This fic is one of my entries for the Summer_Sam_Love challenge. It was written as a tag to Hollywood Babylon. There is a link to the master list of all fics, vids and art associated with the challenge on my profile. Check it out, good stuff!
Sam couldn't get out of Los Angeles fast enough. No make that he couldn't get out of California fast enough. People died in California, well they died everywhere, but the ones Sam cared about—loved—died in California.
The whole freaking state was jacked.
Stretching as far as he could in the small space of the Impala's front seat, Sam looked down at the floorboards beneath his feet when his shoe slid over something far smoother than the carpeting. Dean, in normal Dean fashion, had tossed all the maps to the stars' graves and homes down there along with half a dozen brochures touting the wonders of this or that movie museum.
Dean loved this stuff. All Sam could see was death, Jess's, Madison's, everyone he loved. Sauntering out of the gas station store, arms loaded down, Dean grinned as his gaze wandered to a group of girls surrounding a magazine. One caught a look at Dean, nudged her friends and they all blushed and burst into giggles.
Sam's brother had that affect on women, of any age.
Smiling, Dean stretched and Sam watched as he peered at the magazine. When one of the girls flipped it closed Sam saw it was one of the many filled with reviews of upcoming movies. His gaze was pulled to the space between his feet again. Reaching down, he scooped the pile of papers up and flipped through them.
Dean really loved this stuff. He'd been delighted to be on a movie set. More delighted to meet the actors, even the staff. Sam had watched, amazed at how his brother fit right in, blended with his surroundings, did a job he'd never known existed the day before they hit the studio lot and…how much Dean loved it.
Sam hadn't lost everyone he loved in California. He certainly hadn't lost everyone he loved, or that loved him.
He had to admit the people—all of them—making that crappy Hell Hosers or Hell Hoppers movie or whatever it was called were proud of it and believed in what they were doing, misguided as they were. No different really than how Dean believed in what he and Sam did. The big difference was, hardly anyone knew what they did, what a hero Dean was and the lengths he'd go to for folks he didn't even know.
Running one finger over the glossy finish of a brochure Sam looked from it to his brother as Dean opened the car door and slid inside, dumping his purchases on the bench seat between them.
Jangling the keys for a second, Dean glanced over at him and asked, "Where to? Or should we just point east?"
Sam wasn't particularly interested in bad horror movies—or even good ones—he really wasn't interested in spending an afternoon wandering around someplace dedicated to bad movies. However, Dean was. His brother would never push the issue; he'd drive away never seeing something he'd love to see simply because Sam didn't want to stay.
Dean deserved to have someone do something for him. Their father had never done that, the closest he'd gotten was a parting comment that Dean'd maybe have to kill Sam. Dean did nothing but give.
Sam wanted to give.
He could do this. He could, really he could. Holding up the brochure, he gave it a gentle shake so it waved the air between them. "We should go. Can we go?" When Dean simply pulled his eyebrows together and looked at Sam as though he'd been replaced by an alien life form Sam nodded, the matter was settled. "I want to go."
The hand holding the car keys was stuck half way to the ignition. Dean's gaze dropped to the brochure Sam held out, his lips eased into a soft smile and he shrugged. "Okay." He shoved the key into the ignition. "You sure?"
Sam nodded again, huffed out one of his more dramatic sighs and gave Dean a look that clearly read do I have to repeat myself? Dean stared at him. Sam stared back. Turning the ignition and putting the car in gear Dean looked out the window, shot a quick glance over at Sam before focusing on the road again. His face twitched a few times before it split into a huge, delighted grin.
The Hollywood Horror Knights Museum was a newer, low brick building. A large parking area was to the left; a well-kept lawn with topiaries in the shape of Dracula, The Wolfman and The Thing, as well as a few others Sam couldn't identify was to the right. He had to admit—but only to himself—it was sort of cool, if you were into that stuff. Which Sam was not.
Trailing alongside his brother, Sam knew at the ticket counter he'd done the right thing. Dean purchased their tickets, the deluxe collector edition of photographs of the museum's displays, a little plastic cover to keep his ticket, and Sam's, in as well as the limited edition of the publication showing the building of the museum. They hadn't even gotten to the gift shop yet. Sam shuddered to think what they'd haul out of this place that he'd have to live with.
Dean Winchester, possibly the most dangerous man on the planet and here he was buying a plastic ticket cover to a museum dedicated to bad horror movies that sort of looked more like This Is Your Life Dean and Sam Winchester.
Sam ambled through the rooms, mildly interested in the dioramas and displays. Dean scurried from one to the next, scrutinizing each exhibit, reading every word on plaques and adding to what was said. It was kind of amazing, Dean knew so much about this stuff. Not only the movie premise, but how the make-up was done, behind the scenes gossip, local legends that inspired some of the movies.
Glancing at his watch, it was three o'clock in the afternoon; the museum was open, predictably, until midnight. Only nine more hours. If Sam could track real monsters through sewers and cemeteries, he could do this, too. Besides, it was fun, watching how excited his brother became over something as simple as movie trivia.
As they moved down one of the halls Sam saw a full sized cardboard cut out of Doctor Frankenfurter as played by Tim Curry. Sam wouldn't exactly put the world-wide sensation of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in the B-movie category but…
"It's more of a cult classic." Dean nudged his side and jerked his chin at the exhibit for both the movie and stage play.
"You ever see it?" Sam felt a twinge in his chest. One of the few pleasant memories of his first year at Stanford was going to a midnight showing of the movie. He'd thought how everyone dressed up, took props and joined in with the movie was weird at first, but by the end he'd had a good time and for once felt like he was part of things there.
"Not exactly my kind of date flick. Caught parts on TV a few times."
"It's not the same as going to a theater and seeing it," Sam pointed out, motioning to a small sign that announced the movie would be played at midnight right after the museum closed. Costumes were encouraged but not required.
Dean stopped and straightened, turned and looked Sam up and down. "You've seen it in a theater?"
"It's big on college campuses. Okay? Happy now?"
"I'm going to get the tickets now, make sure we can get in." Dean jogged back toward the ticket counter.
"We're not sitting in front," Sam called after him then mumbled, "I'll just wait here." Make that eleven hours.
His brother was back a few minutes later waving two more tickets and another little plastic sleeve to keep the stubs in under Sam's nose. The next room was aptly titled The Wolf Den. Dozens of werewolves, statues, pictures, even stuffed toys were crammed inside.
"You know," Sam said, standing in the middle and turning in circles. "I had no idea there were so many different kinds of werewolves."
Dean snorted and chuckled, pointing at one he hurried to it. "Look at this, Sam. Do you know what it is? Michael Landon's make-up and mask from I Was A Teenage Werewolf!"
"Uh huh." Sam wasn't particularly interested in werewolves of any sort. The lights in the hallway flickered, making them both turn and look. "Do you think the ghost movie room is over there?" It was a lame question asked in a lame voice.
"I don't suppose you brought in any salt or a gun?" Dean whispered to him, stepping close and inching around so he was between Sam and the doorway.
"No, I did not bring a gun. It's probably part of the whole museum 'experience'." Sam made quote marks in the air in front of him." Patting through his pockets because Dean wouldn't be satisfied until Sam produced some ghost fighting accessory, he pulled out a few fast food packets of salt. "I have these, though. But I don't think—" Sam stopped talking when the temperature did a nose dive.
Dean sighed and shook his head. "At least one of us comes prepared." He reached around and poked at the handgun Sam knew was tucked into his brother's waistband then he pulled a small container of salt from his inside jacket pocket. A quick tug on his jeans exposed his ankle for a few seconds and the slim, silver edged iron knife he wore.
Sam's eye roll was lost in the darkness that descended when the lights went out.
"You've got to be kidding," Dean grumped then raised his voice to that take charge tone he used when people started shuffling around, some making noises of panic. "Everyone, stay calm. Stay where you are." The rustling of clothes and the sound of tripping feet stopped. "Wait for the lights to come back on."
A tap on Sam's arm let him know his brother was moving away. Sam followed him to the hallway. They peered through the almost pitch black dark, barely able to make out the rooms and some shapes of people. "You have a plan?" Sam asked. He was no different than the rest of the world really, he looked to his big brother for guidance and reassurance.
"Yeah, simple one. Find the ghost and end it." Dean leaned in close and spoke into Sam's ear before moving down the hall, fishing a small penlight from another pocket on his jacket.
Sam pulled his cell phone free and clicked the camera on. It'd worked before, why not here? With Dean taking the lead and Sam holding the phone over his shoulder, they crept silently down the hallway. It made Sam think how easily Dean had fit in on the movie set, become part of a team there. Even more so it reminded him what a smooth team he and Dean made. Always had. Sam knew deep down they always would.
Rounding a corner into the next room, Sam nearly swallowed his tongue trying to stop the horrified gasp wanting to explode straight out of him. As Dean stepped through he'd swung his light around the room.
Clowns. Big ones, little ones, ones hanging from the ceiling and others standing along the wall. A whirr caught Sam off guard and he turned, wishing he hadn't. Dean turned too, aiming the blasted light at the whirring.
"Crap," Dean spat the word out.
Sam garbled something, but he had no idea what. He was too busy scrambling backwards away from the three foot wide clown face from the movie Killer Clowns from Mars coming at him. Dean's light reflected for an instant off the wire strung across the room near the ceiling that the thing rode along. Pain rocketed up from Sam's rear to course up his spine when he landed hard on his ass on the tile floor.
"Oh, shit, get up, Sam." Dean grabbed him under the arms and hauled him to his feet, shoving him back toward the hallway when someone screamed followed by a heavy thudding against the dividing walls.
Nearly breaking his neck when he collided with a stroller in the dark hallway, Sam narrowly avoided crashing down on some poor, unsuspecting toddler. He grabbed the arm of the woman holding the stroller and pointed to the exit. "Go that way, it'll take you outside and whatever you do, don't go in that room." He swung one arm around to point at the clown room. She nodded, mumbled a thanks and hurried away. Getting himself together, Sam held the phone out again, scanning the hallway. When he saw a figure dart around the corner to another room, he pointed. "Dean, there, that way."
They hurried along to the end. There was a door there marked Employees Only. One well placed kick and they were through the door and into the room beyond. A storeroom.
"See anything?" Dean was scanning the room, not facing Sam. He pointed to a few unopened boxes. "These look like they just got here."
Sam dropped to his knees beside the boxes and began pulling at the packaging tape, ripping them open. Then he seriously wished he hadn't. "Gah…" Jerking to his feet he staggered back a step. "More freaking clown stuff, what's with the clowns? And that's disgusting." He pointed to a clear container with bits of human nails, hair and used make-up removal rags.
"Burn it." Dean's words were drawn out and followed by the distinct sound of something hitting his chest.
Sam turned, reaching out to grab his brother, fingers curling through air as Dean was picked up and flung. "Dean!"
Dean landed in a pile of Creature From The Black Lagoon tote bags, bounced to his feet and whipped salt at the glowing form with brilliant orange hair and stripped, billowing clothes coming at him. "That's got to be the link, Sam, hurry up."
The ghost clown evaporated only to flicker back right beside Dean.
Frantically Sam gathered the box up, holding it like a football and looked around the storeroom, finding a metal trash bin in the corner. Running over, he threw the container into the bin.
When Dean grunted Sam turned to see him hit the floor again, this time the clown's hair had ignited into vibrant red and white flames, it opened its mouth to reveal rows—rows—of pointed teeth. Lifting its hands in the air, it charged Dean, snarling and snapping.
The silver edged iron knife was pulled free and Dean held his ground, swiping at the spirit clown. The thing shrieked and rolled backwards through the air, flipped around and went straight at Sam.
Fumbling in his pocket for matches, Sam tossed the fast food packets of salt onto the container. He ducked barely in time to prevent the clown from splattering him all over the wall. The container was plastic, and Sam didn't want to open it and risk losing some of the contents. Some Motel Hell posters were piled alongside the bin, snatching them up he began wadding them into balls, throwing them in the bin beside the container.
"Duck!" Dean's voice boomed behind him.
Sam immediately covered his head and dropped to hunker down on his knees while Dean fired off a few shots at the clown ghost. That would buy them a few minutes at most. "We need some accelerant," Sam panted, standing up again.
"Stay." Dean touched Sam's shoulder with two fingers for a second before running to the other side of the storeroom, rifling through some shelves there, tossing things off. "This should work." He held out a few beer cans with the word Devour scrawled over them. Before cracking one open, Dean sighed. "A true classic."
"Dean!" Sam snatched one beer can, opened it and poured the beer into the bin over the movie posters.
The air around them frosted over, took on the distinct smell of ozone and the pressure dropped. Sam looked at his brother at the same time Dean looked at him. Emptying the rest of the beer cans over the movie posters, Dean slugged the last few swallows of the last can down his throat and tossed the can at the oncoming clown ghost.
Sam smirked, and snapped at the clown, "Chew on this." He lit the book of matches and threw them into the metal bin. The movie posters whooshed into flames, brighter than the clown's stupid flaming hair. A second later the room filled with the delightful odor of melting plastic.
The clown flew at them; Dean grabbed Sam's shoulders and shoved him to the ground. They scooted away from the bin; a second later Sam was sandwiched between Dean and a wall while the clown came at them. As the flames in the bin grew, eating away at the movie posters and remains of some guy turned clown turned angry spirit—and really wouldn't any spirit be angry stuck for eternity in a clown get up?—the ghost clown distorted, its fake face falling away to reveal blood and tissue hanging off bone. In the next instant it sunk in on itself, flared one last time and vanished.
They'd probably spend tomorrow figuring out who it was they'd just sent to the great ghost beyond and if they had to clear out anymore spirits from the museum, but for right now, problem solved.
The lights turned back on. Dean patted Sam's shoulder then used it to push to his feet. "Good job, Sammy."
A quick clean up consisting of shoving the bin out the back door into the parking lot to burn itself out while they headed in the opposite direction. No one investigating would be the wiser or suspect them. Certainly no one would suspect some maniac ghost of a dead clown.
Sam grinned and followed his older brother out of the storeroom, mingling in with what was left of the museum patrons. People were getting their bearings, calming each other, wondering what brought on the sudden 'power outage'. All of which Dean and Sam ignored, staying to the edge of the group until it dispersed, everyone going on about their day.
They finished walking through the museum and hit the cafeteria for some dinner. "Want to go to another one?" Sam asked between bites of his Swamp Monster sub.
"Naa…I think we've had enough pop culture for one day." Dean slurped some of his Pod-People slushy and looked casually around the room.
Sam kicked his brother's leg under the table and grinned. "But we're still going to the movie tonight, right?"
"You still want to?"
"Hell, yeah." Sam leaned back in his chair and grinned. Maybe they didn't always like the same things or see eye to eye, but the past few days had really taught Sam what it was to be part of a team that believed in what they did, no matter what that was. He and Dean were a team, a good one and they did good things, even if no one knew. Also, Dean had no idea what was in store for him later that night.
Dean Winchester, most dangerous man on the planet was so going to learn to do The Time Warp.