[info]dmitchell1985 wrote
on February 5th, 2014 at 07:32 pm

FIC: And Now, With Dragons! [NC-17, 2/3]

Please see the first chapter for warnings, pairings, and other information.



Sam had seen Dad and Dean floor the Impala before, but he had never seen Baby move like this. There had been obvious modifications in his absence. He spared half a breath to consider the whys and hows, but the unearthly boom of the world being blown apart cut across his idle musings.

His head whipped around in the direction of the mountain falling away behind them, only to see that the peaceful mountains were not so whole anymore. Chucks of boulders larger than Sam could comprehend were flying through the air, followed by a chorus of shrieking that chilled Sam’s blood and pressed against his bladder.

And then there they were, dark shapes and impossibly massive, flapping wings cutting across the night sky.

Oh, shit.

Oh, fucking shit.

“Deeeeean! Drive faster, man! There’s something huge coming out of that mountain!”

“You think I don’t know that?!” Dean stopped speaking a moment to check the rearview mirror. “I’m driving as fast as I can without breaking the damn car. Just hold on tight, you two.”

Sam’s eyes flickered to Jessica’s and as much as he wanted to remain calm and be a strong, solid presence for her on her first Hunt, he was certain that her unmistakable fear was reflected upon his own face.

Blasts of fire shot across the air and a circle of wings and large bodies formed above them. Quicker than thought or action, what could only be described as a dragon of faery tale proportions slammed down onto the road perhaps a half a dozen yards in front of them. Dean slammed his foot down on the brakes and the back tires fishtailed in response to having their momentum cut short. The smell of burned rubber gladly reached for Sam’s nostrils.

“Guys, what do we do???” came the barely contained screech of panic from the backseat.

“Back the fuck up, that’s what!” supplied Dean. Sam ducked Dean’s arm when it flew behind him to grab the back of the passenger seat as he put the car in reverse and stepped on the gas.

The car’s tail end veered wildly from side to side with each notch the needle climbed up the speedometer.

They didn’t make it nearly as far as they’d hoped before another enormous, shadowy body landed behind them. Dean slammed on the brakes to keep them from backing into large, clawed feet.

“Now would be a good time for any ideas the two of you have!” Dean snarled and banged the heels of his hands on the steering wheel.

“We could always run for it, but how far do you think we’d get before these things caught us?” Sam asked no one in particular, because their options were slim to completely moot.

“Not very far, I’d say. The terrain’s too rough to safely drive the car down the side of the road, but I’m game to try if you guys are,” Jessica offered bravely.

“Not necessary. I say we get the guns and go out and face these things. I’m not going to die hiding in a car. Not today!” Dean dug around until his pistol was in his hand and he’d freed an extra clip from between the seat cushions. Taking his cue from Dean, Sam followed suit and retrieved a spare gun for Jess from the glove box.

“Slowly squeeze the trigger, don’t clamp down or the gun might jam.”

Sam quickly pointed out the features of the pistol, including the safety and how to take it off. Out of the side of his eye, Sam saw Dean assessing the dragon situation.

“They still haven’t moved. If you guys are done, let’s do this.”

With both palms wrapped around Jessica’s hands and her borrowed weapon, he gave his girlfriend what he hoped would not be they last gesture of encouragement.

One after the other, each of the vehicle’s three occupants opened their doors and slid from their seats. They moved as one unit toward the front of the Impala through the glare of the car’s headlights, looking from the dragon in front of them, to the dragon behind then, and those that still flew overhead. Dean took point and Sam drew Jessica close by his side. If this thing went sideways, Sam wanted Jess to have the opportunity to run for the tree line, even if he and Dean couldn’t escape the flames that would follow any sizeable missteps on their parts.

“Hey, there! You seem to be doing a fine impression of a Snorlax, but we need to get through here. Do we have to battle Team Rocket or can we work this out like civilized . . . people . . . creatures . . . beings?”

Sam snorted and rolled his eyes. Only Dean would recall their summers of playing Pokemon on the road at a time like this. Smiling faintly to himself, he did have to admit that the comparison fit. Pokeflute or no.

Jessica’s own huff of laughter was drowned out by the sound of the dragon in front of them answering in a language they’d never heard before. Dean’s puzzlement gave way to amusement and him answering in English, as though he understood what was being asked of him.

Sam was duly impressed to realize that the more Dean spoke to the reptile, the faster it seemed to be acquiring English words for its own vocabulary. After half an hour of idle banter on Dean’s part and what appeared to be a genuine effort to follow along, the dragon who seemed to serve as the spokesperson, so to speak, had fine tuned enough modern human speech to introduce himself as Malek. Humans and dragons alike took a few minutes to exchange pleasantries, names, and species specifics. When asked what language had he been speaking by Jess, Malek told them that Dragons naturally spoke in the ancient language called Enochian. But, more to point, Malek wasted no time correcting Dean’s flippant referrals to T-Rex and Godzilla.

These were Dragons, not lesser beings with which to be trifled. They were the oldest of the Old Ones that came before humans and the modern record of time itself. They watched the dawn of many a civilization and their ultimate fade back into the sunset. Most importantly, they had been awakened by the humans’ folly once more to clean up the mess they had made.

At this point, Dean’s sarcastic jokes dried up completely and he became that much more interested in the pavement between his feet. Sam ignored Dean’s muttered complaint that it was ‘creepy’ how quickly the Dragons were picking up their language, but smiled at his brother’s concession that it was great since it seemed to be helping them get somewhere. He watched Dean’s eyes flicker between the blacktop and the Dragons as Malek filled in so many of the pieces they had been missing.

“We Dragons are of the Old World and we have long been the chosen guardians of Lucifer’s Cage. However, we cannot control Lucifer on our own. We must work with our human Allies to wrestle the beast back into his Cage, as has been decreed by the Mighty Creator.”

“So, wait. What you’re saying is that huge, powerful Dragons can’t put down one rogue archangel?” Dean asked, with only the barest hints of sarcasm marring his tone.

“Alone, we cannot. It has to be done together in solidarity amongst the strongest of our species. And there are no others stronger than Lucifer’s Vessel himself.” Malek dipped his head in recognition of this fact.

“Wait, wait, wait . . . You’re saying that I’M Lucifer’s Vessel?” The shock on Dean’s face radiated across Sam’s and Jessica’s features as well. This was beyond weird right into insane.

Malek made what could have been construed as a deep laugh in his throat before he spoke. “No, Young One. You are not Lucifer’s True Vessel. That honor belongs to the one behind you. Into every generation of a family, Lucifer’s Vessel is born into that bloodline until it ceases to be. At that time, another bloodline is chosen to carry the weight of producing Lucifer’s Vessel. So that at any time in history, should Lucifer arise from his Cage, a champion shall exist to either thwart Lucifer’s attempt to unleash ruin upon the Earth or to save the planet for the good of all.”

Sam watched through disbelieving eyes as Dean swung toward him and Jess drew away on instinct. He had sworn to fight his way out of this life, had only agreed to help on what was supposed to be a simple mission, but it was all for nothing. Genetically destined to be a Vessel? How could anyone hope to outrun that?

“I think you have the wrong guy. I’m just a college student that comes from a family of Hunters. Nothing special,” Sam spoke up for the first time since they’d left the car. “I think that you will need to get someone else.”

“I am not mistaken, Young One. You are, and shall be until death, Lucifer’s True Vessel. Your bloodline has been chosen and it is your turn to decide the fate of this world. Will you choose to stand with us against this terrible evil and all that may stand with him, or will you choose to let him in and destroy this world until it is no more? With his Awakening alone, Lucifer will have already put catastrophic events into motion and he does not yet possess a vessel. What do you think will happen once he has one?”

Malek posed the questions as choices and options, but Sam saw none. He did not want this life any more than he wanted to hunt ghosts or ghouls any longer, but it was clear that this was not something he could run away from. He had to face this before he could hope to return to the life he was building for himself and Jessica.

His eyes met Dean’s for a long time without speech and without fear before turning to Jessica, the woman he could see being the second love of his life. He would do anything for these two people and would do more still if they agreed to stay by his side through it all. Nods from both of them and Jessica clasping his hand in hers was all that he needed to know how to respond to the choice that lay ahead of him.

“I’ll do it. What can we do?” Sam offered, his gaze never leaving the faces of the two most important people in his life.

Another rumble of laughter from Malek cut into Sam’s thoughts of love and sacrifice, forcing him to look up at the Dragon blocking the road.

“This will be no easy task and it is not for the faint of heart. You cannot go back once you have begun, because you will have alerted Lucifer’s Allies to your presence much quicker than they would be able to scout out on their own. However, we have help to offer to you in the form of our children.”

At this, the trio stared at Malek in mutual confusion and not but a little bit of awe.

“Your children?” Jessica asked for all of them.

“Yes. Dragon children are far smarter than the human children you are accustomed to. They will carry with them the knowledge of the Dragons, but will possess the ability to hide in your world in a way that the oldest among us have not been able to do since we were children.” Malek paused and either chuckled or cleared his throat. “I give to you my own son, the daughter of my Second In Command, and the son of a member of the Council. You shall treat them well or you may not live to see another day.”

“Wait, what kind of deal is that? Couldn’t we-“ Dean stopped here to gesture between them and the Dragons. “Couldn’t we just work separately, but together. And then there wouldn’t be any ‘not living to see another day’? I don’t know about them, but I don’t think that we should be taking your Dragon kids on the road with us.”

“Our children are older than you could ever hope to be and are far wiser than any human I have ever met in our time. You will accept the help we have offered or we can try things your way to the detriment of all. Lucifer’s Vessel has already agreed to help us. I do not see what issue you can have with this arrangement.”

Malek blew bursts of steam and flame from his nostrils as he spoke and looked toward the other Dragons. His claws dug deeply into the asphalt in apparent irritation, as though it were mere sand beneath his colossal feet.

Noting this, Sam cut off whatever reply Dean was getting ready to throw back, and potentially get them fried to a crisp.

“We accept your gracious offer. Please, tell us what we have to do next,” Sam offered calmly.

“Get comfortable, Young Ones, this will take some time to explain so that your young minds will grasp the enormity of the task before all of you as Vessel and Allies,” Malek pronounced solemnly.

***

Over the next couple of hours, Malek, his Second in Command, and his Lieutenants laid out precisely how screwed they all were.

The Dragons took them through a quick run down of the true history of the world and all of the cataclysmic events the Earth had faced since its beginning. Everything from the disappearance of the dinosaurs, to the Great Chicago Fire, to the burning of Babylon, to the Great Flood mentioned in the Bible could be pinpointed to a rising of Lucifer. And with each scenario, upon seeing the destruction Lucifer wrought on the Earth and its inhabitants, the True Vessel had always sided with the Dragons in their fight against Lucifer and his Allies.

Malek also explained that although a True Vessel may be born, it is not guaranteed to be used, which explained why they, or none of the Hunters Sam and Dean knew, had ever come across the Dragons or Lucifer before this moment in time. It also explained why their father, John Winchester, True Vessel of his generation, was so completely drawn to Hunting after the death of Mary. There is something innately coded within the Vessels to lure them back to the fight against evil time and again.

On hearing this, Sam knew that no amount of college or his desire for a “normal life” could have saved him from this fate in the end. If it had not been Lucifer that drew him back, it would have been something else. The feeling of being trapped encircled his chest like steel bars that barely allowed for breath. Jessica wrapped her arms around him in response to feeling his body tense up. He met Dean’s eyes straight on and gave him a reassuring nod.

The Dragons summarized for them the plan of action the Vessel and its Allies must take to place Lucifer back in his Cage. The location of Lucifer’s Cage is both an abstract and an absolute. It exists as all things do, but it doesn’t possess a set entrance. Although it’s current location was underneath St. Mary’s Convent, Lucifer could be forced back into the Cage from almost anywhere on Earth.

Sam noticed that Dean seemed to visibly relax on hearing that he need not return to the source of their misguided quest. He remembered the way Dean seemed to crumble inside as he told them during the car ride to the cavern how the Knights of Hell, Lilith and Ruby, had tricked him and Dad into thinking they were closing off Seals to keep Lucifer confined.

All the while, Lilith and Ruby guided Dean, their father, and other Hunters to and away from the Seals they needed open. It was only when Dean realized the enormity of the women’s betrayal and how easily they had conned the Hunters, that Dean understood that their arrogance and their blindness to what was right in front of them had contributed to them being led astray.

The women had each played the men’s best and worst angles separately and then together at the end. Once the group had reached the end of the road at St. Mary’s, it was too late for Dean to stop their father from killing Lilith and providing the women with the willing sacrifice their cause needed to set their master free.

Sam listened in awe as the Dragons explained how their last encounter with Lucifer and his Allies had resulted in the spawning of half-Dragon, half-human offspring in reward for the human’s cooperation. At first, from the twist of Dean’s face and the widening of Jessica’s eyes, Sam thought he’d have to rein himself and his companions in. After all, how could one even begin to contemplate a Dragon and a human doing anything that would result in offspring?

On seeing the humans’ hesitation, Malek informed his young audience that Dragons can take human form once in a calendar year or never if they preferred to remain in their natural state. While in human form, the Dragons had been known to blend in amongst humanity. Or, in the case of their last awakening from hibernation, blend their bloodlines with their human Allies as a reward for their assistance.

The Impala groaned under their combined weight when Sam, Dean, and Jessica all retreated back to the car to sit down on its hood as Malek moved on to the whys and hows of their half-human offspring. At first, it was heralded as an ingenious idea to combine the best of both species to create long-term guardians for the human race. Unfortunately, in practice, the magic of the Dragons held within a human body turned almost immediately disastrous. The power, strength, intelligence, and magic lent to the Dragons’ half-human offspring corrupted them fairly early on, to both the Dragons’ and the humans’ dismay.

Teaming together one last time, the Dragons and humans formed parties to hunt down their children. Dozens were pressed from hiding, captured, and slaughtered. In light of their fear that some of their errant children had been missed, the Dragons used their knowledge of magic to forge swords with pools of their own blood. These two dozen swords were given to their Allies to help them in the fight against their half-Dragon foes.

When Jessica asked why the Dragons couldn’t simply have stayed and helped clean up the mess they helped create, Malek sighed and was silent for several moments.

“We Dragons are not limitless in our power. We are given great length of life from the Mighty Creator, but there is a price we must pay in exchange. We must surrender our bodies and our will to long periods of sleep to sustain our lives. It teaches us that even the strongest, most clever, and bravest among us must bow to the will of the Mighty Creator; that our time has a limit and is as precious as that of our human Allies.”

Jessica nodded thoughtfully and Sam rather thought he could see her as a regale Dragon in some other life, awakening to stop a great evil, basking for a time in her success, and then sleeping perhaps a millennia away as she awaited her next challenge. It was a comparison that Sam felt fit her like almost no other.

“Well, Story Time has been fun and I’d say ‘fascinating’…” Dean took a moment to mumble what sounded like “if I meant it” to Sam before continuing.

“But the sun’s coming up and we’re no closer to getting that answer about what we need to put Lucifer back in the ground. His army is coming and we’re standing around reminiscing about the good old days.” The corners of Dean’s mouth quirked in an expectant smile that searched for its mirrored image upon Sam’s face.

Sam wanted to laugh. He did. But the importance of this meeting could not be overstated. Which is how he found himself frowning at his brother’s shit-eating grin and shaking his head in a huge ‘God, no, Dean. Not this shit right now!’ warning. His brother’s brow furrowed in frustration, before he sighed as though the lengthy meeting was wasting his time, and turned his eyes back to Malek.

A tell tale cough from Dean preceded his customary return back to the business at hand when his mind began to stray.

“As you were saying?” Dean said with only a bit of sulking in his voice.

Malek made the same cough that could very well be a laugh deep in his throat as he continued on where he left off.

“I was saying, Young One, that you will need elements of what Lucifer’s Allies and our half-Dragon children have been after during this awakening. Just as Lucifer’s Cage can be accessed from many places upon this Earth, so too does the key to open its door change. When last we fought the Beast, the key was composed of the four rings of power of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. This time, we need to look at what they have pursued to open the Seals.”

“Well,” Jessica spoke up without hesitation. “There was a lot of death, including Lilith sacrificing herself on an altar by tricking Sam and Dean’s father into killing her and the half-Dragons kidnapped virgins. In the end, Lilith and Ruby opened the Cage in a convent, which is where the pure of heart goes to dedicate their lives to God. If I didn’t know better, it seems like they were trying to corrupt “pure” sources of good.”

Malek took only the space of two heartbeats to ponder this information.

“If it is as you say, you will require a willing blood sacrifice, some element of a virgin, something to represent the purity of this earth, and something from a Dragon to create your key. Your prime target should be to collect one of the swords issued to our human Allies all those long years ago. Once these items are gathered, you shall need to repeat these words to open Lucifer’s Cage: Bvtmon, Tabges, Babalon. The rest, we shall leave to you and your three new Dragon Allies.”

Sam asked Malek to repeat the incantation once more, slowly, and his request was granted. He made a careful note in his cell phone as Malek spoke the words that meant more than all of their lives together.

“However, you must make haste, as every Hellhound, Knight, and member of Hell’s Court that walk the earth will be in pursuit of you; as will every Dragon offspring that survived the purge. You need to take care to ever be on alert, as they will be able to sense Lucifer’s Vessel, the same way that we are able to sense and locate a Vessel, no matter where it is located on this world,” Malek cautioned.

“We give to you our children and our hope that luck favors you in this endeavor. Go now, Vessel and Allies. The success or failure of Lucifer’s rise to power lies within your hands.”

***

Sam waited until Malek and the rest of the Dragons flew off into the rays of the rising sun before he pulled out his cell phone and opened his phone’s web browser. They knew next to nothing about the care of most living animals, let alone the gargantuan task of caring for baby Dragons.

After several minutes of searching for nearby hawking equipment, Sam found a store not terribly far from their current town. It would take perhaps an hour and a half to make it there. Sam hit the back button to return to the search engine’s main page and typed in a request for bookstores and libraries in that same town. He lucked out and found a county library location and two books stores. It was practically a metropolis just waiting for them.

“Good news, there’s a sporting goods store about an hour and half away called Dick’s Sporting and Outdoors that carries hawking equipment. It’s the closest store around that carries anything close to what we’ll need. Everything else under the “California+falconry” results are online stores and information on joining the California Hawking Club.”

“Okay . . . So what exactly are we going to need and how do we go see what Dick’s got for us?” Dean smirked lewdly at Sam, right on time, as expected.

“Let me get the map and I’ll get us there. As for what we’ll need, it’s a lot of stuff and it’d be easier to show you than to explain,” Sam said, dutifully ignoring his brother’s prodding grin.

The sound of Jessica humming in contentment from the backseat drew Sam’s eyes to the rearview mirror. One of the baby Dragons was already cuddling her face, while the other two snapped their teeth at one another. Each of the snapping Dragons kept attempting to lift off in the backseat, but were barely stopped by confines of the top of the car and the leather seats.

The tips of their wings tangled in Jessica’s curls and slapped against the face of their Dragon counterpart. A low growl and continual blast of steam in reply from Jessica’s Dragon seemed to do little to dissuade them against their game. Jessica took one look between the Dragons and Sam’s face and laughed as though she was having the best time that anyone could ask for. Sam rolled his eyes and sighed. This was going to be a longer trip than the one he had endured with Dean and Jess teasing him the entire way to the cave.

He resigned himself to his fate and turned his eyes back to the map. “Okay, we need to go all the way up here and take a left. But we might have to find some work arounds, since the streets are probably torn up in this part of the state as well.”

Dean nodded in response and cranked up the stereo.

Fantastic.

***

What should have been an hour and a half trip took the better part of two and half hours, due to the need for detours. Smaller roads were washed out from the surrounding tributaries that connected to New Melones Lake and various, unreported sinkholes seemed to spring up out of nowhere.

Before they’d even fully pulled into the parking lot, Dean volunteered to stay in the car and look after the baby Dragons. What Sam knew he was really saying was that he wanted to make sure that the little monsters didn’t tear up or burn his car to a crisp without a fight. Sam and Jess shared a look of comprehension with him as they laughingly agreed.

A wave of blessedly cool air-conditioned air hit them as they crossed the threshold of the brightly lit store. Although the Impala had air, Dean almost always preferred to ride with the windows down to ‘feel the breeze of Mother Nature’. Sam thought it made Dean feel more connected to the open road, but he also suspected that it merely saved on gas. With gas prices climbing and the insane amount of road Dean and their dad burned beneath their wheels, any little thing they could do to save money could help.

Sam snagged a pushcart, while Jessica asked the clerk at the service counter for directions to the falconry section. The pair made their way toward the back corner indicated with little in the way of conversation. They fell into their familiar routine of shopping together, in spite of the odd circumstances thrust upon them.

Sam dutifully went through his checklist of items aloud and Jessica collected multiples of the items they needed in their basket. They made short work of their shopping and breezed through checkout with a swipe of Mr. James T. Kirk’s credit card, courtesy of Dean.

Jessica and Sam returned to the Impala to find Dean holding an audience with the Dragons from the front seat. He’d somehow managed to get them all seated on the backseat and held their attention with the repeated flicking of his Zippo lighter. Ooos and Ahhs of rapture echoed from the back of the car and Sam couldn’t help the smile that he shared with Jess. Only Dean could have managed this. He was also pleased to see that one of the Dragons in particular crept close enough to Dean’s hand to nuzzle his fingers as they moved over the shiny surface of his limited edition Metallica lighter.

“Back to the motel?” Jess asked from the backseat, after their little monsters begrudgingly made room for her and Dean stopped flicking his Zippo for their amusement.

“Not yet,” Sam told them. “There are a couple of bookstores we need to hit in town to brush up on our Dragon myths.”

“All righty, then,” Dean quipped as he fastened his seat belt and started the car. “We’ve got a lot of work to do and we might as well get started now.”

Sam kicked the bags at his feet around and couldn’t agree more.

***

They wasted little time exploring the rest of the town after Sam dug through every shelf of books that covered Dragon myths and the care of one’s pet Dragon, according to some very shaky sources. They ended up with a pile of dusty books and one brand new edition published by a so-called Dragon expert, who communed with them via a mind link. Even though Sam didn’t put much faith in the man’s claims, he bought the book anyway, just in case.

Dean suggested burgers on the way back to the motel and no one voiced any objections. At this point, food was food and they’d had the Dragons out in public for far too long for any of them to feel comfortable.

Jess brought in the bags of falconry supplies, while Sam and Dean hauled in the food and bags of books. She sorted everything into three neat piles of metal swivels with hoops on both ends, jesses, gauntlets, anklets, leashes, and falconry bags to hold all of their supplies. She created a fourth pile of extras they had picked up as she worked, which she shoved back into a store bag after she made certain that they had everything they needed laid out. Once the men and Dragons were settled in the room, Jessica clapped her hands to get their attention.

“All right! Dragons and men, let’s go over a few things. We have equipment for our guests when we need to travel together and we need to set some rules. I am suggesting the only two rules that really matter. They are that the Dragons don’t fly off for long periods of time alone and they aren’t seen by the general population.

“Now, Sam has done some research and this falconry equipment is the closest that we can get for our Dragon friends here. So, why don’t we pick a partner and take turns attaching our gear?”

At the sight of Sam and Dean nodding their approval, the Dragons hopped from bed to bed and flew around the room. Their smooth, shiny scales reflected the overhead lights that caught on the various shades of dark blue to dark green to bright red that covered their backs and the deep yellow that covered their stomachs. Dean just missed getting a claw in his eyes when the dark green Dragon, who’d been nuzzling his fingers in the car, flew toward him immediately at the mention of teams.

Sam chuckled in amusement and watched as the bright red Dragon made its way over to the table Jessica was standing beside. Which left the dark blue Dragon for himself. Sam and the Dragon eyed one another neutrally for a moment, before Sam’s newest Ally flew over and landed at his feet. The reptile flapped its wings and reproachfully stared up at Sam, as though it was his fault that it was now on the floor.

Seeing that everyone was paired up, Jessica continued, “Sam, why don’t you show us how to attach this stuff?”

Dean moved closer to the table with his Dragon circling his head and taking its place beside its fellow on the table. Sam’s Dragon flew up onto the back of a chair and made itself comfortable.

“There are a few pieces and it looks harder than it is. I think that we should probably introduce ourselves before we get started. Okay?”

Eyes met and slid away from one another as they all waited to see who would go first. As usual, Dean took the initiative.

“My name’s Dean, this is my brother, Sam, and his girlfriend, Jessica. Who are you guys?”

The red Dragon tilted its head for a moment, studying Dean, Jess, and Sam, and spoke with a surprisingly clear voice that enchanted all who heard it.

“My name is Mira. To my right is Adarsh and over there is Ehren. We are pleased to be your Allies, but we do not understand the need for all of this.” Mira nodded her head toward the piles of equipment on the table. “We have already agreed to work with you and we are not your pets. We do not feel that we need to be lashed to you, as though you are our masters.”

“We understand your concerns, Mira. But we are concerned about losing you when we are out in public. You have been asleep for a very long time and our world can be . . . disorienting. Sam suggested that we get these things for you only to be used when we’re out of an enclosed space. When we’re inside of a room or the car, you’ll be free to fly around,” Jessica explained diplomatically.

The Dragons looked at one another, silently assessing the explanation and the situation before them. By mutual agreement, they nodded at one another.

“We accept your terms, as long as you remember that we are here to help you for a limited time only,” Mira told them.

“We definitely understand and there won’t be any problem with us taking the equipment off when you tell us to,” Sam promised.

Hearing no further complaints, Sam showed the group what he’d learned from YouTube videos. He picked up a leather anklet and showed the group how one end of the anklet fit inside of the other to form a loop around the Dragon’s legs. At the ends of the anklets were grommets, through which the jesses would be placed to hold the Dragons’ legs secure. The other end of the jesses would be woven through and looped back through one end of a metal swivel. The metal swivels’ free hoop would be woven around the leashes that each of the humans would hold. The gauntlets were self-explanatory, but Sam covered them anyway, stating that their hands and arms needed the extra protection from the Dragon’s claws.

The group took turns trying out their new equipment and knowledge of how to use it all. Dean pulled a bit too tightly on one of his anklets to get one end through the other and nearly had his fingers snipped in response. Sam grinned at him and lost his own focus in the process, but was brought back on track with a growl of indignation from Ehren, when the flapping end of their leash caught him across the face. Jessica and Mira sailed through their first try without misstep or cause for alarm, all the while smirking triumphantly at the boys.

Once everyone seemed to have a grasp on how to attach and remove the various pieces of equipment, the Dragons opted to leave the anklets, jesses, and leashes on to become accustomed to them. Dean suggested they finally get back to those burgers. They wouldn’t eat themselves and he was starving, even if the food was probably cold by then. Dragons and humans alike agreed that it was high time that they ate something.

Dean divvied up the burgers and wondered aloud if Dragons even ate hamburgers. Adarsh told him that he would eat just about anything at that point, but that Dragons generally preferred live prey. All of the humans turned a bit green upon hearing that they would be taking their Dragons hunting in the very near future, but verbally said nothing to the contrary.

Jessica finished eating first and suggested to Mira that they practice their use of the anklets, jess, and leash set up a bit more. Sam finished eating second and settled himself on the floor with a book in his lap on the history of Dragons and his gauntlet back on. Ehren landed on his head and peered down at the book and commented on the validity of the supposed facts printed in black and white as Sam turned the pages. Dean stood by the window and had just unwrapped his fourth hamburger when Adarsh flew up onto his shoulder and leaned over to eye the burger in Dean’s ungloved hand.

“Hey, do you think that I can call you Zippo, because of the fire and all? You know, like a nick name?” Dean asked Adarsh as he laughed and moved his burger out of Adarsh’s reach.

Adarsh beat his wings against the back of Dean’s head and used the moment of distraction to free Dean’s burger from his grip. “Only if you let me have this!” he responded around his mouthful.

Jessica took in the sight of her boys being ruled by their Dragons, when she herself had already formed the perfect partnership with Mira. Mira flapped her wings from her perch on Jessica’s arm and the women laughed as one at the sight of minute discord in front of them.

After Dean was done with dinner, he called John and Bobby to update them on their progress. When Dean got to the part about the Dragons, Sam could hear John and Bobby yelling from across the room. Humans and Dragons alike looked on in interest when Dean pulled the phone away from his ear and gave the room a rueful look.

Eventually, the phone was passed to Sam for his take on finding out that he was born to be Lucifer’s True Vessel. He wanted to shut out Bobby’s advice and John’s attempt to connect over their shared fate. It was hard enough to bear without taking into account the words of men who knew the hunting life, but couldn’t understand his life. Sam found himself listening, agreeing, and tossing out the occasion ‘Yes, sir.’ out of respect for the fact that although these two men didn’t always understand, they understood what it meant to have your life wholly diverted from the course you thought it would take.

When talk had turned to the key for Lucifer’s Cage, Bobby told them about an old friend of his that lived in San Francisco and might be able to provide them with the most important piece of their key.

***

Jessica called to check in with her family from the Impala on the way out of Sonora. Mira, Ehren, and ‘Zippo’ perched beside her on the backseat, with Mira flying up to listen in on the conversation as she spoke. All of the Dragons seemed wholly fascinated with the developing technology of televisions, vehicles, indoor electricity, indoor plumbing, and other advances they had missed during their slumber. So to be included to any degree in a cell phone conversation had the miniature trio in awe.

Sam, Dean, and Jessica had discussed the means of retrieving the remaining three components for the key. As much as she hated to suggest it, for fear of exploiting her younger sister, Jessica suggested that they visit her family’s home in Palo Alto. It was on the way to San Francisco and would provide them with the necessary element from a virgin. That is, if Abigail had yet to sleep with her current boyfriend, Jimmy.

Jess didn’t know everything about him, but she knew enough from her calls and texts with Abigail to know that they appeared to be moving slowly. Jess had told her sister to let her know when she felt ready for more, because she would personally take her to Planned Parenthood to be seen. There’d been neither call nor text requesting Jess’ presence, so it was all that she could hope for that Abigail had upheld her end of their sisterly bargain.

There’d been a rather heated debate on who exactly should provide the blood of a willing sacrifice by the time they’d reached a drive-thru burger place for breakfast. Dean attempted to shout Sam down about him needing to bleed for this cause, because he started the damned Apocalypse in the first place. Sam reasoned that Dean didn’t know what he would unleash when he folded under extreme torment. Everyone made mistakes, but it didn’t mean that they needed to suffer for all of eternity for each of them.

The argument turned to pleas and tears and circled back to more shouting than Jess thought was strictly healthy. By the time Dean pulled the Impala over on the side of the road for him and Sam to jump into a fist-fight, she threw herself between them and volunteered to give up her blood if they’d just stop fighting. Even with blood on his mouth and his left shoe lost in the fight, Sam insisted that as the Vessel, his blood would be used. End of all argument and discussion.

Once that was settled, with Dean and Sam still grumbling and the Dragons chirping in excitement beside Jess, they moved on to their next bit of business: hunting. Ehren said that last night’s burgers had been great, but that they needed real food if they were to be of any help in the coming battle. Hearing her cue, Jessica typed in a search for a large enough park that would provide both cover and prey for the Dragons. Using their current location, she narrowed the search down to what seemed to be an ideal. She gave Dean directions on how to get there and leaned back against her seat, hoping that they were ready to see the insides of songbirds.

***

Less than an hour after they checked out of their motel room, Dean pulled into the Orange Blossom Recreation Area and drove away from the main areas in search of a river access point Jessica mentioned during her research.

“Fresh air and leg stretching for all!” Dean proclaimed, when the Impala pulled to a halt, much to everyone’s amusement.

“So, what kind of prey are you looking for exactly?” Jessica asked Mira as she shut her door.

“Usually birds, but a tasty lizard makes a delicious snack, too,” Mira replied.

“Personally, I favor birds of prey. Nice smooth muscle and they taste the best!” Zippo chimed in and dive-bombed toward Dean’s head.

Dean ducked just in time and shouted for Zippo to come back. A laugh and another lap around Dean’s head was his reply.

“Adarsh! Settle yourself. We need to practice use of our new equipment,” Mira scolded from her perch on the car’s rooftop.

Dean, Sam, and Jess all retrieved their falconry bags and their pistols from the trunk, while Ehren and Zippo landed beside Mira on the rooftop. Each of the Dragons held still as the anklets, jesses, and leashes were slowly attached by their Allies. Once done, Mira, Ehren, and Zippo each hopped onto a waiting gauntlet-covered arm and the group made their way into the cover of the trees.

The group took a moment to scan the surrounding area for humans and enemies alike before removing the jess and leash attachments. The sound of wings flapping filled the air and all three humans craned their necks to watch their Dragon Allies fly off into the trees.

Sam, Jess, and Dean took their time making their way back to the Impala and the nearby shoreline of the river. They passed the time chatting about Jessica’s family, whom they would be calling upon in less time than Sam had anticipated. Even though the two of them had been living together for some time, he didn’t often spend time with Jessica’s relatives. They made special trips for holidays, but generally kept to the campus.

Dean was just asking what Jessica’s parents were like and if her mom was anywhere as beautiful as Jessica herself, when the trunk of the Impala sprouted a large knife. The immediate shock of a weapon suddenly appearing in their midst held Jessica captive. The still vibrating metal shook in the confines it’d created within the painted metal.

Sam and Dean were already in motion, drawing their weapons and aiming for individual kill shots by the time Jess snapped into focus. She drew her weapon from the make shift holster she’d made out of her belt and took aim at what looked like a man, but possessed clawed hands that glowed orange in the center of his palms. These were obviously among the offspring that survived the purge.

What the things hopping along the ground were, Jessica could not say. She tried not to look at them dead on, as Dean and Sam took shot after shot after shot at their heads. Their scaly, reptilian bodies measured perhaps three or four feet high with a line of overly large spines that grew in a line down their backs and onto their whip-sharp tails. Their cruel eyes, bloodied fangs, and taloned paws called out death and destruction to her. It was all Jess could do not to turn and run from the nightmares surrounding them.

Instead, Sam was proud to see Jess take aim and begin emptying her clip into the nearest Dragon hybrid to drive him back. It wouldn’t kill them, of course, but whatever they could do to hold off the Horde until they completed their mission to create the key would help.

The sounds of gunfire and Dragon roars drew Mira, Ehren, and Zippo back to the Impala. With their freshly killed breakfasts in their mouths, they swooped down into the battle. The carcasses that dropped from their open jaws were followed by bursts of fire none of the humans could have ever foreseen being emitted from such small, raptor-like bodies.

The rays of sunlight that cut through the trees sparkled along Mira’s red scales, lighting up the hidden gold tones that needed the perfect angle of her chomping off a nightmare’s head to showcase her feral beauty. Sam couldn’t help but notice the way that Ehren’s dark blue scales were not solidly so, but shimmered lighter shades of blue along his side; while Zippo’s scales spoke of emeralds winking at him in the morning sun.

The hybrids and hopping nightmares retreated after several of the lizards lost their heads to Dragon’s fire, snapping teeth, and dead-on gunshots that would have made John Winchester proud. The hybrids promised that this was not over before they stooped down to gather their remaining hunched Allies, who hissed and flicked their pointed tongues in annoyance, and flew off into the sky.

Jessica couldn’t help her whoop of triumph that spread rapidly through the assembled group of unlikely heroes. The Dragons flew in a circle and blew celebratory fire into the air, while Sam, Dean, and Jess exchanged grateful smiles. This partnership might just work after all.

After several minutes of celebrating, the Dragons returned to their abandoned kills and dug into the feathered corpses with relish. Sam, Jess, and Dean felt a bit ill as they watched their Allies eat. Saying nothing, they turned as one to go wash up at the river’s edge and let their winged partners do what they needed to prepare themselves for the long trip ahead.

The sooner they finished eating, the sooner they could all be back on the road again.

***

The rest of the car ride to Jessica’s family home was dominated with explanations for what the hopping nightmares were and the group marveling at how well everyone worked together. Dean filled Jessica in on what chupacabras were and what prey they normally went after. It seemed that the war between good and evil had shaken everyone loose from their normal roles; which led the boys to believe that they would be fighting all manner of monsters they normally wouldn’t see otherwise.

Jessica nodded along and took in everything. She offered suggestions and details that she remembered from their first skirmish. Sam told her how she could improve her shooting accuracy and promised to take her out to a range to practice as soon as they were able. Mira, Ehren, and Zippo weighed in with their own suggestions on how they could fight better as a team. The debate on roasting versus chomping off pieces of enemies carried the group all the way up to Jessica’s front door.

All talk cut out when the tires of the Impala skimmed alongside the curb. Everyone agreed that the Dragons should be left in the car, while the humans went in to gather their first piece of the key. Dean threatened pain of death upon any Dragon that scratched or burned any part of his car while they were gone. Zippo promised to be thorough in his destruction, to make their impending fight to the death worth it.

Jess and Sam laughed at Dean’s huff of annoyance and his rolled eyes as they clasped their hands together and strolled up the front walk. Sam called out for Dean to hurry up as Jessica pulled out her keys and opened the door.

Shouts of surprise, Jessica’s name, and Sam’s name greeted them when they stepped into the living room. Jessica’s mom, Lori, pulled her daughter into a tight hug before moving on to embrace Sam as well. She turned Dean’s polite handshake into a hug and beckoned the group into the kitchen for something to eat. As soon as her mother was distracted by the task of gathering drinks from the fridge and snacks from the cupboards, Jess slipped out of the room and down the hall to her little sister’s room.

She knocked on the closed door and asked Abigail if she could come in. When Abigail called out that she was ready, Jess let herself in.

“Hey, little sis. How are you?”

Abigail closed the textbook she was reading and held it in her hands while she spoke. “Good. Fine. What was it that you wanted to ask me in person? Why couldn’t you ask me on the phone earlier?”

Jess walked over to the bed and sat across from her sister, whom she’d always tried her hardest to look out for. She hated that it had come to this, but they had to move fast. Taking the book from Abigail’s grasp and setting it aside, Jess took Abigail’s hands in her own and gazed into her eyes to measure her responses.

“Abbie, I hate to ask this of you, but I need you to do me a favor and not ask too many questions. Maybe one day I’ll be able to explain, but for now, I just can’t yet.”

Abigail nodded slowly and waited for Jessica to continue.

“Abbie, I know this is odd, but I have to ask. Have you had sex with Jimmy yet?”

A frown of confusion crossed Abigail’s face. “No. I would have told you if we were seriously thinking about it. I promised, remember?”

“I remember, but I also remember how teenaged hormones can get the best of us. I just wanted to be sure, because I need something from you.”

“What?”

“I need something of yours. This is going to sound crazy, but I need your tears.” Jess twisted her mouth uncertainly as she finished speaking. That sounded even weirder than she had anticipated.

“My tears? What kind of weirdo request is that?” Abigail said, dropping Jess’ hands and moving to pace the length of the room.

“I know, I know. I know that it’s weird, but all I can say at this point is that it is very important that I get this from you. It’s the difference between life and death.”

“Life and death? My tears can make the difference between life and death? Jess, that’s crazy! Seriously, tell me, what’s going on here?” Abigail pleaded.

“I . . . I just can’t tell you. Please. You know that I wouldn’t ask you for something like this out of the blue without a good reason. You know that, right?” Jess gave her most beseeching smile to convince her sister.

Jess watched Abigail chew her lip as she thought it over. True, it was an odd request, but it wouldn’t hurt her and Jess hoped that one day she would be able to explain her sudden appearance and the motives behind her actions.

“Yeah, okay. I mean, how much do you need?”

“Not much, I don’t think. Do you have some kind of container to hold them in?” Jess asked, looking around the room. Her eyes landed on an empty lip gloss pot on her sister’s vanity.

“How about this? Can I take this?”

Abigail waved her hand in acquiescence and returned to her seat upon the bed. Jessica twisted the top off of the pot and helped her sister through some of her more painful memories of their Dad dying of cancer and their childhood dog being hit by a car when Abbie was only three and did not yet understand death. When the pot was filled with what Jessica had come for, she held her sister and soothed her rumpled emotions until the tears had stopped.

As soon as her sister’s tears had turned into hiccups and sullen silence, Jessica excused herself to allow her sister a moment alone and to make her getaway. She had to rescue Sam and Dean before their mother fed the entirety of the house’s groceries to them in one sitting.

***

The tires of the Impala ate up the road to San Francisco with nary a glance back by any of her occupants. No one asked Jess how she managed to collect quite so many tears from her sister or why she seemed to run off like a villain, but Sam and Dean were grateful for the rescue from the mountain of snacks that were forming on Lori’s kitchen table. They all smiled, hugged, and promised to visit while inching ever closer to the front door and to their freedom. The Dragons had been delighted to see that the first component was already gathered and that they were all set to collect the Dragon’s blade next.

Dean checked the lanes before moving over to the exit into San Francisco. Bobby told him that his friend wouldn’t be expecting them, so they’d do well to mind their manners, or Bobby would eventually hear about it. Dean chuckled knowingly and promised to behave, scout’s honor. When Dean hung up the phone, Sam reminded Dean that he’d never been a Boy Scout, but that Sam himself had been one three times at three different schools. His brother rolled his eyes and pointed the car in the direction of Dr. Eleanor Visyak’s home.

They pulled up behind her overpriced sedan and reminded the Dragons to stay in the car and out of sight. Ehren and Zippo bounced on the seat, before squeezing the leather between their claws. Mira gave a flap of her wings and promised to look out for the boys.

Taking point, Dean approached the door and pressed the buzzer underneath Dr. Visyak’s last name and mounted security camera.

“Yes?” A stern woman’s voice called through the speaker.

“Dr. Visyak. My name is Dean Winchester. This is my brother Sam and his girlfriend, Jessica Moore.”

“Office hours are Monday and Friday,” the voice replied, dismissing them from her front door.

“Bobby Singer sent me.”

Silence.

“Hello?” Dean asked, exasperated by the lack of response.

All traces of the voice disappeared. Either the owner of the voice would appear at the door or there was simply nothing more to say after hearing Bobby’s name. Sam hoped that the former would hold true. He’d hate to have to break into such a beautiful home to get what they needed, but he knew they’d all do it if it came down to it.

Moments later, the door opened outward and beside it stood a beautiful older blonde woman. Her hair was pulled back into a sleek roll and she looked as though her annoyance fought her curiosity all of the way to the front door.

Sam watched Dean give her the once over and hoped that there wouldn’t be cause to . . . stay over.

“Hi.”

“Hello,” said Dr. Visyak. “Do come in. We have much to discuss, if that name brought you here.”

Sam, Dean, and Jessica followed Dr. Visyak into her study. They were still looking around when she began to speak once more.

“Bobby Singer . . .”

She left the name to linger in the air and retrieved her nearly empty tumbler from her desk.

“Tell him something for me the next time you see him.”

“Hmm?” Dean mindlessly answered.

Dr. Visyak turned toward the trio and said, “Actually, just kick him in the jewels. That’s more poetic.”

The blonde leaned back against the desk as Sam and Jess gasped and imagined pain and shock crossed Dean’s face.

“No love lost between you two, huh?”

Dr. Visyak chuckled bitterly. “No. Just the opposite.”

“Oh?”

There’s a wave of her glass and a deep sigh of what sounds like regret and something else Sam can’t quite identify.

“That’s his story to tell. He’s the idiot.”

Annoyed fingers tapped the glass held in Dr. Visyak’s hands as she sighed and glanced down toward the floor.

They all stayed silence for a moment, digesting this new bit of information. Bobby Singer, love ‘em and leave ‘em? It didn’t sound like the Bobby Dean and Sam knew, but even they had to admit to themselves that they only knew of Bobby what he chose to show them. They couldn’t possibly know everything there was to know about anyone, really.

“So, what’s this about?”

Dr. Visyak gestured to the couch behind them and they all took the cue to take a seat.

“Well . . . Uh. . . . Dragons.” Dean says this with a smile that says ‘Don’t label me as “crazy,” because I know how this sounds’.

Sam and Jess do their best to look as “sane” and “with it” as possible, too. No need to give the Professor any reason to kick them out so early in the conversation.

“Really?” Dr, Visyak asks, with a tilt of her head.

Dean gives a smirk that clearly says that he wouldn’t believe it if he hadn’t seen it with his own eyes either.

“What, no 12-sided-dice jokes?”

“We can joke about them, because they’ve disappeared. But they aren’t funny. At all.” The older woman stressed the importance of her warning as she walked around the armchair and sat across from them.

“Well, I have to say that we agree with you. We need to kill several of them that have turned up stateside, along with a few of their friends.”

SeveralDragons? Are you sure?”

“We’ve seen them with our own eyes,” Dean assured her.

“But how? I mean, why? It’s been 700 years.” Their hostess waved her glass around in disbelief.

“Banner crop of crazy all the way around these days, Doc,” Dean says to sidestep the truth for just a little bit longer.

“So, you want to know how to kill them?” Dr, Visyak asks, as she finishes off her drink.

Dean spreads his hands wordlessly before answering her, “Actually, Dr. Visyak, we already know how to kill them. We need a blade; one that we heard you might still have. I know that you don’t know us and we can see that the person who sent us to you isn’t exactly your favorite person in the world, but it is extremely important that we get this blade. What can we do here to make this happen?”

“I- How do you know that I have a sword? I never told Bobby that I had a Dragon Blade.” Dr. Visyak falters at the unexpected revelation.

“I guess . . . He had a look around while he was here and put it together with what you study for a living. I hate to be pushy, but we’re sort of on a limited time frame here. I can prove to you that Dragons exist and that we really need to head back out onto the road asap, Doc.”

Dean glanced over at Jess and Sam, silently asking them to weigh in. Each took a minute to think it over and nodded their assent. Dean excused himself to go retrieve one of their little friends, while Sam and Jess discussed the courses and campus of Dr. Visyak’s college.

Several minutes later, Dean returned with both a gauntlet and Zippo on his arm.

“Dr. Visyak, I would like to introduce you to Adarsh. I call him Zippo, because of the flames, you see.”

Adarsh gave a formal bow from his seat and they are all amazed to see Dr, Visyak return the bow without hesitation.

From there, Dr. Visyak insisted that they all call her Eleanor and she offered to fix them tea. They all passed on the offer and explained that they had two other juvenile Dragons waiting for them in the car outside. At that, Eleanor refused to go any further until all three Dragons were seated and comfortable in her home, as befitting of their station. It would be an insult before God, she told them, for such honorable creatures to be left unattended and she had a chance to help it.

Sam and Jess stepped out to the Impala to bring in Mira and Ehren. By the time they returned to the study, they found that Eleanor had set up plush armchairs for each of her new reptilian guests. Sam, Dean, and Jessica were still relegated to sharing the couch, naturally. After everyone was seated and once again offered refreshments, the six Allies went through the story of how their partnership came to be. They omitted elements that were need to know and cut right to the part where the Sword of Bruncvik was needed to serve as the key to Lucifer’s Cage.

Eleanor was delighted to help, but hesitated for several heartbeats. When Mira asked if she no longer possessed the sword, Eleanor quickly assured them that she still had the sword. However, it was bound in stone, as was the fashion back in the days when she obtained the relic. With a sigh of relief, Mira told everyone not to worry, for they already had a brave knight willing to step up and kill the beast, as it were. When Dean triumphantly claimed the title, Mira cleared her throat loudly and cut his boasts short.

With a slow blink of her eyes and a steady voice, she turned to her audience and said, “I believe that I was referring to Sam Winchester. Who better to pull the sword from stone than Lucifer’s True Vessel himself?”

There was little talk of dissent, for who could argue with the validity of Mira’s statement? Sam sighed to himself and figured that he could find one voice to disagree with the assumption.

They all humored Dean and let him try first. He fell twice trying to force the sword out of the stone. While everyone was still laughing, Jessica decided to take a turn as well. She swore that she could feel it wiggling in the cement shoe, but the blade did not slip free. It was only when Sam’s hands found themselves around the sword’s grip did the blade come alive. The sword seemed to omit an audible sigh of joy to be free once more and to be wielded by a worthy knight.

Sam looked slightly shamefaced at the cheer that went up and stumbled forward from the hard pat on the back Dean gave him. Handshakes and formal bows are exchanged and then the six Allies were led up out of the basement and out through the front door. Eleanor made the group promise to return and fill her in on the results of their quests, and to return her sword, if they were able to do so.

Jessica got the Dragons settled back in the backseat beside her and Dean gave a honk of the horn as they backed out of the driveway.

Two down, two to go.

***



<<< Back


Next Part >>>

(Read Comments)
From:
(will be screened)
(will be screened)
Identity URL: 
(will be screened if not a friend)
Username:
Password:
Don't have an account? Create one now.
Subject:
No HTML allowed in subject
  
Message:
 
Notice! This user has turned on the option that logs your IP address when posting.

April 2015

S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  
Powered by InsaneJournal