Not able to hold still any longer, Jack stood and joined the Doctor in leaning against the bookshelf. Both Gwen and Tosh were still sleeping and Ianto's eyelids were drooping heavily. As he watched, the Welshman's eyes sunk closed once again and his chin dropped to rest against his chest. Though he couldn't hear it, Jack knew that a soft snore would be escaping the slight crack between Ianto's lips. The only member of his team that seemed to be fully functioning besides himself was Owen. He was in deep conversation with Giles while the Librarian went about organizing the massive amount of Medieval weaponry that he had pulled from a chest he kept in the hall closet.
"Tell me something, Jack," the Doctor said. He was studying the nicknack that he held between his fingers with much more concentration than was due such a simple household item. "Is Rose dead in your timeline?"
Jack hesitated for only half a breath before he said, "No. I haven't seen her since Satellite Five, but she’s still alive."
"Why were you so surprised when I told you it was her who had been taken?"
"I really don't know how much time passed for you between Satellite Five and next I remember meeting you. Things were a touch bit frantic, what with all the running for our lives. For me, it was close to a hundred and fifty years. You were traveling with a brilliant young woman that helped us save the world. But you told me that Rose was alive and safe with her mother." Jack paused, wondering if he should say anything more. In the end, he decided that a change of subject would be best.
"Why is it that, since Buffy introduced herself, you haven't made the least bit of fuss about going out to find Rose?" he asked.
At his side, the Doctor stiffened. "I happen to see the intelligence in waiting for dawn to fight an adversary that is, according to our hosts, allergic to natural light. That's all."
Jack studied him closely for a moment before he shook his head in denial. "That's not it. Remember Doctor, I was a trained Time Agent. These people must be part of an Event; like the captain of the Titanic or that singer Michael Whats-His-Face. In any other situation you would have ignored what the locals told you and dove head first into saving Rose regardless of the consequences. Rose means more to you than any other companion you've ever traveled with before or ever will in the future. So you need to tell me why you're following the instructions of a sixteen year old girl and her teacher instead of doing what you want."
The tension in the Doctor's shoulders seemed to quadruple at Jack's words. He looked away, towards the girl in question. She was in Giles's tiny kitchenette whittling away the tips of several sturdy pieces of wood. Her knife was so well honed that, after only a handful of strokes, the tip of each piece was as sharp as any blade that Jack had ever used. After nearly five minutes of silence, during which Jack nearly made up his mind that the Doctor wasn't going to tell him anything, the Doctor finally spoke. "Buffy Summers and Rupert Giles are so much more than just a girl and her teacher. They are the
Slayer and her Watcher."
"Wait, you mean that the stories are true?" Jack exclaimed, barely able to keep his voice at a whisper.
The Time Lord frowned at the question. "What do you mean 'stories?' Information regarding vampires and the people who track them have been in the standard mission briefing for any Time Agent headed earlier than the twenty-second century since the fortieth."
Jack shook his head. "They are in the briefings, but only as a precautionary tale to prevent Agents from being mistaken for one. There are reviews of local myths and legends so that we know what to do to discourage suspicion. The only reason why I recognize the terms you used is because the subject intrigued me and I went looking for more information. But I've never seen a vampire before tonight."
"I highly doubt that you've walked the Earth for a hundred and fifty odd years and never crossed paths with a vampire. It's more likely that you've just never realized it," the Doctor interrupted. He took in the look on Jack's face and gave a soft, humourless laugh. "You've probably come across more than your fare share of the undead. You're predisposed to think alien so that's the first thing that comes to mind in any situation. How many times have you died from a mysterious attack from behind? Or woken up with a resurrection headache after spending the night in some strangers bed, or after getting falling down drunk in an unfamiliar bar? Vampires are good at blending in, they've been doing it for millennia."
"I thought it was all just myth and legend. I mean, history talks about the United Slayers' and Watchers' Association, but there's never been any proof that it really happened. Vampirism's never been proven as far as I know," Jack mused.
"Vampires were fully integrated into human society and recognized as sentient beings in the late twenty-first. If you know about the USWA, then you know about as much as I do. What I don't understand is how they fell off the map again." The Doctor stared of into space, a frown marring his brow.
Into the uneasy silence that fell between them, Jack's Vortex Manipulator chirped out an alert. Jack, wondering just how much more could go wrong in a single night, flipped open the cover and studied the highlighted display. He swore under his breath and straightened up. Across the room, both Buffy and Giles came to immediate attention. "We're not going to be able to wait until morning to go after Rose and Xander."
"What is it?" Gwen asked groggily, having woken up in time to hear Jack cursing.
"Another Time Agent just arrived in town and is headed for the warehouse district," Jack explained. "It's Captain John."