A/N: Here it is... the final chapter! I hope it lives up to everyone's expectations. Of course, it's not the way normal people would handle the situation, but it's not normal people. It's the Winchester brothers. And for the record, I love Twilight. I just can see this discussion going on between our boys. Review, let me know how I did, and whether or not I should try again in this fandom:) Thanks for following me this far, and I hope you enjoy!
Dean was having a hard time following things. First Sam was hurt. Then he was having some kind of seizure. Then he wasn't breathing. And now he was totally kicking some demon ass. Ok... Had he fallen through the looking glass? Maybe he got hit harder than he thought. But he didn't care. Sam was alive. Not only alive, but from his fighting instincts, he was okay! Tears of happiness (which showed how distraught his mental state was, he thought... He would never admit that, not even to himself!) filled his eyes as the grin overtook his face. "Sammy? What the hell, man?"
Sam hurried over to him. "I'll explain, but we gotta get out of here! How bad are your feet? If I cut the rope, can you stand? I can't catch you right now." He gestured to his injured shoulder.
Dean nodded swiftly. Of course he could. His feet still hurt, but he could walk barefoot on a mile of burning coals if that's what it took to get out of here. "Yeah. Get me down. Then while we run like hell, you can explain your whole Edward Cullen thing over there."
Sam paused in cutting the rope for a second. "Dude! How do you know who Edward Cullen is? Did you read Twilight?" He cut through the rope, flying on the adrenaline rush and the new weapon to tease his brother about.
Making a face, Dean went into full denial mode. "Of course not! I mean, besdies being the girliest book on the planet, it's moronic. Who ever heard of vampires that sparkle in the sun instead of bursting into-" He realized he had said too much as Sam started laughing. "Okay, there was this chick, she was hot, blond, and totally obsessed with the book. It was a means to an end... All I had to say was that so many people misunderstood Edward's desire not to be a monster, and she was putty in my hands."
Even trying with all his might to keep a straight face, Sam snickered at that as he cut the last rope. "You nearly drowned me in estrogen just saying that!"
The last rope finally snapped and as Sam had predicted, Dean crashed almost instantly to the ground, trying without success to suppress a cry as his weight came down on his feet. Sam of course, tried to catch him, jarring his dislocated shoulder and falling beside him. Laying there for a moment trying to catch their breath and recover from the pain, Dean asked again. "So what happened just then? I thought you were dying. Or dead. Or worse."
That caught Sam's attention. "Or worse?"
Unwilling to share his nightmarish thoughts with his brother, Dean went back to the original question. "Did you get better or what?"
Sam winced and looked away. He didn't want to have this conversation, which was a switch. Usually he was the one forcing Dean to have conversations he didn't want to. And if it felt this bad, he would have to stop doing that to him, because the guilt was already eating at him. He knew what he had put Dean through, and he just hoped his brother would forgive him. "There was never anything wrong with me."
Whatever Dean was expecting, that wasn't it. "Say what?"
As hard as it might be, a Winchester never ran from pain simply for the sake of comfort, so Sam turned back and looked Dean in the eye waiting for the recriminations. "I was faking, Dean. I didn't have a seizure or anything. I could feel the blood coming from my ear and when it pulled away, the thought came to me that it needed me alive and mentally intact. So it might cut me down to revive me..."
Dean's wide, startled eyes stared into his, and guilt gnawed another hole through his guts. "You were faking the whole time?"
"Well, not the whole time. It hurt like crazy, and then when the pressure build up and my nose and ear started bleeding, I took advantage of it."
"I believed you," Dean whispered, not sure he intended Sam to hear.
Sam did hear, and a reminder of earlier pain flared up in him. Someone had caused Dean pain. And this time, he couldn't even kick the ass of the one who did it. At least not without losing his balance. "Dean, I'm really sorry I had to put you through that. I can't imagine how it would have felt to think I was watching you die. I wish I could have given you some kind of a sign or something but-"
"But Snakey would have seen it in my head and it would have gotten nasty." Dean grinned, about half out of relief that they were both okay and half to relieve Sam of guilt. "Sam, that was friggin' brilliant! And an awesome acting job." He resisted the shudder that tried to work its way up his spine as the memory replayed in his mind. It was one that would fuel nightmares for a long time, but Sam didn't need to know that. All he needed to know right now was that he had done good. "You got to be the hero this time, little brother. But don't get used to it... Saving your ass is my gig!"
Feeling slightly better, Sam sat up, then cradled his shoulder. "Since you're so big on being the hero and all, think you can put this back where it goes for me?"
Dean shrugged and pretended to consider it. "Well, since you asked so nicely..." Sam turned toward him and looked away as Dean manipulated the bone back into the joint. Biting hard on a bandana Dean had handed him (usually his shirt sleeve would suffice, but considering he was currently covered in demon ichor, he was not biting on it) he supressed the cry of pain as it popped home. Dean fashioned a sling out of the dark work shirt he wore over his t-shirt and immobilized his arm.
His shoulder as well-repaired as it could get in the woods at 4 am, Sam turned to Dean. "Let me see your feet." Laying back on the grass, Dean kicked his shoed off and raised a foot to Sam's hand. Considering the pain the elder Winchester had been in, it seemed like something out of the Twilight Zone that there wasn't a mark on Dean's foot. Not even a reddening of the skin. Nothing. Sam ran his finger down the middle of his foot in amazement, and Dean tried to jerk his foot back.
"Did that hurt?" he asked.
"Nah," said Dean. "It's like my ribs, my body seems to be realizing that I'm not really injured. I think it's okay now."
"Then why'd you jerk back?" Sam asked.
"Because we need to get on the road. Out of here. You know, we're in the middle of the woods and have to walk back and..." He trailed off.
The wheels ticked in Sam's mind. "If it didn't hurt... Dean, you're not ticklish, so..." Dean flinched, and a smile crossed Sam's face. "You've never been ticklish. You used to put me through hell as a kid and I could never retaliate because you weren't." Just to prove his theory, he ran his fingernail down the sole of Dean's foot again. Dean suppressed a whimpered laugh and tried to pull away again but Sam held his foot tight.
"But tonight, I've had a demon messing around with the nerves in my foot," Dean reminded him through gritted teeth. Man, if what he just felt was what he had put Sammy through as a kid, he owed him a major apology.
The reminder of what had transpired snapped Sam out of it, and he let go of Dean's foot. "Sorry. You're right. We need to get going. Think you can walk?"
Dean pulled his shoe back on, and accepted Sam's offered hand. A small flash of pain shot through his feet, but he was able to stand it. After a moment, even that passed. Grabbing the duffel bag from the outside of the clearing, he eyed the demon's crossbow. He would kinda like to take it, but he was too weak to carry it and the other weapons, and Sammy had a wounded shoulder. Besides, being shot with a weapon kinda stained it in his mind. It couls stay where it was.
"Uh..." Said Sam. "You remember the way out of here?"
"Sure," said Dean. "I have us back to the motel in no time. And you can shower so you don't smell like rotting reptile anymore. Then pizza, beer and a movie. Celebrate." He flashed a grin.
He shrugged. "I don't kow. You got one in mind?"
Sam couldn't suppress the grin as they walked slowly back toward the Impala. "I don't know... I was thinking Twilight."
The darkness covered Dean's smirk, but Sam could hear it loud and clear in his voice. "Bitch."
It was equally clear in Sam's. "Jerk."