sequel to: With a Bang and The Aftershocks
Rating: SPN/DA Crossover - PG - Gen – AU in the year 2020
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & DA characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Sam POV. Everything continues to really
Seeing a man like Bobby was always an occasion even if it wasn’t always a happy one.
However, this time when they pulled up in the car and saw the old hunter waiting on their porch, there was no dread at his appearance. Because today was a special occasion that wouldn’t come around again in their lifetimes. It was the day Sam got to introduce his son to his grandfather for the first time.
Maybe not by blood, but something stronger than simple heritage could give any man a family.
“Glad you made it, Bobby,” Dean was up the stairs already. “You said you were makin’ good time but I didn’t think you’d beat us home.”
“I’m the one that’s old, not my wheels,” Bobby allowed himself to be hugged and returned the rough kiss on the cheek. “Unless there was gonna be a Winchester Christmas card comin‘ I figured I better get up here to see your boy for myself.”
Everyone quieted as Alec slowly got out of the car. The boy looked like he’d rather be doing pretty much anything besides bonding with a stranger among the debris of their shattered house. And as much as Sam wanted Bobby and his son to meet, he also wished it had come just one day later. Maybe even an extra few hours. Everything between them still felt left in mid-air, raw and uncertain.
“Howdy, son,” Bobby said. “You sure are a lot taller than I pictured.”
As soon as Bobby got up from his chair and held his arms out for Alec, Sam realized the tension he’d been holding onto the last few days was only going to get worse.
“Hi there, Bob,” Alec said. “I-I’ve heard a lot about you.”
“All bad I bet,” Bobby turned him around and slapped him on the rear. “Look atcha. You got those damn wobbly legs just like your uncle.”
“Should I dig out the camcorder?” Dean asked. “You know, for posterity and such.”
“I bet he can point a rifle like your old man too, never met a Winchester that couldn’t shame me on the firing range,” Bobby half laughed in wonder. “But he’s got something of his mama in those eyes, that’s for sure. I can see it right there.”
Sam could count on one hand the number of times he’d seen Bobby Singer cry.
“You boys did it,” Bobby’s voice stayed steady. “You sons of guns really did it. Look at him, Sam. Would you just look at him. Spittin’ image of your Jess. And you too. Hell, I think I can see some John in there too if I squint.”
Pulling his T-shirt collar up over his eyes, Dean suddenly couldn’t stop clearing his throat. Sam just kept nodding because he didn’t trust himself to say anything without humiliating himself either. His brother mumbled something about getting their dinner started, and the porch door banged shut behind him. But Sam was distracted by something other than Bobby finally being able to wrap his arms around the long lost member of their small family.
Sam couldn’t stop looking at Alec’s eyes.
Alec was watching Bobby with a cold detachment that Sam had never seen before.
And to Sam’s shock, he realized that it made him nervous.
Pushing back the tug of worry, Sam attempted to touch the thoughts of both men and immediately found a brief flash of dizzy joy from the old hunter. But Alec was as blank as he looked. His son had no reaction to the warmth of the gnarled hand that settled on his face. There was even obvious aversion when Bobby used his fingertips to read the lines on the palms of Alec’s hands. Every gesture of affection did nothing but move Alec to sigh in impatience for when the inspection would be over.
Sam stopped clenching his jaw and willed himself to relax. His fear that Alec could have somehow become unpredictable was irrational and ridiculous. Alec had reacted the other day out of stress and rage. And if Sam really wanted to be honest with himself, his son’s violence was fairly justified considering the circumstances. But that did not make his child a loaded weapon and he was nothing to be afraid of.
When Alec ceased answering Bobby’s questions all together, Sam made an excuse for his son to leave. But before he slipped away, Sam stopped him by the wrist and looked him in the eye.
“We’ll talk later,” Sam said. “We’ll talk about everything. Okay?”
Sam released his arm.
Sam wasn’t used to being addressed as ‘sir’ unless Alec was extremely upset, utterly distracted or very pissed off. Alec didn’t appear much like any of the above at the moment. Sam glanced over at Bobby but the old man was busy blowing his nose in a bandanna.
“What room should I bunk in, sir?” Alec asked.
“Oh, right.“ With the current state of the house the attic was probably six feet under in broken book shelves and everything that had been squeezed into them. “We’ll figure that out later, but for right now start cleaning up the downstairs.”
Sam studied that detachment again and wondered if maybe Alec was more exhausted than he’d been letting on. “Because it’s a mess.”
Alec disappeared into the house without another word.
“Sorry about that,” Sam said. “Usually we can’t get him to stop talking. Especially to people he doesn‘t know.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
"We’ve had a tough few days,” Sam said. “We’re all a little tired I guess.”
“Dean mentioned on the phone that y’all had a little… altercation,” Bobby pushed a boot through a pile of broken glass and then looked around at more of the same all over the yard. “I hope you checked your gas lines.”
“When we do something, we do it right,” Sam forced a smile. “I’ll tell you all about it if you want. But-But everything’s okay now. Everything’s really fine.”
Bobby studied him for a second before shaking his head. “Get my bags would ya? My knees are killin’ me.”
“You must be beat,” Sam picked up the duffels. “You shouldn’t be making these kinds of trips by yourself anymore.”
“I just need a beer,” Bobby said. “And your bed. I’m done past sleepin’ on a floor in dumps like this.”
With a laugh, Sam brought him inside and got ready to give the old hunter anything he wanted.
Sam sometimes knew when he was dreaming.
The way his hands passed through the still air felt languid and unfettered. When he shifted his weight there was an afterthought of gravity. When he inhaled and exhaled there was a suggestion that the arc of bizarre sky above held an atmosphere.
He was back in the cornfield behind the house.
The deepest part of night had come and the cold settled on his skin like dew turned to frost. Rain had turned the endless rows of corn into troughs of mud, his feet moving through it like molasses if he let it. But he found he could move more easily if he wanted to. All he had to do was exert a thrumming energy that was coiled and ready in every sinew and muscle.
And then he was running.
Moving faster than he ever had in his life, the molten pinpoints of stars blurred into lines overhead with the flashing white face of the moon.
He was lost.
He was alone.
But this wasn’t Sam’s body, or his hands when he looked down at his open palms. This was Alec. This was his son’s frantic gasp coming short and steady as he ripped through wall after wall of the cornstalks. Sam willed his own calm towards his son, assuring Alec that Sam knew this land. He‘d traveled it more times that he could count and he could guide them easily through its maze of rows.
North, West, East, South.
But each direction took them nowhere. Breaking through row after row after row, they only emerged to find another wall of cornstalks and more of the same on the other side. Alec’s panic rose and obliterated Sam’s careful composure as he began to understand that this was made to never end. Every shout for help was eaten by the wind, every word stolen and snatched out of the air as it left his mouth. He could run forever and ever, and never reach the borders of nightfall descending with its veil of stars on the unattainable horizon.
Bright hot fear made Sam’s breath hitch in his chest as he heard his son’s voice.
I can’t see.
Can anyone hear me?
Can you hear me?
I can’t see. I can’t find you.
Help me, Sam--
Sam woke up with a gasp under a sweat soaked sheet.
His hands quickly went to his face, the whip of the corn stalks still burning like fire across his cheeks. Looking down at his shaking fingers he half-expected to see blood but there was none. Kicking away the sheet, he looked beside him to see his brother still deep in sleep. Bobby had taken Sam’s room, and Dean had given his to Alec. So they were sharing another one on the second floor.
It was in the middle of the night but Sam needed to see him. He walked through the dark house and was glad to find the door wide open. Not caring if it woke him, Sam sat down on the squeaky mattress and brushed his hands across Alec’s cheeks.
But there were no marks there. No slashes or cuts. His skin was completely unmarred.
Alec’s eyes blinked open. “Sam?”
Sam pressed his hands down on Alec’s shoulders when he tried to rise. “It’s nothing,“ he took a deep breath and tried to stop his hands from shaking. It wasn’t the first time he had dreamed of something that had felt painfully real. “Sorry I woke you, I just thought I heard something.”
Alec blinked sleepily around the room in dull concern.
“I-I just had a bad dream,” Sam said. “Go back to sleep."
Flipping around in his blankets, Alec turned towards the wall and did just that.
Once Sam got back into the hallway and shut the door behind him, he felt a little foolish. He had to start listening to his own advice and get some real sleep like everyone else. It wasn’t easy crammed in that queen sized on the second floor, but it beat the sofa. And he didn’t want to admit it, but having his brother in the same room come bedtime never failed to put him at ease.
Some habits died hard or not at all.
“That you, Sam?“
He didn’t want to go back to bed and to his relieved surprise, Sam found that he didn’t have to. Bobby was out on the back porch sitting in the old recliner they’d pulled out of the garage a few months back. It stunk like mold and fertilizer but it was still probably the most comfortable chair they owned.
“Can’t sleep, huh?” Bobby asked around a cigar.
“What about yourself?” Sam sat down on the stairs next to him. “Shouldn’t you be passed out by now? I forgot how many beers you and Dean can put away in one football game.”
“Thank the saints for overtime.”
Bobby chuckled in a low dry way that made Sam think about how many years the man had spent on the planet. And call it luck or karma, he was convinced that the old hunter was going to outlive them all. He took a bottle of beer out of the cooler and clinked it against Bobby’s.
“I’m worn out but good,” Bobby said. “All this travelin’ gets harder every year.”
“Next time we’ll come see you.”
“I’d like that.”
Sam was suddenly aware this was the first time he’d had a moment to be alone with Bobby. Ever since they had gotten home the previous evening, it had been nothing short of a loud family reunion. Alec hadn’t exactly taken to the party but he sat at the dinner table and politely laughed at all of Bobby’s jokes.
“Your boy,” Bobby said. “He sure is somethin’.”
Unsure of what the man meant by that, Sam decided to just nod in agreement.
“We gotta check ‘im for a few things tho‘.”
Sam sighed. “I know.”
“I take it you don’t think he’ll volunteer.”
“No,” Sam shook his head. “No, I don’t.
“Those laboratories messed up a lot of kids up over there,” Bobby sipped his beer. “We need to do a little messing ourselves but it ain’t too bad. All I need is a few hours. I check him for all the marks and then we tuck him back into bed and that’ll be that.”
“Are you talking about drugging him?”
“I never met a Winchester that didn’t like hitting a bullseye, and I never met one that didn’t like hitting a bottle either,” Bobby shrugged. “So I was thinkin’ more along the lines of a six pack and some tequila.”
Sam uncomfortably tipped his beer to his lips.
“I got a few things done already,” Bobby said. “But I’ll need to see him all over to get the whole picture. So far all I’ve got in my notes are the scars that I can see on his face and arms.”
Sam wondered about getting into the cabinets to find something a little stronger than a Budweiser.
“You know anything about that new one on his forearm?” Bobby asked. “It goes straight down perfect-like.”
Sam shut his eyes. “He-He had an accident while he was sleep walking.” Lying to Bobby had been in the plan but it burned a lot worse than he thought it would. “Put his arm through a window and needed a few stitches.”
They were both quiet while the crickets sang in the tall grass. A gust of wind rippled through the corn and reminded Sam unpleasantly of his dream. The horrible sensation of being trapped in a wide open space was still vivid in his mind. Shuddering with a cold wash of claustrophobia, he was grateful that he didn‘t experience the sickening sensation very often. In fact, it surprised him to realize that he’d actually felt it twice that day. The first time had been when he wanted to leave that rotting homestead where Alec had squatted for the night. It had felt like the walls were about to close in over his head. It had felt as if lingering too long would have trapped him there forever to smother in the dark--
“You all right, son?”
“Yeah,” Sam breathed. “Sorry.”
“Well, I got a few things to say if you’ll hear it.”
Sam looked uncertainly at the old man hunched in the chair. That gaze of his never got weak even if his body had.
“Alec’s got a lot of power in ‘im, Sam.”
“It took you a lot of years to get on top of your stuff and you had a few people on your side helping it along,” Bobby sighed. “But Alec’s been flying solo for a long time. You’ll really have to watch him close.”
“I took him to the morgue,” Sam said. “I’ve started to train him.”
Bobby nodded in approval but he still looked like he had something on his mind.
“I can do it, Bobby.” Sam told him. “I know I can help him.”
Bobby never had any trouble seeing right through a good puzzle. He was after all, the man that had gotten them inside the Manticore databases in the first place. But Sam didn’t want to think about how the whole careful balance he’d created could come crashing down with just one more question. He started to grind his teeth slow and hard to avoid gnawing on the inside of his lip.
“Sam, we need to talk about something.”
“Sure, Bobby,” Sam tasted blood in mouth. “Anything.”
“I didn’t want to bring it up but, it was all there in the files on X5-494 so I know you’ve read it. I know it was hell to read all that shit Manticore was up to. And I know that you don’t want what happened to those other kids to ever happen to Alec.”
Sam felt something painful tighten in his chest.
“Alec isn’t like them.”
“I’m not sayin’ he is but the records stated a few times that your kid had a couple of procedures performed after he got old enough. Procedures on replicating his DNA.”
“Yeah,” Sam said numbly. “I remember.”
“There were at least two living clones completed a few years after they got hold of Alec. Those records also had a lot to say about how both those clones had to be destroyed because they weren‘t right in the head. In fact, I think one of those reports said ‘a sociopathic narcissist with homicidal tendencies‘--”
“Bobby, please,” Sam was having trouble breathing. “I can’t… I can’t talk about that right now.” Clones. Twins. Even if those doomed X5s hadn’t shared the same birth mother they were still composed of the same DNA that would have made them Sam’s children.
“And maybe you’ll never want to talk about it ever,” Bobby muttered. “But you’d better remember that Manticore couldn’t get a handle on some of their own stuff. And Alec is no better or worse than anything else that came off their damned assembly lines.”
The next gulp of beer tasted bitter and spoiled.
“I put some holy water in his food,” Bobby said softly. “I put a few wards where he’s slept and been.”
Sam felt his heart pound in his chest. He knew the old hunter would have put precaution before sentiment any day of the week. In fact, Sam would bet the Chevy that he and his brother had gotten dosed too just for good measure.
“And so far and as best as I can tell,” Bobby said. “Alec is clear.”
Sam turned at the strange tone in the man’s voice. “You don’t sound very happy about that.”
Bobby hunched down further in his chair, his shoulders seemingly more frail than Sam had noticed in a long time. “That’s because maybe I’m not, Sam.”
Sam felt a flare of unexpected resentment. “If you know something about my son you’d better come out and say it.”
“How ‘bout you? Anything going on with you lately that you’d like to talk about? Anything weird that might be keeping you up at night?”
Sam felt his face flush red but he bit back the next angry words on his lips. There was nothing wrong with his son that wasn’t wrong with him. All of Alec’s abilities were a direct result of his lineage which belonged to Sam as much as any one of those monstrosities that Manticore kept locked in their basement. And if Sam couldn’t change what happened to Alec than he was going to do what he could. And that was everything in his power to protect his child from anyone who found Alec’s existence a problem that needed to be solved.
“Everything’s been fine,” Sam said evenly. “Besides that fight everything around here has been going really well.”
“I can smell somethin’ ain’t right around here,“ Bobby cocked his head at Sam. “And I think you and your brother are thinkin’ the same thing.”
“Maybe we‘re all wrong.”
“I hope so, son.“ Bobby breathed a laugh that fogged in the early morning air. “I sincerely do hope so.”
Sam told Bobby good night and went back into the house. Suppressing the urge to check in on Alec one more time, he slowly made his way up the stairs instead. He had no doubt in Bobby’s ability to uncover the truth.
He was just worried how much of it the old hunter might actually find.
go to part 6