Ok. I had to do it. There was just not enough Brotherly moments in this episode that were ACTUALLY both brothers. LOL Evil!Sam doesn't count LOL
So I wrote a bit of a One Shot Tag for 'Born Under A Bad Sign'.
Just some fodder my brain came up with right after the episode aired. LOL enjoy. (Fully Alive update VERY soon! Monday possibly… My Junebug is back tonight. No writing for me! I'll be watching the Bud Shootout!)
It had been twenty minutes since Dean attempted to lighten the mood. The air in the car was so thick, the older hunter felt like he was swimming in a bowl of Clam Chowder. So instead of drowning, he tried to eat his way out.
His small chuckle and the digging joke that proceeded came out easier then he'd thought. And it had worked for a few moments, sending his little brother into a quick smirk. Hell… It even made himself feel better! But the joke's power didn't last long and they were plunged once again into an uneasy silence.
If it hadn't been for the low music echoing out of the Impala's old speakers he'd have had to babble about god knows what. He didn't want to be trapped in his head, forced to be witness to his thoughts running around wild. And he sure didn't want Sam to be doing the same.
Sam thought too much. And for his little brother… that habit could be dangerous.
Dean nodded his head slightly in an attempt to clear his head. A fog had settled in his brain not too long after they had gotten in the car but he hoped ignorance would be bliss and chalked it up to just his adrenaline fading. The feeling however, wasn't evening out and unfortunately a few moments ago he realized why.
Warm liquid dripped down his arm under his jacket, no doubt soaking right through. Darkness was certainly his friend right now; hiding the state of his condition from the other occupant in the car… not that he was paying any attention.
Dean sighed and shifted lightly, hoping he could try and rest his injured limb on the armrest on the door without signaling to Sam that something was wrong. It was bad enough the kid had to handle the fact that a fellow hunter died by his own hands. Sam was definitely feeling remorse and guilt over that. So much so that he hardly even gave notice to the damage he inflicted on his own brother.
But to hell with that… Sam didn't need to know the rough manhandling he had given Dean earlier was kicking his big brothers ass right now. Dean vowed to save Sam… not drill more guilt into him.
The old car rumbled past a sign that brought an excited surge through his worn body.
"Motel comin' up." Dean's voice was weaker then he anticipated it would be and he slid a glance to Sam to see if he noticed.
"K'" It was his only reply. The other hunter never took his eyes off the window as he watched the dark world fly by.
Dean turned his attention back to the road while trying his best to sit up straighter without letting a hiss escape him. His shoulder was throbbing something fierce. He couldn't' wait to get into a bed… and maybe even take those pills Jo offered. He refrained from sampling them till after he got Sam back. The thought of being hindered by a drug made him feel helpless. He needed his wits about him for Sam's sake. And in their haste to escape Bobby's and Dean's stubbornness to show weakness in front of his little brother, he had forgotten all about the pain meds.
Not that it would have helped anyways.
Maybe he shouldn't have sat behind the drivers seat tonight… No… no maybes. He REALLY shouldn't have gotten behind the wheel. That realization hit him as hard as that damn bullet when a feeling of weakness and exhaustion suddenly blanketed over him.
He couldn't help it now. It had to be done. There'd be no way he'd let his stubborn nature cause his car to get wrecked twice in one year. After all… he DID have his limits.
Sam was still stewing in his own vat of self-pity and Dean didn't have the mental capacity at the moment to understand that his lack of an immediate answer was from his attempt to stay out of an other conversation on the past weeks events. The older brothers' low whisper of a voice was mistaken as an attempt at pulling Sam back into justifying his feelings.
Dean gripped the wheel as tight as he could as he fought to stay conscious. His body slumped forward, breath by ragged breath and his heavy eyelids were putting up an amazing fight to shut.
"Sammy…" His voice was weaker, almost lost in the methodic bass cords flooding from the Impala's radio… but finally Sam reacted to the name only his big brother was allowed to use.
Dean didn't see the swiftness of his little Sam's hands as he grabbed a hold of the wheel, one hand covering his own weak one. "Dean! Move your foot…. Come on!! Take it off the gas!"
He didn't know he still had it in him but moved his heavy limb from the gas pedal and watched through hazy orbs as Sam guided the old Chevy to the side of the road.
The numb feeling that started to course through his body as it started to shut down was halted. Sharp pains shot through his shoulder when the tires hit the rumble strip and then the harsh gravel. Once Sam had thrown the vehicle into park, Dean's body gave up the fight and slumped sideways into his little brother.
"Dean?!" Sam snaked his arms around him and helped guide him down to the leather front seat. "Are you ok?"
A groan was the only think he could muster and Dean soon felt Sam's cold fingers touch a spot on his neck. Well… at least he still had feeling.
Sam winced at the threaded pulse under his fingertips. That was certainly not a good sign. The younger hunter grabbed for the door handle and spilled himself out quickly onto the side of the road.
"Here Dean… can you help me? Slide over."
No response. As soon as the Chevrolet was safely on the side of the road, Dean gave into the call of unconsciousness, trusting his younger sibling to take control for just a few minutes while he took a much-needed break.
"Dean? Damn it!" Sam grabbed a hold of his brothers' lumpy coat and pulled, successfully sliding Dean out enough to get himself behind the wheel. Mindful of where Dean's head was, Sam shut the passenger side door and made his way over to the driver's side.
As he walked through the beams from the headlights, he stopped cold in his tracks at the brightness dripping from his fingers.
"Oh god…" A flash of the dead hunter lying in front of him, his hands covered in the man's blood, lingered in the forefront of his mind. A tingling sensation reached his eyes as the sting of tears threatened to spill down his cheeks.
The whole ride he had been trying to calm himself over the whole incident. It didn't really prove effective however and as he stared down at the crimson liquid coating his fingertips he could feel his stomach lurch.
"No…" he whispered finally, wiping his hands on his jeans and clenching them as he made his way over to the car door. Dean needed him. This wasn't the time. This was Dean's blood. Not Steve Wardell. And he could still help his brother.
Sam slid behind the wheel, lifting up his brother's boot covered feet and placing them on his lap. He had nowhere else for them. It would have to do. The younger Winchester clicked on the interior light and took to the task of finding the source of the blood. Sam pulled back the lapel at Dean's left shoulder and was greeted by a growing dark stain seeping through his shirt.
Just what he figured. And leave it to Dean to keep it to himself! Sam threw the car back into drive and eased it onto the dark asphalt. There was nothing he could do about it now. After all that Dean had been through that day it was a wonder he had lasted as long as he did anyways. The Motel wasn't far… he could patch his brother back up in better conditions.
"I'm serious Dean… this is the last time you use me as a foot stool." Sam tried to joke but found himself placing a desperate hand on his brothers jean-covered ankle. "Why didn't you say something?" his whispered, sounding more like a young child then the adult he'd grown into a long time ago.
He inhaled a rescuing breath and drove on towards the Motel. He should have been able to drive his brother straight to a hospital to get proper medical attention. Dean deserved that much and more. Unfortunately with Dean wanted by the FBI and the lack of sufficient funds made that reality damn near impossible to have.
God… he shot his brother! Deep down Sam understood it wasn't actually himself. But his hand… his own traitor hand had let that evil bastard residing in his own body shoot his own flesh and blood. Sure he had shot his father before. But it wasn't a "Shoot to kill" scenario. Sam was very sure that the Demon possessing him fully intended to rid the world of Dean Winchester once and for all.
And that thought scared him deep to the core. Thankfully the evil thing was a bad shot.
Dean was now the only family he had… hell… the only friend he had too. To lose him… it just wasn't even an option. Dean keeps saying he's going to save him… but at this very moment as he drove down this dark back road, his brother unconscious, broken and bleeding all over his own car seat, Sam would look after him too. Dean didn't have to know… Sam was sure his brother already knew he had his back always. But this would be different. Dean would know be just as important… if not more so.
And he'd stick to it.
"Mmm…" Sam was shaken out of his thoughts by a heavy disoriented moan next to him.
The young hunter turned his head slightly to try and get a peek of his brother in the darkness of the car. "Dean?"
"Uh… I think so." Dean's voice was low and a tad shaky as he slowly started to come back to his senses.
"You ok?" Sam was met with silence and in the darkness he couldn't tell looking in his brothers' direction if he had fallen back unconscious. "Dean… Still with me?"
"Yea..." The older hunter had replied without a beat, and Sam breathed a sigh of relief. "… Was just trying to answer your question."
"Oh. So? What's the verdict?"
Sam let out a small chuckle and looked back Dean's direction when movement caught his eye.
"No no! Stay where you are! Just relax. Don't jostle too much till we get that shoulder patched up again. You passed out from blood loss."
"Fine…" Dean let his arm that was reaching to prop himself off of the seat flop back down without putting up a fight. He was a fan of that suggestion anyways.
"What? No Arguments?"
Sam smiled despite himself. "Couldn't resist. Hurts huh?"
"Doesn't tickle…" Dean mumbled, moving his uninjured limb to rub the darkness from his eyes.
"Don't apologize to me." Dean interrupted, stronger now. "Don't even finish that sentence."
Sam sighed loudly in frustration but humored his brother just this once by dropping the topic. The turn for the motel was coming up anyway and he needed to focus on getting his brother patched back up… at least try to reverse the damage he inflicted as much as he could for the night. And then rest was needed, especially for Dean. If his assumptions were correct, the blood on his hands was only a small amount compared to what probably coated the inside of his brothers' coat.
Sam threw the blinker on just as he felt one of Dean's legs try to escape from his lap.
"Stop Dean. I said stay still."
"My feet are on you dude…"
"Thank you Mr. Stating-The-Obvious. We're about to get out… just relax a minute."
Dean mumbled something incoherent about bench and bucket car seats while Sam drove up to the office to the motel. Thankful that the sign read "Vacancies", Sam opened the door and slid out from under the weight of Dean's legs. His big brother hissed a bit at the movement but recovered quickly, clearly for Sam's benefit.
"Don't move" Sam warned again.
"Yes mother…" Dean had replied before Sam shut the door, enclosing the injured sibling safely in for the time being.
A few minutes later the younger brother guided the older brother to the first bed in the door and helped him lay flat against the musty pillows. It took some fumbling to get Dean's outer layers off of him but once they were pulled down his brothers left arm, Sam noticed his suspicions were true. Dean had bled right through his long sleeve shirt and pull over all the way to his coat. Sam peeled them the rest of the way off and brought them into the bathroom. He ran the water in the bathtub and put the bloody clothes in to try and soak it out. They didn't have time to find a Laundromat and Sam would be damned if Dean left this place the next day without a coat on.
The brothers kept quiet while Sam re-stitched the bruised bullet wound. Sam not knowing what to say and Dean focusing on not whimpering in pain. Once Sam was finished and cut the end off the stitch, Dean exhaled loudly and let his eyes slip shut, no longer needing to be on high alert from the pain.
"Dean we're going to have to talk about all this."
"Not now Sammy…" Dean's voice was laden with sleep and even though Sam knew better then to push it farther he knew his brother was in a position to give his most honest answers. Using Dean's pain and exhaustion against him may not have been fair… but right now Sam was desperate to talk.
"I'm scared Dean…" The admission lingered on his lips and he sat down on the bed next to Dean's, focusing on his hands. The same hands that had killed only days before.
"I know." Dean's words caused Sam's head to snap up in slight shock. Instead of his big brothers' normal cover up joke, Dean had actually approached it.
"I'm scared of what's to come. That I'm not prepared for what the future holds for me… that I wont know what to do or how to fight it."
"Then we'll do like you said… We'll fight it head on." Dean's eyes were open but instead of directing his attention to his little brother, he stared straight up at the stained ceiling, taking in everything with a clearer head then he thought he'd have.
"Why Dean? Why do you do this for me?! Why do you risk yourself? How can I be worth someone else's life…! Your life!"
Dean bit his lip and finally looked over at his little brother. What greeted him wasn't the grown man Sam had become… but the little boy that still hid within. "Open up your eyes Sam… If my mission in life is to keep you safe then no gun or punch is going to stop me from protecting my little brother."
"But… Dean. I can't handle seeing you get hurt because of me… Hell this time it was by my own hand and I couldn't stop it. I couldn't live with myself if I ever…"
"You wont…" Dean rushed to add before Sam could finish his sentence. He was sure of his words, making them even easier to spill out in time.
"But I almost did!"
"That wasn't you Sam. I thought we went through this once already. That was NOT you! You didn't kill that Wardell. You didn't attack Jo and it wasn't you that did this." Dean pointed to his bandaged shoulder to prove a point but it wasn't needed. Sam wasn't looking. Something really interesting on the carpet had his attention… or at least… that's what it looked like as the younger sibling avoided eye contact.
"No... It's never me." Sam's voice oozed with sarcasm.
"It's never me is it? When I shot you before in the Asylum… that wasn't me? That WAS me Dean. I wasn't possessed!"
"Yes you were… a different kind of possessed." Dean interjected.
"No Dean! I wasn't!" Sam's voice got louder and more erratic as he punched an angry fist into the bedspread. "It was my inner emotions! Just intensified! If that's what I'll be like Evil then you should do what dad told you to do!"
"Sam, knock it off!" Dean winced as the shout he let out rocked his inner foundations and unfortunately… his wounded shoulder. "I'm not in the mood for this."
"For what? The truth? Dean why don't we just talk about it? Like you said… Open your eyes! Have you ONCE hurt me? No. Its' always me that hurts you! I don't know why you even put up with it!" Sam felt the familiar sting return and this time he didn't fight it off as a tear slipped from his eye and left a trail down his face. Its adventure didn't end until it splashed into the old blue shag carpeting of the Motel room.
"Sam…" Dean had seen the tear but shut his eyes tight before it landed. He brought his right hand up to pinch the bridge of his nose, trying to ease the throb and maybe make this conversation go away. "What about…"
"No… The shape shifter thing didn't count!! Was that what you were gonna say…?"
Dean took his hand away from his eyes and let his eyes dart around the room innocently, obviously caught. "Maybe. Sam, listen to me. Anything that's happened to ME is MY fault. I put myself in those positions. And if I had to do it all again I would do it all the same. You are what's important."
"Oh yea… that whole 'Special' nonsense."
"Stop being a dumb ass! You're important to ME!!! Not because of this god damn destiny shit! I could give two craps less about it! I was the one that wanted to pack up and hightail it to an island somewhere. We could spend the rest of our lives renting out water skis and sipping little fruity drinks with those frilly little umbrellas in it! Surrounded by beautiful, tanned, half naked women on the beach 24/7… but no. You are as stubborn as Dad! You are in such a hurry to find out about this Evil Destiny that I'm beginning to wonder if you WANT it to happen!"
"That's ridiculous…" Sam finally looked up at his brother, sobering up as anger in the comment started to overpower angsty sadness.
"Is it?! Sam I know it's important to you to know what's going on with you. But it's important to me to keep you safe. Somehow if I weigh those two options, mine wins out as most important."
"This IS important."
"Ok… sure… it is… But is it THAT hard to let THAT one go and actually live? Look what we gave up for this life, Sam. I know you are aware every day of what we've lived without or avoided to do this job. Now I'm wanted for murders I didn't do! And you get these weird ass death visions that god damn come true!"
"So running? You think that'll stop all this? Cause its not. I'll still have the Dreams… Dean, the Demon can STILL find us!"
"I know that Sam…" Dean relaxed his aching limps in defeat, knowing full well he wasn't winning this argument and they were slipping slowly back to where they started.
"Then why suggest it!?" Dean didn't answer… He didn't know what to say to make anything better and he was too tired to try anymore. With silence as his answer, Sam continued on. "We don't have that option. Its not in the cards for us... probably never will be."
"I wish it was."
The eldest brothers voice was so low that Sam barely heard it. "Huh?"
"I wish we had the option… I wish we had done things differently. You should have finished college. And Dad should have been sitting in the damn crowd at your graduation."
"OUR Graduations." Sam added without a beat.
Dean smiled sadly and gave a sad small nod. "Yea sure Sammy… Ours."
"You'd have gone… right?" Sam's puppy dog eyes glittered at the question, finding joy in discussing what could have been… maybe even to finding an inner desire that his brother wanted for his life.
"I can't answer that… I don't know."
Sam sighed and flung his legs under him Indian Style as he picked at his nails. A nervous habit that he picked up a long time ago. "You are very smart Dean. You could have been a lot of things."
"I AM a lot of things." The smile that graced the older hunters lips at the comment was catching and Dean turned his head to his little brother donning one of his own.
"Yes you certainly are. I just meant… ya know…"
"I can't look in the past Sam. I… I just cant. I'm not like you in that aspect. I can't let it fester." The truth was, he thought about it all the time. It was painful but it was natural to do so. But in pure Winchester fashion he kept his personal feelings to himself on the matter.
"There's an other thing we have to discuss. This apologizing for everything crap!"
Sam smiled playfully and looked up a Dean. "Sorry…"
Both brothers let out a relaxing laugh, finally finding comfortable ground after the harsh conversation they had just had. Sam shouldn't have pushed but he felt he had to. They needed this talk. Knowing where each other stood was important and as much as Dean fought it he surely realized it too. Now that the mood was a lot lighter hearted it was time to put all of those feelings and emotions back into the lock box for next time. Inside that box it would grow and grow, bigger and stronger until they both needed an other sit down.
Sam looked back up at his brother and found Dean's eyes shut, his good arm draped over his stomach lightly. "How's your shoulder?"
"It hurts… but I'll live." His response was quiet as his body wound down once again. He knew sleep was coming and he wasn't going to fight it this time.
"You always do…"
Dean's eyes popped open at Sam's words and he stared as his brother for a few moments. It had reminded him of what the Demon had said to him earlier and it sent an involuntary shiver down his spine.
'Dean. Back from the dead… Getting to be a regular thing for you isn't it? Like a cockroach.'
"Yea…" he finally worded, hoping his long pause did clue Sam into something wrong. The sappy touchy-feeling chicken flick moments were over for the night.
Sam didn't notice anything out of place and stood from his bed. He grabbed the corner of Dean's comforter and tossed it over his brothers' legs. "Do you want me to help you get the blanket out from under you?"
"No... Its fine." At that moment Dean would rather freeze all night then move an other muscle.
Dean could hear Sam fumbling with things in the room but could care less at the moment to open his eyes to find out what. "Mmm hmm…" A mumble was all he could procure.
"Ok. Hey do you want to take a couple of these?"
Sam had been getting ready to go to bed, fumbling through their bags to find what he needed to do so. He couldn't remember the last time he brushed his teeth… literally… he couldn't remember. And maybe as soon as he rinsed off Dean's clothes and got them on the heater in the small room he'd be able to get a shower in too. In his search for the Colgate, Sam's hand brushed against a pill bottle containing Codeine pills. He didn't know where they came from but figured his brother could use a couple.
But Sam wasn't fast enough. When he received no answer, Sam turned on his heels and found Dean's eyes shut. His head had lulled to the side and from across the room the young hunter could see his chest ride and fall from deep breathes of slumber.
Without missing a beat, Sam walked over and pulled of the top comforter to his bed and lightly covered his brother's injured form with it.
"Love ya man…" Sam whispered as he pulled the comforter farther up Dean gently. It was something he wouldn't have come out and said if Dean were awake.
But Dean knew it… He would always know it no matter what Sam's destiny held, no matter what he did.
Whatever path was laid out for them, The Winchester brothers would always be just that… Brothers.