The Grass Isn't Always Greener on the Other Side of the Fence
Characters: John/Bobby, Sam, Dean and various OCs
Warnings: Gender bender (John, Dean & Sam) not too explicit het sex, language, No Wincest, some violence, AU version of the end of Devil's Trap and In My Time of Dying
Summary: John, Sam and Dean run afoul of a vengeful spirit who uses its connection to the yellow eyed demon to put a curse on them to try and get rid of them. John takes the boys to Bobby for help.
Many thanks to Sioux_Sioux for the lovely beta on the story.
The house was quiet except for the soft footfalls on the carpeted stairs. Pale moonlight filtered into the room from behind lacy lavender curtains. A thin sliver of light fell across dark, amorphous forms of the bulky furniture casting deep shadows into the room and blanketing the man huddled in the corner, gun clutched in his hand.
The light patter of footsteps clattered down the stairs approaching the room where the man sat. He smiled, hauling himself up into a squat, one elbow propped on his knee. His joints popped and he blew out a breath, not moving.
John Winchester cocked his head, leveling the shot-gun on the arm of the chair, pointing it at the open doorway just beyond the entryway into the house. Just as he shifted, the sound of a little girl's giggles whispered through the room and a book bounced off the fireplace mantle slamming into the back of John's head. He winced, gun swaying wildly.
"Goddamn, you little bitch," John hissed.
The little girl's voice echoed in the still air.
Frowning John hunched over trying to pin-point the location of the spirit.
"I'll show you naughty."
Standing up John held his hand aloft.
"Hey little girl want some candy," he said with a sly grin.
A muffled voice came from behind the chair, and John cast a sideways glance at his oldest son.
"Dude, that is seriously sick."
Grinning John shrugged then jumped back as another book launched itself off the mantle.
Instead of hitting the older man the book dropped, slamming into Dean's shoulder.
"Ouch, all right, I'm gonna scatter your little ectoplasmic ass all over the place," he snarled.
The girl's voice chimed in laughter again.
Suddenly heavier footsteps sounded on the stairs and a tall form crowded the doorway. Sam shifted the cell phone in his hand stopping when the pearlescent form of the child's ghost flickered on the screen.
"Over there, Dad."
John whirled jerking the shot gun in the direction the younger man pointed, letting go with a single blast. The rock salt struck the ghost just as she materialized shattering her image into shreds. She rematerialized not two feet from John raising a hand. Her face darkened in a sneer, and John found himself flung head first into the wall. His back slammed against the drywall and he slid to the floor with a grunt. Dean popped up from behind the chair and fired his gun, rock salt hit the ghost and she wavered then disappeared. Sam ran to his father's side helping the older man to his feet.
"Was it the Kingman's little girl?"
Sam nodded. "Yeah, it was Laura. She's buried in the family crypt in Springhill Cemetery. A quick salt and burn and we're out of here."
John grinned. "At least we don't have to open a grave."
The three of them left the house. Dean and Sam headed for the Impala while John slid into the driver's seat of his truck. The two vehicles pulled out of the driveway, headed up the street toward the interstate and the cemetery.
Sam leaned against the wall of the small mausoleum watching as Dean lit the little girl's remains. She appeared briefly frowning at them wagging a finger at John.
"You're a bad man."
"Yeah, it's not like I haven't heard that before," he sneered watching as she dissipated, her small pale face twisted in rage.
"I hope my friend makes you suffer…." Her voice faltered as she erupted into flames then faded from view.
Dean rolled his shoulders as he dumped the salt canister and matches back into his bag, John picked up the gas can handing it to Sam. Dumping the bag at his father's feet Dean helped John wrestle the heavy marble slab back over the remains of the little girl's white casket. Then Dean picked up the bag waving his father out the door. Carrying the gas can and the crow-bar John waited while Sam secured the door to the building and followed the two other men out to the vehicles.
Frowning Sam said. "What do you suppose she meant by she hoped that her friend made us suffer?"
"Dude, she was a ghost. What kind of friends could she have? It was probably just her imaginary friend or something."
John scrambled into the bed of the truck, stowing the gas can in the tool box along the back of the cab. He slid down and pulled the weapons box from under the false bottom of the truck bed, laying his shot gun neatly into the gun rack. Dean was storing his equipment in the trunk of the car while Sam leaned against the Impala.
"So we meet with Mr. and Mrs. Kingman in the morning, let 'em know that the problem is taken care of and move on," Sam said quietly.
"I thought that we might hang around town for a few days. I'm going to call a few people see what I can turn up as far as another hunt. We might split up for a little while if something turns up."
Sam shook his head.
"Dad, after the vampires you promised that we'd work together. I don't want to take a chance on losing you or Dean now."
"We're getting close. Sammy. I can feel it. We are so close to catching up with that bastard. Look we'll all stay here, take a break and just let me look through the papers see if anything turns up, okay?"
Dean cast a glance at his younger brother shrugging. Sam bit his lower lip between his teeth then nodded. John clapped his younger son on the shoulder.
"You boys follow me into town. I got us a room at the Best Western."
Opening the cab door, he was turning again to smile at the boys when his body was lifted into the air and flung into a tree. He hit the trunk with an audible grunt, sliding down to the ground. Rolling onto his elbows John tried to lever himself to his hands and knees, but his head swam and his vision grayed out a little as he saw Sammy slammed into the side of the truck and thrown into the bed. His body clattered against the cold metal.
Dean managed to pull the .45 he had tucked in the waistband of his jeans stepping toward the rear of his father's truck.
"Sammy you okay?"
Sam's voice echoed hollowly in the bed as the sound of him dragging his body upright reached Dean's ears.
"Yeah, I think so."
Suddenly a tree branch swept down striking Dean's arm and the gun discharged, the shot digging a trench in the grass at his feet. The .45 was slapped out of his palm and Dean found himself flung onto the hood of the car. He rolled wincing as his shoulder gave.
John staggered to his feet, trying to make it to the truck, hoping to get the shot gun before whatever it was hit them again. Sam rolled over reaching out for his father's hand as the older man made it to his side. But John's body was jerked back again rising into the air. He hung suspended rotating slowly as Sam was forcibly hauled from the back of the truck.
Dean rolled down the hood of the car and hit the ground wrapping his hand around his dislocated shoulder. He slid along the length of the car toward his father when his brother's body was thrown from the truck bed into him. Both young men slammed against the car and fell heavily to the ground.
Dean raised his head, watching as Sam rolled onto his back laying on the cool, damp grass. He heaved in a breath then pushed himself up onto his elbows. Both men watched as their father was thrown onto the ground behind them; John lay still not moving.
A figure drew itself up coalescing in the darkness. Vaguely man-shaped, the thing stood bent and twisted, back turned to Dean, but he could almost see it cocking its head. A quavering voice wrapped itself around him and he knew that the thing was weaving some kind of a spell. He winced unable to move.
"Too long have you all been a thorn in my side," the demon said smoothly, yellow eyes flashing. "My sweet daughter is dead, so you will take her place. If I cannot kill you outright and it seems that the forces of the light will not allow that. Then I will take away your ability to fight my brethren. You have lived all of your lives secure in your strength as men; now let us see how you fight without that strength."
A hot white light enveloped the three men and Dean collapsed onto the ground, writhing in pain. When he swam to consciousness again Dean rolled over. His shoulder felt much better, almost as if it had been healed. Rolling onto his back he reached up kneading the muscle with his left hand. Suddenly he paused, his arm bumped into his chest not sliding over hard muscle but resting on the soft, rounded mound of his breast. Struggling upright Dean tried to rise but his jeans slid down his legs pooling over his boots.
A moan from his side caught his attention and Dean looked over at his younger brother. Sam pulled himself up onto his hands and knees rocking back until he was sitting on his feet. Dean gasped. Even under the baggy t-shirt Dean could see the high, firm points of Sam's breasts. He ripped his eyes away looking into his brother's wide brown eyes.
The face was still Sam, still recognizable to anyone who had known him before. The features were smaller, cheeks a little rounder and chin narrower, but the face was still his. Sam's bangs hung down over his eyes and he impatiently brushed them aside and found himself transfixed by the sight of his small, delicate hands.
"What the hell," Sam gasped and his voice startled both young men to stillness.
Sam tried to stand but found his body swaddled in the too large jeans. He unlaced his sneakers, although truthfully his smaller, more slender feet would have pulled free easily without it. Then he pushed his jeans off standing in nothing but his briefs and t-shirt. The underwear started to slide and he grasped it in one hand. Dean toed the steeled-toed boots off and dropped his jeans as well. He rose on unsteady feet, limping to his brother's side. Dean surveyed himself, his t-shirt hung to mid-thigh and his boxers slid down his legs. With a grunt Dean grabbed the waistband of his underpants knotting them but the material was still loose. He turned quickly looking at himself in the side mirror of the truck.
The girl staring back at him was slender and blond. Like Sam his features were a more feminine version of him, but still recognizable. His hair was still short and spiky but somehow the cut was flattering. Glancing back at Sam, Dean sighed. His brother was still taller than he, but if Sam was pretty in an athletic sort of way, Dean was beautiful. In his mind he looked like a Barbie doll.
Sam was tall for a girl maybe five feet ten, with a firm muscular build, nice tits and legs that went all the way up. Dean was a couple of inches shorter than Sam and more slender with a nice rack and great ass. He sighed. Somewhere the souls of all the girls that he had hit on in bars were laughing at him in unison.
Sam looked at him. "Dean you're…"
"Don't even say it, Sammy," Dean hissed then glanced around. "Oh shit, what do you think Dad'll do when he see us? He's gonna freak out."
Nodding Sam scouted the ground looking for their father. He would know what to do, how to fix this.
"Dad," Sam muttered.
There was a moan from the end of the truck then the sound of movement. John pushed himself up leaning against the rear tire of the truck waiting for the world to stop spinning. He heard Sam's panicked voice and scrambled to his feet. The move proved to be a bit too ambitious and John crashed down to the ground again, his jeans and boots crippling him.
Rolling into his back John kicked out of the boots and managed to push the jeans away. He looked down at his legs, at the slender tiny feet and gaped. Then he slowly surveyed the rest of his body, His underwear was sticking out of the top of his jeans and he was wearing nothing but a t-shirt, swimming in it actually. And he gasped, the soft washed out fabric stretch over his considerable breasts.
John staggered around the end of the truck and froze, staring at the two girls who stood staring at him. Dean's eyes widened.
"Holy shit, Dad?" he asked. But there was no need, like them John's face was still his own. Wide hazel eyes framed by the incredibly long, thick lashes that had annoyed his father as a man, but were stunning on the woman John had become. Sam had to admit that if he was pretty and Dean was beautiful their father was gorgeous.
"Oh crap," John said staring at his sons. "Look, let's get back to the hotel. We'll figure this out there."
They gathered their clothes up and the boys got into the Impala. Dean cringed when he had to pull the seat forward so that his feet would touch the pedals. John hauled the door to the truck open then paused, blinking when he realized that he would have to climb up into the cab. Grasping the steering wheel in both hands John pulled himself up then laid his head on the wheel when he realized that he could not reach the gas pedal. It took all the strength he had to pull the seat forward.
They sat around the table in the hotel room staring at each other. In the soft half-light of the moon it had been easy to try and pass off the change as not significant. Here, in the hard incandescent light of the overhead fixtures it was impossible to pretend. John knew that he and the boys were seriously crippled by these new bodies.
The demon had effectively signed their death warrants. They were all used to working as men, having muscle to back up their actions. And while John knew that there were women hunters, some he wouldn't want to take on in a fair fight. They had been born women and learned to fight that way. He knew that in hunting, when push came to shove, it might not always take muscle in a fight, but sometimes it did. Or a willingness to admit that the muscle wasn't there and learn how to use techniques to fight that didn't rely on it. There was no way he, Dean and Sam could fight like this; hell John had trouble even driving his truck.
Shaking his head John sighed.
"Well, we have money, so we don't need a job right now. And I'm not up for hustling pool right now."
Dean grinned at him.
"You could do it easy, just unbutton the top few buttons on your shirt. I mean Dad; damn…you got a set of tits on you."
"Shut up, Dean," John said, but somehow it just wasn't as menacing in his lyrical little voice. He flushed.
"Well, we need names and ID to go with it. So we might as well get the camera out of the truck and make some new pictures for driver's licenses. We all have some gender neutral names on credit cards, too," Dean added.
He hustled out into the parking lot returning a few moments later with a metal lock-box in his hands. John tossed Dean his keys. He rummaged through the box that John kept locked in the glove compartment of the truck. Dean sighed and picked up the new credit card papers, clipped to the three by five inch index cards that John had penned in the name, address and phone numbers they used on the credit applications.
Sam sat up the portable printer and pulled out his digital camera. They shuffled the lamps out of the way and pulled the beds apart making a blank space on the wall that looked remarkably like the white screen in most DMV offices. One by one, Sam or Dean, took the pictures and they looked them over on Sam's laptop settling on the best shots. It took most of the night but they ended up with driver's licenses and credit cards for all of them.
Dean was a little concerned by the fact that Jesse was spelled incorrectly for a woman, but he snickered and told his Dad just to flash his boobs and no one would pay attention.
Showering was a nightmare, everything felt wrong. And Sam had convinced them that if they were going to pass as women, at least in the United States, they would have to shave their legs and underarms.
"Can't we just tell people we're French?"
John smacked him on the back of the head.
"It can't be that much different, same theory anyway," he said offering Sam a glare, "But I'm not shaving anything else."
"Oh gross, Dad," Sam said and Dean snickered.
By the time that Dean and John were finished showering Sam, had sacrificed three pairs of drawstring cotton pajama bottoms by hemming them into shorts. Paired with sleeveless undershirts and t-shirts knotted on top they were passable enough to be worn in public. They stopped at a 99 cent store and picked up three pairs of rubber soled flip-flops.
The next stop was a big-box discount store where the saleslady happily accepted their story that their luggage had been lost at the airport and even obligingly measured John when he complained that none of the bras he had bought recently seemed to fit well.
By noon the adrenaline that they had been running on was pretty much gone, and they were huddled in the Impala staring at the doors of the Denny's like they were the gates of Hell. Finally, Dean pushed the driver's door open and stepped out. He winced when two teenaged boys in the car next to them gaped at him as he walked past. Sam took up a flanking position ready to offer back-up and they waited in the lobby for their father to work up the nerve to get out of the car.
John slid out, marching across the parking lot like it was a battlefield. He pulled to a halt just outside the door when a big, bluff-faced trucker in a green ball cap shoved out of the door. John wobbled back and the guy gently took his arm.
"I'm real sorry about that, ma'am. Are you okay?"
John was pissed off and glared until he realized that he had to look up at the guy, and then keep on looking up. His anger faded to a queasy feeling in the pit of his stomach and John nodded.
The trucker smiled.
"Hey can I buy you lunch?"
John was horrified. "Uh no thanks. I'm here with my uh…daughters."
Dean and Sam were already seated at a table when he made it into the restaurant. He glared at his sons.
"You could have waited for me."
"Well if you hadn't been trying to pick up a man…"
"I was not trying to pick up a man," John shouted and the room quieted. His face went crimson and Dean chuckled. John's look promised swift and painful retribution.
They ate in silence trying to ignore the casual and not so casual glances cast in their direction. Dean was particularly popular with the male patrons; he felt like sinking into the upholstery and hiding. When they got up to leave an older man at the end of the bar leered in their direction and made a dirty remark as they passed. John had finally had enough, he whirled.
"You dirty bastard, you're old enough to be her father…hell grandfather. Leave my…daughter alone."
They guy slid back in his seat embarrassed and looked at Dean then back to John.
"I wasn't talking about her. I was talking about you."
Uttering a half-strangled shout John's hand curled into a fist but before he could come out swinging Sam grabbed him from behind and hustled his father to the register. John shoved the bill and a twenty and a ten at the older woman. She smiled at him.
"I'm sorry about that. But you and your daughters are beautiful. Men get stupid over pretty girls."
John flushed taking the change and looking at Dean. He could tell they were both thinking the same thing. Silently John uttered an apology to every pretty girl he had ever ogled over the years. Dean followed his father to the car, and John slid into the rear seat.
"Dude," Dean said ruefully, "I never really understood that saying about walking a mile in somebody else's shoes until now."
Sam sighed. "Yeah but now we have to walk a mile in somebody else's fashionable heels."
"Screw that," John and Dean said in unison. For the first time since they had awakened in the cemetery they all smiled.
Two weeks later John was desperate. He and the boys had been hitting the books and the internet hard and still come up with nothing as far as what had happened to them and how to reverse it. Finally, he closed the book he was hunched over rubbing his eyes. Sam slumped down on the bed shoving the laptop off his legs.
"I got nothing, Dad? Did you come up with anything?"
"Hell no," John sighed. "We need help on this. And there's only one person that I can think of who knows demons well enough to be any help."
Dean and Sam exchanged glances. They both knew that John meant Bobby Singer. He was legendary among hunters for his knowledge in demonology. Both young men frowned; Bobby and John had been friends for years. And John had often gone to Bobby for help and information until two years ago. Something had happened between John and Bobby and their father had steadfastly refused to discuss the matter. If John was desperate enough to voluntarily go to Bobby, this had to be bad.
They packed their stuff, gassed up the vehicles and headed to Durham. It was a little passed six o'clock in the evening when the Impala and John's truck rolled into Bobby's driveway. Bobby was sitting on the porch when the big old Impala that belonged to John Winchester's older boy pulled up in front of his house. He belatedly realized that the black truck was John's.
The door to the Impala opened and a single figure got out. It was too dark for him to see clearly so he rose and turned on the porch light waiting until figure crossed the yard and stood at the foot of the steps. He didn't know the girl but she was a looker, as his daddy used to say. Smiling tentatively the girl turned as a second figure approached the porch. Once again Bobby noticed that the taller girl was pretty, and it seemed as if he might have seen her somewhere before. She paused as well, looking back over her shoulder at the truck. If John was inside Bobby wanted to know why he was dragging these two little girls around with him and where the hell Dean and Sam were.
The door to the truck swung open and instead of the tall broad-shouldered form of John Winchester, a woman slid out. Bobby watched as she walked over, casting a suspicious look in his direction. He started to stand, then started to ask why the hell she had John's truck and who these women were, when a thought struck him. Bobby looked at the woman. She was well built, pretty hazel eyes, and soft short brown curls streaked with gray. When she turned her head Bobby caught sight of the thin scar that marred her cheek. He hissed out a breath, and then looked over at the girls; the one looked like the woman, brownish eyes, long bangs and tall for a girl. The other one was a little shorter than the older woman, a china doll with green eyes and blond spiky hair.
Suddenly Bobby felt the spit dry out in his mouth. His knees wouldn't quite hold him and he sat down hard on the wooden bench on the porch. He clasped his hand to his forehead trying keep from passing out. There was a sudden swish of air by his side and Bobby looked up, into John's worried eyes.
"Holy shit," Bobby said then winced as if noticing that there was a lady present. John shot him a look. His slender fingers pried Bobby's hand off his forehead and pushed it into his lap. Bobby glanced down looking at John's small, delicate fingers clinging to his big, blunt ones.
"Bobby, I know we kinda fell out the last time I was here, and if you want me to leave I will, but Sam and Dean need your help."
"John?" Bobby finally managed to stutter, and the woman smiled at him. Bobby felt that smile all the way down to the pit of his stomach. "Holy shit."
An awkward silence settled over the porch. Finally, Bobby rose, motioning them inside. John and the boys followed the other man into the house. Bobby sighed.
"John, this is something a little outside my area of expertise. I've heard of things like this happening but I've never seen it personally. But in all the cases I've heard of they managed to get it fixed. The problem with curses like this one is that we're working under a deadline. We got a specific time frame to reverse it before it becomes permanent."
John shook his head. "I kinda figured that. But you know more about it than we've managed to come up with in the past couple of weeks."
"Damn it John, you should have come to me right away. Especially, if you knew that there might be time problems."
John flushed hanging his head. "After what happened I wasn't sure that you'd want us here, or at least me…"
Bobby sighed closing his eyes. Slowly he stood, and then paused when he had to look down at the other man.
"John, you know how I feel about you. I got tired of trying to keep it a secret so I just blurted it out. I don't blame you for reacting badly. It was my fault for just jumping you with it. I should have just kept quiet."
John swallowed hard. "Bobby, I couldn't, not then, and now I don't know if you care for me or this plastic inflatable doll I've become."
Bobby grinned stoking his fingertips up John's arm.
"John, I love you, and it doesn't matter what the packaging looks like. Don't get me wrong this body is hot, but I love you, beard, scars, warts and all."
Dean appeared at the door.
"Sam and I ordered pizza. It'll be here in a few minutes."
John flinched then jumped away from the other man. Dean looked between his father and the older man then frowned. Sam passed him in the hallway and shot his brother a look.
"I'm not sure but I think that I finally figured out why Dad and Bobby got in that fight the last time we were here. I think that they're in love with each other."
Sam's eyes widened.
"You're kidding, aren't you? Dad and Bobby? Man that's weird, but it does explain a lot."
Bobby sat on the bed looking as John paced the floor. John whirled straightening his shoulders against the unaccustomed weight. Sighing he turned to the other man.
"I weigh a hundred and ten pounds, how come I got stuck with huge tits?"
John slid his hands under the objects in question and pushed them up, bouncing them a little and Bobby felt his mouth water.
Oh crap, he thought, no drooling.
"I mean it, Bobby, look at 'em! Do you know how much these things weigh? It's like having two sandbags hanging around my shoulders. My back is killing me." He strolled to the bed, and Bobby looked up shaking his head. "They're pretty firm though. Do you want to squeeze 'em?"
The older man flinched. "Is this a trick question? I mean, if I say yes are you gonna shoot me?"
"Only if you make honking noises when you do it. What the hell is wrong with you?"
John asked when Bobby flinched as John settled on the bed beside him. Bobby shrugged.
"Pizza is here, Dad."
John smacked Bobby on the knee.
"Come on food's here. I'm starving."
"You go ahead I'll be right out." Bobby said.
John turned looking at the other man, watching as Bobby got slowly to his feet while trying to keep his back to John. Suddenly John gasped eyes glued to Bobby's groin.
"You bastard! I can't believe it."
"Now, John, I'm sorry. It just got away from me," Bobby said, hobbling forward.
John glared, stomping out the door.
Bobby looked up excitedly from the internet site he was perusing. He shouted into the other room.
"John, boys I think I found it."
The clatter of footsteps and girlish voices shattered the air, and John and the boys hurried into the room. They huddled around the computer reading through the material as Bobby explained.
"This is a fairly standard curse. It's designed to cripple a person and leave him vulnerable to attacks while he's confused and disorientated. But there is a way to reverse it. We have to summon the demon that placed the curse and get it to give you the potion to reverse it. The summoning spell has to be done somewhere with a lot of power, and you'll have to have something to trade for the potion."
John settled against the arm of the chair letting his forearm rest on Bobby's shoulder. He blinked a little, breathing in John's clean, warm, scent. Finally, John heaved a sigh.
"I know just what that bastard will ask for too."
Dean nodded. "The Colt."
"Well," Sam added, "Unless we want to spend the rest of our lives as the Winchester sisters we need to come up with a plan."
Bobby held up a hand as if reining them in.
"Look, the first thing that you even need to consider is getting this reversed. Everything I read about this spell is bad news. If we don't get it reversed in time not only do you stay female, but you'll forget, everything. No memories of your previous life at all. The only good thing that I can come up with is that the potion heals any injuries you sustained in your pre-altered form. That's why Dean's dislocated shoulder healed when he became a girl. If you have to cut a deal with the demon to fix this, then you do it. Just remember, we're looking at about three more weeks before this thing becomes a real, permanent fact in your lives."
John nodded. "Okay, I'll agree with you there. The first priority is to get this fixed. But we still need a plan, because if you think that this demon will just let us waltz in there with the Colt and make an even up trade for the potion then you're kidding yourself."
"No," Bobby said, "He's gonna try and kill you all."
Sam interrupted, "Actually the first thing we have to do is find a place to summon the demon. A place that we know it won't be able to keep from appearing."
Bobby grinned. "Well, at least that much I've got figured out. There's a camp ground in South Dakota, it used to be a big spiritual place for the Sioux. I figured that was because of the ley lines. There's a hell of a lot of power up there. It's even better than cross-roads."
Smiling, John looked at the older man.
"So we go up there, stay a few days and find an intersecting point on the ley lines and get it done."
Dean smiled too.
"Sounds like a plan. You know Dad, nobody but us and a few vampires have ever seen the gun. What's the chance that the demon has seen it?"
"You thinking that maybe we could hand off a fake gun? It'd be tricky, but it might work. Even if the bastard has seen the thing it was in Dan Elkins possession for God knows how long. We might be able to pick up a good enough replacement that the demon won't notice," John said.
"There are a couple of good antique stores here in town. We'll go over in the morning and pick a good substitute gun. In fact, I know a guy that has a gun shop. He'll cut us a good deal," Bobby offered with a smile.
Big Sioux Family Camp grounds were just north of Lake Vermillion They arrived just after noon two days later, Bobby, grumbling under his breath about traveling with three women. He snickered to himself then made sure that John and the boys hadn't heard him.
The trip had been extremely educational for him, particularly since he had no sisters and had never been married. The first day he had walked into the bathroom in the hotel suite they were sharing and found bras and panties hanging on the towel racks it had embarrassed the hell out of him. What was more disturbing to him was the fact that John and the boys were acting more 'female' all the time, a sure sign that the curse was moving into a latent phase.
The next day when he was forced to go to the grocery store for tampons was an even more grueling experience, but at least it cut down on the arguing since John and the boys were mortified into absolute silence, and didn't spend all day on the cell phone 'discussing' the situation loudly and at great length.
Dean and Sam stood in the lobby surveying the crowed room. The buildings were typical for a camp ground, wooden-beamed structures with shake shingle roofs. The main lobby was a large central building with the public showers and bathrooms for the RV park and the tent campers. There was a small grocery store, a restaurant and gift shop as well.
Arranged around the central complex were the cabins. The cabin they had rented was in the first row of smaller buildings just down the street from the main buildings. It was a two bedroom cabin with a bathroom and a small central living room. One of the bedrooms had twin beds for the boys the other room a large king-sized bed. Bobby cast a sideways glance at John who merely shrugged. They unloaded the Impala and John's truck, distributing keys all around, and then headed to the restaurant for lunch and a planning session.
The restaurant was crowded but the hostess managed to get them a table in record time. The boys sat on one side and Bobby sat beside John on the other. He leaned back looking at the other patrons in the place. When he saw other people smiling in their direction for the fourth time Bobby took a little time to think about how they must appear to others; a middle-aged couple with their two beautiful girls. For the first time in a long time Bobby felt more like a regular member of society, a man with a family and not some demon hunter alone in an old house researching things that most people didn't even want to know existed.
"This afternoon," John said, after he washed down the last of his burger with tea, "We'll locate a good clean intersection on two strong ley lines. Look for a stone markers in the woods where we can set up the summon ritual without being noticed. I know that the Sioux had burial grounds all through this area, and that some pagan covens used the stones to make fairy circles. The ley lines will run along the stone circles."
Bobby nodded. "There's a lot of people out and about so we'll have to find a place off the well traveled hiking trails. But it's a big park, and Caleb Anderson sent me map of all the ley lines up here. There are two big ones that run right along and underground spring that lays just beneath the main trail into the hills. And a good secondary one that intersects in about half way up the central foothill."
"Good a place as any," Dean said smiling.
The hike to the foothills took almost an hour. It was a bright sunny afternoon and the four of them took their time, not immune to being out in the warm sunlight and beautiful scenery. Sam paused taking a bottle of water out of his backpack and resting against a tree trunk soaking up the warmth. Too much of the time he and Dean lived in darkness and being in a bright cheerful place eased his spirit.
Dean was standing on the path beside his younger brother also taking in the serene countryside. He smiled. "You know Sammy it's been way too long since we've been in a place like this. You can almost feel the power in the air."
Sam nodded. He nudged his brother in the ribs with his elbow and pointed to the trail ahead of them where Bobby and their father were walking. The two were side by side, a bit too close for just friendly camaraderie. Dean grinned when John stumbled over a bit of rough ground and Bobby immediately took his arm, holding him up easily until John regained his balance. The smile that John shot Bobby smoldered.
Bobby stopped at the bend of the path holding a crystal aloft. When the center of the yellow stone gleamed he smiled.
"This is it, the perfect center of the intersecting points. This is the strongest summoning point."
John nodded. "We need to gather all the materials for the summoning. I can cast the spell, but it'll have to be done at night to cut down on the chance that someone will just wander in on us. Dean, take down the coordinates."
Sam lifted his compass, and Dean scribbled the location of the intersecting points in John's journal. Bobby frowned.
"Well, we won't get it done tonight. It might take a couple of days to set this thing up right."
"We'll do it right, but we've got to get it done pretty quickly. I think me and the boys are running out of time," John replied.
"Don't worry, Dad," Sam said, "You have all the stuff for the spell in your bag. It's just a matter of getting out here unobserved. There's a full moon in three days, that'll be the best day to do the ritual."
John nodded. "So we just wait it out for the next three days."
They were back at the restaurant that evening for dinner when Bobby spotted a familiar face in the crowd. He smiled, walking across the room to the small group of people waiting in the lobby. He tapped one of the men on the back and grinned; the man shook his head as if he had seen a ghost then broke into a huge grin of his own.
"Bobby Singer, hell, how have you been?"
Bobby slapped the other man on the shoulder. "George Parker, my god it's been years. How the hell are you?"
"Great, here with my family. My oldest boy is getting married, and they wanted an outdoor wedding. What has it been, thirty years? I haven't seen you since we shipped out of Nam."
"Yeah," Bobby said, "It sure has been a while. So this is your wife?"
"Yeah, this is Lorrie. Honey, this is Bobby Singer. He's the reason I made it out of Vietnam alive."
The woman smiled shaking Bobby's hand. He started to leave but George called him back. "So what are you doing up here?'
Bobby swallowed then looked over at the table where John and the boys sat. Smiling he pointed, "Uh, I'm just up here with my wife and girls for vacation."
George gaped. "That's your wife? Wow, she's beautiful, and the girls are too. Hey, we're having a pre-wedding party. Why don't you come on with us?"
Bobby stuttered, "Uhh…I don't want to impose. And I should get back to Johnny and the b…girls."
"Hell, bring 'em on over."
"Uh, really we couldn't impose."
George smiled. "It's no problem. I'd really like to meet your family."
"Hey George, which one of your boys is getting married," Bobby said grinning painfully hard. The other man fished in his pocket for a wallet then shoved a picture at Bobby. He took it; the photo was an old grainy black and white picture of a toddler. Bobby vaguely remembered Parker carrying the picture in Nam. "Isn't this George Junior? What was he in this picture, three?"
"Yep, time surely does fly by."
Bobby was about to reply when Dean wandered up. "Hey Dad…:" he paused looking at other man standing with Bobby. "Uh…Mom wants to get going back to the cabin."
"Oh Dean, this is an old friend of mine, George Parker, he's here with his family. They invited us to a party."
Sam wandered over, smiling at Bobby. He turned to Parker. "George this is Sammy."
They were still talking when a teenaged boy wandered up. The boy was tall and lanky, dressed in black clothes and wearing heavy eye-liner. He sneered in their direction when the introductions were made and laughed when Bobby introduced Dean and Sam.
"Dean," he snorted, "Isn't that a guy name?"
George rolled his eyes.
"Shut up, Francis."
Grinning Dean stepped closer to the boy.
"Yeah, Francis, if you give me any trouble I'll clean your clock, got it?"
Licking his lips Francis grinned.
"You can clean anything of mine you like, baby."
Dean snarled stomping on the boy's foot and jamming an elbow into his gut. He doubled over with a grunt and John stepped in, pulling his older son away. With a harsh look he stilled Dean's struggles. John slid closer to the boy glaring up at him. Dean frowned when the boy merely rolled his eyes. Sam shrugged looking at their father.
"I think the girls and I are ready to go back to the cabin, Bobby," John said pointedly.
Dean smiled. "We're invited to a party."
At John's look he frowned. "Oh come on…Mom. Just for a little while. We have to wait a couple of days for the night hike anyway. What harm can it do?"
Bobby nodded. "Johnny, this is my old friend George Parker."
Parker offered to hake hands, John stepped forward smiling. Parker grasped his hand just a fraction of second longer than Bobby was comfortable with. Eyeing John, Parker said, "So...Jonnie is it?"
"Uh, yeah…Bobby this is probably not the best idea."
"Come on, Jonnie," Parker huffed. "I haven't seen the old man in years. Bobby can't you get a slip from the old ball and chain?"
John cocked his head. "What?"
"Uhh, George, if the girls aren't up to it," Bobby said quickly.
Dean and Sam chimed in,
"Oh come on, Mom. We can't interfere in a happy reunion."
"Fine, let's go."
Nervously Bobby raked his fingers through his hair. Once George had moved past, he slipped his hand down John's back letting his palm rest on the curve of his hip. John looked over his shoulder then shot the other man a sideways look.
Sam added, "Yeah, it'll be great. We've got nothing planned for a couple more nights anyway."
John frowned but looking at the three expectant faces he caved. "Okay, but you two stick close. No running off."
George smiled broadly again. "Swell, come on. I'll introduce you to the rest of my family."
There was a group of about thirty people gathered in a small private room to one side of the restaurant's main dining area. Bobby disappeared into a crowd of men gathered at the bar, swapping stories about the old days. They studiously avoided talking about the war as much as possible, except for mention of long lost friends. By the time the meal had wound down and the party moved out to a covered patio John had heard more about Bobby than he remembered hearing the other man talk about in twenty years. He smiled.
A band was playing in the quad just outside the restaurant but the music was more than loud enough for the party. Several couples were dancing in the center of the room. George led them to a table where an attractive middle-aged woman was seated. She leaned back patting him on the thigh.
George smiled, "Lorrie, honey, this is Jonnie, Sam and Dean."
George corralled John and hustled him to the center of the room grabbing his hand. Dean and Sam grinned at the sight of their father dancing awkwardly with the other man. Bobby flushed as George whirled John around, then finally took pity on the other man and rescued him. George patted John's arm.
He grinned as John slid into a chair muttering under his breath. George dug an elbow into Bobby's side.
"Wow, I can't believe you ended up with such a pretty girl, old man. But I got to tell you she needs to learn how to dance. She kept trying to lead."
Bobby coughed. "Uh, Johnny has a real strong personality."
Grinning George waved Lorrie over.
"Honey, we got some room at the ceremony for Bobby and the family?"
She nodded smiling.
"It's an outdoor ceremony so it won't be any problem."
"We really don't want to impose…"
"Oh, "Lorrie said, "It's no imposition as all. I'll just go tell Johnnie the color scheme so they can check their wardrobes for dresses in the appropriate colors."
"But, but…" Bobby said with a grunt as George grabbed him by the shoulder and hauled him physically toward the bar.
John flinched when he noticed that Bobby's friend's wife coming his direction. Lorrie settled into the chair by John's side. She patted John's leg and he mustered up a smile.
"Nice party, which one of your boys is getting married?"
She pointed out a young man a few years older than Dean.
"That's George Junior. He's marrying Shelly, that pretty young lady over there. I must say your girls are just beautiful. But you probably hear that all the time. I just wanted to let you know that George and I would just love it if you and Bobby and the girls came to the ceremony tomorrow evening. The color scheme is mauve and peach. We're semi-formal."
"Well, good for you," John said frowning. Sam nudged him in the back between the shoulder blades and John grunted. Lorrie patted John's knee and he glanced down shrugging at Dean who merely snickered.
"There's a cute little boutique at the mall on Highway 95, half the girls in the wedding party got their dresses there."
"Dresses?" John and Dean exchanged a look but Sam smiled at her.
"We'll just have Dad….uhmm we'll just go over to the mall."
She smiled and hurried over to the table where her younger son sat, trying to steal a beer bottle from under his father's gaze. John watched her go.
"Oh shit," he whispered, "I think that she thinks that we're Bobby's family."
"Well, we are together," Dean added. "Oh crap Dad, this is my fault. When I went to talk to Bobby I accidentally said Dad when I was talking about you. Good old George probably thought I was talking to Bobby."
"Great," John sighed. "Well, Bobby's here helping us so we've just got to go along with it. Whatever you do don't tell him that they think we're his wife and kids. Let's just try not to embarrass him, and look half way decent tomorrow. It can't be that hard, huh? We've all seen the kind of shit that girls wear to weddings and if all else fails we'll ask the sales clerk. It's only eight-fifteen. Why don't the three of us get over to the mall?"
Dean flinched, "Dresses, come on, Dad."
John glared at him.
"Dean don't make me tell Sam about that Rocky Horror Picture Show thing. I still have the pictures."
With a gulp Dean grinned, "Dresses it is. Nothing like looking like you belong in some frou-frou magazine."
John smiled, "Fine, I'll tell Bobby we're going."
Bobby was actually relieved that John and the boys were leaving for awhile. It gave him time to come up with a good cover story for any slip ups that he might have made today. He didn't want John finding out that George and Lorrie thought that John was his wife. Actually he desperately didn't want John finding out that Bobby had told them that John was his wife.
It was a little after ten when they got back to the cabin. Bobby was half-asleep on the sofa watching the evening news. When they came in the door, all three of them dumped the bags they were carrying onto the floor. Bobby watched in silent fascination as the 'girls' began unpacking shoes, stockings lacy undergarments and dresses. John hung the three plastic garment bags holding the dresses in the closet and dumped a smaller bag of cosmetics on the table.
"So you guys are actually planning on going through with this tomorrow?" Bobby asked hesitantly. John shot him a smile.
"We can do it. It'll be easy. We've been girls for almost three weeks now, and I think we got this thing down pat," John settled down on the sofa beside the other man's feet.
Sam rolled his eyes, "Oh yeah Winchesters are never daunted by anything…"
Dean frowned, "I don't know that last time I drank too much I fell and got a big lump on my head."
With a sneer Sam turned to his brother, "I said daunted not dented."
John frowned, "Just one thing boys, if you go to a salon and the girl tells you that if you get your underarms and legs waxed you get a free bikini wax, don't do it."
Dean grinned as John tugged at the crotch of his jeans. "I'm telling you Bobby women are crazy. Before I knew it this chick had me ass over head in a chair and was pouring hot wax on places that the sun don't normally shine."
Bobby's face went from pale to crimson in about three seconds. Dean was actually fascinated by the color spreading from his shirt collar upwards. He laughed, and Sam shot Dean 'the look.'
"Bobby, Dad we're gonna call it a day. See you in the morning."
Dean and Sam disappeared into one of the bedrooms just as John yawned hugely.
"You know I'm kinda beat myself. I'm going to bed."
"I'll just stretch out here on the couch."
John shrugged. "Oh, come on, the bed's plenty big enough. It's not like we haven't bunked together before."
"But that was different. I mean we were both…"
"We still are, don't let this body fool you, Bobby. It's still me in here. Still John."
"Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of."
The room was dark and quiet. Bobby lay on one side listening to John's breathing. Before, on hunts, when they had been forced to share a bed there was a tussle for blankets, and elbow room, and the hard edge of deep snoring. This soft whisper of girlish breath washed over him like a wave, leaving him enervated and wanting. John rolled over in his sleep wriggling close to him and Bobby's own breath caught in his chest. With a sigh John eased onto his side and moved against the hard warmth of the other body in the bed. It was all Bobby could do not to slide his hands over the pale smooth skin pressed against him.
After lunch the next day Bobby made his own trip to the mall for a hair cut and to buy a black suit. Dean whistled when the older man came into the cabin an hour later causing Bobby to blush furiously. He dressed carefully then waited on the sofa for the 'girls' to get ready.
When Sam and Dean came out Bobby grinned they looked like the girls he saw on tv. Sam tall and pretty in peach and Dean smaller, more voluptuous, in pale mauve. They had spent a good deal of time working on the make-up and it showed. Finally, John made his appearance and Bobby felt his mouth go dry. John was every fantasy Bobby had ever had since he got old enough to understand just what his dick was for.
When they walked under the lattice-work archway to the wedding reception that night Bobby was all but bursting with pride. He was sure that his 'girls' put every other girl in the place to shame. They laughed, danced, drank a little too much champagne and found out exactly why Karaoke meant tone-deaf in Japanese.
Later in the cabin, after the boys had gone to bed, Bobby and John sat on the sofa, John's feet in Bobby's lap as he massaged John's toes. Bobby smiled at the other man.
"Johnny, I want to thank you for tonight, for the last couple of days. I'm sorry that I got you and the boys involved in all this."
"Its okay, Bobby, we're glad to help. I mean you're doing a hell of a lot for us, getting our lives back. Besides I sort of got a kick out of seeing how the other side lives. We don't get to do much 'normal' in our line of work."
"No we, don't. I'm sorry that I never made time for a wife and kids."
"Yeah my life couldn't have been the same without Mary and the boys. But things change, life isn't static. Sometimes all we've got is the here and now."
"John when we were talking back at my place and you said you couldn't be sure that I loved you or this body…be sure. I love John Winchester, not the body, but all of you, this way or the other way. You understand me?"
"Okay," John rose up on his knees and crawled over Bobby's legs. Sliding one arm along Bobby's arm he pressed himself against the other man's chest. Bobby took a deep breath then leaned forward. The kiss was slow and sweet, and Bobby felt his heart seize.
"John maybe we shouldn't do this. I think that maybe you had a bit too much to drink."
"Bobby, I'm as sober as a judge."
John reached behind his back tugging the zipper on the dress. The bodice parted falling over his breasts and pooling at his waist. Bobby swallowed leaning down to press his bearded chin into the cleft between those rounded globes. John's breath hitched when Bobby tongued a pink nipple into his mouth and sucked hard.
John attacked Bobby's shirt buttons with his slim fingers groaning as Bobby worked his teeth over the tender bud of his nipple. Pushing Bobby's shirt off, John managed to work the button on his trouser and parted the fly. Bobby's fingers found the zipper on the dress and it slid off John's waist and slipped to the floor. The stockings and panties fell to the floor next and John was gloriously naked, Bobby gasped.
His own clothes slid away and then Bobby was lying on the sofa above John, cradled in his slender strong thighs. John gasped when Bobby's fingers slid between then, rubbing his tender flesh. And he closed his eyes groaning when Bobby slid inside him.
Dean stumbled over the pile of clothes in the living room floor and belated recognized it as John's dress. It amused him when he ran those words over in his head again…Dad's dress. Snickering he shot Sam a glance then fished the crumple material off the floor.
"And here ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the mauve tulle dress worn by big, bad John Winchester…we asked that it be marked as Exhibit A."
Sam rolled his eyes.
"You better not let Dad hear you say that, you'll be running laps until the apocalypse."
Suddenly Dean plopped down on the sofa wincing when he came into contact with a damp area. His eyes widened. "There's a wet spot on the sofa. Dad's clothes on the floor…"
Sam lifted the crumpled white dress-shirt that Bobby had worn under his suit.
"Bobby's clothes in the floor. I think I'm beginning to see a picture here."
Dean made a face. "Ewww, Dude, not the kind of picture I want at eight o'clock in the morning."
Sam coughed. "Not the kind of picture that I want at any time. Dad having sex, ewww."
"With Bobby," Dean shuddered. They grimaced at each other until John's voice carried in from the other room.
"Shut up, we're trying to sleep in here."
"After the night you just had, you should be tired," Dean said snidely.
"What was that, I didn't quiet hear you," John shouted.
Sam grabbed his brother's arm.
"Nothing, Dad, Dean and I are going to get breakfast."
"Good," Bobby said loudly, "It'll give me and John time to have sex again."
The moonlight had faded from the sky just as John put the last of the things he needed for the summoning ritual in a bag. Quickly he sat down on the bed, pulling on his boots. He glanced at the other side of the bed, and the big man snoring softly there. He needed to get this done quickly for their sake. It wasn't fair to Bobby to let this thing go on any longer. John was still kicking himself for giving in and sleeping with the other man. He wasn't finished with his quest, he wasn't finished taking vengeance on the evil that had destroyed his life, he wasn't finished grieving for Mary. He couldn't give Bobby what he needed, wanted, not yet.
Picking up the bag he closed the cabin door and headed off into the woods for the clearing they had scouted the first day they had arrived. He touched the bag feeling the vague outline of the fake gun nestled inside. Taking a deep breath he began hiking up the hillside.
The clearing was different in the stark light of the moon, so different than the clean warmth of daylight. John carefully lifted a can of limestone powder out of the bag and began laying out a design on the grass. When he had the sigil drawn he put out candles in red glass holders, sitting them at the compass points.
Finally he mixed herbs and oil in a small silver bowl until he had a syrupy green paste. With his hunting knife John sliced a gash across his palm and dripped blood into the bowl. He struck a match, lighting the paste then an eerie green glow enveloped John's body.
He wasn't sure what he was expecting but when the girl walked into the clearing he was almost sure she was a hiker, lost on the trail, until he saw the gold glimmering in her eyes. Cocking her head she snickered.
"So you're the great John Winchester, you know from everything I've heard about you I thought you'd be taller."
John sighed. "You're not who I was expecting."
"Well, I'm who you got."
She turned briefly glancing over her shoulder and John was startled by the appearance of another figure. A young man stepped out of the shadows moving over to the girl's side.
"Where's the gun, John."
He fished the Colt out of the bag and handed it to her.
"Where's the potion to reverse the spell?"
Flinching she produced a small, blue velvet bag from her pocket handing it over. John glanced into the bag, checking for the three small vials of amber liquid. He quickly tucked the bag into his pocket backing up a step. The male demon stepped forward.
"How do we know that this is the real gun?"
"How am I supposed to know this potion will do what you say it will? I guess you'll just have to trust me on that one."
"Bargaining time is just about over John. The truce ends so don't screw around with us. You won't like it if you do."
Suddenly the air was split by the sound of a gun shot. Both John and the girl jumped. She looked down eyes wide in disbelief.
"You shot me!"
John managed to dive for the duffle bag at his feet. Pulling out a large silver flask he dodged the young woman then threw the contents of the flask on the male demon. He screamed, writhing in agony. The girl backed away snarling at John.
"That was stupid John, really stupid. I'm going to rip the skin from your bones." She lunged forward catching him across the face with a flat handed slap that sent him spinning into the trunk of a tree. She watched as the male demon's body fell to ash, crumbling in on itself.
With a quick gesture the girl wrenched John around and slammed him against the tree again. He sagged forward, unconscious and she quickly retrieved a length of rope out of his own bag securing his arms behind his back. With her supernatural strength it took little effort to lift the limp body onto her shoulders and set out down the trail.
It was a little past midnight when Bobby rolled over, and found the other side of the bed empty. Cursing under his breath he rolled out of bed fishing his underpants off the floor and hurriedly dressing in his jeans and a t-shirt.
He pounded on the door to the other bedroom rousing Sam and Dean. The boys staggered out of the door staring at the red-faced panicked man. Dean caught Bobby by the arm as he paced by them for the tenth time.
"Bobby, what's wrong?"
"John's gone. Packed up all the stuff to do the summoning and took off."
Suddenly the door slammed opened and a small blond girl stood framed in the empty doorway.
Sam hissed, "Meg."
She took in the empty room and the half-dressed people.
"You know after everything I've heard about the almighty Winchesters, I've gotta say I'm a little under-whelmed. I mean first you got Johnny trying to pass off a fake gun, and now you three. Where's the gun?"
"Where's our Dad?" Dean snarled.
Meg turned on him grinning. She stepped forward and Dean slid smoothly back a pace.
"That's not a very nice way to ask," Meg said grinning.
Bobby shuffled around and she dodged to the side coming close to Sam. He also took a step back and she paused glancing between the three humans. Suddenly she looked up and gasped. Painted on a large square of white canvas was a Devil's Trap. And she was standing dead center of it. Shivering she tried to flee but was held fast. With a sneer Dean shoved a chair at the girl knocking her off her feet. She fell heavily into the chair. Dean moved closer.
"Where's our father, bitch."
"Nice. You kiss your mother with that mouth? Ohh, I forgot, you don't."
Dean leaned down slapping Meg across the face. Bobby caught the younger man's arm.
"Dean don't. You gotta be careful of her. That's a human possessed by a demon."
Moving to the side table Bobby picked up John's journal, handing it to Sam. Flipping through the pages he came to a ritual of exorcism. Sam began chanting, as Meg writhed and screamed. Sam read through the ritual once and then began a second time when the girl's head tipped back and the demon poured out of her body in a thick oily black cloud.
Chest heaving Meg fell out of the chair hitting the floor heavily and not moving. Sam bent down as Bobby went to get a glass of water. Her dark eyes fastened on Sam's face.
"Thank you," she whimpered. "It's been a year. Oh god the things that I've done."
"Meg, where's our father?"
Coughing she nodded.
"There's a cabin on an old service road not far from the clearing where he did the summoning. I took him there."
When Bobby came back he stooped down touching the side of her neck. She was still. He shook his head. He shoved the Colt into Dean's hands.
"You boys take the car up to the cabin and fetch John. God knows what kind of shape he's in. And hurry. I'll deal with the girl."
He disappeared into the back room and re-appeared a few seconds later with a bed-sheet. He was wrapping her small, still body in the cloth when Sam and Dean left.
The Impala rolled to a halt just outside the abandoned cabin Meg had described. Pushing the car door open Dean stepped out. Sam came around the front of the car, staring at the still, dark building.
"Do you think he's alive?"
Their father was bound on a single bed shoved hastily into a corner of the one room structure. Dean hurried over and felt John's neck for a pulse. He smiled weakly at Sam.
"Well, he's still alive, help me get him untied."
Sam grabbed his arm preventing Dean from undoing the ropes. Quickly he pulled a small flask of holy water out of his pocket and splashed it over John's prone form. John stirred moaning, then said, in a harsh whisper, "Good thinking, Sammy."
Dean hurriedly cut the robes helping their father to his feet. John rolled over pulling himself upright. Rubbing the back of his head with one hand he glanced from one son to the other.
"Did you get the girl?"
"Yeah, she came by the cabin but we exorcised her. She's back in hell now. Are you okay, Dad?"
"Yeah, what about the gun?" John said, rising to his feet.
Sam pulled the Colt out of his pocket and placed it on the table. John smiled. Suddenly Sam found himself flung back against the wall. Dean uttered a brief cry and dived for the table. He came up just inches short and was thrown backwards into the wall behind him. John stalked forward staring at the beautiful blond doll his oldest son had become.
"I thought that this might finish you all. I never counted on Johnny having it together enough to get you help."
"What about the holy water," Dean hissed groaning. John's eyes flashed amber, and he grinned.
"You think that something like that works on something like me?"
Sighing John tilted his head eyes boring into Dean's. Dean moaned as his heart squeezed in his chest, blood bubbling on his lips.
"You should have just taken the deal. But now that you killed my children, I'm going to make you suffer."
Dean groaned again, jerking as invisible claws raked his body; his shirt parted and crimson stains soaked the material.
"Dad," he hissed, "Dad, don't you let him kill me."
John's body staggered a few paces backwards and he lowered his head. When he looked up again, John's eyes were their normal hazel-brown not amber. Sam dropped heavily to the ground rolling forward until he butted up against the table. The Colt rocked dropping into his hand.
John whirled as Dean hit the floor with a dull thud. Tears streaking down his face, John turned to his younger son, pleading,
"Shoot me, Sammy. Shoot me the heart."
Sam rose unsteadily to his feet, hand trembling. Dean rolled over, his voice muffled by pain.
"No, don't do it, Sam."
With a desperate cry John shook violently.
"I don't know how much longer I can hold him. Sammy, you shoot me in the heart."
John's body jerked violently once more then levitated in the air, spinning slowly. Sam took aim and pulled the trigger. The shot hit John in the thigh and he collapsed onto the floor with a moan. His head tilted back and the thick black cloud of the demon's true form poured out of his mouth.
Sam jumped forward kneeling beside Dean, who pushed him away.
"Check on, Dad."
John rolled onto his hands and knees them scrabbled to his feet limping heavily. Sam gently pulled Dean to his feet, and slid an arm around John's waist hauling him upright.
They stumbled out to the car. John slid into the passenger side seat up front while Sam pushed Dean into the rear. He hurried to the driver's door, climbing in.
"Dean, drink this now."
John managed to fumble the blue bag from his pocket, shoving one of the vials of potion over the seatback to Dean. The younger man took it lifting the vial to his lips. When he was satisfied that Dean had swallowed the potion John fumbled a second vial out and handed it to Sam who swallowed the liquid down. John's finger slid into the bag a third time but he found only the broken remains of an empty vial.
He looked in the rearview mirror at Dean smiling. Sam pulled the car out of the park and onto the road leading into town, and then cast a glance at his brother in the back seat. Then at John who shrugged.
"You should have killed me, Sam. It would have ended all this."
"We still have a chance, Dad. We still have the gun and one bullet left…"
The car swung around to sound of shrieking metal as a semi-truck plowed into the Impala mid-cabin. The truck picked the car up, carrying it across the road and down an embankment on the other side. When the semi slid to a halt, the car rocked and skidded a few feet tires churning futility on the wet grass.
Sam's head rolled back, his neck creaking audibly. He glanced over at the passenger side seat frowning when he caught sight of his father's small, pale face pinched in agony. Dean was huddled in the back blood running down his temple. With a grunt Sam managed to get his fingers around the butt of the gun lifting it as the driver of the truck ripped the door from the hinges.
Leveling the gun Sam fired once at point blank range. The bullet hit the trucker in the heart and his body flew backwards from the force of the shot. The black cloud that was the demon roiled out of his mouth dissipating on the cold morning air. With a sigh Sam dropped against the seat, surrendering to the darkness.
When he next awoke Sam was lying on a stretcher as two paramedics loaded him into an ambulance. He groaned tugging at the tattered remnant of the garments falling off his body. He tried to move, tried to see where Dean and his father was but the woman lacing a neck brace on him blocked his view.
Sam screamed, "My family, my brother…I have to know if they're still alive."
The second time the Sam awakened he was in the emergency room. A nurse in pale blue scrubs was hooking his IV line up and turned to him smiling.
"So you're awake again. No more screaming."
Sam nodded, his throat felt like it was on fire as it was.
"My brother and my father, are they here?"
"Your brother is right across the hall. I guess that your father is on his way; your brother told the admitting desk to call someone named Bobby. Your mother is in intensive care."
"My mother is dead."
Looking up the nurse hurried to his side.
"Oh no, honey. Your mother is alive. She had a concussion and a broken arm, and she's unconscious now, but she's still alive."
He didn't bother arguing with her. After a few hours he and Dean were released and sat in the waiting room looking for Bobby. The older man appeared an hour later bearing a duffle bag he had salvaged out of the Impala. Sam took note that it was filled with his and Dean's 'real' clothes.
When they were dressed the boys followed Bobby to ICU on the next floor. A doctor met them at the door to the room, and Sam glanced inside. He could see John's small, slender and, still female, body lying in a hospital bed, arm in a sling. Bobby glanced at both younger men.
"I don't know what happened, but I suspect that one of the vials was broken and John gave the other two to you boys."
The doctor flipped through the chart he was carrying before looking up at Bobby and the younger men.
"I'm Dr. Brannon, and you are…"
"Uh, Bobby Singer, Jonnie's husband, and these are our boys."
"So her name is Jonnie. She kept muttering that under her breath. Well, she is going to be in the hospital for a few days, but she's going to be fine. Right now we have her sedated but she should be waking up. The one injury that I am worried about is the head injury. She might have some loss of memory."
Nodding Bobby sighed. "I kind of figured that."
They were distracted by movement from the bed. John stirred looking around slowly.
"Where am I?"
Doctor Brannon stepped forward.
"Jonnie, you're in the hospital. You were in a car accident, and you have a concussion."
"I don't remember anything," John said struggling to rise.
Bobby hurried to her side. John looked up blinking again.
"I know you, I think."
"Sure, it's me, Bobby."
"Are you my husband?" John asked slowly, and Bobby smiled nodding. "I do remember that. Are these our sons?"
Dean swallowed the lump in his throat.
"No, ma'am. Our father was a good friend of your husband. We were just visiting."
John lay back.
"I remember you both, we must have known you all your lives."
Sam swallowed hard.
Bobby rose patting her arm.
"Jonnie you get some rest. I'm just gonna step outside with Sam and Dean. I'll be right back."
When they were outside the older man turned to Dean.
"Did you get the demon? He's the one that I worry about the most."
"Yeah," Sam said, "He's gone. Is Dad going to be like this for the rest of his life?"
"Her life, Sam. And yeah, I don't know how much she'll eventually remember. Maybe everything, maybe nothing, but you boys don't have to worry I'll take good care of her."
Later that night Dean and Sam collected all of their father's clothes and personal effects from Bobby's place. Dean carefully wrapped them in a blanket, lowering them into a trench they had dug in the woods just behind the house. Carefully Sam poured gasoline on the pyre and lit it. The bundle burned brightly. Dean stood stoically by the fire, watching his brother cry quietly. But Dean shrugged his brother's hand off when Sam came to stand by him. Nothing would change the fact that John Winchester was gone. All that remained of him was going slowly to ash. Dean sighed, that wasn't particularly true. He would always see John Winchester in the warm hazel eyes of Bobby Singer's pretty wife.