Here it is! The ending at last! Thank you guys for your AMAZING support. Thanks to my beta too!
By the way, I got a very interesting review (wasn't signed, so I couldn't reply it directly) wondering if it wasn't too selfish of Sam to think about shooting Dean first, and only later to considercommitting suicide. Well, I admit I hadn't thought that kind of reading could be done, but I guessit makes sense. My take on the scene, though, was different: Sam is pretty confused at the time, that's obvious, but he's not confused as in "I'm actually thinking about killing my brother" confused.I don't think he would ever do that.However, he is confused enough to think Dean will buy that Sam's ready to shoot him, and the older Winchester will surrender at the threat. When Sam understands Dean is not going to do that, (aka, he's discovered the bluff), he does consider shooting Dean in the leg. After all, he's convinced at the time that if Dean stays with him, he'll end up killed, so yeah, he'd hurt him a bit if that means saving his life. But both Sam and Dean know that that wouldn't stop Dean from following his brother. Last resort is suicide then. Does this make any sense to you?
Enjoy the chapter!
Dean released his breath, yet relief refused to manifest. That had been too easy. Something was wrong. And he knew what it was when he watched in alarm as Sam directed the gun to his own head.
"Sam…" Dean hissed, "Put.The.Gun.Down."
"This is the only way."
"No, it's not. It's not," the older hunter stressed, holding Sam's gaze intently. "Listen, I understand you're upset, but you're not in your right mind right now. You have to trust me."
"I trust you."
"Then prove it!" Dean shouted, desperately.
Sam jumped and swallowed hard, but his finger remained on the trigger.
"I just want to protect you…" he cried, begging Dean to understand.
Sam was hysterical. But Dean was beyond terrified, and he could no longer contain his temper.
"Protect me? Protect me? You think killing yourself is going to protect me?" Dean yelled.
"You'll be fine. You'll find Dad!" Sam assured him, tears rolling freely down his cheeks.
"You kill yourself, you kill me, Sam!" Dean retorted bluntly. "You kill me, you hear?"
"Now, do it! We've been here before! If you're so sure you want to kill your brother, pull the damn trigger!"
"That's not what I want…"
"THEN STOP BITCHING AND PUT THE GUN DOWN!"
"NOW, SAM. NOW!" Dean roared.
Pressing the barrel of the gun harder against his temple, Sam sobbed and closed his eyes. Dean used that moment of distraction to jump on his brother just like a lion would. Grabbing the gun, he twisted Sam's arm and pinned his baby brother against the wall where he attempted to force Sam to let the firearm go. His fierce determination didn't waver, in spite of his brother pained cry, but when Dean finally took the gun from him and tossed it to the floor, Sam's knees gave way and Dean's first instinct was to stop his little brother's fall. Both brothers landed on the carpet, with their arms and legs awkwardly entangled.
For the next few seconds, neither of them said a word. Dean straightened up with a groan and managed to rest his back against the wall, where he pressed the heels of his hands on his eyelids and tilted his head back. He took a moment to catch his breath, since his heart was pounding so hard in his temples that his head was starting to throb to keep up with the rhythm. Slumped dejectedly between his legs with his elbows on his knees, Sam whimpered quietly and buried his head in his hands. It was hard to believe how a 23-year old man the size of Sam was able to curl up into such a shaky, little ball.
"Jesus, Sam," Dean whispered under his breath, his eyes moist. "Come here."
Dean reached out to grab his baby brother's shoulder and pulled Sam's back roughly against him. The tiny Sammy-ball snuggled into Dean's embrace. Sam's sobs intensified, and the tremors that shook his body became Dean's own as they passed on from skin to skin. Dean wrapped his arms around Sam's back and chest and cradled his little brother protectively. He could feel Sam's racing heart against his palm and the erratic rise and fall of his chest. For some reason, the scattered glass on his brother's hair still upset Dean deeply, and this time he did run a hand through Sam's hair to shake it off.
"Look at you," Dean muttered softly.
His own voice, distant and thick with emotion, was barely recognizable to his ears. Aware that he was dangerously close to losing it, Dean chuckled inwardly.
"You've got to be more careful. You're going to cut yourself."
Sam didn't fight him, but cried harder as he leaned into the touch. Clutching onto the distraught gasps and the rapid pulse that were his reassurances that Sam was really alive, Dean let his baby brother shift and rest his head on his shoulder.
Dean's mind absently registered that this was the first time Sam had voiced his name since he had found him rocking on the floor with Sarah's body in his embrace. And never before, since Sam was a little child, had his name on his lips sounded so much like a plea. A plea that said, "It hurts."
He wordlessly held Sam tighter and pressed his cheek into Sam's hair, breathing into it as part of a battle for composure lost in advance. As adrenaline gradually wore off, Dean felt self-control slipping away from him little by little. He couldn't stop the tears that began to fall and wouldn't bother to try. At that moment he felt barely able to grasp one thing at a time, and nothing in the world was going to make him lose his grip on Sam.
"Dean," Sam repeated against the crook of his neck.
A plea that said, "Make it stop."
"I got you, kiddo," Dean whispered back.
"Shhh, I'm here," he said, reassuringly.
Dean swallowed hard, but couldn't stop a teary laugh from escaping his throat.
"Yes, Sam," he admitted with unusual candor.
"Why?" the younger brother croaked.
"Because you scared me, " Dean replied honestly. "I thought I was going to lose you."
Sam's sobs subsided a little, but Dean still sensed a raw vulnerability coming off of him in waves.
"You said you were never scared," Sam muttered.
"Well, I lied."
"I'm sorry, Dean. I just...I don't know what..."
"It's okay. You're okay now."
Sam took a ragged breath. Dean continued to stroke his hair and his back gently until Sam ran out of tears and relaxed in his big brother's hug.
"I'm sorry about Sarah, man."
"I know," Sam said and sighed. "Dean?"
"I-I'm scared too"
Dean squeezed his brother's shoulder possessively and pulled him even closer.
"It's going to be fine"
"You really think I'm not cursed?"
"I know you're not cursed."
"But what if I am?"
"But what if…"
"IF you were cursed," Dean said, cutting him off, "we would figure it out. That's what we do. We fight curses."
"Yeah…yeah, I guess." Sam said and then paused before adding, "Thanks."
"For not letting me go."
Dean snorted softly. He knew that sooner or later he would have to get a grip on himself and stand up. He would have to get Sam to his feet, and he would have to make sure that they were hitting the road before sunrise and that nobody was following their tracks. He knew they probably would never mention any of this again, but also knew that no matter how far they went, eventually both of them would have to come to terms with Sarah's death. Sam would never be the same after it, and neither would Dean.
But for the time being, all that mattered was that his brother was hanging onto him, and they had made it through the night in one piece. Everything else would be fixed in time.
"We're stuck together, remember?" Dean said. He closed his eyes and finally allowed himself to relax now that he was sure Sam wouldn't be vanishing anytime soon. "I'll always be there for you. Don't you ever doubt that."
That's it, folks. I'm sorry, I've got this thing for happy endings. Well, bittersweet endings, I guess. But still. What do you think? Any final comment? I was toying with the idea of writing a short coda, but I'm not sure it's really needed. For now, I declare this fanfic COMPLETE!
You've been wonderful. Thanks for your time!