Chapter 5

Dean forced a smiled to his face and kept telling himself to remain calm. "No, I don't think so." Dean turned around to continue his game of pool.

"No, I never forget a face. I just can't quite seem to place yours. Are you from around here?"

"No," Dean said as he took another shot. He was getting more and more nervous that the man would remember him. What should have been an easy shot became difficult and he missed.

The other player took his shot and the security guard said, "What's your name?"

"Dean Matthews," he automatically replied, using the fake name they had been using for the last few weeks.

"Hmm. Don't recognize the name."

Dean's opponent was still sinking shots. Dean knew that if he was going to win the money he would need to wrap up his problem with the security guard.

"Where do you work?" he asked.

"I'm a security guard in Webster Groves."

Dean said, "That's where you must have seen me. I've been staying there for a while now."

"Yeah, that must be it." A woman walked up to him and wrapped her arm around his waist. "Well, I got to go. I'll see you around."

With that the security guard left and Dean let out a sigh of relief. His opponent messed up and Dean didn't give him a chance to recover. He walked away from the game with an extra two hundred dollars in his pocket.

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Sam was walking back from the forest where he had been practicing. To get back to the apartment from where he was he had to walk through downtown. Most of the stores were closed, but a couple of groups of people were still hanging around. Sam passed an alley when he felt someone grab his right shoulder and start to turn him around.

Sam spun around fast and hit the man in the stomach with his left fist. When he doubled over Sam was able to bring his right fist up and catch the man under the chin. The man stepped back and said, "Kid, wait, we just wanted to ask you some questions."

The man's voice sounded familiar, so Sam stopped. He noticed another man coming up behind the first one and when they stepped into the streetlight he recognized them as the two cops that had come by the apartment earlier. "What do you want?"

"We just want to ask you a few questions," the older one said.

Sam knew they couldn't legally force him to answer any questions, but also knew he wanted them to stop inquiring. He wondered how he could get them to back off. It was times like this when he wished he were as good a liar as Dean.

When Sam didn't say anything the older one continued. "Do you know what your brother was doing out on that road the other night?"

Sam couldn't think of a way to answer that would make the cops leave them alone. Dean could have. Well, if Dean could figure a way out of this, why shouldn't he just act like Dean? He crossed his arms and leaned against the light post.

"He told you."

"Your brother doesn't seem like the star-gazing type."

Sam scoffed, "True. But he's also not the kind to even know what's in the county clerk's office, much less want to break into it."

"Just tell us what he was doing out there."

Sam was very close to saying, 'What are you going to do, arrest me?', but he thought pretending to give in would be the smarter thing to do.

He uncrossed his arms and sighed. "Promise you won't tell our dad?"

The two cops looked at each other like they had just hit gold. "Sure."

"Well, there's this girl," Sam almost laughed when both of their faces fell. "Her name's…Mary Sue. Dean's been trying to hook up with her for a while now, but her parent wouldn't allow it and I don't think he wanted to bring her back to our place with me there. So that left the car."

"You're telling me that your bother was out on that road making out with some girl?"

"Pretty sure they were doing more than that," Sam said. The older cop looked like he wasn't quite buying Sam's story, so he flashed him the puppy dog eyes.

The older cop finally sighed and said, "Okay, kid. Thanks."

As the two of them were walking away, Sam heard the younger one say, "Told you it was nothing."

Sam smiled and started walking back.

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When Dean arrived back at the apartment, Sam still wasn't there. He took a duffel bag out to the Impala and opened the trunk. He put two shotguns, a couple of handfuls of rock salt rounds, and the blowtorch in the bag. When he closed the trunk he could see Sam walking up the driveway.

"Where've you been?" Dean asked.

Sam shrugged. "Nowhere important."

Dean would have normally kept pestering Sam until he found out, but they had more important things to worry about. Dean said, "Considering the cops in this town don't seem to have anything better to do than take note of where my car is, we'll just walk."

The stayed off the sidewalks as they moved closer and closer to the house. When they got there they saw that the area was still taped off, but there were no cops hanging around. They ducked beneath the tape and went up the front steps to the door. They both ducked down as Dean opened the bag and handed Sam one of the shotguns.

Dean could see that Sam was nervous. He was breathing heavily and he was sweating; too much for it to all be the result of the humidity. He knew Sam should go in with him and get more experience, but the big brother in him won out and he said, "You don't have to come if you don't want to."

Sam looked a little offended at that. "I'm coming, Dean."

Dean just nodded and picked the lock to the front door. He swung the duffel bag over his shoulder and took out his own shotgun. "Stay behind me, Sammy. If this goes south, I want you to get out right away."

Sam just nodded and they both moved inside. Dean led the way to the staircase as quickly as he could without being reckless. Dean started walking up the stairs when something threw him back down and across the room so he landed in front of the coffee table.

"Dean!" Sam shouted.

The gun and duffel bag had flown out of Dean's hands. Dean looked up to see the spirit of Maria standing in front of him. She looked almost exactly like she had in the pictures he'd seen of her, except she had a bruise across her throat from when she had hanged herself. She held a butcher knife in her right hand, which she drew back, getting ready to strike at Dean. He saw his shotgun was just a few feet away, under the couch. He dove across the coffee table and picked up the gun, blasting her with rock salt.

Sam had run back down the stairs, but Dean yelled at him, "Find the ring!"

Sam ran back towards the stairs when Maria appeared in front of him. Dean pulled Sam out of the way just as she brought the blade forward, which left a long gash in Dean's left forearm. Then Sam hit her with the rock salt.

"This bitch is really starting to piss me off!" Dean said.

He ran up the stair with Sam right behind him. He quickly looked in the rooms, then found the one that must have been Maria's. They both started searching the dresser and desk. Sam opened a small drawer and found the ring. "Got it, Dean."

"Drop it on the desk," Dean said as he pulled the blowtorch out.

Maria appeared again and Dean once more shot her. Sam said, "Dean, you use that here and you'll set the whole place on fire!"

"Who cares?"

"If you don't have the ring close enough to the blowtorch, it won't melt. If you set the desk on fire we'll have to get out of here and it won't work."

"Fine!" Dean said as he grabbed the ring and ran down the stairs. Maria kept appearing, but Sam kept shooting her.

Dean ran into the kitchen and opened the oven. He threw the ring in, then lit the torch. Maria appeared in the kitchen, but she was too late. Her spirit was consumed in flames and she disappeared. Dean turned off the torch, then collapsed on the floor. He only then seemed to realize his arm was bleeding. He wrapped his hand around it, trying to add pressure.

Sam ran into the room and said, "Dean, what happened?"

Dean stood up, smiled, and said, "We got her, Sammy."

They put everything back into the duffel bag and left the house. When they got back to the apartment, Sam fell down on the couch, falling asleep almost instantly. Dean cleaned out his wound, then bandaged it. He laid down in his bed and fell asleep.

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The next morning Sam got up and changed into a new set of clothes. He had some breakfast, then he set out all the weapons and began cleaning them. He kept glancing at the clock, wondering when Dean was going to get up. He was tempted to go in and wake him, but decided against it. Sam never wanted Dean to be mad at him, but definitely not today.

Around 11 Dean finally came down the hallway. He saw that Sam was cleaning the weapons and just looked at him. "What?" Sam asked.

"You're cleaning the weapons and I didn't tell you to."

"So?"

"You sure you didn't hit your head yesterday?"

"I'm fine, Dean."

"Yeah, whatever." Dean ate some breakfast, then went back into their room to change. He came back in time to see Sam putting all the guns back together. Compared to Dean he was still slow, but it was a great improvement considering where he had been at the beginning of the week.

Sam tucked one of the guns into the back of his pants and stood up. "Come on, Dean."

"Dude, I just got up. Besides, where do we have to go today? The job's done."

Sam tossed the car keys at him. "I want to show you something."

Dean looked a little perplexed, but slowly said, "Okay."

They got in the car and Dean said, "Where?"

"The forest."

Now Dean looked even more confused. The more confused Dean got, the bigger Sam's smile got. Dean started driving and said, "Dude, you're starting to freak me out. You want to go shooting?"

"You'll see."

Dean parked the car and Sam immediately got out. He led the way into the woods to the spot they had been using. Sam picked up six of the cans and placed them on a branch. Dean leaned against the side of a tree. Sam thought he was preparing himself for a couple of boring hours of Sam missing. He raised his gun and fired consecutively six times, each bullet taking a can off the branch.

When the cans had all landed Sam turned and looked at Dean. He had the biggest smile on his face. He looked at Sam and said, "That's my boy."