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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

The Librarians fic: ...And the Galavanting Hero (1/1)

December 21st, 2015 (09:21 pm)
dorky

feeling: dorky

Title: ...And the Galavanting Hero

Disclaimer: I do not own the Librarians.

A/N: Missing scene for ...And the Infernal Contract. Gratuitous whump and angsty character stuff. Fill for my minor injury/illness on hc_bingo. No beta.

Summary: Cassandra, Ezekiel and Stone. Three people he never wanted to meet but seems destined to protect, no matter what he does.



-o-

It’s been a long time since Jenkins has played this role. The galavanting hero. True, he’s not quite as dashing as he used to be, but he’s still got a certain touch.

At least, it seems that way to him as he vanquishes the devil and turns back to his Librarians.

Cassandra, Ezekiel and Stone.

Three people he never wanted to meet but seems destined to protect, no matter what he does.

Sighing, he reaches down, pulling Cassandra up first. It’s chivalrous, maybe; old fashioned, yes. Old habits, though -- they died hard. Especially after centuries.

Besides, Jenkins reminds himself with a grunt as he gets her on her feet, she is the lightest and the easiest to manhandle. He’s not as young as he used to be, after all.

“Come on,” he coaxes, holding her weight while she struggles to keep her footing. She slips back, head rocking against his shoulder. He catches her -- not quite effortlessly but safely enough -- and props her up so they can take a step together. “This way, Ms. Cillian.”

It’s something that she obeys -- no, not obeys. Trusts. She leans into him and mutters something about mathematical equations that probably only makes sense to her.

Cassandra is special, there’s no doubt. Everyone thinks it’s because of the tumor in her head, but it’s more than that. It’s not what’s in her head, but what’s running through her veins. Jenkins knows a thing or two about magic, and he half suspects the Library chose Cassandra just like it chooses the relics it keeps. Magic is safer inside.

Cassandra Cillian is a better ally than an enemy.

Most might not consider that, not with her slight frame and girlish enthusiasm. But Cassandra is more powerful than the rest of them.

That makes her the most vulnerable, too.

Jenkins has seen the pain magic can cause, not just on others but on those who wield it. He’s seen friends slip into madness, and allies turn to betrayal.

Not Cassandra, though.

He holds her tighter, guiding her away from the room as far as he can.

Not Cassandra.

“There we are,” he says, easing her down onto the ground.

She stirs, eyelids fluttering. “Mr. Jenkins?”

“Yes, just rest for now,” he assures her. “Everything is going to be all right.”

It’s something that she believes him, that she lets her eyes slip shut as she slumps a little further against the wall.

It might be ironic, he thinks as he heads back into the room, that he’s protecting Cassandra.

He suspects that someday -- maybe not too far away -- she’ll be the one who needs to protect them all.

-o-

Mr. Jones is next.

This isn’t a given when he goes back in, but Ezekiel looks like he’s actually 12 years old, and it makes Jenkins feel like he is, in fact, too old for this job so he gathers him up as hastily as he can.

“Mr. Jones,” he grunts while Ezekiel flops unhelpfully forward. It’s harder to catch him than Cassandra, and harder still to maneuver him in any kind of position. Jenkins grunts again, nearly dropping the young man before managing to keep them both upright.

Of course, by this point, he’s breathing heavily and he turns a skeptical glare toward Ezekiel. “You would have to make this difficult,” he mutters. “Just on principle alone.”

Because Ezekiel Jones doesn’t try to do anything unless it’s counterproductive, and he will only prove himself in contexts that don’t gratify anyone but himself. This is supposed to establish Ezekiel’s predominance or some such nonsense, but Jenkins can’t help but think he’s like a child sometimes, acting out for attention when no one will give it to him the way he wants.

This may seem harsh, but it doesn’t preclude Jenkins from respecting what Ezekiel can do. Of all the Librarians, he thinks Ezekiel is the one with the most promise. He’s young and more diversely skilled than the rest, which means his options are far more limitless.

It is this fact that makes Ezekiel’s choice to say especially telling. Not that he’ll admit it, of course, but Jenkins sees the truth where Ezekiel is trying to hide it. That the choice to stay isn’t for a lack of something better to do. No, Ezekiel Jones is not gracing them with his intellectual and genius. Ezekiel Jones has finally found something that he wants and can’t steal, and that, Jenkins suspects, might be the most important thing of all.

“Just a little farther,” Jenkins huffs, dragging Ezekiel the last few feet. He deposits the young man on the ground next to Cassandra, dusting off his suit as he stands back up and trying to catch his breath.

They’re a pair, the two of them.

“Well,” he says, running a hand to tame his hair. “Two down and one to go.”

-o-

Mr. Stone gives Jenkins the most pause, only because he is certainly the most difficult Librarian to carry. He’s not especially tall, but he’s stocky and strong, and the sheer bulk alone will make it no easy task to get him out of there.

“All right,” he sighs, pulling Stone’s lax body away from the wall. Flat on his back, Stone doesn’t look particularly imposing, but a man like that is full of surprises. “I apologize in advance for the inconvenience of this, but I’m afraid I don’t know a better way.”

With that, Jenkins positions himself at Mr. Stone’s head, bending down and lacing his hands underneath the other man’s arm pits. This is awkward, to say the least, but seeing as Stone is unconscious, it’s up to Jenkins to carry that weight -- literally and figuratively.

Jacob Stone is everything one might expect from a Librarian -- indeed, if he hadn’t skipped the call ten years ago, Jenkins thinks he might have given Flynn some hefty competition for the position -- but Jenkins knows that sometimes the hardest person to convince of anything is yourself.

Because for all that Stone is smart and resilient and capable, he’s also innately insecure in the ways the others aren’t. He’s the one who’s hidden his joy, kept his passions silent. The only one unconvinced of his own ability to do the job was him, and Jenkins is not keen to admit that it’s been something of a pleasure to watch him come into his own.

There’s no doubt, Stone has taken to the job. He understands what it’s about in the way the others don’t. Cassandra has the excitement; Jones as the skill. Stone, though -- Stone has a grasp on the weight of what they’re trying to do.

“And there we are,” Jenkins says, lying Stone down on the ground by the other two. Ezekiel’s head has fallen against Cassandra’s shoulder, and they seem to be breathing in tandem.

That’s no surprise.

For as good as these three are separate, they’re better together.

A cord of three strands, after all, is not easily broken.

Jenkins smiles, checking his watch. Eve shouldn’t be too much longer.

He looks at the Librarians again. Cassandra and Jones and….

Jenkins pauses, looking at Stone again.

On the ground, he seems separate from the other two. Different, somehow. It’s hard to see the rise and fall of his chest.

Frowning, Jenkins kneels down, straightening Stone somewhat and laying a hand on his chest. He’s waiting for it to move when he notices the color of Stone’s face looks off.

That’s when he realizes there is no movement.

His own heart skips a beat, and Jenkins leans down, pressing his ear to Stone’s chest. That’s when he hears it -- a slowing thump, thump, thump -- that assures him that not all is lost.

At least, not yet.

Sitting up again, it’s clear that Stone isn’t breathing. A side effect of the gas, no doubt, and he had the longest exposure of all three of them. Certainly Cassandra could speculate as to the ratio of his body mass and the size of his lungs, but Jenkins knows that some things are just bad luck.

Very bad luck.

He glances anxiously toward Cassandra and Ezekiel, but they’re both unconscious. Eve is still topside dealing with the devil and saving an entire town.

He looks at Stone again, whose lips are going dusky.

This isn’t Jenkins’ job, yet he’s the only one who can do it. And for all he’s complained, he doesn’t want to lose them.

That’s the hardest part for him to admit, that somewhere between packing their bags and shuffling them out the back door, he’s learned to count on them coming back. It’s been centuries since he felt like this, since he’s had anything he’s actually scared of losing. That’s why he took the job in the annex in the first place, not because it’s quiet but because no one’s there. If there’s no one to talk to, there’s no one to lose.

It’s the curse of immortality -- or, at the very least, the very long lived. Because Jenkins may not be prone to death himself, but that doesn’t mean it has no hold over him. Indeed, it has a more powerful hold on him than anyone else. Jenkins has seen countless people die. Friends and allies, enemies and acquaintances -- they’ve brushed by him in a heartbeat. There’s only so many people he can bury before he buries himself instead.

That’s what he’s learned most at the Library. Not how to save others, but how to protect himself. It’s easier if he’s not invested; it’s how he stays sane.

He is, though. He is invested.

Thus determined, Jenkins pulled Stone away from the wall. Efficiently, he checks for a pulse again, confirming two sluggish beats before bending over and pinching Stone’s nose. With a quick breath, he watches Stone’s chest rise and fall before breathing for him again.

That’s why the Library sent the LITs to the annex. It was never for them as much as it was for Jenkins himself.

He has to save them.

Because, in the simplest terms, they saved him first.

He breathes for Stone again, giving it all he has. It’s not just about his knowledge or his skill. It’s not because he knows the Library or he’s obligated in some manner.

It’s because he cares.

With another breath, Stone’s chest expands and contracts, and Jenkins feels his anxiety ratchet up a notch.

This has to work.

This has to work.

Jenkins has survived many things in his years on Earth, but he’s not certain he’ll survive this.

He breathes once more for Stone.

To be perfectly frank, he’s not sure he’d want to survive.

Then, suddenly, Stone spasms, his chest hitching as he takes a gasping breath inward. Startled, Jenkins freezes, watching as Stone takes another breath -- and then another.

He’s breathing.

Stone’s alive.

Heart pounding, Jenkins checks on Cassandra and Ezekiel while he’s at it. They’re alive, too.

Jenkins sits back on his heels and looks up at the ceiling. Relief spreads through him, and he can’t help but smile.

They’re all alive.