Tangible Schizophrenia


Unconventional Warfare

Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: PG.
Pairing: Gen.
Feedback: Good lines, bad ones, etc.
Disclaimer: These characters are the property of WB (now CW, whatever the hell that stands for), Eric Kripke and other people.
Notes: Alethia believes that Dean keeps a certain item in the Impala’s trunk, so I’m borrowing a bit from her.
Summary: Sam and Dean use an unusual defense against a particularly vicious ghost.


“We’re out of salt!” Sam yelled. He skidded down the stairs, barely making it ahead of their collapse, and then swung himself around the bottom banister without really looking. A last-minute leap meant only his toes raked over Dean’s back, but it was still enough to knock Dean off his feet and onto his back. “We’re out of salt and it’s still coming!”

“I know!” For God’s sake, Dean had gotten the shotgun this time, so yeah, he’d noticed that. He let himself keep on rolling and so made it back onto his feet just in time to almost get pulverized by a falling ceiling fan. Dean sidestepped onto something soft and slippery, and consequently ended up on his ass again at the same time that the fan smashed apart on the floor.

The raging thumps and whacks coming from upstairs seemed to be getting near the staircase, so it was probably time to beat it. This ghost was a tenacious son of a bitch…which meant he’d keep. They could tackle him again tomorrow night, once Dean had broken out the heavy artillery.

“Dean, come on, come on, come on!” Sam hooked his hand under Dean’s arm and tried to drag Dean up and backwards.

That wasn’t really working. Though Dean did his best to a) turn around, b) get free of Sam and c) get the damn thing he’d stepped on off his shoe, he didn’t exactly make it.

All right, he pretty much failed. The thing wrapped around his foot was oblong-shaped and caught in the carpet so he went down to one knee. He would’ve stopped there if he’d had his arm free to smack a hand down against the floor, but Sam was hugging that arm like a drunken prom date, so instead they both went down and rolled. Sam cursed when the shotgun banged his shins; Dean just concentrated on getting over on his back.

Once that was done, he shoved down his elbows and sat up quickly, only to nearly ram his face into a grotesquely twisted, grayish face. The ghost snarled and snapped at Dean, Dean threw himself backwards with a disgusted shout and kicked up—random reflex; the ghost reminded him of this one mugger in…never mind—and something white soared through the ghost and onwards towards the ceiling. A weird pained expression spread over the ghost’s face and it froze in place, then suddenly disappeared in a whirl of cold air and a frightened shriek.

Dean blinked, then hauled up his shotgun and did a quick survey of the room.

“Uh, Dean? We’re out of salt.”

“Thank you, Captain Obvious. Look, you can do more with a shotgun than just shoot salt,” Dean snapped.

Sam managed to look deeply pained in spite of the heavy breathing and lingering fear. “It’s a ghost. You can’t really give it a concussion.”

No, but Dean could give—never mind. Never mind, damn it. “What was that thing? It hit the ghost and you know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one run that fast before.”

“Uh…well, we need to find it first. Where’d you throw it?” Sam muttered, getting up. He paused to pound at his back a couple times, grimacing, before he started poking around. “You threw it and you didn’t know what it was?”

“See, there was this angry ghost in my face and I couldn’t really stop to see if my tie was on straight and my shoes were tied—” Dean cut himself off and stared.

Upstairs, somebody sounded like they were having a homicidal fit. Something hit Dean’s shoulder and he absently brushed it off. The thing upstairs broke something, and Dean absently wondered what happened when it ran out of breakable objects.

“Dean!” Sam had shoved his face so close to Dean’s that Dean almost mistook him for the ghost again. “Time to go.”

“Oh, yeah. Right.” Dean got up, then bent down, then stood back and eyeballed them a little more.

“Oh, my God,” Sam muttered. With a look at the ceiling that was more annoyed than worried, he snatched them up and stalked out of the house. “You’ve seen weirder.”

* * *

“…she threw one at him, it hit him in the head and knocked him off-balance so he fell down the stairs, so it makes sense that he’d be afraid of them. They’re part of how he died.” After he shut the laptop, Sam put his arms over it and rocked forward on the bed. He picked one up and bounced it around a little. “So we can use them to scare him off long enough to find his body, salt it and burn it. This is gonna make things easier.”

Sometimes Dean really, really wanted to know how ghosts got made. Like, did they have a choice about what their restrictions were, or did some higher power arbitrarily set those? ‘cause if it was the first one, then man, he had to wonder about this guy.

Sam coughed. “Dean? Are you okay?”

“Huh? Oh, I’m fine. Fine.” Dean even picked the other one up and looked it straight in the eye, just to prove how fine he was. He was an experienced, butt-kicking monster hunter who’d seen just about everything nasty and seen it buried, too. He was totally okay with this.

“Yeah, right,” Sam snorted. He grabbed the one back from Dean and set the pair primly on the edge of the bed. Then he flicked his eyes up, the disbelief in his face slowly crossing into amusement. “What? Don’t tell me it’s because these aren’t badass enough for you.”

“Sam. That ghost is responsible for five deaths, seven hospitalizations and the decline of an entire neighborhood. It doesn’t respond to salt. It nearly killed us back there, and the only reason it didn’t…” Fine, Dean wasn’t okay with this. But was it really that much to ask? After all, he went through all the trouble to take monsters seriously, to the point that he was a freak in normal human society, so was it that hard for the monsters to take the whole thing seriously, too? “Oh, for God’s sake—these are bunny slippers, damn it! This is ridiculous!”

Not a muscle was out of place in the straight face Sam pulled. He needed to start taking on more of the pool hustling and poker if he was going to be like that. “Dean, they’re ghost-repelling bunny slippers.”

The first time Dean opened his mouth, he couldn’t say anything. The second time, he was just going to throw a girly temper tantrum, so he shut his mouth again. The third time, he thought he’d be able to make it without sacrificing any more of his dignity.

Then Sam slid his hands into the slippers and made his knuckles bump around so the yellowed cotton ears flopped around. He started rocking from side to side in a rhythmic way, mouthing words that gradually became audible. His head and shoulders started to get into it as well till he looked like one of those bobble-dolls that went on the dashboard. “…bunny foo-foo went hopping through the fooor-rest. Caught all the ghosties and bopped—b—oh, man—” Sam snickered “—your face—”

And then he completely lost it, falling over to smush his face in the slippers and laughing his stupid head off. He made the bed shake, he was cackling so hard.

“Yeah, yeah, have your fun,” Dean grumbled. “You’re gonna be the one carrying them around.”

Sam stopped laughing and sat back up, dead serious. “Are you nuts? That means we could only have two throws, and you saw how fast the ghost recovers. No, we’re gonna—”

“Oh, hell no.”

“—need to go shopping.”

* * *

Getting up from the pit of bones they’d found, Sam briskly dusted the salt and dirt off his hands. He scanned around the damp, dilapidated basement with a rare look of satisfaction on his face, nodding at the many, many fluffy white slippers with ears and rolling black eyes scattered around the place. “Well, that’s all done.”

“Good,” Dean snapped. “If that wasn’t the most embarrassing exorcism I’ve ever done, I don’t know—dude, we are so not ever telling Dad about this one.”

For one, Dean wasn’t sure whether he could ever fully explain it. There was how Sam had managed to locate fifty pairs of bunny slippers, and then there was what it was like to lob the damn things around a derelict house. Pieces of plaster the size of dinner plates falling off the ceiling, floorboards splintering, some crazy spirit trying to break their necks and all while they were waving cute white shoes at it to keep it at bay. With the ears that flopped like…like…with any hope, Dean would have been able to have convinced himself it was all just a bad nightmare by the time they got to the next job.

“Come on, Dean. It wasn’t that bad,” Sam said, pushing past him. “Anyway, it’s not like you’ll ever have to do this again. I mean, what are the odds that we’d find another ghost with this kind of hang-up?”

Dean had been about to smack Sam on the head, but at that, he paused. Glanced down at his feet to see little black shiny eyes giving him a creepy, zombie-like look. Just then, a breeze whistling about the room, dragging cold fingers over the back of Dean’s neck.

* * *

Thirty or so cases later

Sam closed up the book, then coughed at the dust that he’d clapped out of it. He wrinkled up his nose and sniffled. “Okay, so the verdict’s that it’s a killer…um, rabbit.”

“Bunnicula?” Dean pushed over the rifles and began to reach for the stakes. He could probably just break one lengthwise.

“No, more like Monty Python. I think our best bet’s to hide a trap in some kind of decoy…holy shit, Dean. You kept these?” Sam incredulously said. He reached in, then pulled out a dusty, ragged pair of bunny slippers.

Dean attempted to look nonchalant. “Hey, well, it’s a good thing I did, isn’t it? Great decoy right there.”

Sam pressed his lips together. It didn’t do much good, since the muscles around them were quivering like crazy and the expression in his eyes was a dead give-away.

“You have problems, Dean,” he finally said.

“Just shut up and tell me what kind of trap we need to make, geek-boy,” Dean irritably replied. He leaned back down, then put his hands on the edge of the trunk and closed his eyes. “And don’t. Even. Think. That song.”

Wasn’t ever going to happen again, huh? As soon as Sam was done being a moron, Dean was pointing out how wrong he’d been about that. But in the meantime, they had a monster to kill; Dean started pushing stuff out of the way again. His fingers brushed something soft and he stiffened, then glanced over his shoulder. Fortunately, Sam wasn’t looking his way.

Dean quietly tucked the teddybear out of sight and mentally renewed his vow never to mention the haunted toy-store to Sam.