The trouble started, as most trouble does, with the very best of intentions.
"I think it's some sort of AI," Tosh said excitedly, clutching machinery. "We waste a lot of time doing routine systems maintenance. Could we hook this into the Mainframe and program it to help us?"
Jack smiled at her enthusiasm. "Sure, go ahead."
Later, he would seriously consider going back in time to kick himself for saying that.
"Owen, just open the Hub door," Jack growled. He was tired, covered in Harskeelie pus, and not inclined towards patience.
"Look, I'm trying," Owen snapped. "It's not accepting my code."
Jack tried his.
EXCESSIVE OPERATION TIME NOTED, the control panel blinked. MINIMUM SEVEN REST CYCLES BEFORE RE-ENTRY.
Jack scowled and opened an access hatch.
"How's that?" he asked, after a little fiddling.
"Great!" Owen said sarcastically. "Now it says 'FOURTEEN CYCLES'."
"I don't understand," Gwen said. "It... wants rest?"
"Bloody AI!" Jack howled. Tosh stood behind Ianto. "Okay. Tosh will find a way in. I'll find us another base until she does."
On their fourth day in Jack's grimy warehouse, the Mainframe reported them to the police for vagrancy.
"Tosh, progress?" Jack asked plaintively as they were evicted.
"Not yet," Tosh admitted. "Um, Jack?"
"It's just... Mainframe's sending me holiday offer e-mails. I think she wants us to rest."
Jack stared. Tosh smiled hopefully.
"We can't take holidays. The Rift doesn't take holidays!"
Owen's apartment lasted them through an I'aaee'i tour ship and four rift spikes before his landlady threatened to have them arrested.
"This is getting serious," Tosh whispered to Ianto. "I haven't told Jack, but Mainframe's started booking us flights. And resort stays."
She opened her laptop. Ianto saw photographs of orange tropical flowers and brilliant blue water, and whimpered.
"She's really determined," Tosh said, impressed.
Rhys put up with them for three days, which was longer than expected and probably only due to Ianto's coffee.
"Look, I'm sorry," Jack said, catching Gwen wistfully eyeing an Island Paradise Resort e-mail offer. "I'd like a holiday, too. If there were Rift babysitters, maybe we could go," he added, trying for a smile.
An hour later, Jack was called by a very confused Martha Jones.
"I just got an e-mail saying you need a Rift babysitter. Is that some kind of pick-up line?"
"No," Jack said, resting his forehead on Ianto's tiny kitchen table. "Our AI locked us out and won't let us back in until we take holidays."
Martha laughed so hard she dropped the phone.
"Do you need holidays?" She asked when she'd caught her breath.
"God, yes," Jack groaned. "I've got purple shadows under my eyes, Martha. Me!"
"Stop being dramatic," Martha said fondly. "Let me call a few co-babysitters, then take the damn holiday."
Fourteen rest cycles later, Team Torchwood successfully reported for duty. Jack felt so relaxed that he waited ten whole minutes before sending Tosh to fix the AI.
Tosh petted it surreptitiously. "Good job, Mainframe! Next let's try for a raise!"