Author's Note: This is a transformative work of fiction set after the movie The Lost Boys and before the television show Supernatural. Setting has been tweaked so that the events of The Lost Boys took place a couple years before Sam Winchester went to Stanford.
Ever since that summer, Michael’s tastes have changed. He used to love sweet things and alcohol and red meat. Now he likes sour and crisp vegetables and while poultry and fish are still in his diet, red meat is right the hell out.
“Wow,” Star says. Michael racks the weight and sits up on the bench, grabbing his towel to wipe the sweat from his face. “He’s really--tall.”
Lucy’s laugh chimes in. “Yes. Tall.” It sounds like there’s more to it than that, but Michael can’t tell what. Ever since that summer, Lucy and Star have gotten close. He suspects Star is the daughter Lucy never had, and if sometimes he’s jealous of how much his mom loves her -- if they broke up, whose side would Lucy take? -- mostly he’s happy for them both.
Creepy thing is, maybe in some ways Max was right.
Jess beams at them when they come out to greet her. She wraps her arms around Lucy and hugs her tight and then turns to Michael.
“Sorry I stink,” he says, but doesn’t mean it and hooks his arm around her neck.
“Gross!” She mock-squeals in disgust. “Take a bath already.”
“Would’ve but you’re early. That’ll teach you.”
She bumps her elbow into his stomach. “Just because you’d rather be up all night and sleep all day doesn’t mean the rest of us waste daylight.”
Michael tenses, holding himself so perfectly still next to her. Star puts her hand on his back, and he leans into her touch. There’s no way Jess knows what she said. All the vampires are dead and gone and Jess is a girl of sunshine and laughter and love, the antithesis of the horrors of Santa Carla. She doesn’t know. She can’t.
But there’s something about the tall, quiet guy behind her that makes Michael think, for a moment, that he does.
Tall guy is Sam -- which would really get confusing if Sammy was around, but he’s off camping with the Frog brothers for a few days. Yeah, Sammy and camping don’t really go together, but he makes sacrifices for his friends, especially friends like them -- and though he’ll talk about Stanford and his plans to go to law school, he’s pretty tight-lipped about his past.
It’s not until their fifth night, when Lucy works late and Michael and Star take Jess and Sam to the Boardwalk on Jess’s request, that anything really comes up. Jess loves the games and the neon lights and all the people, but Michael notices how Sam holds himself, slightly removed from everyone else and he looks around a lot, not so you’d notice if you weren’t watching him closely, but so that he sees everything. Like he’s waiting for an attack. Like he knows what lurks in the darkness.
Later, drinking lemonade -- Star and Michael -- and beers -- Jess and Sam -- on the front porch, Jess asks Star how she and Michael met. Star hesitates and traces a design in the condensation of her glass, then opens up a little.
“I was hanging out with these really bad guys.” She lets that sink in for a second, because no matter how bad Jess thinks those guys were, she’ll never come close enough. “Michael helped me find a way out.”
Jess says the right thing, the comforting thing, because she’s always been good at that, but Michael watches Star stare out beyond the edge of the porch light, out into the darkness.
“What happened to that guy Aunt Lucy was dating?” Jess asks a few beers in. “Mom told me about him and said Aunt Lucy sounded like she was really falling for him, but then she just stopped mentioning him and when Mom asked, she changed the subject.”
“What guy?” Michael asks, but has a sinking feeling he knows.
“What was his name?” It’s a rhetorical question, and Jess doesn’t really wait for an answer, just frowns and presses her thumb into her cheek. Finally her face lights up. “Max! That was his name.”
It’s not the first time Michael has heard his name since that summer, but it still feels like a punch to the gut, like claws in his side, like fangs at his throat. He opens his mouth, but his voice is gone and all that remains is the memory of how to growl.
“He’s not around anymore.” Star’s voice is strong. “He was into some really bad shit and now he’s gone.”
“What kind of bad shit?” Jess asks. Michael’d forgotten that about her. She’s really good at saying the right thing and making people comfortable, but god, she’s really, really nosey too.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.” Star stands up, ending that line of conversation. “Can I get you guys more beer? Michael, lemonade?”
Jess goes with her to help her, and probably to interrogate her some more, leaving Michael alone with Sam. Sam who is watching him, something curious in his expression.
“My dad’s kind of a shit,” Michael says. Jess and Star are inside, laughing over something with Lucy and Sammy, and Michael and Sam are on the porch again, Sam with a beer again.
They’re talking about parents because Sam said it was pretty cool that Lucy doesn’t care about him and Jess drinking. What Michael didn’t say was that Lucy knows there are bigger things to worry about. What he does say is that she’s pretty cool, as long as you’re being safe, and then, not even really meaning to, he talks about his dad.
“My dad’s kind of a shit,” Michael says. “He screwed around on Mom and then he refused to give her any child support or anything when they got divorced. He didn’t, you know, ever knock her around or try to hit me and my brother, but that’s about the only thing he did right.”
Sam nods, serious, and takes a long drink of beer. “My dad is intense.” His mouth twitches as soon as he says it and he clenches his jaw. “He’s a good guy, I guess. He just thinks his way is the only way.”
“And you don’t.”
“Nope.” The corner of his mouth turns up a little. “Dad might not have been so pissed but my brother, he completely bought Dad’s line. They’re a lot alike, so Dad got used to his son thinking he’s always right. I’m not like that. I’m not like them.”
He sounds sincere, and probably he really believes it, but one of the things Michael learned that summer and in living since is that the people you swear you’re nothing like are the ones who thread through you without warning, leaving bits of themselves behind.