Charge Their Doing Brotherhood AU
By: Tidia and Ridley, since this part was written together. So, you will find the same ending on both of our fics. This should tie everything up and start off a bit of a mystery...
Disclaimer: Credit to Ridley for creating the Brotherhood AU and giving personality to Caleb, Mac, Josh g and Jim.
Notes: First of all thank you for the reviews! I hope I answered each one. I take each to heart because I know time is valuable and to use it to write a note is precious.
Secondly, this was such a great opportunity to write with Ridley. A little spooky when we are on the same wavelength. I can't say enough wonderful things about my friend, Ridley –she's smart, original and ready to listen-a true kindred spirit.
"And it was a very uncommon kind of torch, for once or twice when there were angry words between some dinner-carriers who had jostled each other, he shed a few drops of water on them from it, and their good humour was restored directly. For they said, it was a shame to quarrel upon Christmas Day. And so it was! God love it, so it was!"
A Christmas Carol
"You lose. I win." The demon repeated again.
"Shut up! You suck!" He yelled at the demon, then noticed the older hunter had covered his head with his hands in confusion. Caleb tried to calm down and remove the panic from his voice. "Not you, me, whatever."
The aged Reaves pulled his hands down and wiped his face. The salt line was becoming thinner. Whatever was on the other side of the door wanted in.
"That's right. Ignore what's behind door number three." Reaves pondered the problem, trying to come up with a solution to help them both. There was another loud bang against the door causing a hairline crack to form. "Umm, okay, think faster, buddy."
The line was dangerously fine. Caleb didn't dare even breathe on it, scared of the lack of protection. The future Reaves seemed to have the same reaction. But there was a gleam in his amber eyes, and Caleb knew an idea was brewing, a chance at life.
The future Caleb placed the rings in a row up against the salt. He seemed unsure.
"You will fail!" The demon said forcefully.
"Do it! Do it!" Caleb tried to override the demon. They had nothing to lose, the salt line was gone.
The aged Reaves looked up as if wishing for a blessing and then placed his ringed hand down completing the row of silver bands.
For a moment there was silence. Then a glow from one ring caught on to the next and then to its neighbor. A thick bright line formed, like a laser beam. It continued to grow. Caleb could no longer make out his future self. The rings had created a barrier, which basked the door in white energy.
The demon howled as the light became brighter. Caleb looked away as they were all enveloped. He screamed as the blinding light penetrated his being, making him feel like he was breaking apart and being absorbed by the light.
The light seemed to penetrate Caleb's very being, making him white hot. He didn't know how long he languished in the state, as the light dissipated. He felt as if he was floating voices penetrating the cocoon but the words undistinguishable.
He felt a coolness, and it beckoned him forward. But the coolness seemed deceiving. It was a struggle. He tried to breath, remembering to take a full breath. It was uncomfortable. Then he felt hands holding him. But, he was not going to be held back. It was time, his future self had made the sacrifice, and it would not be in vain. He pushed back at the invading hands, jackknifing to a sitting position.
"I win!" A blanket undulated to his waist. Caleb fell back; strength fled his body, leaving him again gasping for air. He tried to turn to crawl away the demon and his future when he felt the cool hand on his shoulder.
"You win what?"
Caleb blinked, trying to clear his head and watery eyes. He turned his head with a groan as he felt the stiffness in his muscles. He wondered what other tortured spirits would come to him but there sitting on his bed was Dean Winchester.
Standing behind him, with wet dripping hair and a towel draped around his neck was Sam Winchester.
"God, he got to you too…"
"What?" Dean looked at his brother.
"No, Caleb, it's us. We're alive and you are too." Sam explained, remembering Reaves death in his vision, and reassuring him that the brother had not crossed over either. Caleb had returned to the living.
The older hunter grinned at them, feeling their true presence, not some shadow of a dream. He looked around the tacky motel room with its putrid burgundy décor. It was in the motel in his current reality with no demon in tow.
The vestiges of a fever seemed gone as his body was covered in a damp sweat. He was still weak, and closed his eyes. "It's Heatmiser and Snowmiser." He commented still with a grin he couldn't seem to contain. He felt safe. He could not sense any malevolent spirits in the room.
Dean patted his leg and Caleb relaxed back. "Well, Heatmiser and Snowmiser just saved your ass."
Caleb opened his eyes again. He distinctly recalled his battle with the demon. Technically, his future self's battle with the demon. "Did not."
"You're welcome," Sam said breaking the impasse. He took a seat on the other bed.
Caleb raised his hand, waving the brothers away. Both looked weary and relieved. He had a nagging suspicion they had helped him to fight back, to not lose hope. All in all, it was comforting they had come for him. "Yeah, we're so far from even." His voice was gravely from disuse and yelling. His eyes closed on their on volition again, but he fought his body's desire to drift back to unconsciousness. "What happened?" He blinked, giving his head a slight shake to clear the rest of the fog.
"You were poisoned. . ." Sam began.
"Yeah," Reaves interrupted him. "That part I know. The rest? Like how you got here?"
Dean pointed to his brother. "Psychic hotline."
"Way to go, Sammy." Resting back against the pillows he noticed he was feeling better as each minute ticked by –alive. He hadn't remembered calling out to Sam, but if he had it was a wonder the young man had picked up the psychic nuance. He frowned, worrying about the youngest Winchester and his future.
He coughed and scrunched up his nose. What was that smell? "I need a drink." He stated. Dean passed him a bottle of water with the cap removed, and helped to lift him to a seated position. He rolled his eyes as the brothers doted on him, but he had to admit he felt weak. He must have given them quite a scare since they were still looking at him in disbelief as if he would vanish before their eyes. "That's a start." He took a gulp, finishing off the water in a few large swallows. "BooneDocks is the next town over."
Sam stared at him, slack jawed. "You can't be serious! We thought you were going to die."
In fact they had been sure of it. After Caleb had gone limp in Dean's arms, his breathing had all but quit-his pulse slowing to an almost undetectable staccato. Dean had tried to call Sawyer's doctor, but Rodney's analysis of the blood work had turned up nothing He once again offered to admit Reaves, but both brothers realized the battle couldn't be aided by medical means. They were forced to trust in what they had done-to trust Joshua. As the night crawled by neither had left the psychic's side, unwilling to abandon their sentry. But in the early hours of morning, the psychic's fever had broken, giving them hope. A hope that had grown stronger as daylight cast a brighter light on the situation and Caleb's condition continued to improve.
"But, I didn't and we should celebrate," Caleb announced, breaking the brothers' reverie.
He squirmed up, pushing away Dean's assistance. He felt like he could stay in bed for a week, but he had things to do, promises to keep and evil to thwart. "Deuce, stop your hovering and pass me my phone."
The younger hunter shook his head at the man's stubbornness, but stood and moved across the cramped room. He threw the small cell phone at the older hunter. "You're resting up before we go to any bar." Dean glanced at his brother. "I'm going to take a shower. Make sure he doesn't move out of that bed."
Reaves ignored the young hunter. There were only two things on his mind-his father and a shower of his own. "Don't use all the hot water," he called after Dean who let the slamming of the bathroom door suffice as his reply.
Caleb scrolled through his numbers and hit send. Mac answered after two rings. "Hey, Dad, Merry Christmas." He cleared his throat as he felt overwhelming emotion for his father swell. "So, I was thinking that maybe we could spend it together?" He heard his father pause, then answered the question with a snort. "No, I'm fine."
"Sure, for a person who was poisoned and almost died." Sam quipped, saying it loud enough that Caleb thought for sure his father had overheard it. He glared at the younger Winchester brother.
"What?" Reaves replied to his father, who had not heard Sam. "Isn't it perfectly normal to want to spend the holidays with your family?" Caleb saw the younger psychic rolling his eyes; he shrugged his shoulders in response. "Virginia. Great, I'll tell them. See you soon. Oh, and tell Naomi, Merry Christmas."
He hung up the phone with a smile, knowing Mac would be slightly freaked by the Naomi comment. It was good to keep the doctor on his toes.
"After Deuce is done I'll take a shower and then we need to check out of here." He hoped the same motel clerk wasn't still on duty. Either way, he wanted out. The room truly was emanating a strange odor, which Caleb hoped didn't linger on his clothes too. He shifted his legs so they touched the burgundy carpeted floor. He sat there for a moment as a wave of lightheadedness overwhelmed him.
Sam was there instantly, gripping his forearm. He looked down at the bond, and then into the eyes of the youngest Winchester. "I'm not going anywhere, Sam."
"I know." Sam stated with purpose and a patented John Winchester look for good measure. Damned if the kid didn't remind him more of his father everyday. Caleb's gut twisted as he thought of his mentor.
"You're getting cocky there, runt."
"And you're getting back in bed." Sam let him go, but stood his ground, folding his arms over his chest.
Reaves snorted but complied. Despite the fact the adrenaline from waking alive and victorious had abandoned him; he made a show of acting perturbed at the coddling. "I'm fine, goddamnit."
Sam rolled his eyes. The man acted more like his father each day. "Well, only a few hours ago you were dying."
Caleb threw him a look. He didn't remember much of the last twenty-four hours except for what he assumed had taken place mostly in his head. The presence of Pastor Jim and John had seemed so real….and the demon. A shiver ran through him involuntarily. He exhaled loudly in frustration as Sam placed a cool hand on his forehead. "Are you cold? You still feel warm."
"Sam, I'm good." Reaves ducked away from the touch. "Next thing I know, you'll be offering to give me a sponge bath."
Sam's mouth twitched and Caleb groaned. "Tell me you didn't."
"We were trying to save your life, jerk." The smirk grew into a dimpled grin. "Liked the new ink job, by the way."
"Thanks," Reaves growled, but then lowered his voice. He looked down at the ring on his finger and then back up at the younger hunter. "And thanks."
Sam frowned, taking a seat on the edge of the bed. "For what?"
Caleb tapped his forehead. "For hearing me." He sighed. "I don't remember trying to reach out to you, but the fact you picked up on it…"
"Your abilities kick ass, Sam."
The younger man turned his head, but not before Caleb picked up on the guilty look in the hazel gaze. "Did something else happen?"
Sam gave him an irritated glance and Reaves raised his hands. "I wasn't snooping. Trust me, my head's in no shape to be playing psychic hide and seek, kid."
"The girl…" Sam started and then licked his lips, taking a deep breath before continuing, "the one that poisoned you."
"Yeah." Caleb raked a hand through his sweat-matted hair. "Saint Ann. What about her?" His frown grew. "She didn't come here did she?" The idea that he had underestimated the bitch made him angry, but the thought that she might have tried something with Sam or Dean pissed him off.
"No. I went to the compound."
"You did what?"
Sam ignored the look of disapproval, continuing with his story, at least the abbreviated version. " I couldn't get her to tell me what she used on you." He searched the other man's gaze. "So, I took it from her."
Reaves nodded, letting go of his lecture on the danger of the Solar Temple freaks for the time being. He remembered all to well what the other man was going through. In fact his first attempt at something like that had nearly cost Sam his life. "I almost killed you trying a similar move. I mean I wasn't taking anything, but…"
Sam recognized the flash of pain in the amber gaze. "You were trying to save my life."
"Right. It didn't make seeing the end result any easier though, and I know it's not the same, but sometimes you take a risk to do what's important. And as time goes by you will get more control."
"It was a rush." Again Reaves nodded in understanding. "That's normal, Sam." He gestured to their surroundings. "As normal as it's going to get for us."
"But I wanted to hurt her."
"Kid…" Caleb sighed, recognizing another struggle he still dealt with himself. What if they were evil? What would it take to cross that gap between right and wrong? Would he someday cross that bridge? "You're not a monster, and you're not going to become one. If you had really wanted to do some damage, she would be dead." He raised a brow, when Sam glanced up at him. "She's not having Christmas with her beloved maker is she?"
The younger hunter shook his head. "No."
"Good. Because she deserves to live in hell with that creep Solomon for a while longer."
"Can I ask you something else?"
"As long as it has nothing to do with how I'm feeling."
Sam grinned. "No. It's about visions."
"Okay. That I can handle. Shoot."
"Do they always come true?"
A hint of fear raced through the younger man's gaze and Caleb wished he had the energy to reach out and brush through his thoughts. "Not always."
"How do you know…if they're warnings or memories or something else?"
Caleb laughed. "Those sound like Mackland Ames questions."
"I've been reading the journal."
"Good. That's why I gave it to you."
"Not because you're planning on doing anything stupid?"
"Like getting myself poisoned by a cult?"
Sam glanced towards the bathroom, his voice lowering. "Dean was worried. In fact, it's him you should thank. He didn't leave your side, not even when we knew you were getting better." He met Caleb's gaze again. "I don't want to see him hurt. He's still screwed up over Dad and Jim. I can't lose him, too."
Reaves thought back to what the demon had said, the future he had shown him. He knew exactly how Sam felt. "I'm not going to do anything to risk Dean, Sammy. I promise." He thought about what his carelessness had put the Winchesters through. In his new position, he would have to be more careful. There was too much at risk. Steps had to be taken to prevent The Brotherhood from being weakened. A new generation had to be prepared. That meant the Scholar and Guardian had to be protected. "I'm not going anywhere." The Knight would not fall, not without one hell of a fight.
"Good. I'm glad we're clear on that."
Caleb grinned, feeling a balance start to settle between them. "So, can I have my pants now?"
Dean drove the Impala with Caleb in the passenger seat. Sam followed behind in Reaves's Jeep. The psychic felt well enough to leave, but not strong enough for Dean to trust him behind the wheel of a car.
"Take a right." Caleb said, directing Dean to their destination.
The older Winchester took the right sharply. Caleb knew something was brewing without his psychic abilities. Dean spared a glance then stated, "You had us worried, man."
Reaves felt guilty adding to Winchester's burden. He tried to downplay the situation. "You? Worried? I don't believe it."
"Believe it." Dean shook his head, then glanced in the rearview mirror to check on his brother. "No hunting alone, you know the rules."
Caleb suppressed a smile. The older Winchester had spoken like a Guardian, his destiny. "I had backup."
"Us, saving your ass at the last moment, is not backup." Dean frowned. "And neither is Josh. His phone tag system sucks."
"He's an idiot, but he is part of The Brotherhood." The psychic saw their destination up ahead. He didn't want to comment further. "We're here."
Sam pulled in right behind them. They couldn't miss the BooneDocks. It was decked out with blinking lights, and steady lights of every different color. A large banner over the door proclaimed 'Merry Christmas, Christ is Born Today' and there was large Christmas tree taking up one full parking space.
The younger Winchester threw the Jeep's keys to the psychic. "Quite a place. Very, umm, festive." Sam looked around, taking in the tacky display of holiday cheer.
"They're not into political correctness." Boone and his girlfriend ran the place, and didn't like it when people got into their business. So when the locals wanted places of business to go with non-denominational decorations, the BooneDocks retaliated. "They don't care who they offend." Reaves led the way inside the bar, where the windows glowed invitingly.
Although it was Christmas Eve, surprisingly the bar was doing brisk business. Boone was tending bar. "Boone, I brought you some old friends." The red headed, bear of a man hadn't changed except for the strands of intermittent white in his beard and hair. Boone looked at the brothers without recognition. It had been almost twenty years. "These are the Winchester boys."
"Well, I be damned." The big man held out his hand, Sam accepted it readily. "You're all grown up, Sammy."
"Happens—milk does a body good," Dean said as he also accepted the handshake.
"Dean." Boone bowed his head. "Sorry, about your father, boys. He was a hell of a good man."
There was an uncomfortable silence, both boys still dealing with the death and its repercussions.
Reaves cleared his throat. "They've been going to the Roadhouse."
Boone frowned. "Why would you want to do that? That place sucks." He lifted his burly arms out wide. "You're always welcomed here."
"Thanks, man," Dean replied. He cocked his head to a table in the corner and headed over there with his brother.
Reaves leaned over the bar to speak in low tones to the retired hunter. "That lead didn't pay off. Steer far away from that group."
Boone stepped back and studied the psychic's appearance. "That bad?"
"Yeah," Caleb nodded, reminding himself to stand up straight and show no weakness. He didn't mention the poisoning. Although the BooneDocks was filled with more lightness, less hidden corners and suspicious backrooms, Caleb couldn't risk taking anyone, but a select few, into his confidences. More than likely the red headed man could be trusted, but Reaves did not wish to put him at risk or others. Joshua had originally given him a lead on the cult, and Boone had just confirmed it.
"Sorry, Caleb." Boone sighed. "Drinks on the house?"
In the meantime, Dean and Sam had taken a just vacant table. Dean pushed the glasses and remnants of a meal to one side of the table. They both watched as Caleb talked to Boone in hushed tones.
Dean fished something out of his pocket, laid it on the table and pushed it over to his brother. "Merry Christmas, little brother."
Sam looked at the compass he recalled giving his brother for a Father's Day many years ago. "You're re-gifting? Man, that's tacky."
Dean shrugged his shoulders. "Well, yeah, umm, I just wanted to say. . ."
The younger Winchester understood. He had given the compass to his brother to show him that he was a guiding force in his life. But, with the death of their father, Dean had become out-of-control with Sam trying to rein him in and be the moral compass. It was his brother's way of telling him he appreciated it. "You're welcome." The younger hunter fingered the inscription written on the back. "But I didn't get you anything. How about we share it?"
"Man, you're cheap," Dean replied with a grin. "He doesn't know how to share either." He said as Caleb rejoined them.
"What did I miss?" Reaves looked at the twosome in puzzlement, but Dean waved off the inquiry with a chuckle.
"What's Boone's story? I remember him when we were kids." Sam asked, taking in the atmosphere of the bar. There was light colored wood paneling, covered with Budweiser, Miller, Coors and Sam Adams signs. A jukebox played Elvis's rendition of a Blue Christmas. There was buzzing amongst the patrons, who interacted with each other like old friends.
Reaves pulled in his chair closer to the table. "Boone left the hunt, opened this place when he got his girlfriend pregnant."
"Who's that?" Dean gestured to the blonde woman in the white surplice top with ample cleavage. She wore a short denim skirt that came above her knees. She threw a smile at patron, as she cleaned up the table.
"His girlfriend, Kathleen- never married her."
"He's my idol." The older Winchester smirked.
Caleb winked at her. She stopped by the bar, picked up a pitcher and brought it to their table. Reaves snaked out an arm around her waist, forcing her to sit on his lap. "When are you going to leave him and go with someone your own age?"
"Maybe next lifetime, Caleb." She patted him on the cheek. "Boone there is my honey."
Boone wasn't paying attention. Instead he was immersed in conversation with another bar patron.
"How's Riley?" Caleb asked Kathleen about her son, who he hadn't seen at the bar. The teen was a leaner version of his father, the red hair marking him as Boone's.
"My baby? All grown up." She gave a mock sniff, then looked at the boys with pride as she talked about her son. "Got a scholarship to Tufts and wants to spend Christmas in Vermont with his friends."
Sam took a long gulp of beer to push down the lump he felt in his throat. Here was a mother proud of her son's scholarship. He knew John had been proud of him, telling strangers of his achievement. He wished at the time his father could have been honest with him.
"Reaves, are you making my woman cry?" Boone yelled, as he spied his girlfriend sitting on the psychic's lap.
"Happens all the time," Dean interjected with a grin.
Kathleen stood up, and waved at her boyfriend. "Just talking about Riley. . ."
"Kid wants to be fuckin' Indiana Jones and major in Archeology, unbelievable. . ." Boone trailed off his comment, as someone stumbling off a stool got his attention.
"He's coming next week." Kathleen crouched down so her blonde head hovered over the table. "I'll tell him you asked about him." She smiled at Dean and Sam, who were relaxing back with their beers. "Do you all need anything else? Hungry?"
Dean didn't hesitate. "Something fried and dripping with grease would be great."
"I like him." Kathleen said to Caleb. "I'm sure we can help you out."
They watched her walk away.
"Drink up, Sammy. We're going to Virginia."
"You sure you're up for this?" Sam looked at the psychic.
"Wouldn't miss it."
Kathleen interrupted the companionable silence with a few baskets of food-chicken fingers, fries, and jalapeno poppers.
Dean immediately took a chicken finger out of the basket, blowing on his fingers as the hot food burned his fingers.
Sam stood up, and the other two hunters looked at him. "I'm just heading to the bathroom," he explained.
Dean placed the basket of jalapeños in front of him. "Go ahead; we'll talk about you while you're gone."
Sam lifted his middle finger as a retort. Dean and Caleb laughed in response. The youngest hunter made his way through the crowd, catching sight of the glowing 'Outhouse' sign. He had just reached for the knob when the door opened and a man nearly plowed into him.
"Pardon me, son." The dark-skinned man grabbed a handful of the front of Sam's jacket to keep him upright and on his feet. "I'd ask you to dance but I'm not as graceful as I use to be."
Winchester nodded, meeting the man's dark eyes. "That's alright." A sense of déjà vu washed over Sam and he tilted his head slightly, studying the smiling stranger. "Have we met before?"
"I do hope that's not a pick-up line, son."
When Sam's face reddened, the man laughed. "I'm kidding."
Winchester studied the man's face. He was nearly Sam's height and looked close to his father's age, perhaps a few years older. There was a good amount of silver peppering his hair, mustache and goatee, but he seemed fit and sturdy. "Sorry." Sam shook his head apologetically. "You just seemed familiar."
The stranger smiled again and it warmed his penetrating gaze. "Well we're all brothers of sorts. Especially this time of year."
"Right." Sam stepped back, a twinge of energy surging through his head. It was enough to have him glancing back towards his brother and Caleb, thinking perhaps the other psychic had tried to contact him.
"Merry Christmas." The man's well wishes brought the young hunter's gaze back to him.
"Same to you," Sam replied and the stranger inclined his head with another genuine smile before returning to a far booth in the corner, where two other men sat, their backs to Winchester.
"That was dangerous." Griffin Porter felt the boy's gaze follow him back to the table, and he had to admit he hadn't expected the young hunter to have any reaction to their contact. Of course, he would be lying if he said he wasn't pleased. With the right guidance, he would make a strong Scholar.
"You're overreacting, Hastings." He said as he took the bench facing his associates. "The boy was too young to remember me, barely six."
Silas lifted his glass and motioned towards one of the tall tables in the center of the crowded bar. "I guarantee you Reaves would recognize you. Perhaps the older Winchester, too."
"And," Hastings interrupted the other man, "We can't afford that."
Griffin gave the younger man a hard look. "Don't tell me what we can afford, boy. I was playing this game when you were still sucking your mama's tit."
Hastings had the good sense to look away. "It's just that I don't understand why you don't let me take him out instead of playing this stupid game."
"Game?" Griffin sighed. "You think this is a game?"
There was a pause and finally the younger man shook his head. "No, sir."
"Good, because nothing could be more serious than the situation we're facing now. I don't care about your petty rivalry with Reaves, either. There is no place for that."
"He has a point, Griffin," Silas spoke again, running a finger around the lip of his glass. "We could save ourselves some trouble by taking them out now. The Knight is weak, he could…"
"He wears a ring. They all do."
"So, we can't kill them, but we can hire other people to do it for us. What kind of code is that?"
"We didn't hire anyone." Griffin glared at Hastings. "We only supplied intelligence to Mr. Solomon. He chose to do the rest. And if we violate the code, what better are we than the monsters we destroy."
"He had our help," Hastings interjected with a snort, and Porter slammed his fist on the table.
"That was your folly. I told you not to get involved and I won't soon forget your insolence. We can't afford for our hands to get dirty. Do you understand me?"
Hastings nodded. "I understand, Griffin."
"Good. Because if we are going to challenge the proposed Guardian, we're going to have to establish a credible standing with the rest of The Brotherhood."
"You're placing a lot of faith on a wild card, Griffin." Silas didn't want to challenge the man in front of him, knew better than to, but he wanted to make sure his concerns were heard. "Gideon may not choose to do this. He has that annoying sense of loyalty, you know."
"Every Guardian should be loyal, Silas."
"But to whom?"
Griffin smiled, glancing towards the Knight-elect and Murphy's chosen successor. "That is the million dollar question, now isn't it?"
Neither Caleb nor Dean knew they were the topic of conversation at a nearby table. The younger hunter finished off his beer, but didn't refill. He toyed with the glass for a moment. "You remember anything?"
"Remember what?" Caleb had been tipping his chair back, lost in the buzzing in his mind. His psychic abilities were still not in focus. Reaves let the chair hit the floor again, his earnest gaze studying his friend.
The oldest Winchester brother placed the glass down, and pushed it off to the right. "Umm, your little near death experience?"
"I wouldn't call it that." Reaves grabbed his own glass. He didn't want to talk about the images he saw. The psychic was confused himself, and sure as hell wasn't going to share the burden with his friend. But, he felt Dean wanted to talk, and since discussion with the oldest Winchester was rare, Caleb facilitated the conversation. "Some, why?"
Dean's green eyes were haunted with shadows as he faced the psychic. "I don't remember anything from when I was dying . . . I wish I did"
"Deuce, maybe it's not supposed to work like that." Reaves didn't have an answer. There were some things that were a mystery. He wondered about the ramifications of avoiding the grim reaper not once, but twice.
"What if it could help us, help Sam?"
Caleb studied his friend, hearing the hint of desperation. Dean was carrying an additional burden. The psychic had a feeling he knew what it was, not because he was reading Dean, but of what he had deduced over time. What he had gathered about his own deceased family. "Hey, Sam's going to fine. Not every prophecy comes true."
Dean's eyes opened wide then narrowed unsure if Caleb knew John's secret or not. "Yeah, yeah, you're right." He cleared his throat. "By the way, if you're the Knight, Damien, then who's the Guardian?"
Reaves shifted uncomfortably in his chair. This was a discussion Mac, as the Scholar, was supposed to have with Dean. "I, ahh. . ."
"There you are!" Joshua yelled from the doorway, brushing off imaginary snow from his wool coat. Around his neck he wore a Burberry scarf. "You owe me," he stated as he came forward by their table. "Seeing as how you're alive."
"For what?" Caleb scoffed, and rolled his eyes. "Almost getting me killed?"
Sawyer's face lit up with a grin. He looked at Dean. "You didn't tell him?"
"Nope." Dean crossed his arms. "I thought you had plans."
"They fell through." The blond hunter shook his head. He was not going to be deterred. "Tell him, go ahead. I want to witness his reaction." Joshua said as he tried to take the seat which Sam had vacated. Dean pulled the chair closer to him. With a sigh Sawyer pulled a chair from another table, getting an indignant "Hey!" from another patron. The man had been using the chair to rest his feet.
Joshua folded his hands together. "If you don't tell him, I will."
Dean narrowed his eyes. A smug Joshua was even less appealing than an idiot Joshua. "Hesavedyourlife." The older Winchester brother blurred the sentence into one incomprehensible word.
"What?" Caleb shook his head.
Dean sighed. The psychic was not going to like the fact that Josh had helped them. He and his brother had left out that little tidbit of information on purpose. "Joshcounteractedthepoison."
Caleb blinked, putting together the phrases. "You've got to be fuckin' kidding me."
"No, he's not," Sam said as he returned to the group, taking his seat in between Dean and Joshua. The youngest Winchester gestured to the jukebox. "I think he has every Elvis tune in there."
"A few months ago it was Johnny Cash." Caleb didn't get a chance to come the bar often, but when he did he also noticed a pattern. He grinned, enjoying that Sawyer was being ignored. "Boone's into themes."
Joshua snapped his fingers to get their attention once more. "Hey, I know what you are doing." He pointed at Reaves. "You owe me."
"Owe you what? We're working for the same cause." Caleb pointed to the silver band he wore.
Joshua glanced at his ring. "I went above and beyond. . ."
"You were forced. . ." Dean interrupted.
Sawyer gestured to the Winchester brothers. "They came to my office for god sakes. You know what it took to explain the appearance of Tweedledee and Tweedledum."
"Chevrolet Sucks as I remember." Sam interjected.
Caleb snorted at the insult. He glanced at Dean who rolled his eyes. He had to hand it to Josh, the man was a joy to attack, but every once in awhile they had to throw him a bone. "What do you want?"
Joshua grinned, sensing an opportunity. "Picture of you, 8 by 10, glossy, if you have it."
Reaves coughed. The beer he was drinking spraying out slightly. "Come again?"
Sawyer waved his hands, gesturing it was not for him. "It's for Drew. I haven't presented him with the obligatory Christmas present yet. This will be better than a bonus."
"No fuckin' way." Reaves had met the public relation firm's secretary. He thought the man had even pinched his ass one time too. There was no way Andrew would ever get a picture of him. Caleb took another drink, getting his equilibrium back. "Still all your fault. You gave me the information."
"About that. . ." Josh shifted uncomfortably.
It didn't take a psychic to know that the blond hunter was feeling guilty. "Yeah, about that?" Caleb prompted, not cutting him any slack.
Sawyer glanced around. "I think someone fed me the tip," he said in a hushed tone.
Caleb dropped his head back with a sigh. "To set me up." Damn. Mac had warned him. He just hadn't expected it to start so soon.
Joshua tightened his lips, and gave a quick nod. "Looks like."
"Who would do that?" Sam looked at the hunters in confusion.
"Enemies of The Brotherhood," Dean stated, finishing off his beer. He met Caleb's gaze. "Enemies of The Knight."
Sam wanted to question his brother and the others. He knew the supernatural forces were enemies of The Brotherhood, but it sounded like something more.
Kathleen though interrupted at this point. "Hey Josh, you want one of those fruity drinks?"
Joshua cocked his head, and replied in a condescending tone. "It's a martini and your husband can't seem to make one right. Like I said before, they don't have umbrellas."
"He's not my husband." She replied annoyed, and tossed her blonde hair with a huff as she headed back to the bar.
Dean shook his head. "You just spread the love wherever you go, don't you?"
"Shut up. Probably common law husband by this point anyway," Josh mumbled. "Well, if you won't give me a picture," he glanced at Caleb, "then Deuce here still owes me. . .Drew plans on becoming a groupie."
"It's Dean," the older Winchester growled. "LeGrange? The missus was into black magic-a life for a life."
"Ohh. . ." Joshua shrank back, knowing he'd just lost his ace in the hole.
"I don't know Josh. I'm going to have to tell Mac you've been fuckin' up on the intel. Might want to expect a call from him soon." Caleb rubbed his chin and then leaned in. "Can the Scholar take rings away?"
Sawyer leaned away from the psychic, uncomfortable. "Yeah, well, I'm glad you're not dead."
"So what are your plans?" Sam asked, breaking the silence which descended on the table.
"Is that an invite?" Joshua perked up.
Dean laughed. It so wreaked of desperation. "No, not at all." He appreciated that Sawyer had saved Caleb's life, but he still wasn't willing to spend Christmas with the idiot.
Kathleen returned with a martini glass topped off with fruit and five umbrellas. She smiled at the other hunters, and gave them a wink.
Joshua removed the bar paraphernalia from his drink with an indignant huff. "My father is expecting me." He took a swallow and shook his head at the bitterness of the drink. "I should get going." For a moment his eyes glowed with merriment. He sniffed the air around the psychic. "You might want to take another shower, Caleb." Joshua waved at the other hunters. "Merry Christmas."
Reaves inhaled, trying to figure out if that smell from the motel room followed him. "What's he talking about?"
The Winchester brothers looked at each other, but didn't answer. Dean found his voice. "Are you really going to tell Mac?"
"No, like I said, he's our idiot and one of The Brotherhood. Everyone needs a black sheep." Caleb pushed away his glass.
"Mac meeting us in Virginia?" The younger Winchester brother asked trying to remember when was the last time he had seen the neurosurgeon.
"Yeah, says he can't wait to see you."
Dean jutted his chin at Caleb. "Since we're going to be close, maybe we can go to the New River Gorge Bridge?"
Now, it was Caleb's turn to be surprised. He had spoken about the steel arch bridge a few years ago, when they had been trapped in a car accident. "You hate bridges."
The blond hunter shrugged. "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, Damien."
Caleb still looked puzzled, but he nodded. "Yeah, I'd like that."
Reaves stood up, signaling it was time for them to leave. He was looking forward to spending the next few days together. He felt warm, and content, the memories from his ordeal seeming more and more like a bad dream. Perhaps it was a lull before the storm, but he would take it. "How about you come up to New York City next weekend? Watch the ball drop."
Dean patted Sam's shoulder. "Dick Clark has to be possessed. Isn't he like 100?" They would all be enjoying New Years in New York City.