Decided to try every kind of story type, so this time please have a very warm welcome to my first One Shot!
To all of you brilliant people out there reading "Where A River Separates The Land", next chapter's up on Sunday, there are 5 chappies left before I'm finished with having you dangling from my never ending cliff. **imagine evil laugh here**
And now I hope this one's met with approval...
As always, I'm German, so English's not my mother tongue. In case you find weird grammar or strange typos, it's not your eye sight or the bad resolution of your monitor, it's all my fault.
Here's the disclaimer that once again says I don't make money with my stories and the character's of Sam and Dean Winchester belong to the CW and the big Kripke. And I guess that's a good thing, because if those two lovely guys would belong to me, I would lock them in my closet and wouldn't share them with you.
One final word to my lovely Beta MeAzrael, who once again had to endure my ramblings: A massive thank you for your support and your careful, but determined objections. Without you the boys would stumble from day to night and back to day the whole story long and would sound like drunks because of the typos I make. You keep me going, hun!
Enough said, now on with the action...ENJOY!
Whose idea had it been to sleep in a railway station? On the tracks, to be exact. While a train was approaching?
Dragging eyelids open that seemed to weigh several tons Sam tried to catch his thoughts and memories which were currently flying around in his jumbled brain like wayward butterflies. He was damn sure they hadn't been near any station recently, so the humming and thrumming noises searing through his scull must have been engendered by something else.
Blinking slowly but deciding to squeeze his eyes shut again for just a few more moments the young Winchester let the past hours fly past.
It had been night. Maybe it was still night, but he couldn't care less at the moment. Dean and him had grabbed something from the local diner, so much he remembered. He knew he had exited the Impala, two paper bags in his hands, had grumbled over the contents of it and the fact that Dean's McGrease had decided to decorate his jeans with some unappetizing stains. Dean had turned around to him while opening the door, had thrown some remark back at him before...
Sam was awake in an instant. Jerking his head up he found himself face to face with a guy twice his age, his appearance and stance screaming 'hunter' from every pore. Just their luck.
"Hello Sam", the man purred, not bothering to step from Sam's personal space, "Glad you're joining the party."
Opening his mouth to reply or yell or maybe even spit at his opponent, Sam stopped himself and craned his neck to look past the man, spotting a familiar figure at the other side of the room.
Dean stood upright, although being unconscious, a wooden post supporting his position. His wrists were chained above his head, keeping him from toppling over. His head was tilted forward, chin resting on his chest. So far he seemed unharmed.
Sliding his gaze down to his brother's feet Sam's blood ran cold and he swallowed the gasp before it managed to escape his throat. Well-known lines and sigils had been drawn to the floor were Dean stood, neon green spray paint forming the established shape of a devil's trap.
"What the..." Sam began, moving forward in order to lunge at the grinning hunter in front of him when a sharp pull held him back. Looking up, he noticed that he was bound the same way as his brother, his wrists above him, keeping his mobility to a minimum.
"Easy, there", his opponent soothed and put a restraining hand to Sam's shoulder, "I'm sorry this might be a bit uncomfortable for you, but it's not for long, I promise. And sorry about the hit to the head earlier. But it was the quickest way to get you two here."
"What is this? Who the hell are you and what do you want?" Sam spat at the man, his voice so full of venom it would have put a poisonous serpent to flight.
The answer he got was a toothy grin. "Straight to business. Just the way I like it." And wouldn't it be great to just lash out and put all those pearly whites that weren't so white anymore to rest with one right hook? Sam pressed his lips together, his breathing resembling the panting of an angry bull, his hazel eyes sparkling with rage and darting from the other man's face over to his unconscious sibling.
'Toothy grin' took a step back and laid a flat hand on his chest. "I'm Nicholas, the guys over there..." he nodded toward the wall and only then Sam noticed the three other men lingering in the shadows of the room, "...are my fellow hunters. Meet Ian, Ozzy and Ted."
Choosing to ignore the Three Stooges for now, Sam pulled on his restraints again before he concentrated his anger on Nicholas. "Okay, so much for the 'Who'. Let's talk about the 'Why'..." he hissed and nodded towards the lines at Dean's feet, "And what's up with that devil's trap?"
Nicholas raised his eyebrows and looked over to the painting, "Oh, that? Let's talk about that later, shall we?"
A low moan erupted from the other side of the room and Sam felt himself being able to breathe easier immediately, a wave of relief washing over him. There were about a hundred situations he was glad about Dean being unconscious or asleep, but this definitely wasn't one of it.
The younger Winchester watched his sibling struggle to raise his head and winced in sympathy when Dean tugged at the chains above him, the moment it dawned on him that something was very wrong being clearly visible in Dean's body language. Planting both feet on the ground and taking a defensive stance Dean looked around, the first traces of fear and disorientation Sam had witnessed on his brother's features being tugged safely behind a mask that showed no emotion altogether.
Smiling at his brother's predictability, Sam answered with a tense "Over here, Dean", and gave a curt nod when their eyes met. A feeling of warmth enveloped Sam at the sight of relief lighting up on Dean's face, a relief solely based on the single fact that he was there with him and obviously in one piece.
"You okay?" came the next predictable question.
"Gentlemen", Nicholas cut in and clapped his hands together, "Now that I have your full attention I suggest we get to business."
Sam pulled his attention away from Dean and scrutinized the older man in front of him, wracking his brain what this might be about. He had seen neither Nicholas nor one of the others ever in his life, so this was sure as hell no revenge thing. Unless those were some guys Dean had a score to settle with.
"And who the hell are you?" Nope. Dean didn't know Nicholas either.
The younger Winchester watched with a surge of unease as Nicholas stalked leisurely over to Dean, his brother's green gaze searing into the other hunter like lasers.
"How about you keep your trap shut, Winchester. I don't want to use the duct tape on you", Nicholas said in a far too calm voice, meeting Dean's eyes with an equally steely glare, "That stuff's just too expensive to waste it on someone like you."
An arrogant smirk appeared on Dean's face, emphasized by a clicking if his tongue. "Not a nice way to treat your guests, dude. At least you could offer us a chair so we could talk like adults."
The fist crashing into Dean's jaw and causing his head to whip to the left came out of nowhere and Sam flinched in surprise before he pulled angrily at the chains. "Hey", he shouted, partly to get Nicholas away from his brother, partly because he wanted to know, needed to know in which kind of mess they had sleepwalked into here, "spill it already. Do we owe you something? Do we have something that might be important to you?"
Nicholas continued to stare at Dean, who shook his head several times before he slowly lifted it again, blood trickling from his bottom lip. The evil eye was still in place, a sure fire sign that he was basically okay, but pissed as hell. Sam shot his brother a heated glare, his eyes commanding him to stay cool.
Turning to face the younger hunter, Nicholas face lit up with a broad smile. He clasped his hands behind his back and began to pace, looking like a professor about to explain the theory of relativity to a student. "You know, guys, rumors are an interesting thing. They're always so exciting and so promising. But to find out if it's true you need to ask the people the rumor is about."
"Cut it short, Padre, what's your point?" Dean's tone held a bored quality and the eye roll Sam caught showed him that his hotheaded sibling hadn't lost his good mood yet.
"My point is", Nicholas went on, "that we've heard something about demons being exorcised by little Sammy here." He came to a halt in front of Sam, again too close for the Winchester's comfort and ended his speech with a hiss right into Sam's face, "With his mind."
Sam felt as if he'd just been sucker-punched. Waves hot and cold washed over him, at the same time all the color was fleeing from his face. He fought the urge to look over at Dean, a gesture that would surely give him away, would blow the cool façade he was trying to maintain despite the shock that caused his gut to clench.
Shit Shit Shit. How did those yahoos know? Could they have witnessed an exorcism? Who else knew about his ability beside Dean and Ruby? Damnit, what now?
A snort ripped him from his thoughts and he looked past Nicholas at Dean, who chuckled and shook his head. "That's one hell of a joke, really. Nice idea, actually. Hey, Sam, maybe we should try something like this when we're outta here, what do you think?"
Forcing his lips into a tight smile, praying that it looked authentic, Sam played along. "Yeah. Would save a lot of time, that procedure." Over their false bravado, the glances the brother's exchanged spoke volumes, not readable for any other person, but crystal clear for Sam and Dean. The secret 'How do they know?' and 'What the heck are we doing?' in Sam's eyes meeting the 'Let me do the talking.' and 'Don't worry, Sam, everything's going to be fine.' in Dean's.
"Spectacular, isn't it", Nicholas spoke up, "meet a demon, take a good look at him and 'phut'…" he made a waving motion with his hands, "gone is the sucker." His eyes were still on Sam and the young hunter held his opponent's gaze, tried to keep his expression blank.
"How does it feel, Sam?" And again Nicholas was far too close. What's it with the personal space intrusion all the time?
"I don't know what you're talking about", Sam replied through gritted teeth.
"Come on, you really believe that crap?" Dean to the verbal rescue. "Where did you get that idea from anyway?"
From the way Nicholas pursed his lips and dropped his gaze to the ground Sam could see that that man's temper was slowly crawling toward it's boiling point. The icy surface Dean was walking on got thinner and thinner.
"It doesn't matter where I got my information", Nicholas growled, "I just wanna verify it."
"Nothing to verify, dude", Dean snarled, "You got the wrong guys. At least we haven't heard about anything such as mind exorcisms. But hey, in case we meet someone able to pull something like this, we'll call you."
Nicholas had crossed the room in three long strides and grabbed Dean's collar, jostling the older Winchester brother roughly. "You start to get on my nerves, boy."
"Well, that was easy", Dean replied, a cheeky smirk once again gracing his features. However, the cold smile he got in return from his counterpart was unexpected.
"You know", Nicholas stated, his tone low and threatening, "I somehow knew you'd play dumb, you two. That's why I have a sure-fire plan." He let go of Dean's collar and stepped in the middle of the room, nodding at one of the three shadows. A small, scrawny guy stepped forward, carrying an ancient looking book with a black worn leather hard cover he handed over to Nicholas.
At the sight of the book Sam's panic spiked once more. He knew those kinds of books. Had used it several times before, had seen it at Bobby's, had ripped it from some ingenuous teenagers thinking they could have an exciting evening with it by taking a glimpse of the "black magic" passages written down in it.
Nothing good came out of using it. Ever.
Dean recognized the book, too, his expression morphing from being annoyed and bored to unnerved and suspicious. The brother's eyes met again, the unease at what might come next clearly palpable between them.
Nicholas held the weighty tome up for the Winchesters to see, an amused glance darting from Sam to Dean. "I'm sure you know this kind of lecture, guys", he said.
"Certainly no lecture I feel very comfortable seeing it in your filthy paws", Dean replied, and Sam could hear in his brother's voice that he had a hard time keeping up the casual tone.
"You're right about that, Dean", Nicholas answered and flipped the book open where he had marked it earlier. He held it up again, showing his captives the pages.
"A summoning ritual?" Sam breathed, the drawings and symbols immortalized with black and red ink centuries ago registering in his experienced mind immediately.
"And a real powerful one at that." The toothy grin was back, and not for the first time today Sam wished his hands were free.
Then it dawned on him. The book, a summoning ritual, the devil's trap Dean stood in.
He jerked his head over to Dean who inspected the trap to his feet, seemingly having come to the same conclusion as Sam. He watched his older brother slowly raise his head and frown at him, the realization causing a flash of fear to flare up on Dean's face.
Sam's eyes shot back at Nicholas. "You can't do that."
"Oh, trust me, Sam. I can."
"No. That's...come on, you're hunters, right? You can't be such a bunch of blockheads, this is insane..."
"It's for the greater good", Nicholas interrupted and shrugged, "See, you won't tell us how you do it, how you use your magic mojo. Not voluntarily. I get that. But as the Winchester way is on everyone's lips today, this is how we force you into a corner, Sam." He walked over to Dean and gripped his hair, pulling his head roughly back. Sam winced at the grimace Dean's face scrunched up to, wanted to yell at the man to keep his hands off his brother, but felt the tiniest satisfaction at his brother's curses and swear words he growled at Nicholas.
"We summon a nice little demon, let him take over your brother's fine body here, and you can show us how you work your magic. Easy as pie."
"You can go and screw yourself", Dean grunted, pulling his head forcefully from his captor's grip, "As we told you, we don't have the slightest clue what you're talking about, you son of a bitch. No one in here can exorcise anybody with some random warm thoughts, okay. So I suggest you and your rabble over there pack your bags and do a runner before I get really pissed."
Sam felt nauseous. Knew that his face had to be as pale as virgin snow. He couldn't do this. This was absolutely beyond debate. He wasn't strong enough to exorcise a demon right now. He hadn't seen Ruby in days and it had taken too much strength to send Samhain back to hell – he just knew there was nothing left in him. And doing an exorcism on Dean? It was one thing to pull demons from strangers, but from his own brother? No, he couldn't do that.
"Please", he heard himself beg and hated his voice for sounding so pitiful, "Think about this. You're making a big mistake. I can't do what you expect me to do." And that was not even a lie.
Nicholas walked up to him again and tilted his head. "We'll see", he whispered and held Sam's gaze a bit longer before he turned and resumed his position in the middle of the room, taking the book up.
"Don't", Sam tried again and looked over to Dean, whose jaw was so clenched Sam was sure he'd break something. His big brother watched Nicholas with so much hatred the younger man feared that their captor would shatter into thousand pieces any second. However, when Dean slid his eyes over to Sam, his expression softened immediately. There was so much Sam could read in those green eyes, he was close to bawl.
Do what you have to do, Sammy. I trust you with this. You won't hurt me.
"Ha!" The cry of surprise startled both brothers and they watched as Nicholas slapped his hand to his forehead. "I almost forgot!" He pulled a hunting knife from the inside of his jacket and walked over to Dean, a sneer on his face causing Dean's features to darken again. "You're demon proof, right?"
Another wave of panic overcame Sam at the sight of Nicholas setting the tip of the blade underneath his brother's Adam's apple. Dean tilted his head back and pressed himself as far against the post as possible, trying to retreat from the cold blade.
"Nicholas, stop it." Sam knew the warning would be futile, but at least he had been able to put some more hate and anger into the order this time. He didn't dare to breathe when Nicholas slid the blade downwards and to the right slowly, applying no pressure yet. He stopped the knife underneath Dean's left collarbone.
"It's right here, isn't it", Nicholas whispered, barely audible for Sam and before the young hunter was able to do or say anything he watched in sheer horror as the tip of the knife pierced through fabric and into flesh.
"DEAN!" His yell was swallowed by his brother's scream of pain and Sam lunged forward, wanted to comfort his sibling, wanted to catch him, to aid him, tears of rage and frustration flooding his eyes when the chains restrained him and wrenched him back. He saw Dean's knees buckle slightly, his head arched back. He was pressing his lips together, his breathing coming out in short, forceful gasps, eyes squeezed shut. Another outcry elicited from him when Nicholas pulled the knife out violently.
"You...I'm going...to kill you...", Dean panted, blinking his eyes open and shooting daggers at the man in front of him before he let his head drop back again with a pained grunt, resting it against the wooden post.
"Looking forward to it, Dean", Nicholas cheered while he wiped the blade clean at Dean's jacket and put it back into his pocket.
Sam's concern grew in unison with the stain of blood on Dean's dark blue shirt, the large amount of blood oozing from the stab wound spreading all over his brother's chest. "Dean? You okay?"
"Gimme a minute Sam..."
"Yeah, give him a minute, Sam", Nicholas scoffed and turned a mock-offended expression at the younger Winchester, "He needs to gather some strength for what we're about to do."
"Shut up, you bastard. I swear, I'm gonna rip you apart, I'm going to kill you right here and now", Sam growled and continued to watch his brother's struggle helplessly. That tattoo had been their last hope. But of course did those assholes knew about it, too.
Maybe it was still intact? Maybe the tattoo didn't work like a painted devil's trap, couldn't be rendered useless by simply disturbing the lines? "Dean?" he tried again, clinging to this last straw of hope.
His brother pulled a head that seemed to weigh a ton up from it's position on the post. He was ashen-faced and gleaming due to the sweat that made itself comfortable on his pale skin.
"M'good", Dean rasped, and Sam wanted to scream. He knew Dean was lying, was seeing straight through him, right through the big holes of the normally sturdy walls that were starting to crumble under the strain of pain and anxiety and onto the raw emotions lying behind. Dean was far from good.
"Of course you are", Sam mumbled to himself, swallowing and averting his eyes to spare Dean the sight of the desperate grimace he was sure he wore at the moment. How were they supposed to get out of here this time?
"Enough of this", Nicholas spoke up and raised the book, "Guys, get ready."
Sam yanked his head up, blurry eyes darting from Nicholas to Dean. The three sidekicks lurking along the wall stepped from the shadows and toward his brother, each one equipped with items a demon could be at least pissed off with. Majorly. Sam renewed his efforts to get free, pulling and tugging at the chains, causing the metal to scrape his wrists raw.
"You do realize...that this might end bad", Dean sent the lowest growl Sam had ever heard into Nicholas' direction, and if a look could kill their captor would be dead before he'd hit the ground. "For all of us." He roared the last part at their enemy, all the agony and anxiety gone.
Building himself up in front of the older Winchester once again, Nicholas smiled. "Don't let yourself be fooled. We don't get into this half-cocked." He held his palm up and one of his companions handed him something awfully familiar.
"No..." Sam breathed at the sight of a demon killing knife. Their knife. He ignored the pull of the chains when he leaped forward again. "Please, you can't do this..."
"Sammy", Nicholas turned to face him, "It's up to you, son. We don't need this fine piece of art here when you do what you're supposed to do."
Thoughts tumbled around in his brain, baking together into one muddy dollop. The pain in his arms and wrists faded into the background, fear and concern for Dean gaining the mastery. They would do it. Those dicks would really see this crazy plan through to the finish. And they didn't care whether Sam was able to exorcise the demon from Dean or not. If he wouldn't succeed they would most likely kill them both, that was for sure. But what if he did? How would this mess continue when he would pull the demon from his brother?
Sam felt Dean's eyes on him. Panicky greens meeting equally panicky hazel ones. They both knew that there was no backdoor this time. No one coming to the rescue. No chance to talk their ways out of this. And although there were trapped together, each brother was left with his own worries. Dean with the fear of an impending possession and the danger that came with it. Sam with the fear of using his demonic powers on the person he loved. And the possibility of failing.
Then Nicholas started to chant.
The latin flooded from his lips, the spell pronounced clearly and distinctly, every single word causing the hair on Sam's neck to stand. His eyes darted from Nicholas to Dean, his brother's eyes widening, his expression horror-struck.
Outside, a wind got up, yanked at the roofing shingles and caused the cabin the prisoners and their captors were occupying to groan and creak. The single, naked light bulb dangling from the ceiling in the middle of the room began to swing, the light intensifying and flickering. A window shutter slammed against the outside wall with a deafening bang, causing the men to flinch. Only Nicholas, who stood solid as a rock under the swinging light bulb, concentrated on the book and the spell he was reciting.
Sam focused on Dean, searching his big brother's face and appearance for any sign of a beginning possession, the hope that the tattoo might still work existent. And from the look he got in return, the summoning didn't take effect yet. However, Sam couldn't feel the tiniest bit of relief at the sight of pure terror visible on Dean's face. He couldn't think back to a time he had seen his sibling so terrified. And it unnerved Sam to no end.
The shattering of a window ripped his attention away from Dean. One after another, the small windowpanes in the hunting cabin smashed to smithers, covering the wooden floor boards with sparkling shards of glass.
"Stop it", Dean yelled at Nicholas over the howling of the wind, the bursting of the windows and the thunderous noises enveloping them, yanking frantically at his restraints, "Damnit, what you're doing, you son of a bitch! This isn't normal…stop it. Now!" He darted desperate eyes at Sam, who joined him in his attempt to keep Nicholas from going on. "Nicholas! Shut up! Stop!"
The three Stooges stood their ground, albeit exchanging uneasy glances, and from the white knuckled grip they had on their bottles of holy water and the guns Sam could clearly see that they didn't like what was going on around them either.
Nicholas seemed oblivious to the pandemonium around him. He didn't stop reciting, even as he walked slowly over to Dean and knelt down. With one hand holding the book he took the Winchester's knife he held in the other one and scratched at the drawn lines, opening the trap.
And all hell broke loose.
A massive gust of hot wind tore through the room, and Sam felt himself being pulled from the post he was chained to, the restrains being the only thing keeping him from being tossed through the cabin. The three Stooges cried out in surprise as they were blown over and pushed into the corners.
Blinking against the storm and strands of hair hitting his face Sam watched in horror as Dean threw his head back, his scull colliding with the post, a grimace distorting his features. "DEAN!" He knew it was too late, knew his brother wouldn't hear him, couldn't hear him. At the scream that erupted from Dean's mouth Sam's blood ran cold.
The light bulb, which had gone from swinging to full on centrifuging, exploded and the room went completely dark. And with the darkness total silence laid itself over the room.
The panic that crept up his spine nearly suffocated him. The fact that he couldn't see a damn thing didn't help at all. Completely blind and disoriented Sam whipped his head from left to right, blinking, willing his eyes to adjust to the blackness.
"Dean?" Careful, tense. When no reaction came, he tried again. "Dean?"
A rustle on the floor let Sam's heart speed up and he darted his eyes to where the noise had come from. The audible click of a flashlight sounded like a cannon beat in the thick silence, the beam appearing in the darkness causing Sam to narrow his eyes. The beam wandered over the floor, along the devil's trap, until it stopped where Nicholas had scraped it open earlier. Another rustling and a hand entered the cone of light, holding what looked like a piece of chalk. With one swift stroke the trap was closed again.
Looking up again to the post at the opposite of the room, Sam tried to make out his brother's form. Dean was there, the outline of his body clearly recognizable. But he had stilled completely, wasn't moving.
"Turn the lights on", a bark cut through the darkness, followed by the beam of the flashlight flying up and illuminating Ozzy, Ted and Ian being huddled against the wall. A dragging noise, accompanied by a grunt, followed by the sound of a switch being flipped and four floodlights sitting in the corners of the cabin came to life, bathing the room in bright yellow light. Sam clenched his eyes shut with a hiss, the sudden brightness hurting his eyes.
As soon as he dared, he blinked them open again, checking on Dean being his top priority.
Dean's head hung low, and he was breathing, the rise and fall of his chest being the only sign that he was alive. The chains around his wrists were cutting into the tender flesh, the rough metal carrying Dean's whole weight, due to his unconscious state.
This was bad. Sam tugged at his own chains, gritting his teeth in anger and frustration. A 'common' demon possession didn't go off like this. There were no such things as wind or exploding light bulbs. So whatever they had caught themselves, it was by far something wholly different then your average neighborhood low-level demon.
At the sight of Nicholas stepping toward his unconscious sibling and reaching out to him, Sam's anger rose, if that was even possible at this point. "Don't you touch him", the young man snapped, causing the still disoriented sidekicks to flinch and aim their weapons at him.
Nicholas' hand froze in mid air and he turned his head to look at Sam, a dirty grin appearing on his face. "Cool your jets, Sam", he sneered, "We have to check if our little summoning ritual worked, don't we."
"Did it ever occur to you to read the fine print of that little summoning ritual? Come on, man, you call yourself a hunter? Did you see what just happened? Did all this look normal to you, you arrogant bastard?"
"Yeah, did you read the fine print, hunter?"
The low spoken words caused all men in the room whip their heads around and look at Dean, whose chin still rested on his chest. Sam's breathing hitched. Even without seeing his brother's face, his eyes, he knew. The ritual had worked. Whatever was chained to that post, it certainly wasn't Dean anymore.
With the last straws of hope being violently ripped from his grasp, Sam's anxiety spiked once again. So there was no other way now. He had to use his powers, his ability on the one person that was constantly fighting and arguing over it. Had to apply a force that had caused a large number of arguments between his brother and him during the last weeks.
And he didn't know if he'd be able to.
Sam watched as the demon raised his head ever so slowly, fighting the urge to gasp at the sight of the familiar face wearing an expression that was so wrong, so far away from 'Dean', it physically hurt. The demon let his gaze wander around in the room, scrutinizing its inhabitants curiously. He looked down and inspected the trap on the ground.
"Huh", he stated, "What kind of party is this where guests are cordially invited at first only to be captured after they arrive?"
Nicholas, who had remained quiet so far, stepped closer, "Oh, you're going to like this. Consider yourself chosen."
The demon looked up again and raised it's eyebrows, "For what? Watching your ugly visage all night long? I'm flattered."
Nicholas smiled, "You little demons. Always with the big mouth."
"Watch it, old man", the demon returned, mirroring the dirty smile, "I get it you indeed didn't read the fine print. I'm not that little and unimportant as you think."
"Well, no matter how important you might be…" With one swift motion Nicholas brought the demon killing knife up and held it in front of his demonic captive, "…I'm well prepared."
Surprisingly, the demon started to chuckle and Nicholas smile faded the tiniest bit. "Bring it on, chief. But I don't know if my anger can trump the wrath of little brother over there when you mess with this body." Suddenly the demon's eyes were on Sam. The younger man pressed his lips together, the sight of the unnatural demeanor the demon forced his brother to nearly unbearable.
"I'm going to kill you both if one of you so much as harms one single hair on my brother's head", Sam spat, the hatred radiating from him in waves.
"Again, Sam" Nicholas returned, "It's up to you."
"Mind telling me what this is all about?" Dean's voice cut in, the demon being clearly bored by the whole situation, "I mean, no offense, I like it here, just not exactly HERE." He emphasized the last word, tilted his head and nodded down toward the devil's trap.
Another wave of fury and rage washed over Sam at the sight of the demon using his brother's body, voice and mimic in an abominable way. He couldn't comprehend how such familiar, such loved attributes could be used, or more abused, in such horrific ways.
Had it been like this for Dean when he'd been possessed by Meg? Had Dean felt the same lack of power, the same helplessness, the same naked horror while he'd been forced to watch while a demon had used his little brother's body like a puppet?
"Don't worry, action's soon to come." Nicholas threw the ancient book over into the hands of one of his roustabouts and began to pace, fumbling with the knife, turning it, admiring it. He came to a halt in front of Sam. "Ready, Sam?"
Sam could only scowl at their captor. "Even if I could do what you want, what happens next? I guess Dean and me walking out of here isn't an option?"
"True, true. To be honest, I didn't make up my mind about that until now. But you're right, I won't let you walk out just like that. Maybe after you exorcised Dean I summon a few other demons and watch the spectacle over and over again, just for fun."
"Yeah, do that", the demon piped in, "Just the way you watched your wife and daughter."
Sam could see all the color drop from Nicholas' face in an instant, the sardonic grin slipping right with it. Completely thunderstruck, the older hunter turned abruptly, facing the demon.
"What did you just say?" he breathed, his voice suddenly lacking all the mockery and bitchiness that had made Sam see red since he had woken up.
"Oh, you heard me. How long has it been? Five years? Cute little Cecily would've turned eight this summer, right?"
"Shut your filthy mouth, you demonic scum..."
"Nicholas", Sam hissed, wanting to reach out and grab the other man's arm, cursing when the chains held him immobile, "Nicholas, don't listen to him. He's provoking you, don't fall for it."
But the older hunter doesn't seem to hear him. He stared at Dean's form, the demon inside smirking at him, the grip on the knife Nicholas held loosely by his side tightening. From his position Sam could clearly see how right the buttons were the demon was currently pushing. Nicholas had begun to tremble, his jaw muscle clenching and unclenching at intervals.
"Nick, maybe we should..." One of the Stooges spoke up, taking a step toward Nicholas, whose eyes never left the demon.
"Stay out of this!" he rumbled at his companion, who flinched and retreated, aiming the shotgun he was holding at the demon. Or, to be exact, at Dean.
"Uuuuuuuhhh", came Dean's voice again, "you never got this out of your system, huh Nicky? Too bad. But that's just human, I guess. Isn't easy to get over something horrible like watching your precious family get roasted alive in a car..."
It took Nicholas three strides and the simple raise of his right arm to reach the sneering demon. He once again grabbed the collar and put the knife against his throat, which was only answered with another taunting chuckle from the demon.
"Nononono...Nicholas, no!" The panic was back. Sam yanked at his restraints, threw his whole weight away from the post hoping he might rip the chains off or at least loosen them. It was to no avail. The only thing he was able to change was the pain in his numb arms and wrists that seared through the sinews and muscles like a hot poker.
He wasn't too interested in the things the demon planned for Nicholas at the moment. And he didn't give a rat's ass about Nicholas' story and if the things the demon said were true or not. What Sam did care about though was Dean's wellbeing. And if he knew one damn thing for sure then it was the fact that Nicholas wouldn't hesitate to use the knife on the demon. And using the knife on the demon meant using the knife on Dean.
He wouldn't allow that. On no account.
"Nicholas", Sam tried again, putting as much calm and understanding into his voice as possible, "Remember why we're here? Let me loose. You have to untie me, I need my hands free. Nicholas?"
He wasn't sure if Nicholas had heard him, the other man keeping the knife at the demons throat, unmoving, expectant.
"Do it", the demon hissed, and with one blink of his eyes the bright green gaze turned white. "Come on, Nicky. Give me your best shot."
Sam flinched. To witness the most evident sign of demonic possession, the host's eyes being replaced, being stolen, to see it on his own beloved brother, lacerated his heart in the most vicious way. To realize that this demon was indeed a bigger gun, let his angst go sky high.
"Nicholas, let me loose. NOW!" Sam was done with the pleading. He didn't like where this was heading. Whether that demon was suicidal or too mighty to be harmed by that blade after all, he didn't know. "Nicholas!"
The older hunter still didn't react and when the demon turned his head to look straight at Sam, smirking and winking at him, the Winchester froze.
"Look out!" Sam yelled and watched in horror as the demon let Dean's head and upper body drop forward.
Nicholas was ripped from his stupor at Sam's outcry in one quick moment and suddenly had the presence of mind to yank the knife away, yet not fast enough. The blade of the knife ran along the demon's – Dean's – throat, nicking the soft flesh, leaving a long gash that began to bleed profusely in an instant.
The demon began to laugh, a ringing, sardonic laughter, and Sam felt his insides churn. That thing seemed to be completely unimpressed by the powers the knife held. How was that even possible?
Sam watched in agony as the blood from the fresh wound ran freely down Dean's throat and collarbone, staining his clothes, the flow too heavy to stay calm.
Then everything happened fast.
Tilting his head back, the demon opened his mouth. A huge cloud of black smoke escaped him, crawling upwards to the ceiling and parted, turning into what looked like a swirling and raging three-branched candelabrum. The human beings in the room watched the scene in confusion.
"Nick!?" one of the hunters in the corner yelled over the thunderous noises, "Let's get out of here! Now!"
Nicholas raised a placating hand but continued to stare at the tentacles of black smoke whirling around in the cramped space the devil's trap offered them, recoiling over and over from the invisible walls.
"Don't worry", the older man reassured, trying to sound confident, but his voice betraying him "The trap's intact, everything's okay, it won't get us." The second Nicholas shut his mouth the demon leaned forward as far as the restraints allowed, the damn smirk back in place.
When the first droplets of blood fell to the ground, sprinkling the lines of the trap, Sam felt himself blanch. "Nicholas? What did you use for painting this trap?" he asked carefully, his tone low, his eyes never leaving the spot on the ground where the blood ate up the protecting sigil.
But it was already too late.
With one final roar the three black clouds jerked through the invisible barrier, spreading through the cabin like hungry snakes. Ted, Ian and Ozzy cried out in surprise and pressed themselves further against the walls. Each one of them reacted in a different way, and for one tiny moment Sam forgot about the deep hole of shit they were all stuck in right now and wondered how the hell those morons had decided that hunting evil would be their cup of tea.
The smallest and fattest began to fumble with his bottle of holy water, wide eyes darting from the bottle top to the ceiling where the demonic clouds tried to carve out a fortune. The second one raised his shotgun and shot at the smoke like a lunatic, screaming and yelling. Douchebag #3 took the cake by dropping all his weapons and items and heading for the door.
As if someone – or something – had issued a command the arms of smoke shot down at them, entering the Three Stooges viciously and uncompromising, causing them to scream in unison.
Sam watched the horrific scenery with his mouth agape. He looked over to Dean, hoping to see the green eyes he grew up seeing almost each day, praying for the demonic expression having fled from his brother's face. But the eyes were still white, the presence of the demon still mocking him.
He couldn't believe what he was just witnessing. Normally, a demon jumped from one body to another. One demon, one body. How was it even possible to pull three other demons from one with the one staying intact? Just their luck, to get kidnapped by a bunch of hunters specialized in summoning demons with a multiple personality.
Sam's hope hit rock bottom, the nagging doubts swallowing him whole. Never ever would he have the strength to pull that demon from Dean. A normal one, yeah. Even without another shot from Ruby he'd be able to smite those creatures. But this one?
The screams of Nicholas' men trailed off and their knees buckled. With renewed efforts, Sam yanked at his chains again, howling in frustration over his helplessness and stared at the new demons in the room. Douchebag #3 was the first to recover. He had reached the door, had yanked them open when the smoke had enveloped him. Now he stood upright at the open doorway, his back to the room, seeming to consider whether to step back in to join the fun soon to start in there or find a new victim to slaughter outside.
The decision wasn't his to made.
From the corner of his eye Sam saw Nicholas move and suddenly the knife flew threw the room, the swoosh audible to all, slamming into the douchebag-demon's back. And there was the reaction Sam was looking for, the sparks and lightnings the impact caused, the arched back and the following outcry of pain and agony from the demon's mouth, the immediate retreat of the smoke from the host's body. With the black cloud all the life fled from the hunter's body and he sank to the ground, dead, unseeing eyes staring into Nicholas' direction as if accusing him.
Jerking his gaze from the lifeless body over to Nicholas, Sam sniffed his chance.
"Nicholas!" he yelled, and yanked at his chains again for good measure. When the other man sprang into action immediately, leaping to Sam's side and starting to fumble with the chains, the Winchester sent a small thank you upstairs.
"Ball's in your court now", Nicholas mumbled breathlessly into Sam's ear and stepped back when the chains fell to the ground, "Don't disappoint."
Sam was sure his arms would pull him straight to the ground, the tingling and hurting limbs seeming to weigh a ton each. He stumbled forward and shook them, willed at least a tiny weeny bit of feeling into his hands and fingers, when a fatty, clumsy hand closed around his throat.
Looking up, Sam noticed he had to look down to find himself face to face with the small fat one, the man's – or creatures – black eyes scrutinizing him hungrily, a big grin plastered on his chubby face. A strangled gasp escaped him, the air supply completely cut off. His eyes widened and the next second he felt himself being forcefully shoved away, flying through the air until his back connected painfully with the wooden wall. With a cry of pain he slid to the floor.
The cabin spun, everything was hazy, his headache was back full force. Damnit, he hated it that demons were always stronger, no matter how tall or ponderous the host was. Trying to shake the fog from his vision, Sam pushed himself to his feet, the sound of heavy footsteps signaling the approach of his new friend.
It was now or never.
Yanking his right hand up, Sam blanked his mind, pushed every thought, every memory far back and concentrated on the oncoming threat. Feeling the dark presence in the human body, he gripped it with his mind, and pulled. Sam heard his teeth crunch under the strain of his clenched jaw, felt the headache spike due to the pressure and tension building up in his brain.
As if running against a window pane at full speed, the stout demon came to an abrupt halt, the grin being erased from his features in an instant. The demon inside the body pushed back, fought tooth and nail against Sam's powers, but didn't stand a chance.
After what felt like hours but had actually taken mere seconds the demon inside the hunter gave up, letting himself being pulled from his host easily and escaped the way it had came in. Instead of whirling into the air it wafted to the ground like feathers, vanishing between the floorboards.
The small man collapsed to the ground, landing on his knees and hands, hacking his lungs out. Not daring to waste any seconds with taking care for the hunter, Sam looked up in time to watch Nicholas slit the throat of the third member of the Three Stooges, the blood gushing from the wound like a voluminous flow of lava.
He looked up in time to watch the demon possessing Dean emerge right behind Nicholas, breaking the older hunter's neck with one curt nod.
The crack of the breaking bones was deafening in the room, the only sound being the choking sounds of the demon that tried to stow the flood flow with his bare hands. Sam cringed at the sight of Nicholas' limb body sliding to the floor, hitting it with a thud. He wasn't sure if he felt sorry for the man, after all it was due to him that they were stuck knee-deep in this mess. Dean being possessed and bleeding out right in front of his eyes. Him facing off quiet the bigwig from hell. Nah, maybe not so sorry.
"I'm impressed!" Dean's voice caused Sam to look up, "So it's true what they're jabbering downstairs."
The demon began to pace, the parts of the chains he hadn't bothered to rip off when he had climbed from the post and which were still attached to the wrists clanking when he crossed the arms. He threw a disgusted look at the writhing and gagging body on the ground, ignoring the hand the dying demon held out to him.
"Leave", Sam growled, "You can go, I won't harm you. Let my brother go and I won't send you back."
A loud, throaty laughter erupted from the creature, a laughter Sam had never ever heard from Dean. Not once. It gave him the creeps.
"You won't harm me, huh? Now that's cute, really. See, you're hunters. I know that you're going to hunt me down. Sooner or later."
"Trust me, we have better things to do. Plus, you'll have a good head start." What was he doing here? Bargaining with a demon? Trying to talk their way out of this?
The demon raised a hand and scratched his chin as if contemplating. When he pulled is back, his fingers were smeared in blood. Sam felt his heart skip a beat.
"You should hurry, Sam", the demon said, holding his bloody fingers up for Sam to see, "You're brother's weakening. There's far too much blood outside then inside right now. I can feel his scratching slow down, that same scratching a kitten does when you put it in a box and it desperately tries to crawl over the too high walls, wanting out."
"You son of a bitch", the answer came fast, Sam's mind racing, hot tears shooting in his eyes. He must not fall for this. That bastard was trying to manipulate him, provoke him. If he wouldn't stand his ground now they were both dead.
"Dean doesn't like those powers of yours, am I right? How would he feel if you'd use them on him?"
"If it helps to get rid of you, I'm sure he'd thank me on his knees." Sam cursed inwardly at the tremor in his voice. He had been able to stop the tears from falling, but keeping them from his voice hadn't worked out so good.
"Go ahead then. I'm curious how it feels." The demon stopped his pacing and faced Sam, his arms spread out to his sides in expectation.
This was a trap. Sam knew it. Smelled the rat right here and then. He knew he had wasted the last bits of strength he had had on the well-nourished hunter lying or sitting or doing whatever behind him. That demon knew it, too.
Daring a glimpse to the ground, Sam noticed the puddle of blood he stood in, the red liquid slowly creeping around his boots like a column of ants. Backtracking the little creek's flow his eyes fell on the still writhing low-level demon, the blood still seeping from the slashed throat.
"What are you waiting for, Sammy?" his demonic enemy prompted, seemingly oblivious to Sam's interest in the blood at his feet.
Sam's heart slammed against his ribs, over and over, the tension threatening to tear him apart. The possible solution was right there, but how was he supposed to get the blood without the demon noticing? And even if he'd be able to charge his batteries, who said it would work? There was no guarantee that this demon could be exorcised this way.
He wanted to howl. He wanted to scream. Wanted to break something, anything, throw a chair against the wall. It was so damn unfair. Where was the last resort they always seemed to find, that always seemed to find them?
Sam raised his hand nonetheless, tried to blank his mind once more, but felt himself unable to do so. Too many thoughts, memories, faces jumbled around in there, the absolute probability of failing pressing down onto him.
And then the last resort appeared right behind him. With the estimated weight of about 330 lbs. and a crystal clear exorcism on the lips.
Hearing the familiar words Sam jerked around and blinked in surprise at the sight of the last of the Three Stooges he had freed a few minutes ago reciting the classic exorcism by heart, a determined look on his face. The man slid his eyes over to Sam briefly, not floundering once, before he concentrated himself back on the demon.
The creature's expression and mood had changed dramatically, the demon being clearly pissed by the words he was hearing. Sam noticed with satisfaction as the demon wrinkled his nose, face scrunching up in pain and dismay as if he was sucking a lemon.
"Don't you dare..." he hissed and Sam knew he had to act fast.
He dropped to the ground and crawled over to the dying demon lying a few feet away from him, nearly slipping in the red, lukewarm puddle. The low-level creature had stopped choking and gasping for air, his mouth open and eyes wide. It was only a matter of seconds until it would finally die. Sam had to hurry.
Closing his mouth over the open gash he ignored the feelings of disgust at the partly metallic, partly sweaty smell and taste assaulting his senses, taking in the dark ruby liquid, felt himself strengthen with each swallow. He began to drift, the boost leading him into a frenzy that seduced him to just lay down, relish the vitalizing power that was running like a current through his body.
A blood-curdling scream ripped him from the blessed numbness and he jerked back from the twitching demon that had served him so well, his eyes darting around in the room, blinking away the dizziness frantically.
The Three Stooges were no more. A sickening crunching noise, followed by a thud and the sound of something rolling over the floor told Sam that the last hunter that had been involved in their kidnapping was now dead.
The demon inhabiting Dean's body stood in front of a headless corpse, a carcass that remained standing for a few seconds longer until it dropped to the floor soon after it had been decapitated. Sam scrambled to his feet, planted them firmly to the ground and waited for the demon to turn around.
"So", the creature spoke up, it's tone amused and light, "Where were we?" It turned, facing Sam, the dirty smirk back again, eyes white.
"That's for using my brother as a meat puppet", Sam growled and raised his hand, closed his eyes and sent one last prayer to whoever had a say in this, hoping that this last straw wouldn't break, would remain intact and strong enough to pull them both out of this swamp.
Dispelling every hindering thought from his mind, searching for the essence in Dean that was the demon, he put all his anger, hate, fear, love, every emotion he currently felt, into his powers, enriching them, building them up. When the demon began to chuckle he ignored the first impulse to stop, to open his eyes. He went on, grasping at every dark breeze tainting Dean's soul he could find.
"Stop that", the demon hissed, confirmation enough for Sam to realize that it was indeed working. His headache made itself known again, harder and more penetrating then before. But he didn't waver, didn't shift down a gear.
"I'm going to kill your brother before you can pull even ten percent of me from his body!" The threat caused Sam to flinch inwardly, but once again he didn't hesitate, the ringing in his ears and the tension building up inside his head proving that he was nearly there.
Sam felt something warm and sticky run down from his nose and cursed. It wouldn't take any longer, he felt it, he had the demon in his grasp and he wouldn't let go. There was only one way for that bastard, and it wasn't upwards.
Suddenly the expression on Dean's face changed. The angry, defiant scowl made way for a pained, desperate, agonized grimace, white, pale eyes switching back to glassy, tear-filled greens. Suddenly Dean's face was indeed Dean's face again, the shift albeit so tiny being so radical it was creepy and stunning at the same time.
"Sammy..." A soft, breathy appellation that was so much Dean, it nearly pulled the rug out from under Sam. He wanted to drop his hand, wanted to jump to his brother's aid, take care of his wounds, he was so happy to hear that voice again.
Dean looked him straight into the eye, lids on half mast, then added with a curt scrunching of his features, "Stop it, please. You're...hurting me..."
It was like a kick in the guts. Sam flinched, this time visibly, heard himself gasp. No. That couldn't be true. How could this hurt? The uncertainty let his powers falter, and he felt the demon push back with all his might.
It was alarming how fast the creature was able to regain it's strength. He couldn't stop now, he needed to pull it out. Needed to grab it, to bound it and to send it back into the darkest parts of hell available.
But what if he really did hurt Dean? What if the demon had locked itself somehow into Dean's soul and couldn't be pulled out? What if he'd kill his sibling in the process?
Demon's lie, Sam! Remember? Manipulating bitches? He's torturing you, this wasn't Dean speaking and you know it. He'd rather die then let this bastard get through with this. Finish it!
Sweat ran in rivulets down Sam's temples and spine, the tension unbearable. He had to make a decision, for Dean's sake. For himself.
He straightened and hardened his eyes, met Dean's desperate gaze with his narrowed one.
"Sam? What are you doing?" The plea pierced Sam's heart, his brother's voice so vulnerable it made his stomach clench.
"Sorry Dean", Sam hissed through gritted teeth, building up his powers again, "Just hold on." With that, Sam worked his fingers into a claw and pulled and tore at the demon's essence. He felt it strike back, felt it twist and fight against him. A low moan rumbled in his chest, the strain bringing huge amounts of pain with it, exertion taking it's toll on the younger Winchester. Black spots began to dance in his vision, Dean's form blurring. The clamp that had latched itself around his scull tightened steadily.
The demon wasn't better off. Gripping the sides of his head, he grunted and sank to his knees. He toppled over, his forehead resting on the ground. Black smoke crept from his mouth and nose, swirling along the floor, enveloping the writhing body in a last attempt to stay.
A scream erupted from both of them, pain and tension becoming too much to hold on any longer. Sam lost the connection to the demon, no longer able to hold onto it. On the verge of passing out his knees buckled and he slumped down, landing heavily on his back.
Sam didn't know how long he lay there. Minutes? Hours? He didn't care. Breathing through parted lips, he focused on the ceiling, on the remains of the light bulb, the cobwebs, the dust swirling around in the spotlights. It was quiet. It was peaceful.
He wasn't sure what awaited him when he got up. Dean? Dead as a doornail or at least moribund? The demon? Angry and pissed as hell, ready to smite him with one single blow? Part of him hoped for the latter.
A soft groan aroused Sam's attention and he rolled his head slightly to check where it had come from. His position allowed him a good view on a mass of limbs and bodies, the corpses of Nicholas and his companions lying around in a tangle of human flesh. Sam struggled himself up on his elbows and darted blinking eyes over to where he had seen his brother last time, spotting him on the floor. Dean lay on his stomach, his face turned away from Sam.
"Dean?" Sam tried carefully, not sure if it was indeed his brother lying a few feet away. Getting up on his fours slowly, Sam found one of the bottles filled with holy water and grabbed it. If this was a trick he would go down fighting. "Dean?"
Sam saw Dean's fingers twitch and although it was absolutely repulsive to him, the younger brother uncapped the bottle and spilled some of the water on Dean's hand and arm, mumbling a hopeful 'Christo' in his direction.
Nothing happened. No howling, no sizzling, no jerking. Dean lay perfectly still, the only motion being a feeble scratching at the floorboards.
Sam dropped the bottle and leaped to his brother's aid, pushing Nicholas' corpse away to have better access.
"Hey, hey, come on, it's okay", he whispered, grabbing his sibling and turning him around gently, pulling him into his lap. "Dean? Can you hear me, bro? Come on, give me a sign."
Dean pushed his breath out in short gasps, his pained features showing Sam clearly the state of distress his brother was in. He was pale, the wound at his throat bleeding again now that the demon was gone and nothing kept the body intact anymore.
"Crap", Sam cursed and pulled his jacket and shirt off, waded the checked fabric into a bundle and pressed it against Dean's throat, trying to stop the blood flow. "I know what you think about this…" Sam rambled, "…but you're going to see the interior of an ER tonight, no matter what."
He watched as Dean's eyes blinked open, his big brother struggling to focus on Sam's face before he gave up and slid them close again, a frown appearing on his forehead. It seemed as if he wanted to say something, but the only thing that escaped his mouth was a strangled gurgle.
"Shhh", Sam soothed, "Keep still. We're almost out of here. Just want to keep that bleeding under control…" He just hoped that there was a car out there. To walk out of here would be a bitch with Dean's being in this condition and calling an ambulance would probably take too long. This cabin surely wasn't in the heart of a town. Besides, he had no clue as where to send said ambulance.
"Sam?" a weak rasp pulled his attention back and he looked down at Dean, whose eyes were once again open and this time even locking with his.
"You don't accept a 'Shhh', do you?" Sam chastised softly, the concern evident on his face and in his tone.
"Damn…straight…I don't", Dean replied, and even on the brink of dying he was able to get his witty self to surface, trying to take some of the worries from Sam. "You…okay?"
Sam snorted and shook his head in disbelief, "I'm fine, jerk. How about you? Did that demon damage anything except your throat and pride?"
"Nah…everything at it's…place…I guess…" Dean shifted a little, trying to get up, "Help me up, would ya…"
The younger brother stood, dragging Dean along, struggling to help him stay upright and keep the pressure on the wound. "Easy there." The second he stood, Dean's knees gave out and only the tight grip Sam had on him prevented the older Winchester from face planting. When Dean's head lolled to rest on Sam's shoulder, the younger man's concern spiked through the roof.
"M' cold…n' tired" came a barely audible whisper, and as if on cue Sam felt his sibling begin to shiver. Pulling him closer, Sam draped Dean's arm around his shoulders and began to walk, determined to drag his brother out of here if needed.
"I know", Sam panted, his precious cargo leaning heavily against him, "Just hold on for a while longer, okay?"
A low groan that sounded similar to a 'uh-huh' caused Sam to quicken his steps and soon the two men stumbled through the cabin door into the chilling cold night air. Waiting for his eyes to adjust to the darkness, Sam darted his gaze around in search for clues as where they were.
The abandoned hunting cabin was indeed located in the deepest part of the woods, surrounded by trees and nocturnal sounds. Repeating a mumbled 'Betherebetherebethere…" Sam turned, searching for transportation of any kind. He'd use a fuckin' bike to get Dean into safety if he'd find one.
It turned out that the famous Winchester luck seemed to be on vacation and had sent a substitute. There, in the pale moonlight gleamed a red pickup, slightly hidden by a smaller tree and bushes.
In between Sam's nearly leaping of joy, stuffing his semi-conscious brother into the driver's cabin, sprinting back into the cabin to snatch the keys from Nicholas' pockets and get the large vehicle on the road only minutes passed by. While Sam maneuvered the truck as fast as he dared through the dense forest, he kept his right hand firmly on Dean's chest, partly to keep him from sliding down into the foot well, partly because he needed the contact, needed the confirmation that his brother was still breathing, his heart still beating, that he was still alive. Sam's eyes darted from the road to Dean's face and to the makeshift shirt-bandage he had fixed around his throat.
"Dean? Still with me, dude?" Sam was worried, wished their brotherly banter back. Dean being so still and unresponsive wasn't a good sign. So when he felt Dean's eyes on him, he cracked a scared, but slightly relieved smile. "Hey…"
"Yeah, I'm here. Not much longer, we're almost there…"
"Okay." It was a breathy whisper, followed by Dean's eyes closing once more.
Sam bit his bottom lip and stepped harder on the gas. He didn't know how they would go on after the events from this night. If Dean's attitude toward his abilities would change. And if it did, in which direction would it head?
He knew one thing for sure. If he hadn't had his powers tonight, they'd be dead by now. Both of them. And no matter how much Dean hated it, Sam would use them again and again if it would save them.
Would use it every damn single time Dean was in danger.