Title: Snakes & Ladders
Pairing: mild PoynterJudd
Warnings: Crack, as ever. Demons and various supernatural beings. A complete lack of horror and gore (sorry!)
Summary: The boys work for Fletch's Demon Hunting Agency (offically known as Prestige Cleaning Services). Um. Chaos ensues?
A/N: Written for oh_mumble, who bought me in the Baldy McCharity Fiction Project. Hope you like it, sweetie!
"Hello, Prestige Cleaning Services, how may we help-- okay ma'am, please calm down-- we'll send someone straight out, if you could just give me your addr-- right, okay, and could I just ask how you got our number?-- thank you, yes, we'll dispatch someone immediately-- Yes, they are trained professionals. We ask all customers to wait outside while they work however, so it would be best-- oh, you can't get into the house? Not a problem, we are always prepared for situations like these-- we do try to uphold a policy of minimum damage but surely you can understand with the nature of this line of-- ma'am, do you wish to hire our services or not-- great, our dispatch team will be with you shortly! Have a nice day."
The radio buzzed to life, Gio's voice crackling a little with static. "Get moving boys, there's a suspected poltergeist about 6 miles away. Usual drill, client locked out of house, force needed. I'm emailing you the location and details now." Her voice clicked off just as Tom flipped his laptop open, pulling up the information quickly and calling out to the rest of his team like they hadn't been sitting next to him for the past twenty minutes, bored and waiting for a job.
They grabbed the standard pack - shotgun, salt, holy water - and a few extras, made sure they had all the usual protective charms in place, and headed out.
Tom had quickly learned that it didn't matter how thoroughly you had researched, or how many high-tech gadgets you owned that picked up heat and disturbances and high concentrations of fucking weird, or how highly trained you and your team mates supposedly were - it always came down to rock salt and silver bullets.
Oh, and that you should always be ready to start running.
"Duck!" Harry shrieked, just as a mug (seriously, a coffee mug. Probably not empty. Tom always hoped that one day they'd find a haunted house filled with nothing but soft blankets and beanbags but, no such luck) shattered against the wall inches behind his head.
He dropped to the floor, shielding himself slightly behind the kitchen table as he scrambled to reload his shotgun with salt. Dougie suddenly crawled across to him and slumped against the wall, grabbing a couple of refills from Tom's sack. "Um," he said, as Tom made a move to stand up again. "I think it may trapped Danny under the stairs."
Tom also quickly learned that glorified ghosthunters for hire were always completely and utterly useless.
They arrived back at their headquarters (a small, decrepit looking shop tucked away in a side street, dirty and uncared for enough that only those who knew what they were looking for would find it), tired and bruised. Dougie had a hand on his upper arm like he could hide the blood trickling over his fingers and drying in streaks down his shirt sleeve - Harry stuck to his side, tense and almost shaking until Gio had clucked her tongue at them and led Dougie off to the medical room, waving him off as he tried to follow.
"It's just a scratch!" Dougie called back, before Gio shut the door behind them.
There were some days when it was just an irritated ghost, a coven of witches in small town or a single werewolf ripping up deer and drunk teenagers. Occasionally, it was something a little harder - shapeshifters that pretended to be a member of the team in order to pick them off one by one (it had succeeded, once, but they never talked about it) or a Djinn, trapped them inside their perfect world while it bleed them to death (but they always defeated that one, in the end, and no one talked about what they'd seen), and sometimes, if they were having a particularly bad day, they found themselves battling a demon.
They caught it - eventually - as they always did. 'Caught' was the term they used for completing any job; the actual process always being more salt-fire-Latin-run (not always in that order, rarely with any clear definition between stages). Harry had performed enough exorcisms that he no longer needed the book, sacerdos ab ordinario delegatus, rite confessus, aut saltem corde peccata sua detestans tripping off his tongue as soon as the possessed woman had flung Dougie across the room with her hand raised, palm up, and then stepped back into the hastily draw Devil's Trap hidden under the rug - letting out a screech of rage as she realised she was stuck. If he performed it a little faster, with a little more venom and pain steeped into the words then well, that was the bitch's fault for hurting Dougie.
Gio's face blanched when they walked in, Harry cradling Dougie in his arms. She followed him back to the medical room and said nothing when he made no move to leave, hovering nervously by the door after he had carefully laid him down on the bed. She was thin-lipped and silent as she worked, barely flinching as she shoved Dougie's shoulder back into the joint and he whimpered softly, eyes still closed. Harry clenched his fist but stayed utterly quiet, only moving when she caught his eye and nodded, brushing past him with a gentle hand on his arm as she left the room.
Harry didn't leave until the creases in Dougie's face had settled and smoothed out, his expression and body relaxing as he fell into a softer sleep. Broken bones and unconscious team mates were nothing new, but Harry stayed until he had gently washed off all the dirt and blood from exposed skin, until Dougie looked peaceful and Harry could allow himself to feel tired.
They had a quiet day or so, Harry sleeping for most of it and Tom and Danny leaving for a couple of hours to sort out a small job nearby. A new case came in while they were out and Gio walked to the common room to hand Harry the file, quirking her lips at him as she entered and he whipped his head around to look at the door.
"He's fine," she said, laughter in her voice. "I'll send him in once I've checked his arm one last time." He paused, nodded his thanks and took the file, flicking through the reports and scribbling a few notes in the corners.
"There's zombies in Norfolk," Harry stated casually when Dougie finally walked into the common room, not looking up from the folder in his hands. "About 20 or so at the moment, staying mainly in one village but there's rumours the sheep might be carriers. We're leaving in half an hour, if you're ready." His gaze flicked up to Dougie's arm for half a second before catching his eye and smiling.
Dougie rolled his shoulder, a tiny, experimental movement, and grinned back.
A few notes: All of my ghost/demon hunting knowledge and lore comes from Supernatural (and if you've never seen it, I'd highly recommend that you watch this to get an idea of the awesome), so I take no credit for the salt, silver bullets or the use of the Devil's Trap. The exorcism ritual is a real one, although I wouldn't recommend trying it at home. There's a reason behind the title, but I'm not telling it.
Thank you for reading! ♥