Dean stares down at the newspaper clipping, schools his features blank, but as he reads on, his stomach starts to roil and twist. "So what?" he says, careful to keep his voice calm and as expressionless as his face. "Dead hookers. Not exactly our wheelhouse, Sammy."
"I think it is." Sam reaches over, takes the ketchup bottle out of Dean's hand and puts it down on the table. "They weren't just killed, Dean, they were mutilated, in ways very similar to the Ripper murders in London in the late 19th century."
Dean looks up from scraping the puddle of ketchup off his eggs, and he snorts with laughter. "Ripper murders. Like, Jack the Ripper? Are you kidding me, Sam? Okay, let me just list the ways that this is not our thing." He counts them off on his fingers as Sam rolls his eyes, a long-suffering pinch to his face. Dean ignores it. "One, Jack the Ripper was like a hundred years ago. Two, and this is key, Jack killed women." He looks back down at the newspaper article, clipped carefully around the edges of the text with Sam's typical care. There's a picture at the top of the latest victim, a healthy-looking, smiling young man, the picture obviously taken in happier times, and Dean wonders how he ended up working the streets. "This guy's killing dudes. And there's nothing here to suggest that it's even remotely monster-related."
At that, Sam grins and flips open his laptop. "I hacked into the police files." He turns the computer around so Dean can see the screen. "They found sulfur near each of the victims bodies."
Dean's tired. They drove all night, taking turns at the wheel. There's a crick in his neck from using the passenger window as a pillow, and he's pissed off because he can barely think straight while Sam seems wide awake and even excited as they go through coroners reports at the morgue.
"Look at this," he says, passing Dean a photograph.
Dean barely holds onto his breakfast. He passes it back quickly, but it's too late. The image of the kid, slashed up and with his insides thrown over one shoulder, burns itself into his retinas. He'll have nightmares until he's dead. "Thanks for that, Sam. I just about barfed all over my fancy suit." He brushes non-existent lint from the sleeve of his jacket. "This how you get your kicks, man? You're having far too much fun with this."
"Come on, Dean. It's kinda cool. The M.O. is almost exactly the same as the second canonical Ripper murder. I honestly don't know if we're dealing with Jack himself, or a really good copycat."
"I vote copycat, seeing as how Jack was into the ladies, and these two vics are guys. Kids, in fact. A couple of innocent kids just trying to survive." Dean whirls around, and he wishes he could control his anger, he really does, but Sam's acting like this is all a game. "Or is the whole helping people part of our gig getting in the way of you fanboying all over the demon who's killing them?"
Sam's face falls, and he puts the pile of photographs in his hand down on the desk. "Dean? What the hell—"
"Forget it." Dean shoves open the door and walks out, heads for the main door so he can get some air. His stomach is still churning like he's about to vomit, the picture of the latest victim fresh in his mind.
Sam finds him in the parking lot, sitting on the hood of the car and still trying to suck in enough air to stave off the nausea. It's not just the picture, he's aware. Anxiety is humming through him, and he feels as though Sam will know what's on his mind just from looking at him.
"You wanna talk about it?"
"Hell no." Dean jumps down off the hood, wipes his hands on his monkey pants, then reaches for the drivers side door. "So, what are we doing, Sam? We hunting Jack the Ripper?"
Sam licks his lips and grins. "Looks like it."
Being on the outside looking in is fucking weird. Yeah, Dean's been on stake outs before, late night, dark car, coffee and donuts and Sam beside him, but what they're watching?
Dean's been there.
A car pulls up across the street, and one of the three boys standing on the pavement steps forward and ducks his head to speak to the driver. He's young, probably would be pretty under better circumstances. "This ain't gonna work," Dean mutters. "Fuck, we can't do shit from here."
He moves, pops the door open and starts across the street, Sam's alarmed voice calling his name.
The guy in the car that pulled up spooks, and Dean has to look down to make sure he remembered to take off the fed suit, but he's wearing jeans and Dad's leather jacket and he probably looks more like a john than one of these boys, but he doesn't feel like it.
He feels like he belongs here.
"What the hell are you doing?" he says, to the pissed off kid, that, to his credit, barely flinches. "Someone's out there killing dudes, you got a death wish or something?"
"Or something." Something like fear passes across the boy's face then. "And you just screwed it up." He turns away, shaking his head, and he's pissed. "Thanks for nothing, asshole." He starts to walk away, disappears around a corner.
Dean's eyes pass over the other two boys. One's obviously tweaked, and working to pay for his habit, but the other one's eyes are clear but terrified. "You a cop?" he says, muscles poised to run.
"I look like a cop to you?"
Footsteps behind him, the familiar cadence of Sam's stride as he approaches.
"Maybe? What do you care about us?"
Dean holds his hands out in front of him, palms forward. "We're not cops, but we are gonna stop this guy, okay? You just gotta stay off the street until we do." He looks up at the tweaked kid. "Both of you."
"Fifty bucks," the tweaker says, and he looks right past Dean, at Sam over his shoulder.
"Two hundred," the kid with the clear eyes says to Dean, staring right at him, unflinching.
Dean sighs and reaches for his wallet. "Pay the kid, Sammy." He peels off four fifties as he watches Sam blush as he reaches for his own.
Sam looks awkward, out of his depth, like he has no idea how to relate to these kids, these boys. And this is Sam. Relating to people, showing empathy, being the approachable one, it's kinda his thing.
Dean has to laugh as the wasted kid pockets Sam's fifty, and then reaches for his belt. The way Sam stumbles back, hands raised to warn him off, eyes wide and jaw hanging open in shock is priceless, and Dean files it away for later.
Now, though, he puts himself between them, faces the kid. "Don't worry about it," he says, one hand on the kid's shoulder, the other palm flat on his chest to keep him at arms length. "Just get off the streets, okay? Be safe."
It's obvious that the kid doesn't quite understand, but he eventually wanders off.
"Who are you?" the remaining boy, the one with two hundred of Dean's hard hustled cash in his pocket, says. "Why do you care?"
"Did you know them? The guys that died?"
The kid's eyes start to shine, and he turns his head away and wipes them with his sleeve. His lips pinch up into a tight scowl. He nods.
"You know what he did to them? He didn't just kill them. He ripped them open, played with their guts, messed up their junk. He's a monster, and we hunt monsters. So you're gonna go home, and you're gonna give us a chance to stop him, okay?"
The kid looks up, and he's all long wet lashes and eyeliner and just a hint of hope, and he nods.
"Good. Now get lost."
Dean watches him go, and he can feel Sam behind him, hovering, uncertain. "What," he says, already defensive, already anticipating Sam's curiosity.
"Nothing," Sam says, soft, introspective. "Just... What do we do now? We've got nothing to stake out. We've scattered the—"
"The bait, Sammy?" Dean whirls around, and there's no way he can shift the scowl that's tightening his brow to the point of pain. "That all those boys worth to you? Bait?"
"No, Dean. Jesus. I don't know why you're taking this so personally." Sam shakes his head, and he steps onto the street, heading for the car. "But we've got nothing now."
Dean skips across the street after him, tugging his jacket off his arms. He tosses it back in the car and then goes for the trunk. He pockets a flask of holy water, tucks a handgun into the back of his jeans, straps a knife to his leg. "We got something," he says, as Sam watches him. "We got me." He lifts his head, and his heart is pounding in his chest like it's going to bust right out of there. "I'll be your bait."
Sam snorts, his lips curling into a helpless smile. "You're kidding, right?"
"I look like I'm kidding?" Dean's spine feels like it's fused, and he rolls his head on his shoulders to loosen his muscles. "Here's the deal. Someone takes the bait, I'll test him, see if he's our guy. You be ready with the exorcism, and we'll send the bastard back to hell. Got it?"
Sam's smile fades, and a crease appears between his brows. "Got it."
Dean turns away, steps back onto the street.
Dean stops and turns.
"You're acting like you've done this before."
Dean turns back and starts to cross the street. "Yeah, well. Maybe I have."
Dean fails to pretend that Sam's not even there. He can't see him, he's sitting in the Impala across the street, but the windows are dark and it might as well be empty.
But Dean can feel him, watching. Knows he's watching, and it's a fear he thought he'd let go of, long ago.
At least Sam can't hear his heart pounding from so far away, he can't know that Dean's palms are sweating. He wants to pace, but it'll just make him look crazy and he's supposed to look inviting.
How easy will it be to just slip back into it, after so much time?
A car slows down as it passes, does a U-turn up the street. And despite the roiling twist of his guts that's like the first time, it's so easy and so natural to push away from the wall and stalk across the pavement to meet it.
He leans in through the window, hears the familiar chunk and creak of the Impala's door, curses Sam because it's too soon, doesn't he trust that Dean can handle himself?
"You're all by yourself tonight?" the driver of the car says. "There's usually more guys here..."
There's a wistful tug to the man's voice, and his eyes slide right past Dean to linger on the empty wall behind him.
"You got a favorite?" Dean tamps down his anger, twisting alongside the anxiety like butterflies fighting a goddamn war in there. "Think to check if maybe he was one of the kids got hacked up?"
The man's face turns white as all the color drains out of it. "Yes. It wasn't him."
Dean shrugs, turns his head away as he reaches for the flask in his pocket. He makes a show of twisting off the cap, and he wouldn't be the first whore to get wasted before a trick, wouldn't even be the first time for him if there was anything but holy water in it. "So we doing business, or not?"
The man's eyes are on Dean's fingers, but they flick up to his face. "Sure. Yeah. You got somewhere we can go?"
With a practiced flick of his wrist, Dean sends droplets spattering across the man's face. There's no sizzle. No smoke. And the guy just looks confused.
"You know, on second thoughts, I think I'll try my luck with the next guy." Dean steps back from the car window, shakes his head at Sam, standing in the middle of the road with a book in his hands.
Several more cars pull up, old men, nerds, creepers, married guys, and one woman that Dean would have done for free on any other night.
Sam finally learned to stay in the car, but Dean can still feel his eyeballs on him, can hear all the questions. But after a couple hours of standing around and still no demon, Dean's exhausted.
He sends Sam for burgers and beer. Keeps his eyes off him so he doesn't have to deal with the searching questions he doesn't even have to say out loud.
Then he's alone. No backup. That's when he gets a walk in.
There's a bar a block away that must be just about closing up for the night. The man that watches Dean, who's eyes never leave him as he wanders down the street, is older, but still well built and tidy. He's wearing a suit, shirt untucked and tie pulled loose, repressed office guy finally letting loose, Dean figures. Probably married, or recently separated, and looking to try what he always wanted but never had the balls to do.
Dean has him all figured out in just one look, and he still could be their guy, the demon, but Dean doubts it. He's still wary, hasn't dropped his guard, because he was a hunter before he was a whore, and that's not a part of him anything could ever erase.
But he's more whore now than he's been in years. He melts back into it, and it's warm, and comfortable. It's easy. He eyes the guy in the suit right back, challenges him until he slows and stops before Dean.
He sways a little, smells of whiskey. The good stuff, and Dean doesn't shy away from leaning in. He's freer now, without Sam watching, shakes off the stiffness and this is natural. "Looking for a good time?" Dean murmurs, close enough as he leans in that he can feel the guys breath on his face.
It's too open out on the street. The bad guy could be watching, and he doesn't want to be made flicking holy water around, so Dean leads the guy into a side street that's not much more than an alley.
And maybe this uptight Nine-to-Five has done this before, because he crowds Dean up against the cold brick wall, huffs out whiskey laden breath against Dean's cheek as he pulls out his wallet and peels off a series of bills. "Gonna fuck you," he slurs, and misses his first attempt at tucking the cash into Dean's jeans pocket.
Dean's pulse races, and his cock gets hard, because he remembers this, remembers that it wasn't always just for the money, wasn't always just a way to keep Sammy fed when their Dad went AWOL and didn't leave them enough money to get by on. There was this same thrill, and it was part danger and part the fact that these men wanted him, when away from this his whole life was Sam and hunting and doing exactly what his father told him to.
It was the same thrill that kept him doing it after Sam was gone. It made him feel like he was worth something.
Nine-to-Five finds Dean's pocket. He stuffs the cash inside, and his fingers graze the side of Dean's cock. "Come on, boy. Turn around."
He tugs at Dean's hip, and he's more than just tempted, he almost can't help himself. "Just a second, man." He pulls the flask from his pocket, holds it in front of the john's face and lifts his eyebrow in a question, and at the man's drunken smile, Dean turns off the cap and offers it up.
The man splutters and pulls a face. "Water? What the hell?" He hands back the flask. "What's wrong with you?"
Dean shrugs and grins, because there's no sizzle, no burn. "Gotta keep hydrated."
The dude laughs, looks at him like he can't figure him out, but Dean can see when he just lets go of the thought, and crowds back in on him. "Want to fuck you." He paws at Dean's waist, tugs at the button of his jeans. "Let me fuck you."
Dean's lungs tighten, and he gasps for breath. Sam's been gone a while. They might just have time before he's back, but this guy's wasted, and it could take him forever to finish.
It's a risk, but Dean'll hear the Impala's engine, he'll hear it miles away, and maybe he can take the risk. He wants to take the risk.
Dean fumbles with his jeans, rushing to get them undone and yanked down over his ass. He turns to face the brick wall when it hits him.
This isn't what he does anymore, and this isn't what he's here for. That wouldn't bother him, except that he's not prepared. Yeah, there's a condom in his wallet, always is, but he hasn't been fucked in years and he's got no lube on him, and there's no fucking way in hell that being fucked dry would be fun. "Stop," he gasps, with the guy humping his bare ass while he tugs at his own pants. "Stop." He pushes back, shoves at the wall with both hands, until the guy goes stumbling backward.
Dean turns away from the wall, yanks his jeans back up. "Sorry, man. I just remembered I got somewhere to be. Sorry." He zips and buttons himself up over his still rock hard dick, and it's fucking uncomfortable, but he can't do this. "Sorry."
When he looks up, the man's face is like a thundercloud. "You little asshole," he says, and his pants are hanging open, and his boxers are peeking through the gap, and he looks ridiculous. Dark hair, once slicked back, is hanging in his eyes, and it's dyed, Dean can see the tell-tale silver at the roots that proves he's trying to hide gray. "I'm gonna get what I paid for, asshole." He comes at him, fist raised.
Dean deflects the punch easily. Nine-to-Five is drunk, and Dean's a hunter. He steps out of the guy's way, tries to get at the cash in his pocket. "I'll refund your money," he says. "Here."
The guy rushes him again, and Dean's got to dodge. Twenties flutter to the ground, and the guy isn't bothered, doesn't follow them with his eyes. What he does pay attention to is the loud revving of an engine, the Impala, Dean'd know her anywhere. Sounds like Sam's in a hurry, the screeching of the tires as he skids to a stop proves that, and there's the added benefit of spooking Nine-to-Five.
He trips and stumbles out of the alley, doesn't even stop to pick up his money, just gaps it. When Sam appears in the mouth of the alley, he looks alarmed already, but widens his eyes as he stares at the man as he passes him.
Sam looks down at Dean, and he probably looks a goddamn mess, his t-shirt stretched out of shape and his jeans pocket turned inside out and his hair all mussed and he's still breathing hard, not from avoiding the man's punches, but from what came before. Sam's eyes move all over him, taking it all in, and all Dean can do is stand there and try to fix his hair.
Then Sam's eyes drift to the ground, to where the cash is scattered in the dust. "What—"
"Guess I was a little too convincing," Dean says, tries to smile, but it's weak.
"Did you actually—?" Sam looks horrified.
"What? No, Sammy, jesus." Dean's heart is racing again, and he averts his eyes because Sam might see the almost lie there in them. "Dude couldn't take barking up the wrong tree for an answer, is all. Good thing you turned up so I didn't have to knock the guy out and leave him here."
Sam shakes his head, and there's doubt and confusion in his face, in the way he stands. "We screwed up, Dean. We sent those kids away, and the demon got one of them."
Everything falls away, the guy that wanted to fuck him, the fact that Dean wanted to let him, everything, because he failed. He chokes on his words, finally manages to get his tongue to work. "Which one," he rasps. "What'd he do to him?"
Sam purses his lips, clears his throat, and his eyes are still on the bills spread out on the ground. "The junkie," he rasps. "The cops are already all over it, but Dean, he's not done. This kid, only his throat was cut. Either our guy got interrupted, or he's following the pattern. Someone else is gonna die tonight, and he'll do it right this time."
The bottom falls out of Dean's stomach, and he's dizzy. They were in the wrong place the whole time, and while Dean was thinking about doing what he swore to himself he'd never do again, someone else is probably being stalked, right now.
Or they're already dead.
It's been hours since they sent those three boys on their way. The first one who stalked off, the one they didn't pay to go home, he probably went somewhere else to find work. When Sam tells him the script, that a hundred and change years ago, Jack the Ripper killed two girls one night, Dean's surprised it wasn't him that got caught first.
But the tweaker, there's no way to know if he went home. Hell, he probably thought he'd blown Sam for that fifty, probably didn't understand that he had to go home, that he had to get off the streets.
But this corner, this piece of pavement between one street and another, this is where the first two victims disappeared from, so that's why they started here. There's other places in this city, no doubt, they just have no idea where to start.
So they start driving. They head in the direction the first kid went, because Dean has a horrible, sinking feeling. They head for the next block of bars, figuring there'll be somewhere else where boys line up to sell themselves.
They start walking the streets. Sam gets propositioned, by men, by women, but Dean can't even find itself in him to be amused, or to tease him. They find a place, and it's more public than the last place, plenty of street lights, plenty of bars nearby, the kind of place a killer should avoid, because there's plenty of people around to remember what someone looks like when they pick up a hooker.
They can't pay all the boys off that are standing around here. They can't convince them all to go home, to stay safe. They think they are safe, here, in the light, here, where there's people.
Then, what they're looking for, finds them.
A woman's scream echoes out of the alley they're walking past. She comes running out of there, thigh high boots sagging as she runs, teeny skirt riding up as she tries to get away from whatever she's running from.
Her client comes out after her, and he looks green. "Someone call the cops," he mutters, before he disappears.
Dean grabs Sam by the arm, and drags him down into the darkness.
He smells blood and viscera before they even get close. Flashlights find a pair of boot-clad feet, and Dean pauses. He turns away. "What'd he do to him, Sammy?"
Sam sucks in a harsh breath, lets it out in a shuddering rush. "Oh god."
Dean's got to look.
It's the first kid, the one who stormed off before Dean could tell him to just go home, but the only way Dean knows this is the shirt he's wearing, because his face has been mutilated beyond recognition. His jeans are bunched around his knees, and his shirt is pushed up. He's been gutted, disemboweled, and his insides have been piled unceremoniously beside his face. His throat has been cut, and Dean hopes like hell that it was done before the rest of it.
Dean turns away, and his stomach rebels. Empty, there's nothing to throw up, but he spits bile onto the ground.
"He's still warm," Sam says, his voice coming from somewhere near the ground. "He can't be far away."
"We gotta get out of here," Dean whispers. "Before the cops come."
Dean can't even eat the burgers Sam went for when they get back to the motel, but he starts in on the beer. He polishes off several by himself, and then starts on the bottle of whiskey from his duffle. On an empty stomach, he's working on passing out cold, because what he saw in that alley is the stuff of nightmares.
"So you've done that before," Sam says, and the words spill out like he's been holding them in. "I just can't figure out if you've gone undercover like that before, or if you've done it for real. Or if you've just been the guy paying for it."
Dean throws back his glass, drains it, and then fills it again. "Sammy," he warns. "Not really in the mood for share time, you know?"
"No, I know." Sam gives him the puppy eyes, the 'I understand' sympathy look, and Dean can't bear it. "But I have to know, Dean."
Dean looks away. "Remember back when you were a kid and Dad would disappear? Well, one time, I ran out of food money. That's all I'm saying."
It's said with such emotion, and all Dean hears is horror, shame, disappointment, that all he can do is shake his head. He gets up to walk away, but Sam's hand shoots out and grabs hold of his arm, tugs him back down to sitting.
"I'm sorry you had to do that," Sam whispers. "Jesus, how old were you?"
Dean can't bear to look at him. He's still shaking his head when he speaks. "It doesn't matter, Sammy. It's done, it's in the past, and I did what I had to do, okay? Just like I always do." He shakes his arm free of Sam's grip. "Can we please get back to the job? Because I'd like to get out of here and forget everything, okay?"
"Look at me, Dean."
He doesn't have to look to know that Sam's got that face on again, puppy dog eyes and sympathy, but he lifts his head. "What."
"I gotta know. How old were you?"
Dean shakes his head, hides his eyes again. "I was seventeen, okay? But you'd be surprised how often they didn't ask." He pushes himself to his feet, quickly this time, so Sam can't hold him. "Now. This demon. Jack the Ripper wannabe. He's been following the script so far, right? What's he gonna do next?"
Dean fudged the numbers, gave Sam an age that didn't sound so bad, didn't sound so horrifying even to Dean when he remembers what it was like back then, but Sam still looks shell-shocked. Utterly, utterly broken. He can never know the truth.
Sam swallows hard, purses his lips like he does when he's trying to hold back tears. "Um. He's almost done. He'll kill again, one more time. This time it'll be inside, a house, a room. Then he'll disappear."
"Okay. So we gotta find him first. How are we gonna do that?"
Sam's face is blank, there's nothing there but helplessness. "I don't know if we can, Dean. This is a big city, and he's doing them in order, but he's not sticking to the timeline, so it could be tomorrow night, or it could be days away. We won't know until it happens."
"So we're screwed, then? Come on, Sammy. We gotta figure this out."
"Dean, we can't."
Dean wakes up to darkness. He's still drunk, and the room is spinning, and he can't figure out what woke him. "Sam? Sammy?"
There's no answer, but Dean hears the click of the doorknob as it slowly turns.
He sits bolt upright, fumbles for the gun under his pillow, and he flicks the safety off as he slides out of bed as silently as he possibly can.
A sliver of light appears in the crack of the door. The room brightens as it opens, and Dean scans the room. Sam's bed hasn't been slept in, books are still piled up on the table. One of them should be the book they use for the exorcism, Dean knows, but he can't see which one it is. Sam isn't in the room.
Dean points the gun at the open door.
A tall figure appears. Really tall, like, Sam tall, and Dean almost breathes a sigh of relief, almost swears at him because he just about had a heart attack.
But it's not Sam. It's not Sam at all, even with the height and the long hair, it's not Sam. This guy moves different, and the hair is lank and greasy and Sam would never let his hair get like that. Not with his fancy shampoo and blow-drying it daily like a frickin girl, for fucks sake.
"Stop right there," Dean spits, and, oh fuck, he's still drunk. Probably can't shoot for shit, feels like he's swaying on his feet. "Stop right the fuck there or I will shoot you."
The guy doesn't stop coming. Seems to glide across the floor, coming at Dean fast.
Dean gets off two round. They slam into the demon's chest, blood spurts, but the guy keeps coming. He knocks the gun out of Dean's hand, and he throws him back onto the bed.
All the wind gets knocked out of Dean. He can barely breathe, and he thinks maybe he's going to throw up. The guy is still coming at him.
Dean holds his hands out in front of him, because that's all he has now to defend himself. He sees the glint of steel as the demon—Jack, holy fuck, he might as well call him Jack at this point—holds a long, thin knife high. "I'm going to enjoy eating your heart, hunter," he intones, and it's a creepy fucking British accent, too. This guy is just a bag full of stereotypes.
"Fuck you," Dean hisses, and he watches as the knife starts to fall.
"Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus."
Jack jerks his head up, looks back toward the open door. The blade, long and shining and menacing, hangs in the air, and Jack roars.
"Sammy?" Dean jerks and bucks, trying to throw Jack off, but he's pinned. "It's him, Sammy. It's the demon."
"Omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii, omnis legio, omnis congregatio et secta diabolica."
Jack swings his head from side to side, like he's trying to shake off the words. Black eyes gleam as he turns them on Dean. "Gonna carve you up, whore," he hisses, and the knife falls.
Sam's exorcism cuts off as he screams, and he rushes forward, appearing in Dean's field of vision, right there over Jack's shoulder. Dean's vision whites out as Jack's blade bites into his flesh, and he's dimly aware that it would have cut his throat had Sam not gripped Jack's shoulders and yanked backward as the blade came down. "Ergo, draco maledicte," Sam intones, as he throws Jack to the floor. "Ecclesiam tuam securi tibi facias libertate servire, te rogamus, audi nos."
Dean opens his eyes, watches as thick, black smoke pours out of the demon's mouth, swirls near the ceiling, and then races out the door.
The mattress beneath him feels wet, and Sam, looming over him, starts to blur in front of Dean's eyes. "He got me, Sammy," Dean slurs. "Bastard got me good."
There's something in Sam's hand, a piece of cloth, a shirt or something, and he wads it up and places it over the searing pain in Dean's shoulder. "Just stay there, man," he says, concern in his voice. "Don't try to get up."
"Sure," Dean promises, though he's not sure he could if he tried. "I'm Mary Kelly, aren't I, Sammy. He was gonna cut off my face and carve up my heart, the bastard."
And maybe he's not gonna die. Maybe he won't die, today, because there's a small smile on Sam's lips as he nods. "Yeah, Dean. You were almost Mary Kelly."
Dean's sitting up on Sam's bed now, because his is soaked with his own blood. There's a dead man in the trunk of the car and a bandage over the brand new stitches in his shoulder.
"So, you used me as bait," Dean says, once he's figured out why Sam wasn't in the room when he woke. "You just left me here for him. That's nice, Sam. Real nice."
Sam, to his credit, does look a little guilty. "You were passed out cold when I figured it out. I mean, it was our only shot. If he'd gone after someone else, he would have been done, and we'd never have caught him. But he made us—he made you. That's why he went across town. So it figured that he'd have kept tabs on us."
"Well, that was his mistake," Dean says. "I'm glad you were there. Watching out for me. Just, next time? Be a little quicker off the mark."