Rick kept his hands up where the robber could see them. He wished he could reach the silent alarm, or the guy could just take the money and leave. He hated working the late shift, the extra money wasn’t worth the risk. This was the second time in 3 months he had been held up.
"Just take it!" Rick yelled.
He saw the man flinch, and he seemed to curl in on his right side. The gun wavered to the side.
Rick noticed the hesitation in the robber, slowly brought his hands down and found the silent alarm button. He hoped the police would be there soon.
"Help me, there's something inside of me," the man whispered, his bearded face was dripping sweat.
Rick swallowed. The previous occasions were a smash and grab. There was never any conversation. But Rick wanted the gun out of his face and wanted to go home.
"Ahh put the gun down, Man." Rick's voice cracked from the nervousness of the situation. He nodded his head to give extra encouragement when his voice failed.
The bearded man started laughing, but the gun was firmly pointed again at Rick. "No, no, no."
Rick could hear the sirens. The police were close. "I don't want to die." Rick felt the tears streaming down his face. He had never been so scared.
"Winston wants you to die." The robber stopped laughing and fired.
Rick moved, the bullet catching his arm. The wound burned and he collapsed to the floor and promptly passed out.
The police arrived at the scene at the same time, witness to the shooting. "This is the police! Drop your weapon!" was announced through the speakers of the responding police car.
The perpetrator started laughing, then sobbing, then laughing again. Shaking, he pointed the gun at the police car, and fired once. The officers returned fire, striking him in the chest. He remained standing for a moment, then crashed to the ground in a heap.
Dean and Sam pulled up to the apartment building in the SoHo section of New York City. Dean circled around the block, becoming frustrated.
The younger Winchester relaxed back into the passenger seat, knowing they were not going to find a parking space anytime soon. "I told you, we should call Mac, park the Impala at his building and then just take. . ."
"Don’t say it," Dean interjected with a growl.
Sam smiled and completed his thought. "Public transportation."
"It's insulting." The older hunter replied, taking a left turn down a narrow street in the hopes of finding a parking space off the beaten track.
"It's how people get around in the big city," the darker haired hunter explained. He was ready for a change from the usual, and the New York City transit system would be a change.
"Got one!" Dean exclaimed triumphantly as he saw a man unlock his Lexus LX460. The man seemingly took his time leaving the parking space, making six minute turns in order to extricate his car from the space. "Amateur." Dean stated as in one fluid move the older Winchester parallel parked the Impala. It was however, over four blocks away from their destination.
"So this guy—"
"Lived on the fifth floor." Dean checked the dead man's name. "And he held up some guy at a gas station and said he was possessed, and then speaks in the third person using a name that is not his. Right, I remember, Sam." They circled around to the back entrance. The front door was secured with a buzzer. The rear entrance just had a lock, which could be easily picked.
"Right, he never exhibited strange behavior before. There's no Winston in his family." Sam recited the small page seventeen article verbatim, looking around to make sure no one else was viewing the breaking and entering. "He was a bond trader."
"I would go crazy if I were a bond trader." Dean commented as they went up the stairs. Yellow tape covered the door of Simmons's apartment. With a razor blade Sam cut away the tape, and then picked the lock.
The older Winchester whistled when the entered the luxurious apartment. There were paintings on the wall, wood floors and a shiny stainless steel state of the art kitchen. But, the focal point was the large flat screen television in the living room. "On the other hand, how much did this guy make?"
"A lot." Sam nodded, knowing that the profession could bring in the mid six figures.
"Dean Winchester, bond trader."
The younger Winchester shook his head. "Okay, why does that sound like a crime?"
"Shut up." Dean replied, heading over to the built in book case. He let his hand nimbly go down the spines of a few books. "Hmm, The Spirits Book by Allan Kardec, and some books on New Age religions and channeling." The older hunter pulled The Spirits Book and handed it to his brother.
Sam flipped through the book. "Says Franz Anton Mesmer isthe father of a religious movement called Spiritism."
"That's like seancing and shit." Dean continued to walk around the room, taking a trip into the bedrooms too. He picked up a picture of two kids laughing, and held it up for his brother to see. "Do you think he did that stuff here?"
Sam went into the kitchen and opened the cabinets. "Nothing here."
Dean did the same in the bathrooms. "Maybe the neighbors heard something? If this guy is having séances. . .that could explain a lot."
The younger Winchester closed the pantry door, and made sure the place looked undisturbed. He followed his brother and knocked on the door across the hall. “We’re friends with Jeffrey Simmons.” He announced to the set of eyes that peered through the door, which was only opened a crack because of the chain. The door shut, and the brothers heard a distinct, “Yes, thank you God!” before the door was unlocked.
“Hi!” The blonde curly haired woman smiled at them. She quickly brushed her long hair off her face with her hand.
“Hi, we’re friends of Jeff, next door.” Sam started.
“No, you can't be. You’re hot. . .” the woman interrupted.
“Thanks, but,” Dean grinned, stepping forward.
“God, you're freaks too?" She threw her hands up in the air. "Part of that group of whatever down in Hells Kitchen? He was always trying to get me to go. . .”
“Hell’s Kitchen? Not in his apartment?” Sam tried to get a word into the woman's litany.
“God, not here. They believe in the Spiritist something or other. I'm Episcopalian." She sighed and looked at them again. "Are there more like you? 'cause I can be open minded, maybe, try something new?”
“No, sweetheart, but you know maybe we can have our own Spiritist meeting at your place sometime,” Dean stated, leaning against the frame of the door.
She seemed to swoon. "Yeah, ahh, sure, there aren't any sacrifices involved or anything? Ahh, well, Lisa, 5,5,5,6,2,4,3."
The older Winchester punched it into his cellphone. "Thanks, Lisa. I'll call you."
She bit her lip, and nodded. The door clinked silently shut. They heard a thumping noise and then, "thank you, thank you!"
Sam laughed, and Dean shook his head. They exited the building, and talked as they walked back to the car. The hustle and bustle of New York City streets afforded them privacy they were usually lacking in small towns where it seemed people could easily overhear their conversations.
"So what do you know about the Spiritist religion?" Sam asked his brother, trying to keep close and avoid other people on the crowded sidewalk.
"Not much." Dean shook his head, glad to see the Impala in sight. He smiled at his brother. "Sounds kind of cultish. . ."
"And we do know an expert." Caleb Reaves had somehow overtime collected inside information about cults. He was The Brotherhood's resident expert.
Dean pulled out his cellphone.
Caleb answered on the first ring. "Deuce, where are you?" The older Winchester pulled the phone away from his ear, and faced it outwards so Reaves could hear the sounds.
"You're in New York?" Caleb said when Dean returned the phone to his ear. "Are you going to stay with Mac?"
Sam was nodding, having heard the question. Dean shook his head. "I didn’t want to bother him." The older Winchester cared about his friends too much to put them at risk. He wanted to limit their exposure to possible dangers.
"Deuce, bother him." Reaves insisted. "He really likes being bothered, I should know. Then of course if you don’t, I'll tell him you're in town."
"So you're going to get us on Mac's bad side? Okay, fine, fuckin' blackmailer." If they didn’t and the psychic followed through on his threat then Dean had a feeling Ames would hunt them down. He heard Caleb chuckle. "We're blue collar, Damien. You, Josh and Mac are white collar. We go into that swanky building and it's like the poor, white trailer trash relatives are coming to visit."
"It's not like that. You are a step above Bobby," Caleb retorted.
"That makes me feel so much better. Bobby lives in a junkyard." Dean returned to the subject at hand. They were committed to staying with Mac. He couldn’t deny his brother. "Listen, what do you know about the Spiritist religion?"
"You got something involving them? They're harmless freaks, actually they serve coffee and donuts at their meetings, which you know the last one didn’t do." Caleb paused.
Dean fidgeted, remembering they almost had lost Caleb because a cult decided to poison him.
Reaves continued, "I went to a meeting in Astoria about ten years ago, don't know if I really believe anything is going on…I don't think they were calling any spirits or if they did it wasn’t a direct line. You want me to come up?" Reaves asked before providing any additional information.
"No, Damien, I think Sam and I can handle a group that hands out milk and cookies." Dean rolled his eyes at his brother as he sat in the front seat of the Impala.
"Spiritists combine good ol' Christianity with reincarnation. They think people can be guided to better lives by mature spirits. There are about 100,000 members in the United States, and from what I hear it's growing."
Dean snorted. Caleb tried to keep his intelligence hidden, much like Dean, but when he spoke about one of his interests-architecture, bridges and cults, he was unable to hide his passion for learning. "Man, you can so give Sam a run for his money in Geeksville."
Sam frowned at his brother not appreciating the comment.
"Good luck, Deuce. Between Sam and Mac you'll be outnumbered." Caleb laughed.
Dean cringed. Mac would provide them with free food and lodging, but in turn the older Winchester knew it would feel like a library with classical music in the background. He was going to suffer. "Thanks," he replied sarcastically. Since their father had died, Reaves had been more concerned about their well-being. Dean would even say over-protective. "Hey, be careful. We're too busy to come to save your ass." He meant it more as a warning to the psychic to think of his own well-being too.
"You wish, more like I'll be coming to the rescue." Caleb answered.
"Dream on, Super Damien." Dean retorted, closed his phone and looked over to his brother, seated in the passenger side. "Call Mac," he said as he started the Impala's engine.
Sam smiled, and happily dialed the number. He felt a kindred sprit in the other man who had encouraged him to go to college, even though the experience had not fully come to fruition. "Mac, it's Sam." The younger Winchester announced himself.
"I neither see nor hear from you in quite a long time, but suddenly twice in a few months. This is an unexpected pleasure, or is it business?" the neurosurgeon asked.
"Business," Sam sighed, wishing more than anything their life didn’t revolve around the hunt.
"And you need a place to stay?" Ames assumed correctly.
"If you wouldn’t mind. . ." Although they had been family friends for a long time, Sam still felt uncomfortable asking Mac for anything. It was a remnant of their father, who only turned to his friends when in the direst of need.
"I don’t, but boys, I like where I live. I would like to live here for awhile longer and there really aren’t that many places left for me to go. . ." Ames explained, but Sam didn’t understand.
"Are you trying to tell us something, Mac?"
"Yes, no bloody bodies or bullets."
Sam laughed and relayed the information to his brother.
Dean pressed the speakerphone button on his brother's phone. "Your son had more to do with that than us. . ."
"Agreed," Sam interrupted, and looked at his brother.
Mac directed them to enter to the rear entrance of his building. He would tell the guards to buzz them into the garage and the Impala could pull next to Mac's own Range Rover.
The brothers felt uncomfortable as they went up the mirrored elevator to the fifteenth floor. The whole building had an understated elegance, which still screamed money, something the boys always did without.
Mac was waiting for them, door open. He enveloped then in a hug.
"Thanks, Mac," Sam stated after giving the old family friend a pat on the back.
"No thanks needed at all. Make yourselves comfortable. Dean you can take Caleb's room, and Sam, you can take the guestroom." Mac pointed the rooms out to the boys where they could deposit their bags.
Sam set up his laptop, picking up an excellent signal on his laptop. He quickly found out the location and time of the gathering of the Spiritists. Mac was passing Dean some packages from the refrigerator when he went to join them in the kitchen.
"There's a meeting tonight." The youngest hunter took a seat at the table and unfolded the white wax paper covering the assortment of deli meats.
"Meeting?" Mac took two slices of bread and passed the loaf to Dean.
"Not ready for those twelve steps yet," Dean stated. He took two slices of the pumpernickel and passed it along to Sam, who slid the mustard to his brother. "Spiritists."
Mac piled on a few slices of the corned beef, then patiently waited for the spicy mustard. His son had called him immediately after the doctor had spoken to Sam. "Caleb says they're harmless."
"You spoke to Caleb?" Dean looked up from the ham sandwich he was creating.
Ames winced. He knew the Winchesters did not like to be a topic of conversation. "He wanted to make sure you called."
Dean stood up. "You're son needs to back off." He walked over to the refrigerator and pulled out three bottles of Sam Adams, handing one to each of the hunters while keeping one for himself.
Mac accepted the beer. He would have to restock his food and beverages during the brothers stay. He defended his son, knowing Caleb's priority was the well-being of the Winchesters. "I would say the fact that he isn’t coming here shows he is giving you space. He, I, everyone just wants to help." He looked imploringly at Sam. The younger Winchester was always more willing to accept assistance.
Dean glanced at his brother, then returned his attention to Ames. "And we want to make sure you're all protected, not involved in this mess." Dean bit into his sandwich.
"Just like your father." Mac grinned. He was not going to admit defeat. These boys needed their friends, even though they were being myopic.
"Guess so." Dean wiped at the corned of his mouth with his fingers, licking the mustard that had transferred from his mouth to his fingers.
"I don’t know if that was one of his finer traits." Mac replied as he bit into his sandwich and chewed slowly.
Sam laughed, watching the exchange while making a turkey sandwich. "I think stubbornness is a requirement in The Brotherhood." It was funny how the dynamics had changed overtime as they had grown. When they were younger, Mac was idolized and placed on a pedestal. His place in The Brotherhood held mystery made more so by Mac's measured words. The brothers always heeded his directions. Now, they were more apt to follow their own counsel, and share their opinions, especially Dean who had found a strong voice in himself.
"Maybe so," the doctor agreed. "I'll stay out of your way. I'm working with the NYPD on a case . . ."
Sam found Mac's use of his psychic abilities fascinating. He never heard much about this facet of the doctor's life and began peppering him with questions. Ames was more than obliging.
"I'm in hell," Dean muttered, picked up his sandwich and went into
the den to watch television and eat his sandwich in peace.
Onto Part 2