Round Up the Usual Suspects
One thing was clear: they couldn’t leave the troll there. Anyone could come around the corner in the hallway and find it there. And they couldn’t just set the body on fire right then and there or the convention center sprinklers would go off. They could either cut it into pieces and clean up the blood or carry it out of the building; they chose the latter.
But, as they watched the disgustingly wart-covered giant body thump down the stairs toward the main entrance, they both began to regret the decision. With Dean struggling to get a grip on it at the shoulders and Sam unable to grip both giant feet at once, dragging it out to the Impala was more about kicking and shoving and pulling to move it along. But when they got to the car, Sam dropped the troll’s giant left hand and Dean let go of the clump of hair he’d been clutching in his fist. They stared at the twenty-five foot tall body then looked over at their car.
In all seriousness, Dean backed up a few feet and looked over at Sam. “I think we’re going to need a bigger car.”
“What, like a minivan?”
“What? No. Do I need a cigarette in my mouth or something?”
Sam gave him a blank stare.
“Sam, it was a play on a quote from Jaws.”
Sam’s expression didn’t change. Not a single flicker of recognition.
“The shark movie!”
Finally Sam shrugged. “Fine, but how are we getting this dead troll out of here?”
Having a terrible feeling that his baby was soon going to be stuffed as full as a clown car, Dean made for the car door.
One thing was clear: they should have bought earplugs before the B&E. As the shrill museum alarm rang out through the night, Dean and Sam sprinted out of the building and into the alleyway. They jumped into the car where Sam secured the top piece of the cursed scepter in the box they’d bought two towns over. The shop owner clearly had no idea what the symbols on the box had meant.
Sirens started up in the distance and Sam stiffened with alarm.
Dean put the Impala in drive. “Hold onto your butts!” The tires squealed as they drove out.
And though Sam held tight to the box and fastened his seatbelt, he looked lost. “My butts?”
“Jurassic Park, dude.”
“Dinosaurs!” Dean cried, taking the turn so fast they tipped and one of the wheels rose off the pavement for a second.
“Seriously, man? How do you forget dinosaurs?”
“Jeez, Sammy, I took you to see that movie in the theater. Twice.”
Sam looked straight ahead. “Floor it. Light’s changing.”
Dean sped up. “I’m seriously going to need to start carrying cigarettes just so I can get these quotes out right.” At Sam’s exasperated expression, Dean dropped the subject.
One thing was clear: the demon did not want to talk with them. Its chosen form of communication was vicious snarls and grunts as it tried to burst free from the chains. It was seated on the floor in the middle of a devil’s trap, but you couldn’t be too careful. Wrapping it in chains soaked in holy water had, at the time, seemed like an excellent idea. They hadn’t counted on how pissed it would make the demon. And a pissed off demon was not going to talk.
Dean double-checked the devil’s trap on the ceiling, the one on the floor, and the double ring of salt around the demon before he turned away to check on Sam. His brother was systematically sewing up his own forearm, a blood-stained washcloth clenched between his teeth so he could withstand the pain. Dean’s flask hadn’t hurt either. “Hey, you all right?”
Sam tied it off and nodded. He wiped his arm clean with the cloth and then wiped his hands. “Yeah. You get the location of the hostages?”
With a shake of his head. “Not yet.”
“Dean, we need that—”
“I know!” Dean hissed, casting a wary eye toward the demon. “I’ll get the info out of him, don’t worry.”
“What, are you going to sweet-talk it?”
“No,” Dean said. He brushed the back of two fingers against the bottom of his chin. “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
Sam’s eyes widened and for a second Dean hoped that just once something was going to go well today.
“Were you supposed to have a cigarette in your mouth when you said that?”
Dean resisted the urge to rub his hand over his face. “Just go get another bottle of holy water, Sammy. I’ll take another crack at the demon.”
Sam started out of the shack where they were holed up, then paused in the doorway. “Dean, it was like a hundred and twenty years for me. That’s a long time to go without seeing a movie.”
Dean drew a long breath and let it out slowly. “Holy
With a nod, Sam headed back out to the car. Dean turned back toward the demon. When this was over and the hostages were safe, he was going to drive straight to a video store. There was no excuse for not knowing the Godfather, not even a stint in the cage.
“You boys settled in for the night?” Bobby asked, depositing another armload of blankets on the chair.
“Yeah,” Dean replied from his side of the couch. Bobby’s living room was set up with everything they needed. A giant bowl of popcorn for him. A giant box of Kleenex for Sam. A bottle of beer for him. A bottle of cough syrup for Sam. A blanket for him. About a zillion blankets for Sam. And a tall stack of DVDs for both of them. “Thanks, Bobby. Sure you don’t want to sit in on some of these movies with us?”
“Boy, I’ve been bustin’ my butt all day getting two trucks running for their owners, not to mention going through a hundred dusty volumes looking for a certain spell for hunters over in New Hampshire. For the first time in months, nothing’s hunting us and I’m gonna count that as a luxury and get some sleep. Try not to keep me up, all right? You know I sleep with a shotgun under my pillow.”
Dean grinned. “G’night, Bobby. Thanks for letting us crash here while Sam fights off this cold.”
Sam was grateful as well, but expressed it with a brief glance with his hurt puppy dog eyes before snapping forward with his nose couched in a handful of Kleenex. His sneeze wasn’t the least bit quiet; Dean was sure Bobby would hear from his bedroom.
But Bobby didn’t have a stern word for him. He just rubbed his hand over Sam’s mop of hair on his way out of the room. He flipped the lamp off, and the glow of the television set took over.
“You sure you’re up for this, Sammy?”
Sam sniffled into his Kleenex and pulled another blanket over his lap. “M’sure. Got a lot of catching up to do, right? If I can’t hunt, sniff, sniff, at least I can do this.”
“All right then.” Dean propped both his heels up on the coffee table, dipped his hand into the popcorn bowl, and gestured with his other hand toward the remote Sam held. “Play it again, Sam.”
One thing was clear: Sam, who didn’t remember Jaws, Jurassic Park, or the Godfather, certainly didn’t remember Casablanca well enough to correct Dean’s misquotation. Instead, he hit the button on the remote to unpause the first movie.
After six long days and nights, Bobby’s living room was such a mess they could barely walk through it. At the best of times, Bobby’s place was hard to navigate. But after nearly a week of being central command in Sam’s physical and cinematic rehabilitation, the place was worse than the salvage yard outside. Empty microwave meal trays and food containers representing at least four different continents littered every flat surface. And calling a teetering stack of DVD cases a flat surface was being kind. Balled-up tissues covered almost everything else, from couch to floor to coffee table.
“You’ve got color back in your cheeks,” Dean noticed as Sam got up to take The Empire Strikes Back out of the DVD player. “Haven’t heard you sneeze all day, in fact. We could get back on the road by noon.”
Sam fit the DVD into its case and took out Return of the Jedi. With his finger through the middle circle, he spun it slowly, lost in his own thoughts. Then he turned and sneezed deliberately into the crook of his arm with a sneeze that sounded absolutely nothing like his usual sneezes.
And, having listened to those sneezes repeatedly for days on end, Dean noticed. But when Sam sniffed dryly and held up the DVD with a ‘one more movie?’ expression, Dean grinned. “You’ll find I’m full of surprises,” Sam quoted, slipping the next movie into the DVD player tray.
When he flopped back onto his side of the couch, Dean plopped the Kleenex box between them then rested the fresh bowl of microwave popcorn on top of it.