Harry's lungs protested loudly in the eerie silence of the forest. Rocks and gravel shifted under his feet, making it impossible to get a good enough footing to sprint up the hill.
The frantic hunter slipped and skidded across the ground, skinning out knees and palms that healed in seconds. Harry's heart pounded in his chest, like something trying to escape as his magic stirred restlessly, shooting random bouts of red and green sparks from the tip of the old, bloodstained wand in his hand.
The Elder Wand. The Death Stick.
With the Unbeatable Wand in his hand and his magic bubbling all Harry needed was the anger, the hate, to cast the one spell that was strong enough to destroy a soul, tainted or not.
Halfway up to the cliff top, he heard the screaming.
It sounded like someone was dying- no that was a stupid thought. Harry shook his head, trying to find some sort of calm under the constant hum of panic and fear and dread. His heart wanted to dash up the hillside and just throw himself at the demon; his head thought that was the most idiotic idea he'd ever had- and there had been quite a few idiotic ideas.
Coming up to the top of the cliff, Harry let his head take the lead and ducked into the trees. John looked to be unharmed, still pinned against the church like a bug. He kept yelling at the possessed priest who walked from Winchester to Winchester waving his arms like a conductor.
"The Winter Concert is going to be lovely this year! All together now!" It taunted and slashed one hand through the air towards Dean. The injured hunter arched against the ground, not pinned anymore as the demon tortured him.
Harry had never been able to feel the amount of anger and hate necessary to kill someone until that moment. Voldemort, Bellatrix, Snape neither of them made Harry's blood boil until the very air around him seemed to grow warm and heavy.
Azazel sighed and trudged back over to crouch beside Dean.
"Sounding a bit breathless there, champ." He gestured towards Sam. "Want me to bring in your replacement?"
Harry couldn't hear or see what Dean did but Sam cringed violently and yelled at John.
"Dad, do something!"
"No!" Dean's voice was wrecked as he tried to sit up, barely lifting his chest off the ground before the demon pushed him back down with a solid boot to the chest.
The injured hunter cried out and Harry snapped.
The trees exploded around Harry as he broke cover and raised the Unbeatable Wand, chest level.
"Harry!" Sam shouted in relief as Azazel took a step back from him. He opened his mouth just as the scent of blood and mud hit Harry's nose and the magic raging just under his skin blasted out of the wand.
Something loud and invisible rushed towards the demon as a flash of green light struck the priest in the exact same spot the rock salt had. This time the demon jerked and writhed in its host's body before a thick ring of black smoke began poured out of the man's mouth, flashing with the green of the curse.
The black rolling cloud didn't fly through the air like Meg had back in Hill City- it looked as though the curse was eating away at the demon, the flashes of green growing brighter and more frequent until the cloud simply stopped and faded into the air.
John dropped to the ground with a thud, released from the demon's hold. Sam let out a loud sigh as his back and shoulders relaxed and he scrambled to his feet, stumbling towards his brother.
Harry nearly dropped the wand, tripping over his own feet as he tried to reach the too-still hunter. The knees of his pants were rubbed ragged from the rocks as he slid to a halt beside Dean and the bloody mess the demon had left of him.
"Dean! Open your eyes man. It's over- it's finally over." Sam called softly, cradling a badly broken wrist in his lap. Harry pulled his bag over his shoulder and began digging through its never-ending contents. He tossed the wand back into the mess, his breaths sharp and panicky as he tried to get Sam to help him.
"You have your knife, Sam? I want you to cut off his shirt and help me stop the bleeding- Sam!" He said sternly when the youngest Winchester kept on cradling his brother's hand.
Sam snapped out of his daze and nodded, pulling a wicked looking butterfly knife out of his back pocket. The vintage Black Sabbath t-shirt was a tattered mess; Dean's chest was no better. Harry pulled vial full of something syrupy and dark red out of the bag and laid it down by his knee. Sam watched him with frantic eyes.
The former wizard uncorked another vial- this one nearly over brimming with something purple and foul smelling.
"Wound-cleaning potion. I need you to hold him down for me, Sam. This will hurt."
The youngest Winchester looked like he didn't like the idea but nodded and put his hands down on Dean's shoulder's forcefully. Harry sighed and dumped the whole vial onto the unconscious hunter's chest, cringing as Dean arched his back and screamed.
The sound of a gun cocking startled everyone from their task. John stood with the Colt pointed at Harry's head, his eyes wild and unforgiving.
"Get the hell away from my boys."
"Dad!" Sam said angrily. "Harry's just trying to help."
"God damn it Sam, get your brother away from hi- what's wrong with him?!'
Dean's chest was smoking from the potion. Harry tried to ignore the gun pointed at his head as he wiped the purple and smoking potion off of Dean's chest with a clean t-shirt from his bag.
Blood oozed out from the wounds and the ex-wizard could feel every groove and bump of the ribs the yellow-eyed demon had broken. He handed Sam a jar of thick, yellow paste.
"Spread it over his bruises. Gently. I can't fix that arm without removing the bones and he'll need to get his ribs wrapped once we stop the bleeding."
Sam took the jar with a glare at his father.
"Sam!" John snapped angrily and Harry growled in frustration.
"I don't have time to explain, John. Dean will bleed out if I have to. Just trust me to save him." The former wizard said testily.
"What you did wasn't natural." John said slowly, like Harry didn't get it. "Hell, I saw you fall over the edge of that fucking cliff!"
"Cliff note's version, Dad- Harry's a wizard." Sam injected between the two of them, gently rubbing the paste into his brother's skin.
John's gun dropped slightly at the revelation, like being a wizard made more sense than Harry just randomly being able to kill demons with pointy sticks.
Actually, it kind of did.
The shorter hunter rolled his eyes at the thought and pulled out his last vial. Murtlap Essence. It looked surprisingly like apple juice as he poured it over the six vertical slices in Dean's chest.
John and Sam started as the skin began to grow and scar- there wasn't anything Harry has seen yet that healed skin blemish-free and Harry sat back, staring at Dean's face, willing him to wake up.
"Come on, Dean." He whispered, patting his cheek gently. "Now is not the time to be a complete girl. Wake up!"
Dean puffed out an annoyed breath of air into Harry's face and groaned, trying to curl his injured wrist against his broken ribs.
"Don't move!" Sam commanded, keeping a firm but gentle hand on his brother's arm.
Dean furrowed his brows at the order, turning away from Sam to blink his eyes open at Harry.
"You're alive." He rasped and Harry nodded, weak with relief.
"You really should know by now that there's very little in this world that will keep me down for long."
Dean rolled his head over to look at Sam, frowning at the blood stuck to his cheek and neck as he spoke. "Good. We need to have words soon. Important words. Soon. Where's Dad?"
John dropped to his knees, still confused and suspicious but relieved as Dean let Sam and Harry put him into sitting position. The sun was beginning to rise over the ocean, red, orange and beautiful. It hadn't been perfect; the priest was dead and Dean had nearly joined him but the demon was gone for good, they were all alive and Harry wondered if maybe, it hadn't been about revenge and avenging Lily and Mary and Jessica. Maybe it had been about saving everyone else.
*three weeks later*
"Jesus Christ Winchester!" Jimmy Jackson crowed at the sight of the '67 Chevy Impala slowly turning into his lot. Sam smiled at the unfamiliar man from behind the wheel as Dean glowered from the shotgun.
"You look like something the cat dragged in…after it ran you over with a semi."
Dean scowled. "If this is how you treat all your customers Jimmy I can take my business somewhere else."
The grease-covered mechanic held up his hands in mock surrender as the rag-tag group approached him. "Hey, now. Let's not get too hasty here."
Harry shook his head with a smile, deciding to interrupt before things got too far out of hand.
"We're here for my car?" he asked politely. "The Sunbird?"
Jimmy did a double-take and looked suddenly mournful. "Oh….I was hoping- well, come on back then. I'll show you what I did."
Sam and Dean waved him on, the older Winchester's cast peeking out from under the scarred leather jacket. Sam waited until Harry was far enough way that he wouldn't be overheard before nudging his brother with his elbow.
"Ow! Damn it, I'm still injured man."
The youngest hunter nodded towards the ex-wizard. "You talk to him yet?"
Dean's expression blanked but not before Sam saw the flash of fear in his eyes.
"Let it alone, Sam."
"You want me to just sit back and watch the two of you dance around each other again?" Sam asked, incredulous. "Dean, he wants to stay- he wouldn't still be here if the Demon was all he cared about."
"Well what are you still doing here?" The other man snapped. "The Demon's gone, Sam- the free ride awaits."
Bitchface number seventy-eight stared back at him. "I told you I'm not going back. What am I supposed to do- go change my major from Law to Parapsychology?"
Dean's smirk was a bit cruel. "I don't even know what you're saying-"
"Yes, you do." Sam said firmly. "You're not an idiot, Dean. Not even close. But if you can't see what's right in front of your eyes…"
Sam shook his head. "Maybe you don't deserve it."
He walked away silently, Jessica written in the droop of his shoulders as Dean watched him go.
"What's wrong with Sam?" Harry asked as he ambled across the blacktop of the lot, his hands stuffed deep into his front pockets. Dean shrugged his shoulders slowly, not wanting to move his healing ribs.
"Who the hell knows what's up with that kid?" He said with a sigh.
Harry looked back at Sam with concern, taking a step in his direction. "Do you want me to go talk to him?"
Dean shook his head, lifting his casted hand to rub at his face. Harry couldn't hold back a short laugh as the white plaster bopped Dean on the nose.
"Naw, Sammy's not happy unless he's fulfilled his quota of angst for the day. Tell me about what Jimmy did to your car."
The former wizard smiled as he moved to stand shoulder to shoulder with Dean; the two of them resting against the driver's side door. "I didn't understand a word he said to me but it sounded like he fixed it. "
"She runs?" He asked, picking at the tiny thread on the end of his cast. Harry smacked his fingers away, letting his own curl up around and link with Dean's.
"I tried the key myself."
The silence that followed wasn't awkward so much as it was heavy with dread.
"I guess you'll be wanting to hit the road now that you've got your wheels back." Dean said, staring out at the lot of cars, each in varying stages of broken.
Harry bit his lip and kicked at a small rock half-embedded in the pavement. "Well, not really." He admitted slyly. "I kind of put her up for sale."
The other hunter's head whipped around sharply, his eyes wide and surprised. He covered a pleased smile quickly. "You did, huh?"
"…..who'd even want to buy that thing?"
Outraged laughter tore itself from Harry's throat at the jibe as he punched Dean in the exact same place Sam had earlier. "For your information Jimmy was more than happy to take it off my hands!"
Dean shook his head, his face split by a grin. "So I guess you need a ride to where ever it is you're going?"
The laughter faded from Harry's face slowly as he looked up at him, honest and open. "I was hoping the back seat was still available."
"My back seat's always available."
"Dean." Harry said sternly, waiting for an answer to more than one question.
Without hesitation Dean leaned down and kissed Harry firmly. Mouths closed, their lips were slightly dry but firm and warm as Dean kept it chaste but passionate and deep.
He pulled back with a small smack, one eyebrow quirking to the side in question. 'You in?'
Harry smiled, surging up to answer with another kiss.
There really was no need for words.
THANKS FOR READING! *HUGS*