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Fic: Spirit Animal Tales

 Spirit Animal Tales
By PaBurke
Summary/Challenge: Crossover with The Sentinel in which Dean is a Sentinel and Sam is his Guide. My ideal situation would be that Dean doesn't become one until after he gets back from hell (that pesky rehymenating business), and panics from all the sensory overload because he has no idea what the hell is going on, and thinks he's going crazy from his trip to hell. But Sam has read Everything Ever and suspects what's going on, but doesn't confirm it until Dean has a zone-out, and Sam helps him through and discovers he's Dean's Guide, naturally. Pg 8
Spoilers: All of Sentinel, Season 4 of Supernatural
Disclaimer: None of the characters belong to me.


*sntl*spn*sntl*spn*

The jaguar snarled.

Jim Ellison slowly lifted his head and took careful stock of his surroundings. Something was wrong; his spirit guide did not appear out of the woodwork for no reason. It was standing at the door, swishing its tail. It was agitated but not frantic. The bullpen was normal. People were hard at work. The sentinel stretched his senses; nothing alarming on the floor above or below. He stretched still further and found only the normal cacophony of a police station.

The only thing blatantly missing was the heartbeat of his guide. Jim checked the clock: Blair Sandburg should have been here by now. Jim stood and –trying to keep his actions restrained- knocked on his boss’s door. “Simon?”

Simon Banks might not be able to read a sentinel’s body language like a guide, but he was an old friend and a police captain on top of that. He knew there was trouble. He also knew trouble’s main companion. “Where’s Sandburg?”

“That’s what I want to know.”

Simon shuffled through the papers on his desk. “He didn’t leave me a message.”

“He was going to stop at the university to troll an old contact.” Ever since the dissertation fiasco, Blair had avoided the campus when he could. Only desperation in finding a clue on the sex slave case would have drawn him back. Blair thought that one of the language teachers would translate an Asian message faster than the department translators. He would have to eat crow to whoever to get the help the PD needed. Jim had offered to go and intimidate whoever, but Blair held firm. He wanted to do this on his own. He didn’t want a witness to his humiliation, nor a bodyguard.

“Maybe Rhonda has something?” Simon suggested.

The two tromped over to the secretary’s desk. “Rhonda?” Simon asked. “Anything come from Sandburg?”

She shook her head. “But there was a fax from Rainier University. I thought it was for Blair and was saving it until he came in.” Rhonda knew Jim well enough not to give him time to growl for the fax. She simply handed it over.

Jim looked at the first page. It was a blurry photograph of a man exchanging a tiny oriental girl for cash. The second page was obviously the back of the photo: an address, a time and a plea, ‘you need to stop this.’

“Why the hell didn’t he call you about this?” Simon asked.

“His phone had an unfortunate incident with water,” Jim explained. Some really tall guy carrying too many books had crashed into Blair on the sidewalk the day before. Somehow Blair’s phone had ended up in a mud puddle. “He thought it was fine, but it’s been giving him fits. And he would have had to ask someone to use their phone on campus.” Blair wouldn’t have put himself through that for a mere phone call when it wasn’t an emergency.

Simon looked at the address. “It’s not far out of his route from the university to here. He probably thought that he would check out the place first, since it was practically on the way. You think something went wrong?”

Jim looked at his jaguar standing in the doorway. “I’m going to check it out.”

“Take H and Rafe with you.”

“Captain…”

Simon glared. This was nonnegotiable. In fact, he bellowed and told the two detectives their new orders personally. Jim grabbed his jacket and stalked to the door. The detectives were not far behind. Jim was too impatient for the elevator, so he took the stairs. He was in his truck and revving the engine before he spotted H and Rafe in the parking lot. He knew that Simon had given them the address, so he didn’t wait for them. The jaguar in the passenger’s seat wasn’t willing to wait either.

Jim had arrived and conducted a perimeter search before H and Rafe appeared on the scene. He had already come to two conclusions. One, Blair had been here. Two, he was no longer here. Jim knew that Blair had met someone and that someone was no longer here either. So where was Blair?

H and Rafe finally arrived. As soon as they were close enough, Jim pulled his weapon. “Watch out for booby-traps. I can’t see the street corner that was pictured around here. I don’t know why this was chosen as the meeting place.”

There were no booby-traps, just the scent of garbage, ozone and the barely there scent of a second person. The second person had been careful where he stepped, but Jim could still see parts of his shoes. The man –a single strand of longish hair had enough of a scent to confirm male- had huge feet. Jim would bet that the rest of the man was huge as well. The stranger had taken great pains not to leave evidence, even to a sentinel eye. Whoever this was, Jim was sure that he knew and believed the dissertation. Jim very carefully walked out of the back of the warehouse to the dock. There were no booby-traps and no evidence of a struggle. Though, knowing Blair, the stranger could have said just about anything off the wall and his guide would have gone along willingly. Somehow, Jim was sure that Blair had been overpowered –gently overpowered- but overpowered all the same.

Jim’s jaguar stood just north of the dock. Jim could see the slightest indication of a rope tied to one of the posts. The stranger had come and gone by using a boat. Even with Blair’s help, Jim would not have been able to track something so diluted by the scent and sounds of the ocean. There probably wasn’t a better way to throw a sentinel off the trail.

The wind changed directions for a second and Jim could smell Blair. He charged off in that southerly direction, halfway aware of H and Rafe on his tail. Jim concentrated with his eyes and breathed deep. If he multitasked, he might not zone.

There.

Jim hurried to the mostly-submerged flannel. He pulled it out of the water. Blair must have dropped it to give him a direction. Thankfully, there was no scent of blood or fear on it. Jim kept walking south, looking for another clue. He heard Rafe ask a vagrant about seeing Blair pass through. The vagrant swore that Blair hadn’t, but then Jim could smell the heroin on him from down wind. The vagrant might not remember his own name at the moment.

The jaguar growled. Jim just thought that he was going too slow, that Blair was starting to feel threatened.

Then the jaguar screamed. Jim turned to look. The jaguar took off north, paused, waiting for Jim to follow. When Jim turned his head back to the south, the jaguar screamed again. It snarled. Jim frowned and changed direction. The jaguar relaxed almost instantly and kept on heading north. It stopped often to ensure that Jim (and the rest of the detectives) were following.

It might have been faster to return to the vehicles rather than walk, but the jaguar was too twitchy to deviate from its path.

Finally, Jim watched the jaguar walk toward a door at the end of an alley. A wolf was waiting there. The wolf acknowledged the jaguar for a moment and then went back to… Jim tilted his head. Was the wolf trying to help a spirit animal? And this was no normal spirit animal. The animal shimmered into focus. It was a dragon the size of a dumpster. The dragon stood and unwound, revealing a hurt, bleeding and all too still griffin that had been hidden beneath the dragon’s protective wings. The dragon with human, hazel eyes nudged the griffin and looked at the wolf and whined. The wolf stepped forward to inspect and to lick the griffin’s beak and injuries.

Jim shook his head. Seriously, Chief? Why not just put your head in the lion’s mouth? The griffin woke up, shaky, but still struggling to stand between the wolf and the dragon. Jim had to shake his head at the absurdity of it all: the weak and injured, green-eyed griffin trying to protect a healthy dragon. Somehow Jim just knew that the griffin represented the sentinel and the dragon the guide. Who the hell had a dragon and a griffin as spirit animals? Blair was going to flip when Jim finally told him. It blew Blair’s spirit animal theory clean out of the water. Blair had this theory that the place a sentinel’s senses immerged affected the animal species of his or her spirit. The jaguar was the baddest ass of the Peruvian jungle so of course Jim’s spirit animal would be that. Where would a sentinel have been ‘turned on’ to have a griffin? Hell? Jim’s mind was playing tricks on him; he thought he faintly smelled sulfur or brimstone.

“Jim?” Rafe whispered. “What do you hear?” All of the detectives knew that the dissertation was truth, but ignored any ramifications unless people were in danger. Jim wished that he could accept the sentinel abilities as easily as Rafe and Henry had. They had no problems following Jim even when he wasn’t telling them why he was moving in a northerly direction.

Jim turned up the mental dial labeled ‘hearing’ and instantly heard Blair’s voice, soft and calming, and his heartbeat, steady and sure. He was on the second floor with two other men. “He’s talking.”

“No surprise,” Henry huffed.

“He’s not in trouble.” It was a little lie and both of the detectives knew it. Jim was going to read his partner the riot act for being out of communication for so long. And there was the matter of the false trail that the kidnapper with the dragon spirit guide had left.

“How do you want to play this?” asked Rafe.

“You two stay out here and look for clues. The sex slave ring really is based in this area.” He had recognized this very street corner from the photo that had lured Blair into the trap in the first place. “I’m going to go retrieve my partner.”

Henry grabbed his arm as he passed. “If we don’t hear from Hairboy in fifteen minutes, we’re calling the cavalry. Simon gave us strict instructions. He wants to be kept informed.”

Jim glanced at where the wolf, dragon and griffin used to be. “No,” he contradicted. “Simon does not want to be informed on this one.”

Henry didn’t budge. “You’ve got fifteen minutes.”

Jim rolled his eyes but jogged into the warehouse and up to the top floor. He heard Blair whispering, “Slow down. They don’t have to be enemies. Slow down, Jim. Don’t make them jumpy. Slow down and think, Jim.” That was a warning if he ever heard one. The dragon knew he was coming. Heck, the griffin probably knew he was coming. So against all of his ingrained macho proclivities, he knocked and hated himself for such a show of weakness.

The door opened and a tall, young man with hazel eyes held a gun on him. He looked a bit confused. “Detective Ellison. I was hoping to have a couple more hours before returning Detective Sandburg.” He backed up and let Jim into the room. “How did you find us? I was sure I had created a convincing false trail without leaving clues as to our true whereabouts.”

Jim glared. Was the kid a lawyer? With a dragon for a spirit animal? He’d be hell in the courtroom. “You did.” Jim closed the door behind him. He didn’t want H or Rafe to see them or the gun, and try to charge the room.

“So how did you find us?”

“Jim’s just that good,” Blair bragged. He looked proud of Jim’s abilities and curious as to what had happened. He would ask as soon as they were in private.

“I went quite a bit out to sea before returning to port so that they would be no scent trail. There was no scent trail,” the guide pushed.

“There wasn’t,” Jim admitted. He tossed his cell phone to Blair. “Call Simon or the cavalry will be here.”

Blair obeyed and the dragon-guide made no move to stop him. Blair somehow managed to calm down the captain before hanging up. “We have to be back in the office in an hour,” he told the other guide, almost apologetically.

The dragon-guide sighed and slumped and looked like a kicked puppy. Jim couldn’t believe that he felt sorry for the guide-napper. “Is your sentinel better?” Jim asked him.

The dragon-guide looked at the sleeping man on the cot. “He’s resting better, the best since I got him back. But I’m worried about his eating habits. He went from junk food before the contract came due to nothing now. And his clothes are giving him rashes.”

“You just have to slowly reintroduce food to his diet. Whole foods, organic foods, stuff with no pesticides,” Blair told him. “Change detergents to something hypoallergenic, but he might have to change to non-dyed cottons until his senses settle.”

The dragon-guide nodded eagerly, typed Blair’s words on his laptop as if they were worth their weight in gold. “Anything else?”

“You’ve already proven that he’ll follow your voice out of both a zone and a spike. You have to practice. A lot. If you give me your e-mail address, I’ll keep in touch and give you ideas for training.”

“Really?” For a dragon, the guide could look extremely harmless. Jim’s mind always went back to dragon and danger though. He couldn’t ignore the warnings.

“I promise,” Blair was saying. “Especially if you record the experiments you do with Dean. I know that I can’t publish, but the more information I can gather, the more I can help Jim and Dean and other sentinels.”

“I promise,” the dragon-guide breathed. “I’ll take as much help as you can give me. Dean’s never been fragile, but now he thinks he’s going crazy and…”

“He’s not fragile,” Jim told him truthfully. “His griffin is already stronger.” In fact, Jim’s senses warned him that the other sentinel was awake, but trying to find his bearings. His vertigo was the only thing keeping him on his back. Jim wanted Blair out of that room before the griffin could control his senses and decide on a course of action.

The guide looked from Dean to Jim and back again. “Griffin.”

“Spirit animal, sentinels can see them,” Blair guessed and explained. “But a griffin? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Does Sam have a spirit animal?” Blair asked Jim.

“A dragon.”

Blair looked totally confused. Sam looked a bit horrified and shamed. Jim wondered why. “It means that you’re his guide,” Jim told Sam.

Sam accepted the knowledge with a simple nod, then he changed the subject. “That sex slave operation that you guys are chasing has a major shipment coming in to the next warehouse over in twenty minutes. All the major players will be there.” Sam shrugged. “I figured that helping you out on your case was the least we could do.”

“Twenty minutes,” Jim echoed. “Come on, Chief.” This was a very good excuse and the griffin’s muscles were tensing, getting ready for a fight. Jim wanted to bypass any fight, if possible. He was out the door and on the phone, calling for backup for the take down. Blair was where he belonged, right on his heels. He knew that Sam and Dean would be long gone before the members of the sex slave gang were all arrested. Jim wanted them gone. He wanted them out of his territory.

Two hours later, they were gone. Sam and Dean had disappeared in the middle of chaos of the mass arrest, leaving no trail for even a sentinel to follow. Jim’s jaguar had no interest in giving hints as to their whereabouts this time.

They were gone for good. Hopefully. Jim would ignore any e-mail from griffinndragon@yahoo.com on Blair’s computer. As long as they stayed far away, Jim could tolerate their existence.

*sntl*spn*sntl*spn*

Part II: ...couldn't leave it alone...

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
jennytork
Mar. 3rd, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
I LOVE IT!!! I WANT MORE!!!!!
faithburke
Mar. 4th, 2011 10:57 am (UTC)
laughing. idk. thx for the review
greeneyes_fan
Mar. 4th, 2011 01:43 am (UTC)
What a typically Winchester solution: Kidnap the expert!

and GRIFFIN AND DRAGON! Totally. And Sam is totally a dragon disguised in boy-band hair.
faithburke
Mar. 4th, 2011 10:59 am (UTC)
Yes. exactly, kidnap the expert. I'm glad you enjoyed the fun.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 4th, 2011 04:47 am (UTC)
I'd love to see more of this!!! I honestly don't know anything about the Sentinel or any of the characters. But at least now I understand what it is and would love to see Sam and Dean go through adjusting and using it. I like it that a Sentinel seems both extremely powerful and extremely fragile at the same time, perfect for Dean. And that the Guide thing bonds him and Sam together. Neat.
faithburke
Mar. 4th, 2011 11:01 am (UTC)
You explained sentinels perfectly: extremely powerful and extremely fragile at the same time. I'm glad that you liked the story.
feliciakw
Mar. 8th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
Ah, it's been so long since I've read a TS fic. I've been thinking about pulling out my tapes recently, though.

Very interesting take on Sam and Dean's spirit animals. Winchesters and fantastical creatures sound about right.
faithburke
Mar. 8th, 2011 10:25 pm (UTC)
thx. I'm glad you liked my choices
darkestnight12
Mar. 24th, 2011 08:04 am (UTC)
I've never watched The Sentinel before, but this fic totally makes me want to. ;D And Sam and Dean's guide animals? So KICKASS.
faithburke
Jun. 8th, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
i only decided to write this after picking the guide animals. I'm so happy others appreciate it.
starrcat
Jan. 15th, 2013 06:48 pm (UTC)
This is a great universe and I hope you do more in it. Love the spirit animals for Sam and Dean.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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