the atmosphere comes to life
Notes: Hello all, here's a new WIP. Torchwood/Glee crossover. Enjoy. Leave suggestions? Reviews? Yay, okay, I love you all.
Kurt Hummel died once.
At least, he almost did. He never found out for sure exactly what happened. He was certain, though, because he was later informed, that he flat-lined for a few aching minutes.
He supposed then, technically speaking, that he did, in fact, die. But they brought him back to life. He didn't know how they did it, or even why, but they managed it. Torchwood.
He supposed that it started about a year before. He remembered the Cybermen, and he had heard the rumors (because that's all that they ever were) that it had led to some battle in London. He could trace it all back to when these strange things had first started to happen.
It had only been a few months since Kurt had returned to Ohio. He'd graduated high school, and not even a year before had he graduated NYADA. He had lined up his very first job in a show, a minor character in a musical, but a role nonetheless. It would be his first Broadway production.
Then his father had his second heart attack.
Kurt gave up on his dreams, his life, to return to the place he so desperately hated and take care of his ailing father. He owed him that, he was all too aware.
His new acting career required a daily routine of forcing himself to convince his father that he was okay, that it didn't matter, that he'd return to New York one day. But he knew that it wasn't, that it did, and that he wouldn't ever get the chance to go back. So he had to learn to cope.
Instead, he found himself working for the local paper. He figured it would suffice if he could find a job writing his opinions on fashion or theatre or anything, really. But even that dream was unattainable. Kurt merely found himself writing half-assed articles and interviews that nobody else would write and nobody would read when they were published.
And he made coffee for the office. That seemed to be the biggest part of his job.
He tried to remind himself that it was still money and he was still getting paid and he would make it through. But some days, that simply wasn't enough.
Kurt first met Santana Lopez when she saved his life.
He had gone to the Lima Bean that morning, which seemed so painfully ordinary, but he later realized was the morning when everything changed. He carefully juggled the two trays of coffee cups and the three paper bags with doughnuts, bagels, and a croissant for himself when a strange creature bolted past him down the sidewalk. He stared after it as he kept walking, certain that that thing, whatever it was, was not human.
He didn't redirect his gaze when he automatically stepped off of the sidewalk and into the street, his feet guiding him on his way down his familiar route. That was when he heard the blaring horn, and suddenly he was slammed into the pavement, a woman's arm wrapped around his torso. They lay together in the street, the coffee cups and pastries littering the ground as the truck zoomed past, not stopping for even a moment.
Kurt glanced at the woman beside him, her black hair pulled into a ponytail, clad in dark jeans and a black leather jacket and boots.
"No time for questions, pretty boy," she said plainly, standing and brushing herself off.
"Lopez, come on!"
The pair looked up to see another man, wearing a decidedly uninterested expression. The girl, Lopez, made a frustrated grunt and rolled her eyes as the other man ran after the beast that had disappeared just moments before.
"But what was that thing?" Kurt asked her, his voice rushed and breathless.
"Again, not the time for questions," she repeated, and she ran after the man and the creature.
Just like that, she was gone.
Kurt found himself half-wishing, as he dragged himself back to the Lima Bean to reorder the food and drinks that were scattered in the street, that Lopez, whoever she was, had let the truck hit him. At least then he wouldn't be out forty bucks for having the make the repurchase out of pocket and his new Marc Jacobs blazer. And he wouldn't have to go to his shitty job again.
But he was more or less unharmed. He supposed he should be thankful for that.
"Hummel, you're late," his boss drawled fifteen minutes later. "And you look a mess."
"I almost got hit by a truck this morning," Kurt reported, placing the coffees and bags down on the table in the break room.
The other man grunted in response. "I have a story for you."
Kurt didn't bother glancing at him as he took his coffee cup out of the carrier. He could only imagine what it could be.
"Suspicious death, a few streets over from the Lima Bean," the man said.
Kurt raised his eyebrows, staring at the man in disbelief. "I—what?" he stammered. "B-but—seriously?"
"Seriously," the other man said in bored tone. "I would usually give it to Israel or Westerton but they're both out on other stories today, and this needs to be done. So this is your chance, Hummel. Don't make me regret this."
Kurt nodded eagerly, picking up his bag again. "Thank you, sir," he said quickly. "I—I promise you, you won't regret it!"
When Kurt got to the scene shortly after, he was mildly surprised to see how crowded the area was with police and other reporters. Quickly Kurt slipped into the crowd, doing his best to catch a glimpse. He quickly spotted a few amateur-looking photographers and slipped them his card, promising them some pay if they got their pictures to the office by noon. This also allowed him to slide past as they disappeared, so he was pressed right up against the police tape.
He could see the mangled body, and he took a deep breath, steadying himself. He closed his eyes at the sight and squeezed back out of the crowd, wishing the image weren't completely seared into his brain.
Just then, an SUV pulled up to the scene, a few people climbing out. Kurt watched as they pushed past the crowd. He tilted his head curiously, approaching one of the cops off to the side.
"Excuse me, could you tell me who they are?" he asked.
"Torchwood," she explained to him.
"Special ops," she clarified.
"But it's just a murder, isn't it?" he asked her. "Why do they need—"
"I'm sorry," she quickly interrupted, "I'm not allowed to answer questions, really. But if you wait around just a little longer, I promise my boss'll make his statement. I'm really sorry."
"Totally fine," Kurt quickly assured her with a smile. "Thank you for your help." She nodded and flashed him a vague smile as he turned back to the crowd and waited.
Kurt was fairly certain that his boss was going to murder him. While there was the consolation that nobody else had been given information, he couldn't help but feel a sense of defeat that he wasn't able to obtain any secret facts. Everyone he asked after the statement was given simply informed him that it was "classified" or "not their place to answer". He was feeling rather hopeless as other reporters were clearing out, police officers returning to their cars.
Then, a woman caught his eye. She looked so familiar, and there she was, climbing beneath the police tape and leaving the scene. His heart thudded and he walked after her, keeping a slight distance so that he might not be noticed.
"I'm really getting tired of your shit, Smythe," Lopez said icily to the man that Kurt recognized from the scene earlier.
"Please, Santana, you don't like anyone," the man said smoothly. "Don't act like I'm special."
"Look, you have one more chance, and then you can take your fancy ass back to Paris because I'm sick of it," she spat. "I don't care what Torchwood One had to say about you while you were in London, they're gone now, and as far as I'm concerned, you're worthless scum." She stopped in her tracks and so did Smythe. "You step out of line once more, and I won't hesitate to shoot you."
"Oh I don't doubt that," Smythe responded in his cool tone. "But don't waste your bullets on me, Lopez. We just witnessed a murder at the hands of a Weevil. America hasn't seen Weevils since the 1930s. Granted they're running around more commonly in the streets of Cardiff, but the rift here hasn't been ripped open the same way that it was there." He grinned. "Face it, you need me. I've traveled the world and I know a lot more than you and your simple crew. I don't have the slightest clue of how Puckerman, let alone Brittany, managed to make it past high school. I don't even know how they manage to get themselves dressed in the morning."
The Latina girl drew her gun. "Keep walking," she said vehemently, the gun pointed directly between his eyes. "Get your sorry ass back to the base, or I'll kill you now. I have one more thing to take care of here."
Smythe raised his hands half-heartedly in surrender, still smirking at Santana Lopez. "I'll be off then," he sighed, stalking off.
"I know you're there," Santana said suddenly. Kurt felt his heart stop, even when she didn't turn to look at him. "You've been following us for three blocks. I'm not stupid." She turned around and Kurt pressed himself against the wall, his heart pounding in his chest. She raised her gun again. "I'm trying to give you the benefit of the doubt," she continued. "But I will shoot you if you don't show yourself now." Kurt swallowed tightly, forcing himself to step out from his hiding spot. Santana sighed exasperatedly. "Great, that's what I get for doing a good deed. Save a kid and then he recognizes me as the scene of a crime. Just my fucking luck." She folded her arms. "Well, go on, then. You want to question me about what I know, right?"
Kurt swallowed thickly. "I was sent to find out all that I could—"
"I know how a newspaper works, lady lips," Santana snapped. "But you're the coffee boy, out on your first big story—"
"I'm not a coffee boy—"
"Right, you were just picking up all those treats for your coworkers for fun," she said. Kurt clenched his jaw slightly. She took a few steps forward so that she was painfully close to him, her face inches from his. "But this is more than just the story for you. I saw that look in your eyes earlier. I knew that look, because I was there once. You're lost, you've forgotten your purpose. Stuck in some shit-hole, working some dead-end job. God, you're in fucking Ohio, I can't blame you. But then you see that thing—that Weevil. You know that maybe this is your chance. This is when you either find something so amazing that it changes you for the rest of your life, or you die trying." She allowed herself a small smile. "And it's so worth that risk. And I'll tell you what—I'm feeling nice today. I'm willing to help you out. So you put away your stupid notebook, and if you've got a recorder, you turn that off. And I'll tell you what you wanna know. Because I know you won't tell anyone, and if you did, they wouldn't believe you anyway." Kurt stared at her for several moments before shoving the notebook into his back, turning the recorder on his phone off. She smiled at him. "Good boy," she smiled, putting her gun back into its holster.
"The thing that I saw earlier, is that what killed that guy?" Kurt asked her.
She gave a curt nod. "A Weevil," she affirmed.
"And what is a Weevil exactly?" he inquired.
"A creature not of this Earth," she said.
"So... an alien?"
She rolled her eyes slightly. "Yes, an alien." She sighed. "Don't pretend you don't know they exist. Every higher-up can try to convince the world that they don't, newspapers can try to tell everyone that it's a hoax, but I can tell you're smart, coffee boy. You know that it's real."
Kurt licked his lips hesitantly. "But where did it come from?" he asked. "That other guy said something about a rift?"
Santana smiled at him. "A rift in time and space," she told him. "They exist in various places through the world. There was one in London, that's how the Doctor imprisoned all the Cybermen and Daleks. He put them into the rift there, and then he closed it for good."
"But the rift here is open still?" Kurt asked. "Why can't we call this doctor to close it?"
"Not a doctor," Santana said. "The Doctor. He has a lot more to worry about than Lima, believe me on that."
"The Doctor," Kurt repeated. "Is he an alien, too?"
"Clever," Santana smiled. "I knew I liked you. Relatively speaking, anyway."
"Have you ever met him?"
Santana's face turned a little stony. "No," she told him. "None of us at Torchwood Five have. Sebastian keeps saying he has, but he's a dirty liar. I should have let that fucking Weevil have him, the ungrateful bastard." She let out a bitter laugh. "He says it was my fault it almost got him anyway. Should have just let that Weevil take a bite out of him, would have served him right."
Suddenly, Santana put a finger to her earpiece. She frowned slightly. "Give me ten minutes," she said, then looked back at Kurt. "What's your name, anyway?"
"Kurt Hummel," he told her.
She smiled. "Well, then. It's your lucky day, Kurt Hummel. I'm Santana Lopez, and you're going to get to see Torchwood."
The building was magnificent. It appeared to be so ordinary from the outside, but the moment he stepped in through the doors, he realized its true beauty. It looked so white and clean, so advanced and just magnificent, "TORCHWOOD" written on the wall in black and silver.
"I half-expected it to be underground," he admitted to Santana. She smiled.
"That would be Torchwood Three," she told him. "We've found that being out in the open actually makes us a little less noticeable."
Kurt nodded. "Makes sense," he admitted. "Especially with the sort of simple people that live in Lima."
Santana smiled at him, pushing open a door. A blond girl looked up at them. "This is Brittany," she said. "She's my best friend. Doesn't get a lot of things in this world, but she's the most brilliant one here in Torchwood. It's like this is what she was meant to do in life. She can track just about anyone or anything, she's highly trained in medical aid, and she's one hell of a shot."
"Hi!" Brittany said cheerily. Kurt extended his hand, but she merely wrapped her arms around him in a hug. "Who are you?"
"Kurt Hummel," he said.
Her eyes widened a little when he spoke. "I like your voice," she said. "And your lips look really soft." She tilted her head slightly. "I want to kiss you, but I'm not your type, am I?"
Kurt cleared his throat. "Uhm, no, not exactly," he admitted.
"That's okay," she said. "Santana's more my type, anyway. Oh." She stopped suddenly. "I wasn't supposed to say that, though."
Kurt smiled slightly as Santana pushed him into the next room. "Nice to meet you, Brittany!" he called back over his shoulder.
"This is Rachel Berry," she said, indicating the small brunette girl. "She's the newest member. She sort of like our liaison. She handles all the outside business for us."
The girl grinned broadly, shaking Kurt's hand before Santana was dragging him to the next room. "Here's Noah Puckerman. You'd best call him Puck. He was in charge here before I was."
The man with a mohawk narrowed his eyes slightly at Kurt, and the two kept walking. "And you've seen Sebastian Smythe. He's here temporarily."
"So keen on getting rid of me," he said smoothly, extending his hand to Kurt. "Pleasure to meet you."
"You too," Kurt said quickly.
"Now, what did you find out for me?" Santana asked.
"Brittany tracked the Weevil," Sebastian told her. "Puckerman's got him on lockdown in the basement."
"Ready to meet a Weevil, Hummel?" Santana asked. Without waiting for a response, she walked on to the elevator and pressed the button. Kurt hurried in behind her. She was silent until they reached the lower level. The doors opened and Kurt followed Santana out.
"This," Santana said, stopping outside a glass enclosure, "is a Weevil." Kurt stared at the creature in disbelief. "This is what killed that man back there. We've been chasing him for a few days now, and we've finally got him."
"So what do you do with him now?" Kurt asked.
"Well, Rachel will be on the phone with the police, assuring them that we've got it all under control," she said. "And then we keep him. It's like our very own little prison. It sort of helps if we have one, so we can learn about it, keep tabs on it... it's better in the long run."
Suddenly, an alarm was blaring, and Kurt jumped. The creature behind the glass recoiled slightly. Kurt glanced to Santana, whose eyes were narrowed.
"Security breech," she told him quickly, drawing out her gun. She ran to the elevator, Kurt close behind her.
"What can I do?" he asked as the doors open. "You can stay here. Don't move an inch, we'll have this taken care of shortly." She paused. "And don't protest."
Kurt frowned slightly as Santana ran down the hallway, Puck quickly leaving his office and following behind her. He sighed, picking up a strange object on one of the tables and looking at it.
"That's a weapon, you know." Kurt jumped at the voice, turning to see Sebastian. "I wouldn't touch it unless you wanted to lose a hand."
The alarms stopped suddenly, and Kurt could hear Santana shouting off in the distance as he placed the weapon back on the table. Sebastian had opened a bag, shoving things inside it. He then picked up a leather strap covered in metal cylinders.
"What are you doing?" Kurt asked.
"Taking these and leaving," Sebastian said simply.
"Shouldn't you be looking into the security breech?"
"I tricked the system," Sebastian sighed. "It was me. God, Lopez was wrong, you're really not that bright."
"You can't run," Kurt told him. "And you shouldn't be stealing from this place. They obviously trust you, you can't break that. You're part of their team."
"You really are that stupid," Sebastian said plainly. "You don't know anything about me, about us at Torchwood. You're a complete idiot for thinking you do."
"It doesn't take a genius to figure out that whatever it is you're doing—"
"You don't even get it!" Sebastian said, amazement in his voice. "They're not going to let you live on like this, after seeing what you have. They're going to wipe your memory. Torchwood Three let on about their special recipe for their amnesia pill. Santana and Puck are just waiting to slip it to you. Then you get to go on, back to your completely meaningless life and you'll be none-the-wiser. You'll never know what happened, and if you remember any of it, you'll think it's just a dream."
"You're lying," Kurt said in a low voice. "Trying to scare me because of—"
"Because of what?" Sebastian laughed. "Because you found me out? I'm terrified, clearly." He sighed. "You know, you were kind of pretty. Terribly annoying and I really didn't like you, but you were pretty. It's a shame." He pulled his gun out, pointing it at Kurt. "I didn't really want to have to kill you. The amnesia pill would have been so much easier."
Kurt swallowed thickly, backing up against the wall, his knees shaking slightly.
"Smythe, put the fucking gun down." Both men glanced up to see Puck, advancing. His hand was poised over his own gun, ready to draw it in a second's notice. "I said put the gun down!" he barked.
"You don't scare me either, Noah," Sebastian sighed. "And neither does Lopez, so she can come out in the open to shoot me."
"You're fucking crazy," Santana spat, revealing herself from behind a small nook in the wall. "You're fucking insane, and I'm going to definitely kill you this time, you crazy bastard."
"Such deeply insulting words," Sebastian said in a bored tone. "But you're all wrong. The only person that will be killed is lovely little Hummel, here."
"Don't move, Hummel," Puck instructed.
"Wasn't really planning on it," Kurt murmured, his hands shaking uncontrollably. He eyed the alien weapon that was on the table near him, but he couldn't bring himself to move. He wouldn't even know how to handle it properly if he did manage to grab it. He closed his eyes tightly, waiting for the end.
God, he just wanted one more chance to say goodbye to his father.
"Really, you're just making it easier on me," Sebastian commented. "I'm the best shot here, and all of you are too cowardly anyway. Waiting for me to make the first move? It's pathetic really."
"You're the pathetic one, Smythe," Santana spat, and the man turned to her. "You're such a sad little boy that you're trying to take us all down with you. You're just fucking yourself over."
"I don't know what you're talking about, Santana."
"I know what you're after—"
Sebastian laughed again. "You don't even know what it does."
"Then enlighten me," Santana said in a sarcastically sweet voice, and suddenly Kurt understood. She was buying time. Sebastian would let his guard down and something would fall into place. It had to.
"They're info-stamps," Sebastian explained, holding the leather strap with dozens of the metal items. "Created by the Daleks, they contain information on a huge variety of subjects. Including your precious Doctor. But they're more than that. They're weapons. They release an electromagnetic pulse that can kill. It can kill Cybermen, Weevils... or humans."
"You're sick," Santana spat.
"And you're all stupid if you think I don't know what you're doing," Sebastian said. "If you don't think I know that Hummel here is convinced he can take me out and save the day." He turned back to Kurt, whose hand was on the foreign gun. Kurt quickly raised his arms, shaking as he pointed the weapon at Sebastian. "Adorable," Sebastian sighed. With that, there was a crack that broke through the air. A gunshot.
Kurt fell backwards, gasping and choking, his hand reaching down to his stomach. He let out a strangled cry as he looked down, seeing his fingers covered in blood, his shirt stained scarlet.
He continued to gasp and move his mouth wordlessly, looking up to see Puck lunging toward Sebastian, but he pressed a button on something that looked a lot like a wristwatch, and he disappeared. Immediately Rachel was beside Kurt, Puck joining her a second later.
"Kurt," Rachel said breathlessly. "Oh god, Kurt, can you hear me? Kurt?"
"He's losing consciousness," Puck said quickly. "We've got to get him to the table..."
Kurt could vaguely feel himself being lifted up by the man as he slipped away.
When he woke up again, he had expected to find Brittany or Rachel by his bedside. Not Santana.
Kurt tried to move slightly, but Santana placed a gentle hand on his shoulder. Then, she grabbed him by the elbow and helped him sit up.
"I thought I was dead," Kurt murmured to her.
"You were," she assured him. "But not for too long."
Kurt briefly wanted to ask how how it was, then, that he was still alive and sitting there talking to her, but he thought better of it. "And Sebastian?"
"The sneaky bastard channeled the energy of the rift to make his escape," she said. "We tried to track him, but couldn't manage it. He got off with the info-stamps." She sighed. "So now he'll get to play make-believe a little longer, luring boys to bed because they think he's such a fucking hero, but really he's a good-for-nothing lowlife. He'll dump the guys, or kill them, or just kill whoever gets in his way. Because that's the sort of person he is."
Kurt blinked at her for a few moments. "He said—" He shifted slightly and hissed in pain. "He said you were gonna make me forget everything."
Santana nodded. "That would be the plan," she said.
"Please don't," he pleaded quickly. "God, just—please, don't."
She sighed. "I really hoped that being shot at would make this easier for the both of us," she murmured.
"I can't go on with my life, the way that it was, after seeing all this," he said. "Even if you make me forget, I just... please, don't make me forget. You said you knew what it was like. To live like I was. You can't make me go back to that. Not after all this."
Santana stared at him for a moment. "I won't," she said. "Brittany convinced me that I shouldn't. And that... I should let you stay." Kurt stared at her in disbelief. "But if you fuck up, that's another story, Hummel. You don't get that many chances, especially not when it comes to a job as serious as this." She smiled. "Besides, you're smart. God knows that we need a smart male around here. Puckeman definitely isn't one." She stood up. "You can go back to sleep," she told him. "I promise, we won't drug you while you're unconscious, and you won't wake up to find it was only a dream."
Kurt stared at her. "Santana?" he said as she turned to walk away. "Thanks."
"Don't mention it, pretty boy," she said. "Just don't make me regret it."