Set one month after All Hell Breaks Loose…
Hi, My Name's Gaylord, and I'm a Gnome
Sam rang the doorbell to the opulent two-story colonial. He only knew that was the design because of Jess. She had raved about the architecture – square, symmetrical shape with paneled front door at center, decorative crown over the front door with flattened columns on each side, five windows across the front – yep, Sam had even been dragged on a tour of Georgian Colonial homes.
It was a pretty sad state of affairs when a house's architecture could make Sam melancholy. But to be honest, it wasn't just Jess he was missing. He found himself mourning Dean even though his brother was still living and breathing.
His selfish, obstinate, protective, wonderful, self sacrificing brother had made the most asinine deal and only had 335 days left until he had to pay the ultimate price – forfeiture of his life so that Sam could continue living.
Sam was giving it his all, researching every nook and cranny, running down every option, in order to find a way to void Dean's silly assed deal. So far he wasn't having any luck and truth be told he'd rather be in front of the laptop, searching leads, then out in the sunny community on a potential hunt. But Dean had insisted that they continue with the job and Sam certainly couldn't deny him anything, not now. Not when Dean had in essence exchanged his life for Sam's.
So instead Sam found himself ringing the doorbell of a gorgeous Georgian Colonial that Jess would have given her eye teeth to own, to raise their children in, when he'd rather be somewhere else, doing something more productive. Like saving Dean's life.
The door gently swung open and the cutest, shortest blue haired octogenarian he'd ever set eyes on greeted him, "Yes, may I help you?" Even her voice was soft and sweet. If one of Sam's grandmothers had still been alive, he imagined she would look like this.
Sam took a deep breath before giving his most practiced, artificial smile. "Hi, my name is Sam…" the sweet, grandmotherly woman interrupted him before he could even launch into his spiel. He was there to interview her on possible sightings of the grim reaper in the neighborhood, but she didn't give him a chance to explain himself.
"You're late! Come in. I'm Adelaide Johnson. You may call me Mrs. Johnson. I have plenty of work for you and you were supposed to show up hours ago. You young people, you have no sense of responsibility. Why in my day…oh, never mind. You're here and that's all that matters. Come in, come in," she bubbled as she took Sam's arm in a hardy grip and hauled him inside. For such a petite thing, she sure was strong.
Sam allowed himself to be pulled into the foyer, past the beautiful, sweeping, cherry wood banister and through ornate pocket doors to a spacious sitting room. French doors opened on to an English garden replete with forget-me-nots, cornflowers, and marigolds.
Sam's eyes scanned the panorama and he was immediately drawn to the ugliest gnome he'd ever seen. Although this particular gnome looked to be made of the usual resin and sported the traditional red hat, he had the crankiest expression on his face.
Sam might have an intense dislike of clowns, but he was pretty certain that Dean had a weakness for gnomes. He'd caught Dean staring at the spokesgnome in the Travelocity commercials with some anxiety. It was subtle, a narrowing of the eyes coupled with a pursing of the lips, but Sam had picked up on it. After a commercial had aired, Sam had mentioned how college kids would go "gnome hunting" and whoever brought back the tackiest statue, lifted from nearby neighborhoods, would win a prize. He'd thought that would appeal to Dean's prankish, fun loving side, but his brother had only shuddered slightly and ignored those commercials from that moment on.
"If you're through lolly-gagging, young man, I'd like to get started. I want that settee moved away from the wall and when you're through with that, please move the side table. But be very careful, it's a Hepplewhite and I'm most fond of it," Mr. Johnson remarked, tucking a stray piece of hair into her blue tinged bun.
A shiver took him by surprise when Mrs. Johnson mentioned the Hepplewhite. That was a piece of furniture referenced by Straker in Salem's Lot. A Hepplewhite sideboard. Salem's Lot was still one of the creepiest horror movies in Sam's opinion and he could hear James Mason saying that line in a very proper British accent. To hear that particular word coming out of Mrs. Johnson's mouth gave him pause.
The mood was spoiled when she snapped another order at Sam. He wondered if Mrs. Johnson had been a drill sergeant. He felt certain John Winchester would have approved of her no nonsense style and assertive attitude.
He found himself going along with Mrs. Johnson's requests. He wasn't there to move furniture, but he figured the only way she would open up to him is if he stuck around and talked. Not that he was very hopeful she could help with his line of questioning.
He glanced outside and zeroed in on the homely gnome. He couldn't seem to pry his attention away from it.
Giving himself a mental shake, Sam turned to do Mrs. Johnson's bidding. Before long, he'd worked up a sweat and managed to touch every piece of furniture in the room. He took notice of a picture on another side table (not the Hepplewhite, nothing goes on the Hepplewhite) and commented on the tall, thin dark haired man standing in front of a Rolls Royce.
"That's Mr. Johnson. He's no longer with me. You remind me of him," Mrs. Johnson sighed, showing the first sign of humanity since she had set Sam to work on rearranging her furniture.
"I'm sorry for your loss, Mrs. Johnson," Sam said sincerely.
Before he knew it, Mrs. Johnson was inviting him to sit down (not on the settee, dear, you'll break it) and was chatting about the past. Sam was always fascinated by other people's lives and patiently listened as she spoke of how difficult it was to live on without her spouse.
Although Sam hadn't been married, he couldn't help but think of Jess, and how lost he felt without her.
"Mr. Johnson was such a wonderful man. So youthful and energetic. But then something happened and he disappeared," Mrs. Johnson explained.
That last bit had been jarring since Sam had assumed Mr. Johnson had died. He wanted to ask about the circumstances of Mr. Johnson's disappearance but Mrs. Johnson never slowed in extolling the virtues of her missing husband so he remained quiet. After all, he was here to talk to her about a grim reaper, not her missing husband.
Sam's mind wandered a bit as he thought of his own predicament. Both parents and his girlfriend were dead, but he had Dean for company which was great solace. And it looked like he wouldn't have Dean much longer if he didn't kick it into high gear and find a way out of the deal Dean made for his life.
Sam forced himself to pay attention and realized Mrs. Johnson was winding down a bit so he was able to ask her about any strange occurrences in the neighborhood. She didn't have a clue what Sam was talking about. It came as no surprise, however, he realized he'd been inside chatting with Mrs. Johnson when he should have been out doing interviews. The sooner they wrapped up this potential hunt, the sooner he could devote time to Dean's situation.
"I'm afraid I have to go now, Mrs. Johnson. It's been a pleasure," Sam said, rising to his feet.
"But I haven't paid you yet. Wait right here and I'll be right back," she protested.
"That's okay, Mrs. Johnson. You don't have to pay me," Sam said, feeling guilty about taking money from the lonely widow.
Mrs. Johnson was speaking to him but he inadvertently tuned her out as he looked at the gnome again.
"You are such a dear. If you won't take money, will you at least accept a gift? I notice you're quite smitten with the garden gnome. I'd like you to have him," she said, beaming at Sam.
He was on the verge of declining when he realized he could have some fun with Dean, the gnome hater. And if anyone deserved to have some fun, it was his brother.
"That's incredibly kind of you. Thank you," Sam acquiesced.
Mrs. Johnson shooed him outside onto the patio where she instructed him to take the gnome into his possession.
Sam had opened his knapsack in readiness for the statue. He grasped the gnome around the head and gasped in pain when he felt a pinch on his index finger. Shifting the gnome into the knapsack he saw blood on his finger.
Chiding himself for being such a pansy, he stuck the injured digit in his mouth for a moment. He must have scraped it on a rough piece of terracotta. Shrugging the knapsack onto his shoulder, he thanked Mrs. Johnson inside the French doors before slipping out the front door.
"Take care, young man. I look forward to seeing you again," Mrs. Johnson murmured as she closed the front door behind Sam.
He was met with an irate Dean on the sidewalk leading up to the door. "What the hell happened to you?" Dean huffed. "If you keep this up, disappearing every time I turn my head in the other direction, I'm going to get you a kiddy leash."
Sam didn't point out that separating had been Dean's idea so they could cover more ground and instead held his silence. This tact didn't mitigate Dean's hostility as he elbowed Sam in the stomach and said, "Well? I'm waiting," before crossing his arms over his chest.
In the absence of information regarding the grim reaper, there wasn't much he could say that would appease his brother. Letting out a long suffering sigh, Sam responded, "I'm sorry, Mrs. Johnson was a chatterbox but she wasn't very helpful." Sam felt a moment of guilt for making Mrs. Johnson sound like a burden. But he wanted to placate Dean. He didn't want his brother to be upset or worried.
"Fine, come on. I think I've had enough interviewing for one day," Dean said, as he grabbed Sam's elbow and stirred him toward the Impala, maintaining contact until Sam was settled in the Impala's passenger seat.
Dean had always been one to tousle Sam's hair and jostle him on the arm as a means of showing affection but lately he had taken to touching Sam more. As if assuring himself that Sam was, indeed, okay. It was unsettling to see Dean so touchy-feely since it was outside of his normal comfort zone, but he was sure it was a byproduct of living with Sam's "death" at Jake's hand.
Dean was truly in need of some light hearted fun. Sam hoped the gnome could provide some.
Sam slung the knapsack into the backseat as he folded himself into the Impala while Dean slung himself into the driver's seat.
The motel they were staying at, The Little Red Inn, which was actually primarily brown despite its name, was a short drive away. Dean slid in behind the local traffic and flicked the radio on, setting it to a blaring volume, effectively shutting down communication with Sam.
Sam was irritated with this behavior but decided it wasn't worth the hassle so he turned his head and looked out the passenger window.
A smell not unlike rotten eggs filled the car and Sam scrambled to crank his window down all of the way so he could draw in fresh air. Glaring at Dean, who had also rolled his window down, he grumped, "Dude, that's gross! What the hell did you eat?!"
Dean glanced at Sam, a look of bafflement on his face, before responding, "It wasn't me!"
Sam rolled his eyes but held his tongue. If he made a big deal out of Dean and his obnoxious gassy habits, his brother would never stop. But it was so juvenile and something Dean hadn't resorted to since before he went to Stanford so Sam didn't understand why his brother had regressed. He hoped this wasn't a return to the sick prank wars although he certainly intended some mischief with the gnome so he might as well resign himself to the fact that Dean would retaliate.
Dean pulled the Impala into the parking space outside of their room and the brothers grabbed some provisions from the car before making their way inside.
The outside was nondescript and bland but the inside could only be described as tacky. Thick, red, plush carpet clashed for attention with the white and red striped wall paper and red, satin-like bedspreads. It looked like a candy striper had run amuck.
Sam ran a hand wearily over his eyes before tossing the knapsack on the ground and collapsing back on the bed.
He heard Dean harrumph before his brother hustled into the bathroom. Now was his chance. Sam sat up and snagged the knapsack, rifling through it until he found the gnome. He crept over to Dean's bed and set the gnome on his brother's pillow. There was no way his brother could miss it. Sam stealthily made his way back to his bed and settled his arm over his eyes. He was tired from all of that furniture moving and decided a catnap would be in order.
The next thing Sam knew, Dean was shaking him awake, "Let's move it, Francis. It's almost dinner time. And I need to hustle up some money," his brother declared. "We're low on cash. And unless you're planning on selling yourself on the street corner, I need a pool table and drunk idiots, pronto."
Sam glanced at the clock and realized it was only the middle of the afternoon. But if Dean was hungry, he wasn't going to argue about dinner time.
Sam heaved himself off of the bed and grabbed his bag before heading into the bathroom. A quick rinse should wake him up. He was feeling a bit lethargic and needed to clear his head.
Sam zipped through the shower, toweled off, dressed and was applying deodorant when he heard a high, girlish yelp from the other room. Dean must have spotted the gnome. Sam couldn't help but grin as he whipped open the door and ran into the room to enjoy the scene.
Instead of finding the gnome on Dean's pillow, he saw Dean standing on a chair pointing at the carpet. Sam ran around the bed and stopped short as he saw the gnome, sharp pencil in his hands, wielding it like a sword.
The gnome abandoned terrorizing Dean and swung his makeshift weapon on Sam, "Freeze, Princess! Not another step or you're toast!" the gnome yelled.
The shock seemed to wear off a bit as Dean found his voice, "What the hell is that?!"
The gnome swung back around and glared at Dean, "Put a lid on it, Hot Lips. I told you before, your girly screams are givin' me a headache." The gnome had a low, raspy voice. And it had an obnoxious edge to it.
Sam sunk down on the bed and leaned over, tapping the gnome on the shoulder. The gnome spun around and jabbed the pencil like a bayonet but Sam was ready and plucked it out of the gnome's hands.
"Hey! No one fucks with Gaylord! Not even the asshole who brought me back to life!" he screamed, his face a rosy red, matching his hat. His white beard quivered with annoyance. Sam would have laughed except for the fact that he was dealing with a living gnome.
Dean jumped down off the chair, narrowly missing Gaylord, and hit Sam in the arm. Hard. "What does he mean? Did you bring him back to life?" Dean demanded.
"Hey, Hot Lips, he has a name. Gaylord. And I'm standing right here and I don't like to be ignored," the gnome snapped before stomping a foot on the carpet.
Sam absently rubbed his arm while staring at the gnome. That had been quite a punch Dean had given it, but it didn't hurt. He turned his attention to the more pressing problem. The gnome. It wasn't that they weren't accustomed to dealing with bizarre things but come on, a twelve-inch gnome declaring that he didn't want to be ignored was right up there.
Apparently Gaylord wasn't lying about not being ignored and before Sam realized what he intended, he walked up to Sam and kicked him in the ankle with his booted foot. "Argh," he cried in surprise, reaching down to check his ankle.
The gnome reached out and threaded his hands in Sam's hair and tugged viciously. "Come on, Princess, let's hear it. Why did you bring me back to life?" the gnome demanded.
Sam was at the end of his patience and grabbed the gnome by his hat before spinning him once above his head and letting him fly. Dean ducked as the gnome sailed over his head to crash against the wall by the door, landing in a heap, red hat against red carpet.
A headache suddenly blossomed behind Sam's eyes but he was so used to migraines by now that he didn't even bat an eye at the pain. He reached up and tried to massage the pain away by kneading the back of his neck. He glanced over at the gnome and the damned garden ornament was mimicking him, rubbing at the back of its neck.
Sam shook his head and pulled his attention back to Dean who was squared off across a bed from him. "Jesus, Sam. We're supposed to be looking for a grim reaper and you're screwing around with a gnome?" Dean's arms were crossed in front of his chest again, his face nearly as red as the gnome's hat.
Sam tried his best to explain what had happened, but even as he was saying it, he knew it sounded lame. "Mrs. Johnson asked me to move some furniture around and in return she gave me the gnome. I know you don't like gnomes so I was going to hide him in your stuff. I don't know how I brought him back to life," Sam said, glossing over the high points of his day.
This time it was Dean who rolled his eyes, "Unfuckingbelievable. This could only happen to you," Dean said. He lunged across the bed and slugged Sam in the other arm.
Dean suddenly cried out in pain and hopped around on one foot. "Sonofabitch," he seethed as the source of his pain became apparent. The gnome had jabbed Dean with a pen.
"Hands off,Hot Lips. Princess belongs to me. I'm the only one who gets to beat on him," the gnome declared.
Sam needed to bring this farce under control and quickly. "My name is Sam, not Princess. And this is my brother, Dean. Please tell me how I brought you back to life and why you think I belong to you," Sam said, exhaustion deepening his voice. He didn't know if it was the lunacy of dealing with an irate gnome or his pissed off brother, but Sam wanted nothing more than to curl up and sleep.
Now it was the gnome who crossed his arms, suspicion on his face. "The blood of a deity is supposed to be the only substance that wakes me up but you're no God," Gaylord insisted, eyeing Sam sternly.
"No, I'm not. But I did bleed. Something's wrong and we need to figure it out and then fix it," Sam replied. He was trying to decide if it was safe to leave the gnome alone in the room while he and Dean did some research. He also thought another visit to Mrs. Johnson's house would be necessary to sort things out.
Dean sat on the edge of his bed and pulled his boots on. Standing up he looked at the gnome and wrinkled his nose in disgust. "I'll fix it," Dean said, raising his foot and bringing it down on the gnome's head, expecting it to shatter.
The gnome squirted out from under his foot, unscathed, but Sam howled in pain, clutching his head before dropping onto the nearest bed.
Dean rushed over to his brother and called his name while Sam writhed in pain.
"Nice one, Hot Lips. Didn't I mention? Anything that happens to me, happens to him?" the gnome smiled, a Cheshire grin lighting up his face.
Dean half lifted Sam off of the bed and dragged him to the door. "We'll be back," he told Gaylord, making eye contact with the crazed gnome.
"I'll be here waiting," the gnome's voice lilted after them as Dean slammed the door shut.
Dean cringed, while hiking Sam closer to his side. He hadn't meant to hurt his brother but how could he have known that harming the gnome would result in hurting Sammy?
He gently deposited Sam in the passenger seat before sprinting around the car and clambering into the driver's seat. He didn't know what kind of havoc the gnome might commit while he was left alone but they needed to get away and figure out what was going on.
Dean pulled into the first restaurant he passed, a Red Robin. Red. Everything was red…The Little Red Inn, the red interior of the motel room, the gnome's red hat. Even the blood leaking out of the corner of Sam's mouth.
"Sammy, you okay?" Dean said, solicitously. Sam was more alert but he still looked dazed. His brother continuously dabbed at the blood in the corner of his mouth.
Sam's head bobbed up and down, signaling he was okay.
Dean exited the Impala and grabbed the laptop out of the back seat, before crossing the front of the car to assist Sam. His brother shook him off and made his way into the restaurant under his own steam.
The brothers were soon seated and Dean booted up the laptop via wi-fi. He googled Gnomes and perused the links.
Gnomes were often featured in Germanic fairy tales although many European lands had their own variation including kaukis, barbegazi, vaettir, goblins, and dwarves. Gnomes were said to guard buried treasure.
Dean took a sip of coffee before summarizing his findings. "What do you think? Maybe Gaylord was guarding treasure at the Johnsons," Dean said. When no reply was forthcoming he looked up to check on Sam.
Sam had his chin propped up on a hand and was staring into space, a blissed out expression on his face. "Yo, Dopey. Snap out of it!" Dean exclaimed, reaching out and pinching Sam's cheek. Sam started and batted Dean's hand away.
"Sam, what's going on? We've got a gnarly gnome on our hands and you're spacing out. What gives?" Dean demanded. He didn't like the glazed look in his brother's eyes. It was as though he was drunk or something.
Something Gaylord and his brother said was bothering Dean. Why did you bring me back to life…and then Sam had said something about bleeding.
"Sammy, where did you bleed? Remember, you said there was blood?" Dean said, exasperated when Sam didn't respond immediately.
Sam shook his head and slowly lifted his index finger up and held it out to Dean, "Will you kiss my boo-boo and make it better?" his brother asked in an innocent voice.
Ignoring Sam's question, Dean grabbed his hand and yanked it closer so he could get a better look at the finger. It was red and swollen. It almost looked infected.
"Come on, stoner dude. I need to fix that finger up for you," Dean said, clutching Sam's wrist in his hand and tugging him behind. Sam gamely climbed to his feet and staggered after his brother.
Dean dragged Sam into the bathroom and pushed him against the sinks. Reaching into his jacket pocket he withdrew a flask. Ever since Sam had been possessed by Meg, Dean had taken to carrying holy water in his flask. He now held Sam's hand over the sink and doused his finger with the holy water.
Sam's skin shriveled and turned even redder, while smoke poured of its surface. Sam screeched and tried to yank his hand away from Dean.
Dean redoubled his efforts and clamped Sam's hand against the top of the sink with one hand while slapping his hand over his brother's mouth with the other. He didn't doubt the holy water hurt, but he was trying not to draw unwanted attention. After all, they were still wanted by the FBI.
Dean heard the door open and twisted his body to block the view of whoever was entering the bathroom.
"Jesus, get a room," a deep voice snarked before swiftly pivoting and leaving them alone.
Dean stepped back and noticed that Sam was pale but his eyes were clear. And he wasn't jerking around, trying to get away from Dean.
"Better?" he asked, still concerned. He wasn't sure what they were dealing with yet but it was a lot more sinister than he first thought.
Sam nodded his head and Dean removed his hand from Sam's mouth. "Thanks Dean," he said. He held his finger up and both brothers noted that it was no longer smoking and shriveled looking.
Dean grabbed Sam's elbow and steered him out of the bathroom and back to their booth. Dean noticed that several people wouldn't look at them and the ones who Dean made eye contact with slid their eyes away in embarrassment or disgust..
Too bad if these people thought he and Sam had been indulging in a little afternoon delight. He knew the truth. And Sam's well being was more important.
Dean summarized his limited findings on gnomes while Sam guzzled black coffee. That in itself had been a brief skirmish – Sam had wanted some frilly, precious cappuccino but Dean had insisted on fully caffeinated black coffee. And with its help, Sam was looking more alert with each passing moment.
Dean knew they were missing some important piece of information and asked Sam to recount his time with Mrs. Johnson.
Sam patiently explained how Adelaide had mistaken him for some kind of mover, how he'd noticed the gnome, and how she'd pressed the gnome on him as some sort of thank you. He also told Dean how the gnome had drawn blood when Sam had picked it up.
Dean nodded his head, "Okay, so the blood probably reanimated Gaylord, but why your blood?"
Sam felt a moment's guilt as he remembered the scene the Yellow Eyed Demon had played out for him back in Cold Oak, South Dakota; the Yellow Eyed Demon had slit his wrist and allowed its blood to drip into his mouth the night his mom had been killed and their house had burnt to the ground. Sam knew his blood was different, he knew it was important information, but he couldn't bring himself to tell Dean. Not yet. He didn't want to see that look of disbelief in Dean's eyes. The same look he'd seen after he'd pumped Jake's body full of bullets.
Sam wanted to cut off this line of reasoning. "Forget about why it happened, how do we get rid of the gnome?" he asked.
"Let's go back and talk to him. He seems to answer your questions, even if he is a sarcastic little bastard," Dean replied.
Dean motioned for the check and the brothers were soon on their way back to the motel. As they pulled into their parking space, they noticed a Pizza Hut delivery man standing at their door.
"Excuse me, can I help you?" Dean asked, approaching a teenage boy who was holding a large pizza box.
"Is this your room? I have one large, thin crust with pepperoni and anchovies," the boy said, offering the box out to Dean.
"Sorry, we've been out. We didn't order a pizza. I think someone is playing a trick on you," Dean explained. There was no way he was paying for anything with anchovies. Damn that gnome. How could he even reach the phone?
"Fine," the boy snapped as he stomped off toward his car. "This job sucks," he said under his breath as he passed Sam.
Dean opened the door and found Gaylord reclining on his bed. The gnome scrambled to turn the TV remote off as the brothers entered the room, a guilty expression on his face. The phone and the Yellow Pages were also on the bed.
"Making yourself at home, I see," Dean said, eyeballing the gnome from a distance. He didn't want to get jabbed by any other sharp implements if he could avoid it. Sam pushed past Dean and settled on the edge of the bed next to Gaylord.
"You put the whammy on me when I was at Mrs. Johnson's house, didn't you?" Sam asked bluntly. "There's some sort of connection between us, right?"
"I could feel the power radiating off you in waves but you didn't seem to be aware of it so I thought you'd be my ticket out of that hellhole. And it worked," Gaylord replied smugly. He tugged his beard and stared at Sam.
"So why did you bite me?" Sam asked. So far what the gnome was saying made sense, but he still felt like he was being played.
"Are you kidding me? I wanted to move around. Sure, you were going to take me and play tricks on Hot Lips here, but I wanted to eat pizza and watch TV and I needed the blood of a powerful being to leave that house," Gaylord answered.
"So now what?" Sam asked. The gnome seemed to have engineered his break out with Sam as his patsy but he thought the gnome probably had a grand plan.
"I think there's a way for us to break the link between us, but we'll have to go to this place. I don't know the address, but I can take us there," the gnome stated.
"Fine, let's go," Sam said, scooping the gnome up carefully under his arm.
Dean didn't look like he trusted the gnome any more than Sam did but he was keeping his own counsel for the moment.
Dean took his place behind the wheel and Sam propped the gnome up on his knees so he could see over the dashboard. Gaylord stated relaying directions – turn right at the first light, take a left on Main Street, etc. This went on for a quite a while and soon the sun was setting and the Impala was in the middle of no where.
Dean sighed. "I'm turning around now," he said.
"Wait, it's just up ahead!" Gaylord begged.
Dean saw a sign in the distance. The Show Palace. The sign said they had ten girls. Exotic dancers.
Sam saw the sign and wanted to pitch Gaylord out of the car onto his head. Only he knew he'd end up with the headache instead of the gnome. "You have got to be kidding me. You brought us out here so you could go to a strip club?" Sam's voice rumbled with agitation.
"Oh keep your pants on. I wanted a little lap dance, but this isn't the lap I want to be stuck in, believe me" Gaylord fumed, kicking Sam lightly in the thigh, as Dean turned the Impala around. "I even found some singles for the strippers. Come on, Hot Lips. You look like you know your way around a strip club even if Princess here is too good for them," the gnome continued to whine.
Sam slapped his hand over the gnome's mouth to stop the torrent of noise. His bottom lip burst open and started to weep blood again. It was aggravating that he couldn't touch the gnome without causing injury to himself.
Dean looked over and saw Sam's lip was bleeding again. He pulled a bandana out of his pocket and handed it to Sam, "No bleeding on shorty here. That's how this whole thing started," Dean explained.
Dean knew that trying to harm the gnome resulted in injury to Sam, but he wondered if it was reciprocal. Hoping he was right, he decided to test his hypothesis and without warning he reached out and slugged Sam in the jaw. Sam's head snapped to the side,but it was Gaylord who cried out, "Stop it, you knucklehead!"
"You okay, Sammy?" Dean asked, ignoring the gnome.
"I never thought I'd say this, but hit me with your best shot," Sam replied. He started humming the Pat Benetar song under his breath and soon Dean joined him.
"Neither one of you could carry a tune in a bucket. Stop it!" Gaylord cried out.
Dean pulled back and let another punch fly, this one connecting with Sam's thigh.
"No! Stop it, you're killing me!" Gaylord beseeched.
Dean glared at the gnome, "Shut your pie hole or I'll shut it for you," he said in a voice that brooked no argument.
Sam turned around and set the gnome on the backseat, wagging his fingers in a teasing manner.
"You guys are no fun," Gaylord fumed. As Dean pulled his fist back again, the gnome called out, "Shutting up now!"
The ride back to the motel was accomplished in silence.
The three weary travelers entered the motel room. Sam set Gaylord in a chair while each brother settled on a bed.
"I think we need to go back to the garden at Mrs. Johnson's house," Sam said. He watched out of the corner of his eye as Gaylord quietly gasped. "It will be easier to do at night," he continued. The gnome seemed to shrink down in his chair.
"Yeah, I guess that's the next step. I think we should check out of this motel in case we need to hit the road in a rush. Help me load up the car and then we'll settle up our bill before going to the garden party," Dean said. He, too, had noticed how withdrawn the gnome had become.
In no time at all, Sam and Dean had gathered up their stuff and left the candy striper room behind them. After stowing their things in the car, Sam placed Gaylord in his knapsack and the brothers headed to the registration counter.
A blowsy, middle aged blond was reading a romance novel but she perked up when Sam and Dean walked up to the counter.
"What can I do for you two tonight?" she asked in a suggestive manner, licking her lips as she stared at Sam.
Dean pulled out his credit card and slid it over to her, "We'd like to check out now, please." He found it vaguely embarrassing that the woman was staring at Sam with such interest; he was accustomed to women throwing themselves at him but when it came to his younger brother he was protective.
The blond pulled up their account on her computer screen and smirked. "That will be $185. Debit or credit?" she purred.
"Wait a minute. It's only $49 a night and we were only here for three nights," Sam protested.
"Oh, honey. Those pay per view shows can add up in a hurry," she answered, waggling her eyebrows at Sam.
Dean didn't like the way the woman was treating his brother, like he was a piece of eye candy. "We didn't order any shows," he snapped.
"It says right here you ordered "Wild Women of Waco," "Girls Just Want to Have Fun: The Adult Version" and "Insert Tab A in Slot B." All viewed this afternoon between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m." she replied. She shifted her posture so that her blouse slipped down, exposing more skin than was suitable for family viewing.
Dean cleared his voice, "Fine, please put it on my credit card." He couldn't wait to get his hands on Gaylord. What a smarmy little creature he was turning out to be.
Dean snatched the pen out of the woman's hand and scribbled his name before grabbing Sam's arm and heading out into the cool, dark night. "You all come back now, you hear!" the clerk called out.
Dean was livid at having to use money to cover Gaylord's porn habit. He didn't even give Sam a chance to prepare himself before he twisted his brother's arm behind him and bashed his head into the roof of the Impala.
Dean was concerned when Sam staggered back and sagged against him. That wasn't supposed to happen. Only Gaylord was supposed to pay the price of his actions. Dean caught his brother and held him upright until he got his "sea legs" back.
Sam pushed away from Dean and leaned against the roof of the car for a moment. "Wow, that was some head rush," Sam declared, shaking his head slowly.
Dean touched Sam's back, guilt crashing over him. He hadn't meant to hurt his brother. "Sam, I'm sorry," Dean said.
Sam straightened and gave his brother a smile. "I'm fine. Let's go," he said before opening the door, dropping the knapsack containing Gaylord in the backseat and gingerly lowering himself into the passenger seat. "We need to pull off a reverse gnome hunt. We'll look around the garden, figure out what's what, and hopefully leave Gaylord where I found him," Sam said.
Dean could tell his hit had knocked his brother for a loop,but he didn't seem to be in any pain and his plan was about as good as anything they were going to come up with at this late hour. He just wanted to unload the gnome. Fast.
At least the ride had been quiet. Gaylord must have been stunned by the blow to Sam's head. Dean snorted, shaking his head – watching porn on their dime…the ones he'd purchased weren't even worth the time it took to watch them.
Dean navigated the Impala through the neighborhood and turned off his headlights before coasting to a stop. They were parked three houses down from Mrs. Johnson's house which was lit up like a Christmas tree. So much for making a quiet entrance onto her property. Fortunately, the brothers thrived on a good challenge.
Dean grabbed a bag full of weapons out of the trunk. He had holy water, wooden stakes, a revolver with silver bullets, a knife, and a shotgun filled with rock salt. Sam had a trick or two in his knapsack along with Gaylord, but he was still a little unsteady on his feet and Dean didn't want to weigh him down with another bag.
The brothers walked up the sidewalk leading to Mrs. Johnson's house. They veered off, heading across the lawn to hop the fence but they never made it that far; the front door opened and Mrs. Johnson beckoned them.
She smoothed her hair back before graciously inviting them inside, "Boys, what a lovely surprise. Do come in," she said.
Dean and Sam looked at each other before shrugging. They needed to get access to the garden. From the inside or outside, it didn't matter. They followed Mrs. Johnson inside, jumping when the door slammed shut.
She stopped in front of Dean. "Do forgive my manners, I'm Adelaide. And you must be Dean. I hope you'll enjoy my hospitality," she said, staring deeply into his eyes.
Dean tumbled headlong into a dark abyss. At least that's what it felt like. He was dizzy and was having difficulty thinking. Without protest he found himself walking behind his hostess who was tightly gripping his brother's arm.
Sam struggled, trying to pry himself out of the elderly lady's grip, but was soon shaken into submission and dragged along. Dean followed obediently behind. He knew it was wrong, but he couldn't break free.
Mrs. Johnson motioned him to sit down and he obeyed. She dumped Sam's body on a chaise lounge near the window and patted his cheek.
This wasn't a part of the plan. Of course the only plan they had concocted was to get into the garden.
Dean wondered idly how Gaylord was doing. And why Sam wasn't moving.
Dean was unable to break the hold over him, but he watched in fascination as the knapsack thrown carelessly on the floor began to vibrate and rock.
A moan from the corner claimed his attention and Dean saw Mrs. Johnson lift Sam's wrist to her mouth and nuzzle it. It was kind of a kinky thing for such an old broad to do and he couldn't reason out why Sam wasn't snatching his hand back.
Sam was draped over the lounge as the moonlight streaming in the window lit up his slack features.
Dean sensed movement to his left and barely had time to close his eyes before his face was hit with liquid. He felt a burning sensation that mingled with the wetness and after a moment he cautiously opened his eyes. Gaylord was standing on the arm of the couch, a clear tube in his arms. The tube had once contained holy water. The holy water that was now dripping down Dean's face.
Gaylord held a finger to his lips and silently shushed Dean.
Another moan from the couch alerted Dean to Sam's predicament and he was on the verge of leaping to his feet when Gaylord bounced onto to his thigh before shaking his head no.
Every nerve in Dean was screaming at him to run to Sam's defense, but Gaylord had broken the spell Mrs. Johnson had put him under. Maybe Gaylord knew what kind of creature Mrs. Johnson was and how to kill it.
Gaylord slid down the couch and landed on the floor soundlessly before approaching Dean's weapons bag. He disappeared inside of it before emerging victorious with a wooden stake in his hand.
A wooden stake. So Gaylord thought she was a vampire. Dean remembered vampires had the power to make someone their thrall with a simple gaze. Dean had been Adelaide's thrall for a short while before Gaylord had intervened by spritzing him with holy water.
Adelaide was so busy sucking on Sam that Dean was pretty certain he could take her unaware. He grabbed up the stake from the gnome and tucked it into the back of his jeans before thrusting his hand inside of the weapons bag and pulling out an Alabama Slammer Fixed Blade Knife. He pulled the 13 inch knife out of its nylon sheath and stalked over to the vampire.
Adelaide, Mrs. Johnson, had changed a good bit. Her wrinkled skin had smoothed out and had the sheen of a baby's clean bottom, her blue hair was now a lustrous black and her stooped body was now toned and muscular. And she was caressing Sam's face with one hand while she suckled on his wrist.
Dean pulled the wooden stake out of the back of his waistband and drove it into Mrs. Johnson, pulling it upward toward where the heart should be located. Blood splattered in all directions. Dean absently rubbed his face, smearing red across his cheek and nose.
The vampire was temporarily incapacitated so Dean took advantage of her stillness by transferring the knife to his right hand and applying it to Adelaide's neck.
"Nooooooooo!" the vampire shrieked, her long hair streaming upward as Dean worked on severing her head from the rest of her body. She only had strength to glare at Dean as he sawed at her neck. Beheading a vampire was the only way to successfully kill one.
Her head tumbled forward as the decapitation was complete.
Dean hastily stumbled back, trying to dodge the offensive head, as her whole being elongated and then disappeared in a flash of light.
With the vampire out of the picture, Dean could turn his attention to his brother. He kneeled down next to Sam and tried to rouse him. The wound at his wrist was still bleeding sluggishly. Dean reached into his pocket to pull out his bandana so he could bind the wound. That's when he heard a click. More specifically, the click of his revolver.
Dean turned his head and saw that the gnome had his revolver perched on a stool and it was aimed at Dean's back. "Move away from Princess. I have unfinished business with him," Gaylord stated, a steely look in his eye.
Dean wanted to attend to Sam's wrist but he was no good to his brother if he took a bullet in his back. He put his hands up and stood, stepping to the side. The revolver remained trained on him the whole time. "That's a good Hot Lips," the gnome murmured.
Before he gleaned Gaylord's intentions, the gnome abandoned the revolver and fell upon Sam's exposed, bleeding wrist, sucking for all he was worth.
Sam was beginning to stir and tried to shake the gnome off but he wasn't budging. Dean joined the fray, grabbing the gnome around the legs, and tugged him backward but he still wouldn't release his prize. Sam finally reached up with his good hand and smacked himself in the mouth. Gaylord cried out and released Sam's wrist.
Dean scooped up the revolver with one hand while laying an arm protectively across Sam's shoulders. Sam was cradling the abused wrist with his other hand but his eyes never left Gaylord.
Gaylord was lying on the floor, legs kicking ineffectually, like a turtle that's been flipped on its back.
A bright light suffused him and suddenly the terracotta coating started breaking free. Another bright flash later and Gaylord was no longer a gnome; a naked, dark haired man was in his place. The man nonchalantly rose to his feet and grabbed a cashmere throw off the back of the settee before winding it around his waist.
Dean's jaw dropped down and he knew Sam was sporting a similar look of amazement. "I'm Gaylord Johnson and Adelaide, may her soul rot in hell, was my wife," he said in a slow, cultured voice. "She put a curse on me and I don't think that silly little bitch ever knew I was right here in the garden, biding my time."
"But she…what about…I don't understand…" Sam's voice trailed off.
Gaylord walked over to Sam and put his hand on his shoulder, "My apologies, Princess. I needed your blood. I still don't understand why it worked; the blood of a God or other such being was needed to break the curse."
Dean recovered enough to ask a few questions. "But as a gnome you were a disgusting little pervert. Now you're a seemingly well educated man. What happened?"
The curse part and Adelaide being a vampire he could wrap his head around, but the gnome had been a porn addicted, anchovy loving, con artist and Gaylord the man seemed nothing like that.
"You try standing out in the elements, day in and day out, for decades on end waiting for your Prince Charming to show up and save you. Once you get a little taste of freedom your good sense flies out the window," Gaylord said, snorting.
Dean wrapped the bandana around Sam's wrist and helped him to his feet.
Dean wanted to make sure the connection was broken between Gaylord and his brother and stomped down hard on Sam's instep. His brother gasped and bent over. Gaylord didn't show any signs of discomfort.
Sam leaned down and grabbed something out of his knapsack. He flung holy water in Gaylord's face and nothing happened. No sizzle, no smoke, no nothing. Just Gaylord wiping the liquid off his face.
"Thanks a lot, Dean. I was going to go with something a little less painful," Sam said as he shook his foot, trying to get the pain to abate.
Dean wrapped an arm around Sam's waist, certain that his sibling was still dizzy. "I think we've over stayed our welcome," he announced as he scooped up both his bag and Sam's while helping his brother to the front door.
"A quick word of advice, Princess. Honesty is the best policy. If I had been honest, Adelaide would never have been able to lay that curse upon me. Do you know what I'm saying?" Gaylord asked as he escorted the brothers out the front door.
Sam's head was slumped downward, avoiding Gaylord's gaze.
Dean looked quizzically at the former gnome but decided to let it go. It was late and Sam was ailing. It was his duty as his older brother to take care of him.
Dean felt certain there would be time for questions later. Right now he just wanted to see to his little brother, and care for him. It seems like that's all he had ever wanted.
Dean was lounging against the headboard in one bed flicking the channels on the remote in boredom. He'd bundled Sam into the car and taken him to a different motel and now Sam was curled up on the other bed, dozing.
Dean had sewed up Sam's wrist and the bleeding had tapered off. Sam didn't want to see a doctor and Dean had finally caved in, deciding instead to combat the blood loss with orange juice and donuts. As soon as Sam was awake, Dean was going to take him out for a protein laden meal.
Dean had stopped flipping channels when he saw his brother stir on the bed. He then recognized the commercial showing – it was a Travelocity commercial featuring that creepy little gnome.
Sam's eyes were fixed on the TV as he cringed in horror. Dean scrambled to turn the TV off, his own heart hammering with adrenaline.
At least Dean no longer had to worry about gnomes appearing in strange places since he wasn't the only Winchester with an aversion to the ugly little statues. Clowns, now that was a different story.
Dean relaxed as he started to plot his revenge. Pennywise from It, Ronald McDonald, Bozo…when his little brother least expected it, he would strike. An attempted gnome prank deserved reprisal.
He smiled at Sam, thinking of how dull things would be without him around. He was grateful to have Sam back. Any sacrifice was worth it because life just wouldn't be the same without him.
A/N: This fic is for Carlyrene. She had some outstanding prompts but I played with the gnome idea – she mentioned that Sam might be terrified of clowns, but Dean is terrified of gnomes, and once Sam find this out gnomes start appearing in random places. As you can see, I took this in a slightly different direction. Hopefully you still found it amusing.
A/N 2: I would like to thank my partner in crime on this fic, CZ, for bringing our gnome friend to life. You rock! And thanks to my beta, Annonie, for cleaning up my mistakes and making this fic readable. You're a doll! I can't thank these two special ladies enough for their help.