Chapter Twenty-Five: Sam
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Rated T for language.Disclaimer:
Buffyverse owned by Joss Whedon. Supernatural owned by Eric Kripke.
Chapter Twenty-Five: Sam
"Where's Dad going?" asked Sam, watching Dad's truck turn the corner as his brother continued driving down the street.
"Back to the motel," Dean said. "Bobby's supposed to be faxing him some stuff about a he-witch in the area."
After their morning training session, which they still did even though Dad was back, they'd met him at a nearby diner for breakfast. He'd told them what Bobby had learned about the Gem of Amarra – that it gave near invincibility to the vampire who wore it. Stakes, crosses, Holy Water, and even sunlight would no longer be effective weapons. But he hadn't found anything to verify its existence beyond rumors and legends.
Sam was beginning to think that the gem was a myth - a wild goose chase concocted by Spike. From what Willow and Giles had said about the vampire, it seemed like something he might do. He seemed to revel in chaos and would probably enjoy watching Buffy run around in circles trying to figure out his next move. Unfortunately for him, she was far too occupied with Dean to play his game.
Noticing the familiar landmarks, Sam realized that they were on route to Giles' apartment. "Does he know where we're
"I told him we were gonna keep doing research," said Dean. "But if you're asking whether he knows that Buffy is a Slayer or that we're hanging out at her Watcher's place? Then, no, he doesn't know about that."
"You didn't tell him?" Sam was surprised. He'd heard his father and brother talking last night and figured it was about her.
"I figured I'd let Buffy explain it herself."
"So," Sam said, eying his brother, "she's meeting Dad?"
"Yeah," said Dean. "We're, um, all going out for dinner tonight."
"Wow." As far as Sam knew, his brother had never introduced a girl to their father. At least, not intentionally. "I never thought I'd see this day."
"It's not that big a deal."
"Dean, you've been dating her for a whole week. That's gotta be a record." Sam shook his head, unable to keep the grin off his face. "I mean, that's practically girlfriend territory for you."
His brother muttered something, but the words were lost as he swiped his hand across his face.
"Huh?" asked Sam.
Dean sighed. "I said I asked her to be my girlfriend last night."
"Seriously, man? Dean, that's great." Sam felt a twinge of jealousy, but his brother's smile made it easier to shove his feelings down. "Is that why you and Dad were acting all weird today?"
"I wasn't acting weird," said Dean, his smile slipping.
"Dude, I've spent way more hours with you than anyone else. Probably more than is healthy. Believe me when I say you were acting weird."
"What? I wanted you to sit next to Dad." Dean shifted in his seat and fixed his attention on the road. "There's nothing wrong with that."
"Except for the fact that we fight all the time."
Whenever Dean did something to upset their father, he would bend over backwards to make Dad happy. And, for some reason, he seemed to think that spending time with Sam was something that made Dad happy. But Sam didn't see why Dean having a girlfriend would upset their father.
"You know," Dean said, "you should really give him a break. He's done the best he could—"
"We're not having this argument again."
"Sammy, could you just listen for—"
"I get it, okay. He's our father, and I'm supposed to love and respect him. And I do." It was the same conversation, the same argument over and over. "But him coming back means that we're gonna have to leave soon. I really like it here. I don't want to leave.
"Don't you wanna stay?" asked Sam. Suddenly, he realized what his brother and father might have argued about. And why Dean didn't want to sit next to him, didn't want it to seem like they were both standing against their father. "Don't you wanna be with Buffy?"
"Yeah, I do." Dean glanced at him, a weary smile on his face. "Look, I can't promise anything, but maybe after dinner, we can sit down and talk. Dad knows you're growing up. He knows you're not happy. But he wants you to be safe. He's just trying to take care of you."
"I get that." In the back of his mind, he understood that Dad was trying to do what he thought was best. But Sam couldn't help wanting a different life. "I'm just tired of being the new guy. Tired of being a freak. I just want to be normal."
"Sammy, you almost got eaten by a vampire the other night," said Dean with a snort of laughter. "That's normal for us, but I'm guessing that living on the Hellmouth is not the kind of 'normal' you're talking about."
"Haha, very funny," Sam said, rolling his eyes. "You forgot the part where it was your fault I was out there in the first place."
"I already apologized for that one." Dean shot him a pointed glance before returning his attention to the road. "Besides, you
were the one who decided to go looking for me. Unarmed. I know
that Dad and I trained you better than that. "
"Okay, so some of it was my fault," said Sam, grudgingly admitting his mistake. "Anyways, you know what I mean about being normal. Buffy and her friends deal with the weirdness of the Hellmouth, but they still have lives outside of hunting down bad guys. They've got homes and families and friends. They go to the same school for a whole year. I've never had a yearbook. I don't even think I've had a picture in one."
"I know how you feel, Sammy. I really do," Dean said softly. "We'll talk it over with Dad tonight."
"Like that's gonna do any good," muttered Sam. Apparently, he hadn't said it quietly enough because he could feel his brother's glare. "Fine, I'll try to be patient."
They turned onto the street where Giles lived. Sam chuckled to himself as he remembered his brother's earlier interactions with Buffy's surrogate father. Hopefully, her meeting with their father would go more smoothly.
"So," Sam said, an idea popping into his head, "since Buffy's meeting Dad, is she gonna introduce you to her mom?"
"Shut up." Dean's eyes went wide at the prospect. "Stop being a little bitch."
"Sure," said Sam, "when you stop being a jerk."
His brother rewarded him with a smack on the back of the head while they waited for Giles to open the door. Before Sam could retaliate, Giles was welcoming them inside.
Sam was sifting through yet another box of books that Dean and Xander had brought from upstairs. Even though he and Willow, and sometimes Xander, had been trying to help Giles unpack and catalogue his books, this was now the repository for a good portion of the school library, and there were boxes upon boxes throughout the apartment. Giles was fairly certain he'd kept the only most dangerous ones upstairs with his collection of Watchers' Diaries, but the information Buffy needed might be in one of them. Dean had eagerly jumped at the chance to do some grunt work, with Xander not too far behind him.
"Okay," said Oz from somewhere near the kitchen. "I'm either borrowing all your albums or I'm moving in."
"Oz, there are more important things than records right now," Giles said. He was starting to look a little frazzled as the wall of boxes encroached upon the diminishing open space.
"More important than this one?"
Sam glanced up to see Oz holding up Loaded
by The Velvet Underground. Although Oz had mentioned Giles' albums before, Sam still had a hard time reconciling the fact that Giles listened to the same music that his father and brother preferred.
"Yes, well," said Giles, "I suppose an argument could be made..."
"Hey," Dean said, dropping a box on the table with a thud, "is that what I think it is?"
He walked over and joined Oz on the floor. Sam shook his head. Giles had just grown infinitely cooler in his brother's eyes.
"Speaking of," Oz said, hopping onto his feet. "I got something for you."
He grabbed a shoebox that was sitting on a chair by the door and handed it to Dean.
"What's this?" Dean flipped open the lid to reveal a bunch of cassette tapes. "Dude. Dude! Metallica, Motorhead, AC/DC - Zepplin! This is awesome, Oz, thanks. Wait, what's this? Who's Weezer?"
"That's mine," said Sam. He walked over and pulled a couple more tapes from the box. "And these."
Dean raised an eyebrow as he looked at the band names written on the cases. "I hope you don't expect to my baby to be playing that sh—crap. Because driver chooses the tunes."
"Oh, yeah, I almost forgot." Oz pulled a Walkman from his backpack and gave it to Sam. "Won't be needing this anymore. I have graduated to the digital age, man."
"If we could all focus on the matter at hand," Giles said before Sam could do more than give Oz a quick thanks. "I think it would be best if we moved some of the boxes that we've already examined upstairs. It's getting a bit crowded here."
The gang murmured their assent. Sam and Willow began separating the boxes that they'd gone through while Dean, Xander, and Oz started bringing boxes upstairs.
"Whoa," Xander said. He shifted a stack of boxes so that everyone could see his discovery. "Giles has a TV. Everybody look at this. Giles has a TV! He's shallow like us!"
"Gotta admit, a little disappointed," said Oz in an even voice that sounded remarkably similar to his earlier enthusiasm over the albums.
"I'm not—" sputtered Giles. "It's not—"
"Maybe it doesn't work," Willow said. She cast a nervous glance at her mentor. "It's like... art."
Xander turned a knob, and the screen flickered to life. Willow's face fell, and she looked at Giles with dismay.
"I—Public television—" said Giles, attempting to defend himself.
Sam didn't see what the big deal was. Uncle Bobby was almost as well read as Giles, but still watched TV once in a while. Then again, he didn't have Giles' air of British refinement.
"Oh, cool," Dean said as he came down the stairs, "a TV!"
"Look, everyone, we have vital work to do." Giles slammed his book closed. "Television isn't going to help us now."
"—around noon today in Brookside Park," announced the newscaster. As she spoke, the camera zoomed in on a large crater in the center of a grassy field. "Officials attributed the formation of the sinkhole to unexplained weakening of the topsoil support nearby. City work crews deny that any tunneling has been done in the area..."
"Tunneling," said Oz, echoing the newscaster's words.
"Spike," Giles said. He set down his book and strode towards the door. "Come on. Xander, Dean, find Buffy and meet us there."
Dean was already halfway to the door by the time Giles finished issuing his orders.
"Giles, wait," Willow said. "What if she's coming here?"
"You're right. I should stay here," said Giles. "Oz, you'll take Willow and Sam?"
"Hang on," Dean said. "Where Sam goes, I go."
Sam resisted the urge to roll his eyes. His brother would
choose this moment not to trust Buffy's friends to take down a vampire. A vampire who was nearly impossible to kill. Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea to have him come along.
"Xander, she's in English now," Willow said, "so she'll either be back in our room or on her way by the time you get there."
Xander nodded and headed for his car.
"Remember, Dean, only a beheading will work if he's got the gem," said Giles, ushering them out the door. "Good luck. I'll call you if she arrives here first."
"Thank you, sir," said Dean. "I'll do the same."
Sam's head snapped up at the word his brother had used to address Giles. The rest of them may not know what it meant to Dean, but he did. Giles had earned more than coolness points today.
The crypt was located about a mile or two from the sinkhole. They ran into a couple of Spike's minions, who were easily dispatched by Dean. He'd insisted on leading the gang while Sam guarded the rear.
When they came to the end of the tunnel, they saw a hole drilled into the stone slab above. It was large enough to fit through, but they could only go one at a time.
"We should throw in a flare so you can see what's up there," said Sam in a low whisper.
"And alert him to our presence?" Dean said, raising an eyebrow at the suggestion.
"Why don't we wait until he comes out?" Willow looked nervously towards the dark circle. "Or at least until Buffy gets here."
Oz didn't say anything, just stared at the hole, his nostrils flaring.
"Giles said that beheading still works," Dean said. "I can take him."
"Dean, you're probably a really go—great hunter," said Willow, "but Spike's really dangerous. He's killed two Slayers in the past."
Anger flashed in Dean's eyes. Sam wasn't sure if it was because Willow was questioning his skill as a hunter or if it was because he didn't want to see Buffy's name added to Spike's tally. Either way, if Willow had been trying to dissuade him from going, her words had the opposite effect.
"There's only one vampire," Oz said. "I'm gonna go with Harmony based on the perfume. Unless you consider Spike to be a floral kinda guy. I tend to think he'd be more of a sandalwood."
Sam shot a glance at his brother. He was looking at Oz with a mixed expression on his face. On the one hand, he seemed impressed, but on the other, he was wary of people with unique talents.
"You're sure?" Dean asked.
"I'm sure," said Oz.
"You know," said Dean, "one of these days, you're gonna tell me how you do these things."
"But not today," Willow said, tugging on Dean's sleeve. She pointed to the hole above them. "You should throw the flare. Harmony's not going to attack."
"She attacked you," said Sam. He remembered Xander saying that Harmony was responsible for the band-aid on Willow's neck.
"She barely drew blood." Willow peeled back the bandage to show two little scabs on her neck, each not much larger than the head of a pin. "Besides, it's Harmony."
"It's okay, Sammy," said Dean, pulling a flare out of their weapons bag. "I've met Harmony. I'm pretty sure I can take her. Even if she's wearing the gem."
He tossed a flare into the hole and then grabbed a crossbow, loading it with some wooden stakes. Sam helped hoist his brother through the opening so that Dean's hands were free to defend himself.
A few minutes later, Dean called down from the hole. "If she's up here, she's hiding. Come on up."
Sam helped Oz up, then lifted Willow. As he pulled himself through, the crypt came into view. It was more like a very large room, full of musty air and tattered drapes that lined the stone walls. Twinkles of red, gold, green, silver, and blue came from every corner of the room, hinting at the treasure beyond the light of the flare.
"I'm guessing this here's One-Eyed Willy," said Dean. He was standing by a stone slab in the center of the room where a skeleton lay. Its head had rolled off and was resting at Dean's feet.
"Dean, that would make us the Fratellis," Sam said.
"No way," said Dean. "I'm totally a Goonie."
Sam shook his head. He knew exactly which one of the Goonies his brother would be. Sweeping his flashlight around the room, his beam landed on a table littered with more gold and jewels. But it was the sparkle of a diamond-encrusted crown lying on the floor that caught his attention. It looked like it should be up on the table. Instead, it was a few feet away – too far for it to have rolled off.
As he walked towards the crown, he heard a gasp from behind a rotten curtain. Four flashlights swung towards the sound.
"Harmony?" said Willow.
A girl with long blond hair emerged. She might have been pretty if her features weren't marred by the ridged forehead that marked her as a vampire.
"Being a vampire sucks," said Harmony. Her lower lip trembled beneath her visible fangs. Sam almost felt sorry for her.
"Harmony, where's Spike?" asked Dean, moving closer, slowly raising the crossbow. "Does he have the gem?"
She hesitated for a moment, and then nodded. "He staked me, and he took it. Tried to take it right off my finger. Like I wouldn't have just given it to him? I would've given him anything he wanted. He was my platinum baby, and I loved him."
"Where did he go?" Dean said. He pointed the crossbow at her, underscoring the threat in his voice.
Sam could see the panic rising in her eyes as the others moved closer, forcing her into a corner. She darted past Willow and down the hole, her footsteps echoing as she ran away.
"Dammit," Dean said as his projectile clattered harmlessly onto the floor. "Shoulda staked her when we knew she didn't have it."
"Sorry, Dean," said Willow.
"It's alright," Dean said. "We should head back to Giles'. There's nothing left here."
Oz went down first, catching Willow as she lowered herself down. Sam started to follow, but his brother put a hand on his shoulder, stopping him.
"Help me throw some of this into the bag," said Dean, grabbing a pile of coins.
"We're gonna loot a tomb?" asked Sam.
"Dude, the person it belonged to is long dead." Dean gestured to the pile of bones in the center of the room. "We can pawn this shit and get some cash. Real cash. You can buy your laptop without having to hustle pool with me."
Sam looked around the room at the piles of gold coins and jeweled necklaces. No one had even known this place existed until Spike came along. It wouldn't really be stealing if they took some of it, would it?
"Hang on," Sam said, calling down to Willow and Oz. "Dean spilled the weapons. We'll be down in a sec."
Dean rolled his eyes at Sam's excuse, but he grinned as Sam scooped fistfuls of coins off the table and into the bag.
Next up Chapter 26: Buffy
Spike's got the Gem, and he's gunning for the Slayer.