Shadow's of the Heart
a/n: I've had this done for quite some time. I've just been lazy about finishing the very very end. Well its done and unbeta'd and here it is.
italics = thoughts/telepathy
From where he sat at the table, Xander could feel Dean approaching the motel even before he entered it. Somehow the events in Saginaw, and the blast of energy Xander released trying to fend off Dean during their fight, formed some kind of bond between them. Not that there wasn’t one before, Xander thought, but this was amplified.
He sensed Dean entering the motel and ascending the steps towards their room. He wondered idly if Dean felt their connection now. Even if he did, he probably brushed it off as his “big brother” instincts.
“Hey, Lex.” He heard Dean call out as the motel door shut. “You in here?”
“Yeah.” Xander answered, raising his head from the books on the table. “In here.”
He watched Dean walk into the room, lock eyes with him, then stop abruptly. He felt Dean’s curiosity and his love. And surprisingly, guilt. What does he have to be guilty about?
Xander asked himself. As Dean continued to stare, Xander began to fidget under his unwavering gaze.
“Dean?” He asked, getting up and making his way towards his brother. “What is it?”
“Oh! Uh, nothing.” Dean brushed him off and as quick as that, he had clamped down on all the previous emotions that were so blatantly on display for Xander. “What have you got on that symbol?”
Before Xander could answer him, Dean’s cell phone rang.
“Yeah.” Dean answered, flipping the phone open.
“Hey.” Sam responded.
“Let me guess.” Dean replied, laughter coloring his voice. “You’re lurking outside that poor girl’s apartment, aren’t you?”
“No.” Sam answered defensively. There was a pause on the line, and then he admitted, “Yes.”
“You’ve got a funny way of showing your affection.” Dean laughed into the phone.
“Did you find anything on her or what?” Sam asked irritably.
“Hey, I just got back here.” Dean snapped. “Lex was just about to fill me in on the symbol on Meredith’s floor."
“Ok. Alright.” Sam answered, sighing. “Get back to me.” And with that the line went dead.
“So, you were saying?” Dean snapped his phone shut and turned to face Xander.
“Yeah, its, uh…” Xander looked back at the books lying on the table. “Turns out its Zoroastrian. Very, very old school, like two thousand years before Christ.” Xander looked back up at Dean. “It’s a symbol for a daeva.”
“What’s a daeva?” Dean asked, coming to sit across from Xander at the table.
Xander explained about the daeva and asked what Sam had wanted. After discussing that the brothers looked up Meg Masters and called Sam.
“So, hot little Meg is summoning the Daeva?” Dean asked.
“Looks like she was using that black altar to control the thing.” Sam answered.
“So, Sammy’s got a thing for the bad girl.” Dean laughed, Xander chuckled from his place next to Sam and Sam rolled his eyes. “And what’s the deal with the bowl again?"
"She was talking into it." Sam answered as he got up and began to pace the room. "The way witches used to scry into crystal balls or animal entrails. She was communicating with someone."
"With who?" Xander asked, following Sam's movement around the room with his eyes. "The daeva?"
"No, you said those things were savages." Sam answered. He stopped walking and turned to face his brothers. "No, it was someone different. Someone who's giving her orders. Someone who's coming to that warehouse." He turned and looked Xander in the eyes. "And she said, 'the brothers, Sam and Dean are here'."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Xander asked defensively, the fight with Dean still fresh in his mind, guiltily reminded that his spell hadn't worked on Sam.
"Nothing." Sam responded quickly, trying to convey his apology with his eyes, oblivious of the magic Xander had worked on Dean and tried to work on him. "It's just what she sa..."
"Holy crap!" Dean exclaimed, cutting off Sam's poor attempt at an apology.
"What?" Sam and Xander asked simultaneously. They moved towards Dean, who was looking at the records of the two people the daevas had killed.
"The first victim, the old man -- he spent his whole life in Chicago, but he wasn't born here. Look where he was born." Dean instructed, pointing to the birth certificate.
"Lawrence, Kansas." Sam gasped out.
"Mmhmm." Dean responded, picking up the second file. "Meredith, the second victim -- turns out she was adopted. And guess where she's from."
Sam and Xander read the birth certificate. Lawrence, Kansas, it stated.
"Holy crap." Sam let out a breath and took a seat across from Dean.
"I second that." Xander added. He leaned on the back of Sam's chair and laid a comforting hand on his twins shoulder.
"Yeah." Dean leaned back in his chair, staring at his brothers. "We have to call dad." Dean said, getting up and dialing their fathers’ number. "Hey dad, it's Dean..."
"Hiding's a little bit childish, don't you think?"
Meg's question filtered through the darkness to where Sam and Dean were hiding.
"Well, that didn't work out like I planned." Dean stated as Meg turned to face them.
"Why don't you come out?" She asked, and Sam and Dean moved forward from behind the crates they were hiding behind. "Sam, I have to say, this puts a real crimp in our relationship."
"Yeah, tell me about it." Sam responded sarcastically.
"So, where's your little daeva friend?" Dean asked.
"Around." Meg answered as if she wore bored. "You know, that shotgun's not gonna do much good."
"Oh, don't worry, sweetheart." Dean responded cheekily, waving the shotgun. "The shotguns not for the demon."
"So, who is it, Meg?" Sam asked, getting more agitated with each question. He'd been calling for Xander since Meg noticed they were here, and still nothing. "Who are you waiting for?"
"You." She stated ominously.
Dark shadows start to rise on the walls, moving towards them.Daevas.
Sam panicked. Xander! They're he...
He called out with his mind before everything went black.
As Sam came to, he realized that he was sitting, his hands bound behind one of the post in the warehouse. He opened his eyes and was surprised to see Meg crouched in front of him. When he turned his head away, he saw Dean, tied to a post a few feet away, glaring at Meg.
"Hey, Sam." Dean called out gruffly. He had scratches and dried blood on his face. "Don't take this the wrong way, but your girlfriend... is a bitch!"
"This, the whole thing, was a trap." Sam breathed out, straining against his bonds. "Running into you at the bar, following you here, hearing what you had to say. It was all a setup, wasn't it?" He asked Meg accusingly and she laughed. "And that the victims were from Lawrence?"
"It doesn't mean anything." Meg answered, leaning towards him. "It was just to draw you in, that's all."
"You killed those people for nothing?" Sam asked, outrage lacing his voice.
"Baby, I've killed a lot more for a lot less." Meg answered as she stood up.
"You trapped us. Good for you." Dean threw his trademark cocky smile at her. "But why don't you kill us already?"
"Not really quick on the uptake, are we?" Meg asked sarcastically, leaning in closer to Dean. "This trap isn't for you."
"Dad." Sam stated and at Dean's confused look he continued. "It's a trap for dad."
Dean turned to look at Meg who had a satisfied smile on her face.
"Oh, sweetheart -- you are dumber than you look." Dean only smiled at Meg's affronted look and kept talking. "Cause even if dad was in town, which he's not, he wouldn't walk into something like this. He's too good."
"He is good, I'll give you that." Meg walked over to him and straddled his legs. "But you see, he has one weakness."
"What's that?" Dean asked, straining his face away from hers.
"You." Meg stated smugly. "He lets his guard down around his boys, lets his emotions cloud his judgment. I happen to know he is
in town. And he'll come and try to save you. And the Daevas will kill everybody -- nice and slow and messy."
"Well I've got news for ya." Dean told her, raising his chin defiantly. "It's gonna take a lot more than some... shadow
to kill him."
"Oh, the daevas are in the room here -- they're invisible." She spoke to Dean as if he were a particularly slow child. "Their shadows are just the only part you can see."
"Why you doing this, Meg? What kind of deal you got worked out here?" Sam asked, turning his head and straining against his bonds. "And with who?"
"I'm doing this for the same reasons you do what you do what you do -- loyalty. Love." Sam scoffed at her. "Like the Love you had for mommy -- and Jess."
"Go to hell." Sam snarled harshly.
"Baby, I'm already there." Meg smiled and slid over to Sam. "Come on, Sam. There's no need to be nasty." She leaned forward to whisper in his ear. "I think we both know how you really feel about me. You know, I saw you watching me -- changing in my apartment. Turned you on, didn't it?"
"Get a room, you two." Dean rolled his eyes and turned his head away.
"I didn't mind. I liked that you were watching me." Meg continued seductively, as if Dean weren't there. "Come on, Sammy. You and I can still have a little dirty fun." She finished softly and began to kiss his neck.
"You wanna have fun? Go ahead then. I'm a little tied up right now." Sam responded sarcastically, his breath coming in short pants.
She smiled and continued to kiss him. A sudden metallic sound coming from Dean's side of the room made her stop. She got up off of Sam and made her way behind the post Dean was tied to, to where his his hands were tied. Glinting in the gloom was a knife nestled in his palm. She reached out, grabbed it, and tossed in away. Meg swung around the post to smile evilly at Dean, who chuckled guiltily, then slid back over to Sam.
"Now, were you just trying to distract me while your brother cuts free?" Meg asked enticingly, straddling Sam.
"No. No. That's because I have a knife of my own." Sam answered, freeing his hands.
"And they have me." Meg looked up, startled, as a shadow dispatched itself from the darkness.
Xander thought to himself as he paced outside of the warehouse. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea.
Sam and Dean had been in there for over ten minutes now and still nothing. He really didn't like the idea of staying behind as backup as his brothers went to face some unknown threat.
They had discussed it all day and in the end they had decided that Xander would stay outside as backup, should anything happen. Dean had called Xander his 'big gun'. Xander had grudgingly agreed as long as one of them would allow him to create a temporary telepathic connection between them, so that if something went wrong all they had to do was call out to him and he would come in guns a blazing.
He looked down at his watch. Nineteen minutes. He had refrained from calling out to Sam in case it distracted him and got him hurt, or worse. But now...Sam?
He called out tentatively. When no response came, Xander's heart started to thud loudly against his chest. Sam!
Still no answer and Xander started to panic. He closed his eyes and reached out with his senses. Nothing. It was as if something ominous was cloaking the building from being penetrated by his abilities.Shit!
He took off, racing up the steps and into the building. When he reached the landing on the seventh floor, he paused, took a deep breath and prepared himself. He stuck to the shadows, making his way through the room.Xander?
Xander paused mid-step and released a sigh of relief. They were alright.I'm here.
Xander answered, moving closer. You guys alright?We're good. Tied up. I'm almost free.
Sam responded quickly. Get ready.
Not really having time to answer as the sound of a woman’s voice cut through the silence, he moved forward, pulling the shadows over him in a simple glamour.
"Now, were you just trying to distract me while your brother cuts free?"
Then he heard Sam. "No. No. That's because I have a knife of my own." Now!
"And they have me." Xander moved forward, the shadows clinging to him, obscuring him.
The blonde girl, Meg he presumed, stared at him dumbly. Then Sam grabbed onto to her shoulders and rammed his head into hers in a vicious head butt.
"Now! Sam, Lex, get the altar." Dean yelled.
Meg stumbled to her feet and moved to block Sam’s path.
"Hey, bitch!" Xander called out, moving towards Sam. "Get away from my brother."
Xander violently flicked his hand towards her. Meg and everything behind her, including the altar, was picked up by an unseen force and hurled towards the large window on the far side of the room.
The altar crashed into the window, shattering it. Meg's body hit the floor and slid towards the window ledge. She screamed in horror as she toppled over the edge, grabbing onto it with one hand at the last minute.
"No!" Meg screamed again as the shadows on the walls started to move towards her.
The brothers rushed to the ledge after the daevas had thrown Meg off and disappeared and looked down at her crumpled body lying on the pavement.
"Damn." Sam whispered, looking away.
"You can say that again." Xander said, moving away from the window.
"Damn." Xander and Dean chuckled morbidly as they left the warehouse.
"What was that back there?" Dean asked Xander, a smirk on his face, as they made their way down the hall towards the motel door. "I mean, you blew that bitch away. Literally!"
"Telekinesis. I didn't know I had so little control over it." Xander answered sheepishly, shrugging his shoulders. "It just kinda got away from me, I guess."
"Well, we'll work on your self restraint some other time. That was awesome!" Dean clapped Xander on his shoulder then turned to Sam. "Dude, why didn't you just leave that stuff in the car?"
"I said it before and I'll say it again -- better safe than sorry." Sam answered, tugging the duffel bag full of weapons higher up onto his shoulder.
Dean rolled his eyes, unlocked the door and stepped into the room.
"Hey!" Dean shouted, moving forward. He could see someone standing in the shadows.
Sam and Xander moved to stand on either side of him. Xander's magic flared to life, a deadly silver sphere pulsating around his left hand.
"You can come out now." Xander spoke softly, but his voice promised violence if the figure in the shadows was a threat to his family.
"Dad?" Dean gasped. His question came out as a whisper as the figure moved into the light.
"Dad." The energy around Xander's hand sputtered and went out.
"Hey boys." John greeted them, a smile on his face as he and Dean walked towards each other for an emotional embrace. After they pulled apart he turned towards his twins.
"Hi, Sam, Alex."
"Hey, dad." They responded together and Sam place the bag of weapons on the floor.
"Dad, it was a trap. "Dean admitted guiltily. "I didn't know, I'm sorry."
"It's alright." John reassured him with a smile. "I thought it might've been."
"Were you there?" Dean asked.
"Yeah, I got there in time to see the girl take the swan dive." John answered, looking at Dean, Sam and Xander. Then to Xander's hand, where he had seen a silver light. What was that?
"She was the bad guy right?"
"Yes, sir." All three brothers chorused.
"Good. Well, it doesn't surprise me." John said, his voice turning serious. "It's tried to stop me before."
"The demon has?" Sam asked curiously.
"It knows I'm close. It knows I'm gonna kill it." John replied, his voice now deadly. "Not just exorcise it or send it back to hell -- actually kill it."
"How?" Dean asked and John smiled.
"I'm working on it."
"Let us come with you!" Sam pleaded hopefully and Dean shot him a warning look. "We'll help."
"No, Sam. Not yet. Just try to understand." John looked up, looking form Sam to Xander to Dean. His sons. "This demon is a scary son of a bitch. I don't want you caught in the crossfire. I don't want you hurt."
"Dad, you don't have to worry about us." Sam replied, confidence in his voice as he looked to Xander then back to his father.
"Of course I do. I'm your father." John paused, teary eyed as he looked at his two youngest sons. "Listen, Sammy, Alex. Last time we were together, we had one hell of a fight."
"Yes, sir." Xander and Sam responded, their voices shaky.
"It's good to see you two again. It's been a long time." John moved forward to embrace Xander, who returned the hug wholeheartedly.
"Too long." Sam whispered, voice thick with emotion as John moved his embrace from Xander to him.
They pulled apart, all of them teary eyed, standing there smiling at each other.
"No..." Xander whispered, looking around. His spider sense was tickling at the edges of his mind.
"No!" Dean suddenly screamed.
Out of nowhere shadows rose on the walls and the daevas attacked John. He landed hard against the cabinets and sunk down to the floor. John opened his eyes just in time to see Sam go down.
"NO!" Dean yelled again right before he was tossed to the floor.
Xander was the only one left standing, his body glowing slightly and his mind full of rage. Every time one of the daevas tried to attack him, their shadow would disappear right before it made contact. He tried to will himself to glow brighter, but that did nothing. These things were attacking his family and there was nothing he could do. He watched as Sam crawled across the floor to the bag of weapons. A second of searching and he removed a flare form the bag.
"Shut your eyes!" Sam yelled, raising the flare. "These things are shadow demons, so let's light 'em up!"
Xander watched the scene unfold as if in slow motion. Sam went to light the flare, then a shadow swooped in, knocked him down and broke the flare.Xander!
Sam's voice rung through his head, startling him, causing the glow that surrounded him to fade. He had forgotten to release the telepathy spell. Light these suckers up!
"I'm on i..." Xander grunted in pain, falling onto his shoulder then rolling onto his back. A daeva had bowled him over as soon as his protection was gone. Son of a...
He wracked his brain for a spell, something that he could use against their enemies. Damn it!
He thrusted his hand up into the air, palm upward and shouted, "Illustro!"
A sphere of faint white light coalesced over his palm. It drove the daevas back from him, but not from his family, the light didn't reach that far. He watched, helpless, as the daevas tore into Sam's face, Dean sliding across the floor, his father pinned to the wall bleeding.
His heart thundered in his chest and the echoes of their pain slashed through him like acid soaked knives. He couldn't take it. It was too much. He needed to stop this. Then like a switch flipping, it came to him. A Latin word. One that might save him and his family.
The sphere of milky white light grew unstable, flashing and distorting, growing bigger and sending out tendrils of light.
"Accendo nox nocto!" Xander shouted desperately.
The ball of light rose a few feet above Xander. He gasped as the sphere stabilized into a perfect white globe, shining as bright as the sun. The daevas fled.
"Come on!" Xander yelled, running to Dean while Sam went to their father. "I don't know how long it'll hold."
They made their way cautiously out of the building, down an alley and towards the car. Sam opened the rear passenger door and tossed the bag of weapons onto the back seat.
"All right, come on. We don't have much time." Sam said, turning towards his family. "As soon as Xander's spell fades, they'll be back."
"Wait, wait. Sam, wait." Dean yelled. He was frustrated, scared and in pain, but he knew this was what they had to do. Turning towards his father, he said, "Dad, you can't come with us."
"What?" Sam asked incredulously. "What are you talking about?"
Xander took a step back and tried to control the emotions flooding him as he continued to listen to the conversation. Sam was saying they should stick together. Dean said that they had almost gotten their father killed. How the demons were going to use them to get to him. Sam pleaded with their father to stay, to let him be a part of this fight. Their father agreeing with Dean, telling Sam he had to let him go.
It was all to much. The love. The fear. The uncertainty. But most of all the pain radiating off them and into him. It was a viscous cycle. He was in pain himself and on top of that, the pain from his father and brothers filtered through him over and over. All he wanted was for them to be safe, to take their pain away.
He didn't realize his eyes were closed till he heard his fathers voice. He opened his eyes and followed his fathers gaze down to his hands. They were glowing a brilliant gold, not silver like his magic. He looked back up to his family, he knew what he had to do.
Moving forward, he placed his hand on Sam's chest over, his heart. Then did the same for his father and Dean. The golden light receded from his hands and seeped into his family, causing them to glow from the inside out. Slowly their wounds started to heal until they were completely gone.
"Whoa, that was a rush!" Xander exclaimed, cutting Dean off. That was almost better than sex.
Dean flinched as Xander's face contorted and he screamed in agony. He watched as the wounds they previously wore appeared on Xander's body.
"Not doing that again any time soon." Xander gasped out, his eyes rolling up into his head.
Dean jumped forward, catching Xander's prone form before it could crash to the ground. With the help of his father and brother, they got Xander situated on the back seat of the impala. They all watched as Xander's wounds began to heal itself, already looking days old.
"I should go." John said, walking backward, a look of regret on his face. "Take care of each other, boys."
From the front seat of the impala, Dean and Sam watched as their father drove away. After he started the car, Dean pulled out onto the street and took the first right turn.
"Son of a bitch!" Dean yelled, slapping the steering wheel as images flashed before his eyes.
"What?" Sam jumped, facing Dean with a worried expression. "What!"
Dean shook his head and kept on driving. An image of Xander kneeling on the motel floor with a pink flower in his palm, whispering the word "forget", stuck in his head.
: to kindle, illuminate, inflameaccendo nox nocto
: illuminate the nightillustro
: lightReviews... let me know what you think.