Sam Winchester sat in the passenger seat of the Impala as Dean filled the tank and rambled on about how installing a CD player was ‘blasphemy’. Things had gotten as normal as they could and he could feel Dean’s time as it slipped away. One year his brother had negotiated for him. He got out of the Impala and leaned against it as Dean went to grab some snacks.
A black SUV pulled up to the pump across from him. A tall, blonde man in an obnoxious shirt got out of the passenger side while a short, Spanish man got out of the driver’s side. Both men had bandages wherever skin would be visible and the shorter man seemed to herd the taller man towards the store.
“Cougs! Knock it off!” the blonde protested as they walked into the store. “I’m fine!”
The younger Winchester watched as Dean flirted with one of the cashiers. The two men exited the store before his brother. ‘Cougs’ went to use the gas pump while the blonde went to the door behind the passenger’s seat and opened it. A man dressed in a black suit tumbled out.
“Jensen! What the hell?” The voice was familiar.
“Can’t fall asleep, Clay,” the newly dubbed Jensen replied as he helped the man in the suit up. “What with your concussion and all.”
John Winchester stood in front of the SUV as Jensen shined a small flash light into his eyes. Sam stared and barely had time to grab Dean as his older brother tried to walk up to the two men. Sam pulled his brother down so they could look over the hood of the Impala.
“I thought he was dead,” Dean whispered.
“Shifter?” Sam asked.
“They don’t travel in packs,” the older Winchester pointed out.
Sam and Dean slipped back into the Impala as Jensen helped ‘Clay’ back into the backseat of the SUV. The shorter man finished fueling and then got into the driver’s side. He watched as the blonde turned to scan the area and locked eyes with Sam. The younger Winchester felt like he was being memorized or catalogued.
“Are we going to follow them?” Sam asked as Jensen got into the SUV.
“Of course we’re going to follow them, Sammy,” Dean snapped. “People just don’t reappear.”
He rolled his eyes at his older brother as they followed the SUV. After a few miles the car in front of them turned onto a dirt road. Dean drove the Impala past the road’s entrance and parked it behind some trees. Sam got out of the Impala.
“What’s the plan, Dean?” was his question as his older brother handed him a shot gun.
“We go in and get answers. Now put on your best bitch face, Sammy,” was the reply.
Cougar loaded the tranq gun while Jensen prattled on. The two men hid behind a neglected pile of railroad ties. He had spotted the Impala as it followed them back to the abandoned barn that the Losers had set up shop in. Aisha and Pooch had gone ahead to secure it while Clay, Jensen, and Cougar had gone on a supply run. They had supplied up but Clay ended up with a concussion when he flirted with the store manager’s daughter.
It had taken a lot of money and Jensen talking quickly to get them out of there with their purchases.
He cocked his head as he heard a stick snap.
Jensen motioned with his hand for Cougar to wait. The sniper nodded as he held his gun in the ready position. The blonde walked out from behind the ties and held the gun up. He covered the tech .
“Come on out!” Jensen ordered as he walked into Cougar’s line of sight.
“Drop your weapon!” Another voice retorted.
The sniper saw a man that came to Jensen’s height with brown hair and green eyes come into view. He was dressed in jeans and a battered leather jacket. The Spaniard’s lip raised in a snarl when he saw that the man had a shot gun pointed at the blonde and he could see a taller man with shaggy hair in the woods behind the green eyed man.
“No,” Jensen answered. “You drop your weapon.”
The taller man lifted his gun when Jensen aimed his at the green eyed man.
Then everything went sideways. Jensen fell as a splatter of blood came into Cougar’s sight. Part of the sniper shut off as he heard Jensen swear. He came around the side of the pile and shot. Both darts hit their mark and the two men went down.
“Fuck! Fuck! It stings! What the fuck did they shoot me with?!” Jensen snarled as he writhed on the ground. Cougar stuck the tip of his finger in one of the bigger wounds. “Cougs! What the fuck!?”
He licked his finger tip. Salt.
“Rock salt,” Cougar answered. “Weird.”
The sniper dragged the two unconscious men into the barn and tied them to one of the support poles before he carried Jensen in. The blonde joked about how Cougar was his ‘knight in shining armor.’ It had taken awhile to convince Jensen that he could lift him. Cougar may have been short but he was strong.
He sent Pooch to get the Impala while Aisha headed into town to get shovels, in case they were needed. The sniper retrieved his med bag while he grabbed a lollipop from Jensen’s bag. He stuck the candy in his mouth and was delighted to find it was blue raspberry.
“Fucking stings,” Jensen hissed as Cougar peeled off the tech’s shirt. The sniper took the lollipop out of his mouth and popped it into Jensen’s mouth. “Mmm raspberry and Cougar flavored.”
He cleaned out the wounds.
Dean Winchester came around tied to something wooden. He felt drowsy but he lifted his head to look around. The Impala was a few feet away from him. The two men were on the other side of the car. The tall blonde sat on a wooden workbench while the short Spanish man stood between his legs. Dean looked closer and saw that the blonde man’s chest was being wrapped in gauze.
“Cougs! Gentle!” The blonde whined.
“If you whine, I will take your candy,” Cougs threatened. The blonde pouted. “Do not pout, amor. I would not take your lollipop, Jake.”
“Looks like one of them is awake,” Jake said.
“Why don’t you untie me, Jake? We’ll talk this out,” Dean asked.
“It’s Jensen,” the blonde stated as he slid off the work bench. “And this is Cougar.”
The short man walked over and crouched down. Dean’s green eyes met mocha ones as the shorter man crouched down. Cougar’s face looked familiar and he combed his brain for the information.
“What were you doing following us?” Cougar asked as he cocked his head to one side.
“Our car broke down a few miles back and we were just looking for a phone,” Dean lied.
“If you’re going to lie, at least make it plausible,” Cougar sighed and took a knife out of his boot. “Let’s try this again. Why were you following us?”
“Going Roque on him?” A new voice asked from the far side of the barn.
It was a woman, one of the hottest Dean had ever seen. She slunk towards them and as she got closer, he saw that she had an eyebrow ring. And the flowing red shirt and jeans accentuated her figure perfectly.
“Not as effective as cutting off the ears but it’ll do,” Jensen answered as he leaned against the work bench and as Cougar pressed the blade against Dean’s cheek.
“How about you let her interrogate me? “Dean retorted. “Or how about your boyfriend? He’s cute enough.”
That was the wrong thing to say. The knife blade pressed in.
“Clay’s orders are to wait till morning. When he’s doing better,” Aisha ordered. “You can torture him tomorrow.”
The pressure let up as the knife was removed.
“Sounds like a date,” Dean said. “Will you be the one to do it, sweetheart?”
“Dean, shut up,” Sam’s voice came from behind him.
“You should listen to him, Dean. And a word of advice, don’t joke about what’s Cougar’s,” Aisha told him. “Next time he may not retract his claws.”
An hour later a man named Pooch had joined them and had the Impala’s hood up. Cougar opened the trunk. He and Jensen sifted through the contents. When Cougar picked up an amulet, Dean knew who he reminded him of. Marco Alvarez, a hunter from the South West.
“Hey, do you have a brother named Marco?” Dean asked.
“Dean! Marco died on one of our hunts,” Sam hissed. “Don’t remind him.”
“Si. The local bruja brought him home,” Cougar answered as he closed the trunk. “These things were in Marco’s trunk as well.”
“Interesting,” Jensen said as he kneeled down with a web cam.
Jensen entered the two pictures into his search before he turned back to Cougar. The sniper sat on the work bench as he cleaned his rifle. He had gone back to New Mexico with Cougar when Marco’s body had been brought back. There was a hard copy in a bank box in New Hampshire of the police report and the autopsy. He had an electronic copy on his hard drive.
“You ok, Carlos?” Jensen asked as he went to stand between the sniper’s legs.
“Bien,” was the reply.
He took the rifle part from the sniper and placed it on the bench next to him. He cradled Cougar’s face in his hands. They had started dating shortly before the Bolivia Incident. They had been in the Honeymoon Phase which had gone directly into Walking on Ice Phase. He brushed his thumbs over Cougar’s cheeks as the sniper’s eyes slid shut.
In Bolivia they had clung to each other and lived in a state of tomorrow may never come where the littlest thing could send them through the ice. When they got state side his goal had been to strengthen their relationship.
It was a mine field.
“Carlos, talk to me,” Jensen whispered as he kissed his boyfriend’s forehead. “Please.”
Mocha eyes studied him. Cougar had been resistant to Jensen’s attempts at communication.
“About?” Cougar asked.
“What you’re thinking! Or feeling! Something! Dammit!” Jensen shouted as he walked away. “I tell you everything, Carlos! Even if it’s stupid! You know everything about me! Everything!”
The laptop beeped and he grabbed it before he disappeared into the hay loft.
Sam watched the sniper. Cougar had reassembled his rifle and then came to sit on a hay bale within Sam’s line of vision. The younger Winchester observed the older man.
“We followed you because the man you call Clay looks like our father,” Sam told him. Cougar looked at him. “His name is John Winchester and he’s been dead for two years.”
Then everything moved quickly. Cougar untied him and tossed him to the side as Dean was tied more securely. His older brother had been drugged again. Even though Cougar was smaller than he was, the sniper had no problem muscling him out of the barn. Sam was shoved against the side of the barn as the sniper started a fire.
“John Winchester? We know him as Colonel Franklin Clay, amigo. He has never been married or had a familia,” Cougar said. “You knew Marco?”
“He saved me,” Sam answered truthfully. “The demon came at me and he stepped in the way. He had a sacred heart tattooed on the left side of his chest. His said his brother had a matching one and that his brother’s name was Carlos.”
“The mouthy idiota is sus hermano?” Cougar asked.
“Yeah. Dean tends to shoot off his mouth,” Sam admitted as Cougar untied him. “Sorry about sneaking up, our father trained us since we were young.”
Sam told Cougar about their childhood and his father’s death. The sniper nodded in the appropriate places and never raised an eyebrow whenever Sam told him about the supernatural things he and Dean hunted.
“Why aren’t you looking at me like I’m crazy?” Sam asked.
Cougar raised an eyebrow.
“I can see where Jensen gets frustrated,” Sam observed and was glared at. “Tell me about you. How did you end up in this quaint part of the nation?”
Then Cougar spoke. The younger Winchester listened as he spoke in a quiet accented voice. He heard about Bolivia, Clay as the Losers called him, and most of all Jake Jensen. The sniper’s voice softened when he mentioned the blonde. Carlos Alvarez came to life as he described how Jensen combed the Bolivian city they were in for a sniper friendly apartment or how Jensen watched cartoons in any language.
“You love him,” Sam stated. “As much as he loves you.”
Clay walked slowly into the main area of the barn. The concussion made his head ache still but he was caught up on what had been happening while Pooch and Aisha kept an eye on him. The one boy, Dean, was still tied to the support beam, while the other, Sam, sat with Cougar in the corner of the barn that had been designated for eating. The sniper and the taller boy sat at the table.
“What have we got here?” Clay asked aloud as he attempted to straighten his tie.
“Dean and Samuel Winchester, the only sons of Mary and John Winchester,” Jensen announced as he made his way down the wooden ladder. “Both have multiple aliases with credit cards attached.”
The tech walked over to the table where Cougar was. As he set the laptop down and attached it to a modified projector, Clay noted that the hacker was pointedly ignoring the sniper. Unusual. Pooch handed him a large cup of coffee as he stood next to Dean Winchester.
“As you can see I spent the better part of the night tracing the transactions on the multiple accounts as well as the items bought,” Jensen explained. “But even more curious than his progeny is John Winchester himself.”
Clay spat out his coffee as his own face stared back at him.
“Eerie,” Pooch whistled.
“That’s one word for it,” Dean piped up. “I call it unfucking natural.”
“Tied to the pole guy doesn’t get to talk,” Jensen spat.
“And if I keep talking you gonna sic your Latin Boytoy on me?” Dean challenged.
“Dean! Shut up!” Sam yelled. “Play nice and you might be untied.”
“Enough!” Clay shouted. “Jensen, who the fuck is that?”
“John Winchester, deceased about two years. No record of where the body is buried although I do have an electronic copy of the death certificate,” the hacker answered. “September 28, 2008. Around that time, Colonel, we were in the Southern Hemisphere doing things we aren’t allowed to talk about. Although you were under the weather for most of the mission.”
“Dig, Jensen. Pooch, untie the malcontent,” Clay ordered. “Cougar, fix it.”
He walked closer to the picture displayed on the barn’s wall. Eyes like his own stared back. Corporal John Winchester served in the Vietnam War. Clay had spent his time in South America around that time. Both of them had been in the army even though he had achieved a higher rank. Aisha moved behind him.
“I got a call from one of my contacts in Texas,” She told him. “Time is an issue.”
“Go on. I’ll sort this out,” Clay replied.
He heard her leave. When they were in sync they burned like fire but when one of them was off, it smoldered. Clay knew he and the others were a boys club. Even surrounded by the remainder of his squad, he knew the dynamics. He and Roque were the leaders, on the level. Pooch, Cougar, and Jensen were subordinates. Since Roque’s betrayal he was off.
He felt Dean Winchester before the younger man spoke.
“What is it?” Clay asked.
“Nothing,” Dean replied. “Just weird, dangerous things happen around me and Sammy.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Clay replied.
“I just want him to talk to me.”
Pooch shook his head at the hacker. The driver was elbow deep in the engine block of the Impala. He and Dean had gotten to the repairs as a way to pass the time. Jensen had joined them with laptop in hand. Blonde had sat himself down on a saw horse.
“Why are you talking to me?” Pooch asked as he reached for a wrench. “Call Jolene.”
“You’re the girl in your relationship. And Jolene scares me,” Jensen admitted as he typed. “She is one scary lady.”
“Don’t force it,” Dean piped up. “Sammy tries to have chick flick moments with me and I usually ignore it but every once in a while I talk.”
Pooch stared at the Winchester man. There was an unsteady cease fire between them. Cougar helped Sam put rock salt on the windows and doorways. Sam chattered at the sniper which raised the hacker’s ire. Clay stood and stared at the projected image of John Winchester on the barn’s wall.
“You have redeemed yourself, Dean-o,” Jensen said. “Holy shit.”
“What?” Pooch asked.
“Clay and John Winchester are twins,” Jensen explained. “Separated at birth and adopted off to different families. But their lives paralleled. It’s really odd. Both joined the military at the same age and even trained at the same time at Bragg.”
“I’m an uncle?” Clay’s voice made all three of them jump.
“Twice over,” Jensen confirmed. “Colonel Franklin Clay, meet Sam and Dean Winchester, your nephews, and surviving family.”
“That’s incorrect, Corporal,” Clay said. “They’re additions to the family I already have.”
Pooch pinched himself to make sure he was awake. Clay looked and acted very un-Clay-like. Instead of the hard ass expression that the Colonel usually wore, there was an expression of absolute wonder. Sam and Dean gawked as Pooch gawked back. Jensen slid off of the saw horse and tucked his laptop under his arm.
“Tell me what’s really going on with you two?” Clay asked. “Cougar tells me the contents of your trunk are interesting.”
Pooch listened as the Winchester siblings spoke of things out of horror movies. He watched as Dean demonstrated a small protection spell that placed a glowing ring around the Impala.
Jensen lay in the hay loft as he processed everything. His laptop ran traces on The Colt on a crate to his left. The Winchester siblings were asleep in their Impala while Clay and Pooch talked in hushed voices at the table. Cougar had slunk off to check the perimeter.
The blonde rolled onto his side and closed his eyes as he heard someone climb up the ladder. He listened as Cougar took his boots off and set his rifle near the ladder. Jensen had put his sleeping bag under him spread off since he sprawled while he slept. To make up for the warmth lost, he had worn a hoodie to bed. The hay provided an oddly comfortable sleeping surface.
He flinched when Cougar laid his sleeping bag over him. The sniper slipped under it and the hacker felt an arm wind around his waist. He felt Cougar’s breath on his neck before the sniper kissed the skin lightly. A rifle callused hand slipped under his hoodie and shirt to trace the planes of the hacker’s stomach and chest.
“I am not good with words, Jake,” Cougar whispered into his ear. “But I have an idea.”
“I’m listening,” Jensen whispered as he allowed himself to be pulled closer by Cougar.
“You get cinco preguntas al dia,” The sniper said. “Bien?”
“Muy bien, Carlos,” the hacker agreed as he rolled over to bump his nose against Cougar’s. “Gracias.”
Clay slid the barn door open as Dean drove the Impala out. The older Winchester sibling got out of the vehicle and went to where the Colonel stood. The two men studied each other. Clay looked and found parts of his own face in Dean’s. Dean stared at the man who looked like his father but wasn’t.
“A year to live,” Clay said to break the silence. “A man can do many good things in that time.”
“Yeah,” Dean looked uncomfortable. “Listen, Clay, if I can’t get out of this deal, could you keep an eye on Sam?”
“Sure,” Clay agreed. “You call us if you need us.”
“What about the puta loca?”Dean asked and when Clay’s eyes got wide, “What?”
“You learned that from Cougar didn’t you?” The Colonel asked and Dean nodded. “It means ‘Crazy Bitch’ and don’t worry about Aisha.”
“But she’s your bank roll,” Dean scuffed the ground.
“Jensen can find me money in a pinch,” was the reply. He took out a credit card. “For your expenses.”
“And so you can track us,” the younger man retorted as he slipped the piece of plastic in his wallet.
“Got to keep an eye on family. Plus even if you did not use it, Jensen could find you,” Clay replied. “I will try to find a loop hole for you.”
“Don’t worry about it. You have your burdens, I have mine,” Dean said as he watched Sam toss a bag in the backseat. “Maybe we’ll meet again before the year is out.”
Clay shook hands with his nephew before he walked back into the barn.
One Year Later….
Sam stared at Dean’s body. Everything was moving so slowly. Lilith had fled and the hell hounds were gone. Someone hauled him to his feet and whispered in his ear with an accented voice. Clay and Jensen stood over Dean’s body. The blonde reached out to touch Dean and closed the Winchester’s eyes.
“Come on, son,” Clay said to Sam as he grabbed the taller Winchester’s arm. “Jensen and Cougar will bring Dean.”
He allowed for himself to be led out of the house. Pooch stood on top of the van with a shot gun at the ready position. Sam noticed that both Clay and Pooch were in dark gear. He was led to the back of the van and made to sit on the bumper. Clay kneeled with a small flash light and checked his eyes.
“C-can we bury him?” Sam asked.
“Of course,” was the answer as Cougar and Jensen came out of the house with a white bundle.
The white bundle was placed in the van as Sam climbed into the van to sit next to it. Pooch got into the driver’s seat while Clay climbed in and closed the back doors. The younger Winchester heard a loud sound and saw the glow of orange out the back window.
He stood next to the graveside as Cougar stripped to the waist dug into the Earth. Jensen hammered a rough wooden cross at where the head of the grave would be. Pooch stood next to Bobby and the van. Clay opened the van and Bobby went to stare at what was inside it.
Sam flinched as they pulled out the casket and set it on the ground. The old hunter and the former Black Ops soldier started to paint things on the casket. He kept silent as he helped lower it into the ground and as Cougar started to shovel the dirt back on.
“You call us if you need us,” Clay told him when all was said and done. “Sam, I mean it.”
“Yeah, Uncle Clay,” Sam confirmed. “I’ll call.”
The look in Clay’s eyes told Sam that the man who shared his father’s face knew the younger Winchester was lying.
Sam wouldn’t call.
Two Years Later…
Castiel followed the Winchester Brothers up the walkway to a quaint house in New Hampshire. It was a petunia lined walkway. Dean took point while Sam got the rear. The Angel of the Lord watched as the older Winchester knocked on the door. A petit blonde woman answered the door.
“Dean! Sam!” She exclaimed before she launched herself at Dean.
“Hi, Jodie,” Sam and Dean replied in unison.
“This is Cas,” Dean indicated after he was let out of the woman’s embrace. He grabbed Castiel by the arm and pulled him forward. “He’s an angel. Literally.”
“Hello,” Castiel greeted as he looked at Jodie.
“I see. Well, everyone is in the back yard,” Jodie said as she stepped into the house and held the door open. “Come in, boys. Get changed and then head into the back yard. Pooch is grilling burgers.”
“Changed?” The angel repeated.
“Yeah, changed. Jodie has a pool,” Sam piped up. “Where’s Heather?”
“With her Uncles of course. They’re probably teaching her how to skin and eat a three toed sloth,” Jodie laughed. “I’ll be in the kitchen. And, Dean? Thank Clay, he made Cougar get your favorite microbrew.”
A few minutes later the angel found his way to the backyard. He had been stripped of his trench coat and it had been replaced with board shorts that had loud Hawaiian flowers on it. Sam exited the house and a small blonde girl practically bounced into the taller Winchester’s arms.
“Cousin Sam!” She squealed as Sam spun around.
“Cousin Heather!” Sam retorted before he put her down.
He was led pool side by Dean. A blonde man with features similar to Jodie and Heather sat on a lounge chair with a laptop while a short, Spanish man with a leather cowboy hat sat on a chair next to him with a book. Both men looked up at their approach.
“Cas, this is Jake Jensen and his boyfriend, Carlos ‘Cougar’ Alvarez,” Dean introduced. “Guys, this is Castiel or Cas. An authentic Angel of the Lord.”
“You bring around the best kind of people,” Jake said as he put the laptop down.
“Taking your sweet time, Dean?” A voice asked.
Castiel’s eyes widened as he turned around to see John Winchester. Or rather someone who shared his face. The man was more scarred and tattooed than John Winchester and had his right arm in a cast and sling. He wore jeans and a tank top.
“This is Franklin Clay,” Dean informed the angel. “Uncle Clay, this is Castiel.”
“Pleasure to meet you,” Clay replied. “You missed it, Jolene dressed Pooch down for getting shot.”
“Tell me Jensen taped it,” Dean laughed.
“In HD,” the blonde confirmed.
The angel was confused.
Dean helped Jensen drag more chairs around the picnic table. Castiel had sat next to Cougar and was currently embroiled in a rapid conversation in Spanish. Clay sat off to the side with a beer.
“What happened?” Dean asked. “You seem short one puta loca.”
“We got Max but she turned traitor. Almost killed Clay,” Jensen explained. “So dragged out of Hell, how’d that go?”
“Did Cas tell you?” Dean said. He suppressed the night mare like fear that swelled up from the place he had hidden it so well.
“Nope. You reappear with an angel. Two plus two is fish, my friend,” the hacker retorted. “Looks like Cougs is getting along fine with your boyfriend.”
“He’s not my boyfriend,” Dean protested.
Why did everyone think that?