Bobby's House, South Dakota
Dean gasped when the third bucket of ice cold water hit him. He blinked furiously to clear his eyes, and shook his head to get the last droplets out of his long lashes. He didn't look up, but instead let his chin rest on his naked chest. His teeth were chattering from the cold, but he wasn't even a little bit defeated by this. And they'd only been at it for about forty minutes anyway. He'd get back to Sally. It was going to take some time. He just wasn't sure which of the four other people in the house he was going to kill first. Probably Bobby—then he'd take out the others and happily drive back the way they'd come. He wondered how Sally was doing and whether or not she was going nuts looking for him. He was a little worried that she wouldn't be waiting for him when he got back to town. But for now that was in the back of his head. Cutting himself loose was going to be the first thing and if they thought they could keep him here, well, they had another think coming.
Slowly, Dean checked himself over: nose clear, eyes clear, mouth clear, ok. He wiggled his fingers and his toes, ensuring that he still had feeling in the extremities. That was important. If he lost feeling it'd be an uphill battle trying to get out. Concentrate, he told himself. It was impossible to keep warm, so instead he flexed, working his muscles with determination. He took a deep, slow breath and lifted his head. His eyes watched constantly. He wanted to know where each and everyone of them was in the house…and lucky for him they were all on the first floor researching.
Dean opened his mouth to talk and then shut it again abruptly when he caught the look on Bobby's face. The old guy was leaning against the kitchen counter opposite him with a dour look on his face. He shut the book he was scanning and looked up. Dean could see that Bobby looked suspicious and very irritated.
Dean chuckled softly, lightly, biding his time. He smiled and pretended to yawn.
"So, uh, are we done here, Bobby? 'Cause this is gettin' a little old," Dean drawled, rolling his shoulders back and around like a snake coiling, ready to strike. The muscles of his body rippled and he felt a strange animal satisfaction in it.
Bobby's eyes hardened as they took Dean in. He bit his lip and looked away.
"Are you sure this is the best way to do this?" Sam asked in frustration. He shook his head and let the air huff through his nose and mouth, giving vent to the feelings he was holding inside. Hannah put out a hand to touch his shoulder and he jerked away. She shrugged and brushed her hair out of her face. She shut the book that she was reading and strolled over to Dean to sponge him off a bit. He was sitting naked but for a pair of very wet board shorts. The water made his skin shiny and slick and she couldn't help but notice how good looking he was. His eyes were a smoldering green, the lashes wet with water. In spite of the fact that he was nearly naked, she felt no embarrassed warmth stealing over her as she peaked at him from under her lashes. In fact, there was nothing attracting her…not the same way as before. She wondered at herself and what the change meant. Her caught her arrested look and grinned to himself. She gave him a friendly pat on his shoulder and draped a towel over him. It was small comfort, but Dean appreciated the sympathy. He'd kill her quick and gentle.
Maggie's eyes were black and emotionless pits—hawk-like, they didn't move an inch from the eldest Winchester. She pulled her head back slightly, speculatively, and her gaze flickered to Bobby. Then her eyes went back to the empty bucket on the floor.
"Cold water never hurt anyone," Bobby retorted, after a pause.
"Yes, but it doesn't seem to be doing anything in particular except maybe get him all ready for a case of pneumonia," Sam muttered, pacing back and forth in the small kitchen. He looked enormous, filling the space with his long legs and arms and it took him very little time to cross back and forth in the small space. He was giving Hannah a headache and wearing a hole in the floorboards. Why they were doing this in the house at all was a little ridiculous, but Bobby didn't feel that it was a good option to be out in the open.
"Sam. Outside," said Bobby, motioning at Maggie and Hannah to stay. Hannah slid her knife out of her boot and started to pick her nails with it. Her eyes flickering from Bobby's retreating back to Sam's scrunched up face. The screen door banged as they exited the front of the house. Hannah's eyes narrowed as she went back over the initial events upon their arrival at Bobby's place.
They had immediately eliminated possession, even though Sam had insisted that they throw holy water at Dean first. That was before they tried getting Dean out of the car—when they actually did, he went ballistic. Being Dean, he'd managed to wriggle out of the very excellent and tight ropes that Maggie had used to bind his hands some time during the thirty minute drive back to Bobby's house and unbeknownst to Maggie. When they tried to lead him out, he'd kicked Maggie out of the way and made a break for it. He ran right into Sam, whom he promptly slugged twice, and it was only because Hannah threw a bolas, entangling Dean's legs as he ran, that they were able to stop him from getting to the Impala. Sam had to admit that he was impressed. He'd only ever seen a bolas used on cattle…Dean had been less impressed and the variety and fulsomeness of his cursing had actually made Maggie tape his mouth shut.
Reflectively, Hannah turned back to the task at hand wishing the tape still in place, as Dean had now resorted to childish taunting.
"You think you're going to get me with that little pig-sticker?" he sneered at her.
Hannah raised her eyebrows and cocked her head to the side.
"When did you get so mean? I liked you better when your mouth was taped upside your head," she said, hamming up her smile for him. She settled patiently back against the counter.
"Laugh it up, Sugar, because I'll be out of here. Soon."
"Yup," sighed Hannah, "Anytime now, Dean. Feel free," she gestured toward the door with her buck knife and started flipped the knife lazily, still watching him.
"Hnnnh," he said, making a face at her. "That's nice. That's real nice."
Out on the front porch, Bobby was trying to keep his voice down.
"Look, the longer we hold him the better. The more time he has away, the more likely he's going to be able to break that girl's hold on him. You just have to be patient, boy," Bobby insisted, his voice strained. "We know Dean can fight this."
"We don't even know what he's got, Bobby! That's what I'm worried about."
"I've got the books all laid out. So, go and read 'em and we'll fix this a lot faster," Bobby huffed, annoyed. He adjusted his hat, wiping the moisture away from his forehead. "It ain't goin' to get easier, Sam. The worst hasn't even started. Can you handle this?"
Sam looked away. Bobby grabbed his arm, shaking him.
"Sam?! Did you hear me?"
"Yes, Bobby. I heard you," Sam looked at the older man, a little amazed at how serious Bobby seemed. "Yeah, ok. I'll go back through again."
As they came into the house, they heard another sloshing whoosh, a short grunt, and splashing. Then there was a sharp screech.
"Let me go! Dean! This is so not funny!" Hannah gritted, trying to extract herself from Dean's grip. He'd managed to get at least half the bucket of water on her. She stomped off into the other room, dripping water as she went. Maggie didn't even blink when the torrent of creative swear words resounded from the hallway and up the stairs.
"Come on, guys. I just want to see Sally. And I really don't know what's wrong with that," Dean cajoled, sighing impatiently.
"You're obsessed with her," Sam explained. "Not your usual love 'em and leave 'em style."
"Uh Dean…she's not even, well, uh…" Sam looked afraid.
Dean glared at him.
"Just spit it out Sam," Dean sighed, rolling his eyes.
"She's not that…uhm"
"She's an ugly, skanky, sleaze tart!" Hannah's voice echoed from the hallway.
Maggie's lips pursed together.
"Stop dis-ing my Sally! Jeez, everyone's soo critical. I don't know what you're all talkin' about. She's perfect and you'd better be nice to her when she becomes part of the family," Dean said, quite sternly. "Especially you Sam!"
"See, that is crazy talk, Dean, and nothing like you," said Sam, shaking his head and gesticulating with his hands, trying to get through to his brother…who started to sing. Sam clapped his hands over his ears and went back to the desk in the living room, doggedly pulling open another book.
Hannah walked in, dressed in a t-shirt and torn jeans, her hair up in a pony tail, looking a little miffed. Dean was still singing at the top of his lungs. Maggie didn't blink, but rummaged about in her bag and then promptly stuffed a large rolled sock in Dean's mouth.
"Fmmm-mm, mm-mmm-mm-mm!" Dean's word's were muffled, but there was no mistaking the tone or the meaning.
"Listen, I think I've got something here," said Sam.
The others crowded around him.
"The cult of Eros?" asked Hannah with doubt tingeing her voice. Dean, still tied to the chair in the kitchen, cocked his head to listen.
Sam eyed her and then read aloud from the text in front of him: "Known as the son of Nyx or night and Erebus (hell), Eros is a bringer of chaos to both men and gods. Ancient cults dating back to the Greeks, worshipped him as a god of love, lust and perversion…he is also known as the demon, Amantes."
"Cupid!? Are you kidding me? You think I've been shot by fucking Cupid?" Dean yelled from the kitchen, furious. The sock was lying on the floor.
And the silence was uncomfortable.
Hannah couldn't help herself and a gasping giggle escaped her lips. Bobby followed suit and let out a guffaw. Sam cracked a brief smile. Then they all laughed heartily. Hannah giggled until she couldn't breathe, wiping tears of laughter from her eyes. Even Maggie managed to let out a grunt that sounded like it might be humor.
"What's so funny!" Dean yelled over the uproarious laughter. While they were all distracted, he'd managed to get one hand wriggled out. His wrist was wet with blood and sweat, but he'd been working fiercely at it ever since everyone had moved away from the kitchen. No one was watching.
Sam felt drained after such a release of tension and sat back on the sofa, scratching his head.
"You've got to admit," he said, "It's kind of poetic for Dean."
Bobby rolled his eyes. I swear that sex will be the death of that boy…
"So what about Dean?" asked Maggie. "What do with do with him?"
"Hmm, signs of infection by said malady: secretiveness, irritability, obsession, violence, lustfulness…to quote Deacon Peter Sauder: the intoxication of the chaos demon can only be cleansed through a ritual purification of the soul similar to exorcism. Some extant texts suggest killing the source of the infection. However, as such treatments are antithetical to modern science, shock treatment is an acceptable substitute…" Bobby read out. "If such therapy is unsuccessful, psychosis is permanent, leading to decreased quality of life and eventually…death."
Sam cringed. Hannah looked stricken.
"That thing reads like a doctor's manual…" Hannah muttered, trying to lighten the atmosphere and failing miserably.
Sam held up the book, cover facing outward. Hannah's lips pursed, forming an 'O'.
"The Psychosis of Demonic Possession and Medical Maladies of the 1800's? Where did you even find this, Bobby?" Hannah asked.
"Better if you don't know," Bobby chuckled. "Now let's not waste anymore time gawking."
"Agreed," said Maggie.
"So how do we kill this thing?" Dean yelled from the kitchen, still working away at the knots. He was still thinking about Sally, but her face was getting blurrier and he had to get back to her. Also, a more alarming sensation was settling in. He was beginning to realize that this whole business might be a fantasy…the doubt was cutting a wide swath through his more romantic notions…what if they were right? What if he was infected with some sort of evil mojo sex disease. The thought twisted his guts and that's when he realized he was sweating. Bad. Very bad, he noted to himself. Meanwhile the others were still talking about the demon. He jerked his attention back to the conversation, trying to follow, and tried to ignore the burning feeling that was beginning to creep over his body. What had been a wriggling bid for freedom became writhing pain. Dean seriously felt like he wanted to throw up. Panting, he deliberately made himself concentrate on the voices in the adjacent room.
"Well, it's a demon. So, I would say exorcism," said Sam.
"Works for me," Hannah smiled, feeling the anticipation of a hunt sneaking through her blood.
"That still don't answer the question: What do we do with Dean?" Maggie pointed out.
Everyone turned to look at Dean, who was looking very pale and sweaty. He looked back at them, one to the other, eyes unnaturally bright. Hannah looked shocked and Bobby and Sam started towards him.
"Oh shit," Dean breathed and vomited on the floor.
Detox had taken hours. They'd had to tie Dean to a bed upstairs with a pail next to it. As much as possible they gave him pain meds to help but the shouting broke their hearts. Bobby had made Sam leave when Dean had started to scream.
Hannah had done everything to keep him comfortable, and her heart broke for him, watching him writhe. She'd covered him with a blanket when he'd shivered with cold, and washed his forehead with a cold damp cloth when he had muttered and shouted through fever. It was awful. Incredibly, he had forced himself to be coherent most of the time, which just made the screaming worse.
Sammy and Bobby and taken turns relieving her and Maggie had made up a herbal tea to try to combat some of the more hysterical delusions that had taken hold. It was early the next day before Dean settled weakly into an exhausted sleep. The worst was over. When he woke, they cleaned him up and moved him into the living room, propping him up on one of the couches.
Some time later that morning, Hannah got showered and tried to nap on the floor. Sam went out to check on supplies and then got on the net and Bobby and Maggie sat down to toss back a whiskey.
Maggie was staring into space without blinking. It made her look owlish.
Bobby who was sitting across from her mulled over what she'd told him of her vision and he looked somewhat thoughtful.
"Well if that's the case, then we might just have to get them all in one building. There's no use trying to get them one at a time, they'll see us coming," Bobby grunted.
"That really sucks," said Hannah, who'd hadn't been able to nap.
"Yeah, I didn't figure that we'd have to take out an entourage too," said Sam, sitting back. He'd stopped surfing the net as soon as Maggie had mentioned Lilith.
"I was hoping not, but so far, everything is running true to the vision," Maggie folded her arms and leaned back.
Hannah knew that the next few decisions were going to be crucial. The reality of Maggie's visions were almost impossible to deviate from after the initial trigger event – that being Dean's first attempt at escape. The second attempt had been cut short by Dean's exhausting illness. He was sitting up now and was looking a lot better than he had earlier. He was also eating… He had accepted Maggie's abilities with his usual distrust, but looked on at the proceedings with interest.
Sam was still a little stunned and plenty disgruntled. Maggie had explained that a certain combination of factors had to come together to lead to the trigger event. These factors could be anything, but once the trigger event happened, every event subsequent to that moment in time would follow the track that Maggie's vision had run. Of course, Sam had been in a rage as Maggie had not bothered to disclose any of this to him or to Dean and he understood from Hannah that Maggie had had the vision very shortly after meeting them on the wendigo hunt. Maggie's reasons for non-disclosure had been a very hard pill to swallow. She simply explained that it would have made things worse if they had tried to avoid the trigger event. Anything that she could have done to prevent Dean's attempt would have actually pushed the timeline in her vision further and inexorably ahead. And she knew from past experience that there was no point meddling; however, now that the trigger event had come and gone, it was time for action.
Dean of course disagreed vehemently with Maggie's approach. He was angry as hell that she'd not bothered to inform him or Sam. Bobby wasn't looking too happy either, but then he was more used to Maggie's version of 'need to know' than the boys were.
Dean was not a man used to being bound by fate (the hell deal aside) and would do anything and everything in his power to circumvent the inevitable (according to Maggie) conclusion of the next day or so.
Hannah was completely depressed. Maggie's vision had entailed a posse of demons, including Amantes, surrounding them in the town grocery store and handing Dean over to Lilith with a bow on top…a perfect valentine gift with all the bells and whistles. It was not at all an encouraging thought. Even less pleasing was the idea that Dean had sold his soul to a demon for his brother. Hannah was not impressed. In fact, she was distraught. What she had not told Sam was that her father had sold his soul to a demon for someone and it was this that had made her commit wholly and completely to tracking the down the dirty sons of bitches every single time she went out on a hunt.
After another heated discussion over tactics, they dispersed to do their various parts in trying to bring about a break in the timeline of Maggie's vision. Dean, who was becoming less of a danger to himself and to the others by the minute decided he needed to have another shower Sam looked unconvinced that his brother would behave himself and stick to the plan, but Dean hadn't mentioned Sally for a half day. Surely, surely, that crisis had passed and ganking demon ass was the more immediate concern for everyone.
Liberated and almost restored to his former self, Dean rubbed his raw wrists, stood up, and went to get into the shower. He tugged the blanket closer about his shoulder and headed upstairs. Hannah was waiting for him when he came down, smelling of soap and clean clothes. Her jaw was set and her eyes moist.
"I need to talk to you," she said, jerking her chin at the door.
He shrugged expressively, letting his full lower lip come out, his eyebrows arching upward. He followed her out the door and into the cool night. She rounded on him almost immediately.
"What did you think you were doing?? Selling your soul?" Hannah accused, her voice breaking with emotion.
"Whoa! There's no need to get dramatic over this; it's not your deal. It's mine, and I'll damn well do what I want when I need to. Sammy's ass was on the line and I don't need to justify myself to you of all people," Dean jerked back, surprise racing across his face. His mouth hardened at the corners. "It's none of your damn business!" he growled at her.
"Do you have any idea what this is doing to Sam?" she asked in a husky whisper, her heart finally filling with some sympathy for the younger brother. "That you whored yourself to a demon for his life?"
"I KNOW how it feels. Damn you!" Dean shouted at her, his eyes moistening, as he remembered the terrible moment in the hospital when his father had leaned over and started to whisper in his ear. "I know…"
"Do you?" Hannah hissed, furiously. Her heart was tearing itself apart and she realized now how much she had grown to like and care for Dean—how much she admired him as he had fought his way through the worst of the sickness. The realization made the tears flow fast and furious over her chin and she turned away to hide them. How much of a weakness he'd become for her – how had this happened? There was nothing sexual about the respect that she felt, this genuine affection, but the strength of it surprised her. She couldn't help the tears and the sense of weakness made her angry. She brushed at her face with rough hands, making her eyes blur.
He softened, realizing from the hunch of her shoulders that she was crying.
"Why does it matter to you?" Dean asked gently, coming around so that he could hug her. She snuggled into him with a sigh.
"My father sold his soul to a demon. I hadn't seen him for years, hadn't heard from him, and then Bobby tells us he's dead. Do you know what that did to me?" she choked out.
Dean stiffened. He didn't know very many hunters who'd sold their souls to demons that Bobby also knew. He pushed away slowly, and then more firmly, holding Hannah at arm's length and staring at her face intently, searching.
"Why does it matter?" he asked again, more urgently this time, his brow creased as he bent looked at her.
She stared up at him, mute, frozen, color creeping over her beautiful high cheekbones.
"It matters because she's our sister," sighed Sam from behind them.
"WHAT?!" Dean roared.
At the same moment, he and Hannah broke apart like they'd both been struck by lightning. Hannah's eyes were wide and confused.
"Sam, what are you talking about?" she asked.
"Do you remember that day in the Impala? When I was reading through Dad's journal? There were pages missing from 1985. Hannah is exactly three years younger than me. Have you looked at her, Dean? When she smiles? Do you know who she looks like?" Sam said roughly, as he strode forward. His words whipped at them.
"No, no, no," Hannah whispered backing away.
'I looked it up on the net. Hannah's birth records. Maggie wrote the father in as J. Winchester, Dean. Our Dad, John Winchester."
The look on Dean's face was horrified. Hannah was equally appalled by the revelation.
"I knew I was right when she said that her father had sold his soul for someone. For you Dean. Do you know how few hunters have made deals? Just one. And his eyes are staring out of her face right at you," Sam said, with a little disgust and betrayal written on his face.
For a moment there was only the sound of ragged breathing. Each of them lost in their own thoughts, staring at their siblings across the divide of the verandah. It was almost too much to bear. The world could have been exploding around them, but it wouldn't have mattered at all.
Bobby came out and Maggie behind him.
"It's true?" Dean asked, narrowing his eyes and tilting his head to the side.
The look on Bobby's face was enough to convince both Sam and Dean that Bobby had known all along.
"Why didn't you tell us?" Sam asked.
"It weren't mine to tell, boys, Hannah," Bobby said, holding his hands up to stave off the retorts forming on their lips. "Was your Dad's job and he didn't. So I was hoping that we'd get the demon stuff sorted out first…wasn't that important…"
Maggie glared at him, but said nothing. Bobby shrugged.
The boys stared at her, looking at this other woman, not their mother, and the girl who was their sister.
Hannah looked guilty, realizing from all along that her mother had wanted to protect her from this…that her father had had another family all along. She felt the air being crushed slowly from her windpipe. She looked at both boys with despair. Would they hate her?
Hannah wasn't sure when she started breathing again, but she definitely wasn't when Dean crossed the small stretch of space between them and crushed her in a bear hug. He held her as if his life depended on it. A sister! he thought, his heart pounding in his chest with all the fierce protectiveness that he had always shown Sam. I have a sister! And one that he didn't need to take care of, who could fight on her own, who had a mother.
Dean's whole world turned upside down in that moment, and he broke through the final strings of the compulsion which had been put on him and he was free of the demonic infection that had been crushing him for the last two days. He accepted her resolutely and Hannah could see that the dam had broken for Dean. She felt insanely relieved.
Maggie was standing to the side of them, her heart full, her fist in her mouth to keep from sobbing aloud. All these years she had hated John for this, but she let it go watching her daughter and her brothers together.
Bobby folded his arms in satisfaction. He was not unaffected by the scene before him.
"Can't breathe!" Hannah squeaked from somewhere around Dean's chest. Grinning, he released her.
Sam was more reserved and stretched out a hand to her. She reciprocated and then punched him lightly in the gut, eliciting an 'oof' sound. She grinned up at him and he gave in to it and sheepishly grinned back at her. Looked like he would be doing much more baby-sitting…
"So are we going to gank this demon?" asked Dean.
"Yup," Sam nodded. "Time to do what Winchesters do best. Coming, sis?"
"I wouldn't miss it for the world," she said softly, looking up at her two brothers with the same fierceness that she saw in reflected in their eyes.