Sam wrenched the door open and didn't care that it bounced rudely off the wall behind him. Weary, annoyed and ready for some down-time, he ignored the sounds of his equally exhausted brother closing the motel room door behind him as he followed him into the dismally decorated room.
Sam's tired gaze fell on the windowsill and he walked over quickly, peering at it and then wiping his finger across the paintwork.
"There was a demon here, Dean," he said crankily, wiping up the trace of sulphur from the window ledge. He rubbed his fingers together thoughtfully. "Why did it leave?"
"Cos it got hungry?" Dean hazarded flippantly, apparently beyond caring. "Can I just sleep now?"
"Sure, go ahead!" Sam spat, turning and looking at him with a purple kind of rage Dean hadn't seen in his younger sibling since The Great Toy Fire Engine Argument of 1988. "Doesn't it bother you that a demon was here? A demon?"
"Woah woah woah," Dean said slowly, tossing his loaded shotgun to the bed and lifting his hands in surrender. "Look, calm down. It's not here now, right? And if it didn't hang around, maybe it's–"
Sam walked up to him smartly and simply punched him in the face.
Dean, understandably not expecting to be physically assaulted by his brother, keeled over backwards with a loud crash.
"Just checking," Sam growled as Dean stared up at him, dumbfounded.
"Checking what?" Dean growled, rubbing his chin, "That I had a bone there once? Well it's caved in now!" He rolled to his feet and advanced on his brother.
Instead of backing away, Sam pulled his jacket off quickly and threw it from him, not caring where it landed. Dean tugged off his jacket too, slinging it vaguely in the direction of the bed, and they eyed each other.
"Winner gets the big bed," Dean breathed.
"Loser gets to ride shotgun for a whole week," he shot back snidely.
"That's cool – cos you ain't never driving ma car!"
"Burns, doesn't it? The thought of someone else driving your car," Sam sneered.
"Just think Dean, this time next year when you're gone, it'll be all mine," Sam breathed evilly.
Dean blinked. The sudden inexplicable fireball of anger in him looked down from its twelve foot diving board into the pit underneath labelled 'Dean's full-blown rage' and decided that its knees were wobbly. It had very swift second thoughts about flinging itself from the safety of the board and, to put it politely, bottled it.
End result: Dean took a calm step backwards.
Sam's eyed narrowed.
"Christo," they both snapped, watching each other.
"Goddamn it!" came a shout from the window.
The brothers forgot about each other and snatched up shotguns and handguns, turning to look at the window ledge that had recently been the displayer of Hell's finest sulphur ash.
Dean spared his brother a glance before he cleared his throat. "Christo," he called toward the window.
"Gah! Stop doing that!" came a shout. Two hands appeared over the ledge and then a blonde head followed it. "Can you – just – gah! Little help, guys!" shouted the desperate young man.
Dean and Sam exchanged a look that defied Space and Time in that it managed to express a whole mountain of incredulity, disbelief and plain old WTF? to the power of ten in the space of a nano-second.
Dean walked over slowly, let the shotgun drop, and put his hand out.
"Dean!" Sam protested.
His brother ignored him, and the blonde lad currently clinging to the window ledge as if a three storey drop would kill him attempted to smile.
He let go of the sill with one hand and grabbed at Dean's wrist, and the older Winchester hauled on it. A full minute of struggling and grappling got the man and his torn jeans over the ledge and onto his face on the hotel carpet.
He panted for a few seconds, obviously unused to climbing in windows, and then rolled onto his back. He stared up at the two brothers and the weapons they had pointed at him from above.
"Hey," he managed genially.
"You need to explain why you're crawling over our carpet, and why you don't like the C word," Dean said, eyeing him much the same way a lion appraises a herd of zebras.
The man put his hands up quickly. "Can I get up first?" he asked politely.
"You can try," Sam said nastily, and the man's smile faded slightly. He put his hands out, pushing at the carpet. But he appeared to be glued down.
"What did you–"
"What am I, an idiot?" Sam bawled suddenly, and Dean and the man both jumped in surprise. "You think I'd sleep in a room without devil's traps at every entrance?"
The man squirmed and twisted his head back, finding the edges of a tidy scrawl underneath him.
"Ah," he allowed, his face knotting into a really good impression of some bad ham. "So… what do we do now?" he asked politely.
"You're a demon! We exorcise you, job done!" Sam shouted impatiently.
"Hey man, chill," the man smiled.. "Who said I was a demon?"
"Christo," the boys snapped as one.
The man flinched and jerked slightly, then let out a long breath in pain. He opened his eyes to reveal they were, as Sam as suspected, bright black orbs.
"Yeah, ok, you got me," he managed as he watched Sam pull the flask of holy water from his back pocket.
"So stay where you are," the young Winchester snapped. He didn't take his eyes off him. "Dean. Book."
"You sure, Sam? You don't want to torture him a little first maybe?" he asked innocently. Sam looked at him. "Joking, man, joking," he admitted, lifting his hands with a smile, turning to find the large book. Sam looked back at the man, but he was staring.
"Sam? Dean?" he asked quietly.
"Yeah. Nice to meet you," Dean called from the opposite side of the room.
"Shit," the man snapped, lifting his hands and putting them to his forehead, closing his eyes and huffing. "No no no no no no – this just isn't fair!" he wailed.
"What isn't?" Sam asked cautiously.
"They said I could possess and kill whoever I wanted! They said I could play for eternity! This ain't fair! I can't be running into you two on my very first possession! Come on!" he shouted, anguished.
Dean wandered over with the book slowly.
"You know us?"
"Know you? Who down there doesn't know you? You kill a YED, you get noticed, know what I mean?" he scoffed. "And you – you were so easy to play, man!" he laughed, pointing at Dean. "Hey, look at me, my brainless brother's dead so I'll do the noble thing and swap me for him – idiot!" he laughed.
Sam's lips thinned and he swallowed, straightening his back and slipping the safety on his gun, letting it drop slowly.
"Just send him home," he growled.
"Naw, wait a minute," Dean said, interested.
"Hang on – don't start on me, Dean," the man said quickly. "I mean, I can't do anything about this deal, I just thought I'd get in a little harmless emotional torture before the inevitable," he rattled off quickly.
"Really?" Dean asked with a sly smile, snatching the flask from Sam's hand and unscrewing the lid quickly. "Harmless emotional torture?" he smiled, splashing the water over the man's front.
"Aaaaargh! You son of a bitch!" he shouted in pain, writhing on the floor.
"What?" Dean asked, his face a perfect imitation of a five year old caught with his hand in the cookie jar, yet absolutely convinced his next five seconds of acting could get him off the hook anyway. He splashed a little more over him.
"You – you bastard!" the man yelled in agony.
"Dean, come on," Sam said quickly. Dean just looked at him, wrapped in an impenetrable bubble of refusal to care.
"Whatever," he said, sniffing and putting the cap back on. He tucked the flask in his back pocket and opened the book slowly, leafing to the right page. "Although you do realise that just for that comment about ma brother, I am finding every last one of you pathetic excuses for devil-spawn and sending you home," he added mildly.
"Yeah? I hope you do, I really do," the man spat angrily. Dean looked at him. "Yeah! I do! And do you know why?" he demanded.
"Let me guess, you got that whole Jerry Maguire thing going on where you can't be alone?" Dean asked politely.
"Wow you're a dumbass!" the man laughed, his voice tripping with sarcasm. "No Dean, it's cos the more of us there are down there, the more of us there are to meet and greet you when you arrive in about… ooh, eleven and a half months' time?" he grinned.
He was rather upset to note that this barb didn't make Dean flinch, or blanche, or even blink.
"Oh I know that," he said easily, then smiled at him serenely. "Why do you think I'm getting torture time in now, while I still can? Got to make sure it's worth all the fun after I die, after all. I'd hate to be in eternal torment just cos a bunch of chicks complained about me leaving the toilet seat up." He looked down at the page again, hearing Sam clear his throat. "Don't even think about it, Sammy," he added mildly.
"But what if–"
Dean ignored him, simply clearing his throat and beginning to read the Latin instructions with a certain amount of sunshine in his voice.
Sam came out of the bathroom, freshly showered, now in just a pair of jeans. He went to the drawers by his bed, looking through them for clean clothes.
"Dean," he called, noticing his brother was still dozing. "Dean! Get your ass out of bed!" he called, amused.
Dean stirred and opened an eye, assessing the room before yawning and putting his elbows under him, looking around. He noticed switching to both eyes did nothing to improve the situation.
"Don't think I'll get up today," he sniffed, sitting up slowly to drag his hands through his hair.
"Why not?" Sam asked, pulling a clean t-shirt from the drawer and closing it.
"This room is missing something…" Dean mused, putting his elbows on his knees and resting his chin in his hands.
"It's your turn to get coffee, man," Sam said quickly.
"Naw, it's not coffee…"
"Naw, it's like…"
"Girls," Dean nodded firmly. "We're short of about… a dozen showgirls."
"Really, Dean – we've been through this. I miss days where you didn't spend every waking moment chasing after a bit of skirt," he tutted.
Dean bandied this thought round his head, his eyes rolling up and to the side as he struggled to come to terms with the concept of thinking about something other than sex. It was a mission impossible and he gave it up as a bad job.
"Can't help it, dude, it is first thing in the morning," he said defensively.
"TMI," Sam said pointedly, turning away and going back into the bathroom.
Dean sighed and scrubbed his hands through his hair, then reached forward over the blankets to snatch at the t-shirt still sat there from the night before. He pulled it on over his head carelessly, pulling back the blanket, ready to get up.
He heard a scrabbling, snorting sound and hesitated. He looked over at the window to the left of the room.
"Sam," he called hesitantly.
"Yeah?" Sam called back, a toothbrush in his mouth. The scrabbling and huffing got louder and Dean jumped out of bed.
"Sam!" he called. "There's another one!"
Sam spat and rinsed in double-quick time, running from the bathroom and snatching up the now re-filled and re-affirmed flask of holy water. He tossed it to Dean and went to his bed, plunging his hand under the pillow and pulling out another flask.
The two brothers stared at the windowsill.
Two hands stretched abruptly over the woodwork.
"You left the window open?" Sam accused him.
"Me? You were at it last," Dean protested.
They watched the two hands and then arms snake over the top and through the window, the occupier of this body much more adept in the ways of entering through windows than the last one had been.
The figure straightened her back, tossing long brown hair over her shoulder and appraising the two boys slowly. She put her long, bony hands on her hips and transferred her weight to her left leg, cocking an eyebrow and smiling.
"So," she said pleasantly, "which one of you two boys is Sam?"