The Winchesters crept along the landing and cautiously opened the door to their room.
As the rough wooden door swung open with a pained squeak, both brothers leaned forward and squinted into the dilatory space behind it.
Their hearts sank.
Aside from the fact it was dirty, completely devoid of any decoration and utterly depressing, the words 'broom cupboard' spontaneously sprung to both brothers' minds.
"Crap, the Impala's trunk is bigger than this!" Dean groaned, looking up at Sam with despairing eyes.
Walking into the room, they bumped shoulders as they attempted to manouevre around each other. Overbalancing, Dean found himself pushed down on the bed courtesy of a flying elbow as Sam shuffled around Dean's splayed feet to light the oil lamp which sat on a small table at the end of the room.
"Well, it's all we've got," Sam sighed, "so we might as well make the best of it."
Stumbling over Dean's feet, he turned to sit on the ancient bed next to Dean and began to remove his boots; the bed's wooden frame squeaked and bowed menacingly under their combined weight.
Following his brother's lead, Dean bent forward to remove his boots, but quickly uprighted himself with a sharp gasp, grimacing in pain. "Jeez…" he panted, clutching his side.
Glancing at Dean in concern, Sam laid a hand on Dean's slumped shoulder. "What's wrong dude?" He noticed a faint sheen of sweat glowing across Dean's brow in the dim, flickering lamplight.
"Dunno," Dean moaned quietly, sucking in a breath; "it's that friggin' stew; I think my belly's still trying to figure out what to do with it."
Sam squeezed the shoulder beneath his hand.
"jus' cramps." Dean sighed, arching his back to try to stretch the cramp out of his belly and shrugging his shoulder out from beneath Sam's hand; "s'alright now."
He glanced around the room; "that's a point; what's a man supposed to do if he … you know?"
Sam shrugged, "don' know, dude, there might be some kind of bathroom along the landing;" he kicked his boots under the bed and heard a hollow 'ding' as they clattered against something ceramic.
The brothers looked at each other, noses wrinkling in disgust.
"Ewwww…." they moaned in unison.
Castiel scanned the book he was holding; squinting at it's musty pages as all the words began to spin and blend into one jumbled mass. Was it possible for an angel to lose the will to live? He sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose, and guessed that maybe it was.
He glanced across the dim room to see Bobby slumped unconsciously across his desk. His left hand cradled an empty whisky bottle as he snored into the well-thumbed vellum of another ancient tome.
So far their combined efforts over four days had gleaned exactly nothing. Castiel grew more and more frustrated by his wound and the resultant weakness; what use was an angel who couldn't do anything - well - angelic? Sure, he was slowly recovering, but he was still a long way off being able to do anything more ambitious than brew Bobby yet another cup of coffee. He felt utterly helpless as he sat watching the older man descending deeper into forlorn desperation with each passing day.
He knew helplessness was a very human feeling, and he really couldn't understand how the poor creatures could bear it.
Because he couldn't.
Getting undressed for bed was proving to be a trial as the brothers hopped and gyrated around each other in the claustrophobic cubbyhole. Finding himself once again on the receiving end of a haymaker as Sam pulled off his overshirt, Dean overbalanced, jeans pooled round his ankles, and faceplanted into Sam's chest. Eventually, however, exhaustion did it's job and saw the brothers settled; Dean in the room's tiny bed, flat on his back, feet hanging off the end of the thin, mysteriously stained mattress, and Sam lying on the grubby floor next to him using their duffel as a pillow and Dean's long coat as a blanket.
Sam's eyes scanned the ceiling, listening to Dean's sighs as he drifted into sleep; the bedsprings creaking each time he shifted on the lumpy mattress. Knowing he was in for an uncomfortable night, Sam hoped against hope that Dean's unsettled belly would settle soon. In a room this small with no bathroom; the consequences of a unpleasant stew aftermath didn't bear thinking about.
Squeezing his eyes closed he tried to force sleep out of them, doing his best to think of nice, soothing things … playing soccer, kissing Jess, driving the Impala, sunshine, puppies, spiders …
His eyes flicked open to see another long legged beastie, looking disturbingly like the one that had accompanied them in the saloon during their meal, sprawled across the ceiling looking down on him
He sighed; "God, I hate this place."
When Sam next opened his eyes, the dawn sunlight was filtering weakly through the tiny, grime coated window in their room. He tried to move, groaning as every stiff, cold muscle protested. Eventually, defying his aching back and numb ass he managed to ease himself up into a sitting position and glanced, blinking, across to the bed.
Dean was laying on his side, curled into a ball, his arm firmly clamped across his midriff. He looked nauseously grey, the sheen of sweat still very much in evidence, glistening across his face.
Sensing Sam's presence, his eyes fluttered open, and he attempted a faint smile.
"You ok there dude?" Sam asked, "you don't look too good."
Dean swallowed harshly and shook his head. "stomach hurts … friggin' stew;" he mumbled into his pillow.
Gripping the mattress for support Sam climbed to his knees and heaved himself onto the bed to sit beside his brother.
"where does it hurt?"
Dean tried to straighten a little as he pressed his hand over his navel, then down to his right hip. "all 'cross there" he groaned.
Sam felt a shiver of dread through his body; he sucked in a deep breath.
Dean nodded; the nod turned into a shake of the head. "Sometimes … mostly aches."
He drew his knees back up into his chest, sucking in another shaky breath as he did so.
"You feel sick bro'?"
The nod was barely perceptible.
"Is it worth me trying to find a doctor?"
"What here? You jokin'?" Dean snorted.
Scraping a hand over his face, Sam glanced up to the ceiling. Their roommate had been wandering in the night, and had made it to the corner of the ceiling above Dean's bed; it sat there, eight legs spreadeagled around it, blissfully oblivious to the drama going on below it.
Sam sighed. Damned spiders were all over the place in this craphole; wouldn't be surprised if there were a few in that stew last night; he'd even dreamed about the disgusting, creepy things.
He turned his attentions back to Dean who had hauled himself up into a sitting position next to his brother, and sat hunched, clutching his belly and groaning miserably.
"Couldn't sleep prop'ly," Dean sighed, rubbing heavy lidded, glassy eyes.
"stomach ache?" Sam ventured.
Dean nodded, "yeah, plus I kep' havin' friggin' nightmares," Dean groaned; "kep' dreamin' about spiders."
Sam froze; "spiders?"
"yeah," Dean shuddered, "like that creepy, fugly sonofabitch up there". He pointed up above his head.
"Dean, that's weird, I dreamed about spiders last night."
Dean gave a cold smile; "well, who knows what shit was in that stew; any wonder we're havin' bad dreams … it must have been like eatin' ten pounds of cheese right before bed."
Sam took in Dean's grey, clammy face, his almost four days of beard growth. Sam rubbed his hand across his own chin and felt the same greasy stubble. Both brothers hadn't been able to freshen up in four days and the stench of grime and sweat in the room was overpowering.
"Let see if I can find some water and soap so we can have scrub up," Sam suggested, "and then maybe we can find a barber so we can have a shave." He looked across at Dean, knowing that his brother would be hating being this filthy and unwashed as much as he was; "that might make us feel better."
Dean nodded unenthusiastically, his hand still clamped firmly around his middle.
Sam stood up reaching for his jeans when the door was suddenly flung open.
Sam stumbled forward, almost head butting the wall as Dean leapt off the bed in shock, crumpling back down in pain immediately afterwards.
"That's them," grunted a man who Sam immediately recognised as the blacksmith from Sunrise. He looked across at the man's oppo who wore a sheriff's badge and, more worryingly, held a rifle pointed directly at Dean.
Behind them, Sam could see the wizened figure of the bartender, peering between the shoulders of the two much taller men.
The brothers glanced at each other; their mutual expressions a mixture of dread and defeat.
"Those was my damn horses you two sonsofbitches stole," the blacksmith scowled then turned to Dean alone; "an' I saw that that devil magic what you done when you burned that man all up."
He glared pure hatred at the Winchesters; "Sunrise ain't got a sheriff right now since you murdered the last one with your dark magic, new one's on his way;" he continued, "so the good sheriff here in Possum is goin' to deal with you thievin' bastards, an' he don't like outsiders, 'specially not ones that do wicked witchery an' steal good men's horses."
Dean opened his mouth, wanting to explain that it wasn't him that killed the last sheriff, but somehow, he didn't think either of these men would believe him.
Sam raised his hands in a conciliatory gesture, "We don't want any trouble buddy…" he began.
"Well, that's too bad, 'cos you gotta whole heap of trouble; buddy." The sheriff spat the last word as if it were an insult; "now git yer asses down the stairs, and don't try none of that devil magic."
Possum Creek Sheriff's Office
Sam stood forlornly in the middle of his dismal cell, his tongue worrying his swollen, bleeding lip. He sighed, leaning on the rusty bars across the door and craned his neck, watching Sheriff Obadiah Walton moving around his office.
Walton had made no attempt to disguise his intense dislike of the Winchesters. It soon became worryingly obvious that he had them tried and convicted without the need to resort to the inconvenience of consulting twelve good men and true.
According to Walton, the whole town of Sunrise had seen Dean burn that man up, and his blacksmith friend had seen them ride away on his horse; a giant, wall-eyed black and white thing, not exactly easy to argue the man may have been mistaken.
So that was it, apparently; justice 1861-style.
Casting his racing mind back to his pre-law days, Sam had employed his best debating skills, firstly to try to convince the hard-headed man of their best intentions in killing Finch back in Sunrise, secondly to try to secure something resembling a fair trial, and thirdly to try to talk Walton into putting them together in the same cell.
He had failed parlously on all counts, Walton's response to his sincere entreaties being along the lines of, 'shut ya goddamned trap before I shut it for ya;' followed swiftly by a backhander across the mouth just to reinforce the point.
This was getting serious; deadly serious. This lunatic had it within his power to string them both up; although, Sam reflected fearfully, if Dean's condition continued to deteriorate at it's current rate he might well save the hangman a job.
Peering through the bars between them, his sense of unease grew at how still his brother had become as he lay curled up on his side on the bench which also doubled as his bed. He spoke up quietly; "how you doin' dude?"
Dean grunted into his arm without even lifting his head to look at Sam.
Sam could see Dean's back heaving with each pained breath, his right arm tucked firmly into his side, trembling fist pressing and kneading into the hollow above his hipbone, trying to create some relief from the growing pain. The sheen of sweat across Dean's neck told Sam all he needed to know.
Dean had not endeared himself to Walton by vomiting twice over the floor of his office as the brothers had been manhandled into their separate cells. Since then, his condition had declined rapidly, and Sam's frantic concern had peaked accordingly.
Pacing up and down his cell, Sam grew increasingly frantic as he heard Dean panting, letting loose the occasional groan as he tried to move or shift his arm. His agitation was climbing to the degree that he was going to do something stupid if he wasn't allowed to join Dean, to be a comforting presence for his sick brother to lean into, something warm and protective.
He had a fair idea what was wrong with Dean. He hoped against hope that he was wrong, but everything pointed to the fact. If Sam was right this would have been the cruellest joke Winchester luck had ever played on the brothers.
There was no cure for appendicitis in the old west.
Castiel glanced up over the top of his latest reading material at Bobby.
His strength was returning; he could feel it. The wound was closing, gradually healing. Although he was a long way from be able to retrieve the Winchesters, he had begun feel them. Nothing specific or definite, but for a while now, he had been picking up their feelings, their reactions; Dean would have called it their vibes.
And it wasn't good.
He felt he should share this news with Bobby, but he wasn't convinced the older man was in any fit state to know such a thing. He was consumed with worry already.
Castiel took in the slumped shoulders, ragged, ungroomed beard and red-rimmed eyes of the older hunter. He squinted over the top of his book, surreptitiously watching Bobby sigh as he turned another unhelpful page, pinching the bridge of his nose, and chugging back another burning measure of hunter's helper.
Castiel decided to go with the tactful approach; he would assess whether Bobby was ready to hear his news.
He cleared his throat; "how are you coping with our lack of success Bobby?" He just managed to duck as the glass tumbler smashed against the wall behind his head.
Perhaps he would keep this development to himself for a while.
Sam's head whirled as he considered his options. If he could find a suitable tool, he could pick the lock easily. One lock was easily picked, but two? He wasn't going anywhere without Dean, so that meant there were two locks that needed dealing with.
Dean was in no condition to be on the run; would Sam be able to carry Dean out of the jail without being seen? Without being stopped?
Assuming everything went exactly to plan; he successfully picked the locks, and got them out of the building and the town unseen, where would they go?
Was there anything to be gained from trying to escape?
His head slumped onto his chest. Yep, screwed to hell didn't even begin to describe it. Well and truly up Shit Creek, or possibly even Possum Creek without a paddle.
Jolted out of his musings, he heard a hoarse moan next to him.
"Dean?" He leapt to his feet and leaned into the bars separating his cell from Dean's.
Dean had rolled onto his back, his arm clamped across his waist, his moan rising into a pained cry. Sam looked down on the bloodless face, and reached through the bars, stretching as he tried to touch his brother's sweat dampened head, desperate to afford even a small amount of comfort.
"S-Sam … oh God, hurts …"
Sam's trembling fingertips fell just inches short of his brother's spiky hair. "I'm here Dean, right here; just can't reach you," he gasped, pressing himself as hard against the metal bars as he could, trying to eke a couple of extra inches out of his straining shoulder.
Dean's rapid breaths began to steady as the pain subsided.
Both brothers flinched on hearing a sharp clang across the bars, as Walton smashed a rifle butt against them
"I told ya to shut your goddamn noise."
Sam rounded on Walton, his former meek submission melting into fury."He's sick, you moron," Sam gestured angrily towards Dean, "and in pain."
Walton raised his rifle, turning it round; "well maybe I should just put the sorry bastard out of his misery then."
Stepping back rapidly, Sam raised his hands in submission; "okay, okay; look I'm sorry. Please, he's sick; he's in a lot of pain." Sam hesitated to see if he was making inroads into Walton's sense of humanity; the signs weren't encouraging.
"Please let me go into his cell and sit with him, I think that'll calm him down."
Walton glared at Sam, a horrible sneer curling his tobacco stained lips;
"What, you two no-goods think I'm stupid?"
Sam resisted with all his might the urge to say, 'yes, I think you're a complete cretin, and if you weren't pointing a gun at my sick brother's head I would gladly tear your face off;' but instead took a deep breath and nauseously swallowed his anger again.
"No sir," he mumbled, choking on the words.
"I let you into his cell, and the next thing, I'm getting my throat cut when you two scheming bastards make a break for it."
Sam pointed to Dean, still curled up on his bed, watching the exchange from under heavy-lidded eyes. "Look at him; he's not going anywhere."
Walton folded his arms, "Yeah, yeah … seen it all before."
Sam's jaw dropped. "You think he's faking it?"
That horrible sneer crossed Walton's face again.
Trembling with anger, sam continued; "what about the sweating, the grey face, the shivering, the nausea; he faking that too?" He looked across at Dean again, curling tighter in on himself, his groans had subsided into rapid panting breaths.
"I ain't wastin' my time talkin' to you, smart-ass." Walton turned to walk away.
Sam scraped a hand across his face and took a deep shuddering breath to compose himself.
"Please," he began; "please let me go into my brother's cell." He briefly switched on the puppy-dog eyes before realising he was wasting his time; pearls before swine.
"I won't give you any trouble. You can cuff me to the bars if that will make you feel safer; please just let me sit with my brother."
Walton snorted and walked away, waving his hand dismissively. "Damn chickenshit suckers," he grumbled as he went; "sick eh? See 'bout that."
Sam watched him go, and his head dropped limply against the bars separating him from his brother; "I'm sorry dude, I don't know what to do."
"We're screwed Sammy," Dean whispered, trying his damndest to calm his shuddering breaths; "'m sorry … my stupid idea to come here."
His breath hitched and he shivered, drawing his knees up to his chest through another wave of pain.
Frustration and rage boiled over and Sam roared, landing a smashing punch against the metal bars, startling Dean as the entire structure of the cell shook. He barely felt the pain of his knuckles cracking under the assault.
A few minutes passed before Walton returned to the cells with another man. A comically small, ferrety man, with stray grey hairs sprouting out of the sides of his largely bald head; he sported thick pince-nez glasses and an expression that was living proof of a life lived without love.
"Yeah, claims he's sick … groaning and clutchin' his guts;" Walton snorted contemptuously, "but I'm not havin' the bastard kickin' it before I can get the arrangements made; better check him over."
Sam bristled, guessing what those 'arrangements' were.
He looked up; "hey, are you a doct…"
"Can it;" barked Walton, as he unlocked the door to Dean's cell, walking in behind the small man. Sam reflected that with his black suit and solemn expression he had the air of an undertaker; the thought was a little too close to home.
Flinging himself at the bars, Sam shouted across the cell; "He's real sick, I think it's his append…" he recoiled as the trusty rifle butt was smashed against the bars once again.
"It'll be your goddamned head next time."
With a stark lack of bedside manner, the doctor rolled his patient over onto his back, and without ceremony or sympathy, pulled Dean's T shirt up, pushing probing fingers into his rigid abdomen.
Clinging to the bars, Sam shook with silent rage as Dean cried out, grimacing and trying to curl up under the assault. Numb to the swelling and darkening bruises of his broken knuckles, Sam's overwhelming fury proved a powerful anaesthetic. He could feel nothing except the pain of his concern for Dean.
The doctor looked up at Walton and shrugged; "well, he's sick alright, but nothin' more than a bad of attack of gas I'd say." He rummaged in his black case, "a good dose of caster oil will do the job."
"No," Sam roared, shaking the bars wildly, "it's not that, it's his appendix; you can't give him that you stupid sonofabitch, you'll hurt him."
Another slam of the rifle across the bars, this time catching Sam across the bridge of the nose, he staggered backwards, clutching his face and cursing as Walton roughly hoisted Dean into a sitting position allowing the doctor to force a dose of the disgusting liquid down his throat, irritably repeating the process as his distressed patient choked the cloying slick back up.
Leaving Dean to sink bonelessly back down on the bed, Walton held the cell door open gesturing the doctor out of the cell; "he'll be fine in a few hours," the doctor confirmed without casting a second glance back at his patient.
Sam shook the bars to his cell, "Dean, you ok?"
Dean shuffled weakly across the bed, clutching at his stomach, shaking, and coughing before lying down again.
"S'mmy, … , he leaned weakly into the corner of the wall and the bars, fighting to keep his eyes open.
Resting his head against the bars which stood between him and his brother, Sam closed his eyes. He was comforted by the throbbing of his broken hand; in suffering too, he felt closer to Dean.
He reached through the bars and took Dean's hand in his own, uninjured hand squeezing it gently, making no effort to wipe away the tear which slid down his cheek.
Sam didn't see the spider which scuttled across the floor between the brothers, and settled itself quietly in the corner.
Sam leaned despondently into the bars separating him from Dean. His arm threaded through the bars enabling him to keep a hand resting on Dean's head, long fingers carding absently through the sweat soaked hair.
Feeling the fevered tremors racking Dean's body through the palm of his hand, Sam's heart ached for his brother. Dean had fallen almost silent, scared his pained moans would earn Sam another battering with Sheriff Walton's rifle butt, and no amount of coaxing and reassuring could elicit a word out of the suffering man. Only Sam in his close proximity could hear the constant breathy groans which rumbled quietly in the back of his throat, as he curled tighter and tighter in on himself, desperate to find some respite from his suffering.
Sam swallowed back his hatred for Walton and reflected with relief that he hadn't seen or heard him for a couple of hours. Not that he missed him; the man was a card-carrying sadist with all the charm and sympathy of an epidemic. He'd heard him moving around the office on the other side of the cells earlier; his chair scraping backwards across the hollow wooden floor, the creak as he lowered his substantial bulk into it, followed by the rustling of papers and irritable mutterings, some revoltingly animated eating noises and finally, a loud and nauseating belch was the last sound the brothers had heard from their jailor.
The meals that Walton had grudgingly pushed under the bars for the two prisoners sat on the floor on grubby wooden plates. A hunk of rustic, slightly mouldy bread and cheese which smelt like feet. Sam hadn't touched his; his fear and worry had chased away his appetite and Walton's offering had done nothing to tempt it.
Dean hadn't even noticed his was there.
Bobby had been keeping an eye on his guest all morning. Castiel looked shifty and pale; Bobby couldn't be sure but he would have been prepared to swear there was a sheen of sweat across the angel's furrowed brow.
Eventually, curiosity got the better of him. "Okay, out with it; What the hell's wrong with ya?"
Castiel glanced up from a long, faded parchment to look at at Bobby's stern face. "There is nothing wrong; I am recovering well," he responded nervously.
"I'm not talkin' about ya puncture" Bobby snorted, standing up over his desk; "you've been jumpin' like a cat on hot bricks ever since I woke up." His eyes narrowed suspiciously, "now, what's up?"
Castiel cocked his head in confusion, then pointed hesitantly at the ceiling.
"Bobby rolled his eyes; "God preserve us - that's not what I mean ya moron," he sighed. "Something's wrong; now, are ya gonna tell me what's the matter or do I hafta beat it out of ya?"
Castiel took a deep breath; "I am - um - uncomfortable. " He made a point of rubbing the site of his healing wound to illustrate the point.
"Yer also a friggin' bad liar;" Bobby's eyes bored menacingly into the angel, making him squirm. "Have you found something?"
Castiel wilted under Bobby's grim gaze; "I - uh - have a question." he asked earnestly; "if you knew something that you also knew would hurt or worry someone you cared about, would you tell it to them?"
Bobby thought for a moment, unsure of where this was heading. "If it was something that was important to them, then yes I would," he answered eventually.
Castiel looked down to the ground with intense sadness in his eyes; "very well then; I am beginning to recover Bobby."
Bobby shrugged; "well that's good, ain't it?"
The angel's response was inscrutable; "as I grow stronger, I have started to feel them."
Bobby's face crumpled into something between puzzlement and suspicion; "what, you mean …?" He held out his hand making grabbing motions with his fingers.
Castiel shook his head; "no, I only feel their minds."
"Oh;" Bobby nodded to confirm his understanding, and folded his arms, gesturing for Castiel to continue.
"I have been starting to pick up their - uh - feelings," Castiel hesitated before continuing; "Bobby, they are in trouble."
Bobby winced, slowly sinking back down into his chair; "what sort of trouble?" he muttered weakly.
"I do not know, but it is bad. Very bad."
"Well, get them back then." Bobby's voice sunk into a desperate growl.
"I cannot;" Castiel shrugged miserably, "I am simply not strong enough yet."
Bobby spluttered, waving his arms helplessly at the angel; "well, try harder … do whatever it takes; y'can rest here as long as ya need to recover," he pleaded, "please, Castiel, please try again."
The angel's pale face looked mournfully up at Bobby, as he pulled open his trench coat revealing a swathe of crimson across his crumpled shirt; a sign that the steady healing of his wound had been catastrophically reversed.
Bobby paled as Castiel whispered; "I tried this morning."
Sam knew his brother was dying and there was nothing he could do to prevent it. As Dean's condition progressed, he wanted nothing more than to gather his shivering, pain-crazed brother into his arms and nurse him tightly through his last terrible hours, but even that small comfort was denied him. He had to take what comfort he could from the minimal contact he was able to maintain as he softly threaded his fingertips through Dean's damp hair. To make sure Dean, in his delirious confusion, knew he was still there he softly sung some of Dean's favourite songs that he could remember the words to, half expecting Walton to appear with his rifle butt any time.
Allowing his eyes to drift out of focus; Sam chanted a soothing mantra of nonsense as Dean squirmed weakly beneath his hand, desperate to find some relief from his suffering; arching his back and drawing his knees up to his chest, shuddering breaths accompanying each pained and ultimately futile shift.
Sam sighed, swallowing down the intense throb from his broken hand as he watched his little spider cell-mate navigate the edges of his cell; closing his eyes he allowed his head to drop back against the wall.
When his eyes flickered open, he thought he might have dozed off for a few minutes. He felt woozy, disoriented. Maybe he was still asleep; that would explain the extremely old American Indian lady that stood in front of him where he had last seen the spider.
He blinked in confusion and rubbed his eyes; she was still there. Not a dream then.
Sam instinctively glanced across to Dean, tightening his grip on his brother's burning scalp; Dean's glassy eyes blinked slowly as he stared up out of a pain-knotted face through the bars at Sam; that familiar low gasping grunt of pain still sounding with each laboured breath.
The woman who stood before him was old, so very old; generations-worth of deep wrinkles latticing her leathery face which was framed by a cascade of poker straight, matted grey hair. A pained stoop and a heavy gown of leather which completely engulfed her made her tiny frame look even smaller than it actually was.
Sam squinted as he noticed a disproportionately large wooden pendant hanging around her thin neck. It bore the image of a spider.
She regarded Sam with tiny sunken eyes, black as jet, which nevertheless sparkled from within her weatherbeaten face.
"W-who are you?" Sam whispered, nonplussed.
His visitor smiled benignly; "I am Subbeka'she; my people call me 'Grandmother'."
Sam stood up, relinguishing his grip on Dean's head and scraped his uninjured hand through his hair; he glanced sideways nervously. Although he hadn't seen or heard from Walton for a couple of hours now, he could have been anywhere and Sam didn't imagine him to be the tolerant or sympathetic type where native Americans were concerned. "What are you doing in here?" he whispered.
"I am my people and my people are me. I move back and forth through the intricate web of their lives, taking care of them and their forebears. I have been watching over them since the beginning of their time," was the old woman's cryptic response.
Completely perplexed, Sam opened his mouth to speak but she continued before he had a chance; "I have been with you since you came to this dangerous time."
Sam leaned towards the old woman; "my brother, he's really sick, he's going to die if we stay here; please ma'am, please can you help him?"
She shuffled toward him and placed a tiny arthritis riddled hand on his chest.
"Touch your brother, child."
Reaching back through the bars, Sam laid his hand on Dean's head again, and looked down at the tiny old lady. "I don't understand, why are you helping us?" he asked
"It is necessary to look to you past as well as your future to truly know yourself."
Sam opened his mouth to speak, but recoiled as a blinding light filled the cell
When he opened his eyes again, blinking back shimmering points of light which crackled and swirled in front of his teary vision, it took a few seconds for Sam to realise he was kneeling on the floor of Bobby's kitchen; a startled Bobby and Castiel staring in open mouthed disbelief down at the dishevelled, filthy figures in front of them.
His awareness snapped back into him bringing with it a brief moment of panic until he looked behind him to see Dean lying on the floor next to him; grey faced, drenched in his own sweat and convulsing in pain; Sam scrambled across the floor and desperately gathered his stricken brother into his arms.
"Bobby," he croaked desperately, burying his face into Dean's dirty, sweat soaked hair. "We need to get him to a hospital right now."