Coffee. Sweet nectar of the gods.

"- which, I think, is why the skinwalker wanted it."

Daniel pushed open the door into Sam's lab, where the first thing he saw was twisted silver wire and dark emeralds, a little worse for the wear for surviving bullets blasting around it. "Hmm?"

Blonde hair tilted up from where the astrophysicist was intent on the amulet, a pair of pliers in one hand and assorted meters, notes, and tools laid out along her worktable. "Hey, Daniel. Come check this out!"

Jack was shaking his head in fond amusement, and Daniel skirted the edge of the table to get a closer look at the artifact.

A graph had squiggled its way across Sam's computer screen, in thin lines of green and red, as she waved a blinking meter near the amulet. Gamma shielding, Daniel could read as he tilted his head to one side. Then blinked at where the axis was placed.

Over his shoulder, Jack was peering toward the screen with a frown. "How, exactly, does this drop into the negative?"

"It has to do with the physical properties of the metal," Sam had lifted the amulet in careful fingers, lights from the many glowing machines bouncing off faceted green. "It's definitely an alloy, a mix of trinium, titanium, and another element I haven't been able to identify completely yet. But the point is that it manages to almost completely trap gamma rays through a combination of absorption and refraction."

Jack scratched through graying strands, leaning up against heavy shelving supporting complex computer hardware. "And the skinwalker wanted it why, again?"

Gamma rays. Carcinogenic, produced not just by the sun but also coming from outer space. Skinwalker wanted it for its shielding properties –

"It shields against gamma rays, prevents them from being absorbed," Sam continued. She set the amulet down gently, metal scraping against metal. "Gamma rays are by their intrinsic nature the highest level of electromagnetic radiation known; direct exposure can seriously damage exposed biological cells."

"Damage how? What, like bad sunburn?" Jack had reached out now to play with a meter; the identical glares Sam and Daniel shot him had him snatching his hand back, raising an open palm defensively.

"More like severe thermal burn injuries," the astrophysicist inserted, sliding a picture across the smooth metal work surface for the Colonel to catch. Daniel glanced over the green BDU-covered shoulder and winced at the marred flesh displayed in full color and shivering detail. Yuk.

Jack flinched; the picture shot back across the table to Sam. "Yuk."

"I was talking to Janet," she continued. Daniel edged closer to the amulet, curious fingers seeking the interlocking sweeps of metal. "Gamma rays can break apart DNA easily. Exposure to a high dose can create mutations in DNA that lead to hereditary disease. Generally, though, the victim suffers from leukemia, lung, liver, or skeletal cancer."


"Chernobyl," the archaeologist muttered. Found blue eyes locked on him in interest, waiting to see where he would go with the thread of idea. "There's a famous film about the spill cleanup, I'm sure you've seen it. The picture is grainy, black and white, and distorted from massive amounts of radiation – and at the end, a caption rises that tells the viewer that everyone they saw on screen, and those they didn't, were dead within the year."

"Radiation," Jack muttered. The Colonel shifted one more time on his feet. "But that's on a massive scale; we're talking meltdown of a nuclear power plant, for cryin' out loud. There's nothing like that here."

This deep in the Mountain? Daniel chewed the inside of his cheek for a moment. No way.

Blonde hair nodded. "Exactly. Most types of lesser radiation, like UV which causes sunburn – can be healed or repaired by the body. Gamma radiation is an exception to the normal rule. DNA-repairing mechanisms have been shown to repair DNA damaged by high doses of gamma rays; but on a chronic, low level, those same mechanisms are not as effective, for some reason."

Low level, chronic exposure. Cell damage. And the image of normal skin, slip-sliding off the form underneath. Daniel's breath caught; Sam's eyes locked with his and he knew then what she was driving at. "Gamma radiation was what made the skinwalker's skin deteriorate," he started.

"And it wanted the amulet so that it could stay in one skin for an extended period of time," she finished.

"Forever," Daniel corrected softly.

"Huh." Jack looked back and forth between them, hands folding.

"It's in line with what Sam and Dean told us about the shapeshifters," Daniel mused. One long finger tapped at the metal worktable, producing a hollow noise. "Can't keep a skin too long, though that varies shifter to shifter. Avoids the sun."

"Primary source of gamma rays in our solar system," Sam agreed.

Jack grimaced. Darkly.

Here we go again. Dollars to donuts, it had something to do with the brothers resting under guard in a VIP room on Level 15. "Jack? Something wrong?"

Tiny lines around his eyes proclaimed Jack's answering smile to be forced. "Nah. Just remembered – I gotta pick up something from my office for Hammond."

Jack took a deep breath, savoring the taste of recycled air in both nostrils – and then gave up and inhaled through his mouth as he moved into his own oft-deserted office. Ugh.

A cough sputtered behind him as the archaeologist followed. "Gods, what is that?"

"I don't know," he grumped. "It only started an hour ago, or so, but it's been getting worse."

"It smells like something died in here," Daniel offered frankly. The linguist's nose was buried in his cup of coffee in a futile attempt at self-preservation. It wouldn't work. Jack knew. He'd tried.

Circling the desk, Jack didn't bother to sit. He just needed to find the damn forms and make sure he got them on Hammond's desk for Davis, soon as. And get out of here sooner. "I've looked. There's nothing."

Okay, not on the desk. Drawers. A glance up caught the tiny face Daniel was making into his mug. "Ah, come on. It's not that bad."

"No," the archaeologist said mournfully. "It's worse."

Rifling through stacks of paper that he was going to get around to sorting – eventually – Jack couldn't hold in a growl. I left them right here. Where –

Familiar forms slid into sight, with ink scrawling names at the bottom. "Okay, let's go."

Danny needed no second bidding; he was out the door before Jack could emerge from behind his battered, scarred desk.

Okay, maybe it was that bad. All large facilities had a rodent problem, and the SGC was no exception, but he'd checked. No little furry bodies, anywhere.

The archaeologist was waiting a good six feet away from his door, on the opposite side of the hall. Jack hiked a brow, and got an arch look in return. Yeah, okay. He couldn't blame him; hardened Black Ops Colonel or not, the pungent stink still set his stomach to rolling.

"Maybe you should ask Siler to check it out," Daniel volunteered, falling into step with him as he sauntered down the corridor.

Jack shrugged, surging forward as the elevators stopped on their level. Three Airmen got out, the last polite enough to hold the door for a senior officer. Jack darted in, and then slumped comfortably against cool metal panels. Daniel entered at a trot, hitting the button as he went.

"What's that?" Short, chestnut hair inclined toward the papers in his hand.

Jack yielded them, knowing the persistence of the archaeologist. Force majeure, indeed. "Nondisclosure contracts that the Winchesters signed."

A pause as the sound of rustling paper filled the elevator car.

"Are you sure about that, Jack?"

He didn't bother opening eyes he had closed to enjoy the ride. "Yeah. Why?"

"Because this one is signed by someone named Ted Nugent."

What?! Jack jerked upright, grabbing for the papers Daniel was already holding out to him. Peered at the scrawl on the first page. And the second. And the seventh, and tenth. "I'm going to kill him."

The elevator dinged, and he stormed from the car, archaeologist in his wake.

Suspicion filtered through his brain; Jack snagged the second form and saw now that the script, while familiar, didn't spell out the signature he'd so carefully watched the younger Winchester write out. James Hetfield. The lead guitarist and vocalist for Metallica. "No. I'm going to kill them both."

Daniel snickered.

Jack sent all personnel scattering out of his way as he barreled down the corridor.

Outside the General's office, he caught sight of Siler waiting, toolbox clutched in fierce, white-knuckled anger. "Sir," the man growled. Shoved a piece of paper at him.

Jack blinked his way out of his own irritation, fingers going to the yellow, lined sheet the engineer was pressing on him. Looked down to the neat, quick hand.

Just four hours this time.

Daniel tugged the piece of paper from his grasp. "Four hours? This time? What -"

"The security cameras went down again, sir," Siler nodded to the note. "It was a bit of a mess, but -"

Jack pulled his glare from the note at the pause. "But what?"

The coveralled Sergeant grimaced. "It took about four hours, right enough."

It was a good thing the SGC gave its personnel a good benefits package, with all the enamel Jack was wearing off his teeth in the past two days. Unclenching his jaw, he nodded to the engineer. "I'll let General Hammond know."

With a bare nod, Siler was down the hall and gone.

Leaving Daniel watching him stew in his own juices with an expression of mild interest, calmly sipping his mug of coffee. "I'm sure it's just a joke, Jack," he tried, being reasonable.

Jack wasn't in the mood for reason. "I'm not laughing," was his terse response.

Neither was the General.

Five minutes later, Jack stood in front of the commander of the SGC's desk, holding out the note and the forms, trying to find a good explanation and coming up blank.

He was going to throttle them both. Slowly.

Daniel was propped in the doorjamb, unabashedly listening in.

"Apparently," the older man snapped, "our guests have decided they've had enough of our hospitality."

Ah, crap. Jack stared. Please don't let that mean what I think it means.

"They're not in their room," Hammond confirmed. Faded red browns drew down, annoyance lending an angry flush to stern, round features.

"I'm sorry," Daniel pushed his glasses up, curiosity on his face. "But how do you know? According to Siler, the security cameras were down." A golden-brown brow arched, but Jack had known the archaeologist long enough to see the carefully-hidden humor lingering in his voice. "Again -"

I'm glad you find this funny, Daniel. Jack's venom drained away, though. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice? And now they had Winchesters running loose, with classified beyond classified information and no way to contain the possible outflow of information. We're so screwed.

Another piece of paper, with familiar script, lifted in the archaeologist's direction. With a puzzled frown, Daniel took it from Hammond's loose grip. A short moment later, blue eyes looked up again. "At least he's polite."

Jack was struggling for words past the anger tightening his throat and fists. "Sir?"

"They made it quite clear." Hammond took the letter back, sliding it into the top desk drawer. The General leant back in his seat, folding his hands over his stomach. Irony tinged every word. "Thanked us for being so understanding of the 'demands on their time'. Made a very convincing argument to prevent me from pressing formal charges against Major Davis. Even went so far as to detail how they took down the cameras and used the surface shaft to sneak out."

To keep anyone else from doing it. The thought hit him like a bullet. Not that it would keep the Winchesters out again, if they really had their minds set on it. But to keep anything in from getting out. Hell.

"So, the odds are, they're long gone," Daniel realized.

"Yeah?" Thoughts of a moment ago Jack had dragging his temper back down to something approaching reason with ragged fingernails. But the memory of disappearing – replaced – nondisclosure forms reappeared, and he nearly lost it again. "Gone where?!"

"Sir, I think I found something."

The cameras hadn't all been taken out by their recent 'guests'; just the ones monitoring all levels between the 'Gateroom and Norad, and all exterior surveillance. More than enough.

"Good job, Sergeant," General Hammond's voice was calm.

O'Neill grunted.

Siler hit the rewind, pulling up footage from the 'Gateroom dated about three hours ago. Over his shoulder, Colonel O'Neill leant closer to the screen.

Cramped in a five-by-five room filled to overflowing with monitors, tables, wires, surveillance equipment, and two irritated superior officers was not where he wanted to be. Please. Unauthorized incoming wormhole. It happens all the time. I need one. Now.

Typical of his just-average luck, the klaxons remained silent.

On the screen, Siler finally got a good look at the guys who had waltzed into the SGC and flipped everything on its ear. Security systems most of all. He could feel his blood pressure rising at the memory of the nightmare tangle of snipped, stripped, melted and fused wires that had managed to cut off or reroute all the security feeds and avoid every alarm.

"Dude, check out the size of this friggin' thing."

The taller one sidled up next to his brother, both blurry, backs to the camera. Through the microphone, his voice was slightly distorted, making each word a little harder to discern. "Are you sure this'll work?"

"It won't hurt, that's for damn sure."

"What?" O'Neill muttered at the exchange.

Siler kept watching, over-aware of the ominous silence of the officers at his back, eyes glued to the screen.

But nothing more was said; and the two figures climbed the ramp, working around to the backside of the 'Gate, blocked by the iris from the camera's view.


Siler frowned, switching to alternate camera views – all of which, unsurprisingly, had been cut. "This was the only working feed at the time, sir. Out of all the ones "

In the corner of his eye, he saw the shifting of white and blue uniform as General Hammond stepped closer. "You're saying they left this one on purpose?"

That or they missed one. He was about to say so when the base's 2IC spoke.

"I'd bet on it." O'Neill leant forward, knuckles braced against what little tabletop was free from the covering weight of television monitors. "Fast forward."

Nothing, as the numbers in the bottom corner climbed higher; half an hour passed before there was a blur of motion onscreen.

"Hold it."

Siler had already hit the button, rewinding film that showed movement of two bodies reappearing in the 'Gateroom. He viewed in silence as the two men edged carefully around the curved sides of the naquada ring, slithering back onto the ramp and then clambering underneath.

"What the -"

But below the ramp also was just out of the camera's vantage angle; they only occasionally caught the bobbing of a head. Whatever they were up to now took more time, and they didn't give up any further words for the camera to remember.

As the timer clicked on, the two completed their job, repacked the duffle of supplies, and disappeared from the 'Gateroom.

"Is that it?"

At O'Neill's request, Siler sped through the remainder of film from when the security feeds have been down, but the two didn't get caught again on film. "Looks like it," was the only answer he could give.

In the half-light of the darkened room, Siler could see General Hammond's frown, although it was only barely illuminated by the glowing screens. Shoes clicked quietly against cement as the General exited the surveillance room, pausing in the open doorway. "Colonel. Take a team, and sweep the 'Gateroom. I want to know what they were up to."

For a moment, Siler only watched as concentration took over O'Neill's face. The officer turned to him, suddenly. "Can you make copies of this footage?"

"Yes, sir." Siler took a quick glance at the available equipment stuffed into the tiny room's cramped corners. Probably have to use some tools from the Control Room. He managed to pause the officer on his way out. "How many do you need?"

"Three." The door fell shut behind Colonel O'Neill, leaving only the memory of aggravation on his face and the echoes of muttered threats.

Siler let a long sigh ease from between his lips. I wonder what they were doing. On second thought, though, maybe he didn't really want to know. Either way, the SGC's grapevine would bring that to him soon enough.

At least that's one mess I won't have to clean up. Then again . . . I hope.

Sam shifted in her seat, perched behind thick glass in the Control Room as Daniel and Jack passed through the blast doors into the 'Gateroom. Teal'c followed. The Colonel said they were working under the ramp and behind the 'Gate? Doing what? A few quick taps at her keyboard retracted the iris, letting the archaeologist step through the empty ring.

"They were back there somewhere, blocked by the iris from camera view." The Colonel himself was approaching the ramp, peering through metal grating at something large, black, and circular that she couldn't quite -

"Uh, I think I found it," Daniel called. The archaeologist was tugging something free of the back of the huge naquada ring.

The microphones were sensitive enough to pick up the Colonel's snort; Jack's boots clanged against metal as he jogged toward the linguist. "They didn't spend almost half an hour duct-taping an envelope to the back of the 'Gate," he pointed out.

Teal'c had crouched beneath the ramp, reaching out to touch whatever was on the cement floor of the silo.

"There is a lot of duct tape," Daniel mused, but the way he was staring up, around the entire outside of the Stargate, told her he was thinking. "Hey, Sam? Close the iris, would you?"

"Sure," she sent back through the microphone, hitting the single button that sent the command into the computer. The trinium shield slid back into place.

"Oh, damn."

"Found it!" the archaeologist called brightly, blocked from view by the iris.

"As have I." Teal'c's voice drifted up from underneath the ramp.

I have to see this. Sam pushed her chair back from the control console, letting Sergeant Harriman take her place as she darted out to the 'Gateroom.

Rounding the 'Gate, dark lines met her gaze and her jaw dropped. Circle, with a star inside? She didn't recognize any of the symbols scattered at random between the circle's circumference and outside the lines of the five-pointed star.

"It's a Devil's Trap," Daniel was scanning lines from the envelope he'd pulled from the 'Gate. Closer, Sam could see the print addressing the exterior. Dr. Daniel Jackson. "Sam says that demons – and Goa'uld – can't get through it."

"What good's it going to do on the inside of the iris?" Sam blurted.

Jack was running careful fingers over the freshly spray-painted marks, eyeing a nearby ladder with vengeful annoyance.

"Uhhh, I don't know," Daniel offered. Jumping from the ramp, the archaeologist made his way over to where Teal'c was carefully taking in the markings painted under metal grating, just about where all the teams paused to take a breath before and after passing through the event horizon. Sam could see the edge of this circle ended a bare two feet from where the wormhole established every time they fired up the 'Gate.

"Wait, Teal'c, don't get any closer."

The Jaffa stilled.

"What? Why?" Sam took a good look at the circle, reaching out a hand – No, something whispered, tingling her spine and pricking every hair on her body to attention. Don't. Slowly, carefully, she withdrew.

"That's not a Devil's Trap," the archaeologist was scrambling over it without seeming to notice anything odd, placing his feet carefully around the fresh marks. "See the scorpion in the center? This is the Key of Solomon, apparently." Chestnut hair tilted, considering. "Those characters look like a cross between Aramaic and Hebrew. But some of these are occult symbols, I think. I'm not familiar with them."

Yet, at least. Knowing her tenacious friend, Daniel would be pulling up references within the hour.

The Colonel had circled now, was bent to peer underneath the ramp at them. "What does it do?"

"What does the letter say?" Sam chimed in, shoving down the unease in her gut. Teal'c had moved a good distance away from the circle, and was eyeing it with interest.

"It's another way to trap demons," Daniel read, crawling out from under the ramp to join them. "Apparently, it's more powerful than the Devil's Trap – should hold just about anything. And whatever gets trapped won't be able to get out unless the seal is broken. Sam listed a few ways – if the sigils are smudged, or the concrete beneath cracks. Apparently putting a board on top for someone to walk out won't work."

"So don't let anyone we don't want getting caught into it," the Colonel nodded. "I guess that includes you," he directed at Teal'c.

The Jaffa's face didn't change, but dark eyes flicked to the seal and back.

I don't know how, but if it works – "It'll be better than an MRI," Sam murmured. Caught Jack raising a brow at her. "Think about it, sir. As it stands, teams come from the 'Gate and then have to travel up seven levels to get to the Infirmary. Any Goa'uld could jump to a different host in that time." Not without notice – but enough to cause major damage, especially if they yank knowledge of the SGC's lockdown procedures and layout from the hosts.

It was a problem they'd worried at before, without managing to find a real solution; they'd been lucky in that the situation hadn't come up. Yet.

"This way, anyone who comes through the 'Gate will have to pass over the Key of Solomon first," Daniel nodded, blue eyes lighting with enthusiasm. "Like Thor's Hammer."

Sam realized that there was script lining the back of the paper as well, and Daniel had yet to flip it over. "What else does it say?"

The archaeologist juggled letter and envelope a minute, dodging trailing strands of sticky duct-tape from the latter, then frowned at the writing. "It's a postscript, from Dean. If we need to contact him, he's left a phone number with Major Davis. And then there's three letters and six numbers."

"Let me see," the Colonel ordered, tweaking the paper from Daniel's grasp. Brown eyes swept the page once, focusing in on the puzzle. "That's a post-office box, location and combination."

Hmmm. She recognized the military shorthand. Their father really had taught them everything he knew.

A growl caught her attention; Sam blinked. "Sir?"

The Colonel didn't answer, other than to shove the letter back at Daniel, storming out of the 'Gateroom before the rest of the team could respond. Curiosity clawed up her throat and spilled from her tongue. "What?"

Daniel shrugged, handing her the letter; Teal'c shifted to read over her shoulder.

Tell O'Neill to check behind the ventilation grate.

"Two unsigned nondisclosure forms, one Devil's Trap, one Key of Solomon, and one dead fish. Sir."

What? "A dead fish, Colonel?" George kept his face straight, though humor was fighting to pull his mouth upwards into a smile.

"In my office," Jack ground out. The man's fists were clenching impotently, his previously-besieged expression having morphed into the glint of revenge. "In the ventilation duct. Which is superglued shut."

Oh. I see. George winced, then shot the younger man a sly smile. "I trust you've reeled in Sergeant Siler to deal with the problem?"

His 2IC shot him a pained look. "Yes, sir."

Rising from his chair, Hammond rounded his desk and headed toward the glass window overlooking the Stargate. "Good. It was Dr. Jackson's recommendation that we leave the seals where they are for the time being."

Footsteps behind him; the green-clad figure in the corner of his vision came to a halt beside him. "Sir?"

It really was amazing what time could do for perspective. Major Davis' story helped on that account too. It's nice to have a character reference, at the very least. And having those boys out from underfoot had eased his worry considerably. "They were very clear on their ability to deal with the shapeshifter that infiltrated this base, Colonel. The fact that they were able to get in and out of the SGC and NORAD speaks for itself."

Jack winced at that; Hammond nodded. There would be more drills in the immediate future, tighter security. Much tighter. No character reference in the world could ease the burn of worry ignited by the break-in. If someone with good intentions found it so simple, it would be just as easy for someone with evil intentions to get in.

Hands hanging free at his sides, George let his sight unfocus as he delved into thought. Dealing with intergalactic war and politics, even he was guilty of neglecting closer threats; like that posed by terrorism. Usually they could count on NORAD to take over that concern for them, as buffer and shield, but that presumption had been neatly used against them in the last forty-eight hours.

George hardened his gaze, blinking the 'Gate back into focus. But the Tok'ra won't wait for an answer to their demand – and there's no way Jacob won't inform the High Council of a new threat. It was much better that the Winchesters had gone. "I can't ignore the effectiveness of the ritual they were performing on either General Carter or Selmac."

In brown eyes he read understanding. The threat of the Goa'uld was very real – and with the way the technology stood, those of Earth were at a galactic disadvantage.

Also. "I contacted the President regarding the Winchester brothers, and explained the situation."

True surprise pulled the word from the Colonel to his right. "What?"

How to make him understand? "We have sworn to protect the American people in any way possible," George said quietly. In the 'Gateroom below, he could see and hear the thunk of encoding chevrons. SG-7, heading out. "I take my oaths seriously, Colonel. Even if that means accepting things that should be impossible." He kept his eyes pointedly on the Stargate. "And that means protecting our country from threats it doesn't even know exist."

Like the Goa'uld, and the rest of the galaxy. Like – shapeshifters.

And things he didn't want to think might exist.

"But, sir – poltergeists?" Incredulity stained O'Neill's tone.

Hammond felt his temper wind tighter, but it was nothing he hadn't argued with himself over for hours since Major Davis had revealed the full story of what had happened to him two years prior. Furniture flying, electrical cords used to shock and strangle and stumble – knives and tools and heavy lamps battering at the bodies of innocents. Doors locking, to trap the unwary inside. "Major Davis has never given us a reason to doubt his dedication to this facility, or his word," was all he said.

Hair more gray than brown was already shaking. "I know, sir. But still . . ."

"It doesn't matter what we think," Hammond said when the other man trailed into silence. "The fact remains that these threats exist. And right now, those two are our greatest allies in fighting them. I've made sure the President understands the situation."

"Bet the FBI wasn't too pleased with that," the Colonel muttered. But there was more amusement than annoyance in him now.

Agent Henrickson certainly wasn't. At least according to his contacts in the Bureau. But as long as the case was closed and stayed that way, there wouldn't be a problem. "Neither were the Presidents of Stanford and MIT," Hammond retorted mildly. And they really hadn't been, but any man could be persuaded to see reason with the proper leverage. Mixed generously with a healthy dose of authority and a little bit of threat, of course.

Brown eyes were shocked for only a minute before the laughter broke free.

Watching SG-7 disappear into the event horizon, George Hammond smiled.

It should have surprised him, how quickly the rumble of the Impala's engine had returned to feeling like home after four years away, but it never had. Sunlight was welcome after a day of artificial lighting under tons of rock – Dean hadn't said anything, but he knew the strain of being closed in had worn on his brother. It was obvious in the way Dean had ignored cramping leg muscles – up a ladder, eleven levels, everything was cramping – and bounded down the mountain towards the road leading into the city.

Truth to tell, he'd been relieved to see the Impala himself. But this was getting ridiculous. "You done yet?" Sam inquired mildly.

The low crooning and patting of the steering wheel didn't stop. "Done what?" Dean was distracted from the conversation, fully involved in communing with the car. Again. Or is that, 'still'?

It would be annoying if it wasn't so hilarious. "Nothing," was his blithe response; Sam grinned out the passenger-side window at the sun shining off grass. "How far out are we, again?"

"Not far enough," Dean sobered, foot pressing the accelerator. "'Bout fifty miles, or so. I don't wanna stop until we've crossed the state line."

Make that two state lines. Sam wasn't keen on stopping, himself. True, the dead fish had been Dean's idea, but the superglue was his. "Think they'll leave the seals where we put them?"

The road was clear; it was early in the day still for traffic, and the only other vehicles on the highway had out-of-state plates or eighteen wheels, or both. Dean never tore his attention from the road for too long. "If they're smart."

"Maybe one day we'll get a chance to go back and see," Sam said absently, twisting for the books he'd dumped in the backseat three days ago.

"Hell no," his brother responded, green eyes flicking between the view out the windshield, Sam, and the rearview mirror. "Not unless the world is about to end."