A/N: Right. First thing's first – this is not going to be one of my heavy, plotty, confusing mindfuckery fics. This is just for fun. It's silly, it's summery, and it's kind of stupid. Dean, Jo and Victor are sixteen years old, all packed up to work at a summer camp for some extra cash, meet a blue-eyed dweeb who wants to join the fun, fall in love for the first time, and hit some bumps along the way. It's just a bit of fun. Anyway, it's nice to be posting something again and I hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: Not mine or I'd be doing something more productive like bringing back the Novaks.
KIND OF A FOREVER DEAL
Week 0, Day 0
Getting the girl of your dreams is expensive, especially when it's Lisa Braeden. Lisa likes flowers and jewellery and designer labels – but she's also nice and basically the hottest girl on the planet, andshe laughs at Dean's jokes, so she's basically perfect. Of course, perfect is never going to come for free.
The plan is this, Dean had decided some weeks ago over sloppy cafeteria pizza.
Step one: buy tickets for Ambi Rock Festival.
Step two: invite Lisa to Ambi Rock Festival, free of charge.
Step three: have the most incredible, life-changing weekend of their lives.
Step four: get married and have three kids and a dog.
It was absolutely foolproof. The only problem was the cost.
"That's the only problem?" Jo had said sceptically, but she's been his best friend since kindergarten, so she's allowed to be a cynical bitch. Thankfully, Victor had been supportive.
It didn't matter anyway, because Dean had just stretched back on his chair, smiled, and said with lazy confidence, "Don't worry about a thing. It'll work. You'll see."
Cut to now. Saying that John Winchester is less than impressed would be an enormous understatement. Mary is trying to ignore both the fact that two of her boys are arguing, and also that her other boy is doing calculus all over the table when she is about thirty seconds from serving out spaghetti for dinner.
"Money doesn't grow on trees, Dean," John repeats angrily for the gazillionth time. "If you want to go to this concert so bad, you can damn well work at the garage for the summer until you earn it!"
"That's so unfair," Dean complains, also for the gazillionth time. He knows he's being a whiney little bitch, but come on! It's like his parents wanthim to never get laid, ever. "You know, Crowley Coolen asked his parents if he could go to Swedenfor the summer and they paid for the whole thing."
"Crowley Coolen's mom also invented string cheese," Sam points out unhelpfully around the pencil jammed between his teeth.
"Why would you want to go to Sweden anyway?" Mary wonders. She smacks Sam lightly on the shoulder. "Sammy, I told you to tidy up. Come on."
"Well, aren't you glad I only want to go to Ambi Festival?" Dean exclaims.
"For the last time, not with my money!" John snaps his newspaper in the air, folds it neatly down the middle, and then lays it down on the table. "Son, if you want to go Timbuktu, I do not care – I will even drive you to the airport – as long as it is done with your own money. You're not a child anymore, Dean! In two years you'll be a responsible adult and I'm sure as hell not paying for you then."
Dean is five seconds from jumping up and starting the humiliating, last-resort you're-ruining-my-lifespeech when Mary interrupts.
"Hang on!" she says suddenly, holding up both hands to pacify them. "Just one second."
John and Dean exchange equally bewildered glances, the anger and tension instantly dissolving from their bodies. Mary wipes her hands on a towel and then goes to pluck a slip of paper from the family notice-board.
"You guys will never believe who got back in touch a few days ago," she says, smiling. After a moment she notices the identical, vacant stares coming back at her, and seems to realise that getting them to guess would be painful and futile. "Missouri Moseley, my old friend from college, called the other day and we just got to catching up. Anyway, it turns out that for the past few years she has been running a very successful summer camp for kids that are too smart for their own good and need to learn the benefits off the outdoors-"
"No." Dean refuses outright. "I am not going to some weirdo dork camp!"
"Of course not, seeing as it's for under-twelves," Mary dismisses. "What I was going to suggest is that you help out. Missouri has full-time staff, obviously, but every year the camp depends heavily on the help of young volunteers. You'd get a free flight over, free accommodation and food – andyou'd be paid – and I think you'd really enjoy it! You'd be teaching the kids, I guess. I've looked at the brochure... it's by the sea and there's things like camping, water sports, stuff like that. It looks great, Dean! I think it'd be really fun – like an adventure! You might even make friends!"
Mary is using that persuasive voice that she usually saves for coaxing Sam to put away his Lord Of The Rings books while they're eating. Dean is very suspicious. "Where is it?" There must be a catch. It's probably in some bog in Wyoming or something, ten million miles from anywhere cool.
"Well." Mary looks over at John appeasingly before saying, "It's in Texas."
"Texas?" John echoes. "No, Mary. We can barely trust the boy to go to Walmart – we can't ship him off to Texas on his own!"
"I thought you'd drive me to the airport for Timbuktu!" Dean shoots back.
"He wouldn't be alone," Mary cuts in before John can argue back. "Sam could go too, get away from his books and his ninth-grade math – Sammy, clear your stuff, now! I won't ask again – and they'd be in safe hands with Missouri. Dean could even invite some of his friends along to help out. I don't think they'd object to earning a bit of extra cash in Texas during the summer, and I know that Ellen would certainly benefit from getting Jo out of her hair for a few weeks."
As Sam clatters out collecting up his pens and papers, he burbles excitedly about whether they could go to Disneyland too. Dean blocks the noise out, hesitantly considering it. It does sound like a lot of fun. Him, Jo and Victor, messing about on beach, going camping... and no parents! Just sun, sand, stupidity – and don't forget, the money needed to get Lisa to fall in love with him.
He grins up at his parents. "I'll do it."
This is how the Winchester boys, plus a Harvelle and a Hendrikson, end up on an interstate flight to Bay City Municipal Airport, Texas.
It's June. Ten weeks of glorious summer stretch ahead of them, and they don't intend to waste a second. Jo and Victor are living it up, ordering endless Cokes from the stewardess – Missouri is paying for it, after all. Dean and Sam have never been on a plane before; they've never had had the need, as their whole extended family lives in Kansas, within thirty miles of Lawrence, in fact. Sam loves every second of the experience, pressing his dweeby little face up against the window as they soar over cities and plains and great dark lakes. Dean throws up twice.
The landing is so bumpy that both Winchesters nearly pee their pants: Dean from terror, and Sam from laughing so hard. Dean punches him in the leg, and he limps through security – although he's somehow still able to loudly play the Bomb Game and get them manhandled through security. They are all given a Serious Warning About The Importance Of Airport Security, which none of them pay attention to. They can already see Texas through the arrival lounge windows.
Missouri, when they meet her, is a heavy-set black woman with more attitude than she has beaded necklaces, which is saying something. She gives them each a bone-crushing hug, and gives Dean a Pepsi.
"I have a feeling you wouldn't like flying," she explains kindly.
Dean is still a little green, and extremely grateful.
"What about us?" Sam protests.
Missouri turns a level eye on him. "Honey, you get the knowledge and pride than you weren't unmanned by a two-hour plane journey."
Everyone except Dean finds this hilarious. However, he feels infinitely better as soon as he steps outside into the airport carpark, where a shuttle-bus emblazoned CAMP CHIQUITAis waiting. This is Texas. Straight outside the airport is one road a million miles long and nothing else as far as the eye can see. The ground is red scrub and short grass, and a speckled bird that Dean has never seen before settles on a fence-post, peering around, before alighting again. Sweat is already beading the back of his neck, and his freckles hurt just thinkingabout all that bright sunlight. The air is hot, sticky, and it smells like freedom.
Camp Chiquita is an hour's drive from the airport; two miles outside of a small coastal town by the name of Alben, and half a mile from the Gulf of Mexico. The I-road out cuts through stubby yellow plantations for several minutes, and then a wide dirt road peels out south-east, winding through fields, then woodlands, and then later through little concrete security structures. They're unloaded and checked for anything unsavoury, and, sadly, Jo's "medical marijuana" is confiscated.
"Godamnit," she hisses as they climb back into the bus. "I had a hell of a time getting that past my mom... she checked my suitcase three times."
Sam looks between the three of them disapprovingly. "I'm telling mom."
"You tell mom a single thing that happens on this trip and I'm telling mom that you smuggled the Game Of Thrones DVDs into your suitcase at the last minute instead of taking spare underpants," Dean threatens.
Sam clamps his mouth shut and turns to look out of the window with new fascination. Then the road is curving into a small asphalt car-park and the shuttle-bus doors are thrown open again.
"Everyone out!" Missouri calls. The four fall over themselves in their hurry to get out and then follow her across a grass lawn to the lobby. "You guys are the last volunteers to show up," she tells them as they push through the doors. "Sam, honey, I'm just going to sort out these guys and then I'll take you to your cabin. Right, here we go."
Inside, the air-conditioning hits them like a punch and Dean feels sweat dry on him like a thin film of plastic. There are already several teenagers milling about, trying on assorted garments of camp uniform and then reporting back on size and fit. Dean, Jo and Victor are thrust into the middle of it to get sorted out, and Sam is whisked away before Dean can even say goodbye.
Ugly red polo shirts; knee-length khaki shorts; sneakers; stupid red baseball cap. Check.
Dean bundles them up carelessly in one big ball, holds it under one arm and waits for Jo and Victor to finish their folding their stuff neatly into their suitcases. "We ready to go?"
"No-one's going anywhere," says a voice like nails over a blackboard over more nails, from behind Dean. The voice belongs to a tall, skinny man with salt-and-pepper hair and a lecherous smile. His eyes flicker slowly up and down Dean's body. "You sit tight, Freckles. Staff needs to talk to you all."
Dean holds his ground until the man has walked away until he shudders violently. "Jesus Christ, who isthat guy? I feel like I need to disinfect myself."
"No offence, Dean," Jo says, biting the inside of her cheeks to keep from laughing, "but that guy looks like he plans to be scraping you bloody off his mattress later."
"Wow, I really needed that vivid imagery." Dean shakes his head. "Thanks. Now I have to disinfect my brain, too."
Jo is in the middle of holding her crotch like a cowboy and acting out how she imagines the guy will try to seduce Dean when they are interrupted by the crackle and scream of a badly-connected microphone.
"Everyone, listen up," Missouri is saying, standing at the far end of the room, surrounded by the other staff, who Jo promptly nicknames Dracula, Wonder Woman, Teletubby Number Five, and The Bearded Wonder. "First of all, welcome to Camp Chiquita. For those of you who haven't met me yet, I'm Missouri Moseley. I'm the manager and head of admissions here, and I may not have time to look after you all personally, but that's what my staff are here for. We want this to run as smoothly as possible. You're here for ten weeks. I don't want any petty squabbles or idiocy, but at the same time, it's going to be a lot of fun, if you guys help to make it happen."
She introduces the others as Alistair Alderman, Pamela Barnes, Zachariah Novak and Chuck Shirley, and they step up one by one to address the volunteers. The overly-happy bald Teletubby comes up first to say that if they all work hard and do as they're told, then this will be the best summer of their lives. But mostly work hard and do as you're told. Or else. Great.
Zachariah smiles benevolently down at them all like he's just eaten two children and he's still hungry, before passing the mike over to Pamela. She's a hell of a lot nicer, and explains to them how the weeks are going to work. Two volunteers will each be assigned to an age-set, from seven to twelve years old, and they will alternate activities to look after their group. Over the summer, they'll switch age-sets every fortnight as one batch of children leaves and another arrives, but at any other given time they will either be with their designated munchkins, or doing other work for the staff while their partner works the kiddie slot.
The Bearded Wonder is Head of Activities. He just tells them that there are maps up around the place so that they can't get lost and that he wants them to all have fun. He mumbles something about trying not to let any kids drown at Water Sports, which is a little ominous, and then the creepy guy, Alistair, is back.
"This is not a vacation," he starts, smiling unsettlingly again. "This is a business. The twenty dollars a week you make comes out of the dollars wemake, and if you want it then I'd suggest you work hard for it. No funny business. I'm Head of Discipline for the kids, but I will keep you in line as well. You best hope I don't learn any of your names." He says a lot of other stuff, but Dean is still kind of reeling from the outright threats in the first paragraph. And that guy Chuck just wants them to have fun?
Okay. Dean is sensing a lot of mixed messages.
"So what I got from that," Victor says in a conspiratorial whisper, "is that they want us to work our asses off and be grateful that whatshisface isn't already picking us out of his teeth."
Jo snorts into her hand. "Yeah, or the Jolly Green Asshole uses our bones to floss after ingesting so many children's souls."
Dean opens his mouth to respond but there is the sudden rush of volunteers moving forwards as the staff start handing out leaflets saying which age-groups each person will be looking after for the first fortnight.
"Harvelle, Joanna Beth!"
Jo glances between them. "Call me when you get your rooms and I'll find you later," she says, and then in a flash she is shoving through the other volunteers, all sharp elbows and get outta my way, jackass!
Victor is gone next. Dean is the last to go, except for a short guy called Ash Zeigler who looks like he's not all there, euphemistically speaking. Avoiding eye contact with Dracula Alistair, Dean thanks The Bearded Wonder for his piece of paper and heads off for the accommodation block, duffle-bag slung over one arm and uniform tucked under the arm. He reads as he walks – the first two weeks he's sharing the ten-year-olds with some chick called Meg Masters. Doesn't sound too bad.
Dean idly wonders if this Meg girl will be hot before he remembers that the only reason he's here at all is so that he can settle down to some serious Lisa-shaped monogamy. Eyes on the prize.
The housing block is five minutes' walk from the lobby, cutting around the cutesy wooden cabins where the kids stay. It's on the fringe of the woodlands where all the maps say that paintball and camping trips take place, and the fence in front of it is lined with brand-spanking-new bicycles of every colour and size. Dean vaults over the fence and heads up the front steps. The building is ugly concrete, taller than it is wide, and dappled with wide square windows. The first floor juts out from the rest of the structure like an under-bite, and the two storeys above look like they haven't been kept in quite as nice condition. Dean can guess where the full-time staff live.
Dean's room is 201, up a flight of stairs. Each of the upper storeys holds four small apartments. The number 2 outside his room is crooked, and the door is already open.
"Hello?" Dean calls as he goes in, and he has not taken two steps inside before he is hit with a musty couch cushion.
"Welcome to home sweet home, asshole," Victor grins from the other side of the room. "You're gonna be my little bitch for the next ten weeks."
"Oh god." Dean hurls his uniform back at Victor, loose sneakers and all, and drops his duffle-bag on the floor as he looks around. There is a tiny kitchen which looks like it isn't even stocked with utensils, seeing as there's cafeteria food three times a day instead; a ragged couch and armchair set; then, divided only by a change in the colour scheme of the threadbare rugs strewn across the floor, a bedroom with two single beds. Male showers are communal at the end of the hall.
"I've shotgunned the bed on the far left. That quilt is the trippiest thing I've ever seen, man," Victor swears, dumping Dean's thrown stuff on the table and throwing himself down onto the couch. Victor likes patterns.
"Cool story." Dean fishes out his cell phone and scrawls through his contacts to text Sam. "You heard from Jo?" he asks as he keys in a simple message checking that he's okay.
"Only a weird, cryptic text asking what side of the building our room is on." Victor shrugs. Then, as though on cue, there is a shrill buzz in his pocket. He pulls out his own mobile and reads the text aloud. "Look out your window, dumbass. Oh, I love it when she sends me sweet nothings."
Still texting Sam, Dean obediently crosses to one of their windows, hauls the sash up and leans out.
"Up here," Jo's voice calls from the apartment above. She is hanging out of the window directly above them, blonde hair swinging like a pendulum as she rocks dangerously back and forth. "What'd you guys get?"
Dean presses sendand then looks up again. "I got tens with some girl called Meg Masters, and Victor – I don't know." Dean glances back as Victor crosses to the window. "What did you get?"
"I got elevens, so I'll have Sammy at least, if I can't control the little bastards. Some guy called... Casteel? Casteyel? – Novak, anyway, is sharing my shift," Victor says, making a face as he trips over the name. He props his elbows on the sill to peer up at Jo. "You?"
"I'm with my roommate, Anna, and we got the freaking sevens," Jo says sulkily. Her bitchface is the only one Dean has ever seen that comes anywhere close to rivalling Sam's. "It's like they knew I hated children, and gave me the worst group out of everyone's. Christ."
"Dude, if you hate kids, why did you volunteer to work at a children's summer camp?" Dean asked incredulously.
"Same reason as you – to get money! Only mine's actually for a good cause, by the way, not just so I can bang some cheerleader who doesn't even know my name," Jo says, cocking an eyebrow pointedly.
"Lisa knows my name!" Dean insists.
"Anyway, Dean's totally doing it for a good cause," Victor says sympathetically. "He's doing it for charity."
"Thankyou," Dean sighs, glad that someone is on his side – but then they both start cracking up and he realises what's just been said. He shoves Victor hard and steps away from the window, jabbing an accusatory finger. "Hey, fuck you, man. That was low. When me and Lisa are married with three kids you're going to eat those words."
"When you and Lisa are married, you'll get those words on a plate served up in jalapeno sauce and you can watch us savour every syllable," Jo yells down. "Hand on heart!"
Dean rolls his eyes and lets himself fall back against the wall next to the window. "That's if Alistair doesn't get me first," he mutters. "I swear to god, a rape alarm has never seemed like a better idea."
"Don't worry, it's going to be okay," Victor says passionately, and Dean can just hear him warming up for an inspirational speech. He's been desperate to be school valedictorian since he was about nine years old: here we go. "No matter what happens – bitchy, greedy, and just plain mean little kids, with no-one to back us up except Roommate Anna, Meg, and this guy with the unpronounceable name – this is the only ten weeks we're possibly gonna ever get where our parents have literally no control over us, until we're like, thirty. If it's shit, we make it better. If it's good, we make it awesome."
"If we accidentally kill a child, we hold hands, run away to Mexico and never look back," Jo chimes in, still sour about her group placement.
"Yeah, sure, that too." Victor frowns. "Don't try to push murder off as an accident, though. I am not going to be your enabler."
"Hey, I thought that this was supposed to be the best summer ever," Dean says drily. "What's a vacation without a little murder?"
"No, Dean, it's not a vacation - it's a business."
Dean just laughs at that.