Title: Pandora's Box
Description: Puzzles, bogeys, and a trip to the past
Moonshayde - October 1, 2008 01:04 PM (GMT)
Title: Pandora's Box
Category: A/A, Angst, Drama, Horror
Spoilers: Through Dream a Little Dream of Me
Summary: After Sam opens a mysterious box, he and Dean find themselves battling the same bogey their father defeated sixteen years ago. As they fight alongside an unlikely ally to safeguard the town, Dean struggles to tie up loose ends in his life while Sam continues to search for a way to save his brother's soul.
Word Count: 31,931
Disclaimer: Supernatural and its characters are the property of Eric Kripke and co. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This is for entertainment purposes only; no financial profit has been gained from this story. This story is not mean to infringe upon the rights of the above-mentioned establishments.
"Come on, man. That's the fifth place you've shot down."
Sam glared at Dean. "Dude, no Burger King. I'm not going through that again."
Dean mumbled something under his breath, but it was too muffled for Sam to understand. "Fine, what about that taco place?"
"And deal with your refried beans?" Sam flipped one of the glossy pages of the magazine in his lap. "No."
From the corner of his eye, he saw Dean muttering again. "All right, then what do you want?"
Sam paused, taking a moment to strum his fingers on the magazine while he thought. Outside, a light rain had started to fall. Normally, the sound of gently falling rain provided him some comfort, but each drop that pinged off the hood of the Impala, the ground, and the local signs set him on edge.
"Earth to Sam."
Sam turned his head, noting Dean kept sneaking quick worried glances in his direction. Sam let out an aggravated sigh. He was tired of Dean looking at him like that. He should be worried about more pressing matters.
"Look, I'm just not hungry," Sam said, turning back to the magazine.
"Well, too bad. We're eating." Dean glanced down at the dashboard before hitting the gas. "So, pick something already."
Sam rolled his eyes and looked out the window. Through the rain, he could see the city limits ahead. He frowned at the name on the sign. "Have we been here before?"
"You're changing the subject."
"All right, whatever, Dean." He flipped another page. "Chinese."
"I can't eat Chinese while I'm driving. And we're not stopping to chow down. We already wasted a whole day cataloguing dad's stuff at that new place. We can't waste any more time."
"Well, it was important, Dean. Bela broke in once. I don't need to remind you that she has the Colt. We don't need her finding the new storage unit we set up."
"Damn straight," Dean muttered. "Which is why we have to find that bitch and get the Colt back."
"I know." Sam shrugged. "So, if you're so hungry, you pick a place."
Dean started mumbling to himself again. Sam kept quiet, watching as he finally got aggravated enough to pull off to the side of the road next to a small roadside diner. Dean opened the driver's side door with a creaking groan, and slammed it hard enough to make a point. He gave Sam a hard look before he stormed off to the diner.
Sam wasn't blind. Dean had been strung out since they'd encountered Jeremy in the dream state. Sam wanted to believe it was just about losing the Colt, but he knew better. He knew something had to have happened when they were dream walking. Dean just wasn't talking.
Whatever had happened in the dream state, at least Dean seemed more engaged in finding a way to save himself. At this point, Sam would take whatever he could.
Sam glanced out the window. When he was sure that Dean was in the diner, he shut the magazine and started rummaging through his bag on the passenger side floor. It didn't take him long to find the small box he'd shoved inside.
The box was silver, highlighted with several embellishments. Sam didn't recognize some of the ornamentation, but he knew that a few of the symbols were definitely astrological, possibly lunar, and undoubtedly used in magical rites. Just what kind of rites? That was what Sam hoped the box would tell him.
He knew he shouldn't have swiped it from his dad's old personal belongings. After the incident with the cursed rabbit's foot, Sam would have to be stupid to mess around with the magical objects and old family heirlooms his father thought to keep locked up in storage.
Yet, here he was with a strange box sitting in his lap, almost yearning to be opened. Sam couldn't really explain the pull he felt toward the box, how his fingers itched to hold it, how he longed to break the lock and peek inside. He kept trying to remind himself of the tale of Pandora's Box, and with all the weirdness in their lives, it wouldn't be a stretch to be literally holding such an evil object.
In his hands, he held something that could either destroy the world or could help Dean.
Even now, he wasn't sure why he thought this box was so important in saving Dean. It just was.
It could be the symbols. He thought the middle symbol was a pentacle of the moon. From what he remembered, moon pentacles could protect the soul, or assist in travel. Since Dean could use some help in both of those areas right now, whatever was hidden inside had to help.
That's what Sam kept telling himself.
He breathed out, glancing once more at the diner. He could see Dean leaning over the counter, flirting with a young girl. Sam knew it was now or never.
He slipped out his lock pick and jimmied the lock. Slowly, the box creaked open revealing an inside lined with soft violet felt. Sam found a small piece of paper with awkward and stilted handwriting scribbled across it, and two small silver medallions engraved with two circles inside a square that were carved into two larger circles, enhanced by Latin and some religious symbols.
Sam swore he had seen these somewhere before.
He reached into the box and flipped one of the talismans over. Another symbol was etched in the back. This one had a serpent engraved in the shape of a circle, devouring it's own tail. Sam was positive he'd seen this symbol too, but he couldn't place the memory. He realized it could have been anywhere. His head was about to explode with all the occult knowledge he'd accumulated over the years.
Sam held onto the talisman and reached for the small piece of paper. There was a spell or a blessing – something – written entirely in Latin on the yellowed paper. Sam had no problem with reading Latin, but deciphering the print was becoming increasingly difficult, to the point he realized he was mumbling some of the words aloud. He squinted at the print; it appeared purposefully coded, as if someone had taken great pains to be cryptic about the text.
"What the hell is this?"
Sam stiffened and clutched the talisman harder. "Dean."
Dean opened the driver's side door and tossed a greasy bag in the back. His gaze immediately focused on the box in Sam's lap. "Is that Dad's?" Dean's face grew darker. "You're stealing Dad's stuff?"
"It's not what you think."
"The hell it isn't." Dean slammed the door. "That thing could be cursed!"
"Dean, it's not cursed." Sam tossed the parchment back into the box. He glanced down at the talisman in his hand one more time, pausing to rub a spot of dirt off the surface.
He felt a jolt.
"Uh…" Sam shook his hand, feeling the tingling creeping up his arm. Without a second thought, he tossed the talisman back in the box, but it was too late. His muscles were already beginning to spasm.
"Sam?" He heard Dean's voice shaking. "Crap. Gimme that."
Dean lunged at him. Sam felt a rush as Dean's hand clamped down on his arm. The energy shot through his body, like lightning seeking a rod, and for a brief second, Sam saw Dean's neck snap back as if struck. Before Sam could fully understand what was happening, he felt a hot whiteness fade his vision. The last thing he heard was Dean grunt and a loud thud beside him.
* * * *
When Sam woke, the rain had cleared and the gray afternoon was quickly giving way to cloudless evening. He found himself slumped against the door, staring into the bare woodland that lined the open highway, and didn't catch himself until his eyes started to burn. Sam shook off the feeling and closed his eyes, wondering why his body felt like dead weight.
Then he caught sight of the closed box that had fallen between his leg and the passenger side door.
Sam's face fell.
"Dean?" He flinched, hearing his voice crack. "Dean?"
Sam winced at the dull pain in his limbs and fought against the fatigue, forcing himself to sit up. He still felt as if he could fall asleep at any second, like all the life had been zapped out of him, but he wasn't about to give into the feeling.
"Dean?" Sam turned his head. What he saw made him go cold.
Dean was white as a ghost. He had slumped over on top of the steering wheel, his head tilted in an awkward and painful direction. Sam couldn't even tell if he was breathing.
He should have never grabbed that stupid box.
"Dean." Sam pushed past the heavy pain and shook Dean's shoulder. "Come on, man. Don't do this." He gave him another desperate shake. "Dean!"
Dean made a small choking sound. Sam encouraged him by shaking him again, this time more forcefully. Finally, his eyelids started to flutter.
"Come on, Dean." Sam helped push Dean back into the driver's seat and eased him against the headrest. He never protested. When Sam noticed his eyes were starting to roll to the back of his head, he gave Dean another good shake. "Stay with me, okay?"
Dean coughed and tried to move his head. "I feel hammered." He swallowed hard. "What the hell happened?"
"You don't remember?"
"I don't know." He winced as he struggled to wipe his face. "I was hungry and—" He suddenly stopped, turned to Sam, and narrowed his eyes.
Sam eased back onto the passenger side. "You remember."
"I told you not to touch any of Dad's stuff. We don't know what's hexed. You should know better than that." He hissed as he rubbed his neck. "God, everything kills. This must be what it feels like to get hit by a truck."
"Look, Dean. It was a mistake, okay? Let's just pack up, find a place to crash for the night, and figure out what's going on."
Dean glared at him, but didn't say anything more about the box. He glanced back to the back seat and wagged his fingers. "My food better not be cold."
Sam reached back and grabbed the bag before chucking it at Dean. He greedily accepted it, wasting no time ripping through the bag to get to his burger. He took a giant sized bite and moaned with contentment.
Sam just shook his head.
"Here." Dean tossed him a wrapped sandwich.
"I told you I wasn't hungry."
"Yeah, well…" Dean's voice trailed off and he frowned.
"What?" Sam asked.
"Where the hell's the diner?"
Sam snapped his attention to the diner. Or where the diner should have been. Instead, there was nothing but open grass and a few aging trees dotting the spot where the diner should have been standing.
There was no rational explanation for it.
Sam jumped when he heard the driver side door slam. Outside, Dean hobbled alongside the Impala, leaning on it for support. After tossing his sandwich aside, Sam exited the Impala, and like Dean, grabbed the side of the car for support as a dizzy spell hit him. When his vision righted itself, he stared at the empty lot.
"It's not there," Dean said simply. "Hell, it doesn't look like it's ever been there."
Sam shifted his weight. "That's not possible."
Dean stared at him.
"Maybe we were teleported somewhere," Sam offered.
"Teleported? Sam, do you see Captain Kirk or any hot aliens chicks around here?" Dean winced and leaned forward, crossing his arms alongside the hood of the Impala. "What were you trying to do? Just what was in that box?"
Sam sighed. He didn't really want to go into this with Dean right now.
"I thought maybe it could get you out of your deal."
"You thought a little box would get me out of my deal with the demon?" Dean let out a short laugh. "You got to be kidding me."
"Dean, there's a pentacle on the front. Now pentacles of the moon can be used in spell work involving soul protection and travel."
"And they also can be used to open doors that shouldn't be opened!"
"I didn't open anything!"
"You opened that box!"
Sam shook his head. "You just have to trust me on this one."
Dean wrinkled his face with disgust and frustration. "Please don't tell me this is some psychic thing again."
"No, it's not. I can't really explain it."
"That's a huge help."
"I'm not joking, Dean. But your time is running out. We can't just sit around and hope an answer will fall into our laps. We have to take some chances."
"That's just fantastic. So let's go ahead and open every single thing out there. Why don't we open one of Hell's Gates while we're at it?" Dean gave him a hard glare. "You know stuff like this doesn't ever end well."
"Making diners disappear?" Sam asked in a huff. "Because that's real evil, Dean."
"What about the people inside?"
"I don't know."
Dean pushed himself off the car and opened the door, throwing himself into the seat. He held his head in silence until Sam followed him into the Impala.
"We'll find a way to fix it," Sam said. "Fix everything."
Dean didn't say anything and instead started up the engine. The two of them remained in an uneasy silence while the Impala headed down the highway toward the next town. As they approached the outskirts of the town, Sam held onto the hope that his instincts were right and he hadn't started a chain of events that would spell their doom.
becs - October 1, 2008 03:55 PM (GMT)
cool start. i'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.
Moonshayde - October 2, 2008 12:11 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (becs @ Oct 1 2008, 03:55 PM)|
| cool start. i'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.|
Thanks, becs :)
Moonshayde - October 2, 2008 12:13 AM (GMT)
Dean pulled the Impala into park by a strip of small shops. He let out a heavy sigh as it rattled to a stop. Townsfolk crisscrossed through the streets and the sidewalks, buzzing around like flies as they whizzed off to wherever they were supposed to go. It looked like just about any other small town they'd visited throughout their lives except for the massive fluorescent explosion.
"God, I hate this town."
Sam chuckled beside him. "We just got here."
"Yeah, well I still hate it." He watched as a teenager in a bright pink top with green shorts walked by. "It's like the town time forgot."
"I can't argue that one," Sam said, leaning over to look out the window. Dean saw him frown. "We've been here before, haven't we?"
"Yeah, it's the case dad worked with the bogeyman snatching all those kids." He shook his head. He could never say bogeyman with a straight face.
"With those hunters."
"One of the few times dad didn't work alone." Dean sat back and rubbed his mouth. He didn't like this town. He'd never liked this town. "Let's just drive through."
"Dean, you look like death warmed over. Let's grab a cup of coffee and figure out our next move."
"Our next move?" Dean glared at him. "Our next move is to find Bela and the Colt."
"Yes, I know. I heard you the first time. But come on. Let's stop for five minutes and get our strength back."
He heard Sam sigh. "You're not still sore about what happened here? Dean, that was sixteen years ago."
Dean didn't care. From what little he remembered, this town held a lot of bad memories for him, and he wasn't too keen on revisiting them. He just wanted to put this place behind them, dump that stupid box in the trunk, and figure out where Bela and the Colt were hiding.
"Hopping in for a few minutes isn't going to matter either way," Sam told him. "Would you rather pass out on the road and crash the car?"
Dean scowled. "Dude, I won't crash my car."
Sam just looked at him. Dean swore if Sam gave him that pitiful look one more time…
"This town is full of weirdoes," Dean said. "Do you even remember this place?"
"Barely," Sam muttered. "And don't pretend like you do. We were sick with the flu for most of this trip."
"I remember enough." Dean motioned to center of town with a wave of his hand. "I mean, what kind of idiot robs a store for a buck seventy-five?"
"That doesn't matter, Dean."
"Of course it matters. You just want some time to mess around with that box again."
"I just want to figure out what happened so we can move on." Sam reached over and pointed to a small family restaurant across the street. "Come on, five minutes."
Dean sighed. He still felt like this was a monumental waste of time. The more time they were on the road, the better the chance they would find Bela. And that meant they would find the Colt.
None of that would happen in Creeksboro, Kentucky.
He glanced over to the restaurant and to Sam's pleading face. Dean just shook his head.
"Fine." Dean opened the door and stepped into the street. "But I'm telling ya, Sam, if that box turns me into a giant slug or some freakin' monkey with wings, I swear the first thing I'll do is bite your sorry ass."
* * * *
The restaurant was empty, save for a few tourist families and some lone stragglers slumped along the bar stools that lined the counter. Dean walked over to the counter and eased himself onto one of the stools, his attention immediately falling to a middle-aged man sagging over an open bottle.
"A little early for happy hour," Dean said to him with a laugh.
The man just slumped lower.
Dean cocked his head and raised his eyebrows. "Okay…"
"What do you want?"
Dean turned to the sound of the cashier's voice. He was a burly no-nonsense guy who had a mug that not even a mother could love. His deep frown and beady eyes didn't just make Dean uncomfortable, but stopped him cold. He'd been given looks like that more times than he could remember. He didn't need anyone to tell him he wasn't wanted in this restaurant.
And from the confused look on Sam's face, Dean got the feeling it wasn't exclusively on him.
"Two coffees," Dean said.
"And a newspaper," Sam added.
The cashier grabbed a coffee pot and slammed the coffee cups and paper in front of them. As he poured them a cup each, he kept his cold stare centered on Dean.
"Whoa, sure can't beat the service in this town," Dean muttered. When the cashier didn't move, Dean shrugged. "Right. I forgot you folks don't like out of towners."
"We just don't like smart mouths."
"Mike, let it go." The man hunched over next to Dean glanced up from his bottle to stare at them with glassy, red-rimmed eyes. "It's not their fault. You can't blame every stranger that comes walking through that door."
Dean wagged a finger at the cashier and ignored the look Sam was giving him. "He's got a point."
"What exactly happened?" Sam asked.
"They took them," the man next to them said. "They keep taking them, and we can't stop them."
"They?" Sam and Dean said together.
"Some child predator," Mike grumbled. "The damn cops haven't been able to find anything."
Dean and Sam exchanged a look. They were both thinking it, but it was Sam that beat him to the punch.
"This, um, this predator," Sam said, leaning closer to the cashier. "Does he take kids anywhere between five and fifteen?"
"At night they just vanish," Dean continued, "closet wide open with black soot on the doorknob?"
Both the cashier and customer stopped. "How did you know that?" Mike asked.
"My partner and I have been working a similar case in Ohio." Dean leaned back and smiled, blocking out Sam's angry glare. "We heard about the goings on round here and thought we'd check into it."
The customer's eyes widened. "Cops?"
Sam sighed. "Right."
"You got a theory?" Mike asked. "More than one person or something?"
"That's classified," Dean said. He grabbed his cup and motioned to Sam to pay the cashier. "But once we get the clear, we'll be sure to let you know what's going on."
Dean started for an empty booth, chuckling as he heard Sam grumble behind him. He slid onto the cushion and glanced out the window, waiting for Sam to join him. From his seat, he could see the Impala parked by the curb, just slightly obscured from view by a large moving truck and a bunch of trees. He just hoped Sam's magic box hadn't damaged her.
Sam tossed the receipt at him. "Okay, what the hell was that about?"
Dean grinned as Sam slid into the seat across from him. "That gets them off our backs for a while."
"For a while?"
"Yeah." Dean paused and looked out the window, his gaze falling to a family of four lounging by a small corner park. "You heard what that guy Mike said. This is definitely a bogeyman."
"I know what it is." Sam slapped the newspaper on the table. "Detectives?"
Dean frowned. "Yeah. Why? Did you wanna try for something else?"
"No, I don't want to try something else," Sam said with a sigh. "Dean, we don't have time for this."
"It's a case, Sam."
"Not for us."
"What?" Dean's frown deepened. He couldn't believe Sam was pulling a one-eighty on him. "Not fifteen minutes ago you were all whiny about stopping."
"That was for coffee."
"A bogeyman here? Now?" Dean paused, lowering his voice as he heard movement in the booth behind them. "It's not right. These things don't hit the same town twice. We have to check it out. For Dad."
"What about Bela?" Sam asked.
"It can wait. This is Dad's work."
"Yeah, and obviously Dad didn't finish the job."
"There had to be a good reason. Maybe it's a different bogey, a revenge thing."
"A different one hitting the same place exactly sixteen years later? You said it yourself. They never hit the same town twice." Sam shook his head. "I'll tell you the good reason. Us. Dad gets sloppy with us."
"Doesn't matter. I think we owe it to these people to finish the job."
Sam glared at him, but said nothing. Dean knew he'd scored a victory. He might not have a way with words like Sammy had, but he'd learned a few tricks over the years to get his brother to listen to him. It might not always work, but Dean took his small victories when he could.
"Good," Dean said with a satisfied smack to the table. "Let's go find a place to crash and start working up who we'll talk to first."
He drank the last of his coffee and headed for the door. The good thing about a job like this was that knew he could always rely on his dad's journal. There had to be some notes about the bogeyman they'd hunted back in the nineties.
Dean stepped outside and stopped short. The Impala was parked right in front of him.
"What the hell."
He was positive he'd parked the car across the street. Dean glanced up, but with the cars zooming past, he didn't see anything. He scratched his head and returned his attention to the Impala.
"What?" he heard Sam ask.
Dean glanced over his shoulder, not surprised to find Sam lost in the newspaper. Dean turned back to the Impala. Maybe that jolt did more than knock him out.
No, he wasn't imagining things.
Dean shook his head. "I so did not park the Impala here."
"Maybe she just wanted to be closer to you." Sam glanced up and smiled sweetly.
"Yeah, that's hilarious." Dean rubbed his chin. "I swear if that friggin' box of yours did something to my car…" He stopped and frowned. "Oh, hell. What if it's like Christine?"
Dean ignored Sam and approached the driver's side, peeking through the window. "What the hell!"
There was crap all over the back seat. He saw a bunch of books piled up on the passenger side, and some papers scattered on the floor and on the seats themselves. He swore he even saw some toys.
"Is that silly putty?" Dean leaned a little closer. "Son of a bitch!"
He was going to pound the bastard that ransacked his car and put their crap inside. Not that it made any sense, but Dean didn't care. He took a deep breath and tried to relax. Not feeling a bit calmer, he stormed to the back of the car to catch the license plate.
Dean jerked, surprised at the firm tone in his brother's voice. Sam's fingers dug so hard into his arm that he swore they would leave a permanent mark.
"Sammy, what the –"
Sam thrust the newspaper in front of his face. "We have to go. We have to go now."
Dean grabbed the paper and followed Sam's jabby finger to the date on the front page. It read January 25th, 1992.
His eyes widened. It had to be some gag newspaper or something.
"Something I can do for you boys?"
Both Sam and Dean froze. Slowly, they lifted their heads to the man standing at the front of the Impala.
Dean felt the blood drain from his face. "Dad?"
Moonshayde - October 2, 2008 01:18 PM (GMT)
Sam couldn't move, couldn't speak. A thousand emotions flooded him all at once, conflicting thoughts of anger and love, of pride and sorrow, a surge that he couldn't neatly divide and categorize through the storm raging in his mind. He found himself mute, staring at the discerning figure of his dead father – a man who happened to be very much alive.
"You boys wanna tell me what you're doing?"
John eyed them closely, his gaze flickering between Sam and Dean. Sam knew that he was sizing them up, getting a good read on them. They had to come up with something quick.
When he turned to Dean, Sam quickly realized his brother would be no help. Dean's face was ashen, his eyes wide, and his whole body rigid with shock. Sam would never fully understand why John had such an effect on him, but he didn't have time to consider it right now.
He cleared his throat. "Uh, we…" His voice trailed off as he noticed John's gaze lock onto the amulet dangling around Dean's neck. Sam quickly shoved it under Dean's shirt and stepped in front of him. "We're detectives."
"Detectives?" John rubbed his chin, only to stop to give them a pointed look. "Can I see some ID?"
Sam swallowed the lump that had started to form in his throat and quickly went for his jacket. He nudged the uncharacteristically quiet Dean, urging him to do the same. Dean kept staring until finally he started to show some signs of life and absently patted his jacket. Sam was still trying to form some contingency plan when he heard chuckling.
John smiled. "I didn't think so."
"We-we left them in the car," Dean managed to say.
Sam glared at Dean.
"You can drop the act," John said. "I know who you are."
Sam and Dean exchanged a worried look. He didn't want to call John's bluff, but he didn't know what other lie he could pull out of his hat. If this were real, if this weren't some crazy dream, then he and Dean had to be careful. They had to watch their every move, their every word.
Not that it mattered now, he realized a second too late. Dean was already talking.
"You do?" Dean asked.
John nodded. "Yeah, I do. I overheard you boys talking earlier. You say your dad's a hunter?"
"Oh," Sam said as he struggled to keep the shock out of his voice. "Our dad. Yeah."
"He's a hunter," Dean said with a nod. When Sam shot him another glare, he winced and turned his head.
"Maybe I've run into him."
"Yes, sir." Dean shook his head. "No…sir."
"I don't think you have," Sam added quickly, praying Dean would shut up. "He tends to work alone."
"He does, does he?" John seemed to ponder the story, but kept a wary eye on them both. "You know that hunting isn't a joke. This is serious business."
"Yes, sir," Dean said.
"Good," John said. "Now why don't you pack up and head on out?"
"Look, maybe you don't get it, but we have a lot of experience, and we're good at taking care of ourselves. So why don't you —" Sam clamped down, figuratively biting his tongue. He wasn't about to get into an argument with his dad, especially not here or now. It was bad enough that Sam could see the complete mistrust and suspicion in John's eyes. They knew that John was hard enough to deal with when he was in a good mood. The fact that he wasn't buying their story or their competence was going to make it impossible.
He felt a punch to his arm. "Sam!" Dean hissed under his breath.
John frowned and stared at Dean. "What did you just say?"
"Sam. As in Joseph Samuel." Sam reached out his hand and forced a smile. "People just call me Joe."
John eyed his extended arm, pausing to study them once more before he shook it. "Name's Jack."
Sam nodded, smiling all the while. So, they were both playing the same game. And by the glint in his father's eye, he knew they both knew it.
"That's Frank," Sam said, motioning behind him. "We heard there was a possible hunt around here and came to check it out."
"Yeah," John said, and let out a long sigh. "I've heard some rumblings. What kind of intel do you have on this thing?"
"Probably the same as you," Sam said with a shrug. "The creature takes kids between five and fifteen, always at night, always through the closet."
John nodded. "Those are the typical signs of a bogeyman."
Sam knew they were. He knew that their dad would know it, too. John would never start a hunt without having some background research done. The only problem was Sam didn't know just how much information he had. It was obvious that some sort of time transference had happened. As crazy as that sounded, Sam knew he had to tiptoe around this conversation as carefully as possible. Any slip could alter history and screw up the future, their present. Sam was beginning to think grabbing that box had been a big mistake.
"What about you?" Sam asked, pushing his thoughts aside. "What do you know?"
"I'm working on it."
Sam felt the corners of his mouth twitch. John had no idea where the bogeyman was hiding.
Sam frowned at the sound of the high-pitched voice. He cocked his head and peered around John, speechless as he saw a little boy darting out of the diner followed by a slightly older one. Sam fought the urge to clutch his stomach; he felt like his body had dropped in a freefall.
He dared not look back at Dean.
The younger versions of themselves jogged up to John's side, their curious expressions glued unwittingly to their older selves. The younger Dean didn't even bother to mask his disdain.
Sam didn't know what to say. He towered over both himself and Dean like a giant. All his childhood memories were skewed. Suddenly Dean seemed a lot, lot shorter. But before he had a chance to formulate any kind of response, John herded their younger selves away from the Impala and away from them.
"Dean, what did I say? Now take your brother and go inside."
His angry frown only deepened. "Dad, it wasn't—"
"I said now."
Dean grumbled something under his breath and punched Sam in the arm, earning him a battered "ow." Sam watched himself shuffle after Dean, only stopping once to sneak a peek back at them. Then, they were gone.
"Aren't you being a little harsh?" Dean asked.
Sam jerked his head, turning to his brother. There was something raw in his eyes, pained, but it faded quickly, leaving an unsteadiness that Sam knew he had seen before, a sense of discomfort he recognized from after their fight with Jeremy.
"Excuse me?" John asked again. "Are you telling me how to raise my kids?"
"Okay." Sam let out a nervous chuckle. "Well, we didn't mean to bother you." He patted Dean's chest and started to steer him away. "We'll just be heading out now."
John's face didn't break. "I think it would be best if you boys left town."
"So would we," Sam said under his breath. As soon as they could figure out how.
Sam didn't say another word as he guided a still ashen Dean away from the car. Even as they crossed the street, he knew that John was watching them, mentally keeping tabs on where they went. He also knew there was a good chance that he would grab their younger counterparts, pack up the car, and follow them. The last thing Sam needed was for John to find the Impala, their Impala.
The two of them hopped onto the sidewalk and started down the main street, away from where they had originally parked.
Dean frowned. "Dude, the car is that way."
"Forget about the car." He shoved Dean into an alley between a bakery and a dry cleaning service. "What was that all about?"
"What was what about?"
"That whole thing with Dad?"
Dean shrugged. "It was nothin'."
"Man, I dunno." Dean wiped his face and looked down as he leaned against the brick wall of one of the buildings. "This is seriously messed up."
Sam nodded. "I know." He looked out into the street, watching as the Impala slowly drove by. He turned back to Dean. "Look, we have to get out of here."
"Tell me about it," Dean muttered. "Maybe if you hadn't touched the Magic Box…"
Sam sighed. He wasn't going to get into this with Dean right now. "Let's just go back to the car and take it from there."
Dean gave a half-shrug and a half-nod, but started out of the alley. Sam followed him, cautiously glancing over his shoulder every few seconds. He didn't see the other Impala nearby, but he didn't want to take any more chances. He could only hope that whatever damage they might have done, time would straighten it out. His main priority was discovering how to undo what they had done, and figure it out before it was too late.
* * * *
Sam stared at the silver box in his lap. He'd been holding it in silence for the past fifteen minutes, struggling to wrap his mind around the surreal meeting they'd just experienced. Dean sat beside him, completely and oddly still, just staring out of the driver's side of the Impala into the street.
Their dad. They'd just come face to face with their dad. Sam didn't know how to process all the feelings and images that kept overwhelming his mind. He couldn't even believe this was happening. But with all the insanity in their lives, he knew that it was crazier to believe it wasn't real.
And now, somehow, they were in the past.
Sam wasn't a physicist, but he knew there were theories on time travel out there. Those theories were rooted in the realm of pseudo-science. This he knew was completely magical.
However, he knew there was something both magic and science could agree upon – meddling with the past would have consequences. He and Dean did not belong here.
"You turned my car into a freakin' Delorian."
Dean was angry. Sam could hear it in his voice. But it wasn't just anger. Dean refused to look at Sam, not even a quick glance or a turn of the head. There was something else eating away at him, something Sam wasn't sure he could identify. He only knew it had been lingering around Dean for the past few days, building and growing, and soon he knew it would burst.
"I think we should lay low until we can figure out how to reverse this."
Dean nodded and gripped the steering wheel. Sam was positive he was clutching it so hard to keep from punching him. "So, what? Hole up in a hotel?" Dean asked.
"We just stay out of Dad's hair until we figure out how to get back."
"Perfect. Meanwhile, Bela's in the future with the Colt, and by the time we find her, we'll be in our forties." Dean paused. "Well, I guess you'll be. One of the perks of dying young."
Sam shook his head. "Let's just find a motel."
As Dean went to start the car, Sam reached into his pocket for his money clip. He wanted to make sure they budgeted right, since he had no idea how long they would be stuck in this town or the year 1992, for that matter. With a sigh, he pulled out the clip and started to flip through the bills. He froze.
"What?" Dean asked.
Sam turned to Dean. "We can't use any of this money."
Dean frowned. "Why the hell –" Dean's face went blank. "Crap."
"Yeah, it hasn't been minted yet." Sam jammed the money back into his pocket. "How are we going to get a room?"
Dean went for his stash of credit cards and other illegal paraphernalia. Sam held onto the box and watched as Dean searched through years' worth of junk, but he started to think this was just a waste of time.
"I don't think you're going to find anything old enough," he said.
"Then shut up and help me."
Sam reached over to help sort through the cards that Dean had spread onto the leather seats. Just as he was leaning over to examine a card, he felt the box slip from his lap and hit the floor of the Impala with a thud.
Both of them froze.
"You did not just drop the voodoo box in my car," Dean said.
"I think I did."
Dean blurted out a string of nonsense that Sam didn't even try to figure out. Instead, he shook it off and glanced at the passenger side floor mat of the car. He could see the talismans, the instructions, and even some of the soft felt that had come undone.
Sam grimaced as he reached down to pick up the spilled contents. The last thing they needed was for him to set off the talisman again only to dump them further back in time.
"Be careful!" Dean shouted. "I don't want to end up in Jurassic Park."
"I'm just putting it back in the box." Sam started to pick up the items and drop them into the metal container when he frowned, noticing something sticking out from behind the torn felt. As he finished scooping up the contents, he brought the box to his lap and peeled away the rest of the felt.
From the corners of his eyes, he could see Dean's eyes widen. "Hey!"
Sam blocked Dean's hand with his arm. "Wait," he said. Sam ripped the felt and grabbed the wad of bills from within the box. Sam did a quick check. Minted in 1991. He held them up and waved them at Dean.
"That's awesome." Dean leaned over toward the box. "I want a Philly cheesesteak."
Sam stared at him. "Dude, what are you doing?"
"It's like in Bill and Ted's when they just ask for something and –" Dean rolled his eyes. "Nevermind, you uncultured freak."
Sam didn't have time for Dean's incoherent nonsense. He had too many other ideas buzzing through his head. "Do you realize what this means?"
"It means no free grub."
"Dean, stop thinking with your stomach for two seconds. This means that whatever is in this box was meant to be here." He tapped the top for emphasis. "Why would there be money hiding in the side of the lining? Why would we find it just when we needed it?"
"You think we put it there?"
Sam nodded. "I thought maybe this was a big mistake. Now I think we're supposed to be here."
"Sam, that's just messed up."
"But think about it. The money was placed in here for a reason. Maybe when we find a way out of this we leave ourselves the money. Or someone does."
"Okay, then," Dean said. "What are we supposed to do?"
Sam glanced down at the box and then to the cards and paper slips beside him. "I don't know yet. But we have to be very careful. We have to make sure that don't change or interfere with anything until we know exactly what is going on."
"So find a motel. Lay low. And do what the box tells us." Dean sighed. "I'm taking orders from Thing."
He scowled. "What now?"
Sam sifted through some of the cards and pulled out the receipt from earlier that afternoon. "Your receipt."
"What about it?"
"It's for a dollar and seventy-five cents."
"You're kidding me."
Sam smiled, recalling their earlier conversation. "Guess you're that idiot."
"Aw, man." Dean shook his head once, mumbled something Sam couldn't hear, and turned to glare at the box that sat innocently on Sam's lap. "I really hate this town."
"The place was robbed for exactly a dollar and seventy-five cents," Sam told him. "No more, no less."
"Yeah, got it." With a sigh, Dean swung the Impala door open. "I'll case the back while you find us a room. I'll call you after I'm done." He paused, turning back to Sam. "I don't want my baby anywhere near this place when this thing goes down."
Dean stared at him. "No?"
"No phones. We won't get a signal."
"Dammit." Dean wiped his face. "All right. Come back around midnight. That should be plenty of time." He sighed again. "I can't believe I'm about to make the lamest heist in history."
Sam shrugged. "It could be worse."
Sam opened his mouth to reply, but stopped and just shook his head. "Okay, maybe not."
Dean glared at him as he shut the door. "Remember. Midnight."
Sam nodded as Dean tossed him the keys. "Got it."
He watched Dean disappear into one of the alleys between the main street buildings. Once he was sure no one was watching them, he slid over to the driver's side and started up the Impala. Now all Sam had to do was find the right motel.
becs - October 4, 2008 09:22 PM (GMT)
wow sam and dean in their past.wonder what they get up to?
Moonshayde - October 9, 2008 01:40 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (becs @ Oct 4 2008, 09:22 PM)|
| wow sam and dean in their past.wonder what they get up to?|
Hee. Thanks :)
Moonshayde - October 9, 2008 01:43 PM (GMT)
Dean shut the back door to the diner with his gloved hands. He'd spent a good hour sorting through their damn change to find a lousy dollar and seventy-five cents' worth of coffee money while trying to be as quiet as possible. It didn't help that he knew the family that owned the diner were asleep upstairs. All he could say was thank God they hadn't shipped off their money to the bank before he'd gotten there.
After a quick survey of the alley, Dean crept toward the street. He knew there was a little niche next to the park right across from the diner where he figured he could wait until Sam showed. He wanted to make sure he put enough distance between himself and this place as quickly as possible. Small town police never had enough to do, and he wasn't about to be their night of fun.
Dean checked his watch. 11:50. Sam better come get him soon before he started freezing his ass off.
He was just about to dart across the street when he saw a flicker of light above him. Dean stopped and focused, frowning as he caught two shadows – one small and the other warped - fumbling in the weak light. Then with a snap, they vanished.
Every muscle in his body tensed. He so had not just seen what he thought he saw.
Quietly, Dean started back down the alley, alert and quick on his feet as he headed toward the apartment window above the diner. When he sniffed the air, he could smell something dank and moldy, like old hair caught in a sink drain.
Dammit, the thing was here.
As he rounded the corner, he scanned the sides of the building, the alleyway itself, and the garbage bin that rested to his right. He didn't see anything – not a shadow or the bogeyman's lanky form. But that didn't mean he'd left.
Above him, a long fire escape climbed upward stopping by the apartment window. Dean paused, studying the stairwell as he considered his next move. He hadn't brought any of his gear with him, but he'd be damned if he'd let an opportunity slide. Without a second thought, Dean grabbed the rails and started up the fire escape.
When he reached the top, he crouched low and peeked through the window. The room was dark, but he could still make out a few items: the unmade bed, the dresser and nightstand, and a closet door slightly ajar.
Dean shook his head. He was too late. The poor kid probably had never seen it coming. The stench in the alleyway must have been the pedo bastard's lingering scent.
That wasn't about to stop Dean.
Quietly, he lifted the windowsill and slipped inside. He kept his steps slow and deliberate, careful not to step on any toys that might be lying around the room. The last thing he needed was to get caught and land in jail. Claiming he was a demon hunter from the future would land him in the loony bin faster than Britney Spears losing her panties. And while Sam could be slick with the tongue, he doubted that Stanford education would do them squat this time around, considering technically he hadn't even gone yet.
He crept over to the closet door and inspected the handle. Sure enough, there was black soot clinging to the metal doorknob. He dug into his pockets, grabbed a bag, and withdrew his knife. With the blade, he scraped a few flaky pieces of residue into his bag. While he and Sam weren't officially working this job, he figured it couldn't hurt to grab some residue. At this rate, they could be trapped here forever.
Dean sealed the bag, secured his knife, and slipped through the window, making sure to close it after he exited. Quietly, he started back down the fire escape. When he reached the bottom, he turned his head and glanced back at the apartment for one last look.
He gasped as he was knocked back by the collar of his jacket.
Before he had a chance to right himself, Dean was thrown against the wall of the building. He grunted as he pushed off the brick, striking his assailant with a punch to the stomach. Dean went to throw another, but the figure dodged and went for his throat. Again, Dean slammed against the wall, harder this time, and gasped as he struggled to breathe. He was about to kick out when a bright light flooded his vision and blinded him.
Dean blinked, cursing under his breath as the brightness sent a current of pain shooting through his head. The shock sent him off balance, but he fought to stand straight, only to nearly tumble with surprise when the pressure around his neck vanished. He collapsed against the wall, but not before drawing his .45.
He wasn't about to get snuffed by a freak in an alley. Not now. As he kept his aim steady, Dean forced his vision to clear. He jerked and dropped his arm. The fuzzy figure faded in and out, but was unmistakably his father.
"Da—" Dean caught himself and squeezed his eyes shut, forcing down the panic welling inside. Finally, he breathed out and cleared his throat. "What was that?"
"Enchanted mirror," John said, waving it in front of Dean. "Shine it in the face of a bogeyman and you can see its true face."
Ignoring the lingering spots that danced in front of him, Dean shoved the gun into his jeans and nodded once as he processed the information. Then he stopped and frowned, staring at John. "You thought I was a bogeyman?"
"You or the other one." John pocketed the mirror. "I had to be sure."
Dean blinked. If he and Sam were starting to pass as bogeymen now, then they should really start to rethink how they hunted. After a moment, he blinked again, realizing just where his dad was going with this train of thought. "You think it's posing as people?"
"They have limited ability, yeah." John paused, that discerning gaze of his chewing through Dean. "You should do your research."
Dean felt his cheeks flare at the rebuke. He knew about bogies. Both he and Sam had studied that journal front to back and then some. He knew how they grabbed kids and how they moved through the shadows. He knew they were near damn impossible to track. Dean might not remember everything, but he knew a lot about them. Yet when he looked at the disapproving face of his dad, he just couldn't bring himself to say it.
"This'll help mask our energy so the bogey can't tail us." John tossed a marble-sized ball onto the fire escape.
The ball rolled onto the metal frame and hit the wall with a nearly inaudible pop. Then, it burst into a gentle puff, releasing a soft, floral scent that made Dean's nose itch. As he resisted the urge to scratch it, he marveled at how something so normal could overpower the rancid smell of the bogeyman. Then again, he never would have thought a bunch of stinky potpourri would have blocked a nest of vampires.
"What're you doing out here?" John asked abruptly. "I thought you were leaving town."
"We had some things to take care of." Dean sniffed and wiped his nose. He glanced upward. "I saw the thing in the upper apartment."
"Did you get a good look?"
"Better than that." Dean reached into his pocket and withdrew a small bag, tossing it to John. "I managed a sample."
John caught the bag and examined it. A spark of nostalgia warmed Dean, and he found the tension in his shoulders wane. It was standard procedure: John would lay out the plan and Dean would take an inventory of the site. After research and recon was complete, they'd move in to nail the sucker.
But when John brought his attention back to Dean, there was dark suspicion in his eyes, and he gave Dean an almost quizzical, confused look, one that could easily be missed under his controlled exterior if you didn't know the man.
Dean's shoulders sagged as the warmth evaporated. He had seen John give that look to wary strangers many times.
"I thought you'd want the lead on this one," Dean said quietly.
"I work alone," John said.
Dean felt his throat tighten, but he nodded and tried to ignore the ache. He didn't know what he'd been thinking. He needed to find Sam and just get the hell out of there.
"But if you boys are working this case, I can't stop you." John wiped his mouth and glanced up at the apartment. "And I'm running out of time."
Dean stiffened. "What? Really?"
He was about to ask John what plan he had mapped out for this hunt, when he heard a piercing scream. Both John and Dean froze as the apartment light flickered on.
"Crap," Dean muttered.
"We gotta go," John said.
John started to back into the shadows before breaking into a steady run. Dean found himself following John deeper into the alley, even though a little voice in the back of his mind – one that distinctly sounded like Sam - warned him not to get too close. Dean knew the dangers. He still couldn't even believe this was happening. But in the end, he stayed with his dad, following him to the very end.
They both broke out of the alley onto another street. The two of them slowed to stop, pausing a minute to catch their breath, before easing into a relaxed walk. Neither said a word, and Dean didn't push the issue. He was content enough just to be near his father again. He wished he could hold onto the moment longer, to make their time together last forever. He pushed away all the conflicting thoughts he had, all the anger that kept wanting to bubble to the surface, and just walked with John, admiring his worn but determined face.
He never deserved to die. None of them deserved to die.
In the distance, Dean heard the wails of police sirens as they closed in on the area. He and John picked up their pace.
"This way," John said.
Up ahead, Dean saw his dad's Chevy Impala parked by the side of an old mill. Dean knew they looked far from inconspicuous - two men dressed in dark clothes walking in the middle of the night – but he hoped that they could slip by unnoticed until they could get away from the scene of the crime.
John opened the driver's door and hopped into the car; the Impala hummed to life with her unmistakable purr. Dean stared at the car and hesitated.
"Get in," John told him.
As the police sirens wailed louder, Dean grabbed the handle, opened the door, and hopped inside. John tore away from the mill and started down the street, leaving the diner, the apartment, and the heart of the town behind.
* * * *
Dean remained quiet as John drove away from the scene of the bogeyman's latest kidnapping. In the distance, he could still hear the police, and imagined the chaos as the officers and innocent bystanders tried to make sense of yet another child's mysterious disappearance. Dean seriously hated this thing right now.
John was the first to speak. "It won't show again for another day."
Dean nodded. He didn't doubt his dad's knowledge on this thing. He knew that John would be defeating the bogeyman in just a few days, so now they just had to wait and destroy the thing once it showed its ugly face.
"I checked the sewers," John said, continuing, "and some rundown abandoned buildings - the usual haunts. This thing isn't in town."
"So, what?" Dean asked. "You think it's wearing people's faces long enough to get out of Dodge and get to its den?"
"Yeah, that's what I'm thinking."
That could be a problem, Dean thought. He knew that bogies could travel through shadow, disappearing and reappearing at will. But if the creep was posing as people in between, then it could be hiding out anywhere near the town.
At least Dean was confident they'd kill the bastard.
The car fell into another awkward silence. Dean fought the temptation to play with the stereo, trying to remind himself this wasn't his car, at least not yet. Instead, he started to hum under his breath, hoping the distraction was enough to keep the restlessness he felt from John's piercing sideways glances at bay.
"You sure I don't know your dad? You look familiar."
John shot him another wary glance. "Where's your brother?"
Dean's eyes widened. He pushed back the sleeve of his jacket and fumbled to right his watch. He swore.
It was 12:15 am.
"Drop me off here," Dean blurted out, pointing to the side of the road.
John glared at him. "Excuse me?"
"Just drop me off." When John continued to drive without any indication of stopping, Dean sighed. "Look, my brother was supposed to pick me up."
"That's a sloppy plan." John shook his head and pulled over to the side of the road. "You boys should have a contingency plan. You go in smart, or you don't go in at all. Or else one of these days one of you'll get killed."
Dean swallowed hard and gave a quick nod. "I'll be careful. I promise."
He jumped out of the car, unable to look his father in the eye any longer, and bolted down the street. Right now, his main objective was to get to Sam and hope that he hadn't driven their weapon-loaded car right in the middle of a cop-filled hotspot.
Raven524 - November 4, 2008 05:31 AM (GMT)
Just found this story--luv the concept! Very imaginative. I can't wait to see what happens next! :D
Moonshayde - November 4, 2008 01:23 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Raven524 @ Nov 4 2008, 05:31 AM)|
| Just found this story--luv the concept! Very imaginative. I can't wait to see what happens next! :D |
Thanks! Now that my computer is back - had a little malfunction - I can post again.
trickie - November 16, 2008 01:29 AM (GMT)
Real good story.
Hope you update soon.
jensenisdean - December 19, 2008 06:12 PM (GMT)
I hope this gets updated soon!
Supernatural Crazychild - May 7, 2009 03:35 AM (GMT)
This story is AWSOME!!!!! Can't wait for an update...Hope it's soon!!!