This is a sequel, of sorts, to In the Pursqueeter, but you don't have to have read that one to read this one. But, then again, I'm now a review-addict, so, yes, you DO have to read and review that one! Hee!
A little setup, this is AU from the show proper, carrying on the sequence of events from the prior story: Sam killed his Dad in order to kill the demon, Dean spent a week in the hospital, and then the boys stayed at Missouri's for two months before heading to see Sarah in New York.
And, yes, that means the Impala survived, since the showdown ended in that shack.
That's just the basics. The details of the previous story, if mentioned here at all, will be explained as we go.
A quick thank you goes out to eddy6401 for giving me an idea for part of this first chapter.
I don't own anything Supernatural. Reviews welcomed.
That Old Black Magic
Atlantic Ocean, 80 miles East of Long Island.
Dean was going to be sick, miserably, disgustingly sick. And Sam was going to be drowned if he didn't stop smirking in Dean's direction, he just knew it. Who knew the great Dean Winchester could be afraid of both flying and boating. Motion sickness. Well, that certainly explains why he never sleeps in the back seat while I drive….
He wanted to make fun of his older brother, he wanted to so badly, because he knew that Dean would be merciless if there positions were reversed. But Sam just couldn't bring himself to do it. Not after everything Dean had done for him during the last few weeks of his recovery. Dean had been there for him every moment of every day, practically, while Sam struggled to overcome the horrible nightmares, flashbacks and panic attacks that followed his abduction and torture. Fucking vampires….
He owed a lot to Sarah too, for that matter.
They'd been at Sarah's home in New York for three weeks now, and Sam couldn't remember ever being happier. Not even with Jessica. He wondered if that had anything to do with the fact that he didn't have to lie to Sarah about his "profession" the way he'd had to lie to Jess. Sarah had first hand experience with it, after all. Dean had been having a blast too, it seemed, constantly playing matchmaker between Sam and Sarah. No matter how many times Sam had asked him to stop.
Dean had been having alot of fun, that is, until yesterday. Sarah had suggested taking her father's boat out from Long Island for a day or two of deep sea fishing, which neither Winchester had done before. Sam had been excited, but had noticed Dean growing more and more anxious the closer they got to the waterfront. Once out in the water, Sam figured it out. Not that it was difficult, since the first heavy swell had sent Dean racing for the side and…well, scaring the fish away, that's for sure.
He knew that Dean had slept all of two hours the night before, spending most of his time hunched over the toilet in the boat's small bathroom. Sam had offered to stay with him instead of Sarah, but Dean had stubbornly banished Sam from his presence. He never likes anyone to see him sick, Sam thought, At least he only threw up that one time….
Sam stared out at the shimmering water, which was relatively calm despite Dean's stomach's opinion. He found it hard not to get distracted by this view. It was peaceful. Truly peaceful. Out here it was easy to forget the tumultuous events that had all but wrecked the brothers' lives these last few months. Or maybe pretend that they had happened to someone else. He thought of his dad…something that until recently he had absolutely refused to do. It was difficult for Sam to think about his father without remembering that he was the one who had fatally shot him. The fact that his Dad had been possessed by the demon that they'd been hunting all their lives, and that killing him had saved Dean's life, did very little to soothe his conscience as it turned out. He had Dean's forgiveness, but he wasn't sure he'd ever have his own.
If all that wasn't bad enough, on the way here they'd been ambushed in Ohio by Kate and her regrouped gang of bloodsuckers, who'd seen fit to capture and brutally torture him for two days before Dean came to the rescue. Despite the progress he had made here in New York, part of Sam still wondered if that wasn't Fate's way of punishing him for murdering his father.
Stop it. It wasn't murder. I had to save Dean.
Another heaving sound brought Sam's wandering attention back to his ailing brother. Dean was actually green. I thought that was just a figure of speech. He reached out and placed a steadying hand on Dean's back, rubbing in a slow circle.
"Take it easy, man. Why don't you move to center of the boat? Might not rock so much there."
"Why don't you shut the hell up, Sammy?" Dean groused.
Grumpy as usual. "Get up on the wrong side of the boat this morning?"
Dean's glare forced Sam to laugh. His brother had a real temper when he was sick, and apparently, when he was nauseous. Sam stifled the laugh before Dean grew fratricidal, but continued to rub Dean's back. Dean didn't shrug him off, despite his bad mood…which just meant that he was really sick. Sam stood and pulled Dean off the rail to the center of the deck. He pushed Dean down so that he was sitting cross-legged on the wood.
"Stay here, I'll be right back."
Dean said nothing, probably fearing what might come out of his mouth…besides vitriol. Sam smiled and went into the deckhouse and looked for the medicine cabinet. Sarah climbed up from the sleeping area on the lower deck right about that time.
"Hey, babe, catch anything?"
Sam laughed, nodding in the direction he'd just come, "Just a Hardheaded Shark."
Sarah grinned as she leaned in to kiss him, placing her arms around his midsection. Out of recent habit, Sam shifted slightly to keep pressure off the burn scars along his lower abdomen, having to remind himself that they were healed already. Sarah, unfortunately, noticed, and spoke quietly in his ear.
"You were out of bed before I was this morning…everything okay?"
Sam instantly recognized the question for what it was, once again marveling at how both Sarah and Dean spoke the same secret language. 'You got up early, everything okay?' in this situation meant 'did you have another nightmare that you're not telling me about.' Sarah and Dean were a perfect team, being able to catch Sam internalizing and deflecting nearly all of the time. While some childish part of him resented being so easily read, the rational parts of his brain chorused that this psychiatric tag-teaming of his brother and…lover, he supposed was the best word, since she seemed more than a girlfriend now…had helped his recovery immensely.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I just wanted to see the ocean this morning," he replied.
"Are you lying to me, Sam?" she asked coyly, pressing against him.
Sam sighed, unable to stop his physical reaction to her proximity, "Hmm…I don't think I can lie to you…you're out of my league…."
She laughed, releasing him, and noticing his sudden lack of direction, asked "What'd you come in here for?"
"Hmm? Oh…oh! Yeah. Just these," when the blood finally returned to his brain, he held up the box of sea-sick patches, "For Dean."
She jerked her head towards the door, "Gone on, before he gets any sicker. Martin doesn't want him throwing up on the deck again."
Sam nodded and rushed out, not wanting to incur the wrath of the cantankerous boat-master again. Who knew that an old yachtsman in his sixties could be so intimidating to people who hunted evil for a living? Martin worked for Sarah's dad, though, and he definitely didn't want---
He stopped, not really knowing where that line of thought was taking him. He shrugged it off and rejoined Dean on---what did Martin call it? The quarterdeck. Right.
He found Dean sitting where he'd left him, head in hands and moaning softly. It was probably the most vulnerable he'd ever seen his older brother, and that included that terrible week in the hospital after the fight with the demon. Sam pushed those memories away forcefully. It's over.
"Hey, let me put this on behind your ear, it'll help a little. Well, eventually."
Dean glanced warily at the little Band-Aid-like patch, but shrugged, too miserable to complain. Sam stuck the patch on and went back to his seat at the back. He watched Dean for a minute, and then went back to staring at the ocean. Dean's wobbly voice startled him a little.
"You okay, Sammy?"
He glanced back at Dean with a smirk, "You're the one who's sick."
Dean frowned at him in return, and Sam sighed, "I'm fine. Why don't either of you believe that I just got up early?"
Dean's frown lessened somewhat, he made a conciliatory gesture with one hand, keeping the other hovering near his throat, "I believe you."
Sam decided not to push the issue, and went back to looking out at the water. He readjusted himself and retrieved his rod and reel from where he'd left it when Dean started heaving before. He sent the line back out into the water. He wasn't really good at fishing, and he probably wasn't doing this right. The only way he knew what to do with the rod and reel at all was from a few weekends spent with Pastor Jim and catching those bass shows on cable a few times. Outdoor sports weren't high on their Dad's list of activities when they were growing up. And Dean had usually complained about being bored when they tried to go fishing back then. Dean spoke again, a little closer this time. Sam turned slightly to see that Dean had moved to the rail and taken the chair beside him. He was still green, but was clearly fighting back and gaining a little control. His voice was still shaky, though.
"You know…I saw once that they…made Jaws out here. Think we'll see a shark?"
Sam rolled his eyes, "I think that was a puppet or something, not a real shark…."
Dean replied by smacking him in the back of the head, "I know that, dufus…I'm just saying---"
Dean was cut off when something snagged Sam's fishing line. Sam was surprised at first, but regained his senses in time to grab a tighter hold of the rod before it flew out of the boat. When he was actually jerked forward by it, he yelped, and Dean grabbed on and tried to help. Then they saw the fish. It was HUGE. Well, any fish is huge to people who never been this close, I guess…. Sam's internal monologue was interrupted when the fish made another attempt to get away, and he and Dean pulled back on the rod with all their might.
The rod apparently thought that was a good time to snap in two.
A sudden feeling of weightlessness, the rapid scenery change from blue sea to blue sky, and the hard impact of solid wood on his back told Sam what happened before his brain could connect the dots. He lay there, flat on the deck, panting and trying to wrap his brain around that fact that the two mighty hunters, Dean and Sam, had just been beaten…by Charlie Tuna. Or one of his cousins, anyway. He glanced over at Dean, who lay similarly prostate beside him, and was also gathering his thoughts, it seemed. Sam couldn't help the goofy grin that snuck onto his face.
"I think we need a bigger boat."
New Paltz, New York. The next day.
Sam was brought to consciousness by the incessant, nerve-racking sound of a phone ringing. It was one of those damned phones that rang like an electronic cricket. God, those are obnoxious…. He tried to ignore it, but every ring seemed to shred any chance he had of making back to sleep. He slowly raised his head out of the warm sandwich created by his pillow and Sarah's hair to look out into the darkened room. He spotted the clock, but had to squint to make out the time through his bleary, sleep-deprived eyes. With a groan he made out 7:30 AM. He dropped his head back to the pillow just as the phone started ringing again. He sighed, and swallowed a few times to prepare his mouth to speak. He started drifting off again in between the mind-rending rings.
"P…one…inging…." he mumbled.
"Hmm?" the lump of hair and blankets next to him muttered back.
"The phone…ringing…." he repeated into the hair.
He sighed, and finally cleared his throat, "The phone is ringing."
Sarah's face emerged from the blankets, and immediately burrowed deeper into his bare chest, as if trying to hide from the noise. The hateful ringing continued.
She groaned, "Alright…alright…where is it? Oh…." She fumbled with the receiver and managed with some difficulty to hit the ON button, "'Ello? Hmm? Dad?"
Sam blinked at that. Her dad hadn't called her very often during these last few weeks. She was officially on vacation, and her dad was reportedly quite busy with the preparations of some big estate auction. He listened to Sarah's side of the conversation. He knew her well enough by now to know that the discussion wasn't going her way.
"Well can't Robert or Terry--- Okay…okay…I'll call you back in a little while. Yeah…yes…bye, Dad."
Sarah placed the phone back on its pedestal with a loud, exasperated sigh. She turned back to face Sam. He eyed her with curiosity, idly wondering just what could possibly upset such a beautiful creature in the morning. She smiled brightly at him…the kind of smile that told everyone you had bad news, but didn't want to talk about it yet. She wrapped her arms back around him, and exhaled slowly. Her grin took on a wicked look as she snuggled closer.
"That wasn't the most restful night we've ever had was it?"
Sam smiled and nuzzled her skin where the shoulder and neck met, "No…but it was one of the most fun…."
Sarah giggled at that, "Sam…hmm," she began, before she realized he wasn't listening to her anymore, not that she minded what he was doing instead, but… "Sam. Mmm…Sam…Sam!"
He pulled back in surprise, "Yeah?"
She frowned dejectedly, "I have to go to work."
Sam joined her in frowning, "What? But, I thought you were on vacation for like…another week?"
She ran her hands up and down his arms, "I am---was... Dad needs someone to go down to Louisiana and pick up something for an auction next week. He's tied up with that estate clearing, and he wants someone he can trust…apparently this thing is rare and expensive…supposedly. I think he just wants someone to go that he doesn't have to pay overtime on a weekend…."
Sam's frown deepened, "Oh." He realized suddenly that he didn't want to leave so soon. He certainly didn't want her to leave. His mood shift must have caught her attention.
"Sam? You okay?"
He forced a smile, "Yeah."
She frowned at him, reading his moods again, "Sam…you guys don't have to leave, I'll be back in a couple of days, and we can pick up…ahem…where we left off." She punctuated her statement by kissing him. That wicked grin appeared again. Sam couldn't keep a similar grin off his own face, despite the bad news of Sarah's leaving. He pulled her closer with a sigh. But she resisted this time.
"Hey…why don't you two come with me?"
"It's just a meeting with a dealer and some money changing hands. Usually I spend most of the time on these trips waiting for the other guy to show. I'll have nothing to do…you and Dean can keep me occupied."
Sam raised his eyebrows at that, and she amended, "Well…YOU can keep me 'occupied,' how about that?"
I do like the sound of that plan. He nodded slowly, "I'll have to ask Dean. Hey, wait…you gonna fly? 'Cause Dean can't fly."
Sarah frowned, "He can't fly either? You know, for someone who eats the way he does he has an awfully weak stomach."
Sam laughed, "Yeah, he's a mystery."
"Well," Sarah continued, "that's not a problem either. We can drive down. I'll push the meeting back until Monday and we can drive down tomorrow. Problem solved."
Her excitement rallied his mood, but he hesitated, "You sure about this? I mean, if your dad---"
"Dad doesn't need to know everything."
Doesn't need to…hang on…. "Wait. You haven't told him about…us have you?"
Sarah flashed that smile again, the one that made him give in every time they argued, "That a problem?"
"Well, he…I don't think…he doesn't like us, remember? The little confrontation at the auction house over the Telesca painting?"
Sarah grinned, "You mean Dean…he doesn't like Dean."
Sam couldn't fight the smile that tugged at his mouth, "Yeah, but by extension---"
"Doesn't matter. I don't need my father's permission to date a guy…nor do, you know…what we were doing last night…."
Sam felt the blush warm his face, but didn't object. Sarah didn't give him time anyway.
"So, you go wake up Dean, and tell him what's going on. Let him decide."
She all but pushed him out of the bed. Sam took a moment to reassemble his clothes and put them on, and then gave her one final kiss before leaving her to get ready.
Dean rested his head on his hand, leaning on the kitchen counter, drinking coffee and reading the newspaper. He felt like he'd been up all night. Because I HAVE been up all night. Stupid little brother….
He had gotten in at three, after a very pleasant night with Lizzy, the waitress he'd met at dinner the previous night. Shore leave rocks…. He had it all planned out, sneak in, collapse in his guest room and sleep until about noon. Okay, it was a simple plan, but he had meant to enjoy it. That is, until he heard the commotion from across the hall. He'd finally given up on sleep around sunrise, and retreated downstairs to watch TV and doze uncomfortably on the recliner.
Jesus, Sammy, ALL NIGHT? His brother was such a repressed perv. He tried to rationalize that, unlike his much wiser (and better looking) big brother, Sammy had spent most of the previous year all pent-up and bitchy…but his lack of sleep prevented any kind of sympathy from forming. He'd have to find a good excuse to get the lovebirds out of the house for the day and maybe then he could crash. But where to send them? The sound of footsteps on the stairs interrupted his plotting.
He glanced up to see the Little Perv himself gallop down the stairs, looking all proud of himself. Ughhh…afterglow isn't something you want to see on your younger brother….
"Hey, Dean…you're already up."
"That college education really paid off for you, didn't it, Sammy?" Dean groused back, not taking his eyes off the paper. Sam didn't seem to notice the barb.
"So, what time'd you get in last night? You look like cr---" Dean's glower cut him off, "---er, like…you're…tired," Sam recovered quickly.
"I got in at three."
Sam looked a little confused, "Couldn't sleep?"
Dean grinned inwardly, payback is sweet. "Nah, someone had this porno film turned up real loud in the room across the hall…every time I tried to sleep the noise woke me up."
Dean relished the sight of the blood draining from Sam's face. Busted….
"Um…I…we…uh…" Sam stammered. Dean was finding it harder to keep that internal grin off his face. Sam looked around to see if they were alone and whispered, "I didn't think we made that much noise…."
Dean's valiant efforts failed, and he almost spewed coffee when the laughter came. Sam's mortification made last night's discomfort worth it.
"Dean, I'm so sorry…."
Dean took pity on his little brother, which was probably a sign of going soft, and waved him off, "Heh. It's okay, Sammy. Though I think now you owe me, since I've never kept you up all night when I got lucky."
Sam started to speak, but froze, his own glower forming, "Wait…yes you have! You made me sleep in the car that night in North Dakota so you could have the room!"
Dean tried to remember, Oh, yeah…hee… "That's different; at least you could sleep peacefully."
"It was like 10 degrees outside, and the passenger side window was jammed open from where that werewolf had hit it."
Dean's frown deepened, "Yeah…well…it's…you're a perv. And your shirt's on backwards."
Sam glanced down, and started struggling to turn his shirt around, Dean snickered.
"Jerk," Sam muttered.
Dean jumped at the sound of Sarah's voice. She looked amused as she entered the room.
"You two decide what you're going to do?"
Dean pursed his lips in confusion, "About?"
Sam chimed in, "Oh…yeah. Sarah got called down to Louisiana. She wants to know if we want to go along."
"To Louisiana? For what?" Dean asked.
Sarah took the cue, "My dad wants me to go down and pick up some piece that he's been looking for…spent years asking around, and finally found it and someone willing to sell. You interested in coming along?"
Dean frowned again, that sounded kinda dull. He looked over at Sam, who was trying his best to look noncommittal, but Dean could tell he didn't want to leave Sarah yet. He recognized the look. It was Sam's "don't make me, please" look. Sam had never been able to disguise that one, and Dean had never been able to refuse it.
Frankly, though he would never admit to Sam, Dean wasn't all that keen on jumping back into hunting full-time yet. He hadn't abandoned it, by any means, but the last three months had been pretty rocky…and exhausting. Sam's long recovery had taken its toll as well…but that was something else he wouldn't bring up. He wouldn't want Sam to think he'd been a burden. He hasn't been.
"Okay, if you want us to go, we'll go," Dean announced, he ignored the obvious look of relief on Sam's face, "but we're driving down."
Sarah seemed happy as well, "Alright, I'll make the arrangements. I gotta see if I can get a hold of this Marie Babineaux, too. Need to meet her on Monday."
Dean looked up sharply at that, "Wait…who? Did you say Marie Babineaux?"
Sarah stared blankly at him, "Yeah, why?"
Sam was watching him quizzically, "Dean? What is it?"
Dean put on his best poker face and shrugged, "Nothing, I thought…no…I was thinking of somebody else, don't worry about it." He returned his face to the newspaper. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Sarah shrug and leave the room. Crap…crap, crap, crap….
A hand appeared at the top of the page and pushed it down to the countertop. Sam was staring at him with a Don't-Lie-to-Me look on his face.
Dean put his I-Only-Lie-When-It's-for-Your-Own-Good-Sammy look on and stared back, "Hmm?"
"Who is this woman? How do you know her?"
He asks too many questions….
He didn't want to get into it, but he was too tired to go ten rounds with Sam Winchester, P.I. He sighed.
"Remember when I came to get you at Stanford?" Sam nodded, "Remember I said I'd been working this voodoo thing near New Orleans?" Sam nodded again, "Well, Marie Babineaux was the woman I was helping. She was into some freaky shit, too. Bad news."
"You think she's…what? You think she's trouble?"
Dean glanced in the direction Sarah had gone, "I…no…she was the victim not the problem. I just think we should keep our eyes open. I wouldn't want Sarah getting…." He trailed off, noting the look that appeared in Sam's eyes. Fear. He knew Sammy's worst fear was that something might happen to Sarah…something like what had happened to Jess. He knew that fear had almost derailed the whole relationship from the get-go. He changed his tone, "…I wouldn't want Sarah getting involved in anything bad while she's down there."
Sam still looked worried; he glanced at the door Sarah had left through, all traces of the good mood he'd been in gone, "Yeah…."
I wish I hadn't brought it up, now. He didn't like Worried Sam. Angry Sam, Sad Sam, and Guilty Sam were bad enough, but Worried Sam got to him, made Dean worry, and he hated to worry any more than he had too. It took years off his good looks. He tried to head it off before it festered.
"Hey, Sammy, don't worry, man. Everything will be alright. We'll be there with her. And then she'll be back here, helping you keep me up all night in no time."
Sam looked unconvinced; he kept staring out the door, "Yeah…."
Dean sighed. He really wished he'd kept his mouth shut.
A/N: I know this first chapter is a little slow, but this was mainly setup. I'll try to update as soon as possible.