Sam's progress continued at a pace through the week that pleased and astonished Elliot. While Sam slept with the determination of a man catching up for lost time, the wound had lost its putrid air, and the skin started knitting together in a pink, healthy fashion. Sam was a model patient.
And weaponry aside, Dean turned out to be handy about the house and yard. Elliot had soon discovered that an idle, bored Dean was not a good thing. While Sam recovered, Elliot recruited his restless, willing guest, and together they set about repairing the damage the Landrys had caused.
Sam was on the fourth day of recovery, and under his healer's orders to remain in bed, when he heard a vehicle coming up the drive. Heard shouts. Not the happy kind. The angry, 'I'm going to get you' kind.
Where was Walsh?
Where was Dean?
He knew they had planned to work on repairing the front yard this afternoon.
Grabbing up his cell, he called Dean's. With his free hand, he started feeling between the mattress and box spring.
Oh yeah, there you are. He loved his brother's paranoia… or as Dean insisted, his tendency to believe that bad shit was always around the corner. Taking hold of his gun, he swung his legs over the side of the bed.
Come on, pick-
"I hear 'em," came the clipped greeting. "I'll handle it."
Snorting, Sam continued his search between the mattress and box spring. One gun? Not likely. His hand closed around the familiar grip of his knife. Poor Elliot was going to freak. Adrenalin gave him the push he needed to get out of bed.
A sigh. "There's a cane by the chair."
"Where are you?"
"Out back, by the garden shed. Walsh is getting us something to drink."
Sam shot a look over his shoulder when he heard the shouts get louder and the sound of the front door opening. "Dammit, he's going out."
"On my way. Use the cane."
"Yeah, yeah. Let's hunt some orcs." Sam grinned at the momentary silence.
"You're never going to let that go, are you?"
"Not for a really long time."
Sam chuckled, just a little, imagining Dean's expression. Shoving the knife in his waistband with the hope that it just wouldn't drop down his leg, he took his gun in hand and snatched up the cane. He wasn't sure how long his leg would support him, and it just might come in handy.
As he passed his duffle, he saw the camcorder and grinned.
Elliot stepped out onto the porch with no little amount of frustration. Big clods of dirt were being hurled into the air as the four by four ripped up the lawn.
He and Dean had just finished laying sod.
Elliot had found his equilibrium and no Landry was going to destroy the peace he had acquired since Sam's healing. Having gone up against a supernatural bully, the Landrys seemed… mundane.
Looked like the entire family came to call this time. Will Landry looked stiff and grim in the passenger side, while one of the sons was cranking the steering wheel to dig more furrows in his yard -
Okay, he may sympathize, but a Molotov cocktail being lobbed from the back of the truck and heading for his repaired porch was pushing it. If he wasn't mistaken, that was Seth, the younger son, who tossed it.
Jesus, these people were nuts.
The bottle shattered as it was shot in mid-air to burn on the driveway followed by a satisfied whoop.
Dean was an excellent shot.
"He's going to love this." Elliot was startled to find Sam leaning on the doorjamb for support, camcorder in one hand, and a gun down by his side in the other. "I got that on film. We'll be watching that in slo-mo for days. How much you wanna bet?"
Shaking his head at the absurd turn his life had taken, Elliot waved to the Landrys as they aimed their truck toward the porch. Once he knew he had the Landrys' attention, he hooked a thumb over to indicate Sam.
"Smile for the camera boys!" And laughed as Dean shot out the passenger side mirror.
Elliot picked up the ringing phone in his bedroom, frowning at the late hour. He didn't want it to wake Sam. While his client was much improved, Sam wasn't at full strength. The afternoon's excitement had taken a lot out of him. As it was, Sam hadn't gone back to bed. Instead he and Dean had parked themselves in front of the TV to watch and re-watch what Sam had caught on film. Not that Elliot wasn't guilty of more than a few viewings.
It was something to see the shots Dean made in slow motion.
Hearing the Winchesters' commentary was in itself a new form of entertainment, and Elliot found it fascinating to watch a different kind of healing take place.
"Elliot, who shot at the Landrys?" A no-nonsense voice barked over the receiver.
"Not sure what you're talking about, Ron." Elliot was somewhat surprised that the Landrys would admit to being at his place, much less go to the Sheriff.
"I've got a DVD here showing me that you know exactly what I'm talking about."
"Oh." Elliot blinked. So, that's what Dean had been up to after dinner. "Some friends of mine."
"That's some dangerous friends you have there."
"I could say the same."
"I'll take care of them."
"We'll call it even."
"Have a nice evening."
"You too, Sheriff." Elliot hung up the phone and turned to the shadowy figure in the hallway. "Thank you."
"Least I can do." Dean chuckled. "Besides, shots like those deserved to be shared."
Elliot threw back his head and laughed.
Eight days after they had arrived, Sam stood on Elliot's porch and shooke his hand with sincere thanks for all he had done.
Taking his turn, Dean said, "You come across anything that needs our kind of attention, call us. We owe you."
"I'd say we're even." Elliot thought of the Landrys, and his renewed conviction in his work.
With a softening around the eyes, Dean shook his head. "Not even close." He slapped his brother on the shoulder and headed for the car. "Come on, Sam. We need to hit the road."
"He's right," Sam said about to follow when Elliot asked him to wait.
Elliot reached for a container sitting on the nearby table, and handed it to Sam. "Bribe him for good behavior with one of these when he starts to get on your nerves."
"Man, are these your caramel rolls?"
Grinning, Elliot gave a nod.
"This is the first time I've ever hoped he won't listen to me." Sam gave big toothy smile.
Then with a brief touch to Elliot's shoulder, he headed for the Impala, but not before hiding the container within the folds of the jacket he carried.
Elliot was pleased to note that while the limp was still there, Sam's gait was smoothing out.
Once on the road, Sam glanced over to Dean.
"Nice job with the protection runes. Took me awhile to find 'em."
"Because, I'm just that good."
"He's covered, right?"
"With every single thing I could think of and what I could dig out of Dad's journal."
Settling on his front porch steps, Elliot surveyed his restored domain and reflected on the past week. Only a niggling little question marred his contentment.
Should he have said something?
Elliot never sat down with the Winchesters to explain how the healing worked. He would have, but there never seemed to be a good time. Sam was too ill to care, and Dean only cared that it worked.
Elliot's belief system was a grounded faith. He believed there was a higher power, whatever you wanted to call it. He trusted that belief was enough, and because of that he could heal, but it was never himself doing the healing. He was just the conductor. He could call on the energy that existed, and with intent, direct it to where it was needed. If the client wanted to be healed, it would happen.
Sam had doubted. Doubted it would work, and doubted that he was worthy of it.
Dean thought otherwise, and there lie Elliot's dilemma.
The energy Elliot had directed hadn't come from his usual channels. Sam had rejected that.
No, that raw, desperate power had come from an outside source. Unrestrained and familiar, it had blasted through any doubts Sam had.
Dean had been afraid of losing his brother. He was also determined enough to not let it happen, and whatever he had let loose, Sam had not only accepted, but held onto it with a stubbornness that matched Dean's.
As for explaining something like that to the Winchesters…
Someday, maybe. For now, he would remain their Elrond.
"There's no way you can hide those rolls from me. You're still weak, and I can take you."