Roads – SN fic. Chpt 1.
Disclaimer – Sadly... still applies.
Love - Gladly still applies.
...something's wrong...wake up... she heard and felt her eyes come open.
"No..." she whispered sitting up, gliding across the room, careful not to wake Dean. "Sam..." she said softly, her hands wrapped around his.
They wrapped around his hand, and the smoke black .9mm that trembled beneath his chin while streams shimmered in ribbons down his cheeks and his blue-green eyes begged deep into hers.
He doesn't want to feel this... he can't feel this hurt anymore... Oh God help me help him... for both of them! she felt a small whispered plea in her mind, careful not to think too loudly lest the one person who would be damaged beyond repair be somehow alerted to something wrong.
"Please..." he mouthed more than spoke, his arm giving way, relinquishing the weapon to her as his body buckled, sliding from the bed, onto his knees on the floor before her, his face fell into his hands and his shoulders shook.
"I gotcha sweetie... s'gonna be okay..." she assured him, her hands pulling him close, pressing his head into the crook of her neck and shoulder, her fingers smoothing his sweat soaked hair while the other hand stroked his silently hitching back.
"It hurts... oh God it hurts!" he whispered nearly gagging on it, gasping for breath against the agony lancing through him from more directions than he knew existed, "...please... just... stop it..." he begged, the fight gone from him as he clutched his arms around her, pulled her to him and let himself quake in her embrace.
She bent his long legs and tucked them under the blanket, the rhythm of his deep breathing and light snore never changing as she maneuvered him until she thought he looked comfortable and wouldn't 'crick' up over night.
Dean rolled out of bed, grabbed Sam's gun from the floor where Laura had swept it to the side, and unloaded it before tucking it into his bag and joining her at the table, his hand reaching shakily for hers, his expression one of bewildered crumbling innocence.
He swallowed hard and opened a beer for both of them then swept his thumb over her cheek, wiping away the tears she cried for his brother.
"I didn't... he can't... he didn't... how?... please... how can we help him?" he finally wrapped his lips around a question.
"When did you wake up?" she whispered, wondering just what new injury might scar his already battered psyche. If we knew... if YOU knew how the pieces fit... it might not hurt so much... if I knew... I'd tell you...
"I felt you get out of bed..." he looked at his brother sleeping through the effects of too much alcohol, too much pain and suffering, too much... everything over the last couple weeks in particular, "I don't understand... but I do..." he muttered around the bottle.
"I could try to take some of the pain away... he might let me..." she suggested squeezing his hand then pressing his fingers to her lips.
He looked from his girl to his brother and shook his head, "What so you can get all angstified and pop a cap in your own crown? Yeah I don't think so... you got enough going on right now that you're not telling me about... I can't keep the both of you safe if YOU start tail-spinning too..." he admonished quietly then set his bottle down and set his gaze hard and fast on her, "... which brings me to... what the HELL is up with you anyway?... you've been pushing and pushing non-stop since this whole cult thing went down, are you trying to kill yourself too?!"
"This isn't about me sweetie..."
"Oh no... NO, you don't get to do that... not here, not now... uh uh..." he challenged shaking his head.
"It's just survivors' remorse... I'll get past it in time, don't worry," she assured him.
"Survivors' remorse... over what? What's to be remorseful about? Survival isn't something to mourn it's something to celebrate!" he insisted quietly, ever mindful of his sleeping Sam.
Laura felt her heart crack and gasped for breath, unable to stop the flood of images that scrolled constantly through her mind's eye. "You didn't see... you didn't watch... or stand by helpless... hiding... cringing like terrified animal trapped in its den while its kin are ripped to pieces, torn apart by rabid hungry predators driven mad by possession... perverted against their very nature and used for arbitrary destruction!" she gasped and slapped her hand over her mouth, her eyes wide and liquid as they shifted from Dean's penetrating emerald gaze to his sleeping baby brother.
She shook her head backing against the wall, her hand still over her mouth, her eyes still impossibly wide as Dean looked from her to Sam and back again, her words seeking meaning in his mind. What? What?... there's... something... "I think John was wrong... I don't think they're JUST demons..." that's what she said before... "I think it's coming..." "I think it was a field exercise..." he recalled their conversation not long after her return from the sidhe universe, what she'd seen and what she feared.
"No..." he shook his head rising to his feet, stalking toward where she stood, her back pressed against the dark paneling of the room, "Not Sam... you're not thinking..." "The demon has plans for me... and for children LIKE me..." Demonic foot-soldiers, isn't that what Gordon called 'em? "I think he's a fulcrum... a pivot point... corruption is the key..." isn't that just another word for perversion? he thought grasping her shoulders and pressing her into the wall, "No..."
"I DON'T know Dean... I wish to God I did!" she whispered, her head dropping forward, her hands on his hips as he pulled her against his chest, his head shaking back and forth.
"No... I won't let it happen! Do you understand me? I WILL NOT let it happen!" he insisted nearly crushing her to him.
"I know..." she nodded against his chest, "But we have to find a way to open his eyes to the possibilities, he has to be able to see other paths before he can choose one..."
He slipped his finger under her chin and tilted her head back, the layers of pain he hadn't been able to see before were now made visible, he was starting to get his 'game eyes' and what he was able to glimpse so far was mind boggling.
"I love you," he said.
"Do you trust this plan?" she asked looking from Dean to Dr. H. Nabarre, the man who'd cared for them all during their recovery from the effects of their captivity at the hands of Alana's cult. The very same man she'd used her influence to contact, and to coerce into their motel room in the wee hours of the night with a veritable pharmacopeia at his fingertips.
"I trust you...with my life," Dean nodded.
"With Sam's life?" she asked expecting a moment's hesitation she was surprised by the fullness of his eye contact and the solemnity of his nod.
She looked at the Dr, "Do it."
Dr. Nabarre tapped out the syringe and dosed the youngest Winchester, then handed a second syringe to Laura, "You know...?" he asked.
She nodded, tossed the syringe into a toothbrush case and put it into her bag, "You won't remember this, all you know about us is that we all left after a full recovery."
"Okay," he nodded picking up his bag and heading out the door, "Have a safe trip," he called softly with a wave.
"Get the car door..." Dean instructed hoisting Sam's unconsciousness half over his shoulder.
"You're gonna lose him..." Laura chuckled racing to Sam's left and helping to hold him up.
They trundled him out into the parking lot where Dean held him steady against the car while she opened the doors and knelt in the back seat guiding his head and shoulders safely into the vehicle.
"Good thing he likes to sleep with his knees in his chest cause man... short as I am I'd be kinked all to hell..." she shook her head smiling wryly as they returned quickly to the room to retrieve their bags.
"You're kinky anyway..." Dean smirked taking a last glance around the room then satisfied, closed the door.
"This from you?" she shook her head striding side by side with him back to the car.
"I'm not sure I like this..." he muttered as asphalt slithered out behind them. His eyes flicked to his little brother, the baby he'd raised and protected for the whole of his life.
"Me neither... but I don't know what else to do... this isn't something he can sit in an office and work through with some shrink, that other guy tried it and it got him hunted. Sam's already in danger from other hunters who don't know or won't care that things are..."
"I know, I know...but what if he sees things that are worse? What if he sees himself as some sort of demonic demigod?" he asked chewing on his lower lip.
She shook her head feeling somehow what he was really asking, "what if he sees himself as some sort of demonic demigod... and what if he likes it?" yet she couldn't bear to voice the fear for him. She couldn't bear to rupture the membrane around that question that might permit it to become part of their reality. Keep it in its bubble... where it belongs... God what are we doing? Instead, in full accordance with her nature, she clung to whatever little evidence and empirical data belonged to the worlds the three of them straddled. "I don't know... but from what you described to me... those spokes, those tendrils... those threads of possibility... they were individual, tailored to the individual they were tethered to...so at the far end of one of those threads he might very well be and see himself as a demonic demigod... but we just have to hope that those possibilities are the fewest outcomes of the choices he can make..." she turned her head, her eyes looking into the bright green of his, "Maybe we shouldn't do this..."
"I wish I knew how to fix this... I didn't know he was in so much pain... how could I not know? I'm his brother damnit!" Dean growled punching the steering wheel, "how could I NOT know!?"
"He didn't want to hurt you sweetie... he didn't want to burden you..."
"He's not a burden he's my brother!" he snarled looking into the back seat through the mirror once again, "My stupid, sensitive..." he stopped, took a shaky breath then returned his focus to the road before them as a couple droplets released themselves from his eyes, "... my brother...MINE..." he nodded.
In the back seat of the impala Sam sighed, his breathing light and for the first time in days the air around him lost the flavor of stifled desperation. The thorough effects of chemistry in his body giving the young man a moment's peace, closing a door on that mass of swirling black gray otherworldly entities that had found the most delicious never ending buffet of anguish within the young hunter.
Above the impala, they raced to keep up, hopeful, wishing, needing to feed but unable now that the young one was closed off to them. The other two had done something and the creatures were not happy about it.
They chased darkness, heading Westward in a strange but companionable silence fractured only by the occasional navigational clue or direction. Music didn't stroke the air, nor did conversation. Man and woman lost in thought, contemplating scenarios they would never see. It was the end result they cared for, to ease the pain, to raise off of his shoulders that titanic sense of responsibility for the welfare of the world. To furnish the young man in the backseat with a renewed sense of hope these last few weeks had done their best to rape from him.
A flicker of light drew her attention, startling her halfway round in her seat to stare out the window, a needle stick of pressure sunk deep into the muscle of her shoulder, right at the base of her neck drawing her hand reflexively to the spot.
"What?" Dean asked, his brows furrowing as he wondered what was going to happen next and if what they were about to do to his baby brother was the right thing. I'll be right there with you Sammy... don't you worry about it... I won't leave you... I won't.
"Felt like a bite or something..." she shrugged scratching the spot until a small welt made itself seen.
"Probably a skeeter..." he smiled tightly.
"Yeah...How much longer?" she asked after another few minutes of silence.
"Another hour or so... I just hope she'll help..." Dean shook his head.
"She has to... it's her world too..."
Dean nodded in his typical yes/no fashion. Nothing was certain, they were moving quickly into uncharted territory, yet again, only this time they were about to cast someone they loved adrift without so much as a warning or a compass.
"What?" Cernunnos looked into the stormy eyes of the Ancient deity at his side as they watched Dean and Laura shuttle Sam into the back seat of the impala.
"You can wait no longer to begin if you wish your humans to survive... the boy's pain has been closed to them... they will marshal and attack at the worst possible moment..." he said opening his hand once more, releasing another half dozen darting lights into the night to help banish as many of the grey Igigi from this world as possible.
"Everything isn't entirely ready to begin the process yet..." the incognito Celt protested, anything he could do to prolong starting the events rolling that would change these people he'd grown so fond of.
The look on Anunnaki's face was incredulous, "How can you not be prepared?"
"I don't want them to have to..."
"Grow? Change? Evolve?... Cernunnos!"
"Let them do this much first! They are MY charges! I will NOT force the process on them sooner than absolutely necessary!" the normally docile God of Fertility and Rebirth challenged, his eyes glowing hot copper in the night.
"Every moment you delay the inevitable weakens their final position... you of ALL beings know that!"
"They are strong, adaptable..."
"You're doing them a disservice in the end..."
The Celt turned and met the Babylonian's eyes, "Maybe... maybe not..."
Anunnaki raised his hand once more, bringing into existence two more darting flashes of light. He nodded his head in the direction of the fading red tail lights down the ribbon of black then turned to Cernunnos, "They'll keep us informed."