A/N: Pay no attention to that bit about part 2 in the alert. This story is now complete. Thank you.
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural, Torchwood, or Dead Like Me. And I cry every time I really think about that...
Part 2 – death, angst, and pancakes
Dean shrugs. "Sorry, Bobby."
"Do I really need to be here?" Bobby growls. It suddenly dawns on him that he's the only one sitting down. Dean ported the booth bench in with him.
"Well, yeah," Sam says slowly, clearly puzzled. "You're family."
"Don't remind me, boy," Bobby snarls. "The least you could have done was wait until I got my coffee."
"Okay," Dean says. "Here."
A large white mug fills Bobby's right hand. He stares at it, then takes a cautious sip. "Don't get stingy with the cream and sugar, Winchester."
Dean nods. Bobby takes another sip, then nods his thanks.
Where ever this is, they're not in Kansas anymore, Toto. Thick green grass stretches from horizon to horizon. The ground is flat. Kansas? Maybe, somewhen else.
Coyote sits on his haunches, staring at the ground, ears at half mast, and he won't look up at anybody. That's so far removed from the usually cheerful, smart-ass furball that Dean looks worried now. He takes a deep breath as he rubs the back of his neck with his right hand. "Okay, Old Man. What's wrong?"
Still no answer.
Dean sighs. He kneels down in front of the critter and says, more softly, "Come on. Talk to me, will ya? I...I wanna know how you're feeling right now." Dean shakes his head ruefully. Damn chick flick moment. So it's come to this.
Ah hah! Sam perks right up then.
Coyote raises his head, stares at his pup in amazement. "We havin' a chick flick moment right now, niño?"
Dean huffs. "Us? Oh, hell no."
"Damn right we aren't."
"Idjits," Bobby mutters.
"I can't believe I'm going all Dr. Phil here. That's Oprah's thing," Dean nods at Sam. "Not mine."
John tries not to snicker. It's not very macho, but he can't help it. He composes himself, but his broad shoulders still shake a little with the effort it takes to settle himself.
"What'd you see?" Dean says quietly. "What's got you all riled up like this?"
Coyote sighs. A huge flat screen tv appears right behind him, and John, Bobby, Sam and Dean suddenly find themselves sitting on this ridiculous black, red and green flowered couch that appears out of nowhere. Roamer sighs again as he settles in on the far corner of the couch with his back to the tv. He curls up in a ball, drapes his tail over his muzzle and closes his eyes as the images fade in on the screen.
An hour later everyone is sitting there with their mouths dropped open.
Everyone except the Old Man. And Dean. "Hey," he smirks, "I was bad ass. And I didn't sparkle."
"You let your brother get turned into a vamp?" Papa cuffs his youngest son upside the head.
"Ow! Dad! that wasn't me!"
Bobby looks dazed by what he's seen. "Whack him again."
Sam glares at Bobby, and the older man just shrugs. "Sorry, kid."
"So that was it, huh?" Dean turns to his furry better half. "You got upset because you saw Sam...their Sam...let me...I mean their Dean...get turned into a vamp."
"It's not real. You know that, right?"
"I know. But…"
"Maybe they needed to get bitchslapped," John says quietly.
Dean snorts. Coyote tries not to grin. That's an epic fail.
"Well, maybe they needed it." John sees the shocked look on Sam's face, the look of disbelief on Bobby's. John shrugs. "What?"
"Uh, John?" Bobby says carefully, "You're supposed to be the mature, steadying influence on these boys."
John looks thoughtful. "Yeah, you'd think that, wouldn't you? All I'm saying is that sometimes you gotta act on what you see. That's all. A lot of stuff rubs me the wrong way."
"Uh, Dad?" Dean quirks an eyebrow at him.
John's clearly warming up to the subject. "People who send emails and every other damn word is LOL. What the hell is that?"
"Dad?" Sam frowns.
"Fanfiction," John's tone is a mixture of disgust and wonder as he shakes his head. "Genderswap? Jesus!"
"Dad!" Both brothers say the word at the same time. John ignores them both.
"That's bad enough, but mpreg? Mpreg, for God's sake! And wincest?" John shudders.
"Maybe you ought to step away from the laptop. And quit emailing Becky the Fangirl." Bobby says it. The boys wouldn't dare.
"What?" John looks deeply offended. "I'd miss out on everything then!"
Bobby quirks an eyebrow at him. "You finished?"
"For now, anyway."
Coyote lifts his head, glances at Dean almost shyly.
"I'm not gonna tell you not to keep going over there." Dean says, and there it is again, that soft, caring tone that makes a shiver of pure joy course down the Old Man's spine. "Just don't let yourself get suckered in by it, okay?"
"Okay." Coyote looks at Sam. " 'm...'m sorry I snapped at you. Won't happen again."
"It's okay," Sam says warmly. He raises his arms, opens them wide, and the next thing anybody knows, Sam lunges forward on the couch and engulfs Old Man Coyote in a tight, fierce hug.
"Will you look at that!" Mason exclaims. "They took the bench seat with them!" He's excited at the prospect that somebody other than him has screwed up. Big time.
Kiffany's not happy. She's standing there staring at what's left of the booth, frowning, and for some reason absolutely no one else in the place (except for Rube and his crew) even seem to notice.
Rube stirs cream into his coffee. "Yep. Typical Winchester. You wanna see where they've been, check for the widespread damage."
"If I'd done that I would have gotten my ass kicked!" Mason's absolutely giddy with glee. "That's bloody vandalism!"
Roxy quirks an eyebrow at him just as she samples her OJ. "You might get your ass kicked anyway," she says pointedly.
A flash of golden light surrounds the Winchesters' booth.
"They're back," Daisy says excitedly. She leans forward to get a closer look, and that irks Mason to no end. "What have they got that I haven't got?" he snarls.
"Oh, let's see," Daisy ticks off each point on her fingers. "Looks, personality, charisma, power, personal hygiene..."
Mason sniffs his left armpit. "Oh. Sorry."
Rube rolls his eyes. "Am I gonna have to give you the lecture again?"
"No," Mason whines. It's a distinctly dog-like sound, and that makes George laugh. Reminds her of JD, her dog.
"You get demerits next time. A clean reaper is a happy reaper." Rube knows that's stupid, but he never misses a chance to take a dig at Mason.
George looks thoughtful.
"You got something on your mind, peanut?" Rube smiles a little. "Let's hear it."
"Uh...okay. You reaped the father."
"So...they can be reaped?" She nods at the four men and the coyote in the booth.
"Ah. Maybe. It doesn't take. Never does."
George's eyes widen. "Maybe?"
Rube shrugged. "Right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing. The front office would send down Post-Its with their names on them, we'd follow through, then it would all get rescinded. The Old Man's the prime intermediary liason between the living and the dead. We were out of the loop until he came out."
"Out? Out from where?" George looks puzzled.
"He was inside the eldest kid for over twenty two years."
"What?" George makes a face. "Ewww!"
"See? I knew it. Bestiality!" Mason crows. He looks thoughtful then. "Hmmm, wonder how that felt?"
"Well, I mean, if they're two sides of the same coin, and things got carnal, that means he was playing with himself-"
Roxy rolls her eyes. "All right. That's it!" She takes out her billy club and gives Mason a rap upside the head with it. He faceplants into the plate of hash browns in front of him.
"Thank you, Roxy." Rube takes a slow, thoughtful sip of coffee.
Roxy smiles. "Any time."
Dean flashes Kiffany a bright smile, but apparently his mojo isn't working that well with her. She taps her foot, stares at the newly returned booth bench.
"Did you bolt it down to the floor like it was before?"
Dean nods meekly. "Yes ma'm."
"I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't rearrange the furniture like that. We like the place just fine the way it is."
"Sorry. Won't happen again."
"He hugged me," Coyote mutters dazedly. His fur still looks ruffled. "Sam hugged me."
Kiffany takes out her pad and pencil. "What'll you have?"
"Feline?" The Old Man says hopefully.
Kiffany smiles. "Not on the menu today, sweetie."
Coyote puts his head down on the table and whines.
"Be right back," Kiffany murmurs softly. She disappears into the kitchen, then returns a moment later with something in a large white bowl. She puts the bowl down on the table in front of Coyote. "Here."
Coyote stares down into the bowl. His nose twitches, and there's an unmistakable gleam in those wide green eyes.
"That's roasted chicken, but you can pretend it's cat. My treat."
Coyote sticks his head in the bowl and he doesn't come up for air. Everybody stares at first, but then they remember he doesn't need to breathe. Not really.
Kiffany smiles a little. The Old Man's tail is really wagging now. "Okay, what'll the rest of you have?"
Later on that same day Coyote sits in the yard near that rusted out dump truck of Bobby's. He lays his ears back as he hears the Great Outdoors and all points way beyond that calling to him.
Come on over here, Old Man, You know you wanna.
Coyote fidgets a little. Well, truth to tell, he fidgets a lot. He could hang out with Rumsfeld2 and Condie and the other dogs, but, hey, that's just the point. As much as he likes them, they're just dogs. He's something else entirely. Roamer has to roam, after all.
But not now. And not today. He'll be a good dog, but he doesn't know how long that's going to last. He has to make it last. He can't take the chance of seeing something else over in that other AU and snapping at Sam again. Doesn't want his family mad at him again.
Roamer? The distant dimensions call. Coyote closes his eyes. Come here. We miss you.
He's the First Artist, First Scolder, the Fine Young Chief Howling in the Dawn in the East, and that last name is surely one of his favorites. Coyote sits there with his eyes squeezed shut, and his ears at half mast. He has family now, and nobody has ever hung around this long before. He doesn't want them to leave. Coyote can't die, but he would if they left him.
Shut up, Coyote growls back. Shut the hell up -
He catches a scent on the breeze that freezes him in place. Four different scents then, one after the other, and they all combine into one glorious, heady aroma, the one he's waited for, hoped for all his life.
Coyote blinks. Dean's there, and so is John. There's Sam and there's Bobby.
"We got places to go, fuzzy. You coming or not?" Dean grins.
"I gotta talk to that Padalecki about that white suit," Sam grumbles. He's one eyebrow twitch away from full-frontal bitchface. "You saw what he did in that out-take reel."
Dean rolls his eyes. "Again with the white suit? Let it go, Sam."
Sam shakes his head no.
Bobby snorts. "I'm coming along because I'm bored. This better be good."
John slips what looks like a list into his jacket. He pats his pocket and winks at Coyote. "Come on, kiddo. Let's go thump some heads."
A/N: I am in no way advocating misbehavior by trickster gods or Winchesters. I…oh wait a minute, who the heck am I fooling? I can't even say that with a straight face. My muse tells me that there might be a sequel to this thing. Something about Dean and Coyote and Captain Jack Harkness, and maybe Coyote and George Lass and JD and that kid reaper. Not all in the same fic, of course. We'll see…