Part 2

Dean rubbed his face as he listened to Carolyn. As of late, any conversation started with her apologizing to him. She had felt bad about the way she had treated him when Josh was in the hospital. He had told her there was no need for apologies, but she paid no heed and apologized for minor infractions like not answering the phone on the first ring. Dean let it pass. Eventually Carolyn would become comfortable.

He rolled his eyes at Caleb. Carolyn and Riley had lots of theories.

"It's like twins, or maybe triplets in this case, feeling the death of their sibling. It is a deep connection."

"Any way to tap into it?" This was the information they needed to know, how to use their Triad connection. The rest of it was fluff, and Dean never wanted the fluff.

"We've been all over the Wilmington Ranch, and we can't get to the Sinks. Other than going to Hell. . .Sorry."

Dean wanted to laugh, but mentioning Hell usually didn't give him that reaction. "Josh and you are going to be really happy together." Both had the same problem of saying the wrong thing. He covered the statement. "Anything else?"

"The Triad together is the key," she reiterated, then paused. "Try holding hands," she murmured.

"What was that?" Dean said sharply.

"Try holding hands?" she repeated, but this time Dean heard her clearly. "Riley and I believe it has to do with proximity and contact."

Dean muffled his hand over the phone. "They want us to hold hands."

Caleb shook his head. "Can you see Mac, John, and Jim doing that?"

"Good point," he agreed with Caleb and then directed the question to Carolyn. "What did Mac say?"

"He couldn’t remember ever holding hands with Pastor Jim and your father."

"Damn right." He affirmed Caleb's thought.

"But Riley did say that when you were in that room together, you were able to be trapped-together," Carolyn chided.

At the Wilmington ranch they had been trapped as they walked into the room. Carolyn and Riley had a point, as uncomfortable as it was. Holding hands was left to only bedside vigils when one of them was close to death. Sam wasn't dying. "Okay, fine."

"Wait, Dean," she said, "Joshua notified the CDU that he is moving to your position."

"CDU?" He looked at Caleb who shrugged his shoulders in response.

"Counter Demon Unit. We're big into '24'."

He laughed. The Geek Squad had their eccentricities. No wonder they really like Sam. "Right. About Josh, we'll take care of him."

"Thank you."

"You're not going to like this." Dean explained what Carolyn had told him, although Caleb had heard enough of it to put it together.

"Hand holding." Caleb looked down at his hands. "It's like we are living Sam's dream of chick flick moments."

Dean didn't reply. In the past his brother would have appreciated the bonding, but since returning from Hell Dean noticed his brother had hardened. He missed the other Sam — Dean Winchester's kid brother. "I'm going to be relying on you to do this, getting me into Sam's head."

Caleb nodded. "You remember when you were a kid and Sammy got stuck in his head?"

"A little bit. . .mostly I remember going on ice." Dean had been scared, and because of that he had blocked out a lot from being held hostage by a rawhead.

"Okay." Caleb brought the back of his hand near his mouth. "We already know I can't get through, but I'll try to be a bridge, cross you over."

Dean glanced at his brother, willing Sam to open his eyes. Whatever Sam needed him to do to fight this to wake up, he would do. "I get it, John Edwards."

Sam combed his hair back and squirted some gel into his hand, sculpting it back to look more professional. His administrative law professor had secured him a paid position clerking at the Bankruptcy Court. It was a great opportunity to work within the federal system, and the money was a perk. They were living off of Jessica’s paycheck; having completed her masters in psychology, she had found a job at a local hospital.

His parents were upset that their only son wasn't spending any of his summer break with them. They promised to visit him before he started his last year of law school.

Jessica and he were engaged but wouldn’t get married until after his law school graduation. He would already be set up in a job, take the bar, get married, and then take a long honeymoon before starting his six figure salary job. Those were his plans in that order. He had been interning since being a 1L, but he wanted one of the big three in LA. A clerkship was impressive, especially as a 2L. It was all part of his checklist to success.

His good suit was on the back of the bathroom door. He hoped the steam would refresh it. Some days he wished he was normal sized- suits were expensive, plus he had to think about alterations. When he turned back to the mirror after pulling on his pants he saw the black cord and the gold-colored charm hanging off of it.

He took it in his hand, surprised he hadn’t seen it there before, but it looked familiar. It was a strange figure: twisted horn, a weird face smoothed over with wear of time. He thumbed it again, getting a sense of its importance. He was startled when Jessica opened the door, holding out a mug of coffee to him.

Sam had to admit he had been too nervous for much of a breakfast, even though Jessica had awakened early to make French toast for him.

"What's this?" He held up the necklace, and it glinted under the bathroom light, winking at him in cockiness.

It was swinging in the air, and Jessica reached out, bringing it to stillness. She smiled, showing all those white teeth that came when she had a burst of energy or a happy moment. "Something I got at a flea market. They said it was good luck."

"It looks familiar,” he said, hoping she would remind him where he had seen it before.

"Maybe you recognize it from that art class you took?" she needled him, poking him in the ribs with her finger. He had admitted to her long ago that the reason why he had taken that particular course was to meet girls. Again, he didn't remember anything that was vaguely like the necklace.

"I didn't learn much from that class. Someone kept me from paying attention," he replied jokingly. It was where he had met Jessica.

"Very funny." She punched him lightly in the arm. "According to Mesopotamian mythology, the Bull-man helps people fight evil and chaos." She placed her finger on the charm as if she was giving it her blessing.

"Sounds perfect for any lawyer-to-be." Sam started to button up his shirt. He leaned over and gave Jessica a kiss. "I love it. I'll wear it everyday." It sounded weird for him to make that kind of promise to wear a necklace. He wasn't superstitious at all.

Caleb broke the contact when he heard Dean moan. They had formed a ragtag circle around Sam — Dean to Sam, Sam to Caleb, and Caleb to Dean. They had pulled the hard backed chairs over, one on each side, and Caleb talked Dean through a mental exercise he used to use to relax.

He was surprised Dean didn't roll his eyes, or refuse to them. He saw the way Dean visibly relaxed, and hoped he would continue to use them. Caleb hadn't used them in awhile, finding it easy to enter people's minds now. The unbidden visions warned him, gave him a twinge of a headache, something he could dismiss in a moment.

Dean's eyes were open now with a momentary panic he stood up suddenly, then swayed. Caleb reached out and grabbed his forearm. "Hey, you okay?"

The younger hunter sat in the chair again and placed his head in his hands.

"I didn't get anything. Did you see something? Connect with him?" Caleb was getting worried he had done something wrong, hurt his family or worse, failed them. He kept concentrating on Sam and Dean linking, since every time he knocked on Sam's mental door he received only an echo in response.

He was surprised by Dean's reaction. Dean lifted one finger, gesturing that he needed a minute.

Caleb wanted to pry into Dean's mind, but didn't want to press and do more harm. He took the moment to study Sam. There was still no change in the youngest Winchester. He glanced at his watch. Joshua would need more time to get from North Carolina to Arkansas. He concentrated on Dean, finding it difficult to stay silent, especially when his best friend was in pain. "What's going on?"

"Before, when Sam had Andy send me a message, it felt like this. . ."

"You're okay?" Caleb passed him a bottle of water. He couldn't offer him anything more; drugs, even Tylenol in this case, could hamper their efforts, although Caleb was weighing the pros and cons of continuing. So far the cons were in the lead.

Dean nodded. "Yeah." He coughed. "I don't know, man. There was this little pinpoint, and it was weird to think it was connected to Sam's brain."

Caleb grinned at the awe in Dean's voice. "Sam's mind on a different level – that's how Mac would say it. I didn't see anything. I know you were there, but that was it."

Dean shook his brother's shoulder. They both looked intently at Sam, but there was no reaction.

"Hey, hey, it was the first try, and Sam was a late bloomer," Caleb added. He hadn't come into his psychic abilities until later, and then there was The Red Caboose, too. Because of Dean, though the pros now outweighed the cons.

"You know, like this he's still Sammy."

Caleb read Dean's thoughts. This sleeping Sam was sweet and innocent, and to Dean, his current brother was not. "Are you scared of him?"

Dean groaned. "Damien, this isn't a Lifetime movie." He glanced at Caleb before minutely adjusting Sam's pillow. "There's no respect."

"We're talking about The Godfather principle. There's nothing more important than respect and your family." Caleb wished Sam hadn't planted the seeds of doubts and wished for more recent proof of Sam's respect for his brother.

"Don Corleone had it right."

"Then maybe this isn't Ruby. If Castiel did this to him, then there could be a reason for it." Caleb could not think of how the angels would teach Sam to have respect for his brother. Sam seemed to gain more respect for his father after his death when he was placed in similar positions.

Dean shook his head. "I should have stopped him."

Caleb dropped his gaze to the brown bedspread they had covered Sam in. "You couldn't stop him, and it's not because he's strong and you're weak." Caleb did not want to reinforce Sam's statements. "Sam is prideful."


"Pastor Jim used to tell me my abilities were a blessing, Mac, too. I didn't believe them until I started helping people. Weird to think that seeing things from the monster's point of view was helping people."

"That's what Sam says." Dean leaned forward with more interest.

Caleb nodded. He understood Sam. "It went to my head at times to have the power to do some much, then I would cross the line." Caleb didn't say anything further about when that happened, but the times jumped into his mind easily enough. He cleared his throat. "It started off with little things, then those little things," he paused, "they made me realize the potential I have in me."

"To go darkside," Dean said, avoiding Caleb's eye contact.

"Sam hasn't had that moment, yet."

"And you think that the angels are having a, 'come to Jesus' so to speak."

Caleb grinned at the turn of the phrase. "All I know is I can't get through. . ."

Dean was chagrinned. "So this is all about you?"

Caleb rubbed his chin, feeling the stubble from his lack of shaving. "Yes. Maybe God doesn't want me using my abilities either. I'm not going to lie and tell you I'm not worried. The angels aren't too happy with Sam, but what about me?" Caleb felt his stomach flip as he admitted his insecurity. He hated talking about it because talking about it made it real.

"Whoa, sorry to interrupt the pity party, Obi-Wan." Dean shook his head. "You didn't do anything in secret. You weren't purposefully deceitful."

"It's okay if he wants to use his abilities," Caleb replied. "He's trying to make the best of a bad situation." John had set Sam up to be distrustful of his abilities. However, now Sam believed Ruby was a better teacher and his stubborn pride wouldn't allow him to admit that was a mistake. "What I'm saying is that maybe Sam needs to learn something to have him drop Ruby, or to have him realize that his abilities need to be respected as much as people."

"You're blaming the guy we're supposed to be helping. That's sick, man." Dean started laughing, but it wasn't one of happiness. It was one of frustration.

"Well, he can argue with me when he wakes up." Caleb wanted that argument with Sam. He supported the youngest Winchester in wanting to use his abilities, but he also wanted Sam to heed some advice.

"Then we try again." Dean held out his hand.

"What about waiting to see how this plays out? Save some of those precious blood vessels."

"Whoa, Caleb the party is not coming to us. We bring the party. I want Sam awake, and I'm doing this on my time, not God's time or Ruby's time."

There were moments their attitude of shoot first, ask questions later were a detriment. "We're going into this blind. You may or may not have connected to Sam, and then what did you do with this connection?" Caleb asked.

"Told him to wake up. That we were out here."

That wasn't what Caleb was asking. It was difficult to speak about psychic abilities with Dean, who was so reluctant about Sam using his. For Caleb this was the connection he had with Sam. "You what? Yelled? What?"

"I remembered when we were kids and you used to send us images of cards and stuff."

Caleb was taken aback at Dean's recollection of a simpler time and his astuteness of that connection. Sending images was easier than talking across a psychic link. "We did kick ass playing penny poker." Caleb grasped Dean's hand. If Dean was getting through, then maybe Caleb was doing what he was supposed to be doing. They had to keep trying until something or someone stopped them. "A pinpoint, you said?"

Dean nodded.

"I can work with that," Caleb said with confidence that if the angels were involved then he would know.

Sam was cleaning the hall closet as the movers were carrying out the boxes. This had been his and Jess's first apartment, their first home, and he would miss the cramped space. Jessica said she loved his sentimental side, but three and half baths, granite kitchen counters, and a master bedroom won out. Their wedding picture would look great over the fireplace.

He had finished law school, passed the bar in California and Nevada. His parents still wished he would think about taking the bar in Kansas, reminding him good lawyers were needed there, too. But the warm sun agreed with him, as did the job at Yates, Edwards and Dellis, one of the most prestigious law firms in the country paying him a very large six figure salary.

He was realizing all of his dreams with Jessica by his side as he had planned it all along.

Jessica had assigned him the small closet. She had taken care of the larger closet, the basement storage area and under the bed. He was throwing the jackets and sports equipment in the box, even though he was supposed to be sorting and trashing some of the stuff he never wore. He came across his ski parker with lift tags on it from three years ago when they had gone to Sun Valley. He didn't know the next time he would get a chance to go skiing. After all, he was working sixty hours a week.

Sam noticed the movers were finishing up, and he started to grab the hangers in bunches and place them in the box to move with them. When he turned to pick up the items that were on the floor, he saw hanging by itself, was a brown leather jacket.

He pulled it out and caught a whiff of the scents of gun oil and salt. It was a sweet and sour mixture, reminiscent of someone. He touched the amulet he wore around his neck, feeling as though they were linked.

"Sam?" Jessica came up behind him.

"Look what I found." He held out the brown coat for her assessment.

She scrunched her nose. "A leather jacket."

Sam slipped it on to show her that it fit. He had trouble finding clothes to fit him properly due to his stature. It felt good, worn in, and bendable; however he knew he had never worn it before. "I don't know how it got here."

"It fits and looks good on you, really sexy in fact." Jessica leaned in closer to him.

"It's weird, though." Sam knew that most of their sports stuff was in this closet. Their apartment was small so he could account for everything. "A leather jacket and a good one? Just in the closet?"

"You brought a lot of stuff with you from Kansas." Jessica gestured to the box he had just packed. "Stuff was here before I moved in."

"Yeah, hey, you're right." That jogged a memory for him of his father when he was younger wearing the jacket. He smiled at the thought of his father being worried he would be cold in California. "I think it's my dad's."

"Aww, that's sweet." She rubbed his arm. "He gave it to you."

"He must have. It's really cool." Sam pulled down on the edge of the sleeve.

"I don't know if you can wear it to the firm. . ." Jessica teased.

"I'm going to keep it." Sam took it off and folded it up, gently placing it on top of the box. He then sealed the box up and pushed it to the hallway for the movers to pick up. This was the beginning of a new chapter.

Go to Part 3

Back to Part I