Flyin' High. R

Complete. 6,981 words.

Dean, ofc, pre-series. Mostly gen. Contains vague spoliers for BUBAS. Same series as Down the Highway and A different Hole, but can standalone. Enjoy!


We got cars where I come from, but not anything like his car. His monster. I've said it before' I'll say it again an' again 'til somebody believes me.

It was that growling and ticking, chuckling down the street outside that woke me up. Made me alert instantly 'cause it's the only monster car I know, maybe the only one that exists, an' it sounded injured.

It's like Dean Winchester's secret knock or somethin'.

I remembered to switch the coffee pot on before I ventured down the stairs to open the front door, rubbin' the sleep outta my eyes. Maybe I was just impatient 'cause I was still more'n half asleep and standin' out on the side-walk in my PJ's and bare feet ain't my idea of heaven at 3:00am, but it felt to me like he was takin' his sweet time getting outta the freakin' car.

Took me twice as long as it normally would've, say during daylight hours, to realize that he was slowed and staggering 'cause there was something wrong, and not 'cause he's an awkward jackass.

He got out and leaned back against his door for a second, hunched, and I heard my own bare feet slappin' on the tarmac before I realized I was going towards him.

"What in the name'a hell's eye teeth happened t'you?" Blood and mud..and slime? All over him. I couldn't even smell if he was in pain or not 'cause my nostrils were overpowered with the real scent of whiskey...Something else a bit fouler. He snorted a laugh. It might've been a cough.

"That's a new one...Hi Fay, mind if I use your bathroom?" He straightened with a whoosh of breath, pushed away from the car. I followed him back inside, hovering touches over him, not sure whether he needed steadying. Listened to him groan when he got to the stairs.

"Wanna answer my question there, cowboy?" He was slow to ascend the stairs, clearly laboured, and I followed close behind at my own risk, worried he might topple backwards onto me. Got m'self a close-up of some more blood, dried brown an' soaked into the waist and ass of his formerly blue jeans. Black sticky smear across the backs of his knees.

"Lambton Worm," he muttered, pushing through the top door into the apartment.

"Lambton Worm," I repeated dumbly. I don't know a whole bunch about'em, not my area of expertise, but I do know enough to know that there was no way he could'a possibly gotten this banged up from one'a them things.

He shed his leather on the way to the bathroom, turned the light on and made me hiss, blink the glare outta my eyes crankily. He was filthy. The middle finger of his left hand was crooked broke from what I could see. The back of his t-shirt'd been soaked with more brown blood and left alone long enough that it'd hardened into the material, made it like cardboard to touch.

"You know anythin' 'bout dislocated fingers?" He was swaying, good hand gripping the edge of the sink, the only thing keeping'm upright. Still got no idea how he'd managed to drive in the fuckin' state he was in. If that ain't proof to reinforce my idea that his damn car's alive and it drives itself, I dunno what is.

"Nuh-uh...Look, I think you needt'a siddown, Dean, please, 'fore you fall down?" But he just shook his head, sucked in two lungfuls of air before he grabbed onto his injured finger with his right hand to keep it straight and used his thumb to shove it back into the joint. A vile, loud click that made my toes curl in the worst way.

I smelled the pain then, a sharp kick out of his whisky haze. It almost had me vomiting, so I didn't hold it against him, just went down to the shop t'get the first aid supplies so I didn't hafta watch when he started throwing up in the sink.

M'far from squeamish but I've never been able to watch other folk lose their lunch without getting sympathy urges to so the same thing m'self.

---------------

"A Lambton Worm?" It didn't make any sense. I had Dean sittin' on the side of the bath while I cut his t-shirt away. Hadta to use a sponge and soak the bits where the cotton'd been glued to the cuts and oozing scrapes on his back, ease it away so's not to re-open anythin'. Dean jumped a little, stung, when I prodded experimentally at a tender lookin' bruise round his lower ribs. Weren't broken, though.

"Knocked me down a hill," he confessed, sullen, rubbing at his temples. That made more sense. Injured from a steep fall over rocks and who knows what else, rather than the Worm itself. Still...

"I think this top one might need a stitch or seven. Want me to do it? Or you wanna go to a clin-"

"You do it."

"Alright. Cinch-up." Not that he needed a warning.

There must've still been enough alcohol in his system for it to numb him, 'cause he didn't even flinch when I started sewing. I know shoulders an' the like aren't real sensitive areas, anyway, but I don't think he even realised I'd started. Pretty frightening to think how drunk he must have been on his way here.

"So how'd it knock you down a hill?" It's a habit I'm into from inflicting tattoo's on people all day long, talking to a person while I'm sticking needles in'em. Supposed to be a pleasant distraction. Dean just seemed irritated by it, not that I was gonna let that stop me. He sighed, put-upon.

"Guess they aren't as blind as everybody says they are," he offered up eventually. Steady embarrassment coming off him so strong I could taste it. Not just from the Worm thing, I guessed. It smelled older than his cuts and bruises.

I bit my lip. Then my tongue, t'stop myself from telling him that even I know that Lambton Worms're only blind when you mean'em no harm, and since he was out lookin' to kill the thing, it probably had eyes at both ends 'specially for him. Usually, hunter's consider'em minor pests, killing sheep and sometimes cattle. But they go after'em in two's just the same.

If he'd bothered to pick up any piece of reading on'em, that would'a been the first thing he saw. I finished stitching him up, cleaned up the deeper scratches and offered him the shower and the spare bedroom for when he was done.

I swear he actually hesitated before he nodded and shoo'd me outta the bathroom. Dunno where the hell he was planning on running off to, at four in the morning half drunk and half broken, but he damn sure thought about it. He stood still long enough for me to patch dressings on his back after he was done in the shower, then landed face first in the spare bed.

I figured it was useless for me to go back to bed. Had a delivery due at six anyways, so I took a glass of orange juice an' some painkillers and left'em for him t'find on his nightstand. Then I found a book, one of Bobby's, found the chapter in it with all the information anyone could ever need about Lambton Worms and other such unnatural swamp creatures, and left that open on the nightstand too.

---------------

The first I saw of Dean the next day was through the shop window. Me and everybody else in the street got to watch him mosey on out to his car, in just rectangles of white bandages and his dirty jeans, forever stained with blood and Worm slime.

Granted, it was the middle'a summer, and a nice day, and it's true people often leave my premises with dressings taped to their skin, but this town don't get a lotta strangers and nobody was expectin' to see him lookin' like that.

The bruises were a deep blue already, seeping out over his shoulders and under his ribs like a cloudy spilt watercolor. Obvious he'd been tossed around and not tattoo'd, but he didn't care for one second about the looks he was gettin' so I wasn't gonna waste my time caring, either.

I watched him drop down to his hands and knees to look under his car. Smiled and handed over a pair of natural coca wood and custom fitted flesh plugs to the girl who'd ordered'em a week ago. She was distracted by the spectacle that was Dean too, and we both watched him rising from the tarmac stiffly with an even bigger frown than the one he'd been wearing before.

He marched into the shop with a purpose but apparently forgot it once he took a look at the place.

"S'different in here," he said, glancing around himself, up at the walls. All the browsers got a good eyeful of him while he was distracted, to tell about later no doubt. I snorted.

"S'been two years since you was here last, what'd you expect?" I asked him. Dean shrugged, plopped his duffel down between us and rustled through it, making something metal inside clang dangerously with the glass counter he'd set it on. Made me grit my teeth.

"Duel exhaust's fucked. There a decent garage around here?" He found a button-down, gingerly shrugged it on and started buttoning it.

"Theres one just a few blocks from here, f'you wanna take y'car in. Another one just as you come into town," I informed him, watching that miraculously unscathed chest disappear bit by bit behind blue plaid. His collar bones too prominent, even for my lithe tastes. He shook his head.

"I'll do the labour myself, I just need to order a new exhaust." He rubbed a palm over his mouth, squeezed his eyes shut against the daylight. He looked tired. Miserable. Hungover and plain old beat up on top of that.

Smelled like shame, not real strong, but enough that I could smell it, and my ability to smell these things was diminishing by the day. I felt my eyes prickle, and it was ridiculous really, but shame's one'a the worst and saddest things for a person to be feelin' and I guess I was just sorry. Sorry that Dean Winchester, of all people, was feelin' it.

"What happened, man? How'd all this happen?"

It took him a long minute to open his eyes and answer me, and even then it wasn't really an answer.

"I told you. Worm. You got the number's for those garages?"

I sighed. Let him know he could use the phone up in the apartment, that the phone book was right next to it 'cause I'm practical like that. Asked him t'do me a favor and find somewhere to order us both lunch from while he was at it.

Figured correctly that he wouldn't say no to some grub if doing so might deny me, a mere and meek young girl-thing, of my lunch, too.

Dean's a big brother before he's anything else, just about anyone who's ever spent any time with'm could tell you that, so it was easy to use that fact that he thinks I'm younger'n him against him. If manipulating him was the only way I was gonna get him t'eat somethin' solid then it was fine by me.

I went up to find him around 1:00pm. He'd taken his shirt off again, must'a been buggin' his wounds, and was devouring the biggest sandwich I ever saw at the kitchen table. Another one just like it sitting on a plate opposite him, waiting for me.

"Ewe wanch 'offee?" He asked me, around a mouthful'a mashed up meatball. I took a seat, trying not to laugh. For all his making out that he's just'a pretty face, Dean ain't an easy guy to manipulate. Sometimes, I'm so cunning I impress myself.

"No thanks, I'll drink water with mine...You call the auto-shop?"

He actually swallowed his food before answering, "Yeah, uh, it's gonna take a few days, they had to order in the parts..."

"You're welcome to stay here s'long as you need, compadre." Magic words. Not that Dean knew it at the time.

He nodded a thanks, got back to his important sandwich. I watched him chew for a minute before he looked up at me again. Wiped some tomato sauce off the corner of his mouth and actually looked at me for the first time since he got here, one of those head to foot sweeps then an extra few seconds searching for the wings he knew he'd seen there before.

"You put on some weight. Looks good on you," he told me, complimentary half smile on his face. I almost told him how he'd lost some weight so it must be the universe balancing things out.

"Caleb introduced me to chips an' cherry coke," I explained instead. Dean smirked, nodded.

"You look good," he said, serious, then continued the demolition of his five tier sandwich.

I know the polite responses to that, but I can't lie, so I didn't say anythin'. Ended up leaving more'n half'a my sandwich, and by the time I shut up shop around 8:00pm, Dean'd gone back to bed.

That was Saturday.

----------------

It was completely scorching outside on Sunday, so being inside was like tryin'a walk on the face of the sun. Unbearable. High end of June. Too hot for Dean to work on the car, even if he'd had all the parts. I thought I was gonna boil in my skin so I went and found Dean trying to nap on the couch, asked him if he wanted t'go out someplace.

He squinted against the sun that'd broken into the living room, looked up with one green eye, shining at me like my favorite marble.

We went for a leisurely walk to the main strip, did some shopping and Dean made fun of the locals who were whisperin' about us, burning up in their Sunday clothes.

Mostly, I shopped, the only thing Dean bought was a bottle'a water that he finished in two hearty swigs. I swapped him his empty bottle for a punnet of grapes on our slow meander back to the 'partment.

I don't mind hot days so much when you can be outside. Kinda reminds me of home. I like'em better than cold days, at any rate. I got the impression that Dean was the opposite of me. Sweating so much the dressings on his back wouldn't stay stuck, he eventually just yanked his top off again, searching for fresh air to his wounds.

Glared at anyone who looked at him funny and glared at me when I joked that nobody could blame our audience for their curiosity, 'cause a couple'a them cuts looked like they could'a come form his master's whip.

We watched a few girls go past on the road, being taught to ride sideways on hulking brown horses, labored in the heat. Dean shook his head, looking disgusted.

"Riding sidesaddle was designed to protect a young maiden's virginity," I quoted at him primly.

I'd read that in some book that Pastor Jim sent me, about medieval English knights. A fairy tale. Virgins ride horses the same way as everybody else, where I come from. It was one'a the most ridiculous things I've ever read. Apparently, Dean thought so as well, he huffed a condescending laugh.

"Yeah, risking a young maiden's neck in the process," he said, watching them clip-clop by, "s'freakin' stupid."

"Stupid, huh?" I plucked a grape off the stalk. Dean copied me, popped one in 'is mouth and held it, a lump in his cheek.

"Fuckin' right it's stupid. Risking something important for the sake of something dumb? Stupid."

I guess Dean's never been a young maiden with his virtue to worry about, or it wouldn't be so dumb then. Although, m'pretty sure that's not what we were talking 'bout anymore, anyway.

A lot of stuff was stupid that day, according t'Dean. The sun was stupid, especially. My slow town was stupid. His sore middle finger was fucking stupid, every time he forgot and grabbed something with his left hand.

If I'm honest though, I was kinda glad for the company. It gets kinda lonely here sometimes, s'nice to have someone to just wander around with. Even if that someone thought my kitchen was stupid for only having fruit and cheesy Doritos in it when he was feelin' peckish.

---------------

On Monday, it was almost just as sweltering again. And the glass shop front made it like a green-house to be inside. Dean was in and out all day, leaving mucky fingerprints all over everythin' from whatever he'd been doing under his car, his knuckles scraped bloody from carelessness. Still refusing to splint his middle finger, and I ain't his mother, s'not like I could make him wear one.

"A tattoo parlor, huh?" He was having a break from car meddling, although he still had some detached engine part that he was workin' over with an oily rag. Sittin' in the doorway of the open fire exit, savoring the breeze from the wind-trap of the back alley it opened onto.

"Yep. Tattooing's what I've always done." My family name was kinda famous for it, back home. Dean pursed his mouth, considering something. I went to help a high school girl pick out an appropriate bellybutton ring.

Dean disappeared for a couple of hours after that, I think he went to do laundry or somethin'. He couldn't'a gone far, 'cause his beloved was still parked, proudly taking up most'a the room in the tiny parking bay near the shop. I closed up a little early and decided I was gonna sit and stew in a tepid bath for a bit while he was gone, see if that could shift the headache I was hosting.

Of course, I'd just gotten settled in it, had a new book balanced on the towel rack an' everything, when I heard Dean come banging through the front door.

"Fay? Hey listen, you wanna give me a spare key or something? I might be in an' out all day tomorrow." His voice muffled and moving, through some walls. He must'a picked the lock to get in, even though there'd been no need. "I brought take-out...Yo, Tinkerbell? Where are you?" Voice closer, maybe stickin' his head in my bedroom.

"Bathroom," I hollered, just as he pushed in the door. I pulled my knees up fast, made some water slosh out, opened my mouth to ask him what the fuck was wrong with his brain? Walkin' in on a girl in her bathroom? But I didn't. Couldn't maybe. The look on his face was weird. Different than anythin' I'd seen on him before, and he wasn't lookin' right at me, not really.

Could smell something, and I actually hadta try. Even when I caught it, I couldn't recognize it. Whether it was 'cause it was a new smell or it was just my other-sense fading, I couldn't tell. I couldn't smell anything on people I didn't already know, by then.

It's gone altogether these days, and I can't say I even miss it all that much.

"Dean?" He snapped out of whatever memory'd snared his concentration on hearing me ask his name, dropped his eyes to the floor tiles. When he looked back up again his face was full of mischief and I almost groaned.

He tapped one knuckle against the door twice. "You decent?" He asked, smirking.

"You wanna get the fuck outta here?" I fired back, pulling my knees in a little tighter, making sure my tits were hidden, squashed behind'em. Dean cocked his head thoughtfully, then came in and shut the door behind himself, started toeing off his boots.

I was honestly struck speechless, by the nerve of him. Dean Winchester's lack of manners is downright indecent sometimes. I did my best impersonation of what an appalled person looks like.

"What in the hell d'ya think you're playin' at?" Couldn't stay mute for long.

He pretended not to hear, pulled his shirt off carefully then grinned at me, trying to be charming.

"You look lonely, 'Sthere room in there for one more?"

"No!" I told him, horrified that he was even thinking about it. "Don't you dare." Didn't make any difference though, 'cause not a minute later he was climbing into the bath behind me and getting himself comfortable.

Making long breathy noises that should be obscene, relieved in the room temperature water. Being soothed from the heat we'd been suffering all day.

"Would'jew relax? M'not gonna bite'cha," he mumbled cheerfully, nudging me with a hairy leg that'd snuck around one side'a me. His other calf was hanging over the side of th'bath, giving me a little elbow room. I scowled at it. Didn't know what to do with myself.

Dean was patient, though. Either that or he didn't care, and when I did eventually twist my neck around, keeping my gaze carefully above the water level, he let the arm that'd been reaching up to try'n feel what he knew he could see splash back into the water and just smiled at me, easy and slow.

"You're wings're showin'." He said it like he'd won something, then let his eyes flicker all over me like a little victory dance. I already knew they were out, could feel the water drops tickling on'em. Could see'em in the shiny taps, reflecting rainbows back at me. I frowned at him, and he sighed when they went away.

"I've seen you naked before, Fay."

"No you haven't."

"...Well, near enough...We fucked, same difference." He sat up a tad, grabbed my upper arms and pulled me back against him, chuckled at how stiff I was. Shifted me around 'tween his legs 'til his valuables weren't in any danger of being crushed, then relaxed again.

Perfect. He could see all'a me and I could see nothing 'cept his pale legs. Wasn't fair, and I told him so, but he just chuckled again. Rumbling jolts against my spine.

"You shouldn't be soaking them wounds. You don't know what's in this bathwater-"

"-You're in this bathwater-"

"-Don't come cryin' to me when they fester and you grow a hunch back."

Dean snorted, let one hand creep around my ribs and slide up, up 'til it found doughy boob, then down, in the water, down 'til he hit a hard pelvic bone. Can't seem to get rid of them bones, no matter how many chips I eat, they still stick out at me in the mirror. His hand kept that pattern, same route, over and over.

We didn't say anythin' for a long time. Just the odd shift and splash, I stuck my leg out straight and compared it with his. I thought about English knights and remembered I needed to order some more boxes of sterile gloves. Needed to make sure they sent the smalls, 'cause they sent mediums lasstime and they was no good.

Watched Dean trying to snag my loofah with his toes. I dunno how long we sat like that. It was starting to get cold, though. Sun gone down outside and the bathroom gray. I thought Dean might'a fallen asleep but then he started talking.

"She said I was nuts..." He blew it out with a sigh, let it sail out into the world like something proper and final. "Kicked me out. Said she was gonna call the cops...It was fucked up." I didn't know who she was yet, but even that tiny admission explained a little. I didn't respond, waited to see'f he'd keep goin'.

"Maybe I should just marry you, huh? You'd marry me, right?"

I laughed at him, surprised. "Sure I would."

"This's not a bad neighborhood. I'd use this place like a home-base...We'd have a couple'a freaky hybrid kids."

"A girl and boy," I chimed in, playing along. Felt Dean nod, approving.

"I'd cut down on hunting, take the kids out places on the weekends...The girl, she'd be president one day maybe, and the boy...He'd be a hippie, back-pack 'round Europe for a few years, then join the Army or somethin'...And we could retire. You could sell the shop to a Starbucks."

I wasn't to keen on that Starbucks idea, but what the hell. "I could get all chubby from doing nothin' but baking all day long," I added, gleeful. Dean laughed, his fingers diggin' in to the softer flesh of my belly for a second.

"Yeah," he agreed, "and we'd find a swingers club so our sex life wouldn't get boring..."

"What's a swingers club?" I wondered out loud, rotating on his chest so I could see 'is face. Dean laughed again, looked down at me fondly. Patted my head like I was a kid.

"You'll hafta wait and see," he said eventually, ominously, eyes back on the ceiling.

There was another long pause after that, and I kinda wanted to shine a flashlight in his ear, see what I could see. I shivered instead, hauled myself upright, and got outta the tub. Knelt down when I was wrapped up in a warm towel, propped my elbows on the slippery edge and peered at Dean. He peered back. The sun'd brought out the freckles across his nose.

"I don't think you're nuts, Dean. And I'm a pretty good judge'a these things."

The corner of his mouth twitched. "I'm lying in a cold bath, planning my never-gonna-happen-kids futures, with a fuckin' fairy."

Maybe he is a fuckin' loony. But who isn't a little bit crazy? Don't make him bad, or wrong. Doesn't change the fact that the only thing he's ever done with his life is save other peoples.

"That don't mean you're nuts," I told him, 'cause I never know how to say what I really ought'a be tellin' him. Not that he'd take me seriously for one second.

He snorted. Petulant. "Yeah? What does it mean then, Dr. Phil?"

"Maybe it means you're lucky...And I ain't a fairy. Now get'cher ass outta there, cowpoke, an' I'll heat up that take-out you brought."

I went and did exactly that after I'd put on some slack clothes. Ignored Dean when he strolled in two minutes after me, all impressed that I knew how to use a microwave.

We simmered down on the couch and Dean told me snippets about his Cassie around mouthfuls of Thai in exchange for snippets from me about me. How they met and where they went on their first date Vs. Why I can see in the dark and can't tell lies. The first and last time they fucked Vs. How I got here.

Couldn't tell you how, but...She kinda reminded me of my mom Vs. I come from a place where there are no men.

We talked a lot. Watched some movie Dean found on TV about guys in black suits who shot folk and swore at each other a whole lot. I guess I must'a fell asleep halfway through, 'cause I can't remember what happened in the end.

Woke up still on the couch, tucked under Dean's heavy arm with his steady heartbeat going right in my ear. Sun'd just come up, firey orange glow invading the living room.

I knee'd Dean in the gut when I tried to climb over, guess that's what woke'm up. His eyes slitted open and his hands clamped around my hips, anchoring me.

"Where you goin'?" He slurred. Had a button from a couch cushion imprinted red, just under his temple.

"T'brush my teeth," I said.

"Why? You got morning breath?" He mumbled at me, still drowsy, eye's blinking wider with each waking second.

"'Course I have...'Sa natural morning occurrence," I told him cheerily, trying to breathe on him as much as possible. "You got it too I bet, lemme smell yours."

Dean smiled, opened his mouth for my nose to inspect and laughed when I leaned in and inhaled deeply. Old Thai food, last night's beer, teeth, slept in mouth. Nothing unnatural.

"You know what else is a natural morning occurrence?" Dean asked lazily, and I was about to ask him what, but then he pulled me down onto him, pushed his hips up to meet me a little. Let me feel it for myself. Started something.

"Oh..."

"Oh." He repeated smugly.

"Well, I ain't smelling that," I told him. Probably sounded a tad shaky, 'cause he was right there between my legs. Hard, clear line of pressure through just his boxers and my PJ bottoms, barely grinding, just enough that I knew it. Perfect and mortifying, just like I remembered it.

That's when I heard boots on the stairs, boots that I would'a heard earlier if Dean hadn'ta been distractin' me with 'is body parts.

"Someone's coming." I looked down at Dean, wriggled roughly in a way I hoped wasn't appealing, trying to get him t'let me up.

"That's the plan." He smirked, enjoying it, grabbed my ass. I thumped him in the chest.

"Someone's coming up the stairs. Coming here," I corrected, annoyed. But then Caleb was dropping his car keys on the phone table, shrugging out of his jacket. He had it halfway down his arms before he looked up and spotted us, frozen in a compromising position like a couple'a guilty teenagers on the couch.

Ended whatever that something'd been, right quick. I was grateful, felt like my whole body was blushing.

---------------

Dean worked on the car, all day long. Came back from the garage in it at about midday and parked in the mouth of the alley where the sun couldn't scorch the metal, ignoring the no parking signs. Came into the shop around three, a little chunk missing from his forearm, let me stick a Powerpuff Girls plaster over it, then went back out to work.

I see him again at around five. I'd nipped out and got me two large cups'a coffee and I guess he smelled it or something, followed his nose and sat behind the counter with me, enjoying his hot and plain. Black and metallic. Letting himself be fascinated by the jewelery in the display case next'a his head so he didn't hafta talk to me.

Caleb'd done nothin' but embarrass us all. Made me wonder how he could'a ended up so tactless when he had so many sisters. Wouldn't even let us leave the couch t'get dressed before he started his lecturing. Must'a forgot that I ain't his daughter, and that Dean was twenty-five years old. A grown man.

"Caleb... It's fine, alright? Dean knows...an' we weren't even-"

"-Fay, honey, I know you might be fond of Dean...But you know the risks, you can't go 'round tellin' people about yourself, I don't know how many times we've talked about this."

"I didn't tell him."

"What?"

"...Dean can see. Dean saw my wings, saw the difference for himself. He's known since the last time him and his daddy was here."

Broke my heart to say it, just like I'm sure it broke his heart to hear it. 'Cause Caleb'd never seen, and he'd spent time trying. He'd wanted to see but it never happened. Just the way things are.

Dean'd raised his brows at me, a question, maybe. Caleb'd just blinked a few times, looked between me and Dean for a long minute, then mumbled something about coming back to visit me at the weekend.

Dean saw'm out to his car, and came back in lookin' pretty pissed. Fuck knows what they'd said to each other.

Trouble came wandering into the shop just as I was about to ask Dean about it, distracted me for a few minutes. Fifteen years old, and he wanted a different, more controversial tattoo or piercing every other week. I think he had a crush on me or somethin'.

"What is it this week, buddy?" I leaned on the counter amiably, even though we both well knew how it always went

"You know Fay, I've been thinking, and I'd like you pierce my scrotum," he said reasonably. Dean choked on his coffee behind me. Trouble glanced over briefly, unimpressed.

"Well, kid, I gotta tell you a piercing like that is one'a the most painful a man can inflict on himself," I said to him seriously. He nodded, understanding and unperturbed.

"It's also at risk of easy injury, very prone to infection an' highly likely to reject after a few uncomfortable days," I informed him next, although it ain't anything he hadn't heard from me before. He nodded his head again. Already aware of all that. I think Dean squeaked.

"You gotta shave your balls first, too. And come back fortnightly so I can change the jewelry as the swelling goes down," I warned. Trouble arched a bushy eyebrow at me, leaned a hip against the counter, picked up Zippo from the display. Not put off at all.

"Dude, are you outta your fucking mind?" Dean burst out, at my shoulder suddenly. Trouble only looked up, smirked.

"It's not cheap, as far as piercings go. And if it does take, it likely wont last longer'n five years before you hafta take it out. You'll have a scar," I try. Still nothing, so I leaned on my elbows, got in close to his face for the most important part. "Most men don't derive any sexual pleasure or extra sensitivity from having it done, 's purely decorative."

"S'purely fuckin' psychotic," Dean muttered helpfully.

"Fay. My mind is made up," Trouble said firmly.

"Alright...Just lemme see some ID and I'll book ya straight in."

Dean snickered, and Trouble tried to stare me down, like he did every time I asked for proof that he was eighteen. And like every other time, I won, 'cause he hadn't got any. He sighed eventually, deflated.

"Fine. Book me in for my eighteenth birthday?"

"Will do." I saluted him and he went off to explore, nose around for anything new. I sat back down and shared a look with Dean over our coffee cups. Welcomed him t'my world.

"Hey, Fay...Do you have any tattoo's?" Trouble asked, on his way out two minutes later. I shook my head, but Dean looked up from the transfer booklet he was skimming through.

"Sure she does. She's got 'everybody's weird' tattooed on her ass," he announced, and slapped my ass hard, for good measure. Trouble snickered and disappeared out the front door. I sighed, gave Dean a sour look that sailed right off his back 'cause he was too busy positioning a Celtic knot precisely on his bicep to notice.

Even though the shop was slow after that, all we did was stick tattoo transfers all over ourselves while I tried to goad Dean into lettin' me drill some ink into him for real. Never did get around to askin' what Caleb'd said to him. It might'a been nothin'.

---------------

On Wednesday, Dean brought a puppy into the shop and told me it was mine. There was a pair'a college girls in, and they started aww-ing an' cooing allover him and his new friend.

I shook my head, folded my arms and told him to take it out of the shop before a health inspector came along and shut me down. He didn't though, he just set the little bundle'o'fur down on the floor.

"What? They don't have dog's where you come from? Why wouldn't you want him?" Dean frowned, looking hurt. I sighed

"Of course we got dogs." Working dogs. For hunting and guarding and sniffing. Not for pets. I looked at the brown wiggling little thing. It ran straight into a chair leg.

"It's dumb!" I pointed out.

Dean looked offended, like I'd just made a quip at the expense of his mother, scooped his friend up to console it, let it lick at his chin.

"He's not dumb, he's just a baby, you gotta train him..."

We took it for a walk, on Dean's insistence, through a little park right in the center of town, nothing more'n an artificial pond with a path around it that joggers like to use as a running track.

He wasn't a brand new puppy, was at least a few months old, all gigantic feet and ears, bouncing around everywhere, following after every person we passed like it worshipped'em.

Dean'd been talking my ear off with all the arguments he could muster up in favor of me keeping the puppy. Good security. Good company. Good security, again. It might help you pick up guys...Or girls! Um...Good company...

"Where'd you get it from, anyway?" We were sitting on the grass. I was making a daisy chain. My second attempt 'cause the dog'd ate my first one. Dean hauled the thing up onto his chest. I watched it's little tail whip back'n'forth wildly as Dean made kissy faces at it. Couldn't hold back a grin at them.

"From the guy who runs the garage. What're you gonna call him?"

I just looked at him, raised an unimpressed eyebrow. At the time, I was sure I wasn't keeping it. Absolutely no arguments, Dean was gonna take it back to where it came from. Wasn't getting anywhere near my apartment, last thing I needed was a dumb dog slobbering all over everything.

I gotta admit though, the damn thing has come in handy over the years. Like the time it saved Caleb's ass from the re-animated corpse of a famous baseball player the first time he took it with him on a hunt. Funny fuckin' story, that. It's Dean's favorite.

And last year, when it went fuckin' ballistic in the middle of the night. Woke me up in time to hear someone trying the front door, then all the downstairs locks, then the fire-escape window. Looked like Sam Winchester, sounded like him, too, when he started elbowing the glass, asking me to let him in.

Sam would'a gotten in on his first try of the front door. Would'a just opened for'm 'cause Sam's welcome anytime. Whatever was wearing him that night? Wasn't welcome. No fuckin' way it was getting in.

Apparently it wore Sam to Bobby's place after it'd visited me. 'Cept that crazy-ass Bobby invited it right in and gave it a cold beer. I've heard the story of the big showdown that happened there more times than I wanted to. Though, the embellished versions, I expect.

The dog was a complete predator f'days after that visit. Went apeshit at everybody who came anywhere near us when we were out, which was fine by me at the time, I loved'm for it. He'd proved he could recognize evil when he smelled it, and knew how to act accordingly. That's something I can appreciate in a pet.

"I'm not naming it. You name it if y'like it so much," I said, stubborn. So Dean did, and that's the short version of how I ended up with a dog called Fang.

---------------

On Thursday, Dean got up early so he could finish up whatever he'd been doing with the car before the sun got to the metal. He was already covered in grease up to 'is elbows by the time I went downstairs to open up. Fang was lyin' in the shade by his feet like something loyal. Long pink tongue flopped out the side of his big mouth, lookin' dopey, panting.

"Almost done." Dean grinned at me, peeking out from behind the erected hood, wiping his hands futilely on the gray shirt tucked in his waist-band. Bruises were all kinds of green and yellow already. He looked better.

Guess all he needed was a few days of fixin' his car in the sun to clear his head, 'cause his body and soul already know how to heal up pretty quick.

John Winchester must of looked me up. Gotta call from him at around 10:00am. Caleb must'a called him and ratted us out. He sounded urgent when I picked up. Made sure Dean was here and was okay, then asked if the Impala was okay, then kindly asked me to get Dean for him.

"Think Caleb ratted us out?" Dean mumbled at me, smirking, after I'd yelled out of the shop door that his daddy was on the phone and he'd come inside to take it.

There was a whole lotta yes sir's, I lost my cell, I'm fine, where are you?And reassurances that the car was in working order and some lip biting from Dean's end of the conversation. They weren't on the phone for long, which is a man trait, apparently. It ended with a yes sir, we broke up...No problem, I can be there by tonight.

He washed and waxed his car. Came into the shop shiny an' clean-shaven an hour after that, packed and ready to hit the road. A little early, by my estimations, and when I told him so he just grinned at me, bashful all of a sudden.

"Got some unfinished business with a Lambton Worm to take care of first," he explained.

Scuffed his feet like I'd just asked him to read me a poem or somethin' when I opened my arms for a hug, then rolled his eyes like it was a tough chore when I pulled him into it.

Just like every other chore Dean does though, he did it right. Squeezed me back and warned me to take care.

Me an' the dog stood and watched the tail end of his car, driving off to do what it does best.

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Has been X-posted over at LJ. Feedback welcome.