This job is stupid, Sam thought bitterly to himself as the windscreen of the Impala was dashed with fierce rain. We should be focusing on Dean right now, not going to investigate a possible haunting.
Sam glanced across at Dean in the driver’s seat, who was looking determinedly at the dark, wet road ahead, concentrating in the avoiding way that only Dean could. Sam knew when Dean had that face on, he wasn’t willing to negotiate anything, let alone talk about his feelings. Sam couldn’t tell if Dean thought about his deal at all that much, as it seems he always felt he had to put on a mask and play the brave brother, but it had plagued Sam and weighed on him a lot recently; with less than three months left until the deal came to a head, they were still no nearer to figuring out who held his contract, never mind how to stop it. Sam let out a deep sigh as he looked sideways out of the window, raindrops getting faster and more frequent as Dean accelerated a little on the stretch of straight road now in front of them.
Dean picked up on the exhausted sigh of his brother and got the wrong end of the stick.
“Look, we should be reaching our motel in the next hour, ok? Less than fifty miles, I promise.”
“You mean, civilisation,” Sam said with a smirk. “You sure you don’t want me driving for a while?”
Dean shook his head definitively. Sam’s smirk widened; if there was one thing Dean was almost too protective or proud of, it was his 1967 Chevrolet Impala; from hearing the news that they were still a little while off their destination, Sam allowed his mind to wander a little as he remembered when Dad had given Dean that as a seventeenth birthday present when Sam was thirteen. He’d always remember the smile that lit up on Dean’s face as it was passed down to him, and Sam smiled to himself at the memory. Well, it was one of the better ones.
“So what exactly are we looking for in this town, anyway?” Sam asked, impatiently dragging himself back to the present. He hadn’t been all too keen to head off on this job, as Dean’s clock ticked, ever-present, in the back of his mind.
Dean leaned across and opened the glove compartment of the car in front of Sam, not taking his eyes off the poorly lit road. He dug out a reasonably thin folder and tossed it into Sam’s lap.
“Check it out,” Dean said, as Sam carelessly turned the pages his brother had just given to him. “An eighteen-year-old girl was killed by her nineteen-year-old boyfriend three days ago. Now the guy’s claiming he didn’t know what he was doing and that something else made him do it.”
“Like what, a demon possession?”
“That’d be my first guess.”
Sam hesitated as he looked at a newspaper article dated two days ago, with an amateur photo of an attractive blonde girl filling a third of the page. Beside it was the article and the details Dean had just listed out. A thought struck him.
“But...I mean, how do you know something supernatural was involved? Kids can do crazy things, especially when they’re drugged up on God-knows-what.”
A flicker of slight annoyance ran through Dean’s face as his grip on the steering wheel kept firm. He knew Sam would do this. He hadn’t even wanted to come and investigate in this in the first place.
“Well, that’s possible, but it’s happened to two other residents in the last three weeks, and in both previous cases, both couples, both murder victim and murderer, and, in both cases, all four are now dead.”
Sam frowned. “All four?”
“Yeah,” Dean explained, “suicides, about a week following each murder. In fact, the day the murderer of the previous couple killed themselves, the next person killed their boyfriend. And so on.”
“So what, it’s a like a cycle?”
“Not bad, College Boy,” Dean said with a grin. Sam threw him a look which he’s been used to giving his brother since he was around 18-years-old. Dean had always given Sam teasing little jokes about his going to Stanford, but honestly, Dean enjoyed calling him his own nickname. Not because it annoyed him, but because Dean almost clutched onto it as the only reminder that Sam had had a normal life at one point, and that he’d been happy in normality...for a while. It still pained Dean to think of what those years hunting without Sam had been like. Dean had enjoyed it for a while, admittedly, it had helped to strengthen even more so the bond between himself and his father, and he loved hunting; he always had done. But after a couple of months, a feeling had begun to hang in the air between father and son as realisation dawned that Sam wasn’t coming back any time soon. And what hurt worse than the fact his brother had chosen to leave them, for which Dean had resented him for a only short time, was the continuing, unchanging, almost uncaring attitude of his father. For years, Dean had always admired his father’s personality, looks, music, lifestyle...but in the couple of years that Sam had been gone, a small section of that respect had almost transported itself from Dad to Sam. And while Dean still had a huge amount of respect for his father, he did for his younger brother also.
Another forty minutes later and the Winchester brothers found themselves pulling it at Pinewood Motel. While booking the motel over the phone and giving the manager a fraud credit card number, Dean had liked the voice of Amy, the manageress, and hoped that she was as pretty as she sounded. Well, he thought, this job comes with a lot of perks.