Marked-chapter 2

Don't own 'em, just love 'em. Wished ta hell I worked for Kripke.

wWw

Sam sat behind the wheel of the Impala and watched as his brother gingerly sat down on the bench seat beside him. He waited a second before he started up the car, long enough for Dean to look at him with a 'whatcher waiting for?' expression.

"So?" Dean asked impatiently, "Fire her up and lets get going!"

Sam stared at the way his brother was sitting like he was awkwardly "perched" so's he wouldn't put any weight on where he was branded.

"You...Um...you comfortable?" the soulless man questioned.

Dean's brows quirked up so tight he looked like his forehead might cramp, because a comment like that was inconsistent coming from Sam in his soulless condition, "What?" he said exasperatedly, "Why should you care...you don't care!"

Sam nodded at the logic of the statement, "Right,... I don't... but it's going to be a long ride and where you're...injured...I don't think you'll get any sleep if you don't put any of the anesthetic creme we've got in the med kit on your..."

"If you say MY ASS" one more time Sam..." Dean threatened.

The smirk was almost imperceptible on Sam's face in the dim interior of the car but Dean could tell it was there.

"Derrière?"

"SAM!"

The soulless man's brief smile produced a peek of a dimple and then he got serious and it disappeared, "Just stop fighting it and put the damn creme on Dean..."

Dean glared back.

"I'm not going anywhere until you do." Sam calmly told him and he pocketed the keys giving his brother that completely blank expression he could do now that he knew really creeped him out.

"FINE!"

wWw

For an hour or so Dean fought to stay awake just to prove the point that anesthetic or no anesthetic the pain wouldn't have kept him up anyway but after 70 miles of stubborn silence Sam heard his brothers breathing soften into the regular quiet rhythm of sleep. And when he glanced over Dean was slumped away from him facing the passengers side window and utterly out.

Sam shook his head and huffed to himself.

These days Sam Winchester no longer needed sleep to recharge, it was one of the happy byproducts of having no soul, he was just "on" 24/7, and thus he had no trouble making good time through the lonely back roads and highways between them and Bobby's house. In his present state of mind driving was the perfect occupation for his thoughts, he faced no emotional conflicts, used the time to mull over the case and even though there was no logical reason for it he found it somewhat comforting to have his sleeping brothers form resting peacefully by his side.

They pulled into to the salvage yard just as deep shadows began to creep into all the nooks and crannies of the busted cars stacked around the yard. Sam shut the Impala off and smoothly exited the drivers side instinctively shoving hard on the heavy metal door so it would close with it's familiar "squeak thunk' and the sudden noise jerked his brother awake. Dean got stiffly out of the passengers side lured by the sound of familiar voices. He blinked into the bright light and greeted his family friend. "Bobby?"

"Dean." Bobby said, and motioned impatiently with his hand toward the house "Well, com'on and let's get a look at it."

"What, my ass is that appealing you wanna stare at it even before breakfast?" Dean teased.

Bobby rolled his eyes, "Better before than after." He snarked back.

Sam giggled.

Dean sighed and shrugged, "gotta a point."

They made their way into the study and Bobby told him, "See if you can find a comfortable position under the examining light." And motioned toward the large, lighted, crane neck magnifying glass sitting on the desk that was used to decipher tiny inscriptions. Dean paused a moment by the lamp then unbuttoned his jeans, unzipped and pulled down the left side of his pants only far enough to expose the brand.

Bobby stood back then said, "Well aren't we the delicate one."

Dean sighed and said, "I thought I'd spare you a full moon so...you're welcome. Now can you just get on with it!"

"S'ok boy," The older hunter said as he approached exhibit "A", "I'll be gentle."

Dean just sucked in a breath and muttered, "How bad is it?"

Bobby peered into thick glass circle at the lighted spot below and then said, "Sam git me that book by Browning, yeah, that big old leather bound one, the one you used to like to look at when you were a kid...that's it. Bring it over here."

Sam pulled the large volume from one of the top shelves and set it down on the desk by the lamp.

"Open 'er up for me wouldja please?" Bobby asked him as he stared at the burned shape on his brothers flesh. "And look under glyphs, ancient celtic...see if any of the drawings come close to matching his mark."

Dean couldn't see from his position but after hearing the pages rapidly flipped through for a few minutes Sam finally said, "Here, this is close."

"Lemme see wouldja?" Dean asked from below the desk's edge. He heard Bobby comment from behind him, "It's close but not exact, see how there is a curve to the design that interlocks it and makes it wrap around..." Then Dean felt the body heat of Bobby reaching over him followed by the clinking from the pencil jar on the desk as the man fumbled to find something, suddenly he felt a blunted point nudge his flesh and Bobby said, " Right here."

And he jumped a little, "Hey now! No Probing!" he growled.

"Easy there princess," Bobby growled back, "I ain't gonna poke around there too rough as long as that implant is still in ya. No telling what might set it off, it could be a booby trap and us tamperin' with it could cause it to go off or sumthin' with some toxin or an alarm to bring a fairy horde down upon us. Ok?...So I'm not planin' on any sudden moves...and you shouldn't either...got it?"

Dean swallowed, "ULP! Ok, no sudden moves." then Dean muttered, "Great my ass is now freakin IUD."

And he heard his brother's voice add, "It is anytime you order extra onions."

"Shut up Sam." Dean clipped.

Sam turned a few more pages then exclaimed, "Yatze!"

Dean heard Bobby emit a low whistle and that was it for him, "Shows over I'm closing the freak tent. And he stood and zipped up, "Lemme see what I got on me."

Sam passed the book over to his brother and pointed at the page, "This one."

Dean looked at the tiny drawing of complex interlocking lines titled "Oberon's Claim"

and he read the passage underneath it out loud, "Says here that those that bear this mark of the Fey are culled to serve the King himself." Dean looked worriedly up at his brother and asked, "Doesn't mean what I think it does...does it?"

Sam's dimples showed again, "No, I think crazy glitter lady got it wrong, you're not going to be pressed into SERVICE the King just be OF service to the King."

Bobby's eyebrows shot up. "Boy, wanna run that by me agin?"

wWw

They had gone back into the kitchen to discuss their options. Dean leaned carefully against the counter and sipped on the Whiskey Bobby'd offered him while Sam explained what happened about the crop circles and it being fairies not aliens and the abductions of first born sons.

Bobby shook his head and adjusted his baseball cap, "So the Fairies are using aliens as their cover story?"

"Well, that's what the Leprechaun told me." Sam said.

Bobby squinted his eyes at Sam and said, "Do you hear yourself right now?"

Sam quirked his head to one side and shrugged, 'What?'

The older hunter sighed and rolled his eyes then told them, "This Oberon, he's been King since the beginning," Bobby rubbed his chin and and mulled over the seriousness of this situation then stared at the older Winchester and said, "Its gonna take some mighty powerful magic to unchain your leash, boy, from an entity as old that." A look passed between them and Bobby picked up a sudden desperation reflected in Dean's face and that clenched his heart.

He went over to the man he considered a son and put a steadying hand on his shoulder, "We'll find a way." he told him.

Dean shrugged, "Yeah, I know you'll try but this feels just as impossible as my last deal. I mean where the hell are fairies from? Could they just beam me up from right here? Right now?"

The hopelessness of that comment stabbed right through the old man's heart and he felt himself flinch, then he got angry. He knew this man was sayin' what he did from fear and but still... "Dammit boy, you git yourself in the most consarn fool situations and then you come cryin to me to git you outta them! But this time...this time..."

The stricken look on Dean's face made all Bobby's steam suddenly leave him.

And he shook his head then threw his cap on the floor and pointed his finger at the two of them "You listen to me, both of you! If you think for one minute I'd ever let you two down on purpose then you just don't know the man standin' before you, I love you like son's you hear me?" And then he turned to Dean and continued to yell, "there is no way in hell or any other dimension that I'm gonna let some Johnny come lately fairy hold an exclusive license to kick your ass when I've put in all these years of your bullshit to earn that seniority myself!"

Sam stood to the side eyes wide with surprise at the outburst of anger but Dean looked down at the floor, a small smile beginning to quirk at the corners of his mouth.

"Do you all hear me?" Bobby yelled.

"Yessir!" They both said.

Bobby picked up his cap, dusted it off and adjusted it on his head. "Good!" He turned to Dean and said, "Now make yourself useful and git the coffee goin' while I go make a phone call, then we can have breakfast."

"Ok" Dean said. "Um..thanks.

"Yeah," Sam added, "Thanks.

Bobby turned to leave and they bother heard him mutter under his breath "Idjits!"

wWw

About a half an hour later Bobby came back into the kitchen in a pensive mood. Dean passed him a warm mug of fresh coffee into his hand and Bobby took a big sip. Then stood silent.

"Well?" Dean asked, "Who did you call for a fairy shout out?"

"Please tell me it wasn't the lady we interviewed before." Sam said.

"I got my connections." Bobby said mysteriously.

"And they are an expert on fairy lore because...?" Dean pressed.

"Because she happens to be Fey."

"She...What? You knew Fairies were real? And you...and ...you actually KNOW one?" Dean stammered.

"I wouldn't have lasted this long in the business if I didn't have a wide variety of acquaintances on my contact list, now would I?" Bobby smugly replied.

Sam squinted his eyes at the older man, "How can you trust what she told you to be true, she's bound to serve her king, to do otherwise would be a death sentence for her."

Dean's eyes widened. "Whatdaya mean death sentence?"

Sam told him, "She's bound to serve her King, if she doesn't he can have her killed."

"She don't serve him no more, I helped her gain political asylum...sorta." Bobby told him.

"So she's here?" Dean pointed to the floor, "On this side...not in fairy land?"

"Yeah, we worked a hunt together a few years ago, and when it was over she told me she didn't want to go back, that she wanted to get away from all the royal court bullshit and start fresh here, so I helped her escape." Bobby shrugged.

Sam smiled, "So now she owes you big time."

"I helped her out yeah. And that kinda grants me a wish." Bobby said over his shoulder as he moved to the fridge to start breakfast

Sam turned to Dean to explain, "See, the Fey have this compulsion to make deals, they are like the supernatural worlds best lawyers for finding loop holes or creating iron clad contracts. You stumble upon one and they talk you into something that sounds real good chances are it's only going to be good for them not you. But because it runs deep in their culture, maybe even their genetic code, if you do a Fairy a favor they become bound to you to do one in kind, they can't re-nig or get out of it."

Dean strode over behind Bobby and said to his back, "You'd use your chit on me? to get me free? What if you get into a life or death situation man?"

Bobby turned around to see that Dean had an expression of wonder wrapped in disbelief on his face. And that was just so "Dean". He gripped the boy's shoulders and said with a quavering voice, "When are you gonna get it through your fool head that you are worth that risk to me? That this IS a life and death situation to ME coz if I had to lose you agin' it would be the death of me-understand?

Dean saw the glisten in the old mans' eyes and felt his throat tighten and just when he was about to open his mouth again the found himself wrapped in the tightest bear hug that man had given him since he'd come back from hell.

And you know what? He let himself get hugged and he even hugged back and when he felt the strong arms start to loosen he let himself hold on a moment longer, because you learn a few things once you've been in hell and number one is don't be so quick to dodge generosity when it's thrown at you, especially when it's wrapped in a gift of love.

They thumped each other on the back, pulled apart and both coughed a little then Dean joked, "So about that breakfast?"

Bobby shook his head and smiled and told them they're both getting scrambled eggs and they better like it coz he hadn't gone shopping yet and he only had a small store bought pie for dessert and that got a "Yessir!" from both of them in harmony.

wWw

They fixed the simple meal and ate in companioned silence for a while then Bobby spoke up about the ritual they were about to perform.

"She gave me a couple of options on how to work the spell." Said Bobby as he looked at Dean pointedly. "Because this is about savin' a life I gotta approach it like I was trying to retrieve property from the royal court, kinda like you was cattle, but that since your human and a family member, I'm gonna be adding the proviso of backlash, like a curse, if they try to git you back."

Both boys were silent.

Bobby continued, "I got all the ingredients and paraphernalia we need right here around the house so we can do this as soon as we're finished here, but I gotta tell you there still could be some risks. She told me I can't erase the mark, it'll just halfta heel in it's own time. But the spell she gave me would nullify the brands hold." And then Bobby looked down at the floor, "The Implant...now, that is new technology since she's been there so we're gonna be goin' on guess work, she figured the implant is probably a tracking device and that it IS probably booby trapped so's I'm gonna halfta drop it into a spell concoction to deactivate it as soon as it's removed or... well...let's just hope we don't find out what coulda happened."

Dean stopped eating and pushed his plate away.

Sam quirked his head at him and said, "You're not going to finish your pie?"

Dean licked his lips and gave the soulless man across from him a tired look saying, "Maybe after...after we know it's all good."

"Oh." was his brothers only reply.

wWw

A few minutes later they cleared the dishes off the kitchen table and spread a clean sheet over the top to make it into a serviceable operating table ( hadn't been the first time.)

Sam took the list from Bobby and pulled together the ingredients from the cupboards and pantry while Bobby brought in the cauldron and set it on the stove. Holy water, Rosemary, Basil and Mistletoe plus a square from the white sheet Dean was to lay on were tossed into to boil. Bobby stirred the mix while murmuring an incantation then took a sliver ladle and poured some of the contents into the glass beaker he planned to drop the implant in; then he sprinkled a measure of consecrated salt into the beaker to complete the deactivation brew .

He brought the glass beaker over to the table then scowled at Dean. "Watcher waitin for an invitation? No time to get shy now boy, drop trow and climb up on there."

Dean sighed and growled, "I'm keeping M'shirt on!" And proceeded to untie the laces on his boots.

Bobby huffed, "Trust me I'll avert my eyes."

Dean toed the boots off then just stood there.

"What?" the older hunter said.

"Can ya just..." and Dean motioned away with his hands, "just leave and let assume the position with out an audience?"

Bobby blinked, then shook his head, "Oh for cryin' out loud!" then he gestured to the youngest man, "Com 'on Sam let's give give your brother some privacy." Then he growled to Dean, "you got a minute to be face down on that table or we're strapin' you down our selves!"

"Yeah, I'll try not to wrinkle the sheet!" Dean snapped.

"Yeah well, we're burnin the sheet after!" Bobby snapped back.

In less than thirty seconds they heard a muffled "Ready" from the kitchen and they stomped back in.

Sam walked in looked at his brother and winced. The brand had grown redder and angrier like infection had begun to sink in. "Dude," he said, "that is sooo not your best side."

Dean mumbled, "Not the time to let me know you even know which side is."

Bobby shushed them both and motioned for Sam to hand him the needle of local he'd prepared earlier.

"Ok, boy this is gonna pinch a little" and proceeded to give Dean the shot to numb the area. He needed to be awake incase...well... incase the unplanned happened with the implant.

Dean hissed as the needle entered his tender flesh.

"Ten minutes and we'll get this over with," Bobby promised the man on the table. "Sam place the beeswax candles on the five points wouldja?" Bobby instructed.

They had drawn a protection circle around the table and included the five points of nature within it. Bobby nodded to Sam to light the candles and he began to recite the spell as Dean numbed up.

"I anoint this sign with knowledge and protection of the Wind and Will before me" And Bobby sprinkled a few drops of water from the cauldron onto the mark.

"Let no one, be they great or small, damage that which is so precious to me and bears unwillingly this seal." Dean could feel a few more sprinkles on his lower back and thighs but the area around the mark was numb.

"Let no one of high privilege or lowly rank touch that which bears this sign." And Bobby sprinkled more on Dean starting from his head and working across his shoulders, down his back and all the way down both legs.

"Ok, boy I'm going to take the implant out now so brace yourself," Bobby said and Dean heard the man take a deep breath and let it out slow.

Sam was standing by with the long handled tweezers. His job was to be ready to pluck the implant from Dean's flesh as soon as he could get a clear view of it and to immediately drop it into the consecrated water in the beaker.

"Ok, I'm making the incision now," Bobby told him as he applied pressure on the scalpel. And there it was just below the skin, a oval bead no bigger than a gain of rice. Bobby recited the last of the rite as Sam moved in to pull it out.

"Let no one seek to harm the kin that I am bound to in blood and deed and body least that one bear the retribution of the ancients... and their light become extinguished for all time like the darkest night."

Sam dropped the tiny bead into the water. It broke open immediately flashing spikes outward and oozing a deadly looking dark fluid that turned the water murky.

Bobby then tossed crushed leaves from the mistletoe into the beaker and said, " So it was, so it is, so it always shall be."

And a dark poof of smoke wafted up from where the exploded implant now rested.

Sam capped a lid on top of the beaker and took it out of doors while Bobby swabbed the the incision site down with antiseptic and began to stitch Dean up.

"Hey," Dean said after a few minutes of feeling the silent tugging of the surgical thread, "how many stitches you puttin' in there?"

Sam walked back into the room just then in time to hear Bobby reply," It only took six, now I'm just embroidering my initials on there."

"WHA...?" Dean began to shift.

"Sit still ya idjit or you'll make me drop a stitch!" Bobby gruffed back.

Sam walked over and looked down at Bobby's handi work and then nudged him with his elbow while he nodded toward his prone brother saying in a loud voice, "I think 'property of' is spelt: P...R...O...P..."

"Guys? You're kidding right?" came Deans muffled voice from the table.

Bobby smiled at Sam and shook his head and said, "You wanna hand me the scissors or do you wanna bite the thread off?"

Sam giggled.

And Dean huffed, "Very funny- tell you what why don't you just tie a length of rope on there and that way my ass can stay tethered to you even after we leave!"

Bobby cut the suture and snarked back, "If I thought it would help keep you out of trouble I might take you up on that." And asked Sam, "You can blow out them candles now."

Then as he turned to the stove to boil and sterilize the instruments added, "If you think it'll do any good you can make a wish to keep him outta trouble while yer at it."

Dean heard his brother puff out the candles as he lay there face down and was aware of the sooty smell of candle wax drifting up from below the table mingling with the herbal concoction still on the stove. "Are we done now?" he asked.

Bobby answered "Were done, you can get off my table and put yer pants back on."

Dean shuddered, that was the exact phrase the girl had said to the plumber in the last Casa Erotica video he'd seen. And coming from Bobby it just sounded soo wrong. Ugh! "Ok, clear out a minute will ya so I can get off this thing?" he said a little too loudly.

"Yeah, yeah," Bobby said and mentioned to Sam, "You can leave them candles there for now, let's give yer brother a moment to dismount."

Dean heard two sets of footsteps leave the kitchen and he rolled off the table just as the door closed. A moment later as he was pulling up his jeans he heard Bobby's voice through the kitchen door say, "You're burnin the sheet and buying the Chinese tonight...and...you're Welcome."

Smiling a half crooked smile Dean nodded his head, "Good ol' Bobby" Even so he was still gonna check his ass out in the mirror for any extraneous stitchery as soon as he went upstairs... just in case.

The End

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