Characters: Sam and Dean
Rating: PG-13, gen casefic
Length: 3,700 words
Spoilers: Very general for season 2 of Supernatural and for books 1 & 2 of the Twilight series
Author's Notes: 2nd place winner in the spnland Crossed-out writing challenge, even though it's not exactly a cross-over. Thanks to my beta, Steven, who once against helped me find the ending.
Disclaimer: Sam, Dean, and Supernatural belong to Kripke. Stephanie Meyers once set a novel in Forks, WA. Much tourism and this story resulted. Any resemblance to actual tour personnel is purely accidental.
Summary: Forks wasn't a job. Until it was.
ETA: Now with a wonderful 26 minute podfic by reena_jenkins. This woman's comic timing is INCREDIBLE.
Dean was up to something. He’d woken Sam up at 6:30 that morning with a cup of coffee and a bright-eyed, “Rise and shine, princess! We got places to be!”
Sam had crawled into the passenger seat of the Impala and curled up for another few hours sleep. The next time he woke up he was feeling significantly more human. He always did sleep better in the car. Dean still wouldn’t say where they were going.
“Is it a job?”
“Monster Truck rally?”
Fifteen minutes later Sam had worked his way through a few hundred possibilities, including the Cirque du Soleil, amateur female jello wrestling, casting calls for Sesame Street, and a Grateful Dead revival tour featuring a zombiefied Jerry Garcia.
“You’re never gonna guess,” Dean sing-songed.
“Fine,” Sam said, calling on two decades experience for the perfect disdainful tone. “Who cares, anyway? I bet it’s something stupid.”
Dean’s grin got even bigger. “Nice try, Sammy,” he said.
Sam gave a long-suffering sigh and leaned back in his seat. Actually, he was having fun. Things had been tense for the last couple of months, ever since they’d started tracking down the demon’s psychic kids. It was nice to relax back into being Dean’s little brother.
By the time they stopped for lunch, Sam could narrow their destination down to somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Beyond that, he had no clue. Dean was easily amused, and there was no predicting what would catch his eye. The Jayhawks almost made sense, but Dean was a die-hard Red Sox fan. He had a thing for County Fairs, sheepdog trials, and over-sized balls of twine. Sam once woke up in the middle of the night and found his brother watching intently as a housewife read feminist erotic poetry to her philodendron on a local access TV channel.
“It’s not karaoke, is it?” Sam asked, suddenly worried.
“Pffft,” Dean scoffed. “After last time? Not likely.”
As they rode the I-5 across the border into Washington, Sam ventured, “The Experience Music Project in Seattle?”
“Nah.” Dean paused. “Maybe later, though. I hear they’ve got a whole Queensrÿche exhibit.”
They veered west at Olympia, heading towards the Pacific on the 101. “Lumberjack competition?” Sam hazarded, eyeing the road-free forest that took up most of the map of the Olympic Peninsula.
“Nope,” Dean said. “We’re going …” he took a dramatic pause, “to Forks.” Dean nodded, as if that should mean something to Sam.
“Forks?” Sam asked, checking the map. It was a tiny town all the way in the northwest corner of the peninsula. Another three hours drive, since not even Dean could speed much on these deep woods back roads. Get stuck behind a truck and you’d be eating exhaust for twenty miles of twisty, blind-cornered highway.
Where had he heard of that town before? Olympic Peninsula. Hmmm. Something about the rainfall. Over 100 inches a year? And that had stuck in his head because … oh, hell.
“Dean, are we here about that book?”
Dean beamed at him. “Yep!”
“Okay, first of all, why? And second, since when do you read vampire romance novels written for teenage girls?”
Dean shrugged. “ER, long wait, I got bored, and the sparkly emo vampire was kind of hilarious.”
Bella’s heart clenching in anguish was the part that had had Sam in stitches.
Dean gunned the engine and slewed around a rust-bucket of a van, glanced over at Sam, and smiled beatifically. “What’s your excuse?”
“Jess’s niece stayed at our apartment one weekend,” Sam found himself explaining, “and she wouldn’t stop talking about it. Then, during finals my brain was turning to mush, but I couldn’t get to sleep, and I figured…”
“Anyway, why are we going to Forks?” Sam demanded.
“There’s a ‘Twilight Tour’ of Forks and the reservation. Should be a blast,” Dean predicted confidently.
Three hours later, Dean tossed his keys onto the bedside table in the Dewdrop Inn motel room and looked around glumly.
“Problem?” Sam asked.
“I was hoping for more,” Dean grumbled. “Remember the motel outside of Area 51? With the full-size little green dudes, and the glow in the dark stars? That was awesome. This?” He gestured around the perfectly nice room, indicating the deep red comforters and off-white walls hung with tastefully romantic vampire sketches. “Not really doing it for me.”
Luckily they’d stopped at a convenience store on the way. Sam rummaged in his duffle. “Here,” he called, tossing the Crest toothpaste to his brother. “Sparkly toothpaste. For sparkly vampires.”
Dean lit up. “Cool! Is it tingly?”
Sam shrugged. Dean hurried into the bathroom to try it out. Sam logged on to the local wireless and did a quick search.
Dean found him still sitting hunched over his computer after a shower. “Only a little tingly,” he commented, towel-drying his hair. “You find something?”
“Just having a look. Most supernatural legends have some basis in fact, so I was wondering if there was anything really going on around here.”
“Sparkly vegetarian vampires,” Dean said skeptically.
Sam chewed on his lip. “Oh, uh, probably not. Although I guess there could be another group like Lenore’s vampires in the area. I was thinking more about the werewolves Meyers claimed lived out on the reservation.”
Dean pulled on a pair of jeans and stepped behind him to check the laptop screen. “We got a pattern of suspicious deaths?”
“A few too many backpackers disappearing, yeah. But it could just be people not prepared for real wilderness. Bears, cougars, bad weather, falls; you know, natural dangers. There doesn’t seem to be any correlation with the full moon. Could be the werewolves, if they exist, are some type of guardian animals or spirits. According to Quileute legend, the tribe’s descended from wolves that were transformed into men.”
Dean nodded. “Well, we’re scheduled for some hiking out in the forest tomorrow afternoon, and then a trip to the reservation Sunday. Bring some weapons, just in case?”
Sam agreed, and they got ready for bed.
The next morning they met their tour group outside the motel. Meredith, the tour guide, was a bubbly woman in her early 30’s. There was a group of four teenage girls from Portland, two mother-daughter pairs from Seattle, and Kathy, a pudgy young woman who was a student at Evergreen State College. It was raining, the grey skies sullenly pissing down on them. Meredith cheerfully handed out ponchos and umbrellas, quoting statistics about the local weather patterns as she herded them into the shuttle bus.
They spent the morning poking around Forks. The little town had really gone all out to welcome Twilight tourists. There was even a parking spot at the hospital with a sign claiming it was reserved for Dr. Cullen. Dean hammed it up with his best emo vampire look, and from then on the girls demanded ‘Edward poses’ from him at every stop on the tour, while Sam was kept busy snapping pictures. They visited Forks High School, the police station, the ‘Cullen House’ (actually a bed & breakfast), and the inspiration for Swan House. The forest really did back right up against the house, and Sam didn’t think much of the common sense of any girl who went running around the wilderness when she missed her boyfriend.
They stopped for lunch at the local greasy spoon. The rest of the tour group seemed excited by how “authentic” it was – heavy on the antlers and American flags. The biscuits and gravy were tasty, and the berry pie was amazing, not too sweet with a light, flaky crust. Sam wandered across the diner to order two more slices at the counter. He overheard an older guy in an Army jacket talking urgently to Meredith.
“- 75% chance of sun breaks,” the man was saying in the exact tone of voice that Dad had used when telling them to get behind a salt line, pronto.
Sam got his pie and sat down with Dean, who was somehow managing to flirt with four teenage girls without offending any of them or coming across as a sleaze ball. It was like a super-power. Sam mouthed ‘jail bait’ to his brother, who flipped him off under the table.
“Okay, ladies,” Meredith said when she returned to the table. “And gentlemen, sorry. The weather’s not really cooperating, so instead of the hike we’d planned for this afternoon we’ll be heading to Port Angeles. We’ll look around, get a little shopping in, and eat dinner at the Italian restaurant where Bella and Edward had their first date!”
“Shopping. Great,” Dean muttered, looking like he’d just found half a worm in his pie.
“Well you don’t have to come,” Meredith said, her smile wearing thin. “I’m just trying to make sure everyone has some fun. We’re still on for La Push tomorrow.”
The women of the tour group assured her that shopping in Port Angeles was a wonderful idea. All except the college student, Kathy, whose jaw had tightened to a stubborn tilt when Meredith announced the change of plan. She asked to be dropped off back at the motel along with Sam and Dean.
Sam saw Kathy emerge from her room ten minutes after they got back. She was wearing hiking boots and carrying a backpack, with her long brown hair hidden under the hood of her electric blue raincoat. Sam grabbed his jacket and stepped outside.
“Hey, Kathy! Going somewhere?” Sam asked, trying to look friendly and harmless as the rain soaked through his hair.
“Umm ...” Kathy looked up at him. Sam smiled and she relaxed. “Yeah. This hike out to the meadow is the part of the trip I was most looking forward to. I’ve got a map, so I figured I’d just drive out to the trail head myself.”
“Awesome! Mind if me and my brother come with? Dean? DEAN!”
Dean ran out of their motel room without any shoes on, luckily not brandishing any weapons. “What?”
“Kathy’s going down into the woods. We’re going with her.”
Thunder rumbled in the distance. Dean looked up at the sky and took a breath.
“’Cause backpacking alone, that’s just not safe, right?” Sam added.
Dean let the breath out. “Yep. That’s right. I’ll drive. Just gimme a minute to get my stuff. ”
They’d already packed the supplies they might need for a wilderness hike possibly involving werewolves or sparkly vampires in Sam’s daypack, so it didn’t take much more than that minute before they were on a road.
Kathy loved the Impala. She said her brother Josh would give his left nut for a ride in her. Sam could see Dean puff up with pride as he petted the steering wheel and talked about the work he’d done to rebuild her. They drive north out of town, and then east on the 110. The forest crowded up against the highway, rich, green, and wild. It turned out Kathy was doing research for a book of her own, about a ranger working in the Hoh National Park. She chattered on happily about the history of the park until they ran out of blacktop, the road ending at a dirt trailhead.
The three of them got out of the car. Dean flipped up the collar of his jacket, hunching against the steady drizzle and peering alertly at the woods.
Kathy had pulled out a map and compass. “The meadow we’re looking for is five miles that way,” she said, pointing south-southeast. “There’s no real trail, but there should be blazes on the trees.”
“Right there,” Dean said, gesturing to the first trail marker. Sam pushed the damp hair back off his forehead so it wouldn’t drip in his eyes and shouldered his daypack. Kathy headed into the woods and the brothers followed her. They pushed past waist-high wet ferns.
“This is awesome,” Dean muttered ten minutes in, his jeans already soaked through. “We could’ve just stayed in our motel room, taken a cold shower in our clothes, watched ‘Deliverance’ on pay-per-view, made a day of it.”
“Well, Dean,” Sam sighed, “it’s a rainforest. You know. Rain? In a forest?”
“Yeah. We gotta keep our eyes open for a job on a nice warm beach after this, though. Here,” Dean said, pulling a two-pound bag of peanut M&M’s out of his jacket in sacred Winchester camping tradition. “Don’t eat all the greens.”
Everything was green. The enormous trees’ bark was covered in green leafy parasites. Green moss covered the fallen trees. Even the sunlight was dim and green under the canopy. Eventually Sam noticed it was getting brighter. Maybe one of those sun-breaks Meredith’s Army buddy had mentioned, although Sam couldn’t see the sky through the dense tree cover. He quietly mentioned the conversation he’d overheard to Dean.
Finally they saw a yellow glow up ahead.
“We made it,” Kathy squeaked, jogging ahead, awkward in her hiking boots.
She stepped out into the golden sunlight of a small clearing. The ground was blanketed in white, yellow and purple wildflowers.
“You’re right, Kathy,” Sam said from behind her, pausing under the trees to let his eyes adjust. “This place is definitely the highlight of the tour.”
A cloud of golden dust motes was swirling around Kathy, driven by a gentle breeze. Suddenly the specks of light converged on Kathy and disappeared as she went rigid.
“Kathy?” Sam called, hand on the silver knife he’d brought just in case.
Dean stepped up beside Sam. Kathy slowly shrugged out to the straps of her backpack and dropped it to the ground. Then she turned around.
Kathy’s skin had gone pale, a dead white with mica specks that reflected the sunlight. Her eyes were a vivid, flickering red-orange like a candle flame underwater.
Dean had his Colt out and pointed at her. “Aww hell,” he said. “Kathy, you in there?”
She hissed, opened a mouth full of needle-thin fangs and charged them.
Sam yelled, “Christo,” to no effect.
Dean’s Colt fired twice in quick succession, but Kathy didn’t react as the bullets hit her. She reached for Sam with hands curled into claws and Sam managed to catch one of them with his knife. She screamed, sounding more cougar than a human, catapulted backwards, and ran away into the woods.
The forest was silent around them.
“Fuck,” Dean swore, unzipping the pack on Sam’s back and switching out his clip for one with silver ammo. “I’ll take ways to kill sparkly not-vegetarian vampires for 500, Alex. And it looks like sunlight’s a bust.”
“It didn’t flinch from the name of God, so holy water probably won’t do any good, and neither would an exorcism,” Sam answered. “Fire? You brought your lighter, right?”
“Yeah, but I doubt anything around here’s dry enough to burn. Decapitation?”
Sam nodded. “That would probably work, but the machetes are back in the Impala, and it’ll be a bitch to hold her down for that,” Sam said, holding up his knife and trying not to think too hard about hacking through Kathy’s neck with it.
“Stake through the heart,” Dean offered.
“Good idea,” Sam said, mind racing. If this was some native spirit-creature, it should be most vulnerable to local supernatural elements. He spotted a lumpy Pacific yew tree, trotted around the edge of the clearing to it, and broke off a low-hanging branch. There was lore about them offering protection against evil. He returned to his brother’s side and quickly whittled the branch into a stake while Dean covered the forest with his Colt.
A shadow fell over the clearing as clouds covering the sun again. There was a chorus of howls from the west.
“There supposed to be wolves in this forest?” Dean asked.
“Nope,” Sam answered. “But according to Meyers, the only thing besides vampires that kills vampires is werewolves.”
“Well, that’s just peachy,” Dean said.
There was another howl, very close, and Sam saw a flicker of electric blue out of the corner of his eye just before something smashed into him from the side. Sam brought the stake in his hand up in a low-underhand swing. The way to a man’s heart really is through his stomach, Dad had taught them. Avoid the rib cage.
Sam was on the ground. He shoved a writhing weight off and threw himself to the left, out of Dean’s line of fire. Three shots and Kathy was motionless on the ground a few feet away, almost hidden in the ferns.
Dean gave him a quick hand up, eyes on the forest to the west. When Sam stood up, Kathy’s brown eyes stared up at the grey sky. The stake protruded grotesquely from her cheerful blue raincoat. There were two bullet holes in her chest, and one in the center of her forehead.
The ferns on the far side of the clearing rustled.
“You want some?” Dean yelled at the sound. “Come and get it!”
Sam got back-to-back with his brother, silver knife in hand, and waited. The woods were silent. A few minutes later a bird trilled high and shrill. Sam felt Dean relax a little behind him.
“Any of those suspicious disappearances happen on the reservation?” Dean asked quietly.
“In that case, they leave us alone, we’ll leave them alone,” Dean said.
Sam felt a surge of pride. Not too long ago, Dean would’ve said anything supernatural needed hunting. Of course, that was before he found out his little brother was a freak. Sam took a few steps back to Kathy’s body, knelt down, closed her eyes, and tried to pray.
Dean touched his shoulder a few minutes later. “Wipe the stake down,” he said gruffly. “Let’s not leave Henricksen any evidence to pin on you, huh?”
Sam nodded. He pulled his shirt cuff down and wiped his prints off the stake. It moved a little when he touched it, squished against something inside her. Sam took a deep breath and didn’t puke. He stood up abruptly. “Okay. Let’s go.”
Dean had a private moment with Kathy’s corpse, and then found the blazes marking the trail back to the road. Sam followed his brother out of the woods.
When they got back to the motel, Dean pulled Kathy’s car keys out of his pocket and handed them over. They had a little whale on the keychain. “Better if she drove herself,” Dean explained.
They parked next to Kathy’s silver Subaru wagon. Sam quickly opened the door, made a note of Kathy’s settings, and then slid the seat back and down as far as it would go for the drive back to the trail.
Once Sam knew what to look for, it was easy to confirm that the missing backpackers had all disappeared on the rainforest’s rare sunny days. That night they brought a pizza and some beers back to the motel room, and watched ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’.
The next morning Meredith asked if anyone had seen Kathy. Sam informed her that she’d said something about hiking out to the meadow, and the woman immediately switched gears, complaining loudly about people taking off in the middle of a tour without even the courtesy to say so. Dean gave a sour shrug. They probably should have just left the cover-up to the locals. Small towns with big secrets had plenty of practice at it.
The tour bus drove them out to the La Push reservation. Their first stop was First Beach. The beach was grey waves, smooth rocks, and driftwood. Cold wind gusted rain in their faces as Meredith went on about Quileute vampire legends, which Sam was pretty sure Meyers had made up.
“You get the feeling we’re being watched?” Dean asked.
“Yeah,” Sam said, looking up at the bluffs.
When the tour group headed up the path to the resort for breakfast, they lagged behind. A woman came striding down the beach towards them. As she got closer, Sam saw that she was tiny, maybe 5’2, wearing jeans and an over-sized flannel shirt with the cuffs rolled back. It reached down to her mid-thigh.
Dean nodded for Sam to talk to her while he kept an eye out for anyone or anything else that might try to sneak up on them.
“Hi there,” Sam called out when she got close enough.
“Hey,” she answered. “You are a big fella, aren’t you?” The woman looked native, small-breasted and slim in her late 30’s, with black hair tied back in a braid.
Sam was used to women being a little intimidated by someone his size. Not this one. She stepped up close; so close he’d have to go for an elbow strike rather than a punch if things went sour. Sam resisted the urge to take a step back and tried on a friendly smile.
“Here,” she said, craning her neck up at him and holding out her hand, “I think these are yours.”
Sam opened his hand. She dropped three metal objects in his palm, warm to the touch. Sam glanced down. They were three silver .45 rounds, slightly deformed. Just like the ones they’d left in Kathy’s body. He held them out for Dean to see.
“It was a good kill,” the woman said, and Sam actually felt himself respond to the gentle praise in her voice. She wiped her palm down the front of her shirt and added, “But we didn’t really need the help. So I guess you boys’ll be moving on now, yeah?”
Dean stiffened behind him, reacting to something on the bluff. Sam kept his eyes on the threat right in front of him. “Well, it doesn’t seem like any civilians are in danger, so there’s no point staying where we’re not welcome,” Sam answered calmly.
The woman nodded. “Sensible. You enjoy the rest of the tour! And be sure to try the Smoked Salmon Benedict, it’s the best thing on the menu.” She backed away, winked, and then turned and jogged off down the beach.
“Fish for breakfast?” Dean muttered. “I don’t think so.”
They both had pancakes and finished out the tour with the group. The Winchesters hit Seattle by three, and the Queensrÿche exhibit was just as awesome as Dean had promised.