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Fic: Learning to Depend on Others

Learning to Depend on Others
By paburke
Summary: Events on Dean’s first leave after Learning How to Fly.  He gets into trouble.  Raise your hand if you’re surprised.  Cross with NCIS.

Dean knew he was in trouble but he was just so tired.  He used the marker he lifted off of one of the NCIS desks and scribbled on the floor, the walls and the ceiling.  Overkill?  Yes, but he was tired and needed to sleep.  He wouldn’t sleep without some sort of safety net.  Once all of the traps and seals were done, he took the opportunity of being locked in an NCIS interrogation room to rest.  He knew who was haunting and killing on the military base.  He had nothing to figure out.  He wouldn’t be kept here until dark which was in seven hours.  If he hadn’t been incarcerated, he would be sleeping now anyway.

Jack would get him out before then, provided that Davis could find the general.  If Dean hadn’t used his one phone call to contact Jack O’Neill, he would have used it for Caleb.  The older hunter would have been able to decipher Dean’s cues and do the salt and burn on his own.

Dean’s last thought before sleep claimed was that he was going to miss the entertaining meeting between Jack and Agent Gibbs.

*lhtf* ncis*

Winchester’s one call to an Air Force general was enough to raise Gibb’s eyebrows.  That the general dropped everything and showed up was enough to make Gibbs check his watch.  That the Marine suspected of murder slept while waiting for everyone to get their ducks in a row, meant a special type of special operations.  O’Neill didn’t insist on privacy when waking the Marine and no one was going to prompt him.  The entire investigative team watched their interaction from the observation room.

O’Neill tried to start off nice, with a gentle hand tapped Winchester’s elbow.  “Dean?  Dean?”  The voice changed, became commanding.  “Damnit, Winchester!”

Winchester was on his feet, at attention and swaying before he woke up.  Gibbs approved of the implied training.  The Marine blinked and saw General Jack O’Neill smirking at him.

Winchester obviously relaxed.  “Sir.  You got my message.”

“You were found standing over a dead body?” he asked mildly.

“I got there too late,” Winchester admitted softly.

O’Neill pinched the bridge of his nose.  “Damnit, Dean, you were on the base to sign out materials, not for any freelance investigating.”  First name basis was unusual.  Tim pulled open Winchester’s file and found that O’Neill –an Air Force general- recruit Winchester to the Marines.


“It happened right in front of me,” Winchester protested O’Neill accusation.

“Less than thirty-six hours, Dean, and you managed to get in trouble and arrested.  And that’s counting the time it took to get off one base and on another.”

Winchester attempted the facsimile of innocence.  “Does this mean I don’t get to visit Sam?  Jess’s parents are out of the country, so no wedding this time, but shouldn’t she meet her in-laws before the big day?”

“Yes.  No.  I don’t care ‘bout your personal problems, Winchester.  I’m bundling you up and sending you back to Weir ASAP.  She can deal with you.”

“What if I send a plane ticket to Sam and Jess?  Can we meet outside the Mountain before I get shipped out?”

“Depends.  Can you be a good boy between now and then?”

“Of course!”

O’Neill grumbled.  “I doubt it.”  His eyes glanced over the traps and seals and other occult markings Winchester had added to the décor.  “In fact, I’m sure you can’t behave.  Weren’t restrictions placed on… you?”  Tim looked through Winchester’s file at the change of conversation topic; he must be recovering from an injury.

“So when can we blow this joint?”

“Agent Gibbs still wants to talk to you.  Preferably while you’re awake.”

“Aww, man… Can I have a private chat with Caleb first?”

O’Neill pinched the bridge of his nose again and Winchester grinned broadly at the show of irritation.  He had a certain talent of annoying the general.  “Fine.  He’s waiting outside.”

“Great!  Does he have food and coffee?”

“I believe that Agent Gibbs wants to treat you to dinner.”

Winchester pretended to wince and look shy.  “He’s not expecting me to put out on the first date, is he?  I’m saving myself for Collins.”

O’Neill burst out a laugh.  “That’s not what I hear.”

“You get City gossip in DC?”

“Yep.  You know me.  I like knowing everything.”  What kind of general was he?

“’Cept rocks,” Winchester filled in.  Their banter flowed easily with inside jokes.  Winchester seemed to be prolonging it in an effort to wake up.

O’Neill seemed inclined to draw out the conversation, as well.  “’Cept rocks,” he agreed.  He waited.  Then said, “you awake now?”


“Good.  I’m sending in Caleb.  You get five minutes of privacy and then Gibbs gets you.”

“He better bring food,” Winchester warned.

“Carson made sure your metabolism waves a red flag whenever anyone pulls your file.  Gibbs knows that if he doesn’t walk in here with food, legally, I get to walk out of here with you.”

“I need to thank the Doc,” Winchester mused.

“Yes, you do.”  O’Neill glared at the designs again.  “If you end up in the hospital because of your stupidity, I’ll put you on a plane to send you back to the mountain.”

“Hey!” That got Winchester’s attention.  “You can’t do that.  I drove here.”

“And got a speeding ticket,” O’Neill said with that predator’s grin of his.  Gibbs knew that the man had worked his way up to the top via blood, guts and sacrifice in the field.

Winchester tried to defend himself.  “Only one for over sixteen hundred miles.  I haven’t driven in ages and you can’t expect a Marine on liberty to not put a car like my baby through her paces.  I got from Colorado to this Navy Yard in time for my appointment.”

“I’d expect one of my Marines to have a little more self-control.  And to take advantage of the military flights.”


O’Neill waved his hands a bit.  “Okay, so I’d expect one of my Marines to not get caught or to talk themselves out of a ticket.”

Winchester grinned.  “What can I say? I wasn’t the cop’s type.  ‘Sides, Bobby said to stop by his place for some meet-n-greet and Missouri called me and ordered me to stop by her place.  Told me that if I missed her, she’d track me down to the edge of the galaxy to give me a talkin’ to.  Would you rather me spend my leave mopin’ on base or making my rounds?”

O’Neill finally sobered.  “I know you need to make your rounds, but you need to stay out of trouble.  Missouri can’t blame me if you can’t see her ‘cause you’re in the brig.”

“She might anyway,” Winchester told his CO cheerfully.

O’Neill sighed and left the interrogation room.  Caleb –no last name given- was waiting at the door.  O’Neill poked his head into the observation room to make sure they had their privacy.  When five minutes were up, O’Neill’s bodyguard shook Winchester’s hand and pulled him in for a friendly hug.  History there too.  Caleb left the room and Gibbs didn’t even let the door swing shut before entering with two bags full of Chinese, just delivered by Tony.  Winchester made grabby hands.  His stomach growled, his hands shook from low blood sugar and he was swaying on his feet.  He had slept, which appeared to help his health, but now his body was demanding food.  He ate two egg rolls before he had opened up all of the containers.  Gibbs was amused, but Winchester paid him no mind.

“That’s a lot of occult,” Gibbs said.  His head was tilted back as he took in Dean’s work.

Dean continued shoveling food into his mouth.  He shrugged.

“Why did you do it?”

“I’m superstitious.  And I’m Wicca.”  Gibbs had read it on his sheet, but hadn’t believed it at the time.

“Did your recruiter know that?”

“I meet a quota.”  And that expression was entirely too similar to Tony’s grin the in middle of a prank.  Having met General O’Neill, Gibbs would bet that there was a very interesting story behind his recruitment.  O’Neill had personally signed on Winchester for some unknown reason.

Gibbs leaned forward in anticipation of the answers.  “Where is your base?”


“Who is your CO?”

“You go up far enough in the chain of command and it’s O’Neill.”

Gibbs ground his teeth.  “He’s Air Force.  Who is your CO, Marine?”

“Staff Sergeant Ohlman, but you won’t be able to contact him,” Dean warned.

“When do you report back to base?”

“Whenever the transport ships out, but I’ll be in quarantine starting a week from Friday.”


“Colorado.”  Winchester was repeating things Gibbs should already know from his file.  “Look.  I didn’t kill the Marine.  I have never crossed paths with that Marine and I didn’t see anyone suspicious around the body.  He was dead before I even checked onto the base.”

Gibbs glared at the reminder that his own ME had created Winchester’s alibi.  Either both Ducky and Abby were wrong or their lead suspect was innocent and NCIS was shit out of luck.  Gibbs didn’t find it too unbelievable that a Marine could correctly pinpoint time of death, especially one with the amount of hazard pay Winchester received.

“Why were you on base?”

“I require certain materials and I’m responsible for getting them on the same transport out as me.  Only way to make that happen is to drive them myself.”

“What kind of materials?”


“Why were you in that warehouse?”

“For my materials.  It was the quickest way between two points.”

“Did you hear anything?  See anything?”

“Nope.”  It sounded like the truth.  It looked like the truth, but Gibbs’ gut said that it was a lie.

O’Neill walked in –without knocking- with a letter from the Secretary of the Navy.  Ziva and Tony peeked in the open door.  They had tried -unsuccessfully- to delay the man.  “Time’s up.  Take it up with Vance if you want to contest.”

“Can I have my things back?” Winchester asked.

O’Neill looked him up and down.  “How much did they take?”

Winchester shrugged.  “’Bout 90%.”

“Better than average.  So you could have busted out of the holding cell,” O’Neill more stated than asked.

Winchester offered a cat-eating-the-canary grin and that worried Gibbs.  “There hasn’t been a holding cell that could keep me once I’m given the order to escape.”

“True,” O’Neill conceded.  He looked at Gibbs and ordered, “Give him back all of his crap.”

“I want to see how he could have escaped, first,” Gibbs stated.  He wasn’t quite disobeying a direct order from a general, but it was close.

And O’Neill was no ordinary general.  Instead of repeating his order, he snorted a laugh and asked, “Do you have a spare wall he can destroy?  ‘Cause Vance would declare war on the Air Force if I gave Winchester free rein.”

Gibbs looked a little skeptical, David a lot skeptical (but she was the one that had given him the pat-down) and DiNozzo was cheering in the background because he had declared all of Winchester’s confiscated stuff as ‘explosives.’  “There’s the outdoor range.”

O’Neill looked at Winchester with an eyebrow raised and Marine shrugged.  “I’m always in the mood to blow shit up.”

O'Neill's driver/bodyguard pointedly brought his watch up to eye-level to check the time.  O’Neill waved him off.  “It won’t take five minutes for Dean to blow his hole.  Why don’t you go down to the lab and make sure the techs don’t blow themselves up with Dean’s mixes.”

“Oh, I already stopped.”  Winchester, O’Neill and Caleb turned to look at the pretty Goth with the evidence box in her hands.  “DiNozzo warned me that it was probably explosives and Director Vance told me to pack everything up as soon as he got the phone call from a general.”  She braced the box on a hip and held a hand out to the handsome, young man.  “Abby Scuito.”

Winchester shook her hand.  “Dean Winchester.”  He reached for the box but Gibbs drew it and Abby away.

“I want to see you blow a hole with what’s on your person.”

“Fine.  Whatever.  Can we go now?”

“David,” Gibbs ordered.  “Escort Winchester to the firing range.”

The Israeli stepped forward and motioned to Dean.  “This way, please.”

Winchester double-checked with O’Neill.  The general nodded a ‘get the hell out of here’ motion and Winchester followed the pretty agent.  O’Neill, Caleb and the NCIS agents followed.  They paraded out of the building and to the range.  O’Neill had to point to his shiny general’s stars once to get the MPs to clear out.  The MPs went as far as the entrance and hung about.  They knew that something interesting was about to happen.  Once no one was shooting down range, Winchester moseyed out to the furthest permanent target.  He wandered around it once, never pausing in his stride and walked back to the group.

“Well?” Tony asked.

“Four seconds,” Winchester replied.

At five seconds, the concrete wall emitted a quiet whoof and crumbled until a man-sized doorway appeared in the middle.

“Huh,” O’Neil said.  “That’s subtle and quiet for you.”

Winchester shrugged.  “McKay said that I was incapable of it.”

“McKay always was good at getting the best out of his people,” mused O’Neill.

Winchester was horrified.  “I am not one of McKay’s people.”

Ziva interrupted the beginnings of the argument.  “Mossad would be willing to pay you one million dollars for that capability.”  Anything that was camouflaged enough that she missed it and could do that kind of damage would be worth the money.

“Sorry,” said O’Neill, not sorry in the least.  “All of Winchester’s creations are sole property of the Air Force.”

“Winchester’s a Marine,” Gibbs pointed out.

“Yeah, but the Air Force gave him the lab and owns his ass.  Time to go.”

Winchester grabbed the box from Abby, who had written her number on the lid.  “Call me,” she grinned.  “I’d love to experiment with… explosions on your next leave.”

The Marine winked at her.  “That sounds like fun.”

“Quite flirting, Marine,” O’Neill ordered.  “You’ve got work to do and a lot of country to cover before you ship out.”

“I can make time.”

“No, you can’t.”

Gibbs watched with pleasure as O’Neill slapped the sassy Marine upside the head.  It was long overdue in Gibb’s opinion.

Winchester pouted.

“If you behave, I’ll authorize your brother to use a military flight.”

“I’ll take that bribe,” he waved to Abby.  “Maybe next time?”

“I look forward to it,” the scientist promised.

The group walked around the corner to the visitors’ parking.  The shiny black Impala was parked front and center.  “You drove my baby!” Winchester yelped.

“You left it in an unsecured area,” O’Neill answered.

“I drove it,” O’Neill’s driver told him.  “It’s gained a bit more personality than I remember.”

“I want it searched,” Gibbs demanded.

O’Neill scoffed.  “Yeah, not happening.  Look, we both know that Winchester didn’t kill your Marine.  He can’t help you find your killer, so you’re SOL.”  There was something… off-puttin’ at a general being so frank with an underling.

Meanwhile, Winchester and the driver were having a side conversation.  “It’s been a decade since you last drove it, your memory must be going.  Did you at least pick up my supplies?”


Winchester whined a bit.  “You mean I’m going to have to go back?”


Winchester cursed under his breath.  He climbed into the driver’s seat and checked that everything was how he had left it.  He must have been satisfied since he cranked the key in the ignition and the car rumbled to life.  He didn’t beep the horn or in any way try to rush O’Neill through his good-byes.  He respected the general that much.

O’Neill shook hands and thanked Gibbs’ team for their time and cooperation.  Finally, he climbed into the passenger’s seat of the shiny classic car.  His driver/bodyguard climbed into the backseat.  Winchester waved at Abby one last time and then he pulled away.


Six hours later, Tony’s eyes were dancing when he paused by Gibbs’ desk.  “Hey boss, how would you like another run at Winchester?”

Gibbs was interested.  He raised an eyebrow.  “He’s not out of town yet?”

“He was just admitted to the base hospital.  He was found unconscious a couple hundred feet from where we found our last victim.  The MP’s thought I’d like to know.”

Gibbs threw the car keys at Ziva and grabbed his coffee.  “I want to get there before O’Neill.”

The Israeli grinned at the card blanche to speed.  “I’ll do my best.”

They arrived at the hospital in record time but still were told by the nurse, “I’m sorry but an Air Force general with all the correct paperwork was just here and he had Winchester transferred to his care.”

There wasn’t a hope in hell of catching Winchester before he was sequestered on his way to return to his mysterious base with its mysteriously partly-cooperative command.


Just outside of the Navy Yard, Jack O’Neill pulled the Impala over to the side of the road.  Dean roused enough to see the teen walking with a book bag.  “Hitchhiker?” he asked doubtfully.

“Something like that,” Jack said so blandly that Dean was instantly on alert.  Or as alert as he could be a half-hour out of the hospital.  The teen turned towards the car at the sound of tires on gravel and Dean watched the kid (why did he look so familiar?) recognize the Impala, come to some sort of realization and then an expression of deep satisfaction settled on the young features.

Jack got out of the driver’s seat and the teen quickly took his place.

“Hey!” Dean complained.  “I don’t let just anyone drive my baby.”

“You let me,” the teen said at exactly the same time and in the exact same way as O’Neill.  Dean blinked at the stereo sound.

“What’s… Who?” Dean stuttered.

“Dean, Mini-me.  Mini-me, you know Dean,” O’Neill told him cheerfully.  “Obviously, Dean, you need someone keeping a closer eye on you and so you get me, the other me.  He’s going to be your boss on Atlantis as soon as I can get the paperwork through.”

Mini-me put the car into drive and left General O’Neill standing on the side of the road.  Dean twisted around and saw Caleb pulling in as the Impala pulled out.  Well, Dean knew that Caleb had survived saltin’ n burnin’ the ghost’s bones since he was still alive.  Dean had seen the ghost go up in smoke just before passing out.  He had been thrown into a concrete wall, even his head wasn’t as hard as that.  “Did you know this was happening?”

“Nope.”  He sounded very pleased at the sudden turn of events.  As smug as the general had sounded.  Exactly the same.

“And you are…?”

“Jack told you.  I’m his clone.  I have all the same memories as he up until a couple months ago.”

“Uh-huh.”  Dean normally wasn’t this slow; he blamed the concussion added to O’Neill being O’Neill.  And now he had two of them to deal with.  “I’m going to sleep now.”

“We going to the mountain?” Jack asked.

“Nope.  Missouri first and then I’m going to Bobby’s.  From what he said, I should show up alone.”

“That’s fine.  I’ll drive to Colorado Springs and you should be recovered enough to drive from there.  I have some things I need to tie up before shipping out.  What’s going on with Sam?”

Dean hedged, because he agreement with the other O’Neill (namely, he wasn’t allowed to see Sam) didn’t count.  “I’m flying him and Jess to Colorado Springs for the weekend.”

Jack didn’t argue.  Dean was almost asleep when Jack spoke again.  “You like working with your brother, right?”

Dean woke up at that.  “Are you thinking of hiring my brother?  Jess isn’t done with her PhD and he won’t leave her behind.”

“I could hire him into the SGC stateside, get her an internship at the Air Force Hospital –she wants to be a shrink, right?- and when she’s done with her schooling, he’ll have the experience to deal with Pegasus and ship them both to the City.”

Dean was speechless.  He slid on his sunglasses and leaned his head back against the seat.  He needed sleep and then he’d figure out how to deal with his new boss and all the changes Jack was suggesting.  Though, a slight smile crept across his face, this could be fun.



( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 4th, 2013 12:23 am (UTC)
interesting... fun and amusing... thanks for sharing! I kind of wish there was more.
Oct. 4th, 2013 12:45 am (UTC)
thanks for the review. I was just so glad that the story was finished (and it fit with all of the other snippets already posted) that I wanted to post it without filling it with fluff.
Oct. 4th, 2013 12:49 am (UTC)
I just devoured everything you have posted the last few hours...

I am in love with this AU....
Oct. 4th, 2013 08:59 pm (UTC)
aw,i'm glad that you found it worthwhile.
Oct. 4th, 2013 10:34 am (UTC)
I found Learning How to Fly on ff.net ages ago and only discovered you on lj now. Love this 'verse, absolutely inhaled all the timestamps, and enjoyed it so incredibly much, thank-you! :)
Oct. 4th, 2013 09:00 pm (UTC)
yep, there is a lot more to this verse than ff.net, but it wasn't written in a coherent order that's post-able elsewhere.

Thanks for letting me know your reaction.
Oct. 4th, 2013 11:14 am (UTC)
Awesome awesome and more awesome!!!! Would love to see Missouri having a go a either of the jacks :)
Oct. 4th, 2013 09:01 pm (UTC)
I wrote Old Jack and Missouri in the BB, maybe it is time for Clone Jack and Missouri...
Oct. 4th, 2013 01:32 pm (UTC)
SQUEE another installment with NCIS no less!
Loved it!
And mini!Jack is back!
Oct. 4th, 2013 09:10 pm (UTC)
Love NCIS and I knew mini!Jack was coming and I then I had the perfect place to introduce him.
Oct. 4th, 2013 05:41 pm (UTC)
Oh awesome!

I especially liked that you managed to link it with the Methos drabble and the Harvey ones with Mini-jack.

it is great fun to see what is going on and see Gibbs get sidelined as well. I like the guy but sometimes he has to know he can't know everything he want to know...

and It was so lvoely to see Dean through other eyes! Especially with the possibility of Jess and Sam joining the SGC, eve if there will be other lawyers there now!
Oct. 4th, 2013 09:11 pm (UTC)
I was very pleased with how this short connected various other plot threads and I love a good outside POV.
Oct. 4th, 2013 06:06 pm (UTC)

Ohhh I still want to see Jess and Dean's first meeting and how the Wedding goes afterwards!

I am in love with this and so happy you wrote more
Oct. 4th, 2013 09:10 pm (UTC)
This all had to get done before the wedding, but i promise I'm working on it.
Oct. 4th, 2013 09:30 pm (UTC)
looking forward to reading it!
Oct. 5th, 2013 04:24 am (UTC)
How did I miss this earlier? Gibbs is almost (but not quite) as awesome as Jack. Another awesome snippet in a great 'verse. I really hope you have more in you, because I frequently come back to this 'verse. It's like comfort food, but with no calories.

Yes, I am weird. But you are pretty wonderful. Thanks for all the fun and wonder and giggles you bring me.
Oct. 12th, 2013 03:19 pm (UTC)
:) I'm glad you found this in the end. I'm not sure which of the silver foxes is my fav, but that's probably all of Gibbs for this 'verse.

This 'verse is my comfort writing, so more will trickle out as time goes on.

Thanks for the review
Oct. 29th, 2013 10:29 pm (UTC)
Learning to Depend on Others ncis
Holy Moly! I love NCIS/SG, SPN/SG and NCIS/SPN crossovers and here you gave us all three! As usual, I adored your characterizations. I like how the possibility of Sam being brought into the fold is forged (created forged, not faked forged :-) ) here.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


vi, no words

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