Genre: action/adventure, drama, angst, hurt/comfort, family, gen, crossover, humor, bromance
Characters: Sam and Dean Winchester, Jack O’Neill, Daniel Jackson
Summary: Just your ordinary Christmas story with ghosts and claw-wielding, flesh-eating monsters. Sam Winchester and Daniel Jackson whump with, of course, protective Dean Winchester and Jack O'Neill. Spoilers for SPN 7x10. Circa season 3 Stargate SG1.
A/N: An SG1 prequel to this story is on the way. “Celebrate Me Home”
The snow was deep and heavy; the cold wind biting and steady.
Dean Winchester pulled his younger brother closer and tightened the grip he had around his waist. Thankfully, Sam had insisted they wear their heavy boots and get parkas—no matter how ridiculous they looked. Still, they had been out there for far too long and their reserves were running dangerously close to empty.
“Come on, Sam,” he encouraged. “Just a little further. I think I see a cabin up ahead.”
Sam could barely keep his head up, but he doggedly continued to move one foot in front of the other. It had snowed over a foot in the past hour—on top of the foot that was already there. Progress was slow, and in Sam’s case; painful. Dean could only hope that the structure they were slowly dragging their asses towards had medical supplies.
And would be a good place to make a stand.
“Are you sure this is a good idea, Jack?” Daniel said miserably from his awkwardly hunched position against the passenger window.
Not for the first time, Colonel Jack O’Neill casted a worried look over at his friend. He had to be uncomfortable, but the wounds on his back didn’t leave him with many options for stretching out. “What are you talkin’ about, Daniel? This is a great—” he jerked the wheel hard to the left when they nearly slid off the snow covered road, “—idea.”
The snow was falling fast, but they were only five miles from the cabin and Operation Christmas/Convalesce and they would make it. They’ve been through worse.
And some of them just recently.
Dean didn’t bother wasting time picking the lock.
Door flying open as he kicked it in, he half carried/half dragged his brother inside. They were barely ten feet in when Sam collapsed and took Dean with him. He tried to ease his fall as much as he could, but his own legs were weak from exhaustion and his little brother had three inches and at least twenty additional pounds of lean muscle on him.
“Okay, it’s okay, lemme see.” Dean unzipped Sam’s coat with shaking, bloody hands.
“Th-the door, Dean.”
Dean barely gave it a glance. The door wouldn’t keep what they were running from out—even if he hadn’t kicked it in. “Don’t worry, I got a headshot in. We’re the last thing on its mind.” He knew it was a lie. He had hit it, yes, but…it had Sam’s scent now; the scent of his blood. And it wouldn’t stop until it had his brother for dinner, or Dean killed it—which would come first.
He grimaced when he pulled the blood-soaked material aside. The wound was deep. It was really deep. And it was bleedin’ like a son of a bitch. “Damnit, Sammy.”
If the door hanging wide open wasn’t a sign that everything wasn’t exactly kosher to Jack, the blood trail in the snow sure was. He looked over at Daniel who had his eyebrows raised. “Too early for Santa.”
As low to the ground and as quickly as he could in the deep snow, Jack moved to the side of his cabin. He glanced down at the blood trail. Somebody was hurt, and hurt badly. But he also had someone helping him.
He held up two fingers as Daniel appeared behind him and motioned for him to go around back. Before the archaeologist could do so, however, Jack grabbed his coat sleeve and tugged Daniel’s zipper up the rest of the way. Nodding his approval, he then patted him on the cheek and jerked his head in a get going manner.
Daniel just blinked at him…then wordlessly started towards the back. Jack didn’t miss the hiss when his friend ducked below the window with Jack’s spare weapon. He winced in sympathy. Daniel didn’t need this. He should be warmly cocooned in copious amounts of blankets while Jack forced a Simpsons marathon on him.
He was supposed to be relaxing.
He was supposed to be healing.
He was supposed to be forgetting.
Making sure the safety on his sidearm was off, the leader of the elite SG-1 team quietly leapt onto the porch. Peering around the doorway, he saw a man lying on the floor but whoever had helped him inside wasn’t in sight.
Weapon raised, Jack inched inside and pivoted to the right around the refrigerator. He was greeted by a weapon being pointed right back at him. “You’re a little tall for an elf.”
Both men stood straight and calm with their weapons raised and steady.
“No, he’s the elf,” Dean replied casually, canting his head towards Sam. “I’m the one with the gun and the attitude.”
“Really?” Jack wasn’t impressed. “See, I thought you were the one I was about to shoot for breaking and entering.”
“Oh, trust me, you don’t wanna do that,” came another smooth reply.
“No?” Jack’s weapon never wavered. “Care to enlighten me?”
“Because despite the fact that you’re pissing me off right now, I’m gonna save your life.”
“Jack,” Daniel called out as he nudged the sawed-off shotgun that had fallen from Sam’s grip further from his reach. “This looks pretty bad.” Crouching down, he placed a tentative hand over the trembling shoulder.
Dean clenched his jaw. It took all he had not to look over at his brother. He knew the second he took his eyes off the man in front of him, he’d be in for a fight; and he needed to save his energy for later. They all would. “Listen, believe me…don’t, I don’t really give a damn.” Though his voice was hard, there was a weariness he felt down to the bones that had been getting harder to hide over the past few weeks. “But we’re all in danger here and the sooner you let me help my brother, the sooner we can save your lives.”
“And what, pray tell,” Jack inquired, “are you planning on protecting us from with my salt?”
A look of both annoyance and embarrassment flashed across Dean’s face. The hand holding a towel for his brother and a box of salt twitched. “Actually, you’d be surprised what a little salt can do. Now,” he tightened the grip he had on his weapon, “you gonna let me help my brother or—”
“Alright, just take it easy, will ya?” Jack recognized the desperation he saw in the other man’s eyes. He saw the same look in the mirror just last week. The kid was seconds from going through anything and anyone he had to to get to the person who needed him. He motioned with his own weapon. “First, drop it nice and slow.”
After studying the older man for a moment—torn between wanting to trust him and having no choice but to, Dean removed his finger from the trigger and lowered the weapon to the floor. Raising his hands slightly upwards—one still holding the salt and towel—he then slowly walked backwards until he was at his brother’s side. Then practically falling to his knees, “Hey buddy,” he set the salt aside and pulled a small flask out of his coat pocket, “how you holdin’ up?”
Though wracked with pain and having trouble focusing, “I’m good,” Sam forced out.
Dean applied pressure to the wound while uncapping the flask with his other hand. Sam groaned and tried hard not to push Dean’s hand away. “No you’re not, but you will be.”
“Umm…” Hand still resting on Sam’s shoulder in silent support, Daniel eyed the flask dubiously.
“Daniel, give ‘em some space will ya.” Jack motioned for him to move back. It made him nervous that he was so close. They had no idea who the hell these guys were.
“It’s not us he needs to worry about,” Dean told Jack, still concentrating on his brother’s wound.
“Yeah, well, if you don’t mind, I’ll be the judge of that.” He tucked Dean’s 9mil against the small of his back. “Thirsty?” he eyed the flask.
“Always, but this here,” he gave the silver container a quick shake with a flick of his wrist, “is just holy water.” Looking down at his brother, “You ready?” he asked.
“So…what? You’re blessing him now?” But Jack actually looked worried as he stepped closer, gun still out but resting now at his hip. With his other hand, he dug into his pocket for his phone. He lowered it again when he saw what he already knew: there were no bars. “Storm’s blocking what little reception we have up here. Can he be—?”
Sam grunted and gripped Dean’s sleeve when the holy water was poured over his wound. “Easy, Sammy.” Dean held him down.
“Uuuh…” Jack and Daniel uttered simultaneously.
“Is that supposed to be…doing…that?” Jack waved his hand down at the sizzling wound, walking backwards towards the door. He closed it as best as he could and shoved an end table in front of it. Then he scanned outside between the curtains before turning back to the intrepid intruders who were looking at each other with worry.
“What is it?” Daniel asked, noticing the tension.
“Not…” Sam’s breath hitched, “not a biloko?”
Dean swallowed hard, worry dark in his eyes.
“What’s a biloko?” Daniel asked, pronouncing it correctly, unlike Jack. He took a closer look at Sam’s side. “Something with claws I’m guessing.” His hand clenched and unclenched subconsciously.
“Yeah,” Dean rasped. “Good guess.”
“Daniel? A word?” Jack walked over and after picking up the sawed-off, he carefully helped his friend up with a hand under his armpit. Walking down the hallway, “You okay?” he asked, opening the closet door and placing the gun inside.
“Well, let’s just say I’m doing better than him.” Arms crossed self-consciously, Daniel pointed a finger in Sam’s direction as Jack got an armful of blankets out and handed them to him.
Jack grabbed the first aid kit next. Then closing the closet door, he tucked the large kit under his armpit and felt Daniel’s forehead.
Daniel looked up at it owlishly until Jack removed it. “Satisfied?”
“So, how are we going to get them help?” He asked concerned and weary. “Carter and Teal’c won’t even be headed this way for hours yet…assuming they’re even still able to come.”
“To be honest, I’m more concerned about getting us help, Daniel. Who the hell knows who or what this biloko guy…thing is, or if they have more friends out there. And whether you want to admit it or not, DannyBoy, you’re running out of steam.”
Daniel looked indignant. “I have plenty of steam.”
Jack raised an eyebrow and Daniel shook his head dismissing the conversation all together. His issues weren’t exactly top priority right now. “Listen…Jack, I don’t think they’re a danger to us. He clearly just wants to help his brother.”
“Yeah, well, last I checked, Daniel you haven’t exactly been a very good judge of character as of late.” Jack regretted it the moment it left his mouth. His shoulders fell under the weight of his words. “Daniel….”
Smiling self-deprecatingly, Daniel looked down. “Yeah,” he whispered solemnly, “I guess you’re right.” Nodding to himself, he then jerked a thumb back at the boys. “I’m just gonna.…”
“Daniel, wait.” But his friend had already turned and walked away. Jack sighed. This trip was not at all going according to plan.
“Sam?” Palming his brother’s cheek, Dean rubbed his thumb back and forth across the cool flesh. “Sammy?”
Sam’s gaze remained distant, lost…scared.
“Hey, hey, hey.” Fear washing over him, “Saaam,” Dean got up in his face and gripped his collar. “Sam, don’t do this,” he begged.
Walking back into the room, Daniel froze. “Is he…?”
“He’s fine,” Dean snapped. Then, “Come on, Sam. Stone number one, remember?” He searched his brother face. Nothing. “Sam!” He jostled him slightly, desperately.
His little brother finally blinked and took an unsteady breath. Moving his legs restlessly, he looked up at Dean with wet, confused eyes.
“Okay?” Dean asked, breathless with hope. “You with me?”
Nodding, Sam swallowed hard—unable yet to find his voice.
Bowing his head, Dean let out a sigh of relief. “Good.” He met his brother’s eyes again. “Because in case you haven’t noticed, there’s no room at the Inn.”
“Yeah,” Sam breathed shakily. “Thanks.”
Unsure of what he had just witnessed, but suddenly feeling breathless himself; Daniel furrowed his brow and cleared his throat quietly—trying to shake off the unbidden memories washing over him. “Uh…” Scratching at his temple, he forced his thoughts to gather in the present and not back there…not there. “Uh…may I?” He gestured his intention to tuck a folded blanket under Sam’s head.
Finally prying his eyes from Sam’s, Dean looked up and nodded.
“By the way,” Daniel knelt, and ignoring his own body’s protests, carefully slipped the blanket in place, “though I’m sure you’ve probably already heard, I’m Daniel.”
“Dean,” the green-eyed man replied, “and the sasquatch bleeding all over your floor is Sam.”
Sam offered him a weak smile.
“So, you gonna tell me what happened to your brother?” Jack walked back into the living room and handed Dean the Fraiser Approved First Aid Kit. “I’m assuming you weren’t out hunting for reindeer considering your choice of firearms.”
“Yeah, I’m gonna need those back, by the way,” Dean warned, opening the kit.
“Yeaaaahsuuure, that’s not likely to happen.”
“Dean…go,” Sam urged, exhaustion thick in his voice. “I got this.”
“Sam, you can barely stay conscious,” Dean admonished, “and this is gonna need stitches now. It’s bleedin’ too damn much.”
As if proving his point, Sam’s hazel eyes slipped closed briefly before he forced them open again. “It can wait. Get them safe.”
“Help me up.”
“Obviously he’s taken a good hit to the head, too.” Jack commented before he even noticed the blood smeared across his temple, hiding under long brown bangs that reminded him of Daniel’s once upon a time. “What he get hit with?”
“A tree,” Dean replied, grim and matter-of-fact as he grabbed items out of the medical kit. It was a good kit—almost as good as the one they’d lost in the snow. He intended to go back for it at some point. It was practically a family heirloom. “Listen, while I’m stitching him up, I need you two to do a few things.”
“Like?” Daniel immediately offered, but Jack wasn’t as accommodating. “Rather demanding for someone not holding a weapon, aren’t you?” He bounced his own off his thigh.
“That’s just part of my charm.” Dean grinned cockily up at him. Then turning back to Sam, “Ready?” After a nod, he poured alcohol from the kit over the tear in his brother’s side. Sam hissed and gasped. “Easy, buddy, almost done.”
Watching them, Jack grimaced. “Oh, that’s what they’re calling it these days?” he finally responded to Dean’s comment. Then taking a breath, “Look, as exciting as all of this is—”
“I get it. You want answers….” Dean said, threading his brother’s skin back together as if he’d been doing it his entire life.
Daniel watched with morbid fascination as Sam merely gripped his older brother’s jacket as the needle was pulled through his flesh. “Uh…don’t…aren’t you gonna numb that?” he muttered more to himself than to anyone else.
“…but I don’t have time to explain right now,” Dean continued. “You’re just gonna have to trust me.”
“You broke my door,” Jack exclaimed.
Dean glanced up at him and did a double take. Face falling and hardening, “Hate to break it to ya, buddy, but the day is young.”
Jack spun around to find a pale woman wearing what looked like animal hide clothing standing behind him. “Hell…oo. How’d…?” Her body flickered in and out like a bad hologram, then she charged at him screaming. “Woah,” Jack stepped back and aimed his weapon just as Dean came up from behind him and…threw salt straight from the box at her. The salt slashed through her like a sword and she disappeared.
“Dean,” Sam panted, trying to sit up. “It must be close.”
“It?” Daniel’s eyes were wide, his eyebrows raised. “Oh, and by the way…what was that?”
“That was a spirit.”
“Fireplace.” Sam finally made it into a sitting position, but he was leaning heavily to the side.
Dean went to the fireplace and grabbed two fire irons. He handed one to Daniel. “Iron works just as well as salt.”
Daniel took it in his hands like it was a rare artifact.
“That’s what you’re running from?” Jack squawked, incredulous.
“Uh, no actually,” Dean knelt down next to his brother to finish the last few stitches, “that was a victim of what we’re running from.” He cut the needle from the thread and placed a sterile dressing over the stitches.
Daniel was still holding up the fire iron—which was actually a small shovel, like he had just learned that it held the secrets of The Nile. “I’m, I’m sorry we are talking about an actual spirit? A ghost?”
“Yeah.” Dean tossed the rest of the medical supplies out of the way and stood with the other fire iron. “Sorry, Sammy’s a little tired or he’d do his Whoopi impersonation.” He received an annoyed “Will you stop it” look from his brother on the floor.
“Okay, alright,” Jack held up a hand and slashed it through the air as Dean walked over to the window and pushed the curtains aside, “assuming I believe you—”
“Saw it with your own eyes, dude.”
“—and I’m not suffering some kind of…extremely elaborate…stroke, what does that thing want and how did you kill it with my salt?”
“It didn’t kill her, it just bought us some time. Actually, which begs the question; salt. Do you have anymore?” He half turned to look at Jack.
“Kosher, rock, or sea?”
Looking back out the window, Dean’s body stiffened. “And about my gun.”