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Family Over Time

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“Okay! That should do it. You ready?”

I nodded energetically, and my older sister smiled at me. Her puffy eyes and red-ish nose didn't fit with her whole “punk, leather-wearing badass" vibe, but her allergies always got the best of her.

As Theo started to pour the weird looking liquid into the bowl, she started to chant in Latin.

I focused on the date of my massive fuck up: Six days earlier, when I got involved in a fight with a man twice my size... And won. The sheriff had gained a big interest in my family after not finding a goddamn thing on the system, and she somehow managed to connect us with a series of killings committed by leviathans decades ago... Things were not looking good for us.

I planned on fixing that.

Any kind of distractions could ruin the spell or worse, alter it.

And imagine my luck, when two seconds before the chanting was over, an “ ah-choo! ” reaches my ears.

Weird looking smoke surrounded me, blinding me for a moment. There was a shift in the floor where I was standing, which made me fall face down to the ground.

When the smoke dispersed, I found myself laying down on a road I didn’t recognize. Well, shit.

As I got up, sobbing my elbows, I looked around. Not a thing around me seemed familiar. Maybe, if I was lucky, I had traveled exactly where -well, when - I wanted, but the sneeze had also added teleportation.

I was about to teleport back home, but I realized that I was running low on grace for some reason. Was enough for the teleportation to the bunker? Yes... but nothing else. If something went wrong (Like, for example, jumping further than I intended,) and the situation required using my powers, I couldn’t defend myself. And for some reason, I felt like something was going to go wrong. I’m not one to be paranoid, but something felt off. I had to choose: Find out where I was, or stay prepared for the answer.

I couldn't just waste whatever grace I had left, first off because I'm practically human right now and that's not something I'm used to, but also because grace multiplies itself, so the more I have, the quicker it'll recharge.

So instead of teleporting, I prayed.

Dad, I need your help. Can you come?

Nothing.

I really, really could use your help right now.

Was I being ignored? But why?

I tried again, with Uncle Gabe, my cousins, and Aunt Sera, but I got absolute silence.

Sighing, I started to walk. I had to find a town eventually. Not sure what I’ll do when I reach one yet, but baby steps. First, find civilization, then figure out the rest.

While I walked, I did a quick inventory of what I had on me. My cellphone, an angel blade, my gun and a pack of mints; and inside my bag, a water bottle, my laptop, my sketchbook, dad’s journal, my wireless headphones (with the SD card, thank God ) and some cash for emergencies. Like this one.

It could be worse, I told myself. I repeated it during the first fifteen minutes until the phrase completely lost any meaning, and I decided to sing instead.

 

_-oOo-_

 

Where you gonna go? Where you gonna go? Where you gonna run to, When you get to the edge of the night? It’s time you face the sky, ohh- ohhh! ” I had no idea how long had I been singing. It was definitely over an hour.

Maybe.

Long enough for me to lose all inhibitions. Only two cars had passed, and both of them ignored me, and I had already emptied half the bottle. I had also decided what to do when I reached a town: find in a motel and focusing on recharging. According to my experience, it would take me a few days, two tops. But then again, the other times I had to recharge I was surrounded by grace. That, one way or another, sped up the process. And here... Well, here I was alone. “Turn your face, to-...”

“Hey!”

I turned around surprised. A car had stopped beside me and the girl riding shotgun was smiling at me. “Are you lost or something? Do you need help?”

“Hi! Yeah, I’m kinda lost. Can you direct me to the nearest town?”

The girl turned to see her companion, and after a silent conversation, she extended her arm, pointing towards where we were both going. “That way, it’s a twenty-minute ride, but- It’s kinda dangerous around here,” she added. I looked around: the sun hadn’t even started to go down yet. “We can take you if you want,” she offered.

I look at the couple. The guy’s smiling kindly and the girl seems cheerful and honest. But most importantly, if things went south, I could take them.

“That would be awesome, thank you.”

The girl opened the back door and I got in the car, not without taking a good look inside first.

Her skin is dark and her hair is a deep brown that shines with the sunlight. The guy is white, with pitch black hair. They both seem to be in their twenties, and I can’t help to notice the fraternity logo hanging from the rear-view mirror that confirms my theory. There’s another detail I can’t ignore: Her clothes seem old. Not in an “I bought them twenty years ago and they're about to fall apart” way, but in a “this girl took vintage way too literally” way. Her makeup seems old fashioned too. Please tell me this doesn’t mean what I think it means.

“I’m Taylor, and this is my boyfriend Steve.” Steve nodded his head, not moving his eyes from the road, “Nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you too. I’m Mel.” She smiles and I returned the gesture before continuing, “What did you mean, dangerous ?”

“Oh!” She looked at her boyfriend, kinda uncomfortable, but started explaining anyways: “A guy was murdered last week near here. They don’t know who did it, so-... yeah.”

“Oh, sorry for asking. You were friends?”

“He was in my fraternity, but I didn’t know him that well,” explained Steve. He didn’t seem very affected, to be honest.

“He was dating Lori, my roommate. Poor thing, she was there when it happened. I can’t imagine.”

“God, she must be heartbroken. Sorry I brought it up.”

“It’s fine, you didn’t know.” Smiled the girl.

“So... Where are you from, Mel?” Asked Steve, trying to make small talk.

“I grew up in Kansas,” I said truthfully, and then decided to come up with a lie: “When I graduated high school I decided to take a trip before entering college, as a sabbatical, y’know?”

“I wanted to take one of those,” commented Taylor, returning to her seat, “but my folks didn’t let me. They said it was a waste of time.”

“My dad was against it too,” I said, careful not to mention that I have two, “he completely freaked out when I told him.”

“Time travel? Why?” Dad’s eyes went to his husband’s, looking for his agreement.

“What do you mean, why? ” I replied, “The Sheriff won't just drop this, and there's no way we can come up with a lie that good. I could be back in half an hour tops and everything will be solved!”

"But it won’t, Mel,” he insisted, “because it never works like that. Not for people like us.”

“Oh my God, seriously? People like us ? What’s that even supposed to mean? Dad,” I pleaded, looking at Cas, to make clear who I was talking to, “what about you?”

He sighed slowly and put his hand in Dad’s shoulder. “I think that’s a bad idea, Melissa.” Before I could reply, he explained, “Time travel is extremely complicated, not to mention dangerous. And all due respect, the Sheriff is not worth the risk.”

“I know that!” I whined, sounding way more childlike than I intended, “But it’s just a few days back, and I could use the training.” Dad’s jaw tightened, and he shifted his body closer to Papa’s. He hated time travel, and that’s never been a secret.

“Listen, if you do decide to do it, I can’t stop you. But know that I’m against it.” I sighed, looking at my feet. I should have just jumped quietly, I realized. “I don’t want you time traveling for something so small, Mel. We'll find a way to solve this on our own, alright?”

“Yeah, I know how that is,” she joked.

 I hardly doubt that, I thought.

 

_-oOo-_

 

“Thank you so much! You literally saved my life.”

Steve waved at me and I smiled at the couple as the car started and left me in front of the library. If I wasn’t sure that I had time traveled then, I was sure when I walked to the computers and I saw big white boxes I had only seen before in movies. Jesus fuck , they had Windows XP.

I sat in one of the desks and moved the gray mouse until the screen lighted up: When it did, I gasped. Loudly.

2006.

I was in fucking 2006. Oh, fuck, oh fuck I messed up. And bad. My dads must be freaking out.

My screech grabbed the attention of everyone near me- but there weren’t that many people around, so that was good.  

You know what they say: If you’re gonna fuck it up, you better fuck it up like a Winchester, right!?

And of course! No surprise I was so drained, I jumped over thirty years! Taking deep breaths, I refocused myself and got up from the desk. My eyes analyzed the place, and once I located the restrooms, I got inside one of them and locked the door.

Tired or not, I was going back home.

I closed my eyes and separated my feet a little, to help my balance. I focused on going home- My home, the real one, with my dads and my sisters and all my crazy family.  

I opened my eyes.

I was still in the bathroom. Nothing had changed, except that the blood running from my nose was new.

Shit! ” Okay, it’s too soon to panic yet. I’m tired. I have low grace. Once I recharge, I’ll try again. It’ll work.

It will work.

I unlocked the door after cleaning the blood -luckily it wasn’t much- and went back to what had been my original mission in the library: Finding my dad.

At the time being, it sounded like a great idea, but in sight of this new information - I was in fucking 2006 for Heaven’s sake - I started to reconsider. Was this really a good plan?

Finally taking a moment to think gave me the opportunity to also feel the world around me. I was used to feeling my family’s grace all over the place all the time, but now, the entire world felt cold. Empty. I had realized this, on the road. but I hadn’t been able to tell exactly what it was. Now, as I stopped consciously avoiding thinking about home, or getting home, or how the fuck was I going to get home- ...

It made sense.

I’m so fucked.

The more I thought about the situation, the more I realized how deep in shit I was. There were no angels on Earth, (well, there were a few: There was some kind of grace here, close, but I couldn’t figure out whose,) and that meant there hadn’t been in a very long time. Long enough for hunters to forget they ever existed.

So, showing up with Dad and Uncle Sam flashing my wings around wasn’t an option. Neither was telling them who I was:  There’s no way in freaking hell they’d believe me.

I need to put my shit in order. I am too tired to try and jump back again now, so I need a place to crash. That’s clear. Also, I need to figure out where I am, so I can go home and, well, be at home. No, wait! They built the house after getting married. Home doesn’t exist yet, it’s just the bunker. Fuck. I have to read the journal and see how bad are things right now. Being alone could be dangerous.

I opened my journal and started to write down: Find a motel, find out where I am, read the journal, try to communicate with dad - no, wait, scratch that. Find a way to communicate with dad, because it’s not like I can just text him. If I could get into the bunker I could leave a message, but... That definitely will suck me dry. I have to find another way. Also, I added, “decide if go searching for dad or not” at the end of the list.

I erased the word “dad” and replaced it with “Dean”. I needed to get mentalized because if I do find him, I can’t tell him who I really am.

Not for now, at least. I could prepare him for the news somehow. Get into his dreams or something.

...

...Dear God I’m so stupid.

I need to find a motel, now . I can communicate with dad through dreams.

I shut the book closed and returned to the dinosaur in front of me, to do a quick search online.

Not much showed up, so I turned to hacking instead (Wherever you are, Charlie, bless your soul). The police records said that Dean Winchester was wanted for mail fraud, credit card fraud, grave desecration, impersonating an-... Well, you get the idea. But he was alive, which, considering the time being, was a lot. And so was Uncle Sam, and so was John Winchester.

I shut off the computer.

I’m gonna find a motel, and I’m gonna sleepwalk into the future. I’m gonna talk to dad, I’m gonna tell him I’m fine and I’m gonna return home.

Let’s just hope I find him sleeping.

 

_-oOo-_

 

Ankeny, Iowa. That was the name of the shitty town I had ended up in. Good news is, it’s pretty close to Kansas, so once I contact dad he could tell me where ( when ) is the key to the bunker and I could find a way back on my own.

The sweet old lady I asked pointed me in the direction of the only motel in town, and according to her instructions, I still had to walk a few blocks s-... holy flying motherfucking shit!

I stood there, eyes wide open and completely frozen. I had to be seeing things.

The car that just passed in front of me, and now waited patiently for the traffic light to go green just feet away from where I was standing, could not be the Impala. It could not.

Oh, for fuck’s sake. I could land literally anywhere on the globe, but where do I end up? In the same town as them. Typical. Because landing in a cute island in the Pacific is too much to ask for, apparently.

The newfound feeling of frustration didn’t make it to my face in time, because the guy riding shotgun (Sam?) saw me and frowned at my cathartic expression. And I, like the serious mature adult I am, started running.

“Hey, Dean,” called out Sam, grabbing his brother’s attention, “did you see that?”

“See what?” Replied Dean, still keeping an eye out for the red light.

“That girl, she-... She went pale and started running when she saw us.”

Dean looked at Sam, making sure he had heard it correctly. According to Sam’s really confused face, he had.

“That’s weird. Did you recognize her?” The light turned green the second Dean stopped talking, but he didn’t start the car until Sam replied.

“No.” The car started again, to which Sam complained, “But what if she did? What if she knows dad?”

Dean sighed. Sam was suddenly acting like he was the only one trying to find their father. Just a month ago he didn’t want anything to do with the man and now...

“Listen, Sam-...”

“No, Dean, she could know something.”

“Or she could have remembered that she left the oven on.” He replied, sarcastic, “First we work the case and then we can go search your mystery girl, ‘kay?”

“Yeah, whatever.”

 

_-oOo-_

 

My hand was still shaking a little when I paid up front for the single room at the motel. It was on the second floor, so I had to ask for the one nearest the emergency stairs.

I shut the door behind me and threw the bag in the table. I was about to jump to the bed but I was received by a very weird looking stain.

Cleaning it wouldn’t consume much grace, right? Yeah, right. I narrowed my eyes a little (not because I needed to, I was trained to do that- If I ever was in a hard situation, and the bad guys expect to be able to see when I use my powers, I have an advantage,) and the sheets were pearly white again. I climbed lazily to the bed and let my head rest on the pillow.

 

_-oOo-_

 

It was very, very naive of me to expect Dad to be asleep when I’m missing. He’s gonna sleep about three hours a day tops until he finds me, and there’s no way for me to guess when.

I’m so, so, so fucked.

I got a few hours of sleep, but I hadn’t been this tired in a while. I had walked into so many- really, so many - dreams, taken so many wrong turns, walked for hours (let me remind you, time is slower in dreams) and gotten absolutely nothing. Nada. At all.

I walked into the bathroom and attempted to fix my hair a little. I also peed and washed my face, just to end up staring at my reflection in frustration. I couldn’t go back to sleep even if I tried, I hadn’t recharged shit with that nap, and it’s not like I could just sleep all day long until I’m able to find anyone and tell them I’m fine.

I had to do something.

I opened the bag and got the journal out. I sat back in the bed and, sighing, started to look for the present date. I didn’t found today exactly, but two days from now.

Dad is here. They’re working a case in town- the guy I heard about. But there was another victim too-... Oh, shit. Taylor.

I gotta help her.