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Disclaimer: I own nothing. Everything belongs to Eric Kripke.

Author's Note: This is completely and utterly speculation on my own theory. I don't know any spoilers or inside information. I happen to have an overactive imagination. More than likely, the show will render this AU.

A Big Thank You: To Pixiewildfire for the beta.

She watched him walk into her lobby, shoulders slumped and wearing a haunted expression. He sat down and picked up a magazine, but he didn't pay attention to the pages. His eyes darted around the room, taking everything in. She didn't need her psychic ability to know this man was hurting.

Holding her head high, Missouri walked into her lobby and smiled. His name came to her easily.

“John Winchester, you gonna sit there all day or do I have to carry you in here myself?” she asked.

He peered at her, and she could make out the dark circles under his eyes. He set the magazine on the table and stood up. He was a tall one, that was for sure, and he didn't look like most of her regulars. He stood straight, military like. Missouri looked deeper. Yes, he had been military.

Turning on her heel, Missouri led him into her main room. She indicated the couch with a multi-colored afghan draped across the back. John sat. Missouri sat down in her own chair and studied him with her dark eyes.

“You aren't here for a typical reading.” It wasn't a question.

John's voice was heavy. “No.”

Missouri reached across the coffee table and took his hand. His grief would drown her whole if she let it. Forcing it back, she kept her eyes on his.

“I'm sorry about your wife,” she said quietly.

Tears welled up in John's eyes, threatening to spill over. He held them back, refusing to let them fall. “I want to know how.” He took a shaky breath. “I know what I saw. Now I want to know the truth.”

No, he definitely wasn't like any of her regulars, and he certainly wasn't going to beat around the bush. His mind was a jumble of anger, fear, and sadness. There was no way she could ease his grief, and she knew it.

“Are you sure you want to face that kind of truth?” Missouri asked, already knowing the answer before it came.

“I have to.”

She let go of his hand and settled back in her chair. For moment, she thought about lying to him, something to ease his pain. Maybe she could say Mary hadn't suffered, or tell him it really was a fire and the rest was in his head. But, no. The truth would be better.

Missouri took a deep breath. “I don't know what killed her, John, but you aren't crazy. You did see your wife pinned to the ceiling and her body go up in flames.” He looked away, but she continued. He wanted the truth and being coddled wasn’t for him. “All I know is that it was something evil.”

“Do you have any idea how I can find it and kill it?” He met her eyes again, and she was taken aback by the anger in them. You can take the man out of the military, but you can't take the military out of the man.

“No. I wish I did.” She then picked up something, something she hadn't noticed before. She peered more closely. There was more to this attack. For a moment, she debated whether or not to tell him. The pain in his eyes compelled her. “There's more to this than just finding out what did this.”

John narrowed his eyes. “What do you mean?”

“You've got two boys, John. One four and the other a babe in diapers. Your eldest is gonna be your soldier.” She paused, waiting for him to say something. When he didn't, she continued. “But your youngest will take after you.”

John shifted on the couch. “Take after me?”

Missouri smiled. “He'll be bullheaded and stubborn, and have the same prophetic dreams.” She paused. “You had dreams about Mary's death before she died.”

John tensed at the sound of his wife's name. He didn't deny or confirm Missouri's statement.

She didn't expect him to. “How long?”

John sat still, refusing to look at her. Then he answered. “A month, maybe two.” He looked up. “Maybe more.”

“Her death wasn't your fault, John. You have to remember that.”

He clenched his jaw. “But I knew, and I didn't stop it.”

“Could you? Did you see a way?”

He looked at her and sighed. “No.”

Missouri took a deep breath and turned the conversation back to John's youngest son.

“Sam has that same ability. Whether it comes down your line or from only you, he has it. It won't show up until he's older, but he has it,” She leaned forward. “Whatever this thing was, it could be after that power. And Sam is going to be powerful.”

John swallowed. “How do I stop it?”

Missouri shook her head. “I don't know, John, but I know you need to find a way to keep your boys safe, and fast.” John rubbed his hand over his face, his eyes looking more haunted. Missouri took his hand again. “You and your boys can do this. I know it. Whatever Sam's destiny is, he'll face it,” she said.

“But what if he can't?”

The silence was enough.


© 2005 Crimson Idealist