Not Where He Eats
Summary: Sam and Dean are asked to take care of a little problem with a dog…
A gigantic thank you for each and every review. I realize this one was a little, uhh… bizarre, with the Hamlet re-write, etc (a nice way of saying plagiarism)…So, thanks for reading!
List, list, O, list! If thou didst ever thy dear father love—
- Hamlet, Act I, Scene v
Dean woke abruptly to the sound of a knock on the motel room door. After a hot shower, a quick bandage job, and some dry clothes, he and Sam had fallen into bed. It had taken Dean a while to drown out the sounds of Hamlet's death, but eventually he'd found the oblivion sleep brought.
At the sound of another knock on the door, Dean reluctantly rose to see who it was. He sincerely hoped they hadn't been tracked to the motel. Still, no one really knew who they were, and it hadn't been a police sort of knock. Those were always angrier and came with a lot of shouting.
Dean opened the door to see the desk clerk who'd checked them in the day before.
"Got something for you."
Dean started to tell the clerk he'd made a mistake, but stopped when he realized what the man was carrying. It was a small package covered in bright Overnight Delivery stickers.
"It says Emergency. Deliver immediately, so I decided to walk it down," the desk clerk said. "You guys okay?"
"It's medicine," Dean replied with a quick reassuring smile. "My brother and I are on a trip and he ran out."
He turned to see Sam sitting up, rubbing his eyes sleepily. "Don't worry, Sammy. They sent your meds," Dean assured him.
"Great," Sam grunted and flopped back down on the bed now that he knew it was nothing serious.
"Thanks for bringing it down," Dean said, turning back to the clerk. He handed the man a bill from his pocket, not even bothering to look at what it was as he took the small package from him. It must have been more than the clerk was expecting because he made a little noise of surprise, said "Thanks!" a bit too brightly, then took off as if Dean might change his mind.
Dean barely even registered it. He ran his fingers over the mailing label on the package, written in Bobby's blocky handwriting. Dean wasn't sure whether or not to be thankful Bobby had sent it so quickly.
"What is it?" Sam asked, his voice sleep-roughened.
"It's from Bobby."
Sam immediately sat back up, realizing what Dean was holding. "I didn't expect him to get it here so fast."
"Me, either," Dean answered, his eyes still on the small package.
"It's not gonna explode, man," Sam said carefully.
"You sure about that?"
Sam smiled grimly. "Bobby has a habit of dousing everything with holy water just for fun."
Dean gave a light huff of a laugh. "That he does." Deciding he was being a wuss, especially since Sam was looking at him like he might have a breakdown, Dean ripped through the tape and opened the small package.
It contained only what Bobby had said it would. There was no note, no explanation, nothing, only a plain disc in a plastic case. Not even a label or anything written on it. Dean pulled it out and threw the packaging into the nearest garbage can.
He jumped when Sam took the disc from his hand. He hadn't even heard his brother get off the bed or walk over. Sam simply popped the disc out of its case and walked to the laptop sitting on the dresser opposite the beds.
Dean's first reaction was to stop him, to stall somehow. He wasn't sure what was on the disc, was almost afraid to see. It had taken him so long to not have a near meltdown just at the thought of Dad, that this new bit of… whatever it was… He just needed some time, some space, some… He didn't know what else.
"We'll just watch it and then we'll see," Sam said roughly. For the first time, Dean looked at his brother, and he could see the sudden strain, the tension in his shoulders. This was worrying Sam as much as him.
Just the mention of their father was still almost more than either of them could stand, and now Dad had managed to throw a wrench in the works long after his own death. Only he could reach out from the grave and manage to give them another reason to be screwed up.
Dean sat down on the end of the bed. Sam slipped the disc into the computer, then backed up to stand beside Dean between the two beds.
It felt like forever as the computer read the disc. Finally, a small window opened to play the video.
All they could see was a motel room, not unlike the one where they were staying. A chair sat in the middle of the frame, and they could hear the faint scratching noises of someone fiddling with the video camera. After several seconds, the scrabbling noises stopped and a figure moved into view walking toward the chair.
Before he even saw his face, Dean knew it was his father. He'd spent too many years studying his dad's every nuance, seen him in action and depended on knowing how he would react, not to know the man at a glance.
The person on the screen turned and sat down in the chair. Dean noticed a slight hesitation and knew he was wounded. His father was long gone now, and still Dean winced to know his dad had been alone and hurt with no one to help him. That was his choice, however, not Dean's, and he worked to keep the latent anger at bay. It was beyond useless now.
Dean wondered when the video had been taken. There was no date or time stamp. His father looked tired, gaunt even, and was unshaven, more so than normal.
Their dad cleared his throat, uncomfortable in front of the camera. "Hello, boys."
Dean didn't know whether to laugh or cry. He had a momentary urge to glance up at Sam, but couldn't bear to take his eyes away from the screen. It was the same low, gravelly voice Dean remembered, the soundtrack to his entire youth just as much as Zeppelin or Rush had ever been.
"I decided to make this after…well, I ran into a little trouble." Dean knew that was Dad-speak for he'd almost been killed. It must have been more than close if it had prompted him to make the video. "The thing that killed your mom…" Dean watched his father shift in the chair and wince slightly. "I'm getting real close and it doesn't like it. If you're watching this, it's because…well, I guess it got me before I could get it."
Dean could almost hear the echo of Sam's words when they'd been talking to Ellen at the Roadhouse. It just got him before he got it, I guess.
"I want you to go to Bobby. It wasn't pretty the last time I saw him, but he's a good man. A good hunter. He'll help you. I guess I wasn't able to close the deal, so it's up to you now. This thing has cost us too much to let it go." Their father's eyes were boring into the camera, as if he could see his sons and bend them to his will. "Good luck, boys."
Their father rose from the chair, once again with a slight hesitation as the movement aggravated whatever injuries he had, and walked to the camera. Once again there were noises as he fiddled with the buttons to shut the camera off, and that was that. The video stopped, and Dean was left staring at nothing.
A ghost from the past was what he was. A ghost asking his sons to avenge his death, to stop the thing that had defiled his wife, their mother.
Dean heard Sam sit down on the other bed and turned to look at him. He was shaking his head in disbelief. He turned his head, and Dean saw him brush a stray tear away. Sam always had been a crier.
Dean couldn't help it. He laughed. He fell back on the bed, his legs still hanging off, and he laughed.
"Dean?" Sam asked worriedly.
Dean just kept laughing. It was too ridiculous. Their father had had a chance to impart some final piece of wisdom, some parting message, some great insight into life, and this was what he did. He hadn't even put in a stray, Take care of Sammy.
"Dean, stop it!" Sam said angrily. "If you're gonna freak out, could you do it somewhere else?"
Dean turned his head to see his brother looking thunderous, and he immediately sobered. "Sam, the first thing we did when things went south was go to Bobby. He's the only reason we got the video in the first place. Not to mention Yellow Eyes is dead. Did Dad really think that if he died, we were just gonna walk away?"
Sam just stared at him for several seconds. Then he sighed and his mouth turned up in a wry twist. "Same old Dad, huh?"
Dean nodded, the urge to laugh creeping up again. "Talk your leg off, couldn't he?" Dean said and was rewarded with a small smile. It was okay. He and Sam had already done what their dad wanted them to do. They'd already taken care of his last wishes without even having to be told.
Neither of them mentioned the cost of following their father's orders. It was too glaringly obvious what it had cost them. It had cost lives, souls. It had cost almost everything they had and more. They were still paying the price.
Sam stood and put the DVD back in its plastic case. Dean knew he would put it someplace safe. It wasn't like they had a family photo album. Those few seconds of video, it was a portrait of their father in miniature. It was precious, more precious than a secret stash of gold could ever be.
"You hungry?" Dean asked.
Sam turned and looked at him, surprised. "I could eat, I guess."
"Good, 'cause you still owe me."
"How do you figure that?"
"You lost. Loser pays. It's the way it works."
"It was hangman, Dean, and you were cheating!" Sam said indignantly.
Dean just grinned. "Prove it."
"It was a four-letter word. I'm pretty sure you know all of them."
"So, you changed it while we were playing. I could see it on your face!"
Dean's grin widened. "This poker face?"
Sam narrowed his eyes. "That exact one."
"You're just mad you got hanged."
"If I remember right, you died, too. You just got pissed and called a do-over. Bad habit of yours."
Dean ignored the last part of the jibe. "Like I'm supposed to know the word deleterious?"
"It's a perfectly good word," Sam said through his own grin.
"So is asshead, but I didn't use it for hangman."
"You'd have just changed it to 'arsenal' or something else until I lost."
"So you admit you lost!"
"Of course I did. You cheated!"
Dean shook his head. "I didn't, you know."
Sam just snorted derisively.
"It's real simple, Sammy. Every dog knows it, even if Mr. Gentry didn't."
"And that would be?"
"You don't crap where you eat."
Hope you enjoyed it. Been a pleasure.