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Ariadne's Thread 11/15

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 Ten
Ariadne's Thread Masterlist

***
***


11.



Steve's cell beeped, interrupting the quiet that reigned the Warehouse office while they were having lunch at the round table. Myka was a bit worried about Ianto only picking at his slice. He seemed deep in thought as if he was puzzling over what to do next. Rhys, meanwhile, seemed a bit discouraged. Myka could relate. She herself didn’t feel as confident any more as she had when they’d started working the problem. Artie’s input was sorely missing and she couldn’t help but worry about him and Claudia. For instance, if they had any kind of food wherever they were.

Steve’s cell beeped again.

Myka glanced up at him from her slice of pizza and frowned. Steve wasn’t one to get texts during work … or at all. Sometimes, she wondered if he had left any friends behind when joining the Warehouse. She wasn’t the most sociable person herself but even she’d managed to stay in touch with her former colleagues-come-friends from the Secret Service.

Pete shot Steve a look and seemed a bit amused about the fact that Steve flat-out refused to look at his phone. ”What's up? You got a boyfriend or something trying to reach you?”

”Sorry,” Steve answered and shook his head. ”Probably my mother.” He continued to ignore the cell, though.

Pete raised an eyebrow. ”I get the feeling there's not much love lost between the two of you.” He grinned. ”Let me talk to her. Moms love me, we'll have this straightened out in no time at all.”

Steve wasn’t the only one glaring at Pete. Myka sent him a warning look as well. She could relate just how difficult a relationship to the parents could be. She had a lot of problems with her father. Most of them had been straightened out by now but still.

Pete raised his hands in defence. ”Or I'll just mind my own business,” he muttered into his pizza.

The cell beeped again.

Steve sighed, annoyed himself now. ”I’ll switch it off.” He got the phone out of his pocket and then paused, staring at the display. ”It’s not my mom. It’s the FRA.”

”The what?” Rhys asked.

“Yeah,” Pete echoed, “the what?”

”The Face Recognition Alarm. We’ve got an intruder alarm for the nights,” Myka answered with a frown at Pete. ”It’s on page twenty in the handbook, Pete. Seriously, three years and you haven’t even reached page twenty?”

”As I told you: waiting for the movie,” Pete answered. Steve looked at Myka in alarm. ”Claudia updated the software. It’s running 24/7 now, not just in the night. Only me and her are getting the texts, though. It’s still being tested.” He checked his messages. ”There were ten alarms in the last hour. Nobody was down there within the last hour.”

Ianto leaned forwards, his blue eyes wide with excitement, even though his face didn’t give any emotion away. ”What does that mean?”

Myka answered, ”That means that something down there is moving.”

Pete looked at her in disbelief. ”Did you take lessons in being creepy from Mrs. Frederick?”

”We should check it out,” Leena interrupted him.

Steve shook his head. ”Whatever it is, it’s moving through the Warehouse. We can’t predict where it will go, we only know where it was last registered. By the time we get there, it could be gone.”

For one moment, they were all quiet, thinking about it, and then Pete suddenly said, ”Hey, hey, hey! I've got an idea.”

Everybody looked at him.

Pete was grinning like a lunatic and he seemed honestly surprised. ”Seriously?” he asked, staring at Myka, Steve and Leena. ”Am I the only Warehouse Agent thinking of the Durational Spectrometer?”

Myka sighed and bit her lip. Great, he would never let her forget that he had had an idea when she’d come up empty ...

***

The Durational Spectrometer indeed made it possible for them to see what had happened in the small aisle way off to the side of the Warehouse. It took Pete a while to find the short moment they got to see Gwen and Claudia. One minute, everything looked normal, and the next, they appeared out of nowhere, Gwen waving with both arms while Claudia was speaking soundlessly. The relief all of them felt was palpable, for just a second, then they were gone again.

Rhys was glad to see Gwen uninjured and apparently perfectly fine but he also noticed how tired her face looked. ”Why can't we hear them?” he asked.

Myka crossed her arms. ”It only displays images, no sound.”

Pete rewound the image and played it again, looking at the women with a focused frown on his forehead. He was especially concentrating on Claudia, whispering to himself.

”What is she saying?” Rhys asked.

They vanished again.

”Pete?” Myka said.

”I have to watch it again.” He rewound the images anew and stepped closer, completely focused on Claudia, then he switched off the Spectrometer. ”She saying: 'Jack said that we're in Hell and that Ianto would know what to do. Lucifers.'”

”That's what she said?” Myka asked, looking at Ianto who turned away abruptly, running a hand through his hair.

Pete nodded.

Rhys was impressed. ”You read her lips.”

”My sister's deaf, it's useful,” Pete said with a shrug, ”and it looks good on the CV.”

”So,” Steve said, turning to Ianto, ”do you know what to do?”

Ianto turned back around to them and then, to Rhys’s relief, he nodded. ”I need some things, though.”

Myka stepped closer to him. ”Whatever it is, we can get it.”

”A computer, a strong internet connection …” Ianto hesitated for a moment, grimacing, then he added, ”And a phone call.”

***

What Ianto did with the program he’d downloaded from Torchwood’s server looked very complicated to Myka. She exchanged impressed looks with Leena while Pete was staring at the screen as if he was able to understand what Ianto was doing. Rhys and Steve had left a little while ago to pick something up for Ianto that he’d promised he’d explain later. The phone call he’d requested had lasted half an hour and had dug a frustrated grimace into Ianto’s features. All she knew was that he’d talked to someone military, as the rank ‘Colonel’ had been uttered several times. Ianto had hung up looking like he had a migraine but telling them that he’d succeeded and giving Steve and Rhys directions.

Now, he heaved a sigh and leaned back in the chair, making it creak loudly in the quiet office. “Okay, everything's online.”

Pete crossed his arms. ”So, what happens now?”

”We have to wait. I stashed the particle consumption in the system and as soon as a new crack shows, the system can lock onto the particles. Then we can stabilize the crack and they can come back.”

Myka nodded in understanding. ”Alright, but how do we stabilize it? I don't think the computers can handle that.”

Ianto smiled. ”That's why I needed the phone call. Rhys and Steve are picking up what we need as we speak.”

***

The officer getting out of the black, nondescript car was imposing to say the least. Broad-chested, a strict face, the dark hair cut short underneath the red beret and the green uniform bearing several stripes and medals. He looked around the wasteland and the dusty, abandoned parking space they’d decided to meet at and raised one dark eyebrow at Rhys and Steve, while the just as black, just as nondescript van following the car parked and a soldier in desert camouflage jumped out of it. Steve felt a bit embarrassed by his small red car and a bit intimidated. According to Rhys, UNIT was a military organization dealing with alien occurrences. They were highly trained and not to be messed with – and Jack Harkness didn’t like them very much.

The officer joined Rhys and Steve. His dark, piercing eyes looked at them as if he wasn’t quite sure they were the ones who’d called in UNIT’s help. His name tag read Colonel Julian Preston. ”Torchwood?”

”Yes,” Rhys said, straightening his shoulders. ”I'm a Torchwood agent. I'm, like ...” He flailed and finished lamely, ”Ianto Jones sent us to pick it up.”

”What's Torchwood doing here?” Preston asked mistrustfully. ”America's UNIT's turf.”

”Well … that's a secret,” Rhys answered.

Preston’s eyes narrowed. ”We have no problem cooperating with you and loaning you our possessions, but I need a bit more than 'it's secret'.”

Steve thought he might as well try to work his very own charm and got his ID out of his jeans pocket. ”Agent Jinks, ATF.”

Preston’s attention turned to him. ”ATF?”

”Yeah, Torchwood is consulting with us on a top-secret mission concerning national security.” Steve felt his own heart pounding against his rib cage and cursed the fact that for someone who was so good at identifying a lie, he was a terrible liar himself.

Preston stared at Rhys as if he couldn't quite believe that a harmless-looking guy like him would be involved in something like that. ”National security?”

Before Steve could think of another bad lie, Rhys spoke up. ”Well,  more like ...” He paused and then asked softly, ”Can I count on your discretion?”

Preston nodded. Steve was intrigued. He had no idea what Rhys was on about, he just hoped that he would know to keep the Warehouse quiet. As much as all three of them were involved in secret affairs, Steve wasn’t sure UNIT was allowed to know about the Warehouse.

Rhys said, ”It's more like Captain Harkness got himself into trouble and we're helping him get out.”

Preston stared at him and then, unexpectedly, he laughed. ”Now, that I believe.” He looked back over his shoulder and nodded to the soldier standing by the van. The soldier saluted and then left his position to hop into the car Preston had arrived in. Steve guessed that meant they got the van with the device in it. Preston confirmed his assumption just a second later. ”This is on loan only. We want it to be returned before you lot leave the country.”

”No problem,” Rhys replied and smiled. ”We'll call you.”

”Tell Captain Harkness to call me – Julian from Toronto,” Preston said and, with a wistful smile, added, ”He promised to do so five years ago and not a peep.”

With that, he got into his car and drove off.

Steve and Rhys stared after him until the car was just a small object far away on the straight road cutting through the Badlands. Finally, Rhys nodded. ”Sounds like Jack.”

Curiously, Steve went to the van and opened the doors. The sun lightened the interior, showing them a big, rectangular wooden crate that barely fit into the compartment. Black, bold letters on the wood announced UNIT USA, Object 0935. Steve frowned. When Rhys stopped next to him to look into the van as well, he asked, ”So what have we got here?”

”Something UNIT built with alien technology,” Rhys answered. Steve raised one eyebrow at him, sceptical. Rhys shrugged. ”No kidding,” he said. ”It’s mostly Sontaran, Ianto said. They try to invade all the time.” He nodded gravely as if he knew everything about every alien invasion that had ever taken place.

”Right,” Steve said and slammed the doors shut. ”Then let's get it back to the Warehouse.”



Chapter Twelve
Ariadne's Thread Masterlist