After watching AHBL for the hundredth time, I finally succumbed and wrote this piece. I normally don't do missing scenes, I think I've only done one other beside this. Well I hope you guys enjoy this piece, I had fun writing it. :)
Also proud to say this won Best Missing Scene for the Supernatural.tv 2007 Fanfic Awards.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. In fact, I threw my whole paycheck into the stupid well, and the boys are still owned by Kripke and Co. Maybe someday...
It was colder than it should have been for this time of year. Silence stretched out, reaching, encircling, threatening to suffocate. The ground was solid beneath him, and the gravel dug painfully into his knees. His leg muscles cramped from the strain of balancing, his hands shook as he held on for dear life. The moon hid behind the clouds like a coward, plunging the small deserted town into blackness, leaving a bone-deep cold to slither through the trees, attacking those most vulnerable.
Dean Winchester, in the center of it all, felt nothing.
Bobby had taken off running, chasing the faceless man that had taken the life of the youngest hunter. The trees shrouded in darkness hid his escape, and soon the only footfalls and gasps for breath that could be heard belonged to the aged hunter. He had forced himself to give up his chase on Jake, focusing on getting back to the brothers.
The heartbroken cry had nearly driven him to his knees. Bobby stumbled, but refused to fall, and quickened his pace.
The sight that greeted him stopped him cold, and he finally gave in to gravity, falling to his knees. For a moment, Bobby Singer couldn't breathe as he watched the boys before him.
Dean sat on the ground, his body language mirroring Sam's, both resting on their knees. Dean held Sam's unresisting body to him, clutching him in a fierce hug.
"No, no, no, no, oh God Sam, no, no, no…" Dean repeated, his own shock hampering his ability to do much else. From his position, Bobby could see the faint dark circle in the center of Sam's back. The reality of the situation came crashing down, causing him to lean forward slightly, now supporting his upper body with one hand pressed firmly into the ground. He saw it all in slow motion…
"Sam!" Dean called again, cursing under his breath. The surrounding woods was silent, not even the creatures of the night wanted to be out for this. They rounded the corner and were greeted by the sight of Sam limping towards them.
"Dean!" he returned, clutching his arm to his chest. A man in an Army uniform appeared out of nowhere, and in a heart-stopping instant, they knew what his intention was.
The warning had been too late…too late…they had been too late...
They ran in unison, the younger man dropping to catch his fallen brother.
It hit Bobby in that moment with blinding clarity…the knife…the grunt of pain…Sam had been stabbed in the back. The thought pulled him back to his feet, and he forced one foot after the other, intent on reaching the boys.
With a hand that shook, he checked for a pulse, and couldn't find one. He studied the wound up close, and knew it had gone right through the boy's spinal cord. Sam was dead. Oh God.
"Dean," Bobby tried. He refused to lose both brothers, though he knew Dean wouldn't survive. It was too much to ask.
"No," Dean repeated, though Bobby knew it was more a continuation of his mantra than an answer to Bobby's call.
"Dean," he tried again. "We have to get out of here."
"No," Dean repeated.
He hated the thought of leaving the dying and the already dead alone, but he knew he didn't have a choice. Bobby tried again: "Dean, we can't let Sam sit out here. I'm going to find a place where we can move him, stay here."
Knowing he wouldn't receive a reply, he didn't bother to wait for one. A quick scouting of the town revealed that they were the only ones remaining.
His first building revealed two bodies, a young man drenched in blood and a young woman with her head at the wrong angle. He bent to study the man first. He looked like he'd been ripped to pieces by a wild animal, and the amount of blood pooling beneath him was unreal. Bobby shuddered, and knew the poor guy had met with a demon. The girl on the other hand, her death had been quick and painless. She was on her side, but her eyes were fixed almost behind her. He wondered if she'd also met with the Army guy. Shaking his head and saying a quick word for the dead, Bobby moved on.
The third building he entered didn't have much, but it had what they would need. He ran back out to the square, relieved to find the brothers still there.
"Dean, we have to get out of the center of the square, we have to move."
Bloodshot eyes moved slightly, barely focusing on him.
"Bobby," he said, barely in a whisper. "I can't…Sam…he's…Bobby…I can't fix this."
"I know Dean, but I found a place where we can move your brother. We need to move now."
Bobby bent down to grab Sam, but held off when he heard the low growl emitted from the older brother. "I've got him. I've always had him."
Bobby nodded and stepped back, knowing Dean had to do this for himself.
Moments passed before Dean finally moved, his hands gripping his brother's arms as he pushed him away slightly, supporting him so he sat upright. Grabbing Sam's right arm, Dean carefully maneuvered it around his neck while never failing to let his brother fall to the cold dirt below. With some difficulty but refusing to give up, Dean soon had Sam in the position for a fireman's carry. In one solid motion, he stood, settling his brother's form evenly over his shoulders. His shoulders adjusted to the weight, the weight he had proudly carried his whole life.
The path to the small decrepit house was a blur; one shaking footstep after the other brought him closer to the cracked and peeling door. Bobby opened the door, and moved aside so Dean could squeeze through. By the time he had the door shut, and had made it back to the pair, he found Dean standing soundlessly by the bed.
Sam was still stretched across his shoulders, a silent refusal screamed by Dean. He didn't want to put Sam on the small dingy bed. He didn't want to witness his brother's life force draining slowly into the stained mattress, he didn't deserve that. Most of all he didn't want to see his brother's face. As long as he held him, he wouldn't have to see the failure spelled out in Sam's relaxed features. Putting Sam down now was like admitting he was truly gone.
Once again, Bobby hated to leave them alone. But he had to, they had to move soon. He needed Dean with him first, needed him sharp and aware. He dropped his gaze from the broken man and checked his watch. As far as he knew, Dean hadn't eaten in the past twelve hours. Struggling to fight his own consummation of grief, he decided to gather the necessary supplies and to take care of the sole remaining Winchester. The distraction would help him not focus on the fact that there was one remaining Winchester in the world, and there probably wouldn't be for long.
"Dean, listen to me. I have to leave for a minute. I'll be right back, ok? Dean?"
"Sure," Dean answered numbly, still not giving up his precious hold on what remained of his shattered life.
Bobby pursed his lips, quickly flattening them into a grim line of determination. Quickly deciding, he turned and left before he could change his mind.
What seemed like hours passed before Dean could summon the urge to place his brother on the bed. Reality came screaming down at him, separating the hazy cloud he had been surrounded in. His neck and shoulders ached from bearing the – Lord help him – dead weight of his brother. Before his shaking knees could give out on him, he turned and clutched Sam's right arm once more, holding him in place until he could carefully lower him onto the bed.
He positioned Sam's legs so they lay straight on the mattress, and crossed his unresisting hands over his still chest. Dean sucked in a painful breath as he staggered backwards, not used to having the weightlessness not pulling his shoulders down. He let them slump, turning away, still unable to truly see his brother.
His blurry gaze focused on the cabinet across from the room. Various pots and pans sat scattered across the surface of the shelves, rust gluing them to the decaying wood. In the corner, he spotted an old liquor bottle, three-quarters full of heaven-sent brown liquid.
Like a man stumbling to a waterfall in the desert, Dean raced for the bottle that would give him sweet oblivion. He uncapped it, barely hearing the small plastic topper as it fell onto the table. He tilted his head upwards and let four large mouthfuls burn acidic trails down his throat before he came up for air. The liquid hit his empty stomach, threatening to rebel its way back to the light. He wasn't sure how long he sat there, downing the bottle one aching shot at a time. The numbness from his grief consumed him, stealing his ability to slip away in an alcohol-induced coma.
He stared at the bottle, his newest enemy. Why wasn't it giving him the desperate release he craved?
In frustration he capped the bottle once more, slamming it down on the table. Stumbling over, he reached for the doorway that separated the hell he found himself in, and the comfort of family he'd finally lost. Misjudging the distance, he fell short of the doorway and on his hands and knees. He swayed a bit, his limbs shaking as he struggle to pull himself back to his feet. The world spun around him, and he landed flat on his stomach. His stomach rejected the sudden contact, and he had to fight several minutes of nausea and dizziness before he could even raise his head.
Bringing himself back up to his hands and knees, he crawled over to the doorway and turned, settling himself against it so the wood dug into his back. He wished it would enter his back, severe his spinal cord, and send him down the bright path behind his brother.
He let his head drop, and let the darkness that had been calling finally pull him under.
Slowly he returned to awareness. A bright light turned the vision behind his closed eyelids a slight red, bringing him fully around. With a grown he forced his eyes open, staring at the grimy window that had allowed the rising sun access to the room.
He stood, grasping at the door frame for support. The world spun around him for the second time, and instantly he knew he was going to be sick. Rushing outside, he dropped to his hands and knees and expelled the empty contents of his stomach. Spotting a water basin resting against the next building, he stumbled towards it and dipped his hands into it. All of his movements seemed automatic, and he knew he had no control over anything right now.
Rinsing his mouth out with the murky water, he didn't allow himself to taste the rusted rain water that had sat a little too long. He rinsed his face, allowing a few tears to escape with the water that ran down, intermingling so he could tell himself they didn't exist.
It hurt so bad. Every injury he'd ever had…every wound that had ever needed stitching or bullets that had needed digging…he would endure them all again if that meant he didn't have to feel what he was feeling now.
His boots sounded hollow and cold in the silent house as he returned. Sam didn't deserve this, didn't deserve to be mourned by a fallen-down drunk. He eyed the bottle on the table, and longed for another drink. Not allowing himself the pleasure, the release he was sure he could find again, he crossed his arms and leaned against the door frame. His dull gaze fixed on Sam, who had not moved an inch.
He didn't deserve anything anymore.
If he hadn't been brought back from the dead…if he hadn't taken Sam to that diner…if he hadn't distracted Sam so he turned his back on his opponent…
He didn't deserve the right to pull oxygen into his lungs. He didn't deserve the right to be able to feel…to live…
A thought struck him. He remembered seeing a crossroad on their long drive to the distant town. He hadn't thought anything of it then. What if…
The door opening interrupted his thoughts. His mind, still in shock, temporarily dropped the thought of the crossroads and continued its habit of concentrating on one task at a time.
He couldn't face Bobby, not now. Muffled words rammed through his barricades, and he thought he heard Bobby state he'd brought something back for him. Whatever it was, he didn't want it.
"No thanks, I'm fine," he answered, the words tumbling from his lips before he even realized what he was saying.
Unable to help himself, he turned, reaching for the bottle.