Disclaimer: refer to chapter one
NOTE TO THE READERS: Sorry, this post is a little late in coming. Real life has been way too busy for me. This is the final chapter of the story, so I hope you enjoy it. It's around 10 pages long, so it's a small chunk. As always, thank you to everyone who has read every chapter of this story. Thank you to every reviewer and person that has sent a PM. Happy reading!
By Dawn Nyberg
"To have his path made clear for him is the aspiration of every human being in our beclouded and tempestuous existence." By Joseph Conrad
Bobby let out a sigh of relief as he felt the thrumming pulse under his fingers. "He's alive," he blurted quickly as he leaned down toward Sam's mouth and nose. "He's breathing, too. I'm gonna call 911," Bobby pushed back on his haunches and got up. "Keep pressure on the wound," he shouted as he ran toward the house.
"Stay with me Sammy," Dean pleaded. "You here me? You stay with me!" Dean continued pressing down on the sticky blood blossom on his little brother's back.
Six Minutes Later, Bobby's House
Bobby stayed at Sam's side along with Dean as they waited for the ambulance. He lived outside town and it was a bit of a trip for the paramedics. Bobby had always liked the privacy the acreage and location of his salvage yard had provided him but now he cursed it. "Sammy," Dean took his free hand and tried to rouse his sibling but Sam remained unmoving partially on his side and stomach. Both Dean and Bobby had been too afraid to adjust Sam that much and were more focused on the bleeding wound. "I can't lose him Bobby, not again … I can't." Dean's eyes were filled with raw anguish.
"He's still with us Dean," Bobby tried to assure as he kept his hand firmly encircled around Sam's wrist assuring himself there was still a pulse. There was the approaching sound of sirens and Bobby could see dust kicking up in the distance and knew they had turned off the main road and were on his property. "Help's coming," Bobby allowed one hand to rest on top of Sam's head. "You're gonna get patched up and be just fine Sam," Bobby's voice was strong. "You hear me Sam? Help's coming."
Three and Half Days Earlier, Carlile, Wyoming
"I can see why Jefferson sent you to me for help with your brother's situation." Myra Fleming, a mid-sixties petite woman dressed in jeans and with a white T-shirt that bore the picture of a dog with the words I love my Border collie. Sam had to smile at the woman despite the seriousness of the reason he had come to find her.
"So, can you help? I mean about the amulet and how to use it to help my brother?"
"Crossroad deals are a bitch to break," she answered flatly. Sam blinked in mild surprise at the older woman's blunt words. "Not impossible but not easy. It's much better if you have something to bargain … the amulet isn't the complete fix," she stopped and looked at Sam for a long moment and smiled softly. "You remind me of your father," her voice was kind.
"You knew my dad?" Sam felt a twinge of hollowness at the thought of his father. He missed him and suspected he always would.
"Yes, for a few years," she replied. "He came to me for some information once during a hunt up at the Devil's Tower, it was a Wendigo … he came with Caleb Reeves." Sam nodded solemnly … yet another person in his life lost. "I was sorry to hear about your father and Caleb … Jim, too."
"Thanks." Sam's voice was quiet.
"So, your brother made a deal to bring you back from the dead, eh?" She cut right to the chase and it left Sam temporarily speechless.
"Yeah," Sam's voice caught slightly in his throat.
"And, you're as pissed as rabid raccoon about it, right?" Sam chuckled quietly.
"Yeah, yeah I am," he paused a moment. "It's just, well …" Myra smiled knowingly.
"It's just you didn't ask to be saved and he didn't give the choice," she replied. "Not to mention he's made the decision to leave you in this world all alone when it's on the brink of damnation because of a demon war." Sam offered a tight nod. "You're allowed to be pissed Sam," she assured.
"Can he be saved?"
"The amulet is a key Sam but it is only part of the puzzle. I wish I could tell you one way or the other, but sometimes deals made at the crossroad, well it's just that deal's are made that are mutually beneficial and…" Myra left it unsaid.
"You mean the demon wouldn't have made the deal for Dean's soul unless they wanted his soul, right?"
"That's my guess," she replied. "Your father and brother have been in the game longer than you Sam and you stepped out for a couple years and…" she stopped speaking when she saw Sam tense slightly.
"How do you know so much about my family," Sam's voice was slightly accusing. "My dad always said we do what we do and we shut up about it, he wouldn't have talked to you." Sam stood up abruptly. "Christo!" he shouted and Myra sat there and smirked.
"I'm not possessed Sam. I'm a psychic you know that … Jefferson told you I was and your father talked about you, he was proud of you even though you being away at college scared him. All I meant is that your dad and brother have been a pain in the ass to a lot of evil things over the years especially of the demonic kind. They want another crack at a Winchester." She paused a moment. "Anyway, I read minds but I don't go rifling through private thoughts unless I'm invited to or it's an emergency. Now, will you sit down and relax," she leaned forward and patted the couch across from her chair. "How about some fresh lemonade? I bet you're thirsty after that long drive."
Sam eyed her suspiciously for a moment but he trusted his gut and it was telling him that she was genuine and she could be trusted. "Another crack at a Winchester?" Sam questioned. "Then why not let me stay dead … Dean would have walked away. I talked to Bobby and he told me Dean had said he was done with it all but …"
"But, he couldn't live with you being dead Sam … you're his little brother and in a lot of ways his touchstone to what is still good in this life. Being a hunter isn't an easy life Sam and you keep your brother grounded." Sam felt his chest tighten at the thought.
"Still why not let me stay dead? Why his soul?"
"I think you have an idea or two," she replied.
"Nah, it's not me dammit," Sam hissed. "It's all done; my abilities are gone they went with the Yellow-Eyed Demon. I'm not their leader, I never will be," Sam assured vehemently. Myra offered a calm smile and reached over and patted one of Sam's hands as it rested in his lap.
"Young man," she started with a solemn look in her eyes. "I wish I could tell you they are gone, your abilities, but…"
"No they are," Sam answered quickly. "It's been a few months now and nothing. No more visions, there's been nothing."
Myra shook her head apologetically. "Sam you were born special and the demon that touched your life and your family's didn't give you those abilities. They are maturing, psychic abilities can manifest in bursts like your visions … they were unpredictable, yes?"
"Yeah, but…" Myra raised a hand.
"No but, Sam, and there has been other manifestation of abilities too, correct?"
"Telekinesis but that was a one time a fluke. I just had visions, premonitions, they're gone," he tried to assure himself more than the older woman.
"Sam I can sense the power in you, I felt you when you were still miles away. To a psychic that is in touch with their gifts you're like a seismic jolt when you're in the area and unfortunately because of the magnitude of your gifts and their buried power you attract the supernatural to you like a mosquito to a bug lamp." Sam shook his head as he felt the hot sting of tears in his eyes. No it's over, I'm not a psychic freak, I'm not, his mind ricocheted that one thought. Myra leaned forward once again and took Sam's hand in both of hers. "Oh, Sam, you're not a freak, these are gifts," Sam looked at her accusingly for having invaded his thoughts. "I didn't mean to listen to your thoughts but they are literally screaming at me and I can't tune them out."
There was a long moment of silence between the two psychics. "So, if I'm still psychic why haven't I had any visions?"
"Sam, as I told you your abilities will come in bursts as they begin to mature but now they are silent because they are building, maturing."
"Maturing, what are you saying that there's more in me than having visions and the telekinesis?"
"Sam," her eyes were very serious. "I've never sensed a psychic as powerful as you and what you're capable of if you can harness these gifts, but…"
"I fear they may be too powerful for you … they could hurt you, make you ill, possibly kill you if they were unleashed and you couldn't gain mental control of them. At best they will be a painful burden when accessed just as your visions were unpleasant almost incapacitating. You must be very careful when utilizing your gifts Sam; you know the old saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely you must be very careful. The level of your power if used to its full extent could," she paused a moment.
"Could what?" Sam's voice couldn't mask the fear.
"End everything," she intoned quietly. Sam sat there stunned for long minutes and Myra allowed him the time to mentally process everything that was said.
"So, it's just a waiting game then, huh?" Sam found his voice. "My abilities are going to come back and there are going to be more powerful."
"Yes," she answered flatly.
"That's it isn't the other key you were talking about … the other thing beyond the amulet, it's me, right? I'm the other key." Sam's eyes held both trepidation and excitement at the possibility he could save his brother from the crossroad deal. Myra nodded.
"The amulet in your possession can funnel and amplify your powers, I'm just not sure if anything will be left standing once you tap into that power and focus it through the amulet, but…"
"But, what?" Sam pressed. "What good are these so called gifts if I kill my brother in the process of saving him?"
"You have the power to shield your brother from harm Sam, but I have no idea how to tell you to do that. I don't know of any psychics that could, but your bond with him is strong and I believe you will most likely unknowingly shield him … just as the telekinesis came out that one time that allowed you to save his life." Sam nodded.
"You said a mutually beneficial deal could cancel the contract, right?"
"I said no deals are made that aren't mutually beneficial," she corrected. "You're not thinking of offering up your own soul are you? I doubt they'd accept."
"No," he answered flatly. "I know they wouldn't accept the offer. They need me as their leader more than they need me in hell."
"If my abilities don't start manifesting before Dean's deal comes due I'll do what I have to," his voice was unwavering. "I told my brother when I found out about that damn deal that I'd do whatever it takes to get him out of it and I meant it."
"I know you meant it but do you really think you're brother would accept you bargaining not your soul but your very self to lead a demon army … Sam you'd be going against everything you, your brother and father have fought for, believed in, you'd lead an army against mankind? That wouldn't be saving Dean."
"I know, but I can't let him die for me no matter what," Sam pressed. "My abilities you say you can sense them, so do you know when they'll come back?"
"I feel them," she replied. "There are moments when I feel buffeted by miniature shock waves of psychic energy from you, I suspect they'll reemerge soon Sam, but how soon, I'm not sure. They are clawing toward the surface and that I'm sure of."
Myra showed Sam some meditative techniques to help him tap into himself, although no abilities manifested he was able to feel what he described as a low level hum under his skin in his entire body, like an electrical current and he knew she was right, he still had his abilities.
Two Days Later, Myra's House
"That's at least the tenth call from your brother aren't you going to pick up?"
"Nah, I listened to his voice mails and he's a little too pissed right now to even communicate with. I called Bobby when I got here he knows I'm okay. I should be getting back though."
"If you need me for anything Sam, feel free to contact me or stop by if you're ever in trouble or just need some advice. My abilities don't even come close to what's inside you but I have some very knowledgeable fellow psychic friends and we would try to help you any way we could." Sam nodded his appreciation.
"Thanks for telling me about the amulet Myra and about everything else."
"You're welcome, although I'm not sure how much help I've been. It seems no matter what you'll end up doing for your brother you'll be going from frying pan into another." Sam patted one of Myra's hands to try and reassure her. He understood what she was saying, either he finds a way to unleash his power or he agrees to lead a demon army, either way things would most likely never be the same for him again or his big brother and those closest to him.
Greene Memorial Hospital, Critical Care Unit, Present Day
Dean and Bobby sat by Sam's bedside. Dean still couldn't believe that Sam was still alive. He had lost enough blood to require three units of blood in a transfusion but the doctor had assured them he'd be fine. They had lied and said Sam had fallen against a car upholstery knife and that was the cause of his back injury. The medical staff that had assessed Sam in the ER had been amazed when the cut only turned out to be a deep laceration that hadn't inflicted any damage to Sam's spinal cord and there was no organ damage. They had given Sam blood, sutured his wound closed and given him fluids, now he was resting in the CCU.
Dean watched Sam for any movement. His brother was pale and the green oxygen tubing snaking around his face and under his nose was a stark reminder to both Dean and Bobby about much worse this could have turned out. As it was they were still waiting for Sam to open his eyes. He had moved a little, even scrunched his face a couple times but he still remained unconscious. The doctor had assured them when he was ready he would wake up. "Sammy?" Dean's voice was soft. He reached up and cupped his brother's pale albeit warm cheek. "Come on little brother nap times over," he coaxed. Bobby leaned forward and patted Sam's forearm.
"You heard your brother Sam, come on … rise and shine."
"It's been six hours Bobby," Dean began. "He should be waking up."
"Dean you know the doctor said he's gonna be fine and he'll wake up in his own time. Don't start reading into this, he's okay."
"Yeah, for now, you heard that demon," Dean said in a low voice. "This was a warning, Sammy got to close to a way out of the deal, and he's like a dog with a bone he won't stop." Dean looked at his sibling with worried eyes. "He's not dyin' on account of me Bobby."
"We'll figure something out, okay," Bobby wasn't sure what they'd do but Dean was right about one thing they had to figure out a way to dissuade Sam from further pursuits. Bobby just figured he'd take over the lead in an attempt to take Sam out of harm's way. He never agreed to anything from a demon, so he could keep pursing whatever it was that Sam found out in Wyoming.
Two Hours Later, the Critical Care Unit
Dean sat back in his chair and watched his little brother. Bobby had gone to get them both some coffee from the cafeteria. Sam's nurse and doctor had been in a short while ago and rolled Sam onto his side to examine his sutures and gently returned him to his back. Now, Dean just waited. It was a small movement that caught his eye at first and then he reached out and took his brother's hand in his own. "Sammy? You in there?"
A small noise escaped Sam's mouth as his lips parted ever so slightly. His brow creased a little and Dean smiled when Sam's head turned in the direction of his voice. "Sammy? Come on kiddo, rise and shine," he urged. He squeezed his sibling's hand gently.
"Dean?" the voice sounded quiet and small as Sam opened his eyes. He moved slightly but the discomfort in his back made him still instantly with a grown of discomfort.
"Easy, Sammy," Dean comforted. "You have stitches in your back, so be careful not to pull any out, okay?"
"Hurts," Sam complained quietly.
"I bet, I'll call your doctor," Dean pushed the call button. "So, aside from your back, how're you feelin'?"
"Yeah, we'll you lost a lot of blood, the doc had to give you three units of blood to top off your tank Sammy," Dean answered as he studied his brother's pale face. "Are you in any other pain?"
Sam shook his head and then looked at his brother with a confused expression. "What happened anyway?" Dean shook his head in frustration.
"Damn demon showed up at Bobby's … opened your scar like zipper…"
"There was a demon attack? Are you okay? Bobby?" Sam looked confused and out of sorts. Dean looked at him hard for a moment.
"We're fine. Sam what do you remember?" Sam frowned as he filed through his last memory before waking. There was a female voice at the door before Sam could respond.
"Oh, you're awake, good; I'll page the doctor and have him come up to examine you." Dean nodded and Sam just looked at her.
"Sammy?" Dean pushed for an answer. "What's the last thing you remember?"
"Is this Rapid City? I mean the room doesn't look …"
"Rapid City? Sammy that was a month ago. You got released from there, remember? We've been at Bobby's while you finished your treatment. You're all better now, no more stuff in your head." Dean assured.
"I don't know," Sam fought to remember. "I...I... I've got pieces but it's like some are missing, you know, gaps or something…"
"So, you do remember being at Bobby's now?"
"Maybe," Sam hedged. "Did you give the Impala an oil change in the salvage yard?" Dean smiled.
"Yeah, the first week we were at Bobby's after you got released from the hospital. "So, you do remember a little?"
"I guess but like I said it's a little fuzzy like gaps are missing." Dean suddenly had an idea.
"Sam, do you remember me talking to you about a priest?" Sam looked at Dean like he'd grown another head.
"Priest? No, should I? What priest?"
"Oh, nothin' there was a …" Dean fought to come up with a cover story. "A chaplain came to see you when you were in a coma that's all. I just mentioned it to you." Sam looked at his brother for a long moment and then just nodded. Dean quickly realized that the demon had obviously invaded Sam's mind and erased certain memories. Sam was a clean slate and had no memory of the cryptic message from the priest, let alone his mystery trip to get information on a lead to end the crossroad deal.
"Am I interrupting?" Dr. Bennett smiled spoke from the doorway. "I hear you finally woke up for us Sam."
"Yeah, I guess. I'm a little fuzzy on stuff."
"It's expected," the doctor stepped forward and looked from Sam to Dean. "Could we have a few moments while I examine him privately? I'll be out shortly." Dean nodded.
"Thanks Doc, you behave Sammy," Dean joked. Sam just rolled his eyes at his big brother.
Ten Minutes Later, the Hallway Outside Sam's room
"Did something happen?" Bobby's voice broke into Dean's train of thought. He looked up from the floor and saw the older man's panicked eyes at the closed door to Sam's room.
"No, he woke up. The doc is just checking him over." He saw Bobby visibly relax.
"Did he talk to you?"
"Yeah, he's gonna be fine," Dean answered with a small smile. "Bobby," he began quietly. "His memories are a little screwed up I think that demon did something. He doesn't remember any of it … the priest, his little trip out of state, none of it and I don't want him to know," Dean's tone had a hint of warning to it. "So, don't go filling in any blanks that have to do with that damn deal you got it?" Bobby offered a tight nod of agreement. "I mean it Bobby not one word, all right?"
"Yeah, okay," he replied. "You got it, not a word," he assured.
One Week Later, Bobby's Place
"You goin' out to watch your brother work on that car again?" Bobby asked with an amused smile from over his coffee mug.
"Yeah, well neither of you are letting me do squat since I got released from the hospital and I'm tired of books and the Internet. It's just stitches Bobby, I'm not gonna shatter into a million pieces."
"Yeah, well the doc said you needed to take it easy, so you're going to until he says otherwise, you got it?"
"Yes, sir," Sam answered in half annoyance and acquiescence.
"Good, that's what I like to hear," Bobby smiled. "Now, go bother that brother of yours," Bobby shooed gently. "The chili should be ready in about 40 minutes, okay?"
Sam nodded and gave Bobby a lopsided grin and left. Bobby listened for the sound of the front screen door slamming closed behind Sam as he walked out and then he leaned over the kitchen sink and made sure Sam was walking toward the direction of his older brother. He smiled to himself when he was sure that both boys were out of ear shot. He walked over to the phone and dialed a number.
"Jefferson?" he asked as he heard the other line picked up. "Yeah, it's me Bobby, I need a favor."
"What's that?"Jefferson's voice echoed over the land line.
"I need some information."
"Okay, what'd ya need?"
"The number of that psychic lady you sent Sam to," Bobby answered flatly. He was going to fix this. Dean and Sam would both live and he wouldn't lose either of them. He knew Sam was most likely an important key, but he'd make damn sure both boys would survive and he'd do anything he had to. Neither of them would be sacrificed or lost.
Okay, before you go nuts, I had to find a place to end this story otherwise it would just go on and on. So, I picked a place where it's left open ended and we can see how Kripke ultimately fixes this whole crossroad deal debacle he put us in at the end of season 3. Although, I feel that the 'key' is Sam and that he will be the one to save Dean. How? I'm not sure but I have a few theories on how I think Kripke might handle it. At any rate, I hope you enjoyed the story and I apologize for the extended wait for this final post. Real life has been hammering me so bad that I wasn't able to post, let alone write last week, but for good or bad this is the final chapter. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read this story. Also, thank you very much to everyone that has reviewed or PM'd me.
Until the next time … thank you!