Pairings: Jack/Ianto, Ianto/Lisa, also eventual hints of Gwen/Rhys, Owen/Tosh
Rating: R (some later chapters NC-17)
Disclaimer: Torchwood is not mine. No matter how much I sometimes wish it was.
Spoilers: Better say everything through s2, just to be sure. Begins pre-S1.
Summary: The team must investigate the cause of the rift alarm
Thanks to: My beta cazmalfoy for all her wonderful work, and my cheerleaders angelzbabe1989 and piper08 for putting up with me when I whine about being stuck.
Author's Note: Unless there is significant resistance to the idea, I'm only going to post one chapter of this each week until the end of January. This is mainly because I'm really struggling to write this at the moment, not least because my muses are beginning to wonder why they're bothering when the readership seems to be dwindling (especially compared to the recent drabbles which take much less effort). So please, if you are still reading and enjoying this, leave a comment and let me know (even one word will do!) - help me convince the muses to keep working on this!
All comments and concrit welcomed!
Fic starts here
All previous chapters
Owen ran out into the main Hub, leaving Ianto to calm Lisa, who had become slightly agitated as the alarm continued to blare.
“It’s okay, Lisa,” he said firmly and calmly, recognising the source of her upset. “It’s not the intrusion alarm, it’s the Rift. We’re safe here, I promise.”
Lisa calmed, her gaze flying to his, the entreating message in her eyes clear – ‘Are you sure?’
“I promise,” he told her, answering the unasked question as he stroked a knuckle gently down her cheek. “I’m just going to see what’s going on, if there’s anything I can do to help, okay?”
Lisa’s eyes fluttered shut for a moment as her head twitched slightly in a clear gesture of acceptance. She would never protest against Ianto’s offering his aid in any circumstance where it might be needed. Ianto helped when he could – it was part of who he was.
Ianto entered the main Hub area to find it in what appeared to be the early stages of chaos. Owen and Suzie were running to and fro, collecting items from scattered locations around the Hub. Jack was calling out orders and suggestions, while Tosh fed them information from her computer screen.
“What is it? How can I help?” he asked as he made his way across to Jack.
Jack was a little startled at Ianto’s question, or rather at Ianto speaking at all; in the heat of the crisis he had almost forgotten Ianto was even there.
“Rift activity out near Leckwith Woods. Tosh says there are huge energy spikes – something big came through and we need to find out what.”
“And how can I help?” Ianto repeated.
Jack looked at Ianto, noting the vehemence in the younger man’s eyes and coming to a realisation. Ianto’s offer of assistance wasn’t the dutiful offer of an employee; it was a defining characteristic of Ianto’s personality. Helping others gave Ianto strength.
Making a swift decision, he pointed towards Tosh’s workstation. “Tosh, you showed Ianto how to work with the mainframe, didn’t you?”
“Yes…” Tosh replied, uncertain where Jack was going. “He picked it up really quickly, actually.” She directed a friendly smile at Ianto.
“Great,” Jack grinned. “Tosh, get your stuff. We could really use you out there. Ianto, monitor that energy signal. If it goes anywhere or changes in any way, we need to know about it.”
“Got it,” Ianto nodded, reflexively catching the earpiece Jack tossed in his direction.
The rest of the team spent several more minutes gathering various pieces of equipment from around the Hub. Ianto spent that time familiarising himself with the Rift energy signal blinking on Tosh’s screen, one eye half watching the movements of his team-mates and pondering if a little reorganisation would be helpful.
Suzie, Owen and Tosh disappeared down to the garage a few long minutes later, Jack turning around to face Ianto again just before he too disappeared.
Ianto interrupted him. “I’m fine. I’ve got it. Go.” Jack nodded in acknowledgement before turning to follow the others.
* * * *
“Tosh, get Ianto on comms. See if he can tell us if we’re going in the right direction or not here,” Jack called as they tramped through the grass. They’d pulled the SUV to the side of the road slightly south of the woodland, but were now faced with a large expanse of farmland to search.
“Ianto, can you hear me?” Tosh said quietly, tapping her earpiece.
“Loud and clear, Toshiko, what is it?” Ianto replied, a faint vein of worry underlying his tone.
“We’re a few hundred feet west of the B4267, but we can’t see anything yet. Jack just wanted to check we were definitely in the right place.”
“The signal hasn’t moved since you left, although it’s a little weaker. Another few hundred feet and you’ll be on top of it. If…”
Ianto’s response was cut-off as Owen shouted something a few feet away.
“Across there, what’s that? Doesn’t look like it belongs in a field, whatever it is,” he called as he started to jog over to the unidentified object, Jack, Suzie and Tosh following.
The object, when they reached it, very definitely did not belong in a sheep field on the outskirts of Cardiff. The metallic shell glistened preternaturally in the afternoon sunlight, and the technology involved in the craft was clearly beyond current Earth innovation. It was also obvious that the ship had crashed.
It sat at an odd angle that, despite its unearthly origins, the team doubted was the intended position, and one corner looked distinctly crumpled.
Walking round the complete perimeter of the craft they came across an open door and discovered something else about the crash-landed spaceship.
It was empty.