Fanfic: Choices – a 5.18 Missing Scene
Author: sandymg
Beta: borgmama1of5
Summary: Sam cleans up an unconscious Dean post Castiel's beating. Sam has choices to make. A 5.18 Point of No Return missing scene
Spoilers: through5.18 Point of No Return
Genre: Gen, Hurt/Comfort
Characters: Sam, Dean
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural or any of its characters. They belong to the CW and Eric Kripke – who'd best treat them well
A/N: Upon rewatching 5.18, I noted that I made a mistake in the chronology of when Sam realizes that Adam is missing in that it happened before Castiel returned with Dean. However, it didn't seem worth it to rework the story because of this. Just noting my error here and moving on.

Choices – a 5.18 Missing Scene

Sam picks up the washcloth and swipes the left-side of his brother's face. He always starts with the left cheek. Not sure why. Habit. Blood seems to trickle naturally on Dean that way. To the left. Maybe it has something to do with the rotation of the Earth? He fights an inner laugh. If it were about anyone else, that thought really would be absurd. Except it's Dean. And maybe he really is tied into the planet itself in some cosmically binding way.

The washcloth quickly turns red. Sam squeezes it out in the small basin he brought with him into the panic room. Dean's still unconscious from Cas's whammy. Cas, who beat the shit out of his brother. Sam should be upset about this, but he's not. Sam is only grateful that Cas brought Dean back. Sam is losing Dean. And Sam can't lose Dean.

He brings the washcloth back and touches it gently to Dean's split lip. Those abnormally pretty lips. He sighs. What will he say when Dean wakes up? What hasn't he already said? Maybe Sam's being selfish. Wouldn't be new. He's been selfish his whole life. Dean lies unmoving, blood still dripping. To the left. Sam remembers Dean smashing against a tree. Sees Lucifer's satisfied smile. That gleam of complete confidence. Of knowing. Sam will cave. Sam will say yes in Detroit.

Sam's hand shakes and he ends up smearing the blood on Dean and it looks for a crazy moment like Dean's passed out from a drunken debacle wearing lipstick and Sam is sixteen and giggling under his breath like a girl because Sam stole Linda Mayer's hot pink lipstick and has carefully applied it to his brother's lips while he slept and he wonders how long it'll take for Dean to notice and hopes that it'll be a good long while.

Sam squeezes the washcloth again and the water in the bowl is now pink. There will be bruises where Cas's fist connected. Bruises always stand out on Dean's pale face. They look yellowish-blue on Sam but glow wine purple on Dean. Sam wipes away blood and grime until he uncovers the freckles. Dean used to hate his freckles. Sam remembers Dean grousing about them in the summertime when they'd multiply across his skin like cookie crumbs until one time a girl whose name Sam never knew (and probably Dean never knew) said that she wanted to taste every one of them. After that Dean never seemed to mind them.

Sam thinks Dean doesn't think about his freckles anymore.

Sam thinks about Lisa and her son, Ben. He never asked Dean about Ben. He assumes that Dean would not have left Cicero if Ben was his son. Sam has known for a long time now that normal life Sam thought he wanted has really been Dean's dream all along. The irony stings. He snorts and the sound echoes against the iron walls, making it harsher, uglier. Because Sam has no interest in normalcy any longer.

Sam just doesn't want to turn into the devil.

And Sam is so scared he's amazed he can still breathe.

Dean's face is clean. A final rinse of the washcloth and Sam wipes Dean's hands. He can tell Dean's bruises are all instinctively defensive. Dean did not strike back against Castiel. Sam and Cas are on the same side now. Sam has long stopped believing in angels. Nobody believes in god any more. Sam wants to believe in Cas, but if he's honest, mostly he needs Dean's angel to help Sam save Dean.

Sam finally puts the washcloth down. Gets the handcuffs. The clink echoes. Sam has been here. In this room, strapped to this cot. He was angry. He's been angry so long he doesn't really remember what it feels like to not have this fire in his veins. He's been angry enough to almost kill his brother.

Dean's eyelashes flutter slightly. A faint tremor. Perhaps he's dreaming? Sam hopes it's a good dream. Lisa and Ben and picnics and sunshine and sneaking into the ballpark to watch the Springfield Cardinals. Dad said he'd take them but then didn't come home and Dean said "fuck it," which he never said in front of Dad because you didn't curse in front of John Winchester and then said "c'mon Sammy" and he'd gotten them to the game and even bought popcorn and Sam blinks and wonders why Heaven couldn't have given him this again?

What will Sam say when Dean's eyes open and turn on him accusing and wary … and so worn Sam would not have imagined it possible. And he remembers another pair of eyes with that same worn look and they belonged to his father sending him for coffee, asking Sam to please not fight for once. His father's lying dead and it's too late. But Sam can't be too late this time. Because Dean can't do this. Can't leave him.

Sam chokes on air and sits abruptly on a hard chair against the curved wall.

When Sam was chained to the cot he dwarfed it, legs dangling, head practically falling off one end. This room was too small for Sam. He scanned the walls. Remembered pacing, his skin crawling with power. Power he still fucking craves but must never give into. And he'd thought it wrong then, being locked up, thought Dean stupid to cage him and not let him save them all.

Sam remembers a dirty, dumpy zoo in some small town. Probably closed down now. Dean snuck them in. It's what Dean did. And they stood in front of the tiger's cage and watched it pace and Dean's face darkened and pulled Sam away and just said "not right." Trapped in this room, Sam had wanted to remind Dean of that. Wanted to say "not right." Wanted Dean to trust him. Had begged for that trust.

Sam will beg again.

He'd been wrong the last time. He was right now. Did that matter?

Dean continues to sleep. Body straight on the bed. He looks smaller, like he's shrinking slowly, like the weight of what's he's carrying is pulling him inward, reducing the man he was. Is. And Sam has to stop this. Bobby said it. Bobby said, "Sam. Do something." And Sam has handcuffed his brother in this room. And soon has to say something to make Dean not want to die.

Dean once died to save Sam.

Dean now would rather die than be with Sam.

The world stands in the balance. And Sam knows only one thing. He can't do this alone.

Commotion upstairs makes him jump. After a last look at Dean, Sam rushes upstairs. Bobby is alone. Adam is gone.

"How could you--?"

Bobby is defensive. Adam just vanished. The damn angels must have taken him.

Sam's heart pounds. A thought flickers. If Adam could do this -- take Lucifer out, then maybe … But Adam would not survive it. And Dean would not survive that. And Sam chooses that moment to grow the fuck up.

"Where you goin'?" yells Bobby as Sam turns to head back downstairs to the panic room.

Castiel returns and glares at Sam. Castiel is still angry and lost and Sam feels a moment of pity but can't indulge. There is only one way.

He cannot ask for his brother's trust any longer.

He can only give it.

"Dean is coming with us to save Adam."

Dean's angel and Bobby erupt together. Both believe Dean will surrender himself to Michael. Both don't want to lose him. Both love Dean.

Just not as much as Sam does.

Sam takes the same seat against the cool, hard curved wall. The keys dig into in his palm. This is his Hail Mary. Lucifer's dead blue eyes empathize with Sam as they stand in the field at Carthage. I had an older brother who I loved. Idolized, in fact. And one day I went to him and I begged him to stand with me, and Michael — Michael turned on me.

Dean is not Michael. And Sam is not Lucifer.

Sam has a choice to make. He made the wrong choice in the past.

Sam looks at his brother who is just starting to stir.

Sam will not make the wrong choice again.