Ok guys, you in for the last part of the ride? Then go on reading and have fun!!
Dean had just ordered his last drink when the others decided they were beat and done for the evening. The brothers encouraged them to go on and get home, they'd just stay for Dean to have is drink and then head home as well, not a problem as they had their own ride. Sam didn't want to linger too long though as he was desperate for some sleep and didn't want to wait for the awkwardness to hit when Dean realized that gay clubs actually so weren't his thing. When they finally got out into the chill of the night, the street around the entrance had cleared up quite a bit though there were still some people around chatting away long good-byes or getting a bit of fresh air. The car was parked about 200 meters away and there were no working street lights on the way, not that they were fazed at that being generally more comfortable finding their way about in the dark instead of bright daylight.
The baseball bat materialized from invisible to rock hard approximately six inches before it hit Dean's head full on. Sam watched in horror as his brother crumbled to a semi-unconscious heap at his feet, looking up in the face of their prey that had inevitably turned hunter once again. Sam waited for the ghost with the bat to attack the second one still standing but it instead proceeded to kick his brother in the ribs making him groan, obviously ignoring Sam completely. The younger one knew that he wouldn't be getting ahead in this on hand to hand combat, so he decided in a split second to scramble for the trunk of the Impala some five feet away to get out the shotguns, even if that meant to leave Dean fending for himself in his dazed state for a few more seconds. He spun around, gun cocked and spotted the spook hunched over as if in pain, flickering only the tiniest bit and seemingly muttering undecipherable things to Dean, never once stopping the kicks aimed at his head and upper body, which Dean managed to dodge at least. Sam didn't hesitate and pumped a round of rock salt into the ghastly spirit. Curiously, it didn't vanish like it was supposed to, but the ammo actually embedded itself into it as if it where a real person, even if he was slightly see-through by now. Instead it turned around and made a dash for Sam finally, who was prepared to hand out another round, but just as he was about to shoot the second time, it made a horrible screech and turned into dust at his feet. He blinked slowly once before another groan from Dean made him move his butt into action again. His brother was already getting back up from the ground and dusting himself off even if he swayed a bit.
"Dean, dude, you alright over there? Man, that was weird I tell you!"
Sam steadied his brother at the shoulders and then lifted his chin to have a look at the nasty gash over his temple where he'd been hit.
"Tell me about it, old coot was mumbling weird shit all over the place. You know what, he actually sounded not quite pleased about the whole gay-bashing attitude, dunno why though."
"Yeah, well and he reacted not quite as pleasing to the rock salt as he should have either. I think there's some seriously bad juju going on with this case, this was no ordinary invocation. But first, let's get you back to the Hostel and that cut looked at, I don't think it'll need stitches, but only just."
Sam tried to sneak Dean past the kitchen up the stairs, he really did. His brother had insisted on being perfectly able to walk on his own, but Sam didn't trust his head at the moment so he had a firm grip on his arm. But when they creaked up the stairs, Ralf came out of the kitchen and moved in to tell them good night, but gasped as he saw the blood that had tripped dawn the left side of Dean's face making him look like he had just crawled out of a horror movie. He was hollering for an ambulance immediately, waking Monica in the process, the only one who had her rooms on the ground floor as well. Sam managed to make them calm down and take them to the kitchen, where they could have a look at Dean's head. When he got his brother seated securely at the kitchen table and had sent Ralf for the first aid kit, he began to expertly clean and dress the wound. Monica and Ralf sat down at the table as well looking slightly dazed as they were obviously not needed right now.
"Ok Dean, now it really doesn't look like it needs stitches, thank god. I'll just fix it up and then we'll have a look at the ribs, yeah?"
Ralf butted in: "You guys really look like you do that patching up a lot on your own…"
"Well, trust me, I've had worse then that, job's hazardous sometimes, you know."
Sam helped him get off the jacket, revealing his bare upper body and Monica gasped at the shimmering array of bruises that had already begun to form on his left side, noting the net-like criss-cross of faint lines all over his torso that were not really visible except if you looked closely. Then her gazed shifted up and her hand flew to her mouth, eyes going wide as she leant forward to see if she got it right.
"There on your shoulder that looks actually… is that a bullet?"
Dean glanced down at the round mark on his left shoulder and then smirked at her.
"Well, that one's courtesy to Sammy actually, he was on a mean trip then."
Behind him Sam cringed at the reminder, while the two others reacted even more shocked.
"You're not serious!"
"Yeah, we were set on some big boss then and Sam got deliberately dosed with some pretty hard stuff… went a little wild."
"You're really something.. I mean, he shot you and your relationship got still out of it halfway intact? I can't believe it."
"Well, what can I say," Dean raised his head looking Sam in eye while he was bent over him from behind, bandaging the wound. "He's my everything. Besides, when he came to? I punched him. And that's why we have the partner-look now as a reminder."
He tapped the tattoo on his chest, the pentagram in a fiery circle of the sun, roughly two inches from the bullet wound.
Ralf gaped and made Sam show his too, all but cooing over the newest addition to their defences.
"You're not really the ordinary private investigators, are you?"
"Ah, let's just say we are the ones doing the really difficult cases nobody else can get a hang on."
Then something seemed to occur to Monica that hadn't been addressed with all the ruckus yet.
"Holy, wait, what the hell happened to you anyway?!"
The men looked at the petite woman with wide eyes as that didn't exactly match her normal vocabulary, before Dean deadpanned: "Well, you know, someone's been bashing in gay brains around here lately? That one."
"What, and did you get the police, gave a description?"
"Of course not, they'd have sent us to the hospital, and we didn't really get that good a look to able to track the guy down anyway. Besides, striding into a police-station at night all dressed up like that? Yeah sure. We got some pretty valuable hints now and I think we'll be able to deal with that guy soon."
"But you're not going to go after him all alone, are you? You got to inform the police!!"
"Trust me, we will, after we've got hard proof against this guy to take him in for good. But first I'm so going to hit pillows hard. The rest of it can wait till morning!"
Meanwhile Sam had also dressed the bruises with salve and bandaged the ribs to make Dean a bit more comfortable, so they were fit for bed really after all the events of the night.
Dean woke a bit sluggishly to the familiar feeling of his all body hot-water-bag. Problem today was that his left arm was trapped as Sam's head lay on his shoulder blowing warm breath all over his chest, his arm tucked all the way around his upper body, thankfully avoiding most of the bruises, the knees of his freakishly large bent legs digging into his hip and thigh and icy feet rubbing up against his calves. There was no way he was getting out of bed without waking Sammy in the process… but after all his pondering was proven useless as Sam actually woke up on his own for the first time before Dean left the bed. He mumbled something unintelligible and tightened the his arm around his brother, then opening his eyes and blinking owlishly, almost bumping into Dean's nose when he lifted the head to look around and wake up properly. Dean saw the exact moment when recognition flashed through his eyes at what he was actually doing and he flung himself up and out of bed in much the same fashion Dean had done on the first morning, except Sam took the bedding with him and made a hopelessly tangled undignified heap on the floor.
"M'sorry Dean, I didn't mean to… it's just…"
"Relax, I'll live. But it's actually nice of you to come around a bit earlier and therefore you get the honour of taking breakfast up here for us."
Dean's tone left no doubt that he was blackmailing his brother, so Sam reluctantly got dressed and went downstairs to retrieve a tray with all sorts of breakfast goodies.
They ate together and Sam went to his laptop to research ghosts that weren't fazed by salt and had a puppet master behind them to control their actions, while Dean hit the shower.
Dean stepped out of the bathroom only clad in boxers and socks and quickly flung on his clothes when Sam said: "Dean, I think I got something here."
The older one sat down on the beds and started cleaning the weapons they had taken in with them, nodding his brother to continue.
"It's a ritual called 'Breath of Hate' and it's designed to invoke and control the ghost of someone you have despised with all your might in life. The ghosts feel the pull and can try to resist the control, but that causes them pain and they're more resilient concerning the usual ghost repelling stuff for the same reasons. It's meant to be a powerful tool against your enemies, the living and the dead alike. Pretty nasty stuff, we have to look for a black altar, possibly for an invocation amulet like the one for the reaper, you know, destroy the stuff and then do a good old salt-'n-burn. I just wonder still why he did ignore me and actually made the dash when he seemed to come for me…"
"Yeah, me too, because something I noticed, it's like… you're really comfortable on this side of the fence, you know."
Sam looked up from his laptop again.
"Yeah, that's because I'm sitting on it."
The words had left his mouth before he could catch them and Sam felt like all colour wanted to leave his face from one second to the other. Had Dean not been sitting down, he was sure that his legs would have caved in under him.
"I'm bisexual, Dean."
His hands balled to fists over the keyboard and he only looked at Dean out of the corner of his eye through the messy bangs that successful hid his gaze as his big brother sat there slack-jawed, obviously to shocked to move for a few seconds.
Sam hunched his shoulders a bit more slouching in his seat as if he wanted to vanish into it.
"I mean, you're… holy crap, you're really serious, are you? Man, and you didn't EVER bother to think about telling me?"
"Dude, I just had a few flings in college, but it was never really an issue again what with Jess and then… we've been on the road ever since and had better things to do than look for possible relationships. So, yeah, it never really came up."
Dean stood up and slapped his hand over his face, half turning away from Sam.
"That's unbelievable, really, I mean you're my baby brother I should know these things about you."
"But you're not going to punch me now, are you?"
"Dude, I just spent three days with you making up all the sunshiny-gay-couple shit and now you're worried about my possible homophobic tendencies? Come on! But I might just punch you on principle for not telling me sooner."
Sam relaxed gradually, thanking all the heavens for a big brother like Dean… he had meant to tell him, really, but it had really never been an issue that affected them, so the search for the right moment had been conveniently postponed further and further ahead. He looked up and saw Dean his hand still over his eyes seemingly chuckling himself into hysterics.
"Dean, you alright?"
"Yeah… yeah, I'm.. oh god, you know what? It just occurred to me that, with you in the double game, I was like the only perfectly straight ladies man in certainly a mile and a half radius and who did the gay-bashing old codger go after? Me! Mumbling like mad about sons and failures. Sooo WHY ME, damn it?"
Sam looked at him for a few seconds, than back at the computer.
"You know, you're right… we really haven't been looking for a motive. We assumed that the victims are selected randomly by someone like Benson himself… but that doesn't really fit well with the ritual as it's meant for enemies. But what if the culprit is among the community?"
Dean cocked an eyebrow, looking at Sam inquisitively… he couldn't really follow the jumps his little brother did in his thoughts quite yet.
"You said he mumbled something, about sons?? Well, maybe he has one that… wait…"
Sam turned to his laptop and hacked frantically into the keys, obviously searching for something.
"Here it says that he was an upstanding citizen, they were beside themselves with grief at his sudden demise, widow and son attending the funeral.. ok, the son, now… let me…"
A few more clicks and scrambles over the keys opened a page that made Sam let out a surprised whistle. He turned the computer so that Dean could also have a look at the page and the photo.
"Well, I'll be damned!"
Dean parked the car maybe two blocks from the address they had found in the net. His head was still reeling from the revelation of their suspect. Sam was quite sure that he got the motive figured out as well – said it was about jealousy of caring families. Well, duh… though he was quite glad now about being attacked because it got them their final hint, he didn't see why he would prove well for a target. He'd told them his parents were dead and hadn't known, hadn't he? Sam had just cocked his head told Dean that he was a trouble magnet anyway, evil didn't need a reason to come after his ass. The younger brother got a punch on the arm out of it and complained about abuse ever since. Dean just rolled his eyes and got out of the car to grab the weapons and tools they would need to take a look around the house as soon as it was empty. Right when he closed the trunk again, he spotted their culprit leaving the house and taking the car in the other direction down the street. It seemed it was a perfect time for a little breaking and entering in search for the common black altar.
They let themselves into the house and started with the most obvious rooms like basement and attic, looking for anything out of the ordinary. Strangely, both were clean and when they moved onto the rest of the rooms in the house, they found nothing more than some esoteric mags lying around on the coffee table. They were just about to call off the search and rethink their theory on the suspicion when got an idea looking out of the kitchen window to the backyard, where an age-laden shed was looming and looking like it would break down any minute. He waved Sam silently to come over and pointed out where to look next. They moved out through the backdoor and reached the shed that was secured with a decidedly modern-looking lock – which Dean picked in no time of course. When light fell from the door into the interior and the smell of stale air and decay came wafting out, they knew it.
The altar they found was actually quite little, but with the usual goat head, chicken foot, blood splattered runes. Quite the sleazy stuff… and they found the wall behind the altar plastered with pictures of local gay men, some of them they'd even seen briefly at their visits to the club and bar. Most pictures were mutilated in some way, which made them shudder. Dean was nowhere between the pictures, but they assumed that he had been a spontaneous target anyway. Since the floor was completely concrete and the back wall had little bull eyes to let the air out, they decided to drag the whole shit into the centre of the room and burn it right here, along with the impressive collection of photos – they only kept a select few for evidence to trace the case back to the police. Sam found a collection of the real deal literature and packed them into his backpack to stack up Bobby's library, one never knew when it could be useful to know about these rituals what could not be found on the internet. Besides, the devious little witch wouldn't need them any longer after they were done with him.
The little bonfire cackled merrily and they were just about to wrap it up and stake out for the return of the owner, when Sean's voice suddenly sounded from the door.
"My, what a surprise! You should have told me you were coming over to visit… I would have made the house presentable. But you know, it's not really polite burning other people's things… that was hard work!"
Dean whipped around to the door, his gun out and pointing at the young mans head in one fluid motion, like it extended his arm.
"Yeah, I bet… too bad I don't like attempts at bashing my head in. So I just thought we should take care of the trash for a bit, you know, clear up the air around us."
Sean looked from the older brother to Sam who stood slightly behind Dean in the vicinity of the slowly dying flames and had his gun levelled straight at him as well. He made no move to grab something or invoke the spirit and Dean got the uneasy feeling that this wouldn't be as easy as it looked like. And he was still human so they couldn't just shoot him without the right incentive. That's when he heard the strangled gasp from Sam's general direction and he shot a look out of his eye to see that this damned spook stood behind Sam, one hand on his throat not quite crushing his windpipe but just about making it difficult to breath if Sam's wheezing was anything to go by, the other hand on Sam's arm, aiming the gun in his hand directly at Dean. He cursed under his breath but never once lowered his weapon. Sean would be dead in half a second even if he made Sam shoot at his brother, but prospect of taking another bullet from Sammy's hands wasn't overly appealing. He looked back to Sean still standing in the doorway smirking, weaponless and overly confident.
"Now Dean, it seems we've got a bit of a situation here, haven't we? Considering your reaction, you're sure as hell no private investigator, but I bet you're a smart guy anyway. Why don't you drop the gun and it may not be up to Sam to be the one to shoot you."
Dean knew he had to make time and find out what he was using to control the spirit.
"I got a better idea, why don't you just call back your massive sugar daddy of a spook and maybe you won't be the one ending up with a bullet between the eyes."
He saw Sean's eyes darken with indescribable hatred, but he also saw him fiddling with something in his hand. It looked like a bracelet with a pendant hanging on it.
But his attention was reverted to the words that next came out of the mouth of his opponent.
"Well, if you're not open to my suggestion, I could just very well have him snap Sam's neck right now, like a twig, what do you say about that?"
Dean felt his breath quicken and his insides go all cold at the same time. He was an extraordinary shot, sure but he wouldn't be able to do anything for Sam if Sean got the order out, which he seemed to do mentally anyway. Luckily, he'd got a few tricks still up his sleeve that would be of use now that he was quite sure how the boy was controlling the ghost.
"Ok, ok… you win on this one. See, lowering the gun here!"
Dean laid the gun down on the floor in front of him and straightened back up again, keeping his hands up and open. Sean looked quite smug and opened mouth to taunt him, when everything went downhill fast as Sam decided that he'd been the damsel in distress for long enough and remembered that this spirit was a whole deal more solid than their ordinary spook and therefore also susceptible to bodily attacks. He rammed his foot straight against the knee of the ghost and threw his arm up, making the bullet ricochet into the walls. Sean let out a frustrated scream and threw his hand in the direction of Sam and the ghost in a futile attempt to make the spirit gain the upper hand again, the pendant swinging freely in front of his palm.
Dean saw his opening in a split second and instead of diving for the gun, he let his arm fly in roundabout motion and a moment later heard the satisfying thwack of the pendant breaking in little pieces. A moment of utter silence followed as Sean looked down at his hand with the ridges of the five-point throwing star rising among the shattered bones and parts of the pendant. Then he noticed in horror that his daddy dearest was no longer occupied with Sam but standing in front of him looking scarily furious and making it quite difficult to breath now for HIM. The brothers watched how the enraged and tortured spirit raised him to the tips of his feet and flung him effortlessly into the wall behind against some shelves. They heard a sickening crack and the would-be-sorcerer fell to the floor in a boneless heap, blood spreading out from underneath his head in a slow-forming circle. When the ghost turned towards them, Dean already had his gun aimed at it again.
"Don't you think about it, I'M not even gay!"
But the ghost just let loose an inhuman, ear-splitting screech and imploded into a pile of dust.
Dean blinked slowly and then went over to Sam to help him up from where he'd landed on the floor during his struggles.
"Now, that was anti-climatic…"
He looked over to the crumbled body on the floor as Sam dusted himself off.
"Yeah, well, I wouldn't be so sure that he won't be back when we try to toast his ass… he was quite the glittering personality in his own right. And with all that stirring up of unfinished business…"
"Well dude, we'll burn that bitch when we come to it! Anyway, let's get this place sorted out and the police tipped off. Looks like he's still breathing, but I doubt there isn't a crack in that skull, literally. Come on, let's make sure we got it wrapped up."
They called an ambulance as well as the police and made sure to scurry off before both arrived. The evidence that Sean was behind the attacks was stacked neatly at a place where even the police couldn't help but find it and while they would certainly have the most important parts missing in the investigation, but well, that's life. And if Sean made it, if he woke up and if he ratted them out concerning their own part in it, they would be savely away for quite a while. They decided to do the salt 'n burn later that evening and then pack up and leave next morning. The others would only get the condensed version of them going after the Benson-lead from Toby and then finding that stalking altar in the shed, involving the police for further action. No need to worry them with homicidal spirits and the like. When the brothers sat in the car driving back to the Hostel, Sam glanced sideways at his big brother and heaved a sigh that let Dean know he was about to address a talking issue…
"Dean, about… we didn't get to talk…" here we go "about what I told you this morning and…"
"Sam, shut up. You're my little brother and I love ya, I'm not going to hold anything against you. I was just a bit shocked… and then, not."
Sam blinked at him with a curiously raised eyebrow.
"Seriously, I knew there was a girl somewhere inside you!"
That got him a punch on the arm that almost made the car swerve, but he laughed good-naturedly.
"It's alright, man, whatever floats you boat. Just promise you won't hit on me, yeah?"
Sam looked at him in mock exasperation.
"Dude, you're soooo not my type!"
Dean turned to him wide-eyed, feigning a hurt look.
"Seriously? No, definitely not. Jerk."
Sam leaned back against the seat, taking in the bypassing city, the sun glinting off the shiny paint of the car and breathed contently. They were alright…
"Let's get back on the road!"
Ok, this was it, I'm done.. pheww, I haven't written more in one go in like two or three years, but I'm immensely satisfied with how it turned out. I hope you think so too and be sure to tell me yeah?