A/N: Hey guys! I am so so so sorry about the lateness in posting this! I feel so bad but due to a long list of bad luck on my side, like Glandular Fever, alerts being down, document manager going AWOL and school going crazy just to name a few, it's just worked out this way. I hope that the length of this will help to make it up.
I had so many things I wanted to say in this A/N and for the life of me I've just gone blank. But I will say this, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has read and or reviewed this. It means more to me than you will ever know and I cannot put in words how uplifting it was to receive all of that encouragement and support.
So without keeping you waiting any longer; The Epilogue.
Dean didn't know how long he sat there, staring at the open grave and the bright orange flames coming out of it. Eventually his eyes blinked slowly and he seemed to come back into his surroundings. He looked over at his brother and father who still hadn't moved where they lay. He got to his feet and threw his boxer shorts on before he made a quick dash to where he and John had laid Sam.
He ghosted his hands over his little brother, afraid to touch him in case of injuries. He didn't even know why Sam ham been knocked out but it didn't really take a genius to figure out that it had something to do with that bastard. Who's now toast and burning in hell. The thought brought a small smile to his face, "Sam? Sammy wake up." He said as he shook Sam's shoulder a little. When Sam didn't so much as flinch, he repeated himself louder and shook a little harder making Sam's brow crease.
"Dean?" Sam mumbled, his voice a little scratchy as he came to.
"Oh thank god." Dean sighed in relief as he helped Sam up into a sitting position, "Are you okay? What did he do to you?"
"I, I don't-" Sam started before bits and pieces came back to him. He couldn't feel the physical, it had faded out with his consciousness but an echo of the emotional pain Dean had been and was suffering was still imprinted on him. And if he just had an echo, then Dean. How the hell was his brother still standing?! "How do you do it?" he asked with tears in his eyes.
"Do what?" Dean asked, his brow creased.
"He did something to me. I," Sam paused. Did he really want to let Dean know he knew what he was feeling? Did he want to put that on his brother? He cleared his throat, "Nothing. Where's Dad?" Sam asked trying to change the subject and get his brother's mind off of him for the moment. Because he could tell Dean didn't believe him and the last thing he wanted was Dean prodding to find out what happened.
Dean gave Sam a quick once over before running over to his father. John lay still out cold, arm bent at an obscure angle. By the time Dean had assessed John's injury as much as he could and tried to rouse the unconscious hunter, Sam was standing behind him, "We need to get him to a hospital. This arm is broken. I think he might have a concussion."
The Doctors at the hospital thought so too. After they carried John and put him in the Impala, ever mindful of his arm, they quickly refilled the grave and grabbed their stuff before driving to the closest hospital. John was whisked away into the ER. Two hours or so later the boys were sitting by their father's bedside listening as a certain Dr Simmons told them that the oldest Winchester, err Walker, had a mild concussion, a broken arm and that it must have been some fall down those stairs. She was also surprised to see Dean again. Not to mention talking and touching. She also gave Sam a once over much to his annoyance but his brother's insistence. After the Dr declared Sam to be perfectly healthy and left the room the brother's sat watching as their father slept off the pain meds the staff had insisted on while they reset his arm.
"That was my Doctor?" Dean asked Sam to break the silence.
Sam nodded, "Yeah I was going to tell you. Guess I just forgot with everything that was going on. You think she's related to Gene?" he smiled.
Dean looked at Sam like he'd grown another head, "Who are you and what have you done with my baby brother?"
"Hey. I know, rock people." He tried to keep a straight face as Dean chuckled beside him.
"Sure you do Justin." Dean sniggered.
"Hey! Justin's new album is awesome thank you very much." Sam said indignantly.
"Yeah, whatever Bitch."
"Shut up Jerk."
The brothers sat in a comfortable silence for the next three hours it took for John to come out of his drug induced sleep.
Dean was thinking about everything that had happened to them to get them here now. He was coming to terms with it. Well as much as anyone could. Knowing that his family was safe now and that bastard was burning in Hell. Burning in hell, yeah that had a nice ring to it. The thought brought a smile to his face.
He looked down at his father and was met with open piercing green eyes, "Hey Dad." He greeted.
Dean saw Sam look up from his own thoughts and direct his gaze to their father.
John looked around him for a second, checking his surroundings and giving his youngest a once over then looked back at his oldest, "What happened?" he asked, voice gravelly.
"We got him." Dean said like it didn't mean anything.
Sam snorted at his brother's off handedness, "Yeah Dean got him while our lazy asses were sleeping." He smiled and nudged Dean's shoulder gently with his elbow to punctuate his point.
Dean smiled weakly at his brother's attempts to lighten the mood. He wished Sam wouldn't. He just wanted his whole thing to go away and be done with. To be forgotten.
"Good." John said, internally breathing a sign of relief and a well done son before he started to maneuver himself out of the bed.
Sam and Dean stood up to give John room and Dean put out his hands to steady his father when the older man swayed a little on his feet, "You sure you should be up so soon Dad? You have a concussion and you broke your arm you know." Dean said as he held John's elbow until his father regained his balance.
"Yeah. We need to get out of here before the insurance company comes to bite us on the ass. Sam get my clothes, Dean go get the AMA forms. We're leaving." John ordered.
Two days later the Winchester men were back in Lawrence at Missouri's house. The place had been rather quiet since they had returned and no matter what Missouri did to try and lighten the mood between the family it just didn't work.
She knew they were all up to something. She knew that Sam was thinking up ways to try and make Dean talk to him and John, well John was planning to leave. The main threat was gone now and she knew he was itching to get back onto the trail of The Demon. She'd get out her wooden spoon and smack that man if she thought it would make any difference. But it wouldn't and she knew that. John Winchester the father was in the process of being put away while John Winchester the hunter was taking over again.
And last but not least was Dean. He was trying so hard to hold all of his emotions in and forget the whole ordeal. She could see it in him, the need to be the old Dean again. The Dean that he thought his family expected him to be. But he couldn't, not yet. And all this trying, it was going to kill him.
She was just waiting for the ball to drop.
Sam sat in Missouri's lounge room looking out the window and watching his brother work on the Impala. He'd realized years ago that working on the car was his brother's failsafe. It's what he did when he couldn't deal with what was going on around him. He focuses his whole mind onto a set task and ignored his problems until they went away. Which of course never happened so it was usually until they were bottled up inside him.
"Sam?" John's voice asked and broke Sam's musings.
The youngest Winchester looked up and at his father. The older hunter had a clean white cast on his right arm being held up by a sling. He looked tired and a little nervous though Sam doubted anyone but him or Dean could see through the tough and cold façade that his father had put up around himself. Sam felt his stomach drop. Why the hell would his father be looking nervous? Unless, "You're leaving aren't you?" he asked, tone deceptively calm, hiding the anger that was building under the surface.
"Yeah, I am." John replied.
"What about Dean?" Sam asked angrily.
"You're brother will be fine." John replied tiredly. He knew that having this convocation was going to be like this. His youngest was as bull headed as he was and he knew that Sam didn't want him to go. Neither of his boys would. But he had to, he'd been away from the hunt too long, away from his trail of The Demon.
"How can you just say that? Dean's not fine! And he's not going to be unless we're all there to help him!" Sam cried indignantly. He needed to make his father see. He couldn't fix Dean alone. They needed him! He needed him.
"Sam, this isn't a discussion. Dean will be fine." The unsaid he has to be hung in the air between them.
"You're leaving to hunt The Demon right?" somehow it would hurt less if John was leaving to hunt The Demon and not just to leave his boys. But still, why the hell couldn't his father ever put his family before the hunt?!
"I was close Sam. And I can't afford to let the trail get anymore cold." The older hunter said trying to make his son understand.
"Fine. But you're going to be the one to tell Dean that you're leaving." It was said hoping that the prospect of John having to tell his son that he was leaving them, abandoning them, would give John cold feet and make him stay. He was just so tired and he wasn't sure if he could do this own his own. He looked out the window at Dean again. His brother was still working on the car and his anger deflated.
Damn! John thought. His son sure knew how to play dirty. He could have sworn he felt himself pale at the thought of telling his oldest that he was leaving him. John knew Dean's greatest fear was being left alone. A fear born out of the same fire that took their Mary. The oldest Winchester was broken from his thoughts by his son's voice.
"Thank you." Sam said. It had occurred to him that he hadn't even thanked his father for dropping the hunt and coming to get them and even though John was going to leave now he knew that his father had done his best. Besides, he knew that eventually the call of the hunt would be too much for John to resist. It was the same with Dean. They both couldn't stay in once place for too long without killing something evil.
"For what?" John asked confused at his son's change in demeanor.
"For saving us and for being here. It means a lot." Sam answered quietly, yet he kept solid eye contact with his old man.
John simply nodded. His eyes saying more than he ever could. This moment was getting to chick flick for him and while Sam had always worn his heart on his sleeve, well, John had always been more like Dean. They both hid their emotions behind a façade. It was like a protective outer layer. They couldn't let their real feelings show for more than a few minutes or it would all come crashing down. Sometimes he wished his oldest wasn't so like him, that he was more like his brother in that regard. Maybe then this whole ordeal could be easier on him. Instead of bottling his emotions he could have talked and got them out into the air. Like draining the poison from a snake bite. But he knew that wasn't going to be the way. So instead he turned to Sam with the ghost of a smile, "I'll be seeing you. Call if you need me." Before he turned and left.
The oldest Winchester paused at the doorway and reached into his coat pocket then pulled out a fairly decent roll of money tied with elastic bands then tossed it to his youngest. Sam caught the money and looked at it. It was enough to keep them afloat for the next two months, maybe more if they spread it. He looked back up to his Dad, about to tell him that he couldn't take the money when John spoke, "It should be enough to keep you guys going until you're ready to get back to the hunt." He said.
Sam nodded his thanks with watery eyes and put the money in his pocket. There was the implied don't rush yourselves and this way you wont have to hustle for awhile and it meant a lot to him, even if John hadn't voiced the words himself. John lifted the corner of his mouth into a half smile and then left.
Now came the hard part. Telling Dean.
Dean stood looking under the hood of his Impala at the big block V8. His girl had kept him occupied and safe for the last two days. But then again, when didn't she? Eight cylinders of brutal raw power, paint as black as a demon's eyes and duco so shiny you could see yourself and the rest of the world in her reflection. She was a black beauty. The only home he'd ever really known and the love of his life. She was the only girl for him.
He tensed slightly as he heard footsteps approaching but then relaxed when he recognized them as his fathers. Not looking up from under the hood he spoke to his father, "Hand me that spanner." He half asked and then took the tool from his father and tweaked a few parts of the motor.
"Dean." John said trying to get his son's attention. When all he was met with was a grunt he resorted back to his marine voice, "Dean, stop playing with the car and look at me for a minute." He snapped then felt instantly bad as his son did what was demanded accompanied with a dear in the headlights look at his father's tone. He couldn't tell his son he was leaving, not while Dean was looking at him like that. So lost, but trying to hold it all together at the same time. God, his strong little soldier. He felt like saying 'Stand down Dean, it's okay, you can stand down now' but he wouldn't. So, let's try something else, "How's the Impala?" small talk. Small talk was good. He could do this then work his way up to telling Dean he was leaving.
Dean looked at him suspiciously for a second before adverting his gaze back to his girl, "She's doing fine. I'm thinking I might go into town today. Just for a drive you know." Dean said.
"Yeah." John agreed.
There was an awkward silence after that for a few moments then, "Dad what's going on?" when the tension in the air became to much.
John didn't say anything for a moment while he tried to figure out the best way to say it. In the end he decided the direct approach would have to do, "I'm leaving."
Dean couldn't keep the flinch that his father's words caused. He tried to school his features to remain impassive but he couldn't stop his eyes from showing the sudden loss, fear and angst that he felt. His father couldn't go. They were finally all together, they were being a family. Even if they were different than the last time they had all been together. And even if the circumstances to get them all together had been shit. But he knew he couldn't voice that. Probably never would be able to. So instead he did what he knew he was expected to do. He forced down his emotions, his weaknesses and asked, "When?" his tone not betraying his inner turmoil.
"Tonight." John answered. As if he hadn't just seen his son for down more pain. He wondered how long it would be until Dean couldn't take it all anymore and internally shuddered at the thought for that day.
Dean nodded and they both knew this would be their goodbye. Winchester's weren't good at goodbyes and so what they said now would be what they remembered as their farewells.
"Take care of yourself son, and watch out for Sammy." Dean nodded and John stepped forward and wrapped his arms around his oldest in a strong embrace. The two stood like that for some time before they both mutually separated, "If you need me Dean, call me." John said.
"Yessir." Dean answered and then watched as his father turned and walked back into Missouri's house. Dean sighed and turned back to his car, "At least you won't ever leave me will you baby." He mumbled to himself as he caressed the side of the car lovingly. He picked up the spanner that he had put down and got back to work, ignoring the glances he could see his little brother shooting him from the front window of the house. Someone needed to teach that boy not to be so obvious about his spying.
John stayed conveniently absent and busy for the rest of the day. Dean continued working on the Impala. Sam pottered around the house looking through Missouri's books and keeping an eye on Dean. Missouri herself spent the day working in her garden, planting new plants and pulling out the stray weed.
Dinner was a subdued event but rather peaceful, everyone caught in their own thoughts. Dean excused himself early and went upstairs to lay down. He just wasn't hungry. The thought of food made him feel sick and he really didn't want to be around people at the moment, even if they were his family. He was content to wallow in his self pity.
An hour or two later Sam went to bed, shooting his father a glance that half said wish you would stay with us and be careful. When he reached the upstairs room he and Dean had been sharing he found his brother asleep on the double bed with his back against the wall. Well, old habits die hard he guessed. Still, it shot a pang through his heart. He needed to make Dean talk to him.
Sam changed into a pair of boxer shorts and an old Metallica t-shirt which Dean had given him years ago and slipped into bed. It wasn't long before he drifted off into to sleep. After all, sleep was an escape from how fucked up their lives were at this point. Unless of course it was filled with the nightmares that liked to frequent his slumber.
Sometime in the middle of the night both Sam and Dean were awoken by the sound of their father's truck starting up and pulling away. Neither said anything, just pretended they didn't know the other was awake, and laid there for most of the night. Each lost in their own thoughts of what had happened, what was happening and what was going to happen. They couldn't stay at Missouri's forever and they both knew it.
Sam woke up to Dean packing his duffle bag in the corner of their room. He sat up hazily, the cot creaking, and rubbed the grit out of his eyes, "What's up?" he asked even though he already knew the answer.
"The sky." Dean joked lamely. Then he cleared his throat and went back to packing, "I was looking through the newspapers and I found something that might be up our alley."
"You sure you're ready to start hunting again? I mean after everything and all- we can stay here a bit longer if you want. I'm sure Missouri won't mind." Sam tried. He didn't think that Dean was ready to be hunting again. Not so soon after everything that had happened. But then again, maybe it would do some good, for both of them. Getting back into their hunting routine. Something easy could be good.
"Sam, this is my job. It's what I know how to do it and I'm not going to stop just because of some fucked up shit that's happened. It's time to move on." Dean said, almost tiredly.
Sam nodded then got out from under his nice warm covers and stood, grabbing some clothes and his duffle, "So what is it and where?" he asked as he too began to pack.
Dean threw his duffle into the trunk of the Impala along with his brother's. Sam was standing on Missouri's doorstep talking with the psychic in hushed tones. Probably about him. God he was so sick of being the topic of convocation and everyone's worry. That's why he had insisted that they take this hunt. That way they could focus solely on the job and not on him for once. Why couldn't everyone just forget what had happened to him damn it! He was over it. Dean snorted to himself. No he wasn't over it. That was a complete and utter fucking lie. He'd just repressed it was all. And he hadn't done a very good job at that. It was constantly sitting below the surface waiting until he let a fracture in his façade show then it was all going to come pouring out.
He shook his head trying to clear his morose thoughts and looked back up at Missouri's home to see Sam leaning down to embrace the shorter woman. He watched Sam say something else to her then come down the few steps and the pathway to meet Dean at the car.
Sam lent against the side of the car next to Dean, their shoulders just brushing, "You know she wants to speak to you don't you?"
"Yeah I know." Dean exhaled then pushed forward off the car and walked up the steps to stand in front of Missouri, "Hey Missouri."
"Dean." The psychic greeted back. There was an awkward pause and then, "You're a strong man Dean. Don't let anyone ever tell you different." She said after opening herself to the vibes and surface thoughts coming from the young man in front of her. She had to make sure that he understood just how important he was. How strong he was. Still Missouri was a rational person and she knew that she probably wasn't going to scratch the surface of Dean's insecurities. That's why she'd told Sam that he had to or it was going to eat his brother from the inside out.
Dean didn't know what to say to his friend's kind words. So instead he said nothing and let a slight nod suffice as his answer. Uncomfortable with the subject being on him he decided to change it. No way was he going to take part in chick flick moment with Missouri of all people, "Thanks for letting us stay here Missouri, we really appreciate it."
"Nonsense," Missouri scoffed, "You boys are welcome around here anytime you please. I told you, don't be strangers." She smiled brightly at him, "Now come here!" the psychic ordered him with her arms wide open gesturing for a hug.
The middle Winchester leaned down and embraced his friend tightly. Grateful to her for all of the help she had given them, him. Dean pulled back first. He wanted to leave before things got any more awkward so he bade his goodbye, "See ya Missouri, take care of yourself."
Missouri nodded and watched Dean walk down her front path to his car. He and Sam got inside and waved as they pulled away, "You take care of yourselves too boys." She whispered then walked back inside her house.
The Winchester boys drove for hours across the country, only stopping for lunch and fuel until it the sky was black and they were both starting to get cabin fever.
It was somewhere near Wyoming when Dean decided it was time to get a motel, call it a night. He pulled the big black car up next to the office then got up and looked over at Sam who had fallen asleep an hour or two ago. He shook his head slightly with a small smile turning the corners of his mouth up. Sam was leant up against the door, head against the window, eyes covered by shaggy brown bangs and mouth open slightly with a small trail of drool appearing in one corner.
Dean got out of the car then walked into the office to see a young obviously blind woman sitting at the desk, eyes open but vacant and running her fingers over the large book in front of her. Brail. There was a huge German Shepherd laying on the floor next to the desk, front paws crossed and head resting over them, asleep. The bell that rang when the door opened made her look up and she smiled at where she thought Dean was standing. Dean moved towards the desk and leant slightly on it.
"Hey, you looking for a room?" she asked, her face angled towards Dean's chest.
"Yeah thanks. Two queens if you got them." He said and watched fascinated as she moved her hands over to the keyboard of the computer to her left and began touch typing.
"Sure. How long will you be staying for sir?" she asked.
"Just a night. You take credit?" he asked then when she nodded he handed her one of his many fraudulent credit cards. Dean noticed that she was actually quite attractive. Pieces of stray copper colored hair outlining her face and making her full lips and long eyelashes more noticeable. His attention was taken away from the smattering of freckles across her nose and cheeks when something cold and wet touched his hand. He looked down to see the large wolf like dog pushing his hand with its nose and demanding to be petted. Dean crouched down and scratched the dog behind the ears, "Beautiful dog." He told the girl who smiled proudly.
"Yeah he is. I know most people have Golden Retrievers but I've always had a thing for German Shepherds. Besides Hank here is as much my protector as my guide dog." She chuckled then reached to the wall behind her and felt along the hooks holding the keys until she had the right one then took the key and held it out in front of her with Dean's credit card, "There you go Mr Hetfield. If you need anything you know where to find me."
Dean stood up and took the items, "Call me Dean, and thanks."
"I'm Sophie." She introduced herself.
"Thanks Sophie. I'll see ya." He said then gave Hank another quick pat on the head then left the office, bell signaling his exit.
When Dean got back to the car he found Sam still asleep, the line of drool longer and he laughed out loud. The sound of his laughter woke the younger Winchester from his slumber and he sat up straight, "Dean where are we?" he asked the wiped his hand across his mouth and chin finding it wet with drool. Damn it.
"Motel." Dean answered simply then drove to his room and parked out front, "Come on, get your stuff." He got out of his car then went around to the back and got his duffle from the trunk. He unlocked the door to their room and stepped inside, threw his bag onto the closest bed and sank down next to it.
Sam did the same with the other bed and let out a sigh, "Were are we?" he asked.
The brothers were silent for a moment then Dean sat up, "I feel like a beer." He said suddenly. It's like ten minutes ago he was ready to just crash for the next twenty hours and then all of a sudden he wanted to go out and get a drink. He wanted to get back out there, be with other people. He hadn't been out in public for what seemed like years and it was like an urge, a craving to go out. Besides he had to start somewhere, get back on the horse so to speak.
"What? Why?" Sam asked, his voice still sleep muffled.
"I dunno, I just do. You coming?" he asked as he got up and grabbed his jacket and the keys to the car and the room.
Sam sat up and rubbed his eyes. This was actually a big thing. Dean hadn't been out and interacting with other people since they had been attacked. This was a good thing. As far as Sam was concerned this was a step towards his brother's recovery. Just like that he was awake and standing up, "Sure. Only if you buy me one." He smirked.
"You drive a hard bargain Sammy but I'm sure I can work something out." Dean smiled, "Let's go."
Sam followed Dean out and into the car where they drove over to the front office. Dean got out and Sam trailed behind. The bell rang announcing their entrance to the girl behind the counter. Sam watched Dean walk confidently over to the desk, not intimidated at all by the giant dog. Sam however had always had a thing about dogs since he'd been bitten once when he was younger and they'd been staying in a caravan park. He'd never really gotten over it.
"Hey Sophie." Dean greeted the girl.
"Back again so soon Dean, is there something you need?" she asked.
"Yeah actually, you don't know where there's any good bars around here do you? My brother and I wanted to check out the local nightlife." Dean said smoothly.
"Well there's Burn which is a nightclub, mostly plays techno and it's where all the young people hang out. But you sound like you'd prefer something more biker by the sound of your car so there's Bill's which is a saloon. More laid back, pool, beer and such. They're both about a mile down the road to your left coming out of the office." Sophie supplied with a cheeky grin.
"Defiantly Bill's. Thanks Sophie."
"No problem, have fun guys."
Dean pulled the car into a parking space at Bill's next to a dark purple '69 Dodge. He made an appreciative noise then got out of his own car, unconsciously stroking the roof to let her know she was the only girl for him.
The place was the average Honky-Tonk bar common to the mid-America they were in. Dean squared his shoulders and walked up to the bar. He could here Johnny Cash playing on the jukebox and he smiled despite himself. Johnny Cash was his Dad's choice of music and hearing the strong voice and acoustic guitar brought memories of his childhood to him. Of being cooped up in the Impala for hours at a time with Sammy in the back and him riding shotgun and laughing along to 'A Boy Names Sue' or tapping his foot to 'Riders In The Sky'. He parked his ass on one of the stools situated at the bar near the end. He felt before he saw, Sam seat himself next to Dean. The older Winchester ordered two beers then swiveled around to watch the goings on of the bar.
There were a few couples dancing in the middle of the room, obviously the dance floor. Girls wearing short shorts and others wearing flowing skirts that went down to their knees where a little further cowboy boots started. The guys likewise seemed to take the cowboy theme seriously and wore cowboy boots and hats, swinging the girls around the floor. In the far left corner of the room stood a few lone pool tables. There were two guys who looked more like bikers than cowboys playing on one of the tables. Probably just some travelers like themselves. Still the whole place had a relaxed and fun atmosphere to it. Good place to just sit down and have a nice cool beer.
Dean turned to face his little brother, "You wanna play some pool?" he asked.
Sam's eyebrows shot up in surprise. It'd been awhile since they'd played pool and to be truthful his skills had probably rusted out some by now. But then again, what was it that they always said? Just like riding a bike? He smiled, "Sure."
They made their way over to the pool tables and Dean racked the balls while Sam chalked the cues. Dean tossed the triangle aside, grabbed a cue, and sunk two balls on the break. The moment they dropped he cracked a satisfied smile, then quickly managed to school his features back into their normal smugness.
The brothers fell into a relaxed, fun and light game. Neither paying any attention to the small crowd of the few bikers from the other table and some of the local girls watching as they battled it out. Sam kept up with his brother and it was a close game near the end. Dean was on the black while Sam was still trying to sink his last colored ball which didn't seem to want to go in. The bastard, he decided he was going to test it for possession later.
"Black corner pocket." Dean stated confidently as he lent down to take the shot. The cue was a familiar weight in his hand. A weapon like any other he used. The feel of the polished wood as it slid over his skin, the tap of the chalked tip as it hit the white and the crack as the white hit the black sending it flying across the table and into the corner pocket. He stood up and grinned triumphantly at his little brother.
Sam smiled back, not really concerned about losing the game, just happy at seeing his brother so relaxed and carefree for the first time in a long time. Still appearances had to be kept, "Lucky shot." He said trying to act at least a little annoyed.
"You wish College Boy. Pure talent is more like it." Dean smiled as he raised his cold beer to his lips, taking a sip and letting the cool liquid run down his throat. He returned his beer to the table it had been resting on and looked around him noticing the crowd who were still standing around the two brothers waiting to see if they were going to play again. A tingle ran down his spine and the hair on the back of his neck stood up. All of a sudden it was if the walls were closing in on him. He'd done well but he needed to get out of the crowded saloon. Just get some air and regain his bearings.
A large hand landed on his shoulder and he jumped despite himself and spun around to see his little brother standing there with concern in his eyes.
"You okay Dean?" Sam asked, worry lacing his tone.
"Yeah. I'm good. I'm just gonna go outside and get some fresh air. You wanna rack the balls and I'll be right back. Give you a chance to redeem yourself Sammy Boy." Dean said, trying to make a joke out of his sudden claustrophobic-ness. He didn't wait for an answer before he turned on his heel and weaved his way through the crowd and out the front door.
As soon as Dean got inside he took a few deep breaths of the fresh night air. He moved away from the doorway and leant back on the wall just taking in the semi-quietness of the parking lot. He closed his eyes and stood there, just being. His eyes being closed made his other senses sharper and he faintly picked up the sound of whimpering. Not that of an animal that was for sure. He slowed his breathing more trying to hone in on the sound when all of a sudden the door to the bar opened and out came one of the girls he had seen standing and watching him play pool with his brother.
She walked over to where he was standing, taking a packet of cigarettes out of her handbag then lit one up. She inhaled deeply then on the exhale she noticed Dean where he was standing, "You want one?" she asked pointing the packet towards him.
Dean shook his head, "No thanks. I'm good." He declined.
"Yes you are. I saw you're game before. You've got talent." The girl smiled flirtatiously.
Dean was about to make some wise crack when he heard a muffled scream coming from where he had heard the whimpering before.
"What was that?" the girl asked in a hushed tone obviously having heard it as well.
"Stay here." Dean ordered as he reached behind him for his gun only to realize a moment later that he wasn't packing. He mentally cursed himself then walked over to where he had heard the noise, sticking to the shadows and keeping his weight on the balls of his feet so he made no noise at all. As he got closer he realized that the noises were coming from an alley way to the other side of the bar. They were also becoming clearer.
"No Luke, please don't. I don't wanna." A woman's voice pleaded, clearly terrified.
"Shut up bitch and take it. You don't wanna make this harder than it has to be. Besides, all you sluts are the same. You need a good fucking to put you back in your place." An angry man's voice growled.
By now Dean had heard enough to figure out what was going on around the corner and he turned it just in time to see one of the bikers from the alley way hit the frightened woman he had bodily pressed up against the alley wall. Dean saw red. Flashes of his own rape flashing in front of his eyes and a cold white furry took over him. It was as if the whole world got put on mute and his vision tunneled to the biker who was busy pulling his hard dick from his pants.
Dean didn't even feel himself moving, it was as if his body had a mind of its own and he was just a bystander watching it. He moved quickly towards the biker with a deadly intent and pulled him off the shocked woman. The biker turned to him with an angry scowl on his ugly features and was about to say something to Dean but he never got a chance. Dean's fist made sure of it as he let it fly right into the guy's mouth. The guy went down but it didn't even deter the incised hunter who followed him landing punch after brutal punch. The other guy never even had a chance.
Dean just kept on hitting, until the biker's face was a bloody mess of teeth and pummeled flesh. Then there were hands pulling at him, trying to get him off. He turned for only a second and swung blindly at whoever was trying to stop him from annihilating this piece of fucking shit. The desperate hands were back and with them sound started to filter back in through his blinding rage.
"Dean stop! You're going to kill him! Stop!" it was Sammy's voice but it sounded terrified and desperate all at once and it was enough for common sense to filter back in. Dean let himself be pulled off the unconscious biker and away from the prone and bloody body.
Dean sat panting heavily and watched the girl who had almost been raped by that fucking bastard scream. She knelt over her boyfriends body, hands ghosting not knowing where to touch and screamed at him to wake up.
The older Winchester's body started shaking from the adrenaline wearing off and he looked down at his hands, his knuckles bloody, the skin torn from where it connected with the guy's teeth, but the majority of the red liquid wasn't his. The rest of his senses came back to him, "Sammy?" he asked, his voice sounding small even to him.
The warm arms which were wrapped around him tightened and Sam answered, "It's ok Dean." Sam said as his hand hooked under Dean's arm and he hauled his brother to his feet, "We gotta get out of here before the cops show up." He told Dean then maneuvered them back over to the Impala. He threw Dean in the passenger seat then tore out of Bill's car park and back to the motel.
Dean let Sam drag him into the motel room and push him on to his bed. He felt numb. His body, mind and spirit. There was no question in his mind that that asshole hadn't deserved a good beating on for what he'd tried to do to that woman but the thing that was freaking him out the most was the fact that he'd lost control.
God damn it the whole point of him trying to recover was so that he could get back control of his life, not loose it like he had in that room when that bastard had taken it from him. And now he'd gone and lost it. Christ, he was such a fuck up. He looked down at his bloody hands and felt his stomach turn.
"Dean what the hell happened?!" Sam cried out from where he was pacing from one side of the motel room to the other.
"He tried to rape that girl Sam." Dean said simply.
Sam stopped his pacing and looked at his brother. Well that did actually explain everything.
He walked over to Dean, "You okay?" Dean turned and looked up into Sam's eyes. They held their gaze long enough for Sam to realize that his question was a stupid one, of course his brother wasn't ok. There gaze broke and both brothers retracted into their heads.
"Nah, I'm okay." Dean said numbly. This was all so fucked up. He half wanted to curl up and be nice and warm inside his own head again. He couldn't do that to Sammy again though.
The two Winchester men sat in silence for a long time, both thinking everything through. Dean about what had happened tonight and Sam about the experience he had had that night at the graveyard when that bastard had decided to share his brother's feelings with him. All of that and now whatever feelings Dean was harboring over what had just happened before as well. Fuck! How much could his brother take?! Sam finally exploded, "Come on man, talk to me! You can't do this by yourself forever!" he exclaimed trying to get it through his brother's thick skull.
Dean sighed and clasped his hands together, keeping his eyes on them. He traced the small blood covered wrinkles that were over his now split knuckles, the various scars and the fine hairs. He knew Sam wanted to talk about his own rape. He had read a few of the pamphlets that he'd found in Sam's bag by accident about rape and how to deal with it. Every single one said that the victim, god he still couldn't get over applying that term to himself. That the victim should talk about his/her feelings to someone they trust, be it a friend, family or a psychiatrist. He closed his eyes tightly and opened them when he exhaled. He may as well try it. What the hell else did he have to lose? Besides, maybe if he could get this off his chest then something like tonight wouldn't happen again.
"It's hard," he started, voice quiet and eyes firmly planted away from Sam's face, "It's like, I've always relied on myself. It's been me and I couldn't even stop it from happening. How pathetic am I."
"Dean you're not path-" Sam tried to say but Dean cut him off.
"Sam, don't. You wanted me to talk about it, now let me talk. I'm not saying how I feel is right, but its how I fucking feel! And I'm sorry if that lets you down, Sammy." Dean said then looked at his brother. Sam was quiet he seemed to understand that Dean needed to get this off his chest before he lost the will to. So Dean continued.
"I couldn't do anything Sam. I couldn't stop him! Hell I couldn't even protect you!" Dean cried out and looked Sam in the face. He noticed the bruise forming on Sam's cheek. Oh god, had he put that there? He couldn't do anything right! His eyes were filled with tears and hopelessness. Fuck!
"If it wasn't for you I'd be dead. Hell so would you Dean! You were the only thing that kept us alive in that room!"
"I broke. He," Dean paused to gain his composure and forced the words out for the first time, "He raped me Sam. He raped me and there was nothing I could do about it. And I couldn't cope man. I checked out. I left you alone with that fuck. God, what if. What if he had have done that to you too and I wasn't there to stop him Sam? What if he had killed you and there was something I could have done. Gotten him away from you but all I did was just lay there and feel sorry for myself?!" Dean cried out, ignoring the tears in his eyes.
Sam quickly walked to where Dean was sitting and crouched in front of him, looking up and catching his brother's eye. He had to get that look of pure anguish off Dean's face. It was killing him.
"Dean listen to me." He waited until he was sure he had the elder's attention, "You saved my life. You kept him away from me and none of it was your fault. Those are just what ifs and they didn't happen. We're both here now. As safe as a Winchester can be. Man you can't have control all the time. It just doesn't work like that."
"But I should Sam, I should always have control. Because if I don't someone is bound to get hurt. And I can't take that on my conscious Sam, I just can't. And then again tonight, I lost control. I couldn't stop myself. What the hell is wrong with me Sam?" Dean asked, voice small like a lost child as his tears finally broke through despite his efforts for them not to.
"Dean there is nothing wrong with you! That guy got what he deserved. You saved that girl Dean." Sam said and placed his hand on Dean's denim covered knee in a gesture of support, "And you kicked my ass in pool." Sam smiled.
Dean laughed at Sam's attempt to lighten the mood but it turned into a chocked sob halfway through. A few more tears rolled down Dean's beautiful yet blood splattered cheeks. He sniffed then wiped his eyes with his sleeve.
"All right Francis. That's it, you've reached your chick-flick quota for the year. Now get off me, I'm gonna go have a shower." Dean said, his voice a bit scratchy from his breakdown. He got up and took off his jacket, throwing it on the bed behind him.
"Dean shouldn't we be getting out of here before the cops come looking for us?" Sam asked.
"Nah, that guy tried to rape her, he's not going to involve the police. Besides I think Sophie has a thing for me." Dean smirked and waggled his eyebrows suggestively at his brother.
"The girl in the office? Ha, you wish Dean." Sam laughed and shook his head.
"Hey, all girls want me Sam. Whether they can see me or not. I just give out sex pheromones. Ladies just can't help themselves."
"You have no shame." Sam laughed then called out to Dean when his brother went into the bathroom, "Don't use all the hot water!" he got flipped off for his effort.
Dean closed the bathroom door and took a deep breath. He walked forward and looked at his reflection in the mirror. He and Sam hadn't spoken about everything they could have, but he'd gotten some important things off his chest. He felt lighter. Huh, maybe that talking crap did work. He looked into his eyes. They looked greener, lighter like somehow some of the darkness that had been behind them had fled him with his words. He was still coming to terms with everything that had happened to him. He doubted he'd ever really be whole again. But then again hey, when had he ever been.
So that's it. I hope you liked it ) This nearly killed me trying to write it and I did massive re-writes on the whole thing. I'm hoping I did okay on the chick-flick moment between the boys and I know not everything was probably covered but I did my best. I think that Sam not mentioning what the ghost had done to him, sharing Dean's pain, was the way to go. It just seemed like something the canon Sam would do to spare his brother more pain knowing that Sam knew.
I'm not thinking about a sequel at this point but you never know what might happen. Besides, I never thought that this story would be as accepted and loved as it is. I honestly thought when I was considering posting this that if I did I'd only get around 50 reviews and a ton of hate mail. So you can imagine how happy I am at how this has turned out. It's my most successful story to date and my baby too lol. I have quite a few other bunnies running around inside my head which I will be getting to soon. One last thing to say: Please review and let me know what you thought! Loved it? Hated it? Thought it needed more? Let me know P