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[personal profile] last01standing
Title: The Shadow Men [2/?]
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Kripke owns SPN, not me
Summary:The campus of Stanford lies in ruins. The veil between hell and earth is getting thinner by the day and Sam Winchester may be the only thing standing between the world and total destruction. [AU, apocafic]
Previous Parts:1 



THE SHADOW MEN
CHAPTER 2


Uncle Bobby ran a junkyard called Singer’s Salvage where Sam had grown up as a kid. Sam hadn’t known his real dad. Just Bobby Singer who was gruff and loyal and almost definitely not his real uncle but as close as Sam had to family. He’d taken Sam in when he was just six months old and raised him the best he could. Uncle Bobby had said his dad was dead but either didn’t know or wouldn’t provide the details as to how. In fact, Sam got the impression that Uncle Bobby didn’t know much at all about his real family outside the surname Winchester.

Sam wished he’d pushed the issue sooner. Wished he’d demanded a name and a death certificate for his father. Wished he’d prodded past Uncle Bobby’s mutterings of ‘Damn fool Winchesters’ while he still could.

It was too late now. Uncle Bobby was going on two years dead and Sam Winchester didn’t have any answers. All he had was a heedful of memories that didn’t quite match up with the person.

Sam had been there when Uncle Bobby died. Had borrowed a car and broken every speed limit getting to the hospital. Hunting accident, the doctors said, we’re doing everything we can.

Uncle Bobby had been ghost white, lying under the thin white sheets looking paler then Sam had ever seen him. His hat was gone, replaced by stringy gray hair that didn’t match the formidable beard. We think your uncle tried to approach a wounded wolf and it attacked. It’s a miracle he’s lasted this long.

Only Uncle Bobby didn’t hunt. Not anymore at least. Sam had heard him refer to his hunting days back with some of the customers at the salvage yard, but those were the customers Sam wasn’t permitted to speak with; The ones that were taken to Bobby’s office, the back room with the locked door and the funny books. Sam knew his way around cars and he knew his way around locks, but there had always been something keeping him out of that back room. To this day he didn’t know everything about Bobby Singer. Uncle Bobby kept secrets and Sam had been raised to respect that much.

When he pulled into Singer’s Salvage, he wasn’t terribly surprised to find a few new cars out front. It was like this every time he came home. He’d hired help to take care of the yard while he was off at school and ran it himself through the summer. The girl he’d hired to look after the place had a knack for picking out junkers worth saving and knowing which ones to trash. She was an almost twenty-year old college dropout named Christina Chambers with greasy black hair and perpetual dirt smudges crossing her face. The car closest to the house was hers.

Sam stumbled out of the stolen Toyota blinking into the sun. He felt unstable somehow, almost like he could feel the Earth spinning under his feet. The day’s events hadn’t quite taken root in his consciousness. He felt like he could still see the flames licking at horizon, felt the phantom impression of Jess’s cooling hand.

The rest of it, the vision, the explosion of flames at the hospital, Sam didn’t think about that too hard. There was something lurking on the edges of his consciousness, an idea forming that changed everything he knew about the universe.

He pushed it aside and made his way into the Singer’s Salvage office. “Chris?” he called. “Chris, you here?”

“Don’t fucking move,” a voice said as something round and metal was pressed into the small of his back. “Move and I swear to God, I’ll fire.”

Sam froze. The thing pressed against his back couldn’t be what he thought it was. There was no way he’d driven hundred of miles away from Stanford and fire and corpses only to get his ass shot.

“Don’t shoot!” he said gruffly. “I’m not armed, I don’t want to hurt you. I promise. I live here!”

“Sammy?” the voice broke and the hand holding the gun dropped from his back. Sam turned around just in time to get an armful of Christina Chambers. “Jesus, Sammy. I thought you were in Stanford. I been watching the news and reading the papers. I thought you were dead.”

Sam gently pried Chris off of him. She was wearing a pair of torn jeans and dirty green T-shirt. There were tears smudging the grease stains on her face. “Calm down, Chris. What’s happening? Why have you got a gun?”

It was scary the way her face darkened. The way the relief faded from her eyes. She turned to the office window, eyeing the house through the weathered glass pane. “There’s someone in the house.”

“Someone’s trying to rip this place off?” Sam repeated, raising an eyebrow. “Why? It’s not like we’ve got anything valuable.”

Chris hit him squarely on the chest and for just a minute, Sam could pretend things were back to normal—summer vacation with him and Chris and dozens of junked out cars. “Well what the hell are we going to do about it?”

“You were hiding,” Sam accused.

“I was ambushing!” Chris countered, more then a little defensively. “It’s a perfectly sound tactic. But there’s two of us now and only one of them. I saw we go in and shoot them.”

“No one’s shooting anyone,” Sam said. “Put the gun down and we can go see what’s going on.”

Chris grudgingly put the pistol back behind the counter and fell into step behind Sam. Sighing, Sam made his way out to the old house, reaching for the key in his pocket.

He didn’t need it because the door was already opened. To his untrained eyes, it didn’t look forced. The lock hadn’t been torn from its place. The floor wasn’t littered with glass from a shattered window. But there was a scuffling sound coming from somewhere inside that was too loud to just be rats. Sam turned to Chris. “Stay behind me, yeah?”

“No need asking twice,” Chris huffed, snaking a baseball bat from beside the doorway.

Sam rolled his eyes, but pressed on ahead. The noise was coming from somewhere in back. He could see footprints in the thick layer of dust that had accumulated in his absence. A television was blaring from somewhere in the distance. We have unconfirmed reports saying that there are people appearing from the smoke.

The door to the back room, the room Uncle Bobby had kept off limits from the days when Sam was just a kid, was standing ajar. Sam could see dozens of books strewn across the room, great dusty volumes he never knew his uncle owned. Sam eased the door open another few centimeters, inching himself inside, Chris slipped in after him, feet light on the creaking floorboard.

There was a man in the room, crouched down on his haunches, studying an old book. He was just past forty if Sam had to guess, wearing a beat up leather jacket and a pair of jeans ridden with holes. He had long, stringy brown hair that was tied up in a tiny ponytail. Sam glanced back to Chris. She looked pointedly at the guy, raised her bat and mimed bashing someone over the head. Sam frowned and turned back. “Excuse me? Sir?”

The man turned back around slowly and eyed Sam and Chris. “You’re not Bobby Singer.”

“No,” Sam said. “No, I’m not. I’m Sam Winchester and this here is Chris—“

Chris cut him off, eyes widening in panic. “Don’t you tell this thief my last name, Sammy or I swear I’ll rip your balls off.”

“That’s just Chris.”

An eyebrow raised. There was a scar marring the right side of the intruder’s face, starting on the temple and slicing straight down to his lip. It was old wound, faded and half hidden by the stubble of a week-old beard. “If you ain’t Bobby Singer, you can’t help me.”

“Then get the fuck out of this house!” Chris growled. Sam could see through her bravado with ease. Her knuckles were white on the grip of the bat. Her hands shook.

“Or what, sweet cheeks?” the intruder countered. “You’ll take a whack at me with your Louisville Slugger? This ain’t your house.”

“No,” Sam said, stepping forward. “It’s mine. And I want to know why you’re here.”

“Ain’t your house either,” the intruder said. He stood up slowly, eyeing Sam the whole way. “Last I checked, the place outside was Singer’s Salvage and you ain’t no Bobby Singer.”

Sam blinked“How do you know Uncle Bobby?”

“Uncle Bobby?” the man said, turning the word over in his mouth. Sam caught sight of a book filled with arcane symbols on the floor and a sheathed knife sticking out of his back pocket. “I see this now. It’s coming back. Some hunter dumped a kid on Singer when he was about ready to hang up the salt guns.” He drew the knife out of the sheath, trailing the razor sharp blade over one of Bobby’s battered tables as he approached Sam. “How about you run and find your Uncle Bobby so the grown ups can talk?”

Sam found himself standing up straighter, breaking free from chronically hunched shoulders, expanding to fill his gigantic frame. “How about you give me a name first?”

The man’s lips peeled back in a wolfish smile. “Mason.”

“That a first name or a last name?” Chris demanded.

“Missy, you ain’t got a leg to stand on.” Mason sneered. He turned back to Sam, still clutching the knife in his hands. “So, Sam Winchester, where can I find dear Uncle Bobby?”

Sam floundered for a moment, every instinct screaming at him to lie. Sam could lie with the pros. He’d grown up with Bobby Singer after all, a man not at all above the occasional con. But he didn’t like it and never can. His scrupulous honesty was his one minor rebellion against his guardian. He couldn’t count the number of times he’d been told, Sometimes a lie can be the safest thing in the world. He’d disregarded the advice long ago. “Uncle Bobby died. Passed a few years ago.”

“Then this was a wasted trip,” Mason grumbled, trying to push his way out the door. “I’ll be off.”

Sam found himself moving to block the path out the door without fully knowing his reasons why. This was a man who’d broken into his house and now he was leaving without even taking a thing. This was great news. Fantastic.

But there was something else here. Maybe the answers he’d been waiting for. Maybe some sort of explanation for Stanford on fire and Jess on the ceiling and the headache that came with pictures at the hospital. “No,” Sam said. “No, you can’t leave just yet.”

“What the hell are you doing, Sammy,” Chris hissed, whacking him squarely in the back with the palm of her had. “Of course he can leave. He’s quite welcome to show himself out and never come here again.” She plastered on a fake smile and gave Mason a cheery wave. “Bye now, Mason. Let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”

“Best listen to the lady,” Mason said. “I am not a man you want to cross.”

“Tell me why you’re here.”

“You don’t want to hear about hunting.”

Hunting. There was a magic word. Sam could spot a euphemism a mile away. Chris could see it too: the special inflection to the word. She voiced the question before Sam even had the chance to form it in his mind. “Hunting what?”

Mason barked out a harsh laugh. The scar on the right of his face twisted sharply, marring the wrinkles on the skin. “Oh, things your worst nightmares can’t conjure up. If you’re in the dark, you’ll be must more comfortable there. I ain’t one to go scarring impressionable youth.”

He shifted, trying to force his way past Sam, but Sam matched him move for move, effectively blocking his escape path. “Tell me.”

“Fine,” Mason growled, any traces of amusement gone from his voice “There are things out there in the dark. Monsters and ghosts and things you couldn’t even dream up they’re so nasty. Things more evil then you could ever image.”

“You’re full of shit,” Chris snapped. “Off your rocker. Blowing smoke. I ain’t been scared of the monster under my bed since my daddy stopped tucking me in.”

Sam felt like he was drifting suddenly. Tripping down the bottomless abyss of bad memories and unanswered questions. He remembered:

Uncle Bobby was dying in the hospital. The doctors said there wasn’t anything else they could do so they let Sam come in, let Sam say his last words, his goodbye. There had been tears falling from his eyes, streaming down his face even though Uncle Bobby had trained him to push away the tears since his use. “Hey, Bobby,” he’d said, grasping the older man’s arm.

“John?” Bobby whispered.

“Not John, it’s Sam. Remember? You’ve been letting me crash with you for the last nineteen years.”

“Sammy?” Bobby seized his wrist with all the strength of a dying man.

“Uncle Bobby?” Sam’s eyes widened and he tried to gently pull away, but he couldn’t the grip was an iron vice.

Bobby pulled on the arm, raising his head just far enough to be heard. “Sam,” he said. The voice was a quiet rasp, hardly audible under the erratic beeping of the heart monitor. “Sam there are things out there, thing coming from the dark—“

“What’s going on?” a nurse said. She looked at the monitor and then shoved Sam aside, whacking a button next to the bed. “We’ve got an m-set. He’s going into cardiac arrest!”

“Uncle Bobby?” Sam said. “Uncle Bobby!”

“Someone get him the fuck out of here!”


“No comeback for that one, Sammy?” Mason said. His voice was light but his face was deadly serious. “Monsters are real. Ghosts are real. Demons are real. There are people out there who hunt them. I’m one of them. Your Uncle Bobby was another. From the talk I heard, your daddy was one. Both of them are dead now and I’m guessing it ain’t from natural causes. Now believe me or not, but all signs point to something big coming and I came here looking for Bobby Singer’s help. If he’s kicked it, there’s elsewhere I can go.”

“Does it have something to do with the Stanford fires?”

The corners of Mason’s mouth twitched up again. “Look at that. When the civilians start noticing, you know things have started to blow up.”

Sam took a step forward, taking full advantage of his imposing frame. Mason only came up to his shoulders, but he had a quiet confidence around him that made him seem bigger, more dangerous then he really was. “Tell me.”

Mason eyed Sam, the smile falling from his battered face. “You sure this is a road you want to go down, Sammy boy? Once you start believing, there’s no turning back.”

Sam didn’t flinch, didn’t correct the despised nickname, didn’t bristle at the condescending tone. He thought of Jessica on the ceiling and the hospital going up in flames. “Tell me about the Stanford fires.”

Mason shrugged, walking back away from the door and into the room. He gestured to the television still showing endless clips of death and burning to the world at large. There was a graphic at the bottom of the screen reading: The country up in smoke? Death toll climbs past five thousand. “It’s not just Stanford anymore,” Mason said. “Stanford was just one of the first. There have been fires all across the country from Seattle to Miami to DC.”

“That’s impossible,” Chris whispered, eyes suddenly glued to the television. “No way anything that widespread is natural. Sounds like a terrorist plot.”

Mason shook his head. “The fires ain’t much more the omens. I’m not sure by any count but I’ve heard of things coming out of the fires. They’re calling them the shadow men.”

Who are the shadow men? The voice from the television said. These mysterious figures appear to be coming out of the clearing smoke—

“What the hell’s a shadow man?” Chris asked. “And don’t you dare say a man made out of shadows.”

“I don’t know what the shadow men are,” Mason said. “That’s why I was coming here for Bobby’s advice. I thought maybe I might find out what they are and how to kill them. Instead I get a snot-nosed college kid and pretty little swears a lot. There’s a good day wasted I could have been using to kill some of these sons of bitches. Now, move the hell out of my way because I’ve got work to do.”

“Where are you going?” Sam asked.

“The nearest fire. Things this big got to leave traces.”

The next words were an impulsive decision, an almost involuntary spasm of the vocal chords: “I’m coming with you.”

_____________________________________________________________________________

Next chapter they'll be Dean. Promise. =)
3 | 

(no subject)

22/8/08 04:10 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] morganslady.livejournal.com
OHHH this is so good!! Sammy and this Mason guy teaming up. Thanks this is an interesting AU

(no subject)

22/8/08 21:26 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
I'm glad you're enjoying it. With any luck they'll be more shortly.

(no subject)

22/8/08 11:32 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] sophiap.livejournal.com
Oh, this is interesting. The lack of Dean is especially intriguing--it sounds like Sam doesn't even know he has a brother.

(no subject)

22/8/08 21:26 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Oh the beauty of an AU. How do you even know Sam has a brother? *Evil laugh*

(no subject)

22/8/08 12:05 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] tabaqui.livejournal.com
Oooh, poor Sam. Dumped and left alone...
*pets him*

Heee, Chris. She's fun. :)
*bounce*

I like!

(no subject)

22/8/08 21:28 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
I may have a weak spot for Sam whumpage. And Dean whumpage, and whumpage of humanity in general...

I like Chris too. =)

(no subject)

23/8/08 00:38 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] redrikki.livejournal.com
Ah, the back-story deepens. This just keeps getting more and more interesting.

(no subject)

23/8/08 13:46 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Glad to hear it. We haven't even started scratching the surface of what's really going on.

(no subject)

24/8/08 04:08 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] mrsevilpigeon.livejournal.com
This is so cool! I love your original characters (even though I'm trying not to get too attached, because, well, I know you). Can't wair for the next chapter.

(no subject)

24/8/08 19:14 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Come on, I don't kill people that much. It's only ever the occassional slaughter spree like when there's use for a zombie apocalypse! Chris and Mason are tons and tons of fun to write. We'll see if my muse feel fit to keep them around. The next chapter's finished but needs a look through. I'm debating holding it a few extra days since classes start tomorrow and I really don't want to have the huge posting gaps if I can help it...

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