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More Than This

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31st October 2019- England, UK

The Lost Daffodil was standard size for a pub of the Victorian era. In other words it was quite small compared to the larger nightclubs of the more modern town a few miles other and nowhere near as fancy or elaborate. The choice of drinks was limited, the one pool table they had was a slant and there was always a suspicious smell of piss hanging around near the toilets. The one plus it had was that the drinks were dirt cheap and that was the only plus it needed. Cheap Halloween decorations hung sparsely around, the few regulars still hung at the bar almost like permanent fixtures this point and music played disjointedly from speakers either playing really loudly or really quietly.

The place was packed.

It didn't take much for a building of this size, but it was still overwhelming and the one bartender in attendance was struggling under the influx of orders that were practically being yelled over the sounds of chatter. Tables and chairs were shoved to the side as most of the people took up residence on the claustrophobic dance floor. Crowds were gathered around the pool table, cheering and heckling whoever was playing like it was a league game.

I was lucky enough- or unlucky depending on your views- to come down with my two sisters before the rest of the crowds had come in and had take up residence in a corner where I was now watching over belongings as my sisters dissolved onto the dance floor. I only took small sips from the drink I had got, eyeing the crowd of people now hiding the bar from sight. I loved a good Halloween party as much as the next person but this as way too many people for me.

Laura, my youngest sister, had turned eighteen not that long ago though and we had allowed her to choose where we went to celebrate her now being able to drink in the eyes of the law. No more waiting for her sister to sneak her drinks when no-one was looking. She was already drinking with friends at their houses, but now she could join them at their questionable choice in pubs.

I normally enjoyed spending my Halloweens at home, curled up on the sofa under a few blankets with a nice drink and some takeaway. Put on a couple of crappy horror films or whatever ghost hunting programme they decided to show and I was a happy girl for the rest of the night. I could have been binging some more of the show my sister was so eager to get me through- Supernatural. I was only on season four and they were airing the fifteenth one soon I was told. But instead I got to spend my Halloween developing a headache.

"But Aiden, I just really want to hang out with you both," Laura had begged me, puppy eyes unleashed when she had seen my hesitance about going. "You and Ashley don't hang out with me anymore and I miss the three of us hanging out."

Ashley and I were close in age, a mere year and a half between us so we had often gone drinking together while we explored this newfound legal freedom. This was all before I realised I didn't actually enjoy going out every single weekend and we had drifted apart. So I had reasoned to myself that sacrificing one night to spend with my sisters was a worthwhile cause.

I cursed the me who had thought that after being ditched by my more social sisters moments after arriving. I couldn't even sneak away because I was looking after their things and I didn't want to see anything stolen no matter how much the steadily growing crowd had gotten to me. It was getting even louder in an ever-growing battle between the volume of the music and the sounds of the people talking, and the temperature was steadily rising from the amount of bodies inside. I found myself hoping that a fire wouldn't break out, because this was a disaster in the making.

Sweeping my gaze across the crowds I still couldn't see my sisters, although I did see a bright pink bunny and a version of the Joker who enlisted in Starfleet. There was actually a few interesting costumes mixed in with the usual store-bought crap and I took a moment to appreciate the effort some of the people had gone to. It was then I noticed a pair of eyes staring at me from the bar.

A man whose appearance immediately struck me as 'former detective' was watching me from the bar. He gave no impression that he had seen me watching him in turn and just continued to stare in a... weird way. Not that there was probably a good way to stare at a complete stranger across a bar.

I looked away and returned to looking for my sisters in the crowd, the hairs on the back of my neck standing up and a slight urge to leave, but I couldn't ditch my sisters stuff. It took only a few minutes for the urge to look back at the man to kick in and I returned my gaze to where I had last seen him. He wasn't there.

I tried to quickly locate him, but with all the people crowding the area it was pretty much impossible and I likely wouldn't find him unless-

"Hello there."

...Unless he came to my table.

I glared up at the stranger who had dared intrude on my corner, daring him to take a seat. I wasn't in the mood for random pick ups and I would floor him if he tried anything.

"Can I help you?" I tried to put as much 'leave me alone' as I could in my voice, but the guy seemed to choose no to take the hint and stood at the table with a smile paired with predator eyes. Despite being in a crowded bar, I was now in my own little world with this man.

I locked my ankle around the chair next to me in fear that he would either sit down or take my sisters belongings from it. He just continued to stare though, his eyes lowering from mine to my chest. Adrenaline flooded my body, ready to fight- fleeing wasn't possible. The smile on his face morphed into a grin. I gripped my drink tighter. I could probably use it if he tried anything- self defence right?

"I like your top."

I... What?

I was thrown off track for a moment. My brain had crashed to a halt at the unexpected twist this had turned. I was still on edge though, there was still a sense of danger surrounding this man.

"Fan of Supernatural are you?" he asked, continuing on as though I hadn't planned on hitting him over the head with my drink.

The top in question was of course a Supernatural top, done in the style of the Jack Daniel's logo- nothing exceptionally fancy but combined two of the things I liked. Laura had got it me for my birthday after I made the mistake of telling her I had started watching the show. It was one of her favourites. Luckily I really was enjoying the show, even if I was still early on and it had been a while since I had last watched an episode.

"I guess." I hoped this was just a fan-to-fan conversation and not a ruse. Was I being too paranoid?

"So... what exactly do you know about this show?"

Paranoid or not though, I didn't know that i wanted to talk to this creepy guy. His weathered face and greying hair placed his age at much older than mine, and I didn't really have a thing for creepy old men. He hadn't given a name or anything (He kinda looked like Hank Anderson's older and stalkier brother) and was just standing at the table staring at me in that terrifying manner.

"I know about four seasons worth of stuff," I answered gruffly. Looking through the crowds of people I still couldn't find my sisters, and no-one else cared about what was going on. It was just a conversation after all.

"Anything about the Apocalypse?" He seemed a lot more eager about this question. Was he planning on spoiling stuff for me?...Not that you can really avoid spoilers when you're 11 seasons behind.

I thought about what I knew- spoilers included- and I supposed I did know some stuff about it, mainly that the arrival of the angel Castiel meant this was where Destiel began. There was a bunch of seals to open to let Lucifer out, which must have happened because there was a lot of love over this character. But with 15 seasons there must not have been a world ending event actually end the world.

"I guess I know a bit about it," I answered slowly. "Why?"

Anderson's eyes narrowed slightly, he seemed more... eager now. He must have been a really big fan if he was this excited over it.

"Do you know how it all ends?" He prompted. Maybe he did want to spoil it for me.

"Sure I do." Not really a lie, I supposed. It was just the finer details I was missing out on.

It looked like that was the answer he wanted, his grin widening til it was mostly teeth and it felt like I was facing an angry wolf. The hairs stood up on my neck and I eyed the exit carefully as I judged how easy it would be to get through the crowds and get away. It seemed to have gotten even more crowded in the time I had spent talking to that creep and walking even a metre away from the table led to an impenetrable mass of writhing people. Maybe I should have sat closer to the door, I'd take the occasional cold breeze from the door than not being able to just walk out of the place. 

"Well then, how about you and I-"

"Aiden!" Like a miracle, my two younger sisters emerged from the crowd and brushed past the man like he didn't even exist. "Are you coming up with us?"

Anderson had vanished back into the crowds and it was a small relief, but the night didn't look set to be fun for me.

"I thought I was watching your stuff?" I pointed out, gesturing to the chair with their purses on. The only reason I hadn't left being because of said purses. 

"Everyone is too busy partying to care about that, just come up and join us." Laura pressed her hands together, jumping up and down like a little child. "It's no fun if one of us doesn't get to enjoy the night."

I didn't see myself enjoying the night anyway, but I loved my sisters too much to tell them I would rather walk across rusty nails than spend one more minute in this hellhole. Instead I reluctantly allowed myself to be dragged up onto the dance floor, taking any and all drinks offered to me so I could forget I was surrounded by other humans. But with bodies pressed around me on all sides it was impossible and a sense of being trapped spread throughout my body. It was getting harder to breath, the heat was overwhelming and I began to force myself out of the building. Everyone was either too buzzed or distracted to care as I forced my way through them. 

It took so much longer to get out than I would have wanted, but the first blast of cold air against my face was a huge relief and I was soon out of even the crowd of smokers out front. Laura and Ashley had followed me out, rubbing at their arms with the sudden change in temperature and looking around like they weren't sure what was going on.

"Are you okay?" Ashley asked uncertainly. She kept glancing back at the pub with increasing tendency. "Maybe we should just go back inside."

Even as we talked more people gathered around the pub, and I knew I wasn't prepared to go through all that effort to go back in to that overcrowded and loud hell pit.

"You guys can go back inside, I think I'm just gonna go home and chill."

My statement was met with half-assed statements of protest. We all knew if I went back in it was going to be a bad experience for everyone. So I said my goodbyes to my sisters and we parted ways, and with each step I took away from the pub the more I felt my stress melt away. It was only around ten-ish so there was still plenty of time to grab some take out and find at least one crappy horror film. It wasn't like I had work tomorrow thankfully.

The town was surprisingly busy for a Tuesday night, throngs of people making there way to what few establishments were open in this town. I could even see a few children were still making the rounds looking for those free treats available only once a year and was again grateful that I lived in a block of flats out of the way of wayward children and potential visitors. Also only a ten minute walk away from the Lost Daffodil, which was great as I began to quickly feel the cold of the night. It wasn't even Winter yet and I could feel the nip in the air.

A group of giggling nurses walked past me, wobbling in a way that wasn't entirely due to the sky high heels they were all wearing. The town was slow during the day but you could always count on the nightlife to be... interesting. I ended up passing several similar others groups before I got to road. Well, I said road, it was more like a small alley leading to the backs of some stores and my block of flats.

The sensor light was broken again, good for Halloween but less good for navigating the uneven paving stones that lined the way. I pulled my phone out of my jacket and switched on the handy torch. I really would have to think about moving sometime and maybe to somewhere where I could have a pet.

"You left before I could say goodbye."

I froze. That wasn't a voice I knew. The hair on the back of my neck stood up and I slowly turned around, raising my phone slowly even as my brain yelled at me to blind the person and run. It could just be a case of mistaken identity, wouldn't be the first time this had happened in the building and the last thing I needed was to get in an argument with one of my neighbours.

It wasn't one of my neighbours though.

It was Anderson. He stood at the entrance of the alley, the last bit of streetlight casting a glow across his back.

"I've been looking a long time for someone like you," he said. "So if you think you can just go and leave me stuck in this hellhole of a universe for another month then you've got another thing coming."

What? What was he talking about? I shuffled backwards slightly. This was either some weird prank or I had managed to find one of the craziest Supernatural fans out there.

"Can you leave me alone please?" I slowly backed up even more. "I don't know who you are and whatever this is it isn't funny."

"You know what isn't funny?" Anderson slowly walked towards me. "Being sent to a boring universe like this one, devoid of all magic and power so we can supposedly have a chance of releasing Lucifer from the cage."

Okay, he was definitely crazy. I wondered how fast he was and if it was a bad idea to just run now. If I could just get through the main door of the building and shut him out then I wouldn't have to be a part of whatever crazy plan he was cooking up.

"Look, just leave me alone- I don't know why you need me!" I protested. "There are plenty of other people out there who love Supernatural and would gladly play along with whatever weird fantasy you are cooking up."

I turned around and began to sprint away, only to almost immediately collide with something solid, dropping my phone as I stumbled

" I already said I'm not spending any more time in this hellhole."

Anderson looked down at me, his eyes seemed almost black.

"Now let's go."