A/N: Sorry to disappear for so long, I just couldn't get what I was doing with this. Please share any input you have, because I could use the help, lol. Even if you don't have input/advice/whatever, drop me a review, let me know you're reading it. Thanks!:)
It was over an hour before the bunkroom door burst open and Sam and Danni trailed back in. The left side of Danni's face was swelling and red, Sam had a blackening eye and dried blood under his nose. Spots of blood on his t-shirt were splatter in such a way it obviously didn't all come from his bloody nose. Dean's eyes widened, startled, as he glanced over them for further injuries in a manner he often used with Sam post-hunt. " 'the Hell happened to you two?"
Sam gave him a weak half-smirk, and Danni said "There was a fight."
Dean nodded. "Yeah. Knew that, I was here when you got called out, remember?"
She rolled her eyes in a way that would have made 14-year-old Sam proud. "There was that fight. Then they called the ambulance. Then the guys who beat the patient up didn't want us fixing him. So then there was the other fight." She grinned, barely hiding the wince moving her face caused. "I thought I was in serious trouble when two of them got me, but Sam took care of his three and came back for me. A real white knight!"
Dean snorted at that. Then did some math. "Wait, you two got jumped by five guys?"
Sam shrugged. "It was a good workout."
Dean chuckled. "You guys okay?" Sam again raised a shoulder in a partial shrug that Dean read perfectly. Dude, you know I've had worse than this from you! "Danni?"
"I'll live," she said. "Actually, this happens fairly regularly. None of us have had the crap beat out of us this month yet, so I guess it was due. Just sorry it was Sam. The rest of us are kinda used to it."
Sam put his hand on her shoulder. "It's ok. I'm kinda used to it, too. Got a bit of a rough job, too, you know?"
She looked up at him and he could tell from the look on her face that she didn't like the idea of anyone –anything- hurting him. Dean caught it too, and thought this would be a wonderful time to share what he had found.
"Well," he said, "while you two were off playing Walker, Texas Ranger, I found something rather interesting."
"Good news?" Danni asked hopefully.
"Um," Dean stared at his computer screen, trying to figure out how to answer that one. "Well, I guess that would depend on how you define 'good'. I found what we need to know to proceed, but I wouldn't call it 'good news'. And I certainly don't want to be the one to tell Scott."
That got Danni's attention. "Adam's dead, isn't he?"
Dean nodded. "It kinda looks that way. There is no record of his EMT license ever being used again, and it expired in '93. His driver's license expired that same year and was never renewed. Either he completely changed his name and went under the radar… which seems kinda like overkill for some trouble with his co-workers…"
"Or he's dead," Danni finished.
"Yeah. Kinda what I'm thinking."
Danni made a face at him. "Do we have to tell Scott? This will devastate him. The only way he got over it at all was thinking that he was off somewhere safe and happy and far away from these crazies." Then her eyes widened. "But that's crazy! How could a person just die and no one even know? If he walked away willingly it would be one thing, but if he just disappeared, why did no one ask questions or anything. Scott told me that the cops never showed up or anything so he just figured he wasn't coming back."
"Yeah, well, he isn't coming back, that's for sure."
Danni glared. "Are you always this much of an ass?"
Dean pretended to consider it. "Yeah, pretty much."
With a growl, Danni was back in Dean's face. "I don't care what you do with your life, but around here, the first thing you learn is that when human life becomes expendable, it's time to get out. You may be talking about just another 'case' to you, but the dead man in question means a lot to my only friend here!"
Dean raised an eyebrow. "Well, sweetheart, in our world, the first thing you learn is that everybody dies. You deal with it, you move on, you don't let it in. Because if it does, you're done. And by done, I don't mean burned out, I mean dead. So you can do your bleeding heart thing, but don't you dare judge me or my brother because we never cried when Old Yeller died, you got it?"
"I never said anything about Sam," Danni said in a perfectly level voice. "And if you think he is the same cold-blooded snake that you are, I'm not the one seeing what they want to see!" Small hands tightened into fists, and Sam decided to intervene before Dean had to take a punch that he wouldn't return.
He put himself between them. "Hey, guys, calm down. It's okay. Danni, we have just seen a lot of things that you will hopefully never see. From the time we were really little. I'm sorry if it seems harsh to you, but it's the way we were raised. Listen, we gotta work together here. Whatever problems you have with Dean, he really is on our side and we can't do this without him. Just let it go, please?" He put on his most pitiful expression, knowing it was a cheap shot and using it for all it was worth. "Please, for me?" Soft hazel puppy-dog eyes met her blue ones, and he watched as the ice chips in hers melted slowly.
She nodded. "Okay. I'm sorry, Dean. It's just that Scott has been the only friend I've got here for a long time, and this is going to hurt him a lot. If something is going to hurt Sam, doesn't that make you kinda pissy?"
It made him a hell of a lot more than 'kinda pissy', but he saw where the girl was coming from and accepted the metaphorical olive branch. "Yeah, I get it. And I really didn't mean…" he trailed off, knowing that he did mean it, unable to lie to the girl, and she seemed to get that and left it alone.
Sam sighed inwardly with relief. The impending confrontation temporarily defused, he changed back to the subject at hand. "So did no one actually look into Adam's disappearance? No police inquiry or anything?"
Dean typed a few minutes on the keyboard, cursed under his breath, and Sam took the laptop from him. "I was using that!" he exclaimed indignantly.
Sam smirked. "No, Dean, you were trying to use it. I'm using it." A few more deft keystrokes, and he set the computer down on the table.
"Um… just how illegal is whatever you're doing?" Danni asked.
"What he's doing is the least of our legal worries," Dean commented, and Danni ignored him.
"Got it," said Sam. "No police files on Adam Messer. He was never married, had no siblings, both parents killed in a car crash when he was 17. Looks like there was no one around to look for him."
"Or to notice he was gone…" Danni's lips formed a tight line. "No one to notice if he didn't make it home from work one day. Like me…"