Summary: A concert goes horribly wrong... Sam and Dean have to deal with a murderer and the man he killed.
Here ya go… all finished. Thanks for the reviews and for sticking with this little bit of fluff.
Sam hung up the phone and tucked it back in his jacket pocket. Emily would be off to the hospital now to get herself checked out. She reminded him of the girls he'd known for those few months when he'd been in the little high school band. Sweet, shy. A nice girl. He missed that sometimes. These days, the girls they met who didn't mind that they were leaving in a few days weren't what he'd call nice.
Sam sighed heavily and Dean looked over at him. "You all right?"
"Sure." He looked out the car window at the passing countryside as they drove away from the city. There wasn't anything to see though and he turned back.
"Shoulder bothering you?"
"Just strained. Give it a few days." His throat might take a little longer. Sam gingerly felt the bruising on his neck. It felt like someone had tried to dig their way through to his spine. It could have been worse though. It hurt to talk, but at least he was still around to talk.
Dean didn't ask anything else and turned his attention back to driving. Sam watched him out of the corner of his eye. Dean hadn't said more than a few words since he'd come to in the cemetery. Sam had helped him to his feet and they had headed back to the car. Sam wasn't even sure how much of what had happened Dean could remember, but he'd seen Dean pause beside the fresh grave, staring down at it, an odd look on his face.
Dean's expression was closed now and he had the steering wheel in a white-knuckled grip, not his normal post-hunt relaxed posture. More troubling, he hadn't turned on the radio. Sam saw a muscle tick in Dean's jaw and knew how tightly he had his teeth clenched.
"Dean?" Sam asked tentatively.
"Yeah," Dean said.
"You wanna talk about… anything?"
Dean let out a slow breath, as if trying to decompress, and then shook his head. "No."
"You remember any of what happened?" Sam asked. His voice was gravelly and it hurt to talk, but he needed to know.
"You mean do I remember putting a bullet between Pete's eyes?" Dean answered harshly. "Yeah."
"You were… awake?" Sam grimaced.
"Awake, aware, whatever you want to call it." Dean's face was carefully blank, but Sam could see the tension practically rolling off of his brother.
"It wasn't your fault," Sam said intently. He shifted so he could see Dean better in the dim dashboard light. "The ghost used you. It wanted Peter dead and it used you."
"I fired the gun, Sam," Dean answered, that muscle in his jaw flexing again.
"It's ok, man," Sam said simply. "It wasn't you. You didn't kill him."
Dean had killed him.
He'd killed Peter. A man. Not some creature or ghost. A man. It had been necessary, but it wasn't something he should feel ok about. He should feel like crap. He needed to feel like crap.
Pete had been a monster and a murderer, but he'd been human.
It came up every once in a while. They'd come across a regular person who'd gone over to the dark side, or gotten themselves in too deep. The easiest thing would be to treat them like every other evil thing they came across, but Sam was always there to tell him it wasn't all right, that it wasn't the same. Sam was Dean's conscience, but your conscience couldn't lecture you when it was having the life strangled out of it.
Dean knew the truth. He had fired the gun. Not the ghost.
Andre had been there, somewhere in Dean's mind. Andre had been talking. It had been his presence that had steadied Dean's hand, eased his muscles, calmed his panicked mind. But Dean had taken the shot. A violinist didn't know how to aim, didn't know when to fire.
Andre hadn't cared about the hand crushing the life from his brother, but Dean had. He'd wanted Peter dead for what he was doing to Sam. Andre's presence had simply allayed Dean's fears about possibly missing Peter and hitting his brother instead.
When Dean had been composed and certain he could take the shot and save Sam, he'd fired. He probably could have winged Peter, turned him over to the cops, but he hadn't. He'd aimed to kill. Despite the calm exterior, in his head, he had heard Andre crow in vengeful exultation.
Dean wanted to feel like crap. He ought to feel like crap. The problem was that he didn't. He felt like Andre had. Triumphant. Was that bad? He couldn't even tell anymore.
Whatever. It was self-defense. Peter had been hurting Sam and Sam was a part of him. Saving him was all that mattered.
Dean shrugged his shoulders, purposely working the tension out of them. His collarbone sent a shot of pain straight to his brain, but he ignored it. It would pass. It always did.
"Emily ok?" he asked.
"She's fine," Sam said, still watching him worriedly.
"You ever thought of botox?" Dean asked. "It would help with that frown thing you've got going on."
"I'll stop frowning when you do," Sam replied.
Dean realized he was scowling and ordered himself to stop. "Sorry. Only room for one moody one in this outfit."
Sam gave him a disbelieving look that said far more than words. He had to work not to frown again. He wasn't moody. He wasn't.
"So where to now?" Dean asked.
"I hear there are some werewolves out in Phoenix," Sam suggested.
"You been reading Hunter's Weekly again?"
Sam glared at him. "Maybe I use the laptop for more than a breakfast tray."
"Dude," Dean reached over and tapped Sam on the forehead. "Botox. Seriously."
Sam tried to keep a straight face, but finally gave up, a faint grin appearing as Dean had intended.
"One thing's for sure. I am never, ever, letting you drag me to another concert." Dean nodded for emphasis. "I don't care how many tickets some stuck-up suburban couple gives you."
"Symphony on the Square doesn't normally end with a murder," Sam said defensively.
An image of Peter lying dead on the ground flashed in front of Dean's eyes, but he forcibly ordered it away. "Show's what you know. I was ready to open fire just to clear out that concert."
"It's good for you," Sam said, "Teaches you patience." He scooted down in the seat so he could rest his head. Dean knew his brother's neck was hurting. Holding his big, brainy head up was probably straining the muscles. Dean decided he'd stop at the first motel he could find and let Sam get some rest.
"Patience," Dean eyed him. "I sat through over an hour of classical music, Sam. If that's not patience I don't know what is."
"Yeah, Dean," Sam said sleepily. "The patience of Job. I'm so impressed."
Dean grinned. "Oh no. I'm the one who's impressed."
Sam cracked open one eye and looked at him. "Why?"
"You have your first groupie." Dean wiped a fake tear away. "You're all grown up."
Sam's hand flashed out and smacked Dean's arm. "Shut up, man. She was nice."
"Course, she was," Dean replied. "No fun having obnoxious groupies."
Sam was silent for several minutes and Dean thought he'd fallen asleep until he shifted in the seat and opened one eye again. "You sure you're ok?"
"Yup," Dean nodded. Sam was with him. Sam was ok. That made him ok. "All squared away."
Until next time…