Disclaimer: Thunderbirds in the Anderson's property, and Supernatural is Eric Kripke's. This is non profit, and just for fun.
Warnings: Supernatural and adult themes, mild coarse language
Authors Reflections: Wahooo, another one done! Writing this fic was pure pleasure – believe it or not, I had the words to this ending a long time ago, and it was such a thrill to finally put them to paper. I actually had this scene in my head before I even wrote it. Freaky, huh?
I want to thank all my loyal and extremely kind reviewers who gave me so many wonderful comments and encouragement. I always look forward to getting feedback, and what I got was phenomenal. I hope this fic gave you as much pleasure in reading as it did to me in writing.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. – Ryuuza Kochou
The voices whispered 'can you see me?'
The voices whispered 'do you know the way?'
The voices whispered 'can anybody hear me?'
The voices whispered 'please, can you hear me?'
The voices whispered 'I'm not special'
The voices whispered 'but I had dreams'
The voices whispered 'can you help me?'
The voices whispered 'I don't know the way'
The voices whispered 'can you show me?'
A voice whispered back. 'That way.'
The whispers faded. They were never really much more than that. Echoes in the bone.
Alan woke up. There was a nonsensical rumbling in his ear that, without ever actually changing, became a voice, felt through the bone.
"…ying is that it was the most freaky ass thing I've ever seen, so just saying it was adrenaline isn't going to cut it."
"Gordon?" Alan opened his eyes, and, after the fuzz cleared away, completely failed to see the red head. He did see Virgil, sitting up on the other end of the bed, sitting cross legged with a cell phone on his ear. He was watching Alan though. John was sitting next to him, perched on the side.
He couldn't see Gordon because Gordon was, in fact, behind him. Alan turned his head and nearly bumped his brother's chin. He was stretched out and propped up in the bed against Gordon.
"What're you doing there?" Alan mumbled, feeling pounded flat and like he had a bad case of the flu and a hangover to boot.
"Don't get me wrong; I love you kid," Gordon replied amicably. "But I'm not throwing my back out sitting on a hospital chair for hours on end, considering they were designed by the Marquee De Sade on a bad day."
Alan actually registered about half of this, but decided he was too warm and too comfy to care much. "'Kay, whatever." His thoughts drifted in a nice warm sea for a few moments.
A hand brushed his hair. "You should get some sleep, Alan." John's voice sounded far away.
Sleep…sleep would be nice. No more weird dreams and feelings…
It started with a bad feeling.
Alan shot upright, or at least tried to. Gordon was quick off the mark and tightened his grip across Alan's upper chest, almost a headlock because his ribs were still in pieces.
"Hold it, hold it!" Gordon hissed in his ear. "Cripes Alan, your ribs can't take any more stress, okay?"
John pinned him down from the other side. "Alan, Alan, calm down."
"Hang on Scott," Virgil said in the phone. "Alan, don't move!"
"Caleb," Alan gasped, for a moment actually fighting the restraints. "Caleb…the dorm…"
"Alan, listen to me," John grabbed his face. "They found him, okay? They found him and he's still alive, okay? Just lay back down. Lay down."
"He's in surgery," Virgil added as Alan allowed Gordon to pull him back against his chest again. "Massive trauma. But if he makes it through the next day he should make it. Nothing we can do, one way or the other, right?"
There was the sharpness of an order on that last word. Alan found himself nodding. "Right."
"Right, just so we're clear…what? What?" Virgil snapped up the phone. "What? Oh, okay, hang on…Alan, Scott wants to talk to you."
Gordon was the one who actually took the phone and held it up for Alan. "Scott?" Alan asked wearily. "Where are you?"
"Close by. This is isn't your fault, Alan."
That was Scott. Subtle as a bullet to the head. "Yeah…"
"No, I really want you to listen to me kiddo. It's not your fault. You didn't make those idiots do what they did. You can delude yourself into believing you can control the world all you like, but at the end of the day they're responsible for the choices they made. That's what free will is, for better or worse. It means you aren't responsible for what other people do. At best, we're responsible for cleaning up the mess."
"I know, Scott," Alan sighed. "I really do."
"Listen to the right-hand tyrant," Gordon advised in his ear.
"Tell Gordon I heard that. Dad's arranging for you to come home. Okay? Won't be long now."
"Okay. See you soon."
"Love you, Sprout."
"Love you too."
Gordon took the phone off him. "Hey Scott, after the whole dorm thing…you think maybe you have some anger issues?"
Alan couldn't hear Scott's actual words, but he didn't sound amused. It was at least worth cracking a smile, anyway.
Gordon hung up and winked at him.
"Alive, huh?" Alan asked Virgil.
"I disagree," John broke in flatly.
"Me too," Gordon added. "But…there's not much we can do, right Virgil?"
"What in the hell just happened at that dorm?"
All the Tracy's looked at each other.
The door swung open with a thump, and they all jumped.
"Normally I'd say you were crazy, bull headed, obtuse and stupid, Mr Tracy," Dr Yoong was saying. "But after what just happened I have taken a very personal and logical view of the risks of keeping you all here." The good doctor threw up his hands. "Take him! All of you, get the hell out of my hospital! I don't get paid nearly enough for this. Hello, Alan, how are you feeling? Much pain?" Dr Yoong seemed to swing from manic resignation to quiet professionalism fast enough for everyone else to have a mental tailback.
"Uh, yeah," Alan stammered, still trying to change gears. "I mean, no. Not really."
"His headache is at Defcon Three," John snorted.
"He needs painkillers for the ribs and foot," Virgil raised a sceptical eyebrow.
"His throat is sore and his lungs are scratchy," Gordon added.
"And…if I'm not very much mistaken, I think his fever is spiking," Jeff added, grinning at Alan as he glared.
"You're all ganging up on me," he muttered irritably. They knew just by looking. How did they do that?
"Ah, democracy at work," Dr Yoong said cheerfully. "Sorry kiddo, the masses have spoken." He scribbled down some notations on Alan's chart. "Now that the friendly banter is over with…what the hell just happened here tonight?"
"We'd just reached that point when you walked in, doc," Virgil explained. The man was white faced and tight shouldered with puzzlement and anger. "And we're damned if we know, by the way."
"Let's not waste time," Jeff advised, taking the vacant seat next to the bed. "And go straight to the source. The other two are still here, aren't they? It begins and ends with them."
"We might have a slight problem with that, gentlemen," Lady Penelope sashayed in. Parker too, but you couldn't see him behind the huge pink basket.
"Problem?" Jeff repeated.
"I went to check on our erstwhile men of mystery and found them…gone. They rigged a lock to freeze between wards, and escaped down the stairwell the police cordoned off."
"Gone? You've got to be kidding me! That cast wasn't even dry yet!" Dr Yoong slapped the chart back down. "I'll get security. Seven frickin' years in medical school and my patients are all escape artists…" he muttered on his way out.
"You know Jeff," Lady Penelope raised her eyebrow at the shutting door. "You could use a man like that doctor."
"We're never going to catch those two, you know," Virgil commented gloomily. "They're too good. They don't get caught."
"Relax, son," Jeff flipped open his phone. "I planned for this little eventuality."
"My CAR! Those jackasses stole my car! I'm going kill them!"
The Winchester brothers, Sam in a cast, stood in the snow laden spot where a black Impala should have been. It had been hard enough to hitch up here, Sam didn't relish the idea of finding a way back.
"They didn't exactly steal it," he bent down with a grunt, and picked up the plastic notice sign while Dean stalked and paced like an angry tiger.
TOMORROW. GREER ST PARK, 8 PM. BE THERE.
In the distance, the rubble of the dorm building still smoked, making the police lights flash in a haze of blue and red fog.
By some weird ironic twist, some stupid bed ration in the hospital, Caleb and Ivan ended up in the same intensive care ward. Identical tubes, identical scrubs, identical diagnosis. They looked almost like brothers, lying there.
There was a portly but small man sitting by Ivan's bed. His classy suit was rumpled and greasy, there were dark shadows under his eyes. He muttered in Russian most of the day.
He looked up as Alan came in. He didn't say anything as Alan came forward and put a Rubrik's cube next to his son's bedside.
"He likes puzzles," Alan shrugged as he got a questioning look for the odd gift.
Alan hobbled over to Caleb's bed. Caleb had never looked so small. As small as Ivan. Smaller. Ivan had a big heart.
"You bastard," he whispered. "I don't want to save you."
He took out a folded piece of paper. He'd copied it off the internet with his brother's help. The geometric lines of the kekkai were drawn sharp and dark on the white paper.
"…but that's what I do, I guess."
He left it underneath the mattress, and turned to go.
"I do not understand," Ivan's father said softly as Alan exited. "Did you know my son?"
Alan paused. "Sort of."
"I'm gonna shoot 'em. I'm gonna kick their rich boy asses." Dean was muttering to himself.
Sam sighed and shifted his arm in the sling. "I'm this close to doing it to you, man. Will you sit down? They're engineers, okay? Nothing is going to happen to it!"
"Right, her. Whatever! You're acting like a mother with a missing kid."
"Kidnapped. It's my car, Sam. No one messes with her."
"What did you expect? Come on, you met the man. Did you really think he'd let you just walk away just like that? They're not exactly normal – in case you didn't notice the big frickin' plane dropping out of the sky."
"Yeah. Who knew, huh?"
"It does explain a lot about them, though."
They were interrupted by the familiar whine of a classic engine. A shined and buffed Impala rolled up to the park side where the brothers sat, waiting patiently in the frigid night air.
Dean wrenched open the door, ignoring the SUV and pink flying nightmare that pulled up behind it. "You. Out!" He snapped.
Virgil held up his hands. "Anything you say."
Dean looked his precious car over. "What did you do?" Little things had changed. It looked like the chrome had been polished and the upholstery had been fixed up and he was pretty sure his baby was missing a few scratches and minor dings that he'd been planning to take care of when they got a free week. But the real jewel in the crown…he popped the hood.
"Six turbine, jet injection, high octane," Jeff narrated as he came up to peer under the hood. "All built from vintage parts, mind you. I had a feeling you didn't take cash, but let it never be said I don't pay for services rendered."
Sam whistled, impressed. Dean stared at the ultra light speed engine he now owned, territoriality warring with the drool worthy equivalent of a face lift that his car now had. After a serious internal tussle, and a long stare at Tracy while he did so, practicality won out. It would be useful, Dean would never, ever be able to afford it under normal circumstances, and Jeff Tracy was not the kind of man to make a condescending gesture. Dean and Sam, despite so many sacrifices, so rarely received gratitude for what they did; let alone any payment. At the very least, Dean could take the reward as it was meant.
Jeff tilted his head. "Shall we take a walk?"
Lady Penelope came along, the Winchesters noticed. And Scott as well, Dean thought irritably.
"Is there any explanation for what you do?" Scott asked as they reached a cul de sac, and stood there like opposing armies.
"Is there any for what you do?" Sam countered archly. "We've all got secrets."
"And," Jeff held up his hands. "No one is here to go into the deep depths of them. All I want from you is a guarantee that it is over. These things, whatever they are, are not going to keep following my son."
"Do you think they would?" Sam asked, eyes narrowed.
"I'm an engineer. I deal in weights and parts and numbers; all the things that make real life work. Your game is not one I know the rules to."
Dean shook his head. "They shouldn't. We kicked their asses but good. There's no one left to call them."
Jeff considered that. "Good. That's all I needed to know."
"You boys certainly have…interesting records," Lady Penelope added. "You haven't actually lived in one place longer than a year for nearly twenty. Odd happenings seem to follow you…or you seem to find them. I've known a few people in your business – I don't suppose you would like to meet them?"
"We don't do employment and we don't need assistance," Dean glared. "We do just fine on our own." He didn't like that way Scott's eyes passed over San's casted arm at that statement. Territoriality again.
"Yes. I imagine you do," Lady Penelope nodded.
"All the same…" Jeff started and then stopped and frowned. He turned his head toward the trees surrounding them…he could have sworn he heard…
"What was that they just said?"
"Uh…guys? I think we've been busted."
"Alan, what the hell are you doing out of the car?"
Jeff covered his eyes with his hand. He really shouldn't be surprised. He could feel Lady Penelope's grin, even as he heard Scott start to mutter under his breath. "I'll go." Scott accidentally-on-purpose brushed by Dean as he went to rip his brothers a new one. He still hadn't forgotten about the shotgun, and likely never would.
"Alright, what do you lot think you're doing?" Scott shouted as he hustled his sheepish brothers out of the bushes and back towards the car.
"Dean," Jeff turned his attention back to the Winchesters. "I know you don't want or need help, but I left my card in your car anyway. Use it if you need it. You and I are in the same business, after all."
Dean shrugged. "If I use it, I'll use it."
They headed back to the cars, where Scott and Gordon were supporting a hobbling Alan, Scott haranguing all the way.
"Hey Alan," Sam surprised himself by going up to the teenager. "Can I ask you something?"
"Yeah?" Alan leaned on one foot.
"On the roof. Why did you jump after Caleb?" Sam ran fingers through his hair. "I mean, it was a brave thing to do, but you didn't owe him anything. He was trying to kill you."
Alan shrugged. "That's just who I am. Letting people die doesn't run in my family, does it? I guess you can only be yourself," Alan grimaced, than added. "Even when it sucks. Especially when it sucks, really."
"Yeah. I guess," Sam replied.
"Alan, come on, in," Scott ordered gently. "It's too cold out here."
"No way in hell! I'm the eldest, I get shotgun."
"I am so not listening to you pansy-ass easy listening all the way to the airstrip," Virgil groaned.
"I refuse to listen to any music written by guys who've been dead for four centuries!"
"We're not listening to the news, Johnny, forget it."
"I'm the sickie, I should pick."
"How about," Jeff broke in after waving to Lady Penelope. "The driver picks the music and the passengers shut their cake holes?"
Dean found himself grinning and snickering with Sam was they made their way to the positively glowing Impala. As they got in, Dean solicitously reached across to get Sam's seatbelt for him as he awkwardly settled his injured arm. "We'll pick up the script for painkillers before we head out."
"I'm okay," Sam protested half-heartedly.
"I know. We're doing it anyway," Dean got his own belt on. "Bright kid."
"Alan. He's a bright kid," Dean pointed out. "I mean, it's not a bad idea, is it? Sometimes you just gotta be yourself. Even when it sucks."
Sam was silent for a moment. "Yeah. That's true. You have to be," he tried to look at Dean out of the corner of his eye, never willing to let Dean have the complete upper hand. "That Jeff Tracy, he has a way about him." Sam looked wistfully into the mirror. "He's got five sons, and not one of them has even thought about leaving home."
Dean paused to look in the rear view mirror, at the tussling Tracy's loading up into the SUV. He knew Sam wasn't trying to take a jab at an absent Winchester, not really. He just always thought about what could have been. "Yeah...He must have a hell of a method." Well, this was just getting too damn emotional. Dean turned on his cassette player, and a familiar riff started up.
easy, lovin' free
Season ticket on a one-way ride…
"It might be worth keeping them in our contact list you know, Dean," Sam pointed out slyly. "They're handy people to have around."
Dean smirked. It was his special, demon hunting, hellish, shit-eating smirk that made grown men tremble. "Yeah, you're right. They helped us and all that jazz. It was nice to get paid." He gave a mock sigh. "I feel kind of bad I swiped that Scott guy's AmEx." He held up a shiny square of plastic.
"Dean!" Sam put his hand over his eyes.
"Hey, they're all so willing to pay," Dean twirled it in his fingers. "Besides this is a platinum. We could live in the plaza with this, full services!"
"They'll know it's you!"
Dean's teeth gleamed. "Yeah. I know."
music wailed on.
Asking nothing, leave me be
Taking everything in my stride…
need reason, don't need rhyme
Ain't nothing I would rather do
"Mullet rock," Gordon grinned. "We all know how old Dad is, right?"
"Two words, Gordy," John held his two fingers. "Trust Fund."
Alan was gently settled between them. Virgil was doing an odds-evens game with Scott to see who won the front seat.
"Odds, I win," Scott grinned. He looked up as the Impala roared away with it's two dubious heroes.
not so bad, you know, Scott," Virgil said as Scott clambered in.
"They're just like us, you know. They just do
"I know," Scott grimaced. "I may not like it much, but I know. They're the good guys." There was a pause. Scott smirked. "I feel kind of bad we slipped that GPS locator into the engine battery."
"Yeah," Virgil raised an eyebrow. "Are you sure we need it?"
"I think…it would be good for us to know where they are."
down, party time
My friends are gonna be there too…
Alan was gently pulled across Gordon and John somehow, and ended up half reclining across the back seat.
"All set back there?" Jeff called over his shoulder.
"Let's rock and roll," Virgil replied, leaning over into the long seat to make sure Alan was secured.
"I'm going to sleep," Alan mumbled softly. "First person that wakes me is dead meat."
"Uh-huh, good idea," Gordon mumbled rubbing his arms soothingly.
"You're going to have a lot of rest to catch up on," John added seriously.
"Oh? Why?" Jeff glanced in the rearview.
"Alan's got some news," John grinned, and ruffled Alan's hair. "But I guess it can wait."
Alan's eyes slid shut. He thought of Caleb, and Robbie and Double E and Nicholas, who all had serious questions to answer now. He thought of Ivan, and his father sitting by him. He thought of Dean and Sam Winchester, and the whole new world which they traveled in, so similar and so different.
Storms, earthquakes, fires, ghosts, monsters, demons. It didn't really matter what you were saving people from, so long as you did save them.
It was quite a happy thought to sleep on.
I'm on the Highway to Hell
I'm on the Highway to Hell
(After note: It should be noted that payback is a bitch and the first resort of any self respecting older brother. Which was why, as Dean screamed down the highway at 250 mph and Sam just screamed, they were overtaken by a long, blue streak of light that was travelling much, much faster. Scott could never resist making a point.)