rageprufrock: (east coast tourist)
[personal profile] rageprufrock
Title: Wayfinding, pt 2/?
Rating: R, for Supernatural bein' itself


After, they settle in uncomfortably to assess the damage.

The library windows are total goners, and there're dangerously spiderwebbed cracks all through the downstairs, like a concentrated sonic wave had hit the first floor of the farmhouse. Sam and Dad and Deanna engage in a lot of semaphore, hand waving and fake sign language and until Dad smacks Sam upside the back of his head for giving Deanna the bird. It's a comforting reminder that for all the many thousands of ways in which it sucks that Dad wouldn't let her date, fought it every time she wanted to go on a hunt with him and Sam, and thought she needed to be handled, she's got this one up on Sam forever and ever and ever.

When Sam's done scowling at her, she makes him go grab her boots from the hall closet, big, ugly Doc Martens she'd worn during her sexually ambiguous phase — short punk hair, eyebrow rings, a near-miss with getting a tramp stamp — and pulls them on over her bare feet. This order is communicated by using her limited sign-language skills to spell out DYKE BOOTS.

She tramps through the library in her t-shirt and loose braid, her Doc Martens and her cut-up hands, makes her way through the hallway into the living room, where Sam's stacks of library books have overturned and one massive pane of the bay window has collapsed into thousands of little pieces.

"Shit," she says, and she can feel the vibration, hear it, sort of, in her aching ears.

In the kitchen, the dishes and glasses have mostly survived, but the wineglasses Sam had bought her from his trip to Italy — set out to dry in the rack by the sink — don't make it. She's starting to get her hearing back, all the noise and voices muffled a bit from reverb, like she's fired a gun too close to her ear, and she hears the sound of furniture moving, books being put back on the shelves, Dad and Sam shouting at each other to be heard. Deanna collects the pieces of her wine glasses in a box separate from the other shards out of totally idiotic sentimentalism and sets it on the windowsill, next to her collection of Sam's hideous fourth-grade pottery projects: his ugly dinosaur figurine, the awful heart-shaped ashtray, the penholder that looks like the long coil of a tapeworm and painted in a sickening Pepto Bismol pink.

She peeks in on Dad and Sam, finds them pointing at random pages in random books, forgetting about all the broken glass all over the floor in favor of research already, and Deanna figures since they're not punching each other in the face, she'll let this one go, and stomps upstairs to go check her room, to take stock of the damage.

Except her room looks untouched, utterly peaceful, yellow and bright from morning sun, the fading quilt on her bed undisturbed, dust motes floating in the air, all the photos and pictures on the wall just as tilted as they'd been when she'd padded out of her room last night to go sit by Dad's door. Even the delicate tower of earrings she buys and never wears is unmoved, scattered around her vanity, mingling with her bangle bracelets.

Deanna pulls on a pair of well-loved jeans, the bottom hem frayed from wear, snaps on a bra and tugs on a black t-shirt, leaves her Doc Martens in the closet. She toes on a pair of battered blue Chucks and goes to the bathroom for bandages, watching her palms bleed sluggishly from shallow glass cuts.

In the mirror, Deanna looks at herself: her green-brown eyes and freckles, her messy blond waves and the pout of her mouth. She says, "What the hell's going on?" more just to say it than anything, to put it out there. If she thinks about it too much — about Dad, about whatever the hell just happened to her house, about what this all means — she'll start to panic, and she's never had the luxury of panic before.

None of Dad's best research or wards or anything show any sign of danger or ghosts or bad juju in the house. There's a brief tussle involving John's opinion they ought to abandon the house, Sam's opinion that John doesn't get to tell them what to do anymore, and Deanna's opinion that the house is the safest and best-warded option they have, and that Sam and Dad can fight on the front lawn and get eaten by wendigos for all she cares if they don't shut the hell up and help her clean.

Dad looks at Sam, who looks back.

"I'll get the vacuum," Sam sulks.

"I'll go get some work gloves," Dad mutters.

"I'm making myself a fucking drink," Deanna swears.

They've mostly taped up plastic where there should be glass and cleaned up all the shards, calls have been made to the local contractors — who owe Sam and Deanna for a thing with a storage room full of angry poltergeists — and then there's nothing to do but to sit around and worry and research.

In the lexicon of monsters and ghosts, there aren't many that rely on sound. Sam proposes maybe this is some sort of Mothman, and if they bear any real relationship with bats, perhaps this is sonar gone amok. Deanna thinks that to blow all their first-floor windows out with that kind of precision, it'd have to be a pretty fucking enormous Mothman. Whatever Dad thinks, he's not saying, just sitting quiet and brooding, clutching his hands together tight in a double fist on the tabletop, staring at his knuckles, and every time Deanna touches him he jumps a little, like he's keeping himself from grabbing her wrist when she does it.

She wants to ask him what happened, if he remembers hell. But how the hell do you do that? Thanks for dying for me? How was it? Whenever Dad looks up at her, it's with equal parts grief and consuming gratitude, and he keeps taking her hand and kissing the back of it, keeps stroking his thumbs along the insides of her palms — until she's uncomfortable and worried and scared to ask.

He does it again after Sam calls it quits and goes to bed, and Deanna finds herself sitting at the kitchen table, her father clutching her hand so hard it hurts. She doesn't pull away, just lets Dad squeeze her fingers like a lifetime, and she touches his cheek and asks, "Daddy, what happened to you?"

John closes his eyes, and she just sits there for a long time, feeling the bones in her fingers creak — Deanna's never been afraid of something as simple and uncomplicated as pain; pain is easy, and she's always been strong enough to take it — until her Dad eases up, until his hands open around hers, until he croaks, "Dee, I know you'd listen, but I don't think I can tell you."

Deanna wonders if this is like when she was fifteen, when she couldn't tell Dad, either, and so she just swallows around the ball of hurt in her throat, runs her free hand over the top of his head, says, "Okay, Daddy. It's okay."

He falls asleep like that, head swaying lower and lower until he's asleep on top of her hand, bent over the kitchen table. The clock on the microwave says it's half past one in the morning, and Deanna knows this is going to be killing his back when John wakes up tomorrow. Deanna thinks about when she was six and her Daddy was lying in bed with a fever of 102, when she was eleven and he had a six-clawed gash down his side, when she was fifteen and Dad lost a fight with a nest of vampires — she can't help, but the least she can do is wait, to keep watch over him.

Deanna feels her ass and her thighs and her feet fall asleep. She feels her eyes ache from staring, feels her heart constricting in her chest. This is her Dad. He died for her and now he's come back for her and the very, very least she can do, Deanna thinks, is bear witness, occupy his silences.


When she wakes up — gray light filtering into the kitchen windows from the beginnings of an overcast summer day — Sam's making coffee and Dad's gone, the house feeling comfortable and cozy and easy, the sound of workboots and strangers in the next room. It's a coolish morning, and someone's put a blanket around her, the familiar, lingering smell of Missouri's perfume in the yarn of the crocheted throw.

"Hey," Sam says, and sets a coffee mug down in front of her, steaming.

Deanna mumbles something, makes a noise, and touches Sam's wrist in thanks. "Where's Dad?" she asks, shivering a little.

Sam leans back against a counter and nods toward the living room. "Giving Dan and Harry shit," he says.

"Why?" Deanna yawns, and blows across the surface of the coffee: black, three sugars.

Dan and Harry are the brothers Thomasson, who run Snowcamp Specialty Builders, and aside from an unfortunate fondness for chew, are excellent human beings who had kept their shit admirably — even when their passel of fucking poltergeists had started throwing knives instead of just knocking over books.

"Because Dan was stupid enough to express a passing interest in how you were doing," Sam says, smirking, and goes for the cereal. "You know how Dad gets."

In the next room, she hears Dad say, "So, how much do you guys pull in, average, a year?" and Deanna says, "Yeah, that's enough of that," and gets up, before Dad can start quizzing Dan on the number of sexual partners he's had, if he believe in premarital intercourse (the correct answer being of course, "I'm not certain if I believe in post-marital intercourse, either, in the case of your daughter, Mr. Winchester, sir."), and whether or not he will be respectful of the fact that sometimes Deanna wants to bake a half-dozen pies and watch Dr. Sexy marathons after a particularly shitty hunt.

Deanna manages to intervene before Dan can lose bowel control, and dispatches Sam to mediate between Dad and Harry, who looks like he's about to shit himself, too, but from laughing. Harry, in the fine tradition of all younger brothers, is kind of an asshole.

"Jesus Christ," Dan mutters, following Deanna through the first-floor to the kitchen, clutching at his chest. "Your Dad is God damn terrifying."

"Dan," Deanna promises him, "you have no idea."

Harry and Dan have fled — promising to be back tomorrow to begin installing new windowpanes — by noon, Dad standing on the porch glaring as they drive off and Sam in histrionics in the living room. Deanna considers, briefly, pointing out that even before Dad carked and came back she was a grown-ass woman and that who she invites into her bed is none of Dad's God damn business.

"That boy has a future of mouth cancer written all over him," Dad tells her.

"Okay, Dad, thanks, I'll go take his name off my hope chest now," Deanna allows, discarding the idea, because who knows, maybe dying and going to hell and coming back has made Dad that one order of magnitude more crazy that would result in him pondering the possibility of convents and chastity belts, overprotective bullshit that drives her up the fucking wall. When Sam had stayed out all night the first time, Dad had bought him a 12-pack of Trojans and told him not to get anything on the Impala upholstery; meanwhile, Josh Carver's probably still standing with his asshole against the wall after the scene Dad had made when he'd caught them kissing after school.

For lunch, Sam makes piles of grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and Deanna deputizes her father to open a few cans of tomato soup and heat it up on the stove, which he does while giving her dirty looks the entire time.

"So what, did you guys stop hunting? After I…" Dad trails off, probably struggling to fit their circumstances into the confining boundaries of English verb tenses, and Deanna spares him the grief and cuts in:

"We go on weekends, when we can, or evenings if it's local."

"You go with her?" Dad asks Sam, who tenses before he says:


She looks at her brother, who's looking furiously hard at his grilled cheese, fingers digging into the brown crust on the white bread. She almost jokes that if he keeps at it the table's going to fly into pieces, but Jesus Christ, that's yet another conversation she and Dad need to have before Sam gets panicked and furniture starts moving around the house, rumbling with all Sam's poorly hidden distress.

Dad stares at his own sandwich. "That's good," he mumbles. "Good."

"Dee works at the hospital," Sam jumps in, stammering. "ER admitting nurse."

"Mostly I yell at people to get their shit together," Deanna says, trying to break the tension, but Dad just looks at her with that wide-eyed and brand new softness she doesn't know if she can handle, a foreign sort of tenderness he'd stopped doling out when she'd turned fourteen what feels like three lifetimes ago.

But Dad doesn't take the easy out she leaves for him, he just smiles at her, creaky and wobbly and too serious, says, "You were always good at keeping a cool head, Dee, I bet you're great."

Deanna stares at him, feeling like someone's fisting her heart inside her chest.

"She is," Sam says loyally. "Dee's the best."

"You are," Dad agrees, and Deanna feels dizzy, lightheaded; her face is hot. And then Dad turns to Sam. "I know some days, it's the only thing you and I agree on, son."

Sam swallows too hard. "Yeah, Dad," and Deanna says, "Scuse me," and beats it the hell upstairs, where it's safe and she knows what the hell she's doing and she can sit on the floor of her bedroom, back up against the door, claw at the floorboards, because what the hell is happening here.

She must stay upstairs, panicking and failing to catch her breath for too long, because the next thing she knows, Sam's leveraging the fact that he's 6'20" killing fucking wendigos for fun to force his way into her room and wrap her up in his octopus arms. She thinks she should fix the broken lock on her bedroom door, but she's never brought anybody home here, and when he'd been a baby, Sam used to sneak in during thunderstorms and sleep under her bed.

"I'm fine," she lies, face smashed into Sam's chest.

"Okay," Sam says, because he's always been a soft touch. "But I'm freaking out, so if you could give me a hug, that would be great."

She does, because she's his big sister, and the first thing she remembers out of her whole life is running out of a burning house with him held close to her heart. He's her Sammy, and she'd do anything for him, and so she hugs him and shakes and shakes and shakes.

"I'm scared, too, Dee," Sam mutters into her hair.

"I'm not scared, you giant girl," Deanna lies. "We'll be fine. Dad's fine."

"And if he's not, even if it isn't," Sam says, with that horsewhispering voice he uses on her when she's on day two of her period and around Nan from the local Baptist church when she's being particularly God-fearing, "you and I are in it together, okay?"

Jesus Christ, Deanna thinks, because she feels like a water balloon, all tension and overfull and if Sam keeps rubbing her arms or pricking her with God damn feelings she's going to explode and cry like a bitch for no fucking reason. That sort of behavior hadn't been acceptable when she'd been fifteen and it isn't acceptable now, so she fists her hands against Sam's chest and shoves him away, sucks it up and tucks it back in, deep in her chest, down where nobody can find it and she can lock it down.

"Right," she agrees, flashing Sam her best crooked smile. He looks unconvinced, but that's the trouble with little brothers; in addition to being little shits, they are usually conversational in the behavior tells of their older siblings. "We'll be fine."

"We're stocked up on beer and rock salt and holy water," Sam further says.

"Right," Deanna says, with false confidence and feigned swagger.

Sam smiles back. "Right."

And then, from downstairs, there's a thoroughly familiar voice hollering, "Holy fucking shit!" and the sound of a struggle, and Deanna and Sam barely have two seconds to exchange wide-eyed looks before they're loping downstairs, shouting, "Bobby! Bobby! Don't shoot!"


In addition to a small library, an arsenal that would be envied by some Appalachian anti-government militias, and a bellyful of cussing for Deanna — "Deanna Beth Winchester, you should have told me on the God damn phone!" — Bobby arrives with a psychic named Pamela. She's got dark curls and bright eyes and she keeps looking at Sam with a speculatively sexual gleam Deanna would find hilarious if it wasn't revolting because it's Sam, and ew, and it's Sam.

"How come you're not asking her how much money she makes?" Deanna asks Dad, helping him pull up chairs to the round table in the library, plastic still flapping in the windows. In the kitchen, Bobby is making himself a drink and Pamela is touching Sam's ass, and Sam is looking harassed and wronged, in the manner of all maladjusted emo college students who abstain from hook-ups because they think sex should be special. Deanna has no idea how in the Winchester family, Sam happened.

Dad gives her an aggrieved look. "Dee."

"I know you don't seem to think so," Deanna tell him seriously. "But Sam could end up knocked up, just as easily, if you don't take care to thoroughly vet his suitors."

"Fuck you, Dee!" Sam yells from the kitchen.

"You watch your mouth, son!" Dad yells back.

"You shut up and set up that God damn table, Winchester!" Bobby bellows, voice bouncing through the hallways.

Deanna laughs, and Dad ignores her in favor of muttering, "Jesus Christ," but he does as he's told, and when Pamela and Sam and Bobby mosey into the room they've got the candles lit, the curtains drawn, the runes chalked in around the table, across the creaking hardwood floors, the rugs pulled away.

"How's this going to work, anyway?" Deanna asks, after they array themselves around the table, awkward in one another's space.

"I'm going to take a look," Pamela says, settling in at the head of the table, a jangle of bracelets, her lipstick bright red. She's so easy in her skin, something that make Deanna trust her, instinctive. "Poke around to try and figure out what happened."

"You can do that?" Sam asks, leaning forward, too eager.

"Well," she hedges, exchanging a look with Bobby, and Deanna bets there's some history there. Bobby's a sour old cuss, but if he washed up and stopped threatening to shoot everybody who moved, he'd be all right. "I can try, anyway, pull back the veil a bit and see if there's any supernatural trace evidence."

Bobby grunts. "If anybody can find it, Pamela Barnes can. Best psychic in the country."

Pamela looks at John with a thoughtfully pursed mouth. "You don't have anything whatever brought you back touched, do you? A scrap? Some sign? Anything at all?"

And then Dad looks awkward as hell, before he says, "Well, hold on," and rolls up the sleeve of his t-shirt, and Jesus Christ, Deanna doesn't manage to hold in her gasp.

"Dad," she starts, and he says, "It's fine, Dee. It doesn't hurt."

It's a dark red handprint, burned into Dad's bicep, high on his shoulder so he's been hiding it all this time underneath shirts and button-ups, and it sure as hell looks like it hurts. She reaches out, and it's slightly raised under her fingertips, but when she looks up and catches Dad's eye, he's not flinching and not hiding anything, so maybe he's telling the truth when he says again, "It's fine, Dee."

"That'll work," Pamela confirms, efficient, and fits her hand across the mark, thumb and four fingers, and Dee takes Dad's free hand, takes Sam's, too, and they all clutch at each other as Pamela begins to chant, starting in Latin and tripping into English.

The curtains fly open, the radio turns itself on, and in the other room Deanna hears the television start to blare. Upstairs, Sam's clock radio goes, and in her bedroom there's the shriek of her cassette player, turning on mid-way through Houses of the Holy, everything electric in the house in high dudgeon — and that's before all the candles flare up, shooting a foot into the air.

"Holy shit," Sam breathes, tightens his hand around Deanna's.

"I'm getting a name," Pamela tells them, eyes closed tight and sweat beading on her brow. "No — don't tell me to turn back, stop looking, you stay here."

"Turn back?" Bobby asks. "Pamela, maybe you'd — "

"I'm close," she cuts him off, tilting her head down, away, toward where the curtains and the plastic in the windows are flapping, like she's listening for something that's just out of earshot. "I'm — tell me who you are — tell me — Castiel?" she asks. "Castiel?"

"Is that a name?" Dad asks. "That's what it's called?"

But Pamela just ignores the way the table's shaking, the house is shaking, the foundations of everything is shaking and NPR's roaring through the upstairs, clashing with Zeppelin while the candles leave black plumes of smoke pouring through the room. She just says, "Show yourself, Castiel. I order and command you to show yourself — I order and command you to — "

And then her eyes burn out.


Writing this while watching While You Were Sleeping is weird, guys.

Also, downstairs neighbors, stop smoking weed with all your windows open, it's DISTRACTING.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-18 11:52 pm (UTC)
grey_bard: (Default)
From: [personal profile] grey_bard
(Undignified noise) Squeeble! This is amazing and fascinating on so many levels and I can't wait to see what comes next. And of *course* when it comes to a daughter - even a demon hunting daughter - John is that Dad.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-19 12:04 am (UTC)
jujuberry136: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jujuberry136
I LOVE Deanna, probably to an unhealthy degree but you write her so well. I love that she teases John about not grilling Pamela, I love that Deanna's an ER nurse, I love Bobby, and I CANNOT WAIT until Castiel shows up. Seriously, I know it will be epic and awesome 'cause that's how you roll.

Thanks for another chapter!

(and John in this story kind of reminds me of my father... you know, the one who always threatened to make you dance in a raincoat for your dance recital because the costume was too revealing? Even though you were 8 and it was a tutu?)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-19 12:06 am (UTC)
arueh: (Default)
From: [personal profile] arueh
I love how the Winchesters are! They're so neurotic it's almost hilarous. Deanna is just awesome and I love what you done with John <3. And Cas \o/. Can't wait for Cas to make an appearance.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-19 06:02 am (UTC)
fiercelydreamed: (Default)
From: [personal profile] fiercelydreamed
I don't think I've mentioned this before, but one of the things I love about the way you write genderfuck is that your protagonists are never, ever just [Character Name Here] with Boobs. I love the way you extrapolate a new arc for your female protagonists' lives, from childhood onward, and the way you embed female experiences (good and painful both) into these stories. "Lustrous" and its sequel, as well as "(Un)covered," are both stories I return to, and I'm already rapt to see what you'll do with Deanna and SPN, as this show can be both some of the most compelling and most deeply misogynistic television I've seen in the last few years.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-19 08:28 am (UTC)
poala: A drawing by Wufei_w of two of our dearest friends having a cuddle party (Default)
From: [personal profile] poala
This is so freaking awesome I am eagerly awaiting the next part

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-19 03:16 pm (UTC)
auroraprimavera: Michelle Monaghan (Default)
From: [personal profile] auroraprimavera
/o\ MORE! This is awesome - I love how they're still them and how you've twisted everything around. Can't wait for even more \o/

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-19 08:03 pm (UTC)
ifyouweremine: (Girl Jensen)
From: [personal profile] ifyouweremine

It's fascinating to see the differences in the way John treats Dean and Sam and the way Dean is frustrated by it but loves John too much to confront him about it.

Also, I love how the only thing Sam and John agree on is Dean, and that hearing that people think she's special flusters Dean so bad (oh, Dean! You have self-esteem issues in any universe), and Sam and Dean's hug and Dean keeping watch over John when he fell asleep at the table and all the other little nuances about the Winchester family that you've captured so well.

And I love the humor in this, too, like when Dean used sign-language to ask Sam for her dyke boots and when Dean got grossed out by Pamela hitting on Sam and warned John to make sure Sam didn't get knocked-up, LMAO!

Finally, my last thought about this is: OMFG CASTIELLLLLLLLL! I'm so looking forward to Castiel appearing in this universe. And, okay, I'm kind of maybe hoping for some Castiel/girl!Dean as well, haha. ^___~

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-20 07:42 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] asitor

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-21 01:11 am (UTC)
ariadnes_string: (amulet)
From: [personal profile] ariadnes_string
This is so fascinating and so fun--you're making me fall in love with the Winchesters all over again!

Commenting like crazy..

Date: 2010-08-23 04:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mitos23.livejournal.com
Okay, I should not have started this being a WIP but i'm hooked and about to comment on all parts separately. I am de-lurking in a big way, but i can't help myself cause the amount of love and silence between D and John is so palpable and honest. And when it is getting too serious you pull a line like this:
"I'm not certain if I believe in post-marital intercourse, either, in the case of your daughter, Mr. Winchester, sir."

Between that and the Sam getting knocked up comment, I think "this is why I lurk and don't write" its banter that makes the characters come alive. Okay onto part III...

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