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Title: When Dean Met Lemmy
Fandom: Supernatural
Pairing: None
Rating: PG-13
Summary: When a case comes up that requires the Winchesters to work as roadies for Motörhead, the only question is 'how fast can we get there.'

Author notes: I wrote this as an extra for tdorian. I'm not sure my mainfic did justice to her lovely drawings, so as a treat I hope this works.




"Dude seriously?" There was a note of pure excitement in Dean's voice and Sam swivelled round in his chair to stare at him in bemusement. Not many things that didn't come with fries on the side could make Dean sound like that. As he listened though, Dean clearly made an effort to moderate his glee. "Uh huh. No, definitely. One hundred percent. Yeah we can pick up with you there. No, no problem honestly. It's our job you know that." He finally put down the phone, and turned to Sam, a huge grin plastered on his face. "You are not going to guess what Bobby has lined up for us," he said, clearly wanting Sam to beg for an answer.


Sam was actually pretty damn curious to know, but if he asked Dean would probably just taunt him some more. "Another hunt?" he said indifferently instead, and flipped through the paper on the table.


"That would be a lot more convincing if you had it the right way up," Dean said dryly. "Lucky for you I can't resist enthusiasm. Bobby has a friend, who worked as Lemmy’s hairdresser."


"Lemmy has a hairdresser?" Sam interrupted.


Dean looked unamused. "'Course he has. Man's got great hair. Anyway, basically Bobby knows a dude who says there's a ghost hanging around the tour. Keeps causing accidents. Nothing big, just small things but it's getting dangerous. It's interfering with the trusses, and it apparently caused a fuck-up with the lighting last stop. Eric, the dude Bobby knows, says that it's like it's building up."


"Sounds like a poltergeist maybe?" Sam said. "A low-level one whose got it in for bad hair, and power chords."


"Shut the fuck up Sam," Dean said with a horrified look. "Lemmy is a god amongst men, whereas I've caught you listening to Nickleback. Of the two of you, there is one who should be ashamed of his music taste. Anyhow, Bobby wants to know if we can get be roadies for a bit, get it sorted. He said his friend could sort it with the band. We'd be doing general duties, lugging stuff around, helping set up and tear down. Seriously man, we get to be roadies for Motörhead. Don't tell me you're not excited about that."


Sam couldn't actually deny that that was pretty cool, but pissing Dean off was funnier, so he shrugged and flipped the paper right way up to continue reading. "It'll be a break I guess." He caught a glimpse of the affront on Dean's face and snickered behind the paper. "Where we meeting them?"


"Milwaukee," Dean said guiltily, since they were about eight hours drive away. "We've kinda got to get there by morning, so we might want to leave about now."


Sam began chucking their stuff into the duffle-bags. "I sincerely hope we actually get paid for this," he said under his breath.


"Normal roadies do," Dean said, "we probably will as well.”


After an hour had passed, Sam could quite cheerfully have yanked out the tape player, and destroyed every tape in the car. Dean had confiscated his ipod, and secreted it away in a pocket, with the high-handed reason that Sam had too much music, and that for once he was going to have to listen to something decent.


All of Sam's pleas (and his irritated attempts to point out that despite Dean claiming it was for once that he'd spent the vast majority of his life listening to classic rock, and Dean had called him Blondie for a month when he was little for listening to Debbie Harry cassettes, fell on deaf ears, mostly because Dean had turned the sound up to almost painful levels, enough that other drivers were giving them odd looks like it was unusual to see a classic car blasting Motörhead at almost painful volumes.


If he hadn't at some point of his life learned how to sleep through even the loudest of music, he'd probably have strangled Dean at some point during the journey. As it was, he took the opportunity to take a nap, and when he woke up five hours later, they were still driving, Dean's face intent and thoughtful as he stared out the windscreen, mouthing along to the music, having turned it right down, presumably not to wake Sam up. It was dark outside, pitch black and they'd left any signs of civilisation behind. Too warm to want to move and take a turn at driving, Sam turned closer into the door, and shut his eyes again, the low hum of Joan Jett sending him right back off to sleep. Apparently even Dean couldn't listen to Motörhead for six solid hours straight.


When he next woke, they were there. They were meeting Bobby's friends contact in a cafe, where presumably he could evaluate their suitability for the job. The diner was pretty much exactly Dean's sort of place, the blowsy waitress was still sleepy-eyed, but mustered a smile for him when she handed them the menus and told that everything on it was all day. Dean still wide-awake and a little jittery from having inhaled four energy drinks over the night, (Sam woke up to find one tucked by his neck, between his chin and his chest,) didn't quite seem able to process the concept of fried chicken for breakfast, and taking refuge in familiarity opted for the bacon, sausage links, and even after a glare at Sam not to comment, the orange juice and toast. Sam was pretty ravenous himself after the journey, and opted for almost the same, swapping out the sausage for the eggs, and heading straight for the coffee.


It wasn't exactly hard to spot Eric when he walked in. Shorter than either of them, he still hit six foot and he was built like a brick shithouse, his muscular arms bared by the sleeveless denim vest he wore, covered in sewn on patches presumably indicating the bands he'd worked for. Oddly enough for a roadie he didn't have any tattoos, but he made up for it by a seemingly permanent scowl on his face.


He sat down with no preamble, and looked them both up and down. "Rozzie said you guys were good," he said, his face saying clearly that he was unsure about that. "Don't know exactly what the fuck you guys are doing, but I owe him one and apparently he owes a guy named Bobby one. All I want to know is if you can do the job. You're not going to get time to shirk I can tell you that much, it's a hard job and people who don't pull their weight get told where to get off pretty sharpish."


Dean grinned at him. "As long as I get to meet Lemmy I don't care," he said, his voice embodying a hungry longing that had both the other men staring at him dubiously. He didn't look ashamed just looked for where the waitress was in the hopes for more coffee.


Eric's eyebrows were practically in his hair, (as he turned to stare at Dean, Sam caught sight of a particularly ratty looking ponytail trailing down his back.) "That's exactly what I'm talking about boy. You don't talk to the talent. If the talent talks to you, you make excuses and get back to work. That's your only warning." He scanned them both once again, eyes taking in Sam's superior height. "Well you both look physically up to it," he said, still with doubt lurking in his voice. "You're not going to be doing anything difficult, just hauling stuff back and forth. If the TM asks you to do something you do it. You might get shifted to the rafters, or asked to help out with the spotlighting, that's all fine, but I want you doublechecking with me if anything seems odd."


He drained his cup of coffee back, and stared at them. "Any questions?"


Sam spoke up for the first time. "When do we start?"


Eric snorted. "Now. It's a sixteen hour day, and that's if nothing goes wrong." He handed them a hotel keycard. "Roadies sleep there. Tomorrow when we're packed and done and moving on, I'll show you to the bus." He tossed a couple of laminated passes down as well. "I understand you boys need a little more access, but it gets done after the work. These will get you most places, but so help me if I catch you anywhere you shouldn't be, you'll be out on your ear."


Dean glanced at Sam, his eyes clearly telegraphing his thoughts. Lucky this guy's so grateful, huh? Then he went into job-mode, leaning forward a little bit, and asking the same basic questions. "We know you don't want to know exactly what we do, but we just need to ask you a few things. Nothing much." A suspicious nod earned him the right to keep asking. "When did the trouble start?"


"About three weeks ago. I mean this is a world tour we're doing, huge stuff. Shows this big, something always goes wrong. We'd like to think we're a completely well-oiled machine, but where there are people there are fuckups. That's human nature, there's always last minute panics. But you get to tell pretty easily when something's off. Like there is a difference between someone carelessly leaving a rope on the ground where it shouldn't be, and between it being somewhere where the band can trip as they enter the stage.


We've just had a lot more accidents than usual, people being distracted by things, hitting themselves with hammers because of it, falling off rigs. We haven't had any fatalities, but three weeks ago we were a well trained team putting out a stunning show every gig, and now we're a shambles. More than the accidents, there's a sense of unease amongst everyone. Roadies can be as superstitious as the next guy, and the atmosphere's shitty. If the atmosphere is shitty, people don't work as well."


Sam took over the questioning. "Do you often pick up new people?" The most likely possibility was that the last remains of a ghost, a lock of hair or whatever could've joined up with the convoy, and the ghost had come along with it.


Eric shrugged. "A few I guess. Most towns we hire in a bunch of people to help out, they're just there for the night. Sometimes though, we take them with us if they're good and we're short of hands. I know most of the people on this tour, once you've done a few you make a name, people remember you, you're top of the list for a callback if people know that you know the job and you work hard."


"Can you remember who joined up along the way?" Sam asked.


"I could probably put it together," Eric said shrugging again. "I won't be able to do it before tonight for the obvious reason, but I can get it to you tomorrow."


"There's no-one you have a feeling about at all?"


There was a pause as he thought about it. "I've got a weird feeling about Emma-Beth. She's a sound tech, not a humper though, she's mostly there for the show itself, and goes pretty soon afterwards. She's not the most social, here for the job and she's damn good at it, but pisses off as soon as she can. Not one for hanging with people. She's been here the whole tour though, I only mention her because she's been acting a bit oddly. Friendlier than usual you might say."


They thanked him, and he stood to leave. "You boys want to follow in your car?" he asked. "It's the Impala isn't it? Bit of a beauty."They followed him, Dean smiling at the waitress as they left. On the short trip there, he turned to Sam.


"What are we going to do about the car? We can't leave it here, but it's going to look weird if we don't travel with the roadies."


"We'll just have to leave it then. We can't stand out as being different, and it'll limit our chances to look around if we don't stick with the rest, get a few questions answered, meet them," Sam replied. Dean nodded glumly and let Sam do the dirty work of looking up garages where they could store the car for a bit. It was going to limit what they could carry a little bit, but it just meant they'd have to be more choosy about what to take. Silver, salt, a shotgun or two at the bottom of Dean's duffel (they played Rock, Paper, Scissors for that one, Dean lost as usual.)


The next few nights were the hardest they'd ever worked. Both of them had considered themselves to be in reasonably good shape before this, but it wasn't the hardness of the work that ground them down, it was how much of it there was. No sooner had something been lifted, than there was a call for a hand somewhere else, and they were working again. By the end of the first day, they were too tired to actually do any investigating at all, too tired to even talk to the other roadies who seemed friendly enough.


They'd made up some previous work so it didn't seem too odd that they'd picked up supposedly tour-long jobs, but there was hardly enough time to talk anyway so no need for it to be too elaborate. Dean had adapted best, with the peculiar habit he had of sliding in and fitting in anywhere he had to, from prison to Hollywood, joshing with the other hands, knowing with a kind of uncanny instinct where to find food at any time, and where to be at any time. Sam was doing pretty well though, enjoying the ease and unconstraint of the job. It was just lifting, hard draft that got you sweaty and dirty, and even he thoroughly enjoyed the actual fruits of their labour. Seeing Motörhead play right up close, feet away wasn't something to be sniffed at.


The day after the first gig they'd been at, the work began all again, tearing it all down and packing it up. They were well enough on schedule to have lunch, and Dean and Sam got a chance to chat and compare notes. Neither of them had seen anything out of the ordinary though they might not have spotted it. Sam did notice though that the mood seemed weirdly subdued. He'd expected more high tension shouting, but even people's voices seemed muffled, and the only egregious mistake that they'd seen (some dude heavily dropping one of Wizzo's guitars after the show) had been greeted with more jeers than anger.


Meeting up with Eric briefly he confirmed their observations. "Nothing much went wrong," he said. "Weird light flickering at one moment, but nothing that messed with the show. Foxy being his usual clumsy self, lucky Wizzo likes him, no clue how he got the instrument tech job otherwise. Got the list you wanted though." He handed it over, and pointed them towards the large bus that was used for the roadies and general crew. "You travel on that," he said with a chuckle, and headed over to one of the smaller tour buses."


With a shrug they boarded it, agreeing without a word to separate and try and talk to as many people as they could. By the time they got to the next tour-stop, they'd both heard more roadie stories than they ever wanted to hear, and Dean had been in his element making stuff up of his own, bullshitting them, like he had no doubt half of them were bullshitting him. Only a glare from Sam, had prevented him from claiming that he roadied for Pink Floyd when he was ten years old. Whenever they tried to bring up the atmosphere though, there was a shut down. Even if they liked the new guys this was clearly something they didn't want to share.


After another day's backbreaking work, Sam made their first break. While they were eating lunch, he got called over by the girl Eric had pointed out to them as Emma-Beth. Petite, blond and with an absent briskness, she asked him to do a little bit of heavy lifting for her. One of the soundboards had been poorly packed into a corner, and she needed a hand shifting it out. Saying a silent sad goodbye to his lunch, he followed her to lend a hand. Under her direction, shouldering half of it while she wrestled with the other side they got them into position.


"Thanks," she said, sweeping her hair back from her forehead. She looked exhausted already, and it was only one. It was doubly odd since as far as Sam knew she didn't even need to be there yet. Still her rep (and he had to grin at how quickly the mindset set in) was excellent, she knew her stuff and she worked as hard as was needed to get the job done and delivered and on time. Quite a lot of the guys had worked with her on one of the Iron Maiden tours, and they all liked her though found her a little bit strange.


He smiled at her. "Anything else I can do?" he said.


"No, I'm good," she replied with a tired smile of her own. "Sorry for breaking into your off-time, but it drives me mad when things are put away so shoddily. Enjoy the rest of your lunch."


Sam was turning away to head off, when a sudden thought struck him. "Come eat with us," he said enticingly. "We have what passes for food, and water and everything."


For a moment she hesitated, clearly torn, then looking at him she obviously decided he wasn't hitting on her. "Yeah sure," she said. "I could do with a rest actually. I've been sleeping terribly." Over sandwiches and weak as piss squash, Sam got chatting to her properly. He'd expected from Eric's initial description that she'd be a lot more standoffish, but she was pretty friendly, and soon talked with ease about the job.


"I've just joined the tour," Sam explained, and she laughed.


"I noticed. I don't know all the roadies, but you kinda stick out, being the height you are. How's it compare?"


It was the perfect lead in really. Sam wrinkled his nose. "Not sure. The work's decent, the pay's not terrible, and the gigs are awesome, but it feels sort of weird." He remembered he was supposed to be fairly experienced at this, and followed up with "it doesn't have the same atmosphere as most of the tours I've worked. People seem sort of down, and I'm not sure why."


Emma-Beth nodded. "I know what you mean," she said. "I thought I'd make an effort this tour, get to know more people other than the soundtechs, but everyone seems more withdrawn than usual. At this rate I might as well have stayed in college."



As Sam said to Dean later that night in the room they were sharing in the cheap hotel the tour manager had booked, that sort of put paid to their only clue. Emma-Beth was the only person Eric thought had been behaving oddly, and it looked like she just wanted to meet more people. They read over Eric's list one more time of the people who'd been picked up and left off, and Sam used the shitty wi-fi to try and track down the company that supplied the tour with its equipment, see who else they supplied and if there were any tragic deaths. Like he said to Dean though, it was really like looking for a needle in a haystack. There were just too few links, everything was circumstantial.



Of the four people on their list, Tommy, Si, Arjun and Vince, they'd managed between them to talk to three, and agreed they didn't seem unusual. They'd joined on for the same reasons, a little bit of roadying for the small bands had given them a taste for the hard life of a roadie on a big tour, and they didn't have much going for them at home. Only Si had any kind of experience at anything else, he'd worked on sound in highschool and for local clubs and bars, and it was sort of rumoured that he hoped at some point to be bumped up the hierarchey. He also hung out the least with the other roadies on their nights off, when everyone got drunk on the cheapest beer they could find, which explained why neither Sam nor Dean had had a chance to talk to them.


They agreed that Dean would try and track Si down the next day, and Sam would use the EVP detector to see if anything was giving off blatant signals, and with that too tired to sustain conversation they fell asleep.


The next day, Dean made a beeline for Si, and tried to talk to him, with a surprising lack of success. The other man was completely uninterested in conversation, and after a time just stopped replying. Even that wasn't that unusual though, some people weren't social types. Maybe dude just wanted to travel a little bit. Slowly, poorly paid, uncomfortable travel. Seeing him slip in earplugs before the gig itself though, not enough to block out everything- a shout would get through, but enough to muffle the music was decidedly suspicious. Who the hell would tour with Motörhead if they didn't like the music? That would just be torture, as Dean said to Sam, it'd be like them following Dolly Parton round the country.



Sam on his part had taken his chances at doing a little bit of sleuthing, EVP detector concealed in his jacket, though he'd gotten a few weird looks for wearing a jacket during heavy lifting. Nothing had turned up brightly, but there was a thin layer of weird interference going on over everything. Nothing more than you'd probably expect with equipment that had caused a death or two in it's time, hell nothing more than the land itself sometimes had.


It was at the gig that night, that the first sign of something out of the ordinary presented itself to them. Lemmy was growling his way through the third number, Emma-Beth and the rest were busy, and Dean had been drafted into the rafters to help with the manual lights. He said to Sam, "this clearly means I'm better than you by the way," and Sam had the pleasure of pointing out that they preferred to send short people aloft, leaving Dean glaring at him crossly.


It was as he was up there that he saw the white glimpse of a figure, the sad fixed glance of a non-malevolent spirit staring straight at him, and he inhaled fast, almost missing his cue. By the time he glimpsed back she was gone of course, but it was the first concrete evidence they'd had since this began, and though he'd never admit it he was a little bit sad. Roadying for Motörhead was proving decent enough work, and if he'd had his Impala with him, he wouldn't have been able to think of a part-time job he'd had over the years that he'd enjoyed more.


The next day things started coming together for them. Sam did one last cast with the EVP detector, and got a positive reading from Si. They didn’t have time to take it up with him directly, the downside of constant work, and since the ghost didn’t seem dangerous they weren’t overly worried that it would come to a head before they got a chance to get rid of it. Late that night after everything was done and finished, they managed to find Si .


The story was one they’d heard all too often before, though the ghost wasn’t typical. When they’d quizzed him on why he was here at all, when he clearly hated the music, he’d snapped and told them everything. How his wife Trudy had died in a car accident, the night before they were going to go see Motörhead together. They’d argued, it’d turned to how much he’d hated the band, how much she’d loved it. How following it for this tour if he could, had been his way of making amends, of doing something she’d have loved to do. How hard work drove the thoughts of her out of his mind. How he felt like she was still watching him sometimes, and it made him feel happy.


Sam was still better at the touchy-feely stuff, he was comforting Si (and trying to suss out the location of whatever was keeping Trudy with him,) when a scream came from the direction of Lemmy’s dressing room. Faster than Sam could stand, Dean was up and gone, taking the chance he’d been hoping for all tour into his hands. Eric was nearby, cleared his entrance with a grim nod, and Dean wasn’t going to tell him the truth that Trudy wasn’t dangerous, if it got him the chance of an upclose audience. When he burst in, Lemmy was standing there looking fixedly at the ghost of a young woman, who far from trying to kill or frighten him, just seemed to be looking with blissful absorption. It seemed a shame to salt her when she was such a big fan, Dean thought sadly, but needs must. He scattered the salt, and she vanished. He had no doubt in the next few minutes Sam would have figured out her bind, and he was going to use that time wisely.



Two hours later, they’d quit, and collected their pay, and Dean was gloating as they walked. “Two autographs, Lemmy’s shirt and a hug.”


Sam rolled his eyes. “A hug Dean? Really?” Then he said more quietly. “I didn’t get a hug.”


“Should’ve been faster. But he wasn’t Celion Dion so you’d probably have been disappointed. Snagged you an autograph though. Can’t say I don’t look after my little brother.”



Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
sanshal
Nov. 23rd, 2012 05:14 am (UTC)
Snagged you an autograph though. Can’t say I don’t look after my little brother.

Aww...so cute!

Loved the story.. The feel was slightly different from what I've generally come to expect from SPN stories, but worked well with the non-threatening 'Trudy'.

Thanks for sharing!
stripytights
Nov. 24th, 2012 09:40 am (UTC)
Thank you! Yes the feel was a little bit off, it started as a humour fic, then became more of a mini-casefic, but the jokiness stuck around haha. Glad came out okay anyway!
tdorian
Nov. 23rd, 2012 10:35 am (UTC)
Damn you're good !! it's great taht working with you on this challenge get me the opportunity to discover a really skilled author. ;)
stripytights
Nov. 24th, 2012 09:38 am (UTC)
Thank you! Been fantastic working with you too.
livejournal
Nov. 24th, 2012 04:22 am (UTC)
Edition 2,402
User dehavilland referenced to your post from Edition 2,402 saying: [...] by (G) When Dean Met Lemmy [...]
rince1wind
Nov. 24th, 2012 06:03 am (UTC)
That was fun!
stripytights
Nov. 24th, 2012 09:37 am (UTC)
Cheers! Glad you enjoyed.
eleni81
Nov. 25th, 2012 07:35 am (UTC)
I giggled so much with Deans attitude around the band! He acted like a kid in a candy store!!!

This was great! You are a very talented writer -something I don't find every day- and I'd be happy to read more of your work *nods*
stripytights
Nov. 25th, 2012 11:03 pm (UTC)
I imagine Dean would be so filled with glee to actually meet Motorhead! Thank you so much for your kind words :)
judith_88_g
Nov. 26th, 2012 10:35 am (UTC)
Hee! Great fun, this fic. Thank you for sharing :)
stripytights
Nov. 26th, 2012 02:05 pm (UTC)
Cheers! Really glad it was good fun :)
pinkyapples
Nov. 28th, 2012 01:24 pm (UTC)
fun story, positive - something of a rarety with SPN, isn't it? nice that sometimes ghosts are just fangirls at heart (death), fun, thanks
stripytights
Nov. 29th, 2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
A little bit of a rarity! I don't generally write humour and especially not for SPN so I'm glad it was fun. Thanks very much!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )