Warnings: Adult language, alcohol, & a non-graphic adult situation
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural. Written for fun, not profit.
A/N: Big thanks to everyone who signed up to follow the story and/or commented. I hope you enjoy this conclusion.
The Tiki Tiki Tiki Doom
Part 2 of 2
The morning sun wasn't so much present as rolling out the red carpet to announce its arrival, and the hut was, as expected, empty of occupants. Dean stifled a yawn with one hand and raised his paper coffee cup with the other.
"Sammy," he said, between scolding swallows, "I don't think this is necessary."
Sam rubbed grit out of his eyes and pushed past his brother to open the bar's side entrance door. "Are you serious? You're the one who asked Joey for the key so we could check out the place on our own time."
Dean frowned at the back of his brother's head. "Not that, man—I'm just sayin' I don't think this job is necessary. She kills, what? Once a year, and it looks like it's more accidental than murderous..."
Sam turned around slowly, a brow raised, and his arm tightened around the sawed-off tucked at his elbow. "What do you mean by that?"
What did he mean by that? Dean stared into the darkened opening to the bar, trying to figure out why that thought had even crossed his mind. "I mean, why are we here? We should be researching dead girls, shouldn't we?"
Sam's frown deepened. "We talked about this last night—I didn't find any hits. The blogs didn't pan out too well, either. I'm going to use the EMF to check and see if there are any objects she might be attached to…We went over this, man." He hesitated, biting his bottom lip in thought. "Maybe you should wait in the car."
Dean snorted. "The hell I will, dude. I'm just tired—spaced out for sec there. That's all."
"Alright…but just…if you start to feel strange, let me know. We don't really know what she does to her victims. All reports say the guys who died started acting strangely before it happened."
"Because they were seeing a ghost, Sam," Dean said, rolling his eyes. "Kinda freaks the civilians out."
"I'm not sure that's the whole story, Dean."
"Stop bitchin' and let's get this over with before our damn shift starts." Dean shoved past him into the dining area. "You take the kitchen, I'll look over the bathroom, where the last guy bit it. We'll meet up here in tiki-knick-knack Hell."
Sam nodded in confirmation and made his way across the room. Dean took a step toward the bathrooms and then stopped, staring at the wall. He listened but only heard his brother moving through the storage room.
A familiar chill ran over his body, and he let out a slow breath, watching it form a cloud of mist in front of his face. He spun on his heels, his shot-gun raised at the ready, but he hesitated when he saw the woman who was behind him. She was sitting on the edge of the table, her bare legs crossed, a smile on her red-stained lips.
"Hey, stud," she said in a sugar-sweet voice. She leaned back on her arms, her chest pressed out on display. "I wish you'd come trollin' my way more often. And not just when you're blitzed. It's a real drag being stuck here all by my lonesome."
Dean's brow furrowed but the gun slowly slipped down. He shook his head, his mind feeling foggy."It's…It's hard to get away."
She cocked her head, pouting. "Why'd you haul the flake along?"
He shrugged. "He won't bother us."
Dean blinked, and she was in front of him, staring up. She reached up, her fingers grazing his neck. Her gaze was hard, despite her soft, cool touch. "I saw that slut drawin' designs on you today—you weren't out showing that old sweat hog your stuff tonight, were ya? 'Cause that could make a girl turn all green-eyed monster."
Dean frowned. "You know you're the only girl for me, Sandy."
Her fingers clawed into his short hair, pulling his head down. "That's what I like to hear," she whispered, and drew him into a kiss.
Dean jumped, startled by the call, and stared out at the open, and empty, space between him and the table. He blinked, dazed—Christ, wasn't that Zombie hangover ever going to go away?
"Dean?" Sam stood in the door frame to the kitchen area, an EMF meter in his hand. "You find anything?"
Dean reached up, touching his lips. They felt numb. He licked the bottom one, tasting a lingering hint of cherry. "Weird," he muttered, then cleared his throat. "Nothing on my end."
Having a half-dressed guy in a sarong staring at him was never a comfortable feeling for Dean Winchester. It was even more disturbing when said-guy was his brother. Dean decided ignoring him might work best, so he went back to straightening the row of tiki mugs.
Since their visit to the bar earlier that morning, Dean had been on edge, and Sam had been watching him like a hawk. Which maybe accounted for the being on edge part.
"Something is up with you."
Dean groaned, annoyed with the accusation. "Nothing is up with me, Sammy." Even as the words left his mouth, Dean knew they rang hollow. Something was up, but Dean couldn't quite put his finger on what it was. And he certainly didn't want to talk to his brother about it.
"I think you should go back to the motel and wait there."
Dean slammed the steel cocktail shaker down onto his work counter, glaring up. "We open in fifteen minutes, man. Will you knock off the mother hen routine?" At Sam's frown of worry—Dean had really been aiming to piss him off—Dean lowered his voice. "Just...let's get through today, alright? Aren't you supposed to be helping the girls set up?"
Sam stared at him for another second before huffing. "Fine. But tonight, we figure out who this spirit is, and we finish this."
Sandy. The name slipped through his mind like a faded memory, but Dean brushed it off. "Just cool your jets, Sam. Her kill window isn't even open yet. We take our time and do this right. I don't know why you're in such a hurry to gank a hot ghost chick anyhow."
Sam made a face. "Hot? You said you never even saw her."
"Hey—your description painted a certain mental picture. Not my fault."
Shaking his head in frustration, Sam stomped off, his sandals flapping the wooden floor. Dean bent down to one knee behind the counter, looking for a box of miniature paper umbrellas the night shift bartender had moved.
"Which is a problem I never thought I'd have," he muttered.
Just as he was pushing aside a jar of sours mix, the air around him cooled and a hand touched his knee. He followed red painted nails up a slender arm and found himself staring at Sandy's smiling face. She was sitting there, hidden behind the bar with him, her legs tucked under her body as if she'd been relaxing in that very spot for ages.
"Miss me, stud?" she asked, her voice husky with lust.
Dean's body tensed, but his brain lagged behind. There was something he was supposed to do in this situation, something he was supposed to know, but he couldn't quite figure out what he was missing. He swiped his hand over his face, as if he'd just woken up, and gave her a tired grin.
"Always, sweetheart," he answered.
She giggled, leaning forward to run her hands up his denim clad thighs. "Got time to play, or is the panty waist gonna show up again?"
"Sam?" Dean frowned, blinking in confusion. "Sam won't bother us."
"Bitchin'. Don't want the fink rattin' us out to my Old Man, do we? Now, where were we? Oh, yeah…"
She pushed against him, meeting his lips with hers, her chest pushed tight against him. Dean moaned into her mouth, his hands sliding down her sides to rest on the round curve of her hips. She pulled away, leaving him gasping for breath, but only moved her lips down his body, pressing kisses into his neck until she found a spot she liked. His pants shrunk the instant she began to suck his skin between her teeth.
"Christ, Sandy," he breathed. "I…I have to get to work…"
Sandy didn't answer, only moving to press her leg against his crotch.
Dean bit down another moan, then realized the voice hadn't come from the girl pressed against him. He blinked to awareness, pushing her back and standing. Sandy only smiled up at him from her spot on the floor. Dean cleared his throat and turned his attention to the waitress standing on the other side of the counter.
Nat raised a brow, the shells on her braids clinking as she bent forward, trying to peek past him. "What were you doing down there?"
Dean jumped into her line of sight. "Umbrellas," he spat, then attempted to smile. "Paper umbrellas, ran out. New box." Dean ran a finger over his bottom lip, hoping to cover up any lipstick stains.
Nat only stared back. "Yeah, okay. On your search below, did you happen to see a spare set of tiki salt and pepper shakers?"
Dean felt his zipper tug down and coughed to cover the sound. "Uh…pepper shakers?" he asked, reaching down beneath the counter to discretely push aside the fingers working their way into his shorts.
Nat rolled her eyes. "These tourists, I swear they get their rocks off on taking those stupid little…"
Dean was only half listening, what meager blood left upstairs rushing south as Sandy, undeterred, slipped her hand past his zipper.
"…And it's not like they cost much," Nat continued, "but Joey acts like every cent lost to this place is about to break him. Which is why he hadn't hired any new help until…"
Dean nodded along, gripping the countertop tightly as he tried to not pay attention to the cherry red lips that were currently—
"That sucks…" he squeaked, unconsciously thrusting forward.
Nat's voice cut off. Her brow wrinkled in concern. "You okay, hot stuff? Kinda looks like you spent too much time in the sun yesterday."
Dean let out a panting, too-loud chuckle, jerking his hips back. "Uh—yeah. Sun," he agreed, breathless. "Too much of it."
Nat smiled back. "You know, I was thinking…We're working the same shift again today. How about I let you buy me a coffee when I get off?" She cocked her head, a mirthful glimmer in her eyes. "I know a place that's a little quieter than this one. Interested?"
Dean sucked in a shallow gulp of air as the movement below the counter suddenly ceased. He could see his breath when he released it, hanging in the air like a cloud. It felt like someone had just opened a freezer behind him.
Before he could react, a bottle of rum flew off the highest shelf, right past Nat. She cried out in shock as it crashed behind her. Like a bullet, Sam shot past the kitchen doorway and pushed her out of way just as a bottle of vodka zoomed through the airspace her head had just been occupying.
As quickly as the attack had begun, it stopped again. Dean zipped up his fly and shook his head, confused. Then he leaned over the counter, staring at the pair below. "What the hell are you doing on the floor?"
Sam pulled himself up, helping Nat to her feet, before shooting his brother a hard glance. "Dean. Outside. Now."
"…Thank you for your time, ma'am. I'd really appreciate it."
Sam snapped the cell phone shut, took a breath to cool himself down, and stepped back into the motel room, determined to not start another fight. Taking in the scene, he glared at his brother. Instead of doing research, like he said he would, Dean was laying back on the bed, his hands behind his head, his eyes staring into space. Shirt abandoned on the chair, he was still wearing his shorts, despite his hate for them and despite the fact that they'd left work early several hours ago.
After an argument. In front of the lunch crowd. Since, apparently, Dean really didn't want to leave his job. Sam was fairly certain the waitresses, as well as everyone else inside the hut, thought he was some kind of control freak for dragging his brother out. From the expression on his face, Dean still hadn't quite forgiven him.
"I just got off the phone with someone very interesting," Sam announced.
Dean grunted. "I'm missing work."
Sam pursed his lips, peeved beyond belief, but he managed to keep himself from shouting. Mostly because he kept reminding himself that this wasn't entirely his brother's fault. After non-stop researching and more phone calls than he cared to mention, he was beginning see the big picture here, and he absolutely didn't like it.
Sam slammed the door behind him. Still no reaction from the bed. "Aliens landed outside. They've abducted Big Foot."
Dean sighed, looking lost. "Someone was going to order a Volcano today. I was really looking forward to making one."
Sam huffed, plopping down on the bed across from his brother. "The car's on fire."
Dean shot up, eyes wide. "Baby?"
Sam grabbed him by the arm before he could take off and pushed him back down to the mattress. "Finally. Dude, haven't you realized that you've been acting kind of odd since we left the bar? Can you even explain it?"
Dean snorted. "I haven't been acting 'odd', Samantha. I just don't like leaving work early."
Sam raised a brow. "Is that because your girlfriend's there?"
"What, you mean Nat? I'm not even interested in—"
"That's the problem," Sam interrupted. He shook his head. "Okay, Dean, just sit here and listen for a couple minutes. Really listen. Can you do that?"
"What the frick? You're not attempting to play therapist are you?"
Sam refused to answer that. "Dean. I…I think you're in love."
Dean blinked. "Funny, you'd think I'd notice something like that.."
"So am I!" Dean snapped. "Just because I'm a little worn down from all those dumb ass cocktails I tried at that stupid party doesn't mean I'm under some ghost's influence."
Sam perked up. "The Anniversary party? You've been like this since the party, specifically? That must be when she picked you…"
"I didn't get picked by anyone, Sam. And I'm not in love!"
"No, not in real love, but this is what the ghost does." Sam stood up, looming over his brother to keep him from shooting to an escape via the bathroom. "She always picks guys around this time of year. They reportedly act strange. That customer called it 'lovesick', and I think she's right. Which is also why I think you've been seeing the ghost."
Dean shoved his brother out of his way. "Like Hell! Don't you think I would have said something if I was chatting it up with a flirty spook?"
Sam watched as his brother paused, brow wrinkled in thought, as if he'd just remembered something.
"You have, Dean. You have a hickey on your neck that wasn't there earlier today. She's got you under her thrall."
Dean made a sour face, opened his mouth to argue, then closed it again. He reached up, touching the tender pink whelp on the skin where his neck met his shoulder. "Shit…"
Dean shook his head. "Shit."
"You said that already." Sam sighed, guiding him back down to his bed once more. "The good news is I'm pretty sure we're just dealing with a ghost, not something as hard to break as an actual love spell. The bad news is, I think there might be a cursed object involved, that the ghost has attached herself to."
Dean frowned. "Dude, I feel so…violated. I think I made out with a dead chick…"
Sam awkwardly reached out, patting him on the shoulder. "Yeah. You probably did. But, bright side? She didn't push you to suicide or get angry enough to murder you yet. Apparently that usually takes a week or two of...courtship."
Dean glared. "Thanks. Who's this bitch and how do I…" He shook his head, wincing. "Jesus, I don't even want to gank her. Why the hell don't I want to gank her?" he whined.
"Because you're in love. Or infatuation, at the very least." Sam smiled ruefully. "But, as I tried to tell you when I came in, I had a very interesting conversation with a woman whose family owned the tiki bar back when it first opened in the early sixties. Her name's Linda Monroe and she had a big sister named Sandy who—"
Dean ran a hand down his face. "Sandy? That's...that's definitely her."
"Well, I guess that theory's confirmed…" Sam reached out to where his laptop lay on his pillow and flipped it open. "So, as I was saying, Linda told me all about Sandy—she's sending us some pictures, too. Sandy died in '67, at age 21. Linda was only a kid back then, but even she had some rather colorful ways of describing her sister's dating habits."
"She got around," Dean supplied, blushing as he remembered her...skills behind the bar.
Sam nodded. "Quite a bit. But, still, she was a small town girl with big dreams. She wanted to be an actress and spent a year in Hollywood, but she came back home a broke failure. She was pretty, but…Linda said she was kind of a ditz. The thing is, when she came back here and went to work at her parents' place, she started attracting more attention than a super model."
"She's hot. Of course she got attention. And she isn't a ditz."
Sam glanced up, frowning, but went on. "Sure…Anyhow, let's just say it was a supernatural level of attention she received, and it got ugly fast. One night, a couple months after she got back, a fight broke out between two men proclaiming their love for her. She got in the middle of it, was shoved back, and cracked her head open on one of the tiki statues. Died later from complications."
"Let me guess. Death-day lands sometime over the next two weeks?"
Sam nodded in confirmation. "Unfortunately, the Monroe family had their daughter cremated. But, like I said, the lovesick thing seemed to start before her death. I'm thinking, when she came back from California, she brought something with her—Linda said her sister had a box of decorations she'd bought from another tiki bar in Hollywood to bring back to her parents… Linda still has some old photographs of the items being put up around the hut—and, bingo, she sent them."
Sam spun the laptop around, clicking open his email so that an age-yellowed, scanned copy of a photo filled up most of the screen. "So, I'm thinking it might be something she got you to touch…But, also something she could keep away from everyone else, so that they wouldn't be able to use the curse to their advantage over all these years…"
Dean sat up straight, eyes widened. "I got lei'd!"
Sam grimaced. "Dean, I'm sorry about what she did to you, but we need to concentrate on—"
Dean reached out, smacking him across the head. "I got a lei put around my neck, dumbass." He pointed at the photo. "Check it out."
Sam resisted the urge to punch his brother and concentrated on the image of the hut's interior, nearly forty years ago. Sandy stood at center, a sarong around her waist and a wide smile on her face. A middle-aged couple, presumably her parents, were sorting through a stack of coconut shell mugs, but the girl herself hunched over the crate, holding up a flower lei.
Sam enlarged the picture. Even though he couldn't tell the color from the aged photo, he could see the pattern of the preserved flowers, alternating with round beads—nuts and shells.
"I think I've seen this…" Sam muttered.
"Yeah, around my neck."
Sam rolled his eyes. "And at the hut," he replied. "You notice the prop of the ship's figurehead?"
Dean nodded. "Oh, the wooden woman with the…" He put his hands out over his chest as if he were cupping melons.
"Right. Above it, there's an old vintage lei hanging from a hook shaped like an anchor…Wow—that's kind of weirdly symbolic. I mean, traditionally, giving a lei is supposed to represent one person giving their affection to another."
"That's generally what giving a lei always represents, college boy." Dean shook his head."What you're saying is, the lei's cursed, Sandy realized what it could do, used it, but then, like all good cursed objects, it backfired on her? But then she still decided to keep using it as a spirit?"
"Likely not even realizing it's the curse that leads to her killing her new love interests almost as soon as she's found them." Sam paused. "Yeah, I can sorta see why Linda called her a ditz."
"Shut up—" Dean broke off, waving a hand to dismiss the comment. "Dude, we've got to fix this. If it ever gets out that I've been defending a ghost—"
Sam raised a brow. "It'll still not hurt your reputation as much as the whole 'making out with a ghost' part…"
Dean's gaze narrowed. "So help me, Sam. If you tell a soul, I will strangle you with a cursed lei."
The Hau'oli Hut had seen better days. With every light bulb surged to the point of bursting, from the outside it looked as it always looked at three in the morning, quiet, dark, and abandoned. But, inside, the smell of burnt wood drifted through the air, making its way past toppled chairs, smashed bottles, and splintered tiki men. The scattering of rock salt could go unnoticed in the clutter.
"Sam…" Dean groaned, crawling across the floor to where the other man lay in a heap against the foot of the bar's long counter. He winced as glass shards scraped across his palms but didn't stop until he was kneeling over his brother, shaking him.
"Sam, wake up," he ordered. "I think you cracked your coconut...Or maybe just a coconut, I can't be sure."
Sam's hazel eyes blinked to awareness. "Did we get her?" he said, his voice slow, deliberate, as if he were just awaking. The tumble he'd taken from the figurehead hadn't been pretty.
"Yeah, it worked." Dean grabbed him by the arm, hauling him up. "Think Joey will pay us after he sees this?"
On the scorched countertop, a small pile of ashes remained from the lei. Sam stared at it, a tired smile on his face as he let his gaze drift to his brother. "Thanks, man. For distracting her."
Dean shuddered. "No problem. But I need to bleach my tongue. Now."
Sam chuckled. "Man, Sandy really liked you…"
Dean raised a warning finger. "We are to never speak of that, understood? I mean it, Sam. You tell, and I will find one of those old ladies who took a picture of you in your sarong."
"Oh, I would." Dean gave the bar one last glance, reached out for a bottle of rum that had somehow not been shattered, and helped his brother hobble toward the door. "Hey, Sam? Have I told you how much I hate Florida?"
"Do you hate it more than California?"
Dean raised a brow. "Why?"
"Know how Sandy bought that crate from another bar? It's still open."
Random End Notes:
The title of the story is based on the song "The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room," played at Disney's The Enchanted Tiki Room. I couldn't resist. And, also I thought, "Dean Winchester and the Mystery of the Cursed Lei" was too on-the-nose.
This story is not based on one specific tiki bar. In fact, I looked at pictures of a couple of bars in different states, and combined them, in my head. The Hau'oli Hut is my own creation with Hau'oli, hopefully, translating to "happy" in Hawaiian.
So, I once heard a story about a woman trying to employ a restaurant worker as a stripper…Weird how these things make their way into my fanfiction.
Sam: This is the dumbest thing you've ever done.
Dean: I don't know about that. Remember that waitress in Tampa?
-(from Season 2's "Croatoan") I decided to purposely not say if this was in Tampa, but couldn't help but mention that quote…