I'm only in possession of my trusty laptop at the moment THEREFORE… the moral of this shortish tale is that all my WIPs are at home and outta reach.
I’ll get to them when I get to them I guess. ♥
Title: Standard Procedure
Rating: PG - wee!Chesters - Gen
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Beta: Thank you Kat!
Summary: On a family outing to a junk yard, the boys immediately find everything that is remotely treacherous and try to give John heart failure.
Nothing smelled quite like a salvage yard.
John took in a deep breath and could almost taste the difference. If the wind was just right, he could even detect a hint of fermented refuse. The scent of rotting trash mixed perfectly underneath the bouquet of burnt tires and the fade of spilt gasoline.
Dean had pointed out the aroma of wet dog somewhere in there too.
“What do you think?” John asked. “Not much here that hasn’t already been picked clean.”
He watched his kid climb onto the top of a deceased 1970 Lincoln Continental* and jump up and down on its dented roof.
“She’s a goner.” Dean surmised.
There had been a time when it was simply habit to run things past the nine-year old for the novelty of speaking a thought aloud. John wasn’t exactly sure when he’d stopped talking to himself and when he had started to expect legitimate feedback. Dean hopped back onto the ground, his sneakers crunching the glitter of broken windshield glass. Dusting off his hands, he peered into the exposed engine’s innards and gave a non-committal shrug.
“I bet a couple of the parts are okay tho?”
It was always a sorry sight to see any formerly proud machine left on cinderblocks, its doors removed and its paint left to bubble into rust. John ran his hands down through the weathered transmission for some proof that it was still as solid as his son had suggested. Usually a wise mechanic scavenged all the good parts for themselves but every now and then, fortune smiled on those in need.
“Bingo.” John winked at his kid.
With the old guy at the gate charging a buck per pound, they could walk out of here with a carburetor and a fuel pump for as close to free as it got. He wiped a smear of black grease on the thigh of his jeans.
“Go get the stuff outta the car.”
Dean took off in the direction of their parked ride while John inspected the fractured crankcase and eroded ceramic sparkplugs. The kid's round trip back was considerably slower due to the addition of a heavy toolbox he was lugging with two hands and a little brother close behind.
“I didn’t mean all the stuff.” John cringed when Sammy made a delighted beeline right for an abandoned refrigerator with the vacuum seal door still attached. “Didn’t he have some books to read?”
“He’s bored.” Dean hefted the weight of the box over into his father’s waiting grip. “I’ll watch ‘em.”
John glanced skeptically at the jagged heaps of metal sitting all around them.
“Okay,” he decided. “But that means crowd rules apply.”
Dean briefly fought to keep the look of displeasure off his face. His kid hated some rules and loathed others but ‘crowd rules’ were always a sure fire way to bring a frown. Somewhere down the line, it had come to mean that Sammy’s tether didn’t exceed the three foot radius of Dean’s reach. John didn’t envy him the chore. It was about as easy as keeping hold of an oiled cat on acid and almost just as fun.
“You got it?”
A look under the back end of the junker revealed it had a decent muffler too. Deciding to tackle the most difficult job first, he spread out an old towel on the oil stained concrete to protect him from anything sharp. Once he’d arranged it in a neat rectangle he placed the box of tools on its edge and rolled up his sleeves.
It wasn’t exactly a picnic but it was a pleasant enough way to spend an afternoon.
Dean was next to him, leaning down to examine the cramped working place.
“Why don’t you boys look for some license plates?”
He settled onto his back and started to push himself under the car. A second’s thought had him hollering one last time after the swiftly departing escapees.
“But no Sunshine States!” he qualified as he tugged the tool case up by his leg. “That swamp is bad luck.”
Wondering if sending his spawn into teetering piles of lethal garbage was such a great idea, he paused from his work to check which direction they were headed. For some reason Dean had chosen to forgo the task of lifting plates. Instead of petty larceny he was busy scaling a massive chain link fence that separated the yard from who knew what on the other side. Sammy was right behind him, carefully sticking his feet and hands in the exact same spots.
“Hey!” John yelled loud enough to startle them both. “Who wants to tell me what that sign says?”
Dean was taught fairly early on not to pay attention to conventional trespass symbols. It wasn't the first foreboding placard that had ever been blithely ignored. However, his other son seemed to have noticed the bright red sign festively decorated with lightening bolts.
“I sees it!” Sam called back. “It says: Caution! Power lines!”
John waited a moment for some terror on their part and rapidly realized he was going to get none. Struggling out from under the car, he didn’t have to do much to assume his best enraged voice.
“So get your asses down offa there!!”
With a sigh, Dean let go and let himself fall the six foot return trip back to earth. His brother didn’t have much choice but to crash land right next to him. John maintained some threatening eye contact long enough to reassure himself that imminent death was no longer in the cards.
Sliding in and out from under a decrepit land boat was getting painful.
To add to the brand new discomfort of his bruised elbows and knees, the wrench kept getting stuck every time he tried to get going anti-clockwise. Just when he had it locked in an ominous groan and creak of metal made him freeze to a halt. He didn’t bother removing himself out from under the car this time. Raising his voice above a normal shouting level, he tried to aim it in the general vicinity of his suicidal children.
“What did I just say!?”
Dean’s reply was indignant and almost identical in his father’s exasperation.
“You said the fence!”
John twisted around in frustration so he could see what was going on. The boy had a point. The towering heap of crap his kids were boldly scaling like Everest probably didn’t include the thrill of electrocution. The new ride on compacted scrap metal just promised a quick end by crushing.
“Both of ya!” John pointed. “Wait in the damn car.”
He swore when the wrench slipped over the stripped bolt and scraped his knuckles across the rusted undercarriage. Taking a moment to hold his throbbing hand in his mouth, he counted slowly backwards. He usually started at ten, but one hundred sounded like a far better number at the moment. John took in deep measured breaths in the quiet shade of the decomposed Ford filed with rat nests and rancid rainwater.
The countdown trailed off somewhere in the mid-50’s.
As he slowly opened his eyes, it wasn’t much of a surprise to feel two bodies squirm in on either side of him. Dean lay down beside him and folded his hands comfortably on his stomach. His eldest son studied the crumbling cinderblocks keeping the car off the ground with professional doubt before examining the problematic bolt. Sam reached up and picked off a particularly large flake of rust from the catalytic converter.
After he stopped coughing on corroded dust, John refocused his attention on the ancient exhaust system sitting several inches above his face.
He held out his bleeding hand.
“Who wants to get me a socket wrench?”
Sammy scrambled for the toolbox and due to convenient size was back in record time. John took the hammer and patted his grinning five-year-old on the head the best he could within the tight confines. Dean was finished spitting rust and regarded the hammer with bewildered disgust.
John rubbed the cool metal fork of the tool against his temple.
“Do you want the ¼, ½, or the ¾?”