Disclaimer: I have a crazy sister and a minivan with almost 100,000 miles. No hot boys. No Impala.
Summary: Victor wants to know.
Author’s Notes: *hugs Keri* I have my Beta back. Thank God, because seriously, I pined while she was away. And possibly posted a couple of things with way too many commas.
Not Long Enough
"Mind if I ask you something?"
Dean's eyes flick up from the weapon he’s inspecting, quickly scanning Victor before Winchester returns to his task, and shrugs his good shoulder. "You can ask."
"What Sam said earlier. About the tattoos. Is that what happened in St. Louis?"
Dean shakes his head with a small smirk and snaps the shotgun closed. "Shapeshifter."
"Shape--" Victor stops, can’t help the fact that his is mouth hanging open, and takes a closer look at Winchester. "You yanking my chain?"
"Nope." Dean eases back on the couch, wincing slightly when his injured shoulder makes contact. "Milwaukee, too. That's why there was a body left for the cops to bury."
"A body, right." Victor shakes his head. "Green River?"
"Nasty ghost. Didn't like prisoners, so she was giving them heart attacks."
"Glockner? The nurse whose body you dug up and burned?"
"Yep. That was her. Mean bitch." Dean's hand drifts unconsciously to his chest and rubs the skin over his heart. "Baltimore was a Death Omen."
"Death Omen." Victor shakes his head again. “Death. Omen.”
"Yep." Dean flashes him a quick, cocky grin. “Don’t think that cop was too thrilled to see his ex come back for a visit.”
They work in silence for several more minutes before Victor looks up to watch Winchester again. His hands are quick and sure, moving over the weapons with an ease and familiarity that even Victor doesn't possess, as if he could literally do this as easily blindfolded.
How many hours, how many years, Victor wonders, does it take to reach that level of expertise, and what possible kind of childhood could either of these men have had?
Dean looks up then, another small smirk on his face as he reaches for the next gun, and Victor clears his throat, embarrassed at being caught. "So, about the tattoos?"
"Not my story to tell," is all he replies, an edge of hardness in his voice. "You'd have to ask Sam about that."
He inclines his head toward the door and Victor's startled to see Sam standing there. He hadn't heard a noise and isn't quite sure how Dean, whose back is to the door, knew his brother was there. "You get the recording done?"
"Yeah." Sam staring at the back of Dean’s injured shoulder, his fingers hovering, like he wants to touch but knows his concern would be unwelcome.
“Nancy and Deputy Dawg?”
“On the roof.”
“What about the equipment?” Dean continues inspecting his weapon, hands steady, attention purposely focused away from his brother.
“Almost done.” Sam’s hand drops back down to his side. “How’s the shoulder?”
“I’m fine, Sam. We have more important things to worry about than that.”
For a moment, Sam looks like he wants to argue the point, but turns to focus on Victor instead.
"Sam." Victor nods and can’t help frowning, tries to take what he knows about Sam Winchester and fit it with this frightening new vision of the world. This isn't the young man in all those glowing school reports, not even the man he met at Green River. This Sam Winchester is harder, emotionally distant, except for the worried glances he can't seem to stop throwing in his brother’s direction. There's an intensity around him that defies description and leaves Victor with an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of his stomach. Victor’s been an FBI Agent for fifteen years and he’s pretty sure he wouldn’t want to run up against Sam Winchester in a dark alley.
"Ask me what?" Even with all his attention seemingly focused on Victor, he can still see the way Sam's fingers keep stretching toward Dean's shoulder before pulling back.
"Victor was wondering about the tattoos." Dean finally puts down the last shotgun and turns to look at his brother. "Wanted to know why you thought we hadn’t had them long enough."
Something like guilt flashes across Sam's face, draining it of color, and he looks down at his brother's injured shoulder, hands now clenched at his sides. "I was possessed last year."
"By a girl," Dean snickers.
The look Sam shoots him then is half-fondness and half-exasperation and Victor can once again see that need in Sam to just reach out and touch his brother, as if to reassure himself Dean is still there.
"I shot my brother."
Dean opens his mouth, even Victor can see the rebuttal on his tongue, but Sam just turns and leaves before either of them can speak.
"He shot you?"
Dean shakes his head and looks pissed. "No. Meg shot me."
"Meg," he replies firmly. "Not her real name, but it's what she was calling herself when Sam first met her." Dean's hands falter. "Meg Masters. That was the name of the girl she was possessing. She died once we'd exorcised the demon."
"Exorcised." Jesus, this is all so damn strange. It's like sitting on his granny's porch on a hot summer's night listening to her talk about sin and redemption. Captivated, frightened, despite the fact he hadn’t believed a word of it.
"Yeah, she wasn't too happy about that. Took it a little personal." Dean smiles again for a moment. "I don't think she likes me much."
"If you… exorcised her, then how?" Victor gestures out the open doorway.
"She climbed back out of hell and first thing she did was coming looking for Sam and me." Dean sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose. "First, she just took him, disappeared for a week and just about…” Dean’s usual self-assurance seems to disappear and for a moment he just looks tired and way too young. “Jesus, I didn't know if he was alive or dead. When he finally turned up, he—she tried to convince me that he was out of control. Tried to get me to kill him."
"Which you didn't." Even Victor could have told the demon the answer to that one. Whatever he'd thought of the Winchesters before this, whatever mistakes he'd made interpreting their file, he hadn't mistaken the devotion these brothers felt for each other.
"No. Never. Once she knew I was on to her, she shot me and went after a friend of ours." Dean stands and starts gathering the weapons.
"What happened after that?" Victor asks, knowing the answer isn't important, especially in light of the current crisis, but still wanting to know.
A large grin breaks across Dean's face, the kind that's been charming witnesses into silence for years, the one Victor's been hating since the first photograph of Dean Winchester landed on his desk. "We sent the bitch back to hell."
Victor closes his eyes, tries to repress a smirk of his own, and wonders just who he pissed off so badly that they directed the Winchester file into his in-basket.
Instead of chatting about tattoos and pissy demons, maybe he should be asking Winchester if he knows anyone with a time machine he can borrow. He’s not so sure he’d be surprised if the answer was yes. Hell, he’s half-hoping it is.