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Ariadne's Thread 3/15

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 Two
Ariadne's Thread Masterlist

***
***


3.



Steve wasn't sure if he should be worried. He climbed the stairs leading to the balcony outside the office and looked back out over the endless rows of shelves of filling the Warehouse. He could see the pyramid they kept here, as well as a Zeppelin floating in the air and there, just around the corner, the football field, but no sign of Artie or Claudia. Claudia had answered him about half an hour ago, though, when he'd called. And then he'd taken the turn, expecting to see her and there was no one there. Either something had happened or Claudia and Artie had played a prank on him, but he didn't think so. Artie was grumpy on his best days and didn't approve of childish games during working hours (or in general) and Claudia wouldn't have done that. At least he didn't think so.

He heard laughter coming from the office that was loud enough to penetrate the door and entered. The office was pretty much the heart of the Warehouse and also the place where they spent their free time during working hours. It was divided into a working place at the front where the windows overlooked the Warehouse and a cosier part at the back towards the door leading outside. Pete Lattimer and Myka Bering were in that part of the room. Pete was lounging in a comfy chair at the round table in a corner, looking for all the world like he had a day off. Myka on the other hand was wearing one of her trouser suits and a blouse and had her wild, dark hair tied back into a ponytail. She was sitting in another chair, one leg folded over the other and her arms crossed.

They both stopped laughing when they noticed him. Steve swallowed. Insecurities threatened to choke him. He forced a smile, though, and closed the door. ”Hey, guys. What's going on?”

Myka smiled. ”Nothing.”

Pete shrugged. They looked at each other and giggled.

Steve didn't need his gift to know one thing. ”Okay,” he said, putting his hands on his hips, ”you're lying.”

With a flourish of his hands, Pete announced, ”The human lie detector, ladies and gentlemen!”

Steve narrowed his eyes, annoyed now. ”Right. Did anybody see Claudia or Artie?”

”No,” Myka answered. The truth.

Pete buried one hand in his dark hair and managed to look even more relaxed than before. ”They were down there unpacking Warehouse 2.”

Steve raised an eyebrow. ”They're not down there now. I called for them and Claudia answered but I couldn't find them. Should we be worried?”

Myka frowned. Good, at least one of them was taking him a bit seriously. ”I don't think so. We've got sensors monitoring artefact activity. Nothing beeped.”

”Do you know how to work these systems?” Steve asked.

Myka shrugged and admitted, ”Artie and Claudia are the tech geniuses.”

Pete got up and walked over to one of the flat screens. ”Can't be so hard to check. I mean, I managed to install my iPod, this can't be worse than that.”

”I had my iPod installed in five minutes,” Myka replied.

Steve held up a hand. ”Three.”

Pete rolled his eyes and poked the ancient keyboard that looked like it had been made from a typewriter. Then he wriggled his fingers and pressed a few buttons, rearing back in shock when the computers protested – loudly. ”It wasn't me! I swear.”

Myka hurried over and slapped his arm. ”Just … stop touching it.” She looked back at Steve. “But honestly, we shouldn't be worried. You can get turned around down there easily. I'm sure they're there, you just took the wrong turn.”

“Yeah,” Pete replied, “once, we didn't see Artie for three days. We were frantic and then he just walked back in as if nothing had happened and told us that he was doing inventory on the other end of the Warehouse.” He clapped Steve on the shoulder. “Plus, I'm not getting any vibes.”

Steve sighed. Pete's vibes had more than once proven to be the perfect alarm system. He knew he could trust them. He just couldn't drop the feeling of something being wrong.

***

Rhys followed Ianto through the corridor into the main Hub. The bright lights blinded him for a moment, his eyes so used to the dimly lit archives and corridors, and he squinted at Ianto who was headed for one of the desks with several computer monitors. “What happened?” he asked. ”I didn't understand half of what you were saying on our way here.”

Ianto dropped into the chair and pulled up the CCTV for the archives on one monitor, then he used the three remaining ones to pull up several other programs Rhys didn't understand the least of. Ianto's gaze was focused on the monitors, his expression that of a man hoping for the best and expecting the worst. ”I don't know what exactly happened but we're going to find out.”

Rhys watched him type 1974 and 2006 into a search engine, then Ianto pointed at the screen. ”CCTV.” There were Jack and Gwen, sorting through artefacts. Then they suddenly reared back, startled, and vanished. Ianto turned to the search engine. It was still running. He pulled up another program. ”I'm checking our scanners and archives to see what I can find out.”

Rhys put his hands on his hips. He felt a bit useless just standing around while Ianto worked at lightning speed. ”Sounded more complicated when you said it a minute ago.”

Ianto smiled wryly without looking away from the screen. ”Sorry. Look, we had a massive energy surge in the archives. The transport kind of energy surge.” He frowned. ”Can't trace it.” He paused for a moment, as if running through ideas in his head. ”Jack had his mobile with him.”

”Gwen, too,” Rhys said, finally feeling like he could help.

”I'll put a trace on them.” While he did, the search engine called for his attention. Ianto finished the trace and turned to the search engine, reporting, ”Several files have been created in 1974 and edited in 2006.” He skimmed the list. ”Only one of them from Tosh.” He opened it. Rhys didn't try to read it. Ianto was faster and he would be able to explain it to him. So he resorted to nervous pacing.

After a minute, Ianto said, ”Okay. The summary sounds bad.” He looked at Rhys. ”Seems like they've been hit by a transdimensional transporter.”

”A what?”

”They were transported into another dimension. They could still be here, right next to us, but we can't see them and they can't see us, because they're out of phase of this dimension.”

Rhys stared at him. ”What?!”

He gave Ianto credit for not sounding like a father talking down to his son. ”Imagine reality made of several layers and the two of us are between two of those. Jack and Gwen are between two others.”

Rhys thought that sounded vaguely familiar. Maybe he'd heard about it through old Star Trek re-runs. ”They're in a parallel world?”

”No. In another dimension.”

”Here, but not here.”

”Exactly.”

Rhys stared at Ianto. ”So … what do we do about it?”

”Let me read the file, let the programs trace their mobiles and then we'll see.”

***

The B&B's kitchen was spacious, but cosy, like the rest of the place. The team rarely entered it. It was Leena's realm where she prepared meals and snacks for everyone. Steve had only been in here once, when Leena had shown him around the house. Back then, it had been tidy. When he entered now, the scent of a meal simmering on the stove made his stomach growl and the orderly chaos of a well-practised cook reigned. Leena was standing at the counter underneath the window, cutting vegetables. The flowery pattern of her top matched the homey atmosphere of the room. Sunlight caught in her long, curly hair and painted patterns on her dark smooth skin.

Steve cleared his throat and she looked up at him. ”Hi,” she said with a warm smile, then immediately frowned. ”What's wrong?”

”How do you know-”

”Your aura's off,” Leena explained and stepped closer, narrowing her dark eyes as if she was trying to focus on something that wasn't really there. Her gift to read a person's aura unsettled Steve a bit. Especially since she'd told him in private that she was worried about his. ”I mean, your aura's always a bit dark. But this ...”

Steve nodded. He'd come to her because he was worried and thought that she would be the most likely one to listen to him.

”What happened?” Leena asked.

”I can't find Claudia or Artie. Pete and Myka say it's nothing to worry about but ...”

”... you're worried.” She frowned. “You're saying there's nothing going on at the Warehouse?”

”No. It's quiet. No artefact retrievals, no pings at all.”

”Then I'm worried, too.”

Steve frowned. ”How come?”

”It's Tuesday. On Tuesday, when there are no pings or other things going on at the Warehouse, Claudia talks to her brother Joshua. He called, but since she wasn't here, I assumed that you had to work. She would never just miss a call without a grave reason. Not from him.”

”So you agree that something's wrong?”

”I agree that something's not quite right.”

Steve smiled a bit. Leena was always diplomatic, rarely taking sides. Kind of like a mother to all of them.

The entrance door fell shut and then Myka and Pete entered the kitchen. Seeing Steve and Leena's earnest faces, they paused. Myka asked, ”What's going on?”

”Steve tells me that he can't find Claudia and Artie,” Leena answered.

Myka frowned. ”Yes, but they're probably just working-”

”Claudia missed Joshua's call,” Leena interrupted her.

Myka crossed her arms and exchanged a look with Pete. ”Okay, that's weird.”

”Yeah,” Pete agreed.

Leena sighed. ”When did you last see them?”

Myka answered, “For breakfast. Then they went off to go through Warehouse 2's stuff and Pete and I had paperwork to catch up on.”

Steve added, ”I spent the morning reading the rest of the handbook. Claudia and I were supposed to have lunch but she didn't show.”

”So you're saying that nobody has seen them since breakfast?” Leena asked.

”I heard them. I was looking for them to see why Claudia missed our lunch. They weren't in the tent so I called out for them and Claudia answered. I followed her voice but I couldn't find her. That was about three hours ago.”

Myka leaned against the nearby counter. ”We didn't have any artefact activity. Nothing unusual happened.”

Pete put his hands on his hips. ”We should go back and look for them again. Retrace their steps.”

Steve looked at him in surprise. ”How should we do that?”

Myka smiled. ”You'll see.”

***

“Okay,” Claudia said softly when yet another deep growl had faded, her hand fisted in the old wool of Artie's cardigan. ”We don't happen to have a huge watch dog that you forgot to mention over the past year or so?”

”No, we don't,” Artie whispered.

Claudia swallowed, fighting down the urge to run. ”What growled at us then?”

”I don't know.” Artie looked around, then he took her hand. ”Let's go.” He started walking rather briskly.

Claudia wasn't sure that was the right move. She felt a bit like a mouse in a maze with the cat watching her from above. ”Where to?”

”Further away from the growling.”

”I love that plan,” Claudia answered and let Artie drag her around a corner and down another aisle. She looked behind them, somehow dreading that the danger was following them wherever they went, and then asked the one question that had been running through her mind since this day had went to hell in a hand basket. ”The others will know what happened to us, right?”

Artie hesitated. ”I'm not sure.”

Claudia's eyes widened. ”They will notice that we're missing.”

”I hope so.”

”If they don't, I'm gonna be pissed.”

Artie sighed, taking another turn. ”Even if they know what happened, they won't know where we are or how to fix it.”

”They'll find a way.”

”God, let's hope so.”

They walked on, back towards the office. When they turned a corner, though, something unexpected happened: there were two people standing in the aisle, looking around. A man and a woman Claudia had never seen before.

Artie and Claudia froze. The man was wearing a long coat with military stripes on the shoulders – it seemed a bit old-fashioned, though, as if he'd bought it at a veteran flee market. The woman, dressed much more contemporary, was standing very close to him and dark hair was falling onto her shoulders.

When the man noticed them, he raised his hand and Claudia found herself at gunpoint. She gasped, startled, and Artie pushed her behind him protectively. The man did the same with the woman. ”Who are you?” he asked. He was tall, athletic and very handsome. His face was linear and smooth, the fringe of his dark short hair brushing his forehead. A pair of blue eyes stared at them mistrustfully, the hand with the gun was unnervingly calm.

Artie raised one hand, keeping the other held out to the side to keep Claudia behind him. Claudia's thoughts were running a mile a minute: Who were they? How had they got here? Did they know about the Warehouse?

”Step to the side,” the man said loudly and Claudia realized that he meant her. ”Show me your hands.”

Now, Artie found his voice again. ”Who are you?”

”I asked first,” the man answered, then looked at Claudia again. ”Come on.”

”Jack,” the woman said now and put a hand on his arm, ”it's just a girl.”

”If I had a penny for every time I thought that and regretted it,” the man – Jack – answered.

The woman shook her head and squeezed his arm. She had a friendly face with wide, green eyes, and a gap-toothed smile that she flashed at Artie and Claudia. ”It's alright. Don't be scared.”

”Gwen-”

”Jack,” she interrupted him. ”For God's sake they're not dangerous and you know it. Maybe they can help us figure this out.”

Claudia stepped out from behind Artie even though he tried to stop her. ”Figure this out?” she echoed. ”Are you trapped here, too?”

Gwen smiled at her and Jack reluctantly lowered his gun. He tucked it into a gun belt, pushing back his coat to do so. Claudia noticed red suspenders, a dress shirt and wool trousers and then her eyes caught a flash of leather around his wrist before the coat sleeve hid it from sight again. His gaze remained watchful, his posture tense.

”We are,” Gwen answered Claudia's question. ”Got swept away and landed here.” Her accent was strange. Not Australian, not quite British, and certainly not American like Jack's. She stepped towards Claudia and Artie and offered her hand. ”Gwen Cooper.”

Artie hesitantly shook her hand and nodded. ”Artie Nielsen, this is Claudia Donovan.”

Claudia waved Hi with a nervous smile that Gwen returned.

Jack came closer. He nodded solemnly, clearly not quite ready yet to trust them fully but giving them the benefit of doubt. ”Captain Jack Harkness.”

Gwen added, ”My boss.”

Claudia grinned. ”Artie's my boss.”

He snorted. ”She doesn't treat me like it, though.”

A small smile bloomed on Jack's face. ”I know the feeling.”

”Oi!” Gwen scowled.

Jack became serious. ”I need you to tell me what exactly happened. Did you touch something unusual? Feel strange? See something?”

Artie and Claudia exchanged a look before Artie replied, ”That's what I wanted to ask you.”

Claudia nodded. ”Like, did you smell fudge?”

”Fudge?” Jack echoed.

Claudia remembered something and looked at Artie. ”I didn't smell fudge by the way – not even a whiff.”

”Look,” Gwen said calmly, ”we're kind of experts in strange things, so whatever happened, you can tell us. We'll believe you.”

Claudia swallowed. ”Man, sounds like something we would say.”

Artie let out an exasperated sigh. ”Who exactly are you? What kind of experts are you?”

Jack answered, ”That's classified. Who are you?”

”Classified as well.”

”So, we've clearly got a problem here.”

”Clearly.”

They stared at each other.

Claudia suggested, ”How about we show you ours if you show us yours?”

Gwen crossed her arms. ”Sounds reasonable,” she said and looked at Jack questioningly.

”Fine,” he agreed. ”We're Torchwood from Cardiff. We deal with alien incursions, time travel, the stuff your nightmares are made from.”

Claudia was still working through that answer while Artie was already saying, ”Warehouse 13, South Dakota. We deal with emotionally charged artefacts and their dangerous side effects.”

”Emotionally charged?” Jack asked in disbelief. ”Please!”

”Aliens?” Artie replied just as incredulously. ”Please!”

”Boys!” Claudia said. ”Let's play nice.” She looked at Gwen curiously. ”Aliens?”

Gwen shrugged. ”Sometimes.”

”Awesome!”

The low growl echoed through the Warehouse again.

Jack's hand curled around the butt of his gun and Gwen turned in a circle, clearly trying to see what was causing the noise. ”What was that?” she asked.

Artie answered, ”A problem. A probably very big problem.”

Jack pulled his gun. ”Sounds like it. Let's find a safe place to talk.”

Claudia's eyes widened. ”The Pete cave!”

Artie frowned at her. ”Do I even want to know what that is?”

”Probably not,” she answered. ”I'll lead the way.” She started walking and the others followed her.

Artie stayed beside her while Gwen and Jack followed. Claudia heard Gwen ask, ”Do you think Ianto knows what's going on?”

”I'm sure of it,” Jack answered. ”You know Ianto.”

Curiously, Claudia turned around, walking backward. ”Who's Ianto?”

Gwen answered, ”He works with us. He's very resourceful.”

Jack nodded. ”I'm sure he's already working on getting us out of here.”

Artie added, ”And he won't be the only one. My agents will already be working the case as well.” Claudia got the feeling that there was some kind of competition going on between the men when Artie threw Jack a false smile. ”They'll know what to do. They are highly qualified and experienced.”



Chapter Four
Ariadne's Thread Masterlist

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
fide_et_spe
Apr. 23rd, 2013 02:56 pm (UTC)
Hah, I can just imagine the pissing contest between those two.

This is intriguing, I'm also wondering what's going on, and I'm worried about the growling.
jolinarjackson
Apr. 24th, 2013 01:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
withywindle01
Apr. 24th, 2013 12:46 pm (UTC)
I'm really lovin' this! I've only ever watched one ep of WH13, the one Gareth was in, but I'm not finding this hard at all to get into. Looking forward to the rest.
jolinarjackson
Apr. 24th, 2013 01:12 pm (UTC)
I'm glad it's okay to read for non-Warehouse 13 watchers. :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )