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Life is a Journey

Bonded and Broken 15/?

Bonded and Broken 15/?

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Sleeping Beauty
Title: Bonded and Broken
Author: Disneymagics
Rating: PG
Characters: Sam, Dean, John, Bobby
Genre: Gen, hurt/comfort, AU, Wee!chester
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural except in my dreams where schmoop abounds.
Warnings: Those of you who think John Winchester was a good father doing the best he could under terrible circumstances may not like my portrayal. He's not deliberately cruel, but he is negligent and he treats his sons as though they are soldiers, not little boys. Just remember this story is AU and Sammy knows what his daddy does at a much younger age than canon Sammy.
Word Count: ~3,700
Summary: This is the third story in the 'Wish 'verse. I recommend reading at least the first story here before you read this one as this is an AU and it may be difficult to follow if you don't get the background. In summary: Young Sammy's wish to be a grown up whenever his big brother, Dean, needs help gets granted by a well-meaning gypsy. The unexpected consequences of the wish cause an unbreakable bond to develop between the brothers. A magical creature, the black imp, attempts to take the wish away from the boys, but is thwarted by John who is then cursed by the imp to forever be in pain when his sons are nearby.


In this installment Dean is 10 and Sammy is 6 until his brother needs his help and the Wish transforms him into a 24 year old. Dad comes home from a hunt and something is…wrong. Once more it's up to adult Sam to protect young Dean from danger and this time he can't count on John for back-up.

Bonded and Broken
By Disneymagic

Chapter 15 Leap of Faith

Of all the hunters Pastor Jim sent to help them, Sam respects Brian the most. From the way the man speaks and the way he dresses it's obvious that he's ex-military. And his son, Kevin, is a chip off the old block, mimicking many of his father's mannerisms and his crisp style of interacting with others. So yeah, Brian shares the military thing with John which makes him seem somewhat familiar to Sam, but what really sets Brian apart from the other, volatile hunters is the calm, methodical way he approaches every problem in the midst of ongoing chaos. It's this respect he has for the older hunter that keeps Sam from jumping down the man's throat at the mention of using blood for some kind of test.

Blood rituals are dark and frequently deadly. An image of his brother being forcefully held down by Kevin while Dustin, sneering maliciously and chanting Latin phrases, slides a machete down the length of the boy's forearm pops into his mind. Sam bites the inside of his cheek and shakes his head to dispel the horrifying scene.

"Now hold on here," Steve says. "I'm still trying to wrap my head around some of this stuff, so you guys are going to have to help me out. If there's a way to tell whether a person is really a ghoul, how come we haven't used it already on Dean's dad…or, you know, the fella we have locked in the trunk?" He grimaces like the idea of locking someone in the trunk is distasteful to him. Sam supposes he should feel the same kind of discomfort, but he doesn't. Not in these circumstances.

"There ain't no test for ghoulism that I've ever heard of." Bobby's tone is defensive. "Taking blood from these boys ain't gonna prove jack squat."

Brian pulls his car keys from the pocket of his army jacket and tosses them into the air, catching them again neatly. "Let's find a motel, preferably something a town or two over where people are less likely to be suspicious of a bunch of strangers, and I'll explain my idea."

"The sooner we get out of here the sooner we can start planning what to do next." Kevin agrees. "Besides, I think those people we saw tied up in the clearing during our recon will thank us to hurry this rescue along a little bit."

"Yeah, especially Bill Harvelle. Bill's there too. I saw him," says Brain.

Wait…what? People staked out in a clearing? This is new information and Sam is left reeling from a disconcerting sense of déjà vu because that sounds exactly like his dream. And what had the latest version of John Winchester said before it had passed out? Something about a bonfire. How is this even possible? Sam's heart is beating a mile a minute and he's struggling not to outwardly show his shock when he feels his brother lean into his side. At first he thinks maybe Dean is just as upset as he is about his apparent premonition, but then he realizes that Dean isn't asking for comfort, he's offering it. His brother can feel how close he is to losing it and is trying to silently hold him together. Sam lets the boy's warmth soak into his side and slowly relaxes.

Completely oblivious to Sam's mini freak out, Stan begins pointing an imaginary gun and pretending to fire it repeatedly. "Oh come on man, how much planning do we need to do. It's just a bunch of stupid ghouls. We can take them out no problem, like shooting fish in a barrel."

"It's not the ghouls we have to worry about, you doofus, - it's the Lich – those things are damn hard to kill." Bobby glares at Stan until the beefy, young man inclines his head in acknowledgement.

Sam starts to move towards Bobby's car. He needs a chance to sit and think. An iron-hard grip on his arm stops him.

"Not so fast," Dustin says. "You and Dean aren't riding with Bobby. In fact, everyone is getting split apart. I don't trust any of you guys. Who's to say the ghouls didn't get to one of the three groups we had going into the nature preserve. Brian, you and Kevin went in together; you could both be ghouls for all I know." His eyes narrow to suspicious slits.

Brian shrugs. "What do you suggest?"

"I'll take Dean with me and Sam can go with…I don't care…Sam can go with Gage. As long as the hunting groups don't stay together, it doesn't matter to me."

Fixing Dustin with a stone-cold glare, Sam says, "That's not gonna happen so you can just forget about it right now. No way is Dean going with you." He sees Steve nod his head emphatically out of the corner of his eye.

"Amen to that." Bobby adds.

Brian steps in to be the intermediary. "Dean and Sam can both go with Gage, I'll take John or whoever this turns out to be," he indicates the unconscious man still hanging limply between him and Steve, "and everyone else can find someone to ride with that they weren't teamed up with earlier today. Does that suit you, Dustin?"

Dustin scowls, but doesn't put up anymore of a protest.

Sam understands Dustin's concern. He totally does. Ghouls can look like anybody and until they have a proven way to determine human from ghoul they can't be too careful. Just because he understands doesn't make him feel all warm and fuzzy about Dustin though. The guy's being a jerk and what's more, he's a dangerous jerk with an arsenal full of weapons at his disposal.

When he and Dean reach Gage's SUV, the dark-skinned hunter tilts his head toward Dustin and says, "Don't let Dustin worry you. He can be a cold, hard, pain in the rear, but he's not going to go postal on us." Gage's smile is genuine. His white teeth and the silver bar through his eyebrow gleam in the light cast by the car's overhead bulb as he opens the door to get into the driver's seat.

"We're not worried," Dean says and the stark indignation in the boy's tone would have Sam smiling if his thoughts left any room at all for amusement.

Stifling a groan, Sam climbs into the back seat and melts into the cushions, letting the soft fabric absorb some of the fatigue and strain in the muscles of his shoulders and back. Gage lifts his eyebrows in a clear question as both Sam and Dean opt to sit in back then he gives a carefree little shrug and fulfills his new role as chauffer by starting the ignition and cranking up the heat.

Gage's SUV isn't the Impala, isn't even close, but Sam takes a measure of comfort in the dual stereo sound of both his door and Dean's squeaking closed at the exact same moment, almost as if broadcasting how perfectly synchronized they are with each other, how in tune.

The weight of his brother's stare makes him roll his head sideways to face the boy sitting next to him in the backseat. Dean's voice is hushed when he asks, "Are you okay?"

Of course, a psycho hunter pointing a gun at him mere minutes ago doesn't bother Dean, but the idea that Sam might not be one hundred percent okay makes him anxious. Typical.

Sam pushes some of his latent amusement across their bond. I'm peachy.

Dean nods and lets his head flop back into the headrest, closing his eyes.

Thinking about his premonition will probably make him go crazy, so Sam wonders about Brian's ghoul test instead. He wonders what the test will entail then he wonders how much blood will be needed then he wonders if he'll be able to talk the other hunters into only testing John and himself, leaving Dean alone. One thought leads to another and before long Gage is pulling into a parking spot outside the Counting Sheep Inn.

The sign at the front of the motel has a cartoon picture of a sheep wearing an old fashioned sleeping cap and a pair of baby blue pajamas. Hopefully the sign isn't hinting at the rooms' décor because cartoon sheep staring at him all night long might just push Sam over the edge. He watches as Bobby walks into the lobby to get rooms for everyone. Through the glass door he sees the clerk, a middle-aged man with a bad dye job, hand over five keys dangling from tacky key chains.

Their rooms are all on the ground floor behind the main building where there won't be much traffic and no one should see them carry in John number one who is bound, gagged and struggling or John number two who looks like he was on the losing end of a fight with a swarm of razor blades.

Everyone piles into one room despite the cramped quarters, leaving the other four rooms vacant for now. Ten grown men and one boy squeezed into a motel room must be some kind of record, but they manage it because no one wants to miss out on hearing Brian's idea first hand. Plus, Dustin is still putting up a stink about wanting to keep everyone where he can see them. His distrust hasn't abated during the ride from the nature preserve and the word 'overkill' comes to Sam's mind. Wisely, he keeps his mouth shut and his ideas to himself.

Two queen-sized beds dominate the room. The hunters put them to good use by piling all the gear they bring in from their cars on them. Between the bathroom and the second bed is a windowless corner space. That's where they unceremoniously dump both John Winchester clones.

Kevin, the last person to enter the room, turns to scan the alley and parking lot visible through the door a final time. Satisfied that no one is watching and that the dark recesses hold nothing out of the ordinary, he closes the door firmly and turns to his father. "Okay, let's hear about this test of yours. How can we tell which of them is really a ghoul in disguise?" He waves his hand at the corner of the room and the conscious John's face goes a livid red color as he tries to shout something through the rag in his mouth.

"Yeah, I think we're all curious to know what you have floating around in that head of yours." Bobby crosses his arms over his chest and gives Brian a probing look.

"Right, well…I think we can all agree the ghouls in that forest are unlike any ghouls we've ever seen before." Glancing around the room, Brian continues when he sees many of the heads bobbing acknowledgment. "From everything I've ever read or seen it takes a substantial amount of…meat, for lack of a better word, to allow a ghoul to take on the shape and memories of its latest meal. I'm talking like…at least a pound of flesh from a fresh cadaver."

"Yeah, but these ghouls are eating live people, not dead ones. That could make a difference." Dustin points out.

"Exactly!" Brian grins triumphantly. "If you think about it, eating a live person should make it more difficult, not easier, for a ghoul to take over the form and certainly the memories of its victim. A live person is going to hold onto his own shape and memories much more strongly than a dead person. By the time a normal ghoul consumed enough flesh to reproduce the person's features exactly the person would most definitely be dead." Here Brian stops and looks pointedly at the two John Winchesters in the corner. "And that simply isn't the case here."

"I'm not following you." An exasperated crease appears between Bobby's eyes.

"Okay, let me ask you a question – what's the one thing these ghouls have that most ghouls don't?" Brian pauses expectantly.

Bobby's face clears, his earlier confusion draining away. "A Lich. These ghouls have a Lich."

"Bingo, they have a Lich, a powerful spellcaster. A spellcaster powerful enough to enhance the ghouls' abilities in just about any way it sees fit." Clearly pleased with himself, Brian rocks back on his heels, beaming at Bobby.

It only takes Kevin a moment before he too seems to be on the same page as his father. "And apparently this Lich wants the ghouls to be able to transform quickly, almost effortlessly. Somehow, it's reduced the amount of flesh they have to eat in order to transform so now multiple ghouls can take on the shape of the same person without killing their victim."

"That explains all the captives you saw in the woods." Gage fiddles with the tip of one long dreadlock, a gesture that makes the man look like he's completely uninterested in the discussion, but probably only means he's deep in thought. "You said they were all looking pretty rough, banged up and cut up, but they were all still alive."

"Why?" Dustin demands. "Why does it want them alive? And why does it want multiple ghouls running around wearing the same face?"

"Those are the twenty million dollar questions now, aren't they?" Brian holds Dustin in a steely gaze. "My personal belief is that it wants to generate as much confusion and panic as possible. What would be more terrifying to the local civilians than losing their friends and family only to see multiple copies of 'missing Aunt Ellen' or 'presumed dead Uncle Bert' causing havoc around town?"

Stan scrunches up his face and rubs the palms of his hands on his thighs. "I don't get it. Can you run that by me again? Even if any of that is really what's going on here, how does it help us figure out who's a ghoul and who isn't?"

Sam is glad Stan asked the question because he could use a refresher course on that one himself and he'd rather not sound like the hunter who had to take the short bus to school. He'll happily leave that distinction to Stan.

"Okay, keep an open mind and stay with me here," Brian says.

Steve snorts and mutters something under his breath that Sam can't hear.

Brian gives him a funny look before continuing. "What if the ghouls don't have any choice in the matter? What if the Lich has altered them, enhanced them, so that they change into whoever they snack on whether they want to or not?"

There's a beat of silence as everyone thinks about what that might mean and then Dustin begins to twirl a long, thin stiletto through his fingers, a look of idle exhilaration on his face. "Well, I guess that would give us a handy, dandy ghoul test, now wouldn't it? All we have to do is give a suspected ghoul a taste of someone else's blood and if they change…we got ourselves a ghoul. The best part is - we'd be using the Lich's powers and the ghoul's abilities against them to do it." His smile widens. "I like it."

Dustin's knife is moving so rapidly that it's just a blur of dull silver and Sam wonders if the guy knows how menacing it makes him look and if he's doing it on purpose.

A loud bang makes Sam jump and whip his head around to find the source of the threat. Instead of a monster he sees Steve, cradling his fist close to his chest, and a hole in the drywall next to him. By the raw scrapes on Steve's knuckles and the stormy look on the railway man's face, it's not hard to figure out what made the noise. "But we don't know for sure. I mean, are we supposed to just take a random leap in logic and assume this test will work? Where's the proof? Let's say we try Brian's test and nothing happens?"

Sam isn't surprised to see Steve reach his breaking point. It had to come sooner or later. The only surprise is that he lasted as long as he did. Speaking calmly, he says. "Steve, I know this all must seem a bit…farfetched to you, but sometimes we don't have any facts to go on. Sometimes we have to take a leap of faith."

Taking a roll of bandages from the first aid kit on one of the beds, Bobby makes quick work of patching up Steve's hand. "Sam's right – sometimes we don't know for certain what will work. This is a case of trial and error. The only thing we can do is give it a try. If one of us changes…we know he's a ghoul. If not…well, it could mean Brain's theory is wrong or it could mean the person isn't a ghoul."

"One thing we do know." Dustin interjects. "At least one if not both of those two John Winchesters is really a ghoul. I say we test them first. If one of them changes then we know the test works." He pushes past Sam to get into the bathroom, emerging seconds later holding a plastic cup in a crinkly wrapper. "So…who wants to be the first blood donor?"

Everyone is just watching everyone else. Dean goes stock still beside him and Sam takes the break in conversation as an opportunity to check on his brother's emotional state. He finds that, like himself, Dean is feeling disgusted yet resigned to the idea of having to drink blood. After all, of the really horrible things the test could have entailed, this falls pretty low on the disturbing scale. There are a ton of other emotions there too, a confusing jumble of bewilderment, anxiety and excitement. The boy is doing a great job of hiding his turmoil behind a mask of indifference.

Come to think of it, Dean has been uncharacteristically quiet lately, rarely speaking to anyone other than Sam. It's not like him to be this introverted. Dean's not really the shy type and when it's just the two of them Dean is the opposite of quiet. Maybe the boy is intimidated by the other hunters. That actually makes a lot of sense based on the way dad has always stressed that Dean stay under the radar, do nothing that might bring the scrutiny of authority figures to their little family. To Dean, the other hunters are authority figures and he has been conditioned not to attract unwanted attention. For once Sam is glad for their father's strict training because he wants Dustin and Brian to forget Dean exists for a little while. The quieter the boy stays, the better.

Kevin breaks the silence by saying, "You're awful gung ho there, Dustin. Why don't you do it? Besides you're already holding the cup and knife."

With a scowl on his lean face, Dustin rips the wrapper from the disposable cup. "Fine," he snarls and making a loose fist around the slim blade of his stiletto, he draws the sharp edge across his palm. Ruby red blood pools in the cup until there's enough for a healthy swallow or two. Sam's stomach flips at the sight and a burst of saliva rushes into his mouth. Not that he's squeamish. He simply isn't looking forward to his turn.

Dustin thrusts the cup at Gage, the hunter standing closest to the corner of the room where both John Winchesters are laid out. "Here. Have fun."

The belligerent, unmarked John begins furiously struggling and grunting.

"Yes, you can go first." Stan rolls his eyes comically. "Jeez, some people are so impatient. They always gotta be the first to try anything new that comes along." He laughs at his own joke.

Gage isn't laughing though; he's deadly serious as he unties and yanks the rag out of his test subject's mouth.

Once free of the gag, the John wannabe clamps his mouth shut as tight as a vise. Undeterred, Gage digs his fingertips into the man's jaw, pries his mouth open, and pours the viscous liquid down his throat, holding his mouth closed until he has to swallow.

A hush falls over the room. Every eye is on the man they suspect is actually a ghoul. Minutes tick by on the clock sitting on the bedside table – ten minutes then fifteen pass and still nothing happens.

Miserable disappointment bounces between Sam and his brother, seeming to magnify with every passing second. Can this be real? Can this heartless, obnoxious man really be their father? What about all the cruel things he said to Dean? Did he mean them?

Drawn as though by a high powered magnet, Sam's gaze is pulled from John's face to his brother. Dean is standing rigidly, his hands clenched in fists at his sides. Sam watches as the boy's eyes widen and that's when he hears Steve gasp.

The sudden intake of breath makes Sam switch his focus back to John where he's surprised to see his dad's face shimmer and blur around the edges. The man - ghoul - begins trembling as though it's exerting tremendous effort to stop the transformation. Its efforts are in vain. John's thick, dark hair lightens and straightens, his brown eyes take on Dustin's distinctive amber hue, and his body becomes leaner and rangier until he's the splitting image of Dustin Porter in every possible way. Now there is only one John Winchester in the room and two Dustin's, as if one wasn't enough.

The ghoul-Dustin is too furious to speak coherently, spewing inarticulate curses and partial phrases.

Shoving the rag back into its mouth, Gage mocks, "Hold on to your britches. We'll be dealing with you in just a moment, cupcake." Then he holds the flimsy, plastic cup out to the real Dustin. "We need more of your blood for the other one."

Dustin takes the cup, frowning. "This is the last time. I'm just one guy, there's only so much of me to go around."

"Actually, you're two guys." Stan smirks, pointing between the real Dustin and his ghoul counterpart.

"Ha ha, you're hilarious, Stan." Dustin's frown stays firmly in place as he makes a second slash across the same palm. Blood wells up and drips into the cup. "One of you other jokers gets to bleed for the next test." He says, handing the cup with its vibrantly colored contents sloshing around at the very bottom back to Gage.

Gage simply grins, moves over to the remaining John, and tilts the man's head back on his lax neck.

"Wait!" Dean cries out and Sam immediately knows what the problem is because he's thinking the exact same thing.

"We should try to wake him up first." Sam explains his brother's outburst when the boy bites his lower lip, looking to him for support. "He should know what's happening." Odds are pretty good that this man really is their father and the least they can do is give him a head's up. Sam figures it's bad enough to have to swallow a mouth full of blood when you're expecting it. Returning to consciousness while a regiment of hostile hunters force feeds you some thick, foreign goo has to be one of the worst ways to wake up ever invented.

"Nah, this is easier." Gage says right before he upends the cup, pouring every last drop down the man's unresisting throat.

Gage is right, it's not difficult. The unconscious man on the floor moans and tries to cough as Gage holds his mouth closed, but eventually he swallows. "Wha—at's goin' on?" He stammers, clearly groggy and confused.

"Shut up and stay put, John." The tone of voice Bobby uses has the same commanding quality he uses to scold young Sam and Dean when they've made a mess in his scrap yard and Sam gets the strangest urge to bow his head and scuff his boots in the short motel room carpeting. He resists the compulsion just barely, but he sees his brother hitching his shoulders up around his ears in a classic remorseful pose.

John does what he's told, his slit-open eyes warily scanning the room, landing briefly on each hunter in turn until he gets to Sam and Dean where he lets his gaze rest. Everyone stares back at him, those farthest away craning their necks for a better view of the man on the other side of the bed in the corner. Slowly the minutes crawl by. At the thirty minute mark Stan clears his throat and Kevin shifts his weight from one foot to the other.

Dean takes a hesitant step forward. "Dad?"

"Yeah, Dean. It's me." John's haggard voice cracks from sheer exhaustion and an abundance of emotion. "I didn't think…I mean, I hoped…"

The prickle of unshed tears makes Sam blink his eyes rapidly and that's how Dustin catches him unprepared. He's simply not expecting it. Not right at that moment. His guard is down for only a split second and that's when Dustin pounces.

Just as Dean takes another tentative step away from Sam and toward their dad, Dustin's hand darts out like a striking cobra, wraps around the boy's arm and gives a sharp tug. The brace on his leg doesn't allow for sudden changes in direction and Dean overbalances, falling heavily into Dustin's side.

If his reaction time had only been a fraction of a second faster, Sam could have reached out and pulled Dean back. As it is, he can only watch the callous hunter trap his brother's arms in a tight hold and immobilize him against his chest. The knife Dustin grips in his free hand is way too close to the boy's throat to allow a rescue attempt. "The kid gets tested next."

"Lemme go." Dean snarls in a darn good imitation of their dad's voice at his most intimidating. Although he struggles and fights, the boy is no match for the wiry strength of the larger and more experienced hunter.

A low boiling rage ignites within Sam. Dean hasn't done anything to deserve being treated like a criminal or a monster and Sam wants to rip Dustin to shreds. The urge to do something, anything, to defend his brother is nearly all consuming. "Get. Your. Filthy. Hands. Off. Him." He says as clearly as he can through clenched teeth.

John tries to regain his feet only to collapse into the wall. Dustin retreats toward the bathroom, dragging Dean along with him, in response to the very real potential for violence he must be able to sense emanating from the boy's father.

"I'm not stupid. I've got eyes, you know? I can see there's something weird about Sam and this kid. I want to know what they're up to." Dustin sneers. "Someone give me some blood to feed this one. I'd bet my truck they're both ghouls."

What Dustin thinks he saw Dean or Sam doing that has raised his suspicions, Sam hasn't got a clue. One thing is for sure though – Bobby was right, hunters are paranoid, dangerous and unpredictable.

"Dustin, this is a warning and you best take heed. If any harm comes to that boy you're gonna be in for a world of hurt." There's much more threat than warning in Bobby's tone.

"Oh come on. I know you all can see it too. I can't be the only one who thinks they're strange. The way they anticipate each other's movements? The way they can't be separated? Hell, I'd even swear Sam can tell us what Dean is thinking."

Steve chuckles without any humor. "Anyone can tell you what Dean's thinking right now – he's thinking up a million different ways to pay you back for this. If I were you I'd be sleeping with one eye open from now on."

The stormy look on Dean's face confirms Steve as a world-class mind reader and Sam is glad to feel the coiled anger coming from his brother. Anger is a good thing in this situation. They can work with anger. It's certainly better than some of the other emotions that have been wrecking havoc on the boy's state of mind lately.

Dustin looks around the room, obviously surprised not to find a single supporter. " I just want the kid tested next. Man, talk about overprotective." He backtracks, relaxing his arms and removing the knife from Dean's throat. As soon as the hunter's grip slackens, Dean wrenches his shoulders free. His brace makes a loud clanking noise when it hits the bed frame on his way back to Sam's side.

"You okay?" Sam asks even though he already knows the answer.

Dean presses his lips together and gives Sam a tight, angry nod.

"Nobody cares what you want, Dustin but…it makes sense to test Dean and Sam next." Brian says, matter-of-factly. He brushes past Dustin to enter the bathroom. The rustling sounds of a cup being removed from its wrapper can be heard and then the silky snick of a well-maintained switchblade opening. Moments later, Brian is standing in front of them, a fresh wound on his left bicep and two cups, each containing less than an inch of blood. "Bottoms up, men." He says, handing Dean one and Sam the other.

Well, there goes Sam's last hope for immunity from the test for his brother. Heaving a sigh, Sam takes the red liquid and raises it in a mock toast, hoping to lighten Dean's mood. "Down the hatch, kiddo."

To his surprise, the frown vanishes from the boy's face, replaced by a mischievous half-smile as if to say 'we'll show them'.

That smile, the first one Sam can remember his brother wearing since Bobby's house, makes Sam feel like whatever he has to do to keep Dean safe now and in the future is worth it. His brother is worth it. Dean's resilience is extraordinary and that's a very good thing. The boy is going to need it.

They drink together, matching grimaces on their faces.

"Nasty!" Dean exclaims.

"That's foul." Sam agrees.

Brian feigns offence. "Hey! That's my blood you're talking about."

Half an hour later, Dean and Sam still look like themselves and there are no additional Brian's in the room. Dustin looks like he's going to blow a gasket, but everyone else seems to take the non-event for granted.

"Your turn, Dustin," Sam says, taking much more enjoyment from the hunter's bitter resentment than he probably should.

"Maybe it's you who's the ghoul." Dean's smile is falsely innocent. His brother is anything but.

Dustin glares at him and Sam glares right back. He knows Dustin's suspicions are still firmly in place and that's okay because Sam isn't going to get caught unprepared by the amber-eyed hunter again.

Dean sends him a complicated series of emotions and Sam returns them. I've got you're back. Always.

On to ( Chapter 16 )


Back to ( Chapter 14 )
Back to ( Chapter 1 )

  • Such a great chapter!!! Glad they figured out the real John! Protective Sammy is awesome!
    • Yay! I'm so happy to finally get this chapter posted. Giddy might even be a better word for how I'm feeling. It's been a long time coming. Now the hunters can get down to the business of hunting a Lich! I love protective!Sammy too!!!

      Thank you! *hugs*
  • YAY, so worth the wait! That Dustin is a piece of work. I know he's just being paranoid, but sheesh, LAY OFF. Love that they know John is really John. Looking forward to the reunion :)

    Also, I need to PM you about something... :)
    • Re-writing this chapter from scratch was really, really hard, but I do think it turned out better than the first version. I don't ever want to have to go through that again though.

      Dustin is kind of your stereo-typical callous, uncaring lout. I didn't start off writing him that way, but that's how he ended up evolving. With so many characters the challenge has been in giving them all their own separate identities and personalities. I tried to develop them all a little more in this chapter.

      Thanks hun!!!
  • This was so worth the wait, sweetie. I know it must have been a ton of work to have to rewrite but, boy, was it good. I think you're doing a great job of making all of the different voices distinctive. I know how hard it is to have to juggle that many characters and you're doing a wonderful job of it. :)
    • I'm glad you think so, but I'll try really hard to post more regularly from now on. This is the first time I've had more than a handful of characters so giving them all separate personalities has been a bit of a challenge. Thank you for the encouragement. *hugs*
  • Mua ha ha. Dustin is in troooouuuuble now!
    • Dustin has earned himself a couple of enemies that's for sure. I wouldn't want to be in his shoes!!! Sammy can hold a grudge, especially when it comes to someone hurting his brother!
      • And after this iteration of the Wish, the next time they face off, Dustin will be twenty years older than a Sammy who hasn't aged. (Assuming he doesn't die in the next chapter for being a ghoul, because it seems to me that a ghoul who wanted in with the hunters would be pushing the test on everyone else in hopes that tension has hunter killing hunter....)

        I was so happy to see this update, by the way! :)
        • Yeah, I guess Dustin would be pretty freaked out if he crossed paths with Sam in twenty years and he hadn't aged a day!!! Heehee.

          Sorry for the long wait. I'm glad you're still interested enough to come back after all this time!!! Thank you.

          Edited at 2012-01-26 03:32 am (UTC)
  • Bonded and Broken

    I was so excited when I saw this update. It was such a great chapter. I really love Sam and Dean working in sync. m :)
    • Re: Bonded and Broken

      Awww, that's so wonderful to hear. I'm glad you still want to read it after all this time. I really love Sam and Dean working as a team too! Thanks hun!
  • Sorry to hear about your computer, but I'm so glad that you got the next chapter up, which was wonderful as always. Great update!
    • The computer crash was devestating, although it gave me the chance to fix a couple of things in the chapter that probably would not have been fixed otherwise. I was unbelievably happy to finally get it posted.

      Thank you sweetie. I appreciate the encouragement!
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