Title: Leading in the darkness

By Tidia

Rating: Let's say teen

Disclaimer: I do not own or profit from Supernatural or its characters.

Notes: This is not Brotherhood related, and is set somewhere in Season 2. I wrote this with the idea that the present day part is Dean's point of view and the past is Sam's point of view. So, it was more a writing exercise and I wanted to add in the info about Saint Anthony's church (all true). This is set in Pittsburgh, and dedicated to Leslie, aka Yahtzee. By the way, this fic is finished, but I like to post in parts over time. All mistakes are my own. Hey to Ridley, lol, who knows my trauma.

Part 1

It was stupid to hate a whole city because of a past hunt. Pittsburgh had its good points. The Steelers. Food was good-a lot of German influence. Schnitzel he liked. The hunt was about ten years ago, and he stopped looking over his shoulder nine years ago.

He looked over one more time because it was Pittsburgh and better safe than sorry. They were not here on a hunt. It was more of an investigation. Relics had been stolen from a church. They needed to find the persons or person committing the crime. Antiquities in the wrong hands spelled trouble. The Colt was an example of that. To the Winchesters it was salvation, to the demon it was destruction.

Dean sprinted as the motel came into sight. He had gone for a run when he awoke early in the morning, leaving Sam sleeping. He entered the room, his sweatshirt stained with sweat and a little out of breath.

"Sam!" He called out to his brother. A quick glance around the room and Sam was not there, but there was a folded note- Went to pick up breakfast.

Dean peeled off the sweatshirt. His t-shirt clung to his body. He had brought in the tension bar last night and fastened it to the bathroom doorframe. Dean started with chin-ups. After a set of fifty he kept his body rigid and lifted his legs up and down in a slow, controlled movement. Finished, he removed the bar and stretched, turning on the television.

Sam arrived holding a paper bag and balancing a tray of coffee as Dean was doing squats with Denise Austin. "What are you. . ."

"Working out my quads, butt and thighs and looking at a hot girl." Dean continued the exercises, following Denise's promptings and bending lower.

Sam looked away, concentrating on the coffee and bagels placing them on the small table in the motel room. "It's embarrassing, man."

"Check her out, Sammy." Dean said as he did alternating lunges. "Definitely motivating."

Sam walked over.

Dean pointed to Denise's sports bra and underwear. Even Sam had to admit she had a great body, and there was the sheen of sweat. . . "Motivating, isn't it?" Dean added, seeing his brother's jaw slacken.

"Yeah, but, man, can't you find something else?" Sam found the remote and clicked the television off.

"Hey! Buns of Steel was next!" Dean tried to snatch the remote control back, but Sam tossed it onto the bed. Dean's interest waned as the coffee aroma was too enticing. "What'd you get for breakfast?"

"Muffins." Sam pulled one out and took a bite; the crumbs broke off and landed on the table.

Dean gestured to the bag. "What kind? And don't say bran. I can't choke that down."

Sam shook his head with a smile. "Blueberry."

Dean opened the bag and pulled the paper off the muffin bottom. He was hungry, especially after the workout. "Find anything else out?"

"I walked by the church on my way to get coffee." Sam took another bite of the muffin, chewed, then continued. "Weird that this church in Pittsburgh has the largest collection of holy relics outside of the Vatican."

"That someone is stealing." Dean had finished his muffin in two bites and was looking for another one. His brother always was stingy on the food.

Sam brushed the crumbs off his hands. "Since I had some time this morning I did some research."

Dean knew Sam was referring to Dean's morning workout. "It's important to keep up appearances, Sammy. That muffin is gonna go straight to your hips, pumpkin."

"Guess it's lucky I don't have to work too hard." Sam stretched his tall frame.

"You keep thinking that." Dean took the lid off the coffee, which was hampering his ability to take a large gulp. "So what did you come up with?"

"St. Anthony's Chapel on Troy Hill's collection was acquired by one wealthy priest who founded the parish and used his own money to collect the treasures. He built this chapel to house them back in 1890," Sam read the church pamphlet out loud.

Dean snatched the brochure from Sam's hands. "Anything strange before this?"

Sam shrugged his shoulders. "People have left their crutches, canes, and eyeglasses at the door as a sign of their miraculous healing at St. Anthony's."

The older Winchester wondered what sacrifice was made for those 'miracles.' He doubted that prayer was enough, especially after what his father had done for him. "So two months ago some relics go missing?"

"Some small stuff, but the priest noticed. A bone fragment from Saint Francis, then a pin from Saint Ursula."

Dean placed the pamphlet on the table. "And now what's missing?"

"A mantle belonging to Saint Stephana and a cup from Saint Theodore."

"I say we check out the church. See what we find."

Sam waved his hand in front of his face as Dean leaned in to see if the bakery bag was empty. "After you take a shower."

"Why don't you go buy some more breakfast? 'cause one muffin is a snack, not a meal. How about some wurst?" Dean retorted as he went into the bathroom to clean up.

"For breakfast?" Sam grimaced.

"Why not?" Dean shrugged. It was like breakfast sausage.

snsnsnsnsnsnsnsnsnsnsnssnsnsnsnsnsnsnsnsnsnsnsnsnsn

Dean and Sam parked the Impala. Dean put in all the change he had for the meter, giving them a little over an hour. They walked up the hill to the church wearing their suits. As FBI agents they needed to dress the part. It was a residential neighborhood with older, middle class homes. They reached the church, and entered the quiet sanctuary. Daily morning mass was said at 9 am and had long passed. Sam picked up the church bulletin. Their footsteps echoed as they walked down the aisle.

The altar and brightly colored stained glass window were before them.

"Says here the pastor is Father Gomes," Sam whispered.

One of Dean's eyebrows rose. "Why are you whispering?"

Sam frowned. "Because we are in a church."

"We're not Catholic."

The younger Winchester glanced around. "A church is a church." The quietness was interrupted by a tow headed boy entering through a doorway with a toy airplane. He mimicked an airplane sound as his feet hit the marble floor, clattering along. He was quickly followed by his mother, who called out in a loud whisper:

"Jimmy!"

Dean couldn't hide the smirk as Jimmy barreled forward. Dean placed a hand out, stopping the boy before he crashed into him. "Hey there, you may want to think about slowing down."

The mother walked at a fast clip to reach her son. "Thank you." She placed a hand on her son's shoulder. "Jimmy, that wasn't nice, especially in church."

Sam and Dean watched as the mother scolded her child. She turned to them to give them a nod.

"Kill the boy."

Dean's eyes narrowed. He glanced at his brother who hadn't reacted to the statement. "Pardon me?"

"Thank you again." The mother smiled.

"Do you know where we can find Father Gomes?" Sam asked.

"He's not in today, but Father Martin is in the rectory." She pointed to the doorway, then firmly guided her son past the two brothers.

Sam took a few steps forward, but his brother was not following. "Dean? You with me?"

He turned and looked at the woman's retreating back, then at the altar with the cross hanging above it. Maybe he didn't hear anything. It was just the acoustics. He hoped, either way he was not going to act on someone telling him to kill a boy. It wasn't going to happen. "Yeah, yeah." He stepped forward and followed his brother.

SNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNNSNSNSNSNSNSNSN

April 1996

Pittsburgh, PA

"Sam!" Fourteen year old Sam was in the car reading Cry, The Beloved Country and on lookout duty. He had borrowed the book from the library. He usually got books at yard sales, since it was difficult to return library books. He probably had a record with libraries across America.

Reading kept him occupied. He was too young to participate in the hunt. Unfortunately, he still trained with his brother, and was sporting some sore calf muscles after the Ranger trek through the woods. He looked up to see his brother dragging their father, trying to bear most of John's weight while holding a shotgun and a duffel bag looped around his shoulder.

The youngest Winchester dropped the paperback and opened the Impala door assisting his brother by grabbing the gun and bag. Sam saw the blood dripping from a cut on his father's forehead. The way he was hunched over and not talking or giving orders meant there were more injuries. Sam opened the back door of the car. Gently Dean eased their father in as Sam helped to swing his legs inside.

"Dean?" Sam hesitated as he closed the door. Dean ran to the driver's side.

"Gonna be okay, Sammy." It was his patented older brother reply. It wasn't comforting especially when John groaned.

Dean glanced back at his father. "I can fix this." He repeated the statement again as he started the engine.

Sam sat against the door, keeping an eye on his brother and father. John was breathing steadily and Dean was dedicated to driving. "What happened?"

"It was more powerful than we thought." The eighteen year old spared a glance in the rearview mirror.

It was unlike the Winchesters to go into a situation unprepared. In fact Sam had done the research, which his father and brother had relied on. "What? How?"

"I don't know."

Sam chewed on his bottom lip, taking blame. "Those articles I found at the library said he murdered his son. The police shot him dead." The exorcism should have worked, and his father should have been unharmed.

"Not now, Sam." Dean cut off his brother's comments in a low tone. "Not now."

Mentally, the young teenager went through the information he had pieced together. Vince Eder was the deceased owner of the colonial style home in Emsworth, Pennsylvania outside of Pittsburgh, ten years ago he had held his son hostage. After a tense standoff with police, he shot his son and the police shot him dead in return. The house had been haunted ever since with curious people being injured over the years.

"Dad?" Sam turned in his seat as he heard John groan.

"He's gonna be fine. . ." Dean made the sharp turn into the parking lot of the Stop and Stay Motel. Dean found a parking space near their room. "Help me get him inside."

Sam opened the car door and was there with a willing shoulder. His brother took most of their father's weight and John shuffled his feet.

"It's okay, Sammy." Dean repeated as he opened the motel door with one hand, and used his foot to knock the door ajar. They deposited John on the nearest bed. "Go get the kit, wet a towel and some dry ones too."

The teen reacted swiftly, and gathered the requested supplies. Dean had divested John of his shirt. There were red angry bruises on John's torso, and a diagonal slice from hip above the hip bone and stopping just before the nipple.

"Here you go." Sam swallowed. He hovered, wanting to help.

Dean gripped John's chin. "Dad? Dad? Come on. . ."

John jerked his head, then opened his eyes. "Mmm..Dean? Sam?"

"We're here." Dean confirmed, and looked at Sam with a nod.

John closed his eyes. "Good boys."

Dean shook his head, and rested a hand against his father's cheek. "We gotta fix you up."

"'kay," John agreed, but Sam didn't believe it was a coherent thought.

Dean snapped his fingers, pointing to the kit. Sam rifled through, quickly reading the prescriptions and settled on Percoset. He tossed them to his brother.

Dean removed two of the small pills, opened his father's mouth and closed it. "Swallow, Dad."

John opened his eyes slightly, licked his lips and did as he was told. Dean sat on the edge of the bed, and Sam assisted, knowing what Dean would need. First the wound was washed, and pressure applied until the bleeding had slowed down. By the time this was completed, twenty minutes had passed so the painkillers had started to work. Dean cleaned the wound with hydrogen peroxide and Sam watch the wound bubble white. Lastly, it was blessed in holy water.

They both looked at the wound, and where it was still bleeding stitches would be necessary. Sam heated the needle and threaded it. Dean took in a deep breath, then began the procedure of sewing the wound.

Sam went to wash his hands, so his presence would not be distracting. He came out the bathroom and prepared the other supplies they would need- ACE Bandage for the ribs, gauze and antibiotic ointment for the wound.

After another twenty minutes, Dean finished. Sam applied the antibiotic ointment, and laid the bandage on top while Dean washed his hands. It took both of them to wrap their father's torso.

John hadn't awakened throughout the whole procedure. Dean and Sam sat on the other bed, and stared at their father. This was their remaining parent.

Dean placed his hands on his knees, stood up and grabbed the car keys from the table.

"Where are you going?"

Dean placed his hand out, halting Sam. "We need some supplies. We passed a place opened 24 hours." Dean glanced at their father. "We need some money too. Watch Dad."

"But, Dean. . ." Sam didn't want Dean to leave him. He didn't want the responsibility of taking care of their father.

Dean placed a hand on his brother's shoulder. "Sammy, Dad's gonna be outta commission for awhile. I gotta do this."

Sam knew his brother was waiting for permission. And he had to give it to him because there was still rent to pay, and food needed. "Okay." Sam nodded.

Dean grinned, then went over to his Dad, and squeezed his foot. "You know the drill. Wake Dad up in an hour if I'm not back by then."

TBC