I'll probably write at least one more after that, but again, no ETA.
Summary: Dean saves Michael and then has to take care of him.
Word Count: 800
( it's your choice )
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( it's your choice )
( escape )
Mere luck was all that saved Dean.
Usually, he wouldn't have woken up. He subconsciously recognized all the 'safe' sounds-little Sammy's noises, the way his father moved around, even 'Uncle' Bobby. So when he heard John's step, walking toward him, stopping, he would've usually stayed asleep, knowing that Dad was just doing his job.
This time he woke, just in time to see the knife coming for his head. Survival instincts reacted faster than his own brain, and in a second he was twisting out of the way.
"Thought you could trick me, boy." A sneer, anger directed at him.
What had he done? Panic thrilled through him, but somehow contained. He wasn't going to die like this. "Dad, what's going on?"
"Dad?" John Winchester repeated, look on his face only growing more disdainful. "This ends now. You're not my son. You never have been."
"What?" he managed, eyes wet with pain and fear and a hint of anger, and that distant crash wasn't anything to worry himself about. Just his world, falling apart.
"I don't know how you managed to convince us all, but you're not going to take Sam away from me." Sam!
"Is Sammy okay?" he asked quickly, because if there was anything more powerful than his respect for this man who—was he right? he'd always been right, after all, he was a hunter and knew what he was doing, but—but no, if he'd been affected out on a hunt, if he suddenly turned against Sammy too, he had to protect his younger brother, that was his job—
"You won't see him again," John promised, holding up the knife again.
Dean had been training to make quick, life-or-death decisions all his life. So while making the next choice was easy at the time—more instinct rather than anything else—he'd agonize over it later. Later, though.
He jumped out the window, aiming for the bush he'd seen earlier. The landing was a little scratchy, and he'd have cuts everywhere later, but for the time being he'd be able to make a run for it. And make a run for it he did.
He ran hard, tearing through the streets, lungs feeling so much more alive than normal. He made it to a payphone with no sign of Dad, and decided to risk the call to Bobby. He probably used the wrong number, but at the other end was Bobby and that's what mattered. His brain was a mess at the moment.
"Yeah? This is Director Kirsch, how can I help you?" Bobby sounded groggy.
"It's Dean." His voice sounded harsh, and he couldn't help a cough.
"Balls, don't you know which lines to use, boy?" Yep, that was Bobby.
"Dad tried to kill me, and I don't know...if it's me, if something happened to me, or whether it's Dad—but Sammy, you gotta make sure Sammy's—" And then he heard a familiar sound. The Impala's engine. He'd know his baby anywhere. Except this time, it wasn't the sound of home.
He threw away the phone, began running down the streets, ignoring Bobby's frantic questions. The Impala came tearing down the road, Dad at the wheel. He barely managed to throw himself into a warehouse before he was run over, only to see a bunch of monsters with fangs and weird faces had made this place their home. "Son of a bitch."
Something hit him over the back of the head, and he thought he noticed a flare of something bright before everything went dark.
( Part VI )
The Templars like to pretend John Constantine doesn’t exist. Rumor has it that they’ve been headhunting—more or less literally—the man for decades. Given the general impression of Templar agents as a bunch of naughty children doing their best to disappoint dear ol’ mummy Dame Julia, he wouldn’t be all too different from the majority, to the dismay of many of the higher-ups. They’d also considered the ability of colleagues to not drop like flies a sort of recruitment draw, and of course there’s that driver who’s Bee-touched who’s reputedly one of his best mates, so maybe, just maybe…
Problem is, John Constantine is a bloody contrary bastard. He doesn’t want to get involved, doesn’t want to join any faction, and the harder they push the scarcer he makes himself. It’s undoubtedly true he’d be an asset. He has a habit of fixing things, dealing with demon plots and any other denizens of the Secret World and even ripples from the rise of the Filth almost as an afterthought belied by hard work and more than a share of devil’s luck and lots of alcohol, nicotine, and the smell of sex with the tang of self-loathing and the spice of regret. The amount he accomplishes without being Bee-touched, just your average human sorcerer (never mind the fact that he’s nothing like your average human sorcerer or anyone else for that matter), is speculated to be exaggeration. Certainly every story told at the Horned God gets more and more ludicrous, particularly after a pint or two have been involved.
His temperament best suits the Dragon, but he’s a man who refuses to choose sides, who stands aggressively neutral between monsters and gods and the machinations of those who would seek to control the Secret World.
Thing is, he’s more than a rumor. He’s very, very good at keeping under the radar, and when that includes people whose business it is to know things, that’s impressive. He’s managed to get on the bad side of Samuel Chandra (of course) but given how easily Orochi personnel die, it’s not like they need the extra push of being in Constantine’s orbit to shuffle off the mortal coil. He’s also made enemies of a half-dozen other denizens of the Secret World, but that’s just who he is.
While the official stance from the factions is to watch and wait with the Morninglight, it seems from the very few unsubstantiated sightings that he’s taken something about them personally and gone on some type of personal crusade.
But, again, remember that he doesn’t exist. And whatever you do, don’t mention it to your superiors unless they’re Dragon. (If they’re Dragon, go ahead and mention him if you really haven’t heard enough about the patterns chaos draws in the world, because it’s guaranteed to get another lecture.)
Alexander Jessie Knight is dying.
At any other time, the media would be having a field day. Because Knight is news. Because he just quietly burst onto the scene, to the point he makes Athena jokes. And once he was there, well.
The world apparently can’t get enough. They just love the schizophrenic nature he has behind the camera, the fact that sometimes you might get Xander, joking and flirty but quiet and respectful and humble, and sometimes you might get Tony (not that the world understands that) who loves the camera and shows off and does all the stunts that people read tabloids for. Everyone always wants the newest Knight tech. The stock shares only continue to grow in value. He wins so many awards, is the focus of so many articles. Knight Innovations was declared one of the best places to work worldwide in all years since its creation. He and Kris were declared one of greatest Power Couples of the Age.
Admittedly, it’s probably an unhealthy obsession for Andrew to be reading every single thing and have his picture of Xander shirtless on his wall but he’s pretty sure Xander knows and hasn’t yelled at him yet, so he figures that’s permission.
Point is, usually, the world would care. Especially since happens to be at the same time that Miss Chase has died.
But the thing is, Miss Chase has died. Everyone’s dying. It’s the end of the world, and Andrew knows enough magic to know that they don’t have much chance.
But he’s selfish, and he’s pretty certain he loves Xander, and if anyone can engineer their way out of this situation, it’s Xander, so he’s putting all his hopes with Xander.
They’d been working on nanotech. It’s not completed yet. May have side effects or even kill Xander. But given the choices, it’s a chance of death, which is better than the certainty of death.
It had happened months ago. Xander had gotten wounded by a demon lord. It hadn’t mattered, not right away. It became obvious about a week ago that there was poison or a curse or something slowly eating away at Xander’s brain. At least, it had been slow, but something seemed to trigger it. The first clue was his boss collapsing in the middle of the building, hands to his head, but Knight was prone to migraines, so it hadn’t been as worrying as it should’ve been. Since then, his condition had deteriorated significantly, to the point he was now in a coma.
“Sorry about this,” he says, and then injects the nanites into Xander’s blood, and given the sudden screaming and twisting it hurts, but Andrew can’t bring himself to feel guilty.
And then the proximity alarms go off.
“Star?” he asks cautiously, having never given the same protocols as, for example, Kris.
Instantly the AI answers, worried. “Yes, Mr. Wells.”
“You should probably suit him up. I’ll go deal with the visitors.”
He’s sure she notices his voice shake. She’s an AI with the ability to analyze every single tremor. She doesn’t call him on it. “I’ll get Ranger One ready for a house party.”
When the world explodes like a supernova and then collapses down into the dark, Xander’s still unconscious. He only wakes later, with Willow kneeling above him. “This isn’t your world,” she explains before he can even say anything, and he just smiles vacantly at her and yawns.
“Welcome back,” Oz says quietly, and he nods back, super happy. He really hadn’t been kidding about stealing the werewolf, minus the fact that he’d at the very least respect relationships and wouldn’t have dared.
“The multiverse is in danger,” Giles says somewhat distantly as he walks into the room. “I’m gathering a team to help save it.”
And that’s just begging for a specific response. Unfortunately, he has no cigars handy, but he can at least say the requisite line. “I love it when a plan comes together.”
That gets a mad grin from Willow and amused eyes from Oz, and it’s almost enough to distract him from the fact that he’s hearing Star’s explanation of his world ending without him in his head.
Oz doesn’t realize there’s anything wrong with his world. Why would he? He doesn’t have anything to compare it to.
Fiction, the news, the internet, the government controls it all. If all copies of a book 1984 hadn’t been burned, he would’ve seen that this future had, at least partly, been predicted. But without the knowledge, he didn’t have anything to show what a normal life should be like.
He’d wondered, once, what awful thing he’d done in a former life to be born in this one as a mutant. He had to have been a serial killer, or something. Like every child, he had seen what out of control mutants did. Ones that didn’t follow the rules endangered the lives of everyone, so of course they had to be controlled. They’d all watched the tapes. Of the damage they’ve done. Of terrified men, women, children huddled up, begging for mercy from uncaring mutants. He didn’t feel particularly like a serial killer. In fact, he was often more quiet and kind than his human classmates, but if he didn’t watch his natural instincts it was only a matter of time. Maybe he’d worked out most of his aggression in his past life, but still had to be punished for it in this one.
He kept his head down, followed every instruction. Until one fateful day.
He sees the girl phase into existence. Sees the lack of the mutant tattoo marking them as being registered with the government under the Mutant Registration Act before the shouting policemen do.
They’re pointing guns at a terrified little girl. Guns. They’re screaming at her, about to shoot her. And something just snaps.
He’s never wolfed out in anger before. Always under order, always obedient. He’s not obedient now, as he changes and grabs the kid and runs.
He’s never told whether he killed the policemen. The newspapers say so, but the girl—Marcie Ross, as she introduces herself—says that the newspapers don’t always tell the truth. It’s a foreign concept for him, but she finally manages to convince him that people lie. He still doesn’t fully understand the reasoning behind it, but then, according to her, he doesn’t have to. He doesn’t have to attempt to lie—ever—because he can just be silent instead.
She explains that her parents were killed before they could register her. That because of the rules, she couldn’t register herself. An adult had to do that. That there were plenty of other orphans like her who faced firing squads just because their parents had died as peaceful protestors or pamphlet-writers or even for listening to the wrong music.
There’s a near call, but then he hears a voice in his head, and sees a red-head with a shy smile, and they’re led to what turns out to be a safe haven hidden in the world. The leader, a Miss Grey, is apparently not all there, but she seems coherent enough as she banishes the red-head and another, an older man. They’re not mutants, despite the fact that they can twist the world and hide two fugitives with one gesture of their hands.
Marcie will be safe, and he has the feeling these two might need him, and Miss Grey isn’t happy about him leading others here in the first place. So he offers to go with the two, and they say yes.
Tony, Pepper decides something like three months into his so-called promotion, is something like a magic eight ball. You never know what result you’re going to get out of her. Sometimes, she can be utterly charming, well-behaved even. That’s the point at which close acquaintances, like Rhodey, will start to look for signs of plotting.
There’s the part where she turns into an obstinate contrarian. Doesn’t matter what someone says when she’s in that kind of mood, she will go out of her way just to prove them wrong. Pepper suspects it’s something to do with his dad, but out of respect (since she hadn’t actually prodded about the elder Potts despite all signs and inclinations to the contrary) he doesn’t ask.
There’s those times that she turns into an utter showboat. It’s probably inevitable, since the only other way to deal with that much media all the time is losing your mind. Despite the fact that he’s certain she’s a nymphomaniac, he suspects that a lot of it is just keeping up appearances, since he’s known her to get bored in the middle and wander out with an idea that just had to get done right there and then.
Generally when she’s feeling the most at ease, she’ll throw on comfortable clothes (like sweat pants and a t-shirt) and get covered in oil as she works on something or another. There’s a moment that Pepper was very, very grateful for Jarvis, because he saw a completely honest, completely happy grin on her face as she surfaced from tinkering on one of the cars to talk to him, and it helps remind him that his boss is human somewhere under there, which is nice motivation for all the times she either seems like a robot or the most annoying person on Earth. She likes lounging around like that, but it’s a little telling that very few people have seen her in the full outfit. Sometimes she’ll wear t-shirts outside, but she always combines that with jeans so tight he wonders how she breathes.