I saw a ghost! I saw a friggin' ghost!
It was the only thought that was running through Robbie's mind as Dean dropped him off at his apartment. There wasn't supposed to be such a thing as ghosts and if he hadn't seen one himself, Robbie never would have believed it. But he'd seen it with his own eyes. He'd seen a ghost try to stab him and it was very, very real.
While it freaked him out more than anything ever had in his life, at the same time it exhilarated him. This was the most exciting thing he'd done in his life and he had only one person to thank for that—Dean. Dean showed him how exciting life could be and all it took was some psycho ghost. Even when James was living, Robbie didn't think he'd ever had something so exciting happen to him before.
James always liked to play things safe. Sure, they went hunting, hiking, and boating all the time, but looking back, those activities were safe. At least until James was killed. But this was different with Dean. Robbie could tell Dean liked to live on the edge; he liked to toe the line. And if this was something he did all the time, then it was something Robbie knew he could get used to.
Robbie had a new way of looking at Dean now—Dean was a superhero. An honest-to-goodness, real live superhero. Dean saved him from the ghost, not caring if something would happen to himself in the process. Is this what Sam got to see everyday? Is this what he got to experience all the time? If so, then he was the luckiest man in the world. And the sad thing was Sam didn't seem to realize this. He didn't seem to appreciate how lucky he truly was.
He could be exactly what Dean wanted him to be. He could go on these ghost hunts and he could make the older man proud of him. He'd always been good at making James proud of him and he knew he could do the same with Dean. In no time at all, Dean wouldn't even remember Sam.
Robbie knew he would have to work at it though. He saw the way Dean brushed Sam's arm as they left for the Eclipse. It wasn't an aggressive brush—it was a tender, brotherly brush. It was the way James would brush against him when he was kidding around. It was a way of showing love without actually having to say the words. He also saw the way Dean helped his brother off the floor after the ghost attacked him. He'd been gentle, careful not to hurt the younger man any more than he was. He'd looked Sam over for cuts, had fussed over the one above Sam's brow. Dean was a good older brother.
Tonight hadn't been anything close to a waste . He'd figured out a perfect way to get Sam out of the way. He'd found a place where he could keep Sam out of sight for a while. He still wasn't exactly sure what he was going to do to the younger brother, but that could be worked out at a later time. He wasn't even sure if he was going to kill him—it was details and he hadn't had the time to work them out yet. He just knew what he needed to do now.
He'd heard the brothers mention they were going up to One Shots before they dropped him off. He wasn't invited along, of course, but it was a public place and if he wanted to go, then he could. Grabbing up the keys to his Corsica he figured it wouldn't hurt to crash the party. Hell, it might even be fun…
Sam really needed to learn to say no to Dean when he asked if he wanted to go to the bar. It was the same way every single time they went—Dean would have a few beers, hit on any busty woman he set eyes on, and then challenge the locals to a game of pool, while feigning like he had no idea how to play. After he wiped the floor with every gullible sucker, he'd come back to the table a wad of cash in his hand.
And what did Sam do during this entire time? Research—oh, and come up with ways it could possibly get any worse for him. It was amazing how every single classic Southern rock song playing through the speakers could beat in perfect succession with the pounding in his head. And they were lucky tonight, or so the bartender told him. There was a live band playing and for some reason (which Sam gathered was someone's form of a sick joke), the band was never told they sucked.
Lucky? Well, yes—but it was the Winchester's form of luck, meaning it was shitty, at best.
The one great thing about the bar though, was the fact they were now away from Robbie. The more time the psychic spent with the motel clerk, the more uneasy he grew about him. Something was definitely off with the guy but for the life of him, Sam couldn't figure out what it was. Maybe there was nothing wrong with Robbie like Dean was saying. Maybe he was just one of those people who made Sam feel unnerved just by being in the same room with him. His creepy edge could be nothing more than Sam's own discomfort about having a non-hunter around, knowing what they did for a living.
Whatever it was, Sam was glad to be away from him. Very few things got to Sam; he'd learned long ago not to fear much. It was amazing, after all the ghosts, demons, and monsters he dealt with on a daily basis, he was freaked out by a mousy guy who probably couldn't hurt a fly. Ever since his time with the Benders, though, and dealing with Gordon Walker, Sam found it a little harder to trust his fellow man. After all, like Dean said before, people are crazy. Sam thought Dean was overreacting at first, but now he had to agree with his sibling.
Taking a sip of his lukewarm beer, Sam looked up to see Dean was chatting animatedly with a blonde. He knew it was only a matter of minutes before she agreed to whatever it was Dean was offering for the night. It amazed Sam how naïve women could be when it came to Dean. Couldn't they recognize a line when they heard one? Were they that desperate for companionship it didn't bother them Dean wouldn't remember their names the next morning?
Sam wasn't going to spend all night trying to figure out the puzzle that was his brother. He'd leave that one to the brains over at MIT, though he didn't have much faith in them either. Instead, he turned back to his laptop which was opened to a website devoted to Eli Nelson. He wasn't learning any more about the spirit than he already knew. Now, he was trying to search for where cracked faux doctor was buried, but he wasn't having much luck so far.
Closing out of that window, he pulled up the Google search page as the band started playing Journey's Don't Stop Believing.
Just a small-town girl
Living in a lonely world
Took a midnight train going anywhere
Just a small-town boy
Born and raised in South Detroit
Took a midnight train going anywhere…
Sam typed in ELI NELSON into the query bar and soon hundreds of sites pulled up, pertaining not only to Eli, but to any other Nelson that was mentioned. So much for having a narrowed search result…It amazed Sam with the technology of the Internet how it was still hard to find exactly what you wanted. It was almost like looking through a book—you still had to browse through all the junk to get what you wanted.
Clicking on the first site, Sam was surprised to see exactly what he was looking for. According to the webpage, Eli Nelson was buried at the Peaceful Gardens Cemetery. Sam grabbed his small notebook from his messenger bag and jotted down the address.
Sam looked up, startled, to see Robbie standing next to the table, a beer in his right hand. "Robbie…hey..."
"You mind if I sit down?"
Sam shut his laptop and shoved it back into his bag. He nodded towards one of the empty chairs.
Robbie smiled and took a seat. "So, what were you working on?"
Sam shrugged. "Nothing really. Just checking up on some email," he lied. He averted his eyes as he saw Robbie staring at him. He tried to hide the shiver going down his spine, but he wasn't sure if he succeeded or not. He really didn't like the way Robbie was looking at him; it was almost as if he were looking through him and it made Sam feel somewhat violated.
"Where's your brother at?"
"He's around here somewhere." But I wish he'd get back over this way. Straining his neck, Sam saw his brother was still at the bar talking with the same girl. Dean glanced briefly his way and Sam waved him over. Dean held up a finger to tell him to hold on and Sam just glared.
"So, Robbie…are you okay? I mean, you had to be pretty freaked out by what happened earlier."
Robbie nodded. "I was so freaked, but I think I'm okay now."
"That's good." Sam took a sip of his beer and cringed as the warm amber liquid went down his throat. "We never meant for you to be caught in the crossfire back there."
"It's okay. Dean was there to help me out." Robbie looked up at him, his expression eager. "Does he always do stuff like that?"
Sam frowned. "Like what?"
"Saving you…helping you out when you need it."
"Yeah, I guess so."
"That's so awesome." Robbie's brown eyes became intense. "You should realize how lucky you are to have him for a brother."
Sam swallowed hard. This was definitely getting up there on the creepy scale. Thankfully, Sam didn't have to say anything else as Dean sauntered up to the table, a huge smile on his face. "Hey!" Sam didn't mean to sound so grateful, but at that point he couldn't really help it.
Dean frowned at him in confusion. "Hey." He turned to Robbie. "When did you get here?"
"Just a few minutes ago."
"I thought you'd already be heading for the hills by now." Dean took a seat between the two. "You're not tired of us yet?"
"Are you kidding? That was awesome!"
Dean chuckled. "Looks like we've got a fan here, Sammy."
"Yeah…" Sam stood up and grabbed his bag. "Listen, I'm gonna head back to the motel. There's still some stuff I want to work on." Dean reached into his pocket and fished out the keys to the Impala, but Sam held up a hand. "Don't worry about it. I'm gonna walk back."
Dean fixed Sam with a hard stare. "Take the damn car, Sammy."
"What about you?"
Dean forced the keys into Sam's hand. "What about me? I'm a big boy—I can walk back."
"I can drive you back to the motel," Robbie offered. "I have to relieve Brenda in a couple of hours anyway."
Dean grinned. "See, there you go. Problem solved, Sammy."
"I can come back and pick you up, Dean."
"Sam, Robbie can take me back to the motel. Don't wait up for me, okay?"
Sam wanted to argue but the look Dean was shooting him said there was no more room for argument. Putting the strap of his bag over his shoulder, Sam pushed through the crowd and made his ways towards the Impala. Sliding into the car, he let out a big sigh of relief, grateful to finally be away from Robbie.
"Gary, what are we doing here?" Melissa Jones couldn't hide the fear in her voice as her boyfriend of six months, Gary, pulled up to the abandoned Eclipse hotel. They were supposed to be going to her cousin's birthday party, not stopping at some freaky hotel where someone had just died.
Gary looked over at Melissa, an easy-going smile on his face. "Oh, come on, Mel…I just want to check the place out. Where's your sense of adventure?"
Melissa shot him a cool look. "It must be where you left your common sense." She looked out the windshield, the hotel looking ominous in the pale moonlight. "We shouldn't be here, Gary."
"Are you kidding me?" Melissa screeched. "Some guy was just murdered here. What if that psycho is still in there?"
Gary shook his head. "He's not."
"And you know this, how?"
"Because he wouldn't be stupid enough to stick around, especially when the cops are still nosing about the place."
"What, are you on personal terms with the guy? Did he tell you he wouldn't be here tonight, to just come on in?"
Gary ignored Melissa as he reached over and grabbed a flashlight out of the glove compartment He flicked it on, making sure it worked, and glanced at her. "Are you coming with me or not?"
"Gary, we're supposed to be at Allison's birthday party. I told her I would be there."
"And we will be, just as soon as we get finished here."
"Gary, this is so stupid. Why do you have to go in there? Are you trying to prove something?"
The young man rolled his eyes. "I'm not trying to prove anything, Mel. I just want to go take a look around." He pushed open the door. "Now, are you coming?"
"No, I'm not." She crossed her arms over her chest and stared out ahead.
"Suit yourself." He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. "I'll be back in a few minutes."
"Whatever." She watched as Gary got out of the car and walked to the gate. He stopped in front of it and then deftly lifted himself up and over the chain length fence, then disappeared from view.
Melissa sat there in the eerie silence, eyes darting all around. She didn't want to say she was one who could easily be spooked, but sitting there by herself in the car was starting to get to her. There should have at least been the occasional hoot of an owl or a car passing on the highway, but there was nothing. It's okay…Gary will be back in a minute…there's nothing to be freaked out about…
A sudden thump against the car convinced her otherwise. She yanked the keys from the ignition and sprinted from the car, not even pausing to glance behind her. She found a hole in the fence, dove through it, and sprinted towards the hotel, the wan moonlight guiding her.
"Gary!" She found him walking around the lobby.
"Hey, I thought you weren't coming in."
Melissa paused to catch her breath. "I thought you could use some company."
Gary smiled. "You got scared, didn't you?"
"What?" Melissa shook her head. "No, I didn't."
"Whatever you say, Mel."
Melissa slapped him on the arm. "I'm not going to fight you about this, Gary. Can we just get this over with?"
Gary led the way to the staircase while Melissa clung to his arm. They slowly climbed up the rickety stairs, their footsteps echoing all around the small space. Gary came to a stop in front of the door for the third floor landing and paused to look at her. "Are you ready?"
Melissa pushed him. "Oh God, Gary, will you just go?"
"I'm just making sure." He softly pushed the door open, the creaking of the hinges piercing the silence of the building. Easing out into the hallway, he stepped aside so Melissa could walk in front of him. "It's down here."
"What is?" Melissa whispered.
"The room where that reporter was killed."
"This is what we came here for? So you could see where some guy was murdered?"
"You're telling me you're not curious?"
"Not even a little bit?"
"No!" Melissa practically screeched. "I swear to God, Gary, we are so going to be over if we don't leave right now!"
Gary was about to say something when a loud thump sounded from somewhere, causing the both of them to jump. "Did you hear that?" Gary whispered.
Melissa nodded shakily as a shiver went down her spine. This is not how they were supposed to be spending their night. They were supposed to be partying with their friends, not playing hide and seek with some psycho. "I told you he was still in here, Gary."
"It was probably just a rat, Mel."
A louder thump sounded, this time even closer. "Does that sound like a rat to you?"
Gary shook his head as he slowly backed towards the door, dragging Melissa with him. "I think you're right. We should get out of here."
Melissa nodded and stood behind Gary as he walked back towards the door. He reached out for the knob and barely had the door open before he felt a sharp pain in his abdomen. He looked down to see a scalpel sticking out, blood oozing from the wound. He stumbled back into Melissa, causing the both of them to fall to the ground in a tangle of limbs.
"Gary, what's wrong?"
Gary's face scrunched up in pain. "Get out of here, Mel."
"What? Gary, what are you—" She gasped as she saw Gary's wound. "Oh my God, Gary! Are you okay?"
There was a sudden cold breeze and the two teens looked up to see a man in a white suit smiling down at them.
"Melissa, get out of here now!"
"No, Gary! I can't leave you!"
"Don't worry…I'm going to take good care of you both." The man took a slow step towards them.
Oh God, he's going to kill us! I told Gary this wasn't a good idea! Why couldn't he listen to me? Melissa untangled herself from Gary and began desperately scooting back. She had to get out of there. She had to get to a phone and get help for Gary. Why in the world did I leave my phone at home?
"What do you want from us?" Melissa demanded as the man forgot about Gary and pursued her, a malicious smile on his face.
"There's no reason to be afraid. You'll barely feel a thing."
"Stay away…from her…" Gary managed weakly.
"Please, just let us go! We won't say anything, I promise!" Melissa sobbed.
The man only shook his head, closing the gap between them, a scalpel glinting forebodingly in the dim light.
"Please…don't do this!"
Melissa's terrified scream reverberated through the vacant hotel, piercing the tranquil night air.