The truck rumbled to a stop outside of yet another Midwest motel. To Alec, they’d all started looking the same. Two weeks with John Winchester and he’d seen more of these places than he could count on one hand. Not the life of shameless luxury that he’d been hoping to start for himself, but he was dealing.
Actually, the truth was that he was having a blast.
That first night had been interesting, with John driving them far enough from Officer Asshole and his cronies that Alec didn’t worry that they’d be found. Only then had he stopped. They’d grabbed something quick to eat, gotten a motel room, and Alec had started telling him all about those things that he’d just as soon have never told another person about. But this guy? Well, he seemed like he had a sort of right
to know, almost.
“That story’s so out there that it must be true,” John had said finally, shaking his head and looking so goddamned thunderstruck that Alec almost felt bad for him. Almost. Alec generally did his best not to feel too sorry for anyone other than himself. You lived longer not pitying other people – at least then you didn’t try to do stupid things like risk your health and safety for theirs. “So somehow these guys got their hands on my son’s DNA.”
“I guess so,” Alec had responded back with a shrug. “Can’t think of any other way we’d look the same, have the same fingerprints. I’m better, of course. Enhanced.”
Near as they could tell without having access to the necessary equipment to do a full DNA workup, Alec had gotten the human portion of his genetics solely from John’s son. Where, why, how – all those questions couldn’t be answered because the people that would have had those answers wouldn’t give them up even if they were still alive to give them in the first place. Maybe Manticore had only been creative when it comes to enhancing genetics, stealing things like looks and general body form from wherever they could.
Could have been worse, he supposed; Manticore had obviously chosen pretty children.
John, surprisingly, had taken the news much better than Alec had thought he would – which wasn’t saying that he took it well at all. There’d been drinking involved. Two full bottles of cheap whiskey over the course of two days, during which he and Alec had traded stories back and forth.
At first, Alec had been pretty sure that John was just crazy when the stories of monsters and things in the darkness started spilling from his mouth. Would explain a lot – mental disorder could be linked to genetics and 493 certainly had been fucking nuts. Figures that Manticore wouldn’t have done a thorough job about checking out what DNA they were using when they played Frankenstein. Just whip together something that looked good – don’t check to make sure your creation isn’t going to have a complete and utter batshit meltdown years later.
Turned out that John wasn’t crazy, though. He’d taken him out on a job on day three of their get-to-know-each-other time. Handing him a gun, explaining as they wandered into the woods what they were going after, John had showed him just what the fuck lurked outside of both the realm of humanity and lab-created freaks. There were genuine monsters running around, imagine that.
Day five had been information gathering. Day six – another hunt. John hadn’t said anything about the two of them going their separate ways and Alec was having fun for the first time since he could remember. It was a match made in heaven, even when John would trip up and call him Dean before he remembered that he wasn’t with his real son. Alec didn’t really care. Wasn’t like he was looking for a dad anyway.
Alec suspected that he and John got along so well because he followed orders, something that John seemed to expect without question or thought. Since the orders made sense and meant that he had an actual fucking purpose
, Alec didn’t mind in the least.
They’d spent every day since then hunting or traveling. It was going well and Alec was trying to figure out a roundabout way of asking if this temporary
arrangement could be something of a more permanent
nature. This hunting stuff was fun. He was good at it, he liked it. He liked having someone watching his back and watching that person’s back in return.
It was almost like being in a unit again, having missions.
It was what he’d been missing.
And then John had announced yesterday afternoon that it was time for Alec to meet his double.
”Now,” John said, turning off the truck. “The boys are more shoot first and ask questions later –“
“Obviously your sons, then,” Alec drawled with a roll of his eyes, earning a chuckle from John. He smirked.
“Right. So – just hang back and let me do a little explaining, assure them that you’re not something to worry about.”
Alec snorted, feeling a little offended at that assessment. Only the fact that he was pretty sure that John hadn’t meant it that way kept him from proving just how much of a threat he was capable of being. “Thanks, I guess.”
The look John gave him was one of good-natured amusement. “You and my boy are more alike than just looks, sometimes.”
From what he’d heard about Dean, that wasn’t something that Alec could get too upset about.
There was a sweet ride parked one spot over from the truck. A cherry black ’67 Impala that looked like someone cared about it a whole lot. He took a few steps towards it before John’s laugh stopped him. He threw a questioning look over his shoulder, stopping a foot from the car to just admire the sleek perfection of it.
“What?” he asked.
“Nothing,” John said with another laugh. “Touch the car and Dean might kill you, though.”
“You serious? This is his car?” Alec’s fingers itched to reach out and run along the paint, caress the body of the car like a lover’s skin.
“Yes – and I wasn’t joking. Touch the car and Dean might – at the very least, take your hand off. That car’s his baby.”
Alec was liking his double more and more by the minute. He shoved his hands in his pockets, keeping them from wandering towards the car without his meaning them to. Touching a man’s car ranked right up there with touching a man’s piece to some guys. Last thing he wanted was to be pissing his double off before he even got a chance to meet the guy. Upsetting Dean might mean that John decided to ditch him and Alec, well, he wasn’t sure how much he’d like that at this point.
As in, he was pretty sure he wouldn’t like it at all.
Out of the corner of his eye, Alec saw John disappear into a motel room. He took a breath and began a slow count to one hundred, just like he’d told John he would. Enough time for them to quote-unquote, ‘warn them so they don’t try to shoot you’.
Apparently, John decided to give them the very abbreviated version of things, because Alec had just turned back to the car – not even halfway through his hundred-count – before that same door opened behind him. He tensed, unconsciously, preparing for whatever fight might crop up from this. The way John described his sons, they weren’t the most trusting people in the world.
He couldn’t say that he blamed them, though.
“You touch it, I kill you.”
It was a voice that Alec knew all too well. Hell, it was the same one that he heard every day of his life. He turned, hands still in his pockets, trying to look as unthreatening as possible. Inexplicably, there was some part of him that didn’t want this meeting to turn out badly.
The sight that greeted him was, well, shocking. He’d expected that Dean looked like him. Rather, that he
looked like Dean, that was. He’d seen a picture of the other man, heard John talk about him and how similar they were.
Alec hadn’t been prepared to see it in person. Judging by the look on Dean’s face, he hadn’t thought too hard about it before rushing out here, either.
They gave each other a wary once over. Dean looked older than him by about five years or so. He was slightly more bulky – not overweight, just muscle. He was wearing a t-shirt that stretched tight over his chest, accentuating well-defined muscles that Alec, even with all of his training, didn’t have. Then again, his strength came naturally. He’d never tried to bulk up, look more fit than what he already was. He was slim, compact, and completely lethal. He didn’t need added musculature.
Or maybe that was just his rationale to make himself feel better about the fact that his – what was
Dean to him exactly? – clone might just looked better than him.
Nah, Alec shrugs it off. He took a slow step forward, watching as someone else stepped out of the room to stand behind Dean. This would be the younger brother, Alec reminded himself. Sam. Not Sammy. Only Dean and John could call him Sammy and get away with it, according to John. Anyone else got grief for even trying.
Which meant that Alec fully planned on working that nickname into his repertoire if he had a chance to be around the brothers long enough to forge even a wary friendship. He was but an extension of Dean, after all – therefore, he was also sort of an older brother.
It was solid reasoning, so far as he was concerned; being a clone of the older brother automatically inferred having those same rights and privileges of said older brother.
Alec wasn’t so sure Sam would see it that way.
Sam, the one that was taking steps towards him, looking at him like he was some sort of science experiment. Which, okay, he technically was. Just not this kid’s experiment, which is the feeling Alec’s getting when Sam finally stops a few feet away with a look on his face that says he can’t quite wrap his mind around what he’s seeing.
”Dude,” Sam called out. “He looks just like you did a few years ago.”
Alec frowned. “He
is standing right here, you know.”
Sam blushed, ducking his head. Alec got the feeling that Sam hadn’t even realized just how rude he was being. The ‘aw shucks’ good ole boy routine he had going for him, though? It worked, Alec had to hand it to him. He’d forgiven Sam long before he even opened his mouth to say, “Yeah, sorry about that. This is weird, even for us.”
Ah, Dean was joining the conversation. Alec shifted his attention to his double, not backing down from the confusion-slash-irritation – slash-anger?
– that was showing in his eyes.
Alec didn’t even realize he was moving until he was standing right in front of Dean with not more than a foot of space between them. They had the same eyes, height, facial features. He had known all that and yet, seeing it up close like this, it was all so very fucking weird.
“Fuck,” he muttered with a shake of his head, taking a step backwards.
“Tell me about it,” Dean said, rolling his eyes. “Dad says you guys think that you’re made from my DNA or something. So if you’re not even, I guess you’re sort of like family or some shit.”
Alec nodded, not sure what else to say. All his witty comebacks and snappy bits of sarcasm had flown out the window sometime between when Dean had come out of the motel and when they had stepped up close to one another.
”But I’m older, right?”
He wasn’t sure where this was going, but Alec nodded and tossed out a ‘yeah’ anyway. Dean’s smile was a quick flash of teeth and then a short laugh.
”Great. Another younger brother.” Dean drawled, sharing a look with Sam that Alec couldn’t quite understand. It left him feeling like he was on the outside and he didn’t like it one bit. Then Dean was looking back at him. ”In fact, Dad says you’re about five years younger than me. Which means that not only are you the younger brother – but you’re the youngest
Sam’s lips curled into a smile. He was practically bouncing back and forth on the balls of his feet, looking entirely too much like a kid that had just gotten a new present. Alec frowned.
This couldn’t be good.
It wasn’t all that easy. In fact, both of John’s sons were suspicious and questioning to the point that Alec was about ready to tear out his hair by the time John finally decided to pack things up and get back on the road. Not to mention the way that Sam had been doing his best to take advantage of having a younger ‘sibling’ around.
Alec hung back, not sure if he was invited or not. This was all that he had said that he wanted from John after all, right there at the beginning when they’d first exchanged stories. He’d said he wanted to meet his look alike and, now, that had been accomplished.
John looked over at Alec, brow furrowing. “You gonna pack or just sit there?”
”I –“ Alec said, stopping. He shrugged and began shoving his things in his pack. Then he stopped again, drawing a look from John. “So – you don’t mind me hanging around?”
In retrospect, Alec would look back on that moment and wonder what the fuck had made him ask that question. When had he gotten to be so much of a chick that he felt the need to complicate things by asking questions that were just as well left unasked, yet answered just the same?
John sighed. “One of the most important rules about being a Winchester – we don’t do these big emotional speeches. But,” John held up a hand when Alec opened his mouth to blow the whole thing off with a sarcastic comment. “You are just as much mine and Mary’s son as the boys in the room next to us right now. And I’d no more feel right about letting you out there by yourself than I would letting those two.” He tilted his head at the wall that separated their room from Sam and Dean’s.
“Okay,” Alec said, ignoring that warm feeling in his chest right around where his heart was. He was raised in a lab, trained to be a soldier. The only family he had ever known was Manticore.
Scratch that, Alec amended, slinging his pack over his shoulder and following John out of the room to say goodbye to his ‘brothers’.
The only family he had known for most of his life
Now he had the Winchesters.
Out of the two, Alec was pretty sure that he was going to enjoy being a Winchester best of all.