Family Ties

Chapter 1

Prelude

Railean rubbed her eyes and cracked her neck. Both she and Dean had been reading through the books she and Sam had 'borrowed' from a local Wicca store, going on two hours now. Her eyes where tired and her neck muscles were getting stiff. A loud slam brought her back to reality.

"This is bull." Dean said from the coffee table. "Half the stuff in here I can't make out and the stuff I can make out, I can't understand." He looked up at Railean. "I told you. I am not Research Boy. That title belongs solely to Sam. He finds them and I kill them."

Marking her place with her finger, Railean looked up at Dean. They had had this argument before. When she and Sam had walked through the door of the hotel room they were renting and told Dean that Sam had had another premonition and was going to lie down for a little while, leaving Dean and Railean on research duty. He hadn't liked it then and it was apparent that he still had not warmed up to the idea.

"Dean, get over it alright. You have officially been demoted from the Killer-Of-All-Things-Creepy down to Research Boy. And I really hope you know where you were at in that book."

Dean locked his hands behind his head and leaned back, "I really hate this part of the job."

Railean went back to where she had left off, "Hey if you would rather have the part that causes killer headaches, I am sure Sam would love to trade with you right now. But since that ain't happening, get back to reading."

"Who died and left you in charge," Dean mumbled as he re-opened his book on Demonic Rituals for Demons.

Railean grinned and continued to read, Demonic Prophecies: Then and Now. For the last three months Railean had been with Dean and his younger brother Sam. They had meet at Ellen's Roadhouse right after she and her uncle had a particularly bad hunt, a hunt that had left Railean with a broken arm as well as a few ribs and her uncle, Mal, in a bad mood. It had been Sam's idea that Railean go along with him and Dean. Three months with these boys and she was starting to think of them as a second family, an extremely dysfunctional family but family non-the-less.

She hadn't been paying attention and hadn't really read the text in front of her. She shook her head to clear it and re read it. "Dean! I found it!" She gathered up the heavy book and plopped it down on the coffee table. Nearly crushing Dean's head in the process, "The prophecy about Azazel, it's right here."

Dean leaned forward to look, "Umm…where?"

"Right here."

Dean just stares.

"I'm pointing right at it."

"Did I forget to mention that I don't speak gibberish?"

"It's not gibberish," Railean said, rolling her eyes. "It's an old form of Navajo. Here: 'After many lifetimes of destroying the innocent and hunting the…' I think the word is gifted ones. 'He, who is Azazel, will be defeated by the three…Fire sticks?' What the heck… oh wait guns, guns were known as Fire sticks. 'Azazel will be defeated by the three guns of the time" Railean continues to read while Dean keep looking for his lost spot.

"Lets see…yada yada yada…'A life for a life.' Yada yada yada…'Human flesh is his weakness and human flesh is what he will become." Railean slugged Dean in his arm. "See, I told you there were two other guns that could kill him and not just the Colt."

Dean glared at her and rubbed his arm. "Great, but I don't see where your book says where to find these other two guns, or how we're suppose to get the Colt back from Azazel. Because I'm pretty damn sure he isn't just going to hand it over because we ask him nicely," he resumes flipping the pages on his book.

"Well no it doesn't say, but I am sure that…" she slammed her hand down on top of his, "Wait! Stop!"

"OUCH! What the hell? What!"

Railean flipped back three pages and pointed to the content of it, "That's what."

Dean leaned forward to read the top of the page, still nursing the hand that Railean had clobbered, "Demonic Right of Power, and that warranted you squishing my hand?"

Railean tucked a strain of hair behind her ear. "Try reading the whole thing and not just looking at the pretty pictures Dean. This particular ritual says how a demon can be given human flesh and still keep its full demonic powers."

Dean rubs his hand, "Now why would a demon want to do that? I mean the SOB could just possess a person and keep it powers."

SMACK

"No it can't"

"HEY! You really need to stop hitting me."

"Then pay attention, when a demon possesses a person, it keeps it basic abilities. Trust me. Being able to pin people to the ceiling and causing your liver to rupture is not the worst a full fledge demon can do." She flipped the page. "It loses its more powerful ones."

Dean rubbed the back of his head and kept reading the ritual. "Alright so a demon performs this and boom its human. That could be a good thing. Makes Azazel easier to kill right?"

Now Railean is really confused, "Well yea. And that is why most demons opt for simple possession. If the host is killed, the demon is still alive. Well unless it's killed with one of those guns. And seeing as Azazel has one of them why would he want to perform…" Railean trailed off as she sees what is required for the ritual.

"Dean? We have a problem." She points to the last item on the list.

"Oh crap." He and Railean look at each other. A second later they hear Sam yell from the next room.

"DEAN!"

Both Railean and Dean bolted.

Three Months Earlier

Railean held her left hand closer to her body and squeezed her eyes closed. She felt a hand on her shoulder and heard her Uncle ask, "Rai are you going to be alright? Were almost there."

She was too scared to open her mouth on account of puking and she just nodded her head. The hunt had only been a success by the fact that they had sent Black Aggie straight to hell. But that had cost Railean the use of her left arm and she was sure she had heard something crack when Aggie had thrown her into that last tombstone. Now she and Mal were heading to the Roadhouse to see if Ellen could patch her up. A hospital was out of the question, for that reason very reason. They asked to many questions. And right now Railean was in no state to come up with a cover story.

The Camero hit a dip and Railean's grip on her arm slipped causing it to hit the door jam. She yelped, forgetting the nausea. "Sorry honey. We're there." The car slide to a stop.

Mal was out of the car and around to her side in three seconds flat. He carefully opened the door and Railean tried to stand. The world around her started to spin and she slid to the ground.

"ELLEN! Ellen, get out here and help me!"

Again Railean squeezed her eyes closed and waited for the vertigo to stop. She had heard that the best way to get rid of dizziness was to not focus your eyes on one thing, but to keep them gliding around the room. But seeing as the whole world was spinning Railean could barley keep her eyes open without getting sick.

"Need a hand?" a male voice asked.

"Yea thanks, careful of her left arm."

"Got'cha."

She wasn't sure if the voice meant that he got that her arm was injured or if he got her. She felt Mal and the new voice lifted her to her feet and pretty much dragged her into the Roadhouse.

"Wha'cha got there Sam?" Now that voice Railean did know. "Rai? What happened Rai? Are you alright?"

"Hey Jo-Jo," Railean said weekly in way of a greeting.

"Well she can't be too bad off. I've told you to stop calling me Jo-Jo. It sounds like I should be a clown in a carnival. Hey Mom! Mal's back and it looks like Railean's hurt. Sam, where's Dean?"

The new voice answered her, "He's still sitting in the car. Not sure he plans on coming in. You know I think he still afraid of your mom."

"Malcolm Nathan Reynolds!" Ellen's voice was clearly pissed off. "What the hell did you do? You know what, get Rai back here and then I'll yell at you. Hi ya Sam. Nice to see you back. Where's Dean?"

"Car."

If Railean wasn't mistaken there seemed to be a little crispness in Sam's voice. Both Mal and Sam helped Rai into the back room. Please let Ash be busy, any room but his.

"We can put her in Ash's room. He'll be gone for a week," Jo suggested. Damn.

Railean wasn't sure what was worst, the pain in her side and wrist or the funky smells coming off of Ash's bed. But she was happy to be off her feet and lying down. The dizziness was less intense and it made it easier for her to keep her arm from moving.

"Jo, I need you to call Doc." Ellen said to her daughter. "Tell him it's not life threatening but painful."

"That's an understatement," Rai mumbled.

"No lip from you girl," Ellen said gruffly sitting on the edge of the bed and gently taking her arm. "Let's see what we got going on. Where else does it hurt?"

Railean would have been a smart ass but the pain in her side prevented that. "Ribs. I heard something crack."

Ellen set her arm back across Rai's chest and turned to Sam and Mal. "You two out. When Doc gets here we'll know more. Rai you lie there and try to relax."

The three left the room giving Rai a chance to let a few tears out. She hated crying in front of her uncle, and was glad to be able to now. How could I have let this happen? I knew Aggie was right there. I knew what she could do. Damn it. That was so stupid.

Railean closed her eyes and tried her best to relax.

She was lying on her back looking up at the carousal above her. She could see her mom bending over her, kissing her goodnight and telling her not to be afraid. "I'll be right here Rai."

Her mom moved out of Railean's line of sight. She heard the door close and the carousel started playing. Then he was there, leaning over her with yellow eyes. She could hear him saying something but couldn't understand it. She could hear herself start to whimper. A flash of yellow, the demon was thrown out of her line of sight and her mom was standing beside the crib. Her arm outstretched, mouth forming words Railean couldn't comprehend.

There was someone messing with her arm and it didn't seem to hurt. "How does that feel, little lady?"

"Like it's broken," Rai said a little bit groggy waking from the dream. "But it doesn't hurt any more."

Railean opened her eyes a little. A lamp had either been brought in or just turned on. Sitting next to her was an elderly black man, his hair in loose corn rolls. He was smiling kindly at her, with Ellen standing just behind him. Her arm had been placed in a cast while she slept.

"That would be the 5 ml of Morphine I gave you while you were out. Thought you would be sleeping a little longer but since your not, let's take a look at your side. Which is it?" Doc stood up and reached for Railean left side. He pulled her t-shirt up and whistled.

"Now that is going to be tender."

"Great so I guess wearing a bikini is out of the question?" Railean asked as Doc felt her side. She winced with pain.

"Yep I would say so." Doc replied pulling her shirt back down. "But I don't think the ribs are broken. Your just going to have a pretty painful bruise is all.

"You were lucky Rai. You could have been hurt much worse."

"Ellen I'm fine, just a little bit dizzy and a lot a bit sore." Railean quoted. It was something her mother liked to say and she had adopted it as her own. She looked around Ash's room. "Where's Mal?"

Ellen sat on the edge of the bed. "He's outside the door with Sam. He's been waiting for you to wake up."

At that the door opened and Mal and another guy walked in. Mal crossed over to stand next to her, but was careful not to touch her, "How ya feeling Rai?"

Railean shrugged her shoulders, "Been worse. You?"

Mal's face lite up slightly and he took her right hand. "Better now. This is Sam." Mal nodded to the guy behind him. "He's the one who helped bring ya in."

"Hi."

Railean tried to sit up more and immediately wished she hadn't. "Whoa."

"Easy there little lady," Doc said as he tried to ease her back down. "Why don't we all let her be? She needs some rest." He started to shoo the other two out but Railean refused to let go of Mal's hand. She needed to talk to him in private.

"No. Let Mal stay."

"Alright but only till you fall asleep." Doc closed the door as the rest of them left.

Mal sat on the edge of the bed. "What did you dream, Rai?" He knew her so well.

"I had that dream again. The one with me in the crib, mom and Azazel."

Mal didn't look too concerned but then again he hadn't look concerned when he saw Railean lying on the ground and holding her arm back in the cemetery. "You've had that dream before."

"I know but this was different. I saw mom use magic to get rid of Azazel. Usually it just switches from Azazel to mom. But I saw her use it. I couldn't understand what she was saying but it repealed him. I couldn't see but I am sure he was thrown into the wall or something."

"And then what?"

"Then I woke up."

Mal looked away and Railean knew this news didn't surprise him. "You knew she could do that, didn't you? You knew Mom was a magic user?"

Mal closed his eyes and then faced Railean. "The term is witch and yes I knew. She was my twin of course I knew. But she rarely used her magic. I mean I can count on one hand the number of times she used it. It was just something she was good at and she never relied on her powers. They were more of a last resort."

Railean is a little shocked but not mad. "Why didn't you ever tell me, why didn't SHE ever tell me?"

Mal sighs, "When she married Aaron she did her best not to use her powers. She figured if she didn't nothing would find you guys."

"But she knew Azazel was coming. She was ready for him."

"No she didn't. Not really. She was just being careful. Yes she knew about Azazel, not his name but what he did and she was making sure you wouldn't be attacked."

Railean sunk back on to the bed to think about what Mal had told her. Mal stood. "I'm going to let you rest now. I have to talk to Ellen about something. I'm glad that you are all right Rai. You had me worried."

Rai grinned a little bit. She could feel the sedative making her eyes heavey, and now that she had talked to Mal she was willing to let it carry her off to sleep. "Ya sorry 'bout that. I'll see you when I wake up." She closed her eyes as Mal shut the door but heard him whisper, "We'll see."