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01 August 2006 @ 09:19 pm
Supernatural 50-States Gen Fanfiction: Restless Spirits, 1/2  
Title: Restless Spirits
Author: HalfshellVenus
Characters: Sam and Dean (Gen), a story in two chapters.
Rating: PG
Summary: Some arguments are never finished, especially those between Winchesters.
Author’s Notes: Written for my Oregon entry to spn_50states. I couldn’t begin to touch on all the parts I wanted to, but I hope a feeling for the state comes through.


x-x-x-x-x Chapter 1: Winding Rivers x-x-x-x-x

“Tell me again why we’re going to Eugene instead of over to… What was it?” Sam asked.

“Terrebone.”

“Terrebone? Isn’t that in Louisianna”?

“This is a different one,” Dean deadpanned. “And it’s not the town, anyway—it’s just near there.”

“So what’s in Eugene, then?”

Dean barely took his eyes off the highway. “A friend of Dad’s that he thinks might know something. A psychic. Lacey Rhodes.”

“Please tell me she’s not one of those Psychic Shack types,” Sam groaned. “Is she? With a big eye painted on the house?”

“Hey, psychics have to make a living somehow, same as us. And if it pays enough as a real job, that’s even easier.”

“Well, at least Eugene has good coffee,” Sam conceded. “Oh, and—is that where we used to get those giant cookies?”

Dean grinned. “Monster Cookies. Yeah. You used to think they were made out of monsters.”

“Shut up, Dean—I was four then. I wonder if they’re still in that blue house down by the railroad tracks…”

“Not anymore,” Dean said. “They’d closed it the last time Dad and I came through here. You can buy the cookies at stores, though.”

“You and Dad went back to Eugene?”

“Yeah, two years ago.”

“Oh. You never said that.”

“You were gone four years, Sam. That’s a long time. A lot happened.”

After that, Sam was quiet. That topic had no beginning and no end.

The sky was intensely blue, one of those perfect summer days that belies the soggy truth of the three-season rainy weather. They drove past the exit to The Enchanted Forest, which was actually a children’s theme park. John had made sure they knew that, after an embarrassing incident where 8-year-old Dean had insisted they should go there and undo the spell.

At Albany, they missed turning off the air-conditioning until it was too late, and the paper-mill stench flooded the car like a gastric catastrophe.

Dean was drumming on the steering wheel along with Aerosmith by the time they turned off the interstate, and fifteen minutes later they were moving up West 8th street. “Geez, I was kidding!” Sam blurted out when he caught sight of the mural painted on the outside wall as they pulled up to the building.

“Tackiness never killed anyone,” Dean said,

Two cups of herbal tea and a few rather grainy cookies later, they were out the door with extra instructions and an earful of homilies—or maybe prophecies, but they were vague enough to be either one. They stopped off for Monster Cookies and again at a Dutch Brothers’ Coffee drive-through, and then they were back on the road.

“God, I feel woozy,” Sam muttered, as the car merged from the Belt Line back onto the Interstate.

Dean glanced at him sideways. “Why do you think I turned the homemade cookies down? Besides the fact that they’re terrible.”

“Oh, man,” Sam groaned. “Well I guess you’re doing most of the driving for awhile then.”

“Like you had a chance, Sam. Like you had a chance.”

The drive out Highway 126 was beautiful, the McKenzie River sparkling alongside the road while Douglas Fir trees stretched overhead. It was peaceful, soothing, and Sam leaned his head against the window and looked out in a happy, mellow haze. After an hour or so, he pointed out a sign for 242. “That’s the highway to Sisters.”

“So you did study the map,” Dean said. “I hope you’re right. Because ‘Scenic Byway’ makes me think of logging trucks creeping along at 20 miles an hour.”

“Instead of scenery,” Sam said.

“More scenic than this?” Dean asked. “That would be overkill.”

Highway 242 wound through old growth forest, around hairpin curves and dappled undergrowth.

“Whoa, slow down,” Sam said. Cars were parked up ahead in a wide spot on the road, probably a tourist attraction of some kind.

“I do have eyes, you know,” Dean said, but he dropped the speed down to a crawl.

“Proxy Falls,” Sam read. “Let’s stop and see what it says.” He got out and read the sign, and then came back and leaned in the window. “It’s a hiking trail to a couple of waterfalls. Maybe a mile to the farthest one.”

“Hiking?” Dean asked. “Why would I do that on purpose? And I don’t really have the footwear for it anyway.”

“A mile, Dean. Not the Bataan Death March. And if you’d wear real shoes instead of your Man Boots, this wouldn’t be an issue.”

“All right, fine.”

They wound around lava flow and scrub brush, veering off to the Lower Falls—a wispy cascade down a sheer cliff. Then they followed the path into the forest, climbing briefly and following a poorly-marked sign to a hairpin turn. They descended until the trail rounded a corner into—

“Wow,” Sam gasped. “That is incredible.” White water parted and cascaded around mossy logs and the fern-covered banks at the waterfall’s sides. “I think I had a poster of this back in college.”

“A poster?” Dean asked. “Why?”

“Scenery. Relaxation.The usual stuff. This one’s just hypnotic, and the water’s so white. It makes me feel completely… Dean. Dean! The waterfall’s up there. Why’re you looking down at the bottom?”

“Look at all these butterflies.” Dean’s voice had a faraway quality to it.

“They’re pretty, aren’t they? There’s a ton of them.”

“Too many of them,” Dean frowned.

Sam burst out laughing. “Too many? Where do you come up with this stuff? Maybe they just like it here.”

“Yeah, they like it too much.” Dean got down to examine the waterfall’s pool.

“Oh for crying out loud!” Sam said. “Can’t you just enjoy the beauty of nature for like, five minutes without going all paranoid?”

“There’s paranoid and there’s staying alert, Sammy.”

“And there’s looking for the sinister in everything, Dean, no matter where or what it is. No wonder Dad never enjoyed anything. He was always waiting for it to kill us!”

Dean’s jaw tightened. “Dad is still alive—after the war and a lifetime of chasing things more powerful than he is. I’d say his track record is pretty good.”

“And I say, try to live a little around the edges of what we do, Dean. Sometimes a butterfly is just a butterfly.”

“Especially when you’re stoned,” Dean muttered. But he kept quiet while Sam finished looking around.

They made it through twenty more miles of highway before Sam wanted to stop again, and Dean nearly drove off the road when his eyes rolled up at the suggestion.

“There’s a house made out of lava, Dean. I want to see it.”

Like every last bowl of cereal, like every prize in the Cracker Jacks’ box, Dean relented and gave Sam what he wanted.

“I’ll wait in the car,” he said.

There was nowhere to stop for lunch when Sam returned, so they ate the cookies in the car during the rest of the journey to Sisters. “There’s a llama farm,” Sam commented, as they met the crossroads with 126 again.

“What do people do with llamas?” Dean wondered. “Especially out here in the middle of nowhere like this?”

“Beats me,” Sam said. “Turn off toward Redmond here.”

It was nearly 4:30 by the time they arrived at their destination, tired, hungry and thirsty. Smith Rock State Park. A tall, rugged series of rock formations running along the aptly-named Crooked River.

“Check the sign,” Dean ordered.

Sam went over to look and came right back. “There’s no closing time,” he said. Dean parked and got out, bringing a pen and notepad with him.

“So, a half-mile in along the river side of the formations, and then off the trail to a cave-like overhanging,” Dean read from the notes.

“That’s how the reports have gone” Sam said. “People claim they’ve heard moaning coming from that area of the park, and it’s driving tourism down. No word on any disappearances or attacks, though.”

Dean shook his head. “I don’t know why Dad sent on this one. I mean yeah, the panic and the copycat potential are there. But it’s not actually hurting anyone. We usually leave them alone if they’re not bothering anyone. Live and let… be dead.” He chuckled at his own joke, ignoring Sam’s You are such a dork face. Dean looked at the notes again. “Plus, we didn’t bring anything to send it away.”

Sam shrugged. “The psychic said rock-salt and bone-burning wouldn’t work on this one, so it doesn’t really matter. Let’s check it out first, and then come back with what we need.”

They followed the trail into the rocky walls, hardly seeing anyone along the way. Sam monitored the time—7 minutes—and they slowed down and looked more carefully all the way to 12 minutes. “The only thing I saw that was close was back there a ways,” Sam said.

“The EMF meter didn’t budge,” Dean said, “but we could turn back and move in a little closer.” They reversed direction, stopping at a large crevice in the rock face. An alcove was visible to the left, up along the rocky slope. “Let’s get closer, check it out,” said Dean.

As the walked up the incline, the EMF meter woke up and registered something ahead. “Guess the reports were right,” Sam said.

“Well now that we know where it is, we’ll get some supplies and come back.”

They walked back to the car, waiting until they were farther away before talking. “Lacey said it was a Native American spirit trapped in there, one that’s waiting to move on,” Sam said.

“She also said to bring it a meal for the journey to the afterlife, and a piece of the sky so it could find its way there,” Dean countered. “I still have no idea what we’re supposed to do about that last part.”

“Maybe it’s not supposed to be taken literally,” Sam said. “Maybe it’s a metaphor for something that’s from the sky, or that’ll remind it of the sky.”

“I hope so,” Dean answered. They’d reached the parking lot, and stood under a nearby clump of trees. A bird squawked overhead.

“What about a feather?” Dean asked suddenly.

“Yeah, I like that idea,” Sam said. “A blue one would be even better, if we could find it. There might be one from a blue-jay around here, or along the way back into town.” The two of them searched the ground while Dean kept thinking.

“The only other thing I can think of is a mirror,” he said. “Something that reflects the sky.”

“Then I hope this is an older spirit,” Sam mused. “With a feather and a mirror, someone who knows how to use them could be halfway to creating a spell.”

“At this point, I think the spell it wants is the one for leaving. So we’re probably good,” Dean countered. “Let’s head into town.”

They stopped at the Safeway back in Terrebone, arguing over what constituted an appropriate “meal” to bring back.

“Indian spirit, Dean! The food has to look like food. No chips, no candy bars, and nothing freaky.”

“Define freaky,” Dean said.

“Pre-formed things. Exotic fruits. Bottled water.”

Dean pursed his lips. “Water would be good, though.”

“But not in a bottle. Maybe if we bought a mug.”

“Hey, how about this?” Dean leaned over to one of the display racks. “Jerky. If we take it out of the wrapper.”

“Ooh, jerky’s good.” Sam said. “And raspberries or blackberries, whichever they have.”

“Pick up some cold water, and something for us to eat. I’m going to look around the edges of the parking lot for feathers.”

“Wait.” Sam reached for Dean’s arm. “What about the mirror?”

“Get that too. No metal, in case it can’t touch metal. It’ll probably have to be plastic. I hope it doesn’t know what plastic is, or it might find that insulting. Meet me outside.” Dean was gone before Sam had a chance to answer.

With the shopping done, Sam found Dean leaning against the side of the Impala. His brother twirled a blue feather at him in triumph before getting into the car.

When they got back to Smith Rock Park, Dean insisted on taking extra ammunition.

“I want a silver-bullet gun and some rock salt to go with the other stuff,” he said. He handed Sam the gun, and put the rock salt in his jacket pocket.

“You’re thinking it might be something else.”

“I don’t think it is, but just in case. Better to plan ahead.”

There was still daylight when they reached the haunted site. They moved in concert, Dean in front with the offerings and Sam close behind with the backup weaponry. Nothing came out of the cave, and no noises could be heard as they set down the food, water, feather and mirror at the front of the cave. Backing down the slope, they moved off to the side to wait and watch.

It only took a few minutes before something came out to see what they had brought. It was shaped like a man, formed enough to have color but transparent enough to see the cliffs behind him. He had the simple tribal clothes and lithe movements of a hunter, and his attention was focused solely on what lay before him.

With slow, reverent hands he picked up the feather, fingers stroking the bright flare of blue. He leaned toward the mirror, lifted it up and tilted it to catch the scattered clouds overhead. The barest echo of a smile lit his face, and he reached out and gathered up the food as well.

Then he walked down the slope, so close that Sam and Dean could hear his nearly-silent footfalls. The spirit moved to the edge of the river, and taking a step out over the water… vanished.

“Ohhhh,” Sam breathed. “It actually worked.”

“And today,” Dean said quietly beside him, “We sent someone home without having to destroy them first.”

Sam nodded without saying anything, the river winding a quiet path toward dusk.

The stillness lasted as long as it took for them to reach the car.

“So, you want to get a room now?” Sam asked. “Call it a night?”

“Heh. Get a room,” Dean chuckled. “But we need to conserve money for emergencies. We can always sleep in the car.”

You can sleep in the car,” Sam said. “I haven’t been able to sleep in it since I was fourteen.”

“You can take the sleeping bag, set it up on the ground,” Dean suggested.

“In rattlesnake country? With mosquitoes on the loose? No thanks,” Sam said firmly.

“Just one night,” Dean said. “We’ll stay in a motel tomorrow. And you can have the back seat.”

“What we need is a van,” Sam snorted. “If we’re going to live out of a car, it might as well be a big one.”

“Sam? Do not mention the word “van” to me again. That’s not even funny.” Dean ran his hand along the Chevy’s fender.

“Whatever,” Sam said. “If you two need a moment, just let me know.” Because Dean was not getting off that easily.


-----------------------

(next chapter)




 
 
 
mooyoo: Dean/Sam - &mooyoo on August 2nd, 2006 05:12 am (UTC)
Hee! Love. The beginning of this makes me think of what they might do in between episodes - when they're not on a hunt, or they're on their way to a new job, how they probaly stop and chck otu lots of random sights along th way. I love that idea. As well as Dean being too attentive to everything around them to really relax and take in the sights, while Sam wants to just enjoy the things they come across.

“Monster Cookies. Yeah. You used to think they were made out of monsters.”

Once again, you and I are sharing a brain. I just wrote SN fic that includes monster-cake.

“Heh. Get a room,” Dean chuckled.

Haha, so very Dean. And so very Sam, suggesting that they get a van so they'll have a vehicle big enough to sleep in. Poor too-tall Sammy.
mooyoomooyoo on August 2nd, 2006 05:14 am (UTC)
Bleh, that was just some absurd spelling there, sorry. One of the keys on my keyboard is stuck :p
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 2nd, 2006 06:21 am (UTC)
how they probably stop and check out lots of random sights along the way. I love that idea.
I do too, although I have the feeling that John would be particulary big on that. I mean honestly, most Dads aren't. Mine was all *drive-drive-drive-drive* "Okay, this is the Grand Canyon. Get out and look, and then we need to make time to the motel." :0

Once again, you and I are sharing a brain. I just wrote SN fic that includes monster-cake.
The brain-sharing is spooky. It's almost worthy of being a supernatural plot all by itself! The Monster Cookies ARE actually real. And how I miss them!

And so very Sam, suggesting that they get a van so they'll have a vehicle big enough to sleep in. Poor too-tall Sammy.
:D My legs hurt just thinking of him crammed into that car where he can't even lie down. Also, since my husband is 6'4", some of those cracks about small beds, etc. are based on experience. :0
bluesister on August 2nd, 2006 06:13 am (UTC)
That topic had no beginning and no end.

Ouch. I like how that crept up in the middle of lighthearted road-tripping.

Because ‘Scenic Byway’ makes me think of logging trucks creeping along at 20 miles an hour.

OMG yes.

And if you’d wear real shoes instead of your Man Boots, this wouldn’t be an issue.

Hee! You're really on a roll tonight.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 2nd, 2006 06:24 am (UTC)
Ouch. I like how that crept up in the middle of lighthearted road-tripping.
It's kind of like them, too. One minute it's all joking around, and the next minute there's a grenade going off in the middle of the conversation. Mostly, it's either the "anti-Dad" grenade or the "you left us!" grenade. ;)

OMG yes.
Because you live in Washington now, don't you? Once you've lived in a logging state, that whole issue just sticks in your mind. :0

Hee! You're really on a roll tonight.
God, I'm so glad it's done. Tonight was the deadline, and I pretty much fell of the planet other than writing the "Shadows" fics and this. I have all these comments I haven't responded to yet, because I knew this story was barely going to make it in time. :0

bluesister on August 2nd, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
I'm north of Washington now but close. I've been creeping up I5 all of my adult life. ;)
Entendre? Make mine a double.: SN brothers beauty both by marishnadeirdre_c on August 2nd, 2006 08:09 pm (UTC)
“A mile, Dean. Not the Bataan Death March. And if you’d wear real shoes instead of your Man Boots, this wouldn’t be an issue.”...

“There’s paranoid and there’s staying alert, Sammy.”


Hee! *banter love*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 3rd, 2006 03:50 am (UTC)
:D I lurve the banter. Oh, let's admit it-- I love WRITING the banter too. :D
iamstealthyoneiamstealthyone on August 3rd, 2006 03:55 am (UTC)
Interesting first half of the story. I like that there’s a little bit of tension between them (in the part where Dean mentions Sam’s time in college), and yet the banter’s still there, too. That’s one of the things I like about their relationship is that even though they sometimes hurt each other, they’re able to move past it, and return to being friends.

Favorite lines:

“You were gone four years, Sam. That’s a long time. A lot happened.”

After that, Sam was quiet. That topic had no beginning and no end.


Ouch. Yeah, there are some things Sam will just never know about what Dean and John did while he was at Stanford, and he can’t really expect Dean to give him a play by play.

Two cups of herbal tea and a few rather grainy cookies later

Eew, grainy, healthy cookies … the worst kind of cookies. *g*

“No wonder Dad never enjoyed anything. He was always waiting for it to kill us!”

LOL! Yeah, I suppose John would have been a killjoy when it came to enjoying wildlife. Wonder if he ever took them to zoos. *g*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 3rd, 2006 05:39 am (UTC)
I like that there’s a little bit of tension between them (in the part where Dean mentions Sam’s time in college), and yet the banter’s still there, too.
I love the banter-- it's one of my favorite parts of the show. But underneath there are all these potholes of touchy subjects, and one way or another they can't help sometimes stepping into them.

Eew, grainy, healthy cookies … the worst kind of cookies. *g*
Ah, I see you know exactly what those are like. :)

Wonder if he ever took them to zoos. *g*
Gah! The Sam/Yak stories are back in my brain! :D
iamstealthyoneiamstealthyone on August 3rd, 2006 01:35 pm (UTC)
Gah! The Sam/Yak stories are back in my brain! :D

*snickers*
Don't shoot the pianist: Everyday (SPN)northface11 on August 3rd, 2006 04:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love the sense of place in this. It might help that I love Oregon, too! Although there are lots of trucks with scary bumper stickers.

Anyways, I loved the logging truck remark, which is too true, and the Bataan Death March, and the llamas, which are proliferate for no reason at all, and Sam's defining bottled water as freaky food!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 3rd, 2006 11:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love the sense of place in this. It might help that I love Oregon, too!
Yay! I so desperately wanted to snag Oregon for spn_50states. It's my first love.

Although there are lots of trucks with scary bumper stickers.
You've got your hippie demographic (beat-up VW Bugs and vans), your logger/hunter demographic (as you noted), and now the soccer-mom demographic. The bumper stickers depend on where you travel. ;)

Glad you liked so many of the weird details. :D I don't know if that llama farm is still there, but it made it for at least 10 years (still don't know why). And bottled water would be incredibly freaky to a Native Spirit from the past. The plastic container alone would be mystifying!
The Grammarian about whom your mother warned you.acostilow on August 4th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I didn't comment on this. I'm terrible.

It's lovely, and funny, and they're such dorks. I mean, Dean, c'mon. Butterflies? :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 5th, 2006 05:38 am (UTC)
Hee! Better late than never! It's my life's motto, because unfortunately it's often true for me. :0

and they're such dorks.
Which I love about them. It lends itself so well to the snark, and I really love reading and writing their snark. :D

I mean, Dean, c'mon. Butterflies? :D
I'm thinking he's obsessed with the idea of a sinister waterfall spirit in that pool. At that waterfall, though, there are SO MANY of them (as in, 100s at any given time) that it IS kind of eerie. I've never seen so many butterflies cluster in one spot so consistently in my life.
belleimani on August 5th, 2006 04:13 pm (UTC)
I love that they didn't have to hurt it. It's nice to read them being aware of other cultures and doing something peaceful to make a spirit leave.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 6th, 2006 04:50 am (UTC)
It's nice to read them being aware of other cultures and doing something peaceful to make a spirit leave.
Thank you. :) I'm glad someone noticed that.

We see it in fanfic occasionally, although not really on the show, but sometimes things are evil. They're just lost, or stuck. Help them find their path, and everything takes care of itself after that.
belleimani on August 9th, 2006 03:27 am (UTC)
You're welcome! I'd love to see this explored on the show. For some reason I can see Dean being very affected by that.
sarieveneasarievenea on August 3rd, 2007 12:45 am (UTC)
Okay, I just started this, but I must say, YAY OREGON!!! I am from Grants Pass, down by Medford, home of Dutch Bros!! And I drive I-5 all the time to get to Seattle! And I am super excited to read your Oregon fics, b/c, YAY OREGON!! So much unexplored, probably-haunted potential here! :) Thanks for writing this, and I am excited to keep reading!!!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 3rd, 2007 01:02 am (UTC)
I'm from Oregon too, though I live in California now. But Oregon will always be my first love!

There are Dutch Bros. in Eugene and Springfield (I stop by there when we visit my parents), and I was desperate to include "Lava Java" in this story-- there was a booth in the town near Smith Rock when we went through-- but I wasn't sure it hadn't died off by now.

Funny that you happened on this one today, because I just this morning tagged my all my Supernatural stories set in Oregon with the "oregon_fics" tag. That way I can find them easily too. And fellow Oregonians/afficionadas. ;)

Hope you enjoy them. Yay!