If Not For Destiny
Warnings and otherwise: Spoilers for Hunte.! Angsty-Nightmare-Ridden!Sam and BigBrother!Dean.
Disclaimer: I own nothing (but an odd, growing collection of tag scenes...).
Author's Note: I debated on writing this one. I loved the episode so much, seriously, it was wonderful. And all throughout it I'm thinking "I really don't see a need to tag it," because I thought that car scene would be the last scene (and it worked so well). THEN we get Eva's house being investigated and...oh, a plot bunny totally ravaged my brain. I'm not sure how it worked out, but I think I got my point across...I suppose I'm developing a kind of, sort of...I don't know, reputation maybe (?) for writing these additional scenes...so I'd just like to throw out that I hope not to disappoint anyone. Or, for that matter, annoy anyone...lol. Please enjoy.
Dean parked the car in front of their motel room. He shut the engine off and listened to it slowly die down, its low rumbling trailing off into the night.
"You've hardly spoken a word since we've left Eva's place," Dean said, disrupting the weighty silence between them. "I really am sorry. We'll find out what happened to her, you know?"
Sam looked over to him but did not meet his eyes. He nodded tersely, grabbed his duffle from the backseat and quickly exited the car. Dean watched from the driver's seat as Sam entered the hotel room, not fully closing the door. He noticed that it took a few moments longer than it should have for Sam to turn any lights on, and he wondered what thoughts were keeping him in darkness.
After Sam finally found the light switch, he unpacked a fresh change of clothes and set them on his bed. Dean walked in slowly, shutting the door and retreating to his own bed. Sam could feel his eyes on him, watching and waiting for some response he wasn't ready to divulge.
"Quit staring at me," Sam said, motioning his hand in a wavelike manner to divert his brother's attention elsewhere.
"I will when you tell me you're okay."
"I'm just tired," Sam told him dismissively. "It's been a really long couple of days. A lot has happened…all I want to do is go to sleep right now." And forget about it.
"Fair enough," Dean added, changing into his sleep shirt and toppling back over his bed. "Just promise me when I wake up, you'll still be here."
The earnestness in the remark pulled at Sam. He bit his lip, unable to hide the disappointment washing over him like a cold rain that chilled his body.
"Yeah," he searched for the rest of his voice but couldn't find it. Dean shut his eyes and faced the other way. Maybe the one word answer was enough to at least grant him one night's rest.
Sam stood a few minutes longer glancing over to Dean and back around the motel room. He let out a strained sigh and rubbed his eyes. He didn't have a clue how he was supposed to fall asleep but he knew he had to try. A headache was forming behind his eyes, pain creased along his forehead and temples. The only way to escape a headache like this one was sleeping it off.
He changed into his sleep attire and climbed into bed, reaching up to turn the light off. When the darkness returned to claim the room, he shuddered inwardly and pulled the covers up closer. The room just got darker and darker as the night went on, and his head only hurt worse. Soon enough, he just couldn't keep his eyes open, and the longer he had his eyes shut, the easier it was to fade into sleep.
Sam couldn't tell how long it'd been, if any time at all had passed, but his eyes shot open as if something flashed in front of him. He rose from bed, legs dangling off the side and peered into the shadows. Everything was so quiet, maybe too quiet. The wind outside was still. He swallowed thickly as he stood up and glanced over to the alarm clock that had disappeared. He felt his way to the light switch and flicked it on, off, on, but no light came.
A splinter of light suddenly trailed the room, which Sam traced back to the bathroom door slightly ajar.
"Dean?" He called out. When no answer came back he stalked closer to the door, uncertain of what was behind it. Something felt out of place, something in the air was closing in around him. He heard a quiet murmuring that he couldn't identify exactly what was being said, but just that it was being repeated over and over. His hands felt the edges of the door, sliding down and forward until he pushed it open.
At first the light was nearly blinding as it pierced the darkness Sam's eyes had recently adjusted to. He held a hand up to shield himself as he squinted, trying to make out the figure of his brother hunched over the sink.
"Dean? Are you all right?" Sam asked, worried and unnerved. When he made a step into the room, Dean flinched, so Sam paused. "What is it?"
The murmuring chant continued, and though Sam could hear now it was his brother's voice, he still wasn't sure what was being said. Dean's eyes were shut tight, one arm holding his stomach and the other arm propping him up from falling over.
"Dean," Sam tried again, taking another slow step in. The second his foot touched the ground, Dean pushed himself off the sink and moved away, his back up against the wall with both arms around his stomach. "Hey, it's me…it's Sam."
The soft muttering ceased and slowly Dean lifted his head, even slower did he open his eyes. Sam was worried, becoming panicked. Dean wasn't acting like himself, he was acting as if he didn't know his own brother, didn't recognize anything. He looked lost, completely terrified.
"Are you hurt?" Sam asked. He wanted to come in closer but didn't want to alarm Dean or aggravate whatever had him on edge.
All Dean did was nod. Soon after, his body started so shake and shiver and he drew his arms in closer to himself.
"Where, Dean? Where are you hurt?"
This time, Dean shut his eyes in response to the question. His face contorted into an awful grimace. When he blinked his eyes open, tears fell and streaked down his face. He opened his mouth and the mumbled chant began again, but this time it was clear to Sam what he was saying.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," over and over, fading to indistinct whispery cries.
Sam stood listening, looking around the room for answers that didn't exist. He had no idea why his brother was acting this way, talking like this.
"Let me help you, Dean," Sam pleaded. "I don't understand what's wrong with you, why you're so afraid…"
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry….I…I couldn't…"
"What, Dean? Couldn't what?"
"I couldn't…." Dean nearly choked on the words. Gradually, he began lowering his arms and unwrapped them from his stomach. When he moved his arm completely away, it was then Sam saw the blood. It dripped from his abdomen, saturated his shirt. As he removed the pressure, blood started gushing down to the floor. Sam's eyes became large, vision blurring as he watched what was happening. "I couldn't…stop…"
"What…who…who did this to you?" Sam exhaled a sob, his hands covering his mouth as he tried not to expel the remains of the last thing he ate. "Damn it! Who did this to you!"
Dean smiled sadly as dark liquid crimson dripped from his lips. His eyes were glossy and distant as he raised his bloodied hand and pointed.
"You…" Dean said, as anything more spoken would have his throat to completely close. "I couldn't stop it…couldn't…save you. I'm sorry, Sam. I'm sorry…"
I'm sorry- I'm sorry- I'm sorry-
Sam felt his heart drop, his lungs were concaving and there wasn't enough air that he could ever hope to take in now.
"No," he said desolately. "No, I wouldn't…Not you…"
Dean started sinking to the floor, his eyes fluttering and his lips continually forming breathless apologies.
Sam ran to him, but the instant he reached him, Dean vanished into smoke and Sam was left alone. He stared at the spot he last saw Dean, the only thing remaining was a pool of blood.
"Dean!" Sam howled. He heard someone yelling out in agony behind him and spun around. He chased the yells to the main room where he watched Dean being pinned to the bed by some invisible force. When he went to help him, something held him back, restrained him with an unimaginable strength. "NO!"
He could hear the sound of flesh ripping, skin tearing, and Dean screaming until his voice reduced to a mere whimper. Sam blinked furiously trying to clear his vision from the blur of tears that filled his eyes. What was causing this? Who was attacking him so viciously?
"Sam! Stop…please…" Dean cried out. Blood spilled out all around him, his blood, covering the bed sheets, dripping to the floor. Sam snapped his attention to a figure standing in the corner. It was the mirror image of Sam. It looked so much like him that Sam was beginning to feel inadequate, nonexistent. He didn't understand.
The Sam he was staring at was smirking, chuckling hideously. His eyes blazed a familiar yellow.
"STOP!" Sam heard himself order, but no one reacted to him, no one noticed him there watching in horror and helplessness. But then he felt her there, at first just a shadow but soon enough a corporeal form. Sam turned to see her smiling face, eyes dark and laughing.
"This will be your future," she said. "It cannot be stopped."
"Why did you do it, Eva? Why did you kill your fiancé?"
"I'm one of them. You're one of us," she answered mechanically, staring coldly through him. "He has plans for us."
"No…no way, I won't become that! I'd never hurt Dean!"
"You need to accept your fate," Eva said. Her voice was low and feigned a soothing tone. Sam was startled by another pulse-stopping scream from Dean that filled the room.
This time, when Sam ran forward, the invisible force let him. He only had one brief moment of freedom before the bed Dean was on erupted into fire. Blood poured from the cracks in the ceiling down the walls, a waterfall of flowing scarlet. Every time a drop of blood splattered on the floor beside Sam it burst into a flame and snuffed out, leaving piles of ashes all around.
"No!" Sam shouted through the roaring fire. Black smoke began circling him in a whirlwind of fire, blood, ashes and screams. He heard Eva's laughing, dry voice.
"The war is coming. Accept your fate. It cannot be stopped."
"I won't become what you are…I won't kill my brother! I will not be a murderer!" Sam yelled, shutting his eyes.
No smoke, no fire, no blood. Just darkness and silence. Just him.
His breath was bated while he looked around and saw nothing, heard nothing but the rapid beating of his heart.
He felt something brush his shoulder and whipped around, face to face with yellow eyes that stared into his soul and froze his heart. It had his face, his smile, his dark past and a threatening promise of his darker future.
"I won't let it happen. I just won't."
"My Samuel," the man said with yellow eyes flickering wildly. "It's already begun."
Sam had his eyes shut calling out for Dean in strangled yells and nearly suffocating on the violent sobs that took control of his entire body. Dean jolted awake, alert to his brother's grief-stricken cries. He threw himself out of bed and immediately grabbed a hold of Sam's shoulders.
"Sammy! Wake up! Sam!" Dean prompted, shaking his shoulders sternly.
After a jagged, forced inhale, Sam opened his eyes. Still cradled in the vivid memory of his nightmare, one last painful moan escaped him.
Dean put a hand on Sam's chest, encouraging him to settle down and catch his breath. "It's okay," he pretended, not sure of the outlandish dream that attacked his brother. "I'm here."
"Dean," Sam sniffled, focusing his vision to see in the dim lighting. The second he affirmed eye contact with Dean, saw the vibrant life within his eyes, he burst into a maddening fit of tears just thinking about how he saw those same eyes staring at him in terror.
Dean lifted Sam up using his shirt, coddling his shoulders, and brought him up to his chest where he sat down next to Sam, holding him.
"What's gotten into you, huh?" Dean asked softly, trying to make sense of things. "Was it a nightmare?"
At that, Sam shifted inwards, drawing himself closer. He whispered something into Dean's shirt, but Dean understood no words, only felt the warmth of Sam's shuddered breaths and falling tears.
"What, Sammy? What is it?"
Sam twitched, breaths becoming faster paced and shorter. His voice barely rose above a whisper. "…Kill me."
Dean gulped down his gasp, clenched his jaw.
"Beg your pardon?"
"Kill me," Sam spoke up desperately. "Please…Kill me before I…before I kill you."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"I saw it…I saw…myself…and you, you died because of me…you can't save me, Dean. It's not safe for you with me. It's not safe for you if I'm alive, so please, please…"
"Are you going to let that yellow-eyed bastard get to you like this? It was a nightmare Sam…right? Not a vision?"
"It doesn't matter!" Sam became infuriated. "Look what happened to Eva! I thought maybe there was a chance to stop all this from happening. Eva…she…killed her fiancé, Dean. She killed someone she loved. It turned her! Somehow, it got to her…and it'll get to me, too. Before, I thought it could be stopped…I thought there might be hope…but now? Now I don't know. I saw you in my dream. I killed you, watched you beg for your life, all because of me."
"That's what this is about?" Dean asked, not realizing he tightened his grip around Sam. "Because Eva wasn't a killer, she was like you, yet something happened and she maybe went off the deep end? You think the same thing will happen to you? Look, you're not Eva. You're not Ansem and you're not Max. You're not a killer. You're Sammy, my kid brother. The kid brother I'm gonna take care of. Not the brother I'm gonna kill. Not ever."
Sam choked out another cry.
"But this war, it's already begun…we can't stop it…"
"Then we fight it, remember? We fight like hell," Dean argued. "We fight, and we don't give up on each other. Got it?"
"I don't want to hurt you."
"Then give your big brother some credit here. You talk about destiny all the time, think you're destined for something awful. And maybe you are…but if you have a destiny, then we all do. And maybe it's time I start believing in mine."
"You said destiny was crap," Sam said, sniveling lightly.
"Yeah, well, it is crap…until you make it what you want it to be," Dean avowed, drying Sam's tears from his face. Sam looked up at him curiously.
"You have your destiny and I have mine," Dean said, then softened his voice and brought his lips closer to Sam's ear so he would really hear him. "To save you, Sammy. I was meant to save you."
Sam took in a deep breath. "You really believe that?"
Dean took a moment to think about his answer. If he really did believe it or if he was just saying it to alleviate his brother's endless fears and worries. When he felt Sam's sobs quieting, panted breaths evening out, he smiled. If destiny did exist, if fate was real, than his was here with Sam. And if not for destiny—then for family, for love. Without his brother nothing else mattered. It was either save Sam or die trying, because God only knows those were the only two options that Dean would ever consider.
"Yeah, Sammy. I believe that."
"And if one day we face the worst case scenario?"
"Then we face it the best way possible," Dean hugged Sam harder. "We face it together."
Thanks for reading! Wasn't too bad, I hope? I know I made Sam into a big cry baby and Dean into this parental, coddling big brother, but you know? I don't mind viewing them that way sometimes, but I do apologize if they seemed way too out of character. These boys have been through too much to not have some BROTHERLY intimacy. Yet again we were deprived a hug scene...we came so close, though, didn't we? Maybe next time. Or else I guess I'll tag it in myself, lol.
Feedback is definitely appreciated.