Title: 285 North
Author: Dea Brynhild Ensomhet Spikess
Timeline: Pre-series SPN, Season 1 Roswell. Spoilers for Roswell up through the episode "285 South".
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Supernatural or Roswell cast/crew/characters/plotlines/etc. All hail Kripke, Metz, UPN, the WB, and the CW. Please don't sue, 'cause I only have $3.47 to last me until payday, and my check's not going to be all that big either.
Warnings: No pairings (GaspShockDismay!). Unbetaed (Gasp! The horrors!).
Summary: Michael's vandalism of personal property doesn't go unnoticed.
Author's notes: I am currently working on a John/Amy fic. This, however, is NOT that fic. This is, though, a SPN/Rswl crossover to get my muses in the mood. Enjoy!
Dean's cruising down the highway, rock music blasting out of the open windows as the warm air tousles his hair. It's one of the rare times that he has the beautiful car all to himself; Dad's doing a solo job in Colorado and Dean just finished a job in Texas, so he has nothing but time to kill and nowhere in particular to be until Dad sends him coordinates.
Sunlight radiates off the desert in thick waves and the road stretches out to touch the horizon. It's a perfect setting for mindless driving and enjoying the moment, and Dean plans to enjoy the hell out of having the Impala to himself. Carpe the fucking diem. He sings along to the music as loud as he can, filling and possessing the surrounding air as he drives. He's only seen one other car in the last few hours, a red Jetta with a little green alien head on the antenna - Roswell, New Mexico, is in his path if he keeps going straight, and he plays with the idea of stopping there and taking a look around. He's got nowhere else to go and even if there isn't a single ghost or spirit hanging around, at least the UFO museum and the gift shop will be interesting to look through. He might even pick up a postcard or something to send to Sammy.
There's something shiny on the road ahead, some debris that's reflecting the sunlight. He pulls on to the shoulder of the road - Dad will give him hell if he runs over something and hurts the tires - and gets out to investigate. It's a cell phone, or to be more specific, at least five different pieces of plastic and wires that had once been a cell phone. None of the pieces have been driven over yet, and his mind goes back to the only other car he saw on the road. Picking up the pieces and laying them out on the passenger seat, he grabs a small toolkit from the glove compartment and starts putting the pieces back together.
Dean always had a knack for machines. Ever since he was old enough to handle a screwdriver he's been taking things apart to figure out how they work, how all the parts contribute to form a whole. More than a few times he's found a walkman or a toaster someone tossed out and been able to fiddle with it and get it to work enough to pawn it for a few bucks. Several of Sammy's Christmas presents over the years were battery-powered toys stores threw away for being busted that, after a little tinkering, Dean was able to fix.
Compared to the EMF reader Pastor Jim showed him a few months ago, the cell phone isn't much of a challenge (the EMF reader wasn't that difficult to figure out either. Dean thinks he might try building his own when he has time - most of the parts he needs are in any standard walkman). The pieces broke cleanly, and except for the few places where the plastic is cracked and won't lock in place, the main pieces are all intact and easy to reattach, and a strip of black electrical tape is enough to hold the pieces together. On the inside of the battery cover is a sticker of a Dalmatian dog with "Maria DeLuca" and a Roswell address written on it. The cell phone beeps as it turns on, the brand name flashing across the screen as it warms up. It beeps again when it connects to the network and then starts ringing. Loudly. "Liz" flashes on the screen, and Dean presses the button to answer the phone, wondering if he would get a reward from the Jetta's occupants for finding and returning Maria's cell phone.
"Hello?" he says, and then quickly jerks the phone away from his ear as an enraged female voice bursts from the speaker.
"Michael! What the hell do you think you're doing? We have enough trouble with Valenti on our tail and now you've kidnapped Maria?!?"
Kidnapped? Dean frowns. "I'm sorry, Liz-"
"Liz?" The woman's voice snaps and then pauses. Dean can barely hear muffled voices on the other end before the woman is back, her voice sharp and suspicious. "Who is this?"
"My name is Dean, and I-"
She interrupts, "How did you get this phone?"
"It was lying in pieces in the middle of the road." Dean replies honestly, confused and curious. There's nothing supernatural about this situation, but he can't just walk away if someone was kidnapped and he can help. Turning on the ignition, he makes a U-turn and starts driving down 285 South. The Jetta has a few hours lead on him, but he can probably still catch them.
"What road?" the woman demands. Dean almost lies to her as revenge for her rudeness, but then he thinks about Dad's short temper the one time someone tried to kidnap Sammy. "Two eighty-five." He hears her repeat the number to someone else, and then a guy's voice comes on the phone.
"Thank you for finding this phone." The guy says, and there's an undercurrent to his voice that makes Dean think of his father. Whoever this kid is, he's the leader of his friends, and possibly of some secret kidnapping ring that only Dean is in a position to stop. "Are you headed towards Roswell?"
Dean glances in his rearview mirror and steps on the gas. "I thought I might swing through."
"If you could drop it off at the Crashdown Café, we'll make sure you're rewarded for your time. Thank you." The phone disconnects and Dean stares at it for a moment before setting it down in the passenger seat.
The sun has set when news of a jack-knifed 18-wheeler comes across the radio. Dean curses, but grins when he sees a red Jetta with an alien antenna topper parked on the north side of the road-block. The car is void of human life (although there is a green blow-up alien head sticking out of a cardboard box in the back seat) but it's the dead of night and the Sultan's Hideaway Motel is less than ten feet away; it doesn't take a college student to put two and two together.
Dean spins a tale about his little sister who ran off with her abusive boyfriend, and the motel clerk is more than happy to tell him what room "Michael Guerin" rented for the night. His leather jacket hides the gun tucked in the front of his jeans nicely, and there's a knife in each boot, just in case. Dean doesn't fight humans often, but he figures that should be plenty to take out one kidnapper if he's reading this situation right. Headlights spill across the parking lot as he leaves the motel's office, and instinct makes Dean duck around the corner of the motel. The engine turns off and a moment later two doors slam shut. Dean risks a glance and sees three teenagers - a leggy long-haired blonde, a pretty brunette, and a dark-haired guy - walk up to the door of a room. Dean feels a brief shot of jealousy - damn, that blonde is one hot piece of jailbait - but then he realizes that the trio are standing in front of the door Michael Guerin and Maria DeLuca are in. The blonde reaches for the doorknob and looks around, and Dean ducks back into the shadows. There're the muted sounds of voices but he can't make anything out; he doesn't hear the door close though, which would be a stroke of luck if he wasn't now dealing with four potential kidnappers instead of one. Dean's recalculating the odds when another car pulls in and parks next to the jeep that's sitting in front of the kidnapping suite. Another teenage guy climbs out and walks to the door, pausing for a moment to eavesdrop before pushing the door open and entering.
Great. Dean prides himself on being able to handle himself in a fight, but he's not suicidal. Five-on-one odds aren't good, and he doesn't know for sure what he's walking into. It could be just some kids having fun without parental supervision, or it could be a bunch of wanna-be sorcerers summoning things they don't have the slightest idea how to control. He's too involved now; he can't in good conscience walk away without making sure the kids aren't holding someone for ransom or meddling with dark rituals. He's got enough dark spots on his soul without the risk of seeing Maria's face in the obits next week.
The last kid in is the first one out, and Dean watches him drive away with a slight sense of relief. The odds are a little bit better, and Dean thinks he can handle two guys and two girls. He walks up and knocks, biting back the sudden insane urge to call out, "Housekeeping!"
A girl's voice shouts through the wood of the door, "Kyle, I told you to leave me alone!"
"I'm not Kyle," a long silence greets Dean's statement, and he's about to knock again when the door is opened by the blonde he saw walk in. She's damn near gorgeous up close, and if this was any other time he might risk spouting off some lewd pick-up line, but his dick's gotten him in enough trouble already in his short life, and he's not particularly looking to wind up in the local lockdown for soliciting a minor.
"What do you want?" the girl asks frostily, blocking the doorway, her arms crossed over her chest. She gives off a Xena-like air of strength and power (not that Dean would admit to watching Xena on pain of death), and Dean starts rethinking the four-to-one odds.
"Is there a Maria DeLuca here?" Dean's hand is already itching for his gun, because the tension in this room is so thick it wouldn't cut even with the chainsaw that's in the back of the Impala's trunk for emergencies. He shoves his hands deeper into his pockets instead, trying to look harmless and failing miserably. The rough stubble that he didn't bother to shave off yesterday probably isn't helping his case either. There are five teenagers in the room - the three he spotted going in, a guy with short brown hair and a girl with short blonde hair whom he guesses are the mysterious Michael and Maria. Maria is standing slightly behind Michael, while the other guy takes a step in front of the brunette to partially shield her.
The brunette glances at the short-haired blonde, confirming his assumption even before the girl says, "I'm her." No one else takes their eyes off of Dean, and he feels like he just walked into the middle of a hunt where one wrong move could land him dead in a ditch in the middle of the desert to be picked apart by the buzzards. Dean slowly pulls the girl's cell phone out of his pocket, noticing the two guys tense but not reach for any concealed weapons.
After the second time Dean got knocked out by a sacrificial virgin who actually wanted to be sacrificed, he started working on his people-reading skills. Years later, he feels rather comfortable with his ability to make accurate decisions about whether a given person is going to help him find the monster that needs killing or is going to tie him up as an easy snack so the monster can keep running rampant. Dean had only spent a few minutes in the company of this strange group of teenagers, and he can already tell that Maria is the type to whack him over the head if he tries to rescue her from her companions. Dean really doesn't like five-to-one odds.
"I found your phone," Dean holds it out and Michael takes it, watching Dean warily as he hands the phone to Maria.
"I thought it broke into a million pieces!" Maria exclaims, peeling back the edge of the black tape.
"More like six or seven, but I was able to put it back together," Dean shrugs, putting his hands back in his pockets. "That should keep it working until you can get it replaced."
"Thank you so much; my mom would've killed me if I'd lost it," Maria shoots a glare at Michael. She doesn't offer a reward and Dean knows better than to go fishing for one.
"Yes, thank you for returning the phone," the other guy says, and Dean recognizes his voice as the one who'd told him to return the phone to the Crashdown Café.
"No problem," Dean replies, "Any random passerby would've done the same." He's about to turn and leave when the leggy blonde stops him.
"How did you know she was here, anyway?" she asks, suspicious, and her voice matches NotLiz who accused him of being Kidnapper Michael on the phone.
"A red Jetta going South on 285 was the only other car I saw on the road today," Dean answers as innocently as possible. It was the sorry state of the world that most of the acting genes had gone to his brother - by now Sam would have had these kids offering him a place to crash and telling him all about why they were out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. Dean can be as honest as a nun in church but no matter how much truth he tells, people still tend to suspect he's lying. "Based on the way that the pieces were laying on the road and that they were still in good condition, I figured it belonged to someone in the Jetta. When I saw the Jetta on the side of the road, I figured she was here." True to his luck, she doesn't look like she completely believes him, but she's not questioning his story. There's more to this group of kids than meets the eye, but damned if Dean can figure it out. It could be anything from drugs to alcohol to teen orgies, even though none of the kids show any signs of being under the influence, and it isn't any of Dean's business anyway. "If that's all?" Dean leaves and no one stops him this time, the door shutting firmly behind him. He gets into the Impala without looking back, the prickle on the back of his neck letting him know that he's still being watched.
Dean pulls out of the motel's parking lot, headed North on 285. It's been one hell of a day already and he's still got miles to go before he sleeps. Besides, he's still got to stop in Roswell and pick up a present to mail to Sammy, something suitable and professional enough to wear around his law-school buddies, like a t-shirt that says "I was abducted by aliens and all I got was probed eight times and this lousy t-shirt." Maybe he'll even find an alien to hunt while he's in town. The look on Sammy's face when Dean tells him he bagged a little green Martian... Dean smiles at the thought and steps down on the gas.