The search for the Grail is the search for the divine in all of us. But if you want facts, Indy, I’ve none to give you. At my age, I’m prepared to take a few things on faith.
—Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade, Steven Spielberg/Philip Kaufman
The phone woke him. Dean picked it up and clicked it on, greeting the caller with a blunt, “What?”
“Good morning, sunshine,” Sam said. “How are you doing?”
“I’m okay. Still alive and relatively pain-free.”
“How many Percocet are you taking?” Sam sounded worried — and a little suspicious.
“Just four a day like I’m supposed to. Castiel brought me something and it’s helping a lot. I can walk and stuff.”
“What did he bring you? He told me he couldn’t do miracles.”
“He brought me an amulet. It’s a long story.” He sat up and rubbed his eyes. “What about you two?”
“It’s a pretty run-of-the-mill haunting,” Sam said. Bobby grumbled something in the background and Sam added, “Except for the dead teenagers, of course.”
“Do you need me to look up something for you?”
“I think we’re covered for research. I was just calling to check on you. So you’re okay? You’re eating?”
“I’m eating,” Dean said. “I’m okay. I’ll be ready to hit the road again by the time you get back. When will that be, do you think?”
“Three or four days, at most. Do you have another job for us already?”
“No,” Dean said. “I mean, wherever we’re going next. For the Grail, dude, we’re still working on the Grail.” Sam sighed, and there was a long enough pause that Dean said, “Sam? Did the call drop?”
“I’m here,” Sam said. “Dean, we have no idea where to go. I’ve read the poem over and over, and it doesn’t tell me a thing.”
“Maybe it’s not in the poem. Maybe it’s something else.”
“I don’t know . . . something like America’s Stonehenge. An old place with a strange history. We just have to figure out which one could have been a Grail castle.”
“Yeah, Dean, do you have any idea how many old places with strange histories there are in the U.S. alone? And we haven’t even considered the possibility that we may have to go to other countries.”
“A lot,” Dean said, “and we just have to narrow it down. I’ll work on that. I will,” he said more firmly to Sam’s huff. “I’ll figure something out.” He wished Ellen’s roadhouse was still around — research from books and the internet was fine, but there were so many things no one wrote down, knowledge passed on in stories told over beers and pizza. Still, they had the next best thing. “Sam, do you have Dad’s journal?”
“No, I left it with you.”
“Okay.” He rubbed the bridge of his nose. “I’ll look at it.”
“I don’t remember anything about the Holy Grail in Dad’s journal.”
“Do you have every page memorized?” Dean pointed out.
“No,” Sam muttered.
“Okay, then. I’ll look through Dad’s journal for anything helpful and if I don’t find anything there we’ll hit the books again when you get back. Maybe you’ll see something I missed.”
“Okay,” Sam said. “We should be back Tuesday or so.” Bobby grumbled something again and Sam added, “Bobby says take care, get plenty of rest and don’t overdo anything.”
“Tell him I said thanks,” Dean said, smiling, and hung up.
Dean hadn’t looked at the Grail since the day they arrived at Bobby’s — Sam had put it in the panic room once Dean was attended to — so now Dean went downstairs to the basement and stepped into the tiny room. The briefcase sat on the desk, unopened, looking perfectly ordinary, and John’s journal was on top of it. Dean picked up the journal and tucked it under his arm, hesitated, and then spun the combination and popped the locks on the briefcase. He opened it slowly, smiling when he saw the familiar glow.
He picked up the cup and cradled it in his hands, feeling it spread warmth down his arms and through his body. He held it to his chest a moment, then said softly, “I know you’re bored. I know you want to be out there, doing whatever it is that you do. We’re trying to find your home, honest. Don’t suppose you can give me any hints, can you?”
The cup warmed in his hands but that was all. Dean didn’t expect anything more, anyway. He put the cup carefully back in the case and shut the lid, locked it and spun the combination again.
He took the journal upstairs, poured himself a cup of coffee and sat down to read.