Disclaimer, Summary & Ratings: See Chapter 1



Dean opened his eyes as the motel door was eased closed in total silence. Sammy had never been able to sneak out on his big brother; did he really think he was going to start pulling off the feat now?

He had got up, pulled on his jeans, T-shirt and leather coat and boots within a minute, though not rushing, but counted five full periods of sixty seconds before he left the hotel room and walked unerringly across the road towards the haphazardly flickering sign that declared BAR.

He went inside as an eddy current with a group of rowdy college-age juniors, his eyes adjusting to the gloom with the ease of long practice, instantly spotting the lanky frame he sought regardless of the smoky haze and the row of backs-to-the-door barstool occupants.

It wasn't hard; he had known Sammy was going to come here hours ago. They had watched Chuckles – and the dagger - disappear, but then Sam just turned and walked back to the car. About to protest and having the Holy Water in his hand, the words had not passed his lips as Sam turned and smiled and said that there was no need, and "'just feel it'". And he had. This glade was ground made holy by virtue of a freely-offered sacrifice of love and there was no need to bind evil with the salt of the earth and purify it by fire and cleanse it with blessed water, because evil could not manifest here.

They had driven out of Keedysville but pulled in at Sharpsburg, the sun sinking below the horizon in glorious display of indescribable colours through the windshield of Dean's car as if in homage. They had not spoken since the glade but Dean had felt no need to shatter the silence with clumsy words as Sam paid for one night at the motel in cash.

Not until in their room had Dean tried to apologise for the things the demon had revealed he had done but Sam looked at him gravely and told him that this day he had been granted a tabula nova: clean slate. Fresh and wiped of any mark.

Sam had said that there were certain things they had to do to get by that were tolerated…and then he had looked Dean in the eyes and asked if he intended to be a whore again, or sell drugs again…or kill people, even evil people like drug runners and gun runners, again. He had accepted Dean's fervent negative as the pleading for forgiveness it was, and not for a second did he look at Dean with disgust or contempt or scorn, as if knowing such would eviscerate Dean far more agonisingly than that dagger could ever have done. That was not why he was here, in this bar; those sins were not the reason why, after they had simply gone to bed as darkness fell, Sam had begun to get angry and upset, as Dean had known he was as he lay in the other bed, feeling his brother's rage and distress grow like the emotions were physical, tangible increases in air pressure courtesy of that internal barometer that was labelled simply: SAMMY.

The pressure would have to be released or blow, and so Sammy had slipped away to stew in the fond belief Dean slept obliviously.

Dean parked his butt on the bar stool next to Sam's. The invisible but blatant exclusion zone radiating from Sammy didn't apply to him; Dean didn't even notice it was there, neither of them ever did. There was a row of shot glasses in front of Sam on the bar; five were empty, he was holding one in his hand and three more remained topped to the brim.

Dean took the one nearest himself and downed it in one gulp before pulling a face. "Dude, you are such a cheapskate. You won't even get snockered on the good stuff."

Sam's jaw clenched but he didn't immediately answer, just tossing back the whisky in one gulp, with no discernible effect. In line with the maxim that warned, 'don't confuse the fact that I don't with the idea that I can't', that neither of them usually drank to excess didn't mean they couldn't 'hold' their liquor.

"I'm sorry," Sam said finally, looking at the next shot but not picking up the glass.

"For what?"

"I cut you," Sam said the words flatly, oblivious to the widening eyes of the barman who discreetly moved out of earshot, clearly believing they were some sort of S&M bondage couple whose 'fun' had crossed a line.

Dean picked up the second of the three remaining shot glasses and downed it with a moue of distaste. "No you're not."

Sam's eyes locked with his own. It was true and both knew it. Sam wasn't upset, he was angry with Dean…furious at him for not fighting back, for not fighting for his life….against Sam. But he couldn't express that anger, not because that would have ruined the whole poisoning-Chuckles-with-Dean's-sacred-blood plan, but because there was no point, as both them equally knew. Dean was never going to apply any sense of self-preservation when it came to his brother's wellbeing, and though Sam hated the fact that Dean's self-preservation came to a juddering halt whenever his welfare was threatened, there was a part of him that clung to that comfort and security, and both of them knew that as well…so it was Sammy who looked away first.

Dean remained silent, as there was nothing to say. They wouldn't talk about this; they never had and they never would, because Dean never made his Sammy a promise that he knowingly could not – or would not – keep, or die trying. Dean would not vow to try and take care of his own hide when they both knew he had no intention, maybe was not even capable, of keeping such an oath…and Dean never broke his promises to his brother.

"You could have yelled at me, or kicked or something!" Sam muttered with the irrational petulance of someone on a major guilt trip.

"No need," Dean shrugged, "I knew that no matter what happened…everything would be alright."

Sam growled, "I'm the one with the Shining, so how could you know for sure?"

"My brother loves me more than anything in the world, and there is nothing he would not do for me."

The barman risked turning back to the couple of men who had definitely needed their privacy, only to blink at the sight of a single, full shot glass on the counter and an empty pair of bar stools, just catching a glimpse of two silhouettes as the entrance door swung shut on the view of their backs.

And they walked side by side and shoulder to shoulder out of the bar without a backward glance, back to their motel to catch some shut-eye before they moved on to take out the next fugly evil that thought it was going to hurt innocent people with impunity.

© 2006, Catherine D Stewart

Author's Note: The statements about the moon in this story are scientific fact. If there were only the sun, but no moon, the Earth would be as lifeless as Mars. Without the moon to create tides, the world's water would stagnate and starve of oxygen; without the moon acting on the Earth's magnetic field, solar particles would shred everything on the surface; without the moon to acting on the hormonal cycle of women, we would be unable to successfully gestate children. That was the kernel of my story, having researched the info for something else when I also happened to swot up on my biographical knowledge of Mozart. Leopold and Anna Mozart had two musically-gifted children. Their elder child, daughter Maria-Anna, was a gifted pianist who in any other family would have been fêted as a prodigy, had she not been the sibling of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The parallels struck me as obvious – because of Mary and Jess and his 'Shining' Sam has always been the Winchester Mozart, but Dean had the same parents and the same genes and the same upbringing. Just because he wasn't big and shiny and obvious didn't mean he wasn't talented, and it happens in real life. I went through school with an incredibly bright girl who lost her joy in learning because teachers foolishly constantly expected her to be a clone of her elder brother, who was a scientific genius that studied Astrophysics at Oxbridge.

The Whole of the Moon, by The Waterboys:

I pictured a rainbow
you held it in your hands
I had flashes
but you saw the plan
I wandered out in the world for years
you just stayed in your room
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon...

You were there in the turnstiles
with the wind at your heels
you stretched for the stars
and you know how it feels
to reach too high, too far, too soon
You saw the whole of the moon

I was grounded
while you filled the skies
I was dumbfounded by truth
you cut through lies
I saw the lone empty valley
you saw Brigadoon
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon

I spoke about wings
you just flew
I wondered I guessed and I tried
you just knew
I sighed
but you swooned
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon...

With a torch in your pocket
and the wind at your heels
you climbed on the ladder
and you know how it feels
to get too high, too far, too soon
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon...

Unicorns and cannonballs, palaces and piers,
trumpets, towers and tenements
wide oceans full of tears
flags, rags, ferryboats, scimitars and scarves
every precious dream and vision underneath the stars
You climbed on the ladder
with the wind in your sails
you came like a comet
blazing your trail
too high, too far, too soon
You saw the whole of the moon.