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It's All Relative

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Summary: *New Summary* Three brothers charged with a destiny. Now with fanart. Previous summary: Sam and Dean are doing a job in cleveland, they stop to visit their younger brother, Xander. Surprises and chaos ensues. **On Permanent Hiatus**

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Xander-Centered > Theme: Real FamilyshdwslayerFR15926,03413026,3783 Jun 0712 Aug 07No

Training

a/n: So it's been a while. First I would like to say I posted the last chapter on LJ and I got some feedback. Mostly that I don't write enough feeling to let people know what the characters are feeling and my use, or non use of commas. So hopefully this chapter turned out better than the previous one. Also whenever I write a chapter, I always have a thought or a dream about a scene I want in the chapter and I work my way around that. I know it's not the best way, but thats the way I do it. Anyways my thought was I wanted Mary or Tara in this chapter. So hopefully it turned out ok.

a/n: When I was proof reading this, I realized a scene I wrote is similar to the one between Logan and Jean in X3. I was so not going for that, but hey I got what I got. Reviews are always welcome and also very appreciated. Hope you enjoy.


~~~~


“Good, you're here.” Willow said, as Xander entered the stone room under the school.

Xander smiled and looked around. Dean and Sam were off to the side, talking quietly. There were dummies set up around the room with bulls eyes painted on their chest. An assortment of objects littered the room, ranging from the size of a pebble to the size of a boulder.

“What's going on Wills?” Xander asked, confused with the state of the room.

“We're training.” She answered, while shutting the door. “None of us want what happened the other night to happen again.”

“Right.” Xander agreed, trying not to think of that night and the flames. “What's all this for?” He asked, gesturing around the room.

“I've set this up for you guys to train individually.” She answered with a smirk, her eyes glinting mischievously. “Then I have a surprise to see how well you work together.”

Xander eyed her suspiciously. Willow and surprises never went well.

“Ok. Where do we start?” He asked, ready to get this over with.

“Sam.” She called out, catching his eyes with her own. “You first.”

Sam looked at Willow from beneath his bangs, silently questioning what she wanted him to do.

“Levitate these objects.” She instructed, pointing to the ball shaped objects on the floor. “Go from small to big. See how much you can handle.”

Sam moved to stand in the center of the room and focused on the spherical objects. Easily levitating the smaller ones, he moved onto the bigger. It took a little more concentration to keep them afloat, but soon he had most of the smaller objects orbiting around the biggest one.

“That's good, Sam.” Willow said, as he lowered them to the ground. “Now let's try something different. I want you on the defensive. You ready?”

Sam didn't have time to question her about what she meant as he dodged a ball flying towards him.

“Wha..” He rolled to the ground, then got back to his feet as another ball flew towards him.

“Come on, Sam. Don't just dodge it.” Willow said, a smirk on her face, as she watched Sam dodge another attack. “Stop them from hitting you. Fly them back at me. Something.”

Sam continued to dodge the balls, it was too hard to concentrate on one thing, they were coming too fast. This was like the game dodge-ball he played back in grade school. He hated it then and he hated it even more now. He grunted in pain as one of the objects clipped him in the shoulder. Now he was pissed. He jerked his head to the side, whipping the hair out of his face, as he looked at the projectiles Willow was flinging at him.

It seemed like time slowed to a crawl, as he watch a ball float pass his face. At a closer look he could see the air around it rippling with some kind of energy.

He held his hands out, focusing, willing his control over the objects. Time sped up, returning to normal, as the projectiles came to a standstill. Smirking inwardly, he looked to Willow.

Willow screamed, dropping to the ground as the balls launched themselves toward her.

“Oops.” Sam smiled sheepishly, as the balls fell abruptly to the ground. “Sorry. Guess I don't know my own strength.”

“Yeah, I can see that.” Willow chuckled, as she picked herself up off the floor. “You did good though. Dean.” She called out, turning around to face him. “Your turn.”

Dean clenched his teeth and made his way over to Willow. I don't want to do this. It's stupid anyway.

“Today we're going to work on your control.” Willow stated, as he came to stand in front of her. “Are you ready?” Willow asked, concerned, seeing something in his stormy eyes.

Dean continued to looked at Willow, keeping a tight reign on his power, he nodded once. He would never lose control again. Not after this. He wasn't going to use his power ever again. Screw fate. Screw the prophecy. He thought. I'll hunt Meg and all those demon bitches down and kill them like I kill everything else.

“Okay, first.” Willow came to stand directly in front of him, holding out her right hand. A ball of flame came to life over her palm a second later. Looking up to Dean she said, “Your turn.”

Dean stared into the flames hovering over her hand. How easy it would be to take control. He thought. He could feel it calling to him. Almost like a child inviting him to play.

Shaking those thoughts away, he held out his right hand, mirroring Willows stance. Looking into the flames dancing over Willows palm, he started to doubt himself. Could he do this? He closed his eyes and let some of his power leak through the walls he had erected.

“Good.” Willow praised, as a finger sized flame appeared over Deans palm. “Now gradually make it larger.” She encouraged.

Dean slowly opened his eyes, sighing silently in relief at the sight of such a small flame. He let a little more power slip through, feeding the fire, slowly making the flame larger.

“That's really good, Dean.” She said, smiling at him.

Dean shot her a grateful look. At least someone believed in him. If only he could believe in himself, he thought with a strained smile on his face. With that thought, the fire in his palm flared briefly, just for a moment.

“No.” Dean growled out through clenched teeth. “I can't” He said, closing his hand into a fist, extinguishing the fire.

“Dea...”

He turned, cutting off whatever Willow was going to say, and headed fort he door. Never again would he lose control. He wouldn't hurt the people he loved, he promised himself, as he shut the door behind him.

“What happened?” Xander asked, concern written all over his face, as he approached Willow.

He nodded to Sam, who was now at he door. Sam nodded back and slipped out the door to find Dean.

“Don't know.” Willow answered, shrugging her shoulders as she made her way toward the door. “My best guess is he's afraid to lose control again.”

“I don't think any of us wants that.” He replied, following her to the door. He paused with his hand on the handle, looking down, he continued quietly. “When I had control of his power, it was... I don't know. Ecstasy. I felt powerful. Like I could do anything. Like I could destroy anything. Thinking about it now, it kind of scares me.”

“Xan.” Willow said softly, grabbing onto his arms as he walked out the door.

“I know, Wills.” He said, looking down into her guilty eyes. Briefly closing his eyes, thinking back to the day Tara died. The day Willow attempted to burn the earth to a cinder. Images of King Mans Bluff flashing through his mind. “I know.”


~~~~

Two hours later found Sam entering the library. He had searched everywhere for Dean. The kitchen, the gym, even the grounds surrounding the school. He was fast running out of patience on his mini-quest to find his eldest brother.

So to his surprise, when he closed the door behind him, he found Dean hunched over a book at one of the tables in the room. This was the last place he ever expected to find Dean. He shot a dirty look to the back of his brothers head and made his way over.

“I've been looking all over for you.” Sam huffed out, pulling out a chair and taking a seat across from Dean. “What the hell happened back there, Dean?”

Dean shot him a look, eyes dark and mouth set into a frown, which clearly said 'Not now, Sam.' Then went back to reading his book.

“Dean.” Sam said impatiently, placing one of his large hands over the book, effectively stopping his brother from ignoring him.

“What, Sam, what?” Dean asked heatedly, glaring at his brother. He so didn't want to do this right now. “What do you want?”

“What happened back there?” Sam asked, voice now soft. His eyes staring into Dean's harder ones, letting him know he was worried about him.

Dean knew his younger brother to well. Any moment now he would bust out his puppy dog eyes and get Dean to tell him anything he wanted. He wasn't about to play that game. He smirked at him. Pulling the book from beneath Sam's hand, he shut it.

“It's nothing, Sammy.” He said, as he rested he rested his forearms on the table and leaned back casually in his chair.

Sam knew what his brother was trying to do. Trying to act like nothing was wrong. That whatever it was, he could handle it on his own, like he always did. He'd let the subject drop, reminding himself to ask Dean about it later.

“So.” Sam said, letting his brother know he was willing to let it slide. This time. “What are you reading?” He asked, reaching for the book, but Dean grabbed it before he could and set it in his lap. Sam shot him a 'what the hell?' look.

“It's nothing, Sammy.” Dean answered, smirking again. “Just some light reading.”

Why is he hiding this? Sam asked himself, as he stared at his brother. Well, two can play at that game.

He threw Dean a devious smirk as he concentrated and held out a hand.

“Hey!” Dean exclaimed, as the little black book sailed off his lap and into Sam's outstretched hand. “Bitch.”

“Jerk.”

Sam looked down at the book in his hand. It was black, torn around the edges and scratched across the front. Clearly an old book. Etched into the faded leather, barely readable, across the front it said: Keilian Codex.

Sam turned a questioning look to his brother. “What's this?” He asked with skepticism, turning the book to face Dean.

“Nothing, Sam.” Dean scoffed, pretending to look offended at his brothers tone. “Like I said, just some light reading.” He reached out, snatching the book from Sam's hand, giving him a smug look.

“Light reading, Dean?” Sam asked disbelievingly. “Do you know what this is?” He snatched the book back from Dean's hand and waved it in his face. “The Keilian Codex. This has the most powerful binding rituals in the world. Only someone extremely powerful can perform them.” He eyed Dean suspiciously, getting more worried by the second. “What the hell were you thinking Dean? What the hell were you going to do?” Was nearly shouted. He stood to look down at his brother.

“What do you want me to say, Sam? Huh?” Dean yelled back angrily, standing up, chair scraping loudly across the floor. “That I'm scared. Is that what you want to hear. That I'm afraid if I lose control again I might hurt someone. Xander's immune to my power but you're not. What if I end up hurting you?” He asked softly. Sighing to himself he pulled his chair upright, sitting down he looked like the weight of the world was on his shoulders.

“Dean I'm sorry. I didn't...” Sam said softly, trailing off.

Dean looked up at him, tears that would never fall glittering like diamonds in his eyes.

“I thought that if I found something, anything, I could fix it.” He stated, looking down, not wanting his brother to see the tears. “That I could lock it away so it could never hurt anyone.”

“Dean, what about the prophecy?” Sam asked quietly, he was starting to get worried again.

“The prophecy, Sam?” He hissed sarcastically, looking up at Sam with fierce eyes. “Are you kidding me? Screw the prophecy. Screw fate. Remember when you thought it was your destiny to be evil?” He immediately regretted the question when he saw Sam flinch, but he wasn't about to apologize. “Well you're not evil, are you? Nothings written in stone, Sam. And if it is stone can be broken. All I'm saying is maybe I can do this the old fashion way, and let my two freak brothers deal with the powers.”

Sam chuckled, smiling at his brother, trying to ease some of his worry.

“I see where you're coming from, Dean. I really do. And I gotta say, I know exactly how you feel.” Sam stated sincerely.

Dean gave Sam a concerned look. This is what his little brother had gone through for the past year and a half. He was there with Sam, but he still had to go through it alone. Worrying about hurting or killing innocent people. Worrying about hurting him, possibly killing his older brother if he ever turned. I'm sorry, Sammy, I really am. I never realized.

“Willow wants to try again.” Sam said, interrupting Dean's thoughts. He continued quickly when Dean threw an outraged look his way. “She wants to see how well we work together. See if it's possible for Xander and I to ground you.”

Dean considered his options. He could ignore his brother, get Willow or some other witch to perform the binding ritual for him, ending his fears and the possibility of hurting or killing someone. Or he could give it another chance. No one ever said he was a quitter. He was a Winchester for Christ sake. He could trust in his brothers to see him through this, like they did with everything else.

“Alright.” Sam's head snapped up at Dean's soft reply. “I'll do it. But this is the last time, Sammy. If something goes wrong, I'm done with it. Got me?”

“Got it.” Sam answered, nodding earnestly. “Willow said to meet in a couple of hours. I've got some stuff to do.” He said, standing and making his way over to the door. “It's going to be ok. I'll see you later.”

Dean watched his brother disappear behind the closed door, hoping that nothing would go wrong later. Sighing, he pocketed the book and made his way out of the library.


~~~~

Spike found Xander as he walked down the hallway to the training room. He was sitting on the floor, back against the wall, eyes staring blankly at the wall across from him. Concerned he approached Xander, sliding down the wall next to him. He slung his arm over his shoulder, pulling Xander towards him.

They sat like that for a while. Xander with his head on Spikes shoulder, still staring at the wall. Spike's chin resting on the crown of Xander's head, just holding him close.

“What's wrong, pet?” Spike asked, concern lacing his voice, as he hugged Xander closer to him.

“Everything.” Xander answered, as he looked up, dislodging Spike's chin from his head. “There's a war coming. Demons galore, and we're not ready.”

“It'll all work out, you'll see.” Spike said reassuringly.

“Will it, Spike?” Xander asked, his voice trembling a little. “Do you even know what I can do now?”

Before Spike could answered, Xander sat up straight and faced him. He looked down into Xander's outstretched hand as fire danced over his skin. Looking into his eyes he could see the flames flickering along his irises too.

“So.” Spike said, pulling Xander to him again. Xander quickly extinguished the flames. “One more weapon for us to beat the baddies.”

“You don't unders...”

“I understand perfectly, luv.” Spike said, cutting him off. Lifting Xander's chin to look into his eyes, he continued, “Vampire here. Before the chip, I never knew restraint. I let loose whenever I wanted. After I met you lot, it became like second nature. I know what you're thinking.” He pulled Xander to him again, wrapping his arms around him. “You're not Willow. You're never going to be like her. You'd never do the things she did.”

“I love you.” Xander said, snuggling deeper into Spike's embrace.

“And I love you.” Spike replied, smiling down at Xander. “But do you think we can get off the floor, it's bloody uncomfortable.”

Xander laughed wholeheartedly and let Spike help him off the floor.

~~~~


“You busy, Giles?” Willow asked, as she entered his office.

“Willow, no. Please come in.” He answered, looking up from his papers, gesturing to the chair on the other side of the desk. “How was the training?”

“Poop.” Willow stated, frowning.

“I take it you mean it didn't go well?” Giles asked, with a small smile on his face.

“Yes. No. I mean...” Willow sighed, running her fingers through her shoulder length red hair. Pulling herself out of her funk, she sat up straighter, looking Giles in the eye. “Sam did really well. He's stronger than he thinks. We didn't get a chance to test Xander. I think he's pretty proficient from what he demonstrated the other night. Also we didn't get to do the exercise I had planned. I think Dean's afraid of losing control again. He left before we barely started.”

“Understandable.” Giles stated, leaning back in his chair. “You of all people should know how hard it is to have a power you can't control. Just give him some time, encourage him and we'll go from there. On the other hand,” Giles sat up, leaning his forearms on the desk. “How much damage did the fire cause to the wards and various spells on the building?”

“Every thing's gone, Giles.” She answered gravely. “All that work gone. I can call the coven, see if they can help. I can't fix it all myself, not quickly anyway.”

“Yes, we'll get the coven on the line and see what they can do. In the meantime what do you plan to do about Dean?”

“I already asked Sam to convince him to give it another chance. To see how well the three of them work together.” Willow answered, sighing silently to herself. It was time to go. Standing up, she smiled at Giles. “Speaking of which, gotta go. See you later, Giles.”


~~~~


“Okay.” Willow said, facing the three brothers, who were now back in the stone room. It was bare now, save for the four of them. “Now for my surprise. Xan, you're going to love this. Remember the Danger Room from X-men?” At the brothers nods, she continued, “I've set up a spell to replicate it. Most of it will be an illusion, but the rest isn't. You can still get hurt, so be careful.”

“Okay.” Xander replied, kind of excited to see what Willow had planned. “You're turning the room into the Danger Room, then what?”

“It's simulated to look like a post-apocalyptic world, where demons rule.” She answered. “The objective is to keep any innocents that you encounter safe and destroy the demons. You'll be able to see me most of the time, but I won't interfere.”

“When do we start?” Sam asked.

“When ever you're ready.” At Xander's quiet 'we're ready' she activated the spell. ”Erset la tari.”

The room shimmered, changing before their eyes. Willow took a few steps back, letting the brothers take in where they were. She was proud, yet not, of her creation.

It looked just like Willow had said: post-apocalyptic. It looked like a fallen city. Maybe New York or L.A. Buildings lying in ruin, rubble everywhere. The sky overcast with thick dark clouds that were tinged red. Unrecognizable skeletons of cars on the cracked and broken street. Bodies lying about all around in different stages of decomposition.

“Oh god.” Sam choked out, taking a step back, as he took in the scene before him.

“Yeah.” Xander agreed, trying to hold down the bile rising in his throat.

“Let's go.” Dean ordered, stepping in front of his younger brothers, leading the way.

No more than a few seconds later they encountered their first demon. Dean didn't even have time to react. The demon grabbed him by the throat and flung him away from the others. Turning it's sickly green eyes to Sam, it backhanded him, sending him sailing through the air.

Xander moved forward, hand clenched into fists at his sides. Hands and eyes blazing with fire, he faced the demon. It laughed and launched itself at Xander.

“Demon! Xander, look out!”

Xander turned in time to see Buffy appear out of nowhere, soaring through the air, one leg stretched out in front of her.

“Buffy, no!” Xander yelled, as her foot made contact with the demon, going right through it.

“What the hell?” Buffy asked, looking around confused, as the scene melted away to reveal an ordinary stone room. “Huh?”

“Buffy, hey.” Xander chuckled, wrapping her in a hug. “It's been a while.”

Buffy returned the hug wholeheartedly, this was her Xander shaped friend and she'd missed him. “Mm, it's good to see you too.” She released him, slapping him on the arm. “What the hell was that? And what was with the fire?”

With the help of Willow and his brothers, they quickly brought Buffy up to speed on the current situation.

“Wow.” Buffy stated speechlessly, staring wide eyed at Xander.

“That's all you got? Wow? I mean come on Buff, my brothers and I are warriors against a demon war.” Xander joked good naturedly.

Buffy scrunched up her face in contemplation, looking from Xander to his brothers. Shaking her head, she answered, “Nah, wows still all I've got.” She approached Xander, wrapping an arm around his waist, she rested her head on his shoulder. “But for what it's worth, I'm sorry. It should be me.”

“Aw Buff, no. Really, it's alright.”

“As much fun as this is.” Sam said, cutting in. “But shouldn't we get back to training.”

“Oh, sorry.” Buffy replied sheepishly. “Can I help?”

“Sorry Buffy.” Willow replied. “This is to see how well they work together. But you can stay with me and we can catch up.”

“Sounds good to me.” Buffy agreed, smiling as she went to stand next to Willow. “Good luck guys.”

“Alright. Ready guys?” She asked the brothers. When she got the affirmative, she uttered the words to activate the spell.

Being greeted by this devastation wasn't any easier for the brothers the second time around. They pushed aside their unease and started their trek for innocents and demons.

Soon they encountered five demons herding about a dozen humans in chains into a run down building.

“This is it.” Xander said, hands and eyes flaring to life with flames. “Let's go.”

He took off down the street, his brothers trailing him.

“Hey demon trash!” Xander yelled, as he came to a stop in front of the demons. “Why don't you pick on someone your own size? Say like me. Sam.” He called over his shoulder, never taking his eyes from the demons. “Get these people to safety.”

Not waiting for his brothers response, Xander threw a punch, fist on fire, straight into the demons face. While the demon was on the ground, Xander raised his hand out, palm upward. The demon screamed as its body was devoured by angry red flames.

Sam flung his hand out, the two demons blocking his path lifting off the ground, flying apart. He rushed forward, coming to stand in front of the desolate prisoners. Heads down, they didn't reply to any of his questions. He concentrated, telekinetically breaking the chains binding them.

“Come on.” Sam said breathlessly. He grabbed onto two people, trying to be as gently as he could, leading them away.

He stopped when he felt resistance, turning to the two people, he saw they were smiling.

“Wha...”

“Thank you.” They whispered simultaneously, smiling brighter as they faded away.

What the hell? Before Sam could voice his concerns, he heard a gunshot followed by another. He turned to see Dean shooting one of the demons. Where the hell did he get the gun?

Dean finished killing his demon with a smirk on his face. See. Who said you needed freaky powers to kill a demon? He moved to the hostages, shooting the remaining locks on the chains. “Damn!” He swore silently to himself, as the gun clicked, letting him know he was out of ammo. “Hurry, go.” He ordered the hostages he had set free. He watched them fade away as they ran down the street. Okay, that was weird.

“It's going to be okay.” He reassured, turning back to the last prisoner.

He searched his pockets for his lock pick. Damn it. He didn't have it. He looked up to see Xander battling two of the remaining demons, Sam rushing to help him. Looks like I'm on my own. He looked around, searching for something to break the lock. Spotting a good sized rock, he picked it up and returned to the hostage.

“Stay still, alright?” Dean said, bending down and cracking the rock continuously across the lock until it broke. “Ok. Get out of here.” He watched as the figure faded away. Still weird.

He turned when he heard one of his brothers cry out in pain. Sam was on the ground unconscious, Xander standing in front of him, glowing like a beacon in the dark landscape, fighting off the two demons.

“Lex!” Dean screamed, running towards him.

He leaped onto one of the demons backs, punching it furiously on the side of the head. The demon reached one clawed hand over its shoulder, latching onto Dean's arm, throwing him to the ground.

Dean grunted in pain as he hit the ground, looking up at the demon looming over him. Bitch! Now you're dead.

“Dean!” He heard Xander's strangled cry.

He turned to see the demons hand around Xander's throat. Xander dangling from his grasp, the fire surrounding his brother starting to splutter out.

His face turned hard as he face the demon over him. Kicking out his leg, he swept the demons legs out from under him. He quickly reached for the knife strapped to his ankle. Unsheathing it, he brought it down into the demons chest, twisting it till the demon lay still.

He got up, looking to Xander. The flames around his brother were nearly nonexistent.

“Lex!” He yelled, running to his brother. “What the hell?!” He yelled when he ran into an invisible barrier five feet away from his brother. He pounded his fist against it, kicked it and stabbed it, but nothing seemed to work. He couldn't get to his brother. “Damn it!”

“You have to let go of your fears, Dean.” Willow's voice floated to him out of nowhere. “You won't lose control. Just let it go.”

“Lose control!” Dean growled, fire in the shape of lips flamed to life on his forehead. “I'll show you control.”

It was like the first time. He had that feeling in his gut, his body felt like it was burning from the inside out. Flames sprung into existence, surrounding him like flaming wings.

The barrier before him sizzled out. He made his way forward, eying the demon that was choking the life from his brother. He raised his hand, turning the demon to ashes in mere seconds.

Xander dropped to the ground coughing, one hand on his throat, trying to catch his breath. He looked up to see Dean wrapped in flames, it billowing out around him like a great fiery cape.

“Come out, come out where ever you are.” Dean sing-songed, looking around the ravaged landscape. Not finding what he was looking for he growled out, “Come out!”

When nothing happened, he continued to search. Spotting a shape in the distance, he whispered, “Gotcha.”

Making his way over, he could clearly make out Willow and Buffy staring at him warily.

“Is this enough control for you?” He snarled, as the fiery kiss on his forehead flared, and the landscape around them was set ablaze.

“Dean, you need to stop.” Willow said pleadingly. “You can't let it consume you.”

Dean laughed maniacally. Raising his hand, bouncing a ball of fire in his palm, he asked, “Consume me?” He reared his hand back, then threw the ball of fire straight at Willow.

This is what Xander had been waiting for as he watched his brother. He launched himself forward, coming to stand in front of Willow. He held up his hand, letting the fireball hit it. It didn't dissipate like he thought it would, instead it continued to burn bright, gradually pushing him back.

“You think you're stronger than me, baby brother?” He heard Dean ask.

Before he could make a remark, the ball of fire grew, forming into a funnel around them. They huddled together, back to back, hair whipping their faces with the wind the fire was creating, as they stared at the wall of fire trapping them.

“Dean, stop!” Xander yelled, over the roar of the flames.

“Stop, baby brother?” Dean asked sarcastically. “Why, when I have so much control?”

“Willow, I have to get to him.” Xander said desperately. “Can you protect yourselves?”

Willow nodded the affirmative and he stepped through the flames.

Willow still hadn't dropped the spell, so the devastating landscape, alight with fire, seemed like he was walking into the depths of hell. He could see his brother in the distance, alternating between laughing to himself and looking desperate.

“Dean!” He called out, as he approached his brother who was standing close to Sam. “Let me help you, please.” Xander pleaded, his eyes boring into Dean's flame filled ones.

Dean laughed, then his smile faded and his face fell. “I can't stop it. It won't let me.”

“Wha...”

“Why would I want to stop?” Dean asked darkly, cackling to himself, cutting off Xander's question.

What the hell is going on? Xander asked himself. Why was Dean acting so strange? That's when he noticed the fiery kiss on Dean's forehead. Where did that come from

Xander jerked in surprise when a wall of fire sprung up from the cracked earth, encircling him and his brother.

“Dean, damn it, stop!” Xander yelled, trying to seize control of the fire. The flames flickered a little, but he was unable to assume control.

“Kill me.” Dean whispered, tossing his knife to Xander's feet.

“What? No!” Xander yelled, caught completely off guard by his brothers desperate plea. He kicked the knife away.

“Please. I don't want to hurt anyone. I can't control it, Lex.” He begged his brother with his eyes. 'Just end it' they said.

“No.” Xander growled out, trying to gain control of the fire again.

He was left breathless after his efforts. Nothing had happened, the fire didn't even flicker. Something funky was going on. Either that or his brother was way stronger than he gave him credit for.

Damn it, I need help. Sam, wake up! He yelled out mentally, hoping somehow Sam would hear him.

Sam began to rouse as a fiery figure detached it self from the wall of fire.

Oh god, Mary. Was Xander's instant thought, as he saw the figure kneel down next to a now conscious Sam.

“Sam, it's alright.” Xander said quickly, as Sam started to move away. Dean watched on with a pained expression. “It's your mom.”

The fire flickered out, leaving behind a blonde woman in a white night gown.

“M-mom?” Sam asked, voice cracking and tears in his eyes.

“Sam.” She responded sweetly. Looking down at her youngest son, she gently ran her fingers through his hair. “I love you.”

Her body seemed to disappear and reappear rapidly until she came to stand in front of a now kneeling Dean.

“Dean.” She said softly, yet with force behind her words. “Sweetie, you need to stop this.” She gestured around at the fire surrounding them. “Let me help you.” She whispered, placing her lips over the fiery mark on his forehead.

The fire died abruptly, leaving Dean to slump to the floor unconscious.

“Dean!” Xander and Sam yelled together, running over to their older brother.

“He's alright. He's still breathing.” Xander said, getting to his feet and facing Mary. “What did you do to him?” He asked, a little anger in his voice.

She smile up at Alexander Harris, her sons younger brother, possibly the savior of mankind. What a fitting name. She thought. If only I lived and raised him as my own with the boys. But those were thoughts best left for another time. She looked around at her boys, her warriors.

“I removed the taint the Demon put on his power. He should be okay now.” She answered his question calmly.

Xander seemed to deflate at her response. “Sam said you sacrificed yourself to save them. How are you here?” He asked wearily.

She chuckled. “You of all people should know that souls never die, they are eternal.” She answered, placing her hand gently on the side of Xander's face. With eyes clouded with worry she continued, “Dark and difficult times like ahead, Xander. You and you're brothers need to be ready. A war is coming. And you're all that stands between it and total destruction.”

tbc...

The End?

You have reached the end of "It's All Relative" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 12 Aug 07.

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