AN: I know some people didn't like how similar Ben was to Dean, but honestly the show played that up and i thought it was adorable, so I ran with it. Just fair warning for the chapter, because Ben is so Dean in it. (I should probably mention that I wrote this fic backwards and that part 4 was the first part I wrote.)
Part 4: Wings
The last bell had rung ten minutes ago, but Ben decided to stay after to help Ms. May clean up the rousing game of Government Jeopardy. Ben didn't care much about government or brownie points, but he did care about the fact that Ms. May was 22, blonde, and up for borderline illegal innuendo. So when it was finally time to head for his locker and subsequently his car and his home, the last thing he wanted to deal with after a totally accidental graze of Ms. May's cleavage, was Ryan Humphrey.
Ryan had steered clear of him after third grade, when Ben had proven that the playground incident the year before wasn't a fluke and he really could kick the bigger boy's ass regardless of the fact that he was still shorter and skinnier, but Ryan still hadn't given up on being a bully. Ben hated bullies. He pushed through the small group of people surrounding a huddled form on the floor. "Hey, Humphrey."
Ryan turned, face annoyed at the interruption, and Ben allowed himself a small smirk at the slight flash of fear that transformed the expression. "Braeden, this isn't any of your business."
Ben shrugged, tucking his hands in his pockets, and didn't even look at Ryan's newest victim. "I'm making it my business. So how about you and your Barbies get lost?" He gave Ryan's three blonde minions a look of disdain and cocked his head in the direction of the exit.
"Now Humphrey, before I decide your mother doesn't need grandchildren."
Ryan paled, hand instinctively reaching to cover the threatened area. "Fine. Chump's learned his lesson anyway. Move!" he shouted at the high schoolers still clustered around the scene. They jumped and he stormed away, cronies following hurriedly.
Ben finally looked down at the kid Ryan had been tormenting as the bloodthirsty teenagers started to disperse. A mop of orange hair kept the boy's face hidden as he picked up a sketch pad and put it into his backpack. He wondered it if was the fact that the kid was an artist or just because he was new that had pissed Ryan off, but it didn't really matter. Humphrey was a jack ass and one day Ben really was going to have to prevent him from spawning.
Once the crowd had scattered, Ben reached out a hand to the kid on the floor. "You okay?" Brown eyes blinked up at him from a face that hadn't lost all its baby fat and the other boy gave a nod, long hair falling into his eyes. "Ryan's a bitch. He starts picking on you again just kick him in the nads."
The hand that gripped his was slender, but the hold was firm and Ben gave just a little tug to help him to his feet. He looked over at the boy and then looked up and up. "You're a tall one, aren't you?" he observed, slightly envious. He was just 5'10" and was still waiting for his next growth spurt. The boy gave a little smile and shrugged. "I'm Ben."
"Lucas." His voice was soft and slightly unused.
"Well, welcome to Cicero High, Luke." He gave the kid a pat on the back and started walking. It took him a minute to realize the kid wasn't following. "You comin' or what?" Lucas started, scooped his bag off the floor and rushed to catch up. "First day?"
"Not so good, huh?"
Ben glanced at him out of the corner of his eye, "You don't talk much, do ya kid?"
Luke stopped, looking surprised, and then gave a rueful little smile. "Not really, no."
"That's cool, chicks dig the silent sensitive type. Bet they think you're a real good listener." He smirked back at his new companion as he stopped at his locker. "So, you a freshman?"
"Really?" Ben felt his eyebrows rise, "You got wheels?"
"When I graduate. I have a '65 red Mustang picked out."
Ben snorted, "No offense, dude, but Mustangs are for pussies."
"You've got better?"
"'67 cherry black Chevy Impala, she's absolute mint. My dad left her to me and Uncle Sammy dropped her off soon as I got my license."
"You have an Uncle Sam?" he sounded amused.
Rolling his eyes, Ben gave the other kid a death glare. "Uncle Sammy, and if you say one word about patriotic posters and finger pointing I won't let you see my girl for a whole month," he threatened.
He spun at the interruption, grin in place, "Hey Stella." The pretty cheerleader stood in what he deemed standard flirting position; hands clutching a binder, hair down over her shoulders, lips pouting and eyes wide.
"You going to Chase's party tonight?"
"Are you?" he countered.
She nodded, flipping dark hair over one bared shoulder, "I don't know. I was thinking about dropping by, but his parties are always so loud and crowded. There's no place to really sit and talk."
"I'm definitely going," he said, ignoring her attempts at being coy, "Gotta show my new friend, Lucas, the ropes." He planted a friendly hand on Lucas' shoulder. "Have you met Lucas yet, Stella?"
"No, no I haven't." She gave Lucas a strained smile. "I think we have Palmer's chemistry class together, though. I remember the painful introduction." Lucas ducked his head and Ben figured the blush indicated he was embarrassed. "Hi, I'm Stella Gonzales."
"Hi," he offered, voice just as low as it had been when he'd first spoken to Ben.
"Well…I guess I'll see you at the party."
"We'll be there," Ben agreed. She walked off with one last look over her shoulder and put a little sway in her hips. Ben admired the view.
"She seems nice."
"Yeah," Ben grinned at him, "She's real nice, and those gymnastics she needs as a cheerleader are a real bonus."
Lucas looked at him speculatively, "So you two have…"
"Sealed the deal? Yeah."
"Now she wants to have a relationship. I don't do relationships." Ben closed his locker and headed for an exit. "What? You're looking at me like I have two heads. It's kinda freaking me out, man."
"How old are you?"
"I'll be seventeen in two months."
"Why? You just told me you had sex with someone like you did it every week."
"Not every week," Ben corrected
"Dude, you're like…I mean…You're sixteen!"
Ben didn't really see the point to this line of conversation. "Are you saying you've never done it?"
"I just met you. I'm not having this conversation." And the other boy started walking.
"You haven't, have you?" Ben asked, smirking as he trotted to catch up.
"That's none of your business," Luke muttered, "Where are the freakin' buses?"
"They left like twenty minutes ago," Ben said, "So, how long you planning on hanging onto that virginity?" He held his hands up at the dark look Lucas sent him, "I'm just saying, I could hook you up."
"No thanks. Do you know how to get to Birch Street?"
"Yeah, I'll give you a ride," Ben said, moving toward his car.
"I can walk," Lucas protested.
Ben shot him a 'yeah, right' look. "Its five miles away and you have no idea where you're going."
"I think I might remember the bus route…"
"Dude, just let me drive you, it's no big deal. Birch is, like, two minutes from Morning Hill." Lucas was still hesitating, as if he couldn't quite figure out why Ben was being so nice to him. Tell the truth, Ben wasn't either, but he assumed it had something to do with Lucas' height. The kid kinda reminded him of his Uncle Sammy. "Come on."
Lucas hitched his bag up to a more comfortable position on his shoulder and started walking back to Ben's side. "You're not, like, a psychopathic serial killer are you?"
It made Ben laugh. "No." They continued walking. Ben always parked the farthest out, unwilling to risk fender benders and scratches to his baby among all the less skilled drivers of Cicero High School. "There she is," Ben announced, "Told you she was gorgeous." He ran an appreciative hand over the car's paint job and glanced back to catch Lucas' face when he saw the Impala.
The stunned, startled expression was not what he expected, and when Lucas' eyes darted from the car to Ben, lingering on his necklace, Ben wasn't sure what to make of it. "What…what was your last name again?"
Eyebrows raised, be responded to the question the way he always did. "Officially, it's Braeden. Unofficially…" he smirked, "it's Winchester."
Brown eyes sharpened and met his own hazel. "I've met your father."
It was like to a punch to the gut. Lucas had met Dean Winchester. "He died when I was eight," he found himself saying, "I only met him once."
"I'm sorry." And Lucas had known his father, so Ben knew he meant it. "He…he saved my life. He was a good man."
Ben already knew that, but he loved hearing it. In his mind his dad was larger than life and he hung on every story his uncle told from their childhood and adulthood. When he was younger he'd ask repeatedly for tales of his father from anyone who had ever met him. His mother didn't like to discuss Dean Winchester; she told Ben he had been fun and funny and that he'd forgiven her for lying to him. She told Ben that Dean was proud to be his father even if he never got the chance to tell his son. So Ben settled for pestering his uncle and the people Sam introduced him to over the years.
Bobby Singer always had the best information, and was never afraid to give Ben the good details that Sam left out. Ellen Harvelle talked about his loyalty and his love of his family, how he'd do anything to protect those he thought of as his. Old Jefferson Knight liked to talk about the way he had handled his weapons like an extension of his body and how he much he embraced the job and what a loss it was to the hunting community. Missouri Moseley always said Dean was a bucket of trouble and Ben was just like him. Ben liked visiting Missouri.
He hadn't known his father for more than a day, but he clung to the memories he did have. In that short time, Dean had taught Ben the most important lesson he'd ever learn; to fight for what was his.
"What…" His voice cut off, and his eyes burned, and he hated that it affected him like that. Sometimes, when someone said something about his father and Ben wasn't expecting it, he got a little girly, knowing he'd never know his father the way that person knew him except through anecdotes if they felt so inclined to tell them.
"Vengeful spirit," Lucas said, intuitively answering the unasked question.
Ben nodded and opened the trunk and the two boys dropped their backpacks in, a hollow clunk sounded from the hidden compartment. It was empty except for a first aid kit, some herbs, salt, holy water, and a Bowie knife that Dean had left him along with the amulet and the car. Soon enough, Ben would start filling it with his own collection of weapons and when he was done with high school and attending college, he'd start going on his own gigs. Uncle Sammy had promised and his mom had reluctantly agreed to the terms.
"Hey," Ben closed the trunk and met Lucas' curious face, "My uncle's taking me on a hunt this weekend; poltergeist in Delphi, you want in?"
"Are you serious?" A smile was working its way across the redhead's face.
Ben felt an answering smile, "I could use a sidekick."
"What about your party?"
With a shrug he opened the driver's side door, "Not nearly as much fun as a salt and burn."
The passenger side door opened with a creak, "I'll have to think of something to tell my mom." Lucas slid into the seat, relaxing back against the leather and marveling at the leg room.
"Tell her you're spending the weekend with a classmate to get to know the town. Mom's love that buddy-buddy stuff." The doors shut in unison and Ben started the car, the engine practically purring.
"Then I'm in," Lucas said. "Hey," he was riffling through the cassette box that was behind Ben's seat, "You got any Zeppelin?"
Kid had good taste, Ben would give him that, but AC/DC, Led Zeppelin was not. "House rules, Luke." He slipped on his shades and stepped on the gas. "Driver picks the music," he gave the other boy a shit-eating grin as he turned up the volume, "Shotgun shuts his cakehole."
Back in black…