Title: On the Road Again
Author: Dhvana
Series: 1) The Monster Under the Bed, 2) A Little Help From Bob, 3) The Temptation of Dean, 4) Questions Without Answers, 5) Don't Lose Your Head, 6) Retribution and Remorse, 7) The Return of an Old Fiend, 8) Undulating Dynamics, 9) Personal Weirdness
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Sam/Dean, but the Wincest is implied and unrequited (so far)
Summary: As they head off to South Dakota, Dean and Sam leave behind a friend in Sleepy Hollow, but pick up a new one along the way.


After an awkward and restless night of trying to sleep without touching each other, he and Sam gave up around six the next morning and prepared to head out. Judy was awake and ready with a hot breakfast for them before they left, and even provided a basket of snacks for the road.

"Judy, you angel," Dean said giving her a hug and kissing her cheek after he'd placed the basket in the back seat, "we're just going to the city. It's not that long a drive."

"I know," she said with a warm smile, hugging him back as she whispered conspiratorially in his ear, "but I thought you might need an excuse to keep spending all those extra hours in bed."

Dean chuckled, giving her another kiss. "You read my mind."

"It's easy to do--I know it only travels on one track. Now, you know the next time you need a vacation, you boys are to head right back here," she said, switching off from Dean to give Sam a hug. "You try to go to one of those frou-frou places in Vermont and I'll never speak to you again."

"This is our home away from home, you know that," Sam said, returning her hug. "We wouldn't think of going anywhere else."

"That's my boy," she said, kissing his cheek before stepping away and giving them both a quick once-over. "You two take care of each other, okay? Dean, make sure he keeps those stitches clean and that he gets plenty of sleep. Sam, make sure he doesn't go back to work until his ribs and ankle are healed. He won't be much of a cop if he has to chase all those crooks in a stretcher."

"Don't worry, I've got everything under control."

"And we'll be good, I promise," Dean said with a lascivious wink, and she laughed.

"I'll believe that when I see it."

"You take care of yourself, okay?" Sam said as Dean started up the car.

"Oh, don't you worry about me. I'll be just fine," she smiled, though they could tell she was on the verge of tears. "You two just run along now before the traffic gets too bad."

"Bye Judy," Sam said, slipping into the passenger's seat and closing the door.

Dean lifted his hand from the steering wheel in a half wave then pulled out of the parking lot. He was happy to leave the purple house and all that had happened there behind, though he was not quite as happy to leave Judy. He sighed, taking one last look at the Sleepy Hollow Inn and its owner in the rearview mirror. "I'm going to miss that woman."

"You can always come back and visit."

He didn't miss how his brother said 'you' and not 'we'. Dean glanced over at Sam, who was perusing a handful of maps. All traces of the cheeriness he'd displayed for Judy had vanished as if it had never existed. "Not without you. She'd kill me if we broke up."

"Just tell her it's my fault," Sam said, opening up a map. "She'll forgive you. She liked you best, anyway."

Dean rolled his eyes. "I didn't realize we were competing for her affections."

"We're not. I'm simply stating a fact." Sam closed up the map and set it aside. "It's going to take us about twenty-seven hours to get to South Dakota. Once you get on I-80, you'll be there a while, so just let me know when you need a break. I'm going to catch up on my sleep."

Abandoning him to deal with the traffic and the inevitably missed exits all on his own. Great.

But he couldn't ask Sam to stay awake and chat. He didn't want to even begin to think about what Sam would want to talk about, and since he was probably responsible for the circles under his brother's eyes, he didn't have any right to ask. He just held the travel mug of coffee Judy had prepared for him in one hand, guided the steering wheel with the other, and drove with only his own thoughts to keep him company.

Which he quickly found out made for terrible company, and he wished he could have just tossed them out of the car. All they wanted to do was talk about Sam--how unhappy he was, how miserable things were between them, how he'd looked in the shower, all the ideas that glimpse in the shower had spawned, and then after all this was said and done, his thoughts layered on the guilt about his actions with the monster.

When he couldn't take it anymore, he switched out with Sam somewhere in Ohio and took his own turn to sleep. His dreams were no better than his thoughts had been. They left him feeling as if he'd spent the whole time swimming through sand, and he awoke exhausted and gritty.

They spent the night in a motel somewhere in Indiana, separated by double beds for the first time in a week. Sam might have been in the same room with him, but Dean hadn't felt this lonely since his brother had left for Stanford. He spent the night with one hand hanging over the side of the mattress, pressed against the monster's cheek, until Sam's constant scratching made him motion for the monster to return under the bed. It had kissed his palm and obeyed, and though Sam had settled down after that, he'd immediately felt its loss. He was becoming strangely reassured by its presence, especially in the face of Sam's coldness. He was a fool for coming to depend on it, and was well aware that his increasingly mixed feelings towards it were only going to end up getting him in trouble. He knew he couldn't trust it, but in that distrust, the monster was becoming the one thing he could rely on.

An hour after the monster had left and Sam had fallen asleep, Dean was woken from his own light slumber by his brother's thrashing and senseless mutterings.

Another nightmare.

"Sammy?" he hissed, leaning up to look at him. "Sammy, wake up!"

His brother moaned, shaking his head as if refusing to give up the dream. Dean crawled out of bed and carefully stepped towards the sleeping man. "Sam," he said, rubbing his shoulder. "Sam, it's all right, it's just a dream. You can wake up and it'll all be over."

"No," his brother cried out. "No! MOM!"

Sam abruptly sat up, his arms stretched out reaching for who knows what, and promptly smashed his forehead against Dean's.

"OW!" they cried out, his brother falling back into bed as he fell onto the floor.

"Son of a bitch!" he shouted, pressing his palm to his forehead.

"Dean?" Sam frowned, looking pale as he sat up, one hand also pressed to his head while the other switched on the light. "What the fuck were you doing?"

"I was trying to wake you up!"

"How? By lurking over my shoulder like some sort of vulture?"

"Yes, that's exactly what I was trying to do," Dean growled, lifting himself back onto his bed. "Because staring you awake has always worked before. You were having a nightmare."

"I know that," he said, wincing as he lowered his hand. It looked like Sam was going to have a lump on his forehead by morning. Good. It was only fair his brother had one that matched his.

"You were dreaming about mom."

"I wasn't dreaming about mom. I was dreaming about the night she died. I was dreaming about the thing that killed her."

Dean's eyes widened as his blood grew cold, the pain in his head forgotten. "You saw it? You know what did it?"

"No," he said, shaking his head. "I heard voices. I heard her trying to protect me and I heard someone choosing her to die, but I didn't see anyone. I always wake up before I reach the nursery."

"You've had this dream before," he said, his voice heavy, accusatory, and Sam looked over at him.

"Dean, the second I saw anything important, I would have told you. Right now, there's nothing to say."

He looked at his brother for a moment, then nodded. "Okay." He sighed, twisting his neck from one side to the other. "We've got a couple more hours before we need to hit the road. I'm going to try and get back to sleep. You going to be all right?"

"Yeah," Sam shrugged, reaching for the light. "I think I'm going to do the same."

Dean stared into the darkness towards his brother's bed, listening until Sam's breathing had evened out. Though he'd tried to appear indifferent, he was still stunned by the news that Sam was dreaming about their mother, and angry that he hadn't once mentioned it. He didn't care how insignificant it might seem to his brother--to him, just the mere fact of it was vital.

Taking care not to make more noise than necessary, Dean stepped onto the floor and moved towards the bathroom. Pausing at the door, he glanced back at his bed. "Psst!" he called, hoping the monster would get the idea and follow him. He didn't have to wait long--the golden being slipped into the bathroom behind him and he closed the door before turning on the light.

"I should be offended," it said softly, pressing up against him. "Calling me like a dog. But you're forgiven."

Dean took hold of it by the wrists and held its hands away from his body. "This isn't a booty call," he said, keeping his voice stern as he stared at the monster's face. His cold expression slowly eased into a frown as he looked closely at it. If it was possible, his personal demon seemed to have become more beautiful, more perfect in the hours they'd been apart. "Have you changed?"

The monster chuckled, leaning forward to press its lips to his cheek. "Do you think I've changed?"

"You seem. . . different."

"You bring out the best in me," it said, grazing its mouth across his lips.

"Yeah, I'll bet that's a short trip," he said darkly, moving beyond the reach of its kiss. "I want you to tell me everything you know about the thing that killed my mother."

The monster looked into his eyes, then nodded. "I shall tell you what I can."

"Do you know what killed her?"


"Do you know where to find it?"


"Do you know how to find it?"


Dean's eyes narrowed. "Yes or no?"

The monster sighed. "I can investigate for you, if you wish, but the channels of communication on our side are vague, and as we do not trust one another, any information I receive may be entirely false."

"That's not very helpful."

It smiled at him. "Evil rarely is, unless it works in our favor."

"But you know what it is."


"Do you know how to kill it?"

The monster hesitated and Dean thrust it against the wall, for all the good that did. It didn't even care that a towel rack was being jammed into its spine.

"Do you know how to kill it?" he demanded through gritted teeth.

"I cannot tell you."

His eyes flashed with anger and he again rammed it against the wall. "You said you didn't have any loyalties to your side, that you don't feel obligated to them!"

"I don't. But there are some things I do not have the power to share. There are wards binding me that I, even with my new form, cannot break. If you want to kill the creature, you will have to do so on your own."

"Then what good are you?" Dean snapped and shoved away from it in disgust, leaning against the sink as he stared down at his feet. Fuck. Sam was in danger, he was going straight to hell, and the thing he'd been relying on for information was proving to be only good for sucking him off. This wasn't how things were supposed to be. The boundaries of right and wrong were supposed to be black and white, not swimming in gray. Where had he gotten so turned around?

Maybe he should try calling Dad, see if he knew what to do, though Dean didn't have a clue about how he'd ever be able to explain this.

"Warrior," the monster said softly, stepping closer but not attempting to touch him, "you have the strength to destroy it, you, and your brother. If you find it, there is a chance you will succeed, though there is a greater chance you will fail. I will help you as much as I can, this I have already told you, but you must understand, I have limitations."

"Don't we all," he muttered, then sighed, rubbing his hands over his face and through his hair, wincing as he brushed against the knot on his forehead. He was starting to think the only thing he did have was limitations, that there was nothing he could do to help Sam. Yeah, they could kill the creatures that came after them, but then what? He couldn't guard his brother from nightmares. He couldn't help Sam control whatever it was that ran beneath his skin. He was helpless.

But he didn't want to be alone.

Reaching out with tentative fingers, he touched the creature's waist, sliding his hand across the smooth, silky skin, then drew it to him. The monster breathed out a breath it hadn't needed to hold and wrapped its arms around his body.

"We do need each other, warrior. Do not forget that."

He didn't answer. He just buried his face in its shoulder so it couldn't see his despair.

Before hitting the road again the next morning, the brothers stopped at a gas station to fill up the tank, dine on stale prepackaged baked goods, and pour themselves a couple cups of hot coffee that would have been better used to clean the engine. In spite of everything that happened, it was a typical morning for the Winchesters. Walking out to the car, however, they discovered something not so typical.

"Hey Dean?"


"Am I seeing things?"

"You mean, beyond the man sitting in the back seat of our car?"




They stood there, steaming cups of coffee in their hands, staring at the Impala and the figure inside.

"Hey Dean?"


"Do you think he's real?"

"Only one way to find out." His brother shifted his shoulders beneath his jacket. "Damnit, why'd we have to leave the guns in the trunk?"

"Because you'd have to be a moron to walk into a gas station armed?"

"Good point."

"I thought so."

They again stared at the car.

"So," Sam began after a few minutes.

"So," Dean nodded, sipping from his coffee.

"Should we go see who he is?"

"It's either that, or we just stand here for the rest of the day watching him."

"You first," Sam said, gesturing towards the car with his cup, and Dean sighed.

"All right. But you get the next uninvited hitchhiker."


Dean took another drink, fortifying himself with caffeine, and walked towards the Impala, Sam a step behind him. He might have volunteered his brother to go first, but he always had Dean's back. He kept watch around them while Dean opened the back door on the driver's side, pulling the knife from his boot as he leaned down and peered into the car.


The man who turned to look at him was in his late twenties and appeared to be of Native American descent. He had striking long black hair, a round face, fierce brown eyes, and red-brown skin. His gaze lingered on Dean for only a second before turned his head and looked past him to Sam. The younger Winchester gasped at the intensity in his face and took a couple steps back. There was power in his eyes, a power different from his own. This man could make demons fall just by looking at them, and if they dared attack, they would not last long. Sam could see he was a warrior--one like his brother, but with skills more refined. All his worries and fears about the stranger disappeared. He knew this was a man they could trust.

Dean, on the other hand, was not so quick in making this discovery. He stared at the man, gave him his most agreeable smile, and said in his most agreeable voice, "Who the hell are you and what the hell are you doing in my car?"

The man slowly focused his eyes back on his fellow warrior. "I am going with you to South Dakota."

"I don't recall inviting you. Sam, did you invite a stranger to ride along with us?"

The man's eyes narrowed. "You shouldn't throw your brother's name around like that. Names have power."

"And I have a knife. I win. Now get the hell out of my car."

"I am going with you to South Dakota."

"Well, he's stubborn," Sam said, a smile on his face. "That alone means he'll fit right in."

"If you're not going to help," Dean snapped, "shut up."

"Okay," he shrugged, already resigned to the fact that his brother was fighting a losing battle. He rested his weight on his left leg and sipped at his coffee, waiting patiently for the scene to play out.

"Thank you. Now listen here, chief--"

"Chief?" The man's eyes blazed with affronted pride and he stepped out of the car, towering over Dean by at least two inches in height, and a mile in indignation. "Are you a racist, Dean Winchester?"

Sam had never seen the blood drain from his brother's face so fast. Dean's green eyes widened and he held up his hands in defense. "What? No! I didn't mean--"

"To call anyone of Native American descent 'chief' is to refer to them with a racist slur. So I ask you again, are you a racist?"

Dean gaped at him for a moment before the shock of the accusation faded and his brother's eyes narrowed as he stood his ground. "No, I am not, though I congratulate you on doing a damn fine job of trying to intimidate me into saying I am."

"Then perhaps you should learn to think before you speak. Assuming you have that capability."

"Oh, he can speak," Sam volunteered, knowing he wasn't helping the situation any, and the man sent him a muted smile.

"I was referring to the thinking."

"In that case--" he began, but was cut off by a glare from his brother.

"Look here, asshole," Dean growled, now thoroughly pissed off at the both of them, "and before you go getting your boxers in a wad, I use 'asshole' as a generic term for just about everyone I meet--I'm sorry I offended you. It was unintentional, but I tend to be rude to people trespassing in my car. So, if you're done making me look like an ignorant bastard, why don't you just walk away? I've got a long drive ahead of me, and I'd hate to offend you again by hitting you on my way out."

"You don't listen very well, do you? I'm going with you to South Dakota." He looked over at Sam. "Does he always require this much repetition?"

"Not always. But then, he's only on his first cup of coffee. You might have an easier time of it if you wait till the third."

The man nodded. "How long will that take? Because I'd really like to get moving."

"Which makes two of us," Dean snarled. "Tell me why I should even consider bringing you along?"

"Bob sent me."

Sam locked eyes with his brother and then they both turned to look at the stranger.

"Bob?" Dean asked, some of the fight fading from his body.

"The spirit you refer to as 'Bob'. He said you would recognize him more easily if I called him 'Bob'."

"So you're a friend of Bob's?" Sam asked, and the man shook his head.

"Bob is a guide, not a friend. He sent me here for a reason," he said, his eyes focusing on Dean. Sam was surprised to see his brother's gaze falter and turn away, and he immediately grew suspicious.

"Is something wrong?"

The man's eyes settled on him. "He just thought that perhaps you were in need of some assistance. You must be protected."

"I can protect myself, and even if I couldn't, I have Dean. He's my warrior, not you."

Dean glared defiantly at the stranger, who stared back at him with disdain.

"Yes, your warrior," the man said and Dean's eyes narrowed.

"All right, I've had enough. Sam, get in the car." Not liking the direction things were headed, Sam obeyed. "Bob Jr., it was a real blast meeting you, but we're leaving now. Find your own damn way to South Dakota."

"You will not be allowed on the Reservation without me."

"We'll manage."

"I can help you. I have hunted these things before."

"That makes two of us."

"Dean Winchester."

Sam felt a chill at the warning in the man's voice and leaned across the seat to better view the exchange between him and his brother.

"For the sake of the one you protect, you cannot afford to make this journey without me."

"Is that a threat?"

"Consider it a promise."

Sam would have given his left arm to have been able to see his brother's face, to have witnessed the silent exchange between them, because the next thing he knew, they were headed to South Dakota with an extra passenger in the back seat.

"So, do you have a name?" he asked, twisting around to get a better look at the man.

"Or do I get to call you Bob Jr. for the rest of the trip?" Dean asked with a grin that bordered on malicious.

"My name is Donovan Wayne. You may call me Don."

Dean's eyebrows reached for his forehead. "Seriously? Your name is Don Wayne?"

"Yes," Don answered, his voice layered in ice.

"Okay," he said, and Sam could tell his brother was biting his cheeks to keep from laughing.

"Juvenile," he muttered, giving Dean a dirty look before reaching his hand back across the seat. "It's nice to meet you, Don."

"You as well, Sam," Don said, shaking his hand. "We have much to talk about. I hope that I might be able to help teach you how to focus your powers."

"And how the hell would you know how to do that?" Dean asked, and Sam punched him in the arm. His brother didn't say anything else, just glared.

"I have someone of my own to protect, someone like you. Bob is seeing to her safety while I am here with you."

"Her? And she's like me?" Sam asked, intrigued. He hadn't given much thought to there being others out there, though he didn't know why not. After all, if there were more Deans, why wouldn't there be more of him?

"She is capable of powers such as yours," he nodded, "though I believe you are supposed to be stronger."

Sam snorted. "I wouldn't be too sure of that," he said, and Don smiled.

"You will be, if it's what you want. It's what she wanted."

His tone softened for a second and Sam caught the faraway look in Don's eyes. He could see that Don loved the woman he protected as much as he longed to be loved by Dean.

Must be nice.

"Tell me about her? How did you meet? Did you know you were meant to be together? What is it you do? How does it all work? Do you know why we're like this? Do we have to do this forever?"

A flinch from Dean at this last one brought a halt to his flow of questions. Sam turned to him, but his brother's eyes remained fixed on the road, the determined look on his face clearly saying that as far as he was concerned, he was the only person in the car. Sam bit back the urge to snap at him, knowing it would be futile. Dean wouldn't talk to him anyway, especially not with Don within hearing distance.

"We met while we were both freshman in college," Don said, smoothing over the wrinkle of discomfort in the car. "I was pre-law at Harvard and she was studying art history at Boston University."

"So you had tons in common," Sam said wryly, and Don's face again gentled with the smile Sam was quickly coming to recognize as the one reserved for her.

"We still don't."

"Must make things interesting," he grinned, and Don chuckled.

"It does make for some lively conversations. Because we were so different, it was odd how we kept getting thrown together--we'd end up at the same parties, eat at the same restaurants, inhabit the same coffee shops--not an easy task since our schools weren't exactly right next door. We started talking, and then our conversations grew deeper, more personal, until we realized we had a lot more in common than we could have ever possibly imagined." Don's face darkened for a moment and Sam had better sense than to pry. Something told him he was better off not knowing--he had enough nightmares of his own to worry about.

"So you've been together for about ten, eleven years now?"

"Ten years this past November."

"Is it hard?"

All lightness faded from Don's eyes and Sam felt a chill run down his spine as he regretted having ever asked the question.

"In our past ten years together, I have learned to stop counting how many times we've nearly lost each other. What we do is not easy. It is even more difficult for you since you are just learning about what it is you're capable of, and when you do finally gain understanding of your abilities, it will not make the way any easier for you. Your abilities will most likely give you insight you would never have wished for on your own."

"Sounds like fun," he said morosely, and Don offered him a sympathetic smile, though his eyes remained hard.

"Your life is about to become increasingly difficult, Sam Winchester. I hope you're prepared for it. I hope you both are."

Dean's response was a low growl in his throat, but Sam didn't respond at all. He honestly thought he was the farthest thing from prepared, and what was worse, he knew it didn't matter. Whatever the future held, there was nothing he could do to stop it. The only thing he really wanted to know was whether or not he was going to have Dean at his side, or if he should start preparing for the future on his own.


Next story in series - Doubletalk.