What makes Fear
Disclaimer: I don't own either SPN or BTVS. Thanks for asking.
"Dana? You okay?" He remembered to pitch his voice low, like she liked it, though he knew she must have heard the shouting. "Where are you hiding, kid?"
"Dana here." She was crouched by the window in the third, and smallest, bedroom. Her things, such that they were, rested on the bed, but Dean could see that she had found a knife somewhere- one with a long, serrated blade. There was no blood on it, which was good. But still, knife. He could kind of understand his father's freak out if he'd spotted the knife-wielding crazy Slayer at the top of the stairs. Hell, if she'd glared at John the way she was glaring at Dean now, he was surprised she hadn't gotten shot. "Dana not like hairy John."
Okay, so, it would be wrong to laugh when she looked so upset, but damn. Hairy John.
"That's okay sweetheart. He's a dickhead sometimes, but he won't hurt you."
"Promise?" She liked making him promise things. Somehow, whatever she knew of Faith told her that he would never break a promise. He wasn't sure he liked her believing that, but it was friggin' helpful, all the same.
"Yeah, I promise." He crossed the room slowly and lowered himself into seated beside her, resting his back against the wall. He made sure that she had a clear path across the room. She liked being able to see out the doorways and windows. It hadn't been an easy trip across country. They'd had to stop on the first day outside Vegas so that Dean could sleep and Dana had slept too, he was sure. It was when they'd been getting ready to leave again, just as the sun was setting, that the party started.
He'd been putting their stuff in the Impala (their stuff, because he'd bought her some t-shirts and a toothbrush, and she'd spent an hour poking the bristles with her fingers), parked outside their motel room door, when he looked up to see her racing past him. She was barefoot again and barely dressed- a shirt and a pair of shorts- but he'd tied her hair back so she didn't look like that chick from that Japanese horror movie anymore.
And she'd found a machete. He dropped everything and raced after her, unthinking. Crawford's words echoed in his head 'She's dangerous' and he wished he'd had a chance to read her file already. He didn't even dare to call her name because he couldn't risk anyone identifying her- there had been a news report about the escape just as he'd been leaving L.A and they may have crossed state lines but shit like that traveled.
She was fast, but he tracked her easily because he could hear screaming. Human screaming. Two big guys in the dark shadows behind the motel, on their knees and begging by the time he got there. Both were bleeding from cuts on their arms and Dana held her machete close as she considered their faces.
He got the distinct impression that she was trying to decide which one to go for first.
"What's going on, Dee?" She liked it when he called her Dee, he thought. At least, she'd smiled once when he did and she hadn't asked him to stop yet. "Who are these guys?"
"Bad men." Arms in the air and their expressions pained, Dean didn't think they looked so bad. Big, tattooed and scary-looking, sure, but half the people he knew looked rougher.
"You sure?" He tried to keep his voice calm as he edged toward her, wondering how far she'd trust him. She'd been perfectly willing to do anything he'd asked of her so far, but he couldn't trust that to continue.
He'd been so focused on Dana that he hadn't seen the man by the dumpster, curled up in on himself and shivering. But he saw him when she pointed; using her machete to aim at him. Dean was glad that the guy wasn't looking up, because the blade was dripping blood in the half-light.
"Hey! Are you okay over there? What the hell were you two doing?" The two guys didn't answer, so Dean took a leaf from Dana's book and grabbed the guy on the right by his throat, making sure to keep the man's body between him and the other guy. The last thing he wanted was to be beaten on by two humans in a dirty parking lot. "I asked you a question. What the hell were you doing?"
"We weren't doing nothing- that punk kid started something he wasn't gonna finish and we were teaching him a lesson." Up close, Dean could see that Dana's cuts were precise and careful. Not deep, but painful. They were already clotting. "Until your bitch came over and interrupted." The guy might be talking tough, but Dean could see the fear in his eyes. Hell, he was close enough to smell the sweat, too.
"Shut the hell up." Dean released him, pushing him away as he did and the guy fell to the ground, sprawling at his feet. "Don't move, either of you." Whatever Dana had done before he'd caught up to her was enough, he hoped, to keep them in place and make them behave. He wasn't armed and it wasn't like he could call the cops and have them arrested.
He glanced back at Dana, but she was watching the two men. No, not watching. Waiting, ready to pounce. Her whole body was tensed and the blade in her hand was drawn back, prepared for a strike. Jesus.
The civilian, though… he had to check on that guy and get him the hell out of there, so they could leave. He walked in a wide half-circle around Dana's prey and dropped to his knees beside their victim.
"Dude, are you okay?" The guy was maybe three, four years older than Dean, skinny and tall, with a shaved head. His clothes and skin were dark, but Dean could tell that both were equally ripped. Whatever the hell had been going on, the guy had been taking a serious beating. "What's your name?"
"Alan." He whispered it, but Dean heard. Alan didn't look up.
"Do you think you can stand, Alan?" He offered his hands to pull the guy to standing, but before the stranger could reach out, something hit Dean hard on the head and he crashed forward, landing heavily on the already-injured man.
Whatever happened next, Dean couldn't be sure. He blacked out, he was certain, because next thing he knew, Alan was shouting in his ear and Dana was crouched over him, her fingers on his forehead.
"Is he okay?" The guy sounded frantic, "What the hell are we gonna do? Jesus, this shit can't be real." Dean blinked, once, twice, and heaved himself upright.
"The fucking punk hit me!" He grabbed Alan's outstretched arm to steady himself as a wave of dizziness crashed over him. It took him a few seconds to realize what he was seeing- Dana and Alan were either side of him, crouched, and leaving him a perfect view of his attacker.
The guy lay in a pool of blood, a red gash open across his throat. His friend was two paces further away, shaking and holding the stump of one hand with the other. He may have been saying something, but Dean couldn't hear it.
As he sat in the room in Billings with Dana, he remembered the scent of blood in the air, and how he'd helped Alan to his feet in the end. The other man hadn't said much, and they'd gone their separate ways without exchanging any details. Whoever Alan was, and whoever those other guys were, Dean didn't want to know. He'd hustled Dana back to the car, locked up and handed his keys back to motel reception without batting an eye.
He'd seen the second, now one-handed, guy stumbled into view in his rear-view mirror just as the Impala roared out of the parking lot. He'd been careful not to speed away; not to bring any more attention to them than necessary, even when the blue-and-whites screamed past them on the highway.
Dean was pretty sure that getting out of Arizona had been a miracle- every radio station in the state was reporting the news of the incident on the hour, every hour. And he still didn't know what to say to Dana about it- he'd said nothing at the time, just told her to get in the car.
"He's not a bad man. Bobby neither. They hunt monsters, just like Faith."
"Warrior of the People." It wasn't a question, not really, but Dean agreed with her anyway. Warrior of the People was another name for Slayer, he was pretty sure, but it was close enough as far as he was concerned. "Not bad man." He felt relieved, just a bit, that she was repeating the words. It meant, he thought, that she believed him. Or at least, that she was prepared to listen, because Dean certainly couldn't stop her if she decided to take her knife to his father. Or Bobby. Or Sam, for Christ's sakes.
Bad men. Jesus.
He sat there for a while, waiting for her body to relax even a fraction. It didn't take long- she must have believed him.
"You need to get some sleep, kiddo. It's been a long drive." The girl hadn't slept since the motel- Dean had only stopped for gas afterward, not for sleeping and Dana had seemed reluctant to sleep in the car. She'd spent the hours in silence, staring out the window with wide, amazed, eyes.
She stood when Dean did and watched as he pulled back the covers on the bed.
"Climb in and get some sleep." She did as she was told, curling up on her side and dragging the duvet over her body until all he could see of her was the very top of her head. "I'll be back soon, okay?" The shower was calling his name, but he had every intention of returning and setting up camp on the floor in her room.
He left the curtains open so she could see the sky if she wanted, but he pulled the door closed when he left and took his time going down the stairs.
The remainder of his family- John, Bobby and Sam- were sitting at the cluttered dining table, waiting.
"What the hell was that, son?" His dad seemed to have calmed down, but Dean was sure he'd hear about it at some point. He might be a grown man, but his father hadn't accepted it yet- there'd be extra laps to pay for talking back, no question.
"That… that was Dana." Dean collapsed into the fourth chair at the table and reached for his father's beer. Amazingly, John didn't snatch it back, just jerked his head at Sam to fetch him another. Even more amazingly, Sam went to get it without complaining. "She's okay now, but you should probably give her some time to get used to you."
Bobby snorted, muttering something about understatements, but Dean ignored him. He was too tired for this shit. He just wanted to debrief and get some sleep.
Of course, that meant telling his father what he'd gotten up to in L.A. He wondered whether it would be the three demon allies in the bar or the fight with the watchers that would finally kill the old man off, because Dean was pretty sure that either piece of news would give him an aneurysm. And that wasn't even the worst of it, as far as Dean was concerned.
"She thinks she has a way to wake Faith up, right Dean?" Dammit, the kid sounded pretty hopeful. That was better than snot-nosed crying, at least.
"Yeah, she does. But… I learned a few other things, too, and if they're true, then there's something big coming." He rubbed his hand over his face, wondering where to start, "and we're right in the center of the shitstorm." He drained the beer in one long drag and then, taking a deep breath, started to relate everything that he'd learned in California.
It took about an hour, with minimal interruptions. Normally, Bobby and John would have been all about questions and interrupting, but Dean was dog-tired and it was written all over his face so they just let him talk.
He didn't tell them what happened at the motel, because there was nothing to be gained from having everyone afraid of the girl. Hell, Dean wasn't in a position to judge, was he? It was only blind luck that Dana hadn't decided that he was a bad man, too. Whatever. Something to worry about some other time. He copped to everything else, anyway, including getting followed by the Watchers.
"I've gotta get some sleep. Can I leave this with you?" John just nodded, shell-shocked. He'd worked his way through more than one beer as Dean had talked and there was a gleam in his eyes that just might be tears, but Dean wouldn't swear to it. He walked away from the table and climbed the stairs slowly, his head foggy. He shouldn't have had the beer, he thought, dragging sleeping bag and pillow from the second bedroom into Dana's room. If she woke when he opened the door, she didn't say anything, and he murmured quietly that she wasn't to worry, it was just him.
When he finally slept, across the door as a physical barrier between the world and the mad Slayer, (or between the mad Slayer and the world, maybe) his dreams were troubled.