Okay, I was home with my sick kiddo today and had this idea. Future fic set after the final confrontation with the yellow-eyed-demon (which they won – duh). Dean and Sam have a new contact, who gets further under Dean's skin than anyone thought possible. Oh – and I love feedback!
Light and Dark
Dean nursed his beer, shifting his gaze occasionally from the door to his baby brother. This was all just so screwed up, he did not even know where it started. Well, with Sammy's birth, obviously, but you know, other than THAT. Maybe it was when Sam thought there was an avenging angel, which Dean thought was the dumbest thing his brother had ever come up with. And that included ditching the family for Stanford. But Sammy had harped on that warrior angel thing for a while, until he found out it was just another vengeful spirit but with a conscience. Actually a refreshing change from the norm.
Dean picked at the soggy beer label, one eye still on the door. He chanced a glance at Sam's face. The kid looked like he was waiting for the freakin' Pope to show up. Or one better. There was this light in Sam's face that pissed Dean off no end. Nobody should be able to have a hold on his little brother like that, he didn't care who it was. Not even him. He was half tempted to turn the now empty beer bottle over Sammy's thick skull and haul his sorry butt out of there when the door opened.
He sighed when he saw who walked through. It was a large man with bulging muscles, dark, wild wind-swept hair, and fiery blue eyes. Dean felt his brother sit up straighter, his frame tense, when the dude walked in. Dean considered telling Sam he ought to go get a room, but he knew that would only earn him a trip through the plate glass window so he kept his mouth shut.
The big man walked straight over to them without bothering to look at anyone else in the room, like he knew exactly where they were and why. Which, of course, he did. He slid into the booth opposite them.
"Hey, Mike," Dean said casually, as if they met like this everyday. "Beer?"
Mike gave him a snarl. "It's Michael."
"Dude, that didn't stop me from calling him Sammy. What makes you think it'll work with you?" Dean leaned forward, daring Mike to do something about it. He felt Sam's hand pulling him back.
"Dean's just stubborn that way, Michael," Sam said and actually sounded like he was friggin' apologizing. Dean rolled his eyes in a way Mike was sure to notice, not that the dude ever missed a damn thing.
"But you like it," Mike told Sam, pointedly ignoring Dean. Usually that served to piss Dean off more, but not this time. This conversation he had some interest in.
"Only from Dean," Sam replied, his face hardening. The message was clear – Mike was not being invited to call him by that nickname. Dean felt like sniggering at the brief look of confusion on Mike's face. Served the bastard right, horning in on his only family like this.
Mike waved a waitress over to order a cold lemonade. Dean did snigger then, ordering two more beers for him and Sam. Each. He figured he would need at least that just to get through the next ten minutes. The waitress gave him a funny look, but Mike smiled and nodded at her and she seemed to forget any reservations she might have had. Now that was an ability Dean might like to have. Of course, he had his own homemade version which involved a lot of smiling and flirting, but that took a little time and a lot of skill. Mike could do it with a single smile or frown, depending on his mood. And did he have some moods!
"So what do you have for us?" Sam asked eagerly. Apparently his brief ire at Mike was forgotten now. Dean looked for the waitress. Where was his damn beer?
"It's coming," Mike told him. "Just be patient."
"Don't. Do. That." Dean glared. It was taking every last fiber of his being not to leap across the table and pound on this asshole. Not that it would do anything but make him feel just a teensy bit better. The whole being able to read his mind thing was not only annoying, it was downright rude. Didn't they have rules about that?
"Maybe you shouldn't bring him next time," Mike jerked his head at Dean. Dean felt hot anger bubbling as the waitress set two beers down in front of him.
"You say that like I have a choice," the sarcasm dripped from Sam's voice. That was it. Really it. Dean slammed one of the beers back before speaking.
"Fine," he growled, standing up. "Handle it, then." He stormed out the front door. He did not need this shit. Really. He and Sam had been just fine before Mike showed up. Okay, so they had that yellow-eyed-demon bastard after them back then, but he could honestly say he preferred then to now. At least there had been no one trying to come between him and Sam. Well, except for the whole "kill me if I go darkside" crap Sam was always spewing, like that would ever happen. And, yeah, the occasional possession of Sam trying to convince Dean to kill him. But, you know, other than that…
"Dean!" It sounded like Sam, but Sam was undoubtedly back in the bar sucking up to oh-so-glorious Mike. The bastard.
"Damn it, Dean! Stop!" He heard uneven footsteps running toward him from behind. Dean did not stop because he thought it was Sam, he stopped to make sure. A lifetime of military training taught him not to take anything for granted, especially the sound of someone, or something, running up on you from behind. When he turned around, Sam slowed to a more comfortable walk, which showed his limp less, and a frown of disapproval creased that boyish face. Dean turned away and continued walking. The motel was not far and his car was in the parking lot. What he really needed right now was a drive. A nice, long drive to freakin' nowhere.
"Dean," Sam breathed beside him, a broad hand on his shoulder.
"What?" Dean snapped, shrugging off his brother's touch. What the hell happened to precious Mike anyway?
"He's waiting for us."
Dean stopped and turned on baby brother. "You know I hate that," he snapped.
Sam frowned at him. "I thought you just hated it from Mike."
"Mike?" Dean asked. "What happened to Michael?"
Sam's frown turned into a sneaky grin. "Well, what he doesn't know won't hurt him, right?" Sam grabbed him by the arm to lead him back toward the bar.
"Since when does wonderful Mike not know something?" Dean demanded, struggling in Sam's unnatural grip.
Sam paused, sharing a look with Dean the way they used to. "Well, I can kinda block him. I'm still playing with it, you know, figuring out how it works."
Dean felt a grin tugging at the corners of his mouth. "No shit? And you're using it on Mike?" Could Sam really find the bastard as annoying as Dean did?
"Of course I do!" Sam looked shocked. He blushed, looking away. "Sorry, Dean."
"It's okay," Dean figured he was probably openly smirking now. "Sammy."
Sam grinned at him. It happened just that fast. Once again it was just the two of them against the world. Then Dean took a step back. "I can't go back in there," he said, meeting Sam's eyes, "he'll know everything we just talked about."
Sam shrugged. "Maybe. Maybe not. Let's go see." Sam steered him back into the bar. Mike was still waiting in the far booth. Sam made sure Dean sat next to the wall this time so he could not bolt. Dean shoved himself in the far corner, arms crossed, obviously here against his will.
Mike sighed deeply. "You could have just filled him in later."
"I told you, we're a team," Sam argued. "Now, do you have a case for us or not?"
One of Mike's eyebrows quirked up as he stared at Dean. Dean stared back, issuing a mental string of obscenities until Sam nudged his foot. Then Dean went with a mental blank wall while Mike talked about some vengeful spirit in Seattle. Well, at least they had never been to Seattle before.
"…but the most disturbing part is that the body was cremated. We're not sure what is keeping it Earth-bound," Mike finished. Dean hated to admit it, but the guy had a great voice. The kind you'd follow over a cliff or onto a bloody beach with a rifle clutched in your hand. It reminded him of Dad, which pissed him off. Oh hell, what didn't piss him off these days?
"We'll find it," Dean rumbled, the first time he bothered to speak since Sam dragged him back. Mike looked a little surprised. Maybe Sam was blocking both of their thoughts from the damned busybody.
Mike looked deep into Dean's eyes. Dean guessed he was supposed to look away by Mike's startled reaction. He stared back, locked in a battle of wills. He heard Sam sigh beside him, but he knew he could not lose. Not now that he knew Sammy was on his side. His eyeballs were drying and he could feel the strain, but Dean was not backing down. He reached deep into the reserve that kept him going through werewolf attacks and Sammy-possessions. When his hands started to shake he stood up, never breaking eye contact. Mike stood up too, with a deep frown. Dean wondered idly how many times anyone else had done this over the years. Dean leaned on the table for support as the shaking made its way down to his legs. He grimaced when he realized Mike was probably cheating, and even if being a busybody wasn't against the rules cheating definitely was. And that made him mad. The shaking in his arms and legs subsided as he allowed his righteous anger to take over. The only thing that kept him from reaching across the table and throttling Mike was Sam's calming hand on his arm.
Then Mike looked away. Dean continued to glare for a moment because he did not realize right away what happened. But Sammy was pulling him out of the booth, saying something to Mike.
"…and maybe you should remember that next time." It was definitely Sam's voice and it looked directed at Mike, but Dean was not sure. The room was unsteady, the floors rocking like a ship at sea. He leaned into Sam as they left, trusting his baby brother to get him the hell out of there.
"What happened?" he blurted as soon as he thought they were clear.
"Hang on," Sam turned them around to watch the bar. There was a bright flash of light over the low building, though the skies were clear and light blue. Sam grinned at him in a way that had not happened since their last prank war. "You totally backed him down, Dean. That was awesome!"
"I…I did?" Dean reached up a hand to rub at his forehead, where a dull throb was threatening. "I think I need to lie down."
"Oh, sure, Dean. Sorry." Sam led him back to the room. By the time Dean crawled gratefully onto the bed, the dull throb had turned into a whole work crew with jackhammers. And they were listening to god-damned rap music, Dean realized as he drifted off into a deep, dreamless sleep.
Sam's persistent voice dredged him from the bliss of dreamless land. Dean groaned at the interruption. It had been years since he had any sleep not punctuated by the various horrors which filled his life. "What the hell, Sammy?"
He felt the bed next to him sink with Sam's weight. "Dude, you scared the hell out of me. Dean? Open your eyes."
I don't wanna.
"Do it anyway," Sam demanded.
Goddamned psychics. Dean peeled his eyes open. Sam's worried face swam into focus. "What scared you?" Dean demanded, trying to sit up, wondering if something broke into the room.
"Easy, bro, easy," Sam chastised, helping him up.
"Dude, I feel as weak as a kitten. What the hell?" Dean struggled to sit against the headboard with Sam's help.
"Probably because you've been asleep for three days!" Sam huffed.
"Huh?" Dean looked around. They were still in the same cheesy motel room. The Elvis wallpaper still made him chuckle. "Three days?" Dean noticed his hand shook as he ran it over his head. "Dude, why aren't I dead or in the hospital?"
Sam shrugged, still perched on the side of Dean's bed. He was avoiding eye contact. "Sammy?"
Sam sighed. "I was going to take you to the hospital, but Mike showed up."
Dean frowned. This did not sound good. "And?"
Sam shrugged again, looking at the far wall. "He said you'd wake up and be fine."
"And you believed him," Dean scoffed.
Now Sam did look at him. "Mike may be a pain in the ass, Dean, but he's never…lied to…us." Sam's eyes widened and his jaw went slack.
Dean tried to look behind him at whatever held his brother's attention, but all he could see was more Elvis wallpaper. "What? What is it? Something getting in?"
Sam shook his head slowly. His eyes were glued to something. Dean pushed himself up, still trying to see the object of Sam's attention. What the hell?
Sam shook himself. "Sorry. I was just, uh, a little surprised. That's all."
"About what?" Dean sat upright. Maybe he just needed the long nap, he was feeling better. Not that he really felt that bad before, that is, he had certainly felt worse. But what the hell was up with Sammy? Speaking of which… "Sammy?"
"Uh, well, I'm not sure." Sam's head was cocked to the side and he was looking at him like he'd grown an extra head or turned purple or something.
"You're not that far off," Sam admitted.
"What?" Dean jumped off the bed, energy and strength surging through his frame. He was definitely feeling good. Real good. Too good? He paused before heading into the bathroom, looking back at Sam. "Is it bad?"
Sam shook his head, shrugging. He appeared lost and bewildered, something Dean often tried to do to him but rarely succeeded. With closed eyes, Dean placed himself in the bathroom in front of the mirror. A deep breath and he held it. How bad was it?
He cracked his eyes open slowly. So far, so good. Still the one head. Some serious bedhair, but that was to be expected after sleeping for a couple of days. Face? Pretty normal, maybe a little pale, but not gonna-die-any-time-now pale, just hasn't-eaten-in-a-while pale. That was fine. Ears? Just two – good. One mouth, one nose, two eyes…what the hell?
"Yeah, that's what I thought, too," Sam said gently from behind him. Dean started at the sound, he had nearly forgotten Sam was still there. "Where would I go?" Sam asked to the unspoken statement.
Dean shook his head, unable to tear his eyes from the image in front of him. "And I thought the telepathy thing was freaky," he muttered.
"Maybe no one will notice?" Sam suggested weakly.
Dean snorted. How the hell could anyone miss green eyes that glowed? Not glowing as in pregnant women have a glow, or wasn't the bride glowing. Glowing as in Dean can probably see in the fucking dark now glowing! Really – what the freaking hell??
"I can call Mike," Sam offered. Boy, he must have been desperate to suggest that, knowing how Dean felt about that bastard. It was an ever greater testament to how desperate Dean was to nod in agreement. Dean tore his eyes from the freaky image in the mirror, the image that was his and yet not him, to watch Sam. Sam closed his eyes to concentrate and a warm glow engulfed him. Dean watched in amazement. He had watched Sam call Mike before, but he had never seen this glow. It was like a tiny sun setting behind Sam, lighting him. It was pretty cool, he had to admit, even if it freaked him out just a little bit.
There was a flash of white light and a knock at the door. "I'll get it," Sam said, already opening it. Dean could feel the moment Mike stepped over the threshold. He kept his gaze down until Sam closed the door, then lifted it to lock with Mike's.
"Oh. So you woke up." Mike ignored the fact Dean was glaring at him to sit on the bed. Dean kept it up, noticing that Mike was looking everywhere but at him.
"You want to explain this?" Dean demanded.
"Not really," Mike replied. "Is that Elvis on the wallpaper? I'm a big fan, you know. He'll be tickled to death when I tell him about this."
"Mike…" Dean could not keep the growl out of his voice.
"Mike, what the hell is wrong with Dean's eyes?" Sam demanded. Mike did look directly at Sam.
"What did you call me?" he asked, his voice lowering in timbre and pitch.
"What's wrong with Dean?" Sam repeated, his own anger coming through in his voice. Or perhaps Dean's anger was mixed in there too? With the telepathy had come the occasional empathy, but so far just between them. Probably because they spent so much time together. Regardless of the reason, it was pretty much a given any more that when Dean was angry, really angry, so was Sam.
Mike glanced away with a shrug. "He won." They waited. There had to be more to it than that. Mike sighed, finally chancing a glance at Dean. His eyes darted away almost instantly. "You can't face down an angel without certain…repercussions."
"And if you face down an archangel?" Sam asked and his voice had that 'I think I found the key to this' tone. Dean ground his teeth.
Mike shrugged noncommittally. "Bigger repercussions."
"Son of a bitch," Dean breathed, glaring at Mike. He took a step closer. The usual feeling of being in over his head when he got within a few feet of Mike was gone. "What does this mean, you bastard?"
A slow smile played across Mike's face. "I can see why demons talk about you two, now. They're scared of you, you know."
Sam and Dean exchanged a look, but by unspoken agreement said nothing. Occasionally there were benefits to the telepathy thing. Mike looked at Sam. Whether searching for an ally or just someone who had not stared him down, Dean could only guess, and he guessed both.
"Despite the fact we have different agendas, and different bosses, we aren't all that different," Mike sighed, running both hands through his wild hair. "Exorcisms obviously don't work on us, but there are ways to banish angels too. That's usually where the big, bad demons come from, if they survive."
"And that's your job these days, right?" Dean asked. "So how many of your flubs have we had to deal with now?"
Mike did look at him now, but it was short-lived. He looked away with a shudder, which pleased Dean no end. "A few," he admitted softly. "It's what brought you to our attention."
Dean looked triumphantly at Sammy, blasting his thoughts on that. Something along those lines had been his theory. He knew Sam heard them but his younger brother gave no sign of it, which made Dean wonder why he was so damned sure Sam heard him. Sammy had preferred to think they were contacted because he had been 'chosen' in that stupid war for the human soul. Sam still walked with a severe limp and Dean felt each time the weather was going to change in his spine. The doctors had said he was lucky not to be paralyzed after an injury like that.
"And what are the repercussions?" Sam asked, again trying to get a straight answer. Dean could nearly visualize the logic his brother used, how organized the kid's mind was. It was really rather impressive. Dean figured he operated more on instinct than anything. Sure he had flashes of insight which confounded his brother, especially when he was right, but the book-smart thing was definitely Sam's gig.
Dean returned his attention to Mike. What, was the big, bad-ass archangel squirming now? As he glared, he sensed how Mike's mind worked. It was a huge conglomeration of information, emotions, and memory reaching back millennia. It made Dean dizzy to contemplate, forcing him to look away. Dean shook off the dizziness to glare at Mike again. This asshole was going to tell them what they wanted – correction: needed – to know.
"I'm not really sure," Mike said with a dark chuckle. "It's never happened before."
"Oh, shit." He needed to sit down. Now. Dean felt his knees turn to jelly as he sank slowly to the floor. It was going to be hell getting up with his back, he knew.
"You know, your father warned me about you, Dean. But I wouldn't listen. I figured it was just…parental pride." Another dark chuckle. "Won't make that mistake again."
"Our father?" Sam stood next to Dean, bumping Dean's shoulder with a knobby knee. "What do you mean he warned you about Dean?"
Mike shook his head. "I've already said too much," he breathed.
"What about Dad?" Dean demanded, leveling his new freaky glowing eyes on Mike. At least they weren't yellow. He would have had to go jump off a skyscraper or something if that had happened.
Mike chanced a glance at him, but seemed repelled by Dean's eyes so he focused on the top of Dean's head instead. "He traded his life for yours, Dean. Not his soul."
He felt Sam's hand grip his shoulder. Tight. Understanding passed between them like a flash of lightening connecting Sam's hand and his shoulder. It did not hurt, but it was startlingly clear. "So…Dad is?" Sam let the question hang.
"Fine. Last time I spoke with him he was trying to set up some sort of concert. Elvis was hiding from him."
Dean felt his anger soften. "Can't hide from Dad," he heard himself whisper.
Mike tried to look at him again, and this time could hold his gaze. "Nope. Elvis was hopelessly outmatched."
Dean felt his face crack in a smile, one of the few genuine ones he'd had in years. "I'll bet."
"So, he got his concert?" Sam asked, still holding onto Dean's shoulder like it was a lifeline or something. Dean imagined Sam's sasquatch sized body bent over nearly double to reach his shoulder. Or were his brother's arms just that long? He tried to put the image of Sam with stretchy arms out of his mind. It was just stupid, not to mention embarrassing if Sam picked up on it.
"I don't think the King was too pleased about having to perform Back in Black," Mike said with a grin.
Sam laughed out loud. "Yeah, I'll bet. So does he…I mean, has he ever…?"
Dean heard the struggle in Sam's voice and felt it somehow, but he would have known what it was about anyway. "Sam wants to know if Dad ever mentioned him." Dean glanced up at his brother, decided to go for full disclosure. "Ever forgave him."
Sam's eyes closed at that. Dean tried to tell if he was waiting or praying, then decided it was none of his business. He turned back to Mike. "Well?"
"He loves both of you. I was unaware there was anything to forgive." Mike's eyes darted between both of them, his confusion evident.
"See, Sammy? Told ya." Dean said softly. Sam let out a deep breath, nodding slowly. Apparently he needed to hear it from someone who was not the over protective big brother.
Sam's hand squeezed his shoulder again. Dean diverted his gaze away from Sam's face, knowing the tears that would be forming there. "So, we still have a job in Seattle, or did you give it to someone else while I," Dean sneered, "napped?"
"It's yours, if you still want it."
He felt Sam turn away, wipe the tears from his eyes and face, but Sammy never did let go of his shoulder. When he was ready to stand, Dean reached back. The hand on his shoulder released and gripped his forearm, hauling him to his feet without a word. The normal ache in his back was less, but still there.
"We'll take it," Dean answered for both of them.
Sam cleared his throat. "What do we do about," he motioned to Dean's face.
"Well, until he learns to control it, I'd suggest sunglasses. Dark ones." Mike grinned. His own eyes flared bright, glowing blue for a moment, then settled back to human norm. "Practice," Mike said to Dean's unthought and unasked question of how to do that.
Dean rolled his eyes at Sam. "Practice," they mouthed in unison.
Dean waited in the driver's seat for Sam. He was antsy to get on the road, but they needed a few provisions first. Sam finally appeared with a case of bottled waters and a paper sack balanced on top. He set his purchases in the back seat before taking his place in the passenger seat.
"Here," Sam pulled a smaller plastic bag out of his pocket, "I think these are even darker."
Dean accepted the bag. He took out a pair of sunglasses and glanced around. "Anybody watching?" he whispered.
Sam swept the parking lot with his gaze. "I don't think so. Try them."
Dean could not help glancing in the rearview mirror as he took his old sunglasses off. The green glow was still there, brighter than ever. He slipped the new pair on. In the sunlight, you could not see the glow through them. Dean let out a sigh of relief as he faced Sam. "Better?"
Sam nodded. "Better. But I'd better drive at night for a while."
Dean chuckled. "Yeah, I guess pretending to be a blind driver wouldn't win any points with the cops, huh?"
"Cute," Sam sneered. "Real funny, Dean."
"How far to Seattle, dude?" Dean asked as he pulled out of the parking lot.
"About two thousand miles," Sam replied, "as the crow flies."
"Dude, we are so not flying," Dean snarled.
"Well, you know, Dean, we still don't know what all you're capable of. Maybe you could." Sam smirked as he looked staunchly out the front windshield.
A gust of air blew through the open passenger window, carrying a ball of leaves which exploded in Sam's face. Dean tried to keep a straight face, but Sam's expression was just priceless!
"Oh?" Sam picked a dry, brown leaf out of his mouth. "Going to be like that, is it? Fine." He brushed leaves out of his hair. "You're on."
Sam reached over, touched Dean's shoulder. A white, hot electric shock ran through Dean's arm. "Son of a bitch!" he shouted, fighting to regain control of the car. He glared at Sam, eyes glowing so bright Sam could see the green even through the super dark sunglasses. "Damn it, Sammy! What are you trying to do, get us killed?"
Sam grinned. He lifted one finger in the air and drew a mark on an imaginary board. Oh yeah, it was on!