A/N: I've been trying to claw my way out of a terrible writer's block and this story is what I came up with. Huge thanks to Soncnica and epex for their support and encouragement. You guys are awesome! Title is from a song in Prince of Persia: Sands of Time game. I hope you enjoy it:)
Disclaimer: Don't own them.
Time Only Knows
Trepidation had finally pitched camp in the pit of his stomach. No matter how hard Dean tried to shake it, that sense of foreboding, that feeling that something was not right with Sam persisted relentlessly. Dean pressed the accelerator and the Impala revved up. His big brother spidey senses were on full alert and he wasn't going to ignore them any longer.
"I know, baby. I shouldn't have left Sasquatch alone," Dean said as he patted the dashboard.
The car seemed to agree with him as it sped along the road, gleaming in the early morning light. Dean made it to the motel in record time. He pushed the door of their motel room open, trying to calm his nerves by talking.
"I bet you're asleep Sammy, drooling all over your gangly self…holy crap!"
He stared at his brother, shock registering on his face, his heart pounding in his ribcage. Sam was sitting on the cold floor, knees close to his chest, muttering to himself, his face a mask of pain and terror, his hands covering his ears and his body was trembling as if he was so cold.
"Stop…stop…just stop," Sam mumbled.
"Sammy?" Dean called as he gingerly stepped closer to him, the bag containing their breakfast slipping from his fingers.
Damn it! I shouldn't have left him alone.
"Sam are you okay?"
Stupid, stupid! Of course he's not okay.
Sam did not seem to notice him at all. His eyes were focused on a point on the opposite yellow wallpapered wall. It was as if he was seeing and hearing something that Dean could not.
"No…stop. No, no, no, no…"
Sam was frantically backing away, face eloquent with fear and agony and Dean couldn't take it any longer. Something was hurting his baby brother and he hated it. Most of all, he hated the sound of utter panic in Sammy's voice, the look of anguish and suffering in his brother's face and the fear in those hazel eyes. He rushed to Sam, shielding him from whatever Sam was looking at and gently shook his shoulders. There was heat coming off of Sam in waves. Globules of sweat covered his ashen face, his hair sticking to his forehead.
"Listen to me, Sammy. Sam?"
Sam shook his head, the litany of 'no' barely audible. He hastily stood up and tried to get away from Dean's grip.
"It's okay, Sammy. I gotcha. It's okay, I'm here, dude. It's okay."
For the briefest second, he saw recognition settle in Sam's hazel eyes, he heard him calling his name and then Sam swayed precariously and his head wobbled and then all he could see was a mop of brown hair as he held on to him.
Two Days Earlier
The twinkling stars watched him silently; pinpricks of light that blanketed the inky sky and the orb-like moon bathed the parking lot in its tantalising glow. Sam sat on the hood of the Impala gazing at the trees beyond the deserted road, listening to the incessant chirping of the crickets. It was quite peaceful out there.
There were times when the overburdening guilt of knowing that his brother was going to the pit for him, left him feeling cold, drained, desperate and when the trickster forced him to watch Dean die over and over again, he felt like he would go mad. Dean did not deserve to go to hell. Dean who was now sleeping in their motel room was selfless, caring. He put family first over himself. He put Sam first over himself. Dean can't die. Sam would not be able to bear it.
A soft breeze wafted to him and for a moment it soothed away the whirlpool of thoughts that had been lurking in his mind. He took a deep breathe and smelled the scent of fresh grass in the air.
"I'll save you Dean, I promise."
The trees whispered amongst themselves as if they knew what he was about to do. His hazel eyes moved to the object that lay on his palm. A beacon of hope that freed him from the shackles of hopelessness, from knowing that it was his fault if Dean went to hell. It was an ancient gold locket the size of a pocket watch. Aztec symbols were etched on the artefact forming a circle and at the centre, four coloured petals that represented the cardinal points were engraved on it. Black for north, blue for south, red for east and white for west. That was the object that would change Dean's fate. The locket had the power to turn back time, to undo a chain of events. One could only use its power once. Sam held the locket to his ear. It was faintly ticking like a clock, ticking together with the beat of his heart. Once was enough for him. He was going to use it to save Dean.
He stood up, took a penknife out of his jeans pocket and slit his thumb. He moved his thumb over the circle of Aztec symbols on the locket in a clockwise direction. Three times he did that and then he watched as his blood seeped through the symbols before it disappeared as if it was sucked dry. The ritual was complete. All that was left was his wish.
Clasping the locket tight in his hands, Sam whispered, "I wish I didn't die in Cold Oak…"