Time, Tattoos and Trouble.

Third in the Decebal Trilogy

Disclaimer: Not mine never was and never will be...sigh just my own fevered imagination and the odd original character.

Author's Notes: I have loosely based this small town on Sleepy Eye Minnesota, now I have never been there, or for that matter, I have never left Australia. So after researching the town etc, I have created one of my own based on it. If there is a Sleepyville in Minnesota or anywhere else that sounds remotely like what I describe then I humbly apologise...

I am also trying to use more Americanisms in my writing to avoid confusion, but please bear with me as I often get so wrapped up in my stories that I tend to use what I am used to, like Mum instead of Mom but I will do my best so here goes ...

One more thing ... I just want everyone to know, that even though I am using a rather strange tattoo as the focal point of this story I am not having a go at anyone with tattoos. I happen to like them, especially if they are very artistically done, in fact I have a fairy on my left ankle :0)

SPECIAL THANKS to H T Marie for her advice on getting around the FF uploading problems and to Carikube for her pointing me in the right direction.

Chapter 1 – The morning after, the night before...

The light filtered through the blinds, sending bars of tiny sparks of light showering over the two sleeping men. One stretched out on his stomach, long legs twisted in the sheets and with his feet hanging over the end of the bed. One arm tucked under his cheek the other fisted in the bottom sheet, finger clutching at the thin fabric. The other also lay on his stomach, but he lay as though he toppled face down on the bed without moving when he hit. His head turned so he was facing the other bed, one arm hidden under his chest the other dangling over the edge, he lay fully clothed on top of the bed, and one booted foot hung precariously over the side of the bed, the other leg straight and ungiving in the tenseness of the muscles.

'Dean?' The sleep slick voice came from the bed furtherest from the door, 'Dean?' A face peered up over his own arm, dark brown hair hiding his dark ringed tired eyes. 'Hey dude time to wake up.'

'Mmph.' Came the only response to the early morning wake up call.

'Okay then I get first shower.'

'Whatever Sammy.' Another mumbled reply came closely followed by a smothered moan. Laughing Sam extricated himself from the tangled remains of his bed and with one last glance down at his hungover brother; he headed straight to the bathroom.

Dean waited until he heard the shower running before he started to stir, wincing with the effort he managed to turn around and to sit up without having his world collide into him. His head pounded with dozens of little gremlins partying inside, 'just what happened last night?' he mumbled as he scrubbed at his eyes with a shaking hand. He could remember leaving Sam to do some research while he went to find some easy marks for a quick hustle. He remembered the bar and the pool games, his winnings still safe in his pocket so he wasn't tumbled. A dark haired girl came to mind, with blood-red lips shaped like pouting bows and the brightest deep blue eyes he had ever seen. He remembered having a few drinks with her, Ruby her name was Ruby.

Swallowing on the rising obligatory bile Dean squinted up at the still closed bathroom door his hand ghosting over his left breast, his awareness stirring the pain into life, it burnt still, festering and scorching. Taking a shaky breath, he undid his shirt and pulled it off along with the T-shirt underneath, dropping both items of clothing idly on the floor. Exposing a white gauze pad tapped on his left breast covering his nipple. A quick yank and the pad fell away exposing the marked flesh beneath.

'Dean? What the?' Sam stood next to his brother, a towel slung around his narrow hips and water droplets glistened on his damp skin. 'When did you get a tattoo?'

'I – I ... honestly Sammy I don't remember.' Dean said as he lost his battle with his rebelling stomach, pushing past Sam he made it to the toilet just as his stomach exploded.

'Dean what's ... you okay man?' Sam asked crouching next to his brother he gently rubbed circles on his back while he retched into the porcelain bowl.

'Argh I hate this...' Dean moaned lifting his head wearily to look at Sam, 'damn it Sammy stay still I keep seeing two of you.'

'What did you drink last night Dean? The entire bar?'

'Oh so not funny Sammy,' Dean groaned as he tried to stand up, 'shower ... need a shower.' Sam silently helped his brother get ready for the shower before guiding him to it and turning the cold water on full blast. Fuck! Sam!' Dean bellowed as the icy jets of water hit his tortured flesh, 'so not cool Sammy.'

'Yeah well neither is getting paralytic drunk either.' Sam snapped as he left Dean alone, knowing he had to leave before he said something he may regret later when Dean wasn't so hungover. Dean rested his head on the glass cubicle wall and let the water cascade over him, turning the hot water on just enough to take the edge of the coldness he felt it easing the heat out of his being. Staggering slightly he left the shower and stood in front of the bathroom mirror, propping himself up on the basin, he wiped the sheen of steam away from the glass and stared in horror at his reflection. Ignoring his hangdog look and sallow complexion Dean's gaze went straight to the image now set into his skin.

'Dean?' Sam's quiet voice startled Dean and he span around wide-eyed and gasping for breath, 'hey dude what's wrong?'

'What's wrong Sammy? Gee I dunno, maybe coz I have fucking no idea what happened last night and how I got this.' Dean pointed to the tattoo on his chest.

'I got coffee and donuts, come on and get dressed we can work this out.'

'Yeah well I'm glad you're so freaking confident coz it's killing me man.' Dean grumbled as he followed Sam out into the motel room and headed for his bag of clean and semi-clean clothes.

'Hey Dean before you put your shirt on, can ... can I get a good look at the tattoo?' Sam asked hesitantly not wanting Dean to blow up on him again. Dean frowned but nodded yes sitting down on the edge of his bed in the direct sunlight. Sam crouched down in front of his brother so he could have a good look at the tattooed image. Pulling out his cell phone Sam took a few photos of it before he met Dean's enquiring gaze. Silently he passed the phone over for Dean to get a good look at the photos.

'Fuck me.' Dean breathed, 'what the freaking hell his going on Sam?'

'I dunno, but ... what do you remember about last night Dean?'

'I left here and went to the bar down the end of the block, a town this size dude there's not many places worth visiting.' Dean glanced over at Sam and then stared at the photo of his new tattoo. 'I ah played pool and won, oh yeah the winnings are over there, just over two hundred. Anyway, I remember having a good chat to the guys, I hustled making sure that you know no hard feelings, man they're gullible here. They really thought I had beginners luck.' Dean chuckled softly at that memory before he continued. 'I went to the bar and umm there was this girl.'

'Now why isn't that a surprise?' Sam asked as he handed Dean his coffee.

'Funny dude, her name was Ruby I thought it was fitting coz she had the reddest lips I have ever seen, in fact she was hot all over I mean smoking hot. Actually come to think about it...'

'Dude mind on the story.' Sam teased lightly.

'That's just it Sammy she was too hot, too perfect for me, ya know.' Dean said his brows drawing together as he tried to imagine her, 'we had a drink and umm ...'

'And?' Sam prompted. 'We ahh had a drink and then ... damn Sammy this is so freaking weird. I honestly don't remember anything else except waking up here this morning.'

'And no memory of the tat? Dude how much did you drink?'

'I ah had probably four beers all night, had to keep my game face on ya know.' 'What did you drink with her, with Ruby?'

'Beer, I think.' 'So we need to find out just who Ruby is and where you got your body art from.'

'Gee Sam I didn't think you were trying out as a stand up comedian.' Dean snapped finishing his coffee, he stood up ready to finish dressing and to go hunt down the bitch who did this to him, when his knees seemed to turn into jelly, and he fell back on the bed.

'Dean?' Sam cried out rushing to his brother's side, 'Dude the tattoo it's ... it's changing.'

'What?' Dean mumbled, blinking furiously he tried to focus on Sam through the fog.

'The tattoo it's changing.' Sam repeated.

'What ... what is it now?'

'Still a demonic figure but...'


'It's smiling now, and there's a dragon's head appearing behind the demon.'

'Ah it hurts Sammy, it's burning me.' Dean paled as he stared up at Sam's face mournfully, 'it's killing me.'

'Okay, get a grip Dean you can fight this.' Sam muttered, 'I'm gonna find out if there's a tattoo parlour here.'

'In this Godforsaken town? Man there's only one bar and it's more like a wine bar than a good old fashioned one.' Dean proclaimed a sheen of sweat glistened on his face from the effort of controlling the sudden flares of pain. Sam put the phone book down and sighed heavily, not needing to confirm just what Dean thought, there wasn't one. 'So okay who did your tattoo? Ruby?'

'Ruby with the red lips.' Dean sighed, 'man I should have known she was too good to be true.'

'Yeah well someone knew exactly what type of woman to send after you.' Sam said with a tinge of annoyance. 'Man you are so predictable sometimes.'

'Oh just joke it up Samuel!' Dean snarled, his eyes flashing red he regarded his brother with a cold stare. 'You always have to have the last word don't you.'

'No, actually that's you Dean.' Sam shot back, 'what's wrong with you dude?'

'What's wrong with me? What's wrong with you Sammy boy?'

'Dean the tattoo it's finished changing.' Sam said suddenly changing the subject not wanting to fight his brother while he was like this.

'What, what is it?' Dean's eyes flared back to green and the mournful look returned.

'So the demon's face is clearer, and he's smiling. The dragon is behind him, with its jaws resting on the demon's shoulder, the body wrapped around him and the tail ... the tail is looped around your ahh your nipple.' Dean stared down in disbelief as the entire tattoo changed from the demonic figure to that of one with a face and a pet dragon. 'Oh man.'

'Dean that demon's face is very familiar.' Sam said softly, 'I think I know just who is behind this.'

'Let me guess ... one totally fugly, fucked up demon with delusions of grandeur?' Dean mocked, 'he said he'd own me.'

'Dean he's not going too...'

'Look at me Sam, the bastard has put his own face on me, and he would know what my tastes are in women. The freak has been in my mind often enough.'

'I honestly thought that he would leave us alone for a while longer anyway.' Sam said his voice hitching slightly. 'I didn't ... I should have made sure that he was dead.'

'Sam it's not your fault.' Dean looked up to lock gazes with his younger brother, 'Decebal is a crazy-assed demon and a really slippery shit as well, but we are totally gonna run his ass back to hell I can promise you that.'

'Dean I ... you never really told me what happened when Decebal had you alone.' Sam said breaking the locked gazes he moved away busying himself with making fresh coffee. Their experiences still so fresh in the minds of the boys, they spent two months at Paster Jim's recuperating from their injuries, both physical and mental but Sam watched Dean build so many protective layers around himself he often wondered if he would ever see the real Dean again. Their father fussed over them until both were back to their usual selves, including a fiery tempered Sam, their arguments often became fodder for the amusement of Paster Jim and Dean, who often bet on the outcome of each verbal sparring match. Then their father did it again, another disappearing act. The boys woke to find their Dad gone, his bags, the truck everything ... giving the illusion that he had never been there to begin with. Not even leaving a note for his sons, nothing. Dean shut down even more after that, taking their father's departure personally, figuring that John couldn't bear to see his good little soldier as nothing but damaged goods now.

A week later, and the boys were back on the road searching for their father again and searching for hunts. A new hunt, an old theme, salt and burn a ghost in Sleepyville Minnesota, easy and a good way to ease back into hunting. Two days and finished, the ghost sent back to wherever it came from, the family grateful and the boys relatively unscathed for a change. Nice and easy.

The day before they were due to leave Sleepyville, Sam decided to stay and research another job for them while dean went to rustle up some money the easiest way he knew how.

'I thought that freaking freak was gone, outta our lives.' dean grumbled as he pulled his shirt on, deliberately ignoring Sam's question.

'Dean please can you tell me ... it might help us work out what is going on with your new tattoo.' Dean glared at Sam, not wanting to go down that road; he had boxed that stuff away in the file in his mind marked never to go there again.

'I can't see what that has to do with...'

'Dean, Decebal obviously knew exactly how to get to you, like you said he's been in your mind hell for that matter he's been in mine, but there's more and you need to talk about it.'

'Why? It's all done and over, why rehash things that can't be changed?'

'Coz it is killing you from the inside out Dean.' Sam said softly not wanting to upset his brother anymore than he already was.

'He, he did things to me Sammy ... things that should never be done to anyone ever.' Dean started, his voice cracking with his pent up emotions. 'Let's get outta here Sammy; I have to get out of this room.'

'Okay so where do you want to go?'

'For a drive around the place, anywhere just let's get out of here before I go crazy.' Dean pushed Sam towards the door before he grabbed his jacket and keys. The urge to leave the room now becoming an overwhelming panic attack, 'you drive Sammy.' He said tossing the keys to his startled and confused brother.


'Hey if you don't wanna drive, just say so...'

'No, no I'll drive.' Sam said unlocking the car he eased his long frame behind the wheel as he watched Dean ease himself in, 'so where too?'

'Just drive Jeeves.' Dean grinned slightly and slipped his sun glasses on, 'head into town.'

'Okay, anything to watch out for?' Sam asked as he turned the key and waited for the impala to roar into life.

'Gorgeous babe, with waist length dark hair, bright dark blue eyes, and the reddest lips ever seen on a woman. Perfect figure, tall and slender. Last seen wearing blue jeans, black boots, and a tiny cut off red T-shirt.'

'Okay that narrows it down in a place like this.' Sam grinned pulling out of the carpark he eased into the traffic and followed the road into the main part of Sleepyville. 'I know why they call it Sleepyville.' He quipped as he slowed down even more to prevent rear-ending the car in front. 'Any slower and they'll be walking faster.'

'Just don't scratch my baby, she's very sensitive.' Dean warned, slumping down even further, 'freaking sun, does it have to be so bright?'

'Sorry can't do anything about that.' Sam turned to glance at Dean, 'hey dude you okay? You're sweating like mad again.'

'Burning ... my skin's burning.' Dean gasped, and then started hyperventilating. Pulling over into the closest vacant parking space, Sam turned the car off and moved until he was sitting facing Dean.

'Hey Dean look at me.' Sam said lifting his brother's sunglasses away.

'Hurts Sammy.' Dean mumbled between each tortured breath.