Still His Brother
Summary: Dean's dealing with the fallout of his new existence. He's determined to go it alone when he gets a call that drives home the point that he's still more than just the bearer of the First Blade or the Mark of Cain. He's still a brother so when demons jump & seriously injure Sam, Dean must choose which side of him will win or what he'll do to save his brother. *Angry/angsty/****/still protective!Dean & Hurt/limp/sick!Sam* Spoilers from S9 Finale and possibly into S10.
Warnings: This will have harsh to severe language so be aware of this before reading. While it's a Gen based story it's rated the way it is for a reason so if foul language offends you then don't read further. It does not contain the F-word but all other words might be included so be aware of this.
Also, it'll have violence in it. Nothing too graphic, most of it's implied or shown in description or dialogue.
Spoilers/Tags: While it's not tagged to anything there may still be some spoilers as this happens after the S9 Finale and may also have mention of some things picked up in spoilers for S10.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. This is written for fan enjoyment.
Author Note: This plot popped up while I was writing a different genre. It should only be a 2 maybe 3 chapter story. Hope you all enjoy it. Thanks.
"Just so we're in full and total understanding. I am not one of your run of the mile demons. If you thought I would be then I think by this time and since it's my power wrapped around your goddamn throat right now that you're getting the picture of how the balance of power is going to play. Right?"
Since getting promoted to King of Hell the former Scottish tailor turned Kind of Crossroads deals swore he was getting tossed around more now than he had even before he lost his damn soul centuries ago. Right then he was struggling to counter the power holding him against a wall in a back alley in some small town in Illinois when he it became plain that he had seriously misjudged this situation.
"…Fine!" he gasped, coughing as he was dropped to the ground. "I should've bloody well known you'd be an even bigger pain as whatever the hell you are now than you were when you were a hunter. "I was just making a suggestion and…"
"No, you were commanding and like I've told you I will not be your toy soldier," Dean Winchester turned to lean against the door of the 1967 Chevy Impala that had been his since he turned 17 but he couldn't quite shake the feeling that it felt wrong to drive her now. "You might've tricked me into accepting the blade so I could use the First Blade to kill Abbadon before she tossed you outta Hell. But face it, Crowley. This Mark and the Blade, the fact that something about that combination and whatever else it was that turned me this way after Metatron's blade killed me? It's made me into something immune to you and with just as much or maybe more power than you or your demon buddies so my advice? Stay the hell out of my face while I'm still being nice and letting you keep hell."
"Oh! Oh, so that's how it is?" Crowley snorted, smoothing the lapels of his best suit jacket indignantly. "You think just because you have a little dark power, the Mark of bloody Cain on your arm and the First bloody Blade under your jacket that you can waltz into Hell and control those nuts?" he scoffed. "You have no idea what Hell is, Squirrel. You have…oh, right…you have been there," he coughed as if realizing just how far in the gutter he was sinking as this situation went more out of the control he thought he had. "Moving on."
Dean merely shifted a dark look, his eyes still their normal green since he'd learned to control the switch to black depending on his moods and temper. "I know all about the pits of Hell, Crowley. I was on that rack for 30 years and for 10 I learned all that I needed to at Alastair's hand so don't think for one damn second that if I wanted to I couldn't make your life even more miserable than I am now and…sonuvabitch."
Crowley lifted an eyebrow at the familiar ringtone to see Dean pick up his phone and just stare at it. "Have you talked to Moose recently?" he asked, knowing the man hadn't. "Stubborn boy, isn't he?"
"He's a Winchester and he got his stubbornness from both of our parents," Dean muttered, debating ignoring the call like he had been for weeks but tonight he gave in and hit the talk button. "Hey."
"Don't you even goddamn dare act all casual and friendly with me, Dean Winchester! Not now! Not after the last three days of hell I've been through trying to keep your little brother, if you still think of Sam as that given what I've managed to make sense of his mumblings, from the horde of never ending black eyed demons that seem determined to kill him or kidnap him or torture him! I don't think any of them have made up their minds yet! If demons have minds! I don't really know since this is out of my pay grade, hotshot!"
Dean had been expecting to hear his brother's voice. To get his ear shouted off by a pissed off Jody Mills surprised him. Then her words began to sink in and he could feel new power bubbling to the surface while narrowing his gaze at Crowley. "Evening, Sheriff," he greeted smoothly. "Why are you calling me on Sam's phone."
"Did the part of that rant about demons, black eyed sons of bitches, torturing and trying to kill your brother or kidnap him until he managed to escape, call me for help since it seems he's no longer part of a duo, escape whatever the hell is screwing up your brains, Dean?" Jody's temper was frayed and it showed.
She'd come to accept the things that Bobby and the boys hunted were real. Hell, she seen her town overrun by zombies, she'd seen her dead son come back to life and literally kill and try to eat his father, she'd dealt with a pissed off Goddess killing people and even vampires hadn't phased her too badly.
When Sam had called her making little to no sense she hadn't considered asking too many questions. She'd floored her truck from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Blue Earth, Minnesota in record time to find a situation that was far beyond her ability to handle.
In between fevered convulsions brought on from pain, infection and whatever else might have happened to the younger of Winchester brothers she'd gotten a sketchy story of a biblical mark, a bone blade, Dean going dark side even before a power hungry angel stabbed and killed him and now he was avoiding Sam while maybe hanging out with the very damn demon that had almost killed her to get to the boys.
Jody had been doing what she could to protect Sam but it was getting harder so finally she'd grabbed his phone and just kept hitting the speed dial button for his brother; getting angrier each time it was ignored or went to voicemail.
The moment the call was actually picked up this time she didn't waste any time letting the man on the other end know exactly what she thought of him and his choice to walk out on the kid that she knew had been looking up to him for even longer than the time that she'd known them.
"No, I heard you. I was just trying to decide why a horde of demons would have targeted Sam much less attacked him," Dean narrowed his gaze the second he caught the sudden wince on the King of Hell's face, fisting the hand not holding the phone and immediately locking the demon in place in case he had plans to vanish. "Put him on so he can tell me what's been going on…if he'll talk to me."
"Dean, did whatever happened to you cause you to go deaf?" Jody paced the front of Church that Sam had chosen to hide in and refused to be budged from, trying to keep her eye on where he was laying in front of the raised alter so he was close to the never ending supply of Holy Water the place seemed to have and the barred front doors. "Sam is beyond hurt. He's burning with fever from some infected wounds. They must have had him for a few days before he managed by the Grace of God…did that make you cringe? Anyway, he escaped to come to this church in Minnesota where he called me. He's alternating between coughing up a lung, convulsing and screaming in pain and fighting not to cry for you.
"Your brother is hurt, scared, confused, fevered and we're being bombarded by a bunch of demons looking to skin this kid over something you're doing," Jody went on, slipping into her best pissed off mother tone. "I don't know what's going on or how much of what Sam said is true given he was out of it when I got here but I know that the one thing Bobby always said was that I never had to worry because you would always have Sam's back because he was your little brother.
"Now tell me that Bobby was wrong. Tell me that something's happened to change you. Tell me that you don't care for this young man who woke up one time the other day and asked me where his Dean was. You tell me that and I'll hang up and hold the fort so to speak for as long as I can because I promised that damn old drunk to look after his boys," her voice softened and for a long moment there was silence before Jody spoke again. "He also said if I ever spoke to you to tell you that it was okay if you took the Army man out of the ashtray. He said he knows you probably don't feel that way anymore and he won't see you or the car again. Does that make sense because he lost me the moment he tried not to cry while he said it."
Dean's eyes closed, anger simmering but not at his brother or his fevered words. He should've known that by taking off, by refusing Sam's calls that his brother would think those things but he hadn't thought it possible to feel the type of pain that squeezed his heart when he shot a look into the back seat to see the battered old green plastic military toy that was as big a part of the Impala as the initials scrawled into the leather or the rattling Legos in the heater.
"He…he said demons went after him for something I was doing?" he asked tightly.
"Bollocks," Crowley muttered and had only a small chance to growl an obscenity before he was physically picked up and slammed against the hard brick wall again with a fully enraged Dean Winchester, green eyes flickering between dark green and black glaring at him. "Now settle down…ugh!"
"You sent demons after Sam?" Dean snarled, ignoring the woman on his phone as he fought the desire to pull the damn First Blade and end his problem with Crowley right then. "You sent your goddamn demons after my brother? That was your plan, Crowley?" he demanded. "You thought nailing Sam, torturing him, kidnapping him to use as a pawn to control me would actually get you anything but this goddamn blade in your chest? You…"
"No!" the demon yelled, realizing that the more emotion Dean exuded the more power he had and that was not a comforting thing for the King of Hell right then. "Do I look suicidal to you? Me send my boys after Moose? Dean, even considering what you're doing now, I know that somewhere in that over macho, angry body is still the same over protective angry Squirrel that sold his soul for his brother. Those aren't my demons after Sam. There are still other factions and that's one of the reasons I'm trying to get you to see reason and work with me to…"
"Screw you and your factions!" Dean yelled, whirling to stalk back to the Impala. He jerked open the door while letting Crowley fall to the ground with a thud. "It was your damn civil war that caused me to have this damn mark on my arm, that's caused this to happen to me and now it's causing my brother to be hurt by demons! I sold my soul to keep Sam safe from black eyes sons of bitches. I might be or I might be becoming what I was raised to hate but I am still his brother and so long as I have breath left or power I will be damned if Sam will be hurt by this!"
Crowley opened his mouth to object but could only cough as the Impala's tires kicked up dirt and dust when it peeled out of the alley with an angry roar in the engine as if the car could sense her owner's fury. "Well, that went bloody nice," he muttered, snapping his fingers to take him back to Hell where he decided a new plan was in order.
Dean didn't realize he still had his phone clenched in his hand for several minutes until he looked down and saw it. "You still there?" he asked, voice deep and much more gruff than even his normal pissed off toned used to get. "Jody?"
"Yeah, I'm just waiting for you to stop snarling and come back to the phone," Jody had listened to the conversation and had to pause to consider what she heard to compare it to what Sam had tried to say in his brief moments of lucidity. "Guess I probably shouldn't toss Holy Water in your face the next time I see you?"
"It…it seems to depend on how pure it is," Dean didn't want to scare the Sheriff of Sioux Falls but he also guessed she should be aware of some things. "Can you tell me how long you've been with him?"
"I got here almost a week ago but from the infection in a few of these wounds and how bad he looks they must have nailed him a good week or so before that," Jody moved to kneel down next to where Sam laid, catching his hand as he began to twist in feverish dreams again. "He holed himself up in some church in Minnesota and was able to tell me what to do to at least slow the bastards down but they keep coming, he's getting worse and it's just me here, Dean," she sighed, sounding tired. "I fell asleep once and woke up to a mess. If you…I don't know what to do for him or to stop them."
"Where in Minnesota are you?" Dean couldn't figure out why the hell Sam would seek refuge in a church, much less one in Minnesota unless… "Jody, are you in Blue Earth?" he asked tightly, pushing the gas pedal down more to get as much speed as he could.
There was a moment of silence and Dean thought he could hear the woman talking quietly to someone when he realized she was trying to soothe Sam who must have woken up fevered and confused when another sound was heard and he gritted his teeth.
"Where? Yeah, that's what he called the place but it looks abandoned," Jody remarked when she came back to the phone. "The only good thing is it seems to have an endless supply of this water that burns the crap out of these things. Do you…"
"Can you move him?" Dean asked but then winced even as he knew the woman was probably glaring at the phone. "Alright, stupid question. Sam's dead weight when he's hurt like this so no, you couldn't move him. If he wakes up some and can help you get him up, head to the basement. There should be…there used to be a room there a lot like Bobby had that'll keep you guys safe until…Jody?" he heard what sounded like a crash. "What the hell was that? Jody!"
"Damn, they're back and hitting the doors hard," Jody's normally steady voice shook as she worked to make sure all the signs and marks were still in place around Sam just in case any of the demons got inside the church like they had a few times already. "Y'know, there are days like this that I really wish I'd never met you boys."
"Jody…go to the basement and lock yourself in that room I told you about," Dean heard the sharp inhale and plunged on before the woman ripped him apart. "You can't protect Sam from them if they're this determined. One time they will get past the wards you put up or the ones that are still probably there from Pastor Jim. They will not hesitate to rip you to shreds to get to him. This isn't your…"
"If you finish that sentence by saying this isn't my fight I swear that the first time you show your goddamn face in my town again or I ever hunt your unfeeling ass down for hurting Sam this way that before I find some way to hurt you that I will kick your ass like Bobby would have," Jody snapped, fury outweighing her worry for herself right then. "Is this my fight? No, not really since Sam has a big brother that is supposed to be protecting his back and making sure crap like this doesn't happen. But since you apparently have more important things to do now or whatever the hell happened to make you not care about this boy and Singer isn't around anymore it looks like it's up to me to watch over and protect Sam as best as I can. I'm sorry I called and…oh shit. There goes a window. Gotta go, Dean. Demon horde's back."
Over the phone before it went dead Dean heard the glass break and what sounded like multiple voices to Jody but to him he could hear the demons inside the people and knew the woman was outnumbered. "Damn it!" he slammed the palm of his hand against the steering wheel.
He was in Illinois. Even at the Impala's top speed it would take him too long to get there in time to be of any help. Dean glanced at the phone he'd dropped on the seat. He knew there was still a number in it that he could call but he doubted if it would be picked up.
A piece of the former hunter had thought with this change that he'd lose those inner feelings that he'd had from the moment his little brother was born. Dean had made Sam his number one priority ever since they'd been kids. He'd looked out for him, raised him basically and had made plenty of rash decisions just to keep Sam safe despite the life of insanity they'd been dragged into.
When he first woke up to realize just what the Mark of Cain and the First Blade had helped to turn him into and he made the choice to leave so Sam wouldn't be pulled down or possibly hurt by this latest turn of events, Dean had thought he would stop caring. He'd thought the need to protect, the burning fury that made him want to unleash these new powers on anyone who touched or hurt his baby brother would go away or at least dim.
Dean was now realizing that while some of his feelings had changed, while he wasn't the same as he'd been even after his 40 years in Hell or the time in purgatory he did still feel the same toward Sam. He realized as he began to plot, to allow his rage to build as he replayed Jody's words about Sam's injuries, about the demons who thought they could target his brother and Sam's own fevered words for him that he probably always would feel that need to protect; as well as the much larger need to burn the goddamn black-eyed sons of bitches who hurt his little brother.
"The hell they will," he growled, debating briefly before making a choice that like so many others he'd made since waking up to discover just what he was and also how different he was compared to other demons, Dean settled himself with the choice and would live with it. His main focus was getting to Blue Earth in time to prove the same point that he'd been proving since the first day he'd taken down a bully picking on Sam in a playground. "No one touches my little brother and lives to brag about it."
Right then: Blue Earth, Minnesota:
Dropping the phone, Jody reached for her weapon as well as the other piece in her arsenal that she knew she'd never be admitting to using.
"Man, you guys don't know when to quit, do ya?" she was glad that so far the demons seemed to only be able to break in from the front of the Church. "Back off!"
The powerful water soaker watergun had been supposed to be a gift for a friend's son in a few weeks. Now Jody was glad she'd had it with her because it sure was coming in handy as she gave a burst toward the four black eyed men…demons who'd come in from the broken window.
"The hunter's gonna bleed before we skin him, bitch," the demon who seemed to be in charge of this barrage stayed back while his pals hissed and spit at being hit by the spray of Holy water. "He's going to be a message to his big brother. Winchester might be all powerful right now and he might have the so-called King cowed but not all of Hell will bow to him. He's a freak with a mark and some fancy blade but all of Hell knows his weakness and that's little Sammy there. Give him to us and maybe we'll kill you quickly."
Jody briefly thought back to a time when she'd just believed all of this supernatural stuff had been an old drunk's stories. She longed for that naivety as she pumped the water gun again to give a determined spray that chased the others away and glared at their boss.
"You want Sam? Go through me and the Holy Water gun I got primed and ready for you, jackass," she invited, hoping she came across as braver than her pounding heart told her she was.
"You can't keep this up, lady," the demon told her but backed away even though he knew at any time his numbers could take the human's protector even with the wards, sigils and Holy Water. "One of these times I'll quit playing. Winchester's ours."
Jody stayed beside the bruised and battered limp form of Sam Winchester until she was certain the damn demons as backed off for the moment. She knew the window was too big for her to block even if she could kick apart a few of the pews in the church.
"You back with me in the here and now, Sam?" she glanced down to see wide, glassy with shock and pain hazel eyes struggling to open.
From the moment she got here to lay eyes on Sam Winchester, the Sheriff of Sioux Falls knew he was hurt. She'd seen Sam hurt since she'd seen him after those damn vampires had tried to bleed him and she'd seem him after that one thing had tried to kill him. But to see the torn bloody wounds, the bruises, the burns and shattered look in those damn deep eyesJody knew he was in worse shape than he was trying to let her know about.
"Just stay still. It looks like you're bleeding again," she wet a rag in the fount of water that Sam had brokenly told her had been blessed sometime so it was pure Holy Water to wipe it over his sweaty face, feeling that his fever had spiked again and could tell one of the open wounds must have opened more in all his jerking in his sleep. "Sam, let me try to stitch the worst ones? The blood loss is going to kill you before the infection does or…they do."
Sam wasn't sure how long his thoughts would stay clear so he knew he had to make this time count. He recalled the past few months after learning about what happened to his brother, he recalled the fight he and Dean had about Dean's decision to go into the world to play demon and Sam's insistence to get his brother back any cost.
He could also recall the unexpected attack one night as he'd been returning to a motel on the outskirts of St. Paul. Sam knew he'd been going for too long without sleep and that error in judgment had allowed an innocent face with a sob story to distract him. By the time he realized he'd walked into a trap he had no chance to pull the demon blade or fight back when he was jumped.
Sam did try to forget the next few days as they were mostly agony. At first he'd thought they were Crowley's goons looking to use him as leverage to make Dean do something. It quickly became clear to him that these demons weren't from Crowley but were looking to make a point to his brother despite Sam telling them that Dean wasn't the same brother who'd drop everything to come help him now.
It also became clear to the hunter that these demons were bloody thirsty sadists who enjoyed making him scream. Sam knew he would probably die this time since he had no one to come looking for him when one day one of them got sloppy and thought he was unconscious.
They'd strapped him to a table but had stopped checking the worn leather after each time they'd cut or burn or inflict other cruel injuries so after one time Sam began to work one loose. He cut his wrist worse than they had but he managed to free one wrist to grab the blade, free his other and kill his lone guard.
Injured, in shock and pain left Sam unsure where to go when a memory of a lifetime ago flashed in his mind and he knew if he could get to Blue Earth, to the old church that James Murphy preached at and died in, that he might stand a chance.
He still wasn't sure how he'd gotten to the church in one piece without wrecking or bleeding out but he had. Sam knew he'd collapsed as soon as he got inside. He'd used his own blood to make a few hasty sigils that he hoped would buy him time as he called the last person he knew who might be able to help him. Now as he heard the sounds form outside in this rare moment of clarity Sam regretted getting Jody Mills involved. He regretted that it wouldn't just be him dying.
"…Go," he managed to get out as pain bloomed in his back where he knew there were raw and open burns and gashes from a razor strap. "It's…it's me they want. Let…let 'em in and hide…til…til…"
"Hide until they take you or kill you?" Jody's eyes narrowed, wiping his face with the water. "I'll tell you the same thing I just told that jackass of a brother you have or had or whatever we'll defining it as…I might die but I'll keep you safe as long as I can," she smoothed his hair back out of tired, glassy eyes to offer him as calm a smile as she could. "I promised Bobby that I'd look out for you two. I might not be able to look out for Dean anymore but you called me so you're stuck with me."
Sam groaned as pain hit in his arm when he went to reach for the woman's hand, recalling feeling something crack and guessed his arm was broke in multiple places if he went by the pain he was in. He tried to shake his head when he stopped. "You…you talked to…De'n?" he wasn't sure what that meant, if anything.
Sam accepted that he'd spent nearly 10 years trying to get his older brother to accept that he wasn't the same kid he had been that last night in Stanford. He realized he and Dean had been battling wits and stubborn streaks for the last couple of years about Sam's ability to fend for himself but as he laid on the floor behind the pulpit that he could still remember watching Pastor Jim practice his sermons at, he suddenly wished he could hear that deep gruff, pissed off big brother tone one more time.
"I yelled mostly but I think he got my point," Jody shrugged, hearing something that made her pause to try to get Sam shielded as best as she could by one of the pews she'd dragged up to act as a barrier. "It's going to be fine, Sam. Dean will come."
"Dean's…not…Dean right now, Jody," Sam gritted, trying to clear his suddenly glassy vision and not sure if it was his injuries or tears clouding them as he struggled to move a hand to motion to the duffel bag he barely remembered dragging in with him. "He…doesn't…" he stopped, unable to say that his brother didn't care any longer. "Go…" he whispered, pain increasing. "Give me…give me the blade and then…go hide…basement…"
Jody rolled her eyes. "Your hurt, he's messed up and you both still try to get me to go hide in some church basement," she could had cheerfully throttled both Winchesters if she suddenly wasn't preoccupied with grabbing her water gun just as something was heard breaking to the side and it seemed like a horde of people, men and women, were suddenly swarming into the run down church. "Shit! Sam?"
Sam heard the glass break, heard the shouts of people but as he tried to push himself up to at least help he screamed as pain went through his body when something went through his thigh. "Jody! Run!"
"I'm not…crap!" Jody swore when the Holy Water affected the first wave but not so much the others. She'd just started to whirl to see what hit the hunter when suddenly a wave of energy swept through the chapel to throw her across it. "Sam!"
"Time's up, lady," the demon leader smirked as he stepped in, walking down between the pews to sneer toward where the Sheriff had been tossed. "You should've run when you had the chance. Now you get to watch as my pals here string the former Boy King up on that cross and skin him slowly to send a message to his freak of a brother," he snapped his fingers, pointed at a bleeding and barely conscious again Sam and then to the cross that still hung on a wall. "Crucify him!"