"The Road Home"
"Chapter Ten: Then, There Were Three"
It had been two weeks after the incident in the warehouse. Slowly, Ben had become less clingy but nonetheless tried to stay close to his father's side when it was possible. Over the weeks, Sam and John had formed an unhealthy habit of wanting to talk about angels at every opportunity they got.
"It's a good thing this Castiel is looking out for us," Sam would often say.
"We don't know if he's really an angel, Sam," their father would reply.
Dean tried to stay out of the conversations as much as possible. All he could think about during those talks was the distant alternate reality that Castiel seemed so intent on telling him about. The very thought that he could lose Ben if this archangel seemed fit to turn back the hands of time… it was suffocating.
"I talked to Pastor Jim," Sam started the tasking conversation once more, "and he said if anything was powerful enough to heal Dean when he was as good as dead, it's an angel. He's never heard of anything else that could heal a person who had died."
Dean looked over at Ben who was sitting on their bed coloring. He glanced up at his uncle briefly as though trying to comprehend the conversation at hand. His bottom lip slipped between his baby teeth as his crayon dangled from his fingertips.
"I haven't either," argued their father, "but I've also never heard of angels actually existing either."
"Whose to say they don't exist though?" challenged Sam.
"Sam, I've been hunting for what? Twenty years? I've seen and heard of everything. An angel isn't one of the things I've ever seen or even heard about."
"Who wants some grub?" Dean interrupted loudly. "I'm starving!"
John pulled out his wallet from his back pocket and threw a couple twenties towards his eldest son. Dean gathered up the bills. He reached over and ruffled his son's hair and told him to be good for his uncle and grandfather. Ben nodded, a frown etched into his eyebrows at not being able to join his father in the outing.
"I'll be back with some greasy goodness!" announced Dean as he shrugged on his leather jacket. "By the time I get back, I want you two to be done talking about this angel shit."
Sliding into the front seat of the Impala, Dean turned over the engine and sighed deeply. It felt so good to be behind the wheel of his beloved car and not have to listen to his family debate the topic of angels. Pulling out of the motel parking lot, Dean's mind wandered to where to get food.
After ten minutes of driving, there was a whoosh of air the caused Dean to nearly crash the Impala. Castiel had just appeared in the passenger's seat out of nowhere and scared the shit out of him. The car swerved into the oncoming traffic lane. Luckily, no one was there. A car behind him honked loudly - probably thought he fell asleep at the wheel or something. Dean cursed and shot a death glare at the angel.
"What the hell were you thinking? We could have died!"
"We're fine, Dean."
"Yeah, no thanks to you, Roma Downey."
"I don't understand that reference," Castiel stated as he glanced over at Dean. "If you had crashed, I would have healed you."
Dean laughed and kept his eyes on the road. The angel was really beginning to bug him. The two weeks have his absence had been heaven. If he never saw the angel again, he would have been all too happy.
"You gonna heal my car too?"
"Cars can't be healed, Dean. It's not a person," the angel reasoned.
"No shit. What do you want?"
Castiel leaned back into the leather seat, his gaze watching the passing houses and picket fences. He said nothing for the longest time, which only pissed Dean off more.
"It's been a long time since we've driven together," he said finally. "It gives you freedom to think. It was a luxury that I never knew existed."
"So, you came here just for a car ride?
"No, I came to warn you."
"Oh yeah? You wanna cut to the chase or do you wanna have the freedom to think a little longer?"
"It's Ariel. I found out she sent Azazel to Ben's home. It was her who suggested killing off Lisa."
Dean could hear his heart beat fast in his ears. An angel sentenced Lisa to her death? He thought angels were supposed to be sugar and spice and everything nice.
"The mermaid didn't want to get her own angelic hands dirty so she had a demon do her work?"
"She had Azazel do this task, because he already had an interest in Ben."
"What the hell does that mean?"
Castiel looked out the window, refusing to look at Dean. It was almost as though he was contemplating if he should tell Dean the truth or not. If the angel didn't start talking soon, Dean was going to pound him into the freakin' ground.
"When Sam was a baby, the night your mother died, Azazel marked Sam."
"Marked him? How?"
"He gave Sam demon blood. He gave a lot of children over the years demon blood."
Dean's grip tightened around the steering wheel. He licked his lips, his gaze flickering to the angel next to him. The angel was not looking at him. Instead, he was still gazing at the passing scenery with mild interest.
"To give these children demonic powers."
"Sam doesn't have demonic powers," Dean protested.
"He will in a few years. He did the same to Ben. He has had demons following your family for years. One demon reported back to Azazel about you fathering a son. Azazel visited Ben when he was six months old, dripped demonic blood into his mouth."
He needed to pull over before he really did crash the car. Finding an abandoned lot on the side of the road, Dean pulled off and cut the engine. Leaning back into the leather seats, Dean felt a lump form in his throat.
"Why should I believe you?"
"Because I am telling you the truth, Dean. In that other life I told you about, I lied to you about things. You got so angry with me that it tarnished our friendship beyond repair. I do not want that to happen again. In fact, I am going to tell you whom Ariel is going after next. Hopefully, you can beat her there."
Running a weary hand over his face, Dean sighed heavily. The very thought of going head to head with an angel was unappealing to say the least. How the hell would you even kill a freakin' angel?
"Who the hell is Adam?"
Dean's gaze snapped to the angel once more. Castiel looked at him, his head cocked slightly to the right.
"I keep forgetting you are not the Dean I knew. I expect you to know these things."
"Sorry to burst your little bubble. Who's Adam?"
"I think that is a conversation you need to have with your father, because he knows Adam's location. I do not have that information. All I know is that Ariel is on the hunt for him."
"What does Ariel want with this Adam?"
"She wants him on the road with you. If John will not tell you who Adam is, call on me. We will find him together."
With a whoosh, Castiel was gone. Dean swore loudly and pounded the steering wheel with the palm of his hand. He was sick of all the cryptic crap he was receiving from the angel.
He raced back to the motel sans food so he could get answers from his father. Upon entering the room, he spotted Sammy and Ben playing a board game together. John was sitting on the couch writing in his damn journal again.
"Dude, I thought you were picking up dinner?" Sam said when he noticed Dean had no bags of food.
"Who's Adam?" Dean ignored his brother and looked directly at his father.
John looked up at his oldest son, his face drained of color completely. The journal slipped through his fingers, his jaw tightening.
"How do you know that name?"
"The angel on my shoulder told me about him. Who is Adam?"
John hesitated. For a few seconds, Dean thought he was going to have to call Castiel to get some damn answers.
"Thirteen years ago, I was hunting a ghoul in Minnesota. I got hurt. I was rushed to the hospital. I met this nurse named Kate Milligan. When I was released… we had a good time in her apartment. Two months later, she calls me. Tells me she's pregnant. I told her to get rid of the child. I couldn't be no father to that kid."
Dean hung his head. He had another little brother. Ariel was going after all the females in the Winchester's lives to bring the males close together. What Dean couldn't figure out was why.
"She didn't get the abortion," John continued. "A few months ago, I get a call. It was a boy. She named him Adam. He's been asking about me for years. When you were in Delaware, I went out to meet him. He looks just like Sammy did at that age."
Nobody said anything. Sam stared at his brother, waiting for him to say the first words. Dean wanted to punch something. John had been lying to him for months. If there was one thing about Dean and John's relationship, it was that they always told each other everything. John told Dean about hunting, told him where he was going, and what he was doing. They lied to Sam for as long as they could, to keep him innocent and in the dark. John had never kept anything from Dean. He always told him everything. How could he not tell him this?"
"Where in Minnesota?"
"Why? What are you going to do, Dean?"
"I want to meet the kid. He's m'brother."
"Ben, come on, pack up. We're moving out."
Ben slid out of his chair and went over to the foot of his bed where his bag was residing with a few miscellaneous items were strewn outside the bag. Dean knelt down beside his son, helping him pack the stuff into the bag as quickly as they could.
"Dean, would you just wait for two seconds?" asked John.
"Are you coming, Sam, or do you want to stay with Dad?" Dean ignored his father.
Sam stood up and rushed to his bed to grab his bag. He stuffed his things inside quickly. He did not want Dean to leave without him.
"Dean. Sam. Just stop, okay!" shouted John. "I didn't know how to tell you. I didn't know what you would think!"
"What I would think?" hissed Dean. "Thought I wouldn't want to know my brother because he was a result of a one-night stand? Is that what you think of Ben?"
"No! Dean! I love Ben!"
"Just like you love Adam, right? You never wanted him to exist! Just like you wish that Ben never existed! I am done! Sam, come on!"
Grabbing his and Ben's bag, Dean motioned for Ben to follow him.
Dean was out of the motel room in a flash, Ben following closely behind him. Sam was not far behind them. They piled their bags into the trunk of the car. Dean motioned for Ben to hop in the back, while Sam took his spot in the passenger's seat. John was walking towards the Impala. Dean slipped into the driver's seat and turned over the engine. He sped out of the parking lot, John growing progressively smaller in the rearview.
Glancing into his mirror, Dean saw Ben curled up in the backseat of the Impala. A frown was etched on his face, his knees brought up to his chest. The kid looked about ready to cry.
"Ben, you wanna sit up front with us? Sam can help you over."
With a nod, Ben attempted to climb over the front bench seat. Sam twisted around to grab the kid under his armpits and haul him into the front. He wrapped his arms around the kid to cuddle him closely so Dean could drive easier.
"I'm sorry I yelled Ben," Dean said as he glanced briefly at his son. "I'm not mad at you."
"Dean, are you okay?"
"I'm fine, Sam."
"You seem pretty upset."
"Damn right I'm upset. We have a little brother, Sam. How can you not be upset that Dad never told us about him?"
"Because… Dad's notorious for keeping secrets."
Dean didn't say anything. Instead he just drove. He drove through the night. He drove long after Sammy and Ben had fallen asleep next to him. With the low hums of classic rock filtering through the Impala, he allowed the melody to keep him alert as he took all major highways to Minnesota.
Sam woke up around six in the morning and offered to drive the rest of the way to Windom. Dean allowed him too. Sliding into the passenger's seat, he scooped Ben up in his arms and quickly fell asleep. It was just pass eight when they crossed into Windom. Sam stopped briefly to get his hands on a phone book to see where the Milligans lived. Luckily, there was only one Katherine Milligan in the Windom area.
Driving down the road, Sam saw flashes of light in front of him. There was an array of cop cars outside of a residence. Sam's heart sank, his hand immediately tapping Dean's shoulder to jolt him awake.
Dean adjusted, wiping his eyes free of sleep. The Impala was parked in the midst of all the cop cars. Dean swore. Then, he told Sam to stay with Ben and call their dad.
Hauling his frame out of the Impala, Dean walked up to the yellow police tape that fenced off the house. An officer turned to look at him and told him he couldn't go any further.
"I'm sorry, Sir-"
"My brother lives here. Is he okay?"
"Yeah, he's my little brother. I came to surprise him."
"What's your name?"
"Dean Winchester. Adam's my half brother. We share the same dad."
The officer nodded and flagged down a detective who was on the phone. After a few minutes, the detective came over.
"Is my brother okay?"
"He's fine. He woke up to find his mom gone. She one to just take off?"
"I don't know. She's not my mom. We only share the same dad. I don't know the mom too well. Can I see Adam?"
The detective allowed Dean through. On the front porch was a swing. On the swing was a kid of twelve sitting there, swinging idly back and forth. His gaze was on his shoes. He looked just like Sam had at that age except the kid had a haircut most similar to Dean's liking.
The stairs to the porch creaked, and Adam looked up at the newcomer. Dean inched forward and sat down next to his brother.
"My name's Dean."
"Adam," the kid said in a miserable tone and returned his attention back to his shoelaces.
"My dad's John Winchester."
This caught the kid's attention. He glanced up at Dean as though searching for similar features between them. He didn't really see any, his eyes narrowing in disbelief.
"Is my dad here?"
"No, but he's being called right now."
"Are you really my brother?"
"Yeah, our dad told me about you. I wanted to come out and meet you. What happened here?"
Adam shrugged looked around at the cops and detectives that surrounded the property. He sniffed and glanced back down at his shoelaces.
"I woke up and my mom was gone."
"Is that unusual?" questioned Dean as Adam looked up at his newfound brother.
"Yeah, I mean… sometimes she gets called into work early, but she always leaves me a note on the fridge. I called the hospital but they said she wasn't at work. I called some of her friends, but they hadn't seen her either. Then I looked and her car was in the garage, so I called 911."
"I need you to listen to me, Adam. A social worker is going to come and talk to you. They're going to take you to a group home or a foster home."
"I don't want to leave! I wanna look for my mom!"
"Then you tell them I'm your brother. Don't tell them we just met though, okay? You can come and stay with me until Dad gets here."
"Yeah, of course, Dude."
Adam nodded, a faint glimmer of hope sparking in his eyes. His hands gripped the wooden swing on either side of his thighs.
"Do we have any other brothers or sisters?"
"Yeah, I'm the oldest. Then there's Sammy. Then you. You also got a nephew."
A small smile crept its way onto Adam's face. As soon as it appeared, it was gone. Dean only assumed the kid started to think about his mom again.
"How old are you?"
"I'm twenty-three. Sammy's nineteen. Ben, my son, is four." Dean clasped a hand on the back of the kid's neck. "You wanna go grab some stuff to take with you?"
The two brothers walked into the house. A few cops were busy going through date books and mail. They were also swiping for prints. Adam led Dean upstairs to his bedroom.
There was a lot of Minnesota Twins memorabilia and a poster of the Vikings above his bed. Above his desk was a memory board. There were a few pictures of him with friend, a bumper sticker with John Hopkins written on it with the Blue Jay underneath, a school calendar, a note that said to write his history report, and a picture of him with John Winchester. Dean stared at the picture of his dad. He was all smiles with his arm wrapped around Adam's shoulders.
"How long am I gonna be gone?" asked Adam but his brother was too busy staring at the picture. "Dean!"
"What?" answered in a faraway voice.
"How long am I gonna be gone? I dunno how much to pack."
"Just pack what you can. If we need to come back for more, we can."
"You think my mom will be gone that long?"
"I dunno, Adam," he answered honestly.
Adam pushed the duffle bag away and sat down on the bed. He sniffed loudly but no tears fell. Dean crossed the room and sat down next to his brother.
"What do you think happened?" he asked, glancing up at his big brother.
"I don't know."
"Do you think she'll be okay?"
"Honestly, I don't know, Adam." Dean wrapped an arm around the kid. "I can tell you one thing though. No matters what happens, I'll always be here for you. You're m'brother, and you can always count on me. I promise to do everything in my power to find her."
"Are you a cop?"
Dean let out a small chuckle. He thought it would be better to hear about the truth from their dad.
"Something like that."
"What do you mean?"
"I think you need to talk to Dad about it."
"Why? Dad's a mechanic. Why would he have to tell me about what you do?"
The kid reminded him of Sammy when he was younger with all of the questions. It was refreshing in a way and instantly made Dean feel close to the kid.
"Come on, Sammy and Ben are waiting by the car. We'll stay at a motel until Dad gets here."
Tapping the kid on the shoulder, Dean stood up and ambled over to the door. Propping himself up against the frame, he waited patiently for Adam to finish packing up some stuff. Within ten minutes, they were making their way out of the house and towards the Impala.
Sam and Ben sat on the hood of the car. Ben sat Indian style, his gaze fixated on the house. Sam was talking to him in low tones, his eyes focused on his nephew's face. Upon hearing the footfalls, Sam turned his attention to his brothers.
"Adam, this is our brother Sammy," Dean introduced.
"Call me Sam," he said as he slid off the car and closed the space between him and his brothers.
"This is my son Ben. Ben, this is your Uncle Adam."
"Hi," Ben said with a slight wave.
"What happened?" asked Sam, his attention turning to his older brother.
"I dunno. Looked clean."
Dean hauled his son off the hood of the car and situated him in his arms. He motioned for Adam to get into the backseat of the Impala and sat Ben next to him. He then made his way to the passenger's seat. For once, he didn't feel like driving. Sam took the hint and slid behind the wheel and searched for the nearest motel.
Author's Notes – I am so sorry it took so long for the newest chapter! It was a difficult chapter to write because I wanted to introduce Adam carefully. Anyways, I hope that you enjoyed! Please, leave a review before going off to read another story. :)