Okay, here's a little update while I'm on vacation! Thanks again to charis-kalos for taking the time to play editor!!
Chapter 27 - Revelations
John Winchester pulled out his cell to select a well-used number. It was time to make his regular check on that bastard Jonathon Haynes.
When he hung up with Haynes' employer a few minutes later, he felt thoroughly rattled. The bastard had stopped showing up for work two weeks ago and no one had seen him since. That meant Haynes had been god-only-knew-where for at least two weeks. John stabbed at the speed dial for Bobby's house.
"Yeah?" Bobby's gruff voice indicated there was nothing wrong there. John allowed himself to relax a little.
"Hey, Bobby. How're the boys?" he asked, settling back into the truck seat.
A loud snort came through the phone, Bobby's commentary on his absence. John ignored it and hoped condemnation would be confined to just the snort. "Fine. Got that car up and runnin'. Ought to be back in a coupla days."
"Back?" John demanded as a chill crept slowly across his skin, tightening the muscles across his shoulder blades. "What do you mean, 'back'?"
"Dean called it a shake-down cruise," Bobby replied in an off-hand voice and John imagined he could hear the shrug through the phone. "I'm sure they woulda called if there'd been any trouble."
"Bobby," John struggled to keep the panic from his voice, "do you know where they went?"
"Not really," Bobby said slowly. "They were kind of vague about that, but I overheard Dean saying somethin' about Sam needin' flowers. Whatever the hell that's s'posed to mean."
"I don't suppose you know which way they were headed?" John demanded, his mind running through a hundred possibilities of where the boys might have been going.
"What's goin' on John?" Bobby snapped back. "What aren't ya tellin' me?"
John sighed as he ran a hand over his face. "Bobby, did either of the boys ever tell you why Dean's memory is so bad? And don't tell me you never noticed, because I know you have."
"I figured he was born like that," Bobby said slowly. "Why?"
Bobby barely allowed the phone to disconnect before he began dialing the next number. He waited anxiously as the ringing of the other phone buzzed in his ear.
"Bobby?" Sam asked lightly. "Miss us already? No, don't tell me, you need Dean's advice on whether or not to part out some piece-of-junk car you just picked up."
And since when had Sam been the teasing type?
"Is he there?" Bobby asked, hearing the gruffness in his own voice. "With you?"
"Nah," Sam replied slowly. "Dean said he had something to check out. He's obsessing about some dead spot he found."
The small hairs on the back of his neck stood straight out. "You mean he's alone? Right now?" Bobby demanded. "Where are ya?"
"Wait a minute," Sam said in a tone Bobby knew better than to try to argue with. "What's going on, Bobby? Since when are you worried about Dean doing a little research on his own?"
"Since I found out he's bein' stalked!" Bobby snapped. "Now git off your ass and go find 'im!"
"Stalked? Bobby, what the hell are you-" Sam broke off mid-sentence and there was a sound in the background, possibly a door being slammed.
"Sam, you're not gonna believe this," Dean's voice filtered through.
Bobby slumped forward on the hood of his Chevelle and breathed deeply in relief. "Gonna kill John Winchester," he mumbled into the dusty metal.
"There you are," Sam said in the same damn light voice he had answered the phone with. "Here. Bobby wants to talk to you."
"Really?" He heard a throat clearing. "Bobby? What's up?"
"Damn Winchesters are gonna be the end of me," he groaned in reply.
"Uh. Okay." The throat cleared again. "I don't suppose that's in reference to anything specific?"
"Beats the hell outta me," Bobby snapped as he adjusted his cap with one hand. "Listen up, boy. Does the name Jonathon Haynes mean anything to you?"
"Nope. Want me to ask Sam?" Dean asked, his puzzlement evident in his voice.
"If he doesn't say yes, I'm giving John Winchester the ass-kicking of a lifetime," Bobby replied stiffly, envisioning exactly how he planned to track John down. Demon, huh? That freaking demon was about to be the least of John's problems.
"Hang on," Dean told him.
Bobby strained to listen to the hushed whispers, but he couldn't make anything out until Sam spoke again.
"Bobby? What's going on?" Sam asked and his voice was dead-serious and all business.
"You ever heard of some guy named Jonathon Haynes?" Bobby demanded.
There was a long pause before Sam answered, his tone hard, "Yeah, I have. What about him?"
By the tone Bobby knew John hadn't been jerking him around with this one. "He hasn't shown up for work in about two weeks."
"Damn," Sam breathed. "I take it Dad called." It wasn't a question, not really. "Maybe we should head back, Bobby."
"Sam!" He could hear Dean's protests. "We gotta check this out. I'm telling you."
Sam groaned into the phone. "Just our luck. Dean found a hunt. Bobby, do you know anybody out here who can take it?"
Bobby stared unseeing at a stack of cars. Sam was trying to turn down a hunt Dean found? He had a feeling that wasn't going to go over real well. "Where is 'here'?"
In his panic, the name of the town where Dean and Sam were had not registered, not until John passed the sign welcoming him. This was where Mary's grave was. He had to pull off the road to catch his breath. Damn. This whole 'revelations without warning' thing really sucked.
John rubbed his hands over his face a couple of times before staring ahead at the road. Haynes could be here someplace, following his sons. The sharp pain in his chest had better be gas, he didn't have time for a heart attack right now. Crap. With a deep breath, John shoved his truck back in to drive.
His phone went off as he neared the motel where the boys were supposed to be staying. It was Bobby. "What?"
"Don't what me, Winchester," Bobby snapped. "Where are you?"
"About a block away from the motel," John admitted.
"Really? That was quick." Bobby cleared his throat. "Maybe I should head out there too."
"Bobby, I got this. Honest," John promised. "If there are any problems, I'll call."
"You better," Bobby threatened, "or I'll hunt your ass down myself."
John found himself snorting loudly. "You'll try."
"John? One more question."
"Yeah?" John rolled his eyes as he pulled into the parking lot of the motel where the boys were supposed to be staying.
"Dean didn't recognize the bastard's name," Bobby told him.
"Well, he doesn't remember his former foster mother either, so it's not a real big surprise," John replied, shoving the truck into park.
"But, that means he probably wouldn't recognize his face either," Bobby continued.
"So?" John demanded. Was Bobby going to harp on about the amnesia stuff like Sam now?
"So," Bobby said slowly, like John was dense, "it means the bastard could get the drop on Dean without even tryin'."
His shoulders tightened up again and all the little hairs on the back of his neck stiffened. John thought he might be sick, right there in the parking lot. "Later, Bobby," he snapped before terminating the call.
Dean sat on the edge of his bed staring at his brother. "What's going on, Sam? You're acting weird."
Sam's bottom lip disappeared under his front teeth and he chewed on the fleshy part. "Dean," he started slowly in the tone that set Dean's teeth on edge, "there are a few things you've forgotten that might be, uh, dangerous. For you."
Dean studied his little brother for a moment. If it were this important, surely he would remember it. "Like what?"
Sam chewed on his lip again looking real guilty. Dean was ready to press harder when a heavy knock sounded on their door. They both jumped at the sound. Then Sam chuckled nervously, the way he sounded when he thought Dean was going to be seriously pissed.
"Probably housekeeping. I'll get it." Dean noticed Sam check his piece before answering the door, though. Housekeeping his ass. "Dad?"
Dean's attention snapped to the door, riveted to the large man walking into their room. What the hell was Dad doing here? He stood slowly, most of the strength in his legs gone. Was there something so horrible in his past it could drag Dad away from hunting The Demon? What could be that bad? Had he killed someone? Surely he would remember if he were a murderer.
Dad gave Sam a one-armed hug as he passed, barely pausing in his trek across the room. Sam had the door closed and locked before Dad reached him. Dean swallowed hard, wondering how much trouble he was in. Then Dad pulled him into the biggest bear hug Dean had ever experienced.
When Dad pulled away, he still clutched Dean by the shoulders with his strong hands. "Son? Have you noticed anybody following you? Maybe the same face showing up around town?"
Confused, Dean shot a questioning look in Sam's direction, but little brother had the same intent expression as Dad.
"Uh, no," he replied slowly as he shifted his gaze back to Dad's heavily stubbled face. He looked like he hadn't had a shower in days. "Dad, what's going on? Why are you here?"
A pained expression flashed over Dad's face, quick but Dean was sure he saw it. "You're in danger, son."
"From what?" Dean asked slowly, pretty certain he was not going to like the answer.
"I, uh, was just coming to that," Sam said from over Dad's shoulder.
Dad shook his head and took a real deep breath. "Maybe you should sit down for this one, Dean."
Sam could pinpoint the exact moment Dean's 'this is bullshit' emotional wall slammed down. It happened between 'Ella, your foster mother' and 'coma for three days'. His eyes rolled all the way into his head and he heaved a long suffering sigh.
"Jesus, Dad, don't you think I'd remember something like that?" Dean demanded.
"No," Sam put in. "When you woke up from that coma, you didn't even remember Ella."
A thoughtful expression crossed Dean's face. "Is that why she was so upset when she came to see us?"
"You," Dad interjected. "She came to see you, not us." He glanced back at Sam. "I don't think she cares much for us."
Sam chuckled until Dean shot him a nasty look. "You said something to her, didn't you?"
Both hands up in unequivocal surrender, Sam shook his head emphatically. "I swear, Dean, I didn't say a single mean word to her at Bobby's."
Dean's head tilted to one side as he studied Sam. "Before Bobby's?" he asked suspiciously.
Sam sighed in defeat. "I might have dropped by her place once. For a couple of minutes."
"Well, that would explain it," Dean began as he squared his shoulders, a sure sign this was going to be a fight coming and going. "Look, I know I was beat up when I lived with her, and that Ella was there and she didn't, or couldn't, stop it. But I don't know about this coma crap." He gestured to himself. "Dad, I'm not a kid anymore. I can take care of myself."
"Dean, son, I just..." Dad shook his head and ran a hand over his face, which looked more tired and worn than Sam had ever remembered. He moved to stand right in front of Dean to rest his hands on Dean's shoulders. "You'll always be a kid to me. It's just the way parents are. We worry."
The little-boy look came over Dean's face again. It usually made Sam cringe but not this time. This time Dean did not look lost, he looked like he felt safe and comfortable. "Yeah?"
Dad smiled at him. "Yeah. So what's so important you won't leave this dump?"
Now Dean's eyes sparkled with pride. "I found a hunt."
Bobby swore that if Adam and Eve had known some of their progeny would turn into Winchesters, there would be no human race. He couldn't, for the life of him, contact a single one of them on any of their cell phones. So either they were all hunting together, which seemed unlikely with Dean's stalker unaccounted for, or the guy had them all, which appeared even less likely. But the fact remained that Bobby didn't know.
Cursing a blue streak, he loaded up his pickup with enough clothes to last him a week and enough firepower to take down a pack of grizzlies. He was heading back to lock up the house when a stray breeze blew the loose tarp off the hood of his Chevelle. Bobby paused beside it, recalling Dean offering to help him restore it. Actually, Dean had just offered to 'get it running', but Bobby knew it meant a full restoration. As he reached for the tarp, his cell phone went off.
Bobby yanked the contraption out of his pocket in record time. It was Dean. Well, it was someone calling from Dean's phone, at any rate. He jabbed at the button to take the call before pressing it against his ear.
"Dean?" he demanded.
"Hey, Bobby. We were wondering if you knew anything about zombies?" Bobby slouched in relief over the hood, in nearly the exact same position he had been in this morning when he had called Sam.
"Zombies?" he asked weakly. God-damned Winchesters were going to be the death of him.
"Yeah. Sam says there's too much lore about them, so we're having trouble figuring out how to... Dude, are you all right? You don't sound too good."
Only then did Bobby realize he was breathing too hard, too fast. "Just a minute." Bobby slid down to sit on the ground, leaning against the car. "Ya caught me exercising, that's all."
Dean snorted through the phone. "Yeah, right. I'd buy exorcising before I bought that."
"None of you Winchester idjits is answering your phone!" Bobby barked at him, his frustration and anger flowing out.
"We're not? Hang on." He heard Dean's voice in the background. "Dad. Sam. Are your phones on?"
"Mine's dead," a deep male voice, probably John, replied.
"My battery was low, so I had it off," Sam said.
Bobby peered up into the sky and whispered, "Just a little help here? Is it really too much to ask?"
"Hey, Bobby? I guess you're right. Dad's is dead, Sam's was almost dead, and I forgot to turn mine back on from earlier. Why? What happened?" There was a pause, but Bobby couldn't answer so he sat there trying to catch his breath. "Were you worried?" Dean asked in the teasing tone usually reserved for Sam.
"Just...leave 'em on," Bobby managed to reply in a weak voice.
"Breathe, dude," Dean said in a sterner tone. "Do we need to call an ambulance for you?"
Bobby cradled his head in one hand as he closed his eyes. "Just tell me about this zombie thing, kid, before I load up my shotgun."
"You are sitting down?" Dean demanded, unphased by the threat. Guess it was too late to pretend he could still bully the 'adopted' one around.
"Yeah," Bobby sighed.
"Well, it all started with this dead spot in the cemetery," Dean began. Bobby settled in to listen intently, still wondering if he ought to make the trip.