Summary: Dean finds a reason to fight. A missing scene from Simon Says.
A/N: This one is for Sunrize, who I promised at the SFTCOL(AR)S forum that I would write this piece. I now believe she owes me a fic, but we'll see what happens :) This is an attempt to gratify the potential limp factor of the ep while also explaining why on earth Sam just lay there at the end of the ep. Beta'ed by geminigrl11, as usual, so all brilliance is due to her.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, never did, never will.
His head hurt.
No, scratch that. His head didn't hurt. His head throbbed, agonizingly, pulsating with a sharp pain that jackknifed through his skull so hard his vision blurred.
He blinked and realized that maybe that was just the concrete mere inches from his face.
He was...lying down? Taking a nap on the pavement?
Then he heard the voices, somewhere barely over the sound of his own heart in his ears.
"...you call them up, go out for a drink..."
Why did he know that voice? Think, Sam, think. It was important--more important than the grittiness of the ground beneath his hands.
"The man with the yellow eyes..."
Sam's stomach turned violently. The Demon.
His memory came trickling back in waves of urgency. He had to get up, had to help, had to stop this from getting any worse. Andy, Webber, the girl--what was her name? ...and where was Dean?
Sam struggled to push himself up, but light exploded behind his eyes and he blinked blindly.
His eyes were unseeing, but in his vision, he saw everything, everything he didn't want to see, and his muddied brain struggled to keep up with it. The girl dying, Andy screaming, his brother, a gunshot--
But Sam couldn't stop it, he hadn't stopped any of it, and the more he fought, the weaker he became, until he was kissing the pavement once more.
Never point a gun at something you don't want to kill.
His father had told him that countless times. Guns weren't toys after all, but it wasn't as if John Winchester could keep his sons away from weaponry, not with all the danger they faced.
Gun training had started early. By the time Dean was nine, he was a better shot than most men, and it earned him the right to stay home alone with Sammy in his care, the rifle always nearby if needed.
He'd been a rambunctious kid, and once when they were staying in a decrepit farm house, Dean had taken aim at stray cat.
He shouldn't have been surprised that he nailed it, but when his father found the carcass in the yard, John had given Dean quite a lecture.
"You don't waste bullets, and you don't get used to shooting things that shouldn't be shot."
Even hunting had its rules.
When Sam was 10, he'd joked about shooting Dean in the foot and his father had grounded him for three weeks.
So needless to say, Dean didn't point guns at things he didn't want to kill.
He wanted to kill Webber.
He didn't know why the kid was evil, while Andy was relatively harmless, but at this point, Dean wasn't sure it matter. Webber was evil, and they hunted evil--even Sam agreed on that point. He didn't know how he'd incapacitated Sam, but there his brother was, sprawled on the ground, with Andy and Webber arguing loudly while the girl cried in the background.
He'd been out of the action long enough. He understood why Sam had asked him to stay back, but things were different now, and Dean wasn't about to trust his brother's life to some untrained kid and a psychotic mind-controlling killer. If he could just keep out of sight, keep out of range, then Webber would have no power over him.
He was wrong.
It wasn't the first time, but this time might well be the last.
When he found the barrel of the gun pointed at his own chin, his finger trembling on the trigger, he knew he could pull it. Because he never pointed his gun at things he didn't want to kill.
What's dead, should stay dead.
It was all wrong, too wrong, but it would be all right.
He couldn't stop it, even if he wanted to, and at this point, he wasn't sure. And the voice kept saying it would be okay.
A gunshot shattered the night.
Dean thought he was dead.
He was pretty sure the shot had blown the back of his head off.
He was pretty sure there was no way he could have survived that.
Then he breathed.
He wasn't dead.
The back of his head seemed rather intact.
He dropped the gun, half shocked, half disgusted. Telepathy. The damn kid could control minds telepathically.
Anger and embarrassment washed through him. He'd been mind-raped--again. He'd never been envious of Sam's abilities, but he sure as hell wished he could pick up some of that immunity Sam seemed to have.
Dean suddenly remembered why he'd had the gun in the first place.
Scrambling to his feet, Dean stumbled out of the brush and toward the road.
There were two bodies on the ground.
A strangled cry left his throat as he ran to the taller of the two forms. "Sam?"
Falling to his knees, he tried to focus. Sam was on his stomach, head turned away from Dean, and Dean could see darkening bruises on the back of Sam's neck.
Fingers trembling, Dean reached out, relieved to find a strong and steady pulse.
Carefully, Dean rolled Sam, who moved without resistance into Dean's arms. He pulled Sam into his lap, willing his kid brother to wake up. "Sam," he coaxed, his fingers on Sam's face. "Give me a sign that you're in there."
There was no response.
"Is he okay?"
It was Andy, and Dean finally remembered the rest of the situation. The younger boy was staring at him, and Dean could see shades of terror and confusion washing over him as he stood trembling, the gun lax in his hands, pointed toward the ground. Dean recognized something in Andy's shell-shocked appearance--something he had seen from the first moment he'd met the kid. There was something pure about him; even in his deceit, he was innocent.
Or had been innocent.
Dean could see the look in his eyes and he knew that Andy would never outlive that sensation of pulling the trigger, of killing his own brother.
Swallowing hard against it, Dean averted his eyes.
Then he looked to Webber, bleeding on the ground, from a bullet that had saved Dean's life. He supposed that Anson Weems had been innocent once too. Lying on the ground, still now in death, he just looked like another kid, a little too much like Andy, a little too much like Sam.
Power had been Webber's downfall, and that scared Dean, because he had seen Sam's power too. And it certainly seemed as if the man with the yellow eyes could get to anyone, anywhere, whenever and however he wanted to, and Dean wasn't sure he'd always be able to protect Sam against that.
Then he looked at Sam, still limp in his arms, eyes closed against the world, and Dean didn't know where his kid brother fit in. Sam's visions were getting stronger, more frequent, though Sam still had no control over them. Except for one bout of telekinesis, Sam hadn't shown any signs that he could control anything, much less use his powers for evil like Webber or Max, or even for self-gratification like Andy.
But the Demon said it has plans for Sam, and had stalked his kid brother in the most terrifying ways. Dean wondered how long they could hold out. How long Sam could keep the visions from manifesting more and stronger. They already used the visions to save people--and Dean knew that the more they used them, the more Sam experienced them, the more powerful Sam would become in using them.
What if Sam learned to focus, to turn them on and off? What if he learned to predict the future with enough precision to change it?
It would be a weapon that could be used to defeat anything, maybe even defeat the Demon--but Dean wondered if the Demon would use it to defeat them.
Dean could never envision Sam becoming like Max or Webber. Sam was no killer. Of that, Dean was sure.
But for the first time, after hunting 22 years, all the signs were telling them that the Demon was getting stronger. He was getting to more people in more places, and he had his eyes on Sam. No matter what Dean told Sam, he was pretty sure that he didn't have a clue how to protect Sam from whatever the Demon had in store for him.
Sam may not be swayed by dreams of a man with yellow eyes, but their time in the cabin had taught them all that the Demon had other techniques of persuasion.
With a sigh, Dean looked back at Andy, who still waited expectantly for an answer. "Yeah, I think he's okay."
Andy nodded absently, then seemed to shudder as his eyes drifted back to Webber. "I killed him."
Dean could hear the sounds of shock in Andy's voice, and tried to remember a time when he had felt that way.
But he could remember Sam, the first time he killed, even though it had been something evil. Sam's voice had shaken with that same uncertainty and fear.
It was the same tone he used now when he talked about being a murderer.
Andy killed for self-defense. Webber killed for his own benefit.
Sam--Sam was somewhere in between.
He sighed. Andy was just staring at him, clearly waiting for direction. Then Dean remembered the girl as well. Webber was dead, but none of them were okay, and Dean didn't want to muster the energy to take charge of this anymore.
Dean cradled Sam closer, wishing his brother would wake up. It was their policy to run as soon as possible, and he knew Sam had taken far worse beatings, but Dean wasn't sure he cared anymore. After all, he had no one else to answer to, no one else's orders to follow. It was just him, and his unconscious brother, and this awful sense that something worse was coming for them all.
"Go take care of Tracy," Dean ordered, his voice thick. "I'll take care of this."
Dean had taken care of things all his life, so, despite how tired he felt, how much his head hurt, it came like second nature. Gently, he laid Sam down, rolling him on his side to better inspect the damage.
The sun was beginning to rise, and Dean could hear Andy talking softly in the distance. The dawn made the red welts on the bad of Sam's neck more visible, and the blood on the base of his skull looked dark crimson.
There was a gash just at Sam's hairline, and Dean figured that was the point of contact that had done Sam in. He fingered the wounds gently, and deduced that Sam would have a headache, but that he'd be okay.
Satisfied, he rolled Sam back onto his back and set to rousing his brother. Tapping Sam's face, he called, "Time to wake up. Come on, Sammy. Wake up now."
Sam grunted, scrunching his nose in annoyance as he tried to roll away from Dean's touch.
"That's it. I knew you were faking this whole unconsciousness thing."
Sam's eyelids fluttered before finally opening. "Dean?"
Dean grinned. "Yep. It's about time you woke up. You missed all the fun."
Either Sam's head hurt too much or he was too tired, but he didn't respond to Dean's joking. He struggled to move, apparently trying to prop himself up.
"Careful," Dean ordered.
"It's just a knock on the head," Sam said, pushing himself up on his elbows.
Dean glared, placing a restraining hand on Sam's shoulder before he could raise himself any farther. "I think we've enough coma problems recently. So just take it easy."
Memory darkened Sam's face and he stopped resisting Dean's hands. "Webber?"
Sam's eyes widened. "What happened?" he asked, his body unconsciously pushing upwards.
Dean guided Sam gently into a seated position. "Andy shot him."
Pain radiated through Sam's body and he tried to focus through it. "But why? What happened?"
"What do you remember?" Dean asked, concern tingeing his voice.
Sam grimaced. "Trying to tie Webber up," he said. "We taped his mouth."
"Too bad mind-control boy could do it telepathically," Dean quipped.
"Yep, made the girl whack you upside the head."
Sam frowned and winced. "I don't remember that part."
"You were kind of unconscious, so I wouldn't think so."
Sam rolled his eyes. "Wait, how would you know? Weren't you supposed to wait by the car? So he couldn't get to you?"
Dean stifled a groan. He'd been hoping the stick to the head would have addled Sam's logic enough so he wouldn't put those facts together. "I wasn't just going to sit around and trust your life to Andy. I mean, I like the kid and all, but it's not like he's trained for this stuff."
"But you said it was Andy who killed Webber."
Dean shifted uncomfortably. "Webber may have used his mind control thing on me just a little."
Sam's eyes widened again, this time a tinge of panic coloring them. "What?"
With a sigh, Dean finally said, "I was going to take him out. I was in the bushes--I didn't know he could do it telepathically. Next thing I know, I'm pointing it at my chin."
"That's when Andy stopped him." Dean tried to sound casual. "And we're all fine, except for, you know, Webber, and you, who apparently does not have as hard of a head as we once thought."
The humor was lost on Sam. "I should have stopped this."
"You were unconscious."
Sam wasn't about to be reasoned with. He shook his head. "You almost died. Again. That's not something I'm okay with."
"Well, I didn't."
"No thanks to me," Sam said, casting his gaze downward.
"Sam...come on. You can't control this kind of stuff."
"Maybe I could. I mean, Webber, Max, even Andy--they learned to control their powers."
"Yeah, and two of them wound up dead because of it. Your powers are bad enough without you trying to hone in on them."
"Dean, you don't get it do you? I have a responsibility. To you."
Dean's breath caught in his throat. "What are you talking about?"
"You're my brother and you've given up everything for me, pulled me from the fire more times than I can count. And yet somehow when push comes to shove, I'm never able to save you."
"That's not true."
"In the cabin. I couldn't save you there and look what happened. And in the hospital--I couldn't do it their either and Dad died because I failed. Tonight--it was Andy, not me."
Dean's heart pounded and his palms grew clammy. "You've saved me before, Sam. Like with the scarecrow in Indiana. Or the time I nearly died from a heart attack. That was all you."
"That was a reaper bound by black magic. I just got lucky. And if I hadn't left you in the first place, the scarecrow never would have been a problem."
"Just stop it, okay?" Dean insisted harshly, sitting back on his heels, his mind reeling.
Sam fell quiet for a moment. "I just...," he began, his voice soft, broken. "I don't know what I'd do without you."
There were tears in Sam's voice and Dean felt himself go numb.
"I know you say it's not natural for you to be alive, but there's nothing natural about our lives. There never has been. And you deserve to live. More than anyone. Especially more than me. Because how long, Dean--how long until I become the things we hunt? How long until the Demon comes back and takes what he's been staking out since I was six months old? And if I can't save you for the simple things, how will I ever save you from myself?"
Dean's eyes stung and he couldn't catch his breath. He shook his head, and looked away, denial surging through him. "Sam, it's not like that--"
Dean was cut off by the abrupt sound of Sam throwing up.
Dean's shock dissipated as he turned hurriedly back to his brother's side, grasping his shoulders. "Easy, Sammy," he cooed gently. "Breathe through it."
The retching left Sam spent, and he would have collapsed to the ground again without Dean's strong grip holding him up.
Dean arranged Sam against his chest, letting his kid brother's head loll against his shoulder while they both panted to regain their senses. Sam's mind was befuddled by a head injury and a string of guilt that Dean had never comprehended, and Dean as conflicted with the burden of a life he didn't think he deserved but knew it was his duty to cling to.
Maybe it had been his time to die, maybe that had been his destiny.
But maybe Sam was supposed to be a killer, using his powers for evil.
That was a destiny Dean would always fight against. And if that meant defying his own in the process--well, that was a price Dean realized he might be willing to pay.
Sam was pushing away, trying to sit up of his own volition. He was shaky, but he seemed to find an equilibrium and sat facing his brother.
"I'm sorry, Dean," Sam said quietly. "I don't know how to make any of this better."
Dean clenched his teeth and forced a humorless laugh. "Shut up. Your head wound is making you all girly."
Sam seemed to sigh, and for a moment, he looked like he was about to say something else. But then he laughed and met Dean's eyes with a smile. "Least I have an excuse--what's yours?"
"Don't want everyone to think I'm heartless. You have been getting yourself clocked a lot lately."
Fingering the back of his head, Sam winced. "Sticked and phoned, actually. Let's not give anyone any ideas."
"At least it beats that choking thing you had going last year."
"Still better than getting thrown into walls as much as you do."
Dean grinned at that. His back had taken more than its share of bruises of the last year.
He dragged Sam to his feet. The morning had broken, clear and crisp on the horizon, and the sunlight illuminated the scene--Andy and Tracy, Webber's body--and another terrifying piece of the Demon's puzzle.
He clasped Sam on the shoulder, squeezing a little when Sam swayed. "What can I say, Sammy? Chicks dig scars."
Sam steadied, straightening to his full height. His eyes lightened, and the pain seemed to ease from his face. "We're going to have to get our story straight with Andy and Tracy."
Dean shrugged. "Somehow I don't think it's going to be a problem getting the cops to believe anything we decide."
Sam snorted. "Probably not."
There was a pause, and both brothers looked out at the scene before them, a macabre reminder of just what danger there was, of just how lucky they were. Andy and Webber had never had the chance to connect, to know each other, and in their separation, the Demon had managed to push both of them to their limits. Sam didn't know where he'd be without his brother, and Dean didn't know how far he'd go for his brother, and neither wanted to find out.
But that was all speculation, the future. There were still things to take care of in the here and now, first of which was his brother's head wound. He reached out and felt the knot on the back of Sam's head.
Sam flinched away with a curse.
Sam glared at him. "Only when you touch it."
Sam shook his head and chuckled in disbelief. "You're impossible."
"As I'll ever be," Sam replied with an easy shrug of his shoulders.
The grin on Dean's face spread naturally. They would never be ready for what was to come, just as they hadn't been ready for anything that had happened. But he and Sam were together now--together and alive--and somehow that was all he needed, all Sam needed, to fight the burden of destiny that loomed before them.