Title: Leading in the Darkness

By: Tidia

Disclaimer: See part 1

Author's notes: This is the end. All mistakes are my own. All the info about the Buddhist exorcism is true (and interesting). Thank you for all the kind reviews-- I truly appreciate it since this story drove me a bit insane. But, once I started it then I wanted to finish it--I feel as though I owe it to the reader.

Part 6

Dean rested again once they returned to the motel, propping his knee up on a pillow while his brother gathered what they would need for the Buddhist exorcism. He wouldn't admit to Sam that he felt sore, but nothing that would impede him.

"How's the arts and craft project coming?" Dean asked as he pressed the channel up button on the remote control.

An empty can was thrown at him, but Dean easily avoided it, then threw it back at Sam, who caught it.

Sam was busy making a shakujo. The monk had said that the wooden staff with metal rings threaded through was needed. The sound it created was supposed to scare evil spirits away.

The monk would not loan them his shakujo, or even sell it to them. Sam looked it up on the internet, and the brothers improvised, stopping at a hardware store which also happened to be a recycling site where they found discarded cans.

Dean had done some work, cutting the cans in half after Sam insisted they wash them. The hardware store had been kind enough to drill some holes into the wood pole they purchased, no questions asked.

Sam then took on the difficult job of making a hole in each can part, pulling a string through and then tying it to the pole.

Dean hadn't realized the level of Sam's profanity vocabulary until the aluminum cans bit into his hand.

"Shut up. I'm almost finished."

Dean shut the television off, and slid his legs from the bed. He went to change his clothes into the all black ones. Night had descended and they needed to blend in.

They reached the church, the doors were locked. Catholic churches at one time were open all the time to provide solace and a safe haven. But, things had changed.

They used the side door; the front wooden doors were too exposed to the street. When they walked in they found a soft illumination, candles had been lit in the sacristy.

Earlier, while in the rectory Dean had placed a note in Father Martin's mailbox.

Vince Eder needs someone to pray for his soul tonight.

The Winchesters figured the note would have some sort of reaction-either the priest would go to the church or the room filled with antiquities. Silently, they crept, coming closer to the sacristy, near the entrance to the room of relics.

The metal doors were open, leading to the downstairs vault. They made their way slowly down.

Father Martin, the younger priest, was praying.

"Dear Father in heaven I ask for Your Mercy. I need Your Divine Guidance, Wisdom and Intervention. . . ." The young priest was kneeling next to the skeletal remains of Saint Demetrius.

"You need God to run interference for what, Father?" Dean retorted, his voice echoing with effect through the enclosed space.

Father Martin twisted his body around, a shocked expression on his face.

"Hell-o, Vince Eder," Dean said, and watched as Father Martin's eyes glinted. It was similar to when they used the word 'Cristo' on a possessed person.

It was strange that this man was the embodiment of another soul, who had been haunting him, taunting him to kill a little boy.

"You sent the note." The priest came to his feet.

"We did. I find it a little annoying that you've been in my head telling me to kill little Jimmy. Not so cool." Dean walked around the possessed priest.

Father Martin touched the black jacket he was wearing. "I was reborn into this body to complete what I am supposed to do. Unfinished business."

Dean pulled out a gun on the priest. He had no idea why, his brother was blocking the exit, but he felt more comfortable with a gun in his hand. "Then why involve me?"

"You had unfinished business with me, boy. You came into the church at the perfect time. Divine Timing." Father Martin purred the words.

Dean used the gun to direct the priest to move closer to Sam. "Actually, my timing sucks for you."

Sam held the shakujo, and rattled it slightly. "Did you steal all those religious items?" But Sam must have determined that Father Martin had, because he continued speaking, "Father Gomes told us they there are used for healing. Are you trying to heal your soul?"

"What are you doing here?" Father Gomes came down the steps, and stepped between Sam and Dean.

"We were just talking to Father Martin." Dean replied, and pushed Father Gomes, the older priest out of the way. It was late; shouldn't the older priest be in bed? This was supposed to be an exclusive party, by invitation only.

Unafraid, Father Gomes took up the same position he had just been forced to vacate. "I know what you are."

"FBI agents," Dean quickly retorted. They now had one too many priests in the small enclave. He didn't know if they should do a Buddhist exorcism in a church, yet alone a room filled with holy Christian relics.

"Hunters, assuming the work of the Lord. Misguided." Father Gomes sneered, and shook his head. "You are not needed."

Dean didn't know how hunters had gotten a poor reputation. They fought evil, without pay. "Whoa, do you know that this guy wants me to kill Jimmy?" And that brought up another question he directed to Father Martin. "Why Jimmy?"

"They are insane, Daniel." Father Martin said to the older priest. He tried to step away from Sam, but Sam grabbed his arm. "I was praying and they broke in. . ."

"Father, watch his eyes," Sam directed the older priest. "Vince Eder."

And Dean knew Father Gomes had seen it, the flickering of light in his fellow priest's eyes, because he stepped away to a safer position.

"Now answer the question Vince, why Jimmy?" Dean insisted once more. He wanted to know how the puzzle fit together.

Sam released Father Martin's arm. "He's my son." The possessed priest shrugged his shoulders and rolled his neck. He returned to stillness. "My son is not a good boy."

"Your son is dead. You killed him over twenty years ago. Jimmy is 6 years old."

"Kill the boy." Father Martin smiled a feral grin directed at Dean.

Dean backhanded Father Martin. "Stop it," he ordered. He had enough of someone messing with his thoughts, adding to the screwed up ones already inhabiting his brain.

"You okay, Dean?" Sam asked, and Dean gave him a quick nod.

Father Gomes found his words once more. "I'll take care of this. The Catholic Church has been doing exorcisms for quite a long time. Who do you think showed the hunters?" Father Gomes removed a flask of holy water and a crucifix from his pocket.

Dean couldn't resist making a comment. "Is this like what came first the chicken or the egg?" But his witticism was ignored.

"It's not a simple exorcism, father." Sam began to explain, "This involves a past life. Are you familiar with that?"

"Christianity rejected the idea of reincarnation since 553 AD." The priest held up the cross.

Dean pushed the cross down. "Let's take this upstairs." Dean began explaining the situation to the priest. "Awhile ago I exorcised Vince from his home. It's where we met." They had returned to the sacristy area, in front of an intricate golden box where the communion was located, above was a statute of Saint Anthony. "Sam, here, figured out that reincarnation was involved, and we spoke to a monk, who was nicer than you, at the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center." Sam had been holding Father Martin, and gestured for Dean to get a grip on the squirming man for a bit, and also handed him the shakujo.

"What we figured out was part of Vince's soul had been dealt with, the part that stayed attached to the house, but there was another part that was reborn to finish some misguided plan. And it was reborn into Father Martin," Sam had picked up the explanation.

"I figured that out. There was this movie," and Dean smiled as he finally recalled the name of the movie. "Little Buddha, and a soul can split. . ."

Sam interrupted his brother, giving the conclusion of their investigation. "Father Martin, Zachary Martin was born about 8 months after the death of Vince Eder, and he's been looking for his son."

Father Gomes looked at his fellow priest with confusion. "Jimmy is his son?"

"Reincarnated, maybe, but it doesn't make a difference since he isn't going to kill him." Sam said as he dropped the duffel hitched on his shoulder to the floor, and pulled out a few pieces of paper.

"And what about the artifacts that were stolen. . .someone else has been found. . .I didn't believe it was Robert, and knew something else was going on, especially when hunters showed up. "

Sam looked up. "We think the reincarnated spirit has not fully taken over, and that Father Martin was trying to heal himself."

Dean nodded, his brother had asked the monk what remained after a Buddhist exorcism and the monk had answered a happy, free person searching for nirvana.

"Dear Lord, how do you plan to stop him?" Father Gomes looked suspiciously at the two hunters.

"We're going to do a Buddhist exorcism." Sam placed paper cups on the floor in the shape of a circle, and filled them each with some sand. He then placed a stick of incense inside each one and lit them as he went. "Dean, you ready?"

Dean escorted Father Martin to the center of the circle with a push. Dean started shaking the shakujo, feeling very foolish doing it especially around the smoky incense. Father Martin tried to move beyond the boundaries of the incense circle, but was repelled back at each instance.

Sam started reading the appropriate sutra, the scriptures of Buddhism the monk had copied for them. Sam finished and paused.

Father Gomes had been standing with his arms crossed. "Now what?"

Sam cleared his throat. "We ridicule it. It makes it less an object of fear, and more of something to be pitied and brought under human control."

"Pardon me? This has gone on long enough. . ." Father Gomes stepped forward.

Dean blocked him with his arm. Dean was relishing this moment. "Vince, Vince, Vince, you make a deal with a kid that has no bite. Stupid, if you ask me. Then you start putting a voice in my head, and think that I'm not going to do something about it?" Dean shook the stick for emphasis. "Plain dumb, I am a hunter." He gave a crooked grin to Father Gomes. "Maybe you should have been reincarnated in Brittany Spears?" Dean let his arm drop from blocking Father Gomes.

"And that attack in the bathroom?" Sam added. "I didn't have to use the shotgun. You're weak."

The hunters looked for a reaction. In the pale light, and smokiness it was hard to notice, but steam was emanating from Father Martin's palms.

Sam then returned to reading more of the sutra, and Dean returned to shaking the shakujo until Father Martin cried out.

The incense smoke swirled together, making a cupola over Father Martin's head and then turning into a single smoke beam. The smoke then split into tendrils, finally evaporating into nothingness.

Father Martin lay on the floor, folded over. Father Gomes went immediately to his side. "Zach, are you okay?"

"What happened?" Father Martin took the older priest's hand and got to his feet. "I remember so much, not me, but me. . . I." He looked at his hands. "I stole from the church!"

"It's all right, Father. You didn't do anything that can't be fixed." Sam placated the distraught young priest.

And Dean thought on all the times people had died because they found out too late to help. It was nice to get lucky every once in awhile.

"I think it is time you two leave." Father Gomes said as he wrapped an arm around Father Martin's shoulders and assisted him.

"Jealous, cause hunters can do it better?" Dean quipped as he shook the shakujo again. He was starting to like the wooden stick, and the strange noise it made.

Sam pulled Dean's shirt, and Dean allowed himself to follow. "Father, good luck."

They exited the church into the cool darkness of the night, leaving the two priests to clean up after them.

"So are you okay?" Sam asked, duffel bag on his shoulder.

"Yeah, no more unfinished business." Dean replied, understanding why the Buddhist believed in reincarnation and its ability to right wrongs. "Just you and me and a demon to catch."


August, 1996

Saint Marie, Idaho

Sam could tell Dean was awake, but languishing in bed. The youngest Winchester glanced at the digital clock, and sat up.

"Sammy, someone made coffee." Dean commented, and still hadn't moved.

Sam knew there wasn't an unknown attacker in the kitchen. It was their father. Who would cross the thick salt lines in the misty morning and make coffee? Demons were not that hospitable.

Dean followed Sam out the bedroom door, and there enjoying a cup of coffee was John Winchester, a few days growth of beard and a smile for his sons.

"All packed up, just waiting for you boys."

"Okay, just give us a minute." Dean pushed his brother towards the kitchen. They would need a quick breakfast.

"You've got five, and Dean, you'll be driving the Impala. Marlon gave me the truck." John leaned back to see his son's reaction. Sam was shocked himself.

Dean was reaching for the milk and orange juice in the refrigerator and turned around slowly. "God, Dad, thanks." For a moment Dean seemed to have forgotten all about breakfast.

"Marlon says you boys did well. Kept out of trouble and helped him out." John stood up, poured the remnants of coffee in the sink and ran some water over it. He went towards the door. "We gotta go boys. School stars next week, staying a spell in the western part of Massachusetts. You'll like it there."

And Sam had remained in the hallway, not entering the kitchen, being adamant. "Now? What about my friends?" Sam said to the shut door as his father exited.

He stormed forward, but Dean caught his arm, gesturing to the two glasses of juice, milk and cereal on the table. "Just leave a note, Sam. Adam'll understand."

Sam was furious at his brother. Their father had literally waltzed in and changed their lives. It was unfair. He had made friends, and wanted to keep them. He brutally shook his brother's hand off. "A note, Dean? We spent three months here. I hung out with him everyday. You don't get it."

Dean clenched his fists open and close. "I get it Sam. We aren't in some alternate universe where we have friends and people to count on. It's just us, the three of us." He gestured with his hand to their father waiting outside, Sam and himself. "That's it. That's all you can count on in this life."

Sam stomped his way back to the bedroom, ignoring breakfast.

It wouldn't always be just the three of them. At some point Sam knew he would leave the circle, find friends and more. Be finished as a hunter. There would be more in store for him in this life than hunting, no matter what Dean said.

The End

For Brotherhood fans please be on the lookout for The Mongoose Conspiracy coming on Tuesday by Mog and Me. If you are looking for something funny, this will be it.