Characters: Janto Team!fic
Warnings: Erm ... hopefully it's scary. Minor gore.
Disclaimer: If I owned anything in this, I'd be a rich rich rich bitch. However, I am not a rich rich rich bitch so you may all, therefore, assume I own nothing. Which I don't. It all belongs RTD and the BBC, in case any of you didn't know.
Summary: Ianto decides to do the decade-ly inventory of the Archives - with rather scary results (and I'm not talking about bad organisation skills). Slight crossover with Doctor Who S3.
Note #1: This story was written the October before 'The Time of Angels' and 'Flesh and Stone' aired, so please don't message me regarding any inconsistencies with canon you may find.
Note #2: I've deleted the original version of this from LJ, and am posting this corrected version one chapter at a time, one day at a time.
"Ianto?" Jack called.
"No sign, Jack," Toshiko told him, her voice quiet.
"All this stuff ... it's been rearranged."
"You've said, Jack."
"Did he do it? Do you think he was trying to tell us something?"
Owen all but snorted. "What? He told the Angels to 'hang on a moment while I rearrange some crap and leave a secret message, then zap me'?"
Jack bit his lip, and moved over to the steel work bench, picking up a little grey metal machine they'd found three days previous and setting it back down with the other things they'd brought in that day. "Why was that on the floor?" he pondered out loud. "Do you think he was holding it when ...?"
No one replied, and instead they continued scanning the area Ianto was last seen. Jack left them to it, returning to the CCTV feeds that had been left running, sitting heavily in the chair beside Gwen. "I'm going to go over the video coverage," he told her. They could already guess what had happened, but ... he needed to see it.
Gwen scrolled through the cameras, found the feed they needed and rewound it ten minutes. It showed Ianto picking his way past the cables he'd been nagging at Jack to get tied down, resetting the lockdown then doing a quick double-take. The camera followed him to the metal work bench, where he started organising things. Jack turned up the sound, listening to him muttering to himself about how the place looked like a bomb had hit it.
The Angel appeared, pretty much blocking Ianto from view, her arms arched high and clawing the air, her wings spread wide. Jack could only imagine her expression, but Gwen could have no idea.
She switched to the next feed, and this time, when the Angel appeared, Jack and Gwen saw Ianto's face.
His blue eyes swam with tears of pain as he tried to get past the Angel without blinking, but she had him practically pinned to the table. His mouth formed the word 'Jack', but no sound came out, his vocal cords frozen in his throat. Fighting the growing pressure to close his eyes, he seemed to realise what was going to happen, and how inevitable it was.
Gwen couldn't watch it any further.
She flicked off the feed.
"The coffee machine and the two Angels in the corridor must have been a distraction while the other one hid by workbench. Messed things about a bit in the hope of luring one of us in and ... got him."
They all nodded their agreement with Jack.
Tosh and Gwen were fighting back tears. "Do you know when he was sent?" asked Gwen with a sniff, whiskers and black nose-tip still painted on.
Jack shook his head silently. "We need extra watch on the corridor. Gwen: you take watch for the next half hour. I'll come and relieve you once I've finished combing through the CCTV. I-I know you couldn't watch all of it. But ... I need to – I need to see the moment ... Maybe if we can figure out what they do, we can defend ourselves against it."
Gwen nodded and wheeled a chair to go and sit behind the towers of shiny things near the Archive tunnel. Owen had put more up and around in the hope of warding the Angels off further, and was running out of things suitably reflective. Gwen and Toshiko had donated their handbag mirrors, breaking them in two and giving one to each of the boys in case they found themselves in a similar position to Ianto and could force the Angel to look itself in the eye.
Jack had also been urging them to use the mirrors to look around corners, but Owen just told him to stop being paranoid.
The Captain took a deep breath, hit the 'Play' button the on CCTV feed, and watched. Ianto picked his way through the cables, shuffled his things ... froze in terror. His eyes were watering, salty tears leaked from the corners of his eyes ... his lips called a soundless 'Jack' ...
The Angel disappeared, but Ianto didn't.
Jack sat bolt upright and nearly sent his chair flying. Ianto looked as shocked as he was, staring at something just out of the camera's peripheral. Jack typed in the command prompt for the other camera, found the moment the Angel disappeared ... no, moved. The Angel moved. It stepped back from Ianto, pointing the way back into the Archives.
The camera could only pick it up from behind, but Jack knew the direction it was commanding Ianto to go. His heart leapt to his throat, his breathing quickened: Ianto might still be here. Ianto might not have been sent to the past to live himself to death. Ianto may be here and now, not dead in a cemetery never knowing that Jack ... Jack needed him so much.
Jumping to action, Jack opened Toshiko's heat tracking program. The little red dots that indicated himself, Gwen and Toshiko were all in the main area, but there was another one, four levels down and wandering down a corridor that could have only been Ianto.
"Everyone!" Jack called. "You gotta see this! I'll relieve you for a moment, Gwen."
They watched the feed, then all turned to each other. One by one they checked the heat signal, then the CCTV cameras near the location of the fourth to confirm it: Ianto was still in the Hub. Blindfolded and guided by something the cameras could not see, but very much in the present day.
"Can they touch us without sending us back?" frowned Gwen.
Toshiko chewed her pencil. "I don't think so. From the way he's holding his arms out, I'd say ... they're talking to him. They're giving him directions."
"Y'what?" shouted Jack from his chair by the tunnel.
"They're giving him directions rather than guiding him through touch!" Gwen shouted back. "He's blindfolded."
"Oh ... he's used to that," Jack smirked to himself. "Excellent coordination."
Owen frowned and bit his thumbnail. "What do they want with Ianto?" he asked. "I mean ... what's he got that you lot don't? Why didn't they just do the zappy-to-the-past thing?"
"They're looking for something," Gwen thought out loud. "If you're looking for something in the Archives, who do you ask?"
"Ianto," agreed Owen.
Tosh practically threw her pencil down in frustration and rubbed her eyes. "I can't do it!" she almost wailed. "I can't think of how to do it! There's no way we can tie them up, imprison them with a certainty they won't get out; luring them probably won't work unless we find out what they're looking for and get to it first without Ianto. They won't explode, they can control all of our lights and they're complete and utter psychopaths! I've ... I ... I've failed you all ... I can't do it ..."
Owen put his arm around her. "C'mon, Tosh! Don't be stupid. Think about this carefully."
"Jack?" she croaked.
"Can't you think of anything?"
"You could at least say something inspirational ..." suggested Owen.
Jack sighed. "Okay ... Their greatest strength could always be their greatest weakness?"
"That we've established," Gwen pointed out. "Their greatest strength because stone can't die and most living things need to blink; greatest weakness because if they accidentally look at each other they're permanently buggered."
"Okay ... okay ..." said Jack. "Ermmm ... Could we put something on them? Like a cape – or gloves?"
"... We could super-glue mirrors to them ..." Owen pondered. "... get our shiny things, super-glue mirrors to them ... if one of them looks at the other and sees its own reflection, she's stuck."
"What about those anti-gravity clamps we got from the wreckage of Torchwood One?" piped up Toshiko. "We could put one on one Angel, one on another and move them to face each other. If we go about it the right way ... maybe even get them back into their room!"
"We'd have to lure them down to the right tunnel. How would we do that?" Gwen asked.
Jack shrugged. "Demand a parley? Negotiate whatever they're looking for in return for Ianto? No casualties, no fuss: swift exchange."
"GAS!" Toshiko suddenly shouted. They all jumped and looked around, sniffing the air to see if they could smell it.
"Where? Owen, fetch the masks!"
"Oh ... no sorry ... I had an epiphany ..." blushed Toshiko. "The lights in the mirrored room ... they just looked futuristic – but ..." She reached for the Archive photo and squinted. "... they're just artistic! They used gas lamps to light the room when they realised the Angels could manipulate the electric ones! That's why the lights in the corridor go off when the others go on: a complete switch in source for the entire level. The heat of electricity in wires so close to the amount of gas needed could have been catastrophic – that's why the other Archive rooms in the tunnel were unused: they were wired electrically, so no one could see to use them. That's why they're marked as 'Full' on the inventories!"
Toshiko took a deep breath. "... so I say we take gas lamps down with us, just in case."
"Right," Jack clapped his hands together, not taking his eyes from the Archive tunnel still. "Toshiko: you get that full plan drawn up, you bright little spark of brilliance you. Owen: you're going to have to go into the Archives and find the clamps. Gwen! Come here and look beautiful while we watch this tunnel and figure out how to leave a message for our Weeping Angels. I think the stone has eroded about two hemi-demi-semi-nanometres since I started my watch. Fascinating stuff."
Jack was interrupted by the sound of Owen banging his head on a desk and groaning. "I hate finding shit in the Archives without Ianto. I hate it. Why does it have to be me?"
"Because the Angels don't have anything to zap from you, so you're a threat to them," explained Jack.
"Hmph," replied Owen, then moaned again. "What does this number mean, Tosh?"
Tosh glanced over and rolled her eyes, though couldn't help but smirk to herself over Owen's uselessness.
"That would be the date, Owen ..." she said, "... and you've set it wrong."