Title: Can't make it on My Own
Disclaimer: Characters are only mine in my dreams.
Warnings/spoilers: All seasons probably but major for 4x14
A/N: This is a tag to 4x14, basically I wish there had been more angst so I added some. It's not beta'ed so I apologize for any mistakes; I read it over twice but it's late so I most likely missed a few.
Summary: Together they can find the right path to travel because together they are the good in each other's lives. (slightly AU tag to 4x14 with a bit of limp!Sam)
"Tell me again how weak I am, Sam." Dean swings the axe slowly at his side, enjoying the way Sam's eyes go wide with fear. "How I hold you back."
"Dean, please." The Siren's venom is slowly wearing off, leaving Sam frighteningly aware of what is about to happen.
"Do it, Dean." Nick and Dean share one last look before Dean smirks and raises the axe to his shoulder.
Sam lays there paralyzed as he watches his brother prepare his weapon of choice. He tries in vain to get through to Dean once more and wishes desperately he could just roll out of the way but his body refuses to move.
The pounding of his heart is so loud in his head that he's almost positive it's audible to everyone in the motel. As his pulse continues to quicken, the fear taking over his body, he actually welcomes the growing darkness that is pulling him.
A few stray tears slip past his eyes at the last second and the very last thing he sees is the hateful expression on his big brother's face.
The axe lifts from Dean's shoulder, bearing down on the man below him.
With mere inches to go before contact, Dean is suddenly thrown to his left, the force causing him to lose his grip on the axe. As he hits the unforgiving wall he feels the searing pain erupt from his shoulder before Bobby rips the stake from Dean and turns on Nick instantly.
The younger man catches on; already running towards the exit but Bobby still manages to catch up and successfully thrusts the stake into the man's back.
"No!" Dean slumps against the wall, his head falling backwards with a little too much force.
The short lived feeling of loss leaves him utterly confused as he watches Bobby remove the bloody stake from Nick's back.
Slowly things start to come back to him and memories flood his mind so fast they have his head spinning and stomach churning. He remains on the ground, hoping for his body to slowly come down from whatever the Siren juiced him up with.
"Dean." Bobby's weary voice brings him back to reality and he quickly becomes aware that besides Bobby there isn't anyone else's voice filling the hallway.
"Bobby?" He blinks his eyes open and catches a glimpse of the older hunter standing before him except Bobby's eyes are focused on the floor rather than him.
The silence is too much.
Sam should be saying something, anything. The kid never let a chance at some angst filled conversation pass by or his opportunity to rub it in Dean's face that he had in fact been right.
Why isn't Sam talking?
Then his eyes drift to his right, spotting the shattered glass case. The shattered fire emergency case that had once held an axe which Dean had just went after his brother with.
"Sam!" Forgetting all about his own aches and pains in that second, Dean flies to his feet and sways slightly but remains upright. "Where is he?"
Bobby is now crotched on the floor, his back to Dean, but he doesn't have to turn around to answer the question. As soon as Dean focuses his vision it becomes much too obvious where his brother is.
He doesn't expect Sam to answer, although a part of him prays that Sam's eyes will pop open with one of those goofy smiles spread across the kid's lips. Hoping never got him anywhere though.
Sam lays flat against the motel door; eyes closed and mouth slightly agape. He actually looks peaceful, if it wasn't for the axe protruding from his right shoulder.
Suddenly Dean goes into action, quickly regretting all the time he's wasted thus far trying to pull himself together. He should have been focusing on pulling the axe from his brother and fixing the mess he's caused.
"Dean," Bobby's hands gently grip Dean's wrists. "You can't just go ripping it out of him."
"It needs to come out, now."
"I realize that, but you will only do more damage if you don't do it slowly." He retains his hold a little longer, waiting until he sees the understanding seep into Dean's eyes. "It looks worse than it is."
"Just get it out." Dean pulls his hands free and kneels down at Sam's head, his fingers instinctively finding Sam's pulse.
The speedy pulse that pumps below his fingers shocks him and he watches Sam's face for any signs of pain. However, there is absolutely no visual sign of movement from his brother.
Bobby eases the axe slowly from Sam's shoulder, blood quickly rushing to the surface before he can shed his jacket and get pressure on the wound. He knows that Dean is watching his every move and he wishes he could do something to ease the boy's guilt but this just isn't the time or place.
"Why isn't he awake, Bobby?" Dean's eyes drift back to Sam's face, a hand on either side as he thumbs his cheeks gently.
"I don't know," Bobby shakes his head, checking Sam's shoulder again. "But be glad because that would have hurt like a bitch."
"Does he need a hospital?"
"No, just some stitches."
"Can you do it?"
"Yes, but Dean, maybe you sh-"
"No." He shakes his head and removes his hands from Sam's face as he sits back onto his legs. "I can't. I need you to, please."
The heartbreaking look in Dean's eyes has Bobby's heart doing just that. These boys have definitely managed to pull him into their twisted family spell and sometimes it sucks feeling so close to these two.
"Okay, Dean, I will."
"Thank you." He gently pats Sam's face once before standing. "We need to get out of here."
It's a tough call on that one. They stay to patch Sam up then they risk the police showing but if they bail now Sam's wound may go unattended for too long.
Dean is right though. They need to get out of here before someone decides to check on the disruption; before someone spies the dead body now laying in the hallway.
Together, though hesitantly on Dean's part, they manage to get Sam to the elevator and out the back door without a single soul questioning or even noticing them. That's just another benefit of staying in motels that pride themselves on looking the other way.
When they make it to the parking lot, Bobby starts to guide them towards the Impala but Dean stills.
"Take him in your car."
"We don't have time for this, Dean, what the hell is your problem?"
Refusing to argue in the middle of the parking lot, Bobby gives in and redirects them toward his car. Dean backs off, leaving Bobby with the entire burden of a very heavy and limp Sam.
He gently sits the boy in the front seat, reclining the back just a bit so that Sam isn't sitting directly up right. Once he's sure Sam is safely in the car he shuts the door and turns back to Dean who is now biting his nails with eyes fixed on Sam.
"You have got to snap out of this, Dean." Bobby cups the side of Dean's face softly, waiting till they had eye contact. "Now get into the car."
"I'll follow you." He turns to head back to the Impala but Bobby's hand on his arm quickly stops him in his tracks.
Bobby's ready to argue and prepared to manhandle Dean into the back seat but one look at him and it's obvious he needs some time to clear his head.
Instead Bobby nods, "Be careful."
With that the two part ways and Dean is finally alone with his thoughts, his own private thoughts that he's not even sure he understands. This has definitely been the worst hunt ever.
His body moves on autopilot as he gets into the car and follows closely behind Bobby, closely behind Sam.
How could he have let things go so far south?
Truth is Dean hadn't needed that damn siren to bring out his anger in Sam. Dean had flat out told Sam his judgment wasn't worth crap, even threw Madison back at him which was probably the lowest blow ever.
Sammy had been right though.
It's definitely hard to completely trust Sam after everything Dean's found out, and everything he still knows Sam is hiding. That doesn't mean Dean feels any less brotherly toward him, right?
Sam had hidden the visions from him. Of course Dean knew about the nightmares, but he hadn't known they were actually premonitions until sometimes after they started.
That's Sam's MO.
Things that freak him out, things he's not sure of himself, or things that make him feel less human, he hides from Dean. It's not necessarily hiding as it's more of denying.
If you don't talk about something it makes it feel less real.
How can he hold so much against Sam when Dean's the king of denying reality?
Dean had hidden, or denied, his father's last words for quite some time, unable to tell Sam what he might have to do to his little brother. Isn't that basically where they stand now?
Except now Sam doesn't want to die. Sam doesn't believe what he's doing it bad and Dean can't exactly argue.
Sam's not killing people. He's killing demons and actually saving people. How is that evil?
The powers are a gift from a demon though, he has demon blood in him, and that seems to automatically make it evil. It seems to make Sam evil.
Has Sam really changed that much during the four months Dean was away or even during the months leading up to Dean's departure?
Dean's thought it, sure, and obviously the Siren picked up on it, but that doesn't make it true.
Of course Sam has changed but has it been for the worse?
He's become a stronger hunter, more independent, yet he still cares. He still does it to save people, to make the world a better place for those who haven't seen the evils he has.
There's no denying that Sam's powers were most likely going to lead him somewhere dark but Dean's not convinced that Sam knows that. As long as Sam is still blind to that dark path, then that means Sam is still doing it for the good and not the bad. He's just chosen to hang with the wrong crowd, but hell, they both know how manipulative demons can be.
Everything can be chalked up to Ruby.
So yea, Dean might owe her for saving Sam's life but exactly what life was she saving? Sam's so sure that what he does is saving people and Dean wants to believe that for Sam's sake but demons will always be demons. Sam's always been too gullible for his own good.
With all the ways Sam has changed he really hasn't changed that much at all. Before Dean died he had said that in order to survive he had to become more like Dean. In Sam's eye, in Sam's hero worshiping mind, he has.
Really Sam was always those things though, he just never realized.
Sam can only be considered evil by association but even that is reaching because Sam still trusts and still believes that somebody considered evil, like him, can be good. It's not his fault that sometimes that theory doesn't work, and really Dean can't prove it hasn't this time. Ruby could be good but Dean seriously doubts it.
Not everyone, everything, is like Sam. It's near impossible to find someone as strong, smart and caring as his little brother.
That's just it though.
That right there is the real reason Dean's held so much anger toward Sam.
Sam doesn't need him anymore.
Ever since Sam's realized that Dean won't in fact be around forever, he's developed a damn good ability of taking care of himself, or so it seems to Dean.
The kid has definitely found himself in some tough situations over the past couple of months, according to the stories Sam and Bobby have shared, but he's always managed to get himself out of it. So what's the need of having a brother?
The more Dean thinks about it though; Sam's always been able to handle himself even if Dean was around to back him.
That's what brothers do.
So Sam doesn't need him to beat up bullies or kill the monsters under his bed. He hasn't needed that since he was nine. No, he needs something more important.
He needs a big brother who supports him, is there for him even when his decisions suck. Sam needs Dean there to back him up and keep him on that straight path that only Dean can see because together they are the good in each other's lives.
When they're apart neither of them knows the right path because they've never had to do it alone before. Well Dean's never had to do it alone before.
Sam's relationship with Ruby was only his fear of being alone; his fear of losing his way. That demon bitch knows exactly how to manipulate him.
What she said, it's what you would have said.
With his entire family gone, Sam had sought any possible source of comfort and in his fragile state, that Demon had been the quick fix. Plus she had previous knowledge of the brothers' relationship. She could easily feed Sam's need for the support Dean gave him.
Dean can't hold that against Sam. Heck, he sold his soul out of fear of living without Sam and unfortunately Sam's always followed Dean much too closely.
Amongst all his musing, Dean realizes that they have made it to a motel two towns over from ground zero and apparently they arrived some time ago. Bobby's already gotten them a room and dragged Sam inside before he appears at Dean's window.
The cars been turned off for awhile, the heat already turning into cold but Dean doesn't bothering getting out and instead winds down the window.
"I patched him up and gave him a nice happy drug." Bobby bends down, arms folded and resting on the open window frame.
"He was awake?" Dean's eyes remain forward and emotionless.
"No, but I think he's only out because he's in desperate need of sleep."
"What's that mean?"
"When's the last time either of you have had a good night's rest, Dean?" He stares at the green eyes that finally move to meet his own. "You've both got your own Demons, figurative and literal, so I'm sure you're not the only one who's been losing sleep."
"So Sam's just sleeping?"
"Honestly, I'm not a doctor, but I think he's trying to keep himself safe in his own way."
"From me?" Dean turns away from Bobby again, his eyes now finding his hands very enticing.
"From life." Bobby straightens up and suddenly looks much more threatening than before. "The kid's living in his own person hell and you're both too stubborn to notice just how much more alike you two have become."
"I see it now."
"Bought time," The car door opens, shocking Dean, but he doesn't protest as Bobby pulls him out and to his feet. "Now get in there and be with you brother when he decides to wake up."
Dean manages a smile at that, thankful to have someone like Bobby to kick him in the ass when he needs it. Everybody needs a reality check once in awhile and those were Bobby's specialty.
He slowly heads for the room, his hand hesitating on the doorknob but when he looks back at Bobby he can feel his strength recharge.
Sam still needs him and that's enough for him. He just hopes Sam will understand.
Dean's finally giving into his losing battle against sleep, reluctantly leaving the chair beside Sam and crawling into the other bed. He welcomes the calming the warmth that the blankets supply him but they do nothing to sooth his troubling thoughts.
Despite how tired his body is, his mind just won't give him a break. There's too much guilt and anger tormenting him, though he deserves every bit. His brother is laying unconscious in the bed beside him after all.
Just as he feels himself begin to relax, he hears the first signs of rustling from Sam. He starts to sit up but quickly jumps completely out of the bed when Sam begins to thrash, screaming out Dean's name.
Nightmares are something Dean has become a pro at handling, not only has he had experience with Sam's but he's had his own front row seat lately. However, this time things are different.
Sam's not screaming for Dean to help. He's screaming for Dean to stop.
The terror in Sam grabs a hold of Dean's chest so tight that he can't breathe. He's never been the source of pain or fright for his brother; he's always been the presence that takes away such harsh feelings.
"Sammy," He gently presses his brother back against the bed, keeping him from ruining Bobby's work. "Please wake up, man"
The painful whimpers continue. Only a few words are audible enough for Dean to understand, but those words say it all.
"I'm sorry- please- kill-."
He wants to shake Sam awake and finally straighten things out between them but he can't. It's just too much watching as Sam suffers and knowing he's the cause yet also the only one who can fix it.
Suddenly, Sam flies up in bed, nearly sending Dean and his chair backwards. He blinks a few times, eyes searching the unfamiliar room, before he finally catches Dean sitting beside him. The fear is definitely not what Dean was hoping to see.
"Hey, Sammy." He starts to lean forward, hand stretched out in front of him, but Sam scoots away and shakes his head.
"I'm sorry, Dean, I didn't mean it but please don't kill me."
Dean stares at him, the tears now rolling down Sam's cheeks and making it so hard for him to concentrate. He's seen Sam cry plenty of times, but this time it nearly burns a hole through his heart.
"I'll leave, Dean. I'll do anything, but I don't want you to kill me. I don't want you to hate me so much." He pulls his knees up to his chest, long arms wrapping around them and Dean can't help but think how young he looks.
"I don't hate you, Sammy."
"I've changed, Dean. I'm evil."
Taking a chance, he slides himself onto the bed in front of Sam and gently places a hand on his brother's arm. Sam lifts his head at the contact, allowing his hazel eyes to meet Dean's for the first time.
There's no anger or hate in them. There's only worry, understanding and maybe even love.
"I won't deny what I said, Sam, because it's true." He watches Sam closely, sensing the fear spike just a bit. "But you have got to know that I would never, in my right mind, physically hurt you and I would definitely not kill you."
"But you hate me."
"I never said that."
"You wanted a new brother." The sad puppy dog eyes that make Sam look no older than five, definitely seal the deal on Sam still being Sam.
"No," Dean can't help but smile, remembering so many times when those eyes had come to play and they still held the same power. "I want my brother. I want that little boy that used to look up to me and follow me everywhere I went."
"He's not so little anymore, huh?" Sam doesn't smile but he does let go of his knees and folds them Indian style instead.
"Not so much."
"He still looks up to you though."
"When he's sitting."
"I was so lost without you here, Dean." His eyes become shinny again, quickly reverting back to starring at his hands. "All I wanted was my big brother back, for you to show up and tell me everything would be okay. I didn't know how to do it on my own."
"But you made it."
"You call this making it?" The tears are falling but the newly triggered anger takes over. "I've finally got you back and because I was making it you now think I'm a monster. You don't look at me the same, you don't trust me or like being around me. You should have just let me die the first time 'cause that's where it's heading anyways."
"Shut up!" Dean jumps off the bed, turning his back on Sam. "You're not a monster. Things can change, you can stop what you've been doing now."
"I'm not sure I want to stop, Dean."
The words aren't exactly a shock but he quickly turns back around, eyes boring into Sam's. They both stare at each other, scrutinizing the other's movements and emotions.
"Then what do you want, Sam?" His voice is soft and calm as he makes his way back to the bed, still maintaining eye contact.
"My big brother." Sam turns away but continues to explain. "I want to know you still care. I want you to look at me the way you used to instead of watching me to make sure I'm still me, because trust me, I'm watching myself."
"Sam," He starts to speak up but Sam stops him.
"I know I've changed Dean but I felt like I didn't have a choice. I'm not evil though, at least not yet, and if I can help it then I won't ever be evil. I can't do it without you though, I know I can't."
"You mean that?" Even if he's given it thought, and believes Sam still needs him, it doesn't hurt to hear it.
"That's all I want, Sam." It's true, the siren got that right. "I just want you to need me still. I need to be a big brother again; it's the only thing that gets me through."
"Dean," Sam scoots over to the edge of the bed, sitting directly next to Dean now. "I'm sorry I said you were weak, but I'm not used to knowing that you, like everyone else, actually has weaknesses. You're still the strongest person I know and quite possibly the strongest person ever."
"I doubt that, but thanks." He knows that what happened in hell will always be with him, still haunting him every day, but he also knows Sam doesn't honestly blame or hold it against him.
"You're still my big brother," Sam turns to him, smiling for the first time as his eyes fill with hope. "That is, if you still want to be."
"Well I have had a lot of offers."
"That's so not funny."
"It's a little funny." Dean laughs, feeling like things were slightly normal for the first time since he's been back. "Sorry about your shoulder."
"It could have been much worse."
"Yeah, thank goodness Bobby showed up when he did."
"Thank goodness your aim sucks."
"Hey now, Dad never taught us how to use an axe properly."
"Probably the only sharp thing we weren't allowed to play with."
They turn to each other, smiles spread across their lips and actually reaching their eyes for a change. Dean wonders how they can possibly be happy after what happened tonight but he doesn't wonder long.
It feels great to actually be happy, to actually see Sam happy.
Things could have gone so much differently tonight but thanks to Bobby they were both alive and safe. That's all that matters.
It might have taken a Siren to make them see everything what's been going on between them, but it turned out alright. They aren't a hundred percent and most likely never will be, but together they will make it through. Together they can find the right path to travel.
"So Sammy banged a doctor?"
"Bet she knew a trick or two."
"I'm not having this conversation."
Thank you guys for reading!
I had intended to include a lot more hurt/limp!Sam but by the time I finished I realized I had neglected that part. Hopefully you all still enjoyed it.
I'd love to hear some thoughts, good or bad, they always get my motivation running.
Thanks again and see you all next time!