Disclaimer: I don't own them, but if I did Dean would be mine.
This is my first stab at a Supernatural fic so any reviews and guidance are welcomed.
Devils Trap Tag. Beware, there be spoilers.
Dean willed his body to move, willed the pain to stay at bay long enough for him to make it to Sam. His brother lay sprawled on the floor near their father, he was screaming in pain and clutching his head. In the middle of the worst vision he'd ever had to endure.
Sam squeezed his eyes tightly closed as another image bombarded his mind. Even behind his eye lids he could see his family broken and bleeding. Dad in the passengers seat, unconscious and turned at an unnatural angle. Dean in the backseat ,losing more blood than Sam believed a person could hold. Sam saw himself, sitting sideways, neck broken for sure. He saw it all as though he were there, watching them all die.
Then as quickly as the vision had appeared, his mind cleared and he slowly became aware of his surroundings. The cabin. Dad lay near him, breathing heavily. Dean, god where was Dean.
Sam turned his head to see his brother making slow, painful progress toward him. He crawled to meet his brother half way , helping to turn Dean over so that his head was resting in Sam's lap. Dean reached up a bloodied hand and gripped his shirt tightly.
Sam sounded sure but he felt anything but.
Dean released his hold on his brothers shirt. His hand fell limply to the ground. Sam looked him over, trying to keep his face neutral. Dean's eyes were glassy and it seemed to be taking all his strength to not succumb to sleep. Large diagonal gashes in his chest.
Sam saw worry , pain and panic in equal parts hovering beneath his brothers eyes.
"SAM YOU SHOULD HAVE SHOT ME!"
His father screamed the words, his presence temporarily forgotten by the brothers.
"YOU SHOULD HAVE ENDED IT"
"And killed you too? Sorry Dad but that's not an option"
John watched his youngest. Cradling his eldest in his lap. His boys were broken inside and out. Yet they could have ended it. The nightmare would have been over with one squeeze of the trigger. One moment to end the lifelong pain filled existence. But would it have been over? John knew there would be other things to hunt, other evils to banish. He turned his head away from Sam. Took a breath and sat forward, eyes locked onto Dean's bleeding body. His eyes were slits and his chest seemed to heave with every effort for oxygen.
"You should have ended it"
He whispered. Dean weakly shook his head. Summoning his last remaining strength he locked eyes with his father.
"It already took Mum. I'm not losing another member of this family to that son of a bitch"
"We have to leave"
Sam gently lay Dean's head down onto the floor. He squeezed his shoulder and stood and began collecting their things. John carefully slid toward his first born. Dean was too pale, too weak. His eyes held an anger which John knew would keep his son conscious. He knew the anger was directed solely at him.
"Don't ever do that again"
Dean had meant the sentence to come out with a convicted menace but knew he had to settle for the threatening whisper that escaped his lips.
"Don't you ever, ever ask Sammy to do that again. You hear me? That demon isn't taking another one of my family. I won't allow it. You hear me?"
"I hear you Dean"
John laid a hand on his son's leg, he could feel the tremors in his body, feel the will that was keeping him awake and he thanked it. Dean's anger, his pig headedness was keeping the boy awake and if he was awake, he was alive. John had watched the pain in Dean's eyes as the demon had mentally ripped him to pieces. He'd screamed inside. Trapped within his body, yet a part of him knew the words held a truth. He could see in his boy's eyes that he knew this too. Had he pushed them too far? Sacrificed their lives for his revenge? Either way Sam had had an opportunity to end the nightmare and he'd failed. His Sammy had failed. He had counted on him, knowing his thirst for revenge was as strong as John's, stronger than Dean's. John couldn't rationalise that. He heard Dean's words, he'd listened to his reasoning. Yet inside John Winchesters mind he concluded only one thing. If the demon had been inside one of his boys he would have pulled that trigger. He was sure of it. Almost.
Sam ran back in and helped his father to stand. He then leaned over his brother. John saw the determination in his eyes and knew from one look that Sam was going to do this alone. John wasn't needed right now. He stepped aside as Sam gently slapped Dean's cheeks.
"Dean? Dean man come on. Wake up dude, we gotta go"
"Yeah man, come on, help me a little here. Ya kinda heavy ya know"
Dean weakly held on to Sam's neck as the younger brother gently pulled him upright. Sam could feel the effort coursing through Dean's body and into his own. He wished he could take away some of the pain, give his strength to the life slowly ebbing away in his arms.
"I'm not heavy"
Dean's weak voice reached his ears and brought him smack back to reality.
"What's that ?"
"I'm not heavy, I'm your brother"
Dean's quiet laugh turned to a painful cough. Sam half carried, half dragged him out to the car. John was already there, holding the door open and seat forward for Sam to gently lower Dean into the back.
"We gotta get him to a hospital"
"What? What do you mean no?"
"We can't go that way. We're going to go another way."
"Sam, Dean has to get to the hospital. We are going to the hospital. Seeing as this isn't over we need to gather our strength for the rest of the fight"
"No dad, we need to lay low for a bit"
Both father and son looked at Dean. The one word seemed to exhaust him but he held their gazes regardless of his failing strength.
"Sammy, vision. Go where he says"
Dean closed his eyes but kept an ear out for any protest from his father. For the past few days he'd been questioning his orders almost constantly. Only some of his concerns did he voice, but if right now, his father refused to allow Sam to guide the family to safety, he'd be voicing a few more of his concerns to his father. He hoped. At the moment, any word spoken seemed to drain him further. God what a mess he was in. But his family was alive for now. That's what mattered. He focused on the pain and the anger he felt. His father had asked Sam to shoot him. What the hell? Did they both care about revenge to the point of sacrificing each other for this cause? He hoped not. He really hoped not. But his father had begged, and Sam had paused. Dean felt so alone right then. Felt so alone in his love for his family, and at that moment the demons words had slammed into him with a truth he'd never felt before. He needed them more than they needed him. They were his lifeline, his purpose. His reason. His oxygen. What was he to them? A speed bump? A door to break through should revenge lay the other side? What if he had been possessed by the demon. He was certain Sammy wouldn't have pulled the trigger. But dad? Dean closed his eyes trying to block out the thoughts that were pulling him further toward the darkness inside.
"Dean? Stay with me man, come on"
Dean looked up and caught his brothers concerned eyes in the rear view mirror. John was sat in the passengers seat, moving around, trying to get comfortable despite the bullet in his leg.
"You should have ended it Sam. This should be over right now. I thought you and I saw eye to eye on that"
"Some things are more important than the fight"
Sam again looked up to watch his brother. He was pale but he was fighting. Fighting to stay awake, fighting to stay with his family. That demon was wrong and Sam would tell him just that when they were safe. He needed his brother. He needed Dean in his life. But he'd left him. Twice. Yeah he'd come back the second time. But still, how much had that pained him? He'd been abandoned so many times. By father and brother. Sam's heart fell into the hole in his chest as he realised the loneliness and emptiness his brother must have felt each time he'd been left behind. They'd both gone for different reasons. Neither reason discussed with Dean. Each time he'd been left with total disregard for the hurt caused to the older brother, son.
Sam concentrated back on the road. Kept an eye to his right, an eye to his left. He kept the lights off as they made their way toward the only place he could think to keep his family safe.
He watched the road for trucks, other cars. He'd swerve the son of a bitch before he took them out. Although he felt pretty sure he'd made the right choice by hauling ass in the opposite direction to the hospital.
Sam pulled the car off of the road and along the dirt track which led to Bobby's auto repair yard. Dean was barely conscious in the back and his father had been quiet for the past twenty minutes. Yet Sam could feel the anger coming off him in waves. Did he want this ended that badly? Badly enough to hate his son for not killing him? Sam shook the thought from his mind as he brought the car to a stop outside the house. Bobby ran out of the front door, confusion apparent across his face.
"Sam? What the hell?"
One glance in the back of the car told Bobby all he needed to know.
"Bobby, I'm so sorry. I didn't know where else to go"
Sam reached into the back and pulled Dean toward him and out of the car. Bobby quickly moved to Dean's left side and slung his arm around his waist.
"You did the right thing Sam. Come on Dean, lets get you inside boy"
Bobby glanced to his right as John made his way around the front of the impala.
"No. No I'm not"
"You got shot?"
Bobby motioned to John's bloodied leg.
Dean sniggered and Bobby and Sam exchanged bemused glances as they carried him into the house. John followed, feeling less a part of his family than he ever had before.
They slowly lowered Dean onto the bed, Bobby ran to get towels and water while Sam carefully lifted his brother forward. Dean's head resting against Sam's chest. He slowly pulled his shirt from around him, carefully slid his arms out of the sleeves one at a time.
He then lay him back down. Dean focused fully on Sam. Using his brother as gravity to stay present. To stay awake. Sam smiled at him, brown eyes gazing into glassy green ones. Both sets full of love, and pain. He pushed his fingers through the holes in Dean's t-shirt and ripped the fabric from the neck downward, exposing his brothers bloodied chest. Sam attempted to keep the horror from his features but the gashes in his brothers skin were to the bone and still bleeding, albeit less than before.
"It's not that bad dude. Just gotta get you cleaned up."
Bobby walked back in and placed a bowl of warm water next to Sam, along with towels and gauze. He handed Sam a glass of water and patted his shoulder.
"You need anything else?"
"No, thanks Bobby"
"I'll be in the other room, tending to your Daddy, holler if you need me"
Sam smiled his appreciation, Dean attempted the same but his grin became a grimace as the pain made itself known once again.
Sam placed his left hand under Dean's neck and slowly raised his lips to the glass of water. After a few small slips he lowered the elders head back down and laid one of the towels in the bowl of water.
"Shhh Dean. I'm fine, just lay still"
"Sorry for not helping you"
Sam slowly washed the blood away from Dean's skin. The clear water quickly turned pink in the bowl as he removed more and more of the blood.
"What didn't you help me with?"
"I should have been stronger, should have known sooner that wasn't dad, I'm sorry you were put in that position."
"It's ok Dean, neither of us spotted it until it was too late. Now I need you to be quiet. Ok?"
"I'm gonna owe Bobby new sheets"
Deans gaze fell on the white cotton, slowly turning pink as the water ran from his chest, down his sides to pool on the bed.
"Dean, shut up"
"You shut up"
"No. You shut up"
Sam gave him what he hoped was a stern look. He rinsed out the cloth again and wiped more blood away. God, how much was there?
He looked up, ready to scream at his brother to be quiet if he had to, but found Dean's eyes had slid shut.
"Jerk" He whispered softly.
With another cloth he cleaned the blood from Dean's mouth, gently cupping his brothers chin with his other hand to make sure he got it all. His chest was covered with gashes, placing the gauze over the skin Sam pressed down lightly, dismayed as the white started to darken. God was he ever going to stop bleeding?
John gripped the edge of the chair as Bobby ripped his pants to get a better look at the bullet wound.
"My boys ok?"
"Sam's tending to Dean. But he needs to be in a hospital John."
Bobby cleaned the wound and then poured a generous amount of iodine over the bloodied hole in his friends limb.
"Son of a …"
"Hurts like a bitch I bet"
"You're enjoying this"
Bobby smiled but didn't answer. He probed the wound, trying to determine whether the bullet was still inside.
"You need a Doctor too you know"
"I'll be fine"
Bobby wound the leg with a bandage, satisfied the bleeding had stopped he stood and looked at his handiwork.
"They'll follow me you know"
"John, the fight is just beginning, you're safe here for the moment so let yourself regroup and then carry on after the bastard"
"I was possessed by it, I saw it's memories, I saw Mary on the ceiling, I felt it's excitement, it's power. It loves what it does and it's not going to stop, not ever."
Bobby looked down at his friend, he sensed what was coming next but he hoped to god he was wrong.
"I can't stay"
Bobby sighed. Nope, not wrong.
"Don't you leave those boys John, not again. They need you"
"They have each other. That's more than they'll ever need"
"You're thinking too early about this John. Get healed up, let Dean get healed up. Then think about the fight."
"I can't stay here, the demon knows me, it's been in me. It'll find me. If it does my boys won't have a chance."
Bobby felt the weight of those words, saw the love John had for his boys and in his heart he knew he was right. The demon would find them. If he found them hurt there was no escape.
John looked up at his friend. He knew what he had to do, he had to do it to save his family. If this night had taught him anything, it was that his boys weren't ready to end this. Weren't ready to do what was necessary to win the battle, to fight toward an end to the war. His soldiers weren't as strong as he thought them to be. He'd almost lost them. Had watched as blood had poured from Dean's body, his boy begging his father to save him, begging him to fight for the family that was alive, that was standing before him. Not lost in the fire. Had he been that blind? So focused on avenging the dead that he forgot to nurture the living? Yet he knew better than any other father that his boys needed to be fighting machines in order to win against the evil they hunted. He'd seen a change in Dean. His reliable, strong soldier. He'd been disobedient. He'd questioned John's authority. He'd become more like Sam. Yet Sam, the son he'd knew wanted this thing as dead as he did, hadn't ended it. Hadn't avenged his mother, or Jess. In that respect he'd become so much more like Dean. Dean who kept the family grounded. Who'd tried to keep his family together and alive but who'd been abandoned by the two people he'd sworn to protect.
And it was about to happen again.
"I need a favour"
Sam watched as Dean's eyes opened once more. He'd kept pressure on his brothers chest and thankfully slowed the bleeding down to nothing more than slight oozing. He was still pale though. Sam was sure he'd need a transfusion. He had to get him to the hospital and soon. He'd started to shiver from the blood loss. Slowly moving his head back and forth until Sam had placed his hand lightly on Dean's right cheek, gently caressing his thumb back and forth.
Dean had been stuck back in the cabin, watching as his chest ripped apart. Looking into his fathers eyes but seeing only the demon. Seeing only the evil. Was this how his mother had felt, looking into those eyes, feeling this pain. Was he about to burst into flames? He shook his head, he didn't want to die, he didn't want to leave his family. He didn't want any of this to be real. Please let it be a dream. Please let me wake up and have to deal with Sam mocking me and my nightmare. Please, please ,please. He'd felt a warmth on his face, felt a gentle caress and heard Sam's voice break through his panic. The pain in his chest had subsided a little. Enough, at least, for him to take a breath without forcing himself to not pass out.
"It's ok Dean, it's ok. Shhhhh, it's ok. We're safe"
"Quit talking to me like I'm friggin four"
Sam smiled down at his brother, he kept his left hand on Dean's face. His right hand was resting on the bed beside his brothers left hip. His arm across Dean's body protectively.
"Well, good to see you've lost none of your charm"
"In the other room with Bobby getting fixed up"
"You saved us psychic boy"
"Yeah, well. Wish I could have had that vision earlier so that we'd have known Dad was possessed."
"You did good Sammy"
Sam regarded his brother carefully. Dean was weak and vulnerable right now. It was the perfect opportunity for him to say the things he knew Dean needed to hear. There was no escape for the elder sibling.
"You know I need you right? You know you're the most important person in my life right?"
Dean smiled sadly, he blinked slowly and patted Sam on his arm
"No chick flick moments"
"Dean I'm serious. I need you man. I need you to know that. You're all I have left."
The boys were broken from their conversation by the sound of a car starting up in the yard. Sam rushed quickly to the window and then from the bedroom to the front of the house.
"He's getting a car for me Sam"
Sam stood before his father and felt his heart fall through the floor. John had a bag of provisions and weapons slung over his shoulder, he stood by the open door.
"Where?….you're not……….you can't leave!"
"I have to Sammy. The demon will be able to find me easier now. And when he does I don't want to be anywhere near you boys. You need to get Dean to the hospital once I'm gone. Get him there and get him well. Then we'll figure this thing out."
Sam was about to retaliate, to pick holes in his fathers plan until he convinced him to stay when a voice from behind caught his attention.
Sam and John both looked toward the door to the bedroom simultaneously, Dean was leaning heavily against the frame, slightly bent forward and grasping the wall weakly with his left hand. His right was held across his chest, as though he was trying to keep himself upright with the limb.
John started forward but his eldest interrupted him with a voice that held a strength his body shouldn't have been able to bear.
"Don't you leave us again. Don't you do it. I won't let you"
"Listen to me Dean. Sam. I have to. You're going to die unless I get the hell away from you. I need to be long gone. The demon will come after me, not you. It won't be able to find you as easily. If I lead it away you can get help."
Sam moved toward his brother as Bobby came back into the house. He handed John the keys to the truck he'd parked by the door, avoiding the boys looks he patted John on the shoulder.
"I don't agree, but I understand"
John looked at his two boys, drinking in their presence. Not knowing if he'd ever see them again. As he turned away he heard Dean shout and felt him hit the floor.
Without turning back John Winchester walked out on his boys again, and drove away wiping tears of pain, loss and guilt from his eyes.
Sam had seen Dean start forward toward their father, seen him let go of the door as he shouted to their father to stop. But John carried on walking out. As Sam made to go after him he heard a crash and ran back to his brother. He knew he couldn't stop his father from leaving. He knew deep down in his broken heart that he was right. They were in danger with him here. Dean needed help and if the demon found them like this there was no hope.
Keep the ones alive……..alive. There'd be time to avenge the dead. Right now he didn't want to add Dean to that list. He ran to his side as Dean began to crawl toward the front door, even as the car pulled away, the noise fading into the distance Dean tried to go after him. Sam rounded his brother and tried to pull him into a hug but his body slumped as unconsciousness claimed it's victim.
Dean once again clawed his way back to reality. Back to his family. The early morning sunlight pierced through his eyelids as he fought to open them, to see if he still had a family to wake up to. He was laying in his brother's lap. Sam's right arm cradling his head while his left wrapped around his body, holding him firm. He was rocking gently, saying the same words over and over again. Dean concentrated on his brothers lips as the words began to take form inside his head.
"Please don't leave me Dean, come on man. I need you. Please don't leave me Dean. Please don't leave me"
"Hey, hey man"
Sam's tears fell onto Dean's face as he leaned forward and hugged his older brother tightly, pulling away only when he heard his stifled moan beneath his shoulder.
"Sorry man. Thought I'd lost you there"
Dean smiled up at his baby brother. Memories began to flash through his mind. Dad? Oh god please no.
Sam's relieved smile faltered. He considered lying but this was Dean. His Dean who saw through all his shit.
He shook his head sadly. Trying to keep his smile but knowing he was failing.
"Shhhh, it's ok Dean"
"No no no no"
Dean's long tended and valiant walls crumbled before Sam's face. Tears fell away from the green eyes with almost as much force as the blood which had ran down his chest only a few hours before. He pulled Dean higher until his body came to rest on his chest. He felt the sobs shake Dean as he held him so close. He let his chin come to rest on the top of Dean's head while he rocked them both back and forth. Trying with all his might to will away the physical and emotional pain. Dean's cries escaped outward as he gave in to the grief, to the abandonment, to the pain and the loneliness. To the lost life for both him and Sam, to the horrors they'd had to endure. To his father, leaving. Again. He gripped weakly at Sam's shirt and held on with all his might. He didn't want to lose anyone else. He knew Sam wouldn't leave him again. He believed his little brother's words but he knew that neither knew what the future held. Dean was sure he'd end up alone. But until then he was going to hold on to the only family he had left. But he was tired, so tired. He leaned further into Sam's body and let his hand rest on Sam's chest, feeling his strong heart beat. Focusing on the reverberation through his own body. They beat in time with each other. Reassuring the other they were real, they were alive, they were in this together.
Sam breathed in Dean's scent as his sobs began to subside. Not through lack of tears. He felt that if he could, his brother would have cried until he'd drained himself of moisture. Dean's body had slumped against him and he knew they didn't have much time. His energy levels were depleted and his face barely held any colour. He needed help, but Sam didn't want to let him go just yet. Their bodies had become one so when Bobby placed his hand on Sam's shoulder, both men jumped, albeit Dean more weakly than Sam.
"We have to get to the hospital Sam. Dean needs those Doctors pretty urgently"
Sam sniffed and wiped his eyes with his left hand. He smiled lovingly at his brother, who attempted a smile back. He looked so tired, so frail. Sam gathered his strength and together with Bobby they lifted Dean between them and made their way out to the car.
They were in this fight for the long haul. Brothers in arms to the end. The demon would be killed, their loved ones avenged. But never at the sacrifice of one of them. Sam held Dean in the backseat of Bobby's truck as they made their way to the hospital. He kept his hand over his brothers chest, as much to keep the bleeding at bay as to feel the heart beat beneath. Dean kept his hand over Sam's.
They were to see this thing through together.
Come what may. They were together.