This is my favorite Big Dumbass Local Urban Legend, twisted around for my own twisted purposes. No, I have not been out looking for the hole, even though I have been to Ellensburg a million times. If Dean and Sam were out there, yes, I would look for, it. Sequel to And Fools Shine On. Supernatural is not mine; Mel's Hole is not mine; The 12th Man probably belongs to Texas A&M but no one cares. No idea how many chapters this'll turn out to be...sorry. They speak, I scribble. That's the deal.

If Belief Was Enough
(c)2006 b stearns


"Inventory," Dean said.

"More like cleaning your damn trunk," Sam said. "It's like the clown car at the circus in here. Do you even know what half this stuff is?"

They were parked so far off the side of the motel's courtyard that no one would be able to see what was in the trunk without walking all the way up to them. In addition to keeping the weapons in good shape and the car in top form, Dean had decided they needed to make sure what the hell was in the trunk. The whole digging-around-in-a-panic while nearly being eaten thing was old. It wasn't like Dean didn't know right where everything was. Of course he did. Mostly. But Sam didn't, and the next time a skinwalker decided to dig in the trunk and whack Sam with a crowbar, Sam ought to know the crowbar was there.

"Yes," Dean said defensively. "See this?" He held up what looked like a doll about the size of his hand, made of burlap and wrapped in a bit of cloth. It seemed to have fur for hair.

"Aw, it's your binky," Sam said. "Or the source of all your mysterious power."

"It's a Wanga doll," Dean growled. "A jinx remover. And this thing here..." He held up a small box with a small white skull in it. The skull glittered.

Sam looked closer. "Is that made of sugar?"

"The ancestors of the Aztecs and certain tribes in Mexico -"

"Day of the Dead," Sam said. "Yeah, I know. I haven't forgotten everything. This really is overkill, though."

"Well, smartass, why do they keep collecting plants from the rainforest? And shark cartilage, and otter dicks or whatever. You never know which one will cure cancer, you gotta try everything." Dean tossed the Wanga doll back into the trunk and then wiped a hand on his jeans. No telling what he'd spilled on it. Mountain Dew, he hoped.

Sam laughed aloud in the early morning sunlight, his voice ringing back to them off the U-shape of the courtyard. "That's the lamest way I've ever heard someone try and explain OCD."

"Hey - it's what dad said. I didn't pull this out of my ass."

"Yeah? So your ass has limits. I never would have guessed." Sam smirked and walked away to get the coffee he'd left sitting on the nearby curb.

"Shut up, weasel boy," Dean said to his back, then reached up to the length of dark flannel that was velcroed into the underside of the trunk lid. The more fragile stuff was here, including an envelope with a bit of cardboard holding it stiff. He opened it and unfolded the carefully tucked sheet of paper, peering again at the scribble of handwriting on it and the bit of off-white feather that fell out into his hand. Not a bird's feather. Not any bird, ever, anywhere. Not according to the lab report that was also folded into the envelope. 'Undetermined organic origin'. Containing DNA, but with the strangest base pairs.

Dean, there are angels in the world, too. Don't forget that.

He had no idea where it had come from, and it didn't really matter. He had always been afraid to ask his father about it, because it brought ideas to life he had neither time nor inclination to explore. Evil exists; kill it. The end. Knowing there was good of the same mettle or better sharing their space would only bring despair, because goddamnit, where the hell was it? Why wasn't it fighting beside them, why was it so hidden?

It didn't matter to him if it just wasn't showing itself in ways he could understand. Because damn if the evil shit wasn't just flying out of the woodwork and waving its hands at them daily. It loved showing itself. All the real and true good of the world was sleeping or had taken off for greener pastures. That? That he could understand. He couldn't even really blame it. No one believed in it anymore, not with the same fascination they gave the darkness.

If he ever saw an angel, he'd blast it with rock salt first, to be sure it was real. If that pissed it off, good. That's what it got for showing up so late. And he was mostly hellbound anyway by his own estimation. Fishing was probably good in the River Styx, so he'd be fine.

He tucked it away again and put the cloth back in place. The good of the world had spread itself out, that was all, instead of concentrating where it could be decimated. The good all hid in places like Sam's laughter in the middle of Nowhere, North Dakota.

"You know, we never did get around to actually figuring half this stuff out," Sam said, reappearing at his shoulder and holding out a fresh paper cup of coffee. "What difference does it really make? It's all just...symbols. And charms, and...what difference does it make, all the superstition?"

Dean understood what he meant. Why did it work? Sam was only ruminating; if he'd been serious then he wouldn't have looked so bemused or had only half his attention on the question. And no, when it was in their faces all the time, they hadn't wasted time talking about why things worked; only that they did. Books said, ancient manuscripts said, scrolls said, cave walls said. Lore passed down for thousands of years from parent to child said. "We didn't set the rules," Dean said. "They were set back when time began, for all I know. Maybe none of this stuff has any real power. Not the same kind of power as guns or fire. But as long as the belief exists, that's enough. As long as the ugly things keep turning tail, that's all I care about."

"Really?" Sam said, and this time he did stop to look at Dean. "You've never thought about it?"

"Thinking about it's not the same as figuring it out," Dean said. "I like the hows and not the whys, Sam."

"Um...the whys kind of let you make better use of the hows, most of the time," Sam said. "Like you and dad figuring out how to make salt loads for the shotgun."

Dean made some indeterminate noise and dug around in the trunk some more. But, to his chagrin, Sam had turned his full attention to him.

"I never thought of you as someone who would just say belief was enough," Sam said.

"Words only have the power you assign them," Dean said. "It's like an agreement, or something."

"So maybe demons decided to flinch at the name of God in Latin?" Sam said. "They took a vote, in committee?"

"Don't be so literal," Dean said, meaning dude I don't know, go away. "I wasn't there."

Sam turned away so he could grin to himself over the fact that Dean didn't realize he was admitting to blind faith, in his way. Not bad for a guy who'd been awake for four days. Dean had yet to sleep since fully waking from the rigors of escaping the revenant that had dogged Sam in Dean's own shoes. Boots, actually.

"Look," Dean said without looking up, "I love science as much as the next geek, but I'm not gonna go trying to explain everything when all that wordiness just gets in the way. There it is. If I can't use it thirty seconds after finding out about it, I don't need it."

The world according to Dean Winchester.

Sam grinned and put his coffee down, and began carefully removing things from the trunk. "Okay, but you have to explain the dreamcatcher."

"Shut up," Dean said. "I don't."