Writing can suck sometimes. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but it can be freaking hard. From what I’ve learned in my twenty-something years, difficult things only get easier if you keep doing them, so that’s where this little fanfic comes in.
I know these characters – I’ve seen the show from start to finish a few times
yeah I’m obsessed, so I figure it’s a good place to practice and have a little fun without showering myself in self-criticism. Let me know if you enjoy. Let me know if you don’t. I’m just thankful you stopped by.
Haven’t read Part 1? Here’s a link.
The sun was beginning to rise when he unlocked the door to the motel room, motioning for her to go in first. One wall was decorated haphazardly with newspaper clippings and printed articles. There was a picture of her and her sister, pixelated in black and white on cheap computer paper. It was a photo taken two years before for the local newspaper at the grand opening of their restaurant. In small towns like this that were slow to change, anything new was a big deal, bringing them a few minutes of fame.
That moment with her sister’s arm wrapped around her waist, the exhilaration of accomplishing their dream so obvious on their faces … none of it seemed real anymore. All she could see now was the empty eyes of her sister, tinged red with the mania of the monster that took over her body. The sound of the door shutting behind her shook her back to the present. Dean cleared his throat uncomfortably. Feeling awkward seemed to be his normal state of mind as far as she could tell.
“Have a seat,” he said, his voice rough. She looked to the small table by the only window in the room. It carried a layer of beer bottles and pizza boxes, so she pulled one of the chairs out and dragged it to the wall of horrors. She didn’t think she’d be able to sit, but she wanted it for backup just in case she needed a safe place to fall. She looked over the dozens of documents that Dean had pinned to the wall. The newspaper clippings told stories of animal attacks and missing people, and her heart sank. Were these all Sara’s doing? She shook her head. No. That beast hadn’t been Sara, not for a long time.
“Want a beer?,” Dean asked, opening the mini fridge. She heard the clinking of glass and turned to him, eyebrows raised.
“It’s,” she looked at the clock. “not even six AM.”
He shrugged, handing her a bottle anyway and twisting the cap on his own. “I’ve never thought that was a good argument.” He took a long drink and pulled the other chair over next to mine.
“So,” he said, motioning for me to sit down. “Tell me about your sister.”
She looked to the photo of her and her sister and said, “Looks like you know plenty. Besides, I told you what I knew when I thought you were actually a cop.”
Dean had shown up on her doorstep flashing a fake badge two days ago asking about her missing sister, which was a huge red flag that he wasn’t who he said he was. The police had told her to stop harassing the department a while back, determining that Sara had taken off on her own accord. No need to pin her as a missing person, and no need to follow up. She set her suspicions aside and let him in, answering his questions about Sara, relieved that someone else seemed to sense foul play. At the time, she thought he might lead her to Sara, help bring her home safely. She’d been half right.
He looked up and his mouth turned down in an exaggerated frown as he went over their conversation. “Mmmhmm. She just up and poofed, taking a bag and some clothes with her.” He scratched his head and winced at whatever he was thinking. “Sounds to me like she wanted to leave. And nothing she did gave you the hint? No bad blood?” His tone was turning condescending, as if she were lying to him. As if she were an idiot.
“No,” she replied, heat rising in her own voice.
He didn’t seem to notice. “Okay, but something had to lead up to this, right? She didn’t mention being attacked? She didn’t act weird in the days leading up to her disappearance?”
“I already told you. No she didn’t.”
His eyes widened and he shook his head slightly and raised his hands in a gesture that said, that’s it?
She ran her hands through her hair and stood, beginning to pace, trying to remember … anything. She had wracked her brain for months, but nothing Sara had done gave any clue that she was about to take off.
Ashley sat back down in a huff. “No, Dean. She was herself. I saw her almost every minute of every day. We worked together. We lived together. It would have been impossible for me not to know that something was going on. She was my sister. I knew her better than anyone.”
Dean nodded, not replying right away. Even those we thought we knew still had secrets. He sighed, bringing his hands hard against his thighs before standing.
“Well, if that’s all you got…”
She tilted her face back in an expression of surprised disgust. She opened her mouth to say something, but ended up just narrowing her eyes and letting her breath out in a huff.
“Look,” he said. “I can appreciate a healthy sense of denial. Sometimes it’s the only thing that will keep a person sane. But you wanted to come along on this, so I need you to get with the program or get out of my way.”
“What do you want me to say?”
“Something helpful would be nice,” he said, grabbing his keys and moving toward the door.
“Where are you going?” She followed him, and felt not a little like a lost puppy nipping at his heels.
He didn’t answer, just climbed into his sleek, black car and slammed the door. She hurriedly jumped in the passenger seat before he could take off without her. He didn’t object, just gave her an annoyed look before pulling out of the parking lot.
Denial? Denial? Ashley didn’t know what he expected her to say or do, but she was giving him all she knew, and he had the nerve to say she was in denial? She’d just torched the lifeless body of the one person she had left in this world, ripped away from her by some fucking mongrel that shouldn’t even exist to begin with. If anyone had motivation to find out how this happened, it was her.
She was fuming by the time Dean pulled onto her street, pushing her anger towards fury. Did he seriously think he could just drop her off and she’d willingly hide in her house to wait for the answers he’d probably never deliver? But he’d turned the car off and was almost to her door before she could even begin to argue.
She found him picking the lock on her door. “I have a key, you know.”
He shrugged. “I don’t have all day to wait for you to catch up. Tag along if you want, but,” the lock clicked and he turned to her. “At this point, you’re nothing but a liability and a distraction. I can’t be responsible for keeping you safe.”
It wasn’t his favorite mask to wear, but being a dick was a skill he’d honed, and using this significant talent was usually enough to keep people a safe distance away, to keep them from becoming collateral damage. But rather than break under the harshness of his words, she seemed to steel under their weight and pushed past him into the house.
He sighed against his failed attempt to keep her out of all this, closing the door behind him before making his way up the stairs. Ashley was already in Sara’s room, digging through top shelves of the closet, flinging anything that was useless behind her. He had to duck to avoid being hit by a pair of heavy hiking boots.
“I’ve already looked through this you know,” she said. “I don’t know what you expect to find.”
“Well, maybe you didn’t know what to look for,” he said, and she tensed against the sound of his voice. “Anywhere else she might hide something important?”
“In the bureau,” she said, her voice shaking but carefully monotone.
She kept her back to him, rummaging through clothes and shoe boxes. He started opening the dresser’s drawers, looking for anything hidden and making sure there weren’t any false bottoms. Everything seemed ordinary, save a few pairs of underwear that he’d never seen on a woman before. He raised his eyebrows at them, transferring the mental image to his bucket list of things to see before he died.
He heard a bang behind him, jarring him from his inappropriately timed fantasy, and found Ashley leaning with her left palm against the wall, rearing her right arm back for another release of anger. He grabbed her arm before she could break her wrist with the impact.
“I know that probably seems like a good idea, but all it’s going to do is earn you a trip to the hospital.” She wretched her arm out of his grip. He took a step back and held his hands up in surrender under the heat of her glare. “Just calm the fuck down.”
Her chest heaved and her nostrils flared as she fought the fury that she’d allowed to boil over. Emotions were volatile, and she’d learned long ago that it was best to keep them under tight control. But between the asshole standing in front of her and the answers that were beyond her reach, it had all become too much.
He didn’t say anything else, just stood still for a moment while she collected herself. He could almost see the lashing fire dimming in her eyes, burning down to simmering coals, ready to flare up with the slightest blow. Shit, he thought.
“Trust me, I know what you’re going through.” He laughed harshly. “Believe me. But all losing your cool does is waste time.”
“Then quit being a dick,” she said.
His lips twitched at the corners. “Fair enough.” He took a step toward the closet, giving it a closer look. “Look, I’m sorry, but I don’t play well with others. They always seem to get -” He stopped.
He narrowed his eyes and cocked his head, trying to figure out exactly what he was seeing. Feeling that small rush of adrenaline that he always got when he was onto something, he grabbed the desk chair and pulled it over.
“What are -”
“Hold on,” he said, cutting her off so he could focus.
“Whattya know,” he said. The wall behind the top shelf seemed off, and as relieved as he was to pull away the piece of sheetrock hiding the secret cubby, he couldn’t help but feel it was a little cliche. Inside was a small wooden box covered with carved symbols. He stepped down from the chair, carefully gripping the strange object. They both just stared at it for a moment before meeting each other’s eyes.
“Elementary, my dear Watson,” he said, flashing a smile.