Title: As Silver Refined
Category: AU, Slash
Word Count: 1485
Warnings: John/Dean, rough stuff, sluttyness
Summary: John's a hunter. He finds himself with an unwanted apprentice, a kid named Dean who's looking for his brother, and who knows just enough about the supernatural to get himself killed.
John finished scanning the obituaries. He sipped his coffee, folded his newspaper and tried to suppress a smile when as expected, Dean slid into the booth across from him grinning happily. His light brown hair was wet and he smelled like soap. He must have showered, wherever he had spent the night.
John looked around at the truck driver's and waitresses, rough thick-waisted men and pretty round women. Could have been with any one of them.
Damned kid was no different than the rest, John told himself, denial evidenced in the tingling of his balls. His eyes traveled over the boy's face, his freckles, his bright green eyes and his crooked grin. Dean was like most 18-year-olds he had come across in his years of hunting. They were fascinated by things that could get them killed.
Yeah, Dean was typical, alright. He was pig-headed at best. At worst he was a danger slut who needed his freckled ass beaten on a regular basis because he didn't know how to do what he was told.
John had been telling him to go home for weeks now.
He took a quick visual inventory of the kid's new injuries. It was the best that he could do without getting his hands on him. Dean squirmed under the scrutiny, his neck reddening.
He was just shy of having a black eye. His knuckles were split, but that was his own fault. On instinct, he'd taken a swing at a ghost and hit a wall instead. He packed quite a punch. It was just a stupid mistake, but it still needed to be bandaged.
Hard to tell the old hickeys on his neck from the new bruises.
There could be more wounds hidden under those jeans, the faded black tee and thread-bare button down shirt, more bruises, scratches and maybe even punctures. Puncture wounds especially worried John. Dean had been knocked around pretty damned good in that old shack last night.
The kid knew how to handle himself though. It hadn't been the first time he had tangled with something supernatural.
He'd disappeared before John could do what he had threatened to do, and put him on a bus back home...again.
He would have to take Dean back to his room, get him out of those clothes, and look him over before he checked out, if he could get the kid to go. Dean was getting pretty good at gauging John's moods.
"Where'd you stay last night?"
"Couple doors down from you."
"With?" John growled.
"Nobody. Empty room. Picked the lock like you showed me."
"Liar. You could have come down the hall."
"Thought it'd be better for my ass if I didn't."
John leaned forward, and Dean leaned back.
Damned kid was getting real good at gauging his moods. He picked up Dean's injured hand, examined the knuckles. He scratched at a small scab with his thumbnail, watched a tiny drop of blood rise.
Dean's fingers twitched.
"When's the last time you had a tetanus shot?" John asked.
Dean shook himself. "Before I started my world tour, " he answered reaching over and stealing a piece of toast from John's plate with his free hand. "Mr. Winchester," he added.
His wicked smile made John laugh.
"Stop calling me that."
Dean took his arm back.
John had been Dean's teacher for less than a week, and the new kid in school had known he was was a phony from day one. He had thought John was some kind of undercover cop. Didn't stop him from showing him his ass though.
John never should have touched it.
"You think you've got something on me." John leaned back in his seat, his eyes half-slitted, the register of his voice dropping down to dangerous.
Dean took another piece of toast.
"Can I have coffee?" he asked.
"Do you have money?"
"Nope," Dean said.
"Course not," John said catching the eye of the waitress he's been flirting with. "Darling, would you bring my boy some coffee, and...." John held the menu out to Dean.
"Short stack of pancakes, a Western omelet with hash browns, bowl of grits with cheese, toast, orange juice and hot chocolate."
"Your son has a good appetite," she winked at John. "Like father like son?"
John winked back, much to Dean's delight.
"You take credit cards here, darling?" he asked. Between hunting the spirit and and trying to keep this growing boy from getting himself killed or raped, John hadn't had any time for the pool hall. His wallet was beginning to feel a little light on cash.
"Sure thing," she said writing down Dean's order. "More coffee?"
"You should hit that," Dean whispered across the table as they both watched the roll of her hips. "Follow her to the kitchen, invite her out the the truck and fu...."
"Shut-up, boy." John smacked him over the head with the newspaper.
Dean pulled it out of his hand. "This where we're headed next?" he asked after reading the circled article. He picked up the pen, underlined a few words himself before sticking the already chewed end of the pen into his mouth and biting down, frowning.
John sighed. He resigned himself.
"No," he said. "Not until you've learned a thing or two."
"But this looks like a real case! Strange flashes of light! Unexplained noises! Doors locked from the inside! A bloody heart!"
The waitress put a plate down in front of Dean, followed by another plate and a bowl, a cup and a glass.
"What's to learn?" Dean persisted, ignoring his food.
John narrowed his eyes. "How to follow orders for one thing," he replied, voice hard. "Eat your breakfast."
Dean was going to have to learn, or Dean was going to die.
No way in hell was John going to let that happen. No fucking way.
John watched Dean shovel in all that food, frowning. Hunting seemed to give the kid an appetite. He was broader across the chest than when John had first seen him, a skinny smart-ass strolling into his classroom with no books and knowing far too much about things most kids thought were make believe.
Kid had come in handy on that hunt. If John was feeling generous he might even say that Dean had saved his ass.
John excused himself and went to the bathroom while Dean finished his orange juice.
The morning paper had revealed some interesting facts. There had been three apparent murders in three separate homes in Utah all in the same night. Three disappearances, and the discovery of three separate body parts behind doors locked from the inside. A liver, a kidney and a heart was all that was left behind to be buried after forensic evidence was taken. Three separate body parts buried in three separate coffins in lieu of a corpse.
People were strange.
John dried his hands and looked at his face in the mirror. He looked rough, and he knew it. He ran a large hand over his stubbled chin, fingered his scar. He needed to remember to smile more. Dean had told him it went a long way towards putting people at ease in the presence of a serial killer .
Hunter, John had corrected only to be answered by the boy's crooked grin.
What he needed right now was an old lady ghost. A nice, safe old lady ghost who was just hanging around looking for her cat and scaring the piss out of people with her mournful, "Here, Kitty, Kitty." He could let Dean practice his salt and burn.
He was going to gas up the truck, shackle Dean in the passenger seat, and go check out Utah like the boy wanted, but first he was going to take Dean to a doctor he knew. Have him checked out. Get him that tetanus shot.
John went back to the table. No Dean. No Dean's backpack. Sitting where Dean's breakfast plates had been, was John's newspaper. John looked at what Dean had underlined. Person of interest sought, a teenaged boy, tall, dark brown hair, fifteen-to-seventeen years of age. If anyone had any information....
"Miss!" John barked, his smile gone.
The waitress jumped, alarmed.
"Where's that boy I was with?"
She pointed out the window.
"Your son? I just saw him get into a truck." She gasped as his face darkened. "I thought it was yours!"
"Damn," John said. "That god damned kid."
Finding the access ramp to the interstate was easy. He'd been down this road before. Keeping his speed below 100 mph wasn't.
John looked for a red Peterbilt semi-trailer truck with a sleeper cab, Anderson Distribution in white letters on it's doors. He was only a few minutes behind.
"Fuck," John had yelled and pressed the accelerator to the floor.
The road west...three spankings in two days...