Shawn turned to the office door and nearly let out one of his patented screams when he saw the figure there. “Alan, dude, you gotta give a man warning.”
Alan chuckled. “You turned it off. You should’ve realized I’d show up.”
“But how did you focus on me? There’s quite a bunch of us here.”
“It’s hard to put into words. It’s like I just knew which mind was yours.”
“Dude, that just screams ‘creepy’.”
“Sorry. Nothing I come up with will make it any less so.”
Shawn was feeling awkward over this talk of his brain. Back in the Psych office, he might be able to handle this conversation, but now, in the middle of what they were doing, it was just weird. “Let’s go save the others, yeah?”
“Take this.” Alan pressed a gun into his hand.
“Wow, Lassie never gave me a gun. Jack didn’t offer either.”
“They haven’t seen you shoot.”
“You haven’t.” Alan just looked at him. “Right, future, I got it. Jack’s from the future, too… Well, Lassie has, but he probably thinks it was a fluke.” If Lassie ever acknowledged that happened, he’d have to admit he paid Shawn a compliment and called him “detective”.
“Just don’t shoot anyone you had breakfast with and we’re good.”
Shawn watched the change in Alan’s demeanor as he went into military mode. Thankfully, he didn’t have to use those annoying hand signals that his dad insisted on using at such moments. They came up behind Davies and his goon. The Apeman saw Alan and turned his gun on him. Shawn and Rhys kept their guns on Davies while everyone else aimed theirs at the goon. Alan stood there, unarmed, no sign of fear.
“Put the weapon down!”
“Jack, I’ve got it.” With a small nod of his head, Alan sent the gorilla’s gun flying over Gwen’s head.
“Dude, that was so frickin’ cool!”
“If you don’t want to join your gun, you’d best put your hands on your head,” said Gwen.
Shawn split his attention and missed Davies reaching for his gun. With no hesitation, he shot Davies in the hand causing him to drop the gun. Shawn had to smile when Davies began to curse him in that posh accent. It was almost as satisfying as making turn ten shades of red.
“Nice shootin’, Tex,” Jack commented as he put away his revolver.
“Saw it done once and thought it the sexiest thing.”
“It is a bit of a turn on.”
“Granted, I was about to get slashed to death and the shooter was a gorgeous blonde.”
“Juliet?” asked Alan.
“Yeah. It was totally amazing.”
Gwen and Andy took charge of the two men. “What do you want to do with them?” Andy asked.
“We could retcon them,” said Gwen.
“That wouldn’t help with the murder,” said Alan.
“What is retcon?” Shawn asked.
“Amnesia drug,” answered Rhys.
“It won’t work, Harkness,” growled Davies. “I’m immune.”
“Not to this stuff, it’s my own blend,” Jack said with pride.
“It still doesn’t answer where we put them,” said Rhys.
“Don’t you guys have cells or something?” Shawn asked.
“Not anymore,” Gwen told him.
“I’ve got an idea. Jack, your phone.” Jack pulled his cell out of his pocket and handed it to Alan. Alan dialed. “Alistair!”
“What? No, though I’m flattered. It’s Alan Kelly. I’m in Cardiff at present and I need a favor.”
“Who’s he talking to?” Shawn asked Jack.
“Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, a man with quite a bit of clout who can handle our detention problem.” Jack said. He pulled out bottle of pills from his pocket. “Take it yourself or we’ll force you.”
Davies took the pill and swallowed without water. The other man, seeing what his boss had done, followed suit without complaint. Jack seemed upset that he wouldn’t get a chance to threaten someone.
Shawn looked at Alan as he chatted away on the phone with a general whose number he had memorized. It made him wonder what other important phone numbers were in that head.
Alan ended the call and gave Jack his phone back. “I need to get a super-phone,” he muttered which caused Jack to grin. “Well, Alistair said he’d make arrangements for UNIT to come get these two.”
“’Kay, so we’re done now? I’d like to look around, you know, do some touristy stuff ‘cos if I don’t bring anything back from Gus, he won’t let me hear the end of it.”
“Gus?” asked Gwen.
“My best friend since…forever. He’d pout and hold a grudge for at least a month.”
Jack nodded to the two men and smiled at their snores. “Once we get these two into the lock-up, the four of us are taking you in a tour of Cardiff, including places that only locals know.”
“Sounds cool.” Shawn looked at Alan. “You up for this?”
“Sure, why not.”
Shawn had absorbed everything his tour guides had to show him and he came to appreciate all the street food Cardiff had to offer. He hoped he could find some of it back home. Gwen and Rhys had gone home to be with Mary and Andy had to work the late shift. Now it was just him, Alan and Jack looking out at the bay. Part of him was surprised the tour ended here, yet part of him knew Jack was drawn here because of how much it had affected his life. Now, he still didn’t know the whole story, but he planned to find out before leaving for home.
“So this is where everything happened, hunh? How did it end up looking like that?” Shawn asked, motioning to the crater surrounded by a construction fence and scaffolds.
“Yeah, that was Torchwood Three. As for how it ended, ground zero for a bomb.”
“Were you there when it went off?”
Jack chuckled humorlessly. “You could say that.”
Shawn remembered all the little things about Jack that didn’t add up—until now. He took a look at Jack’s shirt and saw bullet holes but no holes in his chest. “Wow, I don’t believe it.”
“You can’t die—or can’t stay dead.”
Before Jack could respond, his cell rang. “Harkness,” he answered. “Thank you, sir. Oh. Sure, we can do that.” He ended the call and slipped the phone into his pocket. “Right, let’s go.”
“Jack, will you explain that call and where we’re going?” asked Alan.
Shawn was torn between following Jack and staying with Alan. He still didn’t know much about either, but immortality? It was like real life Highlander.
“We’re meeting someone, okay?” Jack walked past the construction towards the road.
Behind him, Shawn heard Alan scoff. “What?”
“There aren’t many people Jack calls ‘sir’ and there’s only one I can think of who might be in the area.”
“The general you spoke with. This is definitely turning into an interesting trip.”
“Do you regret agreeing to come?”
“Hell no! I’ve come up against aliens and helped foil the dastardly plot of rogue agents of a majorly secret English organization.”
“Don’t call it English around Gwen. It’s all Welsh now.”
They joined Jack at the curb just as a discreet but expensive black car pulled up. Jack opened the back door and an older man stepped out. He was on the hefty side with a grey beard and thinning hair. Even though he stood a little slowly, there was definitely military bearing.
“Sir.” Jack saluted.
The general looked at him and Alan. “Col. Kelly. I was quite surprised to hear your voice.” They shook hands.
“I figured you would be the one to call for a favor since Jack’s lost all his connections.”
Shawn held his hand out. “Shawn Spencer, consultant with the Santa Barbara Police Department.”
Lethbridge-Stewart gripped his hand firmly. “Alan told me about you and what you’ve done. You have this country’s thanks.”
“Not really enough proof for bragging purposes, though.”
“It’s all right, Alan. I understand Mr. Spencer’s…need. I might be able to arrange something.”
The day after the meeting with the Brigadier, Shawn had decided he wanted to return to Santa Barbara. Alan had extended an offer for more travel, but all Shawn wanted was to go home, something he hadn’t felt since he was a kid. Alan had understood and had brought him back to his apartment with a promise to visit again.
The first thing Shawn had done was go the department to share his “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” story. They hadn’t believed him, though Lassie had been the only one to tell him outright.
Now, a few days later, he was entering the department after being called by the Chief.
Buzz was the first to see him. “They’re waiting for you.” He led the way and kept looking back to make sure Shawn was following.
The Chief’s office was full, what with the Chief, Lassie, Jules, Gus and his dad waiting for him. “Dad, what are you doing here? Is this some sort of intervention? Those don’t work on me.”
“No, the Chief called me. She thought I might want to be here for this.”
Shawn looked to the Chief.
“This came for you.” She handed him a letter.
Shawn took the envelope. It was cream stationery of good quality with a crest in place of a return address. Oh, my God, he really did it! “What’s this ‘essk’, ‘eesk’ thing?”
“It stands for ‘Esquire’, Gus answered. “It’s a courtesy title.”
“Since when is calling somebody queer a courtesy?”
“Es-quire, Shawn, not ‘is queer’.”
“I’ve heard it both ways.”
“Open the letter, Shawn.” Juliet couldn’t wait.
He opened the envelope slowly, being careful not to rip it. He then unfolded the letter. Centered at the top was the same crest and underneath that “Buckingham Palace”. He read the letter quickly and smiled ear-to-ear. He handed the letter to his dad.
“ ‘Dear Mr Spencer’,” he read aloud. “’I would like to personally thank you for assisting agents of the Crown while putting yourself at great personal risk.
“’Brigadier Sir Lethbridge-Stewart has spoken most highly of you, as have the agents involved and I would not be surprised were you to be nominated for the next Honours List.’ It’s signed Elizabeth II.” Henry fell into a chair. “My son has a personal letter signed by the Queen.”
“No, this can’t be.” Lassiter made to take the letter.
“Ah!” Shawn took it and put it back in the envelope. “Bet you’re sorry you doubted me.” He headed for the door.
“Where you goin’, Shawn?”
“I am going to get this baby mounted and framed in the best your credit card can afford.”
“Shawn? Shawn!” Gus chased after him.