Summary: The back story has caught up with the more recent past, but Sam's not letting this boogeyman thing go. No, he's not. And he's got a lead on someone who might be able to shed some light on things. Nothing has lost momentum after all, Deaners. So sorry.
Thank you a million times to reviewers! SPN Mum and Clowns or Midgets, I worship you for your dedication! Seriously. It's like, not right if I don't hear from you each chapter. I'll bake you both cakes if you ever come to PA. You too, Krikanalo. Thank you, Sylvia37, for your passion. Baileylovesyou0400, I do love driving you crazy in good ways. :D
And, of course, muchas gracias to Agelade who reads my crap ("it's good!" she says) and finds my stoopid typos and just basically "Sam's out" for me to keep me motivated. And also for continuing to think "Boogeyman" is somehow canon for her "Lustra" season 9 episodes of awesomeness (all of which I get to see and beta while they are being made aahhaha I'm so privileged).
You should go read Agelade's stuff now. Her dialogue is like MAGICAL.
Chapter 10: "Fuel"
April 2, 2007
Open road. Budding green to the left and the right. Curves and inclines and it wasn't Iowa or Ohio thank God because there was nothing there to look at except corn. Or maybe alfalfa. Vegetables. Whatever. But Sam was in the passenger seat and after days of bullying Dean into motel rooms while he worked on his own he'd suddenly gotten passive this morning. And that should have raised the red flag, yeah, but he said he'd finally found a case that wouldn't involve loads of people or your friendly neighborhood FBI. He promised it was a normal case (no dreams attached) and Dean thought maybe it was going to be okay.
"Eastern State Penitentiary, huh? Why does that sound familiar?"
"I don't know, Dean. Prison on your mind lately?"
Dean made a face at the road.
"You're never gonna let me live down your Great SWAT Escape from Milwaukee, are you?"
Sam smirked, but it was short lived. His eyes dropped quickly back to the printouts and newspapers in his hands. It wasn't difficult to figure that response out, though. Stopping the shapeshifter at the bank had cost the Winchesters a lot more than they bargained for. Like putting Dean so squarely on the Fed radar that Sam had kept him out of the majority of the last two hunts. Like that poor ex bank security guard, Ron, facedown in a pool of his own well-meaning blood.
Dean cleared his throat. "Hey, give me a break. I've had practically nothing to do but listen to the radio, watch the news, and take long, long hot showers."
Dean glanced at Sam and was somewhat gratified to see his brother wrinkle his nose and process that little visual.
"Then you probably heard about the three people who died there last week on a ghost hunt."
"Oh wait...yeah. Some...Ghost Facer-ish group turned on each other or something."
Sam sifted through two printouts. "Something like that. According to the police report, the three investigators were found dead in the west wing in the early morning. Looked like," he paused and tilted his head. "One guy's head was beaten in with a piece of broken masonry, another guy had a shard of glass shoved up through his nose cavity into his frontal lobe-"
"-and a woman hung herself from an exposed beam with cords from their own surveillance equipment."
"Very pleasant. Amateurs."
"A lot of paranormal investigators are." He dropped the printout to his lap. "Most of them are. Didn't stop you from giving Ron credit for his investigation." The head of lengthening hair shook slightly and refocused. "But this group had a good reputation. At least within their own community."
"Uh huh." Dean was unimpressed and pointedly avoided the Ron comment. "So, what're we thinking, vengeful ghost possession?"
"Yeah, I mean, that's what it looks like. Eastern State survives financially on its ghost tours and investigations. Two weeks ago they opened part of the west wing that had been previously blocked off due to structural issues."
"So, those three were the first group officially in there?"
"Yeah." Sam thumbed through another printout. "And get this, the construction company shoring up the foundations for that part of the wing experienced four crew accidents during the renovation, and they all happened during the day. Broken arm from a fall, a concussion caused by a trip, things like that... Minor, but if they were ghost-inspired, pretty powerful for midday."
"In other words, they woke up some pissed off former inmate and now he's possessing idiots with infrared cameras, shivving them with handy broken material, and breaking necks."
"It all fits. So now Eastern State has closed its doors pending an official investigation. The ghost hunting community is," Sam laughed mirthlessly, "pretty much freaking out about it. Apparently it's like their Mecca."
Dean glanced over at Sam and then back to the road.
"So, what, you want to sneak in, figure out who's offing supernatural groupie co-eds and make this our case?"
Sam looked up. "Last I checked, that is what we do."
"Yeah, clean out the vengeful ghost so this place can open its doors and continue to sponge off the amateur masses? Seems counterproductive to the whole 'keeping the sheep safe' concept you were so on about in Milwaukee, Sam."
Sam shook his head and rolled his eyes. "Dean, they're gonna eventually open their doors again and more people are going to die if we, the professionals, don't intervene. Besides, I don't see the problem. This case is perfect for us. For you. You love Philadelphia, remember? You got to jack a cement truck last time we were there."
Dean smiled and nodded his head at the memory. The ghost of H. H. Holmes wouldn't be bothering anymore pretty blondes for a while. "Heh heh, yeah. Did you see the look on Jo's face when I backed that thing up? She was impressed, wasn't she?"
Sam looked at the ceiling and chuckled.
"Of course she was. I'm just sayin'..." Dean paused, "we've got a lot of other stuff on our plate right now. Why are you on fire for this?"
It suddenly got quiet. Sam turned his head and looked out the window. Dean took his eyes off the road to peer at him because Sammy Silence was Thinking-Too-Much silence.
"Hey. What aren't you tellin' me here?"
Sam licked his lips and slowly slid another computer printout from the bottom of his pile. "We're gonna practically pass through Greensburg, Pennsylvania while we're on the Turnpike." He checked a mile marker on the side of the road. "In like...two hours."
Dean's eyes narrowed.
"Okay? Greensburg? What's in Greensburg?"
"Sam, come on. Greensburg?"
"Amber's mother lives there now."
"What?" The blood in Dean's fingers froze almost instantly. "Sam, come on."
"Dean, just...just hear me out." And Sam physically turned his body in his seat, somehow managing to not spill his research material all over the floor.
"After what she did to you? You've gotta be kidding. What good could possibly come of this? Don't even answer that question." Dean slammed a hand on the steering wheel. He didn't want to hear that name. He didn't want to think of that name or that girl. Never. Dammit.
"She moved a month after...after everything happened. You were right when you said we have nothing to go on with the boogeyman, but this is my case and I've decided to work it. Dad didn't give enough information about the profile back then, but we know at least one of its actual victims. If this were any other case, we'd be following up on that. She and I...we had to have something in common, right? It's a place to start, and I figure if Dad could put it all together somehow, then I could, too, maybe, if I have some leads."
"And you mean to tell me that you've been researching her? Doing all of this, and hiding it from me, Sam?" Dean's voice rose.
"I wasn't...I wasn't hiding it, I was just looking into it. You're right, our plate has been full, but I can't just forget it Dean. I can't. Especially not now."
His little brother sat back and gave an unsettled sigh, shifted restlessly in his seat.
"Sam, you have to be honest, man. What's going on in that head, huh? Haven't you considered that all this is gonna put you into a state where you might not..." Dean cut himself off and shook his head.
"Where I might not, what? Be able to function when it counts? I keep telling you, that's the whole reason why I have to do this." He lifted a paper. "Farrah Dixon. She's a manager at an IHOP. You love IHOP. And it's on the way. It would take maybe an hour."
Dean was getting sick of the attempts to bribe him out of his reluctance, his anger, his full on fear of the consequences of this whole thing. Sam didn't get it because Sam was gone when he was...gone. That time when he was 10? Even Dad had started to think he might not snap out of it after all.
"That's not the point, Sam, and you know it."
"I had a dream, okay?"
Dean stopped with his mouth open, ready to keep going. Dammit. Should have known.
"What kind of dream?"
"I don't know. I don't know anymore. I don't know, but I saw her again and..." he clenched his fists and Dean could hear it in his voice. "I feel like something is close. I'm not wrong, Dean. Dad must have purposefully kept all of the boogeyman info from his journal, from Bobby. Dad knew something, he knew something, and then...and then." Sam shook his head. "What if there really is...some kind of connection to Yellow Eyes? Isn't that part of the plate? If I'm going to fail, again, who's to say that finishing this couldn't have prevented it in some way? It was my first mission, and I...I screwed it up."
"Sam, you didn't do anything. You were nine and hadn't slept for days, okay? And anyway, I was the one who took the responsibility." My God, he didn't like talking about this, making it real again.
Sam was getting emotional too. "That's the problem, Dean, but it wasn't your fault. It was my responsibility. Will you face the fact that you will never be able to change my mind on that, okay, and let me do this? Please. Just one hour. If it gets us nowhere, then it was just an hour, and I'll shut up about it."
"Sam." Dean swallowed something that wanted to choke him. Sam was getting too close to this. He wasn't listening. "God, why am I letting you do this to us all over again?"
It was a rhetorical question. He hadn't expected an answer, but he got one.
"Because you can't stop me, Dean." Sam's voice was quiet. Resigned. "Because I will do this one with or without you."
The road became blurry. Fuck.
"Someday I'm gonna have to lock you up for your own good, Sam. Fair warning."
Dean could feel Sam relax a little at that, as if his big brother were joking, but he had no idea how terrifyingly possible those words felt in his mouth.
"Hey, what is it?" Dean smacked Sam's chest when his brother turned around to look behind them for the second time. The Impala was parked and his brother was rooted to the sidewalk of Anytown, America somewhere in Western Pennsylvania. "If you don't wanna do this, just say so. You won't be twisting my arm."
Sam winced and then narrowed his eyes slightly.
"You... get the feeling we're being watched?"
Dean glanced behind them, behind the Impala on this generic residential street in this "city" that was more like a glorified little town. With an art museum. Across the street was a man in his mid to late 60's, impossibly tan, sitting shirtless on his porch. At his feet was an old orange cat, asleep by the looks of it. From the color of his skin and the way he rocked back in the beat up computer chair converted to porch recliner, people-watching was likely his primary hobby.
"What, that guy? He's a porch sitter, Sammy. Every old town has one." He gave a chin nod and smile at the colorful local who did nothing but stare back. "I don't know. Maybe it's the cat. Want me to go interrogate the cat?"
Sam rolled his eyes and shrugged Dean off the way he always did when superior humor escaped him.
"Just, come on. Or stay in the car."
"Hell, no." Dean caught up to his longer-legged brother who was striding purposefully towards the stoop of a standard brick two-story house. A few pink spring flowers stood in a couple of pots near the door.
"So, we're plains-clothing this? What's our angle?" Dean asked as they stopped before the door. His brother's eyes slid to him briefly. "Well, come on, Sam, don't tell me you haven't planned this."
"Just follow my lead, okay?"
Dean's expression was "if-you-say-so" and he blew out a breath as Sam pushed the doorbell. Bad idea. All of this. Sam's arms were by his side, and they clenched and released rhythmically. Compulsively. Dean's jaw moved. In two seconds he was going to take his stupid brother by the front of his jacket...
The door cracked and then opened to reveal a woman in maybe her late thirties early forties. She might have been Dean's type once (pretty and adventurous and ready to go), but now the lines around her brown eyes were tired. Suspicious. Her hair was hastily pulled back, and a thin wrist clutched the screen door handle from the inside.
"Um...Ms. Dixon?" Sam faltered with his mouth open. Dean saw the face and tried to smile benevolently at the woman, his mouth ready to apologize, to grab this stupid kid...and then his jaw went slack when his brother spoke again. "My name is Sam. Sam Winchester?"
What the actual fuck, Sammy?
But something glimmered in the cold recesses of Farrah Dixon's eyes. She studied his brother anew but without the lens of fear. "Sam...Winchester?"
"I'm so sorry I just...just showed up without warning. We happened to be on our way east, and...and I was hoping I could have a minute or two of your time?"
It was the puppy face-good lord, that face-but it was so genuine, so open, so obviously carrying a weight of shared sorrow that Dean thought this plan was so crazy it just might work.
That was when she looked at Dean, and he realized, suddenly, that he wasn't wanted.
"This is my older brother, Dean," Sam said quickly. "We work together. He's okay."
"He's okay?" Really, Sam?
"Hi," Dean waved like a cowboy, flashing the smile that usually got the best response. Usually.
She nodded and pushed the door further. "Come in. When I got your e-mail, Sam, I was so...you understand why I just...couldn't believe it."
When she got your e-mail?
Dean leveled a look at his brother that said "when we leave here, you have an assload of explaining to do" which Sam fended off with a whispered "not now" as Amber's mother led the way into a plain living room, brightly lit with sunshine, and gestured for them to sit on a tan-colored couch. Farrah ran her hands down her thin arms, unsure, and then finally sat down on a tapestry-covered chair to Sam's left.
"Oh my God, I can't believe this. After all this time. And her birthday coming up." She put a hand to her mouth to still the emotion there. "I'm sorry."
"Don't be sorry. I didn't give you any warning we were showing up."
At least Sam had the decency to have not expected there would be a "yes" to this plan, but that was cold comfort because right now Dean wanted to be somewhere very far away. He should have stayed in the car. The emotions in the room between the two of them were suffocating.
"No, no. It's okay. I'm off today and...I tried to find out who you were, back then, but...but then the school said you withdrew, that you were gone, and they were forwarding your records but they couldn't tell me where. And then you sent that e-mail this morning and I thought, does this mean something? Because I've been dreaming about her so much lately."
Dean quickly looked at Sam's face. Oh yeah, no doubt about it-his brother hadn't been expecting that. This was going to go south so quick, so bad...
"You...you said you've been dreaming about her?"
Farrah nodded. "She walks right out of my closet and says...'Sam's going to call me on our birthday, Mommy.' Just like...just like she did on the phone that night. The night before...before some...monster took her away from me."
"Monster?" Dean asked, surprised.
"What else would you call a person who takes an eight-year-old girl from her home? Who never calls, who never...who never leaves...leaves anything for me to bury?"
Oops. And there was Sam, on cue, with the curdled milk look as he grabbed a tissue from the box on the coffee table and handed it to her.
"In your e-mail you said that you were trying to solve it? To find Amber?"
Sam sat up. "Yeah, my brother and I are...kind of like private investigators. I didn't know Amber for very long but...but I remember her. I was new in town and she was...she made me feel welcome. It's hard to explain. But if I can do something, I want to help."
The woman sighed. "Frankly, I gave up hope of ever finding her, but...but to meet you, finally, it gives me a...link. A link to her. I feel a little closer to her now." She rested her hand lightly on Sam's, and it was like the flipping of a switch.
Sam's eyes were filling. Crap.
Dean jumped in. Someone had to hold the torch here. "Um. Ms. Dixon, we're trying to put together a profile of the...monster...who separated you from your daughter. Is there anything you could tell us about her? Anything that might have made her..." Dean searches, "stand out?"
She sighed and her shoulders dropped and she repeated "stand out," with not a little bitterness.
"Amber was such a good girl. I mean that. A few weeks after she was born she had a fever so severe she stopped breathing." Farrah took a deep breath. "I had Amber when I was fifteen. I didn't know how to be a mother. The paramedics brought her back, and she was never strong after that, but my God, that little girl had such a big heart." She bit her bottom lip hard.
"Amber had this...uncanny ability to know what you were thinking, and she wanted so badly to please people. It wasn't really apparent until she was about five, but sometimes she would...answer thoughts I was having in my head. Answer them out loud, swore I had asked them to her. And she...she was so empathic. It must have been hell for her because I was trying to survive with her and I worked crazy hours and was so stressed out all of the time. It got to the point where all it would take would be me walking through the door and she would cry, and of course, I was tired so I yelled about that...I was a terrible mother."
Sam put a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Where was her father in all of this?"
She shook her head and pressed the tissue to her nose. "Her father was never in the picture. He was a kid who 'got me in trouble,' and his family moved away the year after she was born and I had to drop out."
Sam's brow quirked. "You said...her father wasn't around? He didn't...he didn't leave on a hunting trip when Amber was five and not come back?"
"No, he never...why? Why ask that? Did she say that to you?"
Sam opened his mouth, checked what he was about to say. "I'm probably remembering wrong."
"Did your father hunt? Did he leave on a hunting trip and not come back?" She asked, innocently, but Dean watched the color drain out of his brother's face. He had to hold himself back from grabbing Sam's arm and hauling ass out of there.
"Amber was like that. She said things, tried to connect to people. She didn't mean to lie to you, Sam. I swear. It was like this...immediate and unconscious reaction." She put her hand on Sam's knee. It was pretty clear Sam was undone, but this lady would never know exactly why.
"Are you saying...are you saying your daughter could read minds?" Dean said finally.
"I know it sounds crazy, but yes. I mean that. But it didn't work out for her because she alienated anyone who ever got close to her. They called her a freak, bullied her at school. She was a complete outcast, and her health...it must have been horrible for her, but she was so quiet. I was always busy trying to keep a roof over our head..." The remorse in her voice was a mile of deep ocean.
Sam swallowed. He looked at the ceiling. It was so clear that he was going back there, and it was tripping every alarm system in Dean's head. This was some sophisticated torture, right here, and he had had enough.
"Thank you, Ms. Dixon. We're sorry to have bothered you, brought this up, and we'll go now." Dean did grab Sam's coat sleeve.
"No, wait." Sam pushed him back. "Ms. Dixon, did Amber...did Amber talk about anything weird before she...disappeared? Did she behave strangely?"
"She...she stopped sleeping. She developed that little-child fear of the dark and the closet and wouldn't sleep. Which brought on a fever. I had to take off work and we were behind on the rent and the gas company was threatening to shut us off." She swallowed and shook her head. "I...I prioritized things so wrong. I thought I was doing the right thing and I...I ignored what my baby needed. She needed me to be there. She needed me to hold her and tell her it was okay, that she was okay just the way she was. God. Just because you bring a child into this world doesn't mean you have the answers...until it's too late. Some mistakes can't be fixed."
Most mistakes couldn't be fixed, just repeated. Get the picture, Sammy!
Amber's mother stood up. "Wait here, please. There's...there's something I want to show you, Sam." His brother managed to nod and she walked out of the room.
Dean took the chance to whisper, "Sam, don't do this. Let's just go."
And he knew that at any other time Sam would have told him to back off, to give him five more minutes, to argue that it was worth it, but he didn't. He put his face into his hands and closed himself away in his grief. The old fear in the pit of Dean's stomach crept up into his mouth, into his throat, a choking anger, fear...
She returned with a yellowing piece of paper.
His little brother looked up and he was upset and it wasn't professional, no, but he had introduced himself as Sam Winchester, and so, yeah, this came with the name. This hurt came with the territory.
"If...if you never find my daughter, I just always wanted you to know that...that I am grateful. You were right to be mad for her sake. Thank you for telling her that I loved her. She believed you. You must have been earnest because she would have known if you were lying. She was like that." Shakily she handed Sam back the letter he had written in pencil so many years ago.
Sam held that paper in his hands and he was nine-years-old. Dean never thought he'd see that little brother again-the boy who wrote poems and hid them, who once studied a daisy for a half an hour because it was "so soft, Dean!"-but here he was, raw, tattered. Beaten. He was nine and then he was ten, and he was lost, and he was saying "I killed her..."
"Please...don't thank me." It was so full of guilt.
Fuck you, world. Leave my brother out of your drama. Leave him out of it!
"Hey, you okay?"
Two hours of quiet turnpike time for Sam to process everything into his little notebook was long enough.
Sam's hand paused.
"Um, pardon my French, but you seem pretty fucking far from okay."
At that, he did look up.
"Ain't the same thing, Sammy."
"Yeah, well, it's the thing that counts, right?" He went back to writing.
"Maybe. So, how long was it gonna be before you told me about the dreams and the e-mails, huh?"
"When they actually...led to something. And they did." Sam swallowed and looked away. "It was all just paper pushing to this point. If you know how to work a computer, you can find anyone in this world, Dean. And it was one e-mail, just one to verify she was who I thought she was, for her to hear from me."
"Okay? And the dreams?"
His brother sighed. "They started about a week ago. With her. She...Amber she came out of the closet in the motel room, and said..." He stopped.
"What did she say?"
"She said, 'call me on my birthday, Sam'."
Dean got a chill in spite of the fact that eerie shit was pretty much his job.
"Like her Mom said? What, like...like some kind of Carol-Ann-through-the-tv-static SOS? Like, 'call me on the Dead Phone' thing or what?"
Sam shrugged his shoulders.
"How many times?"
The engine hummed as miles sped by.
"How many times, Sam?"
"What the hell, and you didn't think that was worth mentioning?" Dean remembered waking up from his own nightmare not long ago. Sam at the computer. Sam with that hair tie. It all made sense now. Even then, the closed-mouth little bastard.
"Dean, seriously, if I give you a head's up everytime I dream something weird, feel something off, see something strange, you'd barely let me go to the bathroom by myself."
"Oh yeah. That's comforting."
"Try to put yourself in my shoes for 20 seconds, Dean. I mean, there's a demon out there who's killed our mother and father and told me he has 'plans' for me. On top of that, add in the dreams that come true about people dying, ghosts from my past, and that constant feeling that I'm being watched. And I won't even bring up Meg and her revenge possession, the things I did when I wasn't...me. I shot you." Dean could feel Sam looking at him pointedly. "I'm managing it, okay, or else my big brother is gonna have to kill me to save me from myself."
"Hey, hey. I told you, not gonna happen." Dean backed off, but he had just flipped the switch from "Think About That" to "Hell No, Not Now, Thanks" and proceeded with as much detachment as he could. The white knuckles on the steering wheel were the only indication of how difficult that process had been.
"So, you were tryin' to work the case, get a profile on the boogeyman. What d'ya have?"
Sam slipped open his notebook and glanced through it. They were by no means in safe territory, but it was more productive now, and there were still about two hours to Philadelphia if he kept up this speed.
"Well, the most obvious connection is our birthdays."
"Yeah. Same day."
"I thought, at first, that the thing we had in common was that our fathers were both hunters of some kind, but that wasn't it."
"No, but that pretty much clinches something else."
"Yeah." Sam looked up. "The psychic connection. Dean, do you think...do you think there is a link with her to Yellow Eyes too?"
"Well, you were close in age, but she didn't have the burning-house-dead-mom thing, obviously." Dean offered.
"Not all of the other psychics who've encountered Yellow Eyes fit that profile, though, remember? And none of them knew about their abilities until they were grown adults. Including me."
Dean couldn't believe he was going to say this but...
"That's just when they noticed them, Sam. What about the mom? She said she was having dreams. Like mother like daughter?"
He saw Sam shake his head out of the corner of his eye. "No, I don't think so. Remember when she talked about the fever? I bet that's what triggered it. There are all kinds of theories about psychic abilities, but the most credible ideas link it with the possibility that the brain, which we still don't know a lot about, 'wakes up' to parts normal people don't use. There have been a number of cases of people coming back from near death experiences and having visions, being 'sensitive.'"
"Whatever, Sam, it's not coincidental."
"You and...and Amber. The psychic connection. However you got it, you both are way up on the 'Scanners' list of suspects."
Sam sighed. "Maybe. So, the boogeyman targets children with psychic ability. That doesn't make it completely easy to track, since a kid might not have been showing any signs of it when they disappeared."
"But we have a date and a place."
"Yeah. Dad said he tracked it to that time and town. So, Osseo, Wisconsin on May 2nd. Birthday. Children with some kind of psychic profile. Do you...do you think this...creature...is actually working with Yellow Eyes somehow?"
Dean swallowed. It hardly mattered when there was a timetable and an eager Sam and a known monster he was running right towards.
"Listen to me, Sam. We don't move on this until we find out for sure how to kill it. You hear me? I don't know what Dad was thinking, but I know what you are thinking. There isn't an assload of lore on this thing for nothing, okay? It's made sure it's damn good at what it does, and what it does is not leave people behind."
Sam didn't look happy. Didn't seem grateful that he was making progress, and it's not like Dean was going to blame him for it, but God, he could just stop this anytime he wanted. If it hurt, why didn't he just stop?
But he knew the answer before the question was even formed all the way in his mind. For a kid who made it his job to test their father from the age of 10 onward, Sam was a lot like Dad. Too much like Dad: the meticulous research, the unhealthy obsession, the dedication to self-destruction, the inability to let the past stay in the past. Damn this Yellow Eyed demon thing, already. Wouldn't it be enough to just find that fucker, end him, and then clear the slate? It wouldn't bring Dad back, but it would at least mean his death hadn't been for nothing. What the fuck was Sam proving? That he could top Dad in the badass department? That he could survive longer?
Even though Dean carried Sam out of burning house, even though their father was the most intimidating hunter on the planet, even though Sam was three times smarter than the average human being, It was scary to think that not a single one of them was technically a "survivor." Sam escaped the boogeyman once, but the little brother he had been before he was ten died that day too, and there had been nothing to bury.
Their father's obsessions had lead him to hell. Where were the rest of them going?
(to be continued...)
(Author end note: That porch sitter dude in Greensburg? ACTUAL person. I wrote every detail about the guy who sits on the porch of a corner house a block up and over from me. He needed a place in a SPN story like whoa.)