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13 May 2011 @ 03:23 pm
Dresden Files/Sentinel 4/7  
Here's part four of Shaman You, a Dresden Files/The Sentinel crossover, which you can read from the beginning here.

Another great big thank you to aeron_lanart for the beta and all round awesomeness.

Anything you recognise isn't mine. And probably anything you don't.

Shaman You Part 4

The following morning, Jim and Blair met me down at the front desk and took me to the morgue in Jim’s beat-up truck. Conversation on the way there was minimal and I could feel that Jim still wasn’t comfortable with what had happened the night before, but clearly words had been spoken between the partners and he’d agreed not to talk about it. Trouble was, we weren’t talking about anything else and you could cut the silence in the truck’s cab with a knife. I was actually pretty grateful when we arrived at the morgue.

The most recent victim, one Thomas Davis, had been treated in the same way as the others but with one significant difference. I took a deep breath and leaned in to take a closer look at where the man’s intestines should have been located.

“It’s the strangest thing,” the medical examiner commented. “It’s almost as if an animal ate them, but he wasn’t dead long enough for scavengers to chow down.”

I nodded, afraid that if I opened my mouth I’d throw up over the corpse.

There were bite marks inside his torso and at the ragged ends of what remained of his internal organs. There were also traces of ectoplasm, the goo left by pieces of the Nevernever that stay in our world and get cut off from the magic that holds them together.

I stood up and thanked the coroner for his time and then swiftly left the room.

“So?” Ellison asked once we were in the fresh air of the parking lot.

“Would you believe me if I told you?” I replied.

“Probably not,” he admitted and then looked at Blair and shrugged. “But I’m willing to be open-minded.”

“These rituals are intended to create a doorway for something very, very bad,” I answered as cagily as possible. Jim and Blair weren’t exactly straights, but they weren’t wizards either and the less they knew was probably safer for them.

“Some kind of monster?” Blair asked. Jim snorted derisively but I could tell Blair was genuinely curious.

“It’s called Fenris. That’s what ate that guy’s insides.”

“A doorway from where?” Blair said, forestalling whatever snide remark Jim had been about to make.

“It’s another plane of existence, parallel to our own but separate, called the Nevernever,” I replied. I figured that bit of information wouldn’t hurt, especially since if Blair intended taking his Shaman studies further he’d probably discover it for himself soon enough.

“No, that’s enough of this b-s. That guy was killed by a human being, not some fairy tale from Neverland,” Jim practically snarled at me, stepping into my personal space to remind me how big he was. There’s not many can physically intimidate me, being so tall, but Jim was definitely achieving it, even though he still had to look up at me.

“And that human believes what I just told you to be true. That’s what’s pertinent here, detective,” I replied and resisted the urge to poke Ellison in the chest. He glowered at me for a moment before nodding and then heading toward his truck.

“So, what now, oh great and powerful Oz?” he asked over his shoulder as he walked.

“The crime scene, if that’s ok,” my reply was more polite than I was feeling. I couldn’t blame Jim for being sceptical, didn’t mean I had to like it though.

“Don’t mind Jim, he’s never been comfortable with the mystical aspects of what he is,” Blair explained. I smiled.

“I’ve had worse.”

“Are you two coming, or should I get you a cauldron?” Jim called from the truck.

We headed over but as we climbed into the cab I couldn’t resist saying one more thing.

“Witches generally use cauldrons. Wizards, not so much.”

Jim grunted, but the corner of his mouth twitched in a smile as he started the engine and pulled the truck into traffic.

We drove the short distance to Stanley Park and pulled over near the crime scene where a beat cop still stood guard to prevent any curious park goers from stomping all over the crime scene. He smiled in recognition at Jim and Blair and lifted the tape that cordoned off the area to let us pass.

This murder had taken place inside a copse of trees in a secluded part of the park and once again I was struck by how quiet the site was. The trees perfectly muffled all sound and hid the area from unwanted attention.

“You should get some men to the stadium,” I said.

“Good idea, Dresden,” Jim agreed, obviously thinking the same thing I had. “He takes time to select the perfect spot; somewhere he won’t be disturbed.”

“Exactly. Not sure it will apply at the stadium, but he might still go to scout the best place to cast from.”

Jim pulled out his cell phone and looked at the screen.

“Be right back. No signal,” he said before walking out of the trees.

“That’s probably as much my fault as the trees; technology and magic don’t mix,” I said apologetically to Blair. “Something to be wary of if you intend practicing.”

Blair nodded thoughtfully.

“So, what do you hope to find here?” he asked.

“The previous crime scenes were too old to get any real information but with some luck this one is still fresh enough that I might be able to See it happening,” I said and approached the spot where the murder had happened.

“You’re talking about that Second Sight thing that you mentioned, yeah?”

“Yeah. It allows you to see what’s really there, not just in the present but the recent past and future as well,” I replied.

“You said I might have the Sight,” Blair began. I turned to look at him and I could tell from the thoughtful look on his face what he was suggesting.

“I’m not sure that’s such a good idea, Blair,” I replied.

“What’s not a good idea?” Jim asked as he returned.

“Blair trying out more of his abilities,” I replied.

“How am I ever gonna know if I don’t try?” Blair asked. I shook my head.

“It’s not a matter of could, Blair. I’m not sure you should. You’ll be witnessing a brutal murder, or at the least the painful emotional echoes of it. And you’ll never forget it for as long as you live. Are you sure you’re ready for that?”

“If it will catch this creep then yes,” he replied and I could see he was adamant. I sighed and held my hands up in surrender. Jim wasn’t quite so ready to quit and put a hand on Blair’s shoulder.

“I’m not sure about this, Chief,” he said. I wasn’t sure whether he was objecting to the danger to Blair’s mind or to Blair taking part in what he probably perceived as a charade, but either way Blair wasn’t going to take objections.

“I am sure. I don’t care if you don’t believe, I know Incacha passed these gifts to me for a reason and I need to learn to use them,” he said in a tone that brooked no argument.

Jim gave him a look that said the conversation wasn’t over, but he let the matter drop for the moment and took a few steps back from us to give us room. Satisfied, Blair nodded and turned to me expectantly.

“Focus on the crime scene and whatever you do, don’t look at me or Jim. Viewing a person with the Sight can be too much to handle, especially for a first-timer,” I instructed. There was also a possibility that Blair might not like what he Saw. Like a soulgaze, the Sight allows unfettered access to the core of a person and I’d hate for Blair to see something about Jim that would damage their friendship. And I really hated to think what he might See in me.

Blair nodded his understanding so I instructed him to close his eyes. I wasn’t entirely sure what to say next; like I said before, I’ve never taught anyone else magic. I told Blair to slow his breathing and focus his will to give me time to think. Opening my Sight is second nature now, so it took a moment to recall the process I used when I first started.

“Have you heard of the Third Eye?” I asked. Blair nodded. “Ok, I want you to picture yours and imagine it opening. Will it to happen.”

Behind us Jim snorted.

“C’mon, Chief, this sounds like the kind of crazy, hippy stuff Naomi’s into,” he commented.

“Less sarcasm from the peanut gallery,” Blair replied before he slowly opened his eyes and looked around the copse. “Holy crap.”

I grinned. Jim stepped forward and laid a hand on Blair’s shoulder, concern on his face.

“Ok, Chief?”

“Yeah, I just… wow, man. Jim if you can see even half of what I’m seeing now…wow,” Blair answered, continuing to gaze in wonder at the scene. I stopped grinning and took a moment to activate my own Sight. I’d have happily left it to Blair, but I couldn’t guarantee that he was going to See everything that I could.

I looked at the crime scene, at the aura of dark magic that pervaded the place. Just to the left of the kill spot there was a dark and jagged hole in mid-air. I pointed at it and Jim and Blair followed my gaze.

“What is that?” the question came not from Blair but from Jim.

“You can see it?” I asked, surprised.

“I’m not sure what I’m seeing,” Jim replied, sounding nervous for the first time since I’d met him. “It’s like a patch of fog or something. I can’t make it out, but I can see something isn’t right.”

“That’s so cool, Jim,” Blair said. “So, what is it, Harry?”

I took a few steps forward and stretched out my hand. The door was still open, although thankfully not large enough for anything bigger than a lesser faerie like Toot-Toot to come through. I focussed my will and sealed it, just in case.

“That was a door to where the monster comes from,” I answered and waited for whatever comment Jim was going to make. When he didn’t, I decided now was not the time to dwell on the point and focussed my attention back to the murder. “Blair, focus your attention on where the killing took place and think about the time that it occurred.”

As I instructed, I did the same thing, and ghostly images of what had happened the previous night began replay in front of me. From Blair’s gasp I guessed he was seeing it too. Later I’d be impressed, but right now I needed to take in as much detail as I could.

Thomas Davis, the vic, was strung upside down from a lower branch of one of the trees, arms hanging limp and unfettered. He was unconscious, which under the circumstances was a minor blessing. The killer stood a few feet away, near where the doorway had been. There was no sound, but it was obvious from his actions that he was performing a ritual, presumably to summon Fenris.

The killer was average height and build, and unfortunately for us he was wearing a hooded cloak. Obviously this guy was big on cliché; I really hate amateur hour.

“Can’t see his face,” Blair muttered.

“Whose face?” Jim asked but was shushed by Blair. I could hear Blair moving around the tree, trying to get a better angle as I was doing the same thing.

“Stars and stones, the hood covers too much of his face,” I groused.

The killer moved toward where Davis hung and it was then that I noticed the victim had regained consciousness. It seemed the killer either hadn’t noticed or didn’t care as he came close and outstretched his arms, presumably to make some kind of further supplication to Fenris before he kneeled down and pulled a nasty looking knife from his cloak.

Davis hadn’t opened his eyes, but he must have been able to feel how close the killer was to him as he used the opportunity to try and get free. He lashed out with both fists and his left connected squarely with the killer’s face. The killer staggered back, clutching at his now bleeding nose, his hood fallen back so Blair and I could get a good look at him.

“Yes!” Blair cried triumphantly, but it soon turned to a cry of horror as the killer gathered himself and headed back to Davis.

Having seen enough, I closed my eyes and told Blair to do the same, instructing him to picture the Third Eye closing to turn off the Sight. After a second I opened my eyes and looked at Blair.

“Everything normal again?” I asked. He smiled wanly and nodded. He looked pale, but that was hardly surprising. “We both got a good look at the killer’s face, we should be able to spot him at the stadium,” I told Jim.

He looked puzzled from me to Blair.

“I’ll fill you in later, big guy. That was… I have no words, Harry,” Blair said. I nodded sympathetically.

“You, lost for words, that’s a first,” Jim quipped. Blair gave him a friendly punch on the arm.

“It’s just a shame we couldn’t have been here sooner,” I said. At their puzzled expression I continued. “The killer was injured. If there were some blood still, I could perform a locating spell, but we’d never find it now.”

“Au contraire, Harry,” Blair said and turned to his partner with a grin. “Jim, it’s your turn to work a little magic.”

He guided Jim over to the spot where we’d both seen the killer’s blood fall to the floor and placed a gentle hand on Jim’s back. When Blair began speaking, his tone of voice was different from his usual bouncy self; there was a note of authority to it. As a practitioner I recognised it as containing magic, but Jim and Blair would probably say it was his Guide voice, if they were aware of it at all.

“Focus Jim, the blood drops were quite small, and there have been a lot of people through here since.”

Jim stared at the undergrowth for a few moments and then pointed.

“There. Chief, do you have a swab?”

Blair fished a swab from his pocket and passed it to Jim who kneeled down and wiped at something on the ground. He held it aloft and examined it, first by sight and then by smell.

“It’s definitely blood, and relatively fresh, but it could be animal for all I know,” he said.

“Take another swab for the lab. Maybe we’ll get lucky with a DNA hit,” Blair said and handed his partner another swab before taking the first and handing it to me.

I looked at the tiny brownish stain on the end of the cotton, amazed by the Sentinel’s ability. If I didn’t know better, I’d have said that he had just worked magic.

“So you think you can find him?” Blair asked me as Jim got to his feet.

“Hopefully. I’ll need some of my things and somewhere quiet to work,” I replied.

“I’ll drop you two at the hotel, then I’ll take this to forensics and meet you back at our apartment,” Jim said and waggled the other sample to demonstrate.

“Sounds good,” I agreed and we all headed back to the truck.

*-*

Shaman You continues in Part Five
 
 
 
Feonixriftfeonixrift on May 13th, 2011 03:01 pm (UTC)
Still loving this one. :)

I keep having to remind myself that Dresden Files is a setting I only enjoy in fanfic, not in original.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: crossoversidontlikegravy on May 13th, 2011 06:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)

I'm like that with Anita Blake - love a couple of Highlander crossovers but when I read the books was disappointed. But I love Dresden (up to the point I've read so far anyway, through a few spoilers I've stumbled on I may not like where it's going!)
Rhivipersweb on May 13th, 2011 03:12 pm (UTC)
It's nice that Blair is so openminded. I am also intrigued by what Jim is able to sense through Blair (or at least that is what I am assuming.)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: blair wickedidontlikegravy on May 13th, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC)
It's canon that Jim can see ghosts, and with that and the visions I figured it wouldn't be too much of a stretch that he could sense a limited amount of the mystical too. But I am going for a whole 'the total being greater than the sum of its parts' thing too, so I'm glad that's coming across :)

Blair is nothing if not open-minded, and I don't think a few years as a cop would have dulled that sense of adventure in him - this is the man that tried ancient dishes as aphrodisiacs!
Rhi: don't shootvipersweb on May 14th, 2011 01:21 pm (UTC)
It's canon that Jim can see ghosts

Ah! Good to know. I've never actually seen an episode of Sentinel. All I know abou it, I know from fanfic. Whether that is good or not.... *g*
anniemareanniemare on May 13th, 2011 04:31 pm (UTC)
Moar please :)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: blair wickedidontlikegravy on May 13th, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
I'm working as fast as I can, dammit, I'm a woman not an octopus!! *grin*

Glad you're still liking it!
anniemareanniemare on May 13th, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC)
I just enjoy updates as they appear :) But I am really liking how this one is going so it makes me smile every time I see an update ;)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: pleased hamsteridontlikegravy on May 13th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you! When I write these fics that completely take over and won't let me be until they're written, I'm never sure anybody else is going to like them or even read them, so it really means a lot to me that you do! :)
Black Rookgrachonok on May 13th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
Still reading and enjoying:).
But, I don't want to be a pie,: blair wickedidontlikegravy on May 13th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
Yay :)
Caro Dee: Difficult Worldcarodee on May 17th, 2011 02:56 am (UTC)
You're really building the tension here! The killer is nasty creepy and yet the blood drops feel like our heroes are closing in on him. \o/
But, I don't want to be a pie,: jim n blair laughidontlikegravy on May 18th, 2011 07:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Things will start moving quickly now, but as ever with Mssrs Dresden, Sandburg & Ellison, they won't go quite as planned... :)

So happy you're still reading and enjoying. Thank you for commenting!