Be Careful What You Wish For

Disclaimer: Would that they were mine.

Thank You: To Shar for continuing to pinch hit as a beta.

Special Thanks: To everyone who read and/or reviewed. The site is having snits, so I'm sure most of you did not get your replies, but I sent them!

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As the fire consumed the cursed letter opener, Sam recited yet another passage from the ancient text. When he finished, both brothers stood for several moments watching the fire dance and flicker. "Dean," Sam said finally.

"Yeah?" Dean replied not moving his gaze from the flame.

"Next time you want to get laid, try to pick a girl who's not so buckets o' crazy," Sam quipped throwing Dean's own words back at him.

Dean's eyes flicked to Sam, and he slugged him lightly in the arm. The brothers stood watching the flame for several more long moments until the flames died down, and the sky started to lighten before heading back to their suite.

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"Got it!" Dean called. He dove for the ball, and slid several feet in the sand on his torso. He connected solidly with the ball, and it shot back over the net. Dean jumped to his feet and tried to wipe the sand off his sweaty chest, but most of it stayed firmly in place.

"Don't even bother," Gretchen laughed. "It's not coming off."

Dean shot her a grin. "Guess maybe you'll have to help me," he replied.

"That could be arranged," Gretchen replied with a mischievous glint in her eye.

"Heads up!" a shapely blonde in the back shouted. "Ball!"

"Got it!" Dean called again, as he spiked the ball over the net.

"Game!" the blonde announced. "Woo hoo!"

Gretchen placed her hand on Dean's arm. "After that – man, I need a drink."

"I'll get us one," Dean replied with a smile. "Meet me up by the poolside café."

"I will. Just give me a minute to let Gail know," Gretchen replied. She smiled at Dean's retreating form.

"Did you just say after that man – you need a drink?" the blonde asked with a smirk.

"Shut up, Gail," Gretchen snapped without any real heat. "Not that I would mind having a piece of that man," she added with a smile.

Gail wrapped her arm around Gretchen's neck and said, "I have a feeling, that's not a problem."

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"Sam, thank you for helping me clean up," Laurie said. "I just couldn't face it last night."

"It isn't a problem. I'm happy to help," Sam replied setting the broom and dust pan back into the utility closet.

"And, it kept you in your clothes," Laurie replied knowingly.

Sam blushed and replied, "That too." He took a seat on the sofa, and stretched his long legs out in front of him. When Laurie entered his field of vision holding out a cold bottle of beer, Sam snagged it from her grasp. "Thanks," he said taking a swig.

Laurie sat down next to Sam on the sofa, and curled her legs up underneath her. "I can't tell you how much it means to me to have someone with whom I can talk out my feelings surrounding the possession," Laurie said.

Sam peeled the wrapper from around the neck of his bottle. "Same here," he replied.

"You seem very introspective," Laurie observed. "Any particular reason?"

"Just wondering how, or if, this fits in with the demon's plans for me, for my destiny," Sam replied.

"Your destiny?" Laurie asked with a frown.

Sam nodded and replied, "For me, and others like me. The demon has plans for us."

"No offense, Sam," Laurie replied. "But that's a bit of bullshit, isn't it?"

"Why would you say that?" Sam asked tightly. "You don't know anything about it."

"You're right, I don't," Laurie admitted. "But I do know something about destiny." When Sam did not respond, she continued. "Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice."

"I'm not sure that I'll have a choice," Sam replied returning her gaze.

"Don't turn those puppy dog eyes on me," Laurie said playfully. "I'm not Dean." Sam did not respond other than a soft huffing noise. He returned to peeling the label off the neck of his beer bottle in small, thin strips. Laurie softened her tone further, "Sam, you always have a choice."

"I sure hope so," Sam replied. A comfortable silence hung in the air for several moments.

"To kicking their butts back to hell," Laurie announced, holding up her bottle.

Sam looked up at her, surprised by her enthusiastic tone. He held up his bottle, and clinked it against hers. "To kicking their butts back to hell," he repeated with a small smile. Sam tilted the bottle, and drank deeply.

"Are you and Dean leaving soon?" Laurie asked.

Sam gave a small laugh, but did not look up at Laurie. "If Dean had his way, we'd probably live here, but I think we'll be leaving tomorrow," Sam replied.

Laurie nodded and remarked, "I thought as much. Last time he left within a couple of hours after getting rid of our poltergeist problem. I'm actually a little surprised you're still here."

Sam met Laurie's gaze and replied, "He's staying for us. Making sure we're both okay, hoping we'll talk to each other instead of him about our feelings," Sam laughed softly. "Hoping he'll get lucky again."

Laurie's melodic laugh joined Sam's. "He probably will," she remarked. "If he doesn't find someone down at the beach, I won't turn him down."

Sam winced and shook his head. "You know, I really don't need to hear things like that," he admitted painfully. Laurie simply smiled and took a drink of her beer.

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"Oh, did I tell you," Gretchen said enthusiastically. "We figured out what was going on in our room."

"Yeah?" Dean asked over the top of his beer.

Gretchen nodded. "It's kind of embarrassing actually," she admitted. "Gail borrowed my earrings and put them away in the wrong spot."

"That happens," Dean replied although he had no real idea. He and Sam didn't borrow things from each other. What little personal space they had, they clung to.

"It does," Gretchen agreed. "The strange part is the feeling of being watched. We caught a peeping Tom outside our window last night!"

Dean's look of consternation caused Gretchen to chuckle. "Why would anyone peep through a window to see things he could see any time around here?" he asked.

"Don't ask me why he has voyeuristic tendencies," Gretchen replied. "But he admitted he was doing it."

Dean shook his head. "Okay, that I would not have guessed," he said.

Gretchen rubbed at the bruises on Dean's wrists. "Dare I ask how you got these, and the ones on your back?" she asked.

"Not the way you are thinking," Dean replied setting down his beer. He stared at Gretchen, hoping she would drop it.

"So ah, Dean," Gretchen fumbled, releasing Dean's wrist. "What are your plans for this evening?"

"I don't have any yet," Dean smirked. "Think you can do something about that?"

"Definitely," Gretchen replied leaning forward and resting her chin in her hands.

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Sam relaxed into the tub; the foaming lavender scented bubbles tickled his nose, as he lowered himself deeper into the spa to take full advantage of the jet spray. This was the first time he had been able to relax, and he was hoping no one would interrupt him.

Bracing his feet on the far side of the tub, Sam bent his knees slightly and slid further into the water. The water felt fantastic, and Sam's muscles turned gelatinous as he slipped into a light doze.

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"Sam!" Dean called as he entered the suite. "Sammy!" When he received no response from his little brother, Dean pulled out his cell phone and dialed. One ring. Two. Three. Dean tilted his head, listening. He thought he could hear the ring in his phone, and a quieter, muffled echo coming from Sam's bedroom.

Dean walked closer to the back bedroom that Sam inhabited. Four rings. Five. Dean cautiously opened the door, and poked his head inside. Six rings. "You've reached the voicemail of Sam Winchester. If you need help, leave a message."

Dean disconnected the call and entered Sam's bedroom. "What the hell?" he muttered taking in his surroundings. The king size bed in the center of the room was dwarfed by the sheer size of the room. There was a small sitting area, where Sam's laptop rested on top of a marble table. The French doors on the far side led to an outdoor patio with lounge chairs and a view of the lake. Sam had been holding out on him.

Sam's jeans, shirt, and cell phone were lying on the bed in a rumpled pile. Dean assumed his socks and boxers were lying around as well, but he was not about to search for them. "Sam!" Dean shouted loudly, his voice echoing in the large room.

Sounds of water splashing could be heard coming from the bathroom. Dean opened the bathroom door and walked in. Sam was lounging in the tub, but he looked up when he heard the door open. "Dude, personal space," Sam protested reaching for a nearby towel.

Dean spun around, and faced the door. "Sam, was that bubble bath?" Dean asked.

"What do you want, Dean?" Sam asked exasperatedly with a sigh.

"You've been holding out on me, Sammy," Dean answered. "Huge bed, a tub…"

"A king-sized bed and a Jacuzzi tub," Sam corrected. "The shower has nearly 360 degrees of lateral spray too."

"Oh man, are you in for it," Dean replied.

"Hey, I offered to flip you for it, remember?" Sam replied. "You didn't figure it out when I never used your shower?"

"It's not my problem if you want to go around smelling like dirty socks," Dean defended.

"Did you need something?" Sam prompted.

"Oh, yeah, I was going to let you know I may not be back until late tonight," Dean replied.

"Laurie?" Sam asked.

"Laurie? No, the pool girl, Gretchen," Dean replied. "You think Laurie would want to…"

"She indicated as much," Sam interrupted.

"Now I do have a problem," Dean moaned. "Who do you think I should…"

"I don't," Sam interrupted again. "I don't think anything about it, nor do I want to. What I want is for you to leave and do whatever it is you are going to do. I don't care who, where or when."

"Okay, little brother," Dean replied with an amused laugh. He knocked once on the frame of the door on his way out. "I'm outta here."

"See ya later," Sam replied sinking back down into the tub.

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Dean stood at the reception desk talking to Laurie while Sam loaded the duffel bags into the Impala. Sam took a small amount of satisfaction in knowing he was now in better physical health than Dean was, and the coddling was officially at an end. He returned to the reception area just in time to hear the tail end of Dean and Laurie's conversation.

"Just take it," Laurie insisted holding out a wad of bills to Dean. "It's only a couple thousand dollars."

"You and I have a different opinion of the word, only," Dean countered. "Again, I'll remind you, we do what we do to help people."

"And again, I'll remind you, it isn't much and you can use it to help people," Laurie replied. "Besides, you are willing to hustle pool, use credit card scams, and charm your way through life. You may as well accept money for your work when you can."

"Well, there's two things, I uh, won't do for money," Dean quoted in his best Rockford voice.

"Oh yeah?" Laurie replied. "What's that?"

I won't kill for it, and I won't marry for it. Other than that, I'm open to about anything," Dean finished with a smirk.

"Get out of here, Winchester," Laurie laughed. "And take the puppy with you."

Sam put on his best offended face at Laurie's comment. "Don't encourage him," Sam moaned.

"You remember what I told you," Laurie replied, pointing her finger at Sam.

"I will," Sam replied.

Dean looked from Laurie and Sam. He had missed something important here; he was just not sure what it was. "Come on, Sam. Let's go," he said.

"I'm right behind you," Sam assured him.

"And you," Dean said giving Laurie a quick peck on the lips. "You hang on to our numbers this time."

"I will," Laurie replied giving the brothers a small wave. "I guess you never know when you will need ghost busters."

Dean returned Laurie's wave, and the brothers left the Sunnyvale Naturalist Spirit Renewal and Spa.

Fin.

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The challenge issued:

While my friend Shar was reading the first chapter of, 'An Old Haunt for a New Hunt,' she said, "Dean's guilt is my guilt."

"What?" I asked, busily typing away.

"I suggested that Dean needed to hustle some pool, and because of that, Sam got hurt. Now, Dean's guilt is my guilt," Shar complained.

I laughed and replied, "Well, if you feel that badly about it, you can pick their next hunt."

"Really?"

"Sure," I replied. "Whatever you want. You name it, and I'll write around it."

At this point Shar giggled evilly (evilly I tell you!). "A poltergeist," she said.

"Okay," I replied only half listening.

"At a nudist colony," she added.

"What?!" I exclaimed.

And thus, Sam and I learned the same valuable lesson. Be careful what you wish (ask) for.

Thanks for coming along on the ride!