For Evil to Succeed

All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

For all the petty theft and B&E, for all the lying and cheating, for all the troubles they had brought, they still saved people. A lot of people. They were good men. They gave up all chances for a life and their lives to fight evil. So why did the fates seem to hate the Winchesters so much? Bobby was startled out of his introspection when the Impala he was following left Route 24 to barrel down a barely visible dirt road. When Sam stopped the car about 8 miles later, he lunged out and began throwing up. After his stomach was emptied, he spat to try and clear his mouth before sinking to the ground on his haunches. Bobby approached slowly. He'd been waiting for the younger man to break down for two days now but why here, why now? Silently offering a water bottle, Bobby waited for Sam to speak.

After Dean's death, Sam refused to deal with Dean's body in New Harmony. There was too much demonic activity there even though Lillith had vanished. He had told Bobby that he wanted to take him home. Since the Impala was Sam's only home, Bobby figured that Sam wanted to go to Bobby's. John had been burned in the woods behind the salvage yard so he assumed Sam would want to do the same and join Dean's ashes with their father's.

Lifting his head, Sam looked up at his friend and mentor. He didn't realize that he himself looked half dead. Red-rimmed eyes deeply sunken in his pale face, he waved towards the car. "I . . . I can't go on," he whispered.

"What?" Bobby didn't understand what Sam was talking about until a breeze gave him a clue. He choked at the ripe odor. Dean had been ripped open by the hell hounds yesterday. And the inside of the Impala was hot. He swallowed thickly. Sam had refused to place Dean in the trunk choosing to share the car with his brother's body. But it had become too much.

"We can set up a pyre here, Sam. It's isolated enough."

"No. No fireā€¦no salt. I'm going to bury Dean." Sam refused to look at Bobby. He knew all the arguments the older man would make and didn't want to fight him. Not him. He would save his energy for Lillith. Using the hood, Sam hauled himself upright. "We need some planks and nails. Dean will have a coffin." Sam kept his eyes down as he ignored the slit-eyed glare Bobby was giving him.

They couldn't be that far from Pontiac, and the town was big enough to have a lumber store. Bobby really didn't want to leave Sam alone with Dean's body. Who knew what the idjit would do if left alone with Dean right now. John had sacrificed himself for Dean, and Dean had done the same for Sam. A couple of years ago, Sam had unknowingly used a reaper to save Dean's life. Bobby had the feeling that even if he had known the consequences, Sam would still have gone through with it. Bobby had the spell book Sam had stolen from Sue Ann Le Grange in his library now. They had given him the whole story when they had handed the squat volume over months ago.

But a reaper couldn't help Dean now. Only some kind of deal could bring him back whole. "We both go, Sam."

Wanting to refuse but knowing Bobby wouldn't leave him alone, Sam nodded his head. "Let's get him out of the car. It's shady over there." Sam's voice wavered as he pointed to a stand of tall ash trees. He opened the back door and grasped his brother under his arms and pulled. The utter slackness of Dean's body reinforced that fact it was just a shell. Steeling himself, Sam continued to pull until Bobby could grasp Dean's legs. They gently placed his body in the shade, shielded it with some brush, placed protective wards, and left in Bobby's car.

It took less than two hours to find the planks and nails needed for Dean's coffin and return to the small clearing. Sam insisted on building his brother's final resting place himself while Bobby dug the grave. Bobby's heart bled for the young man. He'd known them as children and watched them grow into hunters. Dean's loss when Sam had left for college had led to several all night drinking sessions where Dean had bared his heart. John didn't want to hear anything about Sam, but Dean needed to talk it out. When John had died, both youngsters had stayed with him for a while, and he had allowed them into his own heart. And it was breaking.

Dean's loss was a gaping hole in Sam's life that couldn't be filled. Bobby had known from the moment he had seen Sam in his doorway after the failed rescue effort at Cold Oak what would come of it. Of Dean's choice. Sam. It amazed Bobby that Sam was still sane. In less than three years he'd lost everyone that was dearest to him. His time in Cold Oak had changed him and not just physically. Something in Sam's eyes forbade Bobby to ask what had happened, what had been said, what he had done. But sometimes he'd spotted the younger Winchester staring off into space at nothing with an expression of such loss that Bobby had never seen. They knew Dean's head was on the chopping block, but it was more than that. One night Sam had told Bobby about the Trickster and his months alone. Sam had hunted the Trickster then and won. Sam had saved Dean. But not now. Dean was gone. And shattered, Sam was left behind. Bobby would try to glue the peices together; he prayed Sam would give him that chance.

Bobby couldn't stand to see Sam torture himself any more. He forced the hammer out of Sam's hand. The wooden sides had smears of blood from Sam's smashed fingers. The tears that had started streaming while he was working had blurred Sam's vision, so he couldn't see the nails. Refusing to look at Bobby, Sam just nodded and without bothering to stand, crawled over to where Dean lay. Resting his hand on his older brother's head, Sam leaned against a tree trunk and waited for Bobby to finish.

The sun was setting as the two hunters lowered Dean's body into his coffin. Sam knelt on the ground unwilling to close the lid over his brother's features forever. The hellhound hadn't damaged his face; all the damage was further down. Sam touched Dean's cold neck and grasped the leather cord around it. He took off the pendant that he himself had gifted to his brother for Christmas that long ago year. Standing up and backing away, he placed the amulet around his own neck. Sam allowed Bobby to settle the lid and begin to place the final nails.

"Only one at each corner," Sam insisted.

Bobby did as asked but was afraid. What would the boy do? Surely he wouldn't try to make a deal too. That was a stupid thought. Of course he would. He was a Winchester. As if a crossroads demon would come when Sam called. After all, Sam had shot and killed the last one. Come to think of it, was there more than one? He'd have to look that up. Shaking his head at his self-distraction, Bobby placed the lid on and began to seal Dean in darkness forever.

Sam's body shuddered with each blow of the hammer. A part of him was being sealed inside that box. The part of him that was still completely human. The part standing next to Bobby was tainted and only good for destroying those he cared about. He'd have to leave Bobby too. Sam had lived and hunted on his own for months when Dean had died due to the Trickster's interference. He could do it again. He would do it again. But this time the prey would be Lillith. But first...find a way to bring Dean back. It was the only thing he could think of.

A/N: Please let me know what you thought of this chapter. Thanks for reading!