So I've had this one floating around in my head for a few days but hadn't had time to write it. I was out of work sick yesterday so I used the time wisely. Although I wasn't totally satisfied with the ending. I rewrote it quite a few times and I think this as good as I've got in me this time.
Reviews rock my world! ;)
Dean glanced over at Sam, asleep in the passenger seat. There had been a day when Dean would have savored the thought of waking his little brother but those days were long gone. Now he was just glad Sam was able to sleep at all.
Sam had been having nightmares ever since they had started hunting together again. Dean knew it even though Sam never said a word. He didn't have too. Dean was jarred from sleep almost nightly by Sam's moans of terror. Usually all Dean had to do was go to his brother's bed and place his hand on Sam's chest, whisper a few nonsensical words and Sam would go back to sleep but ever since Jesse it had only gotten worse. Dean wasn't sure how much longer he could remain silent on the subject. He was worried about his little brother.
Almost as if Sam knew what Dean had been thinking, he began to moan. Dean reached over to touch his brother and Sam exploded upward in the seat, gasping for breath and clawing for the door handle. Dean barely had time to pull over to the side of the road before Sam hurtled from the Impala. Dean threw the car in park and hurried to the passenger side of the car.
Sam was on all fours, retching violently onto the pavement. Dean knelt beside him, placing his hand on Sam's back. Sam jerked away from his touch.
"Oh, God. I saw it….he showed me, Dean. He showed me." Sam's eyes were wild beneath the hair hanging in his face.
"What are you talking about? What did you see?"
Dean moved closer to Sam and he scrambled backwards, as if he wanted as much space between him and his brother as possible.
Dean chilled at the name. "Sammy, I don't know what you're talking about but, dude, you're scaring the hell out of me."
"I kill you, Dean. In 2014 I kill you."
Sam allowed his brother to usher him back into the Impala. Dean sat silently next to him. There had been no trace of surprise on his face. Dean had already known what Lucifer had shown him. He just hadn't bothered to tell him. He had promised they would be equal partners but here he was, still determining what information he thought Sam should know. Sam's hands were trembling and he wasn't entirely sure if it was from anger at his brother or terror from what he had seen.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Sam shoved his trembling hands underneath his legs, hoping to hide the tremors from Dean.
"WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME?" Sam bit back the tears that threatened to fall.
"I don't know! Okay? Maybe because I was afraid you would throw yourself out of a speeding car?"
"I thought we were going to be equal in this, Dean. I thought…."
"Okay, freaking sue me, Sammy." Dean hit his hand against the steering wheel, echoing Sam's frustration. "Why the hell would I tell you something that's not even going to happen?"
Sam was silent. Dean had told him about his back to the future journey but it seemed he had left out one important element. He hadn't actually lied about it though. When Sam had asked where he was in the future, Dean hadn't said he didn't know. He just said he hadn't seen him. And technically, he guessed that was true. Dean had only seen Lucifer. But he had been wearing Sam's face.
"Sammy, listen, I'm sorry I didn't tell you but man, I couldn't, okay?" Dean's tone was pleading.
Sam glanced up at his brother and saw unshed tears in Dean's eyes.
"I knew how you'd take it, Sammy, and like it or not you're still my little brother. I still have the option of protecting you if I need to."
"I saw myself kill you, Dean." The trembling was back and this time it was more than just his hands.
"It wasn't you, Sammy. It's never going to be you. We're going to fight this if it's the last thing we do, okay?"
Sam nodded but he couldn't get the image out of his mind. He had crushed his brother's neck like he was a bug and as he watched, Lucifer was whispering in his ear: You will say yes.
Dean kept sneaking peeks at his brother from the corner of his eye. Sam had been subdued since they had started back down the road. He kept his face averted from Dean, mostly staring out the darkened windows but Dean could see Sam's reflection in the glass and the dejected look on his face.
He'd known he shouldn't keep what he saw in the future from Sam but how was he supposed to tell his brother something like that? Oh, by the way, in the very near future you're going to say yes to Lucifer and then you're going to kill me. There was no way he was going to lay that on someone who was suffering daily because of what Lucifer had told him. Especially not when that someone was his brother.
"I'm ready to turn in for the night." Dean broke the oppressive silence between them. "That okay with you?"
Sam's nod was almost imperceptible and Dean sighed. This garnered a look from his brother that Dean would rather have done without. Sam's eyes, which usually spoke volumes, now said nothing.
In the motel room Sam gathered his things and headed for the bathroom.
"Hey, don't use all the hot…."
Sam slammed the door on his brother's attempt at making things normal. Nothing was ever going to be normal. It never had been and it never would be.
Sam gazed into the mirror with haunted eyes. The circles underneath them were only growing more pronounced with each passing nightmare. At first he only dreamed of Lucifer occasionally but now it was every time he slept, day or night. The angel was relentless and Sam knew that eventually he would break, he would say yes. How could you say no when someone hounded you day and night, chipping away at your last shred of sanity?
He deserved this, he knew it. He had started the apocalypse. All the choices that were put before him and he made the wrong ones. He broke the final seal. He deserved anything and everything that Heaven or Hell hurled at him.
Dean had always said there was no such thing as destiny but it seemed as if he would surely prove his brother wrong. Had this been what Dad really meant when he told Dean he may have to kill him? Had Dad known the plan all along, known he was to be Lucifer's vessel? The son of a bitch should have had the guts to do the job himself. He could have ended all this long ago.
Sam turned the water in the shower to the hottest setting he could bear, stripped off his clothes and stood under the scalding stream. He scrubbed the dirt from his body, wishing he could rid himself of the dirty feeling he had inside. He was filthy with other people's blood and no amount of scrubbing could ever remove the dark stain from his soul.
With a strangled cry, Sam sunk to the shower floor, the water swirling around him.
Dean had nodded off in his chair while waiting for Sam to get out of the shower. When he jerked awaked thirty minutes later, he began to worry. Sam never took that long in the shower. Even though he'd told Sam not to use all the hot water, Dean was typically the one who did that.
"Sammy?" He pounded on the bathroom door and listened. He could hear the water running but no answer to his call. "Sammy, open this door or I'm coming in."
No response. Dean slammed his shoulder against the door and it popped open. He hurtled into the room, afraid of what he would find.
Sam didn't look up as Dean approached him. He was sitting on the shower floor with his knees pulled up to his chin, his eyes puffy, red and so blank that Dean was scared. Dean reached behind him and turned off the still running water which had long since turned cold. Sam was shivering. Dean grabbed the nearest towel and wrapped it around his brother. Sam finally looked at him and a knife twisted in Dean's heart.
"I wish I could just die, Dean."
"Sammy, don't say that."
"I'll never be able to keep saying no. I don't have it in me. All I do is make the wrong choices. Even Cas said so."
"Come on, Sam. Let's get you out of here and get you dressed."
Sam made no effort to move and Dean was at a loss. He had no idea what to do with a 6'4" crying, naked little brother.
Sam finally nodded and attempted to stand, pulling the towel tightly around himself.
"I'll be right outside if you need me, okay?" Dean left the broken door slightly ajar as he left the tiny room.
Dean ran his hand over his face. What the hell was he supposed to do? Sam was falling apart and he had no idea how to help him. He didn't think he was capable of making the right choice and Dean would never be able to convince him otherwise.
Even Cas had said so. Sam's words echoed in his head. Dean pulled out his phone and hit the speed dial for Cas.
When the knock sounded at the door, Sam had just emerged from the bathroom.
"Who is that?"
"Cas. I called him."
The knife in Dean's heart twisted a little further. He had never seen his brother so despondent. "Try to rest, Sam. I'm going to have a talk with Cas."
"Sure." He sank down on the bed but didn't close his eyes.
Dean sighed heavily and went out to where Cas waited for him. He had instructed Castiel to knock on the door instead of just popping in totally unannounced.
"Dean. You needed me for something?" Castiel was unflappable as always.
"I need you to talk to Sammy."
Dean threw his hands up. "What do you think? Lucifer showed him the same thing I saw in 2014. Sam's always been afraid of this destiny thing and now he thinks he's doomed to be Satan's meat suit."
"What would you like me to do?"
Castiel's emotionless response infuriated Dean. "You are a freaking angel, for crying out loud! Shouldn't it be part of your job to spread hope or something like that?"
"I'm not sure what hope I can give your brother, Dean. He's been chosen and there's nothing that can change that."
How could Castiel be so damn unconcerned? Dean could feel his blood pressure rising.
"But he doesn't have to consent! He has to be convinced that he's strong enough to make it through this without giving in to Lucifer."
"But is he?"
"Yes, damn it!" Dean felt compelled to hit Castiel and wipe the calm look from his face but he knew it would only result in a bruised hand for himself. Dean sank to the sidewalk running in front of the motel. "I don't know what to do, Cas."
Cas lowered himself to Dean's level but only hunkered in front of him. Dean wondered how long the angel would be able to balance himself that way and figured it was beyond his comprehension.
"He blames everything that is happening on himself. He thinks he can't be forgiven, Cas. He's given up hope." Dean lowered his head into his hands.
"Are you sure we're talking about Sam here?"
Dean looked up to see Castiel piercing him with his clear blue gaze.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"That you blame what's happening on yourself just as Sam puts the blame on his shoulders. You should forgive yourself, Dean. This is not your fault."
Dean jumped up from the sidewalk and almost knocked Castiel over. He felt a small sense of satisfaction at catching Cas off guard.
"How is this not my fault, Cas? Tell me how you can come to that conclusion because I've tried. Believe me, I've tried and it all comes back to one thing. All this started because I was a selfish bastard who was too afraid to be alone. Sam was dead and I brought him back. Now he wishes he was dead. That's my fault, Cas. Nothing can change that." Dean swiped furiously at his leaking eyes. "I have watched my brother suffer enough. Now I want you to get in there and tell him that this isn't his fault and he can fight this. You have to tell him. You're the only one he'll believe."
"That's not true, Dean."
Dean whirled around to find Sam standing in the motel room door.
"Sammy. How long have you been standing there?"
Dean glanced back at Castiel but he had disappeared. So much for angelic guidance.
"It's not your fault, you know? Cas is right. You didn't know all this was going to happen."
"I guess what they say about the road to hell is true then. Good intentions and all that crap, you know." Dean sighed. "I'm so sorry, Sammy."
Sam shook his head. "You don't owe me an apology. I think I owe you one for freaking out earlier."
"I should have told you, I know."
"No, you were right in not telling me. I mean, look how I responded." Sam averted his eyes. "If I hadn't heard you out here yelling at Cas, I'd still be inside wallowing in self pity."
"I just didn't want you to think the future was written in stone because it's not. As long as we're together we can fight this Sammy. I promise you I will die before I let Lucifer take control of you."
Sam gave a small laugh.
"That's gonna be hard to do since the angels won't let you die."
"Oh, yeah? Well, with all this fancy scribbling on our ribs," Dean ran his hands over his torso. "the angels don't know where we are so how are they going to stop us?"
Dean could see Sam turning this thought over in his mind. "I don't think that will work, Dean. Lucifer said if I killed myself he'd just bring me back."
"He's the freaking prince of lies!" Dean cried. "He'll tell you anything. Zachariah couldn't find us so he had to put that false piece of prophecy in Chuck's head. If we had died, how would he have known?"
"So, what are you saying?" For the first time in awhile, Dean actually saw a glimmer of hope in his brother's eyes.
"I'm saying we fight this fight until the end but when the end comes, if we have to, we go out together and no angel is going to stop us."
"Lucifer's never going to give up, Dean. He's going to keep coming to me in my dreams. I don't know….I don't know how much more I can take." Sam's voice broke.
"It's okay, Sammy." Dean slung his arm around his little brother and guided him back into the motel room. "We'll do some research, call Cas and Bobby. There has to be something to keep Lucifer out of your dreams."
Sam studied him for a moment and nodded. "Okay, sure, but what about in the meantime?" He stifled a huge yawn.
Dean pushed his brother down onto the bed and pulled the blankets up to his chin. "In the meantime, you get some rest. I'll stand watch. If Lucifer shows up, I'll wake you."
"How will you know?" Sam asked sleepily.
"Oh, I'll know." Dean thought back to the last few weeks of sleepless nights he had already spent trying to look out for his brother.
"Hey Dean," Sam's voice was slightly slurred. "What do you think the road to redemption is paved with?"
Dean smiled. "Lots of ass-kicking, I hope."