phantisma: (SamDean BW)
[personal profile] phantisma
Fandom: Supernatural
Title: Exposed
Characters/Pairings: Sam/Dean, John, Ellen, Bobby, Caleb, Pastor Jim, Jo, Ash, OMC, OFC
Rating: NC-17 (for thematic reasons)
Word Count: 3603

Summary: Broken!Verse, chapter 45 (Click here for Index of all chapters)
Summary: Gabe keeps the revelations coming...but only after saving lives, Sam does his best to reach through to Dean and not fall apart. Jo becomes more Jo like.

A/Ns and Warnings: Very dark. Includes memory of torture and rape and very dark violence.

Gabe stopped on the last stair, gesturing at his laptop. “If I’m right…” He closed his eyes and shook his head.

“Gabe?” John moved across the room. “Are you going to tell us?” His hand touched Gabe’s arm and Gabe seemed to shiver. He looked around them.

“Yeah…yeah…but we…we need to go.”

“Go? Go where?”

Gabe shook his head. He was scared. “Anywhere.” He turned the laptop to John, pointing to a clock in the corner of the screen. “I found this when I went to…I was looking for signals from the house itself….and I found something…I found this.”

“It looks like a countdown.”

Gabe nodded. “It is. And we only have five minutes.”

“What are you saying?” Ellen asked, coming to stand by John.

“I…I think someone set an explosive.”



Ellen shook her head. “Ash? Why would Ash do something like that?”

“Four and a half minutes.”

“Better safe than sorry.” John murmured. “Everyone out.”

“I gotta get Dad and Caleb…and we can’t let Ash see us.”

“I’m telling you Ash couldn’t have done this.”

“No, he totally could have.” Jo said. “He’s been acting weird…well, weirder than normal.”

“Okay, you guys get out the front and head up to the ridge. I’ll see if I can get Allen and Caleb up here.” John said, moving toward the kitchen and the back door. “Gabe, that means you. Go.”

Bobby looked up as he came into the kitchen. “Grab what you can. We’re running.” John said, pointing Bobby toward the living room. “Gabe can explain.”
John opened the back door and saw Caleb already coming. Allen was still standing by Ash at the shed. “Hey Allen?” He watched Allen look up. “Can I get your help with something?”

Allen nodded and turned back to Ash. John couldn’t hear what they were saying, but he could feel the concern creep up. “Now Allen.” John murmured under his breath.

Caleb was at the stairs. John clapped him on the shoulder. “In the house and out the front door. Up the ridge. Quickly. Allen and I are right behind you.”

Caleb looked like he wanted to ask a question, but John shook his head and that was enough. He looked for Allen and found him jogging toward him. As he neared John eased back in the door, glancing at his watch where Ash couldn’t see him. “What’s up?” Allen asked as he mounted the porch and John gestured into the house. As soon as the door was closed, John grabbed his arm and pushed toward the front of the cabin. “John?”

“We need to move. Gabe found something.”

Gabe huffed along behind Jo, adjusting his backpack and glancing behind him for signs of the others. He reached the top of the ridge and tried to calm his breathing. “You two should probably move down the other side a ways. The debris could reach here.”

Bobby pointed down the ridge. “I’m going to see if I can see Ash.”

“Keep your head down.” Gabe said. Bobby nodded and headed down toward the back of the house at a jog.

“Gabe…I don’t understand.” Ellen said, pulling Jo toward her. “How can you think….I mean, it’s Ash. He’s been with me for…god, three years.”

Gabe nodded. “I know Ellen. I’m sorry.” He turned to look back down the hill. “Two minutes.” He bit his tongue and tried not to panic. “Come on. Oh…Caleb.”

He tracked Caleb’s progress up the hill, then skipped down, picking out two other figures too far away to identify. “Come on. Get clear.” He glanced at the countdown. Ninety seconds. “Get down.”

“Shouldn’t you be down here with us?” Jo asked.

“I gotta see where they are, so we can go get them after it blows. They aren’t gonna make it.”

John glanced at his watch. One minute. “We’re not gonna make it.” They needed cover. He grabbed Allen’s arm and pointed to the thick stand of trees to their right. “It’s not much…”

The trees were young and dense, and John had to fight his way into them. Allen pressed in behind him and they fell to the ground, covering their heads with their arms as the house heaved up and exploded from the inside. Glass and wood and twisted metal spewed out and up and flames roared into the sky and through blown out windows.

The trees offered them some cover, though glass reached them, cutting into their backs and when John looked up, he found a burning ember starting to burn into Allen’s shirt. He flicked it off and Allen rolled to make sure the shirt didn’t catch.

“You okay?”

John nodded, taking an inventory of minor injuries. “I didn’t want him to be right.”

“I’ve learned that Gabe doesn’t usually say anything unless he’s pretty sure he is right.”

John looked up toward the ridge, but his line of sight was obscured by smoke. He squinted into the blaze that was already starting to consume what was left. “Shit.” He leaned over Allen, pressing him back to the ground as the flames reached the first of the vehicles and started a chain reaction of secondary explosions.

“We’re exposed here. If we’re expecting him to think we bought it in the explosion, we better move.” Allen said when John finally released him.

John nodded. He scoped the trees in front of them and pointed. “We can go round the other side.”

“Stay here.” Gabe said, giving Ellen the binoculars he’d fished out of his back pack.

“Wait, where are you going?”

“Dad and John seem to be moving on their own. I gotta go for Caleb.”

Jo stood and peered over the top of the ridge. “Where is he?”

“He’s about fifty feet down. I saw him dive for cover.” He dropped his backpack at Jo’s feet. “Just stay here. I’ll explain everything once we’re all together again.”

His heart fluttered as he moved back down the slope, moving toward the last place he’d seen Caleb. “Please be okay.” He dropped to a squat as he spotted movement, his eyes sweeping around him carefully. He didn’t think that Ash would venture out here just yet, but he wanted to be careful. This could be the first time they were actually ahead of the game…if he was right.

There was a groan off to his right. He moved slowly, until he saw Caleb’s head lifting from the ground. “Caleb!” His voice was soft, but urgent. Caleb held up a hand to let him know he was okay and rolled over slowly. “Anything broken?” Gabe asked as he knelt beside him.

Caleb shook his head and sat up. “I’m okay. You?”

“Yeah.” Gabe licked his lips. He wasn’t sure quite what to do. He reached out a hand for Caleb’s arm. “I saw you go down…and I…”

Caleb took Gabe’s hand and held it between them for a moment. Then he lifted it to his face. “I’m okay.”

Gabe nodded and leaned forward, pressing a kiss to Caleb’s lips. “We should get up to meet the others.”

Caleb groaned as he got to his feet. “I’m gonna be sore tomorrow.”

Gabe grinned at that. “More than you were this morning?”

Caleb blushed and Gabe grinned harder. “Sorry. Couldn’t resist.”

Bobby laid on his belly along the ridge, watching as Ash disappeared into the trees, just before the place went up, taking the shed with it. At least that solved one of their problems. Michael Harvelle was dead. He didn’t imagine the manner of his demise would sit well with John, but it wasn’t blood on their hands anymore either.

It didn’t make any sense.

He scratched at his beard and watched the house burn. He ducked his head when the first of the cars went up, then inched backward, putting the ridge between him and the house. He got back to Ellen and Jo before the others and sat with them. “Ash walked away.”

Ellen looked like she was in shock, her face kind of blank. “Michael?”

“Dead. The shed went up too.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Obviously Ash was playing us.” Jo said, turning around to squint at the smoke. “And Gabe figured it out. Good thing. Or we’d all be cooked right now.”

“It’s a hot fire all right.” Bobby said.

“Not Ash.” Ellen said. “He…” Jo sat back down and touched her mother’s hand.

“I told you he was squirrelly Mom. Right from the start.”

“You said he was a dirty old man in a boy’s body.”

Jo shrugged. “Same thing.”

“Everyone okay?” John’s voice rumbled up to them from below just as he and Allen appeared.

“Where’s Gabe?”

“Went for Caleb.” Ellen said, pointing over her shoulder.

“We need to get out of here.” John said as the sound of sirens started to reach them. “We need to go. Before they start searching the wreckage.”

“I second that.” Gabe said as he and Caleb came up over the top and down to where the others waited. He reached to take his backpack back from Jo. “I’ll explain once we’ve gotten some distance.”

“Where are we going to go? We don’t have a car.” Jo said as she got to her feet.

“We’ll need to get away from here, then figure that out.” John said, gesturing for her to follow Bobby who was already setting off down the hill.

Sam sat in the back seat of Pastor Jim’s car, his brother’s head in his lap, stroking his fingers through Dean’s hair. He was already thinking about where they would go….someplace even their father wouldn’t think to look.

Robert was right when he said they had patterns, and Sam was determined not to fall into them. North. He’d head them north. Somewhere off the beaten path…Or a city. A big city. New York. He’d get them an apartment in New York City.

No. The noise and the people. Dean needed quiet. Dean needed peace. He looked down at Dean. His eyes were closed, his knees bent. Dean needed a psychiatrist. Maybe they both did.

“You okay back there?”

Sam lifted his eyes to Pastor Jim’s and nodded slowly. “Just thinking.”

“About you…or Dean?”

Sam sighed softly. “Both, actually.”

“Feel like sharing?”

Sam closed his eyes and leaned back against the seat. “Just…wondering if we’ll ever…if Dean will be okay…If I’m going to be enough to make him okay. I’ve thought about…getting help.”

“You mean, outside of me?”

“No offense. I just…he’s so…broken.”

“I think maybe you’re the only one he will respond to Sam. I do know that if you took him to a psychiatrist like he is, they’d lock him away. They’d put him somewhere and they’d try. But he’d never come out again.”

“You think taking him away is the right thing?”

Jim’s eyes were compassionate when they met Sam’s in the rear view mirror. “I think it’s the only thing, Sam. At least until he decides to rejoin us.”

“How long til we get to Tulsa?”

“It’ll be late. You should try to rest. I’ll wake you when we stop.”

John called a halt in a grove of trees, and almost as one they all turned to Gabe. He nodded, sinking to the ground and drawing his knees up to his chest. “Okay…I don’t really have everything…and…I’m not sure about what I do know….think I know. And…” He closed his eyes.

Caleb sat beside him, not touching, but there, comforting. Gabe swallowed and looked up at his father. “So Michael Harvelle married a woman named Carry Ellison. He had two sons. They were named after Michael’s brother and Carry’s brother. William and Ashley.”

“Wait.” Ellen held up her hand. “Are you saying that Ash is Michael’s son?”

“But Ash just killed Michael.” John said, squinting at Gabe.

“Well…I didn’t say they had a good relationship, just that Ash was born Ashley Ellison Harvelle. When his mother was killed, he dropped off the map. I couldn’t find much. He reappeared at MIT as Ash Anderson.”

“Okay, so none of this points to him betraying us.” Ellen said.

Gabe held up his hand. “I’m going to be the first to admit that my case is mostly circumstantial. Ash has the skills to do the computer work. He installed the camera at the cabin. The camera that caught two stills of a man parking just off the road and carrying a box up the drive. The car was registered to one Billy Anderson.”

He opened the laptop and punched a few keys. “The signal I found came from the basement…where Ash spent most of the morning. I’m still piecing it all together, but here’s the last stunner for now. Andrew Ellis.”


Gabe nodded. “Andrew Ellis, aka Ashley Ellison, aka Aaron Sumners, aka Allen Gorlian.” He turned the computer around and waved a hand at the document displayed. “I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it. The land we’re currently standing on belongs to Ellis Investments, which is owned by Sumners Trading, which is owned by a conglomerate of holding companies and subsidiaries that trace back to Gorlian Industries.”

“We’ve been living in the lion’s den.” John said, as he sank to the ground.

“And the lion just evicted us.” Bobby replied.

“Forcibly.” Allen added.

Ellen chewed on her lip while she paced around them. “I…all this time? I mean….I’ve known Andrew…since before Jo was born. And Ash…”

“Oh! Eww.” Jo said, shivering. “This makes that whole cousin discussion even more gross.”

John sighed heavily and rubbed his hands over his face. “Do we know if Ash saw the boys leave?”

“Won’t matter if the blast didn’t take out the camera at the end of the drive.” Allen said. “They’ll see that the boys got away, eventually.”

Bobby squinted up into the sky. It would be dark before long. “We need to find shelter for the night. In the morning, we need to find transportation and get out of the area.”

“We can’t go to town.” John said. “Can’t risk running into them. We need them to think we went up with the house.”

“Won’t they figure out that we weren’t there?” Jo asked. “I mean, once the fire’s out?”

“They might…but…that fire’s burning really hot and with the explosions…there wouldn’t be much left.” Bobby said. “By morning all that will be left is the foundation.”

Sam stirred as the car slowed. He hadn’t really been sleeping, but the light doze had let the miles slip by unnoticed. Jim glanced over his shoulder. “I need coffee. Want anything?”

Sam stretched. “Coffee’s good.”

“Be back.”

Sam’s hand lay flat against Dean’s chest, over his heart. He looked from it up to Dean’s face. He was startled to see Dean’s eyes open. “Dean?”

Something of a pained expression crossed Dean’s face. “S-sam?”

“Yeah, Dean. It’s me.”

“Can’t…” He squeezed his eyes shut. “Hurts.”

Sam nodded, his hand lifting to touch Dean’s face. “I know. It’s okay. You don’t have to…I’m here. I’m going to be here. It’s okay.” He let one finger trace Dean’s cheek, then bent forward to press tender kisses along his forehead. “You…you’re safe…okay? Safe to do whatever you need to.”

Dean turned his head so that his face was nuzzled against Sam’s thigh. “I love you Dean.” Sam whispered as Dean relaxed…and just like that he was gone again.

John bent to feed a little more wood into the small fire that was all they dared for warmth. All around the fire his friends huddled together, preserving body heat. None of them would sleep well. He looked up to where Ellen stood apart. She was taking Ash’s betrayal pretty hard…and he didn’t know how to make it better.

He slipped up behind her, letting his arms slide around her waist and pulling her back against him. Her head fell forward and she resisted for a minute, then relaxed back into him. “It isn’t your fault,” he offered softly, his voice low and rumbling in his chest.

“I should have known.” She settled her hands over his and sighed. “That boy lived under my roof for three years, John.”

“I know.”

“With my daughter.”

“I know.”

“When I think what could have happened…”

John tightened his hold on her and leaned close, brushing her ear with his cheek. “Jo is fine. The boys are safe. Two of the three men responsible are dead. We know who the third is. We know about Ash and his brother. We’re safe. Stop. Just let go.”

“I can’t.” Ellen was trembling in his arms.

“You can.” John whispered. He kissed the side of her face and she turned in the circle of his arms, pressing herself against him. “It’s okay Ellen. You’ve been strong so long. I’ve got you.”

She shuddered and he could feel her gulping against the tears. He pressed his lips to the top of her head. “I’ve got you,” he whispered again and he felt her let go, crying into his t-shirt. He kissed her again, lips to the top of her head while his hands stroked over her back and she melted against him. When she turned her face to him, he rubbed a big thumb over her cheeks, wiping away tears. She looked so fragile standing there…and fragile wasn’t a word he would use to describe Ellen often. His lips glazed over hers, and she opened them slightly, hesitantly inviting him in for more.

John slid a hand up into her hair and tilted her head back, his lips finding their way back to hers, angling and letting his tongue move against hers. She groaned and he swallowed the sound, pulling her closer.

She laid her head against his chest when they finally parted, feeling stronger in his arms. “Thank you.”

“I’ll stand watch. You go get some rest.” John said, a hand ghosting over her hair.

They stepped apart and turned to look at the others. “It does look like Gabe could use some help.”

Jo was spooned up beside Gabe, her head on his shoulder, her legs all but twined in his and Gabe looked…distressed. On his other side Caleb was curled tightly to conserve body heat. “Yeah…he doesn’t look comfortable.”

“Jo does.” Ellen countered. “It would be cute, if he didn’t look so afraid.”

John chuckled. “I don’t think Gabe gets much attention from the girls. He’s always been the geekiest hunter I’ve ever known.”

“Jo doesn’t care about geek, just the hunter part. Add in the fact that he just saved her life…I think my daughter may have finally moved on from Casey Doughtery.”

“She had a crush on Casey? Isn’t he like twice her age?”

Ellen nodded. “Yeah, at least Gabe’s only a few years older.”

“Maybe you should go rescue the poor boy.”

She stood on her tip toes and kissed his cheek. “I will. Make sure you get some rest too.”

John nodded with a soft smile. “Yes ma’am.”

It was still a few hours before dawn when Sam felt the car slowing again. He looked up as they turned in to a motel. “Still about an hour until Tulsa, Sam. But I need to sleep.”

Sam nodded. The hurry was over. They’d gotten out. They were safe. He brushed a finger along Dean’s face. “Dean? I need you to wake up.”

Dean’s body tensed and his eyes opened, but there was no flash of recognition, no indication he’d actually heard Sam or felt anything. “Sit up Dean. We’ll be getting out of the car.”

By the time Jim came back with the key to the room, Dean was sitting, his hands in his lap. They pulled around the office and up to #9. Jim didn’t say anything, just grabbed their bag and his own and headed in. Sam sighed and leaned over Dean to open the door. “Okay, out of the car.”

Sam crawled out behind him and swallowed the fear in his throat. “Come on.” He led the way and Dean followed, standing dully in the door until Sam told him to go sit on the bed.

Sam watched Pastor Jim crawl into the other bed, yawning as he pulled the blanket up over him. “Just a few hours. So I don’t drive us off the road.”

Sam nodded. The room was dark. It wouldn’t be long before the first rays of sun would seep in around the dingy curtains. It was a room like so many other rooms. Like the one where Dean had offered himself up to Sam.

”I want this…with you. I pretended it was you…I survived because of you. Every time they used me…every time I obeyed…it was for you…Sam…”

That first spark, after Sam had taken off the collar. The first shock to Dean’s conditioning. It went away fast, and Sam realized now that it hadn’t been real…it had been little more than Dean adjusting the conditioning…accepting, collating everything he had been trained for with the burst of memory of his brother.

Sam lowered himself into one of the chairs at the table and sighed heavily. He’d been so relieved to have Dean with him, so eager to believe he could make him better. He hadn’t known yet how badly broken Dean was. Hadn’t begun to understand the depth of the conditioning.

Dean sat on the end of the bed, staring at the floor. Reduced to blind of obedience. Worse than he’d been that first night. Sam almost found himself wishing for a collar, something to pull Dean out….something to take them back to the beginning. Almost. Because Sam wasn’t sure he could be that for him again. Not after everything.
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