Title: Spring-Heeled Jack
Sequel to: See No Evil
Characters: Chloe Sullivan, Dean Winchester, Lex Luthor, John Winchester...
Disclaimer: Don't own the fandoms
Summary: Two months have passed and Dean is in Smallville with Chloe taking care of her while secretly investigating Lois' disappearance, disbelieving that she left of her own free will. To make things worse, when the young hunter takes Chloe with him to confront John about Margaret's words concerning his mother's death, John's current case spirals out of control.
Written for my LJ 150 Paranormal Prompt Table. Prompt used #118: Spring-heeled Jack.
This is a Chloe/Dean friendship!fic and in this story their ages are: Chloe - 15 & Dean - 23
News travelled quickly around Smallville, especially when it had to do with a near death.
Dean sat on the couch, drinking a beer and pretending to watch a wrestling match, but to be honest his attention was constantly straying to where Chloe smiled brightly and bravely to Clark and Pete, her best friends. The young hunter didn't know Clark as much as he did Pete, but he thought the kid was okay, if not somewhat strange. All Dean really knew was that they were the only other people in town Chloe allowed close enough to touch her, and in some sense that was enough for him.
He had great respect for Pete, the kid had shown cojones and loyalty in the Luthor place, and those things meant a lot to Dean. He encouraged the African American boy to come over as much as he wanted, and while he really didn't mess with other people's business he had to admit he hoped that the trouble the boy's parents were going through would end because there was talk of Pete moving away with his mother. Clark was a nice guy, but Dean didn't know if he could be counted on when the going got tough, which was exactly what Chloe needed around her.
Dean clenched his fist tightly against his can of beer as he saw Chloe laugh at something Clark said.
Most of the time Dean compared her to Sammy, but he was beginning to see bits and pieces of himself instead. She was being brave, putting on a good face, acting like everything was alright. She was lying to everyone, including herself, very convincingly.
Hearing the phone ring he hit the mute bottom and reached for the side table, bringing the cordless to his ear. "Sullivan Residence."
"You think this is a game or something boy?" John Winchester's voice was harsh and judgmental. "While you're playing around people are dying."
Dean sat up immediately, trained to be at attention whenever his father was near. "No one is playing, sir."
John scoffed loudly. "Your mother's murderer is living the life, ruining other families, while you and your brother have disgraced her memory by running away from the fight like dogs with your tails between your legs!"
Dean closed his eyes against the onslaught of words. "I haven't stopped hunting, dad. I'm doing what you taught me to do. I'm taking care of a civilian who needs me right now."
"You're using that kid as an excuse." John snapped. "I need your ass back on the front lines. This is a war we're fighting and every day the enemy gets stronger. I need my finest soldier to be fighting the fight as he's supposed to be doing, and not playing house."
The old Dean would have already been out the door and about to open the Impala's door.
The sliding door to the porch opened and Chloe stuck her head in. "Clark and Pete are going for the burgers and pie I couldn't get earlier. Do you want anything else?"
He shook his head.
She eyed him curiously before turning to Pete and Clark. "That's it. Thanks guys!"
"I'll speak to you later, sir." And with that Dean hung up, giving Chloe a forced smile. "I'm going to get another beer." Putting down the cordless he went into the kitchen and threw away the crushed can, taking in a deep breath as he opened the fridge door and stared inside unseeingly. His stomach was queasy as it always was when his father was displeased with him, and for the first time ever Dean was somewhat annoyed with himself for it. He'd always been a hundred per cent obedient, the perfect soldier, the loyal son with unflinching loyalty. If his father said jump Dean wouldn't even ask how high, he'd just jump with all his might. And yet now, now, he was beginning to grow annoyed, frustrated, resentful.
He wondered fleetingly if this was what Sammy had felt all these years.
If this was why he'd run away.
The phone rang once then there was no other sound.
Dean growled, hating the way his stomach had jumped with nerves at the sound of the ring. Was he some sort of kid? Why the hell should this bother him so much?
Grabbing the beer, Dean slammed the fridge closed and opened the can, taking a long sip.
Chloe laughed in the living room, proving she'd picked up the phone earlier and was probably talking to Clark or Pete.
Going towards the back window, Dean gazed down at the large tree in the yard, tapping his fingers against the window frame as his father's words burned themselves into his mind. John Winchester hadn't said he missed him or worried about him, all he'd done was reprimand him for being anything other than a soldier and fighting his war.
That kinda hurt.
Shaking his head, not the type to mull over feelings, Dean cursed and went back towards the living room, finding Chloe straddling the sofa's unrest, smiling at him as she listened to whoever was on the phone.
He managed a more genuine smile for her this time as he collapsed next to her on the sofa and took off the mute on the television, returning to pretending to watch it. The young hunter didn't understand it, but the anger and frustration and hurt that'd annoyed him in the kitchen seemed to slowly start to fade as he sat next to her, the girl reaching out to brush away a lock of hair from his face which he'd been too annoyed to even realize was in his eyes.
"Please, it would be no problem whatsoever." She assured whoever she was talking to. "Don't be stupid. You're welcome to stop by any time. I'll be insulted if you don't."
A bit of annoyance returned to the hunter.
He hoped that wasn't Luthor!
Dean sent her a narrowed gaze.
"I can understand that it puts you out somewhat but you can't even begin to understand how much this has meant to me. You've been so incredibly understanding and…please…I'm not flattering you, learn to take a compliment." She raised an eyebrow in amusement. "You're forgiven."
This really better not be Luthor, because Dean was pretty sure there was a hint of flirtation in the kid's voice.
"Make it habit to call more often." She declared rather bossily before chuckling, curling a blonde lock around her finger. "Thank you, that means a lot."
Okay, there was definite flirtation there.
Dean made up his face, taking a long sip of beer, the annoyance returning full-force.
"Aw, Mr. Winchester! That's so sweet!"
Dean spat out his mouthful of beer, coughing and turning to face her in horror. "You're talking to my father?"
Motioning for him to shush, Chloe smiled once more. "I'll do that." Her eyes flashed mischievously. "It was great talking to you as well, was there anything else you needed to tell Dean? Okay then. Have a great day Mr…I mean…John." Hanging up, she held the phone to her heart and flashed Dean a little smile. "Your face looks so ridiculous right now."
He, to be honest, was quite horrified. "Don't you dare start to crush on my father."
A look of mock shock crossed her face. "But you told me I had to become a Winchester to find out what's in the disinfectant!"
He felt sicker to his stomach than before, leaning hard against the sofa, raising a hand to his face. "What did he say to you?"
"Uhm, well, he said he needed you back saving people, hunting things, the family business." Chloe replied candidly with a shrug of her shoulders. "I assured him you weren't planning on growing roots here and that you were merely acting on the values and principles he'd instilled in you by helping someone in need." She paused. "He got a lot nicer after that."
Dean snorted, unable to believe this, keeping his hand over his eyes. "He told you to call him John?"
"Isn't it awesome?"
Her three favorite men in the whole wide world were eating burgers and watching a game on the television.
Smiling as she chewed on her own burger, Chloe sat on the sofa's armrest next to Dean and watched him trade comments with Clark and Pete. The hunter was the least versed in football, and the two highschoolers were quite happy to fill him in on what was what. Dean knew the basics, but Clark and Pete avidly versed him in the game.
Chloe wondered if Dean had ever really had a normal conversation about a normal topic like football. She'd heard the intensity in John Winchester's voice, had seen the way Dean's own body had gone into a blank nothingness after having spoken to the man earlier, and she'd purposely flattered and flirted. To be honest she hadn't known if she was doing it correctly, but Lois had always told her that if you wanted a guy to stop being bothersome to flirt with him.
Chloe flinched, gaze going to the window.
The blonde sighed, letting her mind wander. Usually at least twice a day her mind ventured towards her cousin and her whereabouts. Mostly though, Chloe hoped to high heaven that Lois was happy.
That was all she wanted.
Sometimes Chloe just sat down and imagined her cousin living different lives, and how she enjoyed them. In some fantasies Lois was a model, in another she was a secretary to some big CEO she was having a torrid loved affair with, and yet in another she was an artist having a great life in Paris. There were so many great fantasy lives Lois lived in Chloe's mind, half of them shared with Adam in some way, and the blonde couldn't help but wish with all her life that at least one of these great fantasies was real.
Lois was young and beautiful…why shouldn't one of them be?
"Chloe!" Pete's accusing voice broke her out of her thoughts. "I can't believe you haven't taken Dean to one of the games yet! What sort of Kansas girl are you?"
Chloe smiled, putting down her half-eaten burger down on the plate. "Don't look at me. Dean's the one who's been halfhearted about it."
As expected, both Clark and Pete's expectant gazes went to Dean.
"You so have to come to the game tomorrow night!" Pete announced, obviously quite psyched with the idea. "Watching football on the television isn't the same as seeing it live! It'll blow your mind!"
"Football is the life of almost every guy in Smallville." Clark agreed. "I'm trying out for the team this year as well. My dad, uh, had some problems with me doing it but I don't care. It's important for me."
"I can't believe he's grudgingly letting you try out this year." Pete grinned, nudging Clark's shoulder with his own. "It'll be so cool to have you playing on the team with us!"
"If I get selected." Clark smiled his sheepish little smile.
"You'll get picked for sure!" Pete was ever faithful. "You've got the perfect built for it and everything!"
"And you know Lana will be happy to have a boyfriend she can cheer for on the team." Chloe pointed out, giving her friend a teasing little expression. "Give me a C!"
"C!" Pete echoed, playing along.
"Give me a L!" Chloe pretended to shake invisible popoms.
"L!" Pete chorused, mimicking her pompoms movements.
"Stop it you guys!" Clark groaned, covering his face.
"Give us an A-R-K!" Chloe continued.
"A-R-K!" Pete cheered.
"What does it spell?" Chloe asked.
Clark groaned into his hands. "I hate you guys."
"No..." Pete shook his finger in Clark's face. "It doesn't spell that."
Dean snorted, swallowing a gulp of beer. "You people are ridiculous."
"You know you love us." Chloe rolled her eyes in amusement.
Pete threw a french fry at him.
Dean caught it.
"Show off." Pete grumbled.
Dean smirked and chewed into that fry.
Clark laughed as he looked between them.
"So it's settled, you're coming to the game tomorrow night." Pete decided all on his own. "You can watch us kick butt!"
"And you can meet my girlfriend!" Clark announced, before blushing. "I still can't believe she's my girlfriend."
Pete and Chloe met gazes before rolling their eyes.
"Stop ganging up on me!" Clark complained, though he laughed good-naturedly. "You two need to get a boyfriend and girlfriend, then you won't gang up on me and laugh at me all the time."
"Me? A girlfriend? You want me to break girls' hearts everywhere by making myself unavailable to the multitudes?" Pete scoffed, brushing off invisible lint from the front of his shirt. "Don't you know I'm a playa who's in great demand?"
It was Chloe and Clark's turn to meet glances and roll their eyes.
"I am!" Pete insisted before swallowing his last bit of burger and reaching for his drink.
"I'm not going to tomorrow night's game. Not looking like this." Chloe pointed to her forehead with a pout.
"Why?" Pete made up his face. "Not like you have anyone you're crushing on who'll see it."
Clark raised his eyebrow. "Or is there someone you haven't told us about?"
Chloe flinched at the looks those two were now giving her. "What's with the stink eye?"
"There is someone!" Pete's eyes widened before turning to Dean. "Dude! Who is it?"
"Don't look at me." He snorted, having finished his burger and was starting on his pie. "We don't have sleepovers and braid each other's hair and shit. I know as much of this as you do." He then paused and narrowed his eyes on her much like Pete and Clark had. "This wouldn't have anything to do with Luthor would it?"
Clark and Pete's eyes widened. "Lex Luthor? The guy who ran into you?"
Chloe flinched, bringing her hands to her face. "No!"
Clark laughed. "It does! You're blushing!"
"I'm not!" She squeaked, totally embarrassed by these idiots. "I mean, he's hot-."
Dean snorted in derision.
"Shut up. He is." She defended, pulling her hands from her face.
"I can see this getting into a conversation I do not want to be a part of." Dean snorted, standing. "So with that I say good night."
"Night Dean." Pete grinned.
"Night." Clark smiled.
Chloe just gave a little wave.
Stretching, Dean groaned as he headed upstairs.
Chloe watched him till he was gone before turning to her best friends. "So, who's up for some horror movies?"
There weren't any screams tonight and yet Dean couldn't sleep well. the sandy-blonde was always at the edge of deep sleep, almost refusing to go completely, and in the end he growled as he sat up on the edge of the bed, yawning and running his hands over his face. Shaking his head the hunter stood, padding out of the room in his boxers as he made the trek from his room to Chloe's, hesitating a second before pushing open the door and finding the bed empty. Light hazel eyes scanned the darkened room before narrowing as he turned, heading down the hallway to the stairs. The lights were off all over the house but he had a gut feeling where she was and knew the layout of the place enough not to need light to find his way as he went down the stairs and stopped by the living room.
Sure enough she was sitting on the sofa, a bottle of some sort of alcohol on the table next to her.
"So, which was it tonight?"
She jumped slightly, turning to look at him. "Mom."
Yawning, Dean made his way around the sofa and plopped down next to her in the darkness. "Memory or nightmare?"
"Both." She whispered, pulling her knees up to her chest and hugging them tightly. "I dreamt about that day, but instead of being by myself Lois and you were there." She closed her eyes tightly. "She killed the both of you and I couldn't do a thing to stop her. You were killed because of me."
Dean's sleep slowly evaporated as he turned to face her.
"I know, it's stupid, you could so take on my mother." Chloe shrugged. "It was stupid."
"I've been thinking." Dean cleared his throat. "I know you told me Lois was beginning to teach you basic self defense…I'm going to take over that training." He sighed. "You're never going to feel safe if you can't defend yourself properly."
"You think?" She whispered softly.
He nodded, certain. "We start tomorrow."
She smiled softly, eyes tearing up as she moved so that she was rested against his shoulder, still hugging her knees. "Thanks."
"You're not going to thank me once training starts." He promised , wondering when he'd gotten used to her touchy-feely-ness. "Sammy cursed me six months straight during his."
Chloe burst out laughing, turning her head up to look at him. "That just makes it sound more interesting!"
Rolling his eyes, Dean reached out and ruffled her hair before letting his arm adjust around her shoulder for a more comfortable position. "Just you wait and see. You're going to be eating those words."
"Yes sir." She murmured, yawning, eyes slowly closing. "Or should I call you sensei?"
"Boss will do."
She laughed sleepily. "Yes Boss."
They stayed like that for a couple of minutes in silence, and then Dean felt her finally go lax, before starting to snore softly.
"You've got to be kidding me." He whispered, shaking his head as he leaned it back against the sofa, gazing up at the darkened, shadowed ceiling.
"How does the Michael's Sword's presence change things?" Uriel wanted to know, having returned to Smallville despite the smell because of the importance of this time. "He wasn't supposed to come back."
"That surprised me too actually." Azazel admitted with a grin. "But from what I've been seeing he's doing her good, and that's the sort of stability she needs at the moment."
"Michael's Sword isn't supposed to be a part of this mix. He isn't supposed to come into the picture until the time of his 'unfortunate' demise." Uriel made a face, tapping his fingers against the table. "He could pose a problem."
"How do you suppose he could do so?" Azazel asked curiously, enjoying seeing the angel twitch.
"I don't know." Uriel was annoyed to have to admit that. "But I don't like Michael's True Vessel so close to the Asset. It makes me twitch." As if to prove so he started to scratch his arm. "I thought his interest was in the cousin. With her out of the picture he should have disappeared too."
"Apparently Deanie boy has a bleeding heart," Azazel snorted in amusement. "Can't blame him though...Chloe poses a very fragile, vulnerable picture and he's been taught to protect and defend those weaker than him."
"We should have killed that boy the second he was conceived." Uriel stood and began to pace. "The other is to be protected, but this one is nothing but a threat, a dog waiting to bite."
Azazel gazed at his nails.
"We're incredibly blessed that the last Asset already fulfilled some of the requirements needed and gave birth to the one that will house Lucifer when he rises once more…but Michael's Sword needs to be done away with in a way that can't be traced back to us." Uriel continued to pace. "No one can know what is happening, that an Asset is alive during the lifetime of two True Vessels…that she only has the last half of the Asset's work to perform." The angel took in a deep breath. "Never have we been this close to his Ascension."
"Once she performs the last requirement of my deal with her she'll feel freed and won't suspect anything." Azazel stretched languidly. "Just let things run the course they're meant to go and stop getting your angelic panties in a bunch...your constant worrying is why you have so many wrinkles."
Uriel sniffed at him.
"Just sit down will you?" Azazel rolled his eyes at the tight-ass angel. "For now Dean's presence isn't causing any problems, so I think we should concentrate on other, more important details."
"Such as?" Uriel raised an eyebrow.
"You raised the zombie's corpse again despite the brilliant work Dean did of destroying his head. So what did he have to say?" Azazel wanted to know. "Who is working against us? Who knows about the Asset?"
Uriel grumbled as he finally deigned to sit. "Goodnight's proving to be quite…stubborn. I have my best men interrogating him night and day, some of your own are helping as well, Alastair has proven relentless and creative in his means of interrogation."
Azazel grinned at the thought of his Pit Master. "He does enjoy his job."
"So far though we are unable to get him to speak, no matter how many times he ends up dying at our hands and brought back." Uriel pouted.
"There there, you'll break him soon enough." And yet there wasn't a smile on Azazel's face anymore. "But we need to know who is behind this, and soon, so we can counteract whatever their next move will be."