The Family Business (Is Trouble)Disclaimer:
I don’t own Supernatural or The Losers. That’s Eric Kripke, Sylvain White, or Andy Diggle.Author’s Note:
This was a prompt from Bite Sized Bits of Fic, an lj community. It became rather long, so it gets its own post. (Prompt: The Losers/Supernatural, Clay&Winchesters, he gets back stateside and finds out what his brother's kids have gotten themselves into) This is set after the end of Season Five, although I make no mention of how Sam gets out of hell, and before the beginning of Season Six of Supernatural. It’s set in the movie-verse, not the comic verse for The Losers.
Aisha said that he had nobody, but that wasn’t altogether true. Clay had family but, unlike Jensen’s niece and Pooch’s wife, none that depended on him. Only the Losers relied on him and, according to Roque, that was an unwise decision.
Still, after getting home from Bolivia, after the thing at the Port of L.A., he tried calling Dean’s cell, only to find the number disconnected. Then he started trying the list of numbers John had given him a long time ago in case of emergency. The first he called, Harvelle’s Roadhouse, was also disconnected. The second, he got somebody, asked after Sam and Dean Winchester and got a cussing that would have made some of his old drill instructors proud before a dial tone. The third, somebody picked up but there was a woman screaming in the background, so Clay hung up and had Jensen call the police in that area. The fourth, and last, he left a message.
A month later, the Losers, plus Jensen’s sister and niece and Pooch’s wife and newborn son, were all piled into a small safe house since Max had almost gotten to them all just after Jensen’s niece’s soccer game. There were patrols and surveillance and more paranoia than was probably healthy, but the Losers were on edge and their civilian members were bearing the brunt of it. Clay hadn’t gotten a call back and he’d kind of forgotten about everything until Cougar’s voice came over the earpiece that’d become part of his daily life.
“Boss, there’s a black ’67 Impala that’s circled the block twice,” Cougar murmured and Clay’s heart flipped.
“Stand down,” Clay said even as he headed towards the door. He didn’t want to get John’s kids shot before he’d even gotten to ask them what the hell they’d been up to.
He went and stood on the porch, arms crossed as he leaned against the porch railing and watched as that damned car of John’s slow crawled down the street before turning into the drive. Dean and Sam levered out of the car nearly in tandem and, while Sam peered suspiciously around, Dean stared straight at Clay. There was just that slight flinch, the one that’d come along when Dean’d swung by the base to inform him of John’s death.
And, since Clay was just as incommunicative, but not nearly as emotionally retarded as John, he sauntered down the steps and towards his nephews, his only living blood relatives left on this earth. He surveyed Dean as he approached him, saw that wariness the kid always seemed to carry with him with a new, unwelcome weariness added to it. He didn’t stop moving towards him until he’d wrapped him into a hard hug. Dean’s arms hung loose and limp at his side until he got with the program and hugged him back just as hard, hand balling in the back of his jacket. It always took Dean a second to react to affection when it wasn’t doled out by Sam and it was one of the major reasons Clay occasionally hated his brother.
Clay pulled away and nodded at Dean before moving towards Sam, who usually was the eager one when it came to affection. Sam hesitated this time, too, though, and Clay cursed his brother because what John had gotten these boys into a long time ago, still dogged their steps to this day. And it seemed to have broken them just that much more since he’d been away.
“Clay,” Dean said and he was sounded so serious. Clay twisted to look at him, keeping hold of Sam’s arm because he just couldn’t make himself let go. Dean’s face was just a little foreboding as he said, “Looking good for a dead guy.”
“We got burned,” Clay said, instinctively looking around for Max. “That was supposed to be us in that wreckage.”
“You and your team,” Dean said, some of the wariness sliding off him. Sam relaxed a little in Clay’s hold, too, hand coming up to wrap around Clay’s bicep.
“Yeah,” Clay said and let some of his own weariness show. “That thing at the Port of L.A. was us, trying to get our names back.” His lips pinched but he had to tell them. There’d only been one member of his team that’d known about his nephews, the first member of his team, and, well. “Roque betrayed us.”
Dean’s jaw clenched and he looked away, towards the house across the street. Sam’s hand tightened around his bicep as he said, “I’m sorry.”
And that was it. Neither of them were going to try deny what he’d told them because John had taught them a long time ago that the only people they could count on was each other. And they’d liked Roque, so they’d take it hard, just not where he could see them.
“Come on in,” Clay finally said, stepping away from Sam and jerking his head back towards the house. “Jolene made pie.”
Dean perked up as Sam heaved a sigh and Clay bit back a smile as Dean yanked his and Sam’s duffles from the backseat and tossed Sam’s at him, ready to go.
As they started up the walk, Dean asked casually, “So the sniper that’s watching, he’s yours?”
Sam didn’t seem surprised by the question or the presence of a sniper and Clay was both proud and sad that they’d learned to be that vigilant.
“He’s mine, so you’re safe,” Clay said and Dean and Sam traded a weary glance.
He ushered them in, securing the door before leading them back to the kitchen. Everybody looked up expectantly and Clay announced, “These are Dean and Sam Winchester. They’re my nephews.”
Jensen choked on whatever he’d been drinking and Clay gave him an annoyed look, even though he understood. Dean was 31 and Sam was just a few years younger because John had gotten an early start. Add to that that they looked nothing like him and he’d never told anybody but Roque about his crazy brother and his nephews and it was bound to be surprising. Still, it didn’t pay to put up with too much of Jensen’s bullshit. Give the man a mile and he’d take Manhattan.
Clay’s eyes caught on Aisha, who was studying the boys with the kind of intentness that was bound to set their nerves on edge. And, right on cue, Dean shifted to slouch against the doorfacing behind him and Clay could just bet there was that smartass smirk that’d driven John crazy back in the day stretched across his face.
Aisha raised an eyebrow before looking at Clay and announcing, “This doesn’t change anything. As soon as this is all over, you still own me a dance.”
Clay opened his mouth but Dean was always quick on his feet and said, “Sounds kinky. Doesn’t that sound kinky, Sam?”
“Sounded like a threat to me,” Sam shrugged, used to playing the straight man to his brother’s clown.
“Nah, can’t be,” Dean said and Clay closed his eyes in dismay. “Pretty little thing like that? Threatening Clay
? Nah. Can’t be.”
Clay damned his brother and his ability to be such a hardass that Dean had never, ever been afraid of anybody else.
He looked up and Aisha had moved to stand, the Losers quickly moving everybody out of her rang. “Your uncle owes me a life and, when we’ve ended Max, I’m taking his.”
Clay’s eyes slid to Dean and, yeah, he was smirking, but there was a hardness to him that Clay had never seen before.
Dean straightened off the doorway and sauntered farther into the room, sidestepping Clay’s grab for him. Aisha shifted until they were circling one another, a knife nearly as long as her forearm tucked up her arm in one hand, ready to start slashing. She swung first and Clay finally moved to stop this and got the surprise of a lifetime when Sam’s arm landed across his chest, hand balling in his shirt as he held him back.
“Damn it, Sam, this isn’t some woman trained in barroom brawls. She’s a killer,” Clay hissed, struggling a bit.
“She fights dirty?” Sam asked idly.
“Hell, yes,” Clay said, almost yanking free.
“Good,” Sam said and Clay stopped. Just stopped. “He needs a good fight.”
While they’d been arguing, Dean had managed to land a punch that would have Aisha’s face swelling black and blue by tomorrow and Dean’s eyebrow was seeping blood. She slashed out, finally bringing the knife into play, and Dean caught her arm and twisted it up until she dropped the knife. She did a high kick that should have caught him in the face, only he shifted so that it bounced uselessly against his shoulder. Then he caught her up, one arm twisted up, one leg trapped against her middle, and slammed her face first into a wall.
Dean stepped back and she spun but by the time she faced him, there was a gun pressed lightly against her forehead, his finger on the trigger.
“He took somebody from you?” Dean asked, barely breathing hard.
“My father,” she spat, although she kept her hands raised and her eyes on him.
There was a look in Dean’s eyes that Clay had never seen before. Something a little dead, like he really would blow away a woman he’d just met for threatening the uncle he rarely saw. Then the gun spun in his hand, butt held out to her. She snatched it out of his hands and it wavered between him and Clay for a second before steadying on Dean.
Dean held his hands up at shoulder level and just smiled. “You want a life for a life? Take mine.”
Sam’s hand tightened in Clay’s shirt, which was probably a good thing because Clay was gonna smack that boy’s head as soon as he could reach him. Aisha seemed a little stunned by that and just blinked at Dean.
“Take mine,” Dean said easily, stepping forward until the muzzle was pressed against his chest. “He took your father, so you take me. You’re even.”
“You’re crazy,” she said, although she didn’t lower the gun.
“Probably,” Dean agreed easily, shrugging. “But this is the way it should be. And, hey! I’m offering. You don’t even have to feel guilty. But can you hurry up because I’m getting tired of just standing here. Shoot me.”
“Ain’tcha gonna do anything?” a voice asked gruffly from slightly behind Clay and Sam’s hand kept him from whirling, gun drawn. Clay managed a look, though, and saw a guy about his age, a little out of shape and seriously cranky. “I’m serious. If he keeps talking, he’ll get’er so annoyed, she’ll shoot him just to shut him up. Trust me. It’s happened before.”
Sam snorted, drawing everybody’s attention. “Dean, Bobby’s here.”
“Hey! Glad you could make it. This woman? She’s gonna be my executioner. Uncle Clay owes her a life and she’s gonna take mine,” Dean said, happy as you please. “Fair’s fair, after all.”
Bobby rolled his eyes as he pushed past Clay. “Well? Either shoot the boy or put the safety on, girl. Some of us have places to be.”
Aisha’s jaw dropped. “He wouldn’t be the first person I’ve shot in cold blood, you know. I am not a nice person.”
Bobby snorted. “I’ve seen things that’d make a little killer like you pee your pants, so call me unimpressed. But if you’re going to shoot the boy, do it quick so we can bury him before the nosy ones catch wind.”
“Love you, too, Bobby,” Dean said, sounding sincere and that just freaked Clay out even more because Dean was only mushy when somebody was dying or had died.
“Stop,” Clay said, pushing as much of his Commanding Officer tone into as he could. “Everybody, just stop. Nobody’s going to die today.”
“Well, a lot of people are going to die today, you’d just rather one of them wasn’t me,” Dean corrected, glancing at him over his shoulder. “But it’s not your choice. Somebody’s got to die and somebody’s gotta stick around and look after Sammy. So I choose me.”
Sam squished up his face as he said, “I’m not helpless, Dean. Nobody’s gotta look after me.”
Dean glanced over his shoulder again as he said, “Speaking as the guy that read bedtime stories and put you to bed as a kid, yes you are and shut your cakehole.”
And the gun wavered slightly for the first time as Aisha asked, “Where were your parents?”
Dean snorted. “Mom died when Sammy was six months old and Dad, well, he had business, you know. Other…business.”
Dean flapped his hands a little, like, who cares.
Aisha glanced at Clay and asked, “And what about him?”
Dean twisted to look at Clay over his shoulder and he said, serious, “He was doing what every good soldier does. What he was told.”
Aisha’s jaw clenched and the gun steadied. “He could have been there for you.”
Dean laughed, a sharp bark that wasn’t funny at all as he looked down at her. “If he’d tried to take us, my dad would have taken us and run. Just like he did every other time. And he’d never have seen us again. I’ve lived in every state except Alaska and Hawaii. I went to over a hundred schools before I dropped out at sixteen and it’s a miracle Sam managed to get into Stanford. But he’s a little genius, so whatever. Clay was a good uncle and he is a good man. So if anybody’s going to die today, it’s going to be me. Now, seriously lady, look me in the eye and pull the trigger. You’ll have the blood of his blood on your hands and this vendetta shit can end.”
She just stared him down for a second, then put the safety on and spun the gun back towards him, butt first. “Not today,” she said, looking him in the eye.
Dean took his gun as he tilted his head and said, “Not ever. Because taking his life or the life of someone he holds dear won’t ever bring back your dad. Speaking as an orphan that cut his teeth on his father’s ideologies of revenge, I promise it won’t make anything better.” Then he turned and looked at Clay, at turns hopefully and demanding as he said, “Pie?”
Clay rolled his eyes as Sam let go of him with a put upon sigh and pointed towards the group clustered in one corner of the room. “Jolene’s the pretty woman with the curly hair.”
Dean spun, zeroed in, and grinned the grin that won him hearts everywhere he went. It was probably the orphan bit instead of the smile that had Jolene handing Junior over to Pooch and going into the kitchen, patting Dean’s arm and glaring at Aisha as she passed.
Bobby shook his head and glared at Clay. “Yeah, you’re definitely related to John Winchester.” He looked at Sam. “You musta got what few smarts you possess from your Ma, may God rest her soul.” He looked over the lot of them, reserving the longest glare for Dean. “Idjits.”
He stomped back out of the house muttering about there being something wrong with the Winchester genetics and what the hell did angels know, anyway.
Dean shrugged when Clay looked at him for an explanation and said, “He was a friend of Dad’s. You should of met Ellen. She’d have hated you.”
Well, he didn’t have to sound so happy about the idea.
“You know, I don’t remember giving you this address,” Clay said and everybody else tensed. It’d never stopped them or John from finding him before, though, so Clay was just throwing it out there.
“We followed the explosions,” Sam said, leaning over and picking up his duffle bag, fishing out a laptop and showing that, yes, there was a file that contained a lot of newspaper articles about the Losers’ exploits. And it could’ve just been coincidence, but John had taught the boys all manner of things, so a little detective work wasn’t beyond their abilities. “Then I used the message on Bobby’s cell to trace you to this area.”
“You can do that?” Jensen said, perking up and then there was a lot of tech babble that everybody seemed confused about and Dean’s eyes glazed over.
That last might’ve been because of the slice of pie and glass of milk Jolene came out of the kitchen carrying, though.
“Boys,” Clay cut in and Sam stopped babbling and Dean looked up at him, mouth stuffed with the best apple pie in the Northern Hemisphere. “Do I want to know what you’ve been up to?”
It was a dicey question because Clay knew exactly what John taught his boys to do. He’d taken Clay on a hunt, once, and Clay could officially say he’d looked hell in the face.
“Oh, you know,” Sam said, shrugging even though he was giving him that look, the one that said he’d lost his damned mind. “The usual.”
Clay raised an eyebrow. “Which one of you died this time?”
Jensen’s mouth dropped when Dean’s hand went up and he kept chewing his pie, shoveling it in.
Clay glanced him up and down and said, “Well, you got better.”
Dean swallowed, then gave him a hard, twisted smile and said, “It was a hell of a thing.”
“Clay?” Jensen finally managed, clutching at his niece’s shoulder.
“Remember the guy in Bolivia with the chicken bones?” Clay asked, shrugging. The other Losers rocked back on their heels and Aisha hissed. It was weird that that was the only example of the supernatural that he could come up with that they’d all get.
“Get out,” Jensen said, a little giddy. “Really? They know about that stuff?”
Sam looked at Clay. Dean mostly focused on his pie. Clay shrugged and said, “Well, Dean did say he was raised on his father’s ideology of revenge.”
“Your father taught you to fight mages?” Aisha asked and apparently that was weird to her.
“Yes”, “Sort of”, and “Depends on the type,” rang out as Bobby stomped back into the room and Sam seated himself across the table from Dean, getting his hand smacked away from the little bit of crust he tried to snatch.
Dean gave her a twisted smirk and said, “You know. The family business.”
“How dead did you get?” Clay butted in, pinching his nose.
After a moment, Dean said, “Four months. In the ground.”
“And good boys don’t go to heaven if they’ve made a deal with a demon,” Sam said, scowling at him.
Dean shrugged, scraping the last bits of pie filling off the plate and ignoring everybody around him.
“Then they started the Apocalypse,” Bobby said, giving Clay a grumpy smile. “You should be proud.”
“It was an accident,” Dean and Sam said at the same time and that was enough catching up.
Clay held up a hand. “Never mind. The world’s still here, so obviously everything got sorted out. So just. Never mind.”
“Oh, yeah,” Dean nodded and stabbed his fork at Sam. “He died that time. Jumped into a hole with Lucifer, Michael, and our little brother Adam.”
Clay opened his mouth to ask, then closed it again, shaking his head. He really didn’t want to know. Jensen opened his mouth because he liked to know everything
, but Clay glared him down. He did not
want to know.
Sam looked up to Clay and said earnestly, “I’m fine, though.”
Clay’s jaw clenched because he very much doubted that. Bobby didn’t seem to believe it, either, if the look he shot the boy was any indication.
“Dean,” echoed around the room and guns magically appeared in nearly everybody’s hands.
Then, from behind Dean, a guy appeared and said, “I’ve come to visit.”
“Damn it. Cas
,” Dean said, putting the safety on. Bobby and Sam put their guns away.
“You told me to call,” Cas said, looking baffled.
“With your cellphone,” Dean said, rolling his eyes as the guns started to droop.
“Ah,” Cas said, looking a little unsure. “Heaven, unfortunately, gets poor reception.”
“Dean?” Clay said, gun lowering but finger still hovering on the trigger. “The hell?”
“He’s an angel,” Dean said, hands flapping a little. Really, how do you explain an angel that liked to come visit? “Castiel. The Angel of Thursdays.”
“Archangel,” Cas and Sam said at the same time with nearly the same amount of pride.
“Shouldn’t you be in heaven?” Jensen blurted.
“Heaven, sadly, is in disarray,” Cas paused for a beat, then pointed a finger at Dean and Sam and said solemnly, “It’s their fault.”
“Hey!” Dean yelped as Sam pouted. He faltered when he saw Clay’s face and said haltingly, “Well. Maybe. But just a little bit.”
Clay scrubbed his face and he said, “You know, I love you boys but you’d drive a sane man to drink.”
Sam reached into his duffle and pulled out a bottle of whiskey. “Trust us. We know.”
If he hadn’t had his earpiece in, he probably wouldn’t have heard Jensen mutter, “I think they actually get into more trouble than we do.”
Clay just sighed quietly and sat down beside Sam, since there was an angel beside Dean. The boys, and John to a certain extent, had been good practice for when he’d have to lead his own team of renegades that thought outside the box.Author’s Notes:
Did Crowley ever give Bobby back his soul? And, if Castiel could raise Bobby from the dead, could he do the same with Ellen and Jo? Because I could continue this one and those are the two questions I keep asking myself.