1

Jack was running.

As per usual.

His shoes pounding along the sidewalk as he swung around the corner and swore under his breath as the creature anticipated this, changing direction to run across the sports field full of rugby players mid-game. Herbil are known for their agility, speed and ability to blend in with humans. They were hard to catch and harder to keep hold of due to their ability to pick locks. Almost as painful as Blowfish. The squelch of grassy mud didn't help his footing and he knew he would be lucky to get across as the bloody Herbil glanced back at him with manic glee knowing full well it had…. BOOM!

The tackle had come from the side, slightly high actually … a red card sort of even if not for the fact the man who had tackled the Herbil clearly knew he was not tackling a fellow Rugby player, evident in the way he immediately struggled with the Herbil, ginning an arm behind it's back as it squealed with anger.

Jack joined the mini scrum, planting his knee on its back as he managed to struggle out some cuffs and they were snatched from him by the helpful player who clicked them home with precision, then fell back laughing.

"Jeepers Toto, that was a bit gnarly!" someone laughed "Hi Captain Harkness."

Jack looked up with surprise at the familiar voice, finding a VERY pale pair of legs, the mud covering them not enough to hide fact those legs did not belong anywhere south of a vampires crypt. He continued to let his gaze travel up past the baggy sticky shorts, lanky frame to find himself staring at Andy Davison.

"Hello PC Davison" he finally managed, rising to look at the Great Coat covered in mud, he knew Ianto would scold gently about as he tried to remove it "Damn. Ianto's gonna kill me."

"For the love of coffee beans!" a voice grumbled and the muddy tackler sat up to glare at Jack who found himself staring at Ianto Jones extraordinaire. The muddy version.

"Ianto?"

"Sir!" Ianto growled "For Godsake … you couldn't drop the coat at the sideline? Look at her .. totally destroyed. I will have to let that dry and brush off what I can before it seeps into the wool too far."

"Ianto! You play rugby!" Jack said with open stupidity, totally flummoxed by the sudden appearance of his Archivist.

Ianto stared at him for a moment and then looked down at himself like it was a great revelation "Oh my god! That's what I am supposed to be doing? No wonder the pen kept falling out from behind my ear and someone kept tossing a ball at me like a numpty!"

Jack blinked.

"Cheeky" Andy sniggered, and then clapped Ianto on the shoulder. A wet sloppy squelching sound. "Looks like ya caught one. Best get rid before someone sees the Torchwood SUV in the feckin parking lot!"

As Andy started to walk away, calling out to everyone that it was just another drug addict that the undercovers were after so clear the scene, Jack held out his hand to help Ianto lift the Herbil to it's feet. Immediately it spat, Ianto leaning back so the blob of green slime flew over his shoulder and he looked at the thing with that Look of Doom usually reserved for Owen.

"So. Come on, SUV time" Jack huffed walking the alien from the field as someone turned from the crowd to follow. As they got to the SUV it was Ianto who swung to intercept the woman that seemed to be filing them on her cell phone, her pale pink sweat-suit screaming Entitlement.

"Sorry Madam, this is a lawful arrest" Ianto said calmly as he tried to stop her from getting too close but she looked him up and down, then swung her phone up and down as well.

"See? This scum comes here to our fair city and take one of our good men down simply for walking across the field on a lovely sunny day" she spoke in a nasal whine "These arseholes are probably not even police, probably kidnapping this poor man right under our noses."

Ianto was getting sick of this and said more fiercely "Madam. I must urge you to step…"

She swung around him with an agility one her size should not really have and for a moment he wondered if she was a bloody alien too. Why not. Place is full of them but he turned to find her berating Jack now while he stood looking at her with derision.

"He's right ya know. You best step back Ma'am" Jack finally said.

"AMERICAN!" she shrieked, trying to talk to … well … no one else was there so Ianto wasn't sure if it was the phone recording or some imaginary person as she roared "see? Bloody import coming here and shitting all over our liberties!"

"Sir?" Ianto asked softly "Permission to Tase?"

"Down Ianto" Jack said his amusement showing as he looked over the woman's head at him. Yeah, she was short. Short, rotund and clearly deranged.

Then the handcuffed Herbil leaning back aginst the side of the SUV spat.

The green globule hit her in the face, her screaming now high pitched as she started to choke and spit with horror, her hands flailing around as the phone caught some air, Ianto more alarmed by her noises as she started a horrible gargling sound now. Yeah, if you are wondering, he caught the phone with a flick of his wrist, slipping it into his pocket with ease. Ta.

"Shit, it's infiltrating her airways" Jack yelled, racing for the SUV as Ianto grabbed her, helping her to the ground before she started uncontrollable spasms, her feet drumming as she started to convulse.

"Jack? Sir?"

Jack returned, sliding along the pavement as he dropped to his knees. He stopped at her side with a containment box clanking on the pavement, and then he opened it up, almost fumbling now as he lifted out the device.

Ianto looked on with growing alarm as Jack held the flattened metal disc over the woman's face then seemed to hesitate.

"Sir? I do not believe she can breathe" Ianto said a calmly as he could.

"I just… the anatomy is different for a human … this might not…"

Ianto snatched the disc and activated it by holding it in both hands, pressing his thumbs into the top as he made sure the fingertips did not get near the opening. Yeah, the opening. The bottom of the disc swung open, large vicious teeth that then retracted as well to show the interior of the disc was larger than the outside. Ianto I did not question this development, his knowledge of the TARDIS enough for him to know that space ws not relative.

The woman coughed, shuddered and then to Ianto's horror she stropped struggling as she started to pull her arms into her chest, the universal sign of surrender. She was drowning. She was fading fast.

Then the glob shot from her throat up into the disc, the impact making Ianto grunt as he felt the disc flick back, Jack catching the upward swing of Ianto's hands to help steady it and hold it over the woman for a second amount of glob.

She seemed to shudder and then to their immense relief she took a deep breath and flopped back to the ground. Her mouth open, gasping like a trout out of water. Jack took the disc from Ianto and turned it upside-down, the teeth around the outer edge starting to curl in and close then the door closed as well. Now a simple disc again. Simple. Slick. Heavy now, mind.

"Well … that wasn't so bad" Jack said happily as he sat back on his heels "sometimes they get a bit flighty."

"Flighty?"

"Their young" Jack shook the disc gently "It's how they do it. Like Nostrovites bite to transfer, they spit."

"So … those times they miss…"

"Like miscarriages I suppose. Never really thought about it" Jack screwed his face up as he considered then shook his head "Come on. You finished playing?"

Ianto rose and gave Jack a look that let him know Ianto was never really playing.

Not really.