More Visitations and Decisions
Again, a figure coalesced in the center of the room. An attractive dark haired figure wearing sunglasses.
"Sam, is that Pamela?"
"It sure looks like it."
For a second the Dean that Sam knew appeared. "Watch your ass, Sammy."
Sam snickered, blushing.
Dean straightened and looked at the psychic. "Welcome back from the dead, Pamela."
"Yeah..I'm here as the ghost of Christmas present," she said.
"Okay, maybe you will explain why this is happening to me after I've been working hard for two days to straighten my life out. I've been through hell and back, and you give me more hell. Why?"
"It's the curse. There's still discontent, and it will focus on that instead of the Scrooge family member."
"Pamela, there's way too much in my life to deal with and heal in three hours. They don't understand."
She gave him a sweet but sad smile. The psychic truly didn’t want this to happen to the boys.
"I know, Dean, but there's nothing I can do. The curse has to be broken."
"How do I break it if they won't leave me alone?"
She gave a quiet sigh, finally being asked the right question.
"Talk to the family member."
Who is he?"
"I can't..." She looked frustrated. "All I can tell you is that he's close by."
"Okay. We'll figure it out. Are you putting me through hell, too?"
Sam piped up with his own question for her after Dean gave her his own.
"Pamela, can you tell me how you can even do Christmas present? It's three days away.”
The ghost smiled. "How about we just shoot the shit until my time is up. Things are all out of whack due to the tie to the family member and the event taking place this week."
"The Dickens on the Strand? Oh man, no. It lasts two more days. Are we going through this the next two days?"
"Not if you guys continue on the progress you've made. Spirits are supposed to have done it all in one night."
"Did they torture Scrooge like this? Would they have if he'd been making changes in his life?"
"He was close to dying had he not changed his ways," she commented, fiddling with her sunglasses.
Dean stared at her. "Am I close to dying?"
Pamela snickered. "Oh Hun, even I can't see that far. There's a shit load of choices between you and Mr. Sweet Cheeks over there. But I can tell you this, keep strengthening the bond between you."
"We're working on that. Can you convince the last ghost that I am working the best I can to change things. This is not helping."
"If I could, I would, Dean. There's no interaction between me and the other two."
"The angels let me see the future. Lucifer will take Sam in six months. Four years later, he kills me."
"The future is always in motion," she answered and Sam frowned, recognizing the quote.
"I thought time was a constant? I have been fighting that future. I intend that Sam not be taken....or me for that matter."
Good," she smiled. “And no, time isn’t constant. It’s like a pebble being dropped into a pond. The ripples affect everything.”
"So, I get to watch Sam kill me again?"
"I don't know what will be shown you, Dean. I wish I did."
Dean walked over to his chair and sat down. He was starting to limp and needed to sit down. "How long to the clock goes nuts again, Pamela?"
"Not much longer," she murmured.
Dean looked exhausted. He turned and looked at his two brothers. "I don't know what's going to happen. This one worries me because it's not something I remember. I don't know crap right now."
"Neither do we," Castiel added grimly.
Dean felt his skin go cold and he was shaking. "Damn. Not right now."
Pamela had disappeared with a wistful smile and a goodbye. Sam and Castiel moved towards Dean, hoping to reassure him. Of the group, Castiel mused, Dean and Sam had been hit very hard with this.
"I feel sick. My skin is cold and clammy. Hell, what's going on now."
"I don't know." Sam wasn't feeling good either.
"The last spirit, I assume. It hasn't taken form yet and is drawing energy from its surroundings in order to manifest itself.”
"It's taking everything I've got left."
Sam was pale, near doubled over as the energy was being pulled from him.
"What's coming that needs to do this?"
"I don't know."
Dean laid back in his chair, on the verge of blacking out. "Well, one good thing. He can't do much if I'm out cold."
The tension snapped, and a robed and hooded figure stood in front of them.
Dean's mouth dropped open. Anger came to the front. "I've had enough. I know you're supposed to be the ghost of Christmas future, but who the hell are you really? We were doing fine 'til you idiots showed up. Working things out. You want to tell me how you're making it better?"
Dean started heading towards the ghost. Sam and Cas both grabbed him and pulled him back.
The spirit said nothing, revealing nothing. The presence made Sam uncomfortable and he kept a tight grip on his brother, worrying about this one. His gut was telling him this wasn't going to go well at all.
"What? He's going to play it to the hilt? No talking. Okay. Let's do this. Let's get it over with. It ain't gonna help, you douche bag."
The room wavered around them for a moment before they were standing in a worn out building, soft voices going on around them. Dean removed Sam's hand. He started looking around, anger in every movement. The spirit pointed to a semi-open doorway. Dean started heading towards the door. Sam and Castiel trying to catch up and not let him go alone. Inside the room was a scene that would haunt Sam's nightmares for the rest of his life. The room was a hospital room and lying in the bed was an almost emaciated Dean. His eyes were open but it was obvious nothing was there. There were two nurses changing IV bags, talking about how this one had been caught up in the apocalypse and had made a difference. Castiel looked almost ill as he realized what had happened. This...this would be Dean's fate if he succumbed and allowed Michael to use his body.
Dean stopped. "What the hell? ‘Made a difference?’ What happened to me? Sammy, Cas?"
"This...this is what will happen if you allow Michael to use you..."
Sam turned green, finding a trashcan to vomit in. He couldn't stomach looking at it. That wasn't his brother...his brother was lively, full of wit and charm. Not that living corpse on the bed.
"I'm not letting Michael use me. Are they saying I make a difference because I do? Hell, there's got to be another way. As long as Sammy doesn't have Lucifer in him, I'm not doing that. Sammy's not gonna do that."
"No," he croaked from his position over the can. "No way in hell..."
Castiel was looking uncomfortable as well, and relief settled over his features when the room faded away.
Dean was getting disoriented by the sudden fading in and out. It had been disturbing in the past. Nothing was done n the present. This time, it was bothering him.
This time they were standing on..well...Sam couldn't tell where they were. Everything was a smoldering ruin..nothing left.
Dean looked around him in horror. "Hell, is this what's gonna happen if I don't let Michael have me?" A thought occurred to him. He looked at the arbiter of the future. "You know someone named Zachariah? Is this really a curse, or is he after me again?"
The spirit held up a hand, indicating he should wait. The scene shifted again..this time, the scene was obviously battle scarred but the earth was recovering. Castiel could hear the sounds of children laughing in the background. Sam gasped, he recognized where they were. The surroundings were older, war torn..but the sign that had hung there since they were kids was still there. This was Bobby's place.
Dean fell to his knees, tears streaming down his face. "I can't do this. Someone tell me what to do. I can't do this.”
"Dean, look." There were kids chasing around some men who looked like Castiel and Dean from the back, laughing as Cas tossed one into the air.
Dean stood back up. "How can I be in both places in the future? Where are you, Sammy? Damn it! Where's Sammy?"
Castiel's hand was soothing on his shoulder as another form, this one taller came out and called towards them. "He's there, Dean."
Dean started crying. "Which one is right? Am I gonna die or is this the future? What causes this one?"
Everything went silent as a voice answered Dean while Castiel and Sam tried to comfort him.
"These are possible alternatives for the choices the three of you have to make. The first two are consequences of one choice - allowing yourselves to be taken over because you believe there is no other choice. There is. You will find it. The angels would have you believe that there is no future but the one Zachariah showed you. That is incorrect."
"Alright! Maybe Cas is right. God's out there. You're saying if we stay together. Get our shit together, the bad stuff with Michael and Lucifer won't happen to us. Maybe God has the right way? Let Him take care of Lucifer with Michael? Cas, is that God talking?"
"Maybe a messenger," Castiel was staring at the robed figure. "Someone offered a chance for redemption to bring this message. But he speaks the truth, Dean. Up until now, the three of us have been manipulated by my superiors. There may be other options available to us that we are unaware of because they are trying to herd us onto the path they wish us to walk on."
Sam quoted something their father once said. "What do you do when there's no door?"
Dean looked at his brother. "You make one."
Castiel and Sam answered him at the same time. "Exactly."
The scene disappeared, leaving the three of them in the living room alone.
Dean looked around him. "That's it?" He was shaking as if in shock. He slowly moved to his favorite chair and managed to sit down. "We need time to figure this out, guys. Before we do though, we break this curse for the poor bastard who deals with this all the time."
Sam went to the restroom to wash his mouth out. "Get some coffee going, Dean. I think it's time to wake Bobby up."
Dean got up kind of wobbly and went and put on a pot of coffee. He looked at the brandy, thinking he needed a drink. He shook his head and went back into the living room, staring at his bedroom door. He walked over, still shaking, and opened it. Inside, he gently leaned over Bobby's bed and touched the older man. "Bobby?”
He rubbed his face sleepily. "What is it Dean?"
'We need you to get up, if you would. It's been a really bad night and we gotta talk...big time." Dean's voice was shaky as he spoke. "You need help?"
"Get my robe please." He sat up, running hands through his hair as he tried to wake up. "Time is it?"
"Hell, Bobby, I don't know. I didn't look to see if the clock quit dancing or not." Dean handed Bobby his robe, and pushed his chair up close to his bed.
It took a bit of doing but the man managed to get into his chair. "Ok...coffee and let's sort this out."
"I made the coffee. It should be ready."
Castiel and Sam were seated in the living room. The fire was going again, thanks to Sam needing the warmth after everything that had happened.
Dean stumbled into the kitchen and put together a coffee tray and one cup of hot tea for Cas. He put it on the table in front of the couch and huddled in his chair. Sam took Dean's cup, went to his brother, and pulled him out of his chair and onto the couch with him. He needed his brother's presence right now. The older brother was still too stunned to even fight him.
“Okay, you boys wanna tell me what's going on?"
He gave Dean an odd look. "Huh?"
"Seems there's a curse on someone, Bobby, and we got caught up in it last night..tonight? Hell, what time is it?"
Bobby found his watch. "It's about 4:30."
"Well there goes my sleep. We got haunted, Bobby. Somehow all the crap we've been taking care of the last two days caught attention. They dragged me and Sammy. Cas kinda got caught up in
The older man listened as Castiel related the story, frowning as the tale was told. "Shit, no wonder you boys look so peaky. Cas, go get the brandy and put a splash into their coffee."
Dean was shaking harder. He was halfway into his brother's arms. "That was stuff Sammy was never meant to know, Bobby. You know how Dad could be. I never told nobody about this stuff. Had to protect Sammy. Damn, he was too young to take care of himself. I didn't want him to know Dad was like that. Dad did love Sammy. It was always me he went after, but he never took the time to make sure Sammy was okay. Never crossed his mind that me being lost out there would leave Sammy alone. He'd never intentionally hurt Sammy. Sammy wouldn't know that though. I couldn't tell anyone the things I did to protect him. No one was supposed to know any of it."
Bobby was surprised when Castiel answered Dean. "As we said earlier, your father did hold a resentment, Dean. Perhaps he loved you both but his methods of showing it were less than desirable. Your brother needed to know."
Sam held his brother close, trying to comfort him where he could.
"I did a lot of bad things back then. He had to have food, clothes, medicine at times. I did bad things."
The younger brother was quiet, resting his forehead against his brother's shoulder. "When you came home so sick...we had nothing for you. There was a lady in the room next door...she was half blind, I remember. I stole money out of her purse so I could get medicine. I remember asking the store worker for help because a lot of the words I didn't know." This was something he had never told anyone.
"You were five years old, Sammy. You shouldn't have had to do that. That was my job. I wanted you to get a chance to just be a kid."
Dean grabbed and held unto his brother, hugging him. Bobby's voice cut in. He and Castiel weren't watching the hugging in order to give them privacy.
"Truth be told, you both weren't allowed to be kids. You did what you had to do to survive. I'm proud of you for taking care of each other." Oh yeah, John Winchester was in for a major ass kicking whenever it was Bobby's time.
Dean sat up. "Bobby, we've got some important things to deal with. First is the curse. We need to find Ebenezer Scrooge. Seriously, I'm not joking. The family really existed and this must be some descendent. Dickens’s ghost tried to prevent it and is trapped here because of the curse. I don't want them looking at me again. No idea what they'd bring up this time. We need to find the dude today. Sammy, you think the thing on the Strand could've started them up early instead of Christmas Eve?"
Sam's brain kicked in, running through the clues. "It's distinctly possible. Honestly, it's the only explanation I can think of."
Dean took a drink of coffee, realizing that Cas had put more then a shot of brandy into it. He smiled. Bless Cas, he thought.
Castiel sipped his tea. "The problem now lies in finding this person and determining what the curse is. Curses are tricky to break."
"Yeah, they are. We get this done. Then we worry about Christmas future. We're going to try something different, Bobby."
Castiel nodded. "Or God as He created us."
“Yeah, well were all the battles of the past in meat suits? I mean angels have their own bodies. Did Michael cast Lucifer out in his real body. I didn't think humans were allowed in Heaven 'til after Jesus? There would have been no meat suits to fight in back then.”
"No, they faced each other in their natural forms. We use the host bodies simply to navigate the human world."
“Then why do they have to have Sammy and me? Why can't Michael fight him in his natural form?”
"That is what has been troubling me," the angel admitted.
"Yeah, well Zachariah and Lucifer don't want Sammy and me to do whatever it is we're really supposed to do. There's another way. We got to find it."
Bobby nodded. "Looking at it this way, it makes perfect sense."
"I know. I am so tired. Can't sleep now, though. We need to find this Scrooge guy and find out about the curse. We know what it is and we can put a stop to this and, maybe....still have our Christmas?"
"One measly curse isn't stopping our Christmas," Sam answered his brother as he opened up his laptop.
Dean looked over his brother's shoulder. "Galveston phone directory? What if he's unlisted or only has a cell?"
"It's a start, isn't it? Dean, go find your computer. See about researching the history of this house."
Dean grabbed his jacked and went to the Impala. The computer was kept in a special case in the trunk. He brought the laptop inside and opened it on the coffee table next to the pot of coffee He picked up the pot and poured another cup for everyone.
"Cas, there's more tea in the teapot on the stove."
Dean sat down and pulled up the registry of older homes in Galveston. He found several mentions of the home that now housed the B&B. He settled down to read. After about 45 minutes, he found a link to the B&B. Sam heard him draw in a deep breath.
"What is it?"
“I found Ebenezer Scrooge."
All of them moved to crowd around Dean. "Where is he?"
"He's reading Frankenstein, and I think I'll kick his ass for renting us haunted rooms."
"The man who owns the house?"
"Yeah, you know...Ben? E-BENeezer."
Bobby sighed. "I think we need to pull him aside in a few hours and ask what's going on."
"Bobby, can we afford to wait a few hours? I really don't need anymore stories of childhood being brought up."
Castiel answered. "The chances are good the haunting will not return to us. Remember what Pamela said."
"You really think so, Cas? Cause I still have issues. It just brought up more I hadn't dealt with.
Okay. So, what do we do now?" Dean yawned and looked sheepish.
"I'd suggest more sleep. I'll use a computer to look up curses and see what I can find."
Dean nodded, said good night or morning. He was asleep before his head hit the pillow.
Sam conked out on the sofa, while Castiel moved Dean's laptop to the dining table and began his research.