The Winding Bar

By Tidia, February 2007

Disclaimer: Ridley is all about The Brotherhood and Kripke is all about Supernatural. I do not profit from either.

Words: 2.472


Akron, Ohio

Dean shut the door of the Impala as Sam got into the front seat. "I'll see you tomorrow."

John motioned for his youngest son to roll down the window. "Take care of him."

The seventeen year old gave two pats to the roof of the Chevy in acknowledgement.

"Stay out of trouble, you two." He shifted the duffle bag high on his shoulder and entered The Winding Bar. He gave a nod to the bouncer and passed inside.

The Akron, Ohio bar's theme was 'Enter At Your Own Risk' and was famous amongst bikers. He made his way past some of the patrons, stepped aside and saw the back of his target's head. Dean shook his head. The other hunter knew better than to have his back to the door. But misery made everyone stupid.

Dean slid into the booth, seeing the half empty tequila bottle sitting on the table. The younger hunter took a swig, letting the liquor burn its way down his throat.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Caleb growled at his new companion.

Dean pushed the bottle back towards the dark haired hunter. "No one should drink alone-makes you look like some friendless freak." He smirked.

Reaves took another drink, and hunched further into the booth.

Dean saw the torment in the amber eyes of his friend. Bobby had called Mac and the doctor had called John for the rescue mission. "Heard about Bobby."

The psychic slammed his closed fist against the table. The loud noise didn't attract any attention. "The fuckin' jerk pushed me out of the way."

"What the fuck was he thinking?" Dean played along, gesturing for the waitress to bring him a beer. He had never been to this bar, only knew it by reputation of their many fines for serving underage patrons. He liked it.

Caleb nodded, assuming he had found a like-minded comrade. "Gets hurt so I had to drag his ass back to the car."

The waitress slid a Coors to the teenager. "Inconsiderate bastard."

"Exactly." the psychic replied, and hugged the tequila bottle close.

Dean stayed with him all night, nursing his one beer until Caleb was manageable to move. The psychic could be a bastard when he was drunk, granted Dean thought he was a funny bastard. But, Reaves needed someone there to make sure he didn’t get into any unnecessary trouble. Once the older hunter passed the bastard stage he usually winded down to a stupor.

Dean fished the Jeep keys out of Caleb's pockets, and pulled out the hotel pass. "Hilton on Market Street. Guess you still have that rewards card?" He commented to the older man, who didn’t respond. Caleb's head was back against the passenger seat, drooling and snoring. "God, I wish I had a camera." Caleb Reaves rarely got drunk.

The seventeen year old hopped out of the Jeep and got his bag out of the back. Reaves had a few paperbacks, usually he read while on stakeouts, and Dean had succumbed to the habit too. He noticed Caleb had a Tom Clancy novel. Dean loved the author's books about espionage. He picked it up and placed it in his bag. He would have a long night with Caleb, might as well make it interesting.

He poked Reaves awake, and escorted him to the psychic's room. He deposited Caleb on the bed with a push and received a grumble as a response.


The slamming of the door reverberated through Caleb's skull. He was face down in his pillow, lying on his stomach. He knew he should probably turn his head and check to see who had entered, but that would require too much effort.

He had a recollection of Dean at the biker bar watching over him. "Hey." He eventually decided on the all purpose greeting.

"You're awake?"

Reaves got voice confirmation that it was in fact Dean Winchester talking very loudly. He felt the teen's presence near him. Caleb deigned to turn his head, causing a feeling of momentary vertigo. Now that he had moved, he would stay that way for awhile. He cracked open his eyes. Dean was wearing a faded hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants. "Where did you go?"

"Out for a run. I told you." The teen smirked, sitting down on the other double bed across from Caleb.

Reaves frowned, wanting to know why Dean was yelling his answers. "Run? Away from something?"

Dean snorted. "No, baseball season. . ."

"Right." Caleb at that moment really did not care about baseball, hunting or talking.

Dean pushed over the large Styrofoam cup on the night table which separated the two beds. "I brought you a coffee."

Reaves smelled the aroma. It was a start, but it was going to take a lot more than coffee to alleviate the effects of tequila. "Thanks."

Dean shrugged. "You paid."

Caleb didn’t answer, deciding sleep was a wonderful idea, and he would talk to Dean later about going through his wallet.

But the teen wouldn’t let up. Caleb heard him moving around, making noise. Sam was quickly becoming his favorite Winchester, although come to think of it the youngest Winchester was a hell of a talker. John was quiet. He liked John the best.

"You gotta get up." Dean shook Caleb's foot.

"Why?" Caleb groaned. Hadn't he just said he wasn’t planning on moving? And in a minute he was going to kick Dean.

The seventeen year old must have acquired some psychic abilities because he stopped shaking Reaves's foot. "I got orders to drive you to Jim's."

"Orders?" Caleb questioned, buying himself some time in the comfortable, stable bed.

Dean was picking up the room, gathering his friend's belongings. "Yeah, and I can't leave Dad and Sammy alone too long."

"Okay, I'm moving." Reaves replied, and thought he twitched his hand.

"What in slow motion?" Dean pulled away the covers roughly.

Feeling exposed, Caleb opened his eyes wide, glaring at the young man. It would have been fear inspiring except at that moment Reaves felt his stomach rebel. With speed he didn’t know he had, he ran to bathroom.

Dean shrugged. "Guess he's ready to go."

It was another hour before a silent Caleb ambled out to his car, placed his black wrap around sunglasses over his eyes and got into the passenger seat.

Dean tossed their bags in the back, then got into the driver's seat and started the engine. Last night he hadn’t put on the radio. This morning with a three hour drive ahead and a hungover Caleb, he would need some entertainment.

He turned the radio knob and a CD promptly started playing. Dean frowned, hearing the whispery voice he had heard in many an elevator. "Dude, Enya?"

"It's not mine. It's Mac's." Caleb extended the seat back for comfort.

"When was the last time Mac was in your car? And he just happened to bring a CD…or wait, you picked it up by mistake?" Dean enjoyed teasing the other hunter, especially when he was vulnerable. He shut off the music. "You're not going to cry are you?"

"Shut up, Deuce." Caleb gave the smart ass teen a withering look. "No music."

Dean tapped his fingers against the steering wheel. "Man, have you had your shocks fixed?"

Caleb rolled his eyes. Somehow he knew the younger hunter was not going to give him any peace. He was being tortured.

"I'll replace them while you're at Jim's." Dean continued the one-sided conversation much to Reaves's annoyance

After an hour, and a few threats the chattering ceased. He dozed and eventually through bleary eyes he saw Jim's farmhouse.

The two young hunters entered through the kitchen with Dean carrying their bags. John and Sam were waiting for them at the table. The youngest Winchester had his homework spread out while the patriarch seemed to be researching.

Caleb gave a wayward salute to John. "Reporting for duty, Sir."

John ignored the psychic, who headed straight towards the coffee pot.

Dean held up a bakery box. "Hey Sam, Caleb sprung for the donuts."

Sam perked up, and put his pen behind his ear. "From Plaza Donuts?" The Akron, Ohio bakery was famous for its donuts, and the Winchester brothers tried to stop there when in the vicinity.

The seventeen year old nodded and placed the box in front of his brother.

"Oh man." Sam opened the box. "There are like 3 left?" He looked at his brother.

Dean shrugged his shoulders. "I was hungry." He went to grab another donut, and Sam slapped his hand away.

John interrupted the horseplay. "Dean, I want Sam to do some training with the focus pads."

The thirteen year old narrowed his eyes and glared at his father. "But I have homework and . . ."

Dean clamped a hand down on his brother's shoulder. "Okay, Dad." He pulled his sulking brother up, and pushed him to the door.

Caleb had remained standing by the coffee pot, topping off his mug once again. With the boys gone he sat down opposite John at the other end of the table.

"Talk." John ordered, focusing solely on the other hunter.

"About what?" Caleb was purposefully evasive and leaned back in his chair. "Lovely weather we're having."



The older hunter sighed. "Bobby's fine. Silas is going to check on him."

Reaves brought his chair back to the ground. "He trusted me to have his back-"

"And you didn’t?" John crossed his arms.

"No, hell no." Caleb raked a hand through his hair. "He had to cover my ass."

John raised his eyebrows in speculation. Caleb was willing to take the blame. The older hunter wondered if the guilty streak would make him a better Knight. "And you wouldn’t have done the same for him?"

"Not the point." Reaves dismissed the remark. He didn’t want to relinquish the guilt. It had been his mistake.

"How's Tri-Corp?"

The psychic was caught off guard by the abrupt change in conversation. "Tri-Corp? What the hell does that have to do with anything?"

John pointed at the younger man's tattered clothing. "You're okay for money?"

His construction company had been very successful. "I'm good."

"How good?" Winchester prompted. He knew exactly how well Reaves was doing with his company. He was in fact proud of the younger man for making a go of it without his father's money.

"Seven figures," Caleb muttered, feeling uncomfortable at making so much when he knew the Winchester led a meager existence. However, Reaves knew this was more out of choosing the lifestyle than anything else. Reaves frowned, another thought going through his mind which he voiced. "Want your investment back? Don’t trust me with the money?"

"I trust you Caleb." John crossed his arms behind his neck in a relaxed pose. "That's the point of this confab."

"You trust me with money, Johnny." Reaves was not pleased John's nonchalant reaction. "Lives are a whole different story."

Winchester chuckled at the absurdity of Caleb's comment. "I think those two boys in the barn would tell you different." John's focus returned to his work before him. He dismissed the younger hunter. "Go check on them, and give them a few pointers."

The psychic frowned. That had been the worse pep talk ever in the history of motivational speaking. He took his mug outside with him. Caleb headed over to the barn of his own volition, not because of John's order.

Caleb stood in the shadows watching the two boys practice. Dean was wearing the hand pads, dancing around his brother in a joking manner. They were both laughing. Dean had the right attitude when it came to training Sam-it had to be fun for the youngest Winchester to involve himself. It surely wasn’t what John had in mind, but Dean had to keep his pupil interested, and Sam did not respond well to orders.

"Sam, keep your elbows in tighter." Caleb walked forward, announcing himself.

The youngest Winchester took the suggestion, and aimed a few punches at the focus targets Dean was holding. "Thanks!"

Dean gave a nod to his brother. With his teeth he removed one of the gloves, then the other. "Look man, we appreciate everything you've done for us. Don't think we'll ever forget it."

Sam nodded. Evidently, the brothers had prepared a little speech for Caleb. The psychic crossed his arms, heartened by the effort the Winchester boys had made on his account. "You better not," Reaves stated with a grin.

Dean didn’t grin back. He was serious. "We know you do your best for us, Damien."

Caleb was stunned at the forthrightness of the teen. He raked a hand through his hair. "And what if my best isn’t good enough?" Reaves backed up a step. He was feeling overwhelmed.

Dean stepped forward. "Caleb, man, listen to me for a minute." The seventeen year old looked back at his brother, then continued. "You're not always going to be there to save the day. It's okay."

Caleb exhaled a breath he didn’t know he had been holding. He needed to do penance for risking Bobby's life. Forgiveness was too soon, and he would never be worthy of it. He didn’t know what was going to happen in the future, but he had his doubts if he would be able to protect Dean and Sam. "It's okay? Really?"

"Yes," Sam replied, stepping to be shoulder to shoulder with his brother. "'Cause we're faster than you. You're getting old." The youngest Winchester elbowed his brother with a smirk on his face.

These Winchesters were a twisted group, always changing the rules and the topic of conversation. "Old?" He was not old, not until he thought so in his mind, and that wouldn’t be for a very long time.

"Yeah, but we got you covered. Not many people stick up for us. We got to protect –what do you call it?" Dean thought for a moment until he found the correct term. "Our assets."

Caleb snorted. "Your asses too." He had to admit he tried his best with Dean and Sam, and to hear him thanking him was much more than he ever expected. They had already thanked him in a hundred little ways that showed they cared for him. His male ego would never allow him to verbalize those feelings-ever.

"Yeah, that too." Dean shrugged his shoulders. "You good? Or do you need some time with Enya?"

Unfortunately, Dean would probably never forget about finding the Enya CD in his car. He pointed to the duffle bag filled with sparring equipment. "Shut up, Deuce, and get another set of gloves."



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