A/N: And now for something completely different. From me, anyway. Never thought I'd write a kid!fic, let alone a kid!fic crossover with a show most of you all have probably never seen. It became a challenge for me, and with help from LdyAnne, I have had a complete blast so far. I'm not quite finished with this one, as it started out being a quick 15 page story and escalated a teeny, tiny bit into something longer with a moderate plot. I will not prattle on at the beginning of each chapter, but there are some basic things that it might help you to know:
Very Quick Character Bios:
Rick Simon: Eldest Simon brother, Vietnam vet, total badass private investigator with a moustache, a big gun (.44 Magnum, y'all!), a cowboy hat and a free-spirit attitude. He has AJ's back, always.
AJ Simon: Younger of the two Simons, college educated and preppy, he never has a hair out of place, is very proper and is pretty darned conservative. He has Rick's back, always.
Cecilia Simon: Arguably one of the best mothers on television, ever. She puts up with her sons' shenanigans with the patience of a saint and with great wit. She loves her boys, and has had to be mother and father because she lost her husband when the boys were young*. (*Canon has contradicted itself on the actual timeline - for my purposes, AJ was about four when his father died.)
John Winchester: Tortured soul who only lost his wife to something evil about a year and a half earlier. He hunts evil across the country, determined to find what killed his wife, and to protect his sons the only way he knows how - by keeping them close and raising them to be warriors.
Dean Winchester: Six years old and tough as nails. He can and will do everything to protect his baby brother.
Sam Winchester: Not yet two and with a limited vocabulary, he is too adorable for words anyway.
Town: Will likely not appear in the story, but he is mentioned. So as not to confuse, Town is the nickname of Det. Marcel "Downtown" Brown, a police friend of the Simon brothers.
The story begins...
Don't Judge a Book
Rick Simon didn't like how quiet things were. He knew the silence should be a good sign or at least not a bad one, but it set him on edge. He was almost positive he and AJ had their mark, though for something so simple this guy had proven hard to pin down. God knew they didn't need this to go sideways on them any more than they did their other cases.
The bottom line was the quiet felt kind of like the calm before the storm to him. He wasn't even sure why he was unnerved, but something about this case had seemed off to him from the very start. Not that he minded a change from routine cheating-spouse cases – they'd been in that whatever-pays-the-bills rut for far too long now – but this was … Rick couldn't put his finger on it. He supposed if he could, they wouldn't be here. They still didn't even have a name they could believe was real, no paper trail on this guy. Not only was that hugely problematic, it was peculiar their nameless perv was holed up in a skeevy motel way across town and wasn't some neighborhood punk out for a thrill or a budding sexual predator. He tried to muffle the unease, inching silently to the motel room door. Nothing about this was adding up.
He peered through the curtained window, looking for the all clear. Through the opaque drapes, he couldn't see much. But he saw no obvious signs of life from within, either. It was as it should be – their perp was probably out on the prowl even as he and AJ stood there. He should have volunteered to run surveillance on the home instead, maybe catch the guy red-handed at last, not that doing that would ease his mind at all, since it seemed intent on thinking the bogeyman was right around the corner.
Rick nodded to AJ, whose head bobbed in return as he set about picking the lock. He kept trying to convince himself this was a cakewalk. It was much easier to break into a motel than an office building. No ridiculous costumes or the theatrics AJ seemed to enjoy so much. All right, he did too, even if he was so often the lunatic in the set-up. He grinned to himself. Maybe lunatic wasn't so far off – he must be crazy for looking for problems where there weren't any. Their current case wasn't as boring as a cheating-spouse case, but a Peeping Tom wasn't exactly dangerous or exciting either.
The lock tumbled with a click, and AJ eased the door open wide enough only for them to slip into the room. They had no idea how much time they had, but what they were looking for shouldn't take long. If the evidence they needed was here, it was here. If it wasn't, well, they'd have to figure out another way to nail this bastard. Too bad the Sanchezes didn't want to call the police in on this yet. It wasn't like he was going to turn away a paying gig, even if it didn't make sense. Rick moved quietly despite the emptiness of the room, unable in spite of himself to dislodge that bad feeling. AJ tapped him on the arm and pointed to the small kitchen area, moving just as stealthily as him.
Rick scoped out the living space, which consisted of two lumpy beds and a bedside table. It didn't take more than fifteen seconds for him to note there was nothing damning in the room, only a military-style duffel bag with a couple dirty socks hanging out from it. He riffled through it anyway, finding a couple of pairs of jeans and some flannel shirts. Nothing incriminating about that. No fake IDs or credit cards – the guy must keep the physical proof of those with him at all times, the crafty son of a bitch. Rick moved to join his brother, but before he could confirm if AJ had found anything he heard a faint, rustling noise. Like plastic. Shower curtain, maybe. His senses went on full alert again, an uncomfortable prickle of adrenaline on the back of his neck.
"AJ," he whispered. "You hear that?"
"Bathroom?" AJ whispered back, reaching for his weapon. His fingers curled and uncurled around the handle as he headed for the partially closed door, nervous but ready.
Holding up three fingers, Rick waited a second before he started ticking them down. On three, he kicked the door open and entered the dark room, whipping the shower curtain back. There was nothing and no one there.
"Looks like this is a dead end," AJ said glumly. "I'm beginning to not like this case very much, Rick. It feels all wrong."
Rick blinked. Maybe he wasn't crazy after all, if he and AJ were on the same page. He was about to say as much when he heard the crinkle of plastic again, followed closely by a soft hissing noise. From the corner of his eye, he saw AJ stiffen. The sound had come from the living area. It occurred to him, belatedly, that there was one place he'd failed to look in his initial search – under the beds. He should have known. Bad things always lurked under beds, be it criminals or criminals' contraband. When he was little it was that bogeyman he half expected to see tonight.
AJ walked toward the bed closest to the door, while Rick edged cautiously for the other one. Before his brother could reach his bed, more definitive sounds came from under Rick's – a slight shuffle, a crinkle and a soft thump. He pointed AJ to the foot of the bed. Kneeling down and lifting the tattered bedspread was only liable to get them a face full of ugly. There was someone or something alive down there. He mimicked picking up the bed to his brother, waiting for AJ to get his gun at the ready and then hefting the mattress, box spring and cheap frame up with a shout he hoped would confuse what or whoever they were about to find.
An explosion rocked the room the moment the bed was airborne. He recognized the sound of a shotgun retort, and heard the crash of the lamp as the bed knocked it over. Instinct kicked in – Rick darted for his brother, but it was too late. AJ fell backwards with an alarmed cry, his limbs tangling with Rick's as they hit the floor simultaneously. Foregoing his concern for AJ and the tingling sensation his left arm had from striking his funny bone hard on the floor for a moment, Rick rolled onto his back and aimed, ready to fire at their assailant.
Faced with their assailant, Rick checked himself barely in time, jerking his weapon up. His brain was momentarily frozen. He stared at the barrel of a gun pointed at him, too flabbergasted to do anything else for a second. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw AJ appeared unhurt and was in much the same position; his mouth hung open in shock and he looked hopelessly stupid.
"You don't move," a gruff but little voice said. "I mean it. You stay away."
The owner of the voice was a boy who couldn't have been more than five or six years old, all freckles and close-set eyes and gaps in his mouth from missing baby teeth, but the scowl he possessed might fell the mightiest of men. The boy scrambled to his feet awkwardly, stepping in front of something. He never lost his fumbling grip on the sawed-off shotgun he held, though the barrel wavered dangerously close to the Simon family jewels. Both sets.
"Son," Rick said, "you should think about putting that thing down before someone gets hurt."
"No, I shouldn't."
As a show of good faith, Rick gingerly set his piece on the floor and raised both of his hands in front of him. He sat up slowly, which only prompted the kid to aim the gun at him alone. That was good. It was better to have all of the attention on him, or maybe it just seemed safer not to have that gun swinging around the room in the hands of a pint-sized boy. And if they were lucky, a few minutes of distraction would enable AJ to disarm him without another shot going off. He could see the boy's arms shaking with the effort of keeping the weapon aimed.
"We're not here to hurt you," Rick said as gently as he could. Kids weren't his forte in the first place, but this scenario was so bizarre he didn't think it mattered much what he was saying or that he wasn't good at it. "We promise."
The boy's jaw clenched and his nostrils flared. He wasn't buying what Rick was selling. He was resolute and stiff as a statue until the something he stood in front of … wiggled. A faint, familiar crinkle of plastic filled the room. The boy looked back without hesitation, creating the perfect window of opportunity.
Both Rick and AJ grabbed the barrel of the gun at the same time, wresting it away from the boy easily. For his trouble, Rick got a sharp jab in the eye. Damn, this kid was going to be a brawler someday. He already was a brawler. Rick fell back, releasing his hold on the shotgun and slapping a hand over his injured eye. The punch might even leave a bruise. Rick was done with this bullshit. He pulled himself together and grabbed the boy's arms, though not without a few more pokes and punches inflicted. The boy never stopped squirming and fighting. Rick's attention was fully occupied, and he was not a little embarrassed at how difficult a job it was turning out to be to keep a child subdued.
"Don't you touch him!" the boy screamed, going even wilder all of a sudden. "Don't you touch my brother!"
Rick took an elbow to the gut before he got the kid fully restrained again. He looked up to see what had caused the outburst. He saw his brother crouching by the something the kid had been shielding. It was a toddler, no more than a couple years old. His diaper crinkled as he wiggled around, seeming not nearly as alarmed by their presence as his older brother. He had unruly brown hair, a too-big T-shirt for pajamas, dimpled elbows and a dimpled face as he smiled sweetly at AJ. This was just getting too strange.
"Nose," the little one enunciated with some pride, and grabbed AJ by the left nostril.