Any Kin of Yours
K Hanna Korossy
It seemed he was fated to die by suffocation. Ironic, or maybe just fitting? His fading mind tried to decide between the two.
The hands twisted tighter around his throat, and as his body burned for air, his struggles grew more frantic. But his arms were pinned between unmoving thighs, solid weight compressing his chest, too far up for his kicking feet to reach. He heaved, feeling unrelenting concrete against his back, the tear of skin under aggressive nails on his throat.
And then it began to fade, fear first, then feeling, then sound. Lethargy washed over him. His body sagged, vision fading. With one of his last coherent thoughts, he managed to mouth a final message. Then everything went dark.
The final thing he saw was his brother's face, twisted in cruelty and satisfaction.
He stepped outside the door without looking, and they had him.
"Now," Jefferson snapped, and watched Marco dart past to close the circle of salt and sage. A purifying circle; it wouldn't keep a demon in, but it would a wraith.
It snarled at them with its borrowed face, hazel eyes gone ebony with mindless hunger. Tried the circle, repelled at every turn. Glared its hatred and curled hands into fists that the hunter was pretty sure were still painted with its victim's blood. They'd barely found the boy in time, and Jefferson wouldn't be forgetting any time soon having to breathe for him. His eyes hardened. "Bye-bye," he said coldly, and began to read the rite while Marco handled the elements.
It screamed and foamed and writhed, and finally was banished into the eternal darkness it had come from, black returning to black.
Its hostage collapsing like he'd been pole-axed.
Marco kept a gun trained while Jefferson ventured inside the circle, carefully checking respiration, pulse, success. Flinching a little at the hazel but empty, unblinking eyes. He muttered a curse, glanced up at Marco. "Shut down, same as his brother."
Marco shifted, gun lowering. "Think they can fix each other?"
Jefferson canted his head. "Can't make things worse." With a grunt, he gathered up the unresponsive body and, nodding to Marco, headed back to his truck.
Sammy was close.
He knew that even when he knew nothing else. He could feel his brother's warmth, smell the scent he'd breathed in countless nights while Sam slept curled against him, heard his steady heartbeat. Sam was alive, and close.
Sammy was alive.
Dean's fingers twitched, then flattened against spread ribs, and he raised his head to blink at the form he was draped over. Sam slept on, breathing in labored hitches, oblivious to being conscripted as a pillow.
What…? Dean's eyes traced down the pale face, to the ring of colorful bruises around the neck underneath it, some lined with fresh scabs. Then down to his own hands, blood crusting his fingernails.
Oh, God. He'd killed Sam. Seen his lips move in a silent love you before he died at Dean's hands.
It was the first time he'd ever given up, disappeared so far into his despair that nothing could reach him.
Except Sam. Because Sammy was alive.
He didn't get it, didn't understand any of it except that Sammy wasn't dead, and he was getting a second chance even though he'd failed and killed—almost killed—his brother. Dean's mind shut down a whole different way as he curled over that warm body and cried.
The next thing he knew was the hand in his hair. First tentative and confused, to match the unfocused, half-lidded stare that met his raised eyes. Then unaccountably relieved and certain, fisting the short strands at the back of his head and pulling him higher up. Dean didn't fight the weak grasp, sliding upward in the bed but also pressing back to the farthest edge.
Sam huffed and pulled at him again, even more strengthless, even more undeniable. Dean finally gave in, moving closer until his forehead touched Sam's shoulder and his brother's arm could curl around his waist. Then Sam sighed raspily, content.
Leaving Dean utterly bewildered. "Keep your enemies closer?" he finally whispered in a raw voice.
Sam's head rolled on the pillow. "Fam'ly closest," he mumbled.
Dean swallowed and closed his eyes and held on.
The door to the room quietly opened a moment, then shut. Beyond it, John's friends let his sons sleep and mend, keeping quiet watch.