Pairings/Characters: Sam/Dean, John Winchester, original characters
Total Word Count: 4348
Summary: a 1920s AU *very* loosely based on the film, Public Enemy.
Notes/Warnings: abuse, dub-con, harsh images, morally challenged Sam, troubled Dean. There are hints of abuse, physical and sexual, but nothing terribly graphic. The rating is for the overall fic—it varies according to update. For a large part of the fic, the boys are underage.
follows from Public Enemies Book One
Sam looked up at the tap-tap on the door. "Louie?" he asked Dean and Dean shrugged. "Probably." He walked over and pulled the door open. "Hey. Did I forget to do something?" He still had grease under his nails—waiting for Sam to finish his homework before he cleaned Dean's nails because Sam didn't think Dean did a good enough job, didn't care about things like that.
"Can I come in, boys?" Louie asked, his eyes on the floor and it was so uncharacteristic for the fat man that Sam stood, unease making him stalk to the door and try to put himself between Dean and Louie. With a small annoyed sound, Dean pushed Sam back, jerked his head at Louie.
"Yeah, sure, come on in, Lou. What c'n I do for ya?"
"Shit, sport. I don't hardly know how ta tell youse…yer old man's dead."
Dean turned white as a ghost and Sam rushed to Dean's side to hold him up if need be. "What the fuck—what the fuck are ya talkin' 'bout? We just saw him not a few days gone past an' he was fine!" Dean was yelling by the time he finished and Sam jerked him away from Louie. Louie might love them, but no one screamed Assasi's capo down, not unless they were begging to be ventilated.
Sam patted and rubbed Dean's chest, took his face in his hands when he wouldn't settle. "Hey, hey, Dean, listen to Louie, he's tryin' to tell us somethin' okay? Take a breath, Dean, calm down. Louie, really, he didn't mean it—"
Louie waved a hand at Sam, "Naw, it's okay, the lil' chauffer, he don't mean no disrespect—it's outa respect for yer old man an' that's right, that is—no matter what else he was, John Winchester was your dad. Bought it bad, boys, got shanked. Heard they come after him inna showers, tha stinkin' rats. Behind his back, like a buncha pussies. Big Moe done it, boys, dollars to donuts it was that big mick bastard."
"Holy Jesus, mother of mercy…" Dean staggered, searched behind him for a chair and dropped into it. He curled over his knees, fists in his face. "Fuck. Fuck," he said, but nothing else.
Sam stood behind him, rubbing circles in his back, carding his fingers through Dean's hair. "Moe Kennedy killed my dad?"
"Looks like it."
"What's Assasi going to do? What's he going to let us do, I mean?"
Louie smiled at Sam. "Thatsa spirit, Puddy. But seriously," he breathed a long, deep sigh. "Mr. A's not gonna let youse do nothin'—yet. But he's gotta plan. He's gonna hit 'em where it hurts, inna fuckin' pocket. Mark me, boys, inside a month Big Moe's gonna be sellin' apples inna streets. Like a old fuckin' grandma and the wolves will drag him down, without us gettin' our hands wet. No fingers pointin'. You boys don't need that now."
Dean glared at Louie. "Fuck that. I want in. No more of this shit drivin' the man to ginmills and back, no more nightclubs. I wanna be the driver—when he goes after Moe, I wanna be there."
"No, hell no!" Sam shouted. "The whole point of this is you stayin' out of the streets—keeping out of the gangs, Dean!"
"Sam, don't be stupid, we're already there. If Mr. A's business goes south, not that that's gonna happen but say it did, you think the cops'd care that I just drive the cars? If I'm drivin' him back from a nightclub and lead starts flyin' it ain't gonna stop and fly around me, Sammy. I drive Mr. Assasi, that's all anyone cares about." He held his hand to Sam's cheek and Sam let him even though what he wanted to do was smack the hell out of Dean, beat some fucking sense into him….
"Sam, you're the only one who's safe because I begged Mr. A to keep you safe. Why'd'ya think he got you in that swanky school? Teach you how to talk all high class and dress like them mooks do? Cops ain't ever gonna lay a hand on you. Me, one way or another, I'm going down. Let me go down the way I want, my terms—like a man, on my feet."
"Fuck you Dean, fuck you."
Louie came over and grabbed Sam by the arms. "Listen to me, Puddy. Your brother's right. You got things to do, Mr. A tole me he's got plans for you. An' he ain't gonna let Dean-o throw his life away bein' some hood. He's got plans fer him too. Now, gwan, get dressed, the botha ya. Dean, wash your face, and here—" he held out a flat silver flask. "Take a hitta this and yank your suspenders up. The boss wants ta talk to youse personal. He wants to let you know, youse ain't alone. He watched Dean take a drink, offered Sam but Sam shook his head. "Okay. C'mon, boys, let's get ready ta go."
"Boys, sit." Assasi looked like a king behind his desk, Sam thought, and wondered what it must feel like to know that everything you looked at belonged in the palm of your hand.
"I know," Asssasi said, "that Louie has told you already the unfortunate news." He put his hand over his heart. "It's a sad thing to lose a father like that. Sad thing." He shook his head.
Sam startled at the sound of Dean sobbing. It made him angry that he'd lose composure like that in front of Assasi, that he'd show so much emotion for Winchester, that he'd do it in front of anyone but him. "Stop it, stop cryin', Christ's sake!"
"Eh, Putto, there's no shame that a man should mourn his father. Dean, you gotta remember, you done everything you was supposed to and more. You were a good son; you kept your brother safe, just like the old man told you. John, he respected you for that. What's said when the blood is hot don't mean nothin'—in his heart he had respect for you. I got respect for you, you don't forget that—I respect you." Sam looked up to catch Assasi's eye on him, bright and cold. "Each person gotta handle the grief in his own way. It's okay to grieve." He smiled at Sam, and gave him a slow wink. Sam smiled back, rubbed Dean's shoulder, light and soft, when he dropped his head to wipe his face dry.
Assasi watched, weighing, assessing, it seemed to Sam. "You take care of your brother, there. Here." He came around the desk and reaching in his pocket, pulled out a fat wad of bills, peeled off a few and handed them to Sam.
"Pipe down, hear? "Assasi said, overriding Dean's instant protest. He laid his hand on Dean's neck, fingers sliding into the short soft hair there—Sam inhaled sharply, a hot burst in his chest at the sight. Assasi folded to a crouch, hand on still on Dean's bowed neck and whispered in his ear, "Every once in a while, Ragazzino, you gotta unbend that stiff neck. Take a break. Okay? Smella roses, right?" he flowed upright again and winked at an unsmiling Sam. "You go see that movie Dean's been yappin' about—that Hunchback thing, get some burgers, snag some pretty girls."
The watery eyes full of gratitude Dean turned on Assasi made Sam grind his teeth. But he had to admit—Assasi was good. Every day, he drove that hook he had in Dean a little deeper into his heart. If Sam hadn't been one hundred per cent sure where Dean's final loyalty lay, he would have felt the need to separate them. That and the certainty that Assasi had plans for them that went beyond toying with the heart of some penny-ante former numbers runner and newsie and his kid brother. Sam could wait. He could be patient when he had to be. He was willing to see how the cards fell. "Thanks Mr. A, we'll do that. Right Dean?"
Dean turned to Sam, and the shaky little tremble meant to be a smile for him made Sam breathe deep. Dean might have looked at Assasi with gratitude but it was love in his eyes when he looked at Sam. Sam smiled back, let the warmth fill him and Dean's smile grew stronger and that was good. That was very good.
The death of John Winchester brought some few changes to the Winchester brothers' lives. The changes that had come with John's arrest were so huge, so incredible, that this additional change was really not all that significant, or so Sam felt.
What Sam Winchester did feel was a lightness of spirit that he'd never had before, a feeling of so many possibilities spreading out, so many roads to choose from. Life was an unending box of Whitman's and every fucking piece was a chocolate caramel, no matter what the lid said. He was on the way—high school was coming and after that, who knew?
He spun a million plans and Dean figured in all of them. Every morning he rose and went to the window, looked in the direction of that big dark hill and smiled.
For Dean Winchester, it meant the feeling that he'd failed deepening. He'd failed somehow with Sammy, somewhere in trying to protect him from men like Boggs, he'd made it worse and he didn’t even know how. He'd failed his dad, betrayed him when he was down, failed his orders to protect Sam, that now that he was older, knew the man had meant even if it was protecting Sam from himself…every morning he showered in their squeaky clean green and white bathroom and let the tears go.
Assasi claimed John Winchester's body and laid him to rest next to Mary. Any crimes he'd committed were lost in the wind; John's judgment was coming in the next world. The loving husband and father Assasi had carved into the granite of John's tombstone made Sam giggle, and Dean hit him hard in the ribs for that.
Sam's grade school graduation came on the heels of the funeral and the memories tangled up in Dean's mind: Sam smiling wide and happy in his Sunday best with the sun making a halo behind him, real champagne and somber men with thick, old-world accents and stiff black suits shaking his hand, Mr. Assasi beaming at Sam, brushing the thick fringe of chestnut hair off his forehead, cupping his cheek, grumbled vows of revenge and duty and right…too much good food and…and too much booze. Sundown. Night time.
Night. Nighttime thick with stars, and sweat pouring off his face and down his back from drinking so much and hot because he was, there was, it was dark, and at first he didn’t know but then he knew it was Sam's hand on him, cupping him, squeezing, Sam's teeth in his shoulder and his tongue, wet on his throat—Dean shuddered and moaned. He didn't know.
He didn't know.
But that was a lie he told himself. Dean knew it was all him, his fault. He'd pressed his brother into the rough brick wall, in the dark; the music tinny and faint, the party sounds gone to a low murmur in the night. Sam's harsh breathing loud, frighteningly loud in his ear. Dean couldn’t think, could only move the way Sam let him move. Pull and tug and yank of buttons opened and. Sam rocked between Dean's spread knees, clutched at Dean's hip and came thick and hot on Dean's skin, his hand bruising. Bruises Dean would feel long after the color faded back under his skin.
Dean's fault. His back was raw from the bricks and blood was on his shoulders but it wasn't enough. There'd never be enough pain to punish himself for failing so terribly.
"Dean, come on. Dean. Dean, listen to me—"
Sam's voice lashed him, Sam's hand raked over his shoulder but Dean didn't listen, he walked away—ran away.
"Mr. A wants me, I'll. I'll be back. Later."
"Dean!" Sam's voice held that hurt-angry note that it got pretty regularly lately. Any trace of his sweet, soft, baby brother was long gone. This tall, thin, brittle stranger who'd taken his place scared and confused Dean. He pretended that Sam angered him but truth, he frightened him. What Sam would let him do…it was all on Dean. It was true because he knew it was true. How could Sam understand this--thing?
Right before Dean turned the corner to the street and Assasi's front door, he glanced back at Sam, who looked like a stranger. Tall, dark, hands in fists and his face a furious mask and Dean almost wanted to run back and beg him for forgiveness.
He leaned against Assasi's door instead, shaking, shaking, praying to stop.
Assasi walked in circles across his plush carpet. He stopped and thrust his hands in his pockets and looked Dean over the way he looked over a new car or a shipment of guns…and smiled.
"Told ya we was gonna talk about the future. So now we talk. About you, about Sam. Dean…I think of you boys like sons of mine. Mine. And I want the best…for you. For you the best is at my side. I'm putting my life in your hands, same as I do with Louie. Same as I do with my men." He lifted the back of his suit coat and instinct and training made Dean stiffen. Assasi ignored his flinch and pulled his hand from behind his back. In his fist a gun gleamed in the golden light of the study lamps. Dean blinked hard and told himself that if A was going to ice him it wouldn't be on his precious Persian carpets or his little couch, but he readied himself for the shot anyway.
"C'mer," Assasi said and Dean rose like he had strings attached, from Assasi's mouth to his spine. "This is yours," the man said. The gun was a compact, efficient looking piece, blued steel and an oiled walnut stock. "This here is a Colt 1911. I take one look at this little beaut and I know, this is my Dean's. G'wan, take it" Assasi flipped it so that the stock was pointed at Dean and Dean took it slowly, carefully, his whole body letting Assasi know that Dean understood this was no simple gift, no simple thing. Dean ran his thumb along the length of the barrel. Curled his fingers tighter around the stock and smiled. "Thanks. Thanks…so much," he croaked.
"Looks like it was made for you—look how it fits your hand." Assasi smiled like an uncle giving his nephew a new toy. "So. You know what this means, hanh? No more of this shit drivin' me to ginmills and back, no more nightclubs?"
"Oh shit," Dean felt his cheeks burn, he dropped his head. "I'm sorry, Mr. Assasi, swear ta god I didn’t mean no disrespect—"
"Ah, don't worry about that," he laughed, "s'true, ain't it? Now, you'll still be driving—just it'll be the important things now. You'll be driving getaway for Louie's capers, too."
"Lou's wheelman," Dean said, voice hushed with the weight of what Assasi had just laid on him.
"Hey." A put both hands on Dean's shoulders. "Look at me."
Assasi's hands swept from Dean's shoulders to the fan out across the back of his neck, thumbs brushing at the hinge of his jaws. Dean swallowed, looked up into A's whiskey colored eyes, they spread, darker, wider, until there was almost nothing else in the world but those eyes.
"Dean-o, ah? No raggazo no more. You're not a little boy no more, you're a man." He kissed Dean on both cheeks and Dean's eyes slid closed. And then, fleeting, so feather light—maybe a brush against his mouth. Dean flinched. When he opened his eyes again, Mr. A was sitting behind the desk, chin rested on his fists, his eyes narrowed and mouth pursed with a small smile. "Take your gift and practice—an' don’t forget to go see Louie."
Dean left the study, confused. Had that really happened? Had he imagined a kiss? He looked again at the deadly little gift in his palm. This in his hand, this was real. What was happening next, that was real and something to depend on. He tightened his hand until the gun bit into his palm and thought about nothing else but the changes coming.
Dean was somewhere with Louie and his crew, so Sam lay a towel out on the coach-house roof to sit and think and read. The heat felt good, warming the cotton shirt stretched over his shoulders, the back of his neck. He sighed and stretched just a bit, letting the heat warm and loosen muscles all over. He wiped sweat off his forehead, slid his hand under his shirt. Let it drift over his belly, over his navel and lower…he felt good, his dick hardened a bit at the touch, a stray thought… pictured Dean's shocked green eyes when he'd pulled an orgasm out of him, and stiffened up some more. Dean…so fucking delicious. Like a peach, waiting to be bitten into. Sam cupped himself, a lazy squeeze that made him smile. He wasn't about to jerk off on the roof but it felt good to imagine it….
"Hey, Sam, Sam you up there?"
"Fuck…" Sam frowned and rolled to his feet, whipping his shirt loose from his waistband and blousing it over his erection. He pulled himself back through the bedroom window and stomped down the stairs--stopped when he saw who was calling him. "Oh. Nicky."
"Hey ya, Sam. Mr. A wants to talk to you." Before Sam could even open his mouth to ask, Nicky said, "Naw, Dean's not back yet. But don’t worry, that run was peanuts, Mr. Lou's just gettin' Dean in the swinga things, you know…"
Nicky babbled on as Sam wiped his face and neck with a damp cloth, wet a comb and pulled it back through his mostly uncooperative hair. He liked Nicky, as much as that was possible. Nicky talked a lot, but seemed to be observant. Sam wondered if his nonstop chattering was a way of covering for the fact that he saw everything. Sam had always understood how dangerous it was to know too much in a life like this….
Nicky was still talking, brown eyes sparkling, red lips moving around an endless stream of words and Sam watched them with fascination. Nicky talked with his whole body and Sam liked it—it wasn't something that Dean and he did. Sam tilted his head, looking at Nicky this way and that. He was almost as pretty as Dean...Sam stopped and considered how many pretty things Assasi surrounded himself with.
"Hey, hey Sam, you ready yet?" Nicky broke in on Sam's thoughts and he huffed. Later, he'd take that train of thought apart. Now, he'd go and discuss his future with Assasi—it was the only reason he could imagine that A would call for him.
Nicky stopped at the door to the man's study and did some funny kind of half-bow before starting to walk away—blushed an interesting pink when Sam smiled at him, then bit deeply into his lip when out of curiosity and a suspicion, Sam brushed his knuckles along Nicky's waist. Sam noted the reaction, before Nicky lost interest for him and he turned to Mr. Assasi's study. He tapped at the door and it swung open.
"Come on in, Puddy, and shut the door," Assasi said.
As usual, the heavy velvet drapes were drawn and the study lit with lamps, their thick, amber glass shades casting a golden glow over everything. He pointed at a chair pulled close to his desk and said, "Sit yourself, Sam. Told ya we was gonna talk about the future. So now we talk. About you, about Dean, and what I want for you. Sam…" he leaned back in his chair and looked down the length of his nose at Sam, expression blank as clean chalk-board but something like amusement in his eyes. "You're special. Knew that the first time I seen that ferocious little putto, kicking his fat little legs back n' forth on that chair. So I ask what can I do with that? And the answer was, bring him close to you, make sure he grows like a flower right in front of you. Sam, you're my insurance."
"What? How's that?"
"You're going to be a capo--capo dei capo. But this city, it's not so big. Not enough room for us both. But…it's got plenty room for me and a general to help me run it. This is something I don’t have. Louie, he's a fine captain but no general. He ain't got no vision—he's got heart, but vision, smarts, and the soul of a killer—he don't got that. You got that. Killer, that's what you are," Assasi said, and sounded proud.
Sam gaped at Assasi, ice crackling in his gut. "What the hell—I never killed no person, not me."
"We don’t need to lie between us." Assasi held his hands out, as if to stop a protest that Sam didn't make, too busy wondering how Assasi knew about the bum—wondering what else he knew. Dean….
"You work for me and I give you whatever you want," Assasi continued. "You go to the schools I pick and study the subjects I pick and date the women I pick—"
Sam fumed, anger wiping out the creeping ice inside. "Why should I? What do I get out of it?"
"Out of the poorhouse, you and Dean, forever. Anything money can buy. Power, control. A place in my empire, right by my side. Assasi rose from the desk. Walked around it and sat on the edge. He lit a cigarette and blew streams of smoke up to the ceiling. Sam watched him sharply. He had the feeling some enormous change was about to take place, bigger that the death of john Winchester. Power, control…the ability to move all the pieces on the board when and where he wanted—Sam licked dry lips. A place by A's side was a step way from sitting in his chair, alone….
Assasi smirked. "I know what you're thinking," he said. "And that's good you're thinking like that. But remember, I have something you want more than any amount of power or control, and a move on me is a move on that."
Sam felt the return of that chest freezing clutch of ice. "What...do you have?"
Assasi smiled wider and the gold light turned his eyes to bronze. "You know. I have the thing you want most in all the world, the thing you're dying to possess. Your brother."
Sam didn't try to deny it. "Who else knows?"
"You. Me. Maybe Dean. I only have one rule. Don’t break him." He laughed, threw the butt of his cigarette into the empty fireplace.
"I'm just a kid," Sam said. "How can you make me do this stuff—think about—about college and away—"
Assasi shook his head. "You've never been just a kid. But I am stronger than you. I have your brother in the palm of my hand and I can keep him there, or…" he held his hands open to Sam, "give him to you. And you know I can. I have the power to do either one."
"Yeah." He glared at Assasi, but he understood him, too. What better revenge, to continue to torture John beyond the grave? To flaunt how he killed the man and was untouched, how he'd stolen the man's sons and made them loyal, made them love him and this before John was cold in the ground. And after all, hadn't Sam been the one to go to him? Sam narrowed his eyes at him, hatred warring with admiration. "What happened to your accent?"
Assasi laughed out loud. "I wish you loved me as much as I love you," he said, wiping his eyes. "Sam, Sam. We'll have so much fun, rule this city together--unless you really wanted to live on a little farm somewhere with your Dean, raising goats and making bread. Where’s the excitement in that?"
Sam pouted, "Getting the fucking goats to stand still long enough to milk them, I guess. I never wanted nothing like that anyway."
Assasi sighed. "Good. I will give you Dean, and you will give me—a few years of your life."
"Dean's already mine," Sam snarled.
"Of course, of course. Come on Sam, agree with me. Make a vow with me."
Sam glared but nodded. Sure. He could figure out the angles later. One thing he knew was that Assasi didn't scare him, but maybe he scared Assasi a little. He let his scowl ease into a small smile. Assasi stood and held his arms out to Sam.
"C'mere. This is something we decided on together, right? This is something you give freely?"
"Yeah, sure," Sam said. "Already said. We agreed on it."
A raided an eyebrow at him and grinned. "And?"
"Um, I give it freely? Because I want the best for Dean. And for me."
"Oh, I know," Assasi said. "I know." He held his hands wide, a small smile tilting his lips up. "You'll look good at my side. You'll love the law, Sam. It's made for you. Now take off, sounds like Louie's back. Yer brother'll be lookin' for you."
Sam waved and bolted—as much to get out from under Assasi's stare as to get to Dean.