A/N: This story contains Supernatural Season 13 spoilers, fair warning if you aren't caught up on the show.
Any events that occurred (or will occur) in Supernatural after S13E13 will be mostly disregarded and you can consider this AU. Sam and Dean have been spending most of their time with Cas and Donatello looking for ways to bring Jack and Mary back from the other Earth. In the Buffy timeline, this takes place 15 years after the events of Season 7 and the destruction of Sunnydale. If some of the characters seem different, it's because they are - a lot can happen in 15 years.
Standard disclaimer applies: I own nothing...
2004 – 14 years ago
Dean yawned as his father fiddled with the radio. Styx's "Come Sail Away" came on, and John drummed on the steering wheel gently. John knew that, at 25, Dean was perfectly capable of handling this case on his own, but his father didn't have a case at the moment, so he'd decided to join Dean on this one. Though it was technically Dean's car at this point, his father had taken over driving the Impala as soon as he'd arrived, not asking for Dean's permission. Dean felt a twinge of annoyance at this, but he didn't say anything, knowing his father too well to argue.
They pulled into a Motel 6 and checked in for 2 nights under the names Marcus and Fredrick Scott. The room was small and dingy with an uncomfortable odor of cats that lingered on the furniture. The kitchen area, with a small table and mismatched chairs, looked like it hadn't been properly scrubbed in months, maybe years. Dean wholeheartedly hoped that they would not be here for more than 2 nights. Not that this was much worse than what he was used to, but the cat smell made him slightly nauseated. Looking around, John sat down at the table and opened his notebook, pulling out the newspaper clipping that Dean had found regarding this case.
The article described a mansion called the "Franklin Castle" by Cleveland locals, though it was more of a large manor. During his research, Dean had found that the house had sat empty for many years due to rumors of hauntings and a grizzly past; including multiple suspicious deaths and a skeleton that was found in a closet in the 90's. The house had only recently been purchased by a private party and Dean was concerned about ghosts for the new owners. He wanted to clear the place out before anyone moved in.
Built by Hannes Tiedemann in the late 1800's, the Tiedemann family suffered from several unfortunate events soon after moving in to the Franklin Castle. Mr. Tiedemann's wife, mother, and 4 children all died under "mysterious circumstances," until Hannes himself died. Dean suspected, based on some of his research, that Mr. Tiedemann, the patriarch of the family, had committed more than a couple crimes while living in the house, ranging from murder to sexual assault; and he was willing to bet that the biggest and baddest ghost in the house (assuming it wasn't the only one) was his. Dean and his father were planning to check out the house the next day to see what they could learn, and then tomorrow night they would salt and burn the bones of Hannes Tiedemann and any others who might be hanging around the place.
Dean considered going to bed, but it wasn't too late and he wasn't feeling particularly tired. He decided to go have a drink at a bar that he'd seen on the way in to the motel. As he got up, his father watched him go but didn't say anything until Dean's hand was on the doorknob.
"You're going out now?"
"I'm thirsty – just going to go have a drink at the bar next door."
"Dean, you should be going to bed, we're on a case," his father said, a hint of disapproval in his voice. Dean rolled his eyes, well aware that John was more than likely to pull out a flask and start drinking by himself, as soon as Dean left. He loved his father, but sometimes he vaguely wondered if he wasn't a bit of a hypocrite.
He shooed the thought away and simply said, "won't be long." He opened the door to the cold night, a hint of snow in the air and he pulled his jacket tightly around him, though he wasn't bothered enough to button it. He walked the short distance to the bar, apparently called "The Thirsty Mule" and went inside. For a Tuesday night, he was surprised to find a run-down place like this as busy as it was.
He sat down at the bar, which looked like it hadn't been properly cleaned in ages, and ordered a Margiekugel with no glass. The bartender, a grumpy looking middle-aged man, shuffled off to ring in his order and grab him a bottle. Looking behind the bar, Dean saw that the mirror behind the liquor was cracked, and reflected a shelf with limited options – not that Dean was usually one to order top-shelf anything, but it was still disappointing. Taking a sip after his beer was placed down in front of him, he glanced around to find the reason for the impressive business that the grimy pub was doing. Dancing by the jukebox, which stood in a corner near some empty pool tables was a young, pretty brunette dancing with an uncomfortable looking blonde. Men were crowded around the two women, trying to join in their dancing with little success. The brunette seemed to enjoy the attention and flashed smile after smile at most of the men. The blonde was dancing halfheartedly and clearly wished to be practically anywhere else. Obviously her friend had dragged her out tonight and she wasn't happy about it.
Dean found both women attractive, particularly the blonde, although he suspected he'd have much better luck with her friend who was now dancing seductively staring between two men, though her arm was draped over the shoulder of the blonde. Had he been on his own for this case, Dean probably would have gone for it, but with his father waiting for him back at the motel, Dean sighed and looked away from the tempting sight, knowing it was a lost cause.
He drank his beer in silence, occasionally glancing back at the crowd near the jukebox, which was really the only interesting thing happening in the place. There were old, box TVs sporadically hanging from the ceiling, but none of them were on. So instead, he continued to watch the girls through the cracked mirror. It appeared that the blonde was now trying to convince her friend that it was time to go, to which the brunette seemed to be indicating that she was perfectly capable of going home by herself. The blonde frowned at her friend, but then seemed resigned. She shook her head at the brunette, and headed for the exit. Neither woman appeared particularly concerned about their respective safeties in a place like this, which surprised Dean, who found that women tended to use the buddy system when drinking. The brunette started dancing with two different guys, a half-empty bottle dangling loosely from her hand. Dean shook his own head, only slightly worried about the woman who was now on her own, though she appeared completely undaunted.
Again lamenting the fact that his father was waiting for him, Dean turned away from the alluring woman, finished his beer and stood up, throwing a few bills down on the bar. He walked back to the motel, still thinking about the blonde and brunette. Vaguely, he wondered if Sam had been here and not his father, would they each have gone for one of the women? Dean wasn't about to ask his father to be his wingman; that would just be weird.
Dean missed his brother, though he knew better than to reach out to him. Sammy was undoubtedly still mad at their father, and John was definitely still angry at Sam for running off to college. The weird thing was though, that while Dean knew John was still pissed at Sam, he always talked about him (with other people, at least) with pride. If he was honest with himself, Dean was annoyed with Sam for leaving them too – for leaving him alone with their father. He'd never understood his brother, but he still loved him, and his father wasn't exactly the poster child for parental care.
Dean shivered and pulled his jacket around himself again as cold, snowy air hit him in the face.
He arrived back at the motel and in walking back into their room, he found his father still sitting at the table, flask in hand as expected. He was dozing in the chair, notebook still open in front of him. Dean shook his head and collapsed on his bed, fully dressed, feet dangling off the edge. He was pleasantly surprised when no dust cloud appeared around him as he did so. What he wouldn't give for a place to call his own and – heaven forbid – his own room. Turning to more cheerful thoughts, he fell asleep with pleasant images of the dancing women running through his head and "what if's" regarding his father's presence on the case.
Dean and his father spent the next day finding out whatever additional information they could about the "Franklin Castle." They went to the hall of records, but didn't find much more than what Dean had already uncovered. Dean would have liked to talk to some previous owners, or maybe even the cops who'd uncovered the skeleton in the 90's, but John didn't like drawing attention to themselves by involving law enforcement whenever he could help it. Dean on the other hand, had found that by using faked government badges, his cases were easier to solve, but he wasn't about to argue this with his father.
After nightfall, Dean and John went to the house and began a thorough search, EMF readers in hand. They'd had to break in of course, since the place was sealed up and no one lived there yet. Inside, they found the place empty, apart from dust, cobwebs, and a few rats. It looked like someone had crashed here at some point in the past, though not recently. The reputation of the house as hunted seemed to be driving potential squatters away. The EMF readers buzzed like an arcade game in most rooms, though they didn't actually see or hear anything of interest. At one point, Dean thought he might have found ectoplasm in the kitchen, but it turned out to just be mold.
While wandering the house, a random thought struck Dean and he turned to his father, "Any idea why this place is called the 'Franklin Castle' when it was built by the Tiedemann's?"
"Focus, Dean. It doesn't matter," his father scolded. Dean rolled his eyes. His father was right, of course. It didn't really matter, but he was curious anyway. Maybe he'd look that up later.
When they entered what appeared to be a master bedroom, Dean had the worst feeling that he was being watched. He kept looking over his shoulder, but he didn't see anything. They were about to leave, resigned to having to dig up all the bodies of the Tiedemann family, when they clearly heard a deep male voice shout "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!"
Shaken, though not particularly afraid, John and Dean nodded to each other and left the "castle." They drove the 10 minutes to Riverside Cemetery where the family were all buried, helpfully, together. Dean was pretty sure that it was the father that was the problem at this point, but John insisted they be sure and dig up all the family members who'd died in the house. This was going to be an all-night task, which Dean found unfortunate as he would have preferred trying to find that brunette again for some post-hunt, extra-curricular activities (at her place, of course); John couldn't object if the case was over.
Going around to the trunk of the Impala after parking outside the cemetery, Dean and John both pulled out shovels and Dean grabbed a duffle bag with the salt and gasoline, plus some iron-made tools in case any ghosts decided to show up, though it was unusual for ghosts to stray away from their usual haunts. He slammed the trunk down and they walked into the cemetery. There was a light snow falling, but it was too warm for it to stick. They kept their eyes open, but didn't see anything as they passed headstone after headstone. The moon was bright through the clouds, lighting their path, making flashlights almost unnecessary. As they approached the Tiedemann family plot however, they heard voices coming from their right.
Wary, they looked at each other, then quickly stashed their shovels behind a large tree that was nearby and tried to look normal. They picked a nearby tombstone that looked more recent, and both gathered in front of it, trying to look properly morose.
Less than a minute later, they noticed a middle-aged man and a young woman walking toward them, chatting amiably. "I don't know, sometimes I just wish I could have a normal life…" the woman was saying.
Dean figured they must be a father and daughter. When they caught sight of Dean and John, they stopped talking immediately. Dean might have imagined it, but he thought he saw the woman quickly hiding something in the inside of her leather coat. She was wearing tight jeans and had her blonde hair tied up in a ponytail. Looking into her face, Dean was surprised that he recognized the woman as the blonde from the bar the night before. He smiled at the pleasant surprise.
The older man, who was greying and wore glasses, looked at the woman quickly when he'd seen them, a question on his face, but the woman shook her head after casting them a suspicious gaze. The man visibly relaxed and then set his face in a blank expression.
"Good evening, gentleman," the older man said, even though it was well after midnight. "I'm surprised to find anyone else out here at this hour." There was a hint of question in his voice, which had a strong English accent; he was wondering what they were doing there. Dean was wondering the same thing about them. Who visits a cemetery at this hour, besides hunters? Surely these two aren't hunters? he thought to himself. He dismissed the idea immediately, studying the two of them. The older man looked more like a librarian in his tweed jacket and slacks, and the woman, practically still a girl barely old enough to drink, looked like she wouldn't be able to take on a racecar dummy, let alone a monster. She was a good foot shorter than Dean, and more gorgeous than he'd realized the night before. He shook his head; he was getting distracted. Although, he thought idly, I wouldn't mind being thoroughly distracted by this chick.
"Yeah, well," John said, "my son and I were on a road trip, and we wanted to make sure to stop by and visit an old friend while we were in the area." John pointed idly to the tombstone they'd been standing near when they heard the two of them. Dean was smiling at the woman, eyeing her. She narrowed her eyes at him when she noticed; she didn't appreciate the look he was giving her. He had to stop himself from laughing at her disapproval, which made her look even more cute.
"Ah, I see," the older man said. "We are doing something similar. My sister is buried nearby, and we have a tradition of visiting her grave at midnight on her birthday." Dean looked at the man. It was an odd excuse to be here, but not impossible, and the man said it so matter-of-factly that Dean found himself wanting to believe the man; if it weren't for the look the blonde had cast him at his explanation. She was trying to look like this wasn't a surprise, but didn't do it very well. John saw it too, his eyes narrowing barely enough to be noticeable.
The girl was looking at the two of them closely; she looked as though she was sizing them up. When she visibly relaxed, Dean figured she must have decided they weren't a threat. If the situation wasn't so suspicious, Dean would consider asking her out for a drink; plus if they really were here to visit a lost loved one, it would probably come across as in bad taste, especially since they were supposed to be there for the same reason.
"Well, then," the Englishman said, "We'll leave you to it, and I'm sorry for your loss."
"You too," John said simply. The two walked away, the blonde looking back over her shoulder and catching Dean's eye as he watched her. He noticed that she smiled very slightly when their eyes met, but then she turned back around walked away from them with her father. Suddenly, Dean did regret not asking her out, regardless of the situation; she was damn intriguing, and god knew he loved a challenge.
Once they were out of sight, John retrieved their shovels from behind the tree, handing Dean his. "Eyes forward, Dean," he said, noticing that Dean was smiling slightly still looking after the girl. "Don't get distracted by a pretty face while on the job."
Frowning at his father, he turned and they continued walking toward the Tiedemann family plot to finish their hunt. Suddenly, Dean wished he could stay in Cleveland one extra day, if only to find that girl again.