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Things Could be Worse

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Disclaimer: I don’t own Supernatural, Stargate Atlantis or Stargate SG-1. I don’t own any characters nor I making any profit from it.

Warnings: Language and violence.

Notes: SGA/SPN Crossover. SGA – Early second season, after Trinity; SPN – Pre series, completely AU.

 

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Simply a Ghost Hunt

 

Lone Peak Hospital, Sandy, Utah

 

The steady sound of the medical equipment and the heavy footsteps in the corridor were the only sounds in the late night. A young man was lying in the bed with several broken ribs, an abdominal wound and a severe concussion; in a chair near him, his father sat with a broken arm in a sling.

"Dean, we did it. We killed that bastard."

The young man shifted, trying to find a comfortable position. The morphine was doing a great job. He wasn't in any pain, but it was hard to breath.

"Dad… I know… I was there," he said with a feeble voice and a little cocky grin as he remembered the face of Azazel when he fired the Colt.

Eight months earlier, John Winchester returned to their motel room so drunk that Dean had to carry him from the door to his bed. His eyes were red and Dean was there when he finally gave up the secret that was eating him alive.

Dean should have left several hours prior for a possible job in the next town, but he had an encounter with a pretty waitress and decided to stay another night. John hadn't counted on meeting his oldest son that night so he had drowned his worries in alcohol.

When John regained a bit of lucidity, after he finished spilling half his fears with incoherent words, he told Dean about all the information he had collected on the yellow-eyed demon and the demon's plans for Sam and the other children like Sam. When the morning came, they decided to fix the problem together.

No more solo hunts at opposite sides of the country.

They had just two missions: Find the Colt built by Samuel Colt and kill the demon before he could touch Sam. They searched for months for the so called weapon capable of killing anything; it was a long and hard search. When they finally found it, word spread in the supernatural community, like a fire, and Azazel showed up in no time with a bunch of demons ready to kill them.

They were prepared or so they thought.

"No listen to me Dean, you were in coma for four days…you almost died!"

"Dad, it's okay," Dean slurred, tired after just a few words spoken.

"What I'm saying is… you…you can stop now, from hunting."

John had a desperate look in his eyes, but at the same time he watched his son, demanding his complete attention.

"We killed the demon who killed your mother, Sam is safe at Stanford, no one will harm him, and you can choose what you want to do with your life."

"Dad… who's gonna hunt with you?"

"I hunted without you son, both of us worked alone in the past years, don't even try this bullshit with me… beside I almost lost you, and I realize… I realize what Sam said that night was right."

Dean held a deep breath. They never talked about that fight. It was like a taboo.

"I took your childhood. All I cared about was…was keepin' you boys alive, always running from hunt to hunt, always trying to get revenge. You and Sam never had a place to call home or a normal life. That ended tonight. "

"Daaaad…" he had to stop this chick-flick moment right now.

"Shut up and listen. I found your papers… your MIT's online courses."

When Dean paled, John put a hand on his shoulder.

"Dean, I'm proud of what you have done, even while we were hunting… but now you can choose for yourself what you want to do. If you want a normal life, so be it. You're not just a hunter. You're so much more."

"But dad, what about saving people?" the young one asked with a sleepy and sad voice.

"Dean."

John closed his eyes for a moment. It seemed like he was trying to reason with a soldier who wanted to go back into a war zone after medical leave. He knew all too well that feeling. They had done a similar speech to him during his second tour.

John's thoughts came to a sudden halt. Since when had talking to his son become like talking to a soldier? How long has it been since he talked to his son like a father should?

"If Mary could see us now… she would kick my ass, you know? She would be very angry with me for imposing this life to you and your brother… You have the right, and ability, to do something else. Just think about it, okay?"

Dean nodded, not sure what to say. Just mentioning his mother's name silenced him. The pain of her loss was still too intense for both of them.

John nodded too, as if the discussion was over. Four days in the hospital watching his son fight for his life while he could do nothing took all his patience. He needed to move. He had to stop thinking and just do something.

"Caleb called. There's a hunt near Seattle and he needs help. I need to leave now. You take the time to rest and heal. That's an order, Dean, you hear me?"

"Yes, sir."

"I'll call you in a couple of weeks."

John picked up his duffle bag and left without waiting for an answer.

"Yeah, sure whatever," Dean said after a while, alone in his crappy hospital bed.

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One month later, Twin Falls, Idaho

 

"This is John Winchester. I can't be reached. If it's an emergency... leave a message."

"Dad, it's me. Listen, I'm fine. I think I found a simple case in a little town in Idaho. I'm gonna check it out. Call me if you need help."

In the late night, Dean parked his beloved Impala near a huge house. In the past few weeks, three people and the owner of the house, himself, were killed without any reasonable explanation.

He did a general search of the house in the local library but there were no strange incidents in Twin Falls up until now. However, he got lucky at Mickey's Diner where he heard all kind of gossip about the latest victim, Victor Pierson, and his love for antiquities.

That night, after evading the alarm system, Dean went into the house with his duffel bag to check the place with the EMF meter for signs of ghost activity. After wandering through several rooms on the second floor in what looked like a section of a museum, he found the dead body of a soldier on display in the middle of the room. The delivery papers left on a table nearby matched the time of the first death.

Only crazy rich people could think that the well preserved skeleton of a soldier from the Civil War would be a must have in their private collection.

Without a second thought, Dean cut the alarm near the corpse and poured salt on it. Usually he had to dig in several libraries, or in the sheriff's computer documents, to find a connection about a ghost and where its body was buried. Sometimes he had to spend a week in a town just to put the pieces together and then a couple of hours in a graveyard digging.

He smiled. This could be one of the quickest hunts he ever did.

A minute later the temperature of the room dropped. The ghost appeared and threw Dean into the wall with a sickening crash. The wall was covered in old weapons and Dean became breathless due to the pain. He felt an ache on his right side so definitely a cracked rib. He really hoped it wasn't a broken one, because they tended to hurt like hell.

"Sonovabitch!" Dean raised his rock salt loaded shotgun and fired two shots.

With three large, quick steps, Dean was near the soldier's body again when he noticed something protruding from his left upper arm.

"Shit! Fucking arrow."

With pain written all over his face, he broke the shaft of the arrow protruding from the back of his arm. Before he could completely patch himself up, he had to finish the job. He covered the skeleton with gasoline and, with just his right hand, tried to strike a match.

Suddenly, movement to his left was the only warning he got before he was again thrown away from the corpse. The Union soldier's ghost screamed like a madman as his rage intensified after he'd been shot and he tossed Dean near a shelf, throwing the hunter's shotgun away from him.

Dean blinked as the screaming ghost started to come at him for a third time. He quickly looked to his left, at the shelf he landed near, where there were weird objects which were mostly old, painted jars and ceramic plates, but nothing that looked like it was iron. So when the ghost was within striking distant, which happened in mere seconds from when he looked away, Dean did the only thing he could. He took the arrow from his left arm, pulled it out and swung it through the ghost. With a hiss, the soldier dissipated while Dean grunted with pain. Then, he got up, took out a match and finally burned the body.

"Fucking iron arrowhead…lucky me."

With a sigh, he sat down to rest near the shelf, watching the flame burn the soldier, and checked on his own injuries. The room was a mess.

After a few minutes, he heard the sound of police's sirens approaching the house, causing him to curse. He was bleeding and the pain was starting to hit him. He didn't want to stick around to answer the incoming police questions. Even with his colorful cover stories, this would be hard to explain. So his best choice was to escape the crime scene before they arrived.

Dean stood up and took a glance at a weird object similar to a Greek pot with an azure light that had his blood on it. It was strange, between all the other things it was the only one that emitted a soft light; Dean wondered if it wasn't a lamp modeled as an antique jar. There was also some sort of phrase in a weird language but Dean didn't put any effort into trying to read it.

Tired, hurt, and just wishing to get the hell out of there, Dean tried to clean his blood off the pot; it was best if he didn't leave any DNA evidence behind. However, after the fight he knew it was impossible to clean up all his blood. Anyway the huge spot on the pot was too evident to leave it behind. He was going to have to take the pot with him.

He had just touched it with his hands when a massive white surge of energy enveloped him.

When the cops arrived with blazing guns, there was no one in the house: Just an antique grey jar on the floor, the ash of a body, a bloody, old arrow, a shotgun and a duffle bag with salt and gasoline in it.

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It was a pleasant week in Atlantis: No Wraith attack, no strange disease, no one was kidnapped and neither had Doctor McKay blown up something; just a few simple trading missions.

So it was no wonder when an alarm appeared on one of the monitors in the control room, most of the technicians let out a sigh, wondering what catastrophe would hit them…Again.

"Come on kids, what do we have?" asked Lieutenant Colonel Sheppard with a little amusement in his tone. He was bored. He had to catch up on all the paperwork during this long, peaceful week, and that alarm sounded like a good diversion from boredom.

"Sir, there was a spike of power in one of the rooms in Section Eight. It was previously submerged and I checked the schedule, none of the scientific teams are supposed to be there for… at least two weeks. "

"Thank you, Chuck. Rodney, can you find out what's going on?"

Doctor Rodney McKay impatiently pushed one of the guys away from his station and was already typing and mumbling.

"I swear, if Zelenka is messing with something, I'll put him to work with Kavanagh for a month!"

Hearing what Rodney was saying while entering the control room, Zelenka glared at his colleague.

"Vole... Rodney, I'm right here. I didn't do anything."

"Oh okay. Then do something because according to these readings someone beamed in that room."

"Rodney, are you saying we have an intruder?"

Doctor McKay turned around to face Lieutenant Colonel Sheppard with his hands on the hips and Doctor Weir behind him.

"Am I speaking Alteran? Yes, yes that's what I'm saying. Someone, probably using a teleportation device, beamed in there. I don't know why, yet, that specific room but that's what the readings are showing. Now is any of that unclear?"

Sheppard gazed to Doctor Weir, who nodded in response.

Sheppard tapped the radio that was in his ear while gesturing to one of his marines on 'Gate duty to get him a vest and said, "Sheppard to Ronon come in. We have a situation in Section Eight. Meet me there. Sheppard out."

Then the Colonel took out his gun, accepted the vest from the marine, put it on, and headed toward the elevator. Near it he met Major Lorne, whom heard the commotion on the radio.

"Lorne, take two marines. We're going to meet our guest."

"Yes, sir."

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"What the hell!" Dean said as he took two steps back from a console in a room with strange architecture and a faint azure light from several vertical lamps on the walls. An uneasiness from the "travel" caused Dean to hold onto one of the chairs and take some deep breaths. He never felt car sickness but he was sure it had the same effect: He had nausea and vertigo. Dean took a moment to focus his eyes on a single spot before he examined his surroundings.

One moment he was in a house in Twin Falls, Idaho and the next, he was in what it seemed like some kind of sci-fi control room which included a big panel in the center, three chairs – one for each monitor – and several metallic circles on the floor. This room looked more like something coming from one of the Alien movies than a real place, just less creepy. At least the lights were on and there wasn't any acrid smell in the room.

Another side effect of his travel was the sensation of his skin crawling with needles. As the minutes passed by the overall feelings faded, leaving him only a little dizzy and hungry, very hungry.

Suddenly, in the back of his mind, he heard some kind of gentle humming, like something was welcoming him. Dean tried to ignore it, even if the tiny presence was almost calming to his erratic thoughts.

While searching for a way out, he found a door with a strange panel near it. Deciding it was his best option to leave the strange sci-fi lab, he headed that way, taking his gun out from his back. He cautiously tried to open the door by touching the panel. Lucky for him the door opened on his first attempt.

There was a corridor outside the room which went in both directions. Dean waited near a wall trying to hear if any footsteps were coming his way but the place appeared to be deserted.

Dean took a moment, since all was quiet for the moment, to think about what type of object brought him here. It had to be some kind of magical object, maybe a cursed one too. If it was a spell, a witch could be involved.

Dean started to think about all the information he had on the object. Maybe the antiquities in that house weren't harmless, old items but all kinds of ingredients for witchcraft. Was Victor Pierson a witch? Who knew what kind of spell was imbued on that pot.

Maybe a teleportation spell? That could be useful if a witch had to escape fast from a hunter. If Pierson was the witch, what was he doing with a ghost? Was he trying to be a wannabe necromancer?

Perhaps Pierson was just the unluckiest man on Earth and by accident he acquired a cursed pot and a vindictive spirit for his collection. He didn't have enough information to uncover the truth.

Best way to deal with this situation, he thought, was to quickly find an exit, get back to the Impala, rest for a week and forget everything. After all the ghost was dealt with and Pierson was dead; he just had to find a way to secure and lock away that cursed thing and the hunt was over.

Without any map he chose to go left and after several closed rooms he found himself near the end of a corridor, by what he guessed was an exit. As was habit he always looked at his surroundings and Dean noticed that the entire building was strange: Every frame was made of metal or some other alloy and the doors had an eccentric design.

When the door itself opened, men with guns and military tactical vests stepped out.

Dean mentally cursed the whole situation. He took cover in a nook, although the rapid movement caused him a lot of pain from his left upper arm and right side. He didn't let any sound escape his lips but small drops of blood were visible in the corridor leading to his position and Dean wasn't in his best shape.

Great from a fucking hunted house to a freaking military complex.

If it was a teleportation spell for an easy escape, it sucked.

The military team took position near the elevator. The man visibly in charge of the group, with a black uniform and black spiky hair, was scouting the area. His hazel eyes stopped on the blood near Dean's cover.

He was so screwed.

"Hello there," stated the guy in the black BDU as he raised his gun toward Dean's cover. "Who are you and how did you get in here?"

Dean decided to show a little of himself and point his gun at the man, just enough to have a better aim at him. The militaries behind their leader were all in position near what could only be an elevator with their guns aimed at him. They had a standoff.

"How the hell would I know? I don't even know where here is. Who the hell are you?"

Sheppard was dumbfounded. The blonde guy was wearing a leather jacket, denim jeans and worn out boots, definitely not the kind of things people wore in the Pegasus Galaxy. Plus he had what looked like a Colt M1911 in his hand, his accent was clearly American and from what he saw the young man was bleeding from one arm.

"I asked first… I'm Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard of the United States Air Force, you're not supposed to be here. Again, who are you?"

"I'm Ripley," the guy said with a small smirk on his face, but Sheppard doubted it was his true name.

"Are you American?"

"Do I look like a freaking Canadian?"

After a long glare, he went stiff.

"Look I'm not a spy, I didn't know I stumbled in a military station. I don't spend too much time in Idaho and I don't care. I didn't do anything. Let me go on my way and you'll never see me again."

"Idaho," repeated Sheppard. The young man didn't know he wasn't on Earth anymore or in the right galaxy for that matter.

"Listen kid…" John began.

"I'm not a kid," the guy snapped.

"Listen…We can't let you go. For all we know you could be a threat to…this facility or you could carry some kind of disease you're not aware of and I can't risk the safety of my people. I have a duty to protect them. So drop your weapon and face the wall with your hands behind your head. If everything is right, we'll solve this mess without any problems."

Sheppard threw the disease problem in the mix hoping to scare him a little. He had read some reports at the SGC where the military used strange excuses as cover ups, like new diseases and malfunctioned prototypes, to explain to the people of Colorado Springs the weird things that kept happening around NORAD and their city.

Looking at him thoroughly, the young man appeared to weave a little, like he couldn't decide what to do and probably due to the fatigue and blood loss.

The young man needed a medical team, but Sheppard couldn't let his guard down to call it. Every move could set the kid off. As if he was reading his mind, Major Lorne communicated the situation to Doctor Weir and requested a medical team in Section Eight over his com-link.

"I understand…sir…but I don't have any disease neither am I a threat to you or your people. Step aside and let me go." His arms were again steady and his eyes were fixed on John.

He hadn't bought the disease threat. Sheppard considered as he reanalyze the kid's attitude. The guy wasn't acting like a normal civilian. He was too calm regarding the situation; no one would face four armed people without sweating a bit, only well- trained soldiers had that kind of confidence.

However, he was in a four versus one situation and had no way of escaping. If things went south they risked a bloodshed. So Sheppard was stalling, hoping to find a solution without a shoot-out.

A cat-like movement behind the corner and a red shot was the last thing Dean saw before he lost consciousness. His body went still for several seconds before hitting the floor.

Sheppard ran toward the kid, took the gun and went to check his pulse. He stared at the big guy with dreads, gun in hand and a grin on his face, standing at the opposite side of the corridor.

"Ronon…was that thing set to stun?"

 

To be continued…