A/N: To everyone who reviewed and PMd me with your support, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. It's good to know you are out there. suz mc, you are very clearly a class act. Even tho we have opposing viewpoints, your comments were thoughtful, calm and reasonable.

A/N #2: Section title taken from the song of the same name by Dave Dudley.

Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural. This is for entertainment only, and not for profit.


Part 8 - Six Days on the Road

Then:

Have you heard the one about the traveling salesman? Carl Peters never did think those kind of jokes were funny. On the last day of his life he stopped by the Bender place and never left.

Damn muse, Chuck thinks to himself. He misses being able to slouch around his house dressed in his bathrobe, but writing those dumb horror novels wasn't working, so he has to try something else.

One thousand souls will open the hellmouth. Them's the rules. Azazel doesn't like it, but hey, what can you do?

Sue Ann invited one of Roy's nurses over one afternoon for lunch. Her name was Kate Milligan, and naturally Sue Ann smiled and said it would be fine if Kate brought her son Adam with her. There were more than enough bones for the altar.

The yellow eyed man held her in his arms that night and told her she was a good girl. The next day eleven year old Ava pushed her Daddy down the stairs. She smiled when she heard his neck snap.

On the last day of her life Bela Talbot deliberately leaves the alarm system off in her condo. Bela smiles as she dies, and her attackers never know why. Murder victims always go to Heaven.

Sue Ellen LaGrange prays for Roy, and she gets an answer, all right. Not God, the Trickster thinks to himself. He likes to set things in motion and stand back and watch the fur fly.

Chuck doesn't know whether he should feel humbled or insulted. Reverend LaGrange's wife doesn't recognize the name of either Carter Edlund when he approaches her about the book deal.

Sue Ellen thinks of Roy, thinks of him lying in that hospital bed, thinks of all the long years ahead of her, cold and alone. That's not gonna happen.

Ol' Yeller sometimes wishes the Benders had hunted more during their time, but they took Dean and turned him into Gabriel, so Azazel can't bitch too much.


Now:

Tuesday

"Get the hell off me," Bobby snarls, and the nurses step back. "I'll walk out of here with no pants on if that's what it takes."

He's alone, really alone, for the first time in his life. No Dad, no Dean.

Ellen lies there in the dark with tears streaming down her face. Her chest hitches up and down painfully. She's still caught up in the dream, but as she stares into the darkness, she knows. Jo's dead.

Didn't pray for this, Jimmy thinks to himself. Please, God, I didn't pray for this…

FBI SPECIAL AGENTS SHOT AND KILLED DURING RAMPAGE. Sam sees the headlines, and God help him, the only thing he can think of is that at least Dean doesn't have Hendrickson and Reidy to worry about anymore.

Dean, please, John yells it out at the top of his lungs, and Gabriel doesn't even blink.

Reverend LaGrange is a surprise. He reminds Chuck of that Walton grandpa, or Santa Claus in one of those old movies, minus the beard.

The headache is low and heavy, settles in right behind Sam's eyes. Everything is too light, too bright, and yellow.

Pa never left him. Pa came back for him, and that's good enough for Gabriel.

Not bad, Meg thinks to herself as she looks at Jimmy's body in the mirror. He's pleasant enough. Nice to look at, but she decides against wearing that tan raincoat. Too Columbo.

Gabriel gets a rush every time he uses his gift. His skin tingles as his fingers ghost underneath his victims' skin. The more he uses it, the better he likes it.

Salt is good, rock salt is even better. Kubrick's been going to Jayson Supply Company for years, and they don't even blink when he picks up a three one hundred pound bags of the stuff.

LaGrange smiles warmly when he shakes Chuck's hand, and Chuck wonders how in the hell he hooked up with that cold fish of a wife of his.

The Impala's gone, and so is the Key of Solomon and that bag of containment amulets Bobby hid in the fireplace. Bobby reads the note Sam left and cusses loudly for a good half hour. Doesn't do any good but it does make him feel better.

Gabriel sees the reaper just about everywhere. He does wonder why it's still hanging around.

Kubrick hates evil, like this Dean Winchester freak, but there's no heat behind it. It's just God's will and His righteous wrath, nothing personal.

Sam doesn't sleep very much. The first vision hits Sam two hours after he leaves Ellen's place. He sees Dean and John walking into a tent.


Wednesday

Going to see Daddy, Meg chants, over and over again. Jimmy stuffs his fingers in his ears and that does no good at all.

Lucas wakes up screaming twice that night. It's the only time Andrea hears his voice; he's mute during the day.

Sam checks caller ID each time his phone rings. He ignores Bobby and Ellen. He prays for Dean to call, but Dean never does.

Gabriel feels a chill the first time he sees Pa start a fire with his bare hands. He smells burning flesh, sees blonde hair, pale skin, and sorrowful eyes.

Jimmy sits with his back jammed up into that dark corner. He watches his body kill the woman just so he can take her car.

Rufus owes Bobby, but that doesn't stop him from pitching a fit on the way to Pam Barnes' place.

LaGrange is the name on the signboard on the tent. Sam wakes up with his head pounding so bad he can hardly see, but he holds onto the name because it means something.

He doesn't remember when he learned how to play pool, but he must have, right? Gabe wins all three games, and $300 bucks. The six losers follow him outside to the alley to take their money back, and get a piece of that pretty little ass besides, and the damn fools don't even know what hit them.

Ash wasn't all that sociable when he was alive. Dead? He hasn't changed a bit. He gets into fights with several of the other souls, but it's that Gabriel kid with those cold green eyes that scares him the most.

Azazel laughs as he feels the psychic reach out for him. He lashes out at her without much thought. It's not that she's a threat, but it's just the principle of the thing, you know?

All of the case files that Hendrickson and Reidy handled are quietly put aside and closed, including the case involving one Dean Winchester.

Caleb's never heard of the dude, but Jim Murphy knows about Roy LaGrange right away. Sam hangs up the phone so fast he feels guilty about it, swears he's going to apologize if he lives through this.

Dark yellow light flares up in Pam's eyes. It fills the whole world, and she screams and screams as everything goes dark.


Thursday

Pa doesn't want any blood spilled, not today, so Gabriel plays at being Dean for a while.

Kubrick got the spirit board from the estate sale for one Bela Talbot. Damn shame what happened to her.

"Dean, right?" The large black dude sticks out his hand. Gabriel hesitates for the barest second, then he smiles and his grip is firm and tight. "Thought that was you and your Dad over there I'm Tom Haskell." He nods at the other man beside him, and Gabe decides Haskell's the greater threat. "This is Bob Grey."

Lucas spends the next day sitting quietly in his room drawing. Andrea calls him down for lunch, and while he eats she goes into his room and looks at his drawings.

Meg says "Howdy" to a couple more old friends on her way to LaGrange's. Jimmy screams as loud as they do.

By the third day Sam's headache is down to a dull roar. He dry swallows three aspirin at a time, just enough to dull the pain.

The eyes are yellow, and Lucas uses up an entire crayon filling the color in. The blood in the drawing is red, so much red, and Andrea goes pale when she sees the picture.

He smiles and laughs, drinks beer and when the hunters finally leave for the night Gabriel glances at Pa. Time for a hunt? Pa says no.

In the second house Meg uses the steam shower to wash off the blood. You'd think that would shut Jimmy up, but nooo…


Friday

Andrea sees the poster for Roy LaGrange. Couldn't hurt, Andrea thinks. Couldn't hurt just to go up there. Just to see.

Gabriel dreams about cities on fire, and rivers of blood. He wakes up in the dark and stares at Pa's face for the longest time before he's able to go back to sleep.

"Faith healer, huh?" Azazel rumbles. "What d'ya say we stop and give 'em something to have faith in?" John's fingers brush over that spiky hair at the front of Gabriel's forehead as the boy nods. "That's mah boy."

"Yellow eyes and fire," Pam murmurs to Bobby. She's high on morphine, but she seems certain enough about what she saw. "You hunt this bastard, I want in, you hear me, Singer? I want in."

That set of twelve silver knives was specially blessed by Pope John Paul the 2nd. If there's an easier way to bring down an evil sonofabitch Kubrick sure in the hell would like to know about it.

"We got other generations out there, boy," Pa says softly. "We're all gonna get together real soon and have a fine ol' time."

Once Mrs. LeGrange announces that Chuck's doing a book on the good Reverend, the faithful line up to tell their stories. This stuff is gold, and Chuck doesn't even have to make anything up.


Saturday

Mrs. LaGrange takes one look at the two men standing in the back of the meeting tent, and she knows exactly what they are. There's a yellowish tint to the older man's eyes. The younger man is breath-taking, with the face of an angel.

"Today's your lucky day, kid," the brunette purrs. She puts her hand out and Gabriel takes it after a moment's hesitation."My name's Tessa."

Once Sam gets turned around on the highway, and the headache disappears. He knows he's headed in the right direction when he turns east and that dull ache spikes him right between the eyes. Dean and John are somewhere up ahead.

Ava knows a fellow predator when she sees one. The beautiful boy with the yellow eyed man is off limits. The rest are fair game.

Gabriel doesn't like the way Reverend LaGrange looks at him. It's like he's looking through him, into him, and Gabe doesn't like that.

They swarm around the reaper all at once, and Gabriel doesn't even blink as black smoke billows down its throat and nose. Its eyes turn black. Gabriel thinks that maybe he should care about this, but he doesn't.

Daddy's little attack dog, Azazel thinks as he stares proudly at Gabriel. He doesn't have to wonder how much of Dean is left inside the kid. Winchester's kid is buried so deep he can't ever claw his way out.

I see you back there, Sammy, the voice whispers inside his head, all sly and gleeful, and Sam jerks himself awake.


Sunday

This time he's little, and Dad's big…

They can see each other, but they can't touch, and Dean doesn't understand why.

Daddy, please don't let her take me…

He sees the shadow standing patiently in the corner. Waiting.

Today's your lucky day, kid....

He can see her, and he doesn't understand why Daddy can't see it…

...please, Daddy...

He wants to say it, but he promised himself he'd be a big boy…

...a big boy, all brave and stuff and they don't cry and he wants to, but he doesn't

Dad looks at him, and he sees him. Dean knows he does.

Dad, please, help me…