Aftermath

By infinite shadow

Disclaimer: I don't own anything recognizable in the following story. Anything recognizable belong to the CW, WB, and all.

Author's notes: If you haven't seen the season premiere of season two yet this is a tag to the episode In My Time of Dying. Contains spoilers for this episode so consider yourself warned. I'm sure other more talented writers have put their spin on that marvellous episode but here is my take.

This was scratched out very quickly and I hope it makes sense. Seriously not my best work, but wanted to get it out there. A shout out to lynxlan who gave this a very quick beta tonight. This looks loads better after you reviewed it. Thanks as always for helping me get the words out properly.

Anyways read and enjoy. As always feedback is craved and appreciated.

0000000000000

Dean opened the motel room door and slowly walked into the small room. He was on overload and was having a hard time processing everything that had just happened. His body ached and chest throbbed from the remnants of his wounds from the demon.

Placing his duffle on the bed closest to the door he glanced over at his little brother. Sam had just closed the door softly and went to the other bed. He half collapsed, half sat on the end of the bed. He didn't drop his duffle bag but clenched it tightly in one hand and stared blankly at the dresser in front of him.

Dean looked around the room trying to think about how they got to the motel and got the room. He quickly dismissed the notion as it made his head hurt. Anyway it didn't really matter in the scheme of things. At least Sam was here and safe even if he looked completely out of it.

He wanted to ask his younger brother if he was ok, but he already knew the answer. Neither one of them were ok. They both wanted their father back.

Sam felt this odd disconnected feeling almost as if he was trapped in a surreal dream and he couldn't get out. Any moment now he was going to wake up. Yeah that's what would happen. He was going to wake up. The accident never happened, the demon hadn't possessed his father and everything was ok. The Impala would be parked just outside their motel room freshly washed and waxed. Everyone was alive - everyone. Pastor Jim, Caleb and Dad were alive and well. Dad would be alive. Dad would be alive. Dad would be alive. Dad…

"I'm going to take a shower. Get some sleep," Dean said and paused for a second as he headed towards the bathroom. He placed a hand on his brother's shoulder and squeezed slightly. "Hey."

Sam looked up as he finally registered that Dean was standing in front of him squeezing his shoulder. He looked up into his older brother's concerned gaze.

"Did you hear me? Get some sleep," Dean said softly.

Sam slowly processed the words. Wasn't he just trying to convince himself that this was just a horrible unending nightmare? The pressure on his shoulder increased slightly and Dean's eyes narrowed slightly.

"Yeah ok," Sam said but he knew he wouldn't be sleeping. By the look on his brother's face he didn't believe him but Dean nodded anyway.

The younger hunter watched as his brother slowly went into the bathroom and closed the door. Sam's gaze didn't waiver until he heard the shower turn on.

He slowly stood up and opened his bag. He didn't want to sleep, but he could look like he was making an effort to please Dean. His movements were sluggish as if he was working by rote. After changing he stretched out on the bed and leaned up against the headboard.

Closing his eyes his mind began sorting through the events of the day. His breathing picked up and his eyes bolted open.

"Oh God what have I done?" he whispered.

0000000000000

Dean leaned over the sink. His body aches had been eased by the shower, but nothing could curb the ache in his heart. His father, his own personal tower of strength and boyhood hero was gone. The dream of being a family again shattered the moment the doctor called the time of his father's death.

Dean would never see his father again. Ever. Never hear his rough voice, never hear him fight with Sam, never… His mind trailed off as his body shook almost violently.

Suddenly he turned and heaved into the toilet. He sunk down slowly and rested up against the cold tub. Running his hand over his face he tried not to cry. He tried so hard to keep it together but the tears fell anyway. Dean sat there silently letting the tears fall and for a few moments he allowed himself to let the weakness show. Then he pulled himself together and reminded himself he wasn't alone. The one good thing he had left in his life was in the next room no doubt finding a way to blame himself over this entire mess.

Dean wiped the tears off his face and slowly stood. Splashing cold water on his face seemed to clear the fogginess in his brain. He dried off and opened the bathroom door. He glanced around and found his brother sitting in bed leaning up against the cushioned headboard of the motel bed. At closer inspection Dean noticed that Sam was breathing heavily, he had sweat rings around his arms and neck, and he was very pale. He held the bedspread in a death grip and he hadn't seen a panicked look on his brother like that for a very long time.

Dean took a deep breath and slowly walked toward his brother moving silently between the two beds.

"Sammy?" he said softly.

Sam's head shot up and Dean saw the distress in the younger man's eyes.

"It'll be ok Sam. Really," Dean said.

Sam shook his head. "No. No it won't."

Dean sat down on Sam's bed facing his brother. "Look Sammy I know you've lost a lot in the last year. But we'll get through this."

Sam closed his eyes and swallowed. "No Dean you don't know. You were in a coma. You don't know what he asked me for. And what I got for him. You don't know."

Dean reached out and grabbed Sam's arm not hard enough to hurt but hard enough to get his attention. He did not like the tremors he could feel running through his sibling's body.

"You're not making much sense there kiddo," Dean said and was surprised when Sam just shook his head. He slammed his head back against the headboard.

"Hey whoa there. Take it easy. Sammy open your eyes and look at me," Dean ordered as calmly as he could. He hoped that he looked calm to his brother cause his little brother's behaviour was beginning to scare him.

Sam opened his eyes and Dean almost flinched at the terror laden guilty look that focused on him. His expression must have shown something because Sam's breathing sped up and Dean was sure that he was past pale and was going grey.

"Sam calm down," Dean ordered quietly hoping to head off a total panic attack.

"No," Sam panted. "You. Don't. Under. Stand."

"Yeah I get that man, but you need to calm down. I don't need you passing out on me here," Dean said.

Sam shook his head and his breathing increased. "Can't. Breathe."

"Sam listen to me. If you can talk you can breathe," Dean said and grabbed his hand. He held the hand to his chest. "Breathe with me Sammy. Come on slow deep breaths."

Sam nodded and clenched his eyes closed. Dean could see him try to take slower breaths.

"Good Sammy," Dean said keeping his voice low and even. "That's right. A little deeper now, good. You're doing great. Slow and easy little brother. Slow and easy."

After a few more minutes Sam's breathing had returned to normal and Dean let go of his hand.

"That's good Sam. Now slowly and calmly try to tell me what happened while I was in the coma," Dean said.

"I didn't know Dean I swear," Sam said and his breathing increased.

"Easy Sammy. I'm not mad or upset and I promise whatever it is I won't get upset. Just tell me ok?" Dean coaxed.

Sam looked at him for a moment and nodded. He took another deep calming breath. Dean noticed that he purposely looked away and back down to the threadbare comforter.

"While you were asleep Dad asked me to do a couple of things. Get the arsenal out of the car, bring him the colt," Sam said and paused for a moment. "He also gave me a list of things he needed."

Dean frowned at the mention of his beloved car. Man he missed her. "Yeah so Dad gave you a shopping list. And," he prompted when Sam had been quiet for too long.

Sam shifted uncomfortably on the mattress.

"Sam are you hurt I mean more than on your face?" Dean asked as for the first time truly taking in his brother's bruised appearance.

Sam ignored the question that he really wasn't sure how to answer. "He said the stuff on the list was for protection. He promised that he wouldn't go back to hunting the demon until we were all healed. But when I met up with Bobby he told me that it wasn't for protection at all."

Sam shifted again under his brother's scrutiny.

"Sammy what did Bobby say the stuff was for?" he asked.

"Summoning," Sam answered.

"Summoning?" Dean repeated.

Sam let out a shaky breath. "Yeah and Bobby came through as usual. A full duffle of everything Dad needed to summon the demon. I confronted him about it. I screamed at him. I accused him of being more interested in the hunt than in you a few doors down di-," Sam choked on the word.

"Hey I'm ok kiddo. I didn't die. I'm right here," Dean said.

Sam nodded and took a deep breath. He looked up at his older brother and Dean sucked in a breath at the tormented look.

"Dean he promised. He promised that he wouldn't hunt until we were recovered. He promised," Sam said so softly that Dean had to strain to hear the last two words.

"I shouldn't have believed him. I shouldn't have left the bag in his room but I believed him," Sam said and looked away. "Why did I believe him?"

Sam brought his knees up and leaned forward moving himself into a ball. "I shouldn't have believed him," he whispered.

"Sam look at me," Dean ordered.

It took a moment but Sam finally brought his eyes up to meet his brother's.

"The doctor told us it was an aneurysm brought on by one of his wounds," Dean said. The older boy hadn't believed a word the doctor had said about the cause of his father's death. "What do you think happened?

"He must have summoned the demon. It makes sense, right? He had everything he needed. I mean I delivered everything he needed right to him and now," Sam looked away. "Now he's gone Dean. He's gone and the last thing I did was have a fight with him."

"Sammy this is not your fault. Jesus little brother I am going to have that tattooed on your forehead and make you repeat it every morning," Dean said.

"Dean this is not funny," Sam exclaimed.

"Yeah I know," Dean said quietly.

Sam looked away and Dean could see the anger simmering just beneath the surface. Dean didn't hold any anger towards his father he just felt bone weary exhaustion. He wanted to crawl under the covers and sleep for the next century.

He sniffed loudly and cleared his throat. "Listen up Sam cause I am tired of repeating myself. This is not your fault. Even if you hadn't brought Dad the supplies he would have found a way. You know he was always resourceful that way. Dad was bound and determined to take on that Demon whether it was a sneak attack or a straight on attack by bringing the son of a bitch onto his turf on his terms."

Sam looked down and shook his head. "Then I made it far too easy on him," he said softly. "Dean what are we going to do now? We've lost Dad, Pastor Jim, Caleb and who knows who else Meg got to before we exorcised her."

Dean sighed. "Sammy man I know I'm supposed to have all the answers but all I have are questions. Starting with where's my car?"

"Dad's gone and all you can say is where's my car?" Sam asked incredulously.

Dean smirked at his response then turned serious. "If I could bring Dad back I'd do it in a second. You know that right?"

"Yeah," Sam whispered. "I know."

"Look Sam there are a few things that we need to take care of here over the next couple of days," Dean started.

"Yeah," the younger man said.

Dean swallowed heavily trying not to think about what he had to do to his own father's body. There were times he really hated fire.

"But I was thinking that when we're done we could head for Bobby's. Take some time. We'd be safe there and we could work on the car. I mean if Bobby," Dean paused. He didn't really remember the accident and he had no idea what kind of shape his car would be in.

"Bobby's got the car Dean. I made sure," Sam said softly. "You're not going to like her condition but I told him that if there was one part that was working she could be fixed."

Dean blinked rapidly a couple of times and nodded as he looked away. "Thanks Sammy."

"Dean?" Sam asked.

"Yeah," he said roughly.

"I don't think I'll be sleeping tonight," Sam admitted.

"Yeah me neither," Dean said and looked up. "Bar?"

"Bar," Sam agreed and crawled out of bed. A short while later he was ready to go. But one look at his brother who had his legs bent over the side of the mattress and was lying on the bed staring up at the ceiling still dressed in sweat pants and t-shirt made him second guess their decision to go to the bar. Dean was pale and he knew he shouldn't be going anywhere.

"Dean?" Sam ventured.

"Yeah Sammy?" Dean answered.

"I gotta go get something. Be right back," Sam said and grabbed the door handle.

"You ok?" Dean asked as he lifted his head off the bed and looked at his brother.

"Yeah," he said and left.

Dean lowered his head back to the bed and shook it slightly. They were both far from ok. He couldn't seem to muster up enough energy to get himself off the bed. It was almost as if he wanted to call it quits. His dad was gone. Gone. Somehow he couldn't help but feel like he'd failed him. The demon had won this round and his father had paid the price. If he'd just found the courage to shoot back in the cabin then maybe his father would be alive. Sam wouldn't have had to shoot his own father. He was the oldest. It was his job to protect Sam from everything. Why hadn't he just sucked it up and shot his father?

He'd failed Sam and he'd failed his father but he could make it up to Sam. He'd never have the chance to make it up to his father. If he eventually did make it right his father would never know.

Dean ran a hand over his face surprised to find it wet. Damnit he was supposed to be the strong one but he felt like he was coming apart at the seams. Where the hell was his brother anyway. He really needed a drink. But more than needing a drink he needed his father here to yell at him to tell him how badly he'd screwed up. Then he'd help him put things right. God he just needed his dad. He hoped he was ok wherever he was.

His musings were cut short as the door swung open and no one entered for a moment. Dean bolted up only to see Sam come in with a case of beer then go back out and come back with another one.

Dean frowned. How long had Sam been gone?

Sam smiled slightly at him and shrugged as if he'd heard the question. "I uh wasn't checked into the hospital and they wouldn't let me stay the first night. So I stopped on the way back to the motel. I've been keeping them in the trunk of the rental car to keep them cool. There were three," he said and shrugged again and opened the box.

He brought a cool beer to his brother. "Thought we could stay in?" Sam said.

Dean nodded. "Good idea."

They spent most of the night drinking through the two cases of beer and reminiscing about their childhood and various haunts. Some time around three am Sam stumbled out to the car and brought back the bottle of Jack Daniels.

He held it up to his brother as if for inspection. "Dad didn't wake until the next morning. When he did I picked this up for when he was released."

"He would've appreciated it Sammy," Dean said softly. He opened the bottle and held it up slightly. "For everything you taught me Dad and everything you gave to me thank you will never cover it."

Dean took a long drink and passed the bottle to his brother who sat beside him at the table.

He looked at the bottle for a moment. "I wish you were here Dad," he almost whispered and took a long drink.

The tone in his brother's voice brought tears to Dean's eyes. Damn the kid shouldn't have the power to do that anymore. He sniffed loudly and took back the bottle. He took another long drink relishing the burning sensation on the back of his throat.

At some point during the early morning they ended up sitting beside each other on Dean's bed leaning up against the headboard. The bottle of Jack Daniels was almost empty and light was beginning to peek around the curtains. Dean took a drink and tried to pass it to his brother. But Sam didn't take it. Through heavy lidded eyes Dean looked over and saw Sam had his eyes closed and was leaning slightly against him.

"Light weight," he slurred and grinned affectionately at his brother then grew serious. He looked down at the bottle and decided there was just enough left for one more. He held the bottle up slightly.

"We'll make it right Dad. I promise," he whispered and didn't notice the lone tear slowly slipping down his cheek. He brought the bottle up to his lips and drained the bottle.

He put the empty bottle on the floor and pulled the blanket from the end of the bed over him and his brother. "Night Sammy," he whispered.

The End.