Disclaimer: Don't own them. Dean's on my wish list, and I own that. I don't think he'll be given to me by the CW or WB or Kripke or whoever claims him. Maybe they'll let go of Sam.
Warnings: Tad bit gory, not too bad. Language later on, but nothing in this chapter. No spoilers, but the first season's over anyway.
A Psychic's Touch
Chapter 1: The Next Job
Chapter 1: The Next Job
Keith Murdoch walked down the empty street, hands in pockets and collar turned up against the icy cold of winter. Music blared into one ear while his other ear listened for footfalls, talking, anything. The only noise was the music.
Keith sniffed and gave a quick, paranoid glance to the sidewalk behind him. The night was eerily quiet, even for his small home town; the hour late and the night blackened further by layers of low cloud hiding the stars. The eeriness heightened his paranoia to an anxious level. He wished he hadn't decided to take a walk to clear his head. If only his wife, Julie, didn't have to be so stubborn.
He sniffed again, knowing full well he would catch a cold from his hasty departure. His heart burned though, at the anger he felt. That was his way: slow to anger and twice as slow to cool down, while in between he was as unstoppable as a rolling stone.
The song ended and he yanked the earphone from his ear, scowling for what felt like the millionth time at the ease with which his teenage son had gotten him addicted to the heavy metal crap kids listened to now. It was the equivalent to what he had listened to, and played in his college days, twenty-odd years ago, and it always made him feel nostalgic. Plus, it was loud and heavy.
An intense feeling of eyes on his back made him stop suddenly, gripping the inside of his pockets. He listened anxiously, straining his ears in the silence. He heard nothing, but the feeling of eyes watching him grew. He began walking again, at a faster pace this time, ears still nervously listening for any sound besides his own footsteps. He traced the path back home, a track well worn in his mind. These midnight walks were becoming more frequent.
Maybe five minutes later he reached his front gate, which creaked noisily as he opened it and then closed it. He would have to oil those hinges soon or he'd be waking the neighbours every night.
He took the path to the garage, knowing full well that Julie would have turned the front door alarm on before going to bed. That she had gone to bed he did not doubt. He could get in through the garage door though; Julie always left that alarm for him to do.
It was then he heard whispers. He stopped, heart beating faster, and fearful sweat broke out underneath his suddenly oppressive and heavy jacket.
"Coming, coming, coming to bite you, claw..." The rest faded to an indistinctive mutter as a wind started up, instantly strong and picking all the iciness from the air that it could. Heart beating yet faster, Keith practically ran to the garage door, and through it. He locked it quickly, blocking all wind and whispers from his ears. Standing with hands on the door, he calmed his nerves, telling himself that childhood paranoia's had finally caught up with him. Heart steady, he turned to go face problems he could fix.
He jumped and almost screamed as he saw a pale figure partly step out of shadow into an unnatural ray of moonlight spilling from the window. Gasping he leaned into the corner, ignoring spider webs.
"Who are you?" he asked in a shaky voice. Keith wished he was nearer the workbench and the crowbar he had left lying there because he was too lazy to put it away. "What are you doing in my garage?"
For a moment the figure - Keith was almost sure it was human - said nothing. Then,
"Coming, coming, coming to bite you, claw you, feed on you, suck you dry..." The figure trailed off. Its eyes glinted in the darkness.
The repetition of the whispers shook Keith to the bone - he felt his legs lock to keep from collapsing.
"What are you?" he heard himself ask with a quiver. The figure didn't answer. It merely stepped forward, moving fully into moonlight.
Keith screamed but that was lost as wind - wind! - picked up in his closed garage. He screamed again as he realized the only thing the gale moved was him - his coat and his hair.
The figure was human, but not. It looked human, except for its eyes and teeth and the way veins seemed to pop out on its pale, pasty face. Its eyes were abruptly a glinting red, while its teeth were long and pointed - the canine teeth protruded over its lower lip. Keith screamed again and tried to run for the crowbar. The figure reached him first.
The monster grabbed Keith's shoulder with one clawed hand and Keith could only watch, lost in horror, as the monster pulled its other arm back and plunged its animal-like claws into his stomach. Keith screamed in agony, but this time he had a sinking feeling no one could hear him.
He dropped to his knees from the pain. Looking up at the monster he felt dread as it turned a merciless gaze upon him. Then it looked away, grinning with ecstasy. Leaning over, it dug its claws into Keith's back. He screamed again, taking a weakening hold on the monster's thigh. He wasn't really coherent in thought or knowledgeable about what he was doing.
Then he screamed as the monster dragged its grip upwards, all the way to the bottom of his head. Keith almost thanked every god he knew of when everything became painless, although unmovable. It took him barely another second to register the fact that he was paralysed. Immediately he could feel his lungs screaming for air they would never get. And a feeling of hysteria passed onto Keith, who wished he could cry and cry, screaming internally as the monster bent down to finish him off.
The dream faded as Sam slowly woke, the sound of his brother's phone ringing in his ears. Dean had answered it by the time Sam opened his eyes with the dream forgotten.
Dean took his eyes off the road for the barest second, flicking his sight to his little brother in a motion so quick Sam would have missed it if he hadn't been expecting it. Just as quickly Dean transferred his attention back to the road and his phone.
"All right Brian." Dean looked in the Impala's side mirror as he changed lanes. "We'll be there as soon as possible."
He put the phone down and pulled off the highway. "Decided to join the waking world, Sleeping Beauty," Dean joked as a small town appeared in their vision. Sam ignored him, as he had taken to doing lately. He wasn't sleeping properly.
"Who called, and where are we going?" Sam asked instead. It wasn't the usual problems causing the disturbed sleeping patterns. Well it was, but this time he couldn't remember his dreams, and that scared him more, despite the relief of not being a psychic freak every time he closed his eyes. He still knew they were important.
"That was Brian Murdoch," Dean began explaining as he pulled into a petrol station. "A guy I tried to help a few years ago, just after you went to college." He looked slightly uncomfortable as he parked the car beside a pump. "Well I did help him, with a small poltergeist problem. I got rid of the poltergeist but not before it killed his wife."
Dean got out of the car and Sam had to wait until his brother leaned against the car by his window.
"Apparently he moved to be with his brother afterwards. Except last night his brother was killed."
The pump clicked and Sam had to wait longer while Dean paid with one of their numerous false credit cards.
When he came back he turned the car on but didn't move it.
"What's it got to do with us?" Sam asked, pinning his brother with a stare.
"The cops - Brian's one - have no idea who or what's behind the murders. There's been five so far, but the cops thought they had their man when they found him unconscious at the scene. Until Brian's brother's death last night."
"So what's it got to do with us?" Sam repeated. He had a growing feeling of dread about this.
"Like I said the cops have no idea what's behind it. They think it could be human because there have been hand marks on two of the victims. Only the human would have to have been super-strong because... well actually Brian wasn't very clear on that. And despite teeth and claw marks they don't think it's an animal cause each murder was indoors."
"So what do they think it is?" the younger Winchester asked, sighing. He had hoped for at least another week from hunting: their last hunt, a werewolf, had left him exhausted.
"The other cops have no clue. Brian reckons it's a job for us."
Sam sighed again, suppressing that feeling of dread. It was just paranoia and expectation. "Let's go then."
Dean grinned with apprehension, obviously not sensing his younger brother's feelings. He put the car into gear.
Dean raised his eyebrows at the dusty little town that had seemed to pop out of nowhere. One main street, a few shops and a sombre feel to the whole place.
"Oh god, I hate this thing already," Dean muttered under his breath. He noticed Sam smile tiredly and had to stop from frowning. The kid wasn't sleeping properly again. His brother went back to looking out the window, his face a picture of occupation and inner thinking. Dean decided not to mention.
Instead he said, "Brian told me he'd wait at the pub from 5 pm each day, until we came." He pointed out the front window. "I think that's the pub."
He was pointing to the biggest building in sight, a run down old dump. He sighed, shaking his head.
"This place is teensy. This bitch is so going down."
At least Sam gave a small laugh this time, and turned his gaze to his brother. "Dean, you hate any place smaller than New York."
"I've told you a million times, Sammy don't exaggerate."
"And I've told you a million times, it's Sam, not Sammy."
"Whatever," Dean retorted. "We'll check into that motel," he pointed to a ramshackle building with a 'Vacancy' sign out the front. "It's almost four. I'll go see Brian, while you research this place. OK?"
Sam nodded, rubbing his eyes. Dean couldn't really keep it in any longer.
"Dude, you should try sleeping some time, too." Sam rolled his eyes.
"I'm fine, Dean," was all he said back.
They pulled into the motel car park and Sam felt relieved to finally stretch his legs. Five minutes later they were throwing bags onto two single beds with surprisingly clean sheets. The interior definitely didn't match the exterior, of the motel or the town.
Almost immediately Sam plugged the laptop in, finding pages concerning the town's history fairly easily. Soon enough he was shaking his head.
"Nothing we should worry about," he was telling Dean as his older brother checked their father's journal for any useful information. "No killings since the 1920's, no massacres, no stolen land..." His eyebrows rose as his voice trailed off. "This town has maybe the cleanest history I've ever seen. Until a few weeks ago when these murders started."
"So why does Dad have this place circled in his journal?" Dean asked, tossing the open book to Sam. Looking at it Sam just shrugged.
"Who knows? We're sure to find out soon I suppose." But it still began annoying him, and he again had to suppress those feelings of dread. Only this time Dean noticed.
"What is it, Sammy?" the older Winchester asked. Sam didn't even correct him this time, which worried Dean.
"Nothing. I mean, I'm pretty sure it's nothing."
"Come on Sam, don't hold out on me."
Sam sighed. "It's just... ever since you got that call I've been getting these weird feelings. Like if we stay something bad will happen. But then I think about leaving and the feeling gets worse. It's like we're screwed either way."
He saw the look, of Dean seeing something he didn't recognise, and it hurt. He hated that look, though he knew Dean didn't mean it. But Dean, for Sam, was as easy to read as a book.
"I'm sure it's nothing," Sam repeated quickly. He checked his watch. "We should leave if Brian's meeting us at five."
"Us?" Dean questioned like a big brother ought to. "Don't you think-?" Sam cut him off.
"I'm fine. I don't need any sleep." He stood. "Let's go."