Author's note: What happens when you can't decide how to end Dean's deal? You write 2 versions of it. This is version Two and the other version is already up. Step Forward is what happens when Dean takes his fate into his own hands and Step Back (this story) will be what happens when Sam takes Dean's fate in his hands. 2 different stories on how Dean's deal will end. Each will be independent of each other so you can read both or either and still follow. Enjoy.




For one time in his life, Dean lounged in a four star bed. Secretly, he wondered if Sam would even glance at him if he wallowed in the sheets like a happy hog, but thought better of it. Still, the thought did make him chuckle a bit. Ah hell, a bit of indulgence never hurt anyone, he thought as he guzzled another glass of champagne and shifted cockily in the king sized bed.

However Sam swung this, it had to be the best con ever. When he asked, Sam simply shrugged saying it was cause for celebration. He could still hear the words. "Hey, I found a way out of your deal" followed by the most complex sounding thing that Dean had ever heard. Mainly, it seemed like a lot of blather to him, but Sam swore he could bind Dean's soul to a jar of clay.

"Are you sure about this mud jar bullshit? You seemed fairly certain." Deep down, he doubted this was a plausible scheme, but if it gave Sam hope. Strangely, Dean found it gave him hope too. Maybe Sam could bind him to this word. Dean would prefer that blonde at the gas station to bind to, but that was a whole other story.

"COME ON, it's me… if I am sure this is a deal breaker, it's a deal breaker!" Sam announced, "And I found this place for us to do this ritual."

"Can we do the Ritz after this thing takes hold? Never been to the Ritz."

Sam chuckled, "No... Sorry. No more high life for us. It's back to the dregs and collapsing stink holes for us."

"Ah...home... How I don't miss the sewers and rat dens."

"Funny...ha ha ha." Sam said in a deadpan fashion.

"I'm a like Disney World with a much better ride."

"I'll pretend you didn't say that so I won't have to slit my wrists. Ugh...just... uh... I'm not even going to touch that... so wrong on so many levels. A new world record low for Dean Winchester."

"Still the champ!" Dean beamed. "Damn, I feel great. We are going to keep me from hell, take out some more demons, and take…"

"Yeah, why don't I believe that you aren't scared? We have a few hours, so stop worrying. The over the top humor doesn't fool me at all. "

With all the luxury around them, it was still just two brothers waiting. Only the hands of time and the hope of a man destined for hell kept them going. Sam hadn't let him lift a finger all day, sending him up to the room as if he were a child and couldn't carry his share of what- the hell-ever Sam had in mind. "Humor me." Sam had said. That was an hour ago and it looked like Sam was getting ready to fight a war from this location.

"Did you pack enough?"

"NO... I wasn't sure what we would need."

"Dude, there is nothing left in the car!" Dean was being snarky, but it was the truth. Every possession the boys had were now in this high priced room. Dean flopped back on the mattress, relishing the lack of lumps. "You know how to pick 'em Sammy. You take me to the nicest places."

"Jean Luc Picard is very giving. You can thank him later."

"I'd rather not… What company issues credit cards for Kirk and Picard! They are making this to easy."

Sam smiled in a weird way like he was about to drop a bomb.

"That look is creeping me out... what's wrong?"

"Sorry… just thinking..." That was the truth. He was thinking of how many times the damn trickster made him watch Dean die again and again and how those images haunted him. The damn demon might as well have taken Sam's soul that day. "Nothing... I just... I just want to say... thanks...I owe..."

"Same here...if this doesn't work... I ..." Dean breathed deeply and the breath was so emotionally charged a blind man could have read it from a state away. "I made my choice and no matter how much it pains me... no matter how much I want to fight on... it was worth it."

"It wasn't!"

"Sam..." He cracked harder and his eyes felt glassy, but Dean refused to cry. He didn't know how to say goodbye now, when he never wanted to say it at all.

"Just promise me you won't get caught in by demons hands or deals again. I can only fix this once."

"What if she is smokin' hot?"

"Not even then." Sam said sorrowfully. "No matter what...I want you to know what I do today is meant you..."

"Yeah... me too." Dean smiled.

"Okay, you ready."

"Not getting any younger."

"Close your eyes."

"Come on! This is ridiculous...what does it matter..."

"Are you the one that researched this? So, shut up and close them!" When Dean sat upright on the bed and complied, Sam made a horrible face like he couldn't follow through this part without regret.

"I can't...damn..." Sam miffed at himself. Thoughts rammed in his head, he had to do this, not matter how scared he was. Now, it was just getting the results in the easiest way.

"What now?! Did you eat some mushrooms or something growing from the walls...? Or are you having a bipolar panic disorder moment."

"No! Just..."

"Lick a frog!"

"Just stand up... face the wall and close your eyes."

"Freakin' make up your mind. Are we doing the hokey pokey or the chicken dance next? Can you hurry this thing up... kinda got a time table."

"I know...but you have to face the setting sun on the descend..."

"Okay, enough... Dude, this had better be some good mojo or else." Dean stood and followed Sam's directive. "Is that better!?"

Sam lowered his voice in a melancholy tone. "Dean, I'm sorry..."

"For what now?

Without a word, Sam wrapped a cloth around Dean's mouth and nose as his older brother struggled. The distinct odor of Chloroform filled Dean's nostrils and he was forced to breathe it in. He wanted to scream and kick, but the effort was becoming too laborious. Slowly, Dean's 

fight and movements ceased. Sam let Dean drop to rest on bed. Dean toppled forward, landing half on and half off the mattress.

"Sorry, I couldn't let you see this coming... You would fight too much. If this doesn't work... I..." he told the unconscious Dean. "Just have a good life for me...One you deserve." With that Sam scooted Dean to comfortable position and placed a pillow under Dean's head for comfort.

Sam stood, looking down one last time and smiled appreciatively, Sam was trying to say goodbye, but he was also trying to apologize for the thought rolling in his head. He knew when the idea formed. Just a week after the dad on the phone fiasco, Sam had a vision- the special children kind. It was then he knew this was it, the best choice he had.




The crossroads

One hour to Dean's deadline….

"SHOW YOURSELF! I want to speak with the demon that holds Dean's contract! NOW!"

Suddenly, a small child appeared before him. "Hello, Samuel."

"Taking over children now. All time low."

"You summoned me. It's impolite to keep me waiting. I could kill you now, be done with any plans you have."

"You could, but you would have to admit you're afraid of me... afraid of Dean."

"I fear nothing," the child said. "I am mother to all..."

"Lilith... I should have guessed you were playing all sides of the game. Hold the contract, kill us... it all works. Whatever you think I am, can be... I'll do you better. I want Dean's contract gone

"And your demands mean what to me?"

"In return you get me. Not a soul…me… you have to admit, my death is a prize. My submission as your left hand is much sweeter. Let Dean live…"

"You would not hunt us? Even if Dean is in danger. You can't change your spots, dear boy."

"But, you know the demon blood still beats within me. I feel it, too. I have been holding it back all this time, but you can't predict who I will align with and Dean is your insurance. You have him in an army and I will fight to protect him regardless. But, you're wrong. I won't let him fall to darkness. I would sooner give him to nothingness than to let him burn and warp in hell. He would expect nothing less of me."

"Grandstanding and bluffs."

"No, no bluff. But, I do have a preference. You give Dean what he needs... his life... a good home and I'll let my humanity go. I'll join you!"