There’s an interesting phenomenon that happens with rain.
On calm nights, when one is at home in bed and just finishing the season finale of Doctor Sexy MD, say, and one is ready to slip into unconsciousness, the sound of rain tapping against the roof above is a gentle lullaby as it soothes the way to sleep.
On the other side of the coin, when one has been trapped in a patrol car for seven hours on a stakeout with four cups of coffee and a questionable ham sandwich in one’s system as well as a disgruntled newbie sitting in the passenger seat, the sound of rain incessantly pinging against the the top of the car quickly begins to grate on one’s nerves. The sound miraculously becomes less lullaby and more screeching dubstep on repeat.
Dean Winchester was a keen observer of this phenomenon. His life just gave him so many opportunities to gather the data.
“I’m so fucking bored.”
Dean didn’t even bother to spare a glance in Jo’s direction as he inhaled deeply.
It had got old the second time she’d said it - and it was now the fifth.
“Yeah, well tough nuts, rookie,” Dean said, peering through the binoculars again just for something to do. “Boring comes with the job sometimes.”
Dean was sympathetic, he really was. He remembered his first time on a stakeout and how long the hours had felt while nothing happened. The dread of the entire job just being waiting and paperwork had been almost enough to make him quit right then and there, but luckily he’d powered through.
Now, he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Maybe our intel was bad and this was all for nothing,” Jo grumbled, crumpling up a piece of notebook paper into a ball and bouncing it off the dashboard.
“Yeah, it might be. It usually is,” Dean said with a noncommittal shrug. “But you’ve got to be ready for the off-chance that it’s not.”
He brought the binoculars up to his face again when he caught sight of movement just outside the door of the apartment complex he’d become intimately familiar with over the few days. He knew the number of bricks between each window. He knew when the lights in each apartment would turn off for the night, and what time to look away because the dude in number seven showered before going to bed and apparently believed in air-drying his whole naked body. He knew that the note the door into the building creaked out every time it was opened was a B flat.
And what he knew most of all was that the movement he saw now was out of the ordinary. Significantly so.
“I’ve got movement,” he murmured.
“Probably a cat.”
“It’s raining; it’s not a cat.” Dean reached out and nudged her lightly on the shoulder without looking away. “Hey, hey - it’s him, Harvelle.”
Behind him, Dean heard a loud thud, which was probably Jo hitting herself on something in her eagerness.
“Yes, really.” Dean tossed her the binoculars as he picked up the radio and held it up to his lips. “This is Detective Winchester. I’ve got eyes on Johnson and I’m about to make a move. Requesting backup.”
“ Backup is on its way. Should be just a few minutes out.”
Dean hung up the radio receiver and turned to Jo, who looked a little wide-eyed and panicky now that the culmination of a successful stakeout had fallen on their shoulders.
“It’s not boring anymore.” He clapped her on the shoulder with a grin. “You ready to go in?”
Jo was still for just a moment before seemingly finding her resolve and nodding once.
“Let’s get that son of a bitch.”
If she hadn’t spent the better part of the past few hours complaining about being bored, Dean would have been almost proud.
“Alright, follow my lead.”
The distant figure that was Brady Johnson - prolific dogfighting ringleader with two warrants for his arrest on his head - was leaning against the side of the apartment complex, huddled under a dry spot, supposedly waiting to meet someone to exchange bet money. He was lighting up a cigarette, and seemed unaware of their presence as they got out of the car.
It didn’t take too long of them walking in his direction for Dean to see Brady tense, though, apparently realizing that something wasn’t right - which wasn’t a huge stretch when two figures were walking towards you in the pouring rain.
“Brady Johnson, you’re under arrest!” Dean called out, his hand hovering above the gun on his hip just in case things got dicey.
“Here we go!” Dean said, and frantically waved Jo onward as he took off in pursuit down a backway behind the apartment complex. “Go around and cut him off!”
Around the station, Dean frequently heard different officers complain about the times when perps took off running and they had to pursue on foot, but Dean didn’t mind it. The adrenaline rush that these exciting moments brought him were enough of a thrill to get him through all of the days of paperwork and waiting.
This was the high point.
Dean raced around the corner of the apartments with an unprofessional grin on his face, but there wasn’t anyone around to see anyway, so he let himself get caught up in the chase.
“Brady Johnson, stand down!” he yelled as he barrelled forward, just in time to see him toss an overflowing trash can directly in his path to try and slow him down, but Dean cleared it easily.
Dean put on a burst of speed, pleased to note that he seemed to be outpacing Johnson. Good to know that organizing dog fights didn’t help one in the athletic prowess department.
Brady knocked over another trash can, smaller this time, and made a sharp right turn.
He and Jo had been scouting out the area for a while now, and he knew that a right turn at the end of the alley meant that he’d have a long stretch of road, or the option to turn right down another alleyway right before the sketchy butcher shop, but he might -
Dean turned the corner, skidding to a sudden stop when he saw Johnson, breathing heavily and holding a gun. It was pointed at Dean.
The rain poured down on the two of them, and a low groan of thunder rolled. Dean, breathing hard, didn’t move. In his head, he was running through options. If he made a break for where Johnson was standing and tried to knock the gun out of his hand, would Johnson have time to shoot? Would he have the guts?
“You have - have three seconds to turn around and walk away,” Brady said, panting for breath as he spoke.
“Listen, Brady -” Dean tried, hoping to reason with the guy.
Dean held up his hands in a show of good faith, but there was no way in hell he was turning his back on someone with a gun.
Oh, the adrenaline rush .
“You don’t want killing a cop to go on your record, do you?” Dean reasoned, licking some of the rainwater away from his lips and trying to decide how fast he could get to his own gun. Probably not fast enough, but it would be exhilarating to give it a shot.
No pun intended.
“Come on, Brady.” Dean could see Brady’s hands were shaking as he held the gun. The guy obviously didn’t get his hands very dirty in this dog fighting community. At best, he probably just kept the numbers in order for the head honchos. “Put it down.”
Brady’s eyes searched up to Dean’s hands and then fell to meet Dean’s gaze again. He looked panicked, no determination, no resolution. He wasn’t going to do it.
Another gun swung into view from the alleyway behind Brady.
“Police. Drop the gun, asshole,” Jo said, stepping into full view.
Brady closed his eyes and swallowed as he slowly sank to his knees and tossed the gun a few feet away. Dean dropped his hands and let out a breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding.
That had been close.
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law -” Jo took Brady’s hands and roughly brought them from their position above his head to behind his back, cuffing him quickly as she finished the Miranda rights.
“Not bad, rookie,” Dean said, grinning as he gave her a firm pat on the shoulder and bent over briefly to catch his breath, giving a loud whoop up towards the rain as he straightened.
Jo side-eyed him as she pushed Brady forwards, leading him towards their squad car.
“I think you enjoy this too much,” she muttered, but there was a smile playing on her lips.
“I don’t think you enjoy it enough ,” Dean said, collecting the abandoned gun and taking Brady’s other arm. “You’re a sneaky bastard, Brady. But I knew we’d catch up with you in the end. Let’s get you back to the station.”
Brady didn’t respond, not that Dean expected him to.
“Lieutenant Novak will be pretty impressed, won’t he?” Jo said, hope in her voice.
And just like that, Dean’s spirits went from over-the-moon to under-the-sea and any semblance of a good mood vanished.
“Don’t get your hopes up, Harvelle.” Dean said, rolling his eyes to no one in particular as they reached the patrol car. “Nothing impresses the great Lieutenant Novak.”
“You were overly reckless and if your junior partner hadn’t been there to deescalate the situation, it very well may have cost this force an officer.”
Stories were told about the intensity of Lieutenant Novak’s stare - and his ability to make even the most competent officer feel extremely small - but Dean crossed his arms and glared back, determined to defend himself. It had been a long time since Novak had been able to intimidate him.
“The situation was under control the entire time, Lieutenant,” Dean said, standing his ground on the other side of the table as the entire precinct around them busied themselves and pretended not to be listening in. “I made an assessment and acted on instinct. Johnson wouldn’t have pulled the trigger on a cop. He’s probably never shot anyone in his life.”
“It wasn’t a risk you should have gambled on,” Lieutenant Novak said, thumbing through the police report Dean had turned in for what was probably the fourth time. “You’re lucky to be alive right now, Detective Winchester.”
“Oh, come on!” Dean said, nearly in disbelief. “It was nothing! I’m fine!”
“This time, yes. But what about next time? Or the next?” Lieutenant Novak looked up from the folder and and flipped it closed, his mouth a tight frown. “It’s unacceptable, Detective. Learn to control yourself.”
Dean bit back a snarky retort that he’d had formed from the moment the Lieutenant had started disagreeing with him, and took a deep breath to calm himself down.
“He wasn’t gonna pull the trigger, Cas,” Dean said, dropping the tough-guy posture and lowering his voice so only the two of them could hear. “I promise he wasn’t.”
Castiel looked back and for a moment, Dean saw a glimmer of the Cas he used to know in his eyes - before he dropped his gaze back down to the paperwork at his desk.
“Get back to work, Dean.”
Dean rolled his eyes and shoved his hands in the pockets of his still-soaked jacket before leaving Castiel’s space and dropping down in his own chair at his desk on the other side of the room, where Jo was waiting for him.
Jo raised an eyebrow, looking from Dean to Castiel incredulously.
“And you said you guys were partners before he got promoted?” she murmured, keeping her voice low. “What happened?”
Dean folded his arms against his chest and shot Castiel a glare from across the room, even though he seemed to specifically not be looking over in Dean’s direction.
Leave it to Castiel to ruin any semblance of a good day he was having.
“He got promoted.”