I don't own The Tower and the Hive, Torchwood or Spooks (MI-5)

Chapter 3

Harry stood up and walked out of his office to look around for Adam. He frowned when he realized Adam wasn't around and walked over to Ros.

"Where's Adam?"

"He's chasing up a lead on that train jumper. You assigned him the case," Ros replied, her tone implying that Harry obviously wasn't paying attention. Harry sighed in annoyance.

"Bad timing," he muttered as he glared at the floor. He looked up at Ros, who was watching him expectantly.

"We're about to have a visitor," he said and watched Ros' eyes narrow.

"Who might that be?" she asked softly.

"No one you know, I'm sure," he replied with a slight shake of his head. Ros made a slight humming noise that Harry took to be disagreement. He saw the slight change in her expression and realized she was attempting to fit some pieces together, but he wasn't sure what. He didn't have a chance to ask her at any rate, because at that moment he saw the expected visitor step up to the pods.

Ros saw Harry's expression change and she turned around to follow his gaze.

"Captain Jack Harkness," Ros spat softly, her words dripping with venom.

Harry had a difficult time hiding his surprise at Ros' words, but he covered it quickly as he gestured for Jack to come through. He chanced a quick glance at Ros' expression. Her face was carefully neutral, but her eyes were two chips of ice.

Jack came through the pod and swept across the room towards Harry and Ros, his coat billowing behind him. His presence caught every eye in the room and Harry groaned inwardly. He often forgot about the effect Harkness had.

Jack's face brightened with a broad, boyish smile as he neared Harry.

"Harry, how are you?"

"What do you want?" Harry asked, all business.

Jack made a face and turned to Ros.

"As I live and breathe…" Jack began, his smile growing slightly larger.

"Despite my best efforts," Ros said tightly.

Jack chuckled. "Charming as ever, I see. I come in peace, so try to curb your bloodthirsty impulses," he said and leaned over. "At least until later when we can be alone," he added with a wink.

Harry watched Ros' jaw tighten and quickly grabbed Jack's arm and steered him towards the office.

"Don't bait my team," he said to Jack as he shut the door behind them.

"I can't help it. Ros is just so…." Jack trailed off and waved his hand. "Anyway, down to business."

Jack dropped gracefully into a chair and leaned back.

"I need you to turn the alien over to me," he stated simply. Harry kept his expression impassive and moved to sit behind his desk. He laced his fingers on the desk in front of him and met Jack's gaze.

"Alien," he said, not quite a question, but not quite a statement. "I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about."

Jack leaned forward, the friendly expression falling from his face.

"You don't want to play with me, Harry," Jack warned.

"I have no intention of playing with you, Captain Harkness. As stated, I don't know what this alien is that you refer to."

"One of your agents found her on the pavement outside Thames House. I'm sure you remember that?"

Harry gazed at Jack steadily with a bland expression.

Jack smiled and huffed out a small laugh as he leaned forward. "We saw it on the CCTV footage."

"Ahhh," Harry said. "That was no alien. That was just an unfortunate young woman who had an accident. If not for that odd light that passed by, you would have seen her fall. It was quite tragic," Harry finished explaining.

Jack raised his eyebrows and shook his head at Harry, another chuckle issuing from his throat.

"You don't really expect me to believe that, do you, Pearce?" Jack asked, his tone taking on a slight edge.

Harry spread his hands. "Well, that is up to you, of course, but it is what happened."

He smiled thinly and laced his hands on his desk again.

Jack stared at Harry, watching for any crack in the façade. Harry's expression remained blank and mild as he stared back. The minutes passed. Jack swore inwardly finally and sighed loudly as he stood up.

"I still think you're lying," Jack stated. Harry shrugged and made a face of commiseration.

"I will find her, you can't hide her forever," Jack paused, put his hands on the desk and leaned forward, his forehead nearly touching Harry's. "Let's just hope no one gets hurt," Jack warned through clenched teeth.

Harry tilted his head and the corners of his mouth turned up slightly. "Good luck in your search, Captain."

Harry lifted an arm and gestured towards the door. "I'm sure you can see yourself out."

Jack straightened up, gave Harry a final searching glance and then stormed out.

Ros' eyes followed Jack as he stalked from the Grid and then she looked in at Harry. She glanced after Jack again, then back at Harry once more before walking into Harry's office.

"What now?"

Harry shook his head and sighed. "Now, we have to decide how far we are willing to go to protect an…" he paused, uncertain of using the word. "Alien," he finally finished.

"Jack knows the game. He won't risk attempting grab Aisling right now, he knows we'll be expecting it. He'll be watching to see what we do. If we're not going to give her to them, then we need to get her out of the country before they realize what we've done."

"How do you know …" Harry began, but at the look on Ros' face he stopped. "Never mind." He really should be used to Ros always seeming to know than she should.

"I don't think they know that she is with Ruth just now. Malcolm signaled that Jack's two associates were waiting outside."

"We don't know how large his team is, Harry, this could have been a diversion."

Harry pursed his lips thoughtfully and shook his head. "I don't think so. They would have just gone and taken her from Ruth. They wouldn't have come to me first. We must get Ruth and Aisling out of the house and finding a way to get the girl out of the country and create a diversion so Torchwood doesn't see it until too late."

"I'll be the diversion," Ros immediately offered. "You and Zaf should go and take care of Ruth and Aisling."

Harry watched Ros walk out of his office and over to Malcolm, to find out where Jack and his team had gone, no doubt. Harry wondered for a moment what past Ros and Jack might have, then shook his head to put it out of his mind. He would never ask and he wasn't sure that she would answer, or that he would like the answer if she did.

He picked up his phone and called Ruth.

**/\***/\**

"Well, what happened?" Gwen immediately asked when Jack climbed back into the SUV and sped away from the front of Thames House.

"They claim she's just some girl who fell from the roof of Thames House."

"And you believed them?" Gwen asked incredulously.

"No, I don't. But she's not in the building, so we have to find where they've hidden her."

"How do you know that?" Ianto piped up from the back seat.

"Call it a hunch," Jack replied shortly as he twisted the wheel and swung sharply around a corner. He quickly whipped another corner and came to an abrupt stop in an alley.

"What are we doing?" Gwen asked as Jack flipped open the laptop.

"I dropped a tracker on someone before I left. With any luck, he'll lead us straight to the girl. Meanwhile, Ianto, I want you to scan for residual Rift energy. She's bound to have some still on her."

"I'll look for anomalous bio-signatures as well."

Jack nodded and settled back in the seat, his eyes fixed on the red dot on the screen.

Gwen looked up from her own laptop where she was coordinating scans with Ianto when she heard Jack's indrawn breath.

"He's on the move," Jack stated and started the car. He followed slowly. He didn't know what Harry was driving and didn't want to get spotted. When the dot finally came to a stop, Jack drove as close to the location as he dared and parked.

"Right, we have to move in fast on foot. Let's go."

He transferred the location to his wrist tracker and jumped out of the car, heading towards the house at a sprint with Gwen and Ianto right behind him. Jack scanned the area as they closed in on the house. The curtains were drawn, much to Jack's chagrin, so he couldn't see inside. He quickly gestured Gwen and Ianto to circle around and then approached the front door.

He knocked and waited a moment. He knocked a second time with a bit more force. When there was still no answer, Jack tried to open the door. Locked. He slammed his shoulder against the door to open it. He pulled his gun out and slipped smoothly through the doorway.

Ros whirled around with a gasp of surprise as Jack broke in.

"What are you doing here?" she snapped.

Jack ignored her and looked up at the ceiling. "C'mon, Harry, just bring her out and no one gets hurt," he called out. Ros dropped the bag she was holding and launched herself at Jack. He registered the move, and raised his arm to block her, but not quickly enough. Her booted foot hit him squarely in the abs and he stumbled back with a muffled "oof".

Ros landed and rushed at Jack, snapping her leg out to sweep at his legs. Jack cursed as he awkwardly dodged her kick and then tripped over a throw rug. Ros took advantage of his weakness and flung herself onto his back, slamming him to the floor. Jack groaned inwardly as the air rushed from his lungs. Ros pushed her forearm against the back of his neck, pinning his face to the floor and wrenched the gun from his hand and pressed it to his temple.

"I always did like being on top," she purred in his ear.

"She's not here, is she?" Jack wheezed, realizing he'd been duped.

"Caught on, have you. Really, Jack, I thought you were smarter than that. Did you really think Harry wouldn't notice the tracking device?"

"And he told you to distract me."

"Oh, no, I volunteered," Ros explained. "For old time's sake," she hissed. Ros looked up as Gwen and Ianto burst into the room and pointed their guns at Ros, who reacted by pressing the gun against hard enough against his temple to make Jack wince.

"Put them away," Jack ordered, lifting his hand from the floor and waving it at them. The pair straightened up, looked at Ros, then at Jack and slowly put their guns away.

"Where's the girl?" Gwen demanded.

"Not here," Ros replied in a condescending tone. She leaned over and patted Jack's cheek. "Jack and I were just talking over old times."

Gwen snorted and folded her arms over her chest muttering "Jack" in a disgusted tone.

Jack noticed the shift in Ros' weight as she leaned and quickly snapped his elbow up. It hit her pressure point just between her collarbone and shoulder, knocking her backwards and off balance. Jack quickly rolled, straddled and pinned Ros in one smooth movement.

She glared up at him, but didn't struggle.

"Looks like I'm on top now," he smirked.

"Don't let it go to your head," she sneered and he chuckled.

"You always were too cocky for your own good," she added.

"Don't you mean arrogant?"

She lifted an eyebrow at him and almost smiled. "I think we both know I don't," she contradicted silkily.

Ianto shifted, growing uneasy at the interplay between Jack and Ros. "Shouldn't we be finding the girl, Jack?" he asked in a sharp tone.

Gwen glanced at Ianto, then back down at Jack. "Yeah, Jack, c'mon. Let's get moving."

Jack let go of Ros' arms, snatching his gun from her hand as he moved and stood up. He holstered his gun and then lowered his hand to Ros. She hesitated, but then took it and let him help her to her feet.

"I guess we'll call it a draw," he said to her and smiled as he gave a small bow before turning to follow his team out the door.

"Watch your back," she said as he walked out the door, a small smile of triumph hovering at the corners of her mouth.

She moved to the doorway to watch the three of them leave and then pulled her phone from her pocket.

"They've gone. I'll wait here for another hour in case Jack planted a tracker on me, then I'll come back to the Grid."

She snapped the phone shut.

**/\***/\**

Jack sat in the driver's seat, seething. He should have known Harry would find the tracker. Jack thought he'd been so clever and planted it without the man catching it. He glared at the steering wheel and pretended not to hear Gwen and Ianto's broadcasting their discomfort by fidgeting while they sat in the back seat.

"Um, Jack, I've got a list here of all the MI-5 safe houses I could find. I'm sure it's not all of them, but I'm not sure even Tosh could have got round that Malcolm's safeguards."

Jack reached without looking and snatched the printed list she held out to him. He glanced over it briefly, started the SUV and drove away with a shriek of tires.

"Any luck on the scans?" Jack barked.

"No, nothing yet," Ianto replied. He was tempted to add, 'London's a big city,' but the expression on Jack's face changed his mind and he kept silent.

"Keep an eye out as I drive past these safe houses, they're sure to be hiding her at one of them."

Gwen and Ianto glanced at each other. Surely Jack didn't think Harry was that inept? Harry and his team had already outsmarted Jack once and Jack clearly had thought it wouldn't happen. Gwen was tempted to argue with Jack on just that point, but she also decided to keep silent. Jack was clearly in no mood to be corrected or lectured to.

There was something more to it, Gwen was sure, probably something to do with that encounter they had with the MI-5 agent. There was clearly history between Jack and the woman. Gwen knew what that history probably was and Jack had just as clearly never moved past whatever the woman had done to him.

She leaned back in the seat and passed the time trying to break into more of the MI-5 database.

**/\***/\**

Aisling tensed in her seat at the café and a small gasp escaped her lips.

"Are you all right?" Ruth asked.

Aisling shrugged. "I'm not sure, I feel…strange," she replied uncertainly and glanced out the plate glass window behind her. "Hunted."

Ruth's eyes widened. Despite knowing Aisling's abilities, it was still a bit hard to believe the girl could do what she had said she could.

Aisling grabbed Ruth's hand across the table. "We have to go, they're going to find me," she blurted in a rush as she jumped to her feet, dragging Ruth up with her. They hurried outside to the car and quickly got in, startling Zaf who was finishing a coded check in to the Grid.

"Drive, Zaf," Ruth ordered and Zaf started the car and quickly pulled into traffic.

"What's going on?"

"Aisling thinks Torchwood are close," she explained.

Zaf wrinkled his brow, but didn't comment.

"Where should we go?"

"Turn right!" Aisling broke in. Zaf quickly changed lanes and swung into a turn, ignoring the horn that blared at him for cutting off another driver.

"We need to talk to Harry," Ruth decided and pulled out her phone.

"No!" Aisling shrieked knocked the phone from Ruth's hand. "They'll hear you."

Ruth looked at Aisling, surprised at the girl's panic. "I don't think Torchwood are going to harm you…" Ruth began.

Aisling looked at her. "I…" she glanced at Zaf. She was sure he was listening despite the fact he seemed entirely focused on the road as he deftly wove through traffic. "Just a feeling," she finished lamely, but gave Ruth a significant look.

Ruth nodded and retrieved her phone from the floor and slipped it back into her pocket.

"We'll call Harry later."

She settled into the seat, but noted where they went as Zaf drove quickly as he dared through town, Aisling occasionally calling out for him to turn.

**/\***/\**

"Bloody hell!" Ianto slammed his hand forcefully down on the seat. "Again, there was something, but it's gone!"

Gwen leaned over to look at the screen. "This is the third time now, isn't it?"

Ianto nodded, keeping his eyes fixed on the screen in front of him not wishing to miss it again.

"Jack, I don't think any of these hits we're getting are happening near those safe houses," Gwen said. "Whoever is with her is probably driving around town."

Jack pulled over and stopped the car abruptly. He turned and looked back at Gwen.

"How would they know where we are?" he asked her. "There aren't any tracking devices on us."

She shrugged. "Maybe it's this girl, or whatever she is."

"Or maybe the hits are weevils," Jack said, looking at Ianto.

"No, I adjusted the settings to specifically filter them out."

"Then are you able to get any idea where it's going?"

"No, it's there and gone so quickly. It's just moving randomly around as far as I can tell."

"Could they be moving out of the city?" Gwen wondered.

Ianto pondered a moment, tapping the screen where he'd seen the last three hits. "That's very possible. The last three were a bit close together and there seemed a shift towards the east each time."

"Then why don't we head east, zigzagging north and south, we're sure to pick them up again," Gwen suggested.

Jack's face brightened slightly. "And we'll be herding them instead of blindly trailing after."

Gwen nodded.

"Fine, that way," Ianto pointed. Jack grinned and turned back around. He barely glanced at the passing cars before pulling into traffic and heading the way Ianto had pointed.

**/\***/\**

Zaf's phone started ringing and Ruth reached over the seat to pick it up.

"It's Adam," she said and glanced at Aisling. "I best answer it." She glanced at Aisling again, no reaction. She quickly pressed the button.

"Yes, Adam?" Ruth listened for awhile, nodding. "Right, okay, I understand."

She put the phone away. "Adam needs my help. Stop and let me out."

"But Ruth..."

"Just pull over and let me out. I can call Adam to come pick me up. Take care of her," Ruth said with a gesture towards Aisling.

Zaf nodded and pulled over to the curb to let Ruth out.

"Stay with Zaf, Aisling, he'll watch out for you. We'll get in touch as soon as possible."

Aisling looked ready to argue, but finally nodded. She grabbed Ruth's hand and squeezed it before letting go.

Ruth slammed the door and lifted her hand as Zaf drove away. Ruth turned and moved at a fast walk down the pavement, pulling her phone from her bag as she went.

"Where should we go now?" Zaf asked.

Aisling met Zaf's eyes in the rearview mirror. "Go straight ahead as far as you can as fast as you can."

"Right," Zaf said and began to drive more quickly.

**/\***/\**

"So, what did you need?" Ruth asked Adam after he had picked her up.

"Well, you thought that the man who died was trying to tell you something, that it had the feel of a drop," Adam stated.

"Yes, Harry didn't really agree."

"I think you're right. I've come across a few things while you've been taking care of our foundling and I'm quite sure there's more going on than we realize."

"What do you want from me?"

"If he was trying to communicate with you, then the drop or whatever is going to be something only you will be able to figure out. I need your help to find it."

"Whatever I can do, then. Tell me what you know so far."

Adam explained what he'd found about the man who had given Ruth the note, that he'd worked at Cotterdam Prison and had obviously known something about a fire that had happened.

"At first, I thought the seven prisoners in the report had died, but I was wrong. We got hold of a satellite photograph that showed the seven prisoners leaving the prison before the fire. I got into the morgue and looked through Maudsley's belongings, found nothing. I took his keys and searched his house, I found what I thought was the drop, but it was only a blank disc."

"Right."

"I hope we can find something. Oliver Mace is causing a lot of trouble for Harry over this investigation, trying just about anything to shut it down. He tried to implicate you, except he couldn't come up with much since you were still outside the tube station when Maudsley jumped in front of that train. We know there's something going on, we have to prove it."

They arrived near Maudsley's house, but stayed back across the way when they noticed agents, no doubt belonging to Mace, swarming the place. Adam pulled out a small pair of binoculars to look the place over, then handed them to Ruth.

Ruth scanned the building and gasped. "Offa! Adam there's a picture of Offa in the window. I can't believe I didn't see that before."

"And he is…" Adam prompted.

Ruth began to hurriedly explain as she and Adam walked quickly down the pavement. "An obsession of mine. He was king of Mercia in the 8th century. I wrote a thesis on him about the site of his palace, now known as Wood Street. That's the real drop Maudsley left for me."

"Go around the back," Adam said as they reached the building and he discovered the door was locked. He and Ruth split up, looking all around for where the drop could be.

"It could be anywhere." Adam complained.

"No, no, no," Ruth broke in, "Not anywhere, it's here." She began to pick with her fingers at the base of a plaque on the wall. "I've got it, I've got it.," she said as she pulled a small piece of microfilm out.

"Come on," Adam put his hands on her arms and rushed her back to the car.

"There's a microfiche reader under the passenger seat," he told her as she opened the car door.

Ruth quickly inserted the film and began to read. "Okay, minutes from a meeting..."

"What's on the agenda?" Adam wanted to know.

"Hang on, hang on…top secret…eyes only…bloody hell. You were right..extradition and special interrogation measures, otherwise known as torture. Cotterdam is mentioned there's other places..." Ruth continued.

"Who's on the guest list?" Adam pressed.

"Maudsley, MI-6, Special Branch, Military Intelligence, someone from the government, oh my god, there's someone here from MI-5, too, from our section. It's a just code name, not a department. It says Section D…Fox..."

"That's impossible, someone must have put that in to stop us exposing," Adam said in disbelief.

"What do we do then?"

"I can't believe it. I'm calling Harry," Adam said in frustration as the phone rang out. "Where the hell is he?"

He started the car and began to drive. Just as he pulled away, his phone began to ring.

Adam quickly flipped open his phone. "Yes?" He paused as he listened. "You are joking."

"What's happened?" Ruth wanted to know.

"Harry's been arrested," Adam told her and snapped his phone shut.