Pairing: Sam. Dean. Logan. (Dean/Logan, Sam/Dean implied)
Word Count: 3,649
Spoilers: Takes place post-S1 for Veronica Mars and Early S1 for Supernatural. Yes, the timelines are a little messed up. Go with it.
Summary: Sam and Dean pick up a hitchhiker with a past.
This story is dedicated to wrenlet, xnotalovesong, and devilduckieee who never stopped
Title from the song "Wondering" by Dirty Pretty Things.
Sam was the one who saw the boy, but it was Dean who pulled over to pick him up.
"Wait, what are you doing?" Sam asked.
"What does it look like I'm doing?" Dean replied in that voice that never failed to make Sam feel about five years old.
"It looks like you're going to pick this kid up, which would be insane because what would we do with a hitchhiker?"
"Give him a ride," Dean said, and then the argument was over because the kid was standing at the back door and expecting Sam to let him in.
Sam sighed and turned around to unlock it and gave the kid a quick once over. Tall, but not as tall as Sam. Spiky brown hair and a day or two's worth of stubble on his cheeks. Dusty clothes, a beat up duffel, and wary expression on his face. Well, Sam thought, at least he looks like he belongs here.
The kid didn't say anything, just slouched back into the seat and looked around. Finally Dean broke the silence.
"How far you headed?"
"How far you going?" the kid shot back. Dean smiled and Sam felt his heart sink - no good could come of this. "I'm Dean, this is Sam."
The kid was silent for a few minutes and Sam had just decided that he wasn't going to answer when he did.
Dean smiled again and turned the music back up. They drove for 10 minutes before Logan leaned forward.
"Dude," he said, "your music sucks."
Sam smiled. Maybe this wouldn't be as bad as he thought.
Sam knew the kid was running from something. If it wasn't obvious in his wary eyes and lack of destination, it was obvious the day Sam overheard him on the phone.
They pulled over at a gas station mid-day. Dean disappeared into the men's room and Sam went to grab food. When he came back to the car he saw Logan crouched by the fender, cell phone pressed to his ear.
"It's me," he said. "I'm okay. Stop looking for me." Then he closed the phone and tossed it into the trash. He stood up and saw Sam watching him. "Pre-paid cell phone," he said with a shrug. "Untraceable."
"Someone's looking for you?"
"How do you know?"
Logan ran his hands through his hair and put his sunglasses back on. "Because that's what she does."
But Logan declined to answer and that, at least, Sam understood.
After all the excitement was over they headed back to the motel. Sam felt like he'd been run over by a truck, but he hadn't taken half the beating that Logan had. You wouldn't know it from the way he was walking though.
You get thrown through a wall by a poltergeist, Sam thought, you should at least limp a little bit afterwards. It's only fair.
Dean was impressed, Sam could tell, and it made his stomach queasy to think about it. Or maybe that was the concussion. Because even though he tried not to be, Sam was impressed too. His first encounter with a supernatural being and Logan had handled himself pretty well - being thrown through a wall notwithstanding. There hadn't been any freaking out yet, and that was a little worrying.
Logan threw himself down on one of the beds and toed his shoes off. Sam exchanged a look with Dean and saw he was thinking the same thing: it was bound to happen, but would it be sooner or later? Dean had never had patience for these kinds of things, so he came right out with it.
"How're you feeling?"
Logan glared at him and shucked off his pants without sitting up.
"I mean, you just found out that all those things you thought were make believe are real. You okay with that?"
Logan shrugged. "Stranger things have happened," he said, got under the covers and went to sleep.
Which was probably the most worrying thing of all.
Dean and Logan smoked cigarettes outside of motel rooms and told dirty jokes to each other until they choked. Dean and Logan drank beer sometimes at night, even though Logan said he was 18 and that was still too young to drink legally. Dean and Logan trained in the morning, going through the motions again and again until Logan did it perfectly and they could leave.
Sam watched them, then tried to ignore them, then thought about joining them, and then did all three at once for a while. And the whole time he thought at Dean. He thought hard, as if that would suddenly give him telepathic ability. He thought, he's going to leave you. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week, but someday. Someday he will go back to his home and his girlfriend and then what will you do? Sam tried to tell Dean with his thoughts, I won't leave you again. I promise I won't.
But Sam was not telepathic and Dean never heard him.
He was supposed to be questioning a grocery store clerk when he saw the magazine. SPECIAL EDITION: INSIDE THE AARON ECHOLLS MURDER CASE. It was one of the smaller headlines that caught his eye. The one right in between The Young Girl Who Brought Him Down and The Kane Software Empire.
Searching for Logan Echolls.
He bought the magazine and when he was done questioning the cashier he sat outside and read the whole thing cover to cover. And there he was on page 17. Logan. Their Logan. Logan Echolls. Sam read the article in a daze, registering only phrases. Phrases like "questioned in connection with the murder" and "missing since the night of his father's arrest" and "allegations of abuse." He turned the page and his gaze landed on the inset box with pictures of four teenagers. "Tangled Webs," the title read, "The Children of the Lilly Kane Murder." His eyes were drawn to the girl with short blonde hair. The "intrepid girl detective" who solved the case. This, Sam realized. This was the girl. The girl Logan kept calling but wouldn't talk about. The girl who was looking for him. Veronica.
When he was done he folded the magazine and put it in his pocket, and when Dean and Logan picked him up he hid it in the bottom of his bag.
That night when Logan was in the shower, Sam took it out and speaking softly, just in case, showed it to Dean. Dean skimmed it and threw it back at Sam.
"Are you kidding me? He's avoiding a murder trial. He's supposed to testify! There are authorities looking for him."
"We knew he wasn't with us because he wanted to see the country, Sam. This doesn't change anything."
"He's recognizable, Dean. His picture is in half the magazines on the stands. What happens when we're trying to get answers and the person says 'hey aren't you Logan Echolls?' Then they call the police, and then we're involved."
"He hasn't been recognized yet. He's trying to hide, he won't go shouting it from the rooftops. Besides, if shit like that happened to me, I wouldn't stick around either. If we confront him about it, he'll just run again. Do you think he'll go back to that? He won't. At least with us, we know he's safe."
The shower turned off then, so the conversation was over, and Sam put the magazine away. The next morning, on the way out of the motel, he threw it away.
Dean and Logan had had sex.
Sam stood in the shower under the hottest water he could stand and fumed. He had been kidnapped by werewolves and Dean and Logan had had sex.
He hadn't noticed right away. Dean and Logan had rescued him, they had killed some werewolves, and all in all Sam had been feeling pretty good. Then they got back to the motel and Sam started noticing little things. The way Dean brushed his hand against Logan's hip when he walked past. The way their eyes cut to each other for no reason whatsoever. The careful way Logan was walking. Sam had abruptly announced the need for a shower and fled to the bathroom.
Now he was angry and jealous and confused, and frankly, afraid to go back out there in case he caught them doing ... well, anything.
If he went out there would they be snuggled into the same bed? Since Logan had joined them, the unspoken agreement was that Sam and Dean shared a bed, keeping to their own sides, "Just like old times," Dean had muttered. Would Sam be sleeping alone now?
Sam didn't want anything to change. He had adjusted to Logan's intrusion - even come to enjoy it. Logan had a cutting sense of humor that he used to rib Dean mercilessly and make Sam laugh. But he wasn't ready for this. He wasn't ready for Dean to be taken away from him. Wouldn't that be the perfect poetic fucking justice? asked his own merciless part, which, of late, had started to sound like Logan. After all, you left him first.
But I came back, he told himself firmly. I came back.
He only got out of the shower when the hot water was gone. He breathed in steam for a few minutes, steeling himself for whatever he'd find.
The room was dark, lit only by an infomercial on TV. Dean and Logan were asleep. In separate beds. Sam breathed a silent sight of relief and got under the covers, already warmed with Dean's body heat. He smiled into the dark. Change would wait for another day.
Logan was scary when he fought. He was fairly laid-back normally, and he could charm answers out of anyone, but when he fought, he was a different person entirely. When he fought he went all out, like there was nothing else in the world. Like a berserker.
Sam and Dean had tried to protect Logan at first, but quickly found that Logan wouldn't let them. He liked to get in the middle of a fight and wreak as much havoc as he could. He never let up, and he never noticed when he got injured. It was intense and more than a little frightening. Instead of protecting him, Sam and Dean took to keeping a close eye on him, ready to come to the rescue when he needed it.
After the fight was over it always took a while for Logan to come back to reality. Not even Dean could get close to him. They gave him a wide berth until he spoke again. Logan never addressed his injuries until they were back at the motel, and then he did it by himself, in the bathroom. Sam got the impression that this was something he was used to.
He never asked about the abuse he'd read about in the magazine. Even if he thought Logan would answer, it would be breaking the unspoken code they had established: no questions asked. Besides, Sam was pretty sure he knew the answer.
When he thought about it, a deep anger curled in Sam’s stomach. The kind of anger that made him want to drive to California and pound Aaron Echolls’ face in.
That, maybe, was the scariest part.
"Want one?" Logan asked. He sat down next to Sam on the curb and offered his pack of cigarette.
"Why not?" Sam took a cigarette and Logan held out his zippo. They sat smoking in silence for a while. Why me, Sam wondered. This was usually considered a Dean and Logan activity.
"He was really worried," Logan said eventually. "When those werewolves got you? He was kind of a wreck."
Sam nodded, waiting to hear where this was going. Logan exhaled loudly and ran his fingers through his hair.
"You know what I mean?"
Sam thought he did.
"Thanks," he said. And he meant it.
At first it was a mistake an old grandmother made, but afterwards it just seemed easier to tell people they were all brothers.
People bought it too. No one ever even questioned them; ever considered they might be lying. Probably because when Logan cut the blonde out of his hair he did bear a striking resemblance to Dean. Considering that Logan and Dean went at it like bunnies any 10 minutes they could get alone, Sam thought it was kind of disturbing. And a little hot. But mostly disturbing.
Months together on the road had bred an ease and familiarity in dealing with each other that completely fooled strangers.
Sam came close to being fooled himself sometimes. Logan was what he'd always imagined a little brother would be like. Bratty, petulant, and a pain in his ass half the time, but also the perfect partner in crime for when they wanted to prank Dean by replacing all his Black Sabbath tapes with Barry Manilow, or moving everything in the motel room to the same place on the opposite side of the room before Dean got back with dinner.
Sometimes, when an angry spirit had Logan shoved against a wall, or a creature threw him into a tree, Sam felt his heart stop. He only barely restrained himself from taking Dean aside and apologizing for every stupid reckless thing he'd ever done.
Sam didn't know when it happened, but somehow, while he was worming his way into Sam's life, Logan had managed to worm his way into Sam's heart. Most days it didn't even bother him.
He was probably doomed.
The Winchester tradition of not talking about it worked well for Sam. It meant they didn’t have to talk about what was going on between Dean and Logan. So Dean and Logan could pretend Sam didn’t know, and Sam could pretend it wasn’t happening. Which meant that he didn’t have to extend them the courtesies of a couple, like sleeping in the same bed, or giving them alone time.
The thought of Dean and Logan together didn’t make him want to punch somebody anymore, but that didn’t mean he didn’t take a particular satisfaction in cockblocking them just by virtue of not leaving.
They weren’t overt about it. They barely even touched in Sam’s presence, but sometimes he couldn’t stand to be around them. Didn’t want to leave them alone, thought he was going to go crazy if he stayed around. It was a stupid contradiction and he wished his brain and his heart and his stomach would come to an agreement.
They were in Colorado for the first snowfall, and it was the feeling of impending craziness that sent Sam out to buy food, leaving Dean and Logan alone in the small cabin they’d rented.
He picked up non-perishables that they couldn't ruin since none of them could cook. Afterwards he stopped at a diner on the main drag for a burger and to give himself a little more time away. The diner was mostly empty except for a red headed girl at the counter. She was cute, too, and Sam caught himself feeling guilty. He clenched his teeth. Dean and Logan were probably fucking right at this moment and he was feeling guilty about checking out some girl. Fuck that.
He had his pick from the whole diner, but he took the seat one over from hers. He ordered his burger and a soda and glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. He caught her looking too and smiled. She laughed and turned to face him more fully.
"You're not from around here, are you?"
"Nope," he said.
"Didn't think this place was much of a tourist attraction."
"It's not." She raised her eyebrows. "We're just passing through."
"My brothers and I."
His burger came then and he ate and continued to chat with the red headed girl. She was funny and a little sweet and a little sarcastic, and Sam found himself talking more easily than he had to a girl in months, telling slightly altered stories about his "brothers" and himself.
When his burger was gone she excused herself to go to the bathroom and Sam considered if he was really going to do this. He wanted to - partly out of spite, which was a bad reason he knew, and there was a very large part of him that didn't care. It wasn't like he'd be betraying anyone.
Except maybe himself.
He sighed. Maybe he was pathetic, but he wasn’t going to do it. Besides, the snow was getting worse and he couldn’t leave Dean and Logan without food. He paid his check and the girl came back as he was putting on his coat.
"Look," he said, "if I don't get back now, I probably won't be able to get back at all. But it was really good talking to you."
"Likewise. And hey, maybe I'll see you before you move on."
"Maybe," he said, although he doubted it. He left her there feeling only a little regret.
He felt strangely free and kind of giddy as a drove back to the cabin. Somehow in that diner, when he wasn’t paying attention, he’d made a decision. He chose Dean. And he was pretty sure he chose Logan too.
Dean and Logan were playing poker when he got back, and they looked suspiciously relaxed in a way that made Sam glad he had stayed away as long as he did. But they abandoned the game to help him bring in the groceries.
"Dean lost," Logan smirked. "He has to make dinner."
"What are you trying to do, kill us?" Sam asked.
"Hey!" Dean objected, punching Sam on the arm. Sam couldn’t stop the wide grin that spread across his face.
That was when they heard the car coming up the road. They exchanged a slightly panicked look. The only person who knew they were here was the woman who rented the place to them, and she had no reason to come up here, especially in the snow.
They were all at the door to see the green SUV pull into the driveway. A girl got out and Sam started because it was the red head from the diner, except now she was blonde and very familiar. Behind him, Logan sighed.
"How'd you find me?" he called out.
The girl, Veronica, reached under the Impala and pulled off a small black box. "I put a tracker on your car at the diner," she said. "Sorry."
She didn't sound very sorry.
"I thought I told you not to look for me," Logan said.
"Yeah, 'cause that was gonna work."
Sam looked at Dean. His face was very carefully blank.
"You better come in," Dean said.
Sam ended up cooking dinner while Dean watched and Logan and Veronica shouted at each other in the living room.
“I’m sorry,” Sam said. From the living room he heard Veronica yell something like, “You left your car on the Coronado Bridge! I thought you jumped! I thought you were dead!”
“Nothing you could do,” Dean shrugged. “Especially if what Logan said about her is true.” Dean was probably right, but Sam still felt bad. And stupid. And more than a little embarrassed. Out-played by an 18 year old girl, and he was supposed to be good at this stuff.
In the living room Logan was shouting something about Veronica accusing him of Lilly’s murder, and Veronica said, “I went to the Kane house to prove you DIDN’T do it!” And Logan said, “And my father almost killed you!” And Veronica said, “What the hell does that have to do with it? And you so did not know that before you split town, you son of a bitch.”
Dean raised his eyebrows and Sam huffed a laugh despite himself. The real bitch of it was, Dean would love Veronica, Sam probably would too, if she wasn’t here to take Logan away from them.
Logan and Veronica’s voices subsided to muted phrases, and Sam couldn’t make out what they were saying. He stirred his noodle, meat, and fake cheese concoction.
And yeah, Sam knew Logan had to go. He had a real life back in Neptune, fucked up though it was. He had to at least finish high school. That didn’t mean Sam had to like it. He’d just gotten used to having Logan around. He’d been planning the mother of all pranks, but it wasn’t going to work without Logan. He’d just … he’d just made his fucking choice. And besides, he was opposed to things that made Dean unhappy on principle.
Logan poked his head into the kitchen.
“When is dinner going to be ready? I am starving.”
Sam threw a noodle at him.
The snow meant Veronica was staying one night at least. She cleaned them all out at poker and took the bedroom with its two double beds.
Sam, Dean, and Logan ignored the couch and all spread out on the floor.
“But I’m not playing Truth or Dare,” Dean declared. He scooted closer to Logan when they turned out the light and Sam pretended to be asleep.
Sam sat next to Dean on the trunk of the car and watched Veronica and Logan drive away, arguing already. Or maybe it was still arguing. Sam had a hard time keeping track.
“You okay?” he asked when they were almost out of sight.
“Yeah,” Dean shrugged. “It wasn’t permanent.” He shaded his eyes and looked up at the sky, bright and free of clouds after the storm. “Nothing’s permanent.”
Sam reached out and rested his hand on Dean’s shoulder.
“Some things are,” he said. The muscles in Dean’s shoulder relaxed and his mouth turned up at one corner.
“Yeah, I guess so.”