Sixteen: The End of All Things
feel it, don’t you?”
voice is familiar, but Dean can’t quite place
it, and when he looks, there’s no one there.
chest burns with a sense of dread and loneliness, and
when he looks down, he realizes his amulet is glowing,
reflecting the dull red of the burning sky.
clouds above him are on fire and the heavens are falling,
the sky raining down like ash.
him, there’s nothing, just something in the distance,
* * * *
feel it, don’t you?”
voice is familiar, but Sam can’t quite place it,
and when he looks, there’s no one there.
He’s never alone. Even here, in the middle of
nowhere, looking up at a sky on fire.
a mountain in the distance, a shape he recognizes, and
he’s surrounded by familiar faces. Some of them
he knows to be dead, some of them still living. Special
Kids, all. Haris’ Chosen Few. Whole and breathing,
not cursed and broken.
here. Matthew Teller. David Mitchum. Nathan Cole and
his sister Chelsea. Alyssa Medina, who stole Dean’s
memory. Poor Matthew Ismay. Max Miller. Daisy Duffield,
and Sam wants to laugh when he remembers Dean calling
her “Cousin Daisy.”
are a few others he doesn’t recognize: a handsome
black soldier; a shorter man with an impish grin; a
young woman with a round face and a guileless smile.
hears the voice again, but he can’t understand
what it’s saying anymore.
a brilliant flash of light and…
* * *
sat up sharply, the bed springs shrieking in protest
as he clutched the comforter to his chest and tried
to stop himself from hyperventilating.
Dean. Just breathe.
dad’s voice in his head was chased away by the
tinny wail of music, and it took him a couple of seconds
to realize his phone was ringing.
he made a mental note to kick Sam’s ass later
on for once again changing his ringtone, but he was
still too freaked out by the dream he just had to spend
too much time worrying about his little brother’s
whacked sense of humor.
was the one with the freaky ESP dream vision mojo thing
going on, after all.
had had nightmares before, of course. But never anything
as vivid as this one, which had left him gasping for
air and fumbling for his amulet like a toddler looking
for its pacifier. He was ridiculously relieved to discover
the little charm, cool and firm against his chest, not
glowing or burning or glinting or whatever else it had
been doing in his dream.
a long, deep breath and letting it out slowly, he fumbled
for the phone on the nightstand, his sleep-hazy vision
inadvertently coming to rest on Sam, who was raised
up on his elbows looking back at him.
Sam asked, and Dean wondered how the hell his brother
knew that. Until he realized the level of freaked out
he was currently experiencing was reflected in equal
measure in his brother’s eyes.
breathing was as fast and as desperate as Dean’s,
his complexion as pallid, and Dean wanted to ask, wanted
to check, but his phone was still shouting for his attention,
the little screen flashing “Demon Chick”
epithet was meant affectionately, of course.
Roberts had proven herself pretty damned invaluable
when it had come to getting Dad out of Stull last March,
and even though it went against every fiber of his being
to be on first name terms with a demon, Dean had to
admit he kind of liked the girl. Demon. Whatever.
Addie sounded on edge, nervous, maybe even more freaked
out than Dean was right now.
okay?” Dean asked automatically. “It’s
the middle of the night.”
glanced at the beat-up clock radio on the nightstand
for confirmation that it was, indeed, still the middle
of the night, Sam casting a quizzical look in his direction
that he merely returned with a shrug.
sorry. I’m sorry to have to—” Addie
stumbled, and it was the first time Dean remembered
the demon apologizing for anything. “It’s
Dean said as calmly as he was able. “Take a breath
and tell me what’s wrong.”
paused for a second, and Dean thought he heard her exhale
I think something big’s going down.”
was Dean’s turn to take a breath. “Demon
big,” Addie corrected him. “Hell knows,
I’ve never exactly been in any demonic inner circles,
and I certainly don’t have any kind of inside
track when it comes to Lucifer’s schemes, but
kind of whispers?”
‘demons mobilizing in their hundreds’ kind,”
Addie explained. “I hear they’re after something.”
kind of something?”
don’t know. But it’s something Lucifer wants
badly enough to send his minions out to the four corners
of the earth to find it.”
like a copy of Superman #1? The perfect burger? Cheap
think maybe some kind of artifact.”
frowned. “To do what?”
don’t know. To complete something.”
kinda vague, dude.”
know. But it’s all I know. That and—and
it’s big. Apocalypse big. And—and—”
think maybe—maybe I’m being watched.”
don’t know. Dean, I don’t know much of anything,
so I don’t understand why they’d be interested
swallowed. “Because they know you’ve been
shaky breath was Addie’s only reply.
sorry, man,” Dean offered, and he meant it. “I
know you were trying to stay under the radar.”
go on like this forever,” the demon admitted.
“It’s not your fault. Just...just promise,
if something happens to me—”
kids. You gotta make sure they’re safe.”
Sam. You need to watch out for Sam.”
world screeched to an immediate halt and for a second
Dean’s voice got stuck in his throat. “Addie?
Is something after Sam?”
studiously avoided looking at his brother right then,
but he could feel Sam’s eyes boring into him.
the demon didn’t reply, Dean repeated his question.
“Addie? Is something after Sam?”
there was no reply, the line suddenly going dead.
swallowed, his gaze finally meeting his brother’s
as he disconnected the call.
gulped down a breath. “Addie thinks something
big’s going on,” he relayed shortly. “Lucifer’s
jaw tightened. “What would Lucifer be after?”
and Dean could tell Sam was already thinking the same
thing he was, without even hearing Addie’s side
of the conversation.
Dean made no effort to answer, Sam deftly changed the
what were you dreaming about?”
frowned at the sudden non-sequitur. “Huh?”
Sam reminded him. “You were having a nightmare.”
rolled his eyes. “Sammy, we just found out Lucifer’s
got some big bad scheme up his sleeve and you want to
know what I was dreaming about?”
nodded. “Yeah I do.”
and candy canes,” Dean replied shortly, throwing
his brother’s words from years earlier back at
didn’t seem at all amused. “Dean.”
Samantha, keep your hotpants on.” Dean took a
breath. “The sky was on fire. Okay? There was
a—a hole in it. And it was dark and there was
something shining and someone said, ‘You feel
it, don’t you?’ And that was it. It was
just a dream. Nothin’ to get your panties in a
frowned at him.
Doctor Freud, whatcha got for me? I’m in love
with my cousin’s neighbour’s uncle’s
sighed, his shoulders drooping. “I had a nightmare
expression sobered. “I noticed.”
nights running now. It always starts the same way.”
Sam lowered his eyes. “A voice I kinda recognize
saying, ‘You feel it, don’t you?’”
stiffened. “You had the same dream?”
shrugged. “The sky on fire? Yeah, that part I
dreamed. But the rest? No. I was in the wilderness maybe,
and all the other Special Kids were there—even
the dead ones. And some I didn’t even know.”
processed that for a second. “You think—this
was—one of those dreams?”
shook his head. “Death vision? No, no one died
in my dream, Dean. It was just...weird is all.”
you were where?”
dunno, a park or forest or—or somewhere familiar,
somewhere...” Sam’s eyes suddenly lit up.
“Devil’s Tower!” he burst out. “It
was Devil’s Tower, Wyoming!”
wasn’t sure he liked the sound of that, especially
if this was Sam’s freaky psychic ESP thing kicking
into overdrive. “Where Lucifer’s bitch—”
your hand into a million pieces and tried to bring about
his own little Special Kid Apocalypse?”
nodded, flexing his hand absently, before eventually
adding, “These dreams. They’ve gotta be
shrugged. “Just because we heard someone say the
same thing? Dude, sometimes a banana’s just a
raised a brow at him.
just dreams, Sammy. Well, mine are at least.”
what if they’re not?”
I don’t have a psychic bone in my body—”
I’m in trouble. Then you seem to know something’s
wrong before I do.”
didn’t respond to that, just rolled his shoulders
and examined the comforter for a second. “Look,
you’re dreaming about a specific place, right?
Wyoming? Someplace you’ve been? Where something
traumatic happened to you. Well, I don’t think
I was dreaming about Wyoming, dude. I don’t think
I was dreaming about anywhere. It was dark, the sky
was on fire, and I was by myself.”
Sam to find something so insignificant significant.
all I’m saying, man, is that this might be relevant.
Maybe Addie’s right. Maybe something big really
is going down. Maybe...maybe we’re a
part of it.”
blew out a slow breath. “We always seem
to be a part of it. If only we knew what ‘it’
there’s only one way to find out.”
swung his long legs out from under the covers, snatching
up his cellphone from the nightstand and beginning to
scroll through his list of contacts.
* * *
spent the next couple of hours Googling themselves to
the brink of insanity, calling all their contacts, and
pretty much pissing off every hunter they knew who would
still talk to them.
was a pretty small number.
was about the only one with any remotely useful information,
and that had nothing to do with Lucifer, the sky burning,
or any artifact the Devil might be turning the world
upside down looking for.
know, you boys should be careful givin’ away your
location to other hunters,” he warned them. “Rennie
Lofton and her crew are just itching for a chance to
get even with you two. And don’t forget a whole
helluva lot of folks still think Sammy’s the Antichrist
and you’re his bitch, Dean.”
grunted. “That’s just ’cause I look
so damn hot in heels,” he commented wryly.
Jefferson said. “This is serious. These people
want to kill you.”
sighed heavily. “I know, man.”
Jefferson continued, and Dean was pretty sure he heard
a hand scraping through stubble. “If I hear anything,
I’ll give you boys a holler, okay? But in the
meantime, just—just try to keep a low profile.
Somethin’s definitely goin’ on. I just ain’t
sure what it is yet.”
Dean snorted. “Seems like there’s a lot
of that going around.”
had spent about ten minutes staring at his phone after
he’d ended the call with Jefferson, his finger
hovering over the call button.
hadn’t said anything, hadn’t even asked,
just informed Dean he was going to try and call Bobby.
took a breath, finally hitting the number for “Dad’s
surprisingly, he got voicemail.
from the look on his brother’s face, so did Sam.
hung up on the two older hunters at pretty much the
same time, neither of them leaving a message.
what now?” Dean asked on an exhale, tossing his
phone aside onto the bed. It wasn’t that he needed
Dad or Bobby to tell him what to do. It was just…in
his experience it never hurt to get a second opinion.
seemed to have other ideas, however, suddenly springing
to his feet and digging his duffle out of the closet,
grabbing handfuls of clean and dirty clothes, books,
weapons and anything else within arm’s reach,
and stuffing it all haphazardly into the canvas bag.
Dean rose a little uncertainly, trying to get his brother’s
attention, but not succeeding until he caught hold of
Sam’s wrist in an attempt to still his frantic
movements. “Hey, man. What are we doin’?”
just looked at him for a second, as if it should be
patently obvious what they were doing.
going to Wyoming,” he explained shortly. “That’s
where it—whatever it is—is going down. That’s
where we need to be. I’m certain of it.”
frowned at him. “What part of ‘keep a low
profile’ didn’t you get, Sam?” he
asked incredulously, not releasing his brother’s
wrist, but instead forcing him to hold still for just
a second. “Wyoming’s the last place
we should be heading!”
matched his frown with one of his own. “Dean,
that’s the place I dreamed about! It’s where
I’m supposed to be—”
do you know that? Sam? You said yourself you didn’t
think it was a vision. And I sure as hell didn’t
dream about Wyoming. What if it’s a trap? What
if someone’s trying to finish off what ol’
Eli started? Huh? Luring you guys back to the scene
of the massacre? Sammy, what if someone’s after
swallowed, remembering Addie’s warning as his
fingers tightened around Sam’s wrist.
paused only briefly before shucking out of his brother’s
restraining grip and resuming his packing. “Why
would anyone want to do that, Dean?” he demanded,
seeming to deliberately avoid his big brother’s
lemme think,” Dean began, screwing up his forehead
in mock concentration. “Well there’s that
Lucifer guy who wanted you all dead in the first place.
virtually growled at him. “Why would Lucifer be
trying to lure us to Wyoming, Dean? That makes absolutely
I don’t know, because he wants to kill
you, Sam?” The volume of Dean’s voice went
up a notch to match Sam’s.
rolled his eyes. “Say that’s true—”
Lucifer still wants me dead. Why a vision? Why lure
me anywhere? Why not just kill me?”
thought you said it was just a dream?”
ground his teeth together audibly. “Look, messing
with my hokey visions was Haris’ style, and he’s
gone, Dean. If someone wanted to lure all of the surviving
Special Kids anywhere, they’re not gonna
be stupid enough to choose the place we almost got wiped
out, are they? Huh?”
lowered his voice slightly as he shook his head. “And
yet you’re stupid enough to be thinking about
going back there.”
jaw tightened, and he turned away angrily, all stiff
shoulders and hard angles. “So that’s it?
You think I’m stupid, Dean?”
stupid to be capable of making my own decisions about
my own life?”
look,” Dean remonstrated. “Addie told me
to keep you safe. Letting you run off to Wyoming ain’t
my idea of safe!”
whirled at that, his spine snapping straight as he used
his height advantage to loom over his brother, and it
took everything Dean had not to take a cautious step
back. “For your information, big brother,”
Sam spat, “it’s not up to you to
‘let’ me do anything!
I’m a grownup now, in case you hadn’t noticed,
and for once in my life I’m going to do what I
think is the right thing to do! Not what you
think. Not what Dad thinks. What I
think. And if I think I want to go to Wyoming
to investigate this thing, then there’s not a
damn thing you can do to stop me!”
just blinked at him for a second, totally unprepared
for his little tirade, and Sam returned his gaze, breathing
heavily as his face turned an incensed shade of scarlet.
I came here on this stupid waste of time case because
you wanted to. Now it’s time for me to
do something I want to do.”
look—” Dean tried again.
the hundredth time,” Sam snapped, hauling his
duffle up onto his shoulder and grabbing his jacket
off the bed as he made to storm out of the motel room
door. “It’s Sam!”
Sam!” Dean dodged in front of his little brother,
interposing himself between Sam and his only escape
route. “Can’t we just talk about this? Huh?
C’mon, Sammy—Sam. Let’s just think
stepped right up into Dean’s face, teeth grinding
together audibly. “I’m tired of thinking
things through, Dean,” he growled. “I’m
tired of letting other people think things through for
me. This dream, this vision is important, and
I get that you might not think so, and that’s
fine, but it’s important to me, so I’m
going to Wyoming, whether you come with me
or not! Okay?”
made another move toward the door, and Dean caught hold
of his arm, trying to restrain him, stop him, give him
time to cool down, time to think before he
made a really stupid, rash decision.
Sam’s mind was apparently made up, and no amount
of time was going to change that. Instead, he simply
shoved Dean’s hand away and shouldered him aside
as if he wasn’t even there, and for the briefest
of instants when he yanked open the door and turned
one last glance toward his older brother, Dean could
have sworn his eyes glinted yellow.
swallowed hard, for a crucial moment too stunned to
even contemplate chasing after his little brother, frozen
to the spot and unable to process the idea Sam might
actually leave, let alone make some effort
to try and stop him from leaving.
gaze turned outward, eyes slowly blinking into the yellow
sun beginning to peek over the horizon. And right then
he knew it had only been a trick of the light.
was just a stupid trick of the light.
he murmured quietly, his brain finally getting with
the program as his legs stumbled out into the murky
was no sign of his brother. It was as if Sam had just
melted into the early morning gloom.
was 5.30 a.m. and the neighbors weren’t going
to be happy, but Dean really couldn’t bring himself
to give a crap.
was walking into a trap.
Dean had just let him go.
angrily at himself, he turned and darted back into the
motel room, hurriedly snatching up his car keys before
dashing back out into the parking lot.
couldn’t have gone far in the few seconds Dean
had been catatonic.
he yelled again as he ran toward the Impala, pointedly
ignoring a string of curses issuing from a room off
to his left.
the hell up!” a male voice cried from another
room further away, but Dean ignored him too, the whereabouts
of his brother way more important to him than disturbing
some trucker’s beauty sleep.
he neared the Impala, Dean was indescribably relieved
to see a dark figure leaning against the side of his
he mumbled. The lot wasn’t particularly well-lit,
and he found himself squinting into the semi-darkness
as he drew nearer to the Chevy, ready to give Sam a
piece of his mind for bugging out on him. Or tell him
he was sorry and beg him not to leave. He wasn’t
sure which yet.
man, I’m—” He abruptly swallowed the
apology that lingered on his lips as he realized the
dark figure casually leaning up against the driver’s
side door wasn’t Sam.
was dressed in black, and there was something glinting
in his hands.
feel it, don’t you?” he heard a disembodied
voice rumbling around in his head, the fiery something
glinting in the darkness of his nightmare suddenly resolving
into a man in black leaning against the Impala tossing
he growled, abruptly realizing what—and who—he
was looking at.
man in black looked up and smiled wryly at him, blue
eyes reflecting the lot’s inadequate lighting.
to see you, Winchester.”
Anderson grinned at him, and for a second Dean would
have liked nothing better than to wipe the smile off
the older Guardian’s face with a well-placed fist.
only because he wasn’t Sam.
because he didn’t have time to put up with any
more of Anderson’s “Join me and together
we can rule the universe!” crap.
you don’t drop that,” he advised him instead,
indicating the coin he was tossing into the air—his
piece of Solomon’s Sword—with an inclination
of his head.
continued to smile unnervingly at him, wrapping his
fingers around the coin before stowing it in his jacket
sighed. “C’mon, man, I don’t got all
day,” he urged. “Whaddya want?”
leaned further back against the car, slow and catlike,
and Dean got the distinct impression the guy wouldn’t
have given a crap that Sam had taken off and was about
to do something monumentally stupid even if Dean had
makes you think I want anything?” the Guardian
asked unhurriedly, stuffing his hands in his jacket
pockets and surveying Dean serenely.
you’re like a bad penny,” Dean returned.
“No pun intended. And you only show up when you
want something. Of course, last time I wasn’t
entirely clear on what that ‘something’
was, so maybe this time you can dispense with the Obi-Wan
crap and tell me what the hell you’re doing here
and how the hell you found me before I lose any more
of my will to live.”
continued to gaze at him with those unnervingly focused
blue eyes, and Dean found himself starting to fidget
under the scrutiny.
wanna date, you’re all outta luck, pal,”
Dean said, folding his arms across his chest impatiently.
“I got places to be.” Little brothers
Winchester, always in a hurry to save the world,”
Anderson finally observed with a chuckle. “Or
are you still chasing around trying to save that kid
brother of yours first?”
didn’t comment, simply clenched his jaw, glowered
at Anderson, and tried not to wonder where the hell
Sam might have gotten to by now.
sighed. “Touchy, touchy,” he said, hands
raised in surrender. “The coin brought me here,
Dean retorted. “No magic coin brought you to my
doorstep at the ass crack of dawn, man.”
shrugged. “Alright, I was following intel,”
he amended, matching Dean’s stance and folding
his arms across his chest.
paused. “What kind of intel?”
demon possessions in the area,” Anderson returned.
that’s a whole cartload of bullcrap,” Dean
insisted. “If there were any possessions in the
area, we’d have heard about it.”
what brought you here, Dean?”
straightened. “We’re in town for a routine
haunting,” he replied. “Nothing brought
nodded, that smug smile returning. “Uh-huh,”
he said. “Maybe not consciously.”
attention shifted to Dean’s amulet, and Dean had
to fight the urge not to look down at his chest.
all here,” Anderson said shortly.
Guardians. We’re all gathering here, and none
of us have the first clue why.”
with a steaming side of horse hockey,” Dean snapped.
true,” Anderson insisted. “We all felt drawn
here. Just like you did.”
the last time,” Dean ground out, “I wasn’t
Sword wants us here.”
blinked at him. And sighed heavily. “Oh it does,
huh?” he said, rolling his eyes.
does,” Anderson maintained, his expression completely
I’ll bite,” Dean returned. “What’s
so special about Pontiac freakin’ Illinois?”
Sioux Falls, SD
look six shades o’ hell, Winchester,” Bobby
Singer commented bluntly, opening his front door a little
wider so he could get a better look at the wreck of
a man currently standing on his doorstep.
atcha, Singer,” John Winchester returned, running
a hand through unkempt hair streaked with gray.
was unnaturally pale, dark circles under bloodshot brown
eyes giving the impression he’d not slept in weeks,
while his clothes were hanging off him, as if he’d
not eaten in all the time he’d not slept.
was clutching something to his chest that looked suspiciously
like the journal Bobby knew John had left with his boys,
but the thing had papers sticking out of it every which
way, and the way John was hanging on to it, Bobby was
pretty sure he wouldn’t let it out of his grasp
even if his life depended on it.
the looks of him, maybe it did.
I—can I come in?” John asked, jittery focus
darting all over the place.
paused. “Depends,” he replied. “Am
I gonna find myself ass-deep in crap the second I let
you through the door?”
inclined his head, blinking tiredly. “Need your
help, Bobby,” he said, and he sounded so lost
and helpless Bobby was instantly on the alert.
didn’t reply, but finally made eye contact with
his old friend, and Bobby immediately stepped aside,
jerking his head to indicate he should come inside.
entered with a grateful dip of his head, following Bobby
into the kitchen where he collapsed onto one of the
rickety old wooden chairs as if his legs no longer had
the strength to bear his weight.
slapped a shot glass down on the table in front of him
and poured him a triple, which John knocked back in
lifted his ball cap and scratched his head a little.
“You look like you could use somethin’ to
eat, John,” he said slowly. “Although I
think all I got around here is Cheetos and Cheez Whiz.”
shrugged, his head sinking below his shoulders as he
hunched over the kitchen table.
sighed, taking the seat opposite his friend. “Okay,
out with it,” he insisted. “What’s
on your mind, John?”
didn’t answer for the longest time, his finger
playing distractedly with a long gouge in the tabletop
that Bobby seemed to recall Sam making when he was about
six and had just gotten into that awkward destructive
phase little boys were all prone to.
John shook his head and drew in a long breath before
exhaling very slowly, eyes never leaving the gouge his
son had made in the table. “I don’t know
what to do,” he said quietly, his voice rough
from the whiskey and subdued like Bobby had never heard
what?” Bobby asked softly. “John, what’s
scrubbed a hand through his hair, his gaze still not
leaving the tabletop. “I’ve been puzzling
it round and round in my head since I got back from
Stull, Bobby,” he explained, his voice little
more than a murmur, “and whichever way I look
at it, they die.”
boys, Bobby,” John clarified unnecessarily, finally
looking up from the tabletop. “My boys are going
to die and I can’t figure a way to stop it.”
what?” Bobby asked a little uncertainly. “What
makes you think they’re gonna die?”
that’s how it always ends!” John burst out,
momentarily covering his face with his large hands.
“Every time! That’s how it always
Bobby said, a little more sternly than he’d intended.
“You’re not making much sense here, buddy.”
wiped the back of his hand across his face, and it was
the first time Bobby remembered seeing him with anything
approaching tears in his eyes.
he was crying.
Winchester was sitting at his kitchen table crying.
poured him another triple.
it out, John,” he insisted. “A problem shared,
took the glass, throwing the liquid down his throat
before returning his old friend’s sympathetic
gaze. “I’m not sure it’s going to
make sense,” he said quietly.
the rest of our lives, friend,” Bobby pointed
nodded, a flicker of a smile toying with his lips. “When
I was in the Nexus—”
Bobby repeated with a frown. “Stull?”
John nodded. “Stull is just where the doorway’s
located in this reality,” he confirmed. “The
Nexus is—it’s every doorway. In every reality.”
when I was stuck on the other side of it, every reality
I saw they—they—”
lowered his eyes to his empty glass. “One way
didn’t seem to want to elaborate, and Bobby wasn’t
going to push him, just relieved his old friend finally
seemed to want to talk about something.
he couldn’t help feeling John should be unburdening
himself to his sons at this point.
John breathed. “The things I saw… I been
rollin’ it round and round in my head and I just
can’t… I can’t see a way to protect
them, Bobby. To save them.”
they’re not yours to protect or to save, John,”
Bobby returned, a little unsettled by the wide-eyed
look of panic his words seemed to elicit from the other
John spluttered, his already pale complexion draining
still further. “What do you mean by that?”
shrugged dismissively. “I dunno, John. You’ve
always tried to protect those boys. Maybe this time
you have to let them save themselves. Maybe that’s
how it ends different.”
what if they can’t, Bobby? I gotta protect them.
From all those futures I saw. All those ways it could
go south. I just—I just don’t know how to
that why you’ve kept the boys at arm’s length
since you got back?”
considered the question, before nodding reluctantly.
“You noticed that, huh?”
wandering around like a kicked puppy tryin’ to
figure out what he did to deserve a beat-down? Yeah,
sighed again, his hands once more covering his face.
“I can’t burden them with this,” he
said at length, shaking his head vehemently. “They
already have enough weight on their shoulders. I’ve
already put enough weight on their shoulders. And the
more time I spend with them, the more I want to unburden
myself, tell them what I saw on the other side.”
why don’t you do that, then? John, they’ve
been waiting months for you to get yourself
straightened out enough to talk to them about
know that,” John admitted. “And it’s
not fair on them. I know that too. But telling them
what I saw…planting the seeds. That’s not
scratched his chin thoughtfully. “Like a self-fulfilling
prophecy kind of deal?”
John agreed. “If I tell Dean I saw him sacrifice
himself for his brother, maybe he’ll think that’s
what he’s supposed to do here—”
when did Dean ever not try to sacrifice himself
for his brother?” Bobby asked wryly. “Dammit,
you gotta give your boys more credit than that, John.
They can choose their own paths.”
what if it gets them killed?”
they’re smart boys. They know how to look after
themselves. And each other.” Once again Bobby
tugged off his ball cap and scratched nervously at his
scalp. “And you know what’s really
not fair on them?” he continued.
snorted softly. “No, but I’ve got a feeling
you’re gonna tell me.”
right I am!” Bobby returned. “John, what’s
really unfair is their dad giving them the cold shoulder
after they busted their asses to get him out of Hell!”
need to talk to your kids, John.”
sighed again, and this time the shudder seemed to go
all the way through his body. “It all seems so
inevitable,” he said dejectedly. “Michael
can’t stop Lucifer this time—”
from everything I’ve seen, every reality I’ve
experienced, the only people who can stop him…are
you’re not wrong there.”
shook his head. “No, Bobby, you don’t get
it,” John told him, looking up at his friend through
anguished eyes. “Bobby. To stop Lucifer, I think
my boys have to die.”
remembered the last time he had stood here and shuddered.
flexed his hand almost unconsciously, muscle memory
reminding him of the mess Lucifer’s flunky Eli
had made of it.
it hadn’t been for Gudrun…
tried not to continue with that line of thinking, instead
turning his attention to the little clearing off to
his right where so many of Haris’ “special
children” had met their Maker.
Tower, Wyoming. He’d hoped never to see this place
again as long as he lived. No matter how long that turned
out to be.
scratched absently at his arm, remembering the burn
of the ropes binding him to that tree right over there,
before rubbing his hand over his face as his eyes scanned
the clearing, vividly reliving the sight of Alyssa Medina
hanging, dead and bloody, mere feet away from him, while
David Mitchum’s chest was crushed to dust and
his lips dripped blood, just as Dean’s had when
Haris had been wearing Dad as his meatsuit.
took a breath and blew it out shakily, his gaze turning
to the place where Matthew Teller’s legs had been
smashed to pieces and wondered how—why—only
Sam had walked away from here.
his dream, they’d all been here, alive and whole,
all of the special children, those chosen by the universe
to atone for the sins of their forefathers. Haris had
used them, twisted their gifts, painted bulls-eyes on
their backs so big Lucifer just couldn’t resist.
turned sharply, relieved and a little unnerved to find
Kyle Williams standing behind him.
priest smiled weakly, glancing sideways at the young
man standing to his right, who grinned lopsidedly at
Sam from a face so familiar Sam for a second couldn’t
to see you again, Sam.”
blinked. “Matt?” he stumbled. “Matt!
I—I thought you were dead!”
then he was shaking Matthew Teller’s hand so vigorously
it was a wonder he didn’t pull the young man off
his feet… His feet?
of my death...yada yada,” Matt said with a wave
of his hand. “The cops told me they got an anonymous
tip that something—something bad had happened
here, and when they showed up, somehow I was still breathing.”
Matt! If I’d known… I was so sure I was
the only survivor, and—and I was so grateful my
brother was alive after—after we killed Haris
that—that I just let my dad shove me and Dean
into his truck and take off with us, never looking back.
Never wanting to look back.”
dad probably saved my life, Sam,” Matt informed
think he was the one called the cops?” Kyle asked.
shrugged. “Only other person breathing who would
have known about it, outside of Sam and his brother.”
shook his head, appalled. “Matt, I’m so
you thought I was dead. And from what I can remember,
you weren’t in the best of health by the time
that demon had finished with you. Don’t beat yourself
up about it.”
shrugged. “Some of it. But after Eli crushed my
legs? Nah. It’s a complete blank until I woke
up in the hospital days later.”
looked down at Matt’s legs and frowned. “But…?”
things?” Matt grinned at him. “I’m
the Bionic Man, dude!” He rolled up the leg of
his jeans just a little to reveal metal prosthetics.
“Amputated mid-thigh. But my new legs are way
better anyway! You should see me out on the track!”
His smile sobered a little, before he added, “And
besides. I’m glad of the reminder of what happened
here. Makes me remember how lucky I was to get out alive.”
still don’t understand why Eli didn’t try
to lure me out here,” Kyle put in. “Y’know,
if Lucifer planned on killing all of us.”
shrugged, reluctant to admit he’d wondered the
same. “Maybe you just flew under his radar.”
not anymore?” Kyle said slowly. “I mean…this
could be a trap.”
frowned. “For the ones that got away?” He
shifted uncomfortably, Dean’s voice ricocheting
around in his head warning him of the same thing. “Did—did
you guys have the dream?”
nodded slightly. “I thought it was a death vision,”
he admitted. “At first. I thought it meant we
were all going to die. All of the ‘special kids.’
Until I spoke to Matt and he told me he’d had
exactly the same dream.”
did?” Sam wasn’t sure if that made him feel
better or worse. At least he and Kyle usually had visions.
Matt certainly didn’t.
feel it, don’t you?’” Matt murmured.
“Devil’s Tower. The whole IMAX experience.”
yet you both came here,” Sam observed. “Even
though this could very well be a trap,” Kyle finished
his sentence for him. “Someone using our dreams
to lure us to our deaths.”
Sam proclaimed with a determination he didn’t
really feel. “The dream didn’t feel that
way. It felt like a—a summons, a rallying call.
Like this was somewhere we were meant to be.”
nodded. “Totally,” he agreed. “You
think I’d be caught dead—or whatever—in
this godforsaken place for a second time if I thought
some demon was just out to torture me again?”
worried his lower lip with his teeth, but made no comment.
how did you two track each other down?” Sam asked
shrugged. “You once told me about the other people
like us you’d met, Sam,” he explained. “I
decided to try looking a few of them up.”
I thought Matt was dead—”
stop me looking,” Kyle admitted. “Just in
case. I looked for Alyssa Medina too. And David Mitchum.
Unfortunately I think they really are dead.”
were others,” Matt put in. “In my dream.
Kids I didn’t recognize. A cute redhead—”
snickered. “Down boy,” he said. “That’s
my cousin you’re talking about.”
Kyle sounded surprised. “You didn’t tell
me about her.”
can cause earthquakes.”
Of course she can.”
a soldier,” Matt said.
Sam agreed. “Don’t know him.”
a stoner guy.”
Nathan Cole,” Kyle said suddenly, looking beyond
turned sharply, more than a little surprised to see
a dark-haired young man and a girl of perhaps eleven
or twelve approaching them.
the young man said.
swallowed. “Arashi,” he said quietly, ducking
his head a little.
young man’s jaw tensed before he ground out tersely,
“You can call me Nathan, Sammy.”
smiled despite himself. Nathan had never liked the nickname
his best friend had saddled him with. “Touché,”
he agreed, just relieved Nathan was even talking to
him, considering he hadn’t parted with the Winchesters
on the best of terms. And… “We thought you
lot of that going around,” Matt muttered.
shrugged. “Lying low,” he explained shortly.
“And was I ever glad? When I heard what happened
know about the massacre?” Kyle asked.
nodded. “Saw it in a dream,” he said. “Another
the one that brought you here?”
little more horrific, but yeah,” Nathan agreed.
“If I hadn’t let the world think I was dead,
I probably would be by now. Chelsea too.” He inclined
his head in the girl’s direction, and Sam blinked.
is Chelsea?” Sam asked disbelievingly. “Wow!
You’ve sure grown!” The girl smiled shyly
up at him, and he suddenly had to rewind the last couple
of seconds in his head. “Wait,” he said
slowly. “Why would Eli have wanted Chelsea?”
glanced up at her brother, who nodded almost imperceptibly,
and she turned her gaze toward the ground between her
and Sam before closing her eyes tightly.
seconds, a tiny dust spiral formed at Sam’s feet.
nodded, suddenly understanding. “She’s ‘atmoskinetic’
replied with a tiny nod of his head, before stuffing
his hands into his jeans pockets. “I don’t
think this Haris creep could have known about her,”
he said. “And the less people know the better,”
he added. “But…y’know, she had the
dream too. She deserves to be here.”
nodded, although he couldn’t help wondering whether,
had his “gifts” been manifest at that age,
Dean would have ever let him walk into what could still
very well be a trap.
though he kept telling himself this wasn’t
thankfully didn’t have time to think any further
on that, as the sound of an engine approaching drew
his attention to an oddly familiar-looking Jeep that
had pulled up next to what Sam could only assume was
Jeep was dusty and battered and looked like half a mountain
had fallen on it.
was when Sam realized half a mountain had fallen
grinned brightly, glancing slyly at Matt. “Remember
that cute redhead…?”
Duffield strode across the plain as if she owned it,
coming to a stop right in front of Sam and squinting
up at him. “That brother of yours could have told
me about the big family reunion, coz!”
snickered, before gathering the archeologist up into
a bone crushing hug. “Daisy, Daisy,” he
murmured, pulling her off her feet for a second before
releasing his hold on her. “That brother of mine
would never have admitted you two were still in contact
with each other!”
had a sneaking suspicion Dean and Daisy had been keeping
in sporadic contact since Mount Diablo, despite the
two of them not exactly hitting it off when they first
met. Eventually, he figured they’d both come to
realize that they actually kind of liked each other
a hell of a lot more than either of them was willing
a fabulous thing, Sam,” Daisy replied brightly.
“Don’t get the urge to punch him in the
face every time he opens his mouth.”
snickered. “I’m sure he feels the same.”
drew in a gasp of mock offense. “You wound me,
Cousin Samuel,” she told him.
what I said I’d do to your brother if he ever
called me that?”
Sam knew she wasn’t kidding.
dream of it,” he returned.
you better not,” Daisy warned him, shoulder checking
him softly. “I figure we’ve all been too
busy dreaming about other stuff lately, huh?”
glanced around the other “special kids,”
all of whom nodded slightly at her.
had the dream too then?” Sam asked, unquestionably
happy to see his cousin, but also kind of worried, because
this could still be a trap, and Daisy…well Daisy
Dean would kick his ass from here to Mars if he let
anything happen to her.
Kyle suddenly grunted, doubling over as he clutched
at his head in a gesture Sam found chillingly familiar.
priest had his eyes crushed tightly closed, and it didn’t
take a genius to work out he was having a vision.
Sam repeated, grabbing the smaller man’s shoulder.
“Stay with me, man!”
continued to groan, his fingers only clutching his temples
slid an arm under the priest’s elbow, trying to
keep him upright as he rode out the final throes of
the vision, the tightness in his shoulders gradually
relaxing as the pain seemed to ebb away from him.
did you see, man?” Matt asked urgently.
blinked owlishly, glancing first up at Sam, then at
Matt, before finally raking his gaze over the entire
company. “Death vision,” he groaned, clearly
freaked out of his brain, his fingers digging painfully
into Sam’s biceps.
Sam asked shortly. “Kyle? Whose death did you
blinked at him again, swallowing hard, before finally
croaking out, “Yours.”
the hell are you thinking, Winchester?
Dean chided himself, trudging after Chris Anderson sullenly.
He should be looking for Sam, not going on
a six million mile hike through some godforsaken forest,
for crying out loud!
Sammy Senses were tingling out of all proportion, and
he just knew something was wrong. And after
Addie’s warning… To just let Sam go off
on his own like that… He should have known
better, especially after what had happened in Hastings.
we there yet?” he demanded impatiently, scowling
at Anderson’s back. He felt as if they’d
been walking through these freakin’ woods for
days, and he couldn’t help glancing over
his shoulder every few steps, somehow unable to shake
the feeling he was being watched.
it wasn’t as if he completely trusted Anderson,
in Pocatello, he and Sam had almost convinced themselves
Anderson was the demon Asmodeus, and although the idea
seemed ridiculous to him now, it didn’t mean he
wanted to be out in the middle of nowhere with the guy
and no backup either.
turned and fixed him with a beady glare. “What
are you, five?” he asked.
grimaced at him, before shoving his hands in his jacket
pockets and continuing to lumber after the older Guardian.
fingers tightened around his cell, and he pulled it
out, squinting at it in the faltering moonlight.
had been gone almost a day now, and although Dean had
a pretty good idea where his idiotic little brother
was headed, it certainly didn’t make him feel
a whole hell of a lot better.
more time… he thought to himself, hitting
Sam’s speed dial.
like every other time he’d tried to call his brother
since he took off, all Dean got was voicemail.
Sam was a whole lot more like their dad than he’d
ever want to admit.
it’s me. Again,” Dean hissed into
the phone. “You better not be where the hell I
think you are, little brother, ’cause if you are,
I am so tanning your hide when you get back
here! Don’t you think I won’t, either! You’re
not too big for a good spanking, Sam.” He blinked
and grimaced. “And I totally meant that in a non-kinky
way, okay?” He sighed. “Just—just
be safe, okay? And. Call me?”
hated sounding so desperate, and he was pretty sure
Anderson was sniggering at him.
up,” he growled.
didn’t say anything,” Anderson tossed back
over his shoulder.
well you and your stupid crusade can stick it where
the sun don’t shine as far as I—”
here,” Anderson announced suddenly.
so were all the other Guardians.
were arranged in a rough circle, five men ranging in
age from a kid in his early twenties to a guy who looked
to be in his early sixties.
didn’t recognize any of them, but he couldn’t
help trying to do the math in his head. His amulet,
plus Anderson’s coin and the six other pieces
of the Sword he’d managed to gather over the years,
including that nutjob Bryan Castor’s dagger…
So that meant…
should be ten other Guardians here.
to Sam, who’d heard the story whilst trussed up
like a Christmas turkey by Castor the aforementioned
nutjob, the story went that Nadib, King Solomon’s
most trusted lieutenant, had broken the Sword into eighteen
pieces—the blade into thirteen, the hilt into
five. The five pieces of the hilt were distributed amongst
his sons. So. Thirteen pieces represented here…and
no one looked particularly as if they were of Middle
Eastern descent… So that meant…
the hilt, right?” Chris asked, apparently reading
blinked at him.
shrugged. “The Guardians have been searching for
it for years. Can’t reassemble the Sword without
what we’re doin’ then?” Dean asked
uncertainly. “We’re puttin’ the Sword
nodded slightly, causing Dean to frown.
grinned broadly at him, pointedly not answering his
question, before nodding to the other men gathered in
the clearing. “You know who I am?” he asked
know,” the oldest Guardian replied, a distinguished-looking
African American man with quick, intelligent eyes and
a suppleness of posture that suggested years of training
are we here, man?” a younger man asked, Latino,
in his late twenties. “Why were we brought here?”
Sword brought you,” Chris answered enigmatically.
“You felt the pull, right?”
frowned minutely, suddenly unable to remember exactly
why he and Sam had come to Pontiac.
was sure it had been just a routine haunting he’d
gotten a whiff of on the net when he and Sam had been
looking for their next gig. Sam had found what might
have been a werewolf hanging around downtown Phoenix,
but Dean had been determined they should come to Pontiac.
In fact, he and Sam had kind of argued about it. The
werewolf, Sam took great pains to point out, had already
killed three people, while the pissed off poltergeist
in Pontiac had done little more than break some old
lady’s antique china tea set.
shook his head. No way. He was the master of
his own destiny. Nothing had told him to come
other Guardians were all looking at each other uncomfortably,
clearing thinking exactly the same thing.
what’s here?” a mousy-looking guy of about
Dean’s age finally asked.
gestured to the wooden cross they were currently gathered
around, and Dean once again blinked, only just noticing
the thing was there.
it wasn’t as if there was anything else around
to distract his attention.
buried here?” another of the Guardians asked.
This one was maybe in his fifties with a paunch that
spoke of beer, burgers and baseball. He squinted at
the roughly-hewn wooden crucifix, moving a little closer
to get a better look at it. “There’s no
a rumor,” Anderson began, suddenly producing a
shovel Dean didn’t remember seeing him with before,
“that Nadib, King Solomon’s lieutenant,
never broke the hilt of the Sword into five pieces.
Instead, he gave his sons decoys and kept the hilt as
the piece of his master’s sword he himself swore
to protect. According to the legends, he went out into
the world, constantly searching for a place to hide
it, but never finding one, no matter how far he travelled.”
raised the shovel, bringing it down to bite into the
earth beneath the cross.
he started to dig, he looked up at the other Guardians,
who stood watching him, uncertain of their next move.
he asked. “What are you waiting for?”
he pointed at a pile of shovels over by a nearby tree,
and once again Dean blinked, pretty damn sure they’d
not been there last time he’d looked.
hesitated for only a second before snatching up one
of the shovels and beginning to help Anderson dig, the
other Guardians slowly following his lead.
for nothin’, man,” he said, shoulder to
shoulder with the older Guardian. “But I got a
lot of experience diggin’ up corpses, and I gotta
say, I feel a whole lot better knowing who the hell
it is I’m diggin’ up.”
paused for a moment, his expression completely unreadable.
“Nadib,” he replied simply.
Dean echoed, the other Guardians looking equally as
nonplussed. “How is that even possible?”
he demanded. “The guy lived, like, thousands of
years ago, right? Back when sandals were all the rage?
Dude, the only people living around these parts back
then were the native tribes.”
smiled knowingly. “Nadib kept the hilt safe for
centuries,” he explained. “When the legend
said he went out into the world, it really wasn’t
forehead crinkled in confusion. “So…you’re
saying, what? The guy beat Columbus to the punch?”
shook his head. “Nadib didn’t arrive in
the Americas until the mid-1800s.”
how the hell is that possible?” Dean
is it possible that someone taking your necklace away
will kill you?” Anderson countered.
shifted his grip on his shovel awkwardly.
Sword is a legend in itself,” Anderson continued.
“It has powers beyond human understanding! Nadib
himself didn’t know how he managed to live so
long, but he always attributed it to the hilt constantly
being about his person.”
frowned. “How do you know what Nadib thought?”
he asked skeptically.
left a journal,” Anderson replied with a shrug.
“I found it at Shadrack Mann’s place.”
you bumped into Bobby, right?” Dean said with
a knowing grimace. “He always said he thought
you’d lifted something that didn’t belong
belong to him either.”
said you ransacked the place.”
was a messy old geezer.”
you just decided to steal his stuff?”
I hadn’t, do you think any of us would know what
to do here today?”
grunted. “Well I guess the Sword might have told
us if it went to all that trouble to bring us here.”
scowled at him, but didn’t reply, merely returning
to his digging.
sighed. “So the journal told you where Nadib was
buried?” he asked, trying to sound conciliatory.
didn’t offer the same courtesy. “Yes, Dean,
Nadib wrote where he was buried in his journal.”
know what I mean, asshat,” Dean growled, fingers
tightening around the shovel’s handle as he visualized
smashing it into the condescending asshole’s face.
barely stifled a smug grin. “No,” he replied
at length. “Nadib wrote about his intention to
be buried with the hilt, that’s all.”
all of this is true,” the oldest Guardian put
in, gesturing at the crucifix, “then Nadib lived
centuries before Christianity existed.”
he did,” Anderson confirmed. “But he was
converted in the early days of the religion. According
to his journal, by Christ Himself.”
back up,” Dean said, holding up a hand. “Nadib
was converted by Christ? Jesus Christ?”
nodded. “He was in Galilee during Christ’s
ministry,” he explained. “He was present
at the Sermon on the Mount; when Christ fed five thousand
men with five loaves and two fish; the Crucifixion.”
Crucifixion?” Dean blurted.
saw much in his long life,” Anderson said with
a slight inclination of his head. “And when he
finally passed away, his only request was that he should
be buried with the hilt. His friends at that time had
no idea who he was or what the hilt might be, but he
was their friend, and by all accounts a great man, so
it was only fitting they honor his last request.”
studied the shallow hole in the ground in which they
were currently standing and blew out a slow breath.
“So you think this is where the hilt’s buried?”
he asked a little uncertainly.
paused, his blue eyes eerily reflecting the moonlight
as he nodded, just once.
Guardians continued to dig in silence.
Outside of Broken Bow, NE
sat on the hood of his battered old Chevy Chevelle,
his feet swinging idly.
him, the moonlight cast into silhouette the burnt-out
remains of a ramshackle building, broken, twisted timber
limbed with silver, broken glass sparkling over uneven
gravel and floorboards warped by heat.
have been a bar once.
paced up and down in front of him, alternately crossing
and uncrossing his arms over his chest, fingers occasionally
brushing against the 9mm tucked into his waistband.
makes you think this is such a great idea, Singer?”
he asked shortly, pausing his pacing only briefly to
squint at his old friend.
shrugged. “Storm’s comin’,”
he murmured, vividly recalling the day four years earlier
when he had told John’s boys the exact same thing.
“We need help, John. If we’re gonna save
your boys. Save the world.”
To stop Lucifer, I think my boys have to die,”
John had said.
response had been obvious. “Then we have to
find another way to stop Lucifer.”
course, that was all well and good in theory. Out here
in the real world? Not quite so easy.
stopped pacing and looked at him. “What makes
you think they’re gonna help us?” he asked
you asked,” Bobby replied simply.
a private party, or can anyone join in?” a broad
Texan drawl called out into the half-light.
slid off the Chevelle, holding out a hand toward their
old friend Jefferson, who strode toward them with a
grin on his face the size of the Grand Canyon.
was flanked by several other hunters, only some of whom
Bobby recognized, although the black couple to Jefferson’s
right were a sight for sore eyes.
Tamara!” he burst out, taking first the man’s
hand, then his wife’s. “It’s good
to see you both! Been too long.”
to see you too, Bobby.” Tamara’s smile was
genuine, but her husband seemed a little less than pleased
with the situation.
here, Singer?” Isaac asked. “Why did you
want to meet us here? Of all places.”
thumbed toward the burnt out ruin behind him. “Used
to be common ground here once,” he said evenly.
been a roadhouse here for nigh on forty years, Bobby,”
Jefferson pointed out. “Not since old Nate Harvelle
nodded. “Damn shame,” he observed. “Someone
should have taken this place on instead of letting demons
burn it to the ground.”
at least rebuilt it,” Jefferson agreed. “I
remember this place from when I was a kid. My daddy
used to bring me here. Always said it was good for hunters
to have a safe haven, somewhere they could go to be
among their own kind.”
turn out to be so safe from what I heard,” Isaac
not,” Bobby conceded. “But maybe that’s
what’s called for here. Common ground. We have
a job to do. A lot of people to save. And to do it,
we’re damn well gonna have to find a way to put
aside our differences and work together.”
why should we believe anything the father of the Antichrist
and his bitch tells us?”
squinted into the gathering darkness as a shapely female
figure in black leathers approached, removed her motorcycle
helmet and shook out raven black hair.
immediately lurched toward her, a feral growl reverberating
in his throat.
ought to kill you!” he snarled. “After what
you tried to do to my boys!”
was doing the world a favor,” Rennie retorted,
removing black gloves from her deceptively dainty hands.
no-good—” John’s fingers flew to the
handgun in his belt, but Bobby caught his arm and did
his best to hold him back, one hand gripping his biceps
hard enough to bruise, the other planted flat against
his chest. “Easy John,” he urged in his
most soothing tone of voice. “Common ground, remember?
We need all the help we can get!”
don’t need her help,” John seethed,
pushing against Bobby’s restraining hands. “I
need to put a goddamn bullet in her brain.”
now, John,” Rennie cooed, glancing over her shoulder
as a couple more trucks and cars pulled up in the roadhouse’s
old parking lot. “I believe the cavalry’s
help us or to kill us?” John asked through gritted
teeth, and Rennie merely raised a perfectly manicured
eyebrow as several hunters Bobby remembered seeing in
her company previously exited their vehicles and slouched
over to stand at her shoulder.
that’s entirely up to you, sweetheart,”
Rennie returned with a lurid leer. “All you need
to do is renounce those abominations you call sons and
you have yourself your own little army here.”
my sons who need our help!”
John burst out angrily.
pivoted on one ridiculously high-heeled boot, and made
as if to head back to the jet black Harley she appeared
to have arrived on. “You should have told us that
when you called us, Winchester,” she snapped.
“You really think we’d put ourselves in
the line of fire to help your accursed offspring?”
She turned to the hunters behind her, obviously playing
to the crowd. “We all saw what Sam did, John,”
she continued, turning back toward him and Bobby. “The
visions. Who put those in his head, do you think? Huh?
You think it was God turned him into a channel for death
visions? And how about pretty little Dean, huh? Possessed
by a nasty ol’ demon. We saw his eyes, John. We
not possessed,” John growled. “He never
was. He fought the thing off. He’s a good soldier.
A good hunter. And Sam’s visions—he uses
them to save people, not to kill them! Between
the two o’ them, those two boys have saved more
lives than any of you could ever hope to.”
Winchester,” Rennie scoffed. “You’ll
do anything to save your boys’ skins, won’t
you? Like cover up the murder of one of your own? Don’t
try and tell me those boys of yours didn’t gank
Sid Morrow and the other hunters that got wiped off
the face of the map last year.”
Bobby tried to explain. “That wasn’t John’s
boys. There was this girl named Mia. Except she wasn’t
really a girl—more like a half-demon. Everything
that happened was part of her psychotic plan to set
the boys up, to set us hunters at each other’s
throats, at their throats. She wanted them
Rennie demanded. “Why would a demon give a crap
whether your boys have a decent rep with the rest of
the hunting community?”
of me,” John said quietly. “Because she
blamed me for what she was. It was a bad hunt that brought
her into the world. I tried to save her, but…
but she was beyond saving.”
folded her arms across her chest, shifting her weight
to her back heel. “Why should we believe you?”
we have no reason to lie,” Bobby shot back. “Not
now. Not about this. Now isn’t the time for us
to be at each other’s throats. Now’s the
time for unity. Some bad stuff is going down—end
of the world bad. Lucifer walks the earth, and if someone
doesn’t stand up to him, the whole damn world
is going to Hell. Literally. And we’re the
only ones that can stop it.”
sucked in her cheeks, the scar running across her face
gleaming an eerie white in the moonlight. “If
this is the end of the world,” she drawled, “if
we all need to band together to stop Armageddon—”
She took a breath. “Then where are your precious
boys in all this, huh, Winchester? Where are Sam and
Dean Winchester when the End is nigh? Why aren’t
they part of this fight if they’re such damn heroes?”
cast an uncertain look in John’s direction. “They’re
fighting on a different front,” he explained sketchily.
Of course he didn’t actually know where
in hell the boys were because John was stubbornly refusing
to call them. “Hopefully, we’ll meet up
with them soon.”
glanced up at him through dark lashes, but made no comment.
we, John?” Bobby prodded.
understood the man’s misgivings. He did. And he
sure as hell didn’t want John’s boys to
die trying to save the world. But, dammit, they deserved
to be part of this.
down his annoyance with John, Bobby turned back to the
gathered hunters. If they didn’t get them on their
side, Dean and Sam were as good as dead and Lucifer…
Well Lucifer might as well tell his troops to stay home
’cause this sure as hell wasn’t going to
be much of a fight.
Bobby said, drawing in a deep breath. “I know
not all of you trust us,” he glanced pointedly
at Rennie and her little band of disciples. “Hell,
most o’ you sons o’ bitches don’t
trust each other much, either. But we’re all there
is. We’re the only ones who have a hope in hell
of savin’ this crummy old world from oblivion,
and messed up as the planet is, I’d rather not
see it fall into Lucifer’s hands. This is our
time, people. This is why we’re here, why we gave
up on normal, why we risk our lives on a daily basis
to fight evil; to protect our families; to protect our
homes, our way of life. If we don’t stand up and
be counted now, no one else will, and this world of
ours is as good as gone, you understand? Gone.
You think Lucifer will spare your kids ’cause
they’re just kids? D’you think you’ll
escape Hellfire because you fought the good fight? You
think God is gonna show up with a miraculous
last minute assist? Huh?
it, people. We’re the last line of defense
this planet has.”
took another breath, slowly scanning the crowd of gathered
hunters, hoping like hell he was wrong, that there were
others out there who could help them save the world.
somehow? He didn’t think so.
who’s with me?”
shovel hit something hard.
glanced up at Anderson uncertainly, uncomfortably aware
this wasn’t just some run-of-the-mill salt n’
burn where the only thing at risk was pissing off some
random ghost with a grudge.
nodded slowly. “Open it.”
was the only Guardian remaining at the bottom of the
hole they’d dug, and when he looked up, all he
could see was six silhouettes outlined in moonlight,
and a rectangle of clear, starry sky beyond.
I drew the short straw, huh?” he commented, before
inserting the blade of the shovel in the gap between
the lid and the body of the casket.
you are the only person here with experience
in grave desecration,” Anderson replied with a
scowled at him. “The Feds so have the wrong idea
about me,” he commented, taking a breath before
pushing his weight against the shovel’s handle.
lid came away with a disconcerting sigh, and Dean couldn’t
help the smug smirk that erupted on his face as the
other Guardians took a nervous step away from the grave.
open the rickety old coffin lid, Dean whipped his flashlight
out of his jacket pocket and played it over the inside
of the casket.
was a plain pine box, no frills, no adornments, no lining.
Just a skeleton. A really old skeleton, from
the looks of it. And Dean had seen enough skeletons
in his time to give that Bones chick on TV a run for
was hot for a nerd, though…
interrupted Dean’s thoughts, a flashlight suddenly
shining straight into the younger Guardian’s eyes.
on to your panties, hon,” Dean returned, leaning
down to get a closer look at the remains.
skull was intact, the bone yellowing in places, while
bony hands laid across the skeleton’s chest clutched
urgently at something metal.
leaned closer, peering at the object with a practiced
was a little tarnished and dusty and didn’t look
at all impressive, and he couldn’t help feeling
a little disappointed.
what he assumed to be the hilt from what he further
assumed to be Nadib’s skeletal hands, he gingerly
held the ancient object up toward Anderson.
look like much of a demon-slaying über-weapon to
me, boss,” he observed, before a sudden tingling
began to shoot up and down his arm and his amulet literally
lifted itself off his chest, the leather cord straining
toward the hilt. “Holy crap.”
Anderson reached out a hand toward him, and for a second
Dean wasn’t entirely sure whether he was offering
to help Dean out of the grave, or gesturing for him
to give him the hilt.
to believe the former, he grasped the Guardian’s
hand firmly, allowing the older man to haul him up and
out of the grave.
a breath as he struggled to his feet, Dean looked down
at the uninspiring piece of metal in his hand, before
murmuring, “So this is it? We put this thing back
together and we all bite the big one?”
shrugged. “Honestly?” he said. “I
rolled his eyes. “Super.”
grimly, Anderson reached into his jacket pockets, carefully
withdrawing his coin. Bryan Castor’s dagger. Seth
Bowman’s ring. The other pieces of the Sword he’d
somehow collected over the years.
slowly, he laid each piece reverently by the graveside,
before motioning for the other Guardians to do the same.
was a muted collective intake of breath as each Guardian
looked up at them, frowning.
older Guardian Dean figured for ex-military was the
first to move, carefully removing an innocuous-looking
bracelet from his wrist and placing it next to the other
young Latino man followed, laying a long chain beside
the dagger, while one by one the other men reluctantly
divested themselves of the pieces of the Sword they’d
sworn to protect their entire lives.
hilt was positively vibrating in his hands, and it was
all he could do to hang on to it as each piece of the
Sword was laid out on the ground before him, until only
his amulet remained.
of the other Guardians appeared to be suffering any
ill-effects from being separated from their pieces,
which Dean took as a good sign. But still. He hesitated,
probably longer than he should have, and Anderson merely
looked at him, before once again holding out his hand.
time, Dean knew what the older Guardian wanted.
the hilt to Anderson, Dean carefully removed his necklace,
before placing it gently on the ground with all the
absolutely nothing happened.
frowned, examining the hilt before carefully laying
it down by the pieces of the blade.
nothing. The hilt didn’t even seem to be vibrating
anymore, not as it had when Dean had been holding it.
You got an instruction manual, chief?” Dean asked,
causing Anderson to scowl at him mercilessly. Dean sighed,
crouching down before the pieces of Solomon’s
Sword as he wondered what had made the hilt vibrate
so violently before. Maybe it had just been a reaction
to the chilly night air. Or the warmth of his palm.
this is an anticlimax,” he observed, slowly reaching
out for the hilt.
metal was cool and smooth as his fingers closed around
the ancient artifact.
he was promptly blown off his feet in a blinding explosion
of light, sound and unearthly power.
the episode here