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Tougher Than the Rest (5/15)

Title: Tougher Than the Rest
Chapter Title: The Ties That Bind
Wordcount: 1,056 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 ever so!

One Two Three Four



In the hotel room, Ryan started arguing. “Why did you ignore me?”

“Is that why you’re in such a snit? I didn’t hear you.” Alan put a six-pack of beer in the small fridge. “I sent something to you as well and got no response. I think Castiel took a bit more than our future knowledge.”

“Why would he do something like that?”

“I don’t know. Maybe he was rushed. Maybe…”

“What?”

“When I was here before, I used my abilities against the demon when it should have been Sam.”

“I thought the point was not to let Sam use his powers.”

“The point was not to have him drinking demon blood. Anyway, I think Cas wants Sam and Dean to do this without ‘extra’ help.”

“Then why are we here? You really aren’t making much sense.”

Alan sighed as he tried to make his brother understand. “Cas wants them to do it without any help beyond the human norm.”

“Just physical, gotcha. Makes sense. Would’ve been nice if he had said something.”

“You should remember from the books that he doesn’t always explain.”

They heard the Impala pull into the parking space. Ryan watched from the window as the Winchesters got out of the car. “They look so uncomfortable in suits.”

“When you’re used to wearing jeans, T-shirts, and flannels; a suit would definitely be confining.” Alan opened the door. “I bid you welcome,” he greeted in his best Lugosi.

“That’s not funny, dude.” Dean removed his tie.

“I thought it amusing.”

“A while back we went up against a shifter who wanted to be like the monsters in the movies.”

Dean looked at Sam. “Shut it.”

“He put Dean in lederhosen. He still has flashbacks.”

Alan thought it might have more to do with Dean’s time as a vampire instead.

“At least I didn’t get beat up by Gandhi.”

“Gandhi?” Alan needed to hear about that. “I don’t remember Gandhi.”

“I’ll tell you later,” Dean said with a look at Sam. “Gotta hit the head and then we’ll talk about tonight.” He grabbed a change of clothes and shut the door behind him.

“We’re doing this tonight?” asked Ryan. “You’ve found a relic?”

“There was a photo taken not long before the attack.”

“So you think part of his soul is captured in the photo?” Ryan questioned. “It’s a bit of a stretch.”

“It’s all we’ve got right now.”

Alan looked to the bathroom door before asking Sam, “How are you doing?”

“I’m fine.”

“Seriously? Dean’s in the bathroom. You can tell us.”

Sam hesitated. “Frustrated. I lost a year and apparently I was not the best of people. I want to make amends but if my memories of Hell come back I could end up a vegetable.”

Alan didn’t want to throw out a bunch of platitudes or play psychiatrist so he decided to use the one thing Sam wouldn’t argue. “I can’t say I can empathize or vaguely comprehend what you’re going through but you are with the only one who comes close. You were there for Dean. Let him be there for you.”

Sam nodded in thanks just as the bathroom door opened and Dean stepped out now dressed in his normal clothes. “Bathroom’s free, Sammy.”

Sam picked up his clothes and headed for the bathroom.

“Oh, you might want to keep the fan on,” Dean said as Sam passed him.

Sam scrunched up his face, but didn’t say anything as he shut the door.

Dean sat on the foot of his bed and looked at the two of them. “What can you tell me about Sam? OK, I know you can’t give me details and stuff but can you at least tell me he gets better?”

“We can’t,” Ryan told him.

“C’mon guys, this is my brother we’re talking about. You know what that’s like.”

Alan knew exactly what Dean meant. He would do anything for either of his brothers. He’d met the Winchesters saving Ryan from a curse. “It’s not that we won’t, Dean. We can’t. Castiel took away all our memories of what happens after this point.”

“He did what?”

“Most likely didn’t want you telling us about what’s coming,” said Sam as he re-entered the room. “Even by mistake.”

Ryan looked at Alan, questioning if they should tell them the rest. Alan felt Sam and Dean needed to know because of the hunt. “We think he may have gotten a little overzealous with the cleaning. We have no abilities.”

“Do you think it was on purpose?” Dean did not want to hear anything against the angel.

“I don’t know. It might be a side effect. No accusations made.”

“We just thought you ought to be made aware should your plan count on it in any fashion,” added Ryan.

“As we don’t have a plan yet, we won’t need to change anything,” said Sam.

“So we go in and burn a photo. That’s the plan. Easy.”

“It still feels…off,” stated Sam. “I still don’t understand why a peaceful spirit would suddenly do all this, unless…”

Sam pulled his duffle onto the bed and began digging through it until he pulled out a folder. Inside were printouts and handwritten pages. “There were a couple of attacks before the Godwins, right?”

“Yeah, one in May and another in July. Nothing fatal.”

“That’s what I thought.” Sam pointed at his notes. “Look at that.”

Dean reached over and took the paper. “Crap.”

“What?” asked Alan. “Care to fill in the civilians?”

“Since when are you a civilian?” Ryan asked him.

“We’re not Hunters so we’re civilians.”

“Eve was raised early in the year,” Sam supplied.

“Wait a sec,” interrupted Ryan. “I thought she was the mother of vamps, werewolves, shifters, et cetera. Why would a spirit be influenced by her?”

“No idea. Maybe to some degree she can influence all supernatural creatures just by being here.” He shrugged.

“Like gravitational pull,” remarked Alan. “Neptune, even though it’s the furthest planet out from the sun, is still influenced by the pull of the sun.”

“Leave it to the pilot to find a space analogy,” muttered Ryan.

“Whatever’s causing it, we still have to stop it,” said Alan. “If that’s your theory, how do we put it down?”

It was some time before they arrived at an answer.



Six

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