moragmacpherson: (feegles)
moragmacpherson ([personal profile] moragmacpherson) wrote2010-05-04 08:59 pm
Entry tags:

Fic: A Grand Sneer - Chapter 5/10 (Supernatural/Discworld BigBang)

Master Post
Chapter Five

"Drink it up, every last drop." The girl handing him a mug was named Glenda, sweet and pretty despite the extra chin , but Dean was in no shape to flirt with her. Not with Carrot and Ridcully and the fucking Librarian staring down at him like he was apt to start drooling at any second, along with a new guy, some geeky-looking guy who knowing this place would be able to kill Chuck Norris by staring at him the wrong way. Better just to concentrate on drinking the warm savory whatever-it-was that Glenda had pressed into his hands.

Carrot's eyes were soft and sympathetic. "It's okay, Dean. You've been under a lot of stress."

Fuck this. He was Dean Winchester, Destroyer of Worlds, and he didn't need their pitying glances. The blanket was nice and soft, though, so he pulled it in a little tighter. "Still need to get home," he muttered. The faces looming over him exchanged significant looks, and Dean groaned. He wasn't sure how long he'd been out, Carrot knew his whole fucking life story: who knew what he'd told the others? What kind of bullshit pop-psychology theories were they applying to him? This was why Dean didn't share with people who didn't have mutant listening powers - not that he'd meant to share anything with the guy who had the mutant listening powers, it just sort of happened. "There's nothing wrong with me that getting home won't fix," Dean grumbled, a bit louder this time.

The Librarian shook his head, looked at Dean with eyes that, now that Dean got a better look, were more intelligent than he expected, and turned away. "Oook," he said, and Dean had maybe been on the Disc too long, because he understood exactly what the ape meant: You guys tell him, I don't have the heart to do it.

"What'd he say?" asked Dean, his voice sounding hollow even in his head.

None of them wanted to say it, so he with the weakest willpower lost. "We don't know how to send you home," said the geek, not able to look Dean in the face while he said it.

Dean kept his voice even. "The monk, Lucy, he said you knew about this library thing. Said the Librarian knew more than anyone else."


Geek-boy sighed. "That's all true. And technically, yes, the Librarian could get you home. But L-space is tricky, and without knowing where he's going, it would take the Librarian a long time to find the way back to where you came from. Captain Carrot tells us you have a rather more limited schedule."

Little to no chance of Sammy walking in through the stacks anytime soon, then. Dean couldn't suffer the last glimmer of his hope to live. "How long is 'a long time'?"

The Librarian shrugged and peeled a banana. "Oook."

"Low range, a little more than fifty years. More likely, two hundred or so."


"At the most, four hundred." The geek had the grace to look apologetic. Dean shut his eyes and let the back of his head bang against the wall.

Ridcully guffawed. "Couldn't you use that bloody contraption of yours to cut down that time, Stibbons? What else is the damn thing good for?"

"The quantum variables involved, combined with the bibliodistortion and the reality phase shifts? It would take me twenty years to write the equation in a manner that Hex could process. Not to mention, if what Captain Carrot has said is correct, this man comes from a roundworld with strong thaumic activity!"

"So?" demanded Ridcully.

Dean could hear Stibbons the geek wiping at his face. "So it's not supposed to exist, that's so. Roundworlds don't work like that. Every simulation we've run insists that such a thing is impossible."

"Mr. Winchester exists, so it must be possible," said Carrot.

"Nonetheless, running the numbers through Hex, even if I knew how to formulate the problem, I'd be asking Hex to look for what he considers to be an imaginary needle in a fake haystack. It wouldn't register as a valid solution. Hex can't help here, Archchancellor, I'm sorry." Stibbons was breathing heavily by the end of his rant. Dean had to give the geek credit for sticking to his guns in the face of the force of nature that was Ridcully, even if what the guy had to say wasn't what Dean wanted to hear either.

Silence reigned for a few moments, making Dean open his eyes. His lips thinned. "You're wizards. Can't you just magic me home?"

Ridcully laughed. "Magic? Magic doesn't solve problems like this. Magic can only make this worse. You think your problem with the Dungeon Dimensions is bad now-" and not even Ridcully could deny Carrot's death glare, but it was too late now.

Dean looked up at Carrot. "I have a problem with the Dungeon Dimensions?" Not a term Dean was familiar with, but not a hard one to figure out. He licked his lips as Carrot backed up a step. Forcing him to go against Vimes' orders, even implicit ones, might kill the man, and Dean didn't want to do that. No mind, Stibbons was an easier target anyway. "Care to explain?"

"The beast in the yard, it wasn't the only one. They've been showing up around the city since you arrived, more and more of them. While you were, uh, resting, another one tried to come after you. There's good evidence to demonstrate that your status as a non-"

Dean held up his hand. "I got it. I'm the main course for the hell beasts. Not the first time." Dean cracked his neck. This was all making his decision a lot simpler, if not a lot easier. The monk had said that Dean would either save or destroy a world, Dean just hadn't thought he was talking about this one. "Anything else I should know?" The group was silent. "Okay then." No way home. Never gonna see Sam or Bobby or Cas or the Impala again. The apocalypse would go on without him. Dean took a long breath. "It's been real fun. Next one of those creatures shows up, you let them take me, you got it?" They gaped at him. "I don't like it, but I can't get home, and I'm the one who put your world in danger, I'll -"

"Be a hot-headed infant without an ounce of sense to his name," shouted Ridcully. "Didn't you listen to a damn thing I said before? You can't just charge into these things!" Ridcully thrust his hand into the air. "You are in a house of knowledge. Answers to questions you'd never imagine to ask are all around you. Men who've forgotten more than you'll ever know loiter the hallways, never applying their over-sized brains to any task more taxing than wondering how long the relish trolley will be at supper. Have some patience, give us a little bit of time to think about it, and we'll come up with an answer a damn sight better than offering your body up to the next demon that comes along." The Archchancellor grabbed Stibbons by the collar. "Stibbons, with me. Captain Carrot, make sure the lad doesn't have any more bright ideas before we return."

Carrot's smile was considerably brighter this time. "I'm sure they'll find a better solution, Dean. They're, well, they're the best at what they do." Dean wasn't going to rise to that bait, instead he shot Carrot a pointed glance that the cop ignored.

"Come on, Carrot. Look at me. I'm stranded and useless here. I'm a danger to this world and to my own just by breathing. Everyone and everything you know and love is at risk. You've gotta know that this is wrong."

Carrot looked thoughtful. "There is in fact a law dating from the reign of King Gideon the Hasty that prohibits loitering with the intention of disrupting the fabric of reality, but I've come to the conclusion through our conversations that you're not doing it on purpose, and as such, fail to fulfill the requirement of intent."

Well. Dean knew that tone, that delivery; he'd heard it from Sam a thousand times when they were kids, from Cas a hundred times in the last year: I'm right, you're wrong, and this is all the explanation you're going to get. There was no use arguing with it, whether it made sense to Dean or not. Instead, he reached for his jacket, found his flask, and emptied it of whiskey in two quick swallows. Wished he had more; wondered where all the smokers had gone now that Dean counted himself a goner and wanted to bum one.

Then Glenda was back with more food, and Dean contented himself with sitting on the library floor and munching away and letting Carrot battle the occasional creature from the Dungeon Dimension that came along. That's what they got for not letting Dean put an end to it. He kept an eye open for a geriatric monk prepared to take care of the situation once and for all, but despite Dean's certainty in the hopelessness of his lot, Lucy never showed.

Two hours later the wizards returned, this time with reinforcements. "We think we've found a way to mask your presence and slow down the infiltrations from the Dungeon Dimensions," began Stibbons.

"That's good," said Carrot, whose armor was considerably less shiny and more dented than it had been when he reported for duty that morning. Glenda had done a neat job bandaging the gash on his left arm, and Dean felt bad about that and all the rest of Carrot's bruises and scrapes, he did, but no one was listening to sense in this place. He hadn't asked for this.

Ridcully cleared his throat. "We've also discussed a number of options for returning you home."

Dean looked up, slightly too divorced from his body at this point to shoot to his feet. "Number of options? Great." Maybe he'd been too cynical, maybe things weren't always headed from bad to worse, maybe this once things would be different. "So, option number one, lay it on me." Dean rubbed his hands together.

"We'll start by summoning Death," said one of the new wizards, and that's when the unpleasantness began.

Fifteen minutes later the Senior Lecturer in Recent Runes was sipping tea with honey and lemon while Glenda held an icepack to his throat. Ridcully was giving a small frog an extremely stern talking to. "Now that you've heard the full plan, I'm going to change you back. I like you, boy, I do, and I admire your derring-do as it were, glad to see some initiative around here, even if you lean a bit too far to the suicidal for my tastes and for your own good. But you try to strangle another member of my faculty and it's straight back to the pond. Understood?"

The frog croaked, and with a wet pop, Dean was once again in his own body, with only a minor residual craving for flies. He swiveled around on hips that felt natural under his weight, then looked up at Ridcully and gave him a nod of acknowledgment. "I won't attack anyone else, but we're not summoning Death."

The Head of the Department of Post-Mortem Communications rolled his eyes. "Death routinely steps between worlds and the Rite of AshkEnte is quite simple and presents no risk to anyone. We don't even need a mouse any more. It's downright vegetarian."

Dean wagged his finger at the dark wizard. "No Death. Not for me. The next time I see that sonovabitch it's damn well going to be the last time."

"He's actually quite the nice chap, once you get to talking to him," said the Senior Wrangler.

Almost growling, Dean grabbed at his hair with his hands. "No. No Death. No chatting with Death, no deals with Death, Death does not get to enter the equation. Come up with something else. You said options before, so come on, out with them." The wizards mostly looked away and Dean let his arms fall to his sides. "What? What now?"

Ridcully shook his head. "It's just the other option is rather less savory, that's all. Death is a gentleman, and something of a known quantity to us wizards, you see."

Dean pursed his lips. "I'm a big boy, done plenty of less than savory things in my time."

Ridcully sniffed. "Maybe that will help prepare you, but probably not." He traded a look with the Senior Wrangler, who raised his hands in resigned disgust. "Well, if you simply refuse to meet with Death, then we have no other choice." Ridcully stared Dean down. "It'll have to be the Nac Mac Feegle." Dean heard Carrot inhale sharply, saw the Librarian's hackles rise up at the words.

This once, ignorance wasn't just bliss, it was a shield and a talisman against Ridcully's terrible stare. Dean folded his arms across his chest. "Fine. Take me to him." Stare away, old man, I'm not moving.

Ridcully suddenly sounded very old. "To them, Winchester. The Nac Mac Feegle are a them." He turned away. "They're usually found in regions closer to the Hub. An old, ah, friend of mine has encountered them before, I believe. I shall write and recommend you to Esme directly."

On the other side of the room, this name caused even more murmuring among the clutch of wizards, and now that Dean had kind of sort of managed to get his way, he could laugh at the silly fat old men with their dresses and hats gossiping like a sewing circle. He was escaping this crazy world of theirs, and if they didn't approve of his methods, even better. Then another seeming nonsense word escaped their huddle, and if the Librarian's hackles had been raised before, now he hooted twice, pounded his chest, and swung into the stacks. The defiant plan that had felt so right and shiny a few seconds earlier wasn't quite as appealing anymore, and the one wizard with the skull ring looked like he was sizing Dean's body up to be his next revenant because he knew a vacancy would be available soon. What's more, Carrot was wearily replacing his sword in its scabbard and wrapping his arm around Dean's shoulders in a sign of camaraderie. It wasn't natural.

He turned his neck to look at Carrot. "Gonna let me in on the joke of what 'weather wax' means?"

Carrot's toothy grin unnerved Dean more than anything else. "You should be pleased, Dean. They're sending you to meet a real Lancre witch!"

Master Post