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Fic: The Hedgehog Rescue Search

 The Hedgehog Rescue Search
By PaBurke
Summary/Challenge: Dean went to Hell and was hauled out of Perdition only to be turned into a 4/5-year-old version of himself. Also has to be sick. Bobby’s here to save the day. This ties up some loose ends.
Disclaimer: So not mine
Rating: teen-ish

before now:
The Hedgehog Rescue
The Hedgehog Allies I
The Hedgehog Allies II


“We need to go in there,” Dean pointed.

Bobby jerked at the wheel of his car. Words from Dean –though he was starting to speak again- were still a rare occurrence and still surprised Bobby when it happened. He turned to look in the direction Dean was facing. They had just pulled out of the karate school parking lot. He wasn’t sure what he was looking for in the strip mall.

“Why do I need to stop?” he growled.

“To find Sammy.”

Bobby pulled into the parking lot. They had the time and finding Sam was important. He parked and pulled the key out of the ignition. “How will this help us find Sam?”

But Dean was already out of the car and running across the parking lot. “Idjit.” The boy had a near miss with a minivan backing out of a space but he was quick on his feet and dodged. Dean was living dangerously even if he was single-minded in his goal. Bobby hurried to catch up. The boy was going to get killed trying to get to his brother (like that was anything new).

Bobby swore he was going to shake that boy until his teeth rattled. He didn’t have the long legs and the speed from before. His body was frailer too. The boy was covered in bumps and bruises from close calls. Bobby had aged ten years since Dean had moved in. The last thing they needed was Child Services to visit the junkyard and the boy have a broken bone.

Dean ducked into the video store. Bobby was hot on his heels. Dean was quick on his feet, but Bobby was faster. Bobby picked up the boy. He struggled in his arms.

“Settle,” Bobby warned. “Talk.”

Dean looked a little mutinous.

“Boy. You nearly killed yourself in the parking lot. You can explain.”

Dean sighed and pointed at the science fiction section of the store. “There’s a name in a certain movie that Sammy is using for his cell phone.” Dean sniffed into Bobby’s shirt to hide his tears. Bobby let him ‘cause he was a sucker for those green eyes crying.

Bobby’s voice was gruff. “You figure that you’ll remember which one if you see the movie.”

Dean nodded.

“Which one?”

Dean stilled. He couldn’t remember. His memory for personal items tended to be a little vague.

“Well boy, point out what I’m looking for.”

Dean’s head lifted and turned. He pointed at the Star Wars movies. Damn. “Which one?”

Dean shrugged.

Bobby started collecting them from Episode One.

“Nah,” Dean rejected them. “It would have been one of the original ones.”

“Well, that cuts our viewing time in half.”

“And doubles our fun,” Dean added.

Bobby didn’t argue. In fact, when he saw the stand with microwave popcorn, he grabbed several packages. Dean beamed at him. He was looking forward to this evening. He had already finished his schooling for the day, proving that he was a lot smarter than even Bobby had known. There was no reason not to have a Star Wars marathon. Bobby was worried about Sam Winchester. Who knew what kind of trouble the boy would get into without Dean looking over his shoulder?

Dean clutched the movies to his chest and carried them to the car. He kept them in his lap the whole way home and jumped out of the car as soon as Bobby parked in the junk yard. He barely spared a moment to pet Bobby’s dog before running into the house.

Bobby collected the rest of their buys and followed. Dean was seated in front of the TV and had the Episode IV DVD in the player. Bobby puttered around the kitchen, popping popcorn and picking up a research book to read during the movie. As soon as Bobby sat, Dean scooted back to sit against his legs. They were close enough to share the bowl of popcorn. Dean was entranced by the movie. Bobby was busy taking notes.

Bobby had tuned out the movie. He wasn’t even sure which movie they were watching now, but Dean jumped up, pointing at the TV. “Wedge Antilles! That’s it. That’s the name Sammy’s using for his phone. You gotta call up the phone company and get a location.”

“I’ll need a social security number,” Bobby warned.

Dean muttered a word not appropriate to his age. Bobby tore out a paper from his note book and put three spaces to be filled in, a dash, two more spaces, another dash and then four more spaces. He handed the paper and a pencil to Dean. Dean sighed and placed the paper right beside him. He stared at it for a long time, the pencil rotating fruitlessly in Dean’s small fingers.

“Why don’t you keep watching the movie and it might just come to you?”

Dean breathed out, avoided Bobby’s eyes and used the remote control to press play. He was too still for the next hour. His eyes often drifted towards the empty paper. The movie couldn’t keep his entire concentration.

Finally, slowly, Dean filled in numbers, starting with the last four digits, the ones most important for gaining information from an operator. 2474.

“Ya sure?” Bobby asked quietly. If they were wrong, it was send out an alert that they couldn’t afford.

Dean nodded once.

Bobby knew better than to procrastinate. He stood up and reached for the landline phone. After a few moments of sweet talking the operator, Bobby had a location and he knew it was the correct one. “Sam’s in Pontiac, Illinois,” he announced.

Dean went looking for his jacket. “Let’s go now.”

“No,” Bobby said.

Dean turned and gave him the most stubborn look ever. Bobby could see John Winchester in that look and he considered himself warned. “We pack up. You get blankets and your schoolwork and changes of clothes and food. I’ll get everything else, including food that is good for you.”

Dean rolled his eyes, but ran out of the room to obey.

Bobby collected his things slowly, but not too slowly. As much as he worried about Sam, he worried more about Dean. Would Sam take off with Dean, like his father had his two boys. That wasn’t the best thing for Dean, but how would Bobby make them see it?

Dean pounded down the steps with his arms overflowing with bedclothes.

His house would be too quiet without the boy.

He hoped this didn’t go wrong.


They had a location and a way to track Sam if he moved. Bobby really didn’t need much convincing for a road trip. He was slower than if Dean (grown-up version) was driving. Dean chafed at the inactivity. He was almost at 100% health and he had the energy to prove it. A little boy should not be cooped up for hours on end. So Bobby ‘’stopped to pee’ twice as often. If, or really when, Dean whined about the time delay, Bobby told him to run laps of the rest stop while the older man meandered a bit inside.

The expenditure of energy helped. Even Bobby could feel the advantages of getting out and moving every 2 hours. Dean settled and even dozed a bit. He violently shook himself awake every time until Bobby gruffly told him that there were hours before their arrival and did he want to be awake or asleep his first night reunited with his brother?

Dean grumbled but fell asleep quickly. Bobby found that he couldn’t keep still without Dean on which to focus. He worried about Sam, how he had changed, how much he had changed. Bobby knew that Sam had changed because the young man hadn’t kept contact on purpose. Dean had always been vulnerable to Sam, but never more than in this incarnation. Dean would forgive Sam of most everything, but Bobby feared the man would tear the boy apart with a handful of acidic words.

Bobby saw the motel up ahead. For a few desperate seconds he wanted to drive on past.

He didn’t.

Sam might reject Dean. He would almost certainly hurt him, but Bobby had to let it happen. Sam and Dean were brothers. They needed to know where each other was.

Bobby steered into the parking lot, spied the Impala in the back corner, near the 2nd exit. Dean woke the same second that Bobby turned off the engine. He rubbed his eyes sleepily, read the name of the motel, and gave Bobby a smile too full of innocence and joy considering his history. The stuffed hedgehog that had kept the nightmares at bay the whole trip was left on the seat as the boy climbed out. At least, Dean hadn’t tossed it in the backseat with their arrival. Bobby wondered if Dean was as worried as Bobby concerning their reception.

Bobby tucked the hedgehog into Dean’s backpack and slung it over his shoulder. Dean was hopping from foot to the other right next to the driver’s door.

“Why aren’t you running ahead like an idjit?” Bobby asked.

Dean shook his head and ducked down a little.

“Dean?” Bobby tried again.

“I think I . . .”

Bobby huffed. “Spit it out, boy.”

“Do you smell sulfur?” Dean asked fearfully.

Bobby didn’t, but he knew that Dean’s instincts had become even sharper than before. He pulled Dean over to the trunk and began arming himself. Dean waited impatiently between the car and Bobby’s body. Bobby hated to do it, but he handed the boy a 9-mil, with a magazine of silver and iron alternating bullets. Dean double-checked the gun before tucking it away with as much expertise as his adult self.

Bobby closed his car’s trunk as quietly as possible. He didn’t bother asking Dean if he was ready. He held out his hand to the boy. Dean wrinkled his nose (in a way females found absolutely adorable) but didn’t quibble about it. He did understand the concept of knowing the location of allies during a firefight. He also understood being what people expected to see in order to blend in.

Bobby got Sam’s room number out of the motel owner with a few choice lies. Dean was the one who asked if Sam was the only one living there. The owner’s response was that no, the resident was always in the company of a dark-haired beauty.

Dean muttered about being too far west for Sarah. Otherwise, neither of them could figure out who the beauty could be.

Bobby glanced once more at his car on the way to Sam’s room, but it was too late to leave Sam in the dark.

They walked the hallway to Sam in silence. Dean’s tiny hand tightened around Bobby’s, but there was no hesitation when the boy stepped forward to knock at the door.

Bobby had a fleeting thought that his Dean was full of contradictions before banishing the thought.

The afore-mentioned beauty opened the door. She barely glanced at Bobby but was obviously confused at Dean.

“Where’s the pizza?” she asked. “Since when are children delivery boys?”

“Christo,” Dean snarled at her.

Her eyes flashed black. Bobby didn’t think, he just pulled his gun and forced the demon back into the room. Dean was right at his side, his gun pointed at her as well. Dean kicked the door shut behind them.

Sam appeared in front of Bobby with his hands raised. “It’s okay, Bobby. It’s Ruby. Don’t shoot her.”

“How the hell is that okay?” Bobby snarled. He refused to feel hurt that Sammy had been avoiding him while cavorting with a demon.

“She’s helping me work out a plan to get Dean out of hell.”

“Then she’s lying to you.”

“I know demons lie,” Sam said, a little too reasonably, “but not even you know where to begin to free Dean.”

“Except that now I have news of Dean.”

“You do?” Sam perked up.

“Yeah. And when you’re ready to dump the demon bitch, come see me,” Bobby barked. “I’ll be where I can always be found.” Bobby ushered Dean towards the door, thankful that the boy had a modicum of self-preservation and self-control to keep his mouth shut and not reveal his fragile self in the presence of a demon.

They hurried out the door and to Bobby’s car. Bobby only waited until Dean had buckled himself in before gunning it for home. With one eye on the road he reached into the backpack. He pulled out the stuffed hedgehog and gave it to Dean. He turned the radio to a station Dean would like and turned up the volume. He let Dean cry in semi-privacy for twenty minutes before asking for diner preferences.

With only a sniffle in his voice Dean directed Bobby to a back-alley diner that served awesome pies. Bobby was feeling so guilty over the day’s happenings that he let Dean order pie first and then a burger. Hell, Bobby did the same. Dean got milk and Bobby coffee while he wished for something stronger. Bobby would not be getting drunk anytime soon. Once Dean had moved into Bobby’s house, the older hunter had gone from a three-month bender to an occasional beer with dinner. Dean could get into too much trouble unattended. It was true at twenty-nine and doubly true now. Then again, Bobby had been a drunk for those long months because Dean was dead and in hell and that was no longer the case.

Dean stopped eating his pie mid-bite, wide eyes staring at the door. Bobby twisted around to see. Against all odds, Bobby was hoping to see Sam.

It was Castiel.

The trench-coated, stern-looking man chose to sit next to Dean on that side of the booth. Dean scooted over grudgingly, but for any other person or creature Dean would not have moved at all.

The waitress noticed the new arrival and hurried over to take his order.

“He wants apple pie like me,” Dean piped up before the angel could refuse. The three of them waited until the waitress came and left before addressing the angel’s presence.

“How did you find us?” Bobby asked first.

“I have been watching Samuel Winchester and followed you when you departed his residence.”

“You knew where Sammy was and didn’t tell me?” Dean looked betrayed.

“You did not ask,” the angel intoned.

Dean opened his mouth twice before jumpily saying. “He’s my brother, you should have known.”

“He is an unknown factor in the war between Heaven and Hell,” Castiel said. “The demon he abides with is a threat to you. I did not raise you from perdition to return you to the demonic host.”

“So you know more of the Heavenly plans?” Bobby asked.

“Very little. Those I have discovered merely lead to more questions.”

“What do you know?” Bobby growled out.

“Merely that Samuel is Lucifer’s only living, viable host on Earth and Dean is Michael’s.”

Bobby jerked. “Someone’s trying to let Lucifer out?”

“They are currently unsuccessful. Dean and I prevented that occurrence.”

“How?” Dean asked softly.

Castiel looked at Dean with something akin to compassion. “Because the first seal - <I>you</I> - did not break. As long as you remain a child and do not return to hell, Lucifer cannot be set free.”

Dean shivered and leaned into Castiel. The angel looked uncomfortable, but with great gentleness placed an arm around the boy. They remained that way throughout the rest of the silent meal.

Bobby paid the bill (including the pie that Castiel had curiously eaten) and the angel followed them out to the car.

Dean grabbed the angel’s coat “I want weekly updates on my brother.”

Castiel stared down at the boy. A moment passed, then two. “Very well. I will do so.” Then he was gone. Bobby was left with a grieving child and a future yawning in front of them that was both hopeful and dark.



( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 13th, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC)
Just discovered this, & am quite glad to see it's a verse! Very nice!
May. 31st, 2011 10:22 am (UTC)
thanks! Hope you enjoy the ride
May. 20th, 2011 04:54 am (UTC)
saved to my memories :)!
I love this series so much! please update soon!
sam, you bitch, kill that whore and go hug your little vulnerable hell!traumatized cute brother ):
May. 31st, 2011 10:23 am (UTC)
(happy grin at being saved)
I'm trying to update but Canon!Sam is not letting go of Ruby and I want him to. (wails)
Jun. 16th, 2011 12:00 pm (UTC)
This is a great series. You do bobby well, and dean is very believable as a kid. Great job.
Jun. 16th, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
(cheerful little kid voice) thank you!
Aug. 11th, 2011 09:53 am (UTC)
This is a really good verse, I can't wait to read more in it!!
Aug. 11th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm trying to work on this and others but the muse has left the building.
Oct. 21st, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC)
Oh I HATE when that happens, you get up a nice stream and then the muse goes 'yep, I'm outta here for now, laters!' she is very rude and inconsiderate isn't she? :) good luck dude hope the muse comes back sooner rather than later x
Aug. 11th, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC)
This is great! I can't wait to read more! I'm actually surprised that Sam didn't chase Bobby down. He probably would have recognized Dean, but probably didn't get a good look and he wasn't expecting Dean to be a little boy so he just didn't see. Keep up the good work!
Aug. 11th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC)
that reasoning was pretty much why I had Sam stay behind. THanks for the review.
Aug. 28th, 2011 10:43 am (UTC)
Oh please tell me you've not abandoned this story! It's fantastic. I love all the voices, especially Bobby.

Sep. 1st, 2011 09:32 am (UTC)
happy grin.
I'm glad you enjoyed this. No, not abandoned, just fighting Sam's stubbornness.
Sep. 25th, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC)
I know this has been awhile, but I like the 'verse you've created. I hope more will come one day!
Sep. 25th, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC)
thanks for the comment, more 2 come. don't know when
Oct. 18th, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)
Great job....more coming??
Nov. 19th, 2011 12:06 pm (UTC)
Nov. 20th, 2011 07:44 am (UTC)
Yay. :)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


vi, no words

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