AN: Season 2 for SPN, and completely AU for DP.
Partly inspired by The Family Business by ShinobiCyrus over on AO3.
For Those About To Hunt (We Salute You)
Haunted House - part 1
Valerie shifted her weight from one foot to the other, knuckles white as she held onto her borrowed shotgun for dear life.
The Fenton siblings made an efficient team, Danny drawing lines with salt and Jazz trying to figure out what they were dealing with by talking to Valerie's dad.
Not that the latter was doing them any good. Damon was too afraid to be coherent, muttering about the barking of dogs.
At first, Valerie had thought he'd been hallucinating. Now, even she heard them.
"Is there anything else we need to do?"
Danny looked surprised that she'd asked. "Not much else we can do. Not until these ghost dogs appear again, anyway."
Valerie didn't like that answer, but there was precious little she could do about it.
Danny put away the remaining salt, pulling up his own shotgun. "Here's the plan, we keep your dad safe until we can figure out what's going on. You said he worked security, right? Just like that other guy who died?"
Valerie nodded. The Fenton siblings had come to town to investigate the death of Damon's co-worker, a man she'd only met twice in passing.
"Were there any guard dogs around? Any that he had to have put down?"
"That makes it harder." Danny frowned, failing to hide his disappointment even as he muttered curses under his breath."I didn't even know animals could become ghosts."
"Well... Are you sure its a ghost?" Valerie wouldn't normally have questioned him, since Danny obviously knew a lot more about the subject than she did, but her dad's life was on the line.
"What else could it possibly be?"
The floorboards creaked under their feet.
Marcy grabbed onto Hannah's arm. "We need to find the others."
The old house smelled of dust and wood. When they accidentally ruffled the curtains, several moths flew through the room. Hannah tracked them idly with her flashlight.
Marcy coughed as she pulled apart the curtains, letting in some light, but releasing a cloud of dust.
As the yellow glow of nearby streetlight entered the room, the previous complete darkness gave way. As faint as the light was, combined with Hannah's flashlight it turned the room into a dichotomy of sharp shadows and lighter spots. Every single piece of old furniture looked like a monster when viewed at the wrong angle.
Hannah just smiled, her eyes glowing with passion. "Come on, Marcy! You're embarrassing me in front of the ghosts."
Marcy replied with a silent glare. Just because Hannah was seventeen didn't make her all brave or mature, she was only three months older than Marcy.
Marcy rubbed at her arms. She was developing goosebumps. Not because she was scared or anything, there was just the cold of a draft.
Hannah's flashlight flickered. Marcy gave a small squeal, but quickly silenced herself as Hannah laughed.
Then the light went out completely, and Marcy gave up all pretence of not clinging to her friend.
Hannah hit the back of the flashlight, hoping to get the battery going again. "I'm working on it, stop being such a chicken."
Something moved behind them. The door they had purposefully left open slammed closed, but when they turned around there was no one there.
"Oh relax. It's probably just Simon and Jessica. They're trying to scare us."
Marcy wasn't sure she believed that.
The Fenton Family Ghost Assault Vehicle, aka the RV, looked like a news van.
It was silver, with the logo of a made-up station at the side. Danny switched the logo between cases, but he had a couple he re-used. His favourite was 'Weird World Weekly', a fake magazine about the supernatural. Pretending he was from WWW let him ask all the weird questions without holding back. It made the job much easier. The one he used the most often was 'Channel 1408', because most people weren't willing to talk to the WWW about their recently murdered family members.
Of course, that was the outside of the van. The inside lived up to its name, with ancient seals scribbled over every available surface and hidden guns at easy-to-reach locations.
Danny had spent most of his childhood in the back of the RV, he knew every inch of it.
The same couldn't be said of his companion. Valerie was eyeing the radio with suspicion.
He didn't blame her, since the radio had been 'improved' by a very enthusiastic Jack Fenton many years ago. It was supposed to be more fuel efficient and capable of picking up ghostly activity, but the end result was that you ran a 50% chance of getting zapped with electricity when you tried to change the channel.
Which was why Danny and Valerie were listening to country.
"I think you should risk it, it can't be more painful than this." Danny scrunched up his nose at the enthusiastic banjo solo.
"I thought we agreed that the driver decides the music." Valerie crossed her arms over her chest, leaning back in the passenger seat.
Danny winced. That was an old rule, made to battle Jazz's horrible tastes.
"I guess." He poked the radio like one might poke a sleeping cobra, pulling his hand back before it could wake up and bite him. It didn't help, and he yelped at the static clinging to his fingers. "I hate getting electrocuted."
Valerie snorted inelegantly, but didn't comment as the car was filled with the sound of electric guitars.
Danny rolled his eyes as the heavy metal was interrupted by the Ghostbusters theme.
"Answer that?" Danny inclined his head towards the steering wheel, to show that he was busy.
"Sure, it's probably just Tuck." Val pulled the cell phone out of Danny's shirt pocket, flipping it open. "Hey, what can I do for you?"
Judging by her bemused expression, the reply was a bad come-on. Definitely Tucker on the other side then.
"You've got a case for us?" Valerie sounded hopeful as she pulled out a notebook and a pen. "Yeah, we're still in Indiana... I think?"
At her questioning look, Danny nodded.
"Still in Indiana," confirmed Valerie into the phone. "A haunted mansion? Cliché much?"
"It's a classic," protested Danny, but Val just shushed him and wrote something down on her pad.
She hung up, sliding the phone back in Danny's pocket.
"So, where to?"
The Winchester brothers rolled into Springville, Indiana just in time for lunch.
It was a small town, just enough houses clustered together for there to be two supermarkets and one movie theatre.
They quickly found a diner. Not that finding a diner was hard, after a while you got a feel for where they would be. On some level, all small towns were the same.
The diner itself was painted in light yellow, or maybe bright yellow that had faded over time, and filled with shining chrome. The place was well-worn, but also well loved. It had probably been owned by the same family for generations. They served excellent pie, which the menu claimed was made with 'grandma's secret recipe'. Dean thought the secret ingredient was likely to be cardamom. (Or maybe love, but he wouldn't say something that cheesy out loud.)
All things considered, including the recent deaths of local youth, it was a rather nice town.
Of course, in a small town the deaths of several youngsters left a distinct taste in the air. Hushed whispers from the other patrons in a mostly empty diner, the waitress's smile not quite reaching her eyes. They weren't used to people dying. It was the sort of thing they might read about in the paper, the sort of thing that happened to other people, not the sort of thing that could happen to them.
A part of Dean wondered what that was like.
Dean had been the one to find the case, though he hadn't found that many details before deciding to take it on. In a town as small as Springville, an epidemic of dead teenagers was likely to be their thing. Mostly, they had been close-by and hadn't found anything else to do.
"We should probably stop by the morgue." Sam was mostly thinking aloud, his eyes on an article in a newspaper. Three local kids found dead in abandoned house. "See if our dead kids tell any tales."
Dean shrugged and ate some more pie. "I'm surprised a place this small has a morgue."
"It's not here, it's in the hospital two towns over."
"Let's ask around first. Maybe we don't have to waste the trip."
Sam mumbled something that Dean interpreted as agreeing. Whether it was meant as agreement was another issue entirely.
"We should start with the families and at the school, see if any of the teens' friends knew what they were up to." Dean ate some more pie.
"And check in with the police. There might be some more connection between the kids other than just where they were found."
While Valerie's driving was, objectively, better than Danny's, Danny got them to their destination faster.
That was part of what made Val the better driver.
She had the advantage of learning to drive in a normal driving school, rather than under Jack Fenton's guidance while fleeing the police because they'd broken into at a murder scene and stolen evidence. (Said evidence had been haunted, they'd salted and burned it. The police didn't like that for some reason.)
They slipped into the cheapest looking place they could find, an overly cheery diner. It was nearly empty, except for two men in suits and a family of three. Danny and Val sat down as far away from the suits as they could.
They ordered burgers and sodas.
"So, do we have a plan?" Danny reached for one of Valerie's fries. She slapped away his fingers and glared at him half-heartedly.
"Tucker sent over all the info." Valerie opened her laptop, still keeping a watchful eye on her fries. "We've got the address where the kids were found."
"The aforementioned 'haunted mansion', right?"
"Right." Valerie turned the computer around so Danny could see it. "What do you think?"
It was a lavish house, if more than a bit run-down. "If I were looking to haunt someplace, that'd be some fine piece of real-estate."
"Okay, fine." Danny sighed deeply, dramatically. "I'd haunt the RV."
Valerie smirked and turned her laptop around again, tapping something on the keyboard. "I'm thinking we should check it out tonight."
"We don't even know whose ghost it is."
"I meant more along the lines of checking that there is a ghost. It could just be run-of-the-mill murder."
"You wanna go around outside the place and see if I sense anything?" Danny frowned.
Danny ordered some pie as a way to buy himself time to think it over. It wasn't a bad idea, per se, but years of ghost hunting had honed his instincts to the point where he knew it was a bad idea. He just couldn't put it into words.
Valerie waited in silence as the waitress delivered Danny's pie.
"It just seems like tempting fate, is all."
"If we're somehow pulled inside the house and have to fight our way out, you get to say 'I told you so' afterwards."
"Well, if you put it like that..."
Danny took a bite out of his pie. It was lukewarm, since he'd ignored it for too long. It probably tasted better steaming. He figured the famed "secret ingredient" had to be vanilla or something.
Valerie nibbled at a French fry, and he eyed it with envy. She noticed and looked pointedly at his pie. He ignored the silent jab.
"Sure, let's see if there is a job here before we start working it." Danny sighed loudly. He already knew he was going to regret the decision.
AN: Yeah, this chapter was mostly introductory stuff. I've got lots of backstory for the DP gang that I'll give you through the THEN flashbacks, so if there's anything you're wondering about... feel free to mention it in a review so I know what people want explained first. (Of course, certain things I'll hold back until the right moment...)
However, this isn't just introductions. I managed to get in plenty of hints for stuff that's going to be plot important later.
Danny and Valerie are both 18.