Institute Revisited with Extreme Prejudice
Disclaimer: I only like playing with the boys, and owe the wonderful Mister Kripke a huge thanks for creating the best show on TV.
Arching an eyebrow at the mention of Sam's vision, interest piqued and fingers itched to get to their cell phone. This report would greatly please Sloane and perhaps help in curbing future punishments for doubting him.
As the conversation wound up the unknown visitor slipped away before anyone came along and before Dean left the room. If he ever intended on leaving the room. The biggest foreseeable problem, getting him away from Sam, Sloane needed his subject back to finish its assignment, but with Dean on guard-dog duty it was going to be difficult. Not impossible just difficult.
Bobby watched as the eavesdropper started to slink away from the bedroom door, he arched his eyebrow in interest, silently, he tailed them waiting until he had enough on them to hang them.
Stealthily he moved close enough to listen to the one sided conversation as his quarry talked to someone, presumably Sloane on the cell. Scowling angrily Bobby moved as the conversation ended, he had to finish this before it started.
Dean yawned and scrubbed at his sleep-crusted eyes, he so wanted to sleep for a month and not wake up but Sammy needed him, so he would wait, wait for Sammy to be on the mend before he could think of himself and his own needs.
'De?' The sleep-filled voice brought him out of his stupor, 'De?'
'Sammy?' Dean hurried back to his brother's side and perched himself on the edge of the bed, 'how ya doin' little brother?'
'Mmm better I think.' Sam yawned and stretched though he winced slightly at the pulling of his still healing body. 'Where?'
'Somewhere safe.' Dean countered reaching over to feel the heat from Sam's forehead, 'still got yer fever going on there dude.'
'Thanks.' Sam weakly pushed Dean's hand away and gave him a tiny flash of a dimpled smile. 'What we gonna do?'
'You're gonna get better dude that's all you have to worry bout.'
'Nope, don't Dean me you're staying put end of story.' Dean grinned feeling like it was the first time he had taken a breath since finding out Sam was in fact alive.
'No more Sloane?' Sam blinked up at his brother with a look of pure trust and hope reflecting in his green eyes.
'No for a while anyway, just worry bout yourself okay bud and I'll take care of everything else.'
'You, you need to rest Dean you look like shit.'
'Straight back at ya.' Dean grinned happily and patted Sam's leg, 'so feel like getting some food into you?'
'N-not sure,' Sam said paling a little more, 'never g-got to, to eat m-m-much.'
'How about some nice warm soup for starters and we'll take it from there.'
'Kay.' Sam nodded and let his head fall back onto the pillows, 'De?'
'You, you're ... really a-a-alive?'
'Sure am Sammy, it's all me.'
Dean turned as the door opened and looked up at an unsure looking clone standing in the doorway, his long hands twisting in the thin material of his own shirt.
'Hey Sam come on in.'
'I-I don't want to bother you...' the clone stuttered not sure of why he felt so nervous around the original Sam.
'Nah come on, it's time you two met.' Dean beckoned the clone into the room and glanced between them, his own baby brother on the bed and the replicant standing in the middle of the room. 'Sammy this is Sam, Sam this here is the one and only Sammy.'
The two identical sets of eyes met and held each other's gaze for one tense moment; Dean's own bright stare flickered between the two oh-so-familiar faces. 'Sam? Sammy?'
'Wow this is ...' the cloned Sam started to speak but choked on his own words when he took in the sight of the original lying so deathly pale and still.
'I ah ... Dean?' Sammy said unable to keep his gaze locked with his replicant Sammy turned to face his big brother again, 'Dean?'
'Sam here helped us to find you Sammy, there's some sort of link I guess between the two of you.'
'Link? What kind of link?'
'Not sure but Sam could feel your pain, to the point where we thought that he was gonna die.'
'Hi ahh Sammy.' Sam said timidly stepping towards the bed.
'Hey, ah thanks.' Sammy whispered, 'this is just too freaky.' He added weakly. 'M'tired Dean.'
'Sleep Sammy I'm gonna be right here.' Dean said as he gently brushed Sammy's fringe out of his eyes, 'not gonna go anywhere little brother.'
Sam watched the interaction between the brothers and realised that he would never have that with anyone. He was not a human he was a creation; with the realisation hitting him with cold, stark clarity. 'I'm sorry.' He whispered before turning and running from the room before Dean could stop him.
Bobby hurried back to their safe house, his anger fuelled by the desire to finish Sloane completely, he had witnessed first hand the act of betrayal and it sickened him to his stomach.
He called the others together and they decided to meet in Sammy's room making it easier on the younger Winchester so he too could be involved in the meeting.
One by one they all filed around Sammy's bed while Dean helped him to sit up against the soft pillows before settling back next to Sammy. With a small sigh, Sammy rested his head against his brother's shoulder and stared up at his friends in turn.
'Thank you for coming for me.' He said finally, 'I dunno what ...'
'Nuff said boy.' Bobby broke in gruffly, 'so we gonna finish this once and for all?'
'What is it Bobby? You've been like a jumping bean since ya got back.' Caleb quipped turning his attention to the older hunter.
'We got a mole.' Bobby said succinctly and waited for the obvious reactions but was met with complete silence instead.
'Who Bobby?' Sam asked finally breaking the tense quiet.
'Sandy.' Bobby said sadly looking over at the white-faced Grace, 'sorry Grace but I guess her addiction to the serum was stronger than anyone realised. I found her listening at Sammy and Dean's door and then she hurried off calling her daddy on her cell. She told him exactly where we are and who's here.'
'Fuck.' Dean snapped and ran his fingers through his short cropped hair. 'So what now? Sammy's not well enough to be shifted?'
'All ready got it in the works, kind of set Sandy up.' Bobby admitted ruefully scratching his beard, 'told her that we're leaving in two hours taking Sammy to a hospital close by.'
'So we set up a little welcome committee?' Caleb asked his eyes gleaming with the potential of a fight.
'Yep, thought if we get Sam here to act as a decoy ... that is if ya want to of course.'
'Count me in.' Sam nodded thankful to have something important to concentrate on rather than the jealousy he felt creepy in when he saw Sammy with Dean, it was too much for him.
'You sure dude?' Dean asked looking up at the clone, 'it's gonna be more dangerous for you than anyone else.'
'You don't have to ask Dean, it's what I want.' He replied quietly suddenly unable to meet the gaze of his original.
'Jim if you can stay here with Grace and Sammy, Dean, me, Josh and Caleb will do the little welcome party.'
'Of course Robert,' Jim nodded, 'please be careful.'
'Grace?' Bobby glanced at the young healer, 'this is yer daddy and sister ... we'll understand if ya wanna leave.'
'I'm where I belong.' Grace said moving to sit next to Sammy on the edge of his bed; she took in large hand in her smaller one and squeezed gently. 'Here with Sam, they're not my family anymore.'
'Well we best get a move on, I'd say that Sandy has already met with Sloane.' Bobby said looking down at Sammy, 'it's gonna be over soon Sammy, I promise.'
'Bobby...' Sammy tried but his throat froze with pent up emotions, 'just be careful.' He finally managed to get out, 'an' take care of him for me, both him and Sam.'
'I will kiddo, you get some rest.' Bobby patted Sam's knee before turning and striding out the door without looking back.
Sam looked down at the brothers and Grace before he followed Bobby without uttering another sound, closely followed by Josh and Caleb.
'Grace do you want to come with me and help me lock up?' Jim asked the young woman giving Sam and Dean time alone.
'You okay with this Sammy?' Dean asked when the others left closing the door behind them.
'No but ... I know that this has to end Dean, I just wish that I could be there with you.' Sammy said sniffing back his tears, 'just ... come back to me Dean please don't let my vision come true.'
'Not gonna happen baby bro and ya know what we're gonna do when this is all over?'
'We head down to Florida nothing but sun, fun and lots of girls.'
'Or we could go to Vegas and give your little Haley Joe powers a go.'
'Or the Grand Canyon, but not so many girls there...'
'Or we could get over to Amsterdam? Whatcha think Sammy huh?' Dean waggled his eyebrows suggestively, 'your choice Sammy.'
'Thanks I think.' Sammy smiled and rested against the pillows, 'now go so you can get back so we can go to Pastor Jim's?'
'Ahh man! A church yard?' Dean whinged and then grinned at his brother, 'guess we could always corrupt the choir.'
Sloane sat in the front passenger seat of the black van with an air of anticipation around him; he was getting his pet back and this time for good. Sandy sat behind the wheel with a pensive look on her face. Glaring at her he hit her arm hard and then twisted her wrist, 'don't you dare girl you chose your sides just like that sister of yours.'
'Ow dad! You're hurting me.' Sandy squealed and tried to wriggle away from him, 'I'm not gonna change sides, just want this over and done with.'
'That's good to hear, because as far as I'm concerned your sister is already dead, do you hear me?' Sloane snarled, 'she betrayed us for the last time.'
'What are you going to do with the clones dad? And the rest of the soldiers?'
'The unfinished clones are going to be destroyed along with the remains of the institute, the rest have already been shipped out to their appointed positions, and the only clone not accounted for is that traitor who went with the Winchesters.'
'Dad look they're shifting Sam.' Sandy sat up and watched with interest as Dean carried his unconscious brother out to the impala gently placing him on the back seat, 'looks like they're getting ready to roll.'
'Time to get him back.'
'Yes Sir.' Sandy started the van and watched as the rest of the hunters piled into the other vehicles, the last two to come out were Sandy and Jim.
'Let's get to the intersection point.' Sloane instructed slapping her arm, 'hurry girl.'
Jim and Grace watched the black van disappear into the late afternoon shadows before getting out of their car, waving off the others they hurried back inside to the waiting Sam.
'How are you son?' Jim asked as they locked the door behind them, effectively locking them all in one room together.
'I'm fine Jim.' Sam croaked out the words and sounded less convincing with each syllable.
'I'm sure you are.' Jim smiled and took a seat on the chair next to the bed, 'did you get some rest?'
'Dean's going to be okay isn't he?' Sam asked, 'I – I can't ... my vision ...'
'Hush Sam, Dean is going to be fine he has Bobby, Josh and Cal looking after him.'
'Yeah I guess.' Sam laid back against the pillows as the pain in his abdomen spiked again.
'Sam I can feel ... will you?' Grace moved towards the bed suddenly feeling very shy.
'G-Grace?' Sam cried out her name as the intensity of the pain took his breath away.
Forgetting her initial shyness Grace hurried towards the bed, dropping to her knees she reached over and placed both of her hands on Sam's stomach.
'This is miraculous ... I will never get used to seeing this.' Jim breathed in awe as he watched the young healer ease Sam's pain.
Dean turned to look down at Sam's clone who still lay prone on the backseat of the impala, 'how you doing kiddo?'
'I am alright, thank you Dean.' Sam responded suddenly feeling very awkward under the intense and piercing green gaze.
'Honestly I'm fine Dean.'
'You don't have to go through this ... I ...'
'Yeah I do Dean I have to do this for Sammy.'
'We're here boys.' Bobby said but avoided looking at Sam in the rear view mirror, it still chilled him down to the bone to look at the clone, knowing that the real Sam Winchester's still alive, too freaking freaky for Bobby Singer.
Smoothly he pulled the large car off onto the shoulder of the road; coming to a stop, Dean jumped out and positioned himself just inside the rear passenger door making it look as though something was wrong with Sam.
Josh and Caleb both well hidden watched everything from a distance, just far enough without getting noticed.
Only a minute later the black van pulled up directly behind the impala, simultaneously another one pulled up in front effectively blocking it in.
Dean glanced down at Sam and winked as he pulled his glock out and released the safety, Sam grinned back and produced his own handgun while Bobby had his favourite rifle resting on his knee, another gun hidden in the middle of his back.
The main thing was timing for them now, they had to make sure that they were able to keep the attack contained; they had to take Sloane out as quickly as possible before the man's demonic friend finds out what was happening.
Dean sensed the presence behind him before he heard or saw anything, tensing slightly he felt the adrenaline rush through him, flushing an energy through him vibrating over his skin.
'No more Dean, you have stopped me once too often I want my pet back.'
The smile faded from Dean's face; slowly he put his glock away and moved his position slightly in classic fight stance. Shooting was too good for someone like Sloane who openly consorted with demons, who systematically destroyed psychics and young people like Sam, and who would drug and use his own children to get what he wanted.
With a low growl, Dean made his move, with blinding fast accuracy and speed he turned and connected Sloane's face with his left and at the same time bringing his right up with a vicious uppercut.
'You don't get to talk about my brother like that.' Dean hissed dropping his knee on the older man's chest, he took great satisfaction in hearing the snap, ya know what Sloane I should do what you did to Sammy.' Dean reached into his back pocket and pulled out a black hood of some sort of material, the same hood that Dean had pulled off Sammy. 'This is something rather special isn't it Sloane.' He taunted his prey, reaching down he forced the hood over the terrified man's face and fastened it around the neck.
Sandy watched in horror as Dean attacked her father, when she saw the hood go over his head she cried out and went to drive away to save herself. 'Sorry little lady but you aint goin' nowhere.' Bobby smiled coldly standing at the driver's side window of the van his rifle aimed directly at her head.
'Bobby I ...' Sandy tried to think of an excuse for her actions but failed miserably, 'I'm sorry.'
'Save it for someone who cares now git outta there nice and easy Sandy and don't do nothin' stupid I just want a reason ...'
Caleb let Josh finish up with the guards while he ran over to Dean pulling him off the now dead Sloane. 'Dean, Dean man stop it.'
Sandy pushed the door hard into Bobby sending him off balance, determined she pulled out a small gun and aimed it at Dean's chest. Sam climbed out of the car and went over to Dean, to check on the person he still considered a brother when he saw Sandy pull out her gun, horrified he watched Bobby try to regain his footing, Caleb holding Dean trying to get through the blood-lust filling his mind and then he looked back at Sandy.
'No!' He yelled and turned to run towards the young woman determined to protect Dean to the last minute. 'Forgive me Dean.' he whispered as the bullet tore through his chest, he felt no pain as he dropped to his knees and the shock registering on his face before he toppled forward.
'Sam no.' Dean cried out twisting around he saw the bullet hit Sam's chest, pulling out of Caleb's grip he ran over to the clone and grabbed him just before he hit the ground, 'Sam?'
'D-Dean?' Sam coughed harshly blood spraying from his lips 's-sorry.'
'Hey, hey nothing to be sorry for Sam.'
'T-tell Sammy I ... I ...' Another cough ripped through him and with a small huff of breath closed his eyes, his body going limp in Dean's arms.
'Sam? Sam!' Dean cried out distraught he hugged the body close to his chest, harsh sobs wracking his body as he mourned the death of such an innocent. Of someone who did nothing but existed abnormally.
Sandy dropped to the ground a bullet hole in the centre of her forehead still had smoke trailing away from the impact zone. Josh stood in the same position for a few minutes his smoking gun still in hand and pointing in the direction of where Sandy had been standing.
Bobby stood slowly, stared down at the lifeless body of Sandy and then went over to where Dean was still cradling Sam against him. 'Time to go son.'
'Can't leave him Bobby.'
'Cal and Josh will take care of him give him a hunter's send off.'
'No, no I'm gonna do it.' Dean shook his head and tightened his grip on the body, carefully he stood up and lifted the clone with him, placing him with care on the backseat, 'I'm gonna do it, you guys get rid of them.' Dean muttered as he slid in behind Sam, lifting the clone's head onto his lap he waited silently for Bobby.
'Sam's dead.' Sammy whispered pushing away from Grace's healing hands, 'I – I could ... feel it.'
'Ah the poor boy.' Jim said as he quickly muttered up a prayer for the unfortunate being.
'It should've been me.' Sammy continued without hearing Jim's words or the quiet comforts from Grace, carefully he rolled over onto his side facing away from the others and let his own tears fall. Mourning someone, he barely knew but knew everything about him.
The rumbling sound of the impala brought the three out of their own thoughts; Sammy managed to roll back and to sit up while Jim went to meet Bobby and Dean.
'Is he alright?' Jim asked Bobby as they watched Dean continue to sit in the back of the car cradling the body to his chest.
'Far from it Preacher, but I don't know ... I've never, he had a closer relationship with the clone in the end than anyone.'
'And yet his brother is still alive and waiting for him.' Jim said thoughtfully, 'Bobby ... Sam felt his clone die.'
'He what?' Bobby turned and gave his old friend his complete attention.
'He was in extreme pain, his back arched and I thought, I thought that we were going to lose him ... Grace did a healing which helped, it was then when he said that he felt the other die.'
'I'm worried if Dean ... if Dean allows his grief to consume him then he may reject our Sammy.'
'Damn never thought of that.'
Jim ran his fingers through his greying hair and stepped over to the car, 'Dean son...'
'He's dead Jim, Sam's dead.' Dean mumbled his voice muffled under the body's shoulder.
'But Sammy isn't, your brother needs you Dean.'
'No Sam ... he needs me he's all alone.'
'Dean ... your brother Sammy is lying in a bed in there, he's not doing so good and needs his brother.'
Two red-rimmed, tear-filled eyes peered up at the Preacher, an unreadable glint in them, 'what about Sam? He has no one to mourn him?'
'We all mourn him Dean, what ... what Sloane did was unforgivable.'
'Sam didn't ask for any of this, none of it.'
'Dean go to your brother, Bobby and I will look after Sam for you, we'll fetch you when it's time.' Jim said gently prying the limp form from Dean's grip.
Without the weight of Sam's body against him, Dean suddenly felt very alone and very empty inside. 'Sammy?'
'Sammy is inside ... he's not doing too good at all Dean he needs his big brother.' Bobby said as he took the body from Jim, 'go on ya idgit.'
'Help me up Grace.' Sam asked and pushed his blankets off, 'I have to...'
'Where you think you're goin' Sammy?' Dean stood leaning against the doorframe his arms crossed over his chest, 'you're on bed rest dude.'
'Dean?' Sam cried out, tears falling unheeded down his cheeks, 'you, you're back?'
'Yep I'm here dude.' Dean crossed the floor quickly and wrapped his arms around his little brother, hugging him tightly. 'Never gonna get rid of me.'
'I'm so sorry Sammy, I'm so sorry.'
'I couldn't ... I couldn't find you before that bastard did all of those things ... and then Sam ... I couldn't stop ... he's dead Sammy.'
'I – I know ...'
'I ah felt his death, the gunshot everything.'
'Ah damn it Sammy.'
'Just please Dean, tell me ... tell me that Sloane is?'
'Yeah he is and Sandy, she was the one who shot Sam, Josh took her out.' Dean said glancing over at the pale-faced young woman sitting near the window, 'sorry Grace.'
'She really did kill Sam?' Grace whispered.
'Yeah sorry Grace she did, she completely turned back ...'
'And dad is dead?'
'Yeah he is, Josh and Caleb are taking care of them, no more Sloane and no more institute.'
'Yeah Grace it's all over.' Dean sighed wearily.
'No more institute?' Grace looked at the two brothers a look of hope shining in her dry eyes, 'free? Finally free?'
Two Months Later:
Dean glanced over at his brother once more before returning his attention back to the road ahead of them. They had finally left the safety and comfort of Bobby's house, said their goodbyes to Bobby and Caleb, and left to rejoin the hunt, after so long away both brothers were itching just to get in the car and go.
Joshua had left for a hunt two days earlier, promising to drop in on Pastor Jim and Grace afterwards.
Two months of recuperation under the watchful eye of Bobby and the ever-present-mother-hen known as Dean Sam was ready to climb the walls. His wounds healed slowly but surely and thankfully, his scarring was minimal. Though the scars on his heart and soul remained. He couldn't forget what they forced on him and what they had forced Dean to do to him.
That was something that he couldn't talk to either Bobby or Dean about, hell he could barely think of it himself, instead Sam filed it all away in a small locked hex box in the dark recesses of his mind. Only sliding out when he was deep asleep and nightmares attacked him unawares.
'Hey Sammy time to wake up.' Dean patted Sam's arm gently, and then when that didn't work he reached over and shook him a little. With a sleepy yawn and a series of micro-fast blinks Sam turned and gave his older brother a baleful glare, 'what?'
'What? Sammy you've been asleep since we left Bobby's.'
'Well I dunno bout you but I'm ready to pull over for the night.'
'Where are we?' Sam blinked again and ran his fingers through his newly grown out hair, although it was not as long as it used to be, it certainly looked better than when they forcibly shaved his hair off at the institute, trying to make him lose his identity.
'Something called ahh oh yeah Herbertsville, sleepy little hamlet where everyone knows everyone, just where we need to hole up for the night.'
'what is it Sammy?'
'Just wanted to say thanks.' Sam said his cheeks blushing pink as he suddenly found the new hole in his jeans interesting.
'For not giving up on me, even when Sloane tried to pass Sam off ... just thanks.'
'No need to thank me Sammy ... I should have done a lot more.'
'What? No Dean, you never gave up on me!'
'Yeah whatever.' Dean slowed down to the speed limit as they drove into the small town centre. The funeral pyre for Sam the clone came unbidden into his thoughts, they gave him a hunter's send off, Pastor Jim said the prayers, Grace, Bobby, Josh and Caleb all gave their respects and Sammy managed to stand next to his brother to say goodbye to a person who was created from his DNA.
'Earth to Dean.' Sam's worried voice cut into Dean's memories.
'You alright Dean?'
'Yeah I'm fine, just a bit tired ya know.'
'Yeah I know.'
They pulled into the driveway of the Ezy-Sleep Motel and Dean wearily made his way into the office. The sunset just breaking over the horizon casting everything and everyone in a soft golden red hue. Sam sighed and absently ran his hand over his chest, the deep hollowly ache was still there, and the phantom pains lurked close to the surface but he was alive, free and at his brother's side. It was all he could ask for.
'What's that smile for?' Dean asked sliding back in behind the steering wheel.
'Nothing, just ... I'm home Dean.' Sam said his dimpled smile growing, 'I'm home.'