A Distant Voice in the Darkness
A Miracles/Supernatural Cross-over
by Laurel (Sailorhathor)

Chapters: Separated into 3 Parts; 1 of 3
Rating: Adult Supervision Suggested for those under 13 for bad language (including several uses of the F word)
Dates: Written July 2006
Summary: Dean and Sam head back to Vermont to try to pick up the Mothman's trail, while Paul deals with his haunted apartment. People brush past each other, so close by, but all just out of reach. A Miracles/Supernatural cross-over, which slashes Dean Winchester/Paul Callan. (But there is no sex in this story.)
Timeline: Happens after the Supernatural episode "The Benders" and before "Shadow," which moves the Miracles timeline up to 2006.
Warning: Contains spoilers for all of Miracles and Supernatural up to "The Benders."
Betas: Thanks to Meredevachon and KaijaWest for the excellent, helpful beta reads.
Author's Notes: Sequel to "Fate is an Engineer" and "FiaE: The Lost Scenes." Continues directly from those stories. Thanks to ducky for coming up with the term "karmic displacement" for the ability I created for Eric Coleman. One of my online friends, Sarah, actually said the thing about Dean being "John's bitch" in a conversation we had. This story makes reference to a fic I have planned to write soon that will crossover "Supernatural" and the Scream movie trilogy. It contains a big spoiler for Scream.
John Michael Osbourne is Ozzy Osbourne's real name.

The story has been broken into three parts to make it easier to read on the internet.

Previously on Laurel's remix of "Miracles" and "Supernatural"...

Ahead Alva saw Paul, lying on his back on a sloping hill with the cherry blossoms falling around him; his clothes and hair were littered with soft pink bits of vegetative silk, and he gazed up at the sky, an idyllic look upon his face. Paul seemed completely unaware of the young girl lying at his side.

The girl absently picked a few petals off Paul's coat. "Mr. Keel, you're dreaming..."

She looked long and hard at Paul. "Isn't it strange that God would put such power in such a fragile package? Sometimes I think it's a bad system."

Standing back up, Alva shielded his eyes with his hand so he could examine the storm clouds better. This was an obvious symbol, of the coming Apocalypse... The clouds seemed to be filled with underlying noise - rumbling, screaming, and this horrible cracking sound that seemed like it would never end...

It was near dawn when Dean woke up in the bed alone. He rubbed his eyes and glanced around. Huh, where was...?

He sleepwalks.

Though still groggy, Dean did his best to spring out of bed to look for Paul. Luckily, Dean didn't have to go very far because the man was standing in the living room... hovering over the couch, staring down at the sleeping Sam.

Paul looked at him with a troubled expression, brow furrowed, but this look was far more hard-edged than anything Dean had seen of Paul so far. "People are so fragile. I don't always understand why they are given these tasks." He sighed. "Sometimes I think it's a bad system."

Forming his hands into a ball, Paul, or rather, the Forces, began making a very unsettling sound. "Crrrrrrrrraaaaaaack..." it sounded like, and Paul opened his hands so the little "globe" he'd formed with them broke in two...

Sam unfolded the letter their father had written most of the way and started to read a passage that caught his eye. "...'I was distracted, so I didn't notice the boy walking the top of the jungle gym until it was too late. He called to me that he was practicing his balance, and then I heard him yelp as he lost it. A meaty thud followed... He started to scream and cry. By the time I reached him, his busted lip had bled quite a bit, along with the spot where he'd knocked out two baby teeth. The blood pooled on the pavement where he'd fallen. I picked him up to comfort him and try to stop the bleeding. The woman I'd met that day at the park ran over with my... other son... in her arms, and she scared us all when she pointed and shrieked at the pool of blood. The blood had formed words. It formed the words God is Nowhere...'"

Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing;
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice; then darkness again and a silence.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807-82: Tales of a Wayside Inn pt. 3 (1874)

Part 1: Ships that pass in the night

"Sammy, who? Which one of us is the 'God is Nowhere' person!"

Sam looked at him with worried eyes. "'My son does not remember this incident because he was too young. He couldn't even read yet. When this thing happened, I had my baby Sammy lying on a park bench so I could change his diaper. My older son Dean climbed up on the jungle gym...' It's you, Dean. The letter is about you."

Dean fell silent, his brow furrowed in disbelief. All he could do was picture Paul's face when he said his dad had made an entry in his journal about the 'God is Nowhere' people. Paul had been horrified at the idea that maybe John Winchester could be one of them. What would Paul think if he knew Dean was a 'God is Nowhere' person? "That's crazy."

"Why would Dad write a thing like this if it wasn't true?" Sam took hold of Dean's sleeve and shook it lightly to keep his attention; Dean had that far off look in his eyes. "Do you have any memory of this?"

Dean, shrugging, said, "I was five. I remember falling and busting my mouth because it hurt, and shit like that leaves an impression when you're five. But that's it. Like Dad said, I couldn't read."

Sam started reading the letter again; there was more. "'After this happened, Dean began having dreams about...'" His eyes widened, and he took a ragged, surprised breath. "'...about a boy named Paul.'"

His head snapping over to stare at Sam, Dean exclaimed, "You've gotta be kidding me!" He snatched the letter out of Sam's hand to read it for himself. "Oh my God... 'My son told me he dreamed of Paul being three years old, sitting on his father's lap, only he doesn't know it's his father.' Fuckin' hell."

"Does Paul not know his dad?"

"No, he doesn't even know his father's name. Paul's dad never acknowledged him, and his mom died when he was real young, so he wound up in an orphanage." Dean took a deep breath and let it out, trying to digest all this. "This must be why the Mothman brought us together. This whole 'God is Nowhere' thing."

"Is there anything else there about dreams?" Sam asked, reaching for the paper.

Although Dean let his brother hold one side of their father's letter, he did not let go of it. "There's something... 'Dean had other dreams that were too vague for him to describe in detail. Something about this boy, Paul, becoming an adult, and meeting his father again, only he still has no idea this man is his father. These dreams in particular agitated Dean because he was convinced that Paul's dad was a very dangerous man, and seemed to want to protect Paul from him.' Holy crap, Sam."

"Who was this woman Dad was meeting at the park that day? Is she involved?" Sam pulled the letter closer to him; Dean finally let go, not sure he wanted to hear anymore. Paul was going to completely freak out when he heard this. Taking a few seconds to scan the page, Sam finally said, "Ah. Dad was meeting some woman named Lydia Goodwell."

"Oh I've had it." Dean smacked the steering wheel, then put a hand over his eyes, shaking his head.

"What?"

He sighed. "Goodwell. Does he say why?"

"No. Who's Lydia Goodwell?" asked Sam.

"I don't know, but someone else named Chad Goodwell went around trying to kill all the 'God is Nowhere' people sometime in the past. Paul was telling me about it when we were interrupted by Copzilla."

Sam just sat with his mouth open for several seconds. "Shit. Dean, we've got to go back up there. Paul needs to tell us everything he knows. You could be in danger here."

"I'm always in danger. Mostly from the wild chicks I pick up."

Ignoring Dean's effort to shrug off the concern with a joke, Sam continued, "Where is Chad Goodwell now? For all we know, he could still be out there, ready to pick you off like a sniper."

Dean shook his head. "Nah, I don't think so. Paul gave me the impression that this dude's killing spree was somehow over."

"We still need answers, Dean. You need to tell Paul about these dreams you had. He has a right to know."

Dean simply started the car as his response.

"Dean?"

"We've gotta go, Sammy. We're heading back to Vermont, remember?"

"Why won't you go back upstairs and talk to Paul about this?"

With a sigh, Dean shut the car back off and took several seconds to stare out the windshield, thinking. "You didn't see his face, Sam. When I told him Dad had made an entry in his journal about these people, the ones who saw 'God is Nowhere,' his face went stark white. I thought Paul was gonna throw up or something. He really thought Dad might be one these people. What's Paul gonna say when he finds out it's me?"

Sam, caught between what he knew and the knowledge he could not yet reveal to Dean, eventually shook his head. "I... I don't know."

"I need time to digest this, Sammy. I know it's not like me, but I need a little time to decide... to decide how I'm gonna tell 'im. Okay? It's just too much. The last few days, they've been... overwhelming, and..."

Sam realized he could be watching his brother come apart. It's not like it hadn't happened before... Dean was human, after all, not a superman like he tried to pretend. Sam knew from things he'd said that Dean had been beside himself with worry while Sam was missing. Then he met Paul, and there were things going on there that Sam could not yet admit he knew... obviously, Paul's opinion of Dean mattered to him already. Was Dean afraid that he'd lose Paul because of this? Was he...

There was something else going on here, too, something Sam found very strange. He'd feel Dean out; see if the time was right to ask if he'd noticed it. Right now, Sam could see that his brother was still trying to hide just how frazzled he was, but the words that were coming out of his mouth were betraying the calm exterior he was trying to portray. Sam knew he had to give Dean the time he needed when he noticed the hand that Dean still had on the steering wheel was shaking. "Okay, Dean, okay. What do you want to do?"

Sighing with relief, Dean replied, "I want to go to Vermont and try to pick up the Mothman's trail, like we planned. I'm all set for that. We can come back here in a day or two. Then... we'll talk to Paul. I'm not in any danger from this Goodwell guy, not anymore. Alright?"

"Alright."

"Alright." Dean started the Impala again, and backed out of the parking lot.

Their conversation was not finished, though. "Can I ask you a few questions without you freakin' out?"

"Depends."

"You have no memory of these dreams you had about Paul."

Dean shook his head, pulling out onto the street and turning in the direction of the highway. "No, man. I was five. Only traumatic stuff or really happy stuff sticks in your mind from that age, ya know?"

"So when you met Paul, you didn't experience any recognition of him?" Sam asked.

"No, I didn't recognize Paul. But I did think wow, he sure looks like somebody." Dean gave Sam a glance. "You know who I'm talking about. You have eyes."

So Dean had noticed what was very strange about Paul. Sam didn't have to give it any thought; he nodded as he said, "He looks a lot like Billy Loomis, doesn't he? It's... it's actually eerie how much he looks like him."

Nodding too, Dean added, "It didn't hit me just how much until later that night. Paul, he could be... he could be what Billy would look like now... if he'd lived."

Sam paused a long time before saying, "You still blame yourself, don't you?"

Dean thought about it, about California and 1995 and all the friends he made there. "Always," he finally replied, absently rubbing his neck.

Sam, cringing, felt for his brother. No matter how many years would pass, he could never fix this for Dean. Dean would always blame himself for how things turned out. "What do you make of it, the resemblance between them? You think maybe... they're related?"

Dean was happy to have the subject semi-changed. "I don't think so. Paul said he had no family left."

"Then what?"

After giving it a little thought, Dean shook his head.

"What do you think? Doppelganger? Shape-shifter? You were closer to Billy than I was." Sam deliberately phrased it that way, because he now suspected there had been a sexual component to Billy and Dean's relationship. Puzzle pieces were coming together. The time he had come into Dean's room without knocking and saw Billy and Dean sitting on Dean's bed with their shirts off, Dean leaning toward the other boy, and the horrified look on his face when the door opened, like he'd been caught at something. Dean had thrown a pillow at Sam and yelled for him to get out, to knock next time.

If Dean had been hiding his bisexuality all this time, for ten years or more, Sam wanted to be told. He didn't want to have to ask Dean, and he didn't want to drag it out of him. Sam wanted his brother to tell him this secret. After all they had been through together, he felt Dean owed it to him somehow.

But Dean just shook his head instead. "No. Your typical doppelganger legend just doesn't fit this scenario. And we've seen a shape-shifter in action. Billy just... he didn't fit that."

"Maybe Billy isn't the shape-shifter." Sam had to say it. Perhaps someone was trying to manipulate Dean after all.

But Dean shook his head at that too. "Paul's no shape-shifter. He's too real."

Sam just nodded. "It's weird. Another oddity to add to the pile of stuff we've got to figure out, I guess. I mean, you've met them both. Spent time with them." Sam took a dramatic pause, in case Dean wanted to add anything. In classic Dean fashion, he did not. "And here they look a lot alike. Pretty freakin' strange."

"Yeah."

Sam waited for him to say more, but he didn't. "That's all you've got to say about it?"

"Don't know what else to say," Dean shrugged. "They aren't doppels and they're not shape-shifters. They just look alike. That's all we know right now." He fell silent again, watching the road.

Tell me tell me tell me! Sam screamed inside. He should have known it wouldn't be this easy. With a sigh, Sam changed the subject. "I've got another one for you."

"What?"

"I know I fell asleep on you at some point, but I do remember you telling me yesterday that some girl named Savannah had been the one Mr. Keel had hired to follow us and take pictures for that file."

"That's right," Dean confirmed.

"And somehow, this Savannah had gotten a picture of the inside of the Impala's trunk." An edge crept into Sam's voice.

Dean knew where this was going. He mentally kicked himself in the ass. "Yeah."

"Dean, how did this girl, oh, let me correct myself - how did Savvy get that picture?"

Wincing, Dean could tell that Sam knew exactly how the girl had gotten such a precious photograph. If Dad knew about it, he'd tear Dean a new asshole. "I opened the trunk and showed her the weapons."

"Dean!" Sam ran a hand over his face. "Why did you do that!"

"Girl has a gun fetish."

It was like someone poked Sam with a cattle prod, the reply was that unexpected and shocking. "What?"

"Guns make her hot, man."

He just stared at Dean like he'd grown another head, which, even for the Winchesters, would be weird. "She told you guns got her excited, so you showed her some?"

"Pretty much," said Dean a little sheepishly.

Sam started banging the back of his head against the Impala's seat, half-laughing and half in disbelief. "Holy shit. Is there anything you won't do for a little tail?"

"I don't know. We haven't found anything I won't do yet." Dean looked over at his brother and grinned. "Come on, Sammy, it's a little funny."

"Hey, you know I'm not that worried about the file." Sam put up his hands in surrender. "I just hope Dad doesn't get wind of this."

"I'm certainly not telling him."

"Speaking of Dad, we should call him. He's got some stuff to explain about this letter, and what he was doing with Lydia Goodwell." Sam got out his cell phone.

Dean pursed his lips. "Good luck..." he mumbled.

Sam still heard it. "I'll leave him a voicemail. Maybe he'll think this is important enough to call back." While Sam dialed, Dean merged onto the highway that headed west. Of course, John Winchester did not answer. Sam waited for the line to switch to voicemail. "Hey Dad, it's Sam. Dean and I found something in the back of the journal. Seems you hid a letter back there about the 'God is Nowhere' phenomena? So, we've got some things we'd like to ask, as you can imagine. Like, who's Lydia Goodwell, and what does she have to do with Chad? Oh, and we found Paul. He's a real person. Please call us back, Dad, okay? Bye."

After Sam hung up, Dean commented, "You were too pushy. He'll never call back."

"You don't think this kind of thing warrants a little pushiness? It's kind of a big deal to keep from you, isn't it?"

"Dad was just trying to protect me, like he said in the letter."

Sighing, Sam laid his head back on the seat. "It's amazing how you always do that. You always make excuses for him."

"Let's not start this shit again, Sammy," was Dean's curt response.

Almost an hour went by, the two of them driving on in temporary silence, before Sam's phone made the noise to indicate it had just received a text message. Both men looked at it with interest. "Is that Dad?"

"Yes," Sam replied, and read the message aloud. "Dad says, 'Put the letter back. Lydia is... Chad's mother.'"

Amazed, Dean waited for more. "Is that all?"

"Yeah..." Sam was quickly typing back a message. "I'm sending, 'Dad, call.'"

They waited. Sam got another text message. 'LatR, cant now,' it said, written partially in typical text message shorthand.

"Hey, there's some headway. Dad said he'd call later," Dean said with a big smile.

"I just hope he makes good on that promise," Sam responded. "So what do you think it all means? Dad meeting this woman all those years ago on the same day you see those words, and then later, her son goes on a killing spree? This just gets weirder and weirder."

Dean didn't really have anything to say about it. A part of him just hoped it would all go away. It was easier to deal with the supernatural when it wasn't so personal. "I won't have a clue until Dad calls back."

Echoing Dean's words, Sam said, "Good luck," with a teasing smirk. He added, "So... what's your big idea for picking up the Mothman's trail, anyway?"

"Well, you said when you shot it, it bled, right? We just go back to that spot and look for the trail of blood. It might not be there anymore, but what if it is? It glows green. Shouldn't be too hard to follow." Dean motioned with his palm flat, facing down, to the path ahead of them, the one they would follow.

"We really should have told Mr. Keel that I shot it. I was just too out of it to remember every detail. But it seems important, doesn't it?"

Dean shrugged. He couldn't care less what Keel knew.

Sam's face grew a bit apprehensive at his next thought. "Um, Dean... what are we going to do if at the end of that trail, we find the Mothman?"

With confidence, Dean drove and started to pick through his cassettes for some driving music. "We'll be armed. It can be injured. You proved it."

Sam tried to stop being scared of this thing. It was big and fast, but Dean was right. He'd shot it. It could be killed. It would not take him again. "Right."

Finding a tape he liked, Dean smiled gently and took it out of the case, popping it into the Impala's tape deck. It was some band Sam wasn't familiar with. That was no big deal.

But the song was a power ballad. About love.

Sam looked at his brother with that doofy smile on his face and wondered what Paul Callan had done with Dean.