Beautiful StrangerRecipient: spn_summergenRating:
Hints of violence, hurt Dean. Outsider P.O.VAuthor's Notes:
The recipient gave three prompts and I used two of them which were Darkfic dealing with Sam or Dean (or both!) coming back from Hell/the Cage changed or somehow "wrong" & The Winchesters from an outsider POV - a minor character or an OCSummary:
Mr Beautiful comes into the diner alone; he looks like a heartbreaker but he appears to be the one with the broken heart. Who is the mysterious stranger he claims
is his brother and why does she feel the need to help them when they need it most? She knows they are dangerous but she can’t say no and, over time, she realises that she will never forget these men or what they have done…
The first time Mr. Beautiful
came into the diner he was alone. I remember that he looked miserable; head down, fingers playing with grains of sugar that had been left on the table. Despite his obvious depression his appearance caused much excitement amongst my female staff, and there was a fight to see who might actually serve him. I managed to prevent any injuries by shooing them all away and taking his order myself. I didn’t do it very often, but I was doing them all a favor. He looked like a heartbreaker.
He was certainly decent to look at; taller than most with broad shoulders and bow legs. His face was perfection; big green eyes framed by lush black lashes, freckles, and a mouth to die for. If I’d been ten years younger I’d have slipped him my number along with the bill, but I’d stopped doing that eons ago and, by the air of wretchedness that surrounded him, I don’t think he’d be very interested.
He managed a smile when I gave him a free helping of pie and he tipped extra big before he walked out of the diner like a man with the world’s problems weighing heavy on those broad shoulders. I noticed he got into a shiny black muscle car, the sort my late husband would have adored, and I watched him curiously as he bent his head over the wheel, face hidden. I thought for a moment he might be crying but he just sat there unmoving for a long time, then he turned the key and revved the car into life.
Time passed, as it invariably does, and the diner continued to thrive. People came and went, burgers were eaten, and drinks consumed. I still managed to keep my head above water and my staff seemed happy enough.
It was nearing Christmas when Mr. Beautiful
came in again. This time though he wasn’t alone, and I almost choked on my own coffee when I saw the guy he was with because if Mr. Beautiful
was something, his companion was something else.
This guy was taller still and had long, long legs and a body to die for. His hair was burnished copper, long and uncontained curling thickly around the guy’s collar. He had slanting, almost feral eyes, and a wicked smirk that took in all my giggling female employees, the invitation in his dimpled smile obvious. In the past I’d seen good looking men like these two work in tandem, hitting on women and taking them down
before they even knew what hit them, but this was different. Mr. Beautiful
looked almost embarrassed by his companion’s behavior, his face paler and even more despondent than before. He was as pale as milk beneath his freckles and he refused the free pie I offered him. He never took his eyes off his friend
and I tried to work out just what their relationship was. I had no problem with gay men, but I did have a problem with bullying, abuse and obvious control. Mr. Beautiful’s
tall friend appeared to be in charge. He was cocky and confident, almost too big, and too strong. He winked at me when I put down the check, put his big hand over mine and smiled suggestively. I pulled away quick smart and saw Mr. Beautiful
look over at me, sympathy and something else shining in those big green eyes.
Months down the line and I was closing up; I hated late nights like this one, icy cold and enveloped in thick darkness. My hands were shaking as they rested on the bolt and I almost leapt out of my skin when two men loomed up out of the gloom.
It was Mr. Beautiful
but he didn’t look so beautiful right then; he was leaning on the shoulder of another guy, an older man with a worn baseball cap and a scraggy salt and pepper beard. Neither of them spoke but I saw the appeal in the older man’s eyes and I stepped back, guiding them into one of the more private booths; the coffee pot on the boil without even being asked.Mr. Beautiful
looked so pale he was almost translucent; there were finger marks around his throat, deep red grooves as if someone had dug their nails in. That wasn’t the worst of it though; he had lesions on his neck and wrists, thick clotted blood smearing around them. The old man had to guide him down and he went willingly, his head resting on the back of the seat, his green eyes closed, and lashes fluttering.
I wasn’t ashamed to say I listened to what they were saying; listened as well as I could to their hushed whispers, and their urgent mumbles.
“You need to do something about him, Dean,” the older man said and Mr. Beautiful
– Dean – shook his weary head.
“He’s my brother!”
“Not now he isn’t. Something’s not right with him.”
“What can I do?” the plea in his voice was obvious. “I-I . . . what can I do, Bobby?”
I never heard the answer. They drank the coffee I gave them, tipped me heavily and took away the pie that I insisted they have on me.
For weeks I’d wondered if Dean, (Mr. Beautiful finally had a name) was in some sort of abusive relationship. After seeing him that night I was convinced that the tall man had some sort of bizarre control over him and, there were many days, I considered calling the cops. Eventually I convinced myself that it was none of my business, that Dean was a grown man and easily able to handle himself.
I was cleaning up at the end of a busy Saturday when Dean’s friend (or lover) came into the diner. Despite his size he seemed to creep up on me without me realizing he was there, big and solid, looming over me with a smirk on his face that was far from friendly.
“I’m looking for my brother,” the guy said and I stared at him until it clicked. My mouth went dry and I held the cleaning cloth up in front of me like a shield.
“I haven’t seen him in a while,” I answered, honestly. “Not since . . . .”
He quirked his eyebrow; there was mischief in his gaze but there was something else there too, something feral and unrestrained. His slanting eyes fixed themselves on my breasts and I felt dirty, the need to run almost overwhelming.
“Okay,” he said. “How about we forget about him and . . . .” His meaning was obvious and I flushed. I was old enough to be his mom, but it would be a lie to say that it wasn’t a tempting offer. I wasn’t made of stone and on any other occasion I might have taken him up on it, but there was that deep and unpleasant feeling in my gut, a feeling that I couldn’t trust him, a feeling of utter nausea every time he looked at me. “Never mind.” He must have read my thoughts. “Your loss.” And with that he turned heel and strode out of the diner, purposeful and determined.
I leaned back against the counter breathing out slow and steady. I ached all over and my eyes were sore with unshed tears. I wasn’t easily frightened but today, today I’d been terrified.
Strange really; I hadn’t realized how much my life (and my diner) had become wrapped up in those two brothers
. Every morning I would look for Dean or the tall guy who claimed to be his sibling. I guessed, deep down, that I feared for the former and was terrified of the latter. There was something not right about either of them, but I couldn’t but my finger on it and I’m not sure I wanted to.
“Let us in, please.” The old guy with the baseball cap was slamming his fist against my window and I stood there paralyzed wondering if I should just do as he asked or suffer the consequences. There was blood smeared on the palm of his hand and all down his shirt, he looked as if he’d been at war with something but I was certain that it wasn’t his blood.
I opened up without question; they might have been petty thieves, or mafia, or something more sinister but I liked to think of myself as an upstanding citizen, so I did as I was asked knowing that I still had my ex’s shotgun tucked away behind the counter, hoping it might keep me safe.
Dean staggered in first and he looked pallid but unharmed; he was bent double under the weight of the tall man, (his brother), who was bleeding heavily from the gut. The tall man was muttering obscenities under his breath, eyes fixed and wild. He didn’t appear to know where he was but his strength was obvious. Most men would be on their knees by now but this one, he was something else.
I followed their instructions, got water, cloths, and gauze from the first aid kit. Once the blood was cleaned off the wound didn’t look quite so bad, but I couldn’t help but question what had left such ragged wounds.
“Was he attacked by a bear or something?” I knew it sounded foolish and Dean looked at me with shocked green eyes, the tiniest smile on his face.
“Not a bear,” he said but his evasion told me more than his words did.
I busied myself in the back for a while. Something told me I could trust them (well Dean and the old guy at least) and anyway I was too squeamish to watch Dean sewing up his brother’s
stomach wound. Afterwards, I gave them coffee and free pie with homemade ice cream. Dean grinned at me going for cocky (which didn’t work) while the older guy just ate silently, his eyes on the tall man who was slumped against the seat. The fact that he was conscious was miracle enough but the way he sneered at me as I fussed around him made me wish, unkindly, that the gut wound had been more serious.
They left without a word but Dean handed me a pile of rolled up bills. I didn’t want payment but he insisted. I watched as they walked to the car, Dean still supporting the tall guy, the old guy just behind them watching with narrowed eyes. It took me a while to clean up after them, and I spent most of that time wondering. Forever wondering. Why would Dean – my Mr. Beautiful – spend so much time helping the tall man who seemed so cruel and so . . . so soul-less?
Spring brought warmth to the air and a lightness to the diner. We were constantly busy but that was good, I liked being busy. I liked not having to rush home to an empty house where I would rattle around feeling lonely and sorry for myself.
I hadn’t seen Dean in months and I couldn’t help but worry. My wild imagination conjured up a million different scenarios, all of them ending in hideous or bloody death. Often, late at night, I would stand at the window and listen for the roar of that old Chevrolet engine, look into the darkness for shining black metal.
Sundays we were always quiet; I only opened for lunchtime because I didn’t want to sit at home eating roast meat on my own. I worked alone, no need for the staff to ruin their weekend, and I was close to locking up when I saw a familiar figure walking slowly through the parking lot. Dean’s brother
My stomach plunged, a sickening feeling of fear. I wouldn’t have time to pull the bolts and I was alone, unprotected. My hand reached beneath the counter for the gun but something stopped me and I looked up from my crouching position wondering what.
He had always been a tall guy but somehow he seemed smaller or maybe it was the way he was walking, his arrogant, uncaring swagger replaced by a slow, rolling gait. His shoulders were bowed rather than pushed back, his copper toned hair falling over his forehead, and his hands thrust dejectedly into his pockets. He came through the door gently and closed it without making a noise. Slanting hazel eyes met mine and they didn’t look feral or predatory any longer, instead they looked sad and downcast. They looked ashamed.
“Hey.” He put a scrappy looking dollar bill on the counter. “Could I get a coffee?”
“Sure.” I didn’t understand it, it was like he was a totally different person. His cheeks were flushed and, when he smiled, there were dimples.
“I-I wanted to apologize.” His eyes met mine. “For any insult or upset I might have caused you. Apparently you let us in the night I got attacked by that Wendi- . . . ,” he stopped before saying anymore. “Dean said you saved my life.”
I stared at him over the coffee. His words made me confused, and puzzled. Then it dawned on me. He didn’t know, he didn’t remember.
“Anyway,” he continued, fast and dry, as if he needed to get the words out. “I’m here to say I’m grateful and that I’m sorry.”
I recalled how he was with that smirk, and those obvious invitations and I wondered if I could forgive him. I couldn’t get the memory of Dean out of my mind, the scratches on his neck, and the welts on his wrist. I remembered the cold sneers and the dead eyes and yet . . . .
The man who stood in front of me now was little more than a boy despite his size. There was innocence about him, an innate intelligence, and a gentleness that I couldn’t associate with the other
. He was staring down at me with soft eyes, with intent and I couldn’t tear my gaze away from him, not quite understanding what might have happened and, perhaps, not wanting to.
“Yes.” I held out my hand and he took it, enveloping it in a big warm palm. “I forgive you.”
He smiled then, warm and white and real, dimples indenting those fine boned cheeks, eyes bright.
The door chimed and I realized that there was another customer; it was Dean and, again, it was a different Dean to before. This Dean walked as if he owned the world, shoulders high, head back, big fuck-off grin on his face. He slapped the tall guy on the back and looked at me with happy green eyes.
“I see you’ve already met my brother, Sammy.”
“It’s Sam!” The tall guy flushed a little and nudged him with his shoulder. “Bitch!”
“Jerk!” Dean virtually giggled. “If he’s forgiven . . . ,” he added to me. “Could we maybe get two slices of your finest pie?”
I served it up to them with ice cream, before I added a portion for myself and joined them, listening to them banter back and forth. It was cozy but odd and I didn’t have a rational explanation for it. All I saw were two young men obviously connected to each other with more than just blood. They reminded me of soldiers going off to fight the good fight, confident that they would fight it together.
They drove off in the big black car and I wondered if I would ever see them again. They had touched my life in the oddest of ways because there was something not quite natural about them and yet I felt strangely safe knowing that they were around. Late at night in the diner I would listen for the roar of an engine or the tinkle of the bell. I would remember how I had looked into the eyes of another person and suddenly seen their soul.
Just two names, Dean and Sam, plus an old man in a battered cap, and an extraordinary case of amnesia. Not a great deal to be going on with in the scheme of things but thinking about them kept me awake some nights and kept me dreaming through others.
I would never forget them.