Title: Stone Cold Crazy
Author: Disasteriffic Kaz
Info: A witch, a Basilisk and the Winchesters walk into an abandoned amusement park…it's either a bad joke or a recipe for disaster. Post 3x10 "DaLDoM" hurt/limp/awesome!Sam/Dean with a side of awesome!Bobby
Author's note: I've had the basic idea for this one for a while sitting in my little document of wonders and it finally spoke to me enough to be written. Hope you all enjoy yet another roller coaster ride. MWahahaha!
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
Beta'd by the always awesome JaniceC678 :D – Friend and Muse's co-conspirator.
Jerry ran. He didn't know what else to do. His friends had left him alone and that…thing was after him. He ducked around the moss grown hulk of a Tilt-a-whirl and moaned, clutching his injured left arm closer to him. Pain burned along his whole arm from where the thing had bitten him. He was panting for breath, sliding and stumbling across the overgrown amusement park. The Ferris wheel rose up above him in the darkness, and he couldn't stop the feeling that it was going to fall on him.
He clenched his teeth as a new wave of agony pulsed through his arm and it seemed to feel heavier and heavier as he ran. He could hear it behind him. Sounds echoed in the night as something grated over loose stone and grass. Jerry tried to run faster. He had to get away. The pain in his arm took so much of his attention, he couldn't watch his feet. He stumbled over a loose chunk of concrete and fell.
He threw his arms out in front of him reflexively to stop his fall and screamed as his wounded left arm struck the ground and shattered. Jerry's voice echoed through the long-deserted amusement park as he screamed and clutched the stump of his arm to his chest. Terror choked off his air as a hiss sounded close behind him. A strangled scream worked its way out of his throat, and he felt his ears begin to bleed. He rolled to his back as the air began to burn in his lungs, and a proper shriek of terror finally broke free as the fire came for him.
Sam walked down the row of stacked cars toward the shop beside Bobby's house. He swallowed around the now ever-present lump in his throat. Dean had months left…and not enough of them. He couldn't even think about what would happen when Dean's deal came due because it paralyzed him. Sam couldn't begin to imagine a life without his big brother in it or what kind of a person he would become if Dean wasn't there beside him as he had been his whole life. Even when he'd been at Stanford, though he'd been alone, just knowing Dean was out there only a call away was enough. But this…this was huge and terrifying and unthinkable. He stopped outside the doors, breathing heavily, and tried to compose himself before he went inside.
Sam wiped irritably at his eyes, pushed at his unruly hair, and opened the door, putting a smile on his face as he went inside. Dean was bent over the engine of the Impala while Bobby stood beside him holding two beers in one hand and handing a wrench to Dean with the other. "Guys."
"Sammy, tell me you came with burgers. I'm starving!" Dean called without straightening. Bobby chuckled and rolled his eyes.
"You're always hungry," Sam said with a chuckle. He held up the sheaf of paper in his hand. "Think I found us a job."
"Whatcha got?" Bobby took the research Sam handed him and traded him one of the beers.
"Some very odd deaths at an abandoned amusement park in Wichita, Kansas." Sam took a swig from the beer bottle and smirked when Dean stood and yanked it from his hand.
"Get your own." Dean finished off the rest of the bottle and leaned against the classic car. "What kinda odd?"
"Couple people burned to death with what has to be some kind of accelerant, but they can't find any trace of it. There are at least seven reports of people gone missing in the park and one woman yesterday who told local reporters she saw a man turn to stone." Sam raised a brow when they both looked at him. "Thought that sounded like our kind of thing."
"Stone?" Bobby bent back to the papers and started flipping through them.
"I think…maybe it might be a basilisk," Sam told them.
Bobby shook his head. "Hasn't been a basilisk sighting for over a century, son." He shrugged. "Hunters and pissed off townsfolk wiped them out in Europe."
"Well, I'm guessing they missed one." Sam's voice was firm. "I've done the research, and what little info we have already seems to point to it."
"We talkin' Harry Potter here?" Dean asked with a chuckle.
"Dude. How can you forget the Latin to break a curse but you remember the plot to Chamber of Secrets?" Sam stared at him and ducked the hand Dean sent to his head.
"I liked Hagrid. Leave me alone," Dean said with a smirk and made Sam and Bobby both laugh.
"No, not Harry Potter exactly." Sam took his research from Bobby and flipped through it, pulling out a page. "They got a lot of stuff wrong. The basilisk's stare doesn't actually turn you to stone. It's the bite."
"Yeah, I remember reading about 'em." Bobby handed his beer to Sam and started cleaning his hands. "They can hypnotize you, make ya forget you were tryin' to get away, and then take a chunk out of ya. Seem to recall something about their scream…or was it a hiss?"
"Hiss." Sam nodded. "It's disorienting according to the lore, and painful, not to mention the whole 'breathes fire' thing."
"So it's a dragon?" Dean grinned. "Never slayed a dragon before."
Sam chuckled. "It's not a dragon, Dean. The basilisk is a crested serpent."
"Well, since it ain't a basilisk 'cause they're all dead, I'll just do a little research of my own while you boys are on the road and see what I can find." Bobby patted Sam's shoulder as he walked past. "No offense to your research skills, Sam, but it just ain't likely."
"Well, whatever it is, it's in need of dying." Dean rubbed his hands together and closed the hood of the Impala. "Let's get packed."
Sam smiled, nodded, and followed them both out to the house. Inwardly, he knew Bobby was wrong. It was a basilisk…it had to be. He needed it to be. He had found reference to an obscure spell, and he would need part of the basilisk for it. Sam took a breath to steady his nerves. He felt duplicitous not telling them all of what he'd found but knew with surety that, if he told them, Dean would veto the hunt. He'd make Bobby pass it off to someone else, and Sam couldn't afford that; Dean couldn't afford that.
Dean thrummed his fingers on the steering wheel to the beat of Zeppelin thumping out of the speakers as they drove. He glanced over at Sam with a smirk. His little brother had his head buried in the research as he had for three hours now. He decided he'd let him geek alone long enough.
"What amusement park are we goin' to anyway?" Dean asked and reached over to lower the volume slightly. "I could go for some fried dough."
Sam glanced over and rolled his eyes. "Abandoned, remember? It's called Joyland Amusement Park, or it was."
"Huh. No kidding." Dean nodded and focused on the music for a moment. "I've been there. It was…right before Dad took us on the road. You were still a baby."
Sam looked over in surprise. "It was still operating?"
Dean shook his head and smiled. "Already abandoned. Some older kids talked me into going. Idiots dared me." He snorted. "Like I'd be chicken. It was kinda creepy, but I think I was more scared of Dad finding out."
Sam laughed softly. "I can imagine. What were you, five?"
"Yeah, and stupid." Dean rolled his eyes at himself. "We went out there at night and they tossed me in the funhouse. I would have been cool except one of the kids pulled off this fake ghost thing in the funhouse." He rolled his shoulders with the memory and laughed. "'bout made me pee my pants, Sammy. Scared me so bad I ran all the way home."
Sam chuckled and looked over at him. "I can't imagine you being afraid of anything when we were kids. You were always brave."
Dean felt a warm feeling spread through him and found he couldn't look at Sam just then. The lump of emotion in his throat was in danger of making him cry, knowing that his little brother had always had that sort of faith in him. "Not that time," he said gruffly instead.
Sam heard the tone in his voice and resisted the urge to poke at it. Sharing was never Dean's thing and even less so now. "Well, this time you'll be armed. You can gank any ghost we find."
Dean snorted a laugh. "Damn straight. Bet your ass I'm stayin' out of that funhouse though. You'd like it." He looked sideways at Sam and waggled his brows. "Lots of creepy ass clowns."
"Ha ha. Very funny." Sam rolled his eyes.
"I thought it was." Dean grinned. "You hungry? I'm hungry." He headed off the highway while Sam laughed and aimed for the old-school diner at the bottom of the ramp. It was one of those old converted trailers with grimy windows along the side. It looked like a tetanus shot waiting to happen, and Dean's mouth watered even as Sam groaned. He parked next to the other three cars in the lot and got out with a bounce in his step.
"I'm gonna need a stomach pump after this," Sam groaned with a laugh and went to the door. He flipped Dean off when he pulled the creaky door open for him with a flourish of his arm.
"Ladies first, Samantha." Dean laughed. He stepped in behind his brother and gasped as Sam suddenly crashed back into him, knocking them both into the wall beside the door and sending them sliding in a tangle to the floor. "Sam, what the hell?" He looked up and froze as he saw a man in a black ski mask standing over them, turning a rifle around to point at them. Dean looked down and felt white-hot rage boil through him at the sight of the reddening welt high on Sam's forehead. He was dazed and boneless against him.
"Don't move!" The masked gunman yelled.
Dean pushed up so he was sitting against the wall and pulled Sam in against him, steadying his head. "Sammy?" He whispered and pried up one of Sam's eyelids. His eyes were rolled back, and Dean growled as he glared up at the gunman.
"Hurry up!" The masked man turned his head to yell at the terrified waitress behind the counter at the register.
Dean took that moment to reach between himself and his brother. He pushed his hand under Sam's jacket at his back and found the familiar grip of Sam's Taurus. He pulled the pistol free and started sliding Sam away from him so he was sitting propped against the wall and the back of the booth beside them.
"I said don't fucking move!" The man yelled again.
Dean's smoldering green eyes rose up to meet his, and he smiled dangerously as the idiot flinched just from his gaze. "You want me to tell you what I do to assholes who hurt my brother?" He kept his hand with the gun behind Sam and waited for the right moment. The gunman took a step back, turned his head to look at the waitress again and the muzzle of the rifle swung slightly away, pointing at the empty booth. Dean brought his hand out from behind his brother and fired. The masked man screamed as the bullet ripped through his knee and fell to the floor. Dean was on him in an instant, kicking the rifle away and punched him solidly in the nose. Dean let him go, his head thumping senseless into the floor and stood up breathing heavily.
"Oh, my God." The waitress staggered back a step into the wall behind her as a man in a white apron came running from the back to wrap his arms around her.
"Sheila? You ok?"
Dean turned his back on them and went to his brother. "Hey, Sam." Dean held the side of his face and waited while Sam's eyes fluttered and finally opened as he groaned softly. He turned to look back at the waitress and the cook. "Someone might wanna call the cops." He could hear the other three patrons on the far side of the diner crying and talking animatedly.
"Dean?" Sam blinked up at him, confused. "Wha' hit me?"
"'bout two hundred pounds of stupid. You get up?" Dean eased an arm under his brother's shoulder at his nod and pulled him to his feet. "We gotta go. Place is gonna be crawling with cops in a minute."
"Next time, I'm…I'm picking the diner," Sam held his head while it spun.
"You're leaving?" The waitress, Sheila, asked in surprise as Dean kicked the door open. "But you shot him!"
"Yeah, and you can tell the cops," Dean called over his shoulder. "You're welcome."
Sam stumbled down the two steps outside, grateful for Dean's arm keeping him on his feet. He brushed fingers over the left side of his forehead above the temple and hissed as pain exploded. "Crap."
"Easy, tiger." Dean pulled him over to the Impala and opened the passenger door. "In you go." He closed the door once Sam got his legs inside and ran around to the driver's side, slid behind the wheel, and had them back on the road in under a minute. He floored it back to the highway and reached the black top as the first siren sounded in the distance. "Perfect timing."
"So, what…we walked into a robbery?" Sam pulled the sun visor down, shielding his eyes from the glare as it drove through his tender head.
"Winchester luck at work, little brother," Dean muttered. He looked over and grimaced as Sam flinched, pressing gingerly around the swelling welt from the rifle butt. "Head still in one piece?"
Sam nodded slowly, closing his eyes and put his head back. "Probably." He brought his head back up sharply, groaning as the seat seemed to move under him. "Was there a gunshot?" He turned to Dean and reached out trying to check for blood, but his brother slapped his hand away.
"Yes, there was a shot. No, it wasn't me." Dean grinned. "Asshat gunman's gonna need a new knee."
"Ouch," Sam said and allowed himself a small smile picturing it. "Hope he limps for the rest of his life."
"I'm still hungry," Dean grumbled and squeezed his hands tightly around the wheel to settle his nerves. It wasn't lost on him that the gunman could have simply shot Sam in the head rather than hitting him, and that realization was enough to make his knees weak. If Sam died, then his deal, his nightmares…it was all for nothing. He glanced over at Sam holding his head and very much alive beside him and allowed it to comfort him. It was worth it.
Sam pointed. "Sign for Biggerson's." He managed a smirk. "You're checking for men in masks before we go in."
Dean laughed, startled into it, and nodded. "Wouldn't want that egghead of yours to get cracked again."
Dean drove through the outskirts of Wichita, Kansas, eying each motel as they passed and mentally discarding them for various reasons - no vacancy signs, churches next door, more churches next door. One that had three police cruisers with flashing lights parked in the lot was an instant dismissal. He finally settled on a promising motel with a bar on one side, a donut shop on the other, a mostly empty parking lot, and a decent-looking restaurant down the street.
"All the comforts of not home," Dean declared as he pulled in and parked, leaving the car idling.
Sam laughed at his description and picked his head up off the back of the seat where he'd been resting it. The pain was mostly gone, but the headache would no doubt linger the rest of the day and the bright afternoon sun was not helping. He closed his eyes and covered them against the glare while he waited. He wished they could go search the amusement park right then but, if he was right and it was a basilisk, they'd never find it. Basilisks were nocturnal creatures, and they had little chance of tracking down its nest in daylight.
"Got us the room on the end," Dean said as he got back in and pulled out, driving slowly down the long building to the last room. "Hopefully, we'll be the only noisy neighbors."
"Ok, that just sounds…wrong." Sam shook his head while Dean chuckled.
"Well, the manager did offer me a king-size bed." Dean pulled up at the end of the building and parked. They fell into the easy routine of going to the trunk, getting their bags, and surreptitiously loading the weapons duffel while Sam kept an eye out, before closing the trunk and going to the room. Sam took the key and opened the door, stepped inside and snorted loudly. "What?"
"Dude." Sam moved aside and let Dean in ahead of him. The room had personality, Sam would give it that. The walls were painted a deep green, while the carpet was something Jess would have called 'seafoam' green. The bedspreads and the trim around the ceiling were bright blue. He could see from the door that the bathroom was also tiled in bright blue. The part that had made him laugh was the paintings lining the walls, ornate gold frames each holding a shadow portrait of unidentifiable people cut from black construction paper and carefully matted before being hung.
"It's like a color blind, five-year-old's art gallery," Dean said and shook his head as he tossed the bags on the near bed. He stared around at the portraits and smirked. "I think they're watching us."
Sam moved to close the door and then paused as he heard voices coming from the open door next to theirs. He leaned out as casually as he could and listened. They were housekeepers, two of them, eagerly discussing a news report that had just come out. "Damn." Sam went back in and pushed the door shut. "There's been another death at the park. According to the cleaning crew next door, sounds like another burning."
"Huh. We oughta hit up the local cop shop. Get a look at the crime scene photos." Dean dug through his bag and pulled out his suit. "Suit up, Sammy."
Sam nodded and took his bag over to his own bed, pulling his suit out while Dean went in the bathroom to change. He was more convinced than ever they were after a basilisk and it gave him hope.
The police station was more of a substation, and it had taken them twenty minutes to track down the right one to go to. Only four officers sat or stood in the squad room and barely paid attention when two tall, suited men walked in.
"Agent Stokes. My partner Agent Bonaserra." Dean held up his FBI badge for the officer at the desk. "We're here about the deaths at the abandoned amusement park."
Sam surreptitiously stomped on his brother's foot for the name he'd given him, smiling when he grunted and smiled at the officer. "We need to see your files from the latest incident and any others you have. Please."
"Huh. Suppose it's about time the feds showed up." The officer looked them over and raised a brow at Sam. "You run into a wall?"
Dean laughed and slapped his brother on the back. "Suspect got a little out of hand yesterday. Let's go, Lumpy."
The officer snorted and waved them around the desk to a small room at the back of the station. "It's an open case so all the files are right here, what we've got anyway. Help yourselves. Coffeemaker's down the hall, but I wouldn't drink it."
Dean chuckled as he left and shoved the door closed while Sam took the lid off the box on the table. "Always trust a cop when it comes to coffee."
"Oh, man." Sam started laying out photos from the crime scene at the park. "This poor kid got roasted." He glanced over the attached report. "Teenager. Can't tell from these."
Dean took one of the pictures and grimaced. "Crispy critter."
Sam put one photo closer and tilted it to get a better look. "Huh."
"What?" Dean peered over his shoulder.
"The report says these are chunks of stone, but…" Sam squinted and then widened his eyes, pointing. "Dean, that's a thumb." He looked over at his brother. "It's not stone. It's the kids missing arm…shattered into stone."
"Ok, now I'm listening." Dean took the photo and looked closely at what he could now see had obviously been a hand and arm. On one particular piece of rubble, he could actually see petrified veins. "Wow. That had to suck. Poor kid."
"I've got the survivor's address." Sam jotted it down in his notes quickly from the report. "We should go talk to her. She might have seen it. It was near dawn when she was attacked. She might have an idea where its lair is."
Dean pulled up outside the home of Lenore Murphy and shivered. "I hate suburbia. It's friggin' creepy."
Sam got out with a laugh. "You think everything's creepy."
"Everything is." Dean shrugged and led the way up the sidewalk to the pleasant, white little house. He stepped up onto the porch and sighed. "This doesn't look good." Two days of newspapers and mail were stacked in an untidy pile in front of the door. He stood and rang the doorbell while Sam knocked.
Sam moved to one of the windows and looked in. The living room was orderly and dark. "Maybe she's not home?"
Dean pointed to the garage and the open door. "Her car's here. Anyone looking?" He saw Sam shake his head and bent to the lock, pulling out a set of lockpicks. He made quick work of it and shoved the door open. "Come on."
Sam followed him in and shut the door, then took out his pistol. "Something's wrong."
"Yeah, no kidding," Dean said, flipping through a CD tower next to the television. "Who even buys Abba albums?"
"Dude. Missing woman?" Sam gave him a bitch-face and headed for the stairs. "She was injured. Maybe she's in bed." He strained his ears for any sound as he climbed the stairs and heard nothing. It was a little disturbing. "Ms. Murphy?" Sam called as he reached the top and turned to look down the short hall. "Lenore? We're federal agents." He looked back at his brother.
Dean shrugged. "Well, either she's not here or she sleeps like the dead." He smirked and stepped around Sam, going down the hall. He stuck his in the first door on the right and found a small bedroom with a bare bed. "Guest room, I guess."
Sam went to the next door and pushed it open. His eyes widened and he stared in surprise. "Dean." He put his gun away and walked to the wide bed. Lenore Murphy lay on her bed and was quite dead.
"Holy crap," Dean breathed. She looked like a statue that someone had dressed in a nightgown. The white fabric covered her torso but left her arms and legs bare, and they were the dark grey of stone…except for her right arm which sported a small bandage taped in place.
Sam reached down and carefully peeled the bandage off her arm. It concealed two deep punctures frozen in stone and he looked up to her face…forever locked in a silent scream of agony.
To Be Continued…