Something is killing people and posing their bodies in the way of biblical characters.
The most evil demon they have ever met is wreaking havoc in Pennsylvania; can Sam and Dean stop him? What do you think?! Sam gets an unlikely love interest and we find out who popped Dean's cherry.
I am still working on my Dean story but needed a bit of a break from wisecracks and mass testosterone. I decided to write this story on a whim and it was done in one day. I have to say that writing Sam is a hell of a lot harder than Dean who is such a simple soul.The majority of comments about my last storywere about the weepie ending, well, we can'tlet Dean get all the tragedy can we?Brace yourselves and make sure you have some hankies. Oh and if you like reading with some music, Until I Wake Up by Dishwalla is good for the ending!!
Anyway, I did my best so read on and let me know what you think.
"They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish." Isaiah 26:14
As his hands drummed on the steering wheel to the strains of Highway to Hell Dean looked across at Sam who had his furrowed brow bent over one of his many books.
"So you find something juicy for us in Pennsylvania?"
"Not sure yet." he muttered distractedly.
"What d'ya mean? Is it our kind of gig or not?"
Sam finally looked up and put the book page down on his lap. Reaching over he turned down the stereo.
Ignoring his brother Sam reached into the backseat and retrieved a newspaper.
"A couple were attacked on their wedding night. In bed. The husband was killed and his new wife was tortured but managed to survive."
Dean grimaced. "Well that sucks some major ass. Why'd you think it's our kind of thing though?"
"I'm not sure, I just have this feeling about it. It says here that the couple met at church, they were active in the community and that everyone loved them. Doesn't seem much motive to kill and torture does it?"
Dean shrugged, "I dunno Sammy, there're some real whack jobs out there. Could just be another random killing."
Sam read from the paper. "...alerted by neighbours the couple were later found by Officers. They were found in their marital bed, posed in a grotesque tribute to Adam and Eve. Upon discovering that Justine Norland was in fact still alive Paramedics were called to the scene. She was taken to an undisclosed hospital where her condition is unknown. Officers at the scene were offered counselling."
Dean whistled and Sam put the paper down.
"It doesn't say it in so many words, but it's implied that the couple were attacked before they were able to consummate their marriage."
"Have sex Dean! Christ, if you read anything more than skin mags then you might have some kind of vocabulary!"
Shrugging it off Dean looked unenthralled by the whole thing. "Could still be a jealous ex Sam, something I dunno, normal."
"There's nothing normal about killing a couple of innocent virgins on their wedding night and setting them up to look like the Adam and Eve."
Dean was suddenly interested and glanced over at the paper.
"Hey, where'd the virgin thing come into the story? You never read that part!"
"I didn't have to Dean but I bet if we ask around, five bucks gets me ten that they were."
Dean smirked, "So you're just guessing then right? Figures, I mean you were what twenty five when you finally popped your..." putting an index finger in his mouth he made a popping sound and pointing at Sam's crotch, he winked laughing.
Sam's eyes closed through exasperation and he gritted his teeth. "I was nineteen Dean."
Dean continued to laugh "Yeah you were Mary-Jane, ya big loser!"
"There's nothing wrong with waiting Dean, you know until the right time."
"Yeah, Miller time!"
"Not everyone wants to just jump into bed with the first person that shows an interest!"
"Why the hell not?"
"Because some people actually think that it's something special."
"You're such a pansy, man, I couldn't wait! I mean...Wooo" he whistled.
"Yeah, I seem to remember that disappearing act you made with Alison in Wisconsin."
Dean was suddenly frowning. "You remember that chick's name?!"
"And obviously you don't, yeah real special Dean."
"Don't get your shorts in a bunch, I don't remember her cos she wasn't my first." he said shrugging.
Sam twisted in his seat to face his older brother. "She wasn't your first? Who was then?"
"Jesus Sammy, when we were in Wisconsin I was fifteen! Of course she wasn't the first. Dude what do you take me for?!"
Sam huffed, "So who was it?"
Dean glanced at him sideways and squirmed.
"C'mon Dean!" He yelled punching him in the shoulder.
"Just tell me."
"Gina." It was almost a whisper.
"You know..." Dean was uncomfortable suddenly.
Sam thought for a second then with a gasp "NO! Gina Walker?! No way man! That Hunter that Dad knew?!" It was Sam's turn to laugh.
Dean growled. "You know Sammy, it's a rite of passage for any boy, an older woman."
"Dean! She was fifty!!"
"You were what? Thirteen? That's just wrong on so many levels!"
Dean was incredulous "Yeah well, she taught me everything I know. I may not have much in the way of vocabulary but if you'd spent a week with Gina then you might know a thing or two about how to please a woman."
Sam had a fist over his smiling mouth and his eyes were watering. "Did she also teach you how to remove a wooden leg?!" Sam started howling with laughter.
Dean pointed a finger at him and shot him a warning glance. "Hey, she lost that leg in a noble way Dude, you should respect..."
"...my elders?!" There was no stopping him now.
With a scowl Dean chose to ignore the last remark and leaning forward switched the stereo on full volume.
Pulling the Impala up to the sidewalk in front of the hospital Dean leant over to the glove compartment and removed two FBI badges and handed one to his brother. Exiting the car, they both made their way inside.
It was Dean who found Justine Norland's room number in a way only he could once encountering a nurse.
"God, I'm glad this is being taken so seriously, I mean, it's such a horrible thing to happen." She'd said leaning over the reception counter in Dean's direction.
"Yeah, it sure is," he responded with a sigh. "That's why we at the FBI will do everything we can to find the perp."
"I can't tell you how reassuring that is, I mean, I haven't seen her myself but they say she was tortured so badly...it's pretty rough."
"Don't worry about us, we're seasoned professionals." he said with a wink.
Making their way to the room they saw a police officer stationed outside.
Walking up with supreme confidence in their matching black suits he saw them and frowned slightly standing up straight.
"Special Agent McClane and Special Agent Willis, we're here to see Mrs Norland." Dean flashed the badges but no smile this time.
The Officer frowned at the badges then nodded over his shoulder.
"Ok, but I don't know what she's gonna be able to give you, she's pretty out of it."
"Yeah?" Sam this time.
"Not even the meds...they reckon it's trauma. Can't say I blame her...Jeez, I know one of the guys that found 'em, been on the job twenty years, never seen nothin' like this though."
Stepping aside, he let them pass and they entered the woman's room.
Inside the private room, they found that the curtain was drawn around the bed.
Frowning at his brother Dean gave him a 'what now?' look.
Sam coughed gently, but there was no response.
"Mrs Norland? It's the FBI, we came to talk to you about what happened."
"OK." The reply was quiet but devoid of obvious emotion.
Shrugging at Dean, Sam took a couple of steps and slowly moved the curtain back.
When they caught sight of the young Mrs Norland they both paused. Sam recovered instantly but Dean's eyes widened slightly and he appeared lost for words.
The woman in front of them could have been no more than twenty and had obviously once been a beautiful girl but, Sam thought with regret, those days were gone.
Her face had been slashed to ribbons. It was obvious that it had been a brutal attack and that there was little hope of her ever regaining her looks. The doctors had stitched her face in such a way that the stitches weren't too visible, like the work of a good plastic surgeon. Nevertheless, there were so many cuts and deep ligatures that her features had been pulled into a grotesque mask.
Looking at Sam, she seemed to have no fear of being stared at which seemed odd to him, maybe that was a sign of trauma he thought.
Sam glanced around and seeing a chair, he pulled it close to the bed and took a seat. Looking up at his brother he noticed that Dean was struggling to keep his composure. "Agent McClane, could you go and get that file from the car?" He asked in an authoratative tone.
Dean nodded at Sam and then without looking back at the girl he retreated.
Sam smiled at her benignly. "I'm so sorry to have to ask you to go through this again, but would you mind telling me what happened?"
She seemed unconcerned about Dean's rapid exit and kept her focus on Sam.
"Ok." She said but her mouth struggled to form the words.
Sam could feel his eyes start to swell with tears of compassion but he knew he had to hold it together and do his job.
He just couldn't believe that anyone could do this to a young woman. Mentally he took a deep breath but made sure that his eyes stayed on hers. He didn't want her to feel like a sideshow attraction.
"I know it must be difficult to talk right now but I'd just like to ask you if you recognised your assailant."
She shook her head but her eyes never left his. Having an idea, he reached into his suit pocket and withdrew a notepad and pen.
"Ok, Ma'am, if it's easier, can you just write on this?"
Standing in a half crouch he reached over and took her right hand to place the pen in it. Shaking her head, he smiled slightly then reached for her left hand instead. Placing the pen and pad in her hands, he sat back down.
"Can you describe the man?"
She thought for a second then in a seemingly impassive way she began to make slow laborious notes.
Finished, she lifted the pad. Sam stood up again and took the notebook and glanced at it. Conscious of the thought that he was towering over the bed he sat down slowly.
dark wavy hair
dark horrible eyes
Sam frowned, then looking across at her he handed the writing pad back. He swallowed the lump in his throat "What was horrible about his eyes?"
He didn't need to sit down, she wrote just one word so leaningacross the bed he looked over her shoulder. There was just one word written and underlined several times.
Striding back outside with the notepad in his hand Sam opened the passenger door of the Impala and sat down. Dean was behind the wheel. He had taken off his tie and jacket and looked at him apologetically.
"I'm sorry man."
Sam loosened his own tie with a grimace as the car was fired up and put into gear.
"S'okay Dean, that was pretty tough, even for me."
"Yeah, but I feel really bad, I mean...God!"
Sam looked at him. "God had nothing to do with what happened to that poor girl."
"It was a Demon. Black eyes, the works. I don't think we have to go to the house to know we'll find sulphur there."
Dean sighed and slammed a hand against the wheel. "Godammit! When will we ever make any headway? No matter what we do they just keep on comin'!"
"I know man, this is one sadistic son of a bitch too. She said that he came in when they were, ya know?...and he was just stood there. They screamed and her husband was dead in seconds just torn to shreds right in front of her."
"Aww man, that'd put anyone off for life. Why didn't he kill her though?"
Sam flipped through some of the pages of the notepad with Dean looking on quizzically. "She said he told her: 'I mar the beauty of virgins and cause their hearts to grow cold'." Looking pointedly at his brother he continued. "He knew who he was attacking and why he wanted to keep her alive." He saw Dean raise an eyebrow. "He wanted to ruin their happiness, make sure she lived her life alone, without love. The whole Adam and Eve thing is just him showing his disdain for God"
Despite all his feelings on love, Dean didn't think he'd ever heard anything quite so depressing. He felt the blood boil in his veins at the thought the girls life was ruined forever.
"So what do we do now?"
Sam sighed, "Check into a motel? We gotta know what we're dealing with, maybe give Bobby a call."
"Ok" Looking over at his little brother he noticed that the weight of the world was once more resting on his shoulders. "Look, I'll drop you off at a motel then head down to the station, see if I can't get hold of the police report."
"Ok man, yeah." Sam said distractedly looking at his notes.
Dean shook his head at the windscreen. He could see from Sam's face that this was going to be a hell of a job that they had on their hands. Literally.
He knew that they were the only ones capable of dealing with it but he hoped to God that his brother was up to it.
They'd checked into a random motel not too far from the hospital where they were keeping Justine Norland. The town was small, like most that they dealt with, the kind where you didn't expect to see this kind of thing.
Sam hadn't bothered to change, he had thrown down his bag, opened his laptop and started straight away on his research. He had called Bobby who was also promising to look it over and would get back in touch with him once he knew more.
Dean walked back in a couple of hours later. Sam looked up at him.
Normally Dean would be buzzing with a case like this, always full of jokes and cockiness. Not this time. The attack on the girl had disturbed both of them, after all, it may never have happened if they hadn't unwittingly opened the gates of hell.
Sam checked himself mentally, how could something so apocalyptic just seem so normal to them both now? Even if it was normal it would never get any easier to deal with. Looking across at Dean sat in the chair opposite he could see that he had something but it couldn't have been good news.
Dean threw a manilla envelope onto the table. Sighing, he removed his tie for the second time that day.
"Got some photo's." It was obvious from his expression that he wasn't too enamoured with the idea of looking at them again. "They were taken after Justine had been sent to hospital so it's just her husband Brian in them, but believe me Sam, they're none too pretty."
Glancing at his brother Sam steeled himself and opened the envelope pulling out some large lurid photos of the crime scene. Sam's head jerked involuntarily and he looked back at Dean. "You're shittin' me?"
"I spoke to someone at the station and she said that when they found the couple, Justine was lying on the other side of the bed. Obviously the details haven't been released to the press. Man, when I tell you they're freakin out at the station, you better believe me."
Sam looked down at the photo trying to comprehend what he was seeing.
Brian Norland was lying naked on his marital bed with arms outstretched. His entrails were lying all around him and from his exposed sternum as if by magic sprung an apple tree. It was just a sapling but it had been thrust into him with such force that the narrow trunk had managed to pierce not only him, but the mattress and bolster too. About ten inches above the dead man's head, the tree blossomed with spindly leafed branches and lush red apples.
"Oh my God!" Sam said under his breath.
"Keep going..." Dean said with a grimace.
Sam placed the photo down on the table with some reluctance. He didn't know if he wanted to see what came next but he knew he had to.
The next photo had been taken of the other side of the bed which was empty. There was blood everywhere, up the walls, on the floor...it was carnage. It was apparent that Justine had survived only because the Demon had wanted her to.
In the middle of the bed Sam saw something that made him frown thinking he was seeing things.
Picking up on this Dean leant towards him, Sam didn't think he'd ever seen his brother so serious before. "Believe me, I know...Sammy, I've never seen anything like it. They found it inside her, you know? She was still alive and so was it. The Paramedics decapitated it." Dean rested his head in his hands. "I swear Sammy, I never wanted to kill anything this badly before in my life."
Gulping noticeably Sam forced himself to look back at the photo where he looked at the dead body of the python lying next to Brian Norland.
Speechless he let the photo drop to the table.
Dean was up and pacing. "Sam, I don't know what the hell we're dealing with, I mean, all the things we see? You'd think..."Taking a deep breath.
"You get anything from Bobby?"
Sam was staring straight ahead. "No." Then his mind went back to Justine and the python, and he forced himself to think. His heart was beating so fast it hurt.
"We know it's a Demon. Why's it here? What does it want?" He was thinking out loud. "Maybe it doesn't want anything, maybe he's just having fun."
Dean paused and looked across at him "Well, that's a sick thought, like a freedom party you mean?"
Sam picked up on this, "Who knows Dean?! We let them out and now it's like an open buffet of humans for them to feast on...the Seven Deadly Sins and now this Dude."
Dean didn't like where this was going, Sam was beating himself up about the whole hell hole thing enough already. He had to nip this in the bud if he wanted to keep his brother focused and sane.
"Look, just get back on the phone to Bobby, tell him what I found out. I'm gonna have a shower and then we'll just try to regroup."
"Regroup?!" Sam was stood up now with his arms open.
"Yeah, Sammy, we need Bobby in on this one. We need to sit down and try to figure this one out before we go in half cocked and get ourselves killed!"
Sam took a breath. "Ok. I'll call him."
Dean cast a last glance at his brother, concern etched on his features before he retreated to the bathroom.
When Dean came out of the bathroom, he found Sam on the phone and he presumed that it was Bobby. His suspicions were confirmed when Sam smiled at his curious glance.
Nodding, he went to the bed and removed his towel. Grabbing some jeans he stepped into them and rumaging through his duffle bag he found a clean white t-shirt and pulled it over his head.
"Sure thing Bobby, see you then." Sam flipped the phone shut and practically threw himself into the chair in front of the laptop.
"What is it?" Dean asked, buttoning his fly.
Sam didn't look up. "I think we got a hit on our guy. Bobby found him in the Book of Tobbit" He was frantically tapping away at the keyboard. Pausing, he turned the computer toward Dean.
"Asmodeus." he exclaimed looking slightly relieved to have gotten somewhere. "A.K.A The Destroyer."
Dean looked briefly at him. "That's a comforting thought. Sounds like a freakin' wrestler"
"Far fom it. He's one of the scariest demons there is."
Standing next to his brother they both looked at the screen. Sam read out loud. "Originally coming from Persia his name was Aeshma-Daeva, it means Demon of wrath."
Dean sat on the bed, "Even better, any good news?"
Sam's eyes scanned the website. "Well, if you believe what you read, if he was one of the sins, he would be most of them combined. Mostly wrath and lust though."
Dean was putting his boots on as he spoke."We killed the sins though right? I mean, what? This Dude just wants everyone's job?"
"I guess he's just bored and angry. According to this, he had a thing for a girl called Sarah..."
"Hey, now that rings a bell." Dean smiled, suddenly feeling more positive that they had gotten somewhere with this case.
"...according to lore, she was this phenomenal beauty that he was obsessed with. She got married seven times."
"Musta been one hot chick." Agreed Dean.
"Each time she got married, he killed her husband on their wedding night before they could cons...have sex."
"God, that sucks, even in Biblical times. So what happened to him?"
Sam turned away from the laptop. "Well, she decided that enough was enough, and she wanted to kill herself..."
"Man, I don't blame her, I mean, seven wedding nights and not one game of hide the sausage?!"
"Focus Dean. She didn't have the nerve to go through with it so she asked God for help and he sent an angel called Raphael down who banished Asmodeus to Egypt."
"Doesn't sound so bad."
"He wasn't on holiday Dean. He tied him up and cast him into Hell."
"So now, he's back and he's pissed."
"So what, he goes after newlyweds?"
"I don't know, I mean, I checked the listings and no one else is meant to be getting married in town. It's not like we can go to every wedding in the County and just say 'hey, congratulations but before you get your jollies tonight, you have to know that a Demon from Hell may come and eviscerate you!'"
Dean had to laugh. "Yeah, I get your point. So what now?"
"He's got to be possessing someone right? So I guess we should start there."
"Honestly Dean, I have no idea. We talk to the people that know Brian and Justine Norland, and we see if we find anything?"
Dean was dressed and ready."Ok, let's go, Max Von Sydow."
"Never mind, ya little freak."
They were swiftly back in the Impala, heading towards town.
"So where did the chick work?" asked Dean
"She volunteered mainly but it seems like the place she called home was the Peace Shelter."
Dean glanced at him, "...the who now?"
"The Peace Shelter is a place where Justine used to volunteer, it's a food drive organised by a local convent"
Pulling up in front of a soup wagon was not Dean's idea of fun. It was even slightly humiliating.
Walking up to the counter though he got other ideas.
Jeez, he thought, are all the people who do volunteer work here hot?
The woman looking after the soup kitchen was a babe. Dean was in his element.
She had long dark hair screwed into a messy ponytail and an outfit that would have looked good on a refugee. Nevertheless, he thought she was stunning.
Had he been on the road too long?
Stepping into the soup queue, he thrust his badge in front of him, flashing his best smile.
She looked at the badge and then at him.
"Special Agent McClane is it?"
He nodded with a grin.
"I'm sure you have a very good reason to be here right now but at the moment I'm very busy..."
His smile faultered. What the hell was she? a Nun?
Then he realised. Oh God, she is a Nun! Man!
Sam stepped in front of his brother before he could embarrass himself more. "You see, we're here investigating the attack of someone who worked here. Justine Norland?"
She did a double take, like she knew what had happened but still couldn't comprehend it. "Justine?" There was sadness in her eyes when she said her name.
Dean, knew when he was defeated. It wasn't often his brother got the girl but in this case, it was obvious that he had her in the bag. Shrugging, he relegated himself to the sidelines with no regret. After all for every Batman there had to be a Boy Wonder.
Ah what the hell, leave them to it, he thought.
Going back to the Impala he switched on the police scanner.
Once the woman had agreed to talk to him, Sam took her to the kerb where they sat shoulder to shoulder. He tried not to notice her blue eyes or jet black hair.
"My name's Sam. Can I ask yours?"
She looked across at him, obviously weighing him up."My name will be Sister Mary Constance, but at the moment I'm still just plain Chloe. I'm a novice."
Sam smiled but in his head he was thinking 'shit'.
"So Chloe? I guess, you knew Justine pretty well?"
The young woman seemed to come alive at the mention of her friends name."She was, is, an amazing person, all the time that she put into this place..."
Sam had to press her even though he didn't want to. "Look, I'm going to be honest...each moment that passes means that we're one step further from finding her attacker. We have to know if there was anyone who could have been...stalking her. Following her, you know?"
"Well there is one guy who came to the church. He just...scared me ya know, his eyes were funny."
"When was that?" Sam asked with more urgency.
"It was like a week ago...we were just leaving and he came up to us outside." She coughed briefly hugging her knees to her.
Sam was trying really hard not to notice her looks. He kept trying to imagine her in a habit, old, preferably. But he couldn't get over the fact that she was so attractive. Why would she want to be a nun of all things?
She suddenly looked uneasy.
"You know, I already spoke with all the cops and Feds. You don't look like any of them."
"Yeah, well, you don't look much like a nun."
She laughed and it was like a balm to him, "I've been surprising people all my life, nothing new there."
"Yeah, " he looked down at his shoes. "I know what you mean. Look, can you tell me anything else about the man?"
"No, I already did a photofit for the cops but he was just average, everything but his eyes. I just thought it was in my imagination. I mean, it was just a flash."
"So when he came to the church, what did he want?"
"Nothing really, it was odd, he just wanted to congratulate her on the wedding. She was so gracious and kind to him but later on she told me she had no idea who the guy was. Look, I want to help, I really do but I just don't know any more about him."
"It's fine, don't worry. Me and my partner are going to do everything we can to find this guy. Really."
"Yeah, and somehow I believe you will."
She smiled at him and their eyes locked but the moment was broken by the Impala screeching to a halt in front of them. Sam sprung to his feet and Chloe followed.
Dean had the window down, his face was a mixture of disbelief and urgency.
"Dude, one eight seven, we gotta go."
Chloe frowned looking over at Sam.
"Where?" Sam asked.
"Regis Community Centre."
Chloe looked shocked."What's happened? I know some of the people who work there."
Sam knew there was no time for questions. Without giving it much thought he put a hand to the small of her back and ushered her around to the passenger side of the car. Opening the door he pulled the front seat forwards and she climbed into the back.
Dean shot him a glance but said nothing as the Impala screeched away from the Peace Shelter.
When they arrived at the Community Center, it seemed like every cop in Penn State was there, the place was swarming.
"Shit, we'll never get through."Said Dean as he pulled up a block away.
Chloe frowned, but you're FBI right? Can't you just flash your badges."
Dean looked across at Sam with a raised eyebrow. "Awkward."
Sam looked back at Chloe, "You're just going to have to trust us ok?"
She narrowed her eyes but obviously saw something in him that didn't give her much cause for concern.
Dean got out of the car and the others followed. As they approached the low wide building they saw a State Trooper rapidly exiting from the front. As theywatched he fell to his knees on the front lawn and began to retch.
"Oh, that can't be good." Dean sighed looking at his little brother.
Sam shot him a determined glance then turning to Chloe "You should stay here, we're going to go check this out."
"Uh-uh, I gotta come too."
With a frown, he weighed up his options and with a shrug the two of them followed Dean who was already making his way around the police cordon.
They ducked under the tape and sidled their way around the building which was easier than they thought it would be as all the cops seemed to be preoccupied by whatever was going on inside.
The building was all one storey so it was easy to sneak round the back and get a look in through the window. Sam and Dean got there first and with one look, Sam closed his eyes. Too late, he thought as the image was burnt into his brain for eternity. Turning around quickly he grabbed Chloe by the waist.
"You shouldn't look."
She frowned then gently pushed him to one side to stand next to Dean at the window.
Sam would have expected a scream but she simply stood on the spot staring. Slowly she put a hand to her mouth and the tears came. Turning away, Sam caught her in an embrace and she buried her head in his chest as he rubbed her back gently.
Dean glanced at them once then turned back to consider the scene in front of him his jaw clenched.
The Community Hall had been hosting a retirement party. Banners and balloons hung on every wall celebrating the event. It should have been a happy time but instead it had turned into one of bloodiest things he had ever seen in his life.
Bodies lay all over the floor and at the tables where they sat. Some were still eating their food when the attack had come and hadn't even had a chance to put their forks down. Even the DJ was slouched over his decks, one of his arms catching the turntable so the song was jumping. Dean knew there and then he would never be able to listen to Celebration by Cool and the Gang without conjuring this image in his mind.
The bodies were bad enough, I mean they were everywhere, but it was what was in the centre of the room that held his attention.
The guy who was retiring had a long table where he had obviously sat with his family to enjoy the festivities. Some of the people at the table had had their throats cut, some had their guts on a plate in front of them. The guy in the middle got the real special treatment though.
With all the skin removed from his face, he sat like a wild eyed monster presiding over some freakish rendition of The Last Supper.
His arms lay open on the table and all his buddies had been posed in an exact replica of the Da Vinci painting. Dean wasn't smart like Sam and he sure wasn't religious but he could recognise what was in front of him and it made him sick to his stomach.
Finally he turned away silently and saw his brother watching him over the girls head.
Dean rubbed a hand over his face and it came away wet. He hadn't even realised that he had been crying.
They had both seen some things in their time but the events of the past couple of days had put all the horror into perspective. It was one thing to drive a human to commit acts of violence in the name of lust or wrath but this Demon had to be in a league of his own. He was at a loss to know how to deal with this now.
Sam broke his concentration. "C'mon Dean, we need to get Chloe out of here."
Dean nodded as he watched Sam murmur something into her hair. A tear streaked face looked up at his baby brother and nodded in agreement.
Back at the motel the three of them sat in silence.
Without discussion they had all come back to the motel as a group. Dean knew that his brother had some silent connection with the young woman, even though they'd only just met. She was obviously deeply affected by what was going on and he couldn't blame her. He was silently freaking out but he would never admit to that under oath.
They'd only been there five minutes when Dean stood up and grabbed his jacket, like being in constant motion was the only way to cope.
"I dunno about you guys but I could do with a drink. I'm going to hit that bar down the road til Bobby shows."
They both looked up at him like traumatised pre-schoolers and something inside him hurt to see it.
"I'll be back in an hour."
After Dean had closed the door, Sam, who was sat at the table looked over at Chloe who was poised on the end of the bed.
"Are you Ok?" he asked sympathetically.
She looked up at him. The tears had stopped but her eyes still shimmered.
"You're not with the FBI are you?"
"What's going on here? I mean it feels like the world is ending." She put a hand to her mouth and tried to pull herself together.
Sam stood up and went over to her. Hugging her to him he noticed that she smelt of Jasmine flowers mingled with soap.
"Dean's my brother. My name's not Sam Willis, it's Sam Winchester and we're here to stop whatever it is that's killing these people."
"What do you mean?" Came the muffled response from somewhere near his shoulder.
"I mean, this is what we do. What killed those people isn't human and my brother and I are here to stop it."
She pulled away from him and wiped at her face with a sleeve.
"What could do something like that?"
Sam had to be straight with her, he knew that he sounded ridiculous, but if she believed in God then there was a good chance that she would believe in the Devil.
"We think it's a Demon. That's just what he does. I know it sounds crazy but we've been hunting these things all our lives and they exist."
"They're just here? Walking amongst us?"
"In a way, they possess humans and then commit acts of random violence. This is the worst that I think I've ever seen though."
Her hands were fiddling in her lap. "He's just killing innocent people and then posing them to look like something in the bible?"
Sam huffed. "Pretty much."
Standing up she walked across the room thinking. "So you and your brother fight these Demons? Why?"
"One of them killed our mom." he said simply."My dad went on a crusade and took us along for the ride. I guess you could call it a vocation. Like you have."
She faced him. "I give soup to homeless people Sam, you fight something that can't exist!"
"You know what you saw Chloe, evil's out there and someone has to fight it."
"That's what angels do."
Sam had to smile. "Believe me, I'm no angel and Dean certainly isn't. It's a job, like anything." he shrugged.
She sat back down next to him and looked up at him with her big blue eyes. "Like mine? Serving God?"
"Well, I guess, I never really saw it that way."
"So how do you fight it?"
Sighing again, Sam wondered how to answer."We have to find it first. I mean, you saw him, he's just a guy. We find him then we can exorcise the Demon back to Hell."
"What happens to the man who was possessed?"
"That's the tough part, you never know. If his body isn't worn out or broken then he might make it. If not..." he let the sentence trail away.
"I may have a way of finding him."
"There's a camera at our Church, he should be on it. I mean, it's worth a try."
He flashed her a smile, "Yeah, definately, I'll call Dean and tell him."
They took the Impala and went to the church.
The church of St Agnes was a small building but awesome in structure. It had a steeple that rose into the night sky and a welcoming appearance to anyone who was approaching. For a small town, it wasn't bad thought Sam.
Inside, it was beautiful. It had nothing like some grander churches in the city but again, he could feel the warmth as he walked in. Stained glass windows lined walls on either side and there were enough pews for a congregation of two hundred. He followed Chloe down the aisle and paused at the end looking at the altar.
Candles were still lit in memory of loved ones and he saw a collection box for the soldiers serving abroad.
Above the altar he noticed that the crucifix was made of simple wood unlike some of the more impressive Catholic churches that he had been to. Its' simplicity made the effect more dramatic if anything and he had to admit that he felt at home.
Chloe led him through a back door into the vestry.
"We keep the security tapes through here. Father James changes them. I never saw much point but we had a spate of vandalism a while ago."
Sam followed her through to a small back room where they sat at a desk in front of an ancient TV monitor. Looking through a cupboard she selected a tape.
"I'm not too sure which tape it is but this is the date that I think he was here."
Sitting next to one another in the small and peaceful room watching the silent images, Sam couldn't help but think about what it would be like to kiss her.
Shifting uncomfortably at the thought, he tried to think of something to say.
"So what made you decide to be a nun?"
She smiled across at him and then turned back to the monitor.
"I can guess what you're thinking. I should live life first before I commit myself to a life of God."
"No, no, I didn't mean that, I was just...ya know...thinking..."
"In this day and age what would drive someone into a life of servitude?" She grinned
Sam stayed silent with humiliation. He felt like such a jerk.
"S'okay Sam, it is a bit strange but it's simple. This is my life now but it wasn't always that way. I was like most people once. Too much temptation got me into trouble."
Sam's eyebrows disappeared into his fringe."Really?!"
"Yeah, I was the typical problem teen. Nightmare home life, abuse, drugs, alcohol. You name it...I got into some trouble with the law too. I was awful." She smiled suddenly. "I met a Nun called Sister Francesca when I was in a Juvenile Detention Center and she was the first person I met who never gave up on me. Even when I was released, if I screwed up, she was always there for me. My parents didn't care and so before I knew it I had a new family. It was such a gradual transition but suddenly there I was."
"The church sent me to Africa on a mission and it changed my life forever. I saw these people who had nothing, literally. I dealt with death, disease and poverty every day for two years. I came back not understanding how I could have pissed so much of my life away. I decided when I returned that I would devote my life to God if they would keep sending me on missions."
Sam shook his head. "Wow, that's amazing, I mean..."
She laughed, "...so noble? Not really, it's like getting a vacation paid for every year by the Vatican."
Sam knew she wasn't being serious but he had to admire her. He thought he was being selfless doing what he did but she was truly amazing. He liked her so much. He knew Dean wouldn't have hesitated to take what he wanted but it had never been Sam's style.
Coming to his senses he looked across to see her watching him. God, those eyes.
"You know, Sam. I'm not a Nun. Yet."
She got up from her chair and stood in front of him. "Don't you want to kiss me? Because I want to kiss you." She whispered.
Sam barely registered her words but her eyes said it all.
Slowly he stood up and pushed his chair away, ignoring the video monitor, Demons and the Apocolypse for once in his life.
His eyes stayed on her as he rose to his full height.
He towered over her so that she had to turn her face up to meet his.
Moving his hand to her hair, he pulled the clip out and watched as it tumbled over her shoulders in glossy raven waves.
Placing one large hand to her cheek, very slowly his lips met with hers.
Sam had had some good kisses in his life but this had to be the best. Maybe it was because it was illicit and forbidden in some way. Whatever the reason, right at that time he didn't care.
Sam drove the Impala back to the motel with the video cassette on the seat next to him. They had the guy on tape, for all the good it would do them.
He hoped that Bobby had arrived by the time that he got there. Dean would never admit it but he always felt better having Bobby around, like having their Dad back again.
He had left Chloe at the church, it was the one place she would be safe. He had hated to leave her and he was sure that she felt the same.
Gotta get back in the game though, he thought.
It was Bobby who opened the door when he knocked.
They hugged briefly and then he strode into the room.
"So, have we got any leads?" he asked.
"We got diddly squat." Bobby replied plain and simple as always.
Dean was sat on the bed filling his hip flask with holy water using a funnel and still getting most of it on his pants. "How's your girlfriend?"
Sam scowled at him.
Dean laughed and looked at Bobby, "Yeah, while we're thinking of the best ways to fight Satan's warriors, Sammy here has been busy trying to bone a Nun."
"What?! Don't tell me you wouldn't? Man! Why's a girl got to waste her life getting married to God?"
Sam took off his jacket and sat heavily in a chair. "It's not like you'd understand."
"Hey, I get it. She looks good in black. All I'm saying Dude, you gotta give the girl a batchelorette party to remember!"
"Dean, would you just get your brain out of your shorts for once in your life?!"
"Man, I go commando and besides, I know she wants you! What's God got that a Winchester hasn't?"
Bobby, getting sick of the exchange reached down and grabbed the funnel and flask from Dean with his right hand. With his left hand he gave him a slap to the back of the head. Sam smirked.
"That's blasphemy son and in case you didn't realise, we're fighting one of Lucifer's finest soldiers. You could do well to remember what side we're on."
Dean looked abashed and all of them were serious now.
Bobby finished filling the flask and set it on the table next to their books containing the exorcism rituals. "What's keeping him so long?"
"Who?" asked Sam puzzled.
"The demon of course, he's gotta know you're onto him. He'll be coming after you."
"That's a nice thought. Are we ready?" Sam asked.
"Man, we've got devil's traps everywhere!" said Dean smiling. "Bring this twisted sucker on!"
As if someone in Hell had overheard their conversation the door to the motel room burst open with no warning.
In the explosion that followed, all three of them were thrown into the room against the walls.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't the famous Winchesters and their little scruffy sidekick?!" The demon stood in the doorway and watched as they struggled to stand.
"I've been looking forward to meeting you."
Dean made it up first and stood up panting. "Yeah, wish I could say the same Amadeus. But you've been a royal pain in the ass."
The man the demon was wearing laughed. "It's Asmodeus and I gotta say, you are as funny as they said Dean."
"Gee thanks, now what d'ya say we exorcise your ass and all go home for a good chuckle?"
The Demon remained in the doorway and looked upwards spotting the devil's trap.
"Yeah, can't say I'm really in the mood, but you knock yourself out." With a hand gesture Dean was flung against the far wall and pinned there.
Sam began an incantation as far as he could remember it but was stopped short when the man flung him over the bed and back onto the floor. Only Bobby was left standing now.
"C'mon Singer, what you get for me? Gonna stink me back to hell?"
Bobby laughed. "Good one...but you're not wrong."
Sam glanced up from where he was by the wall and saw Bobby flick the cog on his zippo and throw it onto the bed. The bed shot up in flames and the most hideous stench came from it making them all gag.
What the hell was that?!
The demon began to gag and stumbled from the room. Dean was suddenly released and dropped to the floor with a thump.
Sam got up in time to see the demon running away.
Grabbing a flask of water and a book from the table he followed at a sprint.
"Sammy!!" He heard Dean yell behind him but he focused on the figure in front of him and continued to run.
Dean got up off the floor and grabbed Bobby and a flask of water.
Running out to the Impala he realised too late that Sam still had the keys.
"Oh...sorry baby." He said to the car as he crouched inside and began to hotwire it.
Bobby was sat in the passenger seat and Sam was out of sight. With shaking hands, Dean tried to make a connection time after time.
"Where the hell you learn to hotwire a car boy? The girlguides? Jesus, get a move on!"
Dean ignored him grimacing in frustration, knowing every second counted.
Finally there was a spark and the engine started, slamming the door, Dean slid into the seat and put his foot on the gas.
Getting to the end of the road, he looked both ways.
"Where the hell is he?" He yelled, desperate to see his brother. God, if something happened to Sam he'd kill every demon in hell with his bare hands!
Bobby glanced either way "Head right!"
Without question Dean twisted the wheel and gunned the engine.
Within seconds they passed an alleyway.
"Stop!" Bobby yelled.
Dean slammed his foot on the brake and put the Impala into reverse, coming to a halt at an alleyway. He could vaguely see Sam sprinting down the alley. Turning quickly he expertly manouvered the car into the narrow space.
They were closing in on Sam who was running after the demon for all he was worth, his long legs pounding on tarmac.
As they came up to him, Bobby opened the door slightly and shifted over.
"Get in!" he yelled.
Sam glanced back and without missing a step he threw himself into the front of the Impala landing across Bobby and Dean with his feet still outside.
Righting himself quickly they narrowed the gap between them and the demon.
As they passed Sam kept the door open slightly. Once they had gotten a step in front of the Demon Sam opened the front door and as if they had one mind Dean slammed his foot on the brakes.
Asmodeus hit the door head on sending him flying.
Sam leapt out of the car and straddled his body pouring holy water onto his face.
Dean and Bobby came over and watched as the demon hissed and sputtered, all black eyes and vengeance.
Sam began his incantation, reciting it from the book he had stashed in his pocket.
Dean and Bobby put all their weight into restraining the bucking and kicking body.
"You bastards!!!!!" Asmodeus yelled.
"Shut the hell up you freak!" Dean said through clenched teeth.
Suddenly the demon came to his senses for just one second. "I just wish I was there to see your face!" He yelled up at Sam.
"Keep going, don't listen to him Sammy!"
The demon was raging. "You could be a mighty warrior Sam...where will your God be when she needs him?"
Sam quickly finished the exorcism and was thrown off his haunches as the big black cloud exploded from the possessed man's mouth.
Looking up he saw that the cloud had dissipated into the night sky.
Breathing heavily, he glanced at Dean and Bobby who also sat on their asses, stunned.
"What the hell was that smell?" He asked referring to the motel room.
Bobby let Dean help him to his feet and patted himself down. "Human heart and fish entrails. He's not supposed to like it"
"Oh." Said Sam. Then remembering himself he made for the car.
"We have to check Chloe's ok. I know he could be lying but I have to see if she's ok."
Dean got in to drive, "You left her in the church right? I mean that's consecrated ground."
Bobby glanced at Dean and Sam not daring to tell them that the demon could easily have made his way into the church if he was powerful enough.
He prayed to God that he was wrong, but if he wasn't then their night was going to be longer than he thought.
Sam sprung the lock on the main door of the church and stepped inside with Dean and Bobby behind him.
Knowing the demon was gone he didn't feel any fear, but nevertheless Dean caught his arm to slow him down and stepped in front of his little brother.
"Be careful." He hissed as they made their way into the main body of the church.
Turning into the main aisle they knew at once that the demon had been there.
The place was awash with candles. Thousands of them scattered eveywhere casting a flickering glow on the stained glass windows.
Sam's heart was racing as he took it all in. Walking slowly down the aisle he was looking all around him, part in awe and part in terror.
He almost ran into Dean's back as he was looking upwards. He was about to question him when he turned and saw the look on his big brothers face.
Dean was looking straight ahead with his jaw clenched and his nostrils flaring slightly trying to control is breathing. His eyes were wide, but then when they turned to Sam he took a breath and they just looked sad.
Dean told him all he needed to know with that one look. It was a look that said he was about to witness something that was more hideous than he could imagine. The same look also told him that his brother was going to be there for him every step of the way.
Sam tried to prepare himself mentally for what he was about to see when he turned around, then he heard Bobby.
"Oh dear God."
He knew he couldn't deny it any longer so he braced himself and turning in the aisle he followed the others' gaze to the altar.
The altar was covered in candles like the rest of the room and above it stood the large wooden crucifix he had seen earlier.
Where once it had been a simple cross planted into the wooden floor now it was adorned in unimaginable horror as Sam saw Chloe crucified in front of their very eyes.
His breath caught in his throat and a sob escaped as he felt his feet move unwillingly toward her.
She looked like a classic icon of Jesus on the cross, he thought bizarrely as he looked at the trails of blood stemming from the crown of thorns on her head. She was stripped to the waist, her hair covering her breasts but not the marks on her body. She'd been flogged and there was a wound to her side.
The tears were moving silently down his cheeks as the three of them moved slowly in her direction.
He couldn't tear his eyes away from her because even in such an horrendous death she lookedbeautiful and serene.
His eyes took in the thick iron stakes that had been pushed through her wrists and feet and his heart wrenched painfully when he thought of the agony she had endured.
They all paused at the end of the aisle. Dean's hand went to Sam's back and Bobby was just staring.
Dean turned to his brother. "Sam..." His voice choked on whatever he was about to say.
Bobby took a step further and looked up frowning.
"Boys!" He yelled turning around "She's crying. She's still alive Godammit." He was already running towards the cross.
Sam and Dean hesitated for little more than a second before they sprinted to Bobby's side.
Sam wasted no time as he leapt onto the altar kicking aside the small candles.
He was just tall enough to reach her shoulders.
Looking at her face he could see the streaks that the tears had left in the blood.
"Chloe?" He asked hesitantly.
He saw her chest move slightly and her chin struggled to lift from it.
"Sam?" She murmured without opening her eyes.
Sam looked down. "Dean, she's suffocating. We have to get her down! Now!"
Dean sprung up onto the altar to where Sam was standing.
Sam had his hands clasped on either side of the cross, just under her arms. No matter how strong he was he couldn't lift it alone.
Dean took one side and Sam took the other and putting everything they had into it they felt the crucifix shift a little.
Bobby was stood at the bottom trying to pull the base out of its stand.
"C'mon boys, put some back into it!"
The two of them tensed their arms and with a look at one another did a silent countdown and with a roar they tensed their biceps and lifted the cross with all the strength they had.
"Got it!" Yelled Bobby as it came loose from the floor.
As soon as it was no longer verticle Chloe's head fell back and she could breath again. Her weight, such as it was had been resting solely on her feet. In so much agony she had to try and keep her weight in her upper body which was sagging, crushing her lungs with the effort.
The brothers worked together in perfect harmony. Hoisting the cross onto their shoulders they stepped down from the altar gently with Bobby lifting the bottom a little with each movement so that Chloe stayed level. Between the three of them the carried her to the nearest free space.
Carefully, they set the cross gently down on the floor in the aisle.
What the hell do we do now? Thought Dean.
Sam seemed calm though as he knelt down next to the crucifix. Gently he removed the thorns from her head and laid them om the ground. He wiped some of the blood from her forehead and face with his hand, and cradling one cheek he turned her face to his, stroking her temple with his thumb.
There was no response.
Looking up at Dean with desperation in his eyes he could hear Bobby calling 911 in the background.
Dean looked at his little brother. "If we do it at the same time, it won't be so bad." He said, feeling his heart breaking for Sam and the girl.
Dean inhaled deeply then knelt down opposite Sam. He looked up at Bobby who was flipping his phone shut and running over to them.
Bobby didn't need to be told what they were doing, he simply took his place by Chloe's feet.
"Ambulance will be here soon." He looked at Sam and Dean in turn. "We don't want this little girl going through any more than she has to, so we do this once and we give it everything ok? We take the stakes out of her and she'll bleed to death in seconds. So, we gotta get them out of the cross but still in her. Got it?"
Sam looked at Dean and his big brother nodded.
"Ok, let's go."
As if as one they all took one of the metal pegs in their hands and pulled with all their might.
Chloe arched her back suddenly and let out a scream.
Her hands were free although the pegs were still poking through her wrists. Her feet though released of the cross were still pinned together.
Dean sat back on his haunches knowing that he had done everything that he could. It was up to Sam to do the rest he thought painfully.
He watched as Sam gathered Chloe to him and putting one arm behind her back and one beneath her knees he gently lifted her off the cross.
Moving to the nearest pew he took a seat and cradled her on his lap.
"Chloe?" He said softly moving the hair from her face. "It's Sam."
Her breathing was laboured, but at least she was still with him.
"There's an ambulance coming Chloe, you're gonna be ok."
Finally her eyelids fluttered open and she managed a smile.
"I'm so sorry Chloe, I had no idea he could come into a church."
"Is he gone?"
She looked at him and he knew instinctively she was no longer feeling any pain.
He sighed, holding her closer, "Yeah, he's gone...back to Hell."
She smiled once more. "Sam?"
Nestling herin the crook of his left arm he pulled her slightly toward him, stroking her head all the while. The tears were flowing down his face silently but she looked at peace.
"Who know? What?"
"They know you'll win. That's why they hate you."
"Did he say something to you Chloe?"
"He was scared of you, like he was of Raphael."
Sam was struggling to comprehend what she was saying while keeping his emotions in check. He could feel her life ebb away and there was nothing he could do to stop it.
"Chloe, I'm not an angel."
Her gaze didn't waver from his. "You don't have to be an angel to fight for good Sam... you just have to have the conviction that you're on the right side."
He could feel Dean and Bobby behind him and wanted more then anything to scream out loud at the injustice of what was happening. He couldn't though, he thought as he looked into her eyes. He had to stay strong.
"You'll be ok Chloe, I promise, you're going to be fine."
"We both know that's a lie Sam. It's ok, really."
"No, Bobby called the ambulance, it's on it's way."
"Will you do something for me Sam?"
"Whatever you want."
She struggled and barely managed to get the words out but Sam knew what it was that she needed.
Shifting slightly he bent down, kissing her once lightly on the lips.
Then, bracing himself he made the sign of the cross on her forehead and began to administer her last rites like he'd been doing it all his life.