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The Even Bigger Puzzle

It had been in his mind the moment he had woken up that morning, when his head was no longer blurry with the remnants of sleep, it came back to him in flashes, reminding him that it wasn't a dream, that he had seen it and it would stay with him, just like all the other visions before it. For some reason he felt the need to forget, to refuse to acknowledge it's presence, concentrating instead on other aspects of the visions, of the dilapidated, abandoned house, of how the windows and doors were lined with salt, how the lights had flickered, how it reeked of stale water, of mould and rust. By the time they had returned from breakfast, he realised he couldn't ignore it anymore, not after they found out the fate of Susan Ray.

What if he had paid attention to the visions more? What if he had taken some action about it, figured out where she might be and track her down, what if he had found her while she was still alive, what if he could help her? What if he could have prevented her death from happening?

Maybe there was a reason why he had met with Sam and Dean. Maybe there was a reason why Sam had had vision of him dying in a pub. Perhaps they were meant to meet, to save each other. Sam had done his part, he was still alive, wasn't he? Now, now he had this vision of Sam and Dean, knew what was going to go down, he had to do something, anything, before it was too late. So he started sketching again, ignoring AJ and his bored self, letting Brian and Howie did their own research, letting them feel that they were helping him out, that not all was lost, yet. And him, he was going to sketch, every grain of memory, every pixel that he could remember, he was going to draw them out and then he was going to track Sam and Dean Winchester down and hopefully, hopefully he was in time to save them, or warn them, because Nick Carter didn't think he could save himself, let alone anyone else. He knew one thing was for sure, he wasn't going to let anyone else die because he fucking hesitated.

So he knew, when Sam and Dean had literally been delivered right at his doorstep that mid afternoon that it wasn't down to pure luck. This was his second chance, his penance, to make things right, and this time, this time, he wasn't going to let it slip through his fingers.

“About us?” Dean was all business like; at least he thought this was what business like looked like for a hunter. There was an invisible guard surrounding them both, like they were some kind of fort holding back against all enemies from entering, and they were armed and fucking loaded. He wondered if he’d turn into that one day, to always be wary of strangers, wondering if the enemies are amongst him, and then realized he already had this invisible fort put up a long time ago, keeping backstabbers, money grabbing relatives and people with ulterior motives at bay, the only change now was, he had added another name to the long list. Demons. Who’s to say they always come yellow eyed, to be fair, he’d seen a lot of demons in his life and they’re often in human skins – those, he decided, was the worst kind.

“This guy…with yellow eyes…he talks to me sometimes…in my dreams…he tells me stuff…said it’s okay, that everything will be all right.”

Hi, I’m Nick Carter and I’m crazy and should be locked up in the house of loonies, could you please point me to the right direction? Thanks!

Dean looked thoughtful, the guys looked like they haven’t gone pass ‘talks to me sometimes’, the air-con sounded like it had coughed out a loose screw and Sam opened his mouth.

“You can talk to him?”

Wait, what? Definitely not the reaction he was expecting. A ‘oh don’t worry I get those dreams too and they’re nothing but residual thoughts seeping into your sleep and messing up with your brains a little’ would be more comforting. Then he thought it was discomforting, disturbing even, to think that that was comforting.

“No, I don’t think so, I mean, I’ve never tried talking to him…it.” Whatever. “But he’s always in my dreams, telling me it’s okay and I’m doing well.”

“What did you see in your…vision? The one about us?” Dean stepped in. Dean didn’t seem too fond about talks of demons and he couldn’t agree more.

“This demon I saw in my vision, he was stuck in some abandoned house and he was listening in to a conversation from inside a room and it turns out he was listening to both of you talking. I can’t really hear what you both were discussing about but he was grinning. Then my vision kind of fast forward I guess, and I saw you both pinned to the walls and he was talking to you.”

Dean looked alarmed and again, he couldn’t blame the guy. If some wiseass demon had him pinned to the wall and decided it was the best time to hold a conversation with him, he’d be pissed too, and afraid, of course.

There was a second where Dean looked away, breaking the eye contact they had and he wasn’t sure what to make out of it, he’d figured Dean wasn’t the type to look away first in battles of the…eyes.

Dean cleared his throat and he decided this was the best time to shift his eyes to something else as well because the room was quiet, still even, no one made a move and the invisible screw that the air-con had coughed up rolled noisily on the carpeted floor, which didn’t make sense at all because a) it was an imaginary loose screw and b) screws don’t roll noisily on a floor that was carpeted because really, what’s the point of the floor being carpeted in the first place if it didn’t absorb that kind of noise?

“Tell me more about this house we were in.”

Now this, this he could answer. So he smirked, because he figured he deserved to give one out, especially when you found out the world you’re living in was about to be overrun by defuckingmons and yeah, aliens? Way overrated.

“Better, I can show you what it looks like.”

Puzzled and confused and he didn’t blame them. He went back to the bed and grabbed for the sketchpad and hurriedly turned the pages to the last sketch he had done and passed it to Dean, with Sam now hovering curiously over his shoulder.

They didn’t gasp but the look on their faces, they might have as well yelled it out because it was that deafening. Something in that picture had ruffled their nerves, if he dared go a step further, he’d say they had seen something familiar in that picture and now he wasn’t sure if that recognition on their faces was a good or a bad sign. He was hoping for good, because good means lesser complications, but seeing how the track to good luck hadn’t been that good where he was concerned lately, it felt like he was asking a tad bit too much.

“Where did you…I mean…when did you…” Great, the kid with the visions had been rendered speechless, this was definitely not good.

“Just last night, when you dragged me out of that pub.”

Sam was frowning and Dean looked confused and the guys were still stuck at ‘surprise’ for quite a while now.

“Look, I’m sorry, but this is what I saw and I’m not going to sit around and let this happen because shit, just this morning we found out one of the girls in my vision was already dead before I even got the fucking vision and I’m not going to let that happen again, if…if there’s a way to prevent this, I’m going to help out any way I can.”

Sam was shaking his head and now he was utterly confused. Was he going to decline his help? Were they always looking for trouble and wishing for death?

“No, no, it’s not like that Nick,” Sam said and then pointed to the sketch. “This guy that you draw, eavesdropping on our conversation and then you said he had us pinned to the walls? Those already happened.”

Seriously? “But…that can’t be it.” No, seriously. He looked at Dean and continued, “You were bleeding from the chest or something man, you looked kind of dead actually and Sam was pleading with this motherfucker.” He could still hear Dean’s heartbeat fading too quickly into the night before his vision ended.

“I was, kind of dead, but that’s because our car got ploughed by a friggin semi driven by a guy possessed by a demon,” Dean explained easily while he, he was still trying to make sure that he had heard ‘kind of dead’ coming out of Dean’s mouth. “After I got shredded from the inside by that other demon you saw in your vision.”

“I don’t understand, are you trying to say that I had a vision of something that already happened?”

Sam nodded. “I met this girl about a couple of months ago, Ava. She found me actually, and told me she had a vision of me dying and before that, she had a vision of a guy being stabbed in some dark parking lot and we found out that he was a kid like us too, you know…we looked into his psych file and he was talking about a yellow eyed guy and how he could electrocute anything by just touching them. I figured Ava’s…gift…or curse, depending on how you look at it…I think she has visions of when one of our kind are in trouble. And for me, my visions are always connected to the demons in one way or another.”

Well that’s a mouthful and boy did his head hurt after listening to that. Was that supposed to be reassuring in some ways? He could use with some assurance right about now, his body was trembling slightly, out of cold or fear, he wasn’t sure. Maybe both.

“Dude, did you just say you looked into the dead guy’s psych file?”

He turned to AJ, surprised that he had spoken but relieved for the little distraction. He needed to sit down and let this sink in. What did this mean?

Sam flinched. “Yeah, we kind of-”

“He stole it,” Dean cut in. “Got the chick to distract the doc and he climbed over the window ledge on the fifth floor to steal it.”

Brian looked disturbed. Howie was amazed. AJ would have bowed down to them if he could and hello, he thought they were sidetracked too far from the important subject here. Like, what does this mean for his visions?

“Wait hold on a sec here…are you saying I have visions of the past?”

Sam shrugged. “I don’t know…maybe…did you sketch anything else?”

“I sketched something from all the visions I had so far, normally the ones that stood out the most.”

“Can I…”

“Of course, sure, go ahead,” he nodded and watched, nervously, as the two brothers flipped through the pages, pausing at some sketches longer than the others. Brian was biting his fingernails.

“These are…amazing…every detail of it too…damn I wish I can sketch like this,” Sam muttered while flipping through the pages.

“This is so weird,” Dean muttered moments later. “Some of these people, we’ve met them.”

“Are they all dead?” Howie asked.

Dean shrugged. He didn’t feel like asking if that was a good shrug or a bad shrug. “This right here, she’s Meg.” It was the picture of that girl with black eyes and stirring a cup of red liquid that he suspected was blood.

“She’s a demon?”

“A girl possessed by a demon. Demons don’t have a body so they possess humans for their vessel,” Sam explained. “But I think I know what your visions are about Nick.”

Oh here it comes. His stomach felt queasy, he was drenched in cold sweat and his breathing was becoming faster now. Maybe he shouldn’t let Sam tell him. Maybe it’s better not to know. Maybe if he ignored it, kept it quiet, it would go away. Of course soon after that thought came to him, he was reminded of Jessica Moore, and how she had died because Sam had ignored his visions when he first dreamt of it. And even though his visions were of dead people, there has got to be a reason why he was getting them, surely he holds some kind of answer to the bigger puzzle.

“You do?” Nodded. “You see the missing parts Nick. The holes that we can fill and understand the full picture.”

Still confused.

“See this picture of Meg? She’s in a van correct? The bigger picture you saw in your vision, she was in a van when she was holding this cup, am I right?”

“Yeah.”

“A white van,” Sam added. “I met Meg when I was trying to hitch a ride and we talked but then this white van stopped and she got in. You saw what happened to the driver and what she was doing in there, those are things I didn’t witness first hand, obviously, but they’re tied together.”

“Just like you saw da…this demon…eavesdropping on our conversation,” Dean added. “We didn’t see that part.”

“You know, for a while there, I was hoping I’d see a sketch of Ava,” Sam continued. “She went missing soon after we parted. Her fiancÚ was killed on their bed and no signs of her anywhere.”

“Well I’m not sure you want me having visions of her then, considering how I tend to see dead people.”

“Well, you saw us and we’re still here, aren’t we?”

This, is true.

“What happened to the demon who pinned you to the walls?” AJ asked. “I mean, you both definitely came out of that one alive, so you must have killed him.”

Dean smiled but it looked misplaced to him. If there were anyone who knew about masking pain very well, it’d be him. It was a useful trade, especially being in the entertainment business.

“You didn’t kill him,” he said, hoping that whatever it was that Dean was trying to hide, would stay hidden for now. Obviously it was causing him some amount of pain just hearing about that day, and who were they to go probing into their lives when they hadn’t even told them who they are. “If you had killed him, he wouldn’t be in my dreams all the time.”

Apparently that didn’t help matter. In fact, he was sure it only made it worst. Sam looked like he had just been run over by a truck, again. “You…he’s the guy with the yellow eyes in your dreams?”

“Yeah.”

There was pain there, and lost, but neither Dean nor Sam said anything further. And his head was hurting, he felt like his brains was going to melt with all the information he was getting so far. So he decided to let it go, at least for now. He had a feeling they’d be seeing more of Sam and Dean after today anyway, there’d be time to ask them about that, and yeah, to tell them that they had been hanging out and talking about fucking demons and visions with the Backstreet Boys. How’s that for shock value?