These Minor Tremors are the stories within this AU that don't really fit anywhere in particular. They tend to be humor-oriented (but not this one) and so far they all take place in Blue Earth.
Title: (Minor Tremor 1) - (Minor Tremor 2) - (Minor Tremor 3) - (Minor Tremor 4) - (Minor Tremor 5) - (Minor Tremor 6) - (Minor Tremor 7) - (Minor Tremor 8) - (Minor Tremor 9) - (Minor Tremor 10) - (Minor Tremor 11)
accompaniment(s) to: With a Bang
Rating: SPN/DA Crossover - PG - Gen – AU in the year 2020
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & DA characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Alec POV. The big fat mysterious basement.
Alec tapped his fork through the mashed potatoes and did some Morse Code on his plate. He didn’t expect his uncle to decipher the secret message and respond, but he did expect a demand to settle the fuck down. He tapped louder until he started to annoy even himself.
To his mild frustration, Dean remained focused on not eating his dinner.
“So,” Alec said. “How was your day?”
Dean pushed his food around with his fork and shrugged.
“Did you have a nice day?” Alec tried to qualify. “Or a bad day?”
Glancing up at his uncle, Alec tried not to be obvious with the staring. They were eating alone tonight because Sam had to do rounds in town with no mention of when he’d be back.
“If you were wondering… I had a nice day,” Alec said. “I had ice cream cake for lunch.”
For some reason this evening wasn’t filled with the usual conversation Alec had learned was expected at a dinner table. Instead of talking about the garage, the weather or who was showing the most cleavage at church, there wasn’t much going on.
“I ran errands again today for Mrs. Hooper,” Alec said. “It’s kinda like being back at Jam Pony. Except no tips and people don’t try to run me down with their cars.”
“Could you pass the peas?”
Sliding over the bowl, Alec couldn’t help but notice that the heap of peas already on Dean’s plate hadn’t been depleted yet. “Mr. Smith came to his door in a towel,” he said. “A really small towel.”
“Hey Alec, do you mind doing me a favor?”
“It’s kinda rude to hog all the peas-”
“It’s not about the peas.”
Alec watched Dean get out of his chair and dump a full plate into the sink.
“It won’t take long,” Dean assured him. “I just wanna show you something.”
“Something?” Alec wasn’t sure if he was a fan of his family’s surprises. “What kind of something?”
Dean dug into a jean pocket and placed the something on the table. Alec had to admit, the sight of a key was always intriguing. Briefly anyway. He quickly realized what it probably unlocked and his interest fizzled.
“It’s time.” Dean said gravely. “Tonight I’m gonna show you the basement.”
Alec waited for his uncle to turn around before he sighed and tossed down his napkin.
The entrance to the basement was the only door at the end of the back hallway. It sat down there in the gloom like a fairy tale vault, assorted chains and charms covering it from floor to ceiling. Alec didn’t want to kill his uncle’s buzz so he didn't break it to the guy that he’d already been down in the basement on numerous occasions. The first time was a few hours after he’d been instructed it was off limits, and the other forty-two trips were for other far less exciting reasons.
He already knew the only mysterious thing about it was the money wasted on padlocks.
It didn’t take Dean very long to get the door open. Alec paused at the top of the stairs, uncertain if the dry rot could take the weight of two people. Deciding to chance it he winced at the worrying creak of wood under his feet. Another small sound made him look back over his shoulder.
“Bad cat.” Alec said. “Stay.”
The animal always magically arrived out of nowhere when the forbidden door was opened, but it never once followed him down into the depths. It always waited at the top of the stairs and squeaked up a racket until Alec came back.
“Dean wait, I should grab a flashlight. Uh…” he quickly remembered he wasn’t supposed to know what to expect. “Just in case?”
“Nah,” Dean said. “Don’t need one.”
The dark was absolute down there. Not even traces of ambient light for Alec’s sensitive retinas to detect. Wondering how Dean was getting around so easily, he stilled when he heard the scrape of a match. His eyes readjusted quickly as a gas lantern hissed to life. It added to the dusty ambiance and all, but Alec was about to ask why electricity wouldn’t be a whole lot simpler.
“Back up a little,” Dean hung the lantern on one of the overhead rafters. “Stay by the stairs.”
“Why?” Alec blinked into the glare of the light. “What for?”
“Just do it.”
The place looked exactly the same as it did the last time Alec had trespassed. It had a low ceiling that made it seem smaller and more cramped than it actually was. Boring shelves lined the boring walls, mostly empty except for a few dust coated jars and pieces of old farm equipment. Alec took a seat on the steps and tried to stifle his yawn.
“So, what did you want to show me?”
“You’ll see,” Dean said. “Wait a few minutes.”
Alec waited for five seconds. “I don’t see anything.”
His uncle’s face was unreadable under the white burn of the lantern, its flame casting flat shadows down on the packed dirt floor and up against the walls. Alec found himself staring at the mesmerizing flutter of the wick and fighting another yawn. He blinked when the flame jumped wildly behind the glass and his breath was suddenly fogging in front of his face.
“Told you so.”
As the temperature dropped the light began to softly shift, the white deepening into a churn of blue. The stark shadows began to move, sliding down the walls and spiraling across the ground like water towards a drain.
“This usually only works if Sam’s here,” Dean had backed up uneasily against the wall. “But now it’s your turn.”
“What‘s happening?” The dark shapes were pausing at Alec’s feet and moving around him as if they were courteously trying to avoid contact. “I’m-I’m not doing anything, I swear-”
“Don’t panic,“ Dean told him. “You might spook ‘em.”
One part of Alec’s brain processed the implication that he had some control over this, but most of his senses were focused on the pool of black forming in the center of the room. The musty air was moving, slowly at first and then picking up to rush with the flow of shadows. Alec got unsteadily to his feet, the unpleasant sensation that the floor was now canted downwards and collapsing in on itself.
“Can you see it, Alec?”
“See what?” Alec couldn’t see anything but the black. “Where are you!”
“I’m right here! You’re doin’ great!”
Alec stumbled backwards as the hiss of the lantern turned into a sudden rush of voices. The dark was filling with noise, the mumble and murmur of countless people, rising and falling with the waver of black. But they didn’t sound threatening. In fact, Alec could only feel their tentative curiosity. He stepped forward and reached out his hand. One of the shadows stretched in his direction and swirled through his fingers, growing more and more solid at his touch. Blinking down at the vague shape of a hand gently holding his own, Alec could hear the soft voice of its owner whispering in his ear.
It was Pastor Jim.
“There’s a door down here,” Alec realized. “A door for ghosts.”
Like a picture book flipping too quickly in his head, he could see the old Pastor carving symbols into the floor by the light of the gas lantern. There were more wards hidden in the ceiling and walls. The priest had done it all to construct a safe passage to return one day into the land of the living, a revolving door he could use to come and go as he wished. Alec gasped as the shadows surged and wound themselves up his arms and over his face. He dully felt his body make contact with the stairs as his legs went out from under him.
Dean was shouting to him somewhere in the light and noise, but Alec couldn‘t answer.
“Stop…please…stop….” Gulping in another breath of frigid air, Alec felt the shadows press in closer. They began to smother him with their cold touch and eager thoughts, and all he could do was let them while he begged with one word over and over again. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop-
And then suddenly it all did.
Alec slowly lowered his shaking hands. The room was empty again except for Dean. He was holding the Pastor’s lantern and looking down at Alec in relief. Everything appeared as it had minutes before, the shadows all back in their normal places and the charmed flame settling back on its wick. His uncle’s grip was reassuringly warm as he helped Alec to his feet and clapped him hard on the back.
“You did it,” Dean grinned. “Never doubted you for a second.”
From the look on Dean’s face Alec wasn’t entirely confident that was the truth.
“Ever heard of a warning a guy first?” Alec muttered. “You should try it some time.”
“Sam said not to.” Dean’s grin faded with his apology. “He said you had to try it first like this or it might not work.”
“What-What does that mean?” Alec swayed on his feet, glad that his uncle was there to keep him from taking a header onto the floor. “This was some kind of lesson?”
“Something like that.”
Alec’s thoughts turned back to that fun filled night in the morgue when Sam had introduced him to some pissed off cadavers. Looking around the basement and its hidden door, he knew there was another life skill that he’d have to figure out for the Family Business. With a groan, he thought about all the other times he had casually broken into the basement looking for extra dryer sheets and canned peaches. Alec rubbed his numb hands together and felt the strain of a headache begin to pound behind his eyes.
“You did real good,” Dean moved him up the steps. “You just need some practice is all. Soon you’ll be as good as Sammy.”
“Good at what?”
“I have no idea,” Dean sighed. “Ask your dad.”
“Are we done for tonight?” Alec asked hopefully. “I think I’ve seen enough.”
“Yeah, let’s drink beer.”
The little cat was frantically pacing back and forth at the top of the stairs.
His uncle patted him again on the shoulder. Smiling weakly back, Alec decided there would be no more intruding into prohibited places for a real long time.
Maybe not ever.