A/N: I love it when plot bunnies resolve themselves into one-shots. Makes my life SO much easier.
A note on the Doctor: this is the Eighth Doctor. And before someone writes to tell me I got his costume wrong, let me explain. In several of the novels, Eight appears to change clothes whenever he feels like it. Sure, he sticks with the green coat mostly, but he's not as obsessed with one costume like many of his other selves. And if the cover of the Big Finish drama Human Resources is anything to go by, he also has apparently cut his hair...
Oh, man. We are in deep, deep kimchee.
Sighting down the barrel of his absolutely useless pistol, Dean Winchester counted a dozen pairs of black-on-black eyes glaring back at him and his brother. Signs and portents, huh, Bobby? Possible demon activity? This is a freakin' army. I live through this, me and Bobby are gonna have a chat about what the word "understatement" means.
Sammy's shoulder pressed hard against his. They weren't back to back, but only because there was already a wall there. A wall noticeably lacking in anything resembling door. Out of the corner of his eye, Dean could see the Colt tucked into his brother's waistband. A glance at his brother's face told him that, first chance he got, Sam would have it out and shooting. Not a prospect Dean much liked. The Colt would kill the demons deader than...well, dead things, but it would also kill the humans they were riding. That didn't set well with Dean–can we really kill a dozen people and walk away with anything resemblingus still intact?–even though the alternative was horrible death and, for him, Hell's waiting arms.
What bothered him even more was the fact that he saw none of this worry in his little brother's eyes. Sam used to worry about stuff like this, even more than Dean, who usually pretended it didn't bug him.
Are you sure that what you brought back is all Sam?
Pity resurrection wasn't an option for that yellow-eyed bastard. Dean would have happily brought him back just to shoot him a few more times. Those words haunted him.
And now, said the snide little voice of his battered conscience, they're gonna haunt you into Hell.
"You boys picked the wrong club," hissed a demon, a young woman with lots of bleached hair, piercings, and a great body not-really-covered by skimpy nightclub wear. Dean sighed, regretfully. Why was it always the hot ones?
"C'mon," he said, trying for a cocky smile. "We were just lookin' for a good time. Didn't expect to find any of youhere. What kinda self respecting demon hangs out in a Goth club?"
Beside him, Sam shot him the look he always did when he thought Dean was being stupid. Dean ignored this. "But hey–I got a deal for you. We'll send half of you back to Hell, and the other half get a week's head start. How does that sound?"
Unfriendly smiles flashed all around. Dean swallowed. He hadn't expected either the joke or the ridiculous deal to get any other response, but he couldn't deny that there was a little tiny part of him still hoping desperately that the calvary would show up. Preferably in the form of their father which was, of course, never going to happen again.
"Sam, you got any ideas?" he muttered.
Sam tossed his hair out of his eyes, glaring angrily at the demons, but still keeping his hands clear of any weapon. No sense in tipping their hand just yet, Dean supposed. Some of those sonsabitches out there had guns of their own. "A few," he said. "But most of them involve things we don't have. And I don't have enough, Dean."
He meant he didn't have enough shots to take all the demons down. Well, he wouldn't; the Colt only carried six bullets, and there probably wouldn't be time for a reload. The best they could hope for was to take down half of the bastards before the rest tore them apart.
"Sam Winchester," gloated another demon. "All ours for playing with."
It was getting annoying, the way these damn things kept fawning over Sammy like he was a rock star and ignoring him...
The blonde woman stepped up close to Dean. "And Dean...how about a little preview of things to come? Would you like that?"
...on the other hand, being ignored had its benefits. "Piss off," Dean growled. "You're not my type."
She grinned, and ran a tongue over her teeth. "Near as I can tell, Dean, any woman is your type."
"Not hell-bitches like you. Take your ugly ass elsewhere." This only made her smile more broadly, and press closer. Dean didn't bother to hide the disgust on his face. It really was a damn shame this girl was demon-ridden...
"What shall we start with?" she asked her fellow demons.
Just then, the door to the club opened. Daylight spilled in.
"Oh, I'm so sorry. Did we interrupt a private party?" The voice was male, smooth and accented. British, or something close to it.
The demons, who were in their own twisty way as nosey as humans, all turned to look–though they were careful not to do so in a way that would give either of the Winchesters a chance to get the drop on them. Damn. I hate it when demons are smart.
Dean, personally, had been hoping for something along Terminator lines, armed with holy water and devil's traps. As the man stepped away from the door and toward the clustered group, Dean saw that what they got instead wasn't very impressive. A slim man, average height, wearing some kind of grey linen coat over a dark, high-collared shirt. Somewhere between thirty-five and forty. Longish hair, curling over forehead and collar. Looked like someone's idea of a poet. There was a young woman with him, short and pretty and on the adorably rounded side, with fair hair and a hard expression. Not carrying a weapon, much to Dean's great disappointment.
"Get out–" Sam began, before a demon's hand closed over his throat and cut the words off. A knife at his brother's throat kept Dean from voicing his own warning. He glared murder at the black-eyed thing, and got a bright smile in return.
The man surveyed the group. "Ah." He turned to his companion. "You owe me a fiver, Lucie. I told you they were real."
The young woman sniffed. "All I see is a buncha blokes with funny eyes," she said. Her accent was thicker than his, less refined. "And that could be a lot of things."
"Mmm. Not a bad point." He turned a sunny smile on the watching abominations. "I wonder if you could clarify something for my skeptical friend here. Are you, by chance, demons?"
They stared at him.
The man–who was clearly some kind of lunatic–nodded. "Of course, I realize there are all kinds of things out there calling themselves demons." He leaned toward his friend. "But I nearly got sacrificed to one of this kind once, in New Orleans. It wasn't in a human body, of course, but still–it's not something you forget." His eyes, which even in the gloom of the club shone blue-green, fell on the Winchester brothers. "Ah," he said again. "I thought we were interrupting something. I suggest you let those two young men go."
All at once, demons surrounded them. One grabbed the girl Lucie before she could do more than shift her weight. She swore at him and kicked, but the demon did not loosen his hold.
The blonde demon–who seemed to be the senior in the pack–glided toward the man. "Who are you?" she asked, her tone bright and interested.
"Oh, how rude of me." The British man tilted his head politely at her. "You can call me the Doctor."
The demon gave him a predator's smile. "I like playing doctor," she said.
"I imagine you do. With entrails, I expect." The man calling himself "Doctor" kept his voice light, but he wasn't smiling now.
She leaned on him, running a hand up his chest and into his hair. "Oh, I like the other kind, too," she purred.
His nose wrinkled. "I wish I could say that was a tempting offer, but considering the source...I'll pass, thank you. I'd prefer all of my limbs to remain intact." He didn't seem to move at all, but somehow the blonde demon was no longer draped on him. She looked slightly surprised. He looked around the room, and the glitter of his brilliant eyes grew hard. "Now then, I want you all to attend very closely. You are to leave your human hosts at once, and return to the cesspit you crawled out of. You get one warning–this is it. Do I make myself clear?"
There was a stunned silence. Then the blonde demon began to laugh, and the others joined in. "You're warning us?" she asked incredulously. "You?"
"Something like that, yes."
"We could tear you limb from limb," said another demon.
"Come on then," said the Doctor calmly. "If you think you're hard enough."
The blonde was prowling around him now, grinning maliciously. "And I thought the Winchesters were foolhardy," she said, sounding delighted. "Foolish human, what kind of game are you playing?"
Dean blinked. Demons moved damned fast when they wanted to–inhumanly fast. But what began as the blonde demon moving in a blur toward the Doctor's throat as she came behind him ended with her suddenly dangling several inches off the ground, his hand wrapped around her throat. He was smiling again–though it was only a smile by loose definition.
"Who said I was human?" said the Doctor, as a ripple of shock ran through the other demons. "And I'm not playing any games. Don't," he added, not turning his head. Another demon, thinking to ambush him, froze. His friend grinned, and aimed another kick at her captor's shin.
"Now, I told you I'd only give you one warning," he continued. "But I'm feeling merciful today. So one more chance. Clear off, right now."
The blonde demon gurgled something unintelligible, but the mask of rage on her face was interpretation enough. The demon holding Lucie nodded, and pressed his gun to her head. The grin fell off Lucie's face. The one with a knife to Sam's throat jerked him out, keeping the blade pressed so hard against his skin that a drop of blood welled along the edge. A third demon stepped up to Dean, plucked the gun from his unresisting fingers, and turned it on him. Dean exchanged looks with his brother. Sam's eyelid flickered, and Dean saw that his little brother had, with apparent meekness, lowered his hands to mid-chest height. The demons still hadn't spotted the gun underneath his jacket. Sammy had fast hands; it wouldn't take much to give him a window in which to grab the Colt.
The smile on the Doctor's face–what the hell is he? Dean wondered–slid further into a snarl. "Taking hostages–especially my best friend–only makes me angry," he warned.
"You're...ours..." choked the blonde demon. "You...have...no–"
"No what? No power?" The Doctor laughed. "Stupid creature. I may not follow any of this world's religions, but that doesn't mean I don't believe in higher powers, in things far stronger than you parasites."
Her lip curled. She had guts, Dean had to give her that. If he'd been the one dangling from skinny-British-boy like a cat's toy, he doubted he'd be so ballsy. And he considered himself pretty damn ballsy. But there was something about this guy... "And...just what is it...you believe in?" she grated.
"Myself, among other things," said the Doctor. His eyes narrowed then, and the demon screamed, her body arching backwards in his grip. A heartbeat later, oily black poured from the woman's mouth, coiling upwards to writhe angrily overhead. The Doctor released the now-empty woman, who collapsed unconscious to the floor. He tilted his head back to watch the demon-cloud. "Let's see just how stupid you are, then," he muttered.
The inky cloud twisted, and dove down, straight at the Doctor. He shook his head, then went rigid as the demon poured into him. He dropped to one knee, bowed over as if in pain. A long moment passed, then another. Then he stood, eyes closed. Dean realized that he was holding his breath.
The eyes that opened were blue-green, brilliant even in the shadows. He swept his gaze around the demons, who were watching avidly. "Stupid move, that," he said. "But then, I've never had a very high opinion of you lot's intelligence."
"But–" the demon holding Sam prisoner began, and stopped, obviously confused. It was all the opening Sam needed. One hand pulled the knife away from his throat as he swung his head back to crack into the demon's face, breaking the very-human nose. Then Sam spun away, hand reaching behind him for the Colt.
Dean was moving too, bending his knees to drive an elbow into his own captor's groin. Caught off guard, the demon had no chance to override its body's pain, and it folded up, wheezing. Dean kicked it in the head, hard, and it went down. He knew it wouldn't stay out for long, but at least he didn't have his own gun to his head anymore.
"No!" A hand closed over Sam's wrist and jerked it upwards, just as he squeezed the Colt's trigger. "You'll kill the host!" snarled the Doctor.
The other demons shifted uneasily, uncertain now. Sam turned cold, furious eyes on the other man, his free hand curling into a fist–and then he stopped, blinked, and nodded. A faint look of horror crept into his gaze, and Dean felt a surge of relief. That was his brother.
The Doctor turned to the remaining demons. "Your friend tried to possess me," he said coldly. "And now she's dead. Possession, after all, is mostly about will–and you aren't going to meet anyone in this universe with a will stronger than mine. I can draw each and every one of you out of there by force, if I must–and if it comes to that, then I will also destroy each and every one of you as I did her. Now, for the last time: leave. And don't even think about sneaking off to look for other hosts."
There was a heartbeat of terrified silence and then black streamers poured from eleven bodies, roiled in a confusing mass, then spiraled down and disappeared through the floor. Eleven newly-freed hosts staggered. Some collapsed, unconscious like the blonde. Others merely sagged against any available surface, clutching at their heads and moaning in the mother of all hangovers.
"Well, then," said the man who had just, without apparent effort, exorcized a dozen demons. "That's this lot taken care of. Lucie?"
"Oh, I'm fine, thanks for askin'. Just once, y'know, I'd like to go someplace I don't get manhandled."
"I thought that was the point of coming to a club?"
She glared at him.
His eyes fell on the Winchester brothers. Dean was aware that he and Sammy both were staring, open mouthed, at the man. The Doctor smiled at them. "That's a dozen you don't have to worry about now, isn't it? Still a lot left out there, but that's your war to fight." His smile widened. "Just had to make sure you'd be around to fight it." He turned to his companion. "Shall we go, Lucie?"
"I may owe you a fiver," she grumbled, following him toward the door, "but you owe me a nice trip without monsters. Just this once."
"I'll try." At the door, the Doctor turned again toward the brothers, and gave them an informal, two-fingered salute. "Sam. Dean. I'll be seeing you around."
And then he was gone.
After a long moment, Dean turned to his brother. "Sam..."
"What the hell just happened?"