Two: Time Won't Let Me Go
Gibson’s Super Pawn
it had been any big city, Mikey Wickham was sure he
and his brother, Danny, would have been caught by now.
It wasn’t exactly as if they were being stealthy,
having turned on a couple of lamps that were sitting
on the counters. Danny had assured him they wouldn’t
get caught and Mikey wasn’t about to argue with
his big brother.
Luckily, they lived in a town of about 5,000 people
and it wasn’t unusual for a light to be on in
a business after-hours. If anything, people would just
think Mr. Gibson was working late, which he did from
time to time.
Still, it didn’t stop the Wickham brothers from
working as quickly as they could. Danny had told him
to grab anything of real value and Mikey was working
feverishly, afraid that their luck would soon run out.
Looking down at their loot so far, they had done a pretty
decent job of grabbing guns, small musical instruments,
knives and jewelry. Mikey was more than ready to call
it a night and get out of there.
“Come on, Danny…don’t you think we
have enough crap?” Mikey asked, glancing sideways
at his sibling.
“Dude, if we’re doing this, it’s not
gonna be some half-assed job,” Danny said as he
opened another jewelry case. “We’re taking
everything we can.”
“What if someone calls the cops? I told you I
don’t want to go to jail.”
“We won’t if you hurry the hell up. This
place doesn’t have any cameras so we won’t
get caught.” Danny frowned when he saw Mikey opening
up the watch display case. “Dude, don’t
grab those—they ain’t worth nothin’.”
Mikey sighed and rolled his eyes at his brother’s
back. He didn’t know why he put up with Danny’s
incessant orders. It wasn’t like he was some lackey
or something; he didn’t have to take being ordered
around. Yet, here he was with his delinquent sibling,
throwing his life right down the toilet.
The young man was about to move away from the watches
when one caught his eye. It was a gold pocket watch
with floral etching, a faint film of tarnish in the
grooves giving it an antique look.
It looks just like Paw-Paw Benny’s old watch,
Mikey thought as he reached into the case to pick up
the old timepiece. Holding it in his hand, he turned
it over, smiling slightly as he rubbed his thumb over
the rough surface.
Glancing quickly over his shoulder to make sure Danny
wasn’t watching him, the red-headed man slipped
it into his pocket. It felt oddly comforting having
it there and Mikey had to shake himself as a chill raced
up his spine.
A thump from the back caused the younger Wickham to
jump, his heart hammering in his chest. Dammit,
the police are here to arrest us!
“Danny, did you hear that?” Mikey whispered
“Man, would you calm down and quit freaking out
over everything? It was probably just a stray dog diggin’
in the trash or somethin’,” Danny said,
shaking his head, clearly annoyed. “I swear, this
is the last time I ask you to help me.”
Anger immediately overcame any fear Mikey was feeling.
“I never wanted to come here in the first place!”
“Then why did you come?” Danny challenged.
“Because you told me if I didn’t, you would
tell Lindsay I went out with Gretchen!” Danny
could make anyone believe any lie and when he’d
threatened Mikey with that one, the young man had had
no choice but to go along with it, even if it was a
complete fabrication. He didn’t want to screw
up anything with Lindsay, especially when they’d
been going strong two years now.
“Believe me, it’ll be the last time I ever
do that,” Danny said as he zipped up his bag.
“I should have got Steve to help me.”
“Didn’t he stand you up to bang some chick
he met in a bar?”
“Bite me, dumb ass.”
Mikey smiled in satisfaction as he got a shot in at
his sibling. Danny tended to think of himself as Enigma’s
greatest gift to women and he couldn’t stand it
when someone else got some action if it left him out
in the cold.
Another thud had Mikey turning around towards the back
of the store and he felt the blood literally drain from
his face. Mr. Gibson, a balding stick of a man, was
standing there, pointing a rifle at the both of them.
“Put it down and get out now or I start shooting,”
the older man warned, cocking the gun for emphasis.
“I’m tired of you damn kids comin’
in here and robbin’ my place.”
“Mind your blood pressure, Walter,” Danny
said with a smirk. “You don’t want to get
your old ticker kicking into high gear, do you?”
Walter shook his head sadly. “What is your mama
gonna think when she hears about this?”
“Danny, maybe we should just go,” Mikey
said, a nervous tremor in his voice. “Mama will
be pissed if she finds out what we’ve done.”
“You should listen to your brother, Danny,”
Walter said. “At least one of you has a lick of
Danny ignored the pawn shop owner. “He won’t
shoot us, Mikey. Grab your stuff and let’s get
“Move it, Mikey.” Danny turned his back
on Mikey and Walter, reaching down to take hold of his
Why does he have to be—
Mikey never got to finish his thought as they report
of a shotgun blasted through the store. Everything seemed
to slow down as, horrified, he watched the shot hit
his sibling in the back. Danny’s body jerked before
falling to the ground, unmoving.
Time resumed its normal pace as Mikey fell to his knees
beside Danny, pressing his hands to the wound, hoping
to do something to staunch the flow of blood. Taking
one of his hands, he pressed a couple of fingers to
Danny’s carotid, fear gripping him at the absence
of a pulse.
Swallowing down the lump in his throat, Mikey looked
up at the shop owner who was standing there watching
them, his mouth agape. “We didn’t mean anything
by it, Mr. Gibson.”
“I-I didn’t mean to shoot him,” Mr.
Gibson said. “I just wanted you to leave me be.”
Mikey said nothing, too afraid the shopkeeper would
plug him. He let out a quiet sigh of relief as the older
man put down the firearm and rubbed a hand over his
“I want you to leave, do you hear me, Mikey?”
Walter asked. “You were never here tonight—I’ll
take care of it.”
The young man just looked at the shop owner in shock.
He didn’t want to leave his brother alone—it
would feel like he was betraying him or something.
Mikey nodded numbly before turning around and darting
out of the pawn shop.
didn’t even bother turning on the light when he
stepped into his tiny apartment a little later. Instead,
he went straight for the refrigerator and grabbed a
beer before planting himself on his thrift store recliner.
Finding the remote between the cushion and the chair,
he turned it on to the local news.
He couldn’t believe what had happened. His brother
could be so stupid and his idiocy had finally caught
up with him. Mikey knew he should have been mourning
his sibling, but all he could feel was anger that was
slowly bubbling into rage.
Glancing at the television, Mikey seethed as the scene
changed to a shot of the pawn shop, Danny’s body
being wheeled out into the coroner’s van. Letting
out a guttural yell, he threw the bottle at the screen,
feeling a little satisfied as it shattered.
Launching himself from the recliner, Mikey began to
pace like a caged lion. I should have tried harder
to make Danny leave. I shouldn’t have let him
go through with it. Why didn’t I do more? Why
did I have to be a pushover once again? It’s my
fault that Danny’s dead…
Shoving his hands into his jacket pockets, wishing to
rid himself of the guilt, Mikey was slightly surprised
when his right hand touched something solid. Pulling
it out, he saw that it was the pocket watch he’d
I forgot I even had this…
Squeezing it tightly, feeling completely drained, a
sob escaped Mikey’s lips.
“I wish we’d never robbed the damn place…”
jerked awake, gasping desperately for air. He felt disoriented,
almost as if he’d just stepped off a carnival
ride. Looking around, he was shocked to find himself
sitting in the passenger seat of his brother’s
old Toyota Camry.
“Yo, Mikey—what’s your deal?”
Danny asked, staring at him strangely.
Mikey swung his head in the direction of Danny’s
voice, positive that he was hallucinating. Danny was
dead—he was sure of it. He remembered the warmth
of his brother’s blood on his hands, the lack
of a pulse, the way his eyes stared out at nothing.
But yet, here Danny was—living, breathing and
staring at him as if Mikey had lost his mind.
Maybe I have, he thought. Just to be sure,
he reached out a hand and gave Danny’s arm a gentle
squeeze. Oh, my God, he’s really here! What
the hell is happening?
Danny jerked his arm out of Mikey’s grasp. “Man,
what have I told you about personal space?”
“You’re alive,” Mikey said in wonder.
Okay, clearly that beer I drank had something in
Danny arched a brow, looking at him as if he’d
grown an extra head. “Last I checked.”
“I don’t believe it.” Without warning,
Mikey reached over and enveloped his big brother in
a hug. Just as quickly, Danny shoved him away, pushing
him against the passenger door.
“Dude, what the hell is your problem? You off
your meds or somethin’?”
Mikey flashed his sibling a goofy grin, not caring how
ridiculous he looked. Danny was back and that was all
that mattered right now.
“Now that you got your mental breakdown over,
are you ready?”
Danny nodded at the darkened pawn shop. “You said
you were gonna help me. We have to do this now.”
He still wants to rob the store! Mikey could
feel the panic start to rise in his chest. “I
don’t think we should do this, Danny. Let’s
just go home and watch a movie or somethin’.”
“Tell me you’re not gonna chicken out on
me now, bro. I told you it would be a simple job—in
and out. I need you to watch my back.”
“I just have a bad feeling about this,”
Mikey continued, desperately willing Danny to listen
to him. Come on, Danny—just believe me and
listen to me for once in your life.
“I don’t have time for this,” Danny
muttered before pulling the keys out of the ignition
and getting out of the car.
“You stupid son of a bitch,” Mikey griped
before following Danny across the deserted two lane
road. “Danny, you have to believe me when I say
we can’t go through with this. Something bad is
“God, you really are on somethin’ tonight.”
Danny continued on his path, walking to the darkest
side of the pawn shop. Luckily for them, old man Gibson
didn’t bother to invest in any bars for the windows.
Mikey could only watch in mounting horror as his sibling
pushed up on the window and it opened without a hitch.
“Please don’t do this, Danny. I’m
beggin’ you here.”
Danny turned to look at him. “Look, the way I
see it, you have two options: be a man and help me or
be a bitch and go cry home to Mama.”
Without another word, Danny slipped inside the establishment.
Sighing and seeing that he had no other choice, Mikey
took one last look around the quiet town before going
in after Danny.
“We need to hurry before Mr. Gibson gets back,”
Mikey said as soon as he was safely inside.
Grabbing his bag, Danny moved over to the nearest display
case, which housed the guns and knives. “Don’t
worry—the old man is gone for the night. I’ve
been watching this place all week—he leaves around
ten and doesn’t check in until he opens up the
“He’ll be back in a few minutes,”
Mikey blurted out before he could stop himself. He was
almost afraid to look at Danny but he willed himself
to do it anyway.
“What, are you psychic or something?” Danny
asked, clearly amused.
“Definitely something,” the younger brother
mumbled but Danny had lost interest in him, instead
focusing on the jewelry and throwing it into his bag.
Sighing, Mikey turned his head and his eyes alighted
upon the gold pocket watch. Sliding open the display
case, he reached in and picked up the timepiece. Rising
up to study it, a sudden thud had him dropping it to
the floor and whirling around.
“D-Danny,” he whispered frantically.
It’s happening just like last time!
Danny waved a hand at him, still grabbing as many things
as he could.
Mikey swallowed hard as Walter Gibson stepped out of
the back, cocking the rifle as he did so. Out of the
corner of his eye, he saw Danny drop the duffle he’d
“Drop everything and get out—or I start
shooting,” Walter warned.
“Don’t waste your breath, old man. You won’t
shoot us,” Danny said smirking as he reached down
to grab his dropped bag.
“NO!” Mikey yelled as two shots rang out.
He watched in horror as both the shop owner and his
brother were hit in the chest, both falling to the ground
“This wasn’t supposed to happen,”
Mikey muttered as he dropped to the ground beside his
fallen sibling. He knew it was useless, but he felt
for a pulse anyway. He wasn’t the least bit surprised
when he didn’t find one.
Looking around the quiet shop, frantically searching
for nothing in particular, he spotted the pocket watch
glinting harmlessly in the pale lamp light.
Tripping over himself, he snatched it up, rocking back
and forth while holding it closely to his chest.
“I wish we’d never robbed the damn place.
I wish we’d never robbed the damn place. I wish…”
One week later…
Winchester squinted at the computer screen, willing
the words to make sense—or at the very least,
form complete sentences instead of rambling run-ons.
It was enough to make anyone dizzy, like stepping off
the Tilt-A-Whirl at the county fair.
Maybe it would have helped if green didn’t surround
Sam everywhere he looked—green walls, green carpeting,
green towels, green bedspreads. The only thing to break
the green monotony was the wide yellow stripe on the
carpet that ran from the middle of the two queen beds
to the bathroom.
Follow the yellow brick road straight to the wizard.
Apparently, someone around here had a sense of humor
and while it had been funny the first time he’d
entered the room with Dean a week ago, it was now getting
old. Sam still didn’t understand why it seemed
that everywhere in Kansas had to do their own little
tribute to The Wizard of Oz—everyone
got it by now; they didn’t have to be constantly
reminded that it took place there.
It also didn’t help that the young hunter had
been working non-stop, researching every possible way
to get John out of Stull. It seemed as if every single
time he found a viable lead, it only led to another
dead-end. They all said the same thing—Stull wouldn’t
open again until the Spring Equinox—March twentieth
to be exact.
Still, that didn’t stop Sam from trying alternative
ways to bust his dad out. After all, if anyone could
find an off-the-wall solution to any problem, it was
I saved Dean when he was electrocuted a few years
ago. Of course, the dude was using dark magic because
of his crazy wife…
Whatever the case, Sam had been able to save Dean and
that was all that mattered. And he would do the same
for John, even if it meant driving himself way past
the point of exhaustion.
And Sam was exhausted. For a second, it had him wondering
how far he actually could push himself before be reached
breaking point. If history was any indication of the
Winchester resilience, then it wouldn’t be until
he was six feet under. But Sam had to do it—not
only for himself, but for Dean as well.
Sam wasn’t stupid; he saw what this last week
had done to his brother. Dean was nothing but a walking,
ticking time bomb and Sam honestly didn’t know
how much more Dean could take before he exploded.
Dean wouldn’t listen to reason. Hell, he wouldn’t
listen to anything Sam had to say. He’d had tunnel
vision since Stull—refused to do anything except
stay in Lawrence and spend all hours of the day and
night at the cemetery, trying to find some loophole.
Sam had tried to budge him, even went so far as getting
Bobby involved, but Dean remained as stubborn as ever.
When Dean wasn’t at the cemetery, he was at some
bar until all hours. After the first night of trying
to get Dean to come back to the motel ended with a bruised
jaw, Sam had left Dean to himself. He was used to Dean
going down the same destructive path time and time again
and he would be there to help Dean up and give him the
swift kick in the ass when he was ready.
It pained Sam to see his brother this way. Dean had
always been the pillar of strength when it came to the
Winchester clan. But Sam had glimpsed those brief moments
of weakness on Dean’s face—he’d always
been about family. It sometimes scared Sam the lengths
Dean would go to in order to protect what was his.
While they’d been without John for long periods
of time as they were growing up, this was different.
John had never been completely inaccessible before.
Unavailable, yes, but not like this. It was almost as
if their dad was—dead.
“Don’t do that, Sam. You can’t go
there,” Sam berated himself. If he did that, then
they may as well throw in the towel.
Pushing all those thoughts behind him, Sam focused on
the task at hand. Pulling up a search engine, he typed
in a few words and waited for the results. Spying a
potentially interesting link, he clicked on it and pulled
up the Enigma Gazette.
Skimming the story, his interest began to perk up. It
was an article about a guy who swore there was some
magic watch that could turn back time. He said he’d
done it and had watched his brother die twice as a result
“That’s weird,” Sam muttered.
It was obvious the story was included in the paper to
ridicule the man—Mikey Wickham. But Sam couldn’t
help but be intrigued by it and he also couldn’t
stop the little tingling in his head, almost as if his
brain was trying to tell him it sounded familiar.
Maybe I saw something like it in Dad’s journal.
Picking up the worn leather tome, Sam began to flip
through it, his eyes glancing over the familiar scrawl.
He knew exactly where everything was, having memorized
every detail of his father’s hunting career. Ever
since it had come into their possession a few years
ago, he’d spent countless sleepless nights reading
it cover to cover, especially when the nightmares and
visions had been so bad.
About halfway through, Sam stopped his flipping, eyes
zeroing in on a sentence scribbled in the margins—“Watch
that can turn back time?”
“Looks like Dad wasn’t too sure about it,”
Sam commented as he sat back in thought. He’d
never really paid much attention to it before. To him,
it was simply a thought or something John had which
he had just jotted it down.
It was the way his father worked—there were tons
of notes he’d written down but they really had
no meaning at all. But maybe John had actually been
onto something in this one instance without ever knowing
Putting down the journal, the young hunter went back
to his laptop, feeling as if his luck might finally
be changing for the better. Typing in a few commands,
he managed to crack into Mikey’s record, finding
out he was being held in a mental hospital in Tifton,
Georgia. Writing down the address, Sam shut down the
laptop and closed it up.
Smiling for the first time all week, Sam stood up and
grabbed his duffle from the foot of the bed. Throwing
his clothes inside, he knew the easy part was behind
him. Now, he would have to somehow convince Dean to
go along with his plan.
As if he had realized Sam needed to talk to him, Dean
chose that moment to walk into the room, slamming the
door behind him. Sam barely glanced up at Dean as his
brother tossed a greasy brown paper bag onto his bed.
“What are you doing?” Dean asked as he slipped
off his jacket, his voice slightly defensive.
“You need to pack,” Sam answered. “We’ve
got to hit the road.”
“We’ve had this argument before, Sammy.”
Dean plopped himself on the bed and looked over at him.
“We’re not going anywhere.”
“Dean, would you just—”
“This isn’t up for discussion. I told you,
we can’t leave until we find a way to get Dad
“We’re not even—”
“Sam, just stop it. We both know this is only
going to end with the both of us pissed at each other.”
It took everything Sam had not to grab his brother by
the shoulders and shake him. “If you’d just
shut the hell up long enough for me to get a word out,
Dean, I’m trying to tell you that I may have found
something that can help Dad.”
Whatever Dean was about to say was forgotten as he stared
up at Sam, mouth slightly open.
“Well, dude, spit it out already,” Dean
said. “What is it?”
A brief smile flashed across Sam’s face before
he quickly pushed it away. “I found an article
from a small town in Georgia. Some guy there swears
he found a watch that turns back time.”
Dean smirked. “It’s probably some heavily
medicated crackpot sitting in a padded room somewhere
with a jacket to keep him warm at night.”
Sam opened his mouth to say something but closed it
just as quickly, refusing to look Dean in the eyes.
There really was nothing he could say to refute Dean’s
Dean cocked his head. “He is some nutjob.”
Sam shrugged. “Maybe he is but Dad mentioned something
about it in his journal.”
“Well, it was just a sentence. More of question,
actually—‘watch that can turn back time.’
But it’s still something.”
Dean shook his head. “You’re gonna have
to come up with something better than that, Sam.”
Sam sighed. “I’m tired of sitting in this
room bending over a computer the entire time. I’m
tired of you driving yourself crazy with this notion
that if we stay here, we’ll find a way to get
Dean gritted his teeth. “Sam—”
Sam cut him off. “We haven’t found jack,
Dean, and we’re deluding ourselves if we think
by sitting here the answer is going to fall into our
Dean said nothing.
“Look, I miss Dad and more than anything, I want
to get him back. But we can’t keep doing this—Dad
would be disappointed in us if he saw what we were doing.”
“Don’t do that, Sam. Don’t you dare
starting batting for Dad’s team when you’ve
spent almost every waking moment fighting with the man.”
“I’m not trying to, Dean.” Sam sat
down on the bed opposite his sibling. “But I refuse
to sit back and do nothing when we have a possible lead
that could help.”
Getting up, Sam shoved a few more items into his bag
before zipping it shut. “If you don’t wanna
go, Dean, I’ll find a way to get there myself.”
Sam knew by saying that he’d just won the argument.
There was no way in hell Dean was going to let him leave
by himself. He’d just lost Dad and Sam knew his
brother would do everything in his power not to lose
him as well.
Sighing, Dean got up from the bed and began to pack.
“Little brothers can be such a major pain in the
Health Services of South Georgia
The next day
Winchester shifted uncomfortably in the hunter green
plastic chair, his body complaining loudly about the
painful position. He and Sam were sitting in the small
atrium of the mental hospital, waiting for Mikey Wickham
to be brought to them. The bright sunlight that filtered
through did nothing to improve his sour mood.
They were both utterly exhausted after the excursion
from Kansas, having only slept for about five hours
after driving all day and most of the previous night.
This was the last place Dean wanted to be but there
was no backing out of it now, especially since it would
mean him listening to Sam bitch the entire time if he
And I so don’t want to go there.
It didn’t mean Dean had to be happy to be there
though. He honestly didn’t think they would find
anything useful here to help them. He truly believed
they were dealing with some nutjob who just wanted some
attention, no matter how he went about getting it. Why
else would they have to talk to him here? If he’d
had all his marbles, they could be chatting it up in
some mom-and-pop diner.
God, I’m starving, Dean thought as his
stomach grumbled loudly, sharing the sentiment. Don’t
get mad at me. Blame Sammy—he’s the
one who insisted we get here at the butt crack of dawn.
If it was up to Dean, they would still be in Lawrence.
He felt sure that he was on the right path. Locals were
just starting to open up to him, telling him secrets
of the legendary cemetery that had been long forgotten.
Dean was sure if they’d stayed there just a little
longer, he would have gotten John out, once and for
Dean refused to look logically at it; he refused to
accept he was doing nothing more than chasing his tail
in the dark. If he admitted he was only kidding himself,
then he was defeated and he wouldn’t do that.
It wasn’t the way the Winchesters operated, especially
when it concerned family.
Even more frustrating to the hunter would be for him
to admit that he was helpless this time around. It was
a feeling that didn’t sit well with him and he
wasn’t going to just stand by without giving all
of his effort to the cause. If that meant running himself
ragged in order to accomplish that goal, then he would
do just that.
Dean wasn’t blind, either; he realized what his
tireless crusade was doing to his little brother. Stress
and worry were evident on Sam’s face, though the
kid did his best to try to mask it. He’d been
making Sam work nonstop, snapping at him and shutting
him down every time he came up with an idea. It wasn’t
that he wasn’t grateful for what Sam was doing.
It was that he was afraid he would lose it all if he
acknowledged everything that had happened. He wouldn’t
allow Sam to see him that way—he had to be there
for him and if that meant being an ass about it, then
so be it.
Dean knew their missing dad wasn’t the only thing
that was bothering Sam either. Stull played with his
sibling’s head, much like it had done with his.
Sam was still freaked about turning evil like his alternate
double even though Dean assured him that would never
happen. Even if Sam said he believed Dean, internally
he would still be dwelling on it—that’s
just the way Sam was.
Sam turned his head to look at Dean strangely. “Dude,
quit staring at me. What’s wrong?”
Dean flinched, hating being caught. “I thought
you were finished with puberty,” he said thoughtfully.
“What are you talking about?”
“You have a huge ass pimple on the side of your
face,” Dean answered, smirking. “I would
say I only thought girls usually got them like that,
Sam reached up, touching both sides of his face in search
of the blemish. When Dean only started to laugh, Sam
glared daggers at the older man.
“My bad,” Dean said, clearly amused.
Sam huffed. “You are such an ass, you know that?”
Dean smiled but didn’t say anything as a young
man entered the atrium. The brothers stood up as one,
towering over him.
“Mikey Wickham?” Sam asked.
“Yeah,” he answered apprehensively.
“We’d like to talk to you about what happened
on the night of the robbery.”
Mikey turned around to leave. “I don’t need
this crap, guys. The last thing I want right now is
for another person to think I’ve lost my marbles.”
“I promise, we’re not here to ridicule you,”
Sam said with a pointed look at Dean. “I’m
Sam and this is Dean. We kind of have experience with
the strange and crazy. We just want to hear your side
of the story.”
“I don’t know…”
“Just give us the benefit of the doubt,”
Sam pleaded. “All we need is a few minutes of
Mikey studied them for a few seconds before slowly coming
back into the room and sitting in the empty green chair
across from them.
As the brothers retook their seats, Dean asked, “What
happened that night?”
“Are you two brothers?” Mikey asked abruptly.
Sam nodded, slightly caught off-guard. “Why do
“I’m guessing you’re the younger one,”
Mikey said, a ghost of a grin flitting across his face.
“Your brother ever convince you to do anything
“All the damn time.”
Dean glared at them, silently promising himself he’d
get Sam back for that one later.
“That’s what happened with me,” Mikey
continued, ignoring Dean’s look. “Danny—my
brother—made me go along with him to rob Gibson’s
Super Pawn. I didn’t want to but it’s kind
of hard to tell Danny no.”
“Well, sure that’s stupid,” Dean admitted.
“But I’m still not convinced that’s
how you got a one-way ticket straight to the loony hut.”
Mikey shot a look at Dean, slightly affronted.
“Dean didn’t mean anything by it, Mikey,”
Sam said quickly, glaring at his sibling. “Tell
us what happened next.”
Mikey shook his head. “It was weird.”
“I mean, I watched Danny die and I got the hell
out of there. I went back home and I was so pissed at
him. I felt the watch I’d swiped in my pocket
and I just lost it.” He looked at the Winchesters
in turn. “I just made some offhand comment about
wishing we’d never gone there and all of a sudden,
I was back in Danny’s car and he was sitting right
beside me as if nothing ever happened.”
“Was he…different?” Dean asked.
“What do you mean?”
“Did he look…” Dean trailed off, not
sure how to ask it without freaking the kid out even
more. Aw, screw it—he’s already seen crazy.
Why not add a little more to it? “Did he seem
dead to you?”
“No,” Mikey said, unnerved by the question.
“He was normal. He was Danny.”
“So, it was like you got a second chance with
him?” Sam asked.
“But I’m guessing it didn’t work out
for you like you wanted it to,” Dean said.
“It got worse,” Mikey admitted.
“Everything happened exactly like the first time
except Mr. Gibson was killed along with my brother.”
Mikey shook his head in bewilderment. “I didn’t
even know that Danny was packing heat. I swear to you,
he didn’t have it the first time.”
Sam and Dean exchanged a look but neither said anything.
“Can you tell us what the watch looked like?”
Sam asked, changing the subject.
“It was gold—had flowers etched all over
the casing. It looked ancient, like something your grandfather
or great-grandfather would carry around in his pocket.”
“Do you know where the watch is now?” Dean
Mikey shrugged. “It should still be at the pawn
shop. I dropped it after it wouldn’t work again.”
“You tried to use it again?” Sam asked.
“Yeah. When nothing happened, I thought for sure
I had just imagined the entire thing.”
The boys stood up, signaling the end of the conversation.
“Thanks for your time, Mikey,” Sam said.
“Hey.” Mikey stopped them before they could
get out the door. “Do you think I’m crazy?”
Dean shook his head, slightly surprised at himself.
“No, we don’t.”
Mikey flashed a genuine smile. “Thanks. I really
needed to hear that.”
Sam waited until they were walking towards the Impala
before speaking. “So, do you really believe that?”
“Believe what?” Dean asked as he pulled
the keys out of his jacket pocket.
“The kid’s not crazy.”
Dean shrugged as he opened the door. “We’ve
Sam nodded as they got into the car as a unit. Dean
turned the ignition and put the old Chevy into gear,
heading back towards Enigma. They drove in silence for
a while, each lost in his own thoughts.
“What if it’s real, Sammy?” Dean asked
“Yeah. This could be our way to get Dad back.”
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Dean,”
Sam cautioned. “We don’t know if this thing
really works or if we’re being duped.”
“Yeah, I know. But it’s something—more
than we’ve had so far.”
Sam nodded but didn’t reply.
Dean couldn’t help but be encouraged by the prospect
of the watch. Sure, it seemed hokey but they’d
seen and dealt with stranger things in their storied
hunting career. But this offered more hope than anything
else they’d come across lately.
A few minutes later, Dean pulled into the parking lot
of the pawn shop. A neon “Open” sign was
flashing in the window and a big black bow hung from
the door, announcing it as a place of mourning.
“It didn’t take them long to bounce back
from a double homicide, did it?” Sam asked as
they walked up to the door.
Dean shrugged. “It’s the small town way
of life. They can’t afford to sit on their asses
like they could in the big city.”
A bell chimed overhead, announcing their arrival as
the boys entered the shop. A kindly, silver-haired woman
looked up from the counter she was standing behind,
smiling at them invitingly.
“Do you boys need help with anything?”
Dean nudged Sam, indicating he should do the talking
on this one. Sammy always did have a way with the
little old ladies.
Sam stepped forward, flashing the woman a warm smile.
“We were actually interested in your watches,
“Carol Gibson—this was my husband’s
shop,” the woman supplied. She walked down the
length of the counter before stopping at a display case
near the end. “Is there a particular watch you
were looking for?”
“Well, the one we’re interested in is old,”
Sam began. “Um, it’s gold with a floral
etching—a pocket watch.”
Carol nodded, looking thoughtful as Sam described the
timepiece. “It does sound familiar.” She
then looked at them apologetically. “I’m
sorry, but I believe I sold the watch you’re describing
late yesterday evening.”
The brothers turned their heads towards each other,
both mirroring the same look of disbelief. Their first
real shot at getting John back had just slipped from
their grasp before they’d even gotten their hands
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