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crossbigbang fic: Paths Crossed - chapter one. (SPN/BtVS)
xover//dean/faith weapons - me
whiskyinmind wrote in fandomsbitca
Title: Paths Crossed
Author(s): whiskyinmind
Artist: reapertownusa
Crossover: Supernatural/Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Disclaimer: Neither of these are my sandboxes, I'm just playing in them for a while.
Type: Gen, pre-het
Rating: R for language
Word Count:
Characters/Pairings: John Winchester, Dean Winchester, Faith Lehane
Spoilers: pre-series for Supernatural, 10 years post-Chosen for Buffyverse (not including comic canon)
Summary: "I was working my own gig. This voodoo thing down in New Orleans " In the devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has become a magnet for vampires, demons and all those things that go bump in the night. Dean Winchester is on the trail of a voodoo priestess but may be a little out of his league here. Just as well there's a Slayer in town...
Author’s Notes: This was a hard story to write, winding a real world tragedy into fiction like this is not something I would ever do lightly, however when I knew I wanted to write a pre-series meeting between Dean and Faith I found Supernatural's own canon pretty much forced me to address it. I am hugely indebted to bellatemple who helped me hugely (without her ever knowing how much) with her memories as a volunteer in New Orleans. I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to telaryn who saw the first draft of this and didn't laugh at how terrible it was!

The amazing artwork by reapertownusa blows me away. She's captured the moment perfectly and you should all go marvel over how amazing it is!

Link to Story Master Post
Link to Art Master Post: here at reapertownusa's journal!

For crossbigbang

There were a lot of things to hate about being fifteen – not least, the simple fact that he was fifteen - but top of the list for Julian Masters was the fact that not one person had wished him a ‘Happy Birthday’. What difference did it make if it was his dad’s funeral? It was still his birthday dammit!

He’d had to sit in a hot church with a broken AC unit while his mom went from weeping on him (and getting his favorite shirt all covered in tears and snot, dammit) and preening that so many folks from the neighborhood had turned out for the service. Julian had sat on a hard wooden pew and tried not to think about the rivulet of sweat running down into the crack of his ass. He rally needed to get out of here and grab a cool shower and a change of clothes.

Finally the church service was over and since good ol’ Pops had asked to be cremated, Julian figured he was finally free and they could get down to the important business of celebrating his goddam birthday!

To his horror, the minister – who, so far as Julian knew, had never even met Pops – announced to the whole church that his Mom was inviting everyone back to their house for tea. Tea. Julian didn’t know whether to laugh or scream. She only brought out the tea when she was trying to impress the Rich Bitches who lived down their street. He couldn’t believe she didn’t understand that they were all laughing at her behind her back; that they all thought she was nothing but a charity case for them? All of their kids went to St Martin’s after all, but oh no, he had to get sent to stupid Newman. Who went to Newman for crying out loud?

When he'd finally had all he could stand, he stormed out of the house and wandered around the block for a while – but that got dull real quick and he wasn't gutsy enough to head down to the French Quarter so he ended up back at the annoyingly pristine little villa that he was supposed to call home. He tried to sneak in without anyone seeing him but Anne Marie Benoit (who in his head he’d renamed ‘Queen Rich Bitch’) spotted him and clucked her tongue and beckoned him over to where she was sitting. He let her berate him for taking off and worrying his mother like that – didn't he know it would just kill her if anything happened to him? – and seethed inwardly

He wouldn't tell anyone, but there was something really creepy about QRB. She was over at the house a whole lot, it seemed, and she always seemed to be watching him. One time, he'd come in from the yard not meaning to track dirt in with him - well, not really meaning to - and she'd had this weird look on her face. He racked his brains for a way to describe it and the only word he could come up with was 'calculating'.

Exactly a year later and Julian decided he didn't care about his birthday any more – the world definitely had it in for him and if there was any doubt about that, all he had to do was remember that the day the world ended was the very same day he turned sixteen.

If that wasn't a personal kick in the teeth from God then Julian didn't know what it was.

Hurricane Katrina tore through the city leaving devastation in its wake. Devastation. One of those words that newscasters used all the time but also a word no one really understood until they were faced with it. An entire city. Devastated. Mostly uninhabitable and God only knew how many killed.

And Julian Masters was left there. Alone.

He didn't remember all that much about the day itself. They had been hearing evacuation warnings for a couple of days and his mom had spent all that time debating about what to do. Julian didn't much care either way, he was sure they'd be back before too long anyway but if they went then at least it'd be a couple of days away from Newman.

When she finally decided to go, Julian was forced into packing up the shiny new SUV while his mom packed up a few things from the kitchen. He knew it was getting dark out, and it was already pretty stormy, he remembered some guy coming up the drive wearing one of those bright yellow high visibility vests. Julian remembered saying something to him about how they were just leaving and thinking that the guy's eyes were reflecting his vest in a really strange way. He thought he remembered the guy lunging at him but around about that point everything got a little hazy and all he really remembered was hearing screams. He was pretty sure one of the screams was his.

He figured he must have blacked out or something - he was damn sure he had not fainted because that was just something that Julian Masters just didn't do, what was he? Some kind of girl or something? No, he'd blacked out - or maybe the guy had knocked him out when he'd lunged at him. Yeah, that sounded more like it. So the guy must have hit to hit him pretty hard over the head, knocked him out and then…

What? Julian had no idea what happened next. All he knew was that when he came round again he was in his house - in the basement of all places - and he was alone.

First thing he'd done, of course, was to call out for his mom – after all she must have been the one to bring him down here so she could damn well help him back up as well. Not that he was afraid of the basement or anything – it was just… there were too many dark corners down there and too many strange noises that would wake him up in the middle of the night.

There was no answer and, after a short while, he managed to stand up and take a look around him. Something had changed. The basement just didn't seem all that scary anymore. The shadows weren't as dark, the noises weren't as alien; he knew what they all were now. He grinned a little as he realized that Mom was going to throw a fit when he told her there were rats down here. Including, he cocked his head to one side as he listened, at least one expectant mother rat.

It gave him a moment's pause that he could pick out the fetal heartbeats of creatures much less than a centimeter in length, but he dismissed that thought. How did he know he hadn't been able to do that before? He'd never tried until now, had he?

Even so, there was definitely something a little freaky going on. He felt like every nerve ending was on fire and every one of his senses was sharpened. Maybe it was the storm? He'd doubted it was going to be as bad as everyone had thought it was going to be – like a hurricane was ever going to do any damage to New Orleans! – but still, he'd read all this stiff about how everything seemed that much sharper after a storm. It was something to do with the air pressure, he thought he remembered reading that once, but that didn't explain how come he had ended up down in the basement of his house listening to an unborn rat fight for life against its greedier siblings.

He started to walk towards the rickety wooden staircase but stopped after two steps. He could feel every muscle in his body obeying the electrical neural impulses being sent from his brain. More than that, he could feel the tingle of that electricity as it jumped from neuron to neuron. Julian tried flexing muscles at random and marveled at the sensations that crawled all over him.

The only movement for the next five hours was the intermittent jerks and shudders as Julian worked his way through every muscle in turn, each movement resulting in such heightened reactions that when he finally focused his mind downwards he was already painfully hard. Even the pain brought a glow and he spent a while tormenting himself just by sending impulses then canceling them out. The final release, when he decided it was either let it happen or never leave the basement, was so intense he thought he finally got why those books his mom read and thought she'd kept hidden from him called it la petite mort.

It was only afterwards, when he stopped seeing the little sparks exploding in front of his eyes like Fourth of July fireworks and his stomach began to cramp from hunger that he realized there was something wrong. One muscle in his body wasn't responding.

His heart. His heart wasn't beating.

Julian didn't feel it when he hit the ground, his mind – already overloaded with sensation – refused to accept the new information and simply switched off.

Waking up twice in a row with no immediate idea of where he was and how he had gotten there wasn't something Julian had ever experienced before. A part of him had wanted that kind of disorientation since it seemed to be the result of partying just a little too hard - or at least that's what the after school specials the Disney Corporation had taught him, and of course they had had the exact opposite effect on him than the desired one. The fact that Julian didn't get invited to many – or, any – parties was totally beside the point. It wasn't so long ago that he'd wanted that toe-curling dread of waking up and not knowing where he was..

Now that it had happened, not once but twice in – what he assumed was – the same day, he thought he'd rather go back to staying at home on the weekends and never partying. Ever.

He wasn't in the basement this time. The mildewy odor of long forgotten boxes suggested he was in the attic but the smell was being overpowered by something else… something rank. Something like rotten meat.

When he stood this time he didn't let his own body distract him. Or at least he tried not to let it. The access panel was open but the ladder which should have been propped against it was nowhere in sight. It wasn't that far a drop to the hall floor – maybe ten or eleven feet all in – but he thought it might be enough break a couple of bones if he landed badly. He caught his lower lip between his teeth and stood right at the edge, he was on his own – he would have been able to hear if there was someone in the house, he was sure of that. So there was no one to get the ladder for him.

He frowned. Where was his mom?? If the storm had passed – and from the silence outside it certainly sounded as if it had – then she should be back. If she'd left at all – after all, that guy had attacked him right outside the house and left him for dead. Surely she wouldn't have just left him there?

There were a lot of holes in Julian's memory of what had happened but his mind stubbornly refused to fill in the blanks. He'd been outside, the strange guy with those glowing yellow eyes had approached him and then Julian had woken up in the basement and it seemed like it must be two or three days later.

And his heart wasn't beating.

The realization rocked him again and he held his breath and focused his attention inwards. After a couple of minutes he confirmed it – still no heartbeat. And now he came to think about it, no pain in his chest either which, since it was a while since he'd drawn his last breath, was more than a little strange.

Screw strange, it was flat out wrong. On more levels than Julian wanted to think about right now

He became aware of a gnawing hunger growing deep within him and decided that getting something to eat was mundane enough that focusing on that it would take his mind off his other problems.

So, one problem at a time, he figured that was the way to deal with this whole messed up situation. Getting food meant getting down out of the attic, which meant jumping down through the access panel. He knew if he stopped to think about it he'd balk, so he decided to just close his eyes and go for it. A moment later he was crouched on the landing below and he knew there was no one left alive in the house.

Julian felt the emptiness threatening to overwhelm him. No one came running, or called out when he hit the ground and he knew he'd made enough noise to wake the dead.

Wasn't that just an odd turn of phrase? Anyone would think he was morbid or something.

He grinned a little and sprang to his feet. The speed of his movements threw him off-balance a little and he almost tumbled head first down the stairs but somehow he managed to throw out his arms and catch hold of the overly ornate banisters on either side of him. His reflexes were catlike, definitely not like him at all, and that just added to the sense of unreality that was going on here.

Was this a dream? Or… was he dead? Was that what it was? He had no heartbeat, he didn't seem to need to breathe even though his body seemed to want to, out of habit he guessed. If he was dead, that would explain why Mom had left him here. Wouldn't? She would not just abandon him, would she?

Julian wondered who he was asking, and just who he was trying to convince.

The hunger washed over him again, so intense this time that he all but doubled over in pain. He had to get something to eat – everything else could wait until this hunger went. He gripped the banisters tightly as he made his way down the stairs on suddenly unsteady legs.

He was concentrating so intently on just keeping his balance that he didn't think about why he'd headed straight for the front door. The kitchen cabinets were fully stocked, he was pretty sure, but for some reason his body seemed determined to take him outside.

Well, maybe he could head find an Arby's or something. It would beat actually cooking for himself – especially since when it came to that he figured he could maybe make toast. At a push.

As soon as he pulled the door open the stench of rot assaulted him, making him gag almost uncontrollably, but the sheer strength of the hunger gnawing at his insides pushed him onwards.

It was already dark and Julian realized again he had absolutely no concept of what day it was. Of how long it had been since Mom had left him behind. The street was all but deserted and it soon became apparent where the smell was coming from.

The absolute devastation all around him was breathtaking – or would have been, had he actually been breathing. Most of the houses were still standing and apparently intact, but all the yards were choked with debris which had come from who knew where. Water, black as oil, choked the flood drains and spilled out onto the blacktop. As he turned the corner onto the main thoroughfare, Julian stopped in his tracks. A boat. In the middle of the road, just… leaning there, miles from the nearest body of water, defying the world to deny its existence.

He stood beneath the boat's shadow for a while, just staring up at it in wonder, as the hunger inside him grew ever higher. By the time he moved on it had become almost a living thing, controlling him, driving him onwards.

Given how full of junk the streets were – and how empty they were of anyone else – he sort of doubted that Arby's would be open, so he started looking for any stores where he could maybe grab a bag of chips or something. This wasn't the kind of neighborhood you found a 7/11 in though – the whole place had pretensions of suburbia, which meant there was a distinct lack of any kind of useful things like stores.

Yet again, Julian found himself cursing his mom for her pointless upwardly mobile ambitions. Their whole family was only saved from being poor white trash by dint of the fact that 1) they weren't exactly poor thanks to his father's money, and 2) they weren't white. They were still trash though, no matter how much his mom tried to deny it, and all the rich bitches she surrounded herself with knew it too.

Gradually in his quest for something to eat, he found himself getting further away from his neighborhood and closer to the heart of the city. The destruction was worse here, empty lots marked where houses had been standing not too long ago, and what few buildings were still standing showed clear evidence of looting. He passed a grocery store that the owner had tried to board up – probably before the hurricane hit – but one glance showed how futile that had been. Julian wasn't completely sure whether it had been the looters or the winds that had torn the door from its hinges, but the results were the same – empty shelves and one more place he had to walk straight past while the hunger threatened to overwhelm him.

The streets, so choked with the aftermath of the storms, were completely devoid of life and Julian was genuinely beginning to think this had been more than a storm – what was that ridiculous tale his mom had once told him? Was this The Rapture? Had the world ended and left him alone in the ruins?

Was this hell?

Julian stumbled back into the center of the street and looked around frantically, searching for any signs of life, anything. There was nothing. He sank to his knees trying to figure out just what he was going to do.

Out of a nowhere a deep throaty engine rumbled behind him and a voice called out, "Hey, kid. Move it or lose it."

Julian jerked his head out of his hands and stared wild-eyed at the speaker. A guy, a little older than he was, was leaning out of the window of one of those cars that Julian knew every kid his age was supposed to drool over but right now he didn't care. He wasn't alone.

"Are you alright, kid?" The guy cut the engine and the rumble vanished, deafening Julian with the silence, and the newcomer climbed out of the car.

Julian realized he was still kneeling in the middle of the road and he forced himself to stand on his strangely unsteady legs.

"You don't look so good," The guy drew near with his hand outstretched to him, as if to catch if should he fall. "Here, sit down 'fore you fall down. When did you last eat?"

Julian let the guy lead him over to the sidewalk and allowed himself to be lowered onto the ground. At the mention of food the hunger came back with a vengeance and he found himself staring at the guy's neck. Before he could say anything the shrill sound of a cell phone interrupted him and the guy patted at his jacket pockets. "Hold that thought," he said as he answered the phone and took a couple of steps away.

Julian was getting more than a little worried about what the hell was happening here, everything seemed to be moving so fast – from thinking he was in hell to having some guy show up showing every sign of normality, it was making his head spin. And what was that whole deal with checking out the guy's neck? He wasn't gay, he was pretty sure about that, and anyway it had made him hungry for food, not anything weird like that.

He listened to the stranger's end of his phone call and wondered if he had any clearer idea of what was going on than Julian did. "Yeah, I just got into town," he said. He looked around him for a moment and checked his watch. "What, now? Okay, I'll be there in ten."

He flipped the phone shut, ending his call without a goodbye, and turned back to face Julian. "Look kid, I gotta go. Here, you look like you need this more than I do." He tossed a candy bar at him and Julian's hand snaked with that weird reflex action again to catch it. "There's a Red Cross station back that way, they can probably help you out some more. Sorry." With that the guy was back in his car and gunning the engine. He pulled away with a squeal of tires and banked left at the end of the street. Heading out of town and towards the suburbs.

Julian watched him go without a word until the hunger-driven autopilot again took over. He rose to his feet in one swift movement and tossed the uneaten candy bar onto the nearest pile of trash. A grin began to form as he turned towards the direction the guy had pointed. There would be people at the Red Cross station; finally he could get something to eat.

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