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Myfanwy 2

July 2018

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Ghosts of the Collider - Chapter Three

Ghosts of the Collider - Chapter Three
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?




10 September 2008

“Your passes please?” the guard at the security desk said, managing to look both polite and bored at the same time. His French accent seemed to just add to the dichotomy.

“Here’s mine,” Martha said promptly, handing over a laminated card. “And this is Mr Ianto Jones. You should have him on your list.”

Ianto gave the guard his best bland smile. He wasn’t sure he was all that successful, because he couldn’t make up his mind rather to be embarrassed or to laugh his arse off at his cover, because it was really quite ridiculous.

He wondered if Jack had known.

Of course he had. Ianto bet his mate and Martha had giggled over it, because no matter how many times Jack denied it, he did indeed giggle like a five year old who’d just used a Sharpie on a newly painted wall.

The guard typed at his computer. “Mister Ianto Jones…” he mused, his slight accent causing the dragon’s name to sound like ‘Ee-ann-toe’. Then he glanced up. “The Ambassador from Wales?”

“Oh, hello,” Ianto blurted before getting himself back under control. “Yes, that’s me.” He had no idea why Martha had made him some sort of ambassador, especially since there wasn’t technically a Welsh Ambassador; Wales was a part of Great Britain, so anyone sent over for the reception would have represented both England and Wales.

And yes, that was a sore spot for a Welsh dragon.

Martha’s eyes were sparkling in glee, and it was just so obvious that she was getting a kick out of his embarrassment. “And this is wife, Dr Toshiko Sato-Jones.”

Ianto looped his arm through Toshiko’s, feeling how close she was to laughing from the slight tremor in her body against his. “I can’t wait to see the Collider switched on,” she said somewhat breathlessly. Ianto figured her excitement for being onsite during the ceremony was adding to her performance, also usefully covering up her amusement.

“This is Mr Jones’ personal assistant,” Martha went on, “Patrick Delaware.”

“Yeah, if personal assistant was a euphemism for fully-trained weapons’ expert.”

It was only Ianto’s better-than-human hearing that caught Patrick’s irritated mumbling. The American hadn’t been at all happy about his created cover, and had only been slightly placated when he’d been allowed to carry his gun. Ianto sometimes wondered if Patrick’s obsession with deadly weapons was completely unhealthy and that the team needed to hold some sort of intervention before the former agent blew himself up or something equally insane.

Monsieur and Madame,” the guard said, looking slightly bemused while handing over three laminated cards the same as Martha had, “here are your passes.”

“Thank you,” Ianto answered smoothly, taking the cards and passing one each to Toshiko and Patrick. Then he smiled down at his “wife”. “Darling, shall we go in?”

Toshiko looked as if she was choking on something, but managed to say, “Darling, it would be a pleasure.”

“Yeah, whatever,” Patrick muttered, managing to sound like a mulish teenager and not the adult he was supposed to be.

“Wait,” Martha called out, slipping a file folder from the guard’s desk. She handed it to Ianto. “Here’s the entry pack,” she explained. “It’s got a map, an itinerary and such. We’d really hate for you to get lost.”

Ianto, of course, accepted it for the real reason Martha was giving it to him: so they could snoop around to their hearts’ content once they could get away from the opening speeches and not end up somewhere they wouldn’t want to be. It would certainly make it easier to find what they were looking for…even if they didn’t quite know what that was as yet.

“With these maps you are really spoiling us,” the dragon gushed, prompting another telegraphed yet stifled laugh from Toshiko and yet more grumbling from Patrick, this time something about “ham actors”.

Ianto rolled his eyes good-naturedly as the quartet made their way past the security desk and into the main auditorium area of CERN. The room was large, with stadium seating arcing gracefully up two of the rounded walls, and a small stage and podium set up in front of a third wall. At the moment no one was standing there, and Ianto knew it wouldn’t be long before the first speeches would be made, which would be their cue to go snooping.

Until then, the guests that had come to the ceremony were milling around in front of the stage area, or were taking advantage of what looked like a well-stocked buffet near the last of the walls. Several servers were helping those at the buffet, furnishing drinks and keeping the snack trays full. There were perhaps about a hundred people there already, and Ianto wasn’t surprised that nearly half of those present had some form of bodyguard with them. There was another nearly inaudible mumble from Patrick, and the dragon really didn’t need to have heard the actual words to understand what his teammate was saying.

Ianto had to agree; there really wasn’t any reason why Patrick couldn’t have been some sort of personal security instead of an assistant, but his reaction had still been funny when Martha had revealed their covers.

And, maybe he understood it, just a little, coming from Martha, knowing what he knew. There just wasn’t any way for him to make this any better without explaining Patrick’s role in the Resistance.

Instead, Ianto began looking about, noting the large lithographs on the walls, showing various pieces of machinery that were obvious in use there in the labs that were buried deep underground. Toshiko had practically composed odes to CERN on their plane ride over, and Ianto felt he could almost identify a lot of what he was seeing. Certainly he could recognise what had to be Atlas, the largest of the particle accelerators; it resembled a large jet engine that dwarfed everything else in its photograph.

“I’ll be right back,” Martha murmured, sounding resigned. Ianto glanced around her and noticed a UNIT Major making broad hand signals in their direction, obviously calling Martha over to the mixed group of soldiers and scientists that were huddled near the snacks table. The man didn’t look happy, and it was all Ianto could do not to go over and tell him a few things about his Nightingale.

Something must have shown in his face, because Martha snorted, “Don’t do anything you’re gonna regret, Dragon.”

“I wouldn’t regret it at all,” he growled. The major’s hand gestures were getting borderline obscene.

“Keep to your cover,” she replied. “I can handle it.”

The dragon took a deep breath. Of course she could handle one blowhard of an UNIT major…she’d handled Toclafane and other horrors and had come out on top. “Sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry,” she gave him a smile. She patted him on the arm, and then headed over to her group, her head held up high.

“You don’t mess with Martha Jones,” Toshiko said, smiling.

“This is so true,” Ianto agreed. He tucked his friend’s arm through his. “Shall we explore the nibbles, darling?”

Toshiko giggled. “Of course, darling.”

“I am so telling Kathy and Jack just how sappy you’re both being,” Patrick threatened. It was a hollow threat, and both Ianto and Toshiko knew it, but it was still funny.

“Come on, I’ll get you a drink,” the dragon offered, laughing. “And don’t think Kathy doesn’t already realise we’re ridiculous, because our dear detective inspector is a smart woman and can sense these things.”

“It’s her superpower,” Toshiko agreed.

“And I was never sappy until Jack came along,” Ianto added.

“While I didn’t know you before you met Jack,” the technician rebutted, “I’m content to call bullshit on that comment, Ianto.”

Patrick snorted but didn’t say anything, but it was obvious he was agreeing with Toshiko. Not that Ianto minded; she was totally correct in her assertion but he wasn’t about to admit it.

Together, the three teammates made their way over to the buffet, passing Martha on the way. While Ianto and Toshiko walked past, ignoring what was going on, Patrick stopped just behind Martha, leaning over and saying something to her. Ianto didn’t see how she reacted, because he quickly had his back to the group, but the laughter that echoed up spoke volumes.

Patrick rejoined them quickly, looking very smug indeed.

“What did you say?” Toshiko asked, accepting a Champaign flute from one of the waiters.

“Who, me?” the American asked, managing to keep the innocent expression on his face from slipping. “I just commented that the Ambassador of Wales appreciated Dr Jones’ company and that, if the major could keep his rude hand gestures to a minimum he might avoid a diplomatic incident.”

“You did not!” Ianto exclaimed.

Patrick shrugged. “Someone had to put the ass in his place. I might not know Martha, but no one deserves to have that sort of shit pulled on them. If she wasn’t a competent UNIT officer, then why is she even here? And while I’m quite sure she really can take care of herself, sometimes you just need a little back-up.”

“You are a marvel, Delaware,” Toshiko grinned, shaking her head.

“I’ll remember to tell my mother you said that the next time she calls!”

“I can tell her if you want.”

The man who spoke nearly made Patrick jump out of his skin, and only the friendly arm that dropped onto the American’s shoulders most likely kept him from instinctively drawing his gun.

Ianto examined their visitor. He was a little taller than Patrick, and the ubiquitous black suit he wore did nothing to hide the breadth of his shoulders; the fabric looked like it was about to rebel from the stretching it was doing over those biceps. If the dragon had to guess, he would have put the man’s age at around the mid-thirties. His close-cropped hair was a shade somewhere between dark blond and light brown, and his eyes were sharp and pale. He wasn’t what Ianto would have called traditionally handsome, but the dragon certainly found his features interesting to look at.

The man was examining Ianto as closely as Ianto was him, and honestly the dragon liked what he saw. He was obviously some sort of bodyguard, and Ianto was willing to bet he was from one of the alphabet agencies. If he knew Patrick that well to come up behind him and risk injury – because the former FBI agent wasn’t afraid to hurt people who snuck up on him like that, which Owen had learned first-hand – then Ianto figured this new American was either FBI, CIA, or SHIELD, based on his teammate’s family history.

Patrick let out a put-upon sigh, but the sparkle in his eyes belied any irritation he was telegraphing. “Like Mom would believe you, Barton. She still remembers the incident with Uncle Phil’s birthday cake.”

The man – Barton – clapped his free hand on his chest. “Oh, you wound me,” he answered melodramatically. Then he laughed. “I’m surprised to see you here, kid. I thought you were in Cardiff doing special ops.”

Ianto mentally made a note of that, even thought he’d known for a fact that Patrick hadn’t shared much with friends and family about what he did, due to the passive surveillance they had on him, as they did with all new hires. But then, there wasn’t anyone on the team more aware of security protocols than Patrick Everett Delaware…even if he was the biggest damned gossip in the Hub.

“And I thought you’d be off to wherever my uncle would send you,” Patrick shot back, grinning, “instead of being here. What are you doing…babysitting duty?”

He worked for SHIELD then, and more specifically he worked for Phillip J. Coulson.

The name, Barton, was somewhat familiar, but Ianto didn’t think he’d ever met the man. If he’d been with the SHIELD Resistance during that Year…oh, yes, the dragon did recall hearing someone mention the name Barton. He’d been undercover in one of the rocket facilities near what had once been Niagara Falls, and hadn’t put in an appearance during the time that he and Martha had been with the Resistance. However, he’d been mentioned several times, enough for Ianto to make a preliminary judgment.

Ianto knew things about Clint Barton that Patrick didn’t know he did, and there was no way he could say a thing to him about it without having to explain just how he’d gotten his information.

Still, it was good to put a face to the name. It was yet one more person his path had crossed before and after the paradox has been broken – at least, peripherally – and the dragon was certain Toshiko would be adding Barton to the list of persons from that Year that she was keeping…not that he was supposed to know about that, of course. Toshiko had an entire spreadsheet password protected on her laptop of persons of note from the paradox, listing what they’d done and what they were doing now that the Toclafane had been defeated. It was her way of keeping up with them all; her way of coping with some of the horrors they’d had to deal with.

Of proving to herself that the paradox was, indeed, over.

They all had coping mechanisms. For Toshiko, it was her list. For Owen, it was his weekly online chats with Diane, which showed him that she was all right, and his calls to Tom Milligan, his old partner from those days. For both Jack and Ianto himself, their closeness was what kept the nightmares at bay.

There were times when the dragon envied Patrick his innocence. He was very glad that their newest friend hadn’t wanted to know what he’d had to do during that Year, even if he was sometimes tempted to break that silence for purely selfish reasons.

Barton shrugged. “There were enough high-level SHIELD scientists wanting to be here for the switch flipping that security needed to be equally high-ranking, so here I am. And what brings you here?”

Patrick grimaced. “The lowest man on the totem pole gets the milk runs.” He turned slightly under the weight of Barton’s arm. “May I present to you the Ambassador from Wales, Mr Ianto Jones, and his lovely wife, Toshiko? She’s the scientist in this party, and from her I learned all I ever wanted to know about the LHC and the work they’re doing here. Mister and Dr Jones, this is Agent Clint Barton. He works for SHIELD.”

So, Patrick was going for the cover. This meant that Barton didn’t have the security clearance to know about Torchwood. If Ianto recalled correctly, that most likely meant that this agent was Level Six or below in the SHIELD hierarchy. Having spoken to Agent Coulson on a couple of different occasions that had nothing to do with the world ending, Ianto had gotten a pretty good handle on just how the security structure of SHIELD worked.

However, from their interaction, it was obvious that Patrick and Barton knew each other outside of their various jobs. Mentioning “Uncle Phil” and Barton making the comment about Patrick’s mother confirmed for the dragon that Patrick was closer to Barton than just having met him through Phil Coulson. It was nice to know that his knowledge hadn’t been completely negated by the turning back of that paradox year.

One of Barton’s eyebrows went up. “I’m not sure I’d call escorting an ambassador a milk run.” He straightened, dropping the arm that had been around Patrick’s shoulders. He held out a hand, which Ianto shook. There were some interesting callouses that the dragon hadn’t felt in a human palm in perhaps centuries, and automatically equated them with archers. “Nice to meet you,” the agent greeted. “If I’d known I’d be barging into an ambassadorial party…”

“Don’t worry about it,” Ianto reassured him, “I’m relatively new to this whole ambassador thing.” By about fifteen hours, he didn’t add. “Toshiko is the one who’s really interested in this sort of thing. I’m only here as her arm candy.”

Barton’s eyebrows went up, and before he could say anything – and for some reason Ianto had the notion that it would have ranked up there with some of Jack’s more innuendo-laden comments, Martha’s voice piped up, “Sorry about that.” Ianto turned and smiled gratefully as she slid in beside him, her eyes giving their guest the onceover. “I’m Dr Martha Jones –“

“With UNIT,” Barton supplied. He offered his hand to her, grinning. “It’s hard to miss the only gorgeous person on that particular team, and I have the best eyesight in the room.”

Martha gave him a serene smile. “I’ll be sure to tell my boyfriend you said that.”

Barton sighed overdramatically. “All the beautiful people are already taken. It’s a damned shame.”

“This is Agent Clint Barton,” Patrick introduced.   “He’s with the SHIELD contingent.” He didn’t add anything else, and from the flicker in Martha’s eyes she’d recognised the name right off.

“I thought I noticed you hanging around their science team,” Martha replied. “I was really impressed with Drs Fitz and Simmons when I spoke to them yesterday. They’re very…”

“Young?” Barton asked, teasing.

“I was going to say enthusiastic,” Martha chuckled. “But young works.”

Ianto turned toward the SHIELD contingent, noticing immediately the two children talking animatedly to another, older scientist. “Prodigies, I take it?”

“Oh yeah,” Barton said. He sounded fond. “Youngest to ever graduate from Sci-Tech. We call them FitzSimmons because they’re inseparable. And telepathically linked, even though they deny it.”

“They also have technobabble down to a fine art,” Martha added, making Barton laugh.

“That they do,” he agreed. Then he sighed. “I should be getting back to my own party before all hell breaks loose.”

Ianto raised a single eyebrow. “Do you anticipate that happening, Agent Barton?” He wondered if rumours of the disappearances had gotten around to the other groups.

“I anticipate any sort of situation to go to shit at any time, pardon my language,” the man replied, smirking. “Why should this be any different?”

The dragon had to admit he had a point.

“Just had to come over and say hello to Patrick,” Barton went on. “Of course I should have known I would be busting into a conversation with an ambassador, because that’s the way I roll.” He offered his hand once more. “It was a pleasure to meet you, Mr Jones.”

Ianto gave him a genuine smile. “You as well, Agent Barton. And it was no interruption, really. Any friend of Patrick’s and all that.”

“Thanks for that, because I would have hated to have caused a diplomatic incident.”

“Not at all. And please inform Patrick’s mother that he’s been doing a fine job and that she should be proud.”

The slight blush on Patrick’s face at the comment was well worth it.



Chapter Four


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Comments

FitzSimmons are there & they have Barton as their bodyguard...this is not going to go well, is it?!? ^_^

truthfully, I'm not to sure about having Torchwood in the same world as Ironman, Hulk and the others but you're making it work.

Can't wait to see what trouble P.A. Patrick gets into, given that Barton knows his family.

Having Tosh in this story, not Gwen = a win! :)
Well, you know.... *grins*

Don't worry, in the end this is all about Torchwood. There might be parts that intersect (and as I was outlining this series and beyond, there are only about three of the movies that will impact this universe, plus some of AoS.) and that's really all about Patrick and his connections. So while there may be some crossover it isn't much. :)

Tosh makes this so easy to write, because it means that the science stuff makes more sense than it did coming from Gwen. LOL!
You not only worked Barton into your story, but you also got FitzSimmons in it too. Can't wait for the next update!
FitzSimmons practically demanded it. They can be quite insistent. *laughs*

More up soon. :)
Squee, cameos from Hawkeye and FitzSimmons! Happy fangirl is happy! :D

Great chapter! I'd forgotten how great the banter was in the original story. :)
Once Clint demanded his cameo, FitzSimmons weren't far behind. *laughs*

Glad you enjoyed it. I did love the banter from the original, and I'm glad it works in this version as well. :)
so happy now that I've started watching agents of S.H.I.E.L.D...
Yeah FitzSimmons and Barton..spells trouble..
love this story, the interaction between the Torchwood people and the SHIELD folk..Ianto and Coulson..quite the pair
Agents of SHIELD is like my new favorite fandom. I'm sure I'll really be writing in it at some point, and not as cameos in other stories.

They all just demanded a cameo. I had to do it. *laughs*

Glad you enjoyed it. And I'm glad their interaction works well. :)
And so SHIELD makes an appearance in the form of Clint Barton, Fitz, and Simmons. If any of them get caught up in the fireworks that you have planned for this particular installment, it will be a fascinating crossover. Ianto will have to be careful when he gets home because Jack might be a bit jealous of Barton.

I love how Delaware supported Martha in front of that UNIT major. I haven't really had good feelings for that group as a whole since watching Torchwood and the later seasons of Doctor Who.

Are we going to be getting more than hints of what Delaware did during the Paradox Year?
Yep, they got demanding. So I had to give them a cameo. *grins*

As for them getting caught up in stuff...we'll see. ;)

UNIT was good in the original, but I just don't like how it's portrayed in NuWho. It's become totalitarian, really.

Thanks!
Aww! Ianto made the scary weapons expert blush! :-D
Yay for Barton (and FitzSimmons, even if they just got a mention; gotta love those two!). I like the feel of this one; can't wait to see what you're doing with it!
Patrick hadn't had his blush reflex trained out of him yet. Let him hang around Jack for a bit more and he won't have to worry about it anymore. *laughs*

Glad you're enjoying it. I'm having fun rewriting it. Hope you like what I have coming up. :)
Aww, Patrick's mother will be pleased to get such a message. I love that Tosh and Ianto are having such fun with their cover... :) I am looking forward to seeing where this is going. :)
Patrick's mother will...it's a good thing her security clearance covers updates on her only son! *laughs*

More up soon. :)