Authors' Notes: And so we come to an end, as Mog and Ridley both come visit me for my law school graduation. Kudos for Mog for elevating this fic to something so beyond my original idea. Thank you for the reviews-they are appreciated and loved! It has been wonderful talking to other writers-shout out to HT Marie and carocoli (check out their fics!). So we are back to where we started in the beginning. . .
Dean lay on the hotel bed with his arm over his eyes. Barely an hour earlier he'd knelt in the dirt in front of Lincoln Beet's burning house and had an experience eerily similar to his dream four months earlier.
He didn't want to think about the fact that maybe, possibly, he could heal his brother and it had to do with a friend's crackpot uncle and the two hundred-year-old ghost of an Indian warrior.
Sam remained seated on the other bed, taking in Dean's story about the dream and what Uncle Frankie told him. His lips tightened in a frown. "And you never thought about sharing any of this with me?"
Dean lifted his arm from his eyes. "Oh, yeah, right, 'cause you've always been so up front about sharing those visions of yours."
Sam chose not to point out that his brother hadn't initially believed him about his premonitions. "So…what, Uncle Frankie used his witch doctor powers to put a spell on you?"
"You think I don't realize how crazy this shit sounds?" Dean looked up at a faint, brown water stain on the motel room ceiling. "All I can tell you is that Frankie kept going on and on about special connections and Tecumseh and his brother-"
"The Prophet," Sam interjected, remembering what Frankie told him while he'd been Ben's patient at the clinic.
"Yeah, and how Frankie had a connection with his own brother. 'Course, that would mean it's on Ben too 'cause he's always freaked that Uncle Frankie knows where he is or when he could use a hand."
Sam studied his brother for a moment, a little shocked. "Are you saying you believe all this?"
"Do you?" Dean asked. "You have the shining…and went to college – why don't you give me your best educated, wonderboy guess."
Sam looked at his now-healed palm. "I don't know…Dean, man, that happened four months ago, and what, it was lying dormant? Waiting for Cracker to call us and ask us-"
"Tell us," Dean interrupted.
Sam ignored him and continued, "to see if Beets was still around? Seems a little out there."
Dean eyed his brother. "So not helpful. Got anything else?"
Sam shrugged, at a loss about what to do with Dean's new circumstance. "What about calling Uncle Frankie?" He glanced around for his cell phone. "I mean, we are only about fifteen minutes away…."
"No," stated Dean adamantly, "and tell him he was right? God, no." He sat up and swung his feet to the floor. His eye fell to some blood spots on his shirt and he studied them for a moment before focusing again on his brother. "We're travel writers, remember? How are we going to explain that we're here again?"
He pushed himself up off the bed to get a clean t-shirt from his bag. "I can hear it now - 'Hey, hi guys, Cracker heard a rumor that some poor realtor got slashed by an invisible attacker while surveying Lincoln Beets's old abandoned house so we figured we'd come back into town to find out why the Caspery old fuck is still around. No, no, it's okay, we found his bones. He's gone for good…did you notice the big-ass fire on the edge of town? Yeah, that was us."
"All right, point made." Sam rubbed his forehead, trying to think of another idea.
"And don't even think about any of this when you talk to Cracker." Dean pointed at Sam's cell phone, resting on the dresser. "I mean it, Sammy - just tell him we took care of Beets and hang up."
Sam exhaled with disbelief at his brother's paranoia over the psychic consultant. "Dean, listen to yourself, man. It's not like he can read my thoughts - he's in Peru for Pete's sake."
"He's shifty," Dean said under his breath, "like a chinchilla." In Dean's mind, chinchillas had become equated with anything strange. He noticed his brother staring at him. "What?"
Sam pointed vaguely toward Dean's forehead. "You're all healed up."
The older Winchester glanced in a mirror hanging over the dresser and gently touched the spot where Sam's cut had appeared. He looked down at his palm and rubbed the unmarred skin. "It's just..."
"Freaky. Like having the shining?" Sam grinned.
"Shut up." Dean grabbed a sun-faded, pink throw pillow nestled in an arm chair and flung it at his brother.
Sam easily ducked out of the way, laughing. He couldn't help but be amused by his brother's discomfort. "Hey, I'm sure this thing is totally natural. Just think of it as molting."
Dean shot his brother a hard look. "We are not calling this 'the molting.' As a matter of fact, we're not calling it anything." He narrowed his eyes. "And don't go getting yourself hurt just 'cause you think I'll go and fix it."
Sam was still grinning, not believing a word his brother said. The truth about Dean was that he would always try to take the hurt away. Sam held his hands up in a gesture of surrender. "Okay, man, whatever you say."
"I mean it." Dean recognized the patronizing tone. "No paper cut healing. Those things hurt like a son of a bitch."
Sam picked up a remote from the nightstand and flicked on the television. "What about hangnails?" he asked, unable to hide a mischievous smile. "Oh! Tongue burns from hot coffee?"
Dean stalked towards his brother, determined to get him in a headlock. "Oh that's it, I am so gonna kick your butt."
A cell phone ring halted Dean's attack and Sam scooped up his brother's phone from the nightstand and tossed it to him.
Dean's face registered a surprised smile when he saw the caller ID. He flipped open the phone, throwing out a warm greeting. "Caleb, man, how ya doin'? What's up, where you at?...Palm Springs! Oh, please tell me you did not get some cush. gig in-"
Sam scanned the meager amount of tv channels and could just hear the muffled voice on the other end of the call. His split attention became focused wholly on Dean, however, when he saw his brother's expression change dramatically. He hit the mute button on the remote and watched Dean drop into the worn armchair and stare at the floor, listening.
"Where did you hear this? I mean, are we talking some cheesy rumor website or-" He leaned forward, resting his knees on his elbows. "Jesus Christ, do you really think it's her?….Uh, no, we haven't heard from him in awhile. We're not sure where he's at. But Sam's with me. We're in Oklahoma."
Dean listened for a moment, then looked at his watch. "No, man, we can hit the road tonight….no, look, Caleb, it's cool - I understand. You do what you gotta do there. Me and Sam will check it out…yeah, man, we will. You too. I'll call you when we learn something. Later."
Dean flipped the phone closed but didn't lift his eyes from the floor. Sam waited a few seconds, finally speaking when he realized his brother wasn't going to be forthcoming about the topic of the call.
"What was that about?"
Dean stood and crossed to the bathroom. "Unfinished business." He gathered up the few belongings scattered around the room and stuffed them in his bag of clothes. "I need to go to Massachusetts."
It was evident to Sam that his brother was rattled about something but the younger Winchester knew his sibling well enough to know that Dean wasn't going to talk about it until he was ready. Sam clicked off the television and went about getting his own things together.
"Massachusetts it is," Sam said. He tried to lighten his brother's mood a little and added with a smile, "I was getting bored around here anyway."
Dean stopped what he was doing and stared at his brother. Sam didn't miss the anxious look in his eyes. "Sammy, this isn't like our normal--" he cut himself off, unsure how to explain. "I mean, maybe I can drop you in New York, you could hook up with Sarah."
Sam raised his brows and showed a wry grin. It didn't matter where Dean was headed - he would be with him. "Dude...what do ever do that's normal?" He caught his brother's eye and fixed him with a determined gaze. "If you're going to Massachusetts...so am I."
Sam saw a little of Dean's uneasiness fade, but his brother just nodded once and zipped shut his bag. Whatever ghosts Dean was about to face - he wouldn't be facing them alone.
Authors' Notes: It was never the intention of the authors of this fic to create an AU. We giveth the power to Dean and we taketh away the power from Dean. The working title is Dogtown, and please be patient since I will be studying for the BAR. But, we have something different planned as there will be no original characters (except for the bad guys, of course)