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30 September 2011 @ 09:57 pm
The way of the warrior, chp 2, (3/14), R, Sam & Dean Winchester.  
The way of the warrior, chapter 2.

“You’re shitting me, right? Actual Red Indians, Dances with Wolves territory! Man, that’s almost as good as Las Vegas show girls.” Dean grinned, smacked the steering wheel in joy, ignoring the twinges of pain his battered body sent through him. “Actually, Dean, I believe they prefer the term The People, alternatively address them by their tribal names, like Cherokee, or Sioux. Please, Dean, try not to offend everyone you meet.” Sam sat in what Dean liked to think of as his teacher pose. Straight backed and looking like Miss Beckerman did, when she smelt that week-old fish he’d hidden in the Chem. Lab.

“Sam, you know me, I’m the soul of tact and discretion. By the way where the hell am I going? I don’t mind driving aimlessly but it would be nice to know I’m at least going in the right direction.” Dean asked sweetly, in response to Sam looking at him sourly. Dean enjoyed riling his little brother, and he knew referring to Native Americans as Red Indians would do the trick. It was good to give the kid something to take his mind off the whole ‘going dark side’ thing.

They were still trying to regroup after the whole Ava and Gordon fiasco when Milwaukee went down. Now they were dodging the Feds, as well as demons looking for ‘special kids’. Dean just wanted the whole roller coaster to slow down, and just let him catch his breath. But equally he needed to be hunting, taking out as many evil sons of bitches as he could. Now Sam had found them a gig, and he was holding out on him, he needed hear the details, have some idea just what they were walking into.

Sam rolled his shoulders to try and release the tension there, Dean could drive him nuts but he was right. He’d provided him with very little information about the hunt, now it was time to rectify the situation. “Ok, sorry about that, Dean, we’re heading for a town called Creek Ridge, New Mexico. It’s a small town and forms part of an unusual Reservation. The Reservation houses not just one tribe but several tribes amalgamated together. From newspaper reports on the net, the trouble began when the new Casino building project began to take shape.” Sam paused to collect his thoughts.

“Shame the place wasn’t called Rock Ridge...but dude, New Mexico? Just how far are you trying to get us from Milwaukee? What, no hunts in Alaska? I would’ve preferred Hawaii. But beggars can’t be choosers and besides I don’t do shorts. A casino? So we are back to show girls? Well, don’t leave me in suspense, Sam. What’s been happening that’s got everyone’s panties in a bunch?” Dean shifted again, and this time he couldn’t hide the grimace of pain that crossed his face.

Sam gritted his teeth. Right, there was no way he was going to let that stubborn ass of a brother keep on driving. Even if he had to pull a gun on him, to get him to pull over. He glanced over at his brother and his heart sank. Dean was wearing his ‘I’ll only stop driving if I’m bleeding to death, and that’s only so I don’t get blood on the upholstery’ expression. Ok, so it looked liked this was going to be a waiting game; well, he had infinite amounts of patience. If he could wear down the great John Winchester, then Dean should be easy in comparison.

Sam slid down the seat and relaxed his body, continuing his narrative. “At first it was small things, like I said, tools being moved or just disappearing. Then it got gradually worse, larger items were being sabotaged, and then the accidents started.”

Dean was just trying to ease his now stiffening muscles when Sam said that, “Accidents? Anybody get hurt and if so how bad?” Dean was concentrating fully on what his brother was telling him. Missing tools were one thing but when ghosts turned violent, it was going to get ugly and real fast.

“So far it’s been cuts and bruises, but the incident that brought the reporters in was when a cement truck crashed through the site onto the road.” Sam watched Dean process the information.

“Hang on. Are you telling me Sitting Bull has learned to drive, and is trying to take out the white men by playing Grand Theft Auto?” Dean’s tone was incredulous at the thought of a ghost driving.

Sam laughed, “Sorry, nothing as exotic as that. The truck was parked on an incline, and the brakes failed. The truck was checked over and they couldn’t find any mechanical faults. Plus all the witnesses swear no one was near the truck when it started to move.

The ghost stories started after that. One of the construction workers told someone in a bar about the mysterious figures that were being seen all over the site. And word just spread until it reached the local newspaper. They sent a reporter down, and by the time they reported it, it did sound like Custer’s last stand.”

Dean’s mind was racing; there was one other avenue to explore before he decided it was a real hunt and not just human involvement. “Sam, has there been any opposition to the casino? You know, protesters chaining themselves to pick axes and the like? Singing ‘We shall overcome’?” Dean had listened to the story, and was sure it was more likely a human hand that released the brake rather than a ghostly one.

“Nice catch, Sherlock. Yes, there has been opposition to the construction, some very noisy protests. But for the most they have been peaceful. And to be honest with you, Dean, I’m like you more inclined to believe it was one of the protesters who let the brake off then panicked when the truck caused havoc. Then they saw the stories of ghosts on site as a chance to cover their ass. Of course both sides are now blaming each other for what’s happening..... “

Dean interrupted Sam, “Whoa there, Sam! Before I drive half way across the damn country, are you telling me this might just be an environmental tree-hugging loon behind all of this?” Dean’s voice rose in pitch.

“Relax, big brother. That’s what I thought at first, but if you dig further into the town’s history that’s where it does get interesting.”

“It was the sight of a battle between the tribes and the cavalry, and right on the edge of the casino complex, there is a box canyon that the local people call the Valley of Tears. It seems it could be a burial site, and as the construction has gotten closer.....” Sam’s voice faded and Dean continued.

“As the building gets closer the ghosts are getting angrier. Now I see what you’re getting at, it ain’t kids or even local protest groups. If the construction has disturbed the burial ground, dude, this could get real nasty. Remember when dad, Caleb and Bobby dealt with something similar?” Both boys fell silent as they recalled the aftermath of that particular hunt - Caleb in traction, Bobby in stitches and Dad in a filthy mood because the ghosts had thrown the hunters off their land.

Sam ran his fingers nervously through his hair, “Well, here’s hoping it doesn’t end up like that. I think I was scarred for life after that.” He was trying desperately not to smile, as he recalled Bobby sitting in his hospital bed, telling dad with a straight face what had to be done.

Dean was also trying not to grin in the end; he broke and started to laugh, “Oh god, Sammy, I can see it now - Dad dancing round that damn fire, yowling his heart out with his ass hanging out of that breech clout. Doing that appeasement ritual. I thought you were going to have heart failure when you saw him.”

Sam finally joined in the laughter, “Shit, I know, Dean, but the best part was I asked Bobby about the ritual he got Dad to do. Bobby told me all Dad had to do was sit down in front of a fire and chant the words, and put the offerings in the fire. That would have been enough to appease the spirits if the words had been offered with purity of heart. I did have strong words with Bobby about his lack of respect for the traditions of the tribe.”

Dean grin grew wider, “Dude, Dad was lucky Bobby didn’t get him to do it naked. After all if Dad hadn’t been so stubborn about how to run the hunt, Bobby would never have got that ghost arrow in the ass. It does strange things to a man’s dignity having a pretty female doctor put stitches there. All the while trying to say it was a hunting accident. I still don’t know how I managed to film it for him. Trust me when I tell you, never piss off Bobby Singer, he’ll always get you back.” With that the Impala was filled with laughter, after a few minutes the laughter stopped. Dean sobered and asked the question that had been playing on his mind.

“Sam, you don’t think it’s going to be like that? Man, you know how hard it can be to put that many ghosts to rest. The remains will be hard to salt and burn, and depending on which tribe we are dealing with, we have to use the right ritual. From what you’re saying, that many different tribes in one place, we’re gonna need help to sort it all out.”

Sam nodded in agreement, “I think we should take a look around and assess the situation, hopefully it’s just the one ghost or a couple. It could be they are ghosts off the actual battlefield, rather than the burial ground. But if it is the burial ground, then we call Bobby and whoever else we can think of. I think we got enough problems, without trying to deal with a tribe of angry Native American spirits enraged because their sacred ground has been disturbed, and somebody is building a damn casino over it.” Sam was concerned at the prospect of that.

“I hear ya, Sam; I think we should stock up on salt rounds and dust off the suits. Then have a chat with the locals to see how the land lies. You never know, it might still just be a matter of protesters versus the construction people. Ok, we should be there in around two days with me driving. If you drive, Grandma, it will take a week. Why don’t you get some shut eye? And if you ask nicely I might let you drive my baby for a little while.” Dean reached out and turned the radio on softly, ignoring the look Sam was giving him. “Sam, if you keep that up you’ll give your eyeballs a hernia. It’s just a few bruises, dude. We’ve both had worse, now try and reign in the desire to wrap me in cotton wool. I know I’m precious but I get hives from that stuff....” Dean grinned as Sam rolled his eyes.

“Dean, the only thing precious about you is your ego and Dean, come on, man, Dough Boy really swung that cue. I just want to make sure you’re alright.” Sam begged and started to pull out the big guns - the puppy dog eyes were working overtime. He knew although Dean wasn’t looking directly at him, if he aimed it right, it usually bore into Dean until he caved. They sat in silence with music playing in the background, and after a couple of miles Dean began to wilt under the look. Then he rolled his shoulders and neck, hissing as his bruised muscles howled in protest.

Dean gripped the wheel harder; there was no way he was caving to Sam’s dirty tactics. He could feel Sam staring at him, and he knew that with every mile, his eyes were growing larger and more forlorn. Finally he cracked, “Ok, you win. How about the next rest break we swap places? Now for Pete’s sake, Sam, get some shut eye before your eyes get so big they jolt out of their sockets when I go over a pot hole.” Dean flicked a glance over at Sam who was grinning triumphantly then Sam slowly slid even lower, and rested his head against the window. He was gently rocked to sleep by the familiar feel of the Impala gliding over asphalt, and the soothing lullaby of Metallica and Dean’s slightly off-key singing.

Sam jerked awake, blinking in the sunlight. What the ....? Damn Dean, he thought. There was no way this was the first rest stop. Sam had been woken by the Impala’s door being closed softly. He watched as Dean walked towards the gas tank. He could see that Dean was stiff from sitting in one position for so long by the way he moved. Dean’s movement lacked its usual grace, his gait was stiff and he was slightly hunched over. He looked at his watch. Crap! It was after eleven o’clock. Dean had been driving all night and most of the morning.

Sam rubbed at his eyes, and yawned, watching through the mirror as Dean leaned against the car. He was looking tired, and Sam knew that it wasn’t just down to driving all night after getting the crap kicked out of him. Dean was exhausted; his soul was as bruised and battered as his body was. The loss of Dad, and that damn fucking promise he’d dumped on Dean, meant his brother was slowly drowning before him. And there was nothing he could do. In fact he was just adding to Dean’s problems with his being one of the ‘special kids’. He knew Dean was watching him all the time now, partly checking to see if he’d go dark side. But mostly Dean was watching him to protect him from whatever might come after him. Sam saw Dean’s shoulders were slumped and he rubbed his hand down his face. Sam caught the slight wince and knew that driving all night had just aggravated his injuries.

Dean finished filling the tank, and went to pay for the gas. He stopped and stretched. Sam caught the way Dean flinched when his back spasmed at the height of the stretch. He’d also caught a flash of bruised skin when Dean’s jacket and shirts rode up slightly. He couldn’t place how that one happened, then he remembered when he lost sight of Dean in the fight last night. Mike must’ve punched Dean in the kidneys, allowing Mike to grab his older brother’s arms. He’d wondered how he got the drop on Dean. Sam’s eyes narrowed. That did it! Dean was riding shotgun whether the stubborn idiot wanted to or not. He quickly settled down again, knowing that Dean would be checking he was still safely asleep.

Dean made his way slowly to the garage to pay; this was the second time they’d stopped. He’d been glad that Sam had stayed asleep, the kid really needed to get some rest. The whole spectre of the ‘special kid’ thing was getting to Sam. He was starting at shadows and his brooding had reached epic proportions. If he kept it up Dean was going to suggest he’d have to use Botox just keep the furrows in his forehead to a minimum. He knew Sam would go ballistic, but hell, it might even make him smile. God, he wished Dad was here.

Right about now he’d take just being able to leave pleading messages on his damn phone. Even if dad never answered, Dean knew he’d listen to his words. But now he was completely alone, with no idea how to deal with what was happening. So he resorted to what he always did - push forward, hunt every evil son of a bitch he could find and protect Sam, just not necessarily in that order. He pushed open the door and a bored cashier looked up. He dismissed Dean with a cursory glance, and went back to his graphic novel.

Dean moved towards the counter, poured himself a cup of coffee and grabbed a family-sized pack of peanut M & M’s. Just as he went to pay he picked up a granola bar for Sam on a whim. Well, there had to be fruit or some other healthy crap in there to keep Sam happy. Thinking of Sam...Dean turned and looked out of the window. He could see Sam still out cold in the passenger seat, he smiled and paid. The guy barely looked up as Dean paid with his credit card; Dean’s eyebrows rose slightly. He thought having someone called Sirius Black pay for over thirty dollars of gas, coffee and confectionery, along with the latest edition of Busty Asian Babes that seemed to have mysteriously attached itself to his hand as he passed, would have at least caused a comment. The man swiped the card and handed it back. Dean smiled brightly at him, just hoping for a reaction to the name but there was nothing. Dean picked up his purchases slightly disgruntled. Hell, he couldn’t even brag to Sammy about it without giving away his knowledge of Harry Potter, and he’d rather eat one of Sam’s healthy salads than admit to liking the films.

Dean took a swig of coffee as he walked out; he was just juggling his purchases as he walked to the car when he stopped. Leaning against the driver’s door with his hand held out and a determined look on his face was Sam. Dean was shocked. How the hell had Sam managed that? He could’ve sworn he was out cold. Dean gave his little brother a cocky grin and innocently placed the granola bar in his hand. “Morning, sunshine, we ready to go? Or do you need a bathroom break?” Dean tried to get around the Great Wall of Sam.

Sam’s fingers curled round the bar and he narrowed his eyes. Dean licked his lips and judged the mood then meekly handed over the keys. Sam stood up straighter; a look of worry crossed his face at Dean’s sudden surrendering of the Impala’s keys. Sam pushed himself away from the car, his hand outstretched towards Dean.

“Relax, Sam, I’m not about to die on you. I’m just tired. Here, want a cup of coffee? Sorry, it’s black and not one of those fancy crappy latte things you call coffee. I might get me some sleep...try and drive above thirty miles an hour, dude. We want to get there before the ghosts get bored and move on.” Sam watched as Dean made his way round the front of the Impala. He sighed and took a drink of coffee; he pulled a face at the bitter black brew. He didn’t mind black coffee, but this stuff should carry a health warning. They got in the car and Sam put the key in the ignition.

“I thought we agreed that you’d wake me at the first stop. By the look of the time you had to have stopped at least twice, Dean. Come on, man, you need to get some rest. Those guys at the bar last night weren’t exactly gentle with you.” Sam started the engine and drove off, watching with concern as Dean tried to get comfortable, turning first one way then the other. Finally Dean seemed to settle and he sat with his head back, his eyes closed and a fine line appeared between his eyebrows. That told Sam louder than any words that his back and ribs were still bothering him.

“I know I’m handsome, Sammy, but can you at least keep one eye on the road? I’d like to get to New Mexico in one piece. I tell you what. I’ll take the next shift in a couple of hours so you can get some more beauty sleep. After all, man, we both know who got the looks in the family.” Dean smiled as he spoke never opening his eyes. He was beat but he hated to admit that Sam was right; the guys in the bar had done quite a number on him. His ribs ached and when he breathed too deeply, they burned and throbbed. And his back was one continuous burn, from where the cue had connected and the punch to the kidneys...God, he’d give anything to be able to lie down about now. But there was a hunt waiting for them and so it was time to suck it up and push forward. Dad would never have let a few bruises slow him down. Dean did his best to grab some sleep as they drove. Like Sam, the familiar movement of the Impala helped to lull him to sleep.

The next thing Dean knew was the door was opening and a hand rested on his shoulder. Before he could do damage to the owner of the hand Sam’s voice stopped him. “Come on, Dean, I’m beat. We’re stopping for the night.” Dean rubbed his eyes and sat up straight. Shit! Surely he hadn’t been asleep that long, had he? He looked round and blinked. It was still light. What the fuck! He looked up sharply at Sam, a stubborn look on his face.

Sam blithely ignored the dirty look Dean was shooting him, “Come on, sleeping beauty, we’ve driven far enough today, and besides, I want to check out your back.” Sam stood back as he watched his grumbling big brother haul himself painfully out of the car. Dean stood slowly and glared mutinously at his brother but Sam just turned and walked away. He threw the comment over his shoulder that he knew Dean would have to obey, “Anyway, if you’re not at your best, how are you gonna look out for me?”

Sam smirked when he saw the scowl deepen on Dean’s face. He walked into the motel room, dropped his bag on the bed closest to the door and went into the bathroom. While he was in there he heard the door close. He finished, washed his hands and stepped into the room. The first thing he noticed was his bag had magically transported itself to the bed furthest from the door, and Dean was slowly peeling off his leather jacket.

Sam knew better than to try and help, these were only bruises and Dean would not thank him for mother henning him. Then Dean opened his duffle and pulled out some sweats and a T-shirt then moved towards the bathroom. As he reached the door he spoke to Sam, “Well, as it seems we have stopped for the night, see if you can rustle up some food for us, oh great provider. By the way, make mine extra pepperoni, thanks.” Sam picked up the Impala keys and went on the most important of hunts. The hunt for a decent enough pizza to keep Dean happy.

Dean belched loudly and sighed in contentment. The remains of two family-sized meat feast pizzas sat on his bed. He and Sam had sat and demolished them after he had returned with them. Now pleasantly full, he was prepared to forgive Sam for stopping so early, plus lying on the motel bed was much better than the hard seats of the Impala, although he’d never admit it to Sam. Dean lay with his eyes closed, feeling the bed dip as Sam got up and cleared the pizza boxes off the bed.

He followed Sam as he moved round the room, heard Sam sit down again and the familiar sound of the lap top being booted up. As usual Sam was going through the research, checking what facts they could. Looking into the background of the town, Dean knew that Sam would be researching the Casino, the construction work and any info on the protesters out there. He knew that because that’s exactly what he’d do. Dean was good at research. Hell, he’d managed fine when Sam was at Stanford. But for the most part these days it was Sammy’s department. It helped to take the kid’s mind off things like Jess, Dad and the destiny old yellow eyes had planned for him. Then he tried to turn onto his side and his breathing hitched as his ribs protested at being disturbed from their well-earned rest.

Dean cursed softly under his breath. He’d hoped the hot shower would have eased his aches and pains, but all it had done was mask the problem. Now by moving, the various bruises were making themselves known again. After his shower Dean had made the short walk to his bed carefully, relieved that Sam wasn’t there to see his slow progress across the room. He’d been hurt plenty of times and much worse than this, but bruised ribs were never fun, breathing was a pain in the ass. Add in the fact that Pillsbury had used him for batting practice, and yeah, he was in for a fun week or two.

While Dean had been trying to roll over silently and failing, Sam had picked up on his brother’s discomfort; he stood up slowly and walked out of the room. It was a testament to how bad Dean felt that he hadn’t noticed him slipping out the door. Sam walked quickly to the ice machine in the corner of the parking lot. He rapidly filled an ice bucket and returned to the room. He stepped inside to find Dean sitting up, looking as if he was getting ready to find him.

Sam shook his head ruefully - so much for stealth. He closed the door behind him and walked over to his bed, he could feel Dean’s eyes following him. He opened his bag and searched it, grinning in triumph when his fingers brushed over what he was searching for. Sam pulled some freezer bags out and started to fill them with ice. Then Sam moved into the bathroom, and picked up some threadbare towels. He’d just have to ask housekeeping for some more. He returned to Dean’s bed and wrapped the ice bags in the material. He drew in a breath and got ready to battle his stubborn ass brother.

“What are you going to do with those, Sam?” Dean growled softly at him, his arms folded tightly across his chest.

Sam stood, tossing one of the bags up in the air, “Well, I was thinking of practicing my juggling. What do you think I’m going to do with them, big brother?” As he spoke Sam approached the bed, a determined glint in his eye. Dean watched him coming towards him; he was battling between telling Sam exactly where he could shove the ice packs, and wanting them on his body to ease the pain.

Sam took the decision out of his hands, “Lie down, Dean and let me take a look, and if you’re a good boy I’ll tell you what I’ve found out about our haunting.” Dean glared up at him, but did as he was told. He slowly pulled his T-Shirt up and Sam winced at the sight before him. Dean’s ribs were turning a deep mottled purple. Sam reached out and gently pressed against the ribs, causing Dean to arch up and hiss.

“Jesus, Sammy. Look, they’re just bruised. They ain’t even cracked, and I should know what broken ribs feel like.” Sam looked sadly at Dean’s memories of other hunts flickering through his mind; times when he’d helped a pale, sweating tight-lipped Dean back to other motel rooms, terrified that he was going to puncture a lung with a piece of jagged bone. No, he knew what cracked and broken ribs felt like, he‘d felt them on Dean more often than he liked.

Sam knew Dean didn’t need him getting all dewy-eyed about this. He picked up the first ice pack and, with a smile, deposited it right on Dean’s ribs, “Holy shit, Sammy! Warn a guy before you start freezing him to death, will ya?” His arm curled protectively round his ribs over the bag. Dean shivered slightly at the cold, but he relaxed as the cool eased some of the ache.

“Come on, roll towards me. I need to see how bad your back is.” Sam moved round the bed as Dean rolled slowly onto his side; he couldn’t help but wince at the livid weal that ran the width of his back. Sam ran his fingers gently across the bruise, feeling heat beneath his fingers. He let his gaze drop to the fist-sized mark over Dean’s kidneys. Without a word Sam placed the other two ice packs against the heated skin. He rested his hand on Dean’s shoulder and slowly eased the T-Shirt back down; he felt anger well up inside him. Shit, it was bad enough patching Dean up after he’d been on a hunt, but Sam really hated it when the cause had been human assholes.

Dean was curled up on his side, quivering as the ice cooled his body, and he knew what Sam was thinking. Hell, Sam had been radiating wave after wave of guilt since last night. If Dean could harness it, he could probably solve the world’s energy problems. Sam took his job as wing man seriously. But as far as he was concerned this kind of thing couldn’t be helped. When you hustled pool this was an occupational hazard. But right now, he needed to take Samantha’s mind off this before he tucked him up in bed and started reading him a bed-time story.

“Come on, Sam. It ain’t that bad, and I know the drill. No blood when I pee and honest, my ribs are just bruised. Come on, dude, what else have you found out? Am I gonna have to break out the chaps and circle the wagons or what?” From behind him he heard a laugh and Dean started to relax. He saw Sam walk into view and dropped down onto his own bed. Sam rolled his eyes and shook his head at his brother’s highly politically incorrect comments, Dean returned the grin. He’d say anything to make Sam smile these days, and if it meant giving Sam the image of him driving the Impala dressed like Clint Eastwood, then he was fine with that.

Sam rested his arms on his knees and started to talk, “Ok then, for a start the actual Casino is being built five miles out of town, and is part of a large hotel complex. As I said, everything was going fine until the construction work got closer to the burial ground. The first sighting was reported by a George Haynes, the site foreman.”

Dean interrupted, “George Haynes? That doesn’t sound very Native American. What? Don’t they employ the locals on this?” Dean shifted slightly and then relaxed again as the ice continued to do its work.

“Dean, it might come as a surprise but not everyone is called Running Bear, but as it happens you’re right. George is from out of state and is considered to be an upstanding citizen. That is to say, no one has found a hip flask full of booze on him. As for the work force...well, according to the local papers and a little checking into the department of works, most of the crew come from the town and the surrounding ones. The casino is creating a lot of jobs in the community.”

“So, why the protests? I’d have thought anything that creates jobs would be welcome.” Dean asked.

“From what I’ve read, it’s not so much the Casino that’s the problem; it’s more of a cultural concern. And that’s where the opposition comes in.” Sam carried on, watching as Dean absorbed the information.

“The two main players in this are Amber Moon Haven who is leading the protests, saying the Casino will erode the cultural heritage of the local people. Stating their community is unique as it is made up of Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw and Seminole. That the casino will disturb that balance, and as such, is a threat to their way of life.”

Sam heard a snort from the other bed and saw Dean roll his eyes, “Great! Not only a tree hugger, but a tree hugger who can complain in about five languages, I bet. Well, that’s the ‘against’. Who is the ‘for’?”

“That would be Daryl...” Sam looked slightly embarrassed. After what he’d said to Dean about names he knew Dean would love this. He gritted his teeth and continued. “Daryl Gray Bear is the man behind the Casino, and he owns the construction company building it. He argues the complex will bring in much needed revenue, and promises to put money into the local schools and clinics.” Sam finally looked at Dean who was grinning wickedly at him.

“So they’re not all called Running Bear? Ahh well, this guy sounds fairly smooth. Is he on the up? Or are we talking a snake oil salesman?” Dean waited for Sam’s response.

Sam shrugged his shoulders, “From what I’ve read on the net, from various newspaper sites, Daryl lies somewhere between the two. But he really believes in this project, and according to sources on site, he is on the verge of declaring war on the protesters. Because he says they made up the ghosts to slow the construction down.”

“Great! By the sound of it, not only do we have ghosts re-enacting the battle of Little Big Horn, but it sounds like Amber and Daryl are about to throw down. There’s gonna be civilians caught in the middle of this. So then, Sammy, this was gonna be an easy hunt to ease us back into the game, right?” Dean laughed as Sam gave a rueful smile.

Sam continued to tell Dean about the history of the project. He noticed that Dean’s eyes were growing heavy and he continued to talk, letting his voice ease Dean into a much needed rest. Finally Sam could see that Dean had drifted off to sleep so he stood up slowly and moved towards him. He slowly removed the half-melted bags of ice from beneath his T-Shirt, then Sam lifted Dean’s arm away from his ribs and retrieved the final bag. He took them into the bathroom and poured away the contents and Sam got ready for bed himself. He turned out the bathroom light and walked over to his bed; before he climbed in he took one final look at his brother. The line between his eyebrows had smoothed out a little and he seemed to be resting peacefully. He’d have to watch Dean closely for the next few days, to make sure he didn’t aggravate his injuries too much. He shook his head he knew he stood more chance of getting Dean to sit and talk about his emotions, now there was a hunt for them.

Sam reached out and pulled the comforter up higher to keep Dean warm, and then he turned and moved to his own bed. Throwing back the bed clothes he got in and lay down. Sam looked up at the ceiling and whispered a prayer that this was going to be an easy hunt. A simple haunting to take Dean’s and his mind off the shadows that chased them relentlessly. Sam’s own eyelids grew heavy, and slowly he let himself relax and followed his brother to sleep.

Chapter 3

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