Chapter 6: The Case
The rest of the evening went smoothly. All three Winchesters sat around and talked and watched movies. It turned out okay. John was with both of his sons and having a wonderful time. Dean helped Sam to his room and the two of them went to bed while John sat up on the couch. He couldn't believe he was finally home with his sons. He sat there for a minute wondering if driving across the country really worth it, and then he thought about Mary. His lovely wife. Pinned to the ceiling, bleeding, gasping for breath, and catching fire. Yeah, John answered his own question. It was worth it. If he wanted to have more days like this where he was home with his sons, and the worst thing they argued about was schooling, he knew he need to find that bastard and kill it so that he could get that normal life back with his sons. And to do that he would have to sacrifice his time with them now, so he could get it with his boys later.
John stayed with Dean and Sam for a month. They had their ups and downs but they were a family. They really enjoyed the time that they had together. Even though Sam was hiding what was happening in school, he really loved the "normal" family time they were having. There were actually no arguing between him and their Dad. Dean would go to work like normal. Sam would go to school. John would even go and help out at the garage with Dean and help with the vintage car. Gus didn't mind. He was actually honored to meet Dean's father.
"Your son is on helluva mechanic," Gus said shaking John's hand.
John smiled at him, so proud of his son. He couldn't be happier for Dean.
But like anything, their time together wasn't permanent. John still had a job of his own that he had to do. So while staying with his sons he got a call from Bobby that there was a job in the neighboring state. As he had done hundreds of times before, John packed up his things and left before Sam got up for school. That didn't mean that he didn't go into his son's room and let him know that he was leaving. John sat at the side of his bed, watching Sam sleep. John moved Sam's hair away from his eyes and the boy stirred a little, leaning into his father's touch.
"Dad?" Sam asked sleepily.
"Hey kiddo," John said. "I'm about to leave."
"Okay," Sam said not opening his eyes.
"I want you to keep up with your work, okay."
"Yessir," Sam slurred out.
Sam turned on his side away from John, taking the covers with him. His shirt was hiked up in the back so when he turned something caught John's attention.
"Sammy," John said shaking his shoulder. "Sam, what happened to your back?"
Sam's eyes popped open, but he didn't move. He didn't want to turn and face his Dad because he knew if his Dad looked into his face whatever he said to cover up the bruises that he had John would know that he was lying.
"Answer me, son," John demanded.
"Dad, it's okay," Sam lied. "It's just..."
"Dean," John called out. Dean walked into Sam's room turning on the light.
He saw John sitting on the side of Sam's bed and Sam facing away from him.
"What's going on?"
"Have you seen these," John asked referring to the bruise on Sam's back.
Dean walked further into the bedroom to get a better look at what he was looking at.
"Is this what he did?!" Dean almost yelled out, "I'm gonna rip that kids lungs out!"
As much as Sam didn't want to face his father and brother, he turned and looked at them.
"How is this okay!?" Dean shouted, but John put his hand on Dean's arm to try to calm him down. "How is any of this okay?"
"They're old," Sam lied. Even though Dustin hadn't came anywhere near him since that night, he still had bruises that he so hoped his family wouldn't see. "Nothing has happened since Homecoming. I think you really scared the crap out of him, literally." Sam tried to lighten the mood in his room because the looks he was getting from his Dad and brother could scare anyone into submission. His heart was pounding out his chest hoping that they would continue to believe that Dustin was the reason for the bruises. Finally Sam was able to sigh in relief.
"Okay," John said. "But if he gives you any more problems I want you to tell Dean. You hear me?"
"Yes sir," Sam said with the feeling of a ton of weight being lifted off of him. He was able to divert their attention.
"Dean," John said. "I don't have to tell you..."
"Watch out for Sam," Dean said still fuming from actually seeing the bruises.
"No," John said. "If this happens again, don't kill him."
"What the hell do you mean don't kill him!" Dean yelled.
John knew that he wasn't angry with him, that he was being a big brother, but he couldn't stand for that.
"Calm down!" John yelled. "I know you're upset. I know you will handle this the right way. Remember you two still live here. So unless you want to start back moving around, which I don't think Sam wants, I don't want you to kill the boy. But take care of your brother."
"Yes sir," Dean said curtly.
"Now, I have to go. I need to be on the road now," John said getting up and walking towards the door. "You boys take care of each other. Dean remember what I said. I'll call you when I get a chance."
John turned and walked out of the room before either one could say anything.
They heard the front door close and Dean looked down at Sam, who was still lying down in the bed. He wanted so much to take off his shirt and really look at his brother's back, but against his better judgment he decided against it. He knew if he really looked at the bruises that where on his back all it would do was to fuel the fire that was already in his belly that he wanted to do bodily harm to this punk. Dean walks out of the room and heads to the kitchen. Sam can hear that he was going to make himself some coffee. Sam gets up and walks into the kitchen. He finds Dean standing by the sink with his back to the doorway.
"Dean," Sam said.
"Sammy," Dean said still with his back to Sam. "You...you can't lie to me."
"I'm sorry, Dean."
Dean finally turns and faces Sam. "I can't protect you if you don't tell me what's going on. If someone is bothering you, beating on you than you need to tell me. Don't wait until dad accidentally sees it."
"Yeah, you said," Dean said. "If you want to make it up, then don't lie to me. If I ask you if something is the matter, then you tell me the truth. Understand!"
"Yeah," Sam said tugging at the hem of his shirt.
"Good," Dean said. "What do you want for breakfast?"
"It's five in the morning."
"How can you not be hungry?"
"How can you always be hungry?"
Dean smiled at Sam. Sam could definitely see the tension lines smooth on his brother's brow. He knew that Dean was still upset but since they had an understanding then he didn't see any reason for the rest of the day to be spoiled.
Today was going to be a special day. It was Saturday and Dean promised Sam that he would take him into work with him so he could help with the Impala. They both have been excited about working together all week. They would have the entire garage to themselves since Gus didn't open his doors on Saturday. Which was really strange for a mechanic but Dean didn't question it. He wanted to finish up on the restoration of the Impala before Sam was out for Christmas break, so he asked Gus if it was alright to come in on today. Gus reluctantly said yes but told him just to stay in the part of the garage that the Impala was in.
Dean and Sam got ready to go to the garage around about ten that morning. When they got there, everything seemed fine. Nothing out of place. They both walked straight towards the Impala and Dean got to work. He had already replaced the engine. Rebuilt the carburetor. Tuned the car up and topped off the fluids. Now he had to work on the brakes and the accelerator. Both of the peddles had to be replaced. Sam helped Dean with that. After having to do that with their car once before while on the road both Dean and Sam were familiar with getting it done and fast. That was one of the reasons he wanted to wait to do this particular job when he could bring Sam with him. Sam didn't really like having to work on the car much, but what he did love was the time that they spent together fixing the car. Since most of the time, it was Dean that was fixing the car and Sam was just standing on the side handing Dean the tools that he needed. Which to Sam was an important job. You had to know what each tool was that Dean asked for. Dean was very patient with Sam when it came to handling tools because he was still learning, but when Dad was fixing the car and Sam wanted to do the same thing John would lose his patience with Sam if he got the wrong thing.
It only took them a couple of hours to replace the peddles in the car. Next they had to put in a new brake line. For this Sam stood to the sidelines and watched Dean work. Dean slid out from under car.
"Dammit," Dean sighed.
"What's wrong?" Sam asked.
"Go to the back storeroom and get me the double flaring kit, so I can get started on the brake line."
Sam left the back garage and headed to the storeroom. He heard Dean yell from the garage that he could find it in Jacob's tool chest. Sam went over to the tall tool chests that sat at the back of the room and found the one that was marked 'Jacob'. He went through the drawers and found what he thought what Dean needed. He came back in the garage and gave Dean the kit.
"Oh Sammy, this is the wrong one," Dean said. "I need one that will fit this." Dean showed Sam the end piece. "Here take this with you. It looks like this but it has to fit this piece, okay?"
Sam walked back into the storeroom and searched for the piece. When he walked past the long workbench, he felt something cold on the back of his neck. He turned to see what that was, but didn't see anything so he dismissed the thought and went to the tool chest.
Dean was sitting by the Impala when there was a crash and then a scream coming from the storeroom.
"DEAN!" Sam yelled.
"Sammy!" Dean got up running towards the store.
"Dean! Help me!
"Where are you?" Dean said walking into the room and seeing it in disarray. "Sammy. Sammy!"
"Over here." Sam tried to move his arm but it was caught between the tool chest and the wall.
Dean moved the tool chest and saw Sam lying on the floor in a heap. Dean bent down and picked Sam up and moved him from under the tool chest.
"Are you alright?" Dean said cupping Sam's face. Sam was bleeding from a cut at his hairline above his left eye.
"Yeah," Sam said trying to get from Dean's grip. "I'm fine." Dean's grip was firm and Sam couldn't move. "Dean, come on. I'm fine."
Sam finally got away from Dean and sidestepped passed him. "What the hell happened?" Dean asked.
"I don't know. I was in here looking for that kit you wanted and the tool chest just fell on me," Sam said wiping his forehead with his hand. He didn't realize he was bleeding until he looked at his hand.
Dean pulled his bandana out of his back pocket and walked over to Sam and gave it to him, so he could put it on his head.
"Are you sure you're alright?" Dean asked looking at him worried.
"It's alright, Dean. I've had worse. It's just this was a little weird."
"What do you mean weird?"
"It almost felt like something pushed past me before it happened."
"I felt something push past me. I was looking for that kit and something shoved right by me and I felt weird. Then the tool chest came down. If I didn't know any better, I would say that it was a spirit."
"You mean like an actual ghost?" Dean said almost perking up.
"Yeah," Sam said. He could see the light behind Dean's eyes. He knew that Dean was missing a hunt and that he was sacrificing so much staying here in this town.
The rest of the day went off with no other problems from the alleged ghost. Sam's head stopped bleeding. When Dean looked at it, he determined that it was just a scratch and he didn't need stitches. But being so excited that there may be an actual case here, he really didn't give Sam's cut much more thought. He just kept rambling on and on about why Gus was so adamant about not having the garage open on the weekends. Why, when he was working on a customer's car, tools would move. Why only he would feel cold spots in the garage when he was alone.
Dean was getting more and more excited. Sam saw this. He knew that they shouldn't but, Sam didn't have the heart to say anything to Dean.
Dean picked Sam up from school on Monday and when they got home Sam went into the kitchen and saw a slew of books and newspaper clippings.
"What's all this?" Sam asked putting his book bag down.
"Well, it turns out," Dean began taking off his coat and sitting in the chair, to Sam, like he's been there all day. "There was an accident at the garage."
"Did you even go into work today?" Sam asked sitting down across from Dean.
"What? No," Dean said quickly. "I called in sick. Anyway, a little girl was playing around in the storeroom and she died there."
"What?" Sam took the newspaper clipping that Dean was reading from him. "But I thought Gus didn't like kids playing around the garage." Sam started reading the article.
"Yeah, well, I think this is why. It was his granddaughter, Tamika," Dean took the article back. "That's why he didn't want anyone playing around in there. She was playing and was climbing on the tool chest and it tipped over."
"If it was an accident," Sam started. "Then why is she still around? Ghost usually only stay around if there is unfinished business. If it is her, then why is she still here?"
"I have a theory on that as well," Dean said picking up a copy of her autopsy report. "It says that she was assaulted before she died. There were unexplained bruises she had that didn't match what should have come from the tool chest falling on her. I don't think it was an accident. I think someone killed her."
Sam looked down at the newspaper clipping again. He didn't want to bring this up knowing how much Dean was actually enjoying the research behind the hunt, but he had to ask. "Are you going to call dad?"
"What? Why?" Dean asked looking up at Sam from the autopsy report. "There is nothing to call Dad for."
"Dean, this is a case."
"Yeah, so?" Dean put the paper down and looked directly at Sam. "I think we can handle a little 'salt and burn' by ourselves."
"I think we can as well, but we can't leave afterward. You still have to work there."
"What is it you're trying to say?" Dean said getting angry.
"Dean," Sam started. "All I'm saying..."
"What? Spit it out."
"Dad will make us move..."
"Wait. Are you telling me that the only reason you don't want to work on this is because you want to stay at the school?!" Dean was fuming. "You know what; you really are a selfish bastard."
Dean's words cut into Sam like a knife. "You only care about staying in this one school. Never mind that people could get hurt. What if you weren't paying attention enough to get in that position when the tool chest fell. You would have gotten a whole lot worse damage than just a cut on your forehead. What if it was someone else had been attacked and they were seriously injured or killed?"
Dean stood up, grabbed his coat and stood in the kitchen doorway.
"Never mind that, people could get hurt or probably die. Just as long as Samuel Winchester gets to stay in school for a whole year," Dean's tone was sarcastic and angry. His brother ducked his head a little, feeling ashamed.
"Dean," Sam said. His heart breaking- Dean shouldn't be angry with him- he watched as Dean turns and walks out of the kitchen and heads to the door.
"Where are you going?" Sam asked.
"Why do you care?" Dean yelled out. Leaving, slamming the door behind him.
Sam, turning back around at the table, looked at everything that Dean had collected and knew why his brother was so angry. He wanted so much to hunt and all Sam did was keep him from it. How could this one thing go so wrong? He seemed to not be able to do anything right at school and now when he thought he might have a safe haven at home, he doesn't. Dean is mad at him. Dean blames him for not being able to go hunting. Sam sat at the table, not moving from that spot. How could he hurt his brother like that? All Dean ever did was sacrifice for him and he couldn't do the same for him. Why did he have to bring up their Dad? He could see Dean getting excited about having something other than pretend that he was a regular person, that he could do what he really was best at. Hunting. Sam just felt that he couldn't do anything right.
Two hours later, Dean strolled back into the apartment. He felt so guilty for yelling at Sam. He just drove around for a while and then parked across the street from the apartment. Even though he left Sam alone, he couldn't just desert him. He still had to do what came natural, which was watch over Sam. Even if it is across the street.
When Dean got in the apartment, his heart broke more with guilt. He saw that Sam never left the table where he was sitting before he left. Dean walked over to the doorway of the kitchen.
"Sammy," Dean said quietly.
Sam lifted his head but didn't turn and look at him.
"Sammy, I am sorry. I shouldn't have yelled."
"It's okay, Dean," Sam said still not looking at him. Dean walked in the kitchen and sat down next to Sam. Sam was looking over all the paperwork that was on the table.
"Sammy," Dean started.
"Hey Dean," Sam said cutting Dean off. "I think I may have found something." Sam looked at Dean. He could see the hurt and guilt in Dean's eyes. As much as those words hurt, Sam knew that Dean didn't mean them. He just wanted to have a sense of normalcy, well as much normal as a Winchester could have. Hunting, saving people; the family business.
Sam was not going to take that from his brother. He would help Dean with this and let Dean have some fun. Sam smiled at Dean. That one little gesture let Dean know that what he said was forgiven. Now could he forgive himself for saying what he had? Maybe, but not now. Dean ruffled Sam's hair got up and walked over to the chair he was sitting at before, across from Sam.
"So," Sam said. "I was looking through the witness testimony and there was only one person there when Tamika had her accident."
"Yeah," Dean said. "Who was that?"
"Your bestest buddy in the world," Sam said sarcastically, "Jacob."
"Jacob," Dean's brow creased. "Why would Jacob..."
"I don't think Tamika is an angry spirit," Sam said. " I think she's trying to get someone to listen to her."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you've told me about how things move around in there, right."
"I think she was trying to get someone's attention. But when no one would listen to her, she took drastic measures."
"The tool chest."
"Right. The way it fell and where I was standing; it should have killed me. But all I did was get scratched. She didn't want to hurt me. Just show me what happened."
"And you think it was Jacob that killed her?"
"Yeah, I do. He sticks out like a sore thumb. He was the last one to see her alive. And his theory on what happened, it doesn't make sense. He said that she was playing and she climbed up on the tool chest, right."
"Well, Dean, you've seen that tool chest. Do you really think that a fifteen year old girl is going to climb up on a tool chest and be playing? There was something else as well."
Dean couldn't help but smile a little at his little geek brother. In two hours time, Sam has looked over all this paperwork and may have solved what was going on at Gus's garage. "What is it?" Dean said, his heart feeling up with pride at his little brother.
"You notice that the only chest that fell was Jacob's. The way it fell, it should have knocked yours or Gus's down as well, but it didn't. The only one that was damaged was Jacob's."
Sam noticed the smile on Dean's face and knew it might be a good idea to shut up now.
"Well," Dean said.
"Is that all you've got?"
"Well, it's just a theory. You may still have to talk to Gus and Jacob to find out more."
Sam started gathering up the papers.
"Sam," Dean said. "You want to get out of here for the night?"
Sam knew that Dean asking that was his way of apologizing for yelling, and as much as he wanted to go and just hang out with his brother. He knew that to keep Mr. Baxter off his back he had to keep up his grades in school.
"I would love to, but I have a ton of homework to do. Can we hang out at the end of the week? It's the last day before Christmas break."
"Sure. Gone get your homework done and I'll start dinner."