A/N: I just wanted to try something new. Give it a chance please. I was listening to this song while I mowed the lawn today (horrid job I tell you, stains my shoes green) and I just had to write this down. I guess its been done before, but I've never done it before. I'd be lying if I said Faye Dartmouth's story "Death's Other Kingdom" didn't inspire me. Please, read it. It is an amazing story and I cry every time I read it.
For those of you who read The Ghost Of Me and wonder why the hell I haven't updated… this is why. But don't expect one too soon now, I'll be in Canada for a few days and I've barely even started the next chapter. But be patient, plenty of angst to come for the boys.
Title: Do or Die
Summary: You said nothing bad would happen to me as long as you were around. But you're not around anymore. And that was the worst thing that could ever happen.
Warning: Some curse words, mature content. Takes place whenever anytime after the finale, assuming they all survived and continued with business as normal, well Winchester Normal anyway. Spoilers for all and for none.
As far as errors in the grammatical category… it kinda jumps tenses. Its mostly past but every once in a while its not… some are on purpose, others are probably accidents because I'm a spazz like that. But to protect my dignity, let's chalk them all up to artistic creativeness.
Oh, and just plain old stupid learned-how-to-fix-in-the-forth-grade errors, blame on my lack of a beta.
Disclaimer: Do or Die is a great song by Papa Roach.
Supernatural belongs to the CW network and the genius Kripke… I own nada. I just like to play with them.
Read, enjoy, and review.
You promised forever. Do you remember that? You promised over and over again, but you lied. How could you lie to me?
You promised forever. Almost just isn't good enough.
Don't you get it? You promised forever. Anything less doesn't matter.
You fight and you fight for this family, but the truth is they don't need you. Not like you need them.
You said nothing bad would happen to me as long as you were around. But you're not around anymore. And that was the worst thing that could ever happen.
Nothing else can hurt me anymore.
You're my brother. And I would die for you.
That was my promise. Mine. You selfish bastard, you took that away from me.
Today I saw my hero fall apart
The one who taught me to be strong
On the outside I look fine
But on the inside I am dying
My strength is overcome by pain
My love for you remains the same
The loneliness is sinking in
I have no one to free my sins.
We always knew you'd fall first. And damn you for being so fucking cool with it. Damn you for just lying down and accepting it.
We always knew you'd go down fighting. Damn you for never being more careful. You were always more reckless, if anything.
You knew you'd go out protecting me. Damn you for that, Dean, because you can't protect me now, from this, when I need you most.
I always knew I could never do it without you. And I really don't think we're going to stop being right.
I don't think you know how much I love you, how much I need you.
We always knew you'd fall first. But I don't think either of us has ever been so damned surprised. The bastard got the jump on us, and I've never been more scared.
We always knew you'd go down fighting. But I don't think either of us would have ever considered it to be this fight. I never thought—and I don't think you did either—that something so normal could even touch you, let alone kill you.
You always knew you'd go out protecting me. But I don't think you ever expected to jump in front of a fucking bullet for me. Demon claws, sure. But a bullet? No fucking way.
I don't think you know how much I can cry. I don't thing I've ever let you see. But I don't think I'll be able to stop now, if I start crying for you.
Neither of us expected to live long. But to get fucking carjacked on some random Thursday by some poor bastard who mad the mistake of touching your car? The guy was barely an adult, Dean. He has no idea what he was doing. It was just fate, I suppose… fuck fate. Fuck fate's Mom and grandma and sister and… just… and just fuck. I almost wish he'd been possessed or something. Something to explain why. And if he was possessed I'd have an excuse to kill him (not that I don't now) and I'd feel no remorse (not that I really would anyway).
I never would have imagined that. Sitting against the impala, holding you closer than you'd ever allow, trying to sooth you, because fuck, Dean. You should be dead by now.
He shot you in the head, Dean. The fucking sonofabitch caught you right above the ear and… fucking Christ I could see your skull and holy shit that can't be your brain…
There's barely any blood, just some clear shit I tried in vain to ignore. But you were in so much pain. You weren't even trying to hide it, probably can't even attempt to mask this agony. And damn it Dean, because that bullet had been meant for me.
When I was younger, I always thought that if you got shot in the head, you were a goner. End of story. I thank every God in existence that I was wrong, or that you were the exception, because maybe you can stay with me.
"Sammy…" You held my shirt in your shaking fists, wringing the fabric to the point I know this shirt will never return to normal. "Sam." Oh God, that was a sob.
"Yeah, Dean." I whispered and shifted you up higher so your head was resting on my chest. I was cradling you, I know that if you hadn't been so fucking… damaged, you'd have been against this.
"Sam." You said again and I realized that you just needed to speak, to see, to hear… anything to keep you anchored to this world because you were just so fucking close to falling off for good.
"Dean, you listen to me. Don't you dare give up, okay?" The tears and frame racking sobs came without opposition. I hadn't the strength to fight them.
Your glazed jade color eyes studied my face and I realized you were memorizing my features because this might very well be the last time you see them. But I won't accept that, Dean. I can't. I won't.
"I…" You swallowed and tried again. "I'm sorry, Sam… I can't." I turned and buried my head into the crook of your neck. It was a weird and uncomfortable angle for me, but I needed the contact and I was afraid to touch your face.
"You have to." I sobbed. "Please Dean. Hang on. Don't die." I took a deep trembling breath, because I knew you'd want to smack me. "I love you so much, big brother."
I've always known I would say those words to you one day, when you were dying in my arms because we always knew it would happen. But somehow this is so utterly unfitting. This isn't the way someone like you, someone whose done so much, survived so much, should die.
We always knew you'd fall first. We just never imagined you'd be able to catch yourself like that.
It's never too late to live your life
The time is now, its do or die
It's never too late to live your life
The time is now, its yours and mine
"He'll be okay."
I never knew I could love a doctor so damn much.
We always knew you'd go down fighting. And you did, in more ways than one.
"He's lost a lot, Sam."
"What do you mean?" Though I think I already knew. I think I knew before he told me you were going to be okay. Hell, I think I knew the minute I realized that bullet hadn't killed you instantly.
"There was some serious damage to his brain." He paused to gauge my reaction.
I never knew I could want to hit someone so damn much.
"Are you familiar to the symptoms of a stroke victim?"
I could only nod because all that I could picture was Anthony Hopkins hobbling over to Brad Pitt, with a chalkboard in his hands, sitting down and writing "Am Happy" with the fluidity of a three year old. Jess had cried so hard, I myself had felt a little teary eyed, though I'd never admit to it. But what I remember most from Legends of the Fall is the way Tristan reminded me of you. More so than the fact that he'd do anything for his little brother Sam.
Like you, Tristan always knew how he was going to go down. He, with a bear. You, for me.
"Nothing bad is going to happen to you, not while I'm around."
You fucking liar, what the hell is going to happen now then, huh?
You always knew you were going to go down protecting me.
Well you fell and you hit the ground, Dean. But I have news for you. I still need you big brother, because the hardest is yet to come.
I still need you here. I can't go this road alone.
"He remembers. He appears to think coherently, though that is slightly difficult to determine considering the medication he is on and the stress of his ordeal. But as far as we can tell, he seems to be fine mentally. He has trouble controlling his right side. His right eye doesn't open very easily and his he has limited, if any, control of his limbs on that side. But as we explained to him, that will heal dramatically with time and therapy."
It all seemed like news with a bright side. I could feel the 'but' or the 'however' looming over me.
"Unfortunately," damn unfortunately snuck right in there. Did I really deserve anymore surprises? "He's having a pretty hard time with speaking and he seems to have chosen silence, which is not uncommon or cause for alarm. He's merely frustrated with his con… situation."
He must have noticed the rise in me when he started to say condition. This is not a fucking condition, Dean. This is another bump in the road that we're going to get through and leave behind. Just like always.
"Hopefully he will respond differently to a familiar face. But remember, be patient with him and instill some patience in him as well. Make sure he knows that his current weakness is okay."
Right, like that is going to happen.
I've always known I could never do it without you. I'm beyond thankful that I don't have to try quiet yet.
There is a big bandage on the side of your head, covering up the wound and what's left of your left ear. But that bandage doesn't hide anything, but the hole in your head isn't the worst injury you harbor.
The worst part is the way your right eye is shut, almost like you're winking, but not even Dean Winchester is that big of a fucking asshole. The worst part is the way your right arm lays limp, leaving you hand turned up in your lap, fingers curled in, dead and lifeless. The worst part is you had given up.
These are the real injuries, the ones that will hurt the most and take the longest to heal.
I sat down next to your bed and just stared at you for a while. God, I never realized I could be so damn happy to see your face.
"Jesus Christ, Dean." I whispered and let my head fall forward. I was just so damn tired. Tired of it all.
"I… here." You whispered. I looked up and I could tell by the look on your face that you're displeased with the shaky caveman talk.
But, fuck Dean, you got shot in the head. I think those are probably the most wondrous two words I've ever heard. Ever. And I love the sound of your voice all over again.
Though it stuck me for a minute that you never said you were okay, 'here' was just as good. I suppose you figured it would be ridiculous to pretend to be okay, no one could be okay after what happened. Not even you, Dean.
I smiled at you and nodded, letting my head hang again. "I know." I whispered and swallowed. "I know…" I tried to laugh, because this was just so fucking ridiculous. Four hours ago we were arguing about McDonalds or Burger King and then suddenly you were dying in my arms and missing half of your skull.
That seems like a lifetime ago. It seemed like someone else's life.
But when my laugh came out as I sob I realized it was our life and there was no escaping the reality this time.
And that was enough to break me. I looked up and grabbed your hand too quick for you to protest. I brought it to my face and just held it against my cheek, staring at the scar right about your wrist. "Fuck…" I whispered and closed my eyes. "I thought I had lost you."
We always knew you'd fall first; I'd been lying to myself when I said I was prepared.
We always knew you'd go down fighting. Well, I'll you something Dean, we're going to join a new fight.
You always knew you'd die protecting me. And guess what? The only way to protect me now is to get better.
No more hunting, Dean.
It's always been dangerous and now… it's suicide.
I don't care if you feel like you have to do this. Even if it is for Mom. Even if its for Dad. I won't let you just jump back in front of me again like nothing has happened.
Too much has happened and I am just so fucking tired of watching you fall and never knowing if you'll stand up again.
And too bad if you don't care that it will kill you, because I do, Dean. And "haha" because for once in our lives I'm stronger and I can fucking tie you to the bed if I wanted to.
Don't doubt for one second that I won't do it. I'd rather have you hate me than dead. At least there'd still be hope then.
Quit for me, Dean. Mom is dead and she's not coming back. Besides, what do you bet me that she'd want you safe, and not running around trying to find new and exciting ways to land yourself in the ICU? And yeah, this is Dad's life, but it doesn't have to be ours.
He's our father, Dean, and despite the mistakes he's made in raising us, do you really think he'd ask you to continue now?
No, he'd tie you to a fucking bed, just like I'm tempted to do.
We've got to make some changes, big brother. Because I'm not going to let you take another fall for me.
Now it's my turn to help you out
'Cause you were there when I was down
It's hard for me to see you this way
Losing all your sanity
You helped me keep my dreams alive
Without you how will I survive?
It's time for me to be a man
Now I finally understand
I can't run anymore
I can't hide anymore.
We always knew you'd fall first.
You think you're still falling and taking me with you.
I know you caught yourself weeks ago and are taking two steps forward and one step back. And I'm okay with that.
In fact, I'm happy as a fucking clam about it.
"Hey, you hungry?" I asked, walking out the bathroom. I'd noticed as I toweled off my hair that I was starving.
You shook your head.
And I had to turn away to gather my nerves because you were cleaning our guns, just like you used to do so often with such skill before… and now you fumbled through the motions and had to use full concentration. You had set your tolls down and stopped completely when I asked you a simple question.
You are still incapable of multi-tasking. You even forget to breathe sometimes, at night mostly.
"Dean, you gotta eat." I said softly, walking closer to the bed. I had checked and rechecked all the guns for any type of ammunition that morning, just in case.
An accidental bullet to the head wasn't what scared me.
It was the one that killed you on purpose that scared the hell out of me.
You set the gun down again. "I'm not hungry." Again, I found the simplest things you did weighed down on my with a crushing heaviness I have yet to be able to explain.
It took you far too long to answer my question, and I realized that for you to piece together three words and speak them without faltering took more concentration and discipline than it used to take you to tell me to fuck off.
"You still need food." I said tiredly and swiped a hand over my face and through my hair. "Will you eat some yogurt or something if I pick it up?" I asked. You looked at me and let a small smile tug at the corners of your mouth.
"Peaches… and…" I knew you were searching for the words. You rubbed your clammy hands on your jeans and you wracked your damaged, not damaged, injured brain.
I remained patiently silent until my eyes caught yours and they begged me silently to help and please just stop the embarrassment.
"Cream?" I asked softly.
A genuine smile was my answer and suddenly life seemed a whole hell of a lot brighter.
"Okay, I'll go get us some peaches and cream." I promised. Dean smiled again and nodded, looking back at the guns.
I was almost at the door when you cleared your throat. "Prostitute."
I whirled around. "What!"
"Normally… sex with…peachesncream." You slurred the last part and I don't think it was on purpose. I shook my head and sighed disgustedly.
"Sorry, dude, but I'm living in this room too." I teased. You laughed and even though it was probably the worst joke ever, your laughter is enough to bring a smile to my face.
As I left I was hesitant to leave you alone with the guns—even though I know not a single one is loaded—because on the third day home you had asked me to kill you because living like this was just too much for you.
But I think you'd delved back into protect Sam mode and you know that would crush me.
"I'll be right back. Are you going to be okay alone? Or do you want to come?"
You bared your teeth and growled at me. I laughed.
"Gees, down Killer. Sorry." I left, but couldn't help one last jab. I opened the door and stuck my head in. "Shall I bring you back some kibble?"
"Hey, Sam." The cashier said with a smile.
Do you remember her, Dean? Her name is Jocelyn and we met her on your first day out of the hospital. You let her steady you when you stumbled. You didn't push her away like you did to me.
Maybe it was the fact that she's like you.
I tilted my head at the peaches, the cream and the painkillers because you pop them like candy right now and I don't have the heart to stop you.
She smiled and I realized how much I loved her face. "A nice little pick me up." She laughed and set her cane down so she could maneuver around the cash register better.
She was in a car accident. Almost severed her spine.
She was five.
She's twenty now and she needs a wheelchair on her bad days.
It's going to take time, Dean. But you can do it.
"Our Dad used to make this for us on his birthday, instead of cake." I remembered as I pulled a ten out of my wallet. Cake didn't exactly travel well or fit inside those tiny hotel refrigerators.
"That's sweet." Jocelyn said honestly. "I miss your brother, make him come around sometime. He's fun to talk to."
"Yeah, cause he's a real chatterbox."
"You just have to know what to say."
Okay, she's a sweet girl. But it pissed me off to know she could talk to you when you were so damn closed off to me. Why could she past your defenses?
"Sorry." She whispered and I looked at her. "I know it's hard, for both of you. I shouldn't…" She smiled sympathetically. "I talk too much."
"No, it's all right. I get what you meant." She handed me the bag and I smiled quickly, no teeth. "See you around."
"Hey, Sam." She called. "Here." She handed me a slip of paper. "Um, that's my number. Call me, if you ever have any questions or Dean needs someone to talk to. I know what he's going through, I can help you both if you need it."
I nodded my thanks and hurried to the car, my face burning.
We didn't need her help. We had each other. That's all we needed. That's all we've ever needed.
"Sam… just kill me."
"Dean. I'm not going to kill you. Don't be ridiculous."
"I can't… live like this."
"Yes you can. I'm going to help you."
I rested my head upon the steering wheel.
We are going to make it.
"Dean. I'm back." I called as I re-entered the room. "You wouldn't believe how much peaches and…" My heart jumped to my throat when I realized you weren't where I left you.
Disturbing images of you lying face down in the bathroom in a puddle of your own blood flooded my mind and I had to keep myself from screaming and diving into the bathroom.
Instead I walked calmly and knocked on the door. "Dean, are you in here?"
I sighed in relief and closed my eyes. "Just checking. I'm back."
"Captain… Obvious." The door opened and you grinned at me. Your face was flushed and I caught sight of some sweat on your brow. I reached out to feel your forehead and you're not quiet quick enough to slap my hand away before I feel the heat of your skin.
"You're a little warm." I said, worried.
"Taking a piss… like running a… mar… mara…marath…race." You explained, trying to pass it off as a joke. I know how frustrated you are. Believe me. I helped you zip and unzip your jeans for almost two weeks before you got strong enough to shove me away and do it by yourself.
"Mind if I take your temperature?" I asked softly and grabbed your arm, guiding you to the bed.
"Jerk." You muttered and I smiled widely.
"Bitch." I muttered back and you narrowed your eyes at me as you tried to come up with an insult to top me.
I laughed softly as I lowered you onto the bed. I tried not to look at the remains of your ear. A good portion of the side of your head was covered in scars and your ear was more or less a useless nub.
"We can do plastic surgery to repair the ear."
"What good will it do? He lost all hearing to it."
"We find it's a personal issue. Helps them a little more if they're almost whole."
And look what that plastic surgery had done? Now it was a bigger nub and slightly resembled an ear.
I made sure you were comfortable and rushed over to the counter and grabbed the thermometer and handed it to you. I watched as you put it in your mouth and fumbled ever so slightly to press the on button. I almost needed to sit on my hands to keep from helping you.
We sat in silence for a while and when it beeped and grabbed it before you could think to.
"Am I… gunna live?" You asked.
"101.5." I frowned. "Do you feel sick?" I asked and then regretted it. Of course you did…
You shrugged. "No more… than usu… usual."
I sighed heavily and looked at you. "It might be an infection, Dean. The doctors were worried about it. If it gets any higher I'll have to take you to the hospital."
Your face paled and you shook your head.
"No, Sam." You shook your head adamantly. "No hospital."
"Dean, it could kill you." I said softly, wondering if you realized how serious an infection could be.
"Let it." You whispered and laid back and turned onto your side, your back to me. I sat there in shock for who knows how long.
"You might be ready to let go, Dean. But I'm not." I whispered and stood up. I walked right of the hotel room without so much as another word. I slammed the door behind me and walked, hard and fast to the parking lot. It gave me a sick satisfaction to know you couldn't follow me.
I hope this fucking hurt you as much as you giving up hurt me.
I stopped and glanced back at the room. No, I didn't mean that. I don't want to hurt you. I never want to hurt you, but I can stand to be near you when you don't think you're worth living.
Because to me, you're the only one.
It crossed my mind to take the Impala and just drive until I wasn't feeling murderous anymore, but that probably wasn't the safest thing for me or any innocent animals on the road.
I just kept walking until I was at a park I didn't remember seeing on our way into town.
I stopped in my tracks at the sight of the swing set. I smiled bitterly, shaking away memories and walked over to it.
It didn't look like the chains would snap if I sat down, and my legs were beginning to ache. So I sat down, using my legs to push me back and forth as I stared at the clouds my breath was making in front of my eyes.
"Push me higher, Dean!"
"You're almost touching the sky, Sammy!"
"I'll say hi to Mom for you."
The swinging ceased then.
"Don't say that, Sammy."
"Mom's in heaven, and you can't go there yet."
"Once you're there, you can't come back. It's not your time."
"But Mom is waiting for us…"
I remember the smile you gave me. "No, she's still fixing it up."
"And when it's fixed?"
"Well, I'll go first and see if it's okay."
Even then you knew. Damn it Dean. Even then you knew you were going to beat me to the punch.
Seven freaking years old and you were all ready planning your death. I clenched my teeth and squeezed the chains until my fingernails dug into my hand.
"It's pure skill, Sammy." Dean boasted proudly as he strutted out of the bar, little brother in tow.
Sam rolled his eyes. "Those guys were drunk off their asses. You stole that money."
"Won it. Fair and square, Sammy-Boy." He grinned and shook his head as he pulled open the door of the Impala. "Don't knock our way of life. Believe me, you'll be thanking me once this money gets some food in you."
"Whatever De…" Sam stopped suddenly when something pressed against his back. Dean stopped, half in the car and half out, his smile long gone.
"Give me the keys." The man—he wasn't even a man, more of a boy—behind Sam said, eyes staring right into Dean's. Sam could feel the gun shaking against his back and knew he could probably disarm him in seconds. But the look in Dean's eyes made him think otherwise.
Dean stood and Sam winced as the gun jabbed harder into his back.
Dean raised his hands into the air. "Yo, man relax, I'm not going to try anything." Not will you've got a gun to my baby brother's back.
"Give me the keys and no one gets hurt." Said the shaky voice.
Sam rolled his eyes, shocked he used that line. He'd probably stayed up and rented every movie he knew featured any type of stick up last night and memorized the lines and techniques.
Sam would be genuinely surprised if he didn't have a gray ski mask over his head.
Dean nodded and took the keys from the ignition, keeping his free hand up where the nervous gunman could see it. Sam caught his brother's eyes for a brief second.
"Trade." Dean said calmly, the keys raised where the guy could also see them. "Let my brother come over to me and I'll leave the keys right here and we'll walk away." Dean bartered as he set the keys on the top of the car.
"Give me the keys first."
"Give me my brother first I alert that guy with the cell phone over there that we're in distress." Dean said adamantly. Sam smiled ever so slightly and knew Dean was going to fix this like he always did.
Sam felt the guy shove him gently. "Go." He walked over to Dean. His older brother grabbed his shoulders and squeezed, smiling in relief.
"Okay, now walk." Sam realized their big bad enemy was barely his age. He was a fucking kid and he was scared shitless.
And hey, no ski mask! Sam was honestly surprised.
Dean nodded at his brother and Sam reached for the gun he kept in his waistband while Dean tried to smooth talk their way out of this one.
"Listen, kid." Dean started, not even flinching as the gun was pointed at his forehead. "This car, it's like my family…"
"Hey!" The kid shrieked when he realized he couldn't see Sam's hands. "What are you doing? Let me see your hands!"
Sam raised his hands. Too quickly as it happened, because the handgun he's been reaching for as inconspicuously as possible landed on the ground loudly, attracting three pairs of eyes.
The gunman paled when he realized how badly he'd lost control of the situation.
Sam dove for the gun as he the teen cocked the pistol he'd stolen from his older brother's bedroom that morning.
The youngest Winchester got his hands on the gun almost simultaneously as Dean barreled into him and the kid pulled down on the trigger and a gunshot rang out.
He landed hard, cracking his elbow good against the cement and nearly smacking his face on the curb. He heard Dean grunt, just as the kid let out some fancy curse words.
Once the curses ended, Sam realized the kid was calling 911.
What an upstanding citizen.
Sam forced away the stars and sat up slowly. Dean was lying on his side too. He'd probably hit just as hard. Sam swore his brother could have been one kick ass football player, that or a wrestler.
He frowned when he saw his older brother had his hands against the side of his head and he was whimpering softly, but trying not to, as he rubbed his feet together.
"Fuck. Dean where did he hit you?" Sam asked, hurrying to his brother's side and ignoring the obvious.
There was no pool of blood though. No guts or other tissue on the cement, so he figured that had to be a good sign.
"Jesus Christ, I didn't know the fucking thing was even loaded." The kid whispered.
"Dean." Sam whispered, ignoring the kid all together. He touched Dean's shoulder and his brother gasped and his eyes flew open. "Dean, where are you hurt?"
"Head." Dean's voice was small and broken, almost a sob.
Sam's hand flew back from his brother's shaking shoulder and his blood ran cold.
He knew how to deal with a gunshot wound to an arm or a leg, even an occasional one to the chest or abdomen.
But the head… he hadn't a fucking clue how to repair a brain or skull.
"Let…" Sam swallowed, wincing. How had his throat gotten so dry so fast? "Let me see." Sam gently pulled Dean's hands back and his heart dropped to his stomach at the sight of the destroyed flesh and bone. Dean's ear was all but gone and Sam finally knew what an inner ear looked like.
"Fuck." Sam whispered and then pulled Dean into his lap as gently as he could.
The movement, despite how slight it was, made Dean cry out.
"Shit. Sorry. I'm sorry." Sam cried, stopping.
"Where's… the kid?" Dean asked. Sam laughed.
"He didn't get your car, Dean." Sam whispered and realized the kid was gone. Dean whimpered and Sam ran a hand over Dean's hair, as far from the wound he could be.
"Shh, Dean. It's going to be okay."
I meant that Dean. I still mean it.
You're going to be okay. I'm going to help you get there.
I turned around and jumped up. "Holy shit, Dean! You shouldn't be outside!" Not to mention chasing my ass around in the freezing cold. I rushed to your side and helped you to the swing I had been sitting in.
"Worried." You admitted. I smiled and nodded, all too familiar with that sensation lately.
Me too Dean. Me too.
"Sorry about that." I whispered and sat down on the other swing, though it creaked precariously, I was glad I was the one sitting in it. "Dude, how far did you walk?" I asked, noticing the way he was sweating.
You shrugged. "As far as you." You used your legs to push your body back and forth slowly on the swings. "I don't wanna die." You said suddenly and then looked at me. "Not giving up… or letting go." You assured me.
You sighed and let your eyes drop.
That connection I had almost felt between us cut off again.
"It's hard." You admitted. "I'm not… used to," you stopped and ground the heels of you hands into your eyes. "Being weak." You added in a whisper.
"You're not weak, Dean." I assured you, holding back on reaching over to you. But I did stand up and stand in front of you, hoping you'd look at me that way.
See me and understand what I was saying.
"I can't…take care…"
"Of who? Of yourself or of me?" You just stared. Your hazel eyes open and staring.
When I say open, I mean it in more ways than one.
"Dean, I don't need you to take care of me anymore." You looked away again. "And just because you can't hunt or play pool or do any of the worthless shit like you used to, does not make you weak! Not all strength is about the physical!" I grabbed your shoulders and got so close you had no choice but to look at me.
"Dean, I need you. Now, more than ever because this… this not knowing… it scares the hell out of me. Not knowing if you're going to be okay because you won't tell me, or pretend that you even give a damn about yourself, it scares the hell out of me. I need you to talk to me. I need you to hang in there and let me help you." I stopped and smiled through those damn pesky tears that were threatening to make an entrance. "Dean, please. I love you too much to see you go through this alone."
You just looked at me, eyes studying, trying to take it all that I had just unloaded on you. You raised your right hand, shaking and nearly limp, but you lifted it almost effortlessly and cupped the back of my neck. Then you surprised the hell out of me and pulled me into a hug.
"I here." You whispered and I sobbed/laughed into your neck and hugged you back as tight as I dared. "I'm not going anywhere."
We always knew you'd fall first. Turns out you caught yourself and in the end, you let me help you stand back up again.
We always knew you'd go down fighting. Well, that maybe true, but we're in a different fight now.
You always knew you'd go down protecting me. Apparently, your job isn't over yet.
I always knew I couldn't do it without you.
And it turns out I don't have to try for the impossible quiet yet.
We were both exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel. I laid you down on your bed and helped you get undressed.
We really needed to consider more permanent living situations. Perhaps an apartment somewhere?
Somewhere with Cassie maybe?
I tucked you in and wondered if you noticed the irony and role reversal.
"Need anything?" I asked, sitting on the end of your bed. You shook your head and I placed my hand on the lump that was your foot and squeezed it through the cheap fabric. "You sure."
Its sad that it took a bullet to the head and permanent brain damage to make touchy-feeling-self-help-yoga crap moments okay.
"Sure." You muttered and jerked your foot away. "No chick flick…" I laughed and let go of your foot.
Okay, apparently not even a bullet to the head made that okay.
"Okay." I said with a smile. "Get some rest." I made to kiss your forehead and laughed when your eyes widened. "Joking." I assured you and got up.
"Huh?" I asked as I switched off the light and took off my jeans.
"Did I… thank you?" Dean asked. I got into bed.
"This is my thanks, Dean." I explained. "For raising me."
"And… putting up with… your shit." You teased. But I could tell by the sound of your voce that you were almost asleep.
"Yeah, and that." I whispered back. "Night Dean."
I shut my eyes and drifted into a beautiful night of dreamless sleep.
Your phone woke me up at exactly five o'clock and at first I found myself wondering what hunt we were going on that needed up to wake up so damn early.
But the reality bitch slapped me and I realized it was a call from Dad.
"Hello?" I whispered, desperate not to wake you.
"Dean?" He sounded so relieved.
"Sam." I corrected.
"I got your message." That relief was gone.
"Dad, its Sam. You never seem to get these, or respond… but I just wanted you to know that Dean got hurt today, bad. He's alive, but… he's alive. Call us if you have any questions or if you care at all."
"Is Dean okay?" I looked over at your sleeping form, even in sleep your face was still lined with lingering pain.
"No. No Dad, he's not okay." I said bitterly. "But he's going to be." No thanks to you.
You should have been there! You shouldn't have left him. You shouldn't have left us…
"What happened to your brother, Sam?" You asked sternly.
"He got shot in the head." I answered softly, my throat suddenly dry again.
No answer from Daddy.
"Well… is he… can he talk? Walk? What's his condition?"
That damn condition word again.
"He's walking and talking good enough. He just… needs to heal inside too." I explained, hoping someone as cold as you would understand what that means.
"You're leaving again, aren't you?"
"Sam… I can't lose the trail."
"But you can lose your sons?"
"Call me when Dean wakes up and the two of you heal enough to get up. We'll meet up and finish this together."
"If you haven't gotten yourself killed by then."
"Can you put him on the phone?"
I turned and found you sitting up and watching me, surprisingly wide awake and—as the saying goes—bushy tailed.
I pointed to the phone and mouthed "dad."
With said eyes you shook your head.
I understand why. And I don't blame you for one second. To be honest, I don't think Dad does.
I don't think he expected any different. Nor do I think he wanted it.
Dad would have come straight to us had he talked to you and heard how hard you had to struggle to speak. He might be a cold bastard, but he's our father and he'd do almost anything to make everything okay.
Even leave the trail for a while.
But we're his sons, and you more than anyone understand that this crusade is something he needs to do so he can heal inside as well.
"He's still asleep, Dad." I whispered apologetically.
"Have him call me later, okay?" Dad asked.
"I will." I hesitated on hanging up. "Dad? Are you okay?"
"I'm close, Sammy."
"Are you sure?"
"Positive." And I knew by the intonation that you were, no need to question this time. "Do you want to be a part of this, Sam?" You asked. "Because with Dean…"
"He'll call you when he wakes up." I cut him off.
I could almost hear the sad smile in his voice. "I love you, Sammy."
"Love you too, Dad."
He sighed. "Can you put the phone to Dean's ear, so I can tell him something?" I put the phone to your ear and you frowned at first, but then you held the phone of your own free will and smiled.
"Dad?" You asked. "Okay." You listened for a while and frowned. "Be careful." You looked at me and nodded. "I will." I smiled as you looked away, obviously embarrassed as you said; "I love you too."
You handed the phone back to me.
"Bastard." Dad growled jokingly.
"We're fine Dad." I assured him. "Just… be fine too, okay?"
"I'll sure as hell try. Bye, Sammy. Take care of each other."
"Always have. Bye." I hung up and smiled at you, patting my stomach. "Dude, I'm starved. How about those peaches and cream now?"
Like I've said before. We've joined a new fight.
One without demons.
And until he stop hunting, it's a fight without Dad.
I smiled again as I have you your bowl in bed. "Lucky bastard." I muttered.
You smirked and I knew then that it would be okay someday.
It's never too late to live your life
The time is now, its do or die
It's never too late to live your life
The time is now, its yours and mine
"I don't blame him." You said suddenly, breaking the silence, with a little cream running down your stubbly chin.
"Who?" I asked curiously, peeling another peach for you. Happy that your appetite was coming back, even if it was just for peaches and cream.
Personally, I was getting sick and tired of them, and watching you eat them in bed. But you loved it, and that was good enough for me.
"Who shot me." You said casually. Though I almost sliced off my finger. "My car… is magnificent." You conceded.
I laughed in disbelief. "So you're saying you're not bitter?"
"Fuck no." You snapped. "I understand."
I rolled my eyes. "Okay Dean." I said sarcastically.
"Why do you think… he did it?" You asked. I shrugged and handed you a fresh bowl, taking your empty one, but not before you drank all the sugary, peachy cream.
"Maybe he didn't have a family. Or anyone to make him feel safe and loved." I offered.
"Sammy." You cooed, setting your bowl aside. You held your arms out. "Hug me, big lug."
"Shut up." I laughed.
You promised forever. You sure as hell better deliver.
"You fight and you fight for this family, but the truth is they don't need you. Not like you need them."
We need each other differently, but never any less than the other.
And needing isn't the same as loving anyway.
"You're my brother, and I'd die for you."
Not that you'd ever let me.
But I'll tell you something.
I won't let you either.
"As long as I'm around, nothing bad is going to happen to you."
Well I almost lost you Dean.
Thank God almost isn't good enough.
Review please... I need to know this didn't COMPLETELY suck.