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Sam the Series
You're Not Alone Here, Pt. 1
, 201 by Stokes (Sep. 16, 2010)
Group: Forum Moderator
Member No.: 34,312
Joined: 3-June 08
Written by Andy Epsilantis (Stokes)
From Hell to Here
The lights burned brightly in the old house located in Wichita, Kansas. The early signs of spring at odds with the lingering days of winter embraced the Winchester family home. The cold, late-April wind blew the leftover autumn leaves against the weathered porch as the sound of a familiar prayer filled the air.
“Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.”
Rick Winchester smiled at his wife and son as he picked up the carving knife and began to cut into the freshly baked turkey. He looked to the left where his son sat, Zach doing his best to hide, but still making it obvious, that he’d rather be anywhere but there. He understood. He remembered his own teenage years and the need to be with his friends. But he also knew the importance of family. This was one of the lessons his son would learn from him.
He was determined to get it right this time around. As he continued to cut into the turkey, his mind wandered back to other times when it had been his younger brother, John, sitting there with the same impatient look on his face. After he’d met his nephew, Sam, and learned what had happened to his brother and his family, he was grateful they had been spared.
“How was school today, Zach?”
“Okay,” he responded plainly as he began to put food on his plate. His brown mop of hair hung in his eyes as usual. It wasn’t the first time that Rick was slightly convinced he should force the kid to get a haircut, but Linda had insisted it was fine.
“Just okay?” Linda asked, her eyebrow slightly rising as she gazed at the reluctant teen.
Zach sighed. “It’s high school, Mom. It’s always ‘just okay.’”
The memory of how close he had come to losing Zach to the demon Lilith left Rick with the need to connect with his son. He took a bite and glanced over at his wife, reading her shrugged shoulders as her signal that she’d tried. “And baseball? How’s that working out for you?” By the new look on Zach’s face, Rick could tell that he’d touched on a much more interesting topic. He looked back to his wife, who read his expression as ‘See, it’s not that hard.’
The seventeen-year-old futilely tried to suppress his eagerness as he began to discuss his favorite pastime. “Fine… Coach Walters only made me starting pitcher this season…”
Rick reached over and patted Zach on his shoulder. “I’m happy for you, boy. Great going!”
“I’m proud of you, Zach,” Linda chimed in, the pride in her son showing through her lovely blue eyes. It was times like this that Rick thanked the Lord for the gifts he’d been giving.
“Thanks, you guys,” his son said softly, a slight blush on his cheeks as he accepted their praise.
Linda snapped her fingers. “Oh, did I tell you two? I got a call from Sam today.”
Zach glanced up, his eyes shining. “How’s he doing?”
She smiled as she relayed the news of the newfound family member and his friends. “He’s doing well. He, Ruby, and Travis just killed some dangerous spirit or something at a beauty pageant.”
Rick shook his head. He still had trouble believing that his nephew was some kind of Van Helsing for all things supernatural. If he hadn’t seen it for himself, he never would’ve thought it possible. “Doesn’t sound so dangerous to me. Bet he had fun though.”
The teenager wagged his eyes suggestively. “Was Ruby in this pageant?”
Rick looked over at his son and laughed slightly. “Zach…”
Brown eyes rolled as his son grinned back at him. “C’mon, Dad. Demon or not, you’ve gotta admit she’s hot.”
“Maybe so…” Rick started, which made Linda register a weird look. He stood and walked behind her, rubbing her shoulders before he bent forward to kiss on her cheek. “But nobody’s as hot as your mother.”
Linda blushed as she leaned back into her husband’s embrace. “Richard…”
Rick pulled her closer as he whispered into her ear. “Linda…”
The teen stood and made a motion like he was going to gag. “Oh, God, do I have to watch this?”
They all laughed as they continued with their meal. It was just a normal dinner in the Winchester home. But soon, their ideal, apple-pie life would be changed forever.
*****Opening Credits roll
Theme Song: “Quicksilver,” by the Cruxshadows
Special Guest Stars
Jim Beaver as Bobby Singer
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Richard Winchester
Matt Robinson as Adrian Colfer
Tanner Maguire as Will
Daisy Betts as Jennifer Ford
David Krumholtz as Matthew Ford
Monica Potter as Linda Winchester
On the road…
Sam flexed his shoulders as he stared out of the windshield of the Impala. The scenery flew by as his mind wandered back to the last conversation he’d had with his cousin, Zach.
“If you ever need me, you call me, you got it? I don’t care what time. You pick up the phone, dial that number, and I’ll be there as soon as I possibly can.”
“Got it. Thanks, cuz,” Zach replied with the confidence of a typical teenager.
“Don’t mention it.”
He still was trying to wrap his mind around the fact that he still had family in this world and, worse yet, the youngest member of that family was currently being targeted by demons, just like him. The curse that had followed him since birth was no longer his alone to bear. Lilith’s final words burned into his mind and filled him with fear.
He sighed as he thought about what this would mean for the young man. Zach’s life was so normal, something he’d never had. He hoped that whatever the demons wanted with Zach was over with, but then he remembered that Zach was a Winchester, and if it wasn’t for bad luck, Winchesters would have no luck at all. Part of the hunter wanted to deny the words the demon had spoken as truth, but he knew he couldn’t.
He had spoken to his uncle at great length about the dangers and also tried to impress upon him what to watch out for after Zach had been taken the first time. It had been a close call and Uncle Rick had been scared. It seemed, though, that the stubborn streak ran through the Winchester bloodline in spades. Even with the evidence in front of him, Rick Winchester was determined to believe that the darkness that had destroyed his brother’s family would not touch his.
Still, Sam had managed to stay in contact, even if it was just a short conversation with Linda about their latest hunt. It made him feel better that he was able to do at least that much without causing Uncle Rick to get too mad at him. He tried to honor his uncle’s request to not draw his son into the hunter’s life, but when he had been unable to contact either his uncle or aunt, he resorted to calling Zach directly.
The hunter pulled his cell phone from his pocket and glanced down, a frown on his face when he still received no return call. He just couldn’t shake the feeling that he was too late to keep Zach out of danger. His concern had grown in intensity because, despite Lilith’s warning having come only a day ago, he hadn’t been able to reach anybody in the family in over a month.
He hit Zach’s number on his contacts list and listened to it ring a few times before his cousin’s voice provided the same answer he’d received on the other calls he made. “Hey, this is Zach Winchester. You know what to do and I’ll get back to you when I can. Thanks, bye!”
Sam took a deep breath, trying to calm the fear that coiled in his gut as he left yet another message. “Zach, it’s Sam. I know I’ve called you six times already, but something’s happened and I need to talk to you. It’s really important. Call me back as soon as you get this.”
He closed the phone and tossed it onto the seat beside him. “Damn it!”
His foot pressed down on the gas pedal and the Impala’s engine roared in response to his request. It was almost like the car could sense something was wrong as it ate up the road between Sam’s current location and Uncle Rick’s farm. There would be no rest for Sam Winchester until he was sure Zach was safe. He had been too late to save Dean; he wasn’t about to let his cousin meet a similar fate.
The cherry-red, 1972 Ferrari pulled onto the highway, dirt and rocks spewing from the tires as Ruby wrestled the hotwired car onto the road. Travis grabbed the front dash and gave her a dirty look. “We can’t help him if we end up being road kill…”
“Well, some of us wouldn’t be able to. I’d just get a new meat suit if this one got too dinged up. Don’t tell me the big, bad hunter is scared of a little speed?” Ruby grinned as she stepped down on the accelerator, making the car lurch forward as it tore down the highway. Travis opened his mouth to reply, but then closed it as he sat back and gazed angrily out of the side window.
Adrian leaned forward and grabbed the front seat as he tried to join the conversation. He was beginning to remember why he had hunted alone for all these years as he tried to get the attention of the quarreling twosome in the front seat. “I don’t get it. Why are we chasing after Sam? He’s got the situation with his cousin covered. We should be doing some digging, trying to find who or what this enemy Lilith’s talking about is.”
Ruby glanced back at the other hunter in the rearview mirror. “And while we waste time, Sam rushes in there half-cocked without back-up and gets himself killed. Great plan, Adrian!”
Adrian’s eyebrow rose as he calmly looked back at the demon. “Something bothering you, love? You seem less chipper than you normally are. You’d think you had something crawling up your bum the way you’ve been acting.”
Ruby, letting go of the wheel, turned around to face him. Travis’ hands gripped the wheel instantaneously. Adrian noticed the anger etched on the demon’s face, her eyes darkening, but not quite going black, as she proceeded to bite his head off. “You know what, Adrian? Yes, something is bothering me. That stupid, annoying accent of yours, and if you say one more thing, I swear to God, I’ll kill you.”
Travis grabbed the wheel tighter and wrenched it to the right. A loud horn sounded a second later as a large 18-wheeler passed so close that the car shook.
“Ruby, you watch the road…” Travis ground out.
“Yeah, I believe in America you drive on the right side of the road…” Adrian started but stopped as Travis turned back to glare at him.
“…while I kill him!”
The Ford Child Center was located on the outskirts of Wichita. The old farmland had been donated to the Center when the original owner passed. The cold, brick building looked out of place with the fields from what used to be a farm surrounding it.
The lobby was large, and made to look impressive with its large, glass doors. The simulated-marble floors and dark-wood paneling screamed institution no matter how you tried to disguise it. The wooden reception desk sat back near the massive staircase that led to the second floor.
The children’s living quarters all rested on the second floor: the girls’ dormitory on the left, the boys’ on the right. It was a small orphanage compared to the others in the state of Kansas, but the owners took pride in their ability to provide a safe and wholesome environment for the homeless youths in their care. At least, that’s what the brochure said…
Zach still remembered that awful night as if it were yesterday.
Zach knelt down by his bed, the nightly ritual of saying his prayers now had new meaning after his brush with the demonic world. He still couldn’t believe that Sam, a cousin he never knew he had, hunted not only demons, but other monsters as well. It was kind of cool – too bad, he couldn’t talk about it with anyone else.
He closed his eyes and concentrated on the prayer. “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.”
He was so focused, he didn’t hear the soft footsteps behind him as two shadowy figures entered his room. The light on the nightstand flickered for a brief moment, but still, the young man continued.
“Thy angels watch me through the night, and keep me safe ‘til morning’s light.”
Slowly, the figures lifted the guns they each carried in their hands and pointed the barrel at their skulls. There were no sounds in the room except for Zach’s soft, murmured words as he continued to recite the prayer. However, the sound of the guns being cocked broke his concentration. He turned quickly, his mouth falling open as he realized that it was his mother and father standing behind him, guns ready to fire.
“Mom? Dad? What’s going on?”
Richard then pulled out a second gun and pointed it at his son. Zach clamored to his feet and began to back away. His heart pounded in his chest as he tried to reconcile the parent who had praised him earlier with the one that now pointed a gun at him. It didn’t make sense.
“Finish it,” Richard said coldly. His voice was devoid of any emotion, almost as if nobody was home.
Zach shook his head, his confusion evident as he replied, “What?”
“Finish the prayer,” his father demanded, taking another step towards the retreating teen. Zach only looked at him, convinced he had lost his mind. Or maybe, he was dreaming. He kept hoping that he’d wake up at any moment with his mother bending over him to kiss him on the forehead before heading to bed. He jumped as his father’s voice sounded again. “Now!”
Not knowing what else to do, he returned to the side of his bed, taking in a deep breath and closing his eyes. “If I shall die before I wake, I beg the Lord my soul to take…”
Right as he finished, his parents grabbed him by his arms and pulled him onto his bed. He tried to scramble away, but his mother grabbed him with unusual strength and flipped him over onto his back. Linda leaned forward and took hold of Zach’s chin, forcing him to stare into her soulless, black eyes.
Zach spit into the face of the demon currently possessing his mother. “You evil son of a…”
The grip on his chin grew tighter, clamping his mouth painfully shut. “That’s not nice to say about your mother. Besides, we’re not here to do anything to you. This is only a message. You’re needed alive.”
The teenager shook his head loose to free himself from her control. He glared up at her. “Needed?”
His father’s face came into view as he moved to the other side of Zach’s bed, his eyes changing color. “That’s right.”
Zach tried to push further away as the horror of the situation hit him, but he really had no place to go with one parent on either side of his bed. Both of his parents were possessed and he had no idea of what to do. He glanced at his backpack on the other side of the room; inside it was his cell phone and his means of contacting Sam. His cousin would know what to do. All he had to do was get away long enough…
“You’re needed for our plan – alive,” Richard said calmly as if he were talking about the weather. Before he had a chance to respond, Richard shrugged. “Mommy and Daddy, though? That’s another story…”
Both of his parents moved to the foot of his bed. Fear pooled in Zach’s stomach as he watched the next bit of the show in slow motion.
The guns, raised once more, pointed at his mother and father’s heads. He didn’t even have time to yell before they each pulled the trigger. Blood and bits of brain matter shot around the room as the bullets did their damage. For a few moments, they still stood there, demonic eyes staring at him before their mouths opened and a loud scream filled the room. The teen watched in stunned silence as the demonic smoke rose from their mouths before his whole world dropped dead to the floor.
Zach shook his head as he used his hands to wipe the blood that covered his face. It took him a moment to realize that it was now just a distant memory. His parents had committed suicide, according to the police. Shortly afterwards, he found himself here, in a place for forgotten or lost children.
He looked down at his hands and could almost see the blood. Even after four months, he could still smell the copper tang in the air. As he lay on his bed, his eyes filled with tears again, but like always, they didn’t fall as he gazed listlessly around the room.
One of the other boys who shared a room with him walked over and placed a hand on his shoulder. He was shorter than Zach with short, cropped, blonde hair. He had introduced himself on the first day here as Will. He didn’t give his last name because he told Zach he was hoping to someday get a new one. But, at age fifteen, the likelihood of adoption was becoming less and less. Of course, that was before he revealed his true reason for befriending him.
“Hey, Zach. How’s it going?” Zach had to refocus for a minute to look at his roommate before returning to staring at the drab, gray walls. Will leaned in closer to look at Zach from all angles. His normally blue eyes changed quickly as a sneer covered his face. “What’s the matter? Aren’t you happy to see me?”
Zach had no idea what this thing was; all he knew was that it couldn’t be human and had something to do with the demons that killed his parents. A soft sigh escaped his lips as he closed his eyes and turned away. “Why can’t you just leave me alone?”
A soft chuckle filled the room. “I told you. You’re needed, just like all of the children like you are needed.”
Suddenly, the tears he had kept at bay since arriving at this place could no longer be contained. It was hopeless; nobody came to find him, and even if they did, who would want him? “Please… just go away…”
Will blinked and his eyes returned to their everyday color. “Alright, fine. I’ll go. But Zach, I am coming back. Keep that in mind. Also, remember, if you tell anyone – anyone at all – about my visits, they’ll end up exactly like your parents.”
Zach sat up and watched as Will left the room. The door closed softly behind his roommate, leaving him alone. Overwhelmed, the teenager put his head in his hands and allowed the sobs to finally break free.
Sam pulled up in front of the Winchesters’ home. A shiver ran up his spine as he saw the familiar, yellow tape on the front door: “Police Line – Do Not Cross.” “What the—?”
Sam jumped as someone slapped the roof of the car before leaning down to look in the driver’s side window. Sam reached for the gun in his pocket, but stopped when he recognized the Winchesters’ fifty-year-old neighbor, Mr. Walters. “Jesus Christ!”
The man smiled as he leaned down to talk to Sam. “Sorry to scare you, boy. Just watching out for the neighborhood, ya know? Can I help ya with something?”
”Uh, I guess so. The family who lives here, the Winchesters? They're my uncle, aunt, and cousin. What's going on?”
The neighbor stepped back and shook his head sadly. “You don't know?”
”Rick and Linda… they're dead.” Mr. Walters looked up at the house before returning his gaze back to the hunter.
Sam swallowed back the pain as he managed to ask, "How?"
Mr. Walters placed a hand on Sam’s shoulder and squeezed lightly. “Each of 'em took a bullet to the head. Cops are saying self-inflicted, but they're still investigating.”
The hunter’s head dropped for a moment, his worst fears coming true. He was almost afraid to ask, but he had to know. “And Zach?”
”Zach's at the Ford Child Center. He's fine. Well, obviously not fine. Really shaken up. They died at the foot of his bed with him watching. But you know what I mean.” Sam could tell Mr. Walters was upset as well as he shook his head.
”You're kidding.” His mind flashed back to a vision of Jessica dying on the ceiling over his head. He’d hoped his cousin would be spared from ever feeling such a loss.
“When did they die?” Sam asked.
“Back in April,” Mr. Walters answered. “If you ask me, they should’ve wrapped up this investigation months ago. Two suicides? Something tells me it’s only a cover story.”
Sam was now totally pissed. Unlike he, who had Dean to help him through the pain of losing those he loved, Zach had been suffering alone for almost four months.
It didn’t take long for Sam to find the Ford Child Center. He had stopped long enough to get a hotel room and change into his suit and tie. He reached into the glove box and pulled out his new ID. Until he knew what he was up against, it was best if he went in as a stranger rather than a relative.
Sam walked in through the sliding, glass doors of the Ford Child Center. There were two people, a man and a woman standing at the front desk. Both appeared to be in their mid-30s and had the look of husband and wife. They were probably the owners of the Center. The hunter walked purposefully up to the desk and smiled slightly at the couple.
“Good morning!” the woman said as she looked at the man beside her.
He smiled as he looked up from the computer screen. “How can we help you?”
He couldn’t shake the feeling that these two seemed oddly chipper for being the owners of an orphanage. “Ummm...”
Deciding to ignore the bad vibes, he cleared his throat and continued, “I'm here to see Zach Winchester.”
”For?” the man asked, standing up and appearing to take a closer look at Sam. But the young hunter was used to playing the role and simply reached into his jacket pocket to pull out his ID.
”I was just assigned to help work his parents' case.” Sam flashed a Wichita Police Department badge with the name "Detective Damien West." The two owners both inspected the badge for a moment before returning it to him.
”Sorry about that, Detective West. We're these kids’ only guardians. We have to protect them as best we can,” the woman replied as her husband returned to his seat.
”It's quite all right, Ms...?” Sam glanced around the lobby, wondering where all the children were. The place was quiet.
”Ford. Jennifer Ford. This is my husband, Matthew. We own this place,” Jennifer replied.
”Right. Of course. How stupid of me.” Sam replaced his ID in his jacket as he waited for the Fords’ next move. He was certain there was more going on here but first he needed to play along and find out where they were keeping his cousin. He knew his friends wouldn’t be far behind, but, for now, he was on his own and Zach’s life depended on him keeping his cool.
Jennifer Ford quickly smiled before she motioned for him to proceed. Sam nodded and moved towards the stairs that led to the second floor. She paused at the bottom step and waited for the hunter to begin climbing the stairs before she looked back at Matthew, both of their eyes flashing a demonic orange as they exchanged in silent communication. Unaware of what was happening behind him, Sam continued on into the building, his only focus now being to find Zach.
Mrs. Ford moved in front of Sam as they approached one of the rooms in the boys’ dormitory. They could hear the sound of soft sobs coming through the door. Jennifer placed a hand on Sam’s chest to stop him. “Let me go see if he's okay to talk about this right now. He seems upset.”
His first instinct was to hurry into the room to find out what was wrong, but he had to keep his cover. “Of course. His welfare is much more important than the case. Poor kid. I can only imagine what he's going through...”
His mind then flashed back to another hallway in another institution similar to this, a time when he’d lost his own parent.
Shiloh County Hospital
November 2, 2006
Sam was walking quickly down the hospital hallway with a cup of coffee in his hands. He couldn’t believe his brother was awake, but something in his gut told him his father had something to do with it. He wasn’t sure what John had wanted to talk to Dean about, but he was going to find out. As he turned the corner and approached his father’s room, the world stopped at the sight before him.
The cup of coffee dropped from his hand as he ran over to the fallen figure. Even as his fingers reached out to find a sign of life, he already knew it was too late. As tears gathered in his eyes, he screamed out into the empty hallway. “Help!”
Sam was jerked back to the present as he felt a hand on his arm. “Detective West?”
Sam shook his head and smiled at the woman in front of him. “Sorry. Lost in thought for a second.”
Jennifer gave him a funny look. “Uh-huh…” However, she didn’t wait for the hunter’s reply. She simply turned and opened the door before walking over towards the distraught young man lying on the bed. Sam leaned against the doorframe with his arms crossed as he continued to fight his natural instinct to grab the boy and run.
”Zach? Are you okay?” Jennifer asked softly as she placed a comforting hand on Zach’s shoulder.
Sam watched as his cousin quickly wiped his tears off on the pillow case. The boy sat up, trying futilely to pretend he was okay. But Sam was not fooled as he saw the soft shudder run through Zach’s frame.
”Yeah, I'm fine, Mrs. Ford. What's up?” Zach’s voice was soft and subdued.
The owner motioned towards Sam. “There's a detective who's here to see you. He says it's about your parents' case.”
Sam watched as recognition filled Zach’s eyes. There was a brief smile and what looked like a moment of relief before his cousin quickly schooled his features. The kid was quick and Sam relaxed slightly as he realized Zach was going to play along for now.
“Are you okay to talk to him?” Jennifer asked softly, her hand still resting on the teen’s shoulder.
Zach turned back to Jennifer. “Yeah, but can you do me a favor?”
”Anything, Zach. I'm here for you.”
The teen looked around for a moment, fear in his eyes before he swallowed and spoke. “Set us up in one of the private rooms. Confronting their case… it's really not something I wanna do in front of the other guys, if they were to come in, ya know?”
”Of course. I understand. Take Detective West to the soda machine and get some drinks. Then meet me at 3A. Is that okay?” Jennifer smiled, but Sam could see it didn’t quite reach her eyes.
”That's perfect. Thanks, Mrs. Ford.” Zach sighed as he stood.
”Like I said Zach, I'm here for you. Anything you need, just ask,” Jennifer replied as she began to lead the teen from the room. After a short stop at the soda machine Jennifer mentioned, Zach and Sam met her at Meeting Room 3A. Sam barely glanced as she opened the room and motioned them both inside. For a moment, Sam thought she was going to stay, but after she gave Zach a brief hug, she smiled and left the room.
Sam and Zach took a seat at the gray table in the center of the room. The place was set up more like a police interrogation room than a room for orphans to chat with their friends and caseworkers. The hunter put a finger to his lips and took a quick look around but he didn’t see anything that could be a listening device or a video camera. Sam returned to the table and sat down across from his cousin.
”Sam. Boy, am I glad to see you. I need help.” Zach still looked around nervously.
Sam placed his hand over the boy’s to calm him. “I know. This isn't R&R. I was sent.”
”By whom?” his cousin said quietly.
”It's not important right now. How come you never called me? I told you, Zach. Anytime, anyplace. You ring, I come.” Sam couldn’t stop some of the anger from getting into his voice as he looked at the young teen. If only Zach had called him right away, they wouldn’t be in this situation. Sure, he could grab his cousin, but then there would be questions and the FBI would be involved. All complications he couldn’t afford right now. Besides, he didn’t want his cousin to become a fugitive, if he could help it.
Zach sighed softly as he twisted his hands together in his lap. “I know, Sam. I should've, but I was scared.”
Sam noticed his cousin looking around again as if he was afraid someone would appear. “Of what?”
“That he'd do the same thing to you that he did to my parents.” A single tear fell down Zach’s cheek before he quickly wiped it away. Sam wanted so badly to comfort the boy, but this wasn’t the time or place. He needed information.
”Who is he, Zach? I can help, but I need to know what I'm up against.” He watched as the teenager seemed to argue with himself for a moment before coming to a decision.
Zach leaned in closer, keeping his voice down as he spoke. “I don't know who he is. I don't even know what he is, for that matter. At first, I thought he was a demon, but now, I'm not so sure.”
The teenager stood and walked over to the corner of the room. He ran his fingers through his hair before he continued to talk, flashing back to the first night briefly. “I should've known something was up that night at dinner when they wouldn't put salt on their mashed potatoes. They always did that – every single time we had potatoes with dinner.” Zach shook his head, wiping at another errant tear.
”After your parents...” Sam coached, needing to get the details and not being able to let his cousin grieve. “… you know… did that smoke come out of their mouths? Like when Lilith kidnapped you?”
”Uh-huh. Exactly like that. Even though they were dead, they screamed and then that thick, black smoke shot out of their mouths. Their breath reeked like sulfur, too.”
Sam sat back with a sigh. “That was definitely a demon, then. No doubt in my mind.”
Zach walked forward and stood next to Sam. “No way. It couldn't have been.”
”Zach, trust me. I've been hunting these things my whole life. I know a demon when I hear about one.”
The young teen shook his head as he grabbed the hunter’s arm. “Sam, believe me... it wasn't a demon. What kind of a demon has yellow eyes?”
It suddenly felt like all the air left the room. It couldn’t be—Dean had ended the son of a bitch. Sam blinked rapidly for a few seconds trying to gather his thoughts. “What did you just say?”
Zach sat back down and stared him dead in the eye. “You heard me. What kind of a demon has yellow eyes? Do you know something?”
Sam stared back at his cousin, his mind obviously elsewhere. Sam took a deep breath and heard a name he’d never thought he’d think of again. “Azazel…”
Ruby stretched as she continued to drive the red Ferrari down the road. They were headed to Wichita, but unless Sam called to let them know where he was, they’d have to begin to hunt him down, which sucked. She jumped slightly as her cell phone began to vibrate. She grabbed it from her pocket and read the caller ID. Speak of the devil…
“Sam? About frickin’ time you called! Where are you?”
”Wichita,” he said. Sam’s voice sounded tired, but Ruby was still to angry over the stunt he pulled to hold any punches.
“I know that much, smart stuff. Where in Wichita?”
There was a soft sigh before Sam responded. “The Murray-McGee Motel. Get here as soon as you can. We've got a big problem to deal with.”
”What?” Ruby asked as she looked over at Travis.
“Trust me. Just get here,” Sam replied before the phone went dead. Ruby closed the phone and looked down at it as if it could give her the answers Sam had so eloquently omitted. Her anger was at war with her concern.
”What was that about?” Adrian asked from the back seat.
Ruby remained silent trying to figure out what kind of trouble her friend had landed in this time. Obviously, his little trip home hadn’t ended with the happy family reunion they’d hoped for. So that meant something had gone down and it was bad enough that Sam didn’t think he could handle it on his own. Not good – not good at all.
”Hello? Darlin'? Answer me,” the Englishman persisted, his annoying accent finally breaking through her thoughts. She needed an outlet and Adrian would do just fine. Instead of answering him, she chucked the phone into the back seat. It hit the hunter in the face.
“Ow!” Adrian grunted as he rubbed at his wounded cheek.
Travis laughed. “You gotta learn, when dealing with demons, demanding ain’t the way to go, dawg.”
Sam placed the cell phone down on the table before he continued to read from the old Bible in front of him. As soon as he’d left the orphanage, he’d begun to research. It had been the hardest thing he’d ever had to do, but it was necessary. He couldn’t get the kid out on his own. He’d need help.
First, he’d placed a call to his friend Bobby and then he’d called Ruby. They would all be here shortly. Meanwhile, he had to figure out what they were dealing with. There had to be a mistake. How the hell could Azazel have survived being killed by the Colt?
His finger ran over the passage as he read…
"And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats, one lot for the Lord and one lot for Azazel. And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the Lord, and offer it as a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the Lord to make atonement over it that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel." -Leviticus 16:8-10.
Still needing answers, Sam closed the book and booted up the laptop. His fingers flew over the keys, trying to coax out the answers he needed to the puzzle before him. He began to read the article on the screen.
"Azazel is often revered as a physical and spiritual deity by many Theistic/Spiritual Satanic groups as a Promethean bringer of forbidden knowledge. Depictions of this entity vary from group to group, but he is generally regarded as a Luciferian force of enlightenment opposed to the Hebrew deity Yahweh, or the Demiurge, who is usually viewed as an imperfect tyrant, aimed only at keeping men from knowledge; knowledge of the falseness of the reality of which man occupies and its creator."
He was interrupted by a knock at the door. Sam stood, grabbed the gun he had on the table beside him, and walked over to door. He looked through the peephole and then opened the door to let in Ruby, Travis, and Adrian.
”Kirk Hammett, huh?” Travis said as he clasped Sam on the back.
Sam shrugged. “I tried to be obvious.”
Travis chuckled. “Well, you succeeded.”
”Let's skip the jokes for now, okay? Sam, you sounded urgent on the phone. What's wrong?” Ruby interjected as she walked further into the room.
Sam walked back over to the desk and tossed Leviticus over to Ruby. She opened to the dog-eared page. She looked at it for a moment and then back up at him. “You're kidding, right?”
“Do I look like I'm kidding?” Sam replied as he walked over and sat on the edge of his bed. He ran a hand through his hair as he met Ruby’s gaze.
“But, he's dead, Sam.”
“Care to share?” Adrian asks as he dropped the bag he was carrying by the door. Ruby handed him the book. He glanced down at the page before he looked back up at the demon. “Okay, I’ll bite. Who the hell is Azazel?”
“One of the top men down under. Basically, he’s the only kind of demon that could scare the hell outta Lilith,” Ruby remarked as she looked over at Travis.
“Sounds like fun!” Travis stated while rolling his eyes.
“Hey, we killed the bitch, we can kill him,” Adrian said, his arms crossed over his chest as he leaned against the wall.
Ruby snorted. “We? What's this 'we' stuff?”
“Don't make me sick.”
Sam stood up and moved between the two. “Guys! Can we please focus?”
Travis walked over to the computer and looked to see what was on the screen. “Okay, so this Azazel guy? He's supposed to be dead?”
The demon took a deep breath and turned to look at Travis. “Dean shot him with the Colt two years ago.”
“Since when do demons survive a bullet from that piece of art?”
“That's the point. They don't,” Ruby replied dryly.
Adrian moved to stand beside Travis, his eyes quickly reading through the article. “Maybe it's a demonic-level deal. Different levels in the hierarchy have different eye color, right? Crossroads demons are red, Lilith had white, Carson had orange, and average demons are black.”
A hiss sounded in the room as Ruby advanced towards Adrian. “Are you calling me average?!”
“Well, you're nothing spectacular. That's for damn sure.”
Sam grabbed Ruby and pulled her back. “Guys! Please?!”
Ruby took a deep breath and decided to ignore the Englishman in the room. “Anyway… it could be a hierarchy deal. You know, different demon, same level. But I doubt it. There's only ever been one demon on Azazel's level that I know of and that was Azazel.”
“What made him so special?” Adrian said softly as he continued to read the article Sam had pulled up on the computer.
“Trust me. You don't want to know,” Ruby replied as she moved to stand by the table with the others.
Travis grunted. “Sounds like a real sweetheart.”
The conversation was halted again by another knock on the door. Sam grinned as he realized who it must be. Ruby, Travis, and Adrian turned to it curiously while the hunter moved towards the door.
“Maid service!” a gruff voice announced from the other side of the door.
“Comin', Bobby.” Sam smiled as he opened the door to let in Bobby Singer.
“You idjit. Yellow Eyes? Really?” The man didn’t even miss a beat as he dropped his dusty duffle on the floor next to the other bed.
Sam shook his head. “Look, I only know what Zach told me. I'm going back to see him later today.”
Bobby sighed. “This is John's brother's kid?”
Sam nodded as the old hunter glanced up at him. “Let's go then, Sam. The sooner, the better.”
The Impala pulled up into the parking lot of the Ford Child Center for the second time. Sam, Travis, and Bobby emerged, all wearing suits. They calmly walked into the lobby and were greeted once again by Matthew and Jennifer.
“Detective West, welcome back,” Jennifer said with a smile on her face.
Sam nodded and introduced his ‘partners’. “Thanks, Mrs. Ford. I'd like you to meet Detectives Morgan and Rossi.”
“Aren't those two leads on Criminal Minds?” Matthew asked, his eyes narrowing suspiciously.
“Crime show fan, huh?” Travis replied.
“I watch my fair share.”
Sam decided to distract the husband. He cleared his throat and looked at Jennifer. “Is Zach available? Detective Rossi has some questions he'd like to ask him.”
“I'll go get him,” Jennifer responded as she stood and quickly headed for the staircase.
Matthew cleared his throat and held out his hand. “IDs, please?”
Without missing a beat, Travis and Bobby handed him Wichita PD badges, one marked Detective Travis Morgan and the other, Detective Robert Rossi. The owner looked them over before handing them back. “Thank you, gentlemen. I'll have Jennifer bring Zach to Room 1B, if you feel like meeting him there.”
Sam released the breath he hadn’t realized he was holding. “Thank you, Mr. Ford.”
“Don't mention it, Detective.”
Sam, Travis, and Bobby headed down the corridor, Sam knowing in advance where the meeting rooms were this time and wanting to get them away from further scrutiny. However, once again, he didn’t see the flick of Matthew’s eyes as they changed color. “Don't mention it,” the man repeated in a low growl.
It wasn’t long before the three men found themselves in an identical room as the one Sam had been in earlier with Zach. Sam and Travis took a seat at the table while Bobby paced around the room. After a few moments, Zach entered, escorted by Jennifer Ford.
“As promised, Detectives.”
“Thank you,” Sam replied as he watched the owner gently push Zach into the room before closing the door behind him.
Zach appeared to tense as he noticed the newcomer in the room. He nodded his head at Bobby. “Who's he?”
Sam smiled and indicated the other chair for Zach to sit in. “That's Bobby.”
The teenager took the seat and gazed at the older man. “He a hunter, too?”
”Mm-hmm. One of the best in the business,” Sam replied as he glanced at Bobby.
The older hunter shook his head. “Why, Sam. You're making me blush. Stop being so sweet.”
Zach looked at Sam and mouthed a single word, “Gay?”
Sam bit down on the chuckle and simply shook his head.
“I saw that,” Bobby growled.
“You're very perceptive for an old guy. Anybody ever tell you that?” Travis joined the conversation.
“I've heard it once or twice,” Bobby remarked as he walked up behind Travis and placed his hands on the hunter’s shoulders. “That doesn't mean that I like it.”
He squeezes tightly on Travis’ pressure point and the younger man flinched. Zach started to laugh. “I like him.”
Bobby released Travis and pulled a chair over next to Zach. He took a seat and glanced at the young man. “Zach, right?”
“Do me a favor. Drink some of this.” Bobby handed Zach a flask. Sam knew it contained holy water. He glanced at his friend, the question clear in his eyes. Bobby shrugged. “Just a precaution.”
Zach looked between the two men; it was clear he didn’t understand. With a shrug, he put the flask to his lips and took a deep drink. He handed it back to Bobby and looked at Sam.
“Okay, tell me what happened,” Bobby replied as he replaced the flask in his pocket.
Zach looked at Sam for support. It was clear the teenager didn’t want to tell the story again, but Sam knew it was important. With a sigh, he nodded.
Zach took a deep breath and let his head fall forward, his gaze locked on his folded hands as he began. As the story unfolded, the teenager became more and more upset. Sam wanted to reach out and comfort him, but he couldn’t. The one thing he’d learned was there was no avoiding what the demons had in store for them. Unfortunately, now, Zach would also have to learn, if he was to survive. His mind was brought back from his musings as his cousin’s choked voice finished the awful story.
“…then the – I mean my – my Dad, his eyes turned yellow and he said – he said, ‘Mommy and Daddy though? That's another story…’” Zach swallowed and stopped as tears flowed down his cheeks. It was clear he’d told them all he could. Sam glanced at Bobby and shook his head slightly as he stood to walk over behind his cousin.
“It's okay, Zach. You don't need to say it,” Sam said softly as he squeezed the teen’s shoulders. He could feel the tremors going through the boy’s frame. “We’ll figure something out. In the meantime, I need you to just stay cool.”
“Where – where are you going?” Zach asked as he grabbed Sam’s hand. “I can’t stay here; you have to get me out.”
Sam sighed. “We can’t just take you out of here, Zach. The FBI would be called in and there would be a manhunt for all of us and you. Just give us some time to figure things out. You won’t have to stay here much longer, I promise.”
As the three hunters left the Center behind, Sam glanced up and saw Zach’s face pressed against the window of his dorm room. He turned back and entered the Impala. “I don’t care what we have to do, but we get him out of there – fast.” Bobby and Travis simply nodded in understanding and agreement.
Sam pulled the Impala up behind Bobby’s truck. They had brought both vehicles just in case things got complicated. If things looked too bad, the plan was to grab Zach and then Bobby would take him in his truck to South Dakota. Since the only car the Fords would have seen was the Impala, Sam would drive away in the opposite direction. Luckily, they didn’t have to use that plan yet. It would be better if they could remove Zach legally.
They had parked the truck in a grove of trees near the highway. The three hunters got out and quickly changed into their normal clothes. Sam told Bobby he’d follow him back to the motel as they had once again headed out onto the highway. They had to get the others up to speed and come up with a plan quickly. Sam didn’t want his cousin to spend any more time at the Center than was needed.
As they got closer to town, Sam had his phone on speaker and was talking to Bobby. He wanted to know what his friend thought before they spoke to the others. Bobby’s voice came over the phone.
“I don't know what to make of that, Sam. You and I both know that Yellow Eyes is dead. But the kid's not possessed, so I don't understand why he'd lie.”
Sam shook his head and then realized Bobby couldn’t see it. He spoke into the phone. “Bobby, I may have just met Zach a couple months ago, but he wouldn't lie. Not about this.”
“Well, Sam, I don't know what to tell you. Ruby told you that it can't be another demon and Yellow Eyes is dead. That gun wouldn't just stop working and then start up again.”
Sam watched as Bobby’s brake lights came on, but the truck didn’t appear to be slowing as they approached a stop light. “What the hell?”
Sam could hear the stress in his friend’s voice. “What?”
“Something's wrong with my brakes!” Sam watched as the brake lights continued to come on, but there was no sign of the large truck stopping. His heart was in his throat as Bobby’s voice came over the phone again. “They won’t work!”
As Bobby's pick-up ran the red light, Sam slammed on his own brakes to stop the Impala before they hit oncoming traffic. As soon as the way was clear, he took off after the truck. “Bobby, get outta there. Now!” Sam shouted into the phone.
“What's wrong?” Travis asked, but Sam ignored him as he managed to get close to the truck. He watched Bobby reach for the door lock.
“Crap! The locks won't give!”
Sam began to panic as he gunned the motor to try to keep up with Bobby. If he could get in front of the truck, maybe he could slow it down. As if reading his thoughts, the pick-up started to move faster. He could see Bobby unbuckle his seatbelt and slide over slightly to reach for something in the glove box. He recognized the gun and realized what his friend was about to do.
“Screw this!” Bobby shouted as he shot out the side window. They were approaching another intersection and this time, Sam didn’t think his friend would make it. He pressed down on the accelerator, frustrated that there was nothing he could do but watch the disaster that was sure to happen unless Bobby could get out of the vehicle.
“Bobby, jump!” Sam yelled as he saw a green, Ford Focus start through the intersection. It was clear Bobby wasn’t aware of the danger as he continued to clear the glass from the broken window with the barrel of his gun and one hand while doing his best to manage the steering wheel with the other. For a minute, Sam thought maybe Bobby would make it as he saw the man put the gun in his jacket pocket before turning towards the window.
“Hurry, Bobby! Get out of the damn—!” Sam shouted, but he was too late. Before he could finish the sentence, the pick-up plowed into the car, spinning it around. The pick-up truck tilted and, with a shudder, began to roll. The sound of metal tearing and glass shattering drowned out the anguished cry as the Impala screeched to a halt.
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| Chapter Three:
Sam and Travis jumped from the Impala and headed towards the accident. Sam pointed to the other car where a man was slumped over the wheel. “I'll get Bobby! You get him!”
Travis nodded and headed towards what used to be a Ford Focus. The door was locked, so the hunter pulled his gun out and smashed the window. He reached inside and pulled the lock open and began to tug on the door. After a few moments, it gave and he could finally get to the injured man. “Relax, man. I've got you.”
The man appeared to be in his forties. Travis could see he’d been badly injured, but the smoke from the engine was a bad sign. He had no choice but to move the victim. He managed to get his arms around the man’s chest while trying to steady the man’s neck as best as he could. He pulled him from the car and gently laid him on the ground a few feet from the car.
“Oh, damn,” Travis muttered as he saw the blood running down the unconscious man’s face. There was no choice; he had to call in help. He glanced over at Sam as he pulled his phone out, dialing 9-1-1.
Bobby’s truck was lying on its side in the ditch. The driver’s side was pressed against the ground. Travis watched as Sam climbed and opened the passenger door before dropping inside the cab. He couldn’t tell from here if the old hunter was alive or dead. Either way, he had to be in serious need of repair.
The operator came on the line. “9-1-1, what is your emergency?”
“There's been an accident. We need paramedics down here – stat.”
“Where are you located, sir?”
“I'm at the intersection of Coastal and Crain.”
“I'm sending help right now.”
“Thank you,” Travis said as he closed the phone and raced over to help Sam. He jumped up onto the truck and gazed into the cab. Sam was trying to work his way around Bobby, who was out cold at the edge of the driver’s seat. The older hunter wasn’t moving.
“Sam, I'm here. Paramedics are on the way.”
“Good. Give me a hand.”
After a few more moments of struggle, Sam finally managed to free Bobby. He gently pulled the man up as Travis leaned into the open door. Sam handed him Bobby’s arms. “You pull, I'll push.”
Travis shook his head. “How do you expect me to lift him?!”
“Travis!” Sam ground out as he tried to keep the injured man from slipping back down.
Bobby groaned as Travis started to pull on his arms. Sam worked Bobby's legs onto the seat and started to push, being careful to try to keep the man’s body supported. Travis finally managed to stand as he continued to pull on Bobby’s wrists. He could see the older hunter’s legs were now up against Sam’s shoulders. Sam pushed a little more, feeding more of the injured man through the open door.
“Hold on, let me get a better grip,” Travis called down as he managed to grab Bobby by his armpits. He began to pull again while Sam continued to push upward. It was a slow process to extricate their injured friend from the ruins of his pick-up truck. However, after a few more minutes of Sam pushing and Travis pulling, Bobby finally broke free of the metal prison.
Travis waited for Sam to pull himself out of the truck before they both carried the injured man to the shoulder. As they began to check Bobby over, the sound of sirens could be heard in the distance. Soon, the intersection was filled with two ambulances and a number of squad cars. The party had officially started.
Ever since Sam had disappeared from view, Zach had a bad feeling in his stomach. He still didn’t fully understand why Sam hadn’t just come in here and admitted he was a relative. They could have taken him out then and there. But no, he was still stuck in this place. He dropped down onto the bed and covered his eyes with his arm. This just sucked!
He heard the sound of the door and realized he was no longer alone. He removed his arm and recognized three of the other teenagers who lived in the dorm. He had made a few friends while he was here and Liam, the one appearing to lead the pack, was one of them. His friend moved into the room and stood beside his bed.
“Hey, Zach. What's up?” Liam asked as he looked towards the window for a moment.
He didn’t really feel like talking. Besides, what could he say? So he just shrugged. “Hey, Liam. Nothing. You?”
“Same. How are you doin'?”
“Not too bad, I guess… considering. You?” Zach sat up slowly and gazed at his friend. He didn’t understand why Liam was acting so funny all of a sudden.
“Fine. But why are you lying to me?” the teenager asked, gazing down at Zach, his lip curled in a slight sneer.
“What are you talking about?” Zach asked, unnerved by the sudden turn of the conversation.
Liam blinked and his eyes turned black. Zach’s breath froze in his throat as he jumped from the bed. He backed away from Liam. The other two boys in the room also suddenly acquired pitch-black eyes.
“Get outta my friends, you sons of bitches!” The terrified teen clenched his hands into fists. He knew what the bastards were capable of and he wasn’t just going to stand around this time and watch the demons kill his friends.
Liam chuckled. “I can't speak for them, but, oh, how I wish I could. Unfortunately, our orders are to keep an eye on you. But then, your pesky cousin had to get involved so our plan is gonna have to skip a few phases.”
Zach’s head snapped up. How could they possible know? “What the hell's that supposed to mean?”
Liam lunged at him, but he managed to easily dodge the slower boy. The other two teenagers rushed him. He punched one across the face while pulling the flask Bobby had left with him from his pocket. He quickly removed the cap and splashed the other kid with the holy water. He smiled for a moment as the boy fell to the ground, screaming.
But his victory was short lived as he felt himself lifted by invisible hands and slammed against the wall. He groaned slightly as he gazed towards the door. Matthew and Jennifer both entered the room. He noticed Matthew held his hand out towards him. He struggled for another minute, but soon stopped as it appeared Matthew was going to keep him pinned.
“Why am I not surprised by that?!” Zach wheezed slightly as the pressure on his chest increased. But he refused to show them the fear that was coiled in his stomach. He watched as Jennifer walked over towards him. She stopped for a moment and looked at him sympathetically. He flinched as she ran a finger down his cheek.
“So innocent. It's a shame that we need to use you to bring on the Apocalypse,” she said softly.
The captured teen couldn’t help but laugh at that. Were they kidding? “The Apocalypse? You're serious?”
“Well, not the Apocalypse… at least, not right now. But call us forward thinkers. The domino effect, you know? One thing leads to another... then another... and, after a while, boom, the Apocalypse!” Jennifer turned to look at the others in the room who all smiled.
Zach shook his head. There was no freaking way he was going help these monsters. ”Well, you're kinda screwed then 'cause I'll never help you.”
For the first time since he entered the room, Matthew laughed softly. The sound, one of pure evil, sent a chill through Zach. “We're screwed? You're the one we can kill at any minute, boy.”
As if to prove his point, Matthew closed his hand in a fist. The pain in Zach’s chest increased until he could barely breathe. Despite the pain, he smiled – hell, he even chuckled. “True, you could, but you won't. Obviously, you all need me for this ‘Apocalypse.’ As long as that's true, I'm safe. I know your bosses won't let you kill the jumper cable.”
The pain increased again until all the teenager could do was cough as he choked on his own blood. Breathing was becoming almost impossible as he felt the room tilt around him. He saw Jennifer frown and turn towards her husband.
“Let him go. He's right. Azazel will condemn us all to a worse hell than this pathetic place if the boy dies.”
Matthew looked at his wife and, after a moment, nodded. He opened his hand and suddenly air flew into Zach’s lungs. He gasped as he tried to pull in the air, his head still spinning alarmingly as he tried to appear unfazed by what was being done. He might die, but he would make his cousin proud. “Sam'll kill you. I hope I get to watch.”
Jennifer chuckled. “You hope it's painful, too?”
“The thought did cross my mind,” Zach replied as his breathing began to settle back to normal. He wanted them to suffer for what they’d done to his parents. The anger burning inside him fought to break free and hurt those who had been responsible. He flinched again when Jennifer tapped the tip of his nose with her finger.
“Boy, do we have big plans for you...”
Sam watched as Bobby was loaded into the ambulance, the neck brace obscuring his face from view. They had strapped him to a back board before placing him on the gurney. All Sam heard was possible back or neck injury, his mind still unable to process what had happened. He was brought from his thoughts as one of the paramedics told him what hospital they were taking Bobby to.
“Can I ride with him?”
The paramedic looked over to the middle-aged policeman who was approaching them. Sam turned and noticed again the number of police swarming all over the place. Luckily, he and Travis had managed to get Bobby’s gun and false identification off of him before they had arrived. He could feel the weight of the gun in his pocket.
Another police officer stepped up and put a restraining hand on his arm. “You can meet him at the hospital, if you don't mind. We have some questions we need you to answer.”
Sam sighed. “Of course.”
The police officer nodded to the paramedics. They quickly shut the door and, a few moments later, Bobby was on his way, sirens blazing into the afternoon quiet. Sam turned to look at the police officer. The sooner they got through this part, the sooner he could get to the hospital to check on Bobby.
“Was he drinking?” the cop asked as he pulled out his notebook.
Sam shook his head. “No. We were talking on the phone and when we came up on that last light, he said that his breaks wouldn't work.”
The police officer looked at the truck and then back at Sam. “Why not?”
“I don't know. They were working fine when we were at the store.”
“It takes two cars to get three people to the store?” another police officer asked, moving closer. He had to get this over with before they asked too many other questions. Taking a deep breath, the hunter gave the best explanation he could under the circumstances.
“Bobby's kind of O.C.D. He likes to drive himself and there's not enough room in that pick-up for all three of us.”
The cop wrote something in his notebook, his face indicating he didn’t really believe the story but couldn’t really find any fault with it either. “Okay.”
Travis had been silent while the police talked to Sam. He stepped up and pointed towards the Impala. “Can I go for a second? I need to call a couple of friends of ours and have them meet us at the hospital.”
The cop nodded. Sam watched his friend walk off, his cell phone in his hand.
Ruby paced around the motel room. She was upset they’d left her behind and, worse yet, they’d left her with Adrian. The man was infuriating to say the least. She was just getting ready to head out and find something to punch when her phone started to vibrate. She noticed Travis’ name on the caller ID. Opening the phone, she answered. “What's taking you guys so long?”
“We're a little tied up right now. Bobby's brakes failed and he crushed some guy. Take the Ferrari and meet us at the hospital, okay?” Travis sounded out of breath and Ruby could hear a siren in the background. She immediately suspected demon involvement in the accident.
“Yeah. What'd Bobby make of the Yellow Eyes deal?” she continued the conversation as she motioned for Adrian to follow her.
“He said that he didn't know what it could be. We'll see you over at the hospital and explain.”
Ruby realized Travis wasn’t going to give her any further intel. “Okay,” she stated as she hung up the phone. She noticed Adrian was still standing in the room, a question on his face.
“Let's go. We gotta meet Sam and Travis at the hospital.”
“What happened?” Adrian asked as he grabbed his leather jacket and began to follow her out the door.
“Car accident. They'll explain when we get there.”
Sam watched Travis hang up the phone and head back towards them. The police were still making notes. One was over checking out Bobby’s truck while another was helping the tow truck driver hook up the other car. The cop noticed Travis’s return.
“They going to meet you there?”
Travis nodded as another police officer walked over. “They just got to the hospital. The one was D.O.A.”
Sam’s head jerked up as his breath stalled in his throat. He knew what that acronym meant: Dead On Arrival. He couldn’t lose Bobby. “Which one?!”
“The guy in the Ford,” the cop replied, sympathy in his gaze as he noticed how upset the two men had become.
Travis looked at Sam, the relief evident in his eyes as the hunter tried to get his racing pulse under control. “What about the other one?”
“He's in critical condition, but they say he should pull through. He's one lucky bastard.”
“I think we're done here. Go be with your friend. How can we get in touch with you once we know more?” the second police officer inquired.
”You got a pen and a piece of paper?” Sam took the notebook and pen from the officer. He quickly scribbled his cell phone number down and handed it back to the cop.
“Okay, we'll be in touch. Thanks for your time, gentlemen.”
“Don't mention it,” Sam stated as he watched the police head back towards their cruiser. He motioned for Travis and the two hunters to head for the Impala and climb in. For a moment, Sam gripped the wheel, his emotions threatening to spill over as he saw the remains of Bobby’s truck being pulled from the ravine. He had been sure his friend was dead, another victim of the demons who seemed hell bent on destroying his family.
He wasn’t sure how they did it, but he knew that somehow, they had tipped their hand at the Ford Child Center. He would check on Bobby and then he was going to figure out a way to get Zach out of there tonight—there was no longer a choice. He started the car and the powerful engine growled as they drove off towards the hospital.
Sam had told him to call him if anything scared him, but he’d never had a chance to grab his phone. Besides, how was he supposed to know there was more than Yellow Eyes here? Jennifer and Matthew were beside him as they walked through the lobby towards the door that led to the basement. He glanced around hoping to find someone who could help him, but the darkness outside the glass doors indicated it was night. The other kids would be in bed and the rest of the staff was gone, which meant he was on his own.
As the door opened, he felt Jennifer and Matthew each grab one of his arms. He knew he didn’t want to go into the darkness below. As they start down the steps, Jennifer had to release his arm. He quickly jabbed his elbow into Matthew’s stomach, making the man loosen his grip just enough that he managed to break free. He turned and tried to head back up the stairs.
He made it up a couple of steps before Jennifer grabbed his leg. He tried to kick at her with his free leg while holding onto the banister with all his might. But Matthew grabbed his other leg. They pulled hard causing him to hit the steps with his face and body, driving the air from his lungs.
He was dragged down the remaining stairs and through another door. The small room was lit by a single light bulb hanging from a wire. He lay bruised and terrified on the floor until Jennifer and Matthew pulled him up to stand and face the door. He flinched as the light began to flicker, a shadowed form moving into the room. He recognized the boy who now stood in front of him as Will.
“Nice to see you again, Zach.” Will smiled as he moved closer, glancing at the other two in the room before focusing his gaze on the trembling teen. Zach glared at him as he licked the blood from his split lip. He refused to show the monster in front of him how afraid he really was. There was no way he was going to help him or his band of demons.
Will chuckled and he touched his face coming back with blood on his finger. He looked down at it for a moment before he spoke. “No time for niceties, I see. Let's just get down to business then. I'm gonna make you an offer.”
Zach spat blood in the monster’s face. “No, thanks. I don't play Let's Make a Deal with demons.”
The Yellow-Eyed Demon calmly used his T-shirt to wipe the blood from his face. He looked again at Jennifer and Matthew. “You two can let go of him. He won't go anywhere.”
As they released him, Zach made a move towards the door but stopped as Will made a fist. He dropped to his knees, his hand reaching for his throat to remove the invisible force strangling him. He gasped and choked and tried to draw in air, but the band around his throat only tightened.
“Are you ready to be a good boy, Zach? No more of this rude behavior?” The pressure on the teen’s throat released and for the second time that night, he greedily drew in air into his starving lungs.
After a few moments, Zach got his breathing under control. He glared at Will. “Go to Hell!”
“That's such a cliché,” Will remarked as he walked towards Zach and knelt down. He grabbed the injured teen by the collar, tightening his grip as his eyes changed from the eerie yellow to his regular blues as if to make himself appear more human.
“You're needed, so I won't kill you. But damn if I won't hurt you.” Before Zach could react, a fist hit him in the face and the room faded into dark.
Sam sat in the hard, plastic chair looking at the unconscious form of his friend. If it weren’t for the wires and bruising, you’d think he was simply asleep. The doctors had assured them he would be fine, but it would take time.
Ruby leaned against the wall while Travis and Adrian sat in the other two chairs in the room. The only sound was that of the heart monitor. Sam wished his friend would at least wake up. The hunter was torn between staying with Bobby and figuring out a way to get his cousin out of the Center. The more he thought about it, the more he was certain the demons had been involved and if they knew who they were, then Zach was in danger.
The silence was broken by the ringing of Sam’s cell phone.
“Zach? What's up?” Sam couldn’t hide his concern as the object of his thoughts was on the phone. He could hear the panicked breathing as his cousin responded.
“Sam, I need help. They've got me!”
Sam stood and gazed over at his friends. “Where are you?”
“The orphanage. The basement. Demons are crawling all over the place!”
Suddenly, the voice on the phone changed. He recognized it as Jennifer, one of the owners of the Center. “Your cousin needs you, Sam.”
A scream could be heard before Zach’s voice sounded in the background, “You son of a bitch!”
Before Sam could respond, Jennifer’s oily voice replied, “Better hurry.”
The phone call disconnected. Sam placed a hand on Bobby’s shoulder. “I’ll be back old man. You hold on, you hear?” He then grabbed his jacket and walked towards the door. “Let's go!”
The others joined him as he waited in the hall by the elevator. Adrian stopped and placed his hand in his pocket before he looked at Sam. “Hold on a moment, mate. I left something in the room. I’ll meet you at the car!”
“Make it quick!” Sam replied as the door opened and the remaining hunters entered. While they waited for Adrian, Sam filled Ruby in on what had happened at the Center. Adrian appeared and jumped into the back seat with Travis. “Sorry, left my lucky knife…”
Ruby snorted while Sam started the engine. A short time later they arrived at the Ford Child Center. The only light was from the waxing moon that cast dark shadows across the building. It was the kind of scene that screamed not to enter, but since when did a Winchester have that option? Without comment, the hunters exited the car and glanced at the glass entryway from their half-mile-off parking spot.
Ruby stared at the building for a moment before looking at Sam. “I present to you the Gates of Hell.”
“How many demons?” Sam asked as he walked towards the back of the car.
“Too many. There are so many demons waiting in there, it's like this orphanage is a frickin' Devil's Gate. This is suicide.”
Sam didn’t pause as he pulled the keys from his coat pocket. “I don't care.”
Ruby stepped in front of the hunter. “Sam, didn't you hear me?”
Sam placed his hands on her shoulders as he gazed into her dark eyes. “Yeah, I did. Did you hear me? I don't care. Zach's in there and we have to get him out.”
He moved the demon firmly aside as he opened the trunk and began to remove what he’d need from the arsenal contained within. After loading his jacket pockets, he finally pulled out a shotgun and cocked it to check the rounds before he turned towards the Center.
Adrian and Travis joined Ruby at the trunk. Adrian grabbed a gun and a canteen with a cross on it. Travis grabbed his usual crossbow and a quill of Palo Santo arrows while Ruby simply unsheathed her knife before she stalked in front of Sam. “Fine. We're all gonna die, but fine.”
Travis quickly worked on the lock while the others kept watch. He opened the door and the four hunters slowly entered the lobby of the Center. There wasn’t a sound nor was their any light other than the dull glow of emergency lights. Sam could almost smell the sulfur in the air as his senses were on high alert.
They knew there were demons. The problem was how many and where were they? As the hunters moved further into the room, the sound of clapping reached their ears. They turned as one, weapons drawn and watched as Jennifer and Matthew Ford stepped out from the shadows.
“Welcome to our humble abode! It's not every day we get to kill four of the most infamous hunters alive,” Matthew snarled as his wife joined him.
“Though we are still enjoying Dean's company. He's a screamer, that one!” Jennifer grinned, her orange eyes shining in the dim light.
Sam didn’t stop to think as he aimed the shotgun and shot Jennifer in the chest. She screamed and fell to the ground. Adrian charged Matthew and threw holy water in the demon’s face. For a moment, Matthew screamed before a chuckle erupted from him. Adrian rushed forward, aiming a roundhouse kick at the demon, but Matthew managed to sidestep the attack.
“Holy water? That's kiddie stuff! You're all gonna need to put those imaginations to work if you wanna get to Zach.” Matthew’s eyes blinked and turned orange. He flicked his wrist and Adrian was thrown across the room into the edge of the stairs. He gasped as he grabbed his ribs for a moment before he began to struggle to his feet.
Ruby surged forward, the demon blade raised high in her hand as she attacked Matthew. But the orange-eyed demon once again flicked his wrist and the blade followed Adrian. The sound of the knife clattering on the floor was loud in the silence that followed. Ruby squared her shoulders and faced off against him, her lips curled in disdain. Suddenly, the demon fell to the ground as her legs were kicked out from beneath her. Jennifer had recovered and was rejoining the fight.
“I was hoping you'd show up, you traitor,” Jennifer crowed as she stood over the fallen demon. She kicked at Ruby and smiled at the soft groan that escaped. She leaned over and reached for something behind her. Sam watched in horror as the demon pulled out a knife similar-looking to Ruby's and brandished it in front of Ruby’s face. The moonlight glinted off the blade as she held it ready to strike. “We've got one, too.”
Before Ruby could move, the deadly blade arched downward. Sam pulled up the shotgun and took aim, but he didn’t have time to pull the trigger. A shadow sprinted across the room as Adrian cried out “No!” He tucked and rolled, making an effort and getting there just in time, to cover her body and shield it.
Sam watched the train wreck that was about to happen as if it was in slow motion. Jennifer’s arm continued its downward arc. She buried the blade in Adrian’s chest. There was silence for a brief moment as everyone watched.
Sam began to move towards the man only to stop in amazement as Adrian groaned and grabbed Jennifer by the wrist that was holding the knife. “You messed with the wrong Brit today, bitch!”
Travis moved closer and began to recite the exorcism. “Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus, omnis satanica potestas...”
Unfortunately, the only demon to be affected was Ruby. She screamed as black smoke rose from her host. Adrian paused for a brief moment while he continued to hold Jennifer’s hand on the knife. Matthew turned and looked at Travis, a slow smile curling his lips as he held his hand up. “Not gonna happen!”
Sam watched as Travis flew backwards and sank to the floor, stunned. Ruby was gone. Her host lay dead on the floor as her demonic form fell through the floorboards. With a loud roar, Adrian stood up and shoved Jennifer away. His eyes were filled with hate as he knocked the demon to the ground.
”Mother taught me to never hit a woman. I think she'd make an exception in your case,” Adrian said as he pulled his leg back and kicked her in the stomach. The demon cried out, her eyes closing in pain but still clinging to the demon-killing blade. Sam watched as Adrian turned towards him, beginning to move away from Jennifer and Matthew while holding a hand to his bleeding chest.
Sam’s breath caught in his throat as he saw Matthew turn towards Adrian, his hand once more raised. There was no way he could get a shot off without hitting the injured man. Matthew snarled, “You think you can just walk away from this, you coward?”
Suddenly, Jennifer stood; the demon blade glinted in the moonlight. “He's far from a coward, you bastard!”
The deadly knife was buried into Matthew’s back, piercing his heart. The demon turned to look at his wife with a shocked expression on his face. His eyes shifted into their orange color. For a moment, Jennifer looked at her husband, but instead of orange, her eyes blinked black. Sam realized who was now in control; Ruby had taken over Jennifer’s host.
They all watched as Matthew's eyes began to glow. His body convulsed, followed by a few sparks, and the sound of electricity arcing. Finally, he fell to the ground, dead.
With a choked cry, Jennifer fell to her knees. She grabbed her throat as demonic smoke began to pour out of her mouth and back into Ruby's host body. As it did, Jennifer's eyes slowly changed from black to orange. “Get out of me!”
Sam was busy helping Travis to his feet when he saw Ruby’s host body sit up, her eyes now open and staring at Jennifer. She held her hands in front of her as the angry, orange-eyed demon once more raised the knife and moved in for the kill. “You killed him? With my knife? How dare you?!”
Before the knife was able to complete its deadly mission, Adrian moved silently behind the demon and stabbed her with Ruby’s knife in the back, the same way Ruby had done with Matthew a few moments before. “The same way I dare to do this!”
The hunter stood still as Jennifer turned towards him, her eyes glowing and sparks dancing around the mortal wound. A smile curved the Brit’s mouth as he waved towards the demon. “Buh-bye!”
Jennifer convulsed, no longer able to speak as she, too, fell to the ground, dead. The two former demons lie on the floor facing each other, almost as if they were linked even in death. The matching demon knives protruded from their backs in a strange sort of symmetry.
“That wasn't so bad, was it?” Adrian remarked as he leaned down to pull the demon blade from Jennifer’s back. He handed the blade back to Ruby, who took it and wiped the blood on her jeans before putting it back in its sheath. He then moved to take the knife from Matthew before he turned to walk towards Sam and Travis.
“Speak for yourself,” Travis said as he stepped away from Sam’s hand on his arm. He brushed the dust from his clothes as he glared at the other hunter.
“You've taken worse punishment than that, haven't ya? Christ, I got stabbed with a knife that kills everything. Hitting a wall lacks in comparison, love.”
“Don't call me ‘love.’ It's a lifestyle choice, I get that, but it's not for me,” Travis ground out. He ignored the other hunter as Adrian blew him a kiss. Sam chuckled at their antics before he stopped and pulled up the shotgun.
The sound of running footsteps could be heard coming down the stairs. Suddenly, a young, teenage boy dropped down beside the fallen demons. “Mom! Dad!” Will cried out as he touched the face of Jennifer for a moment.
The hunters looked on, wondering if they should intercede as the boy sobbed against his mother’s body. The young boy sat up and glared at them, his voice shaking as he screamed, “You killed them!”
“Self-defense, kid. Get over it,” Ruby replied with a shrugging of her shoulders.
Sam shook his head at the callous way the demon was handling the situation. He glanced at her, “Ruby...”
But before he could complete the sentence, Will stood and his eyes flicked to demonic black. “Defend yourself from us, then.”
Travis looked around. “Wait a minute… ‘Us?’”
The stairway filled with kids from both dormitories. All of them had black eyes as they headed towards the weary hunters. It was clear they were ready to join the fight.
Sam ran a hand over his face. This was bad; they were just kids. “Son of a bitch.”
The hunters began to separate and took fighting stances. Travis looked at them and shook his head. “Kids… You mothers just don't quit, do ya?”
Will moved to join the rest of the demonic children. The hate on his face matched the darkness of his eyes. “Nope. But can you really blame us? You just took our parents away.”
Travis shook his head and huffed at the insanity of what they were facing. But Will ignored him as he turned to face Sam. The other children fanned out, the room quiet as each party squared off against the other. Sam watched as Will advanced towards him. He gripped the shotgun, his mind yelling at him to shoot, but his heart still seeing the face of an innocent teenager – one only a few years younger than Zach.
“You must know what that feels like, Sam. You had both of them taken away, too. By the way, the demon that did it? He's waiting for you with your cousin downstairs. I can only imagine what fun they're having,” Will said excitedly.
Once again, the demons put them in a situation where it was kill or be killed. He hated that there was no other option, but there was no way he was going to leave here without his cousin. Sam squared his shoulders and faced the demonic boy. “You know I'm gonna kill you, right?”
Will snickered. “You're not the first to try. You won't be the last to fail either.”
“We'll see about that,” Sam replied calmly as he dropped the shotgun, reaching into his coat pocket and pulling out the Colt. For a brief moment, he paused, but the moment passed as Will charged at him.
“We will!” Will cried out as he pulled a knife from his pocket.
Suddenly, a shot was heard. Sam stood with the Colt, smoke filtering from the end of the gun. There was no emotion on his face to indicate the turmoil within. There had been no choice and he would have to live with it, just as he had lived with so many others.
Will reached up to touch the smoldering hole in his chest. His black eyes held a small amount of what looked like respect before a dark smile lit up his face. “Wow. You've got the balls to kill a kid. I'm impressed, Sam. You've come a long way. See you on the other side.”
Sam watched sadly as the young boy’s body convulsed, consumed from within by the sparks created by the lethal bullet. As the body hit the floor, it was as if it was the signal to the other children. They began to swarm towards the hunters, some holding knives and others holding bats or anything that could be used as a weapon. Sam looked at the others for a moment, none of them except for Ruby looked comfortable with what was about to happen. But they knew what they had to do.
Ruby shook her head as she pulled her knife and advanced towards the kids. “Screw you, you little mongrels!”
“Pain, without love
Pain, I can't get enough
Pain, I like it rough
'Cause I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all…”
Adrian took a running leap and flipped over a child coming at him with a knife. Sam had to admit the man had moves as he watched him sail over the kid and almost appear to hover for a brief moment before he landed behind the teen. Before the kid could turn, Adrian kicked him in the back and the teen fell forward onto his face.
Ruby was fighting with three girls. She grabbed one by the wrists and kicked another in the stomach, but the third managed to trip her from behind. As she rolled, Ruby swiped at the third girl with her knife and the kid began to convulse and spark before she died.
"You're sick of feeling numb
You're not the only one
I'll take you by the hand
And I'll show you a world that you can understand
This life is filled with hurt when happiness doesn't work
Trust me and take my hand; when the lights go out you'll understand."
Two boys and three girls approached Sam and Travis. The two hunters backed away from the demonic kids until they hit the wall. There was no place left for them to go as one of the girls stepped forward. Her voice dripped with venom as she raised the knife in her hand. “Time to die...”
Sam raised the Colt and leveled it at her face. His finger moved to pull the trigger, but Travis grabbed Sam’s arm and tried to wrestle the Colt away from him. Sam struggled, trying to keep an eye on the other kids while pushing against Travis. He took aim again at the girl closest to him, only to have his arms shoved upward. The gun barked and the bullet ricocheted off the ceiling, missing the demon by a mile.
Frustrated, Sam turned to the hunter. “Travis!”
“Sam, they're kids!” Travis huffed out as he kept his hand on Sam’s gun arm.
“They're not even human anymore!” Sam ground out as he shook the man’s hand off of him and once more aimed for the girl. There was a blur of motion as the second girl ran forward and thrust a blade into Travis’s stomach. The hunter fell to his knees and groaned. His hand covered the wound as the girl pulled out the blade and chuckled.
The girl then grabbed Travis by the back of the neck, pushing on his pressure point. She moved the knife to his throat. Sam turned and shot her with the Colt, but he was too late. The demonic girl died, but not before she slit Travis’ throat. Travis fell to the ground, holding the wound in his stomach with one hand and the gape in his throat with the other.
Sam reached for Travis, but then Colt was wretched from his grasp and sent flying across the room. He glanced up to see one of the boys holding out his hand while another one rushed in to tackle him. As Sam fell, he cried out, “Travis!”
The boy punched Sam across the face using both hands formed into fists. His small body sat on the hunter’s chest keeping him from getting up. Sam put his arms up to defend himself when the sound of the other two girls’ screams filled the room. The boy sitting on Sam turned along with the remaining boy towards their sisters’ pain-filled cries.
Sam could see Ruby and Adrian standing behind the dying girls, each with the demon-killing blades in their hands. The girls began to convulse and sparks flew as the two hunters became covered in their blood. The boys rushed over towards their fallen friends. Adrian and Ruby, in one swift motion, extracted the blades from the girls' backs and ran them across the throats of the boys. The last of the demonic children were now lying dead on the floor.
"Anger and agony are better than misery
Trust me, I've got a plan; when the lights go off you'll understand."
Sam stood up and quickly walked over to grab the Colt. As he began to run towards the door that he hoped would lead to the basement, he called out to his friends. “Help Travis! I'm going after Zach!”
"I know that you're wounded
You know that I'm here to save you
You know I'm always here for you.
I know that you'll thank me later."
He continued to rush into the basement, sure now that he would find his missing cousin. He pulled out the Colt as he reached the bottom of the stairs. But as he made it to the center of the room, he couldn’t see Zach anywhere. “Zach?” Sam called softly.
The overhead light swayed and flickered as a shadowy form began to come out from behind the furnace. Sam blinked for a moment before he recognized his cousin. Yet something was off; he could feel it.
“Bravo, Sam. You made it.” Zach clapped as he stood fully under the light.
“Zach? What's going on?” Sam asked quietly, his heart in his throat as he waited for what he already knew to be confirmed.
Zach chuckled. “Please tell me you haven't really gotten that stupid since we've last seen each other Sam.” Dark laughter filled the room as Zach tilted his head sideways to look at Sam. The hunter backed away slightly, the gun shaking slightly in his hand as his worst nightmare was realized.
“Zach's not the victim here,” his cousin’s voice said. He blinked and his eyes changed color – to the color of Azazel’s eyes. “He's the bait...”
"Pain, without love
Pain, I can't get enough
Pain, I like it rough
'Cause I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all
Rather feel pain than nothing at all
Rather feel pain…"
TO BE CONTINUED...
END OF EPISODE
Next Week on Sam:
Chris Sizemore (Nightshadeisis) brings you the exciting conclusion to this year’s two-part season premiere. Will Bobby survive the car accident? How did Adrian overcome the curse of Jennifer’s knife? Will Travis live after having his throat slit? What will become of Zach after being possessed by the Yellow-Eyed Demon?
Be sure to catch “You’re Not Alone Here, Pt. 2” on Thursday, September 23, 2010!
Also, be sure to leave your comments about the first episode of the new season. We love those comments… good or bad.
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