A New Beginning

New York City
Present Day

When Alex Eames showed up at Bobby Goren’s inner city apartment early that morning, Bobby could have been forgiven for thinking that she was taking a round the world cruise. The amount of luggage she had with her beggared belief, but all the same Bobby was wise enough not to openly criticise. Especially knowing she was not above retaliating with physical violence, by way of a swift thump to the arm.

Even so, the look on his face must have spoken in volumes, for Alex propped her hands on her hips and glowered threateningly at him.


Bobby held his hands up defensively, immediately recognising the warning signs of danger. He’d been on the receiving end of her anger too many times not to realise when he was treading on extremely thin ice.

“Nothing,” he told her. “Nothing at all. I wasn’t going to say anything.”

For several long seconds, they stood staring at each other, caught in a stalemate. Bobby’s heart pounded as he waited for her to react. He had been looking forward to today with an eagerness that, not so long ago, he thought he had the ability to feel. The last thing he wanted was to kick off a new day, and a new start, by getting into a fight with his partner.

Just as he was certain that he was going to find himself in deep over his head, Alex’s shoulders slumped and she looked at the bags she’d brought with her in visible embarrassment.

“I brought too much, didn’t I?”

Bobby offered her what he fervently hoped was a sympathetic smile.

“Alex, we’re only going to be gone for a couple of weeks. Jack said we wouldn’t need anything other than comfortable clothes that we don’t care about getting dirty.”

“Or completely trashed,” Alex retorted, recalling a murmured warning from Ianto Jones. Bobby smiled wryly.

“Hopefully not. But seriously, what did you pack?”

“There’s not just clothes in there, Bobby,” Alex protested. “Think about it, pal. Do you really want to see what I look like after two weeks without makeup, and no clean clothes?”

Bobby’s eyes seemed to glaze over very slightly as he considered that, and Alex poked at him threateningly.

“Don’t you dare. I don’t want to hear it.”

Bobby chuckled softly, and rubbed her shoulder soothingly.

“Look, go into my bedroom, and try to consolidate, okay?”

“You really think Jack would freak?”

“No, not Jack. I’m thinking about Ianto.”

Alex snorted.

“Are you kidding me? If anyone understands, it’d be him.”

“Well... Look at it this way. It isn’t as though we’re travelling conventionally.”

That gave Alex pause, and after a long moment’s consideration, she gave in with some reluctance.

“Okay, fine. I’ll consolidate.”

The doorbell rang, startling them both.

“Go on, go answer it,” Alex murmured, suddenly sounding a little on the subdued side. “That’ll be Jack and Ianto. I’ll go sort this out.”
Bobby watched her go before making his way over to the door, and opening it to greet his new employer.


Detective Mike Logan stood on the other side of the door, looking uncharacteristically nervous.

“Hey, Bobby. How’re you doing?”

“Fine. I’m fine. Uh... Not to sound rude, but are you here for a reason? It’s just that we’re a little busy.”

Mike didn’t appear the least bit disconcerted, and nodded past Bobby into the apartment.

“Mind if I come in?”

Bobby had no opportunity to say either yes or no. Mike stepped past him without waiting for an answer, and walked into the apartment. Biting back a sigh, Bobby paused to glance out into the hallway, as though hoping that his new boss would magically appear to rescue him from any ensuing uncomfortable conversations. No such luck, and Bobby reluctantly pushed the door shut again and went to face his former colleague.

Mike stood in the living room, staring at the duffle bag that Bobby had dropped in the corner the previous night before going to bed.

“Going somewhere, pal?” Mike queried. He sounded casual enough, but underneath the easy tone there was a hint of steel. Bobby very briefly considered lying, before deciding that it wasn’t worth the effort. Not to mention, Mike was far too good a cop to get away with lying to.

“Yes, as a matter of fact. Alex and I are heading out of town for a couple of weeks.”

“Taking some time out?”

“If you like.”

Mike’s expression hardened fractionally.

“Bullshit, Bobby,” he growled, finally letting that hardness through in his tone. Bobby did sigh, then, and walked around to sit down in his favourite chair with a heavy thud.

“What did you want, Mike?”

“I want to know what the hell is going on! You walked out yesterday... just walked out! Now, I get that you’re feeling a little restless, but Alex? I mean, what the hell? Tell me you really didn’t just quit!”

“Yes, we quit, Mike. We handed our resignations to Ross, effective immediately.”

“But why?” Mike burst out. “Damn it, Bobby, you’re throwing away your life here! Not just your career.”

To his frustration, Bobby didn’t appear the least bit irritated. Rather, he looked to Mike as though he was about to start laughing.

“I haven’t thrown away anything, Mike. Neither has Alex. Do you really think that we’d just walk away from the NYPD with nothing to go to?”

Silence met Mike’s words. Then, finally, Mike shut his eyes and groaned softly.

“Fuck. You didn’t. Please, tell me you didn’t.”

“Didn’t what?”

Mike looked up raggedly as Alex emerged into the room, a bemused look on her face.

“Please, tell me it isn’t true that you let yourself get suckered by that lunatic Harkness?”

“He’s not a lunatic, Mike,” Bobby said softly, his voice taking on a slight edge. Mike either ignored it, or was completely oblivious.

“Bullshit he’s not. Okay, so I have to concede to the whole not being able to...”

He was cut off when Alex coughed loudly and conspicuously. Mike blanched, recalling the oath he'd sworn three months previous not to speak of what he knew again. He paused to gather his thoughts before going on. When he spoke again, it was with a forced calm.

“Look... I know that Ross has been an ass lately. He knows it, and I think you both gave him a frigging heart attack yesterday. So... you got what you wanted, you shook the guy up. Hell, you shook everyone up. We get the point. You feel under-valued, and unappreciated. Now come back to work? Please? For my sanity, if not Ross’s.”

Bobby and Alex exchanged amused looks.

“He hasn’t filed our resignation letters yet, has he?” Bobby asked, with that infuriating little smirk. Mike smiled wryly, despite himself.

“How’d you guess? No, he hasn’t. They were still sitting on his desk when I met with him this morning.”

“This morning?” Alex echoed, and Mike winced a little, as though he’d suddenly realised his gaffe.

“Yeah... Um...”

“He told you to come and see us, didn’t he?” Alex asked. “He asked you to come and talk to us, and try to talk us into going back to the Squad.”

It was no question, and Mike decided it was pointless to try and play ignorant. Doing so would only see him digging a deeper grave for himself.

“Yeah, he might have. That doesn’t mean I’m here just for him, though. I’m here because I don’t want you to leave.”

“Mike, we appreciate it,” Bobby said gently, sounding suspiciously to Mike as though he was just humouring him. “We really do. But...”

“But you’re not coming back,” Mike said flatly.

Bobby answered with a solemn shake of his head.

“No. We’re not. I’m sorry, Mike, but we’ve made our decision. We both feel it’s time to move on to something new.”

“Okay, I get that... I suppose... But Torchwood? Seriously? C’mon, Bobby, you really can’t sit there and tell me with a straight face that you’ve joined fucking Torchwood!”

“Is it that hard to believe, Mike?” Alex asked. Mike snorted loudly.

“Hard to believe? Are you kidding me, Alex? Damn it, it’s fucking impossible! How the hell could the both of you have let yourselves get suckered in by Jack fucking Harkness?”

“I like to think it’s my charm, dashing good looks and enigmatic personality. What do you think, Ianto?”

Three pairs of eyes turned swiftly to find Captain Jack Harkness and Ianto Jones standing just inside the doorway of Bobby’s apartment, both men wearing amused smirks.

“It’s the pheromones,” Ianto deadpanned. “You have an unfair advantage, sir. We’re helpless to resist you.”

Jack’s face broke into a wide grin, and he looked cheerfully back at Mike.

“Well, there you go, then.”

Looking slightly green, Mike got awkwardly to his feet.

“I think I’d better go.”

He stalked past Jack and Ianto, twisting his body as he went to avoid even brushing against Jack. He paused with his hand on the door, and looked back grimly at his two former colleagues.

“I just hope to God you both know what you’re doing. And as for you...” His gaze went to Jack, hard and uncompromising. It was the same look, Ianto reflected ruefully, that the man had had on his face the morning that he’d decked Jack in the squad room. “If anything happens to them, I’m gonna hold you personally responsible.”

Jack’s smile faded minutely.

“Not the first time I’ve heard that line.”

“Yeah, well, add this to it. Anything happens to them, and I don’t care how long it takes. I promise you I’ll find a way to make you die permanently. Do you understand me, Harkness?”

Jack’s smile was gone entirely by then, and his eyes glinted with some unfathomable emotion that Mike felt he ought to understand, but couldn’t.

“I get you, Detective.”

“Good,” Mike muttered. “Just... good.”

He paused, sparing Bobby and Alex one last, almost pitying look, before turning and exiting the apartment.

“We’re sorry about that, Jack,” Bobby said quietly once the door had closed behind Mike. “We weren’t expecting him to show up this morning.”

Jack shook his head and spoke in a soft, sincere tone.

“Don’t apologise. He cares about what happens to you. Be grateful for that. Don’t let that friendship slide, if you can help it. You never know when it might make a difference.”

“Don’t start getting maudlin on us,” Alex said with a short laugh. “He’s old school Irish. When we get back, we’ll get together and shout him to a whiskey or two, and everything will be fine. He’ll adjust, particularly once he realises that with us gone from Major Case, he becomes Lead Detective.”

Jack chuckled.

“I like your attitude, Alex. Although… I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of being maudlin before.”

“First time for everything,” Ianto retorted, pointedly ignoring the withering look that Jack fired at him.

“I don’t like wasting time on unnecessary sentimentality,” Alex said with a smile and a shrug. Bobby grinned, unable to resist an obvious remark.

“Except where your nephew’s concerned.”

“Shut up, Goren,” Alex said flatly.

“You have a nephew?” Ianto queried. “How old is he?”

“Three, going on four,” Alex answered. She motioned to a framed photo on Bobby’s mantle. “That’s him.”

“He looks like you,” Jack remarked as he took a closer look. Alex smiled proudly.

“That’s probably because I gave birth to him.”

“Surrogate?” Ianto wondered, and Alex nodded.

“Yes. My sister couldn’t conceive naturally, so I offered to be a surrogate. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

“Jack?” Ianto asked quietly, sensing a slightly subdued air about the Captain. When Jack turned to him, though, there was no hint that anything at all was wrong. The Captain looked from Bobby to Alex with an expectant air, rubbing his hands together in anticipation.

“Have either of you eaten yet?”

“Not yet,” Bobby answered for them both. “Breakfast tends to be bagels and coffee at the squad room.”

“Lots of coffee,” Alex added ruefully, to which Ianto responded with a reassuring smile.

“Don’t worry, Alex. Coffee is something we can definitely cater for.”

Jack clapped his hands together, showing the first hints of impatience.

“All right, people. I’d been intending on suggesting we go and get something to eat before we leave, but given how teleportation via vortex manipulator feels, that might not be such a great idea.”

“Is it really that bad?” Bobby asked, though there didn’t appear to be any sense of dread in his query. Jack grimaced, remembering with some discomfort the ugly sensations produced when using the device during the Harold Saxon debacle.

“Yeah. It really is,” he confirmed. “Luckily, though, the effects only last for a few minutes. But trust me, if you’d had anything to eat, you’d only be losing it again very quickly.”

“Charming,” Alex remarked dryly.

“Trust me,” Jack said with a smirk and a wink. “We’re not in the habit of being judgmental, but there’s nothing to flatten you more than throwing up in front of your new colleagues. So, that said, grab your bags, kids. Time to go.”

“Kids…?” Alex grumbled, frowning with mock annoyance. Jack laughed.

“How old are you, Alex? Thirty-eight?”

“Something like that,” she admitted slightly awkwardly.

“Against my hundred and seventy odd years? You’re just a baby, gorgeous. Take it as a compliment. Ianto does.”

“As if I have a choice,” Ianto retorted, but the sparkle in his eyes told them he wasn’t insulted at all by the Captain’s words.

“So, what do we do?” Bobby asked, and it took some effort for Alex not to laugh. No matter how casual his words, there was no hiding the eagerness in his face. It lit his features up like a Christmas tree, and took years off him.

“Grab your bags,” Jack told them with yet another wide grin. Bobby hefted his duffle bag up off the floor, while Alex hurried to grab the two bags she’d consolidated her own belongings into. Jack raised an eyebrow at the sight of the bulging bags. “Got enough there, Alex?”

“Just the necessities,” Alex answered flatly, and her expression dared him to argue. The Captain knew better, though, and he merely chuckled.

“Okay, then. We’re good to go. Everyone, cosy up, now.” He held out the wrist to which his vortex manipulator was strapped. “Time for a little hands-on experience.”

“Oh, you didn’t just say that,” Alex retorted, and promptly switched her attention to Ianto before Jack had the opportunity to respond. “How the hell do you put up with him?”

To both her and Bobby’s amusement, Ianto blushed red, and he shot a mock threatening glare in his lover’s direction.

“Could you at least wait until we get home before you start up the harassment, sir?”

Jack laughed openly, then, and waggled his wrist in the air.

“Seriously, hands on the wrist strap. You need to all be touching it, or you’ll just be left behind. And I don’t want to leave anyone behind.”

Exchanging amused grins, Bobby and Alex reached across and laid their hands over the strap, and Ianto placed his hand over theirs. Grinning widely and shaking his head in amusement, Jack placed his hand over Ianto’s, though he pounced on the opportunity to rub the tip of one finger suggestively against the flesh of one of the two hands clasped beneath that of his lover. The detectives were consummate professionals, though. Whosever hand he stroked, the owner didn’t so much as bat an eye.

Feeling surprisingly disappointed, Jack slipped a single finger underneath the cluster of hands and pressed a button that he knew instinctively by touch. There was the familiar, almost reassuring tugging sensation, and then the world around them disappeared in a haze of blue and white light.

to be continued...

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