Torchwood/Stargate: Atlantis ; Team Torchwood & Team Sheppard ; PG-13 ; 2500 words
Sheppard and his team were to stay based with Torchwood Three until such a time as the Daedalus was in orbit. A chance to improve inter-organisational relations, apparently.
written for dw_cross, originally posted here, beta'd by multiclassgeek
The Stargate on M7G-955 swam into life. Teyla exchanged a last farewell with the village chief, and with nods and smiles all round John and his team stepped forward towards Atlantis.
An Atlantis that looked not so much like the gleaming city of the Ancients, but rather more like a bustling, distinctly Earth-like metropolis.
"What the--" John started. "Rodney!"
"Oh, yes, please do lay all the blame on me," Rodney grumbled, reaching for his equipment. "Give me a second."
"There is not even a Stargate for us to have crossed through," Teyla said in surprise, looking around her. "I cannot see how we came to be here."
"This is Earth, though, right?" Ronon asked.
"We're on Earth!" Rodney announced triumphantly a moment later.
"Yes, I can see that," John replied.
"No, no no, I mean this definitely is Earth, not a hologram or illusion or anything else, well, unless whoever were behind it was really very advanced and able to replicate GPS co-ordinates, cellphone signals, the works. In which case, ha, we're probably dead anyway so there's no use worrying, right? Oh, God," Rodney finished, trailing off a little nervously.
"All right, so we're on Earth," said John. "Though, keep an eye on those readings, would you? Now, any chance you can tell us what happened, or better yet, where exactly are we?"
"Yes, yes, I'm on it," Rodney answered.
"Would it not be easier simply to--" Teyla began, then shook her head and ran down the street a little, stopping the first person she came across.
"Pardon me," she said to the woman, "my friends and I have become a little lost. Could you tell me where we are?"
"You're on Castle Street, love," the woman replied. "If you're after the shops, best bet is to head on down that way and take a right."
"Ah, yes," Teyla smiled. "I was also wondering, which city is this?"
The woman frowned. "Cardiff," she said slowly. "Are you feeling all right? You look a bit out of sorts, if you don't mind me saying."
"Yes, you must excuse me, I'm not well at all. Thank you very much for your help."
Teyla rejoined the others, leaving a very bemused woman behind her. "Does Cardiff mean anything to you?" she asked John and Rodney.
Rodney blanched. "Cardiff? Oh, this is worse than I thought."
"Wait." John turned to Rodney. "Does that mean--?"
"Torchwood," Rodney finished.
"What is Torchwood?" asked Teyla.
"That's Torchwood," Rodney replied, pointing as a big black vehicle pulled up by the pavement and three people swung out.
"Well, well, what has the Rift washed up for us today?" A man in a long military coat whipped off his sunglasses and peered at the four of them.
A woman next to him rolled her eyes. "Jack." She smiled at them. "Hello," she said, "my name's Gwen Cooper, and this is Toshiko Sato and Captain Jack Harkness."
"Tosh?" Jack asked the other woman.
"All definitely human," Tosh said as she held up some sort of a scanner. "Not picking up any significant temporal displacement - although, there's a huge amount of spatial backwash." She glanced up at the team. "You've come a long way."
"You're going to need to come with us," Jack informed them.
"I don't think that'll be necessary, thank you," John said lightly, "I was just going to call some friends, see if we can hitch a ride home."
Jack frowned. "Who are you people?"
"We're part of the SGC," Rodney declared, in a manner that was no doubt intended to sound impressive.
Jack rolled his eyes. "Oh, of course you are. Wonderful. Gwen, call Ianto, tell him to dredge up all the files on the Stargate programme."
"Jack," Gwen started. "What's going on? Who are they?"
He waved her off. "It'll be easier to get everyone briefed in one go."
Studying the new arrivals curiously, Gwen stepped away.
"You really are going to have to come with us," Jack repeated. "I'm not having you wandering around Cardiff armed to the teeth."
After exchanging a nod with John, Teyla shrugged her gun off her shoulders, John and a reluctant Rodney following suit. Ronon, after a moment, adjusted his holster belt slightly.
"This is going to be fun," Jack muttered darkly to Tosh.
It was a tight fit around the briefing room, and its inhabitants were eyeing each other up with undisguised interest. Jack stood at the front, arms folded, his best fearsome leader stance on full display.
"Stargate Command," Jack began. "US military goes galactic, via a series of interconnected portals called Stargates, created by people living on Earth way before you lot came along. These four fine-looking individuals sat before you now are currently based all the way out in the Pegasus Galaxy - nice for some - only a Rift storm must have blasted through one of their wormholes and landed them here."
"Care to elaborate on that last point?" John asked.
"It's a crack in space-time," said Rodney, adding, "usually brought about by incompetents messing around with things they don't understand."
"And this . . . rift thing - leads to Cardiff?"
"Like I said, dire incompetence."
"If something brought us here, can we not use it to also take us home?" asked Teyla.
Jack shook his head. "We've got no control over it, and it only goes one way."
"So we'll be needing the first flight out of here," said Rodney.
"Hey, fine by me," Jack replied. "I'll put a call through to SGC - let it never be said I don't do things by the book."
"No, surely not," Owen muttered.
There was a phone call. There was a near-slamming of said phone, on two occasions. There were raised voices, belonging to two military commanders and one head scientist, respectively. Several snide remarks about various national heritages were thrown. None of that changed the decision from on high. Sheppard and his team were to stay based with Torchwood Three until such a time as the Daedalus was in orbit. A chance to improve inter-organisational relations, apparently.
"Ooh, I dunno, reckon we could all use a bit of a break," came Gwen's opinion on the subject.
Teyla smiled at the sentiment, and expressed a keen desire to learn more of Earth. Ronon, upon learning that they didn't even play the football John so proselytised here, and that thus he could not be dragged along to a live performance, was similarly pleased.
It took John a long time to convince Rodney that it did not, in fact, herald the apocalypse.
"Rodney, Atlantis can manage without us for a week or so. Probably. Wraith-willing, you know."
"A week where Zelenka is in charge. I'd like you to contemplate that for a moment."
John just looked at him, and Rodney sighed. "Fine, all right. I'm sure everything's just peachy over there. Well, long may we bask in the bright lights of Cardiff."
"That's the spirit," John said, clapping him on the shoulder.
"Okay, and I am taking bets now," Owen announced.
Gwen groaned. "Oh no, so soon? I haven't decided yet!"
"Come on, Cooper, give me your best shot. For the record, I am putting my money on the lovely Teyla."
"So am I," Tosh agreed.
"You know, I'm going to go for the colonel," Gwen decided. "It's the hair."
"I didn't think this was a betting pool on who we most fancied," Ianto remarked, earning him three matching glares. "Hmm, the person Jack'll be laying on the special treatment for . . . Smart money, if you ask me, would be on --" he shut up abruptly as the man in question strode into vision.
"What?" Ronon asked.
"Oh, we were just --" Gwen said quickly.
"Please, do not stop on our account," Teyla, a flash of amusement quirking her lips.
All Torchwood eyes turned to Owen. "We, err, well," he said. "We get extended visitors from time to time, and Jack's got a habit of --"
"Flirting with every pretty thing he sees," Gwen put in.
Teyla laughed. "That is not unknown amongst our team either. Colonel Sheppard and Dr. McKay, they -- what was the term, Ronon?"
"Cockblocking," Ronon supplied.
Ianto raised an eyebrow. "What, over women? And here was I thinking they were involved."
It was Teyla's turn to look surprised. "It has been my impression that was a taboo with your people."
"Bloody US military," Owen muttered.
"Attitudes are much more liberal over here," Gwen explained.
"Yep - God bless Wales," came a voice from above.
Six pairs of eyes roamed upwards to see Jack leaning over the railings, grinning smugly.
"Didn't your mother ever tell you it's rude to eavesdrop?" said Owen.
"I never get invited to your gossip sessions," Jack replied with a pout. "Break up the party, boys and girls, we're going to get our guests acquainted with our special brand of aliens."
"Isn't that breaching international security or something?" Gwen asked.
"This is Torchwood," said Ianto. "That's sort of what we do."
"These are all the different species we've encountered," Owen explained. "You know a lot about aliens, then?" she asked Teyla.
"I have encountered many races in my galaxy, yes," she replied.
"Right then," said Owen, wheeling up a chair for her. "Have a flick through these, then, shout if you recognise anyone. Ooh, now here's a Monite, these are nasty pieces of work - look at the size of those teeth!"
Teyla laughed at his dramatics, and started reading files.
"Translation programs, Rift monitoring systems . . ." said Tosh, running through her various computer functions while Rodney peered over her shoulder.
"Uh huh," he said, in the tones of the not-entirely-bored.
"Currently, I'm building a temporal safety mechanism that ought to be able to keep the whole Hub in a timelock, should we be compromised."
"Really?" Rodney's expression almost bordered on impressed. "You think you can get something like that to work?"
Tosh shrugged. "I should think so, once I test out a few more algorithms."
"Mmm," he muttered, peering in to look at her calculations, already lost in a world of numbers.
Ianto appeared at the top of the stairs. "Coffee?"
"Yes, yes," Rodney said absently, grabbing a mug whilst still staring at the screen.
Ianto stood back, exchanging a look with Tosh. Rodney took a gulp. He froze. Slowly, he swallowed. He looked down into the mug, then back up, turning to examine Ianto.
"This is your coffee?" he asked.
"That's your job? You make this coffee?"
"Amongst other functions crucial to operations here," said Ianto.
Rodney took another sip. "This -- this is spectacular," he told Ianto fervently.
Ianto inclined his head, smiling slightly.
"And you --" he turned back to Tosh, "I have no idea how you managed it, but somehow this looks like it'll actually work. You must be vastly overqualified to be working in this place."
"Er - thank you, probably," Tosh said in bemusement.
"Wasted on Torchwood," Rodney said mournfully. "All 'oh look, aliens, let's blow them up, your little band of British imperialists are so fundamentally inept at inter-species diplomacy it's nothing short of miraculous you haven't got the entire planet incinerated yet."
"On the other hand," said Ianto, "neither have we awoken the proverbial sleeping dragons of a far-flung galaxy, there to wreak havoc on the innocent populations of hundreds of planets. Stargate Command - why stick to one planet when you can interfere with all the worlds in the cosmos."
"That is ridiculous, just the kind of gross oversimplification I'd expect from Torchwood - and in any case, since when does the coffee boy have that kind of security clearance?"
Shaking her head, Tosh turned back to her computers.
"We've got laser guns, particle blasters, energy cannons, you name it," Jack was saying, laying out much of his armoury on the table to appreciative looks from John and Ronon. "'Course, a lot of it we can't power, tend to find myself favouring the old classics, like this little beauty."
He nodded at his pistol, and John picked it up admiringly. "Haven't seen one of these in a long time."
"They just don't make 'em like they used to," Jack agreed.
Ronon frowned at it. "Looks kinda small to me."
"Yet perfectly formed," said Jack. "If you'd like to try any of these out, we've got a shooting range downstairs and I would be more than happy to give you a personal demonstration."
Ronon took out his gun, spun it quickly around then re-holstered it. "Nah, I'm good," he said.
Jack let out a low and deeply regretful sigh.
"And here we've got all sorts of alien flora," Gwen said, showing Teyla into the greenhouse. "They mostly seem to get on with Earth products pretty well - Owen's rigged up a sort of superfood that does the trick for most of them."
Something at the far end of the room caught Teyla's eye. "Why is this plant behind glass?" she asked, walking over to a swaying blue shrubbery.
"Oh, that one's a little frisky, we think it might try and crawl all over the Hub one of these days."
Teyla laughed. "That is doubtful." She slid a pane of glass aside and reached in. Two branches curled up to meet her hand.
"Woah," Gwen said nervously, "what are you doing?"
"It is perfectly safe," Teyla told her. "Come and see." She brought her hand out again, and opened her palm to reveal a sprinkling of seeds. "These are excellent for seasoning meals."
"Well I never," said Gwen, smiling.
". . . and then you've got your reincarnation of Kirk over there, acting like he owns the planet," Rodney finished.
"Funny, I was about to the same about your colonel," said Ianto.
Rodney paused, a retort already forming, before he started to laugh. "Sheppard and his harem of alien women is the most preposterous thing I have ever seen," he agreed.
"Oh, then you really haven't met Jack properly," Ianto informed him.
From there it was hardly much of a leap to the real debate: which team was saddled with the more ridiculous commanding officer. Quietly, Tosh was rather sure Team Harkness would win.
Jack leaned over the railings late in the afternoon, surveying the interactions below.
Gwen stepped up to join him. "Well, this is going rather swimmingly."
"You know, Ianto's done nothing but laugh at me today, for no reason at all," he replied with a deeply put-upon expression. "And don't think I didn't see you slipping him some cash earlier. You will let me know when you plan to completely overturn my authority, won't you?"
Gwen patted his arm. "Yes, there'll be a memo. In the meantime, Owen's decided the only way to truly sort out Torchwood vs. SGC is via the age-old tradition of bowling, you coming?"
Jack considered this. Bowling had always struck him as an especially excellent way to socialise, with the helpful bonding factors of innuendo-laced jokes galore and many opportunities to appreciate the view as players sent balls thundering down the alley. Maybe this imposed visit wasn't so bad after all.
"Come on," Gwen said, "time to go thrash the living daylights out of our new guests."