'Sammy,' Dean nudged his brother in the arm conspiratorially, and got a scowl for his trouble, 'See the gams on that bim?'

Sam groaned and passed a meathook over his ridiculously long hair, glancing over to where the canary in question was belting out the St. Louis Blues. As she swayed in time with the rhythm, the fringe of the doll's spangled dress caught the low lighting of the speakeasy, and sent glittering patterns across the faces of the enraptured customers.

'That's Ruby, Dean,' Sam explained. 'She may be a sheba, but I'm warning you, she's Crowley's blue serge and a real bearcat.'

'Alright, wiseguy,' Dean muttered, sending a dark look at the Brit in question, who was plucking away at a double bass.

Wait a minute – that was hinky. Where'd the rest of the regular band go?

Dean didn't recognise any of the other players, and judging by Crowley's annoyed expression, neither did he. This new bunch was pretty poor, sending each other shifty looks in between tunes, and holding their instruments awkwardly. The palooka at the piano had not only forgotten to take off his trench coat but was glaring at the keyboard as though it was going to attack him, pale fingers bashing out a discordant tune.

Dean winced, making a mental note to tell Bobby that the next time he got a little overenthusiastic and fired the whole band, he should try and hire actual musicians. Even if one of the alternatives was a sheik with some serious cheekbones.

Dean's eyes widened. Hold up - did he just think that about a guy?

Sam shifted uncomfortably, and tugged at his tie. 'Dean, I don't think we should be partners any more.'

Dean turned back to his brother, grateful for the chance to tear away his gaze. 'What's eating you? You want to go solo?'

'No,' Sam passed his trilby between his hands, 'I want out.'

Dean stared at his brother cluelessly. 'Don't be sill, killjoy, we're Winchesters. This is what we do – scamming suckers, glauming things. You know, the family business.'

'Exactly,' Sam's wide forehead creased into a frown, 'We're nothing but a coupla red hot Johnson brothers.'

'Tell it to Sweeney,' Dean shrugged, 'Everybody's gotta earn their spondulicks somehow.'

'I guess,' said Sam uneasily.

'Now you're on the trolley,' Dean held up his giggle water, 'No point beating our gums about it.'

At that moment the doors slammed open, and what looked like half of Shaky Zach Ricci's chopper squad entered the joint. They fanned out around the side of the room, hands lifting the sides of their floggers just enough to make it clear they were packing heat. The band ground to a squeaky halt, Ruby's voice quavering nervously to a stop.

'Aw, shucks,' said Dean. 'It's the mob!'

Things were clearly about to go south. In one smooth movement, Dean slid down behind their table, dragging a confused Sam with him. Through chair legs Dean saw a pair of spats click across the polished floor, and he tilted his head upwards to see the pasty, balding head of Zachariah himself come swaggering in. Bobby had appeared out of a side room to block his way forward, arms folded and expression making it clear he wouldn't be taking any wooden nickels.

'Zach,' Bobby growled, 'you know I don't like it when you bring your boys into my bar. This is neutral turf.'

'Ah, fuggedaboudit,' drawled Zach, clapping one hand on Bobby's shoulder with a smile that didn't reach his piggy little eyes. 'We're just here to take the Winchesters for a ride.'

'Hot socks, Dean,' Sam muttered, as Dean pressed his hat to his head and went for his mohaska, 'What the hell did you do this time?'

'Huh?' frowned Dean, 'Why am I always left holding the bag?'

Sam gave him such a bitch face that Dean shrugged and realised he really couldn't argue.

'I'm sorry, Zach,' said Bobby, 'But I haven't seen those boys since Tuesday. You should look elsewhere, or I'll have to give you the bum's rush.'

Zach's eyes bulged, and his face flushed momentarily purple. Then he began to laugh, palms raised in a gesture of mock surrender. He flicked a finger, and there was the unmistakeable sound of hammers being cocked from around the room. The customers who hadn't already beat it began to get a wiggle on right about then.

Bobby sighed, and gave an apologetic shrug in Dean and Sam's direction. 'They're under that table.'

'You've got to be gassing me,' snarled Dean.

'Now we're really behind the eight ball,' agreed Sam.

In synchronisation the brothers rose to their feet, doffing their hats, Dean's most charming grin plastered all over his face. 'Well, whaddya know, if it isn't my old bo Shaky. Father Time, fancy tipping a few?'

Zach's face went slightly purple. 'Dean Winchester,' he spat, 'Dry up, weasel. You screwed up our box job caper - '

'Who, me?' Dean glanced around, as though he might be referring to someone else.

'Now, let's all just stay calm and talk this through sensibly, okay?' said Sam.

Zach wasn't having it. 'Your brother tooted the wrong ringer and breezed off with the heavy sugar - '

'I got cold feet and needed some Jack,' Dean shrugged.

'And do you know what?' Zach was shaking a podgy finger. 'I woulda let you off for all that. Hell, I even thought it was funny.' His face twisted. 'If you hadn't then gone and nookied my dame in the back of your struggle buggy.'

'Dean,' Sam spluttered.

'Oh. That,' said Dean. 'Well, she was a hotsy-totsy with a really nice pair of- '

At that second the torpedoes pulled out their bean-shooters, and let loose with the Chicago lightning. Dean and Sam threw themselves to the floor as flour lovers, flappers and bug-eyed Bettys started shrieking. Suddenly, the jazz band bar Crowley jumped up, throwing aside their instruments and drawing out roscoes. The size of the piano man's chopper – no wonder he'd been wearing the trench. It was the cops!

'Somebody's dropped a dime,' Dean yelled over the increasing noise of burning powder as the fuzz joined in the showdown and got Zach's triggermen surrounded, 'The buttons are here!'

'And how!' Sam roared in reply. 'Zach's been flim-flammed, and now we're gonna get zotzed in the cross-fire!'

Just like that, there was silence.

'Alright!' called the piano-man, in a voice made of gravel. He was standing over a cowering Zach and wielding a gat. 'All you trouble boys better grab a little air. I'm the law… and I'm heeled.'

The bulls surveyed calmly as, slowly, the goons all laid down their pieces. Meanwhile Dean began to shift slowly towards the exit.

'You've been pinched, Shaky Zach Ricci,' growled the trench coat, drawing out his buzzer, 'The name's Castiel Novak, NYPD. I'm escorting you and your Jobbies back to the hoosegow.'

Suddenly, the cop's ridiculously blue eyes locked onto Dean's, and he froze, feeling his breath hitch.

'And that includes you, Dean Winchester.'

Dean swallowed. Well, today was just turning out swell.