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Ariadne's Thread 2/15

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 One
Ariadne's Thread Masterlist

***
***


2.



Claudia sighed deeply and pushed the protective glasses up for a moment to rub her tired eyes. ”Who would have guessed that Warehouse 2 was able to fit so many artefacts into it?” She looked around herself, taking in all the crates piled up around her and Artie. The decontamination tent they'd erected in Warehouse 13 for the artefacts that had been transferred from the recently re-discovered and now lost again Warehouse 2 was engulfed in a purple light that kept the artefacts under control. It hurt Claudia's eyes even though she was wearing the glasses. Maybe she'd spent too much time in here, but there were just so many things to categorize and pack away.

Artie didn't seem bothered by the light at all, but then again, he'd worked in the Warehouse for a very long time. And spent too much of it behind a desk, Claudia reckoned. She'd been trying to get him into a gym for weeks, just to lose a bit of weight. She was sure that Doctor Vanessa would appreciate it. They were ever so tentatively dating – at snail's pace. Claudia just wanted to move things a little faster. Maybe a relationship – even one over a big distance – would make Artie less grumpy.

Artie looked up from the little box in his hand and showed her a rare smile. One that told her he was fascinated with an artefact.

He held the box so that Claudia could see two beautiful golden earrings in it that were decorated with something that seemed to be jade. Questioningly, Claudia looked up at Artie again.

”Cleopatra's earrings,” he said.

Claudia's eyes widened. ”Awesome! What do they do?” She reached out a hand touched the earrings carefully, secure in the knowledge that the purple latex gloves would protect her from any negative effects.

Artie scratched at his beard with one hand, a thoughtful gesture. ”Wear them and you will be perceived as the most beautiful woman by everyone ...”

”Cool!”

”... but yourself. You will end up full of self-loathing and commit suicide.” He snapped the box shut, almost hitting her fingers.

Claudia's face fell. ”Right. I'll stay away from those then.”

Artie shook his head and set the box down on a nearby crate. ”You don't need them.” He pulled a pen out of the pocket of his vest and grabbed his clipboard, starting to fill out a form for the earrings.

”Aw, that's sweet,” Claudia said, ”and kinda creepy coming from you, old man.” Artie rolled his eyes and turned away. Claudia grabbed the crowbar and went to a crate, prising it open carefully. ”The last one before lunch break,” she said and peeked inside. While she dug through the stuffing to find the hidden artefacts, she said, ”So I'm thinking about getting Steve a boyfriend.”

She heard a long-suffering sigh from Artie. ”How come you're always ready to meddle in other people's lives?”

She turned around to him. ”Hello? Because that's what normal people do? You wouldn't know that, of course. When you grew up, they still exchanged goats for women and called that love.”

Artie stared at her in disapproval. ”Devil child.”

The nickname sounded affectionate coming from him and Claudia smiled. Her hand brushed something and she pulled it out. It was a wooden case the size of a shoe box. She opened it curiously. ”Well, that's kind of disappointing.”

”What have you got?” Artie asked.

Claudia took the ball of red string out of the box. ”Now I can knit you a scarf for Christmas.”

Artie's eyes widened. ”Oh my God! They really had it!” He grabbed the string out of Claudia's hands, staring at it in awe.

His reaction made her curious. ”What is it?”

”This,” Artie held the string up, ”is Ariadne's thread.”

Claudia looked at it, then at Artie, clueless. ”What is it?”

Artie sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. ”You children don't get any education anymore.”

”Sorry, spent my youth in an institution and in foster families. History wasn't really my priority.”

”Mythology,” Artie corrected her.

”Whatever.”

”This is the thread that Ariadne gave to Theseus so he would be able to find his way out of the maze after killing the Minotaur.”

That sounded vaguely familiar. ”What does the thread do?”

Artie shook his head. ”I don't know.”

Claudia checked the box and found some sheets of papyrus on the bottom. She carefully got them out, staring at the hieroglyphs in confusion before handing the papyrus to Artie. ”Paperwork.”

He squinted down at them. ”Opens doors.” He didn't say anything else.

”That's it?”

”Apparently.”

”Huh.”

They looked at the thread for a few seconds longer, and then Artie said, ”I know the perfect place for this,” and hurried out of the tent. Claudia followed him.

Sometimes, Claudia wondered how much time Artie had spent just wandering around the Warehouse and memorizing its contents and their placement. It was downright creepy how well he knew the place. He could always tell which shelves still had some space for more artefacts and which were full, where they were located and what the artefacts did, even though the cavernous room held thousands of artefacts and was crammed full with hundreds of shelves.

He stopped in an aisle not far from the tent and activated the display screen for an empty space in the shelf. He typed in Ariadne's Thread and filled out a quick questionnaire that he would probably complete later. Then he carefully set the string down on the shelf and smiled fondly.

A voice echoed through the huge room. ”Claudia? Artie?” Steve. Apparently calling from the tent.

Claudia smiled and answered loudly, ”We're here!” Artie grimaced when she added, ”We've found something rather boring!”

Artie raised a hand. ”Stop that screeching, will you?”

”Screeching?” Claudia echoed in mock shock. ”Just five minutes ago, I was pretty.”

”And beauty is best appreciated in complete silence.”

Claudia rolled her eyes and turned away to look for Steve coming around the corner.

”Oh!” Artie said behind her.

Irritated, Claudia asked, ”What now?”

”Uh-oh.”

Claudia whirled around, her eyes wide. ”You only ever say that when something bad is about to happen.” She followed his stare to the ball of string. It looked like it … pulsated, a soft glow emanating from it. ”Should I find that awesome or worrisome?”

Artie took a deep breath. “There's a neutraliser station ...”

Then everything went dark.

***

When light filtered back into the world, it came slowly and remained dim. Claudia half expected to be missing body parts or something equally unnerving, but she seemed to be fine. She looked around. She was standing in the aisle, Ariadne's thread on the shelf, not pulsating any more, and Artie was still standing next to her, looking around quizzically as well. Claudia took in the shelf units and long aisles and sighed in relief. ”It's the Warehouse.”

”And yet, it's not,” Artie replied.

Claudia had to agree. The lights were dimmed, the only display screen that was working was the one for the ball of string. The others she could see didn't show anything and the shelves were crammed full with crates that looked exactly the same. While crates were normal around here, they differed in size and most artefacts were stored without any kind of packaging. Like this, the shelves formed solid walls. For a bizarre moment, Claudia felt like she had stepped into a computer game version of the Warehouse, simplified and boring, but she shook that thought off. She looked at the thread. ”It activated. You were wearing gloves, though.”

Artie held up his hands, the purple gloves seeming bright in the dim light and against his dark clothes. ”I have no clue how this happened. Believe me, I'm mystified.”

”Never a good sign. Let's check out the office. See if the others are here, too,” Claudia suggested.

”Steve!” Artie exclaimed suddenly.

Claudia's eyes widened. ”Steve!” she called out and ran back towards the tent. She didn't meet him on her way, noting absent-mindedly that all the aisles and shelves looked exactly the same. Even worse: when she arrived at where the tent had been, she froze. ”Artie!” she called, staring at the empty space. “It's gone!”

He was just turning the last corner, a bit out of breath. He froze when he saw the tent was missing. Claudia looked at him questioningly but he just shrugged, looking almost helpless.

”Steve!” Claudia called again, deeply worried now, but there was no answer.

Artie reached her. ”The office.”

Claudia nodded. While they walked there, Claudia looked around. It was almost creepy how very identical everything looked, but still so different. Almost soulless. Normally, the artefacts in the Warehouse were giving off some sort of energy, like they had a life of their own. It was all gone now, leaving the place bleak and quiet. Subconsciously, she started to walk closer to Artie who seemed to be the only other living thing in here.

When they reached the office, they stopped abruptly. The stairs usually leading up to the balcony that separated the office from the Warehouse were gone, leaving the balcony an enclosed space. Claudia looked at Artie. ”Is there another way up?”

”No.”

”So we're trapped down here?” Claudia asked and sighed. ”Great.”

***

Walking around the Warehouse was quite exhausting. Artie was relentless, checking one emergency exit after another and finding them all gone. Another question was where they actually were. There were no computers, no hints as to what exactly could have happened. Claudia started to worry about ever getting back.

She stretched and rolled her eyes while Artie pressed his hands against the wall of the Warehouse, muttering to himself about yet another emergency exit gone. She crossed her arms and leaned back against the shelf behind her. ”Are you sure it was here?”

”Of course I'm sure,” Artie answered gruffly.

”Well, it's not here now and all the other emergency exits seem to have vanished as well given this is our fifth failed try. Maybe we should face the possibility that we're kind of trapped here and look for another way out.”

”That's what we're doing,” Artie reminded her.

”Yeah, your way. And your way sucks, so let's do it my way.”

Artie turned back to the wall and started examining it again. Claudia pouted and turned to the shelf. There was one thing she'd been wondering about since they'd landed here ... she pulled one of the crates out of the shelf. Then she dug a pair of purple gloves out of her jeans and snapped them on. Humming softly to herself, she pushed open the lid, intending to look at the printed index card they kept with every artefact in case there was something wrong with the display screens. She froze, and then she hastily pulled out the next crate and opened it, then the next and the next …

”What are you doing?” Artie asked her, clearly irritated by the noise her frantic search was causing.

”They're empty.”

Artie looked into the crates in disbelief. ”They shouldn't be. This aisle is … they shouldn't be.”

“We should have expected it,” Claudia muttered and brushed a hand through her short hair. “Alright. I think we're not in Kansas anymore. That explains why the emergency exits are gone as well.” She got up on the tip of her toes, cursed softly, and then climbed up on a shelf.

“Claudia,” Artie said, worried.

”Relax, Toto. I've climbed in and out of enough windows to know what I'm doing.” She reached the top and grimaced. ”You know, you could dust up here every now and then.” She got to her feet and looked out over the forest of shelves towards where usually a huge pyramid was standing in the middle of the room. It was gone. As was the windmill and the Zeppelin. Claudia swallowed and carefully climbed down again. ”Artie,” she asked, ”what's going on here?”

At that moment, a deep sound echoed through the Warehouse. A sound Claudia had never heard before. Instinctively, she crowded closer to Artie and he put an arm around her shoulders.

”Sounded like a growl,” she whispered.

He nodded. ”We're definitely not in Kansas anymore.”



Chapter Three
Ariadne's Thread Masterlist

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
larsinger29
Apr. 22nd, 2013 03:47 pm (UTC)
Finally got the chance to read through the few chapters you've posted thus far, and I'm so glad I did. This has such an thrilling, mysterious start. You do a great job setting the stage and introducing the characters (even if we already know them).

I really enjoyed the insightfulness gleaned from the differing POVs in these first few chapters. Rhys' observations and his desire to help out really came through naturally and fit the situation. Likewise, Steve's ruminations on being the new person at the Warehouse really helped to situate the audience in with his perspective, especially if they too are new to that show (i.e. like me!).

Again, fantastic job on these first three chapters. They really set up things nicely, and set the stage for some of the relationships and issues that will be tested with these mysterious objects. Great job!
jolinarjackson
Apr. 23rd, 2013 01:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )