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30 September 2011 @ 09:58 pm
The way of the warrior chp 1, (2/14), R, Sam & Dean Winchester  
The way of the warrior, chapter 1.


Sam Winchester was sat in a motel room in the middle of nowhere. In itself that was nothing unusual for their way of life, but even by their standards, this town was small. Or as Dean had so colourfully put it, “Ahh, come on, Sam, this is a one-horse town. And it’s got so bad they shot the damn horse. Can we please get back to civilization? You know, small town in the middle of nowhere, in a state I’ve actually heard of.”

Sam had rolled his eyes, and glared at Dean then he’d stood up and gone to make them yet more coffee in their luxurious motel room. What that meant was, for once they didn’t feel the need to have a shower and fumigate their clothes after they left the room. “How many more times, Dean? If you hadn’t gone and got your face plastered on the TV in Milwaukee, then we could be living it up in bumfuck-god-knows-where, instead of where-the-hell-are-we-again?” He slammed the mugs down in front of the kettle, and groaned when he realized they’d used the last of the coffee sachets. Damn, Dean, using three every time.

“Why, Sammy, such vile and uncalled for language! What would agent Hendrickson say?” Sam turned back to see Dean with his hands folded in front of him, and his lips pursed in disapproval, although he couldn’t help the quirk of his lips that threatened to bloom into a smile.

Sam walked back to the table and sat down, “He’d probably just add public profanity to our ever-growing list of charges, and swear it was all down to you and Dad leading my poor Stanford educated ass astray. Listen, why don’t we go out for a beer? I know I’ve had you on lockdown, but for God’s sake, Dean, can you at least try and keep a low profile? Or failing that, how about we get you a disguise?” Sam tried pleading to make Dean see reason; he didn’t want to lose Dean as well as Dad.

Dean grinned in triumph and grabbed his leather jacket from off the back of the chair; he’d been slowly chipping away at Sam’s resolve for the best part of two weeks now. And it looked like all his hard work was finally paying off. Ever since that damn disaster in the bank with the shifter, Sammy had him on lockdown. Dean wasn’t as dumb as Sam thought he was. After Milwaukee, he knew he needed to lie low, but Sam had taken it to the nth degree. He wasn’t allowed to conduct interviews in case he was recognized, and Sam was buying all their food. Which had meant healthy. Sam had this distressing need to try and improve his diet. Dean thought if he saw another salad with green stuff in it, then he’d be well within his rights to tie his gigantic little brother to a chair, and perform as many exorcisms as he could find in Dad’s journal.

It was getting to the point that Dean expected Sam to lock him in the trunk of his baby when they were driving; he’d even offered to wear a ski mask as he drove to prevent him being recognized as a wanted felon. That little joke had caused a total sense of humour failure in Francis over there, and Sam had threatened to make him lie on the back seat with a blanket over his head. It had taken days until Sammy had stopped pitching the bitch fit from hell. But after that Dean had been the model of an older brother, and had retaliated in style.

While he had been cooling his heels, waiting for Sam to come home from food runs, Dean had been engaged in a little research of his own. He’d been looking for a low-key hunt that could keep them both occupied, so far he’d had no luck; they were either too close to where Hendrickson would be looking for them. Or there was the risk the hunt could blow up in their faces, and bring them to the attention of the cops, and ultimately the Feds. Those hunts he’d passed to Bobby to send onto other hunters. Once he’d found a hunt, he’d make sure he left a bookmark that Sam would have to check out and then they would be out of here.

Then to alleviate his growing boredom and frustration, he decided to engage in a little Sammy torture. Well, wasn’t that what little brothers were for? First of all there had been the change of desktop on Sammy’s pride and joy. Personally, Dean thought the ‘busty Asian babes’ pictures had been an improvement. Along with the screen saver he’d spent so long putting together, he’d enjoyed putting his ‘Busty Asian Babes’ calendar to good use. But sadly Sam hadn’t appreciated it; neither did he appreciate what Dean had done to his bookmarks. All of Sam’s carefully saved research websites had mysteriously vanished; now when he clicked on a link he found Dean’s favourite porn sites. Dean grinned at the memory of Sam trying to research hexes and how to break them, only for him to be confronted with some rather creative uses for root vegetables. Sam hadn’t spoken to him for over five hundred miles after that. Dean protested that he’d put all the links back eventually, but he just got Bitch Face Number Fifteen. He had to check in the Impala’s rear view mirror that Sam hadn’t scorched his eyebrows off with that one.

Then there was Dean’s secret weapon, the one he used in case of emergencies. After being confined to motels for the last few weeks, this definitely qualified as that. When Sam had finally relented and removed his head from up his ass, he had allowed Dean out in public once more. That had meant the reference sections of various libraries, but it did allow Dean had put his plan into action. It involved letting Sam get into his research, and then Dean unleashed his masterpiece.

It was his symphony of distraction. It started slowly enough, a few sighs and hitches in the breathing. It moved onto tapping his pen on the table with an ever-changing rhythm, that whenever Sam got used to it, Dean would change the tempo.

He added a movement devoted solely to the art of scratching, and stretching. First he’d scratch his ear, then his nose, before moving gracefully onto his neck, adding a stretch here and there. And when the stretch revealed even a hint of skin from beneath his shirts, Dean would reach down and scratch at his stomach. It drove Sam wild, because he had to start scratching as well in sympathy. Finally it built to a crescendo, with the tuneless humming of various rock classics. Just about recognizable enough to get Sam to try and identify the tune, before Dean switched to another song. Sam had snapped quite spectacularly two towns over, “DEAN!!!! Goddamnit! What the hell are you doing now?” Sam’s cry of frustration had brought the ancient battleaxe of a librarian stomping her way over, reading Sam the riot act for bad behaviour in the library, before throwing them both out. Dean had laughed so hard at that, he thought Sam was going to have a stroke.

Then today, trapped in the motel room, Dean had started all over again. He watched in amusement as Sam’s back had grown progressively straighter with every sigh or hum. Dean thought if Sam had hit the keys on his lap top any harder, they would be off committing credit card fraud to replace the keyboard. Now Sammy had folded like he knew he would, and he’d be free to enjoy the simple pleasures of life - the three B’s - Burgers, Beer and Babes. Normally it would be in another order but he was starving. He stood up and slipped the jacket on. “Sammy, how could you disguise this handsome visage? What! Are you that cruel? You would deprive the lovely ladies of this town of my gorgeousness? Shame on you, Sammy. Come on, the beer’s getting warm, dude.”

Dean had bounced over to the door where he stood waiting like an eager puppy ready for a walk. Sam smiled, shook his head at his idiot of a brother. He grabbed his coat and his lap top; he could look for a job for them, and Dean could unwind a little. A tense and bored Dean was a dangerous Dean; he still had the mental scars to prove it. Although he had to be honest, Dean had showed remarkable patience. He’d only pulled out the big guns of that ridiculous routine of his after three weeks of being locked down. Perhaps he was mellowing in his old age, although he would check his shampoo for Nair just to be safe.

Sam sat in a spit and sawdust bar with a pool table. Dean had taken one look around, and declared Christmas had arrived early this year. Dean had grabbed them a beer and then he’d sauntered towards the pool table and the locals. He knew Dean was going to earn them some cash while he sat and searched for a low-key hunt out of the way. As far away from Milwaukee as they could possibly get. Alaska and Hawaii would also be considered. Hell, he’d even knock Dean out himself to get him on a plane. As Sam continued to research he kept a watch on his elder brother, it was his job to act as wing man when Dean was in the middle of his one of his pool hustling routines. Sam was there as back-up if things turned nasty. He watched as Dean staggered over to watch the local talent, making ‘drunken’ observations on the player’s abilities.

“Dude, ya holdin’ that cue all wrong. Ya holding it like it’s a baseball bat. No wonder you ain’t potting anything.” Dean was slumped against the wall as he took another drink of beer. He watched as the man trying to take the shot tensed with the back of his neck flushed red. Dean thought ‘yahtzee.’ He’d hooked the guy, now it was time to reel him in. “Shame, I bet ya could be a decent player if you tried.”

The man stood up slowly, he was easily as tall as Sam. But where Sam was muscle, this man was fat; he turned and glowered at Dean. He was trying to use his bulk to intimidate the drunken pretty boy mouthing off at him. Dean wasn’t impressed with the man’s posturing and he silently christened him Pillsbury. He decided to diffuse the situation by ramping up the ‘I’m drunk and harmless’ routine. “Ahh, don’t be like that, man. How ‘bout I give you a few pointers on the game? And because I’m a nice guy, why don’t we make it interesting, say fifty bucks a game? See how quick a study you are.” Dean pushed away from the wall, swaying unsteadily on his feet as he drained his beer in one long swallow.

Sam watched as the player he nicknamed Dough Boy, nodded to his friend who reminded Sam of a weasel. Dough boy grinned at Dean, motioned for a waitress to come over and got two more beers for him and his new pool playing buddy. Dean weaved his way to the rack of pool cues; he sorted through them, just fumbling enough to boost Dough Boy’s confidence even more. Weasel gave his friend a broad smile and a wink. Sam could see that Dean had got both men on the hook; they thought they were going to be fleecing some poor drunken yahoo. Sam shook his head, knowing the only shakedown in this bar tonight would be courtesy of his big brother.

Sam returned to his search for a nice simple hunt that could keep Dean occupied, and them off the F.B.I’s radar. He glanced over to the pool table to check on Dean’s progress, or rather lack of progress. He winced when Dean slipped with the cue and neatly smacked Weasel in the stomach when he’d gotten too close to Dean for comfort. “Shit. Sorry, dude, I didn’t get you in the family jewels, did I? No? Oh good....what am I potting again?” Dean’s words were still slightly slurred, and he turned back to squint at the balls on the table as if he was struggling to focus.

Sam smiled at the display. If Dean ran the hustle as normal, then he’d lose the first two or three games depending on how cocky his opponents were. Then he’d suggest increasing the bet; lose at least another three times, lulling his marks into thinking Dean was easy pickings. Then Dean would miraculously sober up and wipe the floor with whoever was playing him. Then something caught Sam’s eye, it was a possible hunt and he let the research carry him away.

Dean was making his way slowly round the pool table. So far he’d potted the wrong ball, missed the cue ball completely, and nearly disembowelled Pillsbury’s friend. Willard, as Dean affectionately thought of him when he’d gotten into his personal space, lost two games spectacularly, and he made sure he’d come really close to winning the third one. And as far as the Laurel and Hardy were concerned, Dean had been drinking steadily since they’d started playing. Only Dean had been carefully disposing of his beer. In a bar like this, it was simple to leave half-filled glasses amongst the others on the tables, and pick up empty ones. By now he’d only drunk one full glass of beer, while his new friends had downed a pitcher and were working on a second.

Dean rested the cue on his fingers, lined up the shot and promptly struck Pillsbury’s ball instead. “Damn it! These damn cues ain’t straight, and the cushions are out of whack, dude.” Dean staggered over to the two men, and Pillsbury moved back to the table. Pillsbury bent over the table, lined up his shot, potted one ball then took another shot. At that, he managed to cannon the cue into a group of balls and potted two of them. Pillsbury took another shot. This time he missed but Dean had yet to pot one ball. All he had on the table was one ball plus the eight ball.

The man stood up and smirked over at Dean, “Yeah, I’d about say you’re right there, friend. How about we make this worth playin’ for?” With that he pulled his wallet out of the back pocket of his jeans. Dean watched as his gut wobbled at the movement. Pillsbury opened his wallet, looked inside it then he pulled out three hundred-dollar bills.

Dean was leaning against the wall as he watched the man pull the three bills out of his wallet. He was just about to put his hand in his pocket when Willard moved to stand by his friend. “Tell ya what, man. I’m gonna match Jim’s three hundred, and add one more for luck. What do ya say? Winner takes everything on the table....that gonna be too rich for ya, pretty?” Willard sniggered as Dean pulled out his wallet and seemed to be searching through it for money to cover the bet.

Dean calculated there was well over a thousand bucks on the table, including his own stake. Ok, it was time to wind this up. He looked over to where Sam was sitting and could see that Sam was engrossed in his research. He needed to alert his brother he was moving in for the kill, just in case the locals didn’t take too kindly to his sudden improvement in pool playing.

Dean scratched the back of his neck as he continued to go through his wallet, “Dude, I only got five hundred dollars on me.” He raised his voice, the words slurring. He hoped the change of volume would be enough to alert Sam to get moving.

Pillsbury made a show of looking over at Willard, “What do ya think, Ray? Should we let him off with the other two hundred?” Willard was licking his lips at the prospect of five hundred dollars for doing nothing.

“Why not, Jim? I mean, he’s been generous enough already. Well, come on then, pretty. You clear the table and you’re walkin’ out of here a rich man.” Dean rolled his eyes at that. He’d picked up hell of a lot more than this before, but this wasn’t a bad payout for a couple of hours work.

Dean walked unsteadily over to the table and bent over to take the first shot which potted two balls. The cue ball spun back ready for Dean to strike again, he took the next shot with precision. Again potting a ball, he kept a watch on Pillsbury and Willard. Their mood was changing rapidly from smug to worried. As the fifth ball dropped into the pocket they seemed to have realized they might lose their cash.

Dean kept moving, all signs of being unsteady on his feet slowly disappearing. Another shot and another ball potted. Dean stood up and looked over at the two men who seemed to have gone a pale shade of green. He was left with the eight ball. He pointed to the pocket with his cue, “Eight ball, top left pocket....” Dean took the shot and the ball rolled with unerring accuracy into the nominated pocket.

As the eight ball sank into the pocket there was silence from the two men. The waitress who’d been serving them laughed. She winked at Dean as she swayed past once more, “Hey fellas, how does it feel to have the tables turned? You two have fleeced enough guys over the years, good to see there is someone out there who can beat ya.”

Pillsbury glared at the pretty brunette, “Mind ya own business, Cheryl.”

Dean returned the wink with a hint of promise of more to come later in the evening if Cheryl was willing. The look Cheryl shot Dean told him he was definitely not going home tonight. He turned back to the table and went to scoop up the cash.

Pillsbury stood up straighter and slammed his hand down hard on the pile of bills, “We don’t take kindly to cheats here, mister. Now why don’t you just fuck the hell off, while you’re still in one piece?” The man gripped the pool cue tighter, and Willard started to move away from him, hoping to get behind Dean.

Dean assessed the situation. The two men had been drinking and they looked to be out of condition. He scanned the room to see if anyone was taking a more than passing interest in the argument. Judging by the general apathy towards the developing situation from the bar’s other patrons. If this were to turn ugly, Dean didn’t think there would be too many who’d come to the aid of the two men at the table.

Dean gave a slight smile and leaned closer to Pillsbury. He spoke softly so that the men had to move closer to hear. “Listen, friend, I didn’t cheat. I just happen to be a better player than you. Just like I said before, now take your hand off my winnings and I’ll be out of your hair. And tell your girlfriend to stop creeping up behind me. I’m very particular who I let into my personal space, and he ain’t my type.” Dean’s voice had dropped to a quiet growl as he talked.

Pillsbury looked into Dean’s eyes, and suddenly a shiver ran down his spine. There was something about the man in front of him. He’d seemed like a harmless drunk, but seeing the look in his eyes, and the way he held himself...no, he’d cut his losses and walk away. Then he looked over Dean’s shoulder and slowly a smile appeared.

Unknown to Dean, two more men had entered the bar, and they were walking over to the pool table. Pillsbury’s suddenly change of demeanour alerted Dean to the threat behind him. Dean adjusted his stance. He was ready for a fight, but he hoped that Pillsbury would let the money go quietly.

“Hey there, Mike, Dave, looks like we got us a hustler. I was just telling him we don’t welcome his kind here.” Before Pillsbury had chance to utter another word, Dean threw a punch catching him right on the jaw, snapping his head back. Even before the big man hit the floor, Dean was turning away; he suspected the guy had a glass jaw. Pillsbury had struck him as the type to use his height and build to intimidate others, meaning he rarely defended himself.

Willard was about to charge at him with a beer bottle raised above his head, ready to hit Dean. Dean grabbed the raised arm, twisted it, forcing it down and pulling the man towards him. Willard stumbled forward, and Dean drove his knee into the man’s stomach. Willard crumpled into a heap on the floor, gasping for breath. Now Dean had to concentrate on the new threat approaching him.

Sam had been engrossed in his research, but his Deandar had started to ping just in time to resume wingman duty. He’d carefully bookmarked the site he was on and closed down the lap top, quickly put it in his bag and got ready to move. He’d heard the sound of raised voices, and looked over to the pool table. It seemed that Dean was ready to go; he smiled when he saw the exchange between Dean and the waitress, and he suspected that he’d be going back to the motel alone tonight. He wasn’t too concerned about Dough Boy and Weasel; he knew that Dean could look after himself. He watched in amusement as Weasel tried to get behind Dean. Boy, was he in for a surprise! He returned to packing his gear away when he heard the door open. He barely gave the two men who entered a second glance.

Then he heard Pillsbury greet them like old friends, and without hesitation he got to his feet and moved towards where Dean was. He saw Dean drop both Dough Boy and Weasel; he felt relief bloom in his chest. That relief was short lived when he saw the two men move in on Dean. Mike grabbed Dean’s arms and pinned them behind him, and Dave decided to play a drum solo on Dean’s ribs.

Dean grunted as the guy in front of him landed repeated blows to his ribs. He decided enough was enough; he lifted both feet off the floor then drove them right into Dave’s gut. Mike staggered back when Dean’s extra weight pulled him off, and the momentum from Dean kicking his friend drove him back against the pool table. Dean slammed his head back into the Mike’s face. There was a satisfying howl of pain and he let go of Dean’s arms.

Dean rolled off Mike and got ready to deliver a knockout punch to the man on the table. Sam was nearing the table; he saw that Dough Boy was hauling himself to his feet. He shook his head in an attempt to clear it, and then he picked up a pool cue. Sam realized exactly what he was going to do, “DEAN!” Sam’s cry of warning came a second too late, and Dough boy brought the cue hard across Dean’s unprotected back.

Dean was hurled forward as a line of fire curled across his back. He gasped, unable to draw breath as the blow stunned him, but be still managed to pull his fist back then crashed it into Mike’s jaw, making sure there was one less opponent for him to worry about.

He was about to deal with the man wielding the cue when he heard a very welcome voice. “I wouldn’t do that again if I were you.” Dean turned round and perched on the edge of the pool table, grinning as Sam stood protectively in front of him.

Sam stood impassively in front of Dean, glaring at the three men in front of him. Dough Boy was now looking at the cue as if to say ‘how did that get there’. Weasel seemed to be trying to sidle away, and Dave was still bent double, clutching his gut. Sam took a step forward and the men looked at one another. Dough Boy decided that he was armed and young man in front of him would be no problem.

Dough Boy swung the cue, and Sam stepped forward, caught the cue as it came forward and twisted it free of the man’s grip. He followed it up with another vicious upper cut, and Dough Boy hit the floor once more. He dropped the cue and decided Weasel was next. Sam reached forward, grabbed his shirt and jerked the startled man towards him. Weasel stood on tip toe, looking into a pair of cold unfriendly eyes that promised his life was about to get very uncomfortable. “Now me and my brother are leaving, and he’s taking his winnings with him. Is that gonna be a problem, friend?” Sam’s softly spoken words caused Weasel to shake his head rapidly.

As Dean was watching, he noticed Cheryl standing beside him. She was watching Sam with undisguised awe, and Dean felt a rush of pride - he’d taught Sammy those moves. Now he was easily holding off half the bar with just a set of bangs and a glare. He gave Cheryl a smile; it was dazzling but tinged with regret. “Allow me to introduce my little brother, Sammy. Say hi to Cheryl, Sammy.”

Sam responded without looking over his shoulder, “Hello Cheryl, I hate to break up the party but I think we should be going. Are you ok, Dean? And don’t call me Sammy.” Dean shrugged, and looked at Cheryl as if to say ‘what can you do’?

He slipped off the table and stood up, his breathing hitched when he felt the pull of his muscles where he’d been struck. Cheryl saw Dean flinch; she looked at him with concern. Dean spotted it and winked at her with a cocky smirk on his face. “Your brother always this protective of you? Only I’d like some of my customers to still be standing by the end of the night.” Dean looked over his shoulder to see Sam squaring up to some of the other patrons of the bar.

He rolled his eyes. Damn, they’d better be going before Sasquatch savaged someone. “Come on, Sammy, grab your gear, and we’ll leave these nice people to the rest of their evening.” Dean reached over and picked up his cash, looked at Cheryl and answered her question, “Trust me, this is Sammy being nice. You don’t want to see him when he’s feeling protective. I’d have to give you all my winnings if he decided to go all mama bear. It’s been lovely to meet you, Cheryl. Catch you again someday.” Dean walked towards the waitress. He slipped his arm round her waist and leant in to kiss her and, as they kissed he felt Cheryl melt against him. Dean broke the kiss regretfully, knowing in all probability they wouldn’t pass this way again.

Dean reached out and picked up his leather jacket off the back of the chair where he’d left it. He felt a looming presence behind him, “Ok then, Francis, I’m coming. Well, gentlemen, it’s been interesting. I hope we can do it again sometime.” With that, Dean slipped the jacket over his body, covering the pain from his rapidly forming bruises with a grin. The two Winchesters looked at the four men glaring at them, turned and walked out of the bar.

As they walked Sam muttered out of the corner of his mouth, “Ok, how bad, and none of that ‘I’m fine’ crap. We talking cracked ribs or what?” Sam was fighting the urge to place his hand in the middle of Dean’s back to usher him out of the bar.

Dean sighed carefully so he didn’t ruin the effect by flinching when he drew a deep breath. “Chill, Sammy, it’s just bruises. By the way, are we all packed?” Dean asked nonchalantly as they reached the door.

Sam pushed the door open, “You know we’re packed. Why? You think we might get a visit from the local welcome committee back there?” Sam moved them a little quicker towards the Impala at the thought that they might be followed.

Dean opened the driver’s door and got in. He was glad of the darkness as it covered the pain that crossed his features. Sam got in beside him and closed the passenger door. “Oh hell, yeah, we’re gonna get a visit. I recognized Dave as I booted him in the guts. He works at the motel. Tell me we got another gig? Preferably a few miles away from here.” Dean started the engine and they drove off.

Sam nodded, “Look, let’s get our stuff and I’ll fill you in on the road. Something tells me that little visit could get ugly.” Dean nodded in agreement and they drove in silence.

Back at the motel they cleared their room in less than five minutes. One quick check-out and they were back on the road. Dean shifted in the driver’s seat to try and ease the pressure on his back where that bastard Pillsbury had smacked him with the pool cue. It was start to feel like he was resting against hot broken glass. He gritted his teeth, and kept putting miles between them and his pool playing buddies.

Dean decided to take his mind off his aches and pains and see what Sammy had found for them to hunt. “Well, come on then, boy wonder, my amazing geek side kick. You said we had a job. Where are we going?”

Sam turned to speak to Dean. He noticed the constant shifting, and knew that Dean was stiffening up. Damn stubborn idiot. Most people would be a whimpering mess on the floor but not Dean. This was the man who once dismissed a gash across his hand that needed over ten stitches as a ‘paper cut’. Perhaps the next time they stopped for gas, he could convince Dean to hand over the keys and let him drive. Failing that, he’d drug his coffee. It wouldn’t be first time he’d resorted to dirty tricks to get Dean to take it easy.

That was in the future. For now he’d tell Dean about their next gig, “Ok, it looks like we have a multiple haunting that centres on a construction site. Machinery breaking down, items going missing, general mayhem. Enough to reach the local papers.”

Dean frowned, “All of that could be down to the local teens messing around, petty vandalism. What makes you think it’s our kind of gig, Sam?”

Sam grinned, knowing he’d got Dean’s interest, “I agree. It sounds like the usual, kids breaking in and messing around. But the work force swear there are cold spots all over the site, and they have reports of figures being seen mysteriously appearing then vanishing when anyone approaches them. Then of course, there are the descriptions of the apparitions.” Sam fell silent, waiting for Dean’s curiosity to get the better of him.

He didn’t have to wait long. Dean gripped the wheel tighter, “Come on, Sammy, or should I say Velma, what are the workers seeing? Oh, please tell me we’re going to Vegas and they’re the spirits of show girls in their costumes.”

Sam laughed; he knew Dean would love this with his obsession with the Old West, “Well, every eyewitness says the same thing. Just before something breaks or goes missing, they see a Native American. Or as one very UN PC construction worker put it - ‘I’m telling ya, goddamn Geronimo tried to drop a pallet of bricks on my head’.”

Chapter 2
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