A Tag to Bloody Mary
By infinite shadow
Disclaimer: Unfortunately the boys are not mine. My muse wanted to take them out and play with them for a while. I promise to give them back as soon as I'm done... really. No money was made from this and the characters belong to the WB et al.
Thanks to lynxlan for the beta. I don't tell you enough that you are the best!
Sam drove the Impala down the old highway glad to leave the town behind them. It was a gorgeous warm day. Perfect driving weather. He sat behind the wheel of his brother's car with his sunglasses on. The stereo quietly played Journey in the background.
Dean had fallen asleep several miles back, only after Sam had assured him several times that if he got too tired that he'd wake him up and they'd switch. Dean also had his sunglasses on, but Journey hadn't been his choice. He wanted Rush or Judas Priest to play while he slept. Sam had rolled his eyes and reminded Dean that driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole.
The look on Dean's face was priceless as he struggled for a comeback and Sam couldn't help but laugh. It was a little rusty but it felt good to do it again. He was sure Dean thought so too as he gave in far too quickly after that. Sam was relieved he'd won though. He liked Judas Priest and Rush, but his headache that had lingered since he'd conjured Mary in the mirror did not. That was something his older brother didn't know about.
He'd summoned her because he knew without a doubt that she would come. He was the reason his Jess was dead, his guilt and grief would be enough to conjure the sick, to borrow Dean's favourite word, bitch.
God Jess. If he'd only told her, tried to explain.
Sam stopped himself. The what if game only made things worse. He couldn't go back and fix it. He had to live with the fact that her blood was on his hands and it would never go away.
He glanced over at Dean who was mumbling in his sleep and shifted in his seat. Sam's brow furrowed as he turned his gaze back to the road. Dean had bled after Mary had come out of the mirror. Why had he bled?
Sam pulled off the highway several hours after the sun went down. His headache was getting worse, probably a result of driving too long.
"Dean?" he said quietly nudging his brother's shoulder slightly to wake him.
"Dude where are we?" Dean asked sleepily looking around.
"I'm not really sure, but tonight's accommodation is the International Motel with Cable, Pool and Air Conditioning," Sam said. He knew exactly where they were, it just bugged his brother no end if he didn't know where they were.
"Oh that's good Sammy," Dean said. "At least this motel will have a TV and hot water. Not like the motel we stayed at last night, huh?"
Sam smirked back at him. "I'm outta cash. You get to check us in," he said glad his brother had woken in a good mood.
"Ah lets see," Dean said as he pulled out his wallet and flipped through the cards. "David Linman. Do I look like a David?"
"No. Not even a little," Sam said then got out of the car.
Ten minutes later they were in the room. For once the room was nice and clean. The beds didn't squeak too badly and the TV worked showing more than three channels.
"Dean?" Sam asked as he surfed the TV channels.
"Yeah," Dean answered as he went through his bag sorting out some laundry.
"Why did you bleed?" Sam asked. "You know when Mary came out of the mirror?"
Dean froze momentarily one hand half out of the bag then kept sorting. "Why?"
Sam shrugged. "I don't know, just wondering I guess."
"I don't know Sam," Dean said closing up his bag.
"You must have some idea," Sam pressed.
Dean put his bag down beside his bed. "We're out of cash. Is this town large enough for a double hustle?"
"No way. There's like three buildings in this town - the motel, the bank and a strip mall. The bar is part of the motel," Sam said then turned off the TV not finding anything on.
"Crap. Well, ok. I'll hustle then. You coming?" Dean said as he grabbed his jacket.
"Yeah, but you didn't answer my question," Sam said getting off the bed.
"Yeah I did little brother. You just weren't listening," Dean said quietly. "Let's go."
Sam grabbed the laptop and went into the bar with his brother. There were pool tables and a dart board. Dean would have been in his glory if there had been a card game happening as well. Dean walked away from him sizing up the skill of the men playing pool and Sam grabbed a seat at a table. He ordered a beer knowing that he still had a twenty in his pocket. To him and Dean being down to the last twenty was being out of cash.
He opened the laptop and began searching out the day's headlines. Looking for their next job and town to head for. Usually they stayed in a town before finding their next destination, but after Mary both wanted back on the road.
Dean joined Sam back at the table a short while later with a hand full of cash. He ordered tequila shots and beers for them.
"So what have you got?" Dean asked.
"Nothing so far, but you didn't play very long," Sam said.
"Didn't have to. None of them can play pool so I just played to win," Dean said. "Much less time."
Their drinks came and the boys ordered a meal. They stayed for a while Sam watching his brother carefully as he downed the last glass of whisky.
"Dean we gotta go, they're closing up," Sam said closing down the laptop and standing up.
"No, not yet Sammy. Yust one more," Dean said slurring his words slightly.
Sam smiled and shook his head slightly. "Sorry dude but they cut you off an hour ago. You just drank my Jack Daniels."
Dean looked slightly surprised then looked down at their table. "Oh, right."
"Come on, it's time to go," Sam said knowing full well they'd be open for a couple hours more.
"Hey there, you're friend here's right. We're closing up," the waitress said as she gathered up the glasses off the table.
"Well hello there. I'm Dean," he said smoothly with a goofy grin.
"Yeah I'm sure you are. Goodnight Dean," she said standing up.
"You know I prefer good morning," Dean said standing and stepping towards her. "Maybe you and I could."
"No," she said flat out and walked away.
"Well that was just plain rude," he said and turned as he heard a laugh.
"Sammy! When did you get here," Dean said looking genuinely surprised.
The younger hunter rolled his eyes and sighed. "We gotta go Dean. Now," Sam said sternly.
"Oh, Ok," Dean said and almost walked into his brother. "Sammy should watch were he's going."
"Yeah," Sam said as Dean wrapped his arm around him.
"Have I told you Sam how proud I am of you?" Dean said grinning happily in his brother's face.
Sam tried to move back a bit from the smell. "No, not really." He wrapped his arm around his brother's waist and steered him towards the door.
"Well I am little bro. I am," he said.
Sam pushed the door open and the cool air hit them both square in their faces. He lead his brother down the side walk and stopped outside their room as he fumbled for the key.
"Where are we?" Dean asked looking at his car.
"Home for the night," Sam said as he opened the door.
Dean looked around him. "Not home," he said quietly and walked inside.
Sam looked around trying to see what Dean was looking at then went inside as well.
Dean was sitting on his bed trying to take off his shoes. He looked up. "I think I'm drunk little brother."
"Yeah maybe just a little," Sam agreed and helped Dean take off his jacket and shoes. "Look just get some sleep ok?"
Sam turned and hung Dean's leather jacket on a chair.
"It's hard Sammy," came a quiet voice.
"What?" Sam asked turning back to his brother.
Dean pointed at his head. "Some things just won't go away. Mom, Dad, blood, screams. Pictures stay forever."
Sam sat down across from his brother. "Yeah they do say a picture is worth a thousand words."
Dean lifted his eyebrows. "Then I must have a freakin picture dictionary in my head of supernatural crap," he said his eyes glassy not focused on anything.
Sam nodded not knowing what to say. He had his own demons in his head, his own images he couldn't run from.
"It could have been you Sam. He looked like a younger version of you. Way back before you got so smart and went off to college," Dean said
"Who looked like me?" Sam asked.
"I can still hear him scream," he whispered. Then he bolted drunkenly to the bathroom.
Sam followed him and held his shoulders while he threw up. His stomach heaved and his back curled painfully as the alcohol and food they'd eaten back at the bar made a reappearance. When he was done Sam gently guided him to sit on the bathroom floor leaning back on the wall. He got a damp cloth and put it on the back of his brothers neck.
Sam understood, or thought he understood. Both had different times in their past that sometimes got to be far too much and sometimes alcohol was the only thing that could wipe the pain a way for a very short time.
Dean looked like he'd fallen asleep, so Sam got another cloth, this time a warm one and wiped down his tear streaked face from the vomiting.
"Thanks Sammy," Dean said quietly.
"You ok?" Sam asked then heard the stupidity of the question as the words left his lips. "I mean are you done?"
"Yeah I think so," Dean said his eyes closed.
Sam nodded. He reached down and helped his brother to his feet and lead him to his bed. Dean sat down his eyes open and focused on his brother as Sam tried to get him to lie down in the bed. Dean grabbed his arm.
"Do you really want to know?" Dean said.
Sam looked down at him for a moment. "Only if you want to tell me," he said softly.
Dean looked away. "He looked just like you," he said as he let go of Sam.
Sam sighed softly and sat beside his brother. "Who?"
"I never knew his name," Dean said his eyes focused on the past and didn't say anything for a few moments.
"Where were you?" Sam prompted in the silence.
"Colorado Springs. It was one of my first jobs on my own after you left. I was hunting this werewolf pack. Well two actually and I don't think they were really together, aside from the fact that one spawned the other," Dean said. "They moved well and I took too long to track them down. I took one, it was easy cause he'd only been turned for a couple of cycles. But I lost the other one and didn't find him again until the next cycle. He'd already found another victim to turn. This time it was a boy, he couldn't have been more than twelve years old."
Sam felt his brother begin to tremble slightly beside him and he wasn't sure if it was from the alcohol, the memory or both.
"When I finally found them," Dean stopped and shook his head. "God Sam he knew I was there. He waited until I could see him and then he bit the boy."
The slight tremor increased significantly. Sam reached behind him and pulled the comforter up around his brother.
A lone tear made its way down Dean's cheek. "I still hear that boy scream," he whispered.
Sam wrapped his arm around his brother not knowing what else to do.
"He bit into him three times. There was blood everywhere and the boy was hysterical, screaming and screaming. He stopped when the werewolf hit him. The boy was knocked out and his body just crumpled. Then the beast came after me," Dean stopped speaking for a moment. "I don't remember the fight, but I remember standing over the dead bodies. Silver bullets eventually taking their lives."
"Dean it wasn't your fault," Sam said strongly.
Dean shook his head. "You're wrong Sam. That boy died needlessly because I didn't do my job. I wasn't quick enough. Had I tracked them down like Dad taught us that boy would still be alive," Dean said quietly.
"You don't know that. Dean you can't play the what if game. It doesn't help and it won't change the past. The werewolf had been around for sometime, right?" Sam asked.
Dean nodded his eyes still unfocussed.
"Then it had been running and hiding for a long time. It was a matter of survival. Hiding was probably the thing it did best. You're the best hunter I know," Sam said.
"Dad's the best hunter Sam. Don't you forget that," Dean shot back harshly.
"Ok, so Dad's a better hunter than you," Sam said placating. "All I'm saying is that hunting these things is never easy. If you struggled to find this thing you know Dad would have had trouble finding it too."
Dean stared at him for a moment then looked away. "Yeah, maybe, but you said it yourself Sammy. Mary saw black and white, not grey. I can't help how I feel about this," he said softly. "If you can tell me you can just turn off how bad you feel over Jessica then I'll tell you that I don't feel responsible for this boy's death."
"I can't do that," Sam whispered looking at his brother. "You know I can't."
Dean nodded and leaned slightly into his brother. "Thank God it wasn't you Sammy. Now if I could just remember that when I wake in the middle of the night," he said his voice trailing off as he fell asleep.
Sam held onto Dean for a few moments gaining a new understanding of his brother. Maybe they weren't that much different after all. Dean let out a snore and Sam let go settling him in the bed then climbed into his own praying that the nightmares gave them both a respite for the rest of the night.