theroadhouse: (Bashful Dean)
[personal profile] theroadhouse
Title: Five Times Eliot Spencer Crossed Paths With Dean Winchester (And One Time Dean Returned the Favor)
Characters: Dean, Eliot, John
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1601
Spoilers: None really – set pre-series in both cases.
Author’s Note: Written for Lynzie914 as part of the 2010 Leverageland Secret Santa Exchange.

If he’s being completely honest with himself, the job does beat lying on his belly on a ridge of desert sand, waiting to take out a group of insurgents. Even if his usual work clothes are more comfortable than the thousand dollar suit his brother insists he wear on the job, Eliot can acknowledge the value of conditioned air and hot and cold running luxury.

Jesus – who are you trying to convince? He’s suddenly disgusted with himself. Simple babysitting job, two weeks out of his life at twice his normal fee, and to listen to the inside of his head anyone who doesn’t know him would think he’s being asked to torture widows, orphans, and a bus load of nuns.

He’s finishing his sweep of the smaller bedroom when he hears it – quiet noise at the front door. Somebody picking the lock. He listens for the sound of the tools in the mechanism. Knows what he’s doing too. There isn’t a single false note as the slim rods move the tumblers into their proper positions.

He’s in position by the time the knob is turning. The door swings open, and it’s all Eliot can do not to roll his eyes when the first thing he sees is the gleam of a pistol. It takes him three moves to disarm and subdue the intruder – one more than it should have. “Stay down,” he growls, when the kid looks like he’s going to struggle to his feet.

“She’s got you under a spell, you know,” he says, green eyes flashing murderously as he watches Eliot disassemble his weapon. It’s instinctive these days – Eliot literally can’t pick up a firearm anymore without taking it apart. Most of the time he’s not even aware he’s doing it.

He grins at the idea the kid thinks he’s some kind of Renfield flunky just because he’s playing bodyguard to a siren.

He’s not sure why he accepts the kid’s…Dean, he reminds himself forcibly, although the name’s not likely to stick in his head…Dean’s invitation to track a skinwalker through the mountains of southern Colorado. “I could really use an extra set of eyes on this one, and my usual partner’s working a case in North Dakota,” is all the explanation Eliot gets, but for some reason it’s enough.

They spend three days and most of a fourth on the thing’s trail, following signs so obscure Eliot can barely tell what they are. His impression of Dean’s tracking skill grows by the hour – the kid knows his way through the woods. He’s also handy around the camp site, although Eliot stands his ground when it comes to the question of meals.

“I got it,” he tells the kid, and if the statement is almost a threat, Dean doesn’t call him on it.

They finally corner it in an overgrown canyon, and it’s like a scene out of any of the old westerns Eliot watched as a kid. The skinwalker looks human, but the shape doesn’t bother Eliot. He’s seen the lore, seen the proof Dean offers, and he’s done too damn much living to assume that something is automatically worth saving if it looks like him.

Eliot’s not at all surprised to see Dean entering the bar in Eastern Oklahoma. Eight killings in a little under three weeks – each of them so off-the-radar weird that even the civilians are talking openly about supernatural influences.

What does surprise him is the older man striding so purposefully in front of Dean. Eliot pegs him instantly as the “usual partner” Dean’s mentioned once or twice – and definitely the dominant one in their relationship. Marine… he decides, based on the man’s bearing and stride. ’Nam vet. Enlisted man. He doesn’t walk like an officer, although he’s got the bearing of a Master Sergeant. This is a man used to getting results, who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty in the process.

Eliot signals one of the better looking girls working the floor and slips her a twenty, with instructions to get the men a pitcher of beer on him.

“Keep the change.”

Dean spots him immediately after the girl sets the frosted pitcher and two glasses down between the two men. After a quick exchange with his partner he crosses the floor – beer in hand – to slide into the booth opposite Eliot.

“Thanks,” he says, saluting Eliot before taking the first sip. “Good to see you.”

Eliot returns the gesture, and although he can’t help wondering what was said between the two men before Dean came to sit with him, it’s definitely not his place to ask. He does mark for future consideration that the partner has changed seats – the better to watch the kid’s back? – and is turning very unfriendly eyes Eliot’s way.

“My Dad,” Dean says, following Eliot’s gaze, and suddenly things make a whole lot more sense. He’s not invited to share the Winchesters’ meal or their hunt, and he’s not sure he would have accepted if he had been asked.

Six months and four hunts with Dean – not John – later the two of them are in a suburban neighborhood in east Kentucky, and Eliot is sure he enjoyed drawing out the rawhead they were chasing a little too much. He still doesn’t understand why he’s so willing to let Dean watch his back, but the rush of taking down a monster that preys on little kids is more than enough to compensate for the weirdness.

The beer is cold and waiting by the time they return to the Impala, and Eliot gratefully accepts his bottle from Dean’s outstretched hand.

“Where’s your dad these days?” he asks after a few moments of companionable silence. He’s not sure why the question slips out, but he doesn’t take it back.

“Down in Florida,” Dean says. “Tracking something called a crocotta.” He doesn’t meet Eliot’s eyes as he says it though, and Eliot knows immediately there’s more to the story.

“He ever say what his problem is with me?” He’s putting the kid on the spot, but he can’t help it. Knowing that Dean’s father – a fellow soldier – has passed judgment without letting Eliot speak in his own defense has gotten under his skin in ways he can’t shake. He recognizes the significance when Dean takes a long pull off his beer before answering however – knows whatever he’s going to get isn’t going to be the truth.

“Dad…doesn’t trust a lot of people,” Dean says at last, casting a sidelong glance at Eliot. “He’s got his reasons. You shouldn’t take it personally.”

He thinks about calling Dean in to help him with the werewolf, but ultimately decides against it. His brother has laid the parameters of the job out very clearly, and Eliot knows by now the Winchesters don’t “bag and tag”.

Besides, the last he’d talked to Dean the kid was heading for the northeast – chasing an actual Jersey Devil – and Eliot knows he’s got no right to ask him to let the trail go cold.

He spends the weeks leading up to the full moon studying the intel he’s been given – the most attractive part of the jobs he does for his brother is that he’s rarely, if ever, surprised. Then he spends the first two nights of the full moon tracking the thing, laying out its territory and marking its movements, picking out the best place to ambush and subdue it.

It’s all going according to plan, until Eliot recognizes the howl on the night air is one that means the wolf has found its quarry. Too soon, he thinks, leaving the trap he’d so carefully laid and breaking into a run.

The excitement of a pending kill means that the thing is careless about its trail. Eliot gives chase for nearly a dozen blocks before he gets close enough to see that its prey is very, very familiar to him. He hesitates only a second, taking aim and putting a silver bullet in the thing’s skull. By the time it crumples lifeless to the pavement, he’s walking away without a word to Dean – his brain already working on the problem of explaining to his brother why he bailed on a contract.

He’s heard Croatia is exciting this time of year.

It’s gotten so he doesn’t even blink when he runs into Eliot Spencer on a hunt. For someone not born to the life, he’s the closest thing to a natural Dean’s ever seen. He also genuinely likes the guy – his father’s paranoid reservations aside. Dean’s not one to second guess his father’s instincts, especially about another soldier, but Eliot fills a void in Dean’s life he can’t talk to John about. Talking about it means bringing up the “S” word, and Dean’s learned in very short order you don’t bring up the “S” word.


What catches him completely by surprise is tripping over Eliot while checking out a ghoul’s nest in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. One pass of his flashlight over the prone, bloodstained form chases all thoughts of the hunt out of his head.

“Eliot?” He brushes the matted fall of hair out of the older man’s eyes, checks to see that he’s still breathing. The injuries he can see are serious enough that he considers calling 911, but the danger posed by the ghouls’ imminent return outweighs any reasonable response to the situation.

Eliot rouses slightly when Dean shoots the eyebolt they’ve got him chained to. “Intel…was bad…” is all Dean can make out as he lifts the injured man and half-drags, half-carries him to safety. John will be furious when Dean misses their rendezvous in ten days, but he stays doggedly by Eliot’s side until his friend is able to walk out of the hospital under his own power three weeks after the attack.

It’s the least he can do.


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The Roadhouse

September 2016

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