Worth the Risk
Author's Note: I'll keep this short because nobody reads this anyway. Thank you for clicking on my story! I hope you enjoy it! We have Superlock with bonus Parentlock, which I am quite happy with. This took a lot out of me to write, so please make sure to review if you like it! I am dedicating this story to my very good friends AngelisIgniRelucent and imaginess (who are on this website) as well as Brianna and Porsche (who do not have accounts).
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters or anything from Supernatural or Sherlock.
Dean Winchester shot awake at the sound of his brother's insistent voice, but relaxed into the pillow again when he recognized that there was no immediate threat. "What do you want, Sam?" he mumbled into the soft blanket by his face.
Sam finished tying his shoe before walking over to poke his older brother in the side. "Come on, Dean, get up. John texted me; we gotta meet him and Sherlock at the library."
"Gimme a break," Dean groaned, "I'm not over the jet lag."
"What jet lag? Cas brought us here."
"Well I'm not used to the time difference then!" he mumbled into his pillow, "Freakin' London."
Sam rolled his eyes. "Get up, Dean. We got a job to do."
Finally, Dean got out of the comfortable bed and took a hot shower in the en suite bathroom. This was something he liked about helping Sherlock and John; Mycroft Holmes always made sure that they were well accommodated during their visit.
Once Dean was washed and fed, the Winchesters were ready to go. They stood on the sidewalk and hailed a cab. "We've been here, like, eight times and I'm still not used to the driving-on-the-left-side thing," Sam commented absently, staring out the window as London passed them by.
Dean just grunted in response.
Sam narrowed his brown eyes at his brother. "You're not doing the jealous thing again, are you?"
"What jealous thing?"
Dean glared right back. "Shut up, I'm not jealous."
The first time the Winchesters had heard of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson was a time last year when Castiel had been missing for a week for no apparent reason. When he had returned, he told the brothers about a man that was under his protection, a man he had saved from dying during a war some years ago. Doctor John Watson. Dean hadn't taken the news very well; he was gruff and defensive. It took Sam a little while to figure out that his brother was jealous of the fact that he wasn't Castiel's only human priority.
Because of John's association to Cas, he and his family started getting targeted by demons and other supernatural beings. When the threat was big enough for them to need help, Castiel would ask the Winchesters if they could go to London and assist in the hunt.
This was one of those times.
"Well, whatever, man," Sam said, "Just be nice when we get there."
"Be nice? They're the strangest people I've ever met. That Sherlock guy..." He trailed off, shaking his head. However, he had a small smirk on his face as well.
"I thought you liked him," Sam said. The city going past them was a blur of grey and black and brown under a pale blue sky.
Dean chuckled. "Oh, he's hilarious. And he's more of a nerd than you are." He punched his brother in the shoulder. "But he's super weird."
"Yeah, "Sam agreed, "But I like him too. And John's a good guy, if only you would put aside your jealousy to-"
The cab stopped outside of the large, old building. "Here you are, lads," the cabbie announced.
"Thanks, man," Dean said. He paid the fair and then the boys got out, looking up at the large library. Dean straightened his leather jacket and they started up the steps.
Sam got a text just as they opened the large doors: Glad you could make it. We're at the far back table, to the right.
Dean saw the message around his brother's broad shoulder. "How did he know we were here?"
Sam looked around him, but didn't see any sign of a dramatic coat. "I have no idea." Sam found Sherlock's 'science of deduction' very fascinating and had had many an interesting conversation with him about it. He tried to think of how the older man could have figured it out. Sherlock had a map of London in his brain; he must have estimated the time it took for them to drive here as well as the time it took for Dean to get ready. Freaky.
They rounded the corner of a bookshelf and were met with a curious sight. Sherlock was standing in all his dramatic-coat-glory, snatching books off the shelf and sorting them at a dangerous speed. John was sitting at the table with an old volume in front of him, taking careful notes with his left hand. To John's right was their son, Hamish. The five-year-old had his sandy-haired head bent over a colouring book and was scribbling on it in concentration; a tiny imitation of his dad.
John looked up at their arrival. "Ah, there you are," he said with a smile. He stood up and shook their hands with military precision. Dean made sure to have a strong grip in response.
Hamish looked up at them when his dad left his side. "Hi!" he chirped, waving a crayon at them.
Dean smiled at the little boy and took a seat across from him. "Hey, kiddo. I'm Dean and this is Sam. Remember us?"
His blue eyes lit up as he nodded. "Yeah, you helped us get the scary monster."
"That's what we do."
Sam approached Sherlock and somehow managed to catch the dusty book that was thrown at him. "Why did you bring the kid here?" he asked as the consulting detective placed another book into his arms.
"Where else was I supposed to put him?" Sherlock responded in his rumbling voice, "Nobody could babysit. And, besides, it's research; I don't think anything is going to attack us in the library." He placed another volume on the stack in Sam's arms. "Also, I think he's safer with us and you hunters, don't you agree?"
"Yeah, I guess." Sam always got a little self-conscious about his American accent whenever they made a trip to London. The way the vowels rolled off of Sherlock's tongue and how he stressed parts of words like 'research' gave the younger man an automatic urge to imitate.
Sherlock moved to sit beside John, beckoning Sam to the table as well. "I'm not going to throw my son into dangerous situations and force him to learn how to survive, so you can stop your worrying. We are not your father." He picked up a book and started rapidly flipping through pages with his large, pale hands, stopping every few moments to look something up on his Blackberry.
"You slept well, Dean," he commented absently, "Which is good, considering you haven't for the last few weeks. Kept up by nightmares, I suspect, but you've been through so much trauma that I can't pinpoint the exact occurrence which haunts you most recently."
Dean looked up from examining Hamish's colouring. He looked like he was going to retaliate but chose to ignore the comment. "So, what are we dealing with monster-wise?" he asked abruptly, changing the subject.
"Crowley has sicced a banshee on us," Sherlock said, "The signs are all there. A man reported seeing a fair-haired woman wearing grey near the scene of the crime. I've also encountered creatures such as crows and weasels near Baker Street; strange in its own right and directly parallel to the myths; She's staking us out. Neighbours to the first victim have also described a piercing cry, like the screech of an owl, but not quite."
"When was the first victim found?" Sam asked.
"Two hours ago," the detective responded, "Now, we'll need a steel blade soaked in the blood of a poisonous snake, as well as a box made of birch in which to put her head. Her lair will be near running water, most likely near a bridge. I tested a dirt sample from the crime scene and narrowed it down to Westminster. We will have to get at her under the moon, so tonight would be ideal in order to get this over with."
Sam raised his eyebrows and Dean let out a bemused laugh. "What do you need us for?" The younger Winchester asked wryly, "You've got this whole hunt covered."
"Oh, we don't need you," Sherlock said, leaning back in his chair.
John gave his partner a pointed glance. "Castiel suggested that we have you here in case we get out of our depth."
"Which we won't," Sherlock added.
"The angel probably thinks you need more friends."
Dean scoffed, "Maybe you need more friends!"
Hamish had fished a bag of crackers from his dad's bag and was munching contentedly. "When I hug Castiel, he freezes up and doesn't know what to do. It's kinda funny," he said.
The adults in the room looked at him in consideration, forgetting their minor argument. Dean reached across and grabbed a cracker. "That's because you're the only kid he knows, I bet."
"Yeah that makes sense."
Sam took a breath. "Well, Dean and I will get the stuff we need and we'll meet up tonight to finish this thing, okay?"
"Yeah, alright," John said. He closed the books around them and placed them in neat piles. Then he put Hamish's snacks back in his bag. "You can come to Baker Street at, say, eight? Mrs. Hudson can look after Hamish while we're out."
"Aw, Dad, I can't come?"
"No, love, it's too dangerous."
He turned to Sherlock. "Father, please!"
"Your dad said no, Hamish, and I agree with him."
Dean laughed. "Heh, he looks like you when he gets all grumpy!" he said to Sherlock, gesturing to the little boy's frowning face. Sherlock spared him one steel-eyed glance in response.
Sam tried to steer the conversation back to the job at hand. "Okay, yeah, we'll see you at eight." He rose from the table, dragging his brother with him.
"Bye, Sam and Dean!" Hamish yelled. The Winchesters waved at him and then left the library.
John was just putting Hamish to bed when there came a knock at the door. He mentally willed Sherlock to go answer it, but his thoughts went unanswered. His partner was most likely lying semi-aware on the couch, ignoring everyone around him. John couldn't exactly yell out into the flat with a drowsy five-year-old in front of him, so he quickly tucked his son into the blue blankets, kissed his forehead, walked out of the room and shut the door quietly.
He passed Sherlock on his way to the front door but the taller man didn't stir from his sprawled position on the couch. John walked down the stairs to see that Mrs. Hudson had answered the door and was now conversing delightedly with the Winchester brothers. "Oh, there you are, John," she exclaimed at his arrival.
"Sorry, I was just putting Hamish to bed." He shook hands with the American boys. They were both so tall. "Good to see you guys."
The doctor lead his guests and his landlady up the stairs and into their flat. "Oh, Sherlock," Mrs. Hudson tutted, "Must John do everything around here? You have a little one; you can't lie around on the furniture all day."
"I'm thinking, Mrs. Hudson."
"Hey, Sherlock!" Dean greeted, waving from the kitchen.
"Yes, hello, boys," the tall man replied. He swung his long legs off the couch so he could stand. He was dressed in black trousers and a dark purple shirt that clung to his chest. "Do you have everything we need?"
"Yeah," Sam said, running a hand through his long hair, "It's all in the trunk of the car we rented."
Sherlock raised an eyebrow. "Dean managed to drive on the proper side of the road without conflict?"
"Well, I wouldn't say without conflict..." Sam mumbled.
"Shut up, Sam, I drove just fine."
John watched from the kitchen as his partner took his jacket off of the hook by the door. "Well, what are we waiting for?" Sherlock asked impatiently. He wrapped his scarf around his neck and swept out the door.
John sighed and turned to Mrs. Hudson. "I put Hamish to bed. It's a little earlier than he's used to, so he might wake up again; just give him some milk, get him settled, he'll be fine. I gave him a bath too, and he's had his snack. We should be home pretty late, so you can watch a little telly and help yourself to anything." He grasped her hand. "Thank you for doing this on such short notice."
"Oh, anything for you boys," she replied sweetly, "and Hamish is such a darling little one, so it's no trouble at all."
John smiled at her and then took his leave of the flat. He was closely followed by Dean, who had waited for him.
John drove the rented car with Sherlock in the passenger seat and the Winchesters in the back. The brothers had a harsh, whispered conversation and, twice, Sherlock had to slap away Dean's hand from turning on the radio. When they finally reached Westminster bridge, it was to the relief of everyone involved. It was dark and the lights of London gleamed through the shroud of night.
Sherlock knew the general area of where the banshee was, according to the results of the dirt sample, but they still had a bit of looking ahead of them. They drove slowly on Downing Street until Sam caught sight of something strange; A group of crows were sitting atop the roof of one of the houses.
"That's the one," John said, parking the car a little ways away from their destination, "Crows and weasels, you said."
"Yes," Sherlock hummed.
They all got out of the black car and took the supplies out of the boot. There sat the knife and the box.
"Dean will have the knife and I will take his gun," Sherlock instructed, "John and Sam have your guns, as well. They won't kill her but they will slow her down." He paced up and down the sidewalk as he spoke, his coat fluttering at the sides of his long legs. "The ultimate goal is, obviously, beheading, so the three of us will provide distraction for Dean to get close enough for a fatal stroke. However, we must be careful and swift because banshees feed off of a person's sadness, screaming and rendering them unable to move. So, as cliche as it may be, think happy thoughts."
The Winchesters nodded. "You know more about hunting than we do, man," Dean laughed a little, punching Sherlock lightly on the shoulder.
The taller man narrowed his blue eyes. "Nonsense. This is a threat to my family, so I did the necessary research to exterminate it."
"I was, uh, kinda kidding. Sort of a compliment?" Dean trailed off as Sherlock walked off down the street, leaving the other three behind.
John gave a suffering sigh. "Yeah, he's always like that," he said before following his partner. Moments later he heard the brothers catch up to them, Sam with the box tucked under one arm, and they were soon standing in front of the house together.
"Everyone ready?" John asked. They each gave their affirmative. "Let's go."
The rooms were dark but not dusty. The house itself was well-kept with artistic furnishing. John wondered whether it was the banshee who had decorated it or the person who had lived there before. Most likely the former resident, and they had probably been killed.
Once all four men were crowded into the foyer, Sam stepped forward and put a finger to his lips in a command for silence. He put the box down beside the stairwell. Everyone listened, barely chancing a breath. After a little while, the Winchesters gave instruction through gesture for everyone to stay close. They traveled as a group into the living room.
There was no sign of life among the leather furniture and maroon throw rugs. After a thorough and fruitless search of that room and the adjacent kitchen, the group of hunters and detectives made their cautious way up the staircase.
Every creak under his step made John tense, but still nothing made itself known. He had his gun out in front of him; a comforting and familiar grip. The adrenaline rush that came with the edge of danger, not knowing what was around the corner but certain of protecting what he cared for; that was what grounded John Watson into the moment and kept everything of unimportance that could hinder him at bay.
The Winchesters were stealthy, sure of their movements and the hunt. John could hear them climbing the steps a ways behind him. They had placed Sherlock between them and the ex-army doctor could feel his partner's presence behind him like a physical warmth.
John was the first up the stairs and the first to enter the narrow hallway. He moved out of the way for his companions to join him. Sherlock stood close to his side for a moment, his arm brushing his partner's, before pulling to an acceptable distance once more. They were never a couple for PDA or anything of the sort, so small gestures and reminders of support were the extent of their contact while on a case or hunt. It was only in the isolated and comfortable rooms of their home that they allowed themselves the small tokens of love like kisses on the temple or holding hands.
John shook himself out of his reverie, but it was with the mental image of his family watching telly together, Hamish asleep and achingly vulnerable-looking, that he steeled his resolve. He would do anything for his family. And this banshee had to go.
A small creak from down the hall had them all on high alert as they slowly progressed down the hall. When they came to a door they would sweep the room quickly before continuing on, always entering gun first.
When they approached the last room at the very end of the hall, John motioned for the other three men to step back. Gripping his weapon in his left hand, he slowly reached forward with his right to push the door open fully.
As soon as it was open, the Winchesters and John broke in, guns raised. The room had previously been used as a master bedroom. While Sam checked the closet and Dean the connected bathroom, John flattened himself on his front to check under the bed.
Hearing two identical calls of "clear" from behind him, John rose and glanced around. The Winchesters had lowered their guns and were standing in confusion. After searching the rooms of the house and finding nothing, all the men in their group were a little concerned. Sherlock's blue eyes were narrowed as he thought; he looked around the room, taking in signs and information that no one else saw. After a tense pause, his mouth slackened in realization. "John-" he started to say, but was cut off by something falling from above and landing behind him.
John didn't think; he only reacted. The Winchesters had just raised their weapons when a clear shot rang out and the banshee stumbled back from Sherlock with a bullet between her eyes. The tall detective swiftly darted to where the other men were standing and they all watched, weapons raised, as the banshee shook her head in irritation.
She looked like a young woman in her twenties, but there was a certain inhuman sense to the way she held herself that sent a chill down John's spine. She was tall and hunched over, wearing a shimmering, silver dress. Her hands were warped into long, jagged claws. Wispy, blonde hair framed a deathly pale face. The men watched in horror and slight fascination as John's bullet seemed to get absorbed by her skin, sinking in without any visible harm. She snarled, bearing wickedly sharp teeth, and then pounced toward the man who had shot her.
While she was occupied with her annoyance against John, Sam had taken advantage of her distraction by creeping up behind her. Now he acted, leaping forward and grabbing the banshee from behind. His plan was to give Dean a clear shot to take off her head, but the monster was stronger than they had anticipated. With a snarl, she flung herself out of Sam's grip and pushed him forcefully to the side with her forearm. The claws didn't touch him, but the tall hunter was thrown into a nearby bookcase, where he fell to the ground, unconscious.
"Sam!" Dean yelled.
The older Winchester started forward with his knife raised, but the banshee then threw back her head and opened her mouth, her sharp teeth glinting in the moonlight. John recognized this as her scream, the one that fed off of your sadness and froze you in place. It was almost like a dog whistle in the way that they couldn't hear it, but they sure could feel it.
John was unable to move. Memories rose forth in his mind, gunshots and bombs and the cries of agony and fear from his fellow soldiers. In his mind's eye he saw Sherlock poised on the edge of a building and then falling like a wingless angel to the unforgiving pavement.
Dimly, he was aware of what was currently going on around him. He watched, almost through a haze, as the banshee approached Dean and knocked the knife out of his hand. He heard it skid somewhere across the room. He was immobile in his fear until he heard Sherlock's deep voice yell, "John, think of Hamish!"
Sherlock was unfrozen; John could hear his shoes running across the room, presumably toward the knife's new location. John fought through the phantom explosions and images of the dark figure on the roof of St Bart's. He pictured Hamish's excitement after his first day of school, the way his pale blue eyes lit up with happiness and pride.
And then, suddenly, John could move.
The overwhelming panic left him and he returned to the moment in time to see the banshee raising her frighteningly clawed hand, just about to strike an immobile Dean. Once again, the ex-army doctor didn't stop to think. He had dropped his gun at the initial shock of the scream's affect, so he did the only thing he could do to protect his friend.
John Watson ran forward and placed himself between the banshee and Dean. Without a weapon, he tried to utilize his hand-on-hand combat skills, but the monster was much stronger than any man he had ever fought. Before he could even gasp, she had powerfully brought her hand across his chest. The force of it threw him across the room and into the wall to his right. He felt something break and lay on the floor, fighting for breath and struggling to stay conscious.
He managed to open his eyes, watching from ground level as Sherlock let out an animalistic shout, leaping forward with the knife in his hand. John missed what happened next, but roused himself in time to see the banshee's severed head fall to the ground, closely followed by her slumped body.
There was movement from both the Winchesters as they were freed from her spell. John closed his eyes. He heard Sherlock snarl at Sam to put the banshee's head in the box, but then he wasn't aware of much as his chest spasmed, causing him to cough and release sharp and fiery bursts of pain behind his eyelids.
Suddenly, he felt a presence near him. Large, musician hands gently lifted his head and he was slowly rolled onto his back in order to assess the damage. He heard a low, pained whisper of "John."
The sandy-haired man opened his dark blue eyes and looked up into the wild, panicked face of his partner. "Sherlock," he muttered in response. The detective was looking down at John's chest, so the doctor followed suit. When he saw the mess that was his own body, he couldn't help but swear.
It looked as bad as it felt, which really was saying something. Four parallel gashes painted themselves across his chest. Through the tattered and bloody remains of his jumper, John could see that they were at least a couple inches deep and were bleeding profusely. He could also tell when he shifted that at least two of his ribs were broken and his right arm had snapped when he was flung against the wall. He couldn't stop shaking. "Shit," the doctor muttered. His lungs hadn't been punctured by a rib, but he was still in severe danger. Either the blood loss or the shock would take him soon.
Dean crouched into his line of vision just in time to catch sight of the wounds. His eyes darted anxiously to John's face as Sherlock efficiently placed his dark coat over his partner's body for warmth and to staunch the blood flow. "Feels like i'm in Afghanistan again," the blonde-haired man muttered. He grasped Sherlock's pale hand, "But I have you this time."
"I'm so sorry, John," Dean said, "I couldn't break her spell. I just kept thinking about...and then you jumped in and, Jesus, I'm sorry, man."
"It's okay," John muttered, forcing his eyes to stay open.
Sam then bounded into his line of vision. He had a little bit of blood near his hairline, but seemed fine. "Oh my God," he said when he lifted the coat slightly to look at the damage. "Where the Hell is Cas? He needs to come fix you right away!"
Sherlock wasn't saying much. He had his pale face pressed into his partner's sandy hair, and John knew that his brilliant mind was going over every possibility of action in order to find a solution.
John shook his head minutely. "I'm not allowed to ask Castiel any more favours. Strict orders from Heaven."
"What?" Dean snapped, "Why not? I thought he had an attachment to you. Can't he help you like he helps us?"
John pursed his lips before explaining. "He wasn't supposed to save me on the battlefield in the first place. He heard my prayer and deemed me worthy or something. Then, a couple years ago, Sherlock was forced to commit suicide and when Heaven found out that Castiel had brought Sherlock back from the dead at my request, they made him choose between helping me or helping you, Dean. We're both a little high-maintenance, apparently.
"He chose you. He bends the rules by bringing you here to help, but he's technically not breaking them because he uses his powers for you." He managed to say this speech fairly clearly, but dissolved into painful coughing after he was done. Sherlock's breath hitched in response, but he didn't move. John recognized the signs of his partner shutting down, but couldn't do much because his own body was shutting down in a different way.
"You're dying, John," Sherlock whispered with vehemence, "He has to help."
"I'm a doctor, I know I'm dying. But he can't grant us favours anymore, Sherlock."
The consulting detective then lifted his head in a jerking movement and bellowed to the sky, "Castiel!"
There was no change in the room, only the sound of John's laboured breathing. The Winchester brothers looked at each other, angry that their angel would be so heartless.
"Tell Hamish-" John whispered, but they didn't let him complete his thought.
Sherlock interrupted him with a sharp command of "Shut up."
Dean stood in that moment and growled to the darkened room. "Castiel, you get your ass down here right now."
There was a flutter and then the angel was standing in front of him. There was more space between him and Dean than usual and he had a guilty frown between his eyebrows. "I want to help him, Dean," Castiel said, "But I'm under strict orders from Heaven. They will take away my Grace if I defy them once more."
"You selfish bastard. He has a kid, a family."
"Wait, Cas," Sam exclaimed, standing as well. The two British men were quietly talking as John's breathing got worse. "You can't grant John any favours, but you are allowed to do stuff for Dean."
His older brother caught on right away. "Castiel, please heal John. For me."
The angel looked into Dean's green eyes and relaxed. "I can do that."
He walked over and knelt down beside John, his trench coat gathered near his ankles. Sherlock analyzed him sharply as the angel gently placed two fingers on John's creased forehead.
Instantly, the wounds closed and John's breathing evened out as he relaxed in absence of the pain. Sherlock slumped like a tense puppet whose strings had been cut and he draped himself over John's newly healed chest. John gently placed a calloused hand on his partner's dark curls and looked up at Castiel with dark blue eyes. "Thank you," he said simply.
"I wish you all the best, John Watson. You are a good man," Castiel said, then disappeared.
John sat up and brought Sherlock with him. The taller man seemed to have centred himself and was back to his emotionless self in the eyes of the Winchesters. The ex-army doctor accepted Dean's proffered jacket in order to cover his bloody clothing. They didn't want to scare Mrs. Hudson.
Sam drove them back to Baker Street. This time, Dean was in the passenger seat while John and Sherlock sat in silence in the back seat. There were no emotional outbursts, not since John's initial healing, but they sat closer than they usually would and their hands were clasped between them.
Sam and Dean accompanied them into their home. John was very grateful that he was wearing Dean's jacket to cover the blood because they walked into the living room to find Hamish awake and sitting next to their landlady on the sofa, watching telly.
"Dad! Father! You're home!" The five-year-old bounded over to them and John fell to his knees in order to give him a proper hug. He held his son close for many long moments.
Sherlock turned to the Winchesters. "Thank you for your help," he said, looking the most genuine that the American boys had ever seen him.
"Anytime, man," Sam said. They shook hands with the tall detective.
John stood up, Hamish holding onto his leg. With impeccable posture, he shook the hunters' hands as well. This time, Dean didn't feel any bitterness toward the man whatsoever.
"Aren't you gonna stay for tea?" Hamish asked. His blonde hair was tousled from sleep.
Sam and Dean smiled at him. "Sorry, kiddo," Dean said, "Next time."
"Promise." They gave the little family one last wave, then started down the stairs.
Until next time.
Author's Second Note: Thanks for reading! What did you think? Please let me know in a review! I appreciate keysmashing and constructive criticism alike! Also, if you're interested, my headcanon for my version of Hamish is as follows: Back when John was in denial about his feelings for Sherlock, he was seeing some ladies. Subconsciously, he started picking women who looked like Sherlock (black hair, blue eyes, striking features) and then accidentally made a baby with one of them, whoops, and the biological mother didn't want to raise him, so John and Sherlock took him into their little family. Also, John and Sherlock did the kissing thing while the lady was pregnant with Hamish, so yes. YAY! Once again, please review and tell me all the thoughts you have in your wonderful brain! (And follow me on Tumblr. Same name as my pen name.)