Twenty-One: Sins of the Father
jerked his head back as another tightly wadded paper
missile connected with the side of his face, letting
a steady exhale from his nose be his only response to
his brother’s childish behavior. Little brother
had learned a long time ago that no reaction usually
worked in his favor, but ignoring Dean was a feat of
mammoth proportions, especially when big brother was
bored out of his mind.
had been cramped up in the same dirty motel room for
the past week after their last hunt had left them worse
for wear, and the cabin fever had set in after the first
two days. Sam had found more productive uses of his
time by scouring the internet for anything remotely
resembling a potential hunt, but the quest was to no
avail. There was absolutely nothing that needed killing,
banishing, or saving this week as far as he could tell.
his search had taken him across the world web and into
a gaming site where those damn numbered boxes had now
perplexed him for the past four days. Easy levels were
for amateurs and he’d gone to Stanford: seriously
how hard could the Expert level be?
on the other hand, had taken to collecting up the mass
amount of burger and convenience store wrappers littering
the room, ripping them and rolling them into perfect
bullets, the discarded straws scattered around meeting
the standard air rifle criteria for paper wads and spitballs,
serving its purpose to stellar effect.
palm connected with the wooden tabletop, the fierce
contact creating a painful, burning sensation which
automatically traveled its way up his arm as another
launched annoyance tactic slapped into his jaw, its
spit-laden cover sticking to the protruding, clenched
bone. The younger brother lifted his stinging hand amidst
his brother’s uproarious laughter and slowly swiped
the damp paper off his face with a grimace.
you watch TV?” Sam suggested tersely, turning
towards his brother, desperation for Dean to take him
up on the idea more than evident in his weary expression.
shrugged his shoulders and swatted his fingers through
his rolled arsenal. “Nope, don’t want to,
and even if I did, there’s nothing on.”
don’t you look?” Sam grit out and fixed
a pointed glare at Dean. “There’s got to
for dirty old men and chicks,” Dean stated, loading
another paper wad into his McDonald’s-provided
launcher, “And unlike someone who shall remain
nameless, I don’t have to watch porn, because
I actually get action.”
doesn’t count if you pay for it,” Sam quipped,
a smirk on his lips as he turned back to the computer
screen, groaning as he realized he’d placed the
same number twice in one box.
to those girls, Sammy, I’m worth every penny,”
Dean bragged and taking a deep inhale placed his lips
on the end of his firing straw and exhaled, propelling
another wad directly into his brother’s temple.
whirled around in the chair, his face beet red as he
worked to quell the desire to lunge out of the chair
and place his hands around his brother’s neck.
Composure semi-reached, the younger brother cleared
his throat and offered a smug reply. “Is that
what they pay you with? No wonder we’re broke.”
Dean exclaimed loudly, mocking offence. “Mick
Jones made a sizeable donation to the Winchester Credit
Fund last month. According to Visa, we still got around
two thousand dollars.”
shook his head in disbelief, stifling a laugh at Dean’s
expense. “One of these days, someone’s gonna
catch on to that naming scheme you got there.”
like the classics,” Dean replied reverently, reloading
the straw and preparing to fire.
Sam ordered, hand outstretched in a warning for Dean
to stop when he caught sight of his brother’s
move to shoot. “I mean it.”
you gonna do, Sasquatch?” Dean taunted, eyes lit
with mischief. “Look down at me?”
gonna kick your ass,” Sam threatened, rising from
his chair and standing at full height. The promise held
no value to Dean and the older brother fired at will,
sending the small paper bullet sailing into Sam’s
chest. “Alright, that’s it.”
was off the ratted comforter before Sam’s hastened
footsteps brought him to it, and the older brother quickly
leaped off the bed, scrambling over Sam’s, narrowly
avoiding the long arm swinging out at him. The younger
brother wasn’t deterred by his premature miss,
and quickly recovered, grabbing a good bit of Dean’s
jeans around the older man’s ankle and jerking
him onto his stomach across the bed.
resounding knock at the door prevented Sam from acting
off his current advantage as both brothers fell instantly
still in waiting. The sound repeated itself and Dean
turned his head back to meet Sam’s questioning
know you’re in there,” a deep voice groused
from behind the door. “Your stupid car is the
only one in the lot that’s been double parked
for the past week.”
rolled his eyes and gave his brother an annoyed look.
Dean shrugged sheepishly, “Hick town, Sammy. Don’t
want any of those trucks dinging my baby.”
I ain’t got all day,” their visitor yelled
gruffly, resorting to banging on the door incessantly
until he got an answer.
and Dean exchanged irritated glances and Dean cocked
his head toward the door. “You’re closer.”
you’re an ass,” Sam retorted, releasing
his hold on his brother’s pants.
smirked, taking pleasure in his win. “But a cute
dark-haired brother groaned at the comment and turned
toward the door. “Alright, alright, I’m
coming. Give me a second.”
sooner had the knocking stopped than Sam cracked open
the room door, the sliver of exposed daylight revealing
a scruffy bearded elderly man clothed in a dirty wife-beater
and wrinkled dress pants. Sam instantly recognized him
as the motel manager and knowing this guy wouldn’t
even pose a threat if he tried, opened the door wider.
the hell didn’t you hear me? I been banging on
the damn door for--” the man snapped angrily,
his head poking around Sam, breath catching when he
saw Dean’s prostrate form on the bed, a purposefully
lewd grin on the older brother’s face. “Oh.
Well, uh…I can come back.”
it’s not like that. He’s my brother,”
Sam protested, face flushed at the insinuation. He gave
his brother a ‘please, just this once help me
out here’ look before turning back to the manager.
“We were just messing around.”
didn’t even attempt to smother his loud guffaw
and the manager nodded shortly, “Right. Sure.”
let out a calming breath, seeking control over the situation,
and cleared his throat to recapture their visitor’s
attention. “You knocked because?”
the old man replied quickly, his composure shifting
from stunned to businesslike in the blink of an eye.
“A man came in around ten minutes ago. Told me
your room number and to give you this.”
waited for the manager to retrieve the ‘this’
to which he was referring, and surprise coupled with
confusion played across his face as the man withdrew
a folded newspaper and extended it toward him. “Uh…thanks.”
a problem,” the gray-haired man returned hastily.
“Let me know if you’re staying another night.”
we will,” Dean called out from the bed, loud laughter
following his statement as Sam turned apologetically
to the manager, but the sympathetic look was to the
retreating man’s back. The younger brother really
couldn’t blame him for wanting to quickly escape
the situation. Hell, he wanted to join him.
tucked the paper under his arm and shut the door, before
stalking over to the bed and hitting his brother’s
foot. “You’re a jerk.”
thought you said I was an ass,” Dean retorted,
interlocking his hands under his head.
days, man, I swear,” Sam muttered, settling in
on the opposite bed and unfolding the paper. “Huh…”
that an ‘I’m confused’ huh or a ‘wow,
that’s interesting’ huh?” Dean questioned,
raising himself to a sit as he studied Sam’s form
hunched over the newspaper.
like how the hell did someone know we are here, and
why,” Sam laid the paper out on the bed, tapping
his finger against the print, “is that circled?”
leaned over, tilting his head to get a better view of
what Sam was talking about. Sure enough, a small article,
barely noticeable, was circled in blank ink. The older
brother scanned the article quickly, a grin on his face
as he realized this was just their kind of thing. “A
series of beatings?”
is weird,” Sam breathed, rereading the article,
his eyes locked on the names of the past victims.
it’s weird.” Dean returned cockily. “How
many pissed off biker dudes can there be in one Midwest
scratched his head, his face pensive. “The supernatural
part would be the whole ‘it happens on the same
property’, Dean. This whole thing is weird. What’s
the significance of this case? I mean, I haven’t
been able to find anything the last week. Why does this
show up today? And from the manager of this crappy place
no less, all because some stranger gave it to him?”
bet you were that kid in class who made the damn thing
run late every time with all your questions,”
Dean joked, nudging his brother’s arm before snatching
the paper off the bed. “There’s your answer,”
he stated, closing the paper and tapping the title.
“You really think something called the Haroldian
Gazette is a massive publishing? My bet is its local,
as in you got to live in the town to even know it exists.”
how’d it get here?” Sam questioned, rubbing
a hand across his face. “The town’s in Iowa.
We’re in Virginia.”
don’t know,” Dean replied honestly, setting
the paper down. “But I think we should check it
out all the same.”
Sam asked in baffled irritation. “For all we know
it could be a trap, and don’t you think we have
been caught in enough of those?”
one of Dad’s contacts doing a favor for the man,”
Dean offered with a shrug, “He hasn’t called
in a while.”
Sam conceded, dropping his hands in his lap and popping
his knuckles idly. “Okay, at least we won’t
be cooped up in here.”
that the truth,” Dean muttered, lifting his head
and raising his eyebrows at Sam.
brow furrowed at his brother’s glance. “What?”
the sandy-haired brother replied, “I was just
thinking that you should probably go tell the nice man
that we won’t be staying the night.”
hell no,” Sam protested vehemently. “If
anyone should, you should.”
me?” Dean gaped, hand splayed against his chest.
you’re the one who…you know what? I think
our not being here is going to give it away,”
Sam reasoned, sliding off the bed and grabbing his duffle.
copied the movement, shuffling over to his own bed and
retrieving his bag. “That’s a little rude,
don’t you think, Romeo? The man’s been so
Sam warned tightly, not amused at all by Dean’s
bad idea of humor. “You’d better stop or
you’re going to regret it.”
bring it on, Sammy,” Dean challenged, cramming
his less than clean clothes into the bag.
day was getting more interesting by the second.
* * * *
Dean’s knuckles were whiter than any albino’s
skin as his fingers wrapped tighter around his baby’s
steering wheel. Why big brother had so easily forgotten
that little brothers were known for their ability to
annoy with their stellar ability he didn’t know.
But for the last three hours, Dean had heard every anecdote
Sam could dredge up from their twisted life stories
and just when it would seem that the dark-haired man
had run out of new topics to ramble about, he would
go off on another tangent without even pausing to breathe.
another twelve hours to go, Dean seriously regretted
that he hadn’t just opted for another prank war
instead of good ole’ brotherly annoyance; and
that he hadn’t picked up a pack of sleeping pills
at the last gas station.
then that thing got you right in the ass. You remember
that?” Sam asked, clearly rhetorically because
Dean didn’t even get a chance to answer before
the younger brother plowed on. “Man, I think even
Dad was laughing at you. He told Caleb that story at
the cabin in we stayed at in Tennessee that one summer.
That was a cool place--”
Dean interjected loudly, swallowing back the overflowing
exasperation and waning patience. “I know. I was
not nice to interrupt when people are talking, Dean,”
Sam chided, a smug smirk on his face. “Now, where
was I? Right, the cabin.”
dropped his head in defeat, his teeth grit painfully
against the onslaught of another venture down memory
lane. A few well-aimed spitballs didn’t deserve
this kind of torment, of that he was sure. His desperate
hazel found solace in the quiet music console and wordlessly
Dean stretched out a hand to connect with that blessed
button that would issue a flood of screaming metal over
his brother’s continuous prattle.
triumphant grin spread across the older brother’s
face as his fingers graced the deck, only to become
a window on a crushed spirit as Sam knocked his hand
away, ejecting the beloved music quickly and tossing
it in the back seat. “You’re not getting
off that easy.”
man, this is ridiculous,” Dean whined, hands twisting
on the steering wheel. “I mean, I shot those things
at you for like ten minutes.”
Dean,” Sam complied far too easily. “I’ll
stop rehashing family memories.”
gave his brother a wary glance but nodded. “Thank
heard me,” Sam replied, crossing his arms, “Pull
Dean objected, and pressed his foot down on the gas
pedal just for spite.
heaved a sigh and tapped his brother’s shoulder.
“Let me drive.”
your hand off me, Sam,” Dean warned, his eyes
drifting to the offending appendage draped on his shoulder.
the matter, Dean?” Sam questioned innocently,
although far from innocent in his refusal to remove
his hand. “Does that bother you?”
Sam!” Dean cursed, pulling the car off onto the
shoulder and grabbing his brother’s wrist in a
death grip. “If, and I mean, IF, you drive, you
don’t talk or touch me for the rest of this damn
trip, you hear me? Calling big brother law here, the
game is off until we reach Iowa and I get my chance
to get your ass back. You got me?”
scoffed, but nodded in agreement all the same because
all signs told him he’d won this round. “Deal.”
now get out so I can slide over,” Dean ordered
and Sam complied quickly, circling around the car and
sinking into the driver’s seat within seconds.
reached over the bench seat and retrieved his music
stash from the back, carefully bringing the old battered
box to rest on his lap. True to his word, Sam stayed
silent as Dean selected a tape and popped it in the
deck. Sinking back into the seat, Dean shut his eyes
and let the lead in riff soothe his frazzled nerves.
bliss was cut short when a deafening click resounded
through the car and Dean’s eyes flew open when
the radio announced some band named The Killers and
Sam started singing along.
he hadn’t wanted to kill Sam two minutes ago,
Dean sure as hell wanted to now, especially when Sam
gave him a smug look and threw his big brother’s
words right back at him.
picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole.”
* * * *
Haroldian turned out to be the smallest damn town either
brother had ever stepped foot in. The painted sign welcoming
visitors bore the number four hundred and twenty five,
and Dean wondered if just because they were here, some
townie would run out and tack the total up two more.
seemed to be pleased with the Victorian style town as
he eased the Impala down the street. Not that something
like that startled Dean in the least. The town reeked
normal, sheltered existence and came complete with a
literal Main Street hosting a diner, post office and
rolled his eyes at the suburban dream and turned his
attention back the paper in his lap. “Okay, so
these attacks started in the summer and have become
more frequent now. So what? Some kind of creature? A
werewolf, that kind of thing?”
the words ‘lunar’ and ‘cycle’
mean anything to you?” Sam asked pointedly, scrunching
his forehead in thought.
don’t know. Do the words ‘jack’ and
‘ass’ mean anything to you?” Dean
returned, and Sam comforted himself in the fact that
he was pretty sure that was meant as a joke.
I was just saying werewolf doesn’t fit.”
Sam clarified, clearing his throat, “And we crossed
the town line. So the game is afoot, Watson.”
eyes widened and he laughed openly. “What?”
Holmes,” Sam informed, shaking his head. “Never
mind. Its on, bro.”
your terror,” Dean quipped, straightening in the
wish,” Sam laughed, pulling off the main street
and following the signs to the town’s hotel.
brothers gaped in something akin to horror when they
saw their only choice for accommodations for the week.
Sally’s Bed and Breakfast Inn was the picture
of frills and lace with a touch of a passionate love
for gardening. Dean nearly retched at the sight of it
all, and Sam smirked at his discomfort before exiting
we’re staying at the Betty Crocker Inn,”
Dean griped, grabbing his bag out of the trunk and shouldering
the Roach Motel,” Sam replied to his brother’s
back, silently grinning at what had to be a shoe-in
at bettering his chances at getting on Dean’s
nerves. Dean always trumped him in pranks. This was
his area of expertise and if he weighed out the times
their father had to break them up from this versus prank
wars, he’d be hard-pressed to find a winner.
inside of the quaint establishment was no disappointment.
Lace decorated every patch of wood, the patterns covered
with figurines ranging from frogs to painted people.
Dean picked up a glass dolphin jumping a wave and scoffed,
showing it to Sam who merely rolled his eyes at his
brother’s lack of attention span.
sweet voice nearly shocked Dean out of his skin, and
the figurine dropped out of his hands as a woman appeared
at his side. For an elderly lady, she was quick and
she easily saved the precious figurine from meeting
a shattering end.
Helps you stay alert,” she explained lightly,
her voice carrying a bouncing quality Dean found grating.
No one was ever that happy. “I’m Anna. I
own this place with my sister Sally. You gentlemen need
that’d be great,” Sam answered respectfully
as Anna circled behind the desk, retrieving a reservation
need you to sign here and then pay. It’s forty-five
a night and breakfast starts at six thirty every morning.
Runs ‘til eight,” the woman informed them,
her eyes lingering on Dean as the older boy hovered
over her precious trove of porcelain.
okay?” Sam asked, snapping the woman out of her
staring and back to him.
that’d be fine,” Anna answered, looking
down at the ledger. “You only want one room? They’re
are all singles with queen beds.”
opened his mouth to reply but Dean seized the opportunity
first. “Well, ma’am you see, Sammy, he has
some problems and it’s just easier for me to keep
an eye on him if we’re together. Can I bother
you for some spare sheets, just in case? I wouldn’t
want to inconvenience you.”
dark-haired Winchester’s mouth dropped open in
be embarrassed, Sammy,” Dean stated sweetly, patting
his brother’s shoulder, and turning his attention
to Anna, his voice lowered to a whisper. “He hasn’t
been the same since the accident. I’m sure you
course, sweetie,” Anna replied, handing the key
to Dean on top of a pile of sheets, then the credit
card to Sam, a warm smile on her face. “I think
you’ll like it here.”
I think so too,” Dean said, giving the woman a
killer smile before turning back to Sam. “Alright,
bro, lets get you to the room.”
picked up his bag and trudged after his brother, waiting
until he was completely out of Anna’s eye and
ear shot before kicking the back of Dean’s shin
and using the older man’s stumble to his advantage
as he turned Dean around to face him. “Problems,
like little Sammy doesn’t like the game anymore,”
Dean shot back, entering their room and grimacing at
just how small the bed really was. Not that it mattered.
Sam was sleeping on the floor anyway. “Or maybe
he just needs his nap.”
up,” Sam spat out, letting his bag drop to the
floor when he realized there was no way Dean was letting
him have the bed. “I’m hungry.”
me too.” Dean stated, his stomach growling in
agreement. “You saw that diner right?”
it’s about a block away,” Sam answered pitifully.
He so was getting Dean back for that little display
* * * *
Freddie’s Family Diner was just as quaint as the
Inn, and just as empty. Only a few patrons littered
the small establishment and the brothers gave them each
the once over, but only one caught and locked their
dark-haired man sat in the farthest booth, his leather
jacket wrapped tightly around his plaid shirt. He stared
hard at the brothers, and his dark eyes and warm smile
as their gazes met nearly cut off the boys’ air
found his shaking voice first, the word he uttered full
of disbelief but brimming with hope.
the episode here!