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Riverbella's Rambles

Fiction: He's Not A Man Who Misses Much

Fiction: He's Not A Man Who Misses Much

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A line from a Beatle song, adjusted for gender, popped into my head and this story tagged along with it pretty much full blown.  This is not my first fan fiction, but it is my first posted to lj.  I hope I get the lj-cut thing right since I haven't a clue what I'm doing!

The story is gen, PG-13 (I guess), Dean and Sam in kickass mode (because they are soooo hot when they are full on getting it done) and told from a third-party POV.  It is also written in present tense, which is a first for me.  I used to avoid present tense like the plague.  Just a personal quirk, really.  But more and more I see that it can heighten immediacy and dramatic tension.  Anyway, I would love comments, of course, and especially on whether or not the style works for you.   Either way, I hope you enjoy it. 

He’s Not a Man Who Misses Much

 

 

She has a good memory for faces, so she knows as soon as he walks in that he’s never been here before.  Her throat tightens as he pauses just inside the door, looks around.  But after a moment, he simply walks up to the bar and greets her with a smile.

 

He is gorgeous, sex appeal incarnate with hazel eyes, a hint of freckles dusted across nose and cheeks, eyelashes out to here and lips made for kissing laid over a core as latent with dangerous potential as a sleeping tiger.  His smile is incandescent.  Any other night she would have been instantly intrigued.

 

This isn’t any other night.

 

She smiles back, struggling for natural.  Knows her every move is being watched.

 

“Evening,” she says.  “What can I get ya?”

 

“Whatever’s on draft,” he answers easily.

 

She draws the beer, action so familiar she can do it on automatic despite the trembling in her hands.  When she returns, he has a cell phone to his ear.

 

“Hey, Sammy,” he is saying.  “Listen, man, I’m at Smoky’s Bar on Clayton.  Looks like a jumpin’ place.  Why don’t you meet me here and I’ll buy you a brew?  …Awesome…See ya in a few.”

 

He stashes the phone as she sets the beer in front of him.  “Six bucks,” she tells him, still on automatic.  “Wanta run a tab?”

 

“Naw,” he says, retrieving his wallet.  He pulls out a five and a one, lays the cash on the bar but leaves his hand on it.  He is tapping his index finger on the bills absently.  Tap…tap…tap…

 

She almost doesn’t catch on in time.  He taps a fourth time and raises his finger for a fifth, but she snatches the bills from beneath his fingers before he completes the action.  She stares into his eyes, notes his almost imperceptible nod.

 

He knows.  Somehow, God knows how, he knows.

 

She grips the back edge of the bar as a wave of dizziness washes over her, not sure if it is terror or relief or some combination of the two.  But his eyes flash a warning and she fights for composure.

 

“So, you guys do food?” he asks.

 

“Uh, yeah,” she replies.  “Nothing major.  Cheeseburgers, cheese fries, grilled cheese sandwiches.”

 

“Anything with cheese?” he asks, amused.

 

She laughs, a little too loudly.  Catches herself.

 

“Cook’s on break,” she says, taking a chance.  “I can have him fix you up in a few.”

 

“Just you and the cook?” he asks casually.  “Place this size?”

 

“No, we’ve got a waitress somewhere around.”  She drops her gaze to the floor briefly, wondering if there is a chance in hell he’ll get the message.

 

Mitch and Shelly are in the basement storage room, hostage to two guys with cold eyes and guns.  Two more are up here, one at the end of the bar, the other at a table to the left of the door.  They are waiting for something.  She’s pretty sure she knows what.  Mitch is sweet and he more or less knows his way around a grill, but he’s an idiot.  He has been dealing out the back door of the bar for months.  Mostly small stuff, but lately he has been excited and on edge.  She thinks he might have been scaling up, and she was about to call him on it, but now it’s too late.  He has pissed somebody off.  The wrong somebody.  Now they are lying in wait, for Mitch’s supplier, maybe, and they will more than likely take them both out.

 

They won’t much care who else gets caught in the crossfire.

 

When she looks up again, he has turned his back to the bar and is leaning on one elbow.  He takes slow pulls on his beer and shows no particular interest in the other patrons of the bar.  She moves away instinctively, checking on other customers—just a few, thank God, it’s slow tonight—returns only when he sets his empty glass on the bar and signals for another.  As she is retrieving his glass, another stranger enters the bar, reconnoiters briefly, then heads straight for the first man.

 

“Hey, Dean,” he says, grinning and socking the other man’s shoulder.  “I’m glad you called, man.  It’s been a while.  Good to see you.”

 

“Back at ya,” Dean responds.  “Hell, what’s it been, Sam?  About four months?”

 

“That sounds about right,” Sam answers.

 

Sam tops Dean by several inches, and Dean is by no means a runt.  Sam is lean but solid, has longish dark hair, some of which threatens to flop into his warm brown eyes.  His smile is engaging and makes him look quite youthful though up close he bears the subtle marks of someone who carries burdens beyond his years.

 

The two men do not resemble one another physically, but she is suddenly sure they are either related or have known one another for a long time.  Their bodies speak the same language and the same hidden knowledge moves in the depths of their eyes.

 

She brings their drinks and lingers nearby as unobtrusively as possible, listening to them talk.  Their exchanges seem innocuous, casual chatter about nothing of great consequence.  But this close to them and she can see the communication going on beneath the words.  Glances and gestures and shifts of emphasis convey volumes of information beyond what is actually being said.  It is fascinating, almost frightening.

 

Strangely, though, as compelling as she finds them, the other patrons in the bar, especially the two who matter, do not seem to be taking much notice.  It is as though they are able to create a vacuum around themselves from which neither light nor sound can escape to trouble the rest of the world.  Hiding in plain sight.

 

“Let me get the next round,” Sam announces, motioning to the now empty glasses, reaching for the back pocket of his jeans.  He checks the other pocket, frowns.  “Shit, I must of left my wallet in the car.  Hang on, man, be right back.”

 

He turns and strides out of the bar.

 

“Which way to the head?” Dean asks her, although she‘s pretty sure he already knows.  She points to her right at the shadowed hallway where the restrooms are located, feels her heart flutter anxiously as he moves away from her.  He passes the locus of threat at the end of the bar without a glance.

 

Time seems to stretch, but she thinks it is only in her own mind as no one else seems disturbed.  Then Sam comes back through the door and everything speeds up like a videotape on fast forward.  Sam stumbles against the table to the left of the door, turns the stumble into a smooth pivot and suddenly his left arm is around the neck of the thug seated there and his right hand is pressing a gun to the thug’s temple.  He hisses something in the man’s ear and the man let’s the gun he himself has been holding under the table clatter to the floor.

 

Simultaneously, Dean has re-appeared from the hallway, locked down the second thug and appropriated his gun before he has a chance to react to his compatriot’s peril.  He exchanges a look with Sam, a question posed and answered silently.

 

The other patrons of the bar finally notice that all is not right with the world, but before any of them can panic and cause problems, Dean speaks in a quiet but commanding tone.  “Okay, folks,” he says.  “Everything’s under control.  You probably want to leave now, but do it quietly.  Anybody makes a fuss and things could get out of hand fast.  Just walk away and pretend this never happened.”

 

A couple of the regulars glance at her, the known quantity, and she nods encouragingly.  As long as they don’t stampede, the sounds of their departure won’t carry to the hostage-takers down below.

 

Sam pulls a fat roll of duct tape out of his jacket pocket and proceeds to bind bad guy number one to his chair efficiently.  He slaps a final piece of tape over the guy’s mouth then tosses the roll to Dean, who catches it neatly, one-handed, and secures his target’s hands behind his back.

 

Dean frog marches the thug around behind the bar and encourages him to the floor.  He tapes the guy’s ankles, but leaves his mouth free, digs in the guy’s pockets until he comes up with a cell phone.

 

“Okay, pal, here’s the deal,” he says.  “You’re going to call your two friends in the basement.  Tell them to leave the hostages and get their asses up here.”

 

“Why would I do that?” the thug sneers.

 

This time Dean’s smile is cold as ice and never reaches his eyes.  He puts down the gun and picks up the knife she uses to slice citrus from its resting place below the counter, turns it slowly in his hand.  “I don’t usually waste humans in cold blood,” he answers casually.  “But I have no problem at all with a little non-fatal meat carving.  Say, a couple fingers, maybe.”

 

She believes he means it.  The thug does, too.  He opens his mouth to acquiesce, but Dean stops him with a hand under the jaw.

 

“Just what I said, nothing more nothing less,” he cautions.  “Get creative and I’ll take out your tonsils without the benefit of anesthetic.  Got it?”

 

The thug nods, gives Dean the number and then delivers the message, short and sweet, while Dean holds the phone for him.

 

“Good boy,” Dean approves, then quickly slaps tape over the guy’s mouth.

 

Sam has already moved into position on one side of the swinging door that leads from the back of the bar to the kitchen and service areas beyond.  Dean takes his place on the other side, motions to her to duck down out of sight and range.  She uses the immobilized thug for cover and Dean nods approvingly. 

 

“I’ll take asshole number one and you take number two,” Dean tells Sam, and Sam nods his agreement.

 

It is no more than a moment before heavy footsteps announce the hostage-takers’ approach.  The first man pushes through the door and immediately finds himself pivoting on his heels around the fulcrum of a hard grip on his arm.  He smashes head first into the edge of the bar’s massive backstop and drops like a stone.

 

The second man has a split second longer to prepare and manages to get an arm across his face before the door hits him on the backswing with considerably more than normal force behind it.  He staggers but manages to leap through the doorway and attack his ridiculously tall adversary on the other side.  He lands one good punch to Sam’s jaw before Sam kicks him in the side of the knee, straddles him as he hits the floor face down and shoves his gun against the back of the man’s head.

 

Dean is there with the duct tape to secure the man’s hands and feet.  Sam gets up and collects the thug’s gun, along with that of his unconscious partner, and lays them on the bar.  He leans down and offers her a hand up from the floor.

 

“Go check on your friends,” he tells her gently.   “We don’t want to scare them any more than they already are.”

 

She nods, can’t speak because her heart is pounding too hard in her throat.  Shelly and Mitch are okay except for being tied up, gagged and pretty freaked out.  She gets them loose, reassures them and hustles them back upstairs.  Shelly is crying and she puts her arm around the girl’s shoulders.  Mitch doesn’t look her in the eye, which is just as well.  What happens to him now is up to her and at the moment she is mad enough to kill him.   Her anger is the only thing keeping her from breaking down.

 

In the bar, she finds Dean wrapping ice in a bar towel and handing it to Sam, who presses it to his jaw.  The unconscious man behind the bar is wearing duct tape now as well.  Dean approaches the man lying face down on the floor, jerks his elbows together above his bound hands and secures them there tightly with more tape.  It looks miserably uncomfortable and doesn’t seem necessary to prevent the man from escaping.

 

“That’s for punching my brother,” Dean snarls.  Behind him, Sam rolls his eyes but doesn’t protest.

 

Mitch moves the still-sobbing Shelly down to the end of the bar farthest from the carnage and pours them both a shot of whiskey.  She could use one herself, but first things first.  She walks over to Dean and touches his arm.

 

“I don’t…I don’t know how you knew or how you did what you did,” she says, “but you saved our lives.  I just…I don’t know how I can ever thank you.”  She half turns to include Sam.  “Both of you.”

 

“Forget it,” Dean replies.  He smiles lopsidedly.  “Seriously, forget it.  Give us ten minutes before you call the cops and forget we were ever here.”

 

“But you…” she stutters, confused.  “You saved us all.  You’re heroes.  Why…?”

 

“Let’s just say we prefer to keep a low profile,” he answered.  “Make up something to tell the cops.  These mugs won’t say anything.  Trust me, you’ll be doing us a favor.”

 

She nods.  She can only think of one reason why he doesn’t want the cops to know about them, but she doesn’t really care.  At this point she’d lie to her own mother if he asked her to.

 

“Come on, Sammy,” Dean says.  “Let’s hit the road.”

 

She watches Dean and his brother walk out of the bar with a profound sense of having brushed up against something extraordinary.  She will lie to the police and then she will never discuss this day or these men with anyone else again, even Mitch and Shelly who she coerces into silence as well.  But she remembers, and she wonders.

 

She never sees them again.

 

 

  • Not big on the Beatles knowledge -- which song?

    I like the brothers communicating with each other without other people being aware of it. I like Dean's smile going from warm to icy. The brief characterizations of Shelly and Mitch are to-the-point and also very illuminating.

    Kinda wish I knew more about the waitress? What's she like?

    Nice. Change of pace from fighting monsters.

    • Hey. Late, but just catching up. The Beatle song is called "Happiness is a Warm Gun" (how appropriate is that!) and is from the White Album. The actual line is "she's not a girl who misses much," so, like I said, gender-adjusted.

      I guess what I had in the back of my head was The Usual Suspects and various scenes from other episodes where the guys are just so incredibly good at what they do and so in tune with each other that they don't even need to use words (competence as a turn-on? works for me). And I thought, okay this hostage situation is going on and Dean walks into the bar and he is immediately aware something is off. He lets the bartender know he knows and he calls Sam back at the motel and uses "jumpin' place" as code to let him know he needs backup. It really isn't the sort of thing I usually write, but it almost wrote itself.

      As for the bartender, her main function was to be the lens through which Dean and Sam are viewed, so you don't get much information about her per se, not even her name. I think she either owns or manages the bar, since it seems like she supervises Mitch and Shelly. She is in her thirties, maybe, and is smart, perceptive and down to earth. She's scared in this situation, but she's no coward. She is clearly concerned about the people she feels responsible for--her employees and her patrons. Maybe sort of a younger version of Ellen.

      Anyway it's nothing special, but it was fun. Thanks for reading.
  • Ah, fun. I like the boys being all competent and speaking without speaking kind of thing. Always very cool.
    :)

    Came over here from supernaturalfic and thought i'd just say - to make your link something clickable, rather than something that has to be copy/pasted, do this:

    [a href="insert url here"]Fic name here or whatever you like[/a]

    Substitute < > for the [ ]. If you don't a fic name or anything else, the link will default to say 'read more'.
    • Thanks for reading and heaping extra thanks for the hint. I think I'm still missing something, but at least I have managed to turn it into a clickable link. I'm using Rich Text rather than HTML, so I either have to figure out how to put in the alternative text or just switch to HTML next time around. Anyway, sorry about dorking around. I've been using computers for years, but there are a lot of things that are new to me because, basically, they came along later. (See, I'm kind of on the upper edge of the demographic agewise!).
      • Yeah, the rich text thing could be the problem. I do all my posts on lj in html so....no real clue!

        The lj codes are all pretty easy, though, once you actually know them.
        Good luck!

        *i'm on the upper edge, too - wheeee!*
  • This is terrific! I love the low-key, super-competent interplay between Sam and Dean, and how easy four thugs are, compared to what they usually have to fight. Using the outside POV was a great way to tell this story, too - and the title sucked me in straight away, by earworming me!
    • Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. The outside POV is probably a good place to start since the insides of these characters are so complex! Sometimes I like to just sit back and look (down girl, down):)
  • Wow *blinks*

    (Anonymous)
    That was ... sweet. I love your approach towards outlining the situation; it's fluid and real.

    Thank you for writing.

    -Labseraph
    • Re: Wow *blinks*

      And thank you for reading. Your comment was very helpful. Sometimes when you're knee deep in something you can't really tell if it is going to work for anyone else or not. Feedback rules!
  • Very nice! Thanks!

    WP
  • This is fantastic! Well written, so something I'd see the boys doing.
  • I read this once before somewhere -ff.net maybe? Anyway, I can't believe I didn't comment - I love pieces like this, where you see the boys through someone else's eyes, and I love her, and as soon as I read the title I remembered the whole thing. Brilliant concept, brilliantly executed.
  • “Naw,” he says, retrieving his wallet. He pulls out a five and a one, lays the cash on the bar but leaves his hand on it. He is tapping his index finger on the bills absently. Tap…tap…tap…



    She almost doesn’t catch on in time. He taps a fourth time and raises his finger for a fifth, but she snatches the bills from beneath his fingers before he completes the action. She stares into his eyes, notes his almost imperceptible nod.



    He knows. Somehow, God knows how, he knows.


    Pure. Awesome. OMFG, that bit there? MADE OF WIN. Dude. I read that bit four times. I was like: Holy HELL, that's nicely done.

    That was very nicely done. Heeeeeeee! Thanks for doing this meme. It gives me an opportunity to go back and read some 'Bella fic I missed first time round.

    And DUDE. You are totally not showing up on my flist. WHY ARE YOU NOT SHOWING UP ON MY FLISTY PAGE?

  • Oh, this.
    This is EXCELLENT.
    Perfectly, perfectly paced -- I had no idea what was going on at first, but I knew SOMETHING was happening, and then, WHAM, it was high-speed just like you described it. Awesome OC, awesome everything. I'm so glad you pointed me over here.
    And, kudos for genderbending a line from my favorite song of all time, ever. No lie. Favorite song, ever.
  • Really good story. What I like most is the fact that some things stay mysterious and in the dark, because you chose to tell this from the girl's POV.
  • Here on a rec, and obviously waaay late, but wanted you to know I love this! I think stories of the boys being heroes on their own time is my absolute favorite (apart from them being able to retire and raise babies and puppies, but that's another story). Great tension, great characterizations, and kick ass boys...I couldn't ask for more!
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