thank you all again for the great reviews!! this is the final chapter. i hope you all enjoyed the story :)
OUT OF SIGHT, BUT IN MY MIND
Kerri rolled her eyes as she and Dean finally managed to get to the kitchen. She only had one house phone, and while it was cordless it rarely left the kitchen or basement. But then, they were the only two rooms Kerri was ever in. The phone had already gone to the machine twice, the caller hanging up and redialing each time. Whoever this was they were persistent and completely set on speaking to her in person.
"You got a stalker I don't know about or something?" Dean asked, pushing passed her when they entered the kitchen.
"Yeah, it's one of my many secrets."
"At this point I wouldn't be surprised."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence."
"I love ya, Ker, but you're not really instilling much confidence these days."
"Says one of the members of the Winchester secret factory."
Dean shot her a look, grabbing the ringing phone a fraction of a second before she could. He was really starting to piss her off— this was her house after all.
"Yeah?" Dean barked into the receiver.
Dean rolled his eyes at her comment, hanging up the phone. "No one was there."
"Maybe they finally gave up."
No sooner had Kerri spoken then the phone rang again. "Who is this?" Dean asked, answering on the second ring. But judging by his reaction and language the caller had once again hung up.
"I think whoever it is wants to talk to me."
"Like hell. I'm not gonna let you talk to some creepy stalker dude."
"Dean, whoever it is wants me."
"And you don't seem to think that's a bad idea. Did you forget you were mentally wacked a few hours ago?"
"Did you forget you were bordering on dead a few days ago?"
"Are we comparing injuries? Because yours are a little more recent."
"Yeah, but I recovered faster, now let me answer my phone."
"Ker." Dean sighed, sounding so desperate it made Kerri stop. "I'm worried about you. What's happening to you now— it scares me."
Kerri didn't know how to react. Dean was never afraid, it wasn't in his vocabulary. He always had a smart remark, always had a smirk on his face and a well placed right hook. But this was something unseen stealing her away from him, something he didn't understand— and for the first time, Kerri was also afraid.
She didn't truly realize until that moment how much she relied on Dean. She needed him there to keep her safe, to keep the bad guys away. To Kerri Harrison Dean was safety, was the light in the dark, and he was something she needed all her life. She had latched onto him decades before, and she knew in her heart she wouldn't be able to face the future without him.
Her heart skipped a beat a moment later, all her resolve crumbling when the phone began to ring. Her pulse increased with each chime, her fear growing with each passing second. She looked at Dean, her blue eyes meeting his green ones.
Silently, Dean reached for the phone, moving closer to her as he did so. Yes the threat was over a phone line, but Kerri still felt a rush of relief, knowing Dean was there to protect her. "You're not talking to Kerri unless you talk to me first—."
Dean's head shot up, their eyes locking with hers. Kerri was taken aback at the pure emotion reflected in his green gaze. "Who are you?" Dean asked, motioning to Kerri for a pen and paper. He scribbled with words 'speaker phone?'.
Kerri nodded, pressing a button at the back of the cordless phone's dock. The redhead's blood ran cold when a scratchy, icy voice filled the room. "I wish to speak with Miss Harrison."
"I asked who you were." Dean demanded.
"And I asked for Miss Harrison."
"I'm right here." Kerri spoke up, Dean punching her a second later. She mouthed 'ow' punching him back.
"Turn off the speaker phone."
"No. You wanna talk to me? This is how. Now, who are you?"
"My name is Victor."
"Do I know you?" Kerri continued the conversation, Dean remaining frighteningly silent. She wanted to hang up, to get away from whoever was on the other end of the line, but something kept her listening.
"Not that you remember. I gave you back your vision."
Kerri's heart nearly stopped. This was the man responsible for it all, the man Evelyn, Sam and Dean had seen and heard. And she knew him calling now couldn't be a coincidence. "Why are you calling me?" she didn't want to give too much away. A lot had happened in the last few days and she didn't want to feed the mystery man any information.
"Something's after you. I wanted to warn you."
"A little late, Pal." Dean spoke up, moving closer to Kerri.
"So it started? I'm sorry."
"Sorry?" Dean growled, thankfully taking over the conversation. "You're the bastard who started this."
"It wasn't me. I told her father not to come. I told him what he wanted came at a price."
"I'm not a healer. More of a middle man."
"Give me a straight answer or we're hanging up."
"Only demons can make a deal. I couldn't fix your eyes. I thought I might be able to, but once I examined you I realized the damage was too great. But your father, he wouldn't take no for an answer. I told him the consequences, but he still moved forward. Now the demon has come to collect. I thought there would be more time, I'm sorry."
"Can you fix it?" Dean asked, his voice sharp. But there was something else in his eyes, a mix of emotions Kerri couldn't quite place. And it unnerved her.
"I don't believe so."
"Wait, you said it already started?"
"So, once the demon comes for her, there's no turning back. She should be brain dead."
"Brain dead?" Kerri breathed. She had thought this was a way out, a way to survive, but now she knew this was all little more than a death sentence. And she knew it would be a death without peace— her soul would belong to someone else.
"The harvesting is very destructive." Victor stated evenly, like he was talking about a toaster or some other object.
"Can you get the information out without hurting her?" Dean asked.
"I don't know of any ways. As far as I know the process is organic. It becomes a part of the mind. But then, this is something I've never before come across— it was an experiment at the time."
"So there could still be a way?"
"Possibly. Bring her to me, I'll see if anything has changed."
"And how do I know you're legit?"
"You don't. Stay home if you prefer, but I wouldn't get too attached to Kerri if I were you."
Dean sighed, rubbing his forehead. He was admitting defeat. "Where are you?"
Dean wrote down Victor's address, Kerri barely aware of the words the two were speaking. This was going to kill her, hell it already should have. She looked over at Dean after he hung up the phone. He had his back to her, texting Sam most likely. Maybe it would be better if she was gone. She had drug them into this, putting Sam in danger. They had other things to worry about, the war with the Yellow Eyed Demon was growing more real with each passing day.
She'd been looking into the enigmatic demon, trying to figure out its endgame, and everything she she found made her believe the boys needed to get away from it. And that would be easier without her. She had turned into nothing short of a beacon for the supernatural world. Her secret was out and the Trickster said that while he could keep her secrets hidden, he couldn't do the same for the Winchesters. Plus, she was stationary, making her a prime target for any humans with a grudge. She was afraid of being alone, and in her blind quest to fill that lonely void, she'd put both the Winchester brothers in danger.
"He's not answering, I'm gonna head up there to get him."
"Alright, I'll be here." Kerri answered halfheartedly.
"Hey," Dean began softly, resting his hands on her shoulders. "I'm gonna take care of this. I'm gonna make it better."
"Something feels wrong."
"Just something? I'm open to other ideas, Ker, but right now I'm not seeing any."
"Nothing's gonna get you. I'll make sure of it."
"Yeah," Kerri tried to smile, though it didn't reach her eyes.
"Ker, you believe me, right?"
"I'll always believe you, Dean. I'm fine, go check on Sam."
"Alright. We'll be down in a minute."
Kerri watched Dean disappear up the back stairs, her heart heavy. She looked down at the paper by the phone, committing the address to memory almost instantly. She glanced around her old house again, listening to the sound of Dean's footsteps overhead. She'd been hiding behind him for too long.
With one last sigh she grabbed her car keys. Dean would never understand, but Kerri knew this was something she had to do alone. If it killed her, then so be it, but she refused to take anyone else down with her. This was her fight, something her family had started, Dean and Sam didn't need to be brought into the middle of it. Someday Dean would forget, someday he would move on. After all, he'd done exactly that thirteen years ago.
Victor Rayner hung up the phone. This chase was turning out to be better than he had planned. He was dealing with three very strong people this time, not the weak excuses who normally came to him, begging him for help and then cursing the outcome. No, the Winchesters and Kerri were different, and it was a difference which enticed the witch. He was sick of helping women commune with their dead cats or getting back at the nosy neighbors. This prize, this was his lottery. There was no limit to the information stored in the young redhead's mind— and he already had several bidders in line. This was what he needed, if only he could get at it.
But something was there, blocking him, keeping him away, and it was something even he couldn't figure out. Victor thought he knew every trick in the book, every spell which could be cast, every loophole. But this was proving far more difficult than he ever dreamed— and that only made the game all the more exciting.
"Like leading lambs to the slaughter." He smirked, pulling a smoldering cigar from the ashtray near the phone. "How long have you truly been planning this?" He asked, turning to the man sitting on the other side of the dim room.
Victor preferred to work alone, but when the man had come to him all those years ago and told him about the redhead and her father, Victor couldn't say no to the proposal. The pitch was just too enticing, and all these years later, he was still happy he'd accepted the offer.
"Long enough." The other man answered, leaning back in the worn arm chair. He swirled the whisky around his glass before taking a sip.
"I hope your work wasn't for nothing. You've got quite the bluff going on."
"When you hold all the cards, Victor, it's not a bluff."
"Yeah, but are you sure you're the one holding the cards? Kerri and Dean had no clue what was really going on. Something else is blocking me."
"You do, do you? And were you ever gonna clue me in?"
"I wasn't planning on it." The man answered coldly, puffing on his own cigar.
"I'm the only one who can pull all that stuff back out of her head. And I can't do it if something's in the way. So you better stop holding out on me—."
"Or what?" The man asked, standing. Victor took a step back, he'd learned the hard way to keep his temper down when around his partner. Rayner knew he had to tread lightly, because once the information was out of Kerri's mind, he would no longer be useful.
"Nothing. I'm just saying things'll go smoother if I know what I'm up against."
"You're up against children, Victor."
"Why bring them here? You can just tell me what's blocking her and I'll get rid of it."
"Because I want them here. You see, I want what's blocking her, or more precise, who."
"A human is doing this?"
"You thought I just wanted the Harrison girl so I could hold all the world's information in the balm of my hands? You thought I was that shortsighted?"
"No, I didn't mean—."
"This is bigger than you'll ever realize, Victor. See, these aren't just any children, they're my special ones." The man smiled, stepping closer. Victor looked away, the man's sickly yellow eyes sending chills up his spine. He had known from day one the man was a demon— but he was a demon unlike any Victor had seen before.
"If you're talking about the Winchesters they weren't there when you first came to me. It was just the redhead." Rayner had kept close watch on Kerri over the years— tending to her as if she was his private garden.
The demon just smiled. "In 1972, I met a wonderful woman by the name of Liz McKeen. I helped her out and all she had to do was one little favor ten years later. That pretty thing was Kerri's mom. And all these years later, the plan still worked out. Humans, you're all about free will, think you have a choice and all that crap. But see, there's always something else at work, something else behind the scenes. There's always more than one hand rocking the cradle. Sam Winchester is mine, and once I get what's in Kerri's head— the world will know who the real saviour is.
"Don't try to harvest her again till they're here. Your charms are stronger than anything the Winchesters can hide behind. Once I have Sam and Kerri, you'll get your reward."
"And what about Dean Winchester?"
"Dean Winchester is just someone who got in the way. Take care of him however you see fit."