Title: Second Chances
Authors: Princess_schez and Gidgetgal9
Rating: PG-15; language, violence, sexual situations, AU. Certain future chapters will be rated R.
Beta's: Sendintheclowns and BlueEyedDemonLiz
Summary: A chance encounter and a spike in demonic activity reunite the Halliwells and the Winchesters in the future… with dire consequences.
Characters: Sam and Dean Winchester; Bobby Singer; Piper, Leo, Phoebe, Wyatt, Chris, and Melinda Halliwell; Ruby; Lilith; Castiel; Anna; Cole Turner; Lenore
Disclaimer: We own nothing from either Charmed or Supernatural. Everything belongs to their respective owners. We're merely having fun with them.
The Road So Far: This is a sequel to the fic, Witches, Demons and Hunters – Oh My! It is recommended to read that story first, just so you'll know what is transpiring here.
Her heart was telling her she needed to know what exactly became of Sam in her time in order to let him go and move on.
Piper gave Melinda a kiss on the forehead before leaving her bedroom.
Shortly after, Melinda headed up to the attic and began locating the tools she needed. Setting out a map of the world and a crystal, she began scrying.
Around and around the crystal twirled over the map, the seconds passing ever so slowly and painfully – stretching out to what felt like hours. It was torture, waiting for the crystal to drop, answering the burning question she longed to know.
But, there were no hits. Nothing. The amethyst crystal ceased to move anymore. Dejectedly, she dropped the crystal on the table and stared blankly at the map. Maybe the map was too broad, she hoped. She only picked this map because... well, as twenty-something years had passed in their time, the Winchester's could've been anywhere in the whole damn world, she reasoned.
Pulling out a map of just the United States, she took a deep, steadying breath, and tried again – praying the crystal would drop on a spot and she'd have her answer…. But if it didn't drop this time… well, she tried not to think about it.
"C'mon, land," she whispered, eyes anxiously darting back and forth with the spinning crystal, as though trying to mentally make it land. Fear began to build up inside her. This was exactly why she had waited so long to look…. In all honesty, could she really bear the horrible truth?
"Sam, please be somewhere…." Those torturous seconds passed by again with no results. And just as she began to lose any shred of hope, it began to drift upwards, near the northern central states.
Melinda's heart began to beat faster – her breath catching in her chest – until the crystal suddenly dropped on the map, startling her…. A small part of her wasn't expecting it to do so.
Slowly, she felt her chest constrict as she leaned over and read aloud, "South Dakota." Finally, after all this time, she had her answer. As satisfying and relieving as it was, there was a part of her – a small part – that wanted to know more. Was he as she remembered? Did battling the supernatural take its toll on him? But pushing those thoughts out of her mind, she was just grateful she got an answer… and it was the answer she hoped for.
Her mother was right: Knowing the truth was better than never knowing. And while the rain outside continued to batter the old Victorian mansion, everything began feeling so much cheerier now despite the dreariness outside. Smiling, she pressed her fingers to her lips before touching them to the spot where South Dakota was marked in a kind of bittersweet farewell.
"I'll never forget you, Sam Winchester."
Smiling, she left the attic feeling as though a weight had been lifted from her. Downstairs, she knew there was a party waiting for her, but this was, perhaps, the best gift she could have ever received for her birthday.
"Melinda! Get down here! There's cake to be had!" Chris yelled.
Yup, this was right where she belonged.
"I am Castiel, and you, Dean, are going to stop the Apocalypse."
"Sammy, Castiel says Lilith is breaking seals. They took a righteous man's soul and he broke in Hell. That man was supposed to be me. We have to stop this."
"Ruby says that Missouri can't make me strong enough to kill Lilith, but I don't believe that, do you Dean?"
"Sammy, Castiel doesn't think it's time to stop Lilith. But Bobby has a lead; he's been scrying."
"Dean, I don't trust Castiel or Ruby. I think together we're strong enough to stop her."
The building was empty or it seemed to be. They were ambushed. Lilith was lying in wait.
"Well, if it isn't the Hardy Boys! You're a little early to this party. I don't want to deal with you right now."
Dean stood his ground, Sam at his side. "Well we're ready, so deal with it bitch."
Dean held his ground, knife in hand, as Sam summoned his powers the way Missouri had shown him.
Lilith screeched. Her body started to convulse, and she fell to the floor. Her minions stood helpless to stop Sam.
Dean felt such pride watching his little brother take out their biggest enemy since Old Yellow Eyes.
Lilith continued to writhe around on the floor until she went still. Dean felt like victory was at hand, but then there was laughter.
Lilith slowly sat up, blood pouring from her eyes.
"Very good Sam, very good. You have gotten strong but not strong enough. You should have listened to that bitch, Ruby!" Lilith raised her hand and pointed her fingers at Dean.
The demon killing knife flew from his hands and he felt frozen in place. Lilith smirked.
"Your turn Sammy." She pointed her fingers at Sam.
Dean watched in horror as he heard bones snapping in Sam's right leg, taking him to the ground. Soon Sam's left arm was shaking and Dean could see the bones break. Sam's screams filled the room.
Dean felt the tears fall as his brother was torn to pieces in front of him.
Lilith began to rip the skin from Sam's face. Small strips were torn from his left cheek, and his left eye filled with blood. The demon worked her way down Sam's body, shredding his left side. The whole time Sam was screaming for Dean.
Dean felt himself breaking. "Castiel, damn it, help us!"
Lilith stopped, breathless. "Damn it, I guess we're at a standoff. Maybe next time, boys."
Dean felt himself finally let go. The demon bitch was out of juice. He quickly made his way over to Sam as Lilith's minions carried her off.
Sam had lost consciousness as Dean cradled his little brother in his arms. "It'll be okay, little brother, just hold on, please."
Dean's voice shook, the fear of losing Sam again, overwhelming.
"Dean, wake up."
Dean's eyes shot open, happy to escape from his nightmare. Only he hadn't really escaped.
Sam stood over him, cane in hand. His scarred face was hidden by his long hair falling forward.
"Sorry Sammy, I just..."
"It's okay Dean, that night will always haunt us." Sam slowly made his way to the cushioned chair next to the couch.
"It's just after all the years that have passed, you'd think the pain wouldn't feel so fresh." Dean sighed.
Sam nodded. "Yeah, well we're alive and that's something."
"I know Sammy, I just wish you could have had the normal you wanted." Dean hated watching Sam deal with the fears of that night. His once outgoing brother was now shy and reclusive. The mental and physical scars had taken quite the toll.
Sam wiped a tear from his eyes. "I have normal, well sort of. You work the salvage yard and Bobby and I keep house. It's perfect."
"Yeah, I guess it'll do, huh Samantha?" Dean smirked. He would take this over having a life with no Sam in it.
Sixty-six seals on the door, sixty-six seals to go.
You take one down and break it to pieces,
Sixty-five seals left on the door.
The song and the voice – sung in such an eerie childish way – sounded vaguely familiar to her as it replayed itself over and over, the number counting down with each section of the song, until her dream ended with fiery abruption. Melinda awoke with a start, her heart hammering in her chest.
What the hell was that all about? she wondered as she rolled over in bed. She glanced over at her clock; it read 3:30am. Sighing, she decided then and there that that was the last time she would ever eat anything overly sugary before going to bed. That could be the only explanation for such a bizarre dream.
Weeks had passed, and Melinda soon forgot about the strange dream and that eerily familiar voice. Fourth of July was just a few days away, and Melinda, her brothers, and their cousins had been "volunteered" to help their mother decorate P3 for the holiday.
"If there is anything I hate more than demons, it's this," Melinda sighed, holding up a string of tangled lights. "There is absolutely no hope for these lights. From. Hell!"
"Here, let me help," Penny said, sitting on the floor next to her. Grateful, Melinda handed over one end of the lights to her cousin and together, the two girls worked to untangle them. "Lights are like boyfriends, they're difficult to unravel, and they never work when you need them to."
Melinda looked up, sensing some hostility in her cousin's voice. "Let me guess, you broke up with Adam again?"
Penny looked disgusted. "Guys our age are such pigs, it's disgusting." Throwing the lights aside, she scooted closer to Melinda. "Say, what happened with you and Nick? Seemed like everything was going great between you two."
Melinda groaned. "Yeah, well, it was going great until I found out he was a demon and was only using me to kill me and my family." Now it was her turn to look disgusted.
"Yeah. I couldn't wait to vanquish his sorry ass…"
"Pity," sighed Penny. "He was kinda cute. Why in the name of everything sacred, are all the cute guys pigs, or worse, demons?"
"They all aren't," Melinda said, before she could stop herself. She just had an image of Sam Winchester. It was strange; she hadn't thought about him in a while….
"You mean, like, Sam?" As soon as the name left her mouth, Penny was hit with a painful realization. "Oh my God, how insensitive am I? I'm sorry I brought him up." She looked sincerely apologetic toward her cousin.
"No, no, it's okay. I'm okay with it… with us. If you could call it that," Melinda shrugged, as she worked on a particularly difficult knot in the string.
Silenced passed between them, and Penny, picking the lights back up once more, decided to change the subject. "Hey, have you seen or heard anything weird lately?"
Melinda looked around P3: Chris and Wyatt were orbing crepe paper all across the length of the building as her Aunt Paige yelled at them the risks of personal gain, her mother was yelling at someone on the phone over something or other, her Uncle Coop has just appeared out of nowhere, and her other cousins were having some kind of magical battle off in the far corner.
"You mean weirder than normal?" she asked in mock innocence.
Penny cracked a smile, but her face took on a serious look. "I overheard Aunt Paige saying that the underworld seems to be getting more active lately and the Elders are really concerned."
"Wouldn't surprise me they're concerned. I mean, any time the underworld is getting active, all hell eventually seems to break loose."
Her cousin pulled even closer to Melinda, their knees were now touching. "Has your mom seemed... worried lately?"
"No. Why? We haven't been attacked by any demons in a while."
"Well, I asked Aunt Paige about what I heard, and she said there were some recent killings – or some kind of sacrifice – of newborn babies and --"
"What?" Melinda cut in, looking aghast. "Who would do such a thing? That's just... wrong!"
"I know, totally wrong," Penny agreed, "but the Elders told her it resembled some really strange occurrences that took place some years back. Whatever it was, stopped suddenly, and the Elders fear that whatever had caused those events is starting back up again."
"What were some of the other strange occurrences?" asked Melinda. After hearing about newborn babies being sacrificed, she wasn't entirely sure she wanted to know.
"She didn't say. She got called away."
Melinda sat in silence, thinking over what Penny had just told her. She was in such deep thought that she didn't even hear Chris come over to take the now-untangled string of lights off their hands.
It was midnight, and Melinda was up in the attic, The Book of Shadows opened in her lap. Her conversation with Penny had stuck with her the entire night, and after not being able to get to sleep she decided to head up to the attic to do some research. But after flipping through most of the book, there wasn't much she found out. Every demon listed never mentioned anything about using children sacrifices. Just the thought of it made her stomach churn.
Frustrated and tired, Melinda made it to the end of the book. Her heart plummeted down further into her stomach when she saw the last page.
The page showed an image of three men, Sam and Dean Winchester, and Bobby Singer, under the title of Hunters.
"Hunters are mortals who kill supernatural evil," she read. "Though they are generally good beings, they are questionable when it concerns witches. Approach with caution!"
Melinda's brow furrowed. Why was this the first time she'd ever seen this page?
She sighed. Though she tried hard to, it was like fate wouldn't let her forget Sam; it just wouldn't seem to allow that.
Closing the book, she pushed Sam and the Hunters page out of her mind and decided in the morning to ask Chris or Wyatt if they might've heard anything from the Elders concerning what Penny had told her.
Dean was finishing up a transmission for old man Sanders when he noticed Bobby walking his way. After moving in with Bobby and taking over the Savage Yard, Dean had also opened a mechanic shop that helped pay a few bills. He kept it pretty low key and it worked well for him that way.
It hurt Dean to see how slow Bobby was taking his steps. It just drove home that they weren't getting any younger and one day it would be just him and Sam.
"Boy, you get that transmission work done?" Bobby asked as he leaned up against the old truck Dean had been working on.
"Yes sir, that pain in the ass Sanders should be happy. If not well he can kiss my butt." Dean smirked.
"He is an old bastard but at least he's loyal. I'm sure he'll be happy. Uh, Dean you got a moment for me?" Bobby looked nervously towards the house as he spoke.
"Sure, is Sam up yet? He had a rough night." Dean hated to watch his brother suffer at night if it wasn't nightmares then it was from physical pain like last night. Sam had needed his pain meds in order to sleep.
"Nah, the kid's asleep, and I left him be. I got a call a few minutes ago from Joshua. Seems there's been an increase in demon activity in the area. He wanted to give us the heads up and wondered if you'd do some checking with him when he gets to town?" Bobby held his body tense waiting for the answer.
"Hell no, you know that Bobby. I'm done with demon hunting. If there's a local ghosty causing a few problems, you can count me in to help but I'm not risking my neck when it comes to demons anymore."
Dean bristled at the thought. He and Sam had put their lives on the line to stop Lilith and what did they have to show for it? Dean almost lost Sam and now had to watch his brother suffer each day ever since.
Bobby nodded and gave a sympathetic smile. "Figured as much, but with the activity being close we should keep an eye out. Check our protection and that sort of thing. Josh also mentioned maybe having Sam do some research but I told him..."
"You told him no right?" Dean growled out. His little brother didn't need reminding of demons and that they were close, that could send Sam into a tailspin.
"Yep, as I was gonna say, I told him no. I was wondering though, since we need to be on our toes, maybe we should tell Sam?" Bobby had a hesitant look.
Dean shook his head no. "Sam doesn't need to have to think about it. It'll only cause him problems and..."
Movement out of the corner of his eyes, caused Dean to stop. Sam had slipped up on them in his wheelchair and was now staring at them from behind one of the wrecks in the yard.
"Hey Sam, you sneaked up on us." Dean replied with a smile in place.
"I wanted to check on a part for a customer. So, now what is it that I don't need to think about?" Sam was wearing his patented bitchface and Dean knew he was going to have to do some fancy dancing to get away from the subject of demons.
Bobby seemed to be onboard as he spoke first. "So Sam, how ya feeling this morning?"
Sam turned and glared at the older hunter. "Just peachy as you can see! My damaged hip is so tight I can hardly put weight on it so I'm stuck in the wheelchair today. So now that we're done talking about my health I'd like an answer to my question."
"Sam there was some news from Josh and I think it's best if Bobby and I handle it." Dean decided to go with honesty and just hoped that Sam would let things go.
"I know your guys think I'm fragile, that I'll break but I'm an adult and I'd like to be treated as such. My nightmares are gonna be there no matter what. You can't protect me from the evil in the world, I've already been touched by it." Sam rubbed his hand across the three deep scars on his cheek, and water pooled in his eyes.
"Sam I don't think you're fragile. Damn it if you're not the strongest person I know! You're a fighter and I'm so proud of you. Most people faced with what you've had to deal with would have either ended up locked away in the mental hospital or ended it. But not you, you've face everything head on, I'm not sure I'd have held up as well." Dean went over and laid a hand on his brother's shoulder.
Bobby cleared his throat. "Dean's right Sam. We don't think of you as some fragile object. It's just that you've been through enough. We all have and it's time that we just let others take care of the evil in the world."
Sam wiped at his eyes. "So we have news on demons?"
Dean sighed. "Damn it if you aren't the most stubborn son-of- a-bitch, I've ever dealt with. You're the reason my hairs turning gray, you know that right?"
Sam chuckled. "Yep, and you're the reason I have gray temples myself. Now stop avoiding the question Dean!"
It was Bobby's turn to chuckle. "You boys are the reason I'm gray, I'm just glad I haven't lost any hair worrying over you two. So Dean, I think we should tell him."
Dean gripped Sam's shoulder tight and then lowered himself so that he was face to face with Sam. "Josh called. There is demon activity in the area. He's heading this way to check it out and he wanted me to join him."
Dean watched as Sam sucked in a breath and turned pale. "Dean you're not..."
Dean gave Sam a reassuring smile. "No, I'm not gonna hunt demons. I promised you that a long time ago. We're done hunting demons. But, he also asked if you'd do some research, and Bobby told him no but really it's not our place to make that decision."
Sam glared at Dean. "No it's not. I can research for Josh. It wouldn't be the first time."
Dean huffed and stood up. "No it's not the first time, and it won't be the first time that you've had nightmares afterwards. I hate what that does to you."
Sam nodded. "I know but it's worth it. In the end it gives me a feeling of self worth. I need that."
"I get that Sammy, I do. I just don't like to see you hurt." Dean replied softly.
Bobby snorted. "If we're done with this chick flick moment, I'd like to get a start on checking our protection."
Dean smiled. "Yeah, I guess we need to make sure we're demon safe. The panic room probably needs stocking."
Sam returned the smile. "And I guess I have some research to get to."
The fact that there were demons to face again really sucked but Dean figured that the three of them made a damn fine team. If it came down to it, they would be safe. Dean would make sure of it.
A/N: A big thanks to our betas. Thanks for reading. We hope to have a chapter up each week around the same time each week, RL willing! We'd love to hear what you think. :0)
I'm so happy Princess_ Schez was up for a sequel, it was fun to write again with her. She will be posting this story at Live Journal with a wonderful banner that she made. As soon as she posts, I'll put a link up to her Live Journal post so you can check out the banner. :0)