Title: Hell Hath No Fury
Fandom/Universe: Supernatural (AU), Magnificent 7; In the Aces Immortal Highlander AU
Rating: PG-13 for violence
Characters: From SPN: Dean and Sam Winchester. From Mag7: Vin Tanner, Ezra Standish, Buck Wilmington, JD Dunne, Nathan Jackson, Josiah Sanchez
Summary: What if Sam and Dean were hunters in the Old West? The Winchester are chasing something evil which is leaving a trail of bodies across the southwest. The hunt leads them to Four Corners and a meeting with the seven lawmen who protect the town.
A/N: This is part of the Aces Immortal series, but you do not have to read that series to appreciate this story. All you need to know is that Ezra Standish is Immortal in this story. (But Dean is not - just to be clear)
A/N2: I figured if authors could transplant the Mag7 boys into the present why not create an AU where the Winchesters lived and hunted in the old West.
Hell Hath No Fury: Chapter 1
Eagle Bend – Madame Louisa's Hotel
Sitting at her dressing table, Maggie finished pinning up her hair. She was running late and Madame Louisa would not be happy if she wasn't in the parlor by the time the evening clients began arriving.
She patted a last wayward strand of her chestnut hair into place before reaching for a small box. Smiling, she opened it to stare down at the cameo necklace that she had purchased from Mr. Rider's emporium that afternoon. She'd had her eye on it for weeks and had finally saved enough money to treat herself to the beautiful trinket.
Lifting it by the black ribbon, she studied the figure carved on the locket's face. Mr. Rider had claimed it was Aphrodite, goddess of love. It was mostly likely a story he'd concocted to entice her to purchase the necklace. He hadn't needed to as she'd been entranced by the perfection of the carving the moment she'd laid eyes on it. She ran a finger along the surface of the locket, admiring the beauty of the woman portrayed and wondered again who she might have been. The goddess of love was as good an explanation as any, Maggie thought. It's not as if a working girl like her would have a chance at real love, but you never knew. Maybe this goddess would appreciate the attention the locket would bring.
Maggie tied the ribbon at the back of her neck, allowing the cameo to settle just above the valley between her breasts. As she fingered her new acquisition, she couldn't help but feel that tonight was going to be something special.
Maggie felt as if she were awakening from a deep sleep. She blinked open her eyes and the vertigo hit when she realized that she was standing, not lying down as she'd first thought. Instinctively her hands reached for purchase to steady her rebelling body and she found herself staring out the open window of her room. Grasping the sill, she took a deep breath and felt the disorientation pass.
Her panic rose as she tried to remember how she had crossed the room. Madame Louisa would be furious if she'd missed the evening roll call. Smoothing down her dress she then reached up to touch her necklace. Her fingers settled on …nothing. Her precious trinket was gone. Had she been knocked out by a client so that he might rob her? Frantic, she turned back toward her dressing table and froze.
A scream escaped her as she took in the bloody mess on her bed that used to be a man. She continued to scream as she found herself fainting into the bliss of unconsciousness.
New Mexico Territory
Sam Winchester exited the Rock Ridge telegraph office clutching the message from Bobby Singer, who ran the hunter's network in this part of the country. The telegram had been waiting for them upon their arrival in town. He headed toward the saloon where he knew his brother, Dean, was already ensconced in a poker game to replenish their dwindling funds.
The invention of the telegraph had been a boon to hunters tracking the supernatural. In the past, even with the network of hunters and informants that Samuel Colt had set up across the west, it used to take weeks or months for a case to come to their attention. And while Sam was grateful for the modern convenience that allowed them such immediate communication with Bobby, they were still two days ride from the job their friend had identified in his missive.
Sam entered the saloon and paused as his eyes adjusted to the gloomy interior. He spotted his brother at the corner table. He had to chuckle when he realized that Dean hadn't bothered to remove his dark brown duster or wide brimmed slouch hat in his desire to get into a game. He still had two inches of trail dust clinging to his faded green shirt.
Sam looked down at his apparel and realized he didn't looked much better. There had been a brief time in his life when he'd worn the tailored suits of a student. That had been before the search for their father had demanded his attention, and he'd traded that scholarly life in for the dully colored cotton shirts and faded britches of a hunter.
Today Rock Ridge was just a stopping point; a place to receive instructions from Bobby. Though this town was as close to a regular home as they'd had over the past year; its centralized location in the territory made it a good place to return to after hunts. Once he'd shared the information in Bobby's telegram, the brothers would be moving on again.
Dean looked up and met Sam's eyes as he raked in the pot in front of him. Sam tilted his head in a silent signal for his brother to join him.
Gathering his winnings, Dean excused himself. He plopped down at the table, across from Sam, sending up a small cloud of dust. "So?" He propped his booted feet on the next empty chair and waited for Sam to fill him in.
"Bobby's sending us to Eagle Bend. A courier is already on his way to meet us there with the case details." As convenient as the telegraph was, it was expensive and it wasn't always prudent to send too much detail over the open wire.
"Guess we're heading to Eagle Bend." Dean kicked back the chair and stood. He sent a longing glance toward the poker table. "I don't suppose – " He gestured toward the game still in progress.
Sam shook his head. He rounded the table and pushed his brother toward the door. "Focus, Dean. There'll be plenty of time to play after the case is over."
Eagle Bend – New Mexico Territory
The courier was waiting for them when Sam and Dean arrived in town. The packet of information he'd delivered was now spread out on the bed of their hotel room. Sam sat on the bed trying to sort out all the details while Dean paced the room waiting for his brother's evaluation.
"We've got seven previous incidents," Sam said, gesturing to the neat stacks of papers he'd collated.
Dean moved to read over Sam's shoulder. "Damn! These murders take place over several years. How'd Bobby piece this together?"
Sam shook his head in admiration. "Women committing murder do tend to stick out, but even so they happened all over the territory," Sam handed Dean one of the pages, "That murder took place in Arizona almost two years ago and appears to be our starting point."
"So we've got seven women who violently kill a man, and then claim they didn't remember how it happened."
"These guys were gutted before their necks were snapped." Sam shook his head in disbelief as he continued to read through the files.
"Sounds like possession."
"I agree. I doubt there are many women strong enough to commit that brutal a crime without supernatural assistance."
"And that gallows we saw riding into town?"
"For murderess number eight," Sam handed the last page of the portfolio to Dean, "Maggie Courtland. She killed one of her regular clients and then, just like the others, claims she didn't remember doing it."
Dean looked at the page from the first case. "Says this woman committed suicide before they could hang her for killing her husband. Any of the others do that?"
Sam perused the information making a silent count. "Three were hung, Two more committed suicide and it appears this one," he pointed to the pile for the second case, "was murdered by the brother of her husband; the victim."
"Ok so no pattern after the kills," Dean mused as he tried to piece together the motive of their mysterious evil bastard. "All male victims and female killers," Dean moved some of the pages around, "two killed their brothers and one killed a friend's husband. Our current killer sliced and diced a John. That eliminates it being a relative."
"But does seem it's someone they know well," Sam confirmed. "These women have very little in common; one was married to a preacher, one was a spinster school teacher, while Maggie was a working girl."
"Apparently the virtue of the woman was not a factor either." Dean sighed. "We got nothing."
If there was a pattern that might lead them to the next victim, Sam wasn't seeing it either. "All we really know is that after the murder the demon, spirit - whatever it is - moves on, leaving the woman to face the consequences."
"We need to talk to Maggie Courtland and confirm possession," Dean said. "They may have all been suicidal just not had the means or opportunity. Also we need to find out about the dead guy, maybe something about him that will explain why he was chosen."
"Good point. There's very little in these files about the men," Sam said. "I think I can get into see her if I pose as clergy. What are you going to do?"
Dean smiled. "I'm going to visit the brothel."
"How do you propose to get access to the murder scene which, by the way, has probably already been scrubbed clean?"
"It's a brothel, Sammy," Dean quipped as if his method of entry should be obvious. "Beside they may not have cleaned everything and maybe some of the ladies saw something helpful," he leered suggestively, "and will be willing to share."
Sam chuckled. "Why do I ever doubt you where women are concerned? I guess it's worth checking out."
"Of course it is," Dean said. "Not often I get to do research in a whorehouse; kinda looking forward to it." He grabbed his slouch hat off the dresser and with a knowing smirk exited the hotel room.
Sam shook his head. For all Dean's bravado, he knew his brother wouldn't let the location of his investigation disrupt his ability to get the information they needed. Standing, he grabbed his saddle bags and began looking for clothing more worthy of a traveling clergyman.
Sam had convinced the sheriff that his prisoner deserved a chance to make peace with God, in private. Sheriff Hughes agreed to wait outside while Sam entered the jail to question her.
Maggie Courtland sat stock still, hands clasped on her knees, head down, her long dark hair creating a veil hiding her face. She didn't even twitch as Sam grabbed a chair and pulled it in front of the cell.
"Ma'am," he began tentatively as he sat. "I'd like to ask you a few questions, if you're willing."
The woman didn't move. Her stillness was disconcerting and Sam realized that there were silent tears dripping onto her lap as she continued to ignore him.
He cleared his throat and began again. "I'm Father O'Rielly and I'd like to hear your version of what happened. Maybe offer some comfort."
Maggie shook her head, still refusing to look up at Sam. "There is no comfort for me now."
"Please, Miss Courtland; tell me your side of the story."
She sucked in a gasping breath and looked up as she let it out. "I don't remember anything, but they don't believe me," she cried, tears continuing to cascade down her cheeks. "They say I killed Henry, but I don't remember even seeing him until - Oh God, Henry." She dropped her head back into her hands sobbing as the memory of the dead man came rushing back to her.
Sam studied the woman; she didn't seem possessed or infected by the supernatural in any way. Her remorse and fear at what had happened had been plain on her face. "I know this is hard," Sam said sympathetically. "But I only want to help."
She met his gaze again. Sniffling and swiping at her eyes she shook her head. "I'm beyond help, preacher."
"No one is ever beyond help," Sam said. "Please, tell me, what's the last thing you do remember from before – " he hesitated to say murder. "Maybe there is some clue; some proof of who really did this."
"You believe me?" When Sam nodded, she almost smiled. Taking a calming breath Maggie began, "I was getting ready for the evening - " she hesitated; embarrassed to speak of her occupation.
Sam didn't say anything silently encouraging her to continue.
Her eyes took on a faraway sheen as she tried to remember the events that had destroyed two lives. "I was sitting at my dressing table, putting my hair up." Her hand reached up to smooth down her wayward tresses as if reliving the moment. "I used the silver combs. They were my favorite." Her hand drifted down to her bare neck. "I'd bought a new locket and decided to wear it that night, but it's gone now." Her eyes narrowed as she searched for more details. "I was late but I wanted to look nice." She gave him a rueful smile. "And that's all. I don't remember anything else before I found myself standing at the window and Henry was –"
She lapsed into silence as the tears began to slip down her cheeks again. "Help me preacher. Tell them I didn't do this. Please don't let them hang me!"
"I will do what I can," he lied. Sam felt awful that he truly had no way to help her. Even if they discovered the truth behind her blackout, it was unlikely it would be anything a judge would believe, nor concrete enough to overturn her conviction. Most folks didn't put stock in the supernatural. Poor Maggie Courtland would be gone by this time tomorrow. Her story only confirmed what he and Dean had suspected; she was not responsible for what had happened, but he knew there would be no way to save her.
Sam was seated in a chair using the bed as a desk when Dean came in. He was surprised to see his brother frowning considering where he'd spent the afternoon. "No luck?"
"Not a damn thing," he groused as he flung himself on the bed.
"Hey watch it," Sam snapped as he grabbed at his papers before they spilled onto the floor.
Dean leaned against the headboard. "I got to see the murder scene, but there was no smell of sulfur, no hex bags, or any sign of a supernatural event. Nothing. Just a room."
"Anybody notice anything unusual about Maggie's behavior?"
"Nope. That Henry guy was apparently one of her regulars and not real threatening if you know what I mean. Just a loser looking for a good time." Dean ran a hand over his face and sighed in frustration before asking, "Any luck with the girl?"
Sam shook his head. "Nothing much. She was definitely possessed by something, but I don't think it was a demon."
"Oh?" Dean quirked an eyebrow at him.
"Bobby said that people usually remember being possessed. They describe being aware of what's happening to them, but being unable to stop it. Maggie swears she passed out. Doesn't remember a thing about the missing time."
"So, not a demon?"
"Not necessarily, just unlikely. We've never seen a demon and we only have Bobby's anecdotes about how it behaves."
"What about a restless spirit? They have been known to possess people."
Sam shook his head. "I've never heard of one being able to travel so far from its initial haunting."
"They tend to control men not women."
Dean snapped his fingers and pointed at Sam. "Witch?"
"You said there was no hex bag. I think if someone found those kinds of objects at any of the previous murder scenes, we would have heard about it."
Frowning, Dean stood and began pacing the room. "We've got no idea what this thing is or where it's going, and these murders are getting closer together." He slammed a hand on the dresser. "Damn it, Sammy. This thing is destroying lives I just can't give up on it."
"I don't think we have to."
Dean looked over at what Sam was working on. "You find something in the files?"
"Not really sure, but you're right there's nothing left to do here and the murders are occurring more frequently." Sam smoothed out the map showing Dean the notations he'd made. "Chances are it won't be long before it strikes again and I think I've figured out where it might go next."
Dean leaned over to get a closer look at the pattern Sam had discovered. "Really?"
"I've highlighted the towns where the murders took place." Sam moved the map so Dean could get a better look. "It's not much, but I did notice that they were all on the stage lines."
Dean snorted. "Really Sammy, you think our big bad enjoys riding the stage? That's gotta be a fun trip for the other passengers."
Sam smiled at the ridiculous idea of a Werewolf or Vampire sitting in a stagecoach making small talk with the other passengers. "Yeah, I guess that sounds a little silly," Sam acknowledged.
The brothers fell into silence as they tried to understand what the map was telling them.
Sam sat up straighter as the answer came to him. "What if it's not a creature at all, but some kind of cursed object using someone to transport it to another town?"
"That actually makes sense. Cursed objects can take control of people, encourage them to do their bidding." Dean was warming to this idea. "Any idea what this object might be?"
"Not a clue. Like you said a supernatural creature isn't going to take the stage, but if it is a cursed object then it's likely that someone has already transported it out of town." Sam checked his notes. "Since the murder, only two stages have rolled through Eagle Bend. One was heading to Rock Ridge, where we just came from, and the other to Four Corners." Sam pointed to the two towns which lay in opposite directions on the map. "I think it's highly possible that the thing moved on to one of those two places."
"So it's a coin flip." Dean said as he studied the map. "Four Corners; why do I know that town?"
Sam smiled. "Remember Josiah Sanchez? We met him a couple times at Bobby's."
"Sure." Dean nodded. "Good hunter, been a few years since we last ran into him." He smiled as the information came to him. "That's why I've heard of that town, Bobby must have mentioned he was down this way."
"Yeah, that's why I figure we should send a telegram to Josiah; see if he's noticed anything unusual since the last stage passed through. If not, then we head back to Rock Ridge."
Dean nodded his approval of the plan. "I'll contact Josiah. Hopefully we'll hear from him in time to know which way to head out in the morning."