A/N: First time writing (very light and slow) slash, so please be understanding. This is an AU (alternate universe) fiction, so Dean and Sam are not in any way related.
Warnings: Slash, but it's so vague and fluffy you can probably only see it if you squint. Vampires, violence, blood, foul language and booze.
Summary: Eventually light slash, AU. On the run, Samuel stumbles into a world so removed from civilised society that he feels like he's dropped off the edge of the earth. Too bad he's unaware it's also the largest vampire community on earth.
This was not the slummiest bar he had ever been in, but it was close. Very close. The door was practically off its hinges and most of the occupants were either dead to the world or reeling in a drunken stupor. And God, it smelt.
Sam wrinkled his nose in distaste and eyed his shot glass warily. It was scummy around the rim, and…shit, was that a bloodstain on the base?
The barman eyed his disgusted expression with a smug grin, and slid another shot across the bar to him. Sam looked up, glancing from the glass to the man apprehensively. The guy appeared to be in his twenties; stocky but not muscular, with platinum blonde hair and too tight jeans. Very gay, that one.
Not waiting for an invitation, said happy camper ambled over to where Sam sat, eyes roving over his body appreciatively. Sam resisted the urge to wince and shudder. He hoped he hadn't landed himself in a bat-for-the-other-team establishment. Fuck, he'd only needed a quick drink.
"So. What'cha doin' way out here, Dimples? Fell off the back of a lorry?"
Sam fixed the guy with a disgruntled, piercing look. Idiot. He threw back the contents of the shot glass in one quick movement, swallowing hard and feeling the blood rush to his head. Ignoring the burning in his throat, he eyed a particularly interesting burn in the wood of the bar before giving the courtesy of an answer.
"It's Sam. And I'm straight."
He said, coldly. The guy laughed, shrugged unconcernedly and drew up a stool seemingly from nowhere to sit opposite him, grinning. Sam maintained his vigil over the shot glass in stony silence, hoping against hope that if he ignored this particularly persistent scum of downtown, he would be left alone.
"Well, Sammy, doesn' stop me lookin, now, does it? You got a cute face, ain't nothin' you can do bout it. Sides, was just a question. I'm Bill, by the by."
Sam supposed the dude couldn't help it if he constantly gave off the arrogant of impression of 'I don't like girls and I'm damn proud of it', so he decided to continue the rather one-sided conversation. Besides, this place was far, far away from the world where he had to lie about his name, age and life story to get a packet of Cheerios. The guy wasn't going to even remember him by morning, anyhow.
"I don't much care…Bill. Not that it's any of your business, but I guess I just stumbled in. I've got nowhere else to go. Can't afford it."
The risk, that was, not the money. Sam had plenty of money. Ill gotten money, but money none the less. Nobody gave a crap as long as it was vaguely green and had the picture of some old fart on it. Patriotic, him? Nope.
Meanwhile, Bill the barkeep dude was giving him a sceptical look, eying his freshly washed, well trimmed hair and clean shaven face with disbelief. Sam was also well aware that his casual and vaguely new clothing did not exactly scream hobo, either. Whatever.
"So…ya came here for…what? Place ta live?"
Bill asked, uncertainly, raising an eyebrow. Sam considered. Maybe. He only really ended up here because he'd been on the streets with a pocket full of stolen credit cards and a price on his head, not to mention a broken wrist. He hadn't been thinking things through, only that he had to get away, far away, and fast. Hence, here he sat, in the not-worst-but-almost slummiest bar he had ever been in.
"I guess. For a while."
He shrugged. An unreadable look passed through the barkeeper's eyes. Like he couldn't quite believe what Sam was saying. That was okay. Not many people ever did.
"You're on the run, huh, Dimps?"
Exasperated, Sam frowned at the seemingly sticking nickname, and shoved the shot glass back across the bar a little more forcefully than necessary.
"Sam. And you could say that."
'Bill' accepted this ambiguity for what it was; a subtle way of saying 'fuck off, none of your business'. But to him, everything was his business. He'd heard so many people's half mumbled life confessions that he probably knew everything there was to know about anyone who had passed through. They were all the same. Abuse, an affair, drug problem. This kid, though…with a face as cute as a button, but sharp, guarded eyes…this kid intrigued him.
"From what? Old flame? Mafia? Cops? Somebody's husband?"
Sam shook his head, slowly, dark bangs tossing gently around his face. It used to be shorter, this mop which he called hair. But he preferred it this length. It could hide his face, his eyes, himself. He sometimes wondered if he knew anything but how to hide and run.
"No, nothing like that."
Sam said, quietly, suppressing bad memories which threatened to claw their way back to the surface. He had come here to get away, not to dwell on the past. And now he wished this stupid man would leave him the hell alone. He didn't feel like talking today. Bill the barkeeper, however, was blissfully unaware of this.
"Well, ya can be sure they won't come a' lookin' round here. Not even the cops come visitin'."
Sam was almost interested. This place was out of the way, but he hadn't thought it was that out of the way. This might even turn out to be perfect.
He asked, the picture of unconcern. Maybe…maybe he could actually get used to this place. Stay a while. Meet some new people, make some friends (NOT including Bill the sodding camp barkeeper) live a life. It wasn't the nicest of places, he knew that, but it was out of the way. And if you didn't count being hit on, he hadn't been jumped or mugged or harassed yet.
"Ya could say this place is…out of the reach o' the law. To some, it's sanctuary. Some? Just plain hell. But hey…ya bring trouble in, it stays with you. Know what I'm sayin'?"
For some reason, a shiver crept along Sam's spine. He shook his head a little, and saw with some surprise that 'Bill' was looking at him with a completely serious expression. But still. Sanctuary or Hell, it was better than the alternative.
'Bill' glanced about, then leaned in closer to Sam, resting his elbows on the bar. Sam simultaneously leant back a little, wary, but the barkeeper seemed to have forgotten his initial goal of chatting his unfortunately naïve customer up.
"Ya wanna hear some advice, Dimps?"
Oh God, no, Sam thought, and he raised his eyebrows at the smirking barman.
"I've got a feeling you're going to impart it to me anyway."
Barman Bill chuckled (Sam had decided now; the dude's name would be Barman Bill. If he was going to call Sam stupid names then he would be rewarded in kind) and punched Sam's shoulder gently as though they were friends. Sam wrinkled his nose and shied away. He hated loud and overly friendly people.
"Ya talk pretty, Dimps. Well, ya look pretty too, but most folk around here only care for the latter. So my first piece o' advice? If ya can help it, don't open that pretty mouth. People won't like the way ya talk. Clear?"
It was good advice, Sam thought. He did speak in a way which would be foreign to most people around here. He might have to learn to slur a little and drop a letter here and there. Slightly disturbed that some guy he had just met was handing out the most logical advice he had heard in years, Sam shot Barman Bill a perturbed look.
"You're a very odd barkeeper."
Barman Bill grinned so widely it appeared his face might split in half, and he winked, letting out a brief burst of laughter.
"So I been told. Second, keep ya head down. Don't meet people's eyes. 'Specially not if they're taller than ya are. An'…I got a question for ya."
Sam blinked, taken aback at the sudden sobriety which had replaced the jovial tone of the conversation. Wait…why was he actually bothering to speak to some barkeeper, anyway? Oh, hell, never mind. He might learn something useful.
He asked, attempting to appear unruffled. Barman Bill pursed his lips and gave Sam a searching look. He hesitated, made a feeble hand gesture, and cleared his throat gruffly.
"Do ya even know where ya are, Dimples?"
Sam frowned, and shook his head.
"No. I don't."
Barman Bill looked at him intensely for a long moment, then sighed, and hastily turned around and began to clean some shot glasses with a dirty cloth. Curious, Sam waited, and as expected, the barman eventually turned back around to look at him.
"Keep it that way."
He murmured, before continuing his self-employed task of trying to clean the scum from the glasses. Sam snorted quietly to himself. Now there was a cause in vain. Still, he couldn't say he wasn't unnerved by all this…well. There was just something about this place. From the moment he had passed through that long, dark tunnel, under the hillside…it had been like entering a different world, a different universe. It seemed so much darker here, the streets smaller, and everything had a sinister quality to it.
No cops ever came down here. That meant no specific rules…nothing holding people back. But he couldn't turn around now. There was no way he could go back, so…he had to make do. Feeling suddenly cold, he pulled his jacket tighter around his shoulders and stood.
"Hey…how much do I owe you?"
Barman Bill glanced up, smirked vaguely, and made a dismissive gesture with his hand.
"Eh, call it on the house, Dimps. Where ya gonna head to find…eh…'lodgings'?"
Sam blinked. He hadn't really thought that far ahead. He wasn't used to doing so, as his life was always changing, and he never knew what the next day would bring, so…he had never dared to make plans. He felt a small sense of excitement. This could be a new start. Maybe things would go right this time, for the first time.
"I don't know. I figured…I'd just have a look around. Maybe stay in a motel until I find the right place."
The barkeeper frowned, and leant across the bar, a frown twisting his features.
"Tell ya what, Dimps. This neighbourhood…ain't exactly safe for those out on their owns, y'know? Strangers are noticed. I know a place, a couple of blocks from here, a small apartment building, converted. Really small. Anyway, I heard the apartment on the top floor is free now. Some dude topped himself. But it's safe there, run by this tough old bird I know. Trust me, go there. It's not too pricey, either."
Sam was quiet for a moment, toying with his newfound game of 'think the future through'. It was nice, sort of. He supposed the suicide should bother him, really. But it didn't. He was accustomed to death, especially self-inflicted. People were in charge of their own lives; they had the right to decide when and how to end it, and you couldn't really blame them for that.
All things considered, he nodded briefly.
"Thanks, I think. What's it called?"
"Three blocks down, s'called Soerside Apartments."
Sam chuckled quietly. Soerside, Suicide. How ironic.
"Sounds charming. Thanks."
He muttered, sounding less enthusiastic than he felt. Barman Bill gave him a dazzling smile which set Sam's teeth on edge, and watched intently as Sam neatly replaced the bar stool and headed towards the door.
"Seeya around, Dimps."
He called gaily, his grin widening at the stiffening of the retreating back and the audible sigh of exasperation. And then the boy had gone, leaving the door swinging and a tantalising scent in his wake. Billy Yale frowned briefly, a finger straying to his teeth where an ache had begun to set in. He shuddered. No. Not here, not now.
Hearing a snort of disgust sound behind him, Bill turned to find a particularly unsteady looking man watching the still swinging door with a sour expression.
"Stupid kid. Wandering in. Hadn't he heard the warnings?"
Bill shook his head. It happened sometimes. People from far away just accidentally winding up here, if they were either brave, drunk or stupid enough to get through the tunnel. At least, that way, the only ones who made it would either survive for a long time or a very short time. It was better that way.
"Nah, he ain't stupid. Who knows? Maybe he'll get out alive. He seems like a survivor. There's something, in here."
Bill pointed to his own eyes, recalling the guarded, burning look in the stranger's dark eyes. There was something special there. Something worth saving. Maybe he'd even pray for this one.
"He's strong. The kid'll be okay. Besides, I sent him to Jill, at Soerside. She'll watch out for him."
The man gave him a disbelieving look, and downed a larger gulp than necessary from a pint glass before slurring out a reply.
"That old bat? She'll eat him afore they do."
He said, bluntly. Bill thought of the young man, so alive, and untainted, in his own way. He shuddered violently, and hastily went back to cleaning his glasses beside the bar.
"Don' never say things like that. They might be listenin'."
So, worth continuing or dump in the trash? And sorry for the lack of Dean, he should be up next chapter if I continue. Please review and let me know if I should! Thanks for reading!