III. Third Wheel
Rory Gilmore happened upon a rundown bar while enjoying a cross-country summer trip to clear her mind about everything that’s happened to her. She wasn’t counting on running into someone who reminded her of her ex-boyfriend and first love, Dean Forrester, nor did she expect to find herself attracted to Dean’s look-alike’s older brother whose name happens to be…you guessed it, DEAN. Disclaimer:
See Chapter One for the Usual Formalities PhoenixRae's Notes:
Hope you're enjoying this fic as much as I am enjoying thinking up possible ways to get Rory and Dean to end up together. -LoL- I have a nagging plot twist idea at the back of my head, but it needs to be carefully drawn out so it won't appear rushed. Spoilers:
May contain certain infos of instances that happened up to and including current season episodes of either shows.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = III. Third Wheel
'SUP ELLEN?" DEAN parked himself on the round bar stool at the counter. He arrived at the Roadhouse with Sam and Rory -- she left her car at the motel and caught a ride to the bar with them.
Ash saw them as soon as they walked in and made a beeline towards them. He corralled Sam to a rematch; Rory tagged along to watch, leaving Dean to go up to the counter by himself.
"Where's your partner in crime?" asked Ellen as she placed his usual bottle of beer in front of him.
Dean snatched the ice cold beverage set in front of him on the counter. With an uninterested toss of his head over his shoulder, Dean pointed Sam's whereabouts accompanied by the brunette Ellen was talking to for a bit last night.
Ellen followed the direction he pointed at and made a face. It wasn't a bad, disagreeing face at seeing who Sam was with. It was more a face of a mother impressed at seeing one of her offspring's girlfriends brought over to the house for a face-to-face meeting with the parents.
"You boys picked up the sweet and innocent lonely traveler from last night?" Ellen cocked an eyebrow as she looked back at Dean who has now downed at least half of his beer.
Dean snorted. "No. Just ran into her. She bought us dinner when you called."
"And now she's here with Sam?"
"We didn't want to be rude not to ask her if she wanted to check out the Roadhouse, ya know?" He took another swig and forgot about Sam and Rory. "So, got a job for us?" * * *
RORY ENDED UP winning against Ash after Sam left the two of them to play. He excused himself and joined Dean at the bar talking to Ellen the bartender. Every now and then Sam would walk up to her and Ash to check on how things were going and also to ask her if she wanted something to drink.
"So Ash, how long have you known the brothers?" She asked while walking around the pool table, studying the position of the while ball and which of her solid coloured balls she ought to hit and sink in to one of the pockets.
"I only knew the boys fairly recently," answered the blond hustler-wannabe. He stood on the corner leaning on his cue stick and watching Rory make her move. "I knew their father."
"Really? So they are regulars here then?" She found her shot and positioned herself to make the shot.
"Regular passersby is more like it."
Rory hit the ball and watched it roll down the felt top, hitting the striped balls in its path and went charging towards the solid coloured ball, sending it to roll straight down the left corner pocket.
"Nice shot," Ash applauded and walked up to the table. "Are you sure you're not hustling me here like those Winchesters?" he cocked his head to the direction of the brothers seated at the bar.
Rory followed the direction Ash pointed at. She curled her nose as she watched the two brothers seated at the round bar stools presenting her with their profile view. She was still reeling from shock at the resemblance between Sam and her ex, but after spending an entire afternoon talking to him and his brother, Rory noticed slight differences between Sam Winchester and Dean Forrester. For one thing Sam talks with a southern drawl, after all he grew up in Kansas why as for Dean he was a native of Chicago.
Now Dean Winchester, on the other hand, was a bag full of contradictions. He was charming and a flirt, but he could be abrupt and impatient too. Nevertheless she was drawn to him. In fact she was more drawn towards Dean than to Sam considering the latter held a striking resemblance to someone from her past who meant the world to her.
Ash watched the petite brunette watch the pair of dark haired brothers talking to Ellen at the bar.
"If you don't mind me askin', and you can always tell me to shove my pair of dirty sock in my cakehole if it ain't my business, but what are you doing with those two?"
Rory tore her gaze from the bar and turned to the person standing across the pool table from her.
"Why? Is there a problem with me hanging out with them?" she frowned. If there was a girlfriend stashed away somewhere that would freak out if she sees her hanging out with the brothers, she'd be more than glad to stay the hell away from them.
"No. No, no, no. It's not that," Ash raised his hands as if he was surrendering. He was quick to reassure her that he meant no disrespect for asking her that particular question. "Those boys' jobs are...well, having a nice gal like you from back east -- I am assuming from your accent -- who looked like she doesn't know a thing or two about getting her hands dirty is like having a sore thumb sticking out."
"Oh," Rory wasn't expecting that. Now she was more intrigued in finding out exactly what the brothers do for a living. They weren't really too keen on sharing with her personal information about themselves as she was with them. * * *
WHAT ARE WE looking at here, Ellen?" asked Sam as he read the newspaper clipping inside the manila folder Ellen handed them.
Ellen walked up to where the brothers sat huddled together reading over the file contained inside the folder. She tossed the dirty rag she used to wipe down the counter into one of the many bins she kept under the bar counter for dirty rags.
"Reports of unexplained deaths, usually involving three people -- a male and two females -- who each are involved with one another. It's in Duluth, right around where Jo's currently holed up," she said although she didn't need to add the last part considering she knew the brothers were aware where Jo was at.
Dean cocked an eyebrow and passed Sam a look watching his brother's reaction. Ever since Meg used Sam's body and that somewhat embarrassing
encounter he had with Jo a few weeks back, Sam hadn't been able to look hot young blond in the eye let alone call her. When Sam showed no sign of reacting to that piece of information about Jo, Dean tore his gaze from him and looked at Ellen.
"Like a love triangle?"
"Yeah. There are at least three reports indicating that it's a murder-suicide, but the people involved weren't known to be lovers, at least, not openly and even their close friends who were interviewed mentioned that the threesome that turned up dead are just good friends," she explained, reiterating what was contained in the file folder.
"Any idea what kind of entity we're dealing with?" Sam asked without lifting his head up from the page he was reading.
"Jo called me and filled me up on the situation over there. She has a hunch it's some spirit."
"Where are these deaths happening?"
"There's a local well known lovers lane area. It started about six months ago. The death reported back then was only the first three, but in the course of the last couple of months the death toll just rises."
"Jeez, don't these people know when a place is haunted?" scoffed Dean.
Ellen and Sam made a face at him.
Ellen didn't bother answering him. There was a customer that walked up to the bar and ordered a couple of drinks that she tended to. Sam merely shook his head at his brother before reading more on the reports.
"Hi," came Rory's breathless greeting as she appeared between them. "What's up?"
"Nothing. Just enjoying our beers," was Dean's flippant reply and chugged down the last of his second bottle of beer's contents.
Rory cocked an eyebrow and turned to Sam. She noticed the clippings in the folder he was looking at and that irked her curiosity.
"What's this?" She didn't wait to be allowed to look at the newspaper clippings and took the folder from Sam.
" Sam protested and made a grab for the folder, but Rory slapped his hand away as she read the article.
Sam looked at his brother helplessly, hoping Dean would do something.
"Gimme that," Dean grabbed the folder from Rory and closed it, placing it on the counter in front of him and leaned his elbow on it.
"But I was reading that," Rory insisted.
"And Sammy was reading it too," Dean tilted his beer bottle at Sam then looked back at her, "Besides, it's just some news crap. Nothing interesting," he shrugged.
Rory cocked an eyebrow. Crossing her arms across her chest she stood back and put majority of her weight on one foot. "Based on what I read so far, that
looked like one interesting story. I sure would like to learn more."
would you want to?"
"Because inquiring minds wants to know," was her glib reply.
Dean pursed his lips the same time his forehead creased to a frown. "Now why
would your mind be inquiring about this," he jabbed his middle and forefinger on the folder he was resting his elbow on.
"Just because," she insisted.
Dean cocked his brow. He chugged down the contents of his beer bottle still holding the stubborn brunette's gaze.
"It's just some silly story. Death and mayhem happening elsewhere," he tried to be as nonchalant as he possibly could, but Rory wasn't buying it.
"So? I don't see any reason why I can't read about it. Besides, what if I'm
headed that way, huh? At least I know what's happening and just avoid the area," she reasoned.
Dean opened his mouth to argue, but he found that he was too lost for words at her reasoning. He looked at Sam for help, but his kid brother was grinning from ear to ear. He was looking at Rory as if she was some big time genius who just outwitted him -- and she did
do just that. Damn this woman!
"It's a long way from wherever it is you're going," was all he said before signaling for Ellen to give him another bottle.
"Right," Rory uncrossed her arms and walked up to stand at least an arm's length away from him. "Try again, Dean."