I've been inspired by acekanigirl (mabel-but-slytherin / angels-and-dreamers) (who's started writing really amazing Gravity Falls sentences in Boscaresque and turned Connections into a chaptered superphantom fic) to start expanding a couple of my sentence stories from Apricity whenever I can, since I already have a scene in mind for many of them.
I thought this would be quick and easy, but no, of course it tripled in size and fought me every step of the way. Which is why, even though acekanigirl's birthday was yesterday, the final version of this fic is going up today. (I posted a wip to tumblr with a slightly different last third or so, in case part of this looks familiar to you)
The title comes from the song Echo by Jason Walker which, wow, adds another layer of emotion onto everything in here when you think about it. Yay for extra, unintentional, but extremely fitting angst. XD
So this is based on Apricity Sentence #63 Echo (Ch 4):
"It's a death echo," Dean answered as the brothers watched the flickering image of a boy zipping up his protective suit for the third time since they'd come down the stairs, "there's nothing we can do."
The Only Voice Coming Back
May 31, 2015
They'd seen some freaky stuff in their day. Reanimated corpses that were decayed enough that they could have started the skeleton war, people who had been torn to shreds around an inexplicably intact appendix, the one guy with the third shoulder blade out in Iowa...
But the house that they were looking at now just might take the cake. Dean weren't even sure it could be classified as a house, what with the rusting debris hanging from the top two stories. Sam had eyed it warily while he had knelt to pick the lock- locks- in record time in case the stuff felt like dislodging and dumping the equivalent of a car or two on the top of their heads.
Things only got weirder once they were inside. The first few rooms they slowly walked through looked fairly normal, actually. Carpeted floors, a couple couches, what would have passed for a nice TV back in 2004. Nothing in sight to justify the handgun loaded with cold iron that Dean held in front of him except for years of training- never break into anyone's house unarmed, even if it has clearly been abandoned for years- and the prickle zinging up his spine.
Sam's shoulders were stiff too, though, and he moved behind him slowly, almost reverently, trying not to disturb the dust or the silence.
Their eyes met in the middle of the living room and Sam nodded shortly before slipping the hand that wasn't carrying the salt packed sawed-off into his pocket. The EMF meter he pulled out shrieked a full bar of red as soon as he flicked it on. A few seconds waving it around proved that the energy wasn't localized to anything they were standing next to- it was just there. So Sam turned it off quickly, hoping that the noise hadn't disturbed Casper.
After a few moments tensely circling to protect each other's sixes, they decided that nothing was going to attack them then and there, so they edged their way further in, away from the meager daylight streaming in through the mostly covered windows.
It didn't get any darker as they went on but the light changed into a softly glowing green that they were unable to identify, especially given the lack of any light sources in what Dean identified as a space age kitchen.
Dean narrowed his eyes and stepped behind Sam to flip a light switch back and forth, confirming that the electricity was off. "That's weird," he muttered, turning to see Sam taking in their surroundings with a tilted head.
"What?" he whispered, as Sam walked toward the kitchen counter.
"It almost reminds me of bio-luminescent phosphorus," he replied absently, trying to peer into dark corners.
Dean scrunched up his face. "Right, of course it does." Then he watched as Sam tentatively ran a finger through the thick layer of dust on the counter top and he grimaced for another reason entirely. "And that's gross," he said, pointing at the thick smudge.
"Well, it's not alive," Sam decided as he reexamined the glow. Dean's eyes went wide. "Or sentient."
"Wait, you... you thought it was alive?"
Sam quickly looked around to make sure that no unwelcome visitors had popped up around them and then glared at Dean.
Right. Didn't want to disturb anyone that might be haunting the creepy deserted haunted house. So no loud incredulous noises. But also no poking your fingers into possibly sentient furniture that could be the cause of the haunting for all they knew. Probably not given the level of dust and the certainty in his brother's voice, but still. They had enough supernatural crap coming after them without making the houses mad too.
Sam's pointed glare melted into something softer. Easy to forgive when a raised voice didn't bring a ghost breathing down your neck. Or, not breathe down your neck. Since, you know, the whole lack of lungs and everything.
"It made me think of dinoflagellates," Sam explained as if that explained anything.
"Of... what, of dinosaurs?" Dean whispered back incredulously, trying to understand what was going on but not getting where prehistoric T-Rexes fit into anything.
"They're tiny..." Sam searched for the words, "glow in the dark plankton. They light up bright blue when they're agitated and they live in the ocean mostly, so you've got bio-luminescent bays in Puerto Rico and all over the world that you kayak through at night and it all lights up around you and..." he stopped, huffed a laugh. Like he actually had any first hand experience of the phenomenon… John Winchester had never been a fan of kayaking, unless there was life or death survival training involved.
"But they didn't react to touch," Sam said, still shaking his head. "So whatever it is is just… here. It's pretty uniform, though," he said as he stepped back and craned his neck to view the whole room. "I mean, you see that too, right? This place is practically glowing?"
Dean nodded, chewing the inside of his lip. Classic haunted houses were right up their alley, just the kind of job he'd been looking for, in fact, but houses with glowing countertops—sentient or otherwise—were not necessarily things that they should tangle with without knowing more about what they were actually getting into.
On the one hand, it could just be some weird glow in the dark finish. People rich enough to top their house with a freaking spaceship could indulge their every whim. But if this was the first hint that the house was salivating before swallowing them whole, or that the goo would crawl up Sam's hand and turn him into a half dead zombie, he didn't want to stick around and get caught unprepared.
While he was usually fine running in guns blazing, John had trained them too well to let themselves get in completely over their heads. And decapitation, while a really good catch-all method for nearly everything they hunted, wasn't really all that effective when facing mutant houses.
Dean's hand spasmed against the handle of his gun before he slipped it into the back of his jeans. Iron wouldn't do anything against the ceiling caving in on them. Salt might slow down the furniture if it felt like coming alive but, after a quick glance to the room behind him, Dean confirmed that that probably wasn't a very good possibility. Probably.
Still, he locked eyes with Sam who didn't know why a weapon had been shelved when they still didn't know what was making this house their kind of gig. And he was right; there was a very real possibility that there was something else in there with them: ghost, banshee, shadow person… any number of supernatural creatures that his bullets might work on. Hell, maybe the glow was some lingering Djinn mojo.
Dean rolled his shoulders, trying to convince himself that he wasn't as vulnerable as he felt. Sam had his back and he'd pull out his handgun in just a moment, but they should probably check a couple of the cabinets quickly to see if there were any clues to gather before they might need to hightail it out of there.
He pulled open a cabinet with a lone box of cereal— Spooky O's— and that was definitely not a brand they'd ever come across before even in their wide wanderings.
Sam sidled closer to him. "What are you looking for?" he asked as he scanned the open doorways behind him.
"Don't… really know," Dean whispered before he closed the cabinet doors. "Just wanted to see if there was anything…" he opened up another cabinet that was completely empty, "here that could give us any more info on this place before we head out."
Sam turned toward him for a second before resuming his watch. "We're leaving?" he asked, tone carefully neutral. "I thought you wanted to do a full sweep?"
Dean shrugged and moved to the next section of the kitchen, still not finding much. Not that he really expected to because, other than the furniture, the place seemed pretty bare of belongings. But the kitchen did seem like a nice safe spot to take stock for now, before they hit the basement or the freaky jungle gym on the roof and got themselves blocked in without the proper supplies.
"Well, yeah, that was before I saw the UFO. And before the EMF decided to get stuck on high. I don't know if we're dealing with a super powerful ghost or if the house is actually alive…"
"I said it wasn't…"
"Point is, we don't know what's what, okay? But we came in with a buffet line of weapons and I'm pretty sure that iron's gonna be useless against whatever it is," he wiped his hands on his jeans and tried not to shuffle in place. "So I'm cool just checking out the main floor for now, finding a motel, and switching out all of the bullets while you do some more research on what happened here. You wanted to do some more digging anyway, right?"
"Cool," Dean said as he opened the fridge. "So we'll just finish up here and…"
He broke off and did a double take as something rattled in the bin. Sam's gun trailed unerringly to the noise and Dean's handgun joined it a second later, iron bullets or no.
"When did you say this house was abandoned again?" Dean asked.
"2004," Sam replied, taking a wary step forward.
The drawer began shaking again and this time there was an unmistakable growling noise.
"So there's…" his grip shifted, "there's no way that should be possible, right?"
"Something aggressive surviving in an unplugged fridge for years? Yeah, no," Sam said, nodding as Dean reached out a hand.
Dean vacillated for a moment—because seriously, what the hell was in this bin— then cursed under his breath and yanked the drawer open before he could change his mind, aiming at whatever might come flying out.
He wasn't sure what he was expecting. In fact, he'd thought he'd been keeping his mind pretty open to nearly every possibility. But the snarling, glowing hotdogs were definitely not even remotely close to anything he'd imagined.
Blinking for a long moment, he confirmed that they were in fact… hotdogs. Oscar Meyer wieners. But with eyes. And teeth. There were nearly a dozen of them, all surging toward the open space even if, thankfully, none of them seemed to have sprouted arms or legs to climb out with yet.
One of the things hopped up to snap at the muzzle of his gun, however, and Dean had decided that he'd had enough. Kicked the drawer shut and slammed the refrigerator door closed behind it.
He panted for a minute and looked at Sam, trying to understand and forget the last thirty seconds at the same time.
They both gratefully stumbled out of the kitchen, back toward the dusty natural light and the front door of the house, ready to call it a day and come back only when they knew what else might be laying in wait for them.
They hadn't made it to the front hallway before someone screamed.
Sam and Dean stuttered to a stop, overwhelmed by the agonizing sound that didn't sound like it would ever die out. Then they were both running back the way they'd come.
Dean whipped a door open and they saw the dim outline of descending stairs. A short nod, a handoff of the flashlight, and then Dean was lighting their way down the stairs at as quick a pace as he could manage without tripping. Both guns were up and they split coverage of the basement as they tried to get a good look at what was down there.
Their footsteps were loud as they came down but they didn't try to hide their presence. Either someone needed their help or something was well aware that they were in the house and wanted to lure them down here with a false cry for help. Either way, secrecy wasn't going to help them and the sooner they got to the bottom of the stairs, the sooner they could figure out what was going on.
They covered each other as they rounded the railing at the bottom of the staircase, Sam aiming low as he finished descending and Dean pointing his gun and flashlight combo up to light up the dark corners of the ceiling where evil things might lay in wait for them in case this was a trap and the house had decided to eat them before they escaped. Nothing leaped out at them, but something flashed over near the back wall and they both trained on it immediately, ready to fire at a moment's notice. But just a second before they were confident enough to pull the trigger, it disappeared.
Dean didn't spare the breath to curse. Immediately, they were turning, Dean waving his flashlight in a circle as they tried to see where whatever this thing was had gone. Dean couldn't see anything. No out of place movement. Nothing skittering just beyond the corners of their eyes.
And that worried him, because things that could disappear in a flash could reappear just as quickly. But no matter how hard he looked, he couldn't find any trace of the thing. His hair was still standing all on end and he knew that whatever had been here wasn't gone for good, but that's what his senses were telling him.
The thing was gone. Not here.
For now, at least. But Dean wasn't convinced for a second that it wouldn't be coming back. And one quick glance at Sam's posture confirmed that he wasn't either.
With that ever so reassuring thought, Dean shifted subtly to check the shadows surrounding them more thoroughly now that they seemed to be alone for the moment. But he kept watching and waiting for the thing to appear. With each passing moment, however, the silence and stillness grew.
Eventually, it became clear that, even if they weren't out of danger yet, they seemed to be safe for the moment. Nothing was waiting to jump out at them and they had to take advantage of the house not feeling like it was going to attack them. Agreeing silently that the coast was clear for now, they moved easier, putting up their firearms in order to start investigating. Because they had no clue where they were. Or who had screamed.
Dean combed the length and breadth of the room for a victim of some kind, but after a quick but thorough sweep of the floor space, he determined it was empty, shaking his head at Sam who'd pulled out his phone and started using its screen as a weaker, secondary flashlight.
No victim, then. Had it been completely devoured but whatever they'd scared away? Spirited away by whatever had attacked it? Or had it just been a lure to get them down here? Get them into the basement of the house that everyone had told them was haunted?
Dean spun and reassured himself that the stairs hadn't disappeared and that there was still the faint haze of green light filtering down from the glowing substance that covered the kitchen. Not like sickly glowing green was or had ever been a particularly reassuring color of light, but it was better than being plunged into pitch black darkness.
Knowing that their escape route hasn't been blocked off eased his panic a bit. His heart was still pounding—the sound of those screams were really hard to shake and there was nothing like knowing that an unknown entity could appear at any moment to keep your adrenaline up indefinitely— but he turned back to start looking through their surroundings.
The room was large and echoed with their every footstep. Dark, with the meager light casting shadows that made the place seem even eerier than the upstairs had been. It was hard to distinguish much from the light of a single flashlight, but Dean waved it around with practiced movements and they soon got a feel for the place in which they were standing.
Surfaces were covered in either metal or tile, dully reflecting the light of the flashlight back at him as he passed. Cabinets and counter space lined the entire exterior wall except where a few very large doorways broke it up as they stretched floor to ceiling with wide, gaping mouths. Definitely carrying on the creepy futuristic vibe that the jungle gym on the top of the house had been giving off.
Dean shook his head, unable to understand anything about this house's blueprints. It seemed to get crazier with each new discovery. Frankly, he just wanted to get out of there at this point. Pitch black basements and growling hotdogs…
Sam inspected the dusty countertops as best he could with his little light, then joined Dean as he stood staring into the largest of them now, a huge hexagon built into the wall that seemed to form the entrance to another room. They looked at each other and Dean realized that he'd been standing in front of it for awhile now without actually looking closely at it.
Which you couldn't really blame him for, given the already bizarrely high levels of weird this house already gave off. Walking into dark rooms in creepy basement labs was almost worse than walking into a cave without knowing what was inside. Except, yeah, they'd totally done that before, so, no excuses.
He turned his flashlight inside, illuminating a dark tunnel stretching out from darkness into further darkness. The inside was lined with exposed and broken circuitry. Which would have been all kinds of safety hazards if there was any electricity in the place and people actually still lived here.
He was starting to understand why everyone had abandoned ship and never come back to make the place habitable once the original owners had Escaped. Disappeared. Died. Whatever they'd done. Sam might know, and Dean was about to turn to ask what they knew about the house's history and original owners when one of the wires suddenly sparked in the darkness.
Dean started, sending the beam of the flashlight arcing to the far side of the room before he recovered his fumbled grip.
"There's no electricity," he murmured, trying to make sense of what he'd just seen. Because he'd been under enough cars and modified enough electronics to know that he wasn't mistaken. He'd seen sparks fly. Even though it was impossible.
"Sam…" Then he was clutching at his brother's jacket and pulling him away from the entrance. They quickly retreated to the far side of the room and waited in the shadows, wall at their backs and guns once more out and cocked, ready and waiting to fire at anything that might show its face.
Dean wasn't expecting a teenage boy.
The kid flickered in and out of visibility on the far side of the room, his glowing form clearly visible in the darkness even despite its transparency.
Dean stood tensely training his gun on the newcomer, ready to spring into action the second it decided to fly off the handle. But the kid—the ghost—didn't even seem to see them or realize that he wasn't alone. He reached down to the floor and pulled up a white body suit out of thin air, zipping it up to his chin before turning and walking into the tunnel. After hesitating for a moment, he started to walk in, putting a hand out to one side as he tripped over one of the wires.
So yeah, even without electricity, that was a hazard. Even to ghosts, apparently.
The boy's hands landed on a control panel set into the tunnel wall and a moment later, the entire basement filled with a flash of bright white-green light. Dean shielded his eyes from the too-bright blast. The scream from before echoed around the room, piercing their heads at point blank range. Bringing up a free hand to cover their ears did nothing to keep out the agonizing screams which seemed to go on forever.
When they had finally ended, the boy stumbled out of the tunnel again, grasping onto the edge as if it was the only thing keeping him from falling over. He clutched a hand to the chest of his black suit and then tumbled forward, smoke rising from his hands before finally flickering out of sight again before they could rush forward to do anything.
Sam and Dean stared in bewilderment at the once again empty basement. This was the same scream and flickering image they had come down the stairs to nearly a quarter of an hour ago. The kid was what they'd been looking for this entire time. Once more, though, they were left alone in the dark basement, no trace of any movement to be found.
Dean pushed up from his protective semi crouch and straightened to face the room with squared shoulders. He had an inkling as to what was happening now, and wasn't nearly as concerned when he started searching the room again. Although there was still something about the whole house in general that he couldn't shake. Like a shiver that was perpetually about to run down his spine but never quite started.
At least he knew what part of that was coming from now, though. "Definitely a ghost," Dean said, referencing their part time visitor's appearance.
Sam followed his brother. "But it didn't even look at us," he countered.
"Like we weren't even here," Dean agreed. "Didn't exist in his world."
"And that scream, Dean... it was the same both times. The exact same sound. I think…"
"Yeah, me too."
Sam's eyebrows drew down in a pained expression. One Dean would have mirrored if it wasn't his brother's trademarked thing to bring out the puppy eyes and soulful stare.
"Poor kid's a death echo," he said instead. "Well." He clicked the flashlight back on. "Let's find out what's keeping him here," he said, moving toward the closest set of cabinet doors. He always preferred action to sitting around thinking morbid thoughts even if it might not be profitable in the end. "Might be something in here that will snap him out of it."
"Dean," Sam said softly as Dean opened up a cabinet that probably hadn't been seen the light of day in years. Or the freaky alien dinosaur light of the kitchen, even. "This house has been abandoned forever. It's been cleaned out. The only thing left here is dust. We're probably not going to find anything that he was emotionally attached to."
"True," Dean acknowledged. "But looking for something is better than standing around in the dark waiting for that kid to scream again."
"Point," Sam ceded as he waved away some dust and moved to Dean's side.
Their search revealed that the basement was full of dust and the remains of a few defunct and broken scientific equipment and electrical devices, but not much else.
"I think this was a lab at some point," Sam said as he laid down yet another twisted scrap of melded metal back onto the counter top he'd picked it up from.
"Yeah," Dean agreed. "Makes you wonder what they were studying," he added darkly. "What they built that could kill that kid."
"You don't feel like investigating the machine that killed him?" Sam asked, nearly smirking.
"What, and have some teenage ghost kid walking through me next time he pops up? No thanks. And I don't want to trip whatever he set off to follow in his footsteps either, thanks."
They finished the rest of their sweep in silence, Dean holding the flashlight as Sam rummaged through drawers and cabinets to find a few more derelict machines. But their search didn't turn up anything useful. Nothing that would tell them who had lived here or what they actually did or who the ghost was or how they would be able to snap him out of his loop long enough to make him move on.
They simply didn't know anything about this place. Had come in completely unprepared. Dean was ready to admit it loud and proud, but at the same time, now that they had some info to work with, they couldn't leave just yet.
The kid was a death echo. And that was something he understood. They weren't just going to turn around and leave now when there was still some preliminary work they could try that might break the cycle cold and leave this house just a little less haunted than it was when they came in.
No guarantees, of course. But when was there ever a guarantee for anything in their lives? So… time to roll up their sleeves and jump right in.
The next time the tunnel sparked, they were ready. But the scream's intensity still caught them off guard. They hadn't found anything that might let them get through to the kid, but sometimes pure shock value had its perks. They both raised their guns and shot at the ghost, blasting him with iron and salt at the same time. He didn't flicker until he'd finished screaming and stumbled to his knees.
The next break seemed to pass by more quickly, despite the fact that they'd pretty much explored everything they could reach in the room. The other two doors were shut with no locks or handles that they could find. It seemed that everything in this place ran on electricity and so, without power, there was no way to explore further.
As soon as the next wire sparked, they moved straight in front of the portal until they were standing right next to the ghost when he appeared again. Sam snapped his fingers in front of the kid's face as he reached down to rematerialize his suit and Dean yelled at him to snap out of it. "Come on, wake up! You're dead, kid!"
The ghost didn't see them. Didn't hear them. Didn't acknowledge their presence even after Dean waved a hand through his chest. He just zipped up his suit and turned around to die again.
After two more equally unsuccessful attempts to stop the electricity-free electrocution, Dean sighed heavily. "Come on, Sammy," he decided, suddenly turning to cross the lab floor. "We're leaving."
Sam gaped. "Wait, what? Why?" he asked.
Dean's only response was to start taking the stairs two at a time, and, with the only source of light retreating, Sam had no choice but to follow.
Dean didn't stop until he'd gone through the glowing kitchen and the dusty living room and was out of the house. Had reached the fresh clean air again. Not that he was usually one to tout its praises, but there were times he thought he'd fade away into a ghost himself if there wasn't fresh air waiting for him outside to cleanse the smell of dust and death that seemed to surround every job they took.
He wiped a hand across his temple as Sam came through the door and came to a stop beside him. Could feel the concern radiating off of his brother without looking. Silently, he stashed the flashlight in a jacket pocket and returned the gun to the waistband of his jeans. Then he wiped both hands down his face.
"Sorry," he finally said, looking down the stretch of quiet, deserted street instead of at his brother. The streetlamps had just turned on.
"No," Sam said subdued, thankfully not pressing for details or a full psychoanalysis of his every thought. He didn't know what was happening in his brain right now. Couldn't untangle the swarm of emotions draining from his face to his chest. And he was pretty sure that trying to articulate any of that was both useless and impossible.
But he had just run out of a haunted house on his brother. And that deserved some kind of explanation.
"I hate ghost echoes," Dean finally supplied.
Sam huffed a laugh.
Dean turned belatedly at the unexpected response. "What?" he asked blankly.
Sam shook his head. "No, it's just… they're like the only supernatural entity we've ever hunted that doesn't actually try to hurt people," Sam pointed out with a half-hearted shrug. That sort of thing normally gave it plus points in their books.
"Yeah," Dean allowed. "But…" He scuffed a shoe against the cement step. "Something's there nothing you can do," he said trying not to feel helpless.
They'd seem them before, ghosts stuck in the terror, pain, and bewilderment of their death, doomed to repeat the same cycle over and over and over and so caught up in it that no one could break through to them.
Sometimes, if you had something they recognized, someone they knew… names, possessions, you could do something. Snap the ghost out of it long enough to talk and explain the situation. Let it accept its fate and finally move on to the bright white light and whatever lay on the other side but here… in a house that had been abandoned for decades and ransacked by particularly brave burglars, there might not be anything they could do.
And Dean hated admitting defeat. Or not helping anywhere he could.
They both did.
Dean swore softly under his breath.
Sam coughed lightly to break the tension and then said in as bright a voice as he could muster, "You know what?"
"What?" Dean asked warily.
"Let's get out of here," Sam said. "Get some food, head back to the motel. I think there's a James Bond marathon on tonight," he added as he reached out to shut the front door behind them.
Dean turned to look at him suspiciously.
"Unless you'd rather watch Oprah. What do you want to be we'd get her channel in our room?" Sam asked with a grin.
Dean finally snorted. "Shut up," he said with good-natured gruffness as he got off the doorstep and started walking down the sidewalk.
Sam jumped down the last few steps and matched pace with his brother once he caught up.
Dean's shoulders eased down with each step closer to the car. He was happy to be getting away from the house and the screaming dead teenager in the basement. He wasn't happy leaving him there, stuck in a hell of his own unintentional making.
But they'd be able to hit the books in the morning, research the area and the house and find out what had happened here. Maybe even who the kid was. And enough information about his life to strike a chord with the kid, make him realize that he didn't need to stay here reenacting his death when everyone else lad long since left the house behind.
It sounded like a plan to him. He might even pitch in with the research if Sam didn't make too big a deal about it. But he had a feeling that he wouldn't. His brother understood him well.
"I saw a local burger joint on the way in," Sam offered as they reached the Impala.
His brother understood him really, really well.
Dean looked over the roof of the car. "Oh yeah?"
"Yeah," Sam said and smiled.
Dean wasn't totally convinced that they'd find a way to break through to the kid. He'd hit dead ends with death echoes before, no matter how much it cut to have to walk away from anyone undergoing such obvious suffering, alive or otherwise.
But he'd always been alone before when he found no solution but to burn bones. Now he had a partner. The most resourceful and empathetic person on the planet. And that had to count for something.
Looking at his little brother's earnest, honest gaze, Dean felt like together, they could actually do this. Find the key that would allow them to communicate with this kid and finally put him out of his misery after years, or perhaps decades, of being stuck in this endless loop.
And that was something.
"Okay," he agreed as he pulled the keys out of his pocket and grinned back at Sam. "Burgers it is."
Check out Echoes by ArmaDivina if you want more of this whole death echo premise in a superphantom fic! ;D
EDIT: This was meant to be an Alternate Universe for Danny Phantom where Danny actually fully died in the accident and the rest of the Fentons are nowhere to be seen (whether they were killed as a result of fallout from the Accident, or moved because the memories were too painful, or have died because a lot of time has passed is up to you. It's not really important but the point is that they're not in the picture and Fenton Works has been long abandoned by the time the Winchesters come knocking). I thought I'd made that clear enough without labeling it as such in the summary (since pretty much all crossovers could be automatically considered an AU and it gets weirdly confusing in my mind trying to add that tag to superphantom stuff?) but it doesn't appear so from the reviews so, haha, there you go. Hope that clears things up.
Shoutout to dannyboymw who figured out how to reasonably rephrase one of Dean's lines so I didn't have to make him swear more than I was comfortable with. XD
Also, yes, I see that this could easily be the beginning of a chaptered fic, but this is as far as I can take this particular idea. So, goodness, please don't be unpleasant about it; it's up for adoption so if you wanna come take it or are able to persuade a friend to continue the story, let me know.