A/N: Thanks to everyone who has reviewed this story so far! I apologize for the big delay in updating: I've had to deal with the neighbors from hell at home, and stupid has broken out at work. As a result I'm feeling a little mean, and this story is gonna take a dark turn, so I hope you enjoy it.
The Tom Blake character was inspired by actor Michael Madsen. I'm still a big fan of his short-lived tv show "Vengeance Unlimited"some years back. As a matter of fact, I lifted his line about "Touched By An Angel" directly from the show.
Chapter 4. Dead Day Afternoon
Don't you ask me why and when,
I will never tell,
Life was so much stranger then,
But that's all Gone to Hell.
(Motorhead, All Gone to Hell)
The bank looks just like the one they cased in Tucson, Arizona: small, fake marble everywhere, large glass windows. Customers are everywhere, people bustling back and forth in the noon time rush to conduct business on their lunch hour, and Dean stands in the middle of the lobby trying to blend in with the crowd.
Through the large glass windows he can see cars moving back and forth in the streets. Blue skies, bright desert sunlight. Normal everyday stuff.
Dean's gotten used to weird happening in broad open daylight. His only reaction is to look around, and shrug his shoulders. He refuses to let himself consider what that says about his mental state of mind. It's one of the requirements of the job, he thinks, and leaves it at that.
Across the way, Sam's leaning on one of the customer service counters, having a fine old time chatting up a tall, slim black woman who is obviously enjoying his attention. Sam smiles at her, all bright eyed, long limbed and relaxed, and that's fine, but that sure in the hell wasn't the way Sam looked the last time Dean saw him.
"Hey, Bud. Good to see you again," a voice behind Dean rumbles, and he turns around and sees Tom Blake, one of his father's friends.
One of his father's dead friends.
Blake's standing there smiling, looking just as hale and hearty as he did before he walked out of that First Federated Bank in New Orleans and smack into a hail of police bullets. He's dressed in a black business suit and tie, white shirt, so he looks normal enough, but the duffle bag on his back and the wicked looking assault rifle slung over one shoulder does seem a little alarming, especially in a bank.
Dean blinks slowly. "Am I dead?"
"Nope, not yet."
"Oh." Dean cocks his head to one side, grimaces as he rubs his neck. That spot between his neck and shoulder hurts like a son of a bitch. He raises an eyebrow at Blake. "But you're dead."
"As a doornail." Blake agrees, nodding. "Excessive consumption of lead will do that for ya."
"Uh huh." Dean glances over at Sam, who's still mightily working his puppy-dog charms on Miss Thang. Ordinarily Dean would just stand there, grin and enjoy the show, but something about this just isn't right. Blake sees the frown on his face and takes him by the arm.
"Come on, walk with me. Your brother's okay for now. We can talk while I do this."
Blake walks over to one of the tellers with a look on his face that clearly says time to give it up, bitch. He raises the assault rifle, pushes the duffel bag over the counter, and the teller starts shoveling bundles of money into the duffel.
Dean scans the room for the security guard. The guard's a tall blonde dude, young, no pot belly, looks fit. Probably washed out of the police department for some reason and decided the next best thing would be work as an armed rent-a-cop. The guard gets up and starts walking towards them, and Dean backs up, cursing under his breath, pulls his pistol from his waistband.
The guard walks right by, doesn't even glance at them, and goes over to the Commercial Accounts teller, leans on her counter and asks her what time she goes on lunch break..
Nobody notices a damned thing.
Dean stands there feeling foolish. He could jump up on the counter and strip down to his underwear, dance an Irish jig and nobody would freaking notice. Blake turns around just as Dean lowers the gun and tucks it back in his waistband. He laughs like hell at the gun and the startled look on Dean's face.
"Aw, that's cute, Winchester. Still trigger happy, huh? You coulda helped us rob that bank, but as I recall John wouldn't let you."
Dean growls at him.
Blake shrugs. "Listen, junior, we don't have time to stand around and jaw about old times. My employer wants me to give you this." He turns and sticks his hand out. Dean hesitates, finally sticks his hand out. He peers at the object in his palm. Hard and round, it looks like a marble.
A freakin' marble the color of an eggplant, a deep dark purple.
"What the hell is it?"
"It's an antidote for that spell Azareth hit you boys with. There's just enough for one person."
Blake cuffs Dean upside the head. "Come on, work with me, Dean. I know you're smarter than you let on." The younger man glares at him, rubs his head. "Your family must've really pissed off the guys I work for. That's the bad news. The good news is they can't stand that blonde witch-bitch, either. So they decided to fuck with all three of you at the same time. One dose of antidote. The real deal. For you or your brother. Not both. You guys get to chose."
"And why the hell should I believe you?"
"Believe it or don't. I don't care which," Blake grumbles. "I'm supposed to give this to you. I gave it to you. Sometimes the major players like to interfere with each other. This is one of those times. So before you say anything else, remember, kid," he winks at Dean, "this ain't no rescue."
Dean slips the marble into his jacket pocket. He feels damned stupid about even holding on to the damned thing, but he's too friggin' tired to fight with an hallucination over one stupid detail. His neck hurts.
The duffel is finally filled up with cash, and Blake grins, swings it onto his back. He smiles and winks at the teller. He puts an arm around Dean's shoulders and they start walking towards the door.
Right then and there Dean takes one look out the door at the street and stops dead in his tracks. He grabs Blake's arm, backs up, turns halfway around looking for Sam.
The street is filled with SWAT teams, heavily armed cops, and squad cars, all arranged in a semi-circle, all crouched behind open car doors and emergency vehicles. Every weapon is pointed at the entrance.
All the cops' eyes are totally black.
Blake laughs. "Oh, it's just a little something I have to go thru every once in a while. Don't worry about it." He claps Dean on the shoulder and raises the assault rifle. "Say hi to your Dad for me."
For once in his life, Dean is speechless. No smart-ass remarks. He's got nothing. The best he can do is stand there and keep his mouth from hanging open.
Blake walks forward, turns, his face split into a wide sardonic grin, and says, "Remember that show, 'Touched By An Angel'?"
"Well, this ain't it. You gotta choose, Bud. You or your brother."
He turns and walks out the door.
Dean genuinely liked Blake when he was alive. He might have been a career criminal, but Blake was one of the few people who could hang around Papa Winchester, disagree with him, and never lose his cool, or try to shoot the elder Winchester. Blake never talked down to Dean because he was younger, and he always seemed to be genuinely interested in whatever Dean had to say. When Dean heard the news that Blake had been killed he actually became depressed, and the sure cure for that was to track down a murderous phantom dog and slaughter the evil bastard.
Dean has absolutely no desire to see this. He flinches when he hears the big guns open up outside. His face is set in a tightly held grimace, and if he hears screaming over the gunfire he thinks he might very well lose it. He turns quickly on his heel and something slams into his face and rocks his head back, hard.
...son of a bitch...
While he doesn't lose consciousness all the way things do get slow and fuzzy. Dean actually takes two wobbly steps backwards. He feels his legs fold up underneath his body, and on the way down he looks up into the totally black eyes of a uniformed cop holding his rifle like a club. The cop is grinning like a maniac.
This is seriously fucked up, Dean thinks to himself, and he feels his ass thump onto the floor.
He grunts, and feels his vision blur. He doesn't like not being able to see, especially with Officer Friendly standing in front of him with a loaded rifle and no qualms about using it. Rubbing at his eyes and shaking his head doesn't clear his vision, and he starts to panic, especially when he hears movement in front of him.
Dean blinks rapidly. He swings his head around in the direction of the voice but his eyes aren't working and he can't see a damned thing. "Sam?"
Dean feels a slight headache start at his right temple, and he sighs. "I feel like shit."
"You look like shit too, dude, " Sam drawls.
"Thanks for the update, Katie Couric." Frowning, he stares at his brother, struggles to focus his eyes. His vision improves when three blurred Sams dissolve into just one Sam-sized blur. "You don't look much better from where I'm sitting."
He squints as he looks around the cabin. "Damn, they brought us back here," he mutters to himself. He looks down at his clothes, and expects to see them all ripped to pieces and splattered with his own blood. Dean's surprised to find everything in place. Not even a button missing.
Sam sits there, back against the foot of the bed, shoulders slumped, hands cradled limply in his lap. His long legs are spread out in front of him.
"They used Jessica on you, didn't they?"
He sees the pained look on his younger brother's face as Sam nods and looks away.
"It was Cassie at first. Then...that vampire chick. The one Dad nailed with the arrow."
"Why? They're fucking with us," Dean growls. "That's what this is. I am going to kill every Godforsaken fucker who has anything to do with this unholy fucking mess."
Sam gives a dry chuckle. "You used the F word three times in one sentence. Dude, I think that's a personal best for you."
Dean straightens up, despite the twinge in his lower back. "Well, it's a good solid word that perfectly fits this occasion," he says deadpan. He tries to stand up, but his body bitches about the change in position and his ass lands back on the floor with a thump. "I meant to do that," he mutters quietly.
It takes an effort to get on his hands and knees and crawl over to where Sam is.
As soon as he sits down next to Sam, Dean promptly cuffs him upside his shaggy head.
"Ow! What the hell was that for?"
"Damn it, Sam, didn't I tell you to leave? Why didn't you run? What part of 'go' did you not understand?"
Sam figures now is not the time to remind Dean that he was obviously incoherent at the time, but Sam also has to admit that Dean saying "go" was clear enough. He rubs the back of his head. "Oh, you were serious?"
Dean looks at him, notices how pale Sam is, sees the dark circles under his eyes, and whacks him upside the head again, this time a much lighter tap.
"I said leave. No sense in both of us getting snatched."
"Would you have left me?"
"Don't change the subject. We're not talking about me, we're talking about you." Dean snaps, which translates to "Hell, no!" and Sam knows it, too. Annoyed, Dean shifts uncomfortably.
"Hey look, this conversation is heading dangerously close to a damn chick flick moment, so let's drop it right now." He frowns and rolls his shoulders, then his back.
"What the hell– " Dean reaches back, underneath his jacket, and pulls the .45 pistol out of his waistband.
He and Sam stare at each other, warily. Dean pulls the clip on the weapon.
A full clip.
Dean sighs. "Yep. This just keeps getting better and better." He replaces the clip, puts the gun back in his waistband. He looks at his brother. "Nothing says 'Your ass is toast' better than the bad guys letting you have your fully loaded weapon, like nothing's gonna make any difference."
"Uh, I hate to be the one to mention this," Sam says slowly, "but in some ancient cultures it was common to lock two condemned men together in a cell with one weapon. The guards would take bets on who would win the fight." He looks around the cabin, frowns. "We're not locked in, though. I don't get it."
Dean nods. "Two men enter, one man leaves."
Sam looks at him, puzzled.
"Mad Max, Beyond Thunderdome. Mel Gibson. Tina Turner." Sam finally gets it, and nods. Dean snorts, rolls his eyes. "And that's the value of a college education for you."
"Dean, that's not exactly the same scenario. You're a jackass, you know that?" Sam exclaims angrily. He doesn't know why he's angry.
Dean can't resist sniping back. "Yeah, I'm a jackass whose dummy brother doesn't know the meaning of the word 'go'. You ready for your close-up, Tina?"
They sit in silence for a minute or so, and avoid looking at each other. Dean rolls his neck for what seems to be the fifth or sixth time, which for the fifth or sixth time doesn't seem to help. Sam lowers his head and stares at his hands in his lap. His hair hangs in his eyes.
Sam breaks the silence first: "Hey look man, you're right. I should have left like you told me to..."
Dean waves a hand dismissively. "Jeez, dude, step away from the guilt. What's done is done. What did the one that grabbed me look like?"
"It was a girl."
Sam grins. "A woman. Tall. Blonde. Young. Reddish gold eyes."
Dean leans forward, smirks. "Was she naked?"
"No, you pervert. She was dressed in a long purplish black dress. As soon as she touched you you blacked out, like she gave you an electric shock or something."
Without realizing it, Dean frowns, reaches a hand up and rubs his chest over his heart. He'd had enough of electricity when he was accidentally electrocuted with that rawhead several months back. His gaze becomes distant with that memory, then sharpens again. "Uh, she got me from behind, that's why–"
"Dude, even if you'd had your gun out it wouldn't have made any difference. She did something to you before she even touched you. Had you on your knees, Rambo. She handled you like a rag doll, you jerk."
"Yeah, whatever, bitch." Dean sits up straighter, all big brother and boss alpha male, and stares Sam directly in the eye. "And apparently she handled your happy ass right after that."
"Well, yeah." Sam says somewhat sheepishly.
As soon as he feels steady enough on his feet, Dean prowls around the room, aiming the EMF meter into corners. He's got his pearl handled .45 out and the weight of the gun feels good in his hand. Sam sits on his bed, watching him, frowning. Dean checks the bathroom, stands in the doorway sweeping the small room with the EMF and the .45 is slightly raised, just in case.
"Hey, after they finish make sure they flush, all right?" Sam says.
Dean cocks his head to one side, keeps an eye on the indicator needle. "Bathroom humor from Joe College. Gee, I don't know, that's kind of low-brow for you, isn't it?"
"Nope!" Sam actually giggles and collapses on the bed, laughing.
Dean stops and stares at him, then slowly shakes his head. He figures that after all they've gone thru, Sam's moods are swinging all over the damn place. That's emotional stuff, and Dean doesn't really know how to deal with that. He can stitch up a wound, and set a broken arm, but the chick flick stuff, well, that he'd rather not deal with. Push come to shove, though, he'll let Sam have his chick flick moment so they can move past it. He'll have to.
What if that bitch comes back and they have to fight her off?
Not that the first time went all that fucking well.
He sweeps the room with the EMF meter and gets nothing, not a squawk from the damned thing.
Now for the front door. Still open. The Impala sits gleaming blackly out in the noonday sun. It's broad open daylight, as they say, which sure in the hell doesn't make him feel any safer.
He sweeps the doorframe and all spaces in between with the meter. Still nothing. He checks the readings, thinks at first that it isn't even working, but it is. He should know, he built the damned thing from scratch.
It's telling him that there's nothing there, but the hair standing on the back of his neck is telling him otherwise.
Sam snorts out a laugh. "Dude, you look so stupid doing that."
Dean turns and gives his an icy stare, then steadies himself and steps out thru the door.
The only thing that happens is he has to quickly tuck the .45 under his jacket as one of their neighbors walks by. Dean gives the puzzled woman what he hopes is a normal smile, and apparently it is. She smiles back warmly as he stands there, every muscle in his body still tense.
He takes a deep breath to settle himself and walks back into the cabin.
Sam is still sprawled across the bed, laughing his lanky ass off.
"Oh-kay then. That was a whole lotta nothing." Dean tucks the .45 back into his waistband and then rubs the back of his neck with his hand. He glances at Sam. "Dude, it wasn't that funny."
"Hell it wasn't!" Sam snorts.
"Yeah, yeah, whatever," Dean mutters. He walks over to his bed and sits down. Out comes his cell phone, and he starts scrolling thru the numbers.
Sam stops laughing, suddenly alert. "What are you doing?"
"Don't do that."
"You don't need to call him. We can handle this ourselves."
Dean shoots Sam a look that plainly says What the fuck is your problem, dude? as he scrolls down to John's number. He doesn't react as Sam leans in close. This is his younger brother, for God's sake, it's Sam, so Dean doesn't look up in time to see Sam's eyes change to a murky yellow. He doesn't see Sam's mouth fill with hundreds of sharp, jagged teeth.
The needle on the EMF meter swings over into the red; the device shrieks like a damned soul.
Sam leans over and sinks his teeth into Dean's arm.
A/N: Instead of waiting I decided to post this now as a thank you to everyone who reviewed so far. I really appreciate your comments!
Chapter 5 (and possibly Chapter 6 too) will be posted by next weekend. I have to work on these bad boys because they're going to be really nasty. Once you read them you'll see exactly what I mean.