Love is More Than Skin Deep
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural (though I wish I did). I am not profiting from this story.
Author's Note: I think this is the best show on TV right now. I absolutely LOVE it. With this story I'm not trying to change the show at all, simply let you in on what I think their thoughts would be during such a moment.
Sam's head was pounding. Why did it hurt so bad? A tugging on his wrists caused him to open his eyes. Standing before him was his brother, only it wasn't his brother. It was that thing, the shape shifter.
"What are you going to do to me?"
"I'm not going to do anything…but Dean will," it sneered as it walked to the kitchen drawers and began to search for weapons.
Sam tried to put on a false bravado. "They'll never catch him."
"Doesn't matter, murder in the first…of his brother, he'll be hunted for the rest of his life."
Sam knew it was true. Dean was already wanted for a supposed assault on Rebecca. If the police thought Dean murdered him too, his life as he knew it would be over. Sam watched the thing as it pulled a long butcher knife out of the butcher block and smiled at him. Sam suppressed the shiver that ran up his spine. Typically he wasn't afraid of the ghosts and spooks that they hunted, but this time was different. Yes, it was a shape shifter, but it was also a serial killer. Somehow it's humanity made it more fearful than other supernaturals they had faced.
"We need more room to work, don't you think?" It grabbed Sam by the shoulders of his shirt and dragged him from the side of the sofa to the room with the pool table. Once there it let go of him and Sam hit the floor with a thump.
It was strange; a month ago he had faced death in the face…literally…when he took on Bloody Mary. A month ago he wasn't afraid to die. Hell, he might have even welcomed it, but not now. The realization almost shocked him. He didn't want to die. Even more, he didn't want his death to be a noose around his brother's neck. Yes, the police would blame Dean, but even worse than that, Dean would blame himself.
Sam watched as the monster wearing Dean's skin, walk over to the bar.
"I will say, I'll be sorry to lose this skin. It has a lot of fine qualities. You should appreciate it more."
Sam did appreciate his brother, more than this bastard would ever know. He would appreciate him even more if he would finally show up and kill this thing.
"Cheers," it said as it downed a glass of scotch.
Dean drove the Chevy like a man possessed. Sam was in danger and it was his fault. Sam had told him to meet him at Rebecca's but he decided to go wandering in the sewer instead. Now Sam was alone and with a serial killer who had supernatural powers and super strength.
"Red light," Rebecca said.
Dean saw it, but he just punched the accelerator. He tore through the red light as other cars swerved and honked their horns. He didn't have time for this. He needed to get to his brother. Sam had to be okay, he had to be.
It walked to the side of the pool table and withdrew the butcher knife from a knapsack and made a point of showing it to Sam before stabbing it into the table side.
'Oh god,' Sam thought. 'This is it.' He began to look around frantically for a weapon of some kind when he realized what he needed was right in front of him. He lifted his legs and kicked for all he was worth, sending the fake Dean flying. Instantly he rose up and used the blade to saw through his ropes.
He worked his hands up and down even faster when he saw Dean getting to his feet and approaching him.
Not a moment too soon the rope broke away and Sam grabbed the knife and held it in the manner his father, and even Dean for that matter, had taught him.
The monster came at him and Sam swung the knife. Dean grabbed his arm and flipped him. He crashed to the floor and the knife flew under the pool table. Sam jumped up and took a swing but Dean blocked it. Jabs went back and forth before Dean finally gave him a good one to the face. Sam stumbled back.
"You son of a bitch."
Sam was shocked for a moment. The thing was so much like Dean, his manner, his speech, even his saunter. He wished it's eyes would change. Then it wouldn't feel like Dean anymore.
Sam went to strike but once more it grabbed his arm and twisted it behind his back with a jerk so strong that Sam thought it might come out of the socket and he couldn't stop the cry that came from him.
He wasn't helpless though. He had spent his entire childhood sparring with his brother. A few well placed karate moves and soon the situation was reversed.
"Not bad little brother."
"You're not him," Sam spat.
Dean got out of the hold and punched Sam hard in the face. He then took advantage of the moment to ram his knee into Sam's gut, leaving Sam gasping. Finally Dean planted a kick to his stomach that sent him flying into the bookcase. His back felt as if it would break as it came into contact with the shelves. Then to add insult to injury that damn thing broke and the shelves and all their contents landed on top of him.
Sam was on all fours trying to hold on to consciousness as well as stand up. Every part of his body hurt and he didn't know how much longer he could last. Was the real Dean this strong? Dean…where was Dean? He was supposed to meet him here. Fake Dean walked casually, like he didn't have a care in the world, to the pool sticks.
"Even when we were kids I always could kick your ass," he bragged as he hoisted the stick and prepared to swing.
Sam was tempted to repeat the fact that he wasn't Dean, but it would have required too much effort and his energy was fading fast.
Dean swung the pool stick and Sam just avoided taking the blow. He rolled along the table to avoid the second strike. Dean struck the overhead lamp, busting the bulb and sending sparks flying.
Sam used the side of the table for leverage and kicked Dean in the stomach, which caused him to drop the stick. He moved in to hit him but once more Dean grabbed his arm and struck him instead.
For a minute the two fought frantically back and forth until Dean punched him in the jaw and sent him sailing into the back of the sofa. Dean used Sam's backwards momentum against him and hit him with a tackle that sent both of them over the sofa and crashing through the coffee table in front of it.
Sam grunted as the table nearly snapped his back in half. Dean was on top of him but Sam was too far gone to push him off. His head snapped to the side twice as Dean struck two more times. He was literally seeing stars.
Suddenly, Dean wrapped his hands around Sam's throat and began to squeeze. Sam gasped and tried to push Dean off him but Dean was too heavy and had the advantage of being on top and pushing down. Sam tried to grasp Dean's neck but he couldn't reach.
Awful croaking noises began to come from him as he tried desperately to draw in air. He was weakening. The fight was over and he had lost. He realized he was about to die and the last thing he would see of this world was the face of his brother, filled with rage, choking the life from him. He didn't want to die this way. 'Dean, where are you?' he thought.
Dean entered the room quietly through the front door. He wanted to sneak up of the shape shifter and surprise him. He was the one who was surprised though. Lying on the floor was Sam, gasping for air while he, or the thing that looked like him, was choking the life out of his baby brother.
Sam's hands, which had been pushing and slapping at Dean, began to slowly slide towards the floor and his eyesight began to blur. He wanted to call out for someone to help him, but he couldn't.
The grasp on his throat eased up and suddenly Sam could breathe. He felt it jump off of him. He wanted to sit up and see what was happening, he even made an effort to do so, but no sooner had he lifted his head the room spun he fell back to the floor.
The sound of a gun shot echoed in the room and the rush of adrenaline it caused in Sam was enough for him to roll on his side and lift his head. His eyes came to rest on his brother, his dead brother. Dean was dead, lying on his back, looking at him with open and empty eyes. He flailed his arms about trying to move, to do something, but his body wouldn't cooperate.
Sam felt someone grasp him from behind, soft hands offering comfort, but he hardly cared.
Then Dean walked into his field of vision. Dean? Dean was suddenly kneeling next to himself. Sam's battered brain struggled for understanding as he felt the hands that held him grip even tighter. Then Dean, the one that was alive, looked up at him and the fog began to ease and he realized what had happened. Dean saved him. Dean killed it.
Dean took his necklace from the thing and just stared at the body for a moment.
It was Rebecca who finally said, "Sam, are you okay?"
Dean tore his gaze away from the shape shifter and took a good at Sam. In an instant he crossed the space between them and was at Sam's side.
"Sam?" she asked again, but Sam still didn't answer. He didn't move. He continued to lie there and stare.
Dean realized Sam was in shock. He positioned himself so Sam could no longer see the dead body and then gently turned his head so he could look him in the eyes.
"Sammy, you look like shit," Dean said, giving him his best shit-eatin' grin. Truth was he was scared, but he knew Sam needed him to be strong. He was bleeding from so many places Dean couldn't even count them all.
Sam opened his mouth, "dean." The word was little more than a whisper but it was the best Sam could do at the moment.
"Can you stand?"
Sam nodded his head up and down and wished he hadn't. He tried to remember how many blows to the head he had been forced to endure in the past twenty four hours, but he found it was actually painful to think and he gave up.
Dean placed his hands under Sam's arms and hoisted him up. The vertigo and pain that swept over Sam was too much. His eyes rolled up into his head and he lost the battle to remain conscious.
"Sammy!" Dean exclaimed as he maneuvered to keep Sam from hitting the floor, which was not an easy feet since Sam was three inches taller than he was.
The sound of sirens could be heard approaching and Dean knew time was running out. They had to get out of there.
"Help me," Dean ordered Rebecca. With no other options available to them they positioned Sam and Dean hoisted him up into a fireman's carry. Rebecca opened the door and Dean carried Sam to their car in the alley. Once more Rebecca opened the door and Dean dumped Sam inside.
"Tell the cops you were attacked again and you shot him!" Dean shoved the gun into her hands and he hopped behind the wheel and started the car. "Hurry, get back in the house. Don't mention us. It will just make things more confusing."
She nodded her head and did as told.
Dean gunned the engine and left the alley and the dead body that looked like him far behind. For the first few minutes his attention was focused on making sure the police weren't following them, but once he was sure they were safe he looked over at Sam. He was still unconscious and blood was flowing from several locations on his head.
Sam needed medical attention but he couldn't take him to a hospital. That was just too risky, not to mention even if they didn't recognize him, questions would be asked and he couldn't very well give them any answers…at least none that they would believe.
Dean pulled into the first motel he came across and parked the car far away from the others in the lot. He left Sam alone and ran into the manager's office and paid for a room. He was glad that their room was in back. He drove around and parked in front of their door.
He looked around to make sure no one was watching. He opened Sam's door and kneeled down.
"Sam! Sam! Come on, wake up." He tapped lightly at Sam's bloody and bruised face. A small moan came from his lips and his eyes flickered open several times before finally focusing on Dean.
Sam was confused. Where were they? Why was he in so much pain? Why did Dean look so nervous?
"Don't talk," Dean ordered gently. "We need to get in our room. Do you think you can walk this time without passing out?"
Sam honestly didn't know the answer to that question. He couldn't ever remember feeling this messed up. His memory was returning, though. He remembered the shape-shifter…the fight…almost dying…thinking Dean was dead.
Dean reached into the car and helped Sam out. He quickly wrapped Sam's arm around his neck and wrapped his arm around Sam's waist. Sam stumbled over his own feet and almost went down but Dean held tight and after a minute's struggle they made it to the shelter of their room.
Dean laid Sam down on the bed and hurried back to the car to get the first aid kit in the trunk. When he returned he wasn't surprised to see that Sam had fallen back to sleep. Unfortunately he would have to wake him up. He was fairly certain Sam had a mild concussion among other injuries.
"Sammy, wake up." He sat on the side of the bed and lifted Sam's shirt up. His stomach and chest was a mass of bruises but nothing was bleeding. He began to feel Sam's ribs to see if anything felt broken.
"Unh," Sam moaned and rolled his head to the side.
"That's it. Time to wake up little brother."
Suddenly Sam's eyes popped open and he groped at the blankets trying to push himself away from Dean.
"Whoa, calm down. Sammy it's me, I swear. It's really me!"
Sam stared at Dean with wide, fearful eyes that lacked the trust they usually held. Dean felt physical pain at having Sam look at him in such a way. He held up his hands to show he was weaponless.
"Stay there," Dean said and hurried to the bathroom. He came back with a cup of water and offered it to Sam.
Sam took it with a shaky hand and drank the whole cup down despite the pain in his throat. He handed Dean the empty cup.
"How does your throat feel?"
"Don't call me that," Sam said in a whispery voice.
"Little brother," Sam rasped out.
"Why?" Dean asked. He had been calling Sam little brother since he was a baby.
"Just don't," Sam said. "It's what he said."
Dean didn't have to ask who 'he' was. Usually he would say some smart ass comment to break the tension, but he had a feeling that at the moment Sam needed him to just take care of him.
"Okay. I won't say it." Dean calmly got up from the bed and went back to the bathroom. He came out with several wet washcloths and another cup of water. Once more he sat on the bed and started washing the blood from Sam's face.
Any other time Sam would have be mortified to have his big brother cleaning him up, but right now he was content to lay there and let him do it.
Dean opened the first aid kit and removed peroxide, ointment, bandages, and other things. He opened a bottle of Tylenol and handed four of them to Sam.
"Do you want to tell me what happened?" Dean asked.
"He tried to kill me," Sam whispered and carefully swallowed the pills.
"I managed to figure that one out all by myself. I mean, do you want to talk about how you're feeling about this."
Sam shook his head. He would never tell Dean everything that happened between him and the shape shifter, or the secrets that were revealed. All it would do is hurt Dean. No, Sam would add these secrets to the ones he already held.
Dean let out a frustrated sigh. "That cut on your head needs stitches. I need to find the thread and needle." He started to get up but Sam grabbed his arm. Dean looked him in the eye and Sam said, "It wasn't you. I don't blame you."
Dean gave him a small smile and then went to find the needle and thread.
Two hours later Dean was sitting in an uncomfortable chair watching Sam sleep. He didn't have to wake him up for another forty-five minutes. He had stitched Sam's head and applied ointment and bandages to the cuts on his back that he said he got from falling into furniture. He also put more ice in the towel that was around Sam's swollen and raw neck.
He was tempted to tell Sam to go back to college after he recuperated. In the past four months he had basically managed to ruin his brother's life, not to mention almost get him killed several times over.
Was he the reason Jess was killed? If he had stayed away would she still be alive? Because of him the Woman in White almost ripped his heart out of his chest. Sam's chest hurt for a week after that. He never complained, but he had seen him holding and rubbing it several times.
Just a month ago Sam had almost become one of Bloody Mary's victims. When he broke that mirror and Sam just sat there hunched over in the floor his own heart almost stopped. His whole life had been spent protecting his baby brother. Ever since the day his father had thrust an infant Sam into his arms and told him to get him to safety he had felt it his duty to protect him. Even when Sam got older and didn't feel he needed protection, Dean continued to do it. When he thought Mary had killed Sam or scratched his eyes out he felt as if he had failed, even worse he felt as if he had led him to his death.
Now Sammy was lying in a bed, unconscious, covered in cuts and bruises the size of Texas. Sam had been happy. Sam had a real life. Sam had friends, and he, Dean Winchester, his sworn protector, ripped it all away from him. In exchange for his happiness and his future, Dean had offered him nothing but pain and near death experiences.
Dean knew he should tell Sam to get away from him. Far, far away and start to live his life once more, and yet he knew he wouldn't…couldn't…do it. He needed Sam though he hated to admit it, even to himself. It wasn't that he needed a partner, or even someone to go on hunts with. Nope, he needed Sam because if he had to do this job alone, really alone, he knew that the loneliness would be the death of him.
His attention was drawn when he heard Sam moaning in his sleep. A second later Sam's hands raised up to his neck and he struggled against an invisible foe only he could see. Dean knew instantly what Sam was dreaming about.
"SAM!" Dean called from his chair. He didn't reach over to grab or shake him awake. If he opened his eyes to see him standing over his prone body he would probably mistake the dream for reality. "SAM!"
Sam opened his eyes and drew in a deep breath. Quickly his eyes darted back and forth before looking at Dean sitting in his chair.
"You were having a nightmare," Dean told him.
"Sorry if I woke you," Sam said.
"I was awake," Dean said.
"Because someone has to take care of you."
"Don't need taking care of," Sam griped.
"Uh, yeah ya do. You have several large bumps on your head, which means you probably have a small concussion, which means I need to wake your ass up every hour so you don't turn into coma boy."
Sam became aware of the ice pack surrounding his neck and he hated the feeling of it being there. He reached up to remove it and was surprised when Dean actually sat up and smacked his hand away.
"Leave that," Dean warned. "It's keeping the swelling down on your neck. You were blowing up like a balloon."
"It's cold and it's tight."
"You sound like you're five years old again," Dean said. "Now stop complaining and just listen to Dr. Dean."
Dean was relieved to see Sam crack him a smile. Okay, so it wasn't a real smile but at least it was a smirk.
"For saving my life. For taking care of me."
"Okay, let's not turn this into a chick flick moment," Dean teased.
Sam smiled again. "Fine, but I am grateful. I appreciate what you did for me tonight…and…and while we were growing up."
For a moment Sam thought Dean looked a little misty eyed, but then he blinked and Sam wasn't sure if he just imagined it.
"Yeah, well, saving your butt just happened to be a perk to shooting that SOB. That guy was walking around with my face. He was going down. So are you hungry. There's some fast food restaurants just down the street. I can go get ya something if you want."
"No, I'm fine," Sam said, letting Dean change the subject. "I'm cold, but I'm not hungry."
"Oh for crying out loud, fine, take the ice pack off, but don't complain to me if you swell up again."
"Don't worry, I promise not to sue you for malpractice or anything," Sam teased as he pulled off the ice pack and dropped it to the floor.