If everything we’ve got is blowing away
We’ve got a rock and a rock till our dying day
I’m holding on to you, holding on to me
Maybe it’s all we got but it’s all I need
—”All I Need,” Mat Kearny
Dean blinked awake, feeling like he’d been asleep for a week. He looked at the other bed, which was still neatly made. Well, there was no need to wonder where Sam had spent the night.
Dean got out of bed, washed up, packed, dressed, and went to the lobby to settle their bill. “Good morning,” the clerk said cheerfully. “Did you feel the earthquake this morning?”
“Earthquake?” Dean said blankly, and then smiled and said, “Yeah, freaky, wasn’t it? I didn’t think you guys got earthquakes out here.”
“I didn’t either,” she said, eyes widening. “But they said on the news it was an earthquake, so I guess that’s what it was. Weird, though, huh?”
“Weird,” Dean agreed and signed them out.
He took the stairs down to the parking garage and put their bags into the trunk of the Impala, and then got into the driver’s seat to wait for Sam. He put in a tape — .38 Special and Led Zep and Johnny Cash — and got out their Tarot deck. He searched through the cards until he found the Wheel of Fortune.
Okay, he thought. Something round, that possibly rotates. Maybe it’s a miller’s wheel? We should find an old mill?
He leaned back in the seat and rubbed his forehead. The other clues seemed obvious looking back, so it was probably something simple — something he’d feel like an idiot for not seeing earlier.
It happened fast — like the vision he’d been given before, a series of images, no longer than blips, that still made his eyes burn and his teeth throb. He pressed his fingers to his temples as he was shown images of mountains –tall, rocky, bare mountains, towering over deep green valleys and thorny foothills.
West, the images told him. Go west.
Someone pounded on the roof of the Impala and Dean looked up as the vision fled. It was Sam, of course, while Ruby hung back, her arms crossed. “Hey. Did you sleep here?”
“No,” Dean said. “I’ve just been here a few minutes. Ready to go?”
“I’m ready.” He turned back to Ruby. “See you soon, okay?”
“Right,” she said. “Watch your back, Sam.”
“I will,” he said and got into the passenger side. He looked at Dean. “Are you sure you’re up to driving? You look like hell again.”
“Yeah, I’m fine,” Dean muttered and started the engine. “We’re going west.”
“Okay,” Sam said slowly. “Did you have another dream?”
“More like a vision,” Dean said as he pulled out of the parking space. He glanced in the rear-view mirror — Ruby was still watching them. “Hey, did you feel an earthquake last night?”
“No. Must’ve slept through it. Did you see an earthquake in your vision?”
“No, no, I saw mountains. Look . . .” He steered out of the parking garage and onto the street, heading for the highway. “The beast that’s following us came by last night.”
Sam looked at him and then looked away again. “Yeah?” he said quietly.
“Yeah. The clerk said people thought it was an earthquake. But I saw it — hell, I smelled it.”
“I remember the smell, yeah.”
“Yeah. And isn’t it weird that it tracked us down again so fast?”
Sam looked at him again. “And what are you implying?”
“I’m implying, how much do you trust your girlfriend?”
Sam glared at him. “She’s not my girlfriend.”
“Yeah? What were you doing last night? Having tea?” Sam rolled his eyes, and Dean said, “Or practicing? Has it not occurred to you yet that if you keep using the demon mojo you might as well hang a big Come Find Us sign?”
“Ruby doesn’t know anything about all of this,” Sam said. “She didn’t even know we’ve got the Grail.”
“And you told her?” Dean exclaimed.
Sam flexed his fist. “Yes, Dean. I tell her stuff. I tell her things that are going on with me. I tell her what we’re working on so she can help, if she can.”
“Can she help with this? Does she know where the next Grail castle is?”
“No, she doesn’t,” Sam said. “But she said she’d ask around for us.”
“Great. And everybody she asks will tell Lilith where to find us.”
“Dammit, Dean,” Sam said, exasperated, “do you want her help or don’t you? We have a card to go on. A card.”
Dean tossed his cell phone to Sam. “Call Bobby. He knew about the Hanged Man — maybe he can help with this, too. And call Ruby and tell her we’re laying low, so no querying every demon she’s had lunch with.”