Thank God For the Trickster and Bobby or Another way of Breaking the Deal

Disclaimer: I have no claims to the show Supernatural, the characters or themes, I just like to play with the characters, tease, torture, caress and the rest!! Don't shoot the writer! Sorry that this chapter has taken so long but I have had a terribly busy Christmas and New Year.

Dean was at his wits end and he was scared. Yes Dean was scared, scared about Sam, scared that his father's last words where coming tragically true. You see he realized that Sam just wasn't the same. Ever since they visited the mystery spot and ran into the trickster again Sam had definitely changed. It was really the little things that Dean noticed first, the way Sam looked at his unmade bed and the messy toothpaste tube and the pages of research that seem spread all over the room as if he wanted everything neat and tidy, a place for everything and everything in it's place. Even at dinners Sam would lay out the utensils in perfect place and grimace more then usual at the way Dean ate. The tension was beginning to show between them and on their last hunt, it had exploded and Dean went to take a shower with his phone.

It had started ok the hunt that is, was for a spirit and they would need a particular ritual to dispel it and of course Dean had suggested, after watching Sam surf the net with no result for 2 hours, to call Bobby, that was when the silent explosion came with Sam stating that there was no need to call Bobby and he would have the ritual within half an hour. When Dean suggested that Sam go out for food instead of searching while he call Bobby, Sam had yelled that Bobby was the last person they needed and they could do this on their own, it was just a simple stupid ritual, he'd have it in an hour max. Sam at that moment must have realized he was yelling and bowing his head agreed that ever since the mystery spot he had been tense, waiting for the other shoe to drop, and further stating that Dean was right calling Bobby was for the best and he should go out and get something to eat while Dean called and maybe had a shower since he reeked, Sam joked. Dean laughed and throw the Impala keys to Sam but as soon as the door closed the smile vanished from Dean's lips - something was definitely wrong with Sam and Bobby seemed to be the key since Dean now realized that since the mystery spot Sam had not spoken to or about Bobby. Dean decided something else had happened and if he had to tie Sam up and drag him to Bobby's he would find out what.

In the bathroom Dean had a quick shower and then leaving the water running phoned Bobby and explained that Sam was worrying him and why and also explained that everytime he mentioned Bobby, Sam disagreed. Bobby's advice was simple, after giving Dean the needed ritual, Bobby suggested that however much Dean hated the idea, he had to bring Sam over to him, so that they could find out what was wrong and if Sam was possessed or still under the effect of the trickster, as Dean suspected, then they could solve the problem together better then apart. So in mild desperation to solve the problem without have to kill his brother as his dad had suggested, Dean decided that after dealing with the spirit, he would drug Sam and take him to Bobby's. So that is how a few days later Sam woke up groggily to find himself again tied to a chair, sitting under a devil's trap with both Bobby and Dean looking very worried.

Dean started the conversation, "Nice to see you awake again, mind telling me exactly what you have done with my brother, or if you are Sammy why your acting strangely?"

Sam was shocked, to say the least, acting strangely, he thought and feared the worst. " Dean, Bobby please tell me I wasn't possessed again, the tattoos should have worked" shaking his head, Sam could not think of any other reason for him being here, least of all in Bobby's house, shivering when he remembered what he did.

Bobby noticed the shiver and so did Dean and neither could understand it. "No, Son (another shiver), your not possessed, and your not a skin walker either, (pointing to a fresh bandage on Sam's arm), so that does leave us with you being the real Sam but I would like a explanation as to why your acting so weird as to scare your brother and why you won't look at me." said Bobby. Dean looked at Bobby "What??", "Dean, Sam here has not looked at me since he woke up, it's as if he's scared to and I want to know why."

Sam, "Bobby you'd never understand"

Bobby "Well then explain it to me." For the first time Sam looked at Bobby and the sadness and grief there made Bobby take a step back, and realized that it was Dean that Sam could not explain it to, so Bobby said "Look Dean why don't you go and get some dinner, it looks as if this is going to take some time." Then turning to Sam, "It was the trickster right, something happened you ain't told us yet and it's eating at you bad, right." Sam nodded and Dean realizing that Sam was not going to talk while he was there, "Right supplies ah, (sighing) right pizza coming up and something for the dogs, be back in an hour". Dean went out to the car and drove off to get supplies making sure to stay away about an hour.

Bobby "OK Sam spill it"

Sam "I told you about the Tuesday where Dean kept dying, but I did not tell you about the Wednesday, the first one where he got shot and killed in the parking lot outside the motel. I didn't tell you about the 3 months I spent hunting alone. I didn't tell you how ... Please Bobby I lived 3 months hunting for that damned trickster and then you found him and ... and... and he sent me back to Wednesday. 3 months Bobby, 3 months after salting and burning Dean's body right out there, and all the trickster said was Dean was doing a rumba in Hell and I should learn to live with it. It was all a lesson for me to learn, the joke was on me Bobby. The things I did, I was so... so obsessed... Oh Bobby, I ... (Sam hung his head and tears flowed for the first time in weeks, or months depending how you look at it)... I killed you", Sam whispered. Bobby took a step back and said Maybe, you had better start at the beginning and tell me everything that happened, don't leave out anything."

So Sam sat there after Bobby untied him and told Bobby everything, the days and ways the trickster had killed Dean, the facts that it was dean and not Sam who noticed the clues that led to the trickster, the conversation, all about the hunts he did on his own, the demons in devil's canyon, the vampire nest, the fact that he turned into a killing machine only eating to give him the strength to continue, the fact that neatness became obsession that he was still working on trying to ignore, and then he told him of the ritual and the trickster's Bobby and how he thought for a second or two that he'd killed the real bobby, and of how the trickster had shown up and of the conversation and of then waking up and it was Wednesday. As Sam was finishing his story, they heard the Impala coming in and noticed that Dean gunned the engine a little to make sure they heard him coming. Bobby just shook his head and when Dean entered (he was happy to see Sam untied), asking "Well how did it go?". Bobby answered, "You where right Dean, (Dean smile faltered slightly), it all had to do with the trickster. Dean, he put your brother though Hell and he's tired and needs some rest and good food so I hope you brought plenty of supplies. Sam come into the kitchen and we'll have pizza and beer and later tonight we can continue our chat and let me say this kid, Dean did the right thing in bring you here."

Sam, "But Bobby I.." Bobby turned "later, now what we all need is something to eat and some rest." Dean waited by the door after Bobby left and was watching his brother. Sam smiled and got up from the chair and walked out of the devil's trap, "Happy Now". Dean looked up to make sure the trap had not been broken and turned to see his brother roll his eyes, "Ecstatic", then they both went into the kitchen for food.

Later That Night Sam carefully so as not to wake his brother crept down the stairs to see if he could read a few of Bobby's books while he was here hoping to find a deal breaker. Bobby caught him, "been waiting for you to come down", he softly said. Sam, turned and looked at him, please don't tell Dean, he'd hate me the way I become, I never want to be like that again, so I got to find a loophole. Bobby looked at him, the kid did not know, did not even realize, and shook his head, "Sounds to me from the story you told me that the deal is not longer a worry."

Sam could not believe his ears. You mean that I can survive without him, no way, I never want to become like that again. I can't Bobby, it almost killed me, I had nothing, lived for nothing but finding that trickster. I can't go back to that."

Bobby "That is not what I meant Sam. What I meant was the trickster gave you a loophole or better yet a way out of it completely and that is I think the lesson you where meant to learn, that sometimes little things change even big things."

Sam "Bobby what loophole."

Bobby "The contract's been filled Sam. Dean went to Hell for those three months and as you said, the trickster said he was doing a rumba in Hell. They can't take him twice for the same deal. I don't know if when you explain it to the collecting demon she or he is going to like it and they may want to hunt down the trickster for it, but the plain truth is that for 3 months Dean was in Hell, the Hell hounds collected, the contract was filled. It never said he had to stay in Hell, but as a extra precaution I would not even hint to Dean that you might have a solution, he can't know anything about it or it might invalidate the contract which is probably why the trickster said the joke was on you."

Sam "That bit I don't understand I admit it."

Bobby shook his head "Sam, you wanted to become a lawyer right, your daddy, dean and Pastor Jim said you'd be a great one. Well what better trick to play on a lawyer is to have his brother sent to Hell or to voluntarily go, when he does not need to because of a legal argument. Hell Sammy ever heard of the Double Jeopardy law"

Sam banged his head on the table, he had written a term paper on that law too. "But, Dean can't know anything about it."

Bobby "Not even when your explaining it to the demon because he might decide to go voluntarily, to keep you safe. The problem is that the demon will appear only where Dean is so this is what I suggest."

Half an hour later, Sam crawled into bed and for the first time in months, he smiled and dreamed sweet dreams. Lulled to sleep by his brother's voice asking "You didn't find anything in Bobby's books then.", to which he replied "Not a thing" and turned around to go to sleep. Well he figured he hadn't found it in Bobby's books so he did not lie to his brother.

4 Months Later

Sam was not happy with what Bobby had told him to do, he was really not happy with any single point except the one that almost guaranteed his brother's freedom from the contract. So he knew this was going to be difficult, what made it harder was tonight was the night and his brother was watching everything he did, and had insisted on eating in a dinner instead of at the room. In fact Sam believed that Dean thought he was going to knock him out and try something stupid, and so was watching him like a hawk and had not let up all day. Now even though this was the truth, except for the stupid part (Sam thought hopefully), it really did make it hard for Sam to slip Dean some special sleeping pills he'd made up. Finally, in sheer desperation Sam had offered to go to a bar with his brother for a few beers and he really hoped this worked had slipped the sleeping pills into his own drink, just praying that Dean was so paranoid as to switch beers on him, which luckily Dean did with a smile saying indulge me I'm about to die tonight. To make things seems right to Dean, Sam had told him he was silly and had made excuses for not drinking the beer and then had offered it to Dean who shook his head and was about to say that he was not going to allow Sam to do anything that might break the deal, when he started to feel dizzy and realized the truth. The last words Dean uttered he thought on this world was "Sam please don't", then Sam caught him and put him into the back of the Impala and proceeded to the nearest crossroads. Sam had decided he would do everything Bobby had suggested he do.

Arriving at the abandoned crossroads, Sam laid out his brother on the ground, drew a protective circle around him and his brother. He even had time to lay a thick layer of gopher dust on the outer circle of the protection sigil hoping one would help protect the other and make them both stronger - then Sam went to the Impala and brought out Dean's favorite knife, this was a weapon of last resort but if Sam had to use it, he would. He closed and locked the Impala and smiling and noticing he had time draw a protective circle round it just in case. He did that more for his brother since Dean had always thought of her as a member of the family and Sam would try at least to protect all the family tonight, and that included the Impala. He smiled, he was getting as bad as his brother. Then Sam sat next to his knocked out brother and waited for the hounds or demon to arrive - 5 minutes to go.

What happened at Midnight was a shock to Sam, for at around 2 minutes to midnight, Ruby arrived and walked into the crossroads. She was clearly shocked by Sam being there and let him know it, "Sam, what the Hell are you doing. What have you done (seeing Dean unconscious). Leave here at once."

Sam, "No, Ruby I'm staying - I have it figured. I won't lose my brother."

Ruby, "Sam the demon will arrive any minute and you can't be here. Your being here, doing this negates the deal, Sam and I know that Dean wants you to live, not die here."

Sam shook his head. "Live or die, it ends tonight Ruby...". Sam was about to say something else when a thought struck him and he glanced at his watch which read 3 minutes past midnight. Then Sam looked at Ruby and said" Why don't you go before the demon arrives or maybe the demon who has my brother's contract has arrived, am I right Ruby."

Ruby smiled "Yes, Sam your right and you being here does negate the deal."

Sam" No it doesn't. The deal was about Dean trying to weasel out and he doesn't know a thing about this."

Ruby laughed, "OK Sam what is this - there is no loophole. There is no way to save your brother, he's going to Hell and I am taking him there personally."

Sam "No, Ruby, your not. You see Dean fulfilled his contract, he has been to Hell, and he stayed there for 3 months. There was nothing in the contract that said he had to stay in Hell for one minute and he stayed for 3 months."

Ruby, "Sam, What are you talking about. Dean never went to Hell. I would have known about that."

Sam, "Ruby have you ever heard of a trickster. Well one made me live for three months alone and you where nowhere to help me. Dean died and I was alone for three months and all the trickster said was that Dean was doing a rumba in Hell. So Ruby my brother went to Hell and he served his time and now Hell can't have him twice for the same deal. There are rules even Hell has to obey."

Ruby actually stepped back. "No, your lying."

Sam, "I could be, but I'm not. You can't enforce the contract, any of it, since the contract has been fulfilled." Ruby yelled "No. You want a battle Sam OK. I was going to make it easy for Dean, but now I think I'll call in the Hell hounds and have him torn to pieces. Ruby heard the hounds and saw them but when she ordered them to attack, she also saw Sam's words confirmed the hounds obey her, they would not go near the boys for there was no order to. In a last ditch effort to get what she wanted Ruby smiled, "I may not be able to take Dean but I know who can. Would you like me to call them." Sam shook his head, "There is no way, you can take my brother to hell, Ruby." Ruby smiled, "Are you so sure of that, Sam. Bobby wasn't it who cooked this up, and him with no law degree saw a legal loophole that you a law student did not see. Don't you think that's a little funny." Sam actually did think it was funny but in his business, one had to relay on instinct and Bobby had plenty of that (he thought), but Ruby saw her chance and grabbed it. "Sam, if your so sure why don't we make a bet. If the demon I will call agrees with you, then Dean's OK and your right and you will never see me again. But if your wrong, you are mine along with Dean, two for the price of one, you could say." Sam turned and pick up Dean's favorite knife, Bobby had warned him, it might come down to this, but was he willing to risk it all on Bobby's hunch, " How about instead if I lose, (he ran his finger over the knife edge), I kill my brother myself. That way I'll have to live with the fact, that I killed him instead of your hellhounds taking him."

Ruby considered this and smiled wickedly, "So that you can kill him quick, oh no Sam but I like the idea of you suffering with his blood on your hands so this is what I am offering you. If you win and the contract is as you say fulfilled then as I said Dean's OK and your right and you will never see me again and no demon will bother you for the next week. I am feeling generous. But if your wrong, instead of just killing him, you will cut his heart out when he's awake that is and bring it to me as a sacrifice to my Mistress. That will make up for that nice little virgin that he stopped me having some fun with. So what do you say Sam Yes or No". Sam looked Ruby straight in the eye and said "Yes".

Sam wondered what was going to happen next, when he saw a small girl walk out of the shadows and towards Ruby who said "they're all yours just like I promised Mistress." Sam's blood turned to ice as he whispered "Lilith, You work for Lilith". All Lilith did was hold her hand out to Ruby, "the contract Ruby, let me see it. So, Sam we finally meet, I missed you at the station. You know that virgin and the agent, they screamed so pretty."

Sam wanted to take the knife he had picked up and wipe that smile right off Lilith's face but he controlled himself and stayed in the circle, his brother was his only concern. Lilith's face stopped smiling as she went to read the contract. Then she snarled at Ruby, "Hell has rules ruby, some not even I can break without very dire consequences. There is no contract here. The only deal Dean did has been fulfilled. Lilith threw down the contract and advanced on Sam, only to meet a invisible brick wall, "No", Lilith screamed. Lilith turned with fury in her eyes only to find Ruby had vanished. "Freelance demons". Even Sam raised an eyebrow at that comment. "See you another time it seems Sam." and then she too vanished.

Sam collapsed to his knees, he could not believe it, it was over. He half carried, half dragged Dean back to the Impala and got in, smiling for the first time in over 4 months a real smile. By the time Dean drowsily started to wake up Sam was nearly at Bobby's and Dean only question was "how long Sam". Sam turned to find Dean looking at him and smiled, "No deal Dean. Bobby helped me see a loophole." Dean looked up, suddenly more awake, "a loophole". Sam smile grew wider, "Yup a loophole. Remember that trickster problem. Well I did not tell you everything." Dean snorted, as if he had not realized that one already, but Sam continued for the rest of the drive telling Dean everything, what happened with the trickster, right up to meeting lilith and Ruby last night and about the backup deal Bobby said might be the clincher". Dean smiled at everything except the back up deal, for which he said he was going to kill Bobby for suggesting it. Then they arrived and parked in front of Bobby's and Bobby came out of the door, smiling when he saw both of them together.

Bobby, "Ok Boys, Sam I know you could do it but how. You didn't make another deal tell me you didn't"

Sam looked at Bobby, "Bobby what are you talking about. I just did what you suggested and it worked Bobby, the loophole you found worked"

Dean, "Sam what did you do."

Sam "Nothing I swear, Bobby and I talked about this when you went for beer and pizza last time we where here 4 months ago. I swear dean that's what happened."

Bobby looked worried "Sam I have not talked to you or dean since we dealt with that dream walker."

Now Dean looked at Bobby strangely. "Bobby we where here 4 months ago. I called you for help when I thought Sam was acting strangely, you know being obsessively neat and all."

Bobby, "Dean that's impossible. I was up in Oregon dealing with a skin walker"

Dean and San looked at each other, then who was here as you, they asked.

Bobby moved his baseball cap and thought ok let's figure that out first. "Come on boys, we'll talk in the house."

Sam "well it can't be a demon, you walked in and out of the devil's trap when you undid the ropes tying me to the chair." Bobby looked about to ask something, but Sam put his hand up and continued, "It can't be a skin walker either because you handled those silver flasks, with no damage. You did not eat anything sweet so the trickster is out so what is left." Sam asked looking at both Bobby and Dean. Bobby shook his head. "You sure kid that it was me. I mean not maybe a trickster illusion." Sam looked up, "Yes, Bobby I am sure. I think I know the trickster's illusions by now and this was you only.." Bobby glanced at him, "only what Sam."

Sam, "Now that I remember it, it was strange at the time, but I was only interested in talking about the loophole, but you mentioned Pastor Jim as if he was alive. I thought you where being sentimental." For that Sam got a clip round the ear from Bobby and Dean looked up and said "there is one thing that can do all that and (he smiled) would probably be talking to Jim." Sam and Bobby looked at Dean "Dean, Jim is dead." Then Bobby gasped and went to grab a few beers and a book from beneath a pile of book 6 foot high. Sam turned, a funny expression on is face, he knew he had missed something but had no clue what, so when desperate he fell back on his childhood solutions, and asked Dean to explain. Dean looked up and said "An Angle Sam. We talked to an angle and we never knew it. (he laughed) Some great hunters we are." Bobby came back with some beers and a cold pizza instead of the book, which he could not find..

Bobby turned towards Sam, a little later, "So a whole week with no demon attack. Good, You have an entire week to explain this all to me and Dean from the beginning." Dean burst out laughing and Sam visible cringed, obviously he thought, this was his penance. Oh Well, it was better then the alternative, much better. "Ok Bobby but you'd better get in a whole lot more beer and maybe some bottles of something a little stronger.

Up above in Heaven, Pastor Jim looked down and smiled. Turning to Michael, "Told you Dean would figure it out first. He's good you know. He make a great angel one day, not soon but one day" Michael smiled "That's why we had to save him Jim, That's why we had to save him!"