MIRROR IMAGE

By: Karen B.

Summary: A snippet / missing scene from the episode -- Bloody Mary. Dean pov. Sam angst/ mild h/c and brotherly love.

Disclaimer: Just a dreamer of dreams...I claim nothing more.

Thank you very dearly for your time,

Sunshine, even in rain,

Karen

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I left the two cops to their slumber party, feeling rather badly about showing them up like that. The well meaning officers wouldn't be laid out on the sidewalk for long, nor would Mary be out of the mirror for long, if she showed. I had to hurry back to Sam, he had said the words three times, putting Mary's rule into effect. Still, I had my doubts he could summon her. I'm sure Sam had his dirty, little, geek boy secrets. Like maybe some twisted college plot to over through the Head Master, or steal the University's mascot, Miss Piggy, but nothing so big and so bad to make Mary want to murder him. This wasn't going to work.

I rounded a large, antique dresser, full on expecting to see the shattered glass of Sam's useless attempts. I sure as hell didn't expect to see Sam on the floor, gripping his chest, kneeling in a pile of large pieces of broken mirror -- out of action. I froze. Sam's head hung down between his shoulders, trying to breathe but he couldn't -- because he was choking. I looked into the mirror. Mary stood trapped inside, her long, stringy, black hair covering her eyes as she chanted the name Jessica, over and over.

"Crap!" Fucking pissed off, I unfroze my feet and gripped tightly to the crowbar. "Ahhhh!" I yelled, charging forward and putting every ounce of weight into my swing, ducking my head last minute and smashing that bitch behind the mirror.

Chunks of glass musically hit the ground, spraying every which way. I looked at Sam, he was gasping harder. Setting the crowbar down, I squatted in front of him.

"Sammy." I gently cupped my hands behind his ears easing his head up, but he didn't look at me. "Sammy," I called more urgently, dipping my head and lifting his higher. For a split second he looked into my eyes and I wasn't sure what or who he was seeing.

"It's Sam," he breathed out bluish lips, trying to catch his breath.

"Gawd." I winced, swiping a thumb over a stream of blood. "You okay?"

"Ahhh, yeah." Sam screwed his eyes shut.

He didn't look okay, but we had to bust ass before Tango and Cash came around. I glanced over my shoulder at the glassless mirror, making sure that pmsing bitch was gone. "Come on." I brought Sam to his feet, wrapping one arm around his waist. Sam was a hulking mass of gelatin, wobbly and hard to handle. "Come on," I encouraged again.

"Ahhh," he groaned as I drug his flabby arm across my shoulder and hitched him against my side.

I stepped slowly over the broken glass hearing only crunching beneath our feet, and wondering if the boy's in blue were lurking around the front door. I stopped cold mid-step, if Murtahugh and Riggs were back on the job, I wouldn't have heard them over the shuffling of glass and low, growling grunts coming from behind us.

Mary.

I took a deep breath and held the air in my lungs, my arm slipping away from Sam. We both slowly turned -- the sick bitch was crawling toward us across the glass covered floor.

Foowosh!

She struck fast and hard.

Before I could let out a breath or utter the word's 'mother may I', Mary was standing, moving our way. Blood streamed out of both my eyes, and my chest felt like it was ripped open. I swore my heart had been yanked out, and shoved into a garbage disposal, while Sam and I simultaniously dropped down to the floor.

Mary advanced closer, I could hear Sam struggling hard to breathe. This was his second round through the grinder, he'd be chewed up fast. I had to do something quick. I forced myself to glance around. Finding my weapon, I gritted my teeth. Mirror, mirror on the floor who's the ugliest town whore-- this better work. Groaning with effort, I reached out and grabbed hold of one of the only unbroken mirrors left and held the glass up to Mary. She stopped, staring at her reflection, suddenly letting out a startled cry. Her own garbage disposal turned loose on her. Mary twisted, contorted, and burst into smithereens -- bits and pieces of bloody-red glass dropping to the floor with a musical shatter.

Not taking any more chances, I fought to sit up and tossed the unbroken mirror adding more glass to the growing pile.

"Hey, Sam." I peered warily around, making sure the bitch was gone.

"Yeah." He sounded beat.

"This gotta be like what…six hundred years bad luck?"

Sam huffed, staring into the pile of glass. "Jess," he murmered.

"Let's get your feet under you." I grappled for a hold on his arm ignoring my brother's far-off look. "Easy, now," I said, forcing my hands not to shake.

"No," Sam protested tugging away, his hair dangling over both eyes, and blood still freakishly dripping down his face.

"Sam, I need you to keep it together. We have to go. Now!"

"Huh?" Sam looked confused.

"Sam, the cops...we have to go, now," I pleaded. "Sam!" I snapped my fingers in front of his face. "Where'd you go, man, Tahiti?"

Sam shook his head and his confused expression changed to registration.

"Right here, Dean," he slurred.

"Peachy." Holding tightly to Sam's arm, he helped as I got us both back to our feet and moving toward the exit.

Lucky for us, our luck hadn't turned rotten yet, the dynamic duo was still splayed out on the sidewalk. I'd gotten Sam back inside the safety of the Impala and burned rubber heading back to the motel. Sam was real quiet, his head leaning against the passenger window.

"Hey, you sure you're okay?" I glanced at Sam. He looked like a giant cat had tried to scratch his eyes out. "Mary gave you a double dose of her mojoe."

"I'm fine, Dean," Sam said in a drowsy sort of voice that didn't do a hell of a good job convincing me.

Pulling the car over to the shoulder along a dark, desolate highway was getting to be a bad habit of mine.

"What are you doing?" Sam sat up on alert.

"Relax." I patted his chest, putting the car in park. Twisting around, I reached behind me to grab the first aid kit. "Gawd, damnit... I hate that bitch," I said, setting the box between us. Flipping open the lid, I thought of what Mary could have done to my brother if I'd been just a few minutes longer with Starsky and Hutch -- a shiver sped down my spine. "You look all done in, bro."

"And you don't," Sam grumbled, dropping his head back. "Let's just get back to Charlie and get some sleep."

"Let's just let me take a look at you," I said sternly, cupping Sam's chin and turning his head from side to side. Blood still streamed down his face, leaking from his eyes like a broken faucet.

"Dean, I'm okay, you're bleeding, too." Sam squirmed, instinctively reaching up to rub at his eyes.

"Not as bad as you. Don't do that," I insisted, smacking his hands away. "Just sit still, before one of your eyeballs falls out and I have to reattach it with a pair of needle nose pliers."

"Ha, ha," Sam garbled, but he held still.

"Here." I guided his head tiltiing him back further against the seat, and flicked on the interior lights.

"Damn." Sam flinched, obviously sensitive to the light.

"Sorry," I breathed, examining more closely. Sam's left eye was puffier that the right, broken blood vessles popping out, the outter area decorated by a large ring of deep, purple. I was worried the injury could cause Sam vision loss. I wasn't sure what to do, but flushing his eyes out with saline was what I went with. I took out the bottle, opening the cap. Slicking back Sam's hair and using the tip of my thumb, I kept his eye open, pouring the solution into one then the other and letting the liquid run down his face.

"Ow," Sam squeezed his eyes shut, arching his back a little as blood and saline mixed and dripped to soak into his shirt.

"Sh, easy. I have to flush your eyes out." I quickly nabbed some gauze padding and wiped away the excess blood, tears, and solution paying close attention to the more injured eye. "How's that feel?" I cringed, his left eye was so red it looked like it was filled with blood.

"Left eye feels like someone jammed a fishhook into it."

"Yeah." I nodded my understanding, reaching in the kit for more gauze. "What's the other eye feel like?"

"Like I got nailed with a hockey puck."

"Awesome," I chuckled lightly, inwardly cringing at the all too vivid imagery the kid had painted.

"Dean come on, enough." Sam twisted his head a way.

"Almost," I muttered. "Just give me two seconds, Sam." I grabbed some surgical tape to fasten a patch over his left eye. I'd examine him more closely back at the motel, make sure he didn't have any sharp bits of glass embedded in his cornea.

"For pete's sake, Dean, what are you doing, now. I don't need a patch."

"Sam indulge me." Ignoring my brother, I tapped the patch on. Sam allowed the action, gladly by the sound of the long sigh leaving his lips. I smiled, knowing my first aid had soothed some of his pain.

"All done," I announced proudly.

"Dean," Sam whined, lightly fingering the gauze patch. "I feel like I'm wearing some stupid pirate costume." Sam dropped his hand to his lap and closed his right eye.

"Yarrrrgh," I drawled out my best pirate imitation. Sam clenched his fists trying to hold back a shiver, but I saw. He sunk deeper in the seat as if he was trying to hide. I suspected it was the truth Sam wanted to escape from. A lingering, horrifying memory, bad enough to summon Mary, bad enough to make my baby brother put his hand in the drain and flip on the disposal switch. Whatever Sam's dirty, little secret was...it had blood all over it...his. I had to know. "Sam, time to get serious," I informed. Sam shook his head, knowing what I meant. "C'mon, man, I want you to tell me what your dirty, little…"

"Shut up, scallywag," Sam interrupted, keeping with the pirate theme and not letting me ask what we both knew I was going to ask. "I'm beat." His head thumped against the window, keeping his eye closed. "We should get back to Charlie," he sighed.

"Fine, Captain 'not so' Jolly Rodger."

Humor -- it wasn't my way of making fun of the situation, but my way of coping with it.

But sooner or later I would have to set the humor aside, and Sam his secrets. He had to talk to me, tell me that secret. So help me if he didn't, I'd make baby brother walk the plank, let some whale at him -- add a wooden leg to his pirate ensemble.

I grabbed more gauze wiping my own eyes clean, then closed the emergency kit, set the box in the back seat and got us on the road again heading for the motel.

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I woke to morning's light creeping its way in through the partially open curtains, and blinking at the ceiling a few times until my spinning head was in control.

I turned to look over at the bed next to me, Charlie was still asleep, curled on her side and hidden under the covers. Her world had been turned upside down by Mary, poor girl would never look into a mirror the same way again -- none of us would. I stretched and sat up, swinging my legs over the side of the bed.

Coffee. I needed coffee.

Two things came to me right off the bat. One, this was one of the cheapest, crap motel rooms we'd stayed at in a long time -- no complimentary coffee in sight. And two, no baby brother in sight either. I wanted Sam to take the bed. He'd gotten the worst of Mary's bitchy attitude, but Sam insisted on camping out on the floor. Now, him and his makeshift sleeping bag that doubled for a comforter were gone.

I glanced at the nightstand, my baby's keys were still there, right next to a pair of cell phones. Another quick check produced, Sam's duffle sitting on the floor near the door. He couldn't and wouldn't have gone far, not to mention there was nothing around for miles. I quietly got dressed, and left the room, closing the door gently behind me.

The sun wasn't quit up yet, the sky pale pink as morning's light just started to peek over the tops of the trees. I walked past my car giving her the once over, noting she was fine and feeling a bit guilty I'd slept so hard I hadn't even heard Sam leave the room. The front office was closed, and so was the small diner attached to the motel. I walked around to the back of the building passing by an overflowing dumpster, the rusted shell of a '69 Corvette -- dirt, darn shame -- a torn and tattered blue couch, a pile of cigarette butts and busted beer bottles spewed around the outdoor furniture. Hearing the trickle of water, I looked toward the end of the property.

"Sammy," I whispered, seeing my brother only a few yards away. Sam sat on a blown out truck tire, his makeshift sleeping bag, a gilded, cupid comforter wrapped tightly around his shivering shoulders.

"Sam," I called out, putting a spring in my step, and hoping over a pile of dog shit. I knew what he was doing out here. Building more walls around his bruised and broken heart. Baby brother had plunged himself down a long, dark tunnel of grief and guilt. His grief for Jessica was normal, but his guilt spiraling into nightmares -- was killing him. As I approached, I noticed where the trickling sound was coming from. A cement drainage pipe, water dripping to form a small, muddy, gray puddle in the dirt. "What the hell are you doing out here?" I asked, ever so slowly crouching down next to him. Sam fumbled with a rock, dumping the stone from one hand to the other. "Sam, answer me," I ordered firmly, noting he'd removed the eye patch. Sam did as I ordered, but the words he said were so mangled I didn't understand. "Dude, is that Chinese for, 'because I'm a stupid idiot, Dean," I chuckled lightly -- Sam just shrugged, man his eyes still looked bad.

I scowled at what had captured my brother's attention. Cold air settled over me. "Hey!" An invisible fist punched me in the gut. "You okay?" I asked looking at our reflections that formed in the puddle. Sam just shrugged again. "You don't see Mary anymore, do you?" I waved a hand toward the puddle, trying to keep the panic from my tone. "Her reflection?"

"Never saw Mary," Sam mumbled.

"What?"

"In the mirror, it wasn't Mary that I saw." Sam continued to stare into the puddle.

"Who'd you see?" I inched a little closer, the balls of my feet twisting in the gravel.

"You wouldn't believe me."

"C'mon, try me, man." Sam bit his lip and turned puffy, bloodshot eyes sparkling with unshed tears on me. "Hey." I reached a hand out to him, but he pulled back. "What?" Sam scuffed at the dirt with his shoe. "Sammy, Sam," I corrected. "What is it?" I looked him up and down, thinking he was hurt somewhere else and hadn't told me.

"I saw … evil. Pure evil, Dean," he answered, clenching the stone he'd been playing with tightly in one fist.

My gaze snapped up to meet his.

"Well, Mary is evil, Sam…"

"Not Mary!" Sam got up unexpectedly , the comforter falling off his shoulders to the ground.

"Who then?" I quickly got to my feet, standing close. "Who'd you see?" I demanded loudly, worried for my brother. Sam, he wouldn't answer, just stood shoulder's quacking, peering down at his shoes and shaking his head 'no' fashion.

Sam was wrecked. I could tell he hadn't gotten any sleep, the comforter moist with evening dew. My brother was about to fold like origami.

"Stop it, stop it, stop it, stop staring at me!" Sam took a step away, raising his fisted hand and slamming the stone with a heavy splash into the puddle. "Me, Dean." He whirled around, looking me square in the eyes. "Okay! It was me!"

That was a total shock. I didn't know what to think or what to say. I didn't have to say a word as Sam started ranting.

"I killed her. I killed Jess. I left her alone. I lied, didn't tell her who I really was, I could have told her, prevented what happened." He kicked an empty beer can into the weeds. "I just wanted to be normal, Dean." He kicked the tire. "It's…it's all I ever wanted was to be normal." He kicked at nothing but air. "I didn't tell her about my d…" Sam stopped mid-kick and mid-sentence, like he'd had a head on collision with the very walls he'd built.

I waited paitently for Sam to scale said walls, but he didn't. Instead, he reached for me with both hands to keep himself from falling.

"Dean." Sam crumpled against me, fingers gnarling in my shirt, exhausted.

What could I do? I hugged my baby brother to my chest, and pressed his head to my shoulder while he cried his heart out. There was nothing magical, or brotherly about the moment as I watched and felt him fall apart from grief, and pain. What could I say? What could I do to ease his suffering? How could I help Sammy get to a place where he could feel okay again. I certainly was no expert on this kind of stuff, and humor wasn't going to get us through -- not this time.

"Jess, I'm so sorry," Sam gulped for air.

I swallowed hard, Sam's grieving made me want to die myself as I listened to his uncontrolled sobs. The overwhelming instinct to protect Sam at all cost, even from himself kicked in, and the words came without even thinking about them.

"Sam, there's nothing you could have done. You know that, deep down, Sam, you know. Even if you were there in the same house, you probably couldn't have saved her. Look at Dad. He was right there, too. Twelve steps and a small hallway away, and he couldn't save mom. You can't spend the rest of your life second guessing yourself. Carrying around this guilt. You'll always love her. You'll always miss her. It's tragic, Sam. It sucks. It hurts like a sonofabitch, I know…" I took in a breath remembering mom. Remembering how quiet and distant Dad was for months after the fire. "Sammy…" I paused, waiting to be corrected, but Sam just held on to me tighter. "…I know, Dude, but sometimes bad things just happen. You need to forgive yourself, man. I don't think Dad ever could, but you need to."

I didn't know what else to say, glad for once Sam wasn't bottling up his pain. Poor kid was really sobbing his heart out. I wasn't sure he'd even heard my little speech, surprised that he didn't tell me to spare him the lecture.

I knew I couldn't possibly understand, but I hoped I was close. Maybe my voice alone could give him comfort. Sam's tears covered my shoulder, and it took another five minutes for him to get control enough to pull away. He went to wipe his eyes.

"Don't." I stopped him.

"Time to take Charlie home." Was all Sam could manage, giving a nod and heading back to our room.

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Sam had been super quiet on the drive to take Charlie home. Twenty-five miles an hour through the small, normal neighborhood had to be killer for Sam. Dog's barked, Soccer mom's unloaded their mini-vans stock full of groceries, kids played ball, ran through sprinklers, stormed the ice-cream truck. I pulled the car along the curb in front of Charlie's house, giving my brother a quick look -- he looked like shit.

I turned to Charlie.

"So, this is really over?" She asked.

"Yeah. It's over," I reaching to shake her hand.

"Thank you," she barely could whisper the words, exiting the car.

Damn, I needed to lube the doors.

"Charlie." Sam spoke up for the first time in over two hour. "Your boyfriend's death…you really should try to forgive yourself. No matter what you did, you probably couldn't have stopped it. Sometimes bad things just happen."

Huh…he was actually listening. I flicked a knowing hand at his shoulder.

"It's good advice." I smiled.

Sam smiled his thanks in return as we drove off.

The end.