Okay, this is my kind of second attempt at Supernatural, and certainly the first to write a longer genuinely English fan fiction, as I'm German native, so bear with me and don't hesitate to correct the mistakes. It's set somewhere after Playthings, mentions of Born under a bad Sign.
As for the explanations:
Not quite Xover means that those of you familiar with Queer as Folk will recognize most of the locations, but I won't be using the characters (at least not by name, maybe some types…) You don't have to know QaF to be able to follow this one in any case. It just struck me as the perfect setting for this story.
Not quite Wincest: Well, as those two boys are young and practically around each other all the time, one thinks… but while I'm not basically opposed to reading it when it's well written, I'm not entirely comfortable with writing it, so everything you may get from me is borderline, but not really enough to be called a romantic relationship. But there will be some very tricky situations for Dean at least g. It's all about innuendo!
Dean's nose twitched only once when the most delicious scent of coffee invaded his senses and then he was wide awake, but not really in the mood to move. He opened his eyes into slits and spotted Sam sitting a the rickety motel table in front of his laptop, steaming cup half-way up to his mouth seemingly forgotten over what he was reading at the moment.
"Hey geek, if you got no better use for the coffee then getting cold at least give it to someone who can appreciate the taste."
"You're cup is on the nightstand and I think I got something here."
And true to his word, there was a twin to the one in his brother's hands sat on the bedside table, all his to take.
"Ahhh, I love ya, Sammy!"
"I know you do, now get your butt out of bed and look at this."
Dean groaned, but swung his legs from the bed and made his way over where his brother's big foot frame was once more hunched over the display. It showed a series of news articles from some little net paper, headlines screaming in a very eye-watering colour scheme.
"Pittsburgh, it says here, has had some serious attacks on their gay population. Three victims so far - two on their way to recovery on a couple of weeks in hospital, the last one in a coma, not likely to wake anytime soon."
"Ok, not that I want to sound homophobic or something, but why exactly is gay bashing in Pittsburgh our kind of gig?"
"Well, second victim was still slightly conscious when the attacker was finished, said the guy vanished into thin air in front of his eyes. Of course, everyone claims that he was confused by serious trauma but we both know better about these things, don't we? I say it's worth checking out, plus it's only about three hundred miles or so."
Dean tried to wrap his still slightly sleep-muddled mind around the case. But as Sam hadn't presented any alternatives he was pretty sure his little brother would pull tooth and nail for that one, so he just sighed and nodded.
"Ok Sammy, let's take up the Pride… but let me tell you, no funny business!"
Sam chuckled and shut his laptop.
"Sure Dean, let's hit the road."
After three hours of driving and a very peculiar selection of music, Sam shook his head at his brother's antics when said brother popped another one of the probably most hardcore tapes into the recorder.
"You know, we're still about a hundred miles from the city and your masculinity so isn't threatened right now."
Dean didn't look at him, flinching just the slightest bit.
"I don't know what you're on about… you know my acquired tastes well enough."
"Yeah Dean, sure."
"Just shut it."
"If you didn't want to go, all you had to do is say so."
"Yeah right, like you wouldn't have taken out the puppy-eye-pout if I said otherwise."
"So would… God, now we're bantering about your eyes… this case is doomed, I just feel it."
"Don't get your knickers in a twist, you remember the nice lady at the hotel? We'll fit in just fine."
"Over my dead body!"
"Just joking Dean, everything's going to be alright."
Passing the city limits, Dean finally stopped sulking and asked Sam where they were going to start. It was still early and they could go after a few hints before searching a room for the night.
"Well, I don't think it'll do any good talking to the victims this evening there's bound to be many visitors right now, but we could go after the guy from the newspaper. He owns a comic shop in downtown and has been quite detailed in his articles, I think he's our best shot at outside information right now."
"Ok, lead the way; I want this over with quickly."
Sam watched in amusement as his brother followed his directions looking really uncomfortable in his own skin since… well ever. Not that they didn't get the hints often enough on the course of their journey, they were after all two young splendid looking males coming off the road to lodge in seedy motels, but now they were diving headlong into it. Well, he couldn't wait for the teasing material that was going to come of off this one.
They parked opposite the little comic shop and Dean rummaged through the box finally throwing him an ID.
"Yeah, I don't think he'll dig the cops to much if I know my stuff and he sure won't just spill to tourists. Just let me do the talking."
A little bell rang when they opened the door and Dean went straight to the shelves to browse the display, pretending to search for some old edition of Spiderman or something. Sam looked over his shoulder briefly and then eyed the interior of the shop with practised ease. Practically every flat surface no matter if vertical or horizontal seemed to be plastered with masked faces and bulging muscle beneath spandex. Sam lifted one eyebrow slowly and then looked back at his brother, who seemed to have found something to his liking. He followed him to the counter where smiling dark-haired guy waited for their purchase. Only he was kind of tiny… maybe five foot four or something, well, not exactly tiny but he got nothing on Sam's height. Dean squinted for the name tag as he laid the comic on the counter.
"Hey… Mitch. Nice selection you got round here. Been working this shop really well, I suppose."
The counter guy – Mitch – smiled brightly at the compliment, raking a quick eye over both of the new customers.
"Dude, isn't the owner the guy that also runs that web paper?"
"Yeah, that's me; I'm the editor of the Rainbow Mag, you heard of it?"
"Oh, that's you! Yeah, I read about the attacks. You got some pretty accurate details there; care to talk about your source?"
The smile dimmed instantly and the eyes became guarded, flicking from one brother to the other. He seemed to get an idea about them, which was confirmed by his next words.
"I've already talked to the cops about that, and they were not quite keen on the information then."
"No, no we're not cops, we're private investigators, just came into town. We're looking into the case as well," Sam interjected, getting a little glare from Dean's side.
"Right, you got any ID?"
They flashed their cards immediately, but just long enough for the guy to have confirmed the right occupation written on them. But he seem to be the cautious type who didn't believe in authorities instantly, not surprising as being a openly gay business man could do that to you. "So, if you came into town today, why are you interested in this case? Surely you didn't come here just because there was nothing to do at home?"
Dean hurried for an explanation that would persuade the guy into talking to them.
"Well, it's a favour for a friend; he's got a kid living round here and was concerned about it. He asked us to look into it."
Behind him Sam wanted to roll his eyes; that wouldn't have convinced the next Granma. Apparently, the shop owner had the same opinion, because he eyed them with no less suspicion for a few more moments. Then his face brightened again in a flash and he chuckled good-naturedly under his breath.
"You're not out officially, are you? Should have known at once, you look the type. If just said you wanted to help the community I wouldn't have made such a fuss."
While Dean was still frozen in shock of once again 'looking the type', Sam saw an out and jumped in without really thinking about the consequences. He threw an arm around his baffled brother and closed the gap between them considerably.
"Yeah, you know we can't be to open about the family secrets, we tend to attract all kinds of trouble in our line of work. But we really want to help, and I think this could use some professional research."
The expression of Mitch's eyes seemed to soften a great deal when he looked at the two young men in front of him. Dean was still not really getting into the conversation, as he was starring horrified down at the hand resting on his hip.
"And you're such a cute couple, too. Tell me, you got to town today, you got somewhere to stay already?"
Sam shook his head all the while contemplating what he had done here and that Dean was so going to strangle him when he came out of his stupor.
"Ah, great, I'm going to jot down the address of the Pride Hostel for you. Tell Ralf that Mitch sent you boys, and he will surely make room for you, and my mum's cooking there, Monica, her apple pie is worth dying for."
At this Dean's head snapped up again, smile plastered on his face in typical Winchester acting mode, like it happened every day that your little brother sneaked his hand under your jacket to feel you up.
"Oh, we'll have to see about that… I've had apple pies that rival everything in the dying department."
Mitch looked a bit confused, but Sam snatched the address out of his offering hand.
"Thanks, we'll just have to meet you later to talk about the case, yeah? Maybe we'll drop by tomorrow."
"Oh, no need, I'm going to be at Ralf's for dinner after I close up in a couple of hours. The others will be there too, so I can introduce you properly if Ralf isn't all over you in a second."
"Right, thanks Mitch, that's really convenient. See you later then."
Sam took care to stir Dean, whose face still looked somewhat loony, out of the door, over the street to the car to make sure they were outside hearing distance when the tantrum began.
"What. The. Hell. Have. You. Done?"
"Dean, calm down, I got us the most perfect cover! Think about it, we've just got to play along for a bit to get all the info and then we're out of here. He would never have talked to us otherwise."
"I can't believe it, Sam. What did I tell you?? NO FUNNY BUSINESS. How are we supposed to act out a gay couple in front of half the gay population of Pittsburgh, we're brothers for God's sake… and straight!"
"Dean, it's not that difficult, we're mistaken for a couple enough times and I didn't even have to lie in there… you just give an impression and let people spin their own story. And you don't have to act all lovey-dovey, being a drama queen like right now will be more that sufficient."
Dean looked at him over the roof of the car like he really wanted to strangle him right now. Instead he wrenched the car door open and got in pondering the situation with his hands firmly on the wheel as if he was thinking of leaving Sam on the sidewalk.
When you rationally thought about it, like strategically and all… Sammy's logic was actually quite unbeatable, loath as he was to admit. And no matter how much his pride told him to fight tooth and nail for his side of things this time, he had the feeling that something of their line of work was going on here. And then his saving people thing had to come through and squash his pride to the ground with a blink of the eye. Ah, damn, he was entirely too masochistic for this job.
"Ok, Sammy get in, but I'm not staying at that hovel, whatever it is, let's just go and find ourselves a seedy little motel."
When Dean had started up the car, Sam felt comfortable enough to point something out even if his big brother never actually agreed to going along with their undercover mission.
"You know Dean, we're supposed to meet Mitch at Ralf's for dinner tonight. He'll be suspicious if we don't stay there after he recommended us."
Dean closed his eyes and let his head fall down in between his hands on the wheel.
"Sam, this is soooo going to be the very last time you chose a hunt, EVER."
"Yeah Dean… because you so want to do all the research from now on. Get over it, it will probably go over much faster this way and then you can hightail it outta here."
With a final shake of his head, Dean took off down the street.
"Then lead the way, Samantha."
"You sure this is the right address?"
Sam squinted at the signs, then at the note in his hand.
"Damn. This is one hell of a hovel."
They had the car parked in front a Victorian style mansion that loomed of the end of the street like living, breathing thing. It had at least three storeys and about a dozen windows on the front side. The walls were painted a deep burgundy red that began to fade in the growing dusk and some lights were on behind the huge windows.
Dean looked at the house once more and then down at himself.
"Think they'll even let us in, street-urchins that we are?"
"No way to find out but ring the bell."
The man who opened the door just HAD to be Ralf, because he certainly looked the type. He let his eyes rake up and down their travel-worn frames and obvious refrained himself from crinkling his lip in distaste. Sam decided to clear the coast before they got the door shut in their faces.
"Hi, I'm Sam, this is Dean and Mitch sent us. He said to ask Ralf to make room for us and to greet Monica, the cook."
Astonishment quickly replaced the frown, followed immediately by a much more friendly expression.
"Ah, so Mitch sent you? Should have known, he's prone to taking in strays. Come on in I'm sure we'll find a nice little room for you two."
He turned and waved them to follow him into the house which looked much cosier inside than the gloomy exterior led to believe. There was a long corridor ahead of them with lots of doors on either side. Some were open and obviously led to the TV room and the like.
Ralf led them through a door nearly at the end which led into a spacious kitchen with a big oak table in the centre that was easily fit to accommodate more than a dozen people for sure. At the other end of the room a woman pottered around with plates and pots.
"Hey Monica, look what you're son sent you for dinner, two new house guests!"
The woman turned around and beamed at them with a smile that showed considerable resemblance to Mitch's undoubtedly giving away the family relations. She was actually smaller than her son by at least three inches also with the same dark hair and Dean noted instantly that she didn't look like she would have an adult son even if she was clearly middle-aged.
"No problem, Ralf, and my aren't you two boys handsome. Shame all the pretty ones always end up gay…" Ralf rolled his eyes at the comment. "Are you two up to a cup of freshly brewed coffee?"
Dean groaned at the fumes wafting from the hearth and quickly nodded.
"You know, if you always welcomed a man like that, I'd ask you to marry me."
Instantly, a heavy hand landed on his shoulder and he could hear his brother's voice near his ear.
"Yeah, Dean, you would, if you weren't already taken, would ya?" Sammy said, subtly reminding him of 'no flirting with the women' right now. Man, this job sucked.
The comment brought on a chuckle from the other two and Ralf clapped Sam on the back moving to an unobtrusive door nearby.
"I'll just get all the papers for your check in, ok? Dinner's in half an hour it goes with the room as well as breakfast, so just sit down and don't let Monica chew your ears off!"
"Never mind him, so guys, what brings you to town?" asked the woman while putting to cups of steaming coffee in front them.
"Oh, we're private investigators and after hearing about the attacks, we thought we'd come here to look into it properly, because the police sure as hell won't make it first priority."
"Ah, yes… I mean there are some good boys with the police department here, but they're not really enough to make a difference. Toby and Jack are lucky to be out of hospital in a week or so, but for Carter… well, we don't know exactly if he'll ever wake up again. It's a shame that they haven't got the slightest clue as to who's done it. There's just no evidence and well, what are they to do about that."
"Well, maybe we can help. We specialize in all the … obscure cases."
"Yeah? Well maybe you can find something than. I'm sure Mitch will be happy to help you out with the local informants… Toby's been living here forever, so it's quite personal."
Ralf took that cue to emerge again from the office with quite a few forms at hand.
"So, here you are guys. Got room thirteen for you but fear not, nothing untoward's ever happened there I didn't know about in the first place."
Dean mumbled something unintelligible under his breath, and Monica piped up.
"And don't you dare charge them full, they're here to help about the attacks. Private Investigation you said, right?"
"Yes ma'am, we'll look into it first thing tomorrow morning."
"Really? Well, that's brilliant. We could use some help finding that bastard. Wonder why he doesn't show himself like the man he obviously believes himself to be!"
Monica had retreated to her stove, making the most delicious fumes emanate into the air. Sam started to fill in the forms while he let Ralf chatter on with Dean, exchanging harmless details about their life and profession. Apparently, the Hostel was somewhat of a refuge for local gay population. Not that they didn't have regular customers as well, but there were also quite a few semi-permanent residents who just liked to live at the little hotel and some just swung by on a regular basis to eat dinner with the occupants of the house, like the lesbian couple that had knocked on the frame of the kitchen door a few moments ago. Ralf introduced them as Vivian and Rose and they immediately took to Dean. Sam wanted to roll his eyes, trust Dean to appeal to the ladies even if they were officially not interested.
From time to time there came a new addition to the table now. Tom and Axel, an older couple of accountants came down for dinner welcoming Sam and Dean heartily into the fold. Finally Mitch arrived with Sanjay and Scratchy in tow. His actual name was Brad, but nobody bothered to call him that. He wouldn't give away how he had acquired the nickname though. Claimed that it catered to his mystery man image, which was rather pointless because he was more obviously a fairy then any other of the occupants at the table. Now that the round was complete for the day, Monica proceeded to feed them a hearty meal and all chatter died down instantly for a few blessed minutes. The food was delicious and Dean was quite vocal about that one of course. His cheesy compliments made most of the round snicker, as they couldn't have known how long it had been for Dean to get a home-cooked meal. After a while they felt quite comfortable and familiar with all the people, not really tapping into the issue of relationships at all, until…
"So, Dean, how long have you two actually been together?"
Rose's innocent question made Dean choke instantly on his beer he'd been drinking at the very moment. Sam slapped him on the back and reverted to not quite telling a lie, as was best in the situation.
"Well, actually we've known each other basically all our lives, but then I went to college and we lost contact before anything came out of it. Dean came for me roughly one and a half years ago and we've been kind of sticking together ever since."
Dean regained his posture and launched into the tale. He threw an arm around his brother and ruffled Sam's hair to his indignation.
"Yeah, now that's my boy, he can't quite get on without me."
The women at the table – Scratchy included of course – awwwwed and fawned about romantic reunions. After that, both of them got a little bit uncomfortable and decided to play the unpacking card to settle in for the night.
When they went to their room after getting the duffels out of the trunk, they were pleasantly surprised. Pastels alright, but no unnecessary trinkets of kitsch scattered everywhere and no gay nudes on the walls. They'd had worse with every possible motel room in the country. But after looking through the room noting the adjoining bathroom door they faced the one remaining problem of the room.
That's it… one.
"Sammy, you got us into this mess, you take the floor."
"The hell I am. We can't even ask for additional bedding; that would look like we had a lover's spat or something. We've shared before and it's a king, it'll work."
"Sam, we shared a bed last time when you were eight! And not a six foot four Sasquatch with the habit to throw real fists in your sleep!"
"I don't throw fists, and you're the one sleeping with the ten inch shiny steel under your pillow. Make do! We always have."
Grumbling Dean vanished into the bathroom closing the door with a bit more noise than strictly necessary. Sam sighed and made to unpack the most necessary things and stow the weapons away as inconspicuously as possible. After all even private investigators where not supposed to come with an arsenal that included machetes and throwing stars. He sat down in front of the window, observing the street while he waited for his computer to boot. He wanted to look into the local gay bashing history and the prominent names in it. If they were dealing with a vengeful spirit it was most likely one of those. He heard the shower running and decided that he wouldn't be up much longer researching after Dean finished his evening routine. And while was really not keen on sharing a bed with his brother, it looked awfully soft and warm and he was still beat from the drive and all the commotion they'd had today.
After a few minutes of scanning the local records available, he had the impression that the gay movement around here was quite active unfortunately attracting the attention of the opposition quite strongly as well. There had even been some kind of a riot in the early nineties. He jotted down some names to remember and may ask about tomorrow and then got up when steam flowed out of the open bathroom door and Dean emerged wrapped in a towel. He passed his brother to do some freshening up himself. When he came out of the bathroom, Dean was already lying sprawled on the bed, deliberately snoring as if he was already asleep. Sam chuckled under his breath and changed into night clothes – which meant a t-shirt and shorts. Dean had chosen the door side of the bed as always, facing the window as well. Sam lifted the covers and crawled in, nudging Dean to make more room as he currently occupied like two thirds of the bed. Dean made room alright, taking about another two thirds of the bedding with him. Sam smiled at his brother's quite obvious sulking and resigned himself to a night of unconscious tug-of-war.
Dean woke up from someone breathing down his neck – literally. He forced his sleep-fuddled brain to sort out in record time what happened yesterday. Normally he didn't stay long enough to fall asleep in bed with his one-night-stands. When he took stock though, he noticed that he was on the wrong side of the cuddling attack and that the hand splayed out on his chest was not quite the small and feminine version he should have been expecting. In fact, it was quite large and attached to an arm that was followed up by the rest of his little brother. And when said brother nuzzled his neck murmuring something that sounded suspiciously like 'Jess' he flung himself out of bed like he'd been stung. Sam sat up instantly wide awake.
"Dean, wha's a matta?"
The older man decided to just not go into it right now as it was embarrassing for both of them and would open a whole new can of worms about Sam being used to sleeping with someone.
"Nothing, nothing, Sam. Just really, really got to pee right now."
Sam just huffed and turned around to start snoring again, hugging the blankets like a lifeline. Dean slapped a hand over his face and asked himself again why he had agreed to this. It was sure going to be the most embarrassing case of his life… well, he just got to make sure nobody lived to tell the tale… figuratively speaking.
After a big breakfast they headed out to the hospital to question the victims. The comatose guy was a bust of course they wouldn't get anything from him for sure. His parents were sitting at his bedside, but they couldn't supply them with anything more than that he had been a good kid. Going through a bit of a rough patch at college right now due to a quite messy break-up with a cheating boyfriend, but otherwise completely clean from the records. Of course, the parents wouldn't know everything about their son, but the pattern of the attacks suggested a rather loose selection of victims, first and foremost they were gay, period. The second guy they talked to was actually the first victim and a popular local drag queen. He was to be released from the hospital in two days time and had had only minor injuries like light concussion, scrapes, contusions and a partially fractured ankle. But unfortunately he had not seen the attacker at all, as he came from behind and knocked him out quite effectively with the first blow. He got a bouquet of flowers with some balloons while they were there, telling them that his family lived in California and would've flown in immediately if he hadn't been able to hold them off due to the less severe injuries. He had quite the assortment of flowers arranged around his bed after getting one each day for a week now.
"So Toby, you're the only one of the victims who was actually able to see the attacker?"
The blond boy in the bed nodded. He couldn't have been more than nineteen and he gave off the impression of being quite lively normally, which was surely impaired by his broken hip at the moment.
"Yeah, I was walking home from Woody's when he stepped out of the alley. I first thought he was having a heart attack or something because he staggered, his head bowed as if he were in pain. But when I drew near, he like pulled a baseball bat out of nowhere and caught me full on at the hip. The doctors said two inches higher and I probably would have ruptured something important and have had internal bleeding. Could've not even made it. I was lucky I guess… I went down he kicked me again a couple of times and I mean, I was protecting my head and didn't really get that good a look on his face. Probably the police are right and I got something messed up in my head."
The brothers perked up immediately, those were the phrases their workload consisted off.
"Why would you say that?"
"Well, it's not really important…"
"Tell us anyway, everything we know helps, even if it might be a bust."
The kid looked between them obviously trying to judge if they would think him nuts and seemed to find something to make him ease up.
"Huh… If it wasn't the weirdest, creepiest thing I ever saw I would say it was old Hugh Benson."
"And why would that be weird at all? I mean, the police could go take him in. There would've been no problem with that."
"Why, because they would've had to go to the Mary-Parson Cemetery and dig him up. He died like two and a half years ago, see what I mean?"
"Right, that would have been highly unlikely for a dead person to get up and attack people around here. But thanks anyway, we'll get back to you if we find something or need to talk again."
They left the hospital minutes later and got into the car. When Dean drove off, he gloated.
"Well, Sam, I'm beginning to like the taste of the case. In and out in a flourish… he even pointed us the right location. Haven't had that easy a case in ages!"
"Yeah Dean, but I know the name of this guy… he was a local conservative that went quite hard up against the gay movement, even if there were never any attacks traced back to him, not even rumours. This is a though guy, I don't know if his ghost will be all too happy about being roasted, we should expect some action tonight."
"Aww, Sammy, it's never good without some action. Now if the prats would leave without a fuss, what would be the point in hunting them down, eh? I'm itching for some fight anyway."
"Yeah Dean, you would."
That's it for today… the story's all but finished and will be up in three parts, how fast depends on how the response is… I hope you let me know if you want more!