Category: A/A, Angst, Drama, Horror
Spoilers: Through Dream a Little Dream of Me
Summary: After Sam opens a mysterious box, he and Dean find themselves battling the same bogey their father defeated sixteen years ago. As they fight alongside an unlikely ally to safeguard the town, Dean struggles to tie up loose ends in his life while Sam continues to search for a way to save his brother's soul.
Word Count: 31,409
Disclaimer: Supernatural and its characters are the property of Eric Kripke and co. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This is for entertainment purposes only; no financial profit has been gained from this story. This story is not mean to infringe upon the rights of the above-mentioned establishments.
Dean pulled the Impala into park by a strip of small shops. He let out a heavy sigh as it rattled to a stop. Townsfolk crisscrossed through the streets and the sidewalks, buzzing around like flies as they whizzed off to wherever they were supposed to go. It looked like just about any other small town they'd visited throughout their lives except for the massive fluorescent explosion.
"God, I hate this town."
Sam chuckled beside him. "We just got here."
"Yeah, well I still hate it." He watched as a teenager in a bright pink top with green shorts walked by. "It's like the town time forgot."
"I can't argue that one," Sam said, leaning over to look out the window. Dean saw him frown. "We've been here before, haven't we?"
"Yeah, it's the case dad worked with the bogeyman snatching all those kids." He shook his head. He could never say bogeyman with a straight face.
"With those hunters."
"One of the few times dad didn't work alone." Dean sat back and rubbed his mouth. He didn't like this town. He'd never liked this town. "Let's just drive through."
"Dean, you look like death warmed over. Let's grab a cup of coffee and figure out our next move."
"Our next move?" Dean glared at him. "Our next move is to find Bela and the Colt."
"Yes, I know. I heard you the first time. But come on. Let's stop for five minutes and get our strength back."
He heard Sam sigh. "You're not still sore about what happened here? Dean, that was sixteen years ago."
Dean didn't care. From what little he remembered, this town held a lot of bad memories for him, and he wasn't too keen on revisiting them. He just wanted to put this place behind them, dump that stupid box in the trunk, and figure out where Bela and the Colt were hiding.
"Hopping in for a few minutes isn't going to matter either way," Sam told him. "Would you rather pass out on the road and crash the car?"
Dean scowled. "Dude, I won't crash my car."
Sam just looked at him. Dean swore if Sam gave him that pitiful look one more time…
"This town is full of weirdoes," Dean said. "Do you even remember this place?"
"Barely," Sam muttered. "And don't pretend like you do. We were sick with the flu for most of this trip."
"I remember enough." Dean motioned to center of town with a wave of his hand. "I mean, what kind of idiot robs a store for a buck seventy-five?"
"That doesn't matter, Dean."
"Of course it matters. You just want some time to mess around with that box again."
"I just want to figure out what happened so we can move on." Sam reached over and pointed to a small family restaurant across the street. "Come on, five minutes."
Dean sighed. He still felt like this was a monumental waste of time. The more time they were on the road, the better the chance they would find Bela. And that meant they would find the Colt.
None of that would happen in Creeksboro, Kentucky.
He glanced over to the restaurant and to Sam's pleading face. Dean just shook his head.
"Fine." Dean opened the door and stepped into the street. "But I'm telling ya, Sam, if that box turns me into a giant slug or some freakin' monkey with wings, I swear the first thing I'll do is bite your sorry ass."
The restaurant was empty, save for a few tourist families and some lone stragglers slumped along the bar stools that lined the counter. Dean walked over to the counter and eased himself onto one of the stools, his attention immediately falling to a middle-aged man sagging over an open bottle.
"A little early for happy hour," Dean said to him with a laugh.
The man just slumped lower.
Dean cocked his head and raised his eyebrows. "Okay…"
"What do you want?"
Dean turned to the sound of the cashier's voice. He was a burly no-nonsense guy who had a mug that not even a mother could love. His deep frown and beady eyes didn't just make Dean uncomfortable, but stopped him cold. He'd been given looks like that more times than he could remember. He didn't need anyone to tell him he wasn't wanted in this restaurant.
And from the confused look on Sam's face, Dean got the feeling it wasn't exclusively on him.
"Two coffees," Dean said.
"And a newspaper," Sam added.
The cashier grabbed a coffee pot and slammed the coffee cups and paper in front of them. As he poured them a cup each, he kept his cold stare centered on Dean.
"Whoa, sure can't beat the service in this town," Dean muttered. When the cashier didn't move, Dean shrugged. "Right. I forgot you folks don't like out of towners."
"We just don't like smart mouths."
"Mike, let it go." The man hunched over next to Dean glanced up from his bottle to stare at them with glassy, red-rimmed eyes. "It's not their fault. You can't blame every stranger that comes walking through that door."
Dean wagged a finger at the cashier and ignored the look Sam was giving him. "He's got a point."
"What exactly happened?" Sam asked.
"They took them," the man next to them said. "They keep taking them, and we can't stop them."
"They?" Sam and Dean said together.
"Some child predator," Mike grumbled. "The damn cops haven't been able to find anything."
Dean and Sam exchanged a look. They were both thinking it, but it was Sam that beat him to the punch.
"This, um, this predator," Sam said, leaning closer to the cashier. "Does he take kids anywhere between five and fifteen?"
"At night they just vanish," Dean continued, "closet wide open with black soot on the doorknob?"
Both the cashier and customer stopped. "How did you know that?" Mike asked.
"My partner and I have been working a similar case in Ohio." Dean leaned back and smiled, blocking out Sam's angry glare. "We heard about the goings on round here and thought we'd check into it."
The customer's eyes widened. "Cops?"
Sam sighed. "Right."
"You got a theory?" Mike asked. "More than one person or something?"
"That's classified," Dean said. He grabbed his cup and motioned to Sam to pay the cashier. "But once we get the clear, we'll sure to let you know what's going on."
Dean started for an empty booth, chuckling as he heard Sam grumble behind him. He slid onto the cushion and glanced out the window, waiting for Sam to join him. From his seat, he could see the Impala parked by the curb, just slightly obscured from view by a large moving truck and a bunch of trees. He just hoped Sam's magic box hadn't damaged her.
Sam tossed the receipt at him. "Okay, what the hell was that about?"
Dean grinned as Sam slid into the seat across from him. "That gets them off our backs for a while."
"For a while?"
"Yeah." Dean paused and looked out the window, his gaze falling to a family of four lounging by a small corner park. "You heard what that guy Mike said. This is definitely a bogeyman."
"I know what it is." Sam slapped the newspaper on the table. "Detectives?"
Dean frowned. "Yeah. Why? Did you wanna try for something else?"
"No, I don't want to try something else," Sam said with a sigh. "Dean, we don't have time for this."
"It's a case, Sam."
"Not for us."
"What?" Dean's frown deepened. He couldn't believe Sam was pulling a one-eighty on him. "Not fifteen minutes ago you were all whiny about stopping."
"That was for coffee."
"A bogeyman here? Now?" Dean paused, lowering his voice as he heard movement in the booth behind them. "It's not right. These things don't hit the same town twice. We have to check it out. For Dad."
"What about Bela?" Sam asked.
"It can wait. This is Dad's work."
"Yeah, and obviously Dad didn't finish the job."
"There had to be a good reason. Maybe it's a different bogey, a revenge thing."
"A different one hitting the same place exactly sixteen years later? You said it yourself. They never hit the same town twice." Sam shook his head. "I'll tell you the good reason. Us. Dad gets sloppy with us."
"Doesn't matter. I think we owe it to these people to finish the job."
Sam glared at him, but said nothing. Dean knew he'd scored a victory. He might not have a way with words like Sammy had, but he'd learned a few tricks over the years to get his brother to listen to him. It might not always work, but Dean took his small victories when he could.
"Good," Dean said with a satisfied smack to the table. "Let's go find a place to crash and start working up who we'll talk to first."
He drank the last of his coffee and headed for the door. The good thing about a job like this was that knew he could always rely on his dad's journal. There had to be some notes about the bogeyman they'd hunted back in the nineties.
Dean stepped outside and stopped short. The Impala was parked right in front of him.
"What the hell."
He was positive he'd parked the car across the street. Dean glanced up, but with the cars zooming past, he didn't see anything. He scratched his head and returned his attention to the Impala.
"What?" he heard Sam ask.
Dean glanced over his shoulder, not surprised to find Sam lost in the newspaper. Dean turned back to the Impala. Maybe that jolt did more than knock him out.
No, he wasn't imagining things.
Dean shook his head. "I so did not park the Impala here."
"Maybe she just wanted to be closer to you." Sam glanced up and smiled sweetly.
"Yeah, that's hilarious." Dean rubbed his chin. "I swear if that friggin' box of yours did something to my car…" He stopped and frowned. "Oh, hell. What if it's like Christine?"
Dean ignored Sam and approached the driver's side, peeking through the window. "What the hell!"
There was crap all over the back seat. He saw a bunch of books piled up on the passenger side, and some papers scattered on the floor and on the seats themselves. He swore he even saw some toys.
"Is that silly putty?" Dean leaned a little closer. "Son of a bitch!"
He was going to pound the bastard that ransacked his car and put their crap inside. Not that it made any sense, but Dean didn't care. He took a deep breath and tried to relax. Not feeling a bit calmer, he stormed to the back of the car to catch the license plate.
Dean jerked, surprised at the firm tone in his brother's voice. Sam's fingers dug so hard into his arm that he swore they would leave a permanent mark.
"Sammy, what the –"
Sam thrust the newspaper in front of his face. "We have to go. We have to go now."
Dean grabbed the paper and followed Sam's jabby finger to the date on the front page. It read January 25th, 1992.
His eyes widened. It had to be some gag newspaper or something.
"Something I can do for you boys?"
Both Sam and Dean froze. Slowly, they lifted their heads to the man standing at the front of the Impala.
Dean felt the blood drain from his face. "Dad?"