A Very Merry Un-Birthday to Dean
"D-don't let him hurt m-me. Pl-please, D-Dean, please…"
"Shh…He's not gonna get you, buddy, I promise. Shhh, it's okay, Sammy. Hush, shh…" Dean gently rocked Sam back and forth. "I'm so sorry, Sammy. This is all my fault. I'm so sorry."
Sam jumped at the new voice, burying his face in Dean's shoulder, hiding.
"It's okay, Sammy," Dean said, looking up at Castiel. "It's Cas, it's alright."
"What happened?" The angel asked, looking at Sam's back and wincing. Dean's lip twitched as hatred filled his eyes that he kept hidden from Sam.
"Zachariah," he growled. Sam started crying again. Almost instantly, the fire in Dean's eyes was replaced by sadness, guilt, and a need to protect his brother. "Shh…"
He calmed Sam down, assuring him that no one was going to hurt him and that he was safe. Sam fell asleep, tears on his face. Dean gently lied him down and brushed them off. He shut his eyes for a second, swallowing, before he licked his lips and ran his hand over his face.
"I'm gonna kill him," he said quietly. "I swear to God, Cas, I will. I'm gonna find him and I'm…I'm gonna-"
"What? What is it that you can do to Zachariah, Dean?" Castiel asked, brow creased. "There is nothing you can do to an angel of his power." Dean stood, angry.
"So I'm gonna let that son of a bitch get away with this? I'm just gonna sit back and let it slide? No way in Hell I'm letting-"
"Dean, think for a moment. What do you think Zachariah was trying to do when he did this? He wants you to come find him for revenge. Do you know what he will do to you? His mission is to get you to say yes. Dean, he can make Hell look like the Garden of Eden," Dean cocked his brow at the reference. "He will do whatever is takes to get you to say yes to Michael. You cannot confront him."
Dean shut his eyes, pain etched in his face. He looked back at his battered brother. The pain deepened.
"Okay," he breathed, "I won't do anything." The angel put his hand on Dean's shoulder.
"I know it is not in your nature to do such things, Dean. But please, doing this for your brother is not cowardice."
"I know," he said, "I just…It's my fault this happened to him."
"Would Sam have rather it be you instead of him? I don't think he would feel that way," Castiel said pointedly. Dean sat back down next to his little brother.
"It doesn't make the guilt hurt less, Cas," he whispered almost inaudibly. The angel nodded and turned to leave.
"Zachariah will receive what he deserves one day, Dean," he said. "Oh, and Happy Birthday." There was a quiet flutter, signaling the angel was gone.
Dean looked at Sam, a tear falling down his cheek.
"I'm so sorry, Sammy."
Sam peeled his eyes opened at about eleven that night. Dean was still awake, his eyes clouded, coffee in his hand.
"Dean," Sam rasped. Dean sat up, suddenly alert.
"Sammy," he was searching his face for any sign of discomfort. He pushed a glass of water to his lips. "Are you alright?" Sam nodded slowly.
"Hurts still…I'll be okay," he breathed. He started to push himself up on his elbows, wincing deeply.
"Hey, hey," Dean protested, trying to push him back down, "take it easy, Sammy." Sam shook his head, still cringing, and reached under his pillow. He collapsed back on it when he retrieved what he'd been looking for. He opened his hand. A small package wrapped in newspaper stared back at Dean. He took it when Sam offered it to him, unwrapping it.
He smiled in surprise. His necklace.
"It's not the real thing," Sam said hoarsely. "I got it on a website dedicated to the books."
"Thanks, Sammy," he grinned, hugging him.
"Happy Birthday, Dean."
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