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ArWen the Eternally Surprised
Author: Ria Time: 2007/11/22
Arwen encounters a strange monk and gains a little extra time.
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The Clash of Worlds: The Fellowship of Necessity
Submitter: Date: 2011/10/30 Views: 300
Chapter 9

Their first target was Dover, where they planned to take a boat across to mainland Europe. As Owen pointed out, if Top Gear could manage it, it couldn't be that hard. Rick then pointed out that asking 'how hard can it be?' was a sure fire way to incite disaster. No one was really surprised when things went wrong in Dover.

Orlando held his gun in his hand loosely, tempted to crack Martin over the head with it and get it over with. The other man had taken the lead when they went scouting down to the harbour to check if the way was clear, insisting that he'd be better at it than 'just a scientist'. Owen's advice to shag him to relieve the tension really hadn't helped, although it did give something of an insight on Jack and Ianto's relationship. He stared off into the distance, trying to tune out Martin's friendly advice, and spotted something really, truly unwelcome. Moonlight glinted on silvery skin and protruding bones on the end of the harbour, and he heard a cut off yell to accompany the flash of a blade. He clamped his hand on Martin's shoulder, dragged him into the shelter of a skip and shoved him against the wall. "Shut up," he hissed when Martin protested. "Shut up, they're on the harbour."

"What?"

"Lashimi, on the harbour wall. Just killed someone, and no I don't know who," he calmed his breathing and looked around at the other man at last, realising that they were pressed too close together in the gap between the skip and the corner. Martin's face was in darkness, but he didn't look happy. "We need to get somewhere we can see the harbour clearly and can't be seen."

"Any ideas?"

"Yeah," he looked upwards, then over his shoulder before emerging from the gap cautiously. "Travel lodge. Let's see if they have any vacancies."

Martin followed him down the alley and round into the foyer of the building. He sat on one of the foam cushioned seats that feigned comfort and flicked his gaze between Orlando and the door. Orlando was dealing with the receptionist better than he would have done he hadn't got his gun out, for starters. The poor kid sounded flustered as Orlando patiently explained that they wanted a sea view, as high up the building as possible, and that it really didn't matter that the room was a double. Martin snorted and stood up when Orlando collected the key, and slid a twenty pound note onto the counter. "And if anyone comes in looking for us, we slipped out the service exit, okay?"

The kid looked from the money to his face and nodded guilelessly. "Would you like a call to your room when they've been and asked, sirs?"

He smirked and passed him another twenty. "I'll stay here more often."

"I'm doing well tonight," he chuckled, making the note disappear and waving vaguely at a pair of traffic cones behind him. "Normally they pay me in pints."

"Yeah, well, I'd hate to be considered a cheap date," he drawled. "Keep up the good work."

"What work?" he called. "You're the first people I've seen all night."

Martin laughed and pushed through the doors onto the staircase, then jogged ahead to where Orlando was waiting for him on a turn, with his arms folded under his chin resting on the bannister. "Always worth tipping the staff," he explained.

Orlando rolled his eyes and pushed himself upright. "Especially if they're cute?"

He gave a barking laugh and overtook him. "Well, good to know that one of us noticed. I have to say, he's not my type."

"You have a type of man?"

"Sure; tall, blond and geeky, know anyone who fits the bill?" he taunted.

Orlando sighed and checked the key in his hand. "There's no need to be facetious."

"That was more than two syllables, I have no idea what it means."

"Syllables is three. This floor," he pushed the door open and Martin had to retreat. "Top floor rooms are full."

"Doesn't matter, we're pretty bloody high anyway."

"Yeah, let's find the room," he looked at the door closest to him. "Room number?"

"905," Orlando found the room and planted his hand on the door. "Reckon they'll have tapped the room?"

"Only if they're so far ahead of us that it doesn't matter," he nodded. "It'll be fine."

"Good to know," he opened the door and checked the room, then moved out of the doorway and sat on the bed. "You have a look, I'll get in touch with the Doctor."

"What? Why?" he shut the door carefully and hurried to the window.

"Because they know we're here, he needs to move everyone back out of the town."

"And then what?"

"I don't know, what can you see?" he was fiddling with a phone on his lap, connecting it to a tiny device that was probably an encoder. "Eyes on the life-threatening situation."

"They are," he protested. "It's just bloody dark. How are you doing over there?"

"Clear, as far as I can tell. Just... the signals are foggy."

"Foggy?" he huffed against the window and wiped the condensation away with his sleeve. "I see them."

"Close?"

"Staking the bar over the street," he snorted and searched in his pocket for a cigarette. "Morons."

"Not moronic enough," Orlando pointed out. "They're considerably too close."

"Yeah, and I'll bet anything that the boat's not here to meet us. Or... what exactly did you see?"

He sighed and waved the phone. "Listen in, I'm going to tell Jack."

"Why Jack?"

"Hush," he appeared to dial the phone normally and trapped it between his ear and his shoulder so that his hands were free to fiddle with the little device. "Jack?"

"How did you do that?"

"I'm a genius," he rolled his eyes and reminded Martin of Jack's much quieter husband, but blonder, and taller if that was possible. "You need to get out of Dover. They were on the harbour."

"Where?"

"We'd nearly reached the boat and I saw them on the end of the quay where the boat was supposed to be. I couldn't see if it was there, but I saw them kill someone," he looked over at Martin. "We're in the Travel Lodge, and they're outside now."

"How close are they?" Jack asked forcefully. "Can you get out?"

"Yeah, they're casing the bar over the road," he looked over at the phone. "We'll get out as soon as we can."

"Okay. Head for the Chunnel in Folkestone, someone will meet you and bring you in to us."

"Will do," he confirmed. "Take care."

"Always. Get yourselves out of there safely."

"That's the intention," he hung up and went over to the window to join Martin. "What are they doing?"

"Still watching. One of them's gone in, though," he looked over his shoulder at Orlando. "You're not bad, for a scientist."

"Charmed," he huffed. "He's back out."

Martin looked back to the street and they watched the alien converse with its companions, then enter the building below them. Orlando made a conscious effort to keep breathing and tightened his grip on the window frame, craning forwards to see as much of the street as he could. The time dragged by interminably until the figure emerged again and the aliens bunched together on the corner, then hurried away. Still they didn't move, waiting by the window for a sign that the coast was truly clear.

The phone rang behind them and Martin practically dived across the room for it, sprawling across the bed. "You okay, kid? You... right, I'm coming down to you. Don't be thick, we're coming down now. Orlie?"

He dropped the curtain back into place and hurried to grab his things up off the bed. "What?"

"The kid's injured... fuck, I don't even know his name," Martin snatched the key off the table and nearly wrenched the door open. "But it's clear."

"What did they do to him?" he checked that the room was clear of their things and followed quickly. "Martin?"

"He wouldn't say," he gritted out, taking the stairs two at a time. "Wouldn't even admit that he's hurt."

They got down to the ground floor considerably faster than they'd got up something to do with having gravity on their side (and wasn't it nice to know that someone was?) - but Orlando stopped them in the hall at the bottom of the stairs and pulled out a hand-held monitor. "Better check first," he muttered, skipping across frequencies. "These are easy to... there."

Martin took it off him and studied the CCTV footage of the reception area. "They could be in the blind points..."

"Well we know where they're not, and do you really have a better idea?" he asked, snatching it back. "Go patch up your injured toy boy and get out of here, or stand around in the stairwell until they come back?"

"Grow up."

"Martin, there's aliens possibly about to kill us the instant we step out of that door and you want me to grow up?" he grabbed the handle and shook his head. "Not a chance."

They emerged into the reception area and the only person there to greet them was the kid, looking paler than when they'd left him, trembling with fear and clutching something below the counter. When he realised it was them, he planted both his hands on the counter top and sagged with relief. "You're safe."

"And you're a legend, kid," Martin vaulted the counter and pushed him down into his seat, then started checking the injury on his arm. "This isn't bad, just painful I think. What did they want?"

"Well, I told them that I wouldn't tell them anything unless they paid me for it," he hissed as Martin pulled the material of his sleeve away from the injury and Orlando, leaning over the counter with his elbows resting on it and his chin in his hands, winced with him. "They paid me in their currency."

"One day soon, someone's going to walk in here and tell you that they've got a job for you," Martin told him, almost gently. "If you go with them, your life will change forever. If you don't, you won't get another chance. What's your name?"

"Bit late to ask me that, isn't it?" he bit his lip again and closed his eyes. "It's Joe. Who are you?"

"Martin," he answered, pulling a sterile bandage from his bag. "Pretty boy's Orlando."

"Hi," he groaned. "Nice to meet you. Now who are you?"

"Don't you think you're better off not knowing that?" Martin suggested. "Just, you know, a suggestion."

"No, fuck off."

"I'm someone quite powerful," Martin chuckled and tied off the bandage. "You'll find out."

"If I say yes."

"If you say yes," he confirmed. "You're going to say yes, aren't you?"

"Probably. I've always wanted to be a spy," he grinned and flexed his arm. "That hurts."

"Masochist. Right, we're going now. Keep your head down, stay out of trouble and don't see anything, okay?"

"Yes, sir," his grin became a little more forced and he looked towards the door and away again, then said quickly, "I'm scared to stay here, and... that's alright, isn't it?"

"You'd have to be mad not to be," Martin packed the few bits away into his bag and slung it over his shoulders again. "Is there anyone who can come and keep you company?"

"Yeah, I, my mate's coming round," he pulled his sleeve down again to cover the wound and looked towards the door. "Get them out of here, fast."

"We'll do our best. Do me a favour, Joe. When the shit hits the fan, someone will come for you. Don't ask questions, just do what you're told."

Joe sighed resignedly and turned his gaze back to them. "Just keep myself safe?"

"Yes, because you're going to make a damn good spy one day," Martin hitched his bag up again and left without another word, Orlando close behind. "So where now?"

"Folkestone," Orlando pulled the 'Walks of Kent' leaflet out of his pocket and studied it in the dim light from the doorway. "That way. Long walk."

"Hard push, I want to make it back to them by dawn," he sighed at the idea himself, but they were too exposed here, separated from the group and reliant on the friendly whims of strangers like Joe. "I want this over."

Orlando squeezed his shoulder and set off walking, passing him. "We all do."

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