Season Three

Episode Thirteen: Nine Lives

By Kittsbud

Part One

 

RMS Titanic
11.38p.m. April 14th 1912
Orlap Deck – Cargo Hold 3

Dermot McGarry took a step over the metal plating at his feet, ever mindful not to trip on the lip of the open watertight door. He didn’t normally mind wandering around in the bowels of sea-going vessels – in fact, in his younger days he had spent many a month at sea aboard the older wooden clipper ships.

The Titanic wasn’t anything like those sea horses. To the Irishman, she felt like a huge metal coffin that had no business afloat. The stuffy, damp cargo hold did little to quell his fears.

It was dark in the belly of this beast, and with the darkness came a strange foreboding that reminded him why his grandmother went to church every Sunday.

“There are things we don’t understand, Dermot. Things we should be mindful not to mess with.”

That was what Old Ma McGarry had warned him, and tonight, Dermot Andrew McGarry was wishing he had listened to her.

Instead, he and his companion, Patrick Dooley had decided to sneak into the cargo hold on what could only be a wild goose chase. But still, men in their position could hardly turn away the chance of easy money.

McGarry and Dooley both wore ragged wool jackets that were worn and tattered at the cuffs, and from the smell, hadn’t been washed in months. Their appearance and lack of cleanliness gave away their need for cash.

Even their fare on the Titanic had been subsidized by ill-gotten gains at a poker game in a local pub before boarding.

“I tell ya, we’re just chasin’ our tails, Dooley.” McGarry had no sooner entered the hold than he was glancing over his shoulder, eyes darting back into the corridor he’d just departed in fear of being caught by some eager White Star Line employee. “And even if it’s not, you heard what Stead was saying…”

Dooley ignored his companion’s pleas, his beady, rat-like eyes scrutinizing crate after crate in his search for wealth. If there was a complete opposite to McGarry, then Dooley was it.

Like his friend, he too was an Irishman, but he had never done one single honest day’s work in his life. Today would be no different.

“He said there were rare and valuable artifacts down here, that’s what he said!” There was aggravation in Dooley’s voice as he rubbed at the abundance of white whiskers protruding from his chin.

McGarry wasn’t certain if the annoyance was aimed at him for being so afraid, or because Dooley couldn’t find his prized chest in the plethora secured to the Titanic’s decking.

Eventually, Dooley’s piercing orbs locked onto a large chest and his mouth curled into a toothless grin. “Egyptian gold, man! Imagine the life we could have in the New World with just a little of it.”

Cursed is the word I heard,” McGarry pointed out, his ears detecting a slight change in the Titanic’s roaring motors from too many years at sea. “And I don’t recall anyone actually mentioning the word gold.”

Dooley ignored both the warning and the correction. In fact, to McGarry it looked like his companion had succumbed to Klondike gold fever in the space of two seconds.

The wiry little Irishman was scurrying around the hold with little thought of capture, pulling away tarps and other coverings in search of something with which to pry open the crate he had found.

Eventually, Dooley discovered a tire iron that probably belonged to one of the newfangled motor cars littering the ship’s various holds.

Dooley held up the metal rod triumphantly and quickly scurried back to his “find,” the grin on his face spreading ever-wider until his last few rotting teeth were on view.

Using the thinner end of the iron, Dooley began to pry at the metal spikes holding the chest lid closed, not caring as the wood began to splinter and groan in protest.

McGarry’s expression began to change, his grandmother’s warning becoming louder and louder in his head the closer Dooley got to opening the crate. He took a step backwards, dread suddenly chilling ever limb in his body.

Dooley noticed his friend’s look of fear and spat on the floor at McGarry’s feet in disgust. “Leave ya coward, then it’ll be all mine.” He cursed several expletives under his breath then began to pry anew.

At last, as the nails in the wood finally succumbed, the top of the crate jarred away with an unearthly grating wail.

In unison with the screech of wood on metal came another, louder yowl that began to fill both men’s ears as well as the entire hold.

A judder seemed to course through the metal plating around them, and within seconds, rivets popped from their positions as the Titanic’s hull began to breach.

McGarry’s mouth opened and his jaw became slack as the metal skin protecting him from the ocean began to rupture before his eyes, the double-thick plating seeming to buckle inwards as some unseen, unearthly pressure crushed it from without.

More rivets burst from the hull and were replaced by icy Atlantic water spewing from the holes they had vacated. The liquid seemed to find every tiny crack and orifice, pushing through until the hold was awash with white frothing brine.

“Look what you’ve done…will ya look what you’ve done…” McGarry watched mesmerized as water swelled around his ankles, stinging his flesh with a cold that seemed to wrap around his entire body.

He should never have come here.

Stumbling blindly backwards, he could still see Dooley peering inside the crate like a madman, oblivious to the fact that he had probably brought the “unsinkable” Titanic to her doom – their doom.

Cursed…

That was what Stead had said about the cargo they had so greedily sought.

Dooley reached into the chest he had opened, not even sensing the water pooling around his lower limbs. He moved a tatty piece of hessian and his eyes grew even wider than before until the whites seemed to glow in the dull light.

“No…no…where’s the gold? Stead said there were treasures…”

The babbling continued as if Dooley had suddenly gone insane. From the wild expression on his features, McGarry feared that he had. What in God’s name is in that crate..?

But it didn’t matter what heathen Egyptian artifacts they had disturbed. All that really mattered was that they were going to die for them.

McGarry took another blind, panicked step backwards just as the Titanic seemed to lurch sideways, a nearby steam pipe rupturing as it tried to cope with a build up in pressure.

The sudden list knocked the Irishman off balance, and his footing was lost as a floating piece of luggage drifted into his path. Arms thrashing wildly, McGarry was unable to stop his backwards momentum and his body was instantly skewered by the hissing steam section that had been exposed only seconds earlier.

McGarry screamed, but in the hold, there was no one save a madman to hear him.

“Dooley, for God’s sake, man…” Blood burbled from McGarry’s lips as he held an outstretched hand to his companion, begging to be pulled free of the metal tubing, but Dooley wouldn’t take his eyes from inside the crate.

McGarry screamed again – this time at the knowledge that his injury wouldn’t kill him. No, he would remain impaled, bleeding, in agony until the Atlantic rose high enough around him to force the oxygen from his lungs.

Whatever curse the crate had imprisoned – it was now free, and had already begun its vendetta against mankind.


Present Day
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology
Philadelphia

Dean Winchester took one look at the building in front of him and instantly knew why his brother wanted this gig.

The place had “Geek Shrine” written all over it in capital letters.

It was so Sammy it was unhealthy.

“Dude, you really think the deaths are some creepy ass curse? I mean, c’mon, everyone has them pegged as accidents or natural causes.” Dean paused in the doorway, watching his brother squirm the way he always did when he was focusing too hard on something.

“Dean, the items in this exhibit haven’t been together since the seventies. As soon as the display went up, a security guard on night watch and a curator on the administration team were killed. I just don’t think it’s a coincidence.”

Sam pushed through the glass doorway a little too forcefully and almost barged into a girl exiting the museum. His face reddened just a touch as he quickly offered an apology.

Dean’s brow quirked upwards and he smiled as he watched the failed attempt at contrition from his brother. “You’re just eager to work this thing because Sarah Blake asked you to dig around,” Dean teased. “You still got the hots for that chick, don’t ya, Sasquatch?” He slapped Sam on the back a little too heartily and then headed for a vending machine he’d spotted in the corner.

Chocolate was good any time of day, and he was already building up an appetite ribbing his brother. Sliding a coin in the slot, he waited for a scarlet-cheeked Sam to join him.

The guard who had died had been an old friend and employee of the Blakes, and Sarah had liked the old-timer a lot. When the news of his death had reached her and she’d read what was in one of the displays he was guarding, it hadn’t taken her long to piece together that this might be “a Winchester thing.”

“Dean, in 1976 this very display, item for item, was at the Metropolitan Museum in New York – at least, until it was deemed too unlucky to have on show. All told, there were nine deaths surrounding the museum or the items in the exhibit,” Sam pushed. “Are you going to tell me that’s coincidence too?”

Dean cocked his head as a pack of Milk Duds plopped from the machine. Not exactly M&M’s but they’d do. “Bad luck?” He offered half-heartedly, knowing Sam had already won the fight.

Sam glowered. “I think it’s a curse. I think Sarah is right, and that something among those relics is causing the deaths every time it’s brought out of storage.”

Dean opened the packet and stuffed in a mouthful of chocolate. “So we torch a few antiques and all is well in the world. Yeah, I can see why the museum here will go along with that…especially as we’ll probably have to fry the whole wing ’cause Geekboy doesn’t know what it is we’re even looking for…”

Sam’s shoulders dropped and he sighed. “I only got the call from Sarah last night. It’s not like I’ve had time to sit in the library doing research. Can we just check out the display? Then we can go find a motel and I’ll do my ‘geek’ thing, while you fill your face some more.”

“Well, the motel and food sound good,” Dean conceded, screwing up the empty chocolate wrapper and tossing it into a nearby bin. “I mean, it’s not like I can survive on Milk Duds alone, dude.”

Sam rolled his eyes but gestured towards a doorway at the end of the lobby area. Waiting patiently by a desk was a small man whose mustache twitched as he glanced over his glasses at the brothers.

Dean guessed his interest wasn’t pure curiosity. “You called ahead, didn’t you? You sneaky sonofa…”

Sam’s face grew into a wide smile. “Sometimes it does pay to actually plan something in advance.”

“Yeah, right, ’cause that so always works.” Dean scrutinized the wiry museum employee as they approached him, only taking his eyes from the bony little man when a pretty young woman in a red suit paused to chat with their contact. “Whoa, now why couldn’t you have been dealing with the hot chick with the long and very fine legs instead of Professor Moriarty?”

Sam’s smile didn’t falter, but he shook his head. “Maybe because I knew you’d be thinking with your downstairs brain as usual, and you know where that gets us…”

Dean faltered a second thinking of Mia. While Sam’s comment hadn’t been directed at his very big mistake with her, it hurt all the same.

After that blunder it was a wonder he could even look at anything in a skirt ever again – except, or course, Mia hadn’t been much for skirts anyway.

And Dean was Dean.

He could never resist someone of the female persuasion for too long.

As they finally reached the end of the lobby, the young woman, who Dean noted talked with a slight southern drawl, moved away, sashaying towards a small office to their left as if she owned the building.

Maybe she did.

Dean’s impious eyes followed her until she vanished from sight and then he refocused on the less interesting man they’d come to meet. At first glance, he seemed like a typical museum worker who had little time for real people and plenty of time for stale-smelling books.

“You must be Professor Daniels?” Sam extended a hand. “We’re the history students you’re expecting from Kansas U.”

Daniels’ beady gaze looked both brothers over from head to toe and then back again, giving them a somewhat bemused smile as he took Sam’s offered hand and shook it. “Ah, yes, the brothers working on the Egyptian burial methods paper.” He looked briefly over his shoulder towards the small office. “Sorry about the interruption. That was my new boss introducing herself. Unfortunately, the previous administrator met with an accident recently.”

Dean looked to Sam, sharing an unspoken “Okay, so you were probably right” before extending a hand of his own to the professor. “We’re sorry to hear about that, sir. Thank you for still taking the time out to give us a tour.”

Daniels bobbed his head rapidly up and down like a meerkat and then held a hand out towards the exhibit rooms. “Oh, I’ve always time for students.”

Somehow, the inflection in his voice seemed to infer the complete opposite, but he strode brusquely through the doorway anyway, and both brothers soon found they were having a hard time keeping up with his rapid gait.

“I believe this display should be of particular interest,” Daniels oozed with far too much enthusiasm. “We have both human and animal variants of the mummification process here…”

Dean visibly squirmed when he realized several of the carefully wrapped items in front of him were in fact the preserved remains of cats and other small creatures. When Daniels turned away, the elder hunter mouthed “gross” along with his best scowl before prodding one of the mummies just to check if it was real.

The “cat” felt hard and almost oily to the touch, but the thing that “squicked” the hunter the most was the coolness of its exterior. Did all mummies feel like they’d just been taken out of a freezer?

“This mummy board is all the way from England,” Daniels continued. “And to my left, we have an inner coffin from Cairo, along with granite statues of some of the more influential gods and goddesses. I’m sure you recognize Bastet and Ra?”

Sam nodded, and to Dean’s mortification rolled several other Egyptian deity names off the tip of his tongue as if he actually was a student of the subject. Every few steps, Sam stopped to peer closer through some of the cases, his eyes alive with genuine interest.

Okay, so my little brother turned into friggin’ Indiana Jones when I wasn’t looking…

Dean nudged Sam in the ribs with the point of his elbow. “Do I gotta start callin’ you Dr. Jackson anytime soon?”

Sam’s eyebrows almost met in the middle as they wrinkled downwards. “Huh?”

“I think your brother – if he really is your brother – is referring to the Stargate character and your similarly over-eager approach to the subject matter.” Daniels took a handkerchief from his pocket and dabbed at his face, wiping away beads of perspiration that had begun to form.

He was uneasy – perhaps even a little scared.

Eventually, the little man looked over his glasses expectantly. “So why are you really here? You’re certainly not students…” Daniels folded his arms. “It’s about those deaths, isn’t it? I knew that stupid rumor from New York would surface again after the guard was killed.”

“I guess we don’t exactly fit the regular student stereotype too well, huh?” Dean smirked awkwardly and slid a hand under his jacket. When he retrieved it, he held a fake P.I. badge that he quickly flashed at the professor.

“You don’t fit the stereotype,” Daniels huffed with an air of sarcasm. “Your brother I will say is a little more…um…”

“Geek.” Dean finished for him. “He’s one hundred percent, full-on geek of the week.”

“Which still doesn’t explain why you’re here, detectives or not.”

Sam moved between Daniels and his brother, hoping to keep the conversation on track rather than focusing on his academic abilities and Dean’s lack of finesse. He cleared his throat and shot his sibling a look that said shut up, but probably far less politely. “We’re being paid by a friend of one of the deceased to find out what’s really happening here. Can I ask what you meant by ‘the rumors from New York?’”

“Just some nonsense about a curse.” Daniels took down a long, drawn out breath. “The items on display are just artifacts, nothing more. People believe far too much hocus pocus when they should look to science for the answers!”

“Is there any reason people should believe in a curse? I mean, are there any myths about any of the items here being cursed or unlucky?” Sam let his eyes fall across the exhibits around them, but nothing screamed out to his finely tuned senses.

Daniels’ pupils seemed to narrow at the question, but then he suddenly began to laugh so hard Dean’s earlier conclusion that he was a stuffy little ass who had no sense of humor was shattered.

“Almost all Egyptian relics become branded with some kind of myth or curse. Back in those days it was common practice to use scare tactics. The pharaohs invented all this hokum to stop grave robbing, nothing more.”

“So, can you give us any details on the stuff you have here?” Dean gestured to the exhibit with his thumb. “Any rumors, curses, that kinda thing? I mean, if we can prove there really is no curse it has to be good for the museum, right?”

Daniels fidgeted with the small bow tie around his neck, and for a second Dean thought it was going to start spinning like something out of a Charlie Chaplin movie.

It didn’t, but the professor seemed to gain some comfort from the reflex action. If he hadn’t believed them before, he at least appeared to be more settled with their new cover story.

“I have another appointment in ten minutes, but I can gather all the information I have together for you later this afternoon and e-mail it over.” The professor eyed Dean. “That is, if you know how to work a computer?”

Dean smirked sarcastically back at the little man. “Nah, I’m still working on my cave painting technique, doc, but my brother just might be able to manage it. “

The mocking sentence seemed lost on Daniels as he walked with them back towards the university lot. Either he could be very naïve, or he was just as good as Dean when it came down to caustic sarcasm.

As Sam hastily scribbled down an e-mail address for the professor, the little man offered one last cryptic piece of information just to tease the brothers further. “You know, there is at least one item in the collection that should prove to be light entertainment for you boys…”

Dean’s mouth opened and he was about to ask if they should expect the lost Ark of the Covenant, but instead his features creased into an expression of deep annoyance. “Dude, there’s a freakin’ cat snoozing on my hood!”

Forgetting the curse and any thought of work, the elder hunter scurried over to the Impala with every intention of shooing the furry feline off his paintwork. “Freaky claw-ball is gonna ruin the finish! Dammit, Sammy, you know how long it took to get that shine?”

Just as a hand was about to bat the sleeping cat politely off the car, Sam came to its rescue, scooping it up into his arms as if he was cradling a baby.

The black cat purred appreciatively and snuggled in closer, its paws stretching out to touch Sam’s chin as if it was toying with a ball of wool. Within seconds, the friendly feline began to purr like a panther, its tiny pink tongue taking a moment to wash its savior approvingly.

Dean grimaced until his nose puckered. “Man, that is so the best offer you’ve had all year.”

“We call him Ra,” Daniels explained, as if the brothers were about to adopt the feline. “Ra was an Egyptian cat god, so we thought it appropriate. I’m afraid he’s just a stray. I really had meant to call the Animal Control Center to pick him up, but I just haven’t had the heart.”

“Oh no you don’t, bucko! No way is furball riding shotgun on my upholstery!” Dean caught the glint in Sam’s eyes at the mention the cat was a stray, and he fully intended to extinguish that glint before they left the lot. “Last time you had a pet it ended badly and you know it…”

Sam tickled the cat’s ears and its golden orbs glistened with pleasure. “That was NOT a pet,” he snorted, watching as Ra began to purr again.

“Yeah, well, you knew we couldn’t have a real dog being on the road and all. You were a kid. Dad thought it would shut your whining up…”

Sam glowered. “Dude, come on, a Sad Sam plushie for a six-year-old?”

Dean cocked his head and smiled as he climbed into the Impala. Sometimes he just had to really appreciate his dad’s choice in toys – especially when it came down to Sam. “Well, you did kinda adopt the look, Samantha. Now put down Garfield before I use him to wipe my dash!”

Sam petted the cat on the head one last time and then gently sat it down at the professor’s feet. It meowed softly and then intertwined itself around Daniels’ leg, long tail swishing with contentment.

Climbing into the Impala, Sam took one last, longing glance at Ra and then slammed the door, waiting for the insults he knew would fly his way for actually liking an animal.

Instead, Dean sneezed as he cranked the ignition.

And then he sneezed again.

“Dammit, Sam, I think I’m allergic to the damn flea-ball!”

Sam grinned as his brother pulled out of the lot, sneezing all the way onto the highway.

 

McDonald’s Drive-Thru
Later…

Sam waited patiently as his brother reeled off an order big enough to feed an entire football team. Sometimes, Sam was convinced Dean simply ate out of habit. He was a human eating machine that just didn’t know when to stop.

Right now, the young girl handing over their order was even looking into the back of the Impala to see where the rest of their group was.

Dean took the paper bags and smiled – not at the girl, but at the thought of the bags’ contents. “Not exactly steak and eggs, but it’ll do,” the hunter offered, passing the fare to his brother while he pulled the Chevy over.

Sam picked at the edge of the first bag, almost afraid to look what was inside. To his relief, it was the chicken club sandwich he’d ordered and not the “coronary” burgers Dean tended to eat. “I don’t know which is worse,” he noted. “The disgusting décor of our latest motel room, or the greasy excuse for a burger you’re munching on.”

Dean paused, glanced at the Big Mac and then shrugged, taking another huge bite. “Aww c’mon, Sammy, the room is what you call retro, dude.”

Sam examined his own sandwich, taking a much smaller bite as he considered it. “Retro? It looks like a leftover set from a bad seventies skin flick!”

“You mean you don’t find the mirrors on the ceiling kinda kinky?” Dean teased back, sucking down a stray piece of onion as it tried to escape his mouth. “Man, and those blow up dolls you found in the bedside table…”

“And you said the cat was the best offer I’ve had all year? Dean, your standards are slipping.” Sam screwed up his empty wrapper and was about to take a slug of Coke when his cell began to warble.

As Coldplay’s Viva La Vida filled the car, Dean grimaced. Sam ignored the derisory expression and flipped open his phone.

“Professor Daniels?” His brow scrunched in concern. “Slow down, Professor…”

The breathless voice and indiscernible ranting was almost unrecognizable, but in the background, Sam could hear something that sounded like tearing.

Flesh, tearing.

“No time to mail it…need to tell you…” Daniels was stuttering, and to Sam it sounded like the elder man was speaking through clenched teeth until enamel was grinding on enamel.

Was he just scared, or was there indescribable pain in his voice?

“…need your help…need to tell you in person before…” The line hissed as if something was interfering with the signal, and then suddenly Daniels’ voice was back, twice as loud, and twice as terrified. “Before it’s too late…”

Sam glanced quickly to Dean, who had already tossed down his burger, sensing something was “off.” “Professor Daniels, just calm down, we’re on our way. If you can just tell me what’s wrong maybe we can help..?”

The line crackled again, and when the volume finally returned, all that Sam could hear was a week stammer through the veil of electrical interference. “The mummy…it’s the mummy…”

And then the connection was gone, lost to whatever entity had invaded Daniels’ home. As the line buzzed, Sam pulled it away from his ear and slammed it closed.

“Dean, we need to get to Daniels’ house, NOW! There’s something in there with him!”

Dean looked longingly at the second Big Mac waiting patiently in his lap and then tossed the burger and bun swiftly through the open driver’s window. Cranking the engine, he yanked the gearshift into “drive” and rammed his foot down on the gas, bringing the car around full circle.

The Impala’s tires bit into the gravel surface of the lot, kicking up a cloud as it sped back out onto the highway. “You know, being a Winchester is worse than Starsky and friggin’ Hutch,” Dean muttered as he gripped the wheel.

“Huh?” Sam remembered the retro cop show, but he didn’t see the connection – well, apart from the same crappy period décor that now adorned their motel.

Dean rolled his eyes, obviously ashamed at his brother’s lack of TV knowledge. “Dude, they never got to finish their food, either!”

Sam opened his mouth to suggest he didn’t exactly watch the show for the characters’ eating habits, but as the Chevy’s rear end fishtailed dangerously across the road, tossing him rapidly sideways, he suddenly forgot what he was arguing about.

Dean never lost control of his baby.

And yet, as Sam watched mesmerized, the elder hunter frantically began to tear at the steering wheel, desperate to pull the car back into position before it slammed into several parked vehicles along the highway.

Sam wasn’t sure if the problem was the car, Dean or something worse.

“Dude, what was in that Big Mac you munched on?”

“Bite me!” Dean ground out the retort but his eyes never veered from the blacktop. “Sammy, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but my foot has been on the brake pedal for the last half mile…”

Sam blinked then grabbed at the dash as the Impala swerved again, this time with such a violent lurching motion that the hunter thought the Chevy would roll.

It didn’t, but for the briefest of seconds the tires left the road, giving an almost weightless sensation until the wheels slammed back down again.

Dean grunted as every bone in his body seemed to jar together. “Man, you might have something with that clown fear of yours. I’m telling you, Ronald back there sure hasn’t done anything for our luck…”

The Chevy groaned as Dean guided it deftly around a sharp bend, leaving two streaks of rubber in its wake as it seemed to gain even more momentum.

“Maybe if you killed the ignition?” Sam ventured, almost biting through the tip of his tongue as the car mounted the sidewalk and then bounced back off again.

“Tried that,” Dean grumbled back. “Hell, I tried everything except putting my freakin’ boot through the floor and braking Flintstone style.”

To demonstrate, the hunter yanked at the column gearshift, but even in neutral, the car’s revs didn’t drop.

In fact, as Sam watched, the engine’s revolutions increased until the dash gauge was in the red warning section.

Dean saw the needle and barely managed to stifle a choking fit. “Crap!”

Sam’s long fingers found the edge of his seat and he implanted them there, wishing that his brother drove something with airbags and side impact bars instead of ancient metal panels that afforded no modern day protection. “Tell me again why you love this bucket of bolts?”

“No way is this happening,” Dean countered, pulling at the parking brake even though he knew it could roll the car at their current speed.

It didn’t – the handle simply came loose in his sweating palm and he had to force himself not to stare at it. Placing his gaze back on the road, he began to curse anew under his breath. “I’m telling you, Sammy, some sonofabitch messed with my baby while we were back in the museum.”

“Like who, Dean? Next you’ll be blaming the cat!” Sam winced as the Chevy barely shaved past a Durango and then ran two sets of lights at an intersection. Horns blared and drivers angrily shook fists through their windows, but so far they’d averted a major disaster thanks to Dean’s driving skills.

So far…

“Maybe it’s the curse,” Dean suggested, tiny rivulets of sweat beginning to form across his brow. “Maybe it’s some kind of presence.”

Sam wasn’t impressed. “Great! Just great! Possessed Chevy in the family…” He dared to take a hand from the base of his seat and checked the door handle, but as he suspected the mechanism appeared to be abruptly jammed. Grabbing the window lever, he quickly wound down the glass before it too decided to rebel. He wasn’t particularly the right size to dive out of the car, but he preferred the option to being highway hamburger. “Can we rock salt a car?”

“Over my dead body, Sasquatch!”

Sam’s face puckered at his brother’s choice of words – especially considering what was looming ahead through the windshield. “Well, yeah, pretty soon, dude…”

Dean blinked and realized all that was missing was the tinny sound of Creedence through the car’s speakers to complete the scene.

The Peterbuilt was on the right side of the road. It wasn’t speeding, it wasn’t veering over the center line or causing any kind of risk.

But they were.

The Impala was heading right for the semi, and no matter how much Dean tugged at the wheel it stayed on course, motor roaring and tires screaming.

The Winchesters seemed doomed to die by truck, and third time usually paid for all.

Missouri.

Butte County.

And now here….

The idea seemed to reach each brother’s thought processes at the same time, and like two robots from the future they autonomously mouthed the same speech together.

Perhaps, together for the last time.

“Aww crap, not again…”

But fate wouldn’t have it any other way.

Not for the Winchesters.


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