A/N: First and foremost...I'll warn you now, that this fic is NOT fluffy and light. I have a deep love for angst and the last two episodes of this season gave me so much fuel my muse, it was wonderful. I have one more Sabbath fic I want to put up in the next week or two. My own AU Finale for this season and it'll definitely be AU because Ruby got off too lightly for my own liking and I have an idea of what I would like to see happen next season too.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Hope you enjoy this. And let me just say I love Sam. Sabbath loves Sam...and there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel people. Just not yet. lol
Big thanks to LovinJackson and Deb for thier help. You can put the whips away now, I'm back onto Rockabye. ;)
Nothing felt right in Sabbath's world anymore. His masters were hurting. One locked away in a metal room where Sabbath wasn't allowed to see him, but could hear his screams for help. And the other? Well he had locked himself away emotionally from everyone. Not even Sabbath's presence was offering any sort of comfort now and the German Shepard felt lost and alone.
Dean had finally given into to Bobby's insistent demands that he get some sleep, locking himself away in one of the many rooms in Bobby's house. Exhausted from listening to his brother screaming and begging to be freed from the panic room where he had been locked up for his own good.
Sabbath didn't understand what was good about it? He had seen Sam jerking and shaking earlier before he was tied down to his bed. It had scared Sabbath to see Sam that way, and for a moment, he had wondered if something had gotten inside him? But worst of all, was the look Sabbath had seen on Dean's face. The fear, the heartbreak, the uncertainty at what was happening to his brother. If they were doing the right thing here?
If they were losing Sam?
That seemed to scream out from every cell in Dean's body as he had left Sam alone in the panic room and trudged wearily back upstairs. Bone tired, emotionally wrung out to the point of numbness. Sabbath had followed him, keeping to Dean's heel, keeping quiet and intending on curling up with him on the bed and watching over him while he rested.
But as they reached the room, Sabbath had found the door quietly closed in his face. He sat on his haunches for a moment, cocking his head to the side in confusion before reaching out with a paw and scratching the door. There was no sound from within. No footsteps approaching to indicate that Dean was coming to let him in.
Sabbath waited patiently for a few more minutes before he let out a loud, high pitched and plaintive bark to alert Dean to his presence.
More time slipped away while Sabbath remained waiting, watching the door, before finally, the dog accepted that he wasn't going to be granted access to the room. Dean didn't want his company tonight.
With a heavy heart, Sabbath took himself off downstairs to where Sam had been locked away. He curled up on the cold floor outside the room, deciding that if he couldn't keep Dean company tonight? Then he would do the next best job he could at the moment. He would keep guard outside and make sure that Sam was safe tonight. That was something Dean would want him to do, Sabbath was sure of it. Sam was still a pack member. Still family to both Dean and Sabbath, no matter what he was going through right now.
There was no sound but the soft thumping sound of the extractor fan above the panic room as it spun. Sam was at rest at last and after a little while, Sabbath allowed his eyes to close, settling into a restless sleep.
Light, almost not there at all. But the presence that came with them radiated incredible power. Sabbath raised his head from his front paws, his tail already thumping on the ground excitedly as he saw the figure approaching. Castiel hadn't been kind to Dean recently and Sabbath was confused why, but just seeing the Angel again had the dog hoping it was a good sign. That maybe he was here to help Sam and make things right again.
Sabbath had no reason to mistrust the Angel, getting to his feet as Castiel came closer. There was no expression on Castiel's face. But that wasn't unexpected. Sabbath had learnt that these Angels weren't like Dean or Sam. They weren't human. No real emotions. Only Jimmy had shown them and Sabbath still wasn't sure how he had felt about that. Not that he hadn't liked the man…he seemed kind and nice like his masters. But he wasn't Castiel and that was who Sabbath was familiar with. That feeling of peace and comfort he felt when the Angel was with him was something Sabbath needed right now.
"Sabbath." Castiel spoke the name quietly in greeting. He had expected the dog to have been with Dean, asleep in the house. But it appeared he was mistaken. That was unfortunate because the dog could not be allowed to hinder what Castiel had been ordered to do.
Tail wagging happily, Sabbath moved forward, licking Castiel's hand before he sat at the Angel's feet.
"I'm truly sorry, Sabbath. You are a loyal friend to them both. I wish it could be another way." Castiel sounded almost regretful as he brought his hand up, watching as the loyal dog in front of him watched his every move with nothing but trust and a little confusion. Touching his fore and middle fingers to Sabbath's head, Castiel didn't move as the dog slumped to the ground at his feet, unconscious and unmoving.
"Forgive me." Castiel said softly as he stepped over Sabbath and walked towards the panic room. The dog was an innocent in all this. Caught in the middle of something he would never comprehend.
Nothing made sense in Sabbath's world anymore. There was only one constant for the dog and that was his loyalty towards Dean. Everything else was painful and confusing to Sabbath now. Sam was gone and Sabbath knew that Castiel was involved, but he couldn't tell anyone. Couldn't warn Dean about what had happened…couldn't understand why Castiel would betray his trust like that? Sabbath had liked the Angel. He still did. He didn't feel like that other one. That Uriel. There wasn't a sense of darkness within Castiel…but that only had Sabbath more confused than ever. Because what good could it do Sam to let him out?
Dean and Bobby had exchanged words that Sabbath wished he understood. He could sense that both men were worried about Sam, both confused over how he had managed to escape. Sabbath had tried to tell them, only to be told to "stop your damn yapping" by Bobby, making it clear that it was a lost cause.
Sam was gone and now Dean was going to find him. Sabbath had spent every moment since he had woken up by Dean's side. Feeling that he had let his master down by trusting Castiel and allowing Sam to escape. He should have warned Dean, warned Bobby. But how was he to know that Castiel would do that?
Now Sabbath was sat in the front of the Impala, watching the world rush past them through the passenger window while Dean was speaking to Bobby on that strange little object they seemed to use. The tone of Dean's voice told Sabbath everything he needed to know. There was no need to understand the words. Dean was hurting, tired, angry, every vibe that Sabbath got from his master told the German Shepard that this was bad. Real bad. It was a storm brewing on the horizon and Sabbath was bracing himself for what was coming. He didn't want to believe that Sam was gone, that he would leave the pack. That he would leave Dean.
Sabbath was watching the hallway from just behind Dean, peering around his master's leg, keeping as still as a statue. Dean had been teaching him the basics of what was needed from him on a hunt. How to keep quiet, keep still. Wait for signals before he moved and how to stay out of the way when needed to avoid getting shot. Sabbath enjoyed hunting with his pack, moving with both masters and helping them to track something supernatural.
Like the sulphurous smell that Sabbath could detect from the motel room nearby.
A quiver of anticipation ran through Sabbath as the door opened and Sam emerged from the room. Dean's hand lowered and paused in front of Sabbath's muzzle, signalling the dog to wait. Remain silent. They couldn't reveal their position right now because it wasn't Sam they were hunting…but the reason he had left them in the first place.
As soon as Sam had disappeared down the hall and around the far corner, Dean gave the signal and moved for the door with Sabbath on his heels. The door wasn't locked and again, Dean motioned to Sabbath to keep quiet as he opened it and both man and dog slipped into the room like ghosts.
Ruby was on the bed, her back to them both and Sabbath stayed back as commanded, while Dean slid the demon slaying knife from his belt and rushed in to attack her. At the very last second, Ruby was alerted by the movement behind her and turned, bringing her arm up in time for the blade to slice across her forearm. The leather jacket took the brunt of the damage, allowing Ruby to twist and block the rest of Dean's attack. They struggled for the blade back and forth while Sabbath now danced around them, barking and snapping at Ruby's legs, trying to get her attention enough to allow Dean to land a killing blow. Dean was determined to win this fight and finally get rid of Ruby once and for all, putting everything he had behind the blade in his hands as it inched towards Ruby.
Ruby shot a foot out and caught Sabbath above the eye, knocking the German Shepard off his feet momentarily with a yelp of pain. He regained his footing again, shaking his head and blinking his eye to clear his vision…when Sabbath realised that Sam was in the room now.
Dean had been thrown away from Ruby, falling onto the bed beside him before he found his balance again, looking at Sam with dark, angry eyes.
"Just take it easy…" Sam was standing between Ruby and Dean, trying to stop another fight breaking out. He was well aware of Sabbath too, standing only a few feet from Dean, growling and waiting for the signal to attack.
"Wow, that must have been some party you had going." Dean said as he straightened up, seeing the way that Sam was looking better now. The dark circles under his eyes had faded. There was more colour in Sam's cheeks. Dean recalled Yellow Eyes words back in the past, when the son of a bitch was wearing his grandfather's body. How his blood was like Ovaltine and full of everything Sam needed. Now Dean could see how much better his brother was looking after having another fix and it made him sick. It broke his heart to think his brother had willingly gone that far. "Considering how hard you tried to keep me from crashing it."
Sam dropped his gaze from Dean's, knowing it was wrong to have just disappeared like that. Wishing he hadn't lost his brother's trust and that Dean could just see the bigger picture here.
"Well, solid try. But. Here I am." Dean tipped his head slightly to the side, his voice cold. A shadow of it's usual cockiness.
"I'm glad you're here." Sam met Dean's eyes again and his expression spoke of regret for the way things had gone so far. It was obvious from the look in Dean's eyes, that his comment wasn't what Dean had been expecting. "Look, let's just talk about this…"
There was a sideways look of disgust from Ruby that Sabbath caught as he listened to his masters talking. It brought a deeper, menacing growl from Sabbath as he took a step forward towards her. He wasn't going to let her keep doing this to his pack. Sam smelt wrong again, he was carrying her scent now and that was another betrayal. Sabbath wanted his Sam back…he wasn't letting her tear his family apart.
"Sabbath…" Dean's hand came down to gently rest on the dog's head, stilling him for a moment. He wanted to kill Ruby himself, but first he had to get through to Sam about it. "Soon as she's dead, we can talk all you want."
There was a pause, Sabbath watching each brother as he saw them simply watching each other. Sam's face full of sadness and pain, Dean's face a mask of cold anger that hid his own pain at what was happening.
"Ruby, get out of here." Sam turned slightly to speak over his shoulder to her.
"No, she's not going anywhere." Dean was instantly in motion, snapping his fingers as Sam shifted to block his access to the demon bitch.
Sabbath responded to the command immediately, cutting around Sam and blocking Ruby's escape. One word from Dean and Sabbath would take her down without hesitation. The demon wasn't scared of him, but that didn't matter. Sabbath couldn't hurt her, but he could tear into the body she used and make it useless. Then maybe they could get through to Sam while she was gone.
One stupid mutt was between Ruby and the door she needed to go through. She couldn't stay here. The dog wasn't the problem…it was the owner. Ruby had no doubts that Dean would kill her if he got past Sam. He wasn't buying her act anymore and Ruby didn't have time to waste on him. Sam would deal with these two…if she could just get out of here. "Sam?"
"Dean, call him off." Sam pleaded with his brother.
"Call him off? Sam, are even listening to yourself? You're asking me to let Ruby go?" Dean couldn't believe his brother would chose her side in this. That he would defend that skank after everything she had done. What she was still doing. "She's poison, Sam!"
"It's not what you think." Sam argued softly.
"Look what she did to you!" Dean's voice was rising now along with his temper as he desperately tried to get Sam to listen to him, to see the truth. "She up and vanishes for weeks at a time, leaves you cracking out for another hit!"
Ruby tried to inch towards the door, only to have Sabbath match her move, barking and snapping at her until she paused again. One word…just one word and Sabbath would have her. But he wouldn't attack until Dean gave that word.
"She was looking for Lillith!" From the way Sam seem to almost grow taller, Dean knew he was getting angry, defensive. The fight was ramping up more and more, like they were careening down a track on some runaway train, unable to stop themselves.
"That's French for manipulating your ass ten ways from Sunday!"
"You're wrong, Dean!"
"Sam, you're lying to yourself." Dean came closer to his brother, his eyes pleading with Sam to just listen for once. " I just….want you to be okay." His eyes searched Sam's eyes for a moment for a sign that he was getting through to him. That maybe his Sammy was still in there. The kid brother he had fought to protect all his life, sacrificed so much for. " You would do the same for me, you know you would. Please, Sam. Please. Just talk to me. Tell me why you're willing to trust this demon over me? Sabbath hasn't liked her from day one. The damn dog knows she's bad news, but you're still willing to do anything she says!"
"Sam, we don't have time for this." Ruby snapped, contemplating just snapping the mutt's neck like it was a chicken. But if she did that? She ran the risk of upsetting Sam still. He was still attached to the stupid thing and the moron that owned it. But not for much longer.
"Oh I'm sorry…got a hot date somewhere, huh? Some place you two just have to be?" Dean fired back, wondering what would happen if he gave the damn signal and let Sabbath take the bitch's throat out? Maybe Sam would just have to get over it? Given time the kid would realise how badly he had been played…
"Dean, don't." Sam had his hands up, still trying to play peacemaker between them. "Listen…just listen to me…."
Every muscle in Sabbath was coiled like a spring, ready to launch. Why wasn't he getting the signal? Why was Sam stopping this? Sabbath couldn't understand what was being exchanged, but he could sense the growing anger and despair in Dean. But more than that, he could smell the change coming over Sam. The sulphur smell was growing and the stronger it became, the angrier Sam was becoming. Whatever was wrong with him, if it was the blood he was getting from Ruby, he wasn't in control of it and Sabbath's attention was starting to waver between watching Ruby and making sure that Dean was safe too.
The words between the brothers became more and more heated, until one word was spoken that caught Sabbath's attention. It was word that was said when they were hunting. A word that meant the things they were supposed to kill. The evil things out there.
Why would Dean use that word on Sam? Was that what Sam was now? A monster? No, he couldn't be. A monster wouldn't have reacted with the same anger and outright devastation Sabbath could sense in Sam. That word had cut deep, had hurt Sam more than a physical blow. But it had hurt Dean too and that was what Sabbath hated the most. Both his masters were tearing each other apart, fighting for dominance. Determined to show who was the alpha male now.
And then Sabbath's world shattered as the first punch was thrown, knocking Dean to the floor.
Ruby made a dash for the door and Sabbath forgot all about waiting for a signal, following his training and moving to take down his target. Latching onto her arm and drawing blood as his teeth went straight to the bone. Clamping down with every inch of jaw pressure he had, renting flesh and drawing a scream from the demon that only fuelled Sabbath on more.
His feet left the floor suddenly as Sabbath was lifted up and swung, colliding with the wall. It brought a muffled yelp from the dog, but didn't make him let go. Ruby spun on the spot and slammed the dog again, cracking the dry wall and knocking a painting from the wall. The move was followed up with a punch to Sabbath's eye that Ruby had injured earlier and she was finally released, running from the room clutching her arm and cursing the fact it was torn up and bleeding.
Sabbath got his feet again and shook himself, whining at the hot burning pain running along his side. His masters were still fighting each other, punches being thrown without thought of the harm they would cause. Nothing being withheld now. It was savage and fierce, drawing blood.
Barking and dancing back and forth anxiously, Sabbath tried to get them to stop. Tried to make them see what they were doing to each other. He didn't want Dean to get hurt, but attacking Sam didn't seem right either. He still smelt somewhat like the master he loved, even with the sulphur. Sam was still in there and Sabbath didn't know how to react anymore. Why wouldn't they listen to him?
A fist connected heavily with Dean, then another and another until he was driven into a mirror, shattering it.
Sabbath launched at Sam, latching onto his jacket sleeve to stop him, trying to drag Sam away from Dean. Maybe if they had a moment to catch their breath, he would stop before it was too late? He was so intent on shifting all his weight to pull Sam away from Dean, that he didn't realise until it was too late, that his feet had left the ground. Sabbath lost his grip on Sam's jacket and sailed across the room, sprawling across the floor.
Dean had recovered his balance by then and his anger exploded as he saw what Sam had done. He threw a punch wildly, overbalancing as Sam managed to avoid it and twisted to grab Dean. He lifted his brother and slammed him through the wooden latticework that was behind them.
Dean hit the floor hard, shattering a glass coffee table as the wind punched out of his lungs and left him stunned. He looked around dazedly, trying to work out which way was up and why it suddenly seemed hard to breathe. Blood trickled from his nose and a cut above his eye as Dean fought to stay awake. He wasn't even aware of Sam stepping through the remains of the latticework and looming over him until he felt his brother's hands around his throat.
Sam leaned in, tightening the pressure on Dean's throat, feeling the rush of anger surging through his veins. Blowing up every little fight he had ever had with his brother, Dean's words ringing in his ears about how he was a monster. His own brother thought of him that way. Every beat of his heart seemed to drive the anger more and more. Blame building inside of Sam as rational thought was lost beneath a sea of demonic red that begged for death and destruction. If Dean had only listened to him, this could have ended differently.
Dean couldn't breathe, his hands fighting to pull Sam's away from his throat. But there was no strength in his fight, his eyes starting to glaze over, threatening to roll back in his head as his body started to shut down.
A large fur covered missile slammed into Sam and drove him off Dean, knocking Sam onto his back as he struggled to hold Sabbath back. The dog was wild with anger now, his jaws only snapping inches from Sam's face. A line had been crossed now and Sabbath wasn't going to sit on the fence anymore. He was going to defend his master's life, even if that meant that Sam was now the enemy.
Getting his legs under him, Sam pushed with all his strength and launched Sabbath across the room. There was the sound of shattering glass as the German Shepard collided with the far wall, taking another painting off the wall. Both dog and painting slid to the floor in a shower of glass, plaster and picture frame.
Sam got his feet again and stood over Dean, looking down at his battered brother with cold contempt. "You don't know me. You never did…and you never will."
Dean was still fighting to regain his breathe, everything still swimming and framed with bright hot pain through his whole body. His ribs had to be cracked at the very least by the way it was hard to draw a full breath, each inhale stilted and hitching. He heard Sam step around him, heading for the door and briefly wondered where the hell Sabbath was? "You walk out that door…don't you ever…come back."
Sam turned slowly and looked down at his brother, hearing the words said him the night he had left home for Stanford. The same words that he had taken to heart all those years ago. There had been no turning back then and there wasn't now. It was clear to Sam. His brother thought he was a monster. There was nothing left for him here now. He slammed the door behind him as he left, feeling it close on his heart, his soul, the life he had always known. Dean was done with him. Fine…he had Lillith to deal with. That was all that mattered now. Dealing with that and stopping the apocalypse….whatever that meant for Sam.
He no longer gave a damn.
"Sabbath?" Dean's voice was hoarse as first as he dragged himself upright. He'd passed out after Sam had left and right now, he wasn't entirely sure he wanted to be conscious again. His ribs were aching with every damn breath, forcing Dean to tuck an arm in against them so he could stay upright. His head was throbbing and Dean knew that he would be black and blue for days after the beating he had taken at Sam's hands.
His little brother was gone and for a moment, it became hard to breathe again as he took in the depth of that reality. That he had failed and Ruby had won. Sam was gone and whatever the hell was in his place wasn't Dean's brother.
"Sabbath, come on, dude…where are you?" Dean called again, looking around him. He vaguely recalled Sabbath attacking Sam and saving him…but what had happened after that? His gaze slowly travelled around the room until it settled on the slumped shape of Sabbath still lying at the foot of the far wall. Covered in glass and plaster, a large impact crack in the wall above him. "Oh no…no, no, no…"
Dean forced himself to his feet and staggered drunkenly across the room to where Sabbath was. The dog didn't move, didn't register his presence at all as Dean fell to his knees, tears already obscuring his vision as he reached out and sank his fingers into the soft fur. "Sabbath?"
Dean gently lifted Sabbath's head and his heart clenched painfully as he realised how limp it was. "Come on, boy…don't do this. Don't you do this me. Not you."
Pulling him close, Dean felt tears spill down his face as he pulled the lifeless body of his dog into his lap and held him. His hands were sliding through the soft fur, silent sobs shaking him as he mumbled over and over again. "Good dog…you're a good dog. You hear me?"
Dean's cell phone began to ring in his pocket, Metallica's Master of Puppets carrying softly through the room as it was ignored. The only person likely to be calling was Bobby and right now, Dean didn't want to speak to anyone.
Well…maybe one person.
"Cas, I know you can hear me." Dean's voice was choked and watery as he spoke. " I need you."
There was nothing but silence in the room still. Dean kept running one hand through Sabbath's coat, trying not to think of the wet blood he could feel, how the once strong, courageous dog was now like a puppet with it's strings cut.
"Don't you ignore me, you son of a bitch! I'm asking you to help me, Cas! You wanted me to serve your God? Then you'd better damn well answer me right now!"
There was the sound of wings before Dean finally raised his gaze to find Castiel standing a few feet away. "You can fix this."
"No, Dean. I cannot. I'm sorry for your loss, but this is not the first loss you will know before this is over."
"Don't give me that crap!" Dean growled. "And don't you dare say it…"
"Say what?" Castiel's eyes narrowed in confusion. "I do not understand."
"The usual line. It's just a dog. Don't you dare say it. Sabbath wasn't just a dog, dammit. And I'm not losing him. I don't care what strings you have to pull, Cas. Bring him back."
" I cannot."
"Yes you can!" Dean raged then, as he gently laid Sabbath on the ground and got to his feet, one hand curling into a fist pressed against his side. The other hand stabbed a finger angrily at the Angel before him. "I can't do this, Cas! I won't. I've lost Sammy, you can't expect me to lose Sabbath too. I've done every damn thing you've asked me. I signed up for your fucking holy war. Swore obedience to your God and this is my payment? I lose everything I care about? Well you can take your obedience and your apocalypse and shove it. I'm done, Cas."
Crouching down and gathering up Sabbath in his arms, Dean barely made it upright again as his ribs pulled, fire blazing through his side. He met the Angel with a cold look and brushed past him heading for the door. "See you around, Cas, I've got a friend to bury…"
"Dean." Castiel called softly. He turned, seeing Dean ignoring him still. He wasn't supposed to interfere. Wasn't supposed to get this involved. But he didn't like to see defeat in Dean's shoulders. The broken look he had seen in Dean's eyes before. Logic dictated that the dog was simply a casualty of the war that was at hand. Many more lives would be lost. Good people. Innocent people.
"Wait. Please." Castiel approached Dean as the hunter turned. "I could be punished if I help you."
Dean turned to leave again, pausing only as he felt Castiel's hand on his arm.
Castiel met Dean's shattered green gaze with his own serene blue eyes and reached out to touch Sabbath, resting his hand on the dog's head. A brilliant white light filled the room and Dean felt his own body consumed with a soft warmth before the light faded and he blinked, trying to clear his vision. The pain was gone, his ribs no longer burning and throbbing.
But more than that, he was suddenly trying to hold a large, wriggling mass of German Shepard that was trying to right himself. Almost dropping Sabbath, Dean continued down to his knees and ran his hands over Sabbath as the dog washed his face eagerly with a slobbery tongue.
Sabbath's tail was whipping back and forth wildly and he almost knocked Dean over as he lavished affection on his master. Whatever had happened after he had hit the wall had been lost on the dog, but he could sense Dean's emotions and was puzzled by the tears on his master's face. Tears were usually a sign that something had happened, that Dean was hurting. But as he was suddenly hugged close, Dean's hands scrubbing back and forth through his coat in a manner that Sabbath knew usually meant he had been a good dog, he was confused.
All he understood was Dean's constant praise and affection. Whatever had happened, Sabbath had done the right thing. His master was pleased to see him and that was all Sabbath ever needed to make his world right.
Castiel watched the exchange with quiet observation, knowing that he was likely to face Zachariah's wrath for what he had done here. He did indeed know what Dean had been saying by it's just a dog.
It was the same as Uriel calling Dean a mud monkey. Zachariah's own disdain for the human race. Feelings that Castiel couldn't associate with because they were all his Father's creations. Even the loyal animal that was sat before him now with Dean. Such loyalty was worthy of reward. Dean had called on Castiel for help. Had given his sworn word to obey a God he had always refused to believe in…how could Castiel not reward that?
One dog to save a man. One man to save a world. It was the ties of loyalty, faith and love that would win this war.
Castiel knew that now.
A/N 2: Sam IS redeemable, guys. Have faith...