Hunting Humanity XI

BY : greenwizard
Category: Supernatural > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 895
Disclaimer: I do not own the Supernatural universe. I don't get any money from this story, only entertainment.

Liam was pacing by the motel room windows, looking very agitated while Sam sat at his computer and tried very hard to ignore it. “This is why he shouldn't have gone without me,” the blond grumbled under his breath. “What if something happened?”

 

“Try to relax,” Sam said without looking up. “Dean can take care of himself. Maybe he came across a lead and he's following someone and can't call us.”

 

“Or the lead found him. How can you not be worried when he said he was going for burgers last night, and it is now morning, and he is still not back?”

 

“I am a little worried,” Sam admitted. “But freaking out isn't going to help anything.”

 

“If the roles were reversed Dean would have torn the entire town apart by now.”

 

“And he probably would have made things worse.”

 

“You don't think...?”

 

“Don't go there. He knows you'd kill him.” Sam's phone started ringing, and he didn't recognize the number. “Hello?” he answered to see who it was.

 

“Sam?” Dean's voice was on the other end.

 

“Dude, where the hell have you been?”

 

“I’m not really sure about that.”

 

“You... Well, where are you now?”

 

“I'm not real sure about that either. I, um... Oh. How you feel about waffles?”

 

“What?”

 

“Dumb question. Right. What psycho doesn't love waffles? I mean, they're fluffy. You got the little pockets full of syrup. You just cover them in whipped cream. Am I right? Anyway, meet me at Waldos', okay?”

 

Sam opened his mouth to say something else, but Dean hung up. Sam sighed and put his phone down. “He wants to meet at Waldo's for waffles. He sounded hung over.”

 

“That asshole,” Liam growled. “He left me here with you so he could go have some fun. Like he can't have fun with me.”

 

“Not without worrying about you,” Sam said as he grabbed his jacket. “And that may not have been his intention when he left. You know him well enough by now.”

 

They made their way to Waldo's, and found Dean already there with a plate of waffles. He looked up when he saw them come in. “Oh. Hey, did you bring any, um...” he motioned to his head.

 

Sam pulled an aspirin bottle out of his jacket pocket and tossed it to his brother. “Sounded like you could use it. Rough night?”

 

“Rough morning,” Dean answered as he downed a few aspirin with his coffee.

 

“Care to explain?” Liam was glaring at him. “I mean, you just went out to get some food. You said you'd be right back.”

 

Dean shrugged. “I don't know.”

 

“How the hell do you not know?”

 

“I blacked out. And judging from this hangover, it was epic.”

 

The blond sighed and shook his head. “Oh, nice. I worry about you all night and you were just taking a break from me, having a little party.”

 

“I don't think it was like that,” Dean argued. “Please, just take a breath and lets move on.”

 

“We tried to call you,” Sam said.

 

Dean pulled out his phone to show them it was smashed. “Not sure how that happened.”

 

Sam sighed. “Alright, well, I'll text Mom, make sure she knows to get a hold of me in case of emergency. And Cas, in case he tracks down Kelly.” Dean gave his brother a confused look at the mention of Kelly. “The mother of Lucifer's love child?”

 

After a moment Dean gave a little nod of understanding. “Right. Yes, the devil baby mama drama.” He smirked a little at that. “Say that five times fast. Devil baby mama drama.” He motioned for more waffles while shoving another bite into his mouth.

 

A group of women came in and one seemed to recognize Dean before she sat down with her friends. Sam noticed that, and when a second plate of waffles was brought over he grabbed it and set it in front of Liam as a distraction. “You should eat something too.”

 

“Not that hungry, but okay,” the blond sighed as he picked up a fork and went to take a bite.

 

Sam looked down at his watch. “Dean. Look, the morgue opens in like ten minutes.”

 

Dean took another sip of coffee, looking confused. “The morgue?”

 

“The autopsy results. Are you still drunk?” Sam raised an eyebrow.

 

Dean shrugged. “I don't think so.”

 

Sam sniffed him anyhow. “Our case? The dead guy, throat stuffed full of money. Any of this ring a bell?”

 

Dean had to really think about it. “Right, yes. Um, the accountant. Barry Gilman. Uh, and you think he got his ticket punched by a demon.”

 

“Maybe.”

 

“Okay, but when we went over to his place yesterday, we got a whole bunch of jack and a little bit of squat. There was no hex bags, no EMF, no sulfur, which means no case.”

 

“Not always,” Liam argued. “Sometimes if we do some more digging we find something.”

 

“Or you know, maybe the guy got whacked by, uh, some mob dude with an ironic sense of humor.”

 

Sam got up from the counter. “Well, I'm gonna go scope out the body. If you wanna spend some more alone time with, uh, your waffles, have fun.”

 

“Fine, hold up,” Dean got up and threw some money on the counter.

 

The woman who had recognized Dean walked over. “Hi,” she greeted him with a flirty smile.

 

Dean took a moment to check her out. “Hi. And who are you?”

 

Her smile turned into a scowl and she smacked him before storming off with her friends. Liam's nostrils flared and he aimed a punch at Dean's face, but Sam was able to grab his arm just before impact. “Hold on, we don't know what happened.”

 

“It's pretty obvious, isn't it?” Liam was shaking with anger.

 

“I have no idea what happened,” Dean tried to defend himself.

 

“Maybe he was just flirting with her,” Sam tried to come up with a better explanation. “Look, we need to find out what happened to our victim. Maybe we can look into what Dean did too, if that'll make you feel better.”

 

“Or we'll have another victim,” Liam shot Dean a nasty glare as he headed to the car.

 

“You better not have,” Sam whispered to Dean as they followed.

 

They put on their suits and went to the morgue to look at the body. The deceased was laid out on a table for them. They stood in uncomfortable silence until one of the staff members brought in an evidence box and handed it to Sam. “Great. We'll let you know if we need anything else. Thanks.” As the staff member left he put the box beside the body and started looking over the autopsy report. “So cause of death was suffocation. Officially.”

 

Dean gave a little nod. “Okay. We already knew that.”

 

“See evidence bag B 1-4. Alright.” Sam reached into the box and dug out the indicated bag, the contents covered in blood. He showed the bag to Dean and Liam, and Dean suddenly looked a bit pale and turned his gaze. “Says they pulled all this from his stomach.”

 

“And that is not at all normal,” Liam commented before turning to Dean with a funny expression. “Not that I really care or anything, but since when did you become squeamish?”

 

“I'm not,” Dean argued. “I just had a big breakfast.”

 

“I see.”

 

Dean continued to make gagging noises while Sam kept digging through the evidence. After a few minutes Sam found a pink hex bag and held it up for the other two to see. “You were saying about an ironic mobster?”

 

Liam tilted his head as he looked at the bag. “That is a very odd, but very clever place to put a hex bag.”

 

Dean sighed. “Alright, so a witch force feeds old Barry here a hex bag and then casts a spell.”

 

Sam put the bag back in the box. “Yeah, a spell that pumps him so full of cash, he dies choking on it.”

 

“Witches...” Dean shook his head. They put everything back once they were done and went back to the car. “So why would somebody want Barry dead?” Dean wondered out loud. “I mean, what, did he screw up a tax return?”

 

“He's actually more of a money manager,” Sam corrected his brother.

 

“Well, whatever he was, looks like he, uh, certainly made one hell of a...” Dean paused and his face went blank as he was searching for the right word.

 

“Enemy?” Liam finished the thought.

 

“Enemy. Yeah. Those guys.”

 

Sam shrugged as he got into the car. “Maybe he blew the wrong person's savings.”

 

“Alright, well, let's check out his clients,” Dean said as he started fumbling with the keys.

 

“Which one? Barry worked for the richest families in town.” Sam watched while it looked like Dean couldn't remember which key was the car key. “It's the square one.”

 

“I know,” Dean grumbled as he found the right key. He started up the engine and got ready to back out of the parking space, but when he hit the gas they lurched forward instead, hitting a newspaper box, and barely missed a woman who was reading the paper. “Son of a bitch.”

 

“Come on! Really?” the woman shouted angrily.

 

Sam rolled down his window. “Sorry! Our fault.” He turned back to his brother. “R for reverse, Dean.” Dean didn't respond. His eyes kind of went blank and he just stared at the steering wheel. “Listen, man, I know we haven't had it easy lately. This thing with the devil's kid and getting tossed into West Guantanamo makes me wanna crawl into a bottle too, sometimes, but dude, you're wrecked. And we got a case to work so get it together, all right? Dean?”

 

Dean still didn't respond for a moment. Then he looked up at his brother. “Who's Dean?”

 

“Sam, maybe you better drive,” Liam suggested. “I don't feel like dying today.”

 

“Good idea,” Sam nodded.

 

Once they got back to the motel Dean seemed like his normal self again. “I told you, I'm fine,” he insisted as he entered their room.

 

“Dean, you forgot your own name,” Sam argued.

 

“For a second. Okay, yeah, that was weird.” Dean took off his jacket and threw it on the bed.

 

“Alright, look, we know we're dealing with a witch, right? Maybe you got hexed.”

 

Dean seemed amused at that. “Dude, if a witch got a clear shot of me, I would be dead, okay? I wouldn't be freaking uh, Dory.”

 

“Dory?” Sam raised an eyebrow.

 

“I'm not gonna apologize for loving that fish. Not to you, not to anyone.”

 

“It was actually his idea to watch that movie,” Liam said as he sat himself down on the bed.

 

Sam sighed. “Right. Okay. If you're doing so well, name all the members of Bon Jovi.”

 

Dean scoffed at that. “Okay. Uh, we talking circa 1983?”

 

“Sure.”

 

“Done. We got Bon Jovi.” Dean paused and couldn't remember the rest. “Whatever. This is stupid. Sam, I'm fine. Okay?”

 

“I don't think you are,” Liam commented.

 

“I feel great. Look, Uh...” He picked up his gun. “This is a gun.” He pointed to his coat. “That's a coat.” He gestured to the lamp in their room. “And that's a... A light stick.”

 

“It's a lamp,” Liam corrected him. “And now I can't kill you slowly because you've gone mental.”

 

Sam wrote something down on a sticky note. “We're gonna get you some help.”

 

Dean shook his head. “Look, we can figure this out, okay? Don't go calling Mom or Cas with this.”

 

“Fine, but until you get better...” He put the sticky note on the lamp, and it read, 'lamp'. Then he turned to Liam. “And stop pretending you aren't worried. When I was angry with Dean and pretending like I didn't care, you were the one who got right up in my face and told me I was full of shit. Now I'm doing the same thing for you. We don't know what happened, and in light of this new evidence...”

 

“I still have the right to be angry until we find evidence that he didn't do anything wrong,” Liam argued.

 

“Okay, be angry, but don't do anything you might regret later.” Sam pulled out his phone and dialed Rowena's number.

 

“I'm a wee bit occupied at the moment,” Rowena answered.

 

“Yeah, well, we need your help, Rowena,” Sam said.

 

“Oh really?” she seemed slightly intrigued.

 

“Come on, man. Rowena? I mean...” Dean sighed when he heard her name.

 

“Yes, really,” Sam ignored his brother.

 

“Am I saved to your contacts now? Tell me. Have I got my own ringtone?” Rowena was amused.

 

“This is serious. Look, I think Dean's been hexed okay? He's been forgetting things.”

 

“Maybe he's just drunk.”

 

“He's not drunk.”

 

Dean picked up the ice bucket. “We need ice.”

 

“Not now,” Liam grumbled at him and motioned for him to sit down.

 

“We could do a memory spell. But did his hair fall out? His body too?” Rowena asked. “From the neck down, is he smooth like a Ken doll?”

 

Sam looked a little grossed out at the thought. “I don't know. Liam, you check him for body hair.”

 

“Hey!” Dean cried out as he was flipped onto the bed and Liam looked up his shirt and stuck a hand down his pants.

 

“Everything that is usually there is still there,” the blond reported.

 

“Rules out a mnemonic curse. The obliviate spell wipes the memory clean over time, but it's intricate magic. I...” Rowena paused for a moment.

 

“How do we break it?”

 

“Theoretically? Kill the witch.”

 

“Got it.” Sam hung up. “Rowena thinks your memory is being slowly erased by a spell.”

 

Dean sighed. “So this spell, I'm stuck in some sort of 'Memento' crap?”

 

“Right. The fix sounds fairly simple. You just find the witch who did it and kill it. I think you got hexed last night. We need to retrace your steps. What's the last thing you remember you did?”

 

Dean thought about it a moment and then pointed to Liam. “He stuck his hand down my pants for some reason.”

 

They decided the best thing to do was retrace their steps, so they went back to the victim's office. Dean looked around. “Okay, from yesterday, the last thing I kinda sorta remember is us being here in um, this guy's office.”

 

“Barry Gilman,” Sam reminded him of the guy's name.

 

“Yes. And we were here, and we were, uh, we were looking for leads.”

 

Sam steered his brother over to a wall with a bunch of pictures. “Check these out. Do these shake anything loose, these pictures?”

 

Dean scanned them all. “No. None of them.”

 

“Okay, think hard. What happened next? Liam and I went to hit the lore. You went out to get burgers. So...?”

 

“So?” Dean just stared blankly at his companions, unable to remember. “What do you want me to say? I ate them?”

 

Liam sighed. “Knowing you, you probably did. But where did you go? Can you tell us anything that might help?”

 

“You're eyes turn a little bit blue when you're mad.”

 

Liam turned to Sam. “Can I hit him now?”

 

“No,” Sam answered. “I don't think that will help us any. Okay. You know what? It's not a big town. How many burger joints can there be? Come on.”

 

A little while later they walked into a pub with pool tables. “Anything?” Liam asked.

 

Dean looked around, but just shook his head. “No. I mean, this is the third place we've been to. I... It's...” They started to walk out, but Dean saw one of the waitresses and pointed her out. “Wait. It's her from, uh, from the waffles.”

 

Liam growled softly and rolled his eyes. “That you remember.”

 

“Yeah. Waffles,” Dean said like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

 

“Oi...” Liam sighed as they all three headed over to the waitress at the bar.

 

“Excuse me,” Sam tried to get her attention. “Hi.”

 

“If you're gonna apologize, you better make it quick,” she said without turning toward them.

 

“Me apologize? Uh, you smacked me,” Dean pointed out.

 

“You were being a dick. We're even.”

 

“Even for what?” Sam asked.

 

“That's none of your... Who are you?”

 

“Okay, look, whatever happened with us, um, I'm sorry. Okay? See, here's the deal. We're, um, we're...” Dean couldn't think of what to say next.

 

“We're FBI,” Sam finished the sentence for him.

 

The woman scoffed. “Last night, you told me your name was Springsteen. Like the boss.”

 

She continued to go about her business, and they stayed with her. “Uh, yeah, see, sometimes, we have to lie in order to, uh, protect our cover,” Dean tried to explain.

 

“Or when you're flirting,” Liam grumbled.

 

“We fix the situation first, then you kill him,” Sam reminded the blond. The woman started to walk away again, and this time Sam blacked her path. “Okay, listen, this is actually sensitive. We think my partner may have been roofied.”

 

“Seriously?” that got her attention.

 

“If you can tell us anything about what happened that night, it would be a big help.”

 

“Sure, I...” she tried to think. “He ordered burgers to go. It was gonna be a minute. We were slammed. Then you knocked back four shots of tequila. Put some 'sick jams' on the juke, and then you hit the bull.”

 

All three of them were confused by the last thing. “He what?” Sam asked.

 

She motioned to a mechanical bull. “Oh, yeah, you had the hots for Larry as soon as you walked in here.”

 

“Was I good?” Dean asked.

 

“You were amazing.” Dean looked very pleased with himself at that. “Anyway, we got to talking, and we really had some chemistry, at least I thought we did.”

 

“You thought you did?” Liam raised an eyebrow at that. “Care to elaborate on that part?”

 

“What does any of that matter?” she looked confused. “I didn't roofie him, if that's what you're getting at.”

 

“No, not what I was getting at, but it does matter.”

 

“Did you see him talk with anyone else?” Sam interrupted.

 

“My bartender said she saw him run out of here like his pants caught fire. We were supposed to meet up after close up, but you never showed.”

 

Liam suddenly shoved Dean into table hard enough to make him flip over the top and land on a chair before storming back out to the car. Dean groaned as he slowly started to get up. “I think he broke something.”

 

“What was his problem?” the woman looked confused.

 

“Not really company policy, and they had to fill out a lot of paperwork and stuff, but they're married.” Sam tried to explain. “And this wouldn't be the first time something like this happened.”

 

“They're...? I could tell he was holding back, but I never suspected...”

 

“Yeah, well, Agent Moon here plays for both teams. Agent Kelly, not so much, and it causes issues sometimes. But anyhow, that's for us to sort out. Does this place have security cameras?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

The waitress took them back into the office to see the footage. Sam convinced Liam to come back in to watch with them, but Dean decided to keep his distance from his other half. They all watched the screen while Sam searched through the footage from that night. “Okay, whoa. There I am,” Dean pointed himself out when he showed up on screen. He leaned in closer.

 

“What are you doing?” Sam asked his brother.

 

“I'm trying to read my lips. Now salsa you mittens.”

 

“You can't read lips, dumbass,” Liam grumbled.

 

Dean straightened up. “I can't read lips. But why are you insulting me?”

 

“He's pretty pissed at you,” Sam reminded his brother.

 

“Oh,” Dean nodded. “For what?”

 

“Don't worry about it,” Liam sighed. “I could tell you, but you'll forget again in ten minutes.”

 

Then on the video they saw a man use magic to push Dean away. “You see that?” Dean pointed to the screen.

 

“Yeah, of course. I think we got our witch. You don't remember any of this?” Sam asked his brother?”

 

Dean shook his head. “It's like watching myself on Netflix.”

 

Sam stared intently at the witch. “That guy look familiar to you? That jacket?”

 

“Wasn't he in one of the pictures in Barry's office?” Liam asked as he too studied the man.

 

“It might be how Dean recognized him last night,” Sam nodded.

 

The scene on camera moved to behind the bar. Dean pulled out his gun and shot at the man as he ran off. Dean looked surprised at what he was seeing. “And I take a shot. I know how to shoot a gun?”

 

They went out to the area behind the bar, and Sam looked around, trying to piece everything together. “Alright, so,you crashed there. Uh, you ran that way. Uh, shot here.” He knelt down where Dean was standing when he fired, and Sam found a shell casing. “Yep. Witch killing bullet.”

 

Dean suddenly seemed even more confused. “Wait, there are witches?”

 

Sam looked very concerned as he put a hand on his brother's shoulder. “Dean, witches are real. Vampires, werewolves, witches, they're all real. And we kill them.”

 

Dean took a moment to process that. “Awesome. That's awesome.”

 

Sam looked to Liam. “Do you really want to waste time being angry?”

 

“Why is he angry?” Dean asked.

 

“One, I can't exactly control how I feel,” the blond answered Sam's question. “And two, I'll deal with you when we fix you,” he directed the second comment to Dean.

 

They started off into the woods in the direction it looked like Dean went the night before. Dean started asking a bunch of questions while they walked. “Okay, so wait. So djinns don't grant wishes, and sirens aren't all hot chicks?”

 

“Yeah. Sorry to break it to you,” Sam said as he kept looking for any kind of clue. “This is crazy.”

 

“What?”

 

“Me giving you the talk. You know how many times we've had to tell some civilian that monsters are real?”

 

“Yeah, but monsters are real. And we're the guys that kill them, man. I mean, come on. Best job ever.”

 

“Yeah. If you like greasy diner food, crappy motel rooms, and more than one Apocalypse.”

 

“I don't know. We kinda sound like heroes to me.”

 

“Maybe, but it doesn't help one's love life much,” Liam commented while they searched the woods.

 

“Why not?” Dean asked. “The hot chicks probably eat the hero stuff up. And I see you have a ring on your finger, so...”

 

“And you don't,” Liam noticed.

 

“I'm supposed to?” Dean didn't understand.

 

Liam grabbed Dean by the jacket and started searching all his pockets. He found the ring in Dean's back jeans pocket. “You're supposed to,” he held the ring in front of Dean's face.

 

“I wonder why it was in my pocket,” Dean grabbed it and put it on his finger. “Hey, this one looks just like yours. Are we...?”

 

“We were.”

 

“Nothing is going to get resolved until he's cured,” Sam reminded Liam. “And I think we're going the right way,” he pointed to a bullet hole in a tree.

 

Not too much farther they came across a tree with some strange markings. Dean seemed amused by it all. “Whoa. Okay, now, these? Freaky.”

 

Sam took a closer look. “No, they're just, uh, glyphs. Witches use them in spells, but I've actually never seen anything like this before. Maybe Rowena will recognize them.”

 

Dean shrugged. “Maybe. Who's Rowena? That's a weird name.”

 

“Rowena is a friend, sort of,” Liam explained.

 

“Oh,” Dean nodded. While Sam was taking pictures of the glyphs Dean wandered away a bit. Liam followed him to make sure he didn't get lost. But only a few feet away they stumbled across a body. Dean pointed at it. “Is that a dead guy?”

 

Liam nodded, suddenly looking a little worried. “Yeah. I think that's our witch.”

 

“Cool.” Dean seemed sort of excited about that.

 

Sam heard them and came over. “No, Dean. Killing the witch was supposed to be the cure. So if he's already dead, they why aren't you...?”

 

The half smile quickly disappeared from Dean's face. “Not cool. Okay, what now?”

 

“Now we get out of here. Let's go. Come on.” Sam started leading the way back to their motel.

 

In the morning Sam was looking at the pictures he had taken the night before on his laptop. Dean was watching over his shoulder. Sam brought up the picture of the dead witch. “Is that a dead guy?” Dean asked.

 

“For the tenth time, yes,” Liam sighed.

 

“Whoa. Never seen a dead guy before.”

 

Sam just shook his head. “Uh, yeah, you have. Trust me.” Then there was a knock on the door. Dean got up to go open it. “Dean, wait a second,” Sam said as he pulled out a gun.

 

Dean opened the door and Rowena walked in. “Who are you?” Dean asked.

 

Rowena ignored Dean and turned to Sam. “Spell's progressed, I see.”

 

Sam lowered his gun. “I wanted intel, Rowena, not a house call.”

 

“Oh, I have a feeling you'll come to thank me,” she said as she looked Dean over.

 

“And I have a feeling that helping us isn't the only reason you came in person,” Liam commented.

 

She gave him a coy smirk. “You really are a quick one.”

 

“He can be kinda mean too,” Dean said. “But he's cute, so I don't really mind it.”

 

“You don't know who he is?” Rowena found that curious.

 

“No,” Dean shook his head. Then he reached out to touch her her hair. “Your hair, it's all so bouncy.”

 

Rowena turned back to Sam. “Do we have to fix him?”

 

“Rowena...” Sam shot her a glare.

 

She joined Sam at the computer to look at what they'd found on the tree. “Samuel. Those glyphs you found are an archaic form of Celtic. Ogham Chraobh. The Druids used it in their rituals, calling it the Language of the Trees.”

 

“Wait. Now the trees are talking?” Dean was confused.

 

“Uh, Dean, do you remember HBO?” Sam asked his brother. Dean just looked more confused. “Cinemax?”

 

A wicked grin appeared on Dean's lips. “Skinemax.”

 

Liam growled and Sam lightly hit him in the side. “He doesn't need the head trauma right now.”

 

“Can't argue with that,” Liam sighed and went to guide Dean to the bed. “Sit,” he ordered. Dean looked a little scared as he lowered himself to the bed. Liam turned on the TV, and turned it to an episode of Scooby Doo. “Stay,” the blond ordered before going back over to the desk where Sam and Rowena were.

 

“There's only one family of witches versed in this kind of magic. I thought them all dead for years, but when I saw those glyphs...” Rowena said.

 

“Is this one of them?” Sam asked as he pulled the picture of the body back up.

 

“Gideon Loughlin,” Rowena recognized him instantly.

 

“Did you know him?” Sam asked.

 

There was a flash of anger in her eyes. “I'm guessing yes,” Liam commented.

 

“Alright, tell me about this family,” Sam turned to Rowena to listen.

 

Rowena swallowed hard, trying to control her emotions. “A hundred years ago, the Loughlins came over from the Old World and turned a small town on the Mississippi Delta into their own personal fiefdom. Their children, Gideon, Boyd, and Catrina were like three rotten little peas in a pod. The family possessed a powerful spell book, a tome of Druidic magic called the Black Grimoire. Witches came from around the world to live with them and study its secrets, for a price.”

 

“So what happened to them?” Sam asked.

 

“Hunters happened. Of course, I'd heard rumors one or two survived, stealing away with their book, but I dismissed them as gossip. With Gideon dead, if you want to break the curse on you brother, we need to find that book.”

 

“Wait a second, you can't break it?” Sam looked surprised.

 

Rowena looked insulted. “Oh, of course I could, but witchcraft this complex would take time. More time than Dean's got. He's already begun to forget himself, everyone he's ever known, ever loved.” They all turned to look at Dean watching the TV. He sensed it and looked up. “It's been two days and he can't remember someone he's loved for a little over a decade. Soon he'll forget how to speak, how to swallow, and then... Dean Winchester's going to die.”

 

Dean looked a bit concerned for a moment, then his attention turned back to the cartoon. “Sucks for that guy.”

 

Sam took Dean into the bathroom to explain everything, and give him a run down of their lives. “How's he taking it?” Liam asked when he poked his head in the door.

 

Sam just shrugged and looked over at Dean, who didn't look happy. “So after everything, this is what nails me.”

 

“It's not gonna happen, all right?” Sam tried to assure his brother.

 

“Well, you just told me my whole life story. And I gotta be honest, man, I can feel it slipping out of my head. I mean ganking monsters is one thing. But this...”

 

Sam put a hand on Dean's shoulder. “We'll figure it out. All right? We will.”

 

They got up and went back into the main room. “How is he?” Rowena asked.

 

Sam shot her a glare. “Like you care.” He sighed and lowered himself onto the bed. “You know, I've seen my brother die, but watching him become not him... This might actually be worse.”

 

“We need to find that grimoire,” Rowena said.

 

Sam scoffed and shook his head. “Liam was right. That's your angle, isn't it?”

 

“I don't...” Rowena played dumb.

 

“Oh, come on Rowena. A powerful spell book shows up and all of a sudden, you’re here to help? Altruism isn't exactly your style.”

 

“True. Also, it never hurts to have a Winchester owe you one.”

 

Sam stood and grabbed his coat. “Gideon Loughlin's address was in his accountant's file. If the book is there, I'll find it.”

 

Rowena started to follow. “Of course, you'll need me there to help.”

 

Sam put a hand up to stop her. “No, you're staying here with Dean.”

 

“I most certainly am not,” Rowena huffed.

 

“I obviously don't trust you.”

 

“The Black Grimoire's written in ancient Druid. How do you propose to find a proper spell without me there to-”

 

“Well, you said a few of the Loughlin's survived, right?” Sam cut her off.

 

“That was the rumor. So you expect one of them to what? Translate their ancient super secret family spell book for you? You just killed their brother. They'd sooner use your skin as an outfit.”

 

“That's what I'm for,” Liam said as he came out of the bathroom. “I can read Celtic Druid. I guess I was just too distracted by Dean before to recognize it.”

 

Rowena's eyes narrowed. “How do you know how to read Celtic Druid?”

 

“Hell if I know, but I'm full of surprises.”

 

“But you're also staying here,” Sam interrupted.”

 

“What? Why?” Liam was surprised. “One of them did that memory thing to Dean, and you want to go to their house alone?”

 

“It's the best plan I can come up with at the moment. Dean needs you.”

 

“Dean has no idea who I am.”

 

“Do you really want to leave him alone with Rowena?”

 

Liam grumbled at that. “I hate it when the people I'm arguing with make good points.”

 

Sam chuckled. “I know you do. Hold down the fort, and hopefully this will all be over soon.”

 

Liam went back into the bathroom where Dean was standing at the sink staring at himself in the mirror with a fearful expression. “I'm...” He had already forgotten everything Sam had told him.

 

“You're too pathetic to be mad at right now,” Liam sighed as he guided Dean back into the room.

 

“Why would you be mad at me?” Dean was confused as the blond shuffled him back to the bed.

 

“Don't worry about it for now.”

 

“Trouble in paradise?” Rowena asked while she was setting some things out on the table.

 

“Started out that way,” Liam answered her as he watched her. “Since you and I are stuck here together waiting, I don't suppose you could tell me what your history with this family is.”

 

She paused for a moment while she thought it over. “I suppose I could tell you a little story. Once, a beautiful witch was, again, run out of her homeland by those pompous, self-righteous, murderous hooligans. You know them as the British Men of Letters.”

 

“Yeah,” Liam nodded. “I kind of owe them my life, and yet... But do go on.”

 

“She sought refuge with a family of witches. All she wanted was a roof over her head and a safe place to hone her magic. Yet they threw her out like she was common trash. Said she wasn't up to snuff.”

 

“Ah,” Liam began to understand.

 

“Oh, these witches sound like dicks. I think you got plenty of snuff,” Dean commented.

 

Rowena laughed at that. “You can really remember nothing, can you? What a gift not to recall the things you've done.”

 

Dean suddenly looked concerned. “What have I done?”

 

“Oh, you're a killer, Dean Winchester.”

 

“Wait, I kill people?”

 

“Scores. But though you may be a stubborn pain in the arse with the manners of a Neanderthal and the dining habits of a toddler, everything you've done, you've done for the greater good.”

 

“Oh, and that's supposed to make it okay?”

 

“It's really complicated,” Liam chimed in. “You kill bad things in order to help people. When you and I first met you wanted to kill me, but Sam talked you out of it.”

 

“Sam?” Dean was confused again.

 

Liam bit his lip and looked to Rowena. “Sam needs to hurry the hell up.”

 

Just then Rowena's phone rang and it was Sam. “You're in?” she answered.

 

“Yeah, I'm in. Alright. As soon as I get the translation, you cast the spell.” Rowena nodded and put her phone down with it on speaker. They heard a door open. “This gun is full of witch killing bullets. So why don't you go to your grimoire and tell me how to break the memory spell,” Sam said to someone.

 

“Boyd wanted to go after you, but I said, why bother?” a female voice could be heard. “You're hunters. You'll hunt us down, right at our doorstep. Hot and fresh like pizza.”

 

“I'm not asking you again,” Sam demanded.

 

Then they heard a man's voice, and a crash. The woman started chanting something. “Old magic,” Liam mumbled before turning away and covering his ears. The reason became apparent when a loud high pitched noise could be heard along with Sam screaming. Rowena had to hang up. Liam turned around and his eyes were red. “I save Sam and Dean gets fixed. You get a little revenge. How does that sound?” he asked Rowena.

 

“I'd say that sounds like an agreeable deal,” Rowena replied.

 

Astiratu touched Dean's forehead and Dean was out like a light. “Good. Help me get him in the car.”

 

“You'll have to explain all this to me sometime,” Rowena said as she made a motion at Astiratu.

 

“Or not,” he answered. “Just be happy you and I have pretty much the same goal right now.”

 

They drove to the house and found the Impala. They moved Dean into his precious car and Astiratu scribbled a note on a sticky pad and left it on the dashboard. “You really think that's gonna work?” Rowena raised an eyebrow.

 

“Maybe for a little while,” Astiratu answered before going back into the trunk.

 

When they approached the door Rowena actually seemed a bit nervous. “What is your thought on how we should handle this?” he asked.

 

Astiratu opened the door and motioned for her to go in. “Go greet your old friends, be your usual self. We see what happens. I'll stay here unseen for the moment.”

 

“Now who has an agenda?” Rowena raised her eyebrows, but walked inside. A woman soon came down the stairs. “Catrina Loughlin. The years have not been kind,” Rowena greeted her.

 

“Who are you?” Catrina asked in a disgusted tone.

 

“Rowena. Rowena MacLeod?” she said her full name when Catrina didn't seem to remember.

 

Catrina smiled slightly and chuckled. “Raggedy Ann.”

 

“Excuse me?” Rowena's eyes narrowed.

 

Catrina started slowly coming to the bottom of the staircase. “I remember you, a rag doll all huddled up on our doorstep. I swore I could see the fleas nibbling away at whatever the hell was left of that dirty little body of yours. And still, you thought you were worthy of our magic. And when we disagreed... Oh, how you begged, how you threw yourself down and offered yourself to each of us. Boyd almost took you up on it, too. But I told him, it would be cleaner with the pigs.”

 

Anger flashed in Rowena's eyes as the two women stood face to face. Rowena's gaze only briefly moved to the grinning figure in the doorway. “You know what they say? Nothing heals old wounds like opening fresh ones.” She hurled Catrina into a mirror which shattered and she landed in a pile of glass shards in the floor.

 

Catrina got right back up and responded by pinning Rowena to the wall. She picked up a shard of glass and threw it at Rowena, but it stopped mid air and flew back at Catrina, grazing her throat and causing a few drops of blood to drip down her neck. She screamed in surprise and then Astiratu stepped into view. “Not so fast,” he smirked. “This time she brought backup.”

 

“Who are you?” this time there was a little fear in Catrina's voice.

 

“Not something you really wanna fuck with. Rowena wants to see you suffer, and I kinda get that now. Me, I want the hunter back unharmed.”

 

Catrina glared at them. “Well neither of you are going to get what you want.”

 

Astiratu laughed. “A feisty bitch, huh? I do enjoy a challenge.” He reached a hand out toward her, and soon she was screaming and writhing in agony. “Feels like your blood is boiling, doesn't it?” the half angel laughed. “But it isn't really, so you're still alive to feel it.”

 

The noise got the attention of the man upstairs. He ran out to see what was happening, and Sam was close behind him. At the same time Dean came in the front door with a gun in one hand and a little sticky pad in the other. He looked around confused, holding up the note that read 'witch killing bullets', and pointed the gun at Sam. “No, brother,” Sam pointed to himself. “Witch,” he pointed to the other man.

 

Dean shot the man and looked back at Sam all proud of himself. “Who are they?” Dean asked as he pointed to Astiratu and Rowena. “And what happened to her?” he noticed Catrina's now burnt and lightly smoking body.

 

“The dead woman was a witch,” Sam looked at her body and gave Astiratu a little glare. “Those two are friends. Rowena, the grimoire is up here.”

 

“You can fix him with that, right?” Astiratu looked to Rowena.

 

“I should be able to,” she nodded.

 

“Good,” Astiratu looked relieved as he passed out and landed hard on the floor.

 

“Is he okay?” Dean was concerned.

 

“I think he's just really tired,” Sam said as he came the rest of the way down the stairs. “I'll take care of him. Rowena, you take care of Dean.”

 

“That's me?” Dean looked to Rowena.

 

“Yes, dear,” she nodded as she led him up the stairs.

 

A few minutes later the two came back out. “Is it done?” Sam looked up at them anxiously.

 

“Who's this hippie?” Dean asked, and Sam panicked a little until Dean started laughing. “Look at his face. Kind of like the time when I ate all your Halloween candy. You remember that? Classic.”

 

“Not funny,” Sam grumbled.

 

Dean came down the stairs and stood over Astiratu, who was awake, but sitting on the floor. He pointed to Catrina's body. “You did that.”

 

“Didn't seem like I had much of a choice,” the half angel answered. “If I hadn't, both of you would probably be dead by now.”

 

Dean sighed. “I guess I can't really argue that, but you're taking it easy the rest of the night.”

 

“Not gonna argue with that. I will probably fall asleep on the ride back to the motel and become my usual self again.”

 

In the morning Rowena called herself a cab, and Dean and Sam stood at the door while she walked out with her bag. “I can't believe you called Rowena,” Dean said to his brother.

 

“I can't believe you rode Larry,” Sam answered back.

 

“Hey. I was awesome on that bull. I was like a god.”

 

Sam remembered something and walked out to the widow of the cab. “Oh, just a second.”

 

Rowena gave him a charming smile. “If you want to thank me, you can send a wee gift basket.”

 

“The book,” Sam held his hand out.

 

Rowena paused a moment, and then sighed, handing Sam the spell book. “You're no fun.”

 

Sam took the book. “We owe you one. Small one.” The cab drove away, and Sam went back to where Dean was standing. He motioned to Liam curled up on the bed. “You have one more mess to clean up.”

 

Dean sighed. “I gathered that when he kicked me out the bed last night. Like literally kicked me.” Dean cautiously approached the bed and sat down beside the blond. “Can we talk?”

 

Liam raised his head and stared back at Dean with a sharp glare. “Is there anything to talk about? You'll say how sorry you are, then in a few years you'll do it again. Zebra's don't change their stripes.”

 

“Hold on now,” Dean got a little defensive. “I know it looked bad, but it's not as bad as you think.”

 

Liam sat up and crossed his arms. “Really? You flirted with a waitress, and then she expected you to meet her after work for a hook up. You took off your ring. What exactly am I misinterpreting here?”

 

“Okay, yes, I knocked back a few shots and I flirted. She invited me for a hookup, but that doesn't mean I planned on taking her up on her offer.”

 

“Then why was your ring in your pocket and not on your finger?”

 

“Some of that night is still a bit fuzzy, but I think I took it off to ride the bull. I thought that might help my grip, or I was worried it might get damaged. Maybe a little of both.”

 

Liam was quiet for a minute as he thought everything over. “And I'm supposed to believe that?”

 

Dean shook his head with a sigh. “I'm telling you the truth. I know you don't like how I look and flirt. But Liam, that's me. As much as I love you, and as much as I don't want you to leave, this is getting a little tiresome. Maybe...”

 

“Maybe you two should sit down with a neutral third party and talk some things out,” Sam suggested. “Natalie and I did that a while back. It helped.”

 

Dean turned around and gave his brother a funny look. “You got your head shrunk?”

 

Sam rolled his eyes. “That reaction right there is why I didn't tell you sooner. But you two need to do something.”

 

Liam reached out and pulled Dean's attention back to him. “I actually agree with your brother.”

 

“Seriously?” Dean raised an eyebrow. “You really wanna tell a shrink that we travel around and kill monsters again?”

 

“Obviously we leave that part out. But I do want our relationship to work, and it's worth a try.”

 

Dean thought it over a moment. “You're lucky you're really good looking,” he gave his answer.

***

A/N;  I know it took me a really long time to get this chapter out.  I had some major health issues back in April, and then I also started working on a book I hope to publish some day.  Hope everyone is well.



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