Hey all! So, here's part 2 (the final chapter). I'm going back to finishing my other story now. I hope you all enjoyed this little one...
Thank you all so much for your reviews. It's so much easier to write when you know other people are enjoying the story. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Bubblez, LRP, Layla- Thanks for
reviewing and letting me know that you like it. See...I didn't
take too long to update. :-)
Oh- and this chapter was all wish fulfillment for me as the episodes of Season 2 have left me yelling, "Hug damn it!" at the screen every time. So thanks for allowing me to endulge in my little gratuitous hugging fantasy...
Overcome with emotion from the night's events, Sam let his gun drop to the floor and carefully laid down into a fetal position. He was shaking and he could feel his fingers slowly turn freezing cold. His back burned and throbbed and the pain increased Sam's cries. And to top it off, was the dull pain in the center of his forehead, where the gun had hit him. All the night's events melded together leading Sam to one inevitable conclusion…hunting sucked.
Pain prevented any deeper thought and Sam called out for his family, "Dad! Dean!" Desperately, he listened for a response, but all that he could hear were crickets and the wind rustling through the trees. Overwhelmed with a need for his father and brother, Sam tried again, louder, "Dad! Dean!" This time he didn't wait for a response, he just cried.
Sam laid crying for the next few minutes, gasping between sobs. He wiped his nose with his sleeve and hugged his arms to his chest. He wanted his father…he wanted his brother.
He looked at the creature lying dead a few feet away from him. He needed Dean to come back. Dean had said that bad things wouldn't happen if he was around, and he had been right. When Dean was there, nothing bad had happened. Sam had killed the beast without even getting scratched. Then Dean went away and look what happened. Sam nodded his head determined…from now on he would stay with Dean all the time. Then nothing bad would happen…just like Dean said.
Now having a plan to avoid future pain and terror, Sam began to calm. Gradually, his wracking breaths decreased into a silent stream of tears. His back still hurt fiercely and every time he thought about the pain, his lips would begin to tremble and his headache would increase.
Suddenly Sam heard the snapping of a branch as someone or something coming out of the woods on the other side of the truck. Fighting down his nausea, Sam held his breath silently pleading for whatever it was to not hurt him anymore. Then he heard the voice…it was his father.
All at once, Sam sprung to life, wiped off his tears, and ran around the back of the truck to see his father. He felt immensely relieved; his dad and Dean were back and he would be safe again. Sam ran around the truck and over to his father. However, he stopped short at his father's shocked face.
"What the hell are you doing out of the truck!" Sam took a step back, emotions turning from relief to fear in the blink of an eye. His father pointed a finger at him, speaking in a low voice, "I gave you an order Sammy. I told you to get in that truck and not move until we got back."
Inundated with fear from his run in with the Agrios and the anger in his father's face, Sam froze, barely breathing. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his brother looking at him, reading him. His father walked forward filled with anger. "Sammy."
Sam felt himself going numb; all the pain and fear was slowly drifting away. He couldn't answer his father; he didn't know what to say. So he just stood. As his father approached, Sam felt his face relax and his eyes begin to stare off. His father called his name again, "Sammy."
Sam stared blankly into the trees. His father crouched in front of him, grabbing his face and turning it towards him, "Damn it Sammy. You look at me when I'm talking to you. This isn't a game being out here. When I give you an order I expect you to follow it."
Sam processed the anger, but not the words. He had no reaction, he just continued to stare. Sam felt his father grab his shoulders, about to continue his rant, and then stop. Sam watched his father's face turn from enraged to panicked and concerned. His dad's hand came off of his right shoulder and appeared in between them. They both looked at it; the fingertips were covered in blood.
Sensing something was wrong from the silence, Dean came over and stood beside them. "Dad?"
Their father shook his head slowly still staring at his hand. Then, quickly, he turned Sam around and gasped. Dean got a second to look at the three long gashes that ran across his brother's back before Sam was whirled around again, back to facing their father.
Sam felt his father put a hand on his face, "Sammy…what happened?"
Sam felt detached; he had no feeling- emotional or physical. He was unable to answer his father and instead, continued his blank stare. Suddenly, his father looked up and over his shoulder, "Dean wait."
Sam heard his brother's voice call out from behind him, "I was going to check the other side of the truck. That's where Sammy came from."
Their father nodded, "I know. I'll do it. You stay here with him."
Dean nodded and put away his gun. Then he ran over and bent down next to his brother. Their father, in turn, pulled out his own gun and walked around the truck.
As the experienced hunter investigated the area, Dean turned his attention to his brother. "Sammy?"
Sam stared at the floor and Dean crouched in front of him to try again, "Sammy what happened to your back?"
Sam's eyes lifted and met his brother's. Dean was overcome by the emotion the eyes possessed. Sam had NEVER looked like that. The innocence, the joy, the admiration the eyes had once held had disappeared leaving no trace that those things ever existed. Looking into his brother's eyes, Dean felt a piece of himself disappear as well; Sammy might heal from this night, but Dean knew his brother would never be the same.
Dean's face grew sad, expressing his reaction to his brother's pain, "Sammy. Come on buddy. Talk to me."
Sam said nothing, but continued to stare blankly. Dean's eyes began to grow watery, "Sammy please…you're scaring me."
The shock and apparent absurdity of that comment crashed through Sam's soul, jolting him out of his shell. Dean never got scared. Dean never cried. Dean was perfect. Dean knew everything. Dean could handle anything. How could Dean be scared?
Sam's thoughts resumed, his eyes focused, and the pain returned full force. Tears quickly filled and then spilled out of his eyes. Thrust back into pain and fear, Sam immediately reached forward and wrapped his arms around his brother's neck, clinging as though his life depended on it.
Dean moved to hug him in return, but then stopped as he remembered Sam's back. Not wanting to inadvertently inflict pain on his brother, Dean moved his arms down and lifted Sam up and instantly Sam's legs wrapped around his waist.
Sam was heavy; it had been a long time since Dean had picked his brother up. Sam was too old for that now, but tonight Dean bore the weight without complaint. Sam shook in his arms as heaving sobs wracked his frame. Unable to do much under his brother's weight, Dean began to rock back and forth in an attempt to calm Sam.
Finally their father came back into view. He immediately bent down at Dean's shoulder to look at Sam's face. He put a hand on Dean's back and Dean stopped the rocking. Their father spoke, "Sammy? Come on son, I need you to look at me."
Sam ignored his father and continued crying into his brother's shoulder.
Dean watched out of the corner of his eye as his father tried to remove Sam's arms from around Dean's shoulders, presumably so he could look at Sam. But Sam resisted and Dean choked as his brother squeezed tighter. All those 'squeeze as hard as I can' hugs had been paid off. Sam seemed to be well trained in how to perform a death grip.
Dean heard his father sigh as he gave up trying to extricate Sam. "Dean?" Dean turned so that he was facing his father. "Bring Sammy over to the truck; sit him on the edge of the bed."
Dean nodded relieved, Sam's weight and crushing arms were beginning to get to him. Dean walked over to the back of the truck and did as his father had asked. Now seated on the truck, Sam was slightly taller than his brother and used the added height to wrap his arms further around Dean's shoulders and back. Dean made a choking sound as Sam leaned forward more, pressing his shoulder into Dean's neck.
Careful of his brother's back, Dean gently loosened Sam's grip and pulled his shoulder from his neck. Sam sat back slightly and Dean could once again see his brother's face. Sam's death hug had become a death grasp as he clenched both of Dean's upper arms with such force that Dean was positive there'd be bruises.
Dean stared at his brother. Sam was trembling, although the hysterical crying had stopped. Tears streaked his face, his nose was running, eyes were bloodshot, and he looked around wildly as he sat. Suddenly, their father appeared next to them holding a first aide kit. Dean turned to his dad, "Dad, what happened?"
His father answered as he removed alcohol, peroxide, and bandages from the kit. "The door's been ripped off the truck, and I found a dead adult male Agrios and Sammy's gun."
Dean was surprised, "Sammy took down an adult male?"
Their father looked up and briefly smiled in pride, "Shot him in the head and the leg."
Dean smiled and looked at Sam expecting his brother to relish in the pride they were showing him. But Sam's face was anything but happy and proud. Instead, his face radiated misery and torment. He stared blankly past his family seemingly unaware that they had been talking at all.
But that wasn't the case. Sam had heard the surprise from his brother and the pride from his father, but somehow he couldn't find any happiness in it. Normally he would have been delighted to surprise his brother- Dean was not easy to shock. And earning his father's pride? That was an absolute honor.
Earlier today, Sam had wanted nothing more than to make his father and brother proud…to impress them. But now…he didn't understand it. Their pride seemed to make no sense. Where was the happiness in ending a life? What was there to be proud of? He had been terrified and blindly shot into the air as a matter of survival. There was no pride or happiness in survival, at least not to Sam. The experience had been horrible and Sam WOULD have been happy - if he never repeated it.
For the first time in his life Sam began to question if he was different from his family…if he wanted different things than they did. He never thought of it before. Before, if dad or Dean said it was good- then it was good. If they said it was bad- it was bad. If they said he should be proud- he felt proud. But tonight? Tonight Sam's emotions and ideals took a turn and for the first time, he began to think for himself.
Awareness once again crept into Sam's thoughts as he watched his father try to pry his right hand off of Dean's arm. Dean's voice came through his ears, "What's wrong with him dad? Why isn't he answering us?"
Their father shook his head with a haunted look and gave up on the hand. He looked at Sam's face, smoothing out the hair behind his son's head. Sam said nothing. He watched his father take a deep breath and draw Sam's head towards his chest. Sam didn't fight the pull, but didn't let go of his brother's arms either.
Once his head was against his father's chest, Sam felt his father carefully hug him (not touching his back) and kiss the top of his head. The tension seemed to melt from his body and he leaned into his father's hold. Even the hands released their clutch, falling limply to his lap.
Dean began rubbing Sam's left arm in a slow soothing motion and Sam relaxed even more. The safety of his father's arms and his brother's touch sent all sadness and pain from his thoughts. Sam closed his eyes as he began to drift into sleep.
Dean turned to his father as he watched Sam's eyes shut, "He's falling asleep."
His father sighed and nodded, smoothing Sam's hair. Dean continued stroking his brother's arm before he bit his lip and spoke again, "Dad?"
Their father looked down at him and Dean continued, "I thought you killed the male yesterday."
He had tried his best not to make it sound like an accusation, but it was one and no matter how it was presented, the content was the same. Dean held his breath as he tried to read his father's face. At first he thought his dad looked angry, but then figured he had imagined that because that's what he would have expected. Staring at his father's face, Dean found that he couldn't pick out any emotions. Somehow the man had managed to hide them all behind a blank mask. Dean viewed him in admiration, wondering if someday he'd be able to guard himself like that. A skill like that would come in handy when facing down an enemy.
Finally, their father spoke, "I killed a male yesterday…must have been a single boar." Then his father shook his head, anger and regret showing on his face. Dean heard the words, although he knew his father wasn't whispering them to him. "I was stupid. I knew Sammy was coming. I should've made sure of how many adults we were dealing with." His father shook his head again, "I never saw the marks of a second male."
Dean sat quietly, a little sorry he had brought it up. He didn't like to hear his father admit to mistakes. He didn't like to know his father made mistakes.
The man spoke again, this time at Dean, "Your brother should have been with us. He's going to need to learn to follow orders."
A part of Dean flared up in defense of his brother, and he spoke without thinking, "You told him he could stay in the truck."
There was no masking emotions this time; anger flashed on the hunter's face as he turned to Dean. "Watch your attitude Dean. I can't have him questioning me during a hunt. He could get hurt…or killed." His father kissed the top of Sam's head- case in point.
Dean nodded and mumbled, "Yes sir."
Their father sighed and took a step back, guiding the sleeping Sam towards his brother. Dean moved forward and arranged his brother so that Sam's head was on his shoulder, facing their father.
A pair of scissors was used to carefully cut off the back of Sam's shirt. Pain entered Sam's awareness gradually lifting sleep as the bloody shirt was peeled from the gashes. Sam moaned in Dean's arms, shifting away from the pain. Dean leaned his cheek against his brother's head and resumed stroking his arm in an attempt to soothe him.
By the time the shirt was off, Sam was once again awake, although still lethargic from his short nap. He held his arms loosely around his brother's waist. Sam blinked as his father's face appeared in front of him. "Sammy? I need to clean your back now son. This is going to hurt, but I'll try to be quick, ok?" Sam gave no sign that he heard the man.
His father put his hand on his cheek and tried again, "Sammy?" Sam said nothing. Dean looked to his father for an explanation and grew nervous seeing the fear in his father's eyes. The man leaned down again, "Sammy, tell me your name."
Dean held his breath waiting for Sam's answer, but none came. Once again he looked at his father and felt his pulse quicken as he watched his father close his eyes in defeat. Dean's fear intensified when his father reopened his eyes and Dean saw that they were filled with tears.
"Dad? What's wrong with him?"
His father took a breath and shook himself out of his reverie. He looked over at Dean's worried face and tried to be reassuring, "He's just scared…because of what happened." Then he patted Dean's shoulder sounding more confident, "He'll be ok once we get him home."
Dean accepted the reassurance and prepared himself for his brother's pain. Their father picked up the alcohol, steadied himself, and then poured it over Sam's back. Immediately, Sam screamed in pain and began crying. Dean hugged his waist with one hand and continued stroking Sam's upper arm with the other. Sam's arms moved up and hugged his brother's torso. Sam's face turned, burying itself in Dean's shoulder.
Their father worked quickly, as promised, washing out dirt, cleaning the gashes, applying ointment, and bandaging them. The middle gash had required stitches, but compared to the pain of the alcohol, Sam hardly felt them. Throughout the ordeal, Sam tried to ignore the pain. At first it was difficult, but as the ministrations went on, and the pain from the alcohol receded, Sam found that he could focus on his brother's rubbing on his arm as a way of distracting him from the pain.
Finally, to the great relief of all three, the first aide came to an end and Dean watched his father put the first aide kit away. Sam had once again relaxed under his brother's touch and was beginning to doze off. Their father turned to Dean, "I've got to finish this and burn the Agrios bodies. Can you get him into the truck?"
Dean nodded and as proof, lifted his brother up. Unprepared, Sam began to slide out of Dean's hold, but Dean shifted, pushing up his brother's weight. Their father smiled at Dean, "Good man Dean. Get him into the truck; I should be done with the bodies in ten minutes. Get your gun out and look alive once you're in." Their father looked around, "I think we got all of them, but…"
Dean nodded, he understood. His father had missed the second male, so he might have missed more as well. Dean reassured his father, "Don't worry dad. I got him."
His father smiled again, squeezing Dean's shoulder, and then turned to unload the gasoline from the truck bed. Dean made his way with his brother, into the truck. Once in the truck, Dean arranged it so that Sam would be seated between him and their father. Sam's sleepy head laid against his chest and Dean's left hand resumed its comforting stroke on his brother's arm. Dean's right hand held the gun.
Dean began thinking as he waited for his father to return. In a way, his dad was right. Sam shouldn't have refused to obey their father in the middle of the hunt. Sam should have come with them. If he had been with them, he wouldn't have gotten hurt. But their father was as much to blame as Sam was. Their father was in charge. No matter what Sam had done, it was their father who had finally allowed Sam to wait in the truck alone. At the very least he should've had Dean wait with Sam. How was he supposed to protect Sam if Sam wasn't with him? Dean shook his head making a vow not to ever let this happen again. He looked down at the head of hair tucked under his arm, "From now on, when we hunt…you and I always stay together."
Thinking Sam was asleep, Dean expected no response, so he was shocked when he felt Sam nod against his chest in agreement.
Dean opened his mouth to talk to his brother, but was interrupted when his father jumped into the truck. The driver's door was still missing, but it didn't seem to bother their father who quickly turned on the ignition.
Sam lifted his head from its place on Dean's chest, "Dad?"
Both boys watched as their father looked down, relief and love radiating from his eyes at the sound of his son's voice, "Yeah Sammy."
Sam's gaze reached his father's heart, "I don't like hunting." A sad recognition of the comment showed on their father's face before it was quickly shook off, his expression returning to relief and love. Sam felt his father smooth out his hair and then the truck was thrown into drive…calling an end to Sam's first hunt and leaving a family of dead Agrios and an nine-year-old boy's innocence in it's wake.
Please let me know what you thought. What parts did you like (if any)? What did you hate? Review and help bring a bit of joy to my life!