Thru Terry's Eyes
Cross stared at his father. “I’m not ready?”
he spat in disbelief, his pale blue eyes flashing icy
fire. “I’m you’re son. I’ve
been at your side since I was seven years old, taken
your place when needs be. I’ve done all you required
of me and been an advocate of your teachings!”
His voice rose with the pent up anger and frustration
of realizing his deepest desire was being ripped from
his grasp yet again.
“Do not raise your voice to me!”
The Reverend William Cross thundered, allowing himself
the luxury of a fist slammed on the desktop, causing
papers to scatter in fear like a flight of birds. “You
are my son. Remember your place, which is not to question
my decisions but to follow them!” His own silvery-gray
eyes burned with a flame so intense Leviticus was filled
with self-loathing by his inability to meet the older
man’s flinty gaze.
The elder Cross snatched up a quill,
touching the tip to his tongue in a quick jab and then
tipping back the top of the inkwell to dip the pen within,
making angry meaningless dashes on the remaining papers
before him. “I have told you when I feel you are
ready to lead the souls of my church I will relinquish
them to you with a glad heart.” His eyes darted
back to his son in a brief, disappointed flick. “That
time is not now and you are not ready.” He gave
his head a small shake and returned his gaze to the
Leviticus’ eyes narrowed and
he tilted his head back slightly to study his father
with an expression the elder man would not have found
pleasure in had he bothered to look. “And just
when, Father, may I ask, do you think I will be ready
if after all these years I still appear unequal to the
William continued to scribble furiously,
but his voice picked up the faintest edge. “You
are much like your mother even after all my efforts
to bend you otherwise. You think I am unaware of you,
unnoticing of your actions, of the things I know exist
in your heart.”
Leviticus felt a coldness crawl through
Daring damnation, Leviticus dredged
deeply inside of himself to find the courage of defiance.
“You don’t know me,” he snarled, “anymore
than you know that pen you grip or the chair you sit
on. I've just been a tool for you to use and cast aside
when you finish with me-“ Fury boiled up and without
conscious thought he stepped forward and swept the quill
and papers from under his father’s face. “Look
at me!!” He shouted.
William fell back in shock. “How
dare you display such disrespect!” The wheelchair
he sat in rolled back from his sudden movement. “Is
this your way of showing me you are ready to take on
the responsibilities of guiding this church down the
path of righteousness? A tantrum that would shame a
seven year old child?”
Leviticus recoiled, as shocked by his
actions as his father, but for different reasons.
“Leave my presence!!” William
roared in the voice that had terrified Leviticus since
childhood, that had accompanied the physical punishments
necessary to steer the child he had been toward his
own path to God, that had verbally beaten the man he
had become into a subservient shadow, trampled thoughtlessly
beneath first his father's feet and then wheels of the
chair the old man had been held captive by for the past
Fifty-seven years old and Leviticus
still feared the bent old man before him. Fifty-seven
years of loyalty and service, of being the slave and
whipping boy, always working for the day when his father
would retire and Raptures Climb would be his. It had
been dangled before him like a prize to be won. Every
time he could feel it within his grasp, it had been
snatched away once again in what he had come to think
of as a sadistic game.
He was tired of playing games.
The church of Raptures Climb would
never be his. Not as long as his father, William Cross,
founder and Reverend of the small religious community,
“Leave your presence?”
Leviticus replied in a growl. He snorted in contempt,
“I think not, old man.” He seemed to suddenly
grow taller, back straightening, his hand slipping into
eyes blazing, pushed his chair away from the desk and
around to his son. "I couldn't admit it to myself,"
his father began in a low voice, "but I think I
always knew this time would come.”
“And what time would that be?”
Leviticus sneered, feeling the strength he had never
been able to summon on his own flow into him as his
hand closed on the talisman, its touch against the flesh
of his hand a sensation of fire and ice. He felt the
very room they stood in begin to grow colder.
"The time I acknowledged that
you hunger for power for the sake of power, not for
the strength to guide our people to God. I have seen
this, the desire for control. That you were too weak
to traverse the road to righteousness." William
lifted cold eyes and locked them onto his son's gaze.
barked an ugly laugh. "Your believers have been
choked to death, smothered by your self-serving idea
of righteousness. I've choked on it every miserable
moment of my life. Had it shoved down my throat until
I couldn't take another day of it." Leviticus put
his foot against the old man’s chair and shoved
suddenly, propelling the chair backwards, watching as
it struck the opposite wall, almost knocking the older
man out of the seat.
William cried out, shocked, as much
from the impact as the words coming from his son's lips.
His gnarled fingers gripped the armrests of his wheelchair,
trying to summon the only strength he still had at his
command: his voice. "HOW LONG?" he thundered.
"How long has this betrayal been going on? How
long since you turned your back on our teachings? On
Leviticus stepped nearer, towering
over the frail old man he had feared his entire life.
"I haven't turned my back on anything!" he
retorted hotly. He leaned in close to his father's ear
to speak, as though William were not only crippled but
deaf, putting his hands over his father's, trapping
them there. William grimaced as the cold metal of the
talisman clutched in his son’s grip dug into the
thin flesh of his hand. “If anything you pompous
old fool, I've turned toward."
To his father's credit, he did not
draw back the closer his son got to him. In the icy-blue
of his son's eyes, William saw no warmth, no love, only
a frozen emptiness that went on forever. He knew now
it had always existed there and he cursed himself for
allowing it to grow unchecked, unrecognized.
"I won't let you corrupt this
church!" William shouted, struggling to rise, but
the powerful body he had once commanded refused to cooperate.
He finally slumped back in defeat, staring at his son
in growing trepidation.
white hair swirled in an unrestrained mass around his
shoulders, his bearing determined, his eyes wild. "I've
waited decades for you to give me what was mine! And
when that didn't happen I waited for you to die, prayed
for it! And it never happened. You just kept on like
some never-ending disease! I prayed to your God for
the strength to bear it and that never came either."
Leviticus straightened, stepping back to viciously kick
the chair sideways.
William gasped, crying out as he spilled
from the chair, face down onto the floor, mind swirling
"Then one day the strength finally
came, Father, but not from God. And I embrace it! I
welcome it!" Leviticus spread his arms.
"Satan has called you, Leviticus!
Refuse him, come back to me. Come back to the true
path—" William broke off as Leviticus laughed
"Back? Back to what? Back to being
your slave, your whipping boy? I've found the true path,
and guess what, Father? It didn't lead to you! Your
congregation belongs to me now, as it should have a
long time ago! Don't worry, Father, your memory will
live on... you'll even be mourned." Leviticus,
standing over his father's helpless form, enjoying the
thought that William was cowering, held out his hand,
the silver talisman spinning from his fingers by a short
chain. He closed his eyes, lips moving in a silent invocation.
"No…" William whispered,
as the air around him grew colder still, freezing his
The shadowy figure that began to materialize
in the air behind his son did not call forth fear, not
on his own behalf. On the behalf of the church he had
built from nothing, of the town he had founded, of the
innocent souls in his charge that he was about to watch
the spawn of his own loins betray. He could feel his
blood recoiling in his veins.
"You cannot do this!" he
cried out, clawing against the floor to try and drag
his body forward, reaching out to clutch at the leg
of his son's trousers. "I beg of you! Think of
what you do!"
Leviticus threw his father a look of
contempt and kicked the offending hand away, otherwise
ignoring his pleas.
dark figure now standing solidly at Leviticus' side
smiled down at the old man then raised his brilliant
yellow gaze to the younger man and held out his hand,
head cocked slightly, still smiling.
"So I guess that means we have
"NO!!!!" William screamed.
the time for compromise was long past.
* * * *
coming of dawn burst through the impossible mists that
crawled and drifted through the woods surrounding Rapture's
Climb. As the glaring rays of the early sun burned away
the dissipating tendrils that shrouded the buildings
and streets, the sound of singing began to permeate
the air, emanating from a low slung clapboard building
with a stubby steeple that squatted at the end of the
Even in the
early morning the heat inside the small wooden church
hung in a thick, suffocating mass that made it hard
to breathe. The few windows present were closed tight,
the glass bare of decoration, allowing the sun to burn
through with full power.
Hair straggled limply from beneath
the chastely fastened hats of the women, long sleeves
pulled down to the wrists and fastened firmly in place,
high collars buttoned up tightly. Men in long sleeved
shirts and jackets, collars buttoned equally tightly,
the darkening sprawl of sweat soaking through both jacket
Some of the congregation waved fans
listlessly but the humid drift of the sluggish air brought
no relief. A few flies droned, moving slowly enough
to pluck out of the air with a bare hand, but even that
expenditure of energy was too much. Their heat-dulled
faces glistened with sweat, their eyes lifting slowly
to stare blankly at the tall, black clad figure standing
at the podium.
Watching as the sunlight crept slowly
across the floor, the Reverend Leviticus Cross raised
his own eyes and studied his congregation with ill-concealed
disgust. He dragged a bony finger across his chin to
catch the drop of sweat that rolled down from his temple.
Two days and it would be done…
* * * *
Dean groaned, wiping the sweat streaming off his forehead
away for the umpteenth time, a continuously useless
gesture as more sweat immediately ran down into his
eyes. "Can we have it a little hotter, please?"
His hands were so slick with sweat
he was having trouble gripping the steering wheel. His
clothing was plastered to his body and the heat felt
like a vise tightening around his head. Everywhere he
looked the grass was brown, the ground was cracked,
and the old broken tarmac was littered with bubbles
of hot tar.
Dust settled heavily on the body of
the Impala, turning sleek black into dull brown, and
Dean had to keep turning on the wipers to get it off
Sam sprawled next to him, melting steadily
into the hot black leather of the seats. His long hair
so damp with sweat it was curling, Sam rolled his eyes
at Dean, but forbore to comment, taking another drink
from the lukewarm bottle of water in his hand.
The interior of the Impala, even with all of the windows
down, was as oppressive as an oven. The air conditioner,
weak at the best of times, had passed on to wherever
air conditioners go when they die—suicide, Sam
had declared—and the air blowing in through the
open windows was like a blast furnace.
The temperature had risen steadily
the further they had gone down the badly marked, meandering
detour, following vague directions from a gas station
attendant regarding getting around the severe road construction
that had been going on for approximately the past ten
Dean coughed as dust billowed into the window, swearing
"You want some water?" Sam
asked, holding out an unopened bottle of water, voice
slow and heavy, eyelids at half mast.
Dean rolled his eyes and gagged. "Dude,
I've drank so much water already, I'm sloshing whenever
the car hits a bump and I'm still thirsty. No. I do
not want any water! Besides it's warm. I can't drink
warm water." He rolled his shoulders and made a
sound of disgust. "I want food and an air conditioner
set on arctic! Shit." He added flatly, running
the side of his hand across his brow to catch the incessant
"Where the hell are we anyway?"
he growled, "Didn't that gas station guy say there
would be a turnoff after a few miles? Hell, we've gone
at least five miles and there's nothing!" He banged
his fist on the wheel.
"Maybe we missed it," Sam
replied, rolling his head along the seat back, staring
up at the roof of the car. "Some of these back
roads aren't marked very well."
Dean shot him a dirty look. "Aren't
marked very well?" He snorted, "Try friggin'
non-existent!" Dean rubbed a hand across his mouth.
"I think that guy was full of shit and we're on
some wild goose chase."
stared at him. "Why would the guy send us off with
the wrong directions? He showed us on the map; we're
following the route it showed. Wallford is on this road,
it's just taking a while to get there."
"Maybe the guy was bored, gets
his kicks sending people the wrong way so when they
turn around to get better directions he gets to sell
'em more gas—hell, I don't know! If I had to live
in that crap hole town back there I might do the same
thing. Jesus, it's too early in the morning to be this
Dean hated hot weather. In his opinion,
seventy-five degrees was optimum but they never seemed
to find that; it was always too hot or too cold. Although
right now, he would have happily stood ass-deep in a
snow bank and embraced a snowman.
He grimaced, pinching the bridge of
his nose. The headache that had dogged him for what
had seemed like days now, coming and going like the
tide, had grown steadily worse with every passing mile.
He didn't know if it was the heat or the overall stress
of their existence the past few months but suspected
the answer lay somewhere in the middle.
His wrists were still scabbed and healing
from being hung from a rafter a short time before while
a brood of test-tube vampires tried to destroy them.
Sam had been writhing in agonized death throes shortly
before that, as a victim of a poisoned bullet.
He was tired, dammit.
Sam pushed himself upright with an
effort, groaning. The air was almost too thick to move
in and his long body, normally under fairly decent control,
seemed twice its size, twice its weight, and was operating
at twice its normal temperature. It just wasn't worth
the effort to shift it about.
"What are you doing?" Dean
exclaimed as Sam abruptly drizzled the remainder of
his water over his face, allowing it to dribble down
his chest and soak in to his shirt.
"Trying to get cool…"
Sam droned, closing his eyes and leaning into the air
blowing in the window. There was a brief, blissful sensation
of cool, but then almost as fast as it came he was dry
again. And slightly muddy from the blowing dust.
Dean snickered at Sam's efforts, "Nice
* * * *
Reverend Cross's pale blue eyes, almost
lost under a ridge of bristling white brows, burned
with an intense light, sweeping over the congregation,
noting among the prayerful the telltale signs of encroaching
corruption. He drew in a slow breath as his eyes moved
from face to face, body to body.
Here and there were several young women
sat with unbuttoned collars, an ankle visible below
the trailing edge of a non-descript skirt, casting wanton
glances at young men with their shirts also unbuttoned
below the collar, sleeves brazenly rolled up, revealing
strongly muscled forearms glistening with sweat.
church. In HIS church…
a fury, he seized the heavy, black leather-covered book
lying on the podium and raised it.
"And God said unto him…"
he roared into the thick silence, "arraign thyself
in the trappings of evil and evil thy shall become!!"
His voice thundered through the small wooden structure,
eyes lifting from the benches to stare as he slammed
the book back down onto the stand with a reverberating
The congregation jumped back as one.
Cross leveled a gnarled finger at them, leaning across
the podium to single out each member with the twisted
"You whimper and whine that God
has turned his back on us! You dare this blasphemy,
questioning the purpose of the Almighty and yet you
sit there, painted whores, layabouts, SINNERS! You walk
in the path of the devil and cannot understand why God
has chosen to smite you! That his retribution is just
"Since that day, so long ago,
when God's messenger came to me and revealed his plan
for Raptures Climb, we have fought to keep the blight
of the outside world from our lives in the belief that
at the end of our time of trial we would be rewarded
with the gift of heaven. Do you dare defy his commands,
now? So close to the end of our journey?"
Overcome, Cross stormed from the raised
stage and grabbed the arm of a young woman in the front
pew, dragging her to her feet and spinning her to face
the congregation. He caught the back her neck and jerked
"See this? She bares her flesh
to lure in the innocent, encouraging thoughts of lust
and carnal desire!" He grabbed the open sides of
her collar and pulled them together roughly, "Cover
thy shame!" he exclaimed, shoving the girl back
into the pew and pointing at her parents, cowering next
to her, sudden shame clearly showing on their faces.
"And you allow this! This child's guides and guardians!"
He stomped further down the short nave
and pulled a young man from the seats, his strength
surprising in one of such advanced age. He roughly rolled
the boy's sleeves down.
"Do not reveal thy flesh in a
manner to lure the innocent!" He reached out and
jerked the skirt of the girl in the next pew down her
legs to cover them completely.
"Who is the greater sinner? He
who sins or he who sees the sin and turns away? Have
you forgotten our teachings? Evil will corrupt the minds,
bodies, and spirit of this town of Raptures Climb! Will
you welcome it with your arms open and unquestioning,
turning from our way in this, our final test? When the
reward for our steadfastness lays only two days from
He pushed the boy back down, stalking
the pews like an animal in search of prey. Church members
turned from him as much in fear as shame.
say unto you, the realm of God's love is for the righteous!"
He stopped at the end of the nave and pointed at the
portrait hanging over the entrance door. "William
Cross, my father and the father of all we have followed
lo these many years, sought the righteous path and turned
away from that which would corrupt us."
Turning in a slow circle as he moved
back toward the stage, he raised his arms and pointed
at the congregation as a whole and as individuals, his
gaze burning them all.
"Would he look upon us with disgust
and loathing as we become the very things we sought
to set ourselves apart from? Or with pride and love
for the strength and determination we have shown in
the time we are allotted?" he continued. "Would
you call down the evil promised us?" He stepped
onto the dais, facing away from the group, head lifted,
arms upraised toward the heavy wooden cross mounted
on the back wall, addressing it.
"That which would bring to an
end the very world we have come to know, our homes gone,
our lives, our souls, lost to the encroaching evil because
we were not strong enough to stave it off!!"
Turning, he swept the group with an
angry eye, watching in satisfaction as they turned from
* * * *
Overheated back into silence once again, Sam and Dean
continued to drive along. After a while, Dean frowned,
lifting his shoulder to catch the fresh moisture running
down the side of his face with his sleeve. "Dude,
we're going uphill. Isn't it supposed to be cooler in
Without opening his eyes or moving
any more than necessary, Sam groaned. "This isn't
the mountains; we're just driving closer to the sun."
Dean shrugged with his eyes. "You're
the one who took the directions, not me," he accused,
staring through the dusty windshield at the road ahead.
"Do you suppose it's much further ahead?"
Sam had dragged the map off the floorboard
and was tracing a blunt fingertip down the crooked magic
marker line the gas station attendant had drawn. "There's
nothing on this map, it doesn't show this detour, it
must have been cut after the map was printed; all we
have is what the gas station guy gave us." He crumpled
up the map that he usually refolded neatly, to Dean's
everlasting annoyance, and tossed it on the floorboards.
His head fell back onto the seat, eyes closing. "Let's
stop when we get anywhere, take a break."
"God, yes," Dean agreed,
"I gotta get some air conditioning, food, a beer
and a bathroom, not necessarily in that order. Hopefully
there's somewhere to stop."
Sam glanced over at Dean, "You
want me to drive for a while?" He hadn't missed
the signs that Dean's head was bothering him.
shook his head, "Nah, dude, civilization can't
be that much further."
"Fine, "Sam replied, "but
I know you've got a headache."
"It's just this friggin' heat,
don't make a big thing out of it. I'll take something
when we stop."
Sam fruitlessly searched the car for
any sunglasses and was disgusted to discover there wasn't
a pair to be had even though Dean insisted there was
always a pair in the glove box. Getting short tempered,
as much from the never-ending road that apparently led
nowhere as the ever increasing heat, Sam had shoved
his hand into the glove box and swept the contents onto
the floor to prove he wasn't lying.
That had merely pissed Dean off more.
After a short, but sharp verbal altercation,
Sam began to gather up the collection of miscellaneous
IDs, odd bullets, a curved dagger from Damascus with
a broken grip Dean had been swearing to fix, M&M
bags, both empty and full, a dog-eared spell book, two
half-melted black candles, a bag of mandrake shavings
Sam had been looking for a month ago, and what seemed
like at least a hundred other odd bits, some of which
he couldn't even identify, that he had pulled from the
dash compartment in his fit of fury.
The broken tarmac gradually gave way
to just plain dirt and they were forced to drive fairly
slowly to avoid choking themselves to death on the resultant
dust the passing of the Impala kicked up. It was that
or roll up the windows and Dean's absolute threat to
shoot Sam if he so much as touched the window handle
put a stop to that.
"I'm dyin'," Dean groaned
finally, deciding after an extremely protracted silence
to grace Sam with his forgiveness for lying about the
sunglasses. (Dean knew they were in the car—somewhere—despite
Sam's claims to the contrary). "My brain's melting
and its gonna run outta my ears." He pressed the
heel of his hand into his temple to try to ease the
throbbing there. His eyes felt gritty and strained from
the constant glare.
Sam graced him with a dirty look and
went back to staring out the window.
They did look at each other as the
car suddenly bucked.
"What was that?" Sam asked
didn't answer as it happened again, wincing as though
it caused him pain. "No, no, no, nooooo…."
He moaned as the temperature gauge moved swiftly to
the red mark while he watched. "Don't do this to
me…" He stopped the car, seeing tendrils
of smoke curling along the edges of the hood.
"What is it?" Sam asked.
"Did it overheat?"
Dean ignored him, jumping out of the
car with surprising speed and popping the hood, swearing
and waving his arms as a white cloud billowed out from
"Son of a bitch!!!" The radiator
cap was too hot to touch, as he discovered by stupidly
reaching for it when he knew better. He jerked off his
soaking t-shirt and used it as a hot pad to twist the
cap off, still managing to scald himself as hot steam
He was vaguely aware of Sam coming
to join him and stare uselessly at the ticking engine.
Dean sniffed the air and then dropped
to his knees in the dust to look under the car where
greenish fluid was puddling.
"Crap!" he snapped, getting back up and using
his t-shirt to wave away the steam. He leaned into the
engine and felt along the radiator hose, his hand coming
away wet where it encountered a ragged slash.
"We blew the damned radiator hose!
Great! Just friggin' great!"
"Can we fix it?" Sam asked.
Dean glared at him. "No. WE can't
fix it." He said pointedly. "I could fix it
if I had a new hose, which I don't." He grimaced,
pressing his fingertips to his forehead.
"You okay?" Sam asked, watching
"Yeah," Dean growled. "But
my head's gonna split in half if I don't get somewhere
cool soon," he admitted in a rare moment of candor.
He stomped to the back of the Impala and jerked open
the trunk, rummaging through the items stored on the
lid of the weapons cache, muttering to himself.
"Look, I know I'm not gonna be
any help here, I’m gonna walk ahead a little,
see what's around that bend." Sam offered, keeping
a safe distance as items were tossed haphazardly from
"Yeah, whatever," Dean replied,
Sam hadn't taken a step when Dean suddenly
straightened. "Ten minutes, Sam. Back in ten and
I'm not kiddin'." He held out a .45.
Dean might threaten to shoot him if
he rolled up the window, but after New Jersey there
was no such thing as too much precaution anymore. It
had been cut too close; they had both walked too close
to the point of no return and it wasn't happening again.
Haris was gone but the world was still
full of bad things that jumped out at you when you least
expected it and Dean wasn't sure he could handle another
close call like the last one.
The sight of Sam, his body locked in
muscle spasms, growing steadily weaker as poison sucked
his life away, and worse, the sight of the empty bed
when he'd thought Sam had…
Pain blasted his temple, making him
press his hand there again.
minutes," he repeated in a voice that brooked no
at him, taking the weapon and tucking it in the back
of his jeans. "Will you be okay?"
"As long as you're back in ten
minutes," Dean replied.
"Ten minutes," Sam agreed,
nodded. "Ah hah!" he exclaimed, reaching into
the clutter. He brandished a roll of duct with elation.
"I knew you were in there!"
* * * *
Sam walked down the dusty road, the
sun bearing down with almost physical force. Even walking
slowly he was around the bend in a moment and out of
sight of Dean and the Impala. To his surprise he was
confronted by a weathered sign hanging crookedly from
Climb welcomes the righteous. Turn away those who would
Cocking his eyebrow, he moved on.
He couldn't miss the wooden signs posted
along the edges of the road, hand painted from the look
of them. "Do not upon thyself take the sins of
others," read one. "Do not walk with evil
lest evil begin to lead the way," read another.
They seemed like…warnings…or
admonishments. If they had stumbled on a religious town
he would have to caution Dean to watch his mouth and
He paused to read another of the frequently-posted
quotes. "Question not the teachings of thy master."
He frowned at the next sign as he passed. "Blessed
is the chaste woman". He found the markers a little
dire and unsettling, wondering idly what sort of religion
went along with signs like that.
The few scattered houses he passed
were simple, neatly maintained buildings and perched
right on the edge of a narrow street he assumed was
"The Town." Power and phone lines appeared
to be non-existent. There were no cars. There were,
however, several horses and a few buggies. No one was
on the street. He wondered if they had come upon an
Amish or Mennonite community.
the end of the short street there was a compact white
building that was obviously a church of some sort; a
blunt steeple with a cross on top made it the tallest
building he could see in the small collection.
He paused to glance at his watch, he
had already been gone almost ten minutes and it was
turn back now or get his ass kicked thoroughly. Dean
was balancing on the edge of a razor nerve-wise lately
and it was too freakin' hot for a major confrontation.
He mopped sweat from his face with his soggy t-shirt
and edged closer, drawn by the sound of unmelodious
singing, unaccompanied by any musical instruments.
He stretched upwards to peek in the
narrow glass window, fingertips just clasped on the
edge of the frame, concentrating so hard on what he
might see he didn't pick up on the sounds he should
Something hard caught him with great
force right behind the ear. He went down without a sound,
crumpled on the hot dirt.
And he stayed there.
* * * *
Dean peeled the hot, sticky tape from
his fingers as he tried for the third time to wrap it
around the radiator hose. The engine of the car was
so damned hot he couldn't stand to be under the hood
for more than a few seconds.
His head was pounding so hard that
when he stood, he stumbled back dizzily, ending up ass
down in the dusty road clutching his head while the
immediate world spun around him.
He sat there for several minutes, eyes
closed while his head and stomach crawled back to their
This was not good. Blearily, he rolled
to his hands and knees, reaching out to use the bumper
of the Impala to shakily regain his feet. He groped
back to the driver's seat and sank into the blazing
interior with his head down between his knees until
he could stand to open his eyes.
He fumbled for the water bottle Sam
had offered earlier and cracked it open, first pouring
a goodly amount over his head and neck and then, warm
or not downing several swallows. He let his head hang
again, balancing elbows on knees, feeling the water
trickle down the bare skin of his chest and back and
drip to the ground between his boots. His skin was so
hot, he was surprised it didn't sizzle.
His eyes focused on the face of his
watch and he jerked as he realized Sam had been gone
over half an hour.
he snarled. Pushing to his feet as adrenaline pumped
into his system he turned in the direction Sam had gone
but could see nothing beyond the bend in the road.
He walked a short distance and yelled
Sam's name. In the thick air the sound carried about
seven feet before it, too, succumbed to the heat and
collapsed to the ground.
Dean came back to the car, groped for
the shirt he had tossed in the backseat earlier and
shoved his arms down the sleeves, fumbling a few buttons
through the holes. He swiftly locked up the car, swearing.
He jerked out his .45 and a decent blade that he shoved
in his boot sheath and slammed the trunk lid down. Stomping
down the road, angrily rolling up his sleeves, he wasn't
sure what was causing him more pain, his headache or
Rounding the bend, he stopped dead
at the sight of the old sign mounted next to the road,
"Rapture's Climb?" he read
out loud. "What the hell kind of a name is that?"
There must be some kind of a town up
ahead, maybe Sam had found a cold place to hide. His
initial relaxation at the thought burned away as he
considered if that was the case, why the hell hadn't
Sam come back to let Dean in on the secret?
The answer was simple.
He would have, as long as he was able.
Looking down, he could make out the
prints of Sam's boots in the dirt. Sweat dripped from
his chin and splashed into the closest boot shaped depression.
Swiping his forehead with an equally sweaty forearm,
a grim look on his face, he stalked down the road following
Sam's clearly marked trail.
the episode here