These Dreams (SN,XO,UC, Adult) (Complete)

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These Dreams (SN,XO,UC, Adult) (Complete)

Post by DMartinez » Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:01 pm

Winner Round 11




Author: DMartinez
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Metz, Katims, Kripke and the WB, UPN, CW. "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" belongs to BTO. No infringement intended.
Rating: ADULT (Sexual Situations, Vulgar Language, Violence)
Category: Crossover. CC/UC Supernatural/Roswell
Summary: After Roswell Series, After first season Supernatural + In My time of Dying. Pod Squad crosses paths with the Winchester men after Liz has some disturbing visions. Life has yet to settle for either set of travelers but making it work is hard enough when Liz's visions spell trouble for all when they begin to incorporate demons as well as aliens.
Warning: Character Death

These Dreams


The moan. Grunts. Pants for air. Cries of passion. The sensations. Skin. Sweat.

Liz Evans sat bolt upright in her seat. Had she nodded off again? Was it just a dream? Or was it one of the visions that had become a part of everyday life as a human being saved by an Antarian King? She nearly leapt out of her skin when a warm hand touched her arm. "Liz?"

Max, it was just Max Evans. Her husband. "Fine."

"What?" He chuckled lightly, sitting up to speak softly to her.

"I'm fine." She repeated.

"I didn't ask the question yet." Max peered at her, his warm eyes so open and caring. His strong hands brushing her hair out of her face. His healing hands.

"Bad dream." She shook her head and tried to settle back into her seat, aware that all eyes were on them in the cramped van. Michael Guerin's eyes through the rearview. Isabel Ramirez's eyes around the front passenger seat. Kyle Valenti's from directly behind her. Maria DeLuca's from where she leaned against the window in the back.

"It didn't sound like a bad dream." Max whispered into her ear, a light chuckle in his voice.

"What did it sound like?" Liz asked softly, her eyes on the side window and its ever-changing landscape on the other side.

"Like you and I have some making up to do when we get a room to ourselves." His lips brushed the skin under her ear but Liz didn't feel it. She was back with the dream. Back with the eyes that were not warm amber and love. Eyes that burned with lust. Eyes that always seemed to be laughing. "Liz?"

"What?" Liz snapped her eyes off the window. Her husband's concerned eyes studied her face.

"Where did you go?"

"It's just a haunting dream." She tried to reassure him.

"Want to talk about it?"

"No." She shut her eyes but all she saw were laughing green eyes.


Dean Winchester walked in the door and set his jacket on the back of a chair and not draped across it. Dad was cool but Dad could be stern. Dad always had rules. Dad was and would always be a Marine. He raised his sons to be rough but civilized enough. Hands in his pockets, he cleared his throat before he spoke. "Sammy's doing okay. Looks like he got another scholarship. He'll be busy for at least another year. He could get another scholarship and be soaking up that frat air forever."

John Winchester nodded as he cleaned his gun and reloaded his stash of clips and packed rock salt cartridges, a new trick he and Dean had learned to fight spirits. He was proud of his estranged second son but Sammy never wanted to hear it from his old man. They were a lot alike in their ways. My way or the highway mentality. Still, John had Dean. Eager Dean. Skilled and obedient but belligerent Dean. John waited because Dean was still standing there. "No."

"What? I didn't say anything." The young man shrugged with his hands still jammed into his pockets. Eyes wide and slightly guilty.

"You're not hunting on your own. You can run errands. You can pick up supplies. You're not hunting anything down without me." John barely took his eyes off his tasks while he let into his oldest son.

"Dad. I'm twenty-three years old. It's not like I haven't done this all my life."

"And you're not hunting down anything by yourself until I say so." John packed his supplies in vests and bags to put in the car. They were a few hours out of Palo Alto. He had sent Dean off to check on Sam to give him something to do while he contacted his friends about the demon. "It's not that you're not good at it, Dean. You don't have the discipline to do it on your own."

"Right." Dean shook his head and fell onto his bed. "Yes, sir."

"I was your age when I met your mother." John rarely talked about his wife with his sons. They had pictures and some memories but that was it. It was selfish but John's pain kept him from speaking of her on most occasions. "I didn't have a clue what I was doing. Just discharged from the Marines, married my girl and before I knew it, I was in over my head. Bills, starting up the business and a baby on the way. It felt like it crept up on me even though I know it took years. You got your whole life to fight evil. Right now. You're doing it with me right there. Evil doesn't sleep. All shapes. Any place. All we have to do is stay alive long enough to figure out how to kill it." Dean nodded to the ceiling. "Dean."

"Yes, sir. Running errands and gathering information until you tell me that I'm ready."

John had to shake his head at the impatience of youth, which reminded him of something else that worried him about the child in front of him. Charm was genetic in Winchesters but Dean had gotten the lion's share. "You think too much with what you got in your pants, son. That's your whole problem."

"That's a little harsh, don't you think, Dad?" Dean sat up, half a laugh on his lips. He knew his dad was grinning before he laid eyes on him.

"Your affinity for the ladies nearly cost us a deadline." He reminded the young stud.

That grin. That smirking grin of Dean's. He knew exactly what his father was talking about. "I've overslept before."

"But not where I couldn't find you to kick your sorry ass out of bed." John set down his sawed off shotgun and shifted his attention to the window. He imagined having this talk was hard enough for a normal family and those ended shortly after they began but he'd spent his children's lives with them, in countless dirty hotels. Giving talks on the fly as they were needed, and repeated as warranted. The boys were used to them. At least Dean was. Sammy could never sit still to listen. "There's a time and a place, Dean. When we're on the trail, you gotta curb your libido. We have some down time, just don't go too far without telling me."

"I'm not five. I don't need you to hold my hand. Especially not when I'm with a lady." A chuckle in his voice. He knew it was important to stay focused but it was really hard to do when there were so many beautiful women in the country they lived in. And seriously, he was far too old to be getting sex talks.

"If you lose me, I've lost you. Sometimes you're too quick for your old man, Dean. I used to be able to trail you to your latest conquest. Lately, you're in and out of the bar before I even know you're gone. I need you to be careful. If something ever happens to me, I need you to be able to get to your brother in time." John met his son's eyes. "Do you understand me?"

"Yes, sir." Dean nodded. "I'll let you know." He paused and never wavered when he made his next promise. "I'll always get to him in time. No matter what."

Last edited by DMartinez on Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:50 am, edited 77 times in total.

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Part 1

Post by DMartinez » Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:47 pm

Part 1 – 2003 – A few days later…

Liz waited on the counter of the bathroom while Isabel did her nightly routine. Face washing, tweezing, moisturizing. Maria was taking so long in the shower though. Isabel kept giving her strange looks… and probably because Liz kept shifting around nervously. "Liz… are you going to sit there acting like a drug addict or are you going to ask your question?"

"Um… I…" Liz blew out a breath. "My question isn't for you. I need Maria."

"It's not…" Isabel began packing up her things to head back to the van. "Are you pregnant?"

Liz almost laughed at the question. That might be a relief. "I don't know if you've noticed but Max and I don't really get a lot of alone time. Being pregnant is virtually impossible."

"She's going to be in there for an hour." Isabel pointed out and stood next to the sink, waiting.

"Maybe you can help." Liz focused her eyes on the floor as she contemplated her words. "You love Jesse, right? I mean… still after all this time?"

"Yes." The blonde's eyes watered. "There's not a day that goes by that I don't wish I was with him."

"Have you ever… dreamed of being with someone else?" Slowly, she lifted her eyes to her sister-in-law.

"Like… with?" She stressed the last word and widened her eyes.

"With." Liz nodded.

"So, you've been dreaming that you've been… with… some other man? Some man not my brother?" There was something in her sister-in-law's eyes that kept Isabel from jumping to conclusions the way she normally did where her brother was concerned.

"Intensely dreaming. I know I love Max and this completely weirds me out."

"Okay. It's just a dream, Liz." Isabel laid a hand on her shoulder. "It doesn't make you a bad person. Jesse sometimes dreams he's with other women. I saw it when I dreamwalked him one night. It drove me crazy so… once, I asked him about it. He said he talked about it to his therapist. It drove him nuts, too."

"What did the therapist say?"

"That Jesse misses his wife. He's not dating new women. He's not looking at other women but he misses me and so his brain is trying to… replace me because he was happy with me. His memories of me and the good times. It doesn't really work but maybe you're right. You and Max don't really get to spend a lot of… alone time together." Isabel wrapped an arm around her sister-in-law. "Maybe it's just your brain waking you up. Saying, 'hey, I need sex and if your husband isn't doing it… look at this guy' you know?"

"Maybe." Liz nodded.

"Okay… Was Isabel just profound about something?" Maria's voice wafted over the shower stall and over the rushing water.

"Maria… Shut up."

"Maybe if it was lots of different guys, I wouldn't worry so much but it's the same guy every time and I know I've never seen him in life." Liz tried to explain.

"What's he look like?" Maria called over. "Describe your dream hunk to the dream scry-er."

"Tall. Green eyes. Fair skin. Brownish blonde hair… muscular." Liz shut her eyes because it was humiliating to begin with and to know, without having to dredge up the dreams, precisely what this man looked like.

"Except for the tall and muscular… kind of the opposite of Max." Maria called out. "Like a mental reversal to shock your brain so you can go tell your man that you need some servicing."

"Your brain wiring has been alienized or whatever. Who knows how it's affected how your subconscious reaches out to your consciousness. Maybe your persistent dreaming of this guy is just like a polarization of your desires for Max." Isabel bit her lip. "Please don't make me have another conversation about my brother's sex life."

"Ladies! We think we found a town with a hotel for tomorrow night!" Kyle called in through a window. His eyes appearing over the ledge. "A speck called Racine."

"Kyle! I'm going to kick your ass!" Maria shouted.

"How come you guys have stall doors?" Kyle frowned, his chin propped up on the short ledge.

"Because three women in a shower does not really end in an orgy." Isabel sent a small blast at Kyle, knocking him off whatever he was standing on.

Maria finally emerged from her stall in fresh clothes. "So, hear that, Liz? You and the hubby can get it on and hopefully be rid of your dream guy."

"Do you have to be so crass?" Liz scoffed and grabbed her bag to join them on the trek to where the van was parked for the night.


Dean glanced around the town. It didn't look like anything out of the ordinary but Dad had sent him to do recon while he studied the thing. Plucking a badge from his glove compartment, he strode out onto the scene and started asking questions. "I'm Nicholas Seine with the border patrol. I need to know what went on out here."

"It was huge." The old man leapt at the chance to talk to someone new. "Eight feet tall. Fangs. A werewolf. It was a full moon last night."

"I see." Dean nodded and looked to the local policeman standing nearby, a portly man trying to contain his laughter. "What did this… werewolf do?"

"Picked up my truck and threw it over the fence." The old man pointed.

"A werewolf picked up your truck and threw it… over the fence." Dean repeated, eyes following to show that there was indeed an overturned truck next to a mangled fence. "Did anyone else see it?"

"Ask the boogeyman. Apparently he was standing on the other side of the fence." The deputy snickered.

"Not no bogeyman. It was a regular man. Had a remote control in his hands." The old man went on.

Dean's cell phone rang while he was just getting to the interesting answers from the yokel. Holding up his hand he walked away and he flipped open the phone. "Yeah."

"Is that how you answer a phone?"

"No, sir. What did you find, sir?"

"It's moved on. Meet me in Clarence. It's two towns over. You get a room; say you're waiting for your partner. Then you get on over to the Wayne's. There's only one. You talk to them. Find out everything you can. Wait for me there."

"Yes sir."

"Did they say anything interesting?"

"Just something about a werewolf and a guy with a remote control. Apparently the werewolf threw a car at the guy with the remote control." Dean rolled his eyes.

"Sounds like someone tried to rope the wind. The guy with the remote control is dead?"

"If there's a body, no one's found it. Pissed off werewolf running around?"

"That's my guess so far. If there is a remote. Find it. It could be useful to bring the bitch down."


"It's only hitting men in Clarence. Men who cheat on their wives. My guess is that it's a woman during the day and that it's a woman who's controlling it or trying to anyway. Be careful, Dean."

"Yes, sir."

The next night…

Max stroked the skin on Liz's back where she sighed happily on her side of the narrow bed. Max had been ready to trade the narrow bed for two so that more people could have a bed but Isabel and Maria had taken over room negotiations and forced the single room with its narrow bed on the married couple. Trying to get comfortable on it had led to the upside of the small bed. "Are we okay?"

"Hmm?" Liz carefully turned to see her husband's face, his hand around her to catch her if she should fall off the bed.

"I know we don't get to spend too much time together you know… without everyone else breathing down our necks. It's not that I don't want to." He sighed heavily as his eyes roamed over her naked body. "What was I talking about?"

"I'm not sure." Liz shook her head at her easily distracted husband. "Something about if we're okay."

"Right." He snapped his eyes to her face. "Are we suffering for the close quarters?"


"Are you sure?"

"I’m sure." Liz brushed his lips softly with hers. "But we need to be alone sometimes."

"I know. I just… Isabel doesn't have Jesse and I'm afraid if we… I don't want her to make a mistake because she's jealous or something. You know she gets a little spiteful when she's upset."

"She is jealous, Max. She doesn't like that she is. She doesn't want to wish bad things for us just because she doesn't have him. She still talks to him in his dreams. They miss each other and neither one knows what to do." Liz tried to get comfortable again but the bed was really too small. "We're okay though. I know I love you. The quarters are cramped and we don't hog single rooms. The others are appreciative."

"Are you sure?"


"Then why was there a huge to-do about the arrangements?"

"It's stupid." Liz warned him but took a deep breath. "I've been having these dreams…"

"Oh… the dreams." Max leaned in closer.


"You've been having them for awhile. I've been able to keep the guys from commenting but you get… loud during the dreams." He caressed her face. "Almost as loud as when you…" He swallowed thickly, recalling the moment in the immediate past when she had made that sound in his arms as she fell apart. "When we…"

"I'm mortified." Liz closed her eyes as her face flushed.

"No one has said anything because I asked them not to."

"I talked to the girls about it yesterday. They said the dreams were just a way of waking me up to my… needs."

"So they bother you?"


"Dreaming about me bothers you?" Max sat up.

"No." Liz sat up as best as she could. "The dreams aren't about you… and that bothers me."

"Who are they about? What does he want?"

"I don't know. Never seen him before in my life." She took his hands in hers. "Maria said because it's… not you that it reminds me that I need you. So… they talked the guys into the double room. Maybe we should take advantage of the single room… to you know… ward off more dreams." She tugged him towards her. "I like it when you make me moan."

"Yeah, I like that too." He covered her body with his, staring down into her beautiful face. "You know that I love you and I'll say it everyday until the day I die but I need you to be honest with me if you aren't happy with the way things are."

"It's hard, Max. Living this way but I wouldn't have come with you if I didn't think it would be worth it in the end."

"You're sure?"

"I know it's risky, Max but maybe we really should consider slowing down for a bit. I hate to be selfish just to play house but I need a week, or a month or two months where the landscape isn't going to change every time I open my eyes."

"I know." He nodded solemnly. "Everyone else might appreciate the reprieve. I just… don’t want us too exposed… with Kyle changing right now and everything."

"Yeah, I know."

"Good thing I gave up that crown thing. If it's their idea… It might go over better." He smiled crookedly down at her.

"Michael's your obstacle."

"Ah… my work is cut out for me." Max laughed and kissed his wife's shoulder, then her neck and then her ear. "As I recall… just a minute ago you were saying something about taking advantage of the private room."


Tossing his phone against the bed, Dean swore. Clarence was a bust and Dad had never shown up. Said to meet him in the next town. The thing was moving fast. Dean was young and slightly inexperienced but he wasn't stupid. He knew when someone was giving him the run around. It bit at his pride to be so insulted by someone he loved more than anything on this earth. To be given busy work until the real men could make the kill. To be 22 and not be seen as man enough.

When the phone rang, Dean considered not answering it. He had just gotten off the phone with Dad. He didn't want to talk to him again so soon no matter what his attitude had been when they were talking. Cursing, he scooped it up and braced himself before answering. "Yes, sir."


"Sammy?" To hear his little brother's voice after such a crap day was like music to his ears… but there was always a downside in talking to Sam.

"Dude, I told you to stop calling me that." The voice chuckled on the line. "Dad around?"

"No." Dean bit out but cooled his temper before clearing his throat to address his baby brother. It didn't matter that he was grateful for the call but if Sammy went off on Dad again, Dean was going to let him have it. "So, college working out for you?"

"Dean, don’t start." He breathed harshly on the line for a moment. "When is he going to accept that I can do this?"

"That's not it, Sammy." Dean sighed. He wasn't up to the conversation. Not with the friction with Dad. Not with this thing on the loose. He lost the internal battle with his nerves so shot and frustrated with the trail on the bitch from hell. "We could use you, right now."

"No. I'm not going back to that. I have things in order for the first time ever, Dean. A job, school, friends. I'm tired all the time but it's normal."

"Wouldn't kill you to check in a little more often so we don't have to wonder if you're still alive." Dean set his jaw. "Nothing like going behind Dad's back to get what you want."

"Right. Taking a couple of tests is a betrayal."

"You could have said something before Dad got the call from the board of education that you got your GED or the letter at Greensborough saying you got a 1300 or something on the SAT. That fucking letter from Stanford was just icing on the cake. You could've said something. Just some notice that you were going to leave before you took off and abandoned your family."

Silence stretched out for a long time. "I had to leave. That way of life is not a life. I want more for my life. Aren't you sick of looking into the shadows and wondering if it's just a shadow or if there's something in it?"

"Four out of five times, there is something in there, Sammy. You know. You lived it. Going to college doesn’t make it go away."

"Well neither did hunting down the creatures of the night. You kill one, five, or twenty and there are a hundred to take their places. It never ends."

"Hit the books, Sammy. I have to get on the road. I have work to do." Dean hung up the phone and stared at his bag. That bag was home. Not a place. Barely a car. That bag held all he needed.


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Part 2

Post by DMartinez » Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:08 pm

AN: It occurs to me as I'm reading through before posting that up to Chapter 3, the story is all prologue. I should have done it that way but... anyway. Here's the next part.

Part 2 – A month later…

Dean tossed his badge back in his glove box with the other fakes. He was tempted to take a shotgun from the trunk and put a real cartridge in it. No one was talking. He was chasing his tail. Dad had sent him on another wild goose chase and he had yet to show up. Gunning the gas for a moment, he thought about stopping for a drink but he didn't need Dad giving him lectures about drinking on the job or scoring while on the trail. There'd be time enough to get plastered after they caught the damned bitch.

If Sammy was around, he'd be getting yelled at enough for the both of them. Hell, he missed that kid but Sam would just slow them down. Whining and back talking when lives were on the line. Still, Dean had wanted to stop in longer to talk to the kid but Dad had a timetable. Not that Sam would have welcomed either with open arms. Dad had rules. Dad was going to be pissed if Dean didn't go get a room before the motel filled up.


Liz dragged her feet up the stairs to the room she'd shared with Max the past few weeks and stumbled to the door with her key in hand. All she wanted was to get out of her uniform and into bed with her husband. The lights were off, so she slipped in as quietly as possible. She slipped out of her uniform, socks and shoes and into bed, her eyes closed before she felt his arm around her waist.

It was five or twenty minutes when the door opened with a bang. "When I said to let me know where you were going, I did not mean to bring them into our room."

Liz fell out of bed she was so startled. Kneeling, she peered over the bed and realized the warm body she'd been snuggling against was not that of her beloved husband.

"What are you talking about? It's the middle of the night." The young man growled, running his hand through his already disheveled hair.

"I know." The older man pointed to the cowering figure on the floor. "Want to explain why you brought her in here when I told you I was meeting you?"

"I think there was some kind of misunderstanding." Liz's voice wavered just a bit. "If you could just hand me my uniform…"

"When I asked if they did turn down service, I didn't think I'd get an answer." The young man assessed the young woman who had apparently been occupying the other half of the narrow bed.

"Be a gentleman, and look away, son." He picked up the uniform and tossed it at the young woman. "Wrong room?"

"I guess so." Liz scrambled into the polyester dress.

"Don’t look at me like that. I got the keys from the front desk. She said the room was empty." The young man sat up. "I didn't invite anyone up."

Liz froze as she was edging to the door. She'd been in the room for a month. Where was Max? Glancing at her bedmate, she was met with a pair of green eyes. Laughing green eyes. Leaping toward the door, she made excuses. "They must have moved us. I'm so sorry."

"Don't look at me like that. I didn't do anything. I followed your instructions to the letter. It's not my fault the hotel doesn't count their keys, Dad."

"My son is rude. He was raised in a barn. I hope your mess gets straightened out." The older man held the door open for her.

Liz pulled the key out of her pocket. "I guess I don't need this. I am so sorry."

"Wait a minute." The young man called out. "Didn't you realize your mistake when there was already someone in the bed?"

"My husband was supposed to be sleeping." She backed out of the room and calmly walked down to the stairwell. Where were they? What had happened?

"There she is. Liz." The hiss came from around the building. "Liz! Come on. We have to go."

The gang was all in the van already. They had been waiting for her, as not to call attention when they got the hell out of town. Max tucked her into his arms as he explained. "I was trimming the trees at the Johnson place when a guy pulled up. I heard him tell Mr. Johnson that he was FBI. We should leave."


"What?" Dean looked at his father. "That was funny." His father continued to frown. "I can't help it if the ladies are seeking me out and crawling into bed with me."

"She was embarrassed." John shook his head at his son. "You sleep like the dead, Dean. She walked in and climbed into bed with you and you slept the whole time."

"I was exhausted. You've had me running all over the state on little sleep." Dean complained. His sleep was ruined.

"Son, the Marines don't get eight hours of sleep a night. They function just fine."

"I'm not a Marine, sir." Dean bit out. "Neither are you, if I recall. Honorably discharged before I was born. That's nearly a quarter century."

"Look at me, Dean." John knew what he looked like. What he had turned into since his Mary had died. He looked older than his years. He looked grizzled on the best of days. "I could not have survived this long without the discipline I learned in the Corps. You and Sammy were always trying to buck me and my rules but the rules save our lives."

"Yes, sir." He said the words but he didn't have to like it.

"Believe or not, I vaguely remember what it was like to be young and on the prowl. Three rules."

"Yes, sir."

"Leave me a clue. Don't bring her to your room if you know I'm coming. Use a condom."

"Yes, sir." Dean nodded stiffly. His sleep was thoroughly interrupted and he'd gotten a sex chat. The second in a month. He needed to think of something else before trying to get back to sleep. "Sammy checked in a while back. He's doing okay."

"Night, Dean. Sleep in tomorrow. I'll need you fresh tomorrow night. We're going to kill this thing."


Max eyed Liz where she stared out of the passenger side window. She had been quiet since they had left Racine. Everyone else seemed to be sleeping but even though Liz had worked a double, she was still awake. "Is something wrong?"

"No." She shook her head but didn't look at him.

"I'm sorry we had to leave but I couldn't risk it with FBI so close."

"Did you even find out what they were investigating?" She was asking the questions but Max could see that they were just coming out. She wasn't with him. She was somewhere else.

"I really am sorry that we had to go. I know you liked it there."

"It's okay, Max. Really." Liz turned to lean against the door, her eyes on the ceiling of the nearly busted van.

"Talk to me." Max rubbed her shin, barely taking his eyes off the road.

"You left me, Max." She bit her lip to stop the tears. Those green eyes, mocking her. "No sign. Nothing. I went to the room and got into bed with a total stranger because you forgot to get to me sooner."

"What?" Max sat up straighter. "When?"

"Tonight. I got off work a little early. I walked back to our room and climbed into bed. I thought you were asleep. It was someone else. If his father hadn't walked in, I might still be in there." Liz scrubbed at her face with her hands. "We need a better system, Max. The FBI might find it suspicious that six young people abandoned their jobs overnight, no notice and vanished from town the minute they hit. People might remember our faces."


She sat up and took his hand in hers. "Just let me know. This has always been a problem with you and me. The waiting to tell the other person how we really feel and what we really know. You said we couldn't really play house but that's what we were doing. Playing at house. We need to really, really do it, Max. I don't care about fancy houses and prestigious jobs. We need to settle somewhere. Where nothing happens, where we don't stick out like sore thumbs. Where we can stop playing."

"Liz, what's wrong?" He cupped her face. "What are you trying to tell me?"

Liz opened her mouth to tell him the truth but when she caught the concern in his eyes, she couldn’t do it. She couldn't tell him that the dream man had a real life counterpart. She couldn't tell him how those dreams made her feel. How ashamed she was that they existed. How confused she was to have met the man in person. When Max looked at her with so much love, she couldn't hurt him that way. She couldn't control it. She couldn't stop it. The quality of the dreams hit her as never before. Her powers were creeping along. She didn't want them if they were going to show her things that couldn't be. And they couldn't be. Absolutely not. Not ever. There was no way it would happen because she loved Max too much.


"It's nothing, Max." Liz shut her eyes and kissed his hand between hers. "I love you."

He smiled at her. "I love you, too. Tell me what's wrong. I can't know what I'm doing wrong if you don't tell me."

"You're not doing anything wrong. I promise."

"Then what was that look in your eyes? That scared look?"

"I was asleep long enough to dream. Waking up next to someone who wasn't you… scary."

A shadow passed over his eyes. "I understand and I'm sorry we couldn't get word to you sooner. That should have never happened."

"Promise me that you'll always be the one I wake up next to."

"I plan to always be the one you wake up next to."


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Post by DMartinez » Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:20 pm

Part 3 – 2006 – One Week after "In My Time of Dying"
(November 10, 2006)

"How are you doing?" Sam asked as he helped rebuild the car at Bobby's Garage. It was mostly another car with some sentimental things saved from the old car but whatever made Dean feel better… not that anything seemed to appease Dean these days; especially not his little brother's proficiency with tools, which were coming along slower than molasses in winter.

"What? Did you grow ovaries while I was dying? I said 'I'm fine.' So, I'm fine." Dean griped as he locked the pin in to hold the door in place. Struggling with the weight on his own, he continued to lash out at his baby brother. "If you ask me again if I'm fine or if I'm doing okay, I'll kick your ass back into that hospital."

"You haven't been yourself. You've been unusually focused on the car, man." He was only trying to help. Trying to make Dean see that it was okay to talk about it but his brother was not having it. Everyone was worried about Dean. Marty and Bobby because they knew Dad and they remembered the way Dean used to be… and this Dean wasn't him. Grieving Dean was a pain in the ass even more so than good ol' Dean of days past.

"And you've been unusually focused on me. How about we stop yapping and finish the fucking car, Sam? I just want to get on the road again and kill some demons, okay?" Dean tossed the tools aside and yanked his wallet out of his pocket. It seemed like an afterthought but Sam just watched as his brother made a show of rifling through it. "I'm going to the bar. My wallet's light."

"I'll just hunt up some leads then…" Sam shrugged and ducked back under the hood of the car. There wasn't much to do with it until the parts came in but he was tired of being the focus of Dean's anger. He just hoped Dean hadn't noticed he was messing with his precious engine.

"Yeah, you do that."

"Do me a favor, though?" Sam called out, aware that ears were listening but it wasn't like it was a great secret. It seemed like half the town had been there to witness the original event. Dean only tilted his head and waited for the request. "Don't hit on Lillian. Just leave her alone. For once."

"Dude, whatever." Dean stormed out of the garage and across the road to the bar. He'd been there every night since he'd gotten out of the hospital. Every night since they had given Dad a proper funeral by way of a salted pyre. He was very nearly the only daily regular. Locals came in on payday. Hunters didn't keep schedules but they all stopped at Marty's when they drove through. He shoved open the door and examined the contents of the bar as he made his way over for a drink. A couple of laughing waitresses on one end waiting for drinks to deliver to tables of drunken truckers and local color. No hunters this week to express how good a hunter Dad was or how they hadn't been on speaking terms with Dad for a long while. Dad had that effect on other hunters. "Marie!"

"It's Mary… but I'll let it slide on account of you being so cute." The blonde turned to look him over with a smile. "You look like road kill. I'll bring your usual. You going to hustle the pool table again?"

"Any fresh blood?" He shoved his hands into his pockets, brows furrowed deeply though he was trying to relax. Bantering with the waitresses took his mind off things but only for a few moments.

"Some. Be careful." She brushed passed him with a tray of drinks for the other side of the bar.

"I love you." The dark haired bartender leaned over the bar to kiss the dark haired waitress.

"I love you, more." She drew him back for a second kiss.

"I'd love some wings, Lilly." Dean gagged at the display but hid the expression when they broke apart. She pinned him with the same glare she'd first greeted him with a week earlier when he'd walked in, leered at her and then promptly propositioned her. She hadn’t even let him get out another slick come on before she told him to forget about it.

"Lillian. Not Lilly." She rolled her eyes but hopped off the stool she knelt on to go tack the order up on the turnstile.

Dean stood there for a minute watching her and realized that he shouldn't have been when the bartender crossed his arms and started boring holes into Dean's skull with his eyes. "So, Nathan… how long you been seeing Lillian?"

"A long time." Came the nod and grin. The guy was so far gone, it didn't take much to wipe that frown off his face.

"Has she always been this big a bitch?" Dean hadn't even had a drink yet and he was already pissing Nathan off. He'd have to watch that.

Nathan stiffened, the grin gone. "Lillian's a good judge of character. If she doesn't like you, then neither do I."

"Seriously." Dean backed away at the look in Nathan's eyes. Still, he just couldn't stop talking. "She has a bug up her ass and she's going to ruin my game again."

"Maybe hustling isn't for you. Marty lets you do what you want for whatever reason but you drag my wife into this and things could get ugly."

"Your wife?"

"Yeah, my wife. Lillian." Nathan clarified before picking up a rag to clean some glasses. Mary set the bottle of beer in front of Dean without a word and Dean made his way out to his spot near the pool table. A couple of guys were playing for fun but they motioned to each other when Dean took his seat. It would be easy money.


Sam walked into the bar and found his brother in the same spot he'd found him the night before, leaning on the pool table with his third beer of the evening. He set the laptop down next to Dean's empty basket of wings and watched his brother stare at the waitresses dancing while it was slow. "Every night, you come in here to hustle, then you stick around to stare at a woman I'm pretty sure is claimed by the bartender."

Dean's eyes followed the luscious ass as she swayed with Mary on the far side of the bar. "An ass like that has no business being married." He nodded to his brother's disbelieving face at the revelation. "It's against the law of man. She's what… 20?" He took a long pull on his beer to finish it and waved it at the first of the two girls to glance over, Lillian, who did not seem pleased to be called upon.

"Man…" Sam sighed and glanced at Marty exchanging words with the bar staff. "Marty lets you hustle his customers out of love for Dad. Don't start trouble. Hit on Mary or Amanda… please hit on Amanda if you have to hit on someone."

"Amanda." Dean glanced at his brother and tapped his wrist at Lillian who was taking forever to bring him his beer. "So you do have a pulse. Amanda is hot but she leaves me cold."

He shook his head and glanced around for the statuesque beauty. She must have had the night off. "She just looks sad."

"Yeah. Sad means clingy. Mary's a talker… and the guy who isn't her boyfriend, scares me more than a demon." He gestured to the back of the bar, where Gary was returning to the grill. "Seriously, I want to look him up in Dad's journal. He just might be in there… Hair Demon. What do you think?"

"Nathan scares me." Sam muttered, more worried about Dean's taste in women getting them both in trouble while they were stranded.

"Nathan's a puppy dog." Dean scoffed and motioned to the man who was leaning over the bar whispering to his wife. "She has him wrapped around her little finger. He is undeserving of a hot little thing like Lillian."

"He'll kill you. I don't know how many more miracles you're going to get." The second it was out of his mouth, Sam wished he hadn't used that word.

"Miracles?!" Dean roared at his baby brother. He slammed his empty beer bottle on the table with the other empties, attracting more attention than either needed. "Cause Dad dying and me living was a miracle? Because that guy getting murdered by a Reaper was a miracle? Why am I even on this planet when everyone seems to think I'd be better off dead, Sam?! I'm living on borrowed time. You don't know what that's like."

Sam watched his brother storm out of the bar, ripping the beer out of Lillian's hand on the way and nearly bowling her over in the process. Tears filled his eyes but he didn't let them fall. He glanced at Marty behind the bar, who nodded to him that he'd keep an eye out. Lillian gripped the table for balance. "I'm sorry for Dean. He's…"

"No… Um… he looked upset." Lillian shook her head as if trying to clear it.

"I want you to know that whatever trouble he gives you, he's not normally like this." Sam explained as he tucked his laptop into his bag to leave. "We were in a horrible… accident last week. Our dad died and Dean lived, he was dad's favorite. He's taking it really hard." He managed a tight smile at Lillian's sympathetic face. "What's Dean's tab?"

"Oh um… Marty said he'll take care of it." She pointed to the man who was leaning on the bar, watching Dean kick around the parking lot.

"Okay. I'll pay Marty later. Seriously. I know he's annoying but don't let him get to you and… tell Nathan I'm controlling him."

"Nathan isn't worried by Dean." Lillian gave Sam a brilliant smile. "And when he does get worried, I set things right."

"That's good to hear." Sam laughed at the mischievous way Lillian grinned. "I'd like to keep my brother a while."

"Anyway. I'm nicer to you than I am your brother… Nathan takes issue with you." Lillian smiled broadly and bounded off to flirt with her husband over the bar. Sam just shook his head and laughed.

The next night…
(November 11, 2006)

Maria glanced over at Liz, who was studying a newspaper article on some scientific breakthrough on something or other. It was dead as per the usual and, thusly, she was bored. "Lillian… why are you so hard on the hotties?"

"Huh?" Liz murmured, her focus still on the stem cell media circus.

"You don't think he's hot?" At her friend's blank face, Maria sighed. "Tall guy, dreamy green eyes, likes to proposition you over his dinner? Hot brother with gorgeous hair and serious brown eyes?"

"Oh… yeah. Dean and Sam. I guess they're good looking. Mary, I'm married. I'm not looking at the scenery." Liz tried to get back to her paper.

"That Dean guy takes a shine to you and you know he'd tip better if you were nicer." She took a moment to consider her words. "Or you know… at all."

"I don't want to be nicer to him. He doesn't even pay his own tab. Tipping would be like… ironic for him or something." Liz waved her off. "He really rubs me the wrong way. I like to limit my contact."

"I get that he's interested but it's harmless." Maria glanced back at where Max and Michael were cutting up in the kitchen since the night was so slow. Michael couldn't give a flip about her these days. Not that she had been encouraging when he had. "He knows you're with… Nathan."

"Could you stop pausing before you say our names, if someone were from a certain place, they would catch on right away that your name isn't really Mary, which by the way, is a lousy cover." The brown orbs caught her friend's green eyes. "What?"

"You've been really grumpy for the past week for someone, who, I know, is getting seriously laid every night." She playfully nudged her friend. "The walls… like rice paper."

Liz bit her lip as she recalled just that morning when she had pounced on Max after breakfast. They'd had to start playing a game of muffling each other's noises to prevent a slip of their real names.

Maria leaned on the bar, propping a foot up on a stool in a rather unladylike manner. "If Gary wasn't always breathing down my neck, I might chat up one or both of those boys."

"They're grieving right now, Mary. It wouldn't last." Liz warned, the tingling in the back of her brain acting up again.

"Did you… feel something?" Maria stressed the last word, tossing in a small hand gesture.

It took Liz a long moment to put the pieces of Maria's unspoken riddle together. "No. Last night, Sam told me his dad died last week. They both took it pretty hard."

"Marty says their dad was this hot-shot bounty hunter or something." Maria gave a tight smile. "I uh… asked."

"Really?" Liz turned to look at the brothers who were arguing outside the bar, once again. "Maybe we shouldn't get too close to them. Bounty hunters take all sorts of jobs. They work on pay, not on subject."


"I wouldn't put it past our friends in the black suits to put out a subtle bulletin just to get rid of one or more of us. Bounty hunters are beyond scruples." Liz whispered almost to herself. "For the right amount of money, those hotties would put a bullet in us to collect."


Sam held out his hands. He'd had enough of going round and round the same old subjects with no progress. "Okay. Drink yourself into a stupor. What good are you going to do if we have to run on the fly? You'll crash us into the nearest telephone pole and nothing is going to matter much after that. Not me, not you, not the demon and not anyone the demon will kill after us."

That sobered Dean up a bit as he caught a whiff of some local's cologne. That smell mixed with sweat brought up the memories he kept with him to survive. The smell of smoke, burning hair, baby powder, ashes, Stetson, sweat, wet wool as if he were back in that day. The smell brought the memory of other smells, of sounds… The baby crying, Dad muttering curses, shouts, rushing water. Warmth from the arms around him, from Sammy in his arms… heat from the fire. Dean stilled and looked up into his baby brother's eyes. "Just be glad you can't remember that night, Sammy. I know that you lived it again with Jess but that night in Lawrence changed us all. It changed everything."

Sam just nodded for a moment. There was nothing he could say to that. He didn't remember that night in Lawrence. He was six months old when their mother had died. That night in Palo Alto was still with him. He was older though. Dean had been young when it had happened. Three or four years old. "Okay. But I hate having to drag you out of there every night. Marty puts up with it but it's going to get tired and when we go hunting… we can't make mistakes."

"We're not hunting right now, Sam. We're rebuilding a car. You want to be normal? A day of rebuilding a car ends with a beer or six. Okay?" Dean turned around and gripped the handle on the door. "I'm gonna grab some dinner. I'll be back later."


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Post by DMartinez » Mon Apr 02, 2007 3:23 pm

Part 4 – A week later…
(November 18, 2006)

Michael slid the newspaper in front of Max. "What do you see?"

"Dead guy." Max tried to fish the last pepper out of his take out box. He glanced at his friend, not knowing if he wanted to know where he was going to take this sudden interest in the newspaper. "What do you see?"

"It looks like a smudge on his chest." Michael popped the toothpick out of his mouth and traced a slightly less gray area of the black and white photo's chest.

"A handprint?" Max set the box down and glanced up at his ladies working on the other side of the bar.

"I hopped on over last night because I didn't want to make a big deal if I was just…" Michael wiped his hands on a rag. "It's not there now but the coroner's report has it on there, color pictures. This guy wasn't important as far as I can tell but they found his body half buried fifty miles out. If it was this fresh, then someone wanted him found and wanted him found with the handprint."

"So, a shapeshifter killed this man." All sorts of thoughts ran through Max's head but there was only one shapeshifter that he knew of. "Kal?"

"What if there's another one? We don't know who's been coming and going. They haven't ID'd the guy yet but unless he comes up as an aspiring actor, FBI, military or informant… I wouldn't point the finger at Kal."

"Don't tell the girls." Max downed his cherry coke. "We'll check it out. We'll tell Kyle to keep an eye out."

"What's Kyle gonna do? Throw pebbles at invaders with his mind? Anyway, you think no one's going to miss us skipping out for a few days?" Michael gestured to his ever-irritable non-girlfriend who was flirting with the clientele yet again.

"When's the last time you got laid?" He tapped the table. "You and Mary…"

"It's been a while." The taller man nodded. "I've got an itch."

"You're rusty. You could use a wingman."

"I need all the help I can get." Michael agreed and escaped back into the kitchen before Marty could yell for him to stop slacking off. Max studied the picture for a moment more before scanning the article for pertinent details. He had a few more hours to come up with the excuses.


Dean scrapped his knuckles on a particularly angry piece of machinery and let loose a string of curses. Sam let out a laugh, wiping at his tears of joy with a greasy hand. Dean shuffled off to the office to find something to slow the bleeding. He had found a wad of napkins just as the door opened to admit the reason he'd cut himself in the first place: Lillian bringing Stan his lunch. Stan plopped down on the couch to enjoy and Lillian promptly put her back to Dean to sit on the edge of the desk. He listened to them chat for a bit before he gave up. "Stan, know where the first aid kit is?"

"Bobby doesn't keep one. Says if we bleed to death, it's our own damn fault." Stan mumbled around a mouthful of burger with a slow shake of his head. When his eyes fell on the bloody mess, he wished he hadn't looked up.

Lillian fidgeted for a moment before she finally turned to look at him. Her eyes fell on the dripping, bleeding mess. "What did you do?"

"Putting my engine together, my hand slipped on the wrench." Dean mustered up all the courage to admit how but not why he'd cut himself. All he'd done was glance up at the footsteps. His view had been unobstructed as Lillian bent to tell Stan she'd brought his lunch. Then he'd cut himself so deep, he was very glad he hadn't cut anything important.

Lillian glanced around and found a degreasing agent. Taking his hand in hers, she cleaned what she could while applying pressure to the point above his hand to slow the bleeding. Fashioning a bandage out of Stan's last clean handkerchief, Lillian bound up his hand. "Given that you've already lost plenty of blood, I would suggest more food than booze tonight."

"If you hate me so much, why do you care?" Dean whispered.

"I don't hate you. I don't like you." She told him and resumed her seat across from Stan. "If I hated you, you wouldn't be around me for a minute longer than I wanted."

"She's right. I wasn't there but I heard she threw Nathan's ex against a wall… twice." 'Stan' tossed in, unabashedly admitting he'd been listening. The banter between 'Lillian' and Dean was way more entertaining than any fight between 'Mary' and 'Gary.'

"Stan… eat your lunch." Lillian made a face at him.

"Dean…" Sam called into the office, a laugh in his voice. "You okay?"


"Keep your eyes on your tools and off waitress ass and maybe you wouldn't have this problem." Sam's voice floated in.

Dean's face colored as he found his voice. "Excuse me. I'm about to become an only child."

Dean was out the door in a second and then the sounds of a scuffle reached their ears. Stan glanced at Lillian and burst out laughing. "What?"

"You." Stan shook his head. "You love torturing that guy. You 'don't hate him' but you 'don't like him'." He snorted. "What really bugs you about that guy?"

"Reminds me of someone." She shook her head. "I don't know. He just bugs me."

"A kinder person wouldn't strut around the shop in those jeans. You're liable to kill everyone in here, me included. Your husband might appreciate it, too."

"Shut up."

"I'm saying the jeans are a little tight. Okay?" He snickered. "Like… you know… paint."

Sam wandered into the office a few seconds later. "Hate to interrupt but did you find bandages in here?"

"Are you okay?" Lillian hopped off the desk to have a look at Sam's arm. "It's not that bad."

"I didn't know you were in here. I wouldn't have teased him like that." Sam admitted, towering over her so much, she had him sit on the desk while she found something to catch the blood.

"I was just suggesting she not torture him with something he can't have." Stan mumbled around a mouthful.

"It's really weird the way he took to you." Sam shrugged slightly. "You're not his type. I think it's just a game for him."

"Yeah, I think so, too." She nodded slightly. "He knows I'm a married woman."

"Yeah, sometimes… never mind. You're not that kind of girl."


Isabel flipped bottles and poured drinks with flair. Her tips were always huge. When she was on shift, the drinkers came out of the woodwork to watch. Max kissed her cheek on his way off duty. He sat at a table in his wife's section to wait for his dinner. She set it down in front of him with a cherry coke. "You're too good to me."

"I like serving you." She placed a kiss on his lips. "Maybe I'll get off early and you can return the favor?"

He cupped her face in his hands. "You've been insatiable for weeks…" The last time they had spent so much of their alone time in bed, there were outside influences in the form of sexy dreams that hadn't included him. "Are you having dreams again?"

"No dreams." She shook her head slowly but the words had come out too rushed. "I just… love loving you."

"I'm not complaining." He reassured her.

"Enjoy it while you can. I'm taking a break soon so I can be whiny and unbearable." She joked. She was rarely either.

"Speaking of the next week or so." Max pulled her onto his lap. "Gary needs some guy time. I hate to leave you but…"

"Oh… like burping and scratching or…"

"Picking up girls a town or two away." He shrugged apologetically. "I'm just a wing man. I'll tattoo my ring on and wear a nametag." He promised with a kiss. "He just needs to… let off some steam without Mary around. You know he adores her but…"

"I know." Liz nodded. The Michael and Maria yo-yo could be really good or really bad and it was currently really, really, horrifically bad. "Grab some supplies and meet me at home. We'll have some days to make up for."

"You're on."


"Pass." Dean tossed a dart at the board and missed the bulls' eye by a hair. It hit the wire rim and clattered to the floor. "What else you got?"

"Teen goes missing. Cops say she ran away. Her friends say she wouldn't do that." Sam knew that one wasn't going to catch Dean's attention but some lead was better than no lead.


"Four teens die. Parents blame the witch board." It sounded hokier when said aloud than when he'd come across the story in the paper.

"Pass. Suicide pact."

"Crop circles in North Dakota. Amish country." He was crossing it out even as Dean was giving his response.

"Pass. It's a prank."

"Woman claims she's having Elvis's baby."

"The dude's been dead forever and he's still getting tail." Dean shrugged and fished his burger out from under the fries. "So, you got nothing?"

"Unless you want to do the research." Sam shook his head.


"Do me a favor? If you're going to drink yourself into a stupor, pay for it and take it to the room. I don't want another scene. Nathan and Marty are getting tetchy."

"Whatever." Dean mumbled around his burger. It was probably a good idea. He'd seen Lillian before but he didn't know where. Maybe sometime before she'd gotten married. He couldn't get it out of his head. Finishing his dinner, he drained his beer and headed for the door. Sam barely even noticed where he was fishing for a trail on the Internet. The night was cool but he needed something to tell him that he was still alive and the night wind could certainly do that.

Ducking into the convenience store, he examined his wallet and decided he had enough cash to get his buzz for the evening if Sam was going to make such a big stink about the bar. Looking up, he cursed. That was the last person Dean needed to see. They were roughly the same height but it was a toss up on who was more built. Nathan won in the bicep division. Still, Dean would bet that Nathan had never been in a fight in his life. Feeling a bit deflated after the scene at the shop, he needed a boost before bed. Dean watched Nathan grab a strip of condoms and rifle through his wallet for cash. "Married guy uses condoms?"

Nathan glanced up, startled but grinned as his face flooded with blood. "We don't trust birth control or rhythm."

"And babies not on the agenda? I hear you."

"We're not ready." He shrugged, pocketing the contraception and his change. "She's my everything. Not ready to share her, yet."

"Lucky dog." Dean pulled a case of beer from the cooler. "You want? Watching a game with the brother tonight."

"I don't drink."

"Does your wife? It might explain a few things."

Nathan nodded his head to himself for a moment and inclined his head briefly to the other man. "You're a funny guy, Dean. Don't lose your sense of humor."

"What's that?"

"Stan told me your car is close to done. I assume you'll be leaving soon." Nathan leaned on the door for a moment. "I'm not blind but as far as I see it, you're harmless. It bothers me a bit but watching her shoot you down is a confidence builder."


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Post by DMartinez » Mon Apr 09, 2007 12:49 pm

Part 5 – The following night…
(November 19, 2006)

Dean watched Amanda flip the bottles around her wrists and catch them in midair. The bar was dead but practice made perfect. "Want to take a break?"

"Pardon me?" She made a face before pouring a row of shots.

"You and me…. A break in the alley."

"I feel so sorry for you." Amanda leaned on the bar with a grin, her shirt gaping just enough to keep guys parked at the bar and ordering drinks all night during her shift. "Lillian is off the market and we've all seen you drooling in her wake. You're just a sad puppy dog. I hate to tell you this but…" She tapped her ring finger against the bar. "I am also unavailable."

"Where's your husband?"

"Working." She bit out and grabbed a rag to clean up her mess behind the bar.

He hadn't missed the tension the question had brought on. "Why in the world did you get married?"

"I love him. It's been almost five years. Four of them… he's been working."

"But you love him. Great. I'm not gonna hit on Marie."

"I wouldn’t if I were you either. Gary and Mary are broken up but he'll still break your neck for looking at her."

"That's what I thought." Dean took a deep swallow of his beer.

"Don't you work?" Amanda fished for details, subtly as was her way.

"Normally, yes. The back order on a part is keeping me in town. Trust me. I don't want to be here."

"What do you do?"

"Traveling bible salesman." His green eyes flicked up to hers. "You?"

"You're a funny guy, Dean."

"Is that an insult or something?"

"What?" She stared down at his face. "What?"

"Nathan said the same thing to me last night."

"Ah, my brother." Amanda shrugged. "From him, insult. From me. Consider it a observation of character."

"Good or bad?"

"Girls like a guy who can make them laugh." She offered with a shrug


Kyle shook his head; they always had to do this. He didn't even really know why they were still doing it except that sometimes there were away trips with just a few members of the group and keeping the rooms was expensive on half the salary. "No. Tips are private stash money. Check and salary is group money but tips are personal." He counted out Isabel's wages and handed her back the large fold of bills. "Save it. Maybe you have enough to buy a ticket to Boston, someday."

"I couldn't leave you guys." Isabel clenched the money. She had enough in her hands to get her halfway to Boston. She could easily make up the difference with just a few more weeks of bottle twirling and flashing just enough cleavage to keep the guys interested. She didn't know if she could actually leave her brother to find her husband but Max had always told her it was an option. He wasn't keeping her away but there was danger. There would probably always be danger and reasons to keep her from being happy.

"Okay." Liz nodded from where she tallied up the group incomes in her notebook. "Maybe you tuck it away… in case of an emergency."

"A get-out-of-town fund." Kyle added as he watched Liz take her tips and fold them into her purse. "What's that?"

"Condom fund." Liz said simply and slipped her purse over the back of her chair.

"Seriously. The two of you need to move your room." Isabel complained. "Maria and I are excited that you and Max are… enjoying your marriage but please. We don't need to hear the soundtrack of your love every night."

"Get earmuffs." Liz answered and rose to put their books up in her backpack next to the door. "When did they say they were coming back?"

Kyle shrugged. "Michael told me a week. He's not counting on meeting someone right away. He wanted a few days leeway. Max said he'd do his best to make sure Michael got laid right off the bat so they could come back sooner."

"Oh, so we're not telling Maria why they left." Isabel made a face. "I sort of told her."

"Isabel." Liz sighed and sagged into her seat. "When she gets off her shift, she going to want to talk and complain and…" She sat up. "I have to work. Good luck with that."

"Should we really be encouraging Michael to sow his seed?" Isabel sipped her soda. "I mean, really. What if he accidentally mates or something?"

"Oats. Oats. He's sowing oats. Not seeds." Kyle corrected. "Oats do not grow."

"Max will remind Michael to be careful." Liz rubbed her temples.

"I talked to Max before he left. I told him that if he even looks at a woman, I'd poke his eyes out." Isabel smiled brightly.

"He wouldn't."

"Still." Clearing her throat, she addressed Liz only. "And tell your boyfriend to stop staring at my breasts."

"Pardon me?" Liz blinked rapidly at her sister-in-law.

"That Dean guy can't have you so he moved on to me. It creeps me out. Tell him to stop."

The next night…
(November 20, 2006)

"Where's your husband?" Dean leaned on the pool cue. He leered, drunkenly and unapologetically, as she bent to pick up beer bottles from under the pool table where his victims had left them. "He hasn't been around the last couple of days."

"Out." Liz groaned as she lifted the bucket onto the table.

"You just let him go out without you? For days at a time?"

"I trust him." She sighed heavily and took away Dean's empty bottles, setting down a fresh one when he was done with his current. Totaling four so early this night.

"Why'd you marry him?" Green eyes glittering mischievously.

"I love him." She shrugged off the question. She was tired. She was worried. She really didn't need 20 questions from the current bar drunk.

"Come on. Pregnancy scare? Getting out of the house? Why? Really." He stopped her as she was taking his plate away.

"I love him." Liz repeated, irritated but talking about Max meant thinking about him and thinking about him calmed her down.

"Come on. Really, how long have you been married?"

"Four years last July." She couldn't deny the smile creeping across her face.

"How old are you?" He stared at her incredulously.

"Almost 23." She took her hand back. "My parents weren't overly overbearing and I was a virgin until my wedding night."

"Now that is a damn shame." Dean watched her go. "A shame, I tell you."

Sam plopped down. "A body turned up. Internal organs were ash. No clue what can do something like that."

"Ash?" Dean tore his eyes off Lillian's ass and looked to his brother. "Now you're talking. Let's go hunting."

"Shouldn't we do some research first? It's not that far and I'd personally like a guarantee that I'm not going to end up the next person who got cremated while eating dinner."

Dean narrowed his eyes at his brother. There was something the kid wasn't saying. "One day, Sam. I want to be out of here by tomorrow night."

Sam took a breath and admitted what he hadn't wanted to when he sat down. "We're also going to have to borrow a car. The part didn’t come in, again, today."

"Fuck." Dean growled to himself. "I'll talk to Bobby about a loaner."

The next night…
(November 21, 2006)

Liz wiped down the bar. Isabel worked on her nails. Tuesday nights were slow and finding things to do was a hard task. Only drunks and Dean stopped in on Tuesdays. Dean moped on Tuesdays, drinking up a large tab until Sam had to be called to help him to his room. Isabel finished her nails and practiced flipping bottles. Dean nursed his beer and fiddled with a charm around his neck.

Liz felt sorry for him after finding out why he moped so much and delivered a plate of wings. "Eat something. Sam doesn't enjoy dragging you home."

"Home. This is not home." He bit out but looked to the wings like they were welcome. His eyebrows set in a deep V as he tore into a greasy wing with his fingers.

"Then where is home?" The question was out before she could stop herself.

"Not to disparage your happy memories of this rat-trap town but home is Lawrence, Kansas. Back roads, picket fences, small town values." He picked at a particularly greasy wing, tearing the flesh from the bone deliberately in thin strings. He probably couldn't eat more than one before the beer and the grease decided that they didn't mix well in his stomach.

"This isn't home for us either." Liz nodded to herself and took a seat across from him. "We're not from around here."

"So, why are you still here?" Rushing to backtrack, he held up his hand to prevent a scathing retort. "I realize Valor Springs has its charm but it's not that charming. I mean, Marty talks like you've been here forever, but I don’t know how long that is."

"It's been a year or two, I guess." She shrugged and suppressed a smile as he tried to eat the stringy mess he'd made. "We used to move around a lot. I really liked the last town we spent time in but Valor Springs is just as good. Better. We've stayed longer."

"And you're still living in a hotel? Take it from someone who has lived out of hotels all his life, you don't want to get stuck doing that." Remembering all the filthy, small and cheap rooms Dad had dragged them through, left a bad taste in his mouth. Sammy was right. It was no way to raise children. They weren't children anymore. They were hunters. That was how hunters lived. "Even the suites in a town like this aren't really a place to settle."

She nodded, dropping her eyes to the table as the words spilled out. She didn't have to tell him a damn thing but the words just came out. "Nathan and I have been squirreling away some money. We're thinking of renting a house. It's a step up. If we're going to pay the money, I don't want it to be an apartment."

"A plan." Dean nodded to his plate as he cleaned his hands with a fresh napkin. "Correct me if I'm wrong. My brother never hesitates to do it. I've been watching you these past weeks and… there's something off about you."

"Off?" Liz fought the uneasiness creeping up her spine.

"Most of your little crew belongs here. You and Amanda, really don't. Trust me, I've been through enough of these small town bars." He waved her to be quiet a moment. "Amanda is easy. She's hiding. From her husband, from his family. Something. She's a big beauty hiding in a small town and that never lasts. You… read science journals on your break. You quoted something to Sammy the other day that made him laugh and about six locals scratch their heads."

"Is that supposed to mean something?"

"Sam and I grew up together. Brothers and all. We get each other. We have some of the same interests but he went to college. He's really smart. I'm proud of the little fuck nut." Eyes flicked to her face. "Pardon my language, but you talk the way he does. You learned all kinds of words and you use them like I use all the bad words. Like breathing air." He looked into her face, her mask. "What are you running from?"

"I'm not running. Staying put, here."

"No. You don't fit in. The clothes are probably influenced by Marie but you aren't a bar type. You don't drink. Your husband doesn't drink but you serve drinks to those who can't help themselves. I think it's interesting."

"Her name is Mary and why don't you ever say her name correctly?" Liz got to her feet and started collecting his empty bottles, anything to avoid wherever Dean was going with this.

Conceding to the subject change, Dean took a moment before he explained. "Mary was my mother's name."

"Was?" She stilled.

"She was… killed when I was a kid. I barely remember her."

"So… both your… I'm so sorry, Dean." The way she apologized, Dean knew she really meant it. She was an honest person.

"You didn't kill either one. Don't sweat it." He gestured to the other chair again. "It's slow. Keep me company. Tell me about where you're from."

"Nowhere special." Liz shook her head but took a seat again. She knew where she had to lie and where she could be honest. "Just one of those one-horse towns in the middle of nowhere. My parents own a restaurant. I worked there from the day I turned 13 until graduation day. Nathan and I went to high school together. They didn't always approve of us but they came around before I graduated high school."

"Why didn't you go to college? It's not the money. Sam scraped together the dough and we don't have a dime." He thought to all those credit cards he had in his pockets, all in different names.

"I had wanted to go to college but… sometimes there are more important things than having that life." She bit her lip. It sounded lame but it was what she told herself every day.

"I've always found it overrated myself… but I've never been a genius or anything. That's all Sammy."

"Does he know that you still call him Sammy? You switch to Sam when he comes in here." She gave him a look. "I get the suspicion that it's not really something I should start doing myself."

"He hates it. He'll always be Sammy to me though. I helped save his life when… well, when." Dean nodded to the table. "They say when you save someone's life, you become responsible for it."

"Is that how you feel? Responsible for his life?"

"Yeah, I guess. When we were younger, I didn't feel that way. He was just a brat and I had to take care of him when Dad was away. When I got older, I just started to… feel like it was more than just a duty to keep him safe. Probably why I didn't fight harder when he left us to go to school. I wanted him to stay but I wanted him safe, too. Not that anyone is safe where they are."

"I've never thought of it that way. Nathan saved my life a time or two. I guess I've done the same for him. It just… felt like the right thing to do. Maybe we are responsible for each other."

"Where did he really go? He's been gone a few days." Dean pressed.

"Gary." Liz managed a smile. Maria still hadn't let that go. She hadn't been 'offering her services' but she had wanted them considered before he took off across the state to get laid. "He and Mary are on the outs. Have been for a long while. The way I heard it was he had an itch and he needed a wingman. He couldn't take Stan because Stan is competition. So Nathan is helping Gary score."

"It sounds so wrong."

"But, that's what they said." Liz grabbed the bucket to take to the kitchen. "I have to get back to work."

"Why do you hate me?"

"I don't hate you." She sighed heavily and turned to face him. "You just… remind me of someone. I don't really know. I can't really remember and I'm probably wrong to fault you for whoever has me irritated at them." Then she realized he was staring at her. "What?"

Something about the way her hair framed her face brought up that tickle of recognition again but he just couldn't place her. He had no context for the memories and it was driving him nuts. "Have we met before?"

"I really doubt it."

"Ever since I laid eyes on you, I kind of felt like I've seen you before. I didn't hit on you in here before?" She didn't answer, so he scoured her face for something he could recall. "You sure you didn't grow up here? We used to run through here quite a bit when I was much more of a ladies man."

"No, I think I would have remembered." She turned to go and then suddenly his hand was on her arm. "Seriously, I—"

Dean had to catch her as suddenly she sank to the floor, the bucket of glasses and bottles crashing to the floor. "Somebody!"

The entire bar went still as Dean set 'Lillian' on the floor. 'Amanda' was there in a second, trying to help revive the fallen waitress. "What happened?"

"We were just talking. She started to walk away and then she just… fainted." Dean shed his jacket to pillow her head. Amanda went about checking her pulse and for breathing. Dean helped where he could.

"Li- Lillian." Isabel patted her cheeks. "Wake up." Her sister-in-law's eyes fluttered slightly and then she opened them, staring at nothing. Isabel didn't dare breathe a breath of relief just yet. Coughing, she gagged and reached for the bucket. "Oh my god. Are you okay?"

"It's um… a side effect, I guess." She breathed out as soon as she caught her breath.

"What? Like morning sickness?" Dean blurted out.

"I think I need to go lay down." Liz whispered to Isabel.

"Okay. Okay." Isabel pulled Liz off the floor and glanced around. It was a slow night. If she left, there would be no one to watch the bar until Marty got back.

"I'll take her." Dean offered, immediately sober.

"I…" Isabel reluctantly let Dean pick up Liz, whose eyes had closed again. She covered the fallen woman with Dean's jacket.

"I guess Nathan doesn't know yet." Dean shrugged and turned for the door.

"Amanda…" Liz whispered, her eyes open once more but just a crack. "Tell Stan that Pete might want to go home early today."

She fainted dead away in Dean's arms. He secured her against his chest and made his way across the street to the hotel where he knew that Lillian and Nathan had a room. Nathan wasn't back yet but the maid let them in. He waited fifteen minutes for her to come around fully. Then he'd held her hair back as she'd gotten sick again. A million times he asked himself why he was doing it when he could easily find her friends to take over for him.

"I'm okay." She finally said and forced herself to her feet to rinse out her mouth. She stared into the mirror for a long minute, hoping and waiting for him to leave. "Go help them."

"Help who?"

"Stan and Pete and Bobby. Go help them." Liz gasped out, sinking to her knees and grasping her head. "I'll be fine. Go."

"L… Lillian." 'Mary' gasped from the doorway. "What happened?"

"She passed out for a second at the bar. She's been getting sick ever since." Dean shoved his hands into his pockets and headed for the door. "Do you got this?"

"Yeah." Maria nodded. "Lillian?"

"I'm fine but Dean really needs to go help Stan and Pete."

"Yeah. Stan went to Pete's already. Just like Amanda said." Maria nodded, rushing over to help Liz get up off the floor. "Bobby's there, he's standing home base. Yvette is missing. They need all the people they can get to help find her. The men are looking for clues and the women are mostly pacing around."

"Who?" Dean shook his head at them.

"Marty's goddaughter, Yvette." Liz whispered. When Dean had finally left them alone, she collapsed into Maria. "It was so strong. It knocked me off my feet."

"A vision?"

"Yeah. It was a big mess. I don't know what has her. I couldn't see it but Dean has to be there to stop it."


"I don’t know why!" Liz screamed, holding her head again. "I just know that if he doesn't get there, that little girl is not going to last the night. She's in a dark place. Maybe a shed. Um… there's a crescent on the door… so maybe an old outhouse."

"Liz? Are you going to be okay if I go help?" Maria asked, her voice thick with worry. She glanced at the door. She didn't know if she could handle what was going on out there.

"I'll be fine but that little girl is so scared and whoever has her is not messing around."

"Okay. I'll go help." Maria nodded and helped Liz onto a bed.

"You'll see Sam on the walkway. Tell him that Dean asked for the gun but not the buckshot." Liz curled around her pillow as the pain ebbed away.

"Okay. Shotgun, no buckshot."

"And Maria?" Liz called before the door opened.


"Michael didn't go whoring."

"He didn't?" She nodded and disappeared into the night.

Liz curled around her pain and waited for it to pass. She had never had a vision rock her to her soul before. The pain it had brought was so much more intense than even the green fluttering had been in high school. If that little girl wasn't saved by sunrise, something horrible was going to happen to her.


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Post by DMartinez » Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:29 pm

Part 6 – After sunrise…
(November 22, 2006)

Max set his bag next to the door and crept into bed with his wife. "Hi." She didn't answer him though her eyes were open. "Liz?"

"Don’t lie to me again. I don't care why. Don't lie to me again." She whispered at last.

"Lie about what?"

"Michael needs some time with a lady?" Liz sat up and was pleased to find the nausea had passed but her ire had grown. "I had visions last night and you were out hunting down a shapeshifter."

"Visions?" Max knelt in front of her.

"They were so strong, Max." She started to cry and the tears fell so easily. She had seen so much in that little time she had blacked out. "I was working and it slammed into me like a semi. Something took Marty's goddaughter and it was going to kill her. I saw what would happen but I couldn't tell anyone around me."

"Is she okay?"

"I don't know. No one's come back yet. I sent everyone out to look for her." She gripped his arms and contemplated her next words. "We might have to leave. I had to… arrange some circumstances and people might be suspicious."

"Okay. You rest and I'll be back. Okay? I'll find out what happened." Max tried to calm her down but she was so freaked out that he wasn't sure she was even listening to him.

She turned hard brown eyes on him. "Did you kill it?"

"Didn't find it. It was long gone." Max took one last look at her. "I'm sorry I lied."

"It's not the lie. You didn't trust me to stay put." Her eyes softened and he could see the pain in them.

"No, I didn't." He admitted.

"You're going to have to start lying better then."

"Can't lie to someone who has visions of the truth."


Dean watched Marty, Pete and Hannah coo over little Yvette, who had just stopped crying. Dean's heart was still racing. No authorities involved, just honest teamwork among hunters and friends. There was hardly time for research but Sam had done it with Bobby's help and some of Marty's books. "How did you know to show up with rock salt shells if you didn't know there would be spirits involved until two hours ago? You have a vision or something?"

"Me?" Sam looked to his shaken brother. "You asked me to bring the shot gun."

"No, I didn't." His mind ran over the hours of the night. Stomping through the woods with his trusty sawed off shotgun with a pocket full of rock salt shells, blasting his way to the outhouse where the little girl was being held until the seventh hour, where she would have been a tasty treat for some monster living under the shithouse if Dean hadn't shot off the spirit guards and pulled her out before sunrise. It was lucky. Damn lucky. "I didn't know shit until you handed me the gun."

"Mary said you asked for the gun."

"Why would I send Marie?"

"That's what I asked her. She said you helped Lillian home after she fainted." Sam stared off in the distance where the remains of the outhouse stood amongst a blazing fire. "Said you were heading out with the search party and you wanted the gun and the rock salt."

"She said I wanted the rock salt?"

"She said you wanted the gun but not the buckshot. I put it together. You didn't tell her?"

"I haven't seen Marie since… I left Lillian's room. I never even told her anything about you. She was supposed to stay and take care of Lillian."

"What's going on?" Sam shook his head. "I guess it doesn't matter. The girl is safe."

"I don't like being played like a pawn. How did she know to send me out there? How did Marie know I'd need the gun?"

"What are you thinking, Dean?" Sam followed his brother's eyes to the hotel where Nathan, Gary, Stan, Mary and Amanda were gathered in heavy discussion.

"Something's going on with those guys. Lillian collapses, tells Amanda to tell Stan to stick with Pete. Tells me that Stan and Pete could use my help. Then Marie tells you to bring me my gun… before you and Bobby figure out what that thing is…"

"Lillian told you to come help?"

"She tells me Pete needs my help and then Marie tells us about Yvette. When I got there, Pete pulls me aside to tell me he's scared shitless because Yvette's been talking to someone who wasn't there and all of a sudden she's gone. Bobby says he's on it. Then you show up with my gun. What kind of sense does that make?"

"Say it, Dean. There's something you want to say."

"She knew. She was scared. She kept puking. When you told me what this ritual was gonna mean for the girl… I nearly lost it. I think she saw something when she collapsed. I think her head is as fucked as yours is. She played us all."

"To save a life, Dean." Sam had put it together as well but he had to keep Dean from rushing to conclusions.

"Why is it a big secret?"

"Like we tell everyone we know that occasionally I have migraine-inducing visions. We don't even tell Dad's friends about that stuff. Missouri had to drag it out of me and I didn't hardly tell her anything."
"This town is like demon hunter central." Dean mused aloud.

"What if it's like the demon? The yellow-eyed demon." Sam offered. "If the wrong people got to me, I could be working for the wrong side. Changing events for the wrong side. Saving the wrong people. Not saving the good people."

Dean's eyes softened. He and Sammy kept each other off the wrong track. With Dad gone, they were all the other had. No other demon hunter would be able to turn them if they slipped up. Lillian's friends rallied around her. How many of them had given up their homes? How many had followed her out to keep her safe? If only Dean could figure out where he'd seen her before. "Let's go get on that trail, Sam. I need to get out of here for a bit."

Later that day…

"Trail's dead." Sam shook his head. His eyes ran over the coroner's report but something wasn't right. "This looks sanitized."

"Cover up?"

"Little things aren't matching up with what I dug up earlier. I don't know." He tossed the file onto the dashboard. "Want to turn around?"

"Only if you drive." Dean got out of the borrowed car to stretch his legs. This whole deal had gone sideways. They had waited too long because of Marty's goddaughter. No one was talking because there had already been someone to go through asking questions. They had to hightail it out of town or else the law was going to run them out for digging into something that someone didn't want them seeing. Not that there was much left to see. They had missed the excitement. If he and Sam didn't keep driving through, they might get picked up. Settling into the passenger's seat, Dean picked up Sam's laptop. "Is there a signal?"

"Just barely."

"Could I look someone up?"

"You're better off waiting until we get back to hook it up to a landline." Sam shrugged as he settled himself into the driver's seat. "Who are you looking up?"

"What?" Dean's head popped up. "Just trying to figure out if that thing is really dead."

"But you said some one, not some thing."

"Whatever dude, it was just a question."


Maria snickered as she set the bag of groceries over. "These are from Marty."

"What?" Max peered into the bag and began unloading soups and crackers.

"He said his best waitress needed the best in her present condition and that the two of you should take the day to celebrate." She giggled again.

"Present condition." Max repeated and looked to his wife, panic in his eyes.

"It's just because I passed out then started puking." Liz explained from where she laid under the covers of their bed. "Dean said something. I'm sure people overheard. It's just a rumor. It will blow over."

"There's not… like a… possibility, right?" He brushed her hair out of her face.

"No. We've been careful." She stilled his hands. "It wouldn't be a horrible thing, though, right?"

"That's my cue to vamoose." Maria backed towards the door. "Feel better, petunia."

Liz waited until she heard Maria's footsteps fade away. "Max?"

"As much as I would enjoy someday hearing that news…" He took a deep breath and ran his eyes over his ailing wife. "I would like it to be when we're not living out of hotel rooms, or running from the law or hiding from evil aliens."

"Max, that day might never come. I don’t want to spend my life waiting for the 'day when'." She bit her lip against tears. "I want to meet our children. I feel it in my bones that we are meant to have children. So what if we have to have them on the go. It will be hard but worth it. I've been saving our money. We could rent that house on Mulberry if the others chip in for rent. It's three bedrooms."

"Which would be fine for the six of us. The girls bunking together, the guys sharing a room but that child will need space after a while and we'd have to kick two people out of the house." Max cupped her face. "I won't rule out the event of a child in our life but… I can't plan on one. We don’t have room to plan a child with all that is going on."

"We've been here for two years, Max. We're still living out of the hotel. We should be at least renting an apartment."

"This isn't home."

Exasperated, Liz pleaded with him to understand how important it was to her that they be able to live their lives even if they had to compromise on the circumstances. "Then where is? Roswell is ancient history. We can't go back but we can't be afraid to move forward."

"I know."

"Max…" She pleaded.

"I love you, Liz. I love you so much. It will happen someday. I know. Not right now but someday we'll have that. You'll have kids and a house and we might have to live under assumed names but I plan for you to be safe." He kissed her lips lightly. "I need you to know that your safety comes first for me. Always. That's why I lied. That's why I left with Michael."

"Even if it means you put yourself in danger?" He nodded against her forehead. She swallowed down a lump. "What if you need me to save your life and I'm not there?"

"Why would you say something like that?"

"I get so scared when you lie to me, Max. I need you to tell me the truth."

"And do you?" He sat up slightly. "Tell me the truth?"

A rapid knock interrupted them. Dean and Sam stood on the other side of the door when Max answered it. "We just came by to see how Lillian was doing. She missed all the excitement."

"She's doing better." Max nodded to them, wiping at his eyes. Hoping they hadn't seen the tears on his face.

"Congratulations… by the way." Dean offered his hand.

"Thanks but…" Max took it firmly and let go as he glanced back at his wife. "It was just a false alarm. Stomach flu. I need to tell Marty, so he doesn't send more groceries over."

"Hey, Lillian." Sam nodded.

"Hi, Sam. So, you guys were heroes or something." Liz smiled as brightly as she could, her head still resting on the pillow, not caring if anyone saw the tear tracks. "Mary gave me the good news earlier."

"Yeah…" Dean almost asked more but Sam set his foot on Dean's toes. "Lucky thing."

"Good." Liz nodded to herself. "Your jacket is on the table. Nathan, could you?"

Max nodded and retrieved the jacket for Dean. "Thanks for catching her and bringing her home. I should have been there."

"Does that happen? A lot?" Dean blurted out before his toes got crushed by Sam's boot.

"Stomach flu. First time to have it so bad. Sorry, if I grossed you out. Wasn't too attractive, was it." Liz shut her eyes with a tight smile.

"She's acting brave. She feels like crap. She needs rest." Max rushed to get the guys out of the room.

"My husband, so charming." Liz grimaced as she settled back into bed.

"I get the… stomach flu, a lot." Sam offered. "A cup of coffee and something sweet usually does the trick."

"Thanks." Max nodded and shut the door. "Moron."

"Be nice." Liz whispered. "They were a big help last night."

"Don’t remind me." He sat on the edge of the bed. "Should I do something for you?"

"Just hold me."

A few days later…
(November 27, 2006)

"You cannot honestly believe that." Liz shook her head at Sam.

Dean tuned them out as they continued arguing some point of law or another. After another fifteen minutes of guest-chairing at the nerd convention, Dean took it outside. Marty and Bobby were discussing the finer details of the nest of demons they'd nearly had on their hands. Normally, that would interest Dean but tonight he was far lower than he'd ever felt. The things he couldn't put into words crawled around in his head, eating at his soul. The box was strong. He kept it in the trunk of the Impala even though the car was hardly finished. The pictures showed him things he could barely remember.

The fire, he remembered… but vaguely, in flashes of heat and smoke when the occasion rose. But he was four years old when it had happened. Aside from the brief glimpse of his mother in their old house just the year before, he couldn't recall her in something other than that nightgown. She had given him her green eyes. Sometimes in the sun, he looked blonde with hair like hers. Sam had always thought Dean was Dad's favorite but Dean knew that Dad had forced himself to look on the child that looked like his wife. That sometimes, Dad had refused to look at his oldest son because of the resemblance. He was his father's son but Dean knew he looked like Mary Winchester.

The pictures were all old. If Dean had a recent picture, he'd used it to make a fake ID. Pastor Jim had been the last one to take pictures of the Winchesters. Sammy had been seven and Dean had been eleven or twelve. One of the rare moments when they hadn't been hunting something. When they had been in one town for a year. When Sammy had the chance to be in school and get into plays. All Dean remembered was detention and stern lectures from teachers, guidance counselors and principals.

"She's pretty." Liz held up the picture. "You dropped it."

"Crap, I didn't feel it fall." Dean took it from her and dusted off the gravel, taking care not to scratch the picture. "Can't lose these. Irreplaceable."

When Dean seemed to refocus all his attention on the fallen picture, she had to ask. "Who is she?"

There she was. Blond hair and green eyes and a smile like an angel. "My mom."



Liz shifted her weight from foot to foot. She was dangerously close to treating Dean like a real person instead of some guy who bugged her at work. "Sam was looking for you. I saw you on my way home."

Dean only shrugged, resting the pictures on the box against his gut. "He knows where to find me."

"Without a barstool glued to your ass?" He had left the door wide open for that one and Liz had jumped at the chance to rag on him the way he insisted on ragging on her.

"You're a funny gal." Dean winked at her as he set the pictures back in their box. Why not use the insult/observation back on those who used it on him.

"It's one of my many charms." She rolled her eyes at him. "Good night, Dean."


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Post by DMartinez » Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:51 am

AN: Tossing another part to y'all this week cause I'm bored and I don't want to clean house... it only kills about ten minutes but procrastination is KEY.

Part 7 – A few days later…
(November 30, 2006)

Max brushed his wife's hair out of her face. They lay in bed enjoying the night off and the rain. It had been a quiet day and a quieter night. But they didn't need words. They never needed words. Just a look. She lay on his chest, staring at him. The only light came from the parking lot through the curtains. The rain had stopped some time ago but they hadn't budged. "I love you."

"I love you." Liz whispered it as a challenge, her fingers roaming though she never took her eyes off his.

It was torture but he had to put her plans on hold temporarily. It involved getting dressed and leaving her naked in bed for about twenty minutes but it had to be done. "I have to make a run to the store before you get any further with your plans."

"Do you really have to?" Liz pouted.

"Yes, I do." Max reached for his jeans and his wallet.

Scoffing, she sat up, her mood changing in an instant. "Never mind. My head hurts."

"Liz, come on. Not this again."


Sam watched his brother chat up some ladies who had wandered in from the motel. It felt normal enough but it didn't really seem the same. He'd seen Dean work ladies from all sorts of angles, with every trick in the book and still… it just didn't seem the same. "Sammy!" Sam barely glanced up from his seat. "Come meet some very fine ladies."

"Maybe later."

"You're missing out."

"You are such a charmer." One woman cooed, pinching Dean's cheek.

"I do what I can for my little brother. He's rather hapless with the fairer sex." Dean nodded to her chest.

"I don't need help." Sam rolled his eyes and pulled his laptop out of his bag. "I'm getting to work."

"See what I mean? All work and no play makes Sam a very dull boy." Dean tossed a straw at his brother and then leaned in to whisper into the nearest ear.

Sam kept his head ducked until well after Dean had made his exit with whichever woman had lowered her standards enough. Scowling, he plugged himself into several searches but couldn't concentrate on the research. Still, there was no way he was going to get sleep even if he tried, not with Dean's latest conquest taking place.


Liz found Sam sitting outside his room, flipping through a small leather bound notebook. Any excuse to lay off the remainder of her fight with Max over the decision to keep using birth control methods of any kind. "Hey."

"Hey." Sam closed the book and looked up. "A little cold for a walk."

"A little cold to be sitting out here." She sat next to him.

"Yeah, well… there's a fire hazard limit or something on these rooms. One more person means a violation." He nodded to the closed door behind him. When he paused, he could almost make something out and he really wished he hadn't heard that.

"Ah, I see. Good for him." She said after a moment, confirming that she had heard it too.

"He's getting back to himself, I guess. It's nice, the attitude… not me sitting outside in the cold." It was lame and in no way excused his brother's behavior but he had to say something to cover the muffled moans and groans.

"Yeah, I guess how it would look that way." She laughed and then nodded to his head jerk in the direction of her room down the way. "Oh, right. My turn. Just another fight with my loving and well-meaning husband."

He paused and gave her a meaningful look. "Doesn't avoiding him mean a delay on the resolution?"

She let out a little laugh. "Ooh, spoken like a man who was intimate with commitment."

"Yeah…" He nodded to himself. "I guess I was."

"I'm sorry." Liz didn't even realize what she'd said until her hand rested on his arm. Immediately, she tried to fix it. "Your tone… You must have… I just assumed. I'm sorry."

"No, you assumed right." Sam frowned at the brunette sitting next to him. "Did you… see something? Like you did with Pete's daughter?"

Liz bit her lip and glanced down at her room where Max was watching from the window. "Don't say anything to anyone. I didn't mean to do it. The words just came out."

"It's okay." Sam lowered his voice and offered her a small smile. "I have that habit, myself. Sometimes I say too much but only because… people have to be warned."

Liz's mind reeled for a moment while she absorbed his words. "Warned?"

"Like Pete. If you hadn't done what you did… Dean would have never gotten there in time with the right supplies. He really needed that gun. That exact gun with that exact ammunition." He searched her face but she wouldn't look at him. "I've gotten there too late, too many times. I welcome all the help I can get."

Liz fought with herself for a few moments. "Don't tell anyone you know about what I did. I like it here. Everyone keeps to themselves but not in a rude way. No one asks too many questions and I don't want them to start. I'm so close to getting M—Nathan to agree to stay. I want a family. If he knows someone found out, we'll have to leave."

"Okay. Okay." He nodded, a little saddened by her plight. But he understood. "I anticipated Dean's demon-fighting needs. That's all it was."

"Demon fighting?" Liz whispered in awe. "So that thing was a…"

"Minor one." Sam opened the journal in his hand to the last page where he and Bobby had made some notes. He had taken it upon himself to add to his father's journal. He would probably catch hell from Dean when he found out but he didn't care at the moment. "You didn't know?"

"I thought it was a person." She whispered as her brain absorbed the concept. "An evil person. Was it really?"

"You don't have to tell anyone. No one would believe you anyway… but this town thrives on underground hunters, like me and Dean."

"And your father." Liz nodded. "That journal is his… was his."

"Right. It was." Sam took a deep breath. It was still hard to believe. Sometimes he thought it was just another one of those times when his father left without a word to go hunt something down. Something too dangerous to include his boys in. In a way, it was still true. Death was just another adventure for John Winchester to embark on without his boys by his side. "It's all we have of him."

"No. You have memories. I know what it's like to lose someone close to you. My parents are still alive but to lose someone you shared secrets with." Liz took his hand in hers. "The pain is powerful and overwhelming."


They sat in silence while Liz flipped through the journal, catching emotions with every turn of a page. Learning a little bit about her new friends through the eyes of their father when she paused to read passages. Suddenly, she giggled. She clapped a hand over her mouth. "I'm so sorry it's just… It says Dean crawled into your crib every night for months and I know that it was a sad time and I know you were both really young but… I could hardly picture Dean young enough to crawl into a crib."

"It does?" Sam took the journal to read it for himself. "Huh, I guess it does. I read it but I skim. I'm too busy thinking about how sad I am or how mad I am."

"What was it like?" She asked softly. "Dean says you two grew up on the move."

"According to Dad… since I could walk, we moved from town to town, hunting. I never had regular schooling; a semester here, a year there. I got my GED in the end and did the SAT when we stopped through a town that happened to be on the way. I had to sneak away to do it. I hated it; that life. It's why I left for school. It was a big rift between Dad and me. I snuck around to do it. I didn't ask. I didn't even inform him of my decision. I had all but forgotten when we stopped at the address I used to apply. He read it before I could even see what scores I'd gotten and what colleges had accepted me. Stanford."

"Ooh. Stanford." She giggled despite his saddened face. "Dean was right. I have no excuse not to go to college."

"He said that?"

"He said you found a way and that your family was broke."

"Yeah. That's us." Sam took a breath. "I hated the way we were raised but after this past year… I'm grateful. If I had had a normal childhood, I wouldn't have been prepared. Not for what's happened… not for what almost happened to little Yvette." He eyed her. "You're taking this rather well. Dean and I have been met with more… yelling and threats to be incarcerated."

"Well… supposing that I can do what you supposed I can do… I could sense you're telling the truth and I could see your pain."

"Your… gift is much more attuned than mine."

"Maybe it's not the same."

"Maybe. Mine seems to have a mind of its own." He nodded and scooted away slightly when the curtain in her room violently slapped against the pane. "I think you should finish your fight… and Lillian?"


"This knowledge I have… doesn't fit in a traditional upbringing. So maybe I placed too high a value on it. Maybe the house, kids and white fence is just an overrated pipe dream for someone who knows what goes bump in the night."

"Maybe." Liz nodded, handed the journal back and climbed to her feet.

"If you ever want to talk about it…"

"I guess the same goes here." She pointed down the walkway. "Wish me luck."

"I think I should be wishing Nathan luck."

The next day…
(December 1, 2006)

"Yes, the best part of fighting is the makeup sex." Liz agreed with Maria as they made the short trek to work.

"I know, we're moving rooms tomorrow. I think the Winchester side of the hotel will be quieter."

"Don't count on it." Liz let loose a laugh as she recalled the night before when she'd been seated within hearing range of Dean's exploits. "Dean, big on mullet rock and sex with strangers. According to Sam, Dean is back to his old whoring ways."

"Dean is a whore?" Maria gasped and giggled. "I just thought he was a flirt."

"Sammy been badmouthing me?" Dean waved at them as they passed on the walkway.

"Sam didn't say anything." Liz cleared her throat. "I heard the soundtrack of your whoring and Sam confirmed it was your usual."

"So what?" He held out his arms. "Now, I'm a bad person?"

"I didn't say that." She pointed out. "You did."

"I knew it." He slapped his pant leg. "You want me. Nathan's going to be upset when he finds out you're stalking me and listening in while I make love."

"You call that making love?" Liz nodded to Maria and gestured to Dean. "Making love."

"I could rock your world." Dean challenged.

"I doubt that… and I can't believe you just said that." She burst out laughing.

"You don’t know. Maybe you're missing out."

"Trust me. She's not." Maria patted his chest and scooted passed. "I share a wall with the happy couple."

Later that week…
(December 7, 2006)

Liz laughed as Sam tried to teach Isabel to throw darts. She was failing though Liz knew Isabel could use her powers to win. Max kissed her shoulder. They sat on a stool at a table near the pool table. She leaned back against him. "We should have pictures of us… going out and having fun."

"You think?"

"So we always remember the good times." She whispered. "Part of what helped me deal with… Alex… was the fact that I had so many pictures to remind me of the good times. When we're old and gray… I want to have some proof that we had fun here."

"I see." Max nodded and picked up a napkin. Then he plucked the pen from her back pocket. He set to work in a series of short dashes.

"What are you drawing?"

"You'll see." He turned her face away. "You can't look until it's done."

Dean slipped by them on his way to the pool table, his eye caught by 'Lillian's' attempts to see what 'Nathan' was doing. Nathan used a pen the way some famous artist dude used paints. "Shit… that's good."

"What is?" Liz tried to pry Max's hand out of the way but he just clamped it over her eyes.

"Are you an artist or something, Nathan?" Dean watched the image materialize and it was damn good.

"I have a good memory." Max pulled his hand off his wife's face and handed her his masterpiece. "It's the way she looked the day she became my wife."

"I love it!" She planted a sound kiss on him. "Can you draw one of us together?"

"I can try."

"We didn't have pictures taken. We eloped." Liz explained briefly as she examined her napkin portrait.

"Maybe later." Max promised. "I don't want to draw our wedding photo on a napkin."

"Yeah. Use your time off to try to beat me at pool." Dean gestured to the game ending in front of them.

"Absolutely not." Liz shook her head. "If you play one of us, it will be me. My husband barely knows which end of the cue to chalk."

"Ouch." Max complained softly.

"Well, it's true. You suck." She kissed him gently. "I'll make you proud."

"Kick his ass." Max nodded his approval and settled in to watch the game.

Dean moved around the table to rack up the balls. "Ok. Sure. I'll even let you break."

"I'm warning you, I'm good." Liz plucked an appropriately sized cue from the rack on the wall.

"I'll bet you haven't been playing as long as I have." He taunted as he chalked his own cue.

"Have it your way." Liz flashed a smile at her husband before bending over the end of the table to break the set. She glanced up at Dean as two colored balls sank into the pockets. "Longevity is no indication of skill." It was a quick game as Liz circled the table, knocking the colored balls into their cozy pockets, throwing in a trick shot she hadn't used in years. Sinking the cue ball, she turned to Dean. "So, you've been playing at $20 a ball, right?"

"Rematch." Dean shook his head, trying hard to hide his surprise at that display. He crossed his arms over his cue. "I didn't know I was playing a shark."

"I warned you." Liz held out her hand for the money. "And I knew I was playing a shark."

"You lost, Dean. Fair and square… and to a girl. Dad would be so proud." Sam called over. "I saw the whole thing."

"Back talk, I see. Pick up a cue, Sammy."

"Aw, come on, Dean." Sam groaned but handed the darts to Isabel.

"You come on. Do you even play anymore?" Dean jeered at his little brother. "Smart way to make a buck. I know you learned but do you remember?"

"Bring it on." Sam grabbed an appropriate sized cue and tossed a chalk up into the air, catching it quickly and dusting the end of the cue.

"I think we're going to head out." Max announced, pulling Liz from the table. "She gets hooked and she'll play all night."

"Nathan." Liz whined but collected her winnings from a reluctant Dean and joined her husband for the walk home. It was a short but warm walk as they walked wrapped in each other's arms. They entered the room and got ready for bed, with all the little routines that they had settled into over time.

Max frowned when he caught Liz tucking her winnings into her inside purse pocket. "How much do you have in there?"

"Some." Liz settled onto the bed. "Enough for a deposit and first month's rent someplace affordable."

"Liz…" He sighed but slipped in beside her. "Let me think on it? Okay? Before you go putting down deposits and signing leases. A few days to scope for signs that it's okay to settle down here."

"You'll get a few days. I promise. I'm not in a rush. I just… plan ahead."


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Post by DMartinez » Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:46 am

Part 8 – The following summer…
(July 4, 2007)

Max leaned against the wall behind the bar with his eyes closed. He could hear the fireworks outside but each pop and crack was a jolt to his soul. Liz had tried to comfort him but he just wanted to be alone. The bar was nearly empty on account of the light show. Michael was puttering around in the kitchen, tossing things around at random just so he would have something to pick up. Isabel had bought a disposable phone then disappeared into the room she shared with Maria. Maria, Kyle and Liz were watching the festivities with Marty and Bobby and apparently Sam Winchester.

Dean had propped his feet up on the table, flicking peanuts at the tinted window as the tiny pin points of light shone through before falling to the ground far out into the night. "I hate this holiday."

"Join the club." Max muttered, rubbing his face to wake himself up. The downside to being by himself was boredom.

"Not a fan of Uncle Sam?" Dean pulled on his beer.

Understatement. "Not so much."

"My brother loves it. Always used to bug Dad to watch the show when we were kids, no matter where we were." Dean shook his head. Dad had always stopped for a bit or opened the window with a view. Dean vaguely remembered one night when they were in the middle of nowhere. They could see the light shows from four different towns at the same time as they drove the space between. It was always a random thought and Dean had often wondered why, if the towns were so close that you could see the other's light show, they didn't just have one joint show for everyone instead of four individual ones that inevitably ate up more cash.

"My wife." Max nodded that he understood the need for someone else to enjoy something he couldn't. "Her family was always big on the holidays that made cash for their restaurant. She gets excited… and I have to make sure she'll see it."

"How about I buy us a round?" Dean sat up and held his glass out to 'Nathan.'

"I don't drink." Max shook his head but poured Dean his drink.

"Can I ask why?"

How to put the situation in a way that the layman would understand… "I have… severe reactions to alcohol."

"Uh… yeah. You and everyone on the planet. That's why there are alcoholics. Come on. One glass."

"One glass or one drop. I black out. I don't remember a thing and I do dangerous things according to others. I can't drink." Max shrugged and didn't regret it one bit. He already had everything he needed. He wouldn't risk it for a night, not even to relax.

"Seriously?" Dean made a face. "One drop?"

"Well, it was one sip." Max conceded.


"It's genetic."

"Okay, fine. If you don't drink, what do you do for fun?" Dean took a deep swallow of beer. "Assuming you know how?"

"If we have two nights off in a row, I'll drive Lillian over to Dobson. They have a dance club. She likes to dance." He shrugged.

Dean settled himself in for a conversation. A real conversation with someone he didn't know so well. He hadn't had one of those in longer than he cared to admit. "How did she learn to play pool like that?"

Max had to smile. "It took me six years to get that one out of her. She had a babysitter who worked in this restaurant we had back home. This absurd Mexican-Chinese-Burger place with pool tables and pinball machines in the back. Babysitter used to let her go in all the time and play. She kicked my ass on our first date."

"She's a deadly weapon."

"She can be. Don't ever play miniature golf with her, either. She knows all the bank shots by heart." Max grinned as he recalled that outing when they were getting reacquainted with each other after her stint in the girls' academy and his recent death and resurrection.

"Didn't plan to but I'll keep that under advisement." Dean pointed to the pool table. "Want to learn to play like a man? So the next time you get a challenge you don't have to let your wife take over?"

Max laughed a little. "Sure."


Sam sat on top of the van with his new friends. He didn't want to get too close to them, not after the way the rest of his friendships had gone after rejoining the family business, but they were nice to hang out with when he and Dean passed though Valor Springs to fix up the Impala, which still wasn't running the way Dean liked. Stan, Mary and Lillian sat behind him and laughed while Stan told jokes. All Sam could think about was that night, years ago, when Dad had driven all night somewhere but had woken them up to watch the night sky lit up in all directions from towns somewhere just out of sight. The sky had exploded that night through the rear windshield which had been freshly cleaned that morning. He could remember the awe of the sight, warm in the backseat with Dean, Dad ruffling their hair when the works died down and it was time to go back to sleep. One of those rare moments when he hadn't hated his father. When he hadn't resented their life on the road. Maybe it was even before he had been aware enough to resent their life.

"Sam!" Mary called in his ear. "Stan wants to know if you're hungry! That is, unless you've been possessed by a pod person or somehow gone deaf from listening to too much crappy mullet rock!"

"I can always eat and don't let Dean hear you disparage his brain damage of choice." He smiled and hopped down with Stan to trek to the concession stand just a bit down the way. His stomach turned at the thought of the greasy food but it was what he lived on most of his life aside from the weeks here and there when they were parked in a speck of a town while Dad hunted down some demon or ghost. Those years at Stanford were cherished while he learned to cook something that didn't involve wrappers and microwaves.

"I needed a break from the estrogen. You're not living up to your end of the bargain." 'Stan' complained while they waited in line. "I spend every day with them. I need another man around to balance things out."

"Nathan and Gary?"

"They don't do the Fourth." Stan shook his head. "They mope and groan and so the girls leave them in Amanda's hands and away we go to see the light show."

"Sounds like Dean." Sam shook his head again. He never had quite figured out why Dean was so down on the Fourth.

"I need to, like, study that guy. He gets seriously laid when he wants to." Kyle made a face. "I mean, seriously."

"That's Dean." Sam agreed. "Everywhere we go, he can call up some girl he met the time before or easily get the number of someone new. I couldn't do that, not even if I wanted to."

"You could but you don't want to." Kyle repeated, incredulously.



"I learned to drive in that Impala. '67 and even though it's rebuilt, it's all American." Dean pointed to the window, on the other side of which was his precious Impala. "Dad's had it since I was a kid, maybe even before I was a thought in his head, you know… Spent all my life riding in that thing. Working on it and keeping it in one piece."

"My dad and I rebuilt the engine on this Jeep… but neither of us were mechanics. There was always something going wrong with it. The first car I outright owned, myself, was a Chevelle." Max clinked his cherry coke with Dean's beer mug in celebration of the Chevrolet automobile manufacturing corporation. They had been playing for a bit and Max had picked it up so quickly, Dean had accused him of lying about sucking at it. So they sat and watched the works through the tinted window. Michael had refused to come out of the kitchen. He was, instead, torturing four burgers on the stove.

"My dad… a Marine in his day." Dean explained about his Chevy. "'Buy American' was his motto."

"Dad's a lawyer from a small town." Max countered, feeling a tad contact-buzzed. "He was all about instilling character. That entailed a discovery of manhood through attempting to fix a piece a crap."

"Lilly's dad?"

"He would go out of his way to get her the best. He couldn't always afford the best but he'd get her the best he could." Max shook his head while he remembered the good and bad about his father-in-law. "She never had a car though. He couldn't afford to buy her one and I never let her drive the Jeep… I was hesitant to let her drive the Chevelle. We have a padded seat we put on the van for Lillian and Mary… but don't let them hear you call it a booster seat even though that's exactly what it is."

Dean had a laugh at that. That got him thinking about the last time he'd had a conversation with Lillian. "A while back, Lilly told me you guys were trying to buy a place."

"Is that what she said?" Max shook his head. "I know she wants it. She deserves it but I'm not sure about settling down here. I don't like living out of the motel. Leases and deposits and all that stuff. If we have to leave all of a sudden…"

"What you need to do is go through a person, not a realtor." Dean offered the advice. "My father did it all the time when we were growing up. Bobby has a guesthouse. I think he fills it with junk but he let us live in it once. It has all the works. It was barely big enough for a man and two kids but it should be enough for a couple for a while."

"I'll look into it. I don't like her miserable." Max sobered a bit on that thought. He really wanted his wife as happy as he could make her. Liz wasn't a complainer but she did have wishes and wants for the future that she made plain when he was willing to listen.

"God… you're a good guy, Nathan. Too good a guy." Dean shook his head at the obviously whipped man beside him.

"You're not so bad, yourself. Dean."

"Mind passing on word to your wife? I'm always afraid I'll get a beer with extra foam if you know what I mean."

"She wouldn't do that. My wife is not a spitter." Max narrowed his eyes as he thought about it. "She's more likely to not so accidentally trip while bringing by a pitcher or a glass."


"Why don't you and Mary ever hook up?"

"Besides Gary being an issue… I like her. She's pretty. She's funny but…" Kyle shuddered at the thought. "My dad and her mom have been seeing each other off and on for years. It'd be like incest."

"I see. So you considered it?" Sam grinned with a chuckle.

"For nine seconds sophomore year. Then I set my eyes on Lillian." Kyle let a nostalgic grin drift over his face. That summer had been a fun one. The last truly fun summer he'd had as a teenager before the 'alien invasion'.

"You and Lillian?" Sam snorted at the idea of that.

"Yeah. So?" Kyle tossed a handful of popcorn at some kids tossing firecrackers at the van. "Git! I know where you kids live! And more importantly… I know your Parents!"

"She just seems like…" Like she'd never seen another man before or after laying eyes on her husband.

"Believe me, I was her man before Nathan went and… stole her from me."

"He didn't steal me." 'Lillian' scoffed from where she and 'Mary' were collecting some tasty treats to take back to their men and Isabel.

"Yeah, right. You were all over me until you saw into his soul or whatever." Kyle stared at her for a minute. "Which I came to realize was complete crap after that… business with him and the evil bitch from hell."

"Whatever you have to tell yourself to sleep at night, Stan." Liz called over.

"Fine. So long as we're clear." Kyle pointed a finger at her. "Anyway. Me and the Hair are moving rooms at the end of the week. Montoya is bug-bombing the rooms so the ones on the other side are gonna be open and free of cockroaches. You and the Cheese have a couple of days to make up your minds about the house on Claiborne."

"You guys are renting a house?" Sam burst in.

"We're thinking about it. Nathan isn't sure yet." Liz sighed heavily. "I really just want a space where we can live like people. You remember what we were talking about, Sam? Nathan and a lease aren't exactly copasetic… and that seems to be the hold up."

"Right." Sam nodded to 'Lillian's' allusion to her gift and her running all over the country. "Bobby has that cottage in the back. It's actually more like a guesthouse when he clears all the crap out of it. Dean and I lived in it for a while once. With three people, it was a tight fit and smelly. But for you and Nathan… it could be cozy."

"I'll have to run it by Nathan. Ugh and we'll have to find a way to ask Bobby. He's not exactly the nicest of guys, you know."

"I'll put in a good word. Bobby is a nice guy. You just don't know how to deal with him yet." Sam shrugged. "I'm going to find some libation. Anyone want?"

"I do." Kyle nodded.

"Looky what I found." Maria grinned. "It's a camera with… oh… only three pictures taken on it. Smile real pretty guys."


Isabel poked at her burger. "I like my hamburgers in patty form."

"Eat it." Michael grumbled.

"No. I want it in a patty. It's going to fall out when I pick it up." She pointed to the loose meat on her plate.

"Eat it, Princess." He muttered as he ate his own loose meat burger.

"I'll make you a new one." Max offered and got to his feet. He kissed her head and took her plate from her. He dumped the contents onto Michael's plate, who only grunted.

"You're his sister but I don't even see a hint of a resemblance." Dean commented as he made do with his bordering on sloppy burger.

"Thank you." Isabel sipped her water. "I wouldn't want to actually look like my brother."

"They have the same ass." Michael mumbled.

"Screw you." Isabel tossed a stack of napkins at him.

"Just saying. I like my ladies with an ass."

"Mary doesn't have an ass." She pointed out.

"Mary has other attributes that more than make up for the lack of ass." Michael explained to Dean. "I don't know if you've noticed, if you have just stay silent cause I don't want to kick your ass, but Mary is a talker."

Dean nodded and sipped his beer in acknowledgement he knew what Michael was getting at. Isabel stared between them for a long moment. Then she tossed the rest of the napkins at them and left the table. "You guys are disgusting."

"You're hanging out with us instead of your best friend." Michael tossed over his shoulder. She never returned a comeback.

"She said she called her husband." Dean offered Michael who had started to look worried. "She didn’t say more than that when she came in."

"Oh. She told you about him?"

"What?" Dean blinked at him.

"She doesn’t talk about him. Not even to us." Michael shrugged and started on his second burger.

"Does she ever see him?"

"Not really."

"Then why are they still married?"

"They love each other… or something." Michael shrugged again. He had always figured Jesse for a rebound guy.

"Another waste." Dean sighed and barely looked up when their dinner party resumed.

"This is a hamburger." Isabel displayed her new burger to Michael. "Solid throughout. Juicy because of it."

"I get it. Eat your burger." Michael mumbled.

Max set a fresh beer bottle in front of Dean before taking his own seat to finish his cooled burger. Discreetly, he reheated the mess. His cherry coke stared at him. He shouldn't be moping. He had a lot of the answers he hadn't when he was a kid and the Fourth still depressed him. He had a whole new set of questions and worries. Still. All his life the Fourth had been the day that marked the death of his predecessors. If he looked in a mirror, he knew he no longer looked like the quiet boy who had saved the life of a waitress that day nearly seven years ago. His hair was longer, his clothes weren't nearly as well kempt as they were in high school, and his jewelry had expanded to include a bracelet, a wedding band and a necklace. All three of those had been gifts from his wife. His smiling wife who bounded into the bar smelling like ash and the fields… and a little bit of something else. "Have fun?"

"It was great. You really should have come." She settled into his lap. "You're just now eating?"

"I had to cook Isabel a replacement burger. Gary got a little carried away with his aggressions on the beef." He pointed to the mess on his own plate.

"You are such a good brother." Liz planted a loud kiss on his mouth.

"Have you been drinking?" Max sat up, finally placing the smell on his wife's breath.

"I'm fine." Liz bit her lip. "I only had a sip. I promise."

"I had a six pack." Kyle grinned stupidly and picked French fries off Isabel's plate. "Thanks for your concern."

"You drunk, too, Sammy?" Dean leaned back in his chair.

"Nah. They're lightweights." Sam shook his head.

"I drank a lot." Maria took a seat next to Michael. "A lot."

"I only had a sip." Liz promised again. "Headache."

"Are you okay?" Max cupped her cheek.

"It's just something you have to do tomorrow. It can wait for a bit. I'm not done having fun." Liz leaned back into him. "It's a small thing, really. It'll help in the long run."

"Oh, ho, ho. I found a camera in the field." Maria grinned. "You guys. We have to make some memories."


Sam stretched out on the bed, his wallet a good deal heavier than Dean's had ended up being that night. He could hear the clink of the bottle as it was lifted and set back down on the nightstand sip after sip. The light was starting to burn the side of his face. "Hey, man. Mind turning that out."

"I do mind. Go to sleep, Sammy."

"It's Sam and what are you doing?" He lifted his head to find Dean reclined against the wall with the box of photos opened and spread out. "What are you doing, Dean?"

"Just trying to remember if I ever liked the fourth of July." Dean brooded once again over the family he didn't get to keep.

"Not since I can remember, dude."

"But why? You grew up the same as me and you love it."

"You're older than me, Dean. There are probably a few Julies that you can remember better than I can." Sam sat up to really look at his brother. Dean had had fun tonight. He'd been drinking all night before everyone got back from the fireworks show but he hadn't drank more than a beer or two during all the darts, cards and pool.

"I think I used to like it. I kind of remember being little and writing my name in sparklers with Mom but… I can't remember when I started hating it." Dean took a long pull and dredged his memory for the years and the happenings and the scars. "I remember that year we watched it in the car with Dad. I still liked it then, I think, but I hadn't seen it for a while before then. I don't know how old we were."

"When Dad took that back road?"

"Yeah. He woke us up because you'd been bugging for days about it. You were talking by then, I guess. No younger than five or six, I think." He furrowed his brow as he struggled to remember.

"That's five or six years between a July with Mom and that night, Dean." He could tell it was really bugging his brother. "How long did we stay in Lawrence?"

"A few years, I guess. You were potty trained and all that when we left Lawrence for good. I think we popped fireworks that first summer. It kind of blurs, you know? I just tried to block out as much about Lawrence as possible. I know we did it the first year after she died. I popped one in my hand. It hurt, bad." Dean tried to remember anything that happened after his sixth birthday.

"Do you think it was something bad? I mean, worse than a firecracker in hand?"

"I don't know. Dad was never much for holidays after she died. We barely had birthdays and Christmas. We had one Thanksgiving with Bobby and one with Pastor Jim. Until you started talking, I can't remember Fourth of July." Dean pinched the bridge of his nose. "But I had fun, tonight. We could see them from inside the bar. Just barely… and I didn't hate them too much."

"Hey Dean…" Sam had been rolling the idea through his brain for a few minutes. "After I turned nine or ten… Dad stopped letting us watch the fireworks. Like he just forgot or something. I remember realizing that it had passed and that we hadn't watched them. I hardly knew what day of the week it was then. Maybe you can't remember seeing them because you didn't."

That comment made a laugh come out in a bark. "That would figure, right?" That was probably it. He hadn't bugged like Sam had. Hadn't talked for a long time after Mom died. Hadn't… "He was gone. Researching. Stashed us with a friend while he was chasing down leads. He was gone." It all clicked. That second year after Mom had died; Fourth of July meant that Dad wouldn't be around. He was gone all summer that year. They had to stay behind because Sammy was just a baby and couldn't be on the road. That Fourth of July was spent missing Dad. Some following Fourths had been spent the same way. "He is gone. He's gone."

Sam could only nod. Dean was the son who had stayed behind; who had been abandoned when Dad had split to hunt down the demon on his own; who had been betrayed by the man who had sworn to protect them. Sam had walked away, had run away. Dean had stayed. Stayed with a man who would abandon him again without a word.

"Okay. Enough Joy Luck Club. Find us something in the morning, Sammy. I gotta kill something soon."


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Part 9

Post by DMartinez » Wed Apr 25, 2007 8:43 pm

Part 9 – The following day…
(July 5, 2007)

Max stared at Liz. "You want me to what?"

"It should be easy." Liz explained as she paced the room. It was absurd but her visions weren't getting any more coherent. If she didn't do what they said, who knew what consequences that could have. "They have it just laying around. Stealing it would be doing them a favor. I could tell you exactly how to get to it. You just have to get your hands on it and use some old fashioned metalworking to shape it into something else."

He'd barely had his morning coffee when Liz had started rambling about trespassing, theft, and metalworking. It would be almost funny if she weren't so dead serious about the whole thing. "Are you still drunk?"

"I was never drunk. I just had a sip." She sank into the chair. "It's not like it has to be done today. It'll be there for a while. I just… thought you should know."

"What good will it do us?"

"I don't know, Max." She bit out and stared at him. "Let's say you can't affect depleted uranium. Neither could Nasedo and I'd wager Kal can't either. Your enemies would be limited the same way."

"Okay. We can't manipulate its shape. It doesn't mean it's like a silver bullet."

"I never said that." She sighed and covered her face with her hands. "I don't know why, Max. I just know we should."

"Okay." He pulled her chair to the end of the bed where he sat. "Okay. Let's just focus on what we would do with it after we had it. What shape would be best?"

"I was just thinking. Like knives or crowbars. If say, an alien got stabbed, he couldn't just… poof it out of his body. It would leave residue and the wound might not be able to close up. It might slow him down. Distract him long enough for…"

"Right. Okay. I'm sorry if it sounded like I was jumping all over you." He ran his hands up her arms. "I'd almost forgotten what you'd said last night and… I'm sorry."

"It's going to take a while to plan your trip out there." She offered lamely.

"Yes it will."

She felt stupid but she could feel that Max was fully awake and at least partway understanding everything she had said. It had kept her up most of the night. "I didn't feel like it was immediately urgent… just that it should be done."

"Okay. I trust you. When I find out where this place is, Michael and I will go."


Bobby stared at the boys. "You plan this?"

"What?" Sam furrowed his brow. So what if he and Dean had given the same housing option to Nathan and Lillian separately. It was a good idea for more than the obvious reasons. "Lillian mentioned she was looking for a place to set down some roots. I mentioned that maybe you could be persuaded to empty that building out back."

"I don't want civilians traipsing all over my property. I've got a hundred of these things all over the property." Bobby pointed to the ceiling where he had the circle they'd used on the Meg-Demon not so long ago. "They could mess up my salt circles… and I wouldn't know nothing about it until a demon or a spirit was killing me dead."

"They'd pay cash." Dean shrugged his shoulders. He was already bored with the topic and they were here for more than one reason. "You can always use cash, Bobby."

"They're quiet. Keep to themselves. They aren't nosy." Sam offered up. "And again, they pay cash."

"The book is upstairs, third door, Dean." Bobby gestured to the stairs. "If I get you the information you're looking for, maybe you'll leave me alone."

"Thanks, Bobby." Dean pounded his way up the stairs.

"I just said I'd bring it up." Sam examined the desk and the photos that lined the spaces between stacks of books. When Dean disappeared up the stairs, he cleared his throat. "It's not like they don't know something about what this town is built on, Bobby."

"Oh yeah?" Bobby grunted and wiped his hands on a rag before searching for a book on his crowded shelves. "How's that?"

"You remember that troll-imp thing?"

"I remember the troll-imp thing." Bobby clicked his teeth together. "Nasty son of a bitch. Still can't believe none of us knew it was there. If it weren't for you and your brother…"

"Actually, if it weren't for Lillian Sparks…" Sam let the sentence fall.

"What's that?" Bobby set the books down and turned to face Sam Winchester fully. He had just done what used to piss him off about John Winchester. Leading with something irresistible to make a point about what wasn't going to be revealed until a promise was made.

"I'm saying that… everyone got a head's up that night and if it weren't for the way things fell, that little girl… well, you know better than anyone what would have happened to her."

"You're telling me that little Lillian Sparks had something to do with that?" Bobby shook his head. "She wasn't even there."

"No, she wasn't. She was puking her guts out and making things happen… Like, telling somebody to tell Pete to head home early before his wife could make the phone call about Yvette going missing. Like telling Dean to get over here before any one of us had called him out because Pete was flipping out. Like getting someone to tell me that Dean needed his shotgun and rock salt shells before we even knew the troll-imp thing was manipulating spirits as guards. If any one of those things hadn't happened, no one would have gotten to her in time." Sam watched Bobby work the events over in his mind. "I'm just saying that she's one of the good guys and she wants to stay here. If you could see that she gets a place on a piece of property that is regularly updated on spiritual barriers…"

"Is she some kind of pre-cog? Like a psychic?" Bobby turned that over in his head for a minute.

"I don't think she really knows how she does what she does. She saw something bad and she got people to stop it from happening but… she didn't know what it was. I told her it was a minor demon… to ease her into the idea. That troll… was nasty business."

"So what? She did us a favor and now I have to reciprocate?"

"I only said I'd put in a good word. I probably don't have permission to tell you what I did about her but… Dean and I don't have all the connections that Dad had. Having some friends with gifts like this… will come in handy." He tried to appeal to Bobby's survivalist instincts. "Not only for us but probably for you, too. A lot of Dad's friends were on a hit list after we got our hands on that damned gun. The Demon got to them before we could do anything about it. Maybe it's like our way of making sure that doesn't happen to you."

"If she didn't own up to being the hero that day… what makes you think she'll warn me if the demon is coming for me? Sure Stan has worked here for a few years but she don't know me from Adam."

"It's Lillian Sparks, Bobby. She's a good person. She can't help herself." Sam offered a tight smile and a shrug. "It's up to you but… Marty likes Nathan. You ask him what he thinks of them."

"Found it." Dean lumbered down the stairs. "Thanks, Bobby. Big help. Sammy! Let's get going."

"It's Sam." He bit out but followed his brother out the door.

Four days later.
(July 9, 2006)

Liz sat and fingered the framed picture that Max had given her for their anniversary. He had obviously spent a lot of time on it. It was ten times better than the napkin he'd drawn of her earlier in the year. Tears escaped her eyes as she traced its lines.

"Do you like it?"

"I love it." She smiled through the tears. "I was happy that day. So happy."

"Are you still happy?" Max asked softly.

"I am." She threw her arms around him and kissed him soundly. Before she knew it, he was setting the frame aside and guiding her onto her back on the bed. "Ooh… Christening the bed already?"

"First the bed, then the floor, then the kitchenette, then the floor outside the bathroom, then the shower…" Max nudged her chin with his nose so he could have access to her neck. "If it can be managed, that is."

"It's a tiny bathroom but we'll just have to be very, very close."


Marty scribbled down the message and blinked at it. "Hey Dean, this isn't gonna piss Bobby off, right?"

"He's got a protection circle against it." Dean turned his head to keep an eye on the surroundings. "Sam says that this thing targets spiritual librarians and I'd say that Bobby could pass for one."

"That he could. Some of this stuff… we don't have around here."

"Sam thought that might be a problem. Bobby could always send Pete to make a run to Dobson. I really wouldn't want Bobby to leave his house until we kill this thing. We still don’t have all the info on this thing."

"So, that's what you guys took off to find, huh?"

"We didn't think it was anything at first but then we noticed the victims all had pretty extensive occult libraries and not the new agey shit. It was all the real deal, what all we could get our hands on. The cops aren't taking it seriously. They just figure these guys were devil worshipers and got what they had coming."


"That's what I said."

"No, if they come for Bobby, they'll kill half my staff, too. These fuckers aren't picky when it comes to killing off anyone near this shit."

"So what? Bobby closes the shop for a few days."

"No, Dean. You and your brother convinced Bobby to let Nate and Lillian rent that back cottage. This morning was moving day."

"Well, tell them to take a walk."

"Do you know for sure that it's coming for Bobby?"

"The thing is cutting a swath through the middle of the country and you guys are right in its path. We're gonna try to kill it before it heads that way but… you and I know that not every fight is a win."

"Don't talk like that, Dean Winchester. Your pa'd wring your neck."

"Yeah, well. Dad would know more than anyone else that even the best hunter's days are numbered. Warn them before it's too late, Marty." Dean shut his phone and headed back inside the station. He flashed his fake badge at the woman who had come on shift since he'd been outside. "Look, I just talked to my superior and if I can't look at the body or the files, it's gonna happen again."

"This is a small town, Agent…"

"Livgren." Dean filled in for her. "I've been trying all day to get into this case but your people are not cooperating. This is the third. Three deaths, all related, in this state alone."

"Really?" She looked back at the police chief who had been listening around the corner. The chief didn't look happy.

"What do you need?" The chief stepped into full view with his cup of coffee.

"I need a list of all the books found in the house. Then I need to know what you did with them."

The older man snorted. "It was all a bunch of hocus pocus."

"Maybe but do you want this whole thing to get thrown out of court because you couldn't be bothered to keep track of the evidence?"

"This guy had a house full of devil books. Seriously, Agent Livgren."

"Seriously. Maybe some guy is doing us a favor but… word is… there has been some crossfire in other states. People walking at the wrong time and wrong place. People who don't hold with hocus-pocus. People who didn't know about the hocus pocus."

"I'm sure we made a list. I'll find it."

"Good. I'll be back." Dean stormed out of the station and scanned the street for his brother. Sam was flipping through a book on a park bench. "Sammy!"

"Did they have the title on the inventory?" Sam groaned as he continued his search.

"Don't know yet but I've seen that book at Bobby's. I know I have. This guy had a copy too."

"It would figure right?" Sam snorted as he rubbed his temples. "The guy writes the book and gets murdered by a fanatic… then the ghost of the guy goes around killing everyone who owns the last ten copies."

"We have six. I think Bobby has the seventh… the guy in the morgue had the eighth. That makes two more that we have to find."

"Do you think Pastor Jim had a copy?"

"Can't get a hold of anyone in that neck of the wood. All of Caleb's shit is in storage and if he had a copy, it'd be there." Dean stared around. "Hopefully we don't have to go save the owner of a storage unit. Hopefully we find the guy's bones and build a nice salty bonfire."

"Does Marty know where Bobby is?"

"Yeah, I'll bet he was helping Nathan move in to the guesthouse."

"Dean." Sam blinked at his brother. "You have to get them out of there. If this spirit hops over us and targets some other book-holder like Bobby, they're screwed."

"Why would it go there? We have six books in the trunk. Six. It's got two people right here. We need to get that book from them before it kills some cop and we get blamed or some shit. We don't have time to be calling after everyone within a mile radius of one of these things."

Sam shook his head and yanked out his cell phone. "Come on… pick up."


Liz held onto her husband as he caught his breath. It had taken her a moment to realize it but they hadn't used anything. She knew it wouldn't escape his attention for long and he was likely to make a run before they would continue to bless their new home but she intended to enjoy the thought while it lasted. Her phone danced on the nightstand but she ignored it. Whoever it was could wait until tomorrow. Today was her fifth wedding anniversary.

Max kissed her bare shoulder before shifting off her body and onto the bed beside her. "Do you want to head over to Dobson tonight?"

"Mmm… maybe this weekend. I just want to spend today with you." A chill passed through her body but she shook it off and ran her hands over his chest. "Maybe we hit the shower, next."

"Okay. I'll go get the water started. Bobby said it might be a little tough to get the water heater working. I might have to do some magic." Max pressed a kiss to her lips before he was up and crossed the hardwood floor, his feet thumping against the floorboards.

Liz shivered again as her phone danced again. Groaning, she leaned over to pick it up. The number didn't look familiar but she picked up anyway. "Hello?"

"Lillian, thank god. It's Sam. Look. I don't know where Bobby is but you have to do something for me. Get out of the house for a few days. Until I call you back and tell you it's okay." Sam rushed out.

"What? What are you talking about?" Liz shook her head. "Today's my anniversary. We just got moved in. We're not going anywhere today."

"Seriously. It's not safe."

"Not safe?" She sighed heavily. "Sam?"

"I need you to trust me on this. Bobby's got some pretty powerful protection circles in the house but not out in the guesthouse. You aren't safe right now."

"Can't we just do one of these protection circles out here?" Liz kept her voice low and her eyes peeled for her husband's figure. She wasn't sure how well sound carried in the little cottage.

"I can't convince you to leave."

"No. If I tell him that it's not safe in here, then it's not safe anywhere."

Sam glanced at Dean who looked like he was hiding a gloat. "Okay. This is bare minimum stuff. I don't know how well it will work against this thing. Once you do it, you don't leave until I call again. Okay?"


"Have you cleaned out the cabinets yet?"


"Then it's possible there's some rock salt in there. Table salt might work but I wouldn't count on it. Rock salt is best. You line every door window and vent with it. If you've got enough, I'd line every wall and keep some on hand."

"Rock salt? Like the stuff you used on those spirits?"

"Exactly." He blew out a breath. "Lillian… if the lights start flickering for no reason or you start feeling like maybe you aren't alone, you have two choices; you beat on Bobby's door until he lets you in or you run down to the church. Marty might keep you but I don't want more people involved in this."

"Okay. I understand." Liz nodded as she pulled Max's shirt over her head and began opening the cabinets. She had expected to find the rock salt he spoke of but all she saw were two webbed over canisters like the ones she'd seen in the garage office from time to time. She almost turned away but something made her grab one and twist the cap off. Rock salt. "How did you know the salt would be here?"

"It was a guess. The last time we stayed with Bobby, we left in a hurry… Dad always thought we forgot something there. Do you have enough?"

"I think so." Liz eyed the door and the windows.

"Okay. Thick lines from corner to corner. No breaks."

"Got it." Liz shut her phone and set to the task while Max fought with the water in the bathroom.


Dean's eyes ran over the graveyard. The markers were old. The plots uncared for. It was going to make his search difficult. Plot J9. J9. He counted rows. He counted plots but the damned headstone was not at all easy to read. He glanced around once more and then raised the shovel. "Well. This better be you or a few people are going to be in for a surprise in the morning."

Sam counted the books. Seven. They had seven now. He adjusted the shotgun under his arm as he locked up the book with the other copies. Three to go or at least until Dean salted the grave and burned the bones. He just hoped that Lillian and Nathan were willing to follow his advice and leave the property anyway.


Liz settled onto the bed with a cup of tea and peered over Max's shoulder, he was studying a map from an atlas he'd appropriated from the library. "Some kid might need that for a report."

"Not until the fall. I plan to have it all scanned by then." Max arched his back under her touch as she rubbed his spine.

"Did you find it?"

"Yeah…" He slid the book over so she could see the map. "The repository is in this town here. It's gonna take months of planning. It's not so big that we would be missed driving through in broad daylight."

"Okay. But you have time. I just…"

"Figured it couldn't hurt. I know." He looked her over. "How's your back?"

"Not good. The shower is now off limits." She shivered when he placed a warm healing hand on her back, soothing the sore muscles. "We'll just have to make due with every other surface in here."

"I think we can do that." His eyes flicked to the window where he could see Bobby moving around. "While you were steaming your back… I saw Bobby laying out pesticide. I don't know why he didn't wait until tomorrow."

"Bugs would seriously crimp all the fun we're going to have in here tonight." Liz teased as she sipped her tea.


Dean had just finished salting the bones and pouring lighter fluid over the whole mess when he was sent flying back into the mound of dirt behind him. Frantically he searched his pockets for a lighter or matches but came up empty. "Good one, Dean. Go digging up graves without fire."

His body rose off the ground and he went flying back several plots away from his shotgun. He heard footsteps and he hoped it wasn't the cops. Scrambling to his feet, he ducked back to the ground when he heard the gunshot. Sammy. "Dude, we need fire."

"That's what I was about to tell you." Sam peered into the grave. He tried to balance the gun while searching his pockets. Surely he had some matchbooks from a bar or a hotel. He usually grabbed a few.

"Sammy!" Sam glanced up in time to see the spirit appearing right in front of him. He fired a shot through it and tossed the empty gun to the ground as he emptied his jacket pockets. A matchbook. Finally. He lit one and used it to ignite the whole pack and tossed it inside the gaping hole in the ground. The fire lit up the surrounding area with a glow and crackle. Dean hobbled over from where he'd been laid out. "Well… I think we should wait for a bit. I'm not sure that was the guy… I got attacked, which means, I was probably right but… just in case."

"Maybe you're right." Sam nodded and picked up the gun, knocking out the empty shells and reloading with fresh ones.

"Were you aiming for me or the ghost, Sammy?"

"The ghost."

"You cut it close."

"It was right on top of you."

"I don’t trust your aim." Dean took the extra shells when Sam handed them over to reload his own gun.

"You didn't have much of a choice. I could have just let it beat you over the top of your head with a grave marker but I came out here to work, not have fun."

"You're a funny guy, Sammy."

Shrugging, Sam found his phone and dialed. "Hey Bobby. We got it. Pass on word to the Sparks, will you?" He shook his head. "Well, tell Lillian when she emerges for air, that next time I tell her to go, she should go."