Title: Missing Anchor
Rating: PG-13 (language, violence)
Summary: Takes place during All Hell Breaks Lose. Quotes from there are included, but storyline is a bit different. Sam is missing and Sarah and Dean search frantically for their brother, but are they too late?
Disclaimer: Nope, not mine except Sarah.
Sarah had been driving for hours and there was still no sign of Sam. Realizing she was about five miles from Harvelle's Roadhouse she decided to pop in to see if Ellen had heard anything from her brother. She also knew that Ash was checking for any signs of demonic activity. She felt as if all eyes were on her as she entered the Roadhouse, but she ignored the stares as she stepped up to the bar where Ellen was serving a few fellow hunters glasses of whiskey. Once she was finished, she walked over to her. "Sarah, any word on Sam yet?"
She shook her had. "No and we're running out of places to check. I was hoping Ash found something out."
"Not that I know of. He's back in his room and he won't come out of there if or when he finds something. Why don't you take a breather and have a seat? Maybe he'll have some news within the next ten minutes," Ellen suggested, handing Sarah a bottled water. "Are you all right, hon? Physically, I mean. You're looking a bit pale."
Sarah waved off Ellen's concern. "I'm fine," she replied with a fake smile.
She didn't want to admit to Ellen that before Sam went missing she had seen a doctor. That doctor told her she only had six months to a year left to live. She hadn't even told her brothers about it yet because they would want her to be in a hospital having treatments and Sarah wasn't going to do that when she knew Yellow Eyes was still somewhere out there.
"All right. Well, I'm gonna head off and get some more damn pretzels. You'd think these guys around here would eat something with more sustenance."
Sarah laughed. "See ya later then, Ellen, and thanks."
As she sat there, she felt the hair raise on the back of her neck. Nothing good came of that and she definitely knew something was up when Ash came running out of the back room and straight for the phone. He must not have seen her at the bar. Sarah was going to say something to him when the distinct smell of sulfur entered her sinus cavities.
Bright flashes of light and screaming assailed Sarah's senses as she woke up. Why she was sleeping, she had no clue. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes when she realized that she was lying out in the sun, smoke billowing out from the burned remains of the Roadhouse. "Oh my God!" she exclaimed, standing up. "Ash! Ash, where are you?"
"Sarah!" She turned to see Dean and Bobby rushing over to her. "Sarah, are you all right?"
She nodded. "I... I think so. What happened?"
"We were hoping you could tell us," Dean said, holding her close.
"I don't know. The last thing I remember was seeing Ash run to the phone," she replied, placing a hand to her head. Dean was about to say something, but she cut him off. "I"m good, really, just give me minute."
Once she got a hold of herself, the three headed to the Impala to try to come up with the next plan of action. After what just happened Dean knew they had to be dealing with the Yellow Eyed Demon. Only one thing would go so far as to kill a bar full of hunters just for Sam.
"What the hell did Ash know? We've got no way of knowing where Ellen is. Or if she s even alive. We've got no clue what Ash was gonna tell us. Now, how the hell are we gonna find Sam?"
"We ll find him," Bobby replied.
Sarah practically leaped towards her brother as he clutched his head in pain. "Dean?" She exchanged a glance with Bobby. "What was that?"
"I don t know. A headache?"
"You get headaches like that a lot?" Bobby asked, worriedly.
"No. Must be the stress," he said with light chuckle."I could have sworn I saw something."
"What do you mean? Like a vision? Like what Sam gets?" Sarah wanted to know as Dean moved from grasp.
"What? No! Come on, I'm not some psychic." Suddenly, Dean was falling against the Impala in pain, crying out.
"Dean? Dean! Are you with us?" Bobby exclaimed as Sarah grabbed his arms.
"Answer us, Dean, please!"
"Yeah, I think so. I saw Sam. I saw him!"
Sarah stared at him in shock. "So, it was a vision," she said.
"Yeah. I don t know how, but yeah. Whew. That was about as fun as getting kicked in the jewels."
"What else did you see?" Bobby asked.
"Uh there was a bell."
"What kind of bell?"
"Like a big bell with some kind of engraving on it, I don t know," Dean replied, almost getting annoyed by Bobby's questions.
"Was it a tree? Like, an oak tree?"
Dean thought a moment before nodding. "Yeah, exactly."
"I know where Sam is."
Dean pulled to a stop just before entering the town. "Cold Oak. Should have known the most haunted town in the country would be involved," he muttered.
Handing Sarah and Bobby weapons, the three headed into town, hoping they wouldn't have their worst nightmares realized. Dean and Sarah grinned at one another when they saw Sam. He was limping and holding his arm, but otherwise he seemed well enough. "Sam!" Dean exclaimed suddenly.
Sarah watched in horror as someone appeared by her brother out of nowhere and raced after Dean. She could hear Bobby's heavy footsteps as she got closer and closer, tears coursing down her cheeks. "God, please," she prayed.
As she arrived next to Dean, who had Sam in his arms, her nightmare came true. Sarah dropped to her knees as Dean cried out for their little brother. She was too stunned to say a word. How could they not have saved him! How the fuck did they get here so late! When Sarah Winchester met up with that Yellow Eyed Bastard she was going to kick his ass herself!
Dean wasn't sure how long the two of them stayed there, clinging to Sam. He wasn't sure how long Bobby ran after that fucking asshole who killed Sam, but he didn't care at the moment. Dean blinked and suddenly they were moving and he was helping Bobby carry his brother to one of the buildings.
Sarah was following silently, sobbing. He knew he should be there for her, but he didn't know what to say. Why couldn't he have gotten that vision sooner? Why couldn't he have driven faster to get there? She was going to hate him for this. He didn't do his job. Dean had failed.
Dean wasn't sure how long he sat there, looking at his brother's now cold body. He knew Bobby said some things to him, so did Sarah and he remembered answering them, but he had no clue what they talked about. Right now they had left him alone at his request and Dean stared at Sam for another few minutes before speaking up.
"I always tried to protect you...Keep you safe...Dad didn't even need to tell me. It was just always my responsibility, you know? It's like I had one job... I had one job," Dean said, voice thick with emotion. "And I screwed it up. I blew it. And for that, I'm sorry. I guess that's what I do. I let down the people I love. I let Dad down. And now I guess I'm just supposed to let you down, too. How can I? How am I supposed to live with that? What am I supposed to do? Sammy. God. What am I supposed to do?"
Sarah decided to head back to the motel where they left Dean. She was worried about the way he'd been acting. As she slide into Bobby's car, she saw the Impala pull up. She didn't even notice the second person in the car, just headed straight for Dean and stopped in her tracks when she finally noticed him standing there.
"Sammy?" she exclaimed. It didn't even occur to her that he shouldn't be there looking very much alive. "Oh, God, Sammy!"
"Take it easy there," he replied with a chuckle, wincing.
Sarah's eyes widened, suddenly remembering his injury. Wait a minute... his injury that was fatal. "Dean?"
"I know, Sar, I should have kept him in bed, but you know how he is," Dean replied, disguising his real emotions.
Apparently Dean forgot that Sarah could feel those emotions when he wasn't controlling them and damn it if she had stayed with Dean this wouldn't have happened! Oh sure, she was ecstatic that her little brother was alive, but not like this. Not when she knew she was going to lose Dean eventually either. At least they had 10 years.
The three Winchesters headed into Bobby's house and even the old hunter was about to question what the hell was going on, but he refrained for a the time being. Besides, they had major work to do. "Lets get started. Dean, I got some books in the truck, wanna help me get those?"
"You stupid ass, what the hell did you do?" he all but shouted when they were far enough away from the house. "You made a deal for Sam, didn't you? How long did they give you?"
"Damn it, Dean!"
"Which is why we gotta find this yellow-eyed son of a bitch. That's why I'm gonna kill him myself. I got nothing to lose now, right?"
Bobby grabbed Dean by the collar. "I could throttle you!"
"And send me downstairs ahead of schedule?" Dean asked.
"What is it with you Winchesters, huh? You, your dad. You're both just itching to throw yourselves down the pit!"
"That's my point. Dad brought me back, Bobby. I'm not even supposed to be here. At least this way, something good could come out of it, you know? It's like my life could mean something."
Bobby was stunned by that revelation to say the least. "What? And it didn't before?! Have you got that low of an opinion of yourself? Are you that screwed in the head?!"
"I couldn't let him die, Bobby. I couldn't. He's my brother."
"And how are your brother and sister gonna feel when they know you're going to hell? How'd you feel when you knew your dad went for you!" Bobby asked, wanting to scream, cry, anything for this boy in front of him.
Dean shook his head, as Bobby pulled him into a hug. "You can't tell them. You can take a shot at me. Whatever you got to do, but please don't tell them."
They pulled apart when the sound of a crowbar falling came from behind them. Dean didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the person standing before him. "Ellen!" he exclaimed, hugging her. "Oh God!"
After explanations and demon testing, the group was pouring over Bobby's books and trying to figure out the significance of the map. Sarah walked over to Sam, who was paging through a Demonology book. "Sammy," she said quietly.
"You okay, Sarah?" he asked, moving over to allow room for her to sit on the couch. Sarah sank down onto it and laid her head on his shoulder. Instead of replying, though, she had fallen asleep. Sam was concerned about how quickly that happened.
He was going to ask Dean about it when Bobby said, "I don't believe it!"
"Looks like we're heading to Wyoming."
Sarah and Sam noticed that Dean was facing Yellow Eyes alone. The pair nodded in agreement and rushed over to help him. Of course Yellow Eyes was ready and slammed them against a crypt. They couldn't hear a word he was saying to Dean and he no longer seemed to have the Colt in his hand. Just when they thought the demon was going to kill Dean, a familiar figure appeared. The figure distracted Yellow Eyes enough for Dean to grab the Colt and fire. The body dropped to the ground and within minutes, the demon was dead. Sam and Sarah rushed to Dean as he unsteadily got to his feet.
The three stared at the figure who had appeared in stunned silence. John Winchester smiled at them proudly and was gone. "Dean!" Sam finally gasped out. "You did it!"
"We did it, Sammy."
Sarah grinned, hugging Dean. "Awesome! I'd have to say dad was quite proud of you. I know I am!"
"Thanks," Dean replied hiding the fact that he felt completely nauseated and his head was ready to explode. Normally Sarah would have noticed something like that, but she said nothing if she did.
"I don't even know what to say."
Dean looked up at Sam. "I do. That was for our mom, you son of a bitch!"
The Winchester siblings turned to see Bobby and Ellen grinning at them as they headed back to the Impala. "That was pretty impressive," he said."Well, not the part where the demons got out, but you know what I mean."
"Thanks, Bobby," Dean said.
As Dean opened the trunk, Sam stopped both him and Sarah. "Jake seemed pretty surprised to see me alive. Said the knife cut clean through my spinal cord."
"What?" Sarah exclaimed, completely forgetting the fact that Sam had been dead hours ago. "What the hell are you talking about?"
"I woke up on a cot with no clue how I got into that room. Dean, I know what you did."
"I have no clue what you're talking about, Sam."
Sarah crossed her arms as she looked back from one brother to another. "You do know what he's talking about, Dean, I can see it in your eyes! You may be able to fool a grieving victim's family, but you can't fool me!"
"You sold your soul, didn't you?" Sam asked. Sarah felt sick to her stomach as Dean avoided their gazes. "Why did you do that, Dean?"
Dean tossed the colt into the trunk of the Impala. "Do you really need me to spell it out, Sammy? I'm not even supposed to be here, remember? Besides it's my job to keep you safe!"
"And it's our job to keep you safe!" Sam replied, taking Sarah's hand. He noticed she had paled a lot since she saw Dean's response. "Don't you think we would do the same for you, Dean?"
Sarah waited for him to say something more, but he didn't and she knew why. "Dean... do you really have that low of an opinion of yourself? That you're not worth us risking our lives to help you and protect you?"
Dean chose that moment to stumble from his injuries and the two practically slapped themselves for having such a hardcore conversation with him so out of it and vulnerable. They each took one his arms and helped into the back seat of the Impala. Sarah began to worry when Dean's head lolled onto her shoulder and his speech was slurred.
"We going somewhere? I feel kinda dizzy."
"ER?" Sam asked.
She shook her head. "Lets just try to make it to Bobby's. If he gets worse we'll stop on the way. You know how much he hates hospitals."
"You guys ready?" Bobby asked, popping his head into the window. "Dean, you good?"
He smiled grimly. "I know, but we'll be at my place in no time so try and stay awake, okay?"
About ten minutes later, Sarah was helping Dean out of the car. "Are you feeling better?" she asked.
Dean nodded, noting the paleness of her face and redness around her eyes. He had to look away because he knew he had caused that. "Sarah, I..."
"Dean, I understand why you did what you did, but I have to say that was selfish, especially for you! You couldn't stand to live without Sammy, and while I couldn't either, you didn't even think of the fact that neither of us could live without you!"
She shook her head. "No, Dean, please listen. You are worthy of everything you believe Sam and I are, I just wanted you to know that. And I want you to know that we're not going to stop trying to figure out a way to save you, I promise you that!"
Dean pulled Sarah into a hug, kissing the top of her head. "Thanks," he whispered.