: #29: Family for My table is hereClaim
: Duncan MacLeodRated
: HL and SPN: Immortal!Dean ‘verseCharacters
: Sam and Dean Winchester, Ellen Harvelle,Bobby Singer, Duncan MacLeod and Joe DawsonDisclaimer
: The characters you know and love all belong to their respective creators. Summary
: Duncan and Joe insist that Immortals don’t have blood relations. Ellen and Bobby worry what that news will do to Dean’s mental health on top of becoming Immortal. Dean and Sam return with the test results.
A/N: A note on HL canon, I am warning you that in my AU world, Richie did not die. If this bit of canon twisting bothers you, I am sorry. He is mentioned in this story and will play a big role in the next. Those who know me know I don’t like it when producers kill characters I like. Fan fiction is my way to resurrect them.
Ellen hung up the phone. "That was Sam," she announced to the men gathered in the living room. "He and Dean are going to stay in town until they get the test results. That way they can avoid any more ‘misunderstandings’"
Duncan felt the chill as he received her disapproving glare. "I am so sorry, Ellen. But how was I to know he’d never been told."
"I just don’t understand how you never told me about this part of your origin! You spent that year hunting with my dad. I’d thought you’d told me everything about Immortals short of being able to sense them myself."
Joe interrupted Ellen’s rant, "even the Watchers don’t know where Immortals come from. That’s half the reason we watch them; hoping to unravel that mystery. I don’t understand why this is such a big deal. Being adopted is not the end of the world."
Bobby snorted a laugh and the watcher just looked at him, "What am I missing?" Joe asked pointedly.
"You have to understand, family is everything to Dean. That boy is so afraid of being alone that he sold his soul to a demon last year to bring Sam back from the dead. Now, he’s Immortal and will be spending an eternity without his brother plus you tell him he may not even be related to Sam. You have basically torn away the foundation of his world in one shot."
Joe looked skeptically at Bobby, "What?! You can’t believe demons are real?"
"What kind of hunting of did you think Duncan was doing? Didn’t your little Watcher group record that summer?" anger laced Ellen’s every word. "I think Dean’s right. You watchers can’t be everywhere and you can’t know everything."
"I think we do a pretty damn good job," Joe countered his own anger flaring. "But, come on, demons, really? MacLeod is this who gave you those odd ball notions about demons"
"They’re real," Bobby assured Joe. "Demons, ghosts, all of those legendary beings are based in reality,"
"Bobby, you can fill him in later," Ellen chastised him. "Right now, our concern is helping Dean. That boy has lost everyone and if he thinks he’s losing Sam again…," She paused trying to hold back tears.
"I know Ellen," Bobby spoke sympathetically, "That boy is dumb enough to think it will change his relationship with Sam."
Duncan came to stand by Ellen. He took her hand in his, "My job is to ensure that Dean makes a smooth transition," Smiling, he added, "Please trust me; I haven’t lost a student yet."
"That’s true," Joe confirmed. "I’ll be honest; I never thought Richie would last more than a few years. He was such a hot head just like Dean. Now, he’s practically Mr. Responsible and close to finishing up his second decade."
Duncan laughed, "Remember that stretch when he was burning through identities. I was worried we wouldn’t be able to find a place for him to start over."
"Yeah, Richie had a real knack for dying publicly." Joe smiled at the memory and shared Richie’s most spectacular ‘death’ on a motorcycle race track in France. Duncan had been furious at the young Immortal then but today he couldn’t resist helping to embellish the story as Ellen and Bobby seemed to be enjoying the tale. Duncan then shared a few more colorful anecdotes about Amanda. Amanda never failed to entertain and he was relieved to see Ellen was finally relaxing.
Duncan wondered if it might not be a good idea to call Richie and have him come to South Dakota. Richie was certainly closer in age to Dean than any other Immortal in his circle of friends. He’d mention it to Joe later.
"Now, if you don’t mind, please" insisted Joe, "explain this stuff about demons."
Bobby and Ellen took turns educating Joe about the world of the supernatural. Duncan noticed that they conspicuously avoided talking about the Winchester’s experiences. He understood that those were not their stories to tell.
"I never suspected. All the Immortals we watched and we never saw this other world."
"Don’t feel bad, Joe. People only see what they are looking for," Ellen explained.
"Imagine my surprise when I learned Vampires were real," Duncan smirked.
Joe recalled the incident, "Of course, Nicholas Ward. He covered up his murders by pretending to be a Vampire." Switching gears, he asked, "Mac why did you never share any of this? That year with Ellen’s family isn’t even in the chronicles."
Duncan sighed; he had wondered when this particular ‘sin of omission’ would surface. "Years ago, you thought I was crazy to insist that Ahriman was a demon. Without proof there was no point in trying to share the rest. Especially, since that year of my life was missing. Obviously, my former watcher decided that my activities that year were better left undocumented. I let it drop because I figured you’d always be a skeptic."
Joe understood, "I should have had more faith in your experience," he admitted quietly. It seemed that they had finally reached closure over the incident that had nearly killed Richie and almost destroyed Duncan.
As they continued exchange anecdotes and information about both worlds, all the disagreements of the day, evaporated. The boys were expected back the next day and everyone agreed they should get some rest. Tomorrow was going to be difficult at best.
The next morning Joe found Duncan outside running through his morning kata. He waited until the Immortal was finished.
"Quite the revelation last night; ghosts, werewolves, demons. Do you think Immortals are just another kind of supernatural being?" Joe wondered.
"The watchers have no explanation for where we come from; who we are even after the years of research." His meditations hadn’t eased the unsettled feeling in his gut. Thirty years ago he’d accidentally been revealed to Ellen’s family as an Immortal. As curious about him, as he was about the supernatural, he’d spent year hunting with Ellen’s father. He’d hoped to gain an understanding of how Immortals fit into the grand scheme of things; he never did. Frustrated, he’d left them to wander again but he’d never lost touch with Ellen, hoping someday to pick up this idea again. It seemed the opportunity had presented itself to finish the investigation. Finishing his thought out loud, he said, "yeah, Joe, I’m almost sure we are."
"I woke up with this crazy idea in my head." Joe paused. Duncan encouraged him to continue, "you mentioned that Ellen had been at loose ends since her business burned down last year."
"Yeah, she’s been living here with Bobby, trying to organize his library. God knows it needs it because the place is still a wreck. Why?"
"I believe that Ellen has all the qualifications to be a watcher; specifically, Dean’s watcher. What do you think?"
Duncan thought about it. "Well, that would give her the right to use to the watcher archives. Maybe with access to that and Bobby’s library, she might be able to find a connection between the supernatural and Immortals. Plus, Dean gets a stronger tie to someone he already trusts, who trusts me. Joe, that’s Brilliant."
"So, I’m ‘Brilliant’. Can I get you to put that in writing, MacLeod?" Laughing the two headed into the house to talk to Ellen.
Ellen took one look at the conspiratorial glances being exchanged between Joe and Duncan and demanded, "ok, what’s up?"
"Well," Joe started slowly, "You’re aware that every Immortal is assigned a watcher, who records their adventures. In the past, they never interfered in Immortal affairs and this relationship was unknown to the Immortal."
"Until Joe here, broke the rules," Duncan inserted.
"Unfair, MacLeod. I wasn’t the one who started-"
"Boys, focus," Ellen grabbed their attention, "where is this going?"
"Joe thinks you should be Dean’s watcher," Duncan blurted.
"Nice MacLeod, I had a whole recruitment speech planned."
"She was getting angry, Joe. I don’t like to make her angry."
"I wanted to win her over. Explain her duties-"
"I’ll do it."
"What?" they both looked at her.
"I said, it’s a great idea and I’ll do it. I’ll be Dean’s watcher"
Bobby had wandered in for the tail end of the exchange, "What’s a watcher do?"
"It means I’ll chronicle Dean’s experiences as an Immortal for the Watchers. But more importantly, I’m someone he knows like family and I can act as a stabilizing influence," She looked at Joe who confirmed that these had been his thoughts exactly.
"Wouldn’t Sam be a better choice?" Bobby wondered.
"Ellen already has a history with Immortals and with me. I need Dean to trust me if we are to have a successful teacher-student relationship. Ellen can help build that trust," Duncan explained. "If Dean and Sam keep hunting, Sam will be too involved to be any kind of impartial observer."
"Like Ellen could be," Bobby snickered.
"Hey!" Ellen punched his shoulder playfully.
"Ow! Ok, I like it, too." And he did. Bobby was relieved to know that Duncan was truly concerned about Dean.
Duncan had to laugh at the power Ellen had to keep them all in line.
The conversation stopped suddenly as the sound of the Impala came through the open window. Its arrival dampened the good mood that they had been enjoying.
Ellen turned to face Duncan, "You ready because Dean’s not going to be happy and something tells me you are going to make a perfect target for his anger."
"Well then I guess it’s a good thing he can’t really hurt me," Duncan smirked as they headed outside to greet the boys.
Sam looked at the four assembled on the porch and then at his brother.
"Let me handle this, Sammy. I need to do this my way."
"Dean, they were only trying to help."
Dean huffed his disagreement as he exited the car. He grabbed the folder containing the test results and walked to face Duncan and Joe.
"Dean, I’m sorr-," Joe began as Dean held up a hand silencing him and shoved the folder into his hands. He then retreated from the porch to stand by Sam.
Ellen came over to Dean, "I’m impressed, honey, you seem to be handling the news well." She tried to sound as supportive and even gave his shoulder a quick squeeze.
"You can stop, Ellen, its okay."
She looked up to see Dean was grinning like an idiot. "I don’t understand." His reaction was not what she expected.
Joe just kept shaking his head and Duncan yanked the file out of his grasp.
"You wanna pick your jaw up off the floor there, watcher man," Dean smirked.
"This…It’s not possible," Duncan stammered as he passed the file to Bobby.
"Very possible, Ponytail. I told you, you didn’t know anything about me and my brother," the emphasis Dean placed on the last word was unmistakable.
Ellen had waited long enough. She stepped back onto the porch to grab the report from Bobby. She turned to look at the brothers. She’d never thought they’d looked much alike but at that moment, with identical ‘shit-eating-grins’ on their faces, she wondered how she had ever doubted it.
Joe and Duncan were still speechless. Dean was laughing now and truly reveling in their discomfort.
"You Winchesters," Bobby exclaimed, "you never play by the rules."
Ellen stepped past Bobby to embrace Dean. Hugging her back he whispered, "It’s about time we got one in the win column." She nodded and switched to hugging Sam.
Duncan watched as the four celebrated. He remembered that earlier feeling in the pit of his stomach. Somehow he’d known that the Winchester were different just as Bobby had observed. Finally, he gave voice to the concept that no one had actually spoken aloud. "They’re brothers. They’re really related. How is that possible, Joe?"
The watcher hadn’t taken his eyes of the brothers. His stared unblinkingly at them, almost as if he was hoping that the explanation for the anomalous test results would suddenly present its self. Joe dragged a hand across his face, groaning, "I don’t know, Mac. In the early days tracing the foundlings back to the original parents was impossible. After it became clear that every Immortal was an orphan, maybe we became complacent. Maybe we just assumed we wouldn’t find evidence of birth parents so we stopped looking. I can’t explain it. Your parents never knew where you came from, right?" This was a well known fact to Joe and yet he felt the need to confirm it.
"Joe, come on, you know I was a foundling with no way to track my birth parents. Hell, even Richie came out of foster care. The woman he remembered was actually his first foster mother."
Sam and Dean just listened as Joe and Duncan tried to make sense of this brave new world.
Sam broke into their conversation, "Did Richie ever track down his birth parents?"
Duncan stopped to look at Sam, "I told him he’d never find them; that no Immortal had ever known their birth parents. I honestly don’t know if he pursued it but I’m going to find out. Bobby, can I use your phone?"
At Bobby’s nod, Duncan headed into the house to make the call.
"You know I’ve got a few calls to make myself. Maybe some of the other watchers have information I haven’t been privy too. I’ll see what I can find out," and he followed Mac into the house.
Dean was simply enjoying the chaos he’d created. Bumping shoulders with Sam and nodding toward their retreating backs, "Now, I think I’m ready to learn about being Immortal."