Disclaimer: I'd lock 'em in a mausoleum more often if they were mine. And they'd definitely have to stock up on painkillers. But they're not. Lucky them. :D
For Drag on the occasion of her birth. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WHUMP BUDDY! Hope you... don't hate it. :D
Shawn groaned as the pulsing beat of a headache ricocheted and pinged through his skull.
He could think of much more pleasant ways to return to consciousness. Anything involving soft lips that invoked memories of a pleasant night beforehand, for example. Or even a punch to the kidneys, actually.
Anything but the merciless pounding in his head that was threatening to liquefy his brain and start it dripping out his ears.
He blew out a breath, nose wrinkling at the dust that disturbed, and then wondered if it was worth it to try to open his eyes. Logic told him that he'd never figure out where he was and what happened if he didn't. Fear and a desire to not experience any more pain than he was right now told him that if he tried it, he was going to lose his privileges to consciousness again, dammit.
So he left his eyes closed.
He contemplated using his hands to do some exploration, but that idea was nixed as well since it also had the potential for more pain. What senses did that leave? He inhaled and immediately regretted it when the stench of death and decay and earth invaded his nose. He gagged and choked and, as the waves of pain bounced around in his head and then spread down through his body in a rush of fire, sent a conflicting prayer up to heaven that he'd both pass out and stay conscious.
He didn't want to be unconscious, unaware of what was going on, but, man, it hurt.
"Shhhh," a voice said and Shawn couldn't help the reflexive jerk as a hand was laid on his shoulder. He hadn't even been aware that there was someone else out there. Now he had to open his eyes, whether he wanted to or not. He slowly pried the lids apart, bracing himself against the influx of light that would stab directly into his brain and, if he was lucky, kill him instantly. There was light and it wasn't pleasant when it raced along his nerves, but it wasn't as much as he'd been expecting. Mostly it was a halo that ringed the head hovering over him.
It took a moment for the pain to die down enough that coherent thought and conscious recall were available to him.
"Sam?" It was less a question and more an unintelligible whispered croak, but Sam smiled all the same. The hand on his shoulder moved to his head, the broad palm gently resting over his hair while the thumb brushed lightly over his forehead.
Shawn tensed in anticipation of pain, but, surprisingly, there was no increase. In fact, it might have decreased just a little.
Shawn wanted to ask what happened, but after his last attempt at speaking he'd been made aware that someone had stuffed a bunch of those little desiccant packages that you got in, like, shoes and stuff into his mouth. He was afraid of moving his tongue for fear it would break off. He was rather fond of his tongue for many, many reasons and decided not to risk it.
Fortunately, he was with a psychic—and not his kind of psychic either. Okay, so Sam's skills didn't usually lend themselves to regular old mind-reading, but whatever.
"I don't know where we are," Sam said, making an exception and putting his skills to use. "Or what happened actually." He frowned. "The last thing I remember is coming back from lunch and entering the hotel room."
Shawn squinted and tentatively poked at the memory center of his brain. Yeah, he was getting that part too.
He dared to nod—inordinately grateful that the headache only upped the intensity by a few notches—and Sam smiled a little. "I don't suppose you have more than that?"
Shawn poked again, but got nothing. Not even a twitch. He carefully shook his head in the negative.
"Okay. Well," Sam said, looking around. "Dean's not here. Or, he hasn't been as long as I've been awake. So whatever grabbed us either didn't get him or he's off somewhere else doing... something else." He grimaced.
Shawn winced but, having had his eyes open for a while and not losing consciousness, was feeling courageous enough to try moving more than his neck muscles and his vocal cords. He gingerly moved his right arm, preparing to brace it for a push upwards and found that it was relatively pain-free.
Relatively. Which is to say still bite-your-lip-to-smother-the-whimper but not cry-like-a-little-girl level of pain.
Sam looked back from his examination of the room—something Shawn planned to do as soon as he was in a position to actually see all of it—and jumped in for the assist, the hand on Shawn's head sliding over to his back while the other got a firm grip on Shawn's arm.
Between them they got Shawn sitting upright and leaning against the wall, Sam taking up a seat at his side, their shoulders touching. Shawn had to close his eyes and pinch at the bridge of his nose as a particularly strong pulse of pain swept through him, but he thought that it might not be as bad as it would be if he was alone—a thought he was so never sharing with either Sam or Dean.
"Give it a minute. It'll fade over time," Sam said. Shawn dared to squint at him, eyes still protected from the light under his shading hand, and Sam's lips quirked up at the corners. "Somewhat." Shawn grunted and then shut his eyes again.
They sat in silence for an indeterminate amount of time before Shawn was able to try opening his eyes again. He'd also spent the time trying to work any small amount of moisture into his mouth and so felt ready to try talking again.
"Dude, this sucks."
Sam laughed once, tilting his head back to rest against the wall. "Yeah. It really does."
"So, do you guys even know what this thing is?" Shawn asked as he gave their locale a glance over.
Stone on all six sides—that explained the cold that had him shivering slightly—but not a lot of space. It was a small room with only the one door, though there were four windows to let in light—late-afternoon-to-evening strength light, if Shawn wasn't mistaken, though it could just have easily been early to mid-morning depending on how long they'd been here. All of the windows were filled with stained glass except for where it had been broken out in a spot or two.
So they weren't going to asphyxiate. That was good. Shawn could think of a lot of ways he'd rather go. Most of them involved him being a lot older. And asleep. And not in pain.
Large amounts of distracting pain.
He shifted his leg and a hiss—not to mention a curse or two—escaped as his ankle lodged a strident protest. Sam moved immediately, bending over the limb and pulling the leg of Shawn's jeans up enough to get a good look. He poked and manipulated the joint. "Scale of one to ten?" he asked.
Sam glanced up, then smiled. For all the similarities Shawn shared with Dean, the differences were quite spectacular. Pain and injury for example.
Dean was all about denial. For him, 'I'm fine' meant everything from 'ready to have a weekend of exceptional fun at the Playboy Mansion' to 'this could very well be my last breath so if you want to say anything profound you'd better start talking'. Painkillers were nice, but very much optional. First aid was only important insofar as it made him capable of jumping back into the fight or because he knew it made Sam feel better to patch him up.
Shawn was as far on the opposite side of the spectrum as you could get. He didn't deny anything. He didn't always wait for you to ask, and you never had to pry and cajole or beg answers out of him on injuries. He'd tell you right up front what was wrong. In fact, he often exaggerated things. He would take any and all painkillers you'd give him. And he may not like staying in the hospital, but it was because it was boring, not because he felt it made him look weak. In fact, if it would get him something he wanted, he would play weak and helpless at the drop of a hat.
"Can you move it?" Sam asked.
"I'd rather not try, thanks."
"Shawn, I need to know if it's broken."
Shawn sighed. "Fine." His whole body tensed, but he obediently rotated his foot ever so slightly. "Owie, owie, owie. Happy?" he asked through gritted teeth.
"Yeah. You can stop."
Shawn exhaled in relief and slumped back against the wall.
"Looks like it's just sprained," Sam said, then scanned the rest of Shawn. "Anything else hurt?"
"If I tell you are you going to make me try to move that too, you sadist?"
Sam grinned. "Maybe."
Shawn warily stared back, then said, "I think I'm a giant walking bruise. Well, sitting bruise. I'd prefer not to walk anytime soon. And my head is going to explode any second here, so you may want to look away. But other than that, no, I think I'll survive. I hope. You?"
Sam shrugged and retook his seat at Shawn's side, though he was twisted a little so he could get a look at Shawn's head. He was also kicking himself for not checking for a head injury sooner.
"Bruised. You seeing double? Nauseated?"
"Nah," Shawn said, allowing the exam. "I don't think I'm concussed."
Sam found a lump on the back of Shawn's head, but it wasn't too horribly huge and it wasn't bleeding so he moved on. The rest was fine, so he let Shawn go.
"Goose egg," he declared. "You'll survive."
"Yay!" Shawn said quietly, twirling a finger in the air in celebration.
They both settled in against the wall.
"So," Shawn said after a moment, "we're going off of the assumption that Dean is looking for us, right?"
"Yeah. He's definitely looking for us," Sam said wryly. He'd tear them both new assholes for making him worry when he found them, but unless he was dead he was definitely looking for them.
"You didn't answer my question before."
"Hmm?" Sam said, pulled from his thoughts of how much Dean had to be freaking out.
"Did you guys figure out what it was?"
Sam's head tilted slightly. "Our working theory was a vengeful spirit."
"Oh yay," Shawn said. "Gotta love vengeful spirits."
Sam smiled. "Of a witch."
Shawn groaned. "You're kidding, right?"
"I'm assuming this makes it worse than a normal vengeful spirit. Because she can, like, still use her powers or whatever."
Sam sighed. "Yeah. Pretty much."
"Well this is just awesome. I would like to point out at this juncture, that I was doing as ordered and not involving myself in the investigation. Even though I wanted to."
Sam laughed. "Duly noted. When Dean kicks out asses for getting caught, I'll be sure to remind him to take it easy on you."
Shawn nodded. "You better."
Sam had actually been both surprised and pleased with how Shawn had been keeping his nose out of things in regards to the hunt that had intruded on their vacation. He'd helped with non-hunt related things like fetching food and running errands, but hadn't so much as peeked at a book lying open on the table where they'd set up their research. They'd only taken the hunt because people were dying and it seemed like a real quick thing.
Which, you know, assuming you keep from being captured, it probably was a quick thing.
Sam frowned. How had Dean escaped? He'd been right behind Shawn at the hotel.
"You checked the door, right?"
Sam rolled his eyes. "No, Shawn, I didn't think to check the door. How stupid of me!" he said and slapped his forehead.
Shawn arched an eyebrow. "You want an honest answer to that question?"
Sam refused to dignify that with a response.
"Dude, where are we?" Shawn asked. He'd gone back to scanning the room and now that his brain wasn't screaming so much in protest he was putting together clues that some might say were blatantly obvious in hinting at their location. He was in pain, okay? Things moved slower in the brain when they had to work around agony.
"In a mausoleum," Sam said matter of factly. He'd recognized it almost immediately. Though the clues weren't hard to piece together he hadn't even needed that, having been in many places like this in his lifetime.
"Oh man!" Shawn protested. "That's just gross, dude. Freakin' dead people are so creepy."
Sam smiled. "Well, they are dead," he pointed out.
"Ugh. When is Dean getting here?" Shawn said, eying the far wall with its plaques denoting the name and pertinent dates of the person hidden behind it.
"Hopefully soon," Sam said. He'd call and find out exactly, but unfortunately his phone—and Shawn's—had been smashed or broken beyond use when they'd been not so gently deposited in here.
"Great." Silence filled the air for a few moments then Shawn said, "Drew Barrymore or Angelina Jolie?"
Sam's face twisted up in confusion as he turned his head to look at Shawn.
"I'm not sitting here with dead people thinking about dead people. So, if you were stuck on a desert island who would you rather be stuck with? Drew Barrymore or Angelina Jolie?"
Sam's lips twisted in a smirk, then he gave it some serious thought. "Angelina."
Sam's eyebrows rose. "Tomb Raider versus the little girl on ET?"
"Dude! You're forgetting Charlie's Angels!"
Sam rolled his eyes. "No, I'm not. Though I was confused on the rules of the game. I thought we were talking about quality movies."
Shawn's eyebrows rose. "You're shutting out Charlie's Angels from the category of 'quality movies' but leaving Tomb Raider in?"
Sam shrugged. "The first one wasn't so bad. And even if the plot of the second one sucked, that in no way lessened the fact that Lara still kicked ass. In very tiny shorts I might add."
Shawn tilted his head to the side. "Fair enough. But, dude, Charlie's. Angels."
Sam shook his head. "I was just never a fan of that whole scenario. Charlie always gave me a vaguely creepy vibe, you know? He had to have those girls seriously wired to keep tabs on them like that. And the way he always hid behind the box? It was just... I don't know. Creepy."
Shawn laughed and Sam gave an embarrassed shrug. Then he coughed and changed the subject.
"Die Hard or Lethal Weapon?"
Shawn gave him an incredulous look. "Dude, Die Hard, no contest. McClane could kick both Murtaugh's and Riggs' asses without breaking a sweat."
"I don't know," Sam said. "Riggs was kind of crazy. That's always an advantage in that kind of situation because you can't predict what they'll do next."
"Oh yeah, because McClane was the very picture of mental health," Shawn said sarcastically.
"True," Sam conceded with a grin. "He was pretty crazy."
"Poison Ivy or Catwoman?"
Sam frowned. "Julia Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Michelle Pfeiffer, or Halle Barry?"
"Uhhhh... Any of them."
"Uma Thurman? Really?"
Sam shrugged. "Not a cat person," he said.
"Huh," Shawn replied thoughtfully. Then moved on with, "Now that you brought it up... Julia Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Michelle Pfeiffer or Halle Barry?"
The looked at each other and in unison said, "Michelle."
It was well after dark and Shawn was unconscious on Sam's shoulder—though from exhaustion and boredom instead of injury—when there was a sound at the door to the crypt.
The noise woke Shawn who was blinking even as he was discreetly trying to scuttle along the wall further away from the intrusion. Sam stood up, hopeful but wary of who—or what—it might be. Granted, ghosts didn't typically use the door, but this wasn't a typical job so it was better to be prepared for any eventuality.
With a painful screech of long unused hinges, the door was forced open. A flashlight was flicked on and swept across the room, highlighting first Sam, then Shawn.
Then a heartfelt prayer of gratitude was exhaled in a very familiar voice. Sam felt the tension flush from his system and the short laugh from behind told him that Shawn was in the same boat.
"You guys okay?" Dean asked, coming inside and getting a better look at them, one hand going to Sam's arm, the establishment of contact doing a lot to visibly lessen his own tension.
"Yeah," Sam said. "Well, mostly. A little bruised and battered but, uh, yeah, mostly okay."
Dean nodded and moved to where Shawn was pulling himself to his foot, the other being carefully suspended so as to not jar it unnecessarily. Sam was right behind Dean and they each took a side, lifting Shawn up until he could put a hand on their shoulders and brace himself.
"Dude, what took you so long?" Shawn asked.
Dean scowled. "Bitch wouldn't die."
Sam and Shawn exchanged a look and frowned.
"I thought it was a ghost," Shawn said.
Dean's eyebrows went up. "And why did you think that? You weren't supposed to be thinking anything about this case."
"Whoa, Dean," Sam said, putting a hand on his brother's shoulder. "Easy, okay? I told him after we ended up here. Figured at that point his involvement or not was kind of moot."
Dean relaxed and nodded. "Sorry."
Shawn waved it off. "No worries."
"So it wasn't a ghost?" Sam said.
"No," Dean said grimly. "She was using astral projection. That's also why I had a helluva time finding her."
"But you did and she's, uh, taken care of?" Sam pressed.
Dean grinned. "Oh yes. She's definitely taken care of."
"So we can go get some painkillers then?" Shawn asked, wincing as he tried putting some weight on his bad foot. "Ow!" he hissed and lifted the leg again.
Dean looked down. "Mostly okay, huh?"
"Sprained ankle. And it's the worst of the list. Few scrapes, some bruises, Shawn has a bump on the head, but no concussion."
Dean nodded and wrapped an arm around Shawn's waist. "All right. Come on, Gimpy. Let's go get you some drugs."
"You know, I spent all day in a room with dead people and I'm not even getting paid for it," Shawn said as Sam secured his grip and they started forward, one slow hopping step at a time. "You could be nicer."
"Yeah, sure thing, Princess. It's a hard gig, waiting for your knight in shining armor to show up, isn't it?"
Sam snorted, but wisely kept his mouth shut. It was much more amusing if you didn't interrupt them.
"My knight in shining armor wears an actual shining gold badge and carries a legally licensed firearm," Shawn retorted. "Not a tarnished brass amulet and a whole armory of illegal weapons. Plus she's got a much nicer ass than you."
"My ass is very nice! And I'm going to point this out now and then let it go: The fact that you've been comparing my ass to Juliet's is very alarming to me. Very alarming."
"What else am I supposed to do when I'm locked in a mausoleum with DEAD PEOPLE for, like, three days?"
"It was eight hours, Shawn," Sam said.
"And you weren't alone in there," Dean pointed out.
Shawn snorted. "Yeah, because you'd spend that whole time talking to Sam."
"Hey!" Sam protested.
Dean just chuckled. "Good point."
Sam abruptly freed himself from Shawn's grip and took the duffel bag from Dean.
"I'll go ahead," he said and stalked off toward the gates of the cemetery.
Dean and Shawn chuckled behind him.
"Oh, by the way," Shawn said, "pay up."
"He said he's not a cat person."
"What? Sam! Sam! You'd prefer toxic tentacle girl to a very limber feline form? Seriously? You know, there's a reason for the phrase 'like a cat in heat', right? You do understand the implications of that, right, College Boy? I've never heard anything about poison ivy that didn't involve pain and lots of that pink lotion. Which, by the way, is not remotely sexy."
Sam smiled, but didn't shorten his stride.
"I always knew you had a thing for furries, Dean. You know they have therapists that can help you with that?"
"Do they dress in skin-tight leather and carry a whip?" Dean asked, causing Sam to groan and shake his head and Shawn to snicker and offer a fist for bumping. Dean took him up on that offer as they both grinned.