In The Mouth Of The Rat
Disclaimer: Supernatural is owned by Kripke. Thank you to Ridley C. James for creating The Brotherhood Universe
Notes: Well, I had an up and down week, but I hope to have the weekend end better than it started. So, Ridley loves this fic (I sent her 'fixes' when she needed them), and I am posting even though it is not completely finished. If I don't then I will be too far behind, and I have a holiday fic planned. All mistakes are my own.
Also, don't forget to send your cards for the Brotherhood Campaign. You can find information at www (dot) thehunterstomb (dot) com
Boca Raton, Florida
(Boca Raton means mouth of the rat)
Dean went up the two flights of stairs to get away from the arguing below. However, Caleb and John's voices reverberated through the plaster walls. He placed his duffle on the bed and looked out the sliding glass window to the ocean outside. Not much could be seen in the inky darkness except for a few beacon lights in the distance. But the twenty-four year old could smell the salt air and hear the crashing waves. It didn't drown out the yelling from the first floor. He returned to his seat at the top of the stairs.
"You set me up!" Reaves yelled at John, pacing like a caged animal.
"No, I didn't." Winchester bit back. "This other job just came up."
"John! A fucking house on the beach!" Caleb raked a hand through his hair. "I don't want to be here."
John put his hands out to try to placate the younger man. "Once you get to talk to me like that Caleb. Calm down."
The psychic took in a ragged breath, and exhaled slowly. "You said one, two days tops. . ."
"And it will be."
Dean had driven with the other hunter, but hadn't provided enough of a distraction. Caleb waited outside for fifteen minutes before stepping through the door.
"You did the research and the trail ends here."
"It fell into my lap." Caleb mumbled.
Dean had heard the story how Reaves noticed an article about a woman whose husband left her for someone he had met online. She was trying to find him to serve him with divorce papers. Then this woman found other women in the same situation. Seems as though the men involved all used the same website-The Dollhouse. Caleb thought it was a strange coincidence. He signed up at the website and began to communicate with Eleni, painting a desperate picture of being involved in a loveless marriage. Caleb had to admit he could see how men fell for these women. Although he kept suggesting they meet, Eleni did not seemed so inclined, but finally she agreed. Caleb was going to send someone else, beg off due to work commitments, but then a body was found on the local Boca Raton beach. It was of an old man, not uncommon in sunny Southern Florida. However, this man's fingerprints belonged to Ronald Byrne of Deluth, Minnesota who was 31 years old.
And Mr. Byrne's wife had wanted to serve him with divorce papers.
Caleb mentioned it to John who thought they should personally see to the case. Dean didn't question the decision, wondering if his father was making this a sick training exercise to have Caleb get over his water phobia.
John huffed. Dean knew his father was no longer going to be indulgent. "Bobby needs my help."
Reaves stuffed his hands in his jean pockets. "Then I'll go work with Bobby and you and Deuce can work this job."
"You took the lead on this!" John stepped into the psychic's personal space. "Reaves. Suck. It. Up."
Dean heard that comment and knew there would be an inevitable blowout. He didn't want to be trapped in the middle. It was June in Florida and they were on a house on the beach in a town called Deerfield Beach. The house was something out of Miami Vice, and belonged to one of Mac's friends who used the home to get away from New York winters. It was stucco, three levels with balconies facing out to the ocean. Dean went out the sliding glass door and down the backstairs off the balcony, away from the stucco building.
To the right were two lively, well lit bars and further down was a pier. To the left were a darkened beach and a strip of large condominium buildings. He chose to go away from the liveliness, his sneakers sinking in the sand, and a warm wind sticking his t-shirt against his skin.
Dean enjoyed the quietness of the beach. At the end of the shoreline he saw there was a rock jetty. He would walk out to it, and then back. Hopefully, the argument between John and Caleb would be over. He had been the middleman in too many arguments.
He wondered what his little brother was doing on his summer vacation. If Sam missed him or even thought about his older brother? He made it halfway to his destination when he heard a splashing sound.
The humidity in the air, and the clouds covering the moon made it difficult to make out anything in the water. The condominium buildings were not lit, most of the occupants unable to stand the Florida summer heat and returned to their northern climates for the season.
The hunter walked closer to the ocean, and saw a woman exit the water, completely nude. Dean was dumbstruck. He could make out her entire, incredible body. She smiled at him.
"You're standing on my towel."
Dean looked down, and saw the blue and white striped towel. He took two steps back, bent down and handed it to her.
She was brazen in her immodesty, taking the towel and putting it behind her back before tying it in a knot in the front, between her breasts. She walked forward, taking her fingers and brushing them along his clavicle. "I hope I didn't scare you."
He took a few steps forward to follow her. "I don't scare that easily."
She laughed a throaty chuckle. "I like you."
"I like you too." He wanted to continue the evening. She would make him forget all about the Caleb, Dad and Sam. "I'm Dean."
"Airlea," she purred back. She put her hand up to cease his movement forward. "Perhaps I'll see you again."
He shrugged his shoulders; evidently he was not going to be lucky tonight. "Night." He finished his walk out towards the jetty in solitary thought.
When he returned, the house was quiet. He went up through the back entrance, opening the sliding door. Immediately, he felt the briskness of the air conditioner.
He heard noise from the room across the hall. He walked in and saw Caleb at the desk, on the desktop computer with a scowl on his face.
"Hey man, you doing okay?" Dean said, greeting the older hunter. He wasn't going to share his intimate moment at the beach with Caleb since the dark haired hunter seemed truly frazzled.
"No, I'm not." Caleb gestured at the computer screen. "Your father is bailing on us."
"Yeah, I heard." Dean took a seat in one of the overstuffed chairs that faced the desk. The room was set up as a home office. Dean wanted to help his friend, knew how hard it was for Caleb to be near the ocean without being overwhelmed by the death of his parents. Sounds and smells made him relive the moment in his mind. Dean understood. The smell of vanilla or a certain perfume reminded him of his mother. "Look Caleb, I'll handle this one myself-no big deal." Dean figured he would let his father drive away, then handle the hunt alone and meet up with Reaves later.
Reaves frowned at the younger man. "We don't hunt alone. You know that." He gave a tight grin, appreciating the gesture. "I'll get over it."
Dean sighed. He would be left dealing with a prickly Caleb. "I put your stuff in the bedroom next door, away from the water."
"It's the sound. It's everywhere and the smell. . ." The psychic raked a hand through his hair. "I hate the beach."
"I know." Dean remembered the story of how Caleb's parents died. How they had a house, Caleb's father had built it, and apparently it looked like a murder suicide when actually there was demon involvement. Six year old Reaves witnessed it all through the slightly ajar closet door. "I gotta go and talk to Dad."
"You going to whine about me, Deuce?"
"Only if you keep acting like a girl, Damien."
Caleb snorted, and returned to the computer screen. "I wish."
Dean left, and heard Caleb opening the windows and pulling the hurricane shutters closed. It would plunge the room in darkness, but also muffle the sound somewhat.
The young hunter looked back, wondering if he should leave his friend alone. But Reaves wanted some space, and tomorrow Dean would provide as much distraction as possible.
John was sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and a map. He looked up when he saw his son. "I'm outta here in the morning."
"Yeah, Dad, about that." Dean licked his lips, tentative to admonish his father. "You know how Caleb feels. . ."
The elder Winchester cut off his son's statement. "Dean, sometimes we all have to do things we don't want to do. Part of the job."
His father had shutdown any further conversation, and Dean didn't want to be the next person under attack. "Yeah, right." Dean went to the refrigerator and pulled out a beer. "We'll meet up with you at Pastor Jim's?"
"Yep," John answered, not looking up.
Dean raised his bottle of beer to his father. "Be safe." He returned upstairs, intending to call it a night and get some sleep.