Chapter 3 – Home Again
It had been a week since Sam had woken from his coma and still he wasn't even able to go to the bathroom unassisted. He was frustrated and concerned that Dean was focusing once again on him instead of himself. It had taken Bobby threatening to take a hose to the reluctant sibling that had finally gotten Dean to agree to return to the hotel they had rented close by for a shower, food and some rest.
"You okay Sam?" Bobby said as he re-entered the room carrying a cup of coffee. The smell of the warm liquid caused him to grin as he nodded.
"Don't suppose you got one for me?"
"You still aren't on fully solid food yet boy. But maybe if you're real good and can keep your dinner down, I'll sneak one in to you tomorrow morning…" Bobby grinned as he took a long sip before placing the cup on the night stand. "And don't bother with those puppy dog eyes of yours, remember I'm immune…"
Sam laughed as he slowly pushed himself up on the bed. They had begun physical therapy to get strength back in his weakened muscles, but it seemed to be going slow. Even now his arms shook as he supported his weight. A moment later he felt strong arms pull him the rest of the way up, while arranging the pillows behind him to support his back.
"Thanks Bobby…" Sam said simply while looking down at his lap.
"No thanks necessary. Look Sam, I know this is hard on you—but well, take it from me, there's no shame in accepting help from family or friends. You'd do and have done the same…" Sam looked up and saw not pity but understanding in his surrogate father's eyes.
"I know, it's just, I feel like I'm holding him here. What will Lisa think?" Sam voiced the concern he'd had since waking up. He didn't want Dean to give up his new life to take care of his ailing brother.
Bobby cleared his throat and looked out the window in the room before he answered. "He told me he left Lisa over a week ago Sam. I don't know the specifics and even if I did, it's not my story to tell. But I do know that after you—well afterwards, it was like something was missing from the boy. But then you better than anyone should understand what it was like for him…"
Sam swallowed as he remembered those first few months after Dean had been dragged to Hell. "I know, but I thought—I mean when I saw him, he seemed happy…"
Bobby's eyes narrowed. "You saw Dean and Lisa?"
Sam shook his head slightly. "I think I did, I mean—it's kinda like a dream but when Dean was talking about coaching Ben's little league team, I swear I heard him telling me about it before. He used to sit on the Impala at night like we used to and he'd talk…" Sam stopped as he shook his head. "I don't know Bobby, it's just weird. I feel like—like…"
"Like maybe part of you did some traveling while your body was trapped here?" Bobby said softly. "Wouldn't surprise me none—not with all the stuff you've been able to do in the past. Astral Projection would be a cake walk probably…"
Sam grimaced at the mention of his 'powers'. "Look, I don't know for sure what it was, maybe the demon blood was still in me—I just don't want that any more…"
Bobby clasped his shoulder and squeezed lightly. "I know you don't kiddo, but for what it's worth—I'm glad you did."
"Glad he did what Bobby?" Dean's voice interrupted the moment as he entered the room.
Sam swallowed and glanced up at his brother. Part of him didn't want to answer, to keep this secret because he couldn't stand it if Dean looked at him like he was a freak. But keeping secrets is what had set Lucifer free. He glanced down at his hands for a moment before he felt his brother settle on the bed beside him.
"What is it Sammy?" Dean asked softly.
"Well, I mean—apparently I did some traveling while I was asleep. You know how you would go out and sit on the Impala and talk…" Sam stopped as he saw his brother's look of surprise.
"I knew I felt something—the light flickering, that was you?" Dean said softly.
"I think so, I mean at least part of me. I don't remember much, they were more like a dream but when you were talking about Ben the other day, well I'd heard it before…" Sam glanced up and saw his brother smile.
"So you did a little sleep walking. I don't know if I told you this, but you remember when I was in a coma?" Dean stopped and gazed into the distance for a moment. "Well, I kind of remember looking down on my body and actually walking around—it was how I figured out a reaper was after this fine ass."
"It's actual a common occurrence Sam." Bobby piped in. "It doesn't have anything to do with special powers. Many people have reported the same phenomenon."
Sam sighed. "So you don't think…the demon blood didn't…you think it's gone?" Sam asked softly. He looked up as Dean cupped his chin in his hand and turned his head towards him.
"Sammy, I don't believe you're a freak or a monster—I never really did. If you still have any special powers, well then cool. We'll deal with it and if you don't that's fine too." The young hunter smiled, his dimples showing as he looked at his brother and friend.
"Thanks…" He yawned as he felt his eyes slowly begin to close.
"Right, looks like Sleeping Beauty has made her appearance. What say you and I go grab some of that yummy cafeteria food while Sammy takes his power nap?" Dean replied as he pulled the blanket up and leaned in close to whisper. "No more sleep walking you hear? Just rest Sam, we'll be here when you wake up…"
Dean sat and waited for Sam to return from his latest physical therapy session. It had been over two weeks and his little brother was making great progress. He still had a long way to go, but the doctors assured him that his brother would eventually regain full health. As he looked towards the door he wondered what they were going to do once that happened.
He still felt ending things with Lisa had been the right thing to do. He'd tried normal and it just didn't feel right. Even now, he remembered how he'd felt his pulse pick up when he'd overheard Bobby talking about a possible hunt with Rufus earlier in the morning. His mind was already going over what it could be and how to handle it; he'd missed the rush that came with the hunt.
But if Sam wanted a normal life, then what would that mean for them? He couldn't imagine not being with his brother hunting again, it was really what had made him happy. However, if Sam didn't want that, then he would have to figure out a way so they both could get what they wanted…
"Penny for your thoughts?" Sam's voice broke through his thoughts as he was wheeled back into the room. Dean automatically rose and took over, helping his younger sibling into the bed before taking a seat once more in the yellow plastic chair.
"You didn't answer me Dean—is something wrong?" Sam prodded as he settled back against the pillows with a soft sigh.
"I was just thinking about the hunt Bobby was discussing with Rufus this morning…" Dean said softly. "Sounded like he might have himself a little poltergeist problem or maybe some kind of spirit."
Sam nodded. "So you want to go help him out?"
Dean quickly shook his head. "No! I mean, I just couldn't help—after all these years…"
His brother smiled and chuckled softly. "It's okay Dean. You know, it may sound strange but I kind of miss it too."
"You do?" Dean sat forward.
"Yeah, after everything that's happened—I mean we've always been good at it. I'm sure there's plenty of bad things still hanging around and people still need someone to fight those things that they don't want to believe in." Sam shrugged. "I just don't think I can be a lawyer, clocking in every day at the office when I know down the street some ghost might be killing some innocent person."
"So once you are better, you want to hunt again?" Dean finally asked. He held his breath as his brother looked out the window before returning his gaze to him.
"Yes, I think I do. But if you don't want to—that's okay—I mean, we can still do things together…" Sam stopped as Dean rose and put a hand on his arm.
"I can't believe I'm saying this either, but I've missed it too. It's one of the reasons I left Lisa—I just couldn't see bringing them into this kind of life…" Dean felt his brother's hand squeeze his arm.
"I'm sorry it didn't work out for you Dean and for the record, I really didn't mean to make you promise to stay with her and give up hunting. I just wanted you to be happy…" Sam smiled softly before he groaned and closed his eyes.
"You okay Sam?" Dean's voice was filled with concern.
"Yeah, it's just those therapy session kind of take it out of me…" Sam yawned again and blinked wearily up at Dean.
"Why don't you relax and get some sleep. We can talk about what we are going to do later. Right now, let's just concentrate on getting you ready to take a leak on your own 'cause Dude, I gotta tell you…"
"Real classy Dean…" Sam muttered before his eyes finally closed and he drifted off to sleep.
A month later…
Sam sat impatiently in the wheelchair as he waited for Bobby and Dean to finish getting his walking papers. The past month had been full of physical therapy and treatments to get his body back in shape. He still had to use the wheelchair because the muscles in his legs still weren't strong enough to carry him far. Luckily Bobby hadn't rearranged his house yet from the time when he was wheelchair bound so Sam wouldn't have any trouble navigating.
He let his eyes close for a moment as he once again tried to figure out exactly what had happened. So far Bobby and Dean hadn't asked, although he could see the question in their eyes. He had vague memories of falling, Adam's hands around his throat and pain. He remembered a lot of pain and a white light, but that was where it ended. He had no idea how he'd ended lying beside the road.
He finally decided that whoever had pulled him from the cage, be it God or something else, it had decided to give him and Dean a second chance. He wasn't sure why he'd been in a coma for over two months, maybe it was his body's reaction to being ridden by Lucifer or even the amount of demon blood he'd ingested. In the end it really didn't matter. Besides, at least being in the coma had one beneficial aspect to it. Evidently his body had gone through detox this time while he was sleeping, or whoever had decided to pull him from the pit had done it. Either way, he decided he really didn't want to question why he was back, he was just glad that he was.
"You ready to blow this popsicle stand Samantha?" Dean chuckled as Sam's eyes snapped open. He hadn't realized he'd fallen asleep—again. It was another aspect of his recovery that was maddening. He was constantly tired still. The doctors assured him that he was actually doing much better than expected, but the fact that he had to rely on Dean once again chaffed.
"Sure…" Sam replied as he unlocked the wheels and began to move forward. Dean simply walked beside him as they headed out to the parking lot. Sam blinked as the sun blinded him for a moment, but then he stopped as the warmth spread over him. He wasn't sure why, but part of him felt as if this was something he'd missed. He stopped and let the sun's rays kiss his flesh before he began to move forward again.
A moment later, a large smile appeared on his face as the Impala came into view. Bobby was standing by the open trunk, ready to put the wheelchair inside. Dean already had the passenger door open, waiting for Sam to finally come home. As he pulled up beside the seat and managed to transfer himself, he couldn't help but glance into the back seat. There was the army soldier, still crammed in the armrest.
Suddenly he found himself back on the field, the feeling of Dean's leather jacket between his fingers and the smell of copper from the blood that flowed from the open wounds he'd inflicted on his brother. As Lucifer raised his fist for the final blow, he remembered the glint of metal and then the sight of the army soldier both sending a shock wave through him.
As memories flooded his mind, he could feel Lucifer weakening. His memories now became the Archangel's as well. It caused enough confusion that Sam had been able to finally wrestle control back.
You can't win Sammy, I'm stronger…" Lucifer growled as he fought back for control. But Sam refused to give in, not this time. He glanced down and saw the faith in his brother's eyes. Dean believed he could do this.
"You're wrong. You and your brother just don't get it do you?" Sam challenged.
"What are you talking about?" Lucifer cried as he pushed against the barrier Sam had erected to keep him in check.
"You think Dean and I are so much like the two of you and maybe, once we were…" Sam paused as he remembered how Dean had been the good son who always followed Dad's orders, while Sam had been the one to challenge their father's decisions every step of the way. He had resented it and he had tried to escape it. But in the end, he had discovered that no matter what, there was nothing more important than being there for the one person who had always been there for him—Dean.
"You cannot fight your destiny—you were made for me Sammy, you are mine…" Sam could feel himself slipping but once again he looked down at Dean and drew in strength. As his hand reached into his pocket and pulled out the rings, he assured his brother it was going to be okay. As the ancient words rolled off his tongue and the hole opened, the fear he felt grew to acceptance as he saw the same mirrored in his brother's eyes.
"I belong to no one you bastard…" Sam said as he held his arms out and began to let himself fall…
"Sammy, are you okay?" Dean concerned voice broke his thoughts as Sam realized he had a death grip on the dashboard in front of him. He slowly leaned back and relaxed his body into the seat that had always seemed as if it was meant just for him.
"Yeah, I'm sorry…it's just sometimes, the memories…" Sam looked over and saw understanding in his brother's eyes. Both of them had more than their share of bad memories.
As the car engine started, Dean reached over and patted Sam on the thigh. "It will get better Sammy—trust me…"
Sam smiled. "I always do Dean…"
"Well if you two ladies are through, I'd like to get home before we start to grow roots." Bobby voice filtered in through the open window.
Dean laughed and waved as their old friend moved over to get into his own car. They had decided to stop overnight part way back, but Bobby would go on ahead to make sure things were 'tidy' as he put it. Sam had told Dean he could do the whole trip without the rest stop but his brother had put his foot down. At first, Sam wanted to object, but when he saw the happiness in his brother's eyes he remembered what Dean had admitted to him on that last day. Whether he liked it or not, part of what made his brother tick was the pride he took in taking care of Sam. It wasn't something he could turn on or off, it was part of who he was and for the first time, Sam understood.
"Do you mind if I turn on some music?" Dean asked as he pulled the car out onto the road.
"As I recall, the rule was Driver picks the music…" Sam said as he leaned back into the warm leather and closed his eyes. He smiled as the car was soon filled with the guitar rifts from the Styx song Renegade. As the Impala chewed up the road, he finally relaxed—he was where he belonged—he was home.
Raven524: I decided to post the completed story all at once, hopefully you all won't mind. I did take a little liberty to bring back Gabriel, his character was just too good to lose. Besides, I have to believe somehow he still managed to get the last laugh on Lucifer. Hopefully you enjoyed this little missing scene. Over the summer I'll probably continue to write a few stories to take place immediately following this one, that is if anyone is interested. I can't wait for season 6!