1. Sam/Dean, sequel to the flower power story
Sam got it inked over the bones of his wrist, a bracelet of rose thorns in sharp black set into his skin. Dean saw the suicide bandage wrapped tight around his wrist when he got home and dropped the planter full of strawberry runners. Dirt spilled out over the front walk, and Dean stepped through it carelessly. He reached out to tug at Sam’s wrist, clumsy gardening gloves sliding under the bandage.
It peeled back, and Sam hissed as the rough canvas of the glove swiped over the abraded skin. Dean looked at the puffy lines of ink, and Sam could feel relief rush through him.
“Why?” he asked, dropping Sam’s wrist and bending down to replant the displaced strawberries, sweeping dirt back in the planter like his hands weren’t shaking with adrenaline.
“It’s five years, today.”
“You’re disgustingly Hallmark.” Dean ducked his head.
Sam shrugged, looked at the wash of green around the house, the way it seemed to vibrate with heat and energy. Sam rewrapped the bandage awkwardly around his left wrist. It hung loose and he’d have to make another one when he got inside. He pressed hard against the wounded skin. If Dean was so ready to believe Sam had tried to hurt himself, than it only proved it was something he’d needed to do.
He stepped over the mess Dean made.
That night when they were in bed, Dean pinned his hand to the pillow and pressed his mouth to the bandage, right over Sam’s pulse. Sam gripped Dean’s shoulder tight, and thought of the first time out on a slab of rock at the side of a mountain waiting for something that never happened.
When it healed, he found a leather wrist cuff in one of the stores downtown and wore it over the tattoo, the thick band of calfskin hiding it from all eyes but Dean’s.
He woke up one morning abruptly. He had to blink at the alarm clock a few times before he could make it out, but it clearly read 4:47 AM. The bed was empty beside him, and Sam knew something was wrong. Dean couldn’t be summoned from his bed ever before seven. Sam stumbled through the house, old floorboards creaking under his feet, as he wiped at his eyes and called Dean’s name.
His brother didn’t answer back, and the Impala sat on the driveway, looking dull in the early morning light. Sam felt hollowness drive through his middle like a spike.
The yard was carpeted in forget-me-nots.
“How do you know he didn’t just take some time for himself?” Bobby asked as he paced along the tight hallways.
“Because he wouldn’t do that,” Sam told him firmly. He couldn’t explain to Bobby that Dean was in a committed relationship and he wouldn’t leave. “How do you explain the flowers?”
Bobby sighed, shooting a glance at the lawn. It was brown now, flowers dried up and rustling away on the wind. Sam knew why. They were cool-weather plants of the genus myosotis in the family Boraginacae. Alaska’s state flower. Most species were endemic to New Zealand, although Myosotis Sylvatica, better known as the wood forget-me-not was successfully introduced to temperate regions throughout Europe, Asia, and America. “In the 15th century, knights who wore the flower were said not to be forgotten by their lovers.”
He’d ransacked Dean’s books, trying to find anything and everything about the clue, but it appeared that its surface meaning was the only one to be had.
“Look, Sam, there wasn’t any sign of a struggle, nothing is missing—”
Sam dug his teeth into his lip. “He wouldn’t leave without the Impala.”
Bobby’s shoulders dropped. “Sam, the protections on this house, nobody could get through them. You have the twelve sacred trees on this land, are you honestly telling me Dean was taken from his room and you didn’t notice?”
Sam winced. Bobby didn’t even know how deeply that cut. He hadn’t noticed a thing.
It was nearly three weeks before he had his first word on Dean from the same professor that originally told them the true extent of Dean’s abilities. She left a message on his voicemail and told him to get to UT right away.
Sam was packed and halfway to the car before he realized he could buy a plane ticket. When he showed up at Professor Elizabeth Molomot’s office it was a barely reasonable hour at night, and she looked tired and shaken, desk littered with empty Starbucks cups. The same heliotrope plant that Dean had nearly sucked dry was still blooming on the windowsill.
“Sam, hi,” she said, shoving papers around. He was afraid she was going to make small talk and he couldn’t handle it, so he urged her to get to the point. She pinched the bridge of her nose and nodded. “Have you ever heard of the Soldiers of Melanion?”
Sam shook his head.
She nodded. “It’s my fault, I should’ve warned you about them, when you came to see me—goodness, was that six years ago?” Sam smiled weakly at her and she looked down at her papers quickly. “Right, well, I should’ve warned you, and it was my negligence—but I couldn’t—that is to say I didn’t know that they were any real kind of threat—”
“Dr. Molomot,” he interrupted. “Slow down, it’s okay.”
He couldn’t and didn’t want to blame her for whatever had happened to Dean.
She let out a breath. “Sam, the Soldiers of Melanion are a reactionary group that was formed, if the research is right, around the time of Tarquin.”
“Priscus or Superbus?” Sam asked, more on reflex than anything else.
“Sam! It was over twenty-seven-hundred years ago, do you really think it matters?” She shoved at some papers, clearly frustrated.
“Everything matters,” he said, gently.
“Superbus,” she said, subdued. “Anyway, Soldiers of Melanion—they’re charged with guarding the tree of Golden Apples, the Hesperides’ true prize in their garden—it never even occurred to me that they’d want the one who bore The Mark.”
“I don’t even—so they took him?” Sam asked, despair creeping into his voice like encroaching ivy.
She shut her eyes. “I think it’s safe to say so, but—but you can probably bank on the fact that he won’t be harmed.”
Sam finally drew in a breath for first time in two weeks.
Dr. Molomot had handed him off a list of books, some even that weren’t yet translated into English. She asked if he at least needed a primer in ancient Greek and he shook his head. He’d manage.
It was a quick call to Bobby after that. “She warned me that these Melanion characters would be beyond the scope or grasp of any standing American agency.”
Bobby laughed. “You never told her, eh?”
“Didn’t seem necessary.” Sam pushed through the crowds of people in the C terminal. He loved Dallas-Ft. Worth’s airport, but it was always congested. “I have to return to the house, pick up a few things, and then I’m going after them.”
“Just—be careful, Sam. This group is old, and if there’s one thing I know, it’s that age is directly proportional to power.”
Sam said his goodbyes and clicked off the phone.
And that's where I left it. I basically was inspired by the Mummy 2 (I AM NOT ASHAMED) where Ardeth was like YOU'RE A MEDJAI after he saw Rick's random tattoo. In this case, the Soldiers of Melanion want Dean to get at the golden apples, ordinarily it's a woman who has Dean's powers, but they are undeterred.
They give him a ton of drugs to forget everything and decide to marry Dean off to one of their women, but then Sam shows up hot on his heels and when the wrist cuff falls off he's got the tattoo that marks him as the Mark's sacred protector and finally they agree to give him back.
Dean meanwhile has no fucking clue what's going on and wants to marry this girl they told him to, because she's cool and they've brainwashed him into believing they have an epic love. But he also feels weirdly attracted to Sam. Sam is torn between wanting to convince him to come back, and wondering if this girl they want Dean to marry might be better for him.
2. Sam/Dean, Raised Apart
There are places in the bookshop that are still layered in dust. It makes Dean hack and sneeze every time he lifts a book. He used to carry a box of tissues with him, but now he has a folded rag in his back pocket that he uses instead. The sneezes make his ribs ache. He thinks he might’ve busted one on that last hunt. When he jumps down from the ladder, his entire body groans.
Andre looks up from his copy of Freakonomics and asks, “Have you been bare-knuckle boxing, Winchester?” His glasses are tilted down his nose, underscoring the recriminating expression on his face.
Dean shakes his head, brushes the frosting of dust on a new shelf off, and heads to the backroom for another box. Nothing stays in the shop long. Even before Dean showed Andre how to put his collection on the internet. Some days it feels like he’s constantly unloading just to pack it up and send it off again.
He doesn’t complain. Andre lets him have first crack at the books that come in on the occult. He lets him read through them in the backroom when the store is quiet, which is almost always. Not a whole lot of people have time for Rare and Used books with that shiny new Barnes & Noble taking up space at the strip mall.
“You should be doing something more than this, Dean,” Pastor Jim says, when he goes over for breakfast on Sundays. But Dean doesn’t have a whole lot of ambition. He hunts, he doctors his wounds, he goes to work to make ends meet. Sometimes, he takes home a girl to his tiny linoleum-floored apartment.
“You put all your love into that bookstore,” Pastor Jim says, shaking his head. Dean doesn’t have a whole lot of love to spare. It burned up. So he thinks all is not that much.
Dean’s got a sunburn across his shoulders from traipsing across the desert on a hunt. He thinks it might start peeling. It hurts to lift books today, muscles churning with lactic acid. He’s tired and Caleb keeps stealing the hunts out from under him. He thinks that Pastor Jim has been passing along information so that Dean won’t get himself hurt.
Pastor Jim didn’t understand. He was never going to understand. But Dean saw the world with perfect clarity. Something preternatural, something evil had taken away his entire family in one night. Something evil and preternatural did not deserve existence.
So he’s tired. But Pastor Jim doesn’t realize, he’s not unhappy.
Andre is out today. He didn’t say why. Dean doesn’t ask. He’s good at not asking. The shop is dark and dusty. Comforting. There are things to do, things to think about. He wipes down the shelves with a damp cloth and organizes the heavy tomes on 18th century typography. He has to reshelve in order to put them in the new places they belong.
The bell on the door jangles. Dean jumps off the ladder, landing soundlessly. It took him months to master the floor boards and their incessant creaking. The sun shines bright outside the shop and he can only just make out the dark shapes at the front silhouetted against the windows.
“What the fuck, Sam? This place is creepy and boring. There are no hot women in here,” one of the shapes says. Dean’s lips resolve into a sneer. Pussy, he thinks holding still, just waiting for one of them to do something stupid.
The other shape hisses, “Shut up, they’re books. Go wait in the diner if you’re freaked.”
The other one huffs. “I’m not freaked out, retard, just supremely bored.”
The second shape calls out from behind a shelf, affectionate, “Sure.”
“Sam, don’t take long. Alex said we’re only here to grab lunch and then figure out how the fuck we got here.”
Sam, still ensconced in the shelves, replied. “I’ll see you in a sec.”
The bell above the door clanged again and Dean shook his head. He walked around the shelves and said, “Can I help you?” expecting this Sam character to startle.
Sam didn’t startle. He turned around with a smile and Dean had to look up to meet his eyes. “This place is great,” he said. There were sunglasses hanging off his collar and his hair tumbled into his eyes. He blinked at Dean. “Uh, but do you have maps? We’re kinda lost.”
Dean stared at him. Helping someone seemed like far too much effort right now. He sighed and turned around, knowing that Sam was staring after him, bewildered at the very least. They had crates of maps. It took him a while to find one he wanted. When he went searching for Sam he’d moved, lost himself in a pile of French classics. There was an odd feeling in Dean’s chest when he took him in.
When Sam looked up, he tossed him an old laminated fold up. “There.”
He was already turning around when Sam said, “How much do I owe you?”
Dean rolled his shoulder, and couldn’t figure out why he was being so hostile. “Don’t worry about it,” he said, eyes darting away. Sam said a quiet thanks and left.
Later as Dean was changing the window display, he watched a silver Acura with Sam in the driver’s seat pull out of the diner parking lot and head towards the highway.
He thought about Sam off and on for the next two days. He told himself it was because the shop hadn’t gotten a flesh and blood customer in that entire time, only painstakingly typed e-mails inquiring over first runs and early editions.
Something about the strange curl of Sam’s lips as he smiled, almost like recognition as Dean walked up behind him, had him replaying the entire interaction, stretching it out and making it longer than it was. But it wasn’t anything special, and he didn’t know why he kept thinking about it. Kept going back to it tirelessly like there was something there he’d missed.
“Are you daydreaming, Winchester?” Andre asked as Dean stared at the same open box of books that he’d been supposed to shelve for the last hour. Dean caught Andre’s gaze, eyebrows raised. Andre grinned. “You’ve always seemed pretty practical to me. Crazy,” he said with a grin, “but practical.”
Dean sighed and started shoving the books into their new homes with vicious purpose. When he couldn’t keep his mind blank he started humming Metallica under his breath.
His chest is a mass of pain. He can’t even roll over or push himself up. His arms won’t cooperate and he keeps hacking blood up all over himself. It’s about an hour to midnight, dark in the park. Nobody’s going to find him. He tries to tangle his fist in the earth and shove himself up on it again, but his arm protests, a burning flash of pain travels up from his wrist to his elbow and he slumps back with another juddering cough.
He blacks out. He’ll bleed out before daybreak and the first joggers come through here.
When he comes to, some interminable time later, his head is hot. The ground feels like it’s rolling under him. There’s a flash of headlights and the sound of voices. He’s fading out again when he hears screaming. It makes his head pulse, like his heart is in his skull, and he twists and moans weakly.
“Sam, come here! He’s seriously fucked up. SAM! Jesus, I have never—”
A second voice interrupts, “Shut up, Andy, just be quiet.” A hand descends on Dean’s shoulder and then pressure over his chest, tight and burning. He wants to bat it away, but still it presses down, remorseless. “He’s really bleeding. We have to get him to the hospital.”
“No…” he says, or he thinks he says it. It doesn’t seem like it though, because he’s being tugged up, groaning and crying and then there’s a sick interminable ride in the backseat of a car with faceless people who swear and drive too fast.
He’d struggled at first, but when one of the voices said softly, “You’re going to be all right,” he realized he believed it.
He wakes up to a horrible burning hot throb in shoulder and muted whispery arguments. “—Are you...that's not...think...can't believe...no...fucking crazy?” The sun is bright against his eyelids and he has to blink several times before it hurts to keep them open. He has no idea how late it is.
He rolls over to tell whoever to shut the fuck up and let him get back to dying, when he realizes it’s the two customers who came into the store the other day. Sam and Douche-wad. He never got a name on that last one.
“He gave me...free...we can’t just—” Sam says, gesticulating wildly even as he tries to keep his tone hushed.
“Yes, yes we can.” The other guy says, eyes sliding past Sam’s shoulder to land on Dean. He bites his lip and then says, louder, “You’re awake.”
Dean groans. He doesn’t have a whole lot else to respond with. Sam turns around, practically descending on the bed when he sees Dean’s eyes are open. “What happened?” Sam says softly.
Dean doesn’t even hesitate. “I don’t remember.”
“Shit, man, he doesn’t even remember how he got so fucked up,” the other guy says, “No offense, dude, but I don’t know you, you could be a psycho drug addict with mob ties and a knife fetish and herpes simplex, so I’m going to go ahead and say we’re not going to stay and see you get better.”
Dean would’ve laughed, at least, in another life where his ribs didn’t hurt so much. Instead he rolled himself out of the right side of the bed, air rushing out of his lungs in a pained hiss.
“What are you doing?” Sam says, scandalized.
Dean tugs the IV out of his arm with a quick jerk and asks, “Where are my things?”
Sam and other dude, Douche-Wad stare at him open-mouthed. Douche-wad finally says, “Fucker is hardcore, mob ties definitely.”
“He works at a used book shop,” Sam replies, still staring at Dean. He shakes his head and crosses his arms. “Am I the only one who realizes how serious this is? You had to get 64 stitches and you nearly crashed on the operating table, the doctor told me so. You’re so lucky the knife missed your lung.”
Dean starts rifling through the drawers. He finds a plastic bag filled with blood-soiled clothes. He tugs out a pile of neatly cut rags covered in a mess of fluids and his boots. He feels the cool weight of his ring and spins it reassuringly around on his finger. The clothes are a loss, but he still has shoes and his leather jacket.
“Andy, could you help me out here?” Sam says, plaintively, still trying to nurse him back into the hospital bed.
Dean jerks. It’s a testament to how bad he’s feeling that he didn’t even notice the scruffy guy sitting sprawled in the armchair next to the window reading Berkeley. Andy doesn’t even look up from his book.
Dean has to steady himself against the bed rail but he keeps his voice even when he tells Sam, “Look, thanks for whatever it is you’ve done, but I’ll handle it from here. I need to go.”
Sam stares at him with raised brows, like he can tell exactly how much effort it’s taking Dean to hold himself upright, how rubbery and weak his legs feel.
“Dude wants to go, yippe-cay-yay, ain’t it grand, it can be our civic duty to let him go!” Douche-wad says.
“Shut up, Taylor,” Sam says, jaw working.
“Did you see my car?” Dean asks, fishing his keys out of one torn pant-leg.
“Your car?” Sam says.
“There was no car,” Taylor cuts in. “Just a sweet black Chevy, ’68 or ’69.”
“ ’67,” Dean clarifies.
“That’s your car?” Taylor says slowly. He turns to Sam and nudges his shoulder. “Mob ties.”
Dean rolls his eyes and bends down to pull his boots on. His shoulder feels like it’s going to explode as he tries to do up the laces, so he eventually gives up altogether. He tugs his leather jacket on next and knows he must look exactly like the escapee of a methadone clinic. He can tell from Sam’s face.
“Can we at least give you a ride?” Sam says.
In this one I intended them to end up roadtripping together much like happened in my Winchester!Marines story. In fact I'm pretty sure I appropriated that road trip from this fic, but anyway, they fall in LOVE and hunt things and suddenly they both feel like they have a purpose where previously they had none, and all our old friends are back having fun. Of course somebody, Ash probably, figures out they're siblings and decides given how happy they are not to tell them. But evil demons have a way of bringing that stuff up and unfortunately it causes some trouble, but Sam and Dean decide it doesn't matter since they're not going to have weird hemophiliac babies anyway.
3. Jared/Jensen, A Kid in King Arthur's Court
The locker slams next to him, barely missing his fingers. He pulls his hand away, scraping his knuckles in the process, and keeps his gaze level with the hated James Joyce novel, three-ring binders, and spiral notebooks he’s precariously stacked in the recesses of his own locker.
“How’s life, Ackles?” Chris Kane asks, leaning against the chipped varnished metal embossed with the names of students who’ve gone before.
Jensen doesn’t reply. He closes and locks the door, spinning the dial on his combo lock once extra to be careful.
“You fucking ignoring me?” Chris asks, incredulous, pulling away from the lockers and shrugging his backpack onto his other shoulder.
Jensen turns away. He has class in MS-31 halfway across campus.
“Look at this asshole,” Chris calls after him. The other students pause around them. Chris continues, “What are you? Autistic? Some kind of fucking retard?”
Jensen just keeps walking. They’re taking practice exams for the Stat AP. He barely finished the free-responses in time last class. He doesn’t want to take them home for homework.
There are things that Jensen can do really well. He can walk around in a Speedo and not feel uncomfortable, he can armstand off the platform and knife straight into the pool, he can consistently score above 100% in history, and he’s doing the AP course for sculpture this year. The things that Jensen can’t do well in any degree are play football, check under the hood of his car and know what he’s looking at, or bum booze of a homeless guy in front of the liquor store. He can’t figure out how to get Chris Kane and his football goons to leave him alone or persuade the cheerleading squad to stop asking him to try out.
When public high school was designed, they didn’t have Jensen in mind. Not that high school was for conformists. Jensen’s figured out there’s significant cachet in being a nonconformist, smoking pot on The Path, getting chased around back campus by Mr. Shear in his golf cart, talking about Led Zep and Return of the Native the same sentence. But Jensen’s not interested in that. He just doesn’t like people his own age. He has nothing to say to them. Which lead Chris to conclude somewhere around the 9th grade that he was a complete homo. Jensen isn’t. A homo that is. Because that would really bother his father. His father is bothered by pretty much everything about Jensen, so he can’t push his luck.
“Do you know if you light a candle inside a microwave, it’ll explode?” Tad, short for Thaddeus Herbie Dawson, says. He has a goat cheese and chimmichurri sandwich on an artisan roll and three perfectly cocoa dusted ganache hearts sitting on the bag from his lunch. He keeps Jensen company as he glazes the peach-shaped cup he’s finishing for his concentration work. He’s got to have twelve pieces by April 24th and another twelve for his breadth. This is eleven.
“I didn’t know that,” Jensen says.
Tad looks around, he toys with the gummy little bands tangled around his wrist. A regular emo kid.
“What happened to the penis pot?”
“Vase,” Jensen corrects. Without looking up from his ceramic peach, he points to a nearly perfectly round cylinder protruding with clay penis renderings. The glazes has bubbled and popped in places, colors oozing together oddly.
“Jesus,” Tad says, staring at it. “What happened?”
Jensen shrugs. “She mixed high fire glaze with low fire.”
Tad snorts. “The penis pot has VD.”
Jensen smiles. Tad keeps him company in the art room during lunch, because Jensen burns out in the sun. They used to sit with a group of people under a tree near the auditorium, but when they became seniors and got quad privileges, Jensen set up shop in the art room. Tad waited three days before following. He brought two pork buns, two dumplings, and an eggroll from Cho’s as a sorry. Jensen hadn’t really had any thoughts about it, but he accepted the cheap Chinese food.
“What are you doing this weekend?” Tad asks.
Jensen shrugs again, he says, "I thought about going to the de Young museum on Saturday. My dad’s gonna be out of town.”
Tad clicked his tongue. “I was going to make cheese soufflé this weekend. My dad got a really good Morbier from the Village Cheese House.”
Tad’s dad was a food critic and his mom was a restaurateur. They lived in Orinda because the public schools in San Francisco were shoddy. Jensen’s dad was a car dealer in Walnut Creek and he hated Tad’s parents. He justified it by saying they were a ‘bad influence.’ Jensen’s family had lived in Lafayette when Jensen was little, but they moved because Miramonte’s athletics were better, and Jensen’s dad, who’d played right tackle for Rice, wanted both his sons to follow in his footsteps. Josh fractured his tibia in the middle of his senior season and couldn’t play anymore after that, so it was all on Jensen.
But then Jensen had to miss summer training for football just before his freshman year because his Aunt died and he couldn’t be on the team. His dad had had to grin and bear it. That January, when they had tryouts for Swimming and Diving, Jensen found himself signing up on a whim. He met Tad when the strap on Tad’s goggles snapped and he was the only one with an extra pair.
His mother was afraid he was going to crack his head open, but his dad said it was okay if he played football in the fall. Chris Kane made varsity that year even though he was only a sophomore, so maybe Jensen could’ve done it. They would’ve put him on Special teams, because Jensen royally sucked at football, but it would’ve been all right.
He didn’t try out.
His dad grounded him for a month and wouldn’t let him go on the fieldtrip to SFMoMA his pottery class was taking. His mom sat in the kitchen and read her romance novels. She painted her nails a darker shade of red. His sister called him a mutant and said, “Can I have your room when Dad kills you?”
Jensen stayed on the Diving team. When fall came again, he didn’t try out for football.
Jensen always liked the first dive into the pool, when his body wasn’t quite acclimated and the water brushed past like the wind. The water has warmed to him now and when he pulls himself up out of the pool, goose bumps rise up over his arms.
He doesn’t need to look at his scores to know that he did well.
“Hey, Jergen.” Jensen turns his head. It takes him a moment to realize that Chris, standing in the center of his adoring group of friends, is talking to him. He continues with a pointed look at Jensen’s Speedo, “I sure hope it’s only cold out.”
Tad appears at his side, a stick of Toblerone proffered. “Jergen? Is that supposed to be clever?” He says when Jensen waves away the chocolate.
Jensen shrugs and pulls on his parka. He’d go sit in the hot tub with the other divers waiting for their turn, but it’s scummy and disgusting. Tad’s goggles hang around his neck, looking half-ready to snap. He swims medley and has been waiting for some time for his shot in the pool.
“I don’t know why they come to these things,” Jensen says.
Tad snorts. “Chris wants to nail the women’s side. He’s gotta look like he actually gives a fuck about them.”
Jensen sighs. His backpack sits lonely at one end of the bleachers. He thinks about flipping Chris the finger as he passes by them, but he doesn’t. Not even when Chris asks, “Hey homo, come to give us a show?”
He can practically hear Tad’s sigh over the sound of arms striking the water and talking parents. He bends and picks up his bag, listening to Chris’s snickers. Jensen digs his teeth into his lip and hoists his bag up over his shoulder, all set to turn away.
But the ground cracks under him. An improbable maw in the pavement opening up under him. People start screaming ‘earthquake’ and tumbling down off the bleachers. Jensen looks up to see Tad shouting at him. But he couldn’t move if he wanted to. All he feels is air underneath him and the horrible inevitable sensation of falling.
He screams. He can’t help himself. He’s starting to think he’s fallen right through the earth and come out the other side. The sky is blue above him and it’s considerably colder here. His parka flaps around his body and he can only hope it will form some kind of resistance against gravity, but he’s falling faster than the Drop Zone ride at Great America. He closes his eyes at the thought of the impact, praying it’ll be quick.
He lands on the awning of a tent, bouncing up hard enough to be dumped right down on the scraggly grass below. His lungs compress, air punched out of them by the force the ground exerts. He hacks miserably, the high pitched screams of young women filtering through his brain. His bag falls with a heavy thump just inches from his head.
He pulls himself to his knees, aware that something is very very wrong. The tent sags in on its pole. Gaily dressed ladies shriek at him, holding embroidery hoops to their chests. Their hair is elaborately done up, threaded through with flowers and fabric, covered and uncovered. The tent stands just out of the shadow of a very large castle. A pretty convincing replication, he thinks, reaching for his bag. He can’t imagine how he landed in the middle of the ren fair. He’s pretty sure these women won’t be able to tell him.
All the screaming is drawing attention. Three very angry looking men are waving naked swords that look very sharp as they rush toward him. Suddenly he doesn’t feel so comfortable in his Speedo.
He shrugs off the parka, slings the bag over his back and sets off running. He really wishes he had his sneakers. He gets pretty far, he’s got to hand it to himself. However pretty far means nothing when his pursuers come after him on honest to god horses. They’re sticking really close to the spirit of creative anachronism.
MORE NEEDED HERE
Michael Phelps national symbol, okay to wear speedo, explain it’s not Kansas anymore.
He’s tugged into the hall, still struggling, draped in sack-cloth. It’s itchy and hot. His muscles are really starting to protest all of his efforts. They drop him on the stone floor, before the King, and he rears up to his knees, chin up. Maybe things would go better for him if he cowered, but he won’t.
The King isn’t a young man, but he’s still handsome. His blue eyes are preternatural and he looks like he’ll be getting best pick of the maidens for a while yet. His face gives no outward sign of what he thinks about Jensen and finally he drops his head.
“What’s the meaning of this?” he asks, softly. The entire room hears.
One of the brothers says, “This depraved miscreant dared to interrupt my sister’s garden luncheon. We had to provide this covering for him, your majesty.”
Jensen’s mouth is frozen open. He wants to say he couldn’t help it, he wants to, but he’s never had the courage to defend himself.
There’s boy standing behind the throne, around Jensen’s age. He’s tall and broad-shouldered, and looks exactly like the type that regularly try to make Jensen miserable. He catches Jensen’s eye and smiles. Jensen furrows his brow.
“Is everyone well?” the King asks, sounding slightly bored.
The third brother rushes to respond, “Of course everyone is well. He didn’t sully them, majesty.”
“Hmm,” the king says and leans back on his throne.
“He should be punished for his indecency,” the second brother says.
Jensen’s fists clench.
“And what does the boy have to say?” A young woman with dark hair that spills down her shoulders cries, voice cutting through the murmurs of the court. The King shrugs, the only less-than regal gesture he’s made, and waves a hand at Jensen.
They all stare at him. “I—” he starts. He knows there is no way they’re not going to find this crazy. Jensen finds it’s crazy. He’s starting to think he’s in a coma somewhere and these are his head-injury fueled dreams. “I—I’m not from here.”
“Surely your customs do not so differ from ours that you feel you can parade wantonly in front of unmarried ladies,” the first brother says, striking him. Jensen is knocked to the ground, he catches the boy's eye again as he picks himself up. The first brother moves to hit him a second time, but Jensen catches the fist. He pushes up on his knees and sweeps the sack-cloth off of him.
“Your majesty,” he says, rolling to his feet. “I’m not from this land. In my land, I am a swimmer, and this—uh—costume is what we wear in the water.”
“Don’t you feel somewhat...exposed?” the girl with the dark hair asks. She struggles with a straight face.
Jensen blushes. “It’s on purpose. To reduce drag in the water.”
“Where do you hail from then?” the King asks.
“Uh, Orinda, California,” his voice shakes. “I never meant to fall on the garden party or whatever. I never meant to be here at all.”
The King’s eyes focus on him then, heavy and terrible. He says, “Magic.”
The King stands up out of his chair, making his way down the dais. “You will have to do without Justice, Griflet, Gornemant, and Gringolet, the boy meant no harm.”
He swept past the court without even looking at Jensen and out the huge oak doors. The court started chattering. Griflet or Gringolet or second brother, as Jensen has been thinking of him, tries to grab him, but a mailed knight fluidly steps between them, a broad mailed fence in between them and Jensen. “You have heard the King, go back to your lands.”
I always wish I had time to finish this. Perhaps I'll turn it into original fic some day. I have no idea. But it was actually a tiny Merlin/SPN crossover as well. The idea was that Merlin had died and plunged Arthur into such a state of woe that he stopped paying attention to his kingdom, of course evil creepy people possibly Morganna started taking advantage so Merlin had to send for Jensen from beyond the grave to save the kingdom (Okay, I know it's ridiculous, but it's also the plot of the movie, so don't make fun), in the process Jensen falls in love with Arthur's second child Jared. I decided to keep Daniel Craig and Kate Winslet in the film because, OMG, WHY WERE THEY EVER IN THAT MOVIE TO BEGIN WITH. Anyway, he saves the kingdom and falls in love with Jared, but unfortunately has to go back to Orinda.
But it's okay, because he's fought evil Morganna and kicked some serious butt, so he can finaly stand up to Chris Kane. And then Jared appears. Merlin was like, well this kid is useless since Kate Winslet will inherit the throne, so take this prince as a consolation prize, Jensen. Ah, it would've been brilliant.
And there you have it. I actually don't think I had any other WIPs in J2/SPN besides these. If you want to ask me for things that I will write though, I'm accepting prompts over here.