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
"Really?" Chloe made a face, sore as hell. They'd started the "training" two hours ago and now were finally finished for the day, so she was laying on the grass and contemplating never getting up ever again.
"Yeah." Dean nodded, wiping at some sweat on his brow as he stood under the hot sun. "Dad says they were hunted with extreme prejudice and now they're practically extinct, if not completely extinct."
"That sucks." Chloe made a face. "I didn't mean that as a pun."
Dean snorted. "Vampires are the bad guys. Their being gone is a good thing."
"I guess I get that." The blonde shrugged. "I always kinda had a thing for Dracula though."
"For a moment I thought you were going to mention Twilight." Dean made a face.
"How do you even know about Twilight?" Chloe challenged.
Dean opened his mouth, closed it, and then opened it again. "Sparkly vampires. Okay? I heard some girls talking about sparkly vampires and I asked them what the hell they were talking about." He made a face. "I shouldn't have. What the hell is wrong with girls these days? You don't fall in love with fangs. You behead them."
"What if they just had animal's blood or drank blood from blood bags?" Chloe wanted to know. "That wouldn't make them evil, right? It's the whole taking hostages and keeping them as living blood bags that's bad."
"Vampires are evil and need to be put down." Dean corrected. "It's law."
"I disagree." She argued. "If he's not hurting anyone you should leave him alone."
"Look, he might be on this vegetarian regiment for a while, but with bloodsuckers they'll always fall off the bandwagon. Vampires are basically blood addicts, okay?" Dean wiped at some more sweat. "No matter how hard you try, you're going to give into your cravings when the withdrawal gets too much. It's in their nature and that's not going to change because they're monsters."
"You're speciest." She pointed out.
"You're hardheaded." He replied pointblank. "And also fairly delusional. It might be all this sun."
The blonde stuck out her tongue at him for that one. "I'm just open-minded. I didn't grow up in the fifties like you gramps."
He snorted, nudging her shoe with his. "I am not that old!"
She just gave him an insufferable grin and closed her eyes, enjoying the feel of the sun's rays on her face.
"Go inside and bathe." Dean threw his towel on her face. "You stink."
A part of her wanted to gasp in mock-horror and some insult at that, but another part of her agreed with the statement. She stunk to high heaven. It was horrible and great in a weird way. With Lois' basics Chloe had learnt enough so that Dean didn't scoff at her effort the whole time, but it proved that her cousin had been going easy on her. Dean wouldn't go easy on her though, taunting and challenging the blonde into a fighting mood every single time she'd been 'too tired' or had sworn she couldn't do whatever he was telling her to do. It was sneaky and underhanded, but considering she'd done things with him today that she hadn't been able to under Lois' patient tutoring...well...it'd worked.
She was worn out, utterly lifeless, and yet she felt more alive than she had in a very long time.
And yet...and yet Chloe couldn't really truly enjoy this moment. Ever since last night something had been weighing heavily on her mind, and a couple of times she'd been about to address the issue before shying away and instead letting herself be immersed in the lesson. But now that it was over and they were so close and in such a companionable mood the teenager couldn't hold back any longer...even though a part of her really wanted to.
Taking in a deep breath, the girl finally put into words what had been on her mind all morning. "I didn't scream."
"Last night." The blonde rested her arm over her eyes. "I didn't scream."
There was a pause. "I know that."
"Then why did you come downstairs?"
Another pause, this one longer. "I just knew."
She closed her eyes tighter. It was as she'd expected. He hadn't allowed himself sleep because he'd known she'd need him to wake her up.
She was affecting his life just like she'd affected Lois'…and the girl didn't want to do that, didn't want to drive him away the same way she had her father and cousin.
"That place in Star City….I've been looking into it some more and I think it might be a good fit."
The pause continued. "I don't think checking yourself into a Quack Hospital is going to help you. That sort of place will set you insane."
"The place doesn't have the criminally insane or anything, it's just for people with issues, and they specialize in sleeping disorders." She took in a deep sigh, before letting it out. "And even if it did have the criminally insane I would be right at home."
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Dean's voice was gruff.
"Well, you know my mom's locked up in a high-security mental asylum." Chloe pressed her arm harder against her face. "What you don't realize is that my biological father is as well."
"I thought you told me he was in some maximum-security prison?" Dean's voice was gruffer.
"He is." She sighed. "But it's for the worse psychopaths out there. When he's not spouting out hallelujahs and praising the Lord he's medicated to the bone and doesn't even realize when he craps himself."
"Jesus." Dean hissed.
Finally pulling her arm from her face, the blonde turned towards him, staring up into his face. "I'm thinking about interning myself into the hospital until the apartment's ready." She hesitated a second before pulling herself up into a sitting position. "It kills a couple of birds with one stone, actually. You're not tied down with me, I'll be getting treatment that could maybe help me, and I'll have a place to stay while the construction is being done."
"You're honestly considering this." Dean's eyes widened as his lips pulled in a grim line. "Look-."
"Your dad needs you, Dean. He's riding your case about it and he's right." She sighed, wiping her forehead from the beads of sweat. "You need to be out there doing what you do best, what you love to do, not babysitting me."
"I'd hardly call it babysitting." Dean folded his arms over his chest, just as sweaty as she was but horribly comfortable in it. "And anyway, I get free alcohol, food and cable out of the deal."
Her lips twitched as she smiled fondly at the gruff man who did his best to hide his heart of gold. "Your dad's gonna come here and drag you away in probably two more weeks." She saw the agreement of that fact awkwardly flash on his face, giving him a crooked smile as she reached out and wiped at a bead of sweat making its way down the side of his face. "Thank you for everything you've done, but I won't let you put your life on whole like Lois did. I won't."
"I'm not-." Dean sucked breath in through his teeth, obviously annoyed as he turned his gaze away from her. "The hell. You've already decided anyway." Pulling away from her he stood and stalked towards the house. "I'm going to bathe."
Chloe watched him go, worrying her bottom lip.
This kid was becoming less and less like Sammy and more and more like Dean.
How many times had Dean done the exact same thing the kid was? Especially when he'd been her age! Anytime he'd felt someone getting close he'd start pushing them away, telling himself that it was for everyone's best if he stopped things before they got too complicated. He'd do things to intentionally sabotage friendships or relationships in the making, and he'd grown up doing the exact same thing. That was why he was twenty three years old and didn't have one single person he could truly call his friend. Especially not someone his age. Hell. The kid was probably the only person he'd ever had something that could be called genuine friendship. Lois didn't count because of the simple fact that he found her hot as hell and considering she hadn't seemed immune to him either he'd always figured they'd end up in bed together at some point…so that tainted things.
Sighing, Dean turned the water hotter, washing the shampoo out.
He was seriously worrying about her.
There was no way that she left Chloe willingly.
Dean thought about everything he'd experienced since becoming a guest at the Sullivan residence, and the thought that Lois had had to deal with that for so long by herself…his respect for her grew.
He didn't care how shaky her faith in herself had gotten after the Luthor castle incident, Lois had the same loyalty Dean did, which meant she'd just needed a little time to vent and drink and then come up with a new course of action. There was no way she'd pack up and leave the kid on her own like this. And how about this whole "Lois Lane" doesn't exist crap? No. Something had had a hand in all of this, and Dean couldn't get Bobby's question out of his head.
What would whatever it was get out of this?
A part of Dean wanted to think that being the daughter of a General would make Lois a perfect ransom of sorts, but he couldn't help but feel that Chloe was being isolated, and that made him even more frustrated with her new desire to send him back to his father and to check herself into some mental asylum.
Another part of Dean knew that Chloe was right though, that his father wouldn't stop in his pressuring for Dean to return to the fold, and while he didn't like it, that quack house (if it was all she swore it was) might be the safest place for her to be while she was practically homeless.
And he did need to go to his father, to see him face to face and get some answers about mom, about what had happened to her, and why. Considering Margaret had insinuated that Chloe and his mother were connected somehow, then the more he knew about what had happened to his mother, the more he could help the kid. Could protect her. He also knew that until he faced his father and stood his ground, that the man wouldn't stop ordering Dean back to the fold.
He didn't want to leave.
It surprised him how much he didn't.
But he needed to talk to his father and get the facts straight...
...didn't mean he'd let her stay in this quack place until he'd at least checked it out.
For being a guy, Dean took a very long time showering and grooming, unlike Chloe, who was in and out of the shower and dressed rather quickly. She'd brushed her wet, tangled hair, and put it up into a ponytail before sticking her head out of the room into the hallway, hearing Dean's shower still on. Considering he was in a sulk he'd probably take longer, and would probably head downstairs for a drink…wouldn't think to come in here and look in on her. Not now at least.
Twirling around, hand to her scarred heart, Chloe gave a little gasp. "I hate it when you do that!"
Azazel sat on the thickest branch on the tree right outside her window. "So jumpy."
Rolling her eyes, the blonde went to the window, hesitating. "I don't like heights."
The demon outstretched his hand. "You're not going to fall."
Making a face at him, the teenager slowly climbed up onto her windowsill and began reaching out towards him, trying to keep balanced and not fall.
The second their fingertips touched there was a flash of light and darkness, and a tugging at her stomach as air rushed out of her lungs…
…and then she stood in front of the Luthor Castle, the loud sounds of reconstruction echoing all around greeting her. There were vans and trucks from a Metropolis construction company, cranes and other equipment everywhere, men in hard hats and tool or material walking passed her, deep in their own conversations.
"Go on now." Azazel, standing a little behind her now, gave her back a soft push. "Just like we discussed." He seemed to read her hesitancy. "Just do this one little thing, and Dean's life isn't in my hands anymore. You're both free."
Sending him a look over her shoulder, Chloe slowly began her trek towards the large doors, fighting the urge to run away. Images of everything that'd happened in this place made her pale and nauseas, and yet she forced each foot in front of the other until finally she crossed over the threshold, a cold shiver making its way down her spine.
"Hey! Kid!" Someone yelled at her, storming towards her. "This isn't a playhouse! Get lost!"
She cleared her throat, squaring her shoulders. "I'm here to see Mr.-Lex."
The man sneered at her. "Mr. Luthor doesn't have time to donate to whatever high school charity-."
"I think I'll decide what I have time for." A cold voice cut the man short, and both of them turned to see Lex emerge from the corner. "You can go back to doing your job now."
"Yes sir Mr. Luthor sir!" The man, pale and put in place, scurried away.
"I apologize for that." Lex turned his gaze towards her, the coldness leaving his voice and face as he smiled invitingly. "Can I offer you anything to drink?"
"You have the kitchen working already?" She asked in shock, remembering just how horrible condition the kitchen had been before.
Lex's lips twitched in amusement. "No." He moved towards her fluidly, placing a hand on her shoulder.
Chloe jumped, flinching away from the touch before wincing and looking away. "Sorry…I have this thing about being touched." She hugged herself. "Please don't take it personally."
He paused, eyeing her with a frown. "Is this a result of what happened here?"
For a second she wanted to just say yes, but she couldn't, ending up shaking her head as she hugged herself tighter. "No."
"I see." He didn't, but was obviously graceful enough to not ask as he motioned for her to turn around as he began to walk them right back outside. She wasn't exactly sure what he was up to, but decided to just go with it as they walked passed the many different people and vehicles and massive equipment until they turned over the side of the Luthor Castle to see the huge RV that'd been unseen before.
Chloe stopped in her tracks, eyes widening and her mouth falling open as she gasped. "It's huge!"
"I required adequate boarding while the renovations are taking place." Lex smiled as he led her towards the entrance. "I have the men working 24/7 in rotating shifts so that work will be more productive. This way I can supervise them at every moment and I'll be at hand should they need me."
"People in town must have been lining up on each side of the street to watch this thing being driven in." Chloe whispered in awe as he opened the door.
"It was flown in."
She hesitated on the steps, turning to look at the man who'd said that so casually.
He raised an eyebrow at her. "Yes?"
"Nothing." She whispered, shaking her head in amazement at how flying in a huge ass RV was nothing for him. Given that she had to admit that she was more eager now to see the inside of the RV, the girl hurried up the steps and paused by the door. She was about to step aside and let him open it when Lex leaned in behind her, careful not to touch her, and turned the knob, sliding the door open. "Thanks."
Stepping inside Chloe's breath was blown away by how gorgeous it was, so much more than a RV should. It was probably classier and more expensive than any of the hotels she'd ever been to, and the fixtures were like something from a Hollywood movie set.
"What would you like?" Lex passed her, heading towards wherever the kitchen was. "I believe we have water, a variety of soda drinks…brandy." He offered the last bit jokingly.
"You like brandy?" She asked in surprise, following him through the luxurious thing, awestruck by everything she saw.
"Among other things." He nodded as they finally reached the kitchen…which was so much better than the one she had at her home.
"Oh wow." A part of her was annoyed at how taken in she was with this richness, but she ignored it and just drooled. "I can see why you wouldn't want to stay anywhere else but here. This…this is amazing."
"To be honest I haven't really thought much of it." He admitted wryly, leaning with his hip against the granite countertop.
She could appreciate his straightforwardness, and decided to repay him in kind. "I would appreciate it if Dean never knows I was here."
An eyebrow raised. "I have no reason to comment on this visit with him."
"Thank you." She nodded, leaning against the wall as she cleared her throat. "I need to warn you against accepting what I'm here to offer you...if it was up to me I wouldn't be offering you it in the first place. I really don't want you to accept it." Her green eyes stared pleadingly into his baby blues. "Please don't."
"You're not a good saleswoman." Lex half joked as he narrowed his eyes on her curiously. "But I have to admit, I'm intrigued."
The blonde sighed as she hugged herself and tore her gaze from his, staring at the sink. "I'm serious. You can't accept my offer...no matter how tempted you are." She closed her eyes tightly. "If I was a more selfless person I'd refuse this condition, I'd take whatever punishment he could dish out even if it meant nullifying my contract, but I'm not the only one who'd be adversely affected if I backed out now." Her eyes opened and trained on him once more. "I want out too much...and so will you if you accept this offer. Maybe not at first, but later down the line when the gravity of what you've done hits you'll wish you'd listened to my warning."
By now Lex's expression was completely serious as his narrowed gaze fixed solely on her. "What's the offer?"
He was interested.
She groaned, leaning back with her elbows against the counter as she closed her eyes with a sigh, head tilted back. "You're not listening to me...which he told me would happen." The blonde shook her head before sighing as her green orbs opened once more in resignation. "Don't say I didn't warn you."
"I won't." He replied coolly. "What am I being offered? And who is offering it?"
"Anything. Everything." Chloe lifted herself up onto the counter unceremoniously with a sigh as she stared at him. "And to be completely honest, I'm still not sure if he's a "who" or a "what"."
"What?" Lex made a face.
"Exactly." She nodded, hesitating even now before reaching into her bra and pulling out a folded piece of paper. "You'll need to summon him for a business meeting." Chloe brought a hand to her head. "Well, actually you don't have to summon him considering he's waiting for you, but he's a sucker for a good ritual."
Lex eyed her as if she was insane.
She ignored that look. "There's two ways to summon him. One is a personalized ritual, and the other would be the more routine way like going to a crossroads and telling whatever agent you get that the boss is expecting you." She shrugged. "He recommends this ritual though. It's quick, easy, and most of what you need can be bought at the local grocery store."
One step, two, brought Lex in her personal space as he took the piece of paper from between her fingers, unfolding it in silence as he went over the ritual depicted and the ingredients listed. "You can't be serious."
The blonde raised an eyebrow. "Like a heart attack."
He eyed her in silence, as if weighing her soul, before drawing away. "You accepted an offer."
"He told me I could try to dissuade you as much as I wanted because no matter how much I warned you you'll still summon him." She slipped off of the counter. "Nothing you might think you want is worth your soul, Lex. Nothing. So please, don't do it." Taking in a deep breath, she turned and walked away, leaving the bald billionaire behind her in silence.
Lex leaned against the wall, fingering the blinds on the window open enough so he could watch the young blonde as she walked away from the RV. She seemed resigned, that air of mystery just seeming to grow around her with every step she took, her hair blowing in the window.
A little ahead of her stood a man Lex hadn't seen before. This man was tall, older, with a smirk on his face as he waited for the girl to reach him.
Was this the "what" that she'd been referring to?
He'd read the old German legend enough to read between the lines, the mention of the girl's "contract" and references to his soul being in jeopardy more than enough to let him know this was apparently some sort of Faustian deal.
What he didn't get was if Chloe was playing a joke on him, or if she truly believed what she was selling.
The man asked her something.
She sighed and mumbled her answer before looking up at him and asking something in return.
The man gazed down at her and smiled a wicked little smile with a nod, outstretching his arms as if demanding a hug.
The teen hesitated a second before stepping forwards and wrapping her arms around his waist.
The man's arms went around her back and his eyes rose to meet Lex's as they flashed an inhuman gold...and then in a blink of an eye the man and Chloe were gone from sight.
Frozen, Lex let the blinds slip back into place in utter shock.