Title: Immortal!Dean 'Verse - Into The Black

Beta: Thanks to pen37

Rated: PG

Fandom: HL, SPN but set in a far future that looks remarkably like the Firefly 'verse

Characters: Dean Winchester, Duncan MacLeod, Richie Ryan; Mentions of Chloe/Dean

Disclaimer: The characters you know and love all belong to their respective creators.

Summary: Richie has been missing for over 6 months. Duncan finally has a lead and needs Dean's help to rescue him.

A/N: pen37 and I wrote this story called 5 Times Immortal!Dean met Meta!Chloe. Everyone wondered what could have kept Dean away from Chloe for 150 years as mentioned in Chapter 5: When the Fightings Done.

The story that follows explains why Dean left.


Chapter 1: The Rescue of Richie Ryan

"Duncan," Dean exclaimed as he answered the holovid. "It's been a while. You planetside?" Dean's good mood at seeing his old friend was cut short by the serious look on Duncan's face.

"Can you meet me? I'll be landing at the Lowport docks. We have to talk," Duncan's voice got low, "privately."

"Family Business," Dean asked, using the long time euphemism for hunting.

"Not exactly." Duncan seemed agitated. "I'll explain when I see you."

"There's a bar, the Salty Dog, right off the main drag in Lowport."

Duncan nodded, "I know the place. Hunter hangout. Perfect, I'll meet you there in 15."

He thought about calling Chloe. She'd like to know that Duncan was in town but he'd wait until after he knew why Duncan was so upset. Besides Chloe was off playing reporter. A thousand years and the investigative itch was still a strong one in Chloe. He smiled; it was one of the things he loved about her. She never tired of being at the center of the storm just like him. He'd find out what Duncan wanted and then he'd bring Chloe in on the hunt.


Dean found Duncan sitting in the corner of the bar with his back against the wall. Standard observational position. Dean sat himself down. "Hey man, what's got you so agitated you couldn't talk over the vid?"

"It's Richie, Dean. He's been missing for over 6 months. I finally was able to track him down. He's being held by the Alliance. They found out he was Immortal."

"What! Are you sure?" Keeping under the radar was the first rule of Immortality. Now that he thought about it, Dean realized hadn't spoken to Richie in almost a year. He hated how Immortality wreaked havoc with your sense of time. He should have known Richie was in trouble.

"I've been looking for him for months. I'm sure."

"How could this have happened?" Dean shook his head in disbelief. "Wait, let me guess, there was this girl."

Duncan smiled in spite of his distress, "He was in love. I met her once; she seemed like a nice girl. Richie decided to trust her with his Immortality."

"But she freaked and turned him into the Alliance," Dean speculated.

Duncan nodded, "She's the daughter of some high level government official. I don't know what Richie was thinking. I tracked her down and she confessed to her betrayal."

Dean couldn't help but laugh, "All this time and Richie still has the worst taste in women."

"Well they all can't be Chloe."

Dean appreciated how lucky he was. Chloe had spent so much time tracking Metas and Meteor freaks that his Immortality didn't even raise an eyebrow. He'd been more shocked to meet her hundreds of years later and learn she had her own type of immortality. He turned his thoughts back to Richie, "I assume you know where he is?"

"The girl was no help but I found a contact inside the Haven Medical Facility on Fortuna. He's been feeding me information"

"He knows Richie's alive?"

"They've been experimenting on him for months," Duncan confirmed. "Who knows what condition he'll be in when we find him," Duncan's voice cracked at the thought of Richie feeling abandoned to the ministrations of the Alliance Doctors. "I need your help and we need to go... "

"...before they figure out decapitation isn't a recoverable injury."

"Dean, we could all end up as guinea pigs if this goes south."

Dean held up a hand to stop Duncan. He didn't need convincing. "It's Richie. I'm in but... " Dean hesitated, "... let's leave Chloe out of this. I'm not about to risk them finding out about her Meta abilities."

They both knew that Chloe would never agree to be left behind and if they tried to do so, she'd only follow. Dean was still protective of family and protecting Chloe was his number one priority.

Duncan agreed, "I am relived to leave Chloe out, but what will you tell her? We could be gone a while."

"That's easy, I'll blame you."

"Since when will Chloe believe that I am a bad influence on you?" Duncan let loose a quiet laugh.

Dean smiled, "True, but I'll handle Chloe. I'll swing home, pack a bag and meet you back at the dock."

"It's the Impala X." Duncan said, reciting its berth number. They had always named their ships Impala after the old Chevy that had served them so faithfully on Earth-That-Was.

"Wait Ten. What happened to nine?" Dean eyed Duncan suspiciously. Dean had bequeathed Impala IX to Duncan when he and Chloe had chosen domesticity on Boros.

Duncan laughed, "Oh no. I need you to come with me. I'll save that story for another time."

"Duncan, where is she? If you can't take care of my... "

"Dean, focus! Richie first, nine later."


Back at the apartment, Dean packed a small bag. He was grateful Chloe was still out. He'd never be able to lie to her face and there was no way he wanted her along on this rescue. She meant too much to him. Forget decapitation. Seeing her strapped down to a table in some Alliance medical facility would kill him

He grabbed a piece of paper to leave her an old-fashioned note. A vid message would have betrayed him as well.

Chloe,

Duncan's in town. We're gonna make the circuit. He's got a new ship he wants to show off. Back in a couple days. Don't worry.

Love,

Dean.

Dean hated lying to Chloe but at least he'd ended with the truth. He figured they'd be back in a week, ten days tops. She shouldn't be too mad. Heck, once he explained about how they'd rescued Richie, she might not be mad at all.

Dean left the note on the table and headed off to meet Duncan.


Dean gave a low whistle as he approached the bay where Duncan's new ship was berthed. The Impala X was a beautiful vessel. "This is one of those new Firefly class ships, isn't it? I read about these."

Duncan smiled. Dean would never lose his joy of all things mechanical. "I thought you'd appreciate the upgrade."

Dean ran his hand along the hull. Duncan was wealthy. He'd always seemed to be able to maintain his fortune. "This must have set you back some scratch. Good size for planet hopping."

"I heard the next version will have separate shuttle craft and crew quarters for 20 but this one is big enough for me. She'll get us there in three days."

Dean looked at Duncan smirking, "Not if I'm driving,"

"Of course you are." Duncan laughed as he followed Dean up the cargo bay ramp.

Dean was never a fan of flying whether it was in old earth airplanes or in the latest space transports. But he was always calmer when he was at the controls. Besides, piloting a ship like the Impala X felt more like he was driving than flying.

Dean eased the Impala into the black and set course for Fortuna at the core of Alliance territory. As he worked the controls, Duncan sat in the co-pilot seat waiting for Dean to be calm enough to discuss the plan.

Dean engaged the autopilot and turned to face Duncan. "So, this friend of yours, Brand Flynn; he one of us?"

"No and he's not a friend. I've never met him. I put the call out along the hunter/Immortal network looking for Richie and Brand answered."

Dean sent Duncan a look of disbelief, "And you trust his intel? Are you crazy? This smells of trap to capture more Immortals."

"No, he contacted me through trusted channels. He's a tech in the lab where they are holding Richie. He recognized what Rich is and answered my inquiries." Duncan hesitated, "I trust his information"

Dean threw up his hands, "Well, I don't. You're usually not this naive, Mac." Stopping his rant, Dean eyed Duncan suspiciously, "You don't trust him either."

Duncan sighed, "I don't know but I also don't have any other leads. Look, if you don't want to go, I'm sure I can call Methos and get his help."

"Like the old man would walk into this trap either."

"He'd do it for Richie."

"That's low, Mac even for you. Fine," Dean snapped. "If we go in expecting a trap then maybe we can avoid it."