Hey! Read this! This is a double update! (2 chapters posted 12/15/13) So make sure you've read chapter 7 first!
The Roman Inquisition
When Sam heard the helicopter, he was sure Dick Roman was flying out to gloat in person before eating them. He did see his brother shooting a missile from a helicopter, but assumed it was part of the non-stop hallucinations. The blast that knocked him on his ass let him know it was for real. He should have known. Lucifer never made his see anything good.
Sam was both annoyed and pleased when Dean lamed the first Leviathan and left it for them to finish off. It showed he still trusted Sam to do his job, but Sam was so tired he felt like he was lifting a damn refrigerator just tossing a bottle of EZclean to John. It was even harder to get back up and take three steps to the sprawled creature to remove its head.
The world wouldn't right itself. Whether it was a side effect of sleep deprivation, a concussion from the explosion, or Lucifer being subtle, Sam did not know. His knew his feet were on the ground, and from there he adapted. He managed not to hit John or himself with the sword.
Sam kicked the head away from the first creature, and saw Dean and Sherlock exchanging death glares over the smoking carcass of the second. Dean looked at him, obviously mad as hell. Sam tried to let him know he was alright without actually shouting it. He saw Dean growl a threat, but he didn't punch Sherlock, so that was probably a win.
"Five to go," John said, almost cheerfully as he picked up a couple more bottles and hobbled off.
Sam had to admit he was impressed with the man. John would probably make a decent hunter if he survived this. He was the right combination of tenacious and crazy, and kept going despite his injuries.
"Better get your ass in gear Sammy," Lucifer said. "Dean's already in the market for a replacement side kick. And that guy's travel sized."
"And he's a Doctor," Sam said, doing his best to affect a Yiddish accent. "Quite a catch."
He smirked at Lucifer, who scowled and covered Sam's legs with hives. Sam kept smirking as he hobbled over to another of the partially disassembled Leviathans. He splashed it with EZclean, chopped its head off, and moved on to the next.
Sam knew his brother would not leave him until he was dead and maybe not even then. He worried about what would happen to Dean if he was the lone survivor again. It had been almost a year since his brother had burned his bridges with his only long term girlfriend, Lisa, so she would not be able to help Dean hold it together.
There were a few Hunters still on speaking terms with them, and Garth was friendly, but there was no one Dean would trust to help him hold it together. Everyone who bore the title of friend was dead.
Sam thought he might be able to convince Dean to make some new ones. Maybe Sherlock, with his recent but intense interest in the supernatural, and John with his quiet competence, could be convinced to stick with Dean, at least until the situation with the Leviathans was resolved.
A nearby hiss startled Sam. He cursed himself for letting his mind wander. The Leviathan he had targeted was regenerating faster than he had expected. He would not reach it before it was mobile again. He was considering trying to throw his bottle of borax and hope for a lucky splash, when Sherlock sprinted past him.
The British detective used his teeth to open his own bottle and dumped the contents over the creatures head. Sam was almost able to relax as he approached. One quick chop and it was over, for that creature at least.
He scanned the quarry for a new target. He saw Dean hack the head off of the one John was holding at bay with EZclean. He spotted another one running up over the rubble towards the pond.
"Dean!" he called, knowing he'd never be able to catch it.
Dean followed his line of sight, snatched a bottle from John, and sprinted after it. Sherlock came up next to him, and Sam leaned some weight on the other man's shoulder as they made their way back towards cargo net Dean had dropped.
"I will check behind the other cars," Sherlock said. "Watch our stock pile."
"Maybe we should wait for Dean," Sam said at the same time John said "We'll go with you."
"I will make observations to determine if it is still in the immediate area. I will retreat if I find the creature," Sherlock said as he picked up a fresh bottle.
"Be careful," John advised, rather needlessly.
They waited while Sherlock circled the cars. Sam kept his eyes on the detective and his ears peeled for sounds of Dean's fight. The helicopter circled the quarry, but it was so high in the air the sound of the blades barely registered.
"Any sign of the last one?" Sam called.
"No!" Sherlock said. "It may have fled under the cover provided by the explosion."
"Can your people in the chopper see it?" Sam called.
"If they can, they have not informed me. My mobile did not survive the pond."
Sam turned to ask John for input, but suddenly it wasn't John at his elbow.
The upper half of the Leviathan's face peeled back. Sam shoved the creature away and adjusted his grip on the scimitar, wondering why it hadn't lunged. He heard Sherlock call for John as he swung. The creature threw itself to the side, barely dodging the blade. It rolled across the stones and Sam hobbled after it.
Sherlock was calling his name as well, but Sam did not see any other creatures near enough to do him harm. He closed the gap with the Leviathan and raised the scimitar. An arm locked around his elbow, pulling him backward. Sam twisted, catching his attacker and throwing him down next to the Leviathan.
Sam froze halfway through his follow up swing. Sherlock lay sprawled next to the creature, and when Sam lunged forward to pull him away, Sherlock scooted into the Leviathan's lap. Sherlock held his arm up in a pleading gesture even as the creatures tongue ran up the side of his neck. Sherlock's mouth was moving but Sam couldn't hear him. He could hear only the roaring in his ears. Sherlock's face split open, revealing huge shark like teeth. It made no sense. Leviathans didn't dive in front of blades to save each other.
"Oh, shit," Sam said backing up.
The roaring in his ears changed to laughter.
He hadn't even noticed it was a hallucination. It had been so seamless. He dropped the sword. He heard Dean calling him, and he thought it was really his brother, but he couldn't be sure. He shoved his fingers into the bullet wound in his leg, and the pain was so sharp it was almost electric, but the two British men remained monsters with gnashing teeth. Sam pressed his hands against his eyes, wishing he could physically just push it all away.
"Close one," Lucifer said. "I bet I'll get you next time."
Sam pressed harder, and pretended that was why he was tearing up.
John's heart raced and his chest still ached from his third most recent near death experience in the pond. John looked around the quarry for a moment. The sun was sinking and the sky was a spectacular orange. His head still felt scrambled, but his broken ankle hurt far too much for this to be a dream.
Is it over yet?
Sam Winchester had given up his attempts to kill them as suddenly as he had started. John wondered what had caused him to snap, since the young man had been unbelievably steady throughout the entire fight, despite his injuries and obvious exhaustion.
Dean Winchester came up to their little group, carrying a severed head and smirking. John felt the urge to scramble for the shotgun he had dropped when he had dodged Sam's initial swing. Fortunately Sherlock was still playing human shield, and had John's good leg pinned.
Dean absently pitched the severed head over his shoulder, and called his brother's name in a calm voice. He caught his brother's elbow and then pried Sam's hands away from his face. John watched Dean press on a scar on the palm of Sam's hand, but Sam just shook his head.
"It doesn't work anymore," Sam said tiredly. He was carefully no looking any of them in the face.
John shoved Sherlock off him with a muttered "thanks" and then used his friend's shoulder to push himself to his feet. He needed something to focus on that wasn't world-shattering and impossible to even think about. He limped over to the brothers.
"Sorry, Sam," John said. "I shouldn't have snuck up on you like that, earlier."
Sam looked back at him, his expression baffled. Sam clenched his scarred hand again, probably digging into it with his nails.
John had seen many methods of coping with PTSD. Physical pain to counteract mental unrest was a common one, but never a good one. He had known a former soldier who was sure he saw guns in the hands of everyone he passed in the grocery store. The man had stabbed himself with his house keys whenever he felt uncertain about reality, eventually managing to give himself sepsis.
John could not even imagine what a man who fought living nightmares would be burdened with. He was feeling rather unmoored himself, but he thought he could help Sam, if only to direct him to a psychiatrist. The younger Winchester's physical injuries were definitely in John's milieu.
"Sam, sit down," John said. "You still have a bullet in your leg. Dean, do you have to give some special signal before the helicopter lands? Your brother needs surgery."
"We'll deal with it," Dean said. "Sammy, where's your car?"
"It's back there," Sam said, tilting his head toward a rubble strewn slope. "But it's not gonna' get far. Besides, we need to collect all the heads and talk to their boss."
"Mycroft is not our boss!" Sherlock said.
"I don't care if he's your grandma," Dean growled. "Come on Sam."
Dean had no reason to trust them after what Sherlock had pulled. John supposed whatever Mycroft's agents had said to Dean had led to a temporary alliance, rather than a lasting trust. Sam did not seem to be in hurry to leave, but the poor man did not seem to want to do anything other than lay down. John doubted Sam would be able to tell the difference between a helicopter, a car, or the ground.
John knew he had to stop the Winchesters from leaving, and not just for their own sake. The creatures… Leviathans were a threat to the whole world, and these two seemed to be the only ones with concrete information about them. John could tell Sherlock wanted more from them as well. He just hoped his friend would keep quiet and let him do the talking.
"That's not a smart move, Dean," John said. "Your brother needs a doctor, and we can help you with Roman and his monsters."
Dean scowled at John. "We're handling it."
"Not for long," Sherlock said. "It was not particularly hard for me to track you down. Even without my help, Roman's minions will catch you. Also Sam will likely be dead within the month if some treatment is not found for his insomnia."
John winced as Dean turned. Sherlock seemed oblivious to the despair and rage on the other man's face. John hobbled between them, as Dean once again had a machete clenched in his hand.
"Sherlock, get the helicopter to land," John ordered. "Now, please."
Sherlock sniffed, but he picked up the scimitar Sam had dropped, and hiked a few meters up the rubble pile to flash a Morris code message to the circling the pilot, using the blade as a reflector.
"Sam, sit," John said.
"I know you wanna help, but we're not staying," Dean said.
"Not even to punch Sherlock in the face?" John asked as he tugged Sam's arm out of Dean's grip and steered him into a seated position.
"Aren't you supposed to be his friend?" Dean asked.
"I am," John said. "That doesn't mean he hasn't earned a punch in the face. Sam I need you to keep this leg straight."
Dean hovered over them as John examined the wound. He did not get in the way though, and even moved to block the wind as the helicopter landed.
"I'm sorry about almost killing you earlier," Sam said, as John tore open Sam's pant leg.
"Don't worry," John said. "Or rather, you should worry about that, since hallucinations are a sign of serious problems. But I'm not upset with you. I suppose it would be somewhat challenging to get proper counseling and treatment while on the run from shape-shifting monsters."
"I don't have PTSD, Doc," Sam said. "I can't sleep, at all, anymore."
Dean squatted down next to them. "Sammy you said-"
"I know! I didn't want you to worry," Sam said.
"But you wanna spill to this guy you just met?" Dean asked.
"He's a doctor! Maybe he knows something I can try that doesn't come up in a google search!" Sam said.
"Have you had an M.R.I. recently?" John said, his mind running through the few conditions that could cause complete insomnia. John wondered if there was a secure clinic Mycroft could get them into.
"We don't go to hospitals," Sam said. "Leviathan's like to be doctors; easy access to bodies."
John was not sure how to respond to that. He looked towards the helicopter just in time to see Mycroft's assistant, Anthea splash Sherlock in the face with detergent. He heard Dean's amused snort, which was quite a bit louder than his own. Sherlock returned with a medical kit and an offended expression. He was careful to stay out of Dean's reach as he handed it to John.
"Sam," John said. "I'm going to splint your leg, to keep the bullet from shifting around, alright?"
"Can't you just take it out now?" Dean asked.
"A hospital would be the best place for that," John said as he bound Sam's leg in medical tape. "But if that's not an option, I'd prefer a clean and stable place to work. Anthea can take care of that, preferably while we're in the air. I'd like to get out of here before another van full of creatures arrives."
"Anthea?" Dean asked.
"The woman with the phone," John said. "Though she told me that's not her real name. Dean, come over here. Sherlock, you're on this side, and we'll get Sam on his feet and into the helicopter."
The two taller men assisted Sam while John hobbled along behind, using the shotgun as a cane. Anthea stood aside and texted while they got Sam settled. She poured a little detergent on each of them, though without as much enthusiasm as she had used on Sherlock.
"We should get the heads," Sam said.
Dean and John both glared at him when he acted like he intended to get up and find them.
"Where are they?" Dean asked.
"I'll show you," Sherlock said.
"You'll tell me," Dean growled. "And then you'll sit your ass down and not cause any more trouble."
"Aside from the six in the immediate area, there are four in the car trunk over there, three by the pit trap seventy meters that way, one on the shore of the pond, one lost somewhere in the pond, and there is at least one still attached to a creature's body. You should not go alone," Sherlock said.
Dean snorted. "Sam, don't let them do anything stupid. I'll be back in a minute."
Dean gave John a hard look, and then marched off, grabbing the cargo net as he went.
John caught Sherlock's eye and tilted his head, indicating they should move away from the injured Winchester.
"Talking behind his back will not help," Sherlock said. "Walking around on a broken ankle to try to spare someone's feeling is idiocy of the highest caliber. Sam knows he is going insane. His brother knows as well, though he is rather entrenched in his denial."
John wanted to at least pinch Sherlock somewhere painful for being such an insensitive prat, but Sam cracked a smile.
"Dean's stubborn like that," Sam said. "But he's pulled off a major save more than once."
"But you don't think he will this time," Sherlock said. "You have a favor to ask of us, since we are currently in you debt."
John was more than a little annoyed that Sherlock would rush someone's last request, but Sam did not seem surprised or particularly put out when he spoke.
"A few months ago, Richard Roman killed the only other family we had. Dean wants revenge and right now I'm the only one putting the breaks on him. When I'm gone he's …well he probably won't just yell 'charge' but his next move'll probably be-"
"Suicidal?" Sherlock suggested.
"-not well thought out."
"You want us to help him plan?" John suggested.
"Or maybe, uh, take him to England with you and have that Mycroft guy take out Roman?" Sam suggested.
"I very much doubt your brother will agree to that," Sherlock said.
"You don't seem to mind drugging people," Sam said.
John did not foresee that ending well, but he could imagine Sherlock agreeing to it. Before he could shout-down the idea, Sherlock proposed his own.
"I have an alternate suggestion," Sherlock said. "We will find a secure location and I will teach you how to organize your mind as I do. You said you wanted to learn to 'delete'."
"I don't think it will help," Sam said.
John had to agree. A fancy memory trick was hardly going to cure Sam of insomnia induced psychosis.
"Even if you do not succeed, my attempt to train you will keep our two parties in contact longer, and allow you to implement your rather asinine plan to integrate your brother into a new social system," Sherlock said.
John was not entirely pleased with what Sherlock was implying. John would like to help Dean. He would gladly help them both, but this wasn't looking after someone's cat, which was, incidentally, a task Sherlock had previously failed at. Getting between a grief stricken combat veteran and the target of his rage would be very messy. Sam looked more resigned then hopeful when he nodded.
"I could try," Sam said.
They all turned as Dean approached them, carrying a couple of heads. He was wearing a denim shirt, and John was just wondering where he had found it, when Sherlock took Anthea's bottle of EZclean and threw it in Dean's face. Dean shrieked and started to melt. John scrambled about, looking for the scimitar, but Sherlock beat him to it, decapitating the creature with an almost lazy strike.
John watched the head roll away. He was getting pretty tired of these creatures. He wondered how far the world had to tilt off its axis for flesh eating monsters to become merely tiring. John started to giggle, and ended up in another coughing fit.
The real Dean returned shortly after, with an entire bag full of heads. He was less then pleased to be splashed, but Sherlock wisely did not get him in the face.
"Son of a Bitch," Dean growled, as he stepped over a body that looked a lot like his own. "So that's the last one we couldn't find?"
"Last one," John agreed before Sherlock could correct anyone's grammar.
Anthea moved into the copilot's seat and the four exhausted men fumbled their way into the harnesses. The doors slid shut and the craft lifted off, leaving burning cars and headless bodies behind.
It was far from John's first evacuation by helicopter, so the noise did not really bother him. Sam seemed stable for the moment. Sherlock looked asleep, except for his uninjured arm, which was swaying about in front of him. That meant he was searching for something in his mind palace. Dean had his eyes closed and his boots resting on the bag of Leviathan heads. John wondered if it would be safe for him to take a quick nap, or have a little nervous breakdown.
"If organizing your mind does not work, would you consider having the hemispheres of your brain surgically separated?" Sherlock asked Sam, without opening his eyes. "John is not a neurosurgeon, but I have performed the procedure several times on corpses."
"John said I could punch you," Dean growled.
John decided to put off his nap until later.
Yay! A finished story! And only three times longer than I planned it to be. I just can't edit down the fight scenes. Where do all these creatures keep coming from? Blarg. Anyway, feel free to review, or go back and review previous chapters!