A tag to Benders
By infinite shadow
Disclaimer: Supernatural and the characters do not belong to me, they belong to the WB et al. I promise to give them back to the WB as soon as I'm done with them.
Author's notes: Benders ended just a little too soon for me as I wanted a little more time with the brothers together at the end. Since the show didn't do it here is my take on what could of happened. I want to thank everyone who took the time to post kind feedback on my other stories. It feeds my muse and makes me want to write more. Thanks again to my friend lynxlan for the beta.
Dean leaned up against his beloved Impala outside the gates to the Lawrence municipal cemetery. Right now he would've given anything to not be here and off killing something evil with his brother by his side. The iron gates blurred with unshed tears and he jammed his hands in his pockets as he looked away from the gravestones nestled just behind the iron fence.
Glancing up at the gloomy sky he thought it was the only thing that was right with the day. His mood was dark, the day was dark and the world would never be right ever again.
Slowly he pushed himself off his car and began to walk into the cemetery. His vision swam again and he silently cursed his weakness. He put on his sunglasses to cover his red eyes that were slightly swollen from the few tears he'd allowed himself to shed in the dark motel room just before leaving.
This was a familiar place to him. The deep and sorrowful feelings that this place always brought out in him had always been reserved for his mom, and his mom only. Grief for his mom had been the only reason that he had been allowed to cry growing up. They were only type of tears his father wouldn't reprimand over when he was a child. After all demon hunters didn't cry over lacerations, bruises or broken bones his father had reasoned. Today that changed and this place would never be the same. He hung his head in shame as he knew the reason behind the change was his fault and his failure alone.
He walked thought the rows of plots, past tombstones of different sizes and designs. Dean paused and looked up at the stone angel like he had done countless times as a child. Dad had always said she looked sad, he'd always seen her as disappointed, and Sam had never commented. He had always been uncomfortable visiting here.
She was definitely disappointed in him just like he was disappointed in himself. It was his fault his baby brother was here and nothing would ever fix that. He'd gotten sloppy and Sammy had paid the ultimate price.
Taking a deep breath he continued on past more statues and grave markers that he hardly saw as he made his way to his destination. Movement caught his eye as a dark figure stepped out in front of him and Dean's sharp hunter skills pulled out his knife before he could think about it. The lone figure stepped forward out of the shadow to reveal his face.
"Dad?" Dean asked lowering the knife and putting it back in it's sheath.
"Your brother was supposed to be safe with you. Sam was always your responsibility. How could you be so careless? How could you just lose him like that?" John Winchester asked as a single tear tracked down his unshaven angry face. "How could you lose my baby?"
Dean looked away from the distraught stare of his father. "Dad I," he said and paused swallowing hard. "I'm sorry," he said knowing the words were inadequate for the pain and guilt he was drowning in.
John snorted. "Oh, you're sorry. Sure you are."
Dean lifted his gaze back up to his father surprised at the venom in the man's voice.
"You must be glad you're free of him? Free of the burden?" He asked disgusted. He shot his hand out grabbing Dean roughly by his neck, yanked him close and ripped off the offensive sunglasses.
"How could you lose him? He was the most important one. Sammy was the only one who was not expendable. He was the one who had to fight the fire demon when the time came," John exclaimed and loosened his grip.
Dean jerked away from his father and took a step back. "What are you talking about?" he asked. How could his father care about that when his baby brother was lying in a cold dark grave?
John shook his head. "It doesn't matter anymore. You killed your brother."
Dean felt sick inside because he knew his father was right. Sam had been his responsibility since the fire. His damn curiosity at a table full of trophies was enough for the Hillbillies from Hell to get the drop on him. He may as well of pulled the trigger on his brother himself. "I know," he whispered looking down at the ground.
John nodded and sighed heavily. "Then you understand that you have to join him."
Dean's head shot up. "What?"
John grabbed his son by the shoulders and started to pull him away.
"Dad! No, please," he begged as he tried to get out of his father's steel grip.
John dragged him over to the graves. Both men paled slightly at the beautifully carved Angel that marked his mother's grave. Next to Mary's angel marker was his brother's freshly covered grave. Runes were carved into the marker as were the words Samuel Winchester. Our Sammy. Beloved Son and Brother.
Dean's heart lurched in his chest and his legs threatened to give way on him. "Oh Sammy," he whispered and couldn't help the few tears that slipped down his cheeks.
John violently pulled him around and Dean sucked in a breath as he stood at the edge of an empty grave. The marker simply read Dean Winchester. There weren't even any dates on it.
"Dad please!" he pleaded. He didn't want to die, but didn't he deserve to die for letting his little brother down?
John roughly pulled his son back against his chest for a moment. "I need people around me who I can trust. People that I can rely on to follow my orders. I thought that was you, but now I see my mistake. Goodbye son," he said then shoved Dean away into the darkness of the grave.
"NO!" Dean screamed as he fell but he didn't hit a rocky dirt floor. He landed hard in a chair in an old house. The Bender house. Someone was tying his arms behind the chair.
Dean did his best to stop shaking and pull up his best tough guy act. He watched as the oldest Bender son walked away from him and out of the room. Pulling hard on the bonds, he did his best to break them, but they were too tight and too strong.
He heard laughing and looked up to see Bender senior walking back into the room holding something shiny in his hand. Dean paled as he recognized the blade the deranged hillbilly started waving back and fourth in front of him. He glared up at the man holding his favourite knife.
"It's a thing of beauty, isn't it son," he said as he waived the blade closer.
Dean felt fear build in him as he saw the blood coating part of the blade as some of it dripped onto the floor. The deranged man pulled the knife back slowly up to his nose and smelled the blood on the blade like one would flowers or a fine wine. He placed a finger under the blade and caught a drop of the blood on it. Smiling at Dean he brought his finger to his mouth and savored the coppery flavour of the blood.
"All the adrenaline just makes human tastier," he said. "Your brother tastes so sweet, and I'll bet you do too."
Dean's fear turned to anger. "I am going to kill you, I will kill you all!" he shouted at the filthy man standing in front of him.
Bender senior just looked down at him and let out a loud laugh. "Missy!"
"Yes Pa?" she said as she silently entered the room.
"Tell your brothers to come in here with their newest toy," he said not bothering to turn to look at her.
She smiled causing a chill to run down Dean's spine. "Yes Pa," she said then silently left the room.
"You hurt him and," Dean growled but was cut off.
"You'll do what boy? You've already failed him," Bender senior said shrugging.
Before Dean could give a response his attention shifted to the noise coming from the hallway. "Sammy!" he shouted.
The Bender boys brought in a struggling man covered in dirt and blood. The boys dropped their burden and the man fell to the floor. Bender senior kicked him in the ribs and Sam rolled onto his back with the momentum.
"Dean?" Sam said softly not moving.
Dean sucked in his breath at the state of his brother. Sam's face was a myriad of bruises, and cuts. His eyes had swollen shut from the beating he'd endured. His clothing was torn all over, his shirt was barely hanging off of his shoulders exposing most of his chest, sides and arms. They were covered in deep lacerations, bruising and stab wounds.
"Oh Sammy," Dean whispered then swallowed back the bile that started to rise in his throat.
Sam turned his head in the direction of his brother's voice. "Dean? I'm sorry. I tried to get away."
"S'ok Sam, I know you did," Dean said keeping his voice soft while his heart broke. He knew they weren't getting out of this one.
Dean saw the father nod his head at his boys in his peripheral vision. He looked up as the boys roughly pulled Sam up to his knees.
"No! Stop! Dean? Dean what's happening?" Sam asked the fear clear in his voice.
"It's gonna be ok Sammy. Everything's going to be ok," Dean said as he fought against his bonds making the rope bite into his wrists soaking his skin with blood. "No! Don't do this, please!"
"Dean?" Sam repeated his brother's name. "What's happening?"
The father stepped up behind Sam. "Pay attention boy. This will be you next," he said smiling and brought up his shotgun.
"No! I'll do anything please! Don't do this!" Dean begged.
Bender senior smiled. "You have lost this game son. But you've been the most interesting prey yet," he said and cocked the gun.
"No! Sammy! NO!" Dean screamed as he heard the gun shot ring out.
Sam turned onto his side reaching out for the lamp on the table squinting in the bright light as it softly lit the room. He rubbed at his eyes for a moment.
"Sam," Dean mumbled and jerked in his sleep.
"Dean," Sam said loudly frowning as he could've sworn his brother flinched in his sleep. He pushed off the covers and moved over to his brother's bed. Dean continued to murmur in his sleep and Sam noticed that he was covered in sweat.
"NO!" Dean screamed as he bolted up in the motel room bed. He looked around the room frantically, his breath coming in shallow pain filled gasps, various wounds were throbbing and his shoulder felt like the brand was still burning into his flesh. Movement caught his eye and he saw Sam sitting on the bed next to him.
"You ok?" Sam asked.
Dean looked at him for a moment trying to decide if he was a ghost or not. "S-Sammy?" he asked his voice rough from sleep as he reached out a shaking hand. His hand met with solid flesh and he let out a choked sob. Suddenly Dean pulled Sam roughly to him. Sam stiffened for a second at the uncharacteristic behaviour then returned the embrace.
"Oh God Sammy. You were… And Dad…." he said his voice muffled in Sam's shirt. He started to shake violently.
"Hey it's ok. I'm here," Sam said softly not liking the heat that radiated off his brother's skin.
Dean's grip tightened almost painfully. "Sam I'm sorry. It's my fault you're dead. Dad will never forgive me," he said.
Sam sighed heavily and rubbed his brother's back. When would Dean stop treating him like he couldn't protect or look after himself. After all he had been in college for two years without incident, well almost. "Hey I'm not dead. I'm right here. None of this is your fault," he said noticing that the shaking was beginning to subside.
"But," Dean protested weakly into Sam's shoulder.
"Dad's not mad at you either," Sam said letting go as Dean released him from the painful hug, concerned that his brother's hand held a death grip on one of his arms.
"He's not? How would you know?" Dean asked doubtfully.
Sam took a good look at his brother. He didn't like the glassy look in his eyes and how pale he was in the soft light. "Dad called just before we got here. You weren't making much sense so I took the phone. He ordered me to tell him what was going on and I did."
Dean looked away. "Great."
Sam shook his head slightly. "Dean he's concerned about you. He said he wasn't that far away and could be here in a couple of hours."
Dean nodded and let go of his brother fully convinced now that his little brother was alive and sitting in front of him. "Sorry man," he said wiping at his eyes.
"You gonna tell me what the nightmare was about?" Sam asked.
Dean shook his head. "No," he said flatly. This was his demon and his demon alone. Sam was his responsibility, always had been and always would be. This little trip into Hillbilly Hell served to remind him that he could never be too careful when it came to his little brother.
He winced as a pain shot through his shoulder. Reaching up he touched his chest through his shirt and his hand came away sticky with blood.
Sam frowned at the red stain on his brother's fingers and helped Dean out of his shirt. He grimaced at the burn and looked up suddenly angry with his brother. "Why didn't you say anything?" he demanded.
Dean shrugged immediately regretting the action when fresh pain lanced through his shoulder. "You were safe. That's all I cared about and besides I cleaned and patched it myself," he said grabbing his shirt and triumphantly pulling out the blood soaked gauze.
"You stubborn son of a bitch! This should have been treated hours ago, properly. It could be infected," Sam said angrily to him then got up off the bed. He got two wet towels out of the bathroom and grabbed the first aid kit off the dresser and sat back beside his brother.
"Sam?" Dean asked.
"What," Sam snapped back bringing out antiseptic from the first aid kit.
"I meant what I said earlier," he said.
"Which part," Sam growled pulling out bandages and putting them beside the bottle of antiseptic.
"Don't get lost again," Dean said quietly.
Sam looked up sharply at his brother's tone and saw the fear in his eyes. His anger fell away quickly and he raised an eyebrow as he sighed. "It's not like I planned on it."
"Yeah," Dean said.
"Besides," Sam said grinning at his brother. "It took two men to take me and you got bested by a little girl."
Dean laughed. "Yeah. What a bitch she was," he said then sobered. "Thanks for the rescue Sammy."
"It's Sam, and you're not going to be thanking me in a minute," he said as he brought the damp towel towards Dean's chest.