K Hanna Korossy
Addiction: it's such an ugly word. But it's true.
I don't know how we ended up on the plane and I don't really care. Nothing I say will bring my brother, the guy I betrayed and tried to kill, any comfort now, so I let him deal with the oxygen masks and turbulence on his own. All I can think about is what I've done, because my head's suddenly clear for the first time in months and I can finally see how far I've fallen.
I was a junkie. An addict. Yeah, I thought I was doing it to save the world, to save Dean, but that was all the blood talking, justifications and wishful thinking and power trips. I thought I'd finally gained some control, but it was always about power. And I used it to free the Devil. There's no redemption for that.
The plane finally lands, and Dean pries his hands free of the armrests. "Come on," is all he says, curtly, avoiding my eyes. Not a problem; I follow him off the plane with my gaze glued to the floor. I'm barely aware when he rents a car, pushes me into it, and we head…somewhere.
I was numb before, I'm realizing. Unable to feel much empathy even as my brother struggled with nightmares of Hell. Probably clinically depressed—does it really matter? Nothing excuses what I did.
Dean's not talking. I'm guessing he agrees. Besides, "I told you so" seems totally inadequate here.
I was addicted, and now…somehow I can feel I'm not. Maybe whatever put us on that plane cleaned me up, too. I should be grateful. Crap, I should be grateful Dean's even willing to be in the same car with me.
But I can feel everything now: the horror of what I've unleashed on the world, the unforgivable way I've treated the people I love, the depths I sunk to, and…this is so much harder.
Bobby forgives almost as easily as Dean, and it's as painful as it is comforting.
"I ain't cutting you out, boy. Not ever."
"Thanks" doesn't begin to cover it. Not for a man lying in the hospital, maybe never to walk again, his face still puffy from the blow I landed on him. Not to mention, oh yeah, the world ending around us.
But I say it anyway. And I'm surprised I feel…better. Like maybe if someone can forgive me, there's still hope.
And at least someone's on my side again, because I'm still not sure about Dean.
Cindy McLellan lies still and bloody in the trunk, and I can almost feel the weight of Dean's stare. I don't look to see the shock and disgust I know is on his face. There's a reason I didn't tell him why I wanted to come back here, almost at Ground Zero.
And then Cindy faintly moans.
I can't even move, I'm so surprised. I felt her go limp while I was feeding; she looks as dead as I expected her to be. But her eyelids are fluttering.
"The devil's trap," Dean suddenly barks. "Sam, the demon's still in her—it kept her alive."
I remain frozen, not tracking. Of course the demon was in her—that's why I fed off her. And the devil's trap was on the trunk lid…but the demon didn't need a living body. It would have to stay in the corpse until released. Unless she wasn't a corpse. I didn't drain her completely dry. Or the demon had just kept her alive. She'd die as soon as—
Dean muttered a curse, then, "Get in the car, Sam." I'm grateful for even a simple order to follow and find myself back in the car I'd shared not long ago with Ruby, smelling the sulfur now that I'd become oblivious to before. Only, Dean's driving this time, hunched over the wheel, his face pinched.
"Where're we going?" I ask dumbly.
He shoots me a look like he can't believe me. I know the feeling. "Hospital. She's still alive. Maybe…"
Maybe I didn't kill her. I stare out the window, flinching at the silence from the back as much as I'd cringed before at her yelling and pounding.
Then Dean's screeching up to the emergency entrance of a hospital and jumping out of the car. I trail him around back in time to catch the end of the exorcism. The demon's barely finished funneling out of Cindy before Dean's gathering her up and taking her inside.
We can't stay; there would be too many questions. Chances are Cindy's lost too much blood and there's too much damage for her to survive. But she's still moaning when we leave, alive, and I find another sliver of hope in me that she'll stay that way.
Every piece hurts a little less.
Dean's face is scored with pain.
"I just can't keep pretending that everything's all right. Because it's not. And it's never going to be. You chose a demon over your own brother, and look what happened."
Dean will stew and fume and seethe, but he doesn't usually verbalize how hurt and disappointed he is. His bluntness now is devastating.
"You were the one that I depended on the most. And you let me down in ways that I can't even…"
The anguish in his tone cuts deeper than anything else I've felt since I realized what I'd done. Part of me is sure we can't ever get past this. But…part of me hears what my brother's really saying.
"I know how sorry you are."
There's a trust there, a belief I didn't expect.
"I'm just…I'm having a hard time forgiving and forgetting here. You know?"
Hard time. Not impossible.
"I just don't...I don't think that we can ever be what we were. You know? I just don't think I can trust you."
But he's not sure, he just doesn't think.
There's a saying, if you need forgiveness, forgive someone. And in that moment, I do: Dean's deal, his leaving me, his anger and impatience and inability to hear me this last year. Not just because I need the same, but because I love him. I still love him. And I know he loves me. That's why it hurts so friggin' much.
He's sitting in the car, waiting for me to join him even after all he's said. So I go and get in.
And have hope now that I can fix this and earn my brother back.
Everything starts falling back into place, but slowly.
The first hunts are rocky. We separate for a while. I find out I'm Lucifer's vessel, which just figures. Dean learns he's Michael's, which is even funnier. We realize we're better together, which I guess we always knew. But it's still a relief.
And Dean slowly starts treating me like a brother again instead of a tag-along he's stuck with.
I think he knows now that as messed up as it was, I was trying to do the right thing before. It's harder for him to forget me choosing Ruby over him and almost killing him, but can't blame him there. Still, he's trying, and I'm trying, and maybe at some point we don't have to try anymore, can just be again. I see glimmers of it sometimes, just like the small victories we've gained against Lucifer, and it feeds my hope.
It's kind of ironic we're working on a rebirth while the world struggles to end around us.
But then, Dean always did say I was rebellious.