Title: Charge Their Doings

By: Tidia

Part 1

"There are some upon this earth of yours," returned the Spirit, "who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all out kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us."

A Christmas Carol

Caleb fumbled with the lock-there seemed to be two of them. He couldn't synchronize the card and his hand to turn the knob when the light turned green. Finally, he put his shoulder into the door and stumbled into the room. He crashed onto the floor, getting up close and personal to the rough, burgundy carpeting.

"Fuckin' Joshua, fuckin' Boone." He got to his hands and feet, then used the bed to bring himself to a sitting position on the bed. He took off his shirt, getting tangled in the sleeves before he was finally released from the material. He was hot, and could see his skin was flushed especially around his collar bone.

"Dammit." He swallowed. He was parched. He wished he felt ill because of a wicked hangover, but that wasn't the case. He stood up, trying to lurch into the bathroom but instead ended face down in the other double bed.

Reaves lay that way for awhile, awaken by the uncomfortable sensation of John's ring digging into his chest. He had taken to wearing the former Knight's band around his neck, on a chain. John rarely wore the ring when he was alive, but he wanted to pay some sort of tribute to his mentor. He owed the man much, to watch over John's sons.

There was no way he was going to be able to keep his promise to Sam and Dean. He wasn't going to make Christmas, let alone the rest of his life. They wouldn’t be happy with him, even if he was dead. 'Sam,' he thought for a moment.

Caleb grabbed his head. The throbbing felt like his head would split in two. His stomach twisted and he rolled into a fetal position. "Poison in the drink." He said out loud, disgusted he had been so easily duped. Boone and Joshua had passed along some information about a cult with possible connections to the demon. Caleb had garnered expertise in cults over the years, finding most of their beliefs based on some truth. In this case, the truth was The Order of the Solar Temple did not trust strangers. "God, help me."

"No, I am sure he is busy with important matters."

Caleb uncurled himself, groaning as he rolled to the other side of the bed, pulling the knife from its ankle sheath ready to defend himself. At the head of the bed was the hotel clerk who had checked him in a few days ago. Dark hair was swept over for a bad comb over, pasty skin and yellow glowing eyes. "What the hell?"

"Maybe it should be who in the hell?" The demon smirked, noticing, he was not getting the reaction he wanted from the hunter. He shrugged his shoulders. "No? Not that amusing?"

"No. Not so much." He had never had any experience with the Winchesters' demon. He tried to remember everything John and the boys had told him, but it wasn't much. The search for the demon had been a personal quest, the other hunters not included. Caleb felt ill-prepared.

"Quite a predicament you got yourself in." The demon gestured to the edge of the bed, and took a seat. Reaves threw the knife and scrambled for the holy water, only to have the knife returned to him and land in the headboard a mere inch from his face. "That won't work, not here," the demon said then gestured to the holy water Caleb had been reaching for, "and not that either."

Caleb wiped his brow. He needed to be calm, if he was to walk out of this situation alive. "Why are you here?"

"A friendly visit," the demon said, folding his hands together.

"Why a hotel clerk?" Reaves relied on his sarcasm. It was unnerving having the demon this close, and to be helpless, not only from the poison but there seemed to be a strange buzzing in his head. "Why not Jessica Alba or Angelina Jolie? That's who I would want paying me a friendly visit."

The demon cocked his head to the left, yellow eyes glowing. "Not going to ask me about John?"

Caleb pulled himself up into a sitting position. He stared, unblinking in the eyes of the bane of the Winchester family. "I assume he's giving you, well you know. . ." Still keeping his eyes on the demon, the psychic pulled the knife from the headboard. "I know about the deal and it's gonna bite you in the ass."

"Really? Wait, let me guess?" The clerk stood up and walked around the room. "You think the Brotherhood will undermine me?" He started to laugh and sauntered to the Caleb's bedside. "Please, every decade in one form or another they have existed and look, I am still here. Imagine that." He bent down low, his mouth near the psychic's ear. "You can not stop me and neither can the Winchesters."

Reaves felt his strength ebbing, but brought his hands around the neck of the demon and began to squeeze. "Hell isn't big enough for all of us. Stay away from Sam and Dean."

The demon laughed and tears flowed down his face. Caleb let go unable to hold on. "I am familiar with your family. Actions tell," the demon continued to revel in mirth.

"Shut up." Reaves backed away, wiped a hand down his mouth and felt the heat emanating off his own body.

The hotel clerk sobered, and squared his shoulders. "Not yet. You will be visited by my minions. . ."

"Seriously, Dude, A Christmas Carol?" Caleb interrupted. He tried to work up some saliva to moisten his mouth. "Been there, read that," he said thickly.

"Think of me as Marley, your old friend, telling you of things to come. And the people I'm sending you tonight, well, they are special." The demon explained, clearly disappointed the psychic misunderstood the situation. "This is not like the book. That was about second chances, and we know how this version will end."

Caleb narrowed his eyes, trying to think of a quick response. The words died on his lips as his eyes closed again, his body a willing participant to the demon's plans even though his mind rebelled.

Reaves didn't know how long he was unconscious, but eventually he awoke again, peeled his eyes open and was startled to find someone else in his room. He closed his eyes again. He had to call for help, but felt so heavy and lethargic. "Can't I just be left alone?" Caleb groaned. He wondered what kind of poison was used on him to cause these hallucinations, and got the feeling that perhaps this was more reality than not. The psychic opened his eyes once again, studying the man sitting on the other bed. "Damn, is it you?"

John Winchester gave a weary grin, which didn't reach his eyes. "I can't answer that."

"Okay." Reaves pushed himself up, only to crumple back down into the bed. "I . . ." Caleb started, wanting to say so much to this image of John, but unsure if this was really John Winchester returned from the dead.

John interrupted, not letting Caleb form a coherent question. "You don't look good."

The psychic studied his deceased mentor. He was still rugged looking, but pale, and aged. "You look a little rough around the edges too." Reaves pinched the bridge of his nose. "Aren't you going to ask me about your sons?" If he knew anything about John Winchester, it was that the man loved his sons.

John leaned forward. "This isn't about them, it's about you."

"That's not comforting," Caleb whispered, and turned his head away from John. He ached, his heart ached, and he yet he felt detached as if this was happening to another person, not to him.

John scratched the stubble on his chin. "I'm not into kind words and emotional displays."

"You never were. More of a kick ass, shit-eating grin type." Reaves looked back with a smirk. He wanted to take in this image of John Winchester, burn it into his memory. "So why are you here?"

"Remember the first Christmas we spent together back in eighty-four? You were a cocky teenager." John shook his head. "You know, not much has changed."

"Wait, you're the ghost of Christmas past? Greeeaaat." Reaves paused for a moment. "Oh, God, I think I had a mullet back then." Caleb groaned, masking the fact the groan was more from his fevered body than the bad hair memory. "And this is important –why?"

"You'll see." John closed his eyes and the psychic was brought back twenty years.

Caleb took refuge in the Pastor's kitchen. His adopted father was there, stringing popcorn with a needle and thread as if he was performing life-saving surgery. "The carolers are giving me a headache. They're so fu--," he cut himself off, as Jim walked into the room, "happy."

"Tis the season," Jim replied, humming along with the carolers' rendition of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

The soon to be fourteen-year-old slumped down into a chair next to Mac. "I'm a kid whose birthday is near Christmas. We always get screwed this time of year. 'Tis the season to be screwed."

Ames spared a glance at his dejected son. They had only been father and son for a little over a year. And the renowned doctor knew his son didn't enjoy the holidays. "John is coming to spend Christmas with us."

Caleb perked up, sitting up straight in his chair. "Cool."

"And his sons," Jim added, opening up the oven to check on the roast warming inside.

"Creepy kid and the drooling baby—fuunnn." The teen shrugged his shoulders. "When?"

Mac looked at his watch. "Now."

The doorbell rang, and Jim went to the front door with a grin. Caleb could hear the Pastor's loud voice from the kitchen. "Merry Christmas, John! Hello, Dean, Merry Christmas to you too."

Mac stood up, and pulled on his son's sleeve, gesturing for him to stand up and greet the guests too.

John was shifting Sam from one shoulder to the other, and taking off his jacket. Dean stood by his father. The older Winchester handed his coat to the minister. "Thanks for inviting us. My friends just had a baby, and after Thanksgiving, I didn't know if I could be around that. . ."

"Sam's sleeping," Dean commented, getting the minister's attention.

Jim smiled at the sleeping baby, whose mouth gaped open with a soft snore. "Okay, why don't we put him on the floor?"

John put him gently down on the carpeted floor, while Dean grabbed the afghan and pillows from the couch. He surrounded his baby brother with the pillows and then covered him with the blanket.

Caleb rolled his eyes at the scene. The kid was too weird. Mac was talking to John, but turned to glare at his son.

Jim ushered Dean over to Caleb. "You remember Caleb and Mac from the summer."

Dean nodded, not looking up to either, but glancing to his father instead who gave him a nod.

John pointed to his oldest son's jacket pocket. There was some red construction paper sticking out. "Dean made a Christmas ornament at school. He was hoping he could hang it on your tree?"

Caleb shook his head, as Mac bent down and pulled the ornament carefully out of the child's jacket. "Hallmark does it a lot better."

The doctor placed the ornament on the floor, and helped the boy take off his jacket. He handed it to his son with a warning, "Caleb."

"What?" Reaves took the jacket, and immediately passed it on the minister.

Jim pointed to the evergreen tree in the corner, which was still not completely decorated. "Sure, Dean, pick out any place you want."

Ames shook his head, the teen still not comprehending what his father expected him to do. Mac went into the kitchen and retrieved the garland he was working on. Dean stood before the tree, searching a location for his ornament.

"How about up there? I'll give you a lift." Mac suggested.

Dean looked up at the doctor, doubtfully, but admired the location in the tree, which he couldn’t reach alone. He nodded, and Mac lifted him up to place the ornament near the golden star.

"That looks great, son," John stated with a glass of amber liquid firmly in his hand.

The men finished decorating the tree with Caleb alternating between making suggestions on where to place the ornaments and insulting the decorating abilities of the other hunters. "Charlie Brown's tree looks a whole hell of a lot of better."

The noise woke up two-year old Sam, who was in awe of the Christmas lights. He opened and closed his hands. "Up!" he said to the adults. He smiled and pointed to the lights. "Pretty lights."

The group sat down for dinner of a roast, mashed potatoes and carrots. Dessert was kindly donated by parishioners of Jim's church. Sated, the minister read the story of the nativity to the two youngsters while Caleb, Mac and John played poker.

Satisfied with his cards, and that he would win this hand, Caleb made conversation with John Winchester. "I've been practicing that stuff you taught me last time." He hoped to learn more from the older man.

Winchester glanced at Ames before answering the teen. "Think you're ready for some other moves?"

"Yeah, of course," Reaves answered excitedly. He wanted to learn a new combat move as soon as possible. He was already involved with karate classes too. He was interrupted by Dean.

"Sir, Sam needs to go to bed now." The five year old stated, as Mary and Joseph had just made it to the manger. The youngest Winchester had fallen asleep in his brother's lap.

The Pastor closed the Bible. "Dean, you can call me Jim, okay?"

"Yes, Sir, I mean Jim, but Sammy." Dean stood up, picking up his little brother. He held him tight, although he shouldn't have the responsibility of bearing the chubby baby.

John started to rise, but Mac stopped him. "Caleb, why don't you help Dean?"

Caleb snorted in disbelief, studying his cards again. "No, Dad,"

Mac pulled the cards from his adopted son's hands, closed them, and laid them on the table. "Yes, son."

"I'm winning." Reaves turned over the cards and fanned them out showing his winning hand.

Mac shook his head. "No, you're giving both John and I headache." He ruffled Caleb's hair to soften the criticism. The teen immediately neatened his locks. "When you try to read us you lack finesse."

"Feels like a jackhammer, kid," John commented and then showed his cards-four Jacks. "I think I was going to win this hand."

Caleb slid his chair back with a huff. Dean stood near his father, watching the exchange. The teen took the sleeping toddler out of the five-year-old's hands.

"Night, Ace. Merry Christmas." John gave his son a brief hug. Dean squirmed away and started after Caleb who was climbing the stairs to the second floor.

The teen heard the little footsteps behind him. Caleb knew he was being sent to keep the children occupied. The adults were putting a bike together for Dean. To think it took a mechanic, a neurosurgeon and a minister to put together a bike showed it was a sad state of affairs in the world of the Brotherhood.

He entered the room that had been set up for the brothers. The teen didn't know what to do next. "Well?" he said to the five-year-old following behind.

"He needs his diaper changed." Dean crossed his arms, waiting to see Caleb's reaction.

Reaves didn't do diaper duty. He actually didn't even like kids. He handed the sleeping toddler back to his brother. "That's all you kid."

Dean accepted the burden, placing his sleeping brother on the floor. He unzipped the fleecy pajamas, and expertly changed the diaper with little Sam only fidgeting a little before falling back asleep. "I can take care of him. You don't have to stay."

Caleb shook his head. Mac had practically ordered him to go with Dean and Sam. He couldn't go back downstairs without a good excuse. "I'm staying. Probably going to be eating at the kid's table tomorrow too."

The five-year-old handed his brother to the teen. He pulled out a stuffed lamb, and wound it up, placing it near his brother. The musical strains of When You Wish Upon A Star wafted through the room. "You need to make sure he doesn’t slip off the bed." Dean waited until Caleb nodded, before disappearing into the bathroom with his little knapsack.

He quickly returned wearing pajamas with Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers. Caleb had started humming the Disney song, then caught himself and gave Dean a withering look. "Those are embarrassing."

The boy ignored the teen, and climbed into the twin bed, cuddling close to his brother. Caleb moved over, slightly, his long legs almost hanging over the side of the bed. A few minutes ticked by, and Reaves noticed the five-year-old still had not closed his eyes. "Are you going to sleep?"

"Not tired. I have to watch over Sammy."

Caleb rolled his eyes. The toddler was snoring; oblivious he had an audience watching over him. "Jim put stockings by your bed." He gestured to the red and white striped socks hooked on the knobs of the nightstand.

"Yep," Dean gave them a quick glance.

Caleb sighed. Talking to Dean was difficult. The teen let his mind open, knowing he would easily be able to touch the boy's mind since there were no barriers in place unlike Mac and John. He flinched when one thought came through loud and clear. "Oh, kid, don't go there."

Dean frowned in puzzlement. "I'm not going anywhere."

Reaves brushed his hand through his hair. He was thirteen, almost fourteen. He didn't consider himself a bad person, but here he was placed in an awkward situation. Mac was always telling him that telling the truth was always easier than creating a lie. But, lies came easier for him. This case warranted the truth. "Santa's not going to bring your mom back."

Dean lifted his head, propping himself up on his elbows. "You don't know that." The boy said quietly, and gripped a piece of Sam's pajama tightly.

Caleb tried to assure the boy. He had gone through the same thing when his parents had died. He understood only too well what Dean Winchester was going through. "It didn't work last year." He turned so he was facing the five-year-old. "Look, kid, I know. When my mom and dad died I went to go and live with my grandmother. She was good to me, but she wasn't my Mom and Dad." Caleb felt his heart break a little as he told Dean about his past. He still missed them-his parents and his grandmother. "You're lucky kid; at least you got your dad." Reaves cleared his throat. Had one of his parents lived, or his grandmother then he wouldn’t have been placed in foster care or at that psychiatric hospital. Caleb counted himself lucky Mac had found him.

Dean looked away, and let go of his brother's pajamas. "There's no such thing as Santa Claus, is there?"

Caleb was relieved he didn't have to be the person to tell a five-year-old that Santa didn't exist. He never understood why people wanted to delude children with the promises of a man in a red suit who could make all dreams come true. He stopped believing when Santa didn't return his parents. "No, but you're not surprised."

Dean shook his head. He smiled down at his brother. "But, Sammy believes in Santa."

"Yeah, I can see that." Caleb didn't believe the toddler had any opinion about Santa, but maybe he would be a Santa believer until he was at least seven maybe even eight. Reaves wouldn’t admit it, but having the baby blob cuddled next to him was comforting. Caleb though didn’t want to go down the road of the warm and fuzzies. "Hey, why are you talking to me?"

Dean lay down once more on his side, facing the teen and his brother. "'Cause you're a kid, like me."

Caleb snorted, that was a misconception he needed to correct. "Dude, I'm gonna be 14 in a week. I'm so not a kid."

The five-year-old nodded. He closed his eyes, and Caleb thought he was going to fall asleep, however the teenager presumed too much. Dean opened his eyes again. "What happened to your family?

Reaves exhaled sharply. He didn't talk about his family, much to Mac's dismay. The memories were his to cultivate and maintain, not to share. "It's not a bed time story, Mac'll kill me."

"You can tell me." Dean perked up. "I won't say anything. I promise."

"Yeah, I get that you can be trusted to stay quiet." Dean had been quiet, shutting his voice. "I swear, you say anything it will be like the Godfather all over again."

"Who's the godfather?"

Caleb shook his head. "Never mind." He had to remember Dean was five, going on six and lacked a pop culture education. Caleb thought seven was a good age to introduce Dean to the Corleone saga. "I don't like to talk about them. . ."

Dean reached out a hand, and brushed it against Caleb's arm. It was only a second of contact, but it was strangely reassuring. Reaves started his story. "My Mom she was beautiful and my Dad he was tall and strong. He didn't smile a lot. We had this house by the water-went every summer. I liked it." For a moment Caleb could smell the salty, fresh air and hear the seagulls. But he also remembered the rest. "Mom and Dad were fighting and something happened to my Dad." Reaves censored himself, omitting that the newspapers called it a murder-suicide. But, he knew better. He knew the truth. "I hate the ocean now—it makes me sick." He said it more harshly than he intended.

But the five-year-old seemed to understand. "I don't want to go home either," Dean said sealing their common bond. "I think maybe your mom and my mom would have been friends."

"Maybe." Caleb smiled. "Get some sleep, I'll take this watch."

The teen had the intention of staying in the room until Dean fell asleep, but the next thing he knew a little hand was slapping him on the face.

"Five more minutes," he mumbled. But the little hand continued and wiped down his face.

"What?" he grabbed the hand and opened his eyes. Sam Winchester smiled above him, wiggling his hand out of Caleb's grip.

Dean was sitting cross-legged on the bed, his stocking in his lap. There was a red apple, an orange and a super bouncy ball. Jim sucked at being a Santa.

With a groan Caleb propped himself up, and then noticed his stocking was on his chest, which meant everyone knew he had spent the night with the kids. It was downright embarrassing. "Shit," he uttered.

"Not supposed to use bad words around Sammy." Dean warned, his hair sticking up in tuffs.

He waved off the five-year-old's admonishment. He dumped out the contents of his stocking. There was a pear, banana and some walnuts. "This sucks, want to trade?"

Dean shook his head. He climbed down from the bed, and then reached for his brother, sitting him down with the stuffed lamb. Dean returned to Caleb, who noticed it was six in the morning. He hated six in the morning, seven in the morning and most of the times eight too.

He groaned, and closed his eyes. Dean shook his arm. "What?"

Dean handed him a package of peanut M & M's. "Dad bought them for me on the ride over. You can have them. Mrs. Morris says I know how to share."

Caleb smiled at the yellow wrapper. He liked M & M's too. "You're not too bad Deuce."

The five-year-old cocked his head to the side. "My Dad calls me Ace." He corrected the teenager.

Reaves swung his legs over, and stood up. He tussled Dean's hair. "You're Deuce to me."

They went downstairs, Dean holding his brother's hand and a paper bag in the other. He helped Sam down two steps, before Sam decided it would be faster if he sat down and went down the stairs on his butt.

The adults were already at the kitchen table, with coffee cups in hand. "Merry Christmas!" Jim greeted them.

"I think Santa left something for you Dean." John reached out and picked up his youngest son.

Dean looked up at Caleb, for the last moment playing along that there was such a thing as Santa Claus.

The five-year-old's eyes opened wide when he saw the blue bicycle near the tree. "Is that for me?"

"Yep," John replied with a smile.

Dean studied the bike, touching each part of it. He had forgotten briefly about the brown paper bag. A moment later, he pulled himself away from the new bike and went over to his father who was trying to engage Sammy in playing with his new toy instead of the box. "Dad, I made this for you." He handed his father a slightly crushed, green construction paper scroll. "And Sammy likes to eat paper, so I made him this." He pulled a little sock puppet from the paper bag, made from one of his own socks.

The baby grabbed the puppet and called it "Dean!" John opened the scroll which proclaimed him 'The Best Dad Ever.' He gave his son a hug, not knowing if he actually lived up to the praise or if he ever would.

"Merry Christmas, son," Mac said to Caleb, placing a hand on the back of his neck. He pointed to the pile of gifts in the corner. "I think the Ames family got carried away."

Reaves looked at the pile in awe. The colorfully wrapped gifts were piled as high as his hip. He had already unwrapped, learned what was inside and then rewrapped the gifts. But still, seeing them piled together made him appreciate his eccentric, extended family. They had been welcoming and generous.

Mac noticed the gifts seemed to overtake the room, and knew the Winchester boys had only each received a toy. Caleb was already sifting through the gifts, deciding which one was worth opening again. The doctor bent down and whispered into his adopted son's ear. "I suggest you give one to Dean."

Caleb whipped his head around, incredulous. "Why?" he said loudly.

Mac raised his eyebrows to recommend the teen lower his voice. "Because it's the right thing to do and I said so."

Caleb narrowed his eyes. His hands brushed against a silver wrapped package. "Fine," he said to his father. He picked an electronic game he already had at home. He didn't need two. "Here." The teen interrupted the boy, his brother and father and held out the gift, shaking it to prompt Dean to take it. "Merry Christmas."

Dean glanced at his father and Caleb and carefully peeled away the paper. "Thanks!" He cradled the game in his hands, like a prized possession. He smiled at Caleb. "You know how to share too."

Caleb shrugged his shoulders. He was starting to like this kid. "I'm not giving the M & M's back to you." The teen patted his pocket where the yellow wrapper was safely ensconced.

The motion made him groan. He felt damp with sweat. He tried to open his eyes, to see John, but he was face down on the burgundy palm tree printed bedspread. There was no one with him, he was alone and hurting. Oblivion was welcomed.

Onto Part 2