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: This chapter marks the beginning of Season two. Pretty excited to get started.
Chapter Twenty Two
Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion around her as she entered the hospital. Her father didn't know the extent of the Winchesters' conditions so they could only hope for the best. The sight of Sam walking toward her only a little scraped up made the blonde sigh in relief. He opened his arms to her and she hugged the younger Winchester brother being careful as to not hurt him. He returned the hug whispering assurances to her that he was okay. She pulled back after a few moments and he swallowed hard knowing exactly what she was going to ask next.
"Dad's alright. Arm's in a sling and they patched up the gunshot wound in his leg. Dean... he's hanging in there. They have him over in the ICU." Sam sighed gazing down at her.
Ruby frowned looking even more concerned. "The ICU? What's wrong with him, Sam?"
"He's really banged up. Blood loss, contusions to his kidney and liver, but they are mostly worried about the head trauma. Doctor said he's showing early signs of cerebral edema." He swallowed hard again trying not to cry. "He's going to be okay. I mean, he's Dean. He has to be."
Her features softened at his words. "Of course he will. He's too stubborn not to."
Sam nodded his head in agreement walking with Ruby further into the hospital. She stopped at reception getting a visitor's pass then they made their way to Dean's room. She paused in the doorway gasping softly at the sight of him laying intubated and motionless in the hospital bed. It simply broke her heart. Unbeknownst to them, Dean stood in the room barefoot in blue pajama pants and a white v neck tee. She walked over pressing a gentle kiss to his head.
"Ruby? Sam?" Dean called out to them though neither reacted to his voice.
The blonde grasped his hand holding it. "Hey it's me, Ruby. You're safe. Sam's safe. Your dad's safe. My dad and I are safe. So you just focus on getting better, alright? Come back to me, Dean. Come back to us."
"I'm trying, I'm trying." He sighed then moved out of the room when he noticed movement in the hall.
A young pretty brunette in a similar outfit to Dean's was roaming the halls trying to get anyone to listen to her. "Hello?"
"Hey. Can you hear me?" Dean approached her with a hopeful look.
The woman turned around to look at him sighing in relief. "Yes, I can. I've been trying to get someone's attention for over an hour now. I'm Tessa."
"Dean. Yeah, I don't think anyone can see or hear us."
Tessa frowned shaking her head. "I just don't get it. The procedure was supposed to be routine. Take my appendix out. Then I woke up and my body was just there. Am I dead?"
"No, no, we're not dead. It's just a weird out of body experience or something. We're figure it out." Dean assured her and glanced around.
While a nurse had checked on the unconscious Dean's vitals, Ruby had reluctantly joined Sam in visiting John's room. She was relieved for the boys sake to see that he was relatively alright. The blonde was silent letting the father and son talk about the mundane things like health insurance. Then John brought up the Colt and it took all that she had in her not to deck him in the face with her fist.
"I want to help Dean just as much as you do, but we all know that Colt is the only shot we got at stopping this demon for good." John explained to them.
Ruby glared at him scoffing. "Yeah and look at you guys. None of you are even in any condition to be going after the demon right now."
"I never said anything about going after it right now. Just want to keep the gun safe while we figure out a way to save Dean."
She sighed folding her arms across her chest. "The Impala is in a scrapyard nearby. Dad's on his way over to pick it up and tow it back to ours."
"Good. Thank you. Sammy, here's a list of things I need you to get. Go meet up with Bobby and see if he'll help." He handed his son a scrap of paper with a list on it.
"What is all this stuff for?" Sam asked studying the list.
She rolled her eyes not believing a word he said, but she knew that she would do anything to protect the boys right now. Ruby and Sam left the hospital a few moments later to meet up with her dad at the local scrapyard. Bobby hugged them both when he saw them and checked Sam over before nodding his head. It was then that Ruby saw the remains of the mangled Impala and gasped tearing up.
Bobby sighed draping his arm around his daughter's shoulders. "It's junk, son. We could probably salvage a few parts, but there's just no fixing it."
"No. It can be fixed. When Dean's ready, he'll fix it. Even if there's just one working part, it can be fixed." Sam disagreed sounding determined.
They both realized he was moreso referring to Dean than the Impala and Bobby sighed again. "Alright, I'll take it home and find a spot in the yard for it."
"Thank you." Sam grabbed the Colt from the car tucking it into the back of his jeans. "Uh, Dad wrote up this list. Said we needed these things for protection. If it's not too much trouble, think you can help me find this stuff?"
The older man took the list looking it over. "Yeah sure, but uh, are you sure this is right?"
Bobby looked from the list to Sam. "Because these aren't for protection. They're ingredients to summon a demon."
Her blue eyes narrowed at that. "Son of a bitch. I'm going to kill him."
Bobby hooked the Impala up to the tow truck carefully then helped them track down the ingredients from the list that John had given Sam. Promising to keep her dad updated, Ruby returned to the hospital with Sam. They stopped into Dean's room first to check on him. While they looked at him, Dean's spirit..soul.. whatever he was.. continued to walk around the hospital. As he passed a room, monitors went off and he peered in curiously only to see a greyish black apparition hovering over the body of a sick little girl in a hospital bed. Dean lunged forward trying to knock the thing away from her. It vanished and moments later the doctor declared her time of death. Dean's jaw tensed and he walked away. He was back in his room only to find Ruby standing by his bed.
She pressed a kiss to his cheek and smiled weakly at him. "I should probably go make sure your brother and John don't kill each other. You just rest, okay? I..I love you, Dean."
"I love you too." It was words that he never really said to anyone yet just then for some reason they came easy to him.
He followed her to his father's room walking in just in time to see Sam and John arguing. Ruby tried her best to intervene in order to calm things down. Dean, however, only grew more upset. He tried repeatedly to get their attention to get them to stop. Out of anger, he smacked the cup of water off of the bedside table catching all of their attention. Sam and Ruby shared a look then made a beeline to Dean's room. Dean was suddenly pulled back there only to watch as his body went into cardiac arrest. The same greyish black apparition was hovering over his body. Annoyed, he walked over and punched it making the thing vanish. Sam stood in the doorway holding Ruby as she pleaded with Dean to be okay. It was only seconds later that he stabilized and they sighed in relief.
"A Ouija board? Really Sammy?" Dean said later on even though he knew he couldn't hear him when Sam returned to his room later on pulling the board out of a paper bag.
"I know you'd probably laugh at me, but if the water cup thing in Dad's room really was you then this might be our best way to communicate for right now." Sam chuckled softly as he sat down on the floor with the Ouija board.
"Well it's better than nothing." Dean sat down on the other side of the board.
The planchette sat still beneath the brothers' fingertips.
"Yeah, it's me, Sammy." He slid the planchette to the word yes.
"Oh thank god. It's not the same without you, man." Sam chuckled sighing in relief.
"Damn straight." Dean said then moved it over the letters H, U, N, and T.
"Hunt? Hunting? Is something after you? Are you hunting?"
He slid the pointer back to the word Yes.
"It's in the hospital? Do you know what it is?" Sam began to fire off multiple questions.
"One question at a time, dude." Dean moved it toward the letters R, E, A, and P as he started to spell out reaper.
"A reaper? Is it after you?" He watched it point to yes again and frowned. "If it's here naturally, there's no way to stop it."
"Yeah, I'm screwed, Sam."
"No, no, there's got to be a way." Sam stood up putting the ouija board away. "Dad'll know what to do."
On her way back to Dean's room after updating her dad on Dean's condition, Ruby caught sight of John Winchester walking through the halls. She followed curiously ensuring that she ducked out of sight any time he glanced back. He opened a door slipping inside. The blonde waited a few moments before following him. She remained out of sight close to the door watching as he drew a symbol on the ground with chalk then placed several candles around it along with a black bowl. John pulled out a knife slicing his palm drawing blood which he then dripped into the bowl. He lit a match dropping it into the bowl making the sand within the bowl go up in flames for a moment before going out. He stood up looking around then a man grabbed his shoulder. The man was dressed as a janitor and two men in lab coats joined him. She caught sight of the man's yellow eyes and a flash of anger coursed through her. Ruby slipped back out the door silently too disgusted to stick around. Dean found himself lingering by the door of the little girl's now former room.
Tessa glanced in and sighed. "At least she's not suffering anymore."
"Yeah." He said and they continued walking only to stop when they reached Tessa's room.
She frowned peering into the room seeing herself laying in a bed hooked up to tubes and machines. "This can't be really. I just don't get it. I have to be having a really vivid dream or something."
"Tessa, it's not a dream. Like I said earlier, I think it might be an out of body experience. It's a very old idea. It goes by different names too. Bilocation, crisis apparition, fetches... well I think it's happening to us. If it is, that means we're spirits close to death." Dean tried his best to explain.
Tessa looked at him in disbelief. "We're going to die?"
"No, not if we hold on. Our bodies can heal then we can snap right back in there and wake up. We just have to fight."
Not finding John in his room, Sam grabbed his journal and walked back to Dean's room only to run into Ruby. She tagged along letting him fill her in on his ouija experience with Dean. It made her feel better knowing that Dean was still around and fighting. They walked into his room just as Dean returned there. She sat down by the bed while Sam stood flipping through the journal.
"Thanks for not giving up on me, Sammy." Dean stood behind him looking at the journal as well.
"Oh hey I found it. Reapers." Sam pointed out catching Ruby's attention.
"Son of a bitch." Dean's eyes grew wide as he read the page.
He turned and stormed out of the room. Tessa was sitting on the edge of the bed in an empty room dressed all in black now. Dean walked in and glared at her. She waved smiling slightly at him.
"You know, you read the most interesting things. For example, did you know that reapers can alter human perception? I sure didn't. Basically they can make themselves appear however they want. Like, say, uh, a pretty girl. You are much prettier than the last reaper I met." Dean pointed out to her.
The reaper smirked softly at him. "I was wondering when you were going to figure it out."
"I should have known. Why would you be the only other one in the hospital that could interact with me? The body all hooked up and the mother holding your hand? Still trying to figure that one out."
Tessa tilted her head slightly at him. "It's my sandbox. I can make you see whatever I want."
"What, are you getting your kicks toying with me? Why are you doing this?" He scoffed at her.
She rolled her eyes at him. "Didn't give me much of a choice. You saw my true form and flipped out. Kind of hurts a girl's feelings. This was the only way I could get you to talk to me."
"Okay, fine. We're talking. What the hell do you want?" Dean looked at her.
Tessa touched his cheek gently. "How death is nothing to fear. It's your time to go, Dean. You're living on borrowed time already."
"Dean? I can't find anything in the book. I.. I don't know how to help you. I'll keep trying, alright? Bobby is researching as we speak. You.. you just have to keep fighting. I mean, you can't leave me here alone with Dad. We'll kill each other. You know that." Sam sniffled a bit. "You gotta hold on, Dean. You can't go. Not now. We were just starting to be brothers again."
Ruby hugged Sam from behind resting her head against his shoulder. "He's going to be fine. He just has to be."
She was tormented with guilt over not telling him what she saw John doing. Selfishly she couldn't risk Sam going off in search of John only to get hurt or worse. it wasn't what Dean would want. That much she was sure of, at least. So she stayed quiet about it instead focusing on trying her best to comfort Sam. She reached down grasping Dean's hand as well.
"My family needs me. We've already lost too much because of this damn demon. They're not losing me too." Dean shook his head.
Tessa sighed staring over at him. "Stage three. Bargaining. The fight's over, Dean. You're not the first soldier I've plucked from the battlefield."
"My brother could die. Ruby... no, I'm staying and that's that."
She shook her head at him. "Maybe he will. Maybe he won't. It's an honorable death. A warrior's death. Hey, like you said though, there's always a choice. Stay if you want. You're not getting back in your body though. You'll just be floating around disembodied, scared, and you'll probably go mad over the years. Maybe even violent."
"What do you mean?" Dean looked at her curiously.
Tessa rolled her eyes. "Think about it, Dean. How the hell do you think angry spirits are born? They can't let go and they can't move on. Exactly like you're doing now. You're about to become that which you hunt."
Back downstairs, the demon smirked at John. "Oh you know the truth, right, about Sammy and the other children?"
"Yeah. I've known for a while." John admitted lowering his head.
He chuckled at that. "Sam doesn't though and you've been playing dumb."
"Look, can you bring Dean back or no?"
The yellow eyed demon sighed. "I can't, no, but I know someone who can."
"Good. Before I give you the gun, I need to see with my own eyes that Dean is okay." John narrowed his eyes at the demon.
He chuckled slightly. "Oh John, don't you trust me? Alright, fine."
"So we have a deal?"
The demon smirked again. "No, John, not yet. You still need to sweeten the pot. There's something else I want as much as that gun. Maybe more."
Tessa stood behind Dean in the empty room stroking his hair both oblivious to the deal the two men were making. "It's time to go, Dean. It's time to put the pain behind you."
"And go where?" He raised his eyebrow asking softly.
She cracked a smile at that. "Sorry, can't ruin the big punchline. It's the moment of truth. Once you decide, that's it. So what's it going to be, Winchester?"
The lights began to flicker and they looked around as a familiar buzzing was heard.
"What are you doing that for?"
Tessa frowned. "I'm not doing that."
"What the hell?" His green eyes widened as demon smoke poured out of a nearby vent.
Her eyes widened as well. "You can't do this! Get away!"
Tessa screamed as she got possessed by the demon which turned her eyes yellow. "Today's your lucky day, kid."
The demon in Tessa placed her hand on Dean's forehead making him convulse. in his room, Sam and Ruby were sitting vigil by his bedside. Ruby still holding his hand. Suddenly his grip on her hand tightened and he awoke with a gasp choking on his breathing tube. Sam's eyes widened and he called out Dean's name before running to the door for some help. He then pulled Ruby back as the room became full of activity with the doctors and nurses checking on Dean.
"I honestly can't explain it. The edema's vanished. Your internal contusions are healed. Your vitals are good. It's like you've got some kind of angel watching over you." The doctor explained to Dean, Sam, and Ruby.
"Yeah, I guess I do. Thanks, Doc." He shot a glance at Ruby and smiled waiting until the doctor was gone before speaking again. "A reaper was after me?"
"Yeah. That's what you told us anyway." Sam nodded his head.
"Well how'd I ditch it?"
Ruby sighed. "We don't know. Your guess is as good as ours. You're back and you're healthy. That's all that matters, right?"
"Yeah. You got me, Dean. You really don't remember anything?" Sam looked at him.
"Not at all. Can't shake this pit in my stomach that something is wrong though." Dean frowned.
The blonde bit her lip as a knock at the door caught their attention and they saw that it was John. "Just don't scare us like that again, alright Dean?"
"How are you feeling?" John nodded at his eldest son who was laying in his hospital bed.
"Alright, I guess. I'm alive. Doc gave me a clean bill of health." Dean shrugged his shoulders.
"That's all that matters then." John smiled.
"Where were you last night?!" Sam exploded at their father.
"I had some things to take care of."
"Well that's specific. Did you go after the Demon?" Sam scoffed at him.
"No." Their father answered honestly.
Ruby reached out grasping Sam's arm. "Hey.."
"You know, why don't I believe you right now?"
"Can we, you know, not fight? Half the time we're fighting and I don't even know what the hell we're fighting about. We're just butting heads. Sammy, I've made some mistakes. I own up to that. I've done the best I could though. I just don't want to fight anymore, okay?" John pleaded with his youngest son.
"Dad, are you..are you alright?" Sam furrowed his eyebrows at him.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Just a little tired. Would you mind going to get me a cup of caffeine?"
Sam nodded his head leaving with a frown missing the sad look from his father then Ruby spoke up. "I'll just... go let Dad know that you're alright."
"Ruby, you don't have to go."
The blonde smiled softly at him. "I'm not going anywhere. I'll be right back. I promise."
"Alright." He gave her a kiss then watched her leave before looking at his dad. "What's wrong?"
"When you were a kid, I'd come back from a hunt absolutely wrecked from what I'd seen and you'd put your little hand on my shoulder telling me it was okay. Dean, I'm sorry." John frowned.
"What?" He looked at his father confused.
"I should have been the one that said that to you. I put way too much on your shoulders. I made you grow up way too fast. You.. you took care of Sammy and I. You did that and you didn't complain once. I just want you to know that I am so proud of you."
"Is this really you talking?" Dean looked at his father skeptically.
"Yeah it's really me." John chuckled slightly placing his hand on Dean's shoulder. "I want you to look out for Sammy."
"I always do. Dad, you're scaring me."
"Don't be scared, Dean." John leaned in whispering something to Dean then pulled away leaving his son in shock.
Ruby was already walking back to the room when she saw John walking down the hall. "John, wait!"
She bit her lip feeling nervous all of a sudden. "Look, I know what you did. I still hate you for what you put those boys through growing up. Especially Dean. I just.. I love him and I don't know what I would have done if he hadn't woken up. So thank you, John."
"No need to thank me. Just doing what a father should do. I know I never really approved of you and Dean. It was only because you remind me so damn much of Mary. Take care of my boys, Ruby." John nodded at her with a smile before walking away.
The blonde watched him for a moment then returned to Dean's room. "Hey. Dad got back home safely with the Impala. He's working on getting all the spare parts and stuff that you'll need to fix it back up."
"Thanks." He smiled softly at her though he still looked to be in shock.
Ruby ran her fingers through his hair pressing a gentle kiss to his head. "You alright?"
"Yeah. Just something that dad said to me." Dean responded vaguely to her.
She nodded her head choosing not to press him on what John had said. While they continued talking, Sam was heading down the hall with a cup of coffee in his hand. It fell to the ground as he saw his father sprawled out motionless in his room. He called out to him and then yelled for help. Hearing the commotion, Ruby helped Dean up and they joined Sam near the doorway of John's room. Doctors and nurses surrounded John's body trying to help him. A pang of guilt struck Ruby as she listened to Sam and Dean plead for their dad to be okay. It was only a few moments later that the activity in the room stopped.
"I'm calling it. Time of Death: 10:41 AM." One of the doctors spoke leaving the Winchester brothers in shock.
It was early evening when Dean was released from the hospital and John's body was released to his sons. Ruby had contacted her father breaking the news to him about John's death. Bobby stepped up taking care of the arrangements to give the man a proper hunter's funeral. It was only when Sam and Dean were gathering John's stuff from the hospital room that they realized the Colt was missing. They shared a look and frowned shaking their heads. That night John's body laid burning on the funeral pyre while his sons, Ruby, and Bobby watched paying their respects. Sam trembled a bit while tears fell from his eyes. Ruby grasped his arm resting her head against his shoulder. Her other hand squeezing Dean's hand lightly.
The guilt was eating away at her, but she was doing her best to comfort the Winchesters in their time of need. Bobby had already invited the boys to stay at their home for as long as was needed and was offering Dean as much help as he could with restoring the Impala. All Ruby could focus on was making sure the boys were alright despite the circumstances.