Title: Charge Their Doings

By: Tidia

Part 2

"It matters little," she said, softly. "To you, very little. Another idol has displaced me; and if it can cheer and comfort you in time to come, as I would have tried to do, I have no just cause to grieve." -A Christmas Carol

Caleb felt someone shaking his arm. It was very insistent. He opened his eyes though it took all his waning strength. There, right above him, was Pastor Jim with a smile on his face.

"Hello there, my boy. Spot of trouble you found yourself in." Murphy placed a cool hand on Reaves's forehead.

Caleb accepted the touch and found comfort in it. He wanted to reach out and touch the face of his beloved friend. But he was only able to lift his hand an inch off the bed before it trembled with effort and fell back. He closed his eyes, remembering the demon's threat of sending his minions to visit. He groaned. He didn't want to believe the demon had gotten to Jim too. "How could you of all people be involved with the demon? Didn't you go to a better place?"

Jim let his hand travel to Caleb's cheek then lightly patted it. "You believe in heaven?"

"Yes, no." The psychic cleared his throat as his voice cracked from hoarseness. "I mean-I asked you the question."

"A good one." The dead minister rubbed his chin. "Let's just say this is a special guest appearance."

Caleb knew he was in trouble when he heard Jim being sarcastic and witty. He needed to find his way to safety. "God, Jim, I need help."

The minister looked around. In a lower voice he tried to console the younger man. "You need to be strong, my boy. Mac would be lost without you."

Reaves shook his head from side to side. Maybe his fate was to die before the final battle. His father would disagree, seeing things on a more scientific than mythological level. "I'm not that important," he mumbled, as the inviting darkness was encroaching, narrowing in on him. Caleb wondered if he could possibly fail at being a Knight without actually being officially named the Knight. He licked his lips. "I just need to rest, just for minute." Reaves knew it was a lie, like watching TV and sleeping during commercials.

"No, Caleb, you need to see, to see so much," Jim said loudly, and pressed his hands against the psychic's cheeks until he was satisfied Caleb was not slipping away. "Trust me."

"I'm scared, Jim." Caleb flinched as he uttered the words out loud. He had often thought them, but kept the sentiment covered with bravado. He felt he had laid himself bare and exposed.

"Never that, brave knight, never that." Jim placed a hand on the top of Caleb's sweaty head. The psychic felt a momentary surge of energy. His eyes wide open, he saw his father hanging up the phone in his New York City apartment.

Mackland Ames sauntered to the fireplace mantle with a drink in hand. Above the mantle was a scenic ocean scene painting by Amelia Reaves. On the mantle there were photos. John, Dean and Sam fishing and laughing was in one Tiffany's silver frame. Another picture was of Caleb and Jim leaning over a map. He raised his glass to his lost friends.

"Merry Christmas, old friends." The intercom interrupted his toast, announcing his guest had arrived in the lobby. He had been at this Madison Avenue apartment for over ten years now, the longest stretch he had been anywhere. It seemed the Winchesters and Caleb would somehow affect his standing at each prior condominium complex. Overtime he had made a list of excuses he would rotate to explain the blood stains, gun shots and unsavory characters, which was the description used for when Bobby would pay an unexpected visit.

He put the drink down, and neatened his green cashmere sweater. Caleb said it made him look like the Jolly Green Giant. He missed his son, worried for him and wished they were spending the holidays together. This last year more than any other time created a foreboding feeling things would get far worse before they would get better.

Mac placed a grin on his face as he opened the door. "Merry Christmas, Naomi, so glad you could come." Naomi had been his research assistant for fifteen years. She was a soft, round woman with curly, brown, chin length hair.

"Thank you for inviting me Doctor Ames." She had her coat hanging on her arm, and lifted it up to Mac.

He took the coat, placed it on the brass coat rack and stepped back for her to enter his home. "Please, Naomi, call me Mac."

"My friends thought it was crazy for me to spend Christmas Eve with my boss. But, it seemed fitting with Bradley's semester abroad in Australia and my recovery. Thank you for being there for me."

Mac felt uncomfortable with the praise. They worked well together, Naomi needing a job after her acrimonious divorce and the doctor needing someone to organize his research. It had been a great working relationship until he found her crying over some EEGs. She had been diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and didn’t want to burden anyone especially her son during his first year in college. Mac helped her as much as he could and so far she had an excellent prognosis for a full recovery.

"Can I get you some eggnog?" Ames remembered his hosting skills. "Dinner is almost ready, just warming up." Luckily, Dean and Deluca provided a wonderful meal, which was safely in the oven.

"Eggnog would be lovely," she replied. She looked around the apartment especially out the French doors to the crisp New York City skyline.

He went into the kitchen to pour her a glass when he heard her calling out a question to him. "Caleb's not coming?"

Mac sprinkled some cinnamon on the drink before bringing it out to Naomi. "His work is keeping him busy this year," he explained, using an answer layered in half-truths.

"Too bad, I can't remember the last time I saw him."

The physician felt a hand squeeze over his heart. It was an emotional response. The last time he saw his son was two months ago over a drink at the Saint Regis Hotel to discuss Tri Corp and Caleb's decision to relinquish day-to-day control. A decision he did not support. He wanted his son to have a balanced life, combining hunting and a life set in the confines of reality. Mac had been a late addition to The Brotherhood, and had an established career before taking up the hunt. He encouraged the younger generation to follow suit. As much as he loved John Winchester, he had always been scared of his zeal for the hunt.

Father and son mutually avoided any conversation about John, Jim and the Winchester boys. It was still all too fresh. "The construction business is booming." Mac replied and reclaimed his whiskey, needing to decrease the constriction he felt in his chest.

"You must be proud of him." She took a sip of her drink, and eyed him over the rim of her cup to gauge his reaction.

"I am." He stated. "He's successful, but he's a good person." He wished Caleb saw the goodness in himself, the good he did. It was hard for his son to get past his demon heritage. It was the reason his son liked bridges. They provided the inspiration that he too could bridge his humanity.

Mac knew his son wasn't an angel. In fact, he knew there were deep chasms of darkness lurking within Caleb. He remembered the first time he had gone to Caleb's apartment. The loft was a two bedroom, and Mac had wanted to view the rooms while his son was on the phone. One room, its door shut, attracted his attention. He tried to open it and was surprised it was locked. He rested his hand for a moment against the wood frame and could sense the horror that lay beyond-Caleb's mother's paintings mixing with the way his son had acquired them. It saddened Mac to discover his son would never share this secret with his adopted father.

He had received a phone call earlier from Sam. He had sensed something amiss. But it wasn't until he felt as if he was eulogizing his son that he knew something was completely wrong. Mac needed a moment to excuse himself. He wanted to call Sam back, and get more information. However, Naomi was asking him another question.

"Are those photos of Caleb's parents?" She gestured to a photo of a couple on one of the mahogany end tables.

Ames nodded. There was another photo on the table too. "And his grandmother."

Naomi walked over to the table. She picked up the picture, and studied it for a moment. "He looks like his mother and you."

Mac was taken aback, momentarily forgetting the urgency to get to the phone. "Me?"

She gave him a wide smile. "Yes, around the eyes."

He shook his head. "I don't think that's possible." He was surprised in Naomi. She knew there was no genetic link between Caleb and Mac.

"Sure, it is." She cocked her head to the side as if she was surprised he didn’t see it. "He has some of your mannerisms too as I recall—like demanding attention as he enters a room."

"And his affect on women." Mac relaxed a bit into the leather couch. He had spoken to Caleb a few days ago. His son had told him he was spending Christmas with Sam and Dean. Sam had confirmed the plans as well.

Naomi laughed. "Do I have to answer that?"

"Should I be offended?" The doctor had many lady friends. Caleb wanted to believe his father took a vow of celibacy upon his adoption, but that wasn’t the case. Mackland Ames never lacked for female companionship. However, unlike his son he did not flaunt his conquests. "Unfortunately, Caleb's affect on women leads me to believe he will not be settling down anytime soon. It's too bad, because grandchildren would be nice," Mac said wistfully.

"You've been through a lot together." She laughed, and shared the memory making her giggle. "I remember when you were trying to convince the principal of one of Caleb's schools not to expel him."

"Is that the time when Caleb brought a goat to school or the time he had an exotic dancer entertain his eleventh grade class?" There were many similar stories with Caleb playing some kind of prank to overcome the boredom of an education.

But the simple statement that they had been through a lot together was also complicated. They both participated in The Brotherhood. Plus they each had their abilities. Mac was a father with telekinetic and psychic ability. Caleb was his adopted son with horrific visions and his own psychic abilities. Mac had to learn how to be a parent to a boy who had been witness to pain and tragedy, marked by it. Ames also had to acknowledge Reaves needed to grow and wanted space to live his life.

Naomi had been cradling the eggnog, and then placed it down on the coffee table, using a book as a coaster so as to not leave a mark on the fine wood grain. "I was going to tell you this later, but I've decided to be a foster mother and it's because of you."

Ames reached out and grabbed her hand, giving it a squeeze of congratulations. "That's wonderful." He let her hand go, and looked at his research assistant in puzzlement, picking up on what she had announced. "Why because of me?"

"Seeing you with your son, the way you talk about him . . . you made a difference."

"He made a difference in my life too." Mac's mind filled with memories of his son, how vivid a personality he was, and it wasn’t because of his link to the supernatural. The doctor liked to believe he brought out the best in his son, making him a better human being, one who was willing to help and protect others. Ames remembered the person he was before his accident, and how he changed after the accident. Then he underwent another transformation again when he became a father to a very special teenager.

"I've been lucky to have so many people touch my life and leave their mark." Ames cleared his throat of the emotion which caused his voice to lower. John Winchester and Jim Murphy were like brothers to him. So many of his actions were based on what the two men would expect from him. Then there were the younger hunters, his son and Dean and Sam Winchester. They made him proud, and he liked to think he helped them become men with a great sense of character.

Naomi bit her lower lip and stood up. She began to walk over to get her coat. "Mac, you should be spending Christmas with your son."

"You're right, Naomi. The last few months. . . but, stay, and let's enjoy our dinner." He gestured to the dining room table with fragrant pine branches forming a centerpiece. "Tomorrow is another day, and another opportunity. I think I can make it work out." He clapped his hands together and rubbed them, the smell of sea bass tickling his nose. He knew the boys were going to be in Virginia. The Ames money and a father's will made anything possible. Sometimes he had to remind his son he had a family, a father who loved him. "But now it's time to eat."

Caleb reached out to his father, wanting to touch the man who raised him, a man he needed. He knew he needed Mac in his life from the first moment he met him at the institution. Mac had been instrumental in saving his life, giving him a purpose to continue on. The scene dissolved in front of him. Caleb tried grasping again and again, but there was only the remnant of nothingness.

"Can't I stay with Mac?" Caleb mumbled, noticing Jim above him once more. His father was home and safety. "I want everything back to the way it was when it would all work out fine." If Mac couldn’t make things better then maybe Jim could since the psychic felt so hopeless and weak.

"When the cavalry would rush in at the last minute and of course as I recall there was always an injury involved." The Pastor's eyes twinkled. Caleb had forgotten how Jim's mirth echoed in his eyes.

"The occasional flesh wound and they were battle scars." Reaves still felt warm and pulled at his shirt, trying to take it off or loosen the collar. "But Duran did make things more complicated." The psychic remembered the hunter who had lost his life and place in The Brotherhood.

Jim grabbed Caleb's hand to still them.

"Please, Jim, the Guardian is needed." If John and Jim hadn’t died and the Triad was still fully in place, then together The Brotherhood could defeat the demon, the evil, and be strong. That was Caleb's fundamental, core belief. He believed in The Brotherhood.

"Shh, shh, my time has passed, my boy." Jim released Caleb's hands and placed a hand on the psychic's shoulder. "Rally your strength and God will be with you."

Reaves blinked heavily. He was losing the battle, and maybe even the war. "I think God left the building with Elvis a long time ago."

Onto Part 3
Browse Part 1