Dance with the DevilRating:
John, Dean, Sam, AngelusSummary:
Buffy and friends weren't the only one that Angelus had some fun with. Angelus made a couple trips to Los Angeles as well.Timeline:
Pre-series for SPN, season 2 for Buffy. Dean's 19 and Sam's 15 in this.Team:
I don't own anything associated with Buffy the Vampire Slayer
, except the DVDs. And okay, a couple action figures. But other than that, they belong to Joss Whedon and Eric Kripke. And yes, I blatantly stole the title from the song by Breaking Benjamin.
John had heard about the vampire with a soul, Angel. Hell, any hunter that knew about vampires had heard about him. All you had to do was know the right people and ask the right questions and you’d know the story.
And it was a hell of a story.
Killed his own family, starting with his little sister, and went on to become one of the most vicious vampires over the years. Until he’d made the mistake of killing the wrong girl.
One gypsy curse later and Angelus could no longer keep up with the rest of the Scourge of Europe. Instead he took to the streets, feeding off rats and living like a homeless man.
Of course, it was a girl that changed it all again. The Slayer, which he’d once thought was nothing more than a pretty fairy tale so that hunters could feel just a bit safer, a bit better. When he’d first started hunting, he’d thought the Slayer was just a hunter’s way of consoling themselves because they knew that there was someone out there stronger than them. Someone out there who fought on a nightly basis and managed to survive and even if they didn’t, there was a new one to come and take the last’s place.
Yeah, he’d thought she was nothing more than a myth until he’d met her when Dean was eight and Sam was four. He’d been digging up a grave so that he could salt and burn the bones and she’d thought he was digging it up to use the body parts for some kind of ritual. In the end, she’d kept a couple of vampires off his back and helped him dig and then grinned as she watched the fire.
He remembered that when he first heard about the story about a vampire with a soul and didn’t dismiss it the way others did.
It hadn’t taken long to verify the story. A few hours drive and he was in Sunnydale, California watching the young blonde girl throw a couple of guys built like linebackers as if they weighed no more than a stuffed animal as the vampire behind her fought off a few of his kind. That had been a few months ago and now he was hearing a completely different story.
The vampire with a soul didn’t have a soul any longer.
He frowned as he glanced over into the other room where Dean was happily annoying the shit out of Sammy by interrupting his reading every chance he got.
John listened as the argument started and couldn’t stop the small smile that came across his face as he heard the familiar sounds of his boys wrestling.~*~*~
“Did you think I wouldn’t find you?”
John frowned and turned, hand going for his gun as he sucked in a breath at the sight of Angelus standing a few feet away from him. The soft laughter and cold smile stopped him.
“You’d be dead before you had a chance to pull the trigger, Johnny.” Angelus smirked and took a few steps toward him. “Let me guess, the reason you were in Sunnydale a few months ago was to see if the rumors were true? About Angel and his precious soul?” He didn’t pause long enough for John to answer. “What I’m curious about is why you haven’t been to Sunnydale recently?”
John shifted, keeping his hand near his gun. “What are you doing here?” He didn’t ask how the vampire had found him but he wondered.
“Didn’t I just tell you why? I want to know why you haven’t gone to Sunnydale. Why haven’t you gone to the Slayer and offered your help? You’re a decent hunter, after all. At least, that’s what I hear.” The smirk slid easily into a smile. “Let me guess. You don’t want to drag your boys to the Hellmouth.”
He stiffened, fingers clenching over his weapon as he pulled it out and mentally swearing when the bastard just continued to smile.
“Oh yeah, I know all about them. See, when you first came to Sunnydale, you didn’t stand far enough away and Angel caught your scent. He followed you back to your truck and then followed you here and you didn’t even know. He saw where you live, saw your sons, saw you hunt. And then once he saw you were one of the white hats, he went back to Sunnydale.”
Concentrating on keeping his breathing even, John just continued to stare silently.
He wasn’t giving this asshole the satisfaction of asking questions. If he asked, he wouldn’t get the answers he wanted.
“Deciding to be mute tonight, is that it?” There was a flash of silver as he slid the knife out from an inner pocket of his jacket and began to play with it, casually twirling it between his fingers. “I guess you figure that’ll annoy me or something but I got to say, you’re wrong.” He slid the knife back into his pocket. “I just came to say hello, anyway. I’ve got something to occupy me in Sunnydale.” His teeth flashed as his smile widened. “I’ll be seeing you, Johnny. And those boys of yours, too.” He backed into the shadows and his final words had John pulling the trigger. “Maybe I’ll see how loud I can make them scream.”
The only sound after that was the echo of the gunshot and Angelus’ laughter.~*~*~
Weeks passed and John hadn’t seen Angelus again. Even so, he didn’t believe for one second that the vampire wasn’t out there on some days, just watching. Trying to see if they had a routine that he could use to his advantage.
He’d ordered the boys not to go out after dark, knowing that while he trained them every day and knowing that they were damn good, they weren’t at a level where they could take on Angelus. Sam had scowled and muttered something about hating to take orders while Dean elbowed him and nodded at John with nothing more than a quiet, “Yes sir.”
John held back a sigh and settled for shaking his head as he looked down at his journal. Sam was going through a phase where he almost automatically rebelled against any order given. He’d probably get over it eventually but until then it was a pain in the ass. Dean, on the other hand, had looked like he wanted to protest but had recognized both the look on his father’s face and the tone of his voice when he’d told them to stay indoors.
He looked over to where they both sat, Sam lost in a textbook, papers spread out in front of him while Dean sat watching TV, his leg bouncing up and down. Judging by the look on his face, he was thinking of something completely different than what was on the screen.
Almost immediately Dean snapped to attention, pushing himself out of the chair and coming to lean against the wall closest to the table. “Yeah, Dad?”
John nodded towards the chair. “Sit down.” He waited until Dean had settled into the chair next to him. “What’s on your mind, son?”
For a moment, it looked as if Dean might not answer. Then he shook his head. “It’s just a feeling, that’s all. Been bugging me.” John raised an eyebrow, his way of telling Dean to continue. “It’s probably nothing.” Even as he said it, John could see that Dean wasn’t too sure. His boys had learned a long time ago that what other people brushed aside as nothing could always turn out to be real. “I’ve just been getting this feeling that someone’s watching me.”
John’s stomach clenched. “When?”
“During the day.” He frowned. “I didn’t find anyone or anything around though.”
Deliberately, John kept any concern from showing on his face and nodded. “You’re probably right then. It’s probably nothing.” He smiled. “Maybe Sam just knocked your head too hard the last time you two were wrestling.”
Dean snorted and John silently congratulated himself on distracting Dean. “Please, Dad.” Dean raised his voice just a bit so that Sam could hear him. “Sam couldn’t beat me if he worked out three hours every day for the next four years.” He turned and smirked at his little brother when Sam looked up and scowled.
Minutes later, the sound of Dean and Sam fighting and laughing filled the apartment and John smiled.
But he continued to wonder if Angelus had found a way to watch his son during the day.~*~*~
The envelope showed up in the mail only days later on his day off. John stared at the way his name was written and looked up when Sam shifted.
“Dad?” It was all he said but there was a world of questions in that one.
“Don’t worry about it, Sam.” His mouth lifted in a half smile. It’s just about a job.”
Sam bit his lip and John got the impression that he was debating with himself about something. Finally, Sam spoke. “Are you leaving?”
He shook his head. “No. It’s local.”
Something like relief flickered over his face and then he nodded. “Okay.” He picked up his bag. “I’m going to the library for a bit.”
He fought down the flash of panic and reminded himself that he couldn’t lock up his boys, no matter how much he may want to.
All he could do was make sure they could defend themselves.
Sam looked up from where he’d been rifling through his bag. “Got a paper due next week so I was going to do some research.” Though he knew he didn’t really need to because his dad already knew, he added, “I’ll be back before dark.”
John nodded. “Make sure you take something.” Just in case.
Sam’s grin was fast. “I’ve got my knife,” he said, nodding. John knew that the knife Dean had given Sam would probably be at the small of his back, within easy reach and if he knew Sam at all, he probably had at least one extra on him somewhere. Most likely strapped to his ankle.
“Dean’s working today, right?”
Something clicked and John smiled. “Yeah.” Which meant that on his way back from the library, Sam was going to stop and bug Dean until he got off. John considered them lucky that Dean’s boss at the garage like both Dean and Sam enough that he didn’t mind.
“Okay. See you later, Dad.”
Any amusement that John had felt while talking to Sam vanished as he turned back to the envelope. There was no doubt in his mind about who it was from.
He studied it for a moment longer and then ripped it open and tipped it over so that the contents slid into his hand. And had to fight the urge to bolt after Sam and drag him back in before doing the same to Dean.
Photos. A stack of photos, mostly focusing on Dean. Oh, Sam was in a few but John knew that the only reason he was in them was because he’d been with his brother at the time. Dean at work, Dean entering and leaving the apartment building, Dean driving, Dean at lunch, Dean flirting with some leggy brunette. There was Dean walking with Sam, Dean cleaning the guns in the kitchen, Dean twirling his keys on his finger, Dean laughing while Sam made a face at him.
He took a deep breath and shoved the stack back into the envelope. He knew that he wouldn’t let either of the boys see them, just like he hadn’t told them what was going on with Angelus in the first place. The pictures would be hidden away and then John was going to do the only thing he could think of.
It was time to step up the boys’ training.~*~*~
The next package only took a couple of weeks to arrive. He stared down at the envelope and wondered what he’d find when he opened it.
Only one way to find out.
Glancing to be sure the boys were still in the kitchen, John made his way into his room, tearing open the envelope as he sat on the bed.
It wasn’t photos that slid out into his hands but a small stack of sketch paper. He looked towards the door again and then down at the paper and froze.
It’s not hard to remember what day this was. Despite the fact that it’s a sketch, he recognizes the jacket and shirt that Sam’s wearing and he realizes that the day he got the pictures of Dean, Angelus had managed to find a way into the library, to not only watch Sam but draw him.
The Sam in the picture is sitting at a table, books surrounding him as he bends over a notebook. His hair is falling over his forehead and he’s biting his lip. It’s a look that John has seen hundreds of times while Sam does homework or helps with research on a job.
The next picture is Sam at school, sitting in the cafeteria, grinning at something the boy next to him is saying. Another of him sitting in class.
There’s a few more of Sam in various other places, like the diner down the street where he knew the boys sometimes met for lunch—when Dean could convince Sam to skip school to match his lunch hour. But it was the last one that had John sucking in a breath and fighting the urge to go double check all the windows.
Sam, sprawled over his bed, arms wrapped around his pillow as he slept, face turned towards the window that Angelus had most likely sat at. He could make out Dean in the background, asleep in his own bed. This picture was the one with the most detail. He could make out every little wrinkle in the blankets, the picture of him and Mary that Sam always kept near him.
The message was loud and clear. There weren’t as many pictures of Sam as there’d been of Dean because there didn’t need to be. He’d been there, close enough to draw Sam, maybe even talk to him, for hours at a time.
And there’d been nothing John could do about it.~*~*~
He’d been getting more and more tense, just waiting for the next package to arrive. Because there was no doubt in John’s mind that there’d be another one. It was all just a matter of when.
Dean and Sam had been quieter than usual lately and John figured that was because they could both sense his mood. Neither had asked to go out and for the past couple weeks, Dean hadn’t even gone out on the weekend with the girl he’d been seeing.
John shook his head and stopped, looking into the kitchen. Dean is making breakfast, swearing every time he doesn’t quite manage to avoid the popping grease from the bacon, while Sam laughs and talks about some movie that they’d stayed up to watch the night before. He can’t stop the smirk when he hears Sam whine about how off base the movie was about spirits. The smirk grows when he hears Dean agreeing and pointing out other mistakes he’d seen while he made jokes about the actors and how they’d react if they ever saw the real thing.
The smirk was still on his face when he opens the door to go down and buy the paper and it disappeared at the sight in front of him.
She was facedown on his doorstep and he didn’t have to crouch to know that she was dead. Blonde hair spilled over her shoulders and he sucked in a breath as he brushed her hair aside to see the puncture marks on her neck.
It’s then that he sees the paper sticking out of the collar of her shirt. Carefully, he slides it out and turns it over, wishing almost immediately that he hadn’t. He could hear the blood roaring in his ears as he stared down at the printout of an old newspaper article, one he had a copy of in his room.Nursery Fire Claims Life of Local Woman
He knew what the rest of the article said because he’d read it too many times to count. He’d stared at the accompanying picture countless times, tracing the lines of a beloved face and wishing he could see that smile in person one more time.
But it’s the note scribbled at the bottom that pushes passed the grief that slices through him every time he looks at this article and brings with it a relieving anger. Quite a beautiful woman you had there, Johnny. Shame how these things happen, isn’t it?
He pushed himself to his feet and walked out into the hallway, pulling the door closed behind him. He shoved the paper into his pocket and quickly gathered the woman in his arms. He could only be grateful that it was a Saturday and people tended to sleep late, otherwise he’s sure one of his neighbors would have already come out and spotted the body and called the cops.
The cops can’t know that her body had been left on his doorstep.
John only took enough time to be sure no one was in the hall before he began making his way to a side entrance that he knew led to the alley between this building and the next. It’s raining when he walks outside and a part of him acknowledges this as a good thing as he sets the woman’s body on the ground, watching for a moment as the water begins to soak her. There’s a moment of regret and then he’s moving, going to the nearest pay phone and covering his hand with the sleeve of his shirt while he called the cops and left an anonymous message about finding a body.
He may not want the cops to know about his involvement but that doesn’t mean she deserves to just be dumped in an alley. At least this way, her family can bury her.
Grief for Mary, anger at Angelus for bringing her into this, and regret for the girl are all swirling in John as he buys the paper and goes back upstairs. He doesn’t say anything about it as he goes into his room and begins to make some calls to find out where he’ll be able to find Angelus.
This ended tonight.~*~*~
John frowned at his cell phone, noting that the number is blocked. There’s a good chance it’s a wrong number but there’s also a good chance that it’s one of his contacts calling him back.
“So, how did you like your present, Johnny boy?”
He can already feel his fingers tightening on the phone. “Son of a bitch.”
“Is that really the type of language you want to use? I mean, you wouldn’t want your sons to pick up on it, now would you?”
He should just hang up right now. He shouldn’t be letting anything this monster has to say get to him. Not to mention that in the back of his head he can practically hear
Sam talking about how it really wasn’t safe to talk on a cell phone in the rain.
That’s what he should do.
“I’m going to kill you.”
There’s a laugh and this time he doesn’t hear it just over the phone but behind him as well and he spins to find Angelus standing there. “Getting a little cocky, aren’t you?” The smirk on his face as they each tuck their phones away says that he really doesn’t believe that a mere hunter like John is going to be able to take him out.
“Everything’s got to die sometime.”
Angelus doesn’t respond, only laughs again as if John’s just one of the most amusing things he’s seen in his entire unlife.
Almost as if someone flipped a switch, they stop talking and start fighting. Fists fly and John can already tell that he’s not coming out of this without a couple of broken ribs at least. But he feels a deep satisfaction every time he connects, whether it be with his fist or his foot. A right hook sends him sprawling and he pulls out his gun causing Angelus to laugh again.
“You really think a bullet’s going to stop me?” He moves forward and spins out of the way of the bullet John sends in his direction only to feel a second bullet rip through his side.
“I think it’ll slow you down.”
“You really have no idea what you’re up against, do you?” Angelus smirked. “Let me guess. You’ve never fought a vampire and you’re thinking it’ll be no problem compared to some of the demons that are out there.” Suddenly he’s not a foot away but right there, gripping the wrist of the hand holding the gun and twisting it almost to the breaking point until John’s grip on the gun loosens. There’s a splash as it hits the ground. “News flash, boy.” He puts an emphasis on the last word, reminding John just how much longer he’s been around. “You might have had a chance on making this easy if you were up against a fledge. But you start messing with demons that have been around for hundreds of years and you’ve got to be more prepared.”
John’s lips curled up. “That it? That all you got?” he asked, shoving against Angelus enough to break his grip. He blinked as water ran down his face.
A smile broke out on his face as he stepped back and it was only then that John saw his gun in Angelus’ hand. “No. Now I’ve got a gun.”
He felt a flash of panic at the idea even as he pulled out the dagger strapped to his ankle and threw it, cursing himself for leaving most of the weapons in the car. It was a small satisfaction to see that he’d hit his mark as he began scanning the area for anything that could be useful. A hard kick sent him sprawling facedown. He’d only begun to push himself up when he felt a knee on his back.
“Sorry, Johnny. This is where your night ends.”
John didn’t get a chance to say anything after that, only able to register the pain exploding in his skull.~*~*~
It was a surprise to wake up and see the gun lying next to him. Hell, it was a surprise to wake up at all.
But it really wasn’t all that surprising to find the note in his pocket. You were a bit off your game tonight. We’ll have to do this again sometime. Can’t have the fun ending too soon, can we? Thanks for the dagger, Johnny.
John swore as he stood up, tucking the gun into his waistband. He hadn’t been prepared enough for this, that much was obvious.
He wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. Next time, he’d be ready.~*~*~
Only a couple weeks later, John found out there wasn’t going to be a next time. One of his contacts called and gave him the news that Angelus was gone.
It seemed he’d tried to end the world and the Slayer had sent him to hell for his troubles.
John’s only regret was that he hadn’t been the one to send the bastard to hell himself.