Second Chances III
The Headless Horseman

Orithain and Rina

September 2007

Disclaimers: You donít actually think we believe theyíre ours (other than Val of course!), do you? Weíre not delusional. ;) We donít make any money from this, just have fun.

Outside the Impala the autumn air was crisp despite the bright sun highlighting the brilliant reds, oranges and yellows of the leaves covering the endless trees on either side of the road. Inside, however, the air was downright steamy, something that Sam Winchester objected to... loudly.

"Quit it! Iím not chauffeuring a love shack on wheels for you two!"

"De-ean, Sam wonít let us play," Val whined up at the other man from his comfortable position with his head resting in Deanís lap. "And Iím not even doing anythingómuch."

"I know!"

"I donít want to know!"

Val snickered, sitting up and stretching, his t-shirt riding up to bare his stomach for a moment. "All better now?"

"Yes!"

"No!"

Dean and Sam glared at each other, ignoring Valís snickers.

"Iíll make it up to you later, Dean-o," Val grinned before leaning over the back of the front seat to watch the road again. "So, how much longer Ďtil we get there?"

"Oh my God, if you ask if weíre there yet, I may have to stuff you in the trunk," Dean groaned.

"Sa-am, heís picking on me," Val whined, making the younger Winchester shake his head.

"Not getting in the middle of this."

"See what you did, Sammy? He was quiet till you disturbed us."

"What he would have been doing in a minute would have disturbed me more!"

"Are you saying you donít trust us?" Dean gave Sam his best whipped puppy look.

"Not in the least when it comes to you two and sex," Sam snorted, making Val grin.

"He knows us well."

"Too well," Dean grumbled before chuckling. "Fine, weíll be good in the car. Today. That make you happy, Sammy?"

"For today, and tomorrow you can driveónever thought Iíd be saying that."

"And you never answered my questionóhow much longer to good old Sleepy Hollow?"

"Maybe half an hour," Dean answered. "And I have to say this is really weird."

Sam glanced back at him in the rearview mirror, his eyebrows raised. "Chasing down a rumor that the Headless Horseman is undead and well and on the hunt again?"

"Yeah, I feel like we should be looking for Johnny Depp."

"Liked him better as Jack Sparrow," Val chimed in.

"Iím not putting dice and chopsticks in my hair."

"You donít have enough; Sam though..."

"Isnít your dress up doll."

"Nope, he sticks to undressing me," Dean said smugly.

Sam groaned. "The minute any clothes come off in here is the minute I pull over and you walk there."

"I donít think he appreciates us, Val."

Val glanced back at Dean and nodded sadly. "I know he doesnít, but he will the next time we save his butt."

"Oh, like I donít save your butts all the time," Sam snorted.

"Well, they are cute butts, so I canít blame you."

"I donít care what your butts look like!"

Val snickered and settled back in the seat beside Dean. "Heís so easy to get going," he whispered loudly.

"And itís not like we have anything else to distract us while weíre in the car," Dean replied in an even louder whisper.

"Nothing we can do any way," Val added.

"You have something else in mind?"

"Nope, just commenting."

"Well damn, you got me all excited."

"Shut up!" Sam yelled.

"We could always stop and buy some apples," Val suggested as they passed a stand.

"I am never going near anything that even looks like it might have been near an orchard," Dean said with a shudder.

Sam nodded in agreement, the Impala speeding up slightly as he pressed on the gas.

"Shit, sorry, how about pumpkin pie instead?"

"As long as we donít buy it from a guy on a horse whoís carrying it under his arm," Dean said.

Val shrugged. "It would make it easy to find him then."

"I think Iíd rather stick to tracking him down," Sam commented, and Dean nodded vigorously.

"Yeah, just once Iíd like not to be chased."

"Except by me!"

"Itíd be a really short chase."

"And in a direction away from me!"

Dean laughed. "Trust me, Sam, I donít want you around then any more than you want to be."

"Vanilla, the both of you," Val sniffed theatrically.

"Deal with it," Dean retorted unsympathetically.

"Just not here," Sam cut in before Val could answer.

"You know, Sleepy Hollow is practically in New York City. Once we finish up, we could have that vacation at a luxury hotel we keep talking about," Dean suggested.

"Mmm, I love that idea just so long as the place has good room service," Val purred, "because we wonít be leaving once we get there."

"Thatís why I said a luxury hotel. I know better than to suggest anything less to you."

"Smart man," Val grinned while Sam snorted his opinion of that.

"The Headless Horseman," Sam said, drawing their attention. "I did some research, and it turns out that several of the casualties from the Battle of White Plains were buried in the Old Dutch Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow... including one Konrad Brockner, a Hessian soldier who was decapitated by a saber blow."

"Hey, old Washington Irving got it pretty close to right," Dean said. "Thatís better than a lot of reporters usually manage, and he was writing fiction. Supposedly. Makes you wonder if he actually saw the ghost, doesnít it?"

"Most of the best stories usually have a genesis in reality, whether by witnessing it or being visited by it," Val commented.

"Weíve noticed," Dean said, meeting Samís eyes in the rearview mirror as they both remembered some of the so-called urban legends theyíd encountered.

"Well, if he is real, at least heís just a ghost."

"Thereís no such thing as just a ghost," Sam said.

"No, thereís always a reason why the ghost is here, never pretty, and theyíre usually fairly pissedóand often violent about expressing themselves," Dean agreed.

"Letís hope none of us get hit with a pumpkin."

Dean snorted a laugh. "Iíll protect you from any flying vegetables."

"My hero," Val crooned in a sickening falsetto that had Sam gagging.

"How about the two of you stay quiet until we get thereóand manage it in some way other than sucking each othersí tonsils out!"

"Well, hell, whatís the fun in that, Sammy?"

"Told you," Val muttered though he was grinning.

"I hate you both," Sam groaned.

"No, you donít. You should be grateful we keep you from getting bored." Dean rested his head on Valís shoulder and smirked at his brother in the mirror.

"Not!"

"You have no idea what youíre missing," Dean said loftily.

"Yes, he does," Val grinned, "thatís why he hates it when we go at it."

"Iíll stick to girls, thanks!"

"Isnít that what I said?" Dean asked Val, smirking.

"The terms were much more colorful, but yeah, though I doubt Sammy could be swayed, even by me."

"Damn right!"

"Not that you intend to try, right?" Dean growled possessively.

"I think Iím going to get a tattoo that reads ĎI solemnly swear not to attempt to molest Sam Winchesterí. Would that make you believe me?"

"Nope." Dean waited a beat before continuing, "I like ĎProperty of Dean Winchesterí better."

"Sam, if you see any tattoo parlors on the drive in, let me out!"

"Ignore that, Sam," Dean ordered, laughing. "Iíd rather stake my claim more personally."

Theyíd reached the town by then, and Sam suddenly pulled over to the curb. "Thatís it, Iím going to take a walk around town, see what I can find out. You two go and... do whatever; just call and let me know where weíre staying." Saying that, he climbed out of the car and started walking toward the center of Sleepy Hollow.

"Well huh," Val commented before dissolving into laughter against Deanís side.

"Well, now we have to have sex," Dean got out around chuckles. "Sam ordered us to."

"Any particular position we should do it in, in his honor?" Val asked, ducking aside when Dean tried to smack him.

"You are one sick fuck," Dean said, laughing. He got out of the car and moved into the driverís seat, glancing over his shoulder. "Planning to join me up here or do you have some kinky fantasy about a chauffeur?"

"Well, now that you mention it," Val laughed, even as he climbed over the seat to slouch in the passengerís seat. "So find us a hotel, Dean-o; Iíll warm the lube."

"I shoulda known," Dean said wryly. "You probably have fantasies about everything." He spotted a motel down a side street and turned sharply, pulling up outside the office. "Just keep doing what youíre doing. Iíll go see if they have two rooms available."

"Just what do you think Iím doing?" Val asked innocently, rubbing a hand over his crotch and licking his upper lip.

"What I want to be doing very soon." Dean leaned over to kiss him quickly, nipping at Valís lower lip, before sliding out of the car. "Keep the motor running; I wonít be long."

"Itíll be revving and waiting," Val called after him, his eyes half-closed as he watched Dean walk into the office, then out again a short time later. "Took you long enough," he purred. "Almost got myself off thinking of you."

"Hold that thought," Dean as he drove around the motel to their room. As he got out of the car, he called Sam. "I left your key in the glove compartment, Sammy. Do not disturb!"

"As if I donít know that by now!" Sam said, loud enough for Val to hear.

"Your brotherís a smart man," the former demon purred as he moved around the car, trailing his fingers over the hood and making the Impala rock slightly in place.

Watching, Dean smiled crookedly. "One of these times, weíre going to stop somewhere out in the middle of nowhere where no one can interrupt us, and weíre going to fuck on the hood of the car."

"Promises, promises," Val crooned as he sauntered toward the door.

Deanís eyebrows rose. The next time he had a chance, Val was in for one hell of a shock. He followed Val into the room and shut and locked it behind them, leaning back against it to rake his eyes over the lean form waiting for him. "Why are you still dressed?"

"Because I donít want to rip the fine clothes," Val laughed, tossing his long-sleeved shirt toward Dean so he could skim out of his jeans.

"Whatís under them is better." Dean caught the shirt and tossed it onto a chair, followed by his own, and then he worked on his own jeans while toeing off his sneakers.

Val struck a pose, turning in a slow circle and smiling at Dean over his shoulder. "Damn right it is."

"Mmmmmm." Dean made a soft growl of pure lust and took the single step necessary to press up against Valís back, his arms sliding around the dark-haired man.

"Mmm is right. Planning on taking me up against the wall, Dean-o?" Val purred, grinding back against him.

"That could work for the first time," Dean mused, rocking against Valís ass.

"And once thatís done, I plan on pinning you to the bed, sucking you until youíre hard, then fucking you for at least an hour."

Dean got even harder. "Have I mentioned how much I love the way your mind works?" he rasped, turning them around to press Val against the wall.

Val smiled sensually before leaning in to nip at Deanís lower lip as he hiked a leg over his hip. "Thatís because itís devious and perverted."

"Absolutely perfect," Dean decided, leaning to the side to grab his jacket and fumble the lube out of the pocket.

"Of course I am," Val laughed, stroking a hand down Deanís chest and tweaking his nipple, grinding into him at the same time.

"Fuck! Iím not going to last long enough to get inside you if you keep doing that," Dean gasped.

Val stilled at that and leaned back against the wall, moving his hand to his own chest so he could play with himself. "Better?"

"Christ." Dean nearly dropped the lube as he tried to get it open, then finally managed to squeeze some over his fingers. He tossed the tube onto the bed as he slid his fingers between Valís cheeks, lightly gliding back and forth over his hole.

"I keep telling you I never knew him," Val teased, pressing back and down to get Deanís fingers in him.

"Smart ass," Dean grumbled before nipping at Valís lower lip while pushing his fingers deeper.

"Smart and hot." Val gasped out the last word as Dean rubbed a fingertip over his prostate.

"Yeah, I am." Dean smirked as he repeated the touch that had made Val squirm and growl as his attempt at a snort turned into a moan. Dean hastily pulled his fingers free and stroked the lube onto his cock, then pressed forward, pushing into Val.

"Oh yeah," Val gasped, tightening his grip on Deanís shoulders and leaning back against the wall as he raised his other leg and hooked it around Deanís hips, pulling him closer.

Dean groaned as Val sank down onto him, and he cupped his hands under Valís ass, holding him close. "You feel so fucking good."

Val chuckled and tightened down around Deanís cock, arching his back to rub his own erection against the other manís abdomen. "Of course I do."

"Could you be any more full of yourself?" Dean snorted, knowing it was a mistake as soon as the words left his lips.

"Well, not now, no," Val laughed, rocking against Deanís thrusts. "But in the past, I could have been. Itís a bit boring though."

Dean actually stilled as he thought about that. "Never mind, I really donít want to know."

"Vanilla."

"With Val sauce."

"Just as good as hot fudge."

"Better," Dean said emphatically, punctuating it with a hard thrust.

"K-keep that up, youíll be tasting it soon," Val rasped, his fingers digging into Deanís shoulders as they moved together.

"Thatís the plan." Dean took Valís mouth as he was taking his body, making the former demon groan and cling to him before stiffening as his climax overcame him. Dean groaned as Valís body rippled around him, then slammed into him again, moving rapidly until he cried out with his own orgasm.

"You know, if you drop me, Iím so kicking your ass," Val growled when Deanís grip loosened.

"Then put your damn feet on the floor," Dean griped, trying to lock his knees to keep them upright.

"Why, when you can carry me to the bed, you big, buff man, you." Val leaned back and fluttered his eyelashes at Dean.

Dean made gagging noises.

"Oh, but pookie, youíre so strong," Val crooned.

"If you call me pookie again, Iíll throw you down, never mind dropping you!" Dean took a cautious step, finding his balance, then continued toward the bed.

"You throw me down, you arenít getting near my ass or any other part of me for a looong time!" Val retorted though he held still, not wanting to topple them over.

"Then for both our sakes, youíd better not call me that again." Dean lowered them onto the bed, rolling over so that Val was on top of him.

Val snickered and leaned in to nuzzle Deanís throat, licking at the sweat-dampened skin. "No fun."

"Iím pretty sure I just proved that Iím a lot of fun."

"Hrmmm..."

Dean bit him, making Val squirm. "Now thatís fun."

"Why am I not surprised? But not even for you am I donning black latex and brandishing a whip."

"You look better in leather," Val smirked before leaning in and biting Dean back.

"I look better in you," Dean moaned, his back arching.

"Not arguing that one bit though on me ranks a close second."

"We should try that again soon to compare."

"How soon?" Val pulled back and smiled, his eyes flashing emerald for a moment, sending a surge of lust through both of them.

"Oh fuck," Dean gasped. "Sooner than I thought humanly possible."

"Former demonic tendencies have their perks," Val grabbed for the lube as he spoke and slicked up a finger, pressing it into Deanís ass at the same time he lapped at a peaked nipple while finally pulling off of Deanís cock.

"I have to agree with that." Dean nodded as his hips jerked.

"You just like it that Iím just as horny as you."

"I think Iím the one trying to keep up with you." Deanís fingers dug into Valís shoulders as he clung to Val.

Val shook his head and brushed a tender kiss over Deanís lips as he pulled his finger back and slid his cock into Deanís ass. "Itís because of you that I am this way."

"Iíll take that as a compliment," Dean gasped, clenching down on Val.

"You should." Val eased back until he almost slipped out of Deanís ass and held himself there.

Dean groaned harshly, his grip tightening on Valís shoulders. "So fuck me!"

Val nodded, and his eyes flashed again as he slid forward, settling into a steady rhythm that kept them both on edge but wasnít quite enough to give them release.

"Oh God, you can keep that up forever," Dean rasped, staring up into Valís eyes.

"I can try," Val murmured.

"Thatíd be g-good."

Val nodded and continued to move, sweat standing out on his brow as he held himself in rigid control, and Dean kept staring up at him, his hands moving in restless caresses over Valís back.

"Anything you want, Dean," Val whispered. "Anything."

"You. I want you."

"Thatís easy then."

Dean nodded jerkily before pulling Valís head down to kiss him as they continued to rock together, lost in the sensation and in each other. No matter how hard they tried to prolong it, their bodies could only hold out for so long, and soon they were slamming together as the pleasure overwhelmed them.

"Dean, yes!" Val gasped, slipping a hand between them to roughly jerk the other man off, his grip almost tight enough to be painful.

"Val." The name was gritted out between Deanís teeth as he jerked, caught between the cock in his ass and the hand on his own shaft, driving him even higher.

"Come for me; show me youíre mine too."

Deanís eyes were locked on Valís as he arched again and came, shuddering with each spasm that rippled through him. Val laughed wildly as he saw and felt the reaction, then he was coming too, pouring himself into the other man as he stared down at him.

As the last spasm passed, Dean wrapped his arms around Valís back and drew him down.

"Sorry, not quite forever."

"Iím not complaining."

"Good." Val sighed and squirmed until they were both comfortable.

"You thought I might? If I had enough energy left, Iíd laugh at you."

Val growled at that, but he didnít move. "Oh shut up and bask in the afterglow."

Dean snickered as he mimed zipping his lips.

Once the Impala vanished down the street, Samís smile faded, and he huffed out a breath before squaring his shoulders and looking around. Spotting a coffee shop, he headed that way, wanting something to drink before he started looking for answers to their questions, answers that would hopefully distract him from the date that was looming in his mind.

Stepping inside the shop, he headed up to the counter, getting in line and looking up at the menu, barely avoiding bumping into the petite girl in front of him when she stepped back. She gave him a social smile as she sidestepped.

"Sorry, I shouldíve looked where I was going." Her smile warmed as she actually looked at him.

"Not a problem," he answered, smiling back reflexively. "Glad you didnít spill your coffee."

"Me too! I need my caffeine fix." The pretty blond pushed her hair behind her ears, making big, blue eyes even more evident, and offered her hand. "Iím Trina."

"Oh, uh, Sam," he said, shaking her hand after a split-secondís hesitation. "Nice to meet you."

"Likewise." She looked around. "Seating seems to be at a premium. Care to share a table?"

Again he hesitated before nodding. "Sure, thatíd be great. Just let me get my drink."

"Great, Iíll nail down that table before someone beats me to it." Trina moved quickly, dropping into a seat and giving an innocent look to a scowling woman whoíd also been after it.

Sam had to grin at that little exchange, and he was still smiling when he carried his coffee over to the table and sat down across from Trina. She chuckled at his expression. "I live in Manhattan; I know how to be quick to go after what I want."

"Manhattan? Not quite the suburbs out here," Sam commented.

"Iím researching my family tree. Iíve made it back to the Revolution when my ancestors lived in Sleepy Hollow, and one of them fought in the Battle of White Plains."

"Isnít that the battle where the legend of the Headless Horseman originated?" Sam asked, looking at her more closely. "Iím here doing research on the truth behind the legend."

"Good luck with that. I donít know how you have the patience. I like dealing with facts; myths and folklore frustrate me; theyíre so... fuzzy." Trina shrugged before taking another sip of her coffee. "If you like, I can let you know if I happen to run across anything in my research that would help you. If you give me your number, that is." She smiled, her blue eyes bright with interest.

"Ió" Sam hoped his relief wasnít too visible when his phone rang, cutting off his answer. "Yeah. Glove box, got it, but where..." The phone went dead, and he sighed, shaking his head as he glowered at it.

"Problems?" Trina looked at him inquisitively.

"My brother," Sam sighed, stuffing his phone back into his pocket. "He and his boyfriend graciously took time out from their smut-fest to tell me they got me a room at a hotelójust not which one it was." He paused then, realizing how what heíd said must have sounded. "Not that I mind usually; they just get a little focused when theyíre that way."

Trina chuckled. "So how exactly are you supposed to find them?"

"Iíll call them in a couple of hours; they should have gotten it out of their system by then," Sam chuckled.

"Since you seem to be at loose ends, would you like to have lunch with me?"

Sam hesitated a beat as Trina was obvious in her interest, but he finally nodded. "Sure, if you donít mind talking about the area and what you know about it along the way."

"Itíll be my pleasure." She grinned quickly. "I used to work as a tour guide in college."

"Where was that?" he asked before raising his coffee cup and taking a drink.

"Columbia. I had a double major in history and sociology." She chuckled wryly. "Iíve always been a bit of a workaholic."

"Thatís not a bad thing if you ask my opinion," Sam chuckled. "Are you planning on teaching?"

"I already have a job at Columbia," she admitted. "Starting next fall. I took a year off to research my book."

"Is that why youíre researching your family tree?"

She nodded. "The bookís actually about the Battle of White Plains, but there are dozens of books about the Revolution. I thought doing it from the perspective of one soldier would make it more interesting. If nothing else, itís more interesting for me."

Sam nodded and set his cup down. "Enjoying what youíre doing is whatís important; if you didnít do this, youíd wonder about it the rest of your life."

"I usually go for what I want when I see it."

"I got that impression," he offered, smiling slightly.

"Do you mind?"

"Iím used to dealing with strong-minded people."

"Oh good." Trina beamed at him. "So... where would you like to go for lunch?"

"No idea, youíve been here longer than I have; why donít you pick."

"Thereís a great pub just up the road. They make the best cheeseburgers in the world. Sound good?"

Sam nodded and downed the rest of his coffee. "The best cheeseburgers in the world sound great; is it close enough to walk?"

Trina nodded and stood up after finishing her coffee as well. "Sure, itís not far. And we go past several historic sites along the way. I can get some pictures for my book."

"Sure." Sam stood as well and carried their cups over to the tray by the garbage. "Old places are always interesting."

"Iíve always thought so too." She slung her bag over her shoulder and strolled out to the sidewalk, waiting for him to join her. "This trip is going to be even better than I expected."

"Actually, Iíd like uninteresting; Iíve had more than enough of the former, thanks," he commented, falling in alongside her as they started walking.

"Now that sounds like a story. Care to share?"

"I thought history was your thing?"

"Whatís history except peopleís stories?"

"Most of them are older than mine."

"They werenít the first time they were told," Trina pointed out.

Sam smiled a bit at that. "Usually Iím the logical one, not that itís hard dealing with Dean and Val."

"Thatís your brother and his boyfriend?" She waited for his nod of confirmation. "It sounds like youíre really close. Iíve always envied people with brothers or sisters."

"You wouldnít if youíd met mine."

Trina chuckled, pushing a windblown lock of blond hair back behind her ear. "Iím sure you donít mean that."

Sam chuckled at that. "You havenít met Dean."

"No, but Iíve met his brother. He canít be too bad."

"Heíd do anything for me... and I feel the same," Sam admitted.

"It must be nice." Trina paused at a plaque on the side of a building and snapped a picture.

"It is, when I donít want to kill him; we donít have the most normal family relationship."

"You know," she mused, starting to walk again, "I think Hollywood has a lot to answer for. No one has ever had a family like the Cleavers."

He nodded, scuffling through a pile of leaves. "If they did, that would probably be one of the scariest things Iíve ever seen."

"Iíd have to agree. It would be something out of the Stepford Wives. Hmm, would that make me Nicole Kidman?"

"That depends, is Christopher Walken or Meryl Streep coming to try to roboticize you?"

"God, I hope not!" Trina laughed. "Talk about making me lose my appetite!"

Samís smile turned into a full-fledged laugh at that. "No talking about Stepford citizens then. Next topic?"

"Fashion?" Trina suggested, laughing at his expression.

"Next?"

"Are you always this difficult?" she asked with amusement. "Fine, what do you want to talk about?"

"Anything but fashion, Jess always said..." Sam fell silent at that before giving himself a shake. "How about the weather?"

Seeing the flash of sorrow cross Samís face, Trina followed his suggestion without argument. "Itís a nice day for traveling. Did you just get into town?"

"Yeah," Sam replied gratefully, "an hour or so ago, what about you? How long have you been in town doing your research?"

"About a week. And I have to say that the people around here take this Headless Horseman thing pretty seriously. Youíd almost think they really believed it."

"Amazing, eh? But I did notice in my research that there have been a number of people reporting that theyíd seen something strange around here lately."

"Iím tempted to do a separate article on folklore," Trina admitted.

"Youíd probably find thereís more truth to it than not," Sam murmured.

Her eyebrows rose. "I rather doubt Iíll find any factual accounts of a headless ghost terrorizing a community in search of his head and vengeance."

Sam chuckled at that. "I guess not, but there has to be a point where the truth and the story intersect."

"Well, yes, or the stories wouldnít be as widespread. Usually. Urban legends often have no basis in fact though."

"Youíd be surprised," Sam commented, smiling slightly as he looked down at her. "The facts may not be well known, but theyíre there if you dig far enough."

"Giant alligators in New Yorkís sewers?" Trina challenged with a grin.

"You never know; they could be there. I for one donít feel like going to look for them though."

She wrinkled her nose. "No, I donít really want to wander the sewers either. But the folk tales, Iíll grant you, do usually have some basis in fact. Hmm, that might be an interesting tie in for my book, to find the actual event that led to the Headless Horseman legend."

Sam nodded at that as they continued walking. "It would give you a good hook to draw people in."

"Of course, it would also label me as a nut instead of an academic."

"Not if you could back the legend up with facts."

"A real ghost?" Trina chuckled. "I think Iíll stick with history."

Sam nodded at that and smiled. "You worry about the facts, and Iíll worry about the legends."

"Sounds fair to me." Trina paused at another commemorative plaque and snapped a picture. "I love small towns for this; they put up signs for everything."

"Be careful or theyíll put one up commemorating the place you started writing your book."

Trina chuckled. "Which would mean I was famous, so thatís not a bad thing."

"Better than being infamous," Sam grinned as they started walking again.

"You have a very interesting way of looking at things." Trina glanced at him curiously.

"You could say that." Samís phone rang, and he pulled it out of his pocket to answer it. "All done now? Care to tell me where weíre staying?"

Dean laughed and had to tell Val what heíd done before he finally got around to giving Sam the name and address of the hotel. "And weíre hungry. Get some burgers or something on your way over, Sammy."

"Do I look like a delivery boy?" Sam grumbled.

"Kid brothers are even better than delivery boys," Dean chuckled.

Meanwhile Trina pointed out, grinning, "Donít you surf the net or watch movies? Itís always the delivery boy who gets the girl."

"Hey, whoís with you, Sammy?" Dean asked, hearing her voice in the background.

"Someoneís with Sam?" Valís voice was also audible over the phone.

"Her nameís Trina; sheís writing a book about the battle here."

"Really? She might know details that could help us. Bring her back with you when you get dinner."

"How about you and Val get dressed and meet us at..." Sam glanced over at Trina inquiringly.

"Does everyone like burgers?" She waited for his nod, then gave directions to the pub they were heading for.

"Oh fine," Dean grumbled. "See if we give you any time to yourself when you get a girl."

"I gave you time!" Sam protested. "Not even Val can go at it twenty-four hours a day!"

"But I can try!" Val laughed.

"Just remember that youíre the one who challenged him," Dean warned laughingly. "This is all your fault."

"Somehow, itís always my fault," Sam chuckled.

"Thatís because youíre the kid brother."

"You said you donít have any brothers or sisters?" Sam sighed to Trina as he hung up on Dean.

"No, Iím an only child, and so were both my parents, so I donít even have cousins. Iím it for the family."

"You want a brother?" Sam asked, grinning slightly. "He even comes with a boyfriend."

Trina laughed. "Thanks, but I wouldnít want to be responsible for breaking up your happy family. Iíll just muddle along as I am."

"Smart women are always my downfall."

"Flattery will get you everywhere," Trina chuckled, her blue eyes sparkling.

"Even where to find lunch?" Sam asked with a smile.

"I think we can swing that. Iím looking forward to meeting your brother and his friend. They sound interesting." Trina gestured to the side as they reached a corner, and they turned down the street. "The pubís just in the next block. Weíll probably have time for a drink before they meet us."

"You may need one; I know I will."

"Iím sure they canít be that bad," Trina chided laughingly.

"Weíll see if you say that after meeting them," Sam chuckled.

"Youíre making me very curious about them, you know." Trina pulled open the door as they reached it and stepped inside, blinking at the sudden change from the bright sunlight outside.

"Iíll let them tell you all about themselves," Sam promised.

"Iím looking forward to it." Once they were seated at table in the charmingly rustic pub that Rip Van Winkle himself would have felt perfectly at home in and had ordered their drinks, Trina propped her chin in her hands and regarded Sam curiously.

"Okay, what?" he asked before taking a drink of his beer.

"Iím just wondering what youíre really doing here."

"Research, same as you," Sam answered before lifting his beer bottle and taking a drink.

"Hm." Trina murmured noncommittally as she sipped at her own beer, her blue eyes still intent on Sam. Whatever she might have commented, however, was lost in Dean and Valís arrival.

"Sammy. Hi, Iím Dean." Dean flashed a grin at the pretty blond sitting with his brother.

"And Iím Val," the other man chimed in, dropping into the chair beside Sam and smiling as well.

"And Iím Trina," she introduced herself, looking curiously from Dean to Sam and back. "Pleased to meet you."

"Makes you wonder which one was the cuckoo egg, doesnít it?" Val chuckled.

"Ha ha." Dean made a face at his lover. "I got Momís coloring, and Sam got Dadís is all."

"You must get a lot of people thinking youíre a couple if you travel together a lot," Trina mused.

"Way too many," Dean agreed. "Of course, not so much now that Valís here too."

"I tried to talk them into a threesome, but Sam wouldnít go for it," Val said mournfully.

Sam and Dean both choked and glared at Val while Trina started laughing.

"Poor babies, theyíre so abused," Val cooed.

"You are so sleeping on the couch!" Dean growled. "And since we donít have one, enjoy the chair!"

"Yeah, right, like you could go a night without me!"

Sam groaned and shook his head before shrugging at Trina. "Now do you understand?"

"I think theyíre fun," she protested laughingly.

"Try living with them," Sam chuckled.

Yawning and rubbing at his stubble, Val walked out of the bathroom, shaking his head when he saw Dean watching the television. "I thought you were going to bed," he asked, flopping down beside the other man and snuggling close, resting his head on Deanís shoulder as he focused on the TV.

All was silent for a moment before he yelped, "What the hell are you watching?!"

Dean snickered. "I thought you liked my Chris obsession? Itís his first appearance on Charmed."

"You have to be kidding."

"You donít recognize yourself?" Dean snickered as the show gave another close up of the actor, complete with really bad hair.

"You have to be kidding," Val repeated. "Please tell me you saw more than this episode when you dreamed me up."

Dean laughed. "You donít look like that, do you? I never actually saw this one. I watched the next season."

"Thank the maker," Val shuddered. "That hair, those sunglasses... Nasty!"

"I thought I was the maker?" Dean grinned at him. "And yeah, if your hair ever gets like that, Iíll cut it myself. And yes, Iím reaching that point with Samís."

Val snorted at that and ran a hand through his own shaggy hair. "So you mean I can get it cut before it hits my chin? And just so you know, I love you, but you are so not the maker."

"You mean I didnít create you? Well, damn."

"God complex much, Dean-o?"

"Naw, just making sure no one else has a claim on you."

Val snorted at that. "As if and, oh my god, how stupid are those women?"

"Theyíre hot and powerful. You want brains too?"

"You would rather have your powerful beings stupid and vapid?"

"I like you just the way you are, but TV bimbos are fine the way they are."

"So say you and a million other men," Val grumbled.

"Exactly." Dean pulled Val over him. "But unlike those million other men who have to jerk off to fantasies of the bimbettes, I have you."

"Are you sure you donít want to watch that version of me with bad hair trying to help the bimbette goddesses?" Val asked before leaning in to bite at Deanís shoulder.

"Iíd much rather have you fuck me. Or fuck you if you prefer."

Val lifted his head and smirked, his dark green eyes flashing in the low light of the television. "Oh, I think I can do that," he chuckled, grinding down against Deanís groin.

"I thought maybe you could." Dean arched up, pressing against Val and groaning.

"What a shock," Val laughed, catching Deanís mouth in a hungry kiss as he grabbed the muscled thigh sliding round his hip and pulled it higher, opening Dean to him.

"So fuck me," Dean demanded, cupping Valís ass in his hands and pulling him closer.

"Sure you donít want to watch that guy with the bad hair tell the skanks what to do?"

"Iíd rather have you tell me what to do."

"Mmm, how about you get yourself ready for me," Val purred, licking a stripe up Deanís neck.

Dean shivered and reached for the lube on the nightstand. He kissed Val hard before grinning. "Canít do much with you lying on top of me."

"You saying that you canít handle little old me?" Val asked innocently before pushing back onto his knees, watching Dean hungrily.

"Iím saying Iím not Gumby and canít get a hand in my ass with you pressing me flat," Dean retorted. He rose up onto his knees, turned sideways to make sure that Val had a good view, and slid a lube-slicked finger into his own ass, making the former demon groan.

"Oh fuck, you look gorgeous like that."

"I always look gorgeous."

"Not as gorgeous as me."

Dean snorted. "How Ďbout we call it even and you fuck me?"

Val chuckled and caught Deanís wrist, twisting it to turn his finger within him. "Anytime, anywhere."

Dean gasped, biting his lips as he squirmed. "Now would be good."

"No patience, Deano?" Val purred, leaning in to nip at Deanís ear.

"None at all." Dean groaned and tilted his head to the side.

"Mmm, just what I love about you," Val laughed, nuzzling Deanís throat before pulling back and smirking. "So you donít mind if I block your view of the TV?"

"I prefer the real live version."

"Very smart man," Val purred, licking at a peaked nipple before pulling back to watch Dean stretch his own ass. After a moment, Dean slid his fingers free and lay back, his legs spread.

"So what are you waiting for?"

"Nothing." As he spoke, Val grinned and took the lube, rocking back to make a show of slicking himself up, making Dean groan.

"Tease," he laughed.

"And you love it."

"Almost as much as I love when you stop teasing."

"Which would be Ďbout now..." As Val spoke, he pressed forward into Deanís ass, groaning as the tight heat encased his cock.

"Oh fuck yeah." Dean arched up to take Val deeper, raising his legs to twine them around Valís waist.

Val smirked and stroked his hands up Deanís chest, rubbing his nipples as they moved together. Dean gasped and copied the movement, teasing Valís nipples while clenching down on his cock.

"Fuck, that feels good," Val growled, rocking forward, thrusting harder each time Dean tightened around him.

Dean nodded jerkily. He reached up, tangling his fingers in Valís hair to pull him down for a hungry kiss.

"Damn, you feel good," Val murmured before closing his teeth on Deanís lower lip and sliding a hand between them to stroke his cock.

"You too," Dean panted, licking at Valís upper lip and grabbing his forearms. "God, fuck me harder," he groaned.

Val nodded, catching Deanís hips in his hands and hiking his lower body higher so he could slam into him, the tight grasp of Deanís ass drawing his own groans from him.

"Fuck, Val," Dean rasped, his grip tightening enough to leave bruises.

"Oh yeah," Val growled, drawing back until he almost slipped from Deanís ass, teasing them both.

"Bastard!" Dean tightened his legs around Val, pulling him deep again.

"You have to have parents to be a bastard," Val chuckled, circling his hips before driving forward again.

"Not in your case." Dean groaned and arched his back deeply, meeting Valís thrust.

Val chuckled and shifted his hand back to Deanís cock, stroking it in time with his thrusts, both of them on the edge. Dean cried out with every touch, meeting Val, and then he yelled Valís name as he came.

"Oh fuck, yeah," Val groaned, leaning in to swallow Deanís cries as he drove into him a final time, shuddering as he came.

Dean lay under him, arms and legs wrapped around Val, and after a little while he started to laugh. "If youíre going to react that way every time, Iíll have to watch the goofy version of you more often."

"You are such an idiot," Val growled, smacking Dean on the hip, then rolling off him, groaning when he caught sight of the television screen again.

"Aw, he lost the really cool sunglasses," Dean snickered.

"I hate you."

"You should love me for not making you look like that."

"You hadnít seen it."

"Arenít you glad?" Dean was still laughing.

Val rolled his eyes, sat up, reached for a pillow, and began beating Dean over the head and chest with it. Dean tried to defend himself, but he was hampered by his helpless laughter, which only increased every time he caught sight of the TV. "I really, really hate you," Val growled, giving up on the pillow and turning his attack to tickling Deanís exposed ribs, making Dean howl and curl up into a ball, trying to fend Val off.

"Stop that or Iíll make posters!"

"Do you ever want to have sex again?!"

"Like youíre going to take up celibacy!" Dean snorted.

"I can play with myself just fine."

"And if I lie naked in front of you, a dildo up my ass and jerking myself off, youíre going to keep your hands to yourself?"

"I really, really hate you," Val growled.

Dean smirked. "You love me."

Val glowered at him, then resumed his attack, making the bed thump against the wall.

A moment later there was more banging from the other side of the wall. "Stop that!" Samís voice came through the still closed connecting door. "Or Iíll come in there to throw water over you!"

"Do it and youíll get what Dean is!" Val shouted back.

Sam screamed.

Dean howled with laughter.

"Prude! Iím tickling him!"

"Is that what weíre calling it now?"

Dean laughed harder, and Val smacked his leg. "We did that too; now Iím making him pay for what heís making me watch!"

Curious, Sam opened the door and cautiously peered in, only to burst into laughter when he saw the TV.

"Dead, the both of you!" Val howled, making a leap for Sam as Dean scrambled for the sheet.

"Clothes!" Sam shrieked, closing his eyes tightly.

"Itís not like itís something you havenít seen before," Val protested, grabbing a pair of boxers and pulling them on before tackling Sam again.

"I donít want to see yours!" Sam protested while Dean grumbled something to the same effect while shimmying into his own boxers. And then Sam and Val were wrestling on the floor while Dean snickered.

"Wah wah wah," Val laughed, getting Sam under him and starting to tickle him.

"You seem to have some trouble there, Sammy," Dean observed, leaning over to look at them. "Oh my God, that hair!" he suddenly laughed, causing Val to growl and twist away from Sam to tackle his brother.

"Nope, Iím good," Sam laughed once heíd recovered his breath and sat up to watch the former demon pummel his brother with a pillow.

"Me too," Dean laughed while trying to hold Val back. "Itís Val who seems to have a problem... and need a stylist."

"You are so lucky I donít have any of my prior tendencies," Val snarled.

"Iíll make you forget about them later."

"Oh God, I need to leave now," Sam groaned before dissolving into laughter again when the scene changed to one with Chris again.

"After the show," Dean snickered. "We need to share this moment as a family."

"Youíre both going to pay for this," Val muttered.

"You going to recreate that look and make us see it every day?" Dean asked, raising an arm to protect himself when Val threw the pillow at him, then stalked toward the bathroom, leaving the two brothers laughing hysterically.

"Better leave, Sammy," Dean chuckled, "I think I have some ruffled feathers to smooth."

"If it had been Jess looking at me like that, a night of foot massages and chocolate would have definitely been in order." Most of the humor died from Samís eyes as he spoke, and he smiled sadly.

Dean paused on his way to the bathroom and came over to squeeze his brotherís shoulder silently. Sam looked up at him, his smile growing a bit firmer. "Thanks, man." He got to his feet and started toward the connecting door but paused and looked back over his shoulder. "Word of advice from someone with experience in thisójumping him wonít help right now." He grinned at that and ducked back into his room.

"Naw," Dean murmured, grinning, "inciting him to jump me is more fun. Though Iím sure thereíll be some groveling involved first." He dropped the sheet on the floor before padding into the bathroom where Val was a shadow behind the shower curtain.

After pausing a moment to admire the silhouette, Dean stepped in and pressed up against Valís back. "You know youíre gorgeous."

Val grunted in reply and reached for the shampoo, lathering it into his dark hair.

"Oh, like you havenít laughed at some of my younger pictures." Dean lathered up his hands with the soap and started running them over Valís chest.

"You had a mullet," Val grumbled.

"And that actor had really bad hair, clothes and sunglasses."

Val sighed and leaned back against Deanís chest, his jaw working as he swallowed.

"What?" Dean wrapped his arms around Val, holding him.

"Would you like to be reminded that you arenít real?"

Dean stilled. "You are real. The face may come from an actor, but youíre not Chris Halliwell or Drew Fuller. Youíre Valac. Donít think I donít know the difference."

"But Iím not Valac any longer, am I?" Val sighed, running his hand over Deanís arm.

"No offence, but I think I like Val a lot better than I would Valac."

Val chuckled half-heartedly at that. "Youíre smarter than you pretend, Dean-o; I wouldnít like for you to meet him either, and donít tell me Iím projectingóthat power is still out there locked away."

Dean nodded against Valís shoulder. "Letís hope it stays locked away."

"For the worldís sake."

"For my sake."

"I told you; Iíll do anything I can to keep you safe," Val whispered.

"I didnít mean that I thought you would hurt me," Dean said. "Iím more afraid of losing you. And if you ever repeat this, I will kill you."

"No chick-flick moments, eh?"

"Nope, we like dick moments."

Val snickered at that. "Only you, Dean-o, only you."

"Damn right."

"Sam leave?"

"Yup. He suggested massages and chocolate before he went."

Val chuckled at that. "I knew there was a reason I liked him."

"What a shock," Dean snorted.

"So where are they?"

"Where are what?"

"The massage and chocolate, idiot! My poor tender feelings are bruised!"

"Should I massage your ass?"

"Not contrite enough for me, so, no."

"Aw, you know I love you." Dean went back to washing Valís chest.

"Hrumph."

"Iíll get you chocolate next time weíre out."

"What kind?"

Dean grinned. "Godiva."

"Extra dark or milk?"

"Dark and decadent, of course."

Val groaned and turned in Deanís embrace, sliding his hands up Deanís well-formed chest. "You donít fight fair; I love it."

"I learned from the best." Dean kissed him lightly, teasingly, making Val chuckle.

"Now, about that massage..."

"Where should I start?" Deanís fingers kneaded Valís shoulders.

"There is good, then use your imagination."

"I can be very imaginative." Dean let his hands work lower, sliding over Valís chest, making Val groan and lean into his touch.

"So show me."

"Iím working on it." Deanís hand slid lower, cupping and gently rolling Valís balls.

"Just donít slip and hit your head; I canít fix you any more."

"I think I can manage sex without it turning into a life-threatening situation."

Val chuckled in response and twisted into Deanís touch, spreading his hands on the other manís broad shoulders, his fingers kneading the warm, damp flesh. Dean grinned up him before settling on his knees and taking the head of Valís cock into his mouth. His fingers continuing playing with Valís balls, and his other hand rose to rub a nipple.

"Oh yeah," Val whispered, sliding a hand up into Deanís hair, stroking the short, spiky strands.

Dean hummed as he gradually took Val deeper, tasting more of him and loving it while Val started rocking his hips, moving easily so as not to choke Dean, who just tilted his head to the right angle to let Val slide into his throat and swallowed around him.

"Oh fuck," Val gasped, tightening his hands around Deanís head and pulling back before thrusting in again. "Whereíd you learn to do that?"

Dean only chuckled, not about to stop what he was doing to explain that after Val had done it to him, heíd looked it up on the internet to learn the best way to do it. He wanted to make Val as crazy as Val always made him. With that in mind, he worked a finger into Valís ass.

"Oh fuck," Val groaned, spreading his legs wider and shuddering as Dean pressed his finger deeper into him while deep-throating him again. "So fucking good."

Dean groaned his agreement, rubbing against Valís leg as he worked to make him come.

"Planning on fucking me next?" Val panted.

Dean nodded slightly, adding a second finger.

"Oh good. Very, very good. Oh fuck!" Val groaned, his fingers tightening in Deanís hair as he thrust down his throat again and came, shuddering with pleasure.

Dean drew back just enough to taste him, then took Val deep again, swallowing until Val shuddered. Once the last spasm had passed, he surged to his feet, pulling Val to him for a deep kiss before turning him around to face the wall and pressing against his back.

"Oh yeah, want to feel you in me; fuck me hard Dean," Val rasped, grinding back against him. "Hard and hot and fast."

Groaning, Dean stepped away long enough to reach out of the shower for his toiletry bag. He pulled out the baby oil heíd learned to keep there, and a moment later was pressed against Valís back again, slick fingers pushing into him briefly, quickly followed by his cock. He groaned at the initial resistance before Valís body yielded to the pressure, and he sank in to the root.

"Damn, that feels good," Val sighed, rocking his hips back and forth as he tightened down around Deanís cock.

"Fuck yeah," Dean groaned, matching Valís rhythm and gradually speeding it up as Val groaned, concentrating on bringing Dean the most pleasure possible. "Love you," Dean rasped, driving into Val until he came, shuddering with every spasm of his climax.

"Yeah," Val breathed, resting his forehead against his arms and sighing in pleasure at the feeling of Dean plastered against his back. "Me too."

Deanís lips curved against Valís shoulder. "Then we should probably get out of here before we drown so we can enjoy the benefits of that for a long time." But he didnít move yet.

"If you want me to move when you arenít, youíre insane," Val snorted.

"I donít want either of us to move, but we have to." Dean reluctantly drew back and turned them so that the water washed them clean before he turned it off. "Bed would be good," he suggested. "We can relax till Sam comes back."

"Iím not arguing that one bit," Val yawned, perfectly happy to drape his arms around Deanís shoulders and be led to the bed. "And how far do you think he ran?"

"Iíll bet on him hitting the library," Dean said as he nudged Val onto the bed and stretched out beside him.

"Maybe someone in the library will hit on him," Val chuckled before yawning, arching up off the sheets as he did so.

Dean snorted. "You think heíd notice?" He watched Val move, involuntarily reaching over to stroke a hand down Valís chest.

"Mmm, well, maybe if they stuck their hand down his pants or hit him over the head with a book and dragged him off."

Dean snickered. "Actually, heís probably cowering in his bed right now, with earplugs and the covers and pillows over his head, ignoring us and everyone else." He shook his head. "I donít think he even noticed that Trina was flirting with him all through dinner, and sheís hot."

"Well, we could have always invited her back here with us," Val offered, smirking as he waited for Deanís reaction.

Dean growled. "I think weíve already established that Iím not into sharing. Keep pushing it, and youíll be sorry." He bit Valís shoulder.

"Mmm, planning on tying me up to make me behave?" Val purred.

"Youíd enjoy it too much... unless I didnít let you come," Dean mused. "Yeah, that could be fun..."

"I thought you were supposed to be making things up to me, not tormenting me."

"I thought I just did that," Dean retorted, laughing.

"Oh no, Dean-o, youíre going to pay and pay for that."

"Is it my fault Chris was fashion-challenged?" Dean snickered. "Just be glad I donít have a kink for fat, old, bald guys."

"Youíre going to make me sick," Val groaned.

"So you mean youíre going to dump me when I get old?"

"That depends, are you going to be able to get it up?"

Dean grabbed a pillow and started hitting Val with it. "Sex maniac!"

"Is this news?!"

"No," Dean laughed, "but I thought you were interested in more than just my ass!"

"Hey, I like your dick too!"

"You have such a one-track mind," Dean chuckled. "Good thing Iím a guy too."

"Boo hoo, poor thing."

"I wasnít complaining."

"I would hope not!"

"Give me a minute and Iíll be happy to prove it. Again."

Val smirked and stretched sinuously, rubbing against Dean as he did so. "Am I supposed to be complaining about this?"

"I didnít really think so," Dean admitted before catching Valís mouth in a slow, sensual kiss that left them both panting. "I wanna feel you in me this time."

"Mmm, I think I can do that," Val chuckled. "Unless youíd rather check to see if another episode of that show is on..."

"Well, itís tempting, but I think I prefer the live action right here."

"So you want me to Ďorbí my way into your ass?"

Dean groaned. "You..." Words failed him, and he kissed Val before the former demon could say anything else, Val laughing against his mouth until the thrust of Deanís tongue quieted him.

"You are completely insane," Dean breathed against Valís ear a little later. "Itís a good thing youíre also incredibly hot."

"You could even say Iím... flaming," Val snickered, sliding a hand up Deanís stomach.

"Oh my God, why didnít I imagine you mute?!" Dean groaned while the muscles of his belly quivered.

"Because that would be boring, darling," Val said, camping it up, his laughter cut short when Sam banged on the connecting door. "We arenít being loud!"

"Trina called; we need to get over there now," was the curt response.

"Iím never going to be able to enjoy a piece of pumpkin pie again," Dean bemoaned a little later as the three of them stood with Trina, looking down at the corpse of a once pretty blond woman whose head was several feet from her body, along with a shattered pumpkin.

The police had cordoned off the immediate area, but as friends of the only witness to the attack, the three men were allowed to remain near the shaken Trina.

"No pumpkin, no apple, youíre running out of flavors," Val teased, though it fell flat, given the situation.

Sam stood with his arm around Trinaís shoulders, trying to comfort her while at the same time drawing out bits of information about what sheíd seen.

"Iíd just met her yesterday," Trina said shakily, leaning against Sam as she tried to calm herself. "When I was tracing my genealogy for the book, I discovered that she was descended from the same Revolutionary War-era soldier as I am. We were very distant cousins."

Dean and Sam exchanged a look, and Val nodded slightly at the revelation.

"Have you found any more long-lost cousins in the area?" Sam asked casually.

"None that Iíve gotten in touch with, but I did find two others still in Sleepy Hollow and a branch of the family that moved out west in the early 1800s. It doesnít seem to have ever been a very prolific family."

"What about her parents?" Val asked, glancing back at the body which was surrounded by police.

"I really donít think Trina should be the one to tell them," Sam objected.

"I think Val was asking if theyíre in town," Dean explained. "No one expects Trina to do something like that. Thatís what the cops are for."

"What he said," Val nodded.

"Sorry, I shouldíve known that," Sam apologized, letting his arm fall back to his side when Trina straightened up, squaring her shoulders.

"Sorry, Iím not usually such a wimp."

"Well, this isnít quite a usual situation; no apologies necessary."

"We should probably get out of here and let the police do their job," Dean said, more interested in getting away so they could continue their own investigation but unable to say that.

Sam nodded at that. "Why donít we give you a ride, Trina?"

"Iíd appreciate it," she agreed. Sheíd been only a little behind the other woman, and it shook her to realize that if sheíd left the library a little earlier, it might have been her body lying there. "I donít think Iím going to get any more work done tonight."

"Understandable," Val nodded.

"You should go get some sleep," Dean said. "Try to forget about this for a while, and keep your doors locked."

"And call us if anything seems strangeóand I mean anything." Sam added as they walked to the Impala.

"I plan to sleep with my cell phone in my hand," Trina admitted. "This is getting seriously scary."

"You know, we do have an extra bed in Samís room if youíd feel more secure there," Val offered innocently, making Dean turn away as he experienced a sudden coughing fit.

"I donít want to put anybody out," Trina protested.

Val opened his mouth and yelped when Sam slammed a booted foot down on his instep.

"Itís no problem; I can stay in with Dean and Val if thatís the issue," Sam offered.

"Actually," she admitted, "it would be comforting to have someone there. That rider..." She shuddered.

"Itíll be all right," Sam assured her. "How about we pick up what you need first?"

"Thanks." She slid into the back seat of the car, relaxing somewhat once she was inside.

Sam climbed in from the other side of the car, smiling in a reassuring way. "Where do we need to go?"

Trina gave directions to the hotel where she was staying, darting nervous glances out the Impalaís windows as they drove along the quiet streets. "I swear, I keep expecting to see Ichabod Crane," she muttered, shaking her head in disbelief at her own nerves.

"Well, if he was here, at least weíd have an idea of who was going to be chased next," Val mused, half turning to look back at her before giving a not so subtle tilt of his head at Sam.

"I just canít believe that thereís a serial killer out there pretending to be the Headless Horseman. Itís like something out of a story," Trina said, chewing her lower lip as Dean pulled up outside the unit she was staying in.

"Why donít you give me your key," Dean suggested, "and Val and I will go make sure thereís no one in there that shouldnít be before you go in. Sammyíll stay out here with you."

Trina handed her key over, and the two men walked up to the door, then inside. Val shook his head once the door was closed. "Okay, what is with your brother?"

"Jessicaís dead, and heís alive, and he feels like heís betraying her by noticing Trina. It probably doesnít help that sheís blond," Dean added, looking around the room briefly and then checking under the bed.

"You canít betray the dead, Dean," Val said, looking at the other man as if he was insane. "Theyíre dead; itís not as if theyíre watching over your shoulder, shrieking in agony at your every decision. If theyíve been decent, theyíre concerned with higher things, and if they havenítówell, then theyíre too busy to worry about what mortals are doing."

Dean stared back at him, finally smiling wryly. "Val, do me a favor and donít ever have this conversation with Sam, okay?"

"Well, duh," Val muttered, rolling his eyes. "I do know better than that."

"Just checking. Every once in a while you take me by surprise. I guess seeing humans for centuries is different from being one."

"Understatement of a lifetime, Dean-o," Val commented as he poked around the room.

"You do pretty good."

"At what? Acting human?"

"At figuring stuff out and fitting in. Youíre not acting," Dean said, catching Val around the waist and pulling him into a hug, making Val sigh and relax against him.

"This is why it isnít an act," he murmured.

Dean rested his cheek against Valís, smiling faintly. "If word of this got around, a lot more people would be chasing demons, trying to get one of their own."

Out in the car, Sam sighed. "We should never have let those two go into a hotel room alone. They may never come out!"

Trina had to giggle at that, though her expression remained strained. "We could knock on the door or call them."

Sam pulled out his cell phone. "Weíre coming in, so youíd better be decent!" he said, not giving Dean a chance to speak, and disconnected immediately. "Okay, we should be safe." He slid out of the car and offered Trina a hand as the door to the room opened.

"Geez, what do you think we were doing?" Val laughed.

"From what Iíve heard," Trina said, trying to shake off her upset, "it could have been anything."

"Sammyís just jealous," Dean said over Valís shoulder, grinning at them.

"Of you two? Hardly," Sam snorted.

Watching the way Val and Dean leaned into each other without thought, Trina smiled faintly. "Iím envious," she murmured.

"Of them?" Sam glanced down at her.

"Of them," she agreed, "for having each other."

He nodded at that. "Yeah, even when itís infuriating, itís nice."

"And weíre hot," Val grinned.

"They can see that," Dean said, making Trina laugh.

"And so modest too," she marveled.

"Whatís the point in modesty when you look like us?" Val smirked, and Sam sighed.

"How do I stay sane?"

"Who said you ever were sane?" Dean wanted to know.

"Anyone whoís ever met you!" Sam shot back.

"Ha! I got the looks and the brains in the family."

Val glanced over at Trina and grinned. "This should be good."

She nodded, trying not to giggle. "I want popcorn."

Val had to speak louder to be heard over Dean and Sam arguing. "I agree, plus a beer or a martinióeither would work."

"Beer seems more fitting for a knock-down, drag out fight," Trina mused.

"True, but they might get bitchy, and that just screams for a martini," Val smirked, fluttering his eyelashes at her, making her burst into laughter.

"Youíre a very bad man," Trina chuckled. "No wonder poor Sam seems frazzled."

"Honey, ask anyone, Iím not bad; Iím very, very good."

Trina snorted. "Iím willing to bet Sam would disagree... and I donít need to see what Deanís reaction would be."

"If anyone else told him I was good, heíd probably shoot them," Val chuckled. "So, should we get their attention and get out of here?"

Trina nodded, having finished stuffing her things into her bags. "Yes, getting back to your motel and locking the door sounds really, really good to me."

"Watch this." Val winked at her before sidling up next to Dean, sliding a hand under his shirt to stroke his stomach. "You know, I think you have better thingsóand peopleóto be doing than Sam, donít you, Dean-o?"

"Leaving now!" Dean announced, heading for the door without another glance at Sam.

"We should be glad they didnít just drop and go for it here," Sam said wryly as he looked at Trina, then flushed as he realized what heíd said. "Ióweóhow about I grab your stuff and we get going."

She smiled crookedly. "Itís not something Iíd mind seeing," she admitted. "But yeah, Iím ready to get out of here."

He nodded and picked up her suitcases while she took a backpack and laptop case, carrying them out to the Impala, Sam ignoring Dean and Val, who were leaning against the passenger side and making out. Trina watched them for a moment before clearing her throat. "You have to move to let us back in the car."

"Trunkís open," Val muttered, waving a hand toward it.

Chuckling, Trina moved around to the back and put her bags inside, waiting till Sam put the others in and closed it to move around to the passenger side again. She eyed the two men still locked in a clinch as she got into the front seat. "You need to get in the car before we can go."

"Just as bad as Sam," Val muttered, groping Deanís ass before reluctantly letting go of him while Sam shook his head.

"Fine, stand there and walk back," he commented, getting in and starting the engine.

"Geez, keep your pants on, Sammy," Dean grumbled as he opened the door and slid in, only going halfway across so he was pressed up against Val when he got in as well.

"You just do the same," Sam warned, glancing at them in the rearview mirror, then looking over his shoulder to back out of the space.

"He never lets us have any fun," Dean grumbled before leaning in to nibble on Valís ear.

"Weíll make up for it later," Val purred, running a hand up his thigh.

"Count on it!"

Sam pressed harder on the gas, cutting a quick glance at Trina, who was still laughing quietly.

"If you ever decide to play for the other team, you wonít need any how-to manuals," she giggled.

Sam only groaned while Dean snickered. "He could only hope to live up to our example."

"Considering your example is a former in... mate, no thanks!"

"Inmate?" Val snickered.

"Inmate?" Trina repeated curiously, wondering if she should be worried.

"Sammyís idea of a joke," Dean assured her.

"Theyíve seen the inside of jail cells more than I have," Val added.

"For research purposes only," Sam said hastily, glaring at Val through the rearview mirror.

"Of course," she nodded.

"Yeah, weíre the good guys," Dean added.

"We promise," Val added, giving his best innocent smile.

Trina snorted. "Youíre lucky Iíve always gone for the bad boys."

"Donít say it!" Sam ordered, when both Dean and Val opened their mouths, then looked at each other and burst out laughing.

"Getting paranoid, Sammy?" Dean asked.

"Around you two, itís just smart planning."

"Paranoid," Dean repeated, nodding.

"If I am, itís with good reason!"

Beside him, Trina laughed softly, not sure if this was their normal mode of communication or something they were doing for her benefit, but either way, she was grateful to them for helping.

"Just drive, Sammy, before we run out of will power," Dean instructed.

"All right," Sam murmured, looking at the materials spread out in front of them, "so far we know that the Horseman has only attacked specific peopleópeople who are descendants of a soldier who fought in the battle hereóbut why now?"

"I donít believe Iím trying to figure out why the Headless Horseman is attacking people," Trina laughed helplessly. "And itís so weird that they all turned out to be descendents of the same man when we researched them. Do you think thatís how heís choosing his victims?" Unspoken was the fact that she too shared that same ancestor.

"It looks like it," Sam nodded. "There arenít any other connections between the three of them."

"And me." She said it.

"There are a lot of other descendents," Dean said bracingly. "And you have us."

"I feel like we should burst into some inspirational song," Val chuckled.

"Please donít!" Trina exclaimed feelingly.

"Please!" Sam added before sobering again. "You said you have other cousins in town? I think we should talk to them, let them know they might be targets."

"Shouldnít we tell the police about this?" she asked, frowning.

"You really think theyíre going to listen to us about something like this?" Dean asked wryly. "We need proof if we expect to get their attention."

"More proof than this," Val added when she looked toward the paperwork detailing her family history.

Sam nodded. "But if we warn them, at least theyíll be aware of whatís going on."

"Theyíre going to think weíre nuts," Trina sighed.

"Wonít be the first time," Dean muttered.

"So they think weíre nuts; if it saves their lives, I can live with it," Sam commented, picking up the most detailed and up-to-date family tree to study it.

"Well, when you put it that way..." Trina smiled faintly. "What are we waiting for?"

"Are you insane?" The speaker, a tall, muscular man with a blond crewcut, stared at them. "Or is this some reality show taping?"

"None of the above. You may have noticed that three people have been killed in this town in the last few days," Dean pointed out. "The only connection between them is a common ancestor, one you happen to share. If you want to ignore that, thatís entirely up to you, but if it was me, Iíd be thinking about a vacation in Fiji."

"So why are you all telling me this and not the police?"

"Because theyíd think the same thing you do," Sam said diplomatically.

"Itís up to you what you do about it," Dean said. "Weíve warned you. Thereís nothing else we can do."

Val smirked at the other man. "But if you find yourself staring at a headless guy with a sword, donít say we didnít tell you."

The blond stared at them. "I must be nuts because I think I believe you."

"You should," Trina said earnestly. "I saw the last murder, and believe me, you donít want that to happen to you."

"So what do we do?"

"Stick together, first of all," Sam said. "Especially after dark."

"Actually, staying inside with the doors and windows locked after dark would be better," Dean said.

"Everyone planning on staying here?" The blond looked back at his somewhat dilapidated house.

"Well, Scott, we can do that..." It was plain that this wasnít high on the list of what Val wanted to do.

"But we need to go find and warn the other people whoíre in danger," Dean interjected. "Just watch your back for a while. Iím sure the cops will catch this guy soon."

"I tell you one thing, anyone tries to get in here, heíll meet with the business end of my shotgun."

"Load it with rock salt," Sam advised.

"What the hell good is that going to do?"

"Youíd be surprised," Dean said. "But hopefully itíll never come up." He turned and headed back down the walk toward the Impala.

"Stay inside and lock up," Sam advised as Val followed Dean.

"Please, do it," Trina implored before Sam took her arm and drew her after the other two.

"Okay," Dean said once they were all back in the car, consulting the list Trina had printed out, "one down, one to go. I guess weíre lucky there arenít very many of our war heroís descendents left in town."

"Especially considering that itís going to be dark soon," Val nodded.

"Maybe we should wait till tomorrow," Sam suggested with a glance at Trina.

"But what if that freak comes after her tonight?" Trina asked, turning an imploring gaze to Sam.

"Then maybe you and I should go back to the hotel and let Dean and Val go talk to her."

Val half-turned in the seat and grinned back at them. "Now thereís a great idea; head back to the hotel, Dean."

"I really think sheís more likely to believe us if Sam and I go along," Trina argued.

"Trust me, I can be very persuasive," Val promised, and Sam snorted out a laugh.

"Iíd feel better if I went along," Trina insisted.

"Aw, weíre going to think you donít trust us," Dean said.

"Or at least Sam."

Trina snorted. "You know, if youíd just drive instead of arguing, we could already be there."

"She has a point," Dean admitted, starting the car.

Sam chuckled as Dean pulled out onto the street. "Good work, Iíd have had to argue with him for a lot longer."

"Itís the advantage of not being his kid brother," Trina laughed.

"Mind staying around to help more?" Sam asked, flashing a slight smile.

Trina smiled back. "I could possibly be convinced."

"Iím glad to hear that."

In the front seat, Val glanced over at Dean and rolled his eyes.

"Isnít young love cute?" Dean stage-whispered.

"I feel like they should be surrounded by birds and bunnies," Val muttered.

"How do you keep from hitting them over the head?" Trina asked curiously.

"Every so often I give in to temptation."

"Hit the driver and you walk," Dean warned.

"Listen to the manly man," Val called back.

Sam made gagging noises while Trina smiled sweetly, leaned forward, and hit both Dean and Val on the back of the head.

"Hey! Didnít I just sayó"

"Youíre not going to make me walk when Iím a potential target," Trina retorted. "So behave or Iíll do it again."

"Sheís got you there, Dean," Sam laughed, reaching over and squeezing Trinaís hand.

"I hate smart women," Dean grumbled.

"I think Sam and Trina can be in the front seat from now on," Val added.

"I think youíre right. We make better use of the back seat."

"And she canít hit us back there."

"Wanna bet?" Trina retorted.

"Sa-am! Distract her!"

"By doing what?"

"Sammy, if you donít know, youíre not a Winchester!"

"I could give you a list..." Val offered, causing Sam to turn beet red.

"No!"

"Really?" Trina asked at the same time, sounding interested.

"A really long list," Val assured her, ignoring Samís sputtering.

"Why do I have the feeling that it would be a very interesting list?"

"Because it is," Dean said.

"And some of it might involve demonstrations," Val said cheerfully.

"This is better than Chippendales," Trina said, making both Winchester brothers groan.

"Well, I would hope so!"

Sam groaned again.

"Weíre here!" Dean announced, all but bolting out of the car, Val taking a moment to follow as he was doubled up with laughter on the seat.

Sam climbed out as well, glancing around the yard that was lit in the orange glow of the setting sun, then moving to Trinaís side as she started toward the house.

"I hope weíre not too late," Trina said, looking around uneasily.

"Itís not dark yet; thereís time," Sam assured her, and she nodded but still moved closer to him as Dean rang the bell.

"Yes?" An elderly woman answered the door, peering out at them with age-faded blue eyes, then beamed when she saw Dean. "Bennie!"

Looking taken aback, Dean stared at her. "Um, Mulder, actually," he said. "And this is my partner, Krycek," he said, indicating Val.

"Oh, Bennie, you always were such a kidder," she giggled, reaching out to catch his arm and pull him into the house.

"Were there any ĎBennieís on your list?" Val murmured, dropping back beside Sam and Trina.

"No, but Mrs. Jacobsí husband, who died in 1972, his name was Benjamin. Iíd guess she called him Bennie."

"Think we should go save him?" Sam asked, though he glanced over his shoulder at the trees that bordered one side of the yard as he spoke.

"I think weíd better or Val might kill us," Trina half-laughed, stepping into the house.

"Hey, I could deal with a threesome," Val shrugged as they all walked inside to a house that looked as if it was straight out of the 1960s.

"With your great grandmother?" Trina eyed him askance.

"Iím a flexible kind of guy."

"Maybe, but I donít think Dean will go for it."

"Now Bennie, sit right there and Iíll get you some tea..." The elderly woman was bustling around the kitchen as she spoke. "And I have some of those little lemon cookies you like as well."

Dean looked helplessly at the other three, clearly having no idea how to handle this.

"Mrs. Jacobs," Sam began gently, "we came back with Bennie to warn you about something."

"Yeah, Bennie," Val snickered, "tell her."

"Are you aware that youíre a descendent of Capt. Josiah Stebbing, Mrs. Jacobs?" Trina asked.

"Of course I know that, girl!" she snapped before patting Deanís arm. "Bennie and I spent many an evening talking about the captainís adventures in the war."

"Of course," Trina replied, ignored Deanís obvious discomfort. "And are you also aware that there have been several murders in Sleepy Hollow recently? All of the victims were also descendents of Capt. Stebbing."

"Murders? Here?" Mrs. Jacobs focused on someone other than Dean for the first time, her blue eyes wide in her suddenly pale face. "Heís returned."

Everyone stared at her. "Mrs. Jacobs, Ellie," Dean said, "you know whatís happening?"

"The old stories," she whispered, sinking into a seat at the table and reaching for Deanís hand, her own trembling.

"What did the old stories say?" Sam asked quietly, crouching down beside her, causing her to cringe toward Dean, who sighed and put an arm around her shoulders.

"That heíll never rest till his head is buried with him and heíll have his revenge on the blood of the man who killed him."

"But why is he back now?" Val asked, "Your family has been here for centuries."

"I donít know," she admitted. "My gran told me it was the watch. If someone in the family winds it, it wakes him, but her granddad sold it off to someone from Boston."

"Do you know what this watch looks like?" Sam asked, motioning at Dean to keep the conversation going, but it was Trina who answered, her face pale.

"Itís an eighteenth-century gold pocket watch with an inscription inside the front cover, ĎIch liebe dich. Ilseí," she whispered.

"Youíve seen it?" Val asked, staring at her.

She reached into her pocket and held out a trembling hand on which lay a pocket watch. Ellie gasped and crossed herself with her free hand.

"The watch has returned; the rider has come; and all those who share the blood of Josiah Stebbing will pay." She turned to look at Dean, tears welling in her eyes. "Bennie, Iím sorry youíve come back in time to see me die."

"Youíre not going to die," Dean replied bracingly, "and neither is Trina."

"Right, all we have to do is find his head and bury it with him," Val muttered, making Dean give him a dirty look while squeezing Ellieís hand.

"Trina?" Ellieís eyes went to the younger woman. "Oh, my dear, Iím so sorry."

"Sorry for what, maíam?"

"Youíre so young. You should have had so much ahead of you." Ellie shook her head sadly.

"And will," Sam vowed. "Weíll stop him." He glanced at Dean meaningfully.

"Of course we will," Dean said. "We wonít let him hurt you."

"You must find the head," Ellie whispered, starting in fear when Samís cell phone rang.

"Hello? Okay, okay, stay in the house, donít open anythingó" He held the phone away from his ear so the others could hear the shouting at the other end, then crashing and gunshots and the phone went dead.

"Oh God," Trina moaned. "We have to help him."

Dean hesitated. "You stay here. Val, stay with them. Donít open the doors for anything," he added, dreading the idea of leaving both of the Horsemanís remaining targets in one place but not about to take Trina out there now.

"No! Bennie, you canít leave me!" Ellie gasped, clinging to Deanís hand.

"Maybe you should stay here instead," Sam suggested.

"Sam and I can handle it," Val promised.

Dean hesitated before nodding. "Be careful."

"Always. You too."

"Trina, can I have the pocket watch?" Sam asked gently.

She handed it over without hesitation. "Are you all seriously saying that the killer really is the Headless Horseman?" she asked.

"You poor dear, Bennie and I will explain it to you while these dear boys go check on poor Scott, though I fear itís too late for him." Ellie shook her head and leaned against Deanís side, closing her eyes.

Dean watched Val go, feeling helpless.

"Trina, come lock the door behind us," Sam said, "and then you should check the rest of the house."

"Give her a nice goodbye," Val murmured as he breezed out past Sam, who turned back to look at Trina.

"Itís really the Headless Horseman," he said, reaching out to catch her hand. "Be careful and do what Dean says if anything strange happens."

"I... I donít understand any of this," she said helplessly.

"Itís complicated, and I wish I could explain, but I canít, not right now." He hesitated a moment before leaning in and brushing a kiss over her mouth. "Listen to Dean, Trina."

"I will. You be careful," she said, the tiniest quaver in her voice.

"Always," he promised, looking at her for a long moment before turning and trotting to the car, Val putting it into gear the moment he was inside.

Dean looked up when Trina came back into the living room. "All locked up?" he asked.

She nodded, walking around to check the security of the windows and back door. "This doesnít seem to be striking you as strange."

"Oh, Bennie knows all the old tales," Ellie said, smiling up at him.

"This is kinda what we do," Dean admitted.

"Chase down old legends when they come to life?"

"Pretty much," Dean shrugged. "Itís a family trade."

"I only wish little Barbra could be here to see you." Ellie finally let go of Deanís arm and puttered around the kitchen, fixing them fresh cups of tea.

"You do this for a living," Trina said faintly.

"Well, itís not as if we make money at it, but itís what we do, yes. There are a lot more things out there than you can imagine, and someone has to deal with them."

"Nonsense," Ellie scoffed, setting the tea in front of Dean and patting his hand, "you sell shoes, Bennie."

Dean sighed. "You must have loved him very much."

"Well, of course I love you," she laughed, leaning in to kiss his cheek.

Trina watched, her expression softening at the exchange.

"Why donít you sit down and rest for a bit," Dean suggested, patting her gingerly on the back.

"Why, Bennie!" Ellieís cheeks turned pink, and she giggled. "We have a guest!"

Deanís eyes widened, and he backed up a step, looking hunted.

Despite the circumstances, Trina found herself hiding a smile at his predicament and finally took pity on him. "Mrs. Jacobs, do you have any idea where the... head is?"

"Why, yes, of course."

"You do?" she asked excitedly before forcing herself to calm down. "Where is it?"

"Josiah Stebbing buried it under the maple tree behind the old homestead. Of course, the house was torn down over a hundred and fifty years ago, and the land was sold off in parcels over the years, so no oneís exactly sure where that is."

"Then how can they find it?"

"Well, they canít, of course," Ellie replied acerbically. "Or someone would have buried it with the rest of the body long since."

"Of course," Dean sighed. "Weíll go check the old county records in the morning. Weíll find it."

Trina nodded, her gaze going to the windows, the sudden ringing of Deanís phone causing her to start and spill her tea.

Dean grabbed it. "Val? Sam?"

"Scottís dead," Sam reported grimly. "His door was open, and there are a lot of bullet holes in the walls."

"And then thereís the fact that his headless body is in the kitchen," Val commented loudly enough for Dean to hear.

"He didnít load it with rock salt," Dean said, shaking his head. "Thereís nothing else you can do there; get back here in case he decides to try for a home run tonight."

"That poor boy," Ellie said sadly, "never listened to a word anyone said." As she spoke, she opened a broom closet and took an old shotgun down from the wall. "Donít worry, Bennie; Iíve kept up on my target practice."

"Heís dead?" Trina whispered, and Dean nodded.

"Bullets wonít help," he said, watching Mrs. Jacobs.

"Rock salt in the cartridges, just like you taught me," she said with a smile.

Dean stared. "I taught you? Rock salt?"

"Itís the only way to stop a ghost."

"Thatís true," Dean agreed, feeling as if heíd stepped into the twilight zone and promising himself to look into the late Mr. Jacobs.

"Does anyone else think this is strange?" Trina asked.

"Yes," Dean stated.

"Oh good, I thought it was just me."

"Not even close." Dean shook his head, watching the elderly lady expertly check her gun.

"Would you like a gun, dear?" Ellie asked, smiling at Trina and using the same tone as when sheíd offered tea and cookies.

Trina stared at her, vaguely wondering if she was going to wake up in a padded room somewhere. "Um, yes, I suppose that would be a good idea," she said.

"What do you think, darling?" Ellie glanced at Dean as she spoke. "Something light that wonít buck too much?"

"That sounds good," he agreed, watching her warily.

"Come along then." Moving quite well for her age, Ellie led them down the stairs to the basement and unlocked a large cabinet. "Everythingís here the way you left it, Bennie. I knew youíd be back one day."

Dean stared at the cabinet, the contents of which remarkably resembled what he kept in the trunk of the Impala. "Who the hell was this guy?" he murmured.

"I think he was like you," Trina whispered.

"But Iíve never heard of him," Dean said. "Itís not like thereíre a lot of us. Then again, he did die thirty-five years ago. God, sheís been waiting for him all this time?"

"Here we are." Ellie pulled a Verney-Carron Snake Charmer from a set of hooks and handed it over to Trina. "Give that one a try, dear; I liked it when I was your age."

"Thank you," Trina said, trying to smile as she spoke.

Dean watched, only looking up when he heard pounding at the door. "Thatís either the ghost or the cavalry."

"Well, go let them inóyour friends of course, not the Horseman," Ellie ordered.

"Yes, maíam." Dean headed upstairs, cell phone in hand as he dialed Samís number.

"Is everything all right in there?" Sam demanded.

"That depends. Is that you at the door?"

"If it was the Horseman, would he be knocking?"

"How the hell should I know? He was raised in a politer time," Dean retorted, still peering out through the lacy curtains to ascertain that it really was Sam and Val before opening the door. He flipped the phone closed as he grinned at them. "Youíre never going to believe this."

"Sweet old Ellie jumped you the minute we were gone?" Val asked.

"Sweet old Ellie is downstairs helping Trina pick out a gun from her arsenal in the basement."

"Arsenal?" Sam asked, his eyes going wide as they stepped inside and locked up behind them.

"Yup, and lots of rock salt to load in it."

"Why the hell would she have that?" Val asked, picking up one of the cups of tea and downing what was left in it.

"It seems Bennie told her that was the only way to stop a ghost."

"Are you saying he was a hunter?" Sam asked.

"The guy died before I was born; how the hell should I know?" Dean asked irritably. "But itís the only thing that makes sense."

"Hey, Bennie, weíre coming up," Trina called as she helped Ellie up the stairs while balancing the shotgun and several boxes of shells.

"Great," Dean grumbled, "now sheís calling me Bennie too."

"Does that make us the Jets?" Val snickered.

Dean glared at him. "Do you want to be sleeping on the floor in Sam and Trinaís room?"

"The two of you are married?" Ellie asked, beaming as she looked at them. "I had no idea! Oh I remember when Bennie and I were that young; always trying to find time for a little privacy." She blushed again and giggled girlishly.

Sam opened and closed his mouth without anything coming out, and he looked helplessly at Trina, who managed a smile and a nod before trying to change the subject. "Ellie gave us an idea of where to start looking for the head."

Deanís eyes darted to Val before he suddenly found the wallpaper fascinating, and Val turned away to hide a smirk before yelping when Trina Ďaccidentallyí dropped one of the boxes of shells on his foot.

"I didnít say a word!"

Trina sniffed.

"You should get some rest, Ellie," Dean suggested. "Weíll keep watch."

"We should get some rest," she corrected. "Let these young folks keep the late watch."

Sweat broke out on Deanís forehead. "Now, Ellie, it wouldnít be right to leave them down here alone."

Her expression crumpled for a moment before she pressed her lips together and nodded. "Of course, dear, itís the job. You will show them where to clean up, wonít you?"

Feeling like a heel, Dean hesitated. "Why donít I come up with you till you fall asleep?" he finally offered. "Iím sure theyíll be fine on their own for that long."

She beamed at him and held out her hand. "You three be careful, you hear? And donít be afraid to call for help if you see anything."

"We will, maíam," Sam replied dutifully.

Dean cast a mournful glance at Val before following Ellie up the stairs.

"No, Iím not going to give him a word of shit about this," Val stated the moment they were gone.

"What heís doing for her is very sweet," Trina said.

Sam sighed and rubbed at his forehead. "I just hope it doesnít make it harder for her when we leave."

"Either way, sheís going to be devastated," Trina said softly. "At least this way she has something to hold on to, a few more hours with her Bennie."

"Speaking of Bennie, Iím going to take a look around the basement, see if I can find anything about him," Val said.

"Good idea. Iím going to look for pictures up here," Trina said. "Iím dying to see if Dean really looks like him."

Sam stayed with her, and, when Val had gone downstairs, looked at her closely. "How are you doing?"

"I... Iím not sure," she admitted. "Iím still trying to wrap my mind around the idea that ghosts are real. That you and your brother are the real Ghostbusters, well, Iím not ready to deal with that at all."

"Sometimes I wonder if Iím ready either, and I grew up with it," he offered.

"This doesnít even feel like the same world I woke up in this morning."

"Iím sorry for that."

"Not your fault. If one of my ancestors hadnít beheaded a pissed off Hessian, I could still be coasting along in blissful ignorance. But this is reality, and I just have to cope with my changed view of it."

He nodded at that and leaned against the kitchen table next to where she was standing. "Yeah, trying to ignore it doesnít work well; at least it didnít in my case."

She eyed him curiously. "You tried to ignore it?"

"Ran away from it, actually."

"And yet youíre clearly back in the middle of it."

"Yeah." Sam stared at the faded floral wallpaper for the space of several heartbeats before looking at Trina again. "I lost someone, and until I hunt it down, Iím in the middle of it."

Trina placed a hand on his arm. "Iím sorry."

"Thanks," he said quietly, glancing down at her hand, then into her eyes again.

Trina smiled faintly as she stepped closer, bringing her other hand to rest on Samís shoulder. Sam rested a hand on her cheek, for a split second looking lost. "Trina, Ió" Whatever he had been going to say was lost as he leaned down and kissed her. There wasnít even a moment of hesitation before Trina responded, kissing him back as her arms went around him.

One hand tangled in her hair and the other slid around her back as Sam groaned into the kiss, deepening it and pulling them tightly together. Trinaís hands were sliding down over Samís ass when Dean barreled into the room.

"Well, Ellieís asleep so... Whoa!"

"Damnit, Dean," Val grumbled from where heíd been watching from the basement stairwell as Sam pulled back guiltily though his move was hampered by the table behind him, "it was just getting good!"

"You were watching?!" Trina exclaimed.

"Just the last little bit!"

"Dean..." Sam sighed.

"Whatíre you talking to me for? I canít control him!"

Val blew him a kiss, and Dean chuckled. "Besides, I like him just the way he is."

"Youíre sweet," Trina said. "Still a perv, but sweet."

"You canít fight your nature," Val grinned before growing serious again. "And I think good old Bennieís nature was very much like you thought."

"A weird coincidence or did he come here because of the Horseman and end up staying for Ellie?" Dean wondered. "Weíll probably never know. Unless he left a journal that you stumbled across?"

"Not that I found, but then I only gave it a cursory look."

"Did you happen to see a picture of Bennie while you were upstairs?" Sam asked.

"Yeah." Dean looked freaked again. "I saw their wedding picture on the nightstand in the bedroom."

"And?" Trina urged when Dean seemed to be done.

"He looked like me," Dean admitted.

"Weird," Sam murmured while Val shrugged.

"Obviously Ellie had good taste."

"Damn right," Dean smirked.

"And you were a real trooper to give it up for her like that," Val continued without missing a beat.

"You are one sick sonofabitch."

"Just the way you made me."

"Can we get back onto the subject?" Sam pleaded.

"I donít remember what it was," Trina admitted, chuckling.

"Anything but where that conversation was going."

"Jealousy will get you nowhere," Dean said smugly.

"I donít know, they seemed to be getting somewhere pretty well on their own," Val laughed.

"The location of the Horsemanís head!" Sam said desperately. "You said Ellie had an idea as to where it was."

"Yeah, but thereís nothing we can do about it till morning since we canít leave Ellie or Trina alone."

"Then we should get some rest while we can."

Dean nodded. "Thereís enough room for all of us in the living room."

"Works for me," Val commented.

"No sex when weíre in the same room!" Sam said emphatically.

"Heís such a spoilsport!" Val grumbled to Trina, who was trying not to laugh.

"For once I agree with him!" Dean growled.

"Then the same goes for you too," Val sniffed, gathering up the plates and cups and carrying them to the sink to wash them.

Sam gawked at him, and Trina lost her battle against laughter.

"Weíre just going into the living room now," Sam finally managed to get out.

"Weíll be along soon. Donít wait up for us," Dean replied cheerfully.

"No sex in the kitchen either," Trina got out between giggles as she and Sam went to look for some afghans and pillows.

"Well damn," Val sighed, setting the last piece of china in the drying rack.

"We can still make out," Dean said, sliding his arms around Valís waist and pressing up against his back.

"Should I call you Bennie while weíre doing it?" Val asked, leaning back into Deanís embrace and turning his head to nuzzle his throat.

"On second thought..." Dean pinched Valís ass.

"Mmm, kinky," Val snickered.

"Smart ass." Deanís right hand slid down to cup Valís groin, prompting a groan that washed over the side of his neck.

"Yeah, but you love me that way," Val gasped, squirming between Deanís hand and body.

"Good point," Dean murmured, hardening against Valís ass while his fingers petted Valís growing erection through the layers of clothing.

"Of course the fact that youíre starting something we canít finish also proves youíre evil."

"Just whetting your appetite for later," Dean chuckled.

"How much later itís going to be is whatís worrying me."

"I thought you liked anticipation?"

"Not when it takes over twenty-four hours!"

"Poor deprived ex-incubus," Dean crooned while dragging his teeth along the tendon on the side of Valís neck.

"Exactly," Val groaned, "Iím not used to waiting for anything!"

"But Iím worth waiting for."

Val pulled away and simply looked at Dean, his eyebrows raised, and Dean grinned before kissing him.

"Iíve already apologized for that, and we have to take a break to rest eventually. When we do, you can have your wicked way with me."

"Oh, what a chore."

"I thought you might like that idea."

"Though actually, Iím going to save that for that high end hotel room in the city once this is all overóhell, the way things are going, we can spring for one for Sam and Trina as well."

"They do seem to be hitting it off, donít they? Iím so proud of my little Sammy."

"And notice, Iím not offering a single suggestion?"

"Youíre being impressively restrained," Dean replied dryly.

"I deserve a reward, and donít think Iíve forgotten you owe me dark Godiva chocolate either."

"Just as soon as weíre done with the Horseman," Dean promised.

"Mmm, good, now should we go see what Sam is up to?"

"Definitely! If we canít do anything, neither can he!"

"Damn right," Val chuckled, turning in Deanís embrace and kissing him. "And before I forgetówhat youíre doing with Ellie is really sweet."

Dean fidgeted uncomfortably. "Sheís a nice old lady."

"Yeah, she is, and youíre a nice guy for pretending for her." Val kissed him again and kept an arm around his waist as they headed into the other room. "Are you going to go up there before she wakes up?"

Dean sighed. "Yeah, sheíd be hurt if she came down and found us asleep together. Iíll go up around five. That should be plenty early enough."

"Good idea." Val smiled as they walked into the other room to see Trina curled up in a nest of pillows and blankets while Sam sat watching her from one of the nearby chairs.

"Sammy, Sammy, Sammy." Dean shook his head. "Why arenít you over there, keeping her warm?"

"Because someone has to be alert," Sam sighed.

"Iím pretty sure having a horse kick in the door and ride through the house would wake us up," Dean pointed out.

"Yeah, but wouldnít it be better to have someone to hear the horse before it got to the house?"

"Whatever, Iím going to get some sleep; someone wake me up when itís my turn to listen," Val yawned, gathering up a pillow and blanket and settling between Trina and doorway.

To no oneís surprise, Dean squirmed in next to Val and rested his head on the other manís shoulder. "What he said."

"Just try to get some sleep," Sam grumbled, leaning back in the chair, keeping a watchful eye on the darkness outside.

"Since you wonít let us do anything else," Dean teased.

"You going up now?" Val yawned from the chair when Dean stirred and sat up.

"Yeah." Dean stole a quick kiss before moving toward the stairs. "See you in a while." He only hoped it wasnít going to be too difficult to leave. He couldnít spend the whole day pretending to be Bennie for Ellieís benefit if they were going to stop the Horseman.

Up in the bedroom, he glanced at the wedding picture on the nightstand, again struck by his resemblance to Benjamin Jacobs, shrugged, and stretched out on top of the bed.

An old-fashioned alarm clock started to ring a short time later, and Ellie stirred, moving slowly, then starting awake when she felt the weight beside her. "Oh, Bennie! I thought that it was just a dream," she said tremulously, reaching out to touch his cheek.

Dean smiled uncomfortably, trying not to flinch back. "Iím going to have to head over to the town records office soon," he warned her.

"But you just got back," she began before sighing and nodding. "Of course, the Horseman needs to be stopped."

"Itíll be fine," Dean assured her.

"Be careful," she begged, sitting up, her long white hair loose around her face. "Please?"

"Always," Dean promised, feeling guilty and wondering what exactly had happened to her Bennie.

"A kiss for luck?" she asked, the words having the feeling of routine.

Dean hesitated almost imperceptibly before leaning in and kissing her lightly, and she sighed, pulling back to smile up at him. "Take care of those nice young people, Bennie. Iíll get things ready here."

He nodded as he got to his feet. "Weíll be back before sundown."

"Be careful," she whispered as he started toward the door. "I... I worry about you."

He gave her a cocky grin. "Iíll be fine."

"I love you."

"You too," Dean managed, sounding strangled, before he bolted out of the room.

"I figured they needed the sleep," Val said, nodding toward Sam and Trina, who were curled together on the floor.

"Theyíre kind of cute like that, like puppies," Dean decided. "But we should get going before Ellie comes down. I donít need another goodbye."

Val stood, catching him around the waist and pulling him in for a kiss. "Like I said last night, sweet."

"Yeah, well, Iím sure itíll pass."

"Or just get hidden for a while."

Dean kissed him, figuring that was the best way to get Val to stop talking.

"Mmm, youíre distracting," Val murmured some time later.

"Good." Dean licked his lips slowly, knowing Val was watching. "But we really do need to go."

"To make breakfast? I really doubt the records office is open at six in the morning."

"So we go get something to eat and go back to the motel to shower and change."

"Think we should wake Sam up before we go?"

"As if anyone could sleep with you two yapping away," Sam grumbled from the floor.

"Poor baby, deal with it," Val sniffed. "Weíre heading back to the hotel."

Trina sighed as she sat up. "Well, give me five minutes to tidy up in here," she said, starting to fold a blanket.

"Iím not sure we should leave Ellie alone," Sam started.

"Stop right there," Trina snapped. "Itís broad daylight, and you are not leaving me behind while you go off to save the day. Iím the experienced researcher, and Iím not some helpless little damsel in distress."

"Donít look at me; Iím not getting into this argument," Val said quickly.

"Iím going to wait in the car," Dean announced before beating a hasty retreat.

"So you go with them, and Iíll stay here with Ellie," Sam stated, frowning at her.

Trina glared at him. "Fine!" she bit out, turning on her heel and stalking after Dean and Val.

"Beócareful," he said to the empty room before the sound of the Impalaís engine cut through the early morning quiet.

Dean looked at Val, then over his shoulder at the fuming woman in the back seat. "Sam not coming?"

"Heís staying with Ellie," she snapped.

"Ah." Dean pulled away from the curb and started toward their hotel. "He can get a little over-protective at times, but thatís Sam."

"He does have reason," Val added.

"Iím sure he and Ellie will have a lovely time," Trina replied dismissively, clearing not wishing to discuss it further.

Val glanced at Dean and shook his head but remained quiet for the rest of the drive.

"Why donít we grab two hours to rest and clean up," Dean suggested, "and then we can go grab some breakfast before delving into the land records."

"That would be fine," Trina said, her tone still short. "Iíll make some calls to people Iíve talked to and see if they have any suggestions."

Dean only nodded, not wanting to say anything to set her off again. He caught hold of Valís hand and drew him into their room, closing and locking the door behind them with a sense of relief.

"Iím glad Iím not Sam," Val sighed, flopping down on the bed and groaning as he stretched.

"Iím glad youíre not Sam too," Dean agreed, stretching out beside him.

"Well, if I was, I really doubt weíd be here."

"I know we wouldnít be!" Dean yelped.

"Prude," Val chuckled.

Dean snorted and rolled to his side, pulling Val closer as he kissed him. Val sighed with pleasure and opened his mouth, inviting Deanís tongue inside as he hooked a leg around his hips. Deanís hips rocked, and they settled even closer together, bodies entwined as the kiss grew more heated.

"Clothes off," Dean panted a while later, flushed with arousal.

Val nodded, pulling back to yank his shirt over his head and kick at his pants, helping Dean with his layers until they were both naked and rubbing against each other.

"Missed you last night," Dean groaned, his hands moving over Valís back and ass.

"Mmm," Val hummed as he bit and licked at Deanís jaw. "Being good is no fun at all."

"No, it sucks," Dean agreed, his head falling back to allow Val better access.

"And not in a good way," Val murmured, grinding against him, their cocks rubbing together as they moved.

"No, in a really bad way. Letís not do that again." Dean hitched a leg over Valís hip, pulling himself a fraction closer.

"Not not have sex? Works for me." Valís hands moved down to Deanís ass as well, and he captured Deanís lips for another kiss.

"And not not sleep together," Dean murmured before deepening the kiss, only to draw back after a moment. "Want you in me," he rasped.

Val pulled back to smile down at Dean, at the same time grabbing for the lube in the nightstand. "Anytime, anywhere."

Dean smiled sensually. "Thatís what I love about you." He rolled to his back, spreading his legs invitingly.

"That Iím your personal sex toy?"

"I thought I was yours?"

"Itís a shared title," Val assured him as he settled back on his knees and pressed a slick finger into Deanís ass.

"Oh good," Dean gasped, his eyes falling half closed as he clenched down on Valís finger. Val chuckled and added a second, stretching Dean as he stroked lube on his own erection with his free hand, groaning at the sensations.

"Donít you dare come before you get in me," Dean panted, watching Val hungrily.

"Scared you couldnít get me hard again to do it?" Val asked, his green eyes flashing in the dim light let in by the closed drapes.

"Donít wanna wait that long," Dean retorted, moving his hips to ride Valís fingers. "Fuck me, damnit!"

"Damn, youíre such a pushy bottomóI love it," Val grinned, yanking his hand out of the way to slam into Deanís ass, starting a hard, pounding rhythm.

"Oh Jesus fuck!" Deanís eyes nearly rolled back in his head at the sudden fullness and pleasure, and he wrapped his legs around Val, inching them higher to take Val deeper.

"He did, you know," Val grinned, though the skin around his eyes was tight as he struggled to keep control.

"What?" Dean looked confused before he lunged up to kiss Val feverishly.

Val shook his head and kissed Dean back, sliding a hand between them to jerk him off, wanting this hard, hot and fast.

Dean wailed into Valís mouth, his eyes falling shut as his body tightened.

"Fuck, yeah, come for me, Dean-o," Val rasped, his eyes flashing again as he drove Dean onward, wanting to drink in the essence of his pleasure.

Dean whimpered softly, something he would deny to his dying day, and lurched upward to meet Valís next stroke before crying out again, his breath stuttering as he froze for a moment and then came hard.

Valís whole body tightened, but he managed to ride out the storm of Deanís orgasm, slowing his thrusts and smiling down at him, watching his green eyes slowly open as he came back to himself. "You are so fucking hot when you come."

Dean laughed breathlessly. "So are you. So show me." He tightened his ass around Val, urging him on.

"Maybe I want to get you hard again before I do," Val purred, slowly stroking into him.

"Oh my God, youíre trying to kill me!"

"Never!" Valís eyes narrowed at that, and another flash of green shot through them, making Dean shudder with lust.

"Fuck, thatís hot, and I donít care how twisted it is," he rasped.

"Itís all yours," Val promised, arching his back to lick and suck at Deanís nipples.

"Damn right!" Dean growled, remembering the bitch. His nails bit into Valís upper arms as the ex-demon continued toying with his nipples, making Dean squirm, which in turn made him gasp since Valís erection was still deep inside him.

"Donít ever doubt it," Val whispered against Deanís chest, canting his head enough so that their eyes met.

"I donít," Dean admitted, raising a hand to catch one of Valís and lacing their fingers together, causing Val to shudder at the declaration. "Youíre all mine," Dean said with deep satisfaction.

"No matter what," Val whispered, rocking against him.

Dean nodded, groaning with almost painful pleasure as he slowly began to harden again.

"I want you to fuck me when youíre ready," Val whispered, leaning in to lick at Deanís chest again.

And that sent a surge of lust through Dean, making him shudder now. "Fuck, warn a guy before you say something like that," he rasped.

"But that wouldnít be half as fun!"

Dean laughed breathlessly. "You are such an ass!"

"You say this while Iím in yours..."

"I know," Dean purred, tightening around him again.

"I would hope so!" Valís voice was tight, and he rocked forward, scoring a direct hit on Deanís prostate.

"H-hard to miss," Dean stuttered, his growing erection twitching. Val pulled back, noticing the change, and smirked down at him, continuing to tease him.

"Bastard," Dean growled fondly.

"That would mean that I had parents..."

Dean snorted, smacking Val on the ass and then gasping at the resulting thrust into his own ass. "Better get yourself ready since Iím not planning on giving you a lot of warning when the time comes," he warned throatily.

"Before, I could have done it with a thought," Val sighed, pushing back to grab the lube again, smearing it over his fingers and pressing two into his ass.

"Yeah, but before you would also have killed me without giving a damn," Dean pointed out, biting his lip to prevent a moan of lust as he watched Val. He might not be able to see Valís ass, but he could definitely see Valís reactions.

"Good point." Val whispered, a shiver running through him as he watched Dean watching him.

"Like this better." Dean raised a hand to flick a thumb across one of Valís nipples.

"Love it. Love you."

Deanís smile widened, and suddenly he had a strong grip on Valís hips, pulling him out of Deanís ass and then drawing him over Deanís erection. Gold-green eyes met emerald green as Dean thrust up, into Valís ass.

"Oh fuck!" Val gasped, clenching down on him. "I think Iím a bad influence on you."

"When Iím bad, Iím better."

"Yes, Mae West."

"Itís all your fault."

"That youíve become a raving queen?" Val asked, rising up, then dropping back down on Deanís cock. "Hardly."

"Raving queen?" Dean sputtered, his eyebrows shooting toward his hairline.

"Iím waiting for you to break out the boas and sequins," Val smirked.

"I am not a queen! And even if I wasówhich Iím notóI was one hundred percent straight before I met you, so itíd still be all your fault!"

"Is this supposed to make me feel guilty?"

"I wouldnít waste my breath," Dean chuckled before a hand at the back of Valís head drew him down for a kiss, Val smiling against his lips before opening his mouth, allowing Dean to control the kiss.

"Now why donít you show me how well you ride," Dean suggested with a quick nip at Valís kiss-swollen lower lip.

"Expertly, as you well know," Val sniffed, straightening up and rolling his hips, shifting Deanís cock inside him.

"Fuck yeah," Dean rasped, his eyes intent on Valís face, his eyes closed and back arched as he moved over Dean, clenching down on him with each motion.

"God, youíre gorgeous," Dean rasped, reaching for Valís cock and beginning to stroke it in counterpoint to Valís rhythm.

"You should know," Val gasped, his motions coming faster and losing their rhythm.

"Mm hmm," Dean murmured, never taking his eyes off Val as his hand sped up as well.

"Fuck, Dean!" Val gasped, jerking around and over him before coming, spurting over Deanís chest, some of the liquid hitting his hand.

Dean groaned, riding out Valís climax and then flipping them over to pound into his ass, desperately reaching for his own.

"Yeah, fuck yeah," Val groaned, clutching at him with arms, legs and ass, meeting every thrust until Dean tensed and cried out, coming again. He stayed like that, poised over Val with every tendon in sharp relief, until the last spasm passed, and then he collapsed on top of Val with a deep groan.

"Damn, weíre good," Val sighed, stroking his hands over Deanís back.

"Weíre gr-e-e-a-a-t!" Dean laughed.

Val rolled his eyes and punched Deanís arm.

"Hey, Iím not going to be a battered boyfriend!"

"Definitely queeny."

Dean growled and bit Valís shoulder.

"With a dash of top thrown in."

"Youíre nuts," Dean decided.

"Yes, I have two of them."

Dean groaned. "Shut up. We can nap for half an hour before we have to get up to shower and meet Trina."

"Youíre on top; you set the alarm."

Muttering under his breath, Dean propped himself up on one elbow while reaching for the clock, finally managing to set it so he could drop back into a comfortable position on top of Val, who sighed happily, wrapped his arms around Deanís waist, and closed his eyes.

"Oh crap, I set it for PM!" Dean yelped some time later after opening his eyes and seeing the clock, which said 9:17. "Damn it!" He jumped to his feet, staggering a little as the sheets tangled around his legs before he fell back to the bed. "Iím surprised Trina hasnít been pounding on the door."

"Huh?" Val groaned before coming more alert and rolling out of bed to knock on the connecting door. "Hey, Trina, sorry, we overslept; are you pissed?"

There was no answer, and Dean frowned. He grabbed their boxers from the floor, tossing Valís to him as he pulled on his own before striding over to the door to knock again. "Trina!"

"Pop it," Val advised, dragging on the boxer briefs and frowning at the door.

Dean simply tried the handle, finding that it was still unlocked, just as Sam had left it. Opening it, he looked into the empty room, the bathroom door standing ajar and making it clear that Trina wasnít in there.

"Sheís gone," he said unnecessarily.

"Fuck! You have her number?"

"I think so." Dean grabbed his jeans from the floor, digging in the pocket for his cell phone. "Damn it, no. Weíre going to have to call Sam for it, and heís going to kill us."

"Understatement," Val winced. "Want me to do it?"

"Fuck yes. You have a better chance of surviving."

"Gee, thanks." Val pulled his own phone from his discarded jeans and hit the speed dial. "Hey, Sam."

"Hi, Val. Did you find something already?"

"No, um we sort of lost somethingóerr someone."

There was a moment of silence. "I think youíd better explain that."

"Well, Trina sort of took off on us; do you have her number?"

"You lost Trina?!?" Sam nearly shrieked into the phone.

"Sheís not lost, okay? Iím sure she went to the assayerís office. Itís day time. Sheís okay," Val said quickly, cutting a glance at Dean as he did so. "And itís my fault, okay?"

Sam sputtered before finally spitting out Trinaís number and hanging up before he said something heíd regret.

"You want to call her?" Val asked, seeming subdued as he wrote the digits down on the pad on the desk.

"Hey, whatís wrong?"

"Heís as pissed at me as I would be if he lost you," Val shrugged.

"Itís not our fault the stupid woman took off!"

"We know whatís going on; she doesnít; so it sort of is," Val shrugged, yanking on his clothes without bothering to clean up.

"Like hell. She knows that someoneís killing people in her family, even if sheís still having trouble believing that itís the real Horseman. If she got impatient, all she had to do was knock on the door to wake us up, but Iíll bet she was long gone before we were even supposed to meet. Itís not your fault, and I wonít let you blame yourself."

Val shrugged. "Better me than you and why are we arguing about this when we could be calling her?"

"Because I donít give a damn about the silly bitch if youíre upset!"

Val caught him around the waist and pulled him in for a kiss. "Iím cool. Really."

Dean inspected him closely before nodding. "Okay, letís call her and then go retrieve the very blond blond."

"After that comment, Iíd better be the one to call her," Val chuckled, dialing the number.

"Probably a good idea," Dean agreed irritably.

"Hello?" Trina didnít recognize the number, but she had a pretty good idea who had to be calling. The only question was which of the three.

"Hey, Trina, itís Val. Mind telling us where you are?"

"At the old Stebbing homestead. Or at least where it used to be." She sighed. "There have to be a few dozen maple trees around here."

"Directions might help," he said dryly.

"Iíll do you one better," she said before giving him the address.

"Stay there; weíll be there soon."

"Yes, sir," she said, making a face at the phone before disconnecting.

"Well, thatís two for two," Val snorted.

"Ignore them," Dean advised. "Theyíre both bitchy Ďcause theyíre not getting any."

"Well, we know who to blame for that."

"Sam, of course." Dean pulled his clothes on. "So much for our shower."

"Weíll have to make up for it later," Val offered, slinging an arm around Deanís waist and hugging him before bending down to grab his sneakers.

"Damn right we will," Dean agreed, putting on his shoes as well. "We should probably leave a window open to air the place out."

Val pouted at that. "I like it smelling of sex and us."

"Or not." Dean pulled Val in for a kiss, then headed for the door. "Letís get out there before she takes off again."

Val nodded and followed him out, climbing into the passenger seat and relaxing with a sigh. "Damn, we never had breakfast."

"Weíll drive through Mickey Dís. Oh, call Sam, would you, and let him know we found his idiot girlfriend."

"Yes, dear," Val sighed, grabbing his phone and hitting the number for Samís speed dial again.

"Hey, you had to deal with the fallout; you should get the gratitude too."

"If there is any," Val sighed before speaking into the phone. "We found heróweíre on the way there."

"Oh thank God!"

"And youíre welcome."

"Oh. Um, yeah, thanks." Samís discomfort was audible. "Call me when you get her. Gotta go." He disconnected abruptly.

Val clicked the phone off and glanced over at Dean. "Heís so gone over her."

"Yeah, and after what happened with Jess, weíd better deal with the Horseman and keep her alive, or he might just become a monk!"

"A sad waste of prime manflesh," Val deadpanned.

Dean smacked him without turning his head. "Stop ogling my brother."

"You never let me have any fun."

"You can have all the fun you want with me."

"Which we just did."

"So obviously I do let you have fun."

"Fine, fine, fine, now get me an Egg McMuffin and a coffee."

"Who died and made you boss?" Dean asked as he pulled into the drive-thru lane.

"No one, itís pure skill."

Dean snorted. "You clearly need food; youíre delusional."

"True, better add hash browns to the order."

Dean was still laughing when he gave the order and pulled up to the window to pay. Once they had the food, Val gobbled down half his sandwich before leaning back against the seat and sighing in pleasure. "You think we should have got something for Trina?"

"Hell no. Sheís the one who took off before we could go out for breakfast. If sheís hungry, itís her own fault."

"Fine, then you can tell her that."

"If sheís dumb enough to ask, I will!" Dean grumbled before taking a bite of his own sandwich.

"And Iíll get the band aids and bind your wounds once sheís done with you."

"You saying I canít take a pygmy blond?"

"Are you saying youíd hit a girl if she wasnít evil or possessed?"

"If sheís attacking me, damn right!" But Dean didnít look quite as certain as he sounded.

"Uh huh..."

"Oh shut up and eat."

"You?"

"If only we had time."

"Sad but true," Val sighed, finishing off his food.

"Iíll make it up to you tonight," Dean promised. "Is this where we turn?"

"Think so." Val peered out the window and nodded. "Yeah, up there on the right."

"Okay, letís go find Samís wayward lamb and maybe a skull too if she knows what sheís talking about."

They pulled up beside Trina, who was looking over a series of maps she had spread out over the hood of her car, which she had retrieved earlier.

"Well, look who finally got out of bed," she commented.

"Are we supposed to pretend to believe that you were still around at eight to know if we got up on time or not?" Dean retorted.

She shrugged and pointed at the maps. "Touche."

"So, what did you find?" Val asked.

"The Stebbing home used to stand somewhere in the middle of that development to our right." Trina pointed at a group of five cookie cutter suburban homes. "And as far as I can tell, the house faced south to get sun all day long, so this would be the back of it. Now all we have to do is figure which of these maple trees that gave Maple Woods its name is the right one," she finished with a sigh.

"Well, a lot of them are obviously less than two hundred and thirty years old," Dean pointed out. "We just have to hope none of the really old ones got chopped down."

"Which we canít tell until we get out there," Val added, cutting a glance toward Dean, who nodded slightly before frowning.

"Look, weíll cover more ground if we split up, but be careful. I donít think the Horseman can attack by day, but Iíd hate to find out Iím wrong."

"So weíll just head out into the woods and start digging?" Val asked, leaning in to look at the map.

"Unless you have a better idea," Trina said, looking around at all the maple trees and sighing.

"Well, Bloody Marys and mimosas arenít going to get rid of him, so I guess weíre stuck."

"I hate Bloody Mary," Dean muttered, not quite under his breath.

Trina glanced over at him, her eyes narrowed, but she didnít say anything.

"Okay, letís go find the right tree." Dean shrugged and headed back to the Impala to get shovels out of the trunk, handing them out before striding off toward the nearest likely tree. As soon as Trina had headed for another one, he looked back at Val.

"Please tell me youíll be able to feel the skull, or weíre going to be digging here for the next sixty years."

"Dunno," Val shrugged, looking toward the houses. "It depends if heís a pure ghost or something else."

"Well, weíll have to hope you can. I donít feel like digging around and under every damn tree out here."

"And I doubt the homeowners will like it either." Val hefted a shovel over his shoulder and turned away, looking over his shoulder at Dean. "Iíll let you know if I find anything."

"But I was going with you... You mean I have to start digging?" Dean asked plaintively.

"Damn right!"

"If Iím worn out from digging, there isnít going to be any sex tonight!" Dean grumbled as he continued on toward the tree heíd first sighted.

"You know, some of us are trying not to get killed here!" Trina yelled over at them.

"Working here!" Val yelled back.

"Iím digging, Iím digging!" Dean growled.

Val watched the two of them, then wandered around the largest trees in the area, hoping to feel the sensation that told him there was something supernatural in the area.

Dean paused in his digging to watch him for a moment and then was about to get back to work when an idea struck him. Dropping his shovel, he headed toward the houses, stopping before he left the wooded area for the manicured lawns, and turned to put the houses at his back. That done he looked around, trying to mentally subtract the newer trees from the vista and find one maple that might have stood out from the others. Suddenly he realized that there was one that was somewhat apart from the other trees and bigger, and he called Valís attention to it.

Nodding, Val jogged over to it, his steps stuttering when he got within touching distance, and he waved to call Dean over.

"Bingo?" Dean asked as he drew near, shovel over his shoulder.

"Unless someone else has been doing something they shouldnít out here, yeah."

Trina caught sight of them and ran over, carrying her shovel. "Did you find something?"

"We think this is the tree," Dean said, starting to dig on the side facing the houses. "Anyone know how much one of these things grows in two hundred and thirty years? ĎCause if he buried it right at the base, by now itís going to be under the tree."

"These are red maples," Val commented, looking, "they grow about half an inch a year until they reach their maximum width; so it depends how old the tree was when the head was buried."

"Worst case, how far under do I need to dig?" Dean asked, having hard going in the hard-packed soil.

"Probably a couple of feet; I canít see anyone burying something like that under a sapling."

Dean sighed. "Great. Letís hope they didnít go too far down either."

"Be careful not to shatter the skull," Trina advised, starting to dig as well.

"Both of you be careful not to make the tree fall on us," Val added, circling the base, trying to decide where the sensations felt strongest.

Dean raised his head to give Val a dirty look, then shot a significant glance at Valís shovel, lying unused on the ground.

"I am working," the former demon shot back snidely.

Trina raised her head to give him an incredulous look, and Dean snickered.

About to answer back, Val paused and leaned a hand against the tree trunk, closing his eyes and breathing deeply before straightening. "Here."

Dean was already digging where Val indicated while Trina just stared at the dark-haired man. "How could you know that?"

"Would you believe Iím psychic?"

"On second thought," she held up a hand, "donít tell me." Shaking her head, she moved over to help Dean dig.

"Smart answer," he murmured, finally giving in and helping them move dirt away from the hole they were digging.

They worked in relative silence for a little while until Dean suddenly stopped. "I hit something solid." He tossed the shovel aside and dropped to his knees to dig with gloved hands, not wanting to damage the skull if that was in fact what heíd struck.

"Iíll go get a bag to put it in," Val stated before turning and jogging back to the car.

"Is it reallyóthe head?" Trina asked, leaning over slightly to peer over Deanís shoulder.

"I think so. Itís definitely someoneís head," Dean amended as he brushed more dirt away, exposing the curve of a skull.

"At least itís just a skull; I think Iíd be sick it if wasóyou knowóa head."

"After more than two centuries? Not very likely." Dean eyed it as he exposed more of the skull and wondered if it might not turn into a head when the Horseman rode. If so, it could serve as an early warning system.

"Cute," Val commented as he returned. "Looks a lot like a guy named Yorick I knew once..."

"Ha ha," Dean grumbled, carefully freeing the skull from the dirt and setting it into the bag Val brought.

"So we just bury it with his body, and thatís it?" Trina asked hopefully.

"That might work," Dean replied dubiously, glancing over at Val for his opinion.

"Iíd add salt and burn the bones as well."

"Thatís what I thought too. Oh crap, the watch. Itís obviously linked somehow, but Sam has it," Dean groaned. "But burning and salting the bones should do it," he added after a momentís reflection.

"So weíll just have to keep from getting arrested for grave-robbing while weíre doing it in the middle of the day."

"I know," Dean groaned. "But if we wait till after dark, heís going to attack Trina or Ellie; theyíre the last ones left in town."

"So we try it now then," Val nodded, glancing at Trina, who looked pale.

"And hope we donít end up in jail. But at least itís the oldest part of the cemetery. As long as there arenít any tourists, we should be okay." Dean looked around and sighed. "As soon as we fill this hole back in."

"And donít think youíre just going to stand there this time," Trina said, pointing at Val, who sighed.

"Slave driver."

"Whatever. Dig."

Dean snickered. "Arenít you glad Iím a guy?"

"If you were a girl, Iíd probably look like Sarah Michelle Geller."

"Well, that could be hot," Dean mused until he noticed Trina staring at them like they were nuts. "Long story," he said with a shrug.

"Sounds like it," she murmured.

"Strange things happen to us. Some better than others," Dean added with a glance at Val.

"Are you calling me strange?"

"Yup. But youíre the best strange thing thatís happened to me."

"Hey, Trina, get ready for a show," Val called before catching Dean and pulling him into a hungry kiss.

"Okay, thatís really hot," Trina muttered, watching them with interest.

"Now thatís the kind of reaction I like," Val grinned.

"Youíre never going to get it from Sam, and less attention on her and more on me!"

"How about we go bury what we need to, and then you two can lavish all the attention you want on each other?" Trina called.

"I hate a logical woman," Dean grumbled, reluctantly stepping back from Val so they could all start back for the car.

"And I hate being decapitated, so suck it up, princess," Trina retorted.

"Score one for blondie," Val snickered, ducking the punch Dean aimed at his arm only to be hit from the other side by Trina. "Ouch!"

"Quit trying to cause problems," Trina ordered. "This is all weird enough as it is."

"Well, itíll all be over soon," Dean assured her.

"You want to call Sam and tell him we found it?" Val asked, looking at the other two.

"I think Trina should. Thatíll let him know youíre all right," Dean added, looking at her. "He was worried."

"He was?" she asked before pressing her lips together. "Yes, Iíll call; you drive."

"Yes, maíam, whatever you say, maíam," Dean muttered.

"Well, that was a bust, considering we almost got busted," Val grumbled as they drove out of the cemetery. "Donít the cops have better things to do than be watching out for vandalism?"

"Weíll have to come back after dark. Or rather I will. We canít have Trina and Ellie together, and we canít leave either of them alone."

"Yeah, like Iím letting you come here alone," Val snorted.

"Well, one of is going to have to! I donít think we want to bring Trina or Ellie here after dark."

"Sam can stay with them, or he can come with me, and you can stayóor both of you can stay, and I can do it because I really doubt the Horseman is going to be anywhere but trying to get them tonight!"

"Which is why we canít leave them alone or have them together in the same place," Dean pointed out. "I guess you could handle the cemetery while Sam and I make like guard dogs."

"Wouldnít it be easier to have them in the same place?" Val asked.

"You know, I am right here," Trina put in from the back seat.

"It would certainly make things easier for the Horseman. I donít think we really want to be offering him any two for one sales."

"And halving the protection on them makes so much more sense," Val snapped.

"Why donít you two stay here and argue, and Iíll go back to the cemetery," Trina suggested acerbically.

"So Sam can kill us? I donít think so!"

Trina eyed them both balefully. "Weíre still going to be sitting here when the Horseman shows up at this rate."

"She has a point," Dean sighed. "Fine, weíll go back to Ellieís, and Sam and Trina can stay with her while you and I come back to the cemetery after dark."

Val scowled, plainly not happy with that plan but not wanting to argue any more.

Dean glanced over at him and bit back a sigh. "Look, itíll only hurt Ellie more if I spend another night at her house."

"And just how are you going to explain to her why you arenít?"

"Hunting," Dean replied simply. "She understands that."

Val sighed and shook his head but let the topic drop.

"Are you two finished fighting now?" Trina wanted to know.

"No, but it will be continued at a later time."

"Followed by the making up," Dean added.

"In your dreams."

Dean looked at him in shock.

"This will get settled first."

"You mean the Horseman?" Dean asked tentatively.

Val turned his head to stare at him, his dark green eyes narrowed.

"Whatíd I do?"

"Later, Dean."

Dean frowned but let it go for the moment, deciding this was a conversation heíd rather have without Trina present.

"Should we stop and get a pizza or something?" Trina suggested. "I donít think Ellie planned on feeding all of us when she got her groceries this week."

"And something for dinner as well since weíll be camping there."

"The grocery store it is," Dean said. "Anyone know where it is?"

"Did you manage to re-bury the head?" Sam asked as he helped carry grocery bags from the car to the house.

"íFraid not, Sammy," Dean replied. "But on the plus side, we didnít get arrested either."

"Your brother can lie like thereís no tomorrow," Trina added.

"I know," Sam replied with great feeling, making Dean laugh.

"Jealousyíll get you nowhere, Sammy."

"As if that would ever be the case."

Dean chuckled. "You say that now..."

"And Iíll keep saying it!" Sam vowed as they entered the kitchen where Ellie was pulling a chocolate cake from the oven.

Deanís eyes went to her, and he frowned slightly. "Sometimes lyingís the best thing, Sammy," he said softly.

The other man only nodded silently when Ellie turned and, upon seeing Dean, smiled brightly. "Did you finally manage to find it, Bennie?"

"We did, but we still have to go back after dark. The police didnít seem to like the idea of us digging up the grave this afternoon."

"That Malcolm Standish, he was always a fussy one," she nodded before giving him a peck on the cheek.

Deanís eyes flinched, but he managed to smile at her. "Since weíd prefer to keep you and Trina in one piece, weíll go back after dark and salt and burn the bones."

"And you want me to keep her safe. I understand."

"We want to keep you both safe," Dean corrected before kissing her cheek.

Val watched the scene as he unpacked the groceries they had carried in, still remaining quiet.

"Iíd rather be alive, especially now that youíre back," Ellie agreed, making Dean wince.

Seeing his brotherís extreme discomfort, Sam spoke up. "We brought sandwich fixings, Ellie; would you like us to set them out for lunch?"

"Thatís very good of you, my dear. Yes, letís put everything on the table and everyone can help themselves to whatever they like." She turned away from Dean, much to his relief, and busied herself with setting out silverware and dishes while Sam and Trina set out the food and Val prowled around the room.

Ignoring the food for the moment, Dean stood at the window, looking up at the sky. "Still another four hours till sunset," he said quietly to no one in particular.

Val grunted a response as he made himself a sandwich, and Dean frowned unhappily. Watching them, Trina sighed softly and began talking to Ellie, distracting her. With a quick smile of gratitude, Dean moved to Valís side, putting a hand on his arm. "Val?"

"Hmm?" Val cut his eyes to the side before focusing on his meal again.

"Donít be like that," Dean nearly whined.

"Like what?"

"Fine, whatever!" Dean grumbled, turning to walk away.

"Damn it, Dean, what do you want me to say?" Val growled, grabbing his arm.

"I want you to tell me why youíre so pissed at something Iíve done a hundred times before," Dean snapped, truly bewildered.

"Why do you think you have to go with me to bury it?"

"Because I happen to like your head attached to your shoulders, and Iíd like to be there to watch your back!"

"Heís not going to come after the person with the head; heís going to come here!" Val hissed.

Dean looked at him. "You know how I take care of Sam, Val. Do you really think I care any less about you?"

"Do you think I care any less about you?" Val hissed. "Burying the damn head doesnít take two people; guarding the house doesówhy is that so hard to understand?"

"And why canít you get that I just want to be with you!" Dean snapped.

"I know that, and I just want you to be safe!"

Dean sighed softly. "Iím a hunter, Val. Iím never safe."

Val finally looked up, meeting Deanís gaze. "I know that; I understand that, but I still see no reason for... Fine, you want to go to the cemetery with me and leave Sam and the two women alone, come."

The sound of Deanís teeth grinding was audible. "I do not want to leave Sam alone with Trina and Ellie," he gritted out. "I didnít want Trina and Ellie together in a nice, convenient single target! But far be it for me to argue with the all-knowing Valac! Go to the cemetery. Sam and I will stay here and do what needs to be done!"

"Good!" Val snapped, glaring at him, the green light flaring in his eyes having nothing to do with lust.

"Fine," Dean bit out, refusing to look at Val, who picked up his sandwich and slammed outside.

Frowning, Ellie joined Dean. "Is everything all right, Bennie? Your friend seems upset."

Dean laughed harshly. "Everythingís fine. We just disagreed about something is all."

"I hope he doesnít go off and do anything foolish," she murmured, shaking her head before brightening. "Now, let me fix you lunch. Go and sit down; Iíll bring it in for you."

"Ellie," Dean started, then sighed. "That sounds nice, thanks." He went to sit on the sofa, where he could look out the window and see Val.

"Do those two always fight like that?" Trina murmured to Sam as they sat at the dining room table, eating their own meals.

"Actually, no," Sam replied, frowning. "Iíve never seen them fight like this, not even when Dean was still denying he wanted Val."

"I have to admit, your family has the strangest relationships Iíve ever seen," she murmured.

Sam laughed. "And you havenít even met our father."

"Why, Sam, are you asking me to meet your parents?" Trina asked, batting her eyes at him while he stammered something incoherent.

"Donít worry, I was only teasing," she laughed.

"Sorry, I didnít mean that the way it sounded," Sam said. "I like you. A lot."

She looked at him somewhat strangely but nodded. "I like you too, Sam; maybe if I survive tonight, we can investigate how much."

"Iíd like that." Sam hesitated, then leaned down and kissed her, Trina smiling up at him before returning it with interest, her hands stroking over the front of his shirt. "Iíd like that a lot," he said quietly after straightening up, his hands coming to rest on her waist.

In answer, Trina kissed him again, pulling him close and pushing up onto her toes so he didnít have to bend down so far.

This time when they drew back, Sam lightly rubbed a thumb over her kiss-swollen lower lip. "Weíre going to talk more about this tomorrow."

"Just talk?" she asked innocently.

"I never take a lady for granted."

Trina smiled at that and kissed him again. "I was hoping that would be the case."

"Feel free to take advantage of me though," Sam invited with a smile.

"Now? Why, Sam, I had no idea you were that type of manóand you have no idea how intrigued that makes me," Trina murmured.

Sam chuckled. "I like the sound of that."

"I think youíll like the feel of it even better."

"Iím sure I will. And if you were trying to inspire me to make sure we deal with the Horseman tonight once and for all, you succeeded." Sam chuckled as he leaned down to kiss the tip of her nose.

"Glad to inspire you," she murmured, "and weíd better finish our meal before your brother comes in here making wisecracks."

"I think heís a little distracted by fighting with Val, but yeah, youíre right. Besides, I donít know about you, but Iím hungry."

"Me too. We can keep Ellie company while we keep our energy up."

"Assuming she even notices weíre there while Deanís around," Sam said wryly.

"I hope she understands when you leave," Trina glanced up from where she was helping herself to more coleslaw, her expression musing.

"Me too, but I really donít see what else Dean could do," Sam admitted, glancing over to where the elderly woman was hovering over his brother, who was trying to convince her to sit down and eat her own meal. "He did try to convince her he wasnít Bennie at first."

"Oh, I know; I just donít envy him the conversation heís going to have to have when you leave."

"Me neither. Sheís going to be devastated." Sam moved into the living room, where he sat down on the sofa and took a bite of his sandwich. "And for all his tough guy act, Dean can be a real softie."

Trina sat down beside him and began to eat as well. "Why do I feel the two of you arenít that different in that way?"

"I think Iíll plead the Fifth," Sam said with a faint smile.

"You do that," she laughed, "I think Iíve got you figured out."

"That should probably worry me, but I think I like it."

"You have no idea how glad I am to hear that."

Sam grinned. "Strong, smart, sexy women donít intimidate me. I think itís a real turn-on."

"Flatterer," Trina murmured, eyeing him warmly.

"Is it working?"

"I think you know the answer to that, plus Iíve always had a weakness for smart, strong, sexy men who donít hide their emotions."

"Whoís the flatterer now?" Sam chuckled.

She winked conspiratorially and whispered, "Iím just trying to get in your pants."

"If we werenít in Ellieís living room, youíd be amazed at how fast they came off."

"Tease," Trina murmured though she smiled at him warmly.

"Think of it as a promise to be redeemed."

From where she sat next to Dean, Ellie sighed happily as she watched the young couple. "Do you remember when we were that young?"

"It seems like just yesterday," Dean replied dryly.

"Doesnít it just? The time you went after those weres in Maine... I was so worried about you." She leaned over and patted his hand. "But here you are, come back to me."

Dean gave her a sickly smile and took a bite of his potato salad to avoid having to reply, and Ellie beamed at him, squeezing his hand before daintily eating her meal.

Dean frowned nervously as Val prepared to leave for the cemetery, and he reached out, placing a hand on Valís arm. "Be careful."

"If you let him hurt you, Iím going to be seriously pissed," the other man commented, glancing over to meet Deanís gaze for a second before closing up the bag with the Horsemanís head in it.

"Me too," Dean agreed wryly. "Weíll be fine. Just get the bones salted and burned as soon as you can."

Val nodded at that. "Keep the girls safeóand I mean Sam by that too."

Dean chuckled. "Heís going to shoot you in the ass with rock salt if you keep calling him that."

"Kinky, but doable," Val shrugged, settling the backpack on his shoulder and holding his hand out for the keys to the Impala.

Dean held them out, then caught Valís hand and pulled him into a quick, hard kiss. "Love you," he murmured.

"I love you too," Val said almost defiantly, raising his free hand to Deanís chest to feel his heart beat, and Dean smiled crookedly.

"Good. Weíll work the rest out after we deal with the Horseman."

Val nodded and took a step back without pulling his hand from Deanís, taking the keys with him. "So, Iíll see you later."

"Weíll all be here." Dean forced himself to release his grip on Valís hand.

"Youíd better." Val nodded grimly and turned, heading for the car and roaring out of the driveway toward the cemetery.

Dean watched the taillights disappear before shutting and locking the door. That taken care of, he looked over at Sam. "All the door and windows guarded by salt?"

"Weíre set," Sam nodded. "We should keep Trina and Ellie in the center rooms."

Dean nodded, but Ellie frowned, gesturing slightly with the rock salt-loaded shotgun in her hand. "We can protect ourselves."

"Iím not saying you canít," Sam said quickly, "but heís after the two of you so we donít want you exposed."

"It makes sense," Trina said coaxingly. "We donít want to endanger Sam and... Bennie by making them worry about us."

"Oh yes, thatís very true," Ellie murmured, cradling the shotgun in her arms.

"So you two go upstairs, to a room with the fewest outside accesses, and let us worry about being the first line of defense," Dean suggested.

"Come along, dear," Ellie told Trina as they started for the stairs.

Dean looked at Sam after the two women had vanished upstairs. "We have to keep them alive, Sammy."

"We will," Sam said, nodding firmly before going to check the windows and doors again.

Aside from the occasional wisecrack, silence reigned for the next little while until suddenly the quality of it changed. Dean looked over at Sam, both of them tightening their grips on their shotguns.

The shrill ring of Deanís cell phone broke the silence, and Sam swallowed hard.

Dean glanced at the display as he raised the phone to his ear. "Val?" He was watching the windows again as he spoke.

"Itís done; howís everything there?"

"Quiet. Too quiet. I donít think it worked. There has to be something else... Fuck. The watch."

Val cursed loudly and in a number of dead languages. "Get it; Iím on my way back."

"Weíll be here," Dean said, inhaling sharply when he heard the sound of a whinny from outside the house. "Shit. Gotta go!" He broke the connection and raised his shotgun, relying on Sam to destroy the watch. After several moments of silence, Dean looked over at Sam. "So smash it already!"

"Might not work." Hooves rang on the porch, and the front door shuddered as a large body banged against it. "Burningís better." He looked toward the basement door, then back at Dean. "Hold him; Iíll get it in the furnace."

Dean nodded, his eyes never moving from the door. "Hurry, Sammy."

This was said to Samís back as he pounded downstairs, cursing as he burned his hand pulling open the furnace door. As he threw the watch into the flames, he heard a splintering crash and wild laughter upstairs and Dean shouting. Sam slammed the door shut again and bolted for the stairs to help his brother.

"No!" Dean yelled as he fired the shotgun. "You canít have them! Not this time, not this fucking time!"

"Dean!" Sam bellowed, bringing his own gun to his shoulder and blasting a shot at the shadowy form filling the doorway.

Dean fired again as well, both of them appalled when the salt barrier seemed to have no effect on the advancing Horseman. "Oh, we are so fucked," Dean muttered, reloading rapidly.

"We just need to hold him off until the watch melts," Sam rasped, aiming at the horseís front leg and firing again.

"Oh, is that all?" Dean snarked, taking his eyes off the Horseman just long enough to glare at his brother before taking another shot at the thingís torso.

"Shut up, Dean!" Sam fired again as the horse pushed inside the house.

"Great last words, Sammy!" Dean grabbed Samís arm and wrenched him back out of the path of the swing of the Horsemanís heavy cavalry saber. They separated, moving to opposite sides of the room, and a shot rang out from the stairwell, making the Horseman sway in the saddle.

Both menís eyes shot to the stairs, widening at the sight of Ellie and Trina, shotguns raised to their shoulders and determined looks on their faces. "Oh crap," Dean groaned.

"Damn it!" Sam growled, firing quickly, the Horseman shuddering under their barrage but still trying to get to the women on the stairs.

"So much for staying safe and not distracting us," Dean grumbled, and hearing him, Trina rolled her eyes.

"Not damsels in distress," she snapped before firing again, her shot taking the Horseman in the upper torso.

The black horse staggered again, almost going to its knees, and Sam uttered a prayer of thanks even as he watched Ellie load and fire in smooth, practiced motions.

All four of them continued a non-stop barrage of firing until the Horseman suddenly hesitated and then abruptly vanished.

Sam slowly lowered his gun and ran a hand through his hair, looking from the now empty area to where Trina and Ellie stood on the stairs.

"Is that it?" Trina asked shakily, looking around as if expecting the Horseman to reappear.

Sam started to answer but was interrupted by Val racing through the door, a shotgun at the ready. "Is it gone?"

"Yeah, finally," Dean said, lowering his shotgun finally.

"Everyone okay?" Val asked with feigned nonchalance even as he raked Dean over with his eyes at the same time as Sam moved over to Trina and Ellie.

"Yeah, not even a scratch," Dean assured him, taking a step toward Val but then stopping as he remembered Ellie.

"Trinaís a good shot," the older woman said, patting her arm and looking at Sam. "You take care of her."

"Yes, maíam," he said, ducking his head and avoiding her gaze as Trina stepped down and into his arms.

Dean looked over at Ellie. "You should get some rest. Itís been a hell of a night."

"Just like when we were young," she said with a smile.

"Iíll see what I can find to board up the doorway," Val announced, and Sam sighed as he rubbed Trinaís back.

"Howíre you doing?"

"Iím having trouble believing all of this really happened," she admitted, leaning against him and turning her head to watch Dean help Ellie upstairs.

"But itís overóand Iím sorry about the watch."

"Better it than our lives." Trina shut her eyes, shuddering.

"Want to sit down?" he asked gently.

"I think thatíd be a very good idea." She held on to him as they moved over to the sofa and sank down into the welcoming cushions, Sam finally giving up and settling her on his lap when they couldnít seem to get close enough otherwise.

"Itíll be okay; heís gone," he murmured against her temple.

"God, how do you live with all this?"

"By knowing that if we didnít do it, a lot more people would be hurt."

She nodded slowly. "Itís a hard way to live."

He nodded and rested his head against hers. "Iím not denying it, and I know itís hard to find out about it."

"I just keep thinking about Ellie, alone for so many years."

"Itís going to be hard on her when we leave."

"Yes," Trina sighed. "She truly believes Dean is her late husband."

"And if you havenít figured it out by now, heís not the most sensitive guy around."

"Heís been doing pretty well," Trina reminded him. "I know heíd rather have been with Val than her last night."

Sam pressed a kiss against her hair and nodded. "Yeah, when it comes down to it, he does the right thing."

"You both do." Trina pressed closer. "And by the way, thank you for saving my life."

"I think you did a pretty good job saving yourself," he murmured, stroking her waist.

"Good point. I guess we both saved me." She tilted her head back to smile up at him.

There was a crash from the doorway followed by Valís voice. "Sorry, the wood slipped."

"Try not to kill yourself," Trina called back. "That would be absurd after surviving all this."

"Iíve watched Extreme Home Makeover; I can figure this out," he answered, and Sam chuckled.

"Maybe we should give him some help."

"I think weíd better," Trina agreed with a chuckle of her own.

"And then we can take this discussion up where we left off?" Sam reluctantly let her go so she could stand.

"Definitely," she promised, leaning toward him and kissing him, his hand sliding around the base of her neck, holding her into the kiss until another crash broke them apart with rueful sighs.

"Weíd better go, or he really will kill himself."

"And then Dean will kill me, so, yeah, going now." Sam finally let go of her as he spoke.

"Why donít I make some coffee? Iím sure we could all use it."

"Sounds perfect." He smiled and brushed a swift kiss over her lips, watching her head into the kitchen before going to help Val.

"You should get some rest, Ellie," Dean repeated gently, helping her over to the bed. "Itís been an eventful day."

"I suppose itís time to let the youngsters handle things like that," she whispered, settling back against the pillows with a sigh. "But Iíd be damned if I was going to let that thing invade out house and not help you."

"You are one incredible lady, Eleanor Jacobs."

She smiled and tightened her hand around his though her grasp was weak. "Well, I have to be to catch a man like you, Benjamin Jacobs."

"Any man would be lucky to get a woman like you."

"I want to talk to you more, but Iím so tired," she whispered, resting her head against his shoulder.

"Then you should sleep."

"Weíll talk in the morning, right? Youíll still be here?"

"Iíll still be here," Dean promised, willing to give her that much before he disentangled himself from her life.

"Good." She smiled and relaxed against him, her eyed closed, her breathing thin and thready.

Dean sighed and sat back, waiting until she was asleep before he would go back downstairs. Ellieís breathing evened out for a time, then became ragged again, and she suddenly sat up, gasping.

"Bennie?"

Dean was about to reply when he realized she wasnít looking at him but across the room at an empty spot. "Ellie? Are you all right?"

"Youíre so bright," she whispered, sitting up and leaning away from Dean. "So beautiful, just like when we met."

Frowning, Dean straightened up, his eyes going from Ellie to the spot she was staring at and back again. "Ellie?" He tried again to get her attention.

Ignoring him as if she hadnít heard him, she raised a trembling hand, reaching out to something he couldnít see. "Have you come to take me with you?"

Deanís eyes widened. "Sam! Val!" he yelled.

Footsteps pounded up the stairs, and the door crashed open to reveal them as well as Trina. "What?!" they chorused before staring at Ellie, who was now smiling tenderly at the corner of the room.

"Do you feel anything demonic?" Dean asked Val urgently.

"No," he said, after frowning for a moment. "Nothing."

"Do we have to go now?" Ellie asked, before nodding. "Yes, itís time."

"I think Bennieís here," Dean explained. "The real Bennie."

"Oh shit," Sam breathed while he studied the corner with renewed interest.

"I love you too, dear." Ellieís smile grew as she closed her hand around something none of them could see, then gasped, her whole body going limp against Deanís side.

"Ellie! Oh shit, I think sheís dead," Dean exclaimed.

"Ellie?" Sam said gently, moving forward to place his fingers on her neck and finally shake his head. "Sheís gone."

"She looked so happy," Trina said softly.

"She was really with her Bennie," Val nodded.

"Itís kind of hard to feel sad about her passing," Dean said, looking down at the smile that still curved her lips even in death.

"We should call the hospital," Sam murmured.

Dean nodded. "We should stay for her funeral. She deserves that much."

The others nodded at that, Sam straightening up to help Dean recline Ellie on the bed.

Once she was settled, Dean straightened and moved to stand in front of Val. He searched the green eyes for a moment before smiling crookedly and wrapping his arms around his lover.

"You okay?" Val asked, hugging Dean tightly in return.

"Yeah, this has just been a really weird hunt."

"Yeah. Sorry about earlier."

"Me too. I guess it was getting to both of us."

Val nodded and nuzzled the side of Deanís throat. "Just a little."

"And things are back to normal," Sam sighed, watching them.

"Sometimes normal isnít such a bad thing," Trina whispered back.

Dean looked over at that and laughed wryly. "I donít think weíd know normal if we fell into it."

"I like abnormal," Val shrugged.

Dean eyed him before deciding, "Iím going to take that as a compliment."

"I meant in general."

"Either way it fits Dean."

Dean started to go for Sam, remembered Ellie, and contented himself with a glare.

"We should call," Trina reminded them.

"I guess we do need a voice of reason in this little group," Dean muttered, reaching for the phone.

"Guess what, Trina, you get to be the reasonable one," Val said brightly. "Samís the conscience; Deanís the muscle; and Iím..."

"Not going to mention it," Sam cut in.

"I appreciate your talents, honey," Dean cooed in a syrupy tone after heíd hung up the phone.

"Damn right you do."

"Maybe you should go back to your room," Trina suggested, trying not to laugh.

We can wait until they show upóno point in being interrupted."

"And it would be respectful," Sam added.

"Weíll keep our hands to ourselves while weíre here," Dean said.

"Contrary to popular belief, we can behave."

"Itís just more fun not to."

"More fun for you two, you mean," Sam added.

"What else matters?" Dean said with a smirk.

Sam sighed and shook his head. "Did they say how long they would be?"

Dean shrugged. "Well, itís not exactly urgent, but I donít imagine much is here. Iíd guess within half an hour."

"Weíd better think of some way to explain the lack of a door," Val mused.

"A really strong wind?" Dean suggested, shrugging.

"Vandals?" Sam countered, looking thoughtful

Val nodded at that. "The noise could have frightened her so much that she had a heart attack."

Trina stared at all three of them. "Youíre going to lie about it?"

Dean stared back. "Do you want to tell the friendly neighborhood boys in blue that the Headless Horseman kicked it in?"

She bit her lip, looking very uncomfortable, and Sam looked down at her, his expression gentle. "We canít tell them, Trina; all it would get us is being arrested as suspects. I know it doesnít seem right, but itís all we can do."

After a moment she nodded reluctantly. "I suppose so."

"Why donít you two go downstairs and wait for them," Val suggested.

Trina took Samís hand, and the couple went down to the living room. Once they were out of earshot, Dean looked at Val. "Sheís not going to be able to handle it, is she?"

"Doesnít look like it. Itís almost funny: she handled the Horseman; itís the lying thatís making her run."

"God, this is going to mess Sam up so bad," Dean groaned.

"Maybe I could talk to her?"

"Itís worth a try. I donít think Sam can take losing another girl."

"He needs a man," Val smirked.

"Thatís your answer to everything," Dean snorted.

"Well, it would solve his women problems!"

"I donít think Samís planning to turn gay."

Val batted his eyelashes up at Dean at that. "Neither did you."

"Yeah, well, heís not getting you."

"You think this is a problem for me?"

"Nope." Dean grinned and pulled Val in for a kiss.

"And Sam says you arenít smart," Val murmured before glancing over at the bed and Ellieís still form. "You did a good thing with her."

Dean shrugged, uncomfortable with the compliment. "It kept her calm."

"Yeah, it did, but more than that, it made her happy." Val looked back at Dean and smiled. "I think you gave her the strength to believe Bennie was there, waiting for her."

"Itís nice to know that something good can come after for some people, no curses or ghosts, just being together again," Dean admitted.

Val nodded at that and rubbed his hands over Deanís back. "It happens, believe it."

"Iím glad." Dean kissed Val lightly. "Looks like youíre stuck with me for good."

"What was that? Iím stuck in you for good? Oh damn."

Dean laughed. "I think that would make walking pretty hard."

"To tell the truth, itís making me pretty hard," Val grinned.

"Hold that thought and weíll see what we can do about it when we get back to the motel," Dean promised.

"Is that before or after we listen in on Sam and Trina?"

"I am not listening to my brother have sex!"

"Fine, fine," Val sighed, his eyes bright with humor. "Iíll wear you out then listen in."

"Hey, guys, the police are here," Sam called from downstairs.

"So behave!" Shaking his head, Dean headed downstairs, meeting the suspicious stares from the police. "Ellie, Mrs. Jacobs, is upstairs."

"Do you two mind giving us your version of what happened here?" the first officer, a tall, dark-haired woman, asked while her partner, a shorter, stocky, brush-cut man in his mid-fifties, talked to Sam and Trina.

Dean shrugged. "We met Ellie a couple of days ago. Trina is here researching her genealogy, and she and Ellie were distantly related. After the murders, Ellie was a little nervous about being alone at night and asked us to stay with her. Tonight someone kicked in the doorówe have no idea who, but I guess it was vandals. Anyway, after we checked the door, I went upstairs to check on Ellie, who had been sleeping. While I was there, she suddenly sat up, smiled, said ĎBennie,í and the next thing I knew, she was gone."

"May I see some identification, please?"

Dean handed over the ID heíd been using in town and waited.

"Why were you in town, Mr. Waters?"

"Itís Sleepy Hollow. We just wanted to visit."

"We met Trina while sightseeing," Val put in, handing his ID over as well. "And we met Ellie through her."

Dean nodded. "She was a nice lady."

"And you have no idea of who did this?" She nodded toward the boarded up door.

"If we did, the punks would be sitting here waiting for you," Dean assured her.

"If theyíre the ones whoíve been killing folks around here, I would be glad if they were on the floor here," she sighed, glancing over at her partner. "Iím going upstairs; donít go anywhere."

Dean sat down on the sofa, demonstrating his intention to remain, and Val joined him, earning them a curt nod from the officer before she went up the stairs. Dean leaned back, his eyes going to where Sam and Trina were still talking to the other officer, and then he looked over at Val, remembering the look on Ellieís face at the end.

"What?" Val was frowning slightly as he spoke.

"Just thinking that I hope I have the same smile Ellie did when itís my turn."

"I hope you do too."

Dean caught an odd note in Valís voice, but this wasnít the time or place for that discussion, so he just nodded and let it go for the moment. "Weíll have to find out the arrangements for the funeral. Knowing Ellie, she probably made them all herself."

"Once the cops go, we can look through her papers, though thereís only one funeral parlor in town so theyíd have the details, Iím sure." He looked up as Sam and Trina joined them and the other officer went upstairs as well.

"Well, at least theyíre leaving us here, unrestrained and unsupervised," Dean remarked. "Thatís a good sign."

"Weíll just have to hope that they still think the same thing once they come down," Sam murmured.

"No reason to think otherwise. She died of natural causes."

"Iím betting theyíll come down saying they called the coroner," Val commented, resting his arm around Deanís shoulders.

"Sucker bet," Dean said, and Trina nodded, pushing her long blond hair back behind her ears.

Sam leaned back and put his arm around her shoulders as well, giving a reassuring smile. "Itíll be okay."

Her return smile was a little shaky, but it was there. "I know. I just want this day to end."

"It wonít be that much longer." There was the sound of footsteps on the stairs, and Sam nodded. "See? Theyíre coming back down."

Trina nodded, leaning against Samís side, and they waited for the police verdict.

"Weíd like all of you to stay until the coroner arrives to claim Mrs. Jacobsí body," the male officer said.

Dean shrugged. "Not a problem. Just let us know when we can go." He looked at the other couple. "Sam, why donít you and Trina take the sofa," he offered, standing up. "She looks exhausted."

Val rose as well and draped himself in one of the side chairs, and Sam smiled his thanks. "Why donít you stretch out, Trina," he offered, scooting over so that she could have most of the space, and she sank down next to him, resting her head on his chest. Within moments, she was asleep.

"Itís too bad," Dean murmured to Val. "They look good together."

"Maybe sheíll surprise us," Val whispered back. "You never know."

"I hope so. For his sake." Dean sat down between Valís legs, leaning back against him.

"If not, weíll have to distract him," Val sighed, leaning forward to loop his arms around Deanís shoulders while glancing over at Sam, who was tenderly stroking Trinaís blond hair.

"Heís going to run screaming into the night if we keep distracting him," Dean said with a faint chuckle.

"That or buy stronger earplugs."

Dean grinned. "I donít think they exist."

"Good point," Val chuckled, kissing his ear.

"And Iím looking forward to proving the need for them again."

"I think I need to go drive the coroner here personally."

Dean laughed. "Patience, Val. Iím not going anywhere."

"You know, we should go through that cabinet in the basement when thereís time; Iíd like to get a better look at what was in it."

Dean nodded. "Tomorrow. The place is a little busy tonight."

"And I know you donít like audiences," Val laughed quietly.

"For anything," Dean agreed.

"Prude."

"Exhibitionist."

"And damn proud of it."

"Iíve noticed," Dean said wryly.

"Thatís because youíre smart. Why donít you get some rest; Iíll keep an eye on Sammy and the coppers."

"Youíre too good to me." Despite the comment, Dean shifted until he was more comfortable and closed his eyes, trusting Val to wake him if necessary.

"Goodís nowhere in the equation, Dean-o," Val murmured, glancing over at Sam and sighing when he saw the other manís expression as he watched Trina sleeping.

Dean made a soft sound of disagreement, but he didnít open his eyes again, instead drifting into a light slumber.

"Finally," Dean groaned, falling face first onto the bed and lying there, spread-eagled. "I thought they were never going to let us leave," he grumbled, only slightly muffled by the bedding.

"And leave the connecting door shut," he added without looking over. "Sam and Trina donít need your help. But I do."

"With what?" Val asked, raising his arms over his head and clasping his wrists as he stretched, his shirt riding up as he did so, revealing several inches of skin between it and his jeans just as Dean rolled over and turned to look at him. Dean immediately forgot what heíd been saying and moved closer to nip at that enticingly bared flesh.

"Hrmm, I like that answer," Val mused, stroking a hand through Deanís short hair.

"I like the way you taste," Dean said before licking a strip across Valís belly.

"Do you hear me complaining about this?" Val murmured, pulling his shirt up and over his head to give Dean more access to his body.

"Nope," Dean replied cheerfully, placing a line of sucking kisses from Valís navel to his throat.

"Mmm, and you wonít, either."

"Definitely not. Iíll leave that to Sam," Dean chuckled, straightening up to kiss Val.

"You really think heís doing that right now?"

"Not if Trina has anything to say about it," Dean laughed. "I meant with respect to us."

"Now thereís a shock," Val murmured, stroking Deanís hair.

Dean grinned up at him. "Isnít it?" he said before nipping at Valís belly while starting to unbutton his jeans, eager to get at more of Val.

"So... you planning on fucking me tonight?"

"Yup. And then, assuming youíre up to it," Dean looked up at Val through his lashes, "I thought you could fuck me."

Valís smile was pure sin, and he ran his thumb over Deanís lower lip. "Dean-o, Iím always up to it and up for it."

"Iíve noticed." Dean nipped at Valís thumb, then suckled on it, drawing a low groan from Valís throat as he caressed the side of Deanís face. Dean smiled up at him, licking his lips before lapping at the head of Valís freed cock.

"Suck me, Dean," Val rasped, hitching his jeans down over his hips, freeing his length for Deanís explorations.

"Demanding, arenít you?" Dean said, but he was just as eager as Val, and the words had barely left his lips when he was fitting his mouth over Valís shaft, drawing him into the moist heat of his mouth where he could taste him.

One hand cradled the back of Deanís head, and the other rubbed over his cheek as Val rocked his hips forward in a shallow arc, sheathing more of his length in Deanís mouth. Dean took him greedily while raising his hand to Valís mouth, fingertips gently rubbing the full lower lip before slipping inside.

Val sucked him in greedily, fellating his finger with the same depth and motion that Dean was using on him until Dean pulled it free and pushed it into Valís ass.

"Yes, do it; get me ready for you," Val gasped, squirming between Deanís hand and mouth.

Dean hummed his agreement, not about to stop what he was doing to respond verbally. A second finger pushed in next to the first, Dean adding a little twisting motion on the next in-stroke, and Val cried out, spreading his legs to keep from falling over.

"Now!" he demanded, dragging Dean up, kissing him, and then tumbling them both to the bed.

"Pushy bottom," Dean chuckled throatily, but he was already grabbing for the lube to slick himself up.

"Youíre one to talk," Val snorted, his eyes flashing green as he stroked a hand over his cock, playing with himself while Dean watched.

"I learned from the best." Dean smirked at him, but his own eyes were dark with lust, and a moment later he pounced, Valís laugh turning into a moan as Dean filled him, his hands clenching on Deanís shoulders.

"God, you fit me like you were made for me," Dean rasped, his eyes falling half closed as he buried himself to the balls in Valís ass.

"The answer to that is so obvious I wonít say it," Val murmured, clenching down around Deanís cock, a blissful smile on his face.

"Smart man," Dean growled before lowering his head to close his teeth around one hardened nipple, worrying it gently.

"Damnóoh fuckódamn right." Val cradled the back of Deanís head again, holding him close as they rocked together.

Dean pressed a kiss to the center of Valís chest on his way to the other nipple, and all the while, his hips moved fluidly back and forth, fucking Val with all the hunger they both felt until Val pushed at him, waiting until Dean pulled back enough to look down at him.

"Watch," the former demon purred, sliding a hand down his chest and circling his own cock, stroking it in time with Deanís thrusts.

"Fuck," Dean breathed, his rhythm slowing slightly as he got caught up in watching Val.

Val smiled slightly at that. "Thatís what weíre doing."

"Ha ha." Deanís next thrust had some extra force behind it, and Val groaned, rubbing his thumb over the head of his cock. "God, yeah, wanna see you come," Dean muttered, speeding up again as his balls drew up.

Dark green eyes flashed again, and Valís back arched off the bed, his ass clenching down around Dean as he did just that.

The combination of the sight of Valís eyes and the rippling spasms around his cock were enough to push Dean over the edge as well, and he muffled a yell against Valís shoulder as the pleasure tore through him.

Val pressed his lips against Deanís temple, stroking his hands over his back as they recovered, their breath slowing as the sweat on their skin cooled.

"Much better," Dean mumbled, his eyes still closed as he sprawled on top of Val, occasionally nuzzling his shoulder.

"Than what?"

"Than being apart last night," Dean replied. "I missed you, even if we were still in the same house and I did join you later."

"Mmm, same here, it felt strange."

"Very wrong," Dean agreed. "Letís not do that again."

"Works for me. Weíre happy; Ellieís happy; and hopefully Samís getting some, and that will make him happy," Val smiled.

"Sounds almost too good to be true, doesnít it?"

Almost as if on cue, Deanís cell phone rang, and Dean rolled over to glare at it. "Youíve gotta be kidding," he grumbled as he grabbed for it, then sat bolt upright as he heard the voice on the other end.

"Dad! Whatís wrong?"

"Why am I seeing on the news that more people have died there, son?"

"Because it took a while to find his head and then to get into the cemetery to dig up the rest of him. But itís done now, and the last one to die, Ellie, died of natural causes, not the Horseman."

"And weíre all fine, thanks for asking," Val said loudly.

Dean patted Valís arm while continuing to talk to his father. "Weíre taking a few days to rest and recharge."

"A few days." Johnís voice was flat. "Just how many is that?"

"A week." Deanís shoulders hunched defensively, but his voice was firm.

"I see."

"Weíre all burnt out, Dad. We need a break, or weíre not going to be any use to anyone."

"I see," John repeated. "Well, when you all decide to get back to reality, let me know."

Dean bit back his instinctive response, which was to change his plans and do what his father wanted. All he said was, "Weíll do that."

Growling under his breath, Val grabbed the phone from Deanís hand. "íAnd good job, boys, for stopping the Horseman and not getting killed.í Weíll call you in a week, John; donít get yourself killed." He punched the end button and tossed the phone across the room.

"Val!" Dean gawked from him to the phone and back.

"What?"

"You hung up on my dad!"

"So?"

"No one hangs up on my dad."

Val shrugged. "I just did."

Dean sputtered wordlessly.

"When heís polite, Iíll be polite."

After staring at him a little longer, Dean finally barked out a laugh. "You two are never going to get along, are you?"

"Iíll play nice with your father, Dean-o, I promise," Val sighed, rolling out of bed and stretching.

"As long as you play nice with me, I donít really care," Dean admitted. "He wouldnít have approved of anyone who distracted me from hunting even without the whole guy and ex-demon thing."

"Maker forbid you have any kind of life on your own." As he spoke, Val sauntered over to the connecting door and leaned his ear against it.

"Heís not that... Val! Stop that!"

"Stop what?"

"Stop trying to listen to my brother having sex!"

"Geez, Dean-o, youíd think youíd be happy he was getting someóand getting some is an understatement." Val grinned wickedly and kept his ear to the door.

Dean muttered something under his breath, went over and grabbed Valís arm to drag him toward the bathroom. "Shower. Now. Concentrate on this Winchester brother."

"Shower?" Val laughed. "Is there a point?"

"Cleaning up, you may have heard of it?" Dean threw a grin over his shoulder. "And thereís always the possibility of shower sex."

"Heard of it? Who do you think invented it? But thatís beside the point, itís," Val glanced toward the alarm clock by the bed, "three AM."

"Fine, so letís go back to bed and sleep," Dean said, veering back toward the bed, still holding Valís wrist.

"Good idea," Val murmured, following Dean to the bed and sliding in beside him, immediately sprawling out half on top of him. Dean chuckled softly and drew him closer, pressing a kiss to the tousled dark head as his eyes closed, immediately relaxing.

"Just so you know," Val murmured, grinning against Deanís shoulder, "sheís a screamer."

Deanís eyes shot open. "I hate you!"

Val chuckled at that and nibbled on Deanís throat. "No, you donít; you love me."

"I plead the Fifth," Dean grumbled, making Val laugh again.

"And I love you too."

"Yo, you two better be decent," Dean yelled through the connecting door. "Weíve got breakfast, and weíre coming in." He nodded to Val to open the door.

"And be ready for comments on any visible marks," Val added, turning the knob and stepping inside, grinning when he saw Sam sitting at the small table, looking very relaxed.

"Time to get up," Dean started, then stopped, looking around. "Whereís Trina?"

"In the shower," Sam yawned.

"And youíre not in there scrubbing her back? Iím ashamed of you, Sammy."

Val looked from Sam to Dean, then back again, grinning widely.

"Someone had to make sure the two of you didnít barge in."

"What, you donít trust us? Iím hurt, Sam. And here we were being nice and brought you breakfast."

"Uh huh..."

"Well, I wanted to hear details," Val said brightly.

Dean put the food and coffee on the table, pulled a muffin out of the bag, and shoved it into Valís mouth, making him sputter.

"You arenít going to get any, so deal," Sam laughed.

"Are you saying that weíve used up your repertoire and you need inspiration from Sam now?" Dean teased.

Valís expression turned incredulous at that. "Have you forgotten who youíre talking to?"

"Hrmm," Sam murmured, "I think I should feel insulted."

Dean snickered. "Donít worry, lover, no oneís as hot as you."

"In your dreams," Sam snorted, picking up his coffee and taking a sip, making a face as he reached for the sugar.

"In Deanís."

"I dream good," Dean said smugly.

"You watched Charmed," Sam snorted, appreciating the effort they were making.

"And I realized who was the best-looking person on the show."

"Uh huh..."

"Would you rather be riding around with Phoebe?" Dean demanded.

"With tits like that, my back would be killing me," Val laughed.

"Not to mention that sheís obnoxious," Dean said with a shudder. "If I was going for one of the sisters, itíd have to be Piper or Prue."

"Or both," Sam said dryly.

"Oh hell yeah! Um, before Val, of course," Dean added hastily.

Val rolled his eyes and reached for his own coffee. "Sorry, Iím not an amoebae; I couldnít have been both of them."

"You mean youíre not going to spit into twins? Well, damn."

"You couldnít keep up with two of me."

"Itíd be fun to try though." Deanís eyes glazed over.

"Remind me to hide behind Trina if that happens," Sam laughed.

Dean laughed. "You just like the view back there. Good taste runs in the family."

"I think this is a case of with family like this, who needs enemies."

"I resemble that remark," Dean chuckled, dropping into the other chair and picking up a coffee.

"The family one or the enemy one?" Val asked, reaching for a breakfast sandwich and taking a bite.

"Both, of course. Iím multi-faceted."

"Damn right," Val purred, making Sam snort into his coffee.

"Itís nice to be appreciated."

"Just donít do it here!"

"Spoilsport," Dean laughed.

"It would distract you," Val added with a wink. "Or do you want to hear about Johnís phone call."

"It was a very short call," Dean said with a wry look at Val. "I told him weíre taking a week to relax."

"And what did he say?"

Val smirked.

"Not a whole lot before Val hung up on him and tossed my phone across the room."

"He didnít even bother to ask if you both were all right; I got pissy," Val shrugged.

Dean grabbed his coffee, but it couldnít hide his smile.

"So... a week off?"

"Dean promised me a week in New York City."

"Luxury hotel, room service, great view, and I hope you can amuse yourself because we may not come out of our room for a week," Dean said. "And you and Trina can make good use of room service too."

"I think we can find something to do."

Dean snickered. "Iím sure you can, but even we have to come up for air occasionally. We can all do stuff together."

"Why, Dean, you are getting adventuresome," Val smirked, causing both Winchesters to groan.

"Thatís not what I meant!" Dean kicked at Val, who snickered and took a bite of his food, only to wince when Sam nailed him from the other side.

"This is abuse!"

"Which youíd probably like!" Dean snorted.

"You know me well," Val purred, and Dean leaned over the table to kiss him.

"Take it to your own room!" Sam protested, throwing a wadded up napkin at them.

"If we go, the food goes with us!"

"Why? You arenít going to eat it anyway!"

"Sure we would. We need fuel to keep going."

"Are you saying we canít live on love?" Val crooned.

"Well, I certainly canít, and unless youíre going demonic again, neither can you."

"Demonic?" Wet hair dampening the top of Samís shirt, which was all she wore, Trina stood in the doorway, clearly hoping sheíd misunderstood and equally obviously knowing she hadnít.

Sam swore under his breath, but Val only grinned jauntily at her. "Old history, cutie; all it leads to now is really good sex."

"Really good sex," Dean said, not quite under his breath, and Trina bit her lip.

"You know what, I donít want to know. You saved me, and you saved Ellie. That makes you the good guys, and letís just leave it at that."

"Exactly," Val nodded. "We even brought breakfast."

"And now you can leave," Sam hissed.

"Are you sure you donít need some tutoring?" Dean asked with a very fake innocent smile.

"Or participation?" Val put in.

"Leave!"

"Weíre just trying to help," Dean protested, and Trina yanked the connecting door open and pointed through.

"Leave!" she ordered.

"Mmm, anyone ever tell you youíre really sexy half-dressed and giving orders?" Val laughed, ducking through the door just ahead of Dean.

Trina slammed the door and locked it while Dean burst into laughter. "Weíll meet you at the car in half an hour," he called through the door.

"Half an hour? Thatís cruel," Val snickered. "Or is Sam always that quick off the gun?"

"Oh fine." Dean raised his voice. "Weíre going to the store for some funeral clothes. Weíll meet you back here in two hours."

The sound of something banging against the connecting was the only answer he got, and Val smirked. "So, funeral clothes, huh? Do I get to pick yours out?"

Dean groaned. "Why do I feel like a dress-up doll?"

"Better that than a blow-up doll; now come on, letís see if this thereís anything remotely resembling a store in town."

A perfunctory knock on the connecting door was all the warning Dean and Val got before Sam walked into their room the next morning, looking haggard. Dean sat up, grabbing the sheet over his lap.

"Sam? Whatís wrong?" he asked worriedly.

"Trinaóshe left." Sam dropped down into the chair and stared at his hands.

Val winced and grabbed his and Deanís clothes from where they lay by the bed, tossing Deanís at him as he pulled on a pair of boxer briefs for the brothersí peace of mind. "For good?"

"What happened?" Dean asked, pulling his jeans on and going over to grip Samís shoulder.

Sam glanced up at him and gave a melancholy smile. "We did."

Dean frowned. "But she seemed okay about the Horseman and the hunting."

"I think it was just how easily we lie about everything."

Dean winced. "So being honest with her about how we deal with other people was the problem?" he asked ironically.

"Letís face it, Dean, we donít live the most normal life," Sam shot back.

"Hey, Iím the one wanted as a serial killer because a shape shifter turned into me," Dean pointed out. "Iím well aware of the weirdness of our lives."

"And donít look at me, I like weird," Val shrugged.

Sam looked away from them and stared at the wall. "I think the reality of it all finally hit."

"Iím sorry," Dean said, casting a helpless glance at Val, who moved to Samís other side, offering his support as well.

"I am too, but maybe, maybe itís for the best," Sam whispered. "This way sheís safe."

Dean winced, remembering Jess, and their mother, and he nodded slowly, his eyes going to Val. "She is."

"That counts for something, right?"

"It counts for a lot," Val promised.

"Someday, thereíll be someone who can handle this life, Sammy. When you least expect it," Dean finished wryly.

"Just donít expect them to be as hot as I am," Val teased, and Sam shook his head.

"I couldnít survive it."

Dean laughed. "Donít worry; I got the only one of him."

"Well, there is that actor..."

"We are not kidnapping an actor!"

"God, no!" Sam shuddered.

"I meant that he and I look the same," Val explained.

"Which is probably not a selling point for Sam," Dean pointed out.

"I think Iíll just avoid all of that," Sam admitted with a sigh.

Dean frowned, but he didnít push it, knowing that Sam needed some time and distance. "I vote we head for the city and our week of luxury. We all need it."

"So am I going to see the two of you at all during the week?"

"We have to eat..." Val offered.

"We can go out one day," Dean suggested. "You pick."

Sam studied him for a long moment before coming to a decision. "The Guggenheim."

Dean groaned. "Shoot me now."

"How about if I offer to blow you in the bathroom?"

"We could go today."

"If we go to the museum, there are going to be no sex breaks," Sam warned.

"You canít stop us from going to the bathroom."

"One at a time!"

Val pouted at him, and Dean glared. "You are no fun at all, Sammy."

"You know what, right now I donít care. Deal."

Dean sighed. "Oh fine, itís not like we canít go a few hours. Iíll make it up to you tonight," he promised Val.

"Excellent. How about I get us all a suite? I have a few connections."

Deanís eyes narrowed. "As long as all arrangements are conducted over the phone."

"Jealous?"

Sam finished off his coffee, watching them wryly. "Do you need to ask?"

"No more bitches," Dean growled.

"You think I canít get a hotel room without sleeping with someone?"

"No physical contact of any kind!"

"Youíre insane."

"Youíre just realizing this now?"

Dean leaned over the table, grabbed Valís shoulders and pulled him in a hard kiss, and Val smiled.

"I didnít say I minded it."

"Good. So find us a room, and Iíll use it to remind you that I donít share."

"And Iíll look up information on the Guggenheim," Sam murmured.

"And weíll all go be cultured," Dean muttered.

"Iíll take you to the room with the erotic drawings."

"Are any of them of you?" Dean laughed.

Val only smirked, and Sam groaned.

"So maybe Iíll get some new inspiration."

"Iím looking forward to it."

"Me too," Dean said, grinning. "See, Sammy, we can do culture."

"Itís the way youíre going to do it that concerns me."

"The best way," Dean assured him.

"Best for you or for the public?"

"Is there a difference?" Val asked innocently.

Dean snickered. "Donít worry, Sam; I donít share."

"And this is supposed to surprise me?"

"Just sayiní." Dean sat down on the edge of the bed. "So what say we get our stuff packed and get going? I think weíve all had enough of Sleepy Hollow."

Sam was silent for a moment before nodding. "Yeah, weíve been here long enough."

"So go pack up and weíll hit the road. We can get breakfast on the way."

"And find a Starbucks!" Val added, squeezing Samís shoulder before heading for the bathroom.

Sam started to stand and looked over at Dean. "Iíll go do that."

"Itís going to be okay, Sam," Dean said with an encouraging smile.

"Just keep telling me that; eventually Iíll believe it," Sam sighed, heading for the other room.

Dean sighed as well before going to join Val.

"Not that I didnít expect it, but that really sucks, and not in a good way," Val commented as Dean closed the door behind him.

"No, I kept hoping we were wrong and sheíd stick around, for Samís sake." Dean pulled off his jeans and stepped into the shower, pressing up against Valís back.

"Weíll just have to distract him."

Dean snorted. "Do you know how if it doesnít involve sex?"

"Excuse me? Was that a crack about my intellect?"

"Nope, just your focus."

Val half-turned at that and looked over at Dean, his eyebrows raised. "Do you really want to test it, Dean-o?"

"No, I like that being just for me." Dean shrugged. "But itís not going to help Sam."

"I can focus on other things than sex, you know." Valís eyes were glinting dangerously as he spoke.

"I know, but you like to pretend otherwise." Dean eyed him. "Not that I mind; I like the results."

Val continued to watch him for a moment before nodding. "Good answer."

"Val, as hot as you are, if that was all you were, we wouldnít be here. Now turn around again so I can wash your back."

"Yes sir, master, sir," Val snickered, turning and wiggling his ass for Deanís benefit.

"Mmm, do that again when weíre in a shower big enough for me to do something with it," Dean chuckled.

"I plan on it and more, and, just so you know, we are going to eat at some decent restaurants while weíre there."

"Thatís fine, as long as I get a burger once in a while."

"I think I can live with that."

Dean pressed a kiss to Valís shoulder. "Sorry Trina messed up our vacation. Weíll do it again sometime when Sam doesnít need distraction."

Val shrugged and leaned back into Deanís touch. "It doesnít bother me; Iíd rather have you both happy."

"Thatíd be nice," Dean agreed. "Weíre halfway there."

"Sadly, though, I canít cheer him up with a blowjob, so playing tourist will have to do."

"And after weíve done that, you can give me a blowjob."

"I think I can be convinced to do that," Val chuckled.

"Youíre so good to me."

"Iím an angelóor I was at one time, a long time ago," Val mused.

"Iím glad youíre a human man now."

Val grinned back at him again. "You say the sweetest things."

"I have ulterior motives," Dean chuckled.

"Be that as it may, your ulterior motives are going to have to wait until we get to the city." As Val spoke, he turned and took the soap from Deanís hands to wash his chest.

"I think I can wait. Iím looking forward to it."

"Me too."

"Weíll cheer Sam up during the day and concentrate on us at night. Itís going to be good."

"Just good?"

"Amazingly good."

The best possible?" Val suggested with a grin.

"Damn right!"

"So get cleaned up so we can enjoy it."

Dean saluted him, and Valís expression turned thoughtful and calculating.

"What?"

"Just thinking," Val purred.

"That should probably scare me, but actually I think itís hot."

"I promise, youíll like the result of it even more." Saying that, Val stepped under the spray to rinse himself off, then got out of the shower, reaching for a towel for himself and one for Dean.

"Iím sure I will." Dean pulled Val in for a kiss. "I always do."

"Good answer, Dean-o," Val murmured, kissing him back and handing over the towel, drying himself as he walked into the other room.

Dean followed a moment later, and they quickly dressed and packed up, ready to leave yet another hotel room behind.

"Ready to go, Sam?" Val called through the open door, and Sam came through in a moment, carrying his bag.

"Ready."

"So letís hit the road," Dean said, slinging an arm around each of them, guiding them out to the Impala and the road before them.

END

 

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