Disclaimer: Supernatural and its characters belong to the CW- I'm just borrowing. The plot and anyone else is mine.
So, this is another compare/contrast piece. I just felt that Dean needed some ego boosting, so I wrote this little piece- not that Dean was willing to work with me on this…
It's four chapters, all Sam POV, and includes hurt!Sam, but it's really just a schmoopy piece about how awesome Dean is as a brother. It's just one big chickflick moment because I was too lazy to write a story around it to balance it out…
Blind, But Now I See: Chapter 1-
Sam listened to the boy across from him with a ball of pity and depression growing inside of him. The "child" wasn't really so much a "child" as a preteen, and even then not really a preteen seeing as how he was a ghost. After all, ghosts really weren't pre anything anymore.
Danny, the particular ghost in question, was still talking with quite a bit of animation- especially considering that he was dead. Sam figured that the boy's parents probably would've put the kid on Ritalin if he were still alive, and still twelve-years-old.
"Did you know…my brother took this egg once, for this contest in the town fair, and dropped it FIFTY FEET off this bridge, and it didn't even break! He was the only one in the whole town who could do it!"
Sam smiled and nodded at the boy. Danny had been telling Sam all about his brother, Drew, for over an hour now. Sam had met Drew in person, at his job at a chemical plant. Drew was now forty years old, a chemical engineer, and head of detergent design for a company that produced engine oil. However, in Danny's eyes, Drew was his sixteen-year-old brother.
"He is so cool! This weekend, or whenever he finds me, he said he'll even go fishing with me! I'm so excited! I go fishing with my dad all the time, but Drew never comes- he says it's gross because you have to touch the dead fish. But I told him that I like touching the dead fish so I'd just take his off too. My friend Tommy says that he doesn't think Drew knows how to fish. Tommy's coming with us when we go. I bet him that Drew will catch more fish than both of us put together. He's a genius. He knows everything!"
Sam turned away, unable to hide his emotions. To hear Danny talk about Drew- the kid worshipped his brother and listening to him, well, Sam couldn't help but be reminded of himself. The way Danny described his brother, it could have come word for word out of Sam's own mouth at that age. But Sam had gotten Dean as a brother and, unfortunately, poor Danny had gotten Drew.
Drew that brought the kid into the forest telling him it'd be a short cut home and purposefully walked him past a group of local druggies. Drew who let the kid get beaten by the druggies and then "saved" him from them, only to run Danny off a small cliff. It was at that point that Danny broke his leg and was unable to climb out. Drew assured him he'd take care of it and be back with help…he told Danny to wait right there. "Don't move," he had said. Twenty-four years later, Danny was still sitting there waiting for his hero to return…because Drew would be back. He had said so.
Sam buried his head in his knees.
"When do you think your brother'll be back?"
Sam looked up; Danny was right in front of him, staring at him with white, glowy, transparent eyes. Sam shrugged, "As soon as he gets a rope."
It was the ghosts of the two local druggies, the ones who had overdosed about a week after Danny had "gone missing" that had brought the brothers to the forest. The two dead delinquents had been torturing and tormenting people for years, to the point where not even the park officials wanted to patrol the area.
Naturally, Sam and Dean had immediately taken the case, which is when they met Drew. Drew, who although he complained a fair amount about having to take care of his little brother and "waste his life a way" watching his little brother, failed to have mentioned that he also passively killed his little brother. Sam only found that out after Danny told him the story. Drew had known where he was, known he was injured, and left him there to die.
Briefly Sam wondered if Drew had also given the druggies "higher quality" drugs to do away with them as witnesses. If he had, it might explain why they were still around, or maybe they died on their own…
"Did your brother get straight A's in school too?"
Sam laughed and shook his head, stretching his legs out. "No. School was never really Dean's thing."
"Oh." Danny seemed to ponder this and then nodded. "Sports guy, huh?"
Sam laughed again and raised his eyebrows. "No. Sports were never really his thing either."
"Oh." Now the spirit looked confused. "Isn't he good at anything?"
Defensiveness flared in Sam and he answered before remembering that he was sitting across from a boy whose brother had led him to his death. "Yeah- saving me."
Sam winced as soon as the comment was out of his mouth, but thankfully, the boy didn't seem to notice how potentially nasty the statement was. Danny smiled, "I guess that's a good thing to be good at. My brother's good at that too. Before I fell, Drew got those guys to let go of me. They would've killed me otherwise. Hey. Does your brother cook?"
Sam smiled. "He makes a real mean mac and cheese."
Danny smiled back. "My brother cooks all the time. Tommy says he's gay." Danny looked annoyed for a second. "He's not…" Sam raised his brows as he thought back to when he met Drew…Tommy may have been right, but that was just speculation. "…but he cooks everything. He says it's just like chemistry, but with food. Sometimes I sneak into the kitchen while he's cooking and taste it when he's not looking." Danny giggled. "He gets really pissed. One time he even whacked me with a wooden spoon- you should've seen the bruise! It was so cool! It was all these different colors…"
Sam looked down at his own arm as the ghost went on describing his former bruise. His wrist was broken, that much he knew. It was purple, and swollen, and it was clear that the bone was misaligned. Not to mention the excruciating pain. He had broken it in the fall, ironically reliving Danny's last few moments before he went missing. In fact, now that he thought about it, what had happened to Danny was so similar to what had happened to him this evening that Sam was wondering if the two dead druggies had been reliving their interaction with Danny. Sam shook his head, probably not. After all, the ghosts chased and attacked anyone who traveled through the woods, it was really Sam and Dean on their own who had ran in the same path as Drew and Danny. And of course, it was Sam, of his own stupid accord, that had run right off the twenty foot, muddied embankment and broke his arm. The same one that Danny had run off twenty-four years ago, breaking his leg.
"I hope your brother doesn't get lost too."
Sam looked up the muddy cliff; unfortunately, the top of the embankment was impossible to see from his position. "How long have you been here Danny?"
He knew he was risking agitating the ghost with the question, but he was curious of how aware the boy was. Sam watched as Danny sadly looked over at his own remains. "I…I'm not sure." Then the boy looked back to the top of the cliff. "But Drew should be back any minute for me. I didn't move. Just like he said. Hey, Sam?"
Sam took a breath and nodded. "You think Drew'll be proud that I listened to him?"
Sam thought about his answer carefully before addressing the spirit's question. "You know you're dead…don't you Danny?"
Danny looked over at his bones again before nodding. Sam swallowed, relieved that his hunch had been correct and that news hadn't come as a shock. "Well, I think Drew would probably have wanted you to move on, you know? Like, go to Heaven, be at peace."
He didn't know if the boy believed in Heaven, but based on the kid's Irish heritage, it was probably a safe bet. If he could convince the spirit to let go of this world, then maybe the boy could finally find some peace.
For his part, Danny seemed to consider Sam's suggestion, looking upset before finally shaking his head. "No. He told me to wait for him. I need to be here when he comes back. Otherwise he'll think I left him."
Sam sighed in defeat. His arm was throbbing.
Sam turned back to his companion and once again Danny was bouncing with excitement. "Tell me about your brother!"
Sam smiled and cleared his throat. "Uh…well…he's older than me. Um, he likes to hunt. He's a really good shot, probably the best shot I know." Danny smiled, clearly sharing in Sam's pride. Sam grinned back as he continued. "He's got this car that he's in love with."
Danny laughed. "He's in love with a car?"
Sam laughed back and leaned his head on the muddy wall behind him. "It's a 1967 Chevy Impala."
"1967? Why would he want that old piece of junk? My friend Tommy, his dad had one of them. He sold it last month for like thirty bucks."
For a moment Sam was confused until he realized that the boy had died in 1982. Sam talking about a '67 Impala was equal to someone in 2007 talking about a '92 Ford Taurus. Still, Dean would have been more than a little upset to hear his "baby" be referred to as "an old piece of junk".
"What else is your brother like?"
Sam looked up at the night stars as he answered. "Uh…he's a smooth talker, good at picking up girls and getting himself out of trouble. He's smart, knows pretty much everything there is to know about our business. He's loyal to a fault. He can be funny…sometimes. And then he can be really annoying sometimes. But…he's always there when I need him."
The ghost nodded. "He sounds like my brother."
Sam didn't say anything, although Danny was right. Based on their descriptions, Dean and Drew did sound like they were alike. Through their brother's eyes, both were equally adored. But Drew didn't deserve it. Sam wondered how Danny couldn't see it. He had been waiting 24 years for Drew to return. He had died waiting for Drew to return. Drew had beaten him with a spoon, and yet Danny couldn't see any of it.
A sudden thought jumped into Sam's head and he tried to picture Dean not coming back. If Danny trusted Drew as much as Sam trusted Dean, and Danny had been wrong, it was possible that Sam was too. And suddenly Sam was overwhelmed as a montage of memories attacked his mind:
"I've tried so hard to keep you safe…"
"I can't; I would rather die…"
"Shoot me!" "No, Sammy, come on…"
Okay, no way in hell Dean wouldn't be back for him. Sam had 'turned evil,' was in the process of torturing someone, had begged Dean to kill him, and Dean hadn't done it. If Dean had wanted Sam dead…he certainly had the opportunity. And even if he wanted to 'kill' Sam passively, he could've just let the Benders do it.
Sam slammed his head against the mud. Dean was so consistently loyal, loved him so unconditionally, that he couldn't even successfully imagine that Dean would leave him there.
"Maybe our brothers will come back together. Maybe Dean can remind Drew where he left me. I think he might be lost."
Sam picked his head up to look at the ghost. He had a packet of salt and a lighter in his pocket, he could torch the remains- Dean probably would've- but somehow, Sam just couldn't bring himself to do it. It probably wouldn't work anyway, they were right by the river, and the bones were probably too wet to catch.
Thinking of the nearby river sent a chill through his body. It had become much colder since the sun had set, and the mist coming off the river didn't help. Sam pulled his jacket tighter around himself.
The boy noticed the action. "You cold?"
Sam nodded and closed his eyes.
"You look sick. I'd give you my jacket, but I don't have one. Drew has one, he'll probably lend it to me if I ask…maybe. It'd probably fit…"
Sam shook his head. "I'm fine."
Sam shivered more as he felt the spirit's cold presence settle next to him. "It hurts doesn't it?"
Sam peeked an eye open and looked down at the apparition. "My arm?"
Danny's bubbly face suddenly took on a serious expression as he shook his head. "Dying."
Sam started. "It's only been two hours. I don't think I'm dying."
"It makes your bones feel cold."
That Sam couldn't argue with, his bones did feel cold.
"At least you don't have to die alone like I did. I'll be here with you, and if Drew comes, we'll save you."
Sam smiled. "Thanks Danny, but Dean'll be back any minute now."
The boy nodded. "That's what I said…but it just got colder. Even during the days it was colder."
Sam closed his eyes again, unwilling to see the betrayed soul. "Danny…how long were you waiting? I mean, while you were alive?"
There was a pause before Sam heard the answer. "Four nights. I think. It's hard to tell because after the first two it got really hard to think and I kept sleeping and throwing up and stuff. I just kept praying, but I never really worried, because Drew said he'd be right back. I knew he'd find me."
Sam willed the tear not to slip out from under his eye. If he ever saw Drew again…he might just have to accept his destiny, commit murder, and go darkside.
"…After the first two nights, the only thing I really remember is the end, because I was scared. I just didn't want to be alone. I didn't want to die by myself. I was never by myself. When I was sick, my parents were always with me. People aren't supposed to die without anyone knowing. I didn't want my death to be like that. After all, you only get the one. Plus, I was so close to town, it wasn't fair, my family was so close…"
The tear could no longer be held and Sam quickly wiped it away. Dean was right, he was too damn sensitive.
"Drew will come back though. He said he would. He promised. He always keeps his promises. Does Dean? I mean, does Dean always keep his promises?"
Sam opened his eyes and shook his head with a smile. "Not all of them, only the good ones."
Danny looked confused. "Aren't all promises good?"
Sam shook his head again. "No, and Dean's smart enough to know which ones he shouldn't keep."
"Oh." The ghost moved back over to his remains, thankfully taking some of the cold back with him. "Then why did he make them in the first place?"
"Uh," Sam grinned and cleared his throat, "he's got a problem saying 'no' to me. Used to really piss our dad off… Never helped that I'd use it to my advantage."
The boy looked confused, but before Sam could be questioned, the spirit disappeared. Sam looked around quickly before he was distracted by a voice from above.
It was Dean. He had never doubted that Dean would return, but Sam now realized that that was just a symptom of taking his brother for granted. Of course Dean would come back and save his ass…duh. Except that it wasn't 'of course' and 'duh'- he was lucky, extremely lucky that Dean would come back and save him, because not all brothers did. And not all brothers would die for their siblings, and not all brothers would sacrifice their lives, give up their dreams, to protect their siblings. In fact, hardly any would. Sam owed Dean everything. Twenty-two years of unconditional love, support, comfort, and guidance. Anything he wanted, he only needed to ask and Dean would hand it over.
Sam scraped his way along the mud as he stood up. He was filled to the brim with love and appreciation for his brother. And as he stood there watching Dean throw down the end of a rope, he realized that his biggest challenge now lie in front of him. Somehow, Dean had to be thanked…whether he liked it or not.
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