So many times you did not bring this on yourself ( Tom/Sam one-shot ... sort of ) [ I guess you call this a one-shot. It's like two people's one-shots crammed together. Does that make it a two-shot? - ponders - It's not technically a fic ... I don't think. But it's longer than a one-shot. The line dividing the first half and the second indicates skippage forward - which you probably could've figured out on your own, but just for clarification's sake. What happened in between there? I'll probably say somewhere in the second part, but just incase I don't: exorcism, cleaning the devil's trap off the floor, a mini interrogation, and then voila, there they are. Coming out of the building ... and met with an unfriendly familiar face. Well, for Sam.
After I'd written it, I realized this was mostly from Tom's POV - even if it started out with Sam. Maybe I should've posted it in his journal, but I doubt I'll write anything else for/with him. Basically, I post everything I write in Sam's. So yes! Just something to be aware of. ]
Even something as simple as a trip to the museum had turned into a disaster.
Sam had come earlier that afternoon with Jaime. He was trying to slip back into the dating scene, mostly because of Dean's persistence he do so. His brother thought it'd be healthy, or whatever. Apparently, when he was away, the other could play. So shameless. But they were both trying to explore the whole socialization thing. Today, he'd scheduled an outing that he preferred to call an entertaining and educational experience with a woman with similar taste. Then later, he was meeting Shawn for coffee. They hadn't been in contact with one another since he'd healed Dean's shoulder, and Sam felt kinda bad about that. The guy was the closest thing to a real friend he'd had in a long time, and he wasn't looking to screw that up anytime soon. There seemed to be a level of understanding there that was hard to find with anyone else - including, sometimes, even his brother, although they knew each other better than anyone. Maybe it was because Shawn's personality wasn't all that different from his own ... you know, on a good day. He doubted the clean-cut campus-goer ever did anything wrong.
In short, he'd decided to catch up with Shawn too, if he was interested. Sure enough, one phone call verified he was, and they'd picked a time and a place. Sam planned to finish the day by meeting up with Dean for drinks and maybe a game of pool. He was trying to familiarize himself with this thing called fun. Maybe he'd even get lucky and run into a certain supergirl whose name he still didn't know - which was definitely not something he should be thinking about since he'd just spent hours hanging out with Jaime, who was really a sweet girl. That was part of the problem. She was far too innocent to get tainted by who he was or the sort of lifestyle he lived. He'd made that mistake with Jessica. Gone down that road. He couldn't do it again, and that's why he was still heavily guarded, even if he'd like to feel more. 'Superchick' ( for the lack of knowing her real name ) was tough. There would always be that inclination inside him to want to protect the ones he cared about, especially when they were female - or if it was his brother. But some people needed it a lot less than others. Then again, not many were equipped to deal with demons, no matter how strong or independent they were.
Libraries and museums ... full of antiques and pieces of history, whether it be written or represented by an ageless artifact with a story. It was a good environment for a person to get lost in his own thoughts, because no one actually paid attention to you in places like these. Or so he'd thought.
Sam was completely taken by surprise when what appeared to be a routine robbery ( seriously, who robbed a museum? ) turned into something else entirely. It wasn't until people started fleeing the building that he realized he was the real target. A flicker of black flashed across his opponent's eyes as the room's remaining occupants scrambled towards the exit in a panicked frenzy. Everything was in complete disarray, but there was one officer who stayed behind to try and get him out safely. However, after exchanging a few words with the man, Sam was left to fend for himself. He had a plan. He only hoped he could pull it all together in time.
Gunshots fired distracted the demon long enough for Sam to bolt from the room and make his way briskly through the labyrinth-like chambers of the museum. Corridor upon corridor led him someplace other than the room he was trying to find, but along this unintentional detour, he ran across a personnel office. Dipping inside, he snatched up a handful of items before trekking on, relieved when he finally found the place he'd been looking for. It was on the bottom floor, and if he really booked it, he probably could've made it out the door that was only a couple rooms over. But he didn't. Instead, he stooped to draw something on the floor as quickly and diligently as possible when he was working on such a tight time-table. Man, he wished Dean was here to help.
His task ( which he'd fortunately just completed ) was interrupted when he was suddenly jerked from his crouched position on the floor and thrust across the room, into the wall on the far side. Looks like the demon ( who'd heard the Winchesters had made it out of their Challenges and wasn't too pleased ) had found him, and he didn't have any intentions of letting the alleged boy king make a run for it. Though like most demons, he wanted to talk first ... which was fine. Listening was not a problem for a Sam, but what he needed was a way to get the bad guy right where he wanted him. And seeing as how he was currently backed into a corner, that wasn't looking very promising. Until ...
Sam jumped when something suddenly came barreling through the wall he'd been leaning against, just a few yards away. Once he lowered the arm he'd used to shield his face, he realized what it was - and who it was. It was a police car, and in it was Officer Tom Baldwin. They'd managed to bump shoulders earlier, but he really hadn't expected the guy to come back. Who would've thought that the person who'd been giving them the hardest time ever since they got to this town would be the calvary? Not only had he come, but he'd come prepared - thanks to a few instructions that'd been given during their previous encounter. A bucket of what appeared to be water was slung forward, dousing the demon as smoke sizzled and rose. Infuriated growling ensued, before Tom was sent flying into one of the displays set up nearby.
"Hey, you alright?!" Concern was evident in Sam's tone, although he seized this opportunity to maneuver his way out of the corner and settle right where he thought was best. In the path of the demon was the devil's trap, which pretty much always did the trick. One would think that as often as hunters used them, demons would start checking above and below them to avoid stepping in it. But no, they just kept making the same stupid mistakes. Not that he was complaining, because that was the only way he managed to get the upper hand. Now that he had it right where he wanted, he could perform the exorcism. This was, well, one of the many days paying attention in latin class worked to their advantage. However, he waited to make sure his unlikely ally was responsive first, because the demon wasn't going anywhere.
Tom had gone against his better judgement on this one. For some reason, Shawn thought that the Winchesters were good people, especially Sam. The two had similar ideals or something along those lines. He hadn't paid that much attention; he'd been too busy forbidding his nephew to see either of them again. It didn't combat what he knew about the two fugitives, but when push came to shove, in a crisis, he could set his personal differences with someone aside - unless of course they'd directly harmed a member of his family in some way. Then it would've been unforgivable and virtually impossible for him to work with them on any cause.
He'd been the officer closest to the museum when the call had gone out, so he'd arrived first. Back-up was sent to help evacuate everyone to safety, but Sam had told him to go fill a container with holy water. First question being, where did you get holy water? It wasn't the type of thing you could just walk into a store and buy. A church. The obvious answer was from the nearest church. So wondering the whole way why he was bothering to feed into this ridiculous theory that what they were dealing with wasn't entirely human, he'd taken a chance, did as he was told, and returned. What he'd received in return for this once-in-a-lifetime show of kindness was being thrown violently into a glass casing covering some piece of historical interest, without the one allegedly doing the 'throwing' ever actually touching him.
Baldwin was a believer in what he could see - what could be proven to him. Because of this, he was now sold on the idea that along with the 4400 and the people out there taking promicin shots and gaining abilities, there were ghosts, and possibly demons. And he didn't like it, not one bit. He wasn't even quite ready to admit it to himself. But he'd learned a long time ago that there were things out there that couldn't be controlled, only contained. The difference being that he'd still always been dealing with humans, but how was he to deny what was going on right in front of his eyes? So was he alright? He'd get back to Sam on that. What were they supposed to do with this thing now: just stare at it? Although he didn't seem to be moving very far.
Once Tom was able to recapture his breath, he slowly stood to his feet. To think, some guys his age were retiring. Not him, though. He was getting slung across the room by otherworldly creatures that most thought only existed in horror movies ( and he'd been included in that category ). A faint nod was given to indicate that he was fine, before Sam started talking in a language he didn't understand. It sounded like Latin. Whatever the other was doing was taking a serious toll on the demon .... or whatever it was. All that was left for him to do was stand back, eyes and jaw wide open as he observed the entire thing from a safe distance. What had he gotten himself into?
Some of the tension that had lingered between Tom and the Winchester boys had faded, although now he had to digest what had just happened back there. Sam had attempted to explain it the best way he knew how, and the young man was very forthcoming with his answers. If one was demanded, he gave it, even if he appeared reluctant to tell all. But after that public catastrophe, avoiding what might sound crazy was no longer an option. However, there was no way he was letting this kid get put in the back of a patrol car and hauled in if he could stop things like this. It wasn't reassuring that someone with such a wrap sheet was on the loose, but it was even less reassuring to think that by messing with Sam or Dean Winchester, more lives would get put at stake. Fortunately for the alleged criminals, Tom was primarily concerned about the safety of the city, or more directly, the safety of his family and Diana's. And at this point, he wasn't entirely convinced that locking them up was the smartest move.
He'd made this decision silently as he led Sam towards his vehicle. A statement would need to be taken regardless of what was said, and he wanted to be the one to do it. But before they could get there, they were interrupted by a couple of men in suits. The black alone screamed federal government, but the big, bold FBI lettering confirmed it. Quicker than the blink of an eye, the black man standing across from him had taken Sam, cuffed him, and quipped, "we can take it from here, sparky." Then he was left standing there as if he had no jurisdiction at all, as the other was led away by the 'men in black.' Sometimes he really hated these guys, even if they were supposedly all on the same side. Tom had been a former agent for the FBI, and because of that, he knew some people in that department. Also, because of his current occupation ( not as a city cop, but as an NTAC agent ), he knew he could out-rank them if he felt like sticking his neck out for a stranger. The question was did he want to get anymore involved than he already was?
His decision was based on two factors. One, he'd never been afraid of taking risks: of being that guy to march in ahead of all the rest because he felt confident that he was ready and able, and therefore should set the example. Two, Maia and Shawn had practically begged him to give these guys a chance. Since, for whatever reason, his nephew and Diana's daughter liked the Winchesters, he was unable to completely disassociate from them. Clearly, there was more going on here than what he'd read on paper. So with a heavy sigh of trepidation, he jogged up to the ( you guessed it ) black car they were loading Sam into and intervened. "Excuse me guys. I can't let you do that. I forgot, I neglected to show you my other badge." His real one, as far as Tom was concerned. He'd earned his way up the ladder, and he had no problem with whipping out his NTAC identification and waving it in their smug faces.
"Incase you're not familiar with my agency, we're a division of Homeland Security. The Winchesters have fallen under my authority, and I've been surveying them ever since they moved into the area. I have seen your crime files on each of them," Yes, the highly classified ones ... "And I intend to take my duties as a government employee very seriously. However, I can't let you take either of them back to your facility. It's a matter of national security. I'm sure you understand." Maybe he was exaggerating a little. The 'national security' bit was a small stretch, and even if it wasn't, the FBI didn't like to let anyone slip through their fingers. He figured he'd be running into them a few more times, at least, before they decided to go back to where they came from with their tails tucked between their legs. What he hadn't predicted was that the Deputy Director was riding in the vehicle parked behind the one beside which they were standing and had been ushered to join them in hopes of intimidating this out-numbered rogue agent from another sector into letting them take the person of interest.
Their plan backfired though, because all confrontations did for Tom was make him fight harder. Jordan Collier knew that all too well. Even if he'd had his doubts about stepping in before, now he wasn't about to walk away without Sam in tow. Not even if they drug the President of the United States out of the next car. That wasn't happening, but it was a good demonstration of how determined he was.
So they had someone here higher up than Special Agent Henricksen. Impressive. They were going to great lengths to capture these two. He momentarily found himself wondering if they knew what he did: if they'd ever been told the 'demons are real' speech. But he assumed if they'd heard it before, the men in white coats would've pulled up behind them, though it was likely that this was strictly an ego thing. As far as what transpired between them, he'd practically just repeated himself. The part he added was, "If you have a problem, take it up with my superiors. But I'm afraid this is non-negotiable. The Winchesters are on my turf now." Which was probably best, seeing as how they'd escaped law enforcement everywhere else. Couldn't hurt to give someone new a shot. They clearly hadn't done such a bang-up job so far. And with that said and out of the way, he gestured towards the metallic bracelets that remained tightly wrapped around Sam's wrists. "Uncuff him, please."
A brief staring contest followed the request, before the prisoner was begrudgingly released. Two of the stand-by agents who'd hovered but said nothing this whole time returned to the confines of the car, and with a scoff and a sneer as well as a "we'll be back, for you and your brother", Henricksen followed suit. Something about that guy just rubbed Tom the wrong way. Maybe it was the way he shot off at the mouth. No respect for authority these days. But one stayed behind. Talk about in your face: this guy literally was. What part of this did he not get? As much as it infuriated Deputy Director Steven Groves, he'd lost this one. Time to call it a day. Perhaps his persistence to rid him and Sam of these parasites was because he still had about a million questions concerning what they'd encountered inside that museum. What they needed to do was start from scratch, and they couldn't do that here.
When Groves finally turned to start his retreat, Tom thought he saw something weird about his eyes, but it could've been his mind playing tricks on him. It wasn't until both automobiles had been cranked and drove off that Sam made a move for his phone, insisting he call his brother and tell him everything that'd just happened. Tom snatched it from him, before casting a wary glance towards the disappearing cars. "Was that another one?" What he'd seen was black, just like inside. And by the extreme reaction of the one who'd stirred up all this fuss in the first place, it seemed like a logical conclusion to make - if any of this could be deemed logical. When the half-expected 'yes' was given, he'd lift a hand to rub harshly across his face. "He is the Deputy Director of the FBI. Do you have any idea how much trouble you're in?" And now he'd thrown himself into the mix. Sometimes his desire to be as deeply involved as possible got him into some sticky situations, entangling him in a web of deceitful government conspiracies.
Sam's shoulders slumped, as his gaze fell to the ground momentarily. He wasn't sure why Tom was helping them, but from the looks of things, he was turning out to be a real lifesaver. It wasn't good when the leader ( or close enough ) of the FBI was possessed. Not only did they have to worry about Agent Henricksen who'd always had it out for them, but now they had to worry about the demon running the show cloaked in expensive attire. First things first, he had to warn Dean. Thing is, they'd probably be followed. The FBI would expect him to lead them right to his brother, and then they could make a second attempt to snatch them both. Maybe next time they'd succeed.
When he glanced back up, he was in apologetic mode. Despite the fact that the guy was taking this all pretty well, Sam knew he had to be freaked. "Look, I never should've gotten you involved. I can take it from here. I don't want to get you into any more trouble."
Tom shook his head, dismissing the offer, as well-intentioned and heartfelt as it might've been. "I got myself involved, and I plan to stay that way." Anything else he was about to say was cut off when his phone rang, and he excused himself to answer. Eyes cut over to Sam once he saw the name on the caller ID; then he flipped his cell open and pressed it against his ear. "Shawn, what's wrong?" Apparently, the whole fiasco had made the news. His face had been plastered across the screen since he was the first officer to respond and start ushering everyone to safety. Well, that was good to know. Of course, his nephew was worried that he might've gotten hurt: caught in the cross-fire. After Tom assured him he was fine, he persuaded the other to hang up, but not before promising to swing by later that night. Maybe they could all meet up: have a little discussion about what was going on here, though he didn't plan on sharing the 'monsters are real' revelation with Shawn. But he could casually mention that maybe he'd judged Sam and Dean a little too harshly.
Sam's brows furrowed when he got the look, confused as to what that was all about. Then came the name. Shawn Shawn ... surely not the same Shawn that he was supposed to be having coffee with in an hour. Dang. He really didn't want to cancel, but he didn't think straying away from Dean right now was a very good idea either. Maybe he could tag along, even if he got incredibly bored. But laying low right now ... probably key to staying alive until they could formulate a plan.
When the officer ( who, as it turns out was actually a federal agent ) hung up, Sam couldn't help but ask. "Who's Shawn?"
"My nephew. I believe you two know each other." There was a dramatic pause, mainly taken to make the other squirm, before he tossed his head to the side and gave a nonchalant shrug. "For some reason he likes you. Based on that, and because of what we just went through, I'm willing to give you and your brother the benefit of the doubt - for now. My only condition is this: if you ever hurt Shawn or Maia, I will turn you over to the FBI. Understood?" He waited until he received a compliant nod before motioning towards his car. "Let's go. You and I aren't finished." When there were a few words of protest from behind, he'd harden his gaze and shoot a glance over his shoulder. But no cause to remind the other of who was in-charge here; Sam was only concerned about picking up a tail, which was really not a problem.
"Guess we'll just have to lose them then." He hadn't gotten this far from fetching people's coffee or running a bunch of meaningless errands. He'd been a part of many extravagant police chases, and he could confidently assure the formerly foe-turned-fidgety friend fugitive that he could do it again.
Just as a precaution, he did frisk Sam before putting him in the backseat. No one rode up front, and he wasn't completely comfortable with putting an unrestrained armed man behind him. So Tom made sure he wasn't armed. There were still some rules and regulations he planned on abiding by. But aiding and abetting was clearly not one he was that strict on at the moment. Funny how that worked.
"So why don't you start at the beginning." It was going to be a long drive.