AN: This is my 2017 entry for nightmares06 Brothers Apart contest! I wrote using the BA bros AU again and had fun adding more OC's! I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it!
"-But what if the rumors are true?" one of the councilmen cut through earnestly, leaning forward in his chair.
The colonel paused where he stood at the front of the room facing the other men surrounding the table. They all looked at him with expectant faces; this is what they all were wondering. He sighed wearily and passed a hand through his grey peppered hair. "We've had peace for so long…Our security is extremely lacking."
The men all seemed to catch their breath as they let that sink in.
"So what you're saying is," a slow, calculated voice piped up from the shadowed end of the long table, "in the unfortunate event there would be an attack, the city would be completely and utterly vulnerable…" The fifth councilman leaned forward into the light, a grin stretching across his face. "Thank you colonel, that was exactly what I needed to know." He twisted his hand and the colonel's head mirrored the movement, snapping sharply at and odd angle. He dropped to the floor with a dull thump.
Everyone froze in horror and shock as they stared at the colonel's lifeless body.
The councilman turned to face them all, his eyes flashing solid black as his smile grew wickedly smug. "Gentlemen," he purred as he pushed back his chair to stand, "thank you, this certainly has been enlightening." Before anyone could react, with a snap of his fingers the rest of the men in the room caught fire. Chaos filled the room as they screamed out in pain and fear, falling over themselves and spreading the fire in their attempt to put it out. The black-eyed man watched for a moment with satisfaction, soaking in the turmoil and bleeding cries. Then he tilted back his head and opened his mouth to let a billow of black smoke exit the body, leaving it slumped to the ground to catch fire among the frantic, burning bodies of the other council members.
"I don't like it," Dean said again for the tenth time that day, brow furrowed as looked over the boat in front of them. Salt water slapped against the wooden pier and gulls cried overhead as he continued his silent, judgmental assessment.
Sam, four inches tall and safely perched on his brother's shoulder since no one was around, rolled his eyes at Dean's hesitance. "Dude, you've made that clear already and we've been over it – it's floating isn't it? It's safe. You're not afraid of water as well as heights, are you?" he joked, giving his brother's neck a small jab with his elbow. "Can't you swim?"
Now it was Dean's turn to roll his eyes. "I'll have you know I once had to swim to shore dragging a kid along while avoiding being pulled under by some freaky psycho ghost boy. I swim just fine. It's you I'm worried about, there's so much water," he shot the sea an accusing look. "You're askin' if I can swim when I should be the one askin' you that."
Sam paused, finally understanding the reason for Dean's indifference to the job ever since he'd suggested it. "I can swim," he reassured him, "you're the one who taught me when I was younger, remember?"
"Right," Dean confirmed, "but that was years ago. Do you still remember?"
Sam had to hold back a sigh at his older brother's over-protectiveness; he was used it by now and, after the years they were separated after Sam was cursed, he welcomed it. The vastness of the ocean was more than a little intimidating and he wasn't one hundred percent certain that he still knew how to swim, but they had a job to do and he wasn't going to hold them back. "I'm good, don't worry. Now can we go or are we just going to stand here on the dock all day?"
With one last disgruntled huff Dean stepped wobblily onto the lightly rocking fishing boat, one hand holding his filled duffle bag and the other a mini cooler, and set them next to the wheel. It really was small - most of the room was taken by the wheel and controls in the middle with a little roof and glass raising above them so the sun wouldn't blind the driver, but it was most adequate one Dean could rent last minute.
Finally on, Sam took advantage of his brother's valuation of the different controls to carefully climb down his arm and stand in front of the provided window. The sea was amazing, finally getting the chance to see it again after being cursed was one of the biggest reasons he had pushed the idea for the job in the first place. You couldn't beat the fresh salty smell, or the way the sunlight danced off the water's surface.
An abrupt throat-clearing broke Sam out of his day-dream to turn and look up at where Dean stood expectantly with an eyebrow raised and a small smile playing at the corner of his lips as he held up a small, weird foam thing. "What's that for?" Sam asked slowly, suspecting he wasn't going to like the answer.
Dean's grin grew bigger; even from where he stood he could see Sam's bitch-face. "It's for you. After I realized I wasn't going to talk you out of this trip, I made it. It's like a mini life jacket made from those floaty pool noodles," he held back a snicker as he handed it to Sam. Safety was the important part, but the bulky, funky way it'd look on him was a hilarious plus. "Just humor me, will ya?"
Sam took the hand-made 'life jacket' from Dean's outstretched fingers with a distasteful frown. "Fine," he agreed, "But!" he interjected Dean's celebratory chuckle with a mischievous grin of his own. "You have to wear a life jacket too."
Dean's face fell as he eyed the offensive bright orange that lay at his feet left from the last renter. "Alright fine," he conceded, reaching down to put it over his head, freeing his amulet from the dingy straps with a humph. "Happy?" he asked with outstretched arms to show it off.
Sam nodded with a grin as he put his own on. "Very."
Dean sat at the wheel and started the engine; the loud noise filled the air and Sam almost had to cover his ears, but then they were off and slicing quickly through the gentle waves to leave the wooden dock behind.
"So, some fishermen have been complaining about being rerouted, huh?" Dean's gruff voice filled the silence that had fallen as both brothers had quietly watched the mesmerizing way the water rippled past them. He relaxed his stance in the chair, giving Sam a full look over from where he stood keeping watch over the horizon, making sure his little brother wasn't going to slip off the metal control panel. He shook his head, "And watches getting all screwy when they get to a certain spot?"
Dean really didn't expect to find much on this trip, but he was doing it for Sam; he had seemed so excited to explore the unknown and Dean never could resist his kid brother's puppy dog eyes. They were already in the area after finishing up a basic salt and burn yesterday anyway, it couldn't hurt to check it out.
Sam nodded, not taking his eyes off the ocean in front of him. "Yeah, it was just a small article in the newspaper, nothing big. But screwy watches and technology getting messed up made me think it might be the result of some sort of supernatural activity." From the complaints, it looked like the 'hotspot' started recently, and was slowly building up to something – but that was just a hunch. He looked up at the blue sky, not a cloud was seen. It was perfect for a boat ride. "If it doesn't turn out to be anything, at least we'll have a nice day."
Easy silence fell over the brothers again as the lull of the ocean washed over them. Later they both would question how much time had actually passed before the storm engulfed them.
A drop of rain, plinking onto the window of their mini control room was the only warning they had. Dean looked up in confusion, shaking his head to clear the dazed feeling, his gaze shooting up towards the once clear sky. Then a cracking boom erupted through the air; it vibrated through Dean's chest and he could only imagine how hard Sam had felt it through his own smaller frame.
An angry streak of light followed after, slicing above them, and suddenly they found themselves in the middle of a raging storm. The now grey and churning water chopped hungrily at their boat, and the once bright sky was overcast with clouds so dark it wiped away any memory of the sun.
'This isn't right', Dean's thoughts rushed through his head as he struggled to keep the wheel from twisting out of his grasp, 'There's no way this storm is natural.'
Sam was struggling to keep hold of the control panel himself. The thunderous boom had shaken him to his core, but the heavy thrashing of the water was making it near impossible for him to keep his balance. The little roof above them was useless now, the wind whipped in different directions, tearing at their life jackets and clothes and soaking them in seconds. His hands grew slick on the piece of panel he was clutching, and his heart raced in his chest. This was why Dean had been so reluctant to go. The ocean was as deadly as it was beautiful.
"DEAN!" He yelled up at his brother, hoping he could be heard even as the wind ripped his voice away and buried it under the low rumblings of thunder. One hand slipped off and his breath caught in his throat as he jerked to the side, hanging on by one hand.
Dean quickly snatched out his own hand, curling his fingers around his brother to pluck him from where he dangled, then cupped him in a loose fist close to his chest. His eyes were wide and his own heart was beating fast, glad he had grabbed Sam in time. The wheel pulled fiercely in his one handed grasp and his arm was crying out in pain from trying to keep it steady. But that didn't matter, the only thing that did was keeping Sam safe. He risked opening his fist just a little to peek in at where Sam stared back up with him with widened eyes that mirrored his own.
"You okay?" He had to yell. He saw Sam flinch a little and Dean winced at how loud his voice was to be heard over the storm. But Sam gave Dean a firm nod. Dean gritted his teeth, shoving his body against the wheel. He needed two hands. "I'm going to put you in my pocket!" Dean yelled again, blinking fast to clear the rain that pelted his face and ran in his eyes. He couldn't hear what Sam said but he assumed it was an agreement, but with the rain and the rocking of the boat, Dean struggled to get to his shirt pocket underneath the damn life jacket; it was too tight, or too wet and he didn't want to shove Sam through the tight space. Panic rose and he tried to push it down as he struggled with both the wheel and his jacket. The mini cooler he brought slid past as the boat tilted dangerously to the side, and then slipped off the boat entirely to be completely swallowed into the depths below.
Rain still made it through Dean's fingers, and Sam listened for the thunderous boom of his brother's voice as he tried to compete with the storm's. Dean had stopped attempting to get to his pocket and had opted for clutching Sam protectively against his chest. Sam curled up, his senses being overloaded with the insanity of the storm, and wished there was something he could do to help. The storm was only getting worse, and he could tell from the loud thumping of Dean's heart his older brother was as frightened as he was, even if he tried not to show it. He felt Dean lurch to the side for one heart stopping moment, and the fingers around Sam tightened; not too much that it hurt him, he knew even with Dean using all his strength to fight the raging waves he would never be too rough with Sam, and he welcomed the uncomfortable grip because it felt more secure.
But then the thing they feared worst happened.
A giant wave rose above their tiny boat, and Dean could only gasp in horror before it came crashing down. Water poured over the hunter like a heavy waterfall and easily flipped the boat, tossing Dean and Sam off it into the dark, thrashing water.
Dean sputtered up to the surface, holding the hand above water that tightly held Sam. He was helplessly pushed back in forth from the raging water and he sent out a silent thank you to Sam for making him put on the life jacket, because keeping his head and hand above the water was tough even with the damn thing. 'Gotta get to the boat, gotta keep Sammy safe,' Dean thought, his gaze cutting over the surface of the water as he bobbed, trying to find where their fishing boat was. If it hadn't tipped all the way over maybe he could get to it.
But with one heart-sinking moment he looked over just in time to witness the one side of it fully sinking down below, leaving them alone on the surface. The rain pelted the water and Dean furiously now and the roar of the waves and thunder was making it difficult to think. A wave pulled him under, but he kicked back up, coughing up the salt water he had inhaled. 'Think, dammit, THINK!' he screamed at himself in his mind. They were in the middle of the ocean. Maybe he could-
Another huge wave rose up above him before crashing down to pull him deep under the water. Something hit the side of his head- was it something from the boat? But it didn't matter, he had to get to the surface again. He had to protect Sam. But the water was almost a living thing, angry and ruthless, and it didn't want to free him from its grasp. He felt tugged in all directions, spun around, not knowing which was up or down, didn't know how to break free.
Sam hands tried to find purchase in Dean's fist to clench on after they went under again. His chest hurt from the need for air and his brother's grip that had tighten around him more in a frantic attempt to keep him from being torn away. He felt Dean break free to the surface, and gratefully sucked in the air he needed. But then another fierce wave hit into Dean and Sam felt the fist being forced open, he scrambled to hold on to, his fingers sinking into his brother's thick skin, but it was all in vain.
He was torn from his grasp.
A sharp pain shot up his shoulder as he was jolted to a stop by Dean nabbing his outstretched arm. He looked up through the whipping water to catch a glimpse of Dean's frightened face, but before Dean could get a better hold on him, Sam felt himself being ripped fully away and carried into the whims of the ocean. He gasped, sputtering, as he bobbed down and then up through the waves, completely at its mercy. His makeshift lifejacket helped keep him from staying under too long, but every push and pull of the stormy water took him farther away from his brother.
"Sam!" Dean's voice rumbled from somewhere, mighty and thunderous in its power. "SAMMY!"
But Sam couldn't reply, there was no way he could be heard anyway. All he could do was take in another breath before the ocean pulled him back under.