Disclaimer: Not mine

Chapter 7

"You boys did a hell of a job. Your dad looks proud." Ellen said as she gave them beers, a coke for Xander.

"Thanks." Sam told her before noticing the looks Jo was giving him and Xander.
"Oh yeah, um, I've gotta... uh, I've gotta go. Over there. Right now. Come on Xander." Xander shot him a bewildered look but followed his twin across the room.

"So." Jo said, clearing her throat.

"So." Dean answered, taking a drink.

"Am I gonna see you again?" She asked and Dean looked at her.

"Do you want to?"

"I wouldn't hate it." Jo admitted and Dean smirked.

"Hmm. Can I be honest with you? See, normally I'd be hitting on you so fast it'd make your head spin. But, uh, these days... I don't know." He admitted and Jo looked disappointed.

"Wrong place, wrong time?"

"Yeah." He told her and Jo nodded.

"It's okay, I get it." She told him, walking away. He stared down at his beer, looking up when his brothers rejoined him. Dean grinned and yanked Xander down so he was in the middle.

"So give us an exciting hunt story Xander." Dean told him and Xander frowned.

"Exciting? Um….well there was this thing we had career day at school. Except the cop who came wasn't actually a cop. She was a member of the Order of Teraka. They're this ancient order of assassins, been around for nearly forever. So she attacks, Buffy fights her and Kendra shows up to help. They killed the fake cop but Cordelia and I had gone to Buffy's place, to make sure her Mom was okay. I went upstairs to check and Cordy stayed downstairs. The doorbell rang and she of course answered it, there was this sleazy salesman selling cosmetics so of course she let him in. turns out he was another assassin, thought she was Buffy. When it saw me….he just sort of….disintegrated into these bugs. We both freaked and ran but he was between us and the exit so we got into the basement, blocked the gaps in the door. We must have been down there for hours. Then we figured we had to get out so we dug through the basement, found super glue. So we put it everywhere on the floor and opened the door. Bug guy spills in, right into the glue. Boots and brooms later…no more assassin." Xander told them and his brothers exchanged looks.

"So this Cordelia?" Dean asked and Xander rolled his eyes.

"Ex, moved to LA after grad to pursue an acting career, ended up working for a PI, who used to work with us in Sunnydale." Xander explained as the back door opened and Ash walked in, carrying the folder John had given him and the weirdest laptop any of them had seen.

"Where you guys been? Been waitin' for ya." Ash told them.

"We were working a job, Ash. Clowns." Sam told him and Ash stared at him in disbelief.

"Clowns? What the f-"

"You got something for us, Ash?" John asked as he joined them, Ash setting his laptop down on the table.

"Did you find the demon?" Dean asked.

"It's nowhere around. At least, nowhere I can find. But if this fugly bastard raises his head, I'll know. I mean, I'm on it like Divine on dog dookie." Ash told them.

"What do you mean?" Xander asked, leaning over to look at the computer. He wasn't totally computer illiterate, not after hanging out with Willow for so long.

"I mean, any of those signs or omens appear, anywhere in the world. My rig'll go off. Like a fire alarm. It's annoying one of my most helpful contacts hasn't been online for months, getting worried about him." Ash admitted.

"Oh, who?" Xander asked, ignoring the incredulous look from Dean.

"Will-O-Wisp." Ash answered and Xander laughed.

"She's in England, has been since about two weeks before I stumbled in here."

"Wait….you know the Whisp? Hang on, he's a she?" Ash asked and Xander nodded.

"Yeah, known her since kindergarten. She's the only reason I got through high school."

"Huh, thought he…she would be older. But still alive?"

"Last I heard, yeah." Xander told him even as Dean reached for the laptop but Ash gave him a look.

"Do you mind...yeah." Dean asked and Ash glared so he back off.

"Hey, what's up, man?" Ash asked, seeing Sam looking at him.

"Ash, where did you learn to do all this?" Sam asked and Ash grinned.

"M.I.T. Before I got bounced for... fighting." Ash admitted.

"M.I.T.?" Sam asked in disbelief.

"It's a school in Boston."

"Okay. You give us a call as soon as you know something?" John asked and Ash nodded.

"Si, si, compadre." Ash answered. They got up to leave and Ellen walked over.

"Hey, listen, if you need a place to stay I've got a couple beds out back." She offered but John shook his head.

"Bye Ellen!" Xander called out, waving as they left.

"Decided what you're gonna do yet?" Bobby asked and Xander looked up from where he was finishing off his car. Xander sighed and scuffed the ground with his boot."Xander you have to pick what's best for you. No matter what, they're still your family." Bobby assured him and Xander nodded.

"I don't know what to do Bobby. All they do is hunt but….it's not nightly like we used to so they do get more time off sort of. I don't know if I can do it." Xander admitted, leaning against the car.

"Could always go with them for a while at least, see if it's what you want. If not you're always welcome here." Bobby promised him before heading back inside. Xander sighed, staring out at the yard. He looked up and smiled when he spotted his twin heading his way. Sam grinned back, moving to stand beside him.

"Finished?" Sam asked and Xander nodded.

"Yep, I now have transport again."

"Does that mean…..are you leaving?" Sam asked quietly and Xander shook his head.

"No. I still don't…..I don't know if I can do what you do….Bobby said I can stay here though if I want." Xander explained and Sam relaxed, happy his brother wasn't leaving.

"I…I'm glad you're not leaving Xander. I….I like you being here."

"Like not being the youngest?" Xander teased and Sam laughed but nodded.
"I um…you think I could come along occasionally? Not all the time or anything but maybe…." Xander trailed off and Sam grinned, reaching out to wrap an arm around Xander's shoulders, feeling his brother tense before leaning into Sam's side a little.

"Dean and Dad will be happy, though they won't show it. Dean complains about chick flicks and stuff, he just…."

"I get it." Xander told him and they headed back to the house, talking and laughing together, not noticing John watching them sadly from the house.

"Don't you dare John." Bobby snapped and John turned to look at him.
"You will not disappear on those three. They need you." Bobby told him sternly and John slumped.

"With everything that happened….it's still out there Bobby. All of us together is too dangerous." John stated, not noticing his youngest sons were in the doorway.

"Bullshit." Xander stated calmly and he spun to face the twins.
"Safety in numbers." He said and Sam nodded, staring at John.

"Xander….Sam…." John tried and they both glared at him, amazing that Xander had Dean's smile…but Sam's glare.

"Dad we went over this before, we're stronger as a family. You can't leave us again. And what about Xander? We've barely found him and you want to leave him too." Sam shot his brother an apologetic look for using him that way but Xander just nodded.

"Fine, for now. But if it gets too dangerous…"

"We tie you to a bed." Xander stated and Bobby laughed.

"Whoo! Listen to her purr! Have you ever heard anything so sweet?" Dean called over the sound of his music and Sam glanced back to see Xander's car and their Dad's truck following them, wishing he had decided to travel with Xander because there was no way his twin could share Dean's taste in music….or need to have it so loud.

"You know, if you two want to get a room, just let me know, Dean." Sam teased his brother and Dean patted the wheel.

"Oh, don't listen to him, baby. He doesn't understand us."

"You're in a good mood." Sam grumbled, reaching out to turn the music down only to have his hand swatted aside.

"Why shouldn't I be?"

"No reason."

"Got my car, got a case, got my family, things are looking up." Dean told him with a grin and Sam shook his head.

"Wow. You hear a couple of severed heads and a pile of dead cows and you're Mister Sunshine."

"How far to Red Lodge?"

"Uh, about another three hundred miles." Sam answered, looking at the map and Dean grinned.

"Good." He pushed the accelerator and the car leapt forward.

Xander watched Dean speed up, smiling as he saw his brothers chatting away before glancing in the rear view mirror and then waving at his…Dad who nodded in return. He increased his speed so he wouldn't lose the Impala and he heard the truck gaining speed too. Severed heads and dead cows, gross but even he knew there were a lot of things that could be causing it.