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Suffer the Children (and the Geeks) 4/10

June 20th, 2007 (07:16 am)

Title:  Suffer the Children (and the Geeks) 4/10

A/N: The trick with any fic where the boys are separated is how to make them each meaningful and not seem separated. I really hope I didn't screw up the balance. And OCs abound in this chapter, but they're kids. You can't hate kids, can you? The b-day girl's request was Sam interacting with kids. That should explain this chapter some :) See chapter one for other notes and disclaimers.


Chapter One

Chatper Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

 

Something had happened.

Dean knew that the moment the guards whispered to each other at the entrance. One ran off, talking in hushed tones to one of the suited men. It hadn't even been thirty minutes Sam since had broken in, and there was no Sam coming out and the newfound activity at the doors did nothing to assuage his nerves.

This wasn't part of the plan. Sam was supposed to go in, get the kids, get out with no one the wiser. Whatever movement was going on amongst the guards could only hinder their progress.

The staff had been nothing if not putting on a calm front for the public. So calm, that the remaining crowd had completely dissipated, each visitor being assured by the staff that there was nothing to be concerned about. The ambulance and its crowd were long gone now. Murmurs were saying it was just an air filtration scare. Something had triggered a silent alarm that the staff just wanted to check out. Dean had been the one to talk them out of calling Hazmat, and he could only hope that they'd stuck to that decision for the time being.

So why the sudden urgency amongst the staff? Dean wasn't sure he wanted to know.

Grace Young was still there, her remaining 12 kids standing around, contented to play tag in the pavilion. He'd managed to extract himself from their games, much to the children's chagrin, and it was all he could do not to blatantly pace off the pavilion while he waited for some kind of sign or word from Sam.

Instead he resigned himself to waiting. Because Sam was probably fine. Sam was probably on his way out right now, and Dean was just being a paranoid older brother.

Dean clenched his jaw, trying to relax on the bench.

He'd feel better if his paranoia didn't prove to be right so often. Especially when it came to Sam.

He practically had a sixth sense, a Sammy-sense, which was acutely attuned to the well being of his little brother.

Sometimes it worked overtime, a little obsessively so, but he hated to think of all the times it'd been right, all the times he walked in just in time to help Sam, to save Sam.

And it was going off with alarm bells in his head right now. And the kicker? He had no way of doing anything about it.

Well, he could go in after Sam. The service door would still be unlocked, not that he didn't know a thing or two about how to wield a lock pick.

He glanced to the door though, and sighed. It was now being patrolled by one of the security guards, who had clearly been told to ramp up the security.

Besides, Grace kept glancing at him. If he went in, he'd have no way to keep Grace in check. He had a feeling that if he left her alone, it wouldn't be long before Grace panicked and called in more help, which was not the kind of attention they needed. Sam would kill him if they got themselves wanted for another crime.

Grace kept glancing at him, and when she finally made eye contact she sauntered over, keeping her eyes on the kids.

"Shouldn't he be back by now?" she asked, and Dean could tell she was trying to look casual.

Dean smiled tightly. "It's a big museum."

It was a good excuse, a plausible one, but neither of them believed it.

She bit her lip, hesitating. "He'll get them out, right?" she asked. "You trust him?"

The humor faded completely from Dean’s eyes, and he looked at her with the most genuine look he’d given her all day. "I’d trust him with my life," he said. "Don’t worry. He’ll do anything to get those kids out."

It must have been his eyes, or the certainty in his voice, because her features steadied and she smiled slightly. "I’m going to go check on the kids now."

Dean didn’t reply. There was nothing to say. He meant what he said to Grace, meant every word of it. Sam was good, just as good as he was (Dean had trained him, after all) and Sam wouldn’t leave a job half-done, especially not with victims at risk. Especially not with kids.

But he couldn’t deny the growing feeling of doubt in his stomach as he turned back toward the museum to wait, a grim expression set on his face.

-o-

Frustrated, Sam offered the door another kick, then another, before using his fists and palms again.

His burst of energy died quickly though and he turned his back to it, slumping against it.

"You do know that's bullet proof glass, don't you?" the little girl asked, looking at him like he should know.

He did know, though it occurred to him that he wasn't sure how she knew. "Yeah," he agreed. "I know."

"Are we locked in?" Liam's older brother asked.

"Are we going to die in here?" Lara piped in. Her wide blue eyes were more curious than scared.

"We're just locked in," Sam said, trying to force the resignation from his voice. "We'll be fine."

He didn't like lying, but he did it often enough, for the good of the people he was lying to. These kids didn't need to know about what was out there in the dark and, more importantly, what was lurking right there in the museum, possibly waiting to kill them all.

Looking down, he took them in. They were huddled together, backpacks still firmly on their backs, little eyes wide and earnest and trusting, like he was their savior.

He was just one man, unarmed, with no way out, and with no idea how to defeat whatever it was that was after them. Protecting people was always important, always at the top of their priority list, and these were children. Kids. Innocent. Mostly helpless. They depended on him like they would a parent.

The idea made him feel weak. He couldn’t let the kids see it though.

Swallowing, he tried to smile. "Okay," he breathed, his mind frantically working to throw together some kind of plan. "Why don't we sit down and make ourselves comfortable?"

He was stalling, and the kids seemed a little uneasy. "But I thought we had to leave," the other boy said, looking somewhat cross. "That’s what you said before."

"Isn't Ms. Young waiting for us outside?" Lara added.

Sam managed a smile this time. "It looks like the security system went on lockdown for some reason. Kind of a fluke. So we just need to sit here and wait until they fix it."

It seemed reasonable enough, and he could see the kids slowly beginning to accept his words. He'd just get them to sitting, let them relax, and hope that without anything physically in the hall to throw at them, that the jewel would be mostly impotent. All the attacks had occurred within the room where it was housed. So they just had to stay clear of it and maybe it couldn't sense them. Maybe it couldn't even get to them.

But it had sensed enough to know they were running. And it had managed to close the door.

It wasn't time to worry yet, now was the time to--

"I'm bored."

It was Lara who announced it. The little blonde flopped in a very un-ladylike fashion to the floor and her chin rested in her hands. The other girl plopped next to her and rolled her eyes--again.

They'd been there all of two minutes. And she was bored.

He looked around. The boys had all taken seats as well and he sank down to join them. They all looked rather bored. Glancing the other way, he looked at the hallway. It was still and empty. Maybe this really was a security glitch...

The bored girl huffed again, and one of the boys poked her. She wrinkled her nose and pulled away. The boy poked again.

Sam wondered if maybe they had iPods in their bags, books, anything to keep them entertained.

Before the little boy could poke her again, Sam decided he probably should act like the adult. Since he was an adult, and all.

"Well, tell me about yourselves," Sam offered finally, resolving himself to keeping the kids calm and focused away from the exhibit down the hall and the locked door right in front of them. "I don't know anything about you."

The kids took this idea in silently, each looking somewhat glumly at the floor. "I'll start," he suggested. "I'm Sam."

The brothers were both staring at the ground still and the other boy was looking at the ceiling. The girls were looking at him, the dark haired one in curiosity, the blonde with impatience.

"We already knew that," the blonde said.

How it was possible for a grade school student to speak with such condescension was beyond Sam, but he found himself blushing regardless. "Then what do you want to know?"

"This was your idea, Mr. Winchester," the blonde reminded him, enunciating his name carefully.

He gritted his teeth, trying to think. What could he tell them? He couldn't tell them what he did, why he was here...

He must have looked pathetic, because the dark haired girl took pity on him. "What do you like to do for fun?"

It was such an innocent question, such an obvious question, that he opened his mouth without thinking, but quickly found that nothing came out. What did he like to do? Research? Ride shotgun? Work out? Spend time with his brother? He closed his mouth with a chuckle. "I've been busy lately," he said. "Seems like I haven't had much time to have fun."

The littlest boy's opened wide. "If you get your homework done faster, you'll have more time to play," he recommended. "Daniel and I do ours every day, right when we get home. Then Mommy lets us have a cookie and then we get to play." He nodded seriously.

Lara looked critical. "What do you do if you're not having fun?"

"I work," Sam said, feeling safe that that was mostly the truth.

"What do you do?"

Sam stared. "What do I do?"

"I mean, for a job," Lara clarified. "My dad’s a pharmacist." Her pronunciation was neat and proper; no doubt she had practiced it countless times at home.

"And mine’s a teacher," the other girl said, nodding seriously. "My mom works as a nurse."

The boys looked a little bored by the conversation. One finally prompted, "So what do you do?"

Sam had been hoping they’d forget that they’d wanted to know at all, because he wasn’t sure what he would tell them. "In college I was going to be a lawyer," he said finally, feeling meek in his answer.

"My dad doesn’t like lawyers," said the older brother seriously. "He says they’re out to take your money. You’re not that kind of lawyer, are you?"

"No," Sam laughed. "I’m definitely not that kind of lawyer."

This seemed to satisfy them.

"So," he said, looking at each one. "Who’s next?"

The first little girl, the dark haired one who Sam suspected was Hispanic, sighed. "Okay. Well I'll go next. My name's Jaclyn. My favorite thing is when we get to do reading at school--I really like science and how stuff works. My mom says I should be a scientist someday. I'm thinking I may like physics best."

Sam raised his eyebrows. While he was not partial to science himself, this was a girl who was clearly after his own academic heart. He wanted to ask her something more, but Lara had taken the pause to mean it was her turn.

She pursed her lips, smiling at the attention. "My name is Lara. There's no u in it, which is why it's pronounced Lara and not Laura. I think Lara sounds much prettier than Laura. A Lara will never be called Laurie."

There was an air of pride in her voice, and Sam didn't doubt that Lara was her parents' pride and joy. And that Mommy and Daddy left nothing wanting for their little girl and that their pocketbooks went deep.

"Anyway," she said, "I really like clothes. I even designed some for my Barbies."

Jaclyn actually looked a little disturbed by this and the boys had completely shut down.

"That's great, Lara," Sam offered, keeping his eyes warm even as he struggled to find a response. "Did you sew them yourself?"

Apparently his question was golden, because her face broke wide and her eyes twinkled. "I did," she said. "On my mom's sewing machine. Do you know how to sew? My mother says is a very important skill. She even makes my older brother take sewing lessons."

"Sewing is for girls!" the older brother exclaimed, wrinkling his nose.

Lara looked indignant, crossing her arms across her chest in a huff.

"Well, it is a valuable skill," Sam offered, hoping to quell the conflicts before they escalated.

"Do you sew?" the other boy asked.

Sam considered that. "I'm pretty good with a needle and thread," he admitted finally, neglecting to add that usually his canvas was his brother's body.

The boys stared a little, dumbstruck. Lara simply looked amazed and half in love.

Blushing in spite of himself, Sam looked to the brothers. "What about you two?" he asked. "Who are you?"

The boys stared a moment longer before the older one blinked and seemed to focus on the task at hand. "Well, my name's Daniel, and this is Liam," the boy said, nodding to his little brother who was still curled up at his side. "Liam's not really in our grade, but he's really smart, so they skipped him ahead. Mom was worried about us being in the same class, but I like having him there. He's so little, so I like to make sure he's okay."

Sam couldn't help smiling. Didn't that sound familiar?

Next to Daniel, Liam beamed proudly.

"And I like being with Daniel," Liam chimed in. "But I also like books and math and writing and worms. And dinosaurs. I was hoping there’d be more dinosaurs here, but Daniel says I’ll like the mummies even more. We never made it to the mummies yet. Are we going to get to?"

They were being hunted by some possessed jewel and the kid wanted to see the mummies (not that Sam could blame him—mummies were pretty cool and for a second he wished they’d swung by the exhibit before they’d started their research). "Sorry, bud, I don’t think we’re going to make it over there."

Liam’s face fell a little, but he forced a smile back on. "It’s okay, because this is like an adventure."

"Do we get to play with guns?" the other boy broke in. "A real adventure would have guns."

Sam raised his eyebrows at the boy. "And you are?"

"Jeremy," the boy said, with a nonchalant shrug of his shoulders. "I can beat my brother when we play Halo."

Sam assumed that was supposed to impress him.

Jeremy looked serious, his brown eyes solemn. Then he added, proudly, "And he's thirteen."

"Huh," Sam said. He glanced at each of their young faces and they were all staring at him, expectantly. "Well," he continued. "It's very good to meet you all."

They lapsed into silence, the kids still seemingly waiting for him to say more.

Sam smiled awkwardly, letting his eyes peruse the floor. He was out of ideas, out of ways to keep them entertained. He didn't know anything about X-Boxes or Barbie dolls and his sewing experience wasn't exactly relevant.

Liam poked his big brother and giggled as Daniel threatened to tickle him. Jeremy took to untying and retying his shoes. Jaclyn fiddled with the zipper on her backpack.

Lara sighed dramatically, letting her blonde curls flop forward as she drew her knees up and rested her chin on them. "I'm bored," she announced.

Sam stifled a groan.

-o-

He should have gone with Sam, Dean was pretty sure of that now.

He should have left Sam out here with the hot teacher and gone in himself. Maybe if had, Sam could have even gotten laid by someone who wouldn't end up dying because of it. Though he knew Sam was a long ways from that, no matter how much Dean pushed and plotted. San Francisco was just too recent, which was part of the reason he had wanted to be the one to stay with the girl this time anyway.

He should have done something different, because as it was, the situation pretty much sucked. Yes, Grace was very nice looking, and, yes, Grace really did look about ready to burst out of that blouse, but Sam was late and it was making Grace all nervous and fretty (which may have been a turn-on, if not for all the little kids she was herding around her).

Plus the fact was that Sam was late, and that was never a reassuring thing. Not on a hunt anyway. Late meant something had come up, that there was a new kink in the works, that some news had broken--

That something had gone wrong.

It was possible that the kids were just experts at hide-and-seek. Maybe they'd actually been smart kids and holed up somewhere, which would make Sam's job exponentially harder. Or maybe Sam was given them a freakin' tour or something. Sam was a geek after all.

But he was a conscientious geek, and he should have been back by now. Or he should have called.

Dean resisted the urge to punch something. He should have heard from Sam by now.

And the museum employees looked so unbelievably nervous that Dean just couldn't wait any longer. Now was the time to feel out the employees, pump them for some info, to assuage whatever doubts were creeping through him.

Resolved, he collected himself, wiping all his fears from his face and approached the building. He picked the guard on the end, loitering near the bushes. He was younger than the rest and kept seeming to get tired, slumping against the wall, before his desire to impress got the better of him and he straightened again, glancing around nervously at his supervisor and the curator.

With a casual gait, he made his way to the guard. He shoved his hands in his pockets and kept his grin easy. When he approached, the guard nodded at him politely, and straightened himself.

"Hi," Dean said.

The guard merely forced a smile and nodded again.

"Crazy day, huh," Dean tried.

"Just one of those days," the guard agreed blandly.

"So will the place be open again any time soon?" Dean asked. "We did get kind of rushed out of there in a hurry."

The guard looked vaguely disinterested. "Just trying to keep everyone safe."

"So there's no chance of anyone going in soon?"

"Sorry, buddy," the guy said, with an exasperated shake of his head.

Dean leaned in, putting a sheepish smile on his face. "I think I left my wallet in there," Dean said, his tone entreating. "I kind of need it, you know. It has all my money."

The man nodded. "I understand," he said. "I promise we'll pick it up before the museum reopens and hold it for you."

Dean laughed a little at that. "Well," he said. "You see. The thing is--well, I kind of need it tonight. I've got this hot date, you know. And I've been working on it for months now--and I've got reservations at this expensive little Italian place..."

Bemused, the guard shook his head. "Buddy, no one can go in. I'm sorry about your date and all, but I'm sure she'll understand."

Dean was about to make another attempt, another argument when the guard's words made him pause. "No one? Not even you guys?"

"That's what I said," he replied. "No one."

"Wait, you mean no one can go in?" There was an unavoidable hint of accusation and fear in his voice.

The guard tensed. "Look, buddy, it's closed. At least for the day. I'm sure it'll be open again soon, but for now, just go home."

Dean just gaped at him. The guards had been nervous, somewhat talkative before. His stomach flipped and his heart skipped a beat. "Why?"

"That's not something you need to know," the guard replied shortly.

"Dude, it's just inside the door--" Dean tried to explain.

The guard’s already nonexistent patience snapped. He straightened himself, leaning in aggressively to Dean. "No one’s going in until the place has been cleared! We can’t even get a team in there as it is. Some security glitch, okay?"

Dean was nearly too shocked to be angry and far too worried to lash back. He was a proud guy and didn’t handle people talking down to him—but it wasn’t the fact that the guard was treating him like a four-year-old that bothered him. No, it was what he said that threw Dean off. Something had taken a turn for the worse inside and it wasn’t just that people weren’t allowed to go in. They couldn’t.

And Dean had a pretty good notion that the problem wasn’t a security glitch.

He retreated without speaking, without feeling. The sun was hot now, high in the sky. He’d sent Sam in alone, and now he had no way of getting in and Sam had no way of getting out. This was not how it was supposed to go down.

His steps were uneven and forced, and he felt his senses dimming out at the edges. There was no plan B. He had no idea what to do. He had no idea where his brother was, if he was okay.

"I can’t take you anywhere," Dean muttered. "Of course you would get yourself locked inside a museum with a friggin' killer jewel."

He sighed. He wasn't just going to sit there while his brother was trapped inside. He needed a way in, a way to make sure Sam was okay...

Dean mentally hit himself.

What was he thinking! Why not just ask Sam himself?

"Think, Dean," he berated himself, pulling out his phone. With a glance around, he ducked to the side, hoping to be inconspicuous as he dialed his brother's number.

-o-

It was really rather anticlimactic.

Sam didn't want whatever it was to really be after them, to be threatening the kids, but they had been sitting there for a good half hour, and nothing had changed.

Nothing had even happened. Not a blip, not a clang, not a movement.

They were still locked in. He still didn't dare let the kids wander away, so they all sat slumped against the walls. The introductions had lasted for a while, but the conversation had lulled now. The edge of fear that had kept the kids alert was long gone, and Sam could sense their growing restlessness.

Jaclyn had retrieved a book from her bag and was reading it. Across from her, Daniel and Liam were playing some game in Daniel's notebook that had Liam giggling and smiling. Lara was mostly sighing and huffing, occasionally opening her bag and looking through it pointlessly. Jeremy, for his part, had gotten a book out of his bag as well under the pretense that he would read it. He even held it open in front of his face, but Sam could see how his eyes had drifted to the blonde next to him, a suspicious grin on his face.

Sam recognized that smile. He'd seen it on his brother's face every day of his life.

It was the smile on Dean's face before he flirted with a girl. The smile Dean gave when he was about to torment him.

Lara was about to be bombarded with something juvenile and male and there would be squealing and whining as a result. That was something he was pretty sure he couldn't take.

"So," he said loudly and purposefully, preempting Jeremy's attack on the blonde.

The kids quieted, looking at him expectantly.

"Do you want to play a game?"

Lara pursed her lips. "Ms. Young said we're not allowed to play in the museum."

Sam nodded. "Well what if we didn't play a game where we have to run around."

Jeremy crinkled his nose. "That sounds boring."

"Maybe we can play 'I spy'!" Liam suggested enthusiastically. "Daniel plays it really well with me sometimes when we're waiting for the bus."

"Okay," Sam said. "Who wants to start?"

"I do, I do!" Liam cried, nearly jumping up and down.

Daniel rolled his eyes a little, embarrassed. Lara looked a bit disdainful and Jeremy appeared more than a bit skeptical. Jaclyn was still holding her book in front of her, uncertainly.

Liam didn't notice. His eyes were wide as they scanned the corridor. "I spy...something...green!"

Liam was grinning, smiling out at the others.

There was a silence.

Sam glanced from kid to kid, noting their expressions. Liam kept looking at his brother's backpack, propped up beside the older boy, a deep shade of forest green.

He didn't want to discourage the game though. So instead he made himself overly thoughtful. "Hmm...is it...Jeremy's watch?"

The group glanced at Jeremy, who indeed sported a sports watch with a green striped band.

Liam shook his head vigorously. "Nope," he said. "It's green and has black on it too."

"Lara's barrette?" Sam tried.

"Nope!" Liam's grin spread across his face.

This made Lara finger the barrette in her hair. "It's more of an olive color than an actual green," she commented.

"Dude, it's Daniel's backpack, right?" Jeremy interjected, clearly a bit bored by the delineation of details.

Liam squealed a little, clapping his hands. "Yes!" he exclaimed. "Jeremy, it's your turn now."

Sam was pleasantly surprised when the older boy smiled a little, though with a twinge of exasperation.

"Okay," he said. "I spy...something...brown."

"Is it Jaclyn's hair?" Daniel asked.

Jeremy shook his head.

Jaclyn bit her lip. "Is it...the bench?"

There was a gleam of joy in Jeremy's eyes as he shook his head again.

Sam sat back, watching. It kind of amazed him. The kids were engaged, laughing, peaceful. This was exactly what he needed so he could focus on other things--like getting out. And if he was going to get them out of there, he needed to call his brother.

-o-

His plans to call his brother seemed simple enough, just get out the phone and dial, right?

They were, however, quickly thwarted by one of Grace's students who walked right up to him and looked him in the eyes.

"Will you play with us?" she asked, all eyes and smiles and curls.

It made Dean want to swear, because no, he did not want to play, but she looked so hopeful, so sweet, so...

"We thought we'd play a little more duck-duck-goose," she added with a perfunctory nod with which her hair bobbed about her shoulders.

His mind screamed against this, told him to find an excuse, to win her over with an easy lie and a smooth smile, but he felt himself nodding. "Well," he said.

Before his mouth could form the inevitably yes he was dreading, his phone rang.

"I've got to take this," he said and he was impressed how apologetic his voice sounded.

He turned away, pulling the phone from his pocket, before he could see the disappointment on the girl's face.

"That better be you, Sam," Dean grit out without even checking.

"Yeah," Sam voice came over the other end. "It's me."

Dean's relief from being saved from second graders' games was short-lived as he remembered the real peril of the situation. "Dude, why didn’t you call me? The place is on lockdown."

"I know," Sam said. "I don’t think it was security though."

"No kidding," Dean agreed, glancing at the nervously whispering crowd of employees by the front door. "They’re trying to keep it under wraps, but something’s obviously wrong."

"Yeah," Sam said sardonically. "Like the thing that locked us in here."

"You found the kids?" Dean asked, somewhat hopeful that at least that much of their plan had worked out.

"All five of them."

"They okay?"

"A little scared, but they're okay," Sam replied.

The sigh that escaped from Dean's lips was unavoidable, pure relief at knowing his brother was okay. "You need to work on your communication skills, little brother."

Sam snorted. "I've been a little busy, Dean," he replied, and Dean could almost feel his brother eyeing the children.

"So any ideas on how to get you out of there?"

He could see Sam's shoulders slumping. "We didn't have all the history done on this one yet," Sam said. "I mean, we know it was a jewel, but it's hard to say which one. I started doing some research on the dig itself, but so far nothing had come up. Obviously once we know what we're dealing with, we can figure out how to get rid of it, but until then..." Sam's voice trailed off. "I don't know, man. I've got nothing. And the laptop's in the car."

Sam was right, and Dean hated that he was right. Dean hated that Sam was locked in there with nothing to do but wait. Dean hated that the entire hunt would be coming down to his researching skills and that, for once, he was flying solo.

He'd done it before. He'd done solo hunts while Sam was in college and he'd managed to head up the research when the situation was called for in the years that Sam had been back with him. Now it was his time to explore his own geek side, which of course was far from geeky. He was sexy, not geeky. Sam was geeky.

"I've got it, okay?"

"You sure?" He hated that Sam sounded skeptical--not that Dean couldn't do it, but neither brother liked to be excluded from the important parts of the hunt.

"The car's a block away," Dean said with a shrug, hoping his forced nonchalance was convincing Sam.

"Thanks," Sam said, and Dean could see the grateful smile playing on his brother's lips.

"No problem," Dean said. "You just watch yourself, okay?"

"Yeah," Sam replied quietly. "You know I will."

There was a silence that lapsed, as the other waited, and Dean forced himself to end the call.

He took a moment to breath, letting the ache subside in his chest, before pocketing his phone and digging out his keys. He needed to make short work of this research--the quicker he could get Sam out, the better.

His exit, however, was preempted. He'd been so absorbed in his conversation with Sam, that he hadn't even seen Grace approaching him.

"Wait, where are you going?" Grace asked, her small hand on his arm.

"Just have to get something from the car—" Dean replied, already pulling away from her.

She may have been a blonde, but she didn’t look dim. Her eyes gleamed with suspicion. "What were you talking to the guard about?"

"Just making conversation," Dean explained. He wished he’d remembered that teachers all had eyes in the backs of their heads—even the pretty ones.

"What aren’t you telling me," she demanded.

"Grace—"

"Seriously," she persisted. "Who are you guys? And why are you both still here? You could have left but instead you insisted on going in yourselves—without telling security."

"Grace—"

She looked incredulous. "I can’t believe I trusted you two! What was I thinking?"

"Grace!" he said again, forcefully this time, gripping both her arms with his hands and silencing her. "Just listen to me, okay?"

Her patience looked strained. "Who are you anyway?"

"We’re private investigators," Dean said finally.

The disbelief on her face jumped a notch.

"We’re looking into a string of mysterious illnesses, all like the one that Ethan suffered."

Confusion lighted on her features. "Other kids have suffered the same thing? At this museum? We would have heard about it."

"Other museums," Dean said. "Across the country. They’re all linked to the Jewels of the East Exhibit. It's traveled from city to city, the episodes all following it."

Grace was staring at him, a little dumbfounded now.

Dean could see he was gaining ground. It was close enough to the truth, just far enough out there to explain his odd behavior but just real enough to make it plausible.

"What kind of connection?" Grace asked. "Is there some kind of chemical on the jewels? Something that got exposed in the excavation?"

Dean didn't have a plausible counterargument, so he merely shrugged. "That's what we're trying to figure out."

Her brow was furrowed now. "Are the kids in danger? Being inside with it?"

"That's why I sent Sam in and not security. He's careful. He's good. He knows what we're dealing with."

It was clear Grace didn't quite trust him, but she didn't look ready to protest anymore. "Okay," she said.

Dean breathed out an even breath, trying to keep himself from looking too relieved. "Okay."

Now he just had to figure out a way to get Sam out of there before all the crap hit the fan.

Chapter Five

Comments

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 22nd, 2007 12:31 pm (UTC)
destiny

Children are tricky little things. It always depends on the kid and context with me. If there are other adults around, I struggle, but me and a kid tend to have no issues.

Dean freaking out is love!

Thanks!

Posted by: supernaturalmommy (supernatrlmommy)
Posted at: June 21st, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC)

Ahhh! I come back from my trip and find a great chapter waiting on me. This was great, a wonderful mix of characters, both OC's and Dean and Sam.

You got them both spot on, and I liked how they both acted with the kids - very in character. Awesome and I can't wait for more, more, more!!!!!!!

*giggles*
Kat

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 22nd, 2007 12:32 pm (UTC)

You're very demanding! More is up :)

And I figured if anyone could like kids in a fic, it would be you!

Posted by: supernaturalmommy (supernatrlmommy)
Posted at: June 22nd, 2007 01:04 pm (UTC)

"And I figured if anyone could like kids in a fic, it would be you!"

Now, now....well . . . you are probably right. I love what a well-written child OC can add to a good story. I've seen some really bad ones before, but when an author uses what they have to really "create" a realistic child character, I'll almost always be hooked!

Posted by: Devan (ibelieveinsam)
Posted at: June 24th, 2007 06:37 am (UTC)
Angel!Sam

Sam interacting with those kids is so cute. Like you said, we need to see something like this on the show. I liked how they gave us that scene in Home of Sam carrying the kids out of the house. I always thought Sam would be good with kids after that.

I think it's great how you give each of the kids a distinct personality too. I also liked the part about Dean having a Sammy sense :D I'm so happy I put off reading this until the next part was up because now I get to read the next part right away :)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 25th, 2007 12:19 pm (UTC)
earnest

Sam carrying the kids in Home made me so happy--especially in the way that he was nearly reliving his first experience like that without even knowing it.

I had way too much fun developing the kids--I have to admit to that. They were fun to write.

Thanks!

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