Title: In The Backseat
Rating: PG-13 (language, some violence)
Summary: What if Max hadn't committed suicide? What would have happened to him then? AU to "Nightmare". Max's pov.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters or the universe they live in.
I spend most days in the back seat, being ignored. Those are the good days. On the bad days, Dean will take issue with something I've said or done. I prefer being ignored to being yelled at.
I've only gotten to sit shotgun once. Sam was driving and Dean wanted to sleep in the back. The way it happened, I felt like I was kicked out of the back and forced to sit up front.
I never get to drive, even though I have a license. Dean doesn't trust me not to crash his car. That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. I'm a murderer but I'm a decent driver.
I don't wear a seat belt and no one presses the matter. I think Sam is saving himself for bigger battles and Dean is just hoping that, if he happens to crash his baby, I'll be thrown and killed and that will be the end of the "Max the Murderer" problem.
Dean doesn't trust me in the least. He wants to kill me. Which is okay, I guess, 'cause I don't trust him either.
Sometimes I daydream about taking control of the car and driving it off a cliff.
I sleep on the floor most nights. Dean doesn't want to rent an extra room. Sam says it's because they don't have the money but I know it's because he doesn't want me alone with Sam. He's afraid I'll kill Sam, or, at the very least, knock him out long enough to run off.
There are rules that Dean made up when Sam convinced him to let me come along.
Rule #1 I'm not allowed to be unsupervised. Either Dean or Sam has to be with me at all times. (This means someone has to watch me while the other sleeps.) Dean has since relaxed those rules. I'm allowed to go into the bathroom myself now.
Rule #2 I'm not allowed to move anything with my mind, period.
Rule #3 I'm not allowed near any weapon.
Rule #4 I am not, under any circumstances, allowed to attack anyone.
I don't mind the rules too much. Dean would only make them up if he was afraid of me and I get the impression that Dean Winchester isn't an easy guy to scare.
What I do mind is Sam lying to me. Sam says that as long as I follow the rules, Dean won't kill me. The truth is, Sam never lets me alone with Dean. He doesn't want his brother to become a murderer.
Sam and Dean argue a lot, mostly about me. And, if it's not about me, it's usually about something related to me. I wonder if they argued all the time before and I'm just a convenient starting point or, if I've added new tension into their relationship.
Like scaring Dean, this is powerful. Unlike scaring Dean, the fighting doesn't make me feel good.
They're arguing again tonight, over a hunt they're in the middle of. I'm not sure what they've been hunting because Dean and Sam usually only speak in whispers when I'm awake. Sometimes Sam tells me but he hasn't yet and I haven't got the nerve to ask.
He's letting me tag along, he hasn't killed me yet, he's not scared of me, but he doesn't like me. I'm kinda sorry I tried to kill his brother. He was nicer to me before that.Dean and Sam go outside to argue. That's the only time they break Rule #1. I don't know why they bother. I can still hear them.
"You can't do this by yourself." Sam. "There's a whole den of them."
"We don't have a choice Sammy." Dean. Only Dean calls Sam 'Sammy'.
"Yes, we do."
"We're not leaving that little psycho here alone."
"We could bring him with us."
Stunned silence. It takes Dean a second to recover from that one. Me too. I don't want to go on their hunt! I've seen how Dean looks when he gets back from fighting the forces of evil.
"No fucking way."
Finally, Dean and I agree on something.
"Then we leave him here."
Another pause. "Fine." The door opens and I barely manage to scramble away. I don't think they knew I was listening in.
Dean just glares at me, before he grabs his jacket and walks back outside.
Sam offers me an apologetic smile. He's always apologetic when Dean's rude to me, like he actually has some control over what Dean says or does. "We'll be back in a couple of hours. Please be here when we get back."
And then he leaves too.
"Be careful." I say to the closed door. Please, be careful 'cause if something happens to you, I'll be alone with Dean.
Sam has only left me with Dean once before. We were watching Survivor when Sam stood up and announced that he was going to go down to the gas station next door to pick up some pop and did anyone else want anything.
Dean wanted a coke. I wanted to ask if I could come with Sam, instead of staying here. All I managed to do was ask for a root beer.
Sam was gone and I was alone with Dean. In the next fifteen minutes, we didn't say a word to each other. I tired to watch TV. Dean glared at me. Sam came back.
I think Sam was trying to test Dean, to see if his older brother could be trusted alone with me. I think he might have also been trying to show me that Dean wouldn't hurt me given the chance. Sam failed on both counts. Both Dean and I know that had Sam given Dean more time, I would not have been there when Sam got back.
With Sam and Dean gone, I lie down on Sam's bed and watch TV. I know better to lie down on Dean's bed. He's got this insane instinct. He'd know if I even went within a foot of his territory.
It's nice having the remote to myself. Dean never lets me have the remote. Sometimes, but only when Dean isn't here, Sam will let me have the remote but he has veto power. It's nice to watch whatever I want.
And it's nice to know that I could just walk out the door and no one would stop me. I won't, because I have no where to go and no money but it's nice to have the option.
It's nice to have the place to myself, except 10 becomes 11 and 11 becomes midnight and I start to worry. What if they decided not to come back? What if they decided I wasn't worth coming back for?
Or, they're dead.
They finally get back at a quarter after twelve and Sam is leaning on Dean for support. They're both covered in blood. Dean dumps Sam on the closest bed. Sam moans but doesn't move.
"Is he going to be okay?" I ask, stepping forward.
"Get out of the way," Dean snaps, as he pushes past me to get the First Aid kit.
I sit on Sam's bed and watch Dean take off Sam's stained clothing, clean and bandage his wounds and tuck him in for the night. After he's done, I start to get off Sam's bed. Dean's bed now that Sam's asleep in Dean's. But Dean just sits down in one of the chairs and props his feet up on the other. He glares at me and I get the message loud a clear. You might as well say where you are, because I'm not going to be sleeping tonight.
Can't say I blame him. I'm a murderer. I killed my dad and my uncle. I would have killed my step mom and Dean, if Sam hadn't stopped me. Can't blame Dean. Can't trust him either. He wants to kill me. Maybe he'll do it tonight, when Sam can't stop him.
I crawl under the covers and I try not to fall asleep. But it's hard. I've been up since five this morning; it's late and I'm tired. So, I fall asleep.
I don't feel too bad the next morning when I find Dean asleep in the chairs.
I hate Dean. He reminds me of my father, except he has never hit me. Sam kind of reminds me of my step mom except he keeps me safe. He's always arguing with Dean on my behalf.
They had a huge fight that night, the night they stopped me from killing my step-mom. I didn't hear much of it. I was kinda out of it. They had drugged and locked me in the closet. The closet wouldn't have held me but the drugs did.
I just remember that Dean wanted to kill me and Sam convinced him to take me with them, to keep an eye on me. Dean wanted to keep me drugged 24-7 but Sam convinced him it was enough that they watched me.
I wonder if the drug issue'll come back up, because Sam's in no condition to do anything but sleep, eat and stumble to the bathroom and Dean can't stay up all night to watch me. But Dean doesn't mention pills and I hate him a little less.
I still think he's going to kill me though.
We stayed at the motel for a week, the longest I've ever stayed in one place since joining up with the Ghostbusters, to give Sam a chance to recover. The nasties, I never did ask what exactly Dean and Sam had been hunting, had taken a chunk of flesh out of Sam's leg. He was fine but in pain and unable to drive.
This meant that whenever Dean got tired, we'd stop for the day. It really cut into our travel hours and frustrated Dean to no end. Finally, Dean just threw the car keys to me and got into the back seat.
"You hurt this car and I will kill you." He said to me and then, to Sam, who I think was hiding a laugh behind his hand, "Watch him and make sure he doesn't drive us off a cliff."
Sam can't help but laugh as Dean settles down to get a couple of hours of shut eye. I'm glad Dad taught me to drive both automatic and standard. I'm also glad I no longer daydream about driving the Impala off cliffs. Not that it really matters; there aren't many cliffs in Iowa anyway.
We stop at a rest area to take a leak and switch drivers. Sam's okay to drive but he still says he's got pain in his leg. Dean tells him he doesn't care, he's sick of sitting Bitch and it is Sam's turn.
Sam sits in the back seat so I can drive. I don't understand why he's being nice to me. Dean I get. I'm a murderer. I'm a bad person. I can't be trusted. Dean doesn't like me and that makes sense.
I feel bad when Sam's nice to me. I don't deserve it. I really don't. I don't want him to be nice to me anymore. That's why I tell Sam my secret.
"I was going to kill Dean."
Sam just smiled and said, "I know."
I don't understand why Sam doesn't want to kill me.
I get left alone more and more. I guess they figure if I was gonna run, I'd have done it already. Maybe they think that I'm rehabilitated enough that if I did run, I wouldn't go on a killing spree.
They go out hunting or hustling and leave me in the motel. I watch a lot of TV and when I get bored, I read the motel bible. I don't understand most of it.
Sam and Dean are out at a bar, gathering info on their latest case. Sam comes back early, which means Dean's either hustling or about to have a one night stand.
Sam takes out a deck of cards and we play all the stand-bys: Go Fish, Crazy Eights, Rummy and Crib. After I've lost three times to Sam in a row, I'm ready to call it a night. Dean isn't back yet so I guess he's getting laid. Good for him. Me, I'll die a virgin, this I don't doubt.
I start to stand up but Sam stops me when he says, "I want you to teach me."
I sit back down. "I don't understand." To lose at cards?
Sam holds out one of the cards. "I want you to teach me to move things with my mind." And then, because Sam's so damn annoyingly polite, he adds, "Please."
Sam lets go of the card, the Jack of Spades, and I catch it. I float it in the air for half a moment before gently laying it on top of the deck. Dean's second rule has been broken, with permission. But I'm pretty sure Dean's not allowed to find out.
Guess it's lucky I'm so good at keeping secrets.
Over the next two weeks, we practice. Sam tries but he hasn't moved more than a paper clip and he only moved that because he blew on it. It's frustrating to watch Sam get frustrated. He knows he moved that cabinet but he just can't seem to get that feeling back. And I don't know how to explain it to him.
I'm feeling a bit… silly, tonight. I start juggling the glasses from the bathroom and then throw the ice bucket in for good measure. Sam just sits and watches, smiling. I enjoy showing off. Sam's the first person to see my powers not as a weapon, but as entertainment. I could make a fortune of kid's birthday parties.
The motel door opens and Dean comes in. I should have heard the engine. I should have been more careful.
Dean sees me and drops the bag of convenience store goodies. A can of Pepsi rolls out. He pulls out his gun and I drop the glasses. They fall to the carpet, unbroken.
I back away from Dean, though in this confined space, it won't make a difference. I'm going to die. Dean's going to shoot me and I can't even remember how to pull the gun out of his hand.
Sam comes to my rescue; he steps between me and Dean, protecting me. Dean did the same thing for my step-mom and I almost shot him. Dean won't hurt Sam, though.
"Leave." Only when Sam turns to me and repeats the command, "Leave, Max." do I realize he's talking to me.
I want to go outside but Dean's standing between me and the exit, so I go into the bathroom. I lock the door and listen to the yelling, the crashing and finally the slamming of the front door. Half a second later, Sam knocks and asks if he can come in.
I unlock the door and Sam comes in. I'm sitting on the edge of the tub and he sits next to me. His lip is bleeding.
"He hit you."
"Yeah, well, I hit him back." Sam forces a smile, "Look Max, this was my fault. I asked you to show me and I let you use your powers. If Dean should be mad at anyone, it's me he should be mad at." Then Sam does the weirdest thing. He takes my hand and squeezes it. It sounds corny but it feels sincere, "I'm not going to let him hurt you."
I almost believe him.
Whatever uneasy alliance Dean and I had is pretty much over. He won't talk to me and I'm not allowed to drive anymore. I sit in the back. I keep silent. I read. Sam bought me a notebook and I started to keep a journal. Nothing too incriminating though. I didn't want Dean reading about my daydreams of his gruesome and brutal murder.
When Sam and Dean go to bars to do their thing, they usually leave me at the motel, except in the cases where we don't have a motel room. Then I sit in the car and wait.
Sometimes I go outside to stretch my legs, which I know I'd probably be told not to do, if Sam and Dean knew. But, since they didn't explicitly say, don't leave the car, I leave the car.
I take a few steps away from the car, keeping half an eye on the bar entrance. It wouldn't be good for Dean to come back and find me gone.
"Hey guy. Ya gotta light?" His touch makes me jump more than his voice. I look into the unshaved face of some guy who can't me much older than me. He has an unlit cigarette in his mouth and one hand in his jacket pocket as if he just now realizes he's missing his lighter. He has one hand on my arm and I jerk backwards. I don't like being touched.
"Light? You gotta light?"
"No." I move away from him but he moves with me smiling slightly. He reminds me of the kids from high school. I hate him already.
"Then change man? You gotta dollar? A five for a brotha?" He's as white as me but that's not my main concern at the moment. He moves closer and I'm really not liking this conversation. He's standing in my path to the car, backing me down this tiny ally between the side of the bar and a chain-link fence.
"No. I don't have any money."
The hand in his pocket shifts and there the unmistakable gun cocking sound. He points the pistol at my chest.
"Maybe I'll check and make sure you don't have any money myself." He gestures with the gun, "How about you empty those pockets."
I've had a couple of guns pointed at me in the last month. I'm actually calm about this. It's not Dean, after all.
"Look, I don't want any trouble so why don't you..."
There's a snap of movement and I'm on the ground, the kid looming over me, his face going red. I feel a trickled run down my face. I'm stunned. He hit me with the muzzle of the gun.
The fucker pistol whipped me and he didn't even do it right!
"Don't you tell me what to do you mother-fucker! Give me your damn money or I'll shoot your skinny fag ass!"
Even Dad never hit me in the face; I have a torso of scars to prove that. God, I hate being hit. Makes you feels weak, makes you feels like shit, makes you mad. I stand back up. This guy's an idiot.
Punk thinks he has a gun? Well, I'm a fuckin' gun!
The gun is my hand now. The mugger looks like he just shit his pants. Good. Fear is good.
I remember this feeling, this power. Be scared little man, 'cause I'm a murderer. I've killed people more important than you.
"Drop the gun, Max."
I look over my shoulder. Shit. Dean, with his gun out and pointed at me. Fuckin' Rule #4. If it was Sam, I could maybe talk my way out of this. If Sam was here, he could talk me out of this. But Dean has always wanted me dead.
I don't let go of the gun, not right away.
"Max, if you don't let go of the gun, I will shoot you."
"And you won't if I surrender?"
I lower the gun and place it on the ground, right at my feet, and straighten back up. I face Dean completely and bring my hands up in a placating manner. See, not dangerous.
Not that it's gonna convince Dean I won't hurt him. I move things with my mind. Why hasn't Dean shot me yet?
"Get moving along," Dean says to the guy behind me. Oh, that's why. No witnesses. Makes sense. "No, you idiot, don't go for the gun. Get out of here."
I feel movement and hear the sounds of running. Dean still hasn't shot me yet. I wonder why. He knows I can pull his gun out of his hands. Maybe I should, before he kills me. I have nothing to lose, after all. Except, you know, everything.
"I won't shoot you and you don't shoot me, 'kay." And Dean lowers his gun. "You don't mind sliding that gun by you over."
I do what he asks, using my foot. I'm too relieved to be alive to argue.
"He attacked me." I tell Dean as he picks up the second gun.
"Okay." Dean says, "Let's get to the car."
Dean makes me sit in the front seat, while he puts the guns away in the back. Guns are dangerous around me. That's why I'm not allowed near them. No lock holds me. I can open most of them and break the ones I can't. Sam and Dean must realize that the Impala's truck is no match for my powers. I guess they're just hoping, out of sight, out of mind.
Dean comes back with the First Aid kit and under the light of a street lamp, looks at my cut eyebrow.
I don't think Dean wants to kill me anymore.
I wake up the next morning to find out that Sam's left me alone with Dean again. I hate it when he does that.
I'm not too comfortable with the fact that not only is Dean is awake, something unusual given the time of the morning, but that he is also sharpening a knife. A big scary knife. I wonder if Dean still wants to kill me after all.
"There's orange juice and muffins."
It's weird having a civil, normal conversation with Dean. Well, as normal as having a conversation with Dean can be, because the next thing out of Dean's mouth is, "Want to learn how to sharpen a knife properly?"
I try to find the catch but it's too early, so I just throw off the blanket and stand up.
You'd think that now that Dean and I don't completely hate each others guts, there would be less arguing between Sam and Dean. Or, at least, less arguing over me. No such luck. Sam gets upset when he finds out some of the things Dean has been teaching me. Like hustling. Dean says I'm pretty good and Sam's just jealous. I like Sam, I know he wants to look after me, but he way too overprotective. I mean, I'm an adult. If I'd stayed at home, I would have graduated already. I'm an adult.
Only problem is that when I say this out loud, Sam just roles his eyes and Dean laughs, loudly. Bastards.
I still mostly sleep on the floor though I've got a sleeping bag and air mattress. Sometimes Sam takes pity on me and takes the sleeping bag for a couple of nights. Dean still refuses to get a second room. I guess it was all about the money after all.
And, of course, I still get regulated to the back seat, mostly because Sam and Dean are not about to give up the front seat to a seventeen year old. The back isn't that bad, anyways. I've got plenty of room to spread out and sleep.
"Max, put on your seat belt."