Mary and John were expecting their first child during the fall and winter of 1978. They were hopeful that their baby would be strong and healthy, putting all the care and love into the child’s nursery. Mary had placed everything just so, and had bought a little ceramic angel to watch over their little one’s crib. But it seemed that all the care, perpetration and prayers of the Winchester family was all for naught, for in the middle of the night in the cold of January, Mary was awoken to a feeling of wrongness. She cradled her belly and pondered the feeling before she reached over to the other side of the bed and woke her husband.
“John,” she said, as she shook his arm urgently. John snorted awake and moaned. He groaned groggily and sighed; fighting off the blanket of sleep that tugged on his eyes.
“What is it, Mare,” he asked and rolled onto his back. He blinked away the sleep from his eyes and squinted at the small alarm clock settled on the nightstand. John groaned with frustration when he saw the clock’s bright green numbers declaring it to be only 4 in the morning. John looked at Mary with tired eyes as he slumped back onto his pillow. “It’s 4 in the morning, Mare. I got work in two hours.” Mary gasped and hunched over her belly before she spoke again.
“John, I think something’s wrong,” she said, her voice breathy and panicked. John must have picked up on the tone in her voice, because in an instant his eyes snapped open and he sat bolt upright; wide awake.
“What is it, Mary? What’s wrong,” he asked, his own voice laced with his own fear. Mary gasped again and her arm shot out to grab John’s arm in a vice-like grip in pain. Mary doubled over and hissed her face screwed up with pain. She let out a whimper as her belly tightened, and released, gasping in the aftershocks. Only then did she release John’s arm, and only then did the ex-Marine leap into action. John leapt out of bed and pulled on a pair of pants before he grabbed the packed bags, packed for just this emergency. He threw the straps of the bags over his shoulder before he picked up Mary, and carried her out to the car like a bride. The big black muscle car’s doors creaked when John opened them, and sat Mary down in the passenger seat. John carefully turned her so she could buckle up before he slammed the door shut. He quickly threw the bags in the back seat and ran to the driver’s side door. He opened it and piled in. John fumbled with the keys for a moment before he put them in and turned the ignition to start the ’67 Impala. John threw the car into reverse as the car roared to life, and tore out of the driveway. He flung it back into drive and speed towards the hospital with his foot to the floor.
He ignored stop signs and lights; flying through intersections like a black streak, all the while spurred on by Mary’s increasingly panicked exclamations that something was very wrong. They were nearly there when Mary let out a hair-raising scream. John looked over at his wife and saw her doubled over in the seat, with a growing patch of red on her nightgown at the base of her belly. John went white and stomped the accelerator to the floor, revving the engine up to redline and pushing the old car to the limit.
When they finally arrived at the hospital, John was in all out panic. He shouted for a doctor as he carried Marry in his arms, bridal style. Mary’s nightgown now had a significantly large blood red stain between her legs, and when John handed her off to the doctors and ER Nurses, she was crying and clutching her belly in pain. When John moved to follow them into the emergency treatment center, a doctor halted him with a hand in the middle of his chest.
“What are you doing,” he demanded the doctor, “I need to be with Mary!” the doctor shook his head and firmly pushed John out of the doorway and back towards the waiting area.
“Sir, I need you to wait out here,” the doctor said, “I know you want to be with your wife, but right now you’ll just be in the way.” The doctor motioned a nurse to come over and turned back to John. “Why don’t you take a seat in the waiting room, while we do our jobs? The nurse here will show you the way.” And with that, the doctor disappeared behind the double doors. The friendly ER nurse that appeared at John’s arms carefully pulled him towards a hallway and into a private waiting room with more comfortable chairs. She left him with a gentle smile and went back to her duties.
John couldn’t stay still as he waited. He sat down for a moment only to stand back up and run a distressed hand over his mouth. He put his hands on his hips and tried to calm down before he began to pace. He was like a caged animal as he paced back and forth across the room. After a while of fruitless fretting he sat down, and dropped his head into his hands. He wiped his face and put his head between his knees, his hands laced across the back of his head, as he tried to control his rapidly beating heart. It was a little over half an hour later, closer to an hour, when the doctor returned. John leapt to his feet and looked the doctor over. The man was calm and collected, and had an air of quiet sympathy as he motioned for John to sit back down. The doctor took a seat next to him, and one look at the sad expression on the doctor’s face was all it took for John’s heart to plummet to the floor. John sat down with a heavy heart and waited for the bad news.
“Mr. Winchester,” the doctor began with a quiet sadness, “your wife… she… she suffered a late miscarriage. I’m sorry.” John’s heart fell to the floor and shattered. Tears welled up in his blue eyes, and John doubled over to bury his face in his hands. Shudders shook the Marine’s shoulders and soon the doctor was holding a sobbing young man that had just lost his only child. The doctor rubbed John’s shoulders as he cried but waited patiently to continue.
“How,” John finally asked, “why? Everything was fine. Why?” the doctor saw the fragile youth in the man and dreaded to break his heart further.
“There was mass,” he said. “And we found some scarring. Has your wife ever been in an accident, or had a failed pregnancy before?” John shook his head and sobbed openly. The doctor let him cry into his shoulder for a moment before he continued. “I’ve already told your wife this, but there is more. I think you should be with her for the rest of this.” John nodded as the doctor helped him onto his shaky feet. The doctor kindly led him through the hallways up and elevator and towards Mary’s room.
When John finally saw her, lying in the bed, curled up on her side and sobbing, he rushed to her side and pulled her into his arms. The doctor let them comfort each other before he gave them the bad news. John held Mary tightly in his arms and the two of them comforted each other in their grief. The doctor stood before the bed, his hands held limply at his side, and regretted what he had to say to them to make the situation worse. He hated this part of the job and nothing hurt more than telling a young healthy couple like this the news he had to bear.
“Mary, John,” he said after a moment, “the scarring we found…” the doctor’s shoulders sagged, “I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but… it is unlikely… that Mary will ever carry to term. I am so sorry, Ma’am,” he said gently at the crushing look of despair in Mary’s eyes. “I wish I didn’t have to tell you this. There are options, though.” John and Mary looked at him with hope and mingled sorrow on their faces. “There is always adoption. There are many beautiful babies out there that are unwanted and need a loving home. There are some restrictions and regulations, but I am sure that you both would pass the examinations and tests. You’re both employed and have a good home, and support systems. The nurse can refer you to a local adoption agency, if that is what you want to consider. I just want you to keep your mind open to the possibility and consider it.”
The man gave the pair a wan smile before he nodded, gave Mary an awkward but comforting pat on the shoulder and left. When he was gone, John looked over at Mary and saw the look of longing on her fair face, her hand pressing on her now flat belly and empty womb.
“Mare,” John asked with as much tender courage as he could muster, “do you want to adopt?” Mary didn’t answer for a long while and when she did it was distant and sad.
“He was perfect, John,” she said and finally looked at her husband. Tears were rolling down her cheeks sorrow and love on her face. “They let me hold him. He was so tiny… and perfect. He had your hair and… oh John! He was our little boy,” she sobbed, grief and pain pulling her face into a marred smile, “our little David!” Mary broke down and started sobbing and John held onto her, holding her to his chest, tears of his own running down his face and into her hair. The two sat there for a long while, crying as they both mourned their unborn son.
Over the next few weeks, John and Mary struggled with their grief. The two held onto each other like a lifeline, as they buried their only child, and held each other up as they went through the headache of getting qualified to adopt. But as soon as they got clearance, Mary and John went looking for their son. Every child that they saw didn’t fit right, didn’t seem like their boy; though each and every one of them were precious in their own way. Then on the evening of the 24th of January the adoption agency called them. A newborn baby boy was left at the very hospital where Mary and John had lost their child. The doctors called CPS and they called the agency and the Agency called them, after it was determined that the child was indeed abandoned. The moment that the CPS officer laid the baby boy in his wife’s arms, John knew Mary was in love. The moment she laid eyes on him, the sorrow and despair that hung over Mary like a black cloud lifted and the baby in her arms cooed and reached up to her face. He was perfect, and they both knew it. Mary looked at John and he knew without a doubt that this baby was the one. Mary’s milk hadn’t dried up, almost as if she knew that there was still a child to nurse.
“Does he have a name,” Mary asked, looking up that the doctor and CPS officer with joy and love. The pair shook their heads, and Mary looked over at her husband.
“There was no name,” the officer said, and then pulled out a wax sealed letter from her purse, “just this. We haven’t opened it yet, but I think it’s meant for his new parents.” John took the letter and observed the beautiful and strange script on the front before he put it in his pocket.
“John, what do you think?” John leaned over Mary’s shoulder to get a closer look and his heart melted; completely smitten with the little boy in her arms. He was perfect, with sandy blond hair and bright blue eyes that showed the promise of turning green as he got older. John’s eyes watered. He could have been their son.
“What do you think of Dean, Mare?” John asked, “for your mom.” Mary’s eyes grew sad but her smile never wavered as she nodded. In that moment John knew, blood or not, this child was theirs; this little boy was their son. Even if John and Mary had no children of their own they would have this little angel, their Dean.
“We’ll take him,” Mary said and the CPS agent smiled.
“Good,” she said, “we’ll just need you to sign some papers, and a judge to officiate it, but you can take him home today if you like.” Mary beamed and nodded. John pulled Mary to sit down as he picked up the clipboard and stack of papers, and began to sign as needed.
Soon enough on the 30th of January John and Mary Winchester officially adopted baby boy, now named Dean Michael Winchester, and became his legal parents. The couple couldn’t have been happier, and doted on Dean with all the love and care they could give. John was there for Dean for his first steps, his first shots, and Mary and John waved their little boy goodbye for his first day of Daycare. The couple loved him but always felt a part of their lives was missing.
Then 4 years later, on May 2nd, Mary and John were blessed with a son of their own flesh and blood. It was a shock to the couple who had stopped trying after Dean came into their lives, but they took each day one step at a time. So to their absolute joy, Samuel Winchester was born into their lives. Dean loved his new baby brother, to the relief of John and Mary, and never once felt that he was ignored for their new child. Everything seemed perfect. Then, on the night of November 2nd, Mary walked into the nursery and was killed by the Yellow eyed Demon, called Azazel, and burned above the cradle of her six month old son; burning their house and Mary with it. And the rest you know.
This, my friends, is where I come in, for quite by chance, and the will of an Elda, I found myself thrust back into this tale; if only in a small capacity, for I was the one that brought Imrathon to his new family, from the care of Finrod’s arms. I am Avery Istilel Elfstar, whom the Eldar have called Silmaril; for my spirit was forged by the light of the Silmarilli and by Fëanor, the Spirit of Fire. I am a guardian, a protector, of those that have come into my care; and I am a keeper of fate. Though my part to play in this tale is little, the impact of my actions has rippled across the cosmos and time, and changed the fate of those that would have elsewise died.
Let me tell you about when Finrod was reborn in Valinor.
When the golden Noldo came to Mandos, the first thing he asked Námo, the Doomsman of the Valar, was about the fate of his second born; the child that had died at birth. He asked if he had entered the halls, and Námo smiled. The Doomsman stood and turned Finrod around to gaze at the form of his wife, Vairë the weaver. In the Vala’s arms lay the form of a tiny newborn babe, the very baby that Finrod had lost all those years ago. Now, normally when a child of pure innocence, like a baby, comes into the Halls, they would be reborn immediately, but because the child was Half-elven, and had the choice yet before him, and was Finrod’s son, Námo delayed this until Finrod came; so that he could raise him when he came to his Halls. It was never a matter of if Finrod would come to his Halls; it was a matter of when.
The child Vairë handed Finrod was Imrathon’s twin brother. Finrod loved his son greatly, but because I had told him that his eldest son now bore a different name, Finrod named him Imrathon as his mother name, and gifted him the father name Brego, in honor of Barahir’s father, Bregor. Finrod loved his son greatly, but he still longed for the sight of his eldest’s face, and longed to hold him in his arms; to sooth the ache there that time had not healed. Brego likewise desired to meet his brother, his twin, and longed to have the relationship that many twins of Elven birth had born. But Brego was Half-elven, and as such, he grew up knowing that one day, he would have to make the Choice of the Half-elven. Finrod dreaded the thought that his son would hear the call and choose as Elros did, and become counted amongst Men. But I knew that, although Brego treasured and was fascinated by his mortal half, he was at heart one of the Eldar. It was his firstborn, Dean that I worried for; his fate was ever shifting, ever changing’ as one of the Firstborn or the Secondborn of Illuvatar.
Dean was loyal to family and would do anything for his family. This above all else made him so much alike to the mighty Kings of Old. He was wise and kind, though he buried it beneath a bad boy veneer. His bearing commanded respect from others, and his selflessness only added to the quality of his heart. His gaze was fixed upon righteousness, even though he brushed off such ideas about himself, and would do anything to help others. His body bore the scars of a thousand battles, fought in the name of protecting the innocent, and his will was hardened by the fire of War, into a weapon of the light. I told Finrod this, and it only increased his desire to see his son.
In truth, I feared for him, for Dean. His loyalty to family also included his brother Sam; of whom I also cannot determine fate. But it is of no matter; I have seen many visions of their ultimate fate. I have seen many versions of their lives, and I know that they are always similar. So in this, I know; their end will be good and just.
Finrod for many years begged for my favor, for my aid so that he might see his son. So that he might know him, and know and see with his own two eyes that his son was safe and well, but I was reluctant to show him. I didn’t want him to see the ugly world of demons and monsters that Dean was raised in, the world he fought and died for, without a word of thanks. But Finrod and his kin are nothing if not stubborn, and persistent. I myself am testimony to that, and Finrod over time, wore me down until in the end, I agreed to bring him and Brego to Dean’s world, his Earth, just to make the nagging stop. But I forewarned him that in this world, he and his son would have to fight the creatures of darkness, and that they must do so from the shadows of society. They would have to seem as normal as possible in order for them to fly under the radar, so to speak, of the Hunters.
The year was 2009 Anno Domini (in the year of our Lord), and I have to tell you that to Finrod and Brego, coming from the land of Aman in Arda of the Second Age to the modern world of Terra Firma was quite the culture shock. Finrod did not know what to think of this world of electricity and industry. It felt like something his Uncle Fëanor would have loved, but after a time he settled down in the home I had arranged for them to live in quite nicely. He acclimated to the language very quickly, considering that he had little knowledge of Westernesse, and to the society; about as well as he did when he first encountered man. That is to say he stumbled a bit because of his lack of pop culture references, but eventually he hit the ground running.
Brego was fascinated by the technology and advancements in medicine, as well as so many other things. Brego found that he had a love of theater and cinema, and also discovered the martial Arts, and took a shine to the fighting style of the US Marines, almost like a duck to water. I provided them with identification and for Brego a Birth certificate like his brothers, things I had been doing for others on this world who had become trapped here, and he took advantage of his new citizenship by going out and meeting soldiers and learning. He learned fighting techniques and styles from them as well as important survival training, much like that he learned in Valinor. Brego idolized his twin brother, seeing him as a great hero, like those in the First Age, and he wanted to be able to help him fight the good fight; slay monsters, and save people from the evil of the world that lurked in the dark.
Finrod was not so happy at first to learn what his son was up to and was planning to do, but he would rather be at his son’s side than be angry at him needlessly. So he began to teach Brego the fighting style of his kin, the Eldar, and Brego excelled. He loved the graceful movement of the technique and the lethal dance it wove. His movements became smooth and graceful, and his gate became careful and silent, as all of his elven kin had. Finrod was proud of his son, and as a special graduation present, he gave Brego a knife that was blessed by Manwë himself to kill any and all evil. Brego beheld the knife with awe, before he carefully accepted it from his father’s hands.
“It’s perfect, Atar,” Brego said as he beheld the blade, his smile as bright and wide as the rising sun. “I love it. I shall treasure it always.” Finrod smiled and gave Brego the dagger, kissing his son’s forehead as he did.
“May the Grace of the Valar protect you, Yonya,” (my son) Finrod whispered into Brego’s crown, and pulled away. He had the same proud smile on his face that he had when he saw Barahir again, when he had saved Finrod’s life. “We will start small, Brego. Do you understand?” Brego nodded solemnly and Finrod smiled thinly, “I won’t lose you!” Brego understood perfectly, and pulled his father into a bruising embrace.
Finrod started them out slowly; Simple hunts, to get them started: salt and burns and the occasional monster. Finrod was particularly gifted with a blade, and very quickly Vampires learned to fear the arrival of said golden head of hair in town. Werewolves likewise cowed in fear, for they sensed that he had the skill and might to slay one with his bare hands. Soon enough Finrod decided that he would keep to the research in their hotel rooms while Brego used his charm and natural open natured smile to help get information from interviewing the victims’ families. Once they found out what was the cause, Finrod would only then emerge from his room to hunt down the monster. Ghosts sensed his presence and showed themselves to him. And he kept them distracted with Songs of Power while Brego cut their tethers and sent them on.
Brego was as much a natural to Hunting as Dean was, and Finrod’s natural kindness and gentle nature helped with the occasional family members, smoothing over ruffled feathers so to speak, with the more hard headed hunters they came across. They could not avoid Hunters that knew the Winchesters. Sam and Dean were legends by this time and their father even more so, so when they did eventually, they immediately saw the resemblance of Brego to Dean. They didn’t dare try to kill the boy, in case he really wasn’t a monster, and especially because Finrod may have looked fair and delicate, but beneath that gentle face was a mind like a razor and a will of pure Mithril. The Hunters knew a predator when they saw one, and the way Finrod moved, swift on silent feet, graceful and agile, he was a top predator they did not want to mess with. So they did the only thing they dared to: they contacted Sam and Dean, to let them deal with it. Finrod dreaded and yearned to meet his son, but from what I had told him, Dean did not know he was adopted, nor did he know that he had a twin brother.
When Dean and Sam got the word that there was a new pair of Hunters out there, one with a rare knife, running with a blond man they were curious. Then they heard that the one with the knife had Dean’s face. When they heard this, they were with Bobby at the time, with Castiel in attendance. To say that Dean did not take the news well would be an understatement.
“WHAT!” Dean shouted, and stomped his foot in frustration, “Son-of-a… it’s bad enough that the first one framed me for Murder, now there’s one of those fugly Shapeshifters wearing my face, and Hunting too?! God,” Dean bemoaned and threw himself onto his bed with a frustrated groan. Sam waited for Dean to finish his rant before he interjected.
“Dean,” Sam said, making the other brother pause in his grumbling and look at him, “it might not be a Shifter.” Dean threw up his hands in frustration and derision. “The guys that saw him said that he was wearing a necklace that might be silver, or if not silver then Mithril, which is just as powerful against Shifters and Werewolves, so it couldn’t be that.” Dean sat up and fixed Sam with a hard look; one born of many hours of dealing with a stubborn little brother.
“Then how in Sam-hill do I have a doppelgänger out there that looks just like me?” Dean demanded as he threw his arms up in wild gestures. Sam looked just as puzzled as Dean, but managed to keep his temper down. After the debacle with Anna and their parents in the past, Dean was getting more and more frustrated with life and the way things were going.
“Did you two idjits ever stop and consider the Twin equation?” Bobby asked gruffly. Both Dean and Sam looked at the old Hunter as if he had just sprouted another head and was singing hosannas to the end of times. Castiel on the other hand, looked thoughtful and the moment Dean saw this look on his Angel friend’s face he squawked in indignation.
“That’s not possible,” Dean shouted, in frustration about ready to start pulling his hair out, “I don’t have a twin!” Sam on the other hand, stopped and looked thoughtful.
“It could be possible, Dean,” Sam said softly, and Dean turned to his brother and looked mortified.
“I don’t believe this,” Dean groaned and threw his hands up in the air in defeat. Castiel looked thoughtfully as he considered a different option.
“We will have to find these men,” he said, his voice grave and gravelly, “it is quite possible that this man is using a very powerful glamour spell or charm to make himself look like Dean. Either way something like that would require a great amount of Power to maintain, and power like that is something that we sorely need.” Dean sat on his bed and grumbled with displeasure at the thought of someone using his face out there, but he kept quiet; finding logic in Castiel’s idea.
Eventually the four of them, Dean grumbling the whole time, began to put together a plan to catch the pair of odd Hunters. They finally all took off for Bobby’s place to reconnoiter the best plan, and put it into action. Once there, they began making calls, asking around about the two hunters and digging up new information on the pair. During their digging they found out that though the two of them were new to Hunting, they seemed to be experts in tracking and were very efficient Hunters. The one that looked like Dean carried himself like a warrior, with calm and confident grace, whereas the other moved with the agile grace of a predator like a big cat. They worked well together, as if they knew each other’s every move before hand, and were in complete sync.
Then they got a lead that stumped them even more. A Hunter that had joined up with the pair told the Winchesters that the golden haired Hunter had an ethereal glow, and grace about him that set his instincts on edge. And the young man that did then Hunting part was an almost exact double of Dean save for a few things: his tan was more even and his freckles looked more faded. His eyes held a light within them that put him off, but the Hunter said that the young Hunter introduced himself as Brego, not Dean. He told them that he was kind as well as charming to everyone he was with. He was smart too, the Hunter admitted. The Hunter told them over the phone, that he went through books like they were going out of style, as fast as anyone he had ever met, and he was pretty good with computers too. He could hack really well, but he had this charm in him that was kind and gentle with women and children. But he was firm and commanding when he was with any stubborn men.
“Kid stood tall like a king, and had the way with words like one too,” the old Hunter told them, “He wears this wicked looking dagger on a fancy belt, and knew how to use it too. When the time called for it, that kid fought like an avenging angel.” Dean let out a derisive snort, to which Castiel sent him a scathing glare. Dean noted everything before thanking the man, and hanging up the phone.
“Well, I got something on this guy,” Dean said, as Sam enter the room from his own research.
“So did I,” Sam said, “you first.” Dean nodded and turned back to his notes.
“Well I got a name, and it’s an odd one too,” Dean told him, “get this, they guy said his name is Brego Imrathon Arafinwion. Yeah I know,” Dean chuckled when he saw Sam raise his eyebrows. “And the other guy is called Findaráto Ingoldo Arafinwion.” Sam’s brows furrowed at the same last name.
“Family,” he asked, and Dean shrugged. Sam mulled this over for a minute, wondering why that name sounded familiar. “Dean, that name,” he said as the gears in his head began to turn, “I swear I’ve heard it before somewhere. I know I have.” Dean looked back at Sam and shrugged again before turning back to his notes. Suddenly the light bulb went off in Sam’s head and his jaw dropped to the floor. Sam surged to his feet and rushed over to the bookshelf. He quickly started combing through the titles and leaves looking for a specific book. “Bobby,” he shouted.
“Yeah,” Bobby hollered back.
“Where’s that book Dad left here, the Tolkien one?” Sam yelled and began to frantically paw through the old stacks for the book. Dean gave Sam an odd look before he returned to his notes.
“It’s in the desk, ya idjit,” Bobby groused as he entered the study.
The old hunter went to the desk and pulled out an old hard cover book. He handed it to Sam with a sour look, and Sam opened it to the Appendices, as Castiel and Dean looked on in curiosity. Sam searched through the end of the book to find what he was looking for, and when he did, a letter fell out of the book. Sam bent over curiously and picked it up. It was old and slightly yellowed made of what felt like vellum or cotton rag. It was still crisp and sealed with a large wax seal that had been broken. The scrip on it was elegant and looked like Gaelic script, except Sam had seen this exact same script embroidered on Dean’s baby blanket; up in their room. Sam’s brow furrowed as he became brooding and pensive, confused as to why his Dad had never told him about this letter, and set down the book. He looked it over wondering why the seal and old paper suddenly looked familiar, and tried to remember where he had seen it before.
“Hey, Bobby, what’s this,” Same asked and the old Hunter looked up from his own research as Sam showed him the note. Bobby frowned as he looked at the note, before he looked up pointedly at the tallest Winchester. The old trucker motioned Sam to follow him into the Living room and away from Dean and Castiel’s ears. Bobby wheeled his chair into the room, closing the door gently behind him before he turned the chair to face Sam.
“That was the note they found with your brother Dean when he was a baby,” Bobby answered softly. Suddenly Sam at a flash of a very old memory of John showing him the note, and telling him that Dean wasn’t his real brother. Sam was just a little kid at the time, and had always wondered why Dean was so different. He had always asked why Dean could see so well in the dark, or why Dean’s hearing was so good. And when John told him, it made sense but that didn’t make Dean any less his real brother. Sam looked over at the wheelchair bound hunter and realized that John had told Bobby too, but not Dean.
“John went to every language expert on Gaelic linguistics, but no one could tell him what it said. Turns out your daddy was barkin’ up the wrong tree. It’s not Celtic, its old Tangwar script: Noldorean elvish. Your daddy found out right around the time that Numenorean kingdom rose out of the ashes of the Soviet Union. He got that book on Tolkien’s languages and any other book he could find about the Eldar. He was tryin’ to translate it when… well, you know,” Bobby explained. Sam gasped lightly as it dawned on him, remembering the moment when Bobby threatened to put a hole through John with a shotgun full of Buckshot.
“Hey,” Sam said as a thought popped into his head, “maybe Cas can translate it; the blanket too.” Bobby thoughtfully mulled over Sam’s suggestion, considering the idea for a moment.
“Maybe,” he said, and a thoughtful look passed over his face. “He is an angel, and he has translated quite a bit from dead languages. He could probably tell us what language it is, and help us narrow down the translation. He might even know what it says.” Bobby shrugged his shoulders and wheeled his way back into the study, to find Dean and Castiel looking over the Tolkien appendices and dictionary on the Languages of the Eldar, and After-comers that Sam had left open on the desk.
“It can’t be a coincidence, Cas, not with the spelling exactly like that,” Dean said to Castiel. The angel loomed behind the hunter, and tilted his head in that birdlike way that said ‘I am pondering you’. Sam looked back at Bobby, and the old hunter just shook his head, murmuring, “idjits,” under his breath, before Sam loudly cleared his throat; gaining the pairs’ attention.
“Sam,” Dean said with a smile of relief, “we found the name. ‘Findaráto Ingoldo Arafinwion’ is the Quenya name for Finrod Felagund, son of Finarfin. Tolkien wrote about him in his life’s work and it was later published by his son posthumously: The Silmarillion.” Sam looked at the name and the book and was suddenly remembering his Dad talking on the phone to an English gentleman about the note. Other memories followed about his dad talking to some of the Numenorean’s that were still in the states about it, but the memory of that phone call stuck out.
“Chris Tolkien,” Sam asked. Dean looked up startled and confused for a moment, as he took back the book.
“Yeah,” he answered, “Christopher Tolkien. How’d you know that?” Dean looked confused and curious as Sam mulled over his answer.
“I think…” Sam started, “Dad may have talked to him once, before I left for school.” Sam looked up and saw the echo of pain wash across his face at the memory of those last few days. Dean rolled his eyes before the lit upon Castiel. Dean gave the angel a rakish smile, full of confidence.
“Well Mr. I-know-every-language-that-existed, do you think you call translate this,” Dean challenged, as he snatched the note from Sam’s hand, and waved in in Castiel’s face. Suddenly he stopped and looked at the note in confusion. “Hey,” he mused, softly, “I’ve seen these runes before.” Dean’s brow scrunched up as he tried to remember where he had seen them, “I know I have… somewhere.”
Sam swallowed hard against his nervousness before he slipped out of the room. The tall brunette rushed up the stairs two at a time to grab the only thing that was as pristine as pure as the day Dean came into his family. It was a pal blue blanket made of cotton and silk, embroidered with the same runes as the note. Sam, real quick, pulled the beat up old foot locker out from under his bed, and pulled the key out of his pocket. The foot locker was his Dad’s, and one of the only things that Sam had kept of the man’s. He used it to store things that he wanted to keep, and as such some of Dean’s things ended up in it as well. Sam unlocked the padlock and opened the lid. Inside were several small mementos from his past: a soccer uniform from one of the few towns he stayed in long enough to be on the team, one of his favorite books from before he found out what his dad really did; a stuffed bear he had slept with until he was 9, and at the very bottom, a perfect pale aqua blue blanket, embroidered with emerald green and gold thread, stitched out pristine rune letters and lines that seemed to make no sense at all. In the corner of the blanket was a strange diamond crest, with gold and red rays surrounding a blue disk with similar rays, and Sam realized that it had to be a crest or a heraldic seal of some kind. It had to be important if it was purposefully placed on one of the blanket’s corners. Sam gingerly picked up the blanket and marveled at the softness of the cloth, and how beautiful it was, even after nearly thirty years. Sam shut the trunk and quickly ran down stairs, clutching the blanket in his hands.
When he got down to the study, Dean was still musing over the runes on the note and Castiel was studiously translating the note onto a separate piece of paper.
“Hey, Castiel,” Sam said and the angel looked up from his work. Sam walked up to the overcoat wearing angel and handed him the blanket. “Is this the same language as that?” Castiel looked over the not for a moment before he turned his attention to the blanket. With careful hands he unfolded the large fabric of cloth and laid it flat on the desk. He examined the workmanship briefly but thoroughly, before he nodded and went back to translating the note.
Dean looked up from his musing and noticed the blanket. He stood up and moved closer to get a better look at the cloth. He ran his fingers over the soft fabric and a wistful smile tugged on his lips, as if he was lost in an old memory.
“This was mine,” he said softly, picking up the cloth. He ran his hands over the smooth material, careful not to get any grime on it. He brought it to his face and drew in a deep breath, his smile broadening but still soft and happy. “This was… this is my blanket. Dad said it was a gift from someone, he never said who. He said it was silk,” he said softly, “pure silk.” Dean sighed into the cloth, his face lightened by the very presence of the old blanket, as the spells of protection, love, and restful sleep worked their magic on him; calming the darkness in his mind. “I never thought I’d see this again.” Dean grinned happily. Sam shared a look with Bobby, and the old hunter just sighed.
“Finished,” Castiel declared, and handed the note to Bobby. “It was written in a very old language that I only knew of in passing. Most angels don’t bother to learn it. The Elves are outside our purview of protection, and as such not our problem.” Sam shot the angel an odd look and turned to Bobby.
“Balls,” the old hunter said his face suddenly sad before he handed the note to Sam. “You might want to read it.” Sam picked up the note and began to read.
‘Findaráto Ingoldo Arafinwion, Finrod Felagund; son of Finarfin, King of Nargothrond; Heir of the Noldóran of Aman,
‘To the keepers and protectors of this child of my flesh and blood,
‘It was never my intention to abandon my only son and child, but to you I entrust to his care. I dearly love this child of mine, and it is because I love him so that I must give him up. This child is of the blood of my House and also of the blood of Barahir, a child of Men.
‘I cannot in good conscience raise my son with the threat of murder, torture, or worse over his head by his mere existence. To which, I entrust my most precious possession to you. Care for my child well; love him as I love him. Love him as if he were your own son. Protect him at all costs, for he is Mankind’s most precious possession: a Half-Elven, and my one and only heir.
‘Keep him safe, and love him well. When he is old enough to understand, tell him that he is, was and shall always be my Imrathon: the son of Finrod Felagund and Barahir; son of Bregor, of the house of Beor.’
When Sam had finished reading his eyes were wide with shock and his mouth hung open. He looked at his brother with new eyes, and finally understood the grace and surety of Dean’s gate; the charisma in his smile, and the brilliance of his eyes. He looked at his brother and saw a new man. Bobby took the note again and read through it.
“Castiel, did you even read this?” he asked and looked up at the angel. Castiel tilted his head and squint his eyes in confusion. Bobby swore under his breath and held out the note. “Here, read it.”
Castiel carefully reached out and took the note from Bobby’s outstretched hand. He slowly read over the words and his brows furrowed further the more he read and his head took on that characteristic tilt he always got when confused.
“This is most interesting,” he said and looked up, “of whom does he speak?” Castiel turned his gaze towards Sam and Bobby. Sam hung his head and avoided the angel’s gaze, as he shuffled his feet.
“What note,” Dean asked, and looked over Castiel’s shoulder. Castiel picked up the original note and held it beside his translation. Dean’s eyes immediately picked out a word on the original that the others hadn’t. “Hey, that name is on my blanket.” Dean said with a smile but the smile quickly fell as the implications began to dawn on him. “Why is it on my blanket?” Sam looked at Bobby and the gruff old hunter gave him a cold look, which said no more lies; no more hiding the truth.
“Dean, there’s something I gotta tell you; somethin’ you need to know,” Sam said carefully. Dean looked at Sam with wide green eyes, pleading for the truth; begging for a lie.
“What,” Dean croaked, swallowing down a hard lump in his throat.
“Dad told me this, and he should have told you a long time ago,” Sam said, and Dean’s bright eyes darkened. He gulped before he nodded. Sam continued, “You should probably sit down, Dean,” Sam gestured to the chair, and Dean sat down gingerly, his heart beating a mile a minute. It was almost worse than the ghost sickness; it was beating so loud, pounding with fear in his chest. Dean mustered up a smile and hid his weakness.
“Fire away, little brother,” Dean said with false bravado and an even more false smile that couldn’t quite reach his eyes. Sam licked his dry lips and took a deep breath, bracing himself for what he had to do.
“Dean, this note,” Sam started, “it was found with that blanket,” he explained, gesturing to the items in question. He clasped his hands before him and chewed on his lips. “The blanket was found with a newborn baby boy that was left at the Lawrence city Hospital, in 1979.” Dean’s fake smile cracked around the edges but he tried to hold up his bravado a little longer.
“Lawrence,” Dean chuckled, “that’s where I was born,” he grinned wide but obviously very fake. “What are the odds?” Sam’s face twisted with pity and despair for a moment as he gathered his words. “What?” Dean asked.
“Dean,” Sam started and sighed, Dean’s fake smile crumbled and fell before the hesitation in his brother’s voice.
“Sammy,” Dean said. Sam clenched his jaw and bit the bullet.
“That baby was adopted by…” Sam stopped and took a shaky breath then pressed on, “my Mom and Dad.” Dean’s façade crumbled and fell into dust with shock. Fear and insecurity warred in his eyes, as he looked at his little brother with pleading eyes; frozen in his chair. “Dean. that baby… it was you.” Dean visibly crumbled before his brother’s eyes, his face as white as milk under his tan skin, and he wasn’t the only one shocked by this news. Castiel’s normally stoic face became open and radiated shock, his eyes wide as he looked back and forth between Sam and Dean.
“What,” Dean croaked when he finally found his voice. Sam swallowed the bitter taste in his mouth before he answered.
“You were adopted, Dean,” Sam finally said. Dean sat frozen in his chair, his face blank before he let out a breathy and watery laugh, his face crumpling in despair even more. Tears welled up in his mossy green eyes, as Dean brought a shaky hand up to wipe them away. Dean shook his head in denial.
“That’s not possible,” he denied, “we have pictures of Mom, when she was pregnant with me.” Dean felt his heart sink with every word out of his own mouth. He could deny it all he wanted, but somewhere in his heart he knew Sam was telling the truth. Sam shook his head.
“Those were of David, Dean,” Sam explained, his head hung low as he sat down on the couch, his hands clasped between his knees. “He, uh… he died… at birth. Dad told me, when I was ten.” Dean looked up at his brother in betrayal, crystalline tears of confusion and despair running down his face. Sam’s heart broke but he pushed on, “that why Mom and Dad never expected to have another kid, Dean. The doctors told them that they couldn’t; she wasn’t supposed to!” Sam began to cry himself, now, choking on his words, but forcing them out all the same, “they adopted you when you were abandoned at the hospital, Dean, because Mom wanted a family.” Sam was crying and Dean was still frozen to his chair with tears running down his face. Sam coughed and wiped the tears off his face, in an attempt to compose himself and finish. “Dad was supposed to tell you when you turned 18. That was the deal he made with Mom, but he never did.” Dean’s face became twisted with despair and confused anger, and finally exploded.
“So what…” he yelled, “I was just some replacement, because they couldn’t have their own?” Dean’s face twisted with helpless anger, “that I was some throwaway kid?” Dean bit out bitterly, in anger and grief. He laughed bitterly, “you know it all makes sense now…”
“No, Dean,” Sam tried to explain.
“Why he treated me like crap all those years,” Dean drove on bitterly, surging to his feet to pace. “You,” he pointed at Sam as he raved, “He doted on you. You were his son. Me; I was just the replacement. I wasn’t even blood! My own family didn’t even want me!” Sam finally had enough of Dean’s self-degradation and surged to his feet.
“Dean,” he yelled, and Dean stopped, his face twisted with bitter sorrow and confusion. “No,” he said calmly, and dropped his head, before he looked up at Dean through his bangs with big wet hazel eyes. “Just read the note.” Castiel handed Dean the translated letter, and Sam watched with trepidation as Dean’s eyes grew wide and his brow wrinkled in confusion and painful sorrow. The look transformed into understanding and sadness, as tear ran down his cheeks. Castiel set a comforting hand on Dean’s shoulder, and Dean looked up at the angel. His eyes welled with despair and fragile hope, as he took a gasping sob. Castiel’s own face was soft and comforting, just as it was when he took Dean to the past to see his parents the first time and came to take him home.
“Sammy,” Dean whimpered, and Sam sighed sadly, finally understanding why their father never told Dean. He would have reacted much worse back then, he might have taken off and never came back. But right now he needed his brother to understand that he was loved.
“You were wanted, Dean,” Sam said, “but it wasn’t safe for you to be with your real family.” Dean shook his head and looked at Sam with soft eyes.
“No,” Dean said, swallowing his tears.
“Dean,” Sam asked with confusion.
“No, Sam, you are my family,” Dean said a sudden peace entering his eyes, “blood doesn’t matter.” Tears ran down his smiling face and he looked over the group of people assembled in the room. “Family don’t come through just blood; It also choice. We’re brothers, Sammy; no matter what.” Sam’s eyes watered and he struggled to swallow back his tears. He smiled, strong and watery, but genuine at his big brother. Dean wiped the tears from his face and gave Sam a cocky smile. “And what did I say about chick flick moments.” Sam barked out a teary laugh and smiled at his brother.
Castiel looked over the blanket with new knowledge. The fact that John and Mary were not Dean’s parents by blood was a shock, but Dean was the Righteous Man, there was no doubt. Castiel had seen Dean’s soul in Hell, and it shown with a radiance that he had never seen before. It was as bright and as pure as the Holy Star that marked Christ’s birth, despite the befouling of Hell, it shown pure. Castiel knew when he saw him, that Dean was the one. Thus he gripped him tight and raised him from Perdition. Castiel studied the blanket with the intent to understand its secrets and unlock the mysteries that he held. The angel tilted his head, and suddenly the connecting lines made sense. The Blanket not only had the name of the author of the note, but also many others connected by the lines; and with crystal clarity it clicked into place and Castiel knew what this was.
“This is a Bloodline,” Castiel stated as he ran his fingers over the delicate stitch work, “it traces back quite a ways in the father line, but not as much through the mother.” The Winchesters looked up and moved to stand by the angel to examine the cloth for themselves.
“My mother is Finrod,” Dean said suddenly and haltingly, looking to Castiel for confirmation. The Angel of Thursday nodded. “It he is my mother, then my dad… who is he?” Sam studied the blanket and the note again, and his eyes widened as it dawned on him
“Barahir,” Sam said, and Dean’s head whipped around to his brother with wide eyes.
“What,” he croaked, and Sam looked at Dean was awed eyes.
“Barahir,” he said more clearly, “he’s your father.” Dean’s jaw dropped.
“Barahir,” Dean croaked and cleared his throat when he found his voice, “as in Beren, son of Barahir: The great hero of Men; that Barahir?” Sam’s face was blank for a second from shock.
“Yeah,” he said, and Dean’s face went white. He quickly grabbed the book from the desk and flipped through the pages until he found the right one. It was at the end of the book, and looked worn, as if someone had run their fingers over the lines hundreds of times.
“Here,” Dean said and pointed to the name. Sam looked at the genealogy of the house of Beor with curious eyes until he lit upon the name Dean had pointed out.
“Beren, son of Barahir; the son of Bregor,” Dean read carefully with a shaky voice, “was a vassal of the House of Finrod Felagund, by Beor the old.” He then pointed to the names and dates that were listed in a long line. Sam looked at his brother with awe before he turned back to the blanket.
“Dean this is the family tree of Beren,” Same said his eyebrows high on his forehead. His voice was breathy and shocked. Castiel looked around Sam at the book and studied the bloodline.
“It is also identical to the embroidering on the blanket,” Castiel said, “this indicates that Barahir, of the House of Beor the Old is your father.” Castiel pulled the book out of Dean’s hands and began to study it. He turned the page back one and found another surprise, “as is this one through your mother.” He said. He turned the book to Sam and Dean and showed them the family tree of the House of Finwë. Dean and Sam’s eyebrows shot to their hairline, and once Bobby craned his neck high enough, he swore.
“Balls, Dean,” he cursed, “ya idjit, you’re not just Half-Elven, you’re royalty!” Dean’s head whipped around to face Bobby with eyes blown wide to the size of saucers.
“Royal,” Dean breathed as his face went pale, and he swallowed hard. “Sam, what is this book?” he asked with a shaky voice and equally shaky hands, as he pointed to the book in question in Castiel’s hands. The angel closed the book and turned it over to read the cover.
“The Silmarillion, by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien,” he said, “edited and published posthumously by Christopher Tolkien.” Suddenly there was a thump, and Castiel, Sam and Bobby turned around to see that Dean Winchester had fainted.