Disclaimer: Thank you to Ridley for allowing me to use her Brotherhood characters. Thank you to Kripke for creating Dean and Sam
Comments: First all there will be a language warning. Secondly, this is the end with Caleb making his appearence I .cant believe all the reviews--waaayy cool. Shout out to: Irismay, Adder, Eaglegirl, gatorpez, bally2cute, KatieLB, SomeoneElsesDream, SilveKitsune, pinkphoenix, Nana and LovinJackson and to all those others who have taken the time to review. If you havent reviewed-- that's okay too. I just hope you all liked it.
The moaning was better than an alarm clock to Mackland Ames, who relaxed back in his hard backed chair. He checked his watch, reading three in the morning and knowing it was time to wake Sam. He studied Dean for a moment. There was a sheen of sweat on the oldest Winchester.
He placed a hand on the young man's forehead. There was no sign of fever. One of the side effects of morphine was sweating. Mac checked the saline solution, deciding to swap out the bag for one more round to make up for the loss in blood volume. He injected another vial of antibiotics to keep an infection at bay. He felt someone staring at him, surprised to see Dean awake.
"How are you feeling?" Mackland asked in a whisper.
The older Winchester shifted slightly, then winced. "Like someone did surgery on the kitchen table."
Ames laughed. "I can give you something for the pain."
"Not morphine." Dean looked up at the IV. "You can't imagine the dreams I had."
The doctor moved his chair closer to the other hunter. "You want to talk about them?"
Dean shook his head, and jutted his chin towards his sleeping brother. "How's Sam?"
"I was just going to check on him."
Mac walked over to the sleeping young hunter. He gently shook his shoulder. "Sam, Sam, wake up."
Sam blinked a few times. "Huh?"
"What's your name?"
"Do you know where you are?"
Ames smiled, and patted Sam's cheek. "Good boy, go back to sleep." Promptly the youngest Winchester closed his eyes.
Mackland returned to Dean's side and sat down. "He's fine."
Dean picked at the flat sheets, tracing a circular design. "Jim's been talking to me in my dreams." He tried to gauge Mac's reaction, and found it to be open. "Not all the time. . .just a couple of visits."
"When?" Ames looked at him intently.
The oldest Winchester shrugged his shoulders. "To warn me or when I need help." Dean cocked his head to the side, knowing what the other hunter was thinking. "Which isn't all the time."
"And you want my opinion?" Mackland rubbed the back of his neck, wondering about the connection between the old Guardian and the new. Jim had never spoken about this possibility.
"Yeah." Dean nodded.
Ames thought of the safe answer he could give, any further reply would require some research. "It isn't uncommon for people to visit us in our times of need, and dreams are the easiest access point." Mackland told the truth, omitting anything more. He noticed his patient's wincing and knew the stitches were pulling. "You want something for the pain now?"
Dean was slightly taken aback by the abruptness in the conversation. Usually the doctor examined every facet of an idea and was able to engage in conversation for hours. Truth be told though, Dean was hurting. "My hip hurts like a sonofabitch."
The doctor took out a vial of Demerol, and inserted it into the line. "That would be because you have a hole there from some knife work."
"Guess that relationship isn't going to work out," Dean quipped, waiting for the pain medication to take effect.
Mac nodded. In a few minutes the young hunter would be asleep once more. "Rest up."
When Dean awoke he found the IV, which had been inserted last night was no longer present. There was just a white bandage at the point of entry. He looked over; saw the rumpled blanket, but Sam no longer in the recliner. He could smell the coffee, and glanced over to read the time on the digital clock. It was ten in the morning.
He pulled the sheets away, feeling slightly muddle headed. He knew the combination of the drugs and injury made him sluggish. He shifted slowly, swinging his legs and grimacing. A few quick exhales through his mouth brought the pain in his hip to a tolerable level. He gingerly placed his foot on the ground and stood, crumpling back with an oath as intense pain shot through his right leg.
He heard the footsteps running down the hall as he rolled on his left side.
"You're supposed to stay in bed!" Sam ordered. His face swam into focus with a white bandage across his temple.
"Ease back." Mackland helped him to prop himself against the pillows.
Dean closed his eyes, waiting for the pain to subside once more. He felt a hand on his shoulder. When he opened his eyes, Mac's hands were presenting him with a glass of water and a large pill.
He accepted it without a word or question.
Mackland took the glass back, and placed it on the nightstand. "The knife scraped the bone, and went through. I put a drain in, which will come out today, but you need to rest." He looked at Sam. "Both of you need to rest."
"Doctor's orders?" Dean rolled his eyes.
"Exactly." Ames crossed his arms. "No signing out AMA from here."
Sam snorted, absentmindedly scratching his bandage. "He knows all your tricks, Dean."
Dean's eyes narrowed on his brother. He knew the older hunter and Sam had been talking over the kitchen table, probably for hours already. "You are so lovin' this-geek heaven."
Sam smiled, and placed a finger to his chin in mock contemplation. "Wait, cause I get to talk about world events and research instead of road kill and gas station cuisine?"
The older Winchester could feel the pain lessening. "Well, don't get used it."
Sam looked over at Mac with a grin. "We'll bring you some breakfast and the morning paper. And then afterwards maybe we'll have a discussion about the condition of the world economy."
"Bite me." Dean grumbled.
The two hunters exited, chuckling at Dean's expense.
Dean wondered if the clock had a radio. At least he could listen to some music because daytime television was out of the question. But, Bobby was right, Mac had cable and there had to be something on TV he would find entertaining.
The paper and breakfast were delivered by Sam, who closed the bedroom door and took a seat on the bed. "I told Mac."
"Told Mac what?" The oldest Winchester was still foggy headed.
Sam looked away, then made eye contact with his brother. "About the secret-everything." He waited for a reaction from Dean, but received none. "Are you going to say anything?"
"Not much to say, Sam." He picked up the piece of wheat toast, then put it down. Mackland had been a quiet force in their lives. He tried to bring calmness to a situation. Dean understood why his brother chose to confide in the older hunter. "Can't take it back. I trust Mac a hell of a lot more than Ellen."
"They can help." The darker haired hunter fidgeted for a moment. "Mac said they already knew I was involved with the demon. Most of the inner circle knows."
Dean rubbed his head. "I figured Caleb knew." There had been that awkward moment at the BooneDocks. "Makes sense about the others since Dad let us hang around them." Dean couldn't get mad at their friends for figuring out Sam's demon connection. John made it his mission to keep his sons in the dark, and he had succeeded. It was not the other hunters' duty to tell the Winchester brothers.
Sam hovered over his brother a moment longer. There wasn't anything more to say, only to accept the help that was being given. "Well, I'm going to get cleaned up."
Dean ate some of the toast and washed it down with orange juice, noticing there was no coffee on the tray. He would have Sam get him some later. He fingered the paper, reading the sports section.
He must have dozed off because when he awoke the tray was gone. He pushed himself up with a wince and noticed Caleb Reaves in the corner reading the New York Times.
"I told you we could handle it, Damien." Dean groused half-heartedly. Since Dad had died, the psychic was becoming a much larger presence in their lives.
Caleb calmly folded up the paper, and gestured to Dean's injury with his chin. "This is your idea of handling it, Deuce? Someone spike the milk and cookies?"
"Yeah well, didn't know they had an open line to vengeful spirit central, Lucifer." Dean could feel the throbbing pain begin to flare up again. "And we would have been gone, but your father won't let us leave."
"'Cause with a chunk of your hip missing you can just walk out the door." Caleb stood up, poured Dean a glass of water, then handed him another Vicopofen.
The younger hunter accepted the offering. "Maybe tomorrow."
Reaves shook his head. "Maybe."
Dean fixed his pillows to get comfortable. He knew why Reaves was here. "So you know about Sam."
Caleb sat down on the bed. "Yeah, I know."
"How come you never said anything, Man?' Dean tried to get angry, but couldn't muster it because if he did then he would have to put the blame on his father. He did not want to be mad at John. He didn't want to question the old man's reasons too deeply.
Reaves shrugged his shoulders. He had expected this when the truth finally was revealed. "It was only an educated guess, and would you have believed me?"
"No. I would have told you to go fuck yourself." The younger hunter shook his head. He would never have believed the worse about his brother. "Dad said it was a secret." Dean fidgeted with the sheet, pulling it up further then neatening it. "I figured I owed him."
Reaves looked up to his mother's painting. The darkness of the colors set the mood for the conversation. "Owed him?" Caleb didn't know what assumptions Dean was working with, but they were wrong. Dean always did what his father asked of him. Any debt had been paid long ago with Dean sacrificing everything.
"I should have died, Caleb. I was gone, and Dad swapped his life and the Colt for mine." Saying it again to his trusted friend did not help alleviate the burden, repeating it made it more and more a reality.
"Dean. . ." The psychic had already guessed, but hearing it come from Dean was heartbreaking.
"And so I had to keep my shit together- for Sam, for Dad. . ." Dean rubbed at his eyes. "I'm tired. Maybe you can help me convince Sam to give this all up. Maybe I can take him away from this. . ."
Caleb interrupted, gripping Dean's forearm, creating a bond between them and grounding the younger hunter. "Deuce, I always got your back." The oldest Winchester brother returned the grip. They remained that way for a moment. "Sam wants to meet this head on."
Dean released the grip. "Yeah, what do you expect? He's a Winchester." Although the younger hunter tried to make it a light tone, there was still intensity.
"So what are you going to do?"
"Protect him; make sure he makes it through this in one piece." Dean answered. It sounded fatalistic.
Reaves wouldn't allow anyone else to die. He was going to be The Knight and he would protect next Guardian and Scholar. "It's a plan."
There was an uncomfortable silence between the two hunters. "Are you going to spill the rest? Or keep imitating a PMSing girl?"
"Dad said if I can't save Sammy that I'd have to kill him." Dean placed the palms of his hands against is eyes. "Told me not to be scared."
Caleb reined in his temper. John had been cruel. He had expected too much from Dean, the impossible in fact. Over the years he watched as John broke Dean, molded him into that perfect part pit bull, part soldier he needed to protect Sam. It had been damn selfish. Caleb wondered if his mentor had done it truly for Dean or because he knew Dean was the only one that could save Sam. Reaves hoped to hell John did it to save Dean, and he had redeemed himself. "Sonofabitch."
Dean misunderstood, believing Caleb was mad at him, not John Winchester. "I know. I shouldn't have told Sammy." It had been a mistake to reveal the secret to Sam. It was like Dean was the scythe over his brother's head. "Sam made me promise to kill him if he turns evil."
Reaves felt as though the air had been sucked from the room. Sam was just like John, exacting a heavy promise at a heavy price. Caleb had to reassure his friend, feeling the dark thoughts the other hunter was emanating. "No, Deuce. Look man, I know you and I know your brother. Sam is not going all dark side on us. No one is going to let that happen."
"With hunters like Gordon around. . ."
"Fuck Gordon." Caleb didn't want to give into false hope, but there was hope-hope in Dean. "I said no one." The psychic swallowed. If it came down to it, Caleb Reaves as the Knight would have to pull the trigger, not Dean. Fratricide wouldn't be allowed because right after Dean killed Sam he would kill himself in some reckless manner. Reaves would have to make sure it didn't happen. "And Johnny was right about one thing-you can save Sam. I know it; Mac knows it and I bet that demon does too."
"I can't make any promises." Dean swallowed. He rubbed his mouth, uncomfortable with the trust placed in him. "Man, I trust you, for all your demon bad side I know you're one of the ones wearing a white hat. It's just I had to play this close to the vest, and I was scared of other people getting hurt."
"Wouldn't expect anything less, Deuce." It had been spoken like a true Guardian. Caleb spared a smile. "Get some rest. I'll see about bringing in some contraband later."
"You bringing me a hot red head?" Dean smirked.
Caleb snorted; glad there was some levity amidst the grim news. "No, some pizza." Reaves went towards the door.
"Caleb?" Dean called out.
Dean rubbed the calluses on his right hand before looking up. "Do me a favor and talk to Sam."
Caleb exhaled loudly. As he had said before, he knew the Winchester brothers. Both were stubborn and headstrong. "Not going to change anything. If I've learned anything about this shit, it's about confronting the bully at the schoolyard."
"Either you beat him up or he backs down." Dean nodded. He had dealt with a lot of bullies over time too. "And the bigger they are, the harder they fall."