Themes: hurt/comfort

Words: ~4200

Disclaimer: I do not own SPN

Prompt: Fills prompt 039. Trust on my lover100 table. And an amnesty fill the prompt "family" on my hc_bingo card.

Another installment in the series I sort of call the "Adventures of Ben and Claire" in my head. But nothing official – yet.

It was paradise every day and Claire couldn't imagine leaving. Not when she was in a hammock twenty feet off the ground while the sun tanned her skin. Not when every night she and Ben fell asleep without a worry that they could be attacked during the night, because this was the Antichrist's territory and even predators of the animal variety knew better than to invade. But she did know, like Ben did, that their parents were probably tearing the world apart trying to find them. That Dean and Castiel wouldn't stop until they knew that they were safe, and while they had sort of discussed sending them a message that they were in fact fine; they had never really gotten around to it. They didn't want to endanger Jesse any more than they already had and they weren't sure if they'd be able to stop the seasoned hunters from doing something rash. Like kill Jesse just because they didn't understand him.

"And you say I think too loud." Ben joined her in the hammock, careful not to jostle it too much. They had already experienced a free-fall toward the ground once and thank God for Jesse's quick reflexes that stopped them from being dead.

Claire stretched, stealing a kiss. "Just thinking about how much Dean and Cas are freaking out right now." Ben winced, and yeah, they knew they would never hear the end of this little stunt.

"We need to go back soon. The longer we're away the harder it'll be to convince them that they shouldn't kill Jesse on sight." Ben wrapped his around around Claire's waist. "Not that it isn't going to already be a bitch to do that."

"They should learn to trust us," And Ben knew well not to call her out on the petulant whine in her voice.

"Oh woes us. Our parents worry." Ben mocked, but both of them knew that this was serious.

"What about Sam?" Jesse's ability to appear anywhere was awesome. Except when it startled the young hunters, and again, the Antichrist was fast to steady them. It had never occurred to them that Jesse wouldn't know what happen to Sam. "No offense," he directed toward Ben, "but Sam seemed like the more reasonable. Couldn't we just get him to talk to Dean and Castiel?"

"Um, dude – " Ben looked at Claire, then back to Jesse. "Something bad happen to Sam."

"What?" And that concern, so quick for someone Jesse had only known briefly years ago. Claire couldn't understand why their parents couldn't just trust them. This once.

"We should take this conversation to the ground," And like that they were at the stone table. "Y'know the whole apocalypse thing, whole the Winchesters' were trying to stop it. Well, it didn't work out that well. The Cage was opened and Sam possessed by Lucifer. Their half-brother by Michael. Sam was able to take enough control of Lucifer when he was possessed to throw them into the Cage. Then something happened; Sam got out and well. He wasn't the same he'd lost his soul, but Death was willing to retrieve it but there was a catch. Sam couldn't scratch at the wall Death put up."

"But he did," Ben took over when Claire's voice grew thick. It was hard on both of them to think of Uncle Sam strapped down in some institution with no hope of recovering. "Death wasn't willing to help a second time and no amount of beating the proverbial bush could muster up some sort of cure. So he's been institutionalized." Ben stopped. He'd gone to see Sam a few times in the hospital and he let the memory shine bright for Jesse to see.

Jesse didn't have the mind-reading thing down yet, but the three had worked hard to build walls so the Hunters would have privacy. But when they did want him to see something it was hard to know what was too much. Jesse reeled back, face twisting in horror at the image of Sam screaming and thrashing around. "I'm sorry," his own voice was choked.

The three sat in silence; Claire and Ben holding on to each other. "Maybe I could help." Jesse looked up at them, determination in his eyes. "I created this place, didn't I? And I've hidden you from half the garrison of Heaven for more than a month. I can read minds, who's to say I can't fix one."

"What do you mean half the garrison?" Claire stood up, her eyes flying around. Like mentioning the fact that they were in hiding was enough to bring Angels down on them. "And a month!"

Jesse looked alarmed, "Well, you." For the first time since they had come to Jesse's safe haven his power fluctuated. "T-time – "

"Hey, it's okay." Claire let her anger melt away, she touched Jesse's arm and the thrumming of power stopped. "I'm sorry."

"No! I'm sorry. I should have told you and I shouldn't scare you every time something upsets me. Why can't I control this." Jesse clenched his fists, staring at them. Neither of them let it show this time when the leaves started rustling, some of them falling. His fingers slowly uncurled, but the leaves didn't stop. They exchanged looks before Ben reached across the table this time and wrapped his hand gently around Jesse's wrist.

Jesse was touched starved. Claire noticed it first when she causally patted Jesse's back after sparring. The light grew a little brighter, the leaves more green, and flowers bloomed. He was embarrassed afterward and everything dimmed quickly. It was the first time Jesse left them alone in his paradise. Claire convinced Ben to test the theory and roped Jesse into a course in human interaction. They came to the man-hug; they couldn't be sure, but their paradise almost exploded. Since, they started using it as discreetly as possible.

"Let's give it a shot." Ben let go, patting Jesse's wrist.

"You'll still be able to hide us?" Claire was wary, they had been hidden away a lot longer than she thought. Castiel and Dean would be furious; an image of hellfire raining throughout the world crossed her mind. Jesse and Ben snorted. Another method they had been working on; Jesse gauging an opponents moves from their mind and delivering it to his allies. Why neither of them questioned how long they had been gone; maybe they had needed a vacation.

He nodded, "Yeah. We'll be safe." Jesse looked at the sky. "We'll go in the morning." The sun was starting to set and they didn't point out that where Sam was it probably wasn't dusk. They were also not going to point out that when this conversation had started it had only been noon. If this was their last night with Jesse they weren't going ruin it for him.

They were happy to see their over-protective fathers had not burned the world down. Other than it being colder, they had missed all of October and a week into November, the world had not dramatically changed in their absence either. It put a lot into perspective for the young hunters; Jesse had been living that existence for years: No matter what; the world moved on.

Sam hadn't been allowed visitors in a long time, they appeared right inside his room; the last time Dean came to see him the little brother had attacked hallucinating Dean for a demon sent from Hell to finish the job. Not bothering with traditional means to get inside Sam's room they took Jesse's means of transportation and he assured that no one should disturb them. He went on muttering that any nurses peeking in would only see Sam peacefully on the bed, sleeping. And he was and it was the calmest Sam had been on any of Ben's visits and especially the one Claire had come on to see him one last time before his "condition" got any worse. There had been no explanation as to why the onset of paranoia and hallucinations grew and even after the medically induced coma-like state they had put Sam in to keep him from hurting himself they said his brain activity was abnormally off the charts.

"What if this doesn't work?" Claire voiced everyones' concern.

Jesse with all of his mind reading still didn't get it sometimes. "I wont do anything to hurt Sam. I promise."

"It's not Sam we're worried about, Jesse." Ben grabbed his arm, making him look up at them. "As far as the doctors are concerned Sam's a vegetable. We're worried about you. What if something backlashes and hurts you?" Jesse's brow furrowed and Claire could punch the idjit for not thinking of himself. Ever. "Could something bad happen?"

"I don't know," Jesse finally admitted, frustrated. "It's not like I've poked around in someone's brain before and tried to right what Hell made wrong." Neither of them wanted Jesse to do this; not if he wouldn't be safe.

It was strange, but since they were no longer in Jesse's Utopian haven they could feel how much time had passed. The bond they felt for Jesse wouldn't, definitely couldn't, have been created in the short time they thought it had been. Claire was protective of the younger teen, something she could only akin to as brotherly.

Ben felt it too, "Then I'm coming with you," he announced. "We've done it before, you used Claire to anchor yourself when you tried to recreate the way you found us." Jesse and Claire shared a sheepish look; Claire had insisted on being the one to go. Mentally stronger, had been her argument. Except Claire had the same hold as a toddler when it came to her emotions in good situations. It had quickly overwhelmed her being so close to so many minds. "Use me this time."

Claire couldn't help sniping that Ben was a Zen Monk, sure. But didn't protest. "I swear to God if you two kill yourselves I will zombie-fy you just to do it myself." It was said with a lot of sarcasm but Claire knew her voice was shaking. "C'mon, get with it then." She went over to the door and peeked out.

Jesse rolled up his shirt sleeve and Ben took a strong hold of Jesse's forearm. Claire almost asked what was taking so long when it took Jesse a full minute to finally place his hand on Sam's forehead. Ben's eyes, in that time, had slipped into a trance-like state. It was the same reaction Ben had described to her after her attempt to help Jesse strengthen his mental abilities. It was like electricity when he finally did. The room hummed and the hairs on Claire's neck stood up.

Like most half-cocked ideas, as soon as it was in motion Claire started having doubts. What if it wasn't the mind that needed repaired, but the soul? What if Jesse couldn't do it? What if she lost Ben? Then she didn't have time for thinking because Jesse had lied.

He wasn't strong enough to hide them from nurses, Heaven, and delve into the broken mind of their uncle.

"What the hell do you two thi – What the hell is he doing to Sam?" Dean had his gun raised and pointed at Jesse before Claire could form a good response. She did the only thing that would stop Dean from shooting her friend, and God knew what that would do to Sam and Ben, being connected to him.

Claire threw herself in front of them without bumping the bed or guys. "Don't do anything stupid," she warned, and totally deserved the "You're doing enough stupid for the both of us" look. "Jesse wants to help Sam."


"Claire." She hadn't noticed Castiel standing next to Dean until he spoke. "Claire, Jesse Turner is evil. If you two haven't discovered that you need to know that he has kept you prisoner for forty-two days." It was sort of shocking to hear exactly how long.

"That's six weeks, Missy."

"We weren't his prisoner. Where Jesse lives, time doesn't necessary flow...straight. We lost track of time, it only felt like a week, two tops, for us." Claire defended. She had to keep them talking, they couldn't stop what Jesse was doing. She wouldn't lose them.

Dean's face screwed up, and Claire knew that look and knew the argument that was going to follow. Ben gave it to her all the time. "Oh, so distorting your sense of time to keep you to himself. That's not a bad thing."

Claire stood straighter, "It wasn't an honest thing, no. Put yourself in Jesse's shoes; we were the first two people to not run in fear or try to kill him. Do you have any idea how lonely he's been?" Claire chanced a look behind her to see the young Antichrist. "He's starved for friendship."

"He is still dangerous, Claire." Castiel wouldn't take his eyes off Jesse.

She snapped, "Oh fuck off, Cas. Like you're not dangerous. Like you haven't betrayed the people you love when trying to do the "greater good"." She regretted it the moment it was out of her mouth, Castiel's eyes fell to her's and the hurt there cut her, but she couldn't take it back now that it was said. "He wouldn't hurt us; Jesse would rather hurt himself. He jumped at the chance to help Sam when we told him what happen. Who – "

"Claire – "

"Who," she said louder, "jumps at the chance to help a stranger. Even when they don't know what the consequences will be to themselves?" She glared, "Not this supposedly evil-can't-do-anything-good Antichrist that you're trying to kill."

"Claire," they both tried again.

"No, no for once you two are going to listen. If you want to hurt Jesse; you'll have to hurt me first." She took a step back, not quite touching Ben; realizing that they would have to go through her and Ben to get to Jesse.

Dean groaned, rubbing his hand across his face. He muttered, "like stubborn father, like daughter." Dean put his hands up and then out in that universal motion of surrender and peace. "What's Jesse trying to do?"

"He's trying to fix Sam."

"How exactly? No one even knows what's wrong." Claire let herself relax enough not to get belligerent with Dean now that he was ready to listen to what she had to say.

She wanted to take care of what she told them; not wanting to expose even more of Jesse's secrets. Who knew what they would do when they found out he could read minds; manipulating time and space was already asking a lot. But, even Claire knew when to be diplomatic and this was not the time to hide anything. "Jesse can read minds and what he's doing right now is, I guess, searching for something. Maybe the wall Death originally had in place; maybe make a new one. He doesn't really know yet. We just want to make Sam better and Jesse wants to help."

"And what if it fails, Claire. What happens then?" Castiel still looked battle-ready and there wasn't anything either of them could do about that.

She ironically made the same mistake Jesse made when faced with that question. "No offense but it's not like he could hurt Sam further."

"What about Ben and Jesse, huh? What's Ben even doing?" Castiel remained standing but Dean took a seat, looking even more weary. Claire couldn't find it in herself to leave her post in front of her boys.

Claire looked between them. "It's something we tried out while...on vacation. We figured two minds are better than one, and face it between the two of us Ben's got the clearer head on his shoulders." She wouldn't bring up her already failed attempt to do what Ben was doing. She didn't need them worrying right now.

"I want it stated for the record that I think you two are idiots and when this nonsense of shenanigans is over we're having a long talk about responsibility." Dean gave her a long, hard glare and she couldn't help the internal way she scuffed her foot against the floor. "You three just go half-cocked into a mentally unstable person's head and don't think that something really fucking bad could happen?"

Claire lowered her gaze to the floor. She'd been taking care of herself on her own for a long time, but she didn't forget what a hard scolding from a parent felt like. Dean's disappointment in their poor planning was clearly evident. "We're sorry, Dean."

He deflated some, giving her a soft look. "You can relax." She looked at Castiel and shrugged her shoulders. She wasn't moving from this spot until she knew Ben and Jesse were safe.

Or, apparently, until Ben was thrown across the room.

"NO!" he shouted, struggling to his feet. "Damn it, Jesse! I said no!" Ben tried to grab at Jesse but Claire stopped him, grabbing his wrists and pulling him back. Ben's eyes were wild as they landed on her's. "It's awful," he whispered, voice hoarse from shouting, but he hadn't shouted enough here for that particular amount of hoarseness, Claire felt ice drop into her stomach. "There were demons." She could only think to pull him in close and comfort him. "He made me leave. One of them threaten me and he forced me out."

"It's okay. Jesse can handle himself. It's okay, Ben." Ben buried his face in Claire's neck and breathed hard and she knew the moment he became aware that they weren't alone in the room. His back went a little straighter, the panic that had been rolling off him was forced into a small box not to be exposed. He still kept her in his grip; not wanting to let her go, but not trusting their parents. And settled for angling himself toward Dean and Castiel but kept his body in front of Jesse.

"Oh, yeah," Dean snarked. "You two are so in for it." But his voice was shaky and Claire didn't have to see him to know his eyes were glued to Ben.

They both tensed when Castiel made a sudden move toward the bed. "What are you doing?" Claire demanded.

"Helping your friend, before he gets himself killed." Neither of them wanted to let Castiel any where near Jesse but knew they wouldn't have a choice. They watched, terrified as he raised his hand to connect with Jesse.

Before he could though, Jesse visibly shook and then his eyes were fluttering open. "Be-n?" He looked around, confused but smiled when he saw Ben. "You're okay!" He launched himself at them and wrapped them both in a tight hug.

"Thanks for sounding so confidant about that." Ben muttered into Jesse's shoulder.

"Wasn't sure – " He tensed, finally realizing they weren't alone.

"It's okay," Claire reassured, rubbing his back. "I think they're going to hear us out."

"Hear you out, Missy?" Dean stood, hands on hips. "I am going to kick all three of your ass's straight to Bobby's; where you are grounded." Jesse was the only one who looked remotely frightened by the threat. "You could have been killed, not to mention the fact that you worried us to death. And then you get this brilliant idea to – "

There was a soft groan, proceeded by a harsh cough. "Ugh, Dean. Shut up." Sam was sitting up in his bed, rubbing his forehead. "What happen?" He looked around his crowded room. "Wow, Ben. You've grown. And you two...who..?" Sam lowered himself back down, rubbing his head.

Claire squeaked, then grabbed Jesse around the middle and lifted him up in a bear hug. "You did it, Jesse!"

Dean was completely gobsmacked for a moment before he was at Sam's side hugging him. "You have no idea, Sam." He buried his face in Sam's hair. "No fucking idea."

Sam groaned, alternating between pushing Dean away and patting his back awkwardly. "Got it long story. Just – I wasn't dead, right?" It was a broken laugh Dean shared with his confused brother.

"Equivalently, brother, " Cas supplied succinctly. He clapped Sam on the shoulder. He turned to Jesse and the teenagers were quick to flock him. "What did you do?"

"I – " Jesse paused. "I had some help. I don't know who they were, really. Just that they helped get rid of the last of the demons plaguing Sam's mind. And – " He looked at Castiel. "They wanted me to tell you to lighten up. You're taking yourself too seriously again. And live a little. Well, she had a lot to say but some of it was really rude."

Sam huffed, "Sounds like Gabriel." Claire was taken back by the sheer amount of emotions that crossed Castiel's face at the mention of his brother's name. Pain, regret, love, hope. It was the hope that got her. She crossed the short space and did something she hadn't in a very long time. She initiated contact between her and her father's body.

Jesse, not understanding the pivotal moment happening right in front of him, went on. "She also wanted me to give this to Sam. She said it wasn't much but it should do the trick keeping the walls we built strong." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small thin vial. "There isn't much, we used a lot to hold back..."Jesse trailed, his eyes going far. He went on quickly, "She said she'd been saving it all this time, waiting. Had an idea that her Sammy would mess up some how and need his ass saved." Claire had never seen Grace before, but knew what it was. Gabriel, some how, had saved part of himself and his grace. Jesse put it in Sam's hands and stepped back.

Sam stared at the shimmering vial a minute before looking at Jesse again. "Jesse...and Claire, right? Dean what's going on?" He squeezed Sam's arm where he still gripped it tightly.

"It's a long story – Sam...what do you remember?" Sam grimaced, his entire body language changing; it was answer enough: Enough.

"She didn't want us to hide too much. Thought it would be easier." Jesse reached out, "I might be able to change that – "

Sam pulled back, "No. He might have a point. It's not as bad. Not like when the wall first fell and definitely not like when I didn't have a soul or the gnawing feeling that something was waiting to break free like with Death's." He settled back again, looking exhausted. "I feel like – I've been lost a really long time."

Claire pulled Ben and Jesse back, ready to have Jesse get them out of there; instead the door to Sam's room opened. "Okay, Sammy! Time for your – Oh, my goodness! What's going on in here? Dean!" Then her eyes landed on Sam, "Sammy!"

"Babe, do something about this." Dean elbowed Castiel. The nurse who seemed on the verge of a breakdown herself froze mid-gesture. "Thanks. You three, get out of here. Now. Sammy," Dean turned to his little brother. "I'll be right back. They think I live in town anyways..."

Claire grabbed the boys, "C'mon. Jesse takes us – back to your home." Both of them still looked shaken. It had escaped her that Ben kept grabbing Jesse and squeezing his arm; he did it to her a few times too. Jesse nodded, distractedly and grabbed her and Ben's hand.

"Bobby's." Castiel stepped forward. "Go to Bobby's. Please." He stared at her, pleading.

"Okay. Yeah, Bobby's." She squeezed Jesse and Ben's hands.

"I don't – " Jesse started but she stopped him with a smile. Closing her eyes she pictured Bobby's house with all of its out buildings and what she imagined it to look like from above and went out from there on what it looked like on the map. "Okay. Got it." In a blink they were gone and when Claire opened her eyes they were standing in Bobby's living room surrounded by his old books.

"What the – You idjits!" Bobby jumped up from where he'd been sitting, an old, dusty tome in front of him. "You had your fathers worried sick!" It was going to be an all-out Bobby rant; they had been on the receiving end of one enough times to know the look. Except, "Oh, just." Bobby looked at them, she could only imagine how worn out they looked. "Grounded. You are all three grounded. Go to your rooms. Jesse, pick one." Claire and Ben groaned and glared and cursed Castiel and his pleading angel-eyes. Jesse, the sadist, smiled. Though something as normal as being grounded must have been nice.