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
Something had happened.
The girl had been far too quiet and subdued during dinner; only speaking when spoken to, gaze on the food she hardly touched despite having assured him before how hungry she was. For a while Dean wondered if it was because she could sense the tension between his father and him, but he noticed her rubbing her arm a couple of times almost as if it hurt her, and it was all he could do to keep himself from ordering her to spit out what'd happened while she'd gone to the bathroom.
The feeling persisted as they found themselves in his father's room, the girl tapping furiously into her keyboard, only stopping to rub her arm occasionally.
John leaned over Chloe's shoulder, seeming not to notice the way she pulled closer to the computer and further away from him in an obvious effort to keep their bodies from touching.
Dean leaned against the wall, folding his arms over his chest and chewing on the inside of his cheek as he watched them.
A part of him wanted to tell his father to just back off and let her do what she was doing, but he knew that calling attention to the situation would only make the girl more uncomfortable, so he bit his tongue and kept from talking. It itched him to do so though, and he found himself unable to stay in one position for long. He felt fidgety and hated it.
"There." Chloe finally announced, slipping out from between John and the computer fluidly, rapidly, hugging herself as she gave him a little smile. "The DA's computer with unrestricted access to every file within; check to your heart's desire. They're going to know that someone hacked in, but I've programmed the trace to bounce off of so many different connection ports and cell towers and such that they won't be able to trace it back to us."
"Impressive." John patted her back hard enough to have her stumble forwards slightly as he took the seat she'd vacated, already consumed in going through the files she'd pulled up.
Chloe made her way towards Dean, eyeing his father as she leaned and whispered: "I think he's forgiven me a little for taking you away from him."
Dean didn't answer, instead reaching for the zipper of her hoodie and lowering it brusquely enough to pull the sleeve off of her arm and bare the bruises forming. "What happened?"
"Don't just take my clothes off." She slapped his hand away, unable to look him in the eye as she zipped back up to her throat. "It was nothing, some crazy woman just got a little handsy in the bathroom. I-I think I look like someone she knew who died or something like that."
Dean groaned, leaning harder against the wall, staring up at the ceiling. "You can't even go to the bathroom without something happening."
She glared at him. "This isn't my fault."
"Not saying it is. But I think you're cursed." He mumbled darkly to himself. "There's no way someone can have such bad luck naturally."
She obviously wanted to snap at him but realized he was right, pouting as she leaned against the wall next to him.
Feeling his phone ringing, Dean pulled it out of his pocket and frowned when he saw Sam's number on the caller I.D. He sent his father a look, knowing that it would be World War III if he found out it was Sam, so the young hunter sent Chloe a look telling her he'd be out for a bit and slipped out of the door, flipping open his phone and bringing it to his ear as he closed the door behind him.
"Sammy! What's up?" He zipped up his brown leather jacket against the cold of the night as he stepped out onto the dimly lit parking lot.
"Uh, I wanted to talk to you...is Chloe anywhere near?"
Blinking, a little confused at the question, Dean shook his head. "Nope."
"Good." Sammy cleared his throat. "Look Dean, I want you to know that I understand, okay? She seems very mature for her age and everything, and she's pretty and smart and funny. She's also very caring and has a way of making people who actually give her a chance, give a damn."
So far all Sam was doing was stating the obvious.
Dean waited for him to get on with it already.
"But she's young and vulnerable right now and..."
Dean raised an eyebrow. "Just spit out whatever you're going to say and stop beating around the bushes."
"Fine." Sam cleared his throat again. "I knew you were close, but the other night on skype I realized that you guys are really close. I mean,really close. I was going to wait until you came for a visit to talk to you about it but I can't study and I figured it would be better to just talk to you and get it over with."
"You're still beating around the fucking bush." Dean felt some annoyance filling him by now.
"Are you sleeping with her?" Sam blew him the fuck away by asking him that straight out. "Because I don't approve if you are."
Dean stared ahead of him in shock. "Are you on drugs?"
"Excuse me?" Sam sounded like he had his bitch face on right this instance.
"Jesus, what is it with you and dad having these goddamn perverted ideas about us?" Dean was annoyed, hell, he was pissed! "I know that I've had a history of being unable to keep it in my pants-but she's a fucking minor, man! Give me some credit!"
Sam stammered. "I-I don't think you're a pervert or anything Dean. And I don't want you to think that I just automatically assume the worse of you-."
"Really?" Dean snapped. "Because it sure as hell sounds that way!"
Sam groaned, sounding like he was palming his face. "Maybe I-overreacted-but you have to understand why I'd assume this!"
"No actually." Dean ground his teeth. "I don't see why you'd think something like that at all."
"Really? Dean?" Sam's annoyance was returning. "Do you even know how you two looked on skype? She was lying on top of you!"
"She was not!" Dean snapped.
"She was!" Sam snapped back. "This is the girl who has a phobia of being touched, but she was all over you! And you hate women being clingy with you, you turn into a real asshole when they try to even hug you, but you not only let her basically drape herself all over you-you had your arm around her keeping her anchored to you!"
Dean's mouth opened in shock. "That's not true."
"Which part?" Sam asked testily.
"All of it!" Dean growled, beginning to pace, his whole body tensed, his muscles taunt. "And I don't think you of all people should be schooling me on how to act around her given the fact that you are the only one out us the both of us who's been sexual with her!"
There was silence.
"She told you about that?"
Dean looked up at the stars. "Yeah."
"I was possessed." Sam whispered. "It wasn't me."
"You were you enough to push him out of you Sammy." Dean reminded.
"I really don't feel like that towards her." Sam finally spoke. "But she saved my life. I-I feel protective towards her."
"So do I." Dean replied, running his hand over his face, hella uncomfortable with how this had suddenly become a "feelings" conversation. "And honestly, my friendship with her is none of your goddamn business."
"Friendship." Sam mulled over that word.
"Yeah, I'm allowed to have one you know." He surprised himself at how resentful that sounded.
"Of course you do, Dean." Sam sounded just as surprised. "I just-you know what? I was completely out of line."
Dean cleared his throat. "Yeah, you were."
"You should be." Dean mumbled.
"Just take my apology gracefully." Sam somehow conveyed with his voice that he was rolling his eyes, like a bitch.
Dean's lips twitched with amusement as he allowed himself to grin at the thought.
"So, how are things?" Sam cleared his throat, obviously desperate to change the subject. "What's Chloe up to tonight?"
Dean sent a look towards the room. "Hacking the DA's office."
There was silence, and then: "What?"
"Look, I don't wanna talk about this on the phone, I'll tell you when we come to your place okay?"
The door opened and Dean hung up the call, raising an eyebrow at Chloe as the girl slipped out of the room silently. "What's up shortstuff?"
"Your dad wants something to drink, coffee preferably. Black. No sugar or cream." The blonde rolled her eyes, pulling up the hoodie over her head. "Says there's a coffee machine in the reception area of the manager's office; complimentary coffee or something like that? I don't know." She shrugged, her breath coming out in visible huffs. "You want something? It looks like it's going to be a long night."
That annoyance grew inside of Dean but he pushed it back. "I'll tag along."
"I can walk to that building over there by myself." She smirked at him with obvious amusement.
He shucked his hands (and his phone) into his jacket's pockets as he began the trek towards the reception area.
Chloe hurriedly caught up with him, her shorter legs making it harder for her to keep at his pace but she didn't complain. "Your dad gets really consumed by his hunts, huh?"
"Yeah, the hunt's his life."
She sighed, hugging herself. "He must have really loved her."
Dean sent her a sideways glance. "What?"
"Your mother." She replied, sending him a sideways glance. "Sam told me everything-about your dad's motivation for his hunts. For him to be this dedicated so long after her death it must mean that he really loved her."
Dean cleared his throat and looked away.
Chloe sighed as she stared in front of her.
The hunter sent her a sideways glance. "What's with the sighing?"
"A girl can't sigh?" She countered.
He smirked. "She can...but when she does it's usually for a reason."
"Who made you the authority on women and their actions?" She pouted.
He chuckled. "My vast experience."
The blonde raised an eyebrow at him. "Right."
"So what's up?" Dean wanted to know, stopping and turning towards her.
She stopped as well, tilting her head to the side. "I'm just tired. After we get the coffee for John I think I'll go to our room and have a nice long sleep."
He wanted to tell her that they were leaving tonight, but he could see the tiredness on her face and decided that one night couldn't hurt. "Sure. Just make sure the doors and windows are locked."
The blonde smirked at him. "Yes Boss."
Dean smiled at that, shaking his head as they continued towards the promise of free coffee.
Slipping into the room Dean had unlocked for her, Chloe locked it behind her as promised, hearing his footsteps disappearing down the walkway towards his father's room. The blonde turned and leaned against the door, a small smile on her face before shaking her head and hurrying towards her bed and throwing herself on it. The mattress wasn't the most comfortable she'd ever been on, but it wasn't the worse either, and she was so tired she'd easily conk out without any trouble.
A part of her mumbled something about bathing, but the blonde was way too lazy for that, instead kicking off her boots and easing her skirt down her hips and legs, dropping the material on the ground by the side of the bed. She unzipped her hoodie, throwing that as well, not needing it in the warm room as she unhooked her bra and stuffed that into her bag before crawling in under the sheets. They were soft and smelt nice, although the patterns were very faded and had been obviously used for a very long time in the motel.
Turning off the lights, Chloe closed her eyes and got comfortable as she yawned, snuggling under the blankets.
Suddenly there were loud, rapid, desperate knocks against the door.
"Help me!" A woman cried in terror. "Please! Help me! He's after me!"
Eyes flying open, Chloe slipped out of the bed and hurried towards the door, wishing that there was some sort of peephole. "Hello?" She said through the door.
"Please!" The woman begged. "Please! Don't let him get me!"
Chloe turned her gaze towards her bag, where her phone was. Her instinct told her to call Dean, but there was an inhuman shriek outside and the woman cried out loudly.
Quickly unlocking the door, Chloe yanked it open and frowned when she found no one there. "Hello?"
Horror filled her. Had Spring-Heel gotten to the woman? Had the blonde's indecision just damned some other girl to the same fate as the girls before her?
Stepping outside into the cold night, Chloe hugged herself against the cold as she looked around. "Hello?"
Hearing a sound to her right, the blonde turned and didn't even get to scream before everything went black.
"There is no such thing as a shared dream...unless there's African Dream Root involved." John Winchester declared, having been torn away from the DA's files due to his son's incessant demand for attention. He honestly didn't know how to react to this change in Dean, but he knew he didn't like it. The boy was becoming rebellious and disrespectful like Sammy had been, and just look at how horribly that had turned out. "Was there African Dream Root involved? Because if so it's not something that should be played with."
"There wasn't any African Dream Root involved." A muscle jumped in Dean's cheek as he folded his arms over his chest. "But it was the same dream, if not a very similar one with the same context. She died in it just like mom did. That can't be a coincidence-not with everything else. There's a connection between her and mom."
John leaned hard on his seat as he stared up at his eldest. "There can't possibly be any connection between them."
"Why not?" Dean countered.
John just didn't like it, not used to being questioned by his eldest.
"Because I didn't taint your mother, and from what you've told me, you haven't tainted that kid either." It was as simple as that.
Mary's face flashed before John's face, pleading with him as she reached down towards him from the ceiling as the fire consumed her.
Rubbing his hand over his eyes, John cleared his throat.
That kid looked too damn much like his Mary had...it was fucking with his head.
"Margaret didn't say we tainted them, she said they tainted themselves because of us."
"Isn't that the same thing?" John snapped, not wanting to talk about this anymore.
"No. It's not." Dean was sticking to his guns, eyes narrowed. "Look, if you don't want to help then fine. But I'm going to figure out what the hell is going on and I'm going to protect her."
John shook his head as he stood, going towards the window, staring outside at the darkness.
"Sir...dad." Dean cleared his throat, clearly uncomfortable. "If you know anything, no matter how unimportant you might think it is, I'm asking you to please tell me."
"The only thing I know..." John turned to face his son with a frown. "Is that the girl is going to catch her death in this cold if she keeps walking around outside barefooted while in her underwear."
"What?" Dean was by his side, staring out of the window before pushing away and was out the door in seconds.
John didn't move, returning his gaze to the window, watching as the boy raced to where the girl was walking aimlessly, seeming somewhat disoriented.
Dean grabbed her arm, yanking her arm, yelling at her.
Chloe seemed confused, disoriented, and then she just smiled up at Dean and nodded, turning and walking back to their room.
Dean let her slip out of his hold, watching her in worry and confusion, before mumbling darkly to himself as he followed closely behind, grabbing the blonde and lifting her off of her terribly dirty feet as he threw her over his shoulder and stormed them the rest of the way to their room...kicking the open door closed behind them.
John sighed as he finally looked away from outside, turning his back on the window.
Too damn much like Mary.
Too damn much.
She snored loudly.
Sitting on his bed, hunched over, Dean frowned as he watched the girl who only moments before had been sleepwalking all around the parking lot. At first he hadn't understood what was going on, had suspected that maybe she'd had a lot to drink, but then he'd seen how glazed over and unfocused her eyes were despite no scent of alcohol at all...and realized that even though her eyes were open the girl was sleeping.
She'd smiled up at him, mumbled something he really couldn't make out, and then started back towards the room.
And now here he was, sitting on his bed watching her, frowning darkly.
This was the first time she'd ever sleepwalked, and it worried him. What if he was sleeping and the girl just sleepwalked out of the room and went to only god knew where? She'd even unlocked the door in her sleep!
This was fucking unbelievable!
Running his hand over his hair, feeling so horribly out of depth, Dean closed his eyes with a sigh.