Title: The Ghost of Bikini Beach
Rating: PG-13 - some very mild language and naughtiness
Summary: Sunshine, alcohol, scantily-clad lovelies and Dean. What could possibly go wrong?
Written for the spn_bigpretzel Summer Vacation Reverse Bang as a response for just_ruth's lovely art; be sure to give her some love!
THE GHOST OF BIKINI BEACH
As was occasionally inclined to happen in the Winchesters’ life, two likely jobs had turned up at the same time; a fairly run-of-the-mill ghoul haunting in some rat-infested family vault in upstate Pennsylvania, and some mysterious sightings of a spectral blonde, bikini-clad beauty on a sun-kissed stretch of coastline in one of the most glamorous corners of Southern California, known commonly as Bikini Beach.
So it should have come as no surprise to Sam when he found himself being hustled into the Impala and heading toward Southern California at a pace that suggested that speed limits only applied to other people.
Hours later, the Impala pulled up in the parking lot at the Bikini Palms motel, skidding to a halt in the approximate vicinity of one of the parking spaces. As he stepped out into the balmy Summer evening, Sam would have been prepared to swear he heard the car panting with exhaustion.
The following morning saw the brothers basking in Southern California’s glorious sunshine as they sat and relaxed outside a smart café a block along from their motel. For forty five minutes Sam tried manfully to discuss the job with Dean, whose eyes were everywhere except on Sam and his laptop, but eventually gave up with a sense of totally wasted effort.
The fact was, Sam and his trusty laptop couldn’t hope to compete for Dean’s attention with the endless stream of sun-bronzed nubiles that surrounded them.
But Sam knew that patience is a virtue and, being related to Dean meant that he had been called upon to develop endless reserves of it. So he waited, pouncing at the moment Dean tore his eyes away from the beach to take a sip of his coffee.
“The job, dude?”
Dean blinked, “uh?”
“We’re here to do a job Dean,” Sam continued.
Dean frowned; “I know that,” he snorted; “I was just gonna go out and, uh, interview the public.”
Sam eyed him suspiciously; “yeah, and I can guess which type of public.”
Draining his double-shot, extra hot black Americano in one eye-watering gulp, Dean stood, burped and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand before reaching into his pocket for a breath mint.
“I might be some time; don’t wait up,” he grinned.
Sam shook his head in resignation and watched his brother saunter down to the beach, ripping open his button-down shirt in the manner of Clark Kent as he went, revealing a torso that clearly hadn’t seen the sun in years, and looked so milkily pale next to all the acres of bronzed skin around him, Sam had to fight not to laugh out loud.
Leaning back in his chair into a satisfying stretch, Sam yawned, rubbing his eyes. He glanced across the room at the clock which told him that it was well past midnight.
That meant Sam had been studying the case for over fourteen hours. His back ached, his eyeballs felt like they’d been peeled, and Dean still wasn’t back from whatever debauched misadventures he’d been getting up to in the name of research.
Sam was past caring as he squinted at his laptop’s glowing screen; his bed was beckoning, but he barely had time to look up when the door was flung open and Dean staggered in.
Staring at the sight before him, Sam grimaced; he hated the fact that this was the last thing he’d see before he went to sleep tonight. He was going to be in for some disturbing dreams.
Dean stood before him, listing drunkenly sideways; hair mussed, shirt inside-out and hanging open, largely due to the fact that all the buttons had been ripped off. Flushed and slightly sunburnt, Dean’s face wore a smirk of sated satisfaction. Sam tried hard not to notice Dean’s swollen, bee-stung lips or the the bite marks on his right earlobe and absolutely refused to notice the lipstick stains around his left nipple.
Sam hated his dreams already, and he hadn’t even had them.
“Dude, this place’s aweshome,” Dean grinned soppily, the waft of alcohol on his breath hitting his scowling brother square in the face; “we need t’come here to – to Binkinky Beach more often.”
Sam palmed his face; this was going to be a long night. He’d be lucky to get any dreams at all at this rate; disturbing or otherwise.
On the basis that Dean didn’t appear to be in any mood to sleep, Sam decided to try to keep himself awake by discussing their job. “So, whatd’y find out about the spirit then?” He yawned.
“Shpirit?” Dean hesitated blankly; “oh, shpirit, yeah, that, um … right …”
Sam bit back an exasperated curse; he should have known better.
“Sally Dawkins,” replied Sam, thinking back to his earlier labours, and glad that at least one of the Winchesters had engaged his upstairs brain; “that’s our spirit.”
“Who?” Dean scratched his head as he tried to focus on the two Sams that drifted in front of him.
Rolling his eyes, Sam continued; “Our spirit, Sally Dawkins. In life she was a beauty, voted Bikini Queen here from 1958 to 1963, and all through that time she had a torrid love affair with the head lifeguard.”
“Lucky bastard,” grunted Dean over a hiccup.
“In 1964 she lost her title,” Sam continued; “and within weeks of that happening, the so-called love of her life had abandoned her and moved on to the new Bikini Queen.”
“What a friggin’ asshole,” Dean snorted disapprovingly.
Sam nodded in silent agreement. “It seems she couldn’t handle the rejection and a few weeks later, late one night she walked into the sea and was never seen again.”
“That sucks,” Dean sighed on the back of a noisy hiccup, dropping untidily into a chair.
“Sucks is right,” Sam agreed; “now it’s said she haunts Bikini Beach and takes her revenge by seducing young men and haunting them to madness.” Pulling a book from the top of the pile which stood on the table beside his laptop, Sam thumbed hastily through it and pushed the open pages under Dean’s nose. That’s her,” Sam pointed to a black and white photo of an exquisitely beautiful young woman clad in a modest black bikini.
Dean studied the picture for long moments, and Sam was alarmed to see his jaw suddenly drop. He looked up at Sam with glassy, alcohol-addled eyes wide as saucers.
“H-her,” Dean stammered; “I saw her.”
“You saw her? Where?”
“She was one of the girls I – uh – interviewed,” Dean replied sheepishly.
Chewing on his bottom lip, Dean stared at Sam, his face registering a strange mixture of fear and shame.
Sam dared to hope he was wrong; “you didn’t.”
Dean leapt to his feet; “she was hot, I was dru … relaxed, the sun was shining. It just kinda happened.”
Sam slumped forward over the table and his head hit his laptop keyboard with a soft thunk, typing ‘asdlkjfhdvcahdfgvhstgd775%cvbs\zu&^%YTG
“Dude, you banged a ghost.” He threw his hands up in exasperation; “who does that? Who bangs a freakin’ ghost?”
He slammed his fist down on his laptop in frustration, adding a footnote of ‘aksdjfnp9oikp09kp------------=lkpp
“Well, it’s not like I knew,” Dean rounded sharply, sobering up instantaneously thanks to a cocktail of shock and anger ; “I mean she wasn’t cuttin’ the whole white sheet with eyesholes gig; she was pretty and solid and warm just like any other woman.”
“She …” Dean’s words died in his mouth as a delayed realisation hit.
“She was a ghost. Oh holy crap Sam; I just banged a goddamn ghost,” Dean hyperventilated briefly; “Sammy, what’d I do? I’ll have to salt and burn my dick!”
Sam stood helplessly and watched Dean as he stumbled frantically across the room into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him.
Fresh out of the shower, Dean stood at the bathroom basin, still scrubbing himself clean with trembling hands. Water dripped off of his freshly-washed hair and he’d already brushed his teeth four times. Leaning heavily on the bathroom basin he let his head droop.
“Get a grip man,” he muttered to himself; “all we have to do is salt and burn the remains; and we’ll be good. No problem.”
Dean glanced up into the mirror and straight into the cornflower blue eyes of his seducer.
“Oh Crap!” Spinning round, he cowered against the basin as he slunk past her and almost ripped the bathroom door off its hinges in his rush to escape.
Having heard the commotion, Sam was already on the other side of the door; “what the hell, dude; what’s wrong?”
He was too tired for this.
“She … her …” Dean babbled, sidling round behind Sam, nervously pushing him toward the bathroom. “She’s in there.”
Creeping into the bathroom, Sam observed Dean’s socks and boxers abandoned on the floor beside a crumpled merangue of wet towels, the basin overflowing with soapy water, and a toothpaste tube squeezed to oblivion, but the spirit of Sally Dawkins was conspicuous by its absence.
He tentatively reached for one of the towels, and handed it to Dean keeping his eyes firmly fixed on his brother’s gaunt face; “cover yourself up dude.”
Sitting listlessly at the table, Dean hesitantly sipped from a mug of strong coffee. “We gotta find where this bitch is planted and salt and burn the remains,” he sighed.
“Didn’t you hear me?” Sam replied, his frustration bubbling under the surface; “she’s planted in Davy Jones locker. She walked into the sea; no remains were ever found. Fish food.”
Dean slumped forward, planting his elbow into Sam’s keyboard and added ‘@:.’;.’;.;;;;;;;;;;;’ to the brothers’ document of despair.
“I knew we should have taken that ghoul job,” he mumbled sulkily.
Over the next three days, Dean became increasingly jumpy as his spirit friend was wont to turn up at the most inopportune moments.
Like when Dean woke up at three in the morning and rolled over to find her lying beside him.
Or when he was taking a shower and she handed him the soap.
And most memorably when he was sitting in the can partaking of his morning ablutions with a copy of Musclecar Weekly, and she materialised on his lap. Sam’s ears were still ringing from the scream after that particular episode.
On the fourth morning, Sam announced out of the blue that he was going to the Bikini Beach museum.
“Didn’t even know they had one,” Dean grumbled as he sat miserably on the floor in the centre of a ring of salt.
“A lot of people don’t,” replied Sam; “it’s only a small place, open two days a week; I’m guessing there might be something about the spirit in there.”
Dean let out a choking whine as he stared at his bed, trying to ignore the curvaceous figure that sat on it beckoning him closer with ‘come hither’ eyes; “I’m comin’ with you,” he snapped, tearing out of the room and leaving Sam’s pages of carefully made notes fluttering around the room like confetti in his slipstream.
The museum was indeed tiny, but there was a satisfying amount of information about the spirit there. Both brothers had to admit that Sally Dawkins’ story, as told by the museum, was a sad one.
‘A plain and awkward child; Sally Dawkins had been the victim of teasing and bullying. When she had eventually blossomed into a stunning adult, her positive joy at her head-turning looks became her entire life, and winning the Bikini Beach title had been the goal of her life. Here she could proclaim herself officially the most beautiful person in her home town, in the process, claiming the arm of the most handsome man, and throw it back in the faces of all those mean spirited people who had made her childhood so miserable.’
‘When, in 1964 she lost the title she had held for six years and, along with it, the man she loved, her world collapsed around her. The spiteful gossip injured her grievously and grew more and more vitriolic, until one night, she took herself away, left a sad note on the beach, and walked alone into the sea never to be seen again.’
‘Her locket was washed up two hundred miles along the shore a year later.’
The brothers stood and stared through the glass case at the locket.
“Maybe we should get a closer look at that locket,” Sam mused.
Cringing under the weight of loving arms wrapped around his waist; Dean eagerly nodded his agreement. “Yeah, we do definitely, yes. Totally.”
The tiny museum wasn’t exactly well guarded, and so breaking into it and disabling the alarm didn’t turn out to be a challenging affair for the Winchesters.
As they stood before an open glass case, they studied the newly-liberated locket which looked comically tiny lying in Sam’s massive palm. Dean trained the flashlight on it as, with as much care as his long fingers could manage, Sam undid the tiny clasp, and the locket opened with a stiff creak.
Inside it lay a clipping of black hair.
The brothers stared at it, perplexed. “Is that hers?” Sam eventually asked.
“I wouldn’t have thought so,” Dean replied; “who carries a clipping of their own hair?” He glanced up over Sam’s hand to see the face of his spectral friend reflected in the glass and shivered. “Anyway, she’s got blonde hair,” he croaked.
Sam snapped the little trinket closed and turned it over in his hand, drawing in a long breath as he noticed tiny words engraved on the back of it.
Lifting it close to his face, he squinted as he tried to read the faint lettering; it took a while, but eventually the wording drifted into focus. “Together forever,” he read aloud.
They thought for a long moment before Dean spoke up; “the lifeguard dude, did he have black hair?”
A brief scan of the photos on display around the museum brought Sam back to one he vaguely remembered seeing at their first visit to the museum. It was a grainy photo of the lovely Sally arm-in-arm on the beach with her handsome lifeguard; a handsome lifeguard with thick, black hair.
Beside him, Dean was busy reading; “it looks like the lifeguard died in 1984, twenty years to the day that Sally disappeared into the sea.” He scanned the information, reading the parts of the man’s biography that seemed most relevant. “Apparently he was consumed with guilt and grief after Sally disappeared, never married or even dated again. They said he died of a broken heart.”
“Sad story,” remarked Sam, glancing between the photo and the locket.
“He’s still a douchebag,” snorted Dean.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Sam cast a sideways glance at Dean; “in that photo, he’s definitely got something hanging round his neck.”
Dean opened his mouth to answer but his voice caught in his throat as an unseen force slapped him hard across the face.
“Yeah,” he gasped, rubbing his flaming cheek; “I’m thinking what you’re thinking. Trouble is, so is she!”
A day of research in the town records while Dean remained squirrelled away in the motel, huddled miserably inside another circle of salt, meant that Sam was able to acquire a name and a place of burial for their unfortunate lifeguard and armed with that knowledge, the Winchesters found themselves standing beside the grave late that night, shovels in hand.
“Supposing that was a locket we saw in that photo,” Sam mused quietly; “they were so devoted – or she was at least – wouldn’t it make sense that his locket would have a lock of her hair?”
Dean shrugged; “guess so.”
“The guy never dated or married,” Sam continued; “so there’s no family, and if you’d have been that screwed up about her death, wouldn’t you want to have the locket with you all the time, even after you died?”
Dean glanced around warily; “well, we’ll never find out unless we look.”
“Together forever,” Sam sighed; “it’s the best we got.”
They both grabbed a shovel and began to dig.
It was only as they stood, aching and exhausted in the excavated grave looking down at the coffin that matters deteriorated.
Dean froze, staring up past Sam at the pile of earth behind him.
“She’s there behind you,” he whispered hesitantly; “and she looks seriously pissed.”
Bringing his shovel down with force, Sam smashed the lid of the coffin, a renewed sense of purpose driving his weary bones. As he crouched over the coffin, tearing away the splinters of the shattered lid, he heard a gasp and a hollow thud as Dean slammed against the side of the open grave.
Red faced and bug-eyed, Dean gaped grotesquely, trying to pull in air that wouldn’t come as he clawed frantically at his throat. What Sam didn’t see, however, was the furious spirit, gripping Dean’s neck in a petulant rage, fully aware of what they were planning to do.
Sam knew there was only one way to help Dean, and he set about the lid of the coffin like a man possessed, breaking it open with his shovel, his feet, even his bare hands until he could clearly see the cadaver lying within.
There around its neck was a locket.
Steeling himself not to be distracted by the terrible gasping and croaking coming from Dean as he began to subside against the wall of the grave, his fight for air becoming desperate, Sam reached into the coffin and with a muttered apology, grasped the locket; snapping the chain as he pulled it away from the neck of the corpse. He fumbled frantically to open it up, cursing the fact that massive fingers, bad light, a microscopic clasp and blind, cold panic were a toxic combination when it came ot co-ordination.
As he fumbled furiously with the clasp, Dean suddenly pulled in a massive gasp of air, indicating that the spirit of Sally Dawkins had relinquished her death grip on him, and wheezed out a breathless warning to Sam seconds before the furious spirit slapped the locket out of his hand.
Watching it fly upwards into the night, Sam let out a shocked curse, scrambling over the side of the grave to try to get to the locket before his spectral assailant.
Dean watched him go with watering eyes, weakly trying to follow Sam over the edge of the grave, frustrated when his abused, disorientated body wouldn’t co-operate.
Waving his flashlight through the darkness in his hunt for the locket, Sam lurched forward with a grunt as the brothers salt-sack, hurled by the spirit, hit him squarely across the back of the head, scattering precious salt uselessly across the ground and sending him into a sprawling faceplant.
As he lay face down, winded and gasping, Sam noticed the faint glint of the locket lying in the dirt beside him and shakily reached out, grasping the chain, and slipping it under his body to relative safety.
He couldn’t see Sally’s spirit, but he just knew she didn’t have the locket and he knew she was looming over him, twisted with malicious intent. He knew that the time to act was now or never.
Keeping the locket pressed under the weight of his prone body, and away from the spirit’s reach, he worked it against a pebble he could feel beneath his chest, pressing and kneading the soft gold against the unyielding stone until he felt it buckle and split. He smiled when he felt a whisper of soft hair against his palm.
It had to be what he was looking for; it just had to be.
Grasping the delicate lock of hair, he scraped it through the grass to pick up some of the scattered salt grains then with immense effort, rolled over, flicking his lighter into life.
In mere seconds the delicate strand was incinerated, nothing more than a curling wisp of smoke.
He sighed, letting out a grimace partly of pain and partly of relief as Sally’s tragic spirit dispersed into a burst of white light with a forlorn shriek.
As his vision began to clear, he saw the familiar shape of his brother stumbling through the darkness toward him. Dean dropped to his knees beside Sam.
Sam nodded vacantly, and a breathy silence settled between the brothers.
Eventually it was Dean that spoke up; “hey Sam?”
“We’ve just had our asses kicked by the Bikini Queen,” Dean groaned; “we never speak of this again.”
“Yeah, well next time you want to get it on with some hot chick,” Sam grumbled; “check that she’s got a goddamn pulse first.”
Dean grinned as Sam threw the crumpled locket at his head.
A hazy morning sunlight permeated the hotel room as the bruised and battered Winchesters sat and took stock of their trials and tribulations at Bikini Beach.
“Well, looks like she’s gone back to her douchebag lifeguard,” Dean muttered; “maybe he’ll be a bit more respectful second time around.”
Sam shrugged; “I hope so; she deserves that at least.” He looked at the shattered remains of the locket they had brought back from the cemetery; “now, I guess they will be together forever.”
Dean took a long draught of his coffee; “they’re welcome to each other.”
“So,” Sam smiled, deliberately changing the subject; “the job’s done, it’s high summer and we’re here with time on our hands at Bikini Beach. What’dy wanna do? Chill? Head for the beach? Sink a few cocktails? Top up the tan? Or in your case, get one?”
Dean stared out of the window at the sun drenched beach and all the tawny, sculpted bikini-clad beauties that populated it.
“Lets go an’ check out that ghoul in Pennsylvania.”