Supply and Demand: Stolen Part 1/? (SPN/SGA AU Crossover)
Rating: PG13 (Gen)
Disclaimer: I own nothing, I profit from nothing. Although if I had my way Sheppard and co would still on screen, Mitchell would have joined Atlantis and Dean and Sam would be shirtless more often.
Summary: SGA/SPN Crossover AU. When an impossibly locked door is keeping the Trust from treasures unknown, they arrange to steal an Empath so that their Kinetics can 'crack the safe'. Unfortunately for Dean, he's the unlucky Empath and the safe is in Pegasus.
Spoilers: set post Season 5 of SGA and assumes Atlantis returned to Pegasus, post ep 100 and AU for SPN (all seasons)
AN: I thought I'd post at least one part of this story in 2010, and keep part of the promise to post 'soon'. That and I have no self control (apparently).
Oh, and OCs abound.
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The heavy, very solid, possibly-metal doors shuddered briefly before remaining tightly closed and Hughes let out a shout of frustration.
"Damnit! Come on!"
Durrant huffed in agreed annoyance, rolling his shoulders and trying to loosen up the growing ache and tension. "We almost had it!"
"Hardly, Hughes, but that was at least progress," Taylor sighed, rubbing his face in exhaustion, fighting back the yawn.
"And it's not helping that he's frigging fighting us every step of the way." Durrant glared at Winchester, still on his knees, bound hands clenched in fists, chest heaving with exertion. "Moron."
Leaning back, his hands shoved into the small of his back, Hughes laughed, "You're just pissed that he zapped you earlier, it's not like he has any control right now."
"Oh, don't be fooled, Hughes, I may be pissed, but I'm right about him fighting us. You may be too weak to feel it, but that don't mean it's not happening."
Taylor stepped forward, pre-empting what would be the umpteenth argument of the day, and 2nd of the last half hour. "Levels of ability aside, gentlemen, Mr Durrant has a point. Dean is fighting the process, but this is not unexpected. We were warned that he'd be resistant and now we need to manage it. Alright?"
"No, it's not alright, I have a killer headache, the damn constant friggin itch to connect with him and now I have to be patient with the prick! Hell, no. If'd you just let me try ..."
"Mr Durrant, we have discussed this – ad infinitum I might add, already. While a permanent connection might – and I stress might – make you strong enough to achieve our goal, two very real facts remain – and will not change no matter how many times you ask. Winchester will resist any permanent connection – it's why he's damn Pool 'Path and we are under strict orders not to make a connection. Understood?"
Hughes hummed and hahhed, while Durrant glowered at Taylor, Dean kneeling between them, far from forgotten. Hughes said softly, "Well, he does have a point... just hear me out. Just accessing the empathic field is not working, Taylor. We all know that, and it may not be due to Winchester fighting us - we're not exactly asking him for anything, just bolstering our own combined abilities."
"And you are right, a perm connection for one of us may not suffice ... but we can't keep bashing our heads against this door as it were... we need to try something else – think outside the box a little."
"Exactly!" Durrant exclaimed, stepping closer to Dean, his knee bumping his shoulder, knocking him a little off balance, but then steadying the Empath with an almost absent hand to the hand.
Taylor pursed his lips, either in a combination of irritation and confusion, or genuine thought, it was difficult to tell with him. He stared at Winchester for a good long while, long enough for Durrant to throw his hands up in exasperation and Hughes to go back to stretching his aching muscles. Finally, Taylor said, "We have tried a one on one semi connection. And we tried several combinations of empathic field 'bounces'. I think... I think we should attempt an approximation to a real connection."
"Really?" Durrant looked ecstatic, both hands unconsciously already touching Dean's head, roughly turning his head to the side, and in response, Winchester groaned, flexed and then shocked Durrant through the physical connection. "Shit, ow, damnit."
"Leave him... just let me..." Taylor closed his eyes and seemed to run through the vague motions of connecting, his hands mimicking whatever thoughts were running through his head. Hughes, the weakest of the trio just moved closer to Durrant and bumped into him, jokingly and said, "Looks like a demented conductor, huh?"
Durrant ignored him, focusing instead on their reluctant Empath, who was pulling against the handcuffs and chains. Durrant pulled on the empathic link, demanding a response, drawing strength and power in and growled softly, "Shock me again and I'm going to beat you to within an inch of your life."
There was no verbal answer, but the hate filled glare and rise in anger in the empathic field was more than enough.
"Right, ok – let's try this." Taylor clapped his hands together, face suddenly animated. Winchester stiffened and they all felt him clamp down the field as much as he could, draw it back, make it less accessible.
"Hey!" Durrant exclaimed but Taylor it aside, "Leave it – we're going to wipe the connection anyway."
"What?" Hughes moaned, "Do we have to? I hate... it's a damn pain in the neck."
"Fresh start," Taylor assured him and waved them off, and Durrant and Hughes backed off, leaving Winchester to Taylor.
Without giving any warning, Taylor jabbed the serviceable taser into Winchester's back, eliciting a loud groan and the usual cold wash of loss through the empathic field. The first was followed by two more, and Dean collapsed onto his side, jaw gritted and muscles shaking as he rode out the break. Durrant and Hughes were both grimacing as well, shaking their heads to clear the sensation of loss. Taylor leant down and delivered one more, brief shock to the back of Winchester's skull and the Empath went completely boneless, unconscious.
"What? Why ..."
Taylor waved off their questions and said, "He'll come round pretty quickly."
And sure enough, a little more than 5 minutes later, Dean began stirring, groans and moans and gagging alerting the Kinetics. Durrant hurried over, rubbing his hands against the legs of his slacks, but Taylor beat him there and waved him away. "Not just yet."
Placing a heavy boot on Dean's hip, Taylor shoved him, a gentle kick and said, "Get up." Looking up, licking his bloody lips, Winchester conveyed more than enough of 'make me' to have Taylor roll his eyes.
With only a little effort, Taylor lifted Dean up off the floor, and held him in place until he had resettled onto his knees.
"Ok," Taylor said and Durrant and Hughes stepped up, once again forming a triangle around Winchester. Taylor, the strongest, had the best line of sight on the heavy doors, the other two flanking him. "Alright, this is what we're gonna do and you have to do exactly as I say – follow me. No trying to take over or push past me." The last was directed mostly at Durrant who smirked in response.
"I am going to try for a hardline connection, as it were. Instead of taping into the field or drawing in the power, I'm going to try and bypass the field entirely and go for direct control of his ability."
"Huh?" Hughes quipped, "How on earth is that different from a perm connection?"
Taylor, the only one of three having had experience with a permanent connection, sighed and explained, "A permanent connection is like nothing you have experienced... trust me. This is still us boosting our abilities off his. A permanent connection is a mutual meeting of the minds, the empath and kinetic merging as it were. The kinetic doesn't have to pull or demand power or empathic surge, he is, you are, just stronger, boosted already, as if you had always been that strong. And the empath is stronger too, able to utilise your kinetic abilities. You can feel more emotions, and if the bond is strong enough, manipulate emotion as well. A true class 1, yes?"
"Seriously?" Hughes exclaimed, "Like having two full kinetics?"
"Yes. A bonded pair are exceptionally strong and ..."
"So why are we pussyfooting around and not making our own..."
Glaring at Durrant, Taylor hissed, "Enough! Back to this."
Reluctant agreement followed and Taylor continued, "I am going to try and break Dean's control over his own ability, hijack it as it were. It will be the closest to a perm connection we can get with him fighting us, and believe me, he will fight. You are going to support my efforts – and that's it. Let me use your strength..."
"Let's try this my way and then we can get creative, alright?"
They nodded, Durrant clearly unhappy but that may have been more due to the morass of negative emotion surging out of Winchester. The Empath was not happy, at all and the steady stream of hate and fear and outright fury was almost sickening. Luckily they were well used to dealing with Winchester by now, numbed to the surges of emotion.
"Ok, me first, you follow and just push. Got it." More nods and then Taylor put his hands on Dean's head, covering the crown, pressing down as he did so. Durrant and Hughes followed, placing their hands on Taylors, stretching fingers out for a touch of Dean's hair. Prepared for the shock, Taylor absorbed it with a flinch.
Taylor closed his eyes and visualed Dean's empathic field like a shimmering bubble of water, shifting moving, electric to the touch. As he pushed against it, the bubble hardened, Winchester resisting. There was no give, just rock hard determination to keep him out. Taylor imagined pouring thin tendrils into the wall, snaking past but Winchester just tightened his hold more, stopping each tendril. Undettered, Taylor sunk more and more tendrils, uncaring that they barely penetrated, happy to let them sit, bolstering his strength off the empathic field. He could feel the tide of anger bolstering the field, feeding through from Dean. So strong, so sweet.
Still sending tentative tendrils, Taylor reached out and gathered the telekinetic strength of Durrant and Hughes, feeling a little bit of resistance from Durrant, but enough power that he didn't fight it. Taking a deep breath, bracing himself but keeping the connection clear of any intention, Taylor struck, hard and fast, focused like a ballpin hammer, right at the centre of the cluster of tendrils. The wall shuddered, Dean surging back in response, but at the same time, Taylor sent the tendrils down, further into the field. He struck again and again, each time driving the tendrils further in.
One last blow of the mental hammer and the wall of determination felt cracked and weak, thick tendrils of kinetic energy breaching it, pulsing with their combined ability. Opening his eyes, Taylor squinted against the bright light, and felt the heavy weight of Durrant's hands on his, and the shaking, fighting Empath under their hands. Holding everything in place, Taylor checked on his compatriots, noting that Hughes had fallen to his knees, eyes rolled back and fingers clawlike into their hands. Durrant was still standing, his face covered with sweat, visibly shaking with the effort to maintain the current of kinetic energy. Winchester's face was hidden, obscured beneath his bowed head and their hands, but his hands and arms were iron pistons of constraint, veins and bruises in stark contrast against pale skin.
Collecting himself, Taylor closed his eyes, the visualisation readily appearing and rather than mask his intent this time, he prepared to strike again and felt Dean stiffen in response and suddenly, rather than strike, he pulled, stiffened the tendrils and pulled them out and like a clump of grass dragging soil and earth with it, and the empathic field crumbled. Striking like lighting, Taylor was in, through the hole in the field's edge and straight into the heart of Dean's empathic centre. Taylor felt the hair on his head stand on end, vaguely heard Dean's scream of pain and Durrant's jolt of exultation. This was new territory and off the fly, Taylor visualised restraints, cuffs, chains, harness, whatever and wrapped kinetic restraints around the vibrating empathy, yoking it, taming it and oh boy, did Dean fight that.
The warm trickle of blood from his nose was not entirely unexpected as he wrestled for control, and then there was the sudden disappearance of Hughes' power. Scrambling to keep it all contained, Taylor made a snap decision, consolidated his efforts into one long chain, sinking it, burying it, driving it as deep as he could and then pulled out, dragging Durrant with him
The empathic field snapped back into place with a vengeance, the emotional backlash a nausea inducing punch to the solar plexus. Gasping a little, Taylor felt the chain he left behind shudder, shake but remain firmly in place. Opening his eyes, stepping back and away from Winchester, Taylor was assaulted by a rush of physical sensation, a blinding headache, the taste of blood in his mouth and the smell of vomit.
Hughes was flat on his back, lost to unconsciousness, a distinct odour of urine around him and a telling wet patch on his trousers. Durrant was crouched down over his knees holding his head and rocking but the stream of emotion coming from him was elation and excitement. The steady thrum of empathic energy running through all of them would be the first such experience for Durrant and he was obviously enjoying it.
Wiping his nose, noting the stream of blood was slowing, Taylor looked down at Winchester. The guy was dry heaving, bent over his knees, a pile of vomit evidence of just how long he'd been heaving. He was shaking, drenched in sweat and visibly shaken. Pulling out a handkerchief, Taylor dropped to his own knees, and ran a comforting hand over the quaking shoulders and back. Unresisting, Dean let Taylor grab his head and turn his face towards him. Gently, Taylor wiped away the blood and tears, and finally the small traces of vomit left.
Looking into Dean's eyes, Taylor felt the pull of the chain, the steady stream of empathic energy and the now much more diminished emotional leakage. Dean's anger was gone, lost in the pain of the breach, fear and grief tainting the air. Taylor pulled him closer, pressing his forehead against Dean's and sighed, "It didn't have to be so hard, you know. Stop fighting it so much and let it be."
There was no give however, no let up in the nagging sensation of Dean worrying at the psychic chain, already working at getting it out. But even with Hughes unconscious, Durrant and Taylor were strong enough to keep it in place, easily. "Just leave it alone," Taylor whispered, urging Dean through the connection to stop, just stop.
Looking up, at the now standing Durrant, Taylor squinted a little at the increase of pain in his head. Durrant was smiling, his own teeth bloody. "My head is frigging killing me, but that... was awesome!"
Smiling himself, Taylor nodded, absently stroking Dean's hair, and said, "Yeah, yeah it was."
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John absently swatted a rather persistent Pegasus-whateverbug, wiping the remains of the black flying nuisance on his tac vest. Behind him, Rodney was flailing around, waving a windmill of desperation trying to keep a swarm of the things away from him. They were no doubt drawn to his sunscreen or something, perhaps his similarly annoying personality, because his steady, rising in volume stream of curses and complaints was far more annoying than the occasional bug that found its way to the rest of them. Teyla was idly swatting the two or three that hovered near her, while Ronon was ranging far ahead, both to escape the bugs and Rodney's voice.
"Arragggghhh! Sheppard, I swear, I am going to kill you slowly and insidiously without leaving a single trace of evidence if you don't hurry up and get to the Gate faster."
"We're going as fast as you can, Rodney."
The huff was ladened with disdain and McKay shoved past him, adding a deliberate shoulder jab as he stormed past, now chasing the distant figure of Ronon. Smiling at the little black cloud that streamed after him, John said softly, "Guess he can hustle when he wants to."
Teyla whacked him in the arm, her face serious despite the small smile she fought. "John. That is hardly fair Rodney has proved many times..."
She trailed off at John's smile, his all too knowing 'I'm teasing you too' grin and said instead, "Your delight in making his... and by default, our lives miserable is quite disturbing, John."
Shrugging, John picked up the pace a bit, Rodney and Ronon building quite a lead now. "Ah, but you love me anyway..."
By the time they reached the Gate, the sun overhead was a scorching ball of discomfort, the flat dusty semi-arid environs swimming in the heat and Ronon was threatening to shoot the damn bugs and McKay if Rodney got any closer.
"Knock it off, kids."
Ignoring him, as usual, Rodney tried to side step Ronon and get to the DHD, and Ronon calmly shoved him back. Maybe these bug bites were affecting them all, as general short temperedness of the team was ... slightly unusual.
"Hey, Rodney, Rodney, Rodney!"
Looking up, still trying to pummel Ronon ineffectually, Rodney snarled, "What?"
"How about we go to Catastrophe for a bit? We're not due back for another hour and we haven't been there in a while." And it would give them time to cool off and judge if the bug bites were affecting them... Rodney, mainly.
Scowling but more out of habit than anything, Rodney threw up his hands and said, "A few weeks you mean, I swear Sheppard, I think you build in an extra couple of hours in our missions these days just to go exploring..."
Ronon and Teyla were in agreement however, Ronon letting Rodney past and Teyla quickly saying, "Excellent idea, John." Teyla liked poking around the ruins looking for hidden gardens and courtyards. Ronon meanwhile had found a hall filled with the remnants of weapons the time before last and was now trying to find another... he was still waiting for Archaeology and Anthro to release the huge broadsword he'd brought back last time.
Rodney was already dialing the address for Catastrophe, or PX 057, flapping absently at the horde surrounding him. The moment the wormhole engaged and stabilised, he was off, a blur of irate scientist, leaving a disappointed cloud behind him. Following quickly, lest Rodney's bug fans latch onto them, they stepped through the event horizon and into the cool quiet of the silent forest surrounding the Catastrophe Gate.
"This place always reminds of the forest between worlds,,, in Magician's Nephew." Rodney was already looking calmer, having escaped his tormentors, fanning himself with his tablet.
"So you say every time we come, Rodney." John said, striding off into the forest, following a long ago paved path.
"And yet, you still haven't read it, have you!"
McKay was right though, the forest was odd. Initially John had found it creepy, ominous. The trees were not the usual pine or American North West similarities, but were as tall as redwoods, straight and smooth like telephone poles, dark grey bark, the canopy a distant shadow overhead, barely letting any sunlight through, but the streaks and spears of sunlight which did were awash with dancing dust particles. The whole forest otherworldly, which was pretty neat given they were on another world, but was quiet and silent. That had been the initial cause for concern, quiet in a forest usually meant trouble. But there just was no life on Catastrophe – just plant life. If there were bugs they were small, birds they were invisible and silent, animals – very good at stealth. Whatever had happened on catastrophe it had been well.. catastrophic – to just about all animal life.
Now however the forest was an oasis of calm and peace, soft and serene. It was a great place to visit and just ... be. The paved path, smooth white stones begrimed with moss and dirt ran a twisting meandering way through the forest, as if the long ago road makers had accommodated the trees rather than functionality and linear ease.
There was the occasional patch of red flowers which had initially gotten Xeno-botany's collective panties in a twist, as they seemed to have adapted to an absence of insect life, self pollinating by periodically growing long, questing tendrils in search of other red flower patches. The trees too had overcome the lack of bird and insect life and relied solely on wind to pollinate and spread their seeds. Whatever had happened on Catastrophe had truly happened millennia ago, in fact Archaeology was speculating that if occurred even before the Ancients arrived in Pegasus.
The soft, white stone the majority of the ruins in the main city were constructed from refused to be dated, carbon or otherwise, and Dr Higgins in Archaeology was writing up a paper proving that the Ancients had been as fascinated by the ruined world, it being long dead before they arrived. He had gone so far as to make a wild leap in speculation that Catastrophe was the reason the Ancients had come to Pegasus in the first place, a potential 6th race, an ally perhaps against the Ori. Whatever the reason, no one had been able to find confirmatory entries in the Ancient Database, let alone evidence that the wraith had not simply wiped out another world. Occam's Razor had the catastrophe as a victim of the Wraith. But whatever had befallen it, it was a great world to visit, de stress and explore. There truly was... no animal life on this world.
It was a good fifteen minute walk from the Gate to the edge of the forest and by the time they cleared the last of the trees and the world dropped away into a horizon of breathtaking azure, they were all a lot calmer. Particularly Rodney who was pulling up the scans and maps of the city from their previous explorations, nose buried in his tablet. Ronon reached out and grabbed the back of his vest and hauled him away from the cliff edge.
Spluttering, Rodney looked up, paled and muttered thanks. The drop was sheer, literally. It looked like someone had taken a knife or laser to the hillside and sliced away half the world. As usual, Sheppard skirted the edge of the cliff, looking down and over to the distant sea below. The still calm waters below were wave free, and crystal clear and you could still see the remnants of the hill and collapsed land beneath the waters.
Teyla was already leading the way to the ruined city, now crunching through the undergrowth, the path having disappeared off the cliff. Ronon hauled Rodney along, who let him, John bringing up the rear. Whether by design or by luck, a narrow staircase carved into the hill still lead down to the City. As Teyla crested the rise, the tall forest on her left, the ocean to the right, the sprawling ruined city swam into view. The city dwarfed Atlantis many times over, stretching as far as the eye could see in any direction. The city closest to the cliff was rubble, tall buildings and domes crushed beneath the falling stone.
In the cataclysmic event the ocean had rushed in, drowning miles and miles of the city, stopping only as the natural rise of the landscape of the city arose above its new bed. Right as this point, forest behind, city ahead could you see the true impact of the cataclysm.
Half of the city appeared to be trapped in blue liquid amber, lost beneath icy still waters, the courtyards and fountains and buildings trapped in ever deepening waters. The rest rose like prow of a wreck, whole and hale as only millennia of neglect could allow.
Yet, even in its ruin, the City was beautiful. Gardens and courtyards were overrun with vegetation, spots of colour amidst the sprawl of white, tall buildings with elegant spires, domes that bloomed together, winding, twisting streets that opened up on breathtaking views and aspects. Whoever they had been, the people of Catastrophe had had a true eye for beauty and pleasant surroundings.
There were no statues though, no pictures or portraits in any room or museum. The long dead inhabitants remained a mystery. A beautiful mystery with an alien feel, a door where an arch would have sufficed, a sweeping series of canals with lowered walkways that necessitated your feet getting wet, inverted domes, no visible street names, fountains that lead into homes and public places. And no matter how many times they came to visit, they always found something interesting.
Today's something interesting was discovered a lot sooner than expected. Ronon tapped John on the shoulder, his posture already rigid and pointed. Not really paying attention, as Ronon wasn't quite vibrating on alert just yet, Sheppard turned and immediately frowned.
A bright blue wrapper was flapping on the ground a few feet away, its label indistinct but very Earth-like. Striding over, Sheppard scooped it up, and read Crispy M'n'Ms. He flipped it over, noted the manufacturer name and expiry date and yelled, "Hey, Rodney, doesn't Dr Randall have the Crispy trade locked down?"
"Sure... bastard ran out weeks ago, why?"
John waved the empty packet at Rodney who scowled, "Oh, that's just great. We're littering the universe now."
Teyla frowned as well, and said, "But there has been no scheduled excursion to Catastrophe in months, John. Besides our trips, I suppose."
All three looked at Rodney, who spluttered in denial and gasped, "Oh sure, sure, blame me. Since when do I litter... and I sure as hell would not be bringing something as valuable as M'n'Ms offworld."
Ronon was staring out across the ruins though, eyes scanning the maze below and John bit his lip and said, "Maybe one of gate teams got careless, maybe not. Let's keep our eyes peeled, kay?"
The descent into the city was slightly tense, everyone watching for signs of something unusual, something ... off. The smooth white steps were broad, the railing jagged broken teeth one did not want to trust. Rodney had his LSD out and was scanning constantly, eyes scanning the buildings as if he would spot signs of life before the mechanical device would.
They reached the city floor, scrambled over the small expanse of rubble and were then swallowed up by the city, surrounded on all sides by buildings. The semblance of cover settled Sheppard's nerves a little, but he matched Ronon's careful stance, not dropping his guard at all. Teyla and Rodney settled into the middle of the team, hands on guns and LSD.
Normally eerily silent bar the lap of the not too distant ocean, the city's quiet streets gave them their first indication that they were not alone. There was a sudden crack! followed by a high pitched squeal and it echoed around the streets, direction indeterminate.
They all paused immediately, Rodney instantly tapping on the LSD and he whispered, "Nothing, either too far away or..."
Ronon replied quietly, pointing in the general direction with his gun, "Came from up near those large arenas."
"Theatres," Rodney argued absently.
Sheppard looked up at the sky, noting the position of the smaller of Catastrophe's suns, the larger hotter one still on the horizon. "It'll take a good 20 minutes to get back to the gate, let's see what we can and bug out asap. We'll send back a full squad, I don't like that no one knows we're here."
Rodney coughed 'your idea' which didn't work all that well, but John slugged him in the shoulder none the less. Teyla smiled and nodded, "I agree. Caution might well be in order."
Ronon again, using doorways and corners as cover before broaching any gaps, eyes scanning above and beneath as they passed walkways above and opened tunnels beneath. There was another high pitched squeal, mechanical sounding, like metal in distress. Pausing, Rodney shook his head, nothing on the LSD yet.
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