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Triple D smoothie

Authors: Marina and Casey
Story: The Dragon World, Triple D AU
Challenge: Prune 23 (more than meets the eye), Tangerine 20 (odd jobs) [Marina]; Apple Pie 4 (heritage) [Casey]
Toppings/Extras: Caramel, Chopped Nuts, Smoothie
Word Count: 2,095
Rating: PG
Summary: Carrie sees a Triple D project, forcing Dean to explain what it means.
Notes: The adventure in the dragon world is still canon in this. Hooray, mixing fantasy with intrigue!

Dean unlatched the front door and bounced inside. "Mom! Dad! I'm home and Carrie's with me!"

"All right, dear," his mom shouted back from somewhere deeper in the house. "Hello, Carrie!"

"Hi, Diana!" Carrie called, as she followed him in.

Dean kicked the door shut. "I'm kind of hungry, want a snack?" he asked, heading for the kitchen.

She grinned at him, "Sure, if you're offering."

"Of course I am." He led the way in, barely registering the mess someone had made of their kitchen table as he went for the fridge. All of the objects strewn across it had been an integral part of his life for at least ten years.

Carrie's footsteps halted suddenly behind him. "Uh, Dean..."

"Yeah?" he asked, glancing back at her and pausing at the expression on her face. "What is it?"

She gestured to the table. "I, uh...I think the mafia have taken over your kitchen table."

His head whipped around, really taking in the objects and groaned. "I'm going to kill him," he muttered, glaring at the array of guns, ammo, assorted other weaponry and various other devices he knew well, but bet Carrie didn’t have a name for.

"Dean?" she asked, frowning.

"I, um..." He returned his gaze to her, at a loss for what to say.

Luckily, at that moment his mom bustled into the kitchen. "Dean, I almost forgot to tell you that your father..." she trailed off. "Oh."

"Didn't clean up after himself again?"

"Well, yes, that. He's in the middle of something."

Carrie folded her arms. "Is someone going to explain what's going on here, or is this something I need to pretend I never saw?"

"Yeah, I'd noticed due to the firearms on the kitchen table," Dean retorted, and then let out a breath, turning back to Carrie. "Both, really."

She arched an eyebrow. "Which means..."

"It means you deserve to know why our kitchen table looks like a terrorist cell but also that you can't tell anyone," he said.

"Should I go...?" asked Diana, looking between them.

"Um, doesn't matter, I guess, Mom, but I can explain it."

"I'm not going to tell anyone, Dean," said Carrie. "So go ahead."

"Why don't we sit?" Dean suggested and then glanced again at the table. "Um, in the living room."

She grinned, although the expression had an apprehensive tinge to it. "If you want. I find guns to be really atmospheric, personally."

He blinked but grinned back. "Well, they don't bother me. This isn't the first time Dad, Russ and Jaks have taken over the table."

"That's not the impression I got," she quipped.

"It's more the principle of the thing. I've told him a million times not to leave his shit everywhere and definitely not in plain sight. It's...not exactly fully legal." Dean noted that his mom had slipped back out of the room, probably to go lecture Sorin, and gestured Carrie to one of the chairs at the table. She sat, and eyed him expectantly. He took a deep breath. "When I was little, until shortly after I turned eight and stuff...happened, my dad worked for the CIA as an agent."

Carrie blinked. "Okay."

"For a lot of reasons, he, Russ, who he'd been best friends with since childhood, and Jaks all quit and, well, now they...help people when the law fails them."

"Like in....oh, what's that show, I should know this..."

"Leverage?"

"Yes! And, uh, Burn Notice? I know I've seen a bit of both those."

"Yeah, Burn Notice too." He smiled wryly. "My family is scarily abnormal beneath the normal facade. Well, Mom's somehow managed to stay fairly normal, but she's pulled crazy stuff when they need a woman to help them with something."

"That's kind of awesome and kind of freaky, I'll be honest," she said, returning it.

"You should see them in action!" Dean said, and then hesitated. "This is also why I'm sometimes absent for a couple days at a time without warning."

"Darn, those weekend ski trips were lies?" Carrie said lightly.

"Yeah, pretty much. Sage wanted in from the moment she understood why she and I spent a year on the streets, and I wanted what she wanted." He paused. "And I haven't told you about the whole on the street thing before, have I?" he asked sheepishly.

The incredulous expression on her face confirmed that he hadn't before she even opened her mouth. "You two spent a year on the streets? Why?"

"Um, it's complicated but let's see how easily I can explain it. Sage's dad, my uncle, Russ and Dad grew up and joined the CIA together, but when Sage was, um, five I think, he switched sides, which is why she grew up with us. Anyway, his organization came after us about five years later. They wanted Dad and Mom dead and to kidnap Sage and me, so Dad sent Mom with Russ into hiding and us with Jaks, only Jaks got really hurt." He ran a hand through his hair. "I was barely seven at the time so Sage decided for us and took me and ran, understanding enough to know that if the people after us found us, it wouldn't be good. She called 911 for Jaks before we left and then we just ran."

Carrie stared at him. "And it was just the two of you? What on earth did you do all that time?"

"Yeah. Um, survived, sometimes barely. We were lucky, though, in that Jaks had a lot of cash to keep us from being tracked, so we were able to get by."

"How did your parents find you again?"

He smiled slightly. "The local grocery store checkout lady, actually. We'd sort of made friends with Mrs. Barnes, as best we could, and when my uncle's men finally got their hands on us, we convinced them to take us through the store. Sage had given Mrs. Barnes the information she needed to call Dad and when we left, she wrote down the van's license plate and called Dad. He found us a day later."

Carrie let out a breath. "Good God, Dean."

Dean shrugged. "Dad brought us home before sending us to live with Ani and Ren while he, Russ and Jaks went after my uncle. Which is why they quit."

She nodded slowly and started to prop an elbow on the table, but retracted it quickly when it brushed the butt of one of the guns. He laughed despite himself and his remaining irritation with his father’s disregard of the house rules dissipated. "It's not loaded, Care."

"I wouldn't want to disturb your dad's work," she retorted, flashing him an amused half-smile.

He reached out and pushed some of the stuff towards the other end of the table, clearing some space. "He'll survive. When he wants to do sensitive stuff, he either uses the shed out back, which I'll have to show you sometime. It's not a garden shed. Or the small office they own."

"So is your bedroom really your bedroom, or do you keep things hidden in the closet and stuff?" she asked as she put her elbow back on the table.

"My bedroom is usually a mostly Triple D free zone. Every once in a while, things slip in, but never the guns. I'm not allowed to use those yet except at the firing range."

Carrie nodded. "I was mostly joking, really."

Dean smiled. "Figured but also figured you deserved a real answer."

"Thanks." Without breaking eye contact, she dropped her head a little to rest on her hand. "I'm sorry you had to tell me."

"It's not that!" he said. "I just...I wasn't sure what you'd think. I wasn't sure this," he gestured at the heaping table, "would be easy to take in."

"You'd be surprised what I'd believe," she said dryly. "Or accept, whatever."

"Yeah, you have taken it really well," Dean said, eyeing her. "Should I be wondering what Eva has hidden in your closets?"

Carrie chuckled, but her eyes slid away from his to the wall behind him. "There's nothing in our closets except crap we probably should have gotten rid of years ago, promise."

He noticed, as he did every time both Carrie and Chase got a little cagey, but didn't pressure her to tell him. "Glad to hear it," he said lightly.

A slightly troubled expression passed over her features, but she quickly composed herself and met his eyes again. "Is this what you want to do when you're older? I figure I'd better ask now and not be surprised later."

"I...I think so. I haven't thought too hard on it, but I really enjoy it when I get to help and I don't mind when it gets a little dicey either."

She nodded. "Okay."

He shrugged. "It seems to be running through the family. Sage has got her boyfriend involved and they've been doing little stuff on their college campus and Renie's trying to convince her parents to let her come spend the summer with us for 'training'," he said in amusement.

"Which I'm sure your aunt's thrilled about," she said, smiling.

"Ani's given up on trying to complain. Ren's the only one that still works for the government but Renie thinks Triple D sounds like more fun."

She blinked. "Triple D? That's what you're called?"

"Yeah. It comes from a pact Dad, Russ and Mom made when Vlad turned. So Triple D. Two Dakamars and a Darcy."

"Ooh, okay. That makes sense."

"Of course, now it includes a McRuoes and another Dakamar. And an Opalin and Miller if you count Nate and Sage."

"No, I don't," she said, looking very amused. "Seriously, though, who needs technicality?"

He grinned. "I don't!"

"Didn't think so."

"Yeah, if we dealt in technicalities, nothing would ever get done."

His father appeared in the doorway just then, clearing his throat. "Hello, Carrie."

Carrie straightened in her seat. "Hi, Sorin," she said calmly.

He shifted a bit, glancing at Dean. "Sorry about the mess. I got distracted by..." He frowned. "Okay, this would be a lot easier if I knew what you two have been talking about."

Dean laughed, final bits of irritation washing away. "I told her about Triple D, Dad, and how it was formed. She's cool."

"It's fine," Carrie agreed.

"But seriously, enough with the guns on the table. It could have been someone other than Care."

Sorin ignored him, as Dean knew he would, grinning instead at his girlfriend. "Want to see the shed?"

She brightened. "I totally want to see the shed." Dean rolled his eyes, but couldn't help smiling, glad to see Carrie's normal enthusiasm hadn't been dampened by a close proximity to guns or his story.

"Russ is listening to some stuff, but he won't mind if we interrupt," said Sorin.

"Okay!" She hopped up from the table. "Dean, are you coming?"

"Of course," he said, standing as well. "Is this more on the Whites’ case?"

"Yeah, just trying to wrap things up," Sorin said.

"I thought you'd done that with the photos."

"Technically, but audio would help so Russ is going over the tapped line recordings now."

Carrie's eyes lit up with intrigue as she listened to them. Dean flashed her a grin. "This would a be 'don't try this at home' moment."

"Trust me, I'm not an idiot," she said, laughing.

"I'm well aware," he said easily, taking her hand and kissing her briefly on the cheek. She grinned at him.

Diana appeared out of the shed at that moment. "Russ says he's staying for dinner. How about you, Carrie? And should I expect Jaks back from his surveillance?" she asked.

Carrie smiled at her. "I'd love to stay for dinner, thank you."

"Just so you know," Dean murmured in Carrie's ear, "conversations around my house are going to sound a lot different now that you know."

She squeezed his hand. "I don't really see that being an issue."

"Jakium took a sandwich," Sorin was saying, "he's there until midnight."

Diana eyed him. "You or Russ?"

"Russ. He's hiding from Shannon and her pregnancy," he said, amused.

"Because that's a smart idea," his mom replied, rolling her eyes. "Go relieve him so he and I can chat, okay?"

Sorin laughed. "Yes, ma'am. C'mon, you two."

Carrie beamed and began to follow Sorin out. Dean paused for a minute beside his mom, watching her go. Diana smiled, patting him on the shoulder. "Keep her," she said softly.

He grinned. "I'll do my best," he promised and then followed them in.

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