Characters: Sam, Dean (Gen)
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Author’s Notes: For spn_flashback prompt #15: “Sam's school has a Halloween dance -- and of course, it all goes to hell."
There’s no explaining to Dad why he wants to go. He’s too young to be dating, and it’s a school dance for god’s sake—frivolous by definition, and even moreso by the Winchester philosophy.
The “Halloween” part of it borders on unforgivable, and if it were actually on Halloween there’s no way Sam could pull this off. That night has been reserved for spirit-blasting, coven-busting and werewolf-hunting for as long as Sam can remember. There’s no handing out candy at the Winchester place. Halloween is serious business, and there's always work to be done.
Sam has decided that he won’t even ask. He’ll fake up a sleepover at Jacob Henley’s, and then go from there.
When Saturday comes, Sam heads out early-evening with a duffle bag full of his costume and supplies. Dean’s probably got a date with a cheerleader, and John picked up a bartending shift for extra money. But it doesn’t matter. Sam’s tired of justifying everything he wants. It’s a dance, and Sarah Hamilton will be there, and it’s nobody’s business-- not even Dean’s.
Sam’s going for cowboy tonight—because they’re in small-town Maryland, and the girls eat that up. Or so Dean tells him, and Dean’s got a knack for women already. The plaid shirt’s easy— he borrowed one of Dad’s. The hat wasn’t hard to find either, or the boots. Sam went to the local Goodwill for both of them, instead of sneaking two towns over like they do for their regular clothes.
It’s dark when he shows up at 8:30, and there’s a huge crowd already. It’s disorienting when everyone’s in costume-- Sam hardly recognizes anyone.
Someone smacks his shoulder in passing. “Howdy, Tex.” Sam thinks it’s Brian Shoemaker under all that latex.
“What’re you supposed to be?” Sam asks.
“A zombie, you moron.” Yeah, definitely Brian. Brian thinks ratty clothes and a dripping eyeball are enough to convey “zombie” to the world.
“Of course.” Sam looks away before his eyes broadcast dipwad right back.
That might be Sarah, across the gym under the purple spotlight. It’s murky in here, especially with the fog machine going, but the Egyptian goddess looks to be Sarah’s height and has her lips. Not that Sam’s really noticed Sarah’s lips, or anyone else’s for that matter, but… still looks like her. The black hair suits her, too.
Sam starts making his way around the periphery of the gym—because stepping out into the open and walking straight over there like she’s expecting him is not the way Sam does anything. He bumps into someone while stumbling through the shadows— that’s probably a jock in that Frankenstein costume, because the guy is big and blocky. Sam edges around a witch and a tiger (N-i-i-ice leotard, he thinks), but when he’s almost to the sound system he notices a smell.
It’s Dank. Musty. And the taint of something rotten becomes more noticeable the longer he stands there.
Kevin Cattelway is in front of him, in a baseball uniform. To the right is Nancy Jordan in a bathrobe with curlers.
Sam turns around, shifts his weight casually as his eyes sweep unhurriedly around the room. He looks over toward the wall—eyes only, his body staying put… and it’s there. Stained and battered corpse-cloth hides most of what no longer looks human. Sam can’t see the face in the darkness from the gown’s hood, but it doesn’t matter. This creature isn’t alive anymore.
Things won’t be pretty if it finds a victim. There’ll be a desiccated body in the bushes or a stairwell tomorrow, probably naked if the clothes were a decent fit.
Sam scans the shadows more carefully now. There’s a warlock with an amulet far too unusual for an eighth-grader to invent. The werewolf mask on the guy standing over by the corner is too authentic.
And Mrs. Stafford, their brand-new principal, is moving rigidly toward the exit with a blank stare on her face.
Great. Just great. Can’t he just have fun for one single, stupid night without the Undead running loose and getting all up in his face?
I’ll bet Dean never had to put up with this kind of crap, Sam gripes inside his head. His resources are limited, what with their supplies back home and all. He doesn’t even have a Swiss Army Knife with him right now.
Think, think, he tells himself. Easiest first, and do it quietly.
He crosses over to the snack table and picks up a cup. Blocking the view with his body, he scrapes the salt off a bunch of pretzels and into the cup, discarding the leftovers onto a plate.
Ten minutes later the cup is almost half full. Sam grabs a plastic knife and fork and puts them in his pockets.
He edges back around the gym, watching the crowd as he goes. Soon he’s around behind the soul-stealer, holding the cup ready. “In nomine Patris, et Filli, et Spiritus Sancti, Amen,” Sam chants, dumping the salt on the creature.
There’s barely a sound as the clothes crumple swiftly to the floor. But the smell rushes out in all directions, and Sam moves away quickly before anyone sees him nearby.
A minor commotion starts up near the source of the stench, creating a convenient distraction. Sam weighs the two remaining threats and his dismal set of options. The warlock has to be next, but how’s he going to tackle that one with no weapons of any kind? He’s got no holy water, nothing to generate a dampening spell (not that that has even the remotest chance of working).
This so totally sucks. He’s a teenager, not the Afterlife Avenger.
Sam is within ten feet of the warlock now, bouncing and bopping with the music and working his casual the best he can. If Dad were here, he’d… well, Dad would have a gun and special knives and stuff. No inspiration there.
If Dean were here, he’d probably pull the fire alarm—which doesn’t sound too bad right now, actually. Sam starts to back away when he sees the darkness shift as something steps out into the light.
It’s… well, crap. It’s Dean. What the hell is Dean doing here? Apart from slicing the amulet off the warlock’s neck, which is what he’s up to now.
The warlock collapses into himself, suddenly changing shape. Then a huge black bat flaps drunkenly toward the ceiling, provoking screams and gasps from the crowd below. The bat winds and wheels around the gym a few times trying to get its bearings before swooping down low and angling out the open door-- threatening the sea of masks and hair as it goes.
Sam just stares at Dean, who looks over and cocks a grin.
“Dean! Why did you come here?” Sam hisses.
“Just wanted to make sure you were okay, Sammy.” Dean swaggers over and slaps Sam in the arm.
“I’m not even here!” Sam retorts. “I mean, no-one knows I’m here.” A thought occurs to him. “Do they? Does Dad know?”
“No, Dad doesn’t know. But you said you were going to Jacob’s, and I happen to know you only see him when he pays you to do his homework. Which nobody does on a Saturday night—except maybe a dork-boy like you. So I figured you were sneaking off to do something else. And then I thought, What’s the most small-town vanilla thing Sam would be dying to do on a night like this? And then, well… here I am.”
“Just shut up,” Sam mutters.
“Liking the dance so far? Or are you ready to go?”
“I haven’t even gotten to be part of the dance yet! And there’s still the werewolf over by the punch bowl.”
“Oh,” Dean says. “Anything else?”
“No, I got the other one. But I don’t have any silver bullets for the werewolf, and even if I did I couldn’t just shoot them off in here.”
Dean stares across the room for a moment, then smiles wickedly. “Never fear, Sammy. I have a plan.”
Well this I’ve got to see. Sam crosses his arms and leans back against the wall as Dean heads over to… the DJ? And the DJ’s girlfriend. Which… okay, flirting is not a plan.
Sam ponders whether he could take the werewolf with his fork and a ladle, but then Dean flashes him a grin and saunters on back. The music changes abruptly in Dean's wake, straight from the middle of “Dead Man’s Party” to the opening of Boston’s “Peace of Mind.”
“What.” Sam says.
“Just wait.” Dean smiles again before his eyes drift over toward the werewolf.
Good song, Sam thinks. Kind of loud, though. Way too loud. Christ-- owww! He claps his hands over his ears as the screaming guitars build in volume and intensity, feedback notes rising and ringing off the metal in the overhead basketball hoop harnesses and joists.
Outraged howling joins the wall of earsplitting sound and suddenly the werewolf is running in agony, circling around the floor looking for an exit. It passes in front of crowds of kids, all of them covering their ears and laughing in disbelief. They’re not sure what’s going on, but it’s pretty damn entertaining for a middle-school dance. Dean hurries over to the main door, opening it for the creature as it rushes toward the beautiful promise of silence.
Dean slices a hand across his throat toward the DJ and the music cuts off. A murmuring sound buzzes through the gym in the wake of this latest unexpected adventure.
“Guess I’d better get going,” Dean says as he approaches Sam.
“I’ll say-- you’re not even wearing a costume.”
“Hello—emergency situation, Sam. Besides, this is my costume.”
“Right. As what?”
“James Dean, dude.” Dean’s smile is so big and goofy that all Sam can do is laugh.
“All right, whatever,” Sam tells his brother. “Just don’t tell Dad. Please.”
“My lips are sealed. But remember not to come home afterward, or he’s going to wonder. Where were you going to spend the night?”
“Well I guess the forest is out,” Sam frowns.
“The forest is always out. That’s not even funny.”
“Maybe the locker room. I can sleep on a bench.”
Dean rolls his eyes. “That’s beyond pathetic.” He reaches into his pocket. “Here. The Impala’s parked around the corner. You can sleep in there tonight. I’ll walk home from here.”
Sam’s grin is huge. “You’re the best, Dean.”
“And don’t you ever forget it,” his brother replies. “Have fun.”
Dean’s gone in seconds, and Sam’s attention shifts to the noise of the crowd filtering into his brain.
“This is the best Halloween Dance we’ve had yet,” he hears the wrestling coach say to the shop teacher.
“No kidding—way more exciting than last year’s fiasco.”
Sam smiles to himself as the music starts again.
One man’s exciting is another man’s everyday existence.
Yeah, the setting was unexpected and his weapons were for shit.
But this is nothing to a Winchester— it’s like any other whacked-out, monster-filled day.
----- fin -----