A/N1: So here it is, folks. The last chapter, the epilogue. I hope it doesn't disappoint. I haven't enjoyed the journey even though it drove me insane not being able to post it as regularly as I would have liked. I hate to keep you waiting hehe
Thanks again to all the appropriate people! All Mistakes are my own!
Blind faith will just make you walk into a wall.
- Victor Webster's Twitter
(Even if it's not really him I thought it was kinda cool LOL)
"I don't know what to say, man," Tony said, standing in front of Caleb on Pastor Jim's front porch.
"There isn't much you can say," Caleb replied, his hands in a white knuckled grip on the railing. He had mixed feelings about talking to the man.
"For what it's worth, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have gone in alone and I'm sorry that you got hurt because I did. I am really sorry."
Caleb was angry, he was beyond angry but the honest to god regret coming from the other man was tempering the rage. Mac was right. Tony's emotions were genuine. Caleb was beginning to think that he wouldn't have even have to be psychic to feel the inner torture Tony was putting himself through. It was pouring off him. "I know you're sorry."
The floorboards creaked as Tony shifted his weight. "Well like I've already discussed with Pastor Jim and John, I'm … I'm finished with hunting."
"What are you going to do?"
"Go back home, I suppose. Get back on the force – if I can - and live my life. I got what I came for. The cult is gone and I know what happened all those years ago."
"Brown is still out there," Caleb pointed out.
"Not for long. Hearing John speak, I have no doubt he will find the bastard. He's a good man … a great hunter."
Caleb nodded. "He is."
"So are you…"
"Was," Caleb corrected.
"Could be again. Dr. Ames says …"
"Don't," Caleb warned. It was one thing to not kick Tony's ass for what happened but he didn't want to hear him talk about Mac's false hope. There was no hope where that was concerned. "Just don't."
"Sorry. I guess … I guess I should go. Thanks for everything, man. I mean that."
The floorboards of the porch creaked again as Tony's footsteps announced his departure. The moment the sound of a car door opened, Caleb released his death grip on the railing and called out. "Hey!"
"Yeah?" Tony responded from down beside his car - a Ford sedan if Caleb remembered correctly. It was nothing flashy – boring according to Dean.
"Good luck with the whole normal life thing." That was as close to forgiving as Caleb could get. Tony hadn't listened and had caused a big mess, but he hadn't been the only one to fuck up.
"Penny for your thoughts."
Caleb jumped at the sound of John's voice, too distracted by his inadvertent trip back to his conversation with Tony to hear the man come down the stairs. He schooled his features. "Always knew you were a tight ass. My thoughts are worth more than that," he joked. He planted his feet to the floor as he rose from his laid back position. "Should you be out of bed?"
"It's a broken arm, dude. I'm fine. Or at least fine enough to be allowed up without your old man harping on me."
"Good for you."
"How you doing?" John asked and Caleb cringed. He was sick and tired of people asking him that.
"Then what's this I hear about you giving up everything?" John asked, shifting in the armchair.
John never beat around the bush or pulled any punches and Caleb really should have seen this coming. When Mac felt he couldn't get through to his troublesome son he always went to the Knight.
"I'm not giving up everything." Just everything that he cared about too much to be a reminder that he couldn't enjoy it.
"That's not the way I hear it. You have great plans to get rid of all your painting stuff for one," John pointed out.
"Have you ever tried to paint without working eyes? It's no use, the colours, the textures; everything about it is just … gone."
"This isn't permanent."
Caleb stood then, irritated with hearing this broken record from his family time and time again. "You know, no matter how many times you or Mac or Deuce or anyone says that, it doesn't mean it will come true." He manoeuvred sightlessly around the coffee table and paced. He had paced the whole living room out, knew how much space he had without having to look like he was balancing on a tightrope.
"You know me better than that, kid. I wouldn't say it if I didn't believe it." John remained seated but even without the ability to see, Caleb could feel his mentor's penetrating gaze on him, tracking him as he moved. "But even if it were permanent? That doesn't mean that your life stops, kid. It just changes."
"Yeah well …" Caleb ran his hands over his face, enjoying the feel of not having the sunglasses on his face as a constant reminder. He'd ditched a couple of weeks back when they had all finally arrived home. "I don't like change."
"Not a lot of people do," John told him.
"I never realised how much a part of me my art was until it was taken from me. It calms me, or at times allows me to lash out in a way that isn't going to land me in prison. God, John, I can't even look at my mother's paintings."
"Sit down, dude." John's voice was calm and soft and strong and Caleb found himself doing as asked. "I don't think Jim would appreciate finding his living room floor all worn out."
Caleb tried for a smile and then rubbed at his eyes again. They felt tired like they hadn't had any rest when in fact they'd had the most rest he could ever remember.
"I can't hunt, I can't paint, I can't drive, I can't read – not without learning brail – I'm fucked. I can't do anything."
"And you're giving Tri-Corp up to?" John asked. Mac really had told him everything.
"Why should I keep it?"
"Because it's yours, you worked damn hard to start that company and there is no reason why you need to lose that too." Tri-Corp was special. It was his. It had been created through his hard work, his money. He'd made it a success.
"It's … I'm … I'm kinda freaked out, okay. I hate feeling this helpless, this dependant." Caleb sucked in a breath as that admittance freed itself. That was what this came down to. He was terrified of being stuck this way and he had never been good at letting others help.
John was quiet for a moment and then he stood. The couch dipped next to him as the older man took a seat beside him. "Listen to me for a moment. I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I know how you feel. I don't. It's you that's locked away in there," John reached up and squeezed the back of Caleb's neck, gave him a little shake. "And ultimately what you do is up to you, but do me a favour?"
"What?" Caleb asked in a small voice, wanting to pull away from the contact and reset his image as the tough as nails psychic but also wanting to cling to the support being offered at the same time. It was a weird dance of independence and need.
"Mac's made you an appointment to see an eye specialist in New York next week, right?"
"Yeah some friend of a friend that is supposed to be a miracle worker." Which was exactly what he needed right now.
"Don't make any drastic decisions until after the appointment?"
"I've always hated when you use that answer."
John chuckled. "We all have faith in you, dude. Just give it time."
He didn't want to allow himself that kind of hope. He wanted to have his life back so much it hurt. What if he still couldn't see after this new doctor? That possibility was scarier than any monster he had faced on a hunt.
When enough time went by with Caleb silent, John squeezed his neck lightly again, reminding the psychic that he still hadn't given an answer.
"Fine … okay, no drastic changes until after New York, I promise."
"Good." John playfully pushed Caleb and then pulled his hand away just as the front door opened. Dean and Sam walked inside, Pastor Jim behind them, hanging his jacket on the coat rack.
"Dad, look what Mrs. Olsen gave me for my birthday," Sam announced, walking straight over to John to show him his prize.
Caleb grimaced. "God, it isn't Tuna is it?" He would never forget that bad batch of Tuna Mrs. Olsen had almost killed them with.
"It's a camera," Dean told him as he took a seat on the couch beside his friend.
"How about I take a photo of you all?" Jim suggested.
Caleb started shaking his head already as Sam agreed, handing the contraption to Pastor Jim. "No … the photo will be fine without me."
"Please Caleb," Sam stood in front of the older boy and stared him down; Caleb could feel that even without seeing it. "Please …" Sam added.
"Come on, Damien, if I gotta be in this photo so do you."
Caleb sighed. "Fine," he answered and grabbed hold of Sam as he shifted over and shoved the kid down between himself and John.
For a few seconds the only sound in the room was the sound of Jim trying to work out the camera. "It's prehistoric," Dean told Caleb.
"It's okay, boys. I have it worked out now. Now, John, try for a smile."
"Just take the damn photo, Jim," John grouched.
Caleb smirked at the exchange and placed his arm over Dean's shoulder.
Jim counted down and then took the picture. It clicked loudly and then flashed ... white light flashed into the darkness behind his eyes and Caleb flinched. The light was gone just as fast as it had come but had left behind a resonating pain.
Caleb ignored the call, pressing his fingers into his eyes in reaction to the sharp spikes that kept imbedding themselves there. "Ahh … shit."
"Caleb, are you okay?"
The psychic nodded and finally when he felt Dean's hand pulling at his own, he let go, his eyelids tightly shut. "What happened?"
"I … I think I saw the flash," he said in pained amazement, as if it were still sinking in. "I saw the flash." He'd seen the fucking camera flash.
Caleb's injuries and my captivity aside, this man – no, this thing needs to be taken down. Going back over Tony's research and doing a little digging of my own has shown a pattern that has been going on for at least a hundred years, maybe more. The amount of people that have been killed is astounding …
John looked up from his journal. He was seated at Jim's desk in the Hunters Tomb and he could hear new voices through the open door. Caleb and Mackland had returned from New York just in time to see John off on his own hunt.
He had done his research, had taken the time to placate Mac where his health was concerned and so that he was well prepared. He'd found that Father Brown had been one of a few alias'. It didn't matter what the monster wanted to call himself, John was going to find him and to make sure that no-one ever died at his hands ever again.
The relief he had felt the day that camera flash had finally broken through that black wall behind Caleb's eyes was second only to the day- only yesterday – when Mackland had called to let them all know that since seeing the specialist Caleb's eyesight was almost back to good after weeks of recovery time.
The return of Caleb's eyesight wouldn't allay the guilt he still held over what had happened and John's own healing broken appendage wouldn't make his own guilt any less. He could still remember how it felt when he had thought that the hard-headed psychic was dead. It wasn't something that he wanted to experience again anytime soon.
John shook his head as he heard laughter upstairs. It was good to see – or in this case, hear – the boys mucking about again. It had been a trying time for everyone. It was time John joined them.
John took a sip of his whiskey and then decided to skull the small amount left, feeling it burn down his throat and then put his pen to paper once more.
Doc Benton, I know who you are and I am coming for you…
A/N2: So … there it is? Was it okay? Was it terrible? Hit me up coz I'd love to know your thoughts. And THANK YOU so much for sticking with this even with my sucky posting schedule. I appreciate it SO much!
My next piece of work I am lucky enough to be writing with the AMAZING Gaelicspirit. We have come up with a fantastic canon story that I hope you'll all love. Work on that will be starting soon and it will be posted here at my page and on both of our LiveJournal's. Keep an eye out. *is feeling very lucky*
Well enjoy the boys being back this week. I know I will be :) And I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Thanks for coming by :)