***PLEASE READ THIS***
I know I've been gone for a while and I'm sorry to those who really enjoy my stuff but something has come my way I'm having a really difficult time dealing with. I need to do some stuff and one thing is to sell my 1967 Chevy Impala. It has to go and I would rather give someone out there the chance to buy it rather than pack it up to sell to someone who will butcher it into a drag car or sell it for scrap. PLEASE, it's very important that it sells quickly. If someone out there is seriously considering it email me directly and I will send you pictures and details. I will even explain why I have to part with her. So Please, if you are a car enthusiast, a serious fan, or a little of both or know someone who is, let me know!
Anyway, I didn't want to post this until it was done, but I didn't think it was right to come back from such a long hiatus just to post a note and something dumb to pass as a chapter. I am NOT finished writing this and I don't know when I will be able to. Like I said above, I feel like I've had a bomb fall on me and I'm just trying to cope. As soon as the words come I will finish this. Right now though, I have no idea when or even where this is going. I just hope you'll enjoy the read. This is post s5-start of s6 and probably will leave you with as many questions as the last five minutes of Swan Song.
***Thanks for reading***
"Dean? You okay?"
I nod my head and put the glass of whiskey to my lips to keep from screaming. Around the burn I say "I'm good" just to force myself not to cry, cuss or swallow a bullet. I don't know what made me come here…to decide to play house.
Scratch that. I do know. Sammy. That freakin' promise that I can't bring myself to break. Not because I don't want my baby brother back by my side. No, every damn fiber of my body is screamin' for me to burn the tires off the car on the way back to that cemetery outside Lawrence, throw myself on the mercy of whatever…demon…angel….a broken iron fence…whatever the fuck it would take to get Sammy out of that hole. Out of the inner circle of hell. I cringe…my tour of duty, fuckin' cakewalk compared to what I KNOW my brother is goin' through and there's not a damn thing I can do about it. To keep from reaching for the gun digging into the small of my back I reach instead to the basket in the middle of the table and toss Ben a roll, snag another for myself and pretend it doesn't taste like nothing but the sulfur I can remember from the pit, the only thing I know Sammy is tasting as Lucifer rams his hand down Sam's throat and tears his heart out repeatedly. A tear rolls down my cheek and I glance out the side window to keep Lisa from seeing as she walks up to the table and sits at my side.
It's fiery hot one moment, freezing cold the next. Depends on who's got control. I almost pray for the heat, 'cos at least then I know Michael is at the wheel. Lucifer, when he was in Chicago, he was right. He burns so freakin' cold. It's enough to put frost in my veins when he's crawling around in my skin. Michael melts the ice and turns me to ash while he laughs. I guess it's funny. An angel trapped in hell with Lucifer and his human vessel. Thank god Adam's not here. I guess his soul went somewhere else. I couldn't watch my baby brother being ripped apart. That would be the one thing to break me for sure.
I guess that's how Dean feels too. I think about him and to break me that much more, Michael shows me glimpses of him. He went to Lisa, that I'm grateful for. But I see him, cheek wet as he turns away from her, fingers curling in the natural position they would assume if they were around the butt of his gun.
I'm cold now, but not the freezing cold of Lucifer's touch on my soul, on my guts. It's more the cold of being outside looking in and I feel a stab of pain in my head as the streetlight above me flares brightly before it winks out with a spark. I'm watching through a clear glass pane, my feet on concrete, hurting like they would after hours of standing in one place, as my brother tosses another roll to the dark haired boy with his back to me. My eyes are glued to Dean's face, the pain there, the crushed look making my heart jump and suddenly there's pain. I double over and stagger slightly, losing my balance. Metal clangs loud in the night as I hit the three trash cans lined up on the sidewalk. I crash to the ground, the sidewalk clipping my cheekbone and as I finally realize I'm out… "I'm out," darkness closes in, "De-"
"What the.." Dean stood from the chair with a start as the banging of metal carried on the night even through the closed dining room window. Gun automatically in hand, before he realized it, he strode toward the door, Ben looked on with curiosity and Lisa with trepidation. She stood from the table too, looking at her son.
"Ben, stay here." She chided and followed Dean.
"No Lis…take Ben and go upstairs."
Dean opened the door from the side, shielded from the view of whatever's outside. He stepped out slowly, moving off the porch and cautiously approached the overturned trash cans, the galvanized steel lid to one still rocking slightly on it's handle. He looked over top the middle can, starting slightly when Lisa touched his arm.
"Told you to stay inside." Dean whispered gruffly.
"No." Lisa returned. Dean's eyes fell on a brown boot, the detail of the shoe striking a chord deep within him. They were Caterpillar. High top pull on work boots, achingly familiar. The tops of the boots disappeared beneath the frayed out hems of well worn jeans that loosely hugged long legs. The jeans had a worn spot right beneath the right knee, a long seam of material worn to the soft white cross strings, and another above the left, the small circle of frayed denim striking another memory in Dean and ratcheting up his heartbeat another notch.
The figure on the ground was slumped at mid waist, his torso twisted awkwardly between the cans, face against the rough concrete, turned away from Dean. A denim jacket hugged broad shoulders and Dean watched the back rise and fall for a shallow breath pulled in and expelled before he walked around the end of the cans, his hammering heart demanding to know if this was…
My heart is choking me, clawing its hammering way up my throat and cutting off my air. I see, oh god please let me be seeing something real, I think it's really him. Maybe I'm cracking the fuck up finally. I don't know. God, let it be him. Every contour of his arms, his legs, right down to the way he's sprawled out, all height and drawn-out and tangled up and small at once. It all rings Sammy like Cathedral bells.
Denim jacket, white shirt, worn jeans and his leather boots, and an expression filled with hate one minute, recognition and love the next, and strength beyond anything I've ever seen in the next blink. I know every stitch of my brother's clothing, every line of his body, the position of every strand of his hair the last time I saw him. It's burned into my mind and I can't conjure any other image. Him, standing there, back to the hole, arms spread wide, as peaceful as he's ever been.
I feel nothing, not hot, not cold, just floating…directionless. Tethered by something intangible. I don't know what's keeping me here. I just wanna rest. I feel something, a presence. It's so familiar that my heart aches. I can't open my eyes, can't see what I feel…sense. I wanna wake up. I wanna wake up so bad. I feel my lungs fill, my heart beating, feel the ghost of heat still on my skin, the bumps that come from chills so intense my skin feels like it's going to freeze solid. God, I just wanna wake up!
Dean's eyes roamed over the face obscured by long wavy chocolate locks, following the sleeve of a jacket down to where the cuff of a white button down shirt stuck out and he glimpsed just the edge of a black band circling a lean right wrist.
"Lisa, go inside, now. Upstairs with Ben. Lock the door." Dean choked out. Lisa moved around to stand closer to the door of the house, fear in her voice when she spoke.
"It's m'brother." Dean said, a tear falling from his eye to hit the dry concrete two inches to the left of his boot, between Sam's lax fingers.
Lisa gasped and turned, pushing back through the door, leaving it gaping as Dean glanced up in time to watch her legs carry her up the stairs quickly. Dean brushed Sam's hair back from his closed eyes, taking in the lines of fatigue and pain, along with purple smudges that lay in circles beneath his lashes like bruises. Dean reached behind him and pulled a small, intricate silver blade from his boot, the etched silver glinting in the moonlight and that's when he belatedly realized the streetlight was dark. He cautiously pushed up the jacket sleeve and the cuff beneath it to expose smooth flesh.
Dean raked the sharp blade across Sam's arm. Blood welled from the shallow cut, but Sam didn't flinch, the skin didn't sizzle or discolor. Dean breathed.
He pulled a small hip flask from his pocket and opened the lid, the pungent smell assaulting his nostrils. He tipped the bottle over his fingertip and spilled a drop of the holy oil, holy water and salt mixture, the tell all for anything, before slowly, cautiously reaching out, disguising the test as brushing a wayward lock of hair from Sam's forehead.
Dean sobbed once, slamming the back of his hand against his mouth until he tasted blood on his tongue and the scent of the oil filled his sinuses. "Sammy." The nickname came out muffled and choked. Dean fell to his knees, the cold concrete touching skin through the holes in his own jeans going completely ignored. He gripped Sam by the lapels of his jacket and hefted him, quickly steadying the lolling head against his own shoulder as he buried shaking fingers in his baby brother's hair, feeling the dampness of the dew that had accumulated since he found his brother. Dean tucked his face against Sam's head before he spoke. "I'm here. I gotcha now."
He rocked Sam slightly, glancing up as he heard soft footsteps, not lifting his chin from Sam's hair, just tightening his arms, daring anyone to take Sam from him. Lisa appeared, crouching at Sam's feet. She looked at Dean, the moonlight catching paths of wetness glistening on his cheeks, his freckles standing out across the bridge of his nose.
"It's really him, Lis. I dunno how, but it's really him. I g-" Dean choked off, arms reflexively tightening, "got him back."
"Let's get him inside."
Dean moved, pulling Sam with him as he crouched on the balls of his feet.
"Let me help."
"I got 'im."
"Dean." was all Lisa said as she gripped Sam's legs just beneath the crooks of his knees and lifted. She steered Sam's legs up to the door and held both legs in the bend of her arm as she used the other hand to open the door. Dean glanced her way.
"Single mom." Lisa said with a small grin. Dean pulled Sam higher against his chest and walked through the door, kicking it shut behind him. They carried Sam down the hall to the small guest room and placed him on the bed. Lisa left the room and Dean sat on the edge of the bed, one hand tucked against his mouth, the other reaching out to touch his brother, feeling a strong beat beneath his fingers. He lifted the shaking digits and brushed them back across Sam's forehead, smearing away the oil residue. Dean looked more closely at his brother's face, running a thumb gently just over Sam's right eyebrow, feeling smooth skin where Dean himself knew a scar had been. Dean leaned closer and pushed Sam's hair away from his left ear, running a thumb behind the lobe to where he knew a wendigo had slashed at Sam ten years ago. Again, no scar, just smooth, tan flesh.
Lisa returned to the room nearly silently, only her shadow looming over Sam betraying her as her form blocked the light from the hall. Dean's eyes remained on his brother, his body tense and relaxed all at once. She lowered a hand over Dean's shoulder and his eyes shifted to take in the damp washcloth dangling from her fingers, already folded to be of the best use. He heard plastic slide over wood and saw, in his peripheral vision, a white plastic case with a red cross on it laying on the nightstand beside the bed.
"If you need anything else…"
"Thanks Lis." Dean said, stroking the washcloth over Sam's pale features, wiping smudges of dirt from Sam's face. Dean's eyes roamed over his little brother's features for what seemed to be the millionth time, marveling that he had his brother back.
I see him layin' there, eyes closed, lookin' all peaceful and I know that it's about the furthest thing from the truth as I wipe the grime from his face, wondering bemusedly if he got it from face planting in the trashcans or if it was some residue of hell still clinging to him. I watch as his eyes dart back and forth beneath his lids, wondering just what horrors are goin' on behind closed doors. How much had he gone through? How twisted is he? I know just how the hell broken I was and my tour of duty was friggin' cake. Can I save him?
I shake my head, feeling my eyes sting and seeing his face blur and for a split second my heart thumps hard 'cos I think he's gonna disappear like a mirage. I blink and he's still there. I drag the cloth softly over his face again, feeling the terry snag on the shadow of stubble that's lurking on his chin. I have to wonder at that…how many days has he been out?
I feel something, far away, rubbing over my face and neck. It doesn't burn like the acid Lucifer stroked over me before he peeled blistering flesh from my bones only to snap his fingers and put me back to do it all over again. Fear blankets me and I feel the heat of hellfire course through me, it's burning me and freezing me all over again and I feel my heart clench- stutter- and start to hammer in my chest. I feel myself go rigid, muscles locking as darkness pulls me under.
"Sam? Sammy!" Dean cried, watching as his brother went rigid on the bed, his breath choking off in his throat in a coarse whimper. Dean slid further onto the bed and pulled Sam up into his arms, feeling heat blazing off his brother like he was physically on fire. Sam groaned and went limp in Dean's arms, chill bumps making his skin feel like Braille writing. "Don't you give up on me. You hear me Sammy? I just found you damnit, no way I'm losin' you now."
"Dean?" The oldest Winchester spun on the bed still holding Sam against him, and took in the young boy that looked on so concerned, and just slightly curious. He couldn't snap at the kid. Ben took another cautious step into the room, looking scared, like he knew he was doing something wrong. Dean smiled slightly and Ben returned the smile, walking to the bedside unabashedly. "Is he okay?" The youngster asked, looking at Sam clutched in Dean's arms. Dean laid Sam back against the pillow again, pulling Ben up against his side. "Yeah, buddy. He'll be okay."
"He's your brother? He was there when I was in the cage. It's Sam, right? Not something else?"
"No. He's not something else." Dean looked into Ben's dark eyes. "He's just Sammy. And I'm gonna make sure he's okay." Ben reached out a hand and patted Sam on the shoulder.
"Don't worry Sam. Dean's good. He'll look after you like he does me and mom." The eleven year old turned to Dean. "I'm glad you came to stay with me and mom." Ben locked his arms quickly around Dean's neck before he pulled away, patted Sam's arm again and ran from the room. Dean huffed a laugh and leaned forward, putting his hand on the spot on Sam's arm where Ben's had been. The flesh there was warm.
"Y'know, that kid's pretty smart. You should listen t'him." Dean sighed and leaned forward further, brushing the fingers of his other hand through Sam's hair. "I told you five days ago that I was here for you…that I wasn't gonna leave. I mean that Sammy. I am NOT goin' anywhere. I'm here, I swear. You just take your time, and come back to me. I will be right here."
Dean's cell phone rang, startling him from his reverie as he watched his brother sleeping. He reached for the device, recognizing the number that flashed across the screen.
"What do you want?" Dean said gruffly.
"Dean, your friend Bobby is in over his head on a hunt."
"What the hell are you talkin' about Cass?"
"He's hunting a very dangerous being. One responsible for trying to further the effects of the averted apocalypse. It showed up outside Lawrence late yesterday evening."
"That was when…" Dean bit off what he had to say.
"What? Dean?" Castiel urged.
"Come to Cicero." Dean lowered his phone as the flutter of wings stirred the drapes at the window, turning to see the trench coated, blue eyed angel. The man stared at the figure on the bed, slightly agape.
"Found 'im outside about three hours ago. He's been unconscious since then. I don't know how…but he's back." Dean smiled at the angel, eyes misting over as he looked back at his brother.
"Dean. This is serious. If the being that Bobby is hunting is involved in bringing Sam back…"
"I don't give a damn if the Easter Bunny brought him back, he's back and I'm not pokin' the bear in the ass with a stick. I'm hangin' on to him for dear life, an' that's all there is to it."
"If Bobby crosses paths with this being…" Dean interrupted him again, whirling to face the angel, standing from the bed, his boots scraping across the wood floor.
"I'll talk to Bobby. I don't wanna even see this thing if it involves Sammy in any way."
Sam's head rolled on the pillow, his eyes scrunching tight but remaining closed. He groaned, the sound turning into a pained, puppy like whimper. Dean turned his attention back to his brother, ignoring the angel and smoothing a hand through Sam's hair. "Hey, hey, shh. 's alright Sammy."
Dean heard the sound of the angel's wings, a brief stirring of air and he knew that Castiel had left him. Dean rubbed a thumb over Sam's eyebrow and the lines around his mouth and eyes smoothed out. The oldest Winchester pulled his cell phone from his pocket and dialed his old friend's number, a number he thought it was going to be a long time before he ever dialed again.
"This is Singer. Leave a message."
"Bobby, it's Dean. Call me. NOW!" Dean slammed his phone shut, scrubbing a hand over his face.
"What is it Dean?" Lisa asked, coming into the room.
"I gotta get in touch with a friend. He's in trouble."
"I'm not leavin'. I'll be right back." Dean stood, squeezing Sam's arm before he turned from the bed, striding out the door of the room.
Dean walked quickly to the car, pulling his phone again. He dialed Bobby's number. Again it went to voice mail. "Damnit! Bobby, call me. I've got something important…look, drop this hunt. You hear me? I just talked to Cass. The thing you're hunting…it's one bad mother. Just come to Cicero as soon as you can."
I pocket my phone and lean against the Impala for a minute, breathing deep as I look up at the clear night sky, the stars winking happily down at me. I sigh before pushing away from the chilly metal and opening the trunk, reaching in for the duffle bag that belongs to m'little brother, something I thought I would never be able to look at again. The bag, worn army green canvas with frayed straps, held the majority of Sammy's worldly possessions, packed the same way for so long that the cherished hard back original copy of War and Peace, a book that I had saved money for months to get him for his eleventh birthday, had worn boxy looking lines in the material. Sam had devoured it in less than two weeks and had never allowed it to be "lost" in their many, many moves, or shoved aside for another weapon. Then it hit me, it was one of the only things to survive the fire in Palo Alto, besides the clothes on Sammy's back.
"And the rest of our crazy-ass lives." Dean mused under his breath, feeling the corners of the heavy book beneath well worn creases in the canvas of the duffle. Dean hefted the bag and moved to shut the trunk lid, glancing at the house. His fingers were pinched harshly when he abruptly stopped the trunk lid from closing, flinging it back up, dropping the bag back in and grabbing for the shotgun that rested just under the edge of the divider when his eyes took in the flickering lights from every room in the house. He pocketed a bunch of shells and chambered two. He sprinted for the front door, shoving through the heavy wooden panel, the flickering lights momentarily blinding him.
"Sammy! LISA!" Dean called, hearing nothing but the static crackle of electricity in the light fixtures. Dean flinched as light bulbs began exploding in every fixture in the house.
"Dean, what's goin' on?" a sleepy- eyed Ben appeared at the top of the stairs, quickly waking up as the lights at the top of the stairs flickered and popped.
"Go back to your room Ben! Lock the door and stay away from glass!" The eleven year old ran back down the hall.
Dean turned, panning the gun over the lower floor of the house as he made his way towards the room where his brother lay. "Sammy? Lisa?" Dean called cautiously.
"Dean!" Lisa called out, the cry choked off abruptly. Dean shouldered his way into the darkened room, boots crunching over the fragile glass of busted light bulbs. Lisa was facing him, petrified, a long, corded arm wrapped tightly around her neck, clutched at the wrist by a white knuckled hand. Lisa's hands scrabbled at the arm around her neck, trying to loosen the grip.
"Sammy! What the hell are you doin'?"
Wild eyed Sam ignored the question, arm reflexively tightening as the tone scared him. His eyes darted around the room, not seeing anything, not seeing his brother. Sam's panicked breathing crashed in Dean's ears like waves on the beach. Dean lowered the shotgun just slightly, locking eyes on his brother's face.
"Sammy? C'mon, dude, let Lisa go." Receiving no response, Dean moved closer, one hand raised pleadingly, the gun lowering another notch. Sam's arms tightened reflexively.
"Christo." Sam didn't flinch, only pulled Lisa closer. She gasped as Sam's arm tightened against her throat.
"C'mon Sammy. Don't do this. I don't know what's goin' on in your head but I wanna help. Please let me help."
Sam's darting eyes finally landed on Dean's face, seeming to focus slightly. The teal orbs welled with moisture before Sam shoved Lisa away from him and into Dean's arms, before bolting from the room. Dean heard the front door slam. The oldest Winchester reflexively wrapped Lisa in a one armed hug before releasing her and running after Sam.
"Dean wait!" Lisa called, her voice breaking as she caught her breath. "It's not you he's scared of!"
I'll post Chapter 2 as soon as I have something. And a special thanks goes out to Vonnie836, Sammygirl1963 and as always, my beloved sis, Gill. I know you're all hundreds of miles away from me, but in this crazy difficult time your support for me and my husband makes me feel like you're right next to me, bumping shoulders and sharing tears. THANK YOU.