Rating: PG-13 for subject matter
Genre: equal portions angst and brotherly love
Disclaimer: I don't own Sam, Dean, or anything related to Supernatural (if only) – Kripke and others do.
Spoilers: major ones for "All Hell Breaks Loose, part 1" (nothing for part 2)
Warnings: only the obvious one
Summary: Ficlet, 1600 words. Coda to "All Hell Breaks Loose, part 1." The final scene from Sam's point of view.
AN: I felt the need to write something for this episode. I realized that we clearly saw how Dean was effected by the episode's final events, so I thought I'd try and get inside Sam's head and see how he was feeling in that moment, and this is what I came up with. Enjoy.
Sam turns at the sound of his brother's voice, an intense feeling of relief washing over him. He sees Dean walking toward him from far away, Bobby beside him, and Sam starts slowly toward his brother, cradling his right arm to his chest.
Dean always comes for him. Dean is the one constant in Sam's variable-ridden life. When Sam was little, Dean was always there: to tell him Dad would be back soon, to tell him that his dreams were just dreams and that they couldn't hurt him, to hold him when he was scared until he fell back to sleep. He was always there to save him from the bad things in the world. He was the one to shoot the werewolf on Sam's first hunt when he was too scared to act. He was there to save him from the ghost who tried to drown him on his sixteenth birthday.
He saves him from ghosts, demons, and other supernatural beings. He saves him from the evil of humanity. When Sam needs him, Dean is always there for him.
Sam told Jake that he wasn't sure Dean could save him. He should have known better. He should have known Dean would come this time; he always does.
He continues toward his brother, and when Dean pauses and calls to him, Sam calls back, a look of wonder and awe and admiration reflected in his bright eyes and the small smile that says, You came, I should have known you would.
Even though they are still feet away, Sam feels safe. Dean is here, and everything is going to be okay.
So when Dean yells, "Sam, look out!" a look of confusion barely has time to cross Sam's face before a sharp, intense pain flares up in his back and swallows him whole.
He vaguely hears Dean scream "No!" as Jake twists the knife, and Sam groans before falling to his knees. All he can feel is pain, centering in his back and radiating outwards, flowing quick and hard throughout his entire body. The world blurs around the edges, the pain making it too hard to focus, and he feels himself fall forward.
But he never meets the ground. He feels arms holding him up, and he tries to focus on the voice calling his name.
Dean is calling his name, trying to get him to pay attention, and Sam wants to look at him but his eyes won't focus. Dean pulls him close and puts his arms around him, and Sam groans when Dean presses his hand to his back, but no sound comes out. Instead, he feels blood pushing itself up his throat, soaking into his lungs. When Dean says, "Look at me," Sam tries, but he can't see clearly anymore, his eyes wandering in their sockets, unable to focus on Dean even though he can still hear him and feel his arms holding him up.
Memories begin to flood his thoughts, flashing across his mind's eye in quick succession. They move so quickly that Sam doesn't know how he can still understand them, but he does. Every memory is clear and sharp in his mind, and he can recall all of the emotions attached to them.
He sees scenes of himself as a kid, eager for his older brother to teach him everything he knows. Dean is his hero, greater than Superman. He can do anything and everything, and Sam wants to be just like him when he grows up.
He sees scenes of himself as a teenager, angry with his family for not understanding that he doesn't want to live the life they do.
He sees scenes of himself in college, trying to convince himself that he doesn't miss Dean; that he doesn't miss the joking and the camaraderie, the sense that he is safe even in the darkest of circumstances. He has Jessica and he has his friends, and he is happy. But he never feels safe, and there is always a knife hidden under his pillow or his mattress.
Finally, he sees scenes of his life from the last two years on the road with Dean. The two of them pulling pranks on each other, protecting each other in battle, and caring for each other's injuries. He recalls the sense of safety he always feels, knowing that Dean is there beside him in the car or sleeping on the bed next to him, placing himself between Sam and the outside world which is constantly threatening to burst in and overwhelm him.
Then he remembers the time when he thought he had been infected by the demon virus. When he had thought he was going to die, and he had told Dean to leave him, to keep going. When Dean had said, What makes you think I want to? and I'm tired, Sam.
Suddenly, the scenes stop flashing before his eyes, and Sam can hear Dean again. Dean is calling his name fearfully, and Sam realizes that this will kill his brother. Sam realizes that if he dies, Dean will die too, if not physically, then emotionally and mentally and in every other way that matters. Sam will take away Dean's only reason for living, the only thing that has kept him fighting. He will take away the job that Dean has had since he was four years old. Dean has been telling him all his life that taking care of Sam is his job as his older brother. In a way, watching out for Sam has been Dean's destiny. And Sam realizes that, if he dies, Dean will lose a part of himself, and he won't have enough left to survive.
Sam is tired. He can feel the darkness surrounding him, trying to pull him under, and he wants to fight it. He doesn't want to be selfish, doesn't want to give in. He wants to fight for Dean, but he is so tired and it's so hard.
It hits him then that he is going to die. He isn't strong enough to fight this. Dean has always taken care of him, and Sam wants desperately to return the favor, but now it is too late.
As the darkness surrounds him, as the world blurs at the edges, Sam hears Dean say, "I'm gonna take care of you, I gotcha," and Sam remembers a time when he was six years old and Dean had been teaching him how to ride a bike. Dean had let go of the bike, and Sam had tried to keep it in balance without him, but he hadn't been able to, and he had fallen to the ground calling for his big brother. Dean had caught up to him, knelt beside him, and quieted his tears. Then he had said, You don't have to be afraid. I'll always be there for you when you need me. I may not always be there to catch you. But I will always be there to help you up again. Sam wonders how ironic it is that this time Dean does catch him…but he will not be able to help him back up again.
Suddenly, Sam knows that Dean will blame himself for this. He always blames himself when Sam gets hurt, even when it could never be his fault. It is his job, and when it isn't done perfectly, he blames himself.
Sam doesn't want to go. He doesn't want to leave his brother without telling him that this is not his fault; that he doesn't blame him. That Dean has done more for him than he will ever realize.
That he loves him.
He tries to talk, but his throat and lungs are full of blood, and he can't make his lips move to form the words. He can't move, can't talk, can't breathe. He hears Dean calling his name from far away, as though in a dream. Sam? Sammy! He hears his voice break, hears the desperation and fear and anguish and denial. He hears Dean say "no" over and over and over again, and though Dean doesn't say it, Sam knows that he is thinking, No, it's not supposed to end this way.
Sam agrees, but there is no longer anything he can do about it, and he wants to scream out his helplessness and frustration. But when Dean wraps Sam up in his arms, and Sam can still just feel the pressure and warmth and love in his brother's embrace, his anger fades.
Dean's arms are shaking slightly, his breathing short and erratic, chest heaving, but his grip is strong and he is rocking back and forth slightly. And now Sam wants to cry because he is four years old again and he wants nothing more than to curl up in his brother's arms and let him rock him back to sleep, his bad dreams of fire and death and yellow eyes forgotten, but Sam can't cry because he doesn't have the strength even for that anymore.
Sam forgets where he is, what is happening, and embraces the knowledge that he is being rocked off to sleep, and he will finally be able to forget his bad dreams for good.
Sam relaxes and lets the darkness surround him completely.
When Dean yells his name, his voice echoing loudly in the silence around him, Sam has a vague image of where he is, what he is allowing to happen, and he tries to come back from the dark, but he is in too deep. He gave into the darkness and now he is gone.
Sam thinks that Dean buries his face in his neck and sobs, but he can't be sure. The darkness takes him, and the last thing Sam thinks before the darkness gives way to a warm, bright light, is, I'm sorry, Dean.
AN: Depressing, I know, but hey, I'm not the one who ended it that way. (cough)Kripke you evil bastard/genius, I hate/love you(cough)
Also, those who've read my previous stories will know that I borrowed the bike incident from "I'll Always Be There." It fit in with what I wanted to say, so I decided to reuse it. :)
Comments are appreciated, and I hope everyone enjoys the finale on Thursday! I know I will. :D