situation wasn't so grave. He recognized the craftsmanship and it worried him. The people who this belonged to shouldn't be on Earth now. They shouldn't be near anyone...something very bad was about to happen to them.
He paid Tayaga dutifully and headed for a door.
"Nice doing business with you," she called after him. "We should get together when I have a younger body again!"
He might take her up on that offer, he thought. Last time she was young, she had been a hell of a lot of fun.
J.J. and Derek Morgan were driving up to see Carl Jenkins's wife, when Derek got a phone call from Penelope Garcia.
"Hello, sweet cheeks," her voice sounded.
Derek smiled, greeting her in return.
"I'm still working on that video J.J. sent me," she said, "but I did find something on Torchwood, and I got to tell you: it's pretty weird."
"How do you mean?" asked Derek.
"Well, on the surface, they are this top secret agency that pretty much have any security clearing for everything," she said, "but I dug deeper, and every time they're mentioned they're linked to – brace yourself for this one – supernatural phenomena."
Derek almost chuckled. "You mean like, some real-life Mulder and Scully?"
"That's exactly what I mean," replied Garcia, "Alien sightings, reports of time travel, people coming back from the dead…well, you get the idea. Hope that helps you, hot stuff. I'm off to work my magic on J.J.'s vid now."
As the phone went dead, Derek just shook his head. He was prepared for a lot of things in his life, but this one – this one just might be out of his comfort zone.
Meanwhile Reid and Prentiss arrived at the hospital where James Miller was being treated. They first met with his attending physician, who had let them know that Miller had regained consciousness, but considering his medical condition was unable to speak.
Prentiss say next to his bed, putting on her best sympathetic face. What do you even say to a man who's been attacked, mutilated, and left for dead?
The patient opened his eyes. He moaned and tried to form words, but nothing coherent came out.
"Mr. Miller, I'm special agent Emily Prentiss. Do you understand what I'm saying?"
The wounded man nodded warily.
"Did you see who did this to you?"
James Miller motioned with his hand, indicating he needed something to write. Reid took a notebook out of his pocket, and put it into Miller's hand, along with a pen.
He scribbled something on the paper with pained strokes.
Just a kid
Emily's eyes widened.
"You mean he attacked you in a monstrous way?"
Miller shook his head and reached for the notebook.
Tears were forming in James Miller's eyes and his bottom lip was quivering. Emily looked up to Reid, baffled.
"Well thank you for your time, Mr. Miller, said Reid.
Reid wanted to take back the notebook, but Miller clung to it. He scribbled down one more sentence.
Is my wife here?
Reid looked at him with genuine compassion. "Nobody came to visit so far."
Miller nodded, with tears in his eyes, and let go of the notebook.
Reid politely said his goodbyes; he didn't think he could get much more useful out of the man.
Back in the hospital hallway, just out of earshot, Emily blurted: "A demon face, what the hell is going on here?"
"Well it could be shock," said Reid. "After so much trauma, the mind just creates an image to deal with what happened."
"And that could be demonic possession?" asked Emily
"The brain will fill the gaps of what it doesn't understand. Demonic possession might be a lore he's familiar with." offered Reid. "But I'm more interested in the matter of his wife."
"He seemed genuinely saddened by her absence. His file says he doesn't have kids and no property to speak of. He'd lose very little in a divorce. If he's gay, and it just went public, why isn't he at least relieved to be done with it? Maybe Hotch had a point when he said it's strange all these men are married."
"You're saying these men go both ways." said Emily. It was more a statement than a question.
"It's likely. They seem to genuinely love their wives, but act out on their attraction to men once in a blue moon. And if they are it narrows down. Unfaithful bisexual men, that's a very specific victim type." Reid wanted to add more to the sentence, but was cut short by detective Hall's agitated voice at the end of the hallway.
"What do you mean, you lost him?" Jeremy's voice sounded.
The nurse at the desk looked at him slightly frightened, but didn't reply. That didn't stop Hall from continuing.
"First," he fumed, "you say that Miller was visited by someone without us knowing. And now you're telling me that Jameson has just walked out?"
Jameson, of course, was the first victim. He had the mildest injuries of all, and his tongue had been re-attached. When awake, it was the best witness they had. But he, like Miller, had been brought in unconscious. Yet sometime in the last few hours, apparently had woken up, detached himself from the machines, gathered his clothes and simply walked out.
"Sir, this is a hospital, not a prison." the nurse tried to explain. But Jeremy Hall just shook his head, muttered something about incompetence and stormed out the door.
"You know, Mister, just to give you some friendly advice. I can smell you're a cop from miles away. You might want to work on that."
The words were spoken by a girl who towered over agent Hotchner with a good 6 inches. The girl, upon closer examination, was a well made-up drag queen who made a living by fulfilling men's fantasies.
She considered this corner of the street to be her property and wouldn't let anyone scare her off – not even a cop.
Hotchner was glad that he found someone to talk to, at least. Others just shook their head, saying they saw nothing, ad scurried off.
"But yeah, I saw your guy in the minivan. I don't want any murderers here anymore than you do. It's bad for business," she continued.
"You remember who got in with him?" asked Hotchner.
"Not by name," said the prostitute. "That's the thing. The kid never worked here before. He just…appeared out of nowhere. And never returned here since."
"You know what he looked like?"
"Young. Latino. Fuckable." The transvestite took lit up a cigarette and offered one to Hotchner. He declined politely.
"Latino? You're sure?"
"Honey, I know my men. That boy had Latin blood all right."
Hotchner nodded and thanked the street worker for the information, but he wasn't exactly sure where it was leading.
Morgan and J.J. were let into the Jenkins household by Eileen. At the back of the living room a toddler was sleeping in his crib, making distressed sounds caused by whatever he was dreaming bout.
"He somehow knows but he doesn't understand. He keeps asking when Daddy will be back," Eileen Jenkins said sadly.
"We're very sorry for your loss," said J.J.
Tears appeared on Eileen face as she looked at J.J.
"I thought…I thought that if I ignored it, it would just go away, you know." sobbed Eileen. "We had a nice family, a nice home. I never thought it would get him killed."
"So you knew about your husband's…activities with other men." Morgan asked carefully.
She nodded, sobbing more.
"I knew he did it before we met. But at first…we were so in love. He was faithful to me those first few years, you know. It changed, after he returned from Iraq. It's just like he did anything just to feel alive."
J.J, put her hand on the woman's arm, trying to comfort her. She appreciated the gesture.
"I'm afraid you came a long way for nothing," said Mrs. Jenkins. "Everybody loved Carl. He'd charm his way to the heart of a piece of steel if he wanted to. I don't know anyone who'd do this."
They were barely outside when J.J.'s phone rang. It was Hotchner.
"J.J., I've got a witness claiming the unsub is Latino here," the voice on the phone sounded.
"That's strange. The bartender mentioned dark hair but he got a good look at the guy. I think he'd have mentioned if he was Latino. I'll look into it."
J.J. looked at Morgan, who had followed the conversation. His hand was already on the speed dial to contact his favorite audiovisual tech.
"Hey, baby-girl," he greeted Garcia when she picked up the phone. "Any luck on that security tape J.J. sent you."
"I was just about to call you," sounded her voice, "but you're not going to like it. It wasn't easy, but I finally got his face off a reflection. So I cross-checked face matches and got a match."
"That's good, right?" asked Morgan, who didn't trust something in her voice.
"Well it would be, sweet-cheeks, it wasn't for the fact that it matches a dead man. His name was Lance Vaugh. He made headlines, too. He was one of those gay kids who committed suicide because of bullying."
Morgan thanked Garcia and put down the phone. He quickly called Reid to keep him up to speed, then got back into the car, trying to get himself and J.J. back to their team as fast as possible."
Dr. Spencer Reid was looking over all the evidence again, trying to make sense of it. There were many contradictions and that was unusual in a serial case. It seemed the unsub was making his own rules, not sticking to the patterns serial killers usually do. Now the evidence even might suggest multiple unsubs, not being serial killers at all, but carrying out some sort of revenge against the victims. In a way, it reminded him of the case in Miami, where a gay man took on the identity of his victims because he couldn't accept what he was. But not even he had managed to switch ethnicity. Still, there seemed to be no particular connection between the victims besides their age, their looks and their sexual proclivities….which again would point towards a single killer, who had a certain "type".
He was still deep in thought when Jeremy Hall came barging in.
"You got to see this," Hall just shouted.
Reid followed him to the other room, where the news was on TV.
"That's Bill Jameson", Hall said as he pointed to the screen.
It was true. The first assault victim stood on the rooftop of a large building. And it looked like he was about to jump. The local media had gotten wind of it and not it was turning out into a giant circus, with cameras and everything.
Spencer Reid grabbed his coat from the other room.
"Do you know where this is?" he asked Jeremy Hall.
"Sure do," the detective replied, and they were out the door before another word was muttered.
Jack was sitting at the bar in a club that he deemed might be at risk from the elusive killer. People were still partying, but Jack picked up on the uneasiness, a caution when interacting with others. The word had gotten out and the natives were getting restless. Discreetly, Jack used a scanner that he had tuned to the specific alien tech he had received from Tayaga. If the scanner was right, the sonic hairdryer belonged to the Gari'ip people. And that was unlikely…impossible, almost. The Gari'ip were the most xenophobic of peoples and didn't mix with other planets. Back in the 51st century, ships were told to avoid their planet, as visitors would often not make it out alive.
Those who did spoke of a rigid, unforgiving society, that executed even their own people for the slightest transgression. That one or several of them would venture to another planet of their own accord, was almost unthinkable.
Yet, if some Gari'ip tech was present in the room, Jack's scanner would find it. This was the third club he had been to, and his scanner had remained painfully unresponsive.
Jack saw the news entirely by accident. He was tired, and his eyes were trailing off when his attention was suddenly drawn to the television screen that showed the live newscast.
It only took him a second to realize he knew who the man was.
He grabbed his coat and got up. The bartender started protesting, but before the man could even finish his sentence, Jack already threw down a bill, one that guaranteed a generous tip for the establishment. After all, the place was nice. Perhaps he'd like to return, when not doing business.
Dr. Spencer Reid had called for backup from the rest of the team, but when he and detective Hall arrived on the scene no member of his team was already present. He sheltered his eyes with his hand while looking up, trying to adjust his sight to the mix of darkness and city lights.
He very much hated it when it came to this: when a victim suffered twice. Once, by the original assault, and second by their own guilt.
Bill Jameson was still standing on the ledge. While these things were generally a cry for help, Reid could tell enough by the man's demeanor to know that he would jump, if pushed to do so.
"I'm going up," he said to detective Hall.
"Is that wise?" Jeremy asked. "Shouldn't we wait for the rest of your team?"
"By the time they he here he might already have jumped," Reid simply said and walked into the building, unhindered by the local law enforcement.
It was a long way up, and every second he spent in the elevator, he hoped he would not be too late. The last two floors were only accessible by stairs. He rushed up so fast he thought his legs would give out.
When he arrived, he saw Bill Jameson still standing on the ledge at the edge, and he breathed a sigh of relief.
Next to the desperate man was a large billboard sign with a woman with a whiter-than-white smile promoting toothpaste. From Reid's view, it was almost as if it was mocking Jameson. He moved closer carefully, trying not to startle the man.
Then, in the shadow cast by the billboard, he saw something move. He drew his gun and pointed it to where something had shifted, trying not to alarm the potential jumper. He moved closer into the shadows, threading carefully to avoid noise. Before he knew what had actually happened someone grabbed his arm, twisting it behind his back, forcing him to drop the gun. A hand was quickly placed on his mouth. The grip was strong. Reid could tell the man was both taller and stronger than himself. Struggling would not be of much use. He mentally blamed himself for not waiting for backup.
"You're not touching him," the voice whispered into his ear.
Reid only nodded as far as the man's hand would allow him to.
Up on the ledge Bill Jameson became aware of some noises behind him. He turned around and peered into the shadows. He saw two figures, unable to discern the faces.
He started to shiver.
"Who are you?" he yelled, "What are you? You're not getting me, you hear, you demon scum. You're not dragging me to hell, I'm going there of my own accord!"
And with that, Jameson turned again, this time truly determined to jump. Reid cried out against his captor's hand, causing only a muffled sound. But then, before he could protest even further, the stranger released him and dashed towards Jameson with almost superhuman speed. Just as Jameson was about to go over the edge, the mysterious man swept between him and the void and pushed him back, causing him to fall flat on the roof. The strange man himself though, seemed unable to correct his own momentum and went over the ledge, falling down over 20 stories. His fall was finally broken by a car, because Reid could hear a bone-chilling thud and the angry siren of a car alarm.
Reid's instinct wanted him to look down, but he knew he needed to attend to Jameson first, making sure he was safe.
The man however made no secondary attempt to jump, he simply lay on the roof shivering and sobbing.
A few moments later Jeremy Hall rushed onto the roof, alarmed by what he had seen on the ground. He checked if Reid and Jameson were okay, and once he saw they were, he helped Reid get Jameson downstairs.
Down on the ground an ambulance had arrived. Two nurses zipped the bag shut over the jumper's face and carried him to the ambulance. Hotchner, Rossi and Prentiss had made it to the scene.
"Are you alright?" asked Prentiss as she ran to him. He nodded, shaken, but asked her to excuse him for a moment. He climbed into the ambulance that held the dead man's body. He tugged the zipper on the body bag, revealing the face beneath. The face was unfamiliar to him. He had thought the man to be the unsub going back for unfinished business, but this man didn't fit the profile. Besides the fact that he looked older than any of the descriptions, his actions indicated that he wanted to save Jameson's life, not to end it. Then again, the killer could be taking his own life in a final act of remorse.
As he was deep in thought, Reid did not notice he dead man's finger move. This is why, when the corpse started gasping for air, he flung himself against the ambulance's side and nearly shat himself.
There were not many things that shocked Dr. Spencer Reid, but a dead man coming back to life was enough to make his eyes bulge, his breath stop and general terror to take over his body.
The previously dead man sat up and coughed. He looked at Reid's bulletproof vest, which spelled the lettres "FBI".
"Oh, I'm terribly sorry, handsome. I thought you were the killer," said the newly revived man.
"Funny, I thought the same," Reid squeaked, his voice refusing to cooperate.
The man extended his hand to him.
"How rude of me," he said. "I didn't introduce myself. I'm Captain Jack Harkness. Pleased to meet you."
There was a certain shock and an unspeakable uneasiness as Jack Harkness was sitting at one end of an interrogation table at the police station, faced with the BAU team and detective Hall.
Morgan and J.J. had arrived from their field trip just moment ago. Rossi and Hotchner had tried getting more information out of Jameson, but he seemed to have shut down psychologically. It was just their luck, thought David Rossi, that the only survivor with an intact tongue would refuse to speak.
Jack sat in the interrogation room leisurely, seemingly unworried. He leaned back in his chair, looking more like a mischievous kid called to the principal's office, than as a suspect.
Rossi leaned forward, looking at Jack intently. He intertwined the fingers of his hands, almost as if he were praying.
"You do realize, Mr…" he started.
"Captain," Jack interrupted.
"Very well," said Rossi, "Captain Harkness, you do realize that your story comes across as, shall we say, not very believable."
"Yes," he replied. "Which is why I usually work with a special team of my own. Unfortunately, they are mostly deceased. I'm still deciding whether you lot can be useful or if I should retcon you."
"Ret-con?" Rossi repeated very slowly. While he was remaining serious, the slightest of his facial expression were screaming: You did not actually just use that word, did you?
At the back of the room Reid was whispering to Hotchner: "Normally, I would say this man is delusional, and has some sort of superhero complex. But dammit, Hotch, I saw him fall off a building and live. I have no scientific explanation as to how that's possible."
Jack noticed the two whispering. "Is there something I can do for you two charming gentlemen?" he asked provocatively.
Reid turned towards him, unable to stop his curiosity.
"How did you survive the fall?"
"I can't die" Jack simply replied.
He heard the murmurs of disbelief coming from his interrogators.
"I'm not joking," said Jack. He pulled out his secret weapon. He saw panic and surprise on the faces in front of him.
"Really, you don't want to know where I was hiding that," he joked.
And then, he put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
J.J. could hear the own panic in her words as she leaned across Jack trying to put pressure on the wound.
"Oh God," she managed, "he really did it. We have to help him."
Hotchner felt Jack's pulse, but found nothing.
"I'm sorry, J.J.," he said. "There's nothing we can do anymore."
J.J. pulled away, quietly, wiping the blood from her hand.
There was a silence, and a general dumbfoundedness over what had just happened.
Then the silence was broken by a gurgling sound that quickly shifted to the sound of someone gasping for air.
Jack Harkness sat up straight, fighting for every breath, the wound on his head already healing.
He stared at the flabbergasted faces around him.
"So, now that I got your attention," he said, then coughed again to clear his throat. "Now that I got your attention, you have two options. One, you can question your mental sanity and have yourselves committed or two – and I much prefer this one – we can help each other catch this killer before he strikes. So what do you say?"
Four hours later, Jack Harkness was being fitted with a wire. It had made sense to him, to offer himself as "bait". After all, he was least likely to actually be harmed by the killer and he could flirt with anyone like he meant it. Mostly, because he did mean it most of the time.
He did slightly worry about his tongue, though. He wasn't actually sure it could regenerate or grow back after being removed, and he sure would not like to spend the rest of eternity without it.
He was still surprised that the BAU had actually agreed to have him involved. One of them – the dark-haired woman he had heard them refer to as "Emily" had once again called to check his credentials, but Torchwood, despite its flaws, was still an organization that opened many doors.
It was Reid who came to talk to him just before he was meant to enter the club they had chosen. It was a Friday night, and this specific establishment had chosen to host a Studio 54-themed party, and it was the place-to-be on this particular night. While they had no way to be sure the unsub would be there, this was a good a candidate as any.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" asked Reid.
Jack nodded. "Yeah. There's no need for more innocents to get hurt".
Reid frowned. "But you do feel pain, from what I've seen, don't you?"
Jack nodded. "Well, yeah, I might get hurt. But then again I'm not innocent," he managed a chuckle, but it sounded insincere even to himself.
Reid took a deep breath: "You know, it's none of my business, but…whatever makes you feel guilty, punishing yourself for it will not fix it."
Jack looked him in the eye, trying to think of a light-hearted remark, but failing.
"No," he finally replied. "but when I hurt it makes the pain go away…for a little while, at least."
Reid nodded sadly, understanding all too well the mechanics behind this seeming contradiction.
"Now stop profiling me," Jack added, slightly annoyed at the fact that someone could read him so well.
Reid nodded again. "One more thing." he then said and took a wedding ring out off his pocket. –"All victims were wearing one of these and we have reasons to believe the killer is going after married men, specifically."
Jack took the ring from Reid with a certain sadness. He slipped it on his finger and looked at it with what almost seemed like longing.
"I was married before," he said. "Did you know that? Got down on one knee and proposed and everything that goes with it. Even for someone like me, that's supposed to mean something. Why is it that we lie to even those we love?"
Reid didn't reply to Jack's question. He couldn't take away this man's sadness in the short time they had. So he just wished him luck instead.
The club was busy and lively, people – mostly gay men, but a few straights had wandered in and decided they liked a good party no matter who's throwing it.
The crowd was generally having too much fun – or were too inebriated – to realize they were a perfect hunting ground for the killer whose name had been whispered more than once the last few days.
The amount of people, the disco lights, the music…it all made the room chaotic and hard to oversee, a fact that any predator could use to his advantage.
Jack was drawing attention. His white tee accentuated his muscles and he knew it. It wasn't long until a man approached, whispering most tempting things into his ear. Jack declined, but did so playfully, and made sure to make physical contact with the guy, making sure that any bystander would see the attention was not entirely unappreciated.
Not long after, he found himself flirting with both a man and his best female friend. Neither of them seemed to particularly mind his blatant interest in both of them, and had he continued the conversation, he might have been in for an interesting night. But here, too, he tried not to get too involved, still keeping one eye on the crowd.
He did this a few more times: approaching someone, being approached, a little bit of flirting, even a bit of dancing. In other circumstances, he would really have loved this place. After a while, he decided he needed a drink and went to search for the bar. He ordered, and a he lifted the glass to his lips. It was then that he noticed a young man staring at him. Well, staring at the hand with the wedding ring, more specifically.
He smiled at the boy, who then moved closer. He looked very young; younger than Jack would generally go for.
"Won't you buy me a drink?" the boy asked, and Jack found himself mesmerized by his lips as he spoke.
Jack did, and watched as the boy emptied his glass. At the back of his head, a bell was ringing, saying that he should he wary of this lovely creature, not fascinated by him, but it was like an enchantment, like he couldn't help himself.
The boy moved closer, took his hand and whispered with the sweetest voice. "Come with me. Come outside."
Jack followed, like in a dream, being pulled along by this seeming fragile being with much more force than he expected.
The back alley, though not officially a part of the club, was actually known to be one of its features. As Jack and the boy walked out, the alley was not empty, rather it was being enthusiastically used by some partygoers that wanted more than a dance and a fondle, and came here for some heavier petting – and if they were lucky, maybe even a blowjob. And by the look of two men further down the alley, partially covered by darkness, Jack could tell that someone was indeed getting lucky tonight.
The boy drew him further, past about a dozen horny couples, and even a threesome, until the very end of the alley, where a gate blocked the way. The streetlights did not reach this place with their golden illumination, and the sight to the rest of the alley was blocked by garbage containers. Not many people came to the very end, as it reeked of trash and urine.
In his tiny earpiece, Jack could hear a voice, someone from the BAU warning him not to venture so far, but the voice seemed very distant, like something from a dream.
The boy drew him near, and kissed him passionately. As their lips parted, the boy whispered "I want to feel you inside of me."
And then the boy kissed him again. He could feel something cold being placed on his temples, but he was mesmerized by the kiss, drawing deeper into it. He didn't break the kiss, even when he felt a sharp pain on his temples. Whichever pheromone it was that had a hold on him, was still working at full capacity. Only when memories – those most painful, and those most cherished – started flooding his brain he tried to push the boy away. The boy, in turn, seemed to be in some sort of discomfort too, and bit down on Jack's tongue as he was spasming.
In the distance, Jack could hear footsteps and voices, and the cocking of guns. Someone was screaming at the boy to get away from Jack.
And so the boy did, just a little bit, releasing his tongue and looking at Jack in awe, but still touching his temples. And in those eyes, Jack could see that the reason for his release was not the threat of an FBI agent, but something the kid had learned.
"You're not from around here," the boy said, his lips stained red by Jack's blood.
It was then that a shot was fired, hitting the boy's shoulder. The impact of the bullet made him lose his balance, and he hit the ground.
Jack could hear himself screaming "NO" and he placed his own body in the firing line, covering the boy's body with his.
Beneath him, he could see the boy's features change. The fair white skin turned yellow, almost golden. Blue-green eyes turned to orange-red ones. The short brown hair turned brightly red and suddenly seemed to get a growth spurt. The face, too, changed to even more feminine features. And as Jack clearly felt two breasts forming under him, he knew it was not just his imagination.
"You're a shapeshifter?" he asked.
The creature under him – definitely more a she than a he now – shook her head.
"A device," she managed with pained voice. "I went to…great lengths…to get it."
Jack could hear people closing near, surrounding them. He heard Jeremy Hall's voice as he exclaimed: "Dear Lord, it really is a demon."
The creature under him took another breath, her face in agony from the pain in her shoulder. Jack shifted away from her, but still guarding her, making sure no-one would get trigger happy.
"I do not know the race you call "Demon". I am Jarrii-Arden Nai'iria, firstborn daughter of Lord Hyru-Ebo Nai'iria, heir the throne of Payyik, the capital city state of Gari'ip. But that means nothing here. I accept to be your prisoner." The girl stretched out her arms, placing her wrists together, welcoming the placement of handcuffs.
"I have no idea what you just said," said Jeremy Hall, "but you are under arrest. And you have the right to remain silent. If whatever you are has rights, that is."
Hall pulled the alien girl to her feet. She was still wincing from the wound on her shoulder. Dr. Spencer Reid could not control his own curiosity.
"Why," he asked her. "Why did you kill them?"
"I didn't mean to, "she simply said, "but I had to see, you understand. I wanted their mind in my mind. I needed to know. I needed to know what drove them to cheat on the ones that loved them most."
Jack Harkness reached for her hands, now in cuffs, and looked at her fingertips. A small gold cap was placed on finger of each hand.
"These…they're like Impression Orbs?" he asked.
"Yes," she replied, "but a million times stronger, on their strongest setting. You can see whole lifetimes…."
"But it gets too much for them to bear, frying their brain and stopping their heart" Jack finished the sentence for her.
"Why didn't you stop when you saw it killed them?" asked Reid.
"I didn't get my answers," she said sadly. "He didn't answer me, either. My fiancé, that is. He cheated on me, with another male. I found out…and I was so angry. And I told…I told everyone."
"And they executed him for it, didn't they?" asked Jack angrily. "Because that's what they do on your charming little planet."
"Yes…YES! That's what you want to hear, don't you? I told on him and signed his death sentence. I killed him too."
She was in tears now. "But he never answered me. He just told me that he was sorry and he loved me."
"Perhaps," said Jack, "that was the most honest answer he could give you."
"Perhaps," Jarrii-Arden added, "perhaps some of us are so fundamentally broken we can't even explain what's wrong with us."
Jack knew she was talking about herself, or her lover, but couldn't stop feeling like the words had been aimed at him. Not by her, but perhaps by the universe.
A police car arrived, and Jeremy Hall was already trying to think of how to get Jarrii-Arden to the car without drawing attention and how, once they made it to the station, he could even put her on trial.
But before he could actually get her away from the scene, a strange noise sounded in the alleyway. Reid saw Jack's face light up.
At the back of the alley, behind the dumpsters, away from light and the gaze of strangers, a blue police box materialized.
The Doctor – the tenth in line – stepped out of the device. The members of the BAU, thinking they had had all surprises by now, looked in awe at what unfolded before them. Jack, in an impulsive move, run up to the Doctor and hugged him amicably.
"I thought I wouldn't see you again," said Jack finally.
"Well, you didn't think that setting you up with Alonzo would be my last encounter with you?" he grinned.
A moment later, his expression changed though, to a stern seriousness that Jack was not used to.
"But this is the last time you will see me, Jack Harkness – or rather, it is the last time I will see you - at least in this form."
Jack wanted to protest, but didn't, knowing the Timelord knew the course of history better that he ever could.
"I can't let you take her," the Doctor said to Jeremy Hall." Your planet is not ready for this. Her place isn't here."
Jarrii-Arden looked intently at the doctor, her face half-covered by her red hair, but her eyes still shining brightly underneath.
"I've been expecting you," the alien girl said.
When the Doctor gave her a puzzled look, she elaborated: "I've been in Jack's mind. And you are on his mind, Doctor, quite frequently."
She moved away from Hall and he let her, knowing that he was in way over his head from the moment this case started.
Jarrii-Arden stood in front of the Doctor, and simply brushed his forehead, with the golden device still attached to her fingers. The Doctor drew back as if a bee had stung him, and she collapsed as if in pain, but struggled to her feet again.
"By the Creator," she gasped, "So much time. So many different possibilities. I know now why Fate made out paths meet."
"Do you, now?" said the Doctor with anger. "Because I'm taking you home for a trial."
"Exactly," she said, and smiled. "I saw in Jack's mind what will become of my world. In his future, where he grows up. And it just never gets better. Centuries from now, we're still in the Dark Ages. But you….in your mind, I saw that some points in history are fixed, but some can be changed. If you bring me to trial…."
"…then the trial and execution of a Princess of Gari'ip will cause such outrage it will cause a Revolution. And the society that created you will end." the Doctor finished.
"Then I shall come with you, and I shall speak words of rebellion until I draw my last breath."
The Doctor seethed. "This doesn't make you a hero. You're a murderer. A monster. Not a martyr."
"Oh but I'm both, Doctor, "the girl said, "what would you prefer – that one monster is heralded a hero for changing the world, or that the world does not change and remains full of monsters?"
As much as the Doctor hated it, he knew that bringing her to justice was the lesser evil.
As they stepped into the Tardis, the girl called out to Jack Harness: "Captain, this might be your last chance."
As obscure those words might have seemed to others, Jack knew what she meant. He walked up to the Doctor and kissed him, briefly but firmly, on the lips.
"Goodbye, Doctor" he whispered.
The Doctor flashed Jack the last smile he would ever give him.
"I have a suspicion I might see you again, Captain Harkness, just not through these eyes."
The door of the Tardis closed behind him and the blue box seemingly dissipated into thin air.
Back on the scene, Jeremy Hall looked at Jack with a bewildered expression.
"Mind telling me what just happened here?" he blurted out.
"Not at all," said a grinning Jack, "but you wouldn't believe me."
"What do I even put into my damn report?" Hall said with frustration.
"Whatever you want," replied Jack, "but I'd advise against the truth. They might call you crazy."
The next evening, safely back home, the members of the BAU went for a drink to unwind from recent events. Garcia had joined them, and listened to their stories with disbelief.
"An alien? Like, E.T.? Are you sure someone wasn't playing a trick on you?" she asked, slightly tipsy from her drink.
"I dunno, baby girl," said Morgan, "but I do know that whatever went on there…there are definitely things going on that we don't know about."
"You know, they still haven't figured out how the unsub got out of that locked toilet stall,"Prentiss added.
"I'm sure just they went 'Beam me up Scotty," Morgan grinned.
"And that man," said J.J. , "how can he just survive…dying?"
Reid took a sip from his drink. "I honestly don't know. I suppose such people have always existed in myth, their stories told to generation after generation. Maybe there's something to those stories. It just seems very lonely to me, on a human level. I mean, everyone you know would die…over and over again, for eternity."
Reid fell silent, pondering on his own words.
Jack Harkness sat on top of the building that he had fallen off just the other day. The sun was rising, and the city was only just waking up. In all those decades, he had never grown tired of seeing a beautiful sunrise.
He had come to America to forget. Forget what he did to his own flesh and blood; forget about the lover that he couldn't save. But he was reminded all the more of who and what he was.
Here, at dawn, high above the streets, things seemed so much clearer. And this one thing stuck out above all else in his mind: people are what they are. Try to change them, push their nature to the point where they can bend no more, they will break, and bad things happen.
He realized, that no matter how much he hated himself, he could not change who he was. He could not change what he had done. But he had to find a way to look in the mirror again; because he had to look at himself for another eternity to come.
Sometimes a fresh start could be a blessing, he thought.
He took out his mobile phone, calling the number of a person only identified as "TORCHWOOD OPERATIVE USA."
"Hi", he said as the person picked up the phone, "This is Captain Jack Harkness, and I was wondering about the status of our operation in America."
Yes, he thought to himself, this could indeed be a wonderful new beginning.
In another part of space, on a planet avoided by most wise travelers, a blue box appeared. Soon, two figures stepped out, one looking almost human, the other, in chains, looking like those native to these parts.
The Doctor looked at the alien girl with sadness. His anger had subsided, and now he couldn't help but feel conflicted about leading someone to their certain death.
She recognized the look in his eyes.
"Do not feel guilty for bringing me to justice, Doctor. I am a monster, remember?" said Jarrii-Arden
"You're a monster because you never had a chance to become something else."
"Perhaps. But my death may buy the lives of thousands and the freedom millions. Surely that is a small price to pay?"
The Doctor drew in a sharp breath, emotion wrecking his face. He brought his sonic screwdriver to her handcuffs. The tool flashed with a blue light, and her cuffs fell to the floor.
"Go." said the Doctor. "Save yourself. You have a head start."
The red-headed girl shook her head.
"This is the only good thing I get to do with my life. I'm not running away. But your kindness will be remembered."
She looked to the distance. Far away, a large red tank-like vehicle could be seen approaching, flanked by four pitch black beasts.
"You should go," said Jarrii-Arden to the Doctor, "That is my father's carriage. If they find you here, they'll most likely kill you. They don't like strangers."
"I am already dead," said the Doctor as a tear ran down his face.
"So am I," said the alien girl, "I have been dead since my fiancé's heart stopped beating. You see, I have been looking an answer to my question, but I think I knew it all along…"
Looking in her eyes, the Doctor could see it all: the love, the pain, the betrayal, and the truth that she knew but had denied to herself for so long.
Her eyes, too, were tearing up now. Her tears were little streams of gold that sparkled in the saffron sunrise.
"The answer," she whispered, "is that none of us choose who we love. And perhaps, for him, I was not the one he loved most…but I loved him more than this life. It's sad that love has doomed us both. For me it ends here. But you…your race can cheat death. You love that little blue planet and its people more than you let on, and you will love it still even when you see it through other eyes. Go now. I came here willing. My Fate lies here; yours is still out there in that big galaxy."
Slowly, reluctantly, the Doctor Stepped back into the Tardis. In the distance, the mechanical shrieking of Lord Nai'iria's carriage became louder.
The last thing he saw, before he closed the Tardis' door, was Jarrii-Arden Nai'iria walking straight towards it, without a hesitation, knowing full well what was in store for her.
As he was alone, his body started aching again, telling him regeneration was near. He dug his fingers into the Tardis, waiting for the pain to subside.
No, not yet he thought. Soon, but not yet. He set the coordinates for Earth, New Year 's Day.
Before he regenerated, there was still one person he wanted to wish one hell of a year to.
As the engines of the Tardis kicked in motion, he smiled; because he knew that he would make it to his last appointment.