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06 July 2009 @ 05:14 pm
Numb3rs/Supernatural Fic: A Good Man is Hard to Kill  
Written for numb3rs100 Summer Crossover Spectacular 2009
Bonus Challenge – Universe
Crossposted to sn_crossovers and n3crossovers


Title: A Good Man is Hard to Kill
Pairing/Characters: Don, Charlie, Dean, Sam, David, Colby, OCs
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 3000
Spoilers: Judgment Call (Numb3rs), Season 1, Everybody Loves a Clown (Supernatural)
Summary: Two sets of brothers work a case where good men are being murdered
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ


"Are these guys crazy? Wait, scratch that. Are you crazy?"

Charlie glanced through the window into the diner where he'd brought Don to meet with the two men he had euphemistically called informants. Don's word had been crackpots.

"Don, just hear them out! Dr. Acton is one of the most well known cultural anthropologists in the state and if he vouches for them..."

"Then he's crazy too."

Charlie glanced back inside. Sam was waiting patiently, laptop open and at the ready, but Dean had the restlessness of a caged predator hungry for the hunt - eyes continuously scanning the room and covering the exits when they weren't greedily taking in each plate of food the waitresses carried past him.

"Don, it doesn't matter if you or I believe in supernatural entities. It doesn't matter if Sam and Dean do. What matters is if the victims did or their killer."

"These men were murdered by someone, not some thing..." Don's voice was low and terse. "And I'm going to find out who did it without a couple of college kids who want to play Mulder and Scully."

Charlie sighed, steeling himself to make a fresh argument.

"Listen. Think of it this way. If they were being murdered by fellow cult members and you had a chance to interview some of the innocent cult members, wouldn't that lead you to suspects who might have done it?"

Charlie had on his determined face, staring Don down until he relented. "Fine... So your thinking is that the killer believes this crap so if I understand it I'll have a better shot at catching him."

"Something like that. Please. Just go back in and listen to what they have to say - without making fun of them! If the killer takes this seriously then so should you."

+

Don settled himself back down at the table across from the Winchester brothers.

"So, let's hear this again from the top."

Despite the fact that Dean was obviously the leader, Sam seemed to be the mouthpiece.

"There's an entity that is targeting good men, those known for their selfless acts and heroism. In fact, the better the man, the more attractive the target."

"If that was the case, why have I got a dead school teacher, fireman and nonprofit volunteer on my victim list and not just a bunch of priests?"

"Well, priests aren't automatically good guys these days," Dean cracked, looking away when Sam glared at him.

"This entity can't overcome religious men. If they have faith, it can't get in," Sam explained. "That's why none of your victims are churchgoers. The victims we've tracked over three states haven't been the best men; the more likely targets all had at least some religious affiliation - like Christmas and Easter Catholics and stuff. None of the victims had any religious or spiritual connections."

"We even found a family where two out of four brothers were killed. Of the two that weren't targeted, one was a born again Christian and the other meditated during yoga." Dean scoffed a bit at the yoga statement, but it was obvious to Don that he believed in what he was talking about.

"So you think that you can work with Charlie to whittle down the potential victim list mathematically?"

"That's right," Sam said. "If we know who the likely targets are, we can not only warn them, we might have a better chance of stopping this thing."

"So if we do create a list of potential victims, what am I supposed to tell them?" Don asked.

Dean huffed. "Tell them to get their ass to church."

+

"That brother of yours isn't exactly the most trusting guy on the planet."

Charlie shrugged at Dean's remark, but didn't stop writing on his chalkboard. "He's an FBI agent. What did you expect?"

"Yeah, I guess hearts and flowers were out of the question." Dean picked up a geometrically shaped toy from Charlie's desk, eyed it warily as he made it expand and contract, then put it down with a shake of his head.

Sam looked up from his laptop. "Considering most people in law enforcement either want to lock us up or throw us out of town I'd say he was more than fair to us. I'm guessing we have you to thank for that." He addressed his remarks to Charlie, who turned around and rubbed the back of his neck with his hand for a second before responding.

"Well, you wouldn't have gotten me on your side if it wasn't for Dr. Acton, so let's leave it at that." He peered over Sam's shoulder at the spreadsheet on his laptop screen. "You're almost done with the geographic data. Great! Let me know when you're ready for the community involvement and religious activities variables and weightings."

"Sending the geographic data across the network in just a minute..."

As Sam started typing with renewed frenzy, Charlie's cell phone rang. Checking the Caller ID first, he answered informally. "Hey, bro. We're almost ready to run my algorithm to whittle down the names."

"Good, but... There's been another murder. Same M.O. He killed a lifeguard at Santa Monica beach."

As Charlie sank down into his chair, Dean approached, clearly aware something was wrong. When their eyes met Dean's face hardened as he figured out the reason for Charlie's somber expression.

"Damn it... That son of a bitch got another one, didn't he?"

+

"You sure you want to see this?"

"Yes." Dean's stony face gave Don no reason to doubt him so he ushered them into the victim's bedroom, holding out his arm when Charlie tried to follow Dean and Sam in.

"No," Don said, shaking his head. "I don't want you to see this."

Charlie pushed past him into the room. "Stop treating me like a..." He froze, hand covering his mouth in shock. "Oh god..."

Don joined the Winchesters at the foot of the bed as Charlie rushed from the room, ghastly pale. Sam was grimacing and Dean wore the same stony look, only with more anger seeping through.

"Most of the flesh missing, right?" he asked, all business.

"Yeah," Don said grimly. "If I didn't know better I'd think a wild animal got in and... Well..." He turned to an open closet that contained a high-tech security system. "But then there's this." Dean and Sam shifted their attention to the small black and white screen as Don played back the recording of the front door camera. A man in a suit appeared and the victim was shown inviting him into the house.

"They have to be invited in," Sam muttered under his breath.

"It's great evidence since the time stamp is just before the estimated time of death," Don said. "Problem is, I recognize this guy: Solomon Chase. He's a well known motivational speaker and at the time this says he was here? He was giving a speech in front of four thousand people at the convention center about an hour from here."

"This thing can look like anyone," Dean mused. "I wonder where it found out about this speaker dude."

"He's been on Oprah," Don explained. "And The View."

Dean huffed. "Explains why I've never seen him before."

+

"So you and your brother," Don ventured as he and Sam headed up the walkway to the house of one of Charlie's mathematically probabilistic victims, "you just go around the country looking into spooky stuff? How do you have enough money to live off of?"

"We have resources..." Sam trailed off when Don peered over his sunglasses, giving him his a look that made it clear he didn't want to hear any made up stories. "Hustling pool mostly." He shrugged. "Dean's really good at it."

Don knocked on the door, taking off his sunglasses. "Let's hope that's all you guys do."

A handsome man in his forties opened the door, smiling and friendly. "Yes, can I help you?"

Don flashed his badge. "Edwin Grier? I'm Agent Eppes with the FBI. I'd like to talk to you if you can spare a few minutes."

"Sure, come on in." Edwin stepped back, gesturing them both in. "What's this about?"

He gestured for them to sit in the living room and Don spoke as they got settled. "There have been some attacks in the area and we think it's possible you might be targeted."

"Attacks?" Edwin's smile faded and his brow furrowed in concern.

"Murders," Don clarified. "We believe you fit the victim profile and we wanted to come warn you."

Edwin looked anxious and flustered.

"W-what do I need to do?"

Sam leaned forward. "What you just did? Inviting us in?" His voice took on a sinister edge. "Don't do that again - for anyone, even if you know them. Because this killer he can look like anyone - anyone at all. So you might think you're inviting in your next door neighbor or your mother-in-law, but you're not."

Edwin swallowed hard.

"I think I'd like to see your badge again."

+

"Your brother always send you out with two big beefy chaperones?" Dean teased, jerking a thumb back to where Colby and David were following Dean and Charlie a few steps back.

"No," Charlie replied, "only when I'm working with someone he thinks might be... How do I put this gently?"

"Nuts?"

Charlie put his hands up in defense, grinning. "I didn't say it!" He walked over to a table marked Registration in the convention center lobby. "Excuse me. We're here to see Elizabeth Guerrero?"

"Um..." As the woman vacillated, Colby flashed his badge with an impatient sigh. "I'll get her. One moment." She hurried away and returned with a businesswoman in a crisp black suit.

"Elizabeth Guerrero," she said, formal and polite. She shook Charlie's hand as he stepped forward. "Dr. Eppes?"

"Yes, thank you for meeting with us." Elizabeth nodded in greeting to the others and gestured them over to a bay of windows, away from the registration desk. "We wanted to ask about anyone who might have traveled with Solomon Chase through the last three states. There's been a series of attacks that coincide with the time Mr. Chase has been in those states."

"You think the attacks are related to Mr. Chase?" Elizabeth shook her head in denial. "It's not anyone who works for Mr. Chase, I can assure you. To be frank, everyone on staff is kept way too busy to be missing long enough for anything extracurricular." She gestured to the parking lot outside the window. "But if you want to question the hundreds of devotees who follow Mr. Chase around in caravans from city to city?" Dean stepped forward and together they stared out at row after row of ramshackle vans and campers. "Be my guest."

"Holy needle in a freaking haystack," Dean muttered.

+

"Okay, we've got our top ten potential victims to cover..." Don laid out the map of LA on the hood of the Suburban, pointing to the red dots on it. "LAPD's covering the bottom five, Miller and DeWinter have teams at numbers five and four. SWAT's providing backup at one, two and three. Colby, take three. David, take two. I've got one."

"What about us?" Dean asked.

"You? You're civilians," Don huffed. "You sit this out."

"Like hell..."

Sam interrupted before Dean could say any more. "We'll stay out of your way, no problem."

Dean pulled him away and they had a brief heated argument out of earshot which ended when Dean retrieved a bag from the trunk of a black classic Chevy.

"Here. At least take one of these each." He unzipped the bag to reveal brass pipes, each one about a foot long with one end broken off into a sharp point. "Rakshasas can only be killed by a blade of pure brass."

"We're not going to kill the guy, we're going to put him in jail," Don stressed, shoving the bag away.

Dean took a pipe out of the bag and slapped it into Don's hand.

"Fine. You do that. But if he resists arrest and shrugs off your bullets like they're nothing? Keep this handy. It could save your life."

Sam stepped forward. "Agent Eppes, think of it like Charlie said. If the murderer believes this stuff, then a brass blade is the only thing that's going to scare him into surrendering. Guns won't, in fact he's likely to charge guns believing they won't hurt him and that could put your men in danger."

Don tucked the pipe into his belt, glaring at David and Colby.

"Not a word to the Assistant Director, you hear me?"

+

David sat behind the wheel of his SUV, eyes on the potential target's front yard. He fidgeted in his seat, tugging ineffectually at the uncomfortable Kevlar vest, finger tapping distractedly on his near empty coffee cup.

"Man, it takes a really boring stakeout to make me miss Granger," he muttered.

He perked up though when he saw a figure walk towards the house.

"Head's up," he radioed to his SWAT backup. "We've got a possible." As the man came into the light, he recognized him. "Cancel that, it's just Don." He thumbed off the radio and watched as Don went up to the door and knocked. "Wonder what he's doing here," he mused, rolling down his window to listen in.

Edwin answered the door. "Agent Eppes! Is everything all right?"

"We have some new information on this threat. Do you have a minute to look at a list of some names to see if you know any of them?"

"Sure," Edwin said, standing back from the door. "Come on in."

"Names?" David flipped open his cell phone. "What names?" Without looking he speed dialed his partner.

"Granger."

"Hey, Colby. Don's over here at the Grier house and I heard him say something about a list of names of potential suspects. Is that something Charlie just came up with?"

"David," Colby said, a wariness in his voice. "I just got off the phone with Don. He's still at the Yamaguchi house."

"Crap," David swore. "The Winchesters said this thing could look like anyone and they meant anyone!" He hung up and speed dialed Don as he bolted out of his car and ran across the road.

"Eppes."

"It's David. Where are you?"

"At the Yamaguchi house. You got anybody at Grier's?"

"Yeah," David said, waving urgently for SWAT to hurry. "You!"

+

SWAT hit the door hard with a battering ram and they poured in, guns drawn.

A startled yell came from the second floor and they streamed up the stairs, bolting towards the master bedroom.

"FBI! Freeze!"

Edwin was cowering in the corner, shirt torn and bloodied, and someone who was most definitely not Don was standing over him fingertips coated in blood.

That was all David saw before he disappeared.

"Holy shit. Where did he go?" They stood looking around until David felt something shove past him. "It's out of the room! Come on!"

Leaving a man behind with Edwin, David led the others down the stairs.

"Don't shoot! It's Dean and Sam!" he heard at the front door.

"It's here!" David called back. "But we can't see it!"

The house suddenly filled with white smoke. Through it he could see Dean wielding a fire extinguisher, spraying around as he and Sam barred the door.

"There!" Someone cried out. A shape could be seen in the mist and they raised their guns to point at it. "FBI! Freeze!"

The shape rushed at the closest SWAT officer and David watched amazed as he was tossed aside as if he were a mere toy. Another SWAT officer was thrown over the stair railing as if they were nothing.

"Fire!" David and the two remaining SWAT opened fire, but the shape kept on coming.

"Stop shooting!" Sam's voice this time as he rushed up the stairs. They stopped as David felt unseen hands grab him, strong hands that lifted him from the ground.

And then they were gone. He dropped the few inches to the floor, stunned, as the smoke cleared and all he saw was Sam with a bloody brass pipe in his hand and a pile of clothes at his feet.

+

"We just wanted to say thanks," Sam shook Charlie's hand, "for sticking your neck out for us."

"Glad it all worked out." Charlie said warmly. "And when you get back to Stanford, give Dr. Acton my best."

"Yeah, I'm not so sure about going back," Sam rubbed the back of his neck with a reluctant smile. "At least not any time soon."

"You should. Dr. Acton said you were one of the sharpest students he'd ever had," Charlie stressed. "That you had a completely fresh approach to the culture of myths and stories, especially urban legends."

Sam shrugged. "Yeah, well this life... It tends to give you a rather unique perspective."

Dean slammed the trunk of the Impala shut. "Dude, time to hit the road. Bobby's waiting."

"Yeah, okay," Sam told him before turning back to Charlie. "Anyway, tell your brother thanks as well for us."

"Will do," Charlie assured him. "Thanks for all your help."

The Winchester brothers got in the black Impala and drove off, Charlie watching. Before he could go back inside, he spotted a familiar black SUV approaching, parking in almost the same spot the Winchesters had just vacated.

"Hey, Chuck!" Don waved a file. "New case. Bank robberies." He glanced to where Charlie was staring. "What's up?"

"Dean and Sam just left. I was just thinking about their life... How they're like us and how they're not."

"Well, neither of us is dead." Don pulled out a second folder. "Dean? He supposedly died in St. Louis last year."

Charlie stared at the death certificate and autopsy report. "You just found this out?"

"No, I knew from the start." Don admitted. "But if their family business is like ours - saving people, hunting down bad guys? I figured the world needs them to keep on doing it."

=
 
 
 
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on July 7th, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
Confession
To any of you who wondered about how well the ficfinishing comm works?

This fic has been partial since 2006. Since *January* of 2006. I signed up to finish it in June. And now it's done.

That, to me, is a real success. I started this fic within days of adding Supernatural to the list of fandoms I write (that list - at the time - contained one fandom: Numb3rs) and promptly stalled on it and stalled hard.

Then after Mel and I decided to make this summer a crossover challenge at N100 I had the bright idea to repurpose this fic into a drabble series. I only had about 900 words from when I first started it and it was already divided up enough so it was easy to slice it into three scenes and then pick it up again.

I confess there is one part I had to leave out of the fic that I am a little bummed about. I wanted to show how Dean and Sam knew to be at the number three house, but since all the fic are in the POV of N3 characters I couldn't switch midstream and do one drabble in Dean or Sam's. FWIW they followed up on the lead they got at the convention center and went to the parking lot where Chase's followers were. They mingled and asked about who had the disgusting filthy cars. According to SPN canon, Rakshasas live in squalor and sleep on a bed of dead insects (Ew), so someone there had to have noticed a rank van or RV. Once they found it, went inside and confirmed the bed of dead insects they might have wanted to get it away from the crowds before they tried to kill it. But LA freeways as they are, I figured they would have had enough trouble following the van once it left and perhaps even lost it or fallen far behind it. But knowing where the targets were they just went to the one it was clear it was heading for and wound up there just after David's team made entry. They came prepared - with a fire extinguisher to make it easier to spot an invisible entity - and brass pipe shards since that had worked so well for them the first time they killed a rakshasa.

As to why Don let them help and didn't arrest them? I think he's got excellent instincts as to who the real bad guys are and who's not. (See the Robin Hood episode.) Plus it helped that they were with Charlie during a murder so they had the best alibi possible - his brother.

Though I took this monster from the Everybody Loves a Clown episode, I did embellish a bit, mostly with info from Wikipedia's article on rakshasas. Since they were often evil people in life I decided to make one target good people - only they were repelled by spirituality, ergo giving them godless heathen types (in their mind) who did good works as their victims.

Or it may have just been to enjoy writing Dean huffing out "Tell them to get their ass to church."

/grins/

Very special thanks to First Reader csichick_2 and beta melissima for their assistance with this fic.

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
Tori Lovelostandalone22 on July 7th, 2009 12:59 am (UTC)
Great story! I really like this.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 7th, 2009 01:05 am (UTC)
Thanks! It was fun to do a double brothers case fic.
riverotter1951riverotter1951 on July 7th, 2009 01:34 am (UTC)
This was lovely but now I have another series to add to my Netflix list.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 7th, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
You're not already watching SPN? Wow! It's Brother Central! If you like watching Don and Charlie as brothers then you'll probably like Sam and Dean as well. The first season gets going a bit slow, but by the season 1 finale? Oh boy. I was totally hooked. Great finale and the show just kept on getting better and better. I definitely recommend it.
Zubeneschamali: twobroszubeneschamali on July 7th, 2009 02:34 am (UTC)
This is what happened to me--I noticed all of the overlap between NUMB3RS and SPN fic writers, and now SPN is a strong contender for my favorite show ever. The brother thing is definitely key, but the greater amount of whumping doesn't hurt, either. ;)
Zubeneschamali: donsmilezubeneschamali on July 7th, 2009 02:36 am (UTC)
Yay for ficfinishing! It's so nice to know that you get something accomplished out of it for all of the work you do in maintaining it.

And yay for NUMB3RS/SPN crossovers! As much as I like Don and Dean at each other's throats, it was nice to see them working together here. I like how the boys were able to spin it so that the FBI agents didn't really have to believe them but could still solve the case. Great story.

Edited at 2009-07-07 02:38 am (UTC)
ALEOaleo_70 on July 7th, 2009 07:36 am (UTC)
Another Numb3rs/Supernatural crossover - YAY!

Nice to have them working so amicably together, it worked well here even if I do prefer there to be more tension between the pairs of brothers. You had hints of that though with Colby and David keeping and eye on Charlie.

Don's report on the file would sure be an interesting read when he get to the bit about his doppleganger disappearing...

I think it adds to the mysterious aura around the Winchesters (from the Numb3rs POV) that they happened to be at the right place at the right time. The backstory as per your author's note is nice to know but not necessary for the story to work so I think you made the correct choice there.
tkdbbelt on July 7th, 2009 11:22 am (UTC)
When I saw this crossover in the description I really didn't think it could work. Somehow you made it work though. A fun read. Thanks.
mangacat201mangacat201 on July 8th, 2009 12:17 pm (UTC)
MAEWEHWAHeweawhaewhawe... I like spn-numbers... it's just so, yeah, two pairs of brothers doing the same thing... then nerd and the gun-blazer, that sort *g* I love them *smishes*
Cat
darkestnight12: bear hugdarkestnight12 on October 23rd, 2010 02:23 am (UTC)
Gah! I love how Don kept the info that Dean was filed as dead to himself until the rakshasa was dead. Especially because he portrayed himself as a disbeliever. ;D Love Dean's pithy comments too.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on October 23rd, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
Someone who knows both fandoms! Awesome! I'm glad you enjoyed this. I really wanted to have both brothers in one story and this was a lot of fun - especially Dean's quips! Thanks for reading and commenting!