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Fic: Hidden Treasure 3/3+Epilogue

Hidden Treasures

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Chapter 3

Dean crept around the camp, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible. Most of the workers were busy digging at a single spot, even though dusk had already fallen. Dean frowned. They had already widened their search and were closing in on what he presumed to be the Ark's true resting place.

His let his eyes wander around, searching for Bobbah. There. Slowly, Dean made his way over to him. Bobbah's eyes lit up in relief upon seeing Dean. "I knew it! I knew old ruin not be enough to conquer Dean Winchester

"Damn right." Dean smiled in return.

"Where is child?"

Dean sighed. To Bobbah, who was the father to seven rambunctious brats, practically everyone was a child. Somehow though, considering what he and Sammy had just done back in the old temple, Dean felt uncomfortable thinking of the young man as a 'child'. Not that Dean was all that old himself - he considered himself to be in his prime, thank you very much - but fact of the matter was that Sam was probably ten years his junior.

Still, there was no point in arguing with Bobbah about it, and anyway, they had more important things to figure out. "I smuggled him back to the city in one of the cars, bribed the driver. He should be on his way home already."

Bobbah tilted his head in question. "You not go with him? Still can be dangerous."

Dean didn't meet his gaze, knowing Bobbah had caught up on the unusual protectiveness Dean displayed towards Sam. He schooled his voice into a fake cheerfulness. "Nah, Lehne thinks we're dead and Sammy kept hidden under the tarp while the car left the site. I saw them off. Everything went fine, and the driver is supposed to drop him off at the hotel where Jim is staying.'

Truth was, Dean had been damned iffy about sending the kid off alone. He'd nearly gone with him. But if Lehne got his hands on the Ark in the meantime… Dean needed to be here for that. It was risky to let such an important find fall into the hands of someone like Old Yellow Eyes.

To give off the impression that he belonged here, Dean joined the men in digging. And wasn't that just great? Dean Winchester was actually doing the muscle work for his arch nemesis. He tried to discourage the other workers from spreading out their digging efforts too far but he didn't have much success; Lehne, it seemed, was an impatient man. No big surprise there.

"Dig faster, you lazy idiots!" Lehne yelled. "It has to be here. It has to."

Finally, it happened. One of the workers called out excitedly. He'd found something. Dean tried to keep his head down, even though most of his face was hidden behind the folds of his clothing, and wandered over.

Lehne as well came running, shouting orders as he did so. Everybody redoubled their efforts and a mere hour later they'd uncovered another chamber. Night was almost upon them now but Lehne was relentless. He sent in two of his trusted men to check out the chamber's interior.

Dean kept close, peering down into the darkness but not being able to make out much beyond the dimly illuminated entrance. Suddenly a scream sounded through the night and one of Lehne's men down in the chamber came back in sight. His left hand covered the side of his face, and Dean could see blood spilling beneath the fingers.

Another trap. Suddenly Dean felt a tug at the folds of his robe. Muscles tensing, he looked up and with great effort bit back a loud curse for there, looking back at him with wide eyes, was Sam.

"What the hell are you doing here? I offered that driver a small fortune," he hissed.

Sam looked sheepishly. "I promised him double if he'd take me back." Sam kept his voice equally low.

"Of all the…," Dean raged silently. "What were you thinking?"

"I was worried about you." Sam pouted. Obviously he' d expected to find more gratitude in Dean for his sweet, but ultimately foolish, gesture.

Lehne's voice brought their attention back to the open chamber. A thick rope was now lowered down, and Dean gasped when a few minutes later a chest was pulled up through the opening. The Ark of Covenant. It really did exist.

It was big and heavy-looking, golden and covered with precious jewels. The Jews had probably taken it with them when they'd been exiled from Egypt. It was ironic that it had come back here.

Dean knew that here and now, he didn't have a snowball's chance in Hell of getting his hands on the Ark. No, he needed to wait until Lehne put it on a transport and then find a way to smuggle himself onto the truck as well. Surely Lehne would see to getting the Ark out of here as quickly as possible.

A few hours later Dean had to reconsider that assessment. Sunrise couldn't be too far off now and the Ark was still sitting at its little podium, guarded by Lehne's men. A few spare torches illuminated the scene. The workers kept casting nervous glances at the heavy golden chest. Dean didn't blame them. What was Lehne waiting for? Why hadn't he moved it yet?

Meggie was leaning against a tent nearby. In between yawning she kept checking her watch periodically and Dean didn't like it one bit. If Lehne had called for reinforcements to guard the transport, it would be very hard to overpower them and secure the chest. And if Lehne was allowed to make away with it, Dean might never get another chance.

Finally Lehne emerged from the main tent, and Dean gasped. He heard Sam echo the sentiment beside him, though Dean suspected it was for different reasons. Old Yellow Eyes had donned the traditional garb of a Hebrew high priest, and Dean had a sinking feeling in his stomach as to why.

Lehne stepped in front of the Ark, opened the heavy book he was carrying and started to read from it.

Oh, no. Dean recognized the intonations. It was a prayer, asking for God's blessing and guidance. Lehne wanted to open the chest. Damn, what was this fool thinking? According to legend the Ark possessed great and dangerous mystical powers. Lehne knew this as well as Dean. There were illustrations in books that gave a very unpleasant picture as to what the Ark might be capable of.

But then Lehne had never been one to respect or honor the power that could lie in simple myths.
Dean moved to step forward but was held back by a hand urgently enclosing his wrist. Dean looked up, right into Sam' s frantic eyes which were silently pleading with him not to do anything rash.

Sighing, he relented for the moment but remained poised to strike if necessary. His fingers closed around the handle of his whip. Not that it would do him much good against the guards with their machine guns. That was probably the reason why Lehne had never even bothered to take the whip away when they'd first been caught in the pyramid.

Meanwhile Lehne continued with the intonations and the chest started to radiate a faint glow. No, not good. Not good at all. The glowing intensified, and Dean just knew he had to act now to stop a catastrophe from unfolding.

He ran forward. "Stop, stop it right now."

Lehne himself didn' t even bother turning around, too caught up in his ritual apparently, but Meggie and the guards gave Dean their undivided attention.

"Winchester," Meggie hissed. Then to the guards. "What are you waiting for? Shoot him!"

Four men raised their weapons and Dean readied himself to drop to the ground. Maybe he could say something to outwit them and then with a precise strike with the whip…

His line of thought came to a crashing halt when he head another, very familiar voice behind him. "No, wait, don't shoot! Don't shoot!" For a second Dean closed his eyes but when he opened them back up and turned slightly, he wasn't just having a nightmare. No, Sammy was really running over, arms flapping. They were so dead.

For some reason, however, the action had shocked the guards into inaction thus far. Unfortunately, they already seemed to be recovering, now dividing their attention - and aim - between Dean and Sam.

None of it mattered, though, because Lehne had finished reading from the book and with a sudden force the chest burst wide open, an unearthly glow erupted from it, illuminating the night more brightly than the torches did.

Lehne turned around, an insane glimmer in his eyes. "You're a hard man to kill, Winchester. But as always, you're too late. Watch me become one with the power." With those words he raised his arms into the air as if he were Moses himself on Mount Sinai, waiting to accept the commandments from God.

Dean heard the frightened whispers of the workers from behind him. Even the guards seemed unsure what was going on. With their weapons lowered they slowly backed away from the Ark. A wind started to rise up, seemingly out of nowhere, and quickly picking up strength. Now the glow from the chest transformed into blurry shapes and Dean could have sworn he saw something resembling human faces in it.

"Close your eyes! DON'T LOOK AT IT," he yelled as loud as he could.

Lehne, of course, ignored the warning and turned back to the open chest. "Yes. Yes! Imbue me with your power! Make me your vessel!" he called out to the heavens.

Idiotic loon, Dean thought. He quickly glanced around him and saw most of the workers trying to flee the place, screaming in terror. Well, at least like their backs were turned. Maybe that would be enough. A few had thrown themselves to the ground, covering their eyes and ears with their hands. At least he felt certain Bobbah would have headed his advice, too.

He spotted Sam still standing, seemingly rooted in place. Dean threw himself at Sam, tackling him to the ground and covering the younger man's body with his own. "Close your eyes. Don't open them till I tell you," he hissed in Sam's ear.

Closing his own, Dean could only pray Sam's curiosity wouldn't get the better of him this time. The wind, meanwhile, had transformed into a storm and sand flying at Dean' s face like the strike of a whip.

He heard the terrified screams of the unlucky souls who fell victim to the power of the Ark, a shrill female voice among them. Dean held tightly onto Sam, surprised when in return Sam's arms closed around him like bands of steel. Dean let his lips find and travel along the shell of Sam's ear in an attempt to soothe the other man.

Finally the storm died down and quietness descended once more. Cautiously, Dean opened one eye and peeked out from behind his hand. The chest was sitting at its place still, looking decidedly harmless. No glow erupted from it and the only light anywhere came from the moon above since the storm had blown out all the torches.

Opening his eyes fully, he started to rise up off Sam.

"Can I open my eyes now? Is it safe?" Sam asked, still keeping his eyes screwed shut.

"Yes, it's over. You can open them."

Still, just as Dean had done, Sam cautiously peeked out with one eye at first before opening both of them fully. Around them, workers started to get up, and with relief Dean recognized Bobbah as one of them.

There was a round spot of charred sand where Lehne had stood, and Dean was pretty sure the man wouldn't bother him ever again. Likewise Meggie and the guards were gone, too, though they had left little piles of ashes behind as far as Dean could see.

He turned to Sam, patting him down. "Are you alright?"

Sam slapped his hands away. "I'm fine." He looked at Dean with something akin to sadness. "So, I guess it's over then."

Dean nodded. "We have the Ark and Lehne is dead. Now all we have to do is go back to the Al Qasr and have Jim take it from there. Then you can finally be on your merry way back home. Big victory for the good guys."

Sam bit his lip and turned his head.

Dean frowned. "Hey, if you're worried about Stanford, being reinstated, I'll vouch for you, explain why you went missing suddenly. I may be just a crazy archaeologist but I still have some pull there. You'll be back in the saddle in no time." He smiled encouragingly at Sam.

"Thanks, that is… very kind of you," Sam said quietly.

"Um…well… if it' s money you're concerned about or rooming, you…you could stay at my house." Dean offered.

Sam looked surprised. "You want me to stay with you?"

"Well, I'm hardly ever there..." Dean trailed off, unsure. Truth was, he wouldn't have minded having Sam around the house when he was there. Or having Sam around, period. But the kid had had enough adventure for two lifetimes. And he had a bright future ahead of himself. Sam just needed to get back to Stanford, to the stability and prospects it could offer him.

Sam sighed. "Yes, of course. But I really couldn't take anything from you. I don't want charity."

"Hey, it wouldn't be charity. It would be an investment. You could be my personal lawyer. I mean, you might have noticed, I kind of get into trouble a lot." He winked at Sam in an attempt to lighten the other man's sudden somber mood.

Sam smiled weakly back. "Yeah, I noticed. But I don't think you have much need for a lawyer. And…listen, thanks for the offer but I'm sure everything will work out fine."

"That's the spirit. Before you know it, everything will be back to normal." Dean smiled brightly, despite himself.

"Yeah, back to normal." Sam smiled as well, but it looked strained just the same.

* * *


The End? Not quite. Epilogue

Comments

( 3 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )
roguemouse
Feb. 16th, 2008 04:40 pm (UTC)
Just... guh. I mean... wow.

You are killing me, y'know that, right?
I mean, how am I supposed to get any work done when I'm reading something so incredibly well-written? *pokes you and giggles*

*sprints off to read the epilogue*

hugs :*
astri13
Feb. 16th, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC)
I mean, how am I supposed to get any work done when I'm reading something so incredibly well-written? *pokes you and giggles*

Heh. I`m a shameless enabler. :) *bows*
insane_songbird
Jan. 5th, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC)
huh... well that was a shot in the oven...that made the oven explode and the house to burn down... i mean OUCH... that stupid STUPID man... Yeah Sam is very cute and thoughtful but also a little too reckless for his own good... well I got the feeling Dean will help him there heehehehehe
( 3 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )