Disclaimer: Supernatural belongs to Erik Kripke, Warner Brothers and quite possibly others who are not mentioned here. My Bloody Valentine belongs to Lionsgate and no doubt others as well. No money will be made from this fan fiction.
Author's note: Warning. Changes to the universe will be more on the My Bloody Valentine side rather than the SPN side. Basically, Tom's along for the ride, until he figures out how to drive himself.
Summary: A year and a half before his father died and he went home to sell the mine, Tom met up with two hunters in a motel. There's no way that reality could stay the same after that.
In and Out of Harmony
Contrary to what video games would have you believe, driving around in a stolen car was not fun. In fact, nerve wracking would be putting it mildly. He kept expecting someone to spot him driving the thing around and point at him, screaming that the car didn't belong to him. Like some weird ass car theft version of 'The Body Snatchers.'
The seventies remake in this case.
He did start to relax a little as the town thinned out the closer he got to the quarry. Rolling his shoulders to work out the stress-induced stiffness had him wincing and he smirked at himself. It was sort of funny after all. All those stunts he'd pulled over the years that kept landing him back in the psych ward and none of them had been for stealing a car.
Well, he was pretty sure that the golf cart and riding mower didn't really rate as cars.
He breathed a little easier when he arrived at the quarry. The place was much as he expected it to be. A very large hole in the ground with a series of dirt roads leading into it. Heavy machinery moved and collected sand, dumping it into the trucks. It was loud, dirty and far too familiar.
Tom parked by the trailer that was serving as a mobile office and dug out the ID that Dean had given him. Given that they looked alike, the hunter had simply used one of his own pictures while making it, but thankfully had used the name Tom had suggested.
Tom frowned at the thing. Insurance investigator was not the cover he would have picked, but since the other three had the FBI covered it was the best choice. Hopefully, someone here would have enough sympathy for the widow of Louis Crombey to give him something useful.
He grimaced as he stepped out of the car and heard raised voices coming from the portable office. Whatever was going on, he doubted that it would make this fact-finding trip any easier. He hesitated for a beat, and then took a deep breath before walking over and knocking on the office door.
"What!" The door opened with more force than necessary and Tom jerked back at the sight of a red face under a yellow hardhat.
"Hi, I'm Miles Bennell, All Life Mutual."
He jerked again as the door was slammed in his face and the voices inside returned to their argument. Frowning, he carefully reached out and knocked on the door again.
He waited a few seconds, but it was obvious they were ignoring him.
That… made no sense. It was an incredibly stupid thing for whoever was on the other side of the door to do. All Life Mutual didn't just insured Louis Crombey's life. According to what Sam had found out about them, it was also the insurance company for the entire quarry.
He stepped up and hammered on the door.
It opened again.
"What the hell is your problem?" A different guy answered the door, possibly the owner. At least, Tom hoped he was. It would be 'bad' if it turned out he was from the insurance company.
The first man he'd seen was leaning against a cheap desk that was lost under a load paperwork. Now that he had a better look at him, he appeared to be the site foreman. Given that they were arguing, it was even more likely that the guy at the door was the owner. Both of them appeared to be having a bad day.
Tom was just annoyed enough to try to make it worse.
"My problem? My problem is your problem. In the next ten seconds I will be in your office discussing the death of one of your workers or I will pull the insurance for this entire site and you can spend the next month shut down while attempting to reinstate it."
The guy actually sputtered. "You can't do that."
Tom narrowed his eyes at the man, reached into suit pocket of Dean's back up Fed suit and pulled out his cell phone.
"Okay, okay. Come in." The guy backed up, watching as Tom pocketed his phone and entered.
The guy Tom suspected of being the Foreman looked him over. "You're here about Louis?"
Tom nodded. "Yes. In an… accident of this nature we are required to investigate before the claim can be processed." Yes, his father had made him deal with the insurance people at the mine. Both before and after the accident. He knew what questions to ask, because last time he'd had to answer them.
"Hoping to wheedle out of paying, huh?"
Tom shook his head. "On the contrary, it is obvious that a payment will be made. What we have to check on is the amount."
The first guy smirk. "Have to pay out double for accidents, don't you?"
"Yes," Tom agreed. "Accidents and murder."
Both men froze at the suggestion of foul play. Tom found that, very interesting.
Uninvited, he sat down on one of the office chairs and opened the file he'd brought with him that held sheets of printed garbage that Sam kept as a prop to fill out the folder. The newspaper articles about the accident covered them. "So, I've read the report. Mr. Crombey was running a piece of heavy equipment."
The two men smirked at the description of the CAT that Louis had been running and Tom let them think that he knew next to nothing about the equipment.
"When said piece of equipment was engulfed in a freak sandstorm?"
Both men shrugged and the 'boss' answered. "It was either a very big dust devil or a very small tornado."
"Hmm. So, even though the machine he was using had a glassed in cab the sand somehow got in and…" He glanced at the article. "Scoured him to death?"
"Basically, yeah. You could see bone. The uh… The heavy equipment, it's a total loss as well."
"Mmm. And the maintenance on the CAT?"
Both men jerked slightly and gave him a narrow look. The foreman answered. "Regular service, good record. Nothing was wrong with it. The sand just worked his…its way in."
Tom froze at the man's slip of the tongue, but decided he couldn't ask about it point blank and continued with his other questions.
"And Mr. Crombey's mental state; how was that?"
Both men bristled.
"Look, if you try to avoid paying his widow because you want to somehow call this a suicide…"
Tom held up a hand. "I have to follow all avenues of the investigation, no matter how unlikely. Besides, Mr. Crombey had the policy long enough that suicide still pays out for the regular amount."
"Right, but not the double amount it should be for an accident." The foreman noted.
"Correct. So, his mental state?"
Tom raised an eyebrow. "Really?"
Both men looked at each other and sighed. "Okay," The boss said. "He was a little depressed and a lot jumpy, but you couldn't really blame the guy and he was getting better. Still think he should have taken a little more time off after what happened…"
Tom held up a hand to stop him. "What did happen?"
They both frowned. "You don't…"
Tom stopped them again. "The originally assigned investigator is on maternity leave and the baby came early. She didn't have time to leave the files in the best of shape." He sighed and looked at his watch. "Want me out of your hair?"
Both men gave him a hopeful look.
"Give the background I'm missing and I'll get out of here. I have my own work to do on top of this and I don't believe I need to waste my time or yours on this one. Mrs. Crombey deserves to get her money as quickly as possible."
"It's not going to screw that up for her, is it?"
"There is no way it could, but if I don't include the information the people further up the line will never sign off on this policy."
The foreman and the boss looked at each other again and nodded. "Okay, it's not like you couldn't find out about it."
Driving back into town Tom had to keep his mind on the road and not on what he'd learned. He'd thought he'd seen and heard a lot when in came to freak accidents… but man. This was so out there that he actually made a stop at the library to check the newspaper articles before heading back to the motel.
Dean and Sam flashed their FBI badges at the receptionist behind the desk of the accounting office and asked to see whoever was in charge. The man who came out to greet them appeared to have been expecting them.
"This is about Gene Carlton, isn't it?"
Sam nodded. "Yes, I'm afraid so."
The guy showed them to his office. "Don't apologise. It's kind of a relief to know that someone is seriously looking into it." He showed them to some chairs and took a seat behind his desk. "So, what did you need to know?"
"We're looking into the possibility that Mr. Carlton's death might not have been an accident."
The head accountant blinked. "You mean you think Gene may have been… murdered?"
Sam and Dean looked at each other. "We can't say for certain at this time," Dean told him. "However, we will be performing a full investigation."
The guy let out a deep breath and shook his head. "It just keeps getting stranger and stranger. Gene still hadn't gotten over what had happened last month, not that I blamed him. He was in rough shape. Bad enough that when I heard he'd died I was a little worried he might have done something to himself, but with the other two deaths…" He shrugged.
The brother's gave each other another look. "So," Sam asked carefully. "What did happen a month ago that caused you to worry so much about Mr. Carlton?"
Bobby had already checked back at the museum and crossed the items he was worried about off his list. There hadn't been a blip of EMF and a chat with the people who ran the place came up empty on anything weird happening.
He drove out to the airport. The place was busy, with both commercial and private planes going up. Skydiving was a big deal here and it was a rare day when no one was jumping out of a plane.
"Idjits." It wasn't that Bobby hadn't learned to sky dive. He was a hunter and he'd had to get into some weird places a time or two. But as far as doing it for pleasure? He had enough things attempting to kill him. Why should he go and give them a hand by throwing himself out of planes when he didn't need to?
He heard a snort behind him and turned to see a mechanic standing by the door to the hanger.
"Take it you've never gone up?"
Bobby smirked. "I have. Didn't make me any brighter though."
The guy gave him a return smirk. "So, can I help you with something? We're closed at the moment, so…"
Bobby took out his FBI badge and flashed it at the guy. "I'm here to discuss the accident."
Bobby froze slightly.
"Make that accidents."
They met back at the motel, all of them looking slightly shell shocked.
"From the looks on everyone's faces, I'd say we all essentially came across the same story."
They all nodded and took seats at the table.
"Tom, why don't you start?"
Surprised, Tom nodded. "Louis Crombey was attacked by some sort of sand storm that managed to get inside the glass cab of the machine he was running and sandblast him to death. I checked the maintenance logs on the CAT and they were fine. I got a look at it before I left and they're going to have to scrap it. The sand did a number on the inside of the cab. Interesting thing? The sand got in without breaking the glass and the handle on the inside and outside of the door had deeper scouring than the rest of the CAT. Almost as if the sand had grabbed it and twisted to open the cab."
"That everything?" Bobby asked.
"No. Apparently there was an incident last month. A plane sent two skydivers out over the quarry. They weren't supposed to be there. One of them made it down safely, but the other one…"
"His chute didn't open properly. Couldn't slow him down enough." Bobby finished for him.
Tom nodded. "Yeah. Guy lands in the middle of the quarry. Probably broke most of his bones and he may not have survived even with help, but… Crombey driving over him with the CAT kind of guaranteed that."
They all winced.
"In his defence, there was simply no way he could have avoided running the poor guy over."
"Yeah." Bobby agreed. "But I'm getting the feeling that the guy doesn't feel the same way about it."
"Talked to the mechanic at the hanger." Bobby told them. "Plane wasn't supposed to be over the quarry. Pilot claims mechanical error put them off course. May or may not be true. A problem with the plane did present itself and it led to the two divers baling out at the pilots insistence, even though it wasn't the safest place to do so. The pilot managed to land the plane. Suspicious part. It was a fuel line problem, looked like a rat or something got at it. Only the mechanic I spoke to said no way did he send that plane out like that. Combine that with the parachute failure and it looks like maybe somebody was trying to kill our unlucky skydiver."
Sam took over.
"Edward Grant. Accountant. Up for his first attempt at skydiving. His friend, Gene Carlton, goes up with him. From what Gene told his boss, Edward wanted to back out of the dive, Gene tried to talk him into doing it, but it was a no go."
"Until the plane looked like it was going to go down." Dean said.
Sam nodded. "Then he's got no choice. Gene apparently had to shove him out the door of the plane. And then of course, the chute didn't properly open."
Dean again. "Edward hits the ground, gets extra for sure killed by a sand grader and now, I'd say he's pissed."
They all nodded.
Dean frowned. "Why didn't we hear about any of this before?"
Tom actually knew the answer to that one and laid out a couple of photocopied newspaper articles that included a small piece about a paper wide retraction due to a printing problem. "The newspaper reported the names a few days after the incident, but a system glitch caused minor spelling errors throughout the paper the day the story ran. All of the names of the people involved, first and last, where misspelled."
Bobby gave the articles an annoyed look and shook his head. "Explains why I didn't get anything when I ran a computer search earlier. " He sighed. So, Edward's going after everyone he blames for his death. Is there anyone left?" He thought for a moment. "Other than the mechanic. Even if he didn't knowingly let the plane go up like that our ghost might have him on his list."
"Don't know." Dean said, answering him. "But, we did find out that Edward Grant was married, so we might want to keep an eye on his wife tonight, in case hubby gets lonely. We can have a chat with her tomorrow."
"Sounds like a plan." Bobby said. He looked around the room. "So, who's cooking dinner?"
Dean and Tom went out and picked up a pizza and sodas from a place nearby. The look alike cousins got more than their share of double takes from the other customers and the waiting delivery drivers. Dean flirted shamelessly with the girl at the counter, who was obviously very taken with the idea of the two of them as twins.
On the drive back to the motel, Dean chuckled. "Never occurred to me that girls would be just as interested in twins as guys tend to be."
The two of them looked at each other, both of them considering that kind of a threesome.
Dean shuddered and Tom found himself very disturbed. They looked at each other again, both speaking the same word.
They split up. Bobby and Tom were taking the wife. Sam and Dean the mechanic.
Nothing happened all night. The brothers gave up on watching the mechanic once he headed off to work and went back to the motel to shower and change into their FBI suits. Bobby was planning on waiting for them to show up at the widow's place before going back to the motel to freshen up. The boys had just pulled up behind them on the other side of the driveway when the wind picked up suddenly. Tom could feel it buffeting up against Bobby's old car, making it rock. Dean stepped out of the Impala and looked around.
And then he looked up.
Tom couldn't hear him, but it wasn't hard to read his lips when the words were probably 'Holy Shit.' Dean dove back into the car and slammed the door shut just before twister of sand came down right between the two cars.
As twisters go, it was small. Maybe eight to nine feet tall and three to four feet wide at its thickest, which thankfully was at the top. Tom could swear it looked at them, before it dismissed them and started towards the house.
Now Dean was saying 'Crap' a lot. It wasn't surprising, because so was Bobby. All four of them got out of their cars, Bobby and Dean both going for their trunks. Tom didn't see what they pulled out, because his attention was on the front door opening.
Mrs. Grant was a brunette. She stood about five foot four and had a face like a china doll. Although right now, it was a blotchy china doll. She had obviously been crying.
The whirlwind hesitated for a moment and that was all the time Bobby needed. The older hunter dashed forward and swung an iron bar through the mini twister. All motion stopped and sand rained down on the overgrown front lawn.
Quickly, they hustled the woman back into the house. Sam was left to bring up the rear, carrying some hastily grabbed supplies from the Impala.
"Who are you?" Mrs. Grant asked, her voice trembling.
Sam's supplies had included his FBI badge and he showed it to her, tossing a container of salt to his brother as he did.
"I don't understand. Why are you here?" She wrung her hands, looking lost and confused. Dean salting the doors and windows probably wasn't helping with that. Tom grabbed a second container and started working on the back of the house.
"We're investigating the death of your husband and the deaths of the people involved in his accident."
"Accident, yes it was an accident. A terrible, terrible accident."
The lady was a terrible actor.
Every man in the room looked at each other.
"Oookay." Dean said. "You maybe want to try that again. Only this time with more truth."
The woman clamped her mouth shut, the doll face suddenly turning ugly. She probably would have ordered them out of her house if it weren't for what Sam said next.
"We believe that whoever is taking revenge for your husband's death might be coming after you next."
She sputtered. "Why? I had nothing to do with that."
'Of course," Sam said, his voice placating. "But we don't believe this person is thinking clearly. So there will be a protection detail here with you until he's apprehended."
Sam said all that very nicely, but there was enough steel in his eyes that the lady simply nodded.
Bobby went upstairs and salted the windows. He also did a little discrete looking around. Sodden tissues, messy room, glass that smelled of vodka by the bedside. Everything pointed at a woman still mourning the loss of her husband a month later. So what the hell was that bit of bullshit they had just witnessed downstairs?
Shaking his head he headed back down, passing Mrs. Grant on the way as she went to get dressed. He called all three of the boys together in the living room from the different parts of the house they had chosen to watch over.
"Somebody needs to go over and continue the watch on the mechanic. If our ghost can't be with the woman he loves he might be off killing someone he hates."
By somebody going over, Tom knew Bobby meant Sam and Dean.
Bobby looked around the room for a moment and then walked over to a side table. He picked up a framed photo and passed it over to Dean. "While you're there, see if he recognizes the little lady here."
Dean glanced at the photo. It was a studio shot of husband and wife. Edward's face was so happy, it almost hurt to look at it, while Mrs. Grant… Dean had to take a moment to think of her first name. Teena. Teena Grant stood next to her husband in the photo, smiling brilliantly, but plastically.
He didn't know why exactly, but the photo disturbed him in the same way a freaky haunted item would have, even though he was certain that the thing was completely mundane. Shivering slightly he passed it on to Sam, who put it into their duffel bag.
Dean opened the door to the house and looked carefully outside.
He and his brother made their way out the entrance and across the lawn to the car. They hesitated briefly when a breeze kicked up. When nothing happened, they finished their journey, making it inside the car with a sigh of relief. With a slightly manic smile, Dean started the Impala and started driving, heading towards the airport.
Back in the house, Mrs. Grant came downstairs, having washed and dressed. The expression on her face was clear. She really didn't want them there, but she wasn't willing to confront them about it. She settled for sniffing at them and going into the kitchen to make coffee.
Tom frowned at her as she left the room. He glanced at Bobby questioningly "So, what are you thinking? Double Indemnity maybe?"
Bobby took a second to translate the movie reference into English. "Maybe. Have to see if the boys find out anything more first.