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13 August 2010 @ 04:00 pm
Somewhen I was Meant to Be 2/9  

~ Chapter 1 ~

And the answer that you're seeking
For the question that you found
Drives you further to confusion
As you lose your sense of ground

Alexi Murdoch - Breathe

April 13th, 2007 Clearwater, Kansas

The storage depot in front of them was bathed in a silver hush from the moon light. The steel sparkling and blinking on every corner and if Dean hadn't known any better he could have sworn it was still in full use as the clothing manufacture it had been built for. But research and the obligatory interviews had confirmed that it had been closed three years ago after fourteen people had died in a killing spree of a former worker, who had been fired after stealing tools and a few layers of clothing. Ever since the building was standing empty, a few miles out of Clearwater.

John and Dean had gotten into town after Bobby's hint at numerous demonic signs. The usual. Strange weather phenomena and a few missing persons who could have easily taken the bus to start a new life in frigging New Mexico. They had found out about the fabric shortly after, yet after visiting it twice over the last three days they hadn't been able to find anything more suspicious than a falcon's nest under the tinny roof. So maybe no demons but the place sent out some strange vibes anyway. Since there were ghosts who tended to come out and play only in the dark they had decided to have a look at it at night. Or at least John did. Dean had found it remarkably strange that John was so interested in something as mundane as a 'maybe haunted' building in the outskirts of Clearwater, when they hadn't found any other signs of supernatural occurrences. But John usually moved in mysterious ways.

"See anything?" Dean asked, keeping his voice low and his attention sharp and shifted his body into a more comfortable position. Stakeouts in dark woods were so not his favourite. His body yearned to do something. To hit things, shoot things, kill things. Not sit and wait while branches were viciously poking in his back.

"Nothing," his father answered gruffly, unusually tense. "But I have a feeling..." He let the rest of the sentence hang in the air and Dean doubled his efforts to stay calm and concentrated on the matter at hand even though all he wanted was to jump in, get this over with--whatever this was--and head back to town where there was a beer with his name on it waiting for him.

He grinned at the thought of having a beer named after him--just for a second. Then his full concentration was back on the case, his thoughts once more going through the details of this case. It was all a little fuzzy. No actual sightings, just rumours and some missing persons. This whole mission seemed rather useless even though there was something about this place. The isolated position, the dark corners, the hostile atmosphere. It was predestined to host supernatural beings, either ghost or corporal creatures and his father apparently felt it too.

"Looks clean. Let's get inside and have a look," John instructed. "Be careful!"

One last time John Winchester let his gaze sweep over the empty place in front of their hiding position before they walked towards the building, thereby staying close to the fence. The nondescript door opened with a screech and it echoed hollowly in the large hall where heavy imprints were visible where once large machines had loomed. John let the beam of the flashlight brighten every corner and they walked towards the middle of the room, side by side, always listening for movement, any sign of them being not alone. In some distant corner water was dripping steadily in a puddle, causing a fair ping, over and over. It was utterly annoying and Dean more and more got the impression that maybe they had hit something after all. Possibly some desolate lair of vampires or raw heads. He was okay with anything as long as he could pummel it to death and get to his beer. Plan of his life.

"Dad, I..."

"Sh..." John interrupted harshly and his face was so tense with listening that Dean almost laughed out loud. But he knew better and his father's tension seemed to be contagious.

Something was here. Or should he say someone?

"Look what we got here?" An unfamiliar voice greeted the two men and the faint click of high heels on concrete rhythm-ed with the dripping water. "Scooby and Doo looking for snacks."

A young woman, early twenties. Shoulder-length, brownish hair. She wore worn jeans, an elegant looking vest over a long blouse and pointed leather shoes that completed the look of fashionable up-to-dateness.

John Winchester spun around, the nuzzle of his shotgun aimed at her and out of the corner of his eyes Dean could see the twitching eagerness of his father's index finger on the trigger. He'd shoot first, then ask questions.

Barely having computed the thought, the shotgun went off, ripping a large hole in the woman's vest but otherwise not doing anything at all.

"Tsk," she scolded. "John, I'm not sure how to tell you this, but you just might have taken the life of this good-looking secretary from Peoria." She pointed with both hands at herself. "Do you really think this is what the good guys are supposed to do?"

John didn't show any signs of recognition, remorse or anything remotely emotional when he answered. "I'd probably be doing her a favour, bitch."

Her eyes widened in a mock act of hurt. "Such bad words for a man of honour like you are."

Dean felt out of a place in this short interaction and had the impression he was missing something. Something important. John Winchester, though usually not a man of emotions, was even more cold-hearted in this moment. There wasn't even the slightest hint of surprise in his un-moving face and an uncomfortable uncertainty grew in Dean. Uncertain of their--his--role in this case.

"You shouldn't even be allowed to use that word," John spat.

"Why? Because I'm a demon?" At these words, even in the darkness, Dean could see her eyes turn black for just a moment, then turn back to normal. "Look, we're just taking what's entitled for us. This body..." Again she pointed at herself. "... is a perfectly fine and comfortable meat suit but there's is something special about her, you know? She was made for us, after all. Created like a doll." She adjusted the collar of her blouse as if adjusting the body around her. "Because she is one of them."

There it was. John's jaw was twitching, a definite sign of his father's deep unease.

"You know what I'm talking about, don't you, Johnny boy?" She started to walk in a circle around them, still twenty yards away but close enough to make Dean tense.

"Dad, what is she talking about?" He whispered, confused.

"Be quiet, son!"

She laughed, a happy sound. The person--the human--it belonged to must have laughed a lot because it sounded easy and clear. It once must have had and epidemic effect on people. A lovely personality, outgoing, happy... alive.

"Yes, be quiet, son," she mocked. "This concerns just your father, me and Him. Oh, and broken little Sammy, of course."

Dean's blood run cold and the sawed off shotgun filled with rock salt didn't only feel utterly useless but also much too heavy.

"Shut up, you bitch," John screamed, spit flying and hands shaking. Never before had Dean seen his father like this. At least not during a case. Of course, John Winchester got angry. A lot. And usually his rage was directed if not at Dean, then at someone else. But this? What the hell was going on here? Had his father known what they would find here? What did this have to do with Sammy? Why did he get the feeling that this was a trap?

They hadn't talked about Sam for years. Hadn't said his name out loud for years. Hadn't spoken about the accident either. Because that's what it had been; an accident and a cruel joke of fate. And it was all Dean's fault. Not that he had said it out loud but John hadn't needed to. The way he hadn't looked in his son's eyes--the living one--had told Dean everything he needed to know.

Sam was dead and it was Dean's fault. He should have waited up on him. Should have made sure that his little brother was still behind him but all he had done in this moment was to take the fastest route to his father. For the first few weeks after he hadn't slept. The next few weeks he hadn't done anything but. And then came the nightmares in which he was running through a forest. Running and running and he knew he had to get somewhere but all the trees looked the same. He kept running in circles and he could hear gunshots and Sam's bitter voice, hissing, "You didn't push me but you didn't catch me either, Dean. How can you live with that when I can't?"

He hadn't thought of these dreams for a while now, had kept them stashed away in some dark corner of his being in which he had stuffed everything that had to do with his brother. Everything that could hurt him just by thinking of it. But in this moment, standing in that goddamn factory, it all crashed into him.

"Oh, didn't you know, Dean? Ah, yes. My mistake. This is John "I'm not telling" Winchester," She said, using a childish sing-song voice. She hadn't stopped walking. Her step was easy and relaxed, almost dancing. Her knees bent slightly with every step she took and her high heels didn't seem to hinder her steady walk. "You know, it was me--or at least my meat suit--who's responsible for this mess. My gift." She shrugged her shoulder and made an innocent gesture with her elbows tucked closely to her torso, the palms of her hand aimed upwards. "Pity though. Sammy...?" She sighed, as if remembering something wonderful. "He would have made a wonderful us. He wasn't just special. He was His masterpiece, you know? His pride of creation. And it broke His heart too when He found out that little Sammy had chosen his own path."

"He didn't choose anything," John gnarled between clenched teeth. "He was just a kid."

"Not yet, you mean. He hadn't chosen anything yet. And come on, admit it. You knew about the choices your son would have had to make if he hadn't died? It was his destiny after all."

Dean's thoughts were running amok in his head. This was bizarre. This was surreal. This was not true. Sam's death had been an accident. Nothing but a fucking stupid accident. Of course, sometimes he wondered why the earth was still turning and the sun still shining but this had still been an accident. And that's what he said next with absolute confidence.

"It was an accident."

"An accident, you say?" She stopped, tipping her hand against her chin. "So the boy, who would have killed Azazel one day, died in an accident. How convenient." She made an exaggeratedly surprised face. "Now that's what I'd call irony."

"What are you talking about?" John asked even though his demeanor didn't look like he wanted to hear anything from her. Dean adjusted the weapon in his hand and took a quick peek at his father. From the outside, his father's face seemed to be chiseled in stone. Only the dangerous flashes in his eyes indicated his inner turmoil.

"My, we are a little slow on the uptake, are we?" She glanced at her nails. At her nails for fucks sake! "He was a threat. Threat eliminated. It's simple. Like math. The simplest equation in the universe. Plus and minus. Yin and Yang. Life and death."

"Why? Why Sam?" John's voice was cracking and Dean's heart was breaking. Not even after Sam's death had he sounded that pained. Now, eight years later, all the pain seemed to bubble to the surface just because some demon bitch was taunting him with facts that could easily be made up to draw him out. To drive him closer to the edge of insanity.

Grief usually wanders an a thin line and in John Winchester's case there was also a strong wind blowing, pulling him from one side to the other. Rage and anger versus apathy and despair.

"Aren't you listening?" She yelled, temper rising. "You're starting to bore me, John." With that, she waved her hand in their direction and they flew through the air, limbs flailing, until the rusty walls in their backs stopped them. The back of his head had collided strongly with the hard surface and he blinked once--twice. Something was immobilizing them, some weird demon mojo. Even though Dean was still holding his gun in his hands he couldn't move his arm to aim the weapon in her direction. Which, of course, wouldn't make much of a difference anyway as the bullet hole in her chest implied. Think, he had to think. They had to distract her. There had to be...

"Be ready, Dean," He heard his father mumble and already wanted to retort 'Ready for what?' when the invisible power suddenly let go and he dropped immediately, catching his fall with a role forward and was back on his feet simultaneously with his father.

"What did you do?" The demon wanted to know and for a second or two Dean didn't have the slightest clue what she was talking about, until she took a step towards them only to run into an invisible barrier. "No!"

John smiled coldly, sending a shiver down Dean's back and a prayer towards heaven that it this kind of smile would never be directed at him. "I like it when I'm being underestimated," John said, now back to his usual calm. "Makes the big entrance so much bigger, doesn't it?"

"When did you put up a devils trap?" Dean asked, still reeling from the quick turn of events.

"Yesterday. Painted with holy oil."

"You could have told me, you know," Dean fumed even though he knew this was neither the time nor the place to get all huffy. And as expected, his father ignored him and stepped closer to the barrier where the woman was caught like a large insect.

"You tell me where I can find that son of a bitch and I'll let you go."

"You wouldn't let me go."

John shrugged. "You're right, I wouldn't."

"Then why should I tell you anything?"

"Because..." He begun and turned towards Dean, pointing to his backpack which Dean took as a hint to go grab it. Rummaging around in it he came up seconds later with his father's journal, which had been bookmarked with an old photograph. A photograph of John and Dean and Sam sitting on the hood of the Impala.

Dean gulped and put the image aside, taking a look at the Latin text which he immediately recognized as an exorcism.

"Read!" John ordered and the woman was glancing between the two men, torn between a badly acted amusement and real horror. She hissed, her lips parting in a scowl which made her pretty face ugly, grotesque even.

Pronouncing the words clear and loud Dean began to speak the incantation which he knew by heart but the written letters made it more powerful. He had barely ended the first paragraph when she showed first signs of painful indisposition. Groaning, she walked inside the circle, no more than 10 feet in diameter looking like a caged tiger.

"Talk!" John bellowed Dean almost cringed from the authoritative voice.

She pulled a grimace, her face contorting in an attempt to scream out her fury. "I wouldn't even if I knew. You know that, John. He has so much more punishment to give than you can ever imagine."

"Did he kill my son?" John asked, this time in a low, predatory voice. Sharp enough to cut through Dean's professionalism and make his knees weak when only half an hour ago he had looked forwards to a beer and the cute barkeeper.

The question rose into the air like an inflatable balloon, filling out the entire space and taking Dean's breath away. How could this situation turn so fast? How could this evening all of a sudden be about Sam's death?

"Read on!" John urged and Dean's eyes went back to the journal in his hands, the letters starting to blur. He stumbled over the words, one by one, pressing them out of his mouth like lies he didn't want to tell.

She screamed and John screamed and it was so loud Dean wanted to put his hands over his ears but they were busy gripping the edges of the journal, knuckles white and stiff.

"DID HE KILL MY SON?!" John yelled and there was sweat on his face. Sweat or tears, Dean didn't want to know.

"Yes!" She screamed ferociously and with this answer something else escaped from between her lips. A black cloud, wriggling its way to freedom. For a moment it lingered in front of her, surrounding her, before it trickled down only to vanish in a large crack in the floor like sand through a hourglass.

She stood there for a moment, then faltered and fell... right into the open arms of John Winchester. With a care that Dean had never seen before in his father's demeanor he guided her to the floor, carefully holding her head so she wouldn't bump against the cold concrete. Her brown eyes were open, her mouth forming a surprised 'o' but against all reason--she was alive. She blinked confused then took a deep breath only to cringe with pain. The hole in her chest started bleeding. Slowly at first, then faster until a fountain of red pulsated with her waning heartbeat.

"I'm..." she croaked. "I'm sorry," She whispered and licked her dry lips.

"Dean. Water!" John ordered sharply and Dean got one of the flasks with holy water. John let some drops of liquid trickle into her mouth and her eyes, now warm and empathetic, showed gratitude.

"I'm so sorry," she mumbled on. "It was me. I told him... about Sam. He would... He did terrible things..." The words came out fast and jumbled. Like she wanted to get them out before she died. "Had a vision... but..." Collecting her breath, she thought for a moment before speaking again. "He killed Sam first..." At that, she searched for Dean's eyes and looked into them for a long and painful moment. "You've got to find him." Barely a whisper now it was hard to understand her and Dean leaned down to hold his ear against her bloody lips. "Find Sam!"

"Sam is dead!" John protested weakly, getting back up and taking a unstable step backwards, distancing himself from her dying body while Dean's hand lay on her shoulder, squeezing it gently.

"Find destiny, find Sam!" She exhaled her last breath and another wouldn't come.