Title: Calls Me Home
Summary: A journey through seven seasons of Supernatural through the eyes of two Winchesters and a Singer.
Characters: Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Ruby Singer, Bobby Singer, John Winchester, and a whole ton of others.
Disclaimer: Everything you see here belongs to Eric Kripke and Co. The title belongs to the song "Calls Me Home" by Shannon LaBrie.
Author's Note: I would just like to say that the timeline is so screwed up at some points. It's almost mind boggling. Also I skipped Bugs. I've also taken previous reviews to heart and here on out am trying to flesh this story out more instead of it reading out word for word like the episodes.
"Hello?" Sam looked at Ruby questioningly as he took the cell phone from her and spoke into it.
"Sam? i'm fine. You and your brother need to stop looking for me." John sighed.
"Dad? Where are you?" That got Dean's attention as he sat up in bed looking over at his brother.
"I can't tell you that, kiddo. Sorry. You just have to trust me on this."
"You're after the thing that killed Mom, aren't you?" Sam frowned.
"Yeah, I am. It's a demon, Sam."
"A demon? You know for sure?" His eyes widened a bit.
"I do. I'm sorry about your girlfriend, Sammy. That never should have happened. I would have done anything to protect you from that. Just stop looking for me, alright? Now, I need you to write down these names." John instructed him.
"Dad, what's going on? Talk to me."
"Look, we don't have time for this. It's bigger than you think. They're everywhere. Even this call isn't safe." Their father sighed.
"No. Alright? No way." Sam refused only for Dean to grab the phone.
Ruby rolled her eyes as Dean followed his father's orders faithfully like always. It was only after Dean hung up that Sam told them what John had said. At least they finally knew what it was that killed Mary and Jessica. Where they went from there was anyone's guess. The three of them began to get ready to go though she could feel the tension in the air between the brothers.
While Sam drove, they discussed the brief research that Dean and Ruby had done in the meantime. "So three different couples all went missing second week of April. One couple last year, then one the year before, and one the year before that. All from different towns in different states."
"Each couple took a cross country road trip and never arrived at their destination. None of them were ever heard from again." Dean added on to what Ruby had said.
"It's a big country. They could have disappeared anywhere though." Sam countered with a shrug of his shoulders.
Ruby shook her head from her spot in the backseat. "True except each couple's route took them through the same part of Indiana during the second week of April. Oh yeah and it's the second week of April currently."
"We're not going to Indiana." He announced looking annoyed as he pulled the Impala to the side of the road and shut it off.
"No. We're going to California. Dad called from a payphone with a Sacramento area code." Sam revealed with a determined tone of voice.
The blonde rubbed her temples watching as the brothers dissolved into their biggest fight yet. She knew better than to get involved so she stayed quiet for once and let them get all of their frustration out. To her surprise, Sam got out of the car and grabbed his bag from the trunk. She climbed out of the car watching Dean follow him unsure of what was going to happen next. It was the middle of the night, after all.
"Ruby, you coming?" The younger Winchester looked back at her.
Her blue eyes widened a bit as she was completely not expecting that. "I.. what? Sam, I'm sorry, but no. Like my dad said, hunting the thing that killed your mother and Jess is not my fight."
"Alright, I can respect that." He nodded and started to walk away.
She bit her lip frowning slightly. "Sam! Be careful. I will kick your butt if you get hurt."
Dean shut the trunk getting back in the car. She watched Sam walk a little further away before getting into the passenger's seat with a sigh. He gave his brother a few minutes to come back then he drove off toward Indiana. The drive was tense though not quiet as his usual classic rock music was playing. It was daylight by the time they reached the town of Burkittsville, Indiana, where the couples had disappeared from. Ruby reached over squeezing Dean's hand and they drove into town.
Burkittsville seemed like a very small country town with no obvious signs of any supernatural occurrences. As they drove into town, Dean and Ruby discussed the case more. They couldn't seem to agree on how to approach investigating it though he had to admit that the blonde had a good idea. If there was already a couple in town being targeted, getting the attention on them could give the other couple time to escape. That is if there was even another couple. They went over their backstories to make sure they matched and then they made their first stop. It was the Jorgeson General Store. They walked in holding hands and picked out some snacks for the road. There was an older couple that seemed to own the store. As they rang them up, they introduced themselves as Harley and Stacy. Dean took that opportunity to pull the Missing Person flyers for the last missing couple out.
"Have you seen these people? Holly and Vince Parker. They went missing about a year ago. We think they may have passed through here shortly before they disappeared." Dean explained showing them the flyers.
"Can't say I remember them. Friends of yours?" Harley asked looking up from the flyers at the couple in front of him.
Ruby rested her head against Dean's shoulder. "I'm Max, Holly's stepsister. This is my boyfriend Alec. We've already asked around Scottsburg and Salem. I know it's been a year, but I just had this crazy idea that maybe if we followed their route, we'd find something."
A young woman carrying boxes set them down on the counter. "Did the guy have a tattoo?"
"Yeah, he did." A fact Dean only knew because it was mentioned on the flyer.
She looked at the picture on Vince's flyer. "Hey, remember? They were just married."
"Oh you're right. They stopped for gas and weren't here more than ten minutes." Harley suddenly recalled.
The blonde hunter perked up a bit at that. "Did they mention where they were going next?"
"No, but I did tell them how to get back to the interstate then they left town." He nodded his head in recollection.
Dean paid for their snacks. "Could you point us in that same direction?"
It was only a few minutes later when they were back in the Impala and driving toward the interstate. As they passed by the town's orchard, a loud sound was heard from the backseat. Ruby reached back as Dean pulled over and took out his EMF meter which was going nuts. They looked at each other then over at the orchard. Quieting the meter, he locked the car and took Ruby's hand wandering into the field. It looked like a typical small town apple orchard. Not that they had been in many before. Dean stopped and there on a post was a creepy looking scarecrow. He let go of her hand and walked over looking at the thing. She watched as he grabbed the ladder from a nearby tree then positioned it by the scarecrow. He climbed the ladder getting eye to eye with it. Shaking his head, Dean noticed the symbol on the scarecrow's hand and then moved the clothes a bit revealing the design on its arm. It was a match to the tattoo Vince had. He climbed back down telling the blonde just that.
Ruby narrowed her eyes. "So that means either Harley is lying or he doesn't know. I'm leaning toward lying because in a town this small, it's hard to believe he wouldn't know the scarecrow had a matching tattoo to the guy he had helped."
"Back into town then. See if he'll cough up the truth." Dean took her hand walking back to the Impala.
She shook her head in disagreement. "I doubt he'll talk. Man, I wish Sam were here. He's good at getting people to talk. Just one flash of those puppy dog eyes and it's done."
"Yeah well he's not here so let's just get this over with."
Ruby sighed looking at him. "Dean..."
"I'm not talking about it, Ruby. Let's just go." He let go of her hand getting back into the car.
They drove back into the town and pulled up into the gas station spotting the young woman from earlier. Dean shut off the car getting out approaching her. Ruby watched curiously for a moment before following them.
She looked at them in surprise. "You're back."
"Yeah, we were about to head out onto the interstate and realized we ought to fill up before we go, Emily." Dean smiled noticing the name plate necklace the woman was wearing.
Emily smiled moving to fill up the tank. "That's pretty smart. The next closest gas station isn't too far though. Depending which direction you go."
Ruby nodded her head filing that bit of information away. "Thanks. Did you grow up around here?"
She glanced over at the blonde. "Nah, came here when I was thirteen. Lost my parents in a car accident. Uncle Harley and Aunt Stacy took me in."
"Seem like nice people." He nodded.
Her blue eyes took in their surroundings. "Yeah, this is like one of those small perfect towns that you'd see in like a Hallmark movie or something."
Emily laughed a bit at that. "I love it, but I mean, it's the boonies, you know? The people in the towns around us are losing their homes and their farms. Yet we're flourishing. It's like we're blessed or something."
"Yeah. So what's with the scarecrow in the orchard?"
She looked at Dean. "It creeps me out. It's just always been there. Don't know who it belongs to."
Ruby tilted her head gesturing in front of them toward a red van parked by the garage. "Mechanic's ride?"
Emily shook her head. "Customer. Couple actually. They noticed they had car troubles as they stopped for gas."
Dean and Ruby shared a concerned look.
The couple could have been anywhere. Scotty's Cafe seemed like a good place to start. At least that's what Ruby thought assuring herself that Dean didn't want to start there because of the sign advertising their apple pie. Oh who was she kidding? Of course he wanted a slice of pie. She followed him in taking a seat at a table and sure enough the couple were seated nearby. They seemed full though Scotty seemed to insist that they try some of the apple pie.
"Hey Scotty, two black coffees and two slices of that apple pie. Please and thanks." Dean called out.
He started making small talk with the couple which she could tell was starting to annoy them. "Baby, leave them be."
"But a brake line isn't a hard fix. I could have them out of here way before sun down." He argued.
Ruby gave him a look playing it up. "Alec, you're a mechanic back home. Not here. I'm sure this town has a perfectly capable mechanic."
Scotty brought them their coffees and slices of pie. Before Dean could say anything else, the Sheriff walked into the cafe. Scotty walked over to him and they talked quietly. Ruby and Dean ate acting like a regular couple. They finished just as the Sheriff stepped over to them.
"I'd like a word, please." He looked at Dean.
Ruby watched Dean leave some money on the table. "We didn't do anything wrong. He heard they were having car troubles and as a mechanic, he just offered his opinion."
It was sort of the truth though the Sheriff didn't seem to be buying what she was saying. They were forced back into the Impala and escorted to the interstate by the Sheriff. After sundown, they drove back into Burkittsville stopping the car when they saw the red van just sitting there outside of the orchard. They ran out of the car grabbing guns and went into the orchard. Meanwhile the couple from the cafe were running through the orchard back toward the clearing near the cars.
"Get back to your car." Dean called out running in front of them.
Ruby runs with the couple backing Dean up as he shot at the scarecrow. "Go! Go!"
The two hunters shot at the scarecrow as they all ran back toward the clearing. When they reach it, they were stunned to see that the scarecrow had disappeared. Dean and Ruby got the couple back to the cars. He fixed the van and got them on their way back toward the interstate. Dean drove away from the orchard and Ruby fell asleep in the passenger's seat soon after. It was the next day when they drove toward a local community college. With the annual cycle of the scarecrow's killings along with the fact that it always killed a man and a woman, Dean knew it was a Pagan god that they were dealing with though he needed more information so he made an appointment with a professor who knew about Pagan ideology.
"You know, if you're hinting that you need my help, all you have to do is ask." Sam chuckled softly over the phone as he relaxed in the bus station waiting for his bus to Sacramento.
"I'm not. Actually, Uh, I want you to know that I'm.. I mean.. don't think..." Dean stammered a bit over his words.
"Yeah, I'm sorry too."
Ruby couldn't help smiling at that. "We love you, Sam."
"Yeah, we do. You got to do your own thing. Live your own life. You stand up to Dad and always have. Hell, I wish I.. nevermind. I admire that about you. I'm proud of you, Sammy." Dean smiled.
"I.. wow. I don't really know what to say to that."
She giggled softly at that. "Just say you'll take care of yourself."
"I will. Take care of yourself too." Sam smiled softly.
"We will. Call me when you find Dad."
"Alright. Bye guys." Sam hung up and sighed.
Ruby hung up the phone and squeezed Dean's hand. "Hey, at least we know he's alright."
"Yeah, I know, but still." He shrugged driving toward the community college.
She nodded her head in understanding. "I get it. He's your little brother. You practically raised him yourself. It's hard to let go. That's okay."
Before they could speak on it any further, the college came into view. He parked the car and they went inside meeting up with the professor. They found out that the ancestors of the townspeople of Burkittsville were from Scandinavia which both hunters knew narrowed it down to being a Norse Pagan god. There were hundreds of them though Dean pointed out that they were looking for one that might live in an orchard. The professor led them into a classroom and grabbed a large book setting it down. He flipped through it in front of them then Dean stopped when he spotted a page with what looked like a scarecrow on it.
"The Vanir? Oh that's not a woods god, per se. They were the Norse gods of prosperity and protection. Kept the local villages safe from harm. Some villages practiced human sacrifice, one male and one female. Other villages built effigies of the Vanir in their fields." The professor explained to them.
"Kind of looks like a scarecrow." Dean pointed at the image.
Ruby studied the page for another moment. "So this particular Vanir's energy came from a sacred tree? What if the tree caught fire? Would that just destroy the Vanir?"
"Pagans believed all sorts of things were infused with magic. I suppose it could, but these are merely legends that we're talking about here." The professor laughed.
"Yeah, you're right. Of course. Thanks again for speaking with us." He shook the professor's hand and walked with Ruby toward the door.
The blonde walked behind him and whispered. "We're definitely burning that tree then."
As Dean opened the door to the classroom, the sheriff stood there and hit him in the head with the butt of his rifle. The professor hit Ruby in the head with the book at the same time. They both fell to the ground while the professor and the sheriff shared a knowing look.
"Wha..." Dean trailed off rubbing his head as he sat up unsure of where he was at the moment.
Ruby laid near him still out cold. He moved her head onto his lap gently ignoring the dull pain in his own head as he focused on her. She had a slight bump, but otherwise seemed alright. Light flooded in as the doors above him opened and he realized they were in a cellar. Her eyes fluttered open and she cringed a bit shutting them again as the light hit her eyes. Dean brushed her hair away from her face smiling slightly at her.
"Easy, sweetheart. You have to wake up now." He encouraged her softly.
The light was blocked as Emily was shoved down into the cellar with them. "Uncle Harley! Aunt Stacy! Please, no! Don't do this."
"It's for the common good." Stacy said though it was clear that she was conflicted about what she was doing.
The cellar doors were then shut leaving them in the dark and Ruby slowly opened her eyes again. "Sheriff hit you. That rat bastard."
"That's my girl." Dean chuckled softly making sure she was alright before filling Emily in on what was going on.
The young woman was in shock. "They're going to kill us?"
Ruby groaned rubbing her head. "Sacrifice which I guess is a classier way of saying it, but yeah. Ugh, there's a way to stop it though. The tree."
"Right, the tree. Burning it will destroy the scarecrow."
Emily looked confused. "What tree?"
"A really old one. The locals would treat it with a lot of respect like it was sacred or something." He explained.
She thought about it for a moment. "The First Tree. That's what they call it. The immigrants brought it over. It's an apple tree. It's in the orchard, but I'm not sure where."
Ruby slowly sat up and leaned against Dean. The three of them weren't sure how much time had passed when the cellar doors swung open again. The town elders grabbed them tying them so they couldn't run away. They were taken to the orchard where the three of them were tied with rope to trees adjacent to the scarecrow's post. Ruby was quiet while Emily pleaded with her family and Dean bickered with the Sheriff. The elders walked away when they were done much to her annoyance.
"I hope your apple pie is freakin' worth it!" Dean yelled out causing Ruby to snicker slightly.
The blonde wiggled a bit trying to loosen the rope. "So what's the plan?"
"I'm working on it." He worked on untying his ropes.
It was hours later when Emily spoke up again. "You don't have a plan do you?"
"I'm still working on it. Is he moving yet? Can you see?" It was clear to Ruby, at least, that he sounded a bit panicked.
Before either woman could answer, a tall shadow loomed over them and they gasped simultaneously. "Oh my god."
"Dean?" Sam came into view looking at them in concern.
"Sam!" He sounded overjoyed. "I'm so happy to see you. I take back everything I said. How'd you get here?"
"I..uh.. stole a car." The younger Winchester started to untie Dean.
"That's my boy! Keep an eye on that fugly scarecrow. He could come alive at any time."
"What scarecrow?" He sounded confused as he finished untying Dean.
They looked toward the post only to see that it was empty. The brothers shared a look of concern before rushing to untie the women. Once they were untied, they helped them up and then the four of them started to head toward the clearing. Unfortunately, the town elders were standing there blocking their way. They turned to go in another direction and were blocked by some townspeople.
Emily looked at her aunt and uncle pleading with them. "Please. Just let us go."
"It'll all be over quickly, I promise." Harley assured his niece.
A sickle pushes through Harley's stomach from behind. Emily and Stacy screamed seeing the scarecrow standing behind him. Before anyone could do anything, the scarecrow grabbed Stacy killing her as well. The rest of the townspeople run away in fright. The scarecrow drags the bodies of Harley and Stacy away while Emily ran into Dean's arms clearly upset. Ruby made a face at the sight and then looked around stoically. Dean gestured to her and Sam to go. The four of them started running only to stop when they heard a noise. Looking around, the scarecrow and the bodies were gone. They looked around for a bit before leaving for the night.
They located the sacred tree the next morning. It was marked with the same design as Vince's tattoo. Sam and Ruby poured gasoline on it. Dean grabbed a long branch lighting it on fire.
It was Emily that stepped forward taking the branch from him. "Let me."
"You know, the whole town's going to die." He warned her.
She looked at the tree and threw the burning branch onto it. "Good."
The four of them watched the tree go up in flames. They made sure it was completely destroyed before leaving the town of Burkittsville. Their next stop was the bus station where Emily boarded a bus heading to Boston. She smiled at Dean who waved and she waved back at him. Ruby rolled her eyes at that and got back into a car. A gesture that didn't go unnoticed by Sam. The brothers got back into the car and they got back on the road.
"Hey Sammy, you could probably still catch a bus to Sacramento." Dean suggested starting the car.
"Nah, I'm good. Thanks anyway." He smiled relaxing a bit.
Ruby raised her eyebrows at him as his brother began driving away from the bus station. "What made you change your mind?"
"I didn't completely change my mind. I still want to find dad so we can get the demon that killed Mom and Jess. It's just... they're gone, you know? We don't know where Dad is right now. Dean and I are all that's left. Well, and now you too, Rubes. So if we're going to do this, we're going to do this together." Sam shrugged.
"Hold me, Sam. That was beautiful." Dean playfully teased his brother.
Ruby shoved his shoulder. "Leave him alone. Welcome back, Sam."
After a bit more banter, it was decided that they would drive back to the Singer home in South Dakota. Ruby was ecstatic to be going back home for a bit. It was about a thirteen hour ride to get from Indiana to Sioux Falls so they stopped at a motel halfway there. Dean went on a food run while Sam and Ruby took turns taking a shower. They were both changed for bed and seeing that his brother wouldn't be back for a little bit, Sam realized it was the perfect time to talk to Ruby.
"You like him, don't you?"
She looked up from the aspirin bottle that she had been reading. "Like who?"
"Don't play dumb with me, Rubes. You like Dean." He chuckled sitting down on his bed.
The blonde froze unsure of what to say. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Oh please. I saw your reaction to the way he interacted with Emily earlier. You like my brother. It's okay to like him, you know." Sam chuckled.
Ruby sighed blushing slightly. "You know how we are, but.. alright, something happened. Remember that case with that demon on the plane? While you were doing the second part of the exorcism, the turbulence had caused Dean to be like pinned against the wall in the back. Well it kind of threw me toward him and he caught me. We... um.. kissed."
"I knew there was something different with you guys."
She shook her head then winced slightly. "Remember the next time we were at my dad's? Well Dean brought the kiss up while we were doing the dishes. He said he enjoyed it, but that he couldn't afford any distractions. We agreed and that was that. Until not too long ago when he kissed me to shut me up. I almost punched him afterward."
"My brother is an idiot. I can talk to him if you want." He sighed running his fingers through her shaggy brown hair.
Ruby smiled giving him a hug. "Thanks, but it's okay. I'll get over it. He's right. Last thing we need is to be distracted."
He returned the hug and then pulled away just as his brother walked in with the food. Dean gave them their food and Ruby ate before taking some aspirin. Neither she nor Dean seemed to be showing any signs of concussion. Despite that, Sam was still keeping an eye on them anyway. They went to bed a little while later and the next day Sam drove them the rest of the way to Sioux Falls. When the Impala pulled up to the Singer Salvage Yard, Ruby got out and ran straight into her father's arms. Bobby sighed in relief hugging his daughter tightly. They had called ahead and much to her chagrin, he was well aware of her close call back in Burkittsville.
Bobby pulled back clearly checking his little girl over for any obvious injuries. "Let me take a look at you."
Ruby sighed smiling slightly at him. "Daddy, I'm fine. Really."
He relented leading them inside the house and shook his head. "I can see that. I'm glad. You're staying put. No ifs, ands, or buts about it."
Her blue eyes widened at that. "Dad, I'm a grown woman. You can't ground me."
Bobby chuckled softly at her. "I'm not grounding you, sweetheart. You've had too many close calls recently. I just want you to stay home for a little bit. That's all."
"Your dad has a point. You could use a little break. Don't worry about us. We could do with some brotherly bonding time."
Ruby eyed the brothers warily. "That's what I'm afraid of."
"Hey, no, we're good now. No more being at each other's throats. I promise. We'll call you, alright? So you know how we're doing." Dean was quick to assure her.
She thought about it for a moment and then smiled softly. "Alright fine. I guess I could stay home for a bit. Just for a little while and then I'll join you guys out there again. I mean, if you want me to."
"Of course I want you. I mean, we want you to." Dean quickly said and then rubbed at the back of his neck.
Sam shot her a knowing look which she rolled her eyes playfully at before responding. "Alright then it's settled. I'm going to go get settled in my room."
Bobby shook his head gesturing toward Dean as he walked away from him. "I didn't hear that."