Author's Note: No this is not the sequel to my other story I Didn't Mean To...sorry but that one's gonna take a little time. In the meantime, this is another idea that I hope y'all like and will review!
The inevitable silence had fallen once again inside the Impala. Despite that they both had lots of experience entertaining themselves in the car, even Dean eventually ran out of games and conversation topics and, hell, even ways to annoy his younger brother. And then the silence would fall, leaving Sam alone to his thoughts and concerns.
And today, Sam's thoughts were on his brother. He sneaked a glance out of the corner of his eye to see Dean sitting there with a look of mild concentration on his face, his slender fingers absently tapping a staccato rhythm against the steering wheel. Sam wondered what Dean thought about when the silence fell.
Sam couldn't imagine. Dean was a mystery to him. The younger man couldn't fathom how to reconcile the Dean that mocked him for being a 'girl' with the Dean that comforted him during his nightmares, the shallowness and the sarcasm with his brother's need to protect and take care of everyone, his brother's cocky, self-confident sexiness with Dean's newly exposed self-loathing.
Not that Sam noticed his brother's sexiness, of course not. It was a given that Dean was beautiful. Everyone noticed, everyone had always noticed Dean even when they were kids. His father had said Dean had inherited Mary's looks. Then Sam had been jealous of the attention, now he was torn between being jealous of the people who had Dean's attention and enjoying the view himself.
Because Sam's feelings toward his brother were as conflicted as the man himself. He both loved and loathed his brother, the savior complex, the immaturity, the emotional walls…not to mention Dean's passion that could so quickly turn to anger. Dean represented all the things that Sam had run away from, the supernatural that had cost Sam his life. But how could he hate the man who had tried so hard to give Sam 'normal', to give Sam 'safe', Dean who hunted for all the right reasons, to save people, unlike Sam and his dad.
Sam wiped a hand over his face not even noticing that they were pulling up to a diner.
"We're here. Thought we'd eat first and check into a hotel second." Dean said right before he slipped out of the car.
Once they'd ordered, the silence didn't fall again. It had already been broken.
"So, what are we dealing with here?"
Sam sighed. Did Dean ever actually listen to him or did his brother think he just liked the sound of his own voice.
"Like I said before we left, Dean. Three men are dead in suspicious circumstances…"
Dean interrupted, making Sam want to pull his hair out. First Dean asked him what was going on, and now he won't even listen as Sam repeats it for like the twentieth time.
"Men, huh? I swear that saying really is true. Ya know, the one about 'hell hath no fury'…Man gets dumped, he just moves on, but women…no, they gotta come back and kill every man they can find."
Sam sighed again. "I don't think it's a spirit, Dean, and we have no idea what the motive is, so could you stop with the misogynistic tirade and let me finish."
"Whoa, what crawled up your butt and died?"
"Nothing. There were three men that disappeared for several days only to be found dead, all in different but secluded areas with various knife wounds on their bodies. According to the paper it looked ritualistic."
"Hmm, demons, even better than vengeful female spirits. Guess tomorrow we'll go check out the bodies ourselves and then see what we can dig up on the victims."
Sam rolled his eyes. Of course that's what they'd do, that's what they always did.
The rest of the evening passed without incident, Dean's seemingly irrepressible good humour eventually rubbing off on the younger hunter like it always did.
The next morning found them at the morgue dressed in their cheap suits in order to impersonate police officers. Sam found himself thinking that in fact, Dean actually would make a pretty good cop. In another life maybe that's what his brother would have become.
The coroner left them alone with the body after telling them that he was unable to identify the weapon used. The man tells them that it looks like some kind of talon.
Dean immediately flipped the sheet off that was covering the body.
"Dean," Sam whined. "Have some respect."
His brother just snorted. "We need to have a look, or did you forget why we're here. Hey, what does that look like to you?"
Sam huffed and stared down at the man's upper thigh. At first they just look like scratches, but then the lines start to look less random…
"Unh-huh, looks like it's time to hit the library, little brother."
Several hours of fruitless research later, during which Sam was mostly occupied in keeping Dean occupied to the detriment of his own work.
"Ah-hah!" Dean cried out suddenly, and the first thought in Sam's head was 'oh no not again'. Could his brother not pay attention for five seconds?
"Sam come on, I really found it."
With a sluggishness born of aggravation, Sam got out of his own seat to peer over Dean's shoulder. Of course the first thing he noticed from that vantage was not, in fact, the musty old tome that his brother was reading out of, no. The first thing that Sam noticed was Dean's smell. Dean smelled of musk and sweat and burnt carbon.
The second thing he noticed was the soft-appearing skin of Dean's neck. It wasn't until Dean shivered as if he knew what Sam was looking at, that the younger Winchester actually looked at the page.
"A Farafew, Dean? Dude, those eat children and there have been no missing children." Sam spoke slowly as if his brother was an idiot. Sometimes Sam wondered if Dean really was as stupid as he made out or whether it was all part of some cover to be overlooked.
"Well maybe those guys were turned into children first?"
"Of course they were, Dean, cause that makes sense, instead of just taking children."
Dean just shrugged his shoulders like it didn't matter that Sam had shot down another of his ideas. "Everything else fits. What'd you find, college boy? Anything similar about the victims?"
"No, nothing. It's a small town, they all went to the same school, but were on different sports teams, had different jobs, different social circles…wait a second…"
Moving more quickly now, Sam moved the other papers off the tables and lay down just the map. He plotted the three points of where the bodies had been found and then stood back considering.
"What does that look like to you?"
"The same symbol as on the body, the same symbol as that "
"Drop the Farafew, Dean. But I think I know where the next murder is going to occur and if the pattern of days keeps it should be tonight."
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
That night found them in the back lot of an old abandoned farmhouse. Sure enough, there was a man there, laying on some kind of crude stone altar in the middle of a stone circle. But there was nothing else there, nothing else that they could see at least.
"Keep a watch, Sam."
Dean stepped into the circle, untying the poor sod, who ran for the hills as soon as he was free.
"What, no thank you," Dean quipped, not noticing as an odd blue light began to fill the circle.
"Dean, get out of there!" Sam stopped short of stepping inside the ring because Dean wasn't moving. His brother was simply huddled on his knees surrounded by that bright light which just got brighter and brighter until Sam couldn't see inside it anymore.
Sam should have expected it, he supposed. Dean had probably never heard of Ockham's razor, but the elder man had gotten right to the heart of the problem. Sam shouldn't have been surprised when the light faded to reveal his brother…as a small child swamped in clothes.
By the way, I totally made up the baddie, no research involved.