Standing by the motel window, Dean eased the curtain back just enough to see out it before dropping it back in place. To say he was paranoid was an understatement since he wasn't stupid or naïve enough to think that his father would leave it alone. No, he knew John would come after him…after them, he corrected himself as he glanced to the closed bathroom door where he could hear the shower running.
It hadn't taken him all that long to find a crossroads that was a safe distance from where he'd left his father…from where he left John, since he could no longer think of John Winchester as his father. Dean was slightly ashamed that he'd hesitated for a brief few seconds before filling the metal tin with what he needed and burying it in the center of the crossroads to wait.
Making deals had been one of the first things he'd been taught never to do because making deals with demons was never a good thing but he was out of options. His little brother was lying on the back seat dead from a gunshot would their own father had inflicted and Dean had promised Sammy he'd be safe. He failed that promise so he needed to find a way to make it right again…even at the cost of his life or soul.
Walking back to sit on his bed, he quietly disassembled his Colt for cleaning while listening for the water to shut off and remembering that night only last week.
"Well, well, the great Dean Winchester as I live and breathe," the soft sultry Southern accent came from behind him and like the story goes, a beautiful young woman dressed in a short black microskirt stood behind him with the trademark red eyes before they went black. "What brings you to my door, sugar?" she asked, cocking her head with a smile. "You know your Daddy killed that big bad demon he's been hunting for so long, don't you?"
The news that John had finally finished the job didn't surprise Dean. What did surprise him, was that if the demon was dead then why hadn't he caught up to them yet. "His life, his problem," Dean finally replied, voice tight. "You know why I called you so quit playing games," he jerked a look back to the Impala. "I want my brother alive. You can have my life, my soul, I don't give a damn, just heal Sammy and give me some time with him so I can make sure he's safe."
Watching Dean, the female demon pursed full red lips as if considering that request as she strolled over to gaze at Sam Winchester's lifeless face. "Cute kid," she mused, looking back at Dean as if gauging him. "You know the rumors about him, right?"
"I don't care about that!" Dean snapped, panic setting in. "Can he bring him back?"
"Honey, it's what we do," she laughed, reaching up to caress his face. "You want little Sammy back and time enough to make him safe from the big bad world…or from your old man, then I give you that…for a price, of course."
Swallowing the lump, Dean took the final step. "How long?" he asked, not caring if it was a week or a year so long as he could make Sam safe and deal with John. "If you'd give me a year I'd…"
"Dean, sugar," the demon laughed softly. "I'll give you the standard ten years and even make sure Sammy doesn't remember the last night he spent alive since I know you don't want him remembering his own Daddy killing him," she watched the older brother with shrewd eyes. "Deal?"
Putting the last piece of the Colt back together, Dean could still feel the demon's kiss on his mouth if he thought hard enough and he swore if he was never kissed by a demon again it would be too soon. He'd sealed the deal and barely made it to the Impala in time to grab Sam as he jerked awake, gasping and fighting from nightmares he barely remembered.
"Sammy," Dean recalled the grief washing away as he pulled his little brother into his arms that night to feel his breath against his neck and the feel of his pulse beating strong again. Then he just had to face those big, wet hazel eyes looking at him with his brother's standard puppy dog eyes and lie to him when he asked what had happened and where their Dad was.
Dean glanced at the journal he'd started the night his nightmare began. He would leave it to Sam when the time came or when it became too much and Sam had to learn the truth. He suspected that Sam knew something had happened between Dean and John but he wasn't pushing it. All Dean had told him was that while he'd been out to the store, John had stepped out and someone had gotten into the cabin, hurting him to the point that Dean had taken him away from their father.
The important things to Dean was that his innocent little brother didn't know that John had killed him or that Dean had made a deal to bring him back. He'd cross that bridge either in ten years or when he was forced to. Either way, he had Sammy and he was bound to keep him safe.
Noticing the message light on his phone was blinking, Dean checked to see it was a message from Bobby but let it go for now. The older hunter, who had been like a second father to Sam and Dean, was the only one who knew the truth. Dean knew he needed to trust someone with the truth in case he was ever taken away from Sam or in case John caught up to them. He'd told Bobby about what John had done to Sam and what he had done to fix it. Of course, then he'd let the hunter rant for an hour about the stupidity of Winchesters before swearing he'd unload both barrels into John if he ever darkened his doorstep again.
He started to reach for the phone when he noticed his other phone was blinking with a new message. Biting his lip, he shot a look to the closed bathroom door to be sure Sam wouldn't be coming out before he flipped it up to check the message since he knew who it was from already. John was the only one who still used this number.
"Dean, I know you've been getting my messages so I know you've heard that I found and dealt with the demon who killed your mother and brother," John's voice was its usual gruff serious tone but this time it seemed more strained to the son who had spent a lifetime wanting to be just like his father. "Son, I…I know you hate me for what I did but what you've done is no better because things that are dead should stay dead and Dean…you know that I can't let this happen. Please don't make me hunt you because I don't want to lose both my boys but…" the message shut off when Dean closed the phone, stared at it a second and then crunched it under his boot.
"You already have lost both your sons, old man," he muttered darkly, shoving the clip back into the Colt and knowing that it wasn't just the supernatural or other hunters he'd have to shield his baby brother from now. He'd have to protect him from their own father and he planned to do just that since he'd be dead long before he saw John touch his brother again.
"Dean?" Sam stepped from the shower, floppy brown hair still damp to hang in his eyes more than usual and reminding Dean of when they were kids and he could make all their problems go away simply by beating up on bullies. "You okay?"
Gazing from the broken cell phone to his brother's face, Dean forced a smile before he crossed the room to pull a surprised Sam into his arms for a hard embrace that he didn't break for several long moments. "I'm good, Sammy," he assured him, fighting to keep his voice even but knowing Sam heard the deeper, more emotional tone when the boy held on tighter. "It's all going to be better cause I got us a gig lined up in sunny California."
"A hunt or just a chance for you to stare at half naked women, Dean?" Sam asked with a laugh, pulling on the overly large hoodie he'd taken to wearing again and missing the way his brother's hand smoothed down the back of his hair like he once had.
"Both actually if you have to be nosy about it…bitch," Dean shot back, swearing that Sam would keep that innocence for as long as he could manage it.
Turning from reaching into his duffel for clean socks, Sam's eyes were bright and happy as they met his brother's. "Jerk," he tossed back, sitting down and again not seeing the pain reflected in Dean's gaze. "You gonna call Dad and tell him?"
"No, Dad's…busy," Dean sighed, hating that lie and knowing eventually Sam would have to learn the truth but he was hoping it wouldn't be until he could drop his brother with Bobby while he went to handle their father. "Sammy, you trust me, right?"
"You're my brother so of course I trust you, Dean," Sam scoffed, seeing the strain for the first time as he finished tying his laces. "What's wrong, Dean? Something happen to Dad?"
Swallowing, Dean shook his head. "No, Dad's fine. It's just that you know that anything I do I will always have a good reason for it, right?"
"You mean by making a deal to save my life after Dad killed me and that you're thinking that you're going to have to kill Dad to keep him away from me?" Sam asked softly, dropping his eyes even before he felt Dean's weight on the bed beside him. "I…I heard Bobby yelling that night, Dean," he explained, looking up with fresh tears shining. "I thought they were just nightmares but they weren't, were they? Dad killed me and you made a deal to get me back?"
Fighting to breathe, Dean knew his brother didn't really want those answers as Sam suddenly grabbed onto him to cling like he had as a child. "It's okay, Sammy," he whispered, holding the boy that he'd sworn to protect like he used to when they'd both been kids and he was his brother's only wall of defense. "I will keep you safe this time and Dad will never hurt you again. I'll make sure of that long before my time's up."
Dean wasn't sure how long he held his little brother before the younger hunter finally fell into an uneasy sleep, but slowly he eased Sam under the covers but stayed beside him in case he woke up. He had never wanted Sam to know the truth about John. Knowing that Dean's life was up in ten years was one thing, but to know that your own Father had put a bullet in your head was something else. He knew the trouble they'd have but he also knew what others didn't.
Sam was Dean's little brother and so long as Dean was around him, Sam wouldn't go dark side, he wouldn't give in to the powers he seemed to have and he would survive. Dean would make certain of that, no matter who he had to kill. Sammy was his pride and joy, the annoying little brother who had followed Dean around and who Dean had given his life for.
"I love you, little brother," Dean whispered, letting his hand tremble as it carded through Sam's hair and Dean closed his eyes to sleep. He knew they were safe tonight and when the time came, he'd make that final sacrifice because he was Sammy's big brother and that was his job.
A/N: This little piece popped into my head after I wrote John's story "Our Boys" and a conversation with another author, T.I. Arens mentioned what Dean would do if John had jumped the gun after Dead Man's Blood. I tried to avoid writing it because, to be honest, I can't write and cry at the same time but it wouldn't go away.
When John told Dean that if he couldn't save Sam he might have to kill him in the 2nd Season opening, it always made me wonder just how much longer John would've let it go with Sam before he did try to end his life since it was clear that John knew the truth about Sam and the other special kids of the YED.
I appreciate those who read this and know that this is probably the closest to real AU or a real deathfic as I'll ever get. Thanks in advance.