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)
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.
Ariadne's Thread Masterlist
“Cookies!” Pete exclaimed and grabbed the plate that was standing on a crate in the decontamination tent. Even though they were all wearing safety goggles to protect their eyes from the purple light in here, Pete could practically see Myka roll her eyes. Steve, carrying the Durational Spectrometer, gave him a puzzled look. Only Leena was smiling a bit and Pete caught himself thinking that, maybe, she was still carrying a torch for him and it would be way easier than it had been with Kelly and …
What was that?
He set the plate down and snagged the piece of paper that had been underneath it. ”Got something.”
The others turned away from their respective searching places and turned to him.
Myka looked at the piece of paper curiously. ”What is it?”
”A note.” Pete squinted at the untidy scrawl on it. “Must be Artie's 'cause there's no way I can read that.”
Myka sighed. ”Give it to me.” She skimmed the note and then raised her eyes to Pete, repeating what she'd just read, ”Milk, bread, eggs ...”
Leena gave Pete a fond smile. ”Yeah, I think you cracked the case, Pete.”
”What?” he asked, taking another cookie. ”It could have been important.”
”So,” Steve said, handing the Durational Spectrometer to Pete. He checked his watch. ”You say this thing only shows what happened in the last five hours?”
Pete nodded, switching the device on and manipulating the little wheel controlling the settings. The Spectrometer looked like a surveillance camera gone bad with the red light coming out the lens, but it was quite useful. ”Exactly.”
Steve put his hands on his hips. ”I don't want to be the one to point it out but it's been six at least.”
Myka looked over Pete's shoulder. He turned away, trying to let her know that he could handle this alone, but she kept following him. ”We're kind of hoping that it'll still work. The dial goes back until ten hours, so …”
Pete had turned the dial back six hours and took a slow sweep of the room. Myka shook her head, confirming what he saw. ”Nothing. We're too late.”
He was just about to switch it off when Leena said, ”Wait!” She pointed at something and when Pete narrowed his eyes, he could see slight differences in the air, like …
”Outlines,” Steve said.
Myka stepped closer to the outlines of Artie and Claudia, talking animatedly. ”They're fading fast.”
They watched Claudia opening a crate and handing something over to Artie. Then they left.
”Follow them,” Steve said.
The 'Pete Cave', as Claudia had called it, turned out to be a middle-sized room hidden behind a slightly rusty door. When Claudia entered, she looked around and her shoulders sagged. ”It's empty,” she said.
Artie frowned at her. ”As it should be.“
Gwen saw Claudia pull a face. She looked slightly guilty. ”Sure.”
”Can I assume that the … Pete Cave,” Artie said slowly, ”is Pete's ...”
”... playroom,” Claudia finished. ”Normally, but whatever brought us here didn't just remove the artefacts but also the furniture in here.” She rubbed her belly. “And the snack machine.”
Artie rolled his eyes. Gwen found herself smiling, feeling reminded of Owen and Ianto bickering.
The door slid shut and she felt safe for the first time since they'd arrived here. Even Jack seemed a bit more relaxed. Gwen looked at Claudia and Artie – two people who couldn't be more different and yet seemed drawn to each other. Or at least, Claudia seemed drawn to Artie, standing close to him while trying to look self-confident. She was in her mid-twenties, Gwen assumed, and the tight black jeans hugged slim legs while the purple Greenday t-shirt stood in stark contrast to her short, red hair. Artie, on the other hand, was much older, maybe in his early fifties, and dressed like a librarian. He was looking at Jack with dark, still slightly sceptic eyes and asked, ”So, what exactly is Torchwood?”
”Torchwood was founded by Queen Victoria and our main goal is to protect Earth from alien threats.” Jack shoved his hands in his coat pockets. ”We're located in Cardiff and monitor one of the biggest Rifts in space and time that has ever existed. Through that Rift, aliens, time travellers and all kinds of flotsam and jetsam fall to Earth, 21st century, and we are the ones to make sure that the public doesn't know about it and that there's no threat posed to the planet.”
Claudia's pretty face lit up with excitement. ”Sounds awesome.”
Gwen smiled at her. ”It's dirty work, most of the time. Very dangerous.”
”But,” Jack added, ”we get to drink tea with the Queen every once in a while.”
They became silent for a moment and Jack's challenging gaze caught Artie head-on. Artie sighed reluctantly. “Warehouse 13 is a secret task force most of the government doesn't even know about. We find artefacts – objects that have a person's or event's emotional output channelled into them – and store them away so that nobody can use them. Many of these artefacts could, if they were to fall into the wrong hands, be used for warfare or assassinations or whatever you can think of.”
Gwen frowned. ”I don't quite understand. How does that work?”
Claudia answered, ”Adolf Hitler's microphone can cause people to do whatever you want them to do when you speak into it. Sylvia Plath's typewriter takes away your will to live.”
”Some artefacts are more destructive than others,” Artie added.
”Yeah, I personally quite like the Freezing Snowglobe. It cools your drinks within seconds.”
Artie glared at her. ”Didn't I tell you to stop using it?”
”I stopped using it!”
The lie was pretty obvious, but Artie didn't seem to notice or he chose not to. ”I hope so. Used too often, it can cause permanent hypothermia.”
Claudia looked taken aback at that and Gwen guessed that she would really stop using it now.
”Artefacts usually always have bad side effects,” Artie explained to Jack and Gwen.
Gwen asked, ”So did you get here through an artefact?”
”'Here' is actually a copy of the Warehouse. There are no artefacts around and the emergency exits are missing, but the shelves, the layout … it's the Warehouse.”
Claudia explained, ”Ariadne's thread brought us here. No idea how that happened. We were following protocol in handling it. It shouldn't have activated.”
”Well,” Artie replied, ”I might have an answer to that. How did you two get here?”
Jack shrugged. ”Alien artefact in our archives. You recognize this place so I assume that we left the UK and this is a dimensional shift of the Warehouse.”
Claudia asked, ”And what's that when it's home?”
”Reality as we know it is made up from different layers – dimensions. Humans are generally familiar with six layers – three dimensions of sight, one dimension of smell, one of sound and one of feel. There are aliens who can perceive even more dimensions that are invisible to us. We entered one of those.”
Gwen added, ”It's a set-up. This dimension was created as kind of a game for an alien race. Contestants get transported here to … play … and others watch them from the outside.”
Claudia's eyes widened. ”We're trapped in a game show? Somebody's watching us?”
Jack shook his head. ”I don't think we're being watched. We found the artefact ages ago. It just still does its job.” He looked at Artie. ”When we activated it and got transported here, your … thread must have been activated as well.”
”A bifurcated object,” Artie said with a nod. ”Two artefacts belonging together.”
”Sorry,” Jack replied, ”but I guess that what you've got isn't an artefact … it's pure alien technology mistaken for an artefact.”
Silence enveloped them.
Claudia looked at Artie. ”What do we do now?”
Jack answered, ”It's a game show. We have to play the game and find the way out. Believe me, I've been through this whole evil game show thing before.”
”The description for the thread said that it's a key,” Artie explained.
”Then we need that thread.”
”It was the only thing to be transported here. We left it on a shelf. Follow me.”
Claudia still didn't quite know what to think of their companions. Gwen seemed to be the nice one out of the pair of them. Jack didn't seem to trust them very much and she was honestly not sure what to think of him. For the moment, he seemed to have decided in favour of Claudia and Artie and the ease with which he secured their surroundings, always keeping an eye out for whoever – whatever – had growled at them, was reassuring. Gwen was alert as well, working under Jack's guidance, taking hints from the smallest gestures and tilts of his head. Claudia was reminded of the way Myka and Pete communicated during retrievals.
They made their way back to the shelf where they'd left the thread without hearing the growl. Claudia was relieved … until they reached the spot where the thread had been.
It was gone.
”Oh, crap,” she said and looked at Artie who was staring at the shelf in disbelief. ”This is so not good.”
Ariadne's Thread Masterlist