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The Easy Way or the Hard Way

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Jack is trying (unsuccessfully as it happens) to work his way out of a pair of police cuffs when a hand plinks a key down on the table in front of him.

"Looking for one of these?"

He squints past the shop lamp that's practically sizzling his eyes in their sockets and tries to find a face in the shadows. The warehouse is otherwise dark but after a second he manages to make out the outline of a man. It takes another second to recognize Gwen's old partner Andy Davidson, mainly because Jack has never seen him out of uniform. Still, once the penny drops, the whole situation gets a hell of a lot more interesting.

"Constable Davidson. If you wanted me in bondage all you had to was ask."

"You wish." There's a hint of movement as Davidson crosses his arms. "I looked into you after Temple had the Jonah Bevan case closed out from under me."

"Oh?" Under the circumstances it's probably impolitic to smile, but the coincidence is too good. The night Ianto gave Gwen the coordinates to Flat Holm was memorable for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which involved a pair of handcuffs. At this rate Jack is going to have to send Jonah Bevan a thank you card. "What did you find?"

"It's interesting, actually." Davidson puts his hands on the desk and leans forward just enough that his face is visible. He's wooden more than he is threatening, like he's practiced his moves in the bathroom mirror but never done them for real until now. "You don't exist."

"And yet here I am in your handcuffs. How romantic."

"There isn't a lick of information on you in the national databases." He pushes off the desk and vanishes into the dark again. "No fingerprints. No DNA. Not even a traffic stop or a parking ticket."

"I'm a very conscientious driver."

Somewhere out of Jack's line of sight, Davidson gives a humorless chuckle.

Jack smiles and leans back as casually as possible. He'd kick his feet out if they weren't duct taped to the legs of the chair "So you brought me here because you couldn't find me on Facebook? Seems a bit much, not to mention a little bit crazy, and way above your pay grade. I could have your job for this."

"Except you won't."

"Yeah? And why is that?"

Davidson drops a thick yellow envelope on the desk next to the handcuff key. "Because I can definitively place you at the location of another four disappearances, and have another seven cases you look to be involved in, all in the last few years. You and Torchwood. You're lying to the police, and you're lying to the public."

"So turn me in." Jack grins in a way that's less about his own amusement than it is about showing teeth. "Or isn't the case you're going to make to your superiors compelling enough?"

"As compelling as Torchwood's hush money? Hardly. Which is why you're going to make this easier on everyone and turn yourself in."

Okay, so maybe there's a little bit of amusement in Jack's grin after all. "Or what?"

"Or, well…" Davidson falters a little bit. "Or else."

"So let me get this straight," Jack says. "You know your boss won't touch me with a meter stick, even with evidence, and your response to that is to kidnap me? For what? It's not like you can build a case now. Well, unless you're trying to prove you're unfit to serve because you're dangerously psychotic."

Silence.

"You're also pretty much the worst interrogator ever." It's liberating, Jack thinks, not having to worry too much about saying the wrong thing while he's being held hostage.

Davidson steps out into the light and sits on the edge of the desk. "You're handcuffed in a chair in an abandoned warehouse and you're criticizing my technique?"

"I think 'technique' is a strong a word for what you did back there, but I'll give you points for tenacity." Jack nods to indicate the key on the desk. "Let me make you a better deal. How about you let me out and we'll talk about those missing persons cases? Scout's honor."

Both of them look at the envelope. Davidson lets out a sigh and then reaches over to pick up the key. A few minutes of finagling later and Jack is upright and rubbing his wrists. He stands quietly at Davidson's side, near enough to make it clear he isn't planning on running away. Considering what he's about to do, that's probably too bad.

When Davidson turns to pick up the envelope, Jack steps forward and puts an arm around his throat to block the carotid arteries. His other arm comes up to support the hold, and the struggle lasts less than a minute before Davidson goes limp in his arms. Jack lowers him to the ground and reaches for the cuffs and tape.

When he's satisfied, he takes the pill case out of his pocket and waits. Someday, Jack hopes, some bright spark will figure out a quick and easy way to make an unconscious person swallow. Until then he's going to have to do this the hard way.