Sioux Falls, SD
March 19th, 2010
the hell up you noisy mutts!”
Singer turned over heavily, the bed springs groaning
a rusty protest beneath his tired body.
was just starting to seep in through the crack in the
curtains and a glance at the old digital alarm clock
on the nightstand revealed the time to be six thirty
a.m. And while Bobby was usually an early riser, a late
night with some moldy books and a bottle of Jim Beam
had meant he’d had four hours sleep, tops.
himself out of bed, he padded sleepily to the window,
pulling aside one of the musty maroon curtains and squinting
into the semi-darkness.
Lila. Knew he was a soft touch when it came to canines.
just a baby, Bobby,” she’d cooed. “Can’t
keep him at the shelter much longer.”
Lila and her freakin’ rescue mutts.
Rottweiler puppy in question—christened Alec by
the staff at the animal shelter on account of him apparently
being so smart—was currently planted in the middle
of the yard, feet spread out and hackles raised, barking
Alaskan Malamute, Max, was standing right next to him,
her own teeth bared at the same shadows, probably just
to show solidarity with the younger mutt, Bobby figured.
was apparently a soft touch too.
Bobby prepared to close the curtains and crawl back
into his pit, the shadows shifted slightly.
had never trusted shadows.
the first thing that came to hand—which happened
to be the shotgun loaded with rock salt rounds he always
kept propped by the side of his bed—Bobby stealthily
opened his bedroom door, making his way quickly and
quietly along the hall and down the stairs, before carefully
unlocking the front door to the house.
not to disturb the thick salt line laid across the threshold,
Bobby cautiously pulled the door open, the dogs still
barking up a storm in the yard and the shadows still
shifting barely perceptibly beyond them.
one of the dogs—Alec by the sounds of it—yelped,
and Bobby almost took a step over the salt line.
he called, his tone measured and calm so as not to spook
either of the dogs any more than they already were.
“Here girl. And bring that idjit toyboy o’
yours with ya while you’re at it!”
dogs were whimpering now, tails down, ears flat to their
heads as they turned and headed quickly up to the house,
climbing up onto the porch with a clatter of claws as
their master ushered them into the house, careful not
to disturb the salt.
way whatever was out there was getting in.
from the looks of the shadows out beyond the porch,
there was more than one something out there.
into the half-light, Bobby raised the shotgun slightly
as his eyes finally managed to adjust to the darkness.
were several shadowy figures standing out in the yard.
of them made any kind of move toward the house. They
were just standing there. Watching him.
jet black eyes.
a breath, Bobby carefully closed the door, drew back
the bolts, and reached for his cellphone.
Best Budget Motel,
shifted slightly on the lumpy mattress, muzzy head wondering
why the hell someone was bellowing R. Dean Taylor’s
There’s a Ghost In My House at full volume
into his ear.
open one eye, he performed his usual check of the room—salt
lines: check; weapons bag: check; dirty laundry on the
floor: check; Sam snoring like a two-hundred pound hippopotamus
in the next bed: check—before remembering he’d
changed the ringtone on the new cellphone sitting on
the nightstand only the night before.
for the phone, Dean swore silently as he fumbled in
the semi-darkness, almost dropping the little gadget
onto the questionably-stained brown carpet before bringing
it up to his face and squinting at the screen.
cell flashed brightly—too brightly for this
time of day—at him.
Dammit. The thing had so many buttons he couldn’t
remember which one to push to pick up the call.
might love all this technology stuff, but Dean just
wanted to make a damn phone call.
pushing a little too forcefully against the touchscreen,
Bobby’s gruff, “You awake, boy?” rattled
around in Dean’s brain for a couple of seconds
before he was able to formulate an answer.
am now,” he muttered, glancing at the time on
the clock on the nightstand. “Bobby, it’s
the middle of the goddamn night, man!”
six thirty-five, sleepyhead,” Bobby returned,
his voice containing an edge of controlled worry that
had Dean instantly sitting up in his bed.
what’s wrong?” he asked. “You sound
of the job description,” Bobby replied. “As
is having your damn house surrounded by demons at stupid
o’clock in the morning.”
Dean was instantly on alert. “Bobby, you okay?
We can be there in like—” he checked his
watch, even though he’d only just looked at the
time. “—Five hours.”
ass. Five and a half if you break every speed limit
on the way,” Bobby snorted. “Dean, I know
what day it is, son. And I don’t need you haulin’
ass over here when your daddy needs you over there.”
Bobby, if you need our help—”
this point Sam was sitting up in bed too, rubbing the
sleep from his eyes and running his fingers through
his thick mop of hair. He cast a concerned look in Dean’s
direction, and Dean mouthed the word, “Bobby,”
to his brother, which didn’t seem to lessen Sam’s
obvious unease any.
I’m fine, Dean, just wanted to give you a heads
up is all,” Bobby was trying to reassure him.
“Damn demons are just standing there, watching.
It’s kinda creepy, but there’s no way they
can get in—the whole house is ringed with salt
and there are wards and charms everywhere. They’re
not even tryin’ to get any closer.”
why are they there?” Dean asked.
sixty-four thousand dollar question,” Bobby agreed.
“Might be somethin’ to do with what you
boys are up to today. Y’know? Keep me stuck here
so’s I can’t get to Stull to help you out
tonight, like I promised.”
think?” Dean asked. “Like demonic house
arrest?” He rubbed at his eyes and exhaled slowly.
“You think they’re Lucifer’s? Maybe
he’s got some kind of big plan going on to try
and stop us getting Dad out tonight?”
sighed wearily. “Maybe,” he agreed. “I
sure as hell ain’t gettin’ no further than
my porch today.” He virtually growled down the
telephone. “Damn, I hate bein’ benched like
this, right before the big game.”
we’ll be okay,” Dean assured him. “We
can do this.”
boys even have a plan yet?”
swallowed. “We’re working on it,”
he insisted. “Only a matter of time till Sammy’s
geek-boy brain comes up with somethin’.”
you and your brother look after yourselves,” Bobby
instructed. “Don’t want you showin’
up at my house dead or nothin’.”
snorted. “Not gonna happen, old man.” He
paused for a second. “You sure you don’t
need any help?”
can handle a few pansy-ass demons, boy,” Bobby
grunted. “You and Sam just go get your daddy.”
paused for a second. “We will, Bobby,” he
said. “Take care of yourself.”
son,” Bobby replied, and the call disconnected.
Bobby okay?” Sam asked immediately, swinging his
long legs out of bed and perching on the edge of the
shrugged. “Says his whole house is surrounded
Sam burst out, jumping to his feet. “We gotta
get out there…”
your horses there, Hoss,” Dean said, forcing himself
up out of bed and grabbing Sam’s arm. “Bobby’s
fine. The demons aren’t doing anything. He thinks
they’re just trying to stop him coming here.”
nodded, taking a breath, although his body remained
tense. “They know what day it is,” Sam conceded.
“They’re gonna try and stop us getting Dad
out of the Gateway.”
they are,” Dean agreed. “You didn’t
think they’d let us just waltz into Stull cemetery,
open the Gate and pull him out did ya?”
grinned a little mirthlessly. “Well I was kinda
hoping,” he said, before shaking his head. “No,”
he admitted slowly. “But it’s been five
months since Halloween. Two weeks since the thing with
the photo album. Two weeks bumming around every hunter,
witch, psychic and soothsayer mentioned in Dad’s
journal and we still don’t know how the
hell we’re gonna get him out.”
shrugged. “Then we do what we always do, man,”
he said, trying to muster up a cocky smile. “We
life’s not always on the line, Dean,” Sam
returned flatly. “I’m not sure ‘winging
it’ is gonna work this time.”
Dean agreed. “Which is why you need to get that
gigantic melon o’ yours coming up with a plan.”
your department,” Sam returned, sinking back down
onto his bed. “I’m Research Guy, remember?”
nodded, nudging Sam’s foot as he headed for the
bathroom. “Right now looks like you’re Comatose
Guy to me,” he said. “Up an’ at ’em,
Sammy. We got a long day ahead of us.”
grunted, one arm thrown over his eyes. “Five more
minutes,” he muttered, sounding all of about six
smiled to himself at the memory as he closed the bathroom
door behind him, peeling off his t-shirt and reaching
to turn on the shower.
as his cellphone started to scream again.
phone!” Sam’s yell sounded muffled, and
Dean was pretty sure he’d got his head under the
the door open, Dean headed back to the nightstand where
he’d left the phone, giving his brother’s
foot a slightly less gentle nudge as he passed. “C’mon,
Sleeping Beauty! We got Hellgate’s to storm, remember?”
up the cellphone once more, Dean again checked out the
caller I.D., half expecting it to be Bobby calling back.
was more than a little surprised to see “Bonnie”
flashing on the screen.
once again at the touchscreen, Dean frowned as he picked
up the call. “Hey Bonnie,” he began. “It’s
early. Is everything okay…?”
Bonnie didn’t sound okay. She didn’t sound
anywhere near okay. In fact, Dean quickly realized,
she sounded pretty damn terrified. “Dean, there’s
someone in my house,” she finished.
took a breath. “Someone or something?”
he asked shortly.
swallowed audibly. “Thing,” she amended.
in more than one?”
in several. I don’t know how they got in here.
I know how to lay salt lines, you know I do.”
taught you good.”
good enough, apparently.”
they demons?” Dean wasn’t sure he wanted
to hear the answer.
eyes and everything,” Bonnie confirmed. “I
don’t know what to do.”
Just me and them. And they’re just…standing
there. Watching me.”
in the room with you?”
yeah. Won’t let me leave the house. Won’t
let me call anyone but you.”
brain fritzed for a second, and Sam was once again sitting
up in bed looking worried.
this can’t be happening, he told himself.
Dad had kept Bonnie and her family safe for sixteen
years—sixteen years!—and not two
weeks after Dean and Sam found out about her, she’d
already got demons in her house.
it’s okay,” he told her, not sure which
of them he was trying to convince. “I won’t
let anything happen to you.”
know what day it is, Dean,” Bonnie said, repeating
what Bobby had said just a few short minutes earlier.
“I know you can’t help me.”
that’s not true,” Dean asserted. “I
won’t let them hurt you—”
Dean could get any further, Sam’s cell began to
chirp some wussy emo chart crap, and he found his brother
looking at him, the question in his eyes. Sam obviously
knew something was wrong from the look Dean was failing
pretty spectacularly to keep off his own face.
hard, Sam picked up his phone, his face blanching visibly
when he saw the caller I.D.
stomach flipped right over even as he saw the color
draining from his brother’s face.
was really bad.
not seen Sarah Blake in quite a while now, but Dean
knew Sam kept in sporadic contact with her, even though
he wasn’t sure where she was living these days.
Bonnie’s voice was in his ear, reminding him that
he was already in the middle of a conversation, even
as Sam’s fingers tightened on his phone and his
lips compressed into a thin white line.
it’s okay. Everything’s going to be okay.”
put one of those black-eyed sons of bitches on the phone.”
Winchester,” a calm, measured voice oozed like
honey down the phone line almost immediately.
bastard,” Dean returned, equally as calmly.
now, no need for name-calling,” the demon chided
him. “We’re not going to hurt your friend,”
the sneer was obvious in his voice. “Not yet anyway.
Not until midnight.”
happens at midnight?” Dean hardly dared ask.
you’re here,” the demon replied, “nothing.
If you’re not… well let’s just say
your friend’s brain matter will be decorating
her kitchen wall.”
of a—” Dean growled. “You touch her,
I’ll drag your evil demonic ass to Hell myself,
Winchester. You’ve got until midnight.”
was a click, followed by the dial tone, and Dean was
torn between throwing the phone at the wall and banging
his head against it instead.
held up one hand to quiet his brother. “Yeah,
well unless you wanna send me a plane ticket, asshole,
how the hell do you expect me to get to San Francisco
scowled into his phone, and Dean could hear the dial
tone from across the room.
Dean asked hesitantly.
drew in a breath before nodding. “She’s
in California,” he explained. “They’ve
got her, Dean. They say if I don’t get there by
midnight they’re going to kill her.”
drew a tired hand across his forehead. “Same story
with Bonnie,” he confirmed. “It’s
gotta be Lucifer, right? Trying to separate us, keep
us away from Stull, from Dad? We have to be here
at midnight, when the Gate opens, not at opposite ends
of the country.”
and conquer,” Sam agreed. “Remember what
everyone kept telling us when we got stuck in the Gateway
at Halloween? How bad things happen when we don’t
have each other’s back?”
well in case you hadn’t noticed, bad things happen
even when we do have each others back,”
Dean pointed out. “Even if I floored the gas pedal
the whole way, I’d never make it to Lynchburg
in anything less than maybe ten hours,” he said.
“No way I’d ever make it back in time.”
even by plane I wouldn’t make the round trip to
San Francisco,” Sam agreed. He just stood there
for a second, chewing on his lip and staring at the
floor, before turning his attention back to his brother.
“So what the hell do we do, Dean?”
Dean never got the chance to answer, his cellphone choosing
that moment to once again cry for his attention.
pit in his stomach deepened as he read the caller I.D.
Moses,” he muttered, picking up the call.
Kyle sounded even more freaked out than Bonnie had.
“I don’t know how they got in!” he
declared, barely pausing for breath. “They can’t
be here! This is holy ground! They shouldn’t be
able to get in!”
ground doesn’t always work on demons, man,”
Dean said slowly, rubbing at the headache forming between
his eyes. “I’m guessing Broken Arrow has
an infestation of the bastards too?”
won’t let me leave the church,” Kyle said
by way of confirmation. “And they won’t
let anyone in. I should be getting ready for confession!
There are people who need me!”
sure Oklahoma has plenty of other places for people
to confess their sins, Moses,” Dean pointed out.
“Like the nearest bar.” Switching tack,
he added, “Did they hurt you?”
priest sighed. “No,” he said. “But
they said you were the only one I was allowed to call.”
guess. I don’t show up by midnight they’re
gonna gank you?”
tells me you’ve heard this story before.”
Dean agreed. “They’ve got Bobby and Sarah
and—and a friend of our dad’s too.”
can’t get to all of us, Dean,” Kyle said,
the resignation obvious in his voice. “Don’t
worry about me. I’ll be okay.”
was four hours away. Dean could make it. He could get
to Kyle. He could save him, and still make it back in
time to save Dad. But Bonnie… Sarah… Bobby…
was he supposed to do? How was he supposed to save them
gonna be okay, Moses,” he said confidently into
the phone. “Everything’s going to be okay,
okay? We won’t let them hurt you.”
you can’t. Sarah… Bobby… You can’t…”
Kyle knew that was true, and he didn’t even know
about John being stuck in the Gateway as far as Dean
can,” Dean insisted. “And I will. Kyle?
You listenin’ to me?”
have until midnight,” a different voice said coldly
into his ear, and then the phone went dead.
Dean resisted throwing the phone at the wall just because
he didn’t know if one of his friends was going
to need to call him again. Or maybe another of his friends
shuddered at the possibility.
one else. They weren’t losing anyone
need help, man,” Sam said, sounding as if he was
a million miles away.
looked up at him, the headache blossoming into a pounding
behind his eyes. “Who’s gonna help us, Sammy?”
he asked. “How are they gonna help us?”
we could call in some favors—some of Dad’s
favors?” Sam offered. “See if there are
any of Dad’s friends—other hunters—anyone
near San Francisco or Lynchburg or—or Broken Arrow?”
Sioux Falls?” Dean added. “’Cause
you can bet your ass Bobby’s on the same schedule
as everyone else.”
can’t be in five places at once, Dean.”
we can’t,” Dean agreed. “Which I think
is the point.”
hand spasmed as his phone once again started to yell
closed his eyes briefly, not wanting to look down at
the caller I.D. Not wanting to hear another of his friends
was in mortal danger.
Sam said quietly. “You gotta answer that.”
know, Sammy,” Dean murmured. “I know.”
glancing down at the phone, Dean was almost relieved
to see “Unknown caller” flashing on the
some trepidation, he hesitantly picked up the call,
saying nothing by way of greeting.
silence stretched out for a couple of seconds, and Dean
could hear someone breathing on the other end of the
line. A rustle of clothing or long hair. A sigh.
lover. Long time.”
sucked in a breath as the world tilted suddenly sideways
and he found himself collapsing down onto his bed, his
legs no longer able to keep him upright.
be. Couldn’t be. He ganked the bitch
baby? You still there? C’mon, honey, talk to me!
I don’t bite. Well, not unless you want me to.”
swallowed. Hard. His chest had constricted painfully,
and he was finding it kind of difficult to breathe.
Sam said, concern darkening his eyes. “You okay
shook his head. No he wasn’t friggin’ okay.
He wasn’t okay at all.
the woman’s voice repeated his name.
Dean replied flatly. “I’d say it was good
to hear your voice but I’m not that good of a
baby, don’t be mean! Did you miss me?”
several holes in the head,” Dean hissed, before
finally demanding, “Whaddaya want, Mia? Gotta
be pretty damn important for you to come back from the
dead and everything.”
expression shifted to one of abject shock, and he blinked
several times before sinking bonelessly onto the bed
next to his brother.
keep a good girl down,” the former half-demon
snarked down the phone. “Or a bad one.”
was laughing. The bitch was laughing.
is all you, right? What’s happening to our friends?
This is all you?”
Dean, I’m kinda hurt you couldn’t spot my
handiwork a mile away. You getting rusty in your old
age? Or just complacent? You know, I hope you haven’t
gotten all fat and lazy while I’ve been gone.
I mean, yeah, more of you to stick sharp things into,
but I’d hate to think you’ve gotten all
out of shape without me to chase you around.”
worry, sweetheart, you’re not the one who’s
gonna be doin’ the chasin’ today.”
that’s right, baby,” Mia agreed. “Because
you really have got a lot of running around to do before
midnight, haven’t you? I mean, how, exactly, do
you plan on saving all your friends and your dad?”
She laughed hollowly. “Someone’s gonna die
tonight, handsome. Several someones if I get
are you doing this, you skank?” Dean demanded.
left me dead, Dean,” Mia returned, voice
suddenly hard as iron. “Dead. In a cemetery.”
place for a rotting skank if you ask me.”
didn’t even bother to bury me! Just left
me there. Like an animal!”
are an animal.”
don’t think Lucifer feels the same way,”
Mia retorted. “Raised me up right there off the
ground and fixed me right up. Fixed the holes you put
in me. Told me he had big plans for me. Big plans, baby.
I’m in the starting lineup for the Big Battle,
Dean. Star quarterback. Gonna crush your pretty little
ass like a bug.”
I can see death hasn’t stopped you fixating on
my ass,” Dean returned, “over my dead body.”
someone’s dead body,” Mia replied.
“And you, Dean, you get to choose whose
dead body it’s going to be. How about Bobby? Nice
Uncle Bobby, used to tuck you into bed at night when
your daddy couldn’t be bothered to take care of
you. Or pretty little Sarah. Break Sammy’s heart
if I put her on the ceiling and set her on fire, don’t
clenched his jaw, trying to look anywhere other than
how about Kyle?” Mia continued. “That nice
little priest who tried so very hard to save my soul.”
see you’re as grateful as ever.”
soul was never up for saving, thanks to your daddy,
Dean. Speaking of. So Bonnie, huh? Who’d o’
thought Johnny had it in him? Stepmom. I bet Sam loves
have other friends, bitch,” Dean spat. “We’ll
get to ’em…”
all of them, Dean. And maybe we have other surprises
lined up for you today. Other people you care about
thrown into the firing line because you’re just
too sloppy, too useless to protect them. Who knows what
the day will bring? Maybe we’ll even run into
each other later, y’know? Kiss and make up? For
old time’s sake?”
just as soon kiss a wookiee,” Dean replied tartly.
obviously found that hilarious. “Pity you’re
such a Boy Scout, Dean,” she said. “You’re
really fun to play with. And hot. Did I mention
that? You’re really hot. For a Boy Scout.
And the sex was killer. Literally. You sure you don’t
wanna switch teams, baby? Come bat on Lucifer’s
side with me? It’d be a blast. I guarantee it.”
our friends go right now or I swear to God
I’ll kill you all over again. And again. And again.
And as many times as it takes to make sure your skanky
demonic ass is really, really dead.”
your dreams, Boy Scout,” Mia snorted. “You
be sure and have a nice day now.”
line clicked over to static, and Dean’s head was
pounding so hard he was pretty sure it was going to
explode any minute.
tell me that wasn’t who I think it was,”
Sam said slowly.
shook his head. “She’s back, Sammy,”
he said through gritted teeth. “The bitch is back.”
needed a plan, dammit. They needed to think.
needed to save their friends. Before midnight. Before
Mia tore them to pieces.
Lawrence Public Library,
while I admire your commitment to the written word and
Geekdom in general,” Dean said, slamming the Impala’s
door and turning to look at the big, one-storey building
in front of them, “you really think we’re
gonna find something to help us here?”
had never been a big fan of libraries, Sam knew that,
but if they were going to find anything to help them
save their friends today, Sam was convinced they would
find it here.
heard they have a really extensive occult collection
here, Dean,” he informed his brother, leading
the way toward the library’s main entrance. “Maybe
Dean cut him off suddenly, grabbing Sam’s sleeve
and spinning him back to face him. “Find a spell
to turn us into time travelling Terminators who can
be in five places at once?”
wasting time, man! Time our friends don’t have!”
we can’t leave Lawrence,” Sam pointed out,
sounding a hell of a lot calmer than he felt. “Not
now, not today. You of all people know that. We
can’t. So right now this is all we can
took a breath, eyes skittering off to scour the street
beyond Sam’s shoulder. “I know, Sam,”
he said quietly, a hint of resignation in his voice
and the sudden slump of his shoulders. “I know.”
His eyes returned to seek out his brother’s, a
vaguely teasing tone returning to his voice. “But
I’m surprised to hear that from you, man.
You putting Dad before Bobby, Kyle and Bonnie.
Not to mention Sarah.”
shrugged. Although he wanted to believe he was doing
this for Dad, a tiny part of him knew it wasn’t
John Winchester’s wellbeing he was putting before
everyone else’s. It was Dean’s.
man,” he said, refusing to explain his plan of
action to his brother. “Like you said, we’re
nodded, finally releasing his hold on Sam’s jacket
and allowing him to open the door to the large, modern-looking
heart sank a little as he crossed the threshold.
Public Library was all big windows and sunlight and
Dan Brown novels. It certainly didn’t look as
if it held an impressive occult collection.
are you sure about this?” Dean muttered from behind
him, obviously arriving at the same conclusion. “’Cause
unless Jackie Collins started writing grimoires, I’m
not sure we’re gonna find anything to help us
bit his lip, scanning the floor plan on the wall before
making his way to the front desk, Dean shuffling behind
him in his wake.
woman who looked up at their approach could have had
the words “stereotypical librarian” tattooed
right onto her forehead. She was the living embodiment
of the picture Sam figured popped into everyone’s
head when they heard the word: twin set and pearls,
hair up in a tight bun, sharp eyes peering at him over
smiled brightly at him, fingers tapping on the desk
in front of her.
morning, gentlemen!” she greeted them. “How
can I help you today?”
returned the smile with as genuine a one of his own
as he could muster. “Uh, hi,” he said, approaching
the woman cautiously. “Me ’n my brother
here—” he indicated Dean over his shoulder,
who waved helpfully, “—we’re into
local history, and wondered whether you had any material
about the Stull legends, or occult lore in general?
It’s—it’s for a paper we’re
writing. We’re students at Kansas U.”
if that explained everything.
librarian paused for a second before her smile broadened
still further and she nodded enthusiastically. “Oh
yes, there’s always a lot of interest about Stull
around these parts,” she said. “Although
it’s usually around Halloween.”
returned her smile. “Well we like to be different,”
he told her lamely, and she squinted at him a second
before edging out from behind the desk.
you’d like to follow me?”
particularly,” Dean muttered, and Sam elbowed
him sharply in the ribs before dragging him after the
librarian, who had marched off toward the furthest,
darkest corner of the library, to a single bookcase
standing all by itself.
she is way too hot to be working in a library,”
Sam heard Dean murmur from behind him, and, figuring
his brother wasn’t talking about the librarian,
he turned to glance in the direction Dean was looking—backwards,
naturally, rather than the way they were going. Following
the direction of Dean’s gaze, Sam’s eyes
lit on an attractive young black woman shelving books
nearby. She was dressed in a navy blue skirt and white
blouse, her hair tied back in a long ponytail, and her
gaze flitted curiously in their direction, before abruptly
looking away again when she caught Dean’s eye.
snorted softly and Sam figured his brother was pretty
used to women looking at him when they thought he wasn’t
librarian in the meantime was pointing to the rather
uninspiring-looking bookcase in front of them, and Sam
couldn’t help feeling a little crestfallen. There
really wasn’t much here.
is it,” she told them with a sunny smile. “If
you need any more help, don’t forget to holler!”
we will,” Dean told the woman, his voice oozing
insincerity. “Count on it.”
librarian appeared not to notice, instead smiling at
them once again before heading back to her desk.
shook his head as he examined the books in front of
them. “We’d have been better off going to
Bobby’s,” he declared, picking up one of
the dusty volumes and flicking through it unenthusiastically.
we wouldn’t have gotten past the demons,”
Dean pointed out, also snagging one of the books and
pretending to look through it.
were a few books on Stull, Sam noted. Nothing really
awe-inspiring. Nothing that looked as if it might contain
something to help them out of their impossible situation.
Bobby said they had some good stuff here,” Sam
told his brother, again shaking his head. “But
if they do, I sure as hell can’t see it.”
man,” Dean said, suddenly serious. “We have—”
he glanced at his watch, “—fifteen hours
until midnight when Bitchface Hellsucker’s gonna
gank all our friends—”
mean Mia?” Sam couldn’t help smiling at
Dean’s latest nickname for the half-demon.
d’you think I meant?” Dean asked. “Santa
Claus? Look, if we don’t find a way to stop the
demonic bitch, Dad’s stuck in Stull for another
six months and we’re gonna be attending
a hell of a lot of funerals, Sammy. Not to mention Lucifer’s
Little Helper will probably find a way to wreak even
more havoc, whether she’s fully human or fully
Dean broke off, his attention snapping to a spot just
beyond Sam’s shoulder.
turned, to find the hot library assistant standing right
blinked at her. “I help you with somethin’?”
he asked, clearly a little perturbed at the woman’s
sudden appearance in his personal space.
the woman said shortly. “But I might be able to
she blinked her eyes were black.
left hand went straight for the flask of holy water
in his inside jacket pocket while his right went for
the Glock secreted in the waistband of his jeans.
Colt was already out, the barrel inches from the woman’s
forehead, but she merely raised her hands in surrender
and sighed heavily.
guys,” she said, seemingly unconcerned by the
gun in her face or Dean’s murderous expression.
“I’m really here to help you.”
hell,” Dean spat. “No pun intended.”
are you?” Sam demanded. “What do you want?
Have you been following us?”
demon shrugged. “Hey, I just work here,”
she informed them. “If anything I might start
to think you’re following me.”
Dean growled. “Gimme one good reason why I shouldn’t
send your ass back to Hell right now, sweetheart?”
it’s such a pretty ass?” the demon hazarded
with a mischievous grin.
blinked at her, his gun faltering a little. He’d
never been particularly comfortable with demons flirting
with him, Sam reflected.
the demon continued, hands still raised but her relaxed
stance indicating she wasn’t in the slightest
bit afraid of what the Winchesters might do to her.
“You don’t have to worry, okay? I’m
not like that Hellbitch Mia Cameron that you boys seem
to enjoy hanging out with so much. I’ve not come
here to make friends with you then turn around and bite
you in the ass or anything. Although from what I hear
you might like that, huh, Dean?”
scowled at her. “What the hell do you know about
Mia?” he asked. “And us? What—how
do you know about us?”
come on, sweetie!” the demon burst out. “I
know you boys are modest, but you gotta realize everyone
knows about the Winchesters, don’t you? You guys
are famous. Especially in the demon community.”
it’s not like we get a newsletter or a corporate
email or anything,” the demon agreed. “But
we hear things. And from what I hear, you boys have
a big problem.”
yeah?” Dean said. “And what would you know
can’t save your friends as well as your dad,”
the demon said. “Best you can do is split up.
Maybe save a couple of them.”
blinked at her. “How did you—?”
not magic, Dean,” the demon said. “I overheard
you talking when you first came in.”
cheeks colored slightly. “Oh,” he stammered.
what can you do to help us?” Sam put in. “You
seem to know so much. At the most, we can only save
two of them. And that’s if we both head off in
opposite directions and forget all about saving our
you boys listen?” the demon suddenly
burst out, dropping her hands to her hips and all pretence
at surrender. “Didn’t you learn anything
from your little trip through the looking glass?”
boys are stronger as a family!” the demon reminded
them. “Don’t you see? That bitch Mia’s
trying to split you up so she can pick you off one at
a time! You know bad things happen when you
don’t have each other’s backs!”
glanced surreptitiously at Dean, who he was pretty sure
was also wondering whether this woman had somehow bugged
their motel room and eavesdropped on the conversation
they’d had earlier.
why would you want to help us?” Sam finally managed
to ask her, pushing Dean’s gun down as he spotted
a security guard meandering in their general direction.
caught sight of the elderly guy a second after Sam,
quickly stowing his Colt in his waistband, although
his hand continued to hover over the grip menacingly.
the demon said, smiling pleasantly at the security guard,
who tipped his hat at her before carrying on straight
past them. “My name’s Addie. Addie Roberts.
Or—y’know—that’s the name of
my meatsuit.” She raised an eyebrow. “No
way you get to know my real name. Way too much
power in that. Look, I’m being straight with you
guys. I’m a demon, so it goes without saying I’ve
got an agenda. We all do. It just so happens my agenda
coincides with yours, otherwise I wouldn’t be
seen dead—or whatever—with you guys. I may
be a demon, but I’ve got standards.”
Sam snorted. “Seriously.”
demon—Addie—ducked her head. “My meatsuit—sorry,
my host, she doesn’t like it when I call
her a meatsuit—has been working in this library
for ten years. Four years ago she found out she had
terminal cancer. She had two little kids, both under
five. So one day, she’s working down in the basement
and she finds a spell book containing a ritual to summon
forth a demon, and I was the one who answered the call.
Lucky for me, because I hate it Downstairs.
Couldn’t wait to be forcibly dragged Topside.
Addie—my host—made a deal with me.”
raised an eyebrow.
Sam, one of those deals.”
was Sam’s turn to blink at her.
didn’t want to go back to Hell. Addie didn’t
want to die. So in exchange for Addie allowing herself
to be possessed indefinitely, I had to make sure she
survived. While I couldn’t heal her, I could stop
the cancer from spreading, keep Addie alive long enough
to see her kids grow up.”
Dean said, holding up a hand. “Let me get this
straight. You gave up the happy-go-lucky life of a demon
to be a desperate housewife?”
shook his head, suddenly understanding. “Not a
desperate housewife,” he said wistfully. “Normal.
You wanted normal.”
nodded just as wistfully. “I used to be an angel
once,” she told them, her eyes momentarily distant.
“One of the Fallen, just like your buddy Lucifer.
One of those thrown out of Heaven and into the Pit because
we wouldn’t bow down before you humans.”
She shrugged. “Millennia later, I finally understand
what my Father saw in Humanity. Addie gave up her free
will, her eternal rest, just so she could be there to
guide her children into adulthood. I just want what
she has. I just want to be happy. I just want
to be normal. A normal, quiet life. Two kids.
A husband. A dog. A job I enjoy. The white picket fence
and the minivan. The whole nine yards.”
Lucifer could destroy all that,” Sam agreed, nodding.
“If he succeeds. He could take it all away from
didn’t like Hell,” Addie said. “So
I really don’t want to see Hell on Earth, which
is, I think, Lucifer’s ultimate goal. I like Earth
just the way it is, thank you very much. I’m happy.
For the first time in two thousand years. I don’t
have to listen to screaming souls being torn apart over
and over. I don’t have to torture anyone. I don’t
have to kill or maim or destroy.” She shrugged
her shoulders, gaze suddenly downcast. “It’s
the closest I’ve been to Heaven since I Fell.”
was a pause, when all Sam could hear was the shuffling
of Dean’s feet.
should we believe you?” the older brother asked
at length. “Demons lie.”
we do,” Addie agreed. “And if I was in your
position, I wouldn’t trust me either.”
you ain’t exactly making your case here.”
I’m asking is you give me the benefit of the doubt,”
Addie continued. “I haven’t lied to you.
I haven’t pretended to be human, not like your
friend Mia. I’ve laid it all out for you like
it is and all I ask in return?” The demon laughed
hollowly, shrugging. “All I ask is that you save
the world. Not that big of a deal, right?”
couldn’t help his own mirthless snigger. “No,
not that big of a deal,” he agreed, as Dean finally
took his hand off the grip of his Colt and seemed to
relax for the first time in several minutes.
smiled a little lopsidedly at him, nodding her head
a fraction before tilting it slightly to one side.
she said, taking an obviously relieved breath. “You
boys want to see the real occult collection?”
* * *
this was more like it, Sam mused, casting his
admiring gaze over the rows upon rows of ancient-looking
tomes arrayed floor to ceiling all around him.
had led them down to the basement and into a locked
room which she was only able to access using an electronic
keycard, and now Sam was here he felt a little like
a hyperactive kid in a candy store.
you guys even have a copy of the Key of Solomon!”
he burst out, admiring the large volume, which was in
a whole lot better condition than the copy Bobby had
given to them, and now lay hidden at the bottom of the
Singer’s mighty jealous of this place,”
Addie confirmed with a nod, causing Sam to glance up
at her, and Dean to frown suspiciously.
know Bobby?” Dean asked uncertainly, one brow
raised while his fingers returned to hover near the
place where he’d secreted his Colt.
Addie confirmed. “He’s been in here a few
times. Knows we have one of the best occult collections
in the entire continental US.” She grinned conspiratorially,
leaning into Dean as she added, “Don’t think
he knows he was shown in here by a demon the last two
times he visited though.”
glimmer of a smirk flickered across Dean’s face.
“Mr. Greatest Living Demon Expert,” he snickered.
“If only he knew.”
thoughts exactly,” Addie agreed. “It’d
break his heart if I told him. Plus, y’know, I
might find myself on the wrong end of the Rituale Romanum.”
Dean nodded. “The guy’s definitely the fastest
exorcist in the West. Except for Sammy here, of course.”
looked up from the book he’d been perusing, only
half listening to conversation going on between his
brother and his new demon friend.
all in the tongue,” he told his brother with a
rakish grin, which caused Dean to actually snort in
I should have studied a little harder,” he said.
“Might have some real world applications we’d
not previously considered.”
had disappeared behind one of the stacks, and chose
that moment to poke her head around the corner. “So
that half-breed has four of your friends held captive,
right?” she asked, scanning along the uppermost
shelf with one long finger.
Sam confirmed. “That about sums it up. We have
to get to all four of them by midnight or she’s
going to kill them.”
Addie said, selecting a small, unprepossessing volume
that had definitely seen better days and laying it on
the reading table in front of the Winchesters. “Then
this one should do it.”
looked down at the small, black book, the cover of which
was embossed in gold leaf with the words, “Darke
spell book?” he observed a little skeptically.
grimaced in disgust. “You’re not a friggin’
witch on top of bein’ a friggin’ demon are
you?” he grumbled.
hell I’m not!” Addie burst out. “I
actually find them pretty disgusting. All that spitting
and blood-letting. Yuck.”
appeared slightly perturbed by the idea of sharing an
opinion on anything with a demon. “Uh—yeah,”
he managed. “I—yeah. Exactly.”
to see you two agreeing on something,” Sam teased,
causing his brother to scowl at him.
this is the spell we need,” Addie was saying,
laying the book open and pointing at one of the yellowed
pages. “It’s a location and dispersal spell.”
I’m going to use it to pinpoint the exact location
of the demons who have your friends and send them back
to Hell where they belong.”
blinked. “You can do that?” he asked, sounding
more than a little awestruck.
smiled brightly, her eyes once again oiling over into
yes,” she confirmed confidently. “I can
do that. But I’m going to need some supplies…”
Best Budget Motel,
it looks like a mini-mart exploded in here,” Dean
commented, leaning one shoulder against the motel room
door as he surveyed the “supplies” Addie
had spread over the floor and both beds.
was standing looking over the girl’s shoulder
as she completed the complex pattern she’d been
drawing in white chalk on the carpet for the last ten
minutes, wiped her hands off on her sensible skirt and
finally rose to her feet.
couldn’t make heads or tails of the design, and
he was pretty sure he’d never seen anything like
it in any of the spell books he’d read at Bobby’s.
we’re not getting our deposit back,” Dean
muttered, as Addie picked up a bowl full of weird-smelling
herbs she’d discarded on the bed prior to ruining
in there?” Sam asked, eyes skimming the remains
of plants and flowers, most of which he didn’t
recognize, which Addie had discarded all over the other
bed as she prepared her concoction.
some stuff,” Addie replied noncommittally. “Herbal
stuff,” she added, catching sight of the skeptical
frown on Sam’s face. “Don’t worry,
I’m not trying to conjure Lucifer into your bathtub
Dean said with a smirk. “’Cause we don’t
have a bathtub. Just a shower stall.”
returned his smirk with one of her own. “Well
there’s a stroke of luck, then. Wouldn’t
want to disappoint the Big Guy, would we?”
sniggered, and if Sam hadn’t known any better
he might have started to think his brother was beginning
to like the demon library assistant.
Addie said, carrying the bowl and the spell book into
the center of the chalk drawing and taking a breath
to compose herself. “Here goes nothing.”
infinite care, the demon began to read aloud the ritual
from the spell book, Sam only catching the odd word
here and there as Addie chanted in a language that might
have been Latin but could just as easily have been something
a few seconds, Sam noticed Dean suddenly straighten
up from his position slumped against the door, the single
word, “Sam…?” expressing the concern
flooding his features as Addie’s eyes suddenly
glazed over completely white.
took a step toward the demon, but stopped abruptly when
the chalk pattern surrounding her suddenly began to
if she sets fire to the room I’m blaming you,
scowled. “She’s not going to set fire to
the room, Dean,” he reassured his brother, although
he found himself suddenly checking out the ceiling for
a smoke alarm or sprinklers.
were neither, which he wasn’t entirely sure he
was relieved about.
she doing, man?” Dean asked, cautiously approaching
the demon’s position and tipping his head to one
side as he examined the lines glowing around her feet.
a couple of seconds examining the pattern, he raised
one brow and muttered, “Huh,” and Sam was
reminded of that time in Chicago when Dean saw a pattern
in the blood splatters left by the Daevas on that girl
Meredith’s carpet, and found himself wondering
what the hell Dean had managed to see this time that
a step toward his brother, Sam instantly retreated with
a startled yelp when a section of the carpet a couple
of inches in front of him and off to the demon’s
far left suddenly burst into flames.
you’re such a girl,” Dean snickered, causing
Sam’s scowl to deepen. “She’s
not going to set fire to the room, Dean.”
take it back,” Sam returned, trying to remember
whether he’d seen a fire extinguisher anywhere
in this dive of a motel. “Maybe we should do this
someplace else? Outside maybe…?”
ignored him, his attention still fixed on the carpet,
where the flames were already burning themselves out.
“San Francisco,” he murmured, nodding as
he circled the chalk drawing, and Sam tilted his head
as his brother had, trying to work out what the hell
Dean was seeing.
down,” Addie muttered, before returning to her
chanting, her eyes still white and her voice not even
faltering as she easily switched between languages.
warning another section of carpet slightly behind the
demon and to her right burst into flames and Dean nodded
again, muttering, “Lynchburg,” just as another
section ignited just behind where Addie was standing.
“And that’d be Broken Bow,” Dean continued
with an impressed grin. “Kyle’s place.”
a map?” Sam burst out, suddenly understanding.
“It’s a map of the U.S.?”
to the head of the class, Sammy,” Dean said, just
as an area directly in front of Addie caught fire.
that’d be Bobby’s,” Sam hazarded.
“Sioux Falls, right?”
Dean confirmed. “Pretty damn ingenious. For a
so happy you’re impressed,” Addie snarked,
her eyes still glazed over.
raised an eyebrow. “That’s it?” he
asked her. “You got ’em all?”
quite,” the demon murmured, her brow crinkling
slightly in concentration. “Just one more—”
was Addie’s turn to yelp as the carpet beneath
her feet suddenly burst into flames, and she jumped
back as her eyes flew open, back to her host’s
ordinary warm brown.
was that?” Sam demanded, not quite understanding
what just happened.
in Lawrence,” Addie declared, breathing hard as
her knees went out from under her, Dean catching her
before she could faceplant onto the smoldering carpet.
in Lawrence?” the older brother asked, gently
guiding the girl to the nearest bed, where she collapsed
gratefully, just as Sam’s cellphone began to warble.
fished the phone out of his pocket, mildly surprised
by the name appearing on the caller I.D.
and that no-good brother of yours better get your no-callin’,
no-writin’, no-visitin’ asses over here
right now, boy,” the psychic’s unmistakable
voice bellowed into his ear.
are you okay?” Sam began to ask, but was abruptly
cut off by Missouri’s sharp reply.
I’m not okay, Sam,” she snapped. “Some
skinny white chick just walked into the devil’s
trap in my kitchen, and you boys better collect, ’cause
I sure as hell don’t deliver…”
the episode here