: When It Changes Author
: Restive Nature Genre
: Crossover Type
: WiP Shows
: Dark Angel and Supernatural Disclaimer
: Neither show represented in this fiction belongs to me. Dark Ange lis the product of Cameron/Eglee and Fox, whereas Supernatural is the product of Kripke and The CW. No profits are made from this fiction and it is intended for private enjoyment only. Story Rating
: PG-13 up to NC-17 for language, violence and sexual situations. (All higher rated material will be contained in its own chapter and clearly marked at the beginning of the chapter. PG versions of these chapters will also be available.) Chapter Rating
: PG-13 for language. Timeline/ Spoilers
: This story takes place predominantly in the Supernatural timeline. This means that the Dark Angel structure of post-pulse America does not fit in. The massive changes will be that Manticore is decades ahead of itself and the characters from DA are born much earlier than portrayed on the show. There is no Pulse occurring. Any other changes to the structures or episodes of the shows will be (hopefully) explained within the story itself. Pairing
: None at this time. (The pairing will become evident as the story progresses, but much further down the road.) Summary
: Change can be a choice and you never know where the road you choose to take will lead you. When It Changes Chapter Two Implications Unsaid
John stood in the tiny bathroom, staring at the kid they’d picked up. He could hear Dean and Sam moving quietly about the outer room, preparing it before they went to sleep. Of course, their preparations went farther than changing into pajamas, brushing their teeth and saying their prayers. Although prayers sometimes weighed heavily in their nightly rituals before bed. And not the lay me down type either.
Max sat expectantly on the edge of the toilet seat. The jacket he wore was slipping down one arm. Another item of clothing too big for his thin frame. Max tugged the sleeve back from his wrist and John could see how truly thin the young man was. Trying not to appear threatening, he crouched on the cold tile floor, one knee almost touching said floor, while his elbow rested on his upper knee. He knew though that there was no way he could ease answers out of the child, so he decided on the direct approach.
“Max,” he began and waited until he looked John straight in the eyes. “Where are your parents?”
“I don’t have any,” Max replied promptly and without rancor. John decided it must be the truth almost by the ease with which Max was able to say it.
“What about foster parents?” was the next inquiry. That hit the mark as Max quickly looked away. And as he did, John saw once again the very thing that had compelled him to take Max under their collective wings. A faded bruise mark on Max’s left temple. “Is that where you got that bruise from?” he demanded brusquely. There were few things that John absolutely despised and child abuse was right up there after the demon that had killed his wife. Max still didn’t answer and now wouldn’t look at John. There were few options but John wanted this child to trust him. “I suppose you don’t have to tell me,” he conceded. “Though you’d probably feel better if you did. And you should know, with one hundred percent certainty, that I won’t turn you in to the cops or the hospital or foster care, unless you want to go.”
He was absolutely firm and resolute on this point. He’d been on the bad end of the Department of Children and Families so called Child Protection Services enough times to know how half the time they were barking up the wrong tree. Granted, they had a great ideal, to save children that were truly abused or neglected. John couldn’t ignore that that sort of thing went on. But when he, a person that had never hurt the boys and rarely even spoke to them with his voice raised angrily, was constantly dogged by the CPS, he tended to lose his belief in the system.
“Really?” Max voice’s was hopeful, but heavily tinged with doubt. John stayed calm and nodded. He reached forward to grasp Max’s chin so that he could get a good look at the fading bruise. And to see if any new bruises had formed from the accident, but Max flinched away.
“Look, son…” John smiled at the kid, trying once again to ease Max’s fears, but the kid folded his arms across his chest and John could swear he was pouting.
“I’m not a boy!” Max stated almost defiantly and the smile faded from John’s face as he took in that startling bit of news.
“You’re not?” he questioned faintly. Max nodded, though he- no she! Kept her arms crossed even more tightly. Suddenly every nuance of Max’s behavior fell into more brilliant focus. “I’m sorry,” he apologized softly. “We just assumed…”
“That’s okay,” Max shrugged one shoulder. “It’s happened before.”
And John was sure that it had. But now he had some harder questions to ask. “Max, I know you’ve been hurt somehow. That bruise on your temple tells me so. Did someone hit you?” He asked the question as gently as he could. Max eyed him, assessing the older man, and then nodded. The next part was more difficult for John to get out. “And has anyone ever… touched you?”
Again Max glanced away and John could see an immediate tinge of blush about her pale cheeks. She knew exactly what he was talking about without him having to spell it out. In his gut he was certain about that. “Max?”
Still not looking at him, but at the uninteresting pattern of the tile on the floor, she whispered, “no.”
John wanted to slide closer and make sure she wasn’t going to break apart on him, but he knew she was still too spooked to allow it. “What happened?” he whispered, trying to remove all gruffness from his voice. “It’s okay, you can tell me.”
“You won’t send me back?” she demanded once again.
“I swear to God,” John promised fervently.
“I was staying with this family,” she began slowly. “There was Lucy, my sister. Her mom and Dad. It was okay for a while. I tried to help around the house and be a good kid. But I guess her dad didn’t want any more kids. He yelled a lot.”
“And did he hit you?”
“Sometimes,” she admitted, with her head hung low.
“Do you know why?” John wondered aloud. Again she shrugged one shoulder.
“Usually ‘cause I talked back to him,” Max told him. John could feel the anger rise in him. He tried to tamp down the feeling of rage at some idiot who would hit a child for so minor an infraction.
“How long did this go on?”
“A few months.”
“So what made you run way?”
Here Max was even more hesitant to speak.
“There was a black out,” she spoke softly and John had to strain to catch the words. “Lucy and I were in my room, playing a game. Her mom was at work, but her dad was home, watching a game on TV. When the lights went off, I figured that he must have forgotten to pay the power bill.”
“Did he get mad?” John asked. Max nodded.
“He started yelling for me to get my butt out there and get him another beer,” she informed him.
“Did you go?” he asked carefully, but Max was already shaking her head no.
“Lucy told me not to,” she went on. “He’d already had five beers since lunch. She told me to hide and stay out of his way.” There was a small pause and her voice was tiny. “Just like she always did.”
“And then what happened?”
“I hid,” she blurted it out bluntly. John waited but she wasn’t forthcoming.
“And what made you run?” he demanded gently.
“I thought Lucy would get him another beer,” Max admitted, unable to met John’s gaze. “But he just yelled at her and told her to find me. That he was getting tired of her and it was time I started earning my keep.”
Nausea rolled in John’s throat as he realized exactly what the sick bastard meant and how much Max knew of the truth too, he cold see it in her face. He forced himself to calmness. Losing it now would just scare the crap out of Max and make it impossible for her to trust him and maybe trust any of the male gender. “What happened then?”
“I heard Lucy say that she’d get him another beer. And then something hit the wall. I think it was Lucy.” Here was where the tears started, rolling down her cheeks, to drip onto the faded denim of her jeans.
“And that’s when I ran,” she admitted, sobbing brokenly. “I left my sister behind and I ran. I saved myself.” Her shoulders were hunched in now and she drew her feet up to the edges of the toilet and wrapped her arms around her knees. She buried her face in her arms and continued to cry. John had no idea what to do next, aside from the primitive urge to go and pummel the living hell out of the man that had done this to two little girls. He reached out and lightly grasped one of Max’s hands, surprised that she allowed it.
“It’s not your fault Max,” he spoke, his voice rasping heavily from the anger and the sudden wave of tenderness he didn’t know that he was capable of. “You did the best you could and Lucy was trying to protect you. That was an incredibly brave thing she did. I think she should have run too, but people aren’t always the smartest creatures in the world.” Privately, he thought that they would have been better off running and telling the authorities, but who was he to judge? They could have ended up in a situation much worse, although it was hard to see how. As it was, there was at least one little girl to save and even if he didn’t really admit it, that was the sort of thing he and his sons did, though not quite on this scale.
“But what if he…?” Max demanded quietly, her tears suddenly slowed. John could see the glint of righteous anger in her face.
“I don’t know,” he replied honestly. What if Lucy’s father had what? Raped her? Killed her? He just didn’t have answers. “I can call someone and have them check it out.” But Max was already shaking her head against that suggestion. “What?”
“It wouldn’t matter,” she informed him. “He was friends with the sheriff. They always laughed together when somebody called and complained about him.”
John fought the urge to swear. Small town politics and camaraderie he knew was a bitch to break through. “Okay, that may be true,” he allowed. “But there are other people I can call that would help Lucy.” But Max was still shaking her head.
“He said that if we ever told anyone, he’d kill us,” she told him. “And he’d kill Lucy’s mom.”
John realized that the tyrant had come up with a powerful deterrent, just as all abusers did. He wondered if the mother had any idea what this monster she married had been doing to the children. Possibly she was aware of some physical abuse, maybe endured some herself. But he wasn’t so sure about the sexual abuse side of the matter.
“Okay,” he conceded regretfully. “I’ll let it drop, for now. But if you ever want to tell me, you can. I promise, I swear that you will not have to go back there.”
Max stared up at him, her eyes wide and still shining from the unshed tears glimmering in the corners of her eyes. John kept his face calm and passive, desperately hoping that she could believe in him, since there was nothing else to offer as yet. “Okay,” she finally, quietly gave in. John stood, his left knee creaking a little in protest. Kneeling on a cold hard floor wasn’t the greatest thing for him, but he’d endured much worse over the past decade and more.
“Okay,” he sighed. “I’m going to go call the friend of a friend,” he told her and Max’s face changed instantly from acceptance to panic, but John gamely went on. “She’s an emergency medical technician. I just want her advice about taking you to the hospital because of the car accident.”
“But you said-!“ Max protested.
John waved one finger at her. “I said I’d let the other matter drop. That doesn’t mean I’m going to let you drop dead because you have an unidentified injury in your brain or elsewhere, is that understood?” The change of his tone, to what he knew Sammy always privately called hard-core Marine man, brought a startling change to the young girl before him. Instantly she straightened her body out, feet on the floor, hands flat on her thighs, her spine stiff and her eyes staring straight ahead.
“Yes sir!” she rapped out, not moving. John’s brow furrowed in consternation and he realized that this must have been the expected behavior that had been beaten into her in some method over the past few months of living with that monster. He deliberately softened his tone.” Max, she’s just going to have a look at you and tell me if you need to go to the hospital. This is extremely serious. I need to know that y0ou’ll do as she suggests. This is your health we’re talking about.”
“Yes sir,” she repeated, softer and less harshly this time. John nodded.
“Okay, I’ll go call her and let you know when she gets here,” he decided. He wanted to reach out and brush the hair out of her eyes, like he did so often to Sammy. He wanted to see her body relax and become that of a little girl’s again, but he knew he’d already pushed too far. Instead, he left her sitting on the toilet, never realizing that little Max was already contemplating how to escape from the small captivity through unconventional means.
John returned to the main room, pleased to see that Dean and Sam had been appropriately busy during their conversation. The salt lines were in place, the wards up and some little protection scapulas were ready to be donned, should they be needed this night.
“How is he?” Sammy piped up when both boys had turned to their father. John smiled inwardly, anticipating the reaction he was sure to get. He waited a pause as Dean continued to put supplies away in his bag.
“Well,” he smirked. “It turns out that our he, is actually a she.” Somehow though, he was doomed to disappointment.
“Oh,” was Sammy’s only reply and he turned back to finding a book he wanted to read.
Dean just zipped up his bag. “Easy mistake to make,” he conceded. “What with the clothes, the hair and the name.” He settled the bag alongside the edge of the bed, ready to be grabbed if needed. “Is she okay then?”
John glanced back at the now closed bathroom door. “Not really. Physically I think so, but I’m going to call Janie Miller.” Neither boy recalled that name and looked questioningly at their dad. “Her husband’s a hunter and she’s an EMT.” Dean nodded with understanding. With nothing else to say, John moved to the phone to make his call.