Badass Beta/Awesome Editor- Samanatha V

Out of tune

"Sam! Dean! Sammy! Dean!" John called. This was just another hunt, just a simple black dog and some people he needed to rescue, that was all. Okay this wasn't just any hunt and these weren't just people, they were his sons, his reason for living, the only thing that got him to carry on after Mary. But fuck if he thought like that then he'd never get anywhere, he needed to be a professional about this.

"Check all the cars, all the vans, everything. This son of a bitch could be hiding out in any one of them."

"Fuck, Singer, there's freakin' thousands of places this thing could have my kids."

"We better get a move on then," Bobby said, not taking the bait. He knows he's fucked up, let a black dog sneak in near his own home for fuck knows how long, right under his nose, free to hunt down whoever it liked whenever it liked, and that he would not abide.

There was so much... red, that Sam's mind was having trouble processing it and his head swam. Putting his hand on an undamaged space on Dean's chest he concentrated, shatteringly grateful to be able to feel each shallow breath, each thready thump of his brother's heart, letting his hand just rest until the dizziness passed. His own injuries jabbed, bit and stung, his shoulder burned, needing holy water poured on it like three hours ago, but Dean was hurt worse, and that's the only thing that mattered right now.

The black dog was out there, the rancid stench still caught in eddies in the air though growing fainter as the rain washed it clean, but he didn't care anymore.

He had felt it dissolve, the almost physical band of silence born of fear and shame, bound so tight in his head for so long he'd barely recognized its presence, and the relief he'd felt as it disappeared was immense. To hell with the demon, she couldn't rule him ever again. He allowed the ghost of the terrified boy he was to finally fade away to leave him the man he is, the man his brother had raised him to be.

Shifting his grip, he held onto the shreds of Dean's jacket tighter and prepared to pull, dragging Dean along the ground, moving mere inches in minutes.

"Dean... Dean... Dean..." Sam chanted, getting breathless, long disused vocal cords raspy and weak, but not stopping because it was the only thing keeping his legs from buckling at that very moment.

Ignoring his body's protests he heaved again, sending an apologetic look his unconscious brother's way because the dirt and rocky ground had to be doing hell to his back right now, as if he didn't have enough injuries. This is where a stretcher, even one made out of his jacket, would do, if only he had a damn jacket.

They hadn't come across the black dog yet, but it was only a matter of time, he just hoped they made it to his father and Bobby before then. Just as the thought entered his mind, Sam regretted it, because the sudden vile reek close by told him he may have just jinxed them, even more than they were naturally.

Easing his burden gently down, he wrenched off a rusty car antenna as a flimsy weapon before crouching, eyes and ears open, prepared to cover his brother's body with his own.

"Dean," he said, it's different now though, he's pleading. Dean needed to wake up and save him because he doesn't want it to be like last time, he doesn't want to have to make a choice of his life over another, but if he does, his choice is clear and he won't hesitate.

"Sammy! Dean!" he heard from far away, and the smell soon disappeared. It was going after them... the dog was going after his dad and Bobby... nonono. Him, why couldn't it for once come after and kill him?

Surging to his feet, feeling a hit of adrenalin like hot lava through his veins, Sam heaved his brother from the ground and managed to cradle him in his arms before stagger stomping in the direction of the voice as fast as he could. He needed to get there and warn them before it came, he couldn't let anyone else die.

"Dad! Dad!" The rasping croaks are weak, even to his ears, but he hoped it carried over the canyons of steel. He didn't know where it came from, but oh hell is it helpful. He hurried, but the ground must have been hexed because it trapped his boots, each step seeming to stick more than the next. As he carried on, the calling made him stumble and the unthinkable happened... he dropped his brother.

"Boys? Where the hell are you? Sam? Dean?"

Bobby, that was Bobby, a part of Sam's brain uselessly supplied as his mouth opened in soundless shrieks while he fell to his knees, hauling his brother's torso off of the ground to rest on his lap. A thick skin of mud now coated the silent face, clinging to the long lashes, mixing with the blood and gore on his body to make a gruesome swirl of colour; fighting Sam's near frantic efforts to clean it off.

"DAD!" he forced again in a strangled sob, because 'watch out, it's coming for you' is too much, too soon. He has to run for them, warn them, but he can't leave Dean, he can't leave his brother.

Sam leaned into the wet, warm body below when he heard the growling - deep, dark, and deadly. He didn't even care anymore where it was coming from, or whether it was coming for him and his brother, or his uncle and his father. Either way, something truly painful was about to happen. Shots were fired, and he knew it was not close, but Sam flinched like the guns were aimed right at him. His dad was cussing, fighting, killing monsters, what he did best. Sam prayed he did his best today - for all of them. Dad never let anything get away, he would kill it, he would kill that monstrous son of a bitch, and if there was a hope left in the world, maybe it would be before it killed him too.

"SAM! DEAN! Watch out!" his father yelled, closer, so close, so full of fear, wait... fear? Dad didn't fear; he was feared!

Sam looked up and the reflex of the scream from his lips couldn't be helped. The black and grey matted coat, bloody dripping teeth and narrow black eyes flashed past his vision. Sam stood with his hands raised, the world in slow motion, his father's lips were moving, he looked angry at what his son was stupidly doing, but he had to, for his brother, he had to protect. Sam shoved forward with all he had and tackled the wet dog away from his brother's bleeding, still body. The stinking, sticky fur twisted in his grip as he fought to push it away; he flipped on his back and he could practically hear the dog, a fucking dog, almost laughing at him and his weakness - he didn't care. He heard another gunshot, several, and a white hot pain flashed through his side. The dog shuddered, letting out a strangled whimper as it buckled, and Sam could feel the warm gush of blood from the bullet inside. Sam took comfort in the minor fact that at least one of the bullets hit the beast as well as himself. Then he started to realize the thing was heavy, right across his chest. The weight, the pain, it multiplied, and his vision swam.

"D'n. Gu'get De," he managed when the weight was off and Bobby was crouching over him, mouthing something. He didn't care, they needed to help Dean. Hell, if he died, right here, right now, bleeding out behind some old banged up Beetle, at least he could say he did his brother proud. Took him long enough, huh?


Beep. Beep. Beep.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Beep. Bep. Bep. Bep.

"Sammy? Sam, you awake, son?" Bobby?


Jeez, someone stop that friggin' bleeping!



Sam blinked away the blurs and tried to make out shapes from the white and grey. That bleeping, he worked out, must be a heart monitor or something, which must mean he was in hospital, which was odd because don't hospitals have good pain meds? Like... ow!

"Yo, little brother, wake the hell up, I'm bored out of my skull here."

"Dean, for crying out loud the kid got shot! Give him a little time to come around," John warns.

"It was barely a graze. He's fine, right Sammy?"

Sam blinked gritty eyes once more and looked over, Dean was smirking, but he didn't look like he was in any better shape than himself. He was pale, lines all over his face; he could just make out the bulk of bandages beneath the hospital gown and various tubes leading to bags on the pole over his brother's shoulder. But leaning over the bars on his bed the way he was, wheelchair or not, Dean looked to be ready to give him hell. At least there wasn't any more red, all the blood gone; replaced hopefully.

Sam forces his lids open, pushing away the pull of drug induced sleep for just a few minutes. But to shift the subject before the one where his ass is grass can be brought up, Sam frowns and looks around, mostly at Bobby, demanding an explanation for what the hell went on out there.

"He wants to know how the black dog found us," Dean elaborates for him, despite his voice being slightly cold.

"We figure it was the black annis' pet or something, when you killed her, and when she infected you, the thing felt it, and came after you, probably pre commanded. You gotta admit, monsters if nothing, are resourceful."

"Yeah, they're practically the yellow pages of evil," Dean snaps, earning a warning glare from his father.

After softening his expression, Dean turns back to his brother who's drifting before his eyes, and lays a hand on his arm. "Get some sleep, Sammy. You'll be needing it for tomorrow with how much I'm gonna make you talk."

Sam snapped his eyes back open, crap, Dean remembered that? He figured it could just be a onetime thing.

"Yeah, I heard, dad and Bobby did too, and Sammy... thanks, ya know for..."

"Jerk," Sam breathed, before he gave out to the meds that apparently were there after all.


Two weeks later the both of them are released from hospital with strict orders to stay in bed, and only getting out for the bathroom at the very much. They manage it for the first day and half back at Bobby's, but it's not long before the pair of them become restless. Dean needs another hunt, to kill yet another thing so he can keep the world, and most of all his little brother protected just that little bit more. And all Sam can think about is all the creatures, all the demons, everything they've hunted in the past, wondering just how many of them had pets like the black bitch whatever she was called. What if those pets were out there still, terrorizing victims without them even knowing it. And just how many of them in the past had been pets when they ended them.

Day three is when they give up the resting for good. Sometime during the night their father took off, without so much as a goodbye, not even a note on the refrigerator to say where he might be going and why.

Dean wanted Sam to get some more rest, though he wasn't following the doctor's orders himself by that point, but what can you do? That's what big brothers do. One rule for them, a different one for you.

But Dean was looking better than Sam, for which he was glad. The color was returning to Dean's grey-ish cheeks and the secret pill popping when he thinks no one is looking was getting less. And apart from the occasional twinge from his left over bullet wound, Sam was otherwise better as well.

On the seventh day from being released from the hospital, they pack up their crap, load it into the back of the Impala and off they go back on the road to search for their dad, or any evil thing that might stand in their way once again.

At least they told Bobby they were heading out, and promised to call every so often, which is more than they can say for their asshole of a father.

"He's gonna be back, ya know?" Dean placed a hand on his shoulder.

Sam nodded, pushing away the angry thoughts that came hissing out of their near permanent cave in his brain where all his anger and disappointment sat.

"He came back this time, didn't he?"

Sam rolled his eyes, so what? It's going to take one of them dying from some supernatural disease again for their own father to come see them?

"You know what I mean. Come on, man, we've got each other, right?"

Sam sighed, yeah, they had each other.

"And we've got Bobby."

Sam snorted, giving his big brother a small reluctant smile.

"And, best of all, we got the hottest waitress in the damn diner."

Sam swallowed when he heard heels clicking on the tiled floor. A busty, blonde woman approached with a note pad, the biggest damn smile and fakest lashes he's ever seen.

"What can I get you two handsome boys?"

"I'll have black coffee and... full breakfast, thanks. Sam?"

Sam pointed to the same, then the tomatoes and shakes his head. "No tomatoes?" the woman asked.

He shook his head yet again, ignoring the kick he just got under the table.

When she smiled and walked away, Dean leaned across the table to his brother.

"Rule number one?"

Sam sighed. "Words," he said, reluctantly using his weak, but getting stronger, scratchy voice, keeping it to the smallest possible sentence ever.

"Nope, try again."

Sam glared this time. "No words, no food."

"See, wasn't so hard was it?"

It's Sam's turn to kick under the table. "Jerk."



"Geek boy."



"Shut the hell up, Dean."

Dean's face lit up. "Note to self, hit a nerve with Sam and he actually uses full sentences."

"...Shut. Up. Dean."

"Hell, for over ten years of speaking for the both of us, gladly little brother, gladly."

The End.

As like Post Blue, this was such a struggle to write after about the third chapter. I never envisioned this story going the way it has, it just sort of went wild on me and I had no idea how to continue it. But at LONG last, it's done, and I hope the ending isn't too much of an anticlimax and a letdown as you've waited so long. Thank you so much for all the support throughout this! Especially Samantha V who has stuck by my side and been so much more than a beta to me! I love you all. Hugs! Becka.