Recipient/Author: For mari4212, by saeva
Spoilers: Vague ones for the first season of SPN and the third season of NCIS.
Summary/Rating: Werewolves were not scientific. Appropriate for general audiences.
Notes: This is way, way lighter than my usual work.
A hunching, dark figure winced as a directionless rush of the post-bar scene pushed themselves around him. Most of them were fishing keys out of their pockets -- car keys, house keys, he couldn’t tell in the glowing yellow-orange of the street lamps. None of them looked like knives and that was good enough for him. The kind of day he’d been having, he could have used a stiff drink of his own, if he had the time for one. But for now, that’d have to be put aside. He had a deadline to meet.
The streetlight above him flickered, a technical glitch he was sure but he tightened his left hand around the gun in his pocket. Just in case, he understood. A man could never be too careful when he’d just been on the losing end of a nasty fight.
He traced the street numbers with his eyes, some illuminated by lights left on or glowing neon ‘Closed’ signs, and others too shadowed to make out in the dark. When he caught sight of 1542 he stopped, glancing up at the darkened apartment building towering above him and the metal security door standing in his way. A long line of names sat to the left of the door, listing out all the tenants. Tracing the list with his finger, he found the one he was looking for about halfway down.
It was a good thing the girl hadn’t gotten married in the ten years since he’d last seen her, he supposed, as he hit the buzzer. Counting out thirty gave her time to wake up -- it had come up on two A.M. -- but no response came. He pushed the button in with his thumb again.
It’d be a hell of a streak of bad luck if she was a heavy sleeper.
Seconds after that he wasn’t worried about little girls and their sleeping habits as he traced clacking footsteps as coming from around the corner of the building. Boots, made of some heavy material, probably leather, but coming down more softly than he’d expect. He tensed, prepping for an accusation, as he wished the fire escape wasn’t on the side the noise was coming from.
He began hearing the strands of a voice, barely above a mumble and another sound behind it. His hand slipped into position as the first boot – leather, like he’d thought – came around the corner. Then he grinned.
Looked like luck might be with him tonight after all.
“And they’re the serpents, the serpents that k -- Eee!” Despite the ambling crowd and the rowdy noise they were making, he spared a thought for them. That’d squealed’d been pretty loud. “What are you – How did you – Hmph. Did you have to scare me like that?“
He chuckled. “Didn’t mean to scare you at all. I thought you’d be in bed by now.” He didn’t add the rest of that thought but from her black scowl she’d got it.
“I’m an adult now, thank you very much,” she protested and his chuckle spread to a grin. That she was, if you could call the pigtails and fishnets grown up. Maybe add a few lines to her face and a couple tattoos – even in the dim street light he could make out a new one on her neck, one that hadn’t been there ten years earlier in New Orleans. As he stood there, not answering her questions but not deflecting them either, she brushed past him. A bag with a cartoon skeleton hit him in the ribs and he grunted. “Are you hurt? Hold on, let me find my key, it’s right here. You didn’t answer my questions either.”
“Tangled with something that would have rather been left undisturbed.” It might not’ve been much of an explanation but it’d have to do. Even after the ghoul in New Orleans… science meant something to this girl.
The security door clicked open and they fell silent taking the three flights of stairs up to her apartment. In fact, they didn’t say much of anything even once they got in the apartment, except for a quiet “sit here” and “hold on” and the sounds of him hissing out breath as she got the piece of wood half an inch wide out of his ribs.
She made a face, dropping the wood onto one clean black towel and holding another one over the wound. “I’m not a doctor. I should call Ducky.”
Ducky? Hunters could pick out some pretty strange names but he’d be damned if he trusted his health to a man – or woman – named Ducky.
“Dr. Mallard. He’s a coroner.”
“Honey, I don’t know if you noticed but I ain’t dead.”
He got that black scowl again as she got up, reaching over for the phone. It rang before she got there. “Hello? It’s Abby.” “Now? Now is not a good time, Tony.” “Gibbs asked? It can’t wait ‘til morning.” She frowned harder, glancing over at him. “Okay. Fifteen minutes.” The phone clunk as she dropped it back down in its cradle. “We have to go.”
We? He raised his eyebrows.
“Yes, we. I’m taking you to Ducky and then doing trace on another dog mauling. Second one in two days. Dogs are supposed to be cute, and slobber on you, not rip you to little pieces.”
He tensed. And humans weren’t meant to turn into wolf-like beasts and eat anything they could get their bloody teeth on. It figured that the cops would be in on it, especially since this werewolf kept hunting soldiers.
“Third,” he said with a heavy sigh as he pulled a stack of gauze from the box. “Pass me the ace bandage, will you? You’re missing one of the bodies --maybe it’s not in your jurisdiction -- but there were two maulings last night.” She handed it over mechanically and he started wrapping it tight around the wound and careful of the sprain in his right wrist. “ One was at the port and another downtown.”
"We found the one at the downtown but there weren’t any reports from the port." She eyed him suspiciously and rested her hands on her hips. "Is this one of yours?”
That depended on what she meant by one of his. “Reckon you could say that. It’d be something you’d best not get tangled with,” he said with a grunt as he leveled himself up from the chair.
“If you’re right.” More suspicion there and he shook his head. Girl had damn near had her head taken off by a hell of a determined ghost and she’d still asked for proof while brushing the cemetery grass out of her hair.
He shook his head and regretted it when his ears rung. As if throwing him into a stack of crates at the dock hadn’t been enough…
“These look like dog maulings to you?”
Like that reminded her of something, she frowned, disappearing into the back room. He stood, waiting, more or less patiently, until she came back out with a skirt that was slightly more respectable to be walking the streets with at 2:30 in the morning. Her keys came next and he let her badger him out of the apartment, locking the door behind her. “Results are, as of yet, inclusive. The teeth marks were canine.”
“And the claws?”
“That’s the inconclusive part,” she admitted slowly and when he raised his eyebrows to cap the point, she pursed her lips at him. One finger came up in protest and for a minute it reminded him of the pissy moods Sam got into when arguing lore.
He hoped Dean was watching out for Sammy. Last he’d checked, the boys had been heading for Boston and Boston had been heading for bad news. If he hadn’t got caught up in a random werewolf, he’d be there by now – but tonight was his last night to catch the monster before it had another month of silence and probably a new city if his hunch was right. And he’d learned to trust his hunches.
“We will find out who’s doing this. The evidence is there. I’ll find out what it means.”
That he didn’t doubt, but there wouldn’t be a case to close come tomorrow. Especially if she could help him get his hands on some information. He’d just have to be careful about it.
“Lead the way, darling,” he said agreeably as she started down the stairs. “Say, did you ever break that habit of hanging out in graveyards?”
“Wolfman Carcass Found On City Docks,” Tony chortled over the headline, flashing a grin over at McGee. “Hey, McGee, think we should go check it out? It says it was found with dogtags on it.”
Abby rolled her eyes, glancing around the workstation for Gibbs. No Gibbs. A Tony, and Ziva, and even McGee, but no Gibbs. He’d been the one pushing her to focus on this brand new car bombing instead of the, she quoted, ‘case for animal control.’ It wasn’t like him to give up on a case so easily but when she couldn’t explain why they’d found human DNA in the claw marks, he’d handed it over without much of a question. And then been grumpy for the last three days, as if it was her fault he wouldn’t let her keep working the case. She’d find the answers – only, she needed more time.
“Why the long face, Abs?”
She scowled, not in the mood for Tony’s jokes today. “Tell Gibbs that when he bothers to come in for the forensics he ordered stat, I will be down in my lab.”
She’d crack the case of the dog-man maulings; she knew she would.
Hopefully you enjoyed.