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Wayward Sons

By Mary Boatright

Fantasy / Adventure

Chapter 1

Wayward Sons

Chapter One

06/01/2006 Thursday Evening

Dean sat at the bar nursing his beer as he watched the group of women who walked in. They were laughing and they seemed to be enjoying themselves. There were eight of them and they seemed to vary in age. They were all very pretty; each one in their own way, but it was probably the oldest one that caught Dean's eye. He wouldn't say he knew she was the oldest because she looked older; because she didn't. He knew she was older from the way she carried herself and how she seemed to mother the group. But more importantly to Dean, she had caught his eye simply because she was beautiful.

And her beauty wasn't just in her looks; Dean could almost feel the beauty from this distance that seemed to come from within her. There was something about her; she just seemed to project beauty. She had shoulder length light brown hair that seemed to have red highlights from the way the lights in the bar reflected off her and she had a very nice shape from what he was able to see. Yes, she definitely had a nice shape, he thought as he smiled to himself. He felt something when he looked at her and he couldn't totally explain what that was, but he knew he had to introduce himself to her before this night was over.

Sam came up to Dean and resumed his seat next to him after a quick trip to the bathroom. Sam noticed right away that something or more accurately, someone had caught Dean's attention and he couldn't help a small grin; he was glad. Recent events had him worried about his brother's emotional state; not that Dean ever had much of an emotional state to begin with, but since their father had basically sold Dean out, well, Sam was having a hard time believing what John had done and he could only imagine what Dean was feeling about the betrayal.

What had happened made Sam so angry with the man. He didn't think he'd ever been this angry with John Winchester during his twenty-three years. They'd finally come across their father in Chicago after Meg had set her trap using them as bait to lure their father there. They had parted ways with him in that alley based on Dean's logic that their father was safer without them; and Sam had reluctantly agreed, but that was before. Before he knew they might not see him again and he wanted; needed to find the thing that had killed Jess.

Both Sam and Dean had decided to lay low for a few days to take some time to heal from the Daevas' attacks and that was when James Bennett had found them. Just one day after separating from their father, the two were back to being bait to lure their father in and they hadn't even seen this one coming.

They had been at a local diner when they were jumped in the parking lot by Bennett and three other men. They'd been taken to an abandoned barn somewhere nearby and John had been there when they'd come to; and well, it hadn't ended well. They had all gotten away, but not before Bennett had forced John to choose between his sons. Which son would he sacrifice so the other could live, and God help him, John Winchester had chosen Sam to live… and Dean to die.

John had not even tried to explain his decision nor Bennett's vengeance towards them, but Sam had done some research that morning on Bennett and found out that he had lost a son a couple years back in what was called a hunting accident; and Sam could only guess what that meant in the Hunter world; but he realized that whatever happened Bennett blamed John for his son's death. And by taking Sam and Dean and making John choose between his sons that Bennett was trying to make John feel the way he'd felt after losing his son.

They didn't know the details and John didn't come clean, but Sam thought that Dean knew something he wasn't telling. He had let their father leave again this morning and hadn't said one word about what had happened since they'd made their way to Frisco, Texas where they had a job waiting for them. Dean was all about the job and nothing else this morning.

He had been pushing Sam away since the minute they'd hit the road and no matter how hard Sam pushed back, Dean only pushed harder; and that just made Sam all the more angry with John Winchester; and with himself.

It hadn't helped that Sam had told Dean that he'd leave when they found and killed the yellow-eyed demon back in Chicago. Sam understood now how much his words had hurt Dean, but at the time it was how he felt. He really didn't want to be doing this job ten years from now, but he knew that wasn't the way Dean felt about things. Sam couldn't help thinking back to the words they'd had in the hotel room that night just before going to Meg.

"God could you imagine if we actually found that damn thing? That demon?" Sam asked, amazed that they could be facing the thing they'd been hunting for so long.

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves, all right?" Dean replied as he looked at Sam, although he could understand Sam's feelings if they could finally end this once and for all.

"I know. I'm just sayin', what if we did? What if this whole thing was over tonight? Man, I'd sleep for a month. Go back to school-be a person again."

Dean paused in handling their weapons. "You wanna go back to school?"

"Well, yeah, once we're done huntin' this thing." Sam answered as he pulled the slide on his semi-automatic chambering a round.

"Huh." Dean said flatly, as he tossed his pistol on the bed next to the weapons bag.

"Why, is there something' wrong with that?"

"No." Dean shook his head as he looked at Sam. "No, it's, uh, great. Good for you." He concentrated on the blade sheath he held in his hands now. He didn't want to meet Sammy's eyes. He couldn't believe that Sam would still want to walk away from the hunt; away from him.

"I mean, what are you gonna do when it's all over?" Sam asked; confusion mixed with irritation at Dean's demeanor.

"It's never gonna be over." Dean said as he strapped the sheath to his hand and tried to keep his feelings in check. "There's gonna be others. There's always gonna be somethin' to hunt." He knew he would always do this job, hell he didn't know how to do anything else; but it hurt to think that Sam couldn't wait to get away from him.

"But there's got to be somethin' that you want for yours – " Sam started, before he was cut off.

"Yeah, I don't want you to leave the second this thing's over, Sam." Dean said as he walked over to the dresser flexing his hands and fingers as he tried to remain claim; he knew he had to keep his emotions locked away; pushed back; not allow his anger at Sam wanting to run away from him again to show. He just wished…God he just wished Sam would want to be a family again.

"Dude, what's your problem?" Sam was a little surprised that Dean was turning this into a fight. He'd always said he'd be done when they found dad and the demon. He'd never tried to hide the fact that he hated this life.

Dean stood there bracing his hands on either side of the dresser as he tried to silently think how to reply to Sam. He needed Sam to understand why he did this; why he did the job; why he needed Sam when he did the job. "Why do you think I drag you everywhere? Huh? I mean, why do you think I came and got you at Stanford in the first place?" He asked as he turned back to face Sam, his eyes showing a little bit of his pain.

" 'Cause Dad was in trouble. 'Cause you wanted to find the thing that killed Mom."

"Yes, that, but it's more than that, man." Dean turned back to the dresser as he ran the words through his head. He slowly turned and took a step back to Sam. "You and me and Dad – I mean, I want us… I want us to be together again. I want us to be a family again." His eyes shining with the shimmer of his tears at being ripped in two by the mere thought of Sam abandoning him again.

"You home there Sammy?" Dean asked snapping his fingers in front of Sam's face. He'd noticed how Sam had remained quiet after returning from the bathroom.

"Huh? Oh, yeah." Sam stammered as he came back to the present. "Hey, why don't you go and do your thing, Casanova?" Sam asked as he saw Dean go back to watching the group of women.

He didn't really want Dean's mind to wander too far from this hunt, but he also knew Dean needed to release his pent up emotions he was just trying to shove deep down and hide away. Dean needed to face what had happened and Sam couldn't get him to talk about it, so maybe he could get him to after he lost himself a little in some female companionship.

The one thing that Sam knew about Dean and women was that Dean loved women; all types of women. Dean didn't put a lot of stock in just a woman's looks or her age. Yeah, the prettier they were the more he looked, but what Sam had learned over the years of watching his brother's method of flirting was that he could actually gauge Dean's mood simply by the type of woman he gravitated to when he was flirting.

If Dean picked up pretty with big assets, then it meant that he just wanted a night to forget everything that had happened during a recent hunt; to relax and loosen up with no strings attached. But the more intelligent and beautiful the woman, well, that meant he was looking for comfort and not just a one night stand; and if the woman were older than Dean, then it meant he was looking for a more emotional connection; one that Sam really didn't think Dean even realized he was looking for.

Sam liked it best when Dean picked someone of this latter type, but then again he didn't like it either; because it meant that Dean was choosing a stranger to confide somewhat in instead of confiding his feelings to Sam. Sam wanted more than anything for Dean to feel he could talk to him, but deep down he knew that Dean would not do that. It went against everything they'd learned from John when he'd raised them.

Sam could see that the woman Dean had his eye on was definitely in that latter group. She was very beautiful, Sam had to admit that, and she appeared to be more mature than the other girls with her; she even seemed more of everything than any of Dean's more typical choices. Which could only mean one think to Sam, that Dean was truly hurting from the past few days more than Sam had imagined. Dean was hurting both physically and emotionally and he just wanted someone he could totally give himself over to; someone who would let him in and not demand anything more from him than he could give.

"Why don't you go over there and lay those puppy dog eyes of yours on one of them yourself, Beethoven?" Dean smirked back. He smiled at Sam as he turned back to look at his baby brother. He knew Sam had him some what pegged with his choices in women, but he didn't mind that too much, because he also knew just how to read Sam from some of the choices he made.

"Funny Dean." Sam said, but he did look at the group and he did notice a girl sitting next to the woman Dean had his eye on. She was pretty and her resemblance to the woman was uncanny. They were definitely related, but the question was how.

"Oh, I see the gleam in your eyes there puppy boy. Got your eye on one for yourself now, don't you?"

"Shut up." Sam grumbled as he blushed slightly and returned to his beer. "You shouldn't be working on picking up the girl of the week anyway; we need to move to a table so we can go over the map and this case. If you're wanting to get started on this hunt, we need to familiarize ourselves with this town and the research I have so far. We don't know for sure where we may end up and we need to know all routes in and out of town just in case."

"Don't worry Sammy, I'm working here. I've been talking to the bartender slash owner, Jimmy. He knows most of the men that were killed and he even mentioned that some of the locals believe the one responsible for their deaths is a local woman. They call her Eva and they say she's a witch." Dean turned to look one more time at the group of women at the nearby table. "God, I hate witches. Hopefully we can get this one quick and get this case closed."

"A witch? For real?" Sam seemed amazed by that. They'd both been going with the possibility that is was a vengeful spirit. Finding out that they could be up against a witch instead was important information to know when it came to fighting it.

"Yep. Jimmy said she's a real honest to God witch." Dean paused as he leaned in closer to Sam and whispered. "Seems he has a cousin who knows all about witches; she seems to have this mission to weed out real witches from the crazy wiccan wannabes who just run around dancing naked under a full moon. Not that I'd mind see that." He added with a wicked grin on his face.

"It's called going sky-clad, Dean and Wicca is a practiced religion." Sam replied automatically without thinking.

"Man, sometimes your weird-o-meter amazes me. How can you even know that?" Dean asked shaking his head at Sam.

"I read, dude. You should try it sometime."

"Pass, if it means I'd end up going around spouting off useless weird facts and having people call me Weirdy McWeirderton."

"Funny again Dean." Sam replied dryly. "Look, did Jimmy mention who his cousin is and if we can talk to her?"

"No, just said she'd be in sometime tonight. We may see her come say hey to him, or we can ask him later if she's around, or maybe look her up to see what info we can get out of her. She's probably some unattractive head in the clouds wannabe witch herself if she's into unmasking real witches from fake ones." Dean said as he finished his beer.

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