It didn't take long for Dean to figure out where the accident was. Sirens wailed in the air, and lights flashed down the streets. It felt really weird to be running towards the sirens, not away from them. Then again, everything felt really weird these days.
Dean gritted his teeth. The entire psychic thing was spinning out of control. First Sam's nightmares turning into daymares and coming true, then some kid with telekinesis drawing them even further down the whole psychic road, and now they were dealing with someone who could ask for anything and make you give it to him.
Or make you do anything for him.
"Sam?" Dean called when he reached the street corner. Pedestrians were staring at the bus in the middle of the road with morbid fascination. Authorities were already dragging road blocks in front to keep drivers (and nosy people) out.
A body lay sprawled in the road, covered with a single white sheet. An ambulance pulled up, with a cop waving it into the blocked off area, and Dean still couldn't see Sam. He hadn't gotten much out of his brother on the cell, except that the good doctor had decided to take a one way walk to the afterlife.
He stood on his tip-toes, scanning the scene for his brother, who should've been relatively easy to find. Freakishly tall giant. Of course, he was nowhere to be seen, which meant he was probably sitting down.
And he was. Right by the curb, near the center of all the action, was Sam. He was sitting on a strip of concrete, his head bowed low between his knees. That didn't bode well.
Dean began making his way through the onlookers surrounding the scene, and had almost made it through when a cop stopped him. "Sorry sir; no civilians," the cop said firmly.
Dean wasn't in the mood. "Look, that kid in there? That's my brother."
"So?" the cop said, crossing his arms. "He'll be moved out in a bit. You're still a civilian."
"He is too," Dean said, starting to get frustrated with the rent-a-cop.
"No, your brother is an eye-witness to the scene," the cop informed him, like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
Dean decided he'd point out the real most obvious thing here. "Yeah, well I'm the protector of the witness." He stepped around the cop, ignoring his blustering. Other onlookers surged forward, leaving the cop no choice but to stay and hold them back, though he called out to Dean with some choice words.
Dean didn't care. He had more pressing matters. "Sam?" he called, close enough now to see his brother's muscles trembling. Three steps away, and a paramedic stepped in front of Dean, effectively cutting him off from Sam. "You've got to be kidding me," Dean muttered. At least this one was cuter than the last one.
"Look, he's my brother," Dean said before she could speak. "I just want to get him out of here."
"I wouldn't advise moving him right now," she said. "He's been through a very traumatic experience. He watched someone die right before his eyes. That's not something you see everyday."
No, that's just every month for us, Dean thought, but only said with a motion of his head towards Sam, "But can I...?"
"By all means," she said, moving away to let Dean through. Dean neatly side-stepped her, crouching down beside Sam. "Sam?" he tried one last time.
Sam didn't answer. Up close, Dean could hear his harsh breathing. He moved in closer, then said in a low voice, "Sammy? You okay?"
A moment later, Sam shook his head a fraction. "You'll be all right," Dean said, his voice still low. "I'm right here, okay? Not going anywhere."
Sam nodded, a move stronger than his head shake a few moments before, and Dean's worry subsided a bit. Sam would be okay. He'd give him a bit to recover, then they'd go look for the Impala.
Freakin' psychic kid.
"You can move the body now," a voice called from behind them. Sam stiffened, then raised his head. Even as he was turning and shifting to look, Dean was moving, casually crouching between Sam and the road, effectively blocking Sam's view of the body.
Sam gave him a glare, but it was weak at best. There were little furrows in his brow and around his eyes, like he was wincing from pain. Pain that might not be just tormented-soul type of pain. "You got a headache?" Dean asked quietly. "Bad one?"
Sam's look of annoyance faded away into a mask of indifference. Of all the things Dean had taught his brother through the years, that one Dean had really hoped Sam wouldn't remember. "No more than it usually is," Sam said, his voice empty and low.
"Uh huh," Dean said, giving his brother a look. Sam didn't have a higher tolerance for pain than Dean did; Sam was just getting better at hiding it. Things that would've ranked a 9 or 10 on Dean's scale were a 5 or 6, according to Sam. As soon as Sam could stomach them, Dean would find him some high level pain relievers. Kid didn't know how to take care of himself.
Which was where Dean came in.
not as bad as walking in front of a bus," Sam said, and there
was the tormented-soul stuff Dean'd been waiting for. Sam's eyes met
Dean's, and they looked like glass, shining in the noonday sun.
"God, Dean, he just walked right in front of it, and he just...he
Sam choked on the last word. "And I couldn't move or help or..."
"Hey, hey, take it easy," Dean said softly, reaching out to grasp Sam's shoulder. Sam was shaking again, tears now fully formed in his eyes. "It'll be okay, I swear," Dean continued, keeping his grip tight enough to tell Sam he was there, but not tight enough to hurt.
He just wished his promises were as solid.
Dean had had a hard enough time of things trying to keep Sam safe through the years. The things they faced always wanted to take his baby brother down. The years Sam had been away at college, alone, had terrified Dean to no end. Having Sam back on the road with him, side by side, had helped calm Dean's nerves tremendously. With Sam right next to him, he could keep him safe, watch out for him.
But the psychic stuff and the emotional trauma Sam was continuously getting hit with...Dean wasn't sure he could protect him from that. Neither of them really understood the psychic deal, though if Dean ever found the thing responsible for his little brother's visions, there was going to be blood. A lot of it.
The emotional trauma was just going to happen. Jessica, Max, and now the doctor...never mind that Sam couldn't have helped any of them in any way. Guilt and his brother's too big heart would always step in and play their part. Dean couldn't do anything to stop them, anymore then he could've stopped the deaths. He couldn't stop the pain and shock Sam would feel every time it happened.
But he could be there after for him.
Sam shuddered and let his head fall forward again between his knees. "Just breathe through it," Dean murmured, letting his hand fall from his shoulder to rest on Sam's back. "I gotcha, Sammy. I'm right here."
And he wasn't planning on being anywhere but for a long time.