End of the Road (WIP)
Pairing: None – Familial bonding
The room was heavy with a tense silence as the three men sat around – one glaring daggers at his younger brother, who’s head was bowed and had a pained look on his face. The oldest man, was sitting with his arms crossed over his button-down flanneled torso, as his grey eyes bore into the younger of the men across from him, holding in his anger but making sure that his disappointment was known.
“She could be anywhere,” the oldest of the brothers, Dean, spoke up, tearing his green eyes away as he stood up and began pacing the motel room in agitation. His broad shoulders were tense and his hands were curled into fists. “You said she was with you when you left Galveston eight days ago, right Sam?”
The younger man nodded to his brother, his hazel eyes not leaving the tattered brown carpet. “Yeah, and I know for a fact that she left with me for Lincoln.”
Dean paused in his pacing to throw his brother another glare, “What makes you so sure that she was?”
Sam sighed, wincing at the accusing tone, and got up from the bed and over the single small table within the cheap motel room, where his duffel bag was. He unzipped the bag and pulled out a pink and silver IPod and it’s attached ear buds.
“I found it on her bed,” he said, passing it to Dean.
Dean looked down at the IPod, and held it firmly in his hand. He stared at it for a long moment, and Sam could see his brother swallow nervously. He felt so awful and like the worst brother in the world. Running his hand over his face and through his shaggy brown hair, he felt like crying. Imagine that, a 25-year-old Hunter, bawling. His heart was in his stomach and he felt not only like bursting into tears, but also throwing up. He was absolutely disgusted with himself and his behavior. She was his responsibility; he was supposed to have watched out for her and he had failed, miserably.
Sam sat back down on the bed and refused to look at Bobby, who sat in silence, but the older man’s eyes were like bricks.
“So, you lost her in Lincoln?” Dean asked tightly. “That’s half a day’s drive…It’s unlikely she’s actually still there. Great,” he gripped the IPod tighter, “this is just fucking great. What in the hell were you doing that had you forgetting that you had an 12-year-old that you had to watch and take care of?” Dean growled at his brother angrily, no, not angry, enraged.
“I…” Sam’s words failed, and he slumped. Normally, he wouldn’t stand for being yelled at, by Dean of all people especially, but he knew that he had screwed up and screwed up big. When Dean had died in May, it felt like Sam himself had died, and he was sure it did. His brother was dead, and even after a year of knowing it was coming, it still hit him hard. Revenge boiled through him.
At first, he had tried everything to bring Dean back. He had tried summoning crossroad demons to make a deal himself, but they wouldn’t no matter what he offered them. So instead, he killed them. All of them. Every demon he crossed paths with, he killed them, with the help of Ruby’s knife.
But then Asta showed up a few weeks later, clean and fresh from her first year at Hogwarts. He could have sworn they had agreed that she was to stay with the Dursleys back in England during the summers until she was seventeen, so he was surprised when he walked into his motel room in Syracuse after a rough hunt to see his 11, almost 12-year-old sister fast asleep on his bed. He was glad she had been asleep, as he had been covered in blood.
Sam thought about how he had acted toward her presence and the guilt only grew. He had not been happy and instead of welcoming her with the hug and kiss that she had always known and came to expect whenever she was with him, he had snapped at her and he had ignored her. It was all a blur after that. After Ruby came back and started teaching him to use his mind power to send demons back to hell without the use of the knife, he had only the thought of killing demons. Anything else he stopped thinking about, including his baby sister.
“I am messed up, Dean,” Sam spoke to his brother, finally looking up at him. “When you died, I…it killed me. Seeing you ripped to shreds like that, by Lilith and her hellhounds. I lost it. I couldn’t bring you back, so I did the only thing I knew how. I went after demons, and Lilith especially. When Asta arrived I was in no mindset to take care of a kid….”
“Yeah?” Dean said sarcastically, “Well, did you ever try and send her Bobby’s way? He might have been a little too involved with his liquor cabinet these last four months but at least he was fucking sober when I got to his house. He could have taken Asta – ”
“Boys.” Bobby interrupted Dean’s tirade, and the two Winchester boys turned to their pseudo uncle, who up until now, hadn’t said a word. “We can deal with Sam’s lack of child caring abilities later. I know how we can track Asta, and also I know how we can find out what pulled Dean out of the pit’s of Hell. There’s this psychic a few hours away, and she can help up. Pack up, you idjits.”
Dean glared down at Sam once more, before stalking out the motel room, his sister’s IPod still grasped in his hands. “I can’t look at him right now, Bobby. He’s riding with you.”
Dean sat in his beloved Impala, outside the hospital where he, Sam and Bobby had just dropped Pamela, the hot psychic friend of Bobby’s, off. As horrible as he felt about the woman’s eyes being burned out of her skull, due to his current ‘Who the hell pulled me from the pit?’ problem, he was only thinking of three things. His sister, her location and how much he wanted to beat the living shit out of his brother.
Remembering where Pamela had told them Asta was, Dean’s hands clenched the wheel of his car so tight that his knuckles turned white. His sister – his sweet, innocent, beautiful little baby sister – was hiding in a thickly forested natural park by a creek in Seattle, Washington, sick with fever and pain from some injury that Pamela couldn’t pinpoint and drenched from the constant pouring rain. He had no idea how she had gotten from Lincoln to Seattle, but he prayed with everything he had that she was going to be okay.
Shaking his head, he turned on the ignition of the Impala and pulled out of the parking lot. He had already spoken to Bobby and told him to make sure that Sam did not follow him. Oh, he knew his brother was sorry, but Dean was not in a forgiving mood. This was something that he was going to have a hard time letting go. He was angry, not only for himself but also for Asta, on her behalf, because he knew that when she was better, she would forgive Sam immediately. That was his baby girl, always the forgive and forget type, never one to hold a grudge.
He loved Sam, and would always love him – he was his little brother after all. However, Asta was his – he had raised her since she appeared in their life when she was just 3 months old. John had all but refused to have anything to do with Astrid, and it wasn’t like he was there much anyway. Sure, he had technically raised Sam, too, but they were only four years apart. Asta had been an infant – a very tiny, very premature infant at that – and Dean had been 17-years-old, practically an adult when Asta became part of their family.
With John never around or pretending that Asta was not his, Dean had to step up and he did. He made sure his sister was fed, washed, dressed and sleeping soundly, not to mention all of those diapers. He considered
Asta more his kid than his sister, because really, that was what she was to him. He was her only parent. Sam was her brother – he acted like her older brother, he was protective just like Dean was protective of Sam, and he was there when Dean wasn’t, but only as a brother.
1 Day, 6 Hours, 48 Minutes Later
Dean had been driving non-stop, but he wasn’t tired. He’d driven longer for less reasons, and knew that he still had a few good hours in him left. Enough to find Astrid, and take her to the closest hospital if she was as bad off as Pamela made her condition out to be. This wasn’t going to be easy, given the size of Seattle, and just how many parks there were in and around the large Pacific city.
He knew that he was looking for a natural park, one surrounded by trees and one that had a stream running through it. Deciding to just pick a park and start from there, Dean used his wandless magic – which he hardly ever used, as he preferred to do most of his jobs by natural means, but it was his sister on the line and he was pulling no punches. Every tool he had at his disposal could be necessary. Casting a tracking spell on his knife, it pointed North West and so headed in that direction, relieved. The spell only worked if the person you were trying to locate was close by or within 30 miles.
With the traffic as it was in Seattle, and with the rain beating down, it took Dean an hour before he was pulling up to a park named Pipers Creek Natural Area. Getting out of the Impala, Dean grabbed his knife and continued forward, being directed by his knife with a Point Me spell. He cast it ever minute, just to make sure the trail he was following was still hot.
With him, he had a waterproof blanket and his sawed off rifle hidden from view. It was early evening, but thankfully there was nobody around in the park area. It was disserted, so nobody saw Dean as he entered the thickly wooded area, his legs carrying as fast he could travel through the pouring rain and muddy, slippery ground.
Thirty minutes into his trek out into the wilderness, he was soaked through, but he could feel the Point Me spell weakening, which was the indication that he was getting close. Trudging up the small hill, he stopped at the top and glanced down. There was the creek, flowing calmly over the rocks and pebbles and picking up the ripples of raindrops that pelted the water. Getting closer to the creek, Dean’s bottle green eyes took in the surrounding area, looking for any sign of his sister’s presence.
“Asta!” he called loudly over the rain. He listened, but as expected he didn’t get a reply. He took a step down the hilly mound and paused at the edge of the wide but shallow creek. It was over flowing, due to the heavy rain. “Asta!” he called again.
Then he heard it – a very faint whimper. Dean’s head shot up. “Asta?” Another whimper and he looked across the creek once more, where the noise had come from and he truly almost cried when he spotted her small, curled up form at the base of a tree. “ASTA!”
She practically blended into the scenery, and he without hesitation stomped through the creek, not at all caring when the ice cold water flooded his boots. He rushed over to his sister’s side and fell to his knees.
Asta lay on her side, her arms wrapped around her middle protectively. Her clothes – a measly skirt and a t-shirt, were soaked through. When he cupped her small, pale face in his large hands, he could feel the fever, even through the ice coldness of her skin. She was shivering uncontrollably, her lips were blue and her long, black hair was completely wet and caked with leaves and mud, along with herself.
He quickly wrapped the waterproof blanket around her securely and then scooped the smaller than average 12-year-old up and into his arms. Hugging her close to his body, he quickly took off back to his Impala. The moment he got to his car, he laid Asta down in the back seat before climbing into the driver’s seat. Starting the Impala, he turned the heater on full blast – he, too, was starting to shiver but it was far more for Asta’s benefit than his.
Dean sat next to Asta’s bedside as he watched her sleep. They had been at the hospital for several hours now, and he’d been told that she had severe hypothermia and had contracted pneumonia. She was currently in an incubator of sorts, hooked up to different types of machines. Every time she took a breath, Dean winced at the horrible raspy sound.
She looked so tiny cubed up like she was, surrounded by plastic. The only thing he could do was sit and watch as she struggled to breathe properly.
“I’m sorry, baby girl,” he told her quietly, though he wasn’t sure what he was apologizing for. For making the deal to begin with maybe – if he hadn’t, she wouldn’t be sick. Then again, if he hadn’t of sold his soul, Sam would be dead and that was unacceptable, too. Either way, he was just sorry. This may be all Sam’s fault, but still, he felt guilty too.
He was brought out of his brooding by his cell phone ringing. Pulling it out of his pocket and seeing it was Bobby, answered it.
“You got ‘er yet?” the older Hunter asked without preamble.
He shook his head in mild amusement. “Yeah, I got her. She’s…weak, Bobby, and very sick. She has hypothermia and she’s contracted pneumonia from being out in the rain for only God knows how many days.
“They have her in an incubator, like a sick baby and damn it, Bobby, she looks like a sick baby.”
There was silence on the other line for a second, “Do you want us to drive up?”
Dean shook his head, “Nah, its okay…We’ll probably be here a week or so, though, but I’ll call you when she starts to get better…or worse,” he added solemnly.
“You do that. I’ll keep an eye on your dimwit brother, put him to work in the yard. See you in a week, Dean and get some sleep, you idjit.”