|Knowers & Demons III: Nightmare Life in Death
Author: Enthusiastic Fish PM
Third installment in the Knowers and Demons series. Tim and Tony are pulled back into the supernatural world, only this time, they don't know why. Eight chapters.Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Friendship - Tony D. & Tim M. - Chapters: 8 - Words: 15,141 - Reviews: 31 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 09-29-11 - Published: 09-22-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7402622
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This is part three is my Knowers and Demons series. The first two are Set the Captives Free and Darkness There And Nothing More. It's a supernatural buddy series, and I've had a lot of fun with it. I make references to the earlier stories, and none of these are very long. I'm not as comfortable with the supernatural genre as I am with others. All the poems in Chapter 7 come from Dean Koontz' Book of Counted Sorrows. I make no claim to have created them, but they fit so well with this story that I used them.
Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS nor its characters. All the poetry belongs to the original authors. I am not making any money off this story.
by Enthusiastic Fish
Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was white as leprosy,
The Nightmare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
"Hey, McGee, what's up?" Tony asked as he caught up with Tim outside NCIS.
"Nothing. Why?" Tim asked.
"It's that time of year."
"What time of year?"
"Halloween. I'd think that it would be a perfect time for...you know...weird things to happen."
Tim laughed. "So far as I know, demons aren't restricted by the time of year."
"Well, I'll trust you when it comes to knowing."
Tim hitched a shoulder. "I wish I didn't, sometimes."
"You seeing things again?"
Tim shook his head. Since he had sealed the portal to the demon world last year, he had sensed the presence of otherworldly things much less...but still... His last direct confrontation with a genuine demon had led to his own possession and temporary death and then to Tony's possession. In short, he didn't feel he'd come out of it very well. Even last year, he'd almost been forced to kill Tony in order to get away after he'd been dragged into the demon world. Rhian had saved him from death, twice. Her husband, Sorin, had saved Tony from demonic possession. Overall, Tim felt more like he'd just been along for the ride.
"Hey, Probie, what's wrong?"
"What if I can't handle it the next time?"
"The next time some crazy weird event springs up," Tim said. "It was only luck that I've survived this long, and if it hadn't been for you, for Rhian, for Sorin, for... I couldn't ever do it alone."
"Who says you have to? Wasn't that the whole point the first time? You couldn't do it alone and you had to have someone with you?"
Tony put his arm around Tim's shoulders.
"But nothing. You think I got that dragon tattoo on my chest for fun? It means something, McGee. It means that you don't have to deal with those things alone. If another evil demon rears its ugly head...or someone else's ugly head for that matter, I'll be along for the ride."
Tim smiled. "Thanks, Tony."
"No problem, McGee. Maybe today will be a nice normal day and then, tomorrow, on Halloween, people won't start pulling crazy stunts."
"Yeah, right. Like that'll happen."
"There's always a remote chance. Very remote."
Tim suddenly felt his jacket pockets.
"Oh, I forgot my phone, Tony. You go on."
"You're going to be late, Probie. You know what that'll mean..."
"I can handle a Gibbs slap much more easily than I can handle not having my phone with me."
Tim grinned and dashed back to his car. There was his phone on the seat. He couldn't remember why it wasn't in his pocket like it usually was, but no matter...
Then, he glanced into his rearview mirror and saw...
"Probie? Hey...McGee. Tim! Snap out of it!"
Tim jumped and started breathing heavily. Then, he looked back behind him, out his back window, only half knowing what it was he was looking for.
"Tim! What's wrong? What's going on?"
Tim looked around wildly and then suddenly noticed that Tony was crouched in front of him, looking very worried.
"Tony! When did you get here? Did you follow me?"
"McGee, it's been half an hour. Gibbs sent me out to drag you in to work."
"Half an hour?" Tim asked. "That's...not possible. I just...I sat down...I..."
"I looked in the rearview mirror...and then...I..."
"I saw..." Tim looked in the mirror. There was nothing.
"What did you see?"
Tim looked down at his right hand. It was clenched in a tight fist. In fact, his knuckles were white. Tony followed his gaze.
"I don't know," Tim said.
It took some doing, but he managed to unclench his fist. It was as if his fingers had forgotten how to move. Slowly, he forced them to open, revealing the three-headed dragon tattoo...the one only he and Tony could see. Tony exclaimed loudly.
Tim made no sound. He was fascinated...in a macabre way. It didn't hurt at all. In fact, he wondered if anyone else would see it besides Tony.
His tattoo was bleeding. Every line of it was marked in red, not in its usual black. For a moment, it glowed brightly and shivered...as if it had just been attacked.
"What did you see, McGee?" Tony asked again.
Tim lifted his hand up and looked at the bloody lines on his palm.
"I...don't...know, Tony." He looked up at Tony. "I don't have any idea."