Chapter Nineteen: I Thought I Knew It All
Dean couldn't get to Delaware fast enough. It had taken him two full days to get to Dover, Delaware- where he hoped his baby brother and father were. He had tried to call John's cell phone more than once as he drove but only got the dial tone.
Dean cruised down the streets of Delaware's capitol on the morning of his third day away from California, eyes peeled for the familiar sight of the Impala.
"Dammit!" Dean swore, "They're not here… where are they?"
Dean slammed on the breaks when he caught sight of the Impala parked in front of a skuzzy-looking motel.
What are you doing here? Dean wondered and pulled up beside the Impala. Getting out of his stolen car, Dean saw cigarette butts littering the sidewalk in front of the door and that the curtains were drawn tightly shut.
Dean's brow furrowed as he knocked on the door.
Receiving no answer, Dean curled his hand into a fist and pounded on the peeling paint.
The vibrations caused the iron number 4 to fall onto the sidewalk with a definite clank.
"Okay," Dean ran his hand through his hair and kicked the doorknob.
Opening the door, Dean squinted in the dim lighting and took a hesitant step inside the room.
"Dad? Sam?" Dean called and then he saw the form of his father, lying on the carpet with a pool of dried blood around his chest.
"Dad!" Dean cried and fell to his father's side.
Dean checked for a pulse but pulled away- his father's skin was ice cold- and held back a sob.
"No," Dean whispered, his mind going a mile a minute, conjuring up the most horrible scenarios that had caused his father's death.
"Sammy! You in here?" Dean stood up and saw the top of a shaggy head just barely visible between the second bed and the wall.
"Sammy?" Dean approached his younger brother cautiously.
Sam didn't respond. He remained motionless.
"Are you hurt? Sam, hey, what happened?" Dean reached forward but found himself staring down the barrel of a .45 and raised his hands.
"Whoa, it's okay," Dean soothed. He saw that Sam's hair was longer, like it hadn't been cut since he'd last seen him and his bangs completely covered his eyes. Blood was splattered on his brother's shirt and face.
"Are you hurt Sammy? Let me see," Dean reached toward his brother again but Sam shrank back.
"Sammy, hey, it's me," Dean crooned, "We're gonna find the bastards that did this and make them pay."
Sam raised a shaking hand and reached toward his brother. Dean took the gun from his fingers and put the safety on before shoving it into the waistband of his jeans.
"S'okay, Sammy, s'okay," Dean reassured his brother and scooped Sam up like he was a little kid again.
Looking down at him, Dean frowned when he saw dark bruises on his brother's throat and face and a nasty-looking cut on his swollen cheek.
Holding his brother tighter, Dean grabbed the Impala's keys off the motel's rickety table. He tried not to look at their father's body.
He worked on getting his little brother into the passenger seat of the Impala. Sam curled around himself; big green eyes looked up at Dean.
"S'not Dad," Sam whispered, his voice broken from two days of silence.
"What?" Dean crouched down and leaned into the car so he could hear his brother better.
Sam heaved a pained sigh, "S'wasn't Dad… was something… else."
"What are you talking about Sam?" Dean asked but then he thought back to his father's lifeless body and Sam holding a gun.
"Oh no," Dean shook his head, "You didn't."
Sam's eyes filled with tears and he turned away from his brother.
"Shit!" Dean swore and stood, closing the car door. His little brother was confused. He couldn't have killed Dad, maybe it just seemed that way to his little brother though. Sam was so young. If someone had it in for their father, there wouldn't be a whole lot that he could do about it. Dean was just grateful that whoever or whatever had killed their Dad had spared Sammy.
Think Dean, think! What's important right now?
Dean had to get Sam to safety and bury their father.
Dean stared at the flames as they quickly consumed the pyre he'd built. He had driven a few miles out of Dover to a heavily wooded area and gave his father a hunter's funeral.
Sam was in the car across the clearing. He hadn't said a word since leaving the motel.
What the fuck is going on? Dean wondered and his hands balled into fists.
Dean's eyes turned skyward. He had to find out what had happened, who had killed their Dad and get through to his brother.
Dean turned away when the fire was nothing more than glowing embers and got into the Impala.
"Sammy, c'mon man, talk to me, what happened?" Dean pressed as he drove out of the forest.
Sam hadn't let Dean touch him and so he had no idea of the extent of his injuries.
"Wasn't Dad… it wasn't Dad… it couldn't have been Dad…" Sam muttered.
"What are you talking about? Who killed Dad?" Dean urged, starting to get frustrated.
"I killed Dad! I killed him!" Sam's voice cracked on the last word and he shuddered as he drew in a shaking breath.
Dean slammed on the breaks, "What! You did what? What the fuck!"
Sam cringed away from him but choked out the words, "H-he tr-tried to kill me… me."
Dean sat back in shock. Dad had tried to kill Sam.
"Oh no," Dean whispered, "No, I can't handle this right now… We have to go… We have to go to Bobby's or Jim's or something!"
Sam curled against the passenger's door.
Dean turned his gaze to the windshield, staring at the trees flying past the Impala, and tried not to think about what his brother had just told him.
White knuckles gripped the steering wheel as Dean tried to accept his brother's confession.
Dad had tried to kill Sam, his youngest son… why? What if Dad had good reason to though? What if Sam wasn't Sam… what if he was a shapeshifter or possessed by a demon something?
Eyes flicking to the side, Dean took in the sight of his brother's soiled, bloody clothes, pale face and greasy, long hair.
No, something was wrong with Dad… that had to be it, Dean gritted his teeth; Sam's just a kid, practically a little boy still.
"Don't worry Sammy," Dean said through clenched teeth, "Don't worry little brother, we're gonna fix this."
Dean didn't speak for a long time and then, "I'm going to fix this."
Dean drove until they had put Delaware in the rearview mirror. He stopped at a nice, quaint motel and got a room for the night- Dean wanted to check on Sam's injuries before going any further.
Dean was surprised his brother didn't protest when he picked him up after checking into a room.
He sat Sam down on a bed and ran back to the Impala, grabbed the luggage- Sam's duffle that had been shoved into one corner of the trunk, his father's which Dean had picked up from the shit-hole motel in Dover and his own which he'd moved from the car he'd jacked- and shut the door tightly behind him and drawing the curtains.
"I just wanna look at ya," Dean sat down on the bed beside his brother.
Dean pawed through his brother's duffle and pulled out a clean t-shirt and pair of jeans.
"Here," Dean offered the clothes to his brother.
Sam took his clothes and pulled his soiled shirt off. Dean grimaced at the bruises on his brother's abdomen, lining his ribs.
"Jesus," Dean whispered.
Sam stared at his brother from behind his bangs.
As he was putting his clean shirt on, Dean grabbed his wrist. There were scars on his brother's arm that looked suspiciously like cigarette burns. Dean recalled the cigarette butts littering the sidewalk in front of the motel room door.
"S-Sam," Dean's voice was shaking as he spoke.
Sam didn't answer but drew his arm to his chest protectively.
"It's okay, Sammy," Dean's voice came out breathless.
Dean swallowed and didn't say another word as Sam changed, struggling to stay silent when he saw the extent of his poor brother's injuries.
He took the First Aid kit from John's duffle and pulled out some disinfectant wipes.
Dean cleaned the gash on his brother's face. Sam flinched only slightly.
"When I… wh-when Dad died… something… some m-mist came out of his mouth-" Sam muttered but Dean interrupted gently.
"Like demon smoke? Was it black?"
Sam shook his head, "White… like b-breath when i-it's cold out."
Dean rubbed his chin. It sounded as if John had been possessed by something… but what? He had never heard of white mist anywhere.
"Okay, okay," Dean said. He still couldn't believe that his younger brother had murdered their father; he couldn't believe that John had tried to kill Sam. He didn't want to believe any of it but in their line of work the truth was often stranger than fiction.
"How about we go to Bobby's and see what he thinks," Dean suggested but Sam shook his head.
"Why not?" Dean asked, confused because Sam had always loved seeing Bobby.
"He… he might…" Sam muttered and turned his gaze away from his brother.
"What, Sam?" Dean asked, leaning forward.
"He might not l-listen, Dean! H-he was D-D-Dad's friend," Sam stuttered.
"Sam," Dean tried to sooth, "Bobby cares about you, he's going to listen."
Dean could see the uncertainty in his brother's eyes.
"Please, Sammy," Dean begged, "For me?"
Sam bit his lip but nodded.
Bobby Singer was more than a little surprised when the Impala pulled into his yard after having almost no communication with the Winchesters for nearly a year. The veteran hunter was ready to tear John Winchester a new one for acting like such as ass. Bobby had been worried about the fellow hunter and his youngest son. Although Bobby recalled well the argument that had spurred their falling-out years ago when the boys had been young, he didn't like being ignored. John called every so often to tell him how his sons were getting on. It didn't matter that John and Bobby hated each other's guts, they both loved the boys and that was what mattered. Although Bobby hadn't called back again after listening to John's short-tempered answer on the phone, he had heard from other hunters that Winchester and his boy were still hunting and Bobby contented himself with the fact that they were safe and left the younger man to his own devices. If John wanted to talk to him, he'd call on his own. Bobby feared that if he grew too persistent then John would sever all contact with him and he'd never see the boys again.
When Dean stepped out of the driver's seat, however, the old hunter grew suspicious. When John's eldest son went around to the passenger side and picked up his younger brother, Bobby's heart leaped into his throat.
Stepping out onto his porch, Bobby bubbled with questions.
"What happened, Dean? Where's your Daddy? Is Sam alright?"
Dean didn't answer anything until they had taken Sam inside. Bobby gulped when he saw the bruises and cuts on the boy.
The old hunter grabbed a couple of beers from the fridge- Dean wasn't legal yet but the kid looked like he could use a cold one- and hovered while Dean made Sam comfortable on Bobby's old, brown couch.
"Christ, boy, what happened to him?" Bobby asked and took a quick swig of beer.
"Dad," Dean answered and Bobby choked on his drink.
"Say what?" The old hunter spluttered.
Taking hold of Bobby's elbow, Dean turned away from his brother and walked into the kitchen.
"Dad tried to kill Sam," Dean told him and Bobby's face paled.
"Oh no," He wiped a weathered hand over his face.
Before Bobby could speak again though, Dean told him that he thought John had been possessed.
"Demon?" Bobby asked the younger man.
Dean shrugged, "Dunno, gotta ask Sam about it. But let him rest for a while, he's exhausted."
Bobby nodded and waited patiently until Sam was up to telling him what had happened.
Poor kid, the old hunter thought as he saw the boy curled up on his couch, never catches a break and he's still only a baby yet.
Bobby Singer raised an eyebrow when Sam told him about the white mist. He didn't say very much about what went down before the strange fog appeared but Bobby wasn't about to push him. He would come around eventually.
"I'll have to do some searchin' but it sounds like John got himself tangled up with a dybbuk," The old hunter said and scratched at his beard.
"A dybbuk?" Dean asked half-curiously half-worriedly.
"Yeah," Bobby's head bobbed, "Nasty spirits from Jewish folklore… just wish they'd stay there."
Bobby almost couldn't believe it when Dean had told him that Sam had shot their father. Self-defense, Dean insisted, and although the old hunter considered John Winchester one of his better friends, he was unable to believe the fellow hunter would lay a hand on his youngest son in anger. Ever. John loved his boys; that's all he lived for. But Bobby wasn't going to argue about what John did or didn't do. Sam was a good kid and not prone to lying or making up stories. If Bobby had had any doubt, the bruises and cuts were all he needed as proof that something very bad had happened to him at the hands of his father- whether intentionally or not on John's part.
Dean gave his brother's hand a squeeze. Sam's gaze was locked on his knees.
"We'll find this thing, Sammy, and make it pay," Dean said bravely, slipping right back into his long-time role as a hunter. Revenge drove all thoughts of going back to school from his mind.
Sam shook his head, "No Dean… we'll make sure it doesn't hurt anyone else."
1. Chapter title comes from a Megadeth song of the same name.
2. Thanks to SPN Mum, Jeanny, AmaraRae, cold kagome, criminally charmed, samgirl19, lovejensenacklesforever, Samstruck, LeighAnnWallace, T.L. Arens, L.A.H.H, Winchesterlady, rohopretender, sarah, Helen, Souless666, AMC88, NarniasChild, OtakTouch and my mystery Guests for reviewing.
3. Thanks to everyone who alerted/favourited.
4. So sad. The final chapter… but I do want to write a sequel because this was left so open-ended. I'm open to any ideas for the next story though, if anyone has one. I'm not completely sure where to go from here. I know there's not a whole lot of guilty Dean in this chapter but there's room for that in the sequel! I hope you liked the fanfic. I know I enjoyed writing it. I hoped I surprised some of you with the reason for John's actions. For everyone who suggested that he was possessed, you get a gold star! I wasn't completely comfortable with having just act like an asshole for the hell of it. He may not be one of my favourite characters but I don't think he'd go so far as to beat the shit out of his youngest son. Anyway, please leave a review! I love reading them so much! And I hope you all come back and read some more!