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According to Castiel, he was six hours away from the bunker, and because he still didn’t have his grace, he would have to drive to meet Sam. This must have been how his surrogate father Bobby Singer must have felt when Castiel had lost his angel mojo. Castiel’s healing powers had been taken by God as punishment just before Bobby had been injured by a demon and left paralyzed.

To pass the time while he waited, Sam researched what could bring Dean back to life, and he crossed referenced anything he found with the Mark of Cain, MOC. It was a mark given to the first murderer as a symbol of protection from God which Dean had so foolishly let Crowley convinced him to take. The bunker had the most extensive information on anything supernatural, but there was nothing about the MOC.

By the time Castiel arrived Sam had nothing. There was very little information concerning the MoC, but he did conclude that Crowley was the key. If he found the bastard Sam knew that he could get all the information he needed and find Dean also.

The simple solution made his wolf give a small woof of pleasure.
Like a child preparing for a school trip, Sam was ready when Castiel arrived thirty minutes earlier than expected. Dean’s body wasn’t the only thing to disappear, the black Impala their father gifted his oldest son when he was eighteen had as well.

Thank goodness the bunker had a garage and Sam chose the 1970 Mach 2, Mustang. It wasn't the Impala, but it would have to do, and a soon as Castiel arrived they began to pack the trunk with the boxes Sam had packed.

Because everything they needed for hunting was in the trunk of the Impala clothing was the only thing Sam normally worried about when they went to work on a case was the case itself. But about an hour ago it occurred to him that he would need to stock one of the cars in the garage or steal one along the way. Logic told him it didn’t make sense to waste time stealing a car because that was time he could be looking for Dean.

As they walked towards the garage, they passed the room usually reserved for unwanted visitors; it was here they tortured demons and monsters. The room was still littered with the remnants of the items Sam used in his attempt to summon Crowley.

“You do realize that if you leave that…sigil, Crowley could arrive any minute?” Castiel reminded him.

Frustrated about having to hunt the demon down, Sam entered the room and kicked the copper bowl he’d used earlier and said, “then he can stay there until we get back, the devil’s trap will hold him.”

Castiel stared at the huge alpha as though he's going to say something else, but he shifted the box he was carrying and continued his way to the car. It took several minutes for Sam to get the trunk of the car situated in a manner he liked. He tried to make it similar to the set up in Baby, but that was a difficult task.
Sam finally had the trunk situated, he walked to the drivers seat and waited for Cas before driving off.
“Where are we going?” Cas asked.
“To find a demon,” Sam laughed.
For the first time since Castiel arrived at the bunker, Sam looked at the angel and noticed that he was not faring so well and he felt a little guilty. Despite the fact that he didn't have his Grace and was being chased by angels who wanted to kill him, Castiel was willing to put his troubles on the back burner and help find Dean. Even Sam’s wolf appreciated the gesture.
“I’ve done some research and found a case about an hour’s drive to the north,” Sam informed the angel. From the newspapers account of what’s happening in the small community there was a demon in Springwood, Nebraska and Sam was going to use it to find his brother.

Not only was there a demon in the small town but he was reckless. Sam wasn’t sure if his careless behavior was because he’d been operating undetected for so many years or if was because it was a demon and arrogant as hell. It didn’t matter either way to Sam because he was an answer to what happened to his brother.

When he and Cas caught up with the demon, it was too late for the civilian, a forty-something man with a paunch and a predilection for young girls. The demon has chosen an angelic looking fourteen-year-old girl with almost white blonde hair, the bluest eyes Sam had ever seen and plump red lips that probably drove the dead man crazy.

She had been luring men in and killing them leaving no clues for those who didn’t know what to look for. Any decent hunter would have been clued in by the smell and traces of sulfur left behind, but it seemed that no hunter had realized that there was a case.

Even he and Dean had missed the signs. The only way he noticed it was because he’d been extra vigilant in his search for demons.

Because of the location, the demon dumped the bodies in three different states and as many counties and disallowing the authorities to detect a pattern.

It was an accidental mention of sulfur in a newspaper article about the mysterious deaths of middle aged men that caught Sam’s attention that there was a case in Springwood. Because he needed to find a demon, he and Cas had rushed here before another hunter decided to work the case.

He and Cas tried to sneak up on the demon, but a creak in the floor gave them away.
“Sammy Winchester, is that you playing Chris Hansen?” She asked in a voice as angelic as her looks.

No longer needing to be stealthy, Sam and Cas walked into the kitchen where the demon was waiting for them. Sam gave the body a cursory glance to see if he could tell how the man had been killed, but other than that, the victim held no interest for the hunter.

Holding the demon killing knife he’d acquired from a demon named Ruby who’s almost succeeded in splitting him from his brother, Sam slowly faced the young girl-demon and tried to size up the situation. To call Crowley or another Demon who knew the King of Hell’s current location, he would have to fill a cup with blood and use a ritual to create a demonic telephone, and that meant killing her, but after her body count wouldn’t that be a bad thing.
He wasn’t sure if the vessel was dead or alive. But with the charges she would face meant at lease life in prison and then there was dealing with the mind fuck of being possessed.

Electing himself judge and jury, Sam decided that the vessels death would be the best answer to all their problems, he charged the demon.

Just because the black-eyed bitch was wearing a child didn’t make her weaker; Sam discovered that as she tossed him across the room with a flick of her hand.

Once she was satisfied that Sam was out of the way she turned towards Castiel, sniffed and wrinkled her cute button nose and waived her finger at the angel, “Poor little Castiel you’re dying without your grace hmmm? That almost takes all of the fun out of killing you?”

As the demon focused her attention on Cas, Sam quietly walked up behind her to plunge the knife into her back, when Castiel cried out, “No, Sam, she’s just a child!”

Turning her attention from the angel to the hunter, with another flick of her hand she sent Sam flying across the room and slammed him against part of the wall and the door frame. Although it hurt, the right shoulder was fine, but he was the left shoulder was not lucky.
Despite the sound of his left shoulder hitting the wall, Jared heard something snap in his right one. The pain was so intense he dropped the knife and moaned in agony.

The demon was coming for some hand to hand combat when Sam heard Castiel muttering the anti-possession spell and he took the blows that the little girl was raining down as a diversion. She didn’t catch on until Castiel was on the last line, but then it was too late.

Turning her attention from Sam to Cas, she was coughing and sputtering trying to stop Cas from saying the final two words.

“…te rogamus, audi nos,” Sam completed the spell and watched as the demon smoked out of the girls mouth and out the window. Only when he was sure she was demon free did Sam allow himself to give into the pain radiating from his shoulder.

Sliding his big body down the wall, Sam lolled his head against the wall and hoped that there wasn’t anything seriously wrong with his shoulder. The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time, because he needed to find Dean.

Of course, had Castiel not warned the demon, she’d be dead and Sam’s shoulder would be fine and he would have a demon to question about Dean’s location. Surveying the bodies on the floor Sam took inventory, and mentally figure out how to clean up this mess when he saw the girl’s chest rise.

“Fuck!” He swore.
“She’s so young, Sam,” Castiel explained his decision, “It is our job to protect humans not make life and death decisions based on your needs.”

Pursing his lips together, Sam picked up the knife and tried to stand up in a manner that would cause him the lease amount of pain. There were a lot of people dead when Cas decided to play God and used humans based on his needs at the time, but Sam wasn’t going to be petty and bring up the past.

“Since it’s our job to protect them, we need to get her to a hospital unless you’ve got enough of your grace left to heal us both.”

“No, Sam I don’t,” Castiel confirmed.

“You’re going to have to clean this up yourself, I can’t do anything,” Sam grimaced once he finally made it to his feet.

Once he was leaning on the wall, Sam looked around the room to determine how to handle the situation. God, he missed Dean, they fed off one another’s energy and would have come up with a solution and put the plan in motion without uttering a single word.

“Okay,” Sam said when he’d come up with a solution, “let’s put her in the car, then I need you to grab one of the candles on the shelf and light it, turn the gas on and get the hell out but make sure you close the door behind you to seal the room or it won’t work. We’ll be out of the neighborhood before the candle ignites the flame.”

Cas stared at Sam in that blank way that always unnerved the young Alpha. He wasn’t sure if Cas heard him, was processing the information or taking a dump in his pants because judging from his expression he could be doing any of those things.

Sam breathed a sigh of relief when Castiel picked up the girl from the floor.

Waiting in the car, Sam watched as the girl in the backseat writhed in pain and once again thought that she had a tough road ahead of her. He would have gladly saved her the heartache if he could have gotten the demon to talk.

Chapter 3


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April 2017


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