Disclaimer: If I owned it… if kisses were wishes… hmm, kissing Jensen Ackles.
Warning: Rated for language, though not in this chapter. And this one ended up a lot longer than any other story I've written to date, so if you're not in it for the long haul… stay around as long as you want.
Author's Note: So, this is FINALLY the next instalment of my as yet unnamed series, the one I don't think I'll ever name cause it's just random interconnecting stories. But it IS the sequel to Fight Club, just in time for the end of Supernatural… in Australia at least. Oh, and can I just say (of course I can, it's my page), the finale? Freaking awesome all you dudes and dudettes! Bring on Season 3! Oh, and I should tell you, since it's set after Fight Club, it's basically before about Everybody Loves A Clown, so most of season 2 hasn't happened.
ART OF BETRAYAL
ART OF BETRAYAL
Dean slipped a finger into the minimal space between his neck and his shirt, taking the chance to inhale a deep breath. Grimacing at the rough cotton, he shifted slightly on the hard chair, sure he was never going to be comfortable again. Or at least until he got this damn suit off.
Sighing and giving up the futile task of trying to make the collar bigger with sheer strength, he glanced across at where Sam lounged in the other chair. That was the only word Dean could find to describe that slouching ease his little brother seemed to possess. How Sam had managed to find a suit that fit him, the sasquatch, so well, was beyond Dean, while he could barely lift his arms beyond his shoulders, and the pants needed a belt to stay up.
A policeman chose that moment to finally enter his office where Dean and Sam were waiting. He strode past, a tower of authority that made Dean want to snicker. A warning look from Sam told him he wasn't hiding his amusement half as well as he should be.
"I'm Officer Morgan. You've come a long way for a story," the man greeted, taking his seat on the other side of the desk. Sam shrugged.
"Well, it is interesting," the younger man began, sharing a look with Dean. "A Jane Doe found murdered, and no one has any idea who she is. Until someone on the other side of the country finds her photo on the net and calls in, anyway."
Morgan nodded. "You're right, it is… interesting. Laura Jennings has… was missing for only two weeks. How she ended up in Vegas, I have no idea."
Neither did Dean or Sam. Which was why they were there, in Lafayette, Indiana. Or rather, why Joshua had sent them there, after they had called him looking for a new job after the vampires in Cromwell.
"So no one thought she was going there?" Dean asked. "She had no friends there, right? No family? No reason to go."
The man shook his head. "Everyone she knew was here. She had never left here before she went missing. Born here, raised here… died in Vegas."
"Who did she associate with, here?" Sam asked cautiously. "I mean, the way she was found." He shared a looked with Dean. "Do you know how she was found?" They did.
Morgan nodded, his eyes suddenly hard. "Yeah, I do. Tied to a stone table, naked. Throat and wrists slit. Like some kind of ritual. Like she was…"
"Sacrificed," Sam finished. "Was she into the occult?"
The cop chuckled grimly. "The occult? No, she wasn't into that." He sighed deeply, looking suddenly old and cynical. "Miss Jennings was… quite popular around here. It's amazing how many people have forgotten what she actually did before she went missing. What her last job was."
Sam frowned. "What do you mean?" he asked.
"Miss Jennings wasn't exactly the most ethical woman in town," Morgan told them. "She worked in a place called The Jiggly Room."
Dean and Sam shared another look, unsure what the man was hinting at. The cop noticed and gave another chuckle. "Come on boys. You're both hormone driven lads, no doubt."
To Dean's later surprise, Sam was the first to figure it out. His eyes went wide. "No," he drawled.
Morgan obviously saw the meaning in Sam's eyes, because he nodded. "Yes. 'fraid so."
Dean glanced at his younger brother. "What the hell are you talking about?" he asked.
"A strip club?" Dean had to confirm again, just to see Sam's expression. "This place is a strip club?"
Sam sighed tightly from where he sat at the table on his laptop. "Yes, Dean. And no. It's not a strip club. Exotic dance is the term I think they prefer."
Dean snorted. "Who cares? It's still hot women taking off their clothes. We're checking it out."
"It's got nothing to do with the case, Dean. Anyway, I'm not going to a strip club."
Dean grinned. "Exotic dance is the term I think they prefer, Sammy. And it's got everything to do with the case. Laura Jennings worked there. It could be the reason she was taken."
"What, taken by someone against stripping? Kind of hypocritical considering she ended up in Vegas, don't you think?" He shook his head. "Besides, strip clubs aren't all they've cracked up to be, Dean. We're not going."
Dean frowned. "How would you know?"
The finger-tapping paused for a moment, and a second later Sam started blushing. Dean felt his grin widen until it was painful.
"No freaking way, dude." He jumped off the bed and practically leapt into the seat opposite his little brother. "You've been in a strip club? You?"
Sam sat back, rubbing a hand through his hair. "Look, it was only once. A mate's twenty-first, when I was in college. And I don't really want a second experience."
Dean leaned back. "Wow," he stated. "I can't believe you've been in one. And you didn't tell me."
Sam didn't answer, just went back to the computer. His face was still bright red. For a while the only noise in the motel room was the tapping on the keyboard. Dean studied his little brother.
"So what was it called?" the older man asked after a while. There was no answer. "Was it fun?" Silence met his ears. "Did you get laid?"
"Dean!" Sam finally spat, throwing his hands up. "Would you not while I'm trying to figure out what's going on! If you want to be annoying, go do it somewhere where I'm not!
Dean just grinned, but eased back. "So, what have you found out? Found anything on the other disappearances?"
Laura Jennings hadn't been the first person to go missing. Nor had she been the last. There had been twenty over the last year, all having gone missing from Lafayette. Three, only three, had turned up, as far as they knew. All in different parts of the country. Laura Jennings in Las Vegas, a nameless middle-aged man in Baton Rouge, and another young woman found beheaded in Seattle. All had been found in circumstances related to the supernatural. Laura, sacrificed, the man mauled by 'wolves', while they had it from a reliable source that the young woman had been killed by a hunter, who had been positive she was a vampire.
In all it was enough to send them to Lafayette, looking for the supernatural magnet the town obviously had. Once they had found out Joshua had sent others to check out each victim.
Sam sighed. "No, nothing. I've been trying to get into the police files, but it's like they're blocked. I can't get in. Someone doesn't want us reading them. And I don't know who," he added, anticipating Dean's question.
"What about newspaper articles?" Dean asked instead, getting up to grab a mug of coffee. "Any clues from those?"
"I haven't looked through them yet. Between the block on the files, and you annoying me, I haven't had a chance."
Dean growled to himself as he realized the room had no coffee. "All right. You okay to do that? I'm going to go and get some food and coffee. What do you want?"
Sam muttered something inconsequential as Dean walked out the door, shaking his head. At least Sam was back to his normal self, even if his normal self did incapacitate Dean's… urges to have fun. But Sam was back after what the demon had done to him.
Dean shivered as he took his hand off the handle. After watching the sun rise over that abandoned house in Cromwell, the one the demon had used Sam's body to burn, his little brother had confessed everything. And Dean had had no idea how Sam had even been alive. As in truly alive. If he had been forced to watch his mother and his girlfriend burn over and over again, while feeling the demon's satisfaction at the same time, Dean knew he would have gone insane. That bothered him far more than the demon ripping into Sam's mind, tearing it apart.
The day seemed less bright as Dean forced his mind to turn from the past. Cromwell was a long way behind them, and they had these disappearances to concern themselves over. At least, after he got something to eat.
The coffee shop was busy, and Dean wished he had brought some kind of badge so he could shove to the front of the line. But he waited out the ten minutes it took to get what he wanted, and turned to go.
A turning head caught his attention, someone ducking out the door. Frowning, Dean quickened his step, trying to reach the entrance. He knew that blond head, he was sure of it.
Only when he reached the door the person had gone. Shaking his head, Dean shoved it to the back if his mind, taking a sip of his coffee as he made his way back to the motel.
"Got anything?" he asked, setting down the tray near Sam's elbow. The younger man nodded, sighing deeply.
"Your dreams come true," Sam answered. Dean frowned down on him.
"What are you talking about?" the older man asked, sitting down
"I started looking through the articles, like you suggested. And I found a pattern. Or a common point between each disappearance at least."
"So what is it?" Dean asked, finding himself not really in the mood for Sam's theatrical sense when it came to divulging what he had dug up in his research.
Sam seemed to sense it, frowning slightly before he flipped through some papers. "Okay, so disappearee number one was Billy Johns. He went missing about a year ago. He was the guy they found in Baton Rouge."
"You know disappearee isn't a word, right?" Dean interjected. Sam gave him a small glare.
"Like it matters. The point is, he was a regular at this bar a few streets over from your wanted destination."
"And what's the point behind that?" the older man demanded.
"I'm getting there. Then there was this guy who disappeared a month and a bit ago. A drifter who stopped by the same bar. He got into a fight, and a day later he was missing as well."
"So they both had a connection to this bar," Dean summed up. "What was Laura Jennings' connection with it?"
Sam shook his head. "None that I could find. But you haven't let me finish." He shuffled through some more papers. "Five months ago, Holly Bristly disappeared. She was an employee at a coffee shop on the other side of town. A month ago, a guy, a college student by the name of, ah… Jordan Freeman, he went missing. He had been working there since Holly went missing. And there was also a regular there who went missing, about a month and a half after the first disappearee. The same woman Joshua said they connected with vampires."
Dean frowned. "Okay, now I'm lost. What the hell's the connection there? And why does it lead to my dreams come true?"
"Both places are owned by the same man. Isaac Mahone. And get this. He owns The Jiggly Room. From which I know of three people who went missing. Including this guy, the last one to go missing, two weeks ago who disappeared the day of his wedding. It had been his buck's night the night before, and guess where they celebrated?"
"The Jiggly Room?" Dean hazarded. He frowned again. "But if they all have a connection to this guy Mahone, does it have anything to do with us?"
Sam shrugged, tapping each paper into a neat pile. "Who knows? But we know at least three of the people who disappeared from here had some connection to the supernatural. And I have a feeling if we dig further we'll find more results. And as far as I can tell, each missing person had some connection to this Isaac Mahone."
Dean shrugged. "Okay. I guess that means we have to check him out. As soon as possible. And it's almost night."
He struggled to keep the grin off his face. Sam stared stonily at him. "Just let it loose Dean."
"Let what loose?" he asked. Sam continued to just stare at him. A moment's silence filled the room before Dean grinned.
"Yeah, okay. It is pretty exciting."
"For you maybe. I think with my upstairs brain, while you apparently don't have one. Besides, I bet you've had more excitement for free."
Dean's grin faltered for a moment. "Okay, you're probably right. Like this barmaid in -."
"Dean! I don't want to know." He got up and went over to his bags.
"What are you doing?" Dean asked, watching him.
"Getting ready to go to this club. You can't go dressed like that."
Dean grinned again, though it was nowhere near as wide. Sam was probably right. More likely the idea was just appealing to him. He got up and emptied his duffle bag, hoping he actually had something he could wear.
And yes, The Jiggly Room is the name of a real strip club. No, I've never been there. Hope you like, and if you didn't, stay tuned for chapter 2 anyway!