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Fic: New Science, Old Magic, Chapter One
BlackHawk
winterda wrote in winterdfic
Title: Advance Science, Old Magic
Series: Twilight (DA/SPN x-over)
Rated: PG-13
Summary: Years after loosing Dean to the Trickster, Sam goes on the hunt for Jo when she mysteriously disappear while investing a recently abandoned prep school in Washington.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Kripke owns all things Supernatural, while James and Elgee own all things Dark Angel. I’m just playing around with the characters because…well, I’ve got nothing better to do right now.
Spoilers: Up to “Mystery Spot” for Supernatural. Through most of “Hello, Goodbye” for Dark Angel.

Prologue

Chapter One

The light snow that had been occurring for the past few nights had switched over to a constant rain by early that morning. It wasn’t hard or driving, but an annoyance that people in Willoughby knew to expect this time of year and worked through. With any luck, the rain would pass by evening and not turn over to ice during the night. The weatherman didn’t sound like he thought it would, and Sherriff Lamar hoped he was right. They had enough problems to deal without having to pull Andy Turner’s truck out of a ditch the next day because the dumb-ass teenager had already taken his chains off.

Pulling up to the scene, the Sherriff felt a shiver climb up his spin that had nothing to do with the cold. Not two miles up the road was Brookridge, that strange school that those weird children had attended up until two weeks ago. He remembered the night that they left well; hell, it wasn’t ever night that you got shot at around here. At least that part he could explain. The man getting hit by car and jumping up like it was nothing, that was a bit hard. And what they did to that kid…

Then there had been the junk they found in that place. By the time he had the right people to head back to the place to investigate, everyone had already cleared out, but they had left some stuff. Stuff that was weird on an X-Files level; partially burned books filled with strange writing, destroyed statues of creatures that would give him nightmares, and that alter. Fifteen years he had been on the job, and he had spent the three before that serving his country during the War, and he had never seen anything like that before.

That Logan fellow had said that those working the case should keep it to themselves and just let people believe what they want about why the school up and left like they did. After what he had seen and found, Sherriff Lamar had agreed. Besides, people around here got worked up over things, even before the Pulse. If they found out that they had their very own cult school right in their own backyards for the past thirty years, there’d be no telling the kind of trouble that would stir up.

The Sherriff had had no intension of coming up here again any time soon, but seemed like once again God had no interest in what he wanted. That old saying about making God laugh flickered through his mind as he looked out his windshield and to the ranch on the other side of the old fence.

Adjusting his hat and coat, he stepped out of his unmarked car. The air outside was wet and cold and he fought the urge to cough the burning sensation out of his chest and throat. Instead, he put his hands in his pocket and headed over to Justin.

The younger officer was standing beside the opened driver’s side door of the old truck, trying to hold a large umbrella opened while he wrote on a small pad. The lights from his police car flashed brightly in the dim dankness of a rainy early morning. The droplets on the windows of the truck were colored red and blue from them, and, from the right angle, it strangely reminded the Sherriff of Christmas lights.

“What do we have?” Sherriff Lamar asked.

Justin glanced up briefly to his superior, but quickly went back to whatever he was writing. “Abandoned vehicle,” he said. “Looks like its been here for a day or two.”

“Who found it?” Sherriff Lamar asked.

“Marge and George did. One of their horses got loose yesterday and they went looking for it.”

“Found this instead, huh?”

That made sense. Marge and George Kassel owned a horse farm about a mile away and that new mare of theirs had been known to jump the fence a time or two already. They usually found it around the school’s dean’s house. The Sherriff had always found it odd that the thing wouldn’t ever go past the fence and on to the school’s property. Now, he thought that maybe the horse had just been smart.

Peering into the truck cab, Sherriff Lamar’s brow tightened in confusion. Hanging from the review mirror were several strange looking pendants. A few of them he recognized as religious symbols, though he found it odd that were all mixed together like that, but most he didn’t have a clue what they were supposed to be. Above the door on the passenger’s seat side was another symbol that looked to have been painted on a long time ago. He could still smell the faint hint of coffee, but there was something else mixed in with it. The Sherriff couldn’t identify exactly what it was, but something about it made him think of all the Mass services he had been drug to as a child by his grandmother.

There more common things on the seat: a woman’s purse, some old junk food wrappers, and a dead cell phone that looked as if it had seen better days.

“Do we know who she belongs too?” the Sherriff asked, nudging his head towards the vehicle.

Finally finishing whatever he was writing, Justin pocketed the notepad and pencil and finally got a good hold on his umbrella handle. “Um…not really.”

Sherriff Lamar frowned. “What do you mean ‘not really’? Either you do or you don’t.”

“Not when you find these,” Justin said, reaching for the woman’s purse and pulling out several different identifications. Each one had the same picture of a pretty, blonde woman in her early thirties, smiling politely for the camera. Each one said she was someone else: Kate Lockheart, a detective from Montana, a press pass for a woman named Nell Bly, a graduate student’s I.D. card for Betty Cooper, a drivers license for a Joanne H. Williams, and a Priority One Sector Pass for an Elizabeth Summers. Sherriff Lamar knew her by one other name.

“Rebecca Thatcher.”

“I’m sorry, sir?” Justin asked.

“That was the name she gave me four days ago when she came into my office,” he said, handing the younger man back the I.D.s. Knowing what the next question was going to be, Sherriff Lamar said, “She asked me about what had happened at the school.”

“Do you think she’s involved with them?” Justin asked.

Sherriff Lamar looked into the cab once more. With the stuff she had in there, he wouldn’t be in the least surprised if she were.

“Could be,” he said instead. “Call in and tell Tara to run the plate numbers and see if maybe we can find out who she is that way. Then call Billy and tell him we need a tow.”

“Yes, sir,” Justin said before heading back to his car.

Sighing, Sherriff Lamar grabbed the purse and headed back to his own vehicle. It was still fairly warm inside from the drive over and it was at least dry. Safely behind his wheel, the Sherriff started to dig through rest of the contents of the bag. Once again, the normal and the bazaar had been mixed together: lipstick and a dagger (not a switchblade, but a dagger), a picture with a happy family at Christmas and then map with a pentagram-looking symbol drawn across several states, a nail file and a bottle marked Holy Water. The more he looked, the more convinced he was that she had something to do with that cult.

The Sherriff thought of the card, the one he kept in the top drawer of his desk. That Logan man said that if he saw any activity going on around the school or anything strange that he should contact him and let him know. The Sherriff didn’t know why he would say that. Logan wasn’t the law, that was obvious. What could he do?

Yet he had let him take that boy, hadn’t he?

And there was also that girl with him. There was something different about her. Something that made the Sherriff believe that maybe the right thing to do would be to contact them. They could do something, even when he couldn’t.

Ultimately, he decided that he would wait until he found out who the girl was and made sure she didn’t show up again before he’d call. That was two days later.

~*~

There were certain sections of the country where the Pulse hadn’t affected the way of life very much. There wasn’t much out here in the first place, just trees, rocks, and occasional town. No civilization here for the Pulse to destroy, so life went on much as it had before ‘09.

Scratching at two day old stubble, Sam saw the old highway marker that told him he was 12 miles outside of a town called Paris. Some bored kid with a can of spray paint had marked out the other two town names under it, so the sign now said he was also 50 miles from Nowhere and a 113 miles from Past Nowhere.

Bobby’s place was about another ten miles down the road. Sam glanced down at the fuel gage and figured that he had enough to make it there. Knowing Bobby, he would have fuel stored up from the last time the gas trucks had gone through Paris. Sam just hoped he had enough to get him to his next location.

The scratchy old cassette played loudly through the speakers, but the sound on the tape had long ago lost its sharpness. He really should take out the radio and put in a CD player at the least. He did, after all, have all these songs downloaded and ready to burn, but Sam just couldn’t bring himself to get rid of Dean’s old tapes. They wouldn’t last much longer, though. More than half of them weren’t usable anymore and the other half were two play-throughs away from joining them. Still, he just hadn’t been able to do it yet.

Sam took note of the woman he saw getting her mail. She was old, probably in mid to late sixties, and had her hair up in curlers and a wore a moo-moo, but that wasn’t the reason Sam watched her with a weary eye. Slung over her shoulder was a mean looking rifle and he was sure that wasn’t the only weapon she had on. She looked up as Sam drove by, her hand drifting towards the strap of her weapon.

Since the Pulse, no one in a small town trusted any sort of stranger, even one who just so happened to be passing through. These were Bobby’s neighbors, who didn’t really trust him all that much from what Sam understood. He would have to remember be careful while he was here.

Turning down the old dirt drive, Sam drove another few miles before coming upon the scrap yard. A few new cars had been dropped off there since the last time Sam had visited, but the majority of the vehicles were still made up of pre-Pulse cars and trucks. Some of them still had small piles of snow on them, but most of it had melted, leaving the dirt driveway muddy. Sam splashed through a particularly large puddle, slinging the muck up onto his car, before pulling to a stop.

The house itself hadn’t changed much. It still looked rundown and full of junk and like it should have been condemned before the Pulse. The only signs that someone actually lived there was the smoke that wafted up through the chimney and the line of clothes that stiffly blew in the cold breeze. Well, those things, and the dogs.

No fewer than five dogs of various sizes and breeds had surrounded his car when he pulled up, each barking loud enough to let everyone within a five mile radius know that Bobby Singer had company. Sam wasn’t too worried about them. Bobby had all of them the last time he had been there and, unless they sensed something off about Sam, he knew they wouldn’t really bother him.

Getting out of the car, Sam adjusted his coat. He hated South Dakota this time of year.

“Bobby!” he called, maneuvering through the pack of dogs. A few of them sniffed at him, but moved out of his way. Sam didn’t really pay them a lot of attention.

When Bobby didn’t come out, Sam jogged up the stairs and onto the front porch. The largest and oldest of the dogs laid at the top and watched him closely. It lifted its large head and began to pant and wag its tail.

“Hey, Rumsfeld,” Sam said, patting the old dog’s head before heading for the door.

The wood from the porch creaked under his weight. More than once, Sam wondered if he would find himself falling through to the ground below, so he tried to step lightly. Knowing Bobby, the porch was purposely not fixed, since it likely alerted him that he had guest.

Sam rapt his knuckle against the door and listened for movement. Bobby was older now and Sam knew it took him longer to move than it used to. When he didn’t hear anyone after a few minutes, he tried again. When still no one answered, Sam tried his luck and jiggled the door handle. It wasn’t locked.

That wasn’t a good sign.

“Bobby?” he called, stepping inside the house.

Glancing up, he could see that the devil trap he had painted over the door years ago was still in place. If a demon had gotten in his friend‘s home, they hadn’t used the front door to come in.

Stepping into the living room, Sam opened his mouth to call for Bobby again when the sound of a shotgun being cocked brought him to a stop.

“Don’t move.”

Reflexively, Sam raised his hands up, but that voice brought him up short. He hadn’t heard it in years, but he knew that voice.

“Ellen?” Sam heard Bobby ask. “Aw, hell. Would you put the gun down? It’s just Sam.”

Turning around slowly, Sam placed a friendly smile on his face. Ellen stood about two feet away from him, the shotgun she carried lowering a little but still ready to use. She was frowning, which wasn’t unusual, and eyeing him suspiciously.

Bobby stood behind her holding an armful of firewood. He too was frowning, but more out of annoyance than suspicion. Shaking his head, he moved past her and headed towards the fireplace in the livingroom.

“Hey, Ellen,” Sam said.

“What are you doing here?” she asked.

Bobby tossed another log onto the fire. “I called him, all right.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Why?”

“Because we need help,” he said, now sounding as annoyed as she looked. “And put that damn gun down.”

Taking a chance that Bobby wasn’t going to let her shoot him, Sam asked, “What’s going on? Why did you call me, Bobby?”

The fire crackled and popped loudly as the older man stood (none to quickly). Sam didn’t say anything, but he could hear the near inaudible groan that Bobby let slip out. He half expected the old hunter to make a comment about being to old for something, but Bobby didn’t say anything. He just peered past Sam to Ellen.

Confused, Sam looked to Bobby and then over to Ellen. The shotgun had dropped to her side as she drew in a deep breath and held it for a second and then two. Then she said four words that made Sam suddenly feel like he was twenty-one and it was that Halloween again.

“It’s Jo,” Ellen said lowly. “She’s missing.”

~*~

“Here we are.”

Asha flipped on the lights to the penthouse and hurried in ahead of Logan, making sure that the hallway was clear of any debris that might have fallen since he left the day before. She didn’t have to, nothing had fallen and Logan could easily maneuver even if it had, but he let her do so. It wasn’t like he could stop her anyway. Once something was set on her mind, Asha wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of her doing it. She was a lot like Max that way.

Logan walked into his apartment being careful not to let the exoskeleton leg braces he was carrying hit his door or walls. It felt good to be on his feet again, moving around without the help of the contraption in his arms. Wiggling his toes inside his boots, he smiled at the fact that they were slightly cold. He wondered how many people would stop to notice that. Not many, he assumed.

That was the wonderful thing about transgenic blood, being able to actually feel his legs again. It had been awhile and each time when it would fade - and it always did - he missed it a little bit more. Maybe it would last longer this time since the blood had come from Joshua, but Logan wasn’t getting his hopes up. He still remembered the first time Max had given him blood and the crushing blow it had been when the feeling in his legs had eventually faded away. He couldn’t go through that again. He’d just enjoy it while it lasted, but would wait for it to end.

“Are you hungry?” Asha asked, backing into his kitchen and dragging Logan out of his thoughts. “I can make you something, if you want.”

Leaning the exoskeleton against the wall and dropping his keys into the bowl on the end table in the hall, he said, “No, thank you.”

“Are you sure?” she asked. He could hear her open his refrigerator. “Because it’s no problem.”

Logan didn’t hear the last part. Instead his attention was focused on his answering machine. The bright zero that told him had no new messages mockingly looked up at him.

“Logan?”

Asha was standing in the doorway to his kitchen. She looked concerned and awkward, like she didn’t quiet know what to do with herself. Asha wasn’t stupid. She knew what he was looking for, but now that he didn’t find it, she wasn’t quiet sure what to do.

Forcing a smile, Logan shifted on his feet and tried to appear nonchalant. “I’m fine, Asha, really.”

The double answer didn’t slip by her, but he could tell that she didn’t know quiet what to say still. Something comforting, probably. Something that would give him hope.

Asha didn’t know Max as well as he did. Max hadn’t been there when he woke up or come by. Instead she left Original Cindy to make excuses for her. She hadn’t called and wasn’t here when he came home. Max was avoiding him, and, knowing her as he did, she wasn’t going to stop any time soon.

Instead of telling Asha this, he headed to his computers and began to get himself set up. He needed to check his other messages, the ones that would have been left for Eyes Only during his absence. Once he was sure that something big wasn’t trying to get past him in the past twenty-four hours, then he’d worry about…other things.

“Listen,” he said, “I need to get some work done. Eyes Only has probably wondered where I’ve been and there was some other stuff I was working on for him when I disappeared.”

Asha already had her hand up, waving it back in forth in that universal manner that meant she understood and didn’t need an explanation. “Right. Right. I’ll just, um, let you get to work then.”

“Thanks, Asha,” he said as she hurried across his apartment.

“No problem. Glad I could help,” she said. He didn’t comment on the fact that her smile looked a little more than forced.

Logan heard her open the front door, but it didn’t close for a moment. Then two.

“I’m sure she’ll call or come by later,” she said before closing the door.

Logan sat there for a moment, listening to the silence of the apartment and staring at the unopened email from Sherriff Lamar.

“Yeah,” he said, not sounding all that convinced. “Sure she will.”

~*~

It had been years since Ellen had seen Sam. The last time he had darkened her door had been right after that incident with the mass haunting in that hotel in Colorado. She had been running another bar not far from there at the time. It wasn’t the Roadhouse, nothing could replace that old dump, but word had gotten out to hunters to stop by if they needed help or a place to crash for awhile. One day in mid-November, right after the first light snow of the year, Sam Winchester had limped through her door, bloodied, battered, and looking like he had just come from one hell of a fight. He had grinned - she could still remember the way the blood had speckled his teeth - and had politely said hello before passing out. Ellen had been sure he was going to die on her that night, but Sam was as stubborn as a Winchester came. He pulled through, sure enough. She was never sure what had happened up in that old hotel, but Sam had assured her that he had taken care of the problem. Ellen had no doubt there.

She would have let him stay longer and might have kept up with him if it hadn’t been for that demon girl of his. The thing charged into her bar one night and demanded to see Sam. Ellen hadn’t known what she was at first, but she knew that there was something wrong with the girl. It hadn’t taken long for Ellen to find out, though. Sam had stopped her from sending that demon back to hell, telling her that ‘Ruby’ was there to help and that he needed to go with her. Ellen had told him that if he went with her he was a damn fool and to not come looking for her help again. He hadn’t.

The following summer the Pulse hit.

She wouldn’t have even known Sam was alive if it hadn’t been for Bobby. Not that she cared. Sam had made his choice. He was the one working with the enemy. She couldn’t have that, especially now that she had grandchildren around.

So, why had Bobby called him?

When the kettle started to screech, Ellen switched off the gas and grabbed the handle with an old dishtowel that Bobby should have thrown out about the time that Sam should have been learning how to walk. She could hear the low tones of whispers and imagined that Sam was probably asking the same questions that were going threw her mind. That last fight they had hadn’t been pretty and she was sure that Sam didn’t remember it with fondness either. And if there was one thing that a Winchester could do besides hunting, it was hold a grudge.

Mixing her coffee, Ellen backed out of the kitchen, opening the swinging door with a nudge from her hip. The whispering ceased as soon as the hinges squeaked and Ellen found herself smiling. Yeah, like she couldn’t hear them before.

Taking a seat on the couch, she looked up at Sam who was standing in front of the fireplace. He was older now, having grown from a young, twenty-something-year-old kid into a thirty-something-year-old man, but there was still much about him that was the same. His hair was still longer, almost shaggy looking, but was now tinged with a few strings of gray that were hiding around the temples. His face was now marred by a scar through his left eyebrow and a few fine wrinkles on his forehead. She wished she could say that they were mainly laugh lines, but she knew better. And then there was the stubble which she thought made him look older than he was.

His eyes had changed the most, though. She had noticed it the last time she had seen him, when he was younger. They were hard, cold, and had something that almost seemed like it boarded on obsessive that lurked behind them.

He looked like John, Ellen decided.

“Bobby told me some about what happened to Jo,” Sam said, shifting somewhat under her gaze. “She’s hunting by herself now?”

“Yeah, for about nine years,” Ellen said. She noticed his expression and raised an eyebrow. “What?”

Sam shook his head quickly, as if by doing so he would rid himself of whatever he had been thinking. “Um, nothing. Just surprised, is all. She was…pretty shook up…you know…And after that last time, I just didn’t think she’d start hunting again.”

Ellen sighed. She had hoped that Jo’s experiences with the Winchester boys would have put her daughter off of hunting as well, especially after she found out what happened to her father. All it had done was put her off for a couple of years; years that Jo spent training in weapons and studying text and lore so she could be hunter that actually knew what they were doing. Ellen couldn’t say that she was thrilled by her daughter’s career choice, but at least she had been smart about it.

“She got over it,” Ellen said, sipping her coffee. “She’s good, too.”

That shocked expression passed over Sam’s features again. Coming from Ellen that was high praise. Ellen herself tried not to laugh. She wondered what Sam’s reaction would have been if he found out that his father had been known to say the same thing about his boys too.

“So, what happened?” Sam asked.

Drawing in a deep breath, Ellen put her cup onto the coffee table. “I don’t know all the details, just what Peter told me.”

“Peter?” Sam asked before remembering. “Her husband.”

“Yeah,” Ellen said. “Anyway, he said that a couple of weeks ago Jo heard about some fancy prep school up in Washington where all the staff and students suddenly just disappeared.”

Sam nodded. “Yeah, I heard about that too. Rumors I heard said it was a school for a cult.”

“Must have been the same ones she heard too, then,” Ellen said.

“Those rumors aren’t new,” Bobby said, pushing himself up from the wingback chair. Shuffling over to a nearby stack of books, he pulled off the top tome and flipped it opened. Ellen had seen him reading through it a few hours before. Thumbing through a few pages, he handed the book to Sam before continuing. “About thirty years ago was the first time we heard something was going on in that area. No proof that anyone could find, just a bunch of weird crap is all. We all figured that it must have been something like the Skulls and Daggers or something like that. That’s the only thing I could find where the school was even mentioned, and all that hunter found was that the kids were very quiet and reserved, but that was it.”

“Well, that’s pretty weird in itself,” Sam said, turning the page of the book. Ellen tried not to snort. When it came to teenagers, Sam had no idea. “So no one really investigated it further?”

Bobby shrugged. “Most people thought it was a bunch of bored prep kids who decided to form another elite society. And we had other things to worry about than Buffy and Biff running around in black robes and making up stupid hazing rituals.”

“But then the whole school just disappears?” Sam asked. “So something was up.”

“That’s what Jo thought,” Ellen said.

“And now Jo’s disappeared,” Sam said.

Ellen nodded in response.

“What happened?”

Drawing in another deep breath, Ellen held it for a moment before letting it out slowly. “Peter said that he had called her to check on her like he did every night. She was staking out the dean’s home and said she hadn’t seen anything and that she might be heading back soon when she told Deana she had to go and hung up. That was the last time they talked to her. Couple of days later they get a call from the local sheriff saying that they found Jo’s truck.”

“But not Jo,” Sam added.

“No.”

Shutting the book, Sam set it back down on the stack Bobby had retrieved it from and chanced to come sit by Ellen. “Do they have any idea what happened to her?”

Ellen shook her head.

A few moments of silence hung in the room while Sam took this in. She could see a question playing behind his eyes. The Ellen he knew would have been in Washington state tearing the place apart looking for Jo. Instead she was here, talking with him and he had no idea why.

As if to answer his silent question, Merritt came charging down the stairs and heading straight for the adults. “Gram, tell Deana that I can play hide-and-go-seek if I want to.”

“Merritt, we’re not supposed to go downstairs yet!” a voice called after her.

The young girl seemed to bounce across the room before planting herself in Ellen’s lap. A very surprised Sam stared at the child who had yet to notice him, while Bobby just sighed. His house wasn’t exactly a place for children, especially two little girls, but he was making due.

“And it’s not playing hide-and-go-seek if your doing it by yourself,” Deana said in an annoyed tone following the same path as her sister. “That’s hide-and-don’t-” She stopped mid-sentence when she noticed Sam sitting there.

Ellen watched as her granddaughter’s eyes grow wide as she stared at the young man sitting next to her. She recognized that look. Jo had a similar one whenever she had first meet Dean. It wasn’t a look that Ellen was thrilled to see again.

“Hi,” Merritt said, dragging everyone’s attention away from the older girl. “I’m Merritt.”

Sam smiled awkwardly. “Hi, I’m Sam.”

“These are my granddaughters,” Ellen said in way of introduction. She hugged the little girl in her lap a little tighter to herself and said, “You’ve met Merritt. That’s Deana over there.”

“Um…hi,” Sam said, somewhat nervously.

Deana back away shyly. “Hi.”

Ellen tried not to roll her eyes. What was it about the women in her family and Winchester boys.

“I had a kitty named Sam,” Merritt said brightly. She never could stand to not be the center of attention. Frowning, she put her finger in her mouth and added, “But he got run over.”

Bobby snorted from his seat while Sam continued to smile wearily. Ellen was sure that the last time he had been around a child this young he was probably the same age.

She could feel Sam’s eyes on her, but her focus was on the little girl squirming in her lap. This was why she couldn’t go to Washington. Instead of calling her to let her know that Jo was missing, Peter had packed up the girls and dropped them off with her. She had just managed to get the story out of him before he was gone to Washington himself. It was when he did something like this that reminded Ellen of why she liked Peter and why she hated him too.

He should have known that when he told her what happened - while on his way out the door, she might add - that she wouldn’t just sit around and wait for him to get back to her. She couldn’t do that. Jo was her only child and she was missing. But she couldn’t put the girls in that kind of danger, so she did the only other thing she could think of; she went to Bobby and tried to find something on these people Jo had been investigating.

“Why are you here?” Merritt asked Sam. Silence, another thing that Merritt wasn‘t very good at. “Are you going to help find my mommy?”

Sam was frowning again and scratched at the back of his neck. Ellen pressed her lips, waiting to hear his response. She herself still didn’t know if she wanted his help, but she was curious as to whether he was even willing.

Bobby, however, took away the choice with another snort. “Yeah, kid, he’s going to help. Sam and your mom were friends a long time ago and since I’m a little to long in the tooth to be running off to Washington and your Gram has got you and your sister to watch out for, we thought that Sam could go look for her. Besides, I know him and your Gram will do whatever they have to, to make sure she gets back alright. Isn’t that right?”

He pinned them with a glare, daring them to dispute him in front of the girls. Bobby really was a sneaky bastard when he wanted to be.

“That’s right,” Ellen said with a rattlesnake smile. Oh, he was going to pay for that.

Sam swallowed but managed to put of the front as well. “Yeah.”

“Good,” Merritt said with a decisive nod.

Yeah, Ellen thought, great. They have a Winchester helping them. What could possibly go wrong with that? Ellen began to play with Merritt’s hair because she really didn’t want to think of the answer.

~*~

Sam walked through the junkyard, a ten gallon container in one hand and a siphon hose in the other. The late afternoon sun glittered off the roofs and hoods of several different cars, causing Sam to squint as he looked around for the ones that Bobby had told him to find. They were the ones that he had stashed his extra gas into. It was hard to come by and even harder to keep people from stealing when they knew someone had some. Bobby had the prefect hiding place, though. Hundreds of cars that didn’t run. Even if they did know what he did, it would take forever to find the fuel, and by that time Bobby and his guns and dogs would have run them off. A good shot and a loyal canine, two of the best things a person could have these days.

Clint, one of the younger German Shepherds, trotted along next to Sam, his tongue hanging from his mouth even though it wasn’t warm outside. Sam smiled down at the dog. For whatever reason, at least one of them always wanted to follow him around.

Must be your animal magnetism, Sammy, that voice that sound too much like his brother’s laugh said from somewhere inside his mind.

Sam’s smile dropped.

He needed to find the cars.

Crouching down beside the back half of shelled out ‘87 Mustang, Sam opened the gas container and pushed the hose down inside. He always hated this part. Drawing in a deep breath, he was about to start sucking out the air when Clint growled. It was a dangerous, low sound that warned people to stay back or else he was going to attack. Sam wondered at the sudden change.

“Hey, Sam.”

He sighed. Why wasn’t he surprised?

“Ruby.”

~*~
Chapter Two

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