Written for Halloween. Can be considered very AU for both series.
Nothing moved. Nothing made a sound. The predator lay in wait, its entire being focused on one thing.
The street was deserted. The moon hung low in the sky, grinning like a madman... as if it knew what terrible creature lurked in the shadows.
Its kind fed off of beings of power: witches, weapons, immortals. This creature, however, was ambitious. It had set its sights on a higher power, a deadly prey.
It hunted a Reaper, a god of death.
The prey was approaching, his soul glowing brightly in comparison to every other soul in the city. He was young for a god, but that didn't matter. The creature's hunger intensified. It had never fed off of such power before.
The Reaper stepped onto the street.
The creature tensed in starving anticipation.
Its prey was cautious, moving alertly. But he was a fool. The creature could sense no other souls around him. He had come alone.
It waited impatiently, until its prey was right before it.
Then it attacked.
A dark shadow enveloped the Reaper, manifesting into a creature that defied description. It pinned the Reaper to the wall of the nearest building, sinking twisted claws into his shoulders. The Reaper only gave a small grunt, grimacing in disgust at the putrid smell that washed over him.
The creature screeched in delight at its capture, digging its claws deeper as it opened a mouth full of jagged teeth. However, the Reaper did not seem frightened. In fact, a slow smile spread across his face, mocking.
"You lose," he said.
It was at that moment that the creature actually sensed the two souls that had dropped down on it from above. And in precisely the same instant, it felt an agonizing pain in its back, as a terrible fire tore into it and ripped at its rotten soul. It tried to pull away, to escape, but it had fallen neatly into the Reaper's trap; with a powerful kick, the Reaper sent it reeling straight towards the hail of fire. The creature howled in pain and fury, spinning around gracelessly to lunge at its attackers, but the human one was already transforming, as both flew over its head into their meister's hands.
The Reaper operated with a deadly efficiency, firing blast after blast of his own soul wavelength, which held all the power of a death god. The creature tried to fight back, but it had lost the advantage of speedy surprise on which it so thrived. As it succumbed to the power that slowly drained its own, it uttered one last furious keen, cursing the little Reaper.
And so the predator became the prey.
They'd had little knowledge of the world of meisters and weapons. All they knew was that a being with a wavelength of death, such as they had never felt before, had come into the vicinity. It's power was so strong that there was a chance it could be the monster they were looking for. They couldn't pass up that chance.
So they waited and they planned and when they were ready, they set up an ambush. Little did they know how this would come to change their lives completely.
"It ruined my suit!" Death the Kid wailed. "Look! Look at this monstrosity!"
Sam clenched his fists, taking a deep breath. "I'm more concerned about your shoulders," he said. "You're bleeding, Kid."
"It's fine, it's already healing," Kid replied impatiently. "How do we fix this? Do we rip it off or-?"
"Let me see," Dean said, interrupting the young Reaper and inspecting the bloody scratches on Kid's shoulders. "You don't know what that thing had on its claws. Could be poisonous, for all we know."
"Dammit, Kid, have some dignity!" Dean's fierce glare quelled Kid's complaints for a moment, allowing the Winchester brothers peace enough to make sure that their meister's wounds were indeed healing normally.
"I told you it was fine," Kid said, trying ineffectually to somehow make his suit symmetrical again. "You see? The plan worked perfectly. No one ever looks up."
"Doesn't mean we have to like using you as bait," Sam said.
"What else were we supposed to do?" Kid countered, with the same argument he had used to convince them in the first place. He did have a point. They had missed this particular kishin one too many times and had been forced to reconsider their strategy.
The kishin's red soul floated aimlessly beside them. A wendigo, the creature had been called - something that had once been human, until evil desires had turned it to actually consuming the flesh and soul of humans first, then later that of powerful beings. It was nothing more than a cannibal that had been turned into a monster, made immortal by the powers it absorbed, always feeding off of whatever it could get. This wendigo had targeted Kid as soon as they had arrived in the city where it was hiding, which in the end had worked to their advantage. Still, the Winchesters did not like having to resort to such methods.
"He's just a kid," Dean said uncertainly.
The boy was thin but not lanky. His hair was black, with three strange white stripes that only crossed half of his head, and he wore a dark suit that matched his pale face. He bore a very serious expression, one that was almost contemplative.
Something about this suddenly seemed wrong to Dean. Sam, too, looked hesitant… until they saw his eyes.
The boy had yellow eyes.
Their hesitation was gone.
They finally got Kid to calm down, distracting him from the now-unsymmetrical design of his suit by coaxing him to get moving again.
"You can find a new one when we get home," Sam said encouragingly. "And we can get someone to sew that one."
"Burn it," Kid said firmly. "It's useless now."
Casually grabbing the kishin's soul, Dean rolled his eyes, a small and crooked grin on his face. He tossed the soul to Sam. "Here. It's your turn, I think."
Kid was glaring at the soul. "There should have been two."
"Please don't even suggest it," Sam said fervently.
Kid always got like this after a battle. Dean had figured it was the adrenaline that hadn't had a chance to settle, that still coursed through Kid's body and messed with his OCD. He would relax when it began to wear off.
Of course, they still had to put up with him until then.
The boy must have sensed their approach. He easily sidestepped the red bullet that Dean had aimed for his heart, moving quicker than any normal human. Suspicions only being confirmed, Dean moved forward, keeping Sam trained on the boy.
The silence was almost theatrical, as neither moved nor spoke for a long moment. It was the boy who broke it, eyeing them with a curiously emotionless expression.
"You're either brave or stupid," he said. "I'm going to say both, just in case."
"What are you?" Dean demanded.
The boy looked briefly surprised. "Or just ignorant," he amended. "Do you always attack strangers in the dark?"
"Answer the question," Dean said, taking a single step forward.
"I'm a Reaper," the boy answered. "A death god. Lord Death is my father."
Dean's eyes widened slightly, as Sam spoke up. The Lord Death? he asked. They knew of the Grim Reaper, of course, but their information wasn't much. He has a son?
"That's right," the boy said. "What? Did you think I was a kishin?"
Dean wavered, but did not lower Sam. "Something like that," he admitted. "Not that we believe you."
The boy frowned, looking thoughtful. "Alright," he said finally. "If you don't believe me, then shoot me."
"Go ahead." He spread his arms. "If you think I'm evil, shoot me. I won't stop you."
Dean did not move, and Sam remained unhelpfully silent. The elder Winchester was hesitating. There was something about the boy - perhaps in his eyes or his voice - that could not be argued with. He wasn't lying. Dean was almost sure of it, despite the yellow eyes. The side of him that hungered for vengeance screamed at him to shoot anyway, but it was a reasonable explanation for the wavelength of death that they had both sensed from the boy.
Besides, did he really want to shoot, anyway?
After a moment, Sam transformed.
They were driving back to Death City, because Dean had insisted that he be allowed to drive them to their mission in his beloved car this time around. They raced along at speeds that would have been illegal in any town, but in the desert could only been considered normal. A comfortable silence was between them, though the same could not be said of the car itself. Classic rock sang from the car's stereo.
Kid leaned forward from the backseat (he had lost a game of rock-paper-scissors to Sam), and Dean lowered the volume, setting the music as a background.
"I'm sorry," the young Reaper said unexpectedly. "I really thought this kishin might have been the one you're looking for."
A melancholy mood seemed to settle in the car, but Dean merely shrugged. "I didn't think so," he said. "It was fast and deadly, but not powerful enough. When we find that one, we'll have a much harder time of killing it."
Kid did not look satisfied, and Sam half-turned in his seat to give him a glance. "What's wrong?"
It took Kid a few moments to answer. "It's just... I'm a Reaper, after all. And I can't help you find one little kishin." He let out a long, petulant breath, frowning at nothing in particular.
The Winchesters were surprised. "It's not your fault," Sam said. "We've been looking for years. Our father looked even longer. And there's still no sign."
"Yes, but... I want to find it. Perhaps not as badly as you do, but I want to kill something that could be so evil. Especially for what it did to your family."
Dean was frowning. "What's with the chick flick speech all of a sudden, Kid?"
Kid did not answer. He reached up to absently rub the now-healed scratches on his shoulder.
"Are you a meister?" the boy asked Dean.
"No," was the answer. "We're both weapons."
"I see." There was a sudden gleam in the boy's eyes. "And do you make it a habit to hunt down kishin... or what you believe are kishin, anyway?"
The Winchesters shared a glance. "What's with the interrogation?" Sam asked.
The boy raised an eyebrow. "Well, you attacked me," he said reasonably. "I think I have the right to a few questions."
Dean gritted his teeth. He was already half-regretting his decision to back down and considered reversing it, just in case. You could never tell, with kishin. Still, it was surprisingly difficult.
"We do hunt kishin," he confirmed. "Is that a crime now?"
"No," said the boy. "It's a good thing." He folded his arms. "May I ask why you hunt kishin?"
"You may not," Dean retorted.
The boy contemplated this answer, looking thoughtful. "Very well, then." He held out a hand. "I'm Death the Kid."
Sam was the first to shake his hand, and Dean did so only reluctantly. "I'm Sam Winchester," Sam said. "This is my brother, Dean."
"Winchester, huh?" Death the Kid said. "Twin pistols?"
Kid was smiling. "Have you ever considered finding a meister?" he asked.
"Honestly, that's not very high up on the priority list," Dean said. "Why?"
"Well," Kid said, "why not be my weapons?"
There was a beat. "Excuse me?" Sam asked.
"Why not?" Kid repeated. "I am a Reaper, after all. You could find more kishin through me... assuming that's what you want."
Dean narrowed his eyes. This was a smart boy, to have picked up on that so quickly. "And what's in it for you?"
"What makes you think there's some gain for me?" Kid asked innocently.
"Oh, come on," Dean scoffed. "You don't make an offer like that to two strangers who just attacked you... unless there's something you can gain."
Kid lost his cool composure for a moment, and there was something almost feverish in his gaze. "I suppose you won't even consider it unless I tell you," he muttered. "The truth is... symmetry."
The Winchesters had almost identical incredulous expressions on their faces. "What?"
"Symmetry!" Kid exclaimed. "I've met so many weapons, singular weapons that would have provided not even an ounce of symmetry while fighting. But you... twin pistols. It's perfect! We would make the most perfect team!" He eyed them critically. "Of course, you don't look much alike in human form, but maybe if you stayed in weapon form more often... what?"
Sam and Dean were laughing, leaning against each other as mirth made them weak. It was almost like a release, much more than simple amusement at the strange quirk of a death god. "That's why you want us as your weapons?" Sam asked.
"Of course," Kid replied. "Together, we could create a perfect world!"
This refreshed the Winchester's amusement, although their laughter died away as they shared a glance. It was almost as if telepathic communication passed between them, and they came to an agreement without any words being spoken.
"Kid," said Dean. "You've got yourself a deal."
Shibusen rose above them, a towering, eccentric structure that had become almost like home to them in the short time they'd been there. It was a rather strange arrangement; the Winchesters were somewhere in between students and teachers, having been called upon almost immediately to assist in teaching martial arts, at which they were proficient.
But it wasn't unpleasant.
"I'm going to give the report to my father," Kid said, pausing to look up at the walls of Shibusen admiringly. "Coming?"
"Of course," Sam said.
They'd intended to only use Kid at first. He had connections they needed, information they could get to more easily through his status as a death god. He could lead them to their prey quicker than they could get to it themselves.
However, things didn't stay that way for long.
"I'm trash!" Kid cried. "Absolute garbage!"
He was having a fit of symmetry, after Dean, getting frustrated with his constant obsessions, had pointed out that Kid himself was unsymmetrical - what about his Sanzu lines?
Sam whacked his brother's shoulder. "Why do you have to be so insensitive?"
"Who do you have to hit like a girl?" Dean responded furiously.
"Why me? You're the emotional one!"
Kid was sinking deeper into depression, so Dean finally crouched by him, looking uncomfortable.
"Garbage," Kid moaned. "I deserve to be put out with the garbage."
"No, you don't," Dean sighed. "Look, I'm sorry about what I said."
"It doesn't change anything."
"Dammit, you're not garbage, all right? Garbage, uh... stinks, and you don't, so you're not. Happy?" Dean winced at this solution, as Sam mouthed 'What the hell?' behind him.
To their surprise, Kid actually calmed down somewhat. "Really?" he sniffed.
"Uh, yeah," Dean said, quickly taking advantage of this unexpected turn of events. "You don't smell bad at all, so you're not garbage."
He was bad at this, but it was working. Kid straightened into a standing position, looking relieved, and Dean uttered a sigh of relief.
And that was the end of that.
It was almost like they had another brother, sometimes younger, sometimes older. They grew used to his quirks and became rather adept at handling them. Most of all, they could admire his sensible nature and quiet dignity. And what they had originally wanted – the information, the connections – came anyway, but with another reward.
The three of them made a fearsome team.
Kid and Sam had almost reached the entrance when Dean stopped.
"Kid," he called. The other two turned, curious.
"What is it, Dean?"
"Thanks," the elder Winchester said with a grin. "For everything."
Kid appeared taken aback, and his face regained that same thoughtful look he'd had in the Impala. He smiled back.
"You too," he said and turned back around, entering Shibusen.
Sam and Dean followed.
Liz and Patti are some of my favorite characters, but this idea was too intriguing to pass up. Please don't mistake it as hate for the Thompson sisters.