Title: The A to Z of Demonology
Season: 3 – immediately after the episode Bad Day at Black Rock
Category: General, Action, Humour
Warnings: Sam ouchies...
Tagline: After dealing with the YED and the Seven Deadly Sins, the boys thought they were getting a handle on demons – but they’d never encountered anything quite like this before…
Total Word Count: 34,601
Total Chapters: 6
Chapter 4 Word Count: 5813
Story Banner: Chasidern
Award Banner: hobbleit
Winner: SN.TV 2008 Awards – Best Humour Fanfiction (Tied with Concussed – And Loving It)
Looks like Dean's about to find out just how much damage a little demon can do...
Alisa smiled brightly as she saw the tall, handsome hunter approach her desk. “Well hi, Sam. Back so soon?”
Sam smiled tentatively back, trying not to blush as the pretty young woman’s gaze roamed appreciatively over his broad-shouldered frame. “Uh – hi. We – uh – we kinda need some help on something.”
“Oh.” Alisa’s small white teeth worried her lower lip as she glanced at the computers. “Well, internet and phones are down, so I can’t help you with computer access.”
Sam held up a hand. “No, no, no – books will be fine.”
The librarian’s pixie face lit up with pleasure as she got to her feet. “Oh, well that’s all right, then. Just name it.” Her eyes flicked toward Sam’s silent companion, and she blinked rapidly as her mouth fell open. “Harry?”
Harry shifted uncomfortably. He’d had a shower back at the motel, and Sam had given him a clean set of clothes from the boys’ own meagre selection. Currently he was wearing a pair of Dean’s jeans rolled up a half dozen times at the cuffs to stop the too long legs trailing under his feet, one of Dean’s tee shirts stretched uncomfortably tight across his growing paunch, and one of Sam’s shirts, with the sleeves rolled up to his wrists. Sam’s beige jacket completed the picture, the cuffs flopping loosely over Harry’s fingers. “Hi, Alisa. How are you?”
“Just fine, Harry. You?” Alisa queried uncertainly.
Sam cleared his throat, bringing the librarian’s attention back to the matter at hand. “Uh – Alisa? Have you got any non-fiction or reference books on demonology, the occult – stuff like that?”
The woman’s bright blue eyes twinkled. “Oh, sure! We have a great Supernatural section. I make sure I keep it as up to date as I can. I love all that stuff. Right this way.” She gestured with a wave of a petite hand and walked toward the rear of the cool stone building, threading her way with practiced ease through the maze of bookshelves.
Alisa came to a halt near the back wall, and Sam smiled in appreciation at the rows of books that met his gaze. The collection displayed was perhaps not as extensive as Bobby’s, but it was a good start. The Supernatural section formed a square U-shape in the back corner, with a small coffee table flanked by three comfortable cane chairs in the centre of the U. “I spend a lot of my spare time here,” Alisa explained as she indicated the chairs. “So I thought I might as well make it comfortable.”
“It’s just great.” Sam strolled along the shelves, his long forefinger brushing over the spines as he read the titles.
The pretty librarian could tell she was in the company of a fellow book lover, and she stepped to the tall hunter’s side. Harry was forgotten as she gazed up into Sam’s expressive hazel eyes. “So,” she began softly, resting an elbow against the edge of a shelf. “Anything in particular I can help you with?”
Sam tapped his fingers against the spine of a well-worn copy of The Haunted Reality by Dave Oester & Sharon Gill, his natural shyness forgotten as he focussed on the hunt. “Uh, well – what have you got on demons?”
“Demons?” Alisa pressed her lips together, her eyes on the shelves behind Sam. Raising her arm, she pointed to the demon section, brushing her hand against the shaggy haired hunter’s wide shoulder. “Two whole shelves of books on demons, right over there. Got practically the A to Z of Demonology.” She smiled prettily as Sam eagerly scanned the shelves she had indicated.
“That’s just what we need,” Sam enthused, running his fingers over the repaired cover of a copy of The Encyclopaedia of Witchcraft and Demonology. He turned his beaming smile on the pretty librarian. “Thanks, Alisa – this is great!”
Alisa blinked rapidly, her heart melting under the heat of Sam’s 1000-watt dimpled smile. She swallowed, feeling rather short of breath, and stepped back, fluttering her hand vaguely in the direction of her desk. “Uh – well – if – if you…” Mentally giving herself a good shake, she straightened her slim shoulders. “If you need anything – I’m right over there. Hey, want some coffee?”
Oblivious to his effect on the girl, Sam turned back toward the shelves, his bright eyes devouring the titles like a starving man coming face to face with an all you can eat buffet. “That would be great, thanks.”
Harry’s bloodshot eyes flicked between the two young people. He noted the girl’s flushed face as she turned away from the handsome hunter and he smiled wryly, sauntering over to join Sam at the shelves. He waited until Alisa had walked away. “Well, you made quite an impression.”
“Huh?” Sam blinked rapidly, tearing his gaze away from the treasure trove of books to stare at the stocky businessman in confusion.
“I think she’s sweet on you,” Harry murmured, a grin breaking out on his worn face as he saw the blush creep across the young man’s high cheekbones. “Don’t tell me you didn’t notice.”
Sam cursed silently as he felt the telltale heat on his face. Feeling slightly flustered, he turned back to the books. “Um – no, not really.”
A soft chuckle burst from Harry’s thin lips. He waved a hand at the rows of books, shaking his head as the sleeve of Sam’s jacket flopped down to completely cover his fingers. Pushing up the sleeve, Harry cleared his throat. “Well, where do we start?”
* * * * *
Dean frantically patted his pockets, giving a little sigh of relief as his questing hands found the flat silver flask of holy water. He wrenched it from the inside pocket of his jacket and twisted the cap off as he back-pedalled, trying to keep his distance from the approaching demon. Ah, crap, he thought fleetingly, hope I grabbed the right flask, ‘cause it sure wouldn’t do me a hell of a lot of good showering the demon with Jack Daniels.
Fuchsia eyes glowing like twin neon lights, the demon advanced menacingly. “Winchester!” He spat the name like a curse and growled low in his throat as he saw Dean’s flask-filled hand flick toward him.
“Eat this, you hell spawn son of a bitch!”
“Ow – ow – ow!” The demon-possessed mechanic jumped back, swatting his hands against his torso. A faint wisp of steam rose from his flesh. “Ow, damn it! That stings like a bitch!”
Dean’s jaw dropped. He stared wordlessly at the cursing demon.
“Ooh, you’re so gonna pay for that, you little punk!” Al drew himself up to his full, less than impressive height, and craned his neck to make eye contact with the tall hunter. “Do you have any idea who you’re messing with?”
The hunter’s green eyes flew wide in astonishment. “Who’re you callin’ little?” Dean flicked the flask at the demon once more, a disbelieving grin tugging at his lips as the man hopped back out of range. “What’s the matter, short stop? Can’t take a little holy water?”
Al snarled and sent a demonic shove toward the tall hunter, staggering Dean back a pace or two.
Dean frowned as he took a long step forward. His sinewy hand rose to push against the short mechanic’s shoulder. “Hey! Watch who you’re shovin’!”
“I’ll show you, you little…” Again, Al sent a shove in Dean’s direction, pushing the hunter back a few steps. He growled as Dean advanced once more and pushed him right back. “Look, you…”
“No, you look!” Dean shoved the little mechanic a third time, looming over the fuchsia-eyed man. “I don’t know what your game is, you pink-eyed son of a bitch, but the fun’s over. You’re goin’ back to hell where you belong.”
Gathering all his power, Al sent his most powerful shove yet against the broad chest of the hunter. Dean reeled back, his feet tangling together, and fell, landing on his ass with a startled grunt. “I’m gonna teach you some respect, boy!” He strode forward, only to jerk back a step, his limbs twitching spasmodically. “Aww, leave the kid alone! Shut up! Make me! You’ll do as I say! Ah, go stick your thumb up your ass!”
Dean looked up, flabbergasted at the sudden turn of events, as the weird electric glow faded from the man’s eyes. He stared at the gnarled hand reaching toward him.
“Here, son, let me help you up,” Al smiled affably, his light grey eyes filled with concern. “Didn’t hurt you, did he, son?”
“Uh…” Shaking his head in wonder, Dean grasped the elder man’s hand, levering himself off the ground with Al’s help. He was halfway to his feet when he saw the man’s eyes change colour again. “Ah, crap…”
“I SAID YOU WILL DO AS I SAY!” the demon inside Al thundered, shoving at the off-balance hunter with all his strength.
Dean fell backwards out of control, sprawling in an undignified heap on the ground. Bright stars lanced across his vision as his head struck a rock at the side of the path. His last thought as the demon loomed closer, and blackness dropped over him like a smothering cloak, was of his brother. Man, Sammy’s gonna freak…
* * * * *
Sam sighed heavily, and pushed aside the heavy reference book. He raked his fingers through his wavy hair, dragging the bangs away from his eyes. Smiling gratefully at the pretty librarian as she slid another cup of coffee in front of him, he leaned back in the chair to straighten the kinks from his back. “Thanks, Alisa.”
“No problems, Sam.” Alisa hovered by the tall hunter’s chair, her gaze flicking over the growing pile of discarded books. “No luck yet, huh?”
“No, not yet.” Sam glanced at Harry, watching the businessman pore over another of the thick books on demons and lore. He looked at his watch, and automatically reached for his cell to check in with Dean, cursing under his breath as he remembered that the communications tower had been blown up.
Alisa tapped her pink lacquered fingernails against the back of Sam’s chair, deep in thought. Suddenly she spun on her heel and headed back toward the tiny staff room behind her desk. She was back in a few minutes, a triumphant smile on her pixie face as she set a battered, dusty tome down in front of the bemused hunter with a small flourish. “Just remembered this – it was out the back waiting to be sent to the book binders.”
Sam’s eyebrows rose in surprise as he studied the faded title embossed on the cracked and ragged cover. “The Dictionnaire Infernal?”
“Yep. Now, if you want the real A to Z of Demonology, this is it.” Alisa reached over Sam’s shoulder and reverently turned the broken cover. “Jacques de Plancy certainly knew his demons.”
Sam bent over the book, carefully running his finger down the brittle index page.
Alisa stooped closer, her cheek almost touching the dark tousled head of the seated hunter. She half-closed her eyes as she breathed in the faint scent of almonds wafting from his soft, wavy hair. Leaning against his broad shoulder, she peered down at the index page, watching the slow glide of Sam’s long forefinger.
Harry glanced up, and quickly bent his head to hide his grin. He softly cleared his throat and turned the page of the book he was perusing.
Sam quickly scanned the pages of the old book, vaguely aware of the pressure against his shoulder. Letting out a hiss of satisfaction, he tapped the page he’d found. “Ukobach.”
Harry’s brows rose. “Uko-which?”
“Ukobach,” Sam repeated softly. “That’s it – that’s the demon.” A triumphant smile lit his lean, tanned face. He turned his head, his brows arching in surprise as he came practically nose-to-nose with the pert librarian. “Uh…”
Alisa stared, captivated by Sam’s eyes, so close that she could see the swirl of dark green in the hazel irises. The rest of the world faded away as she lost herself in their soulful depths.
Sam cleared his throat as he reared back in his chair. “Uh – Alisa?”
“Yes, Sam,” Alisa breathed.
“Um – could we – could we get a photocopy of this page?” Sam picked up the reference book and thrust it into the librarian’s small hands.
“Oh.” Alisa blinked and stared down at the book, disappointment clouding her gaze. “Of course – I’ll – be right – back,” she murmured weakly as she backed away from the handsome hunter.
Sam huffed out a relieved sigh as the pretty woman walked away. He snapped his head up as his companion let out a soft chuckle. “What?”
“Son – that girl’s got it bad for you.”
Blushing furiously, the hunter began to gather the scattered reference books into a neat pile. “Shut up.”
The waiting men heard the faint whirr of the photocopier, and then Sam smiled tentatively as he saw the librarian walking back toward them, the book tucked securely under her arm.
Alisa handed Sam the photocopied page as she came to a halt by his side. Her expression turned wistful as she watched him prepare to leave. “So – is there – anything else I can do – for you?”
“Um – thanks – we – we got – what we need.” Squirming uncomfortably, the shy hunter slid from his seat and stood up, towering over the petite woman. “Thanks for – you know – the coffee. And your help.” He made a hasty exit, motioning impatiently for the grinning businessman to follow him.
Harry smirked, shook Alisa’s hand, and sauntered after the flustered young hunter.
Alisa gazed forlornly at Sam’s broad back as he slipped through the front door. A heartfelt sigh escaped her soft lips. “Glad someone got what they needed,” she murmured sadly.
* * * * *
“There’s the Impala.” Sam pointed to the gleaming black classic near the corner of the small parking lot. “I don’t see Dean anywhere.”
Harry shrugged as he parked his car beside the Chevy. “Maybe he left the car here while he went back to town to follow up on some leads.”
“Are you kidding me?” Sam rolled his eyes as he slid from the passenger seat. “Dean would never leave his baby way out here. He’d take her with him, or leave her back at the motel where she’d be safe.”
“Her?” Harry chuckled as Sam shot him an exasperated glance. “Sounds like your brother’s not the only one who’s got a thing for his car.”
“Shut up!” Sam waved a hand at the ruins of the communications tower. “Can we just go look for Dean?”
“Lead the way.” The businessman grinned at the hunter’s back as he followed Sam from the parking lot. Together the pair circled the remains of the tower and the half-destroyed office, searching the ground for any sign of the elder Winchester. Harry pushed up the sleeves of his borrowed jacket as they finished their initial circuit. He rolled his head, easing the strain on his neck muscles. Harry’s gaze slid across the start of the path angling away down the slope and he straightened up, peering down the tree-shaded walkway. “Sam.”
The young hunter’s head snapped up as he heard his name, and he looked in the direction the elder man was indicating; his eyes narrowing as he spotted the path. Nodding to his companion, he checked his waistband for the .45 nestled against his lower back and started down the slope, moving with cat-footed grace.
His boots making a faint crunching sound on the leaf-littered concrete as he walked, Sam studied the path for any signs of a struggle. Rounding a bend, he stopped so suddenly that Harry ran into his back, sending him stumbling forward a few steps. He groaned in dismay as he saw the crumpled form in the leather jacket, and he sprinted the few feet to his brother. Dropping to one knee by his sibling’s side, Sam checked Dean’s pulse and then peeled back his eyelids, checking the pupils. He sighed as he found one reactive, and one blown. “Concussion. Great.”
Harry slid to a halt at Sam’s side. “Oh my God – is he…”
“No, he’s just out cold.” Sam leaned over his unconscious sibling, tapping his big hand against Dean’s cheek. “Dean – Dean! Come on, big brother, open your eyes.”
Dean grunted softly, and twitched. His eyeballs rolled under his closed lids.
Sam smiled faintly. “That’s it – come on, bro – nap time’s over.” He shook Dean’s shoulder. “Dean, wake up, man!”
The elder Winchester came to with a startled yell, lunging half upright as he flung up his flask-filled hand. Sam rocked back on his heels, blinking in astonishment as a spray of holy water splashed across his face.
Dean’s eyes rolled wildly before focussing on the slightly blurry figure kneeling at his side. Slowly his vision cleared, and his mouth dropped open as he encountered his sibling’s pissed off glare. “Sammy?”
Sam huffed in annoyance and wiped his hand across his eyes. Water dripped down his chin to dampen his shirt. “Yeah, it’s me.”
“Oh.” Dean put a hand up to his aching head.
“You know – thanks for the water, but if I wanted a drink, I’d have got one myself, brother.”
“Thought you were Al…” Dean blinked groggily at his brother. “Demon was here.”
Sam glanced around before standing up. He stooped, hooking a hand under Dean’s armpit and hauling him to his feet. “Well, it’s gone now. Come on, dude, let’s get you back to the motel, huh?”
The young hunter rolled his eyes as he carefully guided his brother’s unsteady steps toward the parking lot. Harry silently followed, casting nervous glances at the path behind them as they walked. Sam tightened his hold on Dean’s arm as the elder hunter swayed. “Okay, big brother. I’ve got you, now.”
Dean pouted. “Hit my head.”
“I know, dude.”
“Son of a bitch!”
“Yeah. Just a little further.”
“Demon was here.”
“I know that, too. You told me, remember?” Sam shook his head, feeling a strange sense of déjà vu. “Come on, man, just a few more feet.”
Dean swayed drunkenly. “Son of a bitch!”
“Yeah, he is,” Sam replied, sympathy and a faint hint of amusement in his soothing tone.
Dean stopped in the middle of the path and blinked owlishly up at his taller sibling. He swallowed convulsively, the colour draining rapidly from his face as his jaw clenched. “Sammy?” he whispered desperately.
“Oh, crap!” Sam grasped his brother’s shoulders, spinning Dean around just as the elder man’s body hitched. Dean dropped to his knees and Sam dropped with him, kneeling behind the elder hunter’s left shoulder. He heard a strangled retching and grimaced, holding onto his brother until the bout of vomiting ended. “Easy, big brother.”
Dean wiped his mouth with a shaking hand, and settled back onto his heels. “Uhhh…” The horizon shifted position, wavering in and out as though viewed through a shimmering heat haze. Blinking rapidly, Dean slumped further toward the ground as black spots swam across his vision. “Son of…”
Sam caught his brother in his arms as Dean passed out. “Holy crap…” Swiftly, he lunged to his feet and pulled his unconscious sibling across his shoulders in a fireman’s carry. “All right, big brother – up we go.”
Staggering a little under Dean’s weight, Sam made it to the Impala a few moments later, nodding gratefully to Harry as the elder man searched Dean’s pockets for the keys. Between the two of them, they got Dean onto the back seat and Sam closed the door with a sigh of relief, sagging against it briefly before heading for the driver’s door.
Harry headed for his own car and followed the big black classic back to the motel, pulling up next to the Chevy as Sam got out. Catching the room key tossed to him by the young hunter, he quickly unlocked the door and stepped back, allowing Sam to step inside, his brother once more draped across his shoulders.
Gently, Sam lowered Dean down onto his bed and disappeared outside for the first aid kit. He was back in moments, kicking the door closed with his foot as he glanced at the stocky businessman. “Harry – thanks.”
The elder man waved a hand in dismissal as he reached for his wallet. “Don’t mention it. I’ll go get us some decent coffee. Be right back.”
Shaking his head as he grinned, Sam turned his attention to his sibling, sighing as he parted Dean’s soft brown hair to expose the gash on the side of his head. “Ouch – that’s gonna need a stitch or two, dude.”
Dean mumbled incoherently, rolling his head away from Sam’s probing fingers. His eyelids fluttered open and he peered at his sibling. “Sam?”
“Yeah, it’s me.”
“Demon,” Dean muttered, trying sit up. “Where’s the demon…”
Sam reached out a hand and pressed his brother back onto the pillows. “It’s all right, man. We’re back at the motel. You’re okay.”
“Son of a bitch!” Groaning softly, Dean stopped struggling, and closed his eyes. “Son of a bitch pushed me – twice. No – four times. I’m gonna send his tiny ass back to hell so fast…” He flinched as Sam continued to probe at the cut on his scalp. “Ow! Dude…”
“So, he pushed you. And then what – you fell down? Knocked yourself out?” Sam’s lips twitched into a grin as he saw the angry glint in the clouded green eyes. “Maybe the curse did transfer to you.”
“Screw you, bitch.”
“Screw you, too, jerk.”
Dean moaned in protest as his brother hoisted him to his feet. “What? Where we goin’?”
“Bathroom. Gotta stitch up that hard head of yours.” Grabbing the first aid kit in one hand, Sam clamped his other hand around Dean’s bicep and steered his sibling to the bathroom, flipping down the lid of the toilet before pushing Dean to sit down.
“Dude!” Dean slapped his brother’s hand away. “Get off me! I’m fine.”
“Sure you are.” Sam tried to ignore Dean’s pain-filled hiss as he swabbed the excess blood from the wound. “I’ll just let you bleed all over the place, and when you pass out – again – I’ll come stitch you up, okay?”
Muttering under his breath, Dean scowled at the floor as Sam threaded a sterilised needle. He pulled his flask of whiskey from his pocket and took a long swallow, averting his eyes from his brother’s concerned gaze.
“You want a bullet to bite down on, or…”
“Just do it already.” Sliding the flask away again, Dean gritted his teeth against the sharp pain of the needle piercing his flesh. “So – ahhhh – what – did you find?”
The motel room door creaked open and slammed shut and Sam paused, the needle held between his fingers as he glanced toward the open bathroom door. Detecting the mouth-watering smell of fresh coffee, he grinned and quickly finished tying off the sutures. “Harry’s back.”
“Sam?” Harry stuck his head around the doorjamb, and smiled as he met Dean’s annoyed glare. “Hey, Sleeping Beauty’s awake. Although by the look of him, I think he should have stayed asleep.”
“Can I shoot him?” Dean squinted up at his brother.
Sam shook his head. “He brought coffee,” he murmured as he taped a dressing over the neatly stitched wound. Reaching for the bottle of Tylenol, he palmed two and handed them to his sibling.
“Okay, I’ll let him live.” His scowl deepening, the elder Winchester turned back to the grinning businessman. “But only if he stops with the Sleeping Beauty crap.”
Harry raised his hands in surrender and retreated to the main room, settling down onto one of the hard backed chairs at the table as the Winchesters filed out of the bathroom. He passed a steaming Styrofoam cup to Dean, and shoved a second cup across the table as he took the third.
Tossing the first aid kit onto his bed as he passed, Sam headed for the table, picking up the coffee and taking a sip. He nodded gratefully at the elder man and turned toward his brother. “All right – so – we found out the name of our little demon.”
Dean settled onto his bed and propped himself against the headboard, piling the pillows behind his back. He washed down the Tylenol with a mouthful of coffee and sighed, focussing his attention on his brother. “So?”
“So – it’s Ukobach.”
Sam pulled a folded up piece of paper from his jacket pocket and waved it at his brother. “Ukobach. He’s a really minor demon. I mean, really really minor. He’s rarely seen outside of Hell. Actually, he’s rarely summoned, ‘cause he’s apparently got no free will – he does the bidding of all the other demons.”
Dean pursed his lips. “Huh. That explains it.”
“That explains what?”
“When the demon was shoving me – Al fought back. And for a moment there, he actually won. He forced the demon back. And he was kinda – arguing with it.”
“Huh.” Sam’s brows rose to disappear under his bangs. “Well, there’s more. Kinda explains why he likes to blow things up.”
“Carry on, Professor.” Dean waved a hand magnanimously, ignoring his brother’s exasperated huff. He smirked and sipped his coffee.
“Okay, so – Ukobach’s usual job is to keep the oil topped up in the infernal boilers. The lore says he invented fireworks and frying foods. Guess that’s why he blew up the diner.” Sam quickly scanned the paper in his hand. “Oh, and get this – he’s usually depicted as being short, with a blazing body, and he’s pictured throwing burning coals onto the souls of the damned.”
“Nice.” Dean rolled his eyes.
“His name also means ‘Ignite’, or ‘Tinder’.” The young hunter’s eyes widened as he looked at his sibling. “That’s why he’s blowing stuff up. Ignite – that’s what Harry got from the demon while he was possessed.”
“So, when the Gate opened, he must have sneaked out to have a little fun topside. Huh – wonder if the fires are still burnin’ down there,” Dean mused. “Well, if he’s such a minor demon, guess there’ll be no problem sending him back to hell.”
“Oh, you did not just say that!”
Sam slapped his palm against his forehead, his shoulders stiffening in frustration. Dean stared innocently at his sibling, his arms spread out from his sides, one hand still gripping the coffee cup.
Harry glanced from one brother to the other in confusion. “What’s the problem, boys?”
Sam spun on his heel and flung his hands into the air, wincing as the movement pulled at the sutures in his left shoulder. “He’s just jinxed us, that’s what!”
“Hey!” Dean protested, a frown between his brows.
“Don’t you ever learn?” The shaggy haired hunter flapped his arms. “How many times…” Sam broke off as a dull thump sounded against the motel room door. He exchanged a worried glance with his sibling, and his hand crept to the butt of the pistol in his waistband as he strode to the door. Glancing back at Dean, Sam nodded, grasped the handle and pulled the door open, stepping swiftly to the side.
Al Grasky stumbled into the room, his eyes rolling in their sockets, his short grizzled hair standing on end. Tripping over Sam’s booted foot, he fell onto his hands and knees on the worn carpet. “Help me…”
“What the…” Dean was off the bed and by his sibling’s side in three quick strides, the almost empty flask of holy water poised over Al’s head. “Hey!”
Al glanced up, his eyes widening as he encountered Dean’s furious green eyes. “Oh, crap…”
“Christo,” Sam muttered. The mechanic stared at him in confusion. His hazel eyes narrowed as he looked at his brother. “Great. Ukobach’s jumped again.”
Harry pulled his wallet from his pocket as he got to his feet. “Guess this means we’re gonna need more coffee.”
* * * * *
“Dude,” Dean muttered as he studied the two middle-aged men sitting at the small table on the other side of the room. “Have you noticed we’re kinda – collecting people?” He nudged Sam with his elbow as he settled on the bed, leaning across his brother to place a fresh takeout coffee on the nightstand.
Sam glanced up, snorted softly and continued his incantation, a worn set of wooden rosary beads dangling from his long fingers. He came to the end of the Latin prayer, and dropped the rosary beads into the bowl of water balanced on his knees. “No, Dean, I didn’t notice that we have two formerly possessed guys camping out in our room. Thank you for letting me know.”
“Smart ass!” Dean swung a hand and lightly cuffed his brother over the back of the head. He grunted as his sibling retaliated with a back handed slap against his chest. Handing over his silver flask, he watched as Sam refilled it with the newly created holy water.
“So?” The young hunter put the bowl on the nightstand and got to his feet, striding over to the weapons bag to grab the rest of the bottles to be filled. He pulled his own flask from his jacket pocket and carefully poured the water into each bottle.
“So – we gotta search the town. Try to find out where old pink-eyes is gonna strike next.” Dean jerked a thumb over his shoulder as he kept his voice low. “What about Al? Did he say anything while I was out getting the coffee?”
“Nah – not much. He doesn’t remember who the demon jumped into.”
Dean rubbed a hand across his face. “Great! How the hell are we gonna find him?”
“Told you not to jinx us.” Sam glanced at his brother. “How’s your head?”
“It’s fine. How’s your shoulder?”
The younger hunter flexed his left arm, wincing a little as the sutures pulled at his skin. “It’s fine.”
“Sure it is.”
“You know, I don’t get it.” Dean frowned as he tapped his fingers against his knee. “If this Ukobach dude is such a minor demon, how the hell did he escape from – Hell.”
“The door was open.”
“Yeah, but – if he hasn’t got any will of his own, how did he get out?”
Sam shrugged. “Maybe one of the other demons brought him along?”
Dean rolled his eyes. “Dude, it’s not like taking your pain in the ass little brother to the movies.”
“Funny, Dean.” Getting to his feet again, Sam placed the now empty bowl on the bench in the tiny kitchenette and gathered up the refilled holy water bottles, stacking them inside the weapons bag. He replaced his own flask back inside his jacket pocket before returning to the bed to perch beside his sibling. Reaching out a long arm, he snagged his coffee and popped off the plastic lid, blowing on the surface of the caramel coloured liquid before taking a sip. “Maybe we can ask him before we send him back.”
“Well, we better go find him, and soon.” Dean indicated the two middle-aged men engaged in a quiet but intense conversation at the table. “If we collect any more people, we’re gonna have to get a bigger room.”
Sam grinned faintly and took another swallow of his coffee. He raised his head as he heard a soft footfall, glancing up over Dean’s head to encounter Harry Peterson’s determined gaze. “Harry, what’s up?”
The businessman cleared his throat, and stole a glance at his mechanic friend standing at his shoulder. “You’re going after that demon? Ukobach?”
Dean nodded. “That’s the plan, yeah.”
“Then we’re comin’ with you.” Al stepped forward, his seamed face grim.
The elder Winchester let out a disbelieving snort. “You gotta be kidding me.” He held up a hand to forestall the argument. “Look, this is no game. This is a demon we’re hunting, not some helpless woodland creature that can’t fight back.”
Sam’s brows rose in amusement. “Woodland creature?” he murmured quietly. “Waxing a little poetical there, big brother.”
Scowling, the elder hunter elbowed his sibling in the ribs before turning his attention on the two older men. “Best thing you can do is stay out if its way.”
“We can help. We can search this town just as well as you – probably better.” Harry rested a hand on his hip. “We know the town like the backs of our hands. And it’s our town – we want to get this thing just as much as you do – if not more.”
Al nodded vehemently. “Yeah, it’s payback time for what that thing did to us. And for what it made us do.”
“Four pairs of eyes, Dean. Better than two – cover more ground.” Sam fought down a grin as he used his brother’s favourite argument against him.
“Sam, you’re willing to send these two after a demon? A demon, Sam.”
“You said yourself, it’s only a minor demon. And they won’t be fighting it – they’re only scouting the town.”
“And just how are they gonna let us know if they find the thing?” Dean pulled out his cell phone and waved it in front of his brother’s face. “No cell reception, remember?”
Sam chewed on his lower lip. “Uh – all right – one goes with you, the other with me. One scout, one hunter.”
Dean stared at his brother for a long moment before flinging up his hands in defeat. “Fine! I am so gonna regret this, but fine – we’ll go with your buckets of crazy plan.” He indicated the smiling businessman with a long forefinger. “Harry, you go with Sam. Al, you come with me.”
Al cracked his knuckles, making Dean wince. “Great. I so want a piece of that…”
“A few ground rules.” Dean held up a hand in warning. “You do what Sam and I say, when we say it, and no arguments. This isn’t some kids game we’re playin’. If you don’t like the rules, tough. You can stay here while Sam and I go after the demon.”
“The rules are fine with us, Dean. We’ll follow your lead.” Harry nudged his friend, who nodded in agreement. “We just want to help any way we can.”
“Fine.” Dean got to his feet and strode to the weapons bag, handing each of the men a plastic bottle of holy water. He gave the older men a crash course in demon hunting before returning to his sibling’s side. Shaking his head, he glared at his little brother as Sam pulled on his jacket. “I am so gonna regret this.”
Sam shrugged, grinning at his sibling.
Dean leaned forward, dropping his voice so that only his brother could hear. “And just for the record? I don’t wax anything – I use a razor! I’m no chick!” Dean stormed outside, scowling as Sam’s high-pitched laughter followed him through the door.
* * * * *