CROSS MY HEART

HOPE TO DIE

By: Karen B.

Summary: 'If I knew you -- I'd want to hunt you.' Sam can't get the words out of his head.

Dreamer's Note: This is really short. Just me dabbling. Dipping the toe of my shoe into a rain puddle. Thank you for your time, I appreciate it so much!

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Sam blinked his eyes several times. The landscape before him seemed to echo the quiet. Nothing dared to stir or shatter the darkness, except the moon piercing through the clouds, sending its bluish rays across the barren ground. What freaky, alternate universe was he trapped in now?

Sam walked like a zombie, not seeing anything but his own shadow stretched out before him. Was he dead? Alive? Suspended between heaven and hell? And where was Dean? The night air was cold, each step he took wieghted with uncertainty, and fear. Not fear of the dark. Sam didn't fear the world at night like most people seemed to. What he feared was what he couldn't see inside himself.

Events floated around in his mind. Words that were etched in his father's leather bond book resounded in his ears. He looked up at the moon, its crater face seemed to glare down at him in contempt. Did everyone and everything see the beast lurking in the very belly of his soul? And if so -- why couldn't he? Why, when Sam Winchester looked into the mirror could he not see the cruel thing inside his own body? Did every creature on earth, in heaven and in hell want to devour him? Eat him alive and spit him out -- the way Dean's words had.

'If I didn't know you. I'd want to hunt you.'

The words -- now a trademark upon his soul.

Sam felt wintry cold. He squinted his eyes, tried to focus harder on where he was and why. His feet tangled, his legs losing strength. Shaking his head fiercely, he tried to shut out the pain he felt deep inside. Pain that hurt worse than the piercing tip of any bullet or knife.

He came upon an iron gate, two winged granite beasts posted on either side guarding the entrance to a cemetery. The evil looking birds sent a chill racing up Sam's spine.

A black cat suddenly jumping out of nowhere caused Sam to stumble backward.

"Shit." He ran a trembling hand over his face.

The feline gazed at him, its yellow eyes flickering like candles before disappearing into the darkness. The cold wind groaned as if to tell him to turn back. But something drew Sam forward, and he moved past the evil sentries through the iron archway.

The ground was spongy soft, Sam's shoes sinking deeper into the mud with each step. Granite headstones, long exposed to wind and rain were cracked and broken. Their occupant's identity no longer legible, covered in black moss and tangled vines. Sam noted the graves were shallow -- several half sunken pine boxes sticking up out of the ground. The flimsy coffin lids were splintered open, the bodies long ago hauled out, probably by some wild animal.

Sam staggered over human bones, swearing under his breath that he could still smell the odor of rotting flesh. The clouds roiled above, and lightning of an approaching storm lit the surroundings. He was feeling very alone. Imprisoned by something he could not see or touch. Something he could never understand -- never exorcise.

Sam paused to catch his breath, thrusting his trembling hands into his pockets. The quiet was unsettling. Even the gathering of crows perched in a nearby barren tree didn't make a sound. Just as the moon had, they glared down their beaks at him. Images of the deathly black birds pecking at pieces of decaying flesh, and blood soaking into the soil filled his mind.

Sam felt dizzy and cast down his gaze to the ground. The earth shuddered. His brother's words burning inside of him, but he kept standing, fought the blackness that wanted to envelope him. He looked up just as a dark shadow appeared, sending grizzly fear seeping into every bone.

"Sam," The shadow beckoned.

A flash of hellish-light burst from the sky. The sparks sent the murder of crows scattering. The lightning lingered in the air just long enough to reveal the identity of the shadowy form. Familiar in everyway -- except for the white billowy shirt and ebony cape draped over his shoulders.

"Dean?" Sam's eyes narrowed in suspicion.

"That's my name. Don't wear it out, bro," Dean said, in a tone that spoke only of sickly disgust.

"What are you doing here?"

"Come here, Sam." Dean bade him closer, deliberately ignoring the question.

"Who are you supposed to be?" Unsure what to think, Sam took a weary step forward eyeing his brother's get up. "Batman?"

"More like a bat gone batty." Dean smiled, showing pearly white fangs.

The smile sent an evil wave of shock through Sam's blood.

"You're not my brother!" Sam backed away.

"That's where you're wrong. I am one hundred proof, Dean. And you, Sam …you are one hundred proof evil. 'Till my last dying breath I give you my word… I'm going to hunt you and your kind until there are no more of you friggin' demon bastards left."

Sam gasped, "You're crazy.

"Crazies the only game left..."

"In town. I know, Dean, but..."

Another whoosh of frigid air, followed by another bolt of lightning, sent Dean racing forward hissing and baring his pearly whites. Sam couldn't move, the mud seemingly turned cement and holding his feet firmly to the ground.

The moon disappeared, and all Sam could see was Dean's blacker-than-black shadow knock him full force to the ground.

"You're going to die now, Sam." Dean's paralyzing words roared out.

Sam struggled helplessly, but couldn't escape the prong of teeth sinking deep into a pulsing artery in his neck. The pain of Dean's words blotted out the pain of the sharp fangs. Sam raised his hands trying to push his brother's weight off of him, but his arms were heavy and fell to his sides like broken branches. Dean tightened his grip around Sam. HIs breath raging hot with hatred, fingernails digging into his flesh and sucking the life force from Sam's neck.

"Dean!" Sam shrieked in agony. "No!" He sat bolt up, realizing right away he had been dreaming.

Fingers digging into the motel room's pine green shag carpet, Sam panted nearly out of breath, his eyes swinging around the room. A small table, chairs, a dilapidated dresser, some crazy velvet picture of a naked woman, and Dean. Standing by the window staring at him in astonishment.

"What the hell, Sam?" Dean crossed the room and crouched down next to his brother.

"Dean? What happened?"

"You tell me. One minute you're Rip Van Winkle, the next you're falling out of bed, screaming like a school girl who just saw a spider."

Sam glanced around again in a daze. Sunlight beamed in through the cracks of the ugly avocado green curtains casting shadows on the equally ugly avovado green walls. Dust floated through a single beam of light that streaked to the floor. Sam watched the particles dance and float as if they were living, breathing beings.

"That was some dream, Sam." Dean reached out to touch his brother's shoulder.

"Yeah." Sam shrunk away. "Some dream." He scrambled up to sit on the edge of the rumpled bed.

"You okay?" Dean stayed in his crouched position, frowning up at Sam. "Want to tell me what you were dreaming about?"

"Nothing."

"Oh, come on, Sam. You can tell me. Something must have been hot on your tail to make you leap off the bed like a scared jack rabbit. Bearded lady or man-eating kite?" Dean winked.

Sam sat tight-lipped peering down at his bare feet.

"Dude, it's not like I'm asking for the key to Fort Knox, here. I just want to know what you were dream..."

"You," Sam stated flatly. Still breathing heavily, he cupped a hand over his eyes trying to rub away the image. "It was you, okay, Dean." Sam dropped his hand to the bed, the begging gaze of a puppy meeting Dean's eyes. "It was you hunt...chasing me," Sam muttered, fear and loneliness burning a hole in his guts.

Dean shuddered, easily following Sam's train of thought.

"Sammy," he whispered, getting up to sit on the bed next to his brother.

"Dean. I…I'm not --" the word ended on a sob. "You know me. You know me, Dean." Sam felt so weak and powerless, his whole body starting to shake.

"Shh. Shh." Dean wrapped an arm around his brother. "I wish..." He pulled Sam close to his side. "I'm not your enemy. Won't ever be." Sam stiffened, kneading his fingers into the sweat soaked sheets. "Sam?"

"Yeah?"

"You know that, right, douche bag?"

Sam could only 'tsk' at the badgering, closing his eyes and letting his head droop to land on his brother's shoulder. He didn't know anything anymore.

Dean cupped his cheek with the palm of his hand. "Look at me." Sam opened his eyes and turned to focus on Dean. "And you, Sam, you know me. I would never hunt you. Cross my heart, hope to…"

"Dean, don't…"

"Hope to meet a busty Asian beauty," Dean quickly pledged, with a silly smirk on his face.

Sam could tell by the look in Dean's eyes what he really had meant to say.

Sam gave a curt nod making sure the look in his eyes didn't show through--

No way in heaven, on earth, in hell, or any other crap universe would he ever let Dean keep a dying pledge. Once was more than enough.

Sam nailed his unspoken promise inside a box, shoved it into a dark corner of his soul, and sat on the lid.

He'd pry the nails off the box and pull his silent promise back out -- when the time was right.

Cross his heart -- hope to die.

The end.