Rating: PG - Gen
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Whilst hunting a haunted house, Dean argues the benefits of Sam and he having matching kickass tattoos.
Dean looked on skeptically as Sam pressed the small button that sat next to the door.
"You expectin' the resident raccoon to come to do a meet and greet?"
Sam shrugged. Sure, the house looked like no one had walked through its front door for more than a few decades but the gesture of respect was automatic. Besides, places like this tended to attract worse beings than the vaporous sort and it was always better to be safe than sorry. But his brother needn't have bothered worrying about announcing themselves anyway. The bell had probably stopped working sometime back in the Carter administration.
They stepped into the foyer, the strange and small items of the house's previous owners that were left behind were random and unnoteworthy. A threadbare oriental rug that ran down the hall. A sagging wooden box with water swelled books stacked inside. A bare wire hung above them, the chandelier it had been once attached to laying in the corner with its dusty muted cut crystal laying disjointed and awkwardly across the floor.
The plaster on the walls was chipped and missing in large pieces. The windows that still had glass were swathed in cob webs with the suspended fluttering shapes of trapped dead leaves.
"Where do you wanna get started?" Dean flipped open the camcorder and trained it along the beam of his flashlight.
Sam thoughtfully loaded his shot gun and considered the adjoining dark sitting room.
Dean took his cue and went first. The wood planks of the floor shifted and groaned under their weight. Sam had a brief concerned flash about the condition of the place and if they would even be able to safety transverse the aging staircase to the second floor.
"So," His brother causally cleared his throat while adjusting the camera. "About what I mentioned yesterday..."
Sam sighed shortly, sweeping the barrel of his weapon along in time with the stark beam of Dean's flashlight.
"What about it?" He mumbled.
"Well," Dean shrugged as he rechecked a corner by the heavily draped windows. "I just wondered if you thought anymore about it."
Sam paused at the tell tale sound of a creak and moan of wood but quickly determined it was the wind easing through the ancient oak that was right outside.
They moved deeper into the house. A quick look into the closets with missing doors that sat empty and then it was onto the kitchen. With cracked old black and white checkered tile, it was barren of anything but the moldy slick basin of its large utility sized sink.
"Well, have you?"
His attention on the shadows, Sam felt his brother's warning hand press hard on his stomach, stopping him before he got too close to the water stained brown flooring that lay around the sink's base. Half of its cast iron weight was already sagging into the basement.
"Not really." Sam finally replied in vague distraction. Speaking of the basement, if the rumors about this house were true that's where half of all the real horribly fun stuff had taken place.
"Because." Dean attempted again offhandedly. "Well, if you'd like to you know, think about it some more, that would be fine with me--"
"Over there, over there..." Sam indicated a suspicious cabinet with its door slightly ajar.
His brother nudged it open with his boot and gave a brief shake of his head before moving on.
"But really, come on?" Dean smiled in the glow of his light. "Something like ... an anchor. Or a rifle! Or maybe um... ya know those girls you see on those mud flaps...?"
Sam shook his head to himself and turned, peering into the dark gloom behind him with a careful professional appraisal. He looked evenly and slowly around as they moved around the back of the kitchen and towards a domed glass enclosure. It had once probably been a fairly charming conservatory. Not anymore. The soil left under the cracked and missing panes of its frame had let the weeds run rampant, flooding up to obscure the windows and settling in unkempt tendrils from the ceiling.
"Or hey, I know, what about a heart? Like with, an arrow through it."
"I'm not getting a tattoo with you Dean."
Dean's careful light hearted demeanor crumbled into a shrug and frown.
"It was just an idea." He grumbled.
Curtly swinging his flashlight back onto the wooden planks of the floor, Dean made to move through a doorway that would lead them back to front of the place. The flashlight's glow was swallowed up as his brother turned the corner, leaving Sam behind in the murk. It was time to attempt to climb that rickety old staircase.
Sam glanced up at the ceiling and towards the floors that sat above them. Looked like if anyone was home, that was where they would be waiting. Sitting quietly, silently and still in the undisturbed dark. The only other place they hadn't looked was--
A sudden incredibly loud and tumultuous noise startled him almost into firing off a round by reflex.
Heart pounding, he grabbed his own heavy mag light from his back pocket, and hurriedly twisted it on. He pointed it through the doorway Dean had passed through and into the hallway beyond.
Dean was gone.
It took him several seconds to realize that where his brother had just been walking, what should have been a solid floor, was no longer. It was a jagged tangle of broken upright planks, snapped and slanting down into a black gaping hole.
A small groan answered him as he tried to flash the beam of his light down through the dusty mote filled air.
"Hey, are you okay?!"
"I'm fine-I'm fine." Dean coughed from somewhere below. "Damn dry rot."
Sam half smiled in a mixture of amused relief, more than glad that he hadn't been the one that had gone first. He looked around. He hadn't noticed any cellar doors. And if the story about the house was any indication, wherever it was, it was probably all sealed up behind some bricks, a ton plaster and a protective symbol. Sam stepped closer leaning down to get a better look.
Dean's voice sounded up from the depths once again.
"Ya know, if the rest of that floor gives way and you end up down here too, I'm just lettin ya know I don't have a pack of cards on me..."
Sam hastily stood back, heeding good advice. He looked at the tattered curtains and then a frayed length of electrical cord that lay coiled around a yellowed lamp. No good. He was going to have to get back to the car for some rope.
"Look, I'll be right back, I'm going to--"
Sam stilled at the subdued sound in his brother's voice. His nerves went to a fine keen edge, his hands sure on his weapon.
He heard Dean move swiftly somewhere below him, the crunch and gravel sound under his boots of the surely dirt floor of the bottom of the house.
Ignoring his brother's warnings about the floor's stability he moved back to its edge and trained his flashlight straight down. The circle of light revealed the floor debris almost ten feet down and little else.
"Oh shit--" Dean murmured down in the dark.
Sam pumped his shot gun and got ready for the real long unpleasant jump.
Dean suddenly stepped back into the flash light's circle below, dusty but not much worse for wear.
He held up two large brown glass jugs.
"Dude! Check this out! Vintage hooch!"
Sam lowered the barrel of his gun and let out the breath he was holding.
"How old do you think this stuff is?" Dean shook one appreciatively.
Sam shouldered his shot gun, his head falling back and his eyes shutting closed with a sigh.
"Less sighing, more rope getting..." His brother prompted as he clapped a cloud of dust off the shoulder of his jacket. "This joint isn't going to unhaunt itself."
Sam begrudgingly moved to comply.
"Wait a sec!" Dean called up from the cellar depths.
The car keys neatly popped up through the hole in the floor. Sam snatched them easily out of the air. Looking at them down in his hand, Sam felt his chest hitch in a small laugh.
"Hey Dean?" He said before he turned.
"What about a skull and cross bones?" Sam suggested. "With flames even."
He could hear his older brother laugh down in the dark.
"Now yer talkin' Sammy."