A tag to Shadows
By Infinite Shadow
Disclaimer: As much as I would like them to be, the Winchester men do not belong to me. Sigh They belong to the WB, et all.
Author's note: The words bolded towards the end were taken from the episode Shadows. Dialogue also belongs to the WB et all not me, double sigh. The conversationbetween the brothers bothered me and it just wouldn't leave me alone until I got this down on paper. This is my first posted fanfic, ever. Please be kind with reviews, constructive flamage only please. Thanks to Lynxlan, best friend extrodinaire, for the quick beta.
Dean easily maneuvered his beloved Impala around a hair pin turn. He concentrated on the road in front of him and the music that blasted from the old stereo. He would not let himself think about what just happened. How happy he'd been at being re-united with his father. Hell even Sam was happy at seeing their dad, and that was something. He would not let himself think about how or why his Dad was not here right now. He would not think about how his Dad's face had been covered in blood. He would not think about how well Dad had always concealed the worst of his injuries from them.
Don't think. Just drive.
Sam stared out the passenger side window of the car. His mind a jumble of thoughts. Dad had come to help them, he'd finally been there, talking to them. He'd even got the warm loving embrace he'd needed since the fight that had torn the only two people who'd loved him out of his life. Forgiveness given in a look, love received in a tight embrace. Then he'd been torn away from them again and they just stood there watching as the black truck drove out of the alley and out of sight. He understood why, it just wasn't enough. He raised a hand to his face, scratching at the dried blood on his neck. After so long it just wasn't enough.
They'd driven out of town as fast as they could and didn't look back. Dean had been driving for hours on the first freeway that got them out of danger, not wanting to give up the wheel. He needed to keep his mind on something other than his injured father. His hand slipped on the wheel and he wiped it on his pants. He glanced down to check their gas knowing that sooner or later that would have to be their first stop.
On coming lights momentarily lit up the car and Dean realized that the steering wheel had a sticky coating of his blood. Both of his hands had scrapes, bruising and deep gashes on them. He looked up and saw a rest stop in the near distance. He pulled off relieved to see that it looked deserted. They were alone in more ways than one.
Sam looked at him with empty tired eyes.
"We need to get cleaned up," Dean said simply then got out of the car.
Sam didn't comment but got out and went to the trunk. Dean opened it and grabbed their first aid kit, not seeing Sam grab the shaving kit. They made their way to the restroom, their slow gait showing how tired they were.
Neither boy spoke for a moment, just took in their reflections. They were pale, bruised and bleeding. Aside from the physical damage each was hurting in their own way. Sam broke his gaze away first and put the shaving kit on the counter by the sink. Dean put down the first aid kit and grabbed a handful of paper towels to wash down the wounds. Not the best choice, but it would do in a pinch. Sam pulled out bandages from the first aid kit, needle and sutchers from the shaving kit for stitches.
"Sam we can stitch up when we get to a motel," Dean said.
"Who would rent us a room with the way we look?" Sam asked.
Dean could have argued the point, but he didn't want to. He was afraid if he started any conversation they'd be discussing their Dad, and he wasn't ready for that.
The boys cleaned themselves up as best they could in the dimly lit washroom. Dean stitched up the open wounds on his brother's face, and Sam stitched up Dean's in return. Sam returned to the car, putting away the medical supplies and brought out fresh clothes for them to change into.
Sam watched Dean as he tried to change his shirt, but couldn't do it without gasping in pain. Neither were surprised to see the dark markings that covered Dean's chest. Dean cursed softly, it wasn't the first set of bruised ribs he'd had, and it wouldn't be the last.
Sam held his hand out for the keys to the car and his older brother obliged without argument. Dean was too tired and mentally wasted to argue. They got back in the car, Dean closed his eyes and let his mind blank out as Sam got them back onto the freeway.
They only stopped once more for gas and a few supplies then continued on their way.
When they did stop at a motel twelve hours after the attack, both boys were beyond exhausted and collapsed on a bed.
Sam lay awake listening to Dean's breathing as he thought back to the apartment they'd rented.
"There's gotta be something that you want for yourself."
"Yeah. I don't want you to leave the second this thing is over Sam."
"Dude. What's your problem?"
"Why do you think I drag you everywhere? Why do you think I came and got you from Stanford in the first place?"
"Cause Dad was in trouble. Cause you wanted to find the thing that killed Mom."
"Yes! That! But it's more than that, man. You and me and Dad. I want us to be together again. For us to be a family again."
"Dean we are a family. I'd do anything for you. But things will never be the way they were before."
"I don't want them to be. I'm not going to live this life forever. Dean when this is all over you're gonna have to let me go my own way."
The full conversation still rang in Sam's ears. Dean's hope at being reunited as a family crashed and burned with his few simple words. But it wasn't really what he meant.
Sure he'd wanted to go back to school, be a lawyer, help people. That wasn't all he wanted. He didn't really want that life if Dean wasn't part of it. The too short time he'd had with Jess was great, but there had been a gaping hole in his heart where his brother and father should have been.
He hated being constantly on the road and staying in one run down motel after another. He wanted a place of his own. An apartment they could call home, where he could have a small piece of normalcy. They could still hunt and have a home, right?
Sam didn't want to go back to the way things had been with his Dad. He'd hated all the fighting. He wanted, no needed, his Dad in his life. He understood the fear and danger now and was sure they wouldn't fight as much. He'd have his Dad's respect and love, not his anger.
He wanted what Dean wanted. The family, the security of loved ones around. He wanted just a little more and he was sure neither Dean or his Dad would stay around for that.
Dean would have to let him go, just like he would have to let go of his super hero brother. He just didn't want to.
Dean turned onto his stomach balling his pillow under him to cushion his sore chest. How could Sam want to bail on him again? They made a great hunting team. He'd had almost two years of a life, a life that was never meant to be. Something Dean would never have.
How could he want to go back to school and leave hunting behind? He was one of them, a hunter, a stalker and executioner of evil. It was what they were brought up to be - warriors of good and light.
He needed Sam and he knew that Sam needed him. After all, he'd pretty much raised the kid. Sure Dad was around, but he was always preoccupied. Then Dad began to go missing for days while out hunting. Dean became a full time parent at the age of twelve but he didn't mind, he never considered Sam a burden. His little brother had once called him a capeless superhero, cause capes weren't cool.
But even super hero's got left behind. Sam would leave him again. Just like Mom. Just like Dad. His one saving grace was the evil son of a bitch that plagued his family was still out there needing to be killed. He was sure his Dad would find the way of killing it eventually, but until then he still had his freak of a side kick geek brother. He would have to let him go the day the demon that killed his Mom was destroyed.
"Dean when this is all over you're gonna have to let me go my own way."
The words cut far deeper than the Daevas claws had. When that day came he would be truly alone.