Okay, so insert all the usual disclaimers here lol... As always I don't own anyhting even remotely related to the show, the boys, the car or the supernatural. Just taking them all on yet another joy ride through my imagination.
This fic is the third in my Winchester vs O'Sulivan series. If you haven't read the other two chances are you'll get confused. If you have read the other two... well I guess I should warn you that this one's turning out to be quite a bit darker. Seems that as the character development progresses the plot lines and emotional crap I put them through are becoming deeper and darker.
Anyhoo... enjoy the read!
"Cal…you sure about this? 'Cause I'm pretty sure that Dean is going to freak the hell out when he sees you like that…"
Fran was eyeing her friend and the outrageous getup she was wearing. Hair down around her shoulders for a change instead of up in the functional ponytail she wore most of the time, tight blue jeans hugging every curve over the long black boots she liked to wear when they were hunting and this red thing that she was trying to pass off as a blouse.
"Of course I'm sure hun…and I know he's gonna freak. That's why I called Sam and told them to meet us there." The blouse she had on was a surprise. It was the replacement she'd finally managed to find for the black one Dean had thrown out on her the day after they'd first met. She was in the mood for a little fun after another job well done…a poltergeist this time…and it was their last night out in this little hole-in-the-wall town.
Dean had suggested they go out for a few beers and some pool before heading back home in the morning and Cal figured it was the perfect opportunity she'd been waiting for. It had been a while since she'd been able to raise a little hell.
She was standing at the bar all legs, curves and wavy brown hair. There were close to a dozen men hovering around…some crowding around and fighting for her attention, others hanging back waiting for the crowd to die down to get their chance. This one's trouble was what the bartender was thinking as he watched her expertly handle the men around her. He'd seen girls like her before, usually just passing through and looking for a little fun to bring back to the hotel for the night. Girls who were used to showing a little cleavage and getting whatever they wanted.
Hell, if he were twenty years younger he might've given it a go himself… but he wasn't and so he just poured, mixed and watched her play it out. There was something different about her though. Something more than the average woman out for a little fun.
And then there was that guy. The one with the angry eyes who was obviously hustling his regulars at the pool tables. The bartender would have been a little insulted that he'd try it, but really? Usually it was the local boys hustling cash out of anyone who passed through long enough to stop in and play a game. So if those boys couldn't open their eyes wide enough to see they were being played then he was considering it fair game.
The girl was trouble all right, and she knew exactly what kind of trouble she was there to start. It was in the flirtatious looks she sent every which way to anyone who caught her eye. It was in the dirty, angry glares that guy at the pool tables kept sending her way. The guy was obviously jealous… and the girl? Well she was paying attention to pretty much everyone but him. Yeah, she knew what she was doing, who she was after. It was just a matter of time. There'd be a mess to clean up after last call tonight, the bartender was sure of it.
What the hell had she been thinking? He just knew something was up when she'd called Sam instead of him. Was she trying to drive him insane? Yeah, that had to be it. Cal wanted him to go stark raving mad. The "ribbon" was back…in bright blazing red no less. As if the damn thing needed any more attention then it was already getting her…and right now that red was about the only color he could see. The guys were a given. No matter what bar they went to she somehow managed to attract them like flies. Of course usually he was okay with it because usually the girls were all over him too and Cal was…you know…fully clothed.
She wouldn't even look at him, so there was no satisfaction in the dark, ugly looks he kept sending her way. Damn. And to make matters worse, Franny had led Sam away to a quiet corner of the bar where they were making goo-goo eyes at each other or whatever the heck it was they did when they went off by themselves.
So there he was; hustling pool all by himself, and being forced to watch as the woman flirted with every guy in the place…except him. Cal was looking for a bar fight. Dean was sure of it. Probably hoping the first punch would come from her jealous boyfriend… he'd be damned if he was going to give her the satisfaction.
The thing about Cal? Well, she's not exactly what one would call 'patient'. So when she's out looking for trouble and it doesn't come to her right away? Well, she likes to nudge it along a little.
Two and a half hours at the bar and still the only reaction she was getting from Dean was a little angry glaring that she chose to pretend to ignore. It felt like there were holes burning into her back he was staring her down so hard. She was off her game tonight. Usually she'd managed to at least get some sort of smart ass comment by now…Cal had been positive that he'd try to haul her out of the bar as soon as he saw the blouse was back, but no. Dude was being stubborn tonight: Refusing to play into her little games.
Yeah, so…time to stir it up a bit eh?
"Any of you boys up for a little pool?" It was an open ended question. Cal didn't wait for an answer, just moved toward the other pool table (the one Dean wasn't using) with a trail of eager men following in her wake. This plan was even better. She could goad Dean and make a little cash at the same time. "I've got a twenty that says I can beat any one of you boys at this game…any takers?"
Of course, as it always happened, the biggest guy in the place stepped up and called her on it. Dean watched the guy move in close to her, hand her a twenty and the black plastic triangle…there was just something about the way he'd done it that made Dean's blood boil. "Why don't you rack 'em up sugar, so we can get this show on the road."
Cal just smiled slow and sexy.
Dean stopped breathing when she leaned over the end of the pool table and just moved racking 'em up slow. Yeah, that girl was going to be the death of him. She knew exactly what she was doing. Close to two dozen men surrounding the pool tables and not a sound from any of them until Jack, the guy Dean was hustling, leaned it next to him and whispered "I'd give just about anything right now for that girl to rack 'em up like that for me." Well, that was it for Dean right there. No way he was putting up with this anymore. He had definitely had enough of this little game Cal was playing.
He stood up slowly, deliberately not bothering to take the shot he was lining up, the one that would have won him the game. Reaching into his back pocket he pulled out a couple of bills and tossed them carelessly onto the green felt in front of him.
"What the…? What's up man? You were about to clean the table. I should be the one paying up right now." But Dean had already forgotten the guy and was moving toward Cal, leather jacket in hand.
He was behind her before she even had the chance to straighten up and when she finally did his hand wrapped itself firmly around her arm. Cal knew it was him. When she turned to face him there was no surprise: Just the flash of an evil little smile and the arch of a mischievous brow- Took you long enough.
She didn't have to say the words; Dean read them in the clear blue of her eyes. Yeah, well…he had a thing or two to say about that but he wasn't saying them here. He sent an ugly look and a scowl around the tables at the men gathered around there that seemed to dare them to make a move, to say something when he turned her around again and started moving them both towards the door.
It wasn't until they'd made it to the door that one of them got bold enough to try something. One minute Dean was pushing the door open for Cal and getting ready to follow her through, the next he was stopped in his tracks by a big meaty hand on his shoulder and a deep rumbling voice coming from somewhere above him.
"This guy troubling you miss?" Unbe-freaking-leivable! Why? Why did it always have to be the biggest damned beefcake in the place? Every…single…time.
Cal of course, didn't answer the guy, just looked at Dean with a shrug – what can I say? That's just the way it goes. – And a sweet smile. There was a deep sigh as Dean hung his head briefly, because apparently Cal was about to get her way tonight after all.
As usual the Beefcake mistook Cal's shrug as being a something along the lines of: I don't know…maybe...I'm just too sweet do anything about it myself. She'd played the innocent card to perfection. Dean felt the displacement of air as the guy swung his arm back, didn't even need to look up. Just swerved aside when the fist came at him so that it hit wall instead of the face it had been aiming for.
His hands hanging loosely at his sides, fingers curled into tight fists and Dean was plenty ready to hit the guy back when he finally looked up again. Lucky for Beefcake another large man had stepped between them. "It's okay man… he's my brother…and Cal's with him." Thank God for Sammy.
Of course, Sam's word wasn't enough for the guy. He had to look over at Cal for her nod. "Can't begrudge a girl for needing a little attention now and then…" Yeah, that sass of hers was not helping the situation.
Beefcake looked like he wanted to smash something. Apparently he was the macho type that didn't take well to being played around with. Wonderful. Not that Dean blamed the guy at all… it was just a damned inconvenient time to have to deal with his reaction.
Looked like the bar fight might happen after all, even with Sam stepping in…until Fran came up behind the Beefcake and put a hand on his forearm to distract him. "You'll have to forgive our hellcat over there. Never happier than when she's causing havoc that one. Come on back to the bar... Sam'n I will buy you a beer."
Dean always knew he liked that chic. He didn't wait to watch them walk back to the bar, just roughly 'guided' Cal out the door as she weakly protested, "Dude, I wasn't ready to leave yet."
"Oh yeah? Well I say you were."
"I'm going back in there Dean."
"The hell you are."
And just like that she was up and over his shoulder watching the backs of his legs work as he carried her across the parking lot. Yeah, the whole caveman deal had definitely grown on her.
When he did put her down it was to pin her between himself and the Impala. She had no where to go and that was fine by her. Cal let him know as much by putting a hand on either of his hips when he leaned in, one arm on either side of her head with palms resting on the black metal of his car, to rest his forehead on hers.
"You'll be the death of me, woman." It was a low growl that did wonderful things to her insides.
"Oh, don't give me that line Winchester. You knew what you signed up for when you came looking for me." Part of the fun was the fight.
"Yeah…doesn't mean it doesn't piss me off sometimes." For both of them.
"…was just having a little fun…"
"…driving me insane…" He groaned.
"Yeah." She grinned, not even bothering to try apologetic.
"Worked, you know?"
"That's the best part."
"No, best part is that you always leave with me." And suddenly he'd switched from angry to predatory, stealing a kiss and leaving her breathless.
"Only one thing to say about this…better've been wearing that damned ribbon for me this time and not some psycho-stalker vampire…"
"Only one guy in that place I wanted attention from…"
"…better've been me…"
"...Beefcake at the bar…" she was teasing him now. He didn't hate it.
"Get in the damn car Cal. We're going home. Gonna show you exactly what I think about that little stunt you pulled back there."
"Franny and Sam…?"
"Have the keys to the Mustang…getting married in a couple of weeks…can find their own way home."
Yeah, she really did like the whole caveman thing.
"Alright then Winchester, what're you waiting for? Your girl's ready to head home."
Chapter One – A few weeks later
"Remind me again why I agreed to do this?"
Franny asked as they pulled her old pickup truck into the farmhouse drive.
"Because Cal is your friend and she wants to do something nice, and normal with you for a change…"
"Sam, Since when is going to the bar with Cal ever normal? That girl hasn't had a fun night out unless the bar is trashed and somebody has her fist print on them when she leaves. I mean, seriously. My wedding is tomorrow and I'd rather not end up limping or with a black eye before then."
Sam of course could only laugh. Mostly because it really was true. Cal was never happier than when she was scrapping with somebody which always made a night out at the bar interesting.
"Don't worry sweetheart, Dean said he'd make her promise to behave…"
"Ha, right… and how exactly does he expect to accomplish that? He can be as bad as she is sometimes."
"I'm not sure, but he mentioned holding her chocolate stash hostage."
"Brave man, your brother. I mean that."
"Go and have fun, okay Franny? It's been a long time since you've gone out and had a little fun. Everything's been the bar, the hunt and the wedding lately… want you to relax and let loose a little before we get married tomorrow."
"Alright, I know. You're right. I do need this. I just have a bad feeling about tonight, you know? Probably just wedding jitters right?"
There was a loud knock on the passenger side window and, speak of the devil, Cal pulled open the door and popped her head in.
"You two done making kissy faces in here? Plenty of time for that tomorrow…I've got a full night planned for this girl and the sooner we get it started the better…"
Sam leaned in and kissed the soft spot next to Franny's ear. "Go on, enjoy it…and by this time tomorrow you'll be all mine." It was a whisper in her ear, one that Cal couldn't hear and it made her shiver pleasantly.
Somehow she managed to kiss him long and hard, even with Cal trying to pull her out of the car. Before she knew what was happening Fran was on her way to the Mustang laughing like she was sixteen again, racing Cal there for the chance to drive. Sam was right, everything would be okay.
Sam stood by the truck to watch them drive away. It was strange, this new life of theirs. Hard to believe that it was only nine months ago that Cal had waltzed in and shaken things up... six months ago that Franny had called him up looking for her. Now they were getting married…might even have kids one day. The thought made him smile. Heh, heh.
A gaggle of Winchester kids, hunters in training if Dean had anything to say about it… he could already picture it. The locals (their neighbors now he reminded himself) watching a bunch of rowdy, scruffy looking kids running through fields and down the sidewalks in town: Oh great, they'd say, here come those Winchester kids… hey, have you guys noticed how the rock salt always seems to disappear when they're around? Unhealthy interest in anything that burns too…and don't even get started on the sharp objects… What's with that family and all the road trips they take anyway? He was laughing to himself all the way into the kitchen.
As usual there was nothing short of an arsenal spread out over the kitchen table. Apparently it was weapons maintenance night at the Winchester/O'Sullivan residence again. Okay, yeah. So there were things he missed about being on the road, just the two of them and the Impala going from one small town to another. The smell of gun powder, rock salt and oil at all hours of the day and night was one of them. The sight of Dean just as he was now: buried under weaponry and completely oblivious to anything other than what he was doing, another.
It was ten steps to the fridge from the door. Sam took them silently and reached in to grab a couple of beers. Dean didn't look up until the bottle was set in front of him on the table.
"Thanks man." Sam just smiled and nodded. "They leave already?"
"Yeah, a few minutes ago."
"Good." Dean set down the revolver he'd been cleaning and got up, beer bottle in hand.
"Dean? Where're you going?" He was heading out the door and motioning for Sam to follow him.
"I've got something to give you. Been wanting to for weeks now but I couldn't do it with Cal around…"
What? He was keeping secrets from Cal? Well that was just asking for trouble. Had to be something pretty big.
It was mid-May and still a little cold in the evenings but the pace Dean was setting as they crossed the field behind the house kept them warm enough even without coats. A proud smile had started to spread across Dean's face as they got nearer to the small barn that stood just beyond the field on. It had been Cal's father's 'tool shed' where he'd kept all his hunting paraphernalia and now Cal and Dean were using it for the same purpose.
"Uh, Dean? Please tell me you haven't found us another hunt because I'm getting married tomorrow you know? Fran's okay with it all but I really don't think she'll want to have anything to do with 'salt and burn' or exorcisms on our wedding day."
"What? No, no, no Sam. It's nothing like that."
"Really? Okay… well, what then?"
"You'll see." Words tossed carelessly over his shoulder as he unlocked the barn door. There really wasn't anything more for Sam to do but follow him in and wait for whatever it was to be revealed.
Dean didn't bother flipping the switch for the lights. He knew every last inch of the barn by heart and had no trouble finding his way through it in the pitch black that swallowed them up when the door closed. So it was nothing really to find his way across the room through the darkness to the stairs that led up to the loft where all the books were kept. Where the gift he'd held on to for Sam all these years waited. Wasn't until they'd made it up the stairs that he bothered with flipping on a light switch.
The loft was Sam's favorite part of the barn. It had served Cal's father as a sort of office/reference type room before he'd died. The man had put a hell of a lot of work into it too. The whole barn had been weatherproofed and heated for the long, cold Ontarian winters and the walls of the loft were lined from floor to ceiling with shelves upon shelves of books and O'Sulivan family hunting journals spanning five generations. He and Dean had already spent many a night sitting at the huge wooden desk in the middle of the room. Pouring over countless pages of myth and folklore preparing what they needed for the hunts these last six months.
But that's not what they were here for this time.
Dean made a beeline for the desk, sat down and pulled out a small metal lockbox from one of the drawers. He looked over at Sam seeming to consider him seriously for a minute, a dramatic pause to stretch this thing he was doing out a little. Mostly because he figured – hey, this was the only chick flick moment he ever really wanted to have any part of - so he was totally going to stretch it out and do it right. Right?
It was working too. He could tell by the way Sam started squirming in the chair he sat down in, shooting him this curious 'what-the-hell?' type look. Yeah, the guy never had been able to handle suspense. This was going to be great.
"So I, uh, called Missouri a couple of months ago…right around the time you and Fran decided to get hitched…and I asked her to, um, send me something…something I'd stashed away in a deposit box back in Lawrence right after you left for Stanford." He was explaining, sort of…in a cryptic kind of way…as he fished a small key out of his shirt pocket.
"Anyway, I figured with the wedding tomorrow and everything…well it just kind of seemed right that I give it to you now." The lock clicked as Dean turned the key and Sam's eyes went wide when the gunmetal grey lid squeaked open.
"Are those…? God Dean… are those Mom's rings?"
"Yeah Sammy. They are. Dad gave 'em to me right after she died. He, uh, wanted me to hold on to them and keep them safe. Said that as long as I had them a little part of Mom would always be with us." He reached in and carefully lifted out the tiny single-diamond ring. "I, uh, know you guys decided that you didn't want rings…and I'd kind of like to hold on to the wedding band myself just in case Cal and I ever get around to settling down…I just think that maybe Mom would have wanted you to have one of these when the time came and…" he put the tiny ring into Sam's palm and had to smile at how huge his brothers hand suddenly seemed. "Dude, I honestly can't see that ring anywhere other than on Fran's finger."
Sam was stunned. For once he was actually speechless. "Dean…I…." Okay, so maybe not completely speechless but definitely the closest he's ever been to it. If there had ever been any doubt in Dean's mind – which, of course, there hadn't been – but if there had been… well when Sam reached over and snaked an arm around his shoulder and pulled him into a rough manly half-hug and whispered "Thanks man. It's…perfect" before pulling away and staring at the ring in his hand again with tears in his eyes Dean just knew he'd done the right thing.
Of course, there was a limit to Dean's tolerance for the touchy-feely type stuff. So after about a minute of watching Sammy just stare at his hand in awe he locked up the second ring again and tucked the box back into its drawer.
"Alright dude, this is getting a little uncomfortable seeing as I just filled my chick-flick quota for like, the next year at least. What do you say we head back to the farmhouse and grab another couple of beers from the fridge, maybe watch some TV? There's always some kind of hockey game going on up here… oh, and the late night movie tonight is Godzilla versus Mothra man! I haven't seen that one in ages." Not since they were kids actually, they'd been eight and twelve that last time.
The great thing about Sam? He understands Dean and the front he needs to hold on to, even at times like these when there's only Sam to see it come down. Understands that he needs to keep that emotion hidden out of sight because it's the only real weakness he has. Dean just doesn't do weak. Never has. So Sam nods his head once, tucks the little ring into his own shirt pocket and stands up.
"Hockey eh?" he says the way the local boys at the bar usually do, tugging a laugh out of his big brother. "Sounds good man. Maybe we can order some pizza too…" and that was that.
It was a beautiful morning that just screamed 'early spring'. The sun was bright and cheerful in a cloudless clear blue sky and the grass had grown in lush and green. There was birdsong in the air and a light breeze ruffling her hair. Yeah, all in all it was a beautiful day for a wedding.
Fran was humming softly to herself, happy-hearted and lightfooted as she made her way out to Cal's Mustang. It had been a challenge but she'd somehow managed to convince Sam and Cal to let her drive herself to the church that morning. She wanted a quiet morning to get ready. Fran would put her own hair up, do her own make-up because she'd always been a no-frills kind of girl…and then she'd take the twenty minute drive to the church and use that quiet, peaceful time to center herself. Funny that Dean would be the one to understand the need for this time. She didn't give the guy enough credit really. He'd stood up for her, making Sam see her side of it. Strong-arming Cal into letting Fran have her way.
Turning the key in the ignition she felt the car come to life around her, listened to the purr of the engine as it idled. Wouldn't be long now, twenty minutes and she'd be at the church… less than an hour and she'd officially be a Winchester. Happy, peaceful thoughts running through her mind she pushed the pedal down and sped across the countryside.
There was no possible way she could have seen it coming. The shadow crept up on the back of the Mustang like a cloud across the sun, out of her line of sight. It crept into the car through the open passenger side window and then all Fran could do was blink. The silent scream frozen in her mind, where she now found herself trapped. When her eyes opened again they weren't blue anymore, they were pitch black. The Mustang slowed, the person behind the wheel looked up into the rearview mirror. Black eyes blown wide and an evil smile…a blink…and then chocolate brown eyes were back. The Mustang sped up again as if nothing had happened. Headed toward the church…to Sam.
He'd been dreaming about the wedding ever since he'd proposed. Dreams that were more like visions really…and for once the things he had been seeing were good. Now that the day had come it all seemed so surreal.
It was small ceremony with little more than a handful of people. It's how Franny had wanted it, with a huge party back at the bar later that night for anyone who wanted to come celebrate with them.
Sam was standing at the front of the church facing back towards the open doors where Fran would make her appearance. Pastor Jim had come up with their father the night before and was standing behind them on the pulpit. Dean was right where he'd always been, at his side where he belonged. Sam still couldn't believe they'd managed to convince him to put the tux on. Of course the biker boots had made an appearance but that was just classic Dean right there. Sam wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
Cal sat next to Fran's parent's, smiling brightly up at 'her boys' as she'd been calling them since New York. She was all smiles and absolutely stunning in a bright blue slip of a dress. Sam could still see their Father's face when Dean had introduced her earlier that morning. His eyes had gone as wide as his smile when he took her hand in his.
"Caitlin… my God I haven't seen you since you were a little wisp of a thing. Six years old and hanging on to your father's leg like a lifeline."
This of course had Dean laughing so hard he doubled over, practically falling over himself. He'd seen pictures of her at pretty much all ages, they were scattered around the old farmhouse. After watching her wield machetes and decapitating vampires though it was really hard to reconcile the woman with the child and he didn't hesitate to say so either. This, of course, earned him a good hard elbow to the side…which made John laugh. Old Jacob would be proud, he'd told her. They hadn't met a girl yet who'd been able to keep Dean in line.
Missouri's tears flowing freely down her cheeks and John's held firmly back by sheer force of will. They may not have fallen, but they were there all the same shining brightly in his eyes and that was enough for Sam.
Fran's sister Carole was coming up the aisle towards them to take her place as the Maid of Honor…and then there was Fran in a simple white dress with a pretty sheer veil carrying a small bouquet of daisies. Simple and beautiful. Even Dean was affected by the sight, patting Sam lightly on the shoulder as she came towards them. Sam's heart swelled proudly making him feel like it was about to burst right out of his chest. This woman, this amazing woman wanted him… broken family, demon issues, hunting and all. Right at that moment he was about the luckiest man alive.
She was standing before him now, and he couldn't help the wide toothy grin he wore. He heard Jim's soft voice tell everyone to take their seats. The veil was so perfectly white, so very soft under his rough, callused fingertips. Every thing slowed around him as he gently lifted the material up, revealing her face little by little.
Lush lips, round dimpled cheeks… and those eyes. Those were what he wanted to see. Those warm, chocolate brown eyes… that were… not so chocolate brown. Heart stopping altogether he pulled his hands back quickly as eyes darker than midnight stared him down. Staggering back a step he ran right into Dean "Oh my God." Hushed whisper of shock from Sam. Dean didn't know what the hell was going on because all he could see was the wall of his brother's back but it couldn't be good. Not from the sound of Sam's voice.
Then there was Cal's voice, echoing Sam's with a harsher "Good God no!" followed by a collective seeming to come from all over the church at once.
Fran was running down the aisle now, racing away with her veil billowing behind her…Sam chasing but not quite able to catch up. The woman could run was all Dean could think as he watched it happen. Then she was through the church doors. Dean's instincts kicked and he was running towards his brother.
When Sam finally reached the doors he saw Fran in the middle of the dirt lot outside. Turning to look at him she reached out, fear in her eyes before they turned black again. The sound of a large explosion filled the air, accompanied by a flash of light so powerfully bright Sam had to lift his arm and shield his eyes. All in all it lasted less than a minute…and when the dust finally cleared Fran was gone.
Three Winchester men standing on the church steps in shock trying desperately to figure out just what the hell had just happened. Three sets of hazel eyes falling on the dirty white heap of cloth where Fran had last been standing. Only one man moved.
Sam's heavy footfall filled the unearthly sulfur filled silence. One large had fisted itself in the material at his feet and lifted it from the dirt. White silk, browned around the edges as if it had been burned. Charred and smelling of smoke and dust from the lot where it had been laying. A wedding dress. Her wedding dress.
Long lanky legs wobbled, knees buckled and Sam was bowed over himself, holding the dress tightly to his chest and struggling to breathe. There was only a vague awareness of a deep gravely voice (his father) asking what the hell had just happened. Then there were two sets of hands. Dean's strong, confident ones, hands he recognized by touch alone…and smaller ones that were just as strong, just as confident even as they shook. Cal's hands. They were guiding him to the Impala and he really didn't care. He was in shock. Couldn't reconcile in his head how something so right could have gone so completely and utterly wrong.
And somewhere, beneath all the shock and all the confusion there was a nagging little voice asking the scariest question of all: could she still be alive? Or had she died just now right in front of his eyes?
Please review, thx: )