|The Gods of Torchwood
Author: Tacroy PM
The team is called to an unusual mission. Someone needs them to find a missing person before it's to late. Can they do so and stop the end of time?Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Humor - Jack H. & Ianto J. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 8,773 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 03-26-11 - Published: 02-04-11 - id: 6714688
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclamer: I still don't own Torchwood. Though I did write RTD to ask if I could get them. He declined.
AN: Here I go again with another story. I hope you all like it.
And a huge thanks to TheWeddingFairy as she continues to beta my stories no matter what :)
It was a seemingly ordinary Wednesday in October. The sky was a painfully bright blue and the wind from the bay was minimum. The sun was shining and it wasn't too cold. It was lunchtime, so the city was alive. People were running from work to the restaurants and cafés, just to get the right kind of food. And amongst them ran a perfectly groomed Welshman in an immaculate suit. In one hand he carried a paper bag with Chinese food, and in the other hand he held a pack of five sodas that didn't fit in the bag. He was in a hurry because he knew that if he was late with the food his co-workers would become cranky; especially the medic.
He hurried down the street, too busy to notice the two birds circling his head.
It wasn't until he was at the entrance to the tourist office that he saw them. As he fiddled with the key to the door he felt like he was being watched. He looked around but couldn't see anyone. All he could see was two dark ravens sitting on the railing to his right. The ravens were looking at him strangely and sent shivers down his spine. He had no problems with birds, as long as they kept away from him. But these two were too close for his liking. And the fact that they were just sitting there, looking at him, made him feel very uncomfortable.
He hurried to get the right key in the lock and he went inside, away from the ravens' gaze. As he closed the door he couldn't help but shudder. He was safe. And then he laughed at himself. Out of all the things he'd seen during his days at Torchwood, it was some birds that made his skin crawl. He made sure that he had everything with him before he made his way down to the lower levels.
"What took you so long?" the cranky London accent met Ianto's ears as soon as the cog door opened.
"It is lunchtime, Owen," he said with a very professional tone. "And during lunchtime there are a lot of people out there. But if you would rather pick the food up yourself, then be my guest."
Owen mumbled something that Ianto didn't hear. And a part of him told him that was probably for the best.
Ianto made his way to the conference room where they usually shared their meals if they weren't too busy with work. And while he unpacked the things he could hear the others gather behind him. He smiled. Like kids they always gathered around him when it was time for food. He picked up a carton and looked inside. Then he turned around.
"I have fried rice with shellfish and a small coke for Tosh." He held out the food and Tosh quickly came up to him and took it.
"Thank you, Ianto." And she went to sit down.
"Beijing duck with peanut sauce and mineral water for Gwen." He took up another carton that was soon taken from him.
"Thanks, pet." Gwen went over to Tosh and sat down.
Ianto could feel the impatience radiate from Owen and he chuckled lightly. He loved to make Owen suffer - especially when Owen was hungry.
He could be nice and take one of the small cartons and give Owen his food now, but Ianto didn't really feel like being that nice to the good doctor. Instead he went for the biggest carton there was.
"Fried noodles with shrimps, fried squid, woked vegetables, fried chicken and sichuansauce with one large coke and one small mineral water, citrus flavour, for Jack."
Before the carton was taken from Ianto's hands he was awarded with an almost invisible pat on the small of his back and the ghostly touch of Jack's lips against his neck. It was so quickly done that the others couldn't have seen it, but Ianto felt it. And that was all that mattered. He got a new smile on his lips.
"And last," he said as he picked up Owen's carton. " I've got Babi panggang with noodles and a beer for Owen."
Owen grabbed the carton whilst mumbling some sort of thank you before he sat down and opened the box.
Ianto just shook his head and sat down next to Jack and opened his own food.
The meal went on in peace and everyone laughed and had a nice time. It all made Ianto completely forget everything about the two birds earlier.
Almost two weeks passed before Ianto noticed the birds again.
It was an ordinary evening. The whole team was on a weevil hunt in Bute Park. Ianto was staying behind in the SUV, keeping track of the alien while the others surrounded it. For just a brief second Ianto looked up into the surrounding trees as he felt eyes watching him. And as soon as he did, he regretted it. Because just a few feet above him, in one of the big oak trees he saw two ravens looking down on him. He swallowed hard and looked back to the screen. But all the time, he could feel the birds' gazes upon him.
About half an hour later, the others came back; Jack and Owen dragging the sedated weevil between them. As they packed the alien into the back of the SUV, Ianto dragged Jack to the side.
"What's the matter, Ianto?" Jack asked and looked at him with concern.
"Look up," Ianto simply said.
Jack's expression went from concern to confusion, but he did what Ianto asked him to do.
"Do you see them?" Ianto asked. He didn't have the nerve to look up himself.
"Do I see what?"
"Those birds are watching us."
"What are you talking about?" Jack couldn't help but laugh as he looked back at Ianto.
"The birds, sir. I think they've been following us."
"Come on, Ianto. I know our line of work makes you paranoid, but they're just birds. There're thousands of black birds like that in Cardiff."
"I know what I'm talking about, sir." Ianto said and he felt annoyed that Jack just laughed at his suspicions. "I first noticed them about two weeks ago. And when I think about it, I believe that I've seen them every time we've left the Hub."
"Ianto, they're birds. They don't follow humans around." And with that he gave Ianto a soft kiss on the lips before going back to the others and helping them with the weevil.
Ianto looked at him as he left. He knew that Jack was probably right, birds don't follow people around. Then why did that little voice in the back of his head refuse to be quiet? He cast one last glance up to the birds, saw them looking back and sighed. Jack was right. He was just being paranoid. He went back to the others, sat down in the car and waited for the rest of the team to be ready to go back to the Hub.
Ianto was walking through a meadow. It was dawn and the wheat below him moved in the wind like a golden ocean. He let his hand move through the air, almost touching it. He was all alone. But he didn't mind. Straight ahead, just a couple of feet away, a huge tree was standing on its own. It was so green that it almost hurt his eyes. As he came closer he could see two birds sitting in the tree, looking at him. And he didn't feel scared. Suddenly, he heard a voice. It was a woman. She called his name. He looked around, but he couldn't see anyone else there. He was alone. But the woman kept talking to him. She told him what to do. Thousands of questions rushed through his mind, but before he had the time to ask her any of them the voice faded away. He was left all alone once more, looking up at the birds that took off from their branch and soared across the sky. He followed them.
Ianto sat up. It was dark around him - dark and warm. Gone was the meadow. Gone was the tree. Gone were the birds. He felt the bed beneath him, and the cover around him. There were breaths in the dark and suddenly a light flicked on. He closed his eyes and covered them for a moment from the shock of the brightness.
"Did your dream wake you?"
Ianto opened his eyes and nodded. Jack looked back at him and smiled.
"It wasn't a bad dream. More like…"
"Weird?" Jack finished his sentence.
Ianto thought for a second and decided that weird was the best word to use to describe it.
"Yeah. How about you?"
"I had a weird dream, too."
Ianto saw that Jack too had sat up in the bed. He moved closer and put his head on Jack's shoulder.
"What time is it?" He began to stroke Jack's chest. Let his hand slowly roam the hot skin beneath him.
"6.27," Jack answered. "The alarm will go off in a few minutes."
"Well…you could always turn off the alarm," Ianto smiled. "Since we're already awake I mean."
Jack kissed his head and did just that. Then he leaned back against the wall and pulled Ianto closer. Ianto let his hand rest just above Jack's heart. He loved to feel it beat against the palm of his hand. He smiled and let Jack hold him as close as he wanted.
"What did you dream about?" Ianto asked.
"I was alone in a meadow," Jack began. He didn't have to say more before Ianto stiffened and swallowed hard.
"It was dawn and the field looked like an ocean of gold. It was beautiful," Jack continued. He didn't seem to notice Ianto's reaction. "There was a tree and two birds. Then a woman started to talk. But there wasn't anyone there."
"And she asked you to help her and follow the birds," Ianto continued before Jack had the time to say another word.
"Yeah," Jack said and looked down on Ianto. "How did you know?"
"I had the exact same dream."
"The exact same dream?"
"Sounds like it. But maybe it's just a freakish coincident." Ianto shrugged.
Jack was too tired to try to think of another reason for them to have the same dream. Instead he pulled Ianto closer and kissed him.
An hour later Ianto stood in the Hub's kitchen, preparing coffee for the whole team. None of the others had arrived yet, but Ianto was expecting them at any moment. They had a busy day ahead of them; two rift predictions, five artefacts that needed to be scanned, examined and filed; one autopsy; tons of paperwork and one phone conference with UNIT. And Ianto knew that during days like these the team needed a lot of coffee.
He was lost in his thoughts. His dream had been confusing. It had been so vivid and he'd almost believed that it was real, though he still knew that it was just a dream. But what intrigued him the most was the fact that Jack seemed to have had the exact same dream. Ianto didn't know all that much about dreaming, but he had a feeling that people normally didn't have the same dream. But then again, this was Torchwood. And nothing about Torchwood was normal.
Just as he finished his coffee he heard the alarms from the cog door. He straightened his jacket and entered the main hub. He saw Tosh and Owen entering together and he couldn't help but smile. Owen and Tosh seemed to be discussing something, but the happy glow from Tosh was unmistakeable. If only Owen wasn't too blind to see it.
"What are you two kids talking about?" Jack's voice came from the stairs to his office.
They all looked up at him as he leaned over the railing. Owen suppressed an annoyed sigh.
"We were just talking about a dream we had last night," he said and shrugged.
"A dream you both shared?" Jack asked with some suspicion.
"Yes," Tosh said with a small smile. "It was about…"
She didn't come much further before Gwen came through the still open cog door.
"Talk about coincidence," she said with a laugh. "I had this weird dream last night. I was in a meadow."
"All alone," Tosh said.
"And there were two birds in a tree," Owen continued.
"And a woman's voice came from nowhere," Ianto filled in.
"Asking you to help her and to follow the birds," Jack finished.
They all looked at each other. They were clearly all having a hard time believing that they all seemed to have shared the same dream.
"Yes," Gwen said with a confused frown. "Hang on…how did you guys know that?"
"It seems that we all have dreamt that," Jack said. "And that's not normal."
Before he continued to talk about some theory that might be forming in his head Ianto recalled what Gwen had said before she started to talk about the dream.
"You said something about a coincidence," he said and turned to her.
"Yeah. There're two black birds sitting on the railing outside the tourist office."
"Were they the same kind as in the dreams?" Tosh asked.
"I think so," Gwen said. But they could all hear that she wasn't entirely sure.
"We have to sort this out," Jack said as he hurried down the stairs. "We're going to see those birds."
He almost ran past the others and headed up towards the Tourist Office. The others looked after him for a few moments before they hurried after him.
When they all got outside they saw that Gwen had been right. On the railing, just outside the Tourist Office, two black birds sat. And they were watching the team with bright eyes.
"It's the same ones," Ianto whispered.
"What?" Owen asked as he heard the softly spoken words.
"Ianto said that those birds have been following us around for about two weeks," Jack explained without taking his eyes off the birds.
Tosh held out a small scanner that she'd nicked from her desk before running outside.
"They're ravens," she said. "And there's something else about them too…"
"What"?" Jack asked.
"I don't know. The scanner doesn't seem to recognise the other element about them."
As she said that the birds spread their wings and took off from the railing. But instead of just leaving, the two of them landed on a lamppost just a few feet away. There they continued to look at the team.
"I think they want us to follow them," Gwen said, though it was more of a question than a statement.
"If anyone wants to find out some stuff, all they have to do is follow the birds," Owen muttered.
"What?" Ianto who stood closest to him heard and had to ask.
Jack took a few steps forward, inching closer to the lamppost where the birds were sitting. He didn't let them out of his sight once.
As he came closer the birds took off and headed for the next light post.
"They want us to follow them," Jack said to the rest of the team. "So let's follow them."
The others shrugged, but obeyed.
The birds moved one lamppost at a time so that the team could keep up with them. And they hadn't moved far before Owen started to complain.
"Are we going to follow them on foot? Birds are fast, if you didn't know. And I for one am not that interested in running around Cardiff just to keep up with some flying rats."
One of the birds let out a disapproving croak after those words and the team all wondered for a moment if the birds could understand what they said. And that question grew once they saw that the birds had made their way towards the garage where the team kept their SUV. The birds landed on a lamppost just outside the garage and waited.
"I think they want us to take the car," Tosh said.
"Then I wouldn't want to be the one to disappoint them," Jack laughed and headed for the driver's seat.
The others followed him and took their place in the car.
Soon they were driving through the city's still empty streets, following the two ravens that guided them.
They drove for what felt like hours. The birds took them away from Cardiff, out to the countryside. They hadn't seen another car in a long time, and they were all wondering where this trip would take them. None of them said a word, but they all remembered the last time they'd made a visit to the countryside. A shudder went through all of them at that thought, and they did their best not to think about it too much.
Suddenly the ravens left the road and took off into a field to their left. Jack, who was driving, made a sharp turn that made the wheels shriek.
"Geez, Jack," Owen said. "Just because you're immortal doesn't mean that we all are."
"Look at that," Tosh said before Jack had the time to retaliate.
They all looked to where she was pointing. And straight ahead they could see a rainbow. The most beautiful rainbow they'd ever seen.
"That's weird." Ianto said.
"Weirder that us following some birds?" Jack just had to know.
"Well," Ianto took a closer look outside. "There's a rainbow just in front of us, and there's no rain to bee seen. And the birds seem to be taking us towards the rainbow."
"Maybe they want our help to hook up with some blue birds," Owen said with a small laugh.
"Well…you know…somewhere over the rainbow…" Owen explained and felt a bit uncomfortable with having to explain his clever little joke.
None of the others dignified that with an answer and Owen felt even more uncomfortable.
"Maybe they will lead us to the pot of gold?" Gwen tried.
"Okay," Jack sighed. "Does anyone else have some clever joke concerning a rainbow that they need to express now?"
The others shook their heads and mumbled a joint "no".
Suddenly Jack hit the breaks and they all were thrown forwards.
"Bloody hell, Jack!" Owen shouted. "I thought I told you…"
"There's a stone wall in front of us. And I think it would have done you a lot more damage if I'd hit that instead of the breaks."
"Yeah…well…At least give us the heads up next time."
Ianto unfastened his seat belt and opened the door.
"It looks like we're walking from here."
"Great," Owen muttered as he left the car.
The birds were now circling just above their heads, waiting for them to leave the car and continue. And as soon as they started to walk the birds headed over to the rainbow. So the team followed them.
As they got closer to the rainbow they saw that it seemed to be fixed.
"I don't know if I remember correctly from school," Gwen said. "But aren't rainbows supposed to move when you get closer? They're like optic illusions or something like that."
"Normally, yes," Tosh said.
"But this is Torchwood," Ianto continued.
"And normal isn't the best word to describe our line of work with," Jack finished. "We'll just go there and see what happens."
The ravens were already by the rainbow. They circled by its base a few times before flying up along it. Then, much to the team's surprise, they sat down on it.
"Now that is strange," Owen said.
The others couldn't help but agree.
They approached the rainbow and Tosh picked up the small scanner again. She scanned the rainbow and everyone waited eagerly for the results.
"This is strange," She said after a while.
"What is?" Jack asked.
"This rainbow shows the same elements that the birds did and the scanner still can't say what it is."
"Is it dangerous?" Gwen wanted to know.
"I honestly don't know," Tosh said as she put the scanner back in her pocket.
"Then I suggest that Jack goes first," Owen said.
The others looked at him with different levels of dirty looks.
"What?" He said in defence. "He can't die. So if it's dangerous we'd know without getting hurt."
"Jack would get hurt," Ianto said trying to sound calm whilst turning a dark shade of red.
"I agree with Owen," Jack said before an argument arose. "I go first, you follow on my command."
And with that he walked up to the rainbow. He took a deep breath and held out a hand. He didn't know if he really wanted to touch it or not. But he did know that he had no choice. He looked up and saw the birds looking down at him. They followed his every move, and he didn't know whether or not to be reassured by the fact that they were touching the rainbow. So he held his breath and put his hand on the rainbow. He half-expected his hand to go straight through it. But it was like touching a wall; it was firm and quite cool. He'd already come to the conclusion that he would have to make his way up the rainbow, and he saw that it would be hard to climb it since there was nothing to hold on to. He looked back at the others and saw that they were all holding their breaths in anticipation for what was to come. Jack sighed. He had no idea of how to proceed. A small thought crossed his mind, and he decided that he could always try it, no matter how ridiculous it felt. So he put his foot on the rainbow and expected it to slip right down since the bow was so steep. And once again he was surprised. As he put the foot on the rainbow he could almost feel how it levelled out beneath him. He put his other foot on it too and felt that there were no problems at all to walk on it. It felt like walking on a small slope. He took a few steps and decided that it was safe. So he turned to the team and told them to follow him.
As soon as the whole team was standing on the rainbow the ravens spread their wings and took off once more. They circled above the team's heads a moment before they began flying higher across the rainbow. The team all looked at each other and started to follow them. It felt like they were walking on a normal slope. It wasn't too steep, nor too plain.
After walking for a few moments Owen decided that he wanted to look down. And what he saw was white. There was nothing there. The ground was gone. All he could see was the blue sky around them, and what looked like thick clouds beneath them.
"Was it cloudy when we left earlier?" he asked to no one in particular.
"No. Not that I'm aware of," Ianto said. "Why do you ask?"
And they all looked down. They all saw what Owen had reacted to. None of them could see any ground at all. Just the fluffy clouds.
"That's weird," Gwen said.
"I think this whole morning has been weird," Owen said with annoyance.
Ianto knew why Owen was grumpy, and he couldn't help but smile. They had left the Hub without their morning coffee, and Owen was the one that needed it the most.
"How far up are we?" Gwen asked, and they could all hear the slight tremble in her voice.
"I have no idea," Jack said, and the others gave an approving sound.
One of the birds looked back at them and croaked. They looked up at them and thought that they could see annoyance in its eyes.
"I think we're not supposed to ask questions like that," Ianto said and a shiver went down his spine. He really wanted to know where they were going.
Since none of them knew what to say, and everyone was thinking the same thing, they kept walking in silence.
After a while - no one knew if it was hours or minutes - they saw the end of the rainbow in the horizon. Jack, who went first, could see something that resembled trees, maybe a forest. And just by the base of the rainbow he thought that he could see a tower stick up above the trees. And as they got closer he saw that it really was a tower, a huge tower. And in the top of the tower he thought he could see the figure of a man standing, looking over the rainbow just like a guard. But the figure seemed too big for a man, so Jack thought that it most likely was a statue.
When they stepped off the rainbow they all felt the grass underneath their shoes. They looked around and saw that they were standing in a forest. Huge trees were growing around them, high and unnaturally green. Above the trees they could see the high tower reach for the sky. The forest was quiet. No wind blew through the leaves. No birds were singing. No animals made the bushes crack. It was all quiet.
"Where are we?" Ianto asked the question they all wanted to have the answer to.
"I have no idea," Jack said and kept looking around. The birds gave away a united croak and he looked up. "But I think they want us to keep following them."
The birds came closer to the ground and made the team aware of a path just to their right. The birds moved towards it and the team followed.
They soon noticed that the forest wasn't as deep as they first had thought. Because it didn't take them long to notice that the trees grew further apart form each other. And soon they could see a field open up in front of them.
The field seemed to last forever, reaching far beyond the horizon. It shimmered in a warm green glow in the increasing sunshine. The air was warm, almost like summer. Everyone in the team unbuttoned their jackets as it was getting quite warm to have them on.
In the middle of the field they could see a huge castle. And it seemed that the birds were taking them there.
The closer they came to the castle, the more they had a hard time believing what they saw. The castle was enormous. It was built with what looked to be granite. Two towers at the castles corners were reaching for the skies. The gates to the castle were open.
"Wow," Owen said as they stopped in the gateway. "This is huge."
"I agree," Jack said and gave a low whistle.
"I mean, it looks like you can drive at least fifty SUV's in a line through here."
The others just nodded in agreement.
"What kind of place is this?" Owen asked. "Who would live here?"
"I think we're about to find out," Ianto said and pointed towards the birds.
They were slowing down and turned right. Just a few seconds later they were out of sight as they'd flown through a door.
The team hurried after them, not wanting to lose their only guides in this place. They made their way through the door and stopped once they got inside. The room they'd entered was big. Not as big as the entrance from where they came, but still bigger than the main Hub. The walls were all made of stone, but here and there they could see wooden panels to give the room more soul. Tall and narrow windows covered the outer wall. And red drapes moved in a light breeze.
And then the team saw the two birds. They had flown to the middle of the room. There they'd sat down on a tall chair, almost like a throne. And on that chair a woman sat. She had golden hair and a kind, but sad, face. And she was dressed in white, from head to toe. Without a word she moved her hand to let the team know they could come closer. And the team obeyed, not saying anything.
They came up to the woman and she smiled at them.
"Welcome, team Torchwood," she said, and they all knew that voice.
She smiled at them.
"My name is Frigg, and I'd like to welcome you all to Vallhall."