Hey guys! Sorry for the exceptionally long wait, I didn't intend to leave you hanging like that. While uploading the last chapter for this story FanFiction delivered a virus that basically shut down almost all function on my computer. After spending as much time as possible I've ditched the virus and all is well again. Originally I wasn't going to risk it again and upload, but I really wanted to. If I get another virus though I will no longer be posting here. I am looking for alternatives, so if anyone has any suggestions they'd be very much appreciated. Right now I'm looking at Deviantart and considering just going straight to a weekly email kind of thing (don't worry, I wouldn't spam you). So if you don't hear anything from me on here, its because I've moved due to virus. Check Deviantart first since I've already an account there (blacklily449) and if not there (not sure how safe it is either) and no suggestions pan out then I'll be sending emails through my personal email to anyone who really wants updates. Again I'm really sorry! Thanks to everyone who watched, favourited, or reviewed.
The drive felt agonizingly long. They no longer shared that light-hearted feeling they had managed to maintain before; they rode in complete silence except for the quiet music that played over the tension in the car. After a few moments of silence Theresa cast a sideways glance at Dean from the corners of her eyes. His face was a heavy mask of dark frustration that told her it would be better not to try to start up any kind of conversation at this time.
As unpleasant as they were, she began to bring the details of what she had witnessed back into the forefront of her mind as vividly as possible. The sting of the harsh metallic smell from the blood pooling on the floor, the sudden dry chill, the way the woman's face steadily grew paler as all blood left her body, and the malice in the apparition's eyes. She knew it was important to remember as much as she possibly could, despite the squeeze of her stomach as she thought back on it; any small detail could be the only clue they needed to solve the case and getting the hell out of that town, and right now this one encounter, lasting only seconds, was their best lead.
She watched as the turn to her hotel came up, but instead of turning down the well lit road Dean continued on unflinchingly at a breakneck speed.
"Dean?" she asked hesitantly, afraid of the dark mood that was undoubtedly bubbling under the surface."What?" he sounded surprisingly calm, though the look in his eye hadn't faded in the slightest."Where are you going?"
"To the motel," he answered blandly. The short, clipped answers he gave had her pausing before saying anything more.
"You just missed the turn," she tried not to sound like she was correcting him, in case he wasn't as in control as he sounded.
"Not yours. You need to tell Sam and me what happened back there," he explained.
"Oh. Right." She settled back into herself, looking out the window. It should have been obvious to her, but she hadn't worked with anyone in a very long time and she forgot that any information she managed to gather was not only for herself any more. This was a whole different game than what she was used lights and neon signs cast harsh shadows as the car sped through the streets until Dean turned the Impala into a parking lot of a motel very similar to the one she was staying at. Sign posts across the road from the entrance directed travelers to the Interstate. A few cars stood between the almost non-existent yellow lines. Small lights illuminated large brass numbers that hung in the center of the doors.
Dean threw the car into park and wasted no time in climbing out. Theresa clambered out less gracefully, looking around in an attempt to gain her bearings. When she looked back to find Dean he was already standing impatiently by a door.
"Do you want to take the tour or..."he asked. At the very least, he didn't sound as gruff as before.
"Smart ass," she grumbled as she swung the door of the Impala closed and hurried over to him. He almost smiled as he opened the door, stepping inside. Looking around him she saw a fairly generic motel set-up: clearance bin wall paper, wooden kitchen table and chairs that looked to have seen better days, and two queen sized beds. Sam sat at the scarred table, the blue glow of his laptop reflecting on his face, washing him out. His shirtsleeves were pushed up past his elbows. He looked up from the screen, his eyes finding his brother and the woman behind him. The younger brother's brow furrowed, his face a mixture of surprise and suspicion.
"Uh, hey," he said haltingly. "What are you doing here? I didn't expect you back for a while," he spoke to Dean.
"Yeah, I didn't expect to be back yet either." Ushering Theresa inside he closed the door with a sharp snap.
"Hey Theresa," Sam greeted her as she stepped further into the room. Slowly he closed the laptop, one large hand splayed absently on top of the smooth surface.
Dean strode into the room, passing Theresa as he headed toward the small kitchenette. Wordlessly he opened the small bar fridge and pulled out a couple of beers. He turned and tossed one over to Sam who caught it easily, though surprise registered in his eyes. Grabbing a third beer from the fridge he eased the door closed with his foot.
"What happened? Where did you guys go?" Sam asked warily.
Theresa's eyes wandered over to Dean, unsure if he wanted to explain. One beer in either hand he crossed the space between them. His eyes met hers as he pressed one of them into her hand. The combined sensation of the intensity of his eyes and the cool glass bottle in her hand made something inside her flicker strongly. She swallowed hard and gave him a grateful smile before he broke contact and continued past her to sit in the chair opposite Sam's. She waited only a second or two before following him over to the table and sat in one of the two available chairs between the Winchesters.
Sam and Dean cracked open their bottles at the same time, the hissing punctuating the silence, reliving a little of the tension.
"So," Sam leaned forward after downing a small mouthful and setting the bottle aside, interlacing his fingers in front of himself on the table, "what happened?"
Dean looked at Theresa who remained quiet before focusing on his brother as he explained his side of the story, "We went over to the bar and Theresa here had a run in with something.""What was it?"
"I don't know, it was gone before I got there," Dean said."Gone? Gone where?" Sam sounded incredulous.
"The hell am I supposed to know?" Dean tone spiked defensively. "All I know is she left for the washrooms and then there was a scream. By the time I got there Theresa tried to gank me and there was some dead chick bleeding out on the floor. Figured it was best if we just shagged ass out of there."Sam looked at Theresa, "You tried to kill him?"
She crossed her legs under the table, "Well I didn't know it was Dean," she said sheepishly. "And I was a little on edge. You know, ghost murderer and all."
"So it was a ghost?"
"Yeah, I think so. Pretty pissed off too. It did a number on that girl. Sliced right through her neck."
"What did it look like?"
"Uh, she was, um," scrambling she tried to remember, "I-I don't know," she groaned, pushing her hair out of her eyes in frustration. "It all happened so quickly, you know?"
"Do you remember anything? Hair colour, clothing, any markings?" Sam encouraged though it was obvious he was trying to put as little pressure on her as possible.
The details were so vivid in her mind, but only concerning how she had felt in that moment, and how the other girl had looked. She could only faintly remember the spectre at all. "Her hair was...dark? Maybe brown," she looked between Sam and Dean as though they could help. "And a-," she waved her hand past her throat a few times in a cutting motion, "A really horrible slice through her neck. Like whoever did it didn't know how to use a knife in the slightest." Dropping the hand down into her lap she sighed, "I really am sorry guys. I don't remember anything before she attacked me."
Dean gave the smallest of starts, she almost didn't notice, "She attacked you?"
"Well kind of. If felt like she was." Despite her best efforts, it was all hard to fully explain. "She saw me standing there and gave this look. Then she just lunged at me. But before she actually reached me she was just...gone."
"Did it seem like it really wanted to hurt you?" Sam asked wisely, "or was it just trying to frighten you?""No," shaking her head slowly she thought critically on the events that had transpired in that grimy washroom. "It felt like she really wanted to hurt me, but something…stopped it." Again she looked between the two well seasoned hunters, searching for the same answers they wanted her to give to them. "Have you guys ever seen a ghost do that before?"
Dean leaned back in his chair, "Not one we've ever come across."
"Do you have an idea of anything that might be able to do that sort of thing?" she knew they dealt with almost everything she had heard of, and many things she hadn't, so if anyone knew, she'd put money on these two knowing as well.
"Besides salt and iron?" Sam pressed his lips together thoughtfully for a moment, "No. Nothing."
Theresa sighed, "So our next move is-"
"Research," Sam and her spoke in a clumsy almost unison.
"Oh wonderful," Dean smiled sarcastically, "my favourite."
Sam gave his brother a look, tilting his head slightly to one side, letting a breath escape wearily. "Dean-""I know, I know. Relax," he grumbled. Dean pushed away from the table, standing upright and rolling one shoulder. "Alright, well, as eager as I am to get started on our research," he spoke in a slightly halting fashion, putting special, distasteful, emphasis on certain words, making him sound the most contemptuous and sarcastic she had heard yet, "I think I'll take you back to your room first."
"What?" she demanded, looking up at him from where she still sat. "But why? Shouldn't we work together on this? Won't we get more done?"
The Winchesters shared a quick communicative glance before Sam spoke softly to her, "It's getting late and you've already done your share tonight."
She stared at Sam for a moment, frustrated. In no way did she feel that her share had been done tonight, not when there was so much more that could be done, but she had a feeling that arguing that point would provide nothing more than an opportunity to become even more frustrated and perhaps hinder the comfortable teamwork they were building. She huffed a breath, looking away, "Alright. I guess we could just start again in the morning." Standing slowly she offered him a friendly smile, "Night Sam."
"Night," he said, relieved she wasn't going to argue with him.
"Come on then," Dean said as he led the way out of the cramped motel room, Theresa following quickly behind him walking away from Sam and the beer she hadn't so much as touched. She wasn't angry per say, she could see the logic behind waiting until morning when they could come at it with fresh eyes was solid, but she still didn't particularly like the idea.
As they stepped out into the harsh yellow glow of the streetlights lighting the lot the jingle of Dean's keys broke the stagnant stillness of the night. No cars streamed by on the road, no people stumbled back into their rooms after a good night out. It was as though the whole town was holed up for the night, awaiting morning. Maybe they knew something was happening in their sleepy little town.
Once the Impala was growling beneath them and one of the great hair bands filled the car with their true to life lyrics she could almost forget she was in some no horse town hunting down some sort of spirit. She leaned back against the well worn seat, her head tipped upward slightly, choppy fringe falling down over her closed eyelids. She stayed like that for a few moments, drinking in the normality of that moment in that amazing American muscle car with the scent of the upholstery, gasoline, and something she couldn't identify that had her pulse racing and relaxing simultaneously surrounding her. She could have easily spent the rest of her days like that, cruising around in the fantastic piece of American history and have been content.
She opened her eyes grudgingly when she felt an uncomfortable tingle settle in along the base of her skull. She found Dean's green eyes on her, a hint of a smile pulling at his lips. Even when she looked at him questioningly he just smirked, completely unapologetic, which only drew his eyes down to his lips momentarily. He sure was an attractive son of a gun, and he definitely knew it.
She studied him for a long moment, her eyes roving over his face quizzically before settling on his eyes. Neither of them looked away, despite the fact he was driving. That same tingling sensation she had felt earlier returned with a vengeance, this time accompanied with a sudden heat that pulled down the length of her spine. The connection between them was broken by her first as she scoffed and turned toward the window, smiling to herself and pushing a hand through her hair.
The drive between the two motels was not a long one, made even shorter by the longer stretches of empty road and Dean's lead foot. The window reflected her face back at her as she tried to look out at the flat black landscape beyond. Dean's fingers kept rhythm against the steering wheel as the music changed. Already she could feel the two of them falling into an easy pattern. Although he was obviously at ease with her, she kept looking at his reflection in the glass as he focused on the road, the memory of the feeling when his eyes on her too startlingly fresh.
When Dean pulled into a parking space outside her room it wasn't until he turned off the engine that she became aware they were already there.
"Thanks," she murmured as she unbuckled her seatbelt and stepped out of the car. Dean stepped out of the car on his side leaving her a little taken aback, but she tried to think nothing more of it. It did no good to build things up in her mind. He walked behind her up to the door and leaned against the wall under a light illuminating her room number.
"So, thanks for coming with me tonight," she searched through her pockets until she found the room key, "Worked in my favour that you were there, what with the ghost and all."
"I'm sure you would have been alright on your own," he shrugged, his eyes tracing her face turned the key between her fingers for a moment.
"Are you okay now though?" he asked. "I mean, we don't know how this thing picks its targets. Totally understandable to be a little freaked out. Especially in a motel like this," he indicated the unlatched window next door.
She smiled playfully at him, "Is this your way of trying to be invited in?"
"Might be. Is it working?" he asked, his voice lowered, a glint in his eye.
"Maybe," she stepped a little closer to him, smirking. "Or maybe I am a little nervous about that ghost.""Oh really?" The smile on his face turned devilish as he stepped away from the wall slightly, one arm still outstretched so his palm pressed against the red brick and she stood within the curve of his body.
She knew this wasn't the best way to stay focused on the case, but there wasn't any problem with a little no-strings-attached company. Not to mention she couldn't help admiring his good looks all night, so what the hell? Throwing caution to the wind she tipped her face toward him just as he ducked his head a little lower to meet her.
His free hand came up to rest just the very tips of his fingers against the smooth curve of her neck. She had expected him to be quick and primal, but he moved slowly, smoothly, seductively. Green eyes stared down into hers as their breath mingled in the contained space between them, warmth fanning across her face.
Just as both sets of eyes slid shut and they leaned into each other a bang came as a man stormed out of the room next to them. At the sound Theresa had jumped back, expecting something paranormal, not the man hastily fixing his tie and making excuses into his phone. Their lips had not so much as brushed before they had been interrupted.
The man stomped over to his car and peeled out of the parking lot, leaving the two hunters standing alone under the glow of the cracked light. Now that she had a moment she couldn't help but think that maybe now wasn't the best time for this. She didn't expect him to stay, in fact she would have been shocked if he had, but she'd have to work with him and his brother tomorrow and she couldn't help but wonder if that would make things awkward. Looking back at Dean she could see a similar revelation in his eyes. "Sam will probably be waiting for you back at your room, huh?" she asked, very aware that his fingertips still skimmed over her neck.
"No. Not really," he took his hand away, leaving points of warmth where his fingers had been. "But yeah. Probably not the best time."
"Alright. Well, uh, thanks again. With the ghost," she added.
"Yeah," he stepped back, still looking at her, as he pulled his car keys from his pockets. "You probably should be careful. We really don't know how that ghost picks its targets. Just, watch out for yourself," he said as he drew level with the Impala.
"I'll try," she smiled, "Night."
She watched as he started up the Impala, flashed her a last look, and then pulled out of the parking lot before she locked the door and headed inside.