Disclaimer: All recognisable characters belong to Joss Whedon and Russell T Davies – they are not mine! Some lines have been taken directly from S2Ep1 of Torchwood, so I don't own them either.
Dedication: For Chris, because she's been waiting for this for some time!
A/N: This is set post S2Ep1 of Torchwood and sometime during S5 of Buffy. I've been working on this for ages, but I haven't been happy with it until now. Hope you enjoy!
The large orange glow that appeared in the side street was bright enough to compete with the neon lights jumping from the club next door. Luckily the hen party queuing to get in were too interested in flirting with the bouncers to pay any attention to the growing rip in the air.
The light flickered as it grew; pulsing out bright orange beams as if it was trying to spit something out. A crackle of electric energy filled the air making it shimmer with heat as it finally and abruptly disappeared. The darkness it left behind was impenetrable to human eyes – though after a few seconds the dim outlines of rubbish and bins became apparent, and also the form of someone lying directly where the light had been moments before. He was clad in black and almost seamlessly blended in with the alley floor, except that his bright white hair shone like a beacon.
The hen party finally entered the club with a loud cheer.
The Hub, 19.54pm
One of the several computers at Tosh's station started to flash. Almost immediately Jack was beside her: "What've you got?"
"Rift activity, occurred a couple of minutes ago. Just getting the coordinates...there, right next to that new club."
"Great, I've been meaning to visit that place," he moved quickly into his office, grabbed his coat and gun before stalking out of the Hub.
"Gwen! Toshiko! You're with me."
Outside 'Revival', 19.58pm
"'Revival'?" Jack scoffed. "Could they honestly not come up with something more original?"
The two women rolled their eyes and made their way down the filthy alley.
"How no one noticed is beyond me," Tosh said, stepping her way over the obstacle course of garbage and puddles. "Surely a huge rip in space and time would've caught someone's attention."
"Judging by the fireworks coming from next door, I'm not surprised. They probably didn't even...realise..." Gwen's voice trailed off as she spotted the body and pulled out her gun.
Seeing the form, Tosh did the same and they split, approaching it from separate sides. It was face down and when they got close enough Gwen nudged it with her boot, lowering her gun when there was no response. Crouching slowly, she felt for a pulse: "It's dead – must've died before the Rift pulled it through."
Replacing her gun, Tosh looked around the alley for anything else the Rift had left behind. "I can't see anything else. I'll have to do a check though, see if-"
"Oh my god."
Gwen's voice cut her off. She had turned the alien over for inspection and had come face to face with a very familiar man. She looked up, searching for Jack. Seeing him at the mouth of the alley – seemingly chatting up one of the bouncers – she shouted to him.
"What is it? Gwen!" On getting no reply, Tosh crouched by the body and pulled it round so that she could fully see its features. Gasping in surprise she jumped up, her eyes widening and a hand covering her mouth.
The ex-police officer again searched for a pulse. Her head snapped to the side: "Jack!" He was halfway down the alley now, a playful grin on his features.
"This better be good – I was just about to get his number," the smile widened before slipping slightly at the women's expressions. "What?" Gwen said nothing, merely turned her attention back to the body that was now facing the sky. Jack's gaze slid to the man's face without pause and the smile vanished as he froze in recognition.
There was no mistaking it – Jack would know him anywhere. Be able to pick him out from a crowd of thousands just by his arrogant stance and sarcastic grin. Not even the leather-and-black apparel or the bleached hair made him think twice.
As he stared, Tosh discretely turned on her com.
"Owen, we've got a body," she whispered.
"That right?" his voice rang clearly in her ear. "What have I got to look forward to then – something slimy or just a good old fashioned weevil?"
"...It's John Hart."
The Hub, 20.11pm
The group stood in various positions of shock around the dead body of Captain John Hart. Jack hadn't spoken a word and now stood against the cold wall, staring unseeingly into space.
"Can we find out where he came through from?" Gwen asked quietly.
"There's no real way of telling," Owen answered, trailing his gaze over to rest on Jack. "He could've been anywhere." There was a short silence, the only sound resonating from a drip further down the tunnels.
"Find where." Jack's voice was hoarse as he issued the order, his eyes betraying no emotion – an art perfected by centuries of experience.
"But – we don't even know where to start. There's nowhere to start..." protested Tosh.
His icy gaze landed on her. "Scan his coat."
She paused then grabbed the long leather jacket they had removed from John's body and went to her workstation. The others took this as their queue to leave, Gwen and Owen talking quietly as Ianto brushed past the Captain: "If you need anything..." he promised, eyes locking sincerely with Jacks for a moment before he followed after the others.
He watched Ianto walk away before turning back to the pale form lying on the gurney. Moving forward, his hand hesitated over John's face before coming down and gently resting on the sculpted cheek. He exhaled in a sharp gasp at just how cold the skin was, eyes drinking in the sight of his ex-lover lying there – empty. A small, sad smile tugged at the corner of his lips: "I like the hair," Jack whispered, brushing aside a short bleached strand. He shook his head slightly: "What happened to you?"
Knowing he would get no answer and knowing that he needed to help find one, Jack caressed the man's cheek, thumb gently grazing across his lips. He leaned down slowly, closing his eyes – only to open them in surprise when a strong, cold hand wrapped around his throat. His bewildered gaze shot down and met with crystal blues.
"A fella might wonder what the bloody hell you think you're doing?"
The man's voice echoed round the room as Jack stared down into cold eyes that held no recognition. Even as he felt the hard hand release enough pressure so that he could talk, the ex-Time Agent remained speechless.
It's not him.
The blonde's eyes narrowed. "I asked you a question."
Jack suddenly realised that his hand was still resting on the man's cheek and quickly moved it to grab the hand that held his throat. Trying to loosen the iron grip, he answered the question, choking slightly: "You're not...who I...thought you...were."
The blonde pushed him harshly, causing him to crash into the wall and disrupt the metal tray laden with surgical tools. It fell loudly to the floor and Jack caught his breath as the man who was definitely not John Hart sat up on the gurney. Looking around for the first time, he frowned at the laboratory-look it had: "This had better not be another bloody government institution," he muttered. He jumped gracefully off the gurney and stalked towards the taller man who was still pressed against the wall. "Now you are going to tell me exactly where I am," his eyes glittered dangerously, "or I'm gonna have to get nasty."
Not really understanding why he was obeying this man, though quite sure it was because he looked like his old lover, Jack replied in an official tone: "You were found in a location of previous Rift activity by the team of Torchwood 3, based in Cardiff."
He watched as the other man's eyes widened in disbelief and felt pleased by the fact that the name Torchwood held obvious status. That was until he heard the reply.
"I'm in Cardiff?"
Jack started to respond, but he was cut off by incredulous laughter.
"Cardiff? The poncy buggers upstairs really do have a sense of humour don't they? Sending me half way across the bleeding world when something big is going on in Sunnydale..." The laughter quickly faded into controlled anger as he turned his attention back to the bewildered man who was watching him from the wall.
Closing the distance between them, his blue eyes shot daggers into the confused Captain: "You're gonna show me where I am." His eyes held no option for refusal, so Jack reluctantly nodded, trying to think of a way to gain the upper hand as he led the way out of the morgue. As the pair reached the staircase, a cold hand clamped down on his shoulder: "I never did catch your name," the blonde stated. Jack half turned to face him: all hints of anger were gone from the man's features but his eyes remained guarded.
"Captain Jack Harkness."
Icy eyes searched his for a time before the hand was finally removed from his shoulder. Jack visibly relaxed and went to carry on before daring to venture a question of his own. Looking back over his shoulder, he asked: "And yours would be?"
There was a slight pause, and Jack understood that this man knew he was asking for a small sign of trust – something that would be needed if he was ever going to return to where he came from.
The pause lengthened. Thinking he wasn't going to get an answer, Jack turned back to the stairs but before he could even raise a foot, the man responded.
Nodding once in acquiescence, he finally began up the steps even as he sighed inwardly: seems that John Hart's counterpart is just as much of a compulsive liar as he is.
Meanwhile in the Hub, Owen was busy trying on the coat they had taken from John's body.
"Don't you think that's a bit inappropriate, Owen?" remarked Gwen with a pointed look. "I mean that is a dead man's coat you've got on. A dead man that we knew."
"A dead man that we didn't like," he replied, matching her look with his own.
"The scan hasn't found any traceable particles that we can follow. And she has a point," agreed Tosh, finally pausing at her workstation. Ianto looked over from his position beside her.
"Oh come on! It's not like he's going to mind," Owen defended. "Besides," he continued, looking down and admiring the sight of himself coated in leather, "I think it suits me."
"Really?" Gwen scoffed, sharing a smirk with Tosh. "How so?"
"Well, you have to have a certain...build, y'know? To pull it off. A stance." He shrugged, feeling the material shift on his shoulders. "It's not something I'd usually wear – not really into long coats that look like a dress – but this is pretty decent." He struck a pose. "Wonder where he got it?"
"I won it."
The four in the Hub span to watch the pair emerging from the morgue. Their eyes widened comically as the supposedly dead man stalked past Jack towards Owen with a glint in his eye. "You'd do well to take that off now, mate. Just don't really think you've got the stance," he smirked, "to pull it off."
"But – you're dead," whispered Gwen. He seemed to hear her though and rolled his eyes.
"As always," he muttered before moving his attention back to the guy who was still wearing his coat. His eyes narrowed and he held out a hand: "Last chance: jacket. Now."
Suddenly, he felt something pressing into the back of his skull: "Back off Spike," ordered the Captain, gun firmly pressed into the other mans head. Jack couldn't see the smirk spreading across the man's features as he slowly dropped his hand and slung both thumbs in his belt loops.
"What's this then? Thought we had gained us a bit of trust?"
"Think again. Sit down," he ordered, pressing the muzzle harder into bleached strands and forcing him to sit on the chair in front of Tosh's workstation.
He sat. The five members of Torchwood 3 gathered in front of him, four of them looking at him with wary curiosity whilst Jack stood to one side, his gun still at the ready.
"Who are you?"
"Already told you, Cap'n."
Jacks eyes narrowed: "I want the truth this time. Who are you?"
The blonde rolled his eyes. "Spike, also known as William the Bloody. Nice to meet you," he held out a hand for Jack to shake. When he made no move in response, Spike dropped it: "Doesn't matter if you don't believe me. The answer won't change."
Reluctantly taking this for the truth, Jack continued: "Where are you from?"
"Originally or recently?" he replied, his eyes alight with amusement and when Jack moved the gun closer to him, he rolled his eyes again: "Sunnydale, America."
"What?" Owen blurted out, an incredulous look covering his features. "You're a vampire?"
Spike sighed: "No, I'm the bloody king of England," then he paused. "You're still wearing my coat."
"Sorry, do you actually expect us to believe that? Vampires don't exist!"
He eyed Gwen with derision: "Uh huh, right: vampires don't exist? And yet all those nasties you've got cooped up downstairs are as real to you as anything. There's a word for you lot: hypocrites."
Jack eyed him curiously: "How did you know about the aliens?"
"Aliens? Don't be stupid. You got yourselves a bunch of Gurla demons down there – I'd know their scent anywhere. Nasty bunch. Live in sewers."
The group stared at him like he'd grown another head.
I hate thick-headed people, he sighed. If I only thought I could get back to Sunnydale without them... "You want proof? Fine – either of you ladies got a mirror?" Gwen and Tosh looked helplessly between them and the blond let out an incredulous laugh. "Work so tough you don't even have time for a quick glance?" he let the question drop and glanced at the men. "What about you lot?"
There was silence, and then: "I have a shiny tray."
Spike turned to stare at Ianto as Jack spoke, "No mirrors here mate. There goes your proof. Toshiko, are there any empty cells left downstairs?"
Spike jumped up in alarm. "Woah, hold on a second! No need for that! Got another way to show you – so long as you won't blow my brains out," he said, looking pointedly at the gun that Jack had kept aimed at his temple.
"If you're really a vampire, it shouldn't kill you."
"It won't, but it'll bloody hurt."
The two men stared each other down and eventually the Captain lowered his arm: "If you take even one step out of line-"
"You'll take me down, yeah yeah. Heard it all before, just keep your cronies from shooting me as well alright?" The other man nodded in agreement and glanced quickly back at his team as Spike took a deep breath.
Here goes, he thought and then let his demon take over.
Simultaneously, each of the group's expressions changed to a mixture of surprise and fear and Jack instinctively took a step away from him before realising what he had done and stopping himself from backing any further. Spike's features had contorted and shifted from his handsome human visage into animalistic ridges that crossed his forehead and his previously blue eyes were now a shade of unearthly yellow. His lips were parted, allowing them to see the tips of sharp, glistening fangs.
It was terrifying.
"You-you're a monster," whispered Gwen.
He turned his glittering gaze to her and gave her an evil grin, once again slinging his thumbs into his belt loops: "And yet you still find me strangely attractive."
Half an hour later found Spike sitting by Gwen's desk as she made a file containing his information and the rest of the team rushing about trying to find a way to return him to Sunnydale. Spike spent most of his time watching them amusedly, but every now and then the cute brunette in front of him would break the silence and ask a question. She did so now, turning to him slightly: "How old are you?"
"If you mean how long I've been a vampire, it's-" Spike tilted his head to the side, counting silently, "127 years."
Gwen's brows raised in surprise, her eyes instantly flickering over his athletic form before rising back up to meet his amused gaze. She tried to rein in her shock: "You don't look that old."
"I'm flattered, luv."
She hid a smile by turning back to her station. "What year are you from?"
"2001," he answered automatically. Then he said: "Don't tell me I've travelled in time as well as space?" Taking her silence to mean yes, he swore quietly. "What year is it?"
Gwen didn't look at him: "2008."
Silence overcame them for a second as he processed this information. "So I guess the world doesn't end, then?"
Not the question I was expecting, she thought and turned back to him – he was leaning forward and looking up at her with bright, hopeful eyes: "Is the world ending where you come from?" she asked.
"S'pretty close," Spike replied, meeting her gaze. "A door from hell's about to be ripped into the world. Thousands of demons are about to be let loose..." he paused, slumping back in his chair: "...and I'm stuck here, talking to you. Can't get back. Can't bloody fight to stop it-" he paused again, his mood suddenly switching from grave to musing, "-but I guess if there's a future, then there can't be demons everywhere."
"You're wrong," she replied instantly and at his raised brow she explained: "I work with fighting aliens everyday – surely they're near enough the same as demons? They are everywhere, it's just that only a few people notice."
He watched her in silence, and the strength of his gaze held her until Owen came sauntering over with a file in his hand which he slapped onto Gwen's desk, causing her to jump.
"We can't find any way of getting this...lookalike here back to his hometown-"
"Hey, sitting right here!" Spike interjected.
"-and Tosh is definitely out of ideas. You know how rarely that happens."
"So we have no idea about how to get him back. Can't we send him through the Rift?"
Owen shook his head: "There's no telling where he would end up, and Jack's not willing to take the risk. Apparently he's afraid of what might happen if John met his bleached twin."
The boy looked over at him and Spike took the opportunity to lean towards him: "And just who is this 'twin' I've been hearing so much about?" Owen flinched against the glare which somehow was intimidating even though its source was sitting down, but didn't answer. Spike narrowed his eyes further.
"It's nothing, you just look like someone we know, that's all," explained Gwen quickly.
"Right, o'course. No big deal then," Spike replied, not taking his eyes of off Owen. "So why don't you just bring me my coat like a good boy and then get on with whatever it was you were doing." Owen's jaw clenched as he bristled at the insult but he suddenly stormed off, returning a few seconds later with the bundle of leather which was Spike's beloved jacket.
"There's your fucking coat," Owen spat chucking it into the blonde's lap, "and if you order me about again, I'll put a stake through your fucking chest."
Annoyed by his arrogance Spike shoved the coat onto Gwen's desk, causing her to take a step back, and stood as his eyes dangerously flashed yellow. "Just try it, boy," he growled in challenge, "you won't get close."
Owen faltered at the reminder that this man wasn't actually a man, but he'd just made up his mind to throw hell to the wind and shoot the smirk off his face when he was interrupted by an innocent sounding: "Everything alright?"
His head whipped towards the intruder – Ianto was standing a slight distance from them, a folder open in his hands and was silently calculating the situation between the two men. Owen hesitated then looked back at his opponent, who had apparently lost interest in the situation and was calmly checking his jacket for any damage before slipping it on. This disregard for his threat only increased his anger, but he was prevented from doing anything by Gwen appearing at his side and pulling him away from Spike towards where Ianto was still standing, starting their conversation with a forced: "Ianto! Have you found anything?"
They continued to talk, but Spike's attention – which had been focused on watching them from the corner of his eye – was drawn to the file that Owen had brought over earlier which now lay within his reach. With a quick glance at the pair he reached forward and lifted the cardboard folder. On opening it, his eyes widened slightly at its content.
A few moments later Owen and Ianto went over to Tosh's desk to join her in the continuing search and Gwen returned to her computer with a heavy sigh, blindly grabbing for the file. When her hand encountered nothing other than the smooth tabletop, she looked over and frowned at its absence: "Where's-"
"So this is what I look like, huh?" Spike interrupted, causing her to turn her attention to him. He was back lounging in the chair, head tilted and brow creased slightly at the file he was holding.
"You don't know what you look like?"
He looked up at her: "Vampire here, remember? The 'no reflection' deal is part and parcel of the package," he turned his attention back to the small blurred photograph. "Gotta say though, m'quite the looker."
Gwen rolled her eyes: "You know you two are more alike than just looks," she said, gesturing between him and the picture. Spike smirked.
"I think I'd quite like to meet this bloke."
"Believe me," Gwen replied, sliding the file from his now loose grasp, "you really don't."
His head tilted to the side: "And why-" he was cut off by an alarm suddenly echoing around the Hub. "What's going on?"
"I don't know," she replied, looking around in confusion, "I've never heard this before."
"Well that's bloody reassuring!" Spike called over the loud alarm which was echoing around the Hub. Seeing Jack emerging from his office, he ran over to him: "Oi! Captain! What's with the siren?"
Jack ignored him, walking towards Tosh's station: "Gwen, Owen – get down to the containment cells, make sure they're secure. Tosh, Ianto – find out what's making the alarm go off."
"So you don't know what's happening either? That's just bloody fantastic – I thought you were meant to be the leader?"
Jack took the time to glare at him before calling over to Gwen who was just leaving the room: "Gwen! Take Spike with you – no arguments," he added as he could see Spike, Gwen and Owen were going to protest. Spike rolled his eyes but said nothing as he walked to join the pair by the door and they left the main Hub.
Jack went to stand beside Ianto and Tosh who were frantically searching the computers for an answer. "Tell me you've got something, this noise is driving me insane."
"It seems like some kind of force is trying to get inside the Hub," Ianto said as his eyes scanned the monitor in front of him, "I'm trying to find its source, but it doesn't seem to be coming from one place."
"It's coming from all sides," agreed Tosh. "But I think I can find out – wait, it seems to be converging on one spot..." she paused for a second as she read what the computer was telling her. "Jack, it's heading to the containment cells."
He ran off immediately, leaving a confused Ianto behind: "Why's he in such a rush?"
"It's heading for Spike."
The rest of the team had just reached the containment cells by this time, and Spike was ignoring the deafening siren by looking through the clear door at the Gurla demon within. "Sorry mate," he said pityingly to the captive demon, "I know how you feel. How long you been in there?"
"Spike? What're you doing?" Gwen laughingly asked, sharing a look with Owen who was checking the cells' security measures.
"Talking to your friend here," he gestured to the creature in the cell as he sauntered towards them. "He doesn't sound too happy with the accommodation."
"You can talk to Weevils?"
"Gurlas, and yeah. Their language is pretty basic though – lots of whining."
The two shared another look, and Gwen was just about to voice an incredulous question when Jack came bursting into the corridor. "The energy's heading for Spike – we need to get him out of the Hub!"
"What? I'm not goin-BLOODY HELL!" his sentence was interrupted when he noticed his hand was being entwined in a red, thread-like glow – a glow that was creeping up his arm and starting to cover his body. "WHAT THE...WHAT'S HAPPENING TO ME?"
"We need to get him out – now!" the three of them tried to reach him, to grasp his arms and drag him if they had to, but the threads had begun to fully entwine him and seemed to block their attempts.
"GET ME THE HELL OUT OF THIS!" Spike shouted as he tried to run down the corridor, but found himself unable to move.
"Jack, what's happening?" shouted Gwen, "Why can't we reach him?"
The red light was now completely encasing him, giving a strange bloody tint over his face and hair as he kept shouting profanities and trying to shake it loose as Jack, Gwen and a reluctant Owen kept trying to pry him free. Suddenly the threads grew more intense and with a surge of energy threw the Torchwood team into the walls and pipes of the corridor. The alarm stopped.
When they got to their feet, Spike was gone. They dumbly stared at the spot where he had been before Jack came to his senses: "Check the cells' security again," he ordered as he went back up the corridor. Gwen caught up with him at the entrance to the Hub.
"Where did the energy go?" Jack queried, walking up towards Ianto to stare at the computer monitors.
"Uh, we don't know. It just sort of...went," was his articulate answer.
"So what's happened to Spike?" voiced Gwen.
Jack looked from screen to screen, wanting them to give him an answer and huffed in frustration when nothing came. "I don't know," he finally replied. "Get back to work on...whatever it was we were working on before Spike happened."
He went to go to his office but was stopped by Gwen: "So we're not even going to look for him then? We're just going to-"
"You don't know him, Gwen."
"Neither do you."
They battled silently for a moment, neither one wanting to back down first. Gwen abruptly sighed in annoyance and stormed off, leaving Jack standing rigidly on his own. After a moment he entered his office, closed the door and stalked to his desk, sitting down with a huff. Palms spread on the desk and a frown marring his features, he sat like that for some time, the bustle of his team outside covered by the thought snaking around his mind: where the hell did he go?
Some time later, Spike came to with a groan in a dark alleyway. He lifted his head tentatively and gave a breath of relief when he saw the familiar sign stating he was lying outside of Sunnydale's best and only club. Pushing himself up off the ground, he winced at the pain in his skull and then sighed: "I really need a drink."
Readers are needed, reviewers are wanted.