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Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death Chapter 1
Silent Bob
ameraleigh
Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death
Chapter One
Stormy Sea of Moving Emotion

Dean wished that this particular feeling he was experiencing right now was unfamiliar to him.

But he knew exactly what it was.

It was something that he had experienced many times over the years; the first occurrence had been the very night that Sam had been taken from him.

It had tormented him at various times ever since and while he thought that he had gotten a relative handle on it, it still happened far too often.

And he couldn’t understand why because Sam was home now and he appeared to be doing well, considering.
Glancing around the garage, he paid attention to the boxes that were lined along the top shelf, they each had Sam’s name written on them. His belongings from 10 years ago, most of the boxes were still full, Sam’s old clothes that no longer fit him.

Sitting on the hood of the car, he sucked in a deep breath to try and calm himself down.

Every time he thought about all of the things that they had missed out on, it broke his heart, he hated thinking about it but it was always there, always gnawing at the back of his mind.

What would their family look like if Sam hadn’t been gone for those ten years?

Sliding down the car, he sat on the dirty garage floor and pulled his knees to his chest as he rested his head against the bumper.

His throat was dry and his breathing was shallow. The ache in his chest he knew would never fully heal because the memory lingered, a constant reminder of what had been lost for so long.

What he craved most was to have even just a small semblance of what life was like before Sammy had disappeared but without the use of magic, that wasn’t likely to happen.

This wasn’t who he was; he wanted his old self back.

Somewhere through the haze of his emotions, he could hear a voice but it felt like he was under water, the sound muffled and the words not making sense.

Knowing that he should try and formulate some kind of response, he struggled to look up and answer the person speaking to him.

Finally, the haze subsided and he drew in a deep breath.

He realized that Cas was standing there, his arms hanging at his sides and his usual confused expression etched across his face.

A moment later, Dean heard Cas’ voice again, much clearer this time but there was a sadness in his tone.
"Have you been drinking again, Dean?"

If he was completely honest, he didn’t really remember but it sure as hell felt like he had been.

He cleared his dry throat, body aching from head to toe as he struggled to catch his breath.

He didn't say anything, managing to get to his feet and stagger toward the door.

As he stumbled his way through the door, he pushed Cass aside.

"Dean?"

As his knees threatened to buckle underneath him, he felt a hand grab his arm and he was pulled towards the kitchen table.

He slumped down into the wooden chair and it rocked underneath him. For a moment, he thought it might give out.

“Dean.”

He glanced up, his eyes blurry. He could feel a full-blown panic attack settling over him.

He reached out and grabbed for… something; it didn’t take more than a moment before he could feel Cas’ hand, their fingers intertwining.

“Dean.”

Cas knelt down beside him, their fingers still locked together and reached up with his free hand and pressed his palm to Dean’s cheek.

Cas tried to get him to focus, it took a few minutes but he finally recognized the attentive behavior and then felt guilty for not noticing it sooner.

“Dean, you need to look at me.”

Dean’s gaze continued to focus on a space somewhere behind Cas and after several minutes of no response, Cas resorted to a more extreme measure.

He slapped Dean across the face.

Tiny red marks formed in an instant and Cas felt awful again.

Dean finally focuses his attention on Cas and his breath came out in a sharp hiss.
“What the hell was that for?”

Cas smiled softly for a brief moment, relieved that Dean was responding, before he pulled Dean to his feet.

He wrapped his arms around Dean and hugged him for the longest time.

At first Dean tried to fight against him but he eventually relented and collapsed against Cas, his head resting on his shoulder.

“I was worried about you,” Cass told him, his voice barely above a whisper.

Dean glanced at him for a moment before he rolled his eyes. “When are you not worried?”

Cas took a step backward and dropped his arms to his sides. “Well to be honest, I’ve worried about you from the moment we started dating.”

Dean smiled at him before quickly lowering his gaze.

“So, you’re feeling better then?”

Dean gave his shoulders a small shrug and then nodded.

Before Cass had a chance to hug him once more, Dean walked over to the refrigerator and yanked the door open, he reached inside and pulled out a beer.

He flicked off the cap with ease and dropped it onto the counter before he sat back down.

“Will a beer help you?”

Dean snorted under his breath, he was fairly sure Cass didn’t mean that as a question. “Of course, it will.”

He hoped that Cass would give up and leave him alone but he could still feel his judgmental gaze.

“I’m fine,” Dean told him but it was clear that he wasn’t believed.

“Perhaps you should consider doing what Sam has done.”

Dean cocked an eyebrow, he wasn’t entirely sure where Cass was going with this but he was intrigued.

“Sam seems to be adjusting much better now and I think that speaking with a psychiatrist has helped him.”

Dean almost choked on his beer and he pounded his chest to clear his airway.

“I’m not crazy,” he replied, his words coming out in a strangled cough.

“Sam is not crazy.”

Dean huffed under his breath and Cas responded by folding his arms over his chest.

“Dean.”

“Maybe he isn’t crazy to you and me,” Dean continued, “but to almost everyone else, he’s going to sound like it. We know that there are demons, his therapist, probably not and if Sam starts talking about all of that, he’ll end up in a straightjacket somewhere.”

Cas pulled the chair out, the wooden legs scraped across the floor. Dean cringed at the sound but Cas didn’t sit right away.

Dean watched in amusement as he pulled several items from his pocket and placed them onto the table.

“What are you doing?”

Cass glanced at him but didn’t respond.

Dean finished off his beer and tossed the bottle into the trash can that sat a few feet away. It didn’t miss but it clattered awkwardly against the side and he clenched his teeth as he waited for it to shatter.

The bottle stayed intact.

Finally, Cas took his seat and Dean exhaled dramatically but Cas paid it no attention.

“You know,” Dean said, “now that you’ve taken all day just to sit down, I’m getting up.”

“That’s fine,” Cas answered. “I no longer need those items.”

Dean leaned forward to get a better view of the table. Up until a few moments ago, Cas’ pockets had contained a cell phone, a pack of gum, a lighter, three different I.D badges, a toothbrush and a half-eaten sandwich wrapped in plastic wrap.

Dean picked up the toothbrush and cocked an eyebrow. “You don’t need your toothbrush?”

“That is not mine.”

Dean scrunched up his nose and dropped the toothbrush back onto the table. “Maybe it should be me who is worried about you. Also, why the hell do you have a toothbrush if it’s not yours?”

“Dean.”

“Cas.”

“Why is it okay for Sam, but not for you?”

Dean muttered under his breath and walked back over to the refrigerator for another beer.

He was not going to see a shrink. It was surprising enough that Sam had actually agreed to it. Sure, after what he’d been through, seeing a therapist was probably a good idea but Dean knew deep down it wouldn’t really make a difference; Sam was never going to forget what had happened, and neither would he.

“Perhaps we could find Sam a more specialized therapist.”

Dean glanced at him, a skeptical look in his eyes. “A what?”

Cas shifted in the chair and rested his hands on his knees. “There are many people in this world who believe in demons, angels and all that …crap.”

Dean smiled softly to himself at Cas’ use of his words.

“Educated men and women whose purpose is the study of the supernatural.”

Dean took a pull on his beer, hiding the roll of his eyes.

“I have read previously that humans who claim to have been visited by aliens will seek the help of a therapist.”
Dean laughed at that remark, he couldn’t help himself. “Okay, I’ve seen a lot in my life, heard about even more, but aliens?”

“You are in a relationship with an angel but the mention of aliens is ‘weird’ to you?”

Dean gave his head a shake, taking another long pull of his beer before answering.

“Whatever, how about you get the point?”

Cas stared at the bottle in Dean’s hand, he wasn’t entirely sure if he was becoming annoyed by Dean's drinking of if he was still simply concerned.

“My point is that we could find someone who believes in what Sam tells them,” Cas explained. “Then perhaps they could help.”

Dean considered it for a moment. It did make sense but at the same time it still seemed so ridiculous. No one ever truly understood what it was like unless they had experienced it firsthand, you could believe all you wanted but if you weren’t directly affected by it…

“Why can’t he just talk to us? Me, you,” Dean replied. “Mom and Dad even.”

Cass pursed his lips and stared back at him. “And you would take everything he told you, seriously?”

Dean contemplated that for a brief moment and then shrugged his shoulders. “Yeah, of course I would.”

“I would hope so,” Cas said. “You did search for him for 10 years.”

Dean sighed heavily. “Yeah, I know.”

“And he’s been home for almost six months now, you’re all still struggling with it.”

Dean groaned dramatically. “I get it, we’re all head cases.”

Cas stared at him in confusion but didn’t say anything regarding that comment. “Perhaps then we should focus on the search for Crowley.”

This perked Dean up, a lot.

After Jess’ funeral they had spent weeks trying to hunt him down but every lead had resulted in a dead end. The closer they appeared to be getting, the further away they were.

It was starting to seem like Crowley had simply disappeared off the face of the earth.

“It has been a few weeks since we went on a hunt,” Dean replied. “Maybe it might even help Sammy.”

Cas nodded but Dean was fairly certain that he had stopped paying attention to him, his head was tilted to one side and he was staring at the ceiling as though there was something there that only he could see.

“Yeah okay,” Dean said with a shake of his head. “We’ll talk about this later.”
~*~*~*~
Sam had just finished up his appointment with the therapist; it was only the third time he had gone to see her and it was the third time that he had said very little about his actual problems.

He didn’t see the point in it but Mary had been fairly insistent that he go.

Now he was standing on the street, his phone in his hand.

Jo had just called him to say she would be running a little late for their lunch date.

The diner was only a few blocks away so he decided to walk. He had only made it tothe corner of the building before he felt eyes on him.

It wasn’t just paranoia setting in, he was absolutely certain that someone was watching him.

He picked up his pace a little and quickly glanced at his phone and what he saw stopped him in his tracks.

A lump formed in his throat and tears burned in his eyes as he saw Jess’ number flash across the screen.

It wasn’t possible that she was calling him, not only had it been six months since Jess had passed away in the so-called housefire, her phone had been burned beyond recovery.

He brought his hand to his face and wiped his eyes.

Even six months later he was struggling to deal with her passing; he still thought about her all the time and he still felt guilt over not being able to stop what happened.

The number continued to flash across the screen so he answered the call and lifted the phone to his ear. “Hello.”

The only response he got was high pitched static and he had to move the phone away.

After a moment, the static dissipated.

“Hello, is anyone there?”

“Sam.”

His breath caught in his throat upon hearing her voice. It had been so long and fresh tears burned his eyes.

“Jess, is that really you?”

He could hear the static again and a chill ran down his spine.

“Jess, are you there?”

The faintest whisper came through but he couldn’t tell if it was Jess.

Running his hand through his hair, he drew in a deep breath to try and calm his nerves.

He knew logically that it wasn’t Jess but there was that small part of him that wished that it was. He would give anything for it to be true. “Sam, I need you to hear me.” It sounded just like her.

Spinning on his heel, he glanced around at the people moving past him, paying him no attention.

Focusing on the phone, he waited to hear her voice again but there was nothing.

No voices, no static, just nothing.

Glancing down at the phone, he realized that it was a blank screen, the call had ended and she was gone.

Closing his eyes, he sucked in a deep breath.

How much more heartache was he going to suffer? Why was this happening to him, why was it always him?

He gave himself a few minutes to recover before he tucked the phone into his pocket.

He was still a few blocks from the diner and even though Jo had said she would be late, he was the one who would be late now.

Picking up the pace, he jogged down the street. As he got closer he recognized Jo’s car parked in front of the diner.
Breathing a sigh of relief, he stopped just outside the door and glanced in through the window.

He couldn’t see Jo inside but he knew that it was her car so she had to be there somewhere. He pushed open the door and made his way inside.

He still couldn’t see her anywhere and his calm was quickly starting to evaporate.

Sucking in a deep breath, he pulled his phone out again and stared at the screen.

There were no messages from Jo but at least there were no more mystery calls either.

Approaching the counter, he ordered a cup of coffee and a cheeseburger and then picked a table near the window.
A few minutes later the waitress came over with his coffee and yet there was still no sign of Jo.

He waited until the waitress was back behind the counter before he picked up his phone and dialed Jo’s number.

Letting it ring for a few minutes, his panic level rose when there was no answer.

The diner was almost deserted but Sam could suddenly hear a shrill ringing sound coming from somewhere within the building.

As he glanced towards the waitress, he quickly realized that she didn’t seem to hear it and then he couldn’t figure out why because it was certainly loud enough.

Lowering the phone to the table but ending the call, he got to his feet and moved toward the counter.

As he glanced around the diner, he saw the signs marking the bathrooms and he froze mid-step.

The noise was coming from the bathrooms or more specifically, the women’s bathroom.

Inhaling deeply, he forced himself to move forward and he stepped up to the door.

The noise was a little clearer now and as he reached out to push open the door, his nerves soared, he had no idea what he would find but he had to know.

Inside the small bathroom, there was a sink against the far wall, a trash can sat underneath it.

A paper towel dispenser jutted out from the wall and there was another door, it was slightly ajar so he could hear the ringtone clear as day now.

Jo’s ringtone.

His hands shook as he approached the second door and pushed it open with the toe of his shoe.

He instantly lifted his hand to his mouth and tears burned his eyes at what he saw.

Jo was slumped down on the toilet, her head rested at an awkward angle against the wall.

Her throat had been slit and blood pooled down her neck and chest, the dark red liquid had soaked into her shirt.

It quickly dawned on him that he had spoken to her only 15 minutes earlier and yet it looked like she had been there far longer than that.

Squeezing his eyes shut, he tried to wish it away but when he looked back up, she was still sitting there, she was still dead.

He backed up until he hit the wall, he couldn’t think, he couldn’t process what he was seeing.

It just didn’t make any sense.

He had spoken to her such a short time ago that her being here like this, wasn’t possible.

It wasn’t.

Panic soared through him, he could feel his pulse pounding in his ears and sweat began to bead on his forehead.

Falling back against the wall, he brought his hands to his face, his breath came out in short gasps.

Startled by a shrill ringing sound, he pulled himself upright. As he frantically scanned the bathroom, he soon realized that the noise was coming from Jo.

Swallowing the lump in his throat, he tentatively stepped forward.

Her phone was in her coat pocket and he nervously reached for it.

Holding the phone to his ear, he said hello, but it barely came out as more than a whisper.

“Sam.”

His blood ran cold, he wasn’t sure how much more of this he could take.

“Jess, is that you?”

“Sam, I need you to listen.”

The line went dead and Sam stared at the phone in confusion.

He started to feel light headed and his vision began to blur.

Everything that had already happened to him, he was beginning to wonder how he had managed to keep it all together.

There was a small part of him that was beginning to believe that he hadn't.

Hearing voices just outside the door, he knew that he had to do something about this but he wasn’t even sure where to begin.

Fear washed over him as he watched the door slowly open and squeezing his eyes shut he wished to be anywhere but here, so he let the fear take over.


“Sammy.”

When he tried to move, his shoulder hurt and he could feel the onset of a headache.

“Sammy, can you hear me?”

Opening his eyes, he tried to sit up but he could feel a hand pressing against his chest, forcing him back down.

“Dean?”

“Yeah Sam, it’s me,” Dean replied. “You okay?”

This time Dean allowed him to sit up and Sam was surprised to see that he was sitting on the couch in the living room.
He had no idea how he had gotten there.


The last thing he remembered, he had been standing in the bathroom at the diner, Jo’s body just a few feet from him.

“Oh god,” Sam muttered. “Dean where is Jo? What happened?”

Dean narrowed his eyes at his brother. “Jo, what are you talking about? What does Jo have to do with this?”

Sam stared at him, confusion in his eyes. “I was at the uh… the diner with Jo, she was…”

Dean leaned forward and rested his hand on Sam’s shoulder. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, what diner?”

Sam glanced around the room. Cas was sitting in the armchair while Mary stood nervously in the kitchen doorway.

“I was supposed to meet Jo for lunch but when I got there,” Sam explained, “I found her in the bathroom, she was… she was dead.”

Dean looked over at Cas, they both looked incredibly concerned about Sam.

“Sammy, we didn’t find you at a diner,” Dean told him. “We found you passed out on the sidewalk outside the shrink’s office. Cas said that you disappeared of his radar so he went to find you.”

Sam ran a hand through his hair and sighed heavily. This whole day had been a nightmare and not knowing what was going on, he couldn’t tell reality from fiction.

“So, Jo is okay then?”

Dean quickly glanced at Cas before shrugging his shoulders. “I don’t know. I guess so.”

“I need my phone.” Sam told him as he held out his hand.

Dean reluctantly gave up the phone and watched as Sam dialed Jo’s number, she answered after the first couple of rings.

“Sam, what happened to you? I waited for half an hour and you didn’t show.”

Sam rested his forehead in his hand and sighed with relief upon hearing her voice.

Whatever had happened to him, it didn’t matter because Jo was okay, that was all he wanted.

“Sam, are you there?”

“Yeah, I’m sorry,” he replied. “I’m sorry I couldn’t make it. I would explain if I could but…”

“It’s okay,” she answered. “Just as long as you’re all right.”

Sam nodded despite Jo not being able to see the gesture. “Yeah, I’m okay, uh, I’ll talk to you later.”

Sam ended the call and placed the phone down onto the coffee table next to Dean.

Dean had a million questions racing through his mind but he wasn’t really sure where to start.

“Sam,” Cas said. “Can you tell us what happened?”

Sam glanced at Dean for a moment and then at Cas. “I’m not sure. What I thought happened was that I left the office and went to the diner but when I got there, I found Jo dead in the bathroom.”

Dean could only begin to imagine what Sam had been through, thinking that one of his best friends had been murdered.

He had already lost Jess and he didn’t really want Sam to have to experience a loss like that, at least not so soon.

“Is that all?” Cas asked. “Do you remember anything else?”

There was one more thing, but Sam wasn’t sure if he wanted to bring that up. They already looked at him like he was crazy, no point in adding to it.

“Sammy, what aren’t you saying?”

Sam sighed heavily as he glanced at his brother.

“I’m not sure what it was exactly,” Sam began, “but it was before I thought I went to the diner. Someone called me.”

Dean cocked an eyebrow. “Okay, but what’s so strange about that?”

“What was so strange about it,” Sam continued, “is that it was Jess who was calling.”
~~~***~~~
Dean looked over at his mother who was standing at the kitchen counter; she had just poured herself a glass of wine.

“Mom, I’m worried about him.” Dean told her.

Mary lifted the glass to her lips and took a sip before answering. “I’m concerned too but I’m not sure how to help him. I’m not sure he can be helped.”

Dean stared back at her, a little annoyed that she would say that. Sam was dealing with a lot but he wasn’t broken, he was stronger than that.

“Dean, your father and I have done almost everything that we can think of to help him, but being in that place for almost a decade, I don’t think anyone would get over that and maybe he won’t.”

“I’m not talking about him getting over it,” Dean retorted. “I’m talking about right now, whatever is happening to him, it’s not from before, it’s new.”

Mary finished off her glass of wine before pouring another. “Dean, I know that you believe that there is something that his still after him but the truth is that this is all jut left-over issues.”

As much as he loved his mother, Dean often times also hated her and her attitude toward the entire situation. They had tried to keep her out of it as much as possible but her insistence that this was all in their heads was starting to get on his nerves.

Dean glanced over at Cas who was sitting across from him at the table.

“Do you have anything to add?”

“I’m thinking.” Cas answered.

“Well don’t think too hard there, cupcake. We wouldn’t you blowing a gasket or something.”

Dean groaned heavily at the new voice and rolled his eyes as he shifted the chair to face the kitchen doorway.

Meg was standing there, arms folded over her chest, an incredibly annoyed look on her face.

“What the hell are you doing here?”

“Oh, how I have missed thee,” Meg retorted with a smirk. “John sent me.”

Dean glanced at his mother when she muttered something.

She had despised Meg from the moment she had shown up last year to offer her ‘help’, Mary simply saw her as an opportunist, she would betray them the first chance she got.

“What did you say?” Dean asked.

Mary picked up the bottle of wine and the wine glass. “I’ll be in the den, let me know when she’s gone.”

Dean sighed heavily as he watched his mom disappear out of the room. When he heard the door, slam shut he returned his focus to Meg who was now sitting at the table with them.

“So,” Dean began, “why did dad send you instead of calling?”

Meg cocked an eyebrow at him. “I don’t know something about this being faster or maybe it was that I’m like a carrier pigeon? I tried to tell him that I’m far more useful than just being a messenger and he muttered something about…”

Dean waved his hand at her. “Yeah okay, I get it. Is it so difficult for you to give a straight simple answer?”

“Sweetie, there is nothing about you that is straight,” Meg replied with a huge grin.

“Good one,” he retorted. “I’ll only ask once more.”

“Daddy dearest thinks he might finally have a lead.”

Dean’s eyes widened in surprise. On one hand, he was pleased that they might have finally gotten a break but on the other, he was pissed off that Meg was the one delivering the news.

“Fine, what’s the lead?”

Meg wagged her finger at him and Dean had to fight the urge to snap the damn thing off.

“All in good time.”

Dean squeezed his eyes shut and exhaled a deep breath. He was already on edge and Meg’s insistence on being a thorn in his side was threatening to push him over.

“Do you remember that day in the parking lot when I told you that if you screwed with me, I would kill you,” Dean said.
Meg cocked an eyebrow at him. “Clearly getting laid regularly has had the opposite effect on you; it usually makes people more fun.”

“Bite me,” Dean snapped at her.

“What is the lead?” Cas asked in a tone that clearly implied he was trying to defuse the tension between them.

“John is in Franklin Lakes.”

He really didn’t mean to but Dean laughed. “New Jersey.”

“Unfortunately, yes.”

Dean chuckled to himself for a good few minutes before saying anything else. “I guess that makes sense, when I think of hell, New Jersey is probably not far from it.”

“Anyway,” Meg continued, “John thinks he may have tracked down Crowley’s second.”

“Crowley’s second?” Dean repeated. “And he’s just hanging out in Jersey.”

“Something like that,” Meg answered. “He wants us there, now.”

Dean sighed heavily and ran a hand through his hair. “Of course, he does.”

“Now,” Meg repeated. “So, you have ten minutes to sort your shit out.”


“Dean, come on,” Sam replied. “I’m not a kid; I don’t need to be watched 24 hours a day.”

Sam turned to his mother for some sort of support but she clearly agreed with Dean and that infuriated him.

He understood that his family was just trying to protect him but he wasn’t the lanky, awkward 15-year-old kid they remembered him as.

“Look, we still don’t know what’s happening in Jersey, it might turn out to be something or it might not but you’re not going to know, you’re staying here,” Dean told him.

Sam sighed heavily. “I get that but I’m not incompetent.”

Dean sat down on the couch next to his mother and they shared the same deeply concerned look which Sam noticed but didn’t comment on.

After what felt like the longest time, Dean finally glanced at him.

“I know that you can take care of yourself Sammy, but this is different, once we know more then…”

Sam muttered under his breath and then stormed out of the room. Dean wanted to go after him but he knew that for now it was probably better to leave him be.

Dean glanced at Cass who was sitting on the arm of the chair, a neutral expression on his face.

“Do you have anything to say?” Dean asked.

Cass scrunched up his nose and shifted ever so slightly.

He was doing that thing again, the non-speaking, the long pauses that drove Dean up the wall but right now he was almost too exhausted to argue with Cass about it.

“What the hell?”

Dean cursed under his breath and glared at Meg who was standing in the doorway.

“What are you doing?” she asked. “We need to go, like yesterday.”

Dean glared back at her and with a heavy sigh he got to his feet and walked toward the door.

He glanced over his shoulder toward Mary. “Sam is not coming with us.”

“I agree,” Mary told him. “He should stay here."

Dean nodded back. “He doesn’t go anywhere on his own.”

Mary narrowed her eyes. “Dean, I am still his mother. I don’t need you telling me how to care for my son.”

Dean caught Meg smirking at him and he wanted to slap it right off her face.

He barely managed to resist the urge.

Dean pointed toward the back door. “What are you waiting for?”
~*~*~*~
John pushed his coffee cup away as the waitress tried to refill it but he’d already had three cups and wasn’t sure he could handle a fourth right now.

“You’ve been here a while love, everything alright?”

John glanced up at the woman. She had to have been in her 50s and while she had a cheerful demeanor, she looked worn and tired.

“Everything is fine, just waiting on someone.”

She gave him a small smile. “Can I get you anything else?”

“No thanks.”

He watched her as she made her way down the counter, pouring cups of coffee and handing out plates of food.

Glancing down at his watch, he noticed that it was nearly seven o’clock. Dean should have arrived at least an hour ago but there was still no sign of him.

Turning in the chair, he glanced toward the large glass window. There were a few cars in the parking lot; one set of headlights illuminated the window but he saw no one moving around.

He picked up his water glass and downed half the contents in one go and when he turned in the chair again, he saw his son standing there.

Relief washed over him because he had begun to worry.

Dean approached the counter and took a seat next to his father. Meg sat on the other side while Cass simply stood behind them.

“You didn’t bring Sam.”

Dean shook his head. “No, he’s had kind of a rough day and I didn’t think it would be a good idea to bring him, stuck in a car for almost a full day, I thought he could do without that.”

John nodded to himself but didn’t say anything.

“So,” Dean continued, “what’s going on?”

John pushed away the glass and turned to face Dean. “I’ve been tracking this demon, about a week now, I’ve only managed to get close enough to him once, I caught part of a conversation where Crowley’s name was mentioned. So, I’m fairly certain he’s Crowley’s second.”

“If that’s true and he is Crowley’s second, then his name is Roan,” Meg explained. “He’s incredibly annoying but kind of good at what he does.”

The waitress appeared then and their conversation came to a stop.

“Can I get anything for you?”

“Cheeseburger,” Dean said before any of the others could tell her no.

“Is that all, sweetheart?”

Dean glanced at the others who remained silent. “Yeah, thanks.”

Meg watched Dean for a moment and then rolled her eyes before focusing her attention on John.
“So where is he now?”

John reached into his pocket and pulled out a worn looking notebook and flipped through the pages. “He was with two others a few nights ago at some place Hansil’s.”

Meg squeezed her eyes shut and then exhaled loudly. “And now they could be anywhere.”

“I don’t know,” John replied. “Up until two nights ago, they had been there every previous night that I’ve been following him.”

Meg got to her feet but the others stayed seated.

“Why are we still sitting here?”

Dean pointed toward the waitress. “I’m not leaving without my burger, thanks.”

Chapter 2

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