Wednesday, December 26, 2012
A week after Bobby’s conversation with Dean, the telephone rang. Bobby was outside, working on a car and Sam was upstairs reading a book. Dean had some in to get the hunter a beer and he picked up the phone.
“Sammy there with you?”
“Yes, Sir. Where are you?”
“I just got cursed at by a retired nurse. What the hell did you and Bobby tell her?”
“I told everyone I fell, Dad. I didn't say anything to anyone.”
Castiel could hear the conversation. He put an urgency in Bobby to check on the boy.
“I’m coming to get both of you and we’ll discuss this more when I get there.”
“Yes, Sir,” the boy answered.
“Give me the phone, Dean,” Bobby took the phone from the boy’s hands. Dean tried to reach for it, but was stopped when the older man gave him a look that made him hesitate.
“John,” Bobby spoke in anger.
“Bobby, you had no right to take my boys.”
“John, the nurse was ready to report you. I saved your boys. You didn’t even check on Dean after you beat the crap out of him for not reading Sam’s mind. You set foot on my property, you’ll regret it.”
“I’m coming after my boys and we’ll let them choose where they want to stay.”
“I’ll fill you full of buckshot,” the older hunter threatened.
“You can try,” John stated as the phone went dead.
Bobby turned and looked at the hope in the green eyes. He shook his head, knowing Dean would go with his Dad' and Sam would follow his brother.
Castiel wanted to curse, knowing Father would be highly upset if he did. ‘I can’t stop him. Father, I can’t stop him.’
Father did not respond, knowing that Castiel had reached a major threshold on understanding Free Will.
Monday, December 24, 2012
Leaving the soup on the stove, Sam stormed out of the cabin and walked towards the trail he had seen earlier. His mind was a filled with confused ideas and anger tore through him.
What right did the angel have to come between his brother and him? The hunter began to see the angel as the intruder separating the two of them. The tall man strode down the trail for several hours. He noticed the sky darkening and turned to head back towards the cabin.
The building was dark when Sam entered the yard. Frowning, the hunter walked up the steps to the porch and he listened. There was no sound coming from inside. Opening the door, he listened and stepped softly inside.
There were no lights on in the building. Cursing to himself, Sam headed down the hall towards his brother’s room. He entered quietly and reached the chair. Sitting quietly, he turned on the lamp. Dean looked paler than before and he was feverish.
“Damn,” the man swore under his breath.
The older man stirred and the green eyes opened and the older man stared at him.
“Sammy?” There was worry in the voice.
“Are you really gonna leave me?”
“I’m…uhhh. Dean, right now you’re sick. Let’s wait and talk about this when you better.”
The older man turned his head away. Sam gave him his meds and some water.
“I’ll fix you something to eat.” He got up from the chair.
“I’m not hungry,” came the soft whisper.
“I’ll find something you’ll like. I promise.”
Sam headed down the hall, upset with himself. His emotions and thoughts were a mass of confusion again. What did he want? He was in a turmoil over want versus need.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Two days had passed. Dean spent his time fishing. Sam lived among Bobby’s books. There had been no word from John. The older hunter knew the injured boy was worried there was no communication. Sooner or later he would have to tell the boy his father had not been called. Bobby felt that Dean needed time to heal.
After dinner, Dean washed the dishes. The hunter drank a cup of coffee and watched the boy.
Bobby watched the young man’s shoulders stiffen. He shook his head and sighed.
“Come sit down, Son.”
“I need to get these dishes done.”
“They’ll wait, Boy.”
The young Winchester sat at the table across from the older man. The bruises were healing and had turned to shades of green and yellow. The cuts were almost gone. He sat quietly at the table, hands clutching each other, and his head bowed.
“I’ve decided not to give you two back to your father.”
The head came up with a look of surprise on his face.
“You can’t do that, Sir. Dad needs us!”
“Dean, your brother keeps running away. He beat the shit out of you! He left you injured for a week and never entered house to check on you when he brought your brother back. If he needs you he’s not showing it. You could have died, boy.”
“I can’t do that to him, Uncle Bobby. I can’t. He’s taught me everything I know. He wants me to hunt with him after school.”
“Tell me, Dean. How is school?”
The head bowed again, and the boy didn’t answer.
“Did you pass?”
“I missed too much school. I had to spend my time taking care of things while Dad’s gone. Sammy has got to have good grades. I couldn’t do all that and find time to study. I’m hunting some with Dad now. Not all the time, but short hunts.”
“You like hunting.”
“Yeah, I think I do. The kids at school aren’t seeing real life like I am. This is important.”
“So is school, Dean. You don’t realize now, but you’ll regret it later. I promise you.”
“Dad said we were gonna stay where we were so I could catch up and finish school.”
“Well, you can’t go back there now.”
Dean rose and turned back to the sink to finish the dishes.
“He’ll figure something out,” the boy spoke calmly as picked up a fork and began to wash it.
Bobby got up in frustration and left the room. Castiel, sitting at the table watched the boy in surprise. This was not the boy who whispered, “thank God” and sobbed softly. He shook his head, knowing that John had his hooks in deep. Dean would do whatever his father wanted.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Bobby pulled into Singer Salvage midmorning of the next day. Sam was asleep; his head against the passenger seat window. Dean was still asleep in the rear seat. Stopping the car, the hunter sat still for a few moments. He was worried about Dean. The boy idolized his father. John Winchester was woefully misusing his son. Shaking his head, Bobby Singer muttered, “Balls,” and opened the car door. Sam woke, yawning.
“Take your things up to your room, Sam. Don’t forget Dean's. He’s gonna need a few days to get back to his old self. I’ll need you, Boy.”
The younger boys murmured a response and opened the trunk to reach the duffels. Bobby leaned into the back seat. He checked Dean and spoke softly, “Dean?”
The boy moaned and tried to stretch. The hunter saw the wince on the young man’s face. The hazel eyes opened and stared into the older man’s face.
“Bobby?” Castiel watched his charge carefully.
“It’s okay, Dean. You’re home. I’m gonna kick his ass. That’s if I don’t put bullet through his head.”
Dean gasped as he sat up and leaned into the man’s arms. Bobby held him close.
“Let’s get you inside and feed you something. I bet you’re hungry.”
Dean leaned heavily on the older man as the two walked towards the house.
“Thanks for coming after me.”
“You’re my boy, Dean. There’s no way on this earth I would have left you there.”
The angel was the only one who heard the softly whispered, “Thank God,” followed by a slight sob.
Sam woke early and decided to go for a walk and clear his head. He found a spot beneath a tree near the lake and sat down to do some thinking. He understood that there were specific reasons for Dean’s actions. The younger brother found it difficult to believe that his brother’s behaviors all stemmed from family issues. Rising to his feet, Sam Winchester decided to beard the lion in his den. He intended to force Dean to talk to him about all of his issues. One at a time, of course, he decided.
He entered the bedroom and noticed the angel had not returned. Dean slept quietly. Sighing, the younger hunter sat in the chair by his brother, not considering he’d left the older man alone in the room for several hours.
Green eyes opened and Sam found himself the recipient of a questioning gaze. He leaned over and clasped his hands together between his legs.
“We need to talk, Dean.”
The man in the bed frowned and the questioning gaze returned. “Okay,” he whispered.
“I’ve been having a lot of dreams about the reasons you are the way you are. Have you had any at all?”
“Why would I dream about that? Sam? Why are you dreaming about that?”
“I don’t know, Dean,” Sam stared at his brother. “Do you think I’m the cause of a lot of your problems?”
“I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, Sammy. You told me what happened after Roman died. Is that what you mean?”
“That is exactly what Sam means, Dean. It is good to see you awake and more alert,” Castiel answered from the door. The younger Winchester turned red.
“Why don’t you fix Dean some lunch, Sam. You must be hungry also.”
Blue eyes followed the tall man as he rose, stiffened, and strode from the room.
“Cas, What’s going on?”
“You are healing slowly and I am investigating your attack. Sleep,” the angel responded as he laid a finger in the center of the injured man’s forehead.
Sam began to make some soup as Cas appeared behind him.
“Do not do that again, Sam,” the blue eyes stared intently at the tall man. “He is not ready for that. This is to help you help him. Do not do that again.” The angel disappeared and Sam slammed a fist on the counter in anger.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Castiel’s head turned as he heard a commotion at the front door. The door closed and someone was running towards the bedrooms.
“Dean!” Sam’s head peeked into the bedroom. He saw his brother sleeping, grinned, ran and jumped on the bed. Dean jumped, a look of surprise on his face.
“Sam?” He looked beyond his brother to see if his father had followed. The sound of the Impala’s engine entered his clouded mind. “Where’s Dad going?”
“He said he had a hunt to finish,” Sam answered, staring his his brother. “What happened to you?”
Cas walked over to the bed he had deserted when the younger Winchester entered the room. Dean stared at his brother.
“He didn’t need to talk to me?”
“No, Dean. He said you knew what he wanted.”
“Oh,” was all the older brother said.
Sam punched his brother’s shoulder. “What happened to you?”
“I had an accident. I tripped and fell into something.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, Sam. I’m always okay. Right?”
“You would have liked Flagstaff, Dean.”
“I don’t want to talk about it, Sammy,” the older boy whispered softly.
“Okay. Can we eat? I’m starved,” Sam grinned as he spoke.
“Yeah. Give me a few minutes.”
Castiel, listening to the conversation thought that Sam’s next walk would bring him in contact with poison ivy or poison oak. He was still contemplating John Winchester.
Dean entered the kitchen and found some can spaghetti and put the food into a pan and turned on the stove. He set a bowl for Sam, and passed out on the kitchen floor.
Sam ran into the kitchen and turned off the stove. He ran next door and got the elderly lady who lived there.
The woman knelt beside the boy and checked him. She looked up at the darker of the two.
“He’s been injured. When was the last time he had a meal?”
“I…I don’t know. I was in Arizona.”
“Where’s your Dad? I saw him drive up.”
“He had to finish a job. I can get our Uncle.”
“Get him. If that pasta is for you, finish heating it and eat. I’ll revive this one and fix him some soup. I had no idea he was here alone all this time; and injured, too.”
The woman was a retired nurse. She managed to waken Dean with unexpected help from an angel. The boy managed to rise and apologized.
“You don’t owe me one. Let’s get you into bed. You look exhausted. I’ll bring you some soup. When was your last meal?
Dean turned red, “The afternoon Dad left to find Sam. He ran away.”
“He beat you?”
“Of course you did. I’ll make your soup.”
The nurse called the number Sam gave her. She made soup and brought it to the older boy. After he ate, Sam entered the bedroom, a look of concern on his face. He had not realized that Dean was in such a bad shape. Guilt showed in his eyes.
Dean ate the soup and laid down on the bed and slept. Late in the evening, Bobby arrived. He entered the house without knocking. He stared at the nurse who returned his gaze.
Sam was reading a book in the kitchen and walked into the living room. Bobby stared at him and cut him off before the boy could speak.
He had the first meal he has eaten in a week. I think his brother’s arrival woke him from the first sleep he’s had.”
“The boy was beaten, Mr. Singer. I am obligated to report this.”
“The boys will end up in the system. Let me take them. Believe me, his Father will pay for this.”
“I shouldn’t, but the system isn’t a good one and he’s older. All right. I am going to head home, Mr. Singer. Get those boys out of here.”
Bobby entered the bedroom with a quiet Sam behind him.
“Well, boy, what have you gotten into this time?”
“I fell, Uncle Bobby.”
“Idjit. I’m no more stupid than the nurse. Sam, pack everything you boys have. No, Dean, stay put. You’re healing well, but you look like you did a round with a prizefighter.”
Within an hour, Bobby had the boys in his car. Sam rode shotgun, and Dean slept in the back seat with an angel watching over him.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Sam rose the next morning and fixed breakfast for himself. He read the treatment papers for Dean. His brother could have soft foods. The younger man grinned. Dean and soft foods?
Sam made Jello and pudding and placed them in the refrigerator. He found a box of instant oatmeal and made a small bowl of the cereal. The hunter added a teaspoon of brown sugar.
Entering the sick room, the taller man saw the angel staring at his brother.
“Is he all right?”
“Yes, Sam. I will return to my investigation. He will be safe with you.”
Sam wondered if the angel was making a statement or asking a question. He sat down where Cas had been and gently woke his brother. He gave him his pills and asked if he was hungry.
Grinning, Sam fed his brother the oatmeal. Dean murmured a soft thank you and dozed back off.
The week that passed was the most difficult time the angel had ever passed with the teenager. Dean would not get off the floor. Finally, the need to relieve himself became urgent and the boy struggled to rise and attend to his needs.
Castiel watched over him, but had no way of making him eat. Dean crawled on his bed and huddled there. The angel stayed close, pouring out his grace and peace, slowly healing the boy.
‘Yes, my Son.’
‘His body is healing, but how do I heal his mind and spirit?’
‘He will learn to hide it and go on, my Son. There is no way to remove it.’
‘You can, Father.’
‘Yes, but he has not come to me, Castiel. He does not believe in me. When he does, it will be during a time when I cannot help him. Not in the way he will want.’
‘If we removed the father and let Bobby Singer have them, it would be better, Father.’
‘Yes, it would, but it is not allowed, my Son. Remember free will.’
The angel bowed his head in confusion and sorrow, but never left his charge.
There were no calls from John Winchester. Dean was sick with worry. One week and no one called.
The boy finally slept from exhaustion and never heard the front door open.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Sam stood in the laboratory, the words of Crowley still echoing off the walls. A look of shock, sorrow, and utter confusion showed on the hunter’s face.
Dean and Castiel were gone. He didn’t know where, but he figured they were dead. Killing a creature like the head Leviathan had to have consequences. He understood it now.
He looked around him. There were others and he didn’t think he had it in him to do anything about them. There was no one left. Meg and Kevin were gone.
Sam walked outside and managed to get the Impala out of the sign where Meg had driven it. The keys were still in the car. He sat inside and stared out the window in a daze. Suddenly, Sam Winchester zoned out.
He spent the next year with Amelia, a veterinarian he met when he ran over a dog. She had lost her husband. It took some time for them to connect, but Sam found himself taking a serious interest in the woman. He was building a new life and new memories.
After a year of normalcy, the hunter had packed his duffle. He rose late at night and drove to Whitefish, Montana. It was here his problems with Dean began.
Sam believed the lies he told his brother and grew angry at the hurt and bitterness Dean seemed to show. The two men hunted together but were not acting like brothers. The older hunter wanted to hunt and he did not believe that Sam wanted to go to college and back to Amelia.
After the hunt that brought them into cartoon land, Sam kept thinking back on what he had told the man about just fading out of reality. He started having dreams where Amelia found that her husband was alive. If this was true, why was he still with her?
After several months of confusion, Sam woke his brother and told him he had to talk to him.
“Okay, Sam,” Dean yawned.
“Dean, I think I have something wrong with me inside.”
“What kind of wrong, Sammy?”
“I need to explain some things to you about the year you were gone,” Sam said quickly, watching his brother’s face harden. “I think I zoned out….left reality behind.”
“I drove for months, Dean. I know I stopped at places, but I don’t remember any of it, except for the dog and Amelia. Memories started happening that make no sense. I don’t think any of it was real,” Sam’s voice broke on the realization.
“Hold on a minute, Sam. You don’t think it was real? Where the hell were you for a year?”
“I don’t know. Dean, I’m sorry. I don’t know.”
Sam fell to the floor by Dean’s bed, his body shaking and the tears of horror at what had happened to him wracked his body. Dean turned on the light and reached down to pull his baby brother into his arms. He finally had him on his bed and held him.
“Sammy, that could happen to any of us,” the older Winchester whispered. “I love you, Man. I changed because mine was real. I think I still have some humanity here. I know you do. You couldn’t deal? Your mind just gave notice? Okay, that I can understand. You’ve had more than your share of addictions and mental breaks due to our life.”
Sam just shook his head, not accepting what his brother was saying.
“Sammy, there’s nothing wrong with losing the ability to cope and trying to hide from reality. The important thing is you realize it and you face reality now. Can you do that?”
“I’m gonna have those memories. I created them. They’ll never leave me, Dean.”
“Well, I hope you’ll share them with me. I want to know how you lived that year. Even if it was in your mind. I’ll make a deal with you. My life was worse than Hell, Sammy, but I’ll share with you the things that happened during that year. I just want you to share yours. We deal with them together.”
Sam Winchester looked up into the green eyes of the man who raised him. Dean’s eyes were wet with tears. More important, there was forgiveness.
The Winchesters were a team once more, each knowing there was a port in their storm, and it was each other.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Dean stood still for a while, eyes closed, with his hands fisted, nails biting deeply and drawing blood. The boy finally winced from the pain and his mind cleared. He only had two choices Bobby or his Dad. If he called Bobby, he might get Sam back without John knowing. Shaking his head, he knew the reality of John Winchester never knowing.
The boy walked over to the phone and called the number of the hunter John was working with. His father said very little. Has asked the pertinent questions and told Dean to be ready.
It was late when the man finally arrived. He walked into the house, stared at his older son, and walked to the phone. Dean realized the man was calling Bobby. John listened for a moment and hung up the phone.
He walked over to Dean. The boy stood and faced the man.
“I had no way of knowing he was gonna do that, Dad,” he spoke quickly, a sense of panic in his voice.
John said nothing. He kept staring. The quietness made Dean’s stomach hurt even more.
“Dad, we gotta find him. He could get hurt. I’m sorry, Dad.”
“He ran off on your watch, Dean,” the man spoke quietly.
“I know, Dad. He was going to the library.”
“Where were you?”
“I went to the burger place,” Dean turned pale as the thought of the girl came to mind.
He never saw the fist.
“Get up, Dean,” John growled.
The boy rose to his feet and faced his punishment. He’d lost his charge and deserved what was going to happen. He closed his eyes and gritted his teeth.
“You were supposed to keep an eye on him! You were chasing girls, Dean! Sam was your responsibility. Anything happens to him, I will take it out of your hide!”
“Yes, Sir!” Dean took the hits to his stomach and his face.
The angel arrived and headed towards the boy’s father.
‘Father? I have to stop this.’
‘No. You may comfort him when it is over, but you cannot interfere this time, my Son. This memory is vital for Dean. I am sorry.’
‘May I help him heal?’
‘After the father is gone, but slowly. He must not think it is a miracle.’
Cas watched John Winchester beat his son, anger showing on the angel’s face. If he had his way, this would be the last time the man touched the boy.
John headed for the door, leaving hs son leaning against a wall, holding his stomach.
“He’s in Flagstaff. Bobby called around. You will stay here. I’ll decide whether you get to stay with Sam or not when I get back,” the hunter answered as he left the house.
Dean laid on his side on the floor and deep sobs left him. He would take anything from his dad but don’t take his Sammy away. Cas could hear the whimpered cries between the deep sobs.
He laid down on the floor with the boy, and held him, slowly easing some of the pain and letting his peace fall upon him.
In his drugged induced haze, Dean stared at the tears and sorrow on his brother’s face.
“Done?” he whispered in a hoarse voice.
“Dean, I probably have a long way to go, but this is a start for me. I kept deserting you over and over all of my life. I’m sorry. I think it never really registered in my head how important family was to you.”
“Sammy?” Dean coughed and grabbed his abdomen in pain. His brother grabbed the glass of water and gave him a drink. The injured man nodded showing he was finished. “Damn it, Sammy, what the hell are you talking about?”
“When you killed Dick Roman with Cas’ help both of you disappeared. Crowley took Kevin and Meg and told me I had better start killing the Leviathans that were left. I was completely alone, Dean. I lost it. Maybe it was shock. All I knew was you were gone. My mind told me you were dead, Man. I couldn’t think. I was in this cloud of fear, panic, and loss. I got in the car and I drove for days, weeks…I don’t know how long. When I met Amelia, she was running too. It just happened with her. We needed each other. “
The green eyes stared up the younger man. Dean did not answer. Sam wasn’t sure if he’d done more damage or helped by confessing to his brother. They stared at each other until Sam saw one long tear run down his brother’s cheek. The taller man broke into tears.
“I’m sorry, Dean. I thought everything I knew was gone forever and I couldn’t do it alone. I’m sorry.”
“It’s gonna be okay, Sammy. I’m glad you told me what happened. I love you, Man. Talk to me. Okay?”
Sam laid his head on Dean’s lap and murmured, “Okay.” Dean put a hand on his brother’s head and ran his fingers through the long hair.
Cas returned to replace Sam, but when he saw both brothers asleep on the bed, he smiled. Sam had Dean in his arms and held him gently, his own head leaning against the injured man’s.
The angel nodded and disappeared. It was one victory in healing the boys’ relationship.