Thanks so, so very much to FirstBorn, who got me into Leverage in the first place (she lured me in with Supernatural actors/connections). It is every bit as awesome as she said. And now I have something to cheer on during Hellatus (that's the summer hiatus for non-Superfan speakers). Yayness! I may just have been saved from becoming "twenty pounds of crazy in a five-pound bag." Or not. I might still go jumping off the top of that building later, if anyone wants to join me.
And now, I've written and begun writing not one, not two, but three Leverage fics; one is this Supernatural crossover, another is a general Leverage story, and the last is a crossover with Secondhand Lions. I'm posting this first story to test out the waters of a new fandom. So, tell me what you think. Honest answer and constructive criticism; I'm not really fishing for reviews. I want to see if I've gotten the character voices (mainly Eliot) right. I haven't written Dean in a while, either, so SPN fans can point out any inconsistencies in his voice as well.
Well, thanks for reading this long-ass Author's Note, and enjoy!
The I'm The Guy They Hired To Pull Your Ass Outta Hell Job
This is by far his most unusual retrieval yet. His contractors had hired him via a dream, no less, and the instructions for the job - well, let's just say "surreal and completely wacked out" wouldn't even begin to cover it.
However, he's not part Lakota (on his momma's side) for nothing. Grandfather Growling Bear had told him long ago to trust his dreams, and he had done just that, although the rational, white man part of his brain kept hollering that he just had to be concussed or something to believe this fairy dust shit.
Still convinced that he's half crazy for doing this, he gathers the necessary items and sets up the ritual to open a portal between the worlds. Some of the herbs, like anise, basil, and vanilla, had been easy to obtain, but others, like dittany of Crete, benzoin, amaranth flowers, had been quite difficult to get a hold of. Thankfully, he knows people.
Shaking his head at his own foolishness for following directions out of a friggin' dream, Eliot says the words, scatters the herbs, and lights the contents of the small earthenware bowl on fire.
Bam! A blue-white tongue of fire flames out of the bowl, almost making him jump back. Almost.
And then…nothing happens.
He's about to clean up the mess and leave, wiping this stupid (and foolish and dumb and asinine and - you get the idea) act from his mind forever, when he senses something behind him. He spins around, fists in front of him, ready to swing…and that's when he sees it.
Yeah, that looks like a Portal to Hell, alright. Round oval big enough for a grown man to walk through, with an eerie, flickering light shining out from what had to be another dimension, just hanging in the middle of nowhere. That sure is a Portal.
He walks towards it, then around it to peek at the other side of it. Nothing. All he sees is his equipment and the flattened area of grass he'd trampled when he'd done the ritual. He walks back around to where he'd begun his examination and sees that the doorway is still there, mist rolling around the edges.
Trained for years to expect the unexpected, Eliot's brain quickly catches up to the situation. Okay. He'd been able to open the Portal into Hell. Now that he's done that, he's supposed to go in and retrieve some poor soul who'd gotten stuck there. In Hell. He's supposed to just waltz right into Hell and steal a guy who'd done God knows what to get sent to Hell in the first place.
Still, some shiny dude all bathed in white light had told him to "go forth" and retrieve the man, or more specifically, the man's soul, so there has to be a good reason for it. Besides, Eliot will be paid handsomely for his services. He'd insisted on exact terms before he'd agree to the contract. There isn't anyone, dead or alive, who can say that Eliot Spencer isn't a professional.
Right, this isn't hard at all. He's been through hell already, all the time he'd worked for Moreau. This can't be too different, could it? But then again, this is Hell, not just hell, but literal Hell.
Well, he's never been one to turn down a challenge, so he shakes his hair back, hitches his katana more securely over his shoulder, and marches right into Hell.
It's different from what he'd imagined it would be. Bone-chilling screaming, evil cackling, heat and the stink of sulfur—the place is straight out of Hellraiser. Only without the custom leather.
He sneaks through hallways with bleeding, moaning walls and floors, passed by rooms where the insides are impossibly larger than the outside, all filled with the suffering, the tortured, some hanging from meat hooks gouged into their bodies, some strapped onto slippery, bloody tables. He turns a blind eye to the sights and a deaf ear to the sounds. These are not the people he is looking for. He can't help them.
Once, he sees a mass of white light, distinguishable as giant humanoid shapes with immense wings if he squints. The light pulses against an equally vast hurricane of what looks like black smoke that swirls into demonic contours and twists out into horrendous shapeless matter again, a literal battle between light and dark. He passes this scene by as well; sight-seeing is not on his list of things to do here.
As is inevitable, his entry into hell had not gone unnoticed and a horde of black smoke comes rushing at him from the end of the infinite corridor, shrieking unholy insults and terrible threats at him.
He's prepared for this. He takes his sword in hand, almost lazily, and swings, right through the middle of the thick, oily torrent of foul, fetid fog. The evil spirits scream in pain; he'd taken care to have the sharp steel blessed by a priest before journeying here.
He has a few more scuffles with the demonic denizens of the underworld along the way, but it isn't anything he can't handle. He handles it. Very easily, he might add, almost embarrassingly easy. It's as if they aren't used to people just up and walking into Hell swinging a blessed katana.
Eliot follows the directions the being had somehow implanted in his brain to a room at the very center of Hell. As he approaches the door, sliding against the slick surface of the bloody wall to avoid being seen, he hears the now-familiar sounds of moaning and gibbering that makes Hell so much fun to be in.
"Please, no more," the voice begs brokenly, "No more."
He feels bad for the guy - being tortured for four months straight would make anyone beg, especially after seeing the way they go about it here.
"Pick it up, Dean." The disembodied voice sends chills down even the hitter's sweaty back. It's seductive, controlling, mocking his victim's pain.
"No," Dean - he recognizes the name as that of his target - whispers, agonizingly, through what sounds like a raw throat after bronchitis, "Please don't make me anymore. Please. Please."
Make him what? Eliot thinks, as he slides closer against the wall. What's the creepy bastard trying to make him do?
"Do you really want to end up on the rack again? On the other end of the knife? The sharp end?" the oily voice questions.
There's a sudden, sharp cry, ending in a broken whimper, and Eliot knows that the guy's just been gutted. It's a very distinctive sound. He rushes in, blessed sword swinging.
The smoky apparition shrieks as the steel cuts through its middle, its Edvard Munch face stretching away into nothingness.
Satisfied that the being is gone, for now anyway, Eliot turns towards the cowering figure lying curled up on the ground, making muffled noises of pain.
"Hey," he says softly, approaching slowly, making sure not to make any sudden moves. Who knows what the hell kind of PTSD this guy might have after four months of this. "Hey, you're okay. It's gone. I'm gonna get you outta here, okay?"
The naked man lifts his head and Eliot lets out an involuntary gasp.
The man's face is a rotten mess, the flesh half hanging away from the bone in strips, the eye sockets sunken in deep into the skull. Then the nightmare flickers, and in its place is the face of a man only a few years younger than Eliot. He could be called handsome, if the pain and fatigue in it hadn't screwed it up so tight. The eyes in the wasted face look deader than those of any dead man the hitter's ever seen.
Eliot pulls his eyes away from the tortured soul's and looks down to where the man is clutching at his stomach. He sees the blood seeping through crimson fingers and glances at the bloody scalpel lying nearby, evidently having been tossed away after being used to stab the guy. "Hey. We'll get you help, alright?" Eliot says gently, as if talking to a skittish horse, "It's gonna be okay."
"Wait," the man whispers roughly, letting his head fall to hang down limply, eyes closed. "Just wait. It'll pass."
Eliot puts out a hand to steady the man's shoulder. "Come on. We gotta go. Gotta get you patched up."
The man laughs weakly. "You haven't been down here very long, have you? It'll heal. But the pain'll stay." As he says it, he lifts his arms, and Eliot sees that underneath the blood, the skin has healed over the gaping wound the demon had left.
The man laughs again, painfully, and this time makes the effort to lift his head to look straight into Eliot's eyes, looking more alive, now that he has someone seemingly friendly to talk to. "Who are you?"
Eliot finds himself caught by the extent of the ache and weariness in the man's eyes. "I'm the guy they hired to pull your ass outta hell," he says.
"Huh," the guy grouses, "I was expecting someone taller."
Eliot doesn't take kindly to jokes about his height, he really doesn't. "I could just leave you here," he growls, making a move to stand.
A bloody hand latches onto his wrist. "Hey, sorry, man. I mean, I was expecting a specific someone who's a bit taller than you. M'brother. Six foot skyscraper, that kid." For the first time, a smile graces the man's face. It's only a small smile, but it's probably the first one on his face in a long while. It makes a hell of a change, makes him look younger, less…tortured.
"Where is he, this Sasquatch brother of yours?" Eliot asks, curious.
The smile fades as abruptly as it had appeared. "Probably dead by now." And damn if that look on the guy's face isn't even more agonized than before.
"Hm." The man sits there, curled in as if to protect himself, naked as the day he was born, and caring as much. Eliot's about to pull him up by force, just so he can get the both of them out of there before the demons all come back, when the hand still holding his wrist tightens and a gravelly voice says, "So you gonna bust me out of this hellhole or not?"
Eliot blinks once at the guy and uses the hand on his wrist as leverage to pull the slighter man up. "Let's go," he says, and chants the incantation, his hand gripping the guy's shoulder tight, raising him from perdition.
It's only later that they introduce themselves properly, after the guy coughs up the dirt that had gotten into his nose, mouth, and throat while digging himself out of his own grave, and Eliot's picking at the soil that had become packed under his fingernails while he was digging his target out.
"Sorry, man. I didn't think to dig you out beforehand," Eliot apologizes, shaking the dirt loose from his hair.
"Dude," the dressed man he'd rescued coughs and noisily blows the mud out his right nostril, "Who are you, really?"
"M'name's Eliot," the hitter says.
"Nice ta meet ya," the hunter grins, "I'm Dean. And you are one badass load of crazy, man. You are insane. Who the hell walks into Hell and steals a soul right out from underneath their noses?"
"Like I said, m'name's Eliot. Eliot Spencer."
References to: Supernatural episodes 3.09 "Malleus Maleficarum," 4.01 "Lazarus Rising," and 4.16 "On The Head Of A Pin," Leverage episodes 3.15 "The Big Bang Job," and 3.16 "The San Lorenzo job," Eliot's trademark line, "It's a very distinctive sound/footprint/fighting style/etc," and a slight allusion to Into the West, if you can catch it. Also, a very minute-could-it-possibly-even-be-counted reference to Star Wars.