Beautiful, Terrible Things
By: Ridley C. James
Disclaimer: Nothing Supernatural
belongs to me. All those lovely men are property of Kripke Enterprise
and The CW.
As it turned out, a prison escape was
the last thing on his mind as Caleb and Sam, who had refused to stay
with the nice desk sergeant, were led back to one of the rooms used for
Too many memories from his own days
as a troubled teen flooded through the psychic’s mind along with echoes
of residual negative feelings that corroded the plain block walls of
the Jonesboro Jail.
Then there was the fact that Sam had
attached himself to his side like a four-foot barnacle, barely even
speaking to Caleb on the ride over, but refusing to release his death
grip on the older man. He’d practically scaled Reaves like a tree when
the nice police woman had tried to bribe him to go with her by
promising the boy a Coke and M&M’s.
And now, as Dean was brought into the
room by a deputy to speak with them, he was more concerned with the
kid’s state than escaping the authorities. “Damn, Deuce,” Caleb stood
from the hard-backed chair, taking in the damage. “You ever hear of bob
and weave, or blocking a punch?”
The fourteen-year-old rolled his eyes
with a huff. “You try taking on three drunk lumber jacks and see how
you look, dude.”
Sam was on his feet now, too. He
hesitated only a moment before dodging around the table to launch
himself at his big brother.
“Hey,” Dean caught him, wincing
slightly as the boy wrapped his arms around his waist and held on. “You
Sam nodded his head, where it was
buried in Dean’s t-shirt, but didn’t speak even though his grip
tightened. The older Winchester glanced up at Caleb, a worried look
haunting his young, damaged face as he ran his fingers over his
brother‘s sweat-matted hair.
“He has a few bruised ribs and one
hell of a shiner, but he checked out okay. Although, he’s developed a
weird shadow complex. Don‘t be expecting any alone time real soon.”
Dean gripped his little brother’s
shoulders and pushed him back far enough so that he could kneel down in
front of him. “Sammy?”
The ten-year-old still had his head
dropped, avoiding Dean’s gaze. “What’s going on? Talk to me.”
“You left me.” Sam finally mumbled,
and Dean sighed as he caught site of a fat tear on it’s hasty decent to
the grimy floor. “I was all by myself.” It wasn’t like his little
brother, and the odd behavior was a testament to just how bad today had
“Sammy.” Dean reached out and lifted
his brother’s chin, forcing the dark gaze to meet his concerned eyes.
“I didn’t have a choice. You know that. I’d never leave you alone, if I
could help it.”
“Those people took me away-just like
Dad said they would.”
It had been an effective threat over
the years-for both boys. John had explained none too kindly, of the
dangers of Sam and Dean being ‘taken’ away if they weren’t careful. It
was the same speech they got when there was trouble at school or if a
hunt went bad and they were forced to go to a hospital. On occasion,
counselors and teachers with the best of intentions had driven the
point home when they’d reported unusual bruises or lack of parental
supervision to the appropriate authorities. Then there was the time
when Sam had been taken away by their grandfather. Dean felt his guilt
mount as he thought of his little brother in the situation that in a
round about way he had caused. He had inadvertently brought all those
old fears and insecurities back to the surface.
“But you’re back now. It’s okay.”
Dean waited for the little boy to look at him. “No one’s taking you
Sam shook his head, long bangs
falling across his bruised face. “The man said there would be an
investigation…that I would have to come back and talk to them.”
“That’s not going to happen, Sammy.”
Dean squeezed his shoulder, pushed the hair out of his eyes. “Dad will
take care of it. I promise. We‘ll be long gone before anyone even
“But Daddy’s not here,” the kid said,
and his lip began to tremble, “And you’re in jail.”
“Not for long,” Caleb interjected, as
he caught sight of a plain clothes detective heading their way.
The door to the glass-encased room
opened and a tall, burly man entered. There was a shiny, gold badge
affixed to the belt around his waist. He quickly side-stepped Dean and
Sam, extending his hand to Caleb. “Mister Winchester?”
Reaves nodded. “Caleb,” He added,
releasing the man’s firm grip.
“Caleb, I’m Detective Evans. I was
the investigating officer at the domestic scene.” He glanced to Dean
and then to Sam, who was half-hiding behind his brother’s leg and his
stern features softened a bit. “I have the bruises to prove it."
The psychic raised a brow and Evans
smiled. "The little one has quite the temper."
Caleb sighed, feeling grateful that
both the boys hadn't been arrested. He rubbed a hand over his mouth.
"Runs in the family, I'm afraid."
The detective nodded. "I understand
that you’re the paternal uncle?”
“Yeah,” Caleb favored the boys with a
quick look. “I am.”
“And where is your brother?” Evans
raised a brow.
“He’s working out of town.”
“He often leave his boys unattended
when he goes on business trips?”
Caleb saw Dean start to open his
mouth and shot him a hard glance. “No, sir. He just left out this
morning and I was on my way in from Memphis to stay with them for the
weekend when I got the call from Dean. I was suppose to be here
earlier, but got hung up at school. I’m studying Architectural
Engineering at the University, so I‘m always close by if John needs me.”
Dean rolled his eyes at the lies
slipping like honey from Caleb’s lips. The only thing Reaves studied
seriously while at college had been the female co-eds. Architecture and
engineering might have been natural-born talents, but hunting was in
his blood-it was his calling. Mac had to blackmail him just to get him
to finish his degree. “Did your nephew explain to you what happened?”
Caleb shook his head. “No. Just that
there was an incident with his brother and a fight. How bad is it?”
“It’s not as bad as I had thought it
might be. Seems that Mister Brewster has a harder head than we had
thought. He came to in the ER about an hour ago.” Evans motioned for
them to take a seat. “Maybe the boy would be better off waiting outside
with one of our staff.”
“No,” Dean answered, and found Sam’s
agreement, when the kid latched onto his hand. “He’s fine with me.”
“You okay with that?” The officer
favored Caleb with a look that suggested he really thought it was best
if Sam left.
All it took was one look at his
nephews to know that wasn’t an option. “He can stay.”
Evans sighed, and shuffled some of
the papers in his hand. “Suit yourself, son, but therapy ain‘t cheap
Caleb almost laughed at the idea of
Sam needing therapy over such a trivial thing after what the kid had
seen in his lifetime. It was like saying he required major surgery for
a splinter. “What are the charges against my nephew?”
“At the moment, we have trespassing
and aggravated assault. He took a table leg to the man’s head, but like
I said Brewster’s skull is apparently filled with rocks.” The detective
favored Caleb with a look, "But if your nephew will cooperate- explain
to me what happened. I might be able to do something about the assault
Caleb watched as the teenager rolled
his eyes, attitude dripping off of him. “Dean?”
He shrugged his shoulders, slumped
further in the chair. “They ain’t interested in what I have to say.”
The psychic bit his lip to keep the
nasty language at bay. “He just said he was.”
“And cops don’t lie?” Dean raised a
brow, shooting the other hunter a look.
Okay. Caleb knew he had played
somewhat of a part in the teen’s dislike and distrust of authority, but
the weight of it still fell squarely on John Winchester’s shoulders.
Reaves might have admired, even on occasion encouraged, the kid’s
ballsy bravado, but now was not the freakin’ time to be playing the
James Dean bit. “Tell him everything!” He ordered, sharply. “Now.”
Dean looked away. Caleb stood,
sliding his chair back. “Could you excuse me and my nephew a minute?”
Evans nodded and Caleb strode around
the table, roughly taking Dean by the arm and pulling him outside the
conference room, Sammy in tow. “What the hell is your problem, Deuce?”
Caleb demanded as soon as the door was closed behind them.
Dean jerked away. “Hands off,
Caleb figured the kid had been
through enough man-handling today so he let him go, sliding both his
hands through his dark hair. “Cut the attitude, kid. This is serious
“Shouldn’t I have a lawyer then?”
“You’ve got to be kidding me. Right?”
Reaves rolled his eyes to the ceiling. “You want legal representation?”
“No.” Dean growled, bit his lip. “I
want to get out of here.” He looked down at Sam, and his jaw clenched.
“I want to get us both the hell out of this town.”
“Then the way to do that is to tell
the cop what he wants to know, Deuce.” Reaves sighed, pinched the
bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger. “This isn’t ever
going to get to court and you know it. Just tell them why you were
fighting. Tell them about Sam.”
When Dean looked back up, Caleb
instantly understood why he was balking. Anger simmered in the green
depths, barely controlled beneath the surface. He didn’t even need to
do a reading to pick up on the nervous energy thrumming through the
other boy causing him to quake like a steam valve ready to blow.
This incident had been different.
Dean had lost control.
Even now, it was taking all he had to
hold the monstrous rage at bay.
“I’ll tell him,” Sam spoke up, as if
he sensed and understood his brother’s trepidation.
Caleb looked at him, and for the
first time realized that Sam probably did understand. After all, he’d
witnessed the fight. Maybe his desire to see Dean hadn’t completely
been about how scared he was-but how frightened he was for his brother.
“No,” Dean shook his head, bit his
lip. “I can do it.”
“Look. Just focus on getting out of
here, okay.” Reaves nodded towards the door, not really knowing what to
say to fix this-to make it all better. “It’s over, so just stick to the
facts. And take deep breaths.” He awkwardly patted the teen on the
shoulder. “You’ll be fine.”
Dean looked at him like he was an
idiot. “Sure thing, Oprah.”
Caleb's jaw clenched and he felt the
little vein just above his eye start to throb. "Then just consider it a
“You’re not the boss of him,” Sam
spoke up, and Caleb pointed a finger at the kid.
“Oh yeah, runt? Well I’ve got papers
that say differently.”
“Fake papers,” Sam shot back, and
Reaves was surprised to find himself more grateful that Sam was
sounding more ‘Sam’, than he actually was irritated at the bratty
“Tell it to the judge,” the hunter
replied, motioned for the now smirking Dean to open the door. "Let's
get this over with so we can get the hell out of here before John comes
home. He's going to be blowing sunshine out his ass over this one.”
“Is everything okay?” Officer Evans
eyed the three warily as they returned to their seats.
“Fine. Just a quick family meeting to
regroup.” Caleb sat, scooted his chair under the table, leaned back and
looked at Dean. “You want to tell the man what happened now, Dean?”
The teen took a deep breath, let it
out slowly, and tried to remember the first part of the day without
getting completely overwhelmed with emotion. There was the anger for
himself. He'd went off the handle. Fought when he was pissed. Two
things his father had drilled in him not to do since he was a kid.
Then there was the worry for Sam.
Dean had failed to protect him, and let him be taken away. No matter
what the reasoning, his little brother had been hurt both physically
And then there was all the seething
hate. Hate for the man who had dared to touch his little brother, to
beat up his own son. Dean would never understand people. At times he
understood the whole fire and brimstone destruction thing, though.
It had all started out like a normal
day-at least as normal as it got in the Winchester world. John had gone
on a hunt the day before, leaving Dean in charge of the household, and
in charge of Sam.
The house wasn’t much to speak of-a
run down trailer in a motor home park called River Shore, in the poor
part of Jonesboro. It was falling apart and infested with more things
than Dean cared to think about. But it was dirt cheap, and didn’t
require a damage deposit or a lot of questions on the rental
agreement-two things that John Winchester looked for when his small
family was running low on cash and time.
It was summer and Dean and Sam had
made the most of it, spending more time in their tent down by the
river, than in the stifling tin box. At least they didn’t have to go to
school, and John had promised that they would be moving on soon. It was
a hope that Dean clung to when the temperature had reached a whopping
105 degrees after one in the afternoon. Even the roaches were staying
in, canceling their typical parade across the kitchen counter on
account of weather.
He’d been sitting in front of the fan
near one of the opened windows when he first heard it. Sam’s voice had
floated in on the near non-existent breeze, bringing an instant chill
to his sweat-slicked skin that the smothering, recycled air had not
been able to accomplish.
The teen had bolted to his feet at
the first scream of his name, his thoughts automatically running
through a list of atrocities that could have befallen his little
brother. They ran the gambit from rattle snake or copperhead bite, to
the clumsy kid tumbling into one of the many thorn-covered, berry
bushes that lined the river banks.
Sam was not allowed to go to the
river alone or with friends unless Dean was with them, but Dean
remembered being ten, and even though Sam usually listened, there were
times when the kid’s insatiable curiosity got the best of him. At least
if he was screaming, he couldn't have drowned.
“DEAN!” Sam called again, and the
older Winchester stepped out onto the rickety wooden deck just as the
ten-year-old barreled up the lop-sided stairs.
“Hey,” He caught Sam’s shoulders as
the kid nearly collided with him, pulling them both inside. Dean was
worried the porch might give way with their combined weight,
considering John had put his boot through it, just the day before.
It was then that Dean had seen Sam’s
eye. It was ringed in red, already swelling, promising one spectacular
display of bruising. “Sammy? What the hell…”
“I’m sorry,” Sam cried, collapsing
against his brother’s chest. “Don’t tell, Dad.”
“What?” Dean tightened his grasp on
the little boy’s trembling shoulders. “Have you been fighting?”
Sam looked up then, still gasping
breath from running the whole length of the lot, where Zach’s family
owned a trailer. “Zach…”He choked.
“Sammy? You‘ve been fighting with
Zach?” Dean shook him slightly when Sam didn‘t answer him right away,
and instead kept gasping. “Calm down.” It wasn’t like his brother to
fight, especially not with a kid younger than him. A sweet, quiet kid
like Zach. Still…
He ran one hand up and down his
little brother’s arm. “Just breathe. Okay?”
Sam nodded, his breath hitching as he
fought to reign it in. “Tell me what happened.”
“We were playing Nintendo in Zach's
room. I didn’t know his Dad would be home early.”
Dean frowned, his eyes raking over
the younger boy. Damn it. Brewster was trouble. John had told Sam to
stay away from the man, but Dean had caved and let his little brother
go to the other boy’s to play. And look where that had gotten them.
Sam’s Spiderman shirt was ripped,
blood staining it from where his lip had been busted. There was no way
that scrawny, eight-year-old, Zach had done that kind of damage to
Sam-who could hold almost hold his own with Dean. That only left...
“Sam?” Dean tightened his hold on the
boy’s slim shoulders, garnering his complete attention. “Did Zach's dad
do this to you? Did that slimy bastard touch you?” Dean wasn’t stupid.
He’d seen the bruises on Zach, hoped it wasn’t as bad as it seemed.
“I…I know I’m not suppose to be there
when he’s home…I’m sorry. He came in with some friends…They were
drinking beer and Zach and I tried to leave real quietly, but we had to
go through the living room.”
Dean could feel his pulse quicken
with each sob. His anger level rose as his fingers made contact with
the hot skin of his brother’s arm, where red, whelp-like impressions
encircled it. “And?” The teen prodded, knowing he wasn’t going to like
what his kid brother was about to tell him.
“And Zach walked in front of the T.V.
…just for a minute. His dad grabbed him and started shaking him.” Sam
swallowed hard, his brown eyes filling with tears again. “He kept on
and on and Zach's head was snapping back and forth. It was like a
“And you tried to help?”
Sam nodded, wiping the back of his
arm over his face. “He hit me and knocked me down. I tried to get up,
tried to block him, but he kicked me, and then threw me out the door.”
Sam lifted his shirt, and Dean felt a surge of heat race from his toes
all the way up his torso, only to explode in a shade of murderous
crimson across his face.
“Son of a bitch!” Dean snarled,
running his fingers along the younger boy’s ribs. “Can you breathe
okay?” Nothing felt broken. Sam had calmed down some, wasn’t struggling
for air, but the man could have killed his little brother.
“Good. Then stay here. I’ll fix you
up when I get back.”
“Dean…no!” Sam caught his brother’s
“Sam,” the older boy whirled around.
“He’s not going to get away with hurting you.”
“Dad will find out. Mr. Brewster will
call the police.”
“Let him.” Dean started for the door,
shrugging off his kid brother’s grasp. “He better call an ambulance
while he’s at it.” Even the thought of the great John Winchester’s
wrath didn’t slow him down.
Sam started after him, but the other
boy stopped, held up a hand. “No!” He pointed his finger at his
brother. “Stay here. I mean it.”
Dean didn't remember much after that.
It was like he was watching his body from outside himself. He knew he
had walked into a scene straight from Deliverance.
Two good old boys and Brewster, who
each outweighed Dean didn’t take kindly to being called out and
accosted by a teenager. Dean had gotten in some good shots, using his
feet more than his fists, just like he‘d been taught to do when facing
an opponent who could cause a lot of damage if given the chance.
A few well-placed round house kicks
and side kicks into the soft middles of the men had them gasping for
air, before they forced the teen against the hot metal siding of the
trailer home. If not for Sam showing up and yelling enough to distract
them, it might have been over just then. But Dean had spotted a busted
table near the side of the porch, grabbed a thick wooden leg, and
wielded it like a Louisville Slugger.
Watching them drop like flies was
almost as satisfying as knocking a ball out of the park, but pummeling
Brewster was like a triple play in the bottom of the ninth. It fed his
rage instead of calming it, and he didn’t want to think too long or too
hard on what might have happened if Sam’s frightened voice hadn’t
reached him in his adrenaline hyped state, quashing the fire like a
bucket of cool water.
Dean rubbed his chin, where Brewster
had clipped him with an uppercut.
“So you went over there to exact some
revenge?” The detective asked, jotting some notes in a notepad as the
teen stopped talking. He’d recanted the entire incident to them, his
eyes never straying from Caleb’s face as he spoke in a detached manner.
“And to check on the other kid,”
Reaves interjected before the younger hunter could comment. He broke
away from the teen’s gaze and looked at Evans. The last thing they
needed was for Dean to look like a punk vigilante. “My nephew has been
raised to stick up for those who can’t take care of themselves. To
protect his little brother and anyone else who might be in trouble.” It
was all true-the code of the Brotherhood. Nobody took it as seriously
as Dean Winchester.
The police officer smiled, tapping
the pen against the conference table. “Son, that’s what the law is for.”
“Hasn’t worked for Zack so far,” Sam
stated, edging closer to his brother when the detective’s gaze fell to
The officer looked back to Caleb,
with a slight shake of his head. He dropped the pen on the table. “Want
to tell me how a fourteen-year-old takes down three grown men twice his
size?” Evans raised a brow, taking in Reaves’ size, his attitude and
demeanor. “What else have you been teaching him?”
“His daddy was a Marine.” Caleb
shrugged. “And maybe we shouldn’t have let him watch all those Chuck
Norris movies when he was a kid. Then there were those damn Power
The detective raised a hand to cut
off the young psychic’s rambling explanation, and sighed. “I get the
He rubbed a hand over his face and
Reaves noticed the gold, wedding band on his finger.
The hunter took in a breath and
utilized his psychic abilities. Evans had two children, a boy and a
girl. “You wouldn’t have wanted to kill him?” Caleb jutted his chin
towards Sam, then looked the officer in the eye. “Because I gotta’ tell
you, if I’d been there, or their daddy had been there, your man
Brewster wouldn’t have woken up.”
Evans studied the rag tag group in
front of him. “Give me a minute.”
The detective rose from the table,
closed the door behind him as he left. “That went well,” Dean said,
snidely. “I’m so going to fry.”
Caleb frowned. “He buys your story,
Deuce-although he thinks you’re headed for a lifetime of trouble. But
he likes Sammy, reminds him of his little boy. He’s going to go to bat
“You’re not suppose to read people’s
minds without their permission.” Sam pointed out and Reaves rolled his
eyes. “Who says?”
“Well Jim ain’t here, now is he?”
Caleb raked a hand through his hair. “Why are you busting my chops,
anyway, runt? I’ll have you know that I dumped a very hot red-head to
come play Uncle Caleb.”
“You’re not our Uncle.”
Reaves looked to Dean, who only
shrugged. “He missed his nap.”
“I don’t take naps.”
“Exactly,” Dean replied. “That’s why
“I’m not grumpy, I’m hungry.”
“That’s why you should have taken the
cute cop up on her offer of snacks,” Caleb suggested.
“I’m not suppose to take food from
Reaves groaned. “God, just kill me
Onto Chapter 3
Uploaded by Majs