When Dean was 16 his baby brother disappeared after an argument between Sam and their father. Three years later they found him and the fight to save him began.
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I don't own anything in regards to Supernatural. This is a sad fact in my life that I've learned to deal with.
Sam sat on the bed that he and Dean were currently forced to share in their dingy motel room of the week. It was chilly outside, but their room still managed to be even colder than the outside temperature. He pulled the tattered blanket closer around him and turned the page of the book he'd been reading. The only thing he actually liked about being stuck here at the moment was that he was on research duty. That meant learning, in an extremely weird sense, but learning nonetheless. They weren't going to be here long enough for Sam to set up shop at the nearest school, so he settled for whatever he could get.
Their father had found a hunt that wouldn't take more than two days if things went correctly. A simple thing really. You salt the bones, you burn the bones, and then bye-bye freak of nature. Or so they hoped, if they ever found the grave site. That had really been their only setback…finding the grave site. They'd determined everything else.
Cecilia Burton had been murdered in her home two weeks ago in a basically nonexistent town, or more of a village actually, called Chesterville, Illinois. It had been such a small town and Cecilia had been so old and had hardly ventured from her home that it took nearly a month for anyone to realize she had passed away. The smell when she was found had been…atrocious. It had been so bad that when Sam and Dean went to investigate the house, the lingering stench had managed to send Sam back outside the door for a quick vomit session.
After a very thorough search of the house and the surrounding area, Sam and Dean were stumped. Even when their father came to search the area, he couldn't find any evidence of anything paranormal or supernatural of any kind. But the cause of death was clearly bizarre. Cecilia had been found hanging in her bedroom by a strand of black pearls. The kicker was that the woman had been wheelchair bound. She wouldn't have been able to stand up, let alone grab some random pearls out of her jewelry box and go hang herself from the ceiling rafters. It was physically impossible and therefore determined a murder.
When people started seeing her misty visage wandering through a nearby field, was when the Winchesters came for a visit. Her image appearing in the field that ran right beside the highway had caused more than a few wrecks, one fatal. It wasn't until they started questioning the very few locals about the past of the town that they discovered a potential lead.
Apparently, according to local legend, there was a woman who used to live in Chesterville, an Amish community, who opposed the elders of the town, and the Amish faith and spoke out against how the women were treated. She was considered a liberalist and branded a witch. The elders banished her from the town and she disappeared soon after. Not long after, she was found dead in a nearby field. The same field Cecilia had started to appear in right after her death. But they still couldn't find her grave.
Sam stood up and ran outside to try and find his father. He and Dean should be outside working on the Impala. When his dad had gone outside to go into town for breakfast for them, he'd found the car with a flat tire. He'd had to walk to the nearest mechanic in order to get a new tire. They hadn't had a spare in the trunk and he could still hear his father cursing that fact even now.
"Dad?" he asked, stepping out and trying to stay out of the way. "I found the grave site," he told them and thought it only right to add, "I think." After all, he could be wrong.
John looked up from his spot on the pavement. "You found it, then?" he asked, the strain lessening a bit from his face as something started to go right for once. "How do you figure that?" he continued.
It appeared he'd come outside at just the moment that Dean and his dad had finished with the car. Good timing on his part, at least. "There's a plot in the cemetery that has a tree planted over it. Well, used to, at least."
John and Dean both looked confused.
"What the hell does that have to do with anything? And what do you mean by 'used to'?" asked Dean.
Sam rolled his eyes. "They planted the tree to keep a witch from escaping and coming after them, the ones responsible for her death. It had been thought that the tree would keep her spirit from escaping and taking her revenge. The tree is ancient and in that bad storm about a month back, the winds were so powerful that it blew the tree over. If that's true, that's about the same time that Cecilia died, which goes to show that maybe the witch did get out. If there really was a witch, of course. And that must make Cecilia a direct descendant of one of the elders that was responsible for the witch's death," he paused to take a breath. "We won't be able to miss the tree once we see it. There was a picture if you want to take a look," he thought to mention, motioning to the computer that neither of them would be able to see through the closed door.
"Nah, that's fine, Sammy. Good work. Do you have directions to this place? I don't remember seeing any cemetery around here."
Sam nodded and resisted the urge to call his father on the right way to say his name. It wouldn't do to get into an argument with him now. He was clearly frustrated by the day's events already…and it wasn't even noon yet. "Yeah, do you remember that crappy bridge we saw when we first came into town? About a mile out?"
"If we go across it the cemetery is apparently on the right. It's pretty secluded so we'll have to keep a lookout for it."
"Sounds good. Dean, are we ready to go?" he asked his oldest son.
Dean nodded immediately. "Ready, sir."
"Good, let's head out. Sam, you're staying here. I don't think it's going to take all three of us to do this job."
Sam bristled. "Why not?" He'd really wanted to go, if just to see some of the history of this town. That cemetery sounded like it would be really interesting, especially with the tree growing out of a burial plot. He'd really like to see that. Or what was left of it at least. "I won't get in the way, I swear."
"No Sam. You need to stay here and keep up with your studies," he said, and when he said studies, Sam knew he meant reading and memorizing his Latin.
"I can do that just as well in the backseat of the Impala as I can in that stuffy old room!" he yelled.
"Sam, cut it out," Dean tried to interject, but Sam was too riled to even listen to his big brother.
"You always do this!" he yelled. "I do all the work and then you go off and do the interesting stuff without me! And what am I supposed to do? It's not like I can go to classes. You won't let us stay anywhere long enough to enroll! I hate this dad! I hate it!"
"Okay, drama queen, let's go," Dean grabbed his arm and actually dragged him away from his father. As he looked back though, he could tell his dad was about to reach that point where he would start to yell back. That was never a point Sam wanted to see.
"Now, Sammy, sit down and do what you're told for once in your life and stop stressing out dad, all right? We'll be back soon enough and then we can move on. Maybe to a place where the hunt will take longer and you can actually spend some time at school instead of sitting around these shit hole motels. Good?"
Sam sighed. Dean always tried to make things easier or better when Sam got into one of his moods. He knew his big brother meant well, but sometimes not even the thought of school was enough to cheer him up. And yes, he did realize that most kids his age could care less about school, but he wasn't a normal twelve year old either. He was a brilliant twelve year old with a family that had a seriously screwed up past time of killing evil.
"We'll be back within an hour if all goes well. We'll bring back something from that diner outside of town, okay?"
"Yeah, okay, because I'm starving. We never had breakfast."
Dean sighed. "I have a snickers bar in my bag if you want it."
"Yeah, that'll work for me."
"Sure it will Sammy, all you eat most days is junk food. It should suit your weird ass stomach just fine."
"Hey, there's nothing wrong with my stomach! I'm not the one who eats two-day old French fries with ranch dressing. I mean honestly Dean, that's just sick."
Dean smacked him upside the head and grabbed his bag. "Get that candy bar. And keep up with that Latin!"
Sam smiled and watched as his brother left. He was kind of annoyed that his dad hadn't even come back in to say anything to him. Not even a good bye. But, he wouldn't dwell on it. It wasn't their first fight and it certainly wouldn't be their last.
He could just barely hear the rumbling of the Impala as it drove down the highway. Once it was out of hearing distance he took out the candy bar and started to open it.
Sam looked up but couldn't do much more than let out a muffled scream as a hand was clamped down across his mouth.
John sighed as he threw down his cell phone. Luckily, it merely hit the bed and bounced a few times. It would have been pretty shitty if he'd had to go and buy another one so soon after getting the one he had. Another lead gone down the drain. They'd been so close this time, too.
He sighed again as he thought back on that terrible day. John regretted not letting Sam come with them. He'd been regretting it for three years. When he and Dean had walked back into the motel room, they'd expected to see Sam sulking on the couch or watching television instead of doing what he'd been told. Instead, they'd entered to find a room destroyed, an open but uneaten Snickers bar on the floor, and blood on the carpet.
Judging by the uneaten Snickers bar, Dean had assumed the attack had happened shortly after they'd left. When Sam was hungry, he didn't waste time in eating. That candy bar would have been devoured by the time John and Dean had reached the end of the road. And to this very day it killed John knowing his baby had been hungry when he'd been taken, that he'd never gotten a chance to eat. He dwelled on that almost every day.
Both he and Dean were both certain Sammy was still alive. He thought they'd know if he was gone. But, they worried about him every day. Was he hungry, was he healthy, was he hurt? They just hoped he knew they wouldn't give up on him, that they were still looking. That they wouldn't stop until they had him back and had destroyed the man who had taken him.
Yes, they knew it wasn't anything supernatural that had taken their youngest. A couple in the next room had heard a struggle, a crash, and a boy's anguished scream and had come to investigate. They opened the door in time to see a man with an armful of struggling child opening a car door and throwing said child into the back seat. The couple had tried to run after him, but the car sped away before they so much as got off the sidewalk. They had managed to get a license plate number though.
They found the license plates, but not the car. Tossed in a garbage can in the back of a Moto-Mart they had found the license plates of the car they'd been tracking. Along with that discovery came another. At that same Moto-Mart, just two days prior to the point when they had arrived, a traveling salesman had discovered his license plates had been stolen. That discovery had led to a major dead end afterwards. They had lost the trail of whoever had stolen Sammy. Whoever had taken Sam kept switching license plates and eventually that trail had died.
Now, three years later, they were working on possible sightings. Sam would obviously be older now, but he knew he'd know Sam when he saw him, and his associates were the same way. He had some friends on the look out too, but only the ones he knew he could trust. Sam hadn't changed much in the short 12 years he'd had with John and Dean, and John knew three years wouldn't have made much of a difference. He hoped.
But with another lead gone, he was starting to lose hope. He hated to admit it, but he was starting to believe he might not ever see his youngest son again. And it killed him.
The door opened and he watched as his oldest walked into the room. Since the disappearance of his little brother, Dean had become focused on one thing and one thing only. Finding his brother. Hunting demons and ghosts had been placed on the back burner. But, John realized the same thing about himself. If they happened to be in the same vicinity as a possible hunt, he'd tackle it, but he wasn't actively searching them out these days. Both he and Dean had focused all their energy on finding Sam.
"Anything?" asked Dean as he took off his jacket and threw it across the back of a nearby chair.
"No. You?" he asked. It had become a ritual of sorts when they came home in the evening. They asked each other if they found anything, and each time the answer killed them both a little bit more.
Sam's eyes opened slowly and stared blankly across the room at the dresser that happened to be in his line of sight. Another day beginning and Sam knew by glancing at the clock that if he wasn't up and moving soon he'd regret it. The fifteen-year-old slowly pulled his lanky frame from the bed and started getting dressed. He threw on a pair of jeans and a long sleeved hoodie to keep the chill at bay. He was always cold these days, but sometimes it wasn't from actually being chilled.
He opened his door and glanced down the hallway to make sure Frank was still asleep. He could hear the snores from down the hall and knew he was safe. He went directly to the bathroom to do his business and wash up. Afterwards, he checked once more to hear the snores before going to the kitchen and getting breakfast ready. It had to be ready before Frank woke up. It was the rule. And Sam had learned not to break the rules.
As he got out the skillet and pulled a carton of eggs from the refrigerator, he once again found himself thinking about his family, his dad and his brother. Frank wasn't his family. Frank was a monster. Too bad he wasn't the kind of monster he and his family used to hunt. Sam had never been told how to destroy this type of monster.
He thought back on the day that Frank had taken him from his motel room. The man had just come right in the door and grabbed him. He still berated himself for not locking it as soon as his dad and Dean had walked out. He should have. He knew better. But he hadn't, and Frank had walked in, knocked the Snickers bar out of his hand before he'd even gotten a chance to take a bite, and had bodily taken him out of the room. The next thing he knew he was being thrown into the backseat of a car and being driven away from his family. He had cried.
What was worse though was that Frank had the weird-ass notion that he had been saving Sam from his family. Frank had heard Sam and his dad fighting and thought he would be better at taking care of him. Sam scoffed now just thinking about it. He'd thought his family was screwed up…they were nothing compared to this freak. He couldn't believe, now that he looked back on it, how much he thought he hated his family. He thought he would be better off with someone else. How wrong he'd been. He hadn't known just how good he'd had it. John and Dean had loved him. Frank just liked to hit him and make him do all the work.
The eggs were done, scrambled with a bit of cheese melted on top, and sitting on a tray beside Frank's chair as he was coming out of his bedroom.
"Coffee or juice?" he asked the man as he did every morning.
When he heard the reply he internally groaned. Coffee meant the man had gotten drunk the night before. He wasn't sure how he'd missed it, but he had. He was surprised he hadn't gotten a little visit in the middle of the night.
Sam poured Frank a mug full of coffee, black, just the way Frank liked it, and brought it to the man. "Here you go," he said sweetly. It was always best to be as pleasant as possible when dealing with the older man. It meant less pain later on.
The mug was taken from his grasp and since he was ignored, Sam knew he could go back into the kitchen and fix himself something to eat. Probably plain cereal without milk since they were out. He'd have to go shopping today.
He finished his dry cereal quickly, it didn't taste that great any way, and started cleaning up the mess. He retrieved Frank's empty plate from the living room and coffee mug and cleaned those as well.
When he re-entered the living room it was to ask the question. He hated asking, but if he didn't get it, he wouldn't be able to get groceries. And if he didn't get the groceries, he'd be in so much trouble. It was rather stupid that they always had to argue about it, really. He figured Frank liked to come up with stupid reasons to give him an excuse to inflict pain.
"Frank?" he asked quietly. It was best to stay quiet when Frank was watching television. He learned that early on.
"What?" the gruff reply made Sam cringe, but trudged on anyways. It was more important to get the groceries.
"We're out of milk and a few other things as well. Can I get some money so I can go get you some food?" he asked. He tried to make it sound like he was doing it for Frank, not for himself. Sometimes that helped.
The older man sighed as if he was majorly put out. Sam resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "Just a twenty should probably cover what you'll need," he added. The less money he spent, the better.
"What are you going to buy?"
Sam did a quick inventory in his head. "We need milk, cheese, butter, and probably some bacon since we're out of it too, and I noticed we were out of salt. It's not a necessity, but if you want it, I should get it," he added. He knew Frank liked lots of salt in most of his food. He hoped the man died of a heart attack.
"All right," was the snippy reply. "You better bring back my change, boy! And I want the receipt this time!"
Sam nodded quickly, grabbed the twenty, and ran from the house. He thought back on the severe thrashing he had received when he'd come back without the receipt the last time he'd gone shopping. He'd lost it somewhere on the return trip home and Frank had thought he was keeping whatever change that had been returned to him. When in fact, there had been no change and Sam had had to dig into his own pockets to pay off the cashier. He was still sore over that one and the remnants of a bruise still lingered on his face. He'd hit the coffee table pretty hard that day, and broken the fall with his face. It still hurt.
Sam made it to the grocery in record time. He knew not to make Frank wait. It would just make it more painful once he got back. Sam had thought about running away a time or ten. It would be so easy. He was out here on his own, Frank wouldn't miss him for at least twenty minutes, but Sam knew better. Everyone in town knew Frank. Everyone knew Frank's 'adoptive' son. If they saw him leaving town, they'd be calling his 'dad' quicker than it would take for him to leave town. Frank would be waiting for him at the bus station or at the end of whatever road he'd get off from. He'd tried to hitch hike once. Frank was literally waiting for him when that man had pulled off the side of the road. He didn't know how he knew…but he'd somehow known. That beating had left him unable to leave the house for two weeks and even then he could hardly move.
No one in town seemed to see what was happening. Either that or they knew, but they were too scared to say anything. It was a small town and Frank was a powerful man. He came into money when his father died…he was murdered…and since then everyone had been too scared to get on the man's bad side. Sam wondered if Frank wasn't the one who had killed his father. It made sense.
His musings were cut short as he piled the items he'd selected onto the checkout stand and waited for the cashier to notice he was there. She was chewing bubble gum and reading some stupid story out of the Inquisitor. Even Sam knew that crap wasn't real.
"Hey, lady?" he asked as politely as he could.
She finally looked up, popped one last bubble, and spit her gum into a nearby trashcan. "You ready to check out?" she asked.
Sam glared at her. No, he was standing here for his health. He didn't say it out loud. That would be rude and inconsiderate and it would somehow get back to Frank…and then he'd be in serious pain.
"Yes, ma'am," he said instead and got a happy little smile for the effort.
"That'll be thirteen sixty-eight, sweetie," she gave him the total and Sam grunted in surprise. He always thought it was going to be more expensive than it was. "Do you need your receipt?" she asked.
"Yes!" he said it a little quicker and a little more urgently than was absolutely necessary, but the cashier didn't seem to care. "Here you go, sweetie,"
Sam thought he would hurl if she called him sweetie one more time. "Thanks," he said instead and quickly walked out the door with the receipt firmly in his back pocket along with the change she'd given him. He wouldn't make the same mistake twice. He never did that.
Dean drove down Ridgeback Street trying to find someplace to eat. Fast food was getting really old, but they were in a hurry and his father expected him back soon. He gave up and pulled into a burger joint and up to the drive-thru window. A young, nasally voice asked him for his order. He sighed in annoyance. He got himself and his dad a hamburger value meal and pulled up to the next window to pay.
He saw a boy walking down the street across from him and froze as he was handing the money across to the kid in the window. He was just barely aware of the sound of coins clattering on the cement below him.
It couldn't be…
Sam was almost home when he heard the rumble of a car coming up behind him. He scrunched up his forehead at the sound…it sounded familiar. He brushed it off, it was probably nothing, and got his keys out to unlock the front door. As he turned to shut the door behind him he got a good look at the car that was slowly driving passed. It was a really nice car…it reminded him of the car Dean was going to get once he got his driver's license. He sighed sadly at the thought. He missed his brother so much.
When the car came to an abrupt stop, Sam looked up in surprise. The guy behind the wheel couldn't have been much older than he was – and he looked awfully familiar. When their eyes locked, Sam's widened in shock when he realized who it was. He had just taken a single step back onto the sidewalk when he felt a hand on his shoulder. Frank wrenched Sam back into the house, the momentum sending him crashing to the floor, and he heard the door slammed a moment later.
"Who was that?!" was bellowed in his face as Frank got down on his level.
"I-I don't k-know," he stuttered out, raising his arms to protect his face as Frank started belting him with blows.
"Don't you lie to me!"
"I'm not!" he tried to convince the man, but Frank never listened, and continued to strike him until Sam was an unconscious heap on the floor.
Dean swore he'd seen his little brother. It looked just like him, at least, what he thought he'd look like now. And the kid had looked right at him at one point. He'd swear that the kid had recognized him. Filled with hope, Dean hurriedly wrote down the street address and the license plates on the car. He and his father were going to do some research tonight, find out who these people were and who that kid was.
He arrived home mere minutes later.
His father was sitting at the desk, looking dejected as usual, and Dean actually managed a slight grin for the first time in years.
"Anything?" asked John.
Dean grinned. "I think so."
John's head shot up. "You think so?" he asked. "What did you find?"
Dean tossed the information he'd written down onto the desk in front of his father and explained what he'd seen earlier that day. "It looked just like him, dad! It has to be him. And, Father Jim said there was a sighting in this area!"
John watched as his son came alive like he hadn't seen since Sam disappeared. God, he hoped it was Sam. For all of their sakes.
Sam woke up the next morning, or so he thought it was the next morning, with an excruciating headache among other things. Frank was nowhere to be seen, thank goodness, so Sam quietly pried himself off the living room floor and headed towards the bathroom the assess the damage.
The mirror showed a pretty crappy reflection. Sam sighed and stuck his head out the door, listening for the tell-tell sounds of Frank's snores. When he didn't hear them, he frowned. He quietly tip-toed his way to Frank's doorway, and risking his life, he gently opened the bedroom door. Frank wasn't there. That was odd. He never woke up any sooner than before nine. It was only seven thirty, judging by his own watch on his wrist. He checked to make sure it was still working just to be on the safe side. It was, but Frank still wasn't there. Strange. He briefly hoped the man had finally died of that heart attack. He knew he'd never be so lucky, though.
He searched the rest of the house, but still there was no sign of Frank. Feeling slightly safer, since the man wasn't in the house, Sam went back to the bathroom to start cleaning up. As he dabbed gently at his face, Sam thought back to the man he'd seen in the black car yesterday afternoon. It had been wishful thinking, he figured. It couldn't be his brother. There was just no way Dean and his father would be in town. It wasn't like there was a hunt or anything that would draw them here. It never occurred to Sam that they would be keeping an eye out for him. Frank had actually beaten it into his head that his family wouldn't ever come looking for him. After three years, and no sign of his family, Sam had started to believe it. Surely, if they were actually looking for him, they'd have come by now, right?
When the door opened, Sam stiffened in reaction to the noise. Frank was home now and if he was still angry, then it wasn't going to be pleasant.
"We're leaving town for a few days, Sam. Get your stuff packed."
Sam stood there in shock. They never left town unless Frank thought someone was on to them. That trickle of hope came flooding back as he realized he could have been correct about who he'd seen in the car. Frank wouldn't make them leave unless it was very likely they'd be caught. A hard smack to his face got him paying attention to the present again.
"Are you deaf?!" he yelled. "I said go pack some things! Now!"
Sam didn't wait to get hit again and fled to his bedroom. He quickly threw some clothes into his duffle bag and grabbed his toothbrush and comb from the bathroom. He knew where they were going and he'd already left some things out there in case they had to leave in a hurry.
"I'm going back into town for about thirty minutes or so. I need to find out some information. You're going to stay here and you're not to leave this house," Frank sounded anxious and that generally wasn't a good thing. But, Sam's hope was really beginning to soar. If he could just get out of the house and track down the man in the black car.
Unfortunately, Frank must have seen some type of plan forming in his head because he suddenly saw him getting the rope out of the kitchen cabinet.
"No, Frank, I'll stay," he said desperately. "I'm not going anywhere. You don't have to do this."
Frank snorted at him. "Sure, you little brat. I know how you think. You know why we're leaving and you're thinking about going to find someone to help. It's not going to happen. Turn around and put your hands behind your back!"
Sam turned around in resignation. His plans were shot to hell now, so he just did as he was told. He wouldn't be able to do anything if Frank beat him into unconsciousness. Once his hands were tied firmly behind his back, Frank took another long piece of rope and tied Sam's ankle to a metal portion of frame underneath the couch. Sam wouldn't be able to reach it in his current position and even if he could, his hands were tied behind his back.
"I'll be back soon. Keep your mouth shut, or do I need to gag you as well?" he asked.
Sam vehemently shook his head no. That would only make this entire thing worse. "No, sir."
"Good boy. You might as well sit down, you'll just get cramped standing there like that," he said suddenly.
Sam blinked but did as he was bid. He sat down on the couch as the door slammed shut behind Frank. He tried futilely to somehow loosen his bonds, but it never worked before and it wasn't working now. He sighed in frustration and slammed his head back against the back of the couch. He'd never find his family now.
With the information they'd found out on Frank McCoy, they were starting to believe it just might be Sam who Dean had saw walking on the street earlier that day. He'd moved to this small town about a year ago and with him was his adoptive son, conveniently named Sam. If the man had been trying to be incognito, he'd failed horribly.
Father Jim had come immediately when he'd received the call that they were quite possibly closer to finding Sam than they had ever been in the past three years. He had been in the area for a church seminar but had come running when he got the news. Now, John and Jim were pouring over whatever information they could get on Frank McCoy. They knew he was a rich bastard, and that he wasn't the nicest man in the neighborhood. He took to violence and threats to get what he wanted and there was a rumor going around town that he'd been the one to kill his own father.
This information worried all three of them. If this was the type of man he was, there was no telling what he might have done to Sam. That question that had always entered John's mind, was Sam hurt, crossed his mind again then. It was quite possible that Sam had been and might still be hurt. It angered him deeply, but until he had concrete evidence he decided not to dwell on it. It would just cloud his thinking.
Dean had been sitting on his bed for the past ten minutes just thinking. "I don't get why he hasn't run away," he said suddenly. "I mean, if that was Sam that I saw, he was just walking down the street by himself with a bag of groceries. If it were Sam, I don't understand why he didn't run for the nearest police station or something. I mean, it was obvious he was out by himself, and had been allowed out by himself for a while. He was getting groceries!"
"Dean, you've got to take into consideration that if that was Sam, he might have been too scared to run. Or," John sighed, hoping he wasn't right. "He might have been conditioned that if he ran he'd get hurt. Or, maybe he had run in the past and had gotten caught instead. There's no telling why he stayed, but all the reasons he did aren't going to be something you're going to like. None of us will," he said angrily.
It hadn't occurred to him that Sam may have been threatened or hurt and forced to stay out of fear alone. It wasn't something he liked thinking about, that his little brother had been taken by some psycho who would hurt him. He'd always just hoped Sam was somewhere and that he was okay.
"We don't know for sure what happened, but we need to prepare for the worst," Jim interjected. "Come on; let's go scope out the house. If McCoy isn't home we can check the perimeter and see if the kid is there. And if it's Sam, we'll take him with us."
The three gathered what they might need and headed for the door.
The house looked deserted when they pulled up across the street fifteen minutes later.
"Do you think he's home?" asked Dean. He looked towards the driveway and saw that the older looking Buick was no longer parked there. "I don't see the guy's car. We should try and get inside while he's still gone," he said as he opened the passenger side door.
John nodded his agreement and turned towards Jim. "I'll set my phone on vibrate. If you see him coming back call and warn us, all right?"
Jim nodded his head in agreement and watched as the two quickly headed across the street to the two story suburban home. It was a pretty nice place, considering the man who owned it.
When John and Dean slipped into the back yard and out of sight, Jim turned his attention to the road to keep an eye out for McCoy. He hoped they found Sam so this nightmare could be over.
It was extremely uncomfortable to sit on the couch with his hands behind his back and his ankle forced in a strange direction, but he didn't exactly have a choice in the matter. He actually wished Frank would hurry up so he could get out of this position, but in another sense, he hoped the man took his sweet, precious time. He tried again to loosen his bonds, but there was still no slack in the ropes. He wouldn't be escaping this day.
Sam stiffened at a sound coming from down the hall. He knew no one else was home, so what the hell had that noise been? At the sound of a muffled groan coming from Frank's room, Sam began to think that the man had gotten drunk and somehow managed to come inside through the window instead of the front door like a normal person. If the reason he'd gone into town had been to get drunk, Sam was going to be seriously annoyed, and probably in a serious amount of pain by the time they left the house. Frank and alcohol weren't a good mixture.
"Watch it," it was whispered but Sam heard it. And that wasn't Frank. Suddenly fearful because he had no idea who was in the house, Sam started struggling against his restraints once more. The door was opened and a man walked out followed by another.
"Hello?" he asked quietly. "Who's there?" he knew he sounded scared, but he couldn't help it. He was virtually defenseless and if Frank found out someone had gotten inside while he was gone, he'd somehow blame Sam for it.
He heard the two men whispering to each other and then he heard the younger of the two speak. "Sam?"
Surprised that they knew his name, Sam stopped his struggles and stared into the darkness trying to catch of glimpse of who was there. "Do I know you?" he asked, standing up so he didn't feel quite so helpless. When they stepped out of the shadows of the hallway and into the living room Sam gasped. He knew those faces. "Oh my god, Dean," he whispered it and without thinking tried to go to his brother, but the rope tied tightly to his ankle stopped him in his tracks, nearly making him fall to the floor.
He never hit though, because the other man had grabbed him and helped him get his balance. When he looked up he was even more shocked. "Dad," he sighed in relief. They came for him. They really came. John pulled him forward and hugged him fiercely. Sam groaned at the pain the embrace was causing but didn't really care. But his father did.
"Sammy?" he asked, pulling back and holding his youngest at arms length. It was then that he got a good look at his son's face. "Jesus," he muttered, taking Sam's face and turning it in either direction to get a look at the damage. "That son of a bitch," he whispered angrily.
Sam cringed at the anger he could feel coming off of his dad, he knew it wasn't directed at him, but three years of solid abuse had made him wary. When he felt hands taking his wrists from behind Sam went completely stiff. "What are you doing?" he asked suddenly, making Dean stop in his motion to cut the ropes off of his little brother.
"I'm cutting you loose," said Dean simply as if that explained it. Which it did, but Sam instantly yanked his hands away as much as he could.
"You can't!" said Sam, his voice raised in fear. "If he comes back and I'm untied he'll be so mad," he said quickly, trying to pull out of John's arms. "You guys have to go!"
John stood there in shock for a moment. "There is no way in hell I'm leaving you with that monster. We're leaving and you're coming with us."
Sam shook his head. "You don't understand. He'll come after us! He's always found me before, he'll do it again, and he'll kill you guys!" he said, his eyes filling with tears at the thought of losing his family now that he'd finally found them again. "Please, just leave me here!"
Dean muttered a curse under his breath. Well, now he understood why Sam had never tried to run away, or had tried and failed with dire consequences. "Dad's right," he said adamantly. "We're not leaving you here and you've lost your damn mind if you think we're letting him within five feet of you ever again. Now, I'm cutting these damn ropes off of you and we're leaving. Understand?" he said hotly. He was angry and upset, and his brother was hurt physically and apparently mentally as well. That asshole was going to regret the day he ever messed with the Winchesters.
Sam just stared at his brother. He'd forgotten how…unmovable his brother could become when he'd made up his mind. He could feel Dean cutting the ropes and couldn't seem to come up with a plausible excuse to make him stop. He didn't want to stay here, but he didn't want his family to become dead, either. "Dean, please, he'll hurt you guys," he said softly.
"The hell he will, Sam. I don't know what nonsense that man has drilled into your head, but he's not going to hurt us, and he sure as shit isn't going to touch you again either."
John grabbed Sam's shoulders to keep him still. "Let your brother cut you loose." Sam was surprised when he leaned forward and rested his forehead against his own. "I'm sorry, Sam," he said gruffly. "I'm sorry I didn't take you with us."
He had to think about it for a minute before he realized what his dad was talking about. He'd regretted that for the longest time as well, and he realized how horrible it must have been for his father to come home to the motel room that day to find him missing. "Me too," he said softly.
John gripped the back of his son's neck firmly and kissed his forehead before standing up straight. "Dean, you got it?" he asked, indicating the ropes.
Dean nodded. "Yeah, done."
As Dean stood up he pulled Sam out of John's arms and into his own. He felt Sam stiffen a bit at the embrace but his little brother wrapped his now free arms around him as well. "Are you hurt?" he asked, pulling Sam back a little bit.
It was obvious he was, but there wasn't any time to deal with it right that moment. "Come on, we'll handle this when we get to the motel."
"Is it here in town?" he asked.
Sam shook his head. "We can't stay in town. People will tell him where I am."
They knew Frank had some town folks in his back pocket, but they didn't realize just how many. "We won't stay long, but we have to go. Do you have anything here that you want to take with you?" asked John.
The immediate refusal was all they got in reply as Sam took Dean's hand and pulled him towards the door. "We have to go before he gets back. He said he'd only be gone for thirty minutes. It's been almost that long now."
As if on cue, John felt his phone start to vibrate in his pocket. "He's here," said John and watched in growing anger as his son's face paled.
"Oh no," he said, his eyes wide with fear. He looked down expecting and finding a weapon in his father's hand. They were still hunters if nothing else and they always came prepared. Even if it was a human monster they might have to kill. John wouldn't leave this man to go after his son again.
The door swung open and in stepped Frank McCoy. He looked up in surprise as he first noticed that the boy wasn't tied to the couch as he had been when he'd left. The second thing he noticed was the two men standing in the room with him. This was decidedly not good. "Sam, you know better than to let anyone in the house," he said angrily.
Sam opened his mouth in shock and then closed it as he saw the angry expression on the man's face. He wanted to point out to the man that he hadn't let them in, that they'd gotten inside on their own, because he'd been tied to the couch! But, he didn't say anything of the sort. He still knew when to keep his mouth shut, even with his brother and father here to protect him.
John brought the gun up and pointed it at Frank's face. "Don't talk to my son," he hissed out and Frank's face paled dramatically. He knew there were people in town looking for the boy, but it had never been his actual family before who had come looking.
"Dean, get Sam out to the car."
Dean nodded in agreement and grabbed Sam's arm. "Come on, kid," he said quietly and began to pull the boy behind him towards the door.
"He's not going anywhere with you!" said Frank, making a move to stop Dean.
Sam pulled his big brother back and away from the enraged man. "Watch out!" he yelled. Frank raised his hand and made to strike Dean, but Sam had picked up the tray he had used just that morning and deflected the blow. The tray vibrated with the impact and Sam dropped it on the floor. Before anyone could blink, Frank had grabbed Sam by his hair and forced him in front of him as a shield. With one arm pulled tight across Sam's throat, Frank started backing towards the door.
Sam gasped and tried to get the man's arm off his throat, but he didn't have the strength. "Put the gun down or I'll kill him, I swear it!" said Frank with a vicious twist to his arm. Sam let out a strangled breath and started trying to kick Frank with his legs but that only served to make the arm pull tighter. Unable to breathe, Sam's vision started to go black around the edges.
"Put him down!"
"Put down the gun!" Frank wrapped his hand around the arm strangling the boy and with the extra leverage, lifted Sam off his feet. The boy kicked frantically and the man finally lowered his gun.
"Put him down!" John had to restrain himself from advancing on the man. At the angle he was holding his son, he could easily snap his neck.
Frank lowered the boy back to the floor and released his strangle hold, but just barely. "I'm going to walk out of here and you're not going to follow me," he said menacingly. "If you do, I'll kill the little brat," he said, again emphasizing his statement by tightening his hold.
Sam was gasping for breath by that point and John and Dean were infuriated that there was nothing they could do. Frank reached behind him and pulled the door open. A loud thud followed and Frank's hold loosened completely as he collapsed onto the floor into a heap with Sam stuck underneath him.
John carelessly lifted Frank and dropped him to the side. He turned Sam onto his back and gently touched his neck. "Are you all right?" he asked.
Sam didn't answer for a moment. He was too busy staring at the man standing in the doorway. He hadn't seen Father Jim in more years than he'd seen his family, but he'd know the man anywhere.
"Sammy," the man said softly before kneeling down by them all on the floor. "Are you all right, kid?"
"Think so," he rasped out. He grasped his sore throat and rubbed it.
"It's good to see you again," Jim and John helped Sam sit up and then he was once again hugged as Jim wrapped his arms around him. "We've missed you."
Sam smiled softly as he finally made it to his feet. "Thank you for finding me."
Dean tossed his arm around Sam's shoulders and held on tight. "Sorry we couldn't get to you sooner, Sammy."
Ducking his head down, the youngest just nodded his head. "Don't worry about it. It's okay." Sam was just glad they were finally there. Better late than never, in his opinion. For the longest time he'd thought they had forgotten him. "He told me you wouldn't come," he said suddenly.
They all looked pissed at the revelation. Sam wasn't sure why he said it. The words had come out of his mouth without thought or decision. But, he had wondered for so long if they were even going to come. Frank had told him so many times that they didn't love him, that they would never come back for him, and that he'd taken him from a life worse than the one he had been thrust into it. At the time it hadn't made a whole hell of a lot of sense, but after a year or two, and still no sign of his family, he'd started to wonder. After three years, he'd started to believe it. It was wrong, he knew now, or his family wouldn't be standing in front of him now after saving his life.
John grabbed Sam's shoulders. He still couldn't get over how tall Sam had gotten in the past three years. He was almost as tall as himself and Dean now. But he brushed that aside for the moment. "That wasn't true. We've been looking for you since the day you were taken. There were so many leads that we tried to follow, but they were all dead ends. But we never stopped looking."
"They stopped hunting for you, kid. They focused all of their attention on finding you. If they were in an area and it was desperate, they'd hunt, but otherwise, they never stopped trying," Jim told him. "Don't ever think they didn't."
Sam nodded. "I'm sorry."
"Yeah, you have so many reasons to be sorry," said Dean sarcastically. "You were kidnapped and threatened and abused. You have nothing to apologize for!"
Sam just stared at him. "Sorry," he said without thinking but grinned weakly at the look on his brother's face. He almost said it again but stopped himself. He looked down at Frank who was still lying unconscious on the floor. "What about him?" he asked.
That was the question of the day. What were they going to do with the man? John would have preferred to take care of him permanently, but he knew he couldn't just kill the man in cold blood. He could…actually, but he could tell by the look on Sam's face that he wouldn't want him to. He stared at Sam for a moment. He'd missed the kid so much and to finally have him back was a miracle.
"Can we put in an anonymous call to the cops to arrest him?" asked Dean, scratching his chin as he pondered their situation.
Sam shook his head. "I think the cops around here are in his back pocket," he said softly. "I think most of the town is. They wouldn't arrest him. In fact, they'd probably come after us," he said, cringing at the thought. "We should really get out of here," he added unnecessarily.
They all knew what type of position they'd be in if they were caught.
"Let's tie him to the couch like he did Sam and leave. By the time anyone finds him, we'll be long gone. And, I highly doubt he'll ever catch up with us," Dean said, looking at his father for approval of the idea or disregard.
John saw Frank twitch and knew their time was running out. "Dean, take your brother out to the car. Jim and I will be out in a second."
Dean nodded and took Sam's hand. "Let's go, Sammy."
Sam followed behind his brother obediently, but his eyes remained on Frank as he was led out the door. The last thing he saw before the door shut behind them was Frank's eyes slowly opening and his father descending on the man.
When Frank looked up, it was right into the barrel of a gun that happened to pointed directly at his head. "Move and I'll shoot you." The voice was hard and cold and undeniably deadly. Frank obeyed out of sheer survival instinct. He saw another man that he hadn't noticed earlier standing still behind the man who claimed to be the boy's father. He must have been the one who struck him in the head earlier. He glared at the smaller brown-haired man. All he got in return was a look that proved to be even more frightening than the boy's father's. Quickly, he turned away and focused his attention on the larger man.
"What do you want?" he asked. He looked around, but didn't see the brat anywhere. "Where's the boy?" he asked. He was going to be very angry if he lost him.
"Someplace safe and far away from you, asshole," John hissed venomously.
Frank smiled viciously at the two of them and John felt a shiver go down his spine. He felt the rage inside him build again at the thought that this monster had kept his son for three years, doing only God knew what to him. "You'll never get out of town before the cops are on your tail," Frank said dangerously. "They know Sam is my son. You'll be arrested for kidnapping and when I get Sam again, I'll make sure you'll never find us."
Jim had to hold John back from bashing the man's head in with the butt of his gun. "You'll never get your hands on my son again!" he spat out angrily.
Frank just smirked. "You'll never make it out of town. I'll have the police on the line before you even walk out the door. You, your little friend over there," he said, motioning to Jim who still had a strong grip on John's shoulders, "and your son will all be behind bars before the day is out. And I'll have Sam back in my custody and he will pay dearly for this entire situation," he said, his voice cold with deadly intent.
He didn't notice until it was too late that the priest had released his hold on the boy's father at his words. At that moment, Frank realized he'd revealed entirely too much. "You can't call the cops if you're dead," said John, his face void of emotion. Then he pulled the trigger.
John and Father Jim quickly left the house, the door slamming behind them as they walked down the sidewalk. It was easy to see Dean and Sam both sitting in the car, the backseat to be precise, with Sam leaning heavily against his big brother. It was a sight that he thought he'd never see again and John was profoundly happy to have his son back, relatively safe and sound. He knew there would be issues, problems to overcome. Sam had been gone for three years. It was obvious he wouldn't be the same kid they had last seen and dealt with.
The car doors creaked loudly as John and Jim opened them and climbed in. Taking a moment to look back at his son's, John turned his body around in the seat and managed to rest a hand on Sam's knee. "Are you boys all right?" he asked, mostly directing the question at Sam, knowing Dean was more than all right at the moment. He finally had his baby brother back. John knew because he felt the same way.
Sam nodded jerkily. It had been a long time since someone had touched him without the intent to cause pain.
"Ready to go home?" he asked his sons. They didn't really have a home exactly, but so long as they were together, any motel room would do. That time he got a unanimous nod from both of his sons and he turned back around and put the key in the ignition. "Let's get the hell out of here, then."
After a quick pit-stop at their now vacant motel, John slowly and as inconspicuously as possible, drove out of the parking lot. John continued to glance in the rearview mirror at his youngest boy. Dean still had an arm wrapped around him protectively and Sam was leaning against his big brother's side. It was damn good to have him back and he vowed never to let anyone take him from them again. He would go to any lengths to protect his family, as he showed with deadly precision just moments before. And it was something he'd repeat in a heartbeat if he thought his family was in danger.
With one last glance at his boys, John pushed the pedal down further and sped out of city limits. It was time to go home.
The story at the beginning of this story is actually based on true information. Here is the website if anyone is interested: http :// I was just looking for something different and found this story. You'll have to manually type the web address into the address bar, too. I don't think it will link from here.
Please let me know how you liked the story. It was my first Supernatural fic, but possibly not my last.