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09 October 2013 @ 07:07 pm
jai guru deva om: Nothing’s Gonna Change My World (chapter 11)  

"Go! Go, go, go!" John Winchester's voice rattled the windows of the van...

A/N: My undying, unbridled gratitude goes out to Tifaching, Emmessann and NongPradu for betaing this story so brilliantly. I cannot gushy-gush enough. Thank you Amanda, Ginger, Deb, Sue and Penny for being there for me while I wrote the story. You're all amazingly awesome and stupendous and spiffilicious!

Jai Guru Deva Om

Chapter Eleven
Nothing's Gonna Change My World




**ॐ**



"Go! Go, go, go!" John Winchester's voice rattled the windows of the van as Mei slammed the door shut and jumped into the driver's seat. Supercharged with adrenaline, Mei stomped on the accelerator. The steering wheel almost slipped from her grip as she lurched back, tires squealing on wet asphalt, rear-end fishtailing as she fought for control. Looking into the passenger-side mirror, she could see the stunned cult members shouting and running behind the van. She bit her lip and watched the road, losing their pursuers after the first turn. Weaving her way along the route they'd practiced the night before, Mei swiveled her head from mirror to mirror in a blind panic as she made her controlled getaway.

She heard Dean retch and caught a glimpse through the rearview mirror of John rolling the kid onto his side as he gagged and coughed.

"Father!" His eyes rolled back as he succumbed to the tranquilizer.

"I'm right here, Dean," John assured him. "You're going to be all right, Champ. I got you, son. I got you." He lifted Dean's eyelids confirming that the boy was out and patted his face.

"Is he breathing?" Mei asked, fisting the steering wheel and rocking back and forth in her seat.

John didn't stir. His eyes settled on his son, checking him for injuries. "Yes"

The doctor cut another corner too fast and tight, causing the tires to squeal. She made an effort to slow down both the vehicle and her breathing. "You sure?" Mei twisted in the seat, her heart continuing to labor.

"Yes, he's just out," John said, though his eyes continued to rove over his son's thin body. "Keep driving. Eyes on the road. Focus!" John barked. Mei's attention snapped back onto the road, snaking her way through the side roads toward their switch-point in Fairhaven Park. While she had enough presence of mind to stay under the speed limit, stop signs barely got the time of day.

"Do you think they're going to be able to follow us?"

John rose up, looking through the small windows in the back. Mei shifted, her eyes flitting all over, from rearview mirror to side window to side window.

"No one's behind us. Keep going."

John's dead calm was no comfort, and she twitched and shook all the way into Fairhaven Park. Meandering through the parking area, Mei drove towards the back to the lesser used lot under a bank of pines where she'd left her Infiniti, ready to take them out of town. Between the rain and it being dinnertime, the park was near lifeless. John Winchester had, no doubt, taken all of that into account.

Mei watched him grab one of the herb pouches they'd put together, filled with white lotus, sandalwood, horehound, and a couple of other ingredients that John refused to identify for her and then tied it around his son's neck like an old-fashioned camphor bag.

"You sure that will be enough to make it so that thing can't find him?" Mei asked.

"For the time being, yes, since he's also unconscious. I'll make sure that the cabin is secure when we get there. The thing probably knows that we've taken Dean, but that's it." He glanced through the windshield. "Are we here?"

She stopped the car. "Yes," she said, her shaky hands resting on the steering wheel.

"Okay. Hang on," John said as he continued to work on his son. He pulled off his gloves a moment, tossing some fine, red powder from a vial into the palm of his hand and making a small slit in his finger with a sharp knife. Mixing his own blood with the powder, he worked it into a red, sticky paste and dabbed a teardrop-shaped dot of it onto Dean's forehead, right between his eyes like Hindus wear.

"What's that mark for?"

"It's called a Tilak," he said as though that meant something to her. "For protection," he added begrudgingly, as she continued to eye him with doubt. "Now listen to me carefully. We need to make this exchange as quick as possible. Last thing we need is to have someone spot us moving a body from one car to another. When you get out, go to your vehicle, put the keys in the ignition and turn it on. Get out and open the door to the back seat. Make sure no one is watching. Once we're clear, open the van door," he said tapping it with his foot. "When that's done, get into the back seat of the car immediately and be ready to grab Dean under his arms and pull him toward you. You understand?" He put his gloves back on and began to throw his bag over his shoulder.

Mei absorbed everything. "Yes," she said. She got out and ran to her car, doing as she'd been instructed, in the sequence ordered. By the time she'd opened the van door and gotten into the backseat, John was already out and passing Dean to her. Everything happened so fast. She had no time to prepare; her back was turned all wrong, and her muscles burned sharply as she grabbed under Dean's arms, John shoving the boy toward her as he pushed from behind. He slammed the door shut before she'd been able to get either one of them situated or comfortable. She was still trying to turn forward, Dean's head wobbling and bobbling in her lap like a buoy on rough water when John pulled away.

Mei settled Dean over her lap as best she could, taking off her gloves and checking his pulse. It was far too fast. "He's tachycardic."

John said nothing until they were out of the park. "He was just shot with a tranq gun and kidnapped. He'll get over it. Take off your hood and glasses," he said, eyeing her through the mirror, making a tortuously slow getaway, weaving back into traffic and tooling down the parkway at a steady 35mph.

Mei pushed her hood down her back and tossed the glasses behind her. "What happens when they find the van?" She checked Dean's pupils and took his pulse again.

"It's clean. We only borrowed it. Joy ride."

"But what if the cult calls the police and report the kidnapping?"

"That's the least of our worries right now. What time does the ferry leave?"

"7:20pm," Mei said and checked her watch. "That leaves us a little more than an hour and a half."

"Is that enough time to get there?"

"Yes," she said. "Anacortes isn't even an hour away." John nodded and gave his attention to the road.

Mei let her head drop against the seat. With the immediate threat over, Mei's adrenaline ebbed, leaving her dazed and puttied against the seat. Her thoughts dull and limbs heavy, she shook from head to toe. Once on the freeway and out of town, she settled, conceding that they'd been thorough, efficient and lucky in their abduction. She let out a huge sigh and turned her attention back to Dean, taking his pulse again.

"His heart rate's coming down," she said. "But the Dormicum is going to wear off in about two hours. We'll have to dose him again before we get to the cabin,"

"We'll worry about that when the time comes."

The boy was lax and inert, having remained in the exact same position he'd landed in when deposited into her lap, one arm twisted uncomfortably under his back, his shirt bunched up and exposing his hollow belly. Mei gasped when she caught a glimpse of his meatless, jutting hipbones. She reached over and freed his arm, placing it on his stomach and eased his shirt down, stopping midway, her eyes wide. She pulled the shirt back up and ran her fingers over the smooth skin that bore no marks from the surgery she'd performed.

"What the hell?"

"What?" John turned in his seat, concerned. "What?" he demanded as Mei continued to examine Dean's torso.

"His surgery scars," she said. "They're gone—like they never happened. Not faded," she said. "Just—gone. How can that thing do that? Why would it do that?"

Two days after she'd called the number labeled ‘Dad' on Dean's cellphone, the hunter had swept into town. After another couple of days, he'd given her the rundown on his and Dean's profession. Under normal circumstances she'd have written him off as a lunatic, but having witnessed firsthand Father's capabilities, she knew this was definitely not natural. She remembered her grandmother telling her tales of out of Chinese folklore, and while she'd never taken the stories seriously, she was thinking that her grandmother hadn't been so far off, after all. She ran through everything the hunter had told her about this particular creature.

Not that he'd given her much to go on, of course. The man was insufferable when it came to doling out information. He'd explained everything in broad terms unless she needled him for more—which she did every chance she got. His main tactic was to keep her busy, having her run errands while he spent most of his time on her laptop or talking to people on his cellphone. Mei had done everything he'd asked, making her way through new age shops, international grocers—even the army-navy surplus store—buying a host of items from clarified butter to daggers to fresh cut flowers, all the while never being given as much information as she felt she needed or deserved. So, it was no surprise now that the man was silent.

"How does this thing have the power to heal someone? Isn't that more mojo than a demon should have?" she asked.

John snatched a glance at Dean through his rear-view mirror. "This is a pishacha —a Hindu demon, so I don't know precisely."

"I'll take imprecise, then. Tell me what you guess," she said.

He rolled his shoulders and continued staring darkly ahead. "I would assume that the source of his power to perform miracles comes from the souls he consumes."

"So, he eats people, and then, what…? Steals their souls?"

"No. He doesn't steal souls," John corrected her. "Souls cannot be stolen, they can only be relinquished. So, he's obviously convincing people to give him their souls. Once they give themselves to him, the demon can hold them within his own energy signature, tapping into their power."

Mei shook her head, finding it hard to absorb. "Okay, so he seduces a person into giving him their soul and then uses it to heal people? Why?"

"Because he's a slick bastard. Because you catch more flies with honey. He makes them feel good. It's like a supernatural roofie. Bet he has them smiling all the way to their own executions," John said with disgust. "This thing feeds on humans and harvests their souls—harnessing power to compel people to worship him. Narcissistic sonofabitch. He doesn't just enjoy feeding on people, he needs to be loved and adored by those he consumes. The more souls he absorbs, the stronger he becomes. At this point, the entire town is at risk if we don't take him out."

"My god," Mei said. "Jason." She stared out the window taking a deep breath. "Why couldn't we have gotten them both? Why?"

John didn't speak for a moment. "We didn't have the opportunity or the manpower to get them both, and I'm going to need Dean to help me take this bastard down. Been in contact with a hunter who dealt with one back in the 70's. It all went bad—very bad. If the demon spooks and bolts we're screwed. All of those people will remain thralls. If their Savior abandons them suddenly and they can't follow him—these people will go insane. Or, if he's threatened or trapped in any way we could be looking at a potential mass suicide. One word from the pishacha and they'd do it. It's happened before. We can't give him any warning. No, we have to take him out decisively—one strike. If we kill him outright, all those compelled will be freed from his power—but we have to kill him first. So we'll save Jason when we take the demon out. And to do that I'm going to need Dean's help. He'll be able to tell us more than any of the books can—how the pishacha works, what his habits are, how the cult operates. Besides," he said gripping the steering wheel and shifting in his seat. "I can't put your husband through this deconversion process."

"What do you mean?" Mei stroked Dean's brow, avoiding touching the blood-tilak placed there. "What exactly's going to happen during the ritual?" She watched John's mouth twitch with emotion and worry. "What?" she asked, hoping he wouldn't close himself off now. He'd never said so much in one sitting. "What will happen to him?"

"We're going to have to break the spell the creature has on Dean ourselves."

"Yeah, I get that. And…?" Mei prompted.

"And it's going to be ugly."




**ॐ**



Mei sat up, pulling the blanket away from her and Dean and smoothed her hair. They'd gotten through the ferry terminal by playing cuddling, sleepy road-trippers, with Dean's head nestled on a pillow and buried under blankets. The uninterested ticket attendant hadn't bothered with so much as a glance. Now, though, Dean's hands were beginning to twitch, and when Mei pressed her stethoscope to his heart and checked his pulse, his eyelashes fluttered and he moaned.

"He's coming to, John," Mei warned.

John held up his hand as he watched the last of the cars empty, people threading their way through the parking deck, heading to the upper levels to sit and watch the water as the ferry made its slow way toward Orcas Island. Despite the rain the ferry was packed with hearty Pacific Northwest campers and people heading to vacation homes. When the last of the stragglers walked past, he grabbed a small kit from the glove compartment and handed it to Mei, turning in his seat to check on his son.

"Give him enough to keep him down for a few hours. We're not going to get to the cabin for a while, and we still have to make sure he's secure before he wakes up."

Mei nodded as she emptied her syringe even as Dean fought to open his eyes. "Shhh, slugger," she said to him, petting his temple until the sedative stilled him. She took another listen to his heart and checked his vital signs. "He'll be out for another three to four hours at least. I don't want to keep doing this, though. He's rail thin, clearly malnourished—probably sleep-deprived and worn down psychologically as well. I'd like to see him sleeping on his own if we can manage it."

John eyed Dean and then turned around in his seat, glancing out of the windshield. "He's a tough kid. Just keep him down until I tell you different. He can handle it."

Mei went to say something and then changed her mind. She resettled Dean, putting the pillow back in place and shaking her head with a sigh.

"What?" John said, turning around again.

"Well," she said. "How bad is this going to get for him? The process you told me about sounds dangerous."

John's eyes moved from Dean to Mei. "Our lives are dangerous. It comes with the territory. Dean knows the risks."

"Yes, but why can't you just call in more hunters instead? Take the demon out and free Dean with Jason and the rest of them? Why put him through this?"

"He's a tough kid."

"Yes, you keep telling me that, but the boy I saw in the hospital was fragile. Did you know that?"

"Well, good thing that creature healed him, then, huh? Silver lining."

"I'm not talking about his physical state, John. I'm talking about his psychological wellbeing." She watched Dean and laid a gentle hand on his brow. "He was depressed, and, I believe, susceptible to the cult's manipulations. Why won't you call in help?"

The hunter blew out a puff of steam through flared nostrils. "He wasn't depressed. He was probably feeling guilty. Boy screwed up on a hunt and he knew it—got himself hurt. Self-reproach, maybe, but not depression. Dean'll be fine. We don't need to call in anyone."

Mei searched his face. "You don't want anyone to know about this," she said, appalled. "You don't want your buddies to know that this thing took him." John rolled his shoulders and turned away. "You think he screwed this one up, too. You're ashamed of him."

John reeled around in his seat, glaring. "You don't know what the hell you're talking about, lady. You don't know me, and you sure as hell don't know my son. If you did we wouldn't even be having this discussion. Yeah, goddamned right this is dangerous. It's always dangerous. It won't be easy for him, but I'm telling you right now, Dean would rather die than have other hunters know that thing caught him looking. I'm doing exactly what Dean would want. I'm going to perform this ritual, I'm going to break that damn thing's grip on him—no matter what it takes—and then me and my son are gonna kill the sonofabitch together." He turned around and smoldered at the windshield. "Now, we've got another forty-five minutes before we dock," he said over his shoulder, sniffing in as he mastered his anger. "I suggest you get a nap yourself, we're going to need rest before we do this. It's going to be a long night."




**ॐ**



Despite his stolid façade, John had second thoughts about putting his son through the ritual as he carried Dean through the doorway of the cabin, all bone and pale skin in his arms. Mei held the door as he walked across the old, warped wooden floor and into the bedroom he'd prepared a couple of days ago. The sturdy hospital bed with side-rails was the only new item in the room. Everything else was dilapidated and crusty with age. He'd been given access to the old fishing cabin—a favor called in from one of his old Marine buddies. The place had been long neglected, but it had electricity and running water—a bathroom, two bedrooms and a small kitchen. It wasn't luxury living, but it would do.

Laying Dean down, he removed his son's sandals and attached leather restraints to his wrists and ankles, tightening the thongs until there was little wiggle room. John checked the boy's fingers and toes to make sure his circulation was uncompromised. Next, he tied small camphor bags on each of the railings, removing the one around Dean's neck, making sure that the blood tilak on his forehead hadn't smeared or smudged. Satisfied, John checked underneath the bed to make sure the protective wards he'd spray-painted the other day when he'd prepared the room were unbroken.

"Is that what I think it is?" Mei asked, looking at the symbol on the floor with disgust—a cross, each of its equilateral arms bent at 90°. Four dots were placed, each one equidistant from its corresponding vertex. She turned to John. "What are you doing? How can that help?"

John continued to check the symbol, making sure it was clean and unbroken and then began to trace a circle around it in salt. "It was a Hindu symbol of protection long before Hitler came along," he said. "It's still widely used in the faith." He continued to pour the salt.

Mei shook her head but didn't argue. "What's that one? That's kind of pretty." She pointed to the other symbol painted on the ceiling over the bed.

"That's the symbol for Om. It signifies the first vibration—kind of like In the beginning was the Word. Well, Om was the word, apparently," he said. "It signifies everything this creature isn't."

"I see," she said, lost and out of her depth. She gave him a wooden nod and tossed her thumb over her shoulder. "I brought in the water and the duffels. They're by the door. Do you need that box of books brought in?" she asked.

"Just grab the leather bound volume on top. I'll grab the rest later. Bring the water and ritual items and we'll get everything set." John glanced at his watch. "It's after 10:00. We need to perform the ritual at midnight, and he needs to be awake. How much longer is he going to be out?"

"He should wake up sometime in the next couple of hours. But if his body is exhausted he could sleep all night. Can't we put this off one more night—let him catch his breath before we do this?"

"No," John said. "It's not just his life at stake here. There are over sixty people in that compound including your husband. We're going to do this tonight."

Mei sighed. "All right. I'll go get my bag and the other stuff."

John nodded. He made his way over to the edge of the bed and sat as Mei left the room to gather the needed items. He ran his fingers through Dean's hair and patted him on his chest. "Wake up, Dean," he said, using the tone that always made Dean sit up straight. There was no response now, though. "That's an order, Dean." Again there was no response. He checked Dean's pupils and scraped his knuckles along Dean's sternum, but the boy never stirred.

Mei came back with her arms full. Setting down her bundles, she began setting up the makeshift altar on a low stool in the corner of the room. She placed a picture of a goddess wielding a large, curved sword in front of a brass tray holding a small lamp filled with melted ghee as fuel, incense, and some smaller brass containers filled with flower petals, kumkum powder, and grains of rice. Finally, she set a small brass bell next to the lit lamp.

She turned to John. "Still out?"

John nodded. "I need to have him awake when we do this."

"I have some Flumazenil in my bag. Let's get everything set up and if he's not awake by then I'll administer the antidote. I really wish you'd let him sleep, though. He needs it."

"He can sleep when we're done. Start the IV, but just the saline for right now. The holy water comes during the ritual."

Mei finished placing all the items on the altar and picked up the two IV bags, weighing them in her hands, considering. Her brows furrowed. "I don't quite understand this. You said the thing has Hindu origins. If that's true, why would you use holy water to cure Dean?"

"It's not Christian holy water. That's blessed water of the Seven Rivers. It's the Hindu equivalent of holy water. There's a Hindu temple in Bothel. I was able to get enough for our needs there."

"And this will break whatever spell the pishacha has cast on him?"

"Along with the ritual, yes."

Mei was still uncertain. "But—but what about all his conditioning?"

"What do you mean?"

Mei unwound the tubing from the bag of saline. "Well, surely you know these people haven't been altered by magic alone. You've' done a lot of research on the demon, but I've done a hell of a lot of research on cults and their leaders. From what I've witnessed over the past couple of months, that demon's been using normal cult-like mind control techniques aside from any spell-work he's done, either out of perverse pleasure or as a way to augment his magic, I don't know. I've watched these people chant for hours on the street corners, witnessed them practicing breath control and excessive exercise; I've even seen them all crawling on their hands and knees one day while they were in Fairhaven handing out flyers. When questioned by passersby, they told people that Father had asked that they show their devotion to him in this manner for the day. Dean's obviously been conditioned the same way. Look at him. They've used food deprivation and, I'm guessing, sleep deprivation—debilitating work routines—the whole nine yards. Have you even thought about the non-supernatural element at play, here? Will breaking the pishacha's hold over him be enough at this point?"

John stared at her, his face blank and dismissive. "You saying my son's been brainwashed? Not a chance in hell, lady. That's not Dean—no way. He's a Winchester. He's a hunter. He'll be fine," he said.

"He's also just twenty-three years old, John. This is a lot to handle, a lot of group pressure aimed at him. You don't think he'd be the least affected?"

"He didn't go to that group because he needed or wanted them. He wasn't looking to join—he was looking to take this thing out. It was reckless to go in without backup; he knows that, and he's paid the price. We'll have words about it when all of this is said and done. He's my son—a hunter—and no amount of conditioning is going to change that." John said, his face dark and combative. "This is nothing."

"This is not nothing," Mei responded, inserting the IV needle into Dean's arm and taping it securely. "And I don't think you're hearing me. I may not know your son as well as you, but I've seen more of Dean recently than you have."

"Just give him the antidote. We only have a little more than an hour to start this."

Mei shook her head and let the matter drop, bending in to examine Dean one last time, touching his lashes to gauge his reflexes. She called his name a few times before reaching into her bag and drawing up the antidote. "This is fast acting, but it causes dizziness and dry mouth all on its own, so he's going to be out of it at first." She emptied the syringe into his IV port. "Okay, here we go."

"Thank you," John said. "Wait outside the room until I call for you."

Mei hesitated. "I would really feel better if I—"

"That wasn't a request," John said.

"All right," Mei said, cowed. "I need to come in if he starts to feel nauseous, though."

"I'll call you when we need you. Go," he said, watching Dean intently, taking no further note of the doctor. Mei took a cautious step over the salt-line and closed the door behind her, leaving father and son alone.

Dean's breathing had already hitched, and his eyes were starting to flutter open before the door shut. He made a few listless tugs against his restraints, his hands curling in as he reflexively stretched his body.

"Dean," John said as his boy's unfocused eyes gazed right through him. "You with me, son?" Dean continued to try and pull his arms inward, his brow pleating in confusion when they didn't comply. The protective tilak cracked and flaked with the movement. "Hey," John said, snapping his fingers in front of Dean's face. "Relax, son. Look at me. You're all right. Stop pulling." John snapped his fingers again and Dean homed in on the sound, his eyes crossing slightly as he tried to focus.

"Ghhrrhh," he moaned, trying to work his arms free. John watched as awareness kindled in his eyes, and Dean emerged with a dry swallow and another groan.

"Welcome back," John said with a small smile.

Dean swallowed again, working his tongue around his dry mouth. John reached for a bottle of water on the bedside table and held it to Dean's lips.

"Swallow," he said. Dean blinked several times and sipped the water, looking around in a daze before his head flopped back against the pillow, his jaw slack. Dean's gaze continued to wander until John snapped his fingers again, bringing the boy's attention back. "You with me, now?"

Dean watched John, his inner cogs and wheels spinning as he took everything in and tried to sort it out. "Dah?" he said with a thick, clumsy tongue.

"It's me, sport."

"Wha? Wha's happ'nin'?"

John smiled and patted his son's head, stroking his bony cheek. "You ignored my text message, Dean," John said. "Had to get Bobby to put someone on the case. Isn't like you. You want to tell me why?"

"Wha?" Dean said, still confused, blinking rapidly as he tried to bring John into focus. He worked his tongue around his mouth a few more times. John saw his eyes flicker and widen as memories roared back. The boy stopped pulling against his restraints as he stared at the man, his chest heaving. "Wha th'hell?" Dean yanked hard on the leather thongs, noticing them for the first time. "Dad?" His face darkened. "Y'freakin' kiddin' me?"

"Calm down, son," John said, pushing against Dean's chest. "Relax. You're going to be okay. You're safe."

"Safe?" Dean said the word as if it was foreign. He continued to strain against the tethers. John watched as a light sheen of sweat broke out on Dean's skin, adrenaline pumping through every ropy strand of muscle. "Wha's goin' on? Lemme up."

"Can't do that, sport," John said. "We have ourselves a bit of a situation here."

"Situat—" Dean stopped, surveying John through narrowed eyes. He shut them a moment, mouthing words that the hunter couldn't follow. Dean's muscles tightened and his face twisted in rage and fear. When he opened his eyes they were full of accusation and hostility. "What did you do? What have you done!" he yelled. "I can't feel him. I can't hear them! What did you do, dammit? They're all gone. Father!" he called out, shutting his eyes tight, his muscles straining in his panic.

"Stop it, Dean. I've blocked him. He can't hurt you. He can't communicate with you with these wards of protection." He pointed to the small, leather pouches tied to the bed and motioned to the ceiling. "No call zone," he said. "Service has been disrupted. You can't hear him and he can't hear you." Dean's eyes followed John's to the sacred OM symbol painted in red above him.

Dean opened his eyes wide. "Are you out of your mind? Let me go right now." He began to arch his back, arms straining and tearing against his restraints, paying no heed to any damage he might be doing to his wrists and ankles.

"Calm down, Dean." John pushed against him. "Stop it." Dean still continued to struggle. John had to use more force than he wanted to, pinning his son aggressively against the mattress. "Stop it right this goddamned instant, Dean. That's an order."

"Order? You're joking, right? You don't get to order me, John. Not anymore. Father!" Dean called out in desperate prayer. "Father! Help me, please." His eyes filled with tears, and he turned to John. "Don't do this. Let me go. I won't tell anyone. Please just let me go back home."

John bit back his words, his jaw clenching and flexing. "That thing is not your father," he said exercising all the personal restraint that he could. "It's a damn pishacha, Dean. A goddamn demon," he repeated. "You went to that place to help those people, but you got caught. The pishacha caught you, son, but we're going to fix you. You got me?"

Dean's lungs were laboring. "Why are you lying? Why would you lie about Father like that?"

"That's right, Dean. Your instincts are on point. You know I wouldn't lie about something like this. Deep down you know that. That thing you call Father is a monster, nothing more."

Dean shook his head. "He's everything. He's everywhere. Father is life. Father is love. Father is my Keeper. Thank you Father. Save me Father. Fill me with your light until our souls are One."

John listened to his son chant his mantra, taking no breaks to breathe, inhaling the words in, then exhaling them back out, falling into a steady rhythm, his eyes rolling back, his body rocking in time. It was so un-Dean-like, one of the most disturbing things he'd ever seen. His heart dropped.

"Dean," he called, but the boy was lost in his mantra. "Dean," he said again, shaking him this time. "Don't you damn ignore me." His voice dropped an octave. "I'm your father, now you listen to me and stop this."

"You're not my Father—you're not my Father—you're not my Father—you're not my Father," Dean's mantra took a side street and then turned back without a break in his rhythm. "Father is everything. Father is everywhere. Father is life. Father is love. Father is my Keeper…"

John bent in close, talking into his son's ear. "It's a pishacha, Dean. It's a demon—a bottom dwelling, flesh eating piece of filth. They normally stick to graveyards, but this one has found a way to power up using the souls of those he's consumed. Any good that you think he's done has been done by using the power of the souls of good people he's killed. Feeds on worship and human sacrifice—and he's taken up residence on that farm. Do you hear me?" Dean continued to chant without a single break.

"My life is Father's to mold. My heart is Father's to fill. My soul is Father's to keep."

"It's feeding on those people, son. It's taking their souls, so that they can't even move on once he's killed them. They're trapped with him, being used by him to trap other people." Dean began to chant louder, trying to drown out John's words.

"I trust Father with my soul. I trust Father with my soul. I trust Father with my soul."

"He's a demon, and you're a hunter. Don't let him hurt those people. He's is a monster."

Dean's eyes snapped open. "You're a liar," he said. "Father fill me!" He arched his back again, trying to break away. "My body is your body. My will is your will. My soul is your soul."

"He's a demon, and he can't have you, Dean. I'm going to see to that." Dean stopped fighting and eyed John. John knew his son was buried in there somewhere. He watched the flashes of doubt fire in his child's eyes and then dull to nothing. After a long moment his face brightened, and the boy, still groggy from the drugs, laughed.

"You're not real," he said, his expression fading, eyes not quite vacant and cold, but so close that John's insides quivered. After a moment a smug smirk bloomed. "I get it, now. This is a test. Thank you, Father, for this lesson. I'll stay strong for you. I swear it." He looked at John as though he was seeing a party trick revealed. "Sneaky Father," he said with a nod. "It's right that he should test me. I'm going to be with him forever, and I have to prove I'm worthy." Dean gave John a cold smile. "I deny you." He lifted his head skyward. "I'm yours, Father! I belong to you. I'll prove my loyalty!" Dean turned to John, a cocky grin on his pale face, a painful reminder of his old mischief and spice. "Father is life. Father is love. Father is my Keeper. Thank you Father. Save me Father. Fill me with your light until our souls are One." He closed his eyes with a serene expression on his face, his chanting going on without break.

John dragged his hand down his face, pinching his nose. He checked the time on his watch and continued to observe Dean a moment longer but then got up and set some candles and incense around the bed. Sitting down with a small pouch, he made a new slice along his finger, drawing blood. He mixed it with more of the kumkum powder. Wiping Dean's forehead clean, the boy opened his eyes and bucked up, turning his head from side to side, fighting John.

"Hold still," John demanded, knowing he wouldn't obey. It took him three tries to reapply the tilak, but he finally managed it.

Dean glared at him and continued to chant. "Father is light. Father is love. Father is the keeper of The Kindred with whom my heart resides." He put emphasis on the first word, his eyes challenging the man in front of him. John showed no emotion.

"It's almost time," he said, rising and making his way to the door. He left it ajar as Dean continued his feverish chanting from within.

Mei sat at the table, red-eyed, gripping a worn tissue. John released a lungful of air, his jaw set. Walking over to Mei, he put his hand on her shoulder.

"My god," she said, dabbing the tissue to her nose. "Is that what Jason has become?"

"You need to pull yourself together. We're going to fix this," he said, ignoring the flutter of his own heart. He showed her the small box of kumkum powder mixed with blood. Sticking his finger in, he dabbed it with the paste and pressed it to Mei's forehead and then his own.

"We'll need protection, too," he explained. Taking two small leather camphor pouches out of his pocket, he placed one around Mei's neck and then one around his own. "Don't take it off until this is finished." He picked up a strand of prayer beads, two sheathed daggers and a small, skull drum lying on the table. He handed the small drum to Mei. "It's time. Let's get this done. Things will be better in the morning. Don't take anything he says to heart, you hear me?"

Mei inspected the small damaru drum in her hand, her eyes widening as she examined it, her finger tracing the coronal suture in the bone. "Human skull?" Her chest rose and fell as she strove to master her distress.

"Don't think about it. Are you ready?"

She took several deep breaths. "I'm ready," she said.

"I need you to do exactly what we talked about. This is for Jason, too. Can you do it?" he asked.

She stiffened. "I'm with you."

"All right," he said, picking up four small stone bowls and opening the door and holding it for her. The sound of Dean's chanting spilled over them. "Let's do this."




**ॐ**



"Hah! I should have known Father would use you to test me." Dean broke his chanting long enough to greet the doctor.

John turned back to Mei, nodding to her to ignore him. She averted her eyes and focused them on the drum in her hands.

"S'okay, though," Dean continued. "You can't tempt me. Maybe you should be a part of Jason's test, not mine, huh? We're both gonna become Enlightened Ones in just a few days, you know. Won't be able to picket us then."

Mei stole a peek at Dean and then met John's eye. "He doesn't think we're real," John told her under his breath as Dean resumed his chanting again. "He thinks were some kind of hallucination, part of a trial or test of some kind." The hunter turned, made a salt line around the altar and sat down inside the circle.

"What does he mean about becoming an Enlightened One?"

John studied Dean, wondering that himself. "I don't know, yet. Let's just get this done and then we can find out more."

"Where do you want these?" Mei asked, picking up the stone bowls that the hunter had set down. John took two of them from her.

"The other two are for Dean." He handed her one of the kirpan daggers, its curved blade short but very sharp. "For when the time comes. Once we start this don't step outside of the salt line and don't interrupt the process, no matter what."

"I understand," she said.

"You think you understand, but it's going to go against everything you believe in as a doctor. You have to do exactly what I've told you to do."

"Okay," she said with a frightened swallow.

John tapped his watch. "It's almost midnight."

Mei took her place by Dean who continued to chant non-stop, his eyes closed. He made no sign that he noticed her standing near him. Setting the bowls down, she shut off the valve of Dean's IV and hooked up the holy water hanging next to the saline in its own IV bag. She didn't turn the valve, waiting for the signal when the time came. She glanced at John.

"Ready."

"All right," John said, sitting down, lotus posture, in front of the altar, placing the bowls next to him, one on each side. "I'm going to recite the mantra one hundred times. I'll let you know when to begin the purification. Another eight-hundred recitations and then the offering, with a final one-hundred recitations uttered during the offering. I'll signal you when to begin each. Understand?"

"Understood."

John didn't say another word. He stole a last glimpse at Dean and then turned back to the altar; threading the prayer beads through his hand, he gripped the bell. After he rang it for several seconds, Mei twisted the drum in her hand and let the beads begin to hit the sides of the skull, back and forth, back and forth.

John recited the mantra.

Om Kalikayai Namah || Om namo kali kapali dahi dahi swaha || nivArayati pischacha

Mei remembered the hunter telling her that the mantra would invoke the goddess Kali, entreating her to break the power of the pishacha and exorcise it from the inflicted individual. The doctor said her own inner prayer that it would work.

With Dean still chanting to the pishacha, the sound of the dueling mantras became chaotic and confusing, and Mei wasn't sure how John was able to keep his count. As John settled into his mantra-cycle, Dean picked up volume, overwhelming the dark, rich tone of his father's voice.

After twenty-five repetitions, John rang the bell again and lifted the tray of incense and offerings, making a circular motion three times in front of the image of the goddess. Setting the offering tray back down, he rang the bell again and resumed his chanting. Dean stumbled a moment as the bell rang, and he opened his eyes, watching John in the corner, his own chanting diminishing as he studied the man.

Om Kalikayai Namah || Om namo kali kapali dahi dahi swaha || nivArayati pischacha

John picked up speed, now, his voice filling the air as both Mei and Dean watched him count off the repetitions on his prayer beads. Every time he came to a large white bead, he'd stop a moment, ring the bell and waved the tray slowly three times. Dean's eyebrows furrowed and he turned from John to watch Mei as she beat the drum in her hand.

"What are you doing?" he asked. "What's he doing?" He turned toward John again, pulling against his restraints, his agitation growing. "What the hell is he doing?"

Mei licked her lips but said nothing, keeping her eyes averted. John continued on at a fevered pace, his lips working around the strange words with ease. He rang the bell a third time, and again he wafted the offerings in front of the goddess.

Om Kalikayai Namah || Om namo kali kapali dahi dahi swaha || nivArayati pischacha

The air around them started to sizzle with energy, and the hair on Mei's arms rose. Dean must have felt it, too, because he winced and looked around the room, searching for something. He tried to chant again, closing his eyes and calling for ‘Father', but he soon stopped and watched John again.

"What are you doing, John?" Dean asked. There was a barely perceptible hesitation in John's chanting when Dean called him by name. After that he continued on without any break whatsoever. "You think a few mantras are going to change anything? Not a chance. You need me to spell it out for you—or would you just prefer I maybe send you some coordinates so you can buy a clue, huh?" he said, tartly. John kept chanting. "You can't tempt me, John. I belong to Father."

Mei's heart beat faster, and she continued to spin the drum in one hand while reaching for the valve on the IV. She knew he had only a few more repetitions left.

Dean caught sight of her and tore his eyes away from John, looking up at the bag suspiciously. "What's that? What are you giving me?"

Om Kalikayai Namah || Om namo kali kapali dahi dahi swaha || nivArayati pischacha

John rang the bell a fourth time, and stopped his chant long enough to utter one word over his shoulder. "Now," he said and went back to his chanting.

Mei twisted the valve, allowing the holy water to drip into the tube and snake its way down toward Dean's arm. The beads of the damaru slapped against bone, and the flame of the small lamp flared high. John continued to chant loud and strong as the first drips of holy water entered Dean's veins.

The young man winced and studied his arm, hissing with pain. "Ahhnn, fuck, stop…" he said, and his eyes began to saucer with pain and fear. "Nuhhh!"

Mei closed her eyes and tried to focus on the sound of the drum and John's mantra rather than the moans coming from Dean. She opened them again when Dean released an agonized gasp as the holy water entered his bloodstream, channeling throughout his body. Mei had no real-life experience with the effects of holy water on evil forces, but if the literature she'd read and movies she'd seen had any basis in reality, she knew that the experience had to be excruciating.

"Father! Oh please, Father!" Dean cried in panicked misery as his back arched. "I won't deny you. I won't deny you! Naaauuhhgnnn!"

Dean writhed and pulled against his restraints with such abandon that Mei had to stop drumming long enough to make sure he hadn't dislodged his IV. The needle was still in place. However, noting that the bag was still near full, Mei wondered how he would be able to withstand the torture until it was empty.

The boy looked at John in shock and hurt. "Why?" he panted. "Isn't enough that you damn well left me cold? Now you godda…fuckin'…" his breathing came in erratic bursts, "…torture me, too?" His head fell back against the pillow as he squirmed in pain, trying to mentally overcome it. He caught his breath and levered himself back up. "I deny you! I damn deny you!"

Om Kalikayai Namah || Om namo kali kapali dahi dahi swaha || nivArayati pischacha

And the chanting went on, Dean bucking spastically against the restraints, panting. It had to feel like liquid fire flowing through him, Mei had no doubt about it. The longer the chanting continued, the worse it got. The air grew pungent with sweat and piss. Mei watched a few drops of perspiration fall from Dean as he thrashed. They hit the floor with a sizzle, wispy coils of smoke or steam rose from each droplet.

"Oh my god," she said, before she clamped her mouth shut.

After several more minutes, Dean gasped out Father! over and over again as a mantra itself. His entire body shook savagely, and Mei grabbed his bound wrist to find his pulse racing. She tried to soothe him, rubbing her hand along his shoulder, but his muscles rippled under her touch straining to get away from her. She pulled her hand away. John had specifically warned her against interfering, but he'd been right; this went against her every instinct—standing by helpless while someone suffered so cruelly.

"Help me, Father!" he cried out, but his eyes were focused on John. "You saved me once. You accepted me when my own family wouldn't. You showed me I was worth loving…that I mattered when no one else would. You've never abandoned me or tossed me aside—not once. You're the only father I need or want. Please help me!"

Om Kalikayai Namah || Om namo kali kapali dahi dahi swaha || nivArayati pischacha

John chanted on. Mei noticed his shoulders slump slightly as Dean called out to Father, but beyond that there was no change in cadence. The chanting was now a relentless drone, the ringing of the bell a harsh, strident clang that made Mei's head throb. A cold dread settled over her, coiling up her spine. Combined with Dean's anguished cries and the small sizzle-sizzle of sweat droplets, the doctor was close to sheer panic despite all of her training. She snapped out of her own fears when Dean's body went rigid and his eyes rolled back in his head. Mei could only use one hand to try and keep his head from hitting the railings as the seizure, or whatever this was, played out.

"John, please!" she shouted, her mouth as dry as the Mohabi. She couldn't help herself. The hunter made no sign that he heard her and his chanting never broke or altered in any way. Mei had long ago lost count, had no idea how long this had to continue. She couldn't remember if John was going to tell her when to use the dagger or if he was expecting her to know when there were only one-hundred recitations left. Her own breath started to come in gasps even as Dean's seizure subsided. The bag of holy water was still half-full.

On and on and on that dreadful mantra went, the bell sounding every now and again as counts were tallied and offerings were made. Dean panted and shuddered, his vocalizations reduced to nothing beyond incoherent growls and rasps. Mei wasn't certain if he was unconscious or not. She couldn't be sure. It could have been a violent supernatural response to the holy water for all she knew. Her medical knowledge and training was useless at this point. The air hummed and popped with electricity, and Mei noticed as a couple of blue arcs snapped and danced on the brass altar while John held it and swung it slowly in front of the image of the goddess.

Om Kalikayai Namah || Om namo kali kapali dahi dahi swaha || nivArayati pischacha

After John rang the bell, he drew out his dagger. "Now," he said. Mei fumbled with the drum, setting it down and picking up the dagger. As she did so, Dean jerked up with a tortured scream, his face talcum colored except for the tilak, now nothing more than a red splotch dripped onto the bridge of his nose like a bloody tear. Cold sweat beaded his face and neck.

"Dad! NO! Don't—don't! Please don't take them away from me. If you do, I'll have nothing left, Dad…nothing!"

Mei was stunned when John stopped chanting and met his son's eye.

"That's not goddamned true, Dean." John said. "No matter how imperfect it is, you have me."

"Dad…don't…" Dean begged as John held the knife and made the first cut in one crook of his own elbow and then the other, allowing the blood to flow into the bowls as offering. "Dad!"

Mimicking his movements, Mei cut similar lines, one on Dean's arm, the other just behind the opposite knee since the holy water flowed into his other arm. Blood started to drip and trickle into the bowls Mei set beneath his limbs. Picking up the drum again and continuing to twist it, Mei used her other hand to keep Dean's shaking leg over the bowl.

"You have to finish this. Hurry!" she called to John. She wasn't sure if he'd heard her or not, but his chanting reached a furious pace; she could no longer catch individual words. As both John's and Dean's blood collected in the offering bowls, the lamp blazed again, shooting flames several inches above its cotton wick. A wind blew through the room even though the windows were shut tight, and a low, earthquake-like rumble caused the brass containers on the altar to rattle. The metal in the bed rails sizzled with electricity.

Om Kalikayai Namah || Om namo kali kapali dahi dahi swaha || nivArayati pischacha

John chanted, ringing the bell every couple of minutes, signaling twenty-five recitations. The rumble in the room reached a crescendo with the final recitation and Dean screamed out in agony.

"No!"

Om Kalikayai Namah || Om namo kali kapali dahi dahi swaha || nivArayati pischacha!

As John finished the mantra and rang the bell for the final time, the lamp shattered in its glass holder. All the candles around the bed blew out, and the room stilled.

It was over.

In the dark, Mei heard a final thump as John Winchester fell senseless to the floor.




**ॐ**



"Don't move, John." Mei's voice cut through the ringing in his ears. He opened his eyes once and then again since they must not have stayed open the first time.

"Dean," he said.

"I've already stopped his bleeding. Let me get this tied off and get you off the floor."

"How long've I been out?" he asked.

"Five, maybe ten. Not long. Wait, just stop," she said, pushing him down again. "Almost done. You need to drink before you get up. You've each lost well over a pint of blood."

"Need to check Dean." He pushed her aside, getting up and barreling his way to the bed, swaying as he went.

"He hasn't come to, yet." Mei stood up, wrapping her shaking arms around her middle. "It was awful. Absolutely awful," she said, snuffling wetly, on the verge of a breakdown.

John sat on the edge of the bed next to Dean and ran his hands over his son's body, raking his fingers through his hair. Dean was drenched in sweat and urine, blood inking the bandages on his leg and arm. "Dean," he called tentatively, torn whether to let him sleep or not. He was desperate to see his son, to really see him. "Come on, Sport. It's all over, now. Open up. That's an order, son."

Dean's eyes twitched at that. "Father," he croaked out, his vocal chords chafed bare from the ordeal.

John held his breath. "Dad will do. I'm here, son."

Dean opened his eyes, wet and red and raw—the pupils blown from the pain he'd endured, freckles speckling his pale face. He looked past John, toward the ceiling, tears now channeling into his hairline. "Have I proved my loyalty, Father? Can I please come home, now? Please?"

"Dean?"

"I won't deny you, Father. I'll never deny you. Father is life. Father is love. Father is my Keeper. Thank you Father. Save me Father. Fill me with your light until our souls are One."

The only other sound in the room aside from Dean's rasped mantra was Mei's muffled sobs.

Continue to Chapter 12

 
 
 
jpgr: SPN Deanjpgr on October 10th, 2013 02:05 am (UTC)
Yay! New Chapter! Wow and only three more to post?

sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 10th, 2013 01:26 pm (UTC)
Yep...finally winding her down. But that means that I get to start working on a new story...so...yay! :)

/hugs

Kat
iontasiontas on October 10th, 2013 03:39 am (UTC)
Nooooooooooooo! You are killing me with these cliffies! Poor John. Poor Dean! John kind of deserves it though. I do hope they are in time to save Jason.
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 10th, 2013 01:33 pm (UTC)
Hah...you knew it wasn't going to be THAT easy! ;) The clock is definitely tick-tick-tickin' away here. Yikes!

Kat
maguiemaguie on October 10th, 2013 04:10 am (UTC)
HOLY MOTHER OF LORD!!!

It didn't work! I didn't expect that!,,, I really thought it was going to work,,, but why???

so, tomorrow is Thursday,, you are going to post tomorrow? hehe

Edited at 2013-10-10 04:14 am (UTC)
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 10th, 2013 01:35 pm (UTC)
Things never go smoothly for the Winchesters do they? /bites nails!

LOL...um...no new post until late Sunday/early Monday. ;) But nice try... :P

Thanks so very much, maguie!

Kat
antraziantrazi on October 10th, 2013 01:37 pm (UTC)
While I feel absolutely bad for Dean this is a nice reminder for John that he didn't really do well with Dean.
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 10th, 2013 01:42 pm (UTC)
John will certainly have a lot to account for before the end of this fic. Let's hope his stubborn streak doesn't prevent him from owning his shit ...or worse...

:)

Kat
gluisa88gluisa88 on October 10th, 2013 03:38 pm (UTC)
God, why do I do this to myself? I should've waited to read this until it was all posted- damn me!

Anyhow, so my own personal theory is that Dean is free of the demon's "spell" or whatever over him, but maybe now he's suffering from the mind-control/brain washing techniques that Mei warned John about. Like, he has really really deeply ingrained stolkholm syndrome.

Well, that's what I hope at least!
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 10th, 2013 09:21 pm (UTC)
Oh gluisa.../hugs you and squishes you. Sorry! ;) I'm a big pain in the ass, I know it.

It really does appear that magical influence is only half the battle, here, huh? Hopefully John will pull his head out of his rump with a squishy plop and get to addressing the problem.

We'll see how it goes. Bumpy road is bumpy! ;)

/hugs

Kat
inanna_maat: Jen dragoninanna_maat on October 10th, 2013 05:15 pm (UTC)
hahahahaha LOL...

When I started reading I was thinking I didn´t read the last chapter but yes LOL... ah, maybe John is going to LISTEN to Mei and dont´be so stubborn...

moooooooooooooooore!!!
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 10th, 2013 09:22 pm (UTC)
This definitely as much of a journey for John as it is for Dean. John needs to own a lot of shit, here. Hopefully he'll get to it.

kat
arlissarliss on October 10th, 2013 06:28 pm (UTC)
Heh, I'm mapping their escape, point by point. I've never had the chance to do that with a fic before--it's fun! But then the meat of the piece and the dreadful, claustrophobic, racked tension. Oh man, I didn't expect it not to work, not after all that.

Excellent. I will attempt to keep breathing till the next installment.
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 10th, 2013 09:36 pm (UTC)
Hee! OK, check me here...

They were standing about half a block down from Tony's Coffee on Harris St. Mei pulled around the corner from 10th St. heading up the hill. John was lurking in that little cobble alley between 10th and 11th...nabbed Dean and they took off, turned on right on 11th...then left on McKenzie and right on 12th...around to Chuckanut and into the park. Pretty close? ;) Then when they came back out, they tracked back and took Old Fairhaven Pkwy to the freeway and off they went, heading south.

Of course, it's been a few years since I was in Bellingham, so my route takes no accounting for any new construction. Tee!

Keep breathing!

Thanks for the comment, hon!

Kat
lidia1991_anlidia1991_an on October 10th, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC)


The life is not easy for the Winchesters, poor Dean!

Great chapter!!!!!!!!!!!!!
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 10th, 2013 09:37 pm (UTC)
It's especially not easy for Dean when I'm in the driver's seat. /shakes head at self...

Thanks for the comment, lidia! :)
iontasiontas on October 10th, 2013 09:32 pm (UTC)
I meant to ask you where the art work came from? It is so pretty!
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 10th, 2013 09:39 pm (UTC)
I did a search for "chakras" and found these:

http://www.goth-witch.webspace.virginmedia.com/Chakra.htm
(no subject) - iontas on October 10th, 2013 11:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
ceridwen_d on October 11th, 2013 12:30 am (UTC)
Have not commented before but am enjoying this immensely.

Where do you come up with all this detail...it is fascinating and so well written. Thank you for the awesome ride!
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 11th, 2013 01:28 am (UTC)
Wow, thank you so much ceridwen! I'm so glad you're liking this.

Ah, well...I love research! I didn't know doodly about Hindu folklore (and, perhaps a Hindu folklore expert may argue that I *still* don't know doodly...hee!), but with a few hours to kill and an internet crammed full of information, you'd be amazed what you can find out! And when research fails...I just made shit up. :P LOL.

Thanks again! :)

Kat
pielover62pielover62 on October 11th, 2013 12:32 pm (UTC)
I haven't read this chapter yet, but when I opened the page 2 things struck me that I just had to mention. First, yay for John being the one to rescue Dean!! I know in an earlier comment I put my money on Bobby, but I like this way so much better!! I love Bobby, but i also get tired of him being written as a surrogate father for the boys. I love it so much more when John steps up. I'm sure I'll have more to say after I read.

The second thing that struck me is the art work. You've had some really beautiful pieces adorning each chapter, but this is definitely one of my favorites.
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 11th, 2013 02:49 pm (UTC)
Hehe...thanks pie! I definitely wanted the story to be Father vs. Father. I love Bobby to death, I really do, but I didn't want him to upstage or outshine John here. John has to learn how to parent better...not simply watch Bobby do it right. So that was my thinking in a nutshell.

Glad you like the artwork. There is a website address in a comment just a few comments above this one that shows where I got many of them from.

Kat
tyrsibstyrsibs on October 11th, 2013 08:21 pm (UTC)
Argh! I know Dean is physically cleansed, but now they have to reach his mind. Will that be Mei's job? Or John's?

Wow--nice job! Your stories are well thought out--do you research what you're going to use as your background info?
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 11th, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, tyrsibs! I really appreciate the comment.

I think Mei has to get through to John so that he can get through to Dean....so it'll probably be a bit of a relay deprogramming. ;)

I do quite a bit of research, yes. I usually think of my idea..."Oh! Wouldn't it be cool to have Dean sucked in by a cult!...and then realize that I don't know a damn thing about cults. Hee! And trying to find a "monster" that fits the description of what I want is also a huge challenge. I found the pishacha suitable to my needs (though I did take SOME creative liberties with it)...but then I knew ZIP about Hindu Folklore...so those two fields a researched a lot. Oh god...and don't get me started on the medical stuff. Heh. I can't even watch someone draw my own blood without crying for my mommy...so learning about all the maladies I put Dean through is also a challenge, because I know nothing about medicine.

In short...GOOGLE is my best friend when writing. LOL! ;)

Kat
dark_austral: losing itdark_austral on October 12th, 2013 03:08 am (UTC)
O__O OMG. I should really stop reading these chapters before I go to bed, but I see the newest chapter and must read it even though the next day I'm tired at work. But it's sooo worth it!!!

That was one intense chapter. John's focused determination and I can only imagine how he must hurting to hear Dean say all that. And kuddos for Mei for sticking through and helping out. The imagery was great and like before the tension was papable. And the ending, crazy. *crossing fingers* Hope it's just brainwashing talking.

There was one tiny moment when I grinned and that was the mere fact John was summoning Kali. My mind jumped to Hammer of the Gods and I could just imagine her kicking butt against the pishacha. Also, liked all the background info on the demon and the hinting of the last time a hunter ran into one. Great job once more!
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 12th, 2013 03:46 am (UTC)
Zoink! Extra coffee for you in the morning, dark_austral! /guilty smile.

Yeah...culty!Dean isn't going to really give his dad much of a pass, here. Heh. But in a way, maybe John needs to hear this. He has his own journey in this story...and maybe this is exactly what he needs to hear...no matter how painful.

Hehe...yeah it was fun to research Hindu folklore for this story (I admit, I knew next to nothing...), but I kind of like the chick now. :) She kicks ass. She really does.

Thanks so much for your comment, DA! I appreciate it so much!

Kat
(Anonymous) on October 12th, 2013 03:59 pm (UTC)
Hey.. I have been reading this fic for sometime now (ofcourse cos its v good).. And I just had to ask you today - how much research did you do on the Hindu religion? Cos so much was stated in this chapter and almost everything was accurate.. To tell you the truth, I started to read this seeing the title only - I am from India and I was like - huh.. a SPN fic titled Jai Guru Deva Om !!!
It was actually great to imagine John chanting like a Hindu priest for Dean... I do hope Dean gets better soon..

Just one thing though - the Hindu symbol which you have mentioned (Swastika) which is still often used for protection and other reasons was actually inverted by Hitler and used. So its not technically the same thing - just wanted to say that cos I hate that guy like everyone else.

Waiting for the next update on this
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 12th, 2013 04:44 pm (UTC)
Wow...thank you SO much. I honestly knew next to nothing about Hindu practices or Hindu folklore prior to researching for the story. I am sure there will be inconsistencies here and there ...and in some cases there are flat-out liberties taken (for instance, I highly doubt blood is used in a tilak, but I liked the imagery and the symbolism of John using HIS blood to protect his son from "Father")...so I am delighted that you said that I got a lot right. Yay!

You know, I think I did read about the swastika being inverted by Hitler, but to Mei's untrained eye...she would only see "Third Reich" when she saw that symbol...so I didn't even think to mention it.

Yep, hopefully John and Mei will guide Dean back from his conditioning. It's going to be a bumpy road, but this is Dean Winchester. He won't be down for long!

Thanks so, so much for the encouraging comment.

Kat
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on October 13th, 2013 03:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sharlot1926 on October 13th, 2013 04:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
JJ1564jj1564 on October 13th, 2013 12:12 pm (UTC)
Phew, this is hard to read as life doesn't get any better for Dean and now he's going to associate Father with healing and Dad with torture. Mei wasn't the only one sobbing at the end! John is being such a massive jerk here, thinking that because Dean is tough and a Winchester he'll just bounce back. I wish Mei had phoned Bobby too as he'd knock some sense into John, but thank goodness she's there as Dean's going to need her. The ending was heart-breaking but I can't wait for more hurt/broken Dean in the next chapter!
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 13th, 2013 01:24 pm (UTC)
Well, look at you....all caught up! That was a marathon reading session! Thank you so much for leaving all these comments as you went along. That was incredibly sweet.

Yeah, no...things aren't going to be THAT easy for Dean. Magic is only part of his problem. John is going to have to understand that Father wasn't the only one to have damaged Dean recently...

Kat