Alex sat in a corner booth, his back pressed against the dark wood-paneled wall, his eyes scanning the crowd for his contact. According to the old man's intelligence, Jack Harkness should be easy to spot even with the throngs of Rugby fans packed into the intimate, neighborhood pub celebrating Wales' victory over England.
"Alex Krycek?" A young man wearing a charcoal suit so well cut that it would have made even Mulder's mouth water with jealousy, stepped up to the table.
Tightening his grip on the Sig he'd been resting on his thigh, Alex studied the kid in front of him. He wondered briefly how many people had underestimated the young Welshman because they couldn't see past the facade.
"There's no need for that, Mr. Krycek. Captain Harkness has been unavoidably detained and has sent me in his stead. If you'd care to confirm my identity, I can wait."
"Your usual, Mr. Jones?" a barmaid asked before Alex could respond.
"Thank you, Megan," Jones said, sliding into the booth across from Krycek. Jones folded his hands on the tabletop and looked at him expectantly.
"You've been fully briefed?" Alex asked, finding himself smiling. It was nice to work with a professional for a change.
"I was in Jack's office during the conference call. His lordship was quite intractable," Jones said, turning to look at Megan as she set a glass of what looked to Alex like a whisky neat on the table.
Alex's smile became a throaty laugh. Harkness hadn't been detained, he'd simply and characteristically, or so he'd been led to believe, blown him off. His well-mannered associate had apparently decided to unilaterally take the meeting. Out on the sidewalk, less than 20 minutes later, Alex wished he hadn't. And Jones called the old man intractable. Now he had another trip through airport security and a 7-hour flight to look forward to. Joy, he thought. Starting toward the curb to flag a taxi, Alex darted into the alley to observe as a man who could only be Jack Harkness strided aggressively toward Jones as he was coming out of the pub, his coat flapping in the brisk wind. He was too far away to read the Captain's lips, but his expression screamed you'll be lucky if I only fire you. To his credit, Jones looked more amused than cowed. He thought he had a pretty good handle on the young Welsh agent until Jones grabbed the Captain by his coat lapels and pushed him roughly against the wall of the pub. So that's how it was, Alex thought as he watched the two men. Damn if he didn't miss Mulder. Leaving them to it, Alex slipped out of the alley, but turned slowly back when he felt too-interested eyes on his back. Harkness was giving him a grin that left nothing to the imagination.
"You should come work for me, I'm a very progressive employer," the Captain called out suggestively as he draped his arm across Jones' shoulders. "You can ask Ianto," he said nodding his head toward his lover.
Alex eyed Jones wearily. The only thing he wanted to ask Ianto was how to get a cab in this burg.
"You're never going to get a taxi," Jones said, making the hair rise on the back of Alex's neck.
"Ooh," Harkness asked, "do you need a ride?"
"Harassment," Jones warned.
"You never let me have any fun," Harkness pouted.
"I think that's for the best, sir," Jones said.
Alex walked toward the pair wondering if he'd lost his mind.
"You know," Harkness said, "if you come work for me you can bring that cute, Fed boyfriend of yours."
"Ja-a-ack," Ianto said.
"What I do now?"
"Bloody Torchwood," Alex muttered as he followed the bickering couple toward the SUV.