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Paranoid Undercurrents

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This story is No. 3 in the series "Home Away From Home". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: *Part three of the Home Away from Home series* Doyle makes good on the Powers' promise.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Other BtVS/AtS CharactersLongForgottenFR1311,740261,2309 Oct 109 Oct 10Yes
Disclaimer: I own neither Doyle, Dawn nor the Winchesters.

"So what can you tell me about the Winchesters?" Doyle asked the social worker as they approached the apartment building. Diane Nesbit shook her head thoughtfully.

"The family dynamic is, peculiar." She said slowly. "There's a co-dependency, particularly where Dean is considered, with a sort of paranoid undercurrent. Considering the scattered files we have on them, that's not entirely surprising. Honestly, they're a lot healthier than I anticipated from the reports."

"I read some of those reports." Doyle frowned. "They don't exactly set that bar very high." Diane nodded.

"I would say that Dawn is safe for the time being, but that could change."

"Change how? Is there something in particular I should be watching for?"

"Neglect." Diane told him with certainty. "Signs that she's been left alone for prolonged periods, starting as soon as she's able to feed and clothe herself."

"I'd hope between the three of them they can manage to avoid that."

"Hope springs eternal, Mr. Doyle." Diane answered. "Reality, on the other hand, is far less accommodating."

"Well, here's hoping for a surprise of the pleasant variety nonetheless." Doyle said as he knocked quietly. John answered the door looking, well, the expression passed too quickly for Doyle to put a name to it, but it was definitely not a happy face.

"Mr. Winchester." Diane greeted in an even tone as she strode into the cramped apartment. "This is Mr. Doyle, he represents Ms. Travers estate."

"Ms. Travers?" John asked.

"Dawn's mother." Diane supplied, not quite keeping the edge from her voice.

"I believe she was going by Joyce Summers." Doyle said sadly. "I should really be talking to Dean about this, since he was the one who knew the girl, however briefly." Dean emerged then, grumbling against the accusation of brevity. He stopped short when he saw who it was. He'd clearly been napping, but he recovered quickly. He edged towards the blanket on the floor where Dawn was lying, chewing on a book. Doyle wasn't sure whether it was him or Diane that had Dean spooked, but decided it didn't really matter. What mattered was that Dean was protecting his daughter. Doyle raised his hands in the 'I come in peace' gesture. "

"A few years ago, Eleanore Travers inherited a rather substantial trust." Diane supplied. "When she died, said trust passed to Dawn." The Winchesters did a great impression of genuine confusion.

"She had a trust fund? She wasn't exactly living..." Dean trailed off awkwardly.

"Like an heiress?" Doyle finished. "Ms. Travers never knew about the account. She left home at sixteen, never looked back, I doubt she even knew they'd died, let alone left her anything. Probably assumed she'd been disowned. Price of rebellion." Doyle shrugged. "The point being Dawn will be a wealthy woman one day." He gestured towards the baby heiress who peered up at him, and smiled around her foot, on which she was happily sucking. "Since that day is just under eighteen years in the future, her well-being in the mean time has to be taken into consideration. Current circumstances being less than ideal, a certain amount of that inheritance can be stipend out in the meantime."

"Of course spending will have to be closely monitored." Diane interjected. "To ensure that it is indeed being spent on Dawn, since it is her money." Doyle simply nodded. He let Diane continue to explain the finer points of the system, adding in some general warnings and tips that honestly hadn't really needed saying. The Winchesters weren't stupid. They clearly hadn't made a very good impression on Diane, which was just fan-bleeding-tastic. Not that Doyle was terribly surprised at this point, the contentious brood couldn't seem to meet any sort of authority without rubbing them the wrong way. Which put him in an awkward position, since there was only so far he could play the 'benefit of the doubt' act, before someone accused him of inexplicably liking them. As it was, he was separated by a reality from the Power's that Screwed With Him, was only intermittently corporeal, and wasn't even sure what this Azazel demon wanted. Well, that wasn't entirely true. He knew he was a Sunday school demon, so the end game probably had something to do with Lucifer, but there was a whole lot of middle between burning down houses and raising the devil that Doyle was missing. Not only that, the local higher ups seemed to be even more useless than the PTB, and that was just a whole new level of disturbing considering the whole devil angle implied that heaven and angels would be the 'good guys'. Weren't they supposed to be the pro-active types? He realized Diane was almost done talking. As though he needed his position to be more precarious, she assured them Doyle would be reporting to her if he saw anything amiss. By the time she left, he was being treated to a couple of rather nasty glares.

Dean picked up Dawn as soon as Diane finished inspecting her. He knew he shouldn't let her get under his skin, that being confrontational would only make the whole process more uncomfortable for everyone, but right now, God help him, he needed to reassure himself that his baby girl was safe and sound and still his. The damn ghost wasn't helping much, standing there, looking around curiously, and generally being a dead guy who was suddenly looking far less dead than he should.

"Eleven weeks." Dean pointed out. Doyle just sat down, then smiled a bit, like sitting was just that awesome, but had the grace to look somewhat chagrined.

"Yeah, international accounting is a pain like that." He looked down at his chair as though it might spit him out or something. "Powers just jammed all sort of accounting knowledge and estate law into my head before heading back to their own universe. Plus, I had to find you the conventional way, showing my work and business hours, everything, otherwise they'd be suspicious of me as well. Where's Sam, by the way, shouldn't he be in on this little pow-wow?"

"No." Dean barked. "Sam doesn't know about--" Dean made a vague gesture. "Besides, he moved out. Apparently freshmen are required to live on campus."

"Are you planning on telling him?" Doyle asked, without anger or judgment, just thoughtful curiosity. Dean glanced back at John, who was just glaring at the ghost-man.

"Yeah, just as soon as we figure out how to explain it." Dean said with a roll of his eyes. Dawn tugged on his necklace. Dean wanted to tell Sam, knew he should, but he couldn't help the irrational fear of Sam's possible irrational fear, and anger at not being told earlier, along with anger at the situation. The kid could be something of a powder keg. Besides, he didn't want to talk or think about Dawn as anything other than his daughter. She was an innocent baby girl, his baby girl, who would have nothing to do with the supernatural for as long as Dean could help it. So maybe she had come into the world with a little more bang than most, but she was his daughter. He even had the blood test to prove it. End of fucking discussion.

"Well, speaking of living arrangements, I think we can improve on this." Doyle opened up his briefcase. "Easiest way is to buy a house in her name. Keep it maintained, maybe even raise the property value, and I'll have no reason to be concerned. Everyone gets to not be investigated.

"I also found an apartment that was haunted in my world, and given the similarities and differences around here, well, I couldn't help but be curious." Doyle said with a shrug and pulled out a Los Angeles apartment listing, along with a small file.

"You were a hunter?" John asked, gruffly, not even trying to keep the disbelief out of his voice as he looked the man over disapprovingly.

"Well, yes and no, I guess I was more like a sidekick."

"That's a little easier to believe." Dean grinned.

"Yeah, mostly just had painful visions to point Angel in the direction of trouble."

"You worked for an angel?" Dean scoffed.

"Not an angel, Angel, it's his name. It's also a bit of a long story." Doyle said with a shrug.

"I don't have to be anywhere." Dean grinned, and sat down on the couch, Dawn seated on his lap. Doyle sighed, and walked them through the whole back story.

John learned a lot about the other Dawn and her world that day. He didn't like any of it. In fact, he really wanted to punch these 'Powers That Be'. It seemed they didn't do much more than 'be', citing rules, or balance, or whatever as an excuse, which was just messed up shit. Demons, apparently, came in all shapes, colours, sizes, and shades of grey. He didn't even want to think about the whole 'Slayer' business. Except he had to, because that was what made her world so different. Something had happened, a few centuries ago, that had 'split the realities', and whatever it was, meant there was no Slayer in his world, and that was just fine by him. It also had gotten rid of most kinds of demons, which, again, no complaints from John Winchester. He didn't think his sanity could survive in a world where demons could be the good guys. Hell, there was even a 'vampire with a soul' running amok, hunting his own kind, searching for 'redemption', and deflowering Slayers, which of-fucking-course would cause him to lose that all important soul and go back to an all-human diet.

John glanced over at Dean, who was bouncing Dawn on his knee to hide his agitated leg-shake. Dawn of course, didn't mind in the least. By the time Doyle was finished with his tale, Dawn was giggling manically while Dean's jaw twitched dangerously. John wasn't sure whether the baby's laughter was helping or hurting the case. He wondered if they should have named her something else, to separate their Dawn from whoever and whatever she had been before (because as far as John was concerned, the whole Key thing was property of the other Dawn in the other world).

"Onto new business." Doyle said, rubbing his hands together nervously. "Let's get you three living somewhere a little healthier."

The End

You have reached the end of "Paranoid Undercurrents". This story is complete.

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