As close as family
Nothing Supernatural is mine, I have borrowed for a while. I'll give them back now – apart from passing a little time with them, I have made no profit from this endeavour – so please don't come looking for me.
Summary: Dean and Sam help an old friend who is in trouble. Story told and flashbacks recalled by Dean.
Warning: Language, Violence in later chapters, references to apparent domestic abuse and to demon worship
Chapter 1 – The Feeling.
It doesn't really happen that often and I've never tried to explain it to anyone before. It's not like with Sam. He gets real visions and sometimes we can do something about it. That's not what I get, it's more a feeling, a sensation that I need to be with someone, usually Sam. The first time was the night Mom died, but it's so long ago now I don't know whether I was heading for Mom or Sammy. Then on and off throughout my life, I've had it for both Sam and Dad. Sometimes it's just a matter of knowing I need to turn round and help them in a fight and then the last time I had it for Sam was the night Jess died. And it's only ever been them with one exception – Suzi.
That's what made it strange that day: I got Suzi's feeling. It was years and miles since I last saw her and nowhere near where we were then but driving through that town I definitely got Suzi's feeling and as we left town it got so much worse, I couldn't breathe. I pulled off at the side of the road. Sam was asleep – if I woke him what would I say? Makes the decision easy really, don't wake him but turn round and head back into town. We had passed a motel not too far back, we'd stop there. I'd make an excuse to Sam, we were both exhausted a night in a decent bed would do him good and I'd be able to go look for Suzi.
Sam woke up as soon as I turned off the engine in the motel car park – good job I hadn't turned it off when I was thinking at the side of the road otherwise the exhaustion ticket wouldn't have worked so well .
Settled into our room, I left Sam setting up the laptop and went out for a walk. It gave me the opportunity to stock up on supplies and have a look round the town. I'd no real idea where to start looking for Suzi. This is where Sam's visions would have come in handy, at least I'd have had more idea where to look and what I was getting into but even after all this time, I didn't know if I could even mention her name to Sam.
It didn't take long to re-stock the first aid kit and get some food to keep in the car for when we're travelling. I kept passing the same diner. I'd finished everything I needed to do and I was back outside the diner again. I figured that I may as well get something to eat.
I sat where I could see out the window. I looked at the menu and decided on something for me and some stuff to take back for Sam. I looked back out the window while I waited for a waitress, even the paper I'd brought couldn't hold my attention, the feeling was almost overwhelming.
'Right, what can I get you?'
It peaked, the feeling, I couldn't get my breath and as I looked, I couldn't believe what I was seeing, 'Suzi?'
'You look…' but that one I couldn't finish. I was going to say all grown up, great or something like that but when I looked at her what came to mind was 'like shit'. 'What's happened to you?'
'I'm okay, Dean,' she looked over her shoulder, 'What can I get you? You here on your own? How's your Dad? What about Sammy? Is he still being a brat?'
I smiled at her, 'Aaah! You know Sammy so well. I'm with him, he's at the motel. I thought I'd get myself something to eat and take something back for him.'
She recommended a special for me and something else for Sam. I looked at her, a question without words. 'I've grown up now, Dean, it was a long time ago. I wouldn't suggest something he'd hate at least not until he's actually done something to rile me up anyway.'
'Sure, of course. You know, memories, stuff. I believe you, I do…' I smiled at her. What I wanted to do was grab her out of here and take her away, the same old feelings of needing to protect her but she's grown now, I could only do it if she let me. She looked like shit, it was an understatement in a way. She looked like she'd been beaten up, time and again. Bruises of different ages on one side of her face, fading black eye, split lip and a wrist strapped up and that's just what I could see.
I watched her as she moved round the diner. She reminded me of when we first knew her, then she changed, grew more confident became Suzi, the Suzi who would stand up to Sammy and get me to do whatever she wanted, not that she'd needed confidence to be able to do that to me. She was eight, Sammy was just coming up on nine when we first found her and I was thirteen. I'd not long turned fourteen when we left her. I don't think Sam has seen her since he was thirteen and I've not seen her in four years, she was 18 and just thinking of leaving school and moving on from the family she was living with, her family really or the only one that should have counted. Then she dropped off the map completely until today.
When we left her, she and I wrote, just birthdays, Christmas and the odd ones in between. Dad always found it funny, Sammy was disgusted. Over the years, her letter-writing got better. She'd tell me about school, friends and eventually boyfriends, which was fine until one of them was a bastard to her and I tried to convince Dad we had to go check on her. He tried to make me stop then, didn't want me involved anymore. He needn't have worried, she turned her back on me not long after.
The food looked good when she brought it, she kept Sam's in the kitchen keeping it warm until I was ready to go. I took hold of her hand as she put the plate down. 'You okay, kiddo?'
That smile was so sad, 'Fine Dean, I'm fine.'
'I can help.' I held her more tightly. She looked anxiously over her shoulder. 'The motel, we're in room 24.'
'Okay, Dean. Enjoy your meal,' and she turned her back on me and walked away. I didn't really taste the food, too busy thinking and watching her.
It was just a job. Dad was hunting a demon. Not the demon, a demon and a minor one at that. But this demon, it had this bunch of creeps worshipping it. They were evil bastards, sick too and that was where Suzi came onto the scene. When we got there, she'd been beaten and tied to an altar where she was about to be sacrificed. Sammy was back at our hotel, safe, and Dad and I were taking out the demon and his followers. I found her, Dad was ready to go, he hadn't even looked at her. I never did work that out, whether he thought she was already dead, hadn't noticed her at all or had assumed they were sacrificing an animal. But something, some feeling, made me turn round for one more check that we really had finished the job. I saw her hand move and I ran across the clearing to the altar and began to cut her free. I remember vividly looking into her eyes and seeing as she looked back, the fear but no tears, past crying. She took hold of my hand. I tried to lift her down but couldn't quite manage it. Dad stepped up to her and she grabbed my arm harder, the fear turning to terror. 'It's okay, he's coming too.' He almost laughed.
We sat in the back of the car and she gripped my arm tightly as Dad drove us back to the motel and Sammy. I helped her from the car to the room. She said nothing.
'We need to clean her up,' Dad had said more or less as soon as we entered. She whimpered and held me tighter again. She was petrified whenever he approached her. 'You'll have to do it Dean. She's not going to let me near her.'
I remember the shock and embarrassment I felt. I mean she might be little, but she was a girl! The truth of it was she wasn't going to let me go so even if I didn't do it, I was going to have to be there, so I gritted my teeth and took her hand and led her into the bathroom. I ran a bath like I did for Sammy, checked it wasn't too hot and helped her get in. In honesty, apart from the obvious, it wasn't that much different to helping Sammy. I was shocked though by the bruises and cuts on her body. I helped Dad fight evil and I didn't have the scars she'd got. When she was out and dry, I checked all the cuts, covered some with antiseptic and dressed those that needed it before helping her pull on one of my bigger and baggier t-shirts.
We'd heard raised voices while we were in there. She'd tensed, holding on to me again, but I'd told her not to worry. 'Just Dad and Sammy' I'd told her, 'Nothing to worry about, they shout but they don't mean it really.' I'd got no idea what Dad and Sammy were arguing about this time; homework, food, TV, what we were doing the next day. They were all possibilities. I found out soon enough though, when we came out. Dad's guilty look and the resentment in Sammy's face told me, today's problem was still holding very firmly onto my hand. I put her on my bed and flicked to the Cartoon channel on the TV. I remember telling her to stay there I was just going to grab a shower and headed back into the bathroom with some more clean clothes. God, did I have a shock when I was getting out of the shower and she was there waiting for me. I really was embarrassed then. I grabbed the towel and managed to get my clothes on without flashing her again. Then we went back into the main room. I could see her point, she didn't need to say anything: Dad had gone out and Sammy was glaring at her, his very best 'if looks could kill' glare.
Author's Note: Please review and let me know what you think. The next chapter will be posted shortly (hopefully tomorrow all being well) as it is already written and just undergoing final edits.