A/N: Dean and Sam are still struggeling after what happend in 'Born Under A Bad Sign'. I haven't really desided the timeline for this story yet, but it's sometime after this episode. So while this chapter is pretty spoiler free, there will be some season 2 references in later chapters. (well ok, there is one or two at the end of this one too;)
Our boys are demon hunting again. But they have to stay low, there might be other hunters out there who want them dead. And they are still wanted by the FBI.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Winchesters or anything Supernatural.
"So what is it?"
"What?" Sam's head snapped up in confusion.
Dean had to hold back a little laugh, because in that moment, Sam looked like the little six-years-old he once was. He sometimes wished they could go back there. More and more lately, that was easier times. When he could tell Sam a story or hold his hand, and everything was okay again. And the times when big brother was not enough, which only happened in rear occasions, dad would be there and scare away the monsters. Yeah, Dean really wished dad was there. But he wasn't so Dean was left with the responsibility.
"Dean!" Sam, almost yield, "what?"
It was Dean's turn to snap out of his little 'black out'. He cleared his throat, a little embarrassed; "This ghost of yours, what's the deal?"
"It's not my ghost". Sam answered with at sigh.
"Well, you're the college boy, Sam. You're the one with the visions. The freak with the shining," Dean proclaimed.
"Yeah? And where does that leave you?" Sam glanced at his brother with a faint smile.
Dean grinned back. "I'm just the awesome big brother."
With an even heavier sigh Sam looked back at the screen of the laptop, mumbling something Dean didn't get.
"What was that?" Dean cocked an eyebrow at his brother. From where he was sitting at the end of the bed he could only see Sam's brown mop of hair over the laptop, wobbling up and down while he continued to grumble something not understandable.
"You gotta speak up there, Sammy. Can't hear you trough that big mop of hair. You really need a haircut."
Sam looked up from the screen again an met Dean's eyes, not at all amused by Dean's teasing. "You know what? That one's getting old, you really should try to come up with something new."
"Got your attention, didn't I?" He raised from the bed and went over to the little table where Sam sat bent over the computer.
Sam gave Dean an exasperated look, "You wanna hear this or not?" He drew his hands trough his hair and eyed Dean as he sat down opposite of him. He turned the laptop over so Dean could see.
Dean scanned the article and when he came to the picture of one of the victims he wrinkled his nose in disgust. "Ew, that's just gross. They all looked like that?"
"Yeah," Sam sighed. "They were all torn to pieces, police think it's animal attacks." He rubbed his weary eyes, he didn't know how to handle this, but this was not the way to do it. He knew he sooner or later had to tell Dean. His brother wasn't stupid, he only hoped he could wait till after they got there.
"Animal attacks huh? Like we haven't heard that one before." Dean chuckled, "I can't believe how naive people can be sometimes."
"Dean, they don't know what's out there. They don't know what we do. It's only human you know, to try to find natural causes as explanations for even the most weird phenomena. People are willing to go a long way to keep their world safe and controllable."
Dean looked at him incredulously. "Five killings like this one the last two weeks, all down town. And they're blaming it on wild animals? That's pulling it a bit far don't ya think?" He raised from the chair and started pacing. "There's any pattern?"
Sam drew hand finger through his hair again. "Beside from what you said, them all happening down town, there's non. They all died in different places, some in their apartments, others at their office, a dark alley... Different hour on the day, no witnesses, no evidence what so ever. There doesn't even seem to be at connection between the victims."
"Okay, so the only similarities is the all-over-the-place-bodies. All body parts intact?" Dean asked while continuing his stride from the table to the bed and back again.
Sam hesitated, looked down at the screen before he turned his face away and answered, barely above a whisper, "Yes." Sam looked up at his brother again when he noticed he had stopped in his pace. "What?"
His brother just stood there, staring at him. He had his eyebrows raised and to Sam he looked like he tried to read his mind. He always felt like squirming under the eyes of his big brother. Turning his face again he looked out the window. It was still early afternoon and the sun made beautiful patterns in the wet leaves of the huge oak right outside their motel room. The sight had him remember one time when he was five and they had stayed at Jim's house. Jim had this huge garden and in an old tree in the corner was this swing. The memories came flowing back at him. When Sam had discovered the swing he wouldn't do anything until Dean came out with him and gave him a push at that swing. If he closed his eyes he could still feel the warm breeze against his skin. He never understood at the time why his brother hadn't laughed with him or why he wouldn't try the swing for himself. Now he knew, that had been right after the strigha incident. While he had enjoyed the three days spent with Jim, his brother had suffered from a guilt trip no nine year olds should ever be aware of. And he had done it alone as usual, he wondered if Jim knew. Blinking he turned his focus back at present time. He could still feel the heat of Dean's stare at the back of his neck.
"Dude, quit staring!" When he didn't get a reaction, he unwillingly turned an raised his gaze and locked eyes with his brother. "What?!"
"Nothing," Dean waved a hand in the air. "I'm just wondering when you're gonna tell me what you're hiding."
"I'm not hiding anything, Dean," Sam tried, but he could hear how weak his voice sounded.
Dean's eyebrows shot up again. "See, that's where you're wrong." He paused, but before Sam could throw in a word, Dean talked again. "Leave the lies to us professionals, Sam. I can read you like an open book."
He went over and sat across of Sam, rested his arms on the table. "What aren't you telling me, Sammy?"
Pulling in a deep breath and letting it out slowly, Sam knew he wouldn't be able to get out of this without giving something. "Their hearts were missing."
Dean's head snapped up, that was so not what he had expected. "Their hearts?" He pulled his face together in a thoughtful mask. "Why would the ghost take their hearts? We're dealing with a heartbroken ghost here?" He chuckled, finding his own joke quite amusing. One look at his little brother let him know, Sammy didn't. His baby brother sat resigned in his chair with his head in hands. Dean got the feeling that there were more to this. Sam had acted a little weird all day. He was about to speak up again when Sam suddenly raised and went over to the beds.
Dean studied Sam while he started throwing his belongings in his duffel bag . Yeah, something was definitely wrong with his little brother.
"What ya doing?" Sam froze at the sound of Dean's sharp voice. Turning around slowly he raised his hands in a 'what do you think' gesture. "I'm packing, we should get going."
"Okay, that's it." Dean went over and pushed Sam hard down on the bed. Sam hadn't really expected Dean's outburst and his duffel flew out of his hands and all his clothes fell on the floor. "Hey, watch it!" He tried to get up, but Dean pushed him back down.
"No, not until you tell me what's going on here."
Sam looked at his brother exasperated and made a second attempt at getting up. This time though, Dean pushed him down so hard he nearly fell off the bed. "What's the matter with you? Quit pushing me around."
Dean stood over him, holding him firmly in place. "I stop pushing when you start talking. You're choice Sam. And don't go for the lie again, dude , I know you. You've been acting out of character all day, you're grumpy," Dean paused for a minute, "well okay your always grumpy, but..." Sam rolled his eyes at Dean. "...you're spacing out on me, and now you're holding back information on our hunt?! Should think that after 23 years of hunting you know the danger in doing that." When Dean felt Sam wouldn't try to get away from him again he let go of Sam's shoulder. Feeling Sam maybe would be easier to get to talk if he gave him some space, Dean sat down on one of the chairs by the table.
"What was that about anyway? Why wouldn't you tell me our little ghostie had a thing for hearts?" Deans voice was softer now. He looked at his baby brother with his best 'I'm your big brother and I'm only worried about you' face. When Sam didn't answered, Dean sighed. "Okay, I'm not going anywhere until you're telling me what this is all about. I've got all day."
Sam knew he'd lost and pulled himself to a sitting position at the end of the bed. "Listen." He hesitated for a moment. "I don't think it's a ghost."
"Why not? Because of the hearts? You told me Ellen had this hunt for us. An easy salt and burn, thought she gave it to us because she knew we could use an easy gig right now. Isn't that what you told me?" Dean shook his head. "Look man, I know it doesn't look like our usually little Casper, but Ellen, annoying as she might be, knows her stuff."
"It... it doesn't make sense," Sam stammered.
"We're talking about ghosts, Sam. It's not supposed to make sense."
"Okay." Sam got up, if Dean would let him of the hook this easy, he wasn't gonna complain. He was about to pick up his duffel again when he could hear Dean clear his throat, okay, so maybe he was to soon in his assumptions.
"That's not good enough Sam. Tell me the truth, why did you ditch the Casper theory all of a sudden?"
Sam sat down on the bed again, heavy, he knew he couldn't hold it back anymore. He only wished Dean wouldn't freak out, but he knew his brother. He would definitely freak out. "Remember Chicago?"
Dean froze, yeah he remembered Chicago. The feeling of meeting up with their dad again, to know he was safe, only to have to go separate ways... He had been so happy about seeing him again. It felt so good having him there, while he embraced him he had felt released from a huge burden. Their dad was back, everything would be okay. In that moment he had felt nothing but peace. He cleared his throat. "Yeah. Yeah I remember."
Sam studied his brother, "well don't you think there's a resemblance?" He could see his brother's eyes widen.
"You think it's the daeva?"
Sam shook his head. "I don't know. But I think the demon's involved." He glanced over at his brother, Dean still looked calm, but Sam knew better, any moment now...
And there: "What?" Dean burst out. He raised from the chair in such a rage that the chair flew back and slammed in the wall before landing on the floor. Sam looked in awe at the chair, still in one piece, that had to count as a miracle. "That bitch! I'm gonna kill her." Dean reach for his cell phone and started dialing.
"Dude, who are you calling?"
Dean stopped for a second and looked at his little brother, he felt so much rage and hatred for that woman right now, she should thank her lucky star that she was no where near him. He could've pulled her head off her shoulders. "Ellen," he stated.
"Why would you do that?" Sam looked shocked and confused. Sometimes he just didn't get his brother's logic.
Dean hadn't heard Sam's question, just continued his angry ramble. "She has no right, she knows what happened last time. I'm gonna kill her, she's in no position to suggest... she can't do this..."
"Dean!" Dean didn't hear him.
"DEAN!" Sam jumped on Dean an ripped his phone away. The phone landed hard on the floor and slid under the bed. Dean shot Sam a look, that if looks could kill Sam would have fell dead to the floor right there. "What the hell! Give me my phone back."
He felt his older brother's rage and backed off a little. He lowered his head and closed his eyes. "Ellen didn't call me." He said with a deep sigh. When his brother didn't make a sign to say anything, he continued. "I called her." There, he said it. Now he only had to deal with his brother's reaction. After what he'd just seen he didn't look forward to it.
Dean blinked at his brother. "Why? W... why would you do that?" He dumped down on the bed with a thud. "Why would you do that Sammy"
Sam dumped down beside him. "I wanted to talk to Ash, thought maybe he had some information on this case." They sat in silence for a while, shoulder to shoulder, breathing hard from all the yelling. Dean was the first to talk. "You had a vision, hadn't you?" He tried to make eye contact with his younger brother, but Sam refused to look at him. Only shook his head. "No I hadn't."
"The nightmares!" It was a statement not a question. "Dammit, Sammy!" Dean slammed his fist in the bed and got up. "You told me they were nothing, just some..." he trailed off. He turned worried eyes at his brother again, but Sam wouldn't meet his gaze. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"I..." his brother started. His voice barely whisper. "I just wanted to be sure, before I... I didn't want to worry you, if it was nothing..."
"Huh," Dean interrupted, "yeah, well, look how that ended." He started pacing again. "When were you gonna tell me about this? I mean you talked to Ash, and you still didn't think it was time to tell me?"
Sam had got up now, and was leaning against the window. He didn't know what to say to that. He hadn't intended to tell until they were there, he knew it was a bad idea, but...
Dean started to get angry again. "You weren't ever gonna tell me, were you? God! Sammy." Hi kicked the bed, then again and again. After a while he tried to slow his breathing and calm down. He faced his brother again.
"God Sammy. How am I gonna protect you if you don't tell me about things like this."
"Dean, it's not your job to..."
"To what, Sam? To keep you safe? Don't pull that crap on me Sam, not now, not after... Shit! I can't believe you were gonna drag me blind into this demon hunt. For a Standford kid you're pretty dumb. You want me dead or something?"
"No!" Sam yelled shocked. "Dean no! I got scared okay?" Sam was panicked now. He failed, he should have told Dean, but he knew this would happen and he couldn't afford it. He needed to check this out.
Dean was in full blowout now. He kicked the table the beds, slammed his fists in the wall. "The only reason I agreed with this hunt was because it was quick and easy. Thought we needed that, something to keep our mind off of... " he swallowed. "We're not ready for this, we're not. We..." his voice cracked. "Okay," he drew in a shaky breath. "That's settled then, we're not going. We..."
"What?!" It was Sam's turn to yell. He could not believe what he was hearing. "You're kidding right? We cant not go?"
Dean turned around, face in a tight mask. "Oh, I'm deadly serious. We're not going."
Sam glared at his brother, shocked. Then his face softened. "Listen, Dean." He sighed for what must have been the hundred time that day. "I know you're only trying to protect me, to keep me safe. I know... but."
"Do you?" Dean's stare was hard on Sam, "cause you're not acting like you do." He shifted, rubbed a hand over his chin. "Besides that's not the only reason for not going. It's to close to Steve Wendell's home, we cant risk it. If it was an easy salt and burn, sure. But this. Sam, we don't know how long it's gonna last. What if some of Steve's hunter buddies are still hanging around? We cant go."
Sam was close to panic now. Dean was really serious about this. But he couldn't let it go. He had seen one of the victims die, and... he didn't doubt there would me more. How could Dean not get this. "Dean, please," he pleaded. "I know it's risky, but you cant expect me to not follow up on this. I need to do this, Dean." He knew he sounded pathetic, but he couldn't help it.
For a long moment Dean didn't say anything, only held Sam's with his gaze. Then he closed his eyes and sighed before he opened them and locked eyes with Sam. For a second Sam thought Dean was gonna agree. And he felt relieved, then he heard Dean speak and it crashed down. "No," Dean said and turned around.
Dean swallowed hard. He knew he was harsh on Sam, knew how those nightmares haunted Sam. But he couldn't risk it. His first responsibility was to keep Sam safe. Always had been always would be. His inner dialog was interrupted by a grunt from Sam.
Dean turned around to find Sammy on his knees clutching his head in his hands.
Okay, hope you enjoyed the first chapter. If you did, I would like to know:) I'm open for suggestions to improvements too.
Help 1: My knowledge in American geography is pretty bad, but I'll do my best. But need some help. Anybody who could tell me where Steve Wendell lived?
Help 2: I don't have a beta, and as you can see by my spelling and grammar, I could probably use one. hint hint.