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Tougher Than the Rest (9/15)

Title: Tougher Than the Rest
Chapter Title: Spirit in the Night
Wordcount: 1,009 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 to 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 Five Six Seven Eight



The twins heard what sounded like a maelstrom over the phone and then nothing. Dead air. Alan wished he hadn’t thought that. It was amazing how many seemingly innocent phrases took on sinister meanings once you knew what was out there.

“What should we do?” Ryan wanted to know. “Do we check on them or wait?”

Alan ended the call and stared at the phone. An idea came to him and he dialed. “Karen, what’s the Godwins’ number?”

“Don’t you have their cell?”

“No, the call ended and I want to make sure it’s just the phone.”

“OK.” Alan could hear clicking as she looked it up on the computer. “732-555-3880.”

“Great. Thanks.” Alan ended the call and quickly called the Godwins’ condo. “C’mon, c’mon.”

The phone was picked up. “City morgue. You stab ‘em, we slab ‘em.”

Alan sighed. “I thought you were the ones that did the killing.”

“Most of the time, yeah. You okay?”

“Yeah. You and Sam?”

“We’re good. Place is a mess. Lost another phone.”

“Hoped that was all that was. Ryan and I will pick up down here and meet you at the condo.”

“Right.” Dean hung up.

“Okay,” Alan told his brother, “time to clean up.”

They swept the salt and dumped it out the window. They then went to Karen‘s office to tell her it was done and she could head home. She refused until she knew what condition the condo was in. Alan had a feeling it would not be pretty.

In the lift, Karen looked like she was trying to build up the nerve to ask a question. Could she have realized who they really were? Those were pretty flimsy aliases. The question she asked was not what he expected.

“How long have you known the Winchesters?”

Ryan let out a little laugh and Alan glared at him. “I met them about two years ago. This guy met them earlier this year.” She didn’t need to know it had only been the night before.

They exited the lift and made their way down the hall to the condo. Ryan knocked on the door and Dean opened it quickly. Sam was picking debris and papers from the floor.

Karen looked around. “How am I going to explain this?”

“It just looks bad.” Sam stood. “Nothing’s broken.”

“Still. And how do I tell Mrs. Godwin that the man who killed her husband was caught but there won’t be any trial?”

“Say he was shot and the FBI put a gag order on the media,” Ryan volunteered.

Dean looked at him. “Good one.” He turned to Karen. “You should be able to sell it.”

****


They arrived back at the hotel and Ryan flopped onto the inside bed and yawned.

“I don’t know why you’re so tired,” remarked Dean. “You didn’t do anything.”

“Anxiety-filled waiting can be exhausting,” he responded.

Dean quirked his lips as a sign of agreement. “That was a bit of a letdown.”

“Not every hunt is for your adrenaline rush.” Sam put the duffle on the floor.

“So, what do you do next?” Alan questioned as he leaned against the dresser.

“Under most circumstances, Dean would head to a bar and find a willing female for his after-hunt celebrations,” smirked Sam.

“Sounds familiar,” Ryan agreed.

Alan tried not to turn red at the attention, especially since it was in regard to his past “liasons”.

“Really?” asked Dean. “Never would’ve taken you for the type.” His voice was tinged with admiration.

“Yes, well, it was easy to play the pilot card coming back from a near-death mission.”

“The looks and uniform helped.”

Alan looked at his brother hoping the glare would convey his thoughts since telepathy was not an option at the moment. “It’s a good thing that Ryan and I stopped and got some beer earlier then.”

“Dude, that six-pack might be enough for me but I don’t know what you’d have.”

“Dean, c’mon, do you really think that’s all we’d buy? There are two cases in the trunk of the rental.”

“Oh, I knew there was a reason I liked you.”

The two sets of brothers toasted a job well done with their first beers and soon began swapping stories; nothing too emotional or angsty, that stuff was for family only. Sam was the first to fall asleep and Dean dismissed it with, “He’s always been a lightweight”. While Dean and Ryan continued to pound them back, Alan nursed his beers because one of them should remain sober. Close to 4:00, they both passed out. Alan made sure they were comfortable before stretching out himself on the bed next to his lightly-snoring brother. He lay on his back, arms behind his head, and stared at the ceiling.

He thought on the similarities between the four of them. He and Dean were the older brothers and had a way with the ladies – or at least he had. It was kind of hard now when he was a known entity, as it were. But he could also see some of himself in Sam as they both liked research and organization. Ryan was more like Dean than Sam. He was a fighter, schemer, and didn’t take any crap from anyone. What they all had in common was loyalty to each other. He smiled at the thought and dozed off.

Alan woke a couple of hours later and there was just a little sliver of light peeking through the crack between the curtains and wall. Knowing that there was no more sleep in his future, Alan slowly rolled off the bed trying not to disturb Ryan. He needn’t have worried. His brother merely snorted at the disturbance. He picked up his shoes and quietly slipped out of the room.

Across the car park was a small park area with tables and chairs so he made himself comfortable facing the sunrise. They were close enough to the shore to get the scent of the ocean. He took deep breaths as he tried to arrange his thoughts. There was something about this hunt that was nagging at him and he wanted to mull over it before mentioning it to the Winchesters.

“So this is where you went to.”

Alan looked away from the pink-tinged sky and up at Sam. “Yeah. Couldn’t sleep. Figured this was a better view than the ceiling.”

“How late were they up drinking?” Sam sat in the other chair.

“4:00. It was actually kind of funny to watch. It was like they just stopped mid-sentence and slowly tipped over. Thankfully the bottles were empty.”

“Please tell me you took some blackmail pictures. Dean usually holds his liquor better making that a little difficult for me.”

“I didn’t think of it, sorry.”

They sat in companionable silence for a little bit before Sam’s stomach rumbled. “I think it’s time for breakfast. I hope we can find something.”

“It’s New Jersey, there’s always a diner open.”


Ten

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