SPN Fic – God Only Knows
Time: Some time in the future…
The darkness pulsed, the walls had ribs that seemed to breathe as pain shot through his head from temple to temple. His neck creaked as he tried to turn and something pinched deep inside, shooting red-hot metallic agony down his back. His body twisted and his breath paused along with his heart beat.
"Saaam? Mmm damnit." He croaked.
That's not walls… trees. They're trees… what the… how'd I get into woods?
He rolled slowly, testing his limbs, testing his… everything in the hopes that his everything was alright.
His pulse pounded magenta and lavender in his eyes and sound seemed to come and go.
"Sammy?" was weaker now.
His arms trembled as he pushed up, but his knees held steady even as his stomach twisted.
Oh man, not another one. He reached up to find the biggest point of pain and felt his eye flood and burn with hot thick salty blood.
They'd been in a house, just a pissy little local haunted house that actually WAS haunted. It was supposed to be simple. The kind of banishing you didn't even have to be a kitchen witch to do, a few St. Quirinus medallions, a little sage, a little Latin imploring the dead to find their peace and voila'! no more haunted house.
They'd been doing well too, Dean in the yard planting the medallions, Sam inside blessing the house itself and appealing to the spirits… then, that alto scream he'd know anywhere.
He capped the last hole and ran inside, his shotgun in hand.
"Sam!" he stopped just inside the threshold, his eyes huge and disbelieving, how there was something he could still disbelieve after everything was a wonder in itself. But here it was.
Sam strung up, except there were no strings, ropes, chains, or bindings of any kind; suspended in mid air, his limbs taut his head back.
A thunderous crack startled Dean nearly out of his shoes. He glanced around, sweat beginning to pour as his brother screamed again.
"Dean…" Sam's voice strained, "the cabine…" then before the older hunter's eyes, the young mans' mouth grew shut.
"Holy shit…" even as he lurched for the living room one of his little brother's limbs gave a jerk just as another gun-like pop went off and he realized what was happening. Sam's arm had just been broken. "Son of a bitch!"
His hand fell to the china cabinet behind the dining table, the door swung open and suddenly he was flying. Heading for yet another impact with yet another wall, but it didn't come.
He remembered the horrible sense of surprise, God I hate flying! as his body careened right through the wall, through plaster, and wood and siding. The speed was sickening and blackness was racing toward him. The last thing he remembered was a series of fireworks going off inside his body as he hit something impossibly solid, quite probably, head first.
"Saaaaam!" he clutched his head, "ow," and stumbled into a tree trunk, friggin thing's no tree, it's damned concrete!
Lights swirled overhead, maybe they were stars, or maybe he fell again and it was all in his head.
His stomach clenched shooting bile out into the dirt, "gross…" he groaned then carefully pulled himself back to his feet, shivers shaking him from head to toe.
The idea of warm blankets with the sound of Sam snoring on the other side of the room called to him, and called him onward.
Please be okay Sam, please be okay… I hope I'm going the right way. Just one more step, I can do this, just one more…
Mud splattered up, out and all over as Dean slipped yet again. He lay for a moment, catching his breath, "Hang on Sam, I'm comin'… I hope."
As he tried to push up yet again something wrapped around his torso, its grip like iron bindings as it squeezed the air from him. "Stop… help…" he gasped then with no more air to sustain him, everything went dark.
"Deeeeeaaaaann!" Sam called racing into the darkness. Even with all they'd seen, to watch his brother take flight literally through a wall, without damaging it or himself no less, was something he'd never thought possible. He hates flying! Let him go you bitch! Was all he could think.
Rotted branches, stumps and all manner of decaying flora and fauna tried to trip him up as he raced into the copse of gnarled ancient and dying trees. Fresh breaks, bends and cracks the only sign of his brother's passing. Apparently the vengeance spirit didn't care if it bashed him up a little. But why? Why not just slam him into the wall…ho shit… no no no no, please no… the worst had come to mind. That the vengeance spirit had for some reason latched onto Dean and would now use its power to tap into his fear and either drive him crazy, or to suicide.
"Please no," he gasped then drew a powerful lungful of air "Deeeeeaannn!" he called just before his foot caught on the older man's hip and he lurched forward sliding head first into a pile of slimy, wet and rotted god-only-knew-what.
Behind him Dean groaned.
Sam fought his way free of branches, leaves, dirt and muck, slipping on his hands and knees back to his brother's side.
"God not again…" grasping him gently, he turned Dean onto his back, half holding him on his folded knees to elevate his head. Sam couldn't help but recall the last time he'd found Dean in the woods unconscious, and he shuddered.
"Dean?" he tapped the older man's cold as marble cheeks, his heart thundering but his brain registering his brother's steady breathing and the vibration of his pulse through his body. Strong, thank God. He's cold though… too cold. "Dean? C'mon sleepy head wake up."
Dean groaned, "..ng on Sss…aam,. Mmm c'm'n… 'ope. St..p. 'elp."
"Oh man…thank God you aaaaaaass hole…" Sam sighed relieved and wrapped his arm around Dean's torso, hefting him up. Even as he realized what was happening when he felt his big brother's ribs grinding together, he couldn't risk dropping him and so held him firm as consciousness slipped away from the older sibling.
"Simple haunting…" he scoffed carrying the older man as gently as possible toward the Impala, "When're you gonna realize for us there's never gonna be such a thing?"
It was a vengeance spirit alright, God knew only something evil could grind his busted ribs together like that and not give a shit.
Nausea haunted him as the spirit made off with him, taking him God-only-knew-where. It was almost as bad as Mizz Ketchup as he'd forever think of Miss McKetridge, or maybe it was almost as bad as that time he was coming out from under anesthesia after they'd done the biopsy of his arm bones, anyway he thought about it the result was the same. He wanted to hurl and it sucked.
Whatever it was that held him garbled some unintelligible demo-speak that he frankly didn't even want to try and decipher at the moment.
"Sssaaaaaam!" he bellowed, or at least it felt that way, "Mmmfucker… get the fuck off me you sonunmabitch!" He tried to swing, connected with something that seemed to grunt even though he wasn't honestly sure he'd done more than maybe even wave his hand. I gotta get to Sam… he's getting' busted 215 ways from Sunday you motherfucker! How many bones's it broken already? Okay so, there's been moments, yeah he fucked me up the ass for a demobitch, but hey we're past that now right? He's my BROTHER… and it's… it's… it's my JOB to look after him! Dad said…Dad said it… and I promised but… it's more important… He's MINE! He's MINE and I have to save him.
With a breath that would have to do, he grabbed the spirit in a fist of iron and began to fight.
"OOOOOWWWWW you son of a bitch!" Sam screamed then clocked his brother with a fist that could shatter Wendigo bones. He breathed, or tried to as Dean's fist loosened from a state of half consciousness, from his nuts.
"AAAAhhhh! Son of a bitch! What the fuck Dean! I mean SHIT!" Sam rearranged his furniture then grasped his big brother by the wrists, drawing him snake-like out of the back seat and over his shoulder. "Try something like that again I'm gonna kill ya! I don't care how delirious you are!" he breathed, holding the motel room key in his right hand, and steadying his brother over his left shoulder, "Son of a bitch! You got a grip like a goddamned King Kong shit!" he patted the older mans' back as he kicked the room door closed behind them. "No wonder you spend so much time in the bathroom." Then dumped him with telling care onto the bed Dean would have chosen if he'd been conscious.
Sam sat breathing hard beside his brother. Lifetimes and incarnations aside, Dean was the one who mattered. He changed my diapers for fucks sake… that's just… wrong. He's my brother, the father of my soul and everything I could become if I don't falter. If I don't falter, it's because of him.
A cool washcloth in hand he scrubbed the filth from Dean's face wondering once more, "Why us?"
"Dean?" he gently swept away the silt caking his eyelids, "C'mon big brother, let me know you're okay."
Dean's head whipped to the side. Sam smiled.
"Okay, okay. Listen… it was a vengeance spirit Dean… I have to burn its effigy. I have to go back."
The elder hunter's head thrashed to the side.
"Seriously, I have to." He grasped Dean's face, his thumbs pulling his eyelids open on either side, watching as those crystal green eyes sought purchase somewhere. In moments they landed on his and held, "I have to burn the effigy Dean, do you understand me?"
"Mmm? Pfh… phfleeees…"
"No… Yes… whichever… listen to me…" he peered desperately into the jade greens that had always been there, "Stay. Rest. Don't move. I'll be back as soon as I can okay?"
"Sssmmy… gotta ssszzzaaav."
"I'm here," he peeled his eyelids open, "Look at me. I'm here. I'm safe, you're safe okay?"
A moment later, after obvious concentration Dean nodded, "Mmm safe?"
"Yeah, I'm safe, we're both safe, I promise." Sam nodded sweeping still more silt out of Dean's face.
"MMmkay. Mmmorning… kay?"
Sam lowered his chest across his brothers, relief washing deeply through him, "Sure, we'll get it square in the morning."
"Mmmm." Dean mumbled, grasping at empty air until Sam draped the covers over him and breathing shakily left him in silence to sleep.
Sam shambled into the room, sunlight racing into the darkness from behind. He shoved a palm full of hair from his face, sweeping a runnel of blood into it at the same time and dropped his bag as the door swung closed behind him.
It took a second for it to register, Dean's unmade bed, the open bathroom door.
"Son of a bitch," He spun around, "Dean?!" then ran to the far side of the bed, wondering if he'd somehow or for some reason taken refuge on the floor.
"No, no no no no come ON!" he groaned realizing the room was empty.
Whipping out the door he jogged across the lot and burst into the office.
"The guy I came in with? Have you seen him?" he panted.
Not even bothering to look up from her cell phone the girl behind the desk shook her head.
"Who else is on duty that might have?" he asked.
A blaring horn outside snapped Sam's attention to the street.
"Oh no." He wheeled once again out the door.
If Dean had been fingered by the vengeance spirit it was going to take some time for its influence to wear off. God only knew what it had made him see, or what it had planted in his mind. Consequently there was no telling what he might do, or to whom.
"…knew I shoulda locked him in the trunk."
At the edge of the road Sam scrambled to a halt, partly stunned, partly relieved and purely horrified!
Dean was wobbling down the shoulder, stumbling from the blacktop to the slippery gravel and back again.
"Oh God!" he ran, pumping those mile long legs as fast as he could as a brown 75 Lincoln came barreling toward his older brother.
"DEEEEEAAANNN!" then, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" as the older man shambled forward, pulling his gun from the back of his pants and leveling it at the charging vehicle.
The Lincoln tried to swerve away, Dean stumbled back into its path. It tried again and once again Dean moved into its path.
Sam counted the yards as the driver hit the brakes at the same time he careened into the older man, striking the gun from his hands before wrapping his arms around him and sweeping him off the side of the road.
They tumbled in a heap from the shoulder down into the runoff ditch where Dean lay far too still for Sam's liking.
"What the hell were you thinking man?" Sam shook him by the shirtfront then noted the loose waggle of his head on his shoulders. Quickly checking his vitals and breathing yet another sigh of relief Sam got to his knees and grabbed him as the driver of the Lincoln peered over the embankment.
"What the hell was that about!? Is he okay?" the man asked not knowing whether to be angry or scared out of his mind.
"Help me get him up." Sam hiked his unconscious brother up the steep grade allowing the other man to grasp his arms and draw him back to the road.
"Holy crap… he looks like hell."
"…took a spill yesterday, he's been… kinda delirious," Sam explained draping Dean over his shoulders.
"Where're you fellas at? Lemme give you a lift?"
Sam shook his head, "Are you okay?"
"Yeah… nearly crapped my jammies but … yeah."
"I'm sorry, really…" Sam nodded crossing the road back to the motel.
Back in the room Sam put Dean back on his bed and pulled up a chair.
"What the hell were you thinking man? Don't tell me that thing's still got you under its spell, you can shake it off Dean. I know you can."
Day slid toward night, Sam fretting at his brother's side, restraining him when he tried to escape, and tending him from chills through fever and back again. Emotional and physical exhaustion vied for attention. As the hours wore on Sam began to understand just how cagey his big brother could be, and how stubborn in his own way.
The cobwebs of fatigue were blown viciously away with a hauntingly familiar incident late in the heart of one of the following nights when Sam awoke to find Dean curled in a corner, his gun in his hand, tears streaking down his face as he tried to determine which was the best way to put a bullet through his head.
"Dean?" Sam crouched in front of the older man, wincing as he slammed the flat of the pistol repeatedly against his forehead. Sam slipped his hand in between the weapon and his brother's head. Another fever flare up, come on Dean you can't let this thing keep its grip on you. It's dead, I killed it, you have to take back your own power man, you have to beat this. He knew it was a sickness, like any transient malady, but for some reason it seemed to have sunk a deep grip into the eldest Winchester brother. It's like that time I had the measles, the only thing I remember was how scared Dean was. I think I know what he was feeling.
Those crystal jade eyes blinked helplessly up at him, curious, his uncertainty painfully obvious.
"Dean, stop it." He commanded gently then slipped the gun from his brother's hand and cast it aside, "What're you seeing?"
Dean shook his head, his means of self destruction now gone wrapped his hands over his head chewing on his lips, "I couldn't stop it… none of it."
Sam lowered himself to his knees and pried his brother's arms down, this was a fear and a failure he was pretty sure he understood, at least to a degree. "Listen, listen to me Dean, it's not your fault. You were never meant to stop it. It was a test Dean, a sick, perverse, sadistic test that only concerned us because we were pawns." He was repeating a conclusion they'd come to over everything that they'd discovered and endured over the last 7 years. "It was just another cycle Dean, please…" Sam pushed Dean's head back against the wall then clasped his face and peered deeply into his eyes, "I need you to shake this off, I need you to remember everything we've come to understand. I need you to know we both did the best we could under impossible circumstances. So help me God if you ever throw this back in my face I'm gonna pull out the 'pink panty' incident… I need YOU, maybe more than you need me I don't know… are you hearing me? Am I making sense?" he asked.
A hard swallow, a wet sniff and a nod later Dean's breath shook, "Are you really real Sam? Are you really still here?" Dean grasped him at the neck then slid another hand down his face.
"Yeah Dean, it's really me, and it's really you… tell me you understand?"
Slowly the older hunter nodded, "I'm tired Sam." He gazed wide eyed around the room, "And I'm scared." He breathed.
Sam rose up, an arm behind his big brother, and the other guiding him out of the corner, "It's okay to be scared, I'm here and I'm not gonna let anything happen to you."
"No," Dean shook his head as Sam guided him back to bed then eased him under the covers, "What if it's not done? What if it starts up again?" he sniffed.
Sam swept layers of sweat from Deans' face then laid a cool cloth behind his neck, "We'll handle it the way we're supposed to."
"Together? Just you 'n me right?" Dean muttered, his consciousness fading quickly.
"What can we do Sammy? What if we fail?"
"We'll do everything we can, and we won't fail."
He watched Dean's eyes slip closed and listened to his breathing even out grateful and relieved they'd dodged another bullet.
"How many more do we have to dodge?" he choked tearfully, leaning back and taking a moment to breathe again. God only knows.
Please R&R, I miss everyone!