Banner By: Mara
Pairing: Dean/Jo Sam/Ruby Ellen/Bobby
Spoilers: Season 1-5, though this story goes AU after “No Exit”
Disclaimer: I own nothing; Kripke is the keeper of all…although if I were him I would have taken better care of Jo and Ellen.
Warning: Character Death. If you haven’t read ‘Regrets’ this won’t make any sense…
Summary: This is the sequel to Regrets Azazel is back and after the Winchesters yet again, but was he ever really gone? Jo is on the run, Dean is on the road William and Castiel along for the ride, Sam has disappeared with Ruby and Ellen and Bobby just discovered a book that will uncover a truth held in secret for centuries that could get them all killed. Who is Azazel really? And what does he want? Sacrifices will have to be made, and ties cut as Dean rushes against time to save his son and Jo before history repeats itself.
5 MONTHS AGO…
Dean moved into the hallway, walked toward William’s room, and opened the door. He was still sleeping. It was then that Dean realized the note that was crumpled tightly in his hand. He loosened his fist, smoothed out the paper, and read it over again.
I know you’re probably pretty pissed right now…I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about William…I was going to…as soon as things were safe. I know, things in our line of work are never safe, but Dean, you have a list of enemies and I was scared. I didn’t want anything to happen to William. I made sure to tell him about you though. He knows who you are and why you haven’t been around. I made sure that he knows what a great man you are. Listen, I know this is an odd thing to do in a letter, but I need a favor. I need you to go to the last entry in my journal. I knew you would come…I left it there for you. I need your help Dean. I needed to meet you where it all started so we could finally end this once and for all…He’s back Dean…and he’s after our son…
Dean crumpled the note back up and grabbed Jo’s journal. He started sifting through it until he got to the last page. The breath was knocked out of him at the words he read…No…that can’t be right…He read it over again.
September 20, 2012
I had the dream again tonight. I woke up covered in sweat. It couldn’t be true…things didn’t make sense. I have so many questions, but there’s one thing I’m sure of. My son is in danger and I need to leave. He’s tracking me by my dreams…and if he finds me here, he’ll find William too. I’ve been putting it off for five years, but it’s finally time to tell Dean everything. The Apocalypse is over…and from what I heard, averted pretty easily, which is also something that doesn’t make sense. Coming clean with Dean won’t be easy…he’ll probably be mad, but I did what I did to protect our son…and if it’s anything he’ll understand its protecting family. Hopefully he’ll be able to fills in the holes that my nightmares come with. Something big is brewing…war big…and I’m pretty sure that somehow we’re all smack dead in the middle of it, but that’s not even the scariest part…no matter what changes or is added to every new nightmare, one thing always stays the same…Sam…Sam hand outstretched power surging through his body while he looks on at William and I with eyes as black as the night…and that’s how everything is destroyed…in flames. It’s the one thing I can’t seem to shake…I don’t know why I’m dreaming this and I don’t know what it means…but I do know one thing…nothing in this world or the next is gonna kill my son…I won’t let it…
Dean clenched his jaw, looked up from the journal, and started to head out of the room when he came to a stop, turned around and glanced at William. How could he just leave him…He just found out he had a son…he couldn’t just take off. He promised William that he would stick around…It was then a thought hit me…he grinned…Don’t worry Jo…we’re coming…
“The whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azazel: to him ascribe all sin.”— 1 Enoch 10:8
On The Road Again…
A loud crunch filled the car as William popped another chip into his mouth while bobbing his head to ACDC. Castiel watched the youngest Winchester from the back seat and frowned slightly. He cleared his throat and spoke over the music.
“William, one must not simultaneously eat and nod their head in quick succession. You might block your airways, which would cause suffocation followed by death.”
William stopped right as his hand was nearing his mouth with another chip. He glanced over at Dean who was looking at Castiel through the review mirror with a bemused look on his face.
Confusion settled on William’s face as Dean looked away from Castiel and at him.
“What Cas means is be careful not to choke on the chips…and toss some this way.”
William held the bag out to Dean who grabbed a handful, before turning slightly in his seat and holding the bag out to Castiel.
“No thank you William. Potato chips are not a proper meal.”
He shrugged and turned back in his seat. He ate a couple more chips before closing the bag.
“When’s Uncle Sam coming back?”
Dean’s knuckles turned white as his hands gripped the wheel tightly. Castiel watched Dean’s response to the inquiry of his brother and his brows furrowed in concern. Since Sam had gone his own way Dean had been even tenser then when they started the search for Joanna. He was unsure what the demon Ruby was doing with Sam, but whatever it was, Castiel knew it couldn’t be good.
Dean’s voice was tense as he looked straight ahead. “After we find your mother.”
“How much longer is that gonna be?”
Dean glanced at William out of the corner of his eye and sighed. “Hopefully not too much longer. A friend of Grandpa’s said she saw your mom in Kansas a day or two ago.”
William nodded and sat back in his seat quietly. Dean swallowed hard and pressed down on the pedal harder. He was worried…it had been a little over five months since Jo’s funeral. The night Sam had his vision that Jo was alive, was the same night Dean had decided to take William on the road.
It had taken a lot of yelling to convince Ellen to let William come, but in the end, Dean had wound up putting his foot down. He’d missed five years of his son’s life…he wouldn’t miss another second. At first it had been decided that they’d all go on the road together…Him, Sammy, Cas, and William.
That was until Ruby clawed her way out of hell. A little over two months ago Sam disappeared with that Demon bitch and Dean still wasn’t a hundred percent sure what went wrong. After she came back Sam was different, talking about how it was weird that Jo just took off, and how his visions just miraculously started up again.
The last time Dean had seen Sam their fight had been one of epic proportions. Not physical, but close to it. Had William not been present at the time Dean had no doubt that he and Sam would have ended up trading blows.
He didn’t know what was going on with Sam, but he did know one thing for sure…he needed to find Jo before his brother did. Dean got over into the right hand lane and turned off the highway towards a diner when REO Speedwagon wafted through the speakers.
William grinned, and as Dean reached out to switch the station he spoke up. “Stop…that’s mom’s favorite song…leave it.”
Dean made a face. “REO Speedwagon? Really?”
William crossed his arms over his chest and nodded with a defiant look on his face. “Damn right, REO, Kevin Cronin sings it from the heart.”
Dean’s jaw ticked as he attempted to hold in the smile that was threatening to form on his face. Well, William was definitely Jo’s kid no if’s, ands, or buts about it. He couldn’t believe she taught him that…she probably did it to just to spite him. Dean grunted as he parked the car in the diner’s parking lot before facing William.
“He sings it from the hair, there's a difference. Alright, everybody out. It’s time to feed the human engines.”
The three of them piled out of the car and walked into the diner. Dean slid into a small booth in the back, Castiel sat on a chair and William sat between the two adults. It didn’t take long for their waitress to make her way over to the table.
Dean’s eyes traveled up a shapely pair of legs, over a petite frame, past a nice set of knockers, to blue eyes. He grinned. Stephanie, the waitress smiled back. “Hey there, welcome to Josie’s Diner, what can I getcha boys?”
“Well, Stephanie is it?”
“I’ll have a bacon cheeseburger, well done, fries, and a coke.” Dean motioned to William before continuing.
“He’ll have…” William cut him off as he leaned his elbows on the table and smiled at Stephanie. “I’ll have the same and a milkshake…chocolate.”
“Sure thing sweetie.” She turned her head to Castiel and he cleared his throat.
“I will have a chicken salad with water.” Stephanie wrote down their orders and gave Dean one more smile before walking away. Both Dean and William’s heads followed Stephanie until she was no longer in view. Castiel shook his head.
“That is not a good example to set for a child. One must not leer at women.” Dean turned towards Castiel and rolled his eyes.
“Come on Cas…have a little fun…stop being such a tight ass. What’s on today’s forecast?”
“I’m not getting anything new.”
Dean frowned. “Things have been quiet…”
Castiel nodded. “They have.”
“I don’t like that.”
William laughed. “You made a joke Cas!”
“I make jokes all the time.”
Dean snorted as the waitress brought over their drinks. William had just taken a sip from his milkshake when Dean’s cell phone rang. The tune to ‘Highway to Hell’ played for about a minute before the phone went silent. Castiel raised an eyebrow and Dean shrugged as he took a sip f his soda.
“It’s Ellen…she’s only gonna ask me if I’ve found Jo yet, which she obviously knows the answer to because if I had found Jo I would have made her call Ellen.”
William grinned and was about to open his mouth when Castiel's cell phone rang. He lifted it out of his pocket and flipped it open as Dean shook his head. “Cas no…”
“Hello.” Dean slapped his hand against his head and William chuckled.
“Ha you’re gonna have to talk to grandma!” Dean glanced at his son’s amused face before returning his smirk. “If I do then so do you.”
William scrunched up his nose and stood up from his seat. “I gotta pee.”
He took off in the direction of the bathroom, but Dean caught his arm.
“Wait for Cas…”
William sighed as they glanced at Castiel’s flustered face. “Yes of course Ellen, I am sorry William needs to use the bathroom. Please hold on for a moment and I will give the phone to Dean. Yes he’s here now…”
Castiel jerked his arm forward and Dean took the phone and watched as Castiel and William made their way to the back of the restaurant. “Hey Ellen…”
“I got a mind to hurt you boy…why haven’t you answered any of my calls?”
He winced. “Sorry Ellen…my phone was on vibrate.”
She snorted. Her voice held a tone of concern when she spoke.
“How far are you from Kansas?”
“Four, maybe five hours…why what’s going on?”
She hesitated and Dean frowned. “Ellen…what’s going on?”
“Bobby’s friend called…asked if you guys found Jo okay.”
A look of confusion crossed his face as he played with the straw in his drink.
“Well that don’t make any sense I haven’t…” His voice trailed off as his body tensed. Dean clenched his jaw as he spoke
Ellen swallowed hard. “Missouri called…said Sam came to see her with his girlfriend…”
Dean’s grip on the phone tightened. “What else did she say?”
“She said to call her.” Dean swallowed hard.
“Thanks Ellen…I’ll call her now.”
“Dean…you don’t think…I mean…Sam wouldn’t hurt Jo…would he?”
Dean rubbed a hand over his face. “I’m gonna be real honest with you Ellen…right now I don’t know what’s going through his head…but a part of me hopes she already left Kansas…let me call Missouri…as soon as I know what’s goin on you’ll hear from me.”
“Be careful…all of you. Take care of my grandson.”
“Will do…talk to you later.”
Dean closed the phone and shook his head. How did Sam know where Jo was? How did he keep getting the jump on them? Sam was good at research…but not that good. He picked up his cell phone scrolled through it and called Missouri. The phone rang several times, but there was no answer. He sighed before hanging up.
Castiel and William made their way back to the table and their food was brought to them a few minutes later. Dinner was quiet, all three of them enjoying their food in silence. After they finished eating and paid the check they headed back out to the Impala.
Dean pulled out his keys, glanced up, and froze. Not ten feet away someone was leaning slightly over the Impala facing away from them. Castiel and Dean immediately flanked William and moved on the offensive.
“Hey buddy, how about you get off my car and go lean on your own.” His voice was tense and he watched as the body in front of him shifted and turned around. Dean’s eyes widened and Castiel stood down. She smiled at the slight shock on Dean’s face.
She lifted her arms in a shrug. “In the flesh…well for the moment.”
Anna turned towards Castiel and smiled warmly. “Cas…”
“Hello Anna…I can only gather by your appearance here that the time has come for me to return back home.”
Anna’s face clouded over and sadness overtook her face. “No Cas…as it turns out it might be awhile before you make your way back home. There are rumors amongst the Angels…something is coming…something big. I don’t have much time to explain. You three need to get as far away from Kansas as you can.”
Dean frowned as he moved toward Anna. “It’s not that simple…I have someone in Kansas who needs my help…”
Anna shifted her gaze to Dean. “It’s too late. She’s already gone and I need you to head in the other direction. This isn’t a game Dean. There are things going on that you don’t understand…things that are above even my pay grade.”
William glanced between the adults and he could see his dad getting angrier by the second. He didn’t know who this new lady was, but he didn’t like her. His dad said they were going to find his mom and if his mom was in Kansas that’s where they were going.
“Oh so because you’re afraid I need to turn around and runaway with my tail between my legs? I don’t think so.”
Anna was cut off mid sentence by William. “We’re going to find my mom.”
All eyes turned toward him as he watched Anna closely. She tilted her head and smiled gently at him. “You must be William.”
He nodded. “William John Winchester.”
Pride filled Dean’s chest as he watched his five and a half year old son puff out his chest as he spoke to Anna. She nodded.
“William…it’s very important that we protect you and your dad…and in order to do that you guys need to head back in the other direction…do you understand how important that is?”
“Who’s protecting my mom?”
Anna frowned slightly. “What?”
“If me and Dad go back to grandma’s…who’s protecting my mom and keeping her safe? Are you going to find her?”
Anna swallowed hard as she glanced at Dean who crossed his arms over his chest and gave her a ‘don’t look at me’ look. “It’s a complicated situation…I know it’s hard for you to understand William…you’re young, but I promise what I’m saying is in your best interest and your Dad’s best interest.”
William shrugged. “My mom’s been gone a long time. Dad and I need to do what’s in her best interest. We gotta save her. Right Dad?”
William turned vulnerable eyes toward Dean who nodded. “Right…which means we’re heading to Kansas…you’re welcome to tag along for the ride if you think it’s too dangerous for us humans.”
He walked around to the driver’s side of the Impala, opened the door, and William followed. Anna looked at Castiel for help, but he moved towards the car. Anna’s voice called out to him. “Cas…”
He turned and gave her a defeated sigh. “What would you have me do? You of all people should know how stubborn Dean is. When his mind is set there’s no changing it. Do not worry Anna; I will protect them both with my life.”
She stood there and watched as they got settled in the car. Castiel leaned back in the front seat so Dean could lean over him as he spoke out the window. “Last chance to take the ride.”
Anna shook her head. “I can’t…not right now anyway. Don’t do anything reckless…and please Dean…be careful.”
He nodded, gave her a once over, and smirked. “It was good seeing you…”
She gave him a crooked smile. “I’ll be around…as soon as I know more I’ll find you…”
He saluted her before pulling out of the spot and heading off down the road. Anna sighed and shook her head. She knew warning Dean off wouldn’t help…but she had to try. If Dean was determined to go to Kansas that was fine…but he wouldn’t like what he found there…
It had been about a half hour since they left the diner and William was passed out in the back seat snoring. Castiel watched as Dean glanced in the review mirror for the third time. “She is not following us.”
Dean seemed startled by Castiel’s voice. Pink Floyd drifted softly through the speakers as Dean’s brow creased. “What?”
“You keeping looking behind us as if you’re expecting someone to be following us. No one is there. Anna went back up.”
He nodded. The car was quiet and Dean’s movements while driving were filled with tension. “You’re worried…”
“Right now? Yeah I’m worried about a lot of things…like how is it that my brother keeps getting the drop on us Cas? Every time we’ve had word on Jo, Sam always beats us there. I mean jeez what’s up with your Angel mojo?”
“Nothing as far as I know. There are only two possible explanations as to how Sam would be able to know where she is without the help of an outside source.”
Dean kept his eyes on the road, but he knew this was coming. It was one of his worst nightmares. They already lived through the Apocalypse and he survived Sammy going dark side, but he wasn’t sure he could do it all over again. Dean cleared his throat. “Oh yeah…what are they, magic eight balls?”
Castiel ignored Dean’s joke and spoke. “He’s embraced his…other side…or the visions he’s been having give him a link of sorts with Joanna. They could be connected through the dreams.”
Castiel’s voice trailed off and Dean eyebrows furrowed as he frowned. Why did that sound so familiar…and then it hit him and the color drained from his face. Jo’s last journal entry…He’s tracking me by my dreams…and if he finds me here, he’ll find William too.
There’s no way she could be talking about what was currently swimming through his head…it’s too horrible to even think about…Is that why she wanted to meet alone? Why it was so important? He glanced in the rearview mirror at the sleeping face of his son.
So innocent…so pure…that’s something Dean never wanted taken from him…he never wanted his son to know the pain he’d been through…and that’s why Jo had to be wrong…because it was too horrible to even consider. Could the person after his family…after William… really be Sam, his own flesh and blood?