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Dark Hunters:The In Between

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Dark Hunters: The In Between

 

    I kept checking my phone to see if I had missed Ali’s call.  I would never tell her but I was a little nervous about her driving all the way from Massachusetts to Oklahoma by herself.  I knew the route she was driving and where she would be stopping for the night.  We had discussed the fact that she might bring her pistol with her to keep in her hotel room and the spectrum blade as well.

    We had also set up call times, so that she could check in with me and let me know all was well.  We talked on the phone constantly but this was different.  I needed to know that she was ok and I know she felt the same way.  We both got a little antsy when we went too long without talking to each other.  

    I checked the time and sighed, I hated waiting for anything and sitting and waiting for the phone to ring was driving me crazy. I decided to get on Twitter(always good for a distraction, especially if David Haydn-Jones happened to be on!) and see what my other SPN Sisters were up to. If Ali hadn’t called in a few minutes then I was calling her.

    I checked the time again, said my Twitter goodbyes and started dialing in her number, when my phone rang and a picture of Jared Padalecki flashed on the screen.  I smiled when I saw her phone ID, Sammy, flash across Jared’s photo.

    “Hey Sis, are you ok?”

    She didn’t respond right away, so I knew something was up.  I could tell she was outside because I could hear some wind blowing through her phone speaker.  

    “Ali, what the hell!” I shouted into the phone.

    I heard the sound of keys hitting pavement and a startled sound in

Ali’s voice.  I could hear a lot of sounds but none of them her voice.  I was becoming more alarmed by the second.

    “Are you ok?” I repeated for the umpteenth time.  

    I finally got an answer but it wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

    “Um, I don’t think so!” she replied.

    My mind went instantly to panic mode.  I wanted to know what was going on and I wanted to know now!  What was happening to my sister? I could see a car ride in my future as I grabbed my keys and headed for the door.  The next words out of her mouth stopped me in my tracks.  

    “Dan, I swear to God, I just saw Sam and Dean.”

    I could not comprehend what she was telling me.  Sam and Dean? I was shaking my head and realized she couldn’t see me, “Okay, what the hell are you smoking?” I replied laughing.

    I could hear the anxiety in her voice and I could picture her pacing the hotel room.  I put on my big Sis voice, “You need to go to sleep, you’ve been on the road all day, just go to bed and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

    She assured me that she was going to do exactly as I suggested.  “Make sure you do that.” I told her before I ended the call.

    I stared out the window at the black Oklahoma night as worry and fear threatened to choke me.  I hated to think of her alone in a hotel room; 11 hours away.  I felt so helpless.   The only thing I could do was survive the night and be there for her if she called.

    I sighed and headed for the kitchen.  This night called for something stronger than just coffee.  I grabbed the footstool and placed it near the refrigerator.  The alcohol was stored above the fridge and my 5’1” frame couldn’t reach it without a little help. Alas, the story of my life and the reason so many people underestimate me. But that’s ok, I like flying under the radar.

    I snagged the bottle of Skyy vodka from the cabinet and the cranberry juice from the fridge. This was definitely a vodka and cranberry juice kind of night.  I fixed the drink and headed out to the front deck.  I sat my drink down on the table, made sure the ringer on my phone was turned up and sat down in one of the deck chairs.  

   I placed my boot up on another chair, leaned back and stared up into the inky sky.  There were few neighbors out here so that meant minimal light pollution.  I could see all the stars in the sky.  Normally I enjoyed kicking back on the deck and staring at the stars.  It usually helped me calm my mind and find my center.  But not tonight, my thoughts were in a turmoil.  

    I just could not wrap my brain around the idea that she had seen Sam and Dean Winchester.  I mean maybe Jared and Jensen, they pop up all over the place: but Sam and Dean?  I half expected to hear the theme music from the Twilight Zone start any minute. Despite this, I never doubted Ali’s word.  Which meant, holy crap! She just saw Sam and Dean Winchester! Our beloved boys were...real?  I sat up, reached for my drink and downed a nice big shot.   

   Boy did I need that.  It wasn’t that I was weirded out about what she had told me.  Even though we hadn’t met in person yet, we had been talking on the phone for months.  The connection that we had from the very beginning was almost supernatural in itself.  She called me her Dean and she was my Sam. Two sisters brought together by Twitter and the love of our show.

    The ringing of my phone shattered the silence of the night. I reached for it, my heart in my throat, just knowing that Ali was in trouble.  I looked at the screen and smiled in relief as a photo of Misha Collins flashed on the screen and the name Castiel appeared.

    I quickly hit accept, “Hi Carol. Whats up?”  If Ali was my Sam, then Carol was our Cas.  

    “I was just wondering if you had heard from Ali? I tried to call her but didn’t get an answer.  I was going to text her but I thought I would call you first.”

    Hmm… had I heard from Ali? I was trying to decide what I was going to tell her. Since I didn’t know what was actually going on,  I decided that I was definitely NOT going to mention the boys in any way, shape or form.

    “Yeah, she checked in a little while ago.  She made it to the hotel, safe and sound.  She sounded exhausted though so I bet she’s asleep by now.”

    “Well I’m glad she made it safely.  I thought maybe we could have a 3 way call before she went to bed.”

    I could hear some disappointment in Carol’s voice.  “ I’m sure she will be sorry she missed out on that.  I think the drive was a lot more tiring than she thought it would be.”

    “That’s ok, the important thing is that she’s safe.  I’m going to be snowed under with work the next few days so I may not be available for calls.  Will you keep me posted? Let me know that she made it to you safely?”

    “Will do.  I am meeting her at Fred and Red’s in Joplin tomorrow afternoon.  I’ll shoot you a text when I get there.”

    “Great. I’ll let you go for now.  Bye Dean”

    I smiled at the nickname,  “Goodnight Cass.”

    I disconnected the call and set my phone down.

    I picked up my drink and downed the rest of it.  I didn’t like keeping things from Carol but how could I tell her this?  I couldn’t lay all my worries about Ali on Carol.  Because she lived in British Columbia, she was too far away to help. All It would do was cause her to worry and I wasn’t sure that there was truly anything to worry about yet.

    I had been so busy brooding about Ali that I hadn’t noticed the light breeze that had been blowing all evening had completely died.  Sweat pooled on the back of my neck; I lifted my hair to try and cool off.  That’s when I noticed that all of the normal little night sounds were gone.  

   The air felt strange; like it was electrically charged.  It reminded me of  the strange storm that blew up last night and just as quickly disappeared.   I sat up in my chair and looked out at the blackness that enveloped the front yard. I felt the presence of something.  I thought I caught a glimpse of movement at the edge of the yard; a shadow within a shadow. It was probably just a coyote straying a little too close to the house.  

    Just then a low growl sounded from the edge of the driveway and I jumped out of my chair.  That was definitely NOT a coyote! That noise came from something much more massive.  I looked at the pear tree that was closest to the house and I could see the branches of the tree shaking.  Whatever was making that sound was rubbing against the lowest branches of the tree which were at least 4 feet off the ground.

    The growling continued for several minutes but whatever it was stayed out by the driveway.  I don’t know how I knew, but it wanted me to know it was there; waiting.  It never moved closer to the house and I wasn’t about to step off the porch.

    This standoff continued for a few more minutes and then whatever it was moved away.  I saw the tree branches flex and bend as the shape passed by.  I could hear the wood cracking and see the leaves fall to the ground.  The night sounds slowly returned and I collapsed back into the chair.  I was trembling all over and my breath came in hoarse gasps.  I placed my hands between my knees to try and hold them still as I rocked back and forth.

    What the hell just happened!  I could feel the threat and menace that rolled off that thing. It wasn’t a coyote and there were no dogs that size around here.  My mind kept trying to tell me what it was but I was so not going there. I rubbed my hands over my tired eyes and decided I better try to get some sleep.  Who knew what tomorrow would bring? One thing I knew; it was going to be a very long day.

    I grabbed my phone and headed into the house. I let out a breath I hadn’t realized I had been holding once I closed the door behind me.  I felt like the night was no longer safe and wished more than anything that Wayne was home tonight. He had left early this morning to help out at a friend’s ranch. Once my husband made a promise to help a friend, he wouldn’t quit until the work was done.  So I knew if he wasn’t home by now, then it wouldn’t be until sometime tomorrow.

    I pushed the thoughts of him aside; another area I so didn’t want to visit right now. Things had been more than a little strained between us lately and we hadn’t been exactly friendly to each other the past couple of days.

    I paused by the door, waiting and listening for any sign that something was amiss.  As I looked around the living room, I noticed the cats were scattered about the room peacefully sleeping .  They had been making themselves scarce the past couple of days so I took it as a good sign that all was well; I trusted them to alert me to anything out of place.

    I walked back to the bedroom; sat down on the bed and removed my boots.  I decided not to bother getting undressed. I had a funny feeling that I needed to be ready for anything so… clothes stayed on.  I made sure the volume on my phone was as loud as it could go; I did not want to miss a call from Ali if she needed me. I collapsed back onto to the bed with a groan; every muscle in my body screamed out at the sudden release of tension.  I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to sleep but I was out as soon as my head touched the pillow.
















Chapter Text

Chapter 2

    Sometime during the night, I heard the text tone on my phone.  I jumped up and grabbed the phone; my heart hammering in my chest.  It was Ali; letting me know that she was switching hotels.  That was all her message said.  She didn’t give a reason or the location of her new hotel.  This could not be good.  Why would she have to switch locations in the middle of the night? I tried to call her back but all I heard was static on the line; the call wouldn’t go through.

    My fight or flight response shot into overdrive. What made it worse was that I could do absolutely nothing.  I couldn’t reach her.  I didn’t know where she was.  I tried multiple times to call her; each time that strange static would blast over the phone.  All I could do was wait for her to contact me and pray that everything was ok.  That, and drink a lot of coffee cause sleep was out of the question now.

    I stumbled into the kitchen, almost tripping over Munchie, my Maine Coon cat. “Damn it Munchie, get out of my way!” I picked him up and moved him out of tripping range.

    I headed straight for the coffee maker and started an extra strong pot. I paced back and forth while waiting for the coffee to finish brewing.  I could not keep still; I just kept pacing and pacing. The other cats began congregating in the kitchen; milling around and meowing.

    “Hey guys, come on, leave me alone.”  They weren’t having any of that; they kept trying to weave in and out of my legs, meowing at the top of their lungs. It was their vocalizing that got me thinking, I hadn’t heard a peep out of them in the past few days. And when you have seven cats, there is never a time when one of them isn’t making some kind of noise.

They were definitely making up for lost time this morning; cats, cats everywhere.  The little opportunists figured if mom was up, they might as well get fed. “Ok guys, you are driving me crazy, get out of my way and I will feed you.”.  

    I doled out the food to each of the cats but my mind kept going back to Ali’s text.  What the hell had happened? Did it having anything to do with the Winchester look alikes? I hope not, but I was starting to smell a Winchester mystery.  

    I sat at the kitchen table, fresh cup of coffee in my hands, my mind racing; coming up with all kinds of scenarios.  The longer I went with no word from Ali the higher my anxiety soared.  I would be climbing the walls soon.  I looked at my phone, almost 5AM, two hours since her text.  We were supposed to meet in Joplin, Missouri later that day.

Doing nothing but sitting was getting me nowhere.  It would be daylight soon and I planned to be on the road.  I had no doubt that she would be calling me as soon as she got up, so I figured why not be a little closer to Joplin when she did.  

    I grabbed my phone and dialed her number one last time.  If she didn’t answer or that damn interference happened again, then I was out of there.  This time I could hear the phone ringing and I hoped like hell she would answer.

    “Danni? It’s like five in the morning, why are you awake?”

     My body sagged in relief as I heard her voice. I had been wound so tight that the release of tension from my body was actually painful.

“You sound pretty awake yourself, are you alright?” I snapped back at her.  I could hear the fear and anxiety in my voice as I questioned her.

    “Honestly I don’t know.”

    “What’s wrong? Never mind, where are you? I’m coming out to meet you.”

    “Danni, wait, calm down.”

    Oh no she did not just tell me to calm down.  After the night I had? Nope that wasn’t happening.  I grabbed my keys off the counter and headed into the livingroom. That’s when she started giving me details about why she had to switch hotels.

    I slowly sat down on the couch as the whole story came pouring out of her.  She proceeded to tell me that she had had some Sam and Dean Winchester kind of trouble.  “What?” I said.  “You mean like bar guy turns into a werewolf kind of Sam and Dean?”

    She didn’t answer right away.  I opened my mouth to ask again and she replied, “Try Sam comes flying through my window with a vamp after him kind of Sam and Dean.”

    I thought I might need to have my ears checked.  She did not just tell me that Sam Winchester crashed through her window; with a vampire hot on his heels!  “ Excuse me, what?” I stood and started pacing the living room.  There was no way I could sit after hearing that.

    “Danni, you better sit down before I tell you the rest.”

    That sounded like code for break out the alcohol. So it was back to the kitchen and the liquor cabinet for me.  At this rate I was going to turn into an alcoholic before she ever made it to Oklahoma. I grabbed the footstool again and dug through the cabinet until I found the perfect addition for a breakfast cocktail. I refilled my coffee and added a generous slug of Baileys.  Don’t you just love the smell of Baileys and Winchesters in the morning?

    Ali remained silent.  Giving me time to digest what she had already told me and to prepare for what was to come.  Somehow, I knew I wasn’t going to like it.

   “Okay, lay it on me.” I sighed.

    I listened without interrupting, which was saying a lot considering the more she told me, the more my protective streak came out.  She told me again about seeing the boys at the hotel.  The whole idea of actually seeing the boys was surreal; and when she mentioned Baby?  Yeah, I almost lost it there.

    But when she started to describe the vamp attack, I could hear her voice start to shake and I knew that her “freak out mode” was imminent.  We had talked about it enough on the phone that I could recognize the signs in her voice. We were exactly the same in this regard. We could handle ourselves in the thick of it, but afterwards we fell apart.

    “Dan, it was scary as hell. One minute I’m asleep and the next, Sam Winchester comes flying through my window with a vampire right behind him.  I didn’t think, I just reacted. Somehow, my knife was in my hand and I was swinging for all I’m worth. I don’t know how I did it. I almost took that vampire’s head off!”

    “Holy shit,” I replied.  I picked up my cup, realized I was running on empty, and headed to the kitchen for a refill. I took a big slug of Baileys coffee and headed back to the living room.  “Ali, it’s going to be ok.”

    “How is it going to be ok Dan? I spent the last few hours suturing up a bleeding Winchester.  I mean, what the hell?”

    She was quiet for a time and I could tell that she was trying to regain some control. “So what now?” I asked.

    “ Nothing has changed.  We move on with the plan, just a little bit later.”

    She needed to sleep.  I knew she would want to keep an eye on Sam. She had patched him up and I knew she would want to see it through. No matter what the risk. She promised me she would be careful and stay safe.

   “You make sure you are because if you’re not, you can tell those boys, that there’s no way in hell they’re getting away that easy.” I replied, with just a trace of anger.

    This time we didn’t sign off with our usual, G’night Sam/G’night Dean.

    “Love you Sis, talk soon.”

    I could hear the smile in her voice when she said, “Love you too.”

    I disconnected the call and sat back in my chair.  I stared absently down into my coffee cup and wished I could disconnect my thoughts as easily as I disconnected our call. I was going to jump out of my skin yet all I could do was sit and do nothing.  I was exhausted yet wired.

    I could lay down and sleep for 2 days but no way that was going to happen. The thought of Ali so far away from me with two strangers? I didn’t give a rats ass if they were Sam and Dean Winchester.  They weren't OUR Sam and Dean. They couldn't be.  They were strangers to me and I didn’t trust strangers.  Especially with my little sister.  

    Just then I heard a truck door slam.  I looked out the window and saw Wayne’s truck in the driveway. Then I heard his boots on the porch steps. I quickly moved back to the couch and sat down. My stomach was in knots waiting for him to come through the door. Even though it would have been nice to have someone else with me in the house last night, I had actually been dreading this homecoming.

     Our cat Turtle came out of nowhere and took on a defensive posture on the arm of the couch next to me. Her gold eyes were focused on the front door; her tail snapping back and forth.  She had been staying particularly close to me the past several days, especially when Wayne was in the room.  Which was more than a little strange, because she was normally his shadow.  Now she was my little guardian.

    I tensed as the door opened and he walked in.  I tried to read his body language to see what Wayne I was getting today; I hoped it wasn’t the angry one.  He stood in the middle of the room and looked down at me.

    “What a nice surprise, I didn’t think you would be here.” he smiled.  It wasn’t a nice smile; it didn’t reach his eyes at all.  “I figured you would be out and about; getting last minute supplies before SHE gets here.”

    “That she has a name Wayne, it’s Ali.  You know that.”

    “Oh I didn’t mean anything by it Princess.” he sneered

    What the hell is going on here? He knows  how much I hate to be called that! Was he trying to pick a fight? Cause I could damn sure give him one!  “What the hell do you mean by that Wayne? Was the last fight not good enough for you?”

    “Oh, I’m back for round two, darlin.  I don’t think we came close to finishing our last discussion!”

    I jumped up off the couch, my hands bunched into fists.  I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and realized that Turtle had crouched down in that ready to spring posture.  Her eyes were dilated and I thought I could hear a low growl rumbling from her. I glared up into Wayne’s eyes and it was like looking at a stranger.  When did that happen? This person before me was not the Wayne I knew and had loved once.

“   “I don’t know what you want from me? You know Ali and I have been planning this trip for months.  It’s not exactly a surprise.”

    “All I wanted was some details about when she was coming in and where you would be.  Any loving husband would want to know these things.”

    “No Wayne, you wanted all that and more. You wanted all the details of Ali’s drive, where she was going to be at any given time. Hell I’m surprised you didn’t want to track the GPS on her phone.”

    “I can’t believe that you are throwing my concern back in my face.” he shouted.

    “This is a lot more than just concern Wayne.  If I didn’t know better, I would think you have a thing for my sister. Do you? Do you have a thing for Ali?”

    His head snapped back as if I had slapped him.  “How could you say that to me? You know better than that.”

    Something in his voice sounded off.  I just knew he was lying.  He was way more interested in Ali than he wanted me to know.  It wasn’t a sexual thing but it was definitely a thing. “Do I? Do I really? Because right now I don’t know what to think.”

    I turned away from him. I had to get some space, all this fighting was killing me.  That was when it happened.  He grabbed my arm and yanked me backwards. At that exact moment, Turtle let out a scream and launched herself at Wayne’s face. He let go of me. Trying to shield his face from her but she managed to sink her front claws in his cheek.  

    I screamed as he slapped her away from his face.  She went flying and landed on the floor with a thud.

    She just lay there, stunned.  He started to moved towards her but I shoved him back and shouted “Stay away from her!” I could see the confusion chase away the anger in his eyes.  For a second I caught a glimpse of the Wayne I used to know and love. The Wayne that would harm himself before hurting me or one of the animals.

    He opened his mouth to say something but I cut him off, “Just leave Wayne.  Get out before something else happens.”

    He turned and walked out slamming the door behind him.  I sat on the floor with Turtle cradled in my lap; slowly rocking her back and forth. Tears streamed down my face as I held her.  I could feel her purring against my hands.  She was going to be ok.  I wasn’t sure I would be.  I couldn’t understand what had just happened.  How had things deteriorated this far?

Wayne and I had had differences over the years but nothing like this. I felt like I was living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

    I wiped the tears from my face and tried to decide what to do next.  I had to move.  I had to get out of there for a while and let things calm down.  I had to get to my sister. I needed her now more than ever.  I had to make sure she was safe; and I had to know what these Winchester boys were up to.   





Chapter Text




Chapter 3

 

I finally got the text from Ali that I had been waiting for.  She and the boys were almost to Joplin.  I had been on the road pretty much the entire time since Wayne left.  I just couldn’t stay at the house, so a road trip to Tulsa was in order.  I had to stock up on some things anyway before I brought Ali home and driving helped me clear my head and sort things out.  Well, as much as I was able to sort any of this out.

 

The only thing I could do to keep my sanity was to focus on tonight.  Tonight I would see my sister, my family, in person for the first time.  
That might sound weird to some people, me considering Ali family, but she and I knew that “family didn’t end in blood and it didn’t begin there either.”  We had never met in person, but we were family; end of story.

 

I checked the GPS on my phone and realized that I was only a few miles away from Fred and Red’s a famous chilli joint that we had chosen for our meeting place.  We picked it specifically because it looked like a place that Sam and Dean would have eaten at on the show.  A perfect place to begin our SPN Roadtrip 2017.  I checked my mirrors, turned on my blinker and turned into the parking lot.  

 

I scanned the parking lot and saw no sign of Ali’s rental car.  I must have beaten her here but I shouldn’t have. I was having one of those something wicked this way comes, moments. I reached over and pulled my pistol out of the glove compartment; no way I was going into this situation unarmed.  I stepped out of the car, slipped my holster into the small of my back and let my jacket and shirt fall back to conceal it.

 

Not knowing what I was walking into, I kept casing the parking lot.  What exactly was I looking for? Well now, that’s the point isn’t it? I didn’t have a clue, but I was going to be prepared for anything.  Fear of the unknown had a tendency to piss me off.  I didn’t like being afraid; absolutely hated the feeling of being helpless.  So, I would control as many variables as I could.

 

I took a deep breath and walked towards the diner.  I pushed open the door and started looking for a familiar face.  I didn’t see her at first but then a familiar figure stood up from one of the corner booths. I was so relieved to see her, I didn’t know if I wanted to hug her or strangle her.  Fortunately, the hug won out and for the first time, I was able to wrap my baby sister in the biggest bear hug I could give her.

 

I was sure she could feel me trembling in relief.  This was the moment we had both been waiting months for and I wasn’t going to rush it.  I could feel her relax against me as she hugged me back.  Finally, I stood back to look her over. I zeroed in on the bandage on her arm, I hated it that she had gotten hurt and could feel my anger rising towards those Winchesters.

 

We both sat down at the booth and I had to ask, “where is your freaking car?” Of course the waitress would pick that exact moment to bring me my coffee and a refresher for Ali; drawing out my wait for details a little longer.  And have I mentioned that I’m not exactly a patient person? I tapped my fingers impatiently on the table until the waitress left.  I raised my eyebrow and looked at Ali expectantly.  I couldn’t wait to hear all about her “Road So Far.”

 

She looked at me with a half smile and said, “Hey Sis.”

 

Hey sis?? So totally not the line I thought she would lead with.  But it sure beat the hell out of what followed.  I listened with growing apprehension as she told me about the sabotage of her rental car with sugar in the gas tank.  Nothing sweet about that at all.  

 

The story turned more sour when she told me they had been attacked on the side of the road… by vampires. I felt the skin crawl on the back of my neck as my “hackles” raised. Just hearing the story put me on high alert.  What the hell was going on? The hunter side of my brain kicked in and I started reviewing everything I knew about vampires.  Ali and I talked about weird stuff all the time.  Well, not exactly weird to us but to other people? Non SPN family people? Yeah they would probably think we were certifiable.  But this actual contact with vampires? Yeah that was a 10 on the weirdness meter even for us.

 

I could tell there was a lot more to the story then we had time for. Right now, I had one burning question as I scanned the diner.  Just exactly where were those boys? Cause I had to see this to believe it. “So where are they?”

 

“Oh they’re close by. Watching and waiting for me to give the signal.”

 

Smart boys, wanting to check me out from a distance; I wanted to check them out too.  They may be Winchesters, but I was Danni Danvers and they had another thing coming if they thought they were the only protectors that Ali had. “So what happens if you don’t give the signal?” Cause, ya know, I just had to go there. I always had to push the envelope. I really wanted to know what the consequences would be if we just took off without them.

 

“Then we will have some very pissed off Winchesters following us back to Vinita.  You know they aren’t lying Danni.  When you see them, you’ll know; they are really Sam and Dean Winchester.”

 

I stared at her for a minute.  “Oh, I believe you.” But I leaned forward and lifted my flannel so she could see the pistol that I had concealed earlier.  Dean had his “Baby” and I had mine.  I never went anywhere without her. “But just in case.” I let the shirt fall back.

 

“So when do you want to do this?” she asked

 

I downed my coffee, “Now is as good a time as any.  You gonna light up the bat signal?”

 

She grinned at me and stood up. I took that as my cue; tossed some bills on the table and we headed out into the night. I had parked my silver Escape not too far from the diner entrance under a streetlamp so Ali and I were nicely lit up. I leaned against the hood with my arms and ankles crossed as I watched Ali pace back and forth.

 

“Maybe they got sick of ya?” I asked her with a grin.  That was when I heard a familiar rumble moving closer to us.  I stood up and walked over to Ali.  There was no mistaking that car; she was sex on wheels.  I had to rub my eyes and look again as it pulled close to us.  “Holy hell, is that really Baby?”

 

“Yep,” Ali replied.

 

I watched as the car rolled to a stop in front of us; headlights on.  The engine shut off and all was quiet for a moment; save for the ticking and popping of the engine as it cooled.  I heard the squeaking of door hinges as the driver’s side door swung open; followed by the passenger door.

 

My eyes squinted against the glare of the headlights, I could make out two large shadows but no details.  As they came around to the front of the car, my jaw dropped.  Nothing could have really prepared me for the sight in front of me.  

 

My perceptions were completely off kilter.  I could hear Ali speaking but it sounded like her voice was coming out of a tin can, “Danni Danvers, meet Sam and Dean Winchester.”

 

I think I replied to her.  I’m sure I wanted to say something totally sarcastic and badass, but I have a feeling that all that came out was “no...freaking...way!”  Way to fangirl, Danvers. I thought I saw a smile flash across Sam’s face but the look on Dean’s was pure skepticism mixed with suspicion. Yeah, trust issues there much?

 

I took a step closer to them and saw Dean immediately take a step back and reach behind him in a posture that I was very familiar with. I could almost feel his hand caressing the ivory grips of his .45  pistol resting in the small of his back.  Ali quickly moved towards him, to what, reassure Dean freaking Winchester?

 

I watched as Dean looked down at Ali and thought I should say something, anything to break the tension.  And of course knowing me, it came out snarky.  “So, Sam and Dean, you know Ali and I have talked about you a lot. And I have one question for you.”

 

“Oh yeah, what’s that,” asked the older Winchester.

 

“What’s your game?” I would be the first to admit, there was probably more than a hint of attitude in those words.

 

“Excuse me?” Dean replied. He looked at me with eyes that spoke volumes and every page screamed who the hell are you to be questioning me?

 

If he thought I was going to fall apart because he was giving me classic Dean bitchface, he had another thing coming.  “Well, you must have an angle if you’re so gung-ho about keeping Ali safe from what...vampires? Like those are really a thing?” I laughed.  The thing is, I KNEW these things were out there.  I knew the lore and my knowledge was based on a lot more than just a TV show.  But I just wasn’t ready to play that hand yet.

 

And just then he pressed every button I had when he replied, “Every monster you can think of is a thing, Lady.”

 

Now, other than Princess, the thing you don’t ever want to call me is “Lady.” I took a step towards him, “I’m sorry, what did you call me?”  I said quietly as the anger boiled up out of me. My eyes were shooting sparks at him and believe me, if looks could kill, I would have one dead Winchester lying at my feet.

 

Sam chose that moment to move in front of his brother and face me.  I wasn’t sure if he was trying to protect Dean or me. I looked at the way he held himself and I could tell that he was hurting but he wasn’t going to let a little pain stop him.  I wasn’t going to back down from him either.  “So Moose, what’s up with you?”

 

I watched his eyes widen in shock.  “Moose?” he questioned.

 

I watched as his lips started moving but I couldn’t make out the words.  I figured it out soon enough as Ali moved to stand in front of me, mimicking Sam’s defensive posture, and replied “She’s not a demon.”

 

Ah, so my little nickname had Sam thinking I was one of Crowley’s pets.  I admit at that point, I was pissed off enough for my eyes to turn black, but the Latin exorcism? Really?  Ali tried to diffuse the situation by offering to explain everything to them but in a safer, more controlled environment.

 

Dean though still angry, agreed. “Fine, we found a place, let’s roll.  I can’t wait to hear this.”

 

Ali’s response stopped him in his tracks, “Are you actually going to listen, or are you going to be a typical, pigheaded Winchester, and ignore everything I say?”

 

Apparently she hit a nerve because he turned on her and the only thing that stopped him from reaching her, was Sam’s arm coming across his chest.  

 

“Enough!” Sam’s voice wasn’t loud, but then it carried enough warning that it didn’t need to be.

 

Dean narrowed his eyes at us and reluctantly backed off.  He turned towards the car and pulled out a pack of cigarettes.  I didn’t let it show, but that one action shocked me quite a bit.  Ali had warned me that these weren’t “our” boys; not the ones we were used to anyway.  So far, she sure was right.

 

Sam turned back to us but spoke to Ali, “ I hope you’re story is a good one because I don’t think I can hold Dean back if it’s not.”

 

I thought, hold Dean back? If Sam thought I would let Dean harm one hair on Ali’s head, he was in for an education. I started to speak up but Ali beat me to it.

 

“Is that a threat Sammy?” she asked as he opened the car door.

 

“It’s not,” he replied as he got in the car.

 

Dean finished his cigarette and gave us a narrow stare as he got behind the wheel and started the car.  

 

This night just kept getting better and better.  How the hell were we going to explain what we knew and how we knew it? I stepped up beside Ali as Dean backed up the Impala so I could move my Ford.  Ali looked at me and then back at the occupants of the car. “ I guess that’s our cue. So what do you think?”

 

I stared at the Impala and sighed, “Yep they’re Winchesters all right,
We are so totally screwed.”






Chapter Text

Chapter 4

The drive from the diner to the hotel was an interesting one.  Ali and I traded information on the Winchesters.  They were certainly, more intense, more angry, more larger than life, just MORE all the way around.  I couldn’t help but wonder about this Dean. My Dean, the Dean from the show certainly had trust and anger issues but nothing compared to this Dean.  This Dean seemed more closed off; somehow I couldn’t quite picture him downing shots and riding the mechanical bull.

When we pulled in beside the Impala at the hotel, I could tell there was some major tension between the boys.  From the way Dean slammed out of the Impala and moved into the room, they must have have been having one hell of an argument.  Ali and I looked at each other, I shrugged and got out of the car.  Nothing like walking into the lion’s den.

Sam was still sitting in the car; Ali walked over and knocked on the window.  I didn’t hear what she said to him but, he sure seemed reluctant to get out of the car, I could tell he was angry as hell.  Ali told him that if he didn’t get out of the damn car and into the room, then she wasn’t going in either.  And I went where she went, so I was prepared to spend some time in that parking lot.  

I was pretty sure that Ali and I were the subject of their argument and Sam all but confirmed it when he refused to give Ali any details.  I had to admit, Ali was almost as stubborn as I was when she wanted something. Sam must have thought that he could easily brush off her questions but as soon as Sam got out of the the car, she grabbed him by the shirt and demanded answers

“What the hell is going on Sam?”

”You don’t need to know Ali.”

“If this has anything to do with me or Danni, then I damn well do.”

He looked down at her, his eyes shooting angry sparks, “Ali, if you’re lying about any of this, I’m not going to be able to stop Dean from doing what Dean always does.  It really pisses me off that I may not be able to protect you from him.”

“Sam you aren’t going to hurt me and neither is Dean. But I gotta tell you, what I’m going to say, what Danni and I know, IS going to sound insane. If you’re looking for credibility, I may not be able to give that to you.”

I totally agreed with Ali on this one.  Sam and Dean weren’t going to hurt either of us. Whether they believed us or not, didn’t matter to me.  Getting Ali and I out of there alive did. So once again, I was on guard trying to expect the unexpected.

As we walked in the room, I could see Dean pacing like a caged tiger, between the two beds.  Great, he looked thoroughly pissed. I grabbed the chair by the table nearest the wall, kicked my feet up on the table, laced my fingers together on my abdomen and prepared for the entertainment to start.

“So who wants to lead this circus?” Ali asked, not backing down from Dean in the slightest.  

“Your ring, your baton,” Dean replied sarcastically.

“Not my circus, not my monkeys, Dean,” she replied.

I let out a frustrated growl that caused 3 pairs of eyes to turn in my direction.  I looked at Ali, “enough with the Barnum and Bailey’s references, can we just get on with it?” Ali gave me a tense smile, took a deep breath and began to tell them the story of their lives.

I listened as she rattled off all of the important names and dates in their lives.  Their full names, their birthdays, the details of the fire that killed Mary, even the description of the family photos in Dean’s wallet.  I watched both boys closely as Ali’s monologue came to an end; they wore twin masks of confusion and anger.

The energy in the room had amped up to almost critical mass level. I could feel the hair on my arms standing up as my body prepared for fight or flight, yet again. My anxiety must have heightened all my senses because I was acutely aware of Dean. Every move he made, every facial expression sent a shockwave right through me. His anger only attracted me more; I always was a sucker for a bad boy. Of course, I wasn't going to let him in on that little secret, especially since I’d been pissed off at him since we'd met.

I was suddenly snapped back into the conversation with Ali’s next words, “Dads on a hunting trip and he hasn't been back in a few days.” What the hell had I missed? I watched as all the color drained out of Dean’s face. He jumped up and grabbed Ali by the arms and my boots slammed down onto the floor but then I realized he wasn’t hurting her; just holding on to her.

I eased back in my chair and glanced over at Sam who was sitting like a statue.  I looked back at Ali, her eyes questioning mine, what the hell do I do now?  I gave her a small smile and motioned her to continue.  She had the answers; she knew what she had to do, where she had to go.  It was guaranteed to cause a reaction, but how far would it go, remained to be seen.

Ali started reciting a list of names, a heartbreaking rendition that started with Gordon, then Benny.  I watched Dean’s eyes widen when she mentioned Kevin.  I saw him swallow hard at Bobby’s name but it was the next one that caused the explosion.  Ali whispered, “Charlie Bradbury.”

“Enough!” Dean roared.  I flinched at the sound.  “Just because you know the names of people we have lost, does not mean you know us.”

Ali stood her ground, “you didn’t lose them, they were taken from you by things that aren’t supposed to exist. But Danni and I know they do.” Ali risked a quick glance at me.  I opened my mouth to say something but was interrupted by Sam.

“How do you know this, exactly, Ali?” The first time he had spoken since this extremely odd conversation began.  

Well now things just went from odd to off the rails.  I knew what Ali was going to say and I knew it was going to sound absolutely ludicrous.

“A television show,”

Dean stared at Ali like she had gone completely insane, “Ah, say that again?”

So how exactly do you convince two highly suspicious, pissed off hunters that you know all the intimate details of their lives from a television show? You take out your phone and let them watch it for themselves.  Ali handed Dean her phone and then moved out of striking range.

Smart girl, cause yeah, this was going to be interesting to say the least. Dean watched the clip of “our” boys on Supernatural and I was preparing for imminent disaster but he was much calmer than I expected.  At least he didn’t throw the phone.

Dean looked at Ali after the video ended, “This ain’t us.”

Ali grabbed her phone back “I’m not saying it is!” Frustration evident in her voice. “It may just be the two of you in your world, but here, in our world, it’s an entire fandom.”

Sam had been pretty quiet this whole time; just letting Dean and Ali go head to head.  I wonder if he was secretly enjoying this as much as I was.  I was starting to get a real kick out of watching Ali get under Dean’s skin.  But Sam’s reaction to Ali mentioning our fandom? Priceless!

“What’s a fandom?” he asked.

I burst out laughing at the look on his face.  He sounded curious but disgusted at the same time.  Like he was trying to fish treasure out of a dirty toilet bowl.  It was all I could do to not fall out of my chair.  But in all seriousness, how do you explain something as complex as our SPN fandom?  We are more than just fans of a show; we are a family.  Sometimes an outrageous, zany, dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless.

And the conversation went straight to hell after that.  The boys thought it was absolutely ridiculous that anyone would be that attached to a TV show starring some lightweight, wanna be posers that chased monsters.  Then it boiled down to just one question for Dean. He wanted to know why Ali didn’t just cut and run when she realized who they were and the world they ran in.

That was the question now wasn’t it? Why didn’t she run? Because she is Ali and like me, Ali never runs from danger or responsibility.  Once Sam was injured, he was hers; hers to take care of and the danger could go hang.  Of course it didn’t hurt that it was Sam and Dean.

Ali and I locked stares, neither of us knowing what to say next.  They would either believe us or not.  I shrugged and gave her a small smile of encouragement.  It was then that I heard the word that could slam the lid shut on our coffin.

“Cas,” Dean asked, his voice husky with emotion, anger or sadness, I couldn’t tell, “when you brought up Cas, earlier?”

My ears perked up at this little surprise; this was news to me.  Of course, I was more that a little curious about the other unofficial-official Winchester but there had been no time to ask.  I looked at Ali, her uneasy glance slid off me and she licked her lips.  A sure sign that something unpleasant was coming.

She sat down on the edge of the bed, right across from Dean.  A bit risky, if you asked me, considering the older siblings volatility.  “I lied,” she admitted. “I needed to know what was real.  I mean, 2 days ago, I didn’t know you were real. According to you, angels are myths so, I had to come up with something guaranteed to get a reaction.”

Dean dropped his head and refused to meet Ali’s stare.  Hurt and pain reflected in every muscle, bone and sinew of his body.  Whatever it was that lay between he and Cas, it was obviously not open for discussion.  Not that I didn’t want to know, but there’s a time and a place for everything and we had already experienced enough bombshells for one night.

Ali stood up and looked at Sam, “so your turn, what do you think?”

Sam glanced at me then at Ali.  I so wished I could interpret that look.  Was it anger, shock, distrust, all of the above?

He walked over to Ali, got up right in her face, and said, “the jury is still out.” then he turned and walked into the bathroom.

 

Ali took a deep breath, turned on her heels and walked outside.  I looked at Dean, sitting like he had been turned to stone.  Part of me wanted to go to him and comfort him like I have always wanted to do with my Dean when he was hurting, but this man in front of me? I  knew he would not appreciate it at all; would just push me away.

Instead I went to the one person that did need me and wouldn’t push me away.  Ali was standing behind the cars with her back to me.  I stepped up beside her, trying to be casual.  You know, the unflappable big sister, out to save the world, or at least my little sister.  I looked at her face and saw the tears spilling over onto her cheeks.  I knew she was exhausted, overwhelmed and riding an emotional roller coaster; we both were, but I hadn’t just driven 22 hours, been attacked by vampires, and had to suture up a filleted Winchester.  

I put my hand on her shoulder, “Hey, are you gonna be ok, Sis?”

She started to fall apart as she turned to face me. Her lower lip caught between her teeth, a sure sign of her internal battle for control. “No I’m not ok. I’m not of with any of this.  I’m not ok that I’ve gotten you into this mess, I’m not ok with monsters and vampires and I’m really not ok having two skeptical Winchesters up my ass! So no, I’m not ok.”

I wrapped my arms around her and drew her into me.  I wanted to make it all go away, for her, for me; but all I could do was hold her.  I felt her arms come around me and we clung to each other for a few precious moments before I heard boots crunching on gravel behind us.  Damn, couldn’t we have just a few moments peace without a Winchester stalking us? I knew it was Sam, but I wasn’t about to move.  Ali and I needed each other at that moment; Sam could damn well wait.  I knew there was no way he hadn’t overheard our conversation so I didn’t feel the need to include him.  This was our time.

So it would seem that the boys had accepted or at least chosen to accept our story.  What they chose to do about it or us remained to be seen.  The one thing I did know, I was taking Ali home; and just let the Winchesters try and get in my way.








Chapter Text

Chapter 5
Sam spoke up behind us, “so do you two want to stay out here all night or do you want to come back in the room?”
I sighed, I guess I really was going to have the Winchesters up my ass and not in a fun way. I knew we still had things to discuss; decisions to make; I just wanted to put it off for a little while longer. I pulled back from Ali just enough that I could look her in the eye and I saw the same resignation I was feeling, reflected there. We smiled and turned to head in. Apparently the boys weren’t the only ones who could communicate with a silent language.

I was having a feeling of deja vu as I found myself back in the hotel room, this time sitting next to Dean at the table, and waiting for what was to come next. I did mention that I hate waiting right? Ali was sitting on one bed and Sam on the other. None of us knew how to pick up the pieces of the conversation that had been blown all over the place by Ali’s bombshells.

In typical Ali fashion, she quickly got the conversation started when she remembered her abandoned rental car. “What the hell am I going to do about my damn car?” she asked.

I laughed out loud, maybe an inappropriate response, but really? After everything we had just talked about, all the supernatural elements we had been exposed to so far, the fact that Sam and Dean were actually sitting in the same room with us, and Ali is worried about her car!

“It’s ok Ali, I took care of it,’ Dean told her.

Did I even want to know what that meant? Nope, I certainly did not. I was more interested in watching how Sam was responding to Ali. I was sure he was still having reservations about us, about her, but I could see there was something there. I wasn’t sure if I was entirely happy about it, he was so dark,so intimidating. I didn’t want Ali to get hurt. What could she be to him? A weekend fling? Surely a man like him, a hunter, would not be open for more than that.

Since I met them, I had been comparing them to our Sam and Dean.The Sam and Dean I knew like the back of my hand. It wasn’t safe or fair for me to constantly compare these boys to the boys on the show, but it was the only barometer I had.

As Sam was attracted to Ali, I found myself drawn to Dean, like a magnet being pulled to true north. This Dean was every inch the bad boy that played out in my fantasies. I watched him from under partially closed eyes as he got up to get a beer from that famous green cooler. I saw him look over at Sam and Ali, his eyes squinted with speculation; It seemed that I wasn’t the only one with concerns.

Dean stood up suddenly, “I need out of this room; I’m going out for a smoke.” His words seemed to break the strange stalemate going on. He headed out to the parking lot. Ali sighed, got off the bed, and went into the bathroom.

Sam followed her with his eyes, stood up and turned towards the bathroom, glancing uneasily at me. “I’m not going to tackle you if you try to go in there Sam.” I told him with a slight grin on my face.

He laughed, looking me up and down as he did so, the image of little me tackling Moose-sized him? Yeah, that was pretty hysterical. At least it eased some of the tension between the two of us. “But that doesn’t mean that I won’t totally kick your ass if you hurt her.” He gave me the first genuine smile I had seen so far before ducking through the door. Hmm… maybe I was judging him too harshly?

I rocked back on the legs of my chair and tried to decide on our next move. Ali and I had to get back to my house and the sooner the better. I had no idea what had been going on there since I left. What would we be walking into? I didn’t know if Wayne was going to be there; I stiffened a little at that thought. I so did not want another confrontation; what happened this morning was more than enough.

I must have been deep in thought because suddenly Ali was sitting at the table across from me and I never saw her walk up. I could see the concern on her face so I tried to give her a reassuring smile; one that I hoped reached my eyes. Sam walked out of the bathroom, giving us a curious glance just as Dean came back in the room.

As if she could read my mind, which now that I thought about it, she probably could. She asked the ten million dollar question, “So, what are we going to tell Wayne?”

Before I could even open my mouth to answer, Dean snapped at us.”Wait a minute, you’re going home?”

Ali and I both nodded at him. “You can’t.” he said incredulously.

Oh no he didn’t; Dean Winchester did not just tell me that I couldn’t go home. “The hell I can’t! Hide and watch me.” His eyes widened in shock; I’m sure he wasn’t used to having his decisions questioned but he wasn’t dealing with an ordinary girl here either. This chick wasn’t letting any Winchester push her around. I was on edge enough wondering what was going on at home; I didn’t need him ordering me around.

“I can’t stay here with you and he already knows we are coming home tonight.”

“So that’s your plan? Just go home and play house like normal?” So totally Dean, snarky attitude and all.

“Yes Dean,” I answered; my words dripping with sarcasm, “I intend to go to the safest place I know.”

“You do realize that she is total vampire bait right now?”

I nodded. What was he playing at? I wasn’t exactly an idiot when it came to the supernatural.

“So your amazing plan is to lead vampires straight back to your place?”

“I’m not leading them anywhere! Besides I’m assuming you will be stuck to our ass the entire time so you can just watch from the comfort of the Impala.”

“You want us to just park and watch?”

I couldn’t help myself, I just had to go there, “Oh, I bet you like to watch.”

He narrowed his eyes at me but I had to give him credit, he didn’t take the bait. “We can’t protect her from the car, Danni. We need a better plan than that.”

Ali interrupted, “Could you please stop treating me like I’m invisible? I think I should have some say in what we do, since it is MY ass on the line.” she growled at us. “I agree with Danni; let’s go home, try to act normal. Maybe it will draw them out and you and Sam can kill the SOB’s.”

Sam agreed, “It’s not a bad plan Dean.”

“Really not helping Sam!” Dean ground out between clenched teeth as he looked over at his brother.

He turned back to the two of us, “and you two are completely certifiable.”

“It takes one to know one Dean.” I spat back at him.

 

Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw Sam smothering a smile. Apparently, seeing me get in Dean’s face was highly entertaining.

“Do you even know how to kill one? Dean asked me.

“I do. Do you want a demonstration?” I challenged him, cause I was fully prepared to demonstrate some skills on HIM.

“Did your little show teach you that?” he sneered.

“No Dean, I’m not an idiot.” And with that, I had had enough; Enough of the mistrust, enough of the anger, enough of the condescension; just enough. I stood and walked over to him; only a few inches separated us. He didn’t intimidate me in the slightest and if he thought he could force me to change my mind then he had another thing coming.

I turned my back to Ali and Sam; I really didn’t want them to hear this part of the conversation. I didn’t raise my voice but the anger was there, giving weight to my words. “Listen, BOY, I’m going home and Ali is coming with me.” I raked my eyes up and down the front of him; coming back up to look him right in the eye “ and if you want to keep Little Dean where he is, then you’ll get the hell out of my way.”

I glared at him; my heart almost pounding out of my chest. I had to wonder, was it just anger I was feeling or was it the fact that I was close enough to him that I could smell his scent; a mixture of aftershave, cigarettes and Impala leather that started my pulse racing? I stopped that thought right there; before it went in the dangerous direction it could so totally go, if I let it. Especially with him standing just a few inches away and looking, well looking like Dean.

His eyes widened in surprise or shock, I couldn’t tell and I wasn’t sure I cared. I turned away before he could say anything. “Ali and I are leaving in 20 minutes, with or without you.” And with that I headed for the door. I heard Dean just before I walked out of the room, “I’ve never met two more stubborn people; you sure you aren’t related?”

His comment diffused some of my tension and I smiled to myself as I walked over to my car. He really had no idea just how close to home his comment hit. Ali and I discussed this all the time, our similarities. We used to be amazed by it, but now, now it was more like, of course you would feel or think that way because that’s exactly how I feel! Why am I even surprised?

I slid behind the wheel of my Escape and leaned my head back against the seat. I just needed a moment that didn’t include the Winchesters. What the hell just happened? What did I do? Did I really just threaten Dean Winchester? Was I completely out of my mind? I must have been; I must have been seeing things also, because for a split second, as I looked into his eyes, I thought I saw something. Something deeper, something more than anger or suspicion or even irritation. Something that looked a lot like interest; like all of a sudden, I had popped onto his radar.

I didn’t have time for this; I shoved thoughts of Dean aside for now. While I waited for Ali and the boys to get ready, my mind started forming a plan, how well it worked remained to be seen. It also depended on how much the boys trusted my judgement which I admitted was going to be a big stretch for them. But really there was no other choice. Now I just needed to fill Ali in on the details because I was going to need help convincing the boys.

It didn’t take long to get things sorted out and get on the road. I hadn’t said another word to Dean, or Sam either for that matter. I kind of felt that Sam sympathized with me, after all, Dean had been pissing him off for years. Ali rode with me in the Escape and our shadows tailed us in the Impala. I was pretty quiet as we started out, my thoughts buzzing around in a million different directions. I felt like a bee trapped in a bottle, bouncing desperately off the glass trying to find a way out.

I could see Ali looking at me; I knew she was concerned. I glanced over at her, “What?.” I snarked at her. She rolled her eyes at my tone. “Ali , I’m ok.”

She snorted, “yeah right Sis. I can so tell exactly how ok you are.”

I took a deep breath, “Ali I will be fine. Just give me a little bit to catch my breath. I tried to distract her, “What did the boys say after I walked out?”

I tried to calm my nerves so I could at least focus on what she was saying; but her words sounded like they were coming from far away. She had been speaking for a few minutes when I heard a name cut through the fog in my brain.“Wait, what did you say? Bobby?”

Ali looked at me with exasperation, “Have you not heard a word I’ve said?”

“Sorry, I was a little preoccupied.” I glanced over at her, saw the frown on her face and looked back at the road.

“So tell me again, What happened to Bobby?”

She sighed, “ It’s weird, our boys were so close to Bobby. But these boys, they had a major falling out with him. I don’t know the details other than he died tracking down a changeling and they didn’t know for months.”

I looked back over at her, disbelief plain on my face. “Wow! I wonder what the hell happened? Things are a lot different with these boys. I wonder what else is changed?” I turned back to the road. “We can’t expect these boys to be our boys Ali. That’s a mistake we can’t afford to make.” Was I saying this for her benefit or mine? I needed some distance from it, from them. The drive to the house would help; I hoped.

“Speaking of the boys, just what the hell did you do to Dean back at the hotel?”

I smiled to myself, remembering that little spark I saw in his eyes. “Um, well.”

Ali turned in her seat to look at me, “spill Danni.”

I smiled over at her, “I think I’ll keep that secret for now.” I laughed.

“Uh huh,.” she squinted her eyes at me.

“What? I’m not the one playing around with Sam in the bathroom!”

She turned back in her seat, “I was not playing,” she grumped. “I was checking his bandage.”

“Oh, I see. Is that what they’re calling it these days?” I teased.

“Danni!”

“Ok, ok, I’ll leave it be for now.” At least I had succeeded in distracting her from asking me any more questions about Dean.

“So what’s the plan for our boys?”

I raised an eyebrow at her, “OUR boys?”

“Well they are for now apparently.” she said dryly.

“Well, I was thinking about our neighbors house. You know the one we are caretakers for? They are gone all winter and not due back for a while. So, we are going to set the boys up in their garage. There is a wood stove in there if it gets cold. It’s a dry place for them to sleep and Dean can keep his Baby protected. I have food stocked up so they won’t starve.. They’ll be comfortable enough; much better than most of the motels they’ve stayed at .Now we need to convince the boys that it’s a good plan.” I was rambling and I knew it; trying to keep Ali from the obvious question, but she was like a hound on a scent.

“So you haven’t told him have you?” She asked softly.

I took a deep breath before answering. How could I tell him? How could I tell my husband that I was bringing home two hot guys to stay with us? And, oh by the way, they just happened to be dead ringers for the boys on my favorite TV show. And I’ve fantasized about one of them for
years. How do I do that? “I can’t tell him Ali. There is just no good way. The boys will have to stay next door and out of Wayne’s sight.”

I cursed under my breath. Why did I say it like that? I hoped Ali wouldn’t notice but of course she did. We practically completed each other’s sentences so it was no surprise when she asked. “What is going on Danni? I know you’ve been holding something back and I want to know what it is.”

I knew I had to tell her but still I hesitated. “It’s...Wayne. He’s acting different; not himself for the past few days but it really got bad this morning. He’s become obsessed with our trip. He wants to know all the details. Where we are going; what we are doing and when. We had a horrible fight this morning; the worst we’ve ever had. Turtle actually attacked him to protect me. He sort of came to himself at that point; like he couldn’t believe what had just happened and for a minute, I had my old Wayne back. The Wayne I haven’t seen in quite a while.”

A tear started to slide down my cheek; I wiped it away with the back of my hand. I will NOT cry I told myself. Suck it up Danvers! These emotions would steamroll over me if I didn’t stop it.

If Ali noticed the tears, she was smart enough to let it go. “Maybe he’s just concerned about all the driving we’ll be doing and all the time you’ll be away from home?”

“No, it’s more than that. He was asking me all kinds of crazy questions. He wanted all the details of your itinerary. Where you would be at certain times; what hotel you were staying at. He also hasn’t been eating much and I don’t think he has slept in days.”

I could feel Ali’s eyes on me but I refused to look at her. “I didn’t give him any info. It really made me uncomfortable. I love him but somehow things have changed.”

“Ok so do we need to get out the salt and holy water?” she joked. I knew she was just trying to lighten the mood.

“Well considering who is tailing us, it couldn’t amp the weirdness factor any higher.” I gave her a lopsided smile. But seriously, I had already been running down my Supernatural list of possibilities. Which was just crazy; wasn’t it?

Our conversation was interrupted by Ali’s phone. I had a pretty good guess as to who was on the other end of that call. My guess was confirmed when she said, “yeah I’ll have her pull in at the next stop.” She glanced at me and I glared at her.

“He want’s to know the ETA,” she whispered to me.

“What? Does grumpy cat need a pit stop?” I asked sarcastically.

She frowned at me so I flipped her off. “Ok, ten minutes.”

She relayed the details to Sam and I thought that would be it, but apparently the boy had more to say. Whatever he said seemed to make Ali uncomfortable because she was biting her lip and shifting in the seat. Or maybe it was the fact that I was in the car when he said it? There wasn’t much I could do about that; there was no way to give her any privacy. I tried not to eavesdrop but we were in a car after all. She lowered her voice and turned to the window so I barely heard her when she whispered, “yeah I can do that.”

She disconnected the call but continued staring out the window.

I didn’t know what to say, ‘are you ok?’ seemed ridiculous considering our day so far. I settled for, “what’s up?” That seemed safe enough, at least I hoped.

She didn’t seem to hear me, I raised my voice, “Ali, what’s up!” I repeated.

“Oh, um… Sam just wants to talk to me for a minute when we stop”
“Uh huh, I just bet he does.” letting a little bit of snark bite into my words.

“It’s nothing Dan. I’ll be fine.”

She sounded distant and that made me uneasy. Maybe it was just exhaustion, that was certainly possible. But I had a feeling that it was more to do with the younger Winchester. Ali was a “Sam Girl” after all; how could she not be attracted to this Sam?

I flipped the blinker on and pulled into the station. I watched in the rear view as Dean pulled the Impala over to the gas pumps. I parked the Escape in front of the store, shut it off and got out; giving Ali a few minutes to herself. Sam got out of the Impala and made a beeline for the Escape. I stayed at the back of the car where I could keep an eye on Ali and both boys. Ali got out of the car and followed Sam over to some picnic tables not too far away from the cars.

I opened the hatch of the Escape and started re-organizing Ali’s bags, I had to stay busy, stay moving; I never could sit still when I was worried. Those worries would overwhelm me if I let them. I moved restlessly, not really paying attention to what I was doing. I saw Sam and Ali at the picnic table, I saw Dean by the Impala; everything appeared to be ok, but while my mind came up with that conclusion, my instincts told me something else. Something was not right but I couldn’t figure it out, I had no control over it, and that made me antsy.

I couldn’t put my finger on what caused my anxiety about this place; it looked like every other convenience store on the highway. The more I tried to figure it out, the further it slipped away. So for now I let it go but stayed alert. I had another problem that needed fixing.

I turned to look at Dean, his back was to me as he filled the Impala with gas. Giving Ali and Sam a glance to make sure all was ok, I took a deep breath and walked towards the gas pumps. I thought I better mend fences with the older Winchester since It looked like we would be spending a lot of time together the next few days. I put my hands in my pockets as I leaned back against the side of the car. I could keep Ali in my sights and still talk with Dean, admittedly while keeping a distance between us.

He glanced over at me and went back to looking at the numbers creeping up on the gas pump. I knew he was keeping a close eye on the picnic tables also. I didn’t know where to start. How did I even begin to talk with this man? “So..ah, Dean..I,” I was stammering like a schoolgirl talking to her first crush; what the Hell??

“What is it Danni?” he interrupted, impatience plain in his voice.

Could he not even let me get one sentence out without interrupting. He was so damn infuriating! I gritted my teeth; determined to continue. I swallowed down the anger and used it to find my words. “Dean,” I started like he hadn’t interrupted, “Back at the hotel, I’m sorry for getting up in your face like that. It’s just, it’s my job to protect her too you know.”

He sighed and looked over at me, “Danni I get it, I got under your skin, you couldn’t handle it and you lashed out.” he grinned at me.

I glared at him and I would have knocked him flat on his ass if Sam’s raised voice hadn’t stopped me. I looked over at Ali but she waved me off. I could tell their conversation was getting pretty intense but she seemed ok. I turned my attention back to the source of my current frustration. He was watching Sam and Ali also. The concern he felt for his brother and my sister plain on his face; my anger dissipated somewhat, as I realized that we shared a common bond. We were both protectors, guardians, whether we asked for it or not. Despite that, I wasn’t ready to let him off the hook completely.

“Dean!” The tone of my voice drawing his gaze back to me. The green color of his eyes was breathtaking and for a moment I thought I was drowning. I swallowed hard and tried to remember what I was going to say; my memory and irritation quickly returned when I saw the snarky grin appear on his face. “Dean, believe me, you didn’t get under my skin. I don’t do orders and I can definitely handle anything you dish out.” I gave him my biggest most sarcastic smile.

Just then Ali went rushing past me with Sam hot on her heels. What the hell was going on now? I ran after them and grabbed Sam by the arm as Ali disappeared around the corner of the building. He turned on me and growled, “Get your hands off me.”

“The hell I will! What did you do to her.” I wasn’t going to back off. It didn’t matter that he towered over me. Or that he could snap me in half if he was so inclined.

Dean spoke up from behind me, “What the hell is going on?. Where is she?”

“Ask Sammy here, he was the one chasing after her.” I snapped at him.

“Don’t call me that.” Sam gritted out between clenched jaws.

My eyes flashed sparks at him as the anger welled up in me and spilled out into my voice. “Don’t play games with me Sam. It would be a mistake to underestimate me.” I growled back at him.

Sam and I were locked in a stare down, my hand wrapped around his forearm. Neither of us was willing to back off. I could feel his muscles clenching under my hand which caused me to grip tighter. I should have been smart enough to back off, but where my family was concerned, well, smart could just kiss my ass.

I felt Dean place his hand on my arm, “Let him go Danni, we can discuss this later, right now we need to find Ali.” I didn’t know who I was more pissed at just then; Sam for upsetting Ali or Dean for being right. I took a deep breath and released my death grip on Sam’s arm. These two seemed to be experts at pushing all my buttons; I swallowed down my anger but I would deal with Sam later.

Sam’s phone went off; cutting through the tension. A look of concern, no fear, flashed through his eyes at the sounds coming from the other end. “Ali,... Ali where are you?” He looked at Dean, shook his head and turned to run around the corner of the building. Dean and I were hot on his heels.

We barely made it around the corner when something or someone; make that a few someones’ ambushed the boys. I couldn’t tell how many there were; they seemed to just materialize out of the darkness. At first the boys were taken at a disadvantage and the vampires, cause yes they were
vampires, had the upper hand. I tried to stay out of the way because the gun in the small of my back was no match for vampires. Great Danvers, what a damn time to go out without your knife!

The vampires were no match for the superior ass kicking team of the Winchesters. The fight was like watching a well choreographed dance between two highly expert performers. I doubted Sam and Dean even realized how closely they moved together; each protecting the other as they went on the attack.

While the boys were occupied, I tried to locate Ali. I thought I could see her standing at the edge of the light cast from the store; with her back towards me. I looked closer and could just make out the shine of the Spectrum in her hand and a darker shadow standing in front of her. I started running towards her when one of the shadows stepped out in front of me.

I stopped short and took a step back as it moved closer; my heart started pounding and a metallic taste flooded my mouth. So this is what fear tasted like. If I had hackles they would have been standing on end. I wasn’t a hunter, what was I doing here? The boys weren’t going to be able to help me and now I couldn’t help Ali, so this was all on me.

I wiped my sweaty palms on my jeans and started backing up slowly. The shadow matched me stride for stride; as I backed up, it advanced. As it crossed into the light; I got my first good look at it. He wasn’t much taller than me which should have been a relief but his eyes were filled with so much hatred and menace that I had to look away. I stumbled and he smiled, thinking that he had me at a disadvantage, and he did but I would be damned if I would let him know that.

I kept my gaze locked on his, as my hand went for the pistol in the small of my back. I knew the bullets wouldn’t kill a vampire but I hoped at least to slow it down.

He looked at the pistol in my hand and laughed. “What do you think you can do with that, little girl?” he snarled at me “You’re way out of your league; you might as well give up now.”

Ok, the little girl thing? Yeah, that pissed me right off, as if I needed another reason to be angry. . And I NEVER give up. Stupid, I know, I was still scared and he might kill me but I was going to cause some damage before I went. My world narrowed down to him and me. The sounds of the fight behind me faded. I couldn’t see beyond him; couldn’t see Ali anymore. Everything seemed to slow down, my breathing, my pulse, my movements all in slow motion. So this is what it’s like right before you died. Not really how I pictured it.

He started moving towards me but I didn’t move away this time. He grinned again; maybe thinking I was giving up and he had an easy mark. I just wanted him closer. I shifted my weight so that I was evenly balanced on both feet and I kept the gun pointed right at him. It wasn’t much of a plan but I was going to empty the chamber into this ugly bastard.

At least I thought I was, I really underestimated how fast he could move. He lunged at me and knocked me to the ground before I could blink. The gun went flying out of my hand and my breath left my body when I hit the pavement. I just managed to get my hands up to protect my throat before he was on me. I couldn’t get any air to yell and his weight kept me pinned down.

I struggled to keep my arms up as he tried to force them down. He opened his mouth and all I could see was teeth. Funny, they looked so much more lethal when they were coming for your throat then they looked on TV.

Desperation gave me some added strength but I couldn’t hold out for long. I closed my eyes so I couldn’t see those teeth coming for me.

Suddenly his weight was off of me and I could breathe. I rolled over on my side; coughing. I looked up and saw the vampire being dragged towards the treeline by something, but I couldn’t actually see anything. I shook my head to clear my vision; the shadows must have been obscuring my view. I caught one last glimpse and then he was gone.

Everything happened so quickly. One second I’m facing my death and the next, I’m alone. I was disoriented and exhausted. My mind was trying to make sense of what I just saw. What the hell just happened? Did I really hear something growling just before that disgusting creature was yanked off me?

I needed to get up; needed to move. I rolled over onto my hands and knees preparing to leverage myself up and froze. I could feel something behind me; looming over me. My skin ran in gooseflesh and I could feel hot breath on the back of my neck. I could swear something sniffed me; and just as suddenly as it appeared, it was gone.

 

I let out the breath I hadn’t been aware I was holding. What the hell WAS that? I managed to get myself up on my wobbly legs and take a look around. It was as if I was watching from outside my body; everything seemed detached. I saw Sam and Dean standing by three dead vampires. I turned to the last place I saw Ali and saw her drop to her knees; a dead vampire on the ground in front of her.
I watched as Dean ran over to her and lifted her up into his arms. I turned around and Sam was standing in front of me. I could see his mouth moving but I couldn’t hear a thing. I just stared at him.
He grabbed me by the arms and gave me a little shake. “Danni are you ok?” He started looking me over for battle wounds.“Danni!” he repeated.

My hearing was slowly coming back but he still sounded like he was talking through a tin can. “Sam… Sam, I’m ok. We need to check Ali.”

“She’s ok, Dean has her.”

Just then Dean strode past with Ali in his arms; headed toward the Impala. He glanced at me, making sure I was in one piece I guess. I nodded at him and turned to retrieve my gun. I glanced around the lot; but I couldn’t see anything but it still felt like something was there.

Sam looked at me questioningly when he saw me looking around but I just shrugged and nodded at him. I turned to follow Dean with Sam following closely behind me..

Dean had reached the car with Ali and gently lowered her onto the car seat; he grabbed a cloth and a bottle of water, and used it to wipe Ali’s face; she was conscious but unresponsive; just as shell shocked as I had been. Suddenly she jumped up, shoved Dean backwards and bolted for the trees; where she promptly emptied the contents of her stomach onto the grass.

When Ali was able to stand, Dean led her back to the car and made her comfortable in the back seat. I watched as both boys played nursemaid to her while I stayed back scanning the area. I knew she was in good hands and I felt twitchy. Something was out there, I felt eyes on my back but nothing threatening, which was an odd sensation. The boys didn’t act like there were any threats in the area and they certainly had more experience than I did.

I looked back at Ali and was relieved when she gave me a small smile. I knew she would only let the boys hover for so long before it would start irritating the crap out of her. I could hear Dean talking to her but I couldn’t hear most of what he said, the one thing that caught my attention though was when he told her we were going home.

Yes home was a fabulous idea; we needed to get the hell out of here and fast. All I wanted to do was get Ali into my car and start driving. We weren’t far from my place now; we could be there in less than a half an hour.

“Sam, we need to get Ali in my car and get out of here now.” The whole place was giving me the creeps; what had seemed a safe place earlier was making my skin crawl now.

“Just give it a minute Danni; we’ll go,”

“Sam,” I put my hand on his arm. I could see the flash of irritation in his eyes as he looked at me and then down at my hand. I wasn’t about to remove it. That look might have been enough to cause someone else to back off but damn it, I was standing my ground.

“Sam, I’m putting Ali in my car and we are leaving now.” I let my earlier anger bleed back into my voice.

“Danni, damn it, she isn’t going anywhere, she is staying with us; and we will decide when we are leaving. You are going to have to trust us to keep her, to keep both of you safe.”

“I don’t trust you as far as I can throw you Sammy!” I yelled back at him.

I watched his eyes darken with anger at the nickname I had dared to use again. He turned completely around to face me; towering over me as he moved closer. I guess our little truce was officially over. He leaned over, looking me in the eye; my eyes were shooting angry sparks at him, if looks could kill baby, if looks could kill.

Apparently our little argument finally caught the attention of the older Winchester. Dean jumped out of the car and roared at us “Enough! This is stopping right now! I don’t give a rats ass who trusts who.” He pointed at me, “You and Sammy are going in your car and Ali is staying with me in the Impala.”

Sam started to argue,”Dean,I…

“I DON’T care Sam! You keep Danni safe and I’ll take care of Ali. We are doing this my way; no arguments.”

Sam managed to choke back whatever he was going to say; barely. He looked at me scowling; I laughed in his face as I turned and walked to the Escape. I was pissed no doubt about it but watching Dean shut the younger Winchester up? Yeah, that was priceless.

Chapter Text

Chapter 6

 

Sam got in the car; slamming the door behind him.  He folded his arms across his chest and stared straight ahead.   Great , I thought, so this was how the drive was going to go?  Well, not if I had my way; these boys could infuriate me quicker than anyone I knew, but if the next few days were going to go well, we had to get along. So just as with the older Winchester, I needed to mend some fences.

I put the car in drive and prepared to pull out on the highway with Dean right on my ass. I glanced over at Sam and saw that he had his phone out. I reached into my pocket and pulled out Ali’s cracked phone and waved it at him, “Don’t bother Sam, I’ve got her phone.”

“Great,” the clipped tone of his voice letting me know that I could now add frustrated to the anger he was feeling.

“Listen Sam, slow your roll all right?”

“”Slow my...what??” he asked me incredulously.

I laughed, my ploy worked beautifully to break the ice, “What? Have you never heard that term? Do you need me to define it? I gave him my biggest smile and said, “It means stow your bullshit boy.”

He had the most comical expression on his face, a perfect mixture of the urge to laugh battling with who does this chick think she is?

I laughed so hard I snorted, which surprised him into laughing, which caused me to laugh harder and before we knew it the anger was gone.  We were both so tired, we had reached that slap-happy point where everything is hilarious.

Hearing Sam laugh at anything made me happy. Which was really weird considering I hadn’t been around him very long. I laughed so hard I had tears running down my cheeks and had to wipe my eyes so I could see the road.  I glanced in the rearview and saw the Impala right behind us.  I looked over at Sam, “She’s ok, you know that right? They are right behind us and Dean isn’t going to let anything happen to her.”

He didn’t look at me but his voice held no anger, only possibly, recrimination, “ I know Danni, I’d just feel a little better if I could hear her voice, ya know?”

“Sam, what happened back at the store was not your fault; it wasn’t anyone’s fault.”

“It was my fault, if I hadn’t upset her, she wouldn’t have gone running behind the store. I was careless. Danni, I’m never careless.”

Yeah I got that, these boys seemed to be all business. I didn’t have a clue why Ali and I connected with them. It was more that just the show. “Sam If it wasn’t for you and Dean, things would have gone a lot more sideways then they did. And, well the thing you need to understand about Ali and me, we aren’t going to stay in the background when the bullshit starts flying.  But we needed you tonight and well... I just wanted say thank you.”

“Wow Danni. How’d that taste coming out of your mouth?” he said incredulously.  

He seemed to have me pegged all right; admitting I needed help was difficult at best. I looked over at him to see if he was trying to piss me off but all I could see was laughter in his hazel eyes. “Like vinegar.” I laughed.

What I had said to him was true, I don’t know what would have happened if they hadn’t been there. But, something else had saved me. I shouldn’t be here right now, that vamp had me every which way but Sunday, yet here I was.  Should I tell Sam? I wasn’t even sure I should tell Ali and I tell her everything. And that made the decision for me, cause if I wasn’t telling Ali, then there was no way I was telling the boys.  

So it seemed that Sam and I had made a breakthrough.  I couldn’t see him as Angry Sam anymore; not after hearing his laugh.  And he seemed more comfortable with me; so if we weren’t exactly friends, at least we weren’t trying to rip each others’ throats out.  

At least it made the last part of the trip a lot more comfortable than I thought it would be and before I knew it, we were turning off the highway.  I looked over at the abandoned mental hospital that was about two miles from my place and like I do every time, I thought; that place is perfect for a haunting and damn, I really wanted to explore it.

“Interesting place, what’s the history?” Sam asked.

I smiled, I should have known the abandoned brick buildings would bring out the history nerd in him. “It really is an amazing place.  In it’s heyday, it was the cutting edge in mental health care. Of course, that was the early 1900’s so you can imagine some of the stuff they got up to there.” I looked over at him, “You can’t even see all the buildings in the dark; there are more than a dozen.  The county used to keep the outside lights on at night but I guess it became too expensive, so it stays dark now.  I’ve heard there are tunnels connecting all the buildings; I’ve wanted to explore them for years. Imagine the ghosts they contain” I said wistfully.

“Maybe you will someday.” he replied.

“Oh yeah, that’s me, Danni Danvers; ghost hunter.” I laughed.

We were quiet for a few minutes, watching the buildings slide by as we passed, before Sam broke the silence. “Hey Danni?”

“What Sam?”

“What’s Danni short for? It can’t be your actual name.”

“ Why cause you think it’s a guys name?” I sounded aggravated but I really wasn’t.  I had been through this before with other guys and I just wanted to yank his chain a little.

He stuttered a little and tried to backpedal out of it, “Hey, I didn’t mean to piss you off.”

“You really didn’t Sam, I’m just giving you a hard time.” I gave him a small smile. “I mean I COULD tell you but then I would have to kill you.”

“Come on Danni, you can tell me.”

I was amused at the fake, pleading whine in his voice but when I looked over and saw him making puppy dog eyes at me, I laughed so hard I thought I pulled a muscle. Where the hell did this person come from? This wasn’t the same hunter I met a few short hours ago was it? These boys switched emotions faster than a hooker changed her underwear! I had whiplash just trying to keep up. I knew instinctively that I better enjoy it while it lasted because I was sure it was a rare occurrence. I was positive that there weren’t many people not named Winchester who had ever seen that side of his personality.  It did make me wonder though; why me?

“Ok Sam, enough with the eyes, ok? I’ll make you a deal; you let me call you Sammy and I’ll tell you what Danni is short for.”

He thought about it for a minute; I knew he wouldn’t go for it, that’s why I asked.  Nobody but Dean called him Sammy.  So it surprised the hell out of me when he held out his hand to seal the deal.  

I sighed and shook his hand. “Ok Sammy , I don’t know why you want to know but, Danni is short for Danielle.  And if you tell anybody I will shoot you and feed you to the pigs.  And, before you ask, no you may not call me Danielle.” I grumped at him.

His eyes widened, at the use of my nickname or my threat, I wasn’t sure; but a deal was a deal. He didn’t complain about it. “Fair enough.” he laughed.

And just like that, the ice was permanently broken. I’m sure we would still have moments that we wanted to kill each other but for now all was good.

To get to Charlie’s house we had to drive past mine.  When I saw the lights shining from the windows and Wayne’s truck in the driveway, my anxiety really amped up but I kept it to myself for now.  Even though Sam and I had established a truce, I didn’t feel comfortable confiding in him about my husband.  

I pulled my Escape up in front of the shop next to Charlie’s house, cut the engine and got out.  Dean pulled the Impala in behind me.  Everything appeared to be ok here.  I found the key and unlocked the side door.  I flipped the lightswitch and watched as the fluorescent lights flickered on. I pushed the button for the garage door and it started to slowly roll up. I walked back outside, Sam and Dean were having a pow wow; I walked over to the Impala and peeked in on Ali, she was asleep in the back seat.

I walked over to the boys, “Dean you can pull Baby into the shop, there is plenty of room in there.  Charlie rebuilds cars, so it’s the perfect spot for you to check her over and make sure she is ready.”

He looked at me in surprise when I called the Impala by her name and I realized that it was the first time he had heard me refer to her that way. He gave me a smile which made me blink because there was no smart ass in it at all; it was genuine. That smile?  Yeah, it made my heart race. Damn it!

I turned away quickly, I didn’t want him to see how flustered I was. I turned back to the garage and waited for him to pull Baby into the shop. I made a circuit through the interior checking to make sure all was in order; something I did daily when Charlie was gone.  His shop was actually two floors; there was a large room upstairs for sleeping and storage.  There was also a full bathroom downstairs.  I couldn’t find anything out of place and I had put off facing Dean for as long as I could.  I knew Ali would need me so I took a deep breath and headed down stairs.

As I reached the last step, Ali came tumbling out of the Impala.  Thank goodness Sam was there to help her.  I snagged the bottle of water I had brought in earlier and ran over to her. Sam was able to keep her from face planting into the concrete floor; I came up on her other side and together we moved her over to the table and chairs that were near the back wall. .

We got her seated, I gave her the water and started checking her over. “Where are we?” she asked.

“We’re home,” I told her. She started to get up and I pushed her gently back against the chair. “Stay down, Sis, let me check you out.  She gave me a small smile but she stayed put.  I went to grab some shop towels and some water.  With Sam on one side of her and Dean in front of her, I knew she wasn’t going anywhere.

As I grabbed the supplies I needed, I could hear Dean and Ali bantering back and forth.  I felt the laughter threatening to bubble up out of me and realized that while listening to Ali get the best of Dean would normally be hilarious, this was not hilarity threatening to spill out of me.  

Jesus Danni. Pull yourself together! I ducked into the bathroom and quickly splashed water on my face.  I stared at myself in the mirror, wondering how the hell I was going to get through the next few days.  I was so happy that Ali was finally here, we had been counting down the days until her arrival but now everything was up ended.  My life was so far out of whack that a little Supernatural thrown in didn’t actually seem all that weird.

I took a deep breath, walked back to the group and sat the towels and water on the table. I dipped the towel into the warm water and looked at the damage to her face.  I looked her in the eye, “this is gonna smart,” I said as started cleaning the blood from her face.

Dean leaned towards us “Ali,I have to know, what were you thinking back there?”

Ali winced and pushed my hand away as I touched a sore spot,, “Oh I don’t know Dean, trying to keep my vocal cords from becoming an appetizer had crossed my mind.”  I smiled, wounded she might be, but she still could throw the boy some attitude. Even more shocking to me, Dean didn’t say a word back. She looked down at herself and back to me; the look of disgust apparent on her face.  I need a shower Sis.”

I laughed cause yeah, that might be the understatement of the year. “ Good idea, let me grab your stuff.”

“You’ll have to help me,” she whispered.  

I heard two choking gasps behind me  “Really boys? Keep your sister fantasies to yourself. I’m helping her get to the shower, not soaping her down.” I gave Ali a grin and went to get her bag from my car.

Getting out of the shop and away from the boys for just a few minutes allowed me to clear my head and focus.  I was exhausted and my emotions were all over the place and it was really hard to concentrate with Dean so close. How I felt about him was all over the place too.  I could feel the pull towards him getting stronger, the longer I was around him and yet sometimes I just wanted to haul off and smack him.  

I was also really worried about Ali and Wayne and how the next few days were going to play out.  I sat on the bumper of my Escape as I felt the familiar anxiety pain start in my chest.  I clutched my chest and closed my eyes.  I had to pull it together.  Ali was counting on me and I needed to be there for her.  This was our dream trip and I wasn’t going to let anything, let alone my issues, screw it up.  I took a deep breath, shoved it all down and headed back inside.

I helped Ali into the bathroom leaving the boys to their fantasies. Once we got behind closed doors and I had her all to myself, the older, protective sibling came out in full force. “Ali, I swear if you ever scare me like that again, I WILL kill you.” It came out a lot harsher than I intended but looking at her sitting on the toilet lid she looked so small, I just wanted to wrap her up and protect her.  There were dark circles under her eyes and she started to sniffle.  She looked up at me, her blue eyes matching mine, and whispered, “I’m sorry Sis.”

What could I say? I had nothing, so I started getting her shower stuff out of her bag and laying it all out on the sink.  I turned the shower on to let the water warm up. I turned back to her and leaned against the wall crossing my arms over my chest.  “I think you have to actually get IN the shower for this to work Sis.”

She rolled her eyes at me and started struggling to get her shirt off but the dried blood had it glued to her skin. She grew more frustrated as she pulled and tugged at the fabric trying to get it loose.  ‘Would you like some help?” I giggled.  It shouldn’t be funny but I couldn’t help myself watching her struggle like a fish out of water was quickly becoming hilarious.

“No I don’t!” She growled at me as she gripped the hem of her shirt and forcefully ripped the shirt away from her skin; the dried blood making a cracking, tearing sound as it came loose.

“Ok then, if you don’t need my help, I’ll leave you to it.” I was reaching for the door handle when she asked, “hey Danni, what’s up with you and Sam?”

I paused and looked over my shoulder at her, “Well, at the moment we don’t want to kill each other so that’s good. Don’t even ask me about Dean cause I really don’t know. What I do know is that they pulled your ass out of the fire, so it’s all good; we’re all good,  for now. I raised an eyebrow at her, before I opened the door and walked out.

I closed the door behind me and took a deep breath; taking a moment before walking back to the boys who were having some sort of discussion.  Sam was facing me and I could see the intense look on his face. Dean had his back to me, so I couldn’t see his face but I caught the last part of the conversation.

“I don’t know what it is Sam, but there’s something about them; we need to keep them close, keep them safe”

Sam looked up as I walked closer, a signal to Dean to quit while he was ahead I guess.  I pulled out the chair next to Dean and sat down.  I wasn’t about to let on that I had overheard anything.  Cause, yeah, there was something about the two of them as well.  I was drawn to them(well, one a little more than the other) but yet all my protective instincts were on high alert.

Two pair of  eagle eyes focused on me.  I crossed my arms over my chest and leaned back in my chair. “What?” I asked.  “Jesus guys she’s just in the shower.” I said with more than a trace of exasperation in my voice.  Dean rolled his eyes and looked over at Sam who raised an eyebrow at me.  “Ok Sam, go check on her yourself if you think I would have walked out and left her if she needed me.”  The exasperation turning into real anger.  The fragile bond that had started to form between us on the ride here, threatening to fall apart.  Again they were questioning me; questioning my actions.  And again I was letting my emotions lead my responses.  One minute I wanted to trust the Winchesters and let them in and the next, I wanted to chop them up into little pieces.

I glared at Sam and he dropped his eyes but I watched his jaw clench as he bit back the words he wanted to say.  Instead he got up and headed towards the bathroom.

I looked over at Dean who was trying, unsuccessfully, to hide a smile behind his hand.  “What Winchester?” I snarked at him but I could feel the corners of my mouth threatening to turn up as I watched him.

He put both hands in the air as if I held him at gunpoint. “Nothing Danni, it’s all good.”

“Oh really,” I replied, narrowing my eyes at him and tapping my fingers against my forearm. “Then what exactly is so damn funny?”

He started laughing “It’s just...well… I’m not used to anyone, other than me, shutting Sam up that quickly.”

I stared at him like he had grown two heads. Who was this laughing man? Where was the surly, sarcastic, angry man that irritated the crap out of me? It was startling to discover that I almost felt more comfortable with that man, then the laughing one. He had the best laugh; totally infectious and I found my anxiety level dropping as I looked into his green eyes.

“If I remember correctly, I shut you up pretty quickly too.” His eyes widened and the expression on his face was hilarious; equal parts shock and realization.  I laughed at him, “It’s ok Dean, that will stay our little secret.  I wouldn’t want anyone finding out that the great Dean Winchester let a girl get the better of him!”

He snorted and looked away from me but not so quickly that I didn’t see the corners of his mouth turn up.  He raised his head and looked over his shoulder as Sam came out of the bathroom. I saw the muscles in his jaw clench as he watched his brother.

I don’t know what happened in there, the expression on Sam’s face was hard to read. I stiffened in my chair as he walked closer. It didn’t help when he went to the Impala and came back with the first aid kit.

I couldn’t stand it, I had to ask, “all ok in there?”

He looked over at me, “did you know the extent of her injuries?” he asked with some heat in his voice.

So here we go again, next round of Sam versus Danni, “yes Sam, I did.  I wanted to give her a little space to breathe before I pounced on her.” Take that Winchester! I held my breath, depending on his reply, this could go south in a hurry.

Thankfully, he just grunted at me and turned back to the bathroom.  I let out the breath I had been holding, I really wasn’t ready for another confrontation.  It had been a long day and wasn’t over yet.  I still had to go home and see what was going on there.

Home. Yeah, the thought of going home started my stomach churning. I had to admit, I was afraid to go home and I absolutely hated being afraid.  

I must have been lost in thought for a bit because when I looked up, Sam was sitting across from me and Dean’s chair was empty. I turned and saw him walking towards the open bathroom door. I hadn’t even heard him get up.  I watched as he stopped in the doorway to talk with her.  I couldn’t hear the conversation but I could read his body language; I saw the muscles in his back stiffen as he placed a kiss on her forehead.

After a few minutes, he came back to the table and sat down; his expression hard.  I hated it when he looked like that.  I had a pretty good idea what had caused it; we, or at least Ali, was getting through his defenses. The walls he built up to keep everyone but Sam at a distance, were beginning to come down with us. And he was fighting it with everything he had.

I wanted to do something to wipe that expression off his face. So me being me, I rattled off a snarky comment. “What is it Dean? Got bested by ANOTHER girl?” I got an annoyed look and an eye roll for my efforts but that was an improvement over the empty, hard look he had sat down with.  I would consider it a small victory.

So now, I hoped I could get another one; it was time to head over to my house and face whatever was there. I hoped with everything that I had, that we weren’t heading into the lion’s den, but my gut was telling me something else.  Ali walked up and put her hand on my shoulder. I was sure she could sense how anxious I was and in her way, she was telling me that it would be ok. We had each other and we had the Winchesters, what could possibly go wrong?

Chapter Text

Chapter 7

 

I slid behind the wheel and slammed the driver’s side door closed behind me.  I stared into the inky blackness ahead of me and waited for Ali to get in.  All was quiet in the car.  Except my thoughts, they were roaring. I didn’t know what to do with myself.  I wanted to run home and hide; I wanted to run away. Let’s face it, I was a hot mess.

I could feel the tears welling in my eyes and I quickly wiped them away when the door opened and Ali sat down in the passenger seat. I didn’t want her to see me like this.  I had to keep my cool no matter what.

Instead, I looked over at her and said, “Freaking vampires, really??”

She looked my face over, her eagle eyes missing nothing, and I knew that I hadn’t fooled her for a second. “Yeah, vampires, apparently they’re a thing. For real.” She gave me a lopsided smile that I did my best to return.

“Great, you know what?” I paused, as I turned the key in the ignition and looked back over at her, “Reality sucks, like for real!” I laughed when I heard exactly how that sounded.  I seemed to be laughing at the most inappropriate times but it’s whatever.

Apparently Ali thought the same, because she started laughing with me as I put the car in reverse and turned it around.  At least the laughter kept the fear from becoming a tangible thing and I was able to drive over to my house and pull into the driveway.  Something I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do when I got in the car.

I shut off the engine and listened to the ticking of the engine as it cooled off.  Well no time like the present, It wasn’t in me to run away, no matter how much my inner voice was screaming at me to run fast and run far.  I looked at Ali, “Ok, so are we ready for this?”

“Abso-fucking-lutely!” she replied with one of our favorite catchphrases.

I grinned at her, “then let’s do this.”

I don’t know what I was expecting when we got inside but a perfectly clean house and the table set for dinner was not one of them.  The mouth watering aroma of the roast I had started in the crock pot that morning filled the air.  

Wayne was nowhere in sight but I knew he was in the house. Don’t ask me how I knew but I could just feel him.  Ali came up behind me, put her arm around my waist and leaned her head on my shoulder. “It’s gonna be ok,” she whispered.  

The bedroom door opened and I stiffened when Wayne came out. Ali stood up straight but kept her arm around my waist. She had my back and wasn’t letting go.  

He looked at us and smiled, “Well, you finally made it.” he said to me.  His glance switched to Ali and he added, “Glad to finally see you in person Ali.” He didn’t move to hug her which I was thankful for.  I wasn’t sure I could handle him that close to me right now.

He continued to smile at us but my defenses were up so high that I couldn’t tell if he was actually happy to see us or was being sarcastic. But it was just a smile; I didn’t see any malice in it.  Even so, all my senses screamed proceed with caution, something wicked this way comes.

I felt Ali’s grip on my waist tighten, just reminding me she was still there as I tried to relax. I eased back against her slightly letting the solid weight of her start to calm my frayed nerves. I looked up at my husband’s face, and not for the first time in the past few days, wished I could read his mind.

Instead, plan B, go with the flow, I would be nice to him until it was time to not be nice.  I was exhausted, hungry, and still had two strays to get fed and bedded down for the night, (and I know what you’re thinking. Get your mind out of the gutter, Ali and I would not be sleeping over there!) I needed to take a break to rest and eat.  I know Ali had to be just as exhausted and hungry plus she had to be feeling those wounds pretty good by now.

I looked up at him, while still leaning against Ali, “Yeah, but it’s been a long day and we are just about done in.” I gave him a small smile while mentally patting myself on the back for keeping most of the nerves out of my voice. “We are ready to attack that roast I started this morning.” Which was no lie, the smells coming from the kitchen were making me salivate.

He stepped back and pointed towards the kitchen, “Then let’s get you ladies some food,” he replied acting the perfect host.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

He kept up the perfect host routine all through dinner.  So much so that I could feel myself almost relaxing, almost. I had been dreading this all day but it had been surprisingly painless.  He did ask Ali a lot of questions about her trip and how it had gone so far.  Soon they were discussing maps and routes and I felt my eyes glazing over with exhaustion. At least until I heard them discussing her wounds, that snapped me right awake.  How did he know about her injuries? How COULD he?  I couldn’t see anything showing; her arms and chest were completely covered by her flannel and tshirt. Did she move in a way that showed she was injured? I didn’t think so. My spidey sense was screaming at me that something was very wrong.

Why couldn’t I figure this out? At times he seemed like his normal self and then he would do something, like now, that was just off. And it would send me running down my mental checklist of the supernatural weird and creepy. The thing was, he passed all my tests. So, I was back at square one.

I listened intently as Ali managed to brush off his questions. The topic shifted again and I started to relax as we ate dessert.  I didn’t know how much longer I could keep up with the whole, “hey, things are great” hostess act but fortunately, as soon as dessert was finished, Wayne excused himself.  I did have a moment of panic when he leaned over and kissed me on the forehead but I thought I hid it well.  At least until I looked at Ali and saw her frowning at me.

“What?” I asked her, after Wayne had left. “Don’t look at me like that Ali.”

“Danni what is going on? Things seem a lot worse between you and Wayne than you told me.  You’re practically jumping out of your skin when he comes near you.  I know you told me you checked for everything but is it possible you missed something?”

My first instinct was to snap back at her. That’s how I knew how screwed up I actually was.  This is my Ali, my SAM, she loves me and only wants to help.  When I looked into her blue eyes, I saw only love and concern. I sighed.

“I really don’t know Sis.  If you had asked me that a few hours ago, I would have said no way in hell, but now… now I don’t know what to think.” I rubbed my eyes and sat back in my chair.  “I do know that we can’t do anything about it tonight and the boys have got to be starving. Let’s clean up and go feed the strays.”

 

We made short work of the clean up and Ali went to get settled into her room.  I had spent the last few months getting our guest room ready for he and as far as I was concerned, it was HER room now. My head started to spin and I leaned back against the kitchen counter for support. Ali was actually here! The reality of it had finally sunk in.  All the months, all the planning, all the anticipation and all the waiting; and now she was in my house and in her room.  And she had brought the Winchesters along with her. Well of course she did, that was just Ali, everything she did turned into more than what she planned.

Thinking of the boys brought me back to the current situation which meant food. We needed to get those boys fed.  I pulled my ice chest out of the storage closet and started packing up the leftover roast. I snagged some beer out of the fridge and packed that into the ice chest as well. I looked down at the cold beer nesting in the chest and thought, what the hell, I reached in and grabbed one. I usually couldn’t stand beer but in light of recent events, I thought I needed one.  I popped the top off, downed most of it and poured the rest down the drain.

I’m sure Dean wouldn’t approve but I didn’t want the whole thing, just enough that I could feel a little buzz start in my blood. Since this wasn’t watered down Oklahoma beer, but the stronger stuff from across the Missouri state line, it didn’t take long.  I could feel the alcohol burn its way down into my stomach and start doing it’s thing. Ok, now I felt I could face the Winchesters again, or at least the older one.

Thinking of Dean caused me to feel warm in places that I couldn’t blame on the beer. Damn, I so needed to stop thinking about him, but that was a little hard when he was right across the pasture from my house.  Just the thought of seeing him again started my pulse racing!

Stop it Danni, get a grip chicky! I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.  I needed a calm moment and my thoughts about Dean were anything but calming.  What I needed was my sister, I needed to talk to Ali.  

I closed the ice chest and walked out of the kitchen. The rest of the house was so quiet; too quiet.  I couldn’t place what was so strange about the silence but then I realized that none of the cats were around.  The livingroom was one of their favorite hangouts and most nights I could find them lounging on the furniture or playing chase all over the place, but tonight there were none to be seen.  

I felt the hair on the back of my neck lift up as I made my way to Ali’s door.  I knocked but I didn’t wait to hear her voice before I pushed the door open. I wanted out of that livingroom and fast.  She was lying on her bed with her phone in her hand as I came through the door. She glanced up from the screen and tried unsuccessfully to wipe the distracted look from her face.  

I sat down next to her and tried to give her a smile. “Doing ok Sis?”

She sighed, “Yeah just trying to, I don’t know, figure all this out.”

“Yeah, me too. Just when I think I’ve gotten them out of my head, they worm their way back in.”

“That’s the understatement of the year,” she laughed.

“Yeah, I guess it is.  So, I was wondering, what’s going on between you and Sam? One minute he’s all over you and the next he’s Mr. Freeze.”

She frowned at me, “He’s not exactly all over me Dan.”

“Oh, ok, you’re all over HIM then? I see where this is going.” I grinned back at her.  She WAS the Sam girl in our relationship after all.

Her frown deepened, “It’s not like that.” She growled at me. Her blue eyes narrowing as she glared at me.

“It’s not?” I asked her, my eyes going wide as I pretended to be shocked by her revelation. “And here I thought you just wanted to see that boy naked in the shower. Boy, was I wrong.”

I laughed and ducked as she threw a pillow at me. “Damn it, Danni. Knock it off!”

“Wow, I must have touched a nerve to get that reaction.”

“It’s not that...I don’t know what it is really.  I think they are trying to figure me out as much as I am them.  They are both pretty intense.  I don’t know what Sam needs and I can’t explain Dean’s reactions at all.”

“Both huh? And here I thought you were just a Sam girl.” I teased; trying to laugh it off, cause yeah, I was totally the Dean girl.  I loved Sam but damn, Dean just flat did it for me.

Ali must have heard it in my voice because she started reassuring me, “Oh no, Dean and I are strictly platonic.  No way I’m going there with that boy.”

I thought about the way Dean talked to her and the little touches I had witnessed. She may feel that way but I wonder how he felt. Why did that bother me so much? I shook that thought off, I was in no place to question anyone’s motives.

“Yeah well, sing me another one sister.” I teased back at her; hoping that I pulled off the nonchalance that I didn’t at all feel. She rolled her eyes at me as if to say ‘whatever’. I let the subject of Dean and feelings drop for now.  “I have the food packed for them. When you’re ready, we will head back over to Charlie’s.”

“I’m ready, let’s go now.” She got up off the bed and reached for her flannel.  April nights were still chilly in Oklahoma.

“Ok then, overeager much?” And I was able to give her a genuine smile this time because I wanted to be over there with them as much as she did. “Then let’s go feed the strays.”  And hopefully we wouldn’t get bitten, I thought to myself; or secretly, maybe I was hoping we would.

 

**************************

We decided to walk across the pasture instead of driving over to Charlie’s shop. That might not have been the wisest plan but I just didn’t really care.  If the vamps, or whatever else was after us, were out there then they could just bring it cause my give a damn wasn’t just busted, it was shattered beyond repair.

We were almost to the garage door when it started rolling up and the older Winchester just stood there staring at us like a schoolmaster who had caught us sneaking back into the dorms. Of course, I had never seen a schoolmaster look as hot as he did.

“Christ, I thought you would have had half a brain between the two of you,” he grumbled at us. “Get the hell in here.”

“Keep it up Winchester and I’ll take your dinner AND the beer back to my house.” I teased.  His eyes went wide at my tone and he actually licked his lips at the mention of food or maybe it was the beer.  Although I knew he had to be starving, I wasn’t sure what he needed the most at that point.  I did know that if he licked his lips again, that would be my undoing.

Ali and I carried the cooler in and Dean rolled the door down.  I looked around the shop but didn’t see Sam anywhere. Ali spoke up before I could, “Where’s Sam?”

“He’s making the rounds; checking things out.” It didn’t surprise me when Ali turned and walked back to the door. “Just where do you think you’re going?” Dean asked her.

“It’s not rocket science Dean, I’m going to check on Sam. Wanna try and stop me?” she snapped at him. Yep, the exhaustion was getting to all of us; tempers were getting short.

“Listen Ali, I wasn’t going to stop you but I’m not going to let you go out there unarmed. I want you to take this,” He reached behind his back, pulled his pistol out, and handed it to her. “There is one in the chamber already but remember to thumb the safety off. Oh and if you have to use it, the kick might knock you on your ass.”

He turned away from her and walked back to the cooler; his attention apparently back on food.

Ali just stood there for a second and then glanced at me in disbelief. I’m sure my expression mirrored hers. Most men, but especially that particular man, wasn’t going to give his gun up to someone he didn’t trust. I shrugged my shoulders and gave her a small grin.

She went out the door and I started unpacking the rest of the cooler. Dean offered to help but I waved him off. “Grab a beer Dean, sit, relax, if that’s possible. I got this.”

I loaded his plate up and watched him from the corner of my eye as he grabbed a beer, twisted the top off and brought the bottle to his lips.  I quickly turned my attention back to the food, cause watching that bottle touch those lips made my stomach do flip flops, and I did NOT need to embarrass myself at this point.

I handed Dean his plate and sat down across from him, watching his eyes close in bliss as he inhaled the aroma from the roast. It hit me then that these boys probably rarely got to eat a good home cooked meal.  The ferocity with which he attacked his food only confirmed my thought.  I hoped Ali got Sam back in here quick or there might not be anything left for him!

Dean looked up from his plate and I had to laugh.  His cheeks were puffed out like a squirrel with a mouthful of acorns. He tried to frown back at me but his mouth was just too full, which only made me laugh harder. He finally swallowed it down and sat there glowering at me.

I finally was able to control the laughter and wipe the tears from my eyes. “Sorry Dean, I shouldn’t laugh at you but it’s just, you’re so,...adorable,”

I blurted out. His eyes went wide and I’m sure I was glowing red all the way to my ear-tips. Did I just call Dean Winchester adorable? I don’t think he had ever been called that before; I shut my eyes and waited for the explosion.

He didn’t say anything for a second and when he did, it was not what I expected. “Well Danni,” he paused for another mouthful of food, chewing as slowly as he possibly could, deliberately prolonging my misery, “I’m not the one glowing like a stop sign right now,” he said smugly and resumed eating his dinner.

I narrowed my eyes and glowered at him. That son of a bitch, with one sentence he pushed all my buttons again.  I wish he would have gotten pissy about it instead of making a joke out of my embarrassment. That’s ok though, it wasn’t the first time my mouth had gotten me into trouble and I doubted it would be the last; especially with the Winchesters around.

He choked on his food when I leaned towards him and said, “laugh it up Dean, just remember, payback is a bitch and her stripper name is Karma.” as I gave him my sweetest smile.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 8

 

He dropped his gaze, returning to his food.  I thought I could see the hint of a smile though.  I think he was enjoying being a pain in my ass.  So to get a little payback, I snagged Ali’s tablet and fired it up. I typed Supernatural Seattle into the search bar and clicked on Creation TV’s video of the latest con.  I needed a distraction.  Ali and Sam hadn’t come back in yet, I really didn’t want to think about THAT, and having Dean across from me was really screwing with my emotions.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do more, throttle him or stick my tongue down his throat.

I knew I wasn't going to solve that dilemma, so maybe the latest J2 video would take my mind off it and maybe poke Dean just a little. I leaned back in my chair and turned the volume up as the video started to play.  Watching Jared and Jensen interact never failed to make me smile.  

Dean continued eating. Damn, at this rate I wasn’t sure there would be any food left for Sam.  I continued pretending that SexyAF wasn’t sitting across from me and let the video roll.  I had the volume up on the tablet to make sure Dean could hear it.  I was wondering how long it would take for his curiosity to be aroused once Jared and Jensen began to speak.

Apparently it was long enough for me to snag a beer out of the cooler, cause yeah, this night was begging for more alcohol; even if it was beer. When I turned back to the table, Dean had the tablet in his hands and a frown on his face. I thought I must have poked the bear a little too hard when his angry eyes met mine.  

“What the hell is this Danni?” he asked quietly.  The tone of his voice in direct contrast to the warning in his eyes.  I expected him to shout at me or pound the table or something but that soft, quiet voice just made me afraid.  I could not afford to forget who this man was.  He was not someone to trifle with, not a plaything. He was dangerous in every sense of the word.  

I never was one to back down in the face of danger though.  If anything, it only added some spice to an already potent mix.  Per usual, I let my mouth override my sense of caution, “I have no idea what you are talking about Dean.” I replied, infusing my voice with as much sweetness as I could muster without making myself gag.

He looked back at the screen; lips thinning with annoyance. He watched the video for a few more minutes.  I don’t know what he saw but apparently it was enough for him. He jerked his head up and glared at me.  It was one of those, if looks could kill moments but my heart still did flip-flops at the sight of his green eyes.

“Sammy!” He shouted and I jumped.  “Sammy get in here.”

 

He must have been just outside the door because Sam came barreling through it instantly with Ali hot on his heels. Both of them on high alert and looking for the monster that had to be in there somewhere. Two pair of puzzled eyes focused on us as soon as they realized there was no threat.

“Dean, what the hell? I thought a vamp had gotten in.” Sam looked at his brother with irritation.

“Look at this.” Dean asked angrily as he shoved the tablet at Sam.  “This is who these two,” Dean pointed at me and Ali, “think we are.”

Ali gave me a, what the hell did you do, look.  I just shrugged my shoulders and smiled; barely managing to hold back my laughter.

She looked back at Dean when he said, “We are a couple of candy-assed douche nozzles! What exactly is a Jackles?

“It’s short for Jensen Ackles,” Ali replied as she reached over and ripped the tablet from Dean’s hands.

“Christ Ali, why don’t you break the damn thing. What the hell?” I asked her. Now I was the one puzzled. What was she doing? I shot a quick glance over at Dean before turning back to her.

She gave me a pointed look and said, “I forgot that we needed to check on Jim.”

I looked at her like she had grown two heads. Jim; what?? She watched me try to figure it out and sighed, “Jim, you know, Jim Beaver?”

Damn, how could I have forgotten.  Jim was making an appearance at SPNSeattle.  After learning about the boy’s relationship with their Bobby, they sure didn’t need to see the actor who played Bobby Singer on the show, walk out on stage.

I reached for the tablet, “Um, yeah, I’ll see what I can do about that.” I walked over towards the Impala, tablet in hand and closed down the video on the screen.

I could hear Dean’s gruff voice raised as he grilled Ali on her behavior.  “So spill Porter, I know are holding something back and I want to know what it is.”

I stayed by the car, pretending to adjust something on the tablet but really my attention was fully on the three by the table. The tension was singing between Dean and Ali.  Sam seemed torn on what to do or which side to be on; should he defend his brother or protect Ali?

“ I don’t have to tell you a damn thing Dean.  I’ve already told you all you need to know.” She sassed back.

He reached out with his hand and quickly grabbed her wrist. “Now why don’t I believe that?” he asked her.  

“You don’t have to believe it but you do have to let me go.”  Real anger in her voice now.

“I won’t and I don’t have to.” he told her.

Sam chose then to intervene, “Dean come on man, let her go.”

“Stay out of this Sammy. This is between her and me.” Dean told him without breaking his stare with Ali. “She knows more than she’s telling.”

“That may be true but this isn’t the way to get her to talk.”

“Oh and what way would you prefer Sam, huh? Another round in the bathroom?” Dean asked him.

I was shocked that he said it or that Ali didn’t try to kick the shit out of him but I saw her eyes narrow down to slits and I knew she was about to explode. Sam was none too happy about it either if the look on his face was any indication.

“Dean, I said enough!” The tone of his voice distracted Dean long enough that Ali was able to wrench her wrist out of his hand.

“Like I said Dean, I don’t have to tell you everything. I’m allowed some secrets.”  She gave me a quick glance, turned and ran out the door; letting it slam loudly behind her.

Sam gave his brother an angry glance and went out after Ali. I walked over to the table, set the tablet down and turned to square off with Dean. Lethal hunter or not; you didn’t mess with my family and get away with it.  I didn’t care if he could snap my neck with one hand, he was going to pay for what had just happened. “Care to explain yourself Winchester?”

He sneered down at me, “I don’t have to explain anything to you Danvers.”

I clenched my jaw at the attitude he was giving me.  Yep, throttling him was high on my list right now. I stalked right up to him, “Listen real close cause I’m not going to repeat myself, you don’t talk to my sister that way, ever.”

I punctuated that last word by stabbing him in the chest with my index finger. He glared down at the finger resting against his shirt.  “Just exactly what do you think a short shit like yourself is going to do about it?” he sneered.

You know, I’m not normally over-sensitive about my height. I was born this way; it is what it is. I know that dynamite comes in small packages.  But to have him throw it in my face again? Well, that just wasn’t gonna fly. I would show  him exactly what I was made of; it would be a gross miscalculation on his part to underestimate me. I turned away from him, paced over to the door and opened it.

“Dean, this short shit is going to serve your balls up on a platter with fava beans and a fine Chianti, if she gets hurt out there.” And with that I walked out into the dark.

I was pretty sure that he was gonna be on my ass as soon as my feet hit the gravel and I wasn't wrong. I took about four strides before his long legs caught up to me.

“You know what Dan? I'm getting pretty sick of the empty threats from the two of you.”

Dan? What the hell was that? Ali was the only one who called me that; usually with affection but occasionally with more than a little irritation. Now Dean is using her nickname for me. So, he wasn’t angry? I guess the idea of little me being capable of doing anything against him was so hilarious, he just couldn’t stay mad.

Whatever, I would figure him out later. Right now I needed to find Ali. I needed to make sure she was safe.  My heart started to race at the thought of her out here alone in the dark.  I was so focused on that thought, I didn’t see Sam standing in the driveway and I almost ran into him. I stopped short to keep from slamming into him but the momentum of my body kept moving forward and my hand landed in the small of his back; my fingers digging into the hard muscle there.  

I snatched my hand back as if it were on fire. Sam turned to look at me and growled, “your sister is driving me crazy; I’m not sure if I want to kill her or….”

“Or what Sammy?” Dean interrupted.

I glanced at him and saw the knowing leer on his face. Sam saw it too.  He cocked his head to the side and said with some heat, “Is everything funny to you Dean?”

“Not everything Sam, but seeing her get under your skin, yeah that’s funny as hell.” he grinned at his brother.

Seeing them go at each other instead of us was refreshing but it wasn’t getting us any closer to finding Ali and the clock was ticking. “Ok enough! We need to find Ali. She’s probably standing out there listening to you two right now. So move your asses.”

I stared them both down; daring them to defy me. I was just about done with this evening and all the maelstrom of emotions.  

“We better split up or we will be out here all night.” Dean finally said something that made sense.

“Fine, I’m with you,” I told him; giving Sam my best, you better behave with her or I’m gonna rip your guts out look as we walked away.

Dean and I headed for the side of the shop closest to the pasture, which of course was the furthest from the house and the shop lights.  We walked in silence, the only sound, our boots crunching on the gravel.  We were almost to the edge of the driveway, where the pasture starts, when the smell hit me.  I pulled my shirt sleeve over my arm and covered my nose to try and block out the coppery smell of recent death that assaulted me.

This couldn’t be good.  Dean smelled it too and his protective hunter instincts kicked into overdrive as he grabbed my arm and pulled me behind him, his gun already out in his other hand.  I let him take point on this one but I could have my gun out in a split second if I needed it.

We slowly stalked towards the edge of the grass, the lights from the buildings getting thinner with each step.  Dean let go of my arm, which I hadn’t realized he was still holding, and pulled a small flashlight out of his jacket pocket.  His gun was still at the ready in his other hand.

He flicked the light on as the night grew darker around us and moved it to his other hand bringing the gun up and putting the flashlight under it, using both hands to hold the light and gun steady.

The night was so quiet, I almost jumped out of my skin when he said, “Danni move closer to me.” I stepped up to the side opposite his gun hand, his body heat bleeding into my arm and I had to admit, I was glad he was there.  The night had taken on a threatening edge.  I couldn’t pinpoint it but we definitely weren’t alone out here.

A dark shape lying in the grass loomed out of the darkness.  My heart skipped a beat when I realized it was a very large animal and I was praying it wasn’t one of my horses.  I could see the large dark stain spreading on the grass under it and wondered what had the strength to kill an animal this large without us hearing a thing?

I shuddered; Dean looked pointedly at me, “Stay here,” he warned. The night was turning chilly. I rubbed my hands up and down my forearms in an attempt to smooth over the goosebumps. I watched as he walked cautiously closer to the humped shape; staying alert for any threats.

He squatted down beside the animal and reached his hand out to the hairy hide. As he shined the light over it, I realized it was not a horse but one of Charlie’s cows.  I was thankful it wasn’t one of my horses but whatever did it was still out there; watching and waiting.

He hurried back to me, “We need to find Sam and Ali now!” I don’t know what he saw but I was not going to argue with him.