Metamorphosis tag. Our Winchester brothers have entered the grey zone and I love exploring the darker, ambiguous areas. I love both brothers, but they are both reeling and not sure how to react. Times may be tough, but have no fear; their love and devotion will eventually see them through. Like our country in the Civil War, the Winchesters will not be divided when the war ends. Sam's POV.

This story is dedicated to Daisy, who helped this Dean gal understand our younger brother better.

Battle of Carthage

Carthage, Missouri was the site of the Battle of Carthage, the first official engagement of the American Civil War, on July 5, 1861. The Civil War is infamous for pitting brother against brother.

And so it begins…

Sometimes you don't notice when a rift happens, two parties drift apart, lose common ground, grow in different directions. It happens in life, in death, when time and distance take their toll. You don't even pay attention until something snaps, two distinct factions lying side by side in the dirt. Sometimes the two halves don't even appear that different, but somewhere deep inside they are, miles apart in their beliefs.

Sam was alone. His brother was dead, in Hell, and he couldn't stop it, he couldn't save him. He had a war to wage, against evil, against Lilith, the bitch who took his brother from him.

Choices had to be made; continue on as the Winchester men had done in the past, fighting hand-to-hand, small conquests as the major battles slipped through their fingers or up the stakes and go for the win.

Dad was dead. Dean was dead. Every single member of his family sacrificed in this never-ending war with evil that started because of him. It had taken twenty-three years to kill the bastard that killed their mom.

He didn't think he had the will to wait another twenty-three years to kill the bitch that killed his brother. Not when he knew of a better way. Lilith was scared of him, worried over what he was capable of. They finally had an advantage, he was immune to her powers and she had run from him, terrified of his power.

You don't turn your back on power like that, not when you can harness it to do good in the world and save people. And that is what the Winchesters do, they save people.

Opportunity came knocking and all he need do was open the door. He could carry on with the family business, keep fighting like his family would have expected, but on a grander scale. He could save more people in a few months than they'd previously saved in a year. How could that be wrong? This was him, he could handle it.

He couldn't lance the demon blood from his body, purify his soul and return to the innocence of that baby before that freakin' demon bled into his mouth, but he could hijack old yellow-eye's endgame and use his powers for good.

It would honor all the sacrifices his family had made, make their deaths mean something. It could fill the hole in Sam's gut that nothing else could, bringing back a purpose, a reason to keep going, a way to thwart this curse and turn it into a blessing. To somehow make this right again. Or as right as it could possibly get.

He started down the road, an easy route, straight and unobstructed. Dean had been the only true obstruction… and Dean was dead.

The further he tread the easier it became, the headaches ceasing, his control growing, the road welcoming him with open arms.

Ruby egging him on, a support he sorely needed. Assuring him he could defeat evil, reclaim the good, vanquish the bad.

It was all he had when everything else had been taken away. A solace, a focus to keep his mind from retreating into what might have been if the demon had not come to his nursery that night, if Dad hadn't died for Dean, and then Dean for him. A never-ending spiral that sucked the life from his family and led him to this road, his only avenue.

He meant to tell Dean as soon as his brother returned from Hell; he only needed to find the words to make him understand. He only needed time. Time to recapture the trust they'd forged in the past, time to figure out a way to make Dean see the truth… that this was good… right… necessary to fight the mounting evil in the world.

Time had never been his friend, once again betraying him.

Dean was stubborn, obstinate… pig-headed.., so sure in his own mind and unwilling to bend to reason. Any reason, particularly if it butted heads with his own mule-headed attitudes. He saw his brother as a freak, something to fear and loathe.

The confrontation was brutal and raw. Sam stood his ground and took the punch, somehow feeling he deserved it. Not for using his powers, that was justified, needed. No, he deserved Dean's wrath for lying to him, hiding who he was, denying what he was doing… what he was now capable of.

He wouldn't fight his brother, return the blow.

He would do the noble thing and turn the other cheek as was spoken of in the bible, God's word. He believed in God, in the power of angels, in the pursuit of good.

He was so sure he was right… How could God disapprove?

His brother was angry, justifiably so, but he was still his brother and he'd forgive him. Dean always forgave him. The only question remaining was if he would ever understand… if he possibly could.

"If I didn't know you… I would want to hunt you."

The words were cruel, deliberate in their intent; the look on Dean's face determined and grim, hating that he had to spell it out to make his brother listen.

The words burned, vulgar and harsh, but spoken in love and concern.

Sam startled, not wanting to hear or believe. His worst fears realized. Dean saw him as a freak, a monster to be hunted. He couldn't defend himself against that attack. He wouldn't, there was no defense when he himself felt like a freak, a whole new level of freak.

That would have been enough to break Sam, but Dean didn't stop there. The second punch swiftly followed. Sam couldn't believe his ears, because Dean didn't believe in God and yet there it was; the final, devastating threat.

"Cas said that if I don't stop you, he will."

The truth tore through him, the words sending him reeling.

God didn't want him travelling down this road…

He was going against God's will.

Every hope of redemption and salvation died with those words. He couldn't change who he was, what he was. He couldn't scrub the demon blood from his veins; he would forever be tainted by it, and now this.

He had willingly gone against God, chosen a road against God's wishes.

He was wrong… for the last four months, everything he tried to do to make things right was wrong.

His world came tumbling down and he was again lost, unsure where he belonged, who he was and where his destiny lay. Questioning if there was any hope left for him, if redemption were even possible.

Cursed… he was still cursed. Forever cursed.

He could no longer look to his brother for answers, for hope, for all he saw in Dean's eyes was worry and fear. Dean also lost, still struggling against his own demons, his own thoughts of those four months of separation on top of the terror for his brother and the road he now travelled.

He was once again on his own.

Sam trembled and promised he was through, done with his powers, choosing to turn back from that road.

His heart felt weary.., his soul so heavy.., lost and alone.

Again unsure…

He stared out into the black of night at the encroaching darkness.

"These powers.., it's playing with fire. I'm done with them… I'm done with everything."

The End


October, 2008

Thanks for reading. Any and all comments are welcome in the review box. Take care, B.J.