This is a one-shot tag for Hell House with regard to the geeks - Ed and Harry. There is something endearing about them, and something so fun to write about. My inner geek (which tends toward my outer geek more than not) couldn't let these characters go; I had to explore them a little further. There is a bit of dialogue with Sam and Dean, but it is mostly the story of the goings on as they headed west for fame and fortune.
I've never done this kind of story before, but I feel the need to warn you that I know a lot of stuff that would label me a geek. As is my anal nature, there is a bit of research, but I am quite familiar with most of the reference I have made. I'll list them at the end for those that care. The only thing I could not fit in here (although I tried) was a Young MacGyver reference (Richard Dean Anderson is my hero) after I discovered the Jared Padalecki shot the pilot for the WB that never aired. I thought it an odd coincidence how things come full circle.
So here you go. I hope you enjoy. Let me know what you think, and I promise to get back to Cahokia soon - I'm just a little fried from life right now.
Oh yeah, disclaimers - well if I don't get sued over this one I'm doing good. Basically, the only thing I own is the story idea. The characters and the references to all the shows and even the music - it ain't mine.
"I'm telling you, Princess Leia would kick her mom's ass in a fight. It's her destiny," he said in his best Darth Vader voice.
"No way! Amidala is a modern day fighting machine. Look at how she climbed up that pole…"
"I'd like her to climb up my pole." They looked at each other and laughed at the phallic joke. Geeks at work. It took so little to make them horny.
That's what got them through; constant geek talk. Scifi women, especially scantily clad scifi women, with big breasts. It didn't really matter the movie, comic book or TV show, they could do it all. They had done it all; at least in their mind's eye. Buffy, Star Wars, Roswell, X-Men. It didn't matter. Even if it had a woman, they were all over it, wondering what it would take to lure her into their fortress of love; a metallic mobile home currently attached to their too-small-to-be-hauling-a-mobile-home car. Now they had their answer. Money. Well, they always had that answer, but for the first time, it was a reality, and they could taste it the whole drive from Richardson, Texas to Tinsel Town.
Earlier that morning, they'd got a call from a hot shot Hollywood producer who wanted to talk movie deal. Their website, was the source of their "soon to be" instant fortune. Without a thought, they'd packed up and headed out, taking all their worldly possessions with them attached to the roof of their car, including their pink flamingo and their satellite dish with enough amps to send a signal to Mars. Oh yes,
Ed Zeddmore and Harry Spengler were going to be rich, filthy rich. And they would get any woman they wanted. All their hard work had paid off.
A local legend of a haunted house bewitched the paranormal investigators to the old abandoned shack. Lucky for them, two amateur ghost hunters showed up. Actually, though neither geek would admit it, the amateurs had saved their asses - twice. They'd never really gotten the interlopers' names, but when the strangers had been arguing about Mordecai, the ghost haunting the house, the geeks could have sworn that they'd called each other Sam and Dean. It didn't really matter though. They were irrelevant in the scheme of things. After their final post of the demise of the ghost, they had hit the big time.
The "Welcome to New Mexico" sign was their sign to pull over for the night. The paranormal experts had been on the road for about eight of their twenty hour trek and decided they were tired, and needed a joint. The geeks spied a rest stop that allowed overnight parking. They found a place to park the trailer, eat their munchies and get high. Ed pulled out the two bags of junk food they crushed into the back seat, oblivious to the small dead fish under his seat, and headed back to their abode for a night of merriment.
Harry had already unlocked the door and quickly taken off his shoes. He was the insecure one of the two investigators, but his wicked knowledge of the internet and video editing kept him in the hunt. He started to set up the fold out table for their feast, because he knew as soon as Ed walked in the door he would demand it. Surprisingly, there was still cool beer in their fridge, so he took out two and placed them on the table, awaiting Ed's always dramatic arrival. The door swung open and he held the two bags of groceries gesturing for assistance. Harry rushed to his aid like a puppy that had been called by his master and took the sacks. Ed stepped in.
"Tonight, we indulge." He pulled out four freshly rolled joints, two per hand, holding them like a poker hand and made his way further into the trailer. He noticed that Harry had already taken out the table and even had found cold beer. I've trained him well. He sauntered up to the nearest seat and made himself comfortable. Harry joined him and they dug through the two bags of junk food. They pulled out pretzels, twizzlers and Pirate Booty. That name just made them laugh, so they had to buy it even though it was some natural crap made from vegetables. "Relish these days Harry, because we won't see many more of them. No, after we strike our deal, we'll be eating crab legs and caviar." Ed picked up the first of his joints and lit it, inhaling deeply.
"But I'm allergic to shell fish," Harry countered. Ed didn't even hear him as he crunched on the pretzels and took another quick drag. He put his head back against the seat and let it soak in. Harry shrugged and lit his own joint. He looked at it pensively and his naiveté shone through. "Ed, how are we going to find pot once we're in Hollywood?" His future concern did not stop the need for the giddiness and he inhaled deeply.
"Harry. Focus! Once we're in La la land, people will be coming up to us on the corners to sell it. Don't you know that?" Ed grabbed a twizzler and bit both the ends off. Then he decided to split it in half and placed it to the end of the joint. He exhaled, clearing his lungs of all his air and sucked through the twizzler to the joint. It certainly didn't have the drag-ability that mouth to tip had, but it was fun anyway. "Sweet," he said as he nodded his head to the addition of the sugary taste and the smoke. He took the dissected twizzler and chomped the end a few times, loosening it up, before finally devouring it.
Harry looked defeated. "I've never really been anywhere, other than Richardson, and they don't smoke pot on Buffy. Most scifi adventures have their own kind of 'scifi pot.' Well except Roswell used alcohol. Remember that episode where Max accidentally gets drunk and he goes off into some alternate…."
"Harry, you're rambling," Ed cut him off, waving a hand at him before his insipid babbling ruptured his brain cells. He was doing a fine job on his own destroying his gray matter. He didn't need any additional help. "Pot and alcohol are two different things," he confirmed, taking a swig of his beer. "You don't need to worry about this. We'll have so much money, we can grow our own pot in Mexico and have it flown in." Ed raised his bottle and toasted Harry. They clinked bottle and took a swig. Ed's confidence in their website could not be shaken.
"So, when we write the screenplay of Hell House, do you think we could get Jessica Alba to be one of the girls that gets hung? But then she doesn't because she kicks the ghost's ass like those two guys did?" Harry started to get excited about this idea, still oblivious to the fact that they would have been goat fodder had it not been for the two mysterious heroes who risked their lives for them. Of course, it helped that he was really starting to feel the effects of the pot, so everything rolled off his back. "She could come in and get her top ripped off by the axe, and then she'll just be in her bra."
"She's always just in her bra. It's what she does," Ed stated like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "I think we should just make her a ghost hunter, but because she's a girl – oh no, she's a woman – and Mordecai's anger is intensified toward her. Yeah…" He was pleased with his idea, disregarding the fact that it started with Harry, but that was how it usually went.
Their bantering continued until after each of their joints was spent and the food was gone, except for the Pirate Booty. They still pointed at the bag and just giggled. Then they simply slept on the table, not bothering to get the beds out. It was too much work and they were too happy to care about their condition in the morning.
Now that their home was actually mobile, they had no running water. The two investigators found their way to the rest area where they partook in the rather large sink in the men's room. They splashed water on their faces and each took their turns in the stall. When they decided they were less offensive in their odor, they headed out the door and back to their vehicle. Harry made the necessary tie downs inside the trailer and took his place in the passenger's seat. Ed looked at him. "Are you ready number one," he queried at the disheveled man.
"Engage," he countered and made a forward motion with his hand, ending with the point of the finger. Harry loved when they did Next Generation jokes, it reminded him of high school. Not that that was always a good thing, but he really loved Star Trek, so he would take what he could get. The little-engine-that-could roared to life, he hit the gas and they made their way back on the highway. Harry pulled out a lone bag of chips he accidentally found in the back while cleaning up after last night's feast. He opened them and placed them between the seats so they could share their breakfast. Harry also took the opportunity to control the souped up to stereo system and threw in the soundtrack from Return of the King.
Ed dove into the bag without warning and shoved the chips into his mouth, spilling them on his lap. "So I figure," he began with his mouth full, "once we hit City limits, we formulate our official plan, maybe do a storyboard, some treatments etc." Ed screwed up his nose as a foul odor hit him out of nowhere. He looked to his counterpart. "Hey Harry, did you actually put water to your skin, because you smell like a bantha.
Harry had just caught the same whiff and was wondering the same thing about Ed. He would never be so bold as to defy his accusations though. "Yes, I 'showered' the best I could. I even used some Axe. Maybe we stepped in something when we got back into the car." Harry was careful to use the phrase "we" so as not to upset the power balance in the car.
"Yeah, well, it doesn't smell like dog shit, so I don't know how we could have stepped in something." Instinctively he rolled down his window to try and air out the car. He was still convinced it was Harry that was the source of the smell. Do I have to do everything for him?
Harry perked up at the soundtrack. Ignoring Ed's commentary about the essence du jour in the car, he became entranced with the music spilling from the speakers. Pippin, his favorite hobbit, was about to sing to Denethor. This was Harry's ritual. Ed just shook his head knowing there was nothing he could do to interrupt Harry's musical orgasm.
Home is behind the world ahead
and there are many paths to tread.
to the edge of night
until the stars are all alight.
Mist and shadow,
cloud and shade.
Both shall fade,
A tear ran down Harry's face. "It's so beautiful. The emotion, his voice. Man, I wish I was a hobbit." He turned away from the music and looked out the window, suppressing a sob. Ed grabbed another handful of chips, shaking his head.
The long trek continued for another few hours. Luckily it was warm enough that the duo could keep the windows down, masking the smell. Every once in a while, they would get a whiff and Ed countered by hitting the gas pedal, creating a tornado of sorts between the two windows. It was really starting to bother Ed, and he wasn't sure what to do about it.
"You know what we need Har," Ed began adjusting the glasses on his face, "we need Superman! He would know what to do about this smell. He'd use his X-ray vision to figure out what was amiss and destroy it." He glanced at Harry accusingly, but he was oblivious.
"But it would have to be comic book Superman," replied Harry, waving his Superman comic book in front of him. "He just had himself to rely on. No wussy parents. I never understood why Mr. Kent was still alive in Smallville. He's dead in the comics." This was obviously a bone of contention with the milder geek. He preferred the classic versions of things. Ed knew not to even get him started on the new Star Wars movies when it came to plot. Hot chicks aside, the inconsistencies between the new and old movies were Earth shattering.
"Well, they finally killed him off in the series," interjected Ed, now chewing on his straw from their last visit through fast food. "What would have been really cool is if Jason would have actually killed him in the fourth season finale when the meteors hit. He was already mad with rage, blood dripping everywhere and brandishing a shotgun," he paused to remember the scene with fondness. "Jason should have just popped Mr. Kent right there – none of this bullshit running for the senate stuff in season five. Besides, Jason almost banged Lana, so he's ok in my book. Homicidal killing machine with his mouth still on his mommy's teat aside." They both chuckled at their own form of humor, again.
Ed and Harry decided that they would try to go the distance, straight through to LA. They wanted to get there, sign their contract and find a new place for their trailer. It was imperative that they found a location that wouldn't interrupt their satellite coverage. The Hollywood hills were a troublesome spot for those with a television obsession. The sooner the better and it was only another 12 hours to their destiny. They had gone without eating before. There were many times when they were wrapped up online, being warriors or priests on World of Warcraft where hours melted off the clock. This trip would be a breeze.
The sun drew it's final breath as the trailer pushed it's way through the city limits. The Hollywood hills were coming into view. Red and orange painted the sky with a sliver of a moon peeking out over the horizon. The traffic lined the highways for miles and inched along like ants to their winter hibernation. Diesel smell permeated the air and even took away some of the rancid odor in the car.
Ed was getting excited. He always knew he was destined for greatness, and he didn't care what Jenny, his ex-love-interest-but-never-even-touched-her, said. She wasn't even that hot! What does she know? He prided himself on exploring the unknown, risking his life to find that paranormal experience like no other. I did it for the fans. We have a duty to them. When the Hell House was revealed, he knew this was it. It didn't matter who he stepped on to get to the top, he was going to make it. But the fans are important too.
Harry was a lucky find for Ed – a master geek, like himself, but easily molded to fit his needs. It seemed they had been friends for eternity, but in truth, they met online in a Buffy chatroom where Ed started a thread called WWBD – What Would Buffy Do. They realized they had a lot of the same "geek" interests and didn't live far apart. The rest was history. The best part about Harry was that Ed knew he would never say no to him. There was too much respect, but way more fear; and Ed lived on that fear. He dared Harry to say no to him so he could swoop down for the kill. But it would never happen.
"I think we should pull over, do the treatments, get some sleep and hit the lot in the morning," Ed stated suddenly, not giving Harry the opportunity to comply – although he knew he would. He found another rest stop where they could pull over and formulate their plans.
The area was mostly deserted, but still had the necessities for basic hygiene. They freshened up quickly and got to work on their pitch for the morning. Vending machines offered snacks and coffee, both of which they took a rash of for their overnight vigil. They hashed out shots and idea. Ed did the storyboards with overly busty women abound. Of course, they wrote in lead roles for themselves where they each got the girl in the end. After five hours of work, they were satisfied with their piece of art and hit the sack.
The morning sun broke through their disable blinds, spilling patches of light on their sleeping forms. Ed blinked to reality and remembered where he was. It wasn't a dream! He shot up in bed and shook Harry awake. "Hoorah for Hollywood… da da da da da da da da da da," he sang not remembering the words as he picked through his toiletries and made his way to the bathing area. Harry followed suit, as always, and they went to make themselves as presentable as they could. The door closed behind them, leaving the bumper stickers alone in the sun. There were so many interesting comments: Clean House Get Exorcised and I'd rather be surfing, but an odd ray of sunshine shone on the bumper sticker that stated Paranormal Scouting Unit.
The fish lay buried underneath the front seat draped in zebra stripes heading toward the next stage of decomposition.
Harry was torn what to wear when they arrived back in the trailer. While he rarely sported anything but his clay vest littered with buttons, Ed reminded him that this was now the big time and they had to look more presentable.
"Remember, we belong here. This is our shot," Ed looked to Harry who seemed to be hyperventilating. He grabbed him by the shoulders. "Harry, if Dr. Daniel Jackson, a mere civilian with ancient Egyptian knowledge, could take on the galaxy fighting the Gao'uld at the side of Colonel Jack O'Neill, then you can make it through a thirty minute meeting with a Hollywood producer." He slapped his face gently to bring him back around.
Harry shook his head, but looked up, meeting Ed's eyes. He smiled and let out a breath he didn't know he had been holding. "How is it that you always know the right things to say Ed?"
"That's why I'm the leader. I AM Jack O'Neill, and damnit I will have Samantha Carter! Oh yes, she will be mine."
With that, they made their final clothing selections, got dressed in Geek GQ (black t-shirt with insert logo here and blazer, with the option of cargo pants or jeans) and headed back to the car where the overwhelming familiar stench met them head on.
"Shit Ed, what the hell is that," Harry cried as he quickly rolled down the windows with the crank on the door. "Why won't it go away?"
Ed quickly followed Harry's lead and rolled down his window. It was already 8:30am and he wanted to get to the lot ASAP. "We'll just have to deal with it and hope that it gets better. We don't have the time right now." He went to the back of the car and unlatched the trailer, used the locking devices to keep it in place and jumped into the car. They sped off to their meeting with the theme song to Star Trek: The Next Generation blaring from their speakers.
They followed highway 134 into town and made their way to the Warner Brothers lot. Adrenaline rushed through their bodies as the moment neared. They weaved their way through the hills and noticed the WB water tower right away from the distance. There was a line of cars to get into the studio as stragglers from cast and crew calls made their way through the gate. Finally, their turn arrived and the guard questioned their visit. Ed smoothly handed him two cards with his patented flip of the fingers to spread them apart and gave him a winning smile. The guard looked from the card to the two men sitting before him in the car.
"Ed Zeddmore and Harry Spengler, paranormal investigators. What am I supposed to do with this," the guard questioned. He made a motion to another man standing at the gate to join them.
"We're here to see Mr. Dave Matthews. He said to just ask for him when we arrived," interjected Harry, suddenly finding his voice. Ed gave him a look that let him know that he was handling the situation and not to get involved. Harry looked away, dejected.
The man scoffed at him as his partner arrived at his side. "Is this some kind of joke? What the hell are you doing here," the guard spat out, handing the other card to his compatriot. He was about two minutes away from having them towed from the lot.
"D.A.V.E. M.A.T.T.H.E.W.S. told us to come see him when we got into town. You know, the big Hollywood producer, works here, makes movies – usually creepy ones," continued Ed getting impatient with these imbeciles. Why is no one on my level?
The guard leaned into the car, but then thought better of it as he got the whiff of the fish. "Listen, I don't know who you guys think you are, but I have a lot to run. The only Dave Matthews around has a band in Charlottesville, Virginia, and they are currently touring. They aren't hitting LA anytime soon. Either you guys are the stupidest people on Earth, or someone sold you a line." The guard stepped back from the car. "I'm sorry, I'm going to have to ask you to leave." The second guard motioned for them to make their way in the turnaround and head out.
Harry leaned over and spoke to the man, pleading for answers. "He promised us a movie deal and book rights," Ed looked to Harry wondering if this would get them anywhere. They certainly had nothing else to lose. "We have footage of a ghost and we killed it, well, kind of killed it. Ed and I helped. We have the treatments and everything."
He had seen this a million times before, but something about this duo actually gave him a twinge of pain for the two young entrepreneurs. The guard really did feel sorry for them. "I'm sorry. Listen. I have your cards and I'll send them along," he tried to sound encouraging. I can't believe I'm saying this. His partner just lookedat himand shook his head. "Maybe someone will be interested in your story, but for now, I have to ask you to leave." He stepped back and waved forward the next car behind them. The investigators obeyed and made their way back the way they came. Neither spoke as they headed for the hills.
The Chevy Impala grumbled as it made its way down the highway. Its occupants were still recovering from the last hunt. Scrapes and bruises were a routine they had become accustomed to by now. The current goal was to find somewhere to eat and sleep, and then they would decide where their path would take them.
Sam sat in the passenger seat looking pensive, staring out the window. His mind was racing, obviously trapped in a moment that needed all his attention. This was a look that Dean had learned to focus on, and obsess over. For the time being, he was comfortable letting his brother have the 'inside Sammy's freaky brain' moment.
The hunt had not gone as planned. A girl died, and there was no guarantee that Mordecai wouldn't manifest into another thought form down the line. All it would take would be a bunch of people thinking on that symbol from that damn website and he would reanimate into something else. Dean knew that Sam felt the guilt of the girl dying, thinking he had missed something at the library, or on the website. It was his way. We saved others this time, but we can't save them all.
"Hey Sammy," Dean suddenly interjected into his brother's thoughts. Sam snapped from his gaze and stared at his brother.
Dean continued, ignoring the ongoing battle of the nicknames. "Do you think those idiots made it to Hollywood yet," he asked trying to lighten the mood in the car. It was his way.
"I don't know," he said, pulling his fingers through his thick brown hair. "Do you think they found the fish?" A chuckle exited his lips before he even knew it had happened.
Success! "I hid it pretty good. There was a lot of shit in that car. Depends on how bad they wanted to find it." He turned up the stereo a notch to Kansas – Point of No Return.
Sam shook his head, trying to decide which of the two practical jokes on the paranormal investigators was worse. "Man I'm glad we're in truce. You're just evil," Sam said rolling his own window down a bit at the thought of the smell in the car on its way to California.
"Hey Carnac, I'm no the one that sent them halfway across the country," he retorted quickly and added, "when you point one finger at me, there are three pointing back at you," he replied snidely. Sam couldn't help but laugh.
Dean hit the gas and flew down the highway with the keyboard solo in full blast.
The Hell Hounds pulled into the rest area to lick their wounds. They hadn't spoken the whole way back. No music played, no quips back and forth. Nothing. They couldn't believe that someone would do that to them. Why didn't they get a phone number? How were they so easily duped? What the hell was that smell? Suddenly Harry was angry and pushed open the door, whipping off his blazer. He yanked his seat forward and started to pull trash from left and right. He was a man on a mission. Old candy bar wrappers, another bag of chips, action figures, papers, DVDs, bottle caps. There was nothing.
"Get out of the car," he commanded Ed. At a loss for words, Ed did as he was instructed and Harry made his way to the driver's side and pulled that up as well. He found the same types of materials, but he could tell the smell was definitely emanating from his side. Harry smiled slightly, knowing that he finally had one up on Ed. After removing all the garbage that was under the seat, he finally noticed a slight lump under the floor mat. He carefully lifted the flap and there it was. "Argh," he shouted.
"What the hell is it?" Ed shot to Harry's side and saw the decomposing fish with his own two eyes. "Great fortress at Helm's Deep, where did that come from?"
Harry stepped back, starting to piece things together. "It was those guys. The guys from the house. They were mad that we didn't give them credit. We blew them off and they got us back." He found some old napkins and a fast food wrapper and slid the disintegrated marine life out from under the seat. The investigator ran to the nearest garbage can and tossed it in there, holding back the dry heaves that started in his throat. Harry came back sat on the ground, knees to his chest, wondering why the world hated him so much. "We were in their way. We almost screwed it up, we almost died, because all we thought about was the footage."
Ed wanted to tell Harry that he had smoked too much weed, but the realization hit him as well. It all seemed so clear, now that Harry laid it out in black and white. "But that's so…mean," was all he could muster to say. "How could they do that to us?"
Harry looked up with tears in his eyes. "Because it's our lot in life to suffer. We are the punching bags. Geek, nerds, dweebs, dorks. Everyone makes fun of us because they don't get us." He put his head down between his knees and took several breaths to calm himself. Ed just leaned against the car, speechless. "I guess we deserved it though," Harry continued, "They risked our lives for us Ed, and we blew them off. I would be pissed at us too."
Realization seemed to dawn on Ed as well. "I guess we did." His body ran down the side of the car and joined Harry on the ground. The smell from the car was still wafting towards them, but it seemed insignificant now. "Have we been so wrong? We were just trying to get the truth out there."
"As I see it, we have two options." Ed looked at Harry in anticipation. "Remember when Faith and Buffy were slaying and Faith accidentally killed that guy, and he was human? Faith had a choice – she could go to the police and own up to the murder, or she could turn and run, which eventually led to the dark side. Which path do you think we should take?"
Ed looked thoughtfully at his partner. While he loved to kick him around at his whimsy, he was glad he was here beside him, although he would probably never admit that. He was the best friend a geek could have. "I'm going to have to get back to you on that one Har."
A lone card skipped in the breeze. It flew up and down, weaving between feet and finally landed in front of a tall, lean man. He eyed the paper being held by his toe. Something about the design intrigued him and he bent to pick it up. He studied it carefully and turned it over in his hand. The man wasn't sure why he kept it, but he smiled and placed the card in his pocket. He walked with purpose back into the building to his massive suite on the third floor, acknowledging all the waves and "good mornings" he received. He closed the door behind him and turned his computer on….
They really are fun characters. I hope they decide to bring them back for another show - the revenge of the nerds! Hmm, that sounds familiar! Would love to hear your thoughts. I know this isn't a typical Supernatural fic, but I just felt it needed to be written. :D
References: Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate Sg-1, Buffy, Lord of the Rings, World of Warcraft (online video game - no personal knowledge.Ex used to play it all the time), Smallville, Roswell, Superman. Wayne'sWorld. I also have no personal knowledge of smoking a joint through a twizzler, but it seemed a funny thing to write about. Man, I AM a geek!