Word Count: 14, 505
Summary: Samuel thought he could put his past aside as easily as the Winchester name but he was wrong. Dean never thought he'd be riding hell for leather through the dark streets of London to save his brother's life. As both brothers try to put the past behind them a new threat emerges from the darkness leaving a trail of dead in his wake.
Warnings: Violence, minor character deaths, suicide, language and references to alcohol
"We’re running short on time," sighed Samuel as he looked over the list Dean had managed to acquire from the theatre for the fifth day in a row now.
"I know," said Dean, "And I’m running out of aliases. I’m starting to think this is a wild goose chase though. So far there hasn’t been a single name on the list that you haven’t recognized from…before…"
Samuel pushed his fingers through his hair messing it up even more than it was already. He’d forgotten how demanding hunting was, how stressful it was to have to sit back and wait while someone’s life hung precariously in the balance. He’d looked over all five lists seemingly a hundred times or more and still no one stood out as being unusual. Their time was half gone almost and they were still no closer to figuring out who the Fae was and who he’d taken.
"I know," he said softly. "I’m starting to think our only recourse is to try and attend the show ourselves and hope that perhaps someone stands out."
"Good luck with that, I inquired about tickets today as well as picking up the list, the man said that tickets are selling rather quickly so if we want to go before the moon gets full you’d better go give it a try tomorrow."
Samuel nodded and made sure to be up at the crack of dawn the next morning to see about acquiring tickets.
"I’ve got them!" he shouted when he burst back into the boarding house close to mid-morning, startling many of the hunters that were sitting down to breakfast.
"Better not be catching, Winchester," one called out causing the others to laugh.
Samuel simply scowled at the lot of them and stormed up the stairs to wake Dean and share the good news. Perhaps finally they’d catch a break in this case before it was too late. The door slammed behind him as he entered the rooms he and his brother shared causing his brother to jolt awake, a knife pulled from where it’d been hidden beneath his pillow.
"Dean! Put that away, it’s only me."
"Dammit, Sammy," he groused as he slid the blade back beneath his pillow.
"Who were you expecting it to be?"
"In this city, you can never tell, now what’s all this noise about?"
"I got the tickets to Covent Garden, they’re not for tonight but I got as close as I could."
"When does the moon get full?"
"The peak is on the twenty-second according to the almanac I got from Mr. Harvelle. This Gan Ceanach is going to want to rid himself of the woman before then though."
"Right, she has to pine away for him before she offs herself," sighed Dean, scrubbing the sleep from his eyes. "So when are the tickets for?"
"Cutting it rather close don’t you think?"
"It’s the best I could do, Dean. The bastard didn’t have anything sooner. And I doubt sneaking in would be the wisest of options here. Last thing we need when pursuing some mystery man is the police after us."
"True. But I’m growing tired of this waiting game. If we don’t find this blasted Fae that night then we’re likely to have blood on our hands."
Samuel swallowed hard trying to push that thought out of his mind or else he wouldn’t be able to do this. They couldn’t fail, they simply couldn’t.
In some respects the five days they had between now and the night of the opera were a blessing considering upon Samuel’s perusal he found that Dean didn’t have anything remotely suitable to wear. He tolerated his brother’s complaints as he dragged him to the tailor and haberdasher getting them both outfitted with clothes that’d allow them to pass for at least middle class if not high born.
"I feel strange in these clothes," groused Dean as they left the tailor after his final fitting.
"They’re not that bad, Dean."
"Easy for you to say, Sammy, you’re accustomed to this frivolous nonsense."
"You may want to get accustomed to it as well. You’d be surprised how the right set of attire can get you places you wouldn’t normally have access to."
Dean let out a derisive snort as they climbed into the coach Caleb was driving for them yet again. Samuel just chuckled and shook his head, trying not to stare at his brother in his elegant new clothes. They returned to Harvelle’s where Ellen had an early supper waiting for them. Afterwards, Samuel dragged a still whining Dean upstairs to prove to him just how useful these new clothes were. Without Dean’s knowledge he’d had the suit coats outfitted with various pockets that would work for concealing weapons for them to take along including their pistols. That had been the hardest one to come up with concealment for under such a thin coat but somehow the tailor had managed it. When they were seated in the coach once again, armed to the teeth with both horses harnessed, Dean seemed to settle down, his mind focusing on the job ahead which would be finding the Gan Ceanach.
"So where are we sitting?" said Dean as they climbed the stairs and entered the lobby of the theatre.
"Samuel! Samuel, over here!" called out a female voice that had both brothers turning.
A blonde young woman and a slightly taller, dark haired, bearded man approached them and Samuel greeted them both with a smile.
"Rebecca, Zachary, it’s good to see you both."
Dean watched with surprise as Samuel shook hands with the man and nodded politely to the young woman.
"I’m surprised to see you out and about all things considered," said Zachary.
"I know. I’d rather not talk about that if you don’t mind."
"You seem to be forgetting your manners, Samuel," chuckled Rebecca as she eyed Dean.
"Oh…uh…this is my…friend…Dean Winchester. He’s been letting me a room since the fire."
Dean quirked his brow at Samuel feeling confused by his sudden demotion from family to simply a friend. Had his brother completely erased his family from his existence when he ran away?
"Dean, this is Zachary Warren and his sister Rebecca, she was a friend of Jessica’s."
"Glad to know someone is looking after Campbell, here," said Zachary, extending his hand to Dean. "We were rather worried after we heard what happened."
"Er, yes…of course," said Dean as he accepted the handshake then turned to Rebecca, "And it’s a pleasure to meet you as well, Miss Warren."
"Please, just call me Becky," she giggled even though it earned her a disapproving glare from her brother.
"Becky, then," he said, taking her hand and smoothing over his brief discomfort with his usual charm by brushing his lips against her knuckles.
Samuel cleared his throat as he watched Dean put the moves on Rebecca. The last thing he needed was Dean distracted by a flirtation while they were hunting.
"So, shall we go sit down?" he suggested.
"Absolutely, we have a box waiting for us on the second level. I hope neither you nor your friend has a problem with heights."
"Not at all."
Dean looked rather disgruntled when Zachary took hold of his sister’s arm and led her into the theatre ahead of him and Samuel.
"Campbell, eh?" he whispered after he was certain Rebecca and Zachary were focused on the opera.
"I’ll explain later," hushed Samuel.
"And you can’t explain now, why?"
"Dean, I’m not going to discuss this with you here. It’ll just cause a scene."
Samuel bit his lip as he caught Zachary eyeing him and Dean oddly out of the corner of his eye. That was something he hadn’t allowed for tonight although Dean making his little overture toward Rebecca had helped. With them not being aware that Dean was his brother and not just a friend, it made their behavior toward each other seem strangely intimate in a way that could cause a great deal of trouble if they weren’t careful. It was part of why Samuel had been glad to steer clear of his friends he’d made while with Jessica after her death. He smiled and nodded at Zachary and returned his interest to the opera while at the same time scanning the audience around them for a man with white gloves.
"Am I as beautiful as Aida?" said Sophia with a sigh as she watched the actress move gracefully across the stage.
"You are more beautiful, my dear, even the moon and the sun would hide their faces to defer to your beauty," he whispered, stroking her hair lightly.
"You are too kind, my Lord."
"I am simply being honest, Sophia, my love. I bask in the radiance that is your beauty."
"You are the only one that does."
"As it should be," he said, a smirk curling his lips as he savored the power rolling off of the girl in waves as he pet her.
"Any luck?" whispered Dean as he peered over Samuel’s shoulder.
"No, I haven’t seen…wait…" said Samuel before turning to Rebecca. "Becky, could I borrow your glasses for a moment?"
"Of course," she said sweetly before passing her opera glasses over.
Samuel brought the glasses to his eyes and focused in on a box on the opposite side of them only two boxes closer to the stage. A blonde woman was leaning on the edge of the box and there looked to be a white gloved hand stroking her hair.
"What do you see?" hissed Dean.
"White gloves and a woman," he hushed, hoping the Warrens wouldn’t overhear, "Opposite side, two over toward the stage."
"I’ll go check it out. You stay here."
"The hell I am."
"No, if we both go your friends will be suspicious. Plus with as feminine as you are there’s no guarantee he won’t decide upon you for his next target."
Samuel pulled down the glasses from his face abruptly at that and swatted at his brother.
Dean simply grinned smugly and ducked out through the curtain leaving Samuel to explain his absence to the Warrens. The hallways behind the boxes were mostly empty allowing Dean to stroll along with little interruption. Gentlemen tipped their hats at him and he did his best to respond in kind but not be drawn into the conversations that were being had regarding money and property and mistresses. He tried not to seem suspicious as he approached the box Samuel had told him. He counted the boxes just to be sure before peering between the curtains.
"You were right, Sammy," he whispered to himself.
An elegantly dressed man was sitting in the chair near the front of the box, his white gloved hand stroking down from the woman’s hair to her back enticingly. The two of them were speaking to each other but the man’s voice was so hushed Dean could hardly make out what he was saying. There were two lamps hanging in the box and when Dean glanced at the wall where the man’s shadow should be there was none. That was all the proof he needed as he reached into his coat for his pistol. He pulled it out and cocked it as quietly as he could, not wanting to alert the Fae to his presence. He looked one more time to make sure the bastard’s attention was totally on the woman and the performance before slipping inside.
"Let her go," he growled softly as he pointed the barrel of his gun at the back of the Gan Ceanach’s head.
"A gun to the back of the head in a theatre, how Colonial," sneered the Gan Ceanach.
"I’m not fooling around, undo whatever spell you’ve cast on that young woman and come along so we can deal with this privately."
"Of course, wouldn’t want to cause a commotion now would we? After all, I am a Baron and you are just a low class Hunter. I wonder who the constable would side with on that one."
The Gan Ceanach shifted in his seat moving to lean in toward the young woman and prompting Dean to press his gun right behind the man’s ear.
"Don’t touch her…stand up and move toward the exit now."
Dean watched the man slowly follow his orders but was worried when he noticed his lips were moving like he was whispering something.
"My Lord?" said the young woman as she stood up and faced the Gan Ceanach and Dean.
Dean’s eyes widened as the woman spotted his gun and then screamed loudly.
On the other side of the theatre Samuel jumped to his feet when he heard the woman screaming.
"Bloody hell! Dean!" he muttered as he rushed out of the box leaving Rebecca and Zachary bewildered in his wake.
The halls were fuller now than they’d been when Dean had snuck over to the other box hindering Samuel’s attempt to get to his brother’s side. He’d already heard people shouting for the police claiming there was a man with a gun drawn on a couple in one of the boxes.
"You bastard!" snarled Dean, glaring at the Gan Ceanach.
"Did you really think you’d get me this easily, Hunter? And I use that term loosely considering you’re a piss poor excuse for one."
"Dean, we have to get out of here, they’ve called for the police," said Samuel as he burst in behind his brother.
"Hmmmm, suppose it’s time for me to make my grand exit," said the Gan Ceanach with an evil smile as he turned to the woman. "Sophia, my dear, stop screaming and listen to me."
Dean and Samuel watched with pained looks as Sophia’s eyes glazed over and her screaming stopped.
"Dean," whispered Samuel, "Either shoot him or put that gun away and gag that bastard before he says anything more."
Dean nodded and flipped the pistol in his hand obviously intending to clobber the Fae over the head.
"I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Dean."
Samuel looked shocked as Dean’s arm froze in mid air before he could pistol whip the Gan Ceanach.
"Should never have said his name, young Hunter, now if you’ll excuse me," said the Fae as he returned his attention to Sophia. "My darling, would you do anything for me?"
"Of course, my Lord," she said her voice heavy as though she was talking in her sleep.
"Then I want you to stand up on the edge of this balcony and leap off of it into the crowd below, can you do that for me, love?"
"Yes, my Lord."
"No!" cried Samuel as he watched Sophia begin to carry out the Fae’s orders.
He lunged forward and tugged at the poor woman’s arm trying to stop her from climbing up onto the edge. He could already hear the terrified screams of the patrons in the theatre as they spotted her. All his pulling and tugging was to no avail as she pulled from his grip and leapt off into the air. Samuel refused to give up and reached out at the last moment, his hand catching hold of her arm as she dropped and stopping her from crashing to the floor.
"I’ve got you, just hang on," he said softly even as he felt his body bend and slide with her weight.
"Good night, Hunters," the Gan Ceanach whispered before slipping through the curtain.
The minute the Fae left Dean was released from his momentary spell and looked around wildly for the villain.
Dean spotted his brother leaning over the balcony looking like he was about to be pulled over the side.
"I’ve got her but…my hands…she’s slipping…"
Dean bit his lip debating between helping the girl they’d come to rescue and taking off after the Gan Ceanach before he could find another victim in this mess.
"Let me go," said Sophia, gazing up at Samuel with empty eyes, her body twisting to free itself from his grasp. "Without my Lord, I do not wish to live."
Samuel felt tears prickling at the corners of his eyes as his brother’s arms wrapped around his waist trying to tug him back into the box.
"She’s right, Sammy, let her go. There’s nothing we can do for her now," said Dean regretfully.
Sophia closed her eyes and gave one final twist that loosened Samuel’s grip enough for her to finally pull away and fall to the theatre floor breaking her body on impact. Horrified shrieks and booming demands that the men in the box be arrested followed. Dean hurried his brother out of the box when he heard that and shoved him through the crowd to get to their coach outside where Caleb was waiting for them.
"Get in, gents, and where to?"
"White Horse, and as quickly as you can manage in this mess, Caleb," said Dean as he pushed his brother into the coach before climbing in himself.
Dean took a seat next to Samuel as Caleb cracked the reins and they took off. He sighed heavily when he saw him reach toward his eyes with his fingers obviously trying to hide how distraught he was by what had just happened. Dean could understand; he loathed times like these when he was just that moment too late but he tried not to let it bother him. Hell, if he let every lost soul get to him he’d never be able to do his job and save the people that he could. But Samuel didn’t have that kind of distance from the job anymore, not since he’d run away to be "normal" as he’d put it.
"Why’d you tell me to let her go?" said Samuel softly with a hint of bitterness in his voice.
"There was nothing you could’ve done."
"Yes I could’ve, I could’ve pulled her back over the railing if you’d reached down and helped her rather than grabbing me."
"Bollocks! And send all three of us over the edge? Was she really worth that, Samuel?"
"You don’t know that for certain."
"Yes, I do, and something else I know for certain is even if we had managed to pull her back into the box she still would’ve found a way to end herself. You heard what she said, Sammy, she didn’t want to be saved."
Dean gritted his teeth in frustration when his brother turned away from him to look out at the dark streets. His brother could be a downright stubborn arse when he wanted to be and unfortunately this was one of the worst times he could choose to be one. It stood to reason then that the moment they pulled up in front of the White Horse Dean was the first one out of the coach.
"By God, I need a drink," he sighed, not really caring if his brother followed or not.
"So what now?" said Samuel, his melancholy mood easing a bit now that he had a pint in front of him.
"Well we obviously can’t confront him head on, especially not me thanks to you. Don’t you remember what Dad taught us? Never, ever give a Fae your true name or even part of it. Names have power to them," said Dean.
"You should be."
Dean took a long drink of his beer and enjoyed the silence briefly till Samuel spoke up again.
"Do you think he’s taken another victim yet?"
"It’d be a break in his pattern but with him knowing we’re after him anything is possible."
"I made a note of what box number he was in when I came to get you. If we get the attendance list for tonight in the morning perhaps we could track him down."
"Who says we need to wait till morning?"
"Why not, Sammy? I thought you wanted to stop this fiend."
"I do, but…"
"But what? You’re too respectable to use the skills that Dad and the others taught us? I don’t know about you but I’m not of a mind to wait till morning. For all we know he’s already done something. That bastard was evil through and through and I’m going to do whatever it takes to stop him whether you’re with me or not."
Samuel sighed heavily but he finished his beer and got to his feet at the same time as his brother. They headed outside shivering in the late night autumn chill as they approached the coach.
"We’ll leave Caleb and the coach here. He can either get a room for the night or see if the publican will lend him a horse to drive back to Harvelle’s," said Dean as he pulled his coat tight around him and headed around to the back of the coach to open the trunk.
"Damn right, if we’re continuing on without the coach I’m bringing the most firepower we have with us. For all we know that bastard could still be lurking around."
Samuel sighed and situated the rifle his brother handed to him over his shoulder before moving to help Caleb undo the harnesses on the horses.
"You gents be careful, I don’t want to have to tell Missus Ellen bad news."
"We will, Caleb, don’t worry," said Dean as he swung up onto Bran’s back, rifle strapped firmly to his back. "We’ll meet again at Harvelle’s before sunrise."
"Godspeed to you both."
"And the same to you," said Samuel as he mounted Taliesin and kicked him lightly.
Caleb watched them take off back toward Covent Garden before heading inside to see about a horse to get the coach back home.
The streets were eerily devoid of people when the brothers rode up slowly on their horses. The theatre was dark and not even a policeman seemed to be present to patrol the scene of the crime.
"Be on guard, Sammy," whispered Dean as he dismounted and tied Bran as close as he dared.
Samuel nodded as he dismounted as well understanding Dean’s desire for caution. The scene seemed far too peaceful for how manic things had been when they’d departed earlier. Then again at least an hour or two had passed since they’d left. They approached the doors that led inside carefully. Dean pulled his lock pick kit from his coat and crouched down to pick the door. Samuel stood guard behind him, watching for any passersby who might call for the police or worse a policeman left behind to watch the theatre after the earlier incident.
"Hah, I am talented," crowed Dean in a hushed tone.
"We’re in, come along, Samuel."
Samuel turned, his face scrunched with displeasure at his brother speaking to him more like a loyal hunting hound than a person. Despite his irritation he followed Dean inside and crept quietly toward the empty ticket box. Unlike the front door though, the door to it looked to have been tampered with as well as the contents within when they entered.
"Either this is residual from the mayhem earlier this evening or…"
"Someone’s been here before us."
Dean nodded, his creased face confirming his belief that it was the latter.
"I’m going to go take a look around, make sure whoever is responsible for this isn’t still lurking around. You find that list."
"No, we should stick together, Dean. The sooner we find that list the sooner we can get out of here and track down that bastard."
"If you insist," he sighed and began to pick through the numerous papers that were scattered about the office. "Here’s hoping what we’re looking for is still here and that whoever was here earlier didn’t take it with him or destroy it."
"I don’t think he destroyed it, the air isn’t smoky like it would be if he’d burned it before leaving the place a mess."
"Speaking of smoky, how about lighting a match so that we can see perhaps? I can’t tell one document from another in this darkness."
Samuel sighed and fished inside his coat for a book of matches then felt around on the table top for a candle which he lit casting the small room in a golden glow.
"You can stop searching, Dean," he said wryly. "Looks like our predecessor left what we’re seeking right in plain sight."
"Why does that not cheer me?" said Dean as he came to stand next to his brother.
"Because it means whoever was here was thinking the same as us. Perhaps even…looking for us…Rebecca!"
"What about her?"
"Dean, she was in the box with us. The tickets we had for tonight, she gave them to me. She was with her mother at the box office the morning I came to fetch tickets for us. If the Gan Ceanach sent someone here to check the attendance list for tonight just like we did…"
"I get the picture, but before we go running off perhaps we should get what we came for as well. Now what was the box number?"
"Two oh three."
"Two oh three, two oh three, ah…here…according to this Baron Percy Smythe of Penshurst, Viscount of Strangford was in that box."
"Does it list an address?"
"Yes and I suppose I should make note of the Warrens address as well."
"No need, I know the way there," said Samuel as he watched Dean scribble and then blow out the candle. "We should head there right away; Rebecca could be in grave danger."
Dean could hear the worried note in Samuel’s voice and fought back the sense of dread it made rise in him. He was about to tell him he agreed when he felt the hair on his neck prickle like he was being watched.
"Don’t move," he whispered.
Samuel’s eyes darted around at his brother’s warning seeking whatever danger had set Dean on edge. He slowly pulled the rifle from his back wanting to be prepared.
"Filthy mortals, thinkin’ you can upset the Master’s plan," hissed a voice in the darkness.
"I’d rather be a filthy mortal than a slave to a cold blooded arsehole like your boss," taunted Dean.
"You are one to talk, he who wears the stench of death, fresh death no less."
Samuel cringed at being reminded about what had happened just hours ago. His eyes searched the blackness looking for the owner of that hissing tone.
"Your master is no better; it’s his hands this death belongs upon not ours, you coward."
"Coward, am I?"
"Yes, you’re a stinking coward, hiding in the dark like this."
A gravelly growl was the creature’s only response before it made a move on Dean.
"Now! Shoot now!" he shouted.
Samuel saw the silhouette of the creature as it leaped on to the table about to attack Dean.
The second he was certain Dean was clear he took a shot at the creature and hit it in what looked like its shoulder. It made an obscene howling noise as the iron did its thing and Samuel put one more shot in it for good measure.
"It burns! It burns!" the Fae creature wailed.
Samuel ignored the creature’s cries of suffering as he felt Dean come up alongside him and tug him out the door.
"Nicely done," said Dean with a grin as they ran out the theatre door and straight for their horses.
"Thanks," panted Samuel, "We need to hurry, if the Fae stuck around to detain us…"
Samuel bit his lip as he watched his brother fling himself onto Bran’s back before following his example. They took off into the night, their horses’ hooves thundering over the cobblestone street. Samuel took the lead as soon as he could and prayed that they wouldn’t be too late yet again. When they came within sight of the Warren residence they slowed their horses and approached carefully. The lights of the home were ablaze spilling golden light out onto the street an unusual thing for such a late hour.
"Halt! Who’s there?" called out a familiar male voice.
"Zachary? It’s me, Samuel. What’s happened?"
"Samuel? Thank God! We could use all the help we can get."
"Zachary, where’s Rebecca?" said Dean.
"Gone. She was with me at the theatre when Mr. Carlton’s daughter…well…you know, you were there…"
"When did she disappear?"
"Soon after we returned home, our mother went to check on her because she was quite shaken by what’d happened and she wasn’t there."
Dean looked over at Samuel who nodded in agreement with the question in Dean’s eyes.
"Go back inside; make sure your family is safe. Dean and I will find Rebecca," said Samuel.
At Dean’s bellowed order, Zachary jumped and headed toward the house as the two brothers took off again into the night.
"You do realize we may be walking right into a trap here?" shouted Samuel over the noise of their horses’ movement.
"I’m well aware of that Sammy and I don’t like it anymore than you do. It’s possible we may yet catch the bastard unawares but I don’t hold out much hope."
Samuel’s lips pressed together in a grim line as he leaned down further, his face almost buried in Taliesin’s mane as he urged him to go faster. The streets of London seemed to whip by as they fairly flew over the stones. It took a great deal of effort to finally pull their horses up when they arrived at the address Dean had scribbled down back at the theatre. The grand house was mostly dark save for one set of windows at the very top. They dismounted silently and crept along as quietly as they could up to the doorway.
"Think we should knock?" whispered Samuel.
"You’re pulling my leg, right?" hushed Dean as he crouched down to pick the lock just like he had back at the theatre.
He barely had time to start working at it when the door swung open causing him to tumble forward. Samuel stared for a moment then reached into his coat for his pistol when he saw the man with pale eyes holding the door.
"I wouldn’t do that if I were you," said the man, his voice a frail but menacing whisper. "The Master is expecting you."
A cold chill ran down Samuel’s spine at that revelation and he hurried to help Dean to his feet. The thud of the door being closed behind them made his heart jump and he stood protectively close to his brother in case something would attempt an attack or worse coercion on him.
Dean looked up at Samuel and saw his own unease mirrored in his slanted eyes.
"I’ve got a bad feeling about this," he murmured and Samuel nodded.
The pale eyed man held a candle aloft lighting their way as they followed him upstairs headed toward the room they saw lit from below. Both Samuel and Dean blinked at the transition from near darkness to the golden glow of what looked to be the Gan Ceanach’s bedchamber. Samuel registered a blonde haired woman lying on the bed and heard Dean’s strangled shout of ‘Son of a bitch!’ before the world suddenly went completely dark. When Samuel managed to open his eyes again his head was throbbing fiercely from the blow that had rendered him unconscious. He could feel something tight pinning his wrists together and deduced that he’d been tied up while he was out.
"Bloody hell," he muttered as he twisted his arms testing the tightness of his bindings.
"Ah, you’re awake, young Hunter," said a disgustingly familiar voice, "Would be quite impolite of you to sleep through Her Majesty’s visit."
"Go jump in the Thames, Gan Ceanach," spat Samuel as he looked up at the Fae through eyes watering with pain.
The Gan Ceanach just laughed at him at first then backhanded him across the face sending more pain spiking through his already aching head.
"You should treat me with more respect, young Hunter. My people existed in this pitiful world of yours long before you were a mere glimmer in your dead mother’s eye."
"Leave our mother out of this, you old windbag," sneered Dean. "And leave my brother alone."
Samuel watched the Gan Ceanach’s attention shift from him to his brother with a mixture of pride and trepidation.
"Windbag, am I? Is that the worst you have for me, Dean? I’m appalled. With as badly as Her Majesty wants you and your brother alive I would’ve expected someone wittier and more intelligent."
"Her Majesty, huh? So you’re just some bitch’s bitch then?"
Samuel winced at the grunt Dean made as the Gan Ceanach backhanded him for the insolent remark he’d made.
"You might want to mind your tongue when Her Majesty gets here or else she might be sorely tempted to let one of her guards part it from your mouth."
Dean looked slightly chagrinned at that threat and turned his attention from the Fae to where Rebecca was lying on the bed.
"So you’ve caught us and trussed us up like fresh game for your Mistress, let Rebecca go."
"Let her go? Now why would I do that especially after the stunt you and your brother pulled tonight?" said the Gan Ceanach as he turned and walked toward the bed. "No, I think I’ll be keeping her for awhile, at least until the moon is full then I’ll tell her to go drown herself in the river."
Both Samuel and Dean struggled against their bonds fruitlessly in their anger at the Fae’s taunting. He just smiled at them as he moved to sit on the bed and stroke Rebecca’s golden hair.
"Get your hands off her, you arsehole!" growled Dean.
"Such language, Dean, and in front of a lady no less. You should be ashamed of yourself."
"Just wait till I get my hands on my gun, I’ll fill you up with so much iron you’ll sink to the bottom of the river like a stone."
"That would be rather difficult since I had the bullets all thrown out the window."
The Gan Ceanach just grinned and continued to stroke Rebecca’s hair as she stirred awake.
"Welcome to my home, Mistress Warren," said the Fae in his enchanting whisper.
Samuel’s stomach turned over as he watched Rebecca give the dark Fae the same sweet smile she’d bestowed upon Dean earlier in the evening.
"No! Rebecca, don’t listen to him," he called out.
"You’re wasting your breath," said the Gan Ceanach with a smirk. "She doesn’t even know you’re here."
Samuel growled and struggled against his ties desperate to get loose so that he could protect Rebecca. He was so focused on them that he just barely heard his brother’s grunt of triumph before he stood up. That got the Gan Ceanach’s attention and his brow furrowed as he stared at Dean.
"I thought I told those fools to remove all your weapons," he snarled.
"Well they did a shoddy job," said Dean with a smirk as he moved to cut Samuel free as well before returning the tiny blade to its hiding place up his sleeve.
The Gan Ceanach got to his feet slowly and approached them with a menacing glare. Dean’s gaze darted around the room looking for something better than the puny knife he had on him to fend off the Fae. He spotted their coats lumped together in a dark corner and turned to make an attempt to get to them and the much more dangerous iron knife he’d smuggled in one of his coat pockets.
Dean growled as he felt his body freeze in mid twist, fighting the Fae’s compulsive spell with everything he had.
"Down on your knees, Dean."
Samuel watched his brother obey albeit unwillingly feeling like he was the one frozen in place. He glanced over at the bed where Rebecca was sitting up but still in a stupor caused by the Fae’s magic. He was debating moving toward the bed when he spotted the fireplace complete with tools just a few steps away.
"I should thank your brother for this, Dean," the Gan Ceanach drawled as he moved to stand right in front of the prostrated hunter. "It makes you so much easier to deal with despite your insolent mouth."
Samuel flinched as the bastard struck his brother’s face again furiously. He took a step or two away moving into his brother’s line of sight just behind the Fae.
"Is that all you’ve got, Percy?" sneered Dean, spitting blood on the floor from his split lip. "You know if you had to pick a gent to impersonate you could’ve at least picked someone with a less womanly name."
Dean grimaced as the Gan Ceanach bent down bringing his face disgustingly close to his own.
"You’re one to talk of being womanly, Dean, when you’re down on your knees before me like a common whore," he hissed as he brushed his thumb across Dean’s pouted lower lip.
Samuel took full advantage of that moment and lunged for the fireplace grabbing the poker off the rack of tools. Unfortunately the clatter of the rack falling drew the Gan Ceanach’s attention away from Dean to him putting him on the defense as the Fae lunged for the weapon. Samuel gripped the poker with both hands brandishing it like a quarterstaff forcing the center to bear the brunt of the Gan Ceanach’s attack. The handle of the poker was brass allowing the evil Fae to grab hold and grapple with Samuel for possession of it.
Samuel’s diversion was a godsend to Dean freeing him enough from the Fae’s compulsion to where he could overcome it with his own will. He fell to his hands and scrambled across the floor to where their coats were. He grabbed his coat and rummaged inside for the hilt of the iron bladed knife he’d packed. When he found it, he drew it from its sheath and turned just in time to see the Gan Ceanach pinning his brother to the bed, the poker pressed across his throat.
"You’ve been a thorn in my side long enough, young Hunter. Her Majesty may not be pleased but she and that yellow eyed man will simply have to settle for bringing you back to life if they want you so badly," the Gan Ceanach growled as Samuel struggled beneath him, desperate to get air back in his lungs.
Dean’s eyes narrowed at the Fae as he got to his feet and ran across the room, knife held low to plunge into the Gan Ceanach’s side.
"You missed a thorn," he taunted as he twisted the knife making the Fae howl with pain as the poison of the metal burned away his essence.
He yanked his knife away as the Gan Ceanach’s body fell to the floor with his skin charred beyond all recognition. Samuel coughed, his lungs finally able to draw air as he pushed aside the poker sending it clattering to the ground.
"Easy, easy," said Dean softly as he moved to aid his brother in sitting up. "Are you alright?"
"Yes, I think so," said Samuel hoarsely.
He rubbed his throat and Dean could already see the bruise forming from the attempted strangulation.
"We need to get out of here."
Samuel nodded in agreement and looked back over his shoulder at Rebecca who was looking rather dazed as she took in her opulent surroundings for the first time.
"Where am I?" she whispered.
"You were kidnapped, Becky," said Dean, reaching out a hand toward her. "We’re here to rescue you and take you home."
"Dean? I don’t remember…"
"Shhhh, don’t worry, just take my hand and we’ll get you out of here."
"Uh, I think we’re going to have a problem with that," said Samuel.
Dean looked up and followed the direction of Samuel’s gaze to see a silhouette standing in the doorway.
"Indeed," said a female voice. "I have a feeling we’re going to be a problem for each other for quite some time."
Dean’s grip tightened on his knife as he moved to stand closer to Samuel with the two of them barricading Rebecca who had collapsed to the bed in a faint.
"The Winter Queen, I presume," said Samuel.
"I am," said the woman as she stepped into the glowing light of the bedchamber.
The air in the room grew cold as she entered and Dean could see his breath on the air as he stood ready to attack should the woman warrant it. Samuel held his ground until he spotted the butler that had admitted them standing behind her. He bent down and picked up the poker he’d used earlier just in case the Queen had anyone else with her.
"You can put your weapons aside, this is a peaceful meeting."
"I wouldn’t call your minion nearly murdering my brother exactly peaceful," said Dean, not lowering his blade an inch.
"No, but it would have been fair considering he killed one of mine a little over an hour ago," she said icily as the butler removed the long black cloak she was wearing revealing a dove grey gown with black beadwork far more intricate than any human seamstress could possibly create and blonde hair so pale that if were any lighter it’d be white.
They watched her warily as she stripped a pair of black kid gloves from her hands and turned them over to the butler as well as a long leather crop. Samuel visibly tensed at the sight of that not wanting to know what this Fae woman would consider a proper mount. The Queen didn’t spare a glance for the Gan Ceanach’s corpse or the unconscious form of Rebecca on the bed as she moved to take a seat in the wingback chair just a few feet from them. Another Fae servant appeared with a tea tray from which the Queen accepted a porcelain cup that almost blended in with the skin of her delicate hand.
"So you are the Winchesters, I’ve heard a great deal about you these past few years," she said casually, as if the three of them were simply sitting down to tea together.
"What do you want?" said Dean sharply, opting to get straight to the point.
Both brothers suppressed a shiver as her blood red lips turned up in a wicked smile.
"Direct, aren’t you, Dean?" she said, shooing the servant away after she’d set down the tea tray.
"Let’s just say I’m not in the mood for your lady of the manor act tonight."
She laughed at that, a sound like icicles shattering on stone that had them both taking a pace back away from her.
"Who says it’s an act?"
"Your Majesty, the Gan Ceanach mentioned you made a deal for us. What were the terms?" said Samuel, shocking his brother with his show of respect toward the Fae Queen.
"The terms of my deal with the yellow eyed man were simple. I capture you…both of you. The elder I keep," she said pointing to Dean then to Samuel, "the younger he keeps. A deal I’m regretting now that I’ve gotten a good look at you both."
Samuel couldn’t fight the cold shiver that went through him this time when her silvery grey eyes raked over his body.
"I take that as an insult. Ow!" said Dean as Samuel elbowed him in the side.
"It wasn’t meant as one; indeed if I had my way I’d keep you both for myself. It’s rather rare to find mortal men who equal the fair ones in beauty. Not to mention my sister would be quite envious."
For once Dean seemed to be speechless and even Samuel was stunned by the Winter Queen’s boldness as she sipped at her tea.
"It is for that reason alone that I will let you go this evening with a warning that this will not be the last time we meet."
"Until then, I suppose, Your Majesty," said Samuel, forcing himself to avert his eyes briefly under the intensity of her gaze.
The Winter Queen smiled at him, her silver eyes alight with an unmistakable lust before she simply faded from the room.
"That was…disturbing, to say the least," said Dean when he got his wits about him.
"Yes, it was. Now lets please get out of here before she changes her mind," said Samuel as he set the poker back down on the floor.
Dean nodded and handed his knife off to Samuel before striding over to retrieve their coats and rifles from the corner. He slipped his own on as he returned to his brother’s side and traded him knife for coat.
"Joshua is going to be put out when he finds out we lost all that iron," said Dean as he slid his knife back into it’s sheath and watched Samuel put on his coat before scooping up Rebecca from the bed.
"He always is, Dean."
The house seemed to be empty as they crept out of the room and down the stairs to make their exit. Not even the creepy butler who’d admitted them was there to open the door.
"I suppose she took them all with her," said Samuel.
"That’s even more disturbing than her letting us out of here unharmed. Makes me wonder what she’s plotting."
"I’d rather not think on that right now."
Dean untied their horses and held Rebecca while Samuel mounted before gently lifting her up to him. Once he was settled on Bran they took off into the night bound for the Warrens to return Rebecca safely to her family before heading home to Harvelle’s. A pair of silver eyes watched from the shadows as they grew smaller in the distance.
"You let them escape," said a male voice.
"Yes. And you would be wise not to question me, Azazel," said the Winter Queen.
"I wouldn’t dream of it, my dear. Just reminding you not to go back on your word, you promised you would deliver the younger Winchester into my hands."
"And I will…when the time is right. He is still unproven as a warrior but he shows great potential."