::Happy Summer Solstice and welcome back to Winchester Ranch! This story takes place directly after 'War' in my Winchester Ranch timeline and is a long one. I'll be posting once or twice a week, so I hope you stick with me to find out what happens when the Winchester family fights for vengeance on Delilah. Please enjoy and review! I love to hear what you think. Thank you for reading!
love and internetty hugs,
The Girl with the Dinosaur Tattoo::
"Paul?" Grace was on the phone again, tucked away in the corner of the darkened waiting room with a notepad on her lap, drumming a pen occasionally. She had been on the phone for the last twenty-four hours or so and it was starting to wear on her. "Yeah, hi. It's Grace." When Paul didn't seem to reply right away, she shook her head. "Browning? Yeah, there it is," she muttered under her breath. She faked a smile as she continued, "Hi! Yeah, it's good to hear your voice, too."
I turned away from her and flipped closed the ancient spellbook I was holding, rubbing my eyes and shaking the exhaustion from my body. Everett and Levi had been missing two days and we were no closer to finding a lead or a clue as to where Delilah had taken them. I hadn't even had the chance to go out to find a demon to torture for information; we were still camped out at the hospital, waiting for news about Serra.
We could really use Cas right about now.
Grace clicked her tongue from her position on the other side of the waiting room. "We're really not sure, Paul, but we know she's involved with a Grand Coven of witches and has some pretty major powers of her own." Tapping her fingers on her notepad, she closed her eyes and took a deep, ragged breath. "I'm calling in a solid 'you-owe-me' from you, along with every other hunter I know." Her blue gaze flicked to mine and she continued quietly, "We're going to war."
Grace was still shooting blanks when it came to her abilities as a nephilim. She wasn't able to read my mind, she couldn't hear the kids' thoughts, or even get a lock on her sister, which was absolutely unheard of. Even when we first met, Grace and her sister had the ability to communicate seemingly telepathically, but it was as if Serra was behind an iron wall. Grace wouldn't have even known she was alive if she couldn't see her with her own eyes. It was tearing her up and there wasn't a thing I could do about.
Sam kept watch over his wife with an unwavering amount of dedication. The puncture wound through her lungs and spine from a tree branch made for a difficult surgery and as far as Alana, our nurse friend and confidant told us, they lost Serra four times while she was on the operating table. It had taken five transfusions between Sam and Grace to get her blood pressure high enough to finish the surgery yesterday. The doctors had only patched Serra during the first operation, hoping to stop the blood flow long enough to keep her brain from slipping into a coma.
None of this would have happened if we had been able to stop Serra from going out into the storm that Delilah had created with some sort of spell.
My thoughts returned once again to my missing son, taken from our own basement panic room from right under our noses. Levi, our nephew, was missing as well, and if Serra hadn't been trapped in a hospital bed, we would already be out there, tearing the world apart, looking for both of them.
Grace stood from her position and stretched, pocketing her phone and closing the notebook she had been holding. "Paul Caruso will be here on Tuesday," she muttered, still avoiding my gaze.
"Paul?" I teased, hiding the familiar bubble of jealousy that I felt whenever Grace mentioned someone that I knew she once had a relationship with. I knew it was natural for her to date when she was younger, but I couldn't shake the feeling that she had always belonged with me.
Pressing her lips together, Grace nodded. "Yeah, Paul," she repeated, staring at the floor. "That was decades ago and I am thinking that we have bigger problems than a has-been boyfriend." She shifted position, glancing down the hall of the hospital. "Has Sam come out of her room yet?"
"Not yet," I replied, rubbing my face. I took a deep breath and watched my wife meander around the room, aimlessly looking at the badly framed hospital art as she walked past. "Grace?"
"Mm?" she answered, still not looking at me.
I took another breath and steadied myself for the conversation I was about to attempt, unsure of how to continue. "How you holding up?" I asked, narrowing my eyes uncomfortably. It was awkward and I didn't know what else to say, but I held my breath and plowed on. "I mean, with all that's happening and—" Grace whipped around and furrowed her eyebrows, already looking upset. "Grace," I whispered, holding up my hands. "I'm not trying to start anything, but you haven't slept in thirty-six hours. You're beat."
"Yeah, I am," Grace answered immediately, her voice finding that dangerous tone that I only heard when she was really pissed. "But in case you haven't noticed, our entire world is falling apart and there is very little that I can do about it at this moment in time." She plopped the notebook down on the chair next to her and put her hands on her hips, taking a shaky breath. "I am doing what I can by calling everyone I know to get their help."
Pressing my lips together, I nodded, wishing that Grace could hear my thoughts, like she normally could, because I had no idea how to organize the rage, guilt, desperation, and sadness that I felt into words to say aloud in order to comfort her.
She stared at me, licking her lips and shaking her head. "I know," she sighed, covering her face. "I don't know what to say either."
"Hey," I chuckled, "you can hear me."
Grace made a face, shaking her head slowly. "No," she whispered, "I just know you well enough that I could read it off your expression."
Reaching out to her, I touched Grace's shoulder and slowly, she closed her eyes and hung her head. I took the opening and pulled her close, wrapping my arms around her shoulders and tucking her to my chest, resting my head on top of hers. Grace gasped as she tried to control her emotions, but I knew she was close to losing it.
"Hey, hey," I whispered, running my fingers through her hair. "We'll get Sere home and we'll take this on, no holds barred."
"Hey," I greeted my brother as I walked into my sister-in-law's hospital room. The steady beep of her ventilator and blood pressure gauge was reassuring, but the fact that she was still unconscious was unsettling. Sammy looked up, his eyes bloodshot and exhausted. "Dude, you look like shit. You need some sleep."
Sam pressed his lips together and shook his head. "Yeah, I'll get on that," he replied, glancing at Serra. "I'm not going anywhere until she's awake."
Sighing, I sat in the chair opposite of my brother, holding my head in my hands. "Grace went home," I began quietly. "Wants to be with the kids," I continued, hesitating enough for the familiar stab of pain to echo through my chest. "Well, the girls, anyway."
"How did this happen, Dean?" Sam asked. I didn't need to ask what he was talking about.
Shaking my head slowly, I stared at Serra's monitors. "I don't know, Sammy," I breathed. "I don't know. We let our guard down. We trusted the wrong person. We never should have separated."
"Crowley," Sam began, "I don't know, Dean," he continued quietly. "I honestly don't think Crowley was to blame for this one, for a change. He looked as upset as we were right before he disappeared."
"But he still disappeared."
Sam stood silently, wandering over to his wife and brushed her hair out of her face and arranged her hands gently on the bed, carefully avoiding the IVs coming from her arms and hands. "What am I going to say to her?" he asked quietly.
I licked my lips, completely at a loss. "You tell her that as soon as she's well, we're gonna let her loose," I began. "You tell her that we'll get him back. We'll get both of them back and I'll let her do the honors when it comes to gutting the bitch that took them."
Not turning to face me, Sam nodded once. "Any word on Cas?" he asked.
Closing my eyes, I shook my head. "No," I answered, standing and shoving my hands in my pockets. "His vessel is still just standing there in the middle of my living room, taking up space and reminding me that he's completely useless right now." I wandered towards the window and stared out into the darkness. "Lucia too," I added, not turning around. "Grace doesn't know what to do. Her…her abilities are getting weaker by the day and it's taking everything I am not to tackle her and the girls and drag them into the panic room, just for safe keeping."
Sammy stared at my back, waiting for me to turn around. When I didn't, he continued anyway, "Locking the girls away isn't going to save them, Dean. For the first time in my life," he took a deep breath as I turned around, seeing the rage in his face, "for the first time, I want a gun in everyone's hands and I want to go all out to hunt this bitch down."
I tried to hold it, but a smile found my lips anyway, "Sounds like you've been married to Serra too long."
"Don't let her hear you say that," Sam chuckled lightly, shaking his head. "Go home and get some sleep, Dean. I'm fine here."
Walking towards my brother, I reached out and patted his shoulder with the palm of my hand. "I'll bring you a bagel and some coffee in the morning," I answered.
"Make it Irish," he replied, still holding his weak smile. When he made eye contact with me, the smile slipped from his lips and he took a ragged breath. "Don't let my daughter out of your sight."
I patted his shoulder again, my eyebrows knitting together. "Not on your life," I replied, nodding slowly. "I'll see you in the morning."