WHAT BROTHERS DO
A Hardy Boys/Supernatural Crossover
"Joe!" Frank Hardy called again, his tone a mix of exasperation and concern.
Why did his little brother always seem to get lost? And find trouble along the way, too.
He kept walking briskly through the woods surrounding the old warehouse. It was located in an out-of-the-way place, no buildings close by; a prime selection for criminal activity, which is what the brothers had gone to investigate.
Their father, Fenton Hardy, was investigating a local crime racket and the boys were helping him out by scouting locations as possibilities.
As Frank's mind wandered to the case and his brother's ability to find trouble, he almost tripped over a prone form lying on the forest floor.
"Damn" he cursed, mentally berating himself for a moment for being off-guard. He succeeded in catching himself before he toppled onto the prostrate figure.
He knelt down, noting the brown mop of hair, and the fact that it was a boy, maybe a little younger than Joe, by the look of him as he turned the boy onto his back, straightening him out. He also had one nasty gash on his forehead, the blood still trickling lightly down his face, meeting his flannel over-shirt and the grey tee he had on underneath.
As Frank checked the boy over he groaned quietly, hand reaching for his forehead.
"Easy kiddo" Frank murmured, catching the hand before it reached the gash, "looks like you hit your head. Can you open your eyes for me?" he asked the boy, watching as he struggled, eyelids fluttering.
Concussion? He thought.
Soulful brown eyes, marred by confusion and pain met Frank's own dark orbs.
"Wher-" the boy tried, then cleared his throat, "Where's Dean?" he asked in a slightly small voice, still confused.
"Dean?" Frank reiterated, wondering who the boy was talking about.
"My, my brother" the boy managed.
Oh. Now Frank got it.
"Older or younger?" Frank asked, trying to assess if the boy was ok to move.
"Big brother" the boy answered.
"So what's your name?" Frank asked, noticing the boy still seemed a bit out of it.
"S-Samm" the boy managed to get out. At least he wasn't too off.
"Well, Sam, I'm Frank. Think you can make it up?" he asked gently.
"Mmmm. Head hurts" Sam mumbled.
"I know kiddo. Come on, let's blow this joint, huh? We'll go see if we can find that brother of yours, okay?" Frank said cheerfully, assisting the boy in getting upright.
Leaning heavily on Frank, Sam seemed okay once he was up, and though his head was obviously causing him some pain, after a while he became more coherent. Frank asked more questions, trying to figure out how the kid ended up unconscious on the forest floor way out here.
"So, mind telling me how you ended up with that slice on your head, taking a nap on the ground back there?" Frank asked congenially.
"Not sure" Sam confessed.
"Huh. So, what are you doing out here?" Frank asked, hoping he'd have more luck.
"My brother and I were checking out that warehouse" Sam answered, and Frank noticed he didn't say why they were checking it out. Could he be connected to the crime ring maybe?
Frank didn't think so; could they be homeless then? The clothes Sam was wearing were a little worn, but so were the ones he himself was wearing; it didn't make sense to wear better clothes out here.
Frank was about to ask why he and his brother were checking the warehouse out but just then they came to the edge of the trees and Sam called out.
"Damnit Sam, where are you? I told you not to go in the warehouse. I swear if I find you in there taking a break in the shade I'll kick your ass til Sunday" Dean Winchester muttered to himself, masking the worry he felt when his brother had failed to answer him.
Sighing, Dean stealthily made his way into the warehouse, scanning with precision the area, noting exits, possible weapons and potential threats with practiced ease.
Suddenly he became aware of voices, two adults, clearly men and one younger, a boy.
Cautiously, Dean advances to a position where he can see the people the voices belong to. What he sees makes him furious. Two men have a boy, roughly the Same age as Sam, maybe a little older, tied to a chair. The men are slapping him, demanding to know what he's doing here, among other questions.
Dean looks around; he had his gun but he'd prefer not to use it; it's only loaded with rock salt an while it would provide enough pain to stop the men following for a while he'd still need time to untie the boy, and he didn't know if he'd be capable of running or not. There; a piece of wood, nice size, weighty enough. It'll do.
And with that thought, he casually walked up to the two men, wood in hand.
"Hey fellas, this a private party or can anyone join in?" Dean asked flippantly.
"What the hell?" The nearest of the men growled, lunging at him.
"That's what I thought" Dean quipped out, clipping the man on the temple with the wood, effectively knocking him out for the count.
The other was not so stupid; he advanced slowly; trying to get within reach.
Dean dropped the piece of wood and promptly tackled the second man, fists flying, pummelling the man.
Finally he lay there stunned and Dean hopped up; striding to the boy tied to the chair that'd been watching the whole time; albeit through a black eye.
"Thanks" the boy said as he massaged his raw wrists from the rope that had secured him to the chair after Dean released him.
"We gotta get outta here fast; that guy isn't gonna be down for too long. Can you run?" Dean asked, channelling his father's military demeanour and brooking no refusals.
"Yes sir" the youth quipped, "My name's Joe Hardy by the way, what's yours?" he asked as he trotted alongside Dean.
"Dean Winchester" the older man responded, eyes constantly scanning the area.
"Well Dean, not that I'm not grateful for you coming and getting me out of there; I am but do you mind if I ask you why you're here?" Joe asked.
"Yes, I do" Dean replied. "Have you seen a kid "bout your age, brown hair?" Dean asked suddenly as they made their way out.
"Can't say I have, but I've been a little occupied, why?" Joe said curiously.
"He's my little brother; lost contact with him a while back. He should be here." Dean said, worry edging into his tone.
They walk out of the warehouse, and are maybe ten or fifteen meters away when they hear a voice calling Dean's name, another joining in and calling Joe's.
"Dean" Sam suddenly calls out, seeing the two young men walk out of the warehouse and into the fading sunlight.
"Joe!" Frank joins in, recognizing his brother.
The two make their way towards their respective brothers; Dean checking Sam over and Frank doing the Same for Joe.
"How is it you always get tied to a chair?" Frank asks Joe, relief warring with exasperation for his brother in his voice.
"Dunno, big brother, just lucky I guess" Joe says happily.
At that Frank shakes his head.
"Sammy" Dean says, relief evident in his voice. "You okay?" he asks, big-brother mode in full force at the sight of his little brother's bloodied and pale face.
"M'ok Dean" Sam says quietly, his head pounding.
"Sure you are kiddo, sure you are" Dean says, happy to have his brother at his side. Turning to Frank he catches the younger man watching him. "Thanks for looking after my little brother" he states, adding, "Dean, by the way"
Frank sticks his hand out and Dean shakes it, as the younger man says "No worries, thanks for untying Joe He kinda has a habit for getting tied up. Frank Hardy"
As Dean was looking over Frank's shoulder he saw an unmistakable glint from a gun barrel. "Look out!" he shouted, shoving Frank and the younger boys down as the gun fired. The first shot sailed over them but the second clipped Dean in the shoulder, eliciting a pained yell as he hit the ground.
The man who'd fired the gun ran off, not willing to risk being identified by taking further action.
The boys turned to Dean. "Dean!" Sam cried, seeing his brother's bloodied shoulder.
"S'okay Sammy. I'm fine. Let's get out of here" Dean said, the last part ground out as a wave of pain engulfed him as he stood.
"Whoa there" Frank said in as commanding a voice as he could manage. "You are not fine. You need to get to a hospital"
No hospitals" Dean said firmly, walking towards the road, where the
Impala lay in wait.
"But Dean you're shot" Sam pleaded.
"Sammy I been shot before, this isn't as bad as it looks, trust me" Dean said, not stopping, Sam walking alongside, concern etched in his face and eyes.
Joe and Frank shared an incredulous look "He's been shot before? This isn't as bad??" Frank whispered to his brother, "Who the hell is he?"
As they crested the rise, all four boys caught site of the Impala, proudly parked on the edge of the road.
"Hey baby" Dean whispered quietly, striding towards the Impala.
Joe let out a low whistle. "This yours?" he asked, admiring the American classic muscle car.
"Yep" Dean said happily, unlocking the doors and pulling out the first aid kit.
"Where's your ride?" Dean asked as he pulled out various things from the kit.
He pulled Sam, closer, wiped the blood off his face, noted with a wince the bruise growing, and the lump. He applied butterfly stitches to the gash after patting antiseptic powder onto it.
"One of our friends dropped us off, said to call when we were done" Joe said, then, noticing Dean was fixing his own wound now, "You want me to help"
With a shake of his head Dean set about cleaning off the blood from around the bullet wound. "Just a flesh wound, see Sammy" Dean said as he noticed his brother eyeing him anxiously.
"Might need a couple of stitches though, but that can wait. You wanna tape the back part for me? I can't reach properly" Dean asked his brother who quickly stepped in, efficiently taping the gauze pad and bandage to his brother's arm.
"You boys want a lift somewhere?" Dean offered casually, packing up the kit as though it was an everyday occurrence to be shot and patch himself up.
"Should you even be driving? I mean with painkillers an" all-
"Didn't take any" Dean said as if it was obvious, "Now hurry up and climb in or I'll leave you in the dust" Dean grumbled.
Sam jumped into the passenger seat and the two boys clambered into the back. Dean gunned the engine and manoeuvred the car back onto the road before asking "So. Where to"
The boys directed him on where to turn, taking him to their house. Dean pulled up and looked at the charming Victorian home, with the bog old oak tree out front. He gazed at the house, feeling a momentary pang for what he'd lost when his mother died.
"Last stop for mom, dad and apple pie" he quipped.
All of them exited the car and stood facing each other. Eyeing the pale Dean and tired, sick looking Sam, Frank made his decision. Joe got there first.
"So, are you coming in or what? By the car in the drive Dad's back, Mom's home and I'm pretty sure there's pie, though not positive on the apple" Joe said happily, smile in place.
"Uh, I don't think- Dean only got so far before Laura Hardy stepped out of the picturesque Victorian home.
"You're finally home" Laura called as she walked towards them, "who are your friends?" she asked curiously. She'd seen the boys come home bruised and scraped many times before, her eyes were practiced in seeking out injuries as Joe, her youngest was often fond of the "I'm fine" routine. Almost immediately she noticed the young man's shoulder and the boy's nasty wound on his forehead.
"Never mind" she cut in, ushering all of the young men inside, "all of you inside now" she added sternly, mothering mode in full force.
"Uhm m'am, no offence but we should really- Dean tried only to be cut off again.
"Should really get inside now before I get in a temper and you catch cold, yes I know" Laura finished, shoving the young man gently inside. She waited until all the boys were in before shutting the door and calling out to her husband.
"Fenton! The boys are home!" she called, and soon her husband, Joe and Frank's father came striding into the kitchen where she'd seated the boys.
"Well, what have we here?" Fenton asked, eyes alight with amusement, "I seem to remember two boys leaving the house. You pick up some strays, Laura?" Fenton asked good-naturedly.
Dean stood uncomfortably, "Sir, like I was trying to tell your wife, my brother and I should really get going" Dean tried again, hoping he'd have more luck with this bear of a man. His shoulder and arm was aching, pain pulsing upward creating a mother of a headache. All he wanted to do was find a room and sleep.
"Nonsense, son, you should at least get patched up before you go home, no doubt you got mixed in with my boys" Fenton laughed good naturedly, "they seem to have an eye for trouble"
"Dad, Mom, this is Dean and Sam Winchester" Joe introduced.
"Dean here saved my butt from two hoods in that old abandoned warehouse we were checking out," Joe added.
"What Joe means is he got tied to a chair. Again" Frank said, eyeing his brother before turning back to his father, "those goons had guns, Dad. I'd say the warehouse is a pretty likely choice for a hideout at least" he finished.
"Guns?" Laura asked, alarmed. She looked the boys over more intently upon this news, before pulling out the first aid kit from under the kitchen sink and laying it out on the table.
"Dean, was it?" Laura asked the oldest of the boys. "let me take a look at that arm, please" she requested, determined to have her way.
"Really, Mrs. Hardy it's fine" Dean protested as she pulled him towards a chair and pushed him down, careful to avoid his injured side.
"I'm sure it is Dean, just like my Joe is "fine" every time he gets tied to a chair. Humor me and stay still while I at least fix it up" Laura said firmly. She didn't like how pale the young man looked, or how a thin sheen of sweat covered his skin. It was obvious he was in pain but she just couldn't see why he was being so stubborn.
"Yes m'am" Dean answered tiredly, in truth grateful for the chair. "But first can you check out Sammy, please?" he asked, eyes on the petite woman in front of him. It was clear he wasn't going to let her treat him until she dealt with his younger brother, so she acquiesced.
"Sam?" she asked gently, and the younger boy rolled his eyes at his brother, plonking down into the seat next to him. Frank, Joe and Fenton were all watching this show-down of wills between Dean and Laura, each with a small smile on their face, having dealt with her mothering tendencies and iron will many times before. Joe had cleaned up and was holding a cool pack to his black eye, but otherwise was fine.
Laura re-cleaned the gash on Sam's head after checking the butterfly stitches, fixed up the smaller cuts and bruises the boy harbored before patting him on the shoulder and giving him some aspirin and a glass of water.
"Now, young man" she said, directing her full attention to Dean, "no more stalling"
Dean sighed, slumping a little into his seat, not finding enough energy to start the debate anew. Sam eyed his older brother worriedly; he knew Dean didn't like getting help from anyone, not even Sam or their father, let alone people he barely knew. To be this placid Dean must have been in pain.
"Dean?" Sam asked, a thousand questions worked into just that one word.
"I'm fine Sam" Dean answered tiredly, flashing his little brother a quick, reassuring smile, "stop being such a drama queen"
"Take your shirt off, please" Laura requested, having paused her ministrations at the brother's words.
"What?" Dean asked, eyes on Laura again.
"Come one, or I'll cut it off you instead" Laura encouraged.
Dean slowly peeled the shirt off; made easier by the fact Laura had dampened the stiffening blood on it, and passed it to her waiting hands.
"Joe can you put this in the soaking tub please?" Laura requested, giving her youngest the bloody shirt.
"Sure, mom" Joe answered, wandering off to the laundry.
Dean moved his eyes back to Sam, smirking lightly and saying "See, Sammy, I told ya women love me" earning a quick slap on the arm from Laura who smiled at the young man's attempt to lighten his brother's mood, despite his own pain.
"You'd best watch what you're saying there, young man. That's my wife you're talking about" Fenton said, mock glaring. He turned to Frank "How about you tell me exactly what happened, son? I'm sure Dean here didn't get that bullet hole just from untying Joe" he added, nodding to where Dean sat at the kitchen table, being fixed up by Laura and eyed carefully by a worried Sam.
"No he didn't" Frank agreed. "He got it from saving our behinds after one of the goons shot at us" he said, and launched into telling the story about what happened. Joe, having returned from the laundry, added in his half and Fenton listened attentively, taking in the details his sons gave him, storing them for future reference.
"Well, that's quite a story for one afternoon's work" Fenton said as he expelled a long breath.
Suddenly, a loud noise split the air; ACDC blasted from Dean's pocket. Quickly, with a slightly sheepish grin on his face, he pulled out his cell, flipping it open to answer.
Dean turned slightly in his chair towards Sam but away from the others as he spoke into the phone.
Dean clipped the phone shut, and met Sam's eyes.
"Dad?" the younger boy asked.
"Yeah. He's gonna be out of town a few more days. Said he might even put in a call to Caleb if he and Bobby think the job needs it" Dean said, not elaborating on what the "job" was.
"Well then how about you boys stay here?" Laura offered up. "You could take the spare room or bunk in with the boys" she said, sounding as though she'd already decided.
"We wouldn't want to inconvenience you, m'am" Dean said, trying to politely back out of the offer. He didn't have anything against the Hardy's but instinct and training went against accepting offers from practical strangers. He also wouldn't be able to salt doors or windows here without raising eyebrows and questions, which lessened the protection they'd have.
"Nonsense. I'd feel bad if we sent you off knowing you'd be stuck in one of those stuffy motels. At least stay for tonight" Laura insisted, looking towards Sam pointedly. "I'm sure Sam could do with a good rest in a nice bed and a good, hot shower" she added.
At the mention of Sam, Dean caved. He cast a slightly worried glance towards his younger brother, noting how tired and sick he looked, and accepted the offer.
Immediately Laura went into a flurry of action, shoving blankets at her sons with instructions to set up the extra beds in the boys rooms, so Sam and Dean could bunk in Joe's room and Joe could share with Frank so they wouldn't feel uncomfortable.
After that, Laura insisted Sam and Dean shower and change while she finished setting up dinner. Dean insisted on helping Laura but made Sam sit down, declaring his was only a cut but Sam could have a concussion. The mother-hen attitude made Sam roll his eyes but he acquiesced to his brother's order, realizing Dean had only really stayed for him.
Dinner was a relaxed affair for the most part with the Hardy boys conversing all the way through with Sam, though Dean only occasionally added in a comment, usually a wise crack of some sort.
Fenton and Laura observed the boys at their table; Laura with a mother's eye, Fenton with a detective's.
Laura noted the way Dean was constantly alert around Sam, protectively watching over him, and a bond between the two that rivalled her own boy's bond.
Fenton noticed the boy's attentiveness as well, recognizing it for what it was; a constant suspicion even when at ease, always on the look out for risks and enemies and wondered how someone so young could appear so battle-hardened. He noticed Sam didn't hold the Same amount of attentiveness as his older brother, relying on Dean's protection, though he often "checked in" by glancing at his brother. He watched how they spoke silently with their eyes, questions and answers darting between them unspoken but understood.
He'd also noticed how blasé Dean was with his injuries and noticed the numerous scars on his torso and arms; some familiar to him from his years on the force, GSW's and knife wounds, others obscure in origin. These boys certainly were a mystery; one a seemingly world-weary soldier, the other, Sam, held on to a piece of his childhood innocence, no doubt the result of his brother's careful protection.
Fenton knew that even with all his sons had seen they were like Sam and held onto innocence, whereas Dean was more like himself; he had seen and experienced far too much to be naïve about safety and life. He just wondered what kind of life they'd led to have this result. What exactly did their father do? Could he be involved in crime? Instinctively Fenton didn't think so; Dean's attitude and his side of the phone conversation earlier had been more authoritative and militaristic than it likely would have been if they were criminals.
That simply brought back the questions; who exactly were the Winchesters and what exactly did they do?