Author: Tara aka LovinJackson
Summary: BrotherhoodAU. Caleb has a near death experience and realises that the people around him are what keeps him from going under.
Disclaimer: I dont own Supernatural-that's Kripke and I dont own the Brotherhood-thats all Ridley.
Authors Notes: This story popped into my head while I was working quite a few weeks back and its finally ready to post :) Thanks to Ridley for allowing me to borrow her characters and to her and Tidia for reading through part of it for me :) Thanks to Angelustatt for reading over it constantly for me lol and for the title :P and thanks to my mother for helping to spot out some of the errors, if there is anymore in here they are all me. Tidia's story "The Password" is breifly mentioned in this. Hope you enjoy ...
Blurring and stirring - the truth and the lies.
So I don't know what's real and what's not
Always confusing the thoughts in my head
So I can't trust myself anymore
I'm dying again
I'm going under
I'm going under
Going Under by Evanescense
It was suffocating, surrounding him in a way that was far from comforting. He tried to struggle as best he could but he couldn't get a handle on anything. Everything was so dark and the pressure all around him was enough to send him in a blind panic.
Breathing was not possible. Somehow he knew that deep within the recesses of his mind. He had never really thought about the difficulty in trying to hold your breath when all you wanted to do was to take lung fulls. He didn't know how but he knew that taking a breath was a bad idea at the moment but his resolve was getting weaker.
The pressure of the all surrounding water was making his frantic movements slower, almost sluggish but no less panicked.
Using all of the strength he possessed he tried to break for the surface. Something was holding him down. He kicked out as hard as he could but freedom was too far out of reach. No matter how much he tried he just couldn't break free. He felt like the water was consuming him. He felt like the water itself was holding him down; trying to suffocate him, kill him.
Caleb opened his eyes, immediately feeling the sting of the chlorine. Everything was now startling blue. His arms and legs were thrashing with the panic as lack of oxygen kicked up another notch. He wasn't going to be able to hold his breath much longer and the water was stopping his rush to the surface. It was not letting him go. He was going to die. He was going to die drowning in some rich arrogant dude's pool and he couldn't do one damn thing about it.
Caleb had always known that water was a source of evil. Maybe not the same type of evil he had been introduced to since he'd started hunting, since he'd been incorporated into the Brotherhood but evil just the same.
Water would always forever be a painful memory for the young psychic. It brought back the painful reminder of what his life was like before his loving calm existence had been ripped from him. As a young child the sound of crashing waves on the beach shore line had been comforting. It had always been accompanied by his fathers snoring and his mother's relaxed breathing. It was a time when all was right with the world of little Caleb Reaves.
After that came the memory of blood and horror that no six year old should ever have to witness, especially that of his own parents. Now the thought of water, the sound of it, the smell of it was accompanied by the image of his mothers beautiful face as his father brutally murdered her. It was accompanied by his father's lifeless eyes after he had taken his own life. Yes, water brought nothing but pain and loss and the memory of blood and death, the loss of his safe and happy childhood.
Scenes from the past flashed across his eyes as oxygen deprivation started to take hold. He could feel his body start to weaken its struggle against the invisible force. He had a moment of clarity and wondered what he had done to deserve this. What he had done to deserve surviving horror after horror only to die before he even reached the age of twenty in something he hated with a vengeance. He realised then that it was pretty much the story of his life.
His strength was ebbing away and he involuntarily tried to take a breath. More panic surged through him as the chlorinated water filled his mouth and surged up his nose causing a painful burn. This was it. This was the end and he knew now why karma seemed to have it in for him. His background. His lineage. He came from evil.
Noah Seaver, his great grandfather had brought forth a great evil. He had summoned a demon that had possessed him and through that Caleb's blood line was born, cursed and a direct descendant to that same evil that had destroyed the lives of the very people Caleb had come to know and love. He didn't deserve John Winchesters immediate acceptance. He didn't deserve Dean's unfaltering faith him. He didn't deserve Sammy's love. He didn't deserve any of it when it was because of him, or at least his family that they had lost everything. The boys would surely hate him if they knew.
Of course his father had told him that it was all speculation. Mac was adamant that they didn't have any proof. Daniel Elkins had made it quite clear that he believed Caleb was evil. He had wanted Caleb dead even when he had just been a terrified albeit slightly cocky thirteen year old boy. Mac and Jim had denied the accusations. They had said that Daniel Elkins was losing his mind and had no proof and that even if it were true it meant nothing about the man Caleb was to become. Mac had told him time and time again that he was a good person, strong, brave, and intelligent and that he was proud to be Caleb's father. Caleb appreciated their faith in him. He hadn't had so many people willing to go to bat for him in a long time.
The problem was that ever since all those years ago, hiding in that closet and watching his parent's gruesome deaths Caleb had known he was different. His fears had been confirmed when his first vision had come true. His ten year old self hadn't understood what the vision was or what it had meant but when his grandmother had dropped dead he had felt a terrible guilt. It had been a heart attack but Caleb had seen it happen in his head and it had scared him.
If it hadn't been for Mac and Jim and hell even Missouri Caleb didn't know where he would have ended up. In the Brotherhood he had found a place where he belonged, people that cared about him who he cared about just as much. These people were his second chance at life and family. They were perhaps a little unorthodox and dysfunctional but they were his family just the same.
Still the knowledge of his foster parent's death, so similar to his own parents death and after nights plagued with terrible visions Caleb felt that all the good he used his abilities for didn't matter if what Elkins said was true. How could his 'gifts', as Jim put it, be a good thing if all that trailed after him was death, blood and destruction? How long would it be before his new family felt the bite of this blasted curse?
This constant fear was what made him doubt his worth in this new world that had accepted him ... for the most part. There were still certain factions of the Brotherhood that thought he was evil or would bring evil. The beating he had took at the hands of Ian, Fischer and Joshua only a year before reminded him of that. It had been a shock to the system and helped him to realise that not everyone in the hunter community or the Brotherhood felt the same. Not everyone was like Mac, Jim, John and Bobby and most of the other hunters that had accepted him without a problem but it was a lesson that had stayed with him and would stay with him for a long time.
He could feel darkness encroaching on his vision and Caleb's main regret now was that he hadn't been able to say goodbye to the people he cared the most, the boys especially. They were expecting him at Jim's in two weeks. The Winchesters had been staying at the farm the last few weeks so John could recuperate and because of a hunt nearby. John was planning on the boys staying on for the summer holidays. He had promised Dean that he would be at his next baseball game. Dean, even at the age of nine wasn't willing to admit it, acting like it wasn't a big deal but John had told him that the kid was excited to have him there and he found right now that he really didn't want to let the boy down.
Mac! He had the sudden desperate need to see his father. The man had been beyond awesome to him. He wasn't sure why Mac really decided to take him in, to go as far as actually adopting the wayward teen but he was so incredibly grateful to the man. Mac was the best father a kid could ask for. There was never a moment when he hadn't felt unconditional love and support when with the man, aside from his own self worth issues, and Caleb was afraid that he hadn't shown Mac enough just how grateful he really was and just how proud he was to be able to call Mackland Dad.
He realised as his eyes rolled back in his head and the darkness of unconsciousness pulled him under that he was never going to get the chance to tell those important few how much he really did love them.
Mackland Ames frowned as he walked down the massive hallway of his friend's house. Okay he wouldn't exactly call the man a friend but more of an associate and he wouldn't exactly call this place a house. This place was more like a small mansion with intricate designs and carvings along the walls. It had ten rather large bed rooms each with their own en-suite. It had one of the biggest kitchens Mac had seen in a long time. Mac smiled as he remembered his son's awe at the size of the silver, double door refrigerator. He hadn't missed Caleb take a peek inside it when he thought no-one was looking when they had been given the general tour of the place. The kid often thought with his gut but then he was only seventeen years old and a growing boy as Caleb liked to tell him.
Mac didn't understand why people with so much money had to splurge on houses that were way too big and fancy. Michael Fitzpatrick lived alone with his young uptight wife Valerie. The two were barely home at the same time and Mackland didn't appreciate the glances that Valerie was throwing his son's way. She was a married woman and although younger than her husband she was, in Mackland's opinion, too old for Caleb. Mackland was no fool. He knew that Caleb was hardly a novice when it came to girls but he wouldn't have this woman making any advances towards the teen.
Only a small number of personnel occupied the house and they were probably there more than its owners at any one time.
Mac could admit that he liked the finer things in life but he didn't go overboard. He had plenty of money, always had but he was quite happy with his nice two story New York apartment. It suited him and Caleb just fine. He drove a nice European car, which John didn't approve of, but would never in his wildest dreams even consider buying something as outlandish as this house. It just wasn't practical and cost a ridiculous amount of money for two people that were hardly ever home. The damn house had its own in-grown pool for crying out loud.
As Mac made his way down the hallway he hoped he wasn't getting lost. Not only was this house ridiculous but he had already managed to get himself lost a few times since arriving days ago and to be quite frank, he was sick of it.
To make matters worse he hadn't even found one clue as to where Michael's problem was. The man had told the Scholar that the house seemed weird since moving in six months before hand. Strange things had been happening so Mackland had been called. Michael had spoken to Mac about his problems with the house after Mac had run into him at a medical conference. Mac had noticed the man looked distracted and had asked him what was wrong. The strange noises, misplaced objects and finally the death of the young gardener had lead Mackland to believe that a spirit was Michael's problems. Although sceptical, Michael had given his peer the benefit of the doubt and invited him to stay at the mansion if he thought he could do something about it.
Mac didn't work a lot in the field. He was the scholar and tended to work more on the research end, helping out in the field when it was needed. Caleb spent so much time in the field hunting with John, learning from the man so Mac thought it would be good for Caleb to come with him on a hunt for a change. He trusted John's tutelage but he thought it would be good for both him and Caleb if they hunted together for a change.
Caleb had agreed with him that it sounded like an angry spirit and considering Caleb had Thursday and Friday off school for a long weekend Mac thought it was the perfect timing. It sounded simple enough, get rid of the spirit, most likely a simple salt and burn and then spend some time together before life went back to normal on Monday.
Mac shook his head ruefully. He should have known that nothing was ever simple in their lives. They had not found one bit of evidence to help the case. The house had been quiet, like any other mini mansion he had been in. The EMF had indicated the presence of something but hadn't really gone nuts over anywhere in particular. Research hadn't really provided much for them to go on either. No unusual deaths, that they knew of, that was until Michael's young gardener. The boy had been only a little older than Caleb.
The lack of information the research was turning up was annoying Mac especially because it was already Saturday evening and Caleb had to be back at school on Monday. He knew that his son would quite gladly skip it if allowed but Mackland was determined that the boy get his high school diploma no matter how much he would probably gladly drop out of school. If it were up to Caleb he would probably join the hunt full time. The boy was determined to prove himself, determined to get his silver hunters ring. Mackland couldn't be prouder of the things his son had accomplished while hunting but he was still going to school.
Mackland was contemplating making another call to the previous house owners, a married couple that had lived in the house for twenty years before selling it to the Fitzpatrick's. They had sounded a bit off to Mackland. He had picked it up even without his heightened senses. They had to be the key in this God for saken job.
Both Caleb and Mac had been expected at the farm in two weeks for a get together. It had only been a few weeks since John had been hurt on that hunt with Bobby, losing a week, unintentionally leaving the boys alone in their motel for that whole week. Once John was coherent enough to give them the password the boys were using Mac had picked them up and it had been agreed that it wouldn't happen again. John thankfully ordered Dean that should it happen again he needed call Pastor Jim or Mackland.
After the scare they'd had Mac was looking forward to seeing John and the boys. It always felt good to reconnect back at Jim's farm, all of them together and he knew that Caleb was looking forward to it. His son was very protective of the boys and John even, so Mac knew that the next two weeks couldn't go faster for Caleb. Plus they had all agreed to attend Dean's last baseball game for the school year. With John hunting, Caleb at school, his own commitments Dean was usually one of the only kids with no-one there at his games so he knew the kid was excited to have so many of his family attending.
Mac faltered for a second, his hand shooting out to the wall to keep his balance. The extravagant wallpaper was enough to make him nauseous all by itself. He had felt something. Mac's psychic abilities didn't work exactly the same as Caleb's. He couldn't read thoughts or have visions but he could pick up sensations on occasion, especially if he was close to the person. He could get a read on people's whereabouts and get flashes of pictures sometimes. It was these abilities he used to help the police and FBI occasionally find missing people. His areas of expertise were also telekinesis. He could move objects when the moment called for it. But this was different. He had felt something, like something screamed in his head and it had him momentarily dizzy.
It felt like a rush of fear, guilt, sorrow and panic all rolled into one. He had the intense feeling that someone had called out to him. It sounded like a desperate call for help. Mac's eyes opened. He hadn't even realised that he had closed them until that point. They widened a little as he felt the rush again and he could have sworn he'd heard a desperate plea from his son. Caleb needed him. Those three words screamed through his mind. Caleb was frightened and in pain. Mac put a hand to his head as a feeling of suffocating came over him all of a sudden.
He heard footsteps behind him and turned around to look, nearly causing another dizzy spell. It was Maria, one of Michael and Valerie's maids. Mac launched off the wall and grabbed the woman by the shoulders. "Maria!" she looked slightly startled but waited to see what the guest wanted. "My son, have you seen where my son is?"
She frowned at the panicky need in Mackland's voice and eyes. "Umm ... yes Dr. Ames. I think I saw him enter the pool room."
Mackland found that strange. Caleb had only been in the pool room once and hadn't lasted long in there. It was a large room. The pool itself had a deep end that was at least 15 feet deep and the shallow end was shaped like a beach shore. There were small black speakers in every corner of the room that ran a continuous sound of waves and general beach noises that for anyone else would have probably been relaxing and calming. But Mackland knew his son and knew that water and in particular the beach was a sore spot with Caleb. It was the one thing the boy didn't like to deal with. It brought back too many unwanted memories. The sounds from the speakers and the underlying seaweed smelling air freshener in the air had caused his son to immediately pale. It hadn't taken long for Caleb to turned pained eyes on his father. Mac had shared a look with Caleb, telling him without saying the words that it as okay for him to back out of this. Caleb hadn't needed to be told twice let alone once. He had backed out of the room with a quick "Sorry, I just need some air."
Mac had completed his inspection of the room and found nothing. The doctor had exited the room to find Caleb nowhere in sight. After a quick search Mac had found Caleb in the garden, some of the colour in Caleb's face had returned and he looked a lot better but Mac couldn't miss the anguished look in the teen's eyes. Caleb hadn't wanted to talk about it and Mac had let the conversation drop when he saw that Caleb was already pulling himself together. He wanted to take the painful memories away from his son. He always had the insatiable need to protect Caleb from anything and anyone that would harm him but he knew that the demons Caleb carried inside were things he wanted to work out on his own. Mac was comfortable in the fact that Caleb knew he would be there for him if he ever did need to talk or anything else. John Winchester wasn't the only father that had an obsessed need to keep his children safe. It was one thing that he most definitely shared with his friend, although they had often butted heads on what keeping them safe actually entailed.
"Thank you." He gave Maria a grateful smile and then took off, skidding to a stop when he realised he still had no idea how to get from where he was to the pool room. He really did hate this house. "Which way is the pool?"
"Just head to the stairs, go to the ground floor and it's a big room right at the back of the house."
Mac thanked her again and took off in a sprint for the stairs hoping that his sudden feeling of dread was a false alarm but knowing his son fairly well Mac knew that wasn't going to be the case. Caleb found trouble easy. What he couldn't understand was why Caleb had gone back into the pool room. He had been quite sure that nothing was going to drag his son back into that room, unless he had some insane need to face his fears. If that were the case and something had happened to him then he was going to kill John Winchester. It wouldn't have surprised him in the least that one of John's marine tactics being drilled into Caleb's head. Mac had nothing against people facing there fears but not at the expense of something happening to his boy.
After a slight mix up in rooms Mac burst through the doors and sighed in relief as he was he was greeted with the large in built pool. Looking around the large room, the background sound now annoying even him, Mac became increasingly worried when Caleb was nowhere to be seen. He hoped against hope that Maria had been mistaken or Caleb had already left as he brought his attention to the pool itself. The bluish sparkling water gave him a feeling of dread. He inched slowly closer, not sure he wanted to see the pool.
Mac fought against the growing fear and looked over the edge of the pool. What he saw made his heart go still. There was his son floating near the bottom of the pool, pony tail loose, hair floating around his head. Mac was stuck there frozen for a few moments as all his fears came true in front of his eyes. Losing his son was one of the biggest fears he had. Hunting was so dangerous that Mac was always worried about Caleb. It was a father thing.
Caleb hated the water but Mac knew damn well that the boy was a good swimmer. There was no way that Caleb would drown in a swimming pool without outside help. The spirit had to have something to do with it but Mac couldn't understand in his mind why it had chosen now to show itself. Another thing that didn't make sense was why it had attacked Caleb out of everyone that was at the house.
"Caleb..." he muttered. "... No ..." Mac shrugged out of his jacket and toed off his shoes. He took one more last panicked stricken look at his son and then dived into the water.
It didn't take long for him to reach Caleb. Mac wrapped his arm around his son's chest and started kicking as fast and as powerful as his legs would allow. It felt like forever but when Mac finally breached the surface he took a gulp of air and swam towards the shallow end where the beach like incline was. His arm was still wrapped around Caleb's chest pulling him along. He couldn't tell if Caleb was breathing at all while swimming to the edge and Mac was afraid that he didn't know how long Caleb had been submerged for. Feeling solid ground beneath his feet was a very big relief. He dragged Caleb's unconscious body over to the stone bank of the pool and pulled him out of the water.
Laying his son on the tiled floor Mackland fell to his knees next to Caleb's head. Mac wiped Caleb's long black wet hair out of the kids face and leaned close, placing his ear to Caleb's slightly open, blue tinged mouth. Nothing. There was nothing. Caleb wasn't breathing. Placing his fingers on Caleb's neck Mac waited to find a pulse and became alarmed when he felt nothing. He wasn't breathing, his heart wasn't beating.
Maria chose this moment to walk through the pool room doors, halting in her tracks at the scene before her. Both Mackland and Caleb were soaked through just out of the waters reach. Mac was frantically hovering over his son's body. He glanced up quickly at Maria's entrance. "Call and ambulance ... NOW!" he demanded, the authority in his voice had her moving, out of the room to the nearest phone she could find. It was the voice Mackland Ames used when he wanted people to jump to.
Mac brought his attention back to his son, droplets of water flying from the ends of his hair that always seemed to curl when it got wet. "Come on son, don't do this to me." Mac pleaded as he automatically went through the motions of assisting a drowned victim.
"Caleb!" Slapping his son's wet cheek a few times elicited no response. He tilted Caleb's head back and cleared his airway. He was feeling sick to his stomach but tried to hold himself together. He was a doctor damn it! He needed to be professional. Caleb couldn't afford him not to be.
Mac steadied himself. Caleb needed his Dad focused. The professional in Mackland took over and he started CPR. Two quick breathes to every fifteen pumps to Caleb's chest. He continued this for a few more minutes; silently praying to god or anyone that was willing to listen that Caleb would come out of this. He couldn't lose his son, he just couldn't.
"Caleb!" Mac shouted as he mentally counted the chest compressions. "Breath damn it!" he demanded.
He couldn't even chide himself for not being able to keep the waver out of his voice. This wasn't just some patient ... it was his son. His only son had drowned on his watch. He was supposed to be watching the kid. He had been the one to suggest Caleb come on this hunt with him and now his only son wasn't breathing, didn't have a pulse. How the hell had he let this happen? What the hell had he missed?
Two more breaths and Mac started chest compressions again. He knew that the longer Caleb was without oxygen the worse it was and he was starting to panic. The doctor in him knew he had to stay calm but the father in him was close to having heart attack.
"Caleb ... son, don't do this to me damn it!" Mac was pleading again and he didn't care. He barely registered Maria running back into the pool room. He barely registered her assurances that an ambulance was on the way because he couldn't take his concentration off Caleb. "Come on" Mac could feel a few stray tears leak out and trail their way down his wet cheeks. "Caleb ... please ... just breathe. Come on, son."
Caleb opened his eyes with a start. He felt like he was under water and started to panic but realised quickly that he wasn't. There was like a murky mist around him and his dripping wet clothes felt freezing against his skin. They were making him shiver. The psychic wrapped one arm around his body and wiped his long hair out of his face irritably with the other hand before letting it join his other arm in a sort of self hug stance that was supposed to help ward off the chills that were wracking his body. It wasn't doing the best job.
He looked around him, into the murky dark mist and wondered where the hell he was. Was he dead? He knew one thing for sure. This wasn't heaven but then it sure as hell wasn't ... well Hell. The psychic walked forward through the mist, his arms wrapped around himself. He couldn't stop his shivering. "Is there anyone there?" he asked, teeth chattering.
Caleb bumped into something that he hadn't managed to see through the mist. He reached a hand out to run it over the object and found a familiar smooth metal underneath his hand. The mist started floating away revealing the shiny black Chevy Impala sitting in front of him. "What the hell?" he asked out loud, his hand remaining on the Impala to keep himself steady and because it had a comforting effect on him all of a sudden.
The psychic looked up and was startled when he saw that not only was the Impala sitting in front of him but he was standing right outside of Pastor Jim's front door. The mist was still around him and around the house but the pastors home looked welcoming compared to the dark mist surrounding it and him. He didn't have a clue as to what was going on but he liked the idea of Jim's house compared to that dark cold mist that was settling in around him again, threatening to overwhelm him.
Caleb moved as fast as he could to the house and opened the door. Stepping inside Caleb saw that everything was the way he remembered Jim's to be. As soon as he stepped over the threshold Caleb felt a little safer. The farm house was home just as much as Mac's New York apartment.
"Pastor Jim?" Caleb called out as he walked through the lounge room. The house was eerily silent. He peered into the kitchen. It was empty and silent just like the lounge room. Caleb turned around, his eyes wide as he searched the room. Water collecting at the end of his eyelashes caused him to blink a few times. Half of his hair had fallen from his hair tie and was plastered to the back of his neck in a wet mess. He was still cold, that chilling cold. It was making him feel sick.
He still didn't understand why he was here. He was beyond freaked out and would kill to see anyone right now. The silence was freaking him out more. "Is there anyone here?" he yelled. "John?" He was starting to feel a little dizzy and breathless, almost like there was a pressure on his chest.
"Damien?" Caleb swung around at the confused but familiar voice. His face broke into a smile at the sight of the nine year old standing at the bottom of the stairs that lead to the second floor of the house.
"Deuce, where is everyone?" Caleb rushed to the boy's side and knelt beside him so he was more on Dean's level.
Dean's face scrunched up in confusion. "I don't know. Why are you wet?"
"Oh ..." Caleb looked down at his drenched clothing. "I think ... I dunno ..." Caleb tried to remember why he would have woken up outside of Jim's wet and came up with a blank.
He felt a small hand on his shoulder and brought his gaze to meet Dean's green one. "Caleb, are you okay? You look sick."
"I dunno ..." Caleb answered truthfully although he didn't know why.
"You don't know much do you Damien?" A smirk appeared on Dean's face which made Caleb smile a little despite how terrible he was feeling.
Suddenly his chest felt constricted and Caleb gasped and grabbed onto Dean's shoulder for support while grasping at his chest.
"Caleb!" Dean shouted, his voice rising with panic. He tried to steady the older boy.
It felt like someone was pounding on his chest. He tried breathing in and out slowly. "What's ... going on?" he panted. He closed his eyes when the room started spinning.
There was a moment silence and all that could be heard was Caleb's careful slow breathing. He felt Dean shift, the boy helped him to the wall and he slid down and sat with his back against it.
Dean broke the silence. "I don't think this is real."
Caleb opened one eye to look at the boy. "What ... what are you talking about, Deuce?"
Dean shrugged and sat down next to the older boy. "It just feels different. I remember going to sleep. I woke up and everyone was gone and you were here dripping water all over Pastor Jim's floor."
Caleb thought about what Dean had said for a moment. Something was definitely off. He felt safe now that he was at Jim's but he couldn't forget the dark mist outside. He felt like he was forgetting something. "Maybe this is a dream."
"So you're not real? I'm dreaming about you now ... dude ..."
"Hey what makes you think I am the one that's not real?" Caleb counted, earning himself an eye roll from Dean.
Caleb groaned when the world shifted out of focus again. Jim's place phased out along with Dean's concerned voice screaming at him to answer him. He couldn't breathe and panic seized him as his heart tried to flutter to life.
"Caleb!" He knew that voice. It was Mac. His father was calling to him. But Caleb couldn't answer him. With no oxygen in his lungs he couldn't form the words. "Breathe, damn it!" He was trying to breathe but his lungs felt waterlogged. He was drowning ...
"Caleb ... please." Dean's fearful voice brought him back. He was attacked by a coughing fit. He could feel the young boy cling to him, almost begging him to answer. Once the fit subsided Caleb wrapped his hand around Dean's wrist and looked him in the eye.
"Something's wrong, Dean."
"I'm serious you little smartass. I think I'm ..." he paused as another wet cough fought its way out. "I think I'm dying." Caleb let go of Dean's wrist and struggled to his feet. He stumbled over to the couch and leant on it for support.
"Dying?" the kid squeaked. Dean was in front of him again, looking up at him with those damn big green eyes. "I don't think this is real. I think I ... Water ..."
Dean's panic was rising as Caleb continued to not make any sense. "What water? What are you talking about?"
Memories started returning in full force now ... Jim's living room phasing in and out of focusThe last thing he remembered was a feeling of sadness and overwhelming guilt at not having told the people he cared about how much they meant to him. He had really wanted to get to Dean's baseball game. He hadn't been able to breathe. He'd been drowning. The spirit had been holding him down and no matter what Caleb had tried to do he hadn't been able to break free of the grasp. It had felt like the water had been helping the spirit. It had felt like it was trying to smother him in a suffocating liquid.
He could remember the first moments when his natural breathing reflex had kicked in and he had simply just tried to take a breath. Water had filled his mouth, filling his windpipe and stomach. His first reaction had been to cough it up. It hadn't worked. It had only caused his panic to increase and his throat to try and protect itself, his windpipe seizing up to protect his lungs from anymore water but in doing so shutting off his air supply anyway.
He had heard from a few people that drowning was a peaceful way to die. Caleb had serious issues with these people. The psychic didn't think any way of dying was peaceful. It just plain sucked!
"I'm sorry, Deuce." Caleb coughed brokenly and slid down the back of the couch to once again be seated on the floor. He could feel Dean follow him down, kneeling next to him, a death grip on Caleb's freezing arm.
"For what? Caleb you're scaring me."
"Caleb ... son, don't do this to me damn it!"
Caleb's eyes widened and he grabbed Dean's arm in a tight grip. "You can hear that?"
"I don't understand, Caleb."
"Dean ..." Caleb tried to catch his breath. "You have to listen to me okay, kid?"
Dean nodded. Caleb could feel Dean's confusion and fear. "I really wanna be at the game okay, dude?" Even if this was all just a figment of his imagination he needed to get this off his chest. "You're pretty awesome ball player. In fact you're a pretty awesome kid all around Deuce and don't let anyone ever tell you different."
"Caleb what's wrong?" Dean clung onto Caleb's wet t-shirt as the psychic slipped further to the ground. "Dad!" He needed to find his father. He would know what was wrong with Caleb.
"Caleb ... please ... just breathe. Come on, son."
Caleb watched as Dean's head whipped around at hearing Mac's voice but not being able to find him. Dean turned back to stare down at Caleb's pale face, a lone tear falling down his cheek. "Caleb, you're really scaring me man. Please ..."
Caleb could feel the world tilting again, Jim's home, Caleb's safe haven was phasing out again along with Dean. "Love ya, Deuce." The last thing he heard was Dean calling for him to wake up, calling for John. The next thing he felt was pain and cold and surging of water up through his throat and a terrible pain in his chest. He was going to die but at least he had gotten to say goodbye to someone even if it was all in his own mind.
He leaned down to breathe again for the deathly white teen but jolted to a stop when Caleb spluttered. The boy coughed a big wet cough. Water spewed out of his mouth like a fountain and Mac franticly turned Caleb on his side so that the boy wouldn't choke on the pool water that he kept expelling from his body. The coughing was harsh and Caleb had his eyes tightly shut. Mac pounded his hand on his sons back to help him bring up the rest of the water he had swallowed.
Caleb's lungs felt like they were on fire even as his desperately sucked in air greedily. His heart was thumping in his chest and he was confused. He could hear Dean's frightened voice echoing in his ears. His body couldn't co-ordinate all its needs. Water kept surging up his throat when his starving lungs tried to drag in more air causing him to panic when he nearly choked.
Finally the last of the water was emptied out onto the tiles and Caleb could feel hands on him, arms encircling him. It hurt to breathe after struggling for so long. He knew he should try to calm down but his body wasn't listening.
"That's it, son." Mac spoke softly. He held his son on his side as his body shuddered through the shock of its ordeal. As the last bit of water was brought up Caleb started taking in large, harsh lung fulls of air. He was taking in oxygen like a starving man and Mac was almost afraid that after all that Caleb was going to hyperventilate. "Take it easy Caleb, I've got you."
It was Mac. His father was there. It was his father that was holding onto him. Mac's voice was the like music to Caleb's ears. He realised again just how much Mac meant to him. He had been dying or if his weird moment with Dean had been any indication he probably had died. He needed Mac to know how much he loved and valued the man. Caleb would always be tainted by his parent's death but right now all he needed was his father. All he needed was Mackland to ground him. "Da..." Caleb's cough cut him off.
Mac hugged the boy to him for a moment. Hugs were few and far between with Caleb, especially at this age so he took a moment to hold his boy and take in the fact that Caleb was now breathing, his heart was now beating. He was shaking, shivering and coughing like crazy, trying hard to regulate his breathing but he was alive and that was all Mackland cared about. "It's okay son. You're okay."
"D...dad?" A coughing fit hit Caleb again and Mac's arms tightened around him.
Mac had never been so relieved to see paramedics burst through the doors. Caleb flinched in his arms, opening his eyes. As soon as he woke up as to what was happening and realised an ambulance had obviously been called Caleb tried to struggle out of Mac's hold. "I'm ... f-fine"
Mackland should have realised that Caleb wasn't going to go peacefully to a hospital to be checked over. The teen avoided hospitals like the plague. It was something that Mac could understand. When Caleb thought of hospital's he thought of restraints and drugs. The boy hadn't had the best experience with them but Mac wasn't going to let him get out of at least being seen to. Drowning and being out for that long was nothing to mess around with.
"Caleb, you are most certainly not fine, now sit still."
The medic's approached more slowly obviously having noticed that their patient was skittish. "Hi, I'm Joe and this is Pete." the first medic greeted. "What happened here?"
Mac introduced them and helped Caleb sit up properly but kept a tight hold of his shoulders should the boy need him and to keep him where he was. He explained to the two medics what had happened, how he had found Caleb at the bottom of the pool, how the teen hadn't been breathing and had no pulse, of his life saving procedures. Being a doctor him self came in handy. He knew what he needed to tell the medics, what they were telling him.
Caleb was glaring but the effect was lost with his continuous shaking, coughing and wheezing. Mac was concerned with Caleb's continuous struggle for breath.
Joe nodded thoughtfully and took the stethoscope from around his neck and held it out in front of him. "Okay, Caleb I'm just gonna have a listen to what's going on inside, make sure you don't have any water still in your lungs."
Caleb ignored the paramedic and glanced at his dad with an almost pleading look. "Dad ... no hos..pitals. Please..."
Mac didn't want to take any chances with him. He had scared him half to death. He had been deathly afraid that he was about to lose his son and the thought had broken his heart. The idea of that was just unbearable. "Caleb ..."
"You're ... a d-doctor."
Mackland held his sons gold gaze but the image of the boy floating at the bottom of the pool flashed through his mind and then to have the boy not breathing, heart not beating. Mackland had been terrified. "Son, you weren't breathing ... I know you don't like hospitals but please don't fight me on this."
Caleb could see the raw fear in his father's eyes and felt immediately guilty that he had put that there. Caleb felt tears form in his eyes and he didn't even know why. Maybe it was a combination of still not being able to catch his breath properly, the heavy pain in his chest, the strong smell and sounds of the beach, the memory of his dream still lingering and his fathers outright fear and concern. He felt stupid, like a little kid and wanted to kick himself but he didn't think he would actually accomplish that right now. He really didn't want to go to the hospital but he didn't want to cause Mac any more worry or distress either.
The younger psychic nodded his head after a few beats. "Okay." His breath hitched in his throat and he felt Mac tighten his hold on him. "I'm ... I'm okay." Caleb tried to assure.
Caleb was stripped from his t-shirt and Joe set to work, listening to his lungs frowning at the wetness he could hear there. He decided that putting the kid on oxygen was definitely a priority if his struggles to draw in a proper breath were any indication and it was always a good idea after a near drowning. He took an oxygen mask out of his bag hooked up to a small portable oxygen bottle and placed it over Caleb's head, ignoring his protests that he was fine. The kid was stubborn but he was anything but fine.
Caleb had to admit to himself that the extra oxygen was helping ease the tight pain in his chest, allowing him to take in a proper breath. He was so freaking cold and tired and sick to his stomach. He just wanted to go home and sleep. He found his eyelids starting to drift close, his body relaxing against his fathers who hadn't moved since the whole examination started. "Caleb!" Mac's voice was loud in his ear and Caleb's eyes snapped open.
"Try to stay a wake for a little bit longer, son." Joe told him as he took the kids pulse. The medic looked at Mac. "His pulse is a little quick but he's still coming down from quite a shock so that's not really alarming. Did you hit your head? Hurt yourself in any other way?"
"Other t-than ... drowning?" Caleb mumbled behind the oxygen mask.
Joe chuckled and shook his head obviously having heard the remark. "Yeah, other than that."
Caleb shook his head. He was so tired, Mac holding up his upper body now. "Seriously dude, I'm ... fine"
Joe met Mackland's concerned gaze again. "I think he'll be fine Dr. Ames but I do think a hospital visit is warranted ..."
"Certainly." Mac went to move but Caleb's soft voice stopped him.
"What's wrong?" Mac asked a hint of panic in his voice.
"I ..." He coughed, squeezing his eyes shut. Once the cough subsided Caleb opened his bloodshot eyes and looked at Mac's worried grey gaze. "I don't ... wanna m-miss Deuce's ... game."
Mac smiled and ran a hand over his son's wet hair. "You won't miss it Caleb that I promise you. Okay?"
Caleb shivered and nodded.
"Okay, we should get moving ..." Joe interrupted the moment, wanting to get the kid to the hospital as soon as possible just to be sure.
Mac and Joe helped Caleb to his feet. The young psychic's knees buckled his trembling legs not quite up to holding him yet. He was lowered onto the gurney and Mac tried to ignore the tired scowl on Caleb's face. The paramedics raised the gurney and proceeded on wheeling it out of the room. Mac didn't miss the sigh of relief from his son as soon as they were out of the pool room. Questions swirled through Mackland's mind as to what had happened? What had brought Caleb down to the pool room? What had caused him to end up at the bottom? He hadn't had the chance to ask these questions since Caleb had woken. He had been so relieved when Caleb had spluttered to life.
As Caleb was loaded onto the dreaded ambulance he found he was having trouble keeping his eyes open. "Dad?" his voice was barely above a whisper now but he wanted to make sure that Mackland was with him. He didn't want to take this trip but if he was going to then he wanted his father with him. "D...ad?" Where was Mac? He started to sit up in panic. Maybe Mac had decided that he wasn't worth the trouble and that's why he suddenly wasn't around.
That paramedic, Joe, was suddenly in his face trying to stop him from getting up and Caleb was about to tell him where he could stick it when he a felt a familiar hand on his shoulder. "Son, it's okay." Mac soothed sitting down on the bench seat along the side of the ambulance. "Just take it easy."
Caleb relaxed instantly in Mac's presence, settling back into the pillow. "I thought ..." Caleb stopped short at the confused look on Mac's face. He didn't know why he was getting like this. "I'm sorry."
Mac reached over and placed his hand on the top of Caleb's head as the doors were closed and the Ambulance was started. "What for?" his brows furrowed.
The younger hunter sighed. "I ... I don't ... know." He was so tired right now and suddenly confused. He felt his eyes slipping closed. He tried to keep them open but it was a losing battle.
"It's okay, son, just rest." With his fathers assurance that it was okay to rest Caleb felt safe to let go for a bit and give in to his bodies needs.
"Love ya, Deuce."
"Dean!" Small hands on his shoulder shaking him accompanied the shrill voice woke him from the nightmare.
Dean jack-knifed into a sitting position, body covered in sweat and breathing hard. Dean could still see Caleb on Pastor Jim's living room floor, not able to breath, claiming he was dying. Even at nine Dean knew when someone was saying goodbye to him. Caleb had thought he was dying and was saying goodbye. Dean's breathing hitched in his throat and had the sudden urge to run downstairs to check if Caleb was still there.
The five year old growth attached to his side shouting his name at him in that high pitch calmed Dean's racing heart. Sammy being there told him that what had happened with Caleb had only been a dream because his little brother hadn't been there.
"Dean, what's wrong?" Sam asked, still slightly shaking Dean's arm when his brother failed to answer him straight away.
Dean turned his head towards his brother who was kneeling on the bed next to him, his woobee bear poking out from under his arm. His shaggy brown hair was a mess like he had just woken up and considering they had both been asleep up until his damn nightmare that made a whole lot of sense.
"I'm okay, Sammy."
"You were screaming." Sam's big eyes bore into Dean's
Dean grabbed the back of Sam's pyjamas and pulled him down so he was sitting. "It was just a bad dream Sam." Dean lay back down on his back.
"Was it about Caleb?" Sam made himself comfortable snuggling up beside his brother, not quite ready to leave his side yet.
Dean's eyebrows furrowed. "Why?"
"You were shouting his name. You called out for Daddy too..." Sam sat up all of a sudden looking at Dean. "You want me to go and get Daddy?"
"No!" Dean grabbed Sam's arm and gently pulled him back down. He wasn't running to his father because of a stupid nightmare.
"But he could call Caleb ... or Mac to make sure they are okay." Sam persisted.
Dean sighed tiredly. "Sammy ... it was just a dream, dude."
"Caleb has dreams too." Sam told him solemnly, sitting up again. "Sometimes his dreams come true."
"Damien is a psychic, that's why." Dean explained. He couldn't help but starting to worry a little bit every time Sam brought it up. But he wasn't a psychic, his dreams were dreams and that was all. "Go to sleep Sammy."
Dean was surprised when Sam became quiet and seemed to let the subject drop. In the silence of their dark bedroom at Pastor Jim's Dean couldn't seem to relax his mind to go to sleep. His mind kept replying the last scene of his nightmare and Caleb's goodbye. If Caleb ever copped out like that with him he would kick his ass, he didn't care how much older and taller Caleb was.
The older boy sighed. Obviously Sam hadn't decided to let the subject drop. "What Sammy?"
"I'm worried about Caleb."
"Sam for the last time it was a dream."
"I'm still worried ... and so are you." The little boy shifted against Dean's side, clinging tighter.
"What do you want me to do?"
"Go downstairs and tell Daddy and Pastor Jim."
"What? No, I'm not going to bug Dad over a stupid dream." He was nine years old for god sake and he wasn't running to Daddy because of bad dream no matter how bad that dream had been. Dean groaned when Sam sat back up again with the puppy dog eyes in full effect.
"Please ... Pastor Jim won't mind."
"Sammy." Dean could feel his resolve weakening, partly because of Sam being so worried and partly because of his own need to hear that the idiot psychic was alright.
"Please." Sam repeated, holding Dean's gaze stubbornly. There was never any doubt that Sam was John Winchesters son. Stubborn was his middle name.
Dean huffed and sat up throwing the covers off his legs. "Fine, but I'm blaming you!" Dean stood up and ran a hand over his sweaty bed hair. Sam started to follow Dean off the bed but Dean held up a hand stopping the small boy and his bear from following. "You stay here. I won't be long." Dean opened the door to the room and turned back to Sam who was still sitting on the edge of the bed. "I mean it, Sammy."
"Woobee and me will keep your bed warm." Sam informed him, climbing under the covers that Dean had just vacated.
Dean rolled his eyes. "You do that."
Climbing down the stairs as quietly as he could Dean winced as the stairs creaked beneath his feet. He could already hear Pastor Jim's voice. It sounded like he was on the telephone and for some reason Dean thought that it was important. Without any further hesitation Dean made it the rest of the way down the stairs just in time to see Jim hang up the phone. His father was seated at the kitchen table looking at Jim with a concerned look on his face. It was obvious that John was seconds from asking Jim what the phone call had been about and from the look on the pastors face Dean knew it wasn't good.
He glanced quickly to the back of the couch in the living room where he had last seen Caleb in his dream. His father and Jim were here and Caleb was nowhere to be seen. That had to be a good sign right.
"Dean, what are you doing up kiddo?" John asked breaking through Dean's thoughts.
Dean stood still for a moment as he garnered both his fathers and Jim's attention. He walked out and into the kitchen where his father was sitting, trying to decide what it was he wanted to tell the man.
"I ..." Dean sighed, taking a breath before continuing. "I was wondering if I ... or you could call Caleb."
Jim seemed taken back by the question whereas John just looked confused. "What the hell for?"
He didn't feel right lying about it despite how lame a nightmare sounded. "I had a weird dream and Sammy won't let me sleep until I came down to ask you."
Jim sat down next to John and looked at Dean with a concerned look on his face, the cordless phone still clutched in his hand. "Dean, what do you mean you had a weird dream?"
Dean shrugged. "It was just a bad dream about Caleb, its nothing but Sammy is worried."
John turned his attention to the pastor when Jim remained quiet, giving his friend a questioning look. He had only heard parts of the conversation Jim had with the person on the other end of the phone but he had known it wasn't good news. "Jim?"
Jim rested his gaze on Dean's before turning to look at his friend, running a hand through his greying hair. He didn't understand the implications of Dean's bad dream about Caleb, he wasn't sure whether there even was a connection between what he had been told on the phone and Dean's nightmare but he could see John getting irritated with the lack of explaining, he decided to just tell them what was going on. "That was Mackland on the phone ..."
The annoying beeping sound and the weird antiseptic smell wafting up his nose indicated to Caleb that he had indeed made it to the hospital. He wondered how long he had been asleep. He hated hospitals. He hated them with a passion and he hoped that they wouldn't have to be in this one any longer than was absolutely necessary. The psychic was grateful for one thing though. He was dry and warm. The bed wasn't the softest. It was nothing like his bed at home or his bed in his room at Jim's farm house but it was better than the last time when he had woken up, on the cold tiled pool room floor coughing and shivering.
Soft voices could be heard from somewhere across the room and it didn't take long for Caleb to pin point his fathers voice. Mac was still here, which wasn't a surprise. Mac could be an obsessive mother hen when he was hurt and Caleb now wondered why he had ever doubt his fathers feelings for him. In the four years that he had been living with the man Mac had never given him any reason to believe that he didn't love him just as much as if he really were Mackland's own flesh and blood.
He had a vague recollection of seeing Dean but it confused him because he was sure that Dean hadn't been with them. The boy was with his father and little brother at Jim's farm. The kid was probably tucked safely in bed next to his little brother.
Caleb started when he felt a hand on his head and mentally berated himself for letting the person get so close without him realising. It only took a second to recognise his fathers familiar touch and he relaxed back into the pillow. He turned his head towards where he knew his father was standing when he felt the doctors fingers thread through his long black hair. He decided it was time that he attempted to open his eyes and find out what exactly had happened. He managed to keep his eyes open on the third try and the blurry image of Doctor Mackland Ames came into his view, his vision quickly clearing.
"Hey." Caleb smiled. He felt the head of the bed raise a little.
"Hey yourself." Mac's voice was soft and worried but Caleb couldn't miss the look of relief on his fathers face.
"What happened?" His voice was raspy and his throat was sore, making it uncomfortable to talk.
The older psychic must have noticed his sons wince because the next thing Caleb knew was that there was a cup of water in his face, a straw sitting out of the top. "Here." Mac encouraged. "Your throats bound to be sore with all the water you swallowed and brought back up."
Caleb raised an eyebrow. "And you're giving me ... more water?" Mac's withering look was enough to make Caleb lean forward and take a small sip of the cool water and he had to admit that it was cool enough that it did actually sooth his throat a little.
"How are you feeling?"
Calen leaned back when Mac took the cup away and looked blearily up at the man. "Honestly?"
Caleb frowned as he contemplated that question. "Water logged and like someone took a hammer to my chest." He reached up a hand and rubbed at his sore chest. He wasn't sure how he had managed to hurt himself along with drowning. "What happened, Dad?"
Mac sighed and ran a finger across his eyebrow. "I found you at the bottom of Michael's pool. I had to perform CPR which is probably why you have a sore chest." The doctor explained. "You weren't ... You scared the hell out of me, son."
Caleb took his fathers appearance in properly for the first time. The man looked frazzled. His hair was everywhere and he now noticed that he was green hospital scrubs.
He remembered now. He remembered waking up next to the pool, bringing up what seemed like gallons of water as Mac held him, just as soaked through as Caleb had been. Mac had dived into the water and dragged him out and then had to start him breathing, start his heart. No wonder the man looked like crap.
"Are you okay?"
"Me?" Mac asked, his own eyebrows rising. "I'm fine. It's you I was worried about." The doctor paused in thought before continuing. "Son, do you remember what happened?"
It was Caleb's turn to sigh. "I ... umm..." The younger psychic brought his hand up and pinched the bridge of his nose. Everything was quite confusing because he wasn't even sure how he had ended up at the bottom of the pool.
"I'm not sure." he tried again. "I remember heading to my room and then it's all fuzzy."
Mac frowned. "I was quite surprised to find you in that room. After your reaction to it a couple of days ago I was sure that it would be the last place I would find you."
Caleb let his hand drop back to the covers. He leaned back and looked up at Mac. "What were you doing in there? How'd you even know what had happened?"
"I heard you call out for help ... in my head." Caleb was becoming stronger in his abilities all the time and Caleb reaching out to him the way he did showed that, but to Mac it also warmed him to know that they had that type of connection.
"Really?" Caleb queried. "Wow."
"Caleb, do you remember anything else. Anything at all would help."
"Hold on a sec..." Caleb held up an index finger and closed his eyes. He tried to think back to just before his memory got fuzzy. He had been heading to the room he had been staying in. He had been intending on hitting the sack early. He hadn't been sleeping all that well in the house and had actually been quite tired but he didn't remember much past that ... apart from the whole drowning thing.
"I don't ..."He paused again. "Wait ... I remember a voice." Caleb's eyes widened as he looked at his father. The memory had just come to him out of the blue and now he remembered the voice clearly. It wasn't just a voice though. It was like something had been making him, forcing him, to go to the pool. It was a strange feeling but he hadn't been able to stop himself.
"What voice? What did it say?" Mackland asked. There had been no doubt in his mind that Caleb's near drowning had been caused by the spirit Fitzpatrick was so adamant about but now it seemed he had proof.
"It's all a bit of a jumble but I do remember something along the lines of 'you can't have her' and 'you're not worthy'. That I remember clearly."
"Hmm? That's all you got?" Caleb asked incredulously. "I mean we're definitely dealing with a spirit here right?"
"Yes, I believe so."
"What the hell did it mean? Who can't I have?"
Caleb didn't know what the hell the damn ghost was talking about but he remembered hearing 'you're not worthy' and the emotions and thoughts that sentence had evoked as he was submerged under water. Although his memories of the actual event were hazy he could remember the emotions clear as day. It was something that he lived with everyday, that doubt of his worthiness. Mackland had taken him in without a seconds hesitation, John, Jim and Missouri had accepted him without question and he was always astounded by the unconditional love and trust that he received from John's two young sons ... although Dean wouldn't admit that readily but Caleb knew it was there. He was one lucky son of a bitch and he would probably be locked up or dead right now had these people not come into his life. But what made him worthy of it? Certainly not his bloodline, that was tainted as far as Daniel Elkins and some others were concerned.
"I think I understand what's going on."
Caleb waited for his father to elaborate and when no explanation was forthcoming he rolled his eyes. "That would make one of us. Care to elaborate, Mac?"
"Did you see that last home run?"
"No ... I was sitting there with my eyes closed," Caleb answered rolling his eyes at the small boy standing next to him. Sam barely reached his waist but the kid talked so loud that the psychic had no problem hearing him.
"Why did you have your eyes closed? You were supposed to be watching the game." Sam told him accusingly as he looked up at the tall seventeen year old.
"I was joking Sammy." Caleb sighed.
Last minute details of their hunt at Fitzpatrick's mansion and a last minute consult job Mac had done for the police had made them late in arriving at Jims. They had headed straight for Dean's baseball game, arriving just in time to see the nine year old before he joined his team mates on the field.
Dean had looked anxious until he had seen Mac's car pull up at the field and Caleb step out. Mac had told him about Dean's dream and it had helped Caleb realise why he'd had such a sense of Dean after his drowning. He remembered bits and pieces of his own dream now and it freaked him out a little. He was still growing into his abilities and he knew that he and Dean had a connection but he hadn't realised that it ran that deep.
Dean had seemed relieved to see him but soon became his normal self around the psychic and Caleb couldn't keep from smiling at the kid's enthusiasm. Dean was the happiest he'd seen him in a long time. He didn't always have anybody at his games but now he had his Dad, Sam, Mac and Caleb and Jim. Dean might of acted like it was no big deal but it was obvious that the kid was ecstatic.
John had greeted Caleb with a rough but rarely affectionate quick hug telling Caleb without words that his mentor had been worried about his latest brush with death. John's and Jim's warm greeting caused a smile to stay on his face. Then there was also Sam attaching himself to his legs in a tight hug, openly and loudly telling him that he was glad that he was alright. Caleb had laughed and thanked the kid, ruffling his hair.
Shortly after Dean had taken off to play his game John had deposited Sam in Caleb's care and sat a couple of seats back, obviously wanting to discuss things with Mac and Jim that they didn't want to talk about in front of the five year old. Caleb rolled his eyes and huffed as he was once again treated like one of the kids. He may have been only seventeen and he may not have received his hunters ring yet but he was still a hunter. Apparently right now he was more of a nanny as he looked down at his small charge.
"Dean's really glad you came to the game, you know." Sam told him as he led Caleb down the stands. The game had finished and Dean's team had just won. The little boy wanted to get onto the field to see his brother right away, dragging Caleb by the hand, giving the psychic no chance but to follow. Sam could be really insistent when he wanted something.
"Yeah." Sam nodded emphatically when they stopped to let someone pass. "He was really worried when you didn't come to Jim's yesterday like you were supposed to. But he didn't want anyone to know that he was worried so don't say anything 'kay."
"Your secret's safe with me, Samantha." He felt Sam pull on his hand again once there was room to keep moving down the stands and soon he found himself on the ground with Sam pulling him towards the field. "Sammy, would you slow down. Deuce isn't going anywhere." Caleb laughed as he allowed himself to be dragged along.
Jim, Mackland and John remained sitting in the stands watching with amused looks on their faces as Sam all but dragged the young psychic down to the field to greet the star of the day.
John was happy to see the kid and he especially knew that his sons were glad that Caleb was finally here because it put their worries at ease. After Dean's nightmare turning out to be not so much a nightmare but ... well John wasn't really sure what to call it but it had scared them all at Jim's and he could see that finding his son drowned at the bottom of the pool was still haunting Mackland.
Dragging his gaze away from his youngest son and protégé John turned back to Mac as most of everyone else sitting on the stands made there way down to the ground. "Where were we?" John asked referring to the conversation they had been having about the Fitzpatrick house before the game had started.
"Right." Mac nodded. "I paid the previous owners of the house, the Howard's, another visit after I made sure that Caleb was okay. After some convincing Mrs. Howard admitted that something was amiss."
John quirked an eyebrow at the doctor, "What do you mean by convincing?"
"And what did you find out?" Jim added.
Mac leaned forward in his chair, looking out to the field just in time to see Caleb and Sam reach Dean. He brought his concentration back to the other hunters. "In the hospital, Caleb told me that the spirit had said something to him ..."
"What did it say?"
Mac rolled his eyes. "If you would let me finish John I might tell you."
"Go on Mackland." Jim encouraged.
"It told him that he couldn't have her and that he wasn't worthy and it sort of clicked for me." Mac explained. "Michael's wife was ... she was making some rather obvious advances towards Caleb and while annoying as it was I didn't think much of it until I put two and two together. Caleb is around the same age as the young gardener that died there."
"What's your point Mac?" The look on John's face told Mac clearly that John wasn't making the same connection that he was.
"Valerie doesn't exactly seem like the faithful wife. I wouldn't be surprised if she had been the same with the gardener as she was with Caleb."
"So you think the spirit was jealous?" John asked.
"Yes in a way." Mackland agreed. "Long story short, I had a feeling that the pool was a connection considering Michael's gardener's death and Caleb's drowning happened in there. I looked up the builders and managed to speak to a man that worked on the pool back when it was built. According to him he was under the impression that something was going on between his apprentice and Mrs. Howard. One day the apprentice just disappeared, never turned up for work. He was just never heard from again."
"You think she killed him?" Jim asked thoughtfully.
"Or the husband found out and killed him." John added.
"Can I finish?" Mac asked patiently. When all he received was silence Mac continued. "I went to the old couple's house and confronted them about it. I let the apprentice's name slip and told them that I would call the police if they didn't tell me what they did to him."
Mac smirked. "She broke surprisingly easy. Apparently after a couple of weeks of the affair the boy threatened to tell her husband ..."
"She killed him." Jim supplied.
Mac nodded. "… buried him in the newly dug up pool, knowing that it was going to be cemented the very next day. Her husband never knew and was far from happy about it."
"So your buddy and his wife, almost carbon copies of the previous owners move in and the ghost connects Mrs Fitzpatrick with Mrs. Howard and doesn't want any other guys getting close to her." John stood knowing that it was only a matter of time before the boys sort them out. Jim and Mac followed suit and the three slowly made their own way down the steps.
"We got the pool ripped up and sure enough the remains were buried where she said they were."
John stopped to avoid getting run over by a kid who cut him off to go barrelling down the stairs. "So you handled it?"
Mac turned on John with an exasperated look. "I can handle a simple salt and burn Jonathan."
"I didn't say you couldn't." John held his hands up in surrender.
"The important thing is that Caleb came through alright." Jim always the voice of reason spoke up as the Triad came to the bottom of the stand and stepped off onto the ground.
"Dean!" Sam shouted, letting go of Caleb's hand and racing over to his brother who had just broken away from his team and was walking towards them. "Dean! That was so cool! Caleb thought so too!"
"Sammy." Caleb groaned as he caught up to the little boy and his older brother. "Hey Deuce ... not bad out there."
Dean shrugged. "Yeah, it was okay." Caleb smirked at Dean's smile. The kid was trying to act cool about it but his eyes couldn't hide that he'd had a great day.
"You kicked ass." Sam continued, getting a shocked look from his brother.
"That's what Caleb said." Sam pouted.
Dean raised an eyebrow at the older boy and Caleb turned his head to see where the adults had gotten to. Thankfully he found them slowly making there way over to them, still deep in conversation. He wanted a moment with Dean alone and for Sam to stop getting him in trouble. He placed both his hands on the five year olds shoulders and turned him towards where the boy's father was. "Look Sammy, there's the others." he pointed at the Triad. "Go tell them to hurry up."
Sam looked up at Dean as if silently asking his permission first. Dean silently nodded, urging him forward without any words needed. "Okay." Sam agreed and took off at a run to his father and the other hunters.
"So Deuce ..."
"Are you really okay?" Dean interrupted, surprising Caleb with coming straight out with what was on his mind. Dean's green gaze was unwavering and Caleb had the urge to look away but didn't.
"I'm fine Deuce." He playfully punched the kid in the shoulder. "It takes more than some punk spirit and a little bit of water to take me out."
"Dad and Jim said you almost drowned."
"Yeah." Caleb smiled. "But thanks to Mac I'm as good as new." Mac had saved his life. He had saved his life when he had come to him at the psychiatric hospital four years ago and he continued to save Caleb in more ways than one all the time. He was truly lucky to have Mac and the others in his life and he would never forget that.
"I had a dream ..." Dean looked unsure or uncomfortable bringing this up, Caleb couldn't tell which.
Caleb reached out and placed a hand on the nine year old boys shoulder and pulled him closer so he could sling his arm over the small shoulders. "Yeah I heard. You helped me out there, dude."
"I did?" Dean looked up at the psychic confused. "So I was right ... it wasn't just a dream."
"Mac says I reached out to someone I knew I could count on and trust. You came through and kept me together until Dad could save my ass."
Dean looked down but didn't shrug out from under Caleb's arm. "It didn't feel that way."
The dream or whatever it was had obviously freaked Dean out more than Caleb realised. He gave the kid a squeeze. "You came through for me dude, kept me together. You helped to keep me from going under ... so thanks kiddo." and Dean had kept him from going under, in more ways than one.
Dean still looked unsure but a slow smile formed on his face. "You're welcome, Damien." He pulled away from Caleb's grasp.
Before anything else could be said they were met by an overexcited Sam and the older hunters. Caleb stood back as John congratulated his son on a good game, followed by Jim and Mac.
He felt a wave of contentment and happiness spread through his body as he watched his adopted family interact. They weren't a normal family by far but they were his home now and after what had happened, feeling everyone's concern and worry for him, their happiness that he was alright, he knew that no matter what he had come from, no matter what was in his blood, they would always have his back. They were his home, they were where he belonged now and he was going to make sure that he never disappointed them. He was going to work hard to make them proud as a hunter and as a person and it was that very mission that was going to keep him from going under with the uncertainty of his bloodline and unworthiness. They were worth fighting for.
A big thank you to everyone that reads and reviews this story! Your opinions means everything so thanks. I really hope you enjoyed it and if you have the time and feel like it let me know what you thought :) I hope everyone who celebrates it had a great Thanksgiving :)