A YEAR AND A DAY
Summary: Dean's deal is due and Sam has one final card to play to get him out of it but does the end justify the means? Will Dean be able to accept his new status and hold onto his position as big brother?
A/N This is an AU from season 3. I must warn that Sam is a bit of a jerk in this for quite a time but he comes good in the end ( get your minds out of the gutter - it's not that sort of fic!). As much as Sam is less than perfect Dean makes up for it.( I know Dean has his faults as well but it's my pair of rose coloured glasses I'm looking through - so there.)
A/N2 This fic combines two of my favourite genres i.e Girl Dean! And Mpreg (also Dean) Neat trick! It also contains more angst than most gender swap fics but a little humour along the way. Although the mpreg element might lead you to think Wincest it isn't. It isn't even slash!
A/N3 Finally a quick word about characters - John is dead but Caleb and Jim are alive ( not The Brotherhood Caleb but if he displays similar emotional traits it's because I think we are all influenced by Ridley et al's awesome depiction). Bobby & Missouri feature ( somebody has to support Dean while Sam is being a Ruby fixated control freak) Ruby is a bitch & may appear out of context and/or out of character but she has to be useful for something! ( Me biased?! …Nah!) oc's will pop up now and then but no Mary Sues.
Canon will be adhered to, misused, ignored and generally mucked about with as I need to for the story but there is no Lilith, Angels V Demons, Seals etc story arc.
It was time. Every other avenue had been investigated, every spell tried and every supernatural loophole researched. But, true to the crossroads Demon's word, the deal was watertight and tomorrow, sometime between dawn and midnight his brother would be ripped from him by hellhounds and his soul dragged down into the pit to be tortured for eternity.
Sam gazed at the relaxed features of his older brother as he lay sleeping, a shaft of moonlight highlighting how young and vulnerable he looked without his cocky mask on. He would wonder how Dean could sleep so peacefully when he was just hours away from death, and worse, but the strong sleeping pills he'd slipped him several hours ago had made his slumber inevitable. Sam winced at the memory of the look of rebuke or possibly even betrayal on his brother's face as he seemed to realise what had happened but he had been too drowsy to fight it. Sam hadn't wanted to do it but if he was going to save his brother it needed to be done this way. It was in the terms of the contract; if Dean took any part in trying to free himself of the deal then Sam would once again be dead and as much as he would gladly give his life for his brother he knew it would destroy the older man.
Sam began to place the items needed for the ritual around his brothers drugged body. As he drew back the sheet, raised Dean's T shirt and marked the sigils on the exposed chest he smiled at the thought that this one and only chance had come courtesy of the very demon who brokered the deal and she didn't even know it.
"Just … please… take me instead. I'll make you any deal you like; just please spare my brother."
Sam felt the blush rise to his cheeks as the demon laughed. Not even demonically but an outright giggle.
"Oh please Sam! Even if I could take you I wouldn't. You're already spoken for and I'm not stupid enough to cross that line. Besides…", she bent forward and spoke in a mock confiding tone, "you wouldn't believe how many demons are waiting to get their hands, claws, meat hooks and other sundry torture implements and bodily appendages into our boy…" her grin was sadistic almost to the point of rapture.
"There must be something I can do; after all I didn't agree to this deal and it was me that was brought back." Sam's tone was petulant and angry and he felt a moment of shame that part of that anger was directed at his brother for his unasked for sacrifice. The demon, however, seemed to have lost none of her confidence or enthusiasm. That deal had earned her a lot of brownie points down below.
"Sorry kid, but you were the merchandise being dealt, not the negotiator. And I can guarantee you that the only way for Dean to get out of this deal would be if he wasn't Dean anymore."
Sam finished lighting the blue white and pink candles as he recalled the spark of hope when the demon's words had led him to believe that he could turn his brother into some sort of animal until the deal time had passed; a hope which had quickly died when he discovered that that only worked in Harry Potter novels. He had discovered a ritual to temporarily change his brother's gender only to face yet another blow when he realised that his soul would remain the same and it was his soul that the demon would be collecting. But this, this he just knew would work. As soon as he had read the ritual he knew that with a little tweaking he could do it.
With a voice that was far stronger and far steadier than he felt Sam began to intone the latin words that should… no… would save his brother, even though he wouldn't see those familiar features again for a year and a day.
Dean winced at the bright shaft of sunlight that cut across his eyes and threw his arm across his face to block it out. He lowered the arm again as he felt himself being stared at. He turned his head to the side, feeling nauseous at the movement; he hadn't been drinking last night had he? He'd been determined not to start his final day with a hangover. As his brain became accustomed to his new position and his eyes lost their sleepy fog the source of that watched feeling became clear.
And with the clear picture came the clear memory of seeing his brother's guilty yet determined face just before he'd sunk into a drugged sleep.
Dean's first thoughts were angry ones but the knowledge that this was their final day together made him push back down the harsh words that wanted to spring to his lips.
Besides there was a look on his brother's face that he'd never seen before… stunned goldfish sprang to mind. And why was he so silent?
'What the fuck?!' Dean cleared his throat and tried again as Sam started to gnaw at his fingernails… not a good sign.
"Sam… What the hell?" It was no use. He didn't know whose voice that was but it certainly wasn't his. Hell it wasn't even a he! So why were the words coming out of his mouth?
"Dean I can explain…. It was the only way… Dean?…Dean?"
Dean wasn't paying attention. He was too busy staring at his hands, his small, feminine looking hands. Sitting up he tried not to notice the formerly short hair that now fell down around his shoulders, and the way his sleep Tee seemed to have gotten several sizes bigger.
Little brother be damned… he was going to kill him!
Sam had been sitting, mesmerized by the sight of his brother's new form for the past several hours. It had been different than he had expected, not that he had expected anything specific but there had been an image in his head of Dean, but somehow softened, tall for a girl, with short darkish hair, gold flecked green eyes and freckles. Well the eyes were closed but the freckles were there; ghostly smudges in the moonlight. The rest? Well not quite as he'd pictured. His 6' tall brother now couldn't have been more than 5'1" and the short hair was now ash blonde and came halfway down his, no, her, back.
Dean was gonna kill him!
As soon as his former brother began to wake Sam's heart rate sped up and his nails found their way between his teeth; a habit that even Jess hadn't been able to break him of. Sam mustered all his courage, added a dash of moral justification and finished with a quick silent prayer to whatever deity that didn't reek of sulphur would listen to him.
Sam winced. The voice was as sweet and soft as cotton candy and totally feminine.
'Oh God! I am so dead'
Dean listened to Sam's explanation; his reasoning and his promise that this would work; that without his own soul the demons wouldn't be able to touch him. Sam reassured him that his own soul was safe because it could only be taken via death and they couldn't kill this new body because the contract was specifically for Dean. Kill the 'girl' and not only do they lose the chance to get Dean later but both his and the new soul would go straight to heaven. Something which Ruby assured him the higher echelon demons wished to avoid for reasons she didn't know.
Dean saw the logic, although he frowned at Sam's constant reliance on intel from Ruby, the skank. He admired the ingenuity that his brother had displayed and the plan itself had a sort of beauty to it but there was something that Sam hadn't yet touched on.
"Who is she Sammy? Did she volunteer to let me hijack her soul? 'Cause I gotta say, dude, that that's a pretty big sacrifice to make for a complete stranger. I can't feel anyone else in my head so where is she?"
Sam had expected questions; well, in truth, he had expected yelling and maybe some throwing of objects, which was why he had removed Dean's knife from under his pillow while he slept; but somehow he never expected his brother, the doer, not the greatest thinker in the family, to cut right to the heart, or should he say soul, of the matter. But at least he had some good news for him. This part of his plan had been sheer genius if he did say so himself!
"It's OK Dean, nobody gave themselves up. The body and soul your mind is occupying didn't exist before tonight and in a year and a day she'll cease to exist again."
Dean stared at his beaming little brother, and wasn't that a joke now that he appeared to be the size of a Barbie doll in comparison to his giant sibling. He shoved the mention of the timescale this whole fiasco involved to one side and wondered if Sam had really grasped the enormity of what he had done. To create a fully fledged human life and then calmly talk of its ending as though he had just built a snowman which would melt in the spring thaw. How could he not see how cruel it was…it was just wrong. But it wasn't Sammy's fault; the fault was all his; for making the deal in the first place and for not protecting Sammy from the attack that killed him. And now some innocent soul, in the truest sense of the word, was to be sacrificed to his own stupidity. But Sam should still have realised how potentially FUBAR an idea this was. Hadn't his experiences after the electrocution and the miracle healer taught him not to mess with human life? Now it was happening again and he couldn't even be angry at Sam because he knew that if their positions were reversed he would have done the same thing. And whatever faults Dean Winchester would lay claim to being a hypocrite was not one of them.
He took a deep breath and tried to push the last of the heavy drug induced grogginess out of his brain as he tried to clarify Sam's actions.
"So you just created a new human being out of thin air?" He felt it might be best to steer clear of any mention of the ending of said life for now. His brother obviously couldn't have thought it through. That was one of Sam's problems. He was big into research but he tended to stop once he had the information he needed whereas Dean knew from the experience of many lone hunts that you had to think out ALL the permutations before you acted, and do it quickly. Sam had just never realised that Dean did that. Dean knew that his brother regarded him as a bit lacking in the brains department and yes, if he gave it some thought the dismissiveness hurt, but that's why he didn't think about it. Instead he thought only of what he needed to, to save lives and kill the baddies. But this, this he couldn't figure out either fast or slow. And besides, every time he moved bits of his body that he shouldn't possess moved too and it was distracting!
Realising that he was wandering again and by the frown on his brother's face obviously not paying due attention to the far too involved explanation he brought his brain back in line once again.
"I mean I'm not a golem Sam, I'm flesh and blood. So what the hell am I Sammy?" To emphasize his point he threw back the covers and stood, dramatically indicating his own, and that was up for debate, body with an elegant hand only to have said gesture fall flat as his now overlarge boxers fell down around his ankles. He glared at his brother, daring him to laugh.
Sam's incipient laughter died in his throat and he flinched a little at the glare in his brother's, or should that be sister's? eyes, but dammit he was proud of his success. Even Dad wouldn't have been able to accomplish this! And when Dean realised what he had done he would be proud too.
"I created her from potential."
"Potential Dean" Dean tried to ignore the condescending tone… for now. "At first I wondered about turning you into an animal but…."
"Ain't possible little bro' Not outside the movies anyway."
Sam frowned; did everybody but him know that?
"Exactly" he exclaimed, ignoring the whole animal subject. "And a simple gender swap would have left your soul in situ" Dean nodded for him to carry on as Sam paused, either for Dean to absorb the information or for dramatic purpose. In truth the older brother didn't care he just wanted answers, and quickly, he had a feeling that time was running out.
"Well" continued Sam, "I sort of combined two spells and linked them with a third. The first one took your own soul and placed it… well I'm not sure exactly where…" At Dean's alarmed expression, which looked quite cute on his new face…Sam hoped his amusement hadn't been obvious because he didn't think Dean would appreciate being regarded as cute at the moment…
"No, it's safe; it's just that the words were obscure. I think that it's in a kind of limbo, a sort of extra dimension. Anyway then I took a potential birth spell…"
"And again… huh?"
Sam sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. Somehow doing it had been a lot easier than explaining it, especially when you weren't talking to the brightest bulb in the box.
"The spell comes in two parts. The first part shows you what you would have been born as if your own birth potential hadn't been first in line. In mine I would still have been a boy but in yours you would have been a girl; the second part swaps the first and second potentials around. It was lucky that you would have been a girl because the linking ritual I used to combine the two spells required both genders; in fact I think it was originally a curse to download the personality of a man into the body of a woman. Probably to teach lecherous husbands a lesson."
"Sam!" Sometimes his brother's geek researcher genes took over and this was complicated enough as it was. Not that he didn't understand so far but he wasn't liking the sound of it.
"Sorry I was wandering. Anyway that's about it. Between the spells I've separated your soul and put your personality and memories into the empty soul of your potential . You are, in effect, your own sister! And because only the memories are yours the demon can't take the soul that they're in….QED" Sam was even more proud of his work now that he'd actually heard himself say it than he had been while he was doing it. And by the look on his brother/sister's face he/she was pretty impressed too.
Dean was stunned. He didn't know whether to congratulate Sam on his solution, and he had been right, Dean could see instantly that the contract would be broken, or whether to punch him out for doing something with such far reaching consequences. Consequences that he himself could only see the edges of right now but which filled him with foreboding nonetheless. However any idea of doing either was forgotten as both men heard the eerie howl of no mortal breed of dog.
The hellhounds had arrived.
And so had the crossroads demon. She had been looking forward to this moment all year. A Winchester! Not only a Winchester but the worst of the lot. Oh Daddy Winchester was a badass hunter in his day but demons understood revenge. They knew what made John Winchester tick and that had made him vulnerable. And Sam, well Sam was a special case; but Dean Winchester held a delicate balance of ruthlessness and compassion. Yes he killed, but he killed to protect. Even though his mother had been killed by a demon he somehow kept the lust for revenge at bay by channelling it into saving innocents. Ugh! It made her, and all like her, positively sick. It was incomprehensible. But now his compassion and his one fear, of being alone, had done their damage and he was hers. She let loose the hounds that only she could see and waited for the screaming to begin…..
Sam and Dean stood transfixed as the motel room door slammed back into the wall taking out chunks of plaster on it's impact. They could feel the air stir around them as the invisible hounds approached them, milling about in search of their prey. Invisible they may have been but they were not inaudible. Dean could hear the dogs howl as they entered the room, followed by their mistress. He could hear them sniffing and snuffling as they tried to pick up the special scent of his soul…and with a sense of relief he heard them start to whine as they bypassed him completely, circled round and returned to a furious demon who stood with her arms crossed and a scowl on her not so attractive features.
The hounds quieted as the demon walked forward and stood in front of the small human woman. She looked deeply into the green and gold eyes and smiled. It wasn't a pleasant smile Dean noted as he stared back without expression. He could just see Sam out of the corner of his eye fidgeting and rocking back and forth on his heels, obviously desperate to intervene but not wanting to trigger the still present hounds.
"Did you know?" the demon asked, an air of defeat in her tone which he expected and a hint of amusement, which he didn't. He shook his head, no. Dean didn't react as she reached out and touched his temple and his subtle hand gesture to stay back kept Sam in position too.
Her touch told her the truth she didn't want to hear. He had had no knowledge. The Winchesters had won again.
Or had they? The demon seemed to look away into nothing and then she turned to Sam and to his consternation she laughed…again. He was getting really tired of that.
"You really don't get it do you Sammy?"
"It's Sam you bitch and I get all I need to. You lose. You can't take my brother so get out and take your entourage with you."
She ignored his posturing and tilted her head toward the older sibling. "He gets it. Or at least he has an idea. And when this all falls apart we'll have two for one. It'll be worth the wait I think." She turned fully toward the girl/Dean.
"You'll wreck it like you've wrecked everything else in your life you know."
Dean wanted to hit out at the certainty in the grating voice. He wanted to face her down and prove that her words weren't true and that her prediction didn't scare him. But it was a lot more difficult when you were practically the size of a garden gnome and, he suspected, having not actually seen himself yet, had the intense glare of a five year old. Besides he feared that she was right. Demons lie but not when the truth could do more damage.
The demon knew that she had the upper hand in the war of attrition even if she had lost this particular battle and she was about to go for the jugular when a sudden high pitched barking filled the air.
'Oh God!' she thought 'kill me now' The two brothers watched with fascination as the supercilious expression dropped from the demons face to be replaced by one of…embarrassment? They looked towards the door which was still ajar, as the dogs whined in an echo of their mistress's distress.
Suddenly a, highly visible, very energetic puppy came hurtling through the door, it's demonic red eyes glowing and it's tail wagging madly. It slid to a stop in front of the demon and promptly rolled over onto its back and wriggled in the hope of a belly rub. The demon didn't know which was worse, the sympathetic snufflings of her precious pack or the grins on the faces of the two Winchesters.
"So" Dean managed between chuckles "do they all start out that…um…cute. Or is she a part of some special lick 'em to death pack?" Neither brother could hold back their laughter and the puppy, attracted by the sound flipped back to it's too big paws to investigate. Sam stopped laughing as the puppy gave him a little growl and dismissive sniffle and trotted over to the girl/not girl…prey/not prey. Once again she rolled over in hope of attention and whimpered with delight as Dean obliged.
Sam and Dean didn't know how it happened but one minute they were laughing at the demon's expression and the next, with a garbled explanation of a mistaken night of passion between one of her pack and a mortal greyhound , a dramatic flash of light that sent a connecting thread between the pup and Dean and a suspiciously relieved sounding "It's yours." the demon and her pack vanished, leaving a gaping Sam, a bemused Dean and a very happy puppy.
Dean looked down at the dog then up, and up, at his brother and with a passable attempt at a glare asked
"Did I hear you say something about a year and a day?"
A/N So? Worth continuing? I do warn that it will not be Sam friendly for a good while. Not in an evil way and it won't be entirely his fault, his only female influences have been Jess who he put on a pedestal, and Ruby who….well, no comment. I guess I just want to put Dean on my own pedestal and have everybody see how wonderful he is. It's something Sam needs to learn.
Next chapter has Dean choosing a name for both himself and the pup, learning how girls shop and breaking the news to Bobby. Also angst as Dean comes to terms with having and being his own sister!