Sam and Dean knew they were in trouble. It always followed them around. But nothing had shown itself yet. They were stooped over what looked like a pool of blood in an already disgusting alleyway, rats and all, and nothing even close to a mugger had jumped them. It was the dead of night. Surely some evil baddie was lurking in the shadows?
"This isn't blood," Dean said as he stood.
"What is it?"
Dean flashed his light over the puddle. He didn't even have to say anything before his brother made a face. "Puke," Dean announced.
"Yeah, I got that, thanks," Sam gagged.
The older Winchester sighed. "I don't think there's anything here, dude." He pointed the flashlight down the alleyway. "We should just head back and hit the hay. I'm beat."
Sam nodded in agreement.
The brothers walked back towards the street and the lights. A rat dashed across their path; Dean squirmed but kept his pace. Sam suppressed a sigh. When they were underneath the street lamps once more, their car stood out like a sore thumb, just as it always does.
So much for being inconspicuous. They should have parked further away.
Moreover, the Jacobs family should have done more research before buying their home six years ago. They should have listened to the stories. But the husband and wife were stubborn. They were creatures of habit and comfort and they liked the home as soon as they found its ad in the paper; it was cozy and clean. The ad didn't say anything about anything, they'd reason later. This family didn't read much if it wasn't immediately interesting. And the stories they should have been reading didn't interest them.
Sam and Dean sat at the diner the Jacobs family frequented every Sunday. They had been mulling over the gossip of the town for a few hours and decided now was a good time for a bite. And they had to digest what they'd just learned about the least-favorite family in town. With the help of pie, of course.
"Here's your pie, Sir," the pretty waitress said. She placed the plate in front of Dean.
"Thanks," he replied, but the pie was pushed aside.
The waitress looked affronted as she walked away.
Sam looked confused too. "You wanna eat that?" he asked.
Dean nodded, "Yeah, sure," but continued to stare at Sam's computer screen.
Sam shook his head and leaned on his elbow. "So there's a lot going around about the Jacobs family," he continued.
Dean nodded, quiet.
"Yeah." Dean unglued his eyes from the screen and searched Sam's. "What?" he asked.
"Your input would be appreciated."
"They're oblivious," Dean told him, to which Sam sighed.
He thought Dean might be having an internal meltdown. It was a good sign that he wasn't. Catching on sort-of was good. Ever since their mom left, Dean hadn't been the same. But at least that wasn't his problem right now. Dean was just focused on the case.
"They saw a nice house and jumped on the chance to grab it. To them, there was nothing wrong with that," Dean added.
"And no one's jealous because the house is haunted."
"Like I said, oblivious."
The Jacobs had bought a cushy home in a cushy neighborhood. It should have been much pricier; the agent who'd sold it even commented on that. But none of the neighbors would disagree that even with the spectacular price drop, no one should have bought that house. The agent said the Jacobs were lucky to get it, since there was a rush to see it---he lied to them through his teeth and was terrible at it, but they hadn't noticed---yet he knew the truth deep down.
No one should have bought that house.
"I think it's worth a look," Sam added. He flipped Dean's pie around so that it faced him and took the computer away.
His brother grumbled when Sam shut the laptop.
"Are we going to talk about it?" he asked Dean.
"Then stop complaining and eat your pie."
The Impala's tires screeched around the corner. Dean had been driving too fast, as usual. A few of the neighbors glared at them coldly as they exited the car. Dean didn't seem to notice.
The creak of the doors woke him from his trance.
"Sounds like these people have no idea what's haunting them," he commented.
Sam walked around to his side to lean against the car. "That's what Officer Peabody said. Of course, she knows all about it. That's why she called us," Sam replied.
Sam rolled his eyes at his brother's indifference. "Could you at least be somewhat excited?"
Dean's gaze plopped onto Sam---it looked clouded and unfocused. "Excited about what?" he asked.
"No, Sam. I get it. You're worried about me," Dean huffed. He shrugged and walked away, towards the Jacobs' home. "But don't be. Okay? We've got a case. Let's focus on that."
Sam rolled his eyes---That's what I was trying to do---once again, and followed.
The house was made almost entirely of stone. It was stately. Could've been a small mansion. And it wasn't cozy-looking, let alone inviting. The house was just as cold and careful as Dean was being now. The boys wondered why anyone would find this place appealing.
Dean had reached the doorway first. They'd walked through a small but ornately, immaculately kept garden, and could see the rest of the village down below the fence. By now the street side was deserted; the boys ignored that. The older Winchester knocked on the front door smartly. Dressed in suits that were deceivingly cheap, they hoped that whoever answered the door was too dim to notice.
A tall man opened the door. "Yes?" he asked. "What can I do for you fine young gentlemen today?"
Sam's eyebrows lifted. What were they again? FBI? Homeland Security? Insurance Agents? He frowned. Why couldn't he remember?
Dean recovered much quicker. "Mr. Jacobs, I assume," he said, holding his hand out.
"Please, call me Scott." A friendly smile went with the strong handshake.
"We're from the government and it looks like you have a problem."
Sam's alarms immediately went off. What was Dean doing? Trying to blow their cover? Although...what was their cover, exactly?
Scott didn't notice Sam's internal struggle. "A problem?" he asked. "What sort of problem?"
"Excuse me, Scott," Sam interrupted. "But I'd like a quick word with my partner."
Dean was pulled out of earshot by his sleeve.
"Dude," Sam snapped. "What the hell?"
Dean shrugged. "I wanted to see how oblivious they were," he said. "Just follow my lead, Sammy."
And Dean left Sam with his mouth open.
"Our apologies, Scott," Dean said loudly. "As I was saying..."
"We have a problem that the government needs to sort out," Scott repeated.
Sam had closed his mouth now and came to stand next to his brother.
"Yes," Dean replied. "But as its of top secret material, you understand, we can't tell you what it is."
"Not right now, anyway," Sam added, catching on. Somewhat.
"Oh, sure, sure! Anything you need, Agents, and my family and I will be yours for service," Scott assured.
Dean nodded. He reached into his jacket pocket and handed Scott a card. "Here's our numbers," he said.
Sam had just enough time to read the bold lettering on the card before Scott had taken it. A nervous twitch seemed to go in his forehead.
"And we'd need to do a full search of your home, Scott. As a preliminary investigation," Dean added.
Sam resisted the urge to smack his brother.
"So we'd need you and your family out of the residence for tonight, if that doesn't cause too much inconvenience," Sam continued, unabashedly holding back a groan.
They were so going to be found out.
Scott smiled. "Of course! Anything you need, like I said. Shall I ring you once we're ready to go?" he asked.
Dean smiled in return. "Sounds perfect, Scott. Thanks for your help."
He knew they wouldn't be found out. Scott was as dim as a dead lightbulb. But Dean didn't notice Sam's twitch. Or maybe he didn't care.
"Thank you for your time," Sam said.
Scott backed away and closed the door.
At the car, Sam rounded on Dean. "Dude, I thought we agreed that we'd never use those cards!" he hissed.
Dean scoffed. "Don't be so dramatic, Sam." He opened his door and climbed in. "I couldn't pass up that opportunity," he told him.
It took Sam a few seconds of staring at the spot where Dean had just been to realize that he should get in the car too. Shaking his head, he climbed in and shut the creaky door.
Dean pulled away from the house, tires squealing.