Disclaimer: Don't own them. Not for Profit Organization here…
Timeframe: Takes place in later Season Two, somewhere after 'Heart' but before 'Folsom Prison Blues'.
Author's note: This story will be completed in 10 chapters plus an epilogue. I have it pretty much completed, just a few tweaks here and there. I will post a new chapter every two days. It has been almost a year since I've posted anything and well over a year since I've posted a chapter fic. It's been a long year at my house. Anyone else feel that way?
And my deepest thanks to MAZ101, my lovely beta, who has read one chapter every month since about November. And has sometimes had to reread a couple. Thanks for sticking with me, Dollface. Oh, and I've tweaked it here and there, all mistakes are mine.
Chapter One: Vision in Sparkles
Sometimes, he still dreams of Jess.
Wrapped sleek and shiny in silk and satin, blonde curls falling towards him. Red and orange flames hugging her in close as Sam feels himself falling away. Her face stunned at what is happening around her; what is happening to her. Sam can see her mouth twitch, a curse, maybe, or a last request. He's never able to decipher it.
Sometimes, he dreams of Dad.
He hovers over him, gun melded into his hand, pointed down – pointed at Dad – square on his chest and Dad's screaming at him to pull the trigger. Begging and pleading and Sam's wavering because he can hear Dean, too. Somewhere behind him, asking him to wait. Begging and pleading in his own quiet way. He knows the final outcome. Reality vs. Fantasy. But sometimes, in his dreams, he pulls that trigger. Watches as his dad's blood runs from his body just as the flames lick Jess's face.
Sometimes he dreams of Sam.
He sees himself being summoned, requested… no, challenged to meet up with… he isn't quite sure. He can't see that far but he can feel the fear stack itself like bricks against him. It's open, this place – a building, perhaps – surrounded by a kind of field, and there's something in front of him; something that isn't man nor beast. But it's big and it bends down to get a good look at him, to breath hot on Sam's face and all he can see is red. He feels a weight heavy in his right hand and looks down to see he is holding a knife. And when he looks up again, he sees Jess. Or maybe it's Mom. Because, really, in the end, there is just no escaping any of it.
There had been a small portion of this last year where Dean could sleep peacefully, didn't have to worry about Sam waking up with nightmares, beads of sweat coating his forehead, names shouted in desperation, arms flailing wildly. Or worse, waking up to find that his brother hadn't slept at all.
Yep, that window had been pretty small. Until it cracked and shattered. Dad dying, Sam's secret outed, the killing of Madison, old Yellow Eyes and his undercover plans, Sam making Dean promise him to… He took a breath. No need to knock on that door. Hell, he thought, maybe that window hadn't shattered after all. Maybe someone had just slammed it shut.
Dean opened his eyes that morning to the sun streaming into the motel room from behind cheap plastic shades. Sam was already sitting up, the morning newspaper in his hand, coffee brewing, eyes glossy and swollen.
"Hey." Newspaper folded.
"Hey." Lips smacked together. Tongue dry as Southern Egypt. Could taste it, even. Sandy and course. Morning breath.
Last night had been hard. It started with something as tiny as a murmur. Of course, they were the tiny murmurs from Dean's brother. Murmurs that quickly changed to moans and then transformed to sounds that could be considered cries of distress. Dean knew what was coming next, but hoped Sam would take the easy road and skip it. Just wake up in a sweaty mess where Dean could pretend to sleep through all of it.
But Sam didn't do anything easy.
The first scream was more like a bark. The following screams were like Sam was watching a marathon of the Friday Night Horror Show. Which, in comparison, was probably not far off. Dean figured they'd probably both darted off their beds at the same time, Sam trying to catch his breath, Dean trying to catch Sam, neither being successful at either. Sam ended up on the floor panting, Dean a few feet away, watching Sam as though if he stared hard enough, his eyes would be able to reach out and make it all better.
Sam's air hitched and he gasped; shallow in, shaky out. Finally, a large hand reached up and grabbed hold of the flimsy mattress as he pulled, hoisting himself back on the bed. He didn't look at Dean, didn't even acknowledge him, just clumsily found his blankets, covered himself up as best as he could and flopped back down on his pillow.
Dean sat for a few minutes, listening, letting his ears reach out this time. He heard his brother's breathing slow until Sam turned to his side, cold shoulder in place, and Dean found that he could finally find his own footing and push himself off the floor. He went to the bathroom and back again. Stalled at the end of Sam's bed, just to be sure he was sleeping, and then retreated to his own.
It almost pissed him off more than it concerned him. These nightmares, this silent treatment. It wasn't as if Dean hadn't lost anyone, either. He was fully aware of the amount of loss Sam had experienced. Not just Dad. But Jess. And now Madison. And he knew the revelation that a demon – no, the demon – had special ties to Sam. Well, dammit… Dean pulled the covers up to his chin, tucked himself in. Damn Sam if he thought he had to do this all on his own. Dean lay there, looking up at the nothingness above him. The not knowing was the hardest to endure. All the cryptic messages the hardest to look past. Living like this, on the edge, with just him and Sam felt toxic sometimes. Like no matter what choice they made, it was all going to blow up anyway.
And he felt unguarded then. Abandoned and orphaned. Wondered what it was going to take for either of them to feel like they weren't going it alone.
And took back all the bad things he'd just thought of Sam.
So when Dean awoke, groggy and still craving sleep, Sam sitting like the living dead, the words, "Let's go." wasn't exactly what Dean had on the menu. Shit, they hadn't even eaten breakfast yet.
"Sam, what the hell?" Dean barked, sitting up, only to find that Sam had already packed their bags and they sat waiting on Dean, along with his brother and a clean set of clothes, which, oddly enough, had been laid out in a motherly way.
Dean blinked. "Where we goin'?" he asked because it seemed like the next appropriate question.
An exaggerated shrug was the reply followed by a set of too-tired eyes that said it all: Don't fuck with me, man. And Sam's mouth quirked into a small smile. "East."
It rang too familiar as of late. Sam having the vision of Jenny and her kids, causing them to return back to Lawrence. Then Max Miller and his brains being blown all over his stepmother's wall. And Andy and his psychic crap that twisted and bent until good led to an evil twin and Andy using a bullet to stop his brother from killing them all.
"Vision?" he inquired and Sam lifted his eyebrows back. Dean pulled on a sock. Woody fucking Woodpecker embroidered on the side. Could always hear his laugh when he put his foot inside. Thank God for the Goodwill. Loved these socks. "See much?"
A shake of the head, eyes low and away. Dean waited, but Sam wasn't offering anything more. Long pauses were one thing, but this holding everything close to the vest was another. It clawed at Dean. Scared him in ways he wasn't ready to admit yet. He'd lost his parents. His family. He wasn't going to lose Sam, too.
So, it begged the question: What the hell had Sam seen?
He needed coffee. A donut would be nice. Clear his head and try to figure out what demonic message Sam was getting this time. Stupid, fucking visions. Powers that didn't come with an on/off switch or instruction manual. Couldn't even do anything helpful with them anyways. Couldn't rip the clothes off hot girls or magically float beer out of convenience stores. Couldn't even spin a pen.
But the potential was there and once Sam figured that out…
Dean swallowed hard, forced down the lump of you're not givin', I'm not givin' in his throat, "Okay," he agreed but wondered where this road was going to lead them. "But I'm driving. You look like Mick Jagger after pulling an all-nighter."
"That ugly?" Sam asked.
It was Dean's turn to lift an all-knowing eyebrow back at his brother.
"Thanks," Sam said, just responding now, not even bothering to listen to what it was Dean was really saying.
Dean scooted his ass to the end of the bed, hauled on his jeans, and eyeballed his keys. "Wasn't a compliment." He slipped his t-shirt on over his bare chest and grabbed a to-go cup, filled it to the rim with the motel's version of Folgers and capped it. "Which way was it again?"
"Uh," Sam stood up, body sagging like an old man against his own weight. Yeah, he had the moves like Jagger. "East."
Dean hoisted his duffel in his left hand, keys and coffee in his right. It was already late morning. Sam had given him back a few hours that he'd taken from him during the night. But wherever they were running to now apparently Sam wasn't going to tell him. He sighed. "Ladies first, dude."
Dean stopped by the diner at the attached Inn on the way out. He grabbed a Styrofoam container with a cinnamon roll and a bagel. Pointed to the Lite Cream Cheese and then wondered if that was the proper way to spell Lite. Dismissed it because he didn't think so, but he couldn't be quite sure. He glanced behind his shoulder at Sam, who was slouched in the passenger seat, sunglasses half on, half off. Looked like he was sleeping off a major bender.
"He okay?" the lady behind the counter asked, counted the change back to him.
Dean pocketed it. She had checked them in. Mom and Pop joint. "Yeah," he breathed, knew it came out a little on the worried side.
She hesitated a moment and then ticked him a weak smile. "You boys be good."
That was an understatement. Dean wondered if she knew what they did. They had come back from their current hunt a couple of nights before, angry and loud. Sam had messed up. Missed a shot, almost gave Dean's hiding spot away and (most importantly) almost gotten Sam killed and… Dean shook his head. Reminded himself that that was two days ago and he needed to lighten up – liten up? – he smiled. Definitely lighten up – and let it go.
He started to head back out to the car, remembering that it had been about three weeks since Madison and just a few months since Dad and he had to let all of this roll off his back because Sam was playing the I'm not talking about this because you're not talking about this card and Dean knew it was his fault. He opened the car door and threw the container at Sam, who caught it because he never slept. Just really effing fantastic at playing possum.
Dean turned the car east and rolled down the window. It was a beautiful day. Summer was heaving, giving away to autumn, just the perfect time of year for a scenic drive.
Dean reached over, smashed the buttons on the radio until a little Johnny Cash strutted through the speakers. His hand immediately relaxed, fell loose against his thigh. Sounded good for an early afternoon stroll through the latter half of the Midwest. Headed east.
A Boy Named Sue was hitting her stride along the airwaves. At an old saloon on a street of mud… there at a table, dealing stud… sat the dirty, mangy dog that named me 'Sue'.
"This song ever made any sense to you?"
Sam's head turned to look at his brother. "Uh…"
"I mean, I get it," Dean picked it apart. "The dad knows he isn't going to stick around, he's going to take off and leave his family, so he names his kid Sue so that he'd have to fight and build character…" He paused purposefully, felt Sam's eyes on him now. "Why didn't his mother just change his name or just call him… I don't know… Joe or Charlie or something?"
Sam was quiet, thinking. Dean smiled inwardly. Yeah, that's right. One hundred thousand dollars in combined scholarships and unpaid student loans to create what could've been one great lawyer and he falls dumbly into his brother's trap of distraction.
"I don't know," Sam answered honestly. Like Dean was sincere. "Maybe his mother always wanted a little girl instead."
"Yeah, maybe." Dean looked out the window, watched nothing but dead cornfields pass by him. "You know when mom was pregnant with you, I remember hoping I'd get a sister."
Sam huffed at that.
"Glad I got my wish."
Tired or not, Sam still could pack a punch to the shoulder. Dean had to fight back the urge to rub at his bicep. Son of a bitch. The kid was all muscle. Well, muscle with a psychic conscious and a sappy heart which he tried hard not to wear on his sleeve.
"You know where we're headed?" He sighed, venturing again.
Sam shook his head.
Dean took turns watching the pavement and watching his brother. He could feel the heaviness on Sam's shoulders from across the seat. He hated this. Hated knowing that if he didn't say something, nothing would be said. Sam liked to talk the talk but he couldn't walk the walk. He'd scream at Dean until he was blue in the face to get him to talk but for Sam to open up his mouth and tell Dean how he was feeling? Hunting a nest of Vampires and decapitating them all was easier. "Sam?" he began, knew he had his brother's attention. "You alright?
It was fast, the look Sam gave Dean. A sideways glance that was so rigid, it was almost cruel.
Shit, Dean thought. He'd stepped in it. Only took a couple hundred miles to get there. Wasn't sure now if he wanted Sam to respond to him.
But he blinked long and slow, the harshness washing away quickly, being replaced by something depressing, but much worse. Dean swallowed. Sam looked dispirited.
"I just… I want these… god damn…visions to stop," he admitted quietly, gaze locked out the window. It was easier for Sam to talk about Sam without seeing Dean. "I want them to stop following me."
Dean hesitated. Hadn't really thought of Sam's superpowers as following him. He could hear more than the sorrow in Sam's words. He could hear the fear. "That why you're not sleeping?" Gave him a moment. "Because, you know, they've come to you while you're awake, too." Could hear Bobby Singer's voice in the back of his mind. Gentle. Be gentle. Don't scare him off…
"I know." It was said fast, though, and not elaborated upon and Dean knew he was already losing him. The thing was, Dean didn't know what to say to his brother anymore. Things had gotten so complicated, they had lost so much and were desperate to hold on to each other so tight that neither of them had time for psychotherapy. Sam needed to suck this up so they could move on.
"Is this about Madison?" Screw Singer. Just cut to the chase.
And that's all he needed to say. Sam's jaw worked a couple of times, teeth grinding, eyes closing and hearts pausing as Sam thrust down whatever emotion was bubbling at the surface. He released a heavy sigh, half turned to Dean and just stared. His eyes were gleaming, anger present, but harnessed and he flung an arm out.
But Sam wasn't aiming. He reached over the seat of the car and grabbed Dad's – Dean's – leather jacket and rumpled it into a ball. "Need to take a nap," he snorted.
And Dean let out a breath he didn't know he was holding onto and released his death grip on the wheel. Turned up the radio, Elton John's The Bitch is Back flooded the interior. Fucking little brothers. Hoped that Sam seriously did sleep because they both needed the break.
He could feel hot breath on his face as he opened his eyes. He wasn't able to make out anything of substance that he could see. Only that it was large, mammoth, really, and it had a definite color surrounding it: Red. Maybe like an aura. He felt the weight in his right hand, looked down to see the knife. But even that was different now. It had gotten bigger. Hell, everything had gotten bigger. And there was blood dripping everywhere.
He turned to his left. It wasn't his brother's voice, although he could see Dean on the ground, looking up, pleading. And bleeding.
"Sam." Dean's voice cracking.
But there was another guy with him. A bigger guy. And he was holding… something. He let him get closer. "Sam!" the guy was shouting. He was enormous, muscular, dark skinned, and he was holding… a bright, pink… feather?
Sam heard a huff directly in his ear, felt the knife heavy in his hand.
Then Dean. "Sam, don't you do it." And Sam felt something stab him fiercely in the stomach and he was falling and everything engulfed his vision in red.
He awoke so fast that all he had time to do was take a breath before he felt a hand on his back. He had turned away from the driver's side view and had pressed his body up against the door, cheek against the glass, the coolness from the outside teasing him to wake up. He just needed a minute. His eyes were screwed tight, visions of a dead girlfriend morphed into another girl dead from a silver bullet dancing in front of him like sugarplums. Smiles and sighs and breasts and thighs. He had to force it all back down, tuck it away someplace deep enough where Dean wouldn't see when he turned around.
"You want some coffee?" Sounded like it was right next to his ear and Sam kept his eyes closed for a few more heartbeats, tried to forget that just a dream ago, he had been engulfed in blood. His own blood.
"We still going east?" Sam asked, turning his body half way around. Saw a road sign zip past for someplace in Cleveland. Yeah, they were still going east.
"Yup," Dean answered unnecessarily. Concerned, really. All the goddamn concern.
Sam sat upright, scrubbed a hand down his face. Let himself breathe in the stale perfumes of musk and grease. Of Dean and Dad. Sam slouched in the passenger seat, watched as advertisements for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame reflected off the window. Thought it would be nice to go. Take Dean. Let him walk around the building in wonder. Put earbuds in and select Buddy Holly or Led Zeppelin. See Janis Joplin's Mercedes Benz. Look at ZZ Top's 1980's wardrobe collection. Buy a cheesy keychain from the gift shop.
But there wasn't any time. There never was. And going to the museum would've been something Dean and Dad would have liked to do. Sam wasn't much into bringing Dad's name or memory up. Wasn't sure where Dean was in his process. Stupid son of a bitch wouldn't let him in that far. Arm's distance. Everything was always at an arm's distance.
Dean had already dropped his hand from his back. Returned it to the comfort of the steering wheel. Sam caught him reading the road signs. Wondered what Dean was wondering as he checked the lowering sun on the horizon. Damn, he'd slept at least six hours. Sure as shit didn't feel like it.
"I'm sorry," Sam blurted out. Didn't mean it to be so… pathetic. Cleared his throat, pressed the heel of his foot into the floorboard for support. "I'm sorry about last night. I know I woke you up."
He saw his brother grip the wheel tighter, watched his jaw clench and unclench and finally he released a heated, "Sam…"
"I'm sorry." Said it this time with meaning. Not so pathetic, but more genuine. Because Dean was still hurting. And so was Sam and neither of them was dealing well with this bumper-to-bumper non-verbal traffic jam they had been using as a way to communicate with each other.
In other words, they were just fucking stuck.
They were close to exiting through the tail end of Cleveland, all the tell-tell signs alerting them to Stop Now because it would be 50 miles until their next chance for gas. Coffee. Food. All of which they needed and Dean flicked on the blinker, took the last exit. Sam watched as the billboards gave way to a few trees and he was seeing more fields than buildings.
"Where the hell's the gas station?" Sam inquired, which got a pissed off response from Dean. He looked down at his wristwatch. It was after 7pm. They'd missed dinner and Sam had missed lunch – Dean most likely, too. Sam's stomach was calling out to let him know it was angry and hungry. He shifted in his seat, tried to stretch his cramped legs. Sighed heavily because all this driving only made him realize that right at that moment, he missed his home with Jess. Or just missed a home.
A dog suddenly ran out in front of the road. Dean slammed on the brakes, forcing Sam to brace his weight with his right hand, fingers clutched into the dashboard as everything slowed quickly. Sam could see the brown and white flash in front of them, barking its head off, and race over to a distant sign – another fucking billboard – telling weary travelers to kick their boots off and come down the road a couple more miles.
Apparently there was one of Cleveland's finest strip joints dead ahead. The sign was plastered with a life-size woman dressed in a tight, glittery corset, fishnet legs that led to red sparkly shoes. Sitting on her head of blonde curls, she wore a hat. Feathers of every color erupting from the top. She clenched one single, bright, pink, fuzzy feather tight in her teeth. Next to that was a thought bubble that scantly read: "Grrrrr"
"Holy shit." Sam heard Dean breathe.
Sam stilled, blinked for a moment at the hideous sign. It really was a sight for sore eyes. The photo was too big for the billboard so it caused the model's features to blur. She was apparently supposed to resemble somebody – Marilyn Monroe, maybe – but she looked more like Anna Nicole after a really, really bad binge. The words were all in a different font, making it hard to read, and that damn dog kept barking at it, like the sign had kicked it. Or stolen its bone.
Sam zeroed in on the pink feather. "Go," he ordered. Okay, it was a flimsy whisper of an order, but still.
"What?" Dean asked and Sam glanced over. Dean was focused on the billboard. Or the woman gracing it. Well, this should make his day.
Sam pointed a long finger straight ahead. "We're going."
"Where?" Dean's eyes twinkled.
Sam eyed the billboard, couldn't help but notice the feather again, and then with more confidence. "There."
Dean frowned at him. Immediate suspicion. "You mean," and he had to say it to make it true, "your freaky visions have landed us a gig at a strip club?"
Sam chuckled half-heartedly as Dean hit the gas. "I guess so," he said, letting the Impala drag them to what was beyond the advertisement, leaving the woman and the dog behind to hash out their differences. He took in a shaky breath and held it, remembering the heat from his vision, knowing that it belonged to something of immense mass. A dark beast, perhaps. Or maybe an enormous man. Whatever it was… Sam swallowed, glanced over at his brother. Dean drove down the road, a smile slanted across his face said it all: Naked women.
Shit's gonna hit the fan, Sam thought as he looked back out the window. Because Dean was going to go ballistic when he found out that this wasn't a vision of Sam and Dean racing to the rescue and saving someone from a horrible death. Nope. Sam was pretty sure when he dreamed, it didn't have anything to do with dead girlfriends at all. He was dreaming of his own death.
The parking lot was already packed when they pulled up and people had resorted to park in a nearby wheat field. At least eighty cars in the front and Dean noticed there were a few more nestled away in the back. The place was pretty big, kind of stood out like a sore thumb out in the middle of nowhere. Definitely a place one would have to know about and seek out, not a place anyone would just normally stumble upon.
They got out and walked in tandem to the door. Passed a couple of guys walking away from the club, exchanged friendly hellos. The outside was covered in concrete, the only windows high above the ground, a very discreet look to it, with the exception of the hot pink sign running from the roof to the door announcing that the club's name was "Knucker".
Dean nudged him. "Knucker. You know, rhymes with –"
"You smell that?" Sam interrupted as they walked up the two steps to the door.
Dean inhaled. Plain old air. Had a country vibe to it out this far, though. "No. You smell something?" he asked because if he didn't Sam wouldn't offer anything on his own. Sam was just off. Too much loss will do that to a person.
"I don't know." Sam sniffed again. "Kind of smells bad. Like something decaying."
"Probably a ton of raccoons and field mice out there," Dean commented. Then, knowing this was Sammy and that he had once again lead them here just by his 6th sense alone, reluctantly he added, "Want to, you know, go check it out?" Hoped his lousy brother would decline because they were right on the doorstep to a warehouse full of strippers.
But Sam was already turning back around. "No, the scent's not that strong. May be a little ways off. Let's just get a look at the inside."
They opened the double doors, took a step in and immediately Dean could feel the base of the music against his ribs. Whump-Whump. It was so loud. Boom-Boom. It was hard to catch his breath. Hard to tell where the drum solo ended and his heartbeat began.
Sam started walking through a maze of people, though. So Dean followed. There were people everywhere. Dudes standing, drinking beers, girls sitting on their laps, taking sips afterwards. Some were on dates, others were mingling, some were girls from the club, pleasing their customers. Lap dances and dollar bills being strapped in places Dean couldn't wait to touch.
This is awesome, he thought as they tramped up to the bar. Sam ordered a water and a Blue Moon, Dean knew exactly what was for him and what was for Sam. Sometimes the kid was a good brother. They got their drinks and leaned against the polished wood of the bar, taking in the rest of the place.
This had to be one of the flashiest strip clubs Dean had ever been in. Everything was over the top. There was a stage toward the front of the building, which currently housed a half dozen dancing girls on it. But they weren't clothed in bras and underwear – they were dressed in glittery dresses, every color of the rainbow, feathers coming out the hats on their heads, beads on their arms, high-heeled boots, and legs that went on forever. Able to wrap around a decent sized fella a couple of times.
"Look," Dean elbowed his brother, quietly gesturing to a tall girl walking by dressed like Madonna from the '90's with a pointed bra covering her boobs and her hair rolled into a tight bun that cascaded blonde strands off the back.
There was a disco ball twirling high above the stage, spotlights dancing merrily to the hum of the music. Dean pointed out Marilyn Monroe and Cher and kind of grimaced when he noticed Judy Garland's daughter walk by (could never remember her name) and for some odd reason, Joan Rivers. He wasn't too sure what was sexy about either of them.
But then the lights dimmed low and the crowd released a deafening roar. There was a few seconds of hands clapping and feet stomping, whistles piercing the air before the announcer's voice echoed over it all: "You want her?"
The crowd went wild. The bartender went wild. Hell, Madonna went wild. They all started chanting one name: "EVA! EVA! EVA!"
And for one split second, Dean found himself go wild. He whistled and applauded and his mind could only think of one thing: Eva Longoria.
Sammy was the best brother in the world. He was also eying him like he had gone crazy so Dean returned the look.
"What are you doing?" Sam yelled over the mantra.
Dean leaned closer. "Enjoying the moment!" Because sooner or later Sam would remind him they were there on a job and if they didn't concentrate on the task at hand, all these lively lovely ladies could become dead lovely ladies.
"Dean," Sam started, "You know this –"
But he was cut off as the announcer laughed at the standing crowd. "Back after such heartbreak…" the crowd quieted, gave sympathetic Aw's… "But stronger than ever…" Hoots and hollers commenced. "So, without further ado, here she is: the unstoppable, the immeasurable… EVA DESTRUCTION!"
Velvet purple curtains lined with a shimmering pink ribbon smoothly pulled to the sides as one perfect spotlight landed on the center of the stage. The sound of a piano plucked a familiar tune and as the lights turned up, Dean found the perfect hole where he could see over the bar patrons' heads. There she was, a vision in sparkles, the rhinestones on her white dress catching every beam that was pointed at her. She strolled her way down the runway, dark skin basking in the light, her black curly hair almost resembling a shadowy halo behind her.
Dean raised his beer to his lips when she stopped. Her chocolate eyes scanned the room and she eyed him from where she was, smiled sweetly and Dean couldn't help but let a small grin pass. He took a drink as she put the microphone up to her mouth and in one breath her powerful voice brought the audience screaming again: "First, I was afraid. I was petrified. Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side."
Dean felt the flow of the beer skid to a halt in his throat.
Eva Destruction took a few steps down a couple of stairs and was unexpectedly standing amongst the audience. They were going fucking nuts. But she parted the crowd and started to walk. "But I spent so many nights, thinking how you did me wrong. And I grew strong…" flexed her heavyweight muscles. "I learned how to carry on…"
Dean felt his heart plummet to his stomach, bounce there like a basketball, and then spring back to his chest. He swallowed down the stuck beer and stood gaping at the large woman walking to him. He sized her up quickly. She was taller than Sam by a good two inches.
"And so you're back! From outer space!" The music changed up, a whimsical revenged- beat to it, as the audience became even louder. "I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face!"
If he could have taken off right then, he would have. Would've bolted. But Dean could feel Sam still next to him and he chanced a look, only to find that Sam was staring at Eva with a recognition on his face and Dean understood that Sam had seen her before. Whatever had led them to this place in the middle of nowhere outside of Cleveland, this… stripper was part of the key.
"I should have changed my stupid lock. I should have made you leave your key. If I had known for just one second, you'd be back to bother me…"
Wait. Dean blinked. He knew this song. His eyes skated the room again, this time slowing things down. Not missing anything. The open mouths of the customers, the drinks they were holding. He had a beer. The dude to his right had some kind of lemonade drink with one of those fancy umbrellas in it. The lady to his left – no, it wasn't a lady, it was a guy – he had a drink with fruit and whipped cream. He recognized Madonna and her tight leotard. Joan Rivers, for whatever reason wasn't far off, and Judy Garland's daughter – what was her name? Was standing next to… Diana Ross?
And then Eva was right in front of him, a large hand over Dean's head, manicured red nails resting on the back of his neck pulling him toward her seductively as she belted, "Did you think I'd crumble? Did you think I'd lay down and die?"
Up close and personal, Dean could see the make-up coating her eyes, her cheeks ruddy from too much rouge, the creases of her smile outlined by cakey-powder of a thickly applied base foundation. Under it all, he could see signs of stubble.
He wasn't going to run. He was going to throw up. Breathe, Dean counseled himself.
"Oh no, not I! I will survive! As long as I know how to love, I know I will stay alive! I've got all my life to live, I've got all my love to give and I'll survive! I will survive!" and the entire audience chimed in with an excited, "HEY! HEY!"
Eva let Dean go with a hefty clap on his shoulder, paused to lift plucked brows to Sam's stony face and abruptly turned to her fans, the crowd going berserk in her presence. Men screamed like little girls. Women shrieked with delight. Sequins and tinsel seemed to follow her as she walked away, her dark brown voice low as she climbed back up the stairs.
Dean felt a heavy hand on his shoulder and let out an embarrassing yelp as he flipped around. The bartender stood, arms out in defense. "Sir," he called over, handing Dean a glass, "Miss Eva has chosen you! The drinks are on the house!"
Dean reluctantly took the proffered cocktail, pink with cherries decorating it, and let it sloppily slide into his mouth. It was bubbly. Tasted just like cherry-cola. Cautiously, he wondered what exactly he had been chosen for? Sam was usually the chosen one.
"Dean – " Sam started but Eva was finished with Gloria Gaynor and she had quickly sashayed her way into It's Raining Men.
He didn't mean to slam the drink on the counter, but it ended up sloshing on his hand as he looked hard at his brother. "Sam!" He felt the Whump-Whump of the music fill his chest again and thought maybe this time it was mocking him. "What kind of strip club is this?"
But Sam's eyes were wide and wild. And Dean knew it wasn't because of the dancing or their current company. It was because whatever Sam had seen, it had once again been confirmed by the presence of Eva. Nothing they ever did happened to them because of chance. Still, he lifted a shoulder to Dean like he didn't want to answer that question. For Sam, it wasn't about the club. It was about her.
Dean's eyes swung back to Eva, her red lips overpowering the size of the microphone. Her shoulders were broad; her biceps as big as cantaloupes, and her chin was solid, teasing the viewer to follow down her neck to her large… Adam's apple.
Dean shifted closer to Sam. "You know, your ESP, super-human-tricky-powers? They suck ass!" He then wanted to eat that last word as the dancers on stage with Eva suddenly dropped their drawers, exposing beautifully waxed rumps to the audience.
It was all insane and Dean would have took off right then and there had it not have been for the fact that Sam was caught up in it all, further than either of them knew, and he was shaking next to him.
There was a small burst of red and orange pyrotechnics on stage next to the performers, signaling the song was concluding. Dean jumped at the explosion, his face automatically turning up with childhood delight as it was coupled with smoke and fire, impressive for a group of female impersonators.
And exactly what was needed to send Sam over the edge and through the crowd and Dean cursing as he abandoned his fruity drink and tried to just keep up.
Boy Named Sue performed by Johnny Cash
The Bitch is Back performed by Sir Elton John
I Will Survive performed by Gloria Gaynor
It's Raining Men performed by Weather Girls