❯ Double Trouble – Chapter 3

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Chapter 3
“Xander!” He jumped and hit his head on the car above him but then rolled out from under it and ran for the house.
“Bobby? What is it?” He asked as he skidded into the kitchen.
“Get the tow truck set up. We’ve got a pick up to make.” Bobby answered tightly and Xander frowned.
“This isn’t a normal tow is it?” Xander asked and Bobby sighed.
“Got a call from Sam Winchester, the family Impala’s been totaled and his Dad and brother are still in hospital.”
“Winchester….the brothers who were here and left you with a body while I was out?” Xander asked and Bobby nodded.
“Okay I’ll get the truck ready. Anything else you think I should pack?”
“Weapons and protection.”
“Oh, man. Dean is gonna be pissed.” Sam groaned as he stared at the Impala. He’d noticed the guy with Bobby and assumed it was Xander, the young hunter that stayed with Bobby now. They hadn’t actually met when the brothers had gone to Bobby’s; Xander had been out running errands.
“Look, Sam…this just ain’t worth a tow. I say we empty the trunk and sell the rest for scrap.” Bobby said despite the fact that Xander was already hooking the car up to the truck. Sam smiled slightly at that and then reached in to retrieve his mutilated laptop.
“No. Dean would kill me if we did that. When he gets better, he’s gonna wanna fix this.” He told Bobby flatly.
“There’s nothin’ to fix. The frame’s a pretzel, the engine’s ruined — barely any parts worth salvagin’.” Bobby said loudly enough for Xander to hear since he was still attaching the Impala for a tow.
“Listen to me, Bobby. If there’s only one working part, that’s enough. We’re not just gonna give up on…” Sam trailed off, realising he was talking about Dean and not the car.
“Okay. You got it.” Bobby sighed and Xander walked over, finally finished.
“Here. Dad asked if you could get this stuff for him.” Bobby took the list from Sam and Xander stared at it over the older man’s shoulder.
“What’s John want with this?” Bobby asked and Sam looked at him and then Xander who was frowning.
“Protection from the demon.” Bobby looked at him strangely and Xander’s frown deepened.
“Nothin’. It’s just, uh…” Bobby trailed off.
“Bobby. What’s goin’ on?” Sam begged and to his surprise it was Xander who answered.
“Isn’t this for summoning?” He asked, pointing to one of the things on the list and Bobby nodded.
“Sam…this stuff ain’t for protection from a demon…it’s to summon one.” Bobby admitted and Sam’s hands tightened into fists.
“I can get it easily enough.” Bobby finished. While Bobby thought things through Sam looked again at Xander. Something about the other hunter was bugging him. Xander caught him looking and flashed him a grin and Sam stopped breathing for a second. A shiver went down his spine as he realised that grin was identical to Dean’s. Freaky.
“Xander head back with Sam. If John and Dean are down he’ll need backup if anything happens.
“Sure thing Bobby.” Xander told him, heading back to the tow truck to grab his bag.
“Been hunting long?” Sam asked to break the silence in the car.
“Since I was fifteen. Vampires got my best friend and after that I couldn’t ignore what was going on.” Xander answered quietly and Sam flinched.
“It’s fine. I was actually taking a break when the engine decided to fall out of my car a few miles down the road from this Roadhouse. Lady who owned it was nice, gave me a room for the night and called Bobby for me. I was at his for a bit before we found out we hiding things for no reason, was pretty funny actually.” Xander explained and Sam smiled as he imagined that happening.
“So can I ask what happened to wreck the car like that and land your family in hospital or is it personal?”
“We’ve been hunting this demon ever since I was six months old. Got a lead on it but it was pretty much a trap. They got Dad but we rescued him except…” Sam trailed off and Xander grimaced.
“Yeah. Demon hurt Dean badly but I managed to get it out of Dad. I was driving us to the hospital when a semi sideswiped us. Dad’s okay but Dean….they’re saying he might not wake up.” Sam finished quietly and then looked up in surprise as a warm hand squeezed his shoulder. Xander quickly moved it so both hands were on the wheel; Bobby had insisted Sam not drive again on the way back to the hospital.
“He has to wake up…he has to.” Sam murmured and Xander swallowed. Times like this he was glad Jesse and Tara had been gone so quickly. They hadn’t had to see their loved ones lingering in a hospital and wondering if they’d ever wake again. And right then Xander decided Dean would wake up, he’d find someone who could heal him and make them do it if he had to.
“You’re quiet.” John commented and Sam went over to his bed to slam the bag Bobby had given him down. He’d shown Xander to Dean’s room and left him there, standing guard.
“You think I wouldn’t find out?” Sam asked angrily.
“What are you talkin’ about?”
“That stuff from Bobby. You don’t use it to ward off a demon; you use it to summon one. You’re planning on bringing the demon here, aren’t you, and having some stupid macho showdown!”
“I have a plan, Sam.” John argued.
“That’s exactly my point! Dean is dying and you have a plan! You know what; you care more about killing this demon than you do saving your own son!”
“Do not tell me how I feel. I am doing this for Dean.”
“How? How is revenge gonna help him? You’re not thinkin’ about anybody but yourself! It’s the same selfish obsession!” Sam spat back.
“It’s funny, you know what, I thought this was your obsession, too! This demon killed your mother, killed your girlfriend. You begged me to be part of this hunt! Now, if you killed that damn thing when you had the chance, none of this would have happened!”
“It was possessing you, Dad; I would’ve killed you, too!” Sam argued, how could his Dad honestly have expected to kill him too.
“Yeah, and your brother would be awake right now!”
“Go to hell.” Sam half yelled.
“I should have never taken you along in the first place. I knew it was a mistake!” they froze, staring as the glass of water shattered and spilled as it hit the floor. They stared and then turned to the door as doctors rushed past.
“Sam!” Sam felt a pit of fear open in his stomach as Xander called for him.
“Who was that? Something’s goin’ on out there.” John said but Sam was already out the door. Xander grabbed him at the door to Dean’s room, keeping him outside and Sam watched as the doctor used the defibrillator on Dean, trying to find a pulse. Sam felt tears begin to fall and Xander tightened his grip in an attempt at giving comfort.
“All clear.” The doctor called.
“Clear.” The nurse shocked Dean but he was still flatlining.
“No.” Sam sobbed, half collapsing in Xander’s arms.
“Still no pulse.”
“Okay, let’s go again. 360.”
“All clear.”
“Clear. Sam shuddered as Dean was shocked again and even Xander could feel tears forming as he watched.
“Still no pulse. Clear.”
“No change. I’m starting CPR.” Sam suddenly stiffened in Xander’s arms, looking around and Xander shivered. Great the hospital had at least one ghost. Please let Bobby’s gift work, he really didn’t need to get possessed again.
“We have a pulse. We’re back into sinus rhythm.” Sam smiled in relief and Xander slowly let go so Sam could back out into the hallway.
“You okay?” Xander asked softly and Sam shrugged.
“I…for a second I could swear I heard Dean shouting.” Sam admitted and Xander slid down the wall next to him to sit.
“Great. If Dean’s out of his body that’s not exactly a good sign is it? I didn’t hear anything but I felt something.” Xander admitted and Sam turned to him, hope beginning to show in his eyes.
“Yeah. Been possessed twice by non-demonic things, makes it easier for it to happen again. Bobby gave me a nifty amulet to stop it but said I’m more…open to feeling things that are out there.”
“So Dean’s still here.” Sam smiled and Xander couldn’t help smiling as he nodded.
John stopped as he saw the young man guarding his eldest son’s room. He stared at the kid and his heart leapt into his throat even as he shook his head. He was seeing things, that was all. He was imaging the kids hair was the same shade as Sammy’s that he was the same height as Dean but a bit lankier in build. And he was definitely imaging that those were his own brown eyes staring back at him out of a strangers face. The kid was staring back at him now curiously, his stance shifting ever so slightly so that he completely blocked Dean’s room. A small smile crossed his lips at the move. The young man didn’t even know Dean and yet was willing to fight for his life against any comers.
“Xander?” He called and brown eyes narrowed slightly, taking in his dishevelled appearance and the hospital band still around his wrist.
“Mr. Winchester?” Was the tense question.
“John’s fine. How…how is he?” He moved slowly forward and then the kid relaxed. John smiled again as he heard Sam’s approaching footsteps.
“No change.” Xander answered once Sam was close enough to hear as well. John watched Sam slump slightly at that and then stared in awe as Xander did something only Dean had ever been able to do with just a brief touch and small smile. He had to be seeing things but if he wasn’t….No! Alex was dead, had been for nearly twenty three years and this boy was not him!
“You can go get some sleep.” Sam said and Xander shrugged.
“Coke sounds good. I’ll be in the cafeteria.” Xander told him and wandered off; whistling softly under his breath and Sam actually chuckled slightly.
“Bobby told him to guard us and he’s taking those orders very seriously.” Sam answered his Dad’s enquiring look. They walked into Dean’s room and John took the only seat, staring at his son. Dean, who was always so strong, looked small and weak hooked up to machines and lying so still in the bed.
“He felt something too, when Dean almost…”
“What do you mean you felt something?” John asked.
“I mean, it felt like…like Dean. Like he was there, just out of eyeshot or something. I don’t know if it’s my psychic thing or what. But do you think it’s even possible? Do you think his spirit could be around?”
“Anything’s possible.”John told him, still thinking of the young man that had been guarding Dean.
“Well, there’s one way to find out.” Sam headed for the door.
“Where you goin’?”
“I gotta pick something up. I’ll be back.”
“Wait, Sam. I promise…I won’t hunt this demon. Not until we know Dean’s okay.” John told him and Sam nodded, not sure whether or not to believe him.
“Xander have you seen my Dad?” Sam called worriedly as he approached the other hunter.
“No, I thought he was in his room.”
“Oh. Well I got some info to go through to try and help Dean.”
“Good to hear. I…well I did some calls and I’m waiting to hear back.” Sam stared in shock and Xander shifted uncomfortably.
“You didn’t have…thanks.”
“No problem. I should go check in.” Xander walked away and Sam went into Dean’s room. Xander headed down to the boiler room since he knew Hallie would not appear anywhere they might be seen together. Out of all of Anya’s friends she was one of the few that liked him for who he was and how much he’d helped Anya. Plus she’d said she owed him one for something and he was calling it in. She was over lost childhoods which would make any wish harder to make but there were always loopholes.
He paused as he saw John drawing on the floor in chalk and then sighed.
“Thought you told Sam who weren’t going to hunt the bastard till Dean was okay?” He asked and John actually jumped, aiming a gun at him. Xander’s hands went up to show he was unarmed and he backed away.
“How’d you find me?”
“Wasn’t looking for you.” Xander answered, nervously eyeing the gun. He may not hate guns like most of the Scoobies but he had a healthy respect for them.
“Then what are you doing down here?”
“I’d say waiting for me.” A female voice called and Xander smiled, nodding in greeting.
“Xander. Heard your call. Calling in your favour?”
“And not even for someone you know. You really are the Heart of the Scoobies.” She said with a small smile. John didn’t know who to aim at.
“Make a wish.” She told him and Xander took a deep breath.
“I wish that Dean would wake up fine and fully healed so that he can spend time with his Dad since he missed out a lot when he was a kid.” Xander stated very carefully and Hallie nodded, her visage morphing to demonic.
“Wish granted.” With that she vanished and John turned to face Xander fully, gun aimed at him.
“What the hell was that!”
“Hallie’s a vengeance demon, well if you ask them they’re more justice demons. We’ve had a few run ins and she decided she owed me a free wish. She’s over lost childhoods so I had to word it to bring his childhood in. Dean should be fine now.”
“You deal with demons!” John’s finger tightened slightly on the trigger.
“I’m from Sunnydale. The postman is a demon! Yes a lot of the wishes granted are bad but others…I called her once when I was a kid but she was blocked from answering, I think that’s why she did this. Becuase she knew what my childhood became but couldn’t do anything. They’re more neutral than anything really.” Xander shrugged.
“Go see your son John.” Xander pushed as he felt…something and it wasn’t Hallie. John left slowly and Xander stared into the shadows, something was there and then….gone. Whatever it was it was evil with a capital `E’.
Sam watched as Dean’s body moved, hands going to the tube in his throat as his eyes shot open. He was gagging on the tube and Sam could do9 nothing but stare in shock.
“Dean?” Sam whispered and then turned towards the door to yell.
“Help! I need help!” he stood back as doctors and nurses flooded the room, most staring in shock before moving to Dean’s side babbling in medical jargon. He was forced to wait as they took Dean away for tests but an hour later he was back.
“I can’t explain it. The edema’s vanished. The internal contusions are healed. Your vitals are good. You’ve got some kind of angel watchin’ over you.” The doctor explained.
“Thanks, Doc.” Dean said and they waited till the man had left.
“So you said a reaper was after me?”
“Yeah.” Sam answered, sitting down to just stare at Dean, happy to be having a conversation once again.
“How’d I ditch it?”
“You got me. Dean, you really don’t remember anything?” Sam pushed and Dean shrugged.
“No. Except this pit in my stomach. Sam, something’s wrong.” They looked to the door and Dean smiled as his Dad walked in.
“How you feelin’, dude?” John asked quietly, staring at Dean with something that looked like shock.
“Fine, I guess. I’m alive.” Dean answered uncomfortably.
“That’s what matters.”
“Where were you last night?” Sam asked.
“I had some things to take care of.” John answered, keeping quiet about what Xander had done for now. Where was the kid anyway?
“Well, that’s specific.”
“Come on, Sam.” Dean tried.
“Did you go after the demon?” Sam pushed.
“No.” John was happy to be able to answer pretty much truthfully.
“You know, why don’t I believe you right now?” Sam shot back and Dean sighed in disapproval. John smiled at his sons.
“Can we not fight? You know, half the time we’re fightin’, I don’t know what we’re fightin’ about. We’re just buttin’ heads. Sammy, I…I’ve made some mistakes. But I’ve always done the best I could. I just don’t wanna fight anymore, okay?” John said tiredly and both boys tensed.
“Dad, are you all right?” Sam asked and John nodded,
“Yeah. Yeah, I’m just tired. Hey, Sam, would you mind, uh…would you mind gettin’ me a cup of caffeine?” He aksed and Sam nodded.
“Yeah. Yeah, sure.” John watched him go proudly, his boys really had grown up when he wasn’t looking. Maybe Xander had been right to wish for Dean to get time with him like he should have had as a kid.
“What is it?” Dean aksed, moving to sit on the edge of his bed and staring at his Dad, green eyes wide.
“You know, when you were a kid…I’d come home from a hunt. And after what I’d seen, I’d be…I’d be wrecked. And you’d…come up to me, and you’d put your hand on my shoulder, and you’d look me in the eye, and you’d…” John’s voice broke and tears formed but he pushed himself to continue.
“you’d say, “It’s okay, Dad.” Dean…I’m sorry.”
“For what?” Dean asked quietly and with more than a little fear.
“You shouldn’t have had to say that to me. I should’ve been sayin’ that to you. You know, I put…I put too much on your shoulders, I made you grow up too fast. You took care of Sammy, and you took care of me. You did that. And you didn’t complain, not once. I just want you to know…that I am so proud of you.” He was trying not to cry as he finally said the things he should have years ago.
“Is this really you talkin’?” Dean asked and John had to think. Was it him or the wish Xander had made? In the end it didn’t matter because Dean needed to hear it.
“Yeah. Yeah, it’s really me.” He told Dean with a small smile.
“Why are you sayin’ this stuff?” Dean asked, wide eyed with fear and John sat down beside him, laying a hand on Dean’s shoulder.
“Because I should have said it years ago. The ay I raised you…treated you, it’s not fair and I am going to find some way to make it up to you Dean.” He looked up and Xander was standing in the doorway with a sad, wistful smile on his face and John had a feeling he knew why the kid had called Hallie as a child.
“Thanks kid.” He said and Xander nodded.
“Who?” Dean asked suspiciously and Xander smiled.
“Xander Harris, Bobby asked me to stay since you and your Dad were down. Nice to see you awake.”
“Thanks.” Dean said as Sam came up beside Xander. John gasped, seeing the two standing side by side….it felt like a kick to the gut.
“Dad! What is it?” Dean grabbed his arm and both Sam and Xander began looking for threats.
“Look at them Dean.” John ordered and Dean stared at his brother and the stranger, his eyes slowly going wide.
“Alex?” Dean breathed the question but Sam heard and turned to stare at Xander who began backing nervously away. Sam grabbed his arm though and brown eyes widened with panic at the grip.
“Xander please…I need to ask you some questions, it’s important.” John begged and the kid nodded slowly, coming back into the room warily.
“How old are you?”
“Twenty-two.” Xander answered, looking between the three Winchesters.
“Any chance you’re adopted?” John asked and Xander’s eyes went wide. What? Adopted? No way would Tony have missed shoving that in his face.
“Not that I know of. Why?”
“Sam…Sam had a twin brother named Alex. We never found him after the fire.”
“Wait, you think I might be your missing son! That’s ridiculous. I’m from Southern California and you’re from where?”
“We could ask the doctors to do a test.” Sam pointed out.
“Please Xander, if we’re wrong than no harm.”
“And if you’re right?” He asked tightly, arms wrapped around his chest and Sam gripped his shoulder.
“Then you’ve got a family that wants you.” He answered too softly for his Dad or Dean to hear. He’d put the pieces together from what Xander had told him and how he acted. Xander frowned but slowly relaxed and then nodded. Sam went to get the doctor who took swabs from Xander, John and Sam to be sure.