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Fic: Sour Cherry Pie Life Part 2/3

It wasn’t hard to find out at least the general outline of what had happened at Ben’s school. Ironically, the FBI presence helped a little. News that the FBI was in town investigating the possible kidnapping meant that it was just a little easier for him to flash a badge and get answers as long as he was wearing a suit.

Those answers made things a little more turbulent, instead of less. Dean had managed to get himself into the middle of this mess, like he always did, and attracted the attention of the FBI just by being himself. Sam would have worried more if he hadn’t known that all records of Sam and Dean Winchester had been wiped from the federal database a few years ago. It was probably a parting gift from the angels, or more likely Castiel. Sam had a feeling that anything from the side of Heaven that worked out for the Winchesters was a direct result of Castiel’s interference.

He sent a mental apology to the families in Pennsylvania. They would have to wait. Dean needed his protection.


The house was pressing down on him a little, like it did sometimes since he first came to Lisa and Ben. Dean knew that he had been a wreck when he showed up three years ago. He still had nightmares, more than occasionally, and when he moved in he had still been drinking way more than he should have been, though Lisa and Ben had done an admirable job of putting him back together. Sometimes he thought he saw Sam out of the corner of his eye, or in the background during the news, but it was never his brother when he looked again. Dean had called Bobby eight different times over the course of the that first year, certain that he’d seen Sam, only to be told with Bobby’s typical gruffness that Lucifer was obviously still locked up tight and so was his brother, since the signs of the apocalypse hadn’t reappeared. He had finally taught himself to stop looking for Sam and the knot of fear and hope and love that had taken up residence in his chest years ago had slowly eased into something a little more manageable. His more recent nightmares were more likely to feature horrible things happening to his new family rather than his old. God knew this recent problem was giving him a few extra nightmares.

There was no sign of any police progress online, though Dean wasn’t really expecting it. He knew the FBI were notoriously close-mouthed when it came to discussing open investigations, something he had used to his advantage when hunting, and the guy he had met at the garage yesterday seemed to be even more reluctant to share than most. There was one tiny paragraph about Billy Trey’s almost kidnapping, but nothing further.

He sifted through a handful of online news sources, checking for any possible hunts. It was long-ingrained habit, the kind developed over a lifetime, and he hadn’t managed to break it yet. He had handled one or two salt and burns in the immediate area, both of them more potential problems than real dangers, and passed every other case off to Bobby since the older man was the closest thing to a hub for most of the Hunters out there now that the Roadhouse and Ellen Harvelle were gone.

At five or so he started a fresh pot of coffee. Lisa would be up soon and it would be nice to spend some time with her before everything went insane. The past few days had been rough and he wanted that quietness. He’d come to crave her steadiness when things got crazy. Dean had a feeling that those two dumb kids who had managed to conceive Ben on that wild weekend wouldn’t come close to recognizing Lisa Braeden and Dean Campbell, responsible parents and homeowners.

Sometimes he had a hard time believing it himself.


“Agent Hotchner!” The portly, Asian principal hurried to catch up with him. Hotch stopped in the sidewalk and politely waited. He understood the necessity of working with the local schools to increase the security, but it always took more time than he had available. It was one of the reasons he had lobbied for the BAU PR position and eventually, JJ. The principal finally reached him and handed Hotch a stack of papers. “You said that we have to improve our security. Would this suffice?”

Three pages in and Hotch knew where he had seen this set-up before. It was similar, in some places word for word, to the memo from Cicero. “Where did you get this?”

“It was delivered anonymously and there was a note on it saying that we were possibly in the kidnapper’s path and that this would make our kids safer. I blew it off, but you say that we need more and this is already written. Would this work?”

“Yes. Did you hear about the aborted kidnapping attempt yesterday?”


“The only reason that the attempt failed was because the teacher was following the directions in the memo made by the same person who wrote yours.”

The principal was pleased. “Oh, good. The teachers will complain less about losing their free periods if I can say that.”

“Thank you for showing this to us. Do you know if any other schools got the same sort of memo?”

Principal Woo shook his head. “Not that I know of, but I could ask around.”

“Please do.” Hotch handed him his FBI business card. “If any of them have received a security plan like yours please call me and have them fax me a copy of the plan.”

“Of course, of course.” Woo looked confused. “If you’re saying that this isn’t the work of the kidnapper, why don’t you know who made this up?”

“We do. Just tell anyone who asks that a good citizen who wishes to remain anonymous sent those out.”

As soon as they were in the car, Hotch called up the garage that Campbell worked at. Ben answered the phone, “Bigelow’s Garage. You crash them, we mash them back together.”

Hotch smiled slightly but didn’t let it seep into his voice, nor did he pause. “Ben, this is Agent Hotchner. May I speak with your father?”

“Just a sec. Dad! The FBI guy is on the phone.”

As expected, Campbell took possession of the phone a moment later. Hotch knew that he would never be far from Ben and the other kids. “Agent,” Campbell drawled.

“Mr. Campbell, we would like to meet with you and go over the school security plans you’ve already completed. You did a phenomenal job creating them for the schools and we would like to know which schools you have already contacted so that we don’t have to reiterate anything you’ve accomplished.”

There was a pause, something Hotch tentatively identified as surprise. “Huh. Yeah, I guess so. Can it wait until after I close up tonight?”

“That’s fine. Come by the station this evening.”


Despite how obviously worried Dean was, Ben was having the time of his life. Schoolwork didn’t take nearly as long when you didn’t need to wait on the teacher to explain things, and he usually finished his homework for the day by noon. Then the real fun of the day began.

The past week had proved to the others that Dean was, beyond a doubt, the coolest dad around. In between fixing cars and answering homework questions, he had taught them all how and why an engine works and showed them how to make one work better. Then he gave them a pile of old parts and had them try to build one while he worked through the routine oil changes and diagnostic estimates that apparently made up a typical day for him.

It made him a little sad, sometimes, and more than a little angry at people like Principal Peters. He knew Dean was a hero. All of his friends from his old neighborhood and their moms knew it too. He had no idea why other people couldn’t figure it out when it was so obvious how awesome Dean was. He was Batman and Han Solo and Indiana Jones and it was stupid that other people didn’t look at him and know this.

Right now they were waiting for Ms. Hoskiss to pick up Katie. She was always the latest, since she had to stay until the school was locked up. Katie was fidgeting a little. She hated to stay still. Dean was keeping them both inside while they waited, just inside the garage door. He’d already locked the doors and he was just waiting to drop down the big bay door when they left for the night.

“What’s taking so long?”

“Stay in the garage, Ben,” Dean said. He was distracted, looking around him. “I’m sure Jen’s on her way. We’ll head for home as soon as she’s here to pick up Katie.”

“Is something wrong?”

Dean looked at him, a little startled. “What? No, of course not. Everything’s fine, Ben.”

Ben huffed. He was pretty sure Dean wasn’t telling him the truth, not completely, but there was no way to call him on it. “Then what are you looking for?”

There was an odd look, one that usually meant he was puzzling out some weird grown-up issue. “I don’t know. Something’s weird.” He tilted his head, listening for something, and then stepped outside the door, waving Ben and Katie back a little.

This time of day was quiet around the garage. Most of the last-minute, stop-on-the-way-home shoppers at the grocery store across the street were gone by now and there was only the occasional passing car to disturb the relative peace. Ben tried to listen like Dean was, straining his ears and coming up on tiptoe in his efforts.

“What the hell does Sue Perry need now?” Dean muttered, stepping out further and craning his neck.

To Ben, the next few moments passed by very quickly. There was a startled grunt from Dean, a shove back from the door. He wouldn’t remember hearing the gunshots later when the FBI lady questioned him, just the way Dean looked when he went down and the car speeding away.

Katie was already running towards the office, hopefully to call for an ambulance. Dean pulled himself up until he was sitting, and Ben was pretty sure that his dad was purposefully trying to not make any noise to indicate how hurt he was, but the blood was kind of hard to miss. He saw the blunt end of one of those ugly Aveos as it raced away and heard the harshness of Dean’s breathing.

“It’s all right, Ben,” Dean said. His dad’s face was pale, the freckles that Ben had inherited and that were the bane of his existence standing out. “It’s just a shoulder hit. I’ve had worse.”

Katie came running back to them, her dark eyes wide and frightened. Dean was her hero now too, had been ever since the day he had rescued them from the changelings. “The ambulance is coming,” she said. “I called 911.”

“Awesome,” Dean managed to grit out, his eyes sliding closed for a second before they popped open again. “Do me a favor, Ben? Keep watch. Stay hidden by the door until the cops show up.”

Ben nodded, a little frantic, and went to do as he asked. His heart was pounding in his chest because Dean was pale and there was a lot of blood and what if Dean died because of some asshole who didn’t even have the guts to look his dad in the eye?


The pre-teen looked over from his position by the door. “Yeah, dad?”

There was a smile from Dean, shaky and fleeting but real. “It’ll be OK, kiddo.” He kept smiling until the ambulance pulled in and Ben lost sight of him in the whirl of police and FBI and paramedics.


“So Campbell wrote up security plans for more than his son’s school and he passed them out.” The news hadn’t been as surprising as it should have been.

“I want to know how many he passed out and when and where. If I’m right, Campbell’s geographic profile matches Reid’s.”

“That’s impressive.”

“It shouldn’t be in his skills set. The best Sales and Marketing guys are good because they know where the market is going and can make their company be the first ones there. Smith was young to be a director and an MBA from Stanford is nothing to sneeze at, so he must have been very good, but this shouldn’t be the same thing.”

“In other news, if the Unsub didn’t know about Campbell or Smith or whatever we’re calling him, he soon will. Campbell is making it difficult for the Unsub and the Unsub will retaliate as soon as he figures out where to aim his ire.”

“We could take credit for the security plans,” Rossi offered. “I don’t think Campbell will mind.”

“The question is: should we?” Reid definitely had everyone’s attention. “It would be much easier to distract and capture the Unsub if he’s focused on Campbell.”

“Campbell will never consent to being bait. It would put Ben and Lisa Braeden in the line of fire.”

“So we take them out of the line of fire.”

“He hasn’t trusted officials with the safety of the children around him, why would he trust his family to us?”

JJ hurried into the conference room that the FBI had been using. “I was talking to dispatch,” she started. Hotch had asked her to put an alert that 911calls from certain locales were forwarded to them. “Dean Campbell has been shot. An ambulance is on the way. So are the LEOs.”

“Damn it. Do you think it might have been the unsub?”

“Too much of a coincidence to assume otherwise.”


Lisa was in a full-on run by the time she cleared the doors of the gym. Dean’s garage was two blocks over and one down from where she worked, so close that getting into a car would probably have slowed her down, and the familiar journey seemed to simultaneously take forever and whip past in a blur.

There was an ambulance backed up to the garage, engine running but lights turned off at the moment, and she hoped that was a good sign. The local cops at the door recognized her and let her past them, and she was in the cool shade of the building before she slowed down.

Her eyes went to Ben first, like they always did, and found him standing with Katie and Jen. There were people over there that she didn’t know, but Dean didn’t seem to be protesting their presence so they were likely FBI. There was some blood splattered on his hands and shirt and he looked freaked out by whatever had happened, but he didn’t look like he was hurt. In fact, as soon as he spotted her he hurried to her side, wrapping his arms around her in the kind of spontaneous hug that had been practically nonexistent since he turned twelve.

With Ben alive and unharmed, Lisa’s next priority was to check on the same thing for Dean. Her heart was still pounding after her run, but it managed to send up a couple of painful thumps when she saw him on the gurney. The green T-shirt he’d been wearing this morning was now a pile of bloodstained rags on the ground, and he looked pale and uncomfortable and a little cold. There were white bandages wrapped around his left shoulder, partially obscuring the scar there.

Oddly enough, the first thought that came to her was how strange it was to see Dean out in public without a shirt. He wasn’t self-conscious about his scars, exactly (Lisa didn’t think that Dean had ever been self-conscious about his appearance in his life), but they were something private and he didn’t enjoy the inevitable questions that came when strangers saw them. It felt wrong for them to be displayed like this. He hadn’t even taken off his T-shirt when they went to the beach last summer, resulting in a farmer’s tan that had been pretty hilarious.

The fear overwhelmed that thought once everything had sunk in. “What happened?”

Dean glanced at Ben, still glued to her side. “Ben’s fine. I’ll be all right. Both of the kids are still safe.”

She stepped in close and touched his uninjured arm. Now that she was next to him, she could see the blood smears on pale skin and too-sharp focus in his eyes. “What happened?”

“Some asshole drove by and shot Dad,” Ben said angrily. There was an echo of his father’s rough growl in his voice, a glimpse of the man he was becoming, and it hurt just a little.

“Language,” Lisa said absently, tucking away the little hurt of Ben growing up and studying the man in front of her. “We’ll meet you at the hospital,” she said, her tone leaving no room for argument. There was no doubt in her mind that he’d have tried to just go home if she hadn’t showed up, although hopefully he would have been unsuccessful in the attempt. He seemed to think that hospitals were strictly for things like impalement and loss of a body part. Last year she’d walked in on him stitching up a gash in his leg in their bathroom. She’d had to argue with him for ten minutes before he let her take him to the ER, and even then it seemed more like he was humoring her and avoiding conflict than agreeing that it was a necessity.

Dean nodded reluctantly, though she suspected it was more because to do otherwise would attract more attention from the FBI. He reached up with his good hand and caught the one of hers that wasn’t holding onto Ben like a vise. “Everything’s going to be okay,” he said, just loudly enough that she and Ben could hear it. “I’ve had much worse, done by people who actually knew what the hell they were doing.”

As if that made it better. Lisa leaned over and kissed him, giving his hand a squeeze before letting it go. “I’ll see you at the hospital,” she reminded him before turning and leveling a glare at the paramedic as he looked for a vein in the arm she’d just released. He happened to be a guy named Steve Walker who had tried and failed to get her to go out with him years ago. “Assuming Steve gets you there before you bleed to death.”

It was at this moment that two of the unknown individuals, presumably FBI agents, broke away from a frantic Jen and a tearful Katie and came over to Dean. “Mr. Campbell, I’m Agent Rossi. We haven’t had a chance to meet yet. I was wondering if you got a look at the car.”

Oh, hell no. “Excuse me? Are you seriously questioning him while he’s sitting here bleeding?”


Lisa Braeden was tearing Rossi a new one, all because he dared to ask Campbell to identify the car before the paramedics put the injured man into the ambulance. Actually, it was a pretty normal reaction from one half of an emotionally healthy couple. Emily was about go comfort the woman when Campbell grabbed her wrist.

“Hey. FBI, right?” Campbell was incredibly aware for a gunshot victim. She couldn’t help but be a little impressed. She knew first hand how hard it was to maintain concentration when you were in that kind of pain.

“Special Agent Emily Prentiss,” she told him.

“Cool. So, you’ll make sure that she gets updates on my condition? You know, that she doesn’t completely torch her bridges?”

Emily had to smile at his charm. “I promise.”

“Good.” Campbell relaxed a bit. Then he sat up, much to the consternation of the medic trying to put in an IV. “The woman shot me. A guy was driving, didn’t get a good look at him. I think it was a stolen car. In fact, I think it’s the Perry’s Aveo. I stepped out ‘cause I recognized the sound of the engine, but that wasn’t Sue. Had red hair like her though and Matt Perry likes me and he sure as hell doesn’t drive like that. The woman had a floppy hat that covered most of her face.” He frowned. “I can’t tell you much more.”

Emily had to blink at the recitation. “Was she wearing gloves?”

Campbell thought about it. “Yeah, she was.” Frowned again. “They were thin and whitish. Latex, maybe?”

“Was she calm? Or agitated?”

“Pretty calm and a damn good shot ‘cause the guy never slowed down and I dropped as soon as I realized something was up and she still hit me. One bullet missed,” he suddenly remembered. He twisted to point it out to Emily but she and the medic both held him down.

“We’ll find it,” she promised. “You said that the driver didn’t drive like Matt Perry. What did you mean by that?”

The paramedic moved Emily out of the way. “Ma’am, you can question him at the hospital. This man needs immediate physician attention.” What Campbell really needed was someone not asking him questions that he would be inclined to move as he answered.

Campbell rolled his eyes but didn’t argue. He just yelled out to Emily before the ambulance doors were shut, “Matt thinks he’s a race car driver and he drives like it. This guy didn’t. He wasn’t crawling along, but he wasn’t speeding either. I would bet that he was doing exactly the speed limit.”

Lisa heard Campbell yell to Emily and was suddenly focusing on her. “Were you questioning Dean?” she demanded.

“He made me promise to get you to the hospital and to make sure that you were informed about his condition. The car I’m driving is this way,” Emily pointed.

She had completely taken the wind out of Lisa Braeden’s sails. Lisa fumbled for a moment. “I’d really like to have a car to get anything he needs.”

“Ma’am, he’s going into protective custody and so are you. You’ll have a bunch of FBI agents to go for things.”

Now Lisa hemmed and hawed.

“We won’t leave you stranded,” Emily said. “I promise. If the FBI doesn’t take you where you need to go, we’ll get a squad car to drive you. But our highest priority right now is to get you and Ben to the hospital.”

The woman was looking from her son to the departing ambulance and back to Emily, eyes darting from one to the other as if trying to evaluate every option. Finally she nodded. “Hospital first. Then we’ll need to go home and get a few things.”


Lisa was worried, and Dean hated that. It was just a shoulder wound. He’d had worse from his own brother once upon a time, been clawed and strangled and even electrocuted, and his dad would have called him a wuss for even considering going to the hospital with such a minor injury. Five years ago, this particular problem would have been solved in a motel bathroom with a pair of sterilized tweezers and a bottle of Jack. God, civilian life was making him soft.

Lisa’s worry was making Ben nervous, which Dean hated even more. Ben tended to be a little overprotective of his family, which usually made him a little proud. It was less enjoyable when it was aimed at him.

Various members of the FBI were also crowded into the room, both the ones who had questioned him earlier and some new agents that took the time to introduce themselves. As someone who had spent the better part of his life trying to avoid this kind of attention, Dean wanted very badly to clear them all out, send them away and lick his wounds in private.

He could tell he wasn’t going to get the chance.

The doctor chased about half of them away, though the one built like a football player played bodyguard for him as they wheeled him to X-ray and the brunette woman stayed with Lisa and Ben. He both hated to see that skinny kid go and was glad that he’d gone with the two older guys; it had been a long time since he’d had such a strong (good) reminder of Sam at his geekiest and best.

Dean was prepared for some confusion once they got a look at the x-rays; he still remembered the gaping disbelief he’d encountered just after he’d gotten the glamour shots of his ribs back when Cas had first carved the symbols into his bones. He’d been fairly successful at avoiding such things since then, but this time it was pretty much unavoidable. What he wasn’t ready to see was a cheerful doctor slapping a radiograph onto the lightbox and revealing only a broken collarbone, with no sign of anything at all unusual on the rest of the bones.

“Son of a bitch,” he muttered, leaning forward to get a better look and wincing as he jarred his shoulder. He wondered if he could ask for another set to be done so he could get a look at the rest of his ribcage.

“It’s a fairly clean break for a gunshot,” the man said, oblivious. “It shouldn’t be difficult to set once we get the bullet out.”

He could tell that Lisa was trying to keep her own surprise from showing. She’d seen the x-rays of his chest last year when he’d finally brought in everything that wasn’t a weapon from the Impala. As weird as it would have been to see those symbols etched into his ribs, it was even stranger knowing they should be there and not seeing them.

“How long is it going to take?” Agent Morgan asked. “We’ve got to get these three somewhere safe and out of the public as quickly as possible.”

“I can get him into surgery to remove the bullet and set the bones right now. He’ll need about six hours to recover, though. We’re going to need to give him a unit of blood and watch out for any reactions before it’s safe to release him.”

“I’ll watch out for Lisa and Ben,” the female agent said. Dean didn’t know if she’d ever been introduced to him, or if he’d just forgotten the name in all the chaos and gunshot wounds. “You stay with Dean.”

Morgan shook his head. “We might as well all stay together in the waiting room. They aren’t going to let me go into surgery and this isn’t the kind of unsub who is going to risk a hospital assassination.”

“There’s too much of the profile up in the air to chance it,” she said. “So far Dean and Jen Secor are the only ones who have gotten close enough for a look and apparently whoever is pulling this off is willing to kill to keep going.”

“I’d feel better if you both stayed with Lisa and Ben,” Dean said, a little woozy from blood loss but still coherent enough to make that decision. He wanted them watching out for his family. If something happened to him, Castiel would probably bring him back. Lisa and Ben had no such safety net.

“Tough,” Agent Morgan said. “Prentiss has a point. You’ve already been shot once because you were in the way of the unsub. There’s a chance that whoever shot you will come back to finish the job. I’ll set up outside the OR just in case.”

Dean wanted to argue, but there wasn’t much point and he was getting too tired and in too much pain to do so effectively. He just nodded, tried to look reassuring for Lisa and Ben, and leaned back against the bed. There was time for one quick prayer to Castiel to watch out for the two of them before they put him under.


Morgan watched the really tall nurse flip through Dean’s medical chart. There was a seriousness in the man’s expression, a solemn intentness that Morgan normally saw in surgeons and SWAT members.

The man had been in the room when Morgan came inside. He’d noticed Morgan as soon as the agent entered the room, given him a sharp-eyed once-over, presumably looking or injury or illness, and then dismissed him entirely.

Morgan made himself comfortable in the chair beside Dean’s bed. “How did the surgery go?” he asked.

“Fine.” The man offered Morgan an uplifting smile and the profiler realized that this man’s bedside manner must be phenomenal. Morgan hoped he would still be on duty to calm Lisa Braeden when the woman returned.

“When will he wake up?”

There was a shrug. “Forty-five minutes, no longer than an hour.”

“That soon?” Morgan had figured two to three hours at least.

The nurse smiled again, apologetic. “I could be completely wrong.” He returned the chart to the foot of the bed. “If you’ll excuse me?” The man walked out, probably to finish his rounds.

Morgan settled I to watch the door and the patient. He also set his watch timer to forty-five minutes. Prentiss might be back with Lisa and Ben by then, and the woman’s mind would definitely be a little more settled if Dean was waking up by then.

He kept watch while he waited, checking the hallway outside of the room and glancing out of the windows for suspicious activity. The surgeon stopped by after about half an hour to check the wound. Morgan asked her the same question he’d asked the nurse and got a wildly different answer of about two hours, which was disappointing but more in line with what he expected. He thought about mentioning to the doctor that a nurse was giving contradictory times, but decided it wasn’t something that mattered.

That first estimate, given to him by the nurse, had almost completely disappeared from Morgan’s mind when his watch beeped and Dean’s eyes cracked open.


Morgan called Hotch to let him know when Campbell was awake from surgery. Prentiss had taken Lisa Braeden and her son to their house to pick up what they would need before they headed to the safe house. Lisa had insisted on waiting until they knew that the man had made it through safely.

Hotch was glad to hear it, in his own buttoned-down way, though he had a few questions for the man. Some of them could be answered by the things he had told Prentiss before he went into surgery, but some of the others were a little more complicated. “We need to know more about how he knew something was wrong. He’s a victim now, just as much as the others, and we have to get a profile on him.”

“So am I questioning him about the missing year? Or about his life as Dean Smith?” Morgan asked.

“The missing year,” Hotch answered. “I don’t think you’ll have time to open the other can of worms, and I think whatever happened to put him on this edge had to have happened during that year.”

“Hotch, people go off the grid for a reason. Whatever Dean’s reason is, he’s not going to want to talk about it.”

“I know and I don’t want to get bogged down in this mystery when we have two unsubs out there taking kids. I just need to know how he’ll jump when he’s on the hot seat. It’s not like we can take him out of the unsubs’ sights now that they’ve already found him.”

“All right, I’ll give it a shot. Any progress finding the car?”

“We found it abandoned three miles away in the parking lot of a grocery store. No surveillance footage between here and there. We’re trying to see how and when it was stolen in the first place. The important thing now is to keep Campbell safe. He’s our best lead right now.”

“I’ll call when the doctor says its safe to move him.” He hung up and headed into the recovery room. The doctor had cleared the man for visitors, though he’d warned that it might be a while before Dean woke up from the anesthesia.

“Dean, do you mind if I call you Dean?” Morgan asked, just to see if the injured man would tense up. “Because our tech analyst, and she is good, found you in our system as Dean Smith.”

Dean’s jaw dropped open. “How the hell… Damn… I wasn’t expecting that.” The way the he mouthed his own name indicated that he spoke the truth. “I haven’t heard that name in a very long time.”

“So can I call you Dean?” Morgan asked.

Dean waved the hand attached to the uninjured arm. “Go ahead.”

“You understand that the Unsubs are gunning for you, right?”

Dean rolled his eyes. “Ya think.” Morgan realized that with one comment, he managed to lower Dean’s already low expectations of the FBI.

“We’re going to keep you safe.”

“You’re going to try,” Dean countered.

“Do or do not,” Morgan replied in his loftiest tone. “There is no try.”

Dean grinned. Morgan had effectively broken the tense moment and given the man some hope that they weren’t all sticks-in-the-mud that didn’t think outside the box. Now Morgan had to keep him talking. “We’ve also sent the families of the children who were staying with you to various safe houses. Ms. Secor, as well. Our FBI agents have confirmed that the female half of the Unsub team talked to the teachers at Ben’s school to find out about you. If they are using teacher gossip for information and not the police, they won’t be able to track the children down.”

“That’s good.”

Morgan tilted his head to examine the burn scar, shaped like a handprint, on Dean’s injured shoulder. He’d caught a glimpse of it at the garage before they’d wheeled the man away, but he’d been a little more focused on other things at the time. “Interesting scar.”

“You ever wake up, feeling like you’ve died and have no idea what happened since the last time you were conscious?”

“Yeah,” Morgan laughed. He had experienced that a time or three. “Too bad. It’s a scar that should have one hell of a story behind it.”

“I hurt bad enough at the time that I really didn’t want to know.”

“Did you spend that year off the grid drunk?”

Dean closed his eyes in pain. “I was definitely drinking more than anyone would recommend. I don’t remember all of that time and what I do remember, I want to forget.”

“When we went to pick up some clothes for your family, we noticed that there wasn’t any obvious alcohol in the house.” That had been a useful clue from Prentiss, who was far more observant than she had a right to be. No beer in the fridge, no bottles tucked into the kitchen cabinets. If the man was drinking at all, he was being incredibly circumspect about it.

“One of Lisa’s rules when I moved in.”

“I can see her point,” Morgan hedged. “Ben imitates everything you do.”

Dean rubbed his face with his hands. “Yeah. I know. But he’s a good kid, he’ll do better than I did.”

Morgan shook his head. “I don’t know about that. You wrote up… what fourteen security designs in a week to keep kids safe? In a week? That’s impressive. If Ben matches his father, he’ll go very far.”

One of the local LEO’s came to the door of the room, knocking against the frame politely before he came inside. “The safe house is ready,” he told them both. “And the doctor says it’s safe to move him.”

Moving the small family to the safe house wasn’t as difficult as it seemed like it should be, even with one of them injured and under the influence of painkillers. Dean was apparently a light, compact packer who had taught his family how to do the same. Prentiss told him as they were loading the three of them into the black SUV that Lisa and Ben had packed not only their bags, but one for Dean as well in less than ten minutes.

Driving to the safe house was easy, no tails of any sort. The only worry was when they arrived. Reid had already scouted the building and had told the others that no one was around. It was safe to drive up the long driveway to the safe house.

Then the stupid SUV stalled just off the street.

Morgan had never seen anything like it. Then Dean’s door was opened and a man stood outside. He hadn’t been there before. Morgan was sure of it. Morgan and Prentiss had their guns aimed at him, but he was unarmed and uncaring of their weapons.

“Dean,” he said.

“Cas. You got my message,” their witness told him.

“I did.” Cas reached out and touched Dean’s injured shoulder gently. “Do take care, Dean. Your time is not finished.” Then Cas stepped back, closed the door and casually walked away, his trench coat flapping in the wind.

“Seriously?” Ben broke the stunned silence. “He’s watched too many movies.”

Dean laughed and it wasn’t because he found the statement funny. He was remembering some horrible memories. “Agent Morgan,” he looked at Morgan. “Can we get inside?”

Morgan had the feeling that Dean was on the edge of some sort of breakdown, and that was the last thing any of them needed. He turned the key in the ignition and the engine turned over as if nothing was wrong. The drive up the driveway was eventless. By the time he parked in front of the safe house where Reid was holding the door open, Morgan could almost convince himself that it had never happened. While the trained investigator wanted to know what was going on, something else insisted that he really, really didn’t. For the time being, he was going with his instincts on this matter.

Part 3


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 17th, 2011 09:51 am (UTC)
"It's a scar that should have one hell of a story behind it."

Oh, Morgan. :) If only you knew! (Is it fair that I want him to find out? <3 )
Jun. 17th, 2011 10:19 am (UTC)
Fair? What's fair? :-)
Jun. 17th, 2011 10:24 am (UTC)
You never know, it might happen.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 16th, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
I notice that Dean has the tendency to tell the truth, but in such an ironic way that he's never believed.

Glad you liked it.
Oct. 28th, 2013 06:37 pm (UTC)
smoorman76' s comment on sour cherry pie life part2
Ditto! Ditto! Ditto! Great observation and great writing putting it in the fic :-)
Oct. 28th, 2013 06:35 pm (UTC)
sour cherry pie life 2
I forgot that Cas made an appearance. And what an entrance it was. Ben was great! Loved Sam being spot on about when Dean would wake up. :-)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


vi, no words

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