Liliaeth (liliaeth) wrote,

pictures2words fic: Tempering the Blades 3/5

Fic Title:Tempering the blades
Fic Author:Liliaeth
Characters/Pairings:Dean, Sam, OFC, (also appearances by John, Zachariah, Alistair, Anna, Meg and Gabriel)
Summary:Heaven and hell had their own destinies planned, one problem with that, they didn't foresee CPS getting involved.
Warnings:mention of child abuse, both suspected and real



From: Azazel, recipient of sin <stopsendingmegoats@aoh.ll>
To: Alistair <masterartist@aoh.ll>
Sent: wed, Mar 25, 1992 6:30 pm
Subject: re: Urgent developments in the Winchester observation

My good friend,

I understand all too well about your reluctance to leave the comforts of home. But I’m afraid that you are the only one I could possibly trust with this mission. The only one who understands the intricacies of the ongoing situation.

If I were to send one of my children, talented though they may be, they would undoubtedly do something to call attention to themselves. We cannot risk Hunters catching on to what we are doing before the time has come to direct them towards where we want them to go.

I would consider it a great personal favor, were you to handle this situation.



“Well of course he can stay.” Daisy almost backed off at the tone of Brenda Maloney’s voice. “I’m not going to turn away a little boy just because he’s scared. I just thought you might want to know, ask his father about it or something.”

Daisy calmed down her breathing, her worries. She couldn’t begin to imagine the amount of times foster parents got scared when an abused kid did something ‘weird’ or ‘strange,’ something they’d learned to make sense of their own lives, their own suffering.

Hell, she had to admit that filling the place with salt wasn’t even close to being the weirdest or most dangerous thing she’d seen a kid do to keep the monsters at bay. She probably should have expected something like that to happen, looking at the state of the motel room that the boys had been staying at. The boys were just trying to replicate the sanctuary they were used to, that made them feel safe.

“I will, Brenda. Thanks for letting me know. I just worry about those boys.”

The words, “you and me both,” continued on in her head as Daisy grabbed a pillow while falling down on the couch next to her husband. Carl pulled her to his chest and brushed a hand through her hair.

“Hard case?” he asked her. She shivered for a moment, before looking back up into his dark brown eyes, touching his thick lips and thinking how much better a man and father he was than almost any of the men she dealt with on a day-to-day basis.

“It’s these two boys,” she sighed. “The oldest is only thirteen, but he’s already more of a caretaker to his little brother than their father is.” Carl was so warm underneath her. “And I want to tell him how proud I am, of how capable he is, how well he’s done with his brother. But then I think, no child should carry that kind of responsibility, not at that age. When does he get to be a kid? When Sam falls and bruises his knee, Dean looks after him, but who does the same for Dean? It’s just unfair.”

“But he’s safe now.”

“I don’t know...”

“You’re on the case, Daisy, you’ll save him. I know you will.”

“I wish I could have that kind of faith.” She was just so tired of dealing with this stuff, with people dealing so bad with parenthood that they shouldn’t even be allowed to have pets, let alone be responsible for the life of a child.

“You do, that’s why I love you.” His hand brushed past hers. “Those boys are lucky to have you, alright?”

“Carl, I think their father, that he… I think he’s done stuff to Dean. Hurt him, bad. But I don’t have any proof, and I can’t even check for proof, not without hurting him even worse.” She shivered, she had wanted to interrogate either of the boys at the hospital. Push them into telling her what had happened. To have some X-rays done on Sam as well as on Dean. But it would have been too intrusive and Dean was far too damaged as it was to make him even more scared of the authorities than he already was.


“Just things, the way he looks at people, as if he’s expecting them to… want something from him. And I found these books, in their motel room. And then Brenda called. She said that Dean was drawing a pentagram on the floor in front of the door. “

“Daisy, that’s…”

“That man left his children with a shotgun and other guns.” She didn’t know the kind, guns had never held her interest, but… “What if they’d been playing with the thing, and one of them accidentally shot the other? They could have gotten killed. He left them for three days, Carl. Three days, with a gun just lying around under the bed.”

Carl’s finger’s played through her hair, his silver wedding ring hooking into her curls. She wished she could tell him how much she appreciated him, how much it comforted her to have someone to talk to about the darkness she so often dealt with at work. Carl was her link to sanity, but it would feel stupid telling him this. She guessed he probably already knew.

“Maybe. Or maybe the kid’s just shy, Daisy. Maybe it’s not that bad?” She blinked at him. “Some people, they’re so used to dealing with guns, that they don’t think how dangerous they might be. If the boy’s that responsible for his brother, maybe his father thought he needed a gun to protect him. Maybe he just trusted him with it?”
“He’s thirteen.”

“My dad took me hunting when I was nine. I always got to take care of my own gun, it was a matter of pride.” Carl moved to get them both more comfortable. “Dad always took care to make sure I didn’t aim it at anything I didn’t plan to shoot.”

Daisy couldn’t help thinking about the sense of pride in Dean’s voice when he’d talked about making the sawed-off himself.

“I know it’s wrong, Daisy, but sometimes, parents do stuff that they think is right, because it’s their way to love their children, their way to protect them. And if you look at him as if he’s a bad guy, just for owning some books then well… you might miss the part of him who just loves his kids and wants to keep them safe.”

She wished she could tell him how much she hated it when he was right, but she hit him with her pillow instead. Which led to a tickle attack, which led to…


From: Zachariah, second seraphim and first Clerk of the 10th Garrison <>
To: Azazel, recipient of sin <stopsendingmegoats@aoh.ll>
Sent: wed Mar 25, 1992
Subject: re: Urgent developments in the Winchester observation

Heaven keeps its bargains,

I am sure we can come to an agreement that will benefit both sides.

second seraphim and first Clerk of the 10th Garrison


Dean was terrified. They’d taken his knife, they were going to take him away from Sammy, and they’d taken his knife. Dean had reacted without thinking this morning. Someone had been standing over him when he woke up, and he’d grabbed the knife from under his pillow as he rolled out of bed, ready to defend himself.

He was lucky that he hadn’t struck to attack or he might have maimed or even killed the older boy.

Mike had screamed as Dean came at him with the knife and Dean had dropped it in shock. Brenda and the big guy she was married to came running into the bedroom. Mike had backed away from him and Sam had looked down from the top bunk, wiping his tiny fingers over his eyes, as if he wasn’t sure if he wanted to wake up or not.

Brenda had seen the knife lying there and had picked it up before sending Mike and Sam out of the room. Sam had refused. So now he had crawled down the ladder and sat down next to Dean, leaning up against him. Dean hugged his brother closer to him and shivered, waiting for the verdict.

They were going to take him away, he was sure of it. He was shaking, his blanket barely covering him and Sam. Sam’s body was warmer than the blankets and Dean knew his baby brother was as scared as Dean was.

The door opened again and Brenda came in on her own. She was holding a plate with two cups on it. Whatever was in them was pretty hot, he could see the steam coming off the cups.

Sam wouldn’t let go of Dean though, and Dean didn’t dare look at Brenda, scared to see the fear in her eyes, or worse, that look of guilt that she might get about having to send him away, because 'it’s oh so bad, but it’s all for his own good.' That look, he hated it.

“Dean, Sam, would you boys like some hot chocolate?”

What was it with this woman and chocolate? Was it an addiction or something? Maybe she was some kind of chocolate pusher, trying to get them hooked on the stuff? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

“You really spooked Mike, Dean.” Dean knew what he’d done, thank you very much. “I doubt you know this, but Mike’s father, he liked to play with knives. Hurt him pretty bad.” Bad like the scars on Mike’s face bad? Like these people thought Dad had had done to them? “So when he saw you coming at him with a knife, he…”

“I didn’t come at him with it! I thought I was under attack!” The words came out before Dean could stop himself. “I didn’t mean to hurt him.”

“That’s good, Dean. But you did scare him. Why did you take the knife, sweetie? I promise I won’t be angry.”

Yeah right, as if civilians could ever understand.

“I understand you’re scared, Dean. You’re in a strange place, and you’ve got your little brother to look after. But you’re safe here, no one’s going to hurt you, I promise.”
Dean lost the fight to contain a hysterical chuckle. She just tilted her head and waited for an answer.

“I can’t lose Sam.”

“Dean. Nobody…”

He interrupted her again. “You wouldn’t understand, and then people would take Sam and it’ll be all my fault.” Because that’s what Dad had kept telling him. If he told people about the monsters, they’d think him and Dad were crazy and then social services would come and take Sam away from them and he’d never see him again.

He was almost glad that she didn’t give him some lie, like saying ‘nobody was going to take Sam’, because it was something she couldn’t guarantee. Nobody could.

“Oh, sweetie.” She looked like she was about to hug him again, and he pulled back up against the wall, Sam quickly followed with him, throwing scared looks in between Dean and Brenda.

“They won’t, will they?” Sam begged. “They can’t! I don’t want to go anywhere without Dean! They can’t make me!”

And now Sam was crying and Dean knew it was his fault. Why did he always do everything wrong? If he hadn’t messed up the hunt, then he wouldn’t have gotten hurt and then they’d be back home at the motel with Dad, instead of here with a bunch of strangers.
In a heartbeat, Sam went from scared to angry the way only obnoxious little brothers were capable of. He let go of Dean and crawled up to the front of the bed, shielding Dean, who still sat behind him.

Sam got out of the bed, crying and screaming that no one could take him away from Dean and Dean just curled up against the wall, hugging his legs. He couldn’t cry. He wasn’t a kid anymore, only little kids cried.

Brenda sat down next to them and pulled Sam into a hug. The kid was sobbing on her shoulder now, crying out in exhaustion. Dean was almost sure that she’d hug him too, if he let her. But she wasn’t his mom. She was just…

Why did Mom have to die?


From: Alistair <masterartist@aoh.ll>
To: Azazel, recipient of sin <stopsendingmegoats@aoh.ll>
Sent: wed, Mar 25, 1991 8:25 am
Subject: re: Urgent developments in the Winchester observation

My dear friend,

Flattery will get you everywhere. Just make sure I have a nice furnace to warm my limbs and I’ll see what I can do about your little situation.
But you will owe me for this.

PS: Someone mind telling Lilith that souls are for torturing, not to play teaparties with?


Daisy was heading up to the judge’s office when she noticed her boss talking to some sleazy guy in a cheap suit. One of those bill-by-the-hour lawyers that advertised in cheap ads on the local news channels just to drum up business.

She may have gotten used to this kind of man, taking advantage of those too poor to afford a real lawyer, but that didn’t mean she had to like them.

“So we are agreed,” she heard Darren saying. “You sanctimonious twits stay out of the way, and we both get what we want.” The words sounded odd coming out of her supervisor’s mouth. Darren Meekis was a lot of things, but he was not known for his creativity where insulting people was concerned. In fact, she was pretty sure she’d heard him call someone a poopiehead only a month or two ago.

“For once we agree, you vile taint. But only on this.”

Daisy was starting to wonder if she should be getting in between the two of them. It was like waiting for a volcano to erupt.


“Daisy, I don’t think you’ve met Mister Wilker” There was something wrong with the way he smiled. As if he was enjoying a private joke too big for his body to contain.. “He’s John Winchester’s attorney. Mister Wilker was just trying to arrange a meeting between Mister Winchester and his two sons. Supervised, of course.” He sounded calm and rational, but there was a sick sarcasm in his tone that hid at a deeper meaning.
For a moment Daisy wondered if she’d just imagined the gleam of empty white in Darren’s eyes as he looked at her.

“No problem, sir. Would you like me to set things up with the Maloneys?” She hoped that the look in her eyes made it clear that she added an ‘are you sure that’s a good idea’ to her question. It hadn’t even been a week. Normally it took longer to set up a first meeting with the parent.

“Yes, if you could.” He turned to her and she could feel the hairs on her arms stand up in warning. “I believe that it would be best for the children to be able to talk to their father, don’t you agree?” Daisy wished he’d talked to her about this first, but there was something about the way Darren looked at her that gave her pause. Don’t interfere, it seemed to scream at her. She tried to shrug it off. It was just Darren, plain old Darren Miles. She knew this man, and he wouldn’t do anything to harm the children. He’d never risk a child’s safety if he could help it.

And really, as long as there was supervision, nothing too bad could happen, right?
“Don’t tell the boys about the meeting. I would love to see their reaction when they hear they get to see their father. Check their response.”

Daisy tried to protest, the children should at least have time to prepare for the visit. But Darren wouldn’t budge on it. The kids would come and they weren’t to find out what was going to happen until they arrived. Daisy considered just warning Brenda while she was on the phone with her, but Darren wouldn’t leave her alone long enough to give the full story.

So she set it up, waited for school to be over, for the large Subaru to show up in front of the court house. Brenda came out first, while Joe was taking the baby carriage out before putting little Joey in it. Suzie and Mike were fighting about something while Sam and Dean seemed to almost be clinging to one another. They looked terrified of something and seemed unsure of what was going on.

“Hey, Brenda.”

“Daisy, how are you?” The two women hugged one another, ”So what’s this about?” Brenda asked, Daisy was just about to tell her when Darren showed up in the hall behind them. She had no idea where he came from. Noticing Daisy’s distraction, Brenda moved over to the boys. Mike seemed to have grown a bit wary of the kids, and Daisy wondered what was wrong.

“Dean pulled a knife on Mike,” Joe whispered. “He didn’t mean to, but Mike surprised him when he was waking up.”

Daisy could feel her heart freeze in her chest.

“It’s okay, nothing happened, but Dean’s been terrified we’re going to separate him and Sam ever since it happened.” Daisy closed her eyes, forcing her breathing to stay calm. “It wasn’t really either boy’s fault. But we’ve told Dean that he can’t take knives to bed with him. I’m sure he’ll be more careful in the future.”

It only made her worry even more. Maybe the boy should be taken somewhere safer, somewhere that he could get help. But then she saw him sitting with Sam and she realized that his little brother was the only thing Dean had left that gave him hope. Separating those two would destroy the oldest Winchester kid. And sure, it might save Sam—might, no certainty on that—but it would annihilate what little sense of self that the young boy now climbing out of the car had left.

He looked as if he were about to face to the firing squad. Maybe this meeting was a good thing, no matter how much she might wish she had more time to warn the family of what was about to happen.

“I have good news, boys. We’ve set up a meeting between the two of you and your father.”
Dean’s eyes lit up and for a moment all of his innocence shone through, as if the world was a good place again. Sam seemed torn, happy to see his father, but he kept looking at Brenda and Joe as well. She wondered if she asked them separately, if Sam really would be as eager to go back as Dean was.

“We’ll be there to supervise, but you’ll be able to talk to him. “ She added a quick, but obviously unneeded, “only if you want to, of course.” But she already knew the answer to that one. Dean seemed happy for the first time since she met him, and Sam… Sam seemed happy too.. It didn’t matter what John had done to his children, to Dean, the man was his hero and the young boy would do anything for the man’s approval. And Sam, she had to laugh at the thought, Sam would follow his brother to the moon if he had to, would probably go so far as to steal a spaceship from NASA and rocket away without a second thought if it meant staying with Dean. He didn’t say much, but he had a quiet tenacity about him that could be a little scary.

Joe took Mike and the younger kids with him to the cafeteria, while Brenda accompanied the Winchester boys upstairs to the meeting rooms. She hesitated a bit before leaving. Sam took her hand and held back a moment before hugging her. Brenda patted his back, letting him hold on for a moment, before letting go. “I’ll be right downstairs.” She whispered to both boys. Dean made a show of ignoring her.

Daisy opened the door, noticing the police officer keeping watch in the hall. They shared a look of understanding between them. From the looks he was throwing at the room, he’d already met the irresistible force that was John Winchester. It made her wonder if there was anyone that the elder Winchester couldn’t manage to piss off. She braced herself before entering, the boys right behind her. John Winchester stood at the window, his hands rested on the windowsill.

“Dad!” John turned around and from one moment to another all of Sam’s doubts and hesitations were gone as Sam ran up to his father and into his arms. Dean hesitated a second longer before joining them. They held on to one another for dear life and for a moment Daisy couldn’t help but wonder that maybe they’d been wrong.. Maybe John really was a good dad, who cared for his kids. Maybe Dean really did get hurt riding a bike and maybe… maybe there were reasons why anyone would leave two kids on their own for four days without even as much as a phone call.


“How did it go?” was the first thing Dean asked after letting go. How did what go?

“Fine.” John held Dean’s face, looking at the bruises. “Pastor Jim sent some help. Guy called Travis.”


Daisy stayed at the door, ready to help the boys, but keeping herself out of the way so she wouldn’t disrupt the reunion.

“What the fuck were you thinking , Dean?”

Daisy didn’t think she imagined the flinch in Dean’s stance.


“They tell me you had a concussion for crying out loud. Where the fuck was your mind, not telling me you blacked out after. How the fuck am I supposed to trust you, when you can’t even bother to let me know all the information I need for a mission? When you don’t give me a full sit rep? How can I expect you to look after Sammy, if you can’t even look after yourself?” The elder Winchester’s voice was rising with every word.

“Mister Winchester,” Daisy tried to intervene, but from the look of it, she might as well have been invisible.

“I’m sorry, sir.” Dean seemed even smaller, standing before his father. “I just…”

“After the fucking shtriga, I thought you learned better. I thought you understood your responsibilities, Dean. I thought I could count on you to be a good soldier.” And somehow the calm in his voice was worse than the previous anger, mostly because the disappointment in it seemed to literally be destroying the boy in front of it. As if Winchester was carving his disapproval into his son.

What kind of man was this, to even consider something of this kind as acceptable?

“I just didn’t think.”

“You never think.”

She could see Sam flinching under his father’s words, just as much as she did. He seemed ready to jump in between his father and brother, but didn’t. She couldn’t understand why, since he clearly wanted to. Or maybe she did.

Dean wasn’t shaking, too frozen in his father’s glare.

“You needed the money and… I didn’t think we could spare anything for the hospital, and I was fine, it was just for a few seconds,” Dean whispered.

For a moment Daisy feared that John was going to hit his son. She was about to step in between them, to get help, and then the man grabbed the boy in a hug as if he was never going to let go. It seemed like minutes, but only lasted a few seconds.

“God, Dean. I need you to understand this. When you’re hurt, when you need a doctor, you need to tell me. I need to know. I don’t care how much money it costs.”

Dean tried to interrupt but his father wouldn’t let him. “There will always be money for something like that, do you understand? Always, no matter what I have to do to get it.”

She looked through the room and saw Darren standing there, watching through the hall window. He was staring at the boys much like a scientist pondering the best way to go about the dissection of a new specimen. She shivered at the way he was licking his lips as he did so. Wilker joined him, his face twisted and foul, but he didn’t say a word, just stared at the Winchesters in that same calculating fashion. It left Daisy confused and shaken to the core.


From: Alistair <masterartist@aoh.ll>
To: Azazel, recipient of sin <stopsendingmegoats@aoh.ll>
Sent: thur, Apr 2, 1992
Subject: re: Urgent developments in the Winchester observation

Remember that debt you owe me?

Consider it doubled. Those angels are simply… atrocious. Rude, hypocritical and behaving like the whole world rests in their shadows.

Do we truly need those … children, to solve this situation? I think I could use some feathers for my bed.


“Do we have to go back?” Sam’s question came like a thunderclap in clear air. Dean looked at him, stunned. “Maybe it’s easier this way,” Sam whispered, his attention focused on a drawing he was working on. “Dad could go on hunting, without having to worry about us, and we could just stay here with Brenda and Joe and Mike and Suzie and Joey and go to school and I could go learn karate like Mike or play soccer and…”

Dean raised his hand, stopping his brother’s avalanche of words with a single glare. Or at least attempting to do so. “I like Brenda,” Sam continued. “She’s nice and Suzie says she always makes special birthday presents for the kids in the house. Can’t we stay, at least until my birthday?”

Dean had never wanted to hit his brother as much as he did now.

“Don’t you like it here, Dean?”

And that was the worst part, because Dean did like Brenda. He did like being allowed to watch cartoons and know someone else was watching over Sam. He liked it that when he offered to help around the house, he was told not to, because his shoulder hadn’t healed yet. He even liked that there was a chore list, dividing the chores amongst everyone in the house. And he still giggled at the idea of it.

But no matter how nice Brenda was, or how much fun Joe could be as they sat in front of the television and he kept mocking characters in certain soaps, they weren’t John and Mary Winchester and they never would be.

“If we go back, Dad will always have to worry about us, and he can’t go save people sometimes because of school. If we stayed here, he wouldn’t have to be angry so much.”
Dean balled his fists and got up from the couch, ignoring his brother.

“I don’t like moving around all the time, Dean. I don’t like that I never get to make friends.” Dean didn’t either, but they were Hunters and the monsters weren’t all nice like the ones in Batman, that just all decided to move to Gotham to make things easier on the hero. “And I like Brenda’s cooking. She makes real food, instead of Spaghetti-o's.”

Dean closed his eyes. He knew his cooking skills sucked, knew he wasn’t taking care of Sam like Mom had done for him. But he was trying, didn’t Sam get that?

“Dad needs us.” And that’s that. End of story, end of discussion …

“To do what? Watch his back? Can’t uncle Bobby do that? Or Pastor Jim or an adult, any adult?” Dean froze in place. Sure, he liked his dad’s friends, but how could he trust them to keep Dad safe? They weren’t family.

“It’s because of Dad you got hurt, Dean. If Dad didn’t have us ‘watching his back’, that skinwalker wouldn’t have hurt you. He could have killed you and he would have, because Dad thought it was okay to take us with him.”


“I saw him grab you and twist your arm and throw you against the car, and all I could do was watch, Dean! I couldn’t even help you! And Dad… he was too busy fighting the other skinwalkers to stop them from hurting you. I’m sorry, Dean. I know Dad needs us, but… I need you too. And I don’t want some monster to kill you.”

Dean was about to answer Sam, when he looked up at the door and saw Brenda standing there. He stormed out of the room and up to his and Sam’s bedroom before she could start asking questions.


Part 4

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