Dean was pissed. He would have been unhappy anyway that Dad had decided it was necessary to bring another hunter on their hunt, but he was really mad that Dad had given this jerk Dean's seat in shotgun and relegated Dean to the backseat with just a nod.
It was not fair.
They could have handled it themselves. Yeah, they were still working out the glitches of going back to being a two-man team instead of three, but he'd been Dad's partner for a long time before Sam was old enough to join them.
And this guy clearly thought he was hot stuff.
"So you figure somewhere between seven and ten werewolves in this pack? So we each get two or three and someone gets a bonus? Sounds like fun!"
The long-haired man in Dean's seat turned around. "Your dad said you're a crack shot and I won't have to worry about my back. Seven's a lot for just two guys, though, so I'm happy to help. Name's Lee Webb. Been hunting for about six years, but I guess that's a drop in the bucket compared to you and your dad." He thrust his hand over the back of the seat and Dean reluctantly shook it. Okay. Maybe not a total jerk.
"That was some damn fine shooting! Can't believe we took out eleven o' those beasties and nobody even needs stitches!" Lee pounded Dean on the back as John dragged the last body to the pile and doused all of them with gasoline, then tossed a book of matches to Dean.
"You want to do the honors, Dean, since you hit the most?"
Dean looked at the stack of now human-seeming corpses, nodded, and set it ablaze.
It had been kind of exhilarating to line up with someone else who could fire as sure as him and Dad. If he had to do it without Sam, at least this guy was competent.
"So this poltergeist was pulling all the photographs off the wall and flinging 'em at my head so I grabbed an umbrella and opened it--don't laugh, it was the only thing handy! And it worked, too, up until it pulled this giant modern art piece above the fireplace...but I got the last bag in the wall just as it was coming down on me...Knocked me out, but I got it first!"
Dean lifted his beer in a toast before draining it. "Poltergeists are a bitch to do by yourself." He glanced over to where his dad was clearing the pool table and registered the level of agitation the other players were showing. He'd told his dad they should work the game together, but he'd told Dean to relax, have a drink with Lee, and let his old man handle it.
"You fucking played us!" Dean heard the shout.
"C'mon, let's even the odds." Dean was out of his seat as John was deflecting the first cue stick.
"Okay, maybe I shounta' cleaned the table in one go..." Dean and Lee were propping John up as they made their way back to the car. Dean blinked the blood leaking into his eye away and grunted in agreement.
"Ya think, Dad? I mean, you taught me better'n that, if you're trying to fleece a mark and not get the shit beat outta ya!"
"I'm sure glad you two were here...The way you nailed that guy coming in with a bottle and then caught the one coming from behind in the nuts..." John nodded in Lee's direction, then winced.
“Take it easy, Dad, you probably got a concussion from that chair.”
"Nah, I got a harder head than that. But you were pretty impressive, Lee! Couldnta' taught you those moves better m'self. And then you, Dean, coming in for the clean-up... "
"Okay, Dad.” Clearly concussed, his dad would never be so effusive otherwise. They eased John into the passenger seat. "You good, Lee?"
Lee answered with a fistbump and grin. "Nothing an icepack and a couple band-aids can't fix. Sure was fun hanging out with you two tonight--have to look you up ever I get bored!"
There were three of them. All blondes--two of them the same shade, one with pink streaks, all in nicely tight tank tops and booty shorts. Two of them--the one with pink streaks and the blonde with the black top--were lounging on Lee's legs, arms wrapped around his shoulders and playing with his hair.
Dean was pretty sure Lee's delightfully dazed expression mirrored his own as the girl on his lap tickled his ear with her tongue. "Want to go someplace a little cozier?" she whispered. "My sisters and I...we like sharing..."
It was a good thing Dean had already emptied the beer he was drinking or he would have spit it out. It took Lee a few minutes to extricate himself in order to walk to the car, but all three girls purred--there wasn't another word for it--at the sight of the Impala.
"Classic car..." Dean's girl blew in his ear.
Fortunately it was a very brief drive to the apartment building they directed him to because suddenly driving with one hand--the other being held prisoner under his girl's butt cheeks--was for some reason more challenging than the usual driving-one-handed-because-of-injury situation.
When Dean pulled the key from the ignition and looked in the backseat, Lee was mostly undressed. "No fair, they got ahead of me," his blonde pouted and promptly slid her hands up his shirt to pinch his nipples.
Dean had one thought of being glad Dad had sent him out with Lee alone this time and then didn't have another coherent thought for a while.
"What the fuck were you thinking?"
Dean knew the level of shit he was in by the quietness of his dad's voice.
And he totally deserved it, no question.
"You could have gotten me killed--or yourself--or him."
Now John stared at Lee. "I thought you were a professional." The condemnation in John's tone would have frozen a ghost. "I trusted you to partner with my son and this is what you do? Get the two of you so wasted that an easy salt-n-burn ends up with having to skip town with the cops on our tail and the job not finished?"
Dean felt compelled to take the blame. "Dad, it--"
"You shut up. When I finish with you, you won't be drinking anything but water for the next year. But he is older and I trusted him."
"I'm sorry, John, and it won't happen again..."
"You're damn right it won't happen again. Showing up for a hunt so hungover you dig up the wrong fucking grave! Now what the hell are you going to do to fix this mess?"
Dean lost track of the conversation for a few minutes as he fought to keep the little that was left in his stomach from coming up. He knew when he'd started puking in the cemetery his dad had thought it was something the ghost had been doing to him, not the results of his own stupidity getting hammered before going out on a hunt.
But damn, those girls had been worth it.
Dean took another bite of the juiciest steak he'd ever tasted and waved his fork at Lee.
"Sometimes it all goes right," he proclaimed as he chewed. "And this..." he swallowed, "is the reward."
Mr. Martin Allen had been very grateful to have the spirit terrifying his family taken care of. And he just happened to be the head chef of the most prestigious restaurant in Bellingham...and he wanted to give them an appropriate thank you.
Which is why Dean and Lee were the only patrons sitting in 100 North at two am eating $200 steak dinners and drinking Johnny Walker Blue. Dean had only picked the croutons from the elaborate salad but Lee had chowed his down enthusiastically.
"Never figured you to for a rabbit-food eater," Dean mocked.
"Hey, I figure for what this costs, I'm gonna eat every bit of it! 'Cause I don't expect to get another crack at a meal like this for a long time!"
"Still ain't eating rabbit food," Dean grinned. "But Mr. Allen there seems so grateful I bet he'd throw another steak on for me."
The sun was just coming up when Dean and Lee lumbered out to their respective cars, each carrying a paper bag with leftovers to last two more days.
Lee belched. "Man, I could get used to this kind of life." He shook his head. "We may be the good guys, but except on rare occasions, hunting doesn't do jack squat."
"Look at it this way," Dean offered as he put his bag in the trunk. "Think of all the citizens who'll get to keep eating good meals 'cause we did our job. And you gotta figure anytime we pass through Bellingham from now on we can count on a decent steak.
AND ONE TIME IT WASN’T…
Dean stared at the man he'd known, had once trusted with his life.
"No. No, you don't get to pretend that we're still friends. I don't know you."
"You don't Dean? I am you. I'm just you that woke up and saw that the world was broken."
The words came out without thought. "Then you fix it. You don't walk away. You fight for it."
He looked numbly down at the body. Lee had given up.
Dean had almost given up.
He'd find a tarp to wrap the body, take it and give it a hunter's funeral...for the man he'd been.
Then he was heading back to the bunker and he and Sam were going to kick Chuck's ass.