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Tougher Than the Rest (2/15)

Title: Tougher Than the Rest
Chapter Title: Night
Wordcount: 1395 this chapter
Rating: T
Characters/Pairings: Sam, Dean, OMC with appearances by Castiel and Crowley (in later chapters)
Warnings: None
Spoilers: It's set in the second half of season 6.
Disclaimer: If you recognize the character, it's not mine
Summary: Sam and Dean are checking out a mysterious death on the Jersey Shore. After a long day of research, all Dean wants to do is put up his feet and relax with the TV. The two men waiting in their motel room put an end to that.
A/N: This is a sequel two my first SPN fic In Spite of All the Danger The setting is the Jersey Shore, where I lived for 9 years (1978-1987). My sister coquillagement still lives there and helped me out in a few spots. The wonderful msninacat heard my plea for a beta and jumped right in. Thanks a bunch! The high school photo was actually my senior class. However, there is no misty figure in the window.

One



Dean pulled into the parking space right in front of their motel room. Research always drained him. All he wanted to do was put his feet up, find something mindless on TV, and then enjoy his greasy burger and fries they picked up at a diner. He grabbed the bag of food and let Sam deal with the paperwork.

He headed for the room and saw a flickering light through the window. He set the food down and reached for his gun. “Sam,” he whispered with a nod towards the window.

“Cas?” Sam whispered back as he brought out his gun.

“He wouldn’t turn on the TV.”

On a silent count of three, Sam opened the door and Dean moved in, his gun held out in front of him. He put the guy sitting on the bed around 6’, 170 lbs, with short brown hair. Not a demon because the room was salted and warded. So that left angel but how did he know how to find them?

The man didn’t look away from the TV as he called out, “You win the bet!”

“Who the hell are you and what are you doing in our room?” Dean demanded.

The door to the bathroom opened and out stepped another man who smiled. “Hey, guys. I see you met my brother.”

“Alan?” Sam lowered his gun. “What are you doing here?”

“Really not sure,” Alan replied as he shook Sam’s hand. “Castiel sent us.”

“Cas is behind this?” Dean put his gun away. “What the hell does he want?”

“If he hasn’t told you, why would he tell us?” Alan’s brother had switched off the TV and was now sitting on the edge of the bed.

Alan looked at his brother who stared back at him. Given what he remembered about Alan’s “abilities”, Dean wouldn’t put it past the twins to be having some telepathic discussion.

“Ignore Ryan,” Alan told them. “He lacks tact and self-censorship.”

“I know the feeling,” Sam said with a smile.

“Hey!”

“I think speaking my mind is a good quality,” protested Ryan. “It always came in handy before.”

“Yeah, when you were an arms dealer.”

Dean looked at Ryan. “You were an arms dealer?”

“Among other things.”

“Cool.” He needed to get to know this guy better.

“So, what’s going on? Where do we stand so Ryan and I don’t spill anything?”

“Sam’s back from Hell and has his soul but can’t remember anything from last year or he’ll be a vegetable,” Dean stated.

“On the monster front, Crowley’s dead. Cas burned his bones,” Sam added. “Now we have Eve, the mother of all monsters topside creating havoc.”

“That seems to sum everything up nicely but I don’t see why Castiel thinks you need us now. What hunt are you working on?”

Sam answered. “A 71 year old man bled to death from what looks like a shark bite.”

“Not too surprising, living in a beach town,” commented Ryan.

“He was in his third floor condo at the time.”

“Landshark?”

Dean gave a crooked grin, having said the same thing. Sam didn’t even crack a smile.

“So, the ghost has a pet ghost shark,” said Alan. “Why is it attacking septuagenarians?”

“That we don’t know but we do have a likely suspect for the spirit,” Dean said as he went outside to get the food.

“Well, fill us in.” Ryan made himself comfortable and eyed the bag.

“There isn’t enough for four,” he said in something just short of a whine.

“Dean, we can always get some more later,” Sam said.

“Fine, but the pie is mine.” He didn’t miss the look Ryan gave Alan. “What?”

“It’s just the pie thing.” Ryan sounded almost giddy.

“What pie thing?”

“You always have pie,” Ryan said as he popped some fries into his mouth.

“I don’t always.”

“Yes you do,” his brother sided against him. “Whenever you can.”

Dean’s only answer was a defiant bite of his apple pie. It certainly lived up to the hype the guy at the bakery gave it. He would have to add The Macaroon Shop to his list of the best pies.

Alan looked to Sam.

“Right. The original Essex and Sussex Hotel was built in 1914 and attracted high society, royalty and a couple presidents. It closed in 1985 and was just left there until 2002 when it reopened as condos for ‘active adults’.”

Sam actually used air quotes.

“They have various sizes from studios to penthouses ranging from $200,000 to $1 million.”

“And what’s this to do with the spirit?” questioned Alan.

“Just some background info.” Dean gave him a “How Dare You Interrupt” look.

“Sorry.” Alan took a bite of his hamburger half.

“Okay, so it’s July 1, 1916, and it’s majorly hot. Down the coast, a man was attacked and killed by a shark.” Dean threw back some coffee. He hadn’t expected story time. “Nobody thought anything of it, thought it was isolated.”

Sam took over. “Five days later, Charles Bruder, a 27 year old from Switzerland went swimming right off the beach in front of the hotel. He was 130 yards from shore when he was attacked. Rescuers found him ‘unusually light’ when they pulled him into the boat. The lower half of his body was gone. His last words were ‘A shark got me’. He died before they reached the shore.”

“He was a bellboy for the hotel,” Dean added.

“So, he’s angry at the hotel for not taking proper precautions,” reasoned Ryan.

“Reports say that he went beyond the demarcation line,” said Sam. “Besides, both guests and employees collected money to send to his mother back in Switzerland.”

“Okay, that’s not a motive. Maybe he liked the hotel the way it was. Or maybe they stirred things up,” Ryan tried again.

“So he gets them ten years later?” Dean argued.

“There were reported sightings through the years. There was a local high school that had their senior class photo taken on the front steps.” Sam pulled up the picture and pointed. “See, the upper window on the left?”

Alan and Ryan leaned forward to peer at the picture. There was a misty human-shaped figure standing at the window.

“So what would make a formerly benign ghost attack?”

“Ryan might be right. Something had to have been uncovered that Charles doesn’t want found.” Dean polished off his coffee.

“Or he’s trying to prevent something from being uncovered. Dean, we gotta get in there and look around but the FBI can only get us so far.”

Dean smiled. “We need to have someone go in and look to buy a place.”

“What? You want Bobby? It’ll take too long for him to get here.”

“Sammy, Alan could bring Bobby here yesterday. No, they go in.”

“Dude, in case you hadn’t noticed, they don’t meet the age requirement.”

“Well, you’re already treating us like we aren’t here, so we’re halfway there,” commented Ryan.

“Age won’t be a problem,” Alan said.

The Winchesters turned at his voice and saw a man that looked to be 70. On closer inspection, they could see Alan.

“Whoa!” Dean got up and peered at Alan. “That is…freaky.”

“It’s a simple projection.” Alan pressed a button on the machine on his wrist and the image flickered away.

“Okay, that’s handled, but what about paying? This is way too big for our credit cards.” Sam was one for the practical questions.

“You forget,” Ryan said, wagging his thumb between Alan and himself, “we’re rich.”

Dean scoffed. “How the hell can you be rich now?”

“C’mon,” said Alan. “I know you looked me up online last time.”

“The Competition.” Sam grinned as he looked at Dean. “You remember that band they were in during the 60s.” He looked back at the brothers. “You must’ve signed a great royalties deal.”

“Along with some wise investing,” added Ryan. “People like to reminisce, wanting to hear about the music scene then, any stories about the Beatles or the Stones. We get offers for interviews all the time.”

“So that is what you would look like now if you really lived then?” Dean questioned.

“Yeah,” said Alan. “It comes in handy. As for paying, I doubt it’ll even get that far. We take the tour, say we’ll think on it, and that’s that. Easy.”

Dean groaned. “You had to say it, didn’t you?”

Three


Article on the real life shark attack
Website for the Essex and Sussex

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