Part 3

The muzzle of the Colt was raised, pointed at the space between Dean's eyes.

Coyote's eyes narrowed as he pinned his ears back. He hated the way Dean deliberately stood between him and the other Winchesters. The trickster very pointedly stepped out to the side, where everyone could see him. The other Dean flicked a quick glance at him, and then locked eyes with Coyote's pup.

What the heck are you doin'?

Nothing. I just wanna see, Coyote lied easily. The magic Samuel Colt used glowed softly in the air around the gun. A normal human couldn't sense it. It was hard to grab ahold of it. Being this close made Coyote's teeth ache.

The soulless kid smiled. That was completely different from what came out of his mouth.

"Dean!" he gasped breathlessly. "Pl-please, d-don't let them h-hurt m-me a-again."

That Dean's mouth hardened into a thin, hard line. The Colt's aim steadied.

"Oh, you're good," Coyote's tone dripped sarcasm.

"Surprised you came back," the other Dean said. "You know what this is?"

"Sam Colt's special gun," Dean said evenly.

"So you know what it does."

"Oh yeah. I know. First hand. Just like I know you're not gonna shoot us."

"And why's that?"

"Because otherwise you would have pulled the trigger as soon as we walked in."

"You don't know that for sure."

"Look, I get it. I do," Dean kept his hands where his double could see them. A thunderstorm of energy was building, little by little, behind his eyes. "You're worried about Sam. You got a right to be. He's not himself, and you know it."

"I'm not gonna let you or that mutt hurt my brother anymore."

"Mutt?" the Old Man snapped out loud. "Who you callin' a mutt?"

You're not helping…

He called me a mutt!

"He hurt me, Dean," Sam moaned. He hugged himself as he rocked back and forth. Bastard was really getting into the role of innocent victim now, and Coyote felt like biting the hell out of him, Sam or no Sam. "He did. Just like Castiel did when he reached inside me. You remember? I had to bite down on my belt, and it hurt so bad -"

"Not gonna let you hurt my brother."

"You're comparin' me to that pigeon? Please." Coyote rolled his eyes as he sat down on his haunches. "I didn't hurt you. Never did."

"You gonna shoot us?" Dean said calmly, reasonably. He spread his hands wide. "Then go ahead."

The Old Man's ears went straight up. His eyes widened in shock. "Uh, Dean?"

"Yeah. Pull the trigger. I won't stop you."

"Niño? Could you think of something else?"

"Thing is, you won't," Dean continued calmly. "You know there's something wrong with Sam. You do. He doesn't sleep. He talks about himself like he and Sam are two separate people. He let you get turned into a vamp. Lied every step of the way, about damn near everything. Dude," Dean shook his head. "I don't see how you can even sleep in the same room with him."

"Dean, please, please don't let them hurt me. Don't let them touch me again -"

The other Dean's face hardened. "He's my brother."

"I know. I get it. Maybe you think we don't have much in common, and maybe we don't," he glanced down at Coyote with a slight smile, "but when it comes to Sam, we're exactly the same. You've got that amulet on again."

"Yeah. So?"

"That's the one you tossed. The one I found. Sam gave it to you. Sam did, not this dude."

"Why the hell should I even listen to you? Why do you even care?"

Dean blinked in surprise, as if the answer should have been obvious. "Because that's what families do for each other, even long distance. The Old Man came over here trying to help"

Coyote waited. If that other Dean kid's finger tightened on the trigger, even slightly, things were gonna happen very quickly, and it was a sure bet Dean wasn't going to like any of it.

"You talk about stuff you did as kids. Yeah, he remembers it all right, but he doesn't give a damn about it. Doesn't give a damn about you, either. He says he doesn't feel anything? That's a lie. He does feel, but it's twisted all around. That's because he's missing something. We never leave a man behind. That's what my Dad taught me."

The other Dean's eyes widened slightly.

"I'm guessing yours taught you the same." Dean slowly hooked a finger inside the collar of his overshirt, then slowly pulled out the soul pendant on the end of the chain. The light inside the crystal pulsed with a pure white light. "This is Sam. This is your brother in here. You bled for him, and you died for him."

"He's a trickster, Dean," Soulless blurted out. "He's trying to mess with your head."

"You turn your back on him, you walk away, and that means you ditched him. Can't say it any plainer than that. Coyote healed it. I can fix it so your Sam doesn't scratch. Say the word, dude. Tell me no again, and we'll walk out of here and never come back."

The Colt's aim wavered.

"Besides, you gotta ask yourself one question: How the hell did he take his soul out again in the first place?" Dean looked at the soulless one for the first time since he'd walked through the door. "Sam Winchester was here first. You weren't. You're in his space."

Dean stared at his double, and the look "Do you want your brother back, or not?"

The barrel of the Colt wavered again, a slight side to side motion, and then the other Dean Winchester lowered it to his side.


No doubt about it, this was so wrong on so many levels.

Soulless stood spreadeagled against the wall, arms outspread. The look on his face was glassy, unfocused. Sam's soul shone brightly in Dean's hand. Dean very carefully slid his hand deep into Soulless' chest, and as he did so the younger man blinked, then closed his eyes.

Need some help, pup?

Nope. Dean leaned forward slightly. I got this. He was up to his wrist in Sam now. His eyes narrowed and he frowned up as he pushed the soul back into place.

You do know what you're doing, right?

Shut it, Fuzzy.

The other Dean kid sat on the nearest twin bed. He still had the Colt in his hand. He looked relaxed, but neither Coyote nor Dean were fooled. His finger was near the trigger.

Where's the damn trust? The Old Man thought to himself. Coyote silently jammed the insides of the damn thing. Touching it long distance like that made his fur crackle with static electricity, but no one seemed to notice.

Dean slowly pulled his hand out. The soul was in place now. Sam groggily raised his head. He didn't seem to realize where he was yet.

"Something wrong?" The AU Dean said softly. His finger moved a little closer to the trigger. Coyote tried not to grin. He yawned instead.

"Course not," Dean lied. The other one quirked an eyebrow at him. "Need to tweak things a little."

The other one scowled. "Dude, this isn't like giving the Impala a tune-up."

"Dude," Dean smirked in return. "That's exactly what this is." This time Dean pushed both hands into Sam's chest. The boy stared down at him, and he still didn't react. He obviously wasn't in pain. This just looked so damned weird.

Dean pulled out his right hand and flicked his wrist. A large severed fish head landed on the floor. He pulled his left hand out, another flick of the wrist, and a bent and battered metal license plate (Lousiana KAZ 2Y5) clattered out onto the floor. "Uh huh. Just as I thought. He swam up through southern waters."

Everyone stared in complete shock, including Sam.

Dean made a big show of dusting off his hands. "This was not a boat accident. It wasn't a propeller, and it wasn't Jack the Ripper. It was Sasquatch."

Sam glared at him.

"Bitchface," Coyote announced. "We have Bitchface at twenty one minutes past the hour."

Dean frowned at him.

"What?" the trickster shrugged. "Apollo 13 was on last night."

"Oh yeah?" Dean said with a mock growl. "Is that why I kept dreaming about Tom Hanks?"

"I like Tom Hanks," Coyote mumbled.

The other Dean kid's broad shoulders shook with laughter. "That was sweet." He put the Colt down on the bed beside him.


One hour later

"Back again, huh, kid?" Balthazar purred softly. It was rare that humans wanted to get rid of their souls, but this one did.

Sam Winchester grimaced as he rubbed his chest. "That damn furball came back. And he brought that other one with him. He did something to the wall. I can't get it out."

Balthazar smirked. "And you want me to help you?"

The boy looked so miserable. He nodded silently.

"All right then. You caught me in a good mood, Sam. And this time, I'll get rid of it for you."

Another silent nod.

"All right then." Balthazar raised his right hand towards Sam's chest. "This is going to hurt a little."

Sam smiled then. He caught Balthazar by the wrist in an impossibly strong grip. Sam squeezed. The angel's eyes bulged.

Sam Winchester now looked a lot like Dean Winchester.

The other Dean Winchester.

Balthazar nearly moaned out loud as Coyote faded into view right next to his pup.

Dean grinned. "Oh no, jackass. This is gonna hurt. A lot."

-30-


A/N: You may recognize Dean's dialogue when he poked Sam's bitchface from two of Richard Dreyfuss' scenes in Jaws. I blame my muse.