Be Careful What You Wish For
Disclaimer: The guys, the car, and the concept belong to the CW and Kripke.
Disclaimerx2: This story is in response to a writer's challenge issued by my friend, Shar. I'll post the parameters of the challenge at the end of the story. (c;
Dean typed away at the laptop bemoaning his fate yet again. He and Sam had been stuck in one cheap motel after another for nearly four weeks. Dean had avoided taking on any new jobs until Sam had a chance to heal. Sam had been hurt during their last gig, and Dean was not taking any chances with his health. However, even brotherly concern had its limits, and Dean had reached his yesterday.
"Dude, give me the remote," Sam demanded.
"Not on your life, Sammy-boy," Dean replied shoving the remote under his leg. "I've watched enough of the History Channel to last me a lifetime. What was that we watched yesterday, 'Modern Marvels: Coffee'? Coffee, Sam?"
"Hey, it was interesting," Sam defended, making another pass at snagging the remote.
"It was coffee," Dean insisted. He twisted, and easily grabbed the remote, shoving it further underneath his leg when Sam reached for it. "Leave it," he demanded, his eyes twinkling in amusement. "We're watching what I want to watch for awhile."
Sam walked back over to his bed, and sat down with a huff. He could log on to the Internet, or read one of the books jammed in his duffle bag, but he did not want to. He wanted to get even with Dean for forcing him to watch, 'Monster Garage.' At least they both drank coffee.
"You can stop sulking," Dean announced to the air in general. He did not turn around to look at Sam. He did not need to. He could feel Sam's eyes boring into his back.
"I'm not sulking," Sam replied.
"Are to," Dean countered.
"Whatever," Sam replied. He was not getting drawn into this game. He lay back on the bed trying to feign sleep, hoping he could actually fall asleep. At least that would be something. He sighed loudly. 'Okay, maybe I am sulking,' he thought.
"Are to," Dean said again.
"That's it," Sam stated sitting up again. "We need to get out. If not for a new hunt, then let's just hit a bar or something. We could have a couple of beers, maybe shoot some darts," Sam suggested. A chance at beer, and beating him at darts was not something Sam thought Dean would be able to pass up.
"I'm good," Dean replied simply. He was not taking Sam back to a bar until he was fully healed. There was always a potential for things to escalate out of control, and he did not want to risk it. Letting Sam know he would not go because he was concerned for him would only start another fight, and it would be less amusing than baiting Sam.
"Well, I'm not," Sam said standing up. "I'm taking a walk." He started looking for his jacket. He knew it had to be around here somewhere, but in the last three days, the motel room had been thrashed. He was not even sure where to start looking.
"You're not going anywhere," Dean said firmly. After several beats of stone cold silence, he turned to look at Sam. Sam was standing stiffly, his jaw held tight, and with his eyebrow raised. 'Wrong strategy,' Dean thought. He stood up, and walked over to Sam. "What I meant to say, is we are going to dinner. I thought we could start discussing our next job."
Sam smirked. He knew that was not what Dean had been intending to say, but it worked to his advantage all the same. "Sounds like a plan," Sam replied.
Dinner consisted of burgers at the greasy spoon on the corner, but it was a welcome change of scenery. Sam felt he would go completely insane if he had to stare at the brown paneling and red shag carpet of their motel room any longer. "There's a beheading in Monterey, Virginia, the police don't have any leads. Could be vampires again," Sam speculated.
"Nah," Dean replied. He was still hoping to avoid other hunters for awhile. "One beheading isn't vampires. I've never heard of one vampire, they always live in nests."
"Yeah, you're probably right," Sam conceded. His eyes flicked over the monitor screen for several minutes. "Here's one that sounds like our kind of gig. A large, hairy, ape-like animal was spotted in rural Nebraska."
"Nope, I'm not chasing after a possible chupacabra when it is probably just somebody's dog," Dean replied. He took a large bite of his hamburger, and looked over at Sam. Sam was scowling, and Dean knew he was getting frustrated.
"Look, if you are going to reject all of my suggestions, why don't you come up with our next case?" Sam asked. He looked up from the computer, and turned the laptop towards Dean. "Have at it," he said.
"You want me to find our next gig? You won't complain about what I pick, or question it?" Dean asked with a grin.
"That's more consideration than you've ever shown me," Sam groused. "But yeah, I wish you would do the research on this one. At least then, you'll stop fighting me on all of my suggestions."
"Deal," Dean replied quickly, a little too quickly for Sam's liking.
"The only catch is you have to decide within twenty-four hours. I'm not letting you use this as an excuse to sit around here for another week," Sam added.
"Not a problem," Dean replied.
That was yesterday, and he was no closer to finding a suitable gig than he was when he first started. Dean was just about to give up, when an article caught his eye. He scanned the story briefly, and a slow, wide smile spread across his face. It was perfect.
"What's with all the secrecy?" Sam asked. He turned slightly in his seat to look at Dean. "I already agreed to go wherever you decided." Sam rolled his window down. The morning air was quite warm, and the further south they headed the warmer it would become.
"It's not a secret," Dean argued. "I just don't want to listen to you complain the whole way to Florida."
"Dean, at least tell me what it is we're going after," Sam insisted. "You know it works best when we research fully before-hand. If we go in there blind, it's a crap shoot."
"Who says I didn't do the research?" Dean asked flippantly.
"Did you?" Sam asked, genuinely surprised at the possibility.
"No, but I could have," Dean replied. He glanced over at Sam, and was secretly amused by his obvious frustration at being left in the dark.
"Dean," Sam started, thumping his hand down on the door.
"It's a poltergeist," Dean said letting Sam off the hook. "Happy now?"
"Ecstatic," Sam replied sarcastically. "Any leads on the origin?"
"Nope, that's what I have my little brother for," Dean replied without missing a beat. "We'll be there in seven and a half hours. Before you ask, I already checked, and the resort does have free wireless Internet."
"A resort?" Sam verified. He knew it. Dean was attempting to sequester him away yet again. At least a resort sounded interesting.
"Hey, don't be so suspicious, Sam," Dean defended. "There really is a job there."
"I didn't say anything," Sam protested.
"You were thinking it," Dean replied knowingly. He switched lanes to pass an old Chevy Nova. It hurt the Impala's pride to be stuck behind a car like that.
Sam shook his head, but offered no ready response. He really did believe Dean was making up a hunt at a resort to pacify him, and yet keep him from actually doing anything strenuous. Truth be told, he was not a hundred percent yet, but he was almost there. "What's the name of the resort?" Sam asked finally.
"The Sunnyvale Naturalist Spirit Renewal and Spa," Dean replied with a grin.
Sam barely contained his look of shock. Dean would not consider going to a place like that whether he was trying to force Sam to rest or not unless there was a hunt involved. "Well, you convinced me," Sam replied. "There really is a hunt."
"You should trust me more often," Dean replied. His expression turned from amusement to confusion, "But, what convinced you?" he asked.
"The Dean Winchester I know would not subject himself to a new age, spiritualistic, spa experience simply to keep me under wraps for another week," Sam replied with a smile. "You're altruistic, not unbreakable. If there was nothing there to hunt, it would kill you in two days."
"Hey, that's not true. There's bound to be plenty of free-spirited women there," Dean protested. "It would take at least three days."
Dean made up some time along the Interstate, and as promised, the Sunnyvale resort loomed in the distance in less than seven hours. The resort was situated on a lake, with miles of sunny beaches. Dean could not wait until they had this wrapped up, so he could enjoy one of the perks of finally landing a job in the middle of somewhere nice for a change.
As Sam watched the perfectly manicured landscape go by, he realized this was a high end resort. "Dean, how are we going to be able to afford to stay here?" Sam asked. "If we use one of your bogus credit cards, they'll catch us right away. Places like this check card validity. I doubt we'll be able to get in anyway, we probably need a reservation." Sam paused and looked over at Dean. "What?"
"You finished?" Dean asked, with a head nod to emphasize his question.
"Yeah," Sam replied furrowing his brow.
"We have a reservation, and don't worry about the how we'll pay for it. It's covered," Dean reassured him. Dean slipped the Impala into a parking spot, and turned off the car. Sam was still sitting in his seat staring at the resort. "Come on, Sam," Dean said. "Let go check in."
Sam shook his head as if trying to clear the cobwebs and replied, "Yeah, sure," he said, opening the door and sliding out of the car. He met Dean back at the trunk, and took his duffel bag from Dean's grasp. "I'll carry my bag," Sam stated giving the duffel a tug.
Dean released his grip and allowed Sam to have the bag. "I'm not stopping you," Dean replied.
Sam smiled and followed Dean into the resort lobby. His period of enforced rest seemed to be over. It was time to get back in the game.
The lobby was furnished with soft, muted fabrics. The stonework on the floor and fireplace added to the earthy feel. The walls were painted an Italian yellow, and large green plants accented the room. The stone fountain in the corner of the sitting area trickled in harmony to pipe music.
Sam glanced over at Dean expecting to see him scowling, but he was not. Dean was smiling. Sam followed Dean's line of sight over to the attractive, brunette behind the counter. Okay, well that makes sense, Sam thought.
"Dean!" the brunette shouted. She ran out from behind the counter, and enveloped Dean in a large bear hug.
"Hi, Laurie," Dean replied. He gently extricated himself from Laurie's choking grip, and gave her a quick peck on the cheek. "How's your dad?"
"He's getting better," Laurie replied, her matching green eyes flashing. "After the stroke, he was pretty depressed, but being back at home has improved his spirits." Laurie's eyes caught sight of Sam. "You must be Sam," she said.
Before Sam could respond, Laurie slight frame was wrapped around his middle. He shot Dean a questioning look as he returned the hug. Dean only shrugged his shoulders in response.
Laurie released Sam and said, "Dean told me so much about you. I feel as if I know you already."
"Really, my brother is not usually so talkative," Sam replied with a half chuckle. He raised his eyebrows at Dean, who responded with another shoulder shrug.
"It must be because he's so proud of you," Laurie said.
"Laurie," Dean interrupted. "Maybe Sam and I could check in first and then meet you for dinner to discuss what is going on here."
"Oh, sure absolutely," Laurie replied. "And Dean, as I told you over the phone, you are doing us a huge favor. Room and board is the very least we can do."
"It's more than enough and much more than we normally get," Dean replied resting his hand on Laurie's shoulder. "Usually, we get a police escort out of town."
Laurie laughed and walked back behind the counter. "I saved you a suite. You'll each have your own bedroom and there's a living room, kitchen, and dining room as well. If you need anything, just call. Here are your keys," Laurie said, handing one electronic key to Dean and one to Sam. "If you want a tour of the resort, I'll be happy to have someone show you around."
"I don't think that'll be necessary," Dean replied starting to walk down the hall. "We're pretty good at finding our way around."
"If you change your mind, don't hesitate to ask," Laurie replied with a small wave. "Oh, and Dean?" she called.
"Yeah?" Dean asked turning back around to face Laurie.
"You'll be sure to explain the guidelines to Sam, won't you?" she asked.
"I'll be sure to fill him in," Dean replied with a smile.
Sam tilted his head fractionally at Dean's smile. There was a catch here somewhere and Dean knew what it was. He was not worried before, but he was now. "Dean," Sam asked trailing slightly behind his brother. "What aren't you telling me?"
"I don't tell you a lot of things, Sam," Dean replied, not turning around to face Sam, but instead continuing down the hallway. "You're going to have to narrow that down for me a bit."
"I think you know what I mean," Sam retorted. "What guidelines? That sounded vaguely ominous."
"Lighten up, Sam," Dean replied. "It's a naturalistic spa and spirit renewal resort. Of course there are membership guidelines."
"And that's it?" Sam asked.
"That's it," Dean replied. He stopped in front of Suite 11. Dean swiped his card key and entered the room. He remembered the resort was posh, but he had forgotten just how much effort Laurie put into the aesthetics of every room.
Dean felt Sam stop behind him. Neither of them said anything for several moments until Sam broke the silence. "How in the world did you ever meet a woman as classy as Laurie?" Sam asked. "Our line of work doesn't usually have us rubbing elbows with people like her."
"Oh, ye of little faith," Dean intoned. "While you were in college, I expanded my horizons."
"You stumbled into it," Sam said. It was a statement, not a question.
"That too," Dean replied. He walked into the closest bedroom and threw his bag onto the bed staking claim to it. Strategically, it was a good spot. Close to the kitchen, close to the bathroom and between the door and Sam. He would have an entire full size bed to himself and it was a rare luxury.
"Hey, Dean?" Sam asked his head appearing in Dean's doorway.
"Yeah?" Dean responded, unzipping his bag.
"Are you sure you want this room? I'm willing to flip for the other one," Sam offered.
"Nope, I'm good," Dean replied. "You're stuck."
"But, Dean," Sam protested.
"Nope, suck it up, Sammy," Dean insisted pulling his toiletries out of the bag.
"Okay, if you insist," Sam replied, disappearing once again.
Dean grabbed his razor, toothbrush, and shampoo and dropped them off in the bathroom. The bathroom was huge, with a large oversized shower. He noticed the spray had several settings. He could feel the massage on his knotted back muscles already. He toyed with the idea of taking a shower when a knock sounded at the door.
Dean's hand twitched spasmodically towards the gun tucked in the small of his back. He looked out the peep hole to find Laurie standing there with a small cart. Dean swung the door open and graced Laurie with one of his best megawatt smiles. "You didn't have to bring us anything," he said.
"It's not a problem. I need to eat too, you know," Laurie replied giving him a gentle swat on the chest. "Mind if I set it out? I'm starved." She knelt down to pull out the silver domed platter on the bottom rack of the cart.
"I'm up for anything you are," Dean replied suggestively.
Laurie's bobbed hair bounced when she stood back up quickly. "No need to be subtle," Laurie said. "If you're looking to rekindle our physical relationship while you are staying here, I'm definitely interested." She placed the domed platter on the table and leaned in closer to Dean. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she placed a passionate kiss upon his lips.
"Am I interrupting something?" Sam asked from the doorway to the back end of the room.
"Yes," Laurie replied sweetly, turning to face Sam.
"No," Dean replied simultaneously, his head jerking back up.
Laurie picked up another platter and placed it on the table, followed by a crystal pitcher of iced water with lemon. "Your brother, hinted he was up for something physical tonight, but it doesn't appear that's actually the case," she supplied.
"I never said I wasn't up for it," Dean protested. "We're here to do a job, and Sam…"
"Don't use me as an excuse, Dean," Sam replied, throwing Dean under the bus. "I'm a big boy now and perfectly capable of conducting research while you are out doing…whatever."
Dean threw Sam an angry scowl. "All I'm saying is we have a job to do first," Dean replied, sitting down at the table.
"I don't remember you being so bashful last time," Laurie said leaning in towards Dean again.
"I'm not bash, It's just we," Dean stuttered out, losing focus as Laurie wrapped her arms around his neck. "I'm all yours," he finished.
Laurie laughed as she sat down at the table, and Sam rolled his eyes. "That certainly wasn't hard," Sam stated.
"Not yet, at any rate," Laurie dead-panned, passing the steamed broccoli to Sam. Sam coughed sharply and chuckled at the bug-eyed expression Dean wore and the blush climbing his neck. Dinner was going to be fun after all.
"So, Dean tells me we're after a poltergeist," Sam said. "How long have you noticed something unusual going on, and what makes you think it is a poltergeist?"
Laurie scooped a mound of raisin-apple orzo unto her plate and said, "It's been going on ever since my father returned from the hospital. I think it is a poltergeist, because it seems a lot like the problem Dean solved for us before."
"Has anyone been hurt?" Dean asked, his eyes flashing concern.
"Thank goodness, no one yet, anyway," Laurie replied. "It started with missing personal items, staff members getting locked in storage closets or in the walk-in freezer. However, it has been escalating and last week, dishes and food went flying around the kitchen."
"Why didn't you call me?" Dean asked.
This time, it was Laurie who blushed. "I couldn't find your number anymore. I knew you and I would probably never run into each other again and what were the chances I'd need another ghost buster? I was so happy when you called. Dad is certain you'll be able to help. He's offering to pay you a fee."
"You don't have to pay us, Laurie," Dean replied. He bypassed the orzo and stabbed a piece of chicken with his fork. "You know, we do what we do to help people."
"Afraid of being an honest man for a couple of weeks? Credit card scamming is the only way you can live comfortably with your conscience?" Laurie asked sarcastically. At Dean's head shake she softened her tone and added, "Do it for Sam."
"That's playing dirty pool," Dean protested.
"That makes two of us," Laurie smirked, her green eyes twinkling.
"Hey, still here," Sam said, suddenly feeling like the unwelcome third wheel on a date.
Dean broke eye contact with Laurie and actually gave Sam an apologetic glance. "We'll need a list of staff members who experienced any of these events so we can interview them."
Laurie nodded. "I already told them you were from the insurance company. They're expecting you to be poking around and asking odd questions."
"Perfect," Sam replied with a small smile.
The meal continued in silence while each one watched the other for some sort of signal as to what was going to happen next. It was an odd game of cops and robbers without the beers. "I'm going to head back to my room. I need to make sure the aide helped dad to bed before giving the night shift crew report. Just leave the dishes and the cart in the hall. The cleaning service will pick it up," Laurie announced standing up to leave. "I hope to see you in an hour or so," she said to Dean.
"G'night, Laurie," Dean said shutting the door behind her. When he turned around, Sam was clearing off the table.
"You're not going?" Sam asked.
"No, we have a case to work. I'm going to head down to the kitchen and interview the staff before they go home for the day," Dean replied.
"I'm thinking about taking a nice long shower and then hitting the sack early. If you don't get back right away, I probably won't even notice," Sam stated, rolling the cart into the hall. Dean was shaking his head at Sam when he turned around.
"Smooth, Sam, very smooth," Dean said. "I changed my mind; I may be gone for awhile. You know Laurie can do some amazing things with…"
"Dean, I don't want to know. I really, really, don't want to know," Sam protested. "Go. Just go."
"I'll be back…later," Dean said with a grin before shutting the door.
"Yeah-huh," Sam muttered to no one. "I'm not waiting up, that's for sure."
Sam went back to his bedroom to retrieve the laptop and brought it back out to the dining room table. While he was waiting for it to boot up, he went into the kitchen and searched through the mini-bar. He felt a little guilty for imposing on Laurie's hospitality as he cracked open a beer.
The computer chimed as the WLAN on the laptop found the resort's WiFi connection. Sam logged into the Internet and decided to check out information on the resort. He had barely scanned the first two lines before he slammed the beer bottle down with such force a stream of beer shot out the top narrowly avoiding the laptop on its decent.
"I'm going to kill him," Sam muttered through gritted teeth.
TBC – feedback welcome!