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Myfanwy 2

November 2018

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Ghosts of the Collider - Chapter One

Ghosts of the Collider - Chapter One
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto, Toshiko/Kathy
Warnings: Language, Violence
Spoilers: Both series up to S2, E4, "Meat" and the radio play, "Lost Souls"
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.
Author's note:  This is the Dragon-Verse version of the radio play, "Lost Souls".  I decided to use the real-world dating for the activation of the LHC instead of what the radio play inferred, and that put this right in the middle of Series Two.  It actually makes a really good segue into "Adam", which you'll see later. 

This is also the first minor crossover between this universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  It's only one character crossing over and he really isn't in it that much, so I'm not putting any sort of warning or anything for it.  But, with Patricks' background, it was bound to happen eventually.

SummaryAfter a call from Martha Jones at CERN, Jack sends Ianto, Toshiko, and Patrick in to investigate.  Can they discover the secret of the Collider before it's too late?




8 September 2008

This was not how Ianto had wanted to spend his evening.

The Weevil had been sighted behind the new nightclub that had sprung up seemingly overnight, and even outside the tacky building Ianto could feel the heavy bass line pounding up through his shoes. Just another tourist trap along the Bay, and it was already Weevil-bait.

Ianto shook his head. This really hadn’t been the plan for tonight.

“I was supposed to be meeting Eoin for drinks,” Patrick grumbled. Ianto glanced at his companion; the American would have blended in with the crowd outside the front of the club, if not for the gun in his hand, held at the ready.

“Jack and I had plans,” the dragon growled, purposely accenting the word ‘plans’ knowing that Patrick would get it. He flexed his hand on his own gun.

“Say no more,” he replied, sounding sympathetic.

The pair made their way down the alley next to the club. Ianto changed his eyes to their dragon aspect, the better to make out the shadows in the deeper patches of darkness. Patrick had a flashlight that he used to sweep the area, careful not to accidentally blind the dragon, for which Ianto was grateful. Patrick had only been with Torchwood for a little over a month, and already he’d fit in, becoming a part of the team as if he’d been meant for the position. Yes, he had a bit too much love for weapons of any kind, but really that was one of the reasons they’d hired him in the first place. Patrick was usually prepared for pretty much any circumstance, as long as it had to do with some form of mayhem.

There was a sudden movement farther in, and the unmistakable sound of a door slamming accompanied by an increase in the level of bass. Ianto moved toward the sound, his eyes seeing the open fire exit door just ahead. He cursed, hoping the Weevil hadn’t gotten into the club…

A very high-pitched scream heard even over the pulsing noise crushed that hope to powder.

Ianto cursed, and with Patrick following he ran to the door, darting within. The pounding bass surrounded him and he ground his teeth against it, wondering how people could actually enjoy their music like that; so loud they couldn’t even make out that there really was some form of tune being played. It wasn’t true music to the musically-inclined dragon.

He let his eyes flicker back into their human shape, the better not to be blinded by the strobe lights that flickered and danced across the vast expanse of the club. It didn’t take much to follow the Weevil’s track as it lurched its way through the crush of people, and Ianto made his way toward the shrieks and shouts that were barely audible above the crashing din.

It seemed the Weevil was confused by the loudness and the close quarters because it began heading back out toward the door it had come in through. Ianto felt Patrick’s hand on his shoulder; he turned, and the former FBI agent jerked his head back the way they’d come. The dragon nodded, not wanting to shout and strain his voice, nor needing the verbal cues to understand what his newest team member was communicating.

Together they made their way to the door, in order to cut the Weevil off. They really needed to make certain the creature left the club without harming anyone; right now, they could spin the cover story to make it seem like a drunk in an early Halloween costume had broken into the club. If an innocent was hurt, it could spiral out of control, and the last thing Ianto wanted to do was Retcon an entire building full of people.

Patrick made a hand gesture, suggesting that Ianto try to herd the Weevil back toward the rear door. One of the things that their newest recruit had put forward was to use a certain set of hand signals in situations where verbal communication was impossible. At the moment, the only thing they had was a haphazard system of pointing and other such movements, ones that Jack had introduced, and the team were gradually using the ones that Patrick had showed them. Of course, he’d learned them in the Army and the FBI, and made more sense than the ones Jack had come up with, and Jack had accepted the change with good grace.

Ianto nodded, making his way toward the confused Weevil. He’d put his gun away the moment he’d stepped into the club, and only held his can of Weevil spray at the ready. The people who were nearby were reacting to the creature, and the dragon pushed past them to get closer. They really needed to corral it before anything else happened. He hated to have to explain to Kathy that they’d had to cover up something this big.

He knew the Weevils were slightly empathic, from Owen’s studies of them, and this one must have somehow sensed his intent because it suddenly stormed past, claws slashing Ianto’s wool coat as it bulldozed past him, letting out a roar of anger and fear. Ianto was knocked spinning into a young woman who screeched loud enough to be heard over the music; he quickly caught his balance and made his way in the direction the Weevil had gone, mourning the damage done to his coat even as he attempted to catch up to the rampaging alien.

Luckily, it was still heading back toward the open rear door, where Patrick was waiting. His teammate was of average height, so he wasn’t visible over the crowd, but Ianto could tell easily enough by the club goers parting to make room for the Weevil.

Just as he was catching up, his mobile vibrated in his pocket.

Ianto cursed. He knew it wasn’t Jack calling, since he was wearing his comm and his mate would have contacted him through that. The only thing he could think of was someone had called the coppers, and it was Kathy Swanson wanting to know what the hell was going on.

No use for it. Ianto dug the phone out, and he answered it without bothering to check the caller I.D., so sure it was Kathy calling to bawl him out over the mess. “Yes, I know what’s going on,” he snapped, putting his other hand awkwardly over his ear in order to hear. “We’re on it now.”

“Well, that’s not quite the greeting I was hoping for,” was the laughing reply.

Ianto grinned; he couldn’t help it. “Suddenly, in a tacky nightclub during a Weevil hunt, I hear the voice of a Nightingale.”

He hadn’t spoken to Martha Jones in a little over two months, so busy she’d been with her new job with UNIT and her new boyfriend, Tom Milligan. Patrick had talked to Tish, though – and there were times when Ianto had wished those two had never met, just for his own peace of mind – and she’d kept them updated on just what Martha had been up to.

Patrick had learned very quickly that gossip was the food and drink for the Torchwood team.

“That sounds like something Jack would say,” Martha teased. “And yeah, I can tell you’re in some sort of a club, Dragon. The bass line is really offensive.”

“Can I call you back?” he asked, seeing that Patrick had managed to get the Weevil outside.

“I’ll just call Jack, and let you get back to your Weevil hunt,” she answered. “Unless Jack’s with you?” She sounded positively lascivious.

Ianto snorted. “No, he’s back at the Hub. Sometimes a Weevil hunt is just that…and you’ve been paying attention to Owen too much. Thanks, Martha.”

“No problem. Talk to you later. Love you.”

“Love you too.” He closed his phone as he stepped back out into the alley, closing the door behind him. “Patrick?” he called, tapping his comm on.

“Down toward the bay,” his teammate answered.

Ianto took off in that direction, past the line that was waiting to get into the club and getting several strange looks, which he simply shrugged off. His shoes clicked against the pavement as he ran, wanting to catch up to Patrick before anything happened.

They weren’t that far from the bay, and it was only seconds before he caught sight of Patrick. The American was standing by the railing, staring down into the water below. As Ianto stopped beside him, he looked up. “Can Weevils swim?”

Ianto opened his mouth to answer, and then realised he didn’t have the answer to that. “No idea,” he admitted. “Did you push it in?”

Patrick rolled his eyes, his irritation evident under the sodium lamps that were spaced out along this section of the quay. “The stupid thing just jumped.”

Ianto glanced down into the dark water. “Well, I guess that’s one way to get a Weevil to stop running amuck.” He wished they’d been able to catch it, but sometimes their luck was just that bad.

He clapped his hand on his friend’s shoulder. “How about some coffee?”

“I’d actually jump into the bay for coffee,” Patrick admitted, turning away from where he’d lost the Weevil.

“No need for that. Let’s get back to the Hub.” He began walking back in the direction of the Plass, Patrick matching his stride. He was curious as to why Martha had been calling, and why she hadn’t wanted to wait for him to call her.

Ianto had the feeling that something was definitely up.

**********

It didn’t take them long to get back to the Hub.

It was late enough that Deborah, Rhys, and Toshiko had already gone home, and Ianto dismissed Patrick even before they’d gotten back to the Plass.

The American had grinned despite grumbling about the promise of coffee and then not getting any. He then headed out to find a cab; he’d finally passed his drivers’ test, but didn’t have a car and relied on other forms of transportation. Rhys had taken to bringing him in, but leaving was another matter entirely. Ianto would have taken him back to his flat himself, but the dragon had no idea how long he and Jack would be. There was still that phone call from Martha, and Ianto was really wondering what had caused her to call so late and then not want to wait for a call back.

He took the invisible lift down, Myfanwy responding to the noise of the gears and poking her head out of her nest. She clicked her beak in greeting and then pulled back into the cubby where she slept, and not for the first time Ianto thought just how unfair it was that the pteranodon was stuck within the Hub for most of the time. She should be flying free, not trapped underground.

He stepped off the paving stone and onto the main floor of the Hub. Glancing around, he saw that while the rest of the Hub was powered down, the light in Jack’s office was still on…just as he’d expected. He made his way up, and through the glass of the wall he could see his mate sitting at his desk, writing something down.

As if knowing he was being watched, Jack glanced up and met Ianto’s eyes. Jack grinned, motioning him forward, and Ianto followed the direction gladly.

Jack leaned back in his chair as Ianto approached, taking his usual place lounging with his hip propped against the desk, looking down at his mate and smiling softly. He bumped Jack’s leg with his own, just because he could.

“A nightclub?” Jack asked, laughing. “Really?”

“At least the Weevil hated the music just as much as we did,” Ianto responded. “We won’t need to do much clean-up. I think just a minor cover story will do to explain it.”

“That’s good.”

“So…what did Martha want?”

Jack sighed. “You know she’s in Switzerland, right?”

Ianto nodded. “UNIT is doing security for the activation of the Large Hadron Collider. Apparently Tish told Patrick, who told Toshiko…who can’t decide whether she’s excited that Martha gets to be on the front line for science, or jealous for the exact same reason.”

“I knew there was a good reason we hired Patrick…his gossiping skills,” Jack chuckled, shaking his head. “It absolutely had nothing to do with his knowledge of weaponry and security.”

“And he was the most taciturn of the interviewees…go figure.” Ianto thought it was actually pretty funny. Then he turned serious. “I doubt Martha called just to brag about being at the Collider activation…”

“No, she didn’t. Seems like there might be something going on at CERN that may be up our alley.”

Ianto frowned. “That’s a bit out of our jurisdiction. Not that I’m saying we shouldn’t help…” The dragon would really do anything for Martha Jones. She was a friend…more than that, she was a dragon-friend, with everything that entailed. She’d also saved his life, back during the Year of the Toclafane, and he still owed her for that. “If there’s something going on, why isn’t UNIT handling it?”

“It seems that Martha’s garnered a bit of bad press with the fast track she’s been on within UNIT,” Jack explained. “She was put on the CERN team despite there being higher ranked officers ahead of her in line for the position, and that decision hasn’t been popular. It doesn’t matter that she’s earned everything she’s been given, what with the Year and travelling with the Doctor and all…there are still people who don’t like that a civilian – and a young one at that – has managed to jumped several ranks in such a short time despite Colonel Mace’s backing. When she went to her immediate superior out there, he completely dismissed her concerns.”

“And so she knew to come to us.” Ianto was angry for his friend. Martha was smart, and loyal, with a determination that the dragon hadn’t seen displayed in all that many ephemerals. She’d survived the Toclafane and the Doctor’s shenanigans and who knew what else, and to Ianto that made her one of the best of the humans he’d ever met in his entire life. “That’s not going to be a very popular decision if and when UNIT finds out about it.”

“Exactly, which is why Martha wants us to come in under the radar,” Jack answered. “If there is something going on up at CERN, it could be world threatening just with the type of science they’re doing there. Not that I think they’re gonna create a black hole or anything like that…” he shrugged. “They’re on the very brink of discovery and I certainly wouldn’t want anything to endanger that.”

It was at times like these that Ianto was suddenly reminded that his mate did come from the future. He might not know exactly what was going to occur, but Jack did have a certain insight that was invaluable. “Just what gave Martha the impression anything might happen?” Ianto knew that Martha didn’t usually jump to conclusions.

“A friend of hers works for CERN,” Jack explained. “When Martha got there, this friend told her that people were vanishing. Then, yesterday…she vanished as well. When Martha tried to get UNIT to do a search of the compound, they flatly refused. She was told that anyone was able to quit and leave whenever they want to, and that it wasn’t in UNIT’s purview to look for employees that had decided to move on.”

“Martha’s not given to flights of fancy.”

“No, she isn’t,” Jack agreed. “Which is why I’m agreeing with her. I think we should investigate.”

Ianto had known that Jack would say that. Martha was important to both of them and neither would dismiss her concerns.

“I told her I was going to send her help. It’s going to be you, Toshiko, and Patrick,” his mate went on. “I can’t, in good conscience, leave Cardiff completely undefended.”

“I agree with you,” Ianto said. That would leave Jack with Owen as the experienced member of the team, but Rhys was catching on to a lot of the mainframe and computer protocols as well as the logistical nightmare that was keeping the Hub supplied. He and Deborah would be able to run operations if Jack and Owen were called out for any reason. “Have you warned Martha that Patrick would be coming, so she wouldn’t react to his presence?”

Patrick didn’t want to know what had happened to him during that Year, and Ianto and Jack were perfectly willing to accept that. But Martha had known Patrick as well, and if she wasn’t prepared…well, Ianto remembered how he’d reacted to seeing Patrick’s CV in the pile that had been sent in when they’d been hiring for Gwen’s old position. In fact, if Ianto had had his way there wouldn’t have even been anyone else interviewing for the place on the team. It had been Jack who’d insisted on speaking to the others, and he’d been correct to do so, but in the end they’d still hired the one person Ianto had wanted all along.

Not that Patrick knew any of this, and he never would unless he came to them and asked. The senior members of the team respected his decision on not being told, even if it was difficult at times to abide by that.

“Yes, I told her,” Jack replied. “She’s actually been wanting to see him ever since Tish said we’d hired him.” He grinned. “Apparently gossip goes both ways.”

“I’m sure it does.” Ianto and Jack both trusted Tish Jones implicitly so they’d made it clear that Patrick could share things with her that he couldn’t with Eoin Gwynn, his other friend outside of Torchwood.

Ianto stood up, stretching. “Let me go and make the flight reservations. Did Martha say if there would be accommodations in Geneva?”

“Yes, she did. You’ll be at the same hotel as the rest of the representatives attending the activation of the Collider. She’s going to set everything up, including cover identities.” There was a smirk on Jack’s face, and Ianto had a sudden sinking feeling about the co-called covers Martha was arranging.

“I’ll let you call Patrick and Toshiko and tell them about the case,” Ianto said.

“I’ll do that.” His mate agreed. “Although I would’ve thought you’d like to have been the one to tell Toshiko that she’d be going to Switzerland.”

“I like to be able to hear,” the dragon answered, “and I have the feeling the high-pitched squealing would put my eardrum out.”

Jack laughed. “Good thing I heal fast, then.”

Ianto leaned over and pressed a quick kiss to Jack’s lips. “Let me get the flight taken care of, and then we can get out of here.”

“And I shall do my duty and let Toshiko gush all over me.”

Jack grabbed his phone, and Ianto left the office in order to get things done before going home. After all, he was about to leave for a couple of days. He was going to show Jack just how much he was going to miss his mate and he wanted plenty of time to do it in.


Chapter Two



Comments

Love that you're bringing in the radio plays! Great chapter and I can't wait to see what happens next.
Great start! I can't wait to see how the radio play fits with your dragon verse.
Awesome idea, bringing in the radio plays! Looking forward to the next chapter! :D
Not familiar with the radio plays but then Patrick is here so that more than makes up for it! This is a great start to another great storyline :D :D :D :D :D
Ooh, good start! Love that you're using the radio play(s?) as well. Very excited; can't wait for the next chapter.

Oh, and I like the potential for Agents of SHIELD-crossovers!
Love the start of this!!!!
Love the story as always. Kind of sorry Jack isn't going though. My favorite part of this in the radio play was that Ianto's cover was the Welsh ambassador, and Jack was supposed to be his PA. I thought that was a RIOT! Still, this makes more sense given the team that you now have. By the way, thank you for continuing to write these stories. Some of my other favorite fanfiction authors have simply quit writing, often with stories unfinished, and I hate it. I know this takes a lot of time, and I really appreciate it. I LOVE seeing those update emails in my inbox! It really brightens my day.
I love the re-imagining of this story, Tosh is going to be so happy seeing all that sciency-stuff! Jack and Ianto really know the way to that woman's heart! I look forward to finding out exactly what it is that Patrick did... I'm sure that is was amazing. :)
More Dragon-Verse. What a treat. Thank you.
I'm not familiar with this radio episode, but normally it is Jack that accompanies Ianto?
I look forward to see how you write!