A/N: Wow, I haven't been posting anything AT ALL lately! Haven't been writing a lot. Nevertheless, please enjoy this one, written as a fic exchange over at LJ for sandymg. This is written in August, and so there's nothing about S6 in here. Actually, come to think of it, there's no S5 here as well. *shrugs*
Beta-ed by embroiderama. She did a great job of it, and i love to tinker, so all mistakes are mine, and mine alone. Prompts are at the end of the fic.
Disclaimer: Yes I won them at a fair. They're mine! *wakes up from dream*
His head was pounding, his nose was clogged up and his limbs felt heavy, but the bed beneath him was soft and the pull of sleep was strong. Nevertheless, Sam resisted the impulse, knowing the horrors that would greet him should he drop off to sleep, and that he would wake up even more exhausted.
Peace was really hard to come by these days.
Reluctantly, Sam opened his eyes to see his brother staring back at him from the other bed, lying on his side to mirror Sam's pose and smiling softly at him. This should be par for course, except that he just buried his brother six feet under a week ago. Sam blinked, and the bed was empty once more. He sat up, ignoring the creaking sound at his back, staring again at the bed next to him, but it remained unoccupied. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, ignoring the headache and hand unconsciously rubbing at his chest to quell the ache that had sprung there. After a minute, he opened them back, but the room was still dark, and the second bed was still neatly made. His things were still haphazardly arranged on the table, and the beer cans were still piled up at the corner of the room along with a few bottles of liquor.
The quiet was still unsettling, and Sam was still alone.
He reached for the half-full bottle of tequila that was on the bedside table. The day hadn't even started and already he felt the desire to waste it away with getting drunk.
There was no doubt that he was dreaming. He had to be, because right now he had Dean in his arms, hugging him just as tightly. His brother felt so warm and solid in his arms, and Sam could feel little puffs of breath tickling the hairs at the base of his neck. Dean was talking about how it was good to see him back, how they managed to kill Lilith, and a million other things that Sam lost track of, because his voice was muffled. His arms were vices around Sam's torso, and Sam returned the favor, wishing to never wake up from his dream, ever.
But he knew dreams were just that, and he had to face reality sooner or later.
With his eyes shut tightly, he whispered an apology to his brother's shoulder, brought the dagger in between their bodies, and stabbed himself in the stomach. The pain was immediate and excruciating, but Sam let out only a grunt. His eyes involuntarily flew open.
Dean immediately pushed him away, looking with wide eyes and a shocked expression on his face, but it was too late. Sam stumbled backwards, the dagger still pressed to his abdomen, blood already staining his shirt, while the other hand swung uselessly in the air. He struggled against closing his eyes, wanting to see Dean's face for as long as he could, but he could only fight against the impulse for so long.
Another blink, and he found himself back in one of the deserted wharfs near the docks, his hands strung up to the wooden supports and his toes barely touching the floor. Every part of his body ached, and he could feel something poking him on his neck, but he focused on his hands and spent most of his reserved energy tugging at the ropes holding him up. The ropes snapped and he tumbled onto the dirty ground.
He kneeled on the floor, panting. In a minute, he would get up and find a way out of this place. Then he would come back with another knife – since he had no idea where his first one was – covered with lamb's blood and stick it to the djinn that had been feeding from him, making him think that Dean was still alive when he wasn't. He would kill that son of a bitch and make sure that the other victims got help too, if any of them were still alive.
He would do all that, but he just needed a minute first.
He was wide awake this time, he was sure of it. The sun was shining and he was upright and walking and even though he wasn't entirely sober, he wasn't stinking drunk either.
He had just entered the minimart in the gas station to pay for the gas and to get some more sustenance – a six pack, mainly – and he had glanced over at the cashier and stopped breathing. At the counter was Dean, busy flirting with the cashier who was shyly flirting back, and Sam just stood unmoving in front of the door, jaw dropping and voice deserting him as he listened to Dean talking about staying around the area for a couple of days and inviting the barely legal girl for a dinner and a drink. The cashier just giggled and nodded and wrote her number on a piece of paper to pass to his brother.
Then Dean turned and walked towards him, wide grin right in place and Sam took a deep breath.
He wasn't Dean. The coloring was similar, the height almost hit the mark, and the clothes could pass off as Dean's. The smirk, however, was wrong, and the hair, now that Sam had taken a closer look, was more dark brown than the dirty blonde that was his brother's. And this guy's age was closer to Sam's than Dean's.
The Dean look-alike frowned at him sideways as he stepped aside to let him pass. Sam shook his head and rubbed his eyes, disappointment and relief fighting to take first place. Three days of staying awake and chasing demons and he'd begun to have hallucinations.
For the first time since Dean died, Sam admitted to himself that he could do with some rest and some actual food.
"You know this isn't a good idea, Sammy."
Sam turned to see his brother beside him, face set in stone with sad eyes, much like the time when he demanded that Sam let him go, when he gave his last brotherly advice to the little brother he had raised from six months onwards.
Sam could only cough out a sound that crossed between a sob and a laugh. It figured that his hallucination would choose this moment to communicate with him. He turned his head away.
Too little too late, isn't it Dean?
Out loud, he said, "Only this? I must have had a ton of bad ideas the last month alone, Dean."
"This takes the cake."
Sam thought about Ruby, whom he had left sleeping in bed when he slipped out, chased by the scent of sex in the air and burdened by guilt of what they had just done, even though he knew it had more to do with what Dean might have thought about it rather than the actual act itself.
Sam stared at the stars in the sky, his eyes and mind mapping out what he thought was The Big Dipper. "You're always telling me to get laid."
"Not with a demon. Not with Ruby. She's using you, Sam."
"I'm not an idiot, Dean."
"Coulda fooled me."
Even as someone who was constructed in his head Dean could piss him off like no one else, bar John Winchester. Sam growled, still not looking at him, although he could picture his brother's face at that moment. "Yeah, well, I'm just following in your footsteps. Wasn't that what you always wanted?"
There wasn't a reply. Sam didn't have to turn around to know that his hallucination was gone.
Dean returned from Hell, but in some ways, having his brother back was not as a happy reunion as he thought it would be. He thought that by having his brother physically with him, it might soothe some of the grief that he had been carrying around, since real Dean triumphed hallucinated Dean any day. Instead, a whole new set of emotions arose.
He had lied to Dean from his first step into the motel room, introducing Ruby as a human rather than a demon, and he had told Dean straight to his face that he hadn't used his powers as per Dean's last wishes. He knew this was necessary on his part, because he didn't think Dean would understand, but to his own surprise he didn't feel as guilty as he thought he would be, and that unsettled him.
He wanted to be by Dean's side when he went back to the past, to see his parents when they were young, to see his mother who was the hunter and not the just the woman with the nightgown she was killed in, and to see how his father was before revenge consumed his entire life. But instead, an angel had dictated only Dean could have the privilege to see them that way. Dean, who had four years of seeing their parents in a normal setting instead of the husk of the family that he grew up in, got that precious gift, one that Sam would kill for. Resentment was high in him even as he admitted knowing about the demon blood before Hell's gate opened.
And he wanted to be the one to save Dean, having visions of finding Lilith and holding her by the throat and threatening a long painful torturous death if she didn't lead him to Dean or pull him out from Hell. Before he could do that, however, before he could repay his brother for saving his life time and again, that same angel – Castiel - had already pulled him out from Below and brought him back to life, his brand of salvation burning a mark on Dean's forearm.
Castiel. The angel of Thursday. What kind of angel is that? Making sure Thursdays run smoothly?
That angel also turned out to be a snitch, telling his brother about Ruby and what he had done, pushing both brothers into a confrontation that Sam thought he could delay indefinitely. The confrontation had left a crack in their relationship, one that Sam didn't think could be repaired as quickly as before. That angel whose actions had forced Sam into a corner, making him utter a promise that he didn't think he could keep. That angel whose words Dean had believed, and this coming from a man who didn't believe in angels in the first place.
San just hunkered down in the passenger seat broodingly. He wondered if it was possible to be jealous of an angel he hadn't even met.
Sam closed the door behind him, and walked away from the suite, purposefully fixing his eyes straight ahead, blind to his surroundings. He was only privy to the voices swirling around in his head.
You walk out that door, don't you ever come back.
This was what it had boiled down to. Not that Sam had any doubts that it could go down any other way, what with him letting Ruby escape and almost strangling his brother to death with his bare hands. He wanted to say he didn't know what had come over him, but that would be lying. And Sam had done enough lying for the moment.
You don't know me. You never did. And you never will.
This was a lie too, of sorts. If Dean had never known him, he wouldn't be at the hotel suite in the first place, having followed all the red herrings that Sam had placed to get him away from his brother as far as possible before he managed to kill Lilith.
But Sam wasn't lying about the last part. He didn't think that Dean would ever know him again, after this.
It means you're a monster.
This hurt the most. For years, Dean had maintained that Sam was normal, and that if Sam was a freak, then he was one too. But Dean had skipped the word freak and gone straight for monster. And that was when Sam's temper began to fray.
He wasn't a monster, he knew he wasn't. He knew that he'd changed, ever since he started drinking the demon blood. But the only demon blood he had drunk had been Ruby's, and she was willing, and besides, the body she was currently in was from a dead girl. He'd never kill an innocent while using his powers, and he'd never turn his abilities against those he fought so hard for. That was a line that he wouldn't cross.
My whole life, you take the wheel, you call the shots, and I trust you because you are my brother. Now I'm asking you, for once, trust me.
He had asked, begged, Dean to trust him, to trust his words, to trust his actions, and to trust his ability to know from wrong and right. He had tried extending an olive branch, asking his brother to go with them to destroy that white-eyed demon. But his brother hadn't even wanted to accept that gesture. Dean didn't want to trust his own brother, instead he would gladly take the words of some winged freaks that he hadn't even believed in a year ago.
He'd trust the words of his beloved Castiel, would rather follow him than Sam. All because he had gotten Dean out from Hell, and Sam hadn't.
And what difference was that from Sam trusting Ruby?
Then who the hell are you?
Who the hell am I, Dean? I'm Sam Winchester, your younger brother. I'm the one you carried out from the fire. I'm the one you raised since I was six months old. I'm the one you sold your soul for. I'm the one who could save the world from the Apocalypse. I'm the one that you should choose to trust instead of that angel whom you call a friend.
I'm the only one who can stop this, and you choose not to believe me. I guess the only thing for me to do is to prove to you that I can.
Sam reached the elevator and stepped into it, pressing the button for the ground floor. As the doors closed, Sam caught a glimpse of his brother standing in front of his suite, looking bloody and beaten, eyes looking straight at Sam, as if he could see into his soul. Sam didn't know if that Dean was real or just in his mind, but it didn't matter.
He'd show them all when he killed Lilith.
1. Post S3 ender, pre S4 opener. Sam sees Dean everywhere.
2. Sam is jealous of Castiel.
And a recognition to 3. The boys lean on the Impala and look up at the stars. How this changes over the years and how what they 'see'when stargazing is not the same for both of them.
Thanks for reading!