PLEASE READ FIRST! This story is a variant of Hey You. It is nearly the same in the beginning but there are things changed throughout, especially in the middle and end because where Hey You is the OC Mia/Sam, this one is Mia/Dean. Sorry if this one is a little wonky. :/
For a child, thunderstorms can mean intense fear. Lightning flashes and thunder rolls deep and ominous, carrying the fear of an unknown fate. During these storms parents reassure their children that they are safe. They tell stories claiming that thunder is just the angels bowling and it gives the child something silly to imagine instead of the true danger that could accompany any storm. But some children are never told these stories. Some children are left to face their fears alone.
Mia was one of those children. Her father was a hunter and there were times when she spent weeks alone in a rundown motel, eating pb&j's and watching too much tv to pass the time. This week had been one of those times but there was one thing that had helped. The room next door had also been rented by a hunter who had kids of his own. They'd spent the last few days playing in the cornfield across the street from the motel. The oldest boy had even bandaged her knee when she'd skinned it crossing the road.
She doubted that they ever felt alone, those boys. Not like she did. Their dad was a hunter and gone a lot, just like hers, but they had a huge advantage. They had each other. She'd been envious of that since the first time they met a couple years before. With their dads being old rivals, they often found themselves on the same case, competing for the best kill.
The young girl cowered in the back of the tiny motel closet, covering her ears and shutting her eyes tight as if dulling the sound would take away the storm. The power flickered and went out and she was alone in the darkness with only the scent of her father's old leather jacket to comfort her.
Outside the wind picked up, howling across the plains. Sheets of rain blew across the roof and somewhere a tornado siren blared, moments before the splintered cracking of a tree limb. Mia broke down into tears, unsure of what to do and too afraid to move. From the other side of the closet door she heard a loud bang, then the door flung open and a hand grabbed hers. Her green eyes shot up to the face of the boy next door. Her friend.
He yelled something as lightning flashed across his face, but his voice was drowned out by thunder. He pulled her up and out the door, practically dragging her to the next room where he and his brother were staying. Mia jumped when the door slammed behind them. The room was pitch black, but the boy shoved a flashlight into her hands and gripped her shoulders, leaning down slightly to look her in the face.
"Go get in the tub with Sammy. Hurry up and keep your head down," he said. She wanted to ask what about him. What he going to do, but she was still too shaken up to talk. He wiped her cheek of tears and pushed her away.
When she opened the bathroom door faint candle light shimmered across the walls, making the flying duck wallpaper look as though their wings were moving. Mia gripped the flashlight until her knuckles turned white. Sam peeked out from around the shower curtain and motioned for Mia. She quickly joined him in the tub, stepping high over the tacky baby blue side.
"Where's Dean?" he asked as she sat down and scoot close to his side. He was trembling too.
"I… I don't know. He told me to get in here with you," she managed to say.
Sam nodded slowly and put his blanket around her. Mia fidgeted with the flashlight. She peered over to him but his eyes were locked on the door. Watching. Waiting for his brother. He was about her age, maybe a year older, and sweet as pie. She enjoyed his company but it was his brother she always watched for. Apparently so did he.
Dean came in a few minutes later, dropping a bag on the floor by the tub before climbing in between them. He put one arm around Mia and rested one hand on Sam's back, being the good big brother he knew he had to be. Mia gazed up at him but he was looking at Sam. In that moment, Mia knew exactly how lucky Sam was to have someone to care about him. To protect him. That's what Mia wanted. But things couldn't stay this way and she knew it. The storm raged on and Mia shifted closer to Dean's side.
The kids survived the night, but the next day brought a storm none of them was prepared for. Their fathers were back. Done with the hunt but none too happy. Something had gone wrong and the two fought. From that day on Mia's father did his best to keep her as far away from the Winchester's as possible. The boys were gone, and Mia was alone all over again.
Mia shook her head, rubbing her temples with her slender fingers. Those memories did no good. She hadn't seen or heard from the Winchester boys in over a decade but sometimes the memories returned when it rained. If there was one thing she'd learned in her life it was that time doesn't heal all wounds. There had been something very personal about losing Sam and Dean but even when she became a hunter and heard whispers of their travels, she never got in touch with them. A part of her was certain that they had meant more to her than she meant to them. After all, they were brothers and she was just a girl they ran into from time to time.
Those memories were too easy to get sucked into and sometimes it felt she could drown in them. She'd held onto those moments for far too long, etched them into her heart and when they dredged up she felt pathetic for feeling any sort of way about two men that she might not even recognize if she saw them on the street.
She gazed out the car window to the pouring rain. It hadn't let up for days, which was one reason she was sitting on the side of some unnamed dirt road in the middle of nowhere. The strange weather was only the beginning. Mutilated cows and missing people reeked of demonic activity and although she was retired from hunting, she owed an old friend a favor. And only a favor for a hunter could involve checking out a dead cow.
"What a life," Mia sighed as she stepped out of her car into the down pour. She had given up hunting for a reason but somehow it always seemed to weasel its way back into her life. Then again, it was common knowledge that a hunter never really retires.
There were times when Mia was envious of the blissfully unaware people of the world as they lived their day to day lives rubbing elbows with demons and ghosts. Envious of how they continued on when their loved ones die of unexplained causes they would shuffle along and make something up. Whatever put their mind to ease is what they tended to believe. But then again, she wondered if it might be better to know the truth.
That wasn't possible for a hunter. That life of bliss. It was the price they paid for keeping other people safe from the monsters. For many years she had told herself it was worth it; the price she paid for helping people. But once her father died and she started keeping a dress specifically for the funerals of her friends, she decided it was no longer worth it.
Mia ducked through the barbed wire fence, feeling the barbs pulling her old leather trench coat. She cursed under her breath but continued onward, flipping the collar up against the rain. The cow was only a few yards from the fence and she closed the distance quickly as lightning flashed in the distance. The worst of the storm was coming, and she wanted to be home before it came.
Her flashlight scanned the body of the cow, it's glassy eyes staring past her and keeping its gaze as she passed. Her suspicions were confirmed when she saw three huge gashes running along the length of the cow's belly. Blood caked in the once cream-colored fur, tainting it a rusty brown. The rain had washed most of it away but no amount of rain could erase the deep wounds. Something big had ripped the poor thing open and she didn't care to be around if it came back.
Quickly she pushed back the sleeve of her coat and took a deep breath before plunging her arm into the cow's belly and pulling out its innards one by one. The heart was missing. She knew it would be, but better to be sure. She wiped her hand on the wet grass before returning to her car, tossing the bloody coat on the back floorboard.
The road was long and dangerous on nights like these, but Mia made tracks as quickly as possible anyway, slinging mud across the back bumper of her 1970 Chevelle SS. No matter what she wouldn't look in the rear-view mirror. If something was back there, she didn't want to see it and she sure as hell didn't want it to see her. When the main road was finally in sight, she pulled out her cellphone and hit redial.
"Mia, what the hell's goin' on out there?" a grizzly man's voice barked from the other line.
"Hello to you too Bobby," Mia said rolling her eyes, her lips pulling into a gentle smile. Straight to the point. "It's not looking good. The cattle I've examined all have their belly's slashed open and their hearts removed. The rest of the organs are pushed back up into the bodies so whoever this is wants to cover up the missing hearts."
"Dammit. Sounds like some sorta demon. I'll head out in the morning and we can track this bastard down tomorrow night."
"I'm not hunting, Bobby. Period. I did this favor for you to keep you from having to drive all this way, but that doesn't mean I'm back in the game." Her smile was gone. She had turned Bobby down on hunts plenty of times before, but it didn't stop him from asking.
"Fine," Bobby grumbled. "But this seems like a nasty one. I'm calling in some help."
"Whatever you want. Just don't bring around those same guys from last time. If I get hit on by one more of your hunter friends we're going to have one less in the field."
Bobby chuckled, "Gotcha kid. I have some guys in mind."
The Impala purred into the darkness of the night, the deep rumble verging on a growl as she rustled the grass on the sides of the highway with her passing. Fifteen miles to the next town and Dean was feeling the length of the day in the heaviness of his body. He peered over to Sam sleeping in the passenger's seat and he wished he could be sleeping too. One hand rubbed his eyes while the other firmly grasped the steering wheel. Staying awake was always difficult on the last stretch and he was glad to hear his phone ring.
"Hello?" Dean asked, not bothering to check the caller ID before answering. A familiar voice quirked his lips into a crooked grin. "Hey Bobby, what's up?"
Sam stirred, sitting up and rubbing his eyes groggily. He watched his brother with mild confusion, listening to one half of the conversation and putting the pieces together as best as he could.
"Where are you?" Bobby asked.
"Iowa, headed West," Dean replied.
"Are you stoppin' for the night?"
"Yeah. We're about fifteen miles out from the nearest motel. What, what's up?" From the corner of his eye he could see Sam sit up a little straighter.
"I need you to tell me where you're stayin' as soon as you figure it out. I've got a tip off about a demon in Indiana and I'm gunna need your help."
"Look, Bobby, we'd love to but we're already on a case right now and…" Dean was cut off mid-sentence. He glanced over to Sam, who returned the look with increased confusion. "Yeah. Ok. I'll call you when we get there and we'll see you in the morning." Dean hung up.
"What's going on?" Sam asked, curious as to what was so bad that Bobby would ask them to abandon a case.
"He wants us to go demon hunting in Indiana. Say's it's something big and he'd going to need some help. We're the closest hunters so he's coming to meet us in the morning and fill us in on the way."
"But what about the case we're already working? We can't just stop now. That ghost is killing people. What's so big he can't take care of it himself?" Sam protested.
"He didn't say, Sam," Dean snapped. He was tired and hungry and that was more than enough to put him in a bad mood. Still he regretted snapping at his brother. A few deep breaths and he was calmed down again. "Sorry Sammy. Just tired is all," he grumbled. "He just said that he's meeting us in the morning. You know Bobby takes this job as seriously as we do. If he thought he could handle it himself I'm sure he wouldn't be asking us to drop everything. We can call some other hunters and get them to pick up with the ghost."
Sam watched Dean carefully, itching to argue but knowing his brother was right. Some other hunter could handle a ghost and he didn't want to leave Bobby to handle a demon by himself. Sam just nodded and let it go. He leaned back and watched the fields as they passed, moonlight casting a silver glow on the world. Too bad not everything had that beautiful silver lining.
The sun was setting by the time Dean, Sam, and Bobby started up the drive to an old two-story farm house in rural Indiana. The cornfields glowed golden in the dying light and Sam's eyes scanned the area. Fields as far as the eye could see, set far from any neighbors. Perfect place for a hunter to seclude themselves and retire in peace. He figured that any hunter that was old enough to retire deserved the peace of this place.
A low whistle from Dean brought his attention back to the house. Or more, a woman leaning over a car, the hood high over her head. Her tight-fitting jeans fit her form perfectly and her jet-black hair tied high in a pony tail fell in gentle curls across her shoulders, contrasting beautifully against her red shirt. Even Sam had to raise an eyebrow and he hadn't even seen her face.
Dean got out of the car first, itching to make a move while Sam was gathering their things. He put on his best smile, ignoring Bobby's warnings that it wasn't a good idea. After all, chicks loved him. When he came up behind her he took a quick glance at her rear before joining her under the hood of the gorgeous Chevelle. He'd have been happy enough with the car. Having a hot chick with is made it better.
"Pretty girl like you shouldn't be under a hood like this. Let me take care of it," he said, trying to make himself sound sexy and smooth. First impressions and all that.
Mia looked at him, fire in her eyes as she prepared to tell the creep off but when her eyes met his it fizzled out immediately. She didn't think she'd recognize those boys again but when she saw those sparkling eyes and crooked smile he knew she was looking right at Dean Winchester. His grin faded a bit and Mia could tell that he was trying to figure out how he knew her, his brow pinched together a little in the middle. It took a minute but the look of recognition was worth the wait and Mia laughed a little as they stood out from under the hood.
She hooked her thumbs in her belt loops, unsure of how to react to seeing him again but he took the lead for her, wrapping his arms around her shoulders in a bear hug. She returned the gesture, happy to put aside the anxiety that she'd been forgotten.
"I haven't seen you in forever. Wow you grew up Dean," she said, releasing him from the hug but letting her hands hold the cuffs of his sleeves as she looked him up and down. How stupid can you be, Mia, she thought. Wow you grew up. Was that the best she could think of?
"So have you," he said, looking down at her body reflexively. Shut up Dean, shut up, he scolded himself internally. She gave him a playful smack on the shoulder. Over a decade had passed but it felt like they hadn't missed a beat.
Dean was saved from the awkward moment when Mia caught sight of Sam. His brother came around from the back of the Impala and she grinned broadly and went to him.
"Hey Sammy. You remember Mia right?" Dean broke the silence as Sam approached them.
"Yeah, it's good to see you again Mia," Sam said. He recognized her faster than Dean had and greeted her warmly. Dean nudged Bobby with a chuckle but the look the older hunter gave him set Dean's face straight again.
"You too Sam." Mia stepped back from him and turned to Bobby. He was the reason they were all together again. She completely missed the look Dean gave his brother as she greeted Bobby with a kiss on the cheek. "You need to come around more. Not just when you smell a demon," she joked. "Well, c'mon guys. It's getting late and I'm sure you guys are hungry. Long drive and all." Mia led them up the sagging porch steps of the old farm house, Dean hot on her heals.
"You're speakin' my language," he grinned, taking the steps two at a time and opening the front door for her. "What are we eatin'?"
"Well I have some BBQ pulled pork we could put on some burgers," she shrugged, walking past him into the house.
Dean stopped Sam on the porch, slapping his brother's chest to keep him from passing.
"BBQ on a burger Sam. Pork and beef together on one bun. I think I'm in love," he said in as serious a tone as he could muster.
"Shut up, Dean," Sam grinned, shoving his brother through the door of the house. Dean was going to do to her what he'd done to so many girls before her and most of the time Sam let it go but with Mia… he wasn't comfortable with it. They hadn't seen her since they were kids and he'd like to stay in touch with her, as friends, once this was all over with. There wouldn't be much chance for that if Dean had a fling with her.
He watched her carefully as she walked toward the kitchen, memories of their childhood pushing him to say something to her. They'd looked for her when they were kids, hoping they'd see her at each new town but she had disappeared into the night like so many other hunters and their children. Now here she was, standing in her kitchen, making them burgers.