Sorry I dashed this one super fast, but I wanted it done before the weekend started.
Thanks to zephyr_hb for the Spanish translations! I want you to feel as displaced as Dean feels right now, so please this chap all the way through, there's an english version at the end.
That genderswap romance scene at the end? Yeah I was super, duper high when I thought of it.
Notes: Sam is dead and his body stolen by monsters, but a lady rigged a phone so Dean could talk to him while they go in search of Sam's body.
The girl they are about to visit is a hunter married to a Funtown man, a monster that drives you mad if you look at it's face.
Dean pressed a tree branch to one side, then scooted back to whisper into the phone.
"Dean what's wrong?"
"She don't have any clothes on."
"Yeah I can see that."
"And she's got pie cooling on the window sill," he said, horrified, "I don't wanna to take pie from a girl after seeing her naked."
"Actually I'm pretty sure that's what everyone wants."
"Fuck you man I'm serious."
Dean turned to watch her out of the corner of his eye, the pond rippling silver beneath the cloudy sky.
She ducked her head and whipped back a rope of thick, black hair in a watery arc, fingers combing it flat against her skull as she began to sing. Cupping water to her face, she spread it across her chest and arms over and over, not bathing so much as genuflecting, her words echoing in the silent glade. The pond was shallow, stopping just below her dimpled hips, and she waited until the water stilled and her reflection focused beneath her.
Dean went back to the phone. "You say something Sammy?"
"Dean, there's a ghost in that grain field yonder. She's singing to him," he said, his voice strange, "And he's...waiting for her."
"To do what?"
Sam hesitated. "Nothing good."
"It don't sound like English."
"It's not. When Big Sister came for me, the woman from Funtown sang something like that."
"What's she saying?"
"I don't know. But it's the same language."
Dean couldn't see her face. "Is she human?"
"Yeah, but she's a hunter, so watch it."
The house, a tin-roof cottage on cinderblocks, was set back from the road, surrounded by a white fence with a bell over the gate and a piece of string running all the way to the front door. Except for the grain field on it's eastern edge, all of the land behind it was flooded, black tree limbs peaking out from brown water. Hiding the phone, lantern, and gun inside his jacket cum rucksack, Dean slung it over one shoulder and rang the bell.
He shaded his eyes. "Anyone home?"
He waited, and after a minute the door opened and a hand reached for the string. A chill wind touched Dean, and he turned to Sam with a leer.
"Monster wives," he said, "Ya think maybe you two got a booty call in common?"
Her blindfold was hand-made, gray muslin sewn over cardboard and rounded against her cheekbones like a carnival mask. She had an apron tied over her white sleeveless dress, but otherwise wore nothing, large, ripe breasts bouncing beneath her apron, brown feet spread across the grass as she made her way toward him with one finger trailing the string. A flock of blackbirds exploded from the grass around her, swirling skyward. When she stood on tiptoes to put her hands on either side of Dean's face for a kiss, he saw the outline of a butcher's knife in her apron pocket, and gently pushed her back.
"Do I know you?" he asked, her hands warm on him.
Her brow furrowed. "Cómo es que llegaste a la frontera sin rostros por tí mismo?"
"I'm sorry," he said a little nervously, "I don't speak Spanish."
Setting his thumb and forefinger on the edges, he pulled the blindfold away, white ribbons sliding over her serene face. She waited a moment before opening her eyes.
"Why do you wear this?" he asked.
She ignored him and looked at a spot two feet behind him. "Ah, tu esposo esta muerto. Lo lamento."
He looked at his side then back at her. "Can you see Sam?"
"El debe quedarse fuera," she said, holding up a finger, "Hay una maldición en la casa, y ademas, un hombre muerto arruinaría mi comida."
Her words rolled over him like a cotton sheet, soft, meaningless poetry, the same as cowboys he'd come across whenever John took jobs by the Llano, and he found himself hypnotized by her beauty. She wound an arm around his waist, her hot breath on his lips, and waiting for him to exhale she came away with his .45.
"Hey give it back!" he said, but she was spun away and pointed it at him.
"No he visto un cazador en siglos," she said, closing her left eye and drawing a bead on him, "Tiene mucho rebote?"
Raising it to the sky, she fired off five rounds, her arm straight, smoke curling from the barrel. When the sound died, she pulled up the hammer, and blackbirds fell to the ground. Four were cut into two halves, but one tried to escape, and she crushed it's skull with her bare heel.
One bullet to go. he thought, wishing she'd grabbed his hair and fuck his mouth right there in the yard, Man they don't make girls like that where I come from.
"Malditas avez negras," she said, returning his gun, "Siempre se comen el pie."
And taking his hand she led him through the gate, her arms wirey with muscle and smelling of bacon grease. He set his shovel against the side of the house, and followed her into a dining room bare save for a table, two chairs, and a trapdoor with a brass handle.
She pulled out a chair. "Sientas."
In was hotter inside than out, woodsmoke fogging the corners of the room. There were only two doors leading from this part of the house, a small bedroom on his right, and what he presumed was the kitchen connected to the dining room by a massive stove. She opened the trapdoor and pulled a jar from a hole in the ground.
"It that made from cornhusks?" he asked, as she offered the mescal, "I don't sit well with moonshine, drink enough and your nipples will sprout fur like greasy little mushrooms."
But he thanked her and took a sip, choking it down before he had time to cough. She poured a glass full for herself, and drank it straight down as if it were water.
"You shouldn't be alone out here," he said, eyeing the shadow of the butcher's knife in her apron, "This is the first house I've seen in miles. You should have dogs or a gun or something."
She smacked her lips and wiped her mouth on her bare arm. "La abuela me cuida."
"Where's your husband?" he asked, holding up his ring for a visual aid.
"Lo mate," she said, pointing to the grain field, "Su sangre riega la tierra."
He smiled, thinking her husband was out tilling the soil. "Well I won't keep you too long," he said, reaching for the bottle again, "Have you seen a funeral pass by?"
When she didn't understand, he got up to the woodstove and pulled out a bit of charcoal.
"They came two days ago," he said, drawing black figures on the floor, a monster funeral procession with him and Sam in the center, "They took my friend's body and I need it back."
"¿Estaban usando flores?"
She took the charcoal and drew little flowers around the caricatures' heads, and he nodded. Sketching a winding road, she marked the path with various land features and ended with a tree at a crossroads, adding an arrow pointing north. She X-ed the tree, but then he saw it was a stick figure hanging from a limb.
"Ve más halla del árbol colgante, lo llevaran a la calle del Eco," she said, putting the jar to his lips, "Siempre encuentras cadaveres ahí."
He swallowed some more, easier this time but still stronger than what he was used to. "Is he there?" he asked, drawing little crosses on a cartoon hill to imitate a graveyard, "Where do they take the dead?"
She studied it for a moment, and then laid a finger on the byre. "Quién es el hombre muerto?"
"His name is Sam," said Dean, drawing a picture of Sam and a black queen holding hands inside a heart, "He was supposed to marry the Queen in Black, but he died."
"La reina negra?" she said, her eyebrows drawing up, "Eso es malo."
She stood up to tend to the stove, cinders flashing in her black eyes as she prodded the logs.
"No debes estar en la calle del Eco," she warned, the poker glowing red, "Sam a acordado cazarse con la reina, y solo su verdadera esposa puede despertarlo. Ella es poderosa, pero no vendrá."
"Look, talk to Sam," he said, pulling his phone from his jacket, "Maybe he can understand you..."
She lay down the poker. "No lo encontrarás. Los árboles no te dejarán pasar," she said louder, her arms raised, fingers curling into claws, "La abuela no te dejará pasar."
He pressed his lips together. "Please? Just talk to him?"
Dropping her hands, she shut the oven door, and put the reciever to her ear. "Hola?"
Dean waited, looking around the room to see if Sam would push a penny or scrawl his name in a fogged window.
She held the phone away. "Tu télefono está roto."
Dean looked up. "What did he say?"
"No hay nadie," she said, handing it back, "Estas solo."
He spoke into the phone. "Sam? Sammy?" When no one answered, he realized the constant hum of Sam's presence, like a headache after a hot day, was no longer there, and his gut tightened.
"Sssh," she said, putting a finger to his lips, "No estés triste. Hay un lugar para ti."
"Debes estar hambriento," she said, pointing at his stomach, "Te are pie."
Pie! he thought. "You have something to eat?" he asked, suddenly hungry again.
"Wait here." she said, and slipped into the kitchen. She was careful to open it only as much as she needed to enter so that he couldn't see in, but when she returned with a steaming pie platter pressed against her bosom, his erection hit the underside of the table so fast it left a dent. She spread a red-checked towel and set it before him.
"I don't wanna eat...all of this." he said, with a sloppy smile, "Where's the fork?"
She said nothing and sat opposite him, drinking the remainder of the mescal. There was a good pint left, but she only stopped once, to wipe the tears from her eyes. She watched him over the lip of the jar with a mixture of relief and regret, as if Dean were the last chore on her list, but he could not read her intent. Then setting it down, she motioned for him to eat and went back into the kitchen.
He looked at the pie. He was so drunk and the house was so fucking hot he didn't know if he'd be able to keep it down. "Hey, um, I don't wanna sit by myself."
The kitchen opened. Dean looked up and...wasn't sure what he was seeing. Some instinct told him to be still, for he was a guest in a monster's home, and worse he was in the Deep South. Be polite. Stone Love had warned him. He smiled and laid a hand on his .45 under the table.
It was as if a giant had been deboned and fastened to the ceiling. A great pink, pulsing amniotic sac of scar tissue that filled the room, bulging in the center and mottled with dark patches like the side of a jersey cow. It had no face, it had no muscles. It smelled like a Christmas ham.
What do you think they eat in Funtown? Sam's words echoed in his head.
She stood framed inside the door, wiping her hands on her apron, a distracted habit of domestic routine. Pulling the butcher's knife from her pocket, she stretched her arm until she stood on tiptoe, her eyes locked on Dean's, face tilted sideways to gaze at him through her black lashes.
She's going to kill me, Dean thought, his brain floating on mescalin, Monster Husband is due back home soon and he'll be expecting dinner. He thought back to the kiss she'd given him upon arriving, and already wished for another.
She pushed the blade into the mass, all the way to the hilt, holding it there to savor the moment. And withdrawing it, she stepped away before the sac tore like cheap leather, and a red waterfall rushed across the floor over her feet and toward Dean in a wave of hot pickled meat.
The apron hit the floor. Her arm fell gracefully to her side, the knife glittering as she moved. Climbing onto the table, she knelt down before him and plunged her hands into the lattice crust, pulling up great gobs of cherries.
"Come ahora," she said, touching his mouth with the flat of the knife, "Cuando seas un fantasma, soñarás con esto y todas las otras cosas que amaste."
She offered up her hand, sweet, red fruit dripping from it like a Mayan sacrifice. He didn't look away, taking her fingers into his mouth to suck them clean, breathing hard through his nose. Her body was round and ripe beneath the dress, drawing in close for another kiss, smelling of love and charnelhouses, and his lips parted to meet her, hungry, tired, eager to be touched. But Sam's face rose up in his mind, and he stopped. He turned away.
"You are beautiful," he said, his eyes hard, "No one could say otherwise."
He put a hand on her cheek. "But you are not mine, and I must go back on the road now. For there's only one thing in the world that can plug this hole in my heart and I will not make him wait another hour."
And still in his chair, he snatched the jar and cracked it against the side of the table, a long jagged shard in his hand. "So," he said, a wild glee leaping up in him, "Wanna fight?"
There was barely six inches space between them, but she hauled back and buried the knife in the table an inch from his hand had been. He sprang away, thinking he could get to the door, but unable to pull the knife loose, she lifted the entire table off the floor and flung it at him. Wood planks exploded everywhere, and he crashed into the wall in a cloud of plasterdust.
Dean stood up, holding his bruised shoulder. "I don't wanna...hurt you," he gasped, "Holy shit you're strong."
She didn't wait. Scooping up the knife, she planted one foot on the back of the remaining chair and launched herself at Dean, knees tucked into her body like a dancer, scraping the ceiling as the blade arced toward his prone form. He managed to roll away a second before she took out a chunk of the floor.
"Sam," he hissed, fumbling for the glass shard, "Where the hell are you?!"
He held up the chair lion-tamer-style, hoping to fend her off long enough so he could back into the door. Training at Big Sister meant she would kick his ass in close confines, but if he could get outdoors...
Then he stopped breathing. He looked down and found her arm attached to him, for she'd punched through the chair seat and grabbed his throat. He choked for air, scratching at her hand for a few seconds, then finally set his boot against her chest and heaved her away.
She lay on the floor, her dressed hiked up over her thighs, and he fell to his knees to pin her wrists down. The knife clattered against the floor, but he had leverage on his side.
"Fuckin'...bitch...," he whispered, her hips twisting beneath his, "Why you so set on killin' me today?"
He could feel her nakedness beneath the dress, her skin hot against his, the shape of her young body, and for some reason it brought back memories of sparring with John. But when he kissed her, she bit his tongue and spat a red mouthful in his face.
"Aah fuck I can't see..."
He grabbed her hair and began to drag her to the window, thinking he could take the fight outside that way, blood and guts sloshing in their wake, but just as he was about to push her out she grabbed him by the glass shard and pulled herself back inside.
He stared at her wounded hand. "The fuck is wrong with you, don't you feel that?"
It happened so fast. She swung at him with a right hook, he ducked, and when he stood up again he had stabbed her. Five or six inches, right in the honey spot between the ribs.
"Oh shit," he said, letting go of the shard, "I was just gonna cut you..."
She looked at him, a little disappointed, and broke off the outermost part of the glass, tossing it to the corner of the room.
"You can't do that..." he said vaguely, casting about for another weapon.
But she can do that. he thought, remembering the Hell Hound the other girls had to fight back at Big Sister. He was a cakewalk in comparison, and jogged sideways to the knife with this thought to keep him warm.
I have to live, I have to get Sam, he thought to himself, wrapping his fingers around the handle, Anything goes at this point.
It wasn't a throwing knife so much as a brick with a sharp end, but he threw at her, hoping for a feint so he could get his gun. But she didn't feint. She didn't budge.
The knife stopped a foot behind her, shivering in the windowframe. Blood spurted on the ceiling. She stared impassively at her left arm, hanging by a thin flap of skin, and then that too ripped and the whole limb fell to the floor. Dean covered his mouth and began to scream.
"Holy...shit I didn't mean to do that," he said, walking up to her with bloody hands outstretched, "Let me belt that off baby girl, if you have a needle and thread-"
She cut him off with a look. Bending down and lifting the knife with her good arm, she cut off the now useless left thumb and stuck it in the artery, slapping it in like a wine cork. The other veins could wait. She was a little gray, but otherwise unchanged.
"That's good, that's real good baby," he said, panic welling in him, "Now I know that has to hurt, so why don't you lay in bed while I-"
Waiting until he was close enough, she punched him between the eyes, circled behind him, and began to choke him with a broken chair leg. He gasped for breath, his eyes stinging, and hunched over for his jacket. If she felt any pain she did not show it.
Get the gun, get the gun, where's the fucking gun. he thought desperately.
Feeling the jacket, he flipped her over his shoulder and sprinted for the door, leaving a bloody wake behind him. He grabbed his shovel and waited until he was at the gate before pulling out the .45, afraid even dropping it in that place would be risky.
"Sam?" he said, and cold air brushed him, "I got reasons for doing this, just so you know."
She marched toward him, slower now, the butcher's knife in her right hand. He breathed in, and leveling the gun with both hands he aimed for the cookstove and fired his last bullet. Live charcoal burst forth and the whole house went up, her form backlit for an instant before disappearing in a greasefire mushroom cloud.
The heat singed his face, and he backed up more and more as the fire ballooned out, afraid she might actually walk out of that. He looked over his shoulder an instant to see her wreathed in flames, and he grabbed the phone from his jacket.
"Sammy, don't get mad at me," he said, "Pretty sure she was killin' folks and storing the bodies to feed her kin."
"Later, you have to hide in the pond, they won't find you there."
Dean stopped. "Who, her husband?"
"Her children," said Sam, "They're going to be born today, and they're going to feed."
"She didn't look pregnant."
"She will be."
He stuffed the phone back and kept running, when he heard horse hooves behind him. "What the hell...?"
A black stallion came galloping round the back of the house. Dean thought it might have been a plough animal panicked by the fire, until he saw her. She sat atop it's back, smoke coiling from her body, hair lashing in the wind, and with the reins between her teeth and a lasso in her good hand, she whirled the rope in the air and brought it down over him on the first try. He got another few steps before she pulled it taut and he fell on his ass, bloodying his mouth on the way down.
She dragged her hostage to the grain field, hobbling both him and the horse to a tree. She had little strength now, but more than enough to secure his hands. Ash drifted over them as the house, as everything she owned, burned, but she was dying, and she bore it's loss philosophically.
"Sam," Dean whispered, as she left him and walked into the field, "Can you untie me?"
Cold hands worked the knot as she unbuttoned her dress one-handed and let it fall to the ground, wheat parting around her as she began to sing in that alien tongue.
"Hurry the hell up, she's doing something."
Though the sky had been nothing but rainclouds since Dean had arrived in the Bluff, the wheat lit up gold as if sunkissed, underlighting her face until she was radiant. Dean pulled free of the rope and snuck toward the water, one eye trained on her in case she noticed his absence.
He pulled out the phone as he ran. "That ghost in the field, is he doing all that?"
"Dean, get in the fucking water already."
Dean stopped and watched the girl, his hand shaking. "What's happening to her?"
Back in the field, hundreds of tiny orbs of light floated from the earth, hanging above her as delicate as dew on a spiderweb. Occasionally one would bump another, and ring out with a silvery ting. She put out her hand to touch them, tears running down her cheeks, but she was happy and she'd done this one thing before dying. And closing her eyes she opened her mouth wide, and the lights flew down her throat in a white funnel, filling her lungs, until they were all inside her, and her eyes snapped open with the first expression of pain Dean had seen so far.
"He's getting her pregnant." said Sam.
She disappeared into the wheat, a geyser of blood shooting upwards as a swarm of Funtown children rose in the air like carnivorous flies. The horse whinnied, and seconds later they swarmed round it, stripping it down to bone.
"Dean!" Sam shouted, and Dean remembered where he was. He pelted toward the pond, sucking in a big lungful and diving headfirst. He'd been running so long he didn't know how long his air would last, but years of training kicked in, and he let himself sink until his back hit rocks, the receiver still pressed to his ear.
"You're good," Sam assured him, "Just wait. Wait."
He waited. The water was too muddied to see through, but the swarm was moving on, and Sam's voice calmed him. He ached all over from the fight, and his first thought was, Well at least I got a bath.
Holy shit I nearly died. was his second thought. If he died in the Bluff, would John ever find his body?
His third thought was, Sam wanted to marry into that?
"Safe?" Dean asked, lifting his head above the water.
"Yeah, I think so."
When it was dark, Dean stopped beside a hollow tree and threw himself down to sleep.
"Well at least we got a plan now," he said, pulling off his boots, "Can't be too many hanging trees in this country."
"One would hope."
Dean touched his shoulder and winced. "That was a helluva fight, for a girl."
"She married a creature," said Sam, "She had to be tough."
"Think all the hunters here are that fuckin' scary?"
"She did what she thought she had to for her family," said Sam, "I mean, what would you do if someone threatened your wife?"
Dean snorted. "Hey Sammy," he asked, staring at the ground, "How we gonna get home?"
"I don't know," Sam admitted, "Gotta be some other way back, some thin place where this Florida touches the real one."
Dean thought about this, not wanting to admit how displaced he felt in this strange country. He folded his hands beneath his head, hoping he would not dream of fire. Sam sat beside him, unseen and unbearably lonely. Dean fidgeted in his sleep, and Sam wondered what he was running from.
"It's okay," he whispered in Dean's ear, "You don't have to be afraid."
He studied Dean's face. Last night's possession had been a disaster, but Dean had been awake then. He wondered...
Sam lay his hand on Dean and opened his eyes inside a dream.
Sam was alone, back in the Nevada desert, but not where he had been buried. This was a wide, featureless vista framed by purple mountains, the earth cracked like old paint, and when he lifted his hand he found he was holding a movie ticket. He looked around, and an art deco movie theater stood before him with halogen lights blinking around the marquee. A Mexican telenovela entitled INVITACION AL AMOR was playing today.
Inside, it was quiet, and when he approached the concession stand a shadow passed him a box of chocolate mints. Sam thanked him and walked through a thick felt curtain to the theater, where Dean sat in the center row. He sat beside him, the lights dimming as the screen began to count backwards.
Dean smiled at him, but distantly, and turned back to watch the opening credits. Sam took his seat as a heart grew from the center of the screen and opened onto a tree-lined hacienda, where a masked hero sat astride his horse and peered toward a bedroom window.
"Dean," Sam asked, squinting at the screen, "Why are you a girl?"
Senorita Dinah lay sleeping in her four-poster bed, caramel curls fanned across the pillow, long lashes against her cheeks beneath a burning candleabra. A wedding dress stood on a headless mannequin in the corner.
Suddenly the a wind cut across the room and the candles blew out, pitching her into darkness as she sat clutching the sheet to her nightgown.
She spoke in Spanish, and subtitles popped up at the bottom of the screen. "Who's there?"
The curtains flew apart, and there he stood, silvered in moonlight. She flew towards him, resting her hands on his chest. "I thought you were dead!" she said, "I thought you were lost to me!"
He tipped her head back, running a thumb over her chin. "You waited for me."
Tears sparkled in her eyes. "No, I didn't," she said, "I'm to wed the Don at sunrise."
"You don't have to see that sunrise," he said, and she saw that his shirt was soaked in blood, "Come with me. Let us never be apart."
She backed away, crossing herself. "Would that I could go with you," she said, the wedding dress in the background, "But I am strapped to fortune's wheel, forever hostage to my destiny."
Though she pulled away, he took her hand and kissed it, speaking in a warm baritone Sam recognized at last. "Beautiful women die every day."
John. Sam thought bitterly, looking sideways at Dean. He couldn't see the man's face, but he knew it for a certainty.
Trembling, she let herself be gathered in his arms, a doll in his embrace. He can't kiss her, Sam thought, What happens when he kisses her?
"Dean!" Sam yelled.
Dean started, wide awake. Remembering where he was, he reached for the phone. "What's wrong?"
"We need to keep moving," said Sam, inventing wildly, "The swarm might come this way."
Dean yawned, the last stars fading from the morning sky. "Yeah okay." he said, smiling at something.
"What's so funny?"
"Nothing, just something while I asleep."
"Really it's stupid. Maybe it's this place but..." said Dean, grabbing his shovel and heading toward the road, "I just can't remember the last time I had a good dream."
When they first meet. "How did you get to the Bluff by yourself?"
She looks at Sam's ghost. "Ah, your husband is dead. I am sorry for you."
She points to Sam's ghost. "He must stay outside. There is a curse on the house, and besides dead men would spoil my cooking."
She takes Dean's gun. "I haven't seen another hunter for ages. Does it have much kick?"
After she shoots the gun. "Damn blackbirds. They always eat the pie."
When Dean expresses concern for her safety. "I have Grandmother to watch me."
When Dean asked about the whereabouts of her husband. "I killed him. His blood waters the earth."
When Dean describes Sam's funeral. "Were they wearing flowers?"
Giving Dean directions to Sam's body. "Go past the Hanging Tree, they would have taken him to Echo Street. You always find bodies there."
Pointing to the picture of Sam. "Who's the dead man?"
When she discovers Sam is engaged to wed a powerful monster. "The Queen in Black? That is unlucky."
Upon realizing that Dean is on a dangerous quest to find Sam's body. "You have no place at Echo Street. Sam is contracted to wed the Queen, and only his true wife can awaken him. She is powerful, but she will not come."
Warning Dean of what he may face in the Bluff. "You will not find him. The trees will not let you pass. Grandmother will not let you pass."
She listens to the magic phone but can't hear Sam. "Your phone is broken."
When Dean freaks out because he can't talk to Sam. "There is no one. You are alone."
She shushes him. "Sssh, don't be sad. There is a place for you."
She points at his stomach. "You must be hungry. I made pie. Wait here."
She places the knife at his mouth. "Eat now. When you are ghost, you will dream of this, and all the other things you loved."