One Hundred Days
Disclaimer: see chapter one
Dean was curled on the floor, pressed as tightly as he could against the wall, a putrid bandage covered one thigh, one of his shoulders was swollen and twisted grotesquely, he was covered in bruises of varying age, and had all the signs of a bad fever and infection. 'Dean?'
'My-my Sammy?' Dean blinked and looked up hopefully squinting to try and focus on the face in front of him. 'Go to heaven n-now?'
'No, no Dean, my Deanie … I'm here with Bobby we're gonna take ya home,' Sam awkwardly crouched down in front of his brother, reaching out with a trembling hand he cupped Dean's cheek, 'we're taking ya home Dean.'
'N-no dream?' Dean blinked again, it couldn't be real could it? In his addled mind Dean dreamt of this happening so often but then it always ended the Sam. 'No, no not my Sammy, my Sammy gone … daddy be back … no Sammy.'
'Aww Dean it is yer Sammy, and I'm here too, we're gonna take you home.' Bobby crouched down next to Sam so Dean didn't have to strain too much, 'ya ready to come home?'
'No more hurts?' Dean looked from his brother to his uncle and then back again, 'no more dreams?'
'No more hurts or dreams, we can take ya home.'
'Doesn't daddy love me anymore?' Dean asked with tears rolling down his face, 'don' he want me no more?'
'Dad-dad's sick Dean, he has to get better and then – then he'll be back for us.'
Dean stared at Sam as he thought about what he said about their dad, 'that why he hurts me?'
'Yeah he's not …'
'He got something in him that make him do bad stuff?'
'That's it Dean,' Sam sighed, 'wanna come home … Dean?' Sam cried out as he watched Dean give him a small smile and then his eyes slid shut and he slumped bonelessly to the floor. 'Ahh no … Dean!'
Bobby carefully picked Dean up and cursed under his breath when he realised just how much weight the younger man had lost; he so wanted to beat the living daylights out of the thing riding inside his friend and then the mule-headed Winchester for letting himself get in this situation to begin with.
Bobby carried Dean inside and led the way upstairs to the room the boys thought of as theirs, from the first night all of those years ago till now as adults they still inhabited their own slice of home; their own room.
Sam trailed behind them trying desperately to get his raging emotions under control, he was sure that it was going to be a trap, but John was nowhere to be seen, the cowardly entity had it's meatsuit on the run already.
'Sam you alright son?' Bobby stood at the top of the stairs and took in the frailty of the youngest Winchester.
'Yeah m'fine Bobby,' Sam gave him the Winchester stock standard excuse, 'just … he left Dean there alone probably thought that he'd die before we got to him.'
'We got some work ahead of us Sam, I need you to have your head in the game,' Bobby said sounding so much like the old Dean, startled Sam and he could feel the tears starting to well up.
'Let's see to Dean first and then we can work on finding John.' Sam said his voice trembling slightly belied the strength he tried to portray.
Two hours later, Bobby and Sam had Dean's injuries cleaned, disinfected and stitched, with crisp white bandages now covering most of his slight form, Bobby produced bags of saline and an IV cannula from seemingly nowhere but Sam didn't question it, he just wanted Dean to get better: to become whole again.
Dean moaned and felt as though a ten-tonne truck had dropped on him from a great height for maximum impact. His eyelids refused to open for him, gritty and stuck together with goo made him feel so dirty and in desperate need for a shower. His nose wrinkled slightly as the smell of sizzling bacon and freshly brewed coffee wafted around him. Lazily he stretched and hunkered down a little more in the soft and warm bed. If this was heaven then he was quite happy to stay there, though the pain radiating throughout his entire body and the mind-numbing-heat seeking- red-hot-poker of agony poking his brain made him feel a little more like he was in hell rather than heaven.
'So Dean you gonna open your eyes for me or you gonna lie there and play possum?'
That voice, he knew that voice anywhere and it wasn't the tortured pain-filled voice he usually heard in his nightmares of recent times.
'S-Sammy?' Dean grunted and once again tried to open his tacky eyes, after three attempts he finally succeeded, with a small victorious smile he looked up at the mossy dark green eyes of his baby brother, 'Sam …s'you an' not a dream?'
'No, no dream Dean it's just me,' Sam didn't know whether he should laugh or cry, 'feel up to having some breakfast?'
'Mmm, bacon an' coffee?' Dean smacked his lips and then winced with the pain in his head, 'm'head hurts Sammy.'
'I know buddy, Bobby's bringing something up to give you, it will help with the hurts.'
'She not nice lady,' Dean muttered.
'Okay random…who's not a nice lady Dean?'
'The lady with dad, she not nice, she did icky things with dad.' Dean blushed and toyed with the frayed edges of the blanket covering him, 'Sammy?'
'you remember what Dean?' Sam asked his heart thudding so loudly he was sure that Dean could hear it.
'I members why they hurt me.' Dean said with tears shining in his luminous green eyes.
2114 Moorcroft Lane
Outskirts of Sioux Falls
John stood like a silent sentinel at the front window of the house opposite, next to him lay the body of Joan, her head lying at an awkward angle, her eyes wide open and still shining with her own terror. Blood seeped through his clothing from the ragged cross shape cut into his chest, done by his own hand. The blessed knife now held loosely in his right hand, his left hand pressed against the glass leaving a bloodied hand-print. He watched his youngest son struggle to get out of the truck, and make his way to the front door with Bobby Singer at his side, a lone tear ran down the craggy face as he watched them in silence, he so wanted to run across the road and to take his sons into his embrace and to beg their forgiveness.
Unable to leave his self-imposed watch, John kept his gaze fixed on the house as he counted down the time it took them to get Dean out of there, as soon as they were gone he was going to take Joan back there, and torch the cursed place.
He finally had a semblance of control though he knew that it was not permanent, cutting the symbols into his own flesh have locked the entity inside of him, taken control away from it for now, it was temporary but for now that was all he was willing to play with.
'Dammit Sammy get outta there,' he grunted the bloodied knife clanging to the floor from his now numb and lifeless fingers, 'get outta there kid.' He finally let out his held breath when he saw Bobby coming out of the house carrying an unconscious Dean with Sam close on their heels. 'Atta boy.' He wasn't sure exactly how he stumbled across the binding sigils or managed to learn the proper chant while trapped in his own mind, as he carved into his own flesh he felt no pain, only determination to regain control of his body and mind.
'Aint gonna be anyone's puppet no more.' John muttered as he bent over and picked Joan's body up, slinging her lifeless form over his shoulder he grabbed his dropped blade and staggered out of one condemned house and into another. At least in this area no one would think twice of a man covered in blood and carrying an obviously dead woman over his shoulder.
'I'm gonna get you Winchester, I'm going to flail your flesh from your bones.'
'You're never gonna know anything else except pain.'
'I'm going to eat your sons.'
'Starting with the retard, put it out of its misery.'
'then that walking mountain of a baby boy, mmm nice and tender.'
'Release me now Winchester for your own sake.'
'You think that I've done bad and painful things to you already? Wait until you let me loose then we'll really party.'
'Prepare to die Winchester.'
'Enough!' John roared as he unceremoniously dumped Joan's body on the double bed where they had … no where she had non-consensual sex with him, he never agreed to it, it was the little demonic bastard inhabiting him. 'I'm back in charge and God help me if it means cutting you out of myself then I'm gonna do it.'
'Temper, temper John, watch that blood pressure of yours.'
Ignoring the voice John staggered slightly but righted himself, he knew that he only had a short time left, grabbing the two drums of gasoline he undid the lids and tipped them over, letting the liquid splash over the litter and human refuse scattered across the floor.
With the flick of his wrist he ignited the lighter and dropped it onto the flammable liquid, taking a perverse pleasure in the heat of the flames, swaying drunkenly John lurched out of the house and down the street in search of a pay phone he had one more job to do before he could allow himself to drop his guard.
Dropping a dime into the slot, he dialled the number and rested his aching head against the cool glass of the phone booth wall.
'Singer,' the gruff voice of his former friend came through the bad connection.
'Bobby, it…it's John, please don't hang up…'
'So is this you talking or the bastard piggybacking ya?'
'This is me … look Bobby I don't have much time, I managed to trap it in … me … but … but it …it's not gonna last…'
'Dammit John please come in, we can work this out together, you me and the boys we can exorcise it outta ya.'
'C-Can't Bobby … can't … do … that … to … the … boys,' John pushed the words out, 't-tell em, tell em that … that I'm … I'm sorry.' He finally got the words out just as he felt his control start to wane. 'Get em to safety Bobby, I – I'm trusting ya.'
Bobby hung up the phone and scrubbed his face wearily, 'Bobby was that dad?'
The elder hunter turned to face Sam, 'yeah it was son.'
'What, what did he want?'
'The stubborn freaking idgit managed to trap the entity in his-self but it weren't holdin' … he wanted to tell me to git you two to safety and that…'
'And that what Bobby?'
'That he's sorry.' Bobby stared up at Sam with an unwavering gaze, 'I believed him Sam, but the stupid idgit won't come in to let us help.'
An unholy scream of terror startled both of the men and had them racing back upstairs to the bedroom where Dean was sleeping. Pulling on his waning strength and adrenaline Sam effortlessly made it up the stairs three at a time before bursting into the room he shared with Dean. 'Dean?' He gasped breathlessly.
'S-Sammy? W-want Sammy.' Dean wailed, pressed against the bed-head, with his knees pulled up to his chest and fingers white-knuckled around each wrist Dean stared wide-eyed at an empty corner. 'He's here, not allowed to be here Sammy.'
'Who Dean? Who's here?' Bobby asked as he did another visual scan of the bedroom.
'Th-the bad man.'
'Now, now Dean that's not very nice, I do have a name.'
'Don't let him get me Sammy please I'll be good, promise.' Dean wept as he kept his gaze fixed on the apparition in front of him but his fingers were now wrapped tightly in the material of Sam's shirt.
'So it's true, the idiots took it too far, well Dean it looks like you've dodged a bullet.'
'Dean who else is here?'
'It's gone … it don't want me no more.' Dean sighed and stretched his aching muscles, 'all gone Sammy.'
'Do you … can you tell me who it was or what it was?' Sam asked as he lowered himself on the bed next to his big brother.
'I member Sammy, I member what happened.' Dean looked at his brother and then up to Bobby, 'it was trying to get these people to let it loose.'
'When son?' Bobby urged the traumatised younger man, knowing that this might be the breakthrough Dean so desperately needed.
'Go on Dean, Bobby and me are gonna make sure that it don't hurt you no more.'
'It was that group me and dad found in the field, daddy went all funny … I got all funny and tired an' when I wokes up daddy was lying on the ground with all the peoples and the big mean thing was gone.'
'Can you tell us what he looked like?' Sam urged Dean, while biting back on his own impatience he had to let Dean to remember on his own.
'No, no, no can't Sammy, it mean and nasty and horrible,' Dean shook his head and squeezed his eyes shut, 'big monster who got so mad coz I sees his face.'
'Is that what's in yer daddy?'
'Uhhuh, it not my daddy no more,' Dean shook his head and then he rubbed his face before looking at his brother, suddenly looking older, tireder and more like his old self than ever before. 'Dad got somethin' in him that day an' when that bad lady Joan came to the – the hospital then she … she did somefin to wakes it up in daddy.' He yawned and curled up on his side, twisting his fingers around his brother's forearm and wrist Dean promptly fell asleep.
Another eighty days later
Sam and Dean's apartment
E 23rd Street
Sioux Falls South Dakota
Dean climbed out of Bobby's truck and hurried towards the stairs, dragging his left foot slightly, a fading reminder of his time with his father. So much had happened since John had taken his eldest from the hospital and tried to murder his baby son.
Dean and Sam both recuperated at Bobby's salvage yard, the three men taking solace in each other's presence, for Dean he had two stable influences to help him back on the road to recovery, for Sam who had his brother back but had someone to confine in and to chat to about every day things and for Bobby who had his boys with him, his "unofficially adopted" sons to keep him company.
None of them had heard from John since his last call to Bobby, and Sam knew deep down that it would be only a matter of time before they would have to start searching for him in earnest.
"Uncle Bobby?' Dean asked pausing on bottom step, 'where did Sammy go?'
'He ah had a job to do, now slow down for an old man will ya, ya idgit?' Bobby puffed as he hurried after the younger man.
'Why did he have a job to do?' Dean asked pouting slightly, 'don' he wanna live wif me anymore?'
'Dean Winchester don't you start that crap with me, ya aint eight years old remember.'
'I know I'm an … an … ad-adult.' Dean's pout grew as he glared up at his "uncle", 'why does I hafeta?'
'Coz that's yer age is … So why the questions and pouting?'
'Want Sammy here…'
'Yeah well he said that he's gonna meet us here,' Bobby nodded his head towards the stairs, 'so why don't we go and see if he's here ya idgit.'
'M'not a idgit, you're a idgit,' Dean mumbled as he dragged himself up the stairs, Bobby shook his head in amusement and followed close by. Since he and Sam had rescued Dean, they had watched the brain damaged young man struggle back to where he was in his recovery before everything went to hell in a hand-basket, and then beyond that to where he seemed to be a high functioning late-adolescent to a mid-teenager, astounding all of his doctors and therapists as well as his small and close-knit family. Although, every now and then when he thought that he could get away with it, Dean would let himself slide backwards to the mentality of an eight year old.
When they got to the landing just in front of Sam and Dean's apartment, the door opened and Sam stood there grinning widely, 'thanks Bobby.'
'Hey whatcha thankin' Uncle Bobby for Sam?' Dean demanded, 'an' hows come ya told Uncle Bobby youse had a job to do an' yer here?'
'Hey calm down Dean, I just thanked Bobby for bringing you home so I could get a surprise ready for you.' Sam chuckled softly, 'wanna see what it is?'
'A surprise for me?' Dean frowned, 'what for?'
'Coz you're doing so well and it will help you get even better,' Sam said with a mysterious glint in his eyes.
'Uncle Bobby?' Dean turned to look at the older hunter who shrugged and grinned just as much as Sam did, with a huff Dean pushed passed his brother and went into their home. A yelping bark came from inside the living room, with a curious glance back at his brother Dean hurried into the room.
Sam and Bobby found Dean on the floor with his arms full of a silky coated German Shepherd, 'he's yours Dean, he's an Assist dog, he can do a few things that you're having problems doing and to protect you when me or Bobby aren't around.'
'Wh-what's his name?' Dean asked with the young dog licking long sloppy stripes down his cheek.
'Well his training name was Gus but you can change it if you like.' Sam said, 'Brenna suggested giving this new program a go, kind of works like guide dogs for the blind, but instead of being seeing eye dogs they help do things.' He went on to explain while he sat down on the couch just behind Dean, causing his brother to lean backwards slightly so that they maintained physical contact.
'I think he looks like Gus.' Dean said trying to be serious but failed miserably when Gus wanted his attention.
'Brenna's gonna come around later today to help settle him in, but we thought that it would be good for you and Gus to get to know each other for a while,' Sam explained but felt as though he was talking to himself, 'coffee Bobby?'
'Ya said the magic word Sam,' Bobby grinned, watching Sam stand up, wait until his balance settled and then followed him into the kitchen.
'Me too Sammy,' Dean's voice rang through the apartment followed by a bark and then a genuine laugh.
'Best thing ya coulda done kiddo.' Bobby said easing himself onto a kitchen chair at the table.
'I hope so, he does sound happy doesn't he?' Sam frowned and paused with his hand on the kettle, flashes of Dean's battered and broken form invaded his thoughts.
'Earth to Sam, hey the coffee aint gonna make itself.'
'Huh? Oh sorry … I ah want to thank you Bobby.'
'What for now ya idgit?'
'For taking us in like you did, you, you know that you're always welcome here as well don't you?'
'Yeah I do, but I must admit it's quiet at the yard now,' Bobby shrugged slightly and took the proffered hot drink from Sam, 'so we gonna break out in love songs now?'
'Hey Sammy Gus gotta go out.' Dean called interrupting their friendly banter.
'I-I'm coming,' Sam shook his head and took a last sip of coffee, 'I hope that this is a good idea.'
Bobby shook his head and followed Sam out to meet Dean at the front door, Gus sat quietly at his new master's feet waiting for his harness and lead. 'Sammy?'
'What's that?' he pointed to the harness and the royal blue satin overlay, 'assist dog' written in gold lettering on it.
'Well ya see Dean, it's so Gus can go into any shop or place with ya without ya getting' into trouble,' Bobby explained while Sam fastened the last clasp on the black harness and gave Gus a scratch behind his ears for being good.
'So he don' hafeta stay outside?' Dean asked tilting his head to the side as he thought about the places he could take Gus.
'Okay let's get the show on the road.' Sam handed Dean the lead and let him take control of their little outing, Tom, Dean's longstanding doctor suggested giving him more responsibility in everyday things, everything to do with Gus and to let him make more major decisions, such as letting him decide when they left Bobby's and moved back home again.
Bobby and Sam watched as Dean seemingly walked straighter, taller, and acted more confident as he led Gus along the street to the small parkland across the road, with his breath caught in his throat, Sam kept reminding himself that this was exactly what Tom was talking about, letting Dean have more independence and freedom, including the simple task of crossing the road and taking the dog to the park.
Sam and Bobby sat on a bench keeping a watchful eye on Dean as he bonded with his new friend, they chatted about everything except what was important, their futures as hunters and where the hell was John Winchester?
Sam's phone vibrated with perceived urgency and with an apologetic grin to Bobby he moved away to get a better connection, with his gaze fixed firmly on Dean and now on Bobby as well Sam finally answered the call.
END NOTE: I am leaving this story here, for many reasons but mainly because I have already sketched out "The Other One Hundred Days" where I want to concentrate on what went on when possessed John kidnapped Dean, and exactly who or what is possessing John.