A/N: Oh My GOSH I am sooooo sorry for the long wait!! Thanks for sticking with me. Life has been kicking my ass.
I just wanted to say another thanks to everyone who has been reviewing. You guys are the bee's knees. Truly and honestly! I can't believe that you have stuck around this long! Alrighty then on with the show!
Sam was in Dean's arms as they both rode Artemis. They had no choice but to enter the forest. They knew it was the one place that Abraham and his men would not follow, they would not go into the forest at night. Both sets of eyes where scanning the forest looking for any sign of trouble. Artemis was having trouble navigating the forest floor. Roots where tripping her, and the snow was giving the illusion of a flat terrain, though the forest floor was far from it. Her hooves kept sinking deeper then she expected causing her to trip. Dean knew this was hard for her, but he felt safer on her back and he didn't know if could let go of Sam. His fear of almost losing Sam was still strong with in him, almost crippling.
But then Artemis stumbled again, only it was Sam who spoke. "Dean, it is harder for her with us on her back."
"I know." Dean said sighing. He dismounted, then pulled Sam down into his arms. They stood like that for a moment with Sam pressed against Dean's chest. Sam lifted his head to look at Dean. Dean caught his chin and pulling him in for a deep kiss. This kiss was desperate and slow. A kiss to reassure Dean that Sam was still with him. Dean ran his fingers through the hair at the back of Sam's head fisting it and pulling him closer deepening the kiss. Sam hands where full of Dean's shirt. He was holding it so tightly his knuckles where turning white. Their kiss that started slow and desperate was quickly becoming fevered and hard. Dean's other hand slid from Sam's waist to his lower back and under his shirt. He let his fingers and palm explored the warm smooth skin of Sam's back all the while pulling Sam closer.
Sam's head was swimming. He could taste everything in Dean. Dean's anger, desperation, fear…his love, his need for Sam. Sam with all that he had tried to fill that need. But somewhere in his hazed brain he registered that his lungs were dieing for oxygen but he did not want to break this fevered kiss if only for a moment to take a breath. However he felt Dean pulled away and Sam sucked in a much needed gulp air, he let out a barely audible whimper missing Dean's lips already. But then Dean's mouth was back on his, his tongue, his taste back in his mouth. With what the kiss was losing in desperation it was gaining in heat. Dean's touch while still loving was regaining its old aggression. His kiss was bruising, and when Sam thought there was nothing more pleasure that Dean could cause him, Dean started to employ his teeth, nibbling at Sam's skin. Sam let out a low groan. If Dean hadn't of been holding Sam so tightly he surly would have fallen to the ground, weak in the knees.
Then the kiss was broken when both boys were knocked and nearly fell when Artemis readjusted her footing. Dean still held Sam, and there gaze meet. Both were panting heavily trying to relive their burning oxygen depraved lungs. Slowly Sam let a smile cross his face and Dean smirked back and placed a kiss of the corner of Sam's smile. He pulled Sam closer to Airtimes, ready to continue their trek when a low howl stopped him.
Dean armed Sam behind him and scanned the trees. Dean saw nothing out of place; there was no movement, there was nothing. But then they heard the howl again. Upon closer reflection the howl sounded less like an animal and more like a man.
Artemis began to grow excited, and when they heard the noise again, this time closer, louder she reared and took off to Sam's left.
"Artemis!" Sam called, and took off after her.
Dean's attention was drawn in the direction of the noise and didn't react fast enough to grab Sam. He called after him but he was too late. Sam disappeared behind the dense trees and Dean took off after him.
Despite the routes that kept tripping Artemis before she didn't not let them slow her down, she navigated her way around the trees with surprising speed.
Sam running after her somehow managed to keep her in sight. "Artemis!" He called again. Just as Sam thought that he was starting to gain on her, he tripped on a route and fell into the snow covered ground. As he went to stand up something launched him into a near by thicket. He landed in it, and then fell off to the side back onto the ground. He rolled to see what had attacked him. He tried to strain his eyes to focus and he thought he could hear Dean calling for him.
Then something materialized a few feet in front of him. It was a man. But he wasn't a man. He was shaped like a man, but he flickered in and out, and his movements where choppy. Then pieces seemed to fall into place in Sam's head. 'Gideon Morgan…' Sam thought. It was the only thing that seemed to make sense in Sam's head, however crazy it sounded.
Then he spoke to Sam. "They let them freeze….they let them freeze…." He raised his hand and placed it on the side of Sam's head. Sam felt unbearable cold start to move through his body. It stole his breath, and Sam opened his mouth praying for the resolve to draw breath. He tried to move away, but his movements where becoming sluggish and his attempt were futile.
Suddenly the cold hand was gone and he felt something ghosting over him. He focused his eyes to find Dean, looking down at him.
Dean followed the sound of Sam's voice; he grew more and more frantic the longer that Sam was away from him. Suddenly Dean realized that he couldn't hear Sam any more, this spurred him on faster. He turned around a tree and froze. He saw Sam on the ground with a man looming over him. Dean ran at Sam and the man and tried to pull the man off of Sam. However Dean's arms went threw the man, and Dean felt shooting cold threw his arms. Whatever Dean did seemed to work, the man disappeared. Dean was too worried about Sam to contemplate the disappearing man.
Sam wasn't responding to Dean. Dean looked over Sam's body for other injuries, only to discover that Sam's whole body was ice cold. Dean held Sam's hand and examined the blue tinge of his finger tips, then forces his eyes to Sam's face. Sam was pale, too pale and his lips held the same blue tinge as his fingers if not worse. However then Sam opened his eyes and Dean let out a breath that he wasn't aware that he was holding.
He watched as Sam struggled to focus on him and make sense of his surroundings. "Hey, hey Sam. Sam you need to wake up and stay awake for me." Dean said into Sam's ear. Sam tilted his head towards Dean.
Dean wanted to give Sam time to gain his bearings, but the snow that Sam was laying in wasn't do him any good, not to mention the flickering man that had done this to him to begin with. Dean pulled Sam to his chest and wrapped his coat around him. He was in the process of gathering Sam in his arms when he felt the temperature suddenly drop.
He slowly turned around to see the flickering man approaching them. He seemed to be saying something, and he grew closer Dean was able to make it out. "Freeze."
Dean felt Sam shifting in his arms. He looked down at him. "Dean." Sam tried. "G-G-Gideon." Sam's eye lids started to slide shut.
"No, no Sam you need to stay awake. Talk to me. I don't know what Gideon means." Dean said dividing his attention between Sam and the man. He started pulling Sam closer, he was going to take Sam, head in the direction of Artemis's tracks…then…well that was as far as his plans got as the man was getting closer.
Sam tried again. "The man…is Gideon Morgan." Sam didn't have a chance to finish. He was swept up in Dean's arms and Dean started to make his way away from Gideon. However Gideon suddenly appeared in his way. "How?" Dean started to ask. But Gideon tried to reach out for Sam again. Dean jerked back and the sudden moved meant sent both he and Sam to the ground.
Gideon was yet again advancing on the two, when Dean heard a loud bang, a shotgun he realized. The round hit Gideon and he disappeared again. Another man came out from behind a large tree scanning the area while heading towards Dean and Sam.
"Are you two okay?" He asked.
He received no reply.
"Hey!" The man tried again. "I need to know if you two are okay enough to get out of the woods on your own."
"There are people who are…" Dean trailed off as Gideon reappeared and the man shot at him again with what turned out to be a showed off shot gun.
"The people from the settlement?" The man asked.
Dean nodded. For the time being Dean was willing to take his chances with this new man, rather with Gideon on his own or face Abraham and his men again.
"Fools!" The man said under his breath. "I am Robert Singer. Most people just call me Bobby, though. What are your names?" He asked.
"Forget who we are! What the hell is that?" Dean asked.
"That is the ghost of Gideon Morgan." Bobby answered. Dean was gearing up to fire off more questions when Sam stopped him.
"He is trying to avenge his family." Sam filled in. Dean took a long look at Sam. He seemed more coherent and was started to shiver, which meant that he was starting to get better…well a little better at least. "I am Sam, and this is Dean." Sam offered.
"Well Sam and Dean why don't we take care of Gideon and get you out of these woods?" Bobby offered.
"How do you take care of a ghost?" Dean managed to chip in.
"Salt and burn its bones. I was almost done when I heard you two." Bobby answered.
Sam and Dean slowly got to their feet, with Dean steadying Sam and keeping his coat firmly around the shoulders of the younger man. They looked at Bobby wearily.
"Look I know that you got no reason to trust me despite that I just saved your life. But I think that I found your horses. Left her tied up by the remains of Gideon.
Sam and Dean cautiously followed Bobby and sure enough they came across a clearing to find Artemis, another horse and a hole in the ground. They observed as Bobby poured salt onto the remains followed by fuel, and then added a flame. They heard the same howl and saw Gideon charging for them. Bobby jumped in front of Sam and Dean and lifted his shot gun. But before the ghost of Gideon even got close he burst into flames, and was gone with one last soulful cry.
An hour later found Dean and Sam in Bobby's humble cabin. Thankfully with Artemis out side eating some feed that Bobby had for his own horses. Both boys were wrapped in blankets sitting side by side at on end of the very large fireplace, with Bobby on the other side. Bobby had noticed the injuries on both of them especially Sam, but new better then to approach them about it. Dean was already inspecting Sam's burnt hand. It struck him that this young man who was so cold and wary of Bobby could be so different with his young charge. The patience and warmth that he supplied for Sam was well…Bobby couldn't find the words. The more Bobby watched the two of them the more he felt for them, a strong erg to protect them manifested in him, much to Bobbies chagrin, he was a harden warrior! He wouldn't let him self be swayed by two kids, yet here he was completely absorbed in their interaction with each other. They seemed to feed off of each other. Sam fed off of Dean's attention to him and Dean fed off of Sam's love for him. They sustained each other. Bobby started to try and manage his new found matronly feelings and try to find out why the boys had been in the woods in the first place.
He sat patiently as they recounted their story or the parts of their story that they were willing to tell Bobby. But from what the boys told him and from what he already new about the settlement he was able to figure it out.
After the boys were done explaining what had happened there was a pregnant pause which Sam interrupted. "So what were you doing in the woods any way?" He asked.
"Well, I was there to take care of Gideon Morgan." Bobby said as if it was the most oblivious thing in the world.
"Well then why didn't you do it earlier?" Sam asked
"Sam!" Dean scolded.
"I had to figure out what it was first." Bobby answered.
"What?" Dean asked sounding incredulous.
"Well there is a whole host of things that it could have been, I had to narrow down the field first. I couldn't go in blind; I had to be sure that is was a ghost." Bobby explained.
"You mean that there are other things out there besides ghosts?" Sam asked shocked.
"Hate you say so but yes. There is a whole world full of evil out there." Bobby stated. Sam seemed to shrink under Bobby's statement.
Bobby saw what he had done and worked quickly to remedy the situation. "But never mind this old man. It is late and you boys have been to hell and back. Why don't you stay here the night, and you can head out in the morning?" Bobby offered. He watched the boys. Dean looked like he was about to object. He didn't seem to want to take any more risks with strangers. "Hey…" Bobby put up his hand defensively. "You two can stay out here. My room is at the back of the cabin, this is a creaky old place, you would hear me coming… but if it gets too fishy for you the door is right there." Bobby said pointing at the exit.
Dean sighed. He was exhausted. "Yeah sure. Thanks" He said. He watched as Bobby left the living room and walked down the hall to his room. He was right about the old structure, it creaked and groaned with every step, there was no way anyone could move around silently. He heard Sam heave and deep sigh beside him. Dean looked at him; he could tell that he was retreating back into his head again, no doubt replaying the worst of the day's events over and over in his head.
Dean put his hand on Sam's cheek, pulling to face him. "Hey, stay here with me; don't float away in that head of yours." Dean said putting on a smile that he didn't really feel. Dean saw his eyes flicker with emotions as Sam tried to control them. "Talk to me." Dean tried again.
"Cecelia…" Sam chocked out.
Realization hit Dean. He hated to admit it but with everything that had happened he had forgotten about Cecelia.
"Dean she is dead because of…" Sam trailed off then tried again. "If I hadn't-"
Dean cut him off. "That was not your fault Sam! You didn't kill her. It was Aaron. None of what happened was your fault. You hear me? None of it." He punctuated his thought by pulling Sam closer to him.
Despite Dean's words Sam couldn't help but feel responsible for the whole mess. He was also biting down on another question that he didn't know if he really wanted the answer to: Tobias. But then thinking about Tobias opened another wave of emotions that Sam was to tired to handle.
Dean could practically feel Sam thinking in his arms. He smiled despite him self. After everything that had happened Sam was still Sam. He tilted Sam's head up to face him. Sam's moss green eyes search Dean's emerald ones. Sam was looking for the blame and the resentment that Sam thought Dean must be feeling towards him but found none, the only thing he saw was love, acceptance and a little bit of worry. Sam relaxed in his touch.
Then exhaustion finally took Sam and Dean. They lay down in front of the fire, Sam wrapped in Dean's arms and feel asleep.
The next morning Sam woke to Dean talking to Bobby. He noted that Dean had already backed most of their belongings.
"So all that stuff that we were told wasn't real, is?" Dean asked trying to clarify everything.
"Most of it." Bobby answered. "But there are things that you can do to protect your self." Bobby amended.
Sam shifted and caught the attention of both Bobby and Dean. Dean smiled at him and walked over. "Hey." He said as he knelt down in front of Sam. "How are you doing?" He asked softly.
"I am okay." Sam assured him. "We are leaving?" He asked.
"I think that it is best." Dean nodded.
Sam got up and went to work folding the blankets and packing the ones that where theirs and placing Bobby's on a chair. After a small breakfast that Bobby offered the boys where ready to go.
Bobby saw them to the door. "I don't want you two to be strangers. I might not have known you two for very long but I know trouble magnets when I see them. I want word that you two are doing okay."
They both nodded. "Thanks Bobby." Sam said.
"You watch your selves you hear?" Bobby added as he watched them go.
Suddenly Dean turned around. "You said there are ways that we can protect our selves. How?" He asked.
"There are all sorts of ways. There are charms and spells, that sort of thing. I am useless when it comes to that sort. But there is a man I know, who does know his way around protection spells, damn fine hunter. I could send you in his direction. He was here not two weeks ago." Bobby offered.
"Sure, sounds great. What is his name?" Dean asked.
"John Winchester." Bobby answered.
"Dean is that..?" Sam whispered.
"My dad." He answered.
Well that is it. Thanks again for sticking with me for so long. This chapter just would not write it's self.
But really thanks for all your support. Thanks to those who reviewed and added me to alerts and favs, it wouldn't have been finished if it wasn't for your support.
So take it easy my friends.