Great, Beautiful, Terrible Things

By: Ridley C. James

Beta: Tidia

Disclaimer: Nothing Supernatural belongs to me. All those lovely men are property of Kripke Enterprise and The CW.


Chapter 2/4

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 interrogation.

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 okay, tiger?”

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 gone.

“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 away again.”

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 notices.”

“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 these days.”

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 charges.”

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, Lucifer.”

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 shit.”

“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 damn order.”

“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 behavior.

“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 emotionally.

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. “What’s wrong?”

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 poltergeist attack.”

“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 hand. “Don’t!”

“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 him.

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 Rangers…who knew.”

The detective raised a hand to cut off the young psychic’s rambling explanation, and sighed. “I get the picture.”

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 for you.”

“You’re not suppose to read people’s minds without their permission.” Sam pointed out and Reaves rolled his eyes. “Who says?”

“Jim 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 you’re grumpy.”

“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 strangers.”

Reaves groaned. “God, just kill me now.”


Onto Chapter 3


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