5: Lies of Omissions" by: Ridley C. James
Dean couldn’t believe she was dead. He’d dragged her into their fucking mess with her protesting the entire drive to Wyoming. Dean played every guilt trip, used every charm tactic to get her in on the plan and it worked. It worked all too fucking well. He couldn't blame Pamela for cursing the day she met the Winchesters.
Dean's cell phone rang, breaking his self flagellation. He glanced to Sam who was still staring at Pamela’s lifeless body with disbelief, a good dose of kicked puppy thrown into the mix. Whatever her dying words to his brother had been, they’d shaken Sam.
Dean couldn't decide if wanted to brow beat for answers or comfort his brother. He couldn’t do both at the same time. The relentless ring tone gave validity to the easier path of inaction. “What?”
“You finally answered.”
Dean sighed, running a hand through his hair. “Not a good time, Ethan…”
“Tell me about it. Try finding a ride in the middle of the night when you’re stinking of corpse and kerosene.”
“Dude,” Dean tried not to think of the impending salt and burn he and Sam would have to perform. “Get to the point.”
“Have you talked to Caleb?”
Dean suddenly realized why an unexpected call from Ethan Mathews was important. “Where is Caleb?”
“That’s the million dollar question, Corleone.”
Dean rolled his eyes at the Godfather nickname Ethan had tagged him with. He and Damien had been spending too much time together. “He was on a hunt with you.”
“He was until he got a feeling and couldn’t get a hold of you or Sam. He bolted, man. Left me to handle the wrap up, which I wouldn’t have minded, but he took the last bus out, which just happened to be my Pathfinder because we left the Lamborghini at the ranch.”
“Fuck.” Dean had a very bad feeling of his own. “Hold on a minute.”
He cupped a hand over the mouthpiece of his phone and looked up to find Sam watching him.
“Would Caleb have sensed our little soul-walking expedition?”
Sam’s face drained of what little color it had. “Shit!” He stood up, glancing around the room. “I didn’t think about warning him.”
“Warning him about what?”
“Where’s my fucking phone?” Sam reached for his jacket tossed across the chair.
Dean stood. “Sam?”
His brother glared at him. “Our souls left our bodies for a walk on the other side, through the veil.”
“That out of super psychic’s range?”
Sam snorted. “Completely. It would have been like we…”
His brother hesitated, so Dean came to the conclusion as his chest tightened. “Died?”
“Like when the hell hounds killed you.” Sam quickly patted the pockets of his jacket, throwing it aside when his phone didn’t turn up. "Trust me. It’s not a pleasant sensation.”
“Shit.” Dean echoed his brother’s words, bringing the phone back to his face. “Why the hell did you let him go?”
“Seriously? Did you want me to shoot him? Because anything short of that wasn’t keeping him from hitting the road and heading straight for the last place you checked in. He mentioned Greybull.”
Dean couldn’t believe he hadn’t considered what their ghost impersonations would entail. He’d called his best friend after getting the supposed tip from Bobby about the job in Wyoming. Caleb was busy working the gig with Ethan, and would meet up with them the next day.
“He called Bobby and found out he hadn’t talked to you guys in days. He tried both your cells repeatedly.”
Dean picked up on the hint of accusation. “We were out of the area.”
“Yeah, well Reaves was a little out of his mind.”
Dean focused on Sam’s frantic search for his cell. “He would have felt it when we came back. Right?”
“What?” Ethan replied.
“Not you,” he snarled into the phone. “Hold on a second.”
“Sam? Did you hear me? He would have known when we came back to this plane?”
Sam shot him a dour look, started for the bathroom. “It’s not that simple.”
Dean followed him, leaning against the doorway. “What does that mean? We went off line. We came back on line.”
“No.” Sam grabbed his shaving kit, digging through the contents. “The telepathic link doesn’t work that way. Once the thread is severed, you have to willfully make the reconnection again. It’s difficult, and why we didn’t sense you coming back until we were at the church. Even then we thought it was an echo.”
Dean frowned when Sam recovered his phone beneath a hand towel on the sink. It shouldn’t have surprised him the last call his brother had made was done during the privacy of his shower.
“Fifteen missed calls,” Sam said.
Dean felt sick. “Call him. Now!”
“I tried that.”
He gripped his phone tighter. “Not you, Mathews.”
Ethan’s sigh was heavy across the line. Dean realized he wasn’t the only one worried.
“I hope you have better luck because once he left here he wouldn’t answer my calls. Not Joshua’s or Bobby’s either.”
Dean met Sam’s gaze, willing Damien to pick up. Sam shook his head. “It went straight to voicemail.” He watched as his brother called again.
“Fuck.” Dean tapped his hand against his forehead in frustration. “How long ago did he leave you?”
“About five hours.”
Dean heard another voice in the background, then Ethan spoke again.
“Eli estimates he should be close to Wyoming by now, barring any stops and my ride acting up.”
The proximity gave Dean an idea. He covered the receiver again, stepping into the bathroom closer to his brother. “Can you reestablish the psychic connection? Eli thinks Caleb should be close by.”
Sam’s brow furrowed. “Maybe.” He licked his lips. “I can try.”
He watched Sam close his eyes, the intense effort deepening the lines in Sam’s face. Sam surprised him by reaching out after a few moments, wrapping his long fingers around Dean’s free hand. It was the first time in a long time his brother had initiated any kind of contact. The unfamiliarity of the touch was unsettling, sending a tingling sensation along his spine.
In seconds Sam’s phone rang, and he released Dean. Sam flashed him a genuine smile when Caleb’s name blinked on the screen. Sam brought the phone to his ear. “Hey, man. We’re okay.”
Dean barely caught the sound of Damien’s voice as Sam headed into the other room where Pamela’s body was quickly cooling, leaving Dean alone in the tiny bathroom.
Ethan’s voice shook him from his thoughts, and Dean took a seat on the toilet. “We got him. Sam’s talking to Caleb now.”
“That’s good news, Dude. I hope my truck’s alright.”
Dean leaned back on the porcelain tank; let his head rest against the wall. He understood why Caleb and Ethan got along. “I’m sure your truck is fine. We’ll take good care of it.”
“You make sure you do that."
Dean tried not to let the tinge of irrational anger bubble through. After all, he’d encouraged the friendship between Damien and Ethan when he thought he would be long gone. “I happen to be an expert when it comes to the upkeep and maintenance of trucks.”
There was a pause, and when Ethan spoke again all levity was gone.
“No disrespect, but this wasn’t cool. I get the whole need to know stuff, but whatever this was; it obviously was a need to know kind of thing.”
“It was a mistake. My mistake. That’s all.”
“Mistakes get people hurt.”
Dean glanced towards the bathroom door, let his imagination travel past it to where Pamela sat slumped on the bed, bloodied and broken. “You got a point to make, make it.”
“I just don’t want to see anyone else get hurt.”
“Sounds like we’re on the same page.”
“Eli wants to talk to you about that.”
Dean lifted his head and let it thud against the wall again. “Great.” The double mint twins were tag-teaming him. “Put the professor on.”
“I know you’ve got a lot going on at the moment, but I haven’t talked to Sam in a while.”
Dean straightened. The nagging sensation tip-toed over his vertebrae once more as Elijah continued.
“Used to be a time when he would call or email every couple of days.”
“He’s been busy." Dean did not add how his brother had been busy with mysterious late night meetings. "We've all been busy."
"We know about the seals breaking through The Brotherhood Memo." Eli cleared his throat. “Bobby also told Griffin about your angel. Mackland confirmed it.”
Dean rubbed his eyes. Castiel was not on his favorite person list today. "Okay." Dean didn't protest, and this encouraged Eli.
“Griffin believes where there is good, there is evil."
“So you are all in Griffin's back pocket? Do I need to pay him a visit? Do I need to question your loyalty?" It was low and uncalled for. After all, Dean had begun the reconciliation between Griffin and The Brotherhood he would lead one day as The Guardian.
“No, we all
support you, Dean. I don't like secrets. I like open communication.
Caleb and Ethan talk on a regular basis. Sam, I know is busy, but we
used to talk. Then everything drops with Sam, and Silas starts talking
about alarms sounding in the covens-"
Dean closed his eyes wondering how many others were making connections to Sam. "That's Josh's department. Have a chat with him."
He says it's because of the seals, but I recognize lies of omissions.
Ethan and I have suffered through our share of those."
"And you think I have all the answers?" Dean had some of them. He had Sam explain to Joshua that Ruby was back to own up to his actions. Dean had thought that seeing disappointment in someone else's eyes would have been enough to dissuade Sam from following Ruby.
“You’re The Guardian. If you don’t, where does that leave us?”
That was a very good question. One more unwanted doubt put on his plate. “I’m still figuring it all out.” They deserved to know the truth, but Dean wasn’t even sure what that was anymore. “When I get the punch line, you and E will be one of the firsts to know.”
“That’s all we can ask.”
He heard rustling, then Ethan’s voice came back on the line.
“That and one more tiny thing. Take your time getting my truck back to me. I mean, I don’t mind keeping the bat mobile for a few weeks or so.”
“I bet you don’t.” Dean rolled his eyes, realizing why he liked Ethan. “You know if Heidi comes back to Damien with as much as one bullet hole, Sonny Crockett, there’s nothing the Guardian or the Godfather can do for you. Right?”
“I’ll treat her like she’s my own half a million dollar fantasy car.”
“Won’t all your cop buddies peg you as on the take?”
“Let me handle my own business, Dude.”
“Right back at you, man.”
Ethan laughed. “Point taken.”
“Tell your brother Sam will be in touch.”
“I’ll appreciate that. He’s missed their stimulating geek discussions so much. He’s been talking to me way more than I like.”
“Little brothers. Can’t live with them, can’t live with them," Dean concluded with agreement from Ethan. It didn't matter if a guy was four years older or four minutes older. He wondered if Caleb felt the same about him, especially after he had forgotten to warn him about their spirit walk.
“Caleb? Are you there?” Sam walked out of the bathroom waiting for Caleb to answer him.
“Sammy? Are you two all right? What the hell is going on?”
Sam closed his eyes trying to calm his own emotions as Caleb’s fear leapt across the line. “I’m okay.”
“Dean’s okay, too. He’s on the phone with Ethan.” Sam spared a glance towards the bathroom. His brother was still talking to Matthews.
“Thank God. I thought…”
“I know.” Sam took a seat on Dean’s bed, his eyes drawn to Pamela on the other bed. “But we’re fine.”
“How’s that possible? I mean you were gone. GONE,”Caleb's frustration was clear.
“Astral projection.” Sam sighed. He would never risk it again.
“Astral projection? Soul walking?”
Sam pinched the bridge of his nose as a steady pain picked up rhythm behind his eyes. He tried to explain. “Reapers were being killed and …”
“Did Ruby help you do this? I will kill that bitch when I get my hands on her…”
Caleb would never understand about Ruby, neither would Dean. He thought over time they would accept her, but it was getting worse. Suspicion clung to her, especially after his own recent dream sleep. “It wasn’t Ruby.” Sam looked over to his bed again. Ruby would have been able to defend herself, and kept his secret. “It was Pamela.”
“Bobby’s Pamela? The medium?”
“Did she tell you two how fucking dangerous that shit is?”
Sam stood pulling the coverlet off Dean’s bed. He tossed it over Pamela’s body, closing her eyes would not bring comfort. “We know how dangerous it is.”
“Even with the progression of your abilities you shouldn’t have…”
“I didn’t,” Sam snapped, his irritation flaring. He didn't need anyone else judging him. “It wasn’t my idea. Talk to Dean. He’s the one that suggested the Casper impersonation. He’s the one that was so quick to step through the veil.”
“And he didn’t fucking think to call me first? To have someone to watch your backs? Someone besides a blind lady?”
“There wasn’t a lot of time. The demons were going to break the seal.” Sam walked to the window, looked out. “Bobby figured it out and we had to act. She was closer and not on a hunt.”
“Bobby hasn’t talked to either of you in days.”
Sam took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. For some reason he wasn’t surprised. “Castiel.”
“I don’t care if it was angels or demons who offered up the gig. I thought you both were dead. It was just like when Johnny and Pastor Jim died, like with Dean. I thought I’d get to fucking Greybull to find your bloodied corpses. Bobby can find someone else to read his aura because Pam and I are having a long fucking talk.”
Sam glanced to the psychic’s shrouded body. “Pamela’s dead.”
“Damn. Demons?” Caleb quieted.
“Yeah.” Sam lowered his voice as he explained the truth he would stick to, "she brought me back to my body, but I got here too late.”
“How the hell did they break the salt lines or the protection circle?"
Sam was chagrinned. They hadn’t exactly taken their usual precautions. It was evidence to how distracted he and Dean were as of late. That and the fact they didn’t consider Caleb into their plans.
“Dean didn’t proof the room?” Caleb kept him from telling another lie. “Never mind. Don’t tell me.”
“We saved the seal; at least I think we did.” He still needed to talk to his brother. Tell him his version of what happened with Pamela. Hear Dean's version of what happened with Tessa.
“Are you all right?” Sam shifted the focus.
He almost wished for the anger he could easily detect earlier. This unfamiliar emotion was a hundred times harder. “I’m sorry.”
Sam remembered all too well what Dean’s death had felt like, the hole it left in his soul. The emptiness he was still trying to fill. “I should have thought to call, but astral projection isn’t something that comes up every day.”
“Dean should have called me.”
Sam turned towards the bathroom where his brother had just exited. “Yeah.” He cleared his throat. “You want to talk to him?”
The answer surprised Sam. Dean was already headed his way, hand outstretched for the phone. Sam waved him away. “Are you coming here?”
“I’m going to get a drink.”
“Okay. We can meet you after…” Sam swallowed thickly as he thought of Pam. They would have to dispose of her body. “Well, you know.”
“No. Take care of Pamela.” Sam nodded even though Caleb couldn’t see him. “I’ll call you back later, Runt.”
“Bye, Caleb.” He was happy to hear the nickname after what Pamela had said to him. She didn’t know Sam or understand what it was like to be tainted. Caleb made him feel as though he was still on the path of good intentions.
“Wait.” Dean grabbed the phone bringing it to his ear. “Damien?” When there was no answer he tossed the cell back to Sam with a scowl. “What the hell did you tell him?”
“The truth. What do you think I told him?”
Dean propped his hands on his hips. “Do you even know what the truth is anymore, little brother?”
Sam stuck his chin out. “Do you?”
“What does that mean?”
“It means Bobby wasn’t the one who called me about the job.” Sam didn’t believe his brother had known any differently at the time, but the look Dean gave him suggested he was well informed now.
“No.” Dean met his gaze dead on. “It was Castiel.”
“And when were you going to share that newsflash with me?” He felt his anger build. He seemed to have no patience with his brother as he once did. Dean accused him of having torn allegiances, but was fine with keeping his own secrets when it came to Castiel and Hell.
“Just as soon as you filled me in on those sweet nothings Pamela whispered in your ear.”
Sam gave one more look to the psychic’s covered corpse. “She said I had a nice ass.” He picked up his coat from the table and started for the door.
Dean caught his arm. “Where the hell are you going?”
looked down at his brother's hand gripping his sleeve. Dean let him go
and stepped back. "To get a drink." There couldn’t be that many bars in
Greymoose. Sam knew Caleb well enough to know, pissed or not after the
scare he’d had, the Knight would stay close. "Don't wait up."