Fandom/pairing (if appropriate): Wire In The Blood, Supernatural
Summary: Tony Hill comes to learn that not all evil is human in nature.
Rating: all ages
Warnings: mild horror, crack, crossover between incompatible fandoms
Disclaimers: The characters and settings aren't mine. No profit is being made, this is for entertainment only. I know nothing about psychology or police procedure, this is purely a product of my imagination.
A/N: This story was written for a ficathon, using a prompt from Ash Wednesday by TS Eliot.
“Are you crazy, getting into a fight with this guy? He could have killed you. For all we know, he killed two people and tried to kidnap his third victim from the hospital. You could just have called security!” Carol ranted angrily, but in a low voice, as to not wake the other patients. It was already late, way past visiting hours.
“I didn’t get into a fight with him – he attacked me.” Tony corrected. “Honestly, I didn’t expect him to get violent.” His head and jaw ached fiercely with every word, but the x-rays had shown that nothing was cracked or broken.
“Well, even you can’t foresee everything!” Carol sniped, but the anger fell from her face moments later, making way to exhaustion and worry. “I’m sorry. This should never have happened. He was supposed to be under guard around the clock. No one was supposed to have access to him, except through me.”
“Do you know how he got in?” Tony asked, referring to the would-be kidnapper.
“Fake pass, stolen uniform. The kidnapper stole some files as well. The hospital is still trying to work out which ones exactly are missing.” Carol sighed. “Is there anything else you noticed about him, I know you have give your statement and given a description, but is there anything about his behaviour that could tell us something more about him?”
“For one, I don’t think he killed those men. He is too young to have killed the bodies buried in Graeme’s yard anyways, but I don’t think he murdered the other two men.”
“He’s got strength and training and isn’t afraid to use it. He’s probably prone to aggressive outbursts when someone he cares about is threatened. If he has a girlfriend he is likely to be possessive.”
“So you suggest we check domestic complaints? Focus on American expats?”
“Maybe. But I think the fastest way to find him is to identify the man he was trying to kidnap. I got the impression they share a close bond, familial even. I think they might be brothers. That’s why I need to talk to the victim.” Tony insisted. Right now he didn't feel like doing anything that would involve moving his head, but his mind wouldn't let go of what had happened.
“I’ll see what I can do.” Carol promised and headed for the door. But then she halted and turned around. “There is something else.” She pulled an object out of her bag. It was a diary, currently in an evidence bag. “Your attacker got away with some files, but he dropped this.” She handed the book to him. It was thick, bound in darkened and worn leather.
“I had a look at it, but I can’t make heads or tails of it. It’s some sort of diary, but it doesn’t make any sense. Not to me at least.”
Tony moved to open the evidence bag. “Can I?”
“Sure. It’s been processed for prints, but none have come back to anyone. I’ve sent them off to Interpol and the FBI, but even if we get a hit, they’ll take their time to get back to us.”
Tony pulled the book out of its bag and flipped it open.
Tony approached the young man carefully. He was slumped in bed, lying sidewise. His body was perfectly still, and if it hadn’t been for his wide open eyes, Tony would have thought he was sleeping.
He stepped a few feet towards the bed. As promised, Caro had arrange for him to meet with the surviving victim. He could tell she wasn't holding high hopes that anything would come of it, but Tony had a theory about how he might reach the young man.
“Hello. My name is Tony Hill. I’ve come to talk to you.” He spoke the words clearly, but as expected got no reaction. He walked over to the bed, making sure to stomp and create vibrations that could be felt by someone lying in bed. The young men curled up into a tight ball, confirming one of Tony’s suspicions. While he didn’t seem to be able or willing to react to sound or sight, he did react to touch. Tony reached out a hand and grabbed the young man’s hand.
There was a symbol drawn on the back of the hand, in a thick line of black ink. Tony pulled out his note pad and copied the symbol, determined to research it later. It was just one more element in the case that didn’t seem to fit.
The man promptly started screaming when Tony touched him, trying to pull away from Tony. But Tony wasn’t deterred, but turned the hand palm up and started tracing letters on it.
H-E-L-L-O, he traced and waited. It took a moment, but the man calmed down.
I-A-M-T-O-N-Y, he traced next. Y-O-U-?
“Sam.” The man whispered softly, almost inaudibly. If Tony was right, Sam wasn’t able to hear his own voice which would make it difficult for him to speak. “Where’s my brother?”
The words were spoken softly, but with clarity, telling Tony that Sam had not always been deaf. He had learned to speak as a hearing child. A hearing child that had grown up in the united states. They would need a linguistics expert to tell more precisely where he’d grown up.
“Where’s Dean?” Sam repeated, louder this time.
I-A-M-L-O-O-K-I-N-G-F-O-R-H-I-M Tony traced in response.
A puzzled expression settled on Sam’s face. His expression that had been frozen in terror until now, moved to something akin to concern and worry.
“Is Dean all right?” Sam asked, his voice pleading.
I-H-O-P-E Tony replied, sincerely hoping that he would find the poor young man’s family. He was now convinced that while trying to kidnap Sam, Dean had nothing to do with the original abduction.
Something had happened between the brothers that had terribly gone out of hand and ended up with one of them imprisoned and left to starve to death.
Dean slumped tiredly against the wall of his new shelter. Out of money and fake credit cards, he had decided to set up shop right at the scene of the crime. Normally, he would have been too prudent to go directly into the serpent’s lair so to speak, but he was desperate. He had seen Sam at the hospital and he couldn’t bear the thought of his brother staying in the care of strangers any longer. He wasn’t sure what he would have done with Sam had his break-out succeeded. Sam was in no condition to go on a hunt, but at least he would have been with someone he knew. Dean couldn’t forget how Sam hadn’t relaxed until he’d somehow realized that it was Dean who was with him.
While he had been forced to leave Sam behind at the hospital to avoid being arrested himself which would have put a serious crimp into his hunt, Dean had managed to steal a bunch of patient files, including Sam’s. In his hurry, he had grabbed the whole pile as it was sitting unattended, but he quickly discarded everything that wasn’t of interest to him. Dean had never been adept with the medical vocabulary, his medical knowledge while considerable was more concerned with the practical aspects of patching up himself or family members after encounters gone wrong.
He could tell, to his relief, that Sam hadn’t suffered any serious physical injuries, but the reports from the psychologists were more jarring. Sam had shown himself to be completely unreachable. He reacted to touch and pain, but not to any other form of sensory stimulation.
Worse than the psychologist’s failure to reach Sam, was Dean’s own failure. His brother’s scream when he’d taken his hand for the first time in the hospital was still echoing in his mind. Eventually Sam had calmed down, but he had not tried to communicate with Dean in any way. Dean liked to think so, but he had no idea if Sam had even been aware of his presence. Worse even, he had lost his father’s diary, their most precious possession, when he had gone to break out Sam. There had been an incantation he had wanted to try. It hadn’t worked and in the struggle, he had lost it. He had only noticed when he’d stopped at a gas station to wash the blood from his face and hands, and by then it had been too late to go back.
The hospital had done numerous tests on Sam, most of which Dean could hardly pronounce, but he understood that they had not found any damage to his brain or sensory nerves. While he appeared blind and deaf, there was no physical cause. The doctors conclusions gave Dean hope. If there was some sort of spell at work, Dean was going to find out and find out how to break it.
Dodging the police patrols, Dean had broken into the Graeme estate. After a tour of the grounds that had revealed nothing, Dean had entered the main house. There, the EMF meter had really gone off. Dean had zeroed in one of the rooms on the first floor and had set up camp there. He didn’t have much. He had used up the last of his money, save for an iron reserve, to purchase a sleeping back, a torch, two knives, a can of gasoline, a bunch of candles and a case of salt. His plan was simple. Find and burn all the bodies found or buried on the Graeme estate and hope that would do the trick and break whatever hold these spirits had over Sam. He had read his father’s journal from front to back several times in the weeks he had searched for his brother, but had discovered nothing that could explain Sam’s condition.
His mission was complicated by the presence of two uniformed officers sitting on the property and the fact that two bodies had already been transported away to the morgue, effectively out of his reach. The rest of the remains were still being excavated. Dean had watched the property for several hours in the day and had waited until the technicians and experts had abandoned their work for the day. All that was left, was the squad car parked in the cul-de-sac at the back end of which the Graeme estate was located.
Dean had a last look out the window before he collected the recently purchased can of gasoline, his trusty lighter and two family-sized packets of salt. The night was cold and cloudy, making any fire visible over quite a distance. Dean blew out the candles and headed out.
“You shouldn’t be back at work already.” Carol looked out of the window of her office as she spoke to Tony. “At least stick to lectures for a couple of days.”
“You know I can’t. Not until I’ve figured this out. You need my help with this case.”
“You are right. I do need your help. Graeme is dead. They found him dead in his car at the airport. From the looks of it, he’s been dead for several weeks. You were right about the journals. He had them with him. He’s written down everything, every last sick detail of what he did to his victims.”
“How many were there?”
“Nine that he wrote about. But he only claimed the older bodies. Nothing about the more recent murders.”
“He didn’t do it. If he had, he would have detailed everything in his journals, to relive it later. He needs that. You are looking for a second killer.”
“I know. Graeme has been dead for weeks. He couldn’t have abducted the others. But that’s not all. The estate has been broken into last night. They burned all the remains we hadn’t removed yet.”
“Burning of remains, protective sigils,” Tony mumbled to himself. “Did you find any graffiti or other drawings at the scene?” Tony asked.
“Yes, as a matter of fact. There should be some photos of that in there as well.” Carol sighed. “This is the last thing we needed. Now it is going to take us weeks, if we are lucky to get anything from those remains.” Carol started pacing. She’d had way to much caffeine already and it was only 11 a.m. and she still had a press conference to deal with in the afternoon.
“I don’t think that was the point – to obscure crimes. I’m not sure any of the motives of arson we know from psychological theory apply in this case.” Tony walked over to the board and pulled a marker from Carol’s desk. Carol watched as he started scribbling.
He circled the words EVIL and PROTECTION several times.
“What do you think we are dealing with?” Carol asked, frowning, suddenly looking much less forward to that press conference. This was not looking well.
“Someone with a very strong belief in evil. The journal is almost a catalogue of his or her beliefs.”
“A Satanist?” Carol asked. Not much surprised her anymore, but she had always read that satanistic cults were an urban myth and certainly not a reality in Bradfield. It definitely wasn’t a reality she wanted to be telling the press about.
“The opposite. He believes in the Devil and evil spirits, but he is trying to protect himself and others from them. He believes that the victims will come back as malevolent spirits. That’s why he burned their remains. I bet he poured salt on them before lighting the fires. It’s a ritualistic behaviour.”
“So he is delusional?” Carol asked the rhetorical question.
“Yes. He most likely lives completely in his own world. Fighting what he perceives as evil – that’s the center of his entire existence. There is nothing else that matters to him.”
“You think that description fits the man who beat you up at the hospital?” Carol asked. It was a neat profile, but they knew so little about their only suspect that it was hard to tell if he had anything in common with it.
“The man he tried to kidnap is his brother. They must share a very close bond, possibly sharing the same delusions.”
Carol stared at Tony. She was used to intuitive leaps, but this went far beyond deduction and application of theories. “Don’t tell me you got through to him somehow and neglected to mention this?” Carol felt like she was trapped in an investigative nightmare. A serial murder case that had looked so simple on the surface, where the main problem seemed to have been the locate the known perpetrator, had turned into a convoluted mess complete with two police blunders she was bound to end up taking the heat for.
“I’m sorry.” Tony sighed. “This case….I can’t figure out how it all goes together. If he is living in this kind of delusional belief system, I don’t see him capable....”
The fax machine beeped and started spitting out pages. Carol went to pick up the cover sheet as the rest of the pages were still being printed.
“It’s the FBI. When you mention the American accents, I sent out their prints that were lifted from the diary. Their names are Sam and Dean Winchester and they are both wanted for murder in several states.” Carol picked up the rest of the pages, scanning through the tiny typeface detailing the numerous charges and warrants issued against Sam and Dean Winchester. Tony seemed to have been on the money about Dean. He wasn’t only thought to be guilty of multiple murders, including the torture of a young woman, but also several counts of vandalism and tampering with corpses, mainly lighting them on fire. From the looks of it, Tony had been wrong about how dangerous the men they were dealing with were. Dean Winchester was a killer, a violent psychopath if the FBI's charges were anything to go by. With his record, she didn’t need a psychiatrist to tell her that they were dealing with a very dangerous man and had been lucky no one else had been hurt.
Carol handed the pages to Tony. Not waiting for him to read she asked: “Why didn’t you tell me sooner that they were brothers?”
“Sam told me they were, but I wasn’t sure he was telling the truth. I thought it was possible that he was lying to protect a man he is dependant on,” Tony said and went on to study the fax.
“It doesn’t make any sense. A man with the kind of delusions Dean Winchester appears to suffering wouldn’t commit these kinds of crimes. Not when he is convinced that his victims are coming back to haunt him. But maybe he can’t stop?” Tony asked, but Carol knew better than to try and answer.
“What if there is something else, some other element to his delusions that is pushing him to kill. Think, Tony, think.” Tony was saying to himself as if he could persuade his brain to come up with an answer.
“Dean Winchester believes in evil.” Tony circled the word on the white board again several times. “Maybe he believes his victims were evil, possessed maybe, demons even. Remember, all this is real to him. I need to talk to Sam again.”
“Do you think he will give up his brother?”
“I doubt it. They are too close and he is been enveloped in his brother’s fantasy world for almost two years. It says here that his girlfriend died under mysterious circumstances in a fire eighteen months ago and that he has been travelling with his brother since then. But I think deep down Sam knows his brother is sick. I think Sam is the one who is still in touch with reality.” Tony tossed the fax on the table.
Sam was in exactly the same position Tony had found him the last time – motionless in the bed, lying on his side, gaze focused on something only he could see.
Tony stomped on the floor, trying to alert Sam to his presence. Sam did react. He sat up, wrapping his arms around his knees, drawn up to his chest. Tony was pleased to notice the change since his last visit. He had asked the doctor in charge of Sam’s care to try to communicate with him the same way he had and to try to avoid scaring him with sudden physical contact. The staff normally didn’t have time, but it was obvious that the human contact had done Sam good.
Tony walked up to Sam, taking his hand again like the last time they had met. Sam shrank back, but seemed to know what was coming.
Tony traced the letters of his name into Sam’s palm. Sam seemed to relax a bit.
“Dean?” He asked quietly.
Tony pulled out a black marker that he had purchased on his way to the hospital. The nurses had obviously tried to wash away the drawing, but the outline was still visible. Tony uncapped the marker and retraced the contours of the sigil in black waterproof ink.
Sam nodded his head a tiny fraction. Playing into his belief system was the only way Tony could think of for gaining Sam’s trust. He needed Sam to assume that he believed the same things that Sam and Dean believed in.
“Is Dean all right?” Sam whispered. “I keep seeing him, on the ceiling, like Jess.” Sam’s voice was almost inaudible and he was obviously frightened.
O-N-L-Y-I-N-Y-O-U-R-M-I-N-D Tony confronted Sam, counting that deep down the young man knew his brother’s delusions for what they were.
Sam’s face fell. “I know. But I can’t look away.”
Tony squeezed his hand. H-E-L-P-M-E-F-I-N-D-D-E-A-N
Sam didn’t react.
H-E-N-E-E-D-S-Y-O-U-R-H-E-L-P Tony tried again.
“I don’t know where he is right now, but I know where the thing is that he will be hunting. They are afraid of fire; promise me you will tell him.”
Tony squeezed Sam’s hand as to indicate that he agreed. W-H-E-R-E-?
Sam gave Tony the address. It was the address of the Graeme estate.
Tony had followed Sam’s instructions precisely. The police presence guarding the Graeme property had been increased, but by coming through the back of the property that bordered on a very densely wooded area, he still managed to enter the house undetected. He couldn’t use a torch for fear of the light being detected from the officers in the street.
If he’d asked Carol, he would have been able to access the property officially, but Tony needed answer to some questions he wasn’t ready to share with Carol yet. The more entrenched he became in the case and the dynamic between the the two brothers, to more doubts rose in his mind. On paper, Dean Winchester looked like a very dangerous man, a psychopath by all accounts. He had beaten up Tony over the slightest provocation, and would probably have seriously injured him in the process had the security guard not intervened, but still Tony didn’t believe that Dean had committed all the crimes he had been accused of. Unlike with any other offender, he felt himself drawn into the world of Sam and Dean Winchester. He had read every page of the diary, studied the drawing and read the newspaper cut-outs. The diary was an accumulation of encounters with unearthly beings – demons, angry spirits, ghosts and all manner of other creatures. It was a catalogue of Dean’s delusions. Or so it appeared. It was extremely elaborate. Tony had seen many patients, but he had never seen any delusion as complex as this. Dozen of newspaper cuttings had been inserted in the diary with hand-written notations. Most of the cuttings dealt with crime of some sort – murders and missing persons. But it was no scrapbook like Tony had ever seen it. The notations made on the articles were that of an investigator. There were lists of questions, suspects and leads, written as if a person had been trying to solve these crimes, within the frame of reference of a very complex delusion. The more Tony had read the diary, the more he was convinced that while Dean Winchester was no doubt very ill, he probably wasn’t a murderer.
Tony found what he was looking for on the second floor, in a large walk-in wardrobe. The doors were covered with symbols drawn in black marker, some Tony recognized from the diary, others unfamiliar. Inside the wardrobe, someone had set up camp. There was a sleeping back, food wrappers, candles and most curiously five or six family sized packets of ordinary salt. The candles were still lit, their flames flickering in a faint draft. The candles were burnt down fairly far, but Tony had seen no sign that there was anyone else in the house or the property.
There was a sudden draft of cold air. Tony whirled around, switching on his torch, heedless of the police patrols outside. There was nothing. Just an ordinary room. Still, Tony was starting to feel it had been a bad idea to come out here without any back-up. He pulled out his cell phone and was about to start dialing when a gust of icy air swept over him, blowing out the candles. Tony found himself shivering as he dialled Carol’s number with trembling fingers. A scream made him stop mid-way.
Tony listened in silence, but everything was quiet now. Then, suddenly, something brushed across his back. Tony whirled around, and came face to face with a group of shadowy figures. They were rail-thin, humanoid shapes. They looked like something out of the Winchester diary. Tony screamed, but the figures only started closing in on him. Emaciated arms and bony fingers outstretched, they came towards him. Tony tried to run, but they already had him in their grasp. Their bony hands held his arms in a vice-grip. Tony felt himself being dragged, dragged towards the wardrobe. They tossed him inside. Tony crashed to the floor, his fall only a little cushioned by the sleeping back left behind on the floor. The wardrobe door flew shut behind him with a slap. For a moment, Tony stayed still, waiting for the other shoe to drop, but nothing happened. Everything was perfectly quiet. Letting out a nervous laugh, Tony got to his feet. He pushed against the door, but it wouldn’t move. Tony pressed harder, but it seemed to be shut solid and wouldn’t budge even when Tony leaned his full weight against it. Frustrated, he sank back on his heels, willing himself to think. He’d seen a lighter somewhere around here. Tony felt in the darkness, but he couldn’t even see his own hands, much less anything on the floor in front of him.
Tony coughed. It had to be his imagination, but the air was suddenly getting thicker and it was getting harder to breathe. It was nothing he could smell, but it felt like the oxygen was being sucked out of the air. Tony felt around the edges of the door, trying to prise it open somehow, but it didn’t even close airtight. There was no way he could suffocate inside the wardrobe.
Panting for breath, Tony forced himself to stay still to conserve oxygen. He was starting to feel light-headed and a rushing sound filled his ears. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get air inside his lungs. It was as if the air inside the wardrobe had turned into a syrupy liquid, clogging his nose and mouse. Tony fell to his hands and knees, just before his limbs gave out under. He hit the floor face forwards. He’d landed on something and with the last of his strength he reached out and his numb fingers closed around a lighter.
They are afraid of fire. Sam had said. Pulling together every bit of strength he had left, he managed to flick on the lighter. It was as if some unseen mechanism had been kicked into reverse. Suddenly, he could breathe again. Tony drew in big gulps if oxygen until the light headedness subsided and he felt capable of getting to his feet again.
The door that had refused to budge earlier opened without a hitch now and Tony looked out from his prison into the larger room.
They were still there. Backed against the wall, but they were still there, watching him with glowing eyes. There was a rasping sound, as if they were laughing. And then they starting coming closer.
Tony scrambled back. The lighter alone wouldn’t be enough to hold them off. He'd quickly grabbed a candle, lit it and placed it on the floor between him and the creatures. Tony thought they seemed to be slowing down, but they were still coming, He ducked back to light a second candle and a third, but it was no use. He was backed against the wardrobe. Tony was running out of option fast when something suddenly burst through the window, shattering the glass. It looked like a ball of fire, at first. A sort of Molotov cocktail Tony realized belatedly. The creatures were backing away from the fire that was quickly starting to spread from an armchair that had caught fire over to the other furniture. Thick fumes were starting to fill the room. Tony ran for the window. He took of his jacket and wrapped his right forearm in it, knocking out the remaining shards of glass stuck in the window’s frame. Tony gauged the distance to the ground. He was on the first floor. It would be an uncomfortable landing, but not hard enough the shatter every bone in his lower body. Tony shot a last look back at the spreading fire. The furniture was fully engulfed in flames by now. The creatures were still there, backed against the wall, behind a trench of fire.
“What are you waiting for? Jump already.” A voice speaking in an American accent called from the garden below. Tony could see a figure outside, partially hidden in the shrubs. In the darkness it was difficult to tell, but he looked like the man who had beaten him up in the hospital. Dean Winchester.
“Come on. Do you want to die up there?”
Tony most certainly didn’t want to, so he climbed onto the ledge and, taking a deep breath, he jumped.