Title: That Sinking Feeling
Characters: Jack, Owen, Tosh, Ianto, Gwen & Rhys
Summary: A Rift retrieval lands three of the team in a rather hazardous situation.
Word Count: 852
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
The ground might have looked solid, but right now it sure as hell didn't feel that way. Jack had a sinking feeling. Literally.
"We might be in a spot of trouble," he ventured.
"Ya think?" Owen sounded as sarcastic and scathing as Jack had ever heard him.
“Uh, guys?” Tosh spoke up from the back seat. “I really don’t think this is a good time for an argument.”
”Well what d’you suggest we do, Miss smarty-pants?” Owen turned his snark on Torchwood’s tech expert.
“For a start, getting up on the roof would be a good idea. If we go out our windows then use the remote to close them, it’ll buy us some time. I already sent Ianto a text, he’s on his way with a tow-truck.”
“Good thinking, Tosh. Owen, you get on the roof first, then you can help Tosh with the thing that came through the Rift. If the SUV’s going to sink, we’re not leaving it in here. We don’t even know what it is.”
“Why do I have to go first?”
“Well if I go first and help Tosh, you’ll have to be last up. Your choice.”
“Okay, I’m goin’!” Owen wound his window down and wriggled through, pulling himself to the roof as the ground went GLUP and their vehicle sank another couple of inches. Jack wound the passenger window back up.
“Your turn, Tosh. Pass our mystery object up to Owen, then follow.”
Tosh already had her window down. She handed their latest find up to Owen, then scrambled up to join him, hearing her window whirr closed behind her. She expected Jack to follow right away, but instead he shoved a bundle of fabric up to her.
“Grab this. Ianto’ll kill me if it goes under. I swear, sometimes I think he loves that coat more than he loves me.”
A couple of minutes later, all three of them and the coat were on the top of the SUV. At least they were safe for the time being.
“Now what?” Owen whinged. “We’re still sinking.”
“Now we wait.” Jack looked up at the sky and the threatening clouds. “I just hope it doesn’t rain.”
Thankfully, for once the rain held off, but by the time Ianto arrived with the tow-truck ten minutes later, the SUV was tilted at a precarious angle, the heavier rear end sinking faster than the front, which was now sticking up clear of the quicksand. The three teammates were clinging on to the roof for dear life. Jack had wrapped their mystery object in his coat, securing the bundle with a length of twine he’d found in one of his pockets. Both Rift Gift and coat were now safe and sound on solid ground where Jack had succeeded in throwing them, with a little help from his friends.
Getting out of the truck, Ianto approached cautiously, testing the ground ahead of him with a pole. When he was as close as he could safely get, he stopped, shaking his head in exasperation.
“You lot do manage to get yourselves in predicaments, don’t you?”
“Don’t just stand there staring!” Owen snapped. “Get us out of here!”
“We will, just hold your horses.”
It was only then that Jack and the others realised Ianto wasn’t alone. Gwen and Rhys were unloading several long, sturdy planks of wood from the back of one of Harwoods’ smaller trucks. They used the planks to create a makeshift bridge stretching across the quicksand between the rear of the SUV and solid ground, anchoring them by parking the truck with its rear wheel across their ends. As soon as everything was in place and safe, Tosh scampered across, followed much more slowly by Owen.
While construction of the bridge was underway, Ianto had driven the tow-truck around to the front of the SUV; now he tossed the winch cable out to Jack, who was perched on the SUV’s bonnet. Jack caught it on the second attempt, fastening it securely to the towing bracket, a task made considerably easier by the angle the vehicle was resting at. Once everything was set, he followed Tosh and Owen to safety, heading around to join Ianto as soon as he reached dry ground.
The tow-truck’s winch whined and groaned, but inch-by-inch, Torchwood’s official vehicle was extracted from the morass, accompanied by a chorus of positively obscene squelching sounds.
“Just so you know,” Ianto said as the SUV emerged onto dry ground, “I’m not cleaning it.”
“We can discuss that later,” Jack decided. “Right now, all I want is to do is pick up my coat and go home.”
“Did you at least find what you came out here for?”
“What was it?”
“No idea.” Jack beamed at Ianto.
“Well, at least it’ll give Tosh and I something to do while you and Owen clean the SUV.” Leaving Jack standing speechless, Ianto climbed behind the wheel of the tow-truck. “You coming or are you walking home?”
Jack scrambled after his lover, piling in beside him. He just hoped he could find a way to get out of SUV cleaning duty.