A Night of Possession
It was a typical night for the two Winchester boys. They were investigating a long-deserted house and had suspicions that it was haunted. It was nothing too sinister, no one had died at any rate, but they were torching the place just to be safe. Dean was setting all this up in the kitchen while Sam gave the rest of the house one last check for signs of anything paranormal. He glanced in all the cupboards and under the beds upstairs and behind the pictures in the living room. It was a pity he didn't look up, though. Perhaps it was the bad history his family had with looking up at the ceiling or perhaps he just didn't think of it, either way, that was where the large rock was suspended just above his head.
"It's all clear in here, Dean. Torch away!" he called into the kitchen just as the rock stopped being suspended. Sam dropped to the floor in exactly the same way as the stone dropped next to him. Dean hurried into the room, evidence of the fire just starting in the kitchen.
"Hey, Sam, let's get out of here!" Dean said as he hurried through the living room towards the front door. "Sam?" he continued upon getting no answer from his brother. "Hey, Sam! Where are you?" then he noticed Sam lying out cold on the floor. "Well, shit," Dean ran to Sam's side and hauled him over his shoulder. There wasn't any time to try and resuscitate him because of the now raging fire in the kitchen and the smoke billowing through the doorway. Dean partially carried, but mostly dragged Sam out of the house to safety.
On the lawn out the front of the house Dean dropped Sam to the floor, "When did you get to be so God-damned heavy, anyway?" he stretched his back out and then got down to the business of waking Sam up. He called his name, slapped him on the cheek, the usual routine, until Sam's eyes finally opened. Dean grinned, "Hey, man, you had me going there for a minute, what happened back in there?" he held his hand out to Sam and pulled him up onto his feet.
"Gosh, that doesn't half hurt!" said Sam in an accent completely alien to him. It sounded like he was some kind of British royalty, but Sam had never been good at accents.
"Umm, what did you just say?"
"I really didn't realise that rock was so heavy," continued Sam as though Dean hadn't said anything. He gingerly touched the top of his head and sent a wave of pain that filled his whole skull, "Bloody hell, I forgot how painful things were!"
"Sammy, what are you talking about? And drop the accent, it doesn't suit you," Sam finally noticed Dean was there.
"Sorry, old chap, I was quite caught up in my own thoughts," he held his hand out for Dean to shake, "Edgar Cholmondley, pleased to meet you... Dean was it?" Dean just stared at the hand and then looked up into Sam's face as it dawned on him what had happened. He grabbed his gun and pointed it at Sam, even though he knew he wouldn't use it, perhaps whatever had possessed Sam thought he would.
"What are you? What are you doing in my brother?" Sam's hands were now in the air and he was staring at the end of the gun in what could definitely be called fear.
"Look now, dear boy, there's no need for that! I'm just borrowing your brother for a while! People just don't take notice of an old, lost ghost like myself these days. I'm not going to hurt anyone, I was just wondering if you would, perhaps, do something for me?" Dead raised his eyebrows but lowered the gun.
"Do something for you? You barge your way into my brother and want me to do something for you?"
"I know, I know, it's awfully presumptuous of me, but if only you'll hear me out!" Sam's eyes began to brim with tears, "I'm not asking much," he sniffed, "I mean I'm not trying to kill people, I just want to go home!" at that Sam burst into tears. Dean was quite shocked, this must be the wimpiest ghost he'd ever dealt with. Edgar was becoming quite flustered searching all of Sam's pockets, "Blast! What madman leaves his house without a handkerchief?"
"Okay, calm down, I'm not good around crying dead people," Dean pushed his gun back into the waistband of his trousers and took a cautious step towards Sam, more worried that any sudden movements would make him burst into a fresh round of tears than about the ghost hurting him. Dean waited in slightly uncomfortable silence while Edgar got a hold of himself.
"I'm sorry old chap, I just do everso want to get home,"
"Well, where's home?"
"Which state is that?"
"England," Dean narrowed his eyes,
"What, as in Merry Olde England?" Sam nodded, "How on Earth are you hoping to get back there? There's no way I'm taking you there!" Edgar wrung Sam's hands and seemed unwilling to meet Dean's eyes.
"I was rather hoping I could catch my boat back," Dean was staring at Sam in disbelief. Of all the things he'd ever seen while out hunting, he was most shocked that this pathetic excuse for a ghost even existed.
"Your boat? How long ago did you die? Because unless it's less than two hours ago I really don't think your boat will still be waiting for you," Sam's toe scuffed the dirt and he stared at the eddies of dust just visible in the dark.
"I'm not entirely sure. With the years being so long and going by so excruciatingly slowly, I lost track of them somewhat. It must be around ninety years, at least," Dean ran his hand over his face; he was having a hard time believing that this conversation was real. He was expecting that, at any moment, he would wake up and find himself in some dingy motel room, probably with Sam poking fun at him for talking in his sleep, which he would be, of course, as he was having the stupidest conversation in history.
"Ninety years? Dude, what have you been doing stuck in this house for ninety years?"
"Heavens, I've not always been here! No, I've been drifting all around this God-forsaken country. That house is nothing to do with me, I only found it just last week," he motioned to the blazing house behind him.
"Then, what were you doing there?"
"Waiting for you, of course!" Dean scrutinised Sam's face, trying to see past his brother into the ghost. People always said how eyes were the windows into a person's soul. What a load of crap that was, Sam looked just as much like Sam as he always did.
"You're saying that all the freaky things going on here this week, were to lure us in so you could possess Sam so that I'd take you to catch your boat?"
"Yes, I'd say that's an accurate description,"
"Why did you need us? You can possess anyone you feel like!"
"I've tried that before. People that don't know about ghosts don't tend to do what I ask. They usually think they were knocked silly by the fall or have severe concussion. One poor chap was taken to hospital; they thought he'd had a stroke! Dear me, that wasn't useful in the slightest!" said Edgar, remembering how hard it had been to slip out without upsetting any of the heart monitors or machinery.
"And you never thought it would be a good idea to get back to your boat by yourself?"
"Well, to be honest, I've been completely lost. I have no idea which way is East," Dean stared at Sam. He knew his brother would probably berate him for it later, saying he should just exorcise him and be done with it, but there was just something so useless about this spirit that made Dean want to help him.
"Get in the car," he said after a moment's thought.
"Pardon?" said Edgar, looking profoundly surprised that his plan had worked.
"Get in the car, come on, we're not walking!" Dean walked around the car to the drivers side and got in. Edgar climbed in the passenger side once he'd got over the shock. Dean drove, slightly uncomfortable that the thing sitting beside him in the car wasn't just his brother, but he ignored that feeling. He was good at ignoring feelings.
Dean put a cassette in the player and turned it up. It was his usual fare, which would explain Edgar's yelp at the first beat of the first song.
"Goodness! What is this racket?" he almost had to yell over the music.
"Metallica!" Dean said back, grinning.
"Well, turn it off! It sounds like someone trying to skin a cat!" Edgar began to randomly push buttons on the tape player. Dean, fearful of the player chewing the tape up with all this rough treatment, quickly conceded and threw the cassette back in the box.
"Gosh, don't you have any real music?"
"Yes, Metallica! Didn't you just hear it?"
"That was nothing like any music I've ever heard! I mean, perhaps you have some Hayden? or Wagner?" Dean's face was blank, "Mozart? Come along, old chap, everyone's got some Mozart," Dean shook his head, "Not even Mozart? What has the world come to? I should have left while I had the chance!" Dean silently agreed with this sentiment while Edgar carried on lamenting a world without classical music. "All those symphonies un-listened to! Beethoven's 5th! Gone! Shall I never again hear the joys of the melodious violin of Vivaldi? Or feel my heart leap with excitement as the end of Orpheus approaches?"
"No! You won't!" said Dean before Edgar could continue, "Now quit whining, I'm doing you a favour here," Edgar accepted this, but still seemed sulky in the darkness.
"So, how did you die?" Dean asked after a short while of silence, he was tired and needed a distraction from his heavy eyelids.
"Oh, I choked," said Edgar simply.
"Someone kill you?"
"Goodness, no! Nothing of the sort! I was eating some bread, as I'd missed lunch that day. It was a horribly wet and rainy day, you see, and my carriage had become stuck in the mud making me late for all my appointments, it was a terrible chore getting it out of the mud, you know. There I was, with no more than five minutes to myself, so I thought I'd have myself some bread, and read my letters at the same time.
"That was a mistake, I soon found out. I take a particularly large mouthful of bread, while reading cousin Matthew's most amusing quip about the Australians and that was it. I breathed in at the entirely wrong moment and the bread goes down the wrong hole. A few minutes later I find myself staring down at my own dead face, a very disconcerting experience, if ever there was one!"
"You choked on some bread?" said Dean, completely incredulous.
"Yes, is there something wrong with that?"
"Well, what are you still doing here? Ghosts are usually killed in some really violent way and then they hang around for vengeance or just 'cause they're severely pissed. But you, you just died, why are you still here?"
"Oh, I promised my dear Nancy that I'd come back to her. She's waiting for me back at Portsmouth, you see, I was only meaning to stay here for a month and then I was going to go back and settle down with her. I had set up my own company and we had it all planned out," to Dean's horror tears were welling in Sam's eyes again.
"Okay, okay, I get the idea. You sure she'll still be waiting for you?"
"Yes, of course, whyever wouldn't she be?" Dean just shook his head; he didn't particularly want to upset Edgar any more.
"Hey, you want a donut?" said Dean, after a long hour of Edgar looking out the window, sighing and, Dean swore he saw it at least twice, tearing up.
"Oh no, thank you, dear boy. I'd much rather a doughnut," Dean shot a confused look over at Edgar.
"That's what I just asked if you wanted. Do you want one or not?"
"You asked if I wanted a donut, I'd much rather a doughnut,"
"What are you talking about?"
"You Americans, I see it on signs all over the place and I just know that you're spelling it incorrectly,"
"Spelling it? I'm saying it! There's no spelling involved!"
"All the same, I'd rather have a doughnut than a donut,"
"Seriously? Fine, Jeez, do you want a doughnut?"
"Yes, thank you, I'd love a doughnut!" Dean pulled in at the next gas station grumbling about picky Englishmen and something about 'never again'.
It wasn't long before they were back on the road. Dean had eaten the doughnut in two bites, earning Sam's very disapproving look from Edgar, who daintily ate his with minimal mess. No change there, then.
"What got a strapping young man like you mixed up in all this then?" said Edgar, it was his turn to ask questions.
"Mixed up in all what?"
"The paranormal, boy! How did you get mixed up in all this paranormal business?"
"It's the family business,"
"Really? People pay for your services?"
"Well, what kind of a business do you call that? You can't make a living out of that! Bad choice, I'd say," Dean glanced sidelong at Edgar. What the hell, he'd be dead and gone soon.
"It wasn't really a choice. We were more forced into it,"
"Forced into the paranormal business? Goodness gracious, something terrible didn't happen did it?"
"Shouldn't you know Sam's memories?" Dean was sure that was how possessions worked.
"Yes, I should but... he's still unconscious. I'm afraid I knocked him quite hard with the rock," upon seeing Dean's expression, Edgar felt he should add something, "He's perfectly fine, I assure you! He's just... sleeping it off." There was a short silence during which Dean reasoned that he couldn't do much about Sam's conscious state, even if he did force Edgar out. At the moment Sam came in only two, equally useless states: unconscious and possessed, or just unconscious.
"Yeah, something terrible happened,"
"Oh, gosh, sorry,"
"Nah, it's good. There was a demon, it killed our mom, sent dad looking for revenge,"
"Oh dear! You mean, you mean that your mother was killed, leaving you in the care of your grieving father, who then set out for vengeance, dragging his two young sons along with him, bringing you up like soldiers to fight evil in a never-ending war and you've been doing it ever since? A futile fight against the darkness in the world? Oh it's so, so sad!" to both Dean's amazement and horror Sam's breath was hitching. He glanced over and yes, Edgar was crying. It was a wonder the guy hadn't died of dehydration.
Dean sighed and gave up all thoughts of conversation with Edgar. Anything he said just seemed to get him all wound up. Edgar soon got the idea and drifted off into sleep. That still didn't shut him up, though, as it turned out he was quite a restless sleeper. That was how Dean knew something was happening when Sam went completely still. Dean kept an eye on him as he continued driving, he wasn't worried, he just didn't quite know what was going on in that head of Sam's.
"Woah, hey, where am I?" said Sam as he came back into the waking world. The last thing he remembered was telling Dean to start the fire back in the house.
"Well, hey there Sammy, how're you feeling?" Sam frowned but ignored Dean's insistence on calling him Sammy, he had bigger things to worry about. He felt his chest; it was very odd, it felt fuller than usual, if that was possible. His head was also throbbing, but that was perfectly explainable.
"Weird, I think, sums it up," Dean smirked,
"Well, Sammy-boy, you're possessed!" Sam frowned at his brother, that wasn't the tone people usually used when announcing such things.
"Possessed!" said Dean, quite cheerfully, but then his demeanour changed, "By the most God-damned sappy ghost in the whole world. Seriously, I swear, that guy wouldn't look out of place in an Oscar acceptance speech!"
"So, where are we going? Can't you just exorcise him?"
"He's no danger to anyone and he's just so pathetic, you know? I don't know, I guess he just reminded me of you, or something." Dean took a moment to admire his own wit and then continued before Sam could say anything, "Anyway, he wants to get to Portsmouth eventually,"
"So, what, we're a taxi service for lost souls now? How far away are we?"
"You want to drive to England? You do realise there's an ocean between here and there, don't you?"
"Yes, thank you for that, college boy. I'm just taking him as far East as I feel like. You know, until I'd rather listen to your whining than his. It's a close call at the moment,"
"And then what will he do?"
"I don't know! As long as he's outta you that's not my problem, is it?"
"Don't I get a say in all this?"
"You've been pretty quiet about it so far and we've been driving for a few hours,"
"Dean, I've been out cold for the entire journey!"
"Yeah, you should do that more often," Sam slid down in his seat to a more comfortable position for sleeping. It turns out being possessed really takes it out of you.
Dean enjoyed the silence for a little while but decided he'd risk playing some music, quieter than he'd usually like so as to not wake Sam or Edgar, whichever was more likely to wake. He got away with it for half an hour or so before Sam's eye cracked open.
"Turn off that infernal racket, will you?" Dean did so, which may seem unusual to those who know him, but he knew what havoc angry spirits could wreak with electrical equipment, no matter how pathetic the spirit or how stupid the reason for being angry.
"So, care to entertain me?" he said, "If I can't have my music, you're gonna have to give me something to take my mind off how tired I am,"
"I'm always happy to have a nice chat," Dean's eyes widened at this notion, "Or I could tell you about my business exploits," Edgar looked eager to begin what would no doubt be a very long and boring list of everything Edgar had ever done since the age of eighteen and would end with the death of Dean and Sam by Dean having fallen asleep at the wheel. Dean had a different idea,
"Right, this is as far as I'm going," he said as he stopped the car in what seemed like, and probably was, a T-junction in the middle of nowhere. Edgar stared at Dean. "I'm serious, man, get out of the car and leave my life forever!"
"Very well," sighed Edgar and he slowly climbed out of the car. Dean got out as well and went around to the passenger's side to give Edgar just one piece of advice before he left.
"Right, finding East is simple enough," Edgar raised Sam's eyebrows, "You know which direction the sun rises from?" Edgar nodded, "That's it, just keep going that way,"
"Thank you, my boy, I am eternally in your debt,"
"You can bet your ass you are!" Edgar smiled.
"Well then," he said, "Tally ho!" Sam staggered slightly, Dean watched him closely, to be sure that Edgar would be true to his word. Sam breathed out a fine white mist, even though it was quite warm and Dean breathed a sigh of relief in response. Sam looked over to Dean.
"Did I just say 'tally ho'?" a grin broke on Dean's face that was big enough to rival a Cheshire cat's.
"You sure did, old chap," Dean tried, and largely failed at an English accent, "What ho, pip pip," he added for effect.
"You realise I couldn't help saying those things. I was unconscious for half of it, for a start!"
"Come on, Sammy, when was the last time small technicalities like that mattered to me?" Dean pushed past Sam and climbed into the passenger's seat, "Now, I'm really tired, so you'll have to drive seeing as you've slept most of the night away already. Just, don't crash the car or anything," Dean handed the keys to Sam and then tried to get comfortable. Sam climbed into the car, started the engine and drove down the road he hoped Edgar hadn't taken. "Do you know what?" said Dean, eyes closed but still smirking, "Tomorrow, for breakfast, I'm gonna find myself a diner and make sure it does a nice, big Full English!" Sam carried on driving and said nothing in reply, the last thing he wanted now was a conversation with Dean. In his opinion, Dean couldn't get to sleep soon enough. He could tell already that tomorrow was going to be a long day.
Hope you enjoyed!