Title: Hunger in the Dark
Author: Disasteriffic Kaz
Info: Post 3x11 "Mystery Spot" Sam is focused on not letting Dean out of his sight now that he has him back, so focused he makes himself a target and Dean must find a way to save him.
Author's note: It's just possible this first chapter got away from me somewhere along the way. Heh. Promise to pick up the pace in the next chapter. :D
Do please Review once you've read. :D Every comment and vote of support helps keep me writing. Not to mention if I've pooched anything, someone can always tell me. :P
"Rise and shine, Sammy." Dean gave his brother's foot a shake where it stuck out of from under the blankets and grinned when Sam groaned and rolled back under his pillow.
"Let's take today off." Sam grumbled, exhausted. He was still recuperating from their supernaturally extended stay in Broward County just three days before. He heard the door open and jerked his head out from under the pillow. "Where you going?"
Dean gave him a funny look. "Get breakfast. Why?"
Sam rolled out of bed with a sigh. "Just give me a minute. I'll come." He tried to make it sound as nonchalant as possible.
Dean watched him go into the bathroom and rolled his eyes. He was more observant than his little brother gave him credit for. In the last three days he'd barely been able to take a piss without Sam standing over his shoulder. He took a deep breath, finding patience and shut the door to wait. He supposed if it had been him, forced to watch Sam die over and over for weeks on end he'd be a little clingy and over-protective too. It still wore on his patience though but he'd humor him a little while longer.
Sam was out of the bathroom in record time and dressed, relieved to find Dean hadn't left without him. There were still those moments, when he woke, that he had to remind himself he was out of the loop and Dean was alive and with him. He got into the Impala beside Dean and sighed heavily as his brother fired the engine to life.
"Still here, Sammy." Dean chuckled and smirked at his brother as he pulled out. "You find us a job before you passed out last night?"
Sam shrugged. "Maybe. After breakfast." He didn't want to get into a discussion of blood and bodies before he ate. "Not eating conversation."
Dean grinned. "I can take it."
Sam rolled his eyes. "I'd rather eat first. Just because you can eat over a corpse…"
"Woos." Dean teased and pulled up in front of the local diner, laughing as he got out. "You're payin'." He told him as he pulled open the door and Sam snorted, bumping his shoulder as he went past.
Sam hid his grin as he turned away toward a booth and palmed the wallet he'd picked from his brother's pocket.
"Not cool, dude." Dean glared at Sam as they returned to their room. Sam had yet to stop laughing, reduced to chuckles at last as Dean slid his wallet back in his pocket.
"Teach you to call me a woos." Sam smirked and dropped to the table, opening his laptop.
"You were supposed to pay for breakfast." Dean gave him a dirty look and Sam smiled.
"I did." Sam retorted innocently.
"With your OWN money, jackass." Dean groaned and started tossing things into his duffel while Sam laughed again. "Tell me about this job before I hurt you."
Sam swallowed his laughter and pulled up his research from the night before. "So, Nashville has two missing children and three dead men, fourth in a coma from blood loss."
"Blood loss?" Dean turned around, interest piqued.
"The victims were drained from multiple puncture wounds." Sam pulled up an autopsy photo and turned the screen to him. "Doesn't look like a vampire but…" He shrugged. "I'm not sure what it is yet."
Dean got closer to the screen, making note of the neat holes and the bloodless skin. "Yeah the wounds are too neat for a vamp. Chupacabra?"
Sam shook his head. "Deaths all occurred in populated areas, couple parks, a suburb and the last guy they found outside a bar in the red light district."
"Huh." Dean frowned and turned back to packing up the room. Chupacabras preferred woods and forests, farms and the like. "Could be a desperate Chupacabra." Though even as he said it, it didn't feel right to him. "Anything on the kids?"
"Two different races, two different neighborhoods." Sam closed the laptop and stood to start packing his own things. "One was taken from her home and the other a playground." He shoved the laptop into its bag. "There is a pattern in Tennessee. Once a year for a week, seven kids go missing, one each night and at least as many people are bled to death. The kids bodies are never found."
"Any particular week?" Dean asked, zipping his duffel closed.
"Yeah and that's the weird part. It always happens on Holy Week." Sam came out of the bathroom with his toothbrush. "It's the week leading up to Easter."
"Which is this week." Dean nodded. "Dude, that's twisted. Killin' kids right before Easter?" Dean scowled. "We need to gank whatever it is."
Sam nodded and shoved the last of his clothes into his bag. He waited for Dean to tug the weapon's bag out from under the bed and they gave the room a last once over before heading out to the car, Sam close on his heels.
Tony stumbled out of the bar, taking a moment to brace himself on the door while he swayed before starting off down the dimly lit street. He'd definitely had one too many and chuckled softly at the rant his girlfriend was no doubt going to give him when he stumbled in at three in the morning. He squinted at the one bright streetlight, blinking his bleary eyes happily as he turned and put it at his back. It threw long shadows down the empty street ahead of him, his own weaving out toward home.
He started humming as he walked and tugged his jacket tighter against the cold that had settled in the day before. A rattle of something metal like a can came from further down the street, then the hiss of something he figured was a cat.
"Pish off hairball." Tony called with a laugh. "Make me shome…kung pao kitty." He tittered as the hiss sounded again. "Hate catsh." He slurred.
He neared the alley and paused as another, louder hiss sounded from its dark depths. Tony felt the first tingle of fear pass up his spine and wished he hadn't had those last three whiskeys. He stumbled backward as he felt a sharp pain in his leg.
"What the…" Tony slapped a hand down to his thigh and brought it up, staring at the blood glistening darkly from the street light behind him. A second pain exploded in his shoulder and he teetered, dropping to his knees. He looked down and saw more blood seeping from neat holes in his jacket. "Ohmigod." He gasped. "Help! Help me!"
Tony's scream was choked off as a third wound stabbed into his throat. He felt warm blood pour down his chest and gagged on it as he tried to scream. Blackness began to swirl in his vision. He felt himself fall to his side, unable to move he could only stare at the alley and the dark figure he could just see emerging from the shadows.
Dean drove through downtown Nashville with a smile on his face. "You know what they call this town, Sammy." He said and gave a sidelong look at his brother. "Nash-Vegas."
"Dude, missing kids and bloodless bodies." Sam thumped his arm. "We're not here to gamble."
"Aw c'mon, Sammy! I've only got a few months left man! I deserve to have some fun!" Dean grinned and then rolled his eyes, letting the grin fade at the hurt look on Sam's face.
"It's not funny, Dean." Sam said softly and then sighed. "Look, let's gank the monster and then we can hit the tables."
"That's my boy." Dean said, reviving his smile and turned the volume on the radio up.
Sam looked over at his brothers' face in profile and tried not to remember what it had been like knowing he was dead for six months or what it would be like in a few more short months. He shook his head and looked out the window, watching the well-lit streets give way to the dimmer suburbs surrounding the city. He wasn't going to let that happen.
"Which way to death central?" Dean asked with a smile as Sam snorted.
"Take a left up there. One of the kids and two deaths happened in Red Boiling Springs." Sam told him and Dean raised a brow.
"Seriously. Who named the place?" Dean laughed and Sam smirked.
"It got its name from a farmer in the 1800's who found a spring with red sulfur water boiling on his land." Sam replied.
Dean gave him a disgusted look. "You really need to spend less time at the library, Sammy. It's creepy you know that."
Sam chuckled. "Daniel Boone used to hunt the animal trails around here too."
Dean shook his head. "Geek."
"Man slut." Sam replied with a grin, enjoying the laugh he startled from his brother.
They drove on and quickly found themselves in Red Boiling Springs. The town was quiet and even though it was night, the lights from Nashville lit the sky above them, making it seem more like dusk rather than almost one in the morning. Dean looked around the little suburb and frowned.
"Might have to rethink it not being a Chupacabra. Look at that." Dean nodded ahead to the clear end of the actual town and the woods that spread out beyond it.
Sam looked up and nodded. "Maybe. Doesn't feel right though. None of the attacks have actually been in the woods."
"First time for everything." Dean commented and pulled off at the first motel he spotted. It was flanked by a seedy bar on one side and a convenience store on the other. "All the comforts of home, Sammy!" Dean said as he parked by the office, prompting Sam to roll his eyes again.
Sam hopped out and went into the office to get them a room. Dean watched him chatting with the woman behind the counter through the window, his little brother using his puppy dog eyes to good effect if the blush on her face was anything to go by. He came back out and got back in the car with a serious look on his face.
"There's been another death." Sam told him and pointed toward the end of the building. "Room twenty-three. Guy was drained two streets over after leaving the bar next door."
"Damn." Dean rumbled the Impala down the row of rooms, pulling up in front of theirs. He wasn't sure he liked that their motel was literally at a crime scene; that close to whatever hungry monster was eating people made him a little nervous. He gave himself a shake as Sam got out and decided they were up to whatever came at them.
Sam opened the room door, flipping on the lights and sighed. Faded paisley starbursts on the walls clashed garishly with the green diamond pattern on the rug and the beds were covered in red as if to make it stand out all the more. "I think I'm gonna get a headache looking at this room." He said ruefully and smiled as Dean came in behind him and snorted.
"Seventies Nashville chic, Sammy." Dean chuckled and tossed his bag on his bed nearest the door. "Let's do the time warp."
Sam laughed and went to look in the bathroom. It at least was spacious though the shower was definitely made for people a foot shorter than they were, as usual. Dean went back outside as Sam pulled his laptop out and came back in with the beer he'd stopped and picked up, putting it in the little fridge.
"Too late to go by the police station so I'm gonna check the bar next door while you research." Dean smiled. "Maybe walk by the crime scene."
Sam hastily closed the laptop he'd just opened and stood. "Ok, let's go."
"Whoa, I think I can handle going next door." Dean laughed and then rolled his eyes as Sam ignored him. He threw an arm up in surrender and went outside, letting Sam shut the door behind them. They passed the car and strode out to the street, turning to the bar and its dingy windows. "Dude, you have got to let me outta your sight sometime." Dean complained with a smirk as Sam followed him into the bar. He knew Sam didn't want to be there; would much rather be researching in the motel but if Dean was going out, so was he. Sam had yet to really tell him what had happened while he'd been alone with the Trickster. He was starting to get the impression he had missed something other than just his Groundhog Day deaths.
"Nope. I don't." Sam said firmly and surveyed the interior of the bar. "How you wanna play this?" Sam nodded to the burly guy behind the bar.
Dean shrugged. "Cops have probably already been here irritating the guy so let's try the buddy card." Dean smiled and went to the bar, Sam at his side and got the bartender's attention.
"Aw come on." The bartender, short but muscled with a head of spiky black hair rolled his eyes and slapped his palms on the counter. "More cops? What the hell? I already answered a shit load of questions and I still don't know shit."
"Whoa." Dean said, surprised and looked at Sam and himself. "We look like cops to you?"
"You're not?" The bartender now looked surprised. "Huh." He said as both men shook their heads. "Never been wrong before. Ok, let's start over. What can I getcha?"
Dean smirked, unsure if he liked being mistaken for an idiot cop or not. "Two beers and some info."
"Tony was our friend." Sam said hurriedly as the bartender began to frown again. "We just want to know what happened to him."
The bartender sighed and put two beers on the counter. "Ok, look. Tony was in here. Drinkin' too much like he usually does. He was over playing pool with those guys for a couple hours." He nodded toward the back of the bar and a pool table. "Then he left. Couple hours ago. That's all I know." He pushed back the bill Dean laid on the counter. "On the house. Sorry about your friend."
"Thanks, pal." Dean said with a smile and grabbed a beer. "Come on, Sam." He threaded his way through the tables and the few patrons, mostly rednecks to the pool table and stopped in the door to assess the two men standing by the table. They were older, mid-forties Dean thought and looked a bit out of place in the hole in the wall bar as they stood in their dress slacks and button down shirts, sleeves rolled up to their elbows.
"Evenin' boys." Dean said in greeting and instantly decided he didn't like either one of them. Something about the way they gave him and his brother long looks from head to toe made him feel wrong. He stepped forward anyway. They needed information. "Open game?"
"Sure, why not." The taller of the two held out a hand to Dean. "I'm Bill. That's Gary."
"Dean." He shook the hand and then surreptitiously wiped it on his jeans. "My brother, Sam."
Sam raised his beer in greeting rather than shake the offered hand. Like his brother, he wasn't keen on the two men either.
Gary chuckled and stepped back to a small table, picking up his drink. "Good. Bill can kick someone's ass other than mine for a change."
"Actually, we really just wanted to ask you a few questions." Sam said, stopping Dean from going to the table. "You were playing with our buddy, Tony earlier tonight."
"Oh yeah. Cops were in here a little while ago." Bill shook his head sadly. "Such a shame. He seemed like a nice guy."
"Anyone give him trouble while he was here?" Dean asked, glancing at Sam and seeing the tightness around his eyes. His little brother obviously felt the same about these two.
"No, nothing." Gary put a hand on Sam's arm at his elbow with a sad expression. "We're really sorry about what happened to your friend."
Dean felt an instinctive urge to kick the guy and instead settled for taking Sam's arm and turning him out of the room. "Well thanks guys. Really. Enjoy your game." He gave Sam a nudge toward the door and they left quickly. Outside, both men shook themselves.
"Why do I feel like I need a shower?" Sam asked and resisted the urge to wipe off his arm where Gary had touched him.
"Cause those two are some kind of bad news." Dean said surely and started down the street. "Come on. Let's go check out the crime scene."
"We should suit up." Sam said and headed toward the motel room instead. "It's only been a couple hours. Cops might still be there."
"Crap." Dean groaned but followed him, gearing up to play FBI for the locals.
To Be Continued…
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