Chapter 17: The Rivers
"We should tell her."
Sam had stopped his brother at the door. Lindsay barely heard his whisper. She narrowed her eyes and her right eyebrow went up. Where they hiding something from her? Today wouldn't be the first time. It still pissed her off, though.
"Fine. In the car," Dean muttered, distracted. "I can't believe we didn't see this coming!" He slammed the door behind him.
Sam sighed. "Mom, Lindsay, you guys should come with us," he said.
Lindsay shrugged at Mary; she shouldered her own duffel bag and headed out the door after Sam. If there was something they needed to show her, maybe Mary wasn't in on it either.
That would be comforting. Mary hadn't told her exactly how long she'd been back topside, but Lindsay guessed that it hadn't been too long. Mary still wasn't too keen on or good at navigating the internet. That right there was the biggest sign. She couldn't have been back long if she didn't know what was what with computers.
The adopted Winchester got in the Impala---inhaling the sweet smell of home---and settled into the back seat. From the way Dean peeled out into the road and gunned the engine, Lindsay guessed this would be a long ride. He drove for hours. That was expected. Cases usually took them across the U.S. and back in a matter of days. She eventually fell asleep against Mary's shoulder. There was an awful crick in her neck when Mary gently patted her awake. When Lindsay did finally unglue her eyes and had finished yawning and stretching in the afternoon sun, she didn't know what she was looking at.
She'd seen a bunker before. The campsite her family had taken her to when she was a kid had a few that she and her brother loved to explore. That wasn't why she was confused. Dean and Sam unlocked the heavy doors and led the way down a metal staircase. The lights turned on when the door closed heavily behind her.
There was an awkward silence between her and Mary. Dean and Sam had already disappeared, but Lindsay could hear them rooting around in a back room somewhere, as if they were opening drawers and ruffling through books like something was missing.
"So, where are we, exactly?" Lindsay asked.
An apologetic look came into Mary's eyes. "Don't be mad at them, okay?" she said gently. "They've been through a lot."
So have I, Lindsay thought. Instead she said, "Okay, so what's up with them, then?"
"The bunker's been broken into!" Dean huffed. He dashed around the corner and skidded to a stop next to his mother. "We need to check all the wards. Stuff is missing."
"Stuff?" Lindsay asked. What were they talking about? This was obviously like their own bat cave. The air was cool and crisp, as if they had it climate controlled for when they weren't around. Almost as if...this was their home.
"What do you mean, Dean?" Mary insisted.
"We've got spells missing," Sam replied, turning the corner and plopping into a chair at the long table. His head fell into his hands. "How did that happen?"
"Guys?" Lindsay's small voice was lost in the vastness of the room.
"Do you know how to do that?" Mary asked him.
Dean shook his head. "Not a clue."
This wasn't right. Not only were they ignoring her like they had for the past five years, she was standing right in front of them and they were ignoring her. Lindsay couldn't hold it in any longer. She grabbed her pistol from the waistband of her jeans and was about to cock the hammer when her cell rang.
The boys and Mary looked up. Their silence pierced louder than the ringtone as they watched Lindsay's hand shake on her gun. But Lindsay ignored them, this time. She reached into her pocket, flicking the hammer down with her thumb and stuffing her gun into her jeans with her other hand, and glanced down at the caller ID.
She nearly dropped her phone.
"What is it?" Dean demanded.
Lindsay was numb. This was the call she had hoped for. But now that she had it, she couldn't move her fingers to answer it. They were clutched around her phone, her whole body shaking with the effort of staying conscious.
"Lindsay?" Mary had walked over to her. She placed her small hand on her shoulder. "You should get that."
Nodding, Lindsay hit the send button. She lifted the phone to her ear. "Hello?"
Before Dean and Sam had gotten to Sonny's house, Lindsay had told Mary about her sister. Mary automatically had wanted to help. Anything to do with hunting was what Mary wanted. And maybe it was the mother in her. She barely knew Lindsay, yet she felt as though she could have been the daughter she never had, exactly as the boys felt like she was their little sister. So she knew how much this phone call would mean to her.
A small, quick breath answered Lindsay. "I need to see you," Haven said.
Lindsay had trouble forming words again. "Where?" she whispered. It was all she could do to cling onto the hope that Haven was alright.
"The Jacobs' house in Pennsylvania. I have a lot to tell you," Haven replied.
"We just left."
"I'll see you tomorrow."
The line went dead.
Haven turned at the sound of her sister's voice. She seemed tired; her face was ashen and the circles under her eyes were purple. But the expression she wore was one Lindsay had seen many times. The Winchesters adopted the serious, stoic demeanor often in times of great peril. Meaning, it was the look they used when all hope was lost and that fierce reality was accepted.
The Impala hadn't gotten to rest long after its return to the bunker. Sam and Dean didn't even argue. They didn't want to add more insult to injury by staying a night when Lindsay finally knew where her sister was. They packed up and left for that dreaded house as soon as Lindsay was able to tell them about the phone call.
The iron gates opened. The Jacobs' family wasn't home and someone had known the sound of the Impala. It was the only explanation for the gate to open on command the way it did. That troubled Lindsay. The whole situation troubled her. It made her feel sick. Beyond sick. Deathlike.
She was the first out of the car.
Lindsay couldn't believe her eyes. "Where have you been?" She meant to sound kind but the years of frustration and desperation leaked through her already frayed control. "I've been looking for you for five years," she said.
The sound of the car's doors shutting barely registered.
"I was possessed again, if you can believe it," Haven told her.
Sam and Dean glanced at each other behind Lindsay. The long-haired twin could feel their suspicion even if she couldn't see them.
"You got an anti-possession tattoo right after the last time," she replied slowly. "I was there with you."
Haven stood still and pristine, just as Lindsay had last seen her, next to the lilies in the garden. Everything else about her was perfect. It was only her eyes that gave her away.
"Why would you have it removed?" Dean asked.
"She wouldn't," Lindsay snapped, glaring at him.
"Of course I didn't," Haven added. She lifted the lower edge of her shirt. An angry scar ran across the tattoo that graced her left hip, rendering it useless.
"What happened?" Sam asked her.
Haven laughed darkly. "I got mugged, of all things. I didn't realize that breaking the seal would cause it to stop working. I thought if you had it you had it, no matter what state it was in."
"That was stupid," Lindsay said suddenly. The boys and Haven looked at her. She had her eyes on the ground.
"You were a hunter before you got possessed, before you found our family," she continued, her eyes finding Haven's. They were fierce. "How could you think that? How could you be so ignorant?"
"Harsh," Dean muttered. Lindsay ignored him.
"I guess I didn't know as much as you," Haven explained. "I don't think I ever will. I didn't grow up with the Winchesters, the best hunters in the world."
"It doesn't matter now," Sam told her, trying to cover his blush with nonchalance. "You're safe at least." He shook his head at Lindsay's exasperated sigh.
"I still feel like there's something you're not telling us," she accused.
Of course she was angry. She hadn't grown up with Haven, but when her twin had been possessed back at Bobby's house, she'd known without knowing how. Lindsay attributed it to the whole myth that "twins feel each other" or that they're psychically connected.She knew Haven was hiding something this time. Lindsay could feel it in her gut.
"Why would you think that?" Haven asked. Her eyes were guarded.
"That's why!" Lindsay shouted, pointing. "It's the same look these two get when they're about to do something idiotic."
"She's got a point," Dean agreed.
"What are you talking about?" Haven demanded. She glared at each hunter in turn. "I only just got the thing out of me last night."
"Bullshit!" Anger bubbled up inside Lindsay. "That's total bullshit, Haven," she hissed.
Why would she lie to her? After all this time, why would her sister keep her distance?
"How'd you know we'd be here, then?" Sam wanted to know, ignoring Lindsay. Haven gave him a blank stare. "Because your being here is too coincidental to be an accident."
"She's here because I'm here."
A man in his mid-thirties stepped out from behind the tower, his hands in his pockets. Lindsay watched her sister's eyes narrow at the new addition. Haven knew him, and he wasn't someone she had ever planned on introducing to her sister or the brothers. Lindsay took a step towards the man, her fury finding a new target.
"And who is this, Haven?"
"You know, I'd thought you would be happy to see me back," Haven commented. "Not pissed at me."
"You're hiding things from us!"
"I guess I'm glad I'm not the only one," the man added.
"What?" Dean asked.
The group turned to see Haven's face darken. Her eyes were still forlorn, but now she was indignant. Pleading.
"They should know," the man said to Haven.
"I'm sorry," Dean interrupted, "but who are you?"
"I'm the Collector. That's all you need to know," the man replied curtly.
Lindsay's anger was fading. She tried to sift through her memories. His title sounded familiar. Why, though? People with titles---especially self-titled titles---usually meant bad news. And she liked his hat. It was a snapback, not that she'd ever owned one before, but those were the ones the jocks at high school usually wore. The dirty blond wisps of his hair curled away from his face and hung just below his ears. If she could've seen more of it, she might have thought it was nice.
But this guy... For some reason, all she could feel radiating off of him was a desire to help them. It didn't make sense.