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Ariadne's Thread 15/15

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 Fourteen
Ariadne's Thread Masterlist

***
***


15.



“There has to be another way,” Ianto said, crossing his arms and staring at the computer screen. ”We just have to find it.”

Artie shook his head, brushing a hand through his hair in agitation. ”Nothing comes to mind.” And he’d tried. They all had, standing crowded around the computer and searching the database for anything – anything at all – that might be able to help them out. The reward for their efforts was the computer mockingly replying No Matches again and again and even now, the red words were blinking on the screen.

Pete said, ”We can’t just give up. We got you and Gwen back, so there must be a way to get the others back as well.”

”Well, I’m listening,” Artie replied, sending him a glare. ”What’s your plan?”

Myka sighed. ”Maybe we should contact the Regents.”

Artie raised his eyebrows in disbelief. ”And tell them what?”

She opened her mouth to answer and closed it again, scrubbing a hand through her hair in frustration.

Artie nodded. ”What we know is that this wasn’t caused by an artefact. It’s alien technology. That’s not exactly the Regents’ cup of tea.”

”If I could make a suggestion,” Claudia said from behind them, ”you could just turn around.”

”Very constructive as always,” Artie answered and glowered at the computer again, where No Matches blinked warningly.

Then he paused, as did everyone else, and then, as one, they turned around. Jack and Claudia were standing there, looking at them with big smiles. Jack was setting Ariadne’s Thread on the table next to him and put his hands on his hips. Gwen’s relieved squeal made everyone jump. She threw herself into Jack’s arms, breaking the ban.

Claudia grinned at Artie. ”Hi.”

Artie heard Steve’s muttered “Thank God” and then he was enveloping Claudia in a tight embrace, immediately joined by Myka, Pete and Leena.

Jack, meanwhile had freed himself from Gwen and nodded at Rhys, before he stepped towards Ianto, who was still leaning against the desk next to Artie, looking at Jack as if he couldn’t quite believe he was back. As Artie was watching, he pulled himself out of his stupor with a shake of his head. ”Ran into trouble, didn’t you?” he asked softly. Now, Artie noticed Jack’s bloody shirt.

Before he could ask if he was alright, though, Claudia jumped into his arms unexpectedly, making him groan.

”Not even saying 'Hello' to me any more, old man?” she asked.

Artie usually wasn’t one for hugs but he thought that he could make an exception here. ”Hello, kiddo.” From out of the corner of his eye, he saw Jack pull Ianto into a firm kiss and then a tight embrace.

Pete clapped his hands. ”This is great. Dinner at home.” Myka poked him in the side with her elbow, shaking her head. ”What?” Pete asked. ”I’m famished.”

Claudia turned around to him. ”You’re famished? I haven't eaten in days.”

”It was just over thirty-six hours, really.”

”I almost died of thirst.”

Steve handed her a bottle of water.

Claudia stared at him and then grinned brightly. ”Marry me?”

Jack and Ianto let go of each other. Both of them seemed to be glad that the group’s focus had been somewhere else. But now, Myka noticed Jack’s shirt. ”Are you alright?”

”Just fine,” Jack answered. ”The Minotaur got me, it looks worse than it is.”

”We should get you to hospital, have them take a look,” Myka suggested.

”No, really. It’s okay. I’m quite used to injuries like that.”

”By the way,” Claudia interrupted, ”I fell off the balcony.” The change of topic was unusual, even for her. Claudia didn’t like being coddled or calling for attention when she was hurt, be it emotionally or physically. The opposite was the case. But now the others were fully focused on her. Pete sometimes compared their team to a family and Claudia’s older siblings now appeared full-force. Myka and Pete’s eyes widened in concern and Steve and Leena immediately reacted by looking for injuries.

Artie, knowing that Claudia had bruised nothing but her ego in that fall, noticed Jack and her exchanging a look – he looked grateful, she seemed to wink at him – before she launched into an overly dramatic tale of her jump. Artie also noticed Jack buttoning his coat, but not before Artie got a glimpse through the ripped material at the skin underneath.

The unmarked skin.

Jack met Artie’s eyes and Artie quickly looked away. He was glad when Ianto said, “We got a problem, though.”

Jack’s attention shifted to his lover again and Artie dared look at them while Ianto explained, ”We kind of broke something that belongs to UNIT.”

”They’re gonna be mad as hell,” Jack replied with a laugh. He didn’t seem overly concerned.

Rhys asked, ”Who cares?”

”UNIT will care,” Jack answered. “The circumstances won’t matter. They’ll be happy to have something to complain about.”

”Well, then we’ll take the blame,” Artie replied. ”UNIT can personally complain about it to our superior.” He smiled. ”I’m sure Mrs. Frederick would love to respond to that.”

***

She found Steve sitting on the balcony, his feet dangling over the edge, and thoughtfully looking out over the Warehouse. Claudia had noticed for a few days now that something was bothering him. In fact, ever since she’d been allowed to accompany Artie on an artefact retrieval. She was a bit worried about him and concerned that he might rethink his decision to join their team and just leave them again. She didn’t want that. “Alright?” Claudia asked and sat down on the grating of the balcony, mirroring his pose.

Steve turned his head to look at her. ”I should ask you that.”

”Aw, you know me better than that, Jinksy. Bouncing back is what I do.”

He smiled weakly. ”That was quite an experience, huh?”

”Being chased by a mythological being? Yeah, kinda was,” Claudia answered. ”Learning that aliens exist? Not that much of a surprise, really.”

”Torchwood,” Steve said with a nod. ”I wonder if we’re ever going to have something to do with them again.”

”I guess we’ll see.”

For a moment, they didn’t talk, Steve staring at the rows of shelves and Claudia trying to figure out a way to talk to him about her concerns.

Finally, he asked softly, ”Do you miss them?”

She shrugged. ”A bit.”

They’d taken the team to the airport after dinner. They’d offered them rooms at the B&B for another night but Jack had been a bit antsy about the base being unattended for so long. So they’d booked the first flight out they could get and should be in the air right now, well on their way home. Where Claudia and Steve should be as well, but he’d left the B&B under the pretence of checking something in the Warehouse and Claudia had followed him.

”Hey, can I ask you something?” Steve asked into the silence.

”Sure.”

”It’s kind of … difficult.”

Intrigued, Claudia turned to face him. ”Spill.”

He didn’t do so immediately, mulling things over, probably. Steve was guarded and private, that much, Claudia knew with absolute certainty about him, even though a lot about him was still secret. He raised his head to look at her, his blue eyes deadly serious. ”Do you think … I’m part of the team?”

She frowned in confusion. ”Do you think you’re part of the team?”

”Well, yes, where Artie and you and Leena are concerned but Pete and Myka …”

Claudia needed a moment, but then, she couldn’t suppress a smile. ”Have they been mean to you?” she asked like a teacher would ask a child.

Steve shook his head. ”I don’t think it’s funny.”

”Jinksy … don’t be such an idiot! If Myka and Pete wouldn’t like you, you wouldn’t be here any more.”

”They bronzed me,” Steve said. ”They actually deep-froze and bronzed me! For fun!”

Claudia couldn’t help a giggle slipping out. ”They bronzed you? Seriously? Artie would have kittens.” Bronzing was usually only reserved for the prisoners Warehouse 13 kept, people that were dangerous as well as people with a potential to become dangerous. The bronzing was kind of a cryogenic process, during which the prisoners were encased in a coat of bronze, making them look like statues. Steve stared at her, clearly upset about her reaction, and she sighed. ”You know how I always roll my eyes and Artie gets that pained expression on his face whenever Pete compares us to a family?”

”Yes.”

”Well, think of Myka and Pete as the older siblings giving you a hard time sometimes. I mean, seriously, my first few months here, whenever I would do something wrong, Artie would ground me. Ground me! Like some child.” She shrugged. ”That’s how things work around here. We all either have no family to speak of or are too far away from them or we don’t talk to them for some reason, so we’re each other’s family.” He ducked his head and she took his hand, squeezing gently to get him to look at her again. ”So, yes, Pete and Myka are giving you hard time, but in the end, they’re just teasing you and they’ll always have your back when it counts. And you could easily just give them a hard time too, you know.”

Steve closed his eyes and shook his head. He rubbed his eyes, looking wrung-out and tired all of a sudden. ”I guess I’m just not used to this.” He swallowed and looked at her, giving a helpless smile. ”Being close to the people I work with, I mean. That’s new. I’m kind of a mess where that’s concerned.”

Claudia smiled. ”You just wait. We’ll make a proper screwed up member of our messed up team out of you, yet.”

A genuine smile tugged at his lips. ”You think I should give Artie a hint about the bronzing incident? Maybe he’ll ground them.”

Claudia grinned. ”Now you’re talking like one of us.”

***

“Wow,“ Jack said and leaned a bit forwards to be able to see around Gwen's body to Rhys, who was slumped in his seat. “He's out cold.“

Gwen raised her eyes from the magazine and looked at her husband. Rhys's head was leaning against the small window of the airplane and he was snoring … loudly. Gwen smiled fondly. “My sexy hero.“

Jack laughed softly and leaned back in his seat, relaxing into the cushion. Fingers tightened around his waist, unclenched again and Ianto made a small noise in the back of his throat, but he slept on, using Jack's shoulder as a pillow. Gwen reached out a hand and stretched over the aisle to nudge Jack's leg. “I told you Rhys could handle field work. You wouldn't believe me.“

“There wasn't much of a field involved, was there?“ Jack asked with a raised eyebrow. “Lots of sitting around watching, though, so I guess he's perfectly qualified as a General Support.“

“Don't let Ianto hear you describe his job like that.“

Jack grinned. “Ianto's not General Support.“

“Any more,“ Gwen replied. “He might still take it personally and then it's no sex for you.“

“He doesn't punish me by withdrawing sex. He enjoys it too much to do that.“

Gwen rolled her eyes. “You're so vain.“

Jack looked down at Ianto, who was a warm, heavy weight against his side and smiled. Ianto had fallen asleep as soon as the plane had started to roll, sitting upright. The acceleration during off-take had him looking for something to hold on to and he'd found Jack. Not that Jack minded. Quiet times were rare enough. “He's very exhausted or he wouldn't do this.“

“Sleep?“

“Cuddle.“

“He's not a cuddler?“ Gwen seemed genuinely surprised.

“Not outside of the bedroom, he isn't,“ Jack answered. He shifted his arm, putting it around Ianto and pulling him as close as possible with the armrest between them. Ianto heaved a sleepy sigh but he didn't wake up.

Gwen had turned back to her magazine, so Jack closed his eyes and relaxed. He turned his head a bit to bury his nose in Ianto's hair and breathed in deeply. For as exhausted as Ianto was, Jack knew it could only be attributed to a severe lack of sleep. Probably none since Jack and Gwen had vanished. “You worry too much about me,“ he whispered, “but you can rest now.“ He kissed Ianto's head. “I'm back.“


END
02/13



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Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
withywindle01
May. 8th, 2013 12:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow! This whole story was fantastic. I think you out-did yourself with this one, girl! *hugs*
jolinarjackson
May. 9th, 2013 03:22 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
fide_et_spe
May. 8th, 2013 04:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this story, lovely ending. I was lost some of the time through not knowing the Warehouse 13 characters, but I enjoyed the plot and the way it played out, glad Ianto and Jack came through with the solutions in the end!
jolinarjackson
May. 9th, 2013 03:23 am (UTC)
Thank you. And I'm glad it was okay for someone who doesn't know WH13.
janiemc
May. 9th, 2013 01:49 am (UTC)
That was fab, 2 of my favourite teams in one tale. Secretly hoping there will be more crossover
jolinarjackson
May. 9th, 2013 03:23 am (UTC)
Thanks. Maybe. :)
triquetralin
May. 17th, 2013 08:12 am (UTC)
First off: I've never watched Warehouse 13 - it's on my "to watch" list - so I can't comment on the canonity (shut up, it's a useful word even if I did just make it up!) on those characters or anything relating to the series, but I can tell you that I really liked them all, and that it's been bumped way up that list now.

As for the rest, the Torchwood characters were spot on as usual, and the plot was just the right amount of twisty and clever to keep the mystery but still allow for nervous near-breakdowns and frantic page-turning (er, -scrolling).

I seem to detect a slightly lighter and warmer tone in your work lately (although that might be because my own yearly depression has faded), and this was no exception.

I love long stories, and this has kept me intrigued and entertained for quite a while.

Really, really great job!
jolinarjackson
May. 17th, 2013 01:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I don't know about my other stories, but Warehouse 13 is a warmer and lighter show than Torchwood and I tried to bring that into the story.
rabecka
Jul. 2nd, 2013 02:13 am (UTC)
It took awhile but I finally got a chance to read this, and really enjoyed it, even if I didn't know anything about Warehouse 13. You did a great job of introducing a whole new (to me) cast of characters. Reading this encouraged me to just watch my first episode of Warehouse 13, when I noticed one was running.

And... I spent the whole episode laughing, cause it was John Hart (um, OK, James Marsters), as an immortal conman. I mean really, what are the odds. Sometimes the universe just has a sense of humor.
jolinarjackson
Jul. 2nd, 2013 01:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, he's just gorgeous in that show! :D

Thank you!
jo02
Jul. 10th, 2013 02:38 am (UTC)

I think old age is catching up with me - I finished reading this a couple of weeks ago and seem to have forgotten to leave a comment - sigh.
I haven't seen more than a few episodes of W13 so I didn't know any of the characters - but it didn't matter! I enjoyed this story so much that once I started reading it, it only took me two days to finish it, I couldn't put it down except for the small matter of having to go and get some sleep. Thank you for continuing to write in this fandom.
jolinarjackson
Jul. 10th, 2013 01:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
lt_indigo
May. 15th, 2014 08:48 pm (UTC)
I've just stumbled upon this fic, just knowing that someone had to have done a decent crossover. The two shows are clearly meant to be together!

Your characterisations are spot on, and I love how you've kept the spirit of both shows throughout. I really adore how you did something that they didn't really on W13 - dealing with Steve's insecurities following the bronzing incident, and how Claudia turned all big sister at the end, letting him in on the big secret about their wacky family.

Thank you very, very much for this - I have enjoyed it immensely.
jolinarjackson
May. 17th, 2014 03:29 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )