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Ariadne's Thread 9/15

Word Count: ~ 31.000
Summary: An accident in the archives lands Torchwood agents Jack and Gwen in an alternate dimension, where they unexpectedly meet the Warehouse 13 agents Artie and Claudia, swept away by an artefact as well. To survive, the two organisations need to join forces: Ianto and Rhys travel to South Dakota while the castaways try to outrun a deadly enemy.
Characters: Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper, Claudia Donovan, Arthur Nielsen, Ianto Jones, Steve Jinks, Rhys Williams, Myka Bering, Pete Lattimer, Leena, Mrs. Frederick, Trailer, OCs
Pairing: Jack/Ianto, Gwen/Rhys, Pete/Kelly Hernandez (hinted), Artie/Vanessa Calder (hinted)
Rating: PG-13
Spoiler: Something Borrowed, Exit Wounds / Doctor Who: The Sound Of Drums
Setting: after Exit Wounds
Crossover: Warehouse 13
Crossover-Setting: after Lovesick
Crossover-Spoilers: The New Guy, Lovesick
Warnings: Mention of canon character deaths, language
Contains: Canon slash
Author's Note: This is quite literally a product of a dream I had. And then I thought that those two shows wouldn't make a bad match. And so, this happened.
Beta: larsinger29 and EmrysofWriting, thank you. :)
Disclaimer: I’m not making money with this fanfic. The tv-shows Torchwood and Warehouse 13 and the characters appearing within it belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.


Chapter Eight
Ariadne's Thread Masterlist

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9.



They were all out of breath by the time they reached the office. Claudia turned in a circle, looking down all the aisles that branched off from here, but she couldn’t see the Minotaur. Yet. She rubbed her belly, feeling hunger dig into her stomach like a knife and she was thirsty.

Jack, somehow having turned into the leader of their mismatched team, put his hands on his hips. ”Alright, I don’t think we have a lot of time,” he said and looked towards the windows of the office. “How do we get up there?”

Claudia looked between the balcony and the nearest shelves. ”Jump?” she suggested.

Jack pulled a face. ”Too risky. It's too far away.”

”It's not. I could make it.”

Artie silenced her with a withering look. ”The Captain's right.”

Claudia frowned. ”I'm a fast runner and I'm good at leaping.”

”The last time you leapt, young lady, you almost killed yourself.”

”It was a matter of inches! This is about the same distance. I'm fast, I'm light – I can make it.”

Jack stared at her intently as if weighing his options.

Claudia raised her eyebrows. “We don't have any other choice. That thing could appear any second now.“

Gwen looked around. “I wonder why it didn't already.“

Artie made a thoughtful noise. “If this is a game … maybe it's giving us a chance.“

Claudia nodded. “We should make use of it.“

Jack seemed undecided. Gwen put a hand on his arm. ”Jack? I could try it.”

He shook his head. ”I still think we should look for another way. That's pretty high. If one of us falls, it could end badly.”

A deep growl echoed through the Warehouse. They all looked around but the Minotaur was nowhere to be seen. Claudia let out a breath. ”Right, time's running out.” She started to climb the nearest shelf.

Just a second later, Artie's hand closed around her ankle. ”What do you think you're doing?”

”I'm jumping.”

”Stop it. Right now.”

She ignored him and shook off Artie's hand, climbing higher.

”Claudia,” Jack said, his voice strict.

“You're all just standing around when we could be well on our way back home.“ She slipped but managed to hold onto the shelf.

“That's it,“ Jack said. The shelf wobbled and when she looked down, she saw Jack had started to follow her. She held onto the wood and couldn't climb on.

It was Gwen who intervened. ”Jack, stop! It's unstable.”

”Claudia,” Artie said.

She reached the top and stood up. She could see the Minotaur approaching, slowly as if it was giving them time, ready to pounce the moment they started to make real progress … and stumbled when the shelf wobbled again. She glared down at Jack. ”Hey, stop rocking the boat!”

He narrowed his eyes and jumped down. ”You better know what you're doing.”

She smiled. ”I never do.” She walked a few steps backwards to have a longer stretch of shelf. Then she threw a last look at the Minotaur. It had stopped and seemed to be watching her curiously. Almost as if it wanted to wait and see what she would do. She looked back towards the office, took a deep breath and started to run.

The second her feet pushed off the shelf, she knew wasn't going to make it. Her chest slammed against the edge of the balcony, winding her and she slid down. Her fingers frantically looked for purchase and hooked into the grating of the balcony floor. She tried to pull herself up, ignoring the worried cries of the others underneath her. She couldn't pull herself up. The Minotaur's steps were getting closer.

”Damn!” she screamed. “What do I do?”

Jack's voice drifted up to her. ”Let go, we'll catch you!”

She heard Artie scoff. ”Are you crazy? She could break her neck.”

”More likely that she'll end up paralysed.”

Claudia rolled her eyes. ”Are you done arguing!?”

”Let yourself fall!” Jack said.

Claudia closed her eyes, tried to do it but her fingers were frozen. ”I can't.”

Gwen's voice sounded calm and collected. ”You have to! The Minotaur's on its way. Claudia, you have to let go. Jack will catch you.”

She heard Jack mutter something.

”What about ammunition?” Gwen asked.

”This is all we have. So … just in case.”

Claudia gasped, trying to expel her fear by breathing it out. ”Okay … okay.”

”Good girl,” Jack said.

Claudia rolled her eyes. “Old enough to drink,“ she muttered.

”Let go!”

She closed her eyes and did.

Landing in someone's arms hurt more than she would have thought, but to Jack's credit, he was very good at it, stumbling backwards and crashing against the head of a shelf – but he held her securely.

”Wow,” she said.

”I've had plenty of practice in catching girls,” he answered with a grin and set her down. Claudia couldn't help but notice how wonderful he smelled. He took her hand. ”Let's retreat.”

They started running, Artie holding up with them without a problem. Gwen had their backs, holding Jack's gun pointed at the Minotaur. Claudia doubted that it would help any.

“Right,“ Jack said and – suddenly – stopped.

They all looked back at the Minotaur. It had stopped, looking after them warily.

Jack grinned in triumph. ”It's guarding the area surrounding the office. Nothing else.”

Gwen nodded in agreement and handed Jack the revolver. ”The thread has to be up there.”

Claudia leaned against a shelf and took deep breath, holding her ribs.

“Are you okay?“ Artie asked, worried.

She nodded. “Yeah, just got a bit winded for a minute there.“

He leaned closer, his dark eyebrows pulling together disapprovingly. “That was an incredibly stupid thing to do.“

“I learned from the best,“ she replied, smiling at him. Artie rolled his eyes. Claudia leaned her head back and looked at the ceiling. Slowly, her heartbeat was evening itself out and she calmed. Movement out of the corner of her eye startled her. She turned her head and froze. ”Steve,” she said. The others looked at her and then the apparition. There was Steve and he was with another man. They were standing close, staring into each other's eyes. They didn't move, though, or acknowledge their presence in any other way.

”Ianto,” Jack said and then, louder, ”Ianto!”

They vanished.

Gwen asked, ”What was that?”

Jack looked at his wristband, pushed a few buttons and looked around before frowning at Artie. ”How big exactly is this Warehouse?”

”As big as we need it to be,” Artie answered. ”Big.”

”Bigger than the outside of it?”

Claudia frowned and tore her eyes away from where Steve had been just a minute ago. ”It's built into a small mountain.”

Artie asked, ”Why all those questions?”

”Because my manipulator can't make sense of its surroundings and until now, that happened only in one place. This place is bigger on the inside than the outside, am I right?”

Claudia looked at Artie curiously. ”I guess,” he admitted. ”I'm not sure.”

”As big as you need it to be. That's pretty convenient. What do you do when you run out of space?”

There was silence, then Artie answered, ”We never do.”

Gwen crossed her arms. ”What does that have to do with Ianto appearing?”

”We got a glimpse at the dimension we came from,” Jack explained, ”because the technology of the entertainment unit can't keep up with the size of this place. It's strained. Cracks happen. And we can use those cracks to communicate with the others.”

Artie nodded and then asked, ”To tell them what?”

”To tell Ianto that we're in Hell,” Jack said, looking at Gwen. Her eyes widened in understanding. Jack looked back at Artie. ”And to get us out.”



Chapter Ten
Ariadne's Thread Masterlist


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