Chapter 10: Life And Death Serious

Chapter 10: Life And Death Serious

Still grasping the remains of his mother's diary in his hands, Sam took another deep breath and tried again to relax, pushing the negative thinking out of his mind. As he felt his tense muscles beginning to loosen, Sam began to concentrate intensely on what he wanted to know. Was there a secret in the diary? Was it about the promise that his mother made that cost her her life and sent their family down this road? Or was there something written in her diary about how to fight the demons? Would any of the answers help them to find Jo? Over and over, Sam ran the questions through his mind until they were all he other thoughts, no other sounds, no other sensations. When his vision went white minutes later, Sam wasn't even scared. He could feel something happening. He wanted something to happen.

When Sam woke up on the floor, the room was dark. Still feeling strange, he opted to crawl over to the desk to reach up and turn on the lamp. He didn't know how long he had been out or what had happened. Did something happen or had he merely passed out? For no reason he could describe, he felt compelled to look down at his right hand that was loosely formed into a fist. He opened it to see one slip of paper inside. He smiled. Yes! It had to mean something! Excited, Sam didn't even notice the bright red drops of blood falling from his nose onto the piece paper as he began to read his mother's words...

days to get to Atlantic City, but the boys are like John

love to be on the road. I'm excited for our boys to see

hope John is winning a lot of money in the casino!

pushing Dean and Sammy on the boardwalk

nice day. It's the beginning of the summer and

get out of the sun. I thought it would be fun to

Gyspy is a fortune teller. Her sign said

Not wanting to waste any more time, Sam jumped to his feet to get to his laptop on the desk. It had to be a clue! He had to find out more about this Gypsy woman from Atlantic City! Was she still alive? If so, could he find her and what did she know? His hands flew over the keys as he searched for anything about this psychic. Nothing. Was it a dead end? Seeing no other choice, he decided to try to access his psychic abilities again. It had worked before, why not now?

Sam put his hands into his lap, put his head down, closed his eyes, and resumed his deep breathing. This time, he found that it was slightly easier to calm himself and get into the zone, for the lack of a better term. Once again, Sam's vision went white and his ears deaf as he concentrated on the word Gypsy. A moment later a Caucasian woman with long wavy dark hair and a flowing dress appeared in his mind. Sam couldn't see her face clearly, because it was night time, but it was obvious that she was walking on the boardwalk. He could hear the sound of the ocean and smell the salt. She paused under a light and took out a matchbook to light the cigarette that she was holding. Sam could see that it had the Caesar's logo on it and an address for Atlantic City. Sam was desperate to see more, but when pain shot up his neck to his eyes, he was jolted back to reality. The pain lingered, but Sam was too excited to dwell on that. It worked again! That had to have been Gyspy! She was alive and still in Altantic City! With shaking hands, Sam picked up his cell phone that was laying next to his lap top and pushed number one on his cell phone.

"Sam? Are you okay? Why are you calling me?" Dean asked.

"Dean! Thank God you answered the phone! You won't believe what happened! I found something in the diary and then I saw her!" Sam answered quickly as he absently wiped his nose on his sleeve.

"Slow down! I can't understand you! What happened?" Dean asked again, concerned.

"I found a clue! In the diary! It has to be a clue! Gypsy! She's alive! We have to go see her!" Sam said.

"Look Sammy, you're not making any sense. Can we wait to talk about this until I come back?" Dean asked.

"Wait until you get back? Dean, this is important! It can't wait! I-," Sam began to explain.

"I told you not to do anything stupid while I was gone and I mean it, Sam. You do NOTHING and go NOWHERE at all until I get back!" Dean ordered.

"You don't get it," Sam said softly, hurt that Dean didn't see the importance of his find.

"I have to go, Sammy. We'll talk about this WHEN I get back," Dean said before abruptly ending the call a moment later.

Sam looked down at his cell phone in disbelief. He had been dismissed. His brother had dismissed him! How dare he do that! How-. Sam's anger at his brother was forgotten a moment later when he noticed blood on his shirt and on his hand. He walked over to the mirror on the wall and was shocked to see dried blood crusted on his nose and down his neck as well. His skin looked white, and his eyes were bloodshot.

"What did you do?!" Missouri exclaimed from the doorway. "Sam! What did you do!"

Missouri rushed over to Sam and pulled him over to the bed. She sat him down, and took his head in her hands, looking over his face carefully.

"I told you we'd talk more about it tonight! You should have waited for me! You have not idea what you are capable of! You-," Missouri began.

"No! I'm not waiting around anymore for something to happen! I'm going to take charge of things, because I am SO sick of everyone looking at me like-," Sam said as stood up.

"Like what, Sam?" Missouri asked gently.

" I'm damaged," Sam answered.

Missouri sighed.

"Please sit?" she said as she patted the bed next to her.

Sam did as she asked.

"I don't think of you as damaged. But if you continue to do this, you will be. You have to be careful, because you have no idea what can happen to you if you go down this road," Missouri warned.

"Then tell me," Sam said.

"I don't have all of the answers, Sam. I wish I did. God knows I wish I did. But this," she said as she gently brought a tissue to his face. "Is not the way. Forcing your abilities to surface to get the answers you want and hurting yourself in the process is not the way. Your abilities are a gift. But it is a gift that is not meant to be exploited this way!"

"I didn't try to hurt myself, Missouri, but does it matter? Because it gave me this!" Sam said as held up the piece of the paper. "Dean didn't want to hear about it, but I know you will! Read it! It's about a woman my mom met in Atlantic City named Gypsy. Then I thought about her and I saw her!" Sam relayed.

Missouri took the piece of paper, but did not read it. She looked into Sam's excited eyes and realized that he still didn't understand, or didn't want to understand. And that scared her the most of all. She's seen this before, and the others paid highly. She watched Sam rush over to the desk and begin to type on his laptop.

"She's still in Atlantic City and hopefully she will talk to me!" Sam said without looking away from the screen.

When Missouri heard her house phone ring a moment later, she got up from the bed, leaving the piece of paper there. She took one last look at Sam before exiting the room. As she neared the kitchen, the sound of the mad typing grew fainter and fainter.

"Hello, Dean," she answered into the phone before he identified himself.

"Jeez, I don't know if I will ever get used to that. Do you know what's going on with Sam? Do we really need to come back?" Dean asked.

Missouri's answer was simple.

"He's forcing his gift and I'm not sure I can convince him to stop. Yes. You need to come back now."

Sam woke up to the sound of muffled shouting. He groaned, the desk not making a comfortable resting place. After he glanced at his watch, noting that he had slept for a few hours, he got up, opened his door, and walked into the hallway. He was very interested to find out what was going on outside of his room, but stopped short of joining the others in the living room when he heard Dean's angry voice.

"So? You want to use him as what…bait? Forget it!" Dean yelled.

"Dean, they still want him. That much we know. We can use that to our advantage!" Ellen explained.

"Oh, you think so, huh? What gives you the right to use my brother as bait? I won't allow it!" Dean reiterated.

"Now, let's just calm down here you two," Bobby said.

"No! Let's talk about this. You don't want Sam to be used as bait, but you would allow my daughter? Or did you forget about the time that you two boys used Jo as bait to catch that serial killing spirit!" Helen fired back.

"She volunteered! Whereas Sam, well Sam isn't exactly playing with a full deck these days in case you haven't noticed!" Dean shouted.

"She was naïve! Her first hunt! You could have told her no, sent her home to me like I asked! But no! She had something to prove and you took advantage of that! She could have died! You owe her! You owe me!" Helen said.

"Is it me or my father who you think owes you and Jo?" Dean asked angrily.

"What?" Ellen asked, in obvious disbelief.

"Oh, come on, Ellen! Let's get everything out on the table! You said you forgave my father a long time ago, but did you really? Or won't you be satisfied until one of his kids is dead too?" Dean accused.

"Let's stop this before either of you says anything else you will regret!" Missouri advised in an effort to de-escalate the situation.

"That has nothing to with this. We need Sam. That's all there is to it!" Helen responded.

Missouri sighed and sat down on the couch next to Bobby. It was if she and Bobby were not even there. Her head turned to the hallway. There was someone else listening that Dean and the others didn't know was there either. Sam. She'd let it play out for now. Maybe everyone did need to get everything out on the table. Good and bad. Maybe that was the only way they could all move on to a mutually agreed upon plan of action.

"Sam has done enough! We can find Jo without him!" Dean insisted.

"No, we can't! I've tried! Bobby's tried! Hell, you've tried! They have Jo hidden so well that not even God could find her! You know I care about Sam, but there's no other way, whether you like it or not!" Ellen implored.

"Look. I'm sorry about Jo, and like I said I will do everything I can to help get her back. But as for Sam? You have my answer. You as much as breathe a word of this to him, I won't help you. Take Sam away from me or anything shady like that, I will find you and I will kill you," Dean threatened. "I mean it! Sam's my brother. The only family I have left!"

"Jo's my daughter! Jo's all I have left! I can't lose her. I can't!" Ellen said, tears rolling down her cheeks now.

"And you won't," Sam said as he stepped into the living room.

Everyone went quiet, their eyes darting immediately to Sam before going back to Dean. Missouri sighed again. Whatever was going to happen, she hoped the ending would be cathartic for everyone.

"I don't want this life for you anymore, don't you get it?" Dean asked in frustration.

"I don't need your help with this decision, Dean! I've made up my mind. I had a breakthrough today and I know where I need to go next," Sam explained.

"Oh, really? Missouri told me about your supposed breakthrough. I think insanity would be a better way to describe what's going on there!" Dean answered.

Sam's mouth dropped open.

"Go to hell," Sam growled.

"Make up your mind, Sam. Are you regretting saving me from the pit now?" Dean replied.

""Why are you saying all these things to me?" Sam asked.

"This is life and death serious Sam, no time to mince words. I didn't save you for you to kill yourself!" Dean yelled.

"So you saved my life and I saved your's. Guess we're even now. I'm not your problem anymore," Sam said as he defiantly crossed his arms in front of his chest.

"You do not want to go there, Sammy. Trust me," Dean seethed.

"They can't find me anymore, so they're going to start coming after everyone I care about. Like Meg did when they wanted the Colt from dad. It will start with Jo and end with you. It's their m.o. Nothing's changed! When the demons that we release from the gate were destroyed, all we did was buy some time, take part of their army away from them!" Sam said.

"I'm so sick of this! Can't you let someone else take on the burden of the human race for once?" Dean asked in response.

"Dean. This is about me. It can't end without me. Why don't you see that by now? Everyone else has!" Sam insisted.

"Oh, really? Sure, Ellen does because she wants to use you to find Jo, but not Bobby," Dean said as he turned to the older man.

Bobby looked away from his glare.

"Bobby!" Dean said, before shaking his head in disbelief. "Missouri? Tell him!"

Missouri stood up and walked over to Dean.

"I'm sorry, but I can't. I don't know how Sam fits into all of this, but he's definitely a part of it," she said with tears in her eyes.

"I can do this, Dean!" Sam said.

"I've heard that before! That's what you said right before the demons possessed you and then you begged me to kill you in the Abbey, remember?" Dean reminded him.

"But it's different this time! My abilities are so much stronger now!" Sam explained.

Dean shook his head in frustration. Seeing no other alternative, Dean balled his hand into a fist. If he couldn't convince everyone with his words that Sam shouldn't be part of fighting this demon war, he'd have to no other choice but to show them. Suddenly, he punched Sam in the stomach as hard as he could. Sam fell to the floor, coughing as he struggled to catch his breath. He pulled his knees up to his chest, the pain too great for him to do anything else.

"Dean! What the hell!" Bobby yelled as he and Ellen rushed over to Sam.

"Before all of this happened, he would have stopped my punch! You're weak now, Sam! You're NOT physically or mentally ready for ANY of this! If you're not my problem anymore, then you do have a problem. You continue to go down this road, and we're done. You hear me? DONE! I can't watch you die again. I just can't!" Dean yelled, tears glistening in his eyes.

"Get out!" Missouri yelled at Dean as she pointed at the door. "Walk it off! NOW!"

"Fine! But if you're gonna go, Sam, then GO! DON'T be here when I get back!" Dean yelled before he stormed out of the house.

A moment later, the roar of the Impala's engine revved down the street and all was silent again.

An hour later, Sam, bag in hand, walked into the living room.

"Are you sure you want to do this, Sam?" Missouri asked the young man one last time.

Ellen and Bobby were there as well, all waiting for his answer. Sam nodded quickly. He hoped no one could see that he was shaking. He had to continue to fight in this demon war and find Jo, yes. He just thought Dean would be there too. Maybe…maybe it was for the better. Maybe it would keep Dean safe to be away from him. Sam hoped so.

"Thanks for everything," Sam said after Missouri wrapped her arms around him. He didn't hug back. Couldn't hug back. He was feeling a bit numb at the moment.

"Are you sure that Atlantic City is where you have to go?" Bobby asked, skeptical.

"Yes," Sam answered again, his voice monotone.

"Your brother and I have an exorcism to do. Then he'll meet up with you, okay?" Bobby promised as he hugged Sam.

Everyone went silent. Sam knew why. He didn't think anyone else believed Bobby either.

"Thank you for doing this. For helping me get Jo back," Ellen said to Sam a moment later.

Sam nodded again. As Ellen turned to Bobby to say goodbye, Sam headed for the door. Missouri stopped him before he stepped outside.

"I'll see you soon, dear. And the answer is no," Missouri said as she placed a hand on his arm.

"No to what?" Sam asked confused.

"Your brother will never hate you. No matter what," Missouri answered.

Sam laughed, but it was a sound hollow of happiness.

"Remember what else I told you. Please. Your psychic abilities will present to you when necessary. Do NOT try and manipulate them. You MUST remember that. I fear what will happen if you don't," Missouri said.

"I promise that I will be careful. I'm sure that I've used up all of my get out of hell free cards by now," Sam said with a smile.

"That's the good thing about heaven, Sam. You don't need any tricks to get in. But God won't take in those who are not yet supposed to be there either. And I don't think he'll be ready for you any time soon," Missouri said.

"Tell Dean…" Sam said, but was unable to finish. How could he put into words what he wanted to say to his brother?

"I'll tell him you love him. And Ellen?" She said as she turned to the other woman. "You bring that daughter around after you find her, okay? Let me be the judge if she's more beautiful than her momma," Missouri said as she hugged Ellen.

Bobby held open the door for Ellen and Sam and then stepped back inside with Missouri. Once in Ellen's truck, Ellen and Sam sat in silence for a moment before she turned on the ignition.

"Thank you for not giving up on my daughter," Ellen said again.

"I should tell you that I don't have much of a plan," Sam confessed with a small smile.

"Hey, people like us don't need much of a plan to get the job done," Ellen said, smiling now too. "Tell me what you got."

"We head for the Atlantic City boardwalk, about a nineteen hour drive from here. We stop as little as we can along the way. Look to find the psychic Gypsy. I think she'll be able to tell us about my mother. Hopefully, it will give us a lead on Jo. I do know one thing, Ellen. This has to end with me. My mom's spirit told me so, but I knew it already. When we find Jo, you get her out without looking back, you hear me?" Sam said.

Ellen, smile gone now, nodded. She turned on the ignition, but did not yet put it in drive. She had one more thing to say to Sam.

"Dean didn't mean what he said, Sam," Ellen said quietly.

"Yes. Yes he did," Sam answered. That he was sure of. It was like the estrangement that had happened between him and his dad when he left for Stanford was happening all over again. And just like that time, words hurt much worse than any physical pain like Dean's punch could have. Without another word, Ellen drove them away from the curb and onto the quiet road.

After he felt at least calm enough to talk without yelling or hitting something, Dean sped back into the driveway and screeched the Impala to a halt. He refused to dwell on the fact that Ellen's truck was gone from the curb. Dean strode into the house and was surprised to see Bobby and Missouri waiting for him in the living room. Bobby stood and held out Dean's packed green duffle bag. Dean looked at it, confused.

"Go. I can handle the exorcism," Bobby said as he continued to hold out the bag to him.

"What?" Dean asked.

"You gone deaf all of a sudden? Get out of here. They only have a two hour head start on you," Bobby said. "That car of your's can kick Ellen's truck's ass any day."

"You both heard me say that if Sam made this choice, then we're done!" Dean reminded them.

"Yes. We both heard you say that. Now you better mind your elders, boy!" Missouri said before her mouth turned up into a smile.

Dean looked at both of them and smiled too. Life certainly screwed him over in more ways than he could count, but friendship was not one of them. A moment later, he snatched his duffle out of Bobby's hand and rushed out the door. The Impala tore out of the driveway and was gone.

"I'm going too, Missouri. Watch yourself, I mean that. And thanks. For everything," Bobby said before hugging her.

After he left, Missouri looked around at her quiet living room.

"God? You keep them all safe. And tell me how am I supposed to get used to having an empty house again?" Missouri said with a sigh.

The End (But don't miss the last story in this series, Mind Games, coming soon)

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