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
This place was weird.
Chloe felt like she'd gone through a portal and landed back in time.
It was wiggy...but awesome.
Unzipping her duffel bag, Chloe grabbed the messenger bag inside of it with her computer and wallet. She went to the table between the two queen beds and found the complimentary notepad, writing down where she'd be as she headed to the door and unlocked it. Opening the door she turned the lock inside and closed it hard, grinning when it locked.
Shaking her head, pulling on the messenger bag's strap, Chloe raised her hoodie over her head due to the coolness of the evening as she made her way towards the diner she'd seen while driving up. The wind was cool against her bare legs and for a moment she contemplated changing into pants instead of the skirt she wore, but the blonde remembered she'd already locked herself out of the room, and who knew how long Dean would be with his father?
Decision made for her, Chloe continued on her way, hands in her hoodie's pockets before she reached into her bag and pulled out her ipod, slipping it into her pocket. She put it to play and plopped in the earphones, Karmin's "I Told You So" blaring in her ears and drowning out the sounds around her.
The teenager looked both ways before crossing the street, shucking her hands back into her hoodie's front pockets as she walked forwards, eyes on her boots. The blonde sang softly to the lyrics, trying to keep up with the rap parts and snorting in amusement when she made mistakes time and time again. It didn't stop her from repeating the song when it was over and trying it again, ever determined.
It was only when male boots appeared in her sight that Chloe stopped and looked up the body of the man that'd been just standing there in her way. He was handsome in a breathtakingly dark way, wearing jeans and a studded black leather jacket, his hair dark and chin length, straight.
Pulling out her earphones, Chloe stuffed them in her hoodie's front pocket, clearing her throat as she moved around him.
He moved with her.
She stopped, giving him a little look before going the other way.
He moved with her again.
By now she realized this guy was messing with her, and her eyes narrowed as she quickly looked around her to make sure that this wasn't an ambush of some kind and his buddies weren't creeping up around her. But there was no one but them on the sidewalk, and he was still watching her with a smirk on his lips.
"I feel the need to tell you that if you're planning on bothering me, that I have a really fit, really possessive boyfriend." She bluffed, raising her chin. "He'll kick your emo ass all the way down this sidewalk and onto oncoming traffic."
The man's lips twitched in amusement. "Sounds fun."
"I guess it could be fun in 'we can only do this once in a lifetime' sorta way." She shrugged, tightening her hold on her messenger bag's strap, refusing to let go in case this was a robbery in progress. "But to be honest it's not my cup of tea so...yeah..." she made to go passed him and he moved with her once more, blocking her path. "That's getting annoying."
"You know, little girls shouldn't be walking on their own on these streets once the sun sets." He announced casually.
"Well, if I see any little girls walking around I'll be sure to pass on that pearl of wisdom." She assured him, once more trying to move passed him and once more being blocked. "Oh come on! I've got places to go to!"
He reached out and grabbed her arm, yanking her towards him and almost off her feet as he leaned down, hissing into her ear. "Get off of the streets. You're his type."
"What?" She struggled against his hold. "Don't touch me! Let go!"
"You're not listening." His grip got harder, scolding, as he gave her a little violent shake until she calmed down. "You're his type."
"Whose type?" She turned her head towards him, uncomfortable with how close their faces were, but realizing he was too strong and didn't mind manhandling her in public. "Is there someone other than you who targets girls on the streets and shakes them while delivering unhelpfully vague warnings?"
His smile was a hint of amusement mixed with threat. "Leave here before he sees you. Go somewhere crowded and don't leave there alone. Don't be alone."
She pursed her lips, frowning at him. "Who are you?"
The man let go of her, hands held up in front of him as he began backing away. "Just someone traveling through."
"You know a lot for someone just traveling through!" She called after him as he turned around and began walking away, hands in his pockets. The blonde watched him until he disappeared from sight, frown increasing as she tilted her head to the side.
Just who the hell had that been?
And why had he warned her?
Whose type was she?
Suddenly a hand came down on her shoulder.
Screaming, Chloe turned and aimed a kick at the crotch, just like Dean had taught her.
With reflexes as quick as lightning, a hand grabbed her ankle and stopped the progression of her foot before it could make contact with the man's family jewels.
"Not fast enough." Dean held onto her ankle, raising an eyebrow at her in displeasure. "I should be on the ground crying for my mother right about now."
Keeping balance, Chloe didn't even try freeing the leg he held as she frowned at him. "Shouldn't you be grateful you're not on the ground?"
"If I'd been someone else he wouldn't be on the ground...so no...I'm not grateful." He finally let go of her leg, folding his arms over his chest as he shook his head at her. "You shouldn't have left the motel." He looked around him warily. "It isn't safe on the streets at night."
"I didn't know you were going to finish talking with your dad that quickly." She mumbled, shaking her leg. "And what is it with guys telling me that tonight?"
Dean's eyes narrowed. "What do you mean?"
"Just a couple of minutes ago this guy grabbed me and told me that I shouldn't be on the streets at night. It was creepy."
"He's gone now." Chloe pointed in the direction he'd disappeared to nonetheless before turning to Dean. "How's your dad?"
"On a case." Dean shrugged, shucking his hands in his brown leather jacket's pockets as he began walking towards the diner. "Apparently there's some sort of creature that's kidnapping, attacking, and killing girls around here."
Chloe stumbled, wondering if that was what the guy had been talking about. "Does he have any idea what it is?"
"No." Dean shook his head, beginning to describe the creature and the victims to her as they made their way to the diner, the sidewalk surprisingly very abandoned despite the vehicle traffic.
Then again, given the fact that girls had been disappearing like crazy in this town it made sense that people weren't walking about carefree anymore.
"So you're saying it's like an American version of Spring-Heeled Jack?" Chloe asked as they neared the diner.
"What?" Dean turned towards her, eyes narrowed.
"You know, Spring-Heeled Jack. That British guy/thing." Chloe made a face. "Our history teacher made us do a piece on unexplained phenomena that happened in the past and made it into the newspaper. He gave me Spring-Heel Jack, and that guy was interesting to say the least. Everything you're telling me about this creature sounds like him, down to the green fire coming out of his mouth-though Spring-Heel Jack was also known to somehow send his victims into fits. Some of them never recovered from them either, becoming a 'burden' to their families as one real asshole-ly guy wrote in one of the newspaper articles I collected." She shrugged. "So maybe this is whatever Spring-Heel Jack was."
Dean just stared at her before shaking his head and grinning, opening the door and entering the busy diner.
"What?" Chloe asked as she hurried in after him, pulling a strand of blonde hair behind her ear as she did so.
"Just thinking that you're still more like Sammy than me." Dean shrugged, finding them a table and sitting down.
"More like Sam?" The blonde sat opposite him. "What are you talking about?"
"Nothing." He shook his head with a chuckle, though it disappeared when his phone rang in his pocket and he pulled it out to see the caller I.D. "Yeah dad?"
Noticing movement coming towards them, Chloe smiled at the waitress bringing them menus. "Thanks."
The waitress returned a small smile and walked away, hugging herself.
Narrowing her eyes at the woman, Chloe shrugged as she slid Dean's menu towards him and opened up her own, gazing at the options. They all seemed yummy and artery-clogging, which made her grin as she wondered what greasy meal she'd enjoy tonight.
The bell above the door tinkled as someone entered.
Everyone looked up, worry on every face.
"At the diner down the street, we're going to get something to eat." Dean mumbled into the phone, staring at the options on the menu. "Yeah, that one."
The bell above the door tinkled again as someone else entered.
Once again the people looked up immediately.
Frowning, Chloe put down her menu in time to catch the looks of fear on everyone's faces turn to relief. Apparently the whole town was terrorized with what was going on, and every time someone walked passed the plate glass front of the diner they jumped in nerves.
"See you then." Dean hung up, placing his phone in his pocket as he looked up from the menu. "Everyone's shaky, huh?"
She turned back to look at him in shock. "You never looked up from your menu so how-?"
"I've been doing this for a long time; you learn how to see without looking." He shrugged, hazel gaze venturing over the diner's patrons. "The fact that they're so scared isn't good. It will give whatever is behind this the courage to continue if it hasn't already moved on."
"How many girls have been taken from this town?" Chloe asked softly, pulling the elastic out of her hair and redoing her lax ponytail.
"A couple." Dean frowned, gaze returning to her. "We're leaving tomorrow. First thing." He hesitated before adding: "I'm thinking about stopping at a friend of the family's on the way. Bobby Singer. I, uh, have some things I need to talk with him about."
She blinked in surprise. "You talked to your dad about everything that quickly?"
He slid his gaze away from her. "We had our talk. No other reason to stick around."
"What about the hunt?" Chloe pointed out, surprised that he was going to leave his father when he was tracking this creature. "Aren't we going to stay and help him?"
Dean sneered darkly at that as his eyes rested on her. "You've got to be joking. There's no way in hell I'm letting you stay in this town longer than I have to. Not with your luck."
"My luck?" Chloe bristled.
"Yes. Your luck." Dean replied, face severe. "Knowing it, you're this thing's type."
Chloe went still, her eyes widening. "That's what that guy said."
"The same guy who grabbed you in the street?" Dean's eyes narrowed further. "He told you you were his type?" The hunter shook his head in derision. "What sort of pervert-?"
"Not his type." Chloe made a face at Dean. "He told me to get off of the streets before someone else he called "he" saw me because I was this other dude's type." She frowned. "And then he told me to get to a crowded place and not to leave alone-or be alone." Chloe took in a deep breath. "I told you, it was kinda creepy."
Dean was still before standing up. "That's it, we're leaving now."
"Dean!" Chloe reached over and tugged on his sleeve, a little embarrassed by the attention he was receiving from the patrons. "Sit down! I'm hungry!"
The bell over the door tinkled once more as John Winchester entered the establishment, gaze searching those there before zeroing in on them and heading in their direction. "What's with attracting attention to yourself like this?"
A muscle jumped in Dean's cheek. "Chloe and I are leaving."
"The diner?" John frowned.
"Town." Dean replied in an oddly controlled tone. "Some douche threatened her outside that she was this thing's type."
"It was more like a warning than a threat, really." Chloe was still grabbing hold of Dean's sleeve.
John turned to look at her for the first time and for a second he just stared at her.
Chloe blinked under the intense scrutiny, pulling a strand of blonde hair behind her ear. "Uh, hi John."
Dean narrowed his eyes on his father.
"Dean." John didn't look away from Chloe. "Sit down. You're causing a scene."
Frustration flashed over Dean's eyes but he obeyed nonetheless.
John sat next to him, opposite Chloe. "How are you doing?"
She smiled at him, remembering Lois' advice to flirt her way out of any uncomfortable or odd circumstance. "Much better now, thank you. It's good to see you."
He just stared at her before nodding. "You too."
The waitress arrived. "Whadya like to order?"
"The usual for me." John announced without looking from Chloe.
It was beginning to unnerve the blonde a little yet she just smiled at him before giving the waitress her order.
Dean grumbled his.
The woman left to get them what they wanted.
"I take it that my son has filled you in on what's been happening in this town?" John was direct and to the point. "About the girls and what's happening to them?"
Chloe nodded, getting a little more comfortable now. "Have you considered the Spring-Heel Jack legends? It's almost the same exact thing Spring-Heel Jack was supposed to be able to induce fits in his victims." She sat as straight as she could, feeling very much like she should be at attention or something military-ish like that. "It could be nothing other than a coincidence, but if you like I investigated him extensively for a school report and I have all the information on my computer at school. All I'd have to do is remotely access it and transfers the files to your computer."
John paused, tilting his head to the side. "You're good with computers?"
"You can say I'm better with them than people." Chloe grinned, much more comfortable now that they were getting to her expertise.
"My son, Samuel, used to be the one to use the computer for us, but he hightailed it and went to live the civilian life." John declared, leaning forwards on the table. "Ever since he's left it's been harder to get the information I need for the cases."
"Do you need some sort of information that you're not able to get? Electronically?" Chloe asked curiously.
John observed her before nodding. "I have a feeling that the District Attorney is keeping something important on his computer."
"So you need hacking." Chloe clarified slowly. "This is your way of asking if I can hack."
"Dad-." Dean started.
"Not now Dean." John interrupted, never removing his gaze from Chloe. "What if it was?"
The blonde took in a deep breath as she cleared his throat. "I could give it a try."
Dean leaned hard against his seat, looking away, displeasure on his every feature.
"When we finish here I want you in my room." John near ordered.
Chloe gulped, nodding slowly.
"Look, dad-." Dean started again.
"Not now Dean." John growled.
Uncomfortable, uneasy, Chloe cleared her throat as she stood, head lowered. "I, uh, I need to use the bathroom."
She knew she was running away from conflict (as Dr. Masters called it) but didn't care, rushing towards the hallway to the side with the sign that said BATHROOM. She hugged herself as she walked down the dimly lit corridor, passing the men's room before finally finding the women's, hurrying inside. The blonde took in a deep breath, wondering if John was always this intense. It made her nervous, and horribly intimidated.
Scratching her arm as it started to itch, Chloe fought with the symptoms of her nerves as she went to one of the stalls, closing the door behind her as she lowered her panties and crouched over the rim, peeing standing up, not trusting any germs that might be on the rim.
Wiping clean she pulled back up her underwear and unlocked the door, nearly jumping when she found a woman there.
She hadn't heard her come in.
Sending the woman a wobbly smile, Chloe went to the sinks and turned on the water, making a face when she realized there was no soap.
"Maddie..." The woman whispered to her.
Chloe paused in mid-wash as she turned towards the woman. "Excuse me?"
"It's me Maddie." The woman gazed at her with tears in her eyes. "Don't you recognize me?"
"I'm sorry...but you've got me mixed up with someone else." Chloe turned off the faucet and grabbed some paper, wiping her hands as she gave the woman an awkward little smile. "My name's not Maddie."
She turned to leave, when the woman moved with her, blocking her path.
"Maddie, it's me." The woman begged her, voice breaking, tears flowing. "You have to recognize me! It's me."
"Ma'am..." Chloe could feel panic begin to claw at her throat as this obviously unhinged woman blocked her exit. "I'm sorry but I'm not this Maddie person. My name's Chloe and I've never seen you before."
"Don't say that!" The woman screamed at her, tears free-falling now, shoulder shaking with her sobs. "Why are you doing this to me? Why are you punishing me?"
"I'm not punishing you!" That panic continued to grow, and the place seemed to be closing in on Chloe as she tried to breathe, tried to stay the panic attack she was on the threshold of. "I'm not! I swear! But I don't know you and my name is not Maddie!"
"I'm sorry!" The woman screamed that at her. "I'm so sorry!"
When she made to step towards Chloe it was instinct that drove the blonde backwards into the wall.
The woman looked like she'd been slapped. "Why do you hate me so much?"
"I don't hate you." Chloe whispered as she clutched at the wall behind her, shivering.
Relief flooded the woman's face as she drew closer and pulled Chloe into her hold, gripping her tightly as she cried.
Chloe held still in the embrace, trembling, feeling trapped and scared and nauseas. She wanted to scream and claw her way to freedom, wanted to push away and breathe. The walls of the bathroom seemed to be closing in on her and she felt dizzy, breathless.
Suddenly the door to the bathroom opened, and the waitress froze at the scene, though one look at Chloe's terrified face brought her forwards as she went towards the woman. "Hannah? Hannah, darling? What's going on here?"
"Krista!" This woman, Hannah, let go of Chloe enough so that she was only grabbing her arm. "It's Maddie! Maddie's back!"
Sadness filled the waitress' eyes. "Oh honey, that's not Maddie."
The smile disappeared from the woman's face. "Yes she is. Why are you lying to me?"
"Honey, I'm not lying." The waitress came closer, carefully. "This girl is just passing through town. She's not Maddie."
"But she is." The woman clutched Chloe's arm so tightly she was cutting off the circulation. "This is Maddie!"
"I'm not Maddie." Chloe yanked her arm away, stumbling into one of the stalls in her haste to get as far away from this woman as possible. "And I don't know you!"
"Why?" Hannah cried brokenheartedly. "Why do you keep hurting me like this?" And with that she raced away, crying loudly.
Chloe looked in the direction the woman had gone before sliding down the wall in shock, gripping the arm Hannah had held so tightly, it was throbbing softly.
"Are you okay?" Krista came towards her, kneeling down. "You shouldn't be on this floor. It's far from sanitary."
Chloe hugged herself tightly, flinching away from Krista's hand, causing the waitress to pull it away before she could touch her.
Krista sighed. "I'm sorry about that, Hannah's usually not like that. She hasn't been right in the head for a very long time, but she's never attacked anyone like this before."
"He's right." Chloe whispered, staring ahead of her. "I have horrible luck."
"How about I take you back to where your boyfriend's waiting on you?"
"Not my boyfriend." She whispered before finally shaking herself out of the daze and pushing herself up. "I—I'm fine, thank you." The blonde went to the sink and washed her hands once more with scalding water.
Krista sighed as she leaned against the wall.
"Who...who was Maddie?" Chloe finally asked, turning off the faucet and wiping her hands dry.
"A sad memory." Krista replied before motioning towards the door. "Come on, I think you deserve a free shake after this."
Hugging herself, Chloe gave the woman a small smile before following her out of the bathroom.