Summary: 1-shot to 10x03 Soul Survivor that shows what might've happened between Dean waking up and the next scene as Dean's guilt & emotions react to the cure in an unexpected manner & Sam's unable to do anything but hope. *Hurt/limp/tired/angsty/guilty!Dean & Worried/protective/upset!Sam* SPOILERS!
Warnings:Mild language, some angst, schmoop and spoilers.
Tags/Spoilers: It's an unseen scene between what we saw when Dean opened his eyes to the next scene so it could be considered a tag to 10x03 Soul Survivor and yes, there will be some spoilers.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Author Note: So a friend wanted to see some more angst than what was seen during the end of the episode. This is my attempt to give her that. No promises. Enjoy.
SPN SPN SPN SPN SPN
"What the goddamn hell is happening to him, Cas!"
"I…I do not know. It could be a last ditch attempt from the demon trying to regain control or…"
"Or? Or what? I hit him square in the face with Holy Water! He didn't even flinch! Now he's screaming in pain! What's wrong?"
"It could be that when the blood spell cleansed his blood it might also be…killing him."
"No! No, not like this! Damn it, Dean! You hold on! You hold on and don't you dare give up! I am not letting you give up so you damn well fight!"
Dean Winchester couldn't hear anything but the pounding of his own heart in his ears along with a ragged agonized scream that he blearily realized was his own voice.
He recalled waking up in the dungeon tied to a chair with a worried brother and angel watching him. It was a confusing moment as the hunter tried to figure out what was happening or why he was tied to a chair in their dungeon.
It confused him briefly until slowly something began to hit him as he watched Sam kneel down to try to untie him with one hand.
Sam hadn't been hurt when he last recalled seeing his brother. In fact as Dean remembered it was Sam who'd been trying to support him on the way out of the warehouse before he died. Before he died…
"Sam?" he saw the tension in wide shoulders but it was the bruises he saw fading on Sam's neck, along his jaw and then Dean caught how pale and shaky his little brother seemed to him. "Sam, look at me. What the hell happened?"
"It's fine, Dean. It's all fine now. I'm getting you loose," Sam was saying but kept his head down when the deep, serious voice of their resident Angel friend spoke up in his usual less than tactful way.
"Sam, it might be best to wait for another moment to be sure this isn't a trick," Castiel watched the Winchester's, finding it odd that he was almost expecting the looks shot his way from two very different men.
"Trick?" Dean repeated, lifting an eyebrow while almost hearing Sam's teeth grind together.
"It's not a trick. He's Dean," Sam shot back while turning enough to shoot the Angel a warning look. "Don't you dare do to him what you accidentally did to me when I got my soul back," he warned in a low hiss. "I had a fragile wall. He's got nothing and if you screw this up no amount of new grace will keep me from hurting you!"
Dean frowned as he watched friend and brother exchange looks. "Hey, what's going on?" he asked again, feeling one hand come untied and the second it did he was lifting Sam's face up to see deep shadows, worry, and some definite bruises on his jaw that seemed to be fading. "Sammy? Tell me what's happening because I sorta remember…"
"No!" Sam broke in, slight panic in his voice as he struggled with the knots. "You don't remember anything, Dean. You don't…"
But Dean suddenly had a brutal flash of black eyes, searing rage that was only abated when the First Blade drew blood or extreme violence, mindless sex and…Crowley.
"I died," he whispered and knew the answer when Sam went still and Castiel looked away. "I got killed by Metatron. I died…with you in that warehouse after saying I was proud of us," he caught Sam's jaw with his free hand to keep him from looking away from him. "I died but…the Mark brought me back, didn't it?"
"We believe that Crowley had a hand in it somehow or at least knew the Mark or the Blade would change you so if or when you died it would bring you back as something he believed he could control," Castiel replied despite Sam's snarl. "You proved even too uncontrollable for the King of Hell it seems. Sam was trying to use the blood cure to free you, to return your humanity and we think it's worked."
"You…think it's worked," Dean would've found that funny if right then he wasn't being hit with a thousand brutal memories and images coming at him while he noticed a low burning in his veins. "That's cute, Cas. How can you tell for sure it's worked? Did I do this to you?" he demanded of Sam, sharp eyes zeroing in on his sling. "Did I hurt you, Sam?"
Sam was vowing to kick and angel proof the bunker again while shaking his head. "No, you didn't hurt my shoulder, Dean," he replied only to realize his mistake too late. "I mean…you didn't…"
"I didn't hurt your shoulder but I have done something to hurt you," Dean read that instantly by Sam's words and since he knew his little brother was in defense mode right then and wouldn't want anything to upset him he went to his next best source for information. "Did I hurt Sam?"
"I got here in time to stop you from killing him," the angel replied helpfully, going on as Sam was throwing low growls to shut the hell up at him. "He asked and should know, just like you needed to know what you did while soulless. You also didn't go to his aid when he was kidnapped and tortured by…"
Dean was trying to reach for Sam to keep him for doing something rash when suddenly the low burn kicked up a notch that he was gasping in pain. "Sam…hey, leave Cas alone and tell me what guy tortured you or…Sonuvabitch!" he gritted a moment before the pain turned to agony and he screamed.
"Dean!" Sam forgot throttling Castiel for talking too much when he spun back around to see his brother's eyes rolling back in his head as he began to convulse in the chair he was still tied to. "Dean? Hey! Damn it! Dean!"
Pure pain, white hot pain worked through his veins while images flashed through his brain at warp speed. Dean could hear the panic lacing Sam's voice, he felt the ropes come loose but Dean's body was lead despite the violent thrashing he knew it was doing.
"Help him!" Sam managed to get Dean on the floor but feared his brother's violent convulsions would cause him to crack his skull open on the cement floor. "Cas!"
"Sam, I…" Castiel couldn't see or sense anything wrong that could be causing this violent a reaction in the hunter except for the most obvious. "This cure has never been tried. There is no way to know of how it would react in Dean. The Mark of Cain, the effects of Metatron's blade, all the sanctified blood it may be killing Dean and…without my Grace I…I'm…" the Angel paused to consider his words carefully. "It might be more merciful to…"
"Say those words and I will kill you; friend, ally, I don't care but if you say what I think you're leading up to I will end you," Sam growled, fear making his gut clench as he watched his brother's body convulse while Dean's screams were more painful than anything Sam had heard recently.
Dean fought for breath when the white hot agony backed off long enough for him to try to get to his feet but only managed to make it to his knees before the next round started. "Don't!" he managed to say, teeth clenched tight and tasting blood as he batted Sam's hand away when his brother went to touch him. "Don't touch me! Can't…can't promise not to hurt…"
Flashes of stalking Sam like an animal hit him and Dean went back to the floor, gut clenching in the worst cramps he'd ever felt and he'd felt a lot of agony in Hell. He could hear Sam and Castiel arguing but their voices got softer, lighter while his own hard, callous tone filled with hate and bitterness blared in his head.
'Your very existence sucked the life out of my mother.'
It was like reliving a blurry memory or nightmare as Dean could hear every damn thing he'd spewed at Sam in this room. He could see himself hunting the halls for his brother. He saw himself swing a hammer that came so close to caving Sam's head in and with each memory the agony burned more until Dean was practically rolling on the floor with it.
He saw himself in bars, clubs. He saw himself having sex with any female he laid his eyes on and decided he wanted. He saw himself with Crowley. He saw himself telling some asshole with an attitude and hate for him to do what he wanted to Sam.
"Sa…Sammy!" he screamed, hand clawing the air as if trying to find his brother when he felt it gripped with as much strength as Sam had right then due to his injuries. "You…you let him…"
"No!" Sam knew what was coming and flat out refused, putting himself between brother and angel while hating that his injured shoulder kept him from being able to try to keep Dean still as he worked through whatever this was. "I am not letting you die! I am not letting another angel stab you or kill you! You will fight this!"
There was something in that near desperate tone that hit a chord with Dean as it was so similar to a tone their Dad would've used on him, had used on him years ago when an injury nearly had Dean giving up. To hear their Dad's tone coming from Sam's mouth was both ironic and scary but it got his attention enough that his vision cleared of tears and pain to look up.
"I…I tried to kill you," he gasped, back arching up off the concrete when he swore he could feel something snap and then knit back. "Said…said so much crap to you…"
"No, you didn't. He did," Sam needed to believe that. He needed to believe it wasn't his brother in control when those words were thrown in his face. "You didn't mean them. You didn't try to cave my head in with a hammer, he did. I…I don't blame you, Dean."
Burning, searing pain was all over his body now as Dean's other hand, the one not gripped tightly by a scared little brother struggling to urge him to survive whatever this was that was racking his body, reached up to push longer than normal sweat soaked hair out of his face.
Coughing violently, Dean struggled to once again roll to his knees and felt Sam trying to support him as best as he could with one arm. "Let…let me go," he groaned, tasting blood in his mouth as he tried to pull free while also pulling himself up along the back wall.
"No, I'm not letting you go!" Sam misunderstand those words as his brother wanting him to let him die, frowning when fingers suddenly grabbed his shirt to yank him closer so his face was close to Dean's; seeing glassy pain filled green eyes. "De'n…please don't ask me to…"
"Not…saying to let me die, Sammy. Just want you to…let go of my hand, let me face this so I don't hurt you more than…you are," Dean managed to get out between clenched teeth, hoping he'd bit his lip before and that was where the blood in his mouth was coming from. "Don' touch until…until it's done."
"Until what's done?" Sam asked, hating to let go but he did to take a cautious step back. "Dean?"
"Whatever," Dean wasn't sure what this was but the longer it went the faster the images of his time with Crowley, his time running wild passed through his head. Those meant very little to him but the memories of being here, the bar where Sam had finally caught up to him, the words he said to hurt his brother tore him to shreds inside and with each memory the pain seared more until he was screaming himself hoarse; fist slamming into the back wall of the dungeon.
"I think he's healing the rest of the way but it's the memories that are causing him this agony," Castiel spoke quietly, staying well back as if not trusting Sam's actions if he felt his brother was threatened. "He knows what he said and did to you here. He fears he's hurt your bond beyond repair this time."
Sam nodded tightly, swallowing as he felt helpless while watching his brother's inner struggle with guilt and self-hate that rivaled Sam's best attempt at that emotion. "It did hurt," he admitted softly, cringing as Dean's knuckles were bloody by this point. "But I knew it wasn't you. I already know it's my fault about Mom. I still wish she'd never had me or that I'd died before that night so maybe you could've kept the life you wanted…with Mom and Dad. I wish I'd…Dean!"
Shoving away from the wall in a burst of uneasy speed, Dean's bloody hands grabbed Sam by the front of his shirt to push him back against the wall but without pain to his shoulder; it was more a way to get Sam to shut up and look at him because the second Sam's back hit stone his eyes were locked on Dean's.
"Mom…made the goddamn deal that allowed that bastard into our house," Dean gritted, breathing labored as his body fought pain, shock, exhaustion and also hunger when he realized numbly he was starving. "Mom knew what that thing was the night she made the deal to save Dad, Sam. Mom knew it and took it so this crap? Our lives? No, this is on Mom as much as Dad.
"Yeah, Dad went obsessed and dragged us down with him but if Mom had been honest with him, had tried to explain slowly what had happened…if Michael hadn't erased Dad's memories that one time when Anna went back to try to kill them, maybe he wouldn't have gone down that road as hard as he did but it happened. It happened and now…finally it's time we stop blaming anyone other than our parents and all the rest of the assholes who used us," Dean's voice was raw from screaming but he slowly realized the more he spoke, the more those thoughts settled the more the pain he was in was seeping away.
"I'm an ass. I never made excuses for that and I won't now. I said crap to you that you really should put me on my ass for and as soon as I stop feeling like there's lava in my veins you can take a shot at me but…me saying you didn't have a brother? Or that Mom's death was on you? I…I didn't mean that or any of it," he suddenly gasped as the pain seemed to begin to leave faster and only a hand in his shirt kept him from falling to his knees at the unexpected change. "If I pass out now, promise me you won't kill Castiel."
"Maybe," Sam hedged on that since he was in huge manic protective mode right then but was then swearing as he saw Dean's eyes suddenly roll back in his. "Dean?"
"The pain has receded and he had indeed passed out," Castiel took a wary step closer to try to assist the younger Winchester. "You can't carry him up to his room, Sam," he pointed out. "Would you prefer Dean to wake up here or…"
Sam shot a huge bitch face at that suggestion. No, he did not want his brother in the dungeon. He just had a small issue with anyone touching Dean right at that moment but realized when he had to let go and accept the Angel's help. "His room. Help me get him there so he can sleep in a bed."
Castiel had dealt with Dean's over protective side many times since freeing the man from hell. He wondered if either Winchester realized how alike they really were at times. He doubted it and since he happened to not want killed he decided to keep that to himself.
Once Dean was deposited on his bed the angel backed off. He sensed that Sam wanted the time alone and also that after what happened the last time Sam left his brother in this room that he wouldn't be eager to leave him in it alone again for a good while.
Sam heard the door close. He knew he was rude and maybe out of line but he didn't care. Angels, demons had been costing them stuff for years and he just wanted the peace of knowing that his brother was back…Sam just tried to ignore the feeling that it wouldn't be over until the Mark was handled as well.
Sore muscles, a pounding head, a grumbling stomach and the feel of warm fingers clenching his woke Dean up slowly. He bit back the groan when his head felt like falling off his shoulders as he turned it enough to see that Sam had tried to pull all 6'4" of him into a chair that was in the room.
Looking down to slowly see if his fingers would move, Dean felt them flex and then felt Sam jerk awake to see big, wet and scared hazel eyes meet him.
"Guess you did it," Dean winced as he heard his own voice, swallowing and wondering when he'd swallowed sandpaper because that's what his throat felt like. "You yanked my useless ass out of the fire."
"We did it," Sam corrected, ignoring the light jab because he knew Dean's inner snark was his defense mechanism to facing emotion. "You could've given in back there but you fought."
"Yeah well…my pain in the ass little brother told me recently that we don't get to quit in this family," Dean's lips curved into a weak smile, going to push himself up but stopped when Sam put a hand on his arm. "You look as bad as I feel," he muttered then caught a glimpse of his own reflection to frown. "Damn…any longer and I'd hair as long as you. I need to cut this."
Sam's smile was shaky but there as he sat on the edge of the bed, fingers shaky as they closed over the sleeve of Dean's shirt much like he would as a kid when nervous or unsure and needing the connection. "Do…do you feel okay?" he asked hesitantly. "Any pain or nausea or anything?"
"I'm starving, I'm tired and sore but… I think I'm good," Dean noticed the fingers gripping his sleeve but didn't comment on that. He also noticed how pale Sam was, how tired. "You okay?" he asked, concern evident. "What happened to your shoulder?"
"I got tossed by a demon," Sam replied, blinking his eyes and suddenly thought that he better move, go get his brother some food before his body crashed from lack of sleep. "I'll go get you some food and then you can sleep or…"
Dean moved a hand up slowly, careful to keep his movements slow to avoid spooking his very clearly worn out and barely awake brother. "When was the last time you slept, Sam?" he asked with a sinking feeling even before he saw the one shouldered shrug. "Has it been more than an hour a night since I've been gone?"
"Maybe," Sam hedged, not wanting to admit his memory was spotty of actually sleeping. "I'll sleep later. I want to get you some food so you can sleep and…whoa," he started to stand up only to weave a bit too much until he found himself tugged back down. "Okay, maybe it has been a while since I slept."
"Uh-huh," Dean nodded as he watched Sam's eyes spin a bit as he struggled with the sudden need for sleep. He considered for a moment before making a choice. "How about you close your eyes for five minutes while I figure out what I want to eat?" he asked in the same tone he'd always used on his brother when trying to coax a sleepy Sam into bed before the kid fell flat on his face.
Dean could feel his own body rebelling the thought being awake and so decided if he could get Sam down so he didn't have to worry about his brother falling on his face or crashing his car he'd sleep as well. The trick would be to convince Sam to sleep
"No, I'm fine," Sam shook his head, scrubbing his eyes with his hand but gave up the idea of standing when he fell again. "Damn it. Maybe that run-in with Cole did give me a concussion," he muttered without thinking; unaware of when he was pulled and moved until he was rolling to his stomach on the other side of the bed…the one farthest from the door it seemed. "Of course he almost crushed my knee with a hammer so…"
"Fine, I'll deal with that the next time the asshole shows his face," Dean muttered, moving a little closer until he was close enough to Sam that he could rest his hand on the back of his brother's neck; an old habit that had once been his way to offer silent support and comfort to his brother when needed. "I'm sorry I let you down, Sammy. I'm sorry I let you face my problems and you paid for it."
Sam blinked sleepily as he turned his head enough to peer up at his brother. "You told me once that what I did while soulless wasn't me and to let it go. Now it's my turn to say that to you. It wasn't you," he seemed to feel the fingers on the back of his neck after a minute and slowly began to relax into the touch, a surprise to both Winchesters given the recent months. "This is you. This is my brother."
"I hope you're right, Sam," Dean muttered but nodded slowly, watching as Sam's eyes finally closed. "Just close your eyes for a few minutes and then we'll see what's to eat…when we wake up."
Dean stayed still until he thought Sam had drifted fully into a much needed sleep before he stretched back out, staying close enough to keep his hand on Sam's neck like he'd always done since they were kids. He was halfway to sleep himself when he heard a soft voice murmur something that made him smile.
"Welcome back, Dean. I…I…missed you."
Giving a gentle squeeze to Sam's neck, Dean let out a worried breath before closing his own eyes; figuring he'd check on a too quiet Castiel later on…when he was conscious again. "Yeah, little brother, I missed you too. It's going to be fine, kiddo. One way or another, it'll be fine. I'll be fine…we'll be fine."
Dean knew as he fell to sleep that as soon as Sam was awake fully that they were going to probably have the mother of all chick flick moments and this time as he still could see how haunted and hurt Sam looked earlier Dean figured he wouldn't even bitch too much about it.