Chapter Twelve-Home Again
It had been almost a year since Daniel Elkins had driven the Impala to Bobby's Yard to tell the worried family about the battle their sons have been in. Elkins, who had heard part of it from the shell shocked young people who accompanied him to the Yard and the other part of the story was told to him by two men claiming to be Angels. The family was proud of their sons' bravery and abilities to get the job done but they were upset when they heard that Sam had been wounded. Because of the bond they shared with the boys, the family knew that Sam was still alive, barely but still alive.
Three days after Elkins' visit, Castiel dropped in on the family to explain that, while Sam and Dean were not truly human but Elementals, they were just as mortal as any human on the planet albeit ones that were extremely hard to kill. Instead of being granted immortality, the Alpha and the Omega had been granted reincarnation since it was actually dangerous to have them on Earth all the time. Justice, he said, could easily be perverted into Retribution. With a limited life span, there was little chance that Sam and Dean would turn evil. The wound that Sam had sustained, Castiel admitted, was life threatening and, as such, Dean had taken him to a very special place-a sanctuary that was very protected from evil since Sam was vulnerable now. That Dean was protective of his brother was the Alpha showing in all his glory. Castiel put the family's fears for Sam's safety to rest by saying that Dean would fight and kill anything that got too close to his brother now.
Bobby's nerves, though, were getting very thin and frayed. He missed his babies and wanted them back now, especially since it was coming up to a date that the three of them had always celebrated, the day that they became family when he had found them in the woods. Everyone knew what Bobby was feeling so they kept their distance, trying to give him space. Caleb was the only one who dared to get close to Bobby during the days leading up to the anniversary.
Two days before the special day, Bobby felt the urge to go deer hunting and not just anywhere would do. It had to be the place where he had found the boys originally. Bobby didn't question the urge, just packed his truck and, taking John and Caleb, went hunting. When they got to the woods, Bobby parked in the same spot he had years ago and led the way. By the time the small group stopped for lunch, it was about three in the afternoon. Bobby looked around and spotted a fallen tree. Going over to it, he groaned as he lowered his body to sit down. John watched with humor in his eyes before joining his "brother". Caleb just rolled his eyes and muttered something about "fossils" as he unpacked sandwiches and water from his pack. He went over to the other men and offered them some refreshments which were received with heartfelt thanks.
"Bobby?" John asked, his curiosity getting the better of him.
"Yeah," Bobby answered.
"Um, don't get mad but why here? There are plenty of places around Sioux Falls to hunt," John wondered.
Bobby thought and decided to share a bit of personal history with both men. "It was around here that I found Sam and Dean, cute little dickenses, too. For some reason, I felt the need to be out here but I don't know exactly why. I just had the feeling that, in the next day or two, something is going to happen and I needed to be here, of all places."
"That's why the tent and sleeping bags instead of staying at a motel," Caleb said thoughtfully. "Okay, where do you want to set up camp?"
"Here's good," Bobby replied with the past in his eyes. Caleb and John started to set up the tent and gather wood for a fire. By the time camp was up and running, Bobby had shaken off the past to get up and help them. Watching the stars by firelight was homey and relaxing to the men. Finally, Caleb banked the fire and joined the two other men in the tent. Bobby kept dreaming of the boys all night. Sam was feverish, in many of his dreams he kept calling out for his daddy while Dean frantically tried to keep his brother cool. In another of his dreams, Sam was leaning against Dean while walking in a meadow filled with flowers and herbs. The buzzing of the insects were loud and the scent of nettles heavy on the air. Sam stumbled a few times but Dean kept encouraging his brother to "put one foot in front of the other". Bobby watched as Dean kept after his brother, nursing him through the wounds that had almost taken his life. He saw Sam taking his own, wobbling steps like he was learning how to walk. Then he watched as Sam's gait got better, less unsure. He saw the boys running and playing, Dean worrying whenever his brother fell.
Bobby saw the boys hunting, fishing and gathering foods from the meadow. He was proud of the way Dean took care of his baby brother, making sure Sam was okay. He was proud of the way Sam took care of Dean, watching over him and worrying about his big brother's health. The last dream, though, had him in awe. He finally saw two beings, one with full green, glowing eyes and the other with luminous hazel eyes. Both of them were seven feet tall with wings that were a combination of emerald and hazel. Their skin was a golden color that glittered in the sunlight. They were beautiful and Bobby knew, even in his sleep, this vision was a gift from his sons.
The men woke up to the smell of breakfast on the fire. Coffee bubbled merrily while freshly caught fish sizzled to perfection. Next to the fire pit were apples and cranberries. A loaf of nut bread and some sauce for the fish rounded out the meal. The three men looked at each other in confusion then Bobby, noticing the coffee was done, took it from the fire and poured himself a cup. Taking a mouthful, he savored the bitter taste and swallowed. After watching him for a few seconds, John and Caleb also helped themselves to the beverage. It was easier after that to accept the meal from the unknown source. After breakfast and a quick wash, the men took their guns and went hunting.
Bobby was able to get his buck that morning but John and Caleb still didn't have one so they decided to dress the deer they already got and try for another one the next day. They were able to bleed and clean the buck then put it in a tree for safe keeping. Bobby buried the organs in a hole some distance away from their camp just to be on the safe side. Nobody wanted some wolves or even a bear in the camp looking for the rest of the deer.
That night, all three men had dreams about their missing family members. They woke up with cheeks stiff from tears, knowing that their loved ones were fine but still not with them. This time, the boys interacted with them, answering questions about how they were and what they had been doing all this time. Sam had indeed almost died from the injury inflicted by Ava. While he couldn't heal either of the boys, Castiel was able to bring them the supplies they needed for Sam. Balthazar made sure the equipment worked, even out in the "boonies" as Dean put it. Sam had been on a ventilator and heart monitor for two weeks as he was in a self-induced healing coma. Dean had followed his brother into the coma to lend his support and strength with Balthazar standing guard over the pair until they woke up.
Sam couldn't walk at first. The injury had come close to the spine, causing swelling and paralysis. Because Sam was who and what he was, the paralysis was temporary. If he had been fully human, he would never have walked again, Dean told his family. It took a couple of months for Sam to be able to crawl then walk again. If he had gone to a hospital, they would have put him through physical therapy and may have gotten the young man on his feet sooner but Sam insisted on doing things his way which was to roll on his back, then crawl then walk, just like he had when he first learned how.
The family learned why the boys chose to go into seclusion to heal instead of going back to the Yard. Sam, whenever he got frustrated, would lash out at the closest things to him. Dean told the men how, when Sam fell for the third time in a row one day, he had thrown Dean into a wall hard enough to punch a hole in it. Dean had a broken scapula because of that move. Sam had felt so bad about his brother's broken bone that he pulled himself up onto his feet and tottered over to Dean. Putting his hand on the shoulder, he healed his brother's hurts then started to cry. Dean was ever forgiving, knowing that Sam didn't mean it. He held his brother until Sam was all cried out and had fallen asleep against his chest. That was just one example out of many that Dean could have told them but he didn't want them to be afraid of Sam.
The rest of the hunting trip was like the first couple of days. The men would wake up to breakfast. They went hunting where both John and Caleb got their bucks. And they dreamed of their two missing family members. By the time they got ready to leave, their hearts and souls had been healed of the hurts they carried because of the absence of Sam and Dean.
It was Christmas and as much as Bobby had decorated his house and bought presents, he wasn't into celebrating without his boys next to him. He had loved the way that Sammy's face lit up the first Christmas they had celebrated together. Dean's eyes gleamed with tears as he watched his beloved brother dive into the gifts under the tree with such abandon. Sam, having seen the look in his brother's eyes, grabbed Dean and made him join in on the fun. Tears fell from Bobby's eyes as he remembered the pure, unadulterated joy that the two tiny boys had brought into his and Caleb's life that year. Jim dropped in during the afternoon for dinner and stayed until the day after New Year's. The next saw Missouri, Joshua and Rufus joining in on the family's fun. Each Christmas was more special than the last until three years ago, the first Christmas where the whole family wasn't there. It had broken Bobby's heart more than he ever said and each missing Holiday after that broke him even more.
After the hunting trip, he had been hopeful that the boys would be coming home before Thanksgiving but they never showed up and Bobby started to become depressed. Caleb tried everything he could to boost Bobby's feelings but, as precious as he was to his father, he couldn't be what Bobby wanted, his other two sons home. Bobby tried, though. He pulled himself out of his funk to decorate the house, get presents and even plan a meal for the others' pleasure. It would be special since it would be Jo and Ash's baby's first Christmas. Scott and Lily would be coming also. Lily was in her sixth month and she tired easily so Bobby made sure he had a nice, soft place for her all ready. Andy, Anson, Max, Adam, Josh, Jim, Missouri, Rufus, John and Kate would all be there also but the two that meant the most to Bobby probably wouldn't be and that just hurt.
When Bobby woke up that morning, he thought that Caleb had went downstairs before him and started breakfast. Coffee, eggs, toast and bacon scents were heavy in the air along with cinnamon buns. There was a distinctive feeling of lightness and love in the air that he hadn't felt in over a year. Getting up quickly, he got dressed and went into the kitchen where he found breakfast waiting for everyone but nothing else. There was nobody in there so he went to the living room where the tree was lit up and there were many presents under the tree. Castiel and Balthazar stood next to it, with tinsel in their hands and a puzzled look on their faces.
"What are you two doing?" Bobby wanted to know.
"What is the purpose of these strands of tinsel going on an indoor tree decorated with ornaments and lights?" Castiel asked puzzled. "I understand the presents but the meaning of the tree eludes me."
"Cassie, it's pretty so just enjoy. The tree is actually part of an ancient celebration that is now part of Christmas. I just think the lights are pretty," Balthazar answered.
"But what is the purpose of it?" Castiel persisted.
"I'm not sure," Bobby began, "I know that the tradition goes back to at least Germany but there have been speculation that it goes back to Ancient Egypt and even a Chinese tradition of tree worship but nobody really knows why the tradition started. The Christmas Tree was called Yule Tree at one point."
"But, why do you bring a tree into your house, decorate it then put wrapped packages under it?" Castiel was very confused. "And why the star or Angel on top of it?"
A new voice sounded in the room. The three beings turned around to see Gabriel standing behind them, "Part of the reason is that humans recreate the giving of gifts to the Christ Child. This is the day they acknowledge the part of Dad that is in them. The Angel and the Star signifies guidance while the tree symbolizes the Tree of Life. The lights and tinsel are the stars in the sky. They bring a bit of Heaven in their homes. Should be all the time but this is a very special day. Humans celebrate the anniversary of His birth on this day."
Castiel nodded slowly then asked, "Is that the reason for wrapping our own presents?"
Balthazar answered with a laugh, "Yes, Cassie. That is the reason we wrapped our presents this time. Should we give them to Bobby?" Castiel nodded with a twinkle in his eyes. Gabriel grinned then snapped his fingers. Two very large gifts appeared in the room. Bobby was given a pair of scissors and was told to unwrap the packages.
"Shouldn't I wait until the others are up?" he asked uncertainly.
"Actually, you need to unwrap them now," Gabriel said with a grin. Bobby shrugged then started to cut the paper off the first package. When the paper finally fell off, Bobby was shocked. The Angels had wrapped Dean as a gift for his family. Giving his son a hard hug, he turned to the other package, sure about what that one contained. He found he was correct as he uncovered Sam whose smile was infectious.
"M…m…merry Christmas," the young man stuttered, his voice rusty with disuse. Bobby's eyes filled with tears as he pulled his sons to him.
Christmas was full of joy as the family celebrated its completion. Dean took Bobby aside and let him know that, even though he and Sam had a duty to do, they would never leave the family for very long.
The Alpha and the Omega had completed one of their tasks, to stop the Apocalypse before it could even begin. There would be other tasks for them but, for now, they had earned their rest. They chose to do it with the family they had fought for and, that for the family, was the best gift they had ever received. For the rest of the day, the house rang with laughter, love and song with the other members of the family not allowing the two young men out of their sights. That night, Bobby, Caleb, and John insisted that the boys sleep in the living room with the others surrounding them. It would be a very long time before anyone let those two out of their sights. Not that they were complaining.
Some more A/N-the meaning of the Christmas tree and it's decorations are my own interpretation with a bit of Wikipedia thrown in.
When Sam or Dean call John DJ, its actually meant as Daddy John, a way for the boys to give John the honorific title while distinguishing him from Bobby.
I got the idea of a ninth elemental type from watching Law and Order, Criminal Minds and other situational cop shows. One of the things they all had in common was justice and the court scenes usually had the Lady Justice statue somewhere around whether it was outside the building or inside.
This story is complete and I doubt that I will write a sequel to it. Please read and review to let me know what you think of my story.