Author: Milady Dragon
Pairing(s): JackHarkness/Ianto Jones, Toshiko Sato/Kathy Swanson, Owen Harper/Diane Holmes, Tenth Doctor/Rose Tyler, Martha Jones/Tom Milligan, Phil Coulson/Clint Barton, Tony Stark/Pepper Potts
Warnings: Language, Violence, Angst, Temporary Character Death (It's Jack), Perceived Character Death, Minor Character Death.
Spoilers: Thru S2, E13, "Fragments" and "Exit Wounds", the audio play "Lost Souls" for Torchwood, S4, E12 and E13, "The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End" for Doctor Who. Slight spoilers for the movie, "Iron Man"
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better. Don't own Doctor Who, Sarah Jane Adventures, or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, either
Author's Note: Here it is, the Dragon-Verse version of "Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End".
Summary: The Earth has been stolen. There are twenty-six other planets in the sky. The Daleks are raining death down from the sky. It's the end of the world.
30 April 2009
Interlude – Phil Coulson
The SHIELD Helicarrier, New York Harbour
Phil Coulson sighed, removing his glasses from his tired eyes and rubbing the bridge of his nose.
His office on the Helicarrier was windowless, so he really had no idea what was going on outside, but he’d heard enough reports to know that the Daleks were moving unhindered over the entire planet. Nothing was stopping them.
Anyone who’d tried to fight them had died. The UNIT airship, the Valiant, lay in pieces at the bottom of the East River, one of the first targets of the invading aliens. From what SHIELD had been able to gather it had been lost with all hands.
They hadn’t stood a chance.
Phil suspected though that there might be some people who wouldn’t care that the Valiant had gone down for good, especially after all the information they’d managed to gather about Harold Saxon and the Toclafane, bur he was certain that hadn’t included the innocent personnel on board.
He knew, without a doubt, that the death toll for this event was going to be horrific.
There wasn’t a thing SHIELD could to about it.
Yes, he’d called Stark to ask for help, but he hadn’t heard a thing back from the billionaire. It hadn’t been very long since he’d called, so he honestly didn’t think Stark would have come up with anything so soon, but it was wishful thinking on his part that the genius would have been able to pull some sort of rabbit out of his designer hat.
But, above anything else, he was worried about Clint.
He hadn’t heard from his lover in a while now.
Phil didn’t like the not knowing what was going on in Cardiff. He was aware that Torchwood was on the forefront of alien intelligence; hell, he’d read the file that Second Jones had sent over detailing everything they knew about the Daleks, which had been a lot. He’d heard the name before, in the reports from Canary Wharf, but this file had been the most comprehensive they’d ever received from the reclusive Institute.
There had always been a slight rivalry between Torchwood and SHIELD. SHIELD had minimal activity in the UK, simply because Torchwood existed. Director Fury had wanted that foothold to grow, but as long as Torchwood was there they’d never have much of a presence. Torchwood, plus UNIT, had a stranglehold on missions within the British Empire.
It also didn’t help that there seemed to be far too many alien incursions on British soil. The US hadn’t been hit all that often; in fact, Phil thought that the last major invasion has been back in 1969, during the affair with the Silence. If there had been anything else, he was positive that SHIELD would have discovered it. Director Fury knew it was only a matter of time before they’d spilled out into their ‘territory’, and they were woefully unprepared for it.
Fury had been correct. Evidenced by the Daleks that had somehow moved the entire planet to somewhere else in the universe and had set about destroying much of its military infrastructure.
They’d been lucky so far that the Daleks didn’t seem all that interested in the Helicarrier. Maybe Harkness had been right when he’d told Clint that the Daleks might disregard them if they weren’t considered a threat. That foresight had saved hundreds of lives, although the Triskelion had taken a couple of fairly serious hits and would take at least a couple of months to repair.
But Clint was at Torchwood, and if they were on the front lines of this invasion…
It wasn’t as if Clint hadn’t been on dangerous missions before. Hell, every mission had the potential for failure. But usually Phil was in the loop when things went wrong. This time, he had no clue. He could only trust that Harkness and Jones would keep their team safe…and at the moment, that included both Clint and Phil’s own nephew.
Phil had heard from Maggie. His sister and her husband, Everett, were in Cardiff, staying with Patrick while he was still recuperating from being shot about a month ago. Phil had seen that sort of wound before, and knew that his nephew would take a while to get back to normal from it.
Maggie had told him that she and Everett were taking refuge in the basement of Patrick’s apartment building, with the other residents that had been there at the time. She’d told him that Patrick had offered to take them to Torchwood’s infamous Hub, but they’d declined, not wanting to distract their son while he’d been working. She’d also moaned about not have any sort of weapons with her; but then, how had they known a murderous alien race was going to steal the entire planet? There was just no way to prepare for that sort of thing.
He hadn’t heard from Maggie since that one phone call, but he actually was less worried about her and Everett than he was about Patrick and Clint. Of course, he’d heard from Clint, but that had been hours ago, and a bow and arrow wasn’t a match for directed energy weapons.
He had heard from Patrick, but he hadn’t said a thing about where Clint was. That was worrying in and of itself.
Phil hadn’t thought much about Clint wanting to volunteer to cover while Torchwood was down by two people, including Patrick. The story going around was that terrorists had targeted several buildings and Cardiff’s infrastructure, and that casualties had been surprisingly light, considering the damage. There’d been rumours that the nearby nuclear power station had nearly gone into meltdown. The strangest thing about that was the sudden appearance of a lake over the spot, and what looked like an excavation trench that had been dug toward Cardiff Bay and then refilled just as quickly as it had appeared.
There had also been mentions of strange creatures with large teeth and wearing boiler suits, roaming the streets. There hadn’t been any verifiable sightings of these creatures, but Fury was convinced they’d existed, although how he knew Coulson wasn’t aware.
In fact, the Director had been certain the whole thing had been yet another alien invasion and that Torchwood had fought it off.
Phil thought Director Fury was a paranoid asshole, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t be correct.
While he was considered Third in Command at SHIELD, right behind Nicholas Fury and Maria Hill, Phil knew there were things he just wasn’t cleared to know, and a lot of that concerned Torchwood.
Which meant he knew Patrick was keeping things from him, and he was fine with that.
It also meant Clint was privy to things Phil wasn’t, and he knew he’d be talking to Fury about upping Clint’s level once more, and other things besides. Clint would make an excellent Level Seven.
This was predicated on Clint actually surviving all this.
Hell, it predicated on all of them surviving this.
Phil had been up on the Helicarrier’s bridge ever since this had all begun, but had retreated to his office for a little privacy and a cup of coffee. He needed a few minutes to gather himself together to face more of the Dalek madness outside.
Fury had sent a majority of the Helicarrier’s personnel to relative safety out into the city, leaving behind a skeleton crew just in case of attack. Having all their people in one place in this circumstance had been asking for disaster, so it had made sense not to keep all their eggs in one basket. It had left himself, Fury, and about twenty people on board; he’d sent Hill off with the rest of the crew, so if the Helicarrier was blown up with them on it at least SHIELD would still have someone who knew what they were doing in charge.
Phil had stayed because he was ostensibly liaison to Torchwood, who was running point on this mess even though they didn’t have jurisdiction outside of their own country simply because they seemed to know what they were doing. He couldn’t wait to hear what the cover story was going to be.
He sighed, finishing off his coffee. Time to get back to the bridge, to see what had happened while he’d been gone.
He’d just gotten up from his desk when his cell phone rang.
Phil glanced at the caller ID, and it wasn’t a number he knew, but he recognised it as international. He had it answered and up to his ear, needing to know what was going on but afraid to find out.
“Hey, Phil. It’s me.”
Phil sagged in relief. “Report, Agent,” he said, falling back into old habits.
There was a chuckle over the line. “Well, sir, I appear to be on the Doctor’s TARDIS heading into the jaws of a major alien incursion.”
“The Doctor is involved?” Suddenly Phil had a lot more faith in the world getting out of this. Not that he didn’t before, because Torchwood seemed to know what they were doing, but a majority of the files on the Daleks mentioned the Doctor being their sworn enemy, and for someone to have that sort of reputation he must have done quite a few things to earn it.
“That is incredibly difficult to explain,” Clint answered. “It’ll all be in my report after we go and kick Dalek ass, sir.”
“I’ll look forward to reading it.” The Phil paused, frowning. “How are you calling me if you’re on the TARDIS? How does that even work?”
Clint chuckled. “I borrowed this phone from a crazy lady named Donna. Apparently, the Doctor fixed it so it could reach anywhere in the universe so she could keep in touch with her family. Sir, if we get out of this we really need to recruit her.”
That had to have been the Doctor’s current companion. From everything he knew about those the Doctor chose to have travel with him, they were all extraordinary individuals. Captain Harkness was counted among that number, as were two of the first SHIELD agents Director Carter had recruited, Amy Pond and Rory Williams. If Clint thought they should be recruiting this Donna person, then Phil would see what they could do.
“I’ll take that under advisement.”
There was a small silence on the line, then Clint was back. This time, though, gone was his flirty Agent Barton professional demeanour and his Clint had taken its place. “Look, Phil…if what we’re doing works, we’ll be able to get rid of the Daleks. If it doesn’t…”
“I don’t want to hear that if won’t work,” Phil insisted. He didn’t even want to consider failure…consider losing Clint to a bunch of murdering aliens. “It would be unacceptable for an agent of SHIELD to contemplate anything but a successful end to his mission.”
That got him a laugh. “Yes, sir.”
Phil couldn’t help but smile a little. “But after all this is done, you’re coming home. You’ve been gone too long.”
“Aw…you have missed me!”
The tone was teasing, but Phil could hear the genuinely surprised affection in the words. “I’ve missed you hanging around on the couch in my office, and not getting your reports in on time.”
“Hey! My reports are always on time!”
“Only because I was stuck in Medical for a week!”
It was easier for them to banter like this, when the fate of the entire world was on the line and they were separated by so many miles Phil couldn’t even add it together. It was better than feelings and regrets and the idea that Phil felt as if they were drifting apart at times, especially when Clint had decided to spend his time off in another country than with him. Phil wasn’t about to admit that he’d felt just a little jealous about Torchwood getting Clint’s time and energy, but it was just Clint being the decent human being he’d always been.
Phil had been to Cardiff once to check on Patrick, and it was obvious that Clint had become friends with Patrick’s teammates. He’d confided in Phil that they’d offered him a position in Torchwood, but that he hadn’t even considered accepting. It would take him away from SHIELD…away from Phil.
Phil didn’t want to admit how pleased he’d been to hear that.
“Clint,” he said, clearing his throat, knowing he was about to get emotional because, damnit, the world was really close to ending and his archer wasn’t there, with him; instead, he was in an alien time machine, about to do something that was most likely foolhardy and could very well get him hurt.
No, that wasn’t an option.
“I understand,” Clint answered, saving Phil from being inexcusably sappy. “And yes, I’ll be home as soon as things are clear for me to be. I’ll call again as soon as we take care of our little Dalek problem. Oh, do you want me to bring you home a souvenir from the Crucible?”
“Just bring yourself home, Clint. That’s the only souvenir that I want.”
Clint was silent for a moment, most likely processing the emotions that Phil had been broadcasting yet not saying outright. “Well,” he finally spoke, “I was thinking more along the lines of one of those Dalek guns…”
“I have enough guns. What I don’t have enough of are certain mouthy agents who have the tendency to get themselves into trouble at the drop of a hat.”
“Not just any hat, sir. Hold on a sec…”
A voice murmured over the line, saying something that Phil couldn’t understand, only that he could tell it was a woman’s tone. It obviously said something funny, because there was the little bark of a laugh that Phil loved hearing his lover give.
“I need to go,” Clint said. “The Doctor Double – it’s a really long and weird story, and I don’t have time right now to give you even the highlights – has this gizmo built that’s gonna help us defeat the Daleks, so it’s time to move. Like I said, I’ll call when we’ve taken care of business.”
“Be careful, Clint.”
“Don’t worry about me…I’m always careful!”
Phil opened his mouth, about to break the one rule he’d been adamant about keeping…telling Clint that he loved him, when he was in his office and working. They’d always agreed to keep work and personal separate, and so far, that had gone really well with them.
But this was Armageddon. And if he didn’t say it now…
However, Clint didn’t give him a chance.
“Gotta go, sir. See you on the other side!”
The phone disconnected.
Phil hadn’t even had a chance to say goodbye, which wasn’t all that bad a thing.
Saying it would have made the situation that much more dire.
Phil sighed. He reached up and touched his earwig, needing to call Director Fury to let him know he’d heard from Clint. Not that he had all that much to tell, but he could at least clue Fury in on the fact that the Doctor was on the scene and that there was some sort of plan in place.
Although, what the hell was that Doctor Double shit?
He barely had time to speak before Fury was in his ear, demanding his presence on the Helicarrier’s bridge. The words, “The fucking bastards are retreating,” had Coulson up and out of his seat before he would even register the action.