Dawn – SN fic – chpt 1
Disclaimer – I don't even own my soul... what makes you think I own the boys?
Love – it's the only thing I have that's worth anything.
Excerpted from previous WarVerse fics.
"Please stop," Dean breathed feeling his heart hammering, heat burning from inside. His left hand spasmed against the wet dank brick where she'd sunk the first nail into him,
"No," she pressed the tip of the nail into his elbow, leaning deep into it, watching it sink into his skin, feeling it press against bone, then begin to crack the outer shell. The first strike had been fast, sharp, hard, and just to make sure she had his full attention. This one was for pleasure.
"No! No don't... please..." he ground his teeth feeling himself light on fire once again until the metallic 'clinking' was drowned out by the screaming.
"Dean?... Oh God..." Sam's throat squeezed shut, his breath stopped and he fought every urge to throw himself backwards, away from this impossibility, This is NOT my brother... this... no! NO! Oh God...
"That's enough!" Hendrickson barked grasping the child by the upper arm and turning her, IT! he reminded himself, it's attention away from the nurse that was pinned up against the wall and bleeding from the nose.
It's fury hit him square with spike-ish prickles that tore through him like exploding glass, knocking him across the recovery bay, leaving him gasping for breath, "You don't want to leave a trail of bodies..." he choked, ignoring the pleading look from the woman on the wall.
He looks... innocent. Oh man... Sam rolled his head, his eyes misting and his mouth pursing with frustration for the lives they led and what it had done to the man he considered more of a father than John had ever been in his book
"C'mon Dean... y'gotta get up now..." he whispered.
Deputy Bruce Berkins felt his eyes bulge as the coffee dribbled down his chin, his body and mind on fire, heavy pins and needles racing in slow motion through his nervous system as the driver of that fine Impala broke to his own left, passing the trooper's vehicle with only millimeters to spare before he pulled with screaming tires to the shoulder of the road, both vehicles on the same side, both stopped with a solid fifty feet between them.
Sam saw him move, saw his hand unsnap the holster, grab the gun, raise it and shoot before the sound of the shot even entered his ears. Pain came a split second later as his right shoulder was slapped back with the impact of the .9mm slug.
"I'm lookin' up Enki's family tree... we gotta try and figure out just who's who in the zoo," he sighed and cracked open another beer.
"Bobby sent me a butt load of information on the Babylonian and Akkadian pantheons through the centuries... Search for Nergal and tell me what the hell can kill or banish this son of a bitch,"
"Yeah I hear the phone ringing hurry up," Tom scowled as Shep deftly turned the lock, then the knob and slid the picks into his pocket.
"Oh shit..." he groaned charging into the room where both of John's boys lay on the floor, neither man conscious.
"I'm under the impression that these gentlemen may be in some serious trouble, Dr. Abrams wasn't clear on details except to say what happened at his hospital after they 'disappeared' was very unpleasant for a number of staff members..."
"Oh hell..." Tom sighed looking at his uncle, "Did Bobby tell you anything?"
Shep shook his head, his brow furrowed, "Nuh uh... probably didn't wanna take the chance on us moving again before getting the boys some help."
Red-orange crackled and bit against blue-white floes as the woman at his side used the other to try and find the answers it wanted. A silent battle charged the air, the world went still
The body of the child began to redden as the blue-white crawled over its head, seeking to envelop it, and he couldn't be sure but he thought he saw parts of it trying to, somehow separate from the whole.
On the road the thing Laura had been gripping through the pregnant woman, burst into a flesh colored column of roiling smoky substance before disappearing with a screech into the night sky.
All eyes turned as the curtain was drawn aside and Dr. Fitzgerald stepped into the cubicle.
"Dean?" Sam muttered still fighting to come fully awake, "How's m'brother?" he asked.
The surgeon slid the cap off his head, drew a deep breath and nodded, "I've done everything I can."
"Wha'd'ya mean?" he looked with wide worried eyes from the doctor to Tom who stood with his hand on his shoulder, then to Shep who kept his eyes carefully on the surgeon, "Doc? What's that mean?" he muttered working hard to sit up straight.
"That means that the next day or so is probably going to be a little touch and go," he realized as Tom reached behind Sam and literally pulled him upright by the sheet, that his careful and long practiced doctor-speak was lost on these overtaxed men.
"Does he have his arm?" Sam asked.
"For now," Dr. Fitzgerald nodded, "He's going to be very fragile for a very long time, I had to excise a lot of bone... if I didn't get all the infectious material out of there we're going to have to go through this all over again, and if it's still in there, the fact is there won't be much left to save anyway," he drew a firm breath and continued despite the look of barely contained tears on the young man's face, spotting a shadow of the sensitive boy he must've been, "But... he's young and he's strong... and he did have some rudimentary care already... so that could be the most important factor in the end."
"Can I see him?" Sam asked, his voice barely more than a whisper.
"He's not awake yet. Dr. Benson and I don't like to break hospital policy but... apparently he's also of the mind that it would be best to put you boys in the same room... and if we run the risk of any kind of trouble following you two, no offense but I'd rather keep it contained rather than risk the whole patient population..." he looked pointedly from Shep to Tom, both of whom nodded their understanding, then looked at Sam, "As soon as we have a room ready you'll be able to see your brother," he assured then turned on his heel leaving the three men more anxious than before.
"Oh God..." Sam breathed rubbing his face with his hands, pinching the tears out of the corners of his eyes, "...Fragile..." he'll hate that! But he's still got his arm, no thanks to me, I never should've waited... I shoulda hunted him down as soon as I knew he was missing... son of a BITCH! he wanted to scream.
"Hey, he's gonna be fine Sam. You know your brother's got the Luck o' The Irish right? You'll see, the doc did the job right, Dean'll be fine," Tom assured him gently.
There's a freakin' demon army out there still trying to get us out of the picture, STILL trying to recruit me, STILL trying to take my brother away, and an Exiled Babylonian God with his army doing... what ARE they doing? What does it want? Why is it here with Yellow Eyes gone... does it KNOW he's dead? Dean's gonna want information, he's gonna downplay his... Okay, we need a plan. I'm sorry Dean but it's my turn to take care of YOU.
He looked at Tom in the chair on his left, and Shep just a little closer to the foot of the cart, both of them watching him intensely.
"We need a plan. We have to figure out what we can tell Dean and what he can't hear yet... Tom where's Laura?" he asked with furrowed brow and tightly bowed mouth.
Tom's cornflower blue eyes flicked to his uncle's green-gold ones before returning to Sam's.
"Tom?" Sam asked feeling his belly flop over, "Oh God what happened... tell me she's not dead..."
"No... well, I don't think so..." Tom shook his head, "We were arguing about getting her to a hospital... that's one pig headed woman I'll tell you..." he grunted.
"Tell me about it," Sam smirked, "what happened?"
"She jumped out of the car."
"And you let her go?" Sam frowned, "She was torn up Tom! What the hell were you thinking? Oh man, Dean's gonna freak,"
"She said she thought Nergal might have been weakened..."
"Don't use its name... you'll attract its attention," Shep warned softly, then explained when both men turned questioning eyes to him, "...harmonics, that's what gives names power, it's from another plane of existence, it's sensitive to the vibration of its name... just trust me," he rolled his head on his shoulders tiredly.
"So she went after it..." Sam shook his head and felt a small hiccough of a sob in the deep of his throat, "After everything we talked about she's still trying to get herself killed," he chewed his lower lip, "Son of a BITCH!"
"Sam," Shep asked softly, "Who IS this woman, and what does she have to do with any of what's going on, I mean really?"
"And I'm pretty interested in just how a human being managed to draw a genuine cone of power..." Tom added.
"Without winding up dead for starters," Shep interrupted then added, "And IF she was able to do it because of her connection to all y'all's patron deities... just how human does that really make her anymore... and why are we hiding whatever the truth might be from Dean? I mean he's got feelings for her, even these tired old eyes can see that, if she's not human he needs to know it..." Shep added reaching into the bag for his notebook.
Sam leaned his head back, "None of us are the same anymore Shep, I'm just... I'm afraid though," he sighed, "Her life was... kinda normal before we came into it, kinda, but..." he huffed a chuckle, "not really. She lost her brother 'cause of us coming into her life, she killed him to save US. WE, Dean and I, it's cause of us that she's in servitude to Cernunnos, it's cause of us and our hunt against Yellow Eyes that Morgan got co-opted, that she was forced to slit her own brothers' throat," he sniffed, grimacing against the pain he could imagine all too easily. "No one should have to do something like that," it was a pain, that as far as he knew, she'd never let either him or Dean see.
"When she gets all Kamikaze... it's just my guts but... I think she's still trying to pay for it," he sniffed again and nodded with a sigh.
Tom frowned feeling his eyes mist up partially in response to Sam's, and partly for his own sense of empathy. Between the two of them Shep was the balls-out skeptic, but he didn't have Tom's instincts to rely on, and his instincts liked the woman. "If it's any comfort, it didn't look like she was going to try and confront it Sam, but I do think she was going to follow it, maybe find out where it's holing up, how it's getting its energy... it felt like recon..." he twisted a quick half smile at the young hunter who seemed to relax and breathe a little easier.
"Well that's a plus, at least we won't have to tell him she full on disappeared again... God she pisses me off sometimes..." he moaned slumping back into the mattress, "...thoughtless, reckless... but she loves us... and she gives him what he needs," a faint smile tilted the corners of his mouth as he recalled a moment from a couple years ago, standing outside their motel room shortly after her arrival.
He hadn't known what to do to help his big brother out of the dark place he'd seemed to be falling into, so Sam had called the one person he thought Dean might be able to talk to, the one person he felt might never judge him. When he'd seen his brother, through a crack in the curtain, wrap his arms around her waist as she sat on the bed, then lay his head in her lap and let some of the sobs of his fermented pain finally break free, he'd known he did the right thing, called the right person. He'd stood there for another moment watching, maybe with a hint of envy but mostly with gratitude, while she silently stroked his hair and held him. Certain that Dean was in the right hands, Sam had stepped from the window, leaving his big brother to come to terms with an inner demon Sam hadn't even known existed.
"...so since the whole cult thing and the dryad thing after it, she's been a lot more... I dunno, protective of us... but..." he shrugged.
"So she's kind of a guardian?" Shep asked, "Bang up job she's doin'."
"No, yeah, but...sorta," Sam half nodded, "But's more'n that Shep, she's a friend, an ally b'fore anything..." he half smiled and wobbled his sleepy head back and forth a little, his mop-ish hair waving over his half-mast eyes, "No... b'fore ennything... she loves m'brother, makes'm happy... tha's th'mos' m'portan' 'ing..." a gigantic yawn that hadn't changed since Sam was two, sparked a huge grin across Tom's face as the young man returned for the time being, to the abyss of sleep.
"Alright old man... how're we gonna keep big brother preoccupied, without wanting to put himself in harms' way just to prove he's still fightin' fit?" Tom asked his uncle.
"Ain't gonna be easy that's for sure," Shep muttered tossing his notebook into Tom's lap, "Fortunately... we got some scary stuff to go through with these boys first."
Tom flipped through the pages of scrawl, certain words catching his attention due to excessive over-writing or underlining, his eyes slid questioningly to meet the older hunters', "You gotta be shittin' me..."
"I wish," Shep sighed taking the notebook back and flipping to a clean page so he and Tom could get the facts organized.
It knew I was weak... how did it know? It didn't know... It KNEW... No! I am UNKNOWN to this world... I AM ENIGMA... A tiny voice whispered, 'Maybe not so much...' before it was silenced.
I NEED his Chosen! What that one human can offer, and the Champion, but first a message of my return, I will feast on the emissary and leave it's carcass as a warning to all others who may come. Now to find her.
"Y'gotta lemme go. Please..." I need to find it while it's WEAK, she pushed up against the arm across her chest then fell back breathless, her eyes barely able to stay open, "Please," there's something different about it in this world! "you don't understand," she shook her head.
"Miss please we need you to lay still now okay? You've been hurt..." the paramedic tried to soothe.
Laura shook her head, "...'s'weak... I can almost feel it," she frowned, "You have a phone?"
"Do you have someone you'd like us to contact?" the dark haired woman asked, her brown eyes glowing with compassion.
"Dean... I have to, aw hell," she breathed and rolled to the side, pushing hard against the woman's arm, "Let me up."
"Miss I really don't think..." but Laura's undamaged right hand closed on the woman's throat, not hard, but enough to startle, enough to get her point across. Seconds later an arm wrapped around her chest from behind while the second grasped her hand and removed it from his partner's throat.
Darkness threatened, fuzzing the edges of her vision as she leaned backward into the restraining arm and allowed herself to be maneuvered and settled onto the gurney where her heart pounded and breath stuttered. Her head swam and tears slid from her eyes, "I'm sorry," she breathed dropping a hand on either of their forearms drawing in what she could that would give her the strength to follow the marauder's void.
"Nungh..." Dean tossed his head to the side, his mouth bowed into a deep frown and his brows creased. His right arm jerked into the rail and a sigh moved into the room. Sam looked up from the enormous tome in his lap and Shep's notes balanced on the arm of the chair.
In the last two and a half hours he'd been poring over the material, keeping a watchful eye on his big brother, Dean's eyes had come open several times, the first time bringing with their fevered illumination a sparkly heavy memory of the first time he'd ever seen his big brother delirious.
The second time they came open, his frantic gaze and grasping hand had been heralded by a screaming tenor plea to 'stop!', before the youngest of John's sons caved to his need to, at least for once, in his mind, try to give something back to his brother.
Maybe it worked, maybe he got some nearly dreamless sleep... I hope I didn't hurt him. Man I'm tired...Maybe he's coming all the way out of it... C'mon Dean, let's get you all the way back now... his lips pursed tightly and a shiver trembled him in the chair. He wrapped the blanket tightly around his shoulders and dropped his head into his hand, warming the cold clammy palm with the heat from his own still raging fever. Hope Tom 'n Shep get some rest too he thought loosely glad that they'd finally relented and checked themselves into a nearby motel once they had the hospital room salted and blessed.
"...'ey... you 'kay?"
"Yeah, you?" Sam asked wishing he could re-absorb the heat that seemed to be pouring out of his face, back in through his hands. His teeth gave a quick chatter as he slid down just a couple inches in the chair.
"Mmm... 's ever'body?" Dean mumbled squinting at his little brother, "You're sick Sam... should go to bed."
"The guys finally checked into a motel, and Laura's tracking the marauder, trying to find out where it's holed up."
"Mmm," Dean nodded faintly and flapped his hand toward the books in Sam's lap, "Pr'fess'r Peabody," he chuckled and coughed then winced, "research can wait Sam, get some rest..."
As exhausted as he was Sam realized Dean was keeping his head turned toward the right, as if he was afraid of what he might see if he looked to the left.
"You still have your arm Dean," he flicked a quick half smile at his big brother, watching his eyes finally slide to the left so he could take in the fiberglass cast that ran from his hand, all the way up his forearm and over his elbow, finally ending half way up his humerus.
"Holy crap... that's a big friggin' cast..." he smirked and wiggled his swollen fingers in part to assure himself that they were really there.
"Yeah," his little brother answered just a little too sharply.
"S'matter Sam?" he asked breathing a partial sigh of relief.
The young hunter shook his head and made big business of closing up the book then flipping through the pages of Shep's notebook before tucking it all under his own good arm and shuffling to his bed, nearest the window.
"Sam?" Dean asked, concern over his brother's peculiar behavior burning a temporary hole in the haze that kept calling him back.
How do I tell you it might not be over? How do I tell you that you might STILL wind up losing... he felt the tears try to come again and forced them down. They weren't kids anymore, they both knew the dangers of the job, and they both knew that anything could happen at any time. It's still not right... if I'd only acted sooner...
"Tired Dean..." he muttered setting the books down and sitting on the edge of the bed, meeting his big brothers' eyes, "We have a lot to go over in the morning, till then try and get some sleep okay?"