silkendreammaid: (Default)
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Title:  Lights
Author: silkendreammaid  

Disclaimer: I do not and never will own Torchwood or the characters within.
Rating: PG13 

Warning: Language
Characters:  Ianto Jones, Jack Harkness

Note: Written for the 2011 Advent Challenge. Prompt #8 taken from the 2009 prompt list. 

Author’s Note: Seventh in the series that started in Cold … 

… trying to write this and not get distracted by the H50 eye candy… and then Sherlock … 

Summary:   December is starting off unseasonably cold. Torchwood has one dead alien and another one missing. There’s also the sudden disappearance of Cardiff’s rats.  

In this chapter Jack finds himself in the dark


  

Lights
 

“Damn,” Jack Harkness swore. “Try calling Tosh, Gwen. My com’s died.” He concentrated on the road and listened to Gwen unsuccessfully call Tosh and then Owen, Ianto and even Rhys. 

“No-one’s answering. Line’s dead,” she reported. 

“And we don’t know if it’s just us or all of Cardiff,” Jack added. 

“Tosh’ll send Ianto or Owen after us,” Gwen said confidently. Jack shook his head. 

“Not Ianto. He’s sleeping and if I know my Tosh she’ll let him remain asleep. Owen however, will be a whole other matter. He’s going to complain and grumble and be completely too smug about having to come to our rescue.” 

Gwen laughed. “Then we’d better make sure we don’t need too much rescuing.” She looked at the small PDA. “We’re within a mile of the heat source.” 

“And there’s ice on the road,” Jack noted, his hands tightening on the steering wheel as the SUV slipped on the road. 

“But, how is there ice?” Gwen asked. “I mean those rats we saw earlier. They’d been burnt.” 

“Check the air temperature,” Jack ordered and Gwen tapped at the PDA for a moment. “Cold burns just as much as heat does.” 

“Temperature’s dropped another degree,” she announced with a confused frown. “I don’t understand. If that thing – whatever it is – is sucking the heat out of the air and making Cardiff freeze, why is it so cold when we’re about …” she checked the PDA “ a hundred metres from it?” 

“Heat storage units of the future have very good shielding.  Or it could be directional and we’re on the wrong side of it or it could be damaged and malfunctioning. Lots of reasons why we’re not boiling in our skins right now.” 

“Stop that. You sounded too much like Owen just then,” Gwen admonished him. “And, oh… look at that light!” 

“I see it,” Jack replied and brought the SUV to a stop. “Hard to miss it,” he muttered as he stared at the glowing light to the left of the road. It shone brightly out of the broken windows and open door of a small cottage. For a moment it flared brightly and then winked out, leaving Jack and Gwen blinking at the vivid after-images dancing in front of their eyes. 

Jack stumbled out of the SUV and circled the vehicle. “Come on,” he said to Gwen and then shivered. “Hope you brought your jacket,” he told her.

 


 

The heartbeat thumps again. Ice cracks further and frigid air is drawn into frozen lungs for the first time in a long time. Slowly, slowly, another beat, a second breath. The air shifts, warmed by the tiniest increase, and … 

… alive … 

Ianto feels his skin flex and wonders at the fur that quivers under cracking ice.

 


 

Jack stepped carefully into the cottage, gun drawn and held at his side. Gwen followed him cautiously. The interior of the cottage was almost gutted. There were gaping holes in the walls and ceiling. They could see into rooms and the upper floor from the entry. And it was cold. Their breath was visible and they kept their coats tight around them. 

Three steps in and light flared again. Instinctively they threw their hands in front of their eyes and screwed their eyes shut tight. They stood still, unwilling to move while they were effectively blinded. Jack strained to hear or sense anything but all he could see was the light burning through his eyelids, even through his hand. 

“Stay there, Gwen,” he said before taking a tentative step forward, one hand held out in front of him. Another step and it went dark again. He opened his eyes slowly peeking through his fingers. The light had gone and only natural light filled the cottage. 

“Light’s gone again,” he told Gwen and she opened her eyes as well.  

“So it comes and goes. Like a beacon?” Gwen wondered. 

“Could be,” Jack frowned as he scanned the area, studying the readings from his wrist strap. “There’s something under the floor.” 

“Great,” Gwen mumbled. “The cellar.” 

“Indeed,” Jack nodded and began to make his way through the cottage. The cellar door was near the kitchen. It felt much colder and there was a thin layer of ice coating the walls. “I’ll go first. Wait until I get to the bottom before you follow.” 

“Yeah, you don’t want to bump into me when you come running back up the stairs,” Gwen joked lightly and Jack grinned. 

He almost fell down the stairs when he stepped on the first step and found slippery ice under his feet. He took the next step carefully and shivered in his coat at the seemingly physical weight of the cold air. He made his way carefully down the stairs and was just about to call Gwen to follow when he heard a small click. 

“Gwen! Stay there! Shield your eyes!” he called urgently and the light re-appeared. Jack turned away, hands over his eyes and it took a long moment before he heard another click and Gwen called down to him. “The light’s gone again.” 

Jack opened his eyes and it was a while before he could see past the glaring after-image. He looked around the cellar and focused on a huddled figure in the corner. He approached slowly. 

“Gwen! I’ve found the other Coelsi. Can you get a containment box and a body bag from the SUV?” 

“Okay, Jack.” 

He heard her footsteps fade and he sighed. The Coelsi was dead and it was lying wrapped around a small box. A box that clicked.  

He wasn’t fast enough, the light was brighter, closer and there was a wave of burning cold. His eyes watered and he brought up his coat to belatedly shield his face, turning away from the box. He waited, dabbing at his closed eyelids and waiting. 

The second click never came and Jack didn’t dare open his eyes. 

It got colder.

 



 
Continued in Power Outage

 

.


 

(no subject)

Date: 2011-12-07 04:07 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oh my gosh, this is just getting more and more scary! I seriously feel like I'm watching a scary movei, this fic is so well written! I hope Jack doesn't end up dying of cold- or Gwen, for that matter.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-12-07 04:13 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I love scary stories.

Why is it always the cellar? XD

(no subject)

Date: 2011-12-07 04:36 pm (UTC)
milady_dragon: Dragon Myfanwy (Default)
From: [personal profile] milady_dragon
Something tells me Gwen's going to have to be doing a bit of rescuing herself...

(no subject)

Date: 2011-12-07 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Suddenly, I'm feeling rather chilly myself! I wonder what's in the box?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-12-07 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Suddenly, I'm feeling rather chilly myself! I wonder what's in the box?

aviv_b

(no subject)

Date: 2011-12-08 09:42 am (UTC)
reddevilpoes: he cheats (Default)
From: [personal profile] reddevilpoes
nailbiting update...

(no subject)

Date: 2011-12-08 10:30 pm (UTC)
badly_knitted: (Eyebrow Raise)
From: [personal profile] badly_knitted
Whatever is it? And can Jack survive the relentless cold if it doesn't turn off again?

Poor coelsi, I was hoping it would be found alive, but I guess since its bond mate is already dead, it's probably better off not surviving.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-12-15 10:04 pm (UTC)
hab318princess: by september_icons (Default)
From: [personal profile] hab318princess
scary! great story

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