Once again, thank you all for your very kind reviews. Also, just so you know, this story should be 6 chapters long. This chapter is a bit short, but next chapter is longer and then the 6th chapter will likely be somewhere in the middle. I have no beta, so all mistakes are mine, hope you enjoy!
The table was strewn with paper, and while it might look like a mess to some, Dean and Bobby knew exactly what each bit of brightly colored paper attached to the map meant. They were color coded on likeliness to be the kidnapper, and attached to the general area of the United States that the vanquished demon had been plaguing, and even though the clutter represented hours and hours of hard work, to Dean it looked pointless. They had information going back a decade, and yet they were no closer to finding Sam. They were still stuck here in the same hotel room while his brother was freezing his ass off in some shed.
Sighing heavily, Dean rose, going to the window. It was the middle of the afternoon by now, but a fresh wave of snow had prevented the sun from giving off any heat to the town. It looked like a tundra out there with kids playing in the snow and gleefully proclaiming their thanks to the weather for getting them out of school for the day. If Sam were with him he'd be tempted to take a snowball and hurl it at his brother, just to see that shocked look on his face before surprise melted into amusement and there was a snowball fight to rival the ones they had when they were kids. Dean loved those fights. He had to find a cheap way to entertain his brother until John returned, but somehow they never seemed like something that was just something to keep Sammy occupied, somehow they took his own mind off of things for awhile. Hearing Sam laugh could do that, make all the trouble go away and leave him feeling like a kid himself.
"What about this one?"
Dean jumped as Bobby's voice distracted him from his musings. "Hmm?"
"This one," Bobby Singer's voice sounded more patient, almost paternal as he waited on Dean to shuffle closer. The kid (because Dean and Sam would always be kids to Bobby, and the closest thing he'd ever have to children) looked so damned tired, and not just the kind that meant that he hadn't slept either. Hearing things the way Dean had, knowing his brother was suffering—well Bobby knew that that took more of a toll on a person than anything.
"What about it?" Dean sat down next to the map, looking skeptically down at the low level green Post-It Bobby was pointing to. He could remember the hunt, it had been an average, run of the mill one that he and his father had taken on only weeks after Sam left for school. They were both still reeling over his loss but afraid to say anything to even one another.
"It's close," Bobby began, rubbing at his scruffy face as he tried to put the facts together. "You said you remembered giving the exorcism on the demon yourself, and it as just a demon, not some other paranormal nutcase. The house where the dad you did the exorcism on is just down the road."
"It's a starting point," Dean said apprehensively, unable to believe that Sam could be so close. Something was going to go wrong, he could feel it. This felt too easy.
Maybe getting Sam back will be the easy part, and getting him back in one piece will be the impossible thing. Dean shuddered at his traitorous thoughts, fishing the keys for the Impala out of his jeans. "Let's go check it out."
The demon knew that Winchester would figure it out, he had really made it too easy. Smiling to himself, he ran one blood soaked finger over a family picture hanging in the hallway. He had even returned to the place where Dean first sent his soul back to hell, and slaughtered the family of the man he possessed all those years ago. The low drone of the flies buzzing over the decaying bodies made the demon almost gleeful, because he knew it would sicken Winchester when he came.
Yes, this was really just too easy. Without Papa Winchester, the brothers would be quick work, and when this family and the two idiot children John Winchester had left behind were lying in the ground there would be no one to stop him from doing whatever he wanted to do. It was a nice thought indeed.
The Impala flew down the thankfully deserted roads, its capable wheels barely noticing the thick layer of snow on the streets. It wouldn't have mattered to the driver if the vehicle was fishtailing all over the road, he was determined to start checking out the few leads that they had as quickly as possible. However, by some small stroke of luck the car managed to safely make it to its destination, a ramshackle farmhouse with a small metal shed in the back. Despite its slightly worn exterior, it looked homely, the kind of place a large family might grow up in. Dean Winchester didn't care about anyone else's family just then, however, he cared about finding his own baby brother. Not even bothering to tell Bobby where he was going, or to go knock on the door to the farmhouse and ask permission, he went directly to the shed, trying to open it. Not deterred by the lock on the door, he pulled out his gun to shoot the damned thing off.
"Dean," Bobby warned, " What if this isn't the right house. You can't just go shooting off locks you id—"
Dean pulled the trigger three times, making the lock fall in two pieces at their feet. He didn't care what Bobby thought just then, because he felt it. Something was different, because the feeling of hesitation he had had before, the instinct that this probably wasn't the right house, was gone, and he could practically feel Sam. He wasn't going to let a simple lock hold him back, not when Sam was cold and hungry and bleeding. He raised his hand to pull the door to the shed open again but Bobby pulled him back suddenly with a low hiss. "Careful," He warned, pointing at a corner of the metal building where what looked to be a smeared, dried bloody handprint was clear for them to see. "you don't know what's in there."
Dean nodded, the lump in his throat preventing him from voicing his agreement, then reached for the door again. He slid it open, the screech of the rusty hinge not deterring him in the least. It took his eyes a moment to adjust to the darkness, and when he did, what he saw made him bolt into the room without hesitation.