Pinstripes & Mr. Dimples

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The two men walked side by side down the sidewalk, seemingly oblivious to the people they passed along the way. One was tall and lanky, his brown hair fussed by the brisk breeze. His hands were buried deep in the pockets of the fawn overcoat he wore, the tails flapping behind him more from the force of his steps than from the wind. The sneakers paired so incongruously with the brown pinstriped suit he wore made almost no noise on the concrete.

His companion was of equal height, but stockier build, his arms folding the edges of his blue-gray wool coat more tightly around his bulkier form. His black hair was as equally disheveled, but he still managed to make it look artful instead of messy.

"I thought this was supposed to be the sunny south," the dark haired man grumped at his companion. "So far, not seein' so much sun."

His brown-themed companion made a tutting noise, without actually turning his attention to the man beside him. "Surely you aren't bothered by a little unseasonable weather, are you, Captain?" he asked. "It's just a bit bracing!"

Captain Jack Harkness turned a wry expression on his traveling companion. "Ordinarily in a situation like this, I'd have friction to keep me warm," he replied. His companion merely snorted.

The two men walked further in silence, the brown eyes of the slender man constantly scanning his surroundings. "So, Doctor," Jack began again, "Not that I've never wanted to visit North America - but why here? Why now? I mean, a century ago, we'd have had Southern Belles. Heck, even six months either way, and we'd have gotten sultry weather, and all the scantily clad exposed flesh that implies. But now?"

The Doctor huffed again. "The TARDIS picked up some rather unique and distinctive energy readings from this era - energy that should not exist at all, let alone be here." His handsome features twisted into an expression of bitter hatred, and Jack caught the tell-tale flash of something like rage and grief in his eyes. "If those things are here..."

Now Jack was really concerned. "What things?" he asked.

For his part, it was as though the Doctor hadn't heard him. He surreptitiously removed his sonic screw driver from his pocket, and flipped it on to take a quick reading. "They're stronger this way," he muttered, increasing his pace. Jack had no choice but to increase his speed and keep up, but the new pace was not particularly conducive to chatting.

The Doctor's loping jog quickly carried them out of the city limits, and into the rapidly-becoming- more-provincial outlying area. Jack wasn't even really sure where they were - other than late 20th - early 21st century Earth, in what was known at the time as the Southern United States. Whatever the Doctor was chasing, it had him so on edge that he'd even forsaken his normal travelogue-style prattling for a change.

As if suddenly remembering that his companion had asked a question, once they were out of sight of the populace of the small town and the Doctor was able to fully focus on the readings from the sonic screwdriver, he began answering Jack's previous question. "I have never been afraid of the truth, Jack, but there have been times when I haven't wanted to hear - or admit - it. This is one such time. The TARDIS has picked up traces of a radiation signature that is peculiar to only one known race in all of the universe - a race that I had dearly hoped was dead and gone, but that I keep finding over and over again.

"The TARDIS picked up signs of Dalek activity."

Jack felt the world fall away from beneath him even as his lungs froze. Daleks. Here. He hadn't faced them since the Gamestation - and that had turned out oh so well for everyone involved, now hadn't it? He didn't realize that he'd stopped moving until the Doctor's voice floated back to him.

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