Chapter Eight: Proof
Smoke and Mirrors
Chapter Eight: Proof
Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy or Supernatural.
Author's Note: Fear not loyal readers, I live! Sorry it took so long to update but between school, life, and a serious reoccuring case of writer's block...well you guys get the idea. Forgive me?
Oh, also I've started posting my non-Buffy stuff at fanfiction . net under the same penname (thegenuineimitation) so if you like my writing I urge you to check it out!
Now without further ado, the chapter!
Dean was worried about his brother.
For the five hundredth time in five minutes he flicked a glance at him only to find that his jaw and fists were still clenched, a sure fire sign that Sammy was trying to hold something in that would not be held.
His brother hadn’t spoken a single word since they’d left the Hospital. Dean winced at the memory of the girl’s parting shot. Hell hath no fury indeed. That had been a sucker punch, and Sam had actually flinched when she started crying before this stony mask had come over his features and stayed there.
His brother, as much as he hated to admit it, was like a volcano when his temper got the best of him. He would be silent and brooding holding it in, letting it build, simmering in rage until he couldn’t hold it in anymore at which point he exploded, and the guy could hold a grudge like nobody’s business if he was especially ticked...which he was at this current moment. Dean couldn’t tell if it was because he’d slept with his girlfriend, because his girlfriend might be a demon or in league with the demon, or because he believed the chick’s wild story. It could very well be a combination of all three.
Now that his memories had been jogged Dean relived his night with Lizzie, at least that much of her story had been true. He’d picked her up after work, they’d gone out to a bar to chat, Dean bought her a couple of beers and then they’d adjourned to his cheap little motel room to have incredibly hot sex. Then in the morning Dean had packed it up and high-tailed it out of there before dawn and had never looked back.
The thing that roiled in his gut was the guilt, not for banging Sam’s girl, that had happened way before the two even met and while Dean was sorry Sammy was hurt by the news he didn’t exactly feel guilty about that. No, what made him sick to his stomach was the idea that any one of his innumerable conquests could have been stuck in the same shitty situation and he would never have known.
Dean grimaced and flicked another glance at Sam, better to focus on his issues and guilt trips and bury his own for later if ever Dean decided abruptly.
Dean parked in a motel parking lot a little ways away from the Hospital and Sam immediately got out of the car. He slammed the door and Dean winced.
“Sorry about that Baby, but Sammy’s hurting right now,” he told the Impala under his breath.
He got out of the car a moment later closing his door was extreme gentleness as if that would make up for Sam’s harsh treatment. Sam was pacing the parking lot behind the car restlessly.
“Sam?” Dean queried.
It took Sam two strides for his freakishly long legs to bring him close enough to slam his fist into Dean’s face. Dean not expecting this, though looking back he supposed he should have, went down and swore.
“Godammit Dean!” Sam bellowed.
“Look, I know you’re pissed, but I didn’t know, and if she’s telling the truth this is a pretty big fucking shock for me too, okay, so just cool it!” Dean snapped cradling his jaw.
“I know, I know it’s not your fault, but I’m just so...” Sam growled resuming his pacing.
Dean watched warily getting to his feet and leaning up against the trunk of the Impala. Sam looked like a caged animal.
“For what it’s worth, I’m sorry I slept with your girl,” he said after a few minutes.
“You know, it’s not even that, well yeah, okay, I’m furious with you because I love her and you hurt her, but I know you Dean and I know that’s just what you do. I’m more furious with myself than anyone, for thinking I could just get away from the job and live a normal life and for putting the people I care about in danger. What if she’d been normal, I mean Liz could have died, and it would have been my fault! At the same time I’m pissed that she kept her identity from me, which isn’t fair because I did the exact same thing for the exact same reasons, which just makes me feel guilty and even angrier with myself!” he started shouting.
Dean didn’t know what he could say to make it better.
“You couldn’t have known the demon would come after you,” Dean said finally.
Sam shook his head.
“If it wasn’t the demon it would have been something else, something that wanted revenge for whatever our family did to it. I don’t think I could have stood it if Lizzie had died,”
“You really love her don’t you?” Dean asked rhetorically.
Sam made a self-depreciating little noise and tossed something at his brother. Dean caught it reflexively and his eyes widened when he felt it was a black velvet box. Inside was a delicate looking little ring. The band was thin and either silver or white gold and there was a little round cut diamond perched on top.
“I was going to ask her, next week if I got the full ride, I’d been shopping for weeks, trying to find the perfect one, and I’d been saving up for months before that, I had it all planned out,” Sam quietly confessed hunching his shoulders.
“Wow Sammy,” was all Dean could manage to say around the frog in his throat.
“Yeah, and now she could be a demon for all I know,” sighed Sam finally coming to rest next to Dean against the trunk of the Impala.
“True,” said Dean.
“You’re real comforting, dude,”
“Think about it Sammy, you don’t know, for all you know she could be a demon, but what if she’s not?” Dean suggested.
“Dean, you don’t expect me to believe that you believe she isn’t a demon, you were ripping her story to shreds not even twenty minutes ago,” Sam said.
“Yeah well, before she was just you’re girlfriend, now she’s my potential future sister-in-law and someone I owe, so now she get’s the benefit of the doubt until we can prove her guilty or innocent,” Dean said in his I-am-older-so-I-make-the-rules-and-am-always-right voice.
“Alright, how are we going to prove it?” asked Sam intrigued.
Dean opened the trunk and rummaged around until he found their Dad’s journal.
“Well, Dad’s been hunting a demon for over twenty years now, stands to reason that he’s picked up a fair bit of demon lore, everything we need to know should be in here,” Dean said flipping until he came to the section that held all the general demon lore their Dad had picked up over the years.
“What are you looking for?” Sam asked.
“I don’t know, definitive tests, holy water doesn’t always work and crucifixes and silver don’t really affect demons...has she passed over an unbroken salt-line?”
Sam flushed a bit.
“I...uh...stopped salting the windows and doors,” he admitted.
“Humph,” Dean grunted in clear disapproval of his brother’s carelessness.
“Dean...” Sam said warning his brother to stuff the lecture.
“Alright, alright, don’t get your panties in a twist...here this looks like something,”
“Lemme see,” Sam demanded.
Dean handed Sam the journal.
“Demons are by their very nature tainted which is why they flinch at purity, purity of faith imbued in religious symbols, holy water, the name of God in Latin, this means that they cannot cross over salt and most cannot walk on hallowed ground. In addition they cannot possess a mother with child or an infant under the age of two as the pure spirit of the child is toxic to the demon,”
“If she’s telling the truth about the miscarriage she couldn’t be a demon,” Dean said.
Sam shook his head.
“Dean if she really did miscarry all it proves is that she wasn’t possessed when you knew her and she was telling the truth about being pregnant, it doesn’t even prove the child was yours,” he pointed out.
“No, but if she was telling the truth about getting pregnant, because I remember the night she’s talking about, it means that she was probably telling the truth and if you can get her to walk across an unbroken salt line or sit still while you read her an exorcism we’ll know for sure,” Dean pointed out.
“Alright, we can make LA by morning and get in to see the hospital records first thing,” Sam said slipping back into the car.
“That’s the spirit Sammy,”
“Whatever dude,” Dean said tearing out of the parking lot.
They did indeed make it to LA General first thing and though Dean was grumpy as hell by that time, he couldn’t deny Sam’s puppy dog eyes and before they did anything else they grabbed a couple of fake Ids from the glove compartment and marched into the hospital with impunity.
“Excuse me miss...” Dean started charmingly glancing down at the youngish nurse’s nametag, “Wendy, I’m Agent Johnston this is my partner Agent Wylde, FBI. We were wondering if you might be able to help us?”
“Sure, I’ll see what I can do, what do you need?”
“We’re looking for a woman, an escaped convict, evidence suggests she might have gotten some medical treatment here?”
“I don’t know, the patient files are supposed to be private...”
“Don’t worry, if you’re not authorized or you don’t feel comfortable showing us the actual records, we’re just waiting for a subpoena to go through and we want to make sure we’re not chasing our tails,” Sam said kindly.
“If you could answer a few questions though we’d be much obliged,”
“Oh, well, yes, I could do that,”
“Tell me Wendy, have you worked here long?”
“Going on seven years now,” said Wendy proudly.
“Alright good, now the woman we’re looking for was in a car accident not far from here about five years ago, witnesses say she had some broken bones, but we need to know if she got proper treatment or not,”
“Car accident, broken bones, officers there’re so many that come through here every day...” Wendy shook her head, “Do you have a name? Just because I can’t show you the records doesn’t mean I can’t take a peak and tell you whether or not it’s her,”
“We think she’ll be using her maiden name, Summers, Liz or Beth Summers, she’s about five four, blonde, with really intense blue eyes, and a big flower tattoo on her neck,”
“Let me just go look,”
“Nice one, with the tattoo,” Dean complimented once the nurse was out of earshot.
“Yeah, well, can’t have her thinking Lizzie actually is a wanted convict,” Sam shrugged.
“Unless of course she’s a demon,” Dean pointed out.
“Yeah, cause we really want local law enforcement trying to go after her if she’s really a demon,” said Sam sarcastically, shaking his head.
Fifteen minutes of trying to be inconspicuous later Wendy returned looking quite pale.
“I remember her, once I saw the file...Elizabeth A. Summers, I was her nurse, she was in a car accident, she’d had a miscarriage, I remember she was so angry, she threw things and screamed at her doctor,” Wendy shook her head, “I thought, she had a right to be upset losing a child before she’d even...but if she is who you say then...”
“This woman, you’re sure she miscarried?”
“Yes, it’s all in the file, she was about two months along, she’d had her first check up in the walk in clinic a few weeks before, I remember feeling sorry for her, being pregnant so young and all alone too, but she was excited...”
She shook her head.
Dean gave a put upon sigh.
“It can’t be her,” Sam said.
“I know,” Dean answered tiredly.
“What...but, your description...”
Sam shook his head.
“Beth Harbringer, the woman we’re looking for couldn’t have kids,” he explained.
“Her husband stabbed her six times with a sharp bit of rebar when she got pregnant with another man’s child. She lived but, well, you can imagine, she just wasn’t all there even when she was all healed up, started killing men with pregnant wives and girlfriends,” Dean explained.
Sam shot Dean an incredulous look.
“Yeah,” Sam said.
“It doesn’t look like she’s been around here, but you ask around, if you hear anything you call the local branch, they’ll know how to get a hold of us,” Dean added.
“You’ve been really helpful Wendy, thank you,”
“Of course,” said the nurse in a small voice.
Sam and Dean each gave her one last charming smile and turned and left the hospital.
“I hate hospitals,” Dean said shaking his head as he pulled out of the parking lot and into traffic.
“Yeah, but that’s no reason to go around scaring poor nurses, that woman will probably have nightmares for weeks,” Sam said.
“I had to make it sound convincing!” Dean protested.
“Where on earth did you hear that story?”
“Vengeful spirit just outside of Phoenix,”
“Yep, and it was gruesome,”
“Hey, look on the bright side, at least now you know your girlfriend probably isn’t a demon,”
“How can you be so blasé about this Dean? You just found out your child died,”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” said Dean gruffly.
“No, Sam! Drop it, seriously, I don’t want to think about it,”
Sam glanced at his brother and decided to listen to him for once.
“So, how long till we’re back in Palo Alto?”
“Sam, I know you want to get everything sorted out with Lizzie, I get it, really, but we’ve been awake for 48 hours straight and I need sleep, and food, we’re checking into a motel for the afternoon,”
Sam chafed at this restriction sure he’d never be able to sleep with these dark twisted doubts about Liz still haunting him and the guilt and anger tying knots in his stomach. Surprisingly however he passed out pretty much as soon as he sat down thought his dreams were frantic and troubled.
AN: Alright, like it? Hate it? You know the drill, please review! Reviews mean inspiration! Inspiration means updates!