Ok - now I am really biting my fingernails... so many Sam girls (gulp) - any Dean girls out there???
Keep trusting me on the Sam issue - but remember, the darkest hour is just before the dawn.
My friend thanks you, and she is now a member of this fantastic site (sigh). So now, as well as ringing me, texting me on the mobile phone, and turning up at my house, she can now nag me on a public forum to keep posting. Shaz - if these girls lynch me, it's ALL YOUR FAULT!!!!!
Oh, well, you know where my will is kept...
Anyway, there's light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not the train coming!
Shaz, I'm still not entirely happy with that bit at the end, but Nanna always told me to stop picking at it otherwise it will never get better, so I've left it alone for now.
So - part three - enjoyPart 3
The woman put down the book she had been idly leafing through, and gazed off into space, listening intently. Eventually she nodded, and stood, smoothing down her skirt. She turned to her companion. “It’s time to go.”
The man stood also, but hesitated. “If it is permitted to ask…”
She gestured for him to continue.
“I know why I am here, but if I may – why have you been sent?” The man laced his fingers together. “I mean no disrespect.”
The woman turned, face hidden in shadow. “Why am I here? In case he falls.”
* * * * *
Dean paced the room like a caged animal. With Sam blissfully out cold, he and Missouri had gone over and over the plan to destroy the demon. They had reviewed everything they knew about the thing and its habits, looking for chinks in its armour. But in the end, the one chink they kept coming back to was the one chink Dean wished to hell they didn’t have to use – the 6’4” shaggy-haired demon magnet sprawled untidily across the sofa.
Missouri set down a tray of coffee and sandwiches. “Boy, you gonna wear a hole in my carpet. If you want to walk around all night, take off those damned boots!”
Dean’s eyes narrowed in annoyance. He defiantly drove his booted feet down harder as he again took a turn about the room, swinging by the couch for the thousandth time to check on Sam. “How long is he going to be out?” he demanded.
“Couple more hours. He’ll be fine.” Missouri watched him take up his circuit of the room once again.
“Dean.” He turned at the sound of his name, spoken softly. Missouri watched him, reading the whirlwind of emotions streaming off the young hunter.
“Dean, I’m sorry about your father.”
He cringed inside. Don’t
- his mind screamed.
Missouri’s dark eyes widened. “Honey – come here and sit down.” She drew out a chair, and surprisingly, he obeyed.
“Dean, what happened was not your fault. Your father…”
“Dad died because of me!” He bit out. He clenched his fists against the table top.
Missouri leaned forward. “Your daddy died the same night as your mother.”
Dean’s head jerked up in shock. “What? What are…”
“Your daddy died inside when Mary was killed. He was never the same. Oh, he did his best to keep going for you boys. But the grief, and the anger, and the need for revenge - it took him over. It took him away from his family. He was here, you know. Last time you were here, when you and Sam saved that woman and her children in your old house.”
Dean couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “Dad was here? And he didn’t - .” He choked on the words.
“I begged him to go talk to you boys. He said he wanted to, but he couldn’t. Not until he knew the truth, he said. And when he found it, he knew what he had to do.”“It’s up to you boys now. It’s your fight – you finish this.”
The young man was trembling. Missouri put a steading hand on his arm. “Your father knew he had to hand over the burden to you. You see, honey, Sam may be the key to the demon, but you’re the key to Sam. John knew that – knew that if you had died, then Sam would have died too.”
She squeezed his arm, and then went on. “Sam’s a lot like his daddy. It’s why they fought all the time. John could see it in Sam, especially after Jessica died – the same rage and grief that was eating him was in his son. There was only one person who could counter that rage. Only one person Sam looked up to enough and loved enough to listen to. And if that person was taken away, then Sam would have gone out of control. His rage would have taken over, then the demon would have taken him.”
Dean cleared his throat. “In the cabin – when the demon was possessing Dad. Sam – he believed me when I said it wasn’t Dad. He didn’t even argue.” He ran a shaking hand through his hair. “All our lives, it was mostly just me and him. Dad was always away hunting something – and even when he was home…” He shook his head. “When Sam went away to Stanford, I felt like…”
“Like part of you was missin’. And let me tell you something else. If you hadn’t dragged Sam out of school, he would have died that night along with his girlfriend.”
Dean grimaced. “I was driving away, heading out to keep looking for Dad, then something made me turn around and go back. I got to the door, and heard him screaming out Jess’s name. I kicked the door down…”
He broke off as a soft thump and a grunt was heard from the corner of the room. Crouching down beside the couch, he re-positioned his brother’s dangling arm and brushed a stray lock of hair from his cheek. He looked up at the psychic, determination in his gaze. “I won’t lose him again.”PresentFinish it, Dean, for me – finish it
. Over the triumphant howling of the demon and the roar of the wind, Dean heard his brother’s soft voice in his head. I love you, man
. Shaking with the force of his grief, Dean reached out and snatched up his father’s journal, fingers searching the pages for the ritual they had used so often.One day earlier
The woman watched the tall young man leaning up against the big black Chevy, the collar of his leather jacket turned up against the chill breeze. She watched him studying the crowd, saw him tense, and then relax, as potential threats were identified, evaluated, and dismissed. The nondescript man next to her followed her gaze.
“Is he the one?” he asked.
“One of them.” She turned slightly, spotted a taller young man hurrying through the throng of people toward the black car, his head clearly visible over the crowd. She made a slight, subtle gesture. “And there is the other one.”
The man frowned. “They do not look much of a threat.”
The woman smiled slightly. “Oh, they are. Make no mistake.”
* * * * *
“Hey.” Dean glanced up at the familiar voice, and saw his little brother dodging the morning shoppers with the grace of a dancer. Sam reached his side, turning to sit with his back against the windscreen as he handed Dean a coffee and delivered his report.
“The warehouse checks out, just like in my vision. It’s been abandoned for months – something about being tied up in a legal battle over the dead owner’s will. They finally got it cleared to be put up for sale.” Sam fished in his pocket, and pulled out a set of keys, jingling them at his brother. “We can have the keys for 48 hours.”
Dean quirked an eyebrow. “What did you tell the realtor?”
“That we needed to measure up for the machinery, and storage racks, and talk to our shareholders. So…”
“So.” The elder hunter sipped his coffee. “We move in tonight. Take the car, go back and get our stuff. Meet me back here in two hours, okay?”
Sam slipped from his perch. “What are you gonna do?”
Dean flipped him the car keys. “I’m going to check out the district – get the lay of the land. If we have to get out fast, I need to know where to get.”
“Do you want the warehouse keys?”
Dean shook his head. “Nah. I just want to look around.”
The woman watched the brothers separate, and made her plans.
* * * * *
“What the…” Dean turned as he was bumped from behind. Twisting around, he saw a smallish, plain looking woman standing with an embarrassed expression.
“Oh, excuse me, young man. I am so sorry.” The words came out in a clipped British accent. “I felt a little dizzy…” The woman put a hand to her head and swayed slightly.
“Hey, it’s okay. Here, sit down.” Dean grabbed her arm and led her to a nearby bench, steadying her as they walked.
“Oh, thank you. I am so sorry.”
“It’s okay. Uh, do you need a doctor, or…?”
She shook her head as Dean sat down beside her. “Oh, no. It will pass. I’ve been rushing around like a headless chook. I just overdid it. I’ll be right as rain in a few minutes.” She smiled up at him. “Well, I suppose we’d better get acquainted, since we bumped into each other so fortuitously. Michelle Fortescue. And you are?”
Dean shook the hand that was extended towards him. “Dean. Winchester.” He had no idea why he told her his real name.
The woman raised a delicate eyebrow. “Like the rifle?”
He grinned. “Like the rifle.” He thought to himself that the woman, although pleasant looking, looked nothing like a Michelle. Average height, average build, average looks, brown hair, and brown eyes – everything was forgettable. Even her plain white jacket and skirt was unmemorable. Just another face in the crowd. He stood up.
“Well, if you’re okay, I’d better be going. I’ve got to meet someone in half an hour.”
“Oh, of course. Thank you, Mr Winchester, once again, for coming to my rescue, as it were.”
“That’s okay – don’t mention it.”
“Oh, Mr Winchester?”
“Hmm?” Turning, Dean glanced at the woman who was now rummaging in her handbag. He put up a hand, thinking she was going to give him money, and preparing to refuse. Instead, she held out a tiny plastic case. Inside the case was a sliver of dark wood. Dean took it, turning it in his hands, puzzlement evident in his features.
“What is this?”
Michelle smiled once again. “It’s just a little something I picked up over in the Holy Lands. It’s a genuine piece of the cross of Jesus Christ. I keep it for good luck, protection, that sort of thing.”
Dean tried to hand the case back. She stepped back, shaking her head.
“No, no. I want you to have it. It’s my way of saying thanks for rescuing a lady in distress. It will bring you blessing. It has done so to me.”
Dean grimaced. “Look, uh, Michelle – I don’t – I don’t believe in that stuff…”
“Oh? Then why do you have that amulet around your neck? This is much more powerful. Please. You don’t have to believe. Just carry it in your pocket, and see what happens.”
Dean sighed. What would it hurt, anyway? He took the case back and shoved it into the pocket of his jacket, nodding his thanks.
When he met up with Sam, he was still puzzling over the gift. Then he mentally shrugged. Hell, with what they were going to face, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to have some extra mojo working for them, even if he didn’t really believe the so-called holy relic was genuine.That night
The brothers set out their tools of trade, Dean seeing to the weapons and Sam laying a salt trail around the perimeter of the warehouse, leaving a gap across the door to the office area so the demon could get in, but keeping the salt container handy to trap it once inside. When he was done, he dragged a ladder across the entryway, and perched on the top rung to draw the protective circles on the office ceiling. Dean turned on the EMF and put it on the floor, angling the sensor towards the door.
When the work was done, they sat in the corner of the office and ate the sandwiches Missouri had sent back with Sam. Dean fished around in the bottom of the bag, and he grinned as he pulled out two beers. He tossed one to his sibling and leaned back with a contented sigh.
“I swear, Sammy, this is the life. We got food, we got beer, we got a demon hot on our tails – what more could we want?” He snickered at his own joke.
Sam grunted as he cracked open his beer. Taking a swig, he leaned his head back against the wall and closed his eyes. “Dean, he began, “what are you going to do after this? I mean, when this is all over and the demon is destroyed?”
Dean abruptly became serious. He took a sudden overwhelming interest in the toes of his boots as he tried to avoid answering the question.
But Sam would not be put off. “Dean? What do you want to do?”
He sighed, thumping his head lightly against the wall. “I know, I know – you’re going back to Stanford – back to your normal, safe life. And I guess I’ll just…” He started as a hand came down on his shoulder.
Sam’s gaze was intense. “I didn’t ask you what you thought I would like to do, I asked you what you would like to do. Kindly give me a straight answer.” The statement was delivered in a monotone, but Sam’s eyes burned with an emotion Dean couldn’t quite identify. He laughed to cover his sudden nervousness.
“Dude, back off. Okay?” He swallowed another mouthful of beer to give himself time to think. His brother continued to stare.
“Look,” he began hesitantly, “I know you want to go back to your life, and I understand. I don’t like it, but I understand. I guess I’ll just keep on hunting. I mean, just because we kill the demon doesn’t mean that puts an end to every evil SOB in the country, right? So…”
“I’m not going back to Stanford.” Sam’s voice was still flat.
“What? What do you mean?”
“I’m not going back to Stanford – unless you come with me.”
Dean was confused. “Sammy, what…”
“We’re family, Dean. We’re all that’s left. I don’t want to go somewhere you’re not. So I’ll ask again – what do you want to do? Because I’m going with you, and I’d really like to know what our next gig is going to be.”
Dean felt his throat close up, and his eyes burned. He looked away, fighting for control. Sam’s hand was still on his shoulder, and he felt the comforting grip steady him. He took a deep breath.
“Sam, I…” He gulped, and tried again. “ Thanks. I want us to stick together too. We’re stronger as a team. If you’re sure about sticking with me…?”
Sam merely nodded.
“Then I guess I’ll sleep on it, and we’ll decide in the morning where we’ll go next. Maybe a little vacation?”
“I love you, brother.”
The unexpected admission caught Dean flat-footed. He opened his mouth but couldn’t speak. In the light of the torch, he gripped hands with Sam, and their eyes spoke volumes.
* * * * *
The woman watched from the shadows across the street as the torchlight faded into the dark, and the warehouse became still. The nondescript man was by her side.
“Stay alert but hidden. It will happen in the early hours, just before dawn. Guard the perimeter.”
The man nodded his assent and faded off into the dark.