God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman

By: Tidia, December 2007

Beta: Household Six (check out her stuff at fanfiction.net, you won't be disappointed).

Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural—just borrowing. And Ridley C. James created The Brotherhood AU

Notes: Timeline wise this comes after To The Victor Go The Spoils (taking place May 2007), and two other stories we have planned—Offerings and Takings set in late summer and The Edge of Winter set in the fall. So there are some mentions of these, and they will be written in time. Thank you to Jo, my beta and Ridley for saying-they will love it. Lots of references from past stories too. This was inspired by gatorpez, and there is a part that Jo asked for too.


Chapter 1/4

Upon arriving at the farm, the boys had gone to the church to purchase a tree. They still liked to support Pastor Jim's church, and when they were children picking out the tree had been a big event. Just because they were grown didn’t mean it couldn’t be a big event again. With the conclusion of a tumultuous year which had them all being threatened, and the uncertainties of the upcoming year, a respite was in order.

Mackland had found Jim's eggnog recipe and liberally added the brandy, which was needed after he told the boys Joshua and Esme would be joining them. Esme was planning on cooking them a Christmas feast. Bobby was also coming for a visit, but it was the news of the Sawyer family’s arrival that had Caleb concerned, with Dean not helping the situation. He was giving Dean leeway, having almost lost him recently, but he was fine and whole; Mackland, however, was losing patience.

"Must be serious, Damien, spending the holidays together," Dean quipped as he put his feet up on the coffee table. The new addition, Boo, had taken it as an opportunity to lie under Dean's propped up legs.

Caleb was reaching up to put the angel in place. They had found the box of Jim's ornaments in the attic, many of them homemade construction paper designs from the boys. It had been Caleb's idea to recreate their picturesque Christmases of the past, and Mackland had been more than willing to facilitate it. He knew his son was still trying to find a way out for Dean, as were he and Sam. More than anything, there seemed to be a consensus they needed to be together, omitting the possibility it could be their last Christmas together.

"Dad, tell Deuce you're just buddies with benefits."

Mackland frowned. He had no idea what his son was referring to. He had never heard the expression. "Caleb, what are you talking about?"

"Yeah, dude, explain 'buddies with benefits' to your dad," Dean snickered, bending down to pat the dog. Boo responded by wagging his tail.

Mackland stared at Caleb, who was not forthcoming with an answer. He turned to Sam. "Samuel?"

Sam looked startled. The dog barked and moved over to the youngest hunter. "Mac, I don't think—"

"Never mind," Caleb interjected.

Sam sighed in relief, gave all his attention to the dog, and moved to the opposite corner of the couch. Having heard Boo's barking, Harper Lee left his warm post in the kitchen and entered the living room to join them.

Caleb continued, pacing. "She comes with a kid."

Mackland worried about his son's jealous streak. It was endearing, but so illogical. "Joshua is an adult."

"What if Dean hits him again?" Caleb retorted.

Dean snorted. "Dude, I was 16. Don't go pulling me into your issues."

Mackland shook his head. "After all that has happened, don't you believe sharing the holidays is the least we can do?" Both Esme and Joshua had made sacrifices for Caleb, as well as those who cared for him.

"Did you buy him a present?" Dean asked with a smile. Mackland glared at him, succeeding in causing Dean to only momentarily twitch his mouth downward before he broke into a grin once more. "He did! It’s probably that big ass one—"

The doctor wanted to put a hand over Dean's mouth. Caleb was circling the presents. The large one was actually for Esme, but he had purchased a small gift for Joshua.

Of all people, he was saved by Pastor Jim. He had found a few photo albums in the closet and had taken one down, placing it on the coffee table. He pointed to the maroon, leather bound book. "Boys! Look what I found."

Mackland sat in the middle of the Winchesters and opened the book. Dean and Sam moved in closer; Caleb ceased his diatribe and sat on the coffee table.

The first photo was of Emma, a soft color photo of a woman smiling, her hair coiled at the nape of the neck. She exuded a quiet elegance.

"Pastor Jim had himself a hottie," Dean commented.

Mackland chuckled. "That he did. Wish we had met her." Jim rarely spoke about his life with Emma, but when he did it was with an awe of a man still in love.

Caleb turned the page. "Wow, Jim had dark hair."

"What: do you think he was born gray?" Sam reached over and tapped the front of Caleb's head.

"More likely you three had something to do with it," Mackland said as he turned the page.

They all cocked their heads. Sam narrowed his eyes. "Is that Bobby in a suit?"

Caleb shook his head as if he had eaten something sour. "He's better scruffy-looking." He then turned the page to find there was a picture of Atticus and Scout.

Mackland noticed that Sam stopped patting Boo. Mackland had heard stories about the new dog visiting the neighbors and digging up their gardens. Dean would get messages left on his voicemail since somehow his phone number had appeared on the dog’s tag.

"Atticus and Scout. Great dogs." Sam then returned to giving attention to Boo, who licked his hand until Harper Lee pushed in, making sure he was the primary focus of Sam's attention. Evidently, Harper Lee viewed Boo as an interloper.

The next picture had Caleb and Dean chortling. Sam was wearing sunglasses, holding what seemed to be a carrot, wearing a red jacket with zippers and one glove.

"Sam, why are you wearing a white glove?" Mackland asked.

"I was like four, Mac. I don’t remember."

"Hey, that’s all Caleb's stuff. He worshipped Michael Jackson," Dean commented then added a high pitched "OWW!"

Caleb slapped Dean in his stomach. "Michael Jackson was a genius."

Dean rubbed his stomach. "Back in 1983; by 1988, not so much."

"Man, you could do a mean moonwalk," Caleb gestured to Sam. "Do you still remember how?"

"You're pathetic, you know that? Tell me you paid me to do that." Sam kept his eyes on the picture.

"No, that was before your 'everything costs a dollar' phase."

Mackland recalled Sam at five years old bringing him a drink and then charging him for providing the service. It got to the point where he carried twenty singles with him just in case.

Dean turned the thick plastic page and let his hand linger on the page.

It was John and Mackland laughing in a moment of natural camaraderie. Mac missed those too-few carefree moments. He missed his friends, achingly saw that same longing reflected in the faces of his son and John's sons.

"When was this?" Sam sounded breathless.

"Probably when the three of you were out of the house."

They remained staring at the photo until Mackland quietly went to the next one, a picture of Caleb's high school graduation. Caleb's arm stretched over Jim's shoulder, his cap askew and his gown opened. He looked disheveled.

"You let him wear combat boots to his graduation?" Dean got a closer look at the picture.

"I wasn't consulted," Mackland retorted. "When you are a parent, you will learn to pick your battles." He almost regretted uttering the words— words about the future— but he wanted to show Dean he believed there was a future.

"Those were great boots," Caleb added. "I miss those boots."

Mackland swore his son was pouting. He, on the other hand, hated those boots and was happy when Caleb outgrew them. He took an obscene amount of pleasure in throwing them down the trash chute.

The next picture was one of Dean by himself, sleeping by Jim's lake. It surprised Mackland to see a picture of Dean alone and not with the others. Dean looked about twelve or thirteen years of age.

"Is that drool?" Caleb asked as he put his thumb over Dean's face, obscuring it totally.

"Get your finger off my face, Damien." Dean flicked at Caleb's finger. The assault must have stung because his son snatched up his thumb and cradled it to his chest.

They went through the other pictures, but Mackland wanted more. He couldn’t believe there was so much he had forgotten. "There were some other ones. . . ," he began to suggest. He had seen similar books on the top shelf of the closet.

"Maybe the Miami Vice picture is in there," Dean said with a grin.

Mackland smiled. Dean was referring to the photo of Caleb wearing a light blue blazer and shoes with no socks, following the fashion sense of a television show. The doctor had the original safely tucked away and had made copies. As a parent, there were rare moments of secretly laughing at your children.

"Laugh it up, because when we find it, I'm burning it," Caleb threatened.

"And no one paid you to dress like that, right?" Sam joined in the conversation. "I can't wait to see it."

Mackland took it as an affirmation that they wanted to see the other photo albums, and he wanted to indulge the boys as much as possible. The closet was on the first floor. Mackland easily reached the top shelf. There was a box and other items sitting on top of the photo albums, but he didn't want to take the boxes down. The boys were waiting, Esme and Joshua would be there soon, and he would have to play referee and host. He pulled two of the photo albums, which started a chain reaction. Whatever was in the box came tumbling at him, striking him on the head. He fell back, one album in his hand, and then everything went dark.

Mackland had spent a majority of his life in hospitals. Before opening his eyes, his other senses were well aware of the location. The dryness of the air, the smell of cloy cleanliness, the muffled sounds, and the flimsy, over-washed johnny against his skin: he was in a hospital room. He must have scared the boys and been unconscious for quite a while for them to bring him to the local clinic.


Caleb, of course, would be hyper-alert, looking for his father to awaken. But Mackland remained still, relishing in hearing Caleb call him ‘Dad’, remembering the first time it had happened. It had been so unexpected.

They had been together a year, building a trust. Another incident had arisen at school, forcing Mackland to have to transfer the teenager to another private school. The doctor had recognized it: Caleb was testing his boundaries, for which there had to be repercussions. Caleb had been grounded for a week.

Caleb had gone to bed, disgruntled and grumbling about the unfairness of his life. Mackland had gone to his office to work late into the evening. He had been surprised when Caleb had appeared, bedraggled.

"You okay, son?" Mackland had put down his pen. He hadn’t wanted to ask Caleb if he had had a vision. The teenager knew not to keep them a secret.

"Dad, can I stay here for a while?" Caleb had motioned towards the sofa in the room.

Mackland had been startled then smiled. In that moment, he hadn’t known if it was Caleb's sleepy mind, which would therefore mean that the boy’s defenses were down, but he had been proud. Proud to be Caleb's father. "Sure."

Caleb had folded his long, lanky body in the loveseat and sighed.

So Mackland decided it was time to open his eyes and tell his son not to worry. "Son—"

"Dad! You're awake!"

The doctor blinked, blinked again, but still it was Joshua standing in front of his bed, bending down closer. Mackland pressed into his pillow. "Joshua?"

"Dad?" Joshua said again, seeming relieved.

"Stop calling me that." Mackland frowned, then winced. This was the worst practical joke the boys had ever played on him. He wondered how they got Joshua to play along. He narrowed his eyes. Joshua looked different. He was in a casual button down shirt, a tweed blazer, and jeans. Gone were the expensively tailored designer clothes. His hair was longer than usual, and it made him look studious rather than polished and stylish.

"I've been calling you that all my life." Joshua placed his hand on top of Mackland's, making the doctor feel uncomfortable. "Dad, are you okay? I should call a nurse. A doctor. I'll go get Mom," Joshua rambled.

"Wait!" But Joshua backed out of the room, or what he supposed was Joshua, because the Joshua Sawyer he knew was completely different.

He looked around the room. This wasn't a room in the clinic near Jim's home. He found the button for the bed and raised it so he could look out the window. It was a distinctive skyline he recognized.

How the hell could he be in New York City when he was in Kentucky?

He didn't have long to ponder his predicament when Joshua returned with an escort. "See? He's awake."



Esme was a classic beauty. She stole his breath every time she entered a room. A scarf was wrapped around her neck with some intricate long necklaces that had a fleur-de-lis design. She laid a hand on his head and grasped his hand. "Darling, you had me and Josh so worried."

Mackland enjoyed the concern— and Esme's touch— but he also wanted to tell her that he was in the wrong place, the wrong time with the wrong person calling him ‘Dad’. At the same time, he knew that until he had a full understanding of what was happening, it was better to remain silent and gather information.

"What happened?"

Esme gripped his hand tighter. "You went to work and promised to be home soon, but with this flu epidemic . . . You work too hard . . . and I got a call that you had fainted."

Mackland was aghast. "I don't faint."

"Dad, you fainted. Doctor Winchester— " Joshua started.

Mackland sat up. "Doctor Winchester?" He wondered which Winchester Joshua was referring to: John, Dean or Sam. Or it could be someone completely different; ‘Winchester’ was not an unusual name. He didn't like this predicament at all. He kept willing himself to wake up from whatever had happened to him. He pinched himself and winced. Surprisingly, he was relieved, believing he could possibly be dead and in some sort of hell. Still, he had felt pain, and if he was somehow dead, he doubted he would feel anything.

"Should I get him?" Joshua hovered in the corner.

"Sure, but take your time. I want to speak to your mother," Mackland stated. He wanted some alone time with Esme. At least this Esme was acting normal, except she was his wife. Maybe he could ask her for help. Joshua was making him nervous.

"Right," Joshua replied with a chuckle.

"I'm sorry I worried you."

"Mackland, I was so frightened. You and Joshua are my everything." Esme covered her eyes.

Mackland had never seen Esme so emotional. Usually, she was reserved. He didn't know what to say so decided to squeeze her hand. It was the right thing to do. Esme sniffed, then gave him a beaming smile.

He wondered if this Esme was raised with a knowledge of spells that could send him to his right time. He decided to tentatively test her. "Can you fix me some tea and make this all better? Some special tea." Mackland accentuated the words, trying to pass on a hint of what he was asking.

Esme frowned. "What are you talking about? I think the hospital will frown on me bringing you a glass of your favorite scotch."

Although he had never understood Esme's abilities, he felt saddened that they were not a part of this reality. He liked the mystery they conjured, and they would admittedly have been very useful in his current situation. There wasn’t enough time to lament the loss, though. Another mystery was about to be solved. Joshua reentered the room with a man wearing a white coat, head down, looking at a chart.

Mackland forgot his manners. "You're a doctor?"

"Yes." The young doctor looked up.

"Dean Winchester."

"Yes, Doctor Ames. Would you prefer someone else? Because I can talk to Doctor McCoy—"

"No, no." Mackland remembered teaching Dean to suture and how adept the youngster had been. His subconscious dream state must have recalled the memory and added it to this reality. Dean looked the same, though his hair was longer and parted on the side, giving him a more boyish appearance. He looked less muscular, leaner, but still fit. "Liz McCoy?" Mackland had had previous dealings with the female doctor and her lacking bedside manner.

"Yes, the head of the department was contacted when we admitted you," Dean explained as he came forward with his penlight and shined it into Mackland's eyes.

"Where did you go to college?" Mackland asked, wanting to learn as much as possible about this Dean Winchester, compare it to the one he knew to assess if any of this was a threat.

Dean had a stethoscope looped around his shoulders then stopped just short of placing the ends in his ears. "Excuse me?"

"Undergrad and med school," Mackland pressed, keeing a hand on his hospital gown.

Dean stood up straighter. "Kansas State and Cornell."

Mackland smiled. Dean had stayed close to home before going further away to graduate school. He probably stayed around for his brother. "And you graduated with honors?" Mackland expected nothing less, knew that if Dean could have been encouraged to go to school, then he would have gone far. Mackland was partial to medicine.

"Yes. Did I pass the test?" Dean put the ends of the stethoscope in his ears. "Do you agree to be my patient, Doctor Ames?"

Mackland flinched as the cold metal came in contact with his skin.

"Dad, you need to stop giving Doctor Winchester a hard time. Is this how you treat all residents?" Joshua asked from the corner where he remained standing.

"Yes, he does," Dean replied before Mackland could disagree.

"Darling . . . ," Esme began to admonish him.

It was a quick examination— one he had done on Dean and Sam too many times. He wanted to ask about Sam, but knew he needed to wait; he needed to come to some conclusions. Mackland tried to be a good patient, but pushed the offending pen light away. "So tell me: what did you discover?"

"We did an MRI and CT Scan," Dean listed, reading the chart.

"Let me see," Mackland asked to see the results. He was a neurosurgeon, after all, and could identify any anomalies easily.

Dean looked up. "Doctor Cooper from neuro already read it."

"Well, I’d rather take a look. I think I know my way around a brain, Dean," Mackland answered. Esme patted him on the hand. He didn't like to be patronized, especially by a resident, no matter if it was Dean Winchester.

"Sir, I didn’t realize that neurology was an interest of yours. I thought being a family practitioner kept you very busy. I would like to discuss some theories when you have time—" Dean handed over the file.

"I'm a family practitioner?" Mackland took the chart with a limp hand.

"Yes." Esme bobbed her head up and down. "Your patients love you."

He let out an audible groan. He didn't want to act like a person who had had a break with reality or, using the non-clinical term which Caleb was fond of, 'buckets of crazy.' And yet, here he was, pushed to the brink—Joshua as his son and he was in family practice?

"Are you alright, Doctor Ames?" Dean asked, looking at the monitors.

"Just wondering how I landed in this nightmare," he muttered then turned towards Esme. "Esme, please tell me we are rich."

"We have all sorts of riches," she said in her soothing, husky voice.

Normally, he would have found the answer endearing, but not today. "No, I mean money."

She frowned but came close and whispered in his ear, "Yes, we are."

"Thank God." At least one thing in this reality made sense. He just hoped he wasn't permanently stuck there.


Onto Chapter 2


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