Brothers in Arms.
Author's Note: Just a quickie, this is the last instalment in what was once just a one shot I think that this wraps it all up nicely. Oh yeah the previous instalment, I was asked by one reviewer what language is the title? It is Latin; roughly translated Prosapia Laurifer is Family Triumphant.
Disclaimer: The usual blah, blah I don't own em and sigh never will just like to play with them and then send em home. No monetary gain from this just doing it for the love of it.
Wind howled in its own particular way around the deserted buildings, at times barely a whisper and then without warning it growled and pushed its way through the debris and dust. Violently attacking everything in its path, dropping back to only a soft breeze and barely ruffles a bird's feather. The heat of the summer night not soothed by the winds, instead it enhances it, making it cloying and claustrophobic, with no palpable relief in sight just the wind swirling around masking the other sounds of the night.
A night deep in the summer where electricity flickered from too many air conditioners in use, for those who were lucky enough to have air conditioning. Fans groaned under the excess usage and ice melted faster than it froze deep in the chill of a freezer.
A night where few slept and more roamed the streets of cities and towns seeking cool comfort wherever they can. A lone car on a dark road dared to take on the stickiness and the discomfort, the driver preferred to travel at night, seeking solace from the burning sun of the daytime.
The sleek vehicle glided over the still hot asphalt, its motor growled like a beast wild and untamed showed no ill effect of the heat of the night. Strains of music trailed after the car in a symphony of defiance against mother nature herself.
All windows of the car were down in a vain attempt for the circulation of a cooler mobile air but nothing seemed to help and the occupants felt the effects. Sweat beaded on their faces and necks, trickled down their bare chests and arms pooling against the leather of their belts and their jeans. The only signs of consciousness of both were the odd movement in sleep of the passenger and the driver's occasional squirming on the seat and fingers beating in time to the music on the worn leather cover of the steering wheel.
A weary glance at his watch and the driver straightened his back and shifted in his seat again, they were going to stop, he had made his mind, he needed a shower, a comfortable bed and a cold beer and not necessarily in that order.
As he drove, his thoughts started to drift back to the reason why they were on the road yet again.
One week ago –
Two young men sat side-by-side on the park bench staring at the water but neither actually saw the water or anything else; both were lost in their own thoughts, self-recriminations and differing degrees of anger.
'Do you really believe that Dean?' The question broke the tense silence; spoken so softly that Dean had to strain to hear it. He glanced quickly at the profile of his younger brother and drew in a deep breath unsure of how to answer the question.
'Dean?' Sam Winchester whispered his brother's name as he stood up and turned away, his six feet five inch frame hunched down and looked smaller frailer, his hair brushed his collar and his too-long fringe hid his normally sparkling blue-green eyes. 'I guess you do.' He walked away, defeat radiating from him.
Dean lifted his head and turned to answer his brother's question when he saw him walk away, the softly spoken 'I guess you do.' Floated in the air for a second as the realisation hit him. 'Sam?'
'Where are you going Dean?' A deep smooth voice made Dean wince and look behind him.
'Cas, what are you doing here?' Dean snapped as he went back to watching Sam walk away. 'I don't have time for this.'
'Sam will be fine Dean.' Castiel said in his annoyingly calm monotone voice, 'there is something important I have to speak to you about.'
'Yeah well it can wait Castiel.' Dean muttered almost distractedly, 'I gotta go and make sure that Sam's alright.'
'You know that he is …'
'Don't Cas, don't say it.'
'Sam is living on borrowed time Dean you need to understand that if you are going to help him.'
'Can't you guys give him a break?' Dean stood up and turned his body to face the angel, 'he's doing the best he can with what he's got.'
'Is he Dean?' Castiel shook his head and almost looked remorseful, 'Sam is tainted.'
'And whose fault is that huh?' Dean sneered, 'who was with him when he needed help, when he needed guidance?'
'Dean he had to have the freedom of choice.'
'Oh yeah great job of giving him that now.' Dean shook his head, 'Sam, Sam had faith his entire life, me and dad we didn't give much to believing in anything that we can't see, but Sam, he had enough faith for all of us. He was six months old when that demon violated him, a six month old baby what kind of freedom of choice does a baby have?'
'Dean you have to listen to me…'
'No, no you listen to me, you and your lot have Sam tried and convicted without even trying to understand or to listen to him. As long as I can remember, he prayed every night as a kid and even as an adult, he believed in something looking out for him. He didn't ask for any of this, he never wanted to be anything but normal. Now, now you and Uriel and the others are all gunning for Sam to be taken down, to take him, what do you guys call it oh yeah smite him.'
'Dean he is tainted there is no denying that.'
'There is no denying the fact that you guys did nothing to stop that, not once in his entire life did you do anything to stop this from happening, to give him a chance at normal.'
'This is not a debate Dean.'
'No? What I can see is that he is nothing but a pawn in your sick game with hell.' Dean scrubbed his face with his left hand and started to pace, his anger making him agitated to the point of needing to move around that or to punch something or someone. 'Instead of convicting him why not help him?'
'We can't interfere Dean, you know that.'
'Can't huh? So what are ya doing now?'
'Dean you have to get him to listen to you, he has to stop using his powers or …'
'Or what you gonna sic Uriel on him like Lilith and her hell hounds on me?'
'That is not fair Dean.'
'Nothing in this crapped out thing is fair Castiel, Sam is the kindest most sensitive kid I have ever seen, I've been with him when the nightmares got too much for him, I was there when he broke down coz he couldn't save an innocent, I've been with him when he has drowned in grief and guilt over his girlfriend. So don't you dare stand there and tell me what to do where my brother is concerned.'
'Sam is treading a fine line, he is involved with a demon, he is using his powers given to him by a demon, he has to be stopped.'
'Why? All I can see is Sam using his powers to save innocent lives, you would prefer that he use the old methods? To maybe use a weapon to get rid of the demon but hey the innocent is nothing but collateral damage.'
'He became a wild card while you were in hell Dean, we can't afford to have him going over to the darkside.'
'Nice, very nice, why didn't you help him? Why leave it to a demon to teach him the right and wrong?' Dean stopped pacing and moved closer to the angel, 'Why didn't you or your boss step in and guide Sam in the right direction then? And don't you dare give me that bull about freedom of choice, coz as far as I can see you have taken that away from Sam already.'
'Dean?' Castiel held his hands up and tried to placate the young human but Dean shook his head in disgust and strode away in the general direction Sam had headed. As he calmed down Dean realised his own guilt with the way he had dealt with Sam since he had come back from hell. He didn't give Sam a chance to explain, he did exactly what the angels did and condemn him without listening.
Castiel smiled softly, lifted his eyes to the sky and nodded his head satisfied he disappeared with a rustle of wings. It was up to Dean now; he had set things in motion.
An hour later Dean finally found his errant brother; the bar was dark and stank of stale beer, smoke and something that resembled the stench of urine. After his eyes became accustomed to the low lighting Dean let his gaze roam over the patrons, two men played pool in one corner, a woman and man argued loudly in a booth, two men in suits sat at the bar and in the far corner his lanky little brother sat huddled on a stool nursing a beer.
Dean ambled over and after quickly assessing Sam for any signs of injury, anything he sat down and indicated to the barman for a beer for himself.
'Sammy whatcha doing?' He asked conversationally before he sipped his beer.
'Nuthin'.' Came the slurred response.
'Okay,' Dean took another sip and glanced over at Sam trying to get him to make eye contact, 'so what else?'
'Leave me lone Dean, don' need ya.' Sam waved his beer at Dean before taking a sip, 'yer made ya mind up so just leave.'
'Sammy I'm not gonna go anywhere.' Dean spoke slowly and kept his tone light, not too sure on how volatile his baby brother's drunken temper was going to be.
'Why Dean?' Sam sat up and tried to focus on his older sibling's face.
'You've lost me Sammy.'
'Why don' yer believe me?' Sam squinted and suddenly giggled, 'there's two of ya Deanie.'
'Funny, very funny Sammy.'
'Ha you made a rhyme,' Sam giggled louder and harder but then he started to hiccup and sob instead. 'I can't do this no more Dean … angels hate me, God hates, me, hell even you hate me.'
'S'okay Dean I hate me too.'
'Think it's time for us to go Sammy.' Dean stood up and went to stand next to Sam, 'come on sasquatch give me your arm.'
'Don' feel so good Dean.'
'Geeze Sam how much did you drink?'
'N-not much, just a couple-a-beers.' Sam blinked and shook his head, 'feel weird.'
'Dammit Sam did you leave your drink?'
'Had to take a leak.'
'Okay we're getting' outta here now.' Dean wrapped Sam's arm around his neck and eased his overly tall and completely uncoordinated brother to his feet, 'one foot in front of the other.'
Slowly but steadily they made their way towards the front door, their leaving seemingly made no impact on the other patrons at all, none of them even bothered to look up as Dean steered Sam back out into the heat of the late summer afternoon.
'L-love ya shortie.' Sam hiccupped and tried to pat Dean on the head.
'Yeah, yeah whatever you say stretch.' Dean grimaced and tightened his grip on Sam's belt as they started to head down the alley way towards where he had left the impala.
'Well, well lookie here, we got two of em this time.'
Yeah one each.'
Dean turned to stare at the two men brandishing guns, 'you're the dudes from the bar?'
'Yeah what about it?'
'Dudes in suits mugging people, seen it all now.' Dean shook his head and turned to keep walking away.
'Hey don't you go anywhere, we invested some time and effort in your friend there.'
That one statement made Dean see red, he propped Sam against the wall and then faced their two so-called attackers, 'and what exactly did you do to my brother?'
'Easy to sneak a little roofie into his drink and then buy him a few rounds.' The answer made Dean see white, his fist connected with the talker's face before anyone could register what had happened. The gun clattered loudly to the ground, the sound of the gunshot echoed loudly around them. Without pausing Dean turned to the second man and downed him easily with a swift roundhouse to his ribs and then an uppercut to his jaw. He drew in a deep breath and made himself calm down before he turned around and headed back to Sam who sat slumped against the wall his chin resting on his chest.
'Sam, come on dude we're outta here.' He said suddenly feeling better after venting some of his anger, 'Sam?' His post-fight euphoria waning when Sam didn't move. 'Sammy?'
He dropped to his knees and reached out to touch Sam's shoulder when he saw the blossoming red stain on his brother's jacket. 'Oh God Sammy.'
Carefully, he slid Sam's arm out of the jacket and pulled him forward slightly, 'okay it's gone through and through.' Dean started to do a commentary on the gunshot wound, even though Sam was still unconscious. 'Ya lucky Sammy it's gone straight through the flesh, gonna hurt like a bitch but it coulda been worse.'
'Dean?' Sam's voice sounded muffled against his neck, he felt the warmth of his breath, 'wha' 'appened?'
'You got yourself shot without even trying.' Dean gave a snorted laugh, 'come on Sammy let's get you fixed up.'
'Gonna puke.' Sam gave Dean a weak shove and then started to violently retch and vomit onto the dirt and broken pavement.
'Damn it Sammy we gotta get going before the cops get here.' Dean supported Sam's injured shoulder while he vomited and kept a close eye on their so-called muggers who were still out cold not far away, in the distance he could hear the screech of the sirens. The heat, coppery scent of blood, and vomit made Dean feel dizzy and sick himself as he hauled Sam up and they staggered down the alley disappearing into the shadows.
As soon as Sam felt well enough to travel they left the dusty no-named town in the middle of no-where America, in the dead of night. The rumble of the impala echoed through the empty streets, with no destination in mind only the need to leave burning deep within both of the Winchester brothers they reverted back to what they loved the best and what made them feel the most comfortable. They hit the road.
Dean slowed down and turned into the nearest motel with all-night bookings, without waking Sam he slid out of the car, stretched and cracked his back and lurched tiredly towards the office door.
As he pulled up just outside their room, Dean turned and gently tapped Sam's arm, 'come on Sammy let's get some proper sleep.'
'De-Dean?' Sam blinked and rubbed at his eyes with his good hand, 'where?'
'Dunno, don't care, we got beds, air-conditioning and a shower.' Dean grinned, 'you go in and I'll get the bags.'
'I can help.' Sam muttered as he stood up and grabbed the car door as dizziness assailed him after sitting cramped up for so long, 'damn it.'
'Careful Sammy I got it.' Dean ushered his brother inside and then went back for their bags. An hour later, they both showered and felt human again, Sam sank down on his bed and propped his aching arm and shoulder up on the pillows and closed his eyes. Fine pain lines etched away from his eyes but he remained stoically silent.
'Here Sammy time for your meds.' Dean said as he tenderly nudged Sam and held out the two white pills and a glass of water. 'I'm gonna do a food and drink run you be alright?'
'Yeah fine, thanks Dean.' Sam muttered as he handed the now empty glass back to Dean. 'Just gonna rest here for a minute.'
'Sure Sam won't be long.' Dean picked up his keys and pulled a white T-shirt on leaving his favourite leather jacket draped over Sam. For some reason that only Sam knew he had taken to sleeping with Dean's jacket over his shoulders or clutched in his hands. At first Dean didn't understand and tried his hardest to stop him, but when he realised that while he had it near him, Sam didn't have his usual night terrors and actually slept through the night. It was a small thing and Dean was happy to oblige him. 'Hey Sammy.'
'Yeah?' Sam squinted up at his brother.
'Just so ya know I never did believe it.' Dean grinned. 'Never did and never will. We'll get through this Sam the only way we know.'
'Always.' Dean said as he went out the door and locked it behind him, 'always Sammy, just you and me against them all.' He added as he rested his forehead on the door for the briefest of seconds before he climbed in behind the wheel of his beloved car.
Inside the room, Sam sighed and clutched Dean's jacket tighter to his chest, 'always Dean just you and me against them all.'