Summary: A different spin on that scene from 11x17 (Red Meat) – Hurt Sam / Protective Dean – Dean had warned Corbin that if he made a move on Sam, it would be his last. And it would be. Dean didn't usually kill people...but he did keep his word.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Warnings: Spoilers for 11x17 (obviously) and usual language (lots of it)
A/N: I can't be the only one who wanted Dean to walk in on Corbin trying to kill Sam.
Cross the line, your ass is mine. ~ Geto Boys
"It's three lives versus one."
Five words guaranteed to get your ass kicked by Dean Winchester, especially when that one life was his little brother's.
Dean didn't even think. Just reacted on instinct – like he always did when it came to Sam, when Sam was threatened – and pushed Corbin backward. The force of the shove making the guy stumble. The intensity of how much Dean was not fucking around about this causing Corbin to lift his hands in surrender.
"Hey. Whoa. Hey. Whoa..." he stuttered as he eyed Dean's finger in his face.
Across the room, gut shot and barely on his feet, Sam tried to intervene.
Of course he did.
That was Sammy.
But this was Dean...and he was livid.
"You listen to me, you sonuvabitch..." Dean growled, advancing on his prey, his finger still in Corbin's face to further make his point.
Corbin continued to back away, having sensed Dean was dangerous but fuck.
Shit was getting real.
"I'd set you on fire to keep him warm." Dean shrugged after he said it, further indicating he had no fucks to give, wouldn't even give it a second thought.
Sam was cold? Well, alright...let's set this bastard on fire and watch him burn.
And he was serious.
Corbin could see it in Dean's eyes, in his unflinching stare, in his clenched jaw. If Corbin ever doubted where he stood in the order of priorities, he was just reminded. Dean's little brother – looking like shit as he bled out on the table he was leaning against – was #1...and everyone else wasn't even on the fucking list.
Corbin glanced at Sam, then back to Dean.
"Something's off about you," Dean continued, still staring at Corbin. "I don't know what it is...and I don't have time to figure it out. But consider this your warning – if you make a move on Sam, it'll be your last."
And he was serious about that, too.
Dean held his gaze, the way an alpha does when standing his ground, before turning back to his search for supplies.
There was a beat of silence and then...
"But we still need to move. And if he comes with us, he'll just slow us down."
"Are you fucking kidding me?" Dean demanded, whirling around and once again advancing on Corbin, fuming at the audacity of this dumbass.
Not even two seconds after he had told this asshole to back the fuck off and he was already challenging him again?
Perhaps Corbin couldn't read the signs, but now was not the time to be pushing Dean's buttons, to be trying his patience. Not when Dean's little brother looked like death warmed over. Not when Sam's blood was still drying in the creases of Dean's hands. Not when the urgency of their situation became more apparent with every breath, every heartbeat.
"I'm sorry," Corbin told him, though the words sounded more hollow than genuinely remorseful for what he was asking Dean to do...for the decision, the sacrifice he was asking Dean to make.
Corbin glanced at Sam as if seeking backup on the issue.
Sam looked apologetic for his role in this showdown, for being the reason behind his brother's aggressive, overprotective behavior...but he didn't speak. His earlier paleness seeming like a healthy glow compared to the waxy, grey color his skin was turning.
Sam hissed a breath and attempted to intervene as he had tried before. "Dean. Dean, stop. He's...he's right." He hissed another breath, the sound attracting Dean's attention quicker than his words. "You guys need to...to go. Move. Go find help. Come back for me."
"No, Sam. No."
The words were simple but Dean's expression and tone reflected a different message – fuck that.
Big brother was not leaving his little brother.
And little brother knew it, despite his best efforts to persuade Dean otherwise.
It was clear in the way Sam closed his eyes and ducked his head, not only in pain but in resignation. He didn't have the energy to argue, so if he couldn't convince Dean to leave him in the first go-round, then Sam wouldn't push the issue further.
...which meant it was time for Plan B.
Corbin glanced at Dean as he continued speaking, listening as Dean outlined his plan of how the hell they were going to get out of here...which didn't match Corbin's plan.
"I'm gonna go outside. I'm gonna find some wood, build you a litter..." Dean pointed at Sam and then narrowed his eyes at Corbin, making sure the piece of shit was still listening. "And we are going to carry him the rest of the way."
Each word said slow and deliberate with a hint of his earlier growl.
Corbin stared back, then glanced at Michelle as she whimpered in the corner. His wife restless and hurting from her own injuries.
Dean's gaze flickered to the corner as well, a brief flash of concern crossing his face before he refocused on his primary priority – getting Sam the fuck out of here and to a doctor.
"It's only a couple of miles," Dean grumbled, checking again on Sam – a quick once over – before heading outside.
Corbin watched him go, then watched as Sam slid to the floor like a weak, gawky colt no longer able to stay on his feet. Little brother no longer maintaining a brave face in front of his big brother now that Dean had left. Sam leaning back against the cabinets and allowing his trembling muscles to rest, letting himself give in to the searing pain.
Corbin waited a full minute to make sure Dean wasn't coming back before crossing to Sam.
Sam not only looked like shit but he now sounded like shit, too. His skin and hair damp with sweat, his inhalations harsh and wheezing, his voice weak and breathy. He cleared his throat in a way that implied internal injuries; the bullet perhaps piercing a vein or artery, blood perhaps rising to choke him.
It was difficult to pinpoint specifics, but one thing was clear – Corbin could smell death lurking. He could feel the wolf within taking over, stalking wounded prey...an easy kill sitting right there on the floor. It was primal – to kill or be killed – but it was also more than that. Corbin had an obligation to his mate, a responsibility to get Michelle the help she needed.
But that would only happen if he took matters into his own hands...literally.
Sam's eyes were closed, letting his guard down in a way dying creatures often did. Too consumed by the crisis within to focus on anything else.
Corbin could feel Sam's desperation, could see it in the way his hands pressed against his wound as if he could stop the blood seeping between his fingers.
"Go find Dean," Sam gasped.
And yeah...if Corbin was a nice guy, he would do that.
But Corbin wasn't that kind of guy.
And him going to find Dean?
Corbin had different plans.
Sam just didn't realize it yet. "Get out of here," he continued, barely able to speak with the shallow breaths he was taking. "Hey," he called as he turned his head and actually saw Corbin standing there. "Please. Go. You gotta go."
Corbin kneeled, glancing at Michelle before looking straight at Sam.
Oh, he was gonna go alright.
Just as soon as...
"He won't leave you," Corbin whispered, surprised to hear himself speaking, to hear himself rationalizing aloud what he was about to do. "And we won't last out there without him."
...which wasn't entirely true.
Corbin was a werewolf now. He felt more powerful, more invincible, more immortal than ever before. This kind of strength humming just below the surface, the buzz of instincts he had never known – it was its own kind of high.
And Corbin knew he could last out there.
He could last anywhere.
This was for Michelle.
Corbin continued to stare at Sam and saw the instant realization dawned on Dean's little brother. Sam knocking on Heaven's door but still with it enough to put two-and-two together.
Those were the only two words Sam said before Corbin attacked.
And it was easy.
Knocking Sam backwards, pinning him to the floor, holding his hand over Sam's mouth, wrapping his other hand around Sam's throat.
It was all so easy.
Just like Corbin knew it would be.
Wounded prey was an easy kill.
But after the initial surprise, Sam seemed to rally. Adrenaline and panic proving to be the perfect combination to overcome pain and blood loss as he fought with unexpected strength.
In the corner, Michelle moaned – sounding louder and more coherent than she had since they had reached the cabin – and Corbin knew he had to act fast, had to finish this before the commotion further woke her.
Corbin switched his position, angling his body to completely bear all of his weight down on Sam, preventing him from moving and allowing Corbin to press even harder on his mouth, to squeeze even tighter around his throat.
Sam made a pained, strangled sound but continued to struggle, proving the rumor to be true – no Winchester went down without a fight.
But Corbin was going to win.
He had to.
Corbin nodded to himself and leaned forward, increasing the pressure of his hold, the tightness of his grip.
Sam resisted as best he could and then froze when he saw it – the tell-tale mark on Corbin's arm.
To anyone else, it would just look like a nasty bite.
But to a hunter, it was obvious – Corbin had been turned.
The oh, fuck and holy shit was clearly said through Sam's expression, through his wide eyes and sharp, choked inhale as a second realization dawned.
Corbin was a werewolf.
And hunters killed werewolves.
Unless, of course, werewolves killed hunters first.
Corbin sneered at his flailing prey.
It was time to make a decision – continue to attempt strangulation...or just go straight for suffocation. The wolf inside howled for something bloodier but...
Corbin's hand was moving even before he realized, releasing Sam's throat and reaching instead for his nose – because suffocation would be quick and quiet with no outward marks, no immediate cause for suspicion.
Sam grabbed his wrist, still fighting for his life.
"I'm sorry," Corbin whispered, his lingering humanity meaning it even as his inner wolf intensified, determined to kill.
And it wouldn't be long now.
Sam's grip was getting weaker around Corbin's wrist, his struggle becoming sluggish as residual oxygen left his body.
The word flashed red in Corbin's mind, exciting the wolf within. He could feel the growl vibrating in his throat, could feel himself transforming as the thrill of his first kill caused his wolf to emerge.
It was the most exhilarating high, an indescribable freedom – this detached indifference. To lean more towards wrong than right, to leave good in the past and embrace the evil clawing to get out, to cross over to the proverbial dark side and truly not give a fuck.
It was amazing.
And as soon as Corbin finished killing Sam – not long now, not long... – then he was going to kill Dean...ambush him when he returned to the cabin...and then he would turn Michelle...and they could experience this together, could be amazing together...forever.
Corbin's smile was deranged, his lips curling back to reveal his longer, sharper canines as his thoughts continued to ramble and his grip continued to tighten with unfathomable strength; his long, pointy fingernails now digging into Sam's flesh as he squeezed the life out of him.
So focused on getting the job done, Corbin didn't hear Michelle approach. His wife shuffling forward with a blanket around her shoulders, looking dazed and groggy...then confused as she tried to make sense of the scene.
But he didn't hear her.
And he didn't hear Dean return, either. Didn't hear his warning about them needing to go followed by his enraged yell – what the fuck are you doing?
Corbin didn't even hear his ribs crack as Dean kicked the ever-living shit out of him. Boot connecting with flesh with such intensity that Corbin flew a few feet back, landing with a thump on the dusty floor but then instantly regaining his feet with supernatural reflexes.
Dean responded with reflexes of his own, those of a skilled hunter and a pissed big brother – drawing his knife with one hand while reaching for Sam with his other.
"Sammy..." Dean called, relieved to hear Sam coughing because that meant he was breathing. But relief was replaced by the heat of rage at the sight of fresh blood and darkening bruises around Sam's neck along with the red, hand-shaped marks on his brother's face.
Dean cut his eyes at Corbin, unsure why the man hadn't yet turned around to face them but sensing something – everything – had changed while he had been outside.
But one thing was still the same.
Dean had warned the sonuvabitch that if he made a move on Sam, it would be his last.
And it would be.
Dean didn't usually kill people...but he did keep his word.
And Corbin was as good as dead.
"Sammy..." Dean called again, keeping one eye on Corbin across the room while also triaging his brother – checking the gaping wound in his stomach made worse by the physical struggle with Corbin...checking his pulse, then cupping his cheek.
Sam startled at the contact, then realized the touch was different – was gentle, was familiar, was Dean. He gasped and blinked up at his brother.
It was all he could muster.
But it was more than enough.
Dean twitched a smile, fresh relief flooding his chest as his thumb rubbed over Sam's jawline – soothing, comforting, reassuring even before he spoke. "Yeah, Sammy. It's me. I'm here. Right here. And you're okay. Everything's okay."
Because big brother was about to kick ass and take names.
But Sam shook his head, swallowing and gulping for breath. "N-no. His...his arm. Dean...his arm."
Dean frowned, keeping his hand on Sam but directing his attention across the room.
"Corbin!" Michelle called, concerned about her husband despite what she had witnessed only seconds before – him trying to kill somebody.
But Corbin only chuckled, low and deep – an amused but threatening sound. His wolf snarling at the promise of another fight...because he knew what was coming. And he'd been wanting a piece of Dean Winchester from the start.
Corbin turned around, grinning like the maniac he was.
Michelle screamed, horrified by his appearance – the teeth, the fingernails, the overly bright eyes...the crazed expression. This was not the man she had married. This was not the man she was honeymooning with when this whole nightmare had begun. This was not her Corbin.
This was a monster.
She screamed again, the sound ending with a sob.
"Don't be scared, honey," Corbin soothed, glancing at his wife before focusing on Dean. "This will all be over soon."
Dean nodded – challenge accepted – and patted Sam's chest, the gesture telling his brother he was leaving...but he would be back. Just as soon as he handled a little business...
Sam fumbled for Dean's hand, his fingers slippery with his own blood. "Wait. Dean...his arm."
Dean nodded again, this time for his brother. "I got it, Sammy. I see it."
And he did. He knew exactly what Sam had been trying to tell him.
Though it wasn't just Corbin's arm that was affected.
Dean was looking at a full-out werewolf.
"I knew there was something off about you," Dean said as he stood, knife in hand.
Corbin smiled and spread his arms wide. "Well, what are you waiting for? Come at me, bro."
Dean snorted at the taunt, at Corbin thinking he had the upper hand in this fight because he was a supernatural creature.
But what Corbin didn't realize was that Dean had his own dark side. Had worn the Mark of Cain...had been a fucking demon not too long ago...and part of him still relished the opportunity to kill for the sake of killing.
But Dean had learned to control those violent tendencies, had learned to push them down with all the other ugly shit he kept buried. He could function in society now. He could stop himself from stabbing someone in the fucking heart...unless they fucked with Sam.
His little brother always had been – and always would be – his weak spot.
If you fucked with Sam, you fucked with Dean.
And nobody wanted to fuck with Dean.
Corbin was about to learn that lesson the hard way.
"No, no, no, no..." Michelle murmured, both her body and her voice shaking as she huddled in the corner, watching Corbin and Dean begin to circle each other. "Corbin. No. Don't. Don't do this. This isn't you."
"It is now, baby," Corbin answered, his gaze never leaving Dean. "And it's fucking awesome. You'll see."
Michelle shook her head, refusing to believe he would turn her, would make her become the monster he was. "Corbin, please..."
"Shhh," Corbin shushed, sounding – and looking – crazy as hell with that expression on his face.
Dean readjusted his grip on the knife and glanced toward Sam. Not surprised to see his brother laying still and quiet on the floor, unconscious from blood loss and overall trauma.
Corbin followed Dean's gaze, laughing and smiling in triumph. "I did it!" he blurted, like a proud kid surprised by his success. "He's dead."
Although he knew that wasn't true, Dean felt something snap at those two words, at the smug glee on Corbin's face, in his tone. This asshole thinking he had killed Sam and was fucking happy about it.
"No," Dean said with an eerie calm that contradicted the rage burning within. "But you are."
Corbin turned in time to see Dean lunge, plunging his knife into his heart, the hilt flush with his chest.
Dean stood within inches of Corbin's face, watching his earlier smile morph into a grimace of pain and shock.
Across the room, Michelle screamed as if she had been stabbed and buried her face in her hands.
But Dean didn't move. He waited for the light to fade from Corbin's eyes and then shoved him back as he pulled the knife from his chest.
Corbin was dead, landing in a crumpled heap on the floor.
Michelle looked up at the sound, staring at her unblinking husband. "Oh my god..." she whispered, her teary eyes tracking Dean as he moved toward Sam. "He's dead. You killed him."
"I did," Dean agreed, not even looking at her as he focused on his brother. Checking Sam's pulse before holding his hand over Sam's chest. "Atta boy, Sammy..." he praised when he felt the combination he was hoping for – a sluggish heartbeat with the rise and fall of shallow breaths. "You are one tough sonuvabitch, little brother."
Dean smiled, knowing Sam would have decoded the real message.
You scared the shit out of me. And if you do it again, I'll kick your ass.
Dean could even hear Sam's response.
Whatever, man. You love me.
"You're damn right I do," Dean told his unconscious brother and ruffled Sam's hair, allowing himself a moment of affection while savoring the relief...because damn that was close.
That was too...fucking...close.
If he had stayed outside just a second longer, the outcome could have been so much different.
Dean sighed, not wanting to think about it, and reminded himself they still weren't out of the woods yet – both literally and figuratively.
The thought had barely crossed his mind before the room was flooded with a flash of headlights in the distance.
"Shit," Dean hissed as Michelle gasped at the sound of tires crunching gravel.
"Is that...is that them?" she asked. "The other...the other..."
"Yeah," Dean replied, understanding her hesitancy to say werewolf when her husband had just died as one. "It's them. We gotta go."
Michelle nodded but didn't move, still huddled in the corner as she watched Dean slide his arm under Sam's shoulders, sitting him up and then lifting him to his feet.
Sam sagged forward, his head lolling on Dean's shoulder as Dean held him close, maneuvering for a better grip without hurting his brother.
"What are you doing? You're carrying him?"
"Well, I'm sure as hell not leaving him," Dean countered, hinting at the earlier argument with Corbin. "Get up. Hand me that blanket, then snuff out the lanterns."
Michelle sniffled but did as she was told, thankful for Dean's gruff orders since they gave her something to focus on...besides Corbin's dead body across the room.
She gave Dean her blanket, watching as he wrapped it around his brother.
"Good." Dean jerked his chin. "Now the lanterns. Hurry up. We gotta move. They already smell us. They know we're here."
"Oh, god..." Michelle whispered but swallowed her tears, knowing Dean didn't have patience for that right now.
The cabin went dark as the lanterns were extinguished, though she could still see the outline of Dean standing there, holding his brother against his chest.
"Grab that other blanket," Dean ordered. "Then grab my bag and the flashlight."
Michelle gathered the items before crossing back to the brothers.
"Okay. Now listen..." Dean held her gaze in the dark, keeping one hand on Sam's back while the other braced against his hip. Sam's head still rested on his shoulder as Dean waited until the last second to actually pick up his little brother. "We need to move fast but quiet. Don't make a sound and don't fall behind."
Michelle nodded, knowing Dean would help save her...but he would also leave her if she caused him trouble, if he was forced to choose between her or Sam.
It wasn't personal.
It was just...survival.
These brothers needed each other to survive.
"I'll stay close," Michelle promised, hefting the bag to her shoulder while clutching the flashlight and blanket.
Dean nodded and bent his knees at the same time as he lifted Sam, being careful not to further tear or gouge his brother's wound as he settled Sam across his shoulders.
It was a classic fireman's carry.
Michelle knew it was the best option but still cringed, thankful Sam couldn't feel the pain that position would cause if he was awake.
"You got him?" she asked, concerned about Dean carrying the weight of his taller little brother.
Dean twitched a smile at the naïve question. "I've always got him."
After all, he'd been carrying Sam for years.
And he sure as hell wasn't going to stop now.