Characters: Sam, Dean, Greg House (Gen Xover with House, M.D.)
Summary: Dean does not need reminders from his baby brother on how to deal with difficult people.
Author's Notes: There were a lot of requests for a follow-up to the Sam vs. House story that would let Dean share Sam's pain. I didn't expect to write one, but here it is!
Dean was standing in the checkout line with a ball of twine and a couple of bags of rock salt when his cell phone rang.
"Yo," he answered, working a credit card out of his wallet. "So what's the deal, did that intel pan out?"
"Yeah, it's real enough," Sam said. "Got an unquestionable presence here, so it's worth following up. The neighbor who called us—his name's House—was able to set it off. You should come on over. Though I've got to warn you—" Sam's voice dropped down low, "the guy's kind of a crank, so try not to let him get to you."
Dean held the phone out and glared at it as if Sam could see him. "Please," he said, "I'm a professional, Sam." Seriously, Sam had a lot of nerve laying out the rules for him like that.
Dean drove back uptown to where he'd dropped Sam off, and looked for a place to park. Probably should have gone in with Sam the first time and delayed that trip to the store. It took him three blocks to find a spot.
He knocked on the door of House's apartment, noticing that the entrances to all the apartments on the floor looked exactly the same. Creepy.
The door swung open, and an older guy with a scruffy beard looked him up and down.
"Wrong floor," he said. "The guy who digs hustlers is on Four. I only hire women."
Dean's lips tightened, but he ignored the comment. "I'm Dean. Sam called me."
The man turned to yell over his shoulder. "Your boyfriend's here!"
"I'm his brother," Dean huffed.
"Right, because you totally look like you could be related." The man rolled his eyes and turned around, crossing the living room.
The guy had to be House, and Dean was totally starting to see Sam's point about the behavior issue. He waited for a moment, but apparently leaving the door open and wandering away was House's idea of inviting someone inside. Dean stepped into the apartment and shut the door. "So, any idea who the ghost might be? Someone in the building who died recently?"
"Who cares? Dead is dead. Probably some loser to begin with anyway."
Harsh. It was one thing to joke around with your brother about stuff like that (which Dean totally had, maybe too often), but you didn't just toss that out there to a random stranger.
"It might be important," he insisted.
House shrugged. "Could be the kid next door. He kicked off about six months ago, after he merged his mini-Cooper into a semi on the freeway."
"How old was he?" Dean asked, and where the heck was Sam, leaving him alone with this crackpot anyway?
"Late twenties, maybe. Old enough to have his own place instead of sponging off of his sister."
A pillow rose off the couch and smacked the guy in the head. "Oh, come on—like you weren't taking advantage of her!" he yelled up at the ceiling. His eyes flicked back to Dean. "So, the two of you are into leather, is that it?"
"Sam!" Dean bellowed.
Sam appeared around a corner. "What? I was in the bathroom." He handed Dean the EMF meter. "Nothing in the rest of the apartment—it's mostly concentrated in that one wall."
Dean thought for a minute. "So the ghost killed one of your neighbors," he said to House. "Why hasn't it killed you yet?"
"Dean," Sam muttered.
House grabbed a couple of peanuts from a bowl on the coffee table and tossed them into his mouth. "Lousy aim? Or maybe because the kid's mother is one of my patients at the hospital—a coma case. If he kills me off, the next doctor might pull the plug. And coma-Mommies do guilt as well as anyone—maybe better."
Dean leaned in close enough that only Sam could hear him. "What's the deal here? It's like talking to old Yellow Eyes all over again—this guy is seriously evil."
"Human evil," Sam murmured back.
"So what? Can I push him down the stairs?"
"No. Now let's get the rest of the information and get out of here before I start wanting to kill him."
Dean sighed. "Name on the guy next door?" he prodded.
"Simons. Or was it Samson?" House said thoughtfully. "Oh what difference does it make, you can get his sister's last name off her downstairs mailbox. Unless she moved out and joined a nunnery by now, though no great loss to mankind on that score, if you know what I'm saying."
Dean looked at Sam. "If I stuffed him in the closet and locked the door, would you even stop me?" he whispered.
"You wouldn't take pity on him for being a cripple?"
Sam snorted. "I'm sure there's room in the closet for the cane too."
Dean cleared his throat and stood up. "It looks like we've got what we need, so we'll go ahead and take care of this."
"And then what happens?" House asked eagerly.
"Then the flying furniture and stuff goes away, and it's over."
House sat forward indignantly. "That's it? No follow-up? Where's the personal touch, the attention to customer care?"
Dean jerked his head toward the door and Sam stood up too. "We'll send you a postcard."
"You're just running away to boff in some back alley or seedy motel," House called after them. "I'll bet the real Ghostbusters would've come back to close the case in person. I'd definitely take Sigourney Weaver. Even if she's older than I am…"
Dean shut the door behind them, and he and Sam raced for the stairs and hustled down to street level and out onto the sidewalk.
"Jesus, what a piece of work!" Dean finally said.
"Told you. Half of me wants to leave everything alone and let the ghost get him, but it might kill someone else instead."
Dean nodded. "Already did. So no dice on that one. Too bad, though."
"Then I guess we're headed to the County Records Office. We can ID the dead neighbor and figure out where he's buried, then finish him off tonight," Sam said. "Were you serious about the postcard?"
"Maybe." Dean looked at him slyly. "Oh, who am I kidding? A picture of some stud in a 3-D leopard thong is exactly what that guy deserves."
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