Sam stared down into his brother's motionless face for several still moments until he was unable bear it any longer. The tears stopped, and he stood up, carelessly letting his brother's head hit the ground. His chest was empty, his face devoid of any emotion. The hunter felt strangely light and newly freed of a depressingly large burden. What he did no longer mattered. Morals no longer mattered. Nothing mattered—not without Dean.
Glaring murderously at the billionaire's ghost, he clenched his fists. He knew it would be pointless to do anything now, but he couldn't help but feel irritated by the ghost's presence. He was not just going to destroy it—he was going to make every supernatural being pay.
The ghost of the billionaire took notice of the severe look on Sam's face and took a step backwards.
"You're not really going to turn on us, are you?" he growled. "We helped you. It's not our fault your idiot brother got himself killed."
"It doesn't make a difference," Sam sniffed casually, stretching a hand towards the ghost. "You're a ghost. I'm a hunter."
Vlad tensed, prepared to defend himself, but the conversation interrupted by an almost inhuman groan of pain. Sam's murderous expression disappeared as he spun.
The man in question, still in the same spot Sam had left him, began to pant sporadically and suddenly wrapped his arms around himself, covering most of the bloody mess of his torso. He groaned again and rolled onto his side.
"Hurts," he half rasped, half groaned, clenching his eyes shut. "So…bad."
Sam was at his side in an instant, his hands lightly resting upon his brother's shaking arm.
"Dean?" he asked, placing his other hand on his Dean's upturned shoulder. He gasped when Dean's breath hitched in his throat and his breathing slowed to a stop. Sam's grip on his brother's shoulder tightened and he roughly shook him. "Dean! Can you hear me? Don't you dare leave me! Dean!"
And Dean's breathing immediately picked up again. "No…not…Dean," the blond hunter managed to choke out, and Sam scrunched his face in confusion.
When his brother opened his eyes, Sam instantly stood and backed away. Dean's eyes were not their usual hazel, but instead an unnatural glowing green.
"Get out of my brother," he said slowly in a low raspy voice before sinking back to his knees and burying his face in his hands. "Isn't it enough for you that he's dead? Now you're...defiling his body." The tears returned, but this time, they were accompanied by blinding anger. Sam raised his head from his arms and placed both hands on his brother's bloodied chest.
Danny tried to raise Dean's heavy head from the ground to see what Sam was doing, but being in the hunter's body made it too painful for Danny to do anything other than lay still and breathe.
"What…?" the boy finally managed to choke out. "I'm trying…to keep his body…alive. So he can…come back."
But Sam didn't answer. Instead he closed his eyes and began to concentrate. He was going to save his brother's dignity by destroying the half ghost. This wouldn't just be the last time the boy would possess Dean's body. This was the last time he would possess anyone's body.
"Daniel—get out now!" the billionaire cried out suddenly from behind Sam. It was too late. From inside Dean's corpse, Danny began to choke and splutter. The younger half ghost could just barely detect the metallic taste in Dean's mouth as he tried to keep his hold on the dying man's last shreds of life.
Danny rolled onto Dean's side and pushed himself to his hands as he began to choke more heavily. He felt his supernatural grip on Dean's body being slowly severed, and somehow he knew that if he let go and Sam had his way, he wouldn't only be freed from Dean's body, but sent to somewhere he had never even dared to think about. Sam would send him to hell.
Vlad dove towards Dean's body, intent on ripping the boy away from the dead hunter's body and saving him from Sam's supernatural death grip, but Sam sensed his movement and positioned a hand between himself and the older man. He split his concentration between the two half ghosts. One half he used to keep the older man in place, away from the boy, and the other he used towards pulling the boy away from his brother's body.
Sam smiled through his clenched teeth when the boy began to choke and shake from under his grip. He was strong enough to rip the boy's ties to the living world, and he was succeeding….
Until the older half ghost suddenly broke free of his invisible vice and dove forward with fisted hands. The last things Sam remembered were angry blood red eyes, sharp, pointed fangs, and glowing calloused knuckles speeding towards his face.
Two Days Afterwards
"You're sure you don't want anything to eat?"
The gruff voice did nothing for Sam's throbbing headache. He shook his head in response, refusing to look his uncle in the eyes.
Bobby sighed, but didn't lower his voice. "I'm not letting you handle this like your brother did."
Sam looked up from the raised patch of upturned dirt. "They won't let me, anyway."
Bobby raised his eyebrows. "You mean you already tried to trade your life for his?" he growled. "Damn it."
"I offered them everything I had." Sam exhaled through his nose. "Lilith won't let any Crossroads Demon make deals with me." He looked into his uncle's eyes. "You don't have to worry about me, Bobby. I'll be fine."
Bobby nodded solemnly. "Well, I'll leave you alone, then," he said. "You meet me back at my house, you hear?"
Sam nodded absently without reply. He read the short encryption on Dean's headstone over and over until the words and dates no longer made sense.
He heard Bobby slam his truck door shut and drive away, but still didn't look up. He stood there for some time, unaware of anything around him, until a twig snapped and broke his trance.
Sam looked up and around but saw nothing.
Someone sighed an audibly relieved sigh.
The hunter spun to find a familiar ghost standing behind him. The boy's comparatively weathered green eyes blinked up at him from his childishly naive face.
"I totally thought you were dead," the boy sighed again.
Sam stiffened and clenched his fists before instinctively reaching towards his jacket pocket. "What are you doing here?" he asked coldly.
"I don't know," the ghost said, glancing sideways at Dean's grave. "Just…making sure you're alive. I've heard ghosts talking about you, you know. They want to know what's going to happen. What are you going to do now?"
"Leave me alone before I kill you," he said, turning back around to his brother's grave. "I didn't think your uncle would let you come near me."
"Who said Vlad knows where I am? He's not my dad."
The hunter glanced over his shoulder at the boy. "I thought I told you to go away."
"Okay, okay," Danny said in exasperation, but instead of leaving, he neared Dean's grave. Sam stiffened and felt around his pocket for Ruby's knife.
"I'll go home…just…." The ghost boy trailed off as he stared longingly at Dean's grave. When Sam finally gripped the knife tight, Danny produced from literally nowhere a flower made from ice.
He eyed Sam and his pocketed hand warily before he gently set the flower on the patch of dirt beside the small headstone.
The gesture made Sam let go of the knife. He swallowed the lump in his throat and clenched his eyes shut. Something was telling him to tell the ghost boy how he really felt; how sorry he was that this had all happened—that he had dragged Danny into the middle of a fight that wasn't his. He wanted to express just how deeply touched he was by the fact that the kid had tried to save Dean's life even though Sam wouldn't let him.
"Danny," he said, breathing heavily through his nose, trying to calm himself. "I'm really…."
When he opened his eyes, he realized that the ghost boy had already disappeared.
Sam had never felt so alone.
To Be Continued...
A/N: Oh my god you are going to kill me. Before you do, let me explain! I got really bad writer's block and I was just going to leave the story as it was, but Miriam1 convinced me to continue it. I thought really hard about how I wanted to end this story, and I decided since I started before the ending of season three of Supernatural, I wanted to base the ending off the season finale, where, as most of you might know, Dean dies and is last seen crying for Sam in hell.
I'm sad that it's over, but that said, it ended with a cliffhanger, which means there's obviously a lot of room for a sequel. I plan to incorporate elements of season four (!) but Danny will still be a major player in what is to come.
I can't thank you guys enough for all your concrit and encouraging reviews!