“Oh… Kristoph…” . Marion clung to the mystery man’s hand still, but now she reached with her other hand and stroked his cheek. “Oh, I know who he is. He’s not a burglar. He’s… He’s the one I told you about… the one I met last year in Liverpool… the Captain from Torchwood.”

“The one who stalked you?” Kristoph asked.

“Not stalked,” she responded. “Not exactly. He was perfectly all right with me. He just wanted to talk. I told you at the time. I wasn’t scared or anything. He was… charming. I liked him.”

“Even so… he seemed strangely obsessed with you. And this… this proves it. He was so obsessed that he risked his life in the Portal to try to reach you.”

“I don’t think it’s that,” Marion insisted. “I don’t think he did anything so desperate as that just because of me. It must be more important than a… crush… on me.”

“Crush?” Kristoph smiled benignly at his wife. “That’s a sweet way of describing something dangerous and disturbing. This man…”

“Is still our responsibility,” Marion reminded him. “He’s been terribly hurt. He’s almost better now. But we still have to find out what happened to him, and why.”

She was still caressing his face. The redness was fading and he looked whole again. He was, as she noted the first time they met, a very handsome man in all the ways people of her planet defined handsome. Lying there, still in the induced sleep Kristoph put him into he also looked uncommonly vulnerable. She had a feeling that he wouldn’t like that. He was a strong man usually. He was a lot like Kristoph in that respect. He did a dangerous job for much the same reasons. Being as helpless as he was now would upset him.

“Marion… he’s not a child,” Kristoph told her. The way she was looking at the sleeping man reminded him of the way she looked at Rodan when she was in her cot at night. It was a gentle, yet protective, motherly tenderness. “He’s older than you are. And he is trouble in every way you can imagine.”

“He… is a friend of our son,” Marion replied. “Our future son. Remember when you were young and getting into trouble along with Lee and his brother. Aineytta cared for them as much as she cared for you. This is the same. Our son’s friend needs our help.”

“That’s not…” Kristoph struggled for something to say in response to that. “It’s not the same. Our son hasn’t been born, yet. Besides… I’m not sure that’s even true. All the things he said about the future… It still could have been an elaborate hoax to gain your confidence.”

“He’s waking up,” Marion said. She wasn’t exactly ignoring what her husband was saying to her. She just didn’t think he was right this time. And she was concerned for the well-being of the man who lay in her own bed, dressed in borrowed pyjamas.

He was stirring from the induced sleep now that his body was fully repaired. He breathed deeply and his hand closed even more tightly around her hand as his eyes flickered and opened. They were beautiful eyes, sapphire blue and, it seemed to her, expressive of all that he had suffered in his desperate attempt to reach her.

If that really had been the reason – to reach her.

His lovely eyes focussed on her and he gave a long sigh. He reached out his arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer. Marion felt his kiss on her cheek and heard something like a sob, but of relief not distress.

“I found you,” he said. “Thank God. I found you. It was worth it.”

“All right, that’s enough,” Kristoph said in a stern voice. He pulled Marion back from his embrace. He was gentle about it, but firm. “I am Chrístõ Mian de Lœngbærrow, Magister of the Southern Continent. And you are, until I decide otherwise, my prisoner.”

“As prisons go… this is one of the best,” the Captain replied glancing up at the crystal chandelier in the ceiling.

“Nevertheless, you are detained under my jurisdiction. You used a time portal without authority. You are an illegal alien who came to this planet without passing through our immigration channels.”

“I didn’t get my passport stamped.” Jack Harkness gave a short laugh. “Ok, you have me there. But I made it… this is Gallifrey? The home of the Time Lords. And… you… you’re… Magister… that sounds important. I think I did the right thing, after all. I made it. I found the man I needed.”

Marion looked at him and then turned to Kristoph.

“Then he didn’t just come here because of me? It’s more important than that?”

Kristoph didn’t say anything at first. He stepped closer and looked at his ‘prisoner’ steadily. Marion looked at him and knew he wasn’t trying to read his mind or anything. He was simply looking at him as if trying to determine if he was telling the truth from his expression.

“Did you know the Portal was so dangerous to you?” he asked.

“Yes. When I saw how it worked, I knew. Didn’t expect it to be quite so painful, or take so long, but I knew.”

“You’ve got courage, I’ll give you that,” Kristoph admitted. “You went through all that… knowing how dangerous it was… to find me?”

“To find a Time Lord, anyway,” he admitted. “You’re… Marion’s husband?”

“Yes.” Kristoph put his hand on Marion’s shoulder proprietarily.

“Then… you’re the one I came to find. The only other man I can ask to do this…”

“Other man?”

“I need a Time Lord who cares… who will fight… I know one who would. But I can’t reach him. But you… you’re… I know I can trust you.”

Jack Harkness sighed deeply and his eyes flickered as if he was fighting consciousness. Kristoph put his hand on his chest.

“Your heart is fibrillating,” Kristoph told him. “Your body has been through a lot. Just stay still for a minute. Let me help you. Or you’ll have risked your life for nothing.”

He closed his eyes and concentrated. He found the Captain’s irregularly beating heart and carefully steadied it. He let him breathe deeply for a few minutes before moving his hand away and breaking the connection.

“That’s better. Now… tell me what this is about before I hand you over to the Chancellery Guard and let them decide what to do with you.”

“If you do that, then Earth will be in danger and a murderer who should be handed over to your Chancellery Guard will get away with terrible crimes.”

“What murderer?” Kristoph asked.

“Magnus Ramasu,” Jack Harkness answered.

“Ramasu!” Kristoph’s face paled as if that was a name from beyond the grave. “How could you know that name? It was expunged from our history two thousand years ago.”

“That’s the name of the man who killed two Torchwood agents before we managed to capture him… and five more when he escaped from us,” Harkness replied. “And you just confirmed for me that he’s one of your lot… a Time Lord. So… so you have to help me. He’s one of yours and he’s messing up my planet.”

“I don’t have to do anything. If you know of the Time Lords, which makes you quite unique among twentieth century humans, then you must know that we have a policy of non-interference in the affairs of other planets. And as I said, Ramasu is history as far as we’re concerned.”

Marion was surprised by that. Kristoph had never liked the non-interference policy and spoke about it officially and unofficially in scathing tones. And the idea of him not wanting to stop a Time Lord who was causing trouble beyond Gallifrey’s skies was startling, too. Why was he even hesitating for one moment before acting?

“Kristoph,” she said. “Please…”

“Marion,” Kristoph answered. “Captain Harkness is going to need to get dressed. Will you go downstairs to the drawing room again. We will join you there when we are ready.”

She did as he asked. She really didn’t have any choice. She sat and played with Rodan by the fire. The sky outside was dark orange now, and it was snowing even harder. Just looking at the window made her shiver.

The thought of what might be happening upstairs made her shiver, too. It was true that she didn’t know Captain Harkness very well. She had met him once, and talked to him for a short time. Yet she felt that she could trust him. And she didn’t quite understand why Kristoph didn’t.

It was twenty minutes before Kristoph came to the drawing room. He was dressed in the tweed suit he always wore when he travelled to Earth and a dark overcoat. Captain Harkness was dressed similarly.

“You’re taking him back to Earth?” she guessed.

“I’m going to help him sort out the problem he has there.”

“Just you?” That worried her. “The man killed seven people already. Why can’t you take the Chancellery Guard or… call the Celestial Intervention Agency… It’s their job.”

“If I did either of those things, he would be in big trouble,” Kristoph explained. “I wasn’t just trying to scare him about the illegal alien thing. Coming here the way he did broke a lot of really serious laws. There would also be questions about how he did it which I don’t think he’s ready to answer. This way, we keep it unofficial and he doesn’t end up doing ten years in a penal mine on Polarfrey.”

“How long will you be?” she asked.

“I can’t say,” he answered. “Marion, I will be back. Don’t you worry about that. But he won’t be. When we’re done, he is going back to Torchwood and he is NOT going to try anything like this ever again. And he is going to stay well away from you when you visit Earth. I trust you not to go looking for him. So… I’m going to give you a moment to say goodbye. And that’s the end of it as far as you’re concerned.”

He turned and stepped out of the drawing room. Marion looked at Jack Harkness and then drew closer to him. He breathed in deeply and then put out his arms and embraced her. She felt him kiss her cheek. She returned the gesture.

“Take care of yourself, Jack Harkness,” she told him. “Goodbye.”

“Goodbye, Marion,” he answered. “I’ll… think of you. Even if we never meet again.”

He held her a few moments longer. But there was such a thing as pushing his luck. He turned from her and went out to the hall where a large grey cabinet stood incongruously in the middle of the floor. Kristoph waited beside it. He said nothing as he opened the cabinet door and stood aside. Jack Harkness stepped inside. Kristoph followed him and closed the door. Marion came to the hall in time to see the TARDIS disappear, then she returned to the drawing room. Presently, Caolin brought tea and sandwiches to her. All she could do was wait.