All Is Forgiven
Summary: Dean and Sam ponder forgiveness during a hunter's funeral as both still cope with the return of Sam's soul, the emergence of a new enemy and just what family means to them. /Soulful !Sam! /Comforting!Big Brother!Dean/
Warning/Spoilers: Tags with possible spoilers to episode 06.16 …And Then There Were None. So if you haven't seen the episode this might have spoilers.
Disclaimer: I don't own the boys. I just write them for the fun of it.
SPN SPN SPN SPN SPN SPN
The fire burned hot, sending sparks into the cool night air but still illuminated the hard profile of the man standing back from the two funeral pyres.
Raised as a hunter, Dean Winchester learned early on that hunters, or most hunters, always preferred the traditional cremation ceremony after they died and he assumed this case would be no different…though he honestly only cared about one.
Tossing another piece of dry wood on the smaller fire, he watched as it lit and considered how many of these he'd handled. Looking around, he still recalled the night he'd lit his own father's pyre not too far away from where he was standing now. As he stared into the flames, Dean began to wonder if he should be concerned about the lack of emotion he seemed to feel for these things.
He accepted to being too shocked and numb when John Winchester died to feel much. The cremation he and Sam held originally for the half brother they never knew didn't count so much since Dean accepted that he had way too much on his mind considering the ghouls had just tried to eat his little brother but this time…
Looking back in the direction of where he knew the house was waiting, Dean considered that he'd felt more emotion at the thought of losing Bobby than he was feeling right now. Hell, he'd felt more when he and Sam were standing by Bobby at Rufus's grave than he felt at this moment.
Again, his gaze went back to the smaller of the two fires and if Dean was honest with himself he felt more guilt than grief over this one. He firmly did not like any of the Campbell family but he really didn't mind Gwen. She didn't seem as bad as the other cousins and she didn't deserve to die the way she did…even if he didn't remember pulling the damn trigger after the stupid evil worm took over his body in that cannery.
"Damn," he muttered, rubbing a hand over his ear on instinct since he still had issues with seeing that thing crawl out of him. "I'm sorry, Gwen," he murmured to the darkness before turning a harder look on the larger fire, the one that he wanted to be sure burned fully.
Ever since he'd first laid eyes on Samuel Campbell again in this time he'd had bad vibes from the man. Finding out that he'd basically made a deal with Crowley, sold out his own grandsons and who knew what else since something Sam said to Samuel in that cannery had been bothering Dean. He had promised that the next time he saw him that he'd kill him and while he was now watching the body of his grandfather burn Dean just wished that he had been the one to pull the damn trigger.
Closing his eyes for a brief moment, Dean pushed all the emotions simmering back down before he glanced over his shoulder to see his brother approaching and he swore for a brief moment since he'd wanted to get this done before Sam decided to search him out.
"How's Bobby?" Dean knew the older hunter had been coping pretty well about the death of Rufus, having an evil worm created by an ancient bad guy inside his head that made him kill his longtime friend and force the Winchesters to nearly electrocute him but the brothers had also decided to keep an eye on Bobby since returning to his place.
The fact that Sam was now outside told Dean either their friend had finally gotten wise to what they were doing and kicked his brother out of the house or Bobby drank himself unconscious and Sam figured it was safe to leave.
"Told me to get the hell outta the house because I was suffocating him and to come make sure my idjit brother wasn't catching anything vital on fire," Sam shrugged, holding out one of the two beers he carried. "You know Gwen wasn't your fault, right?"
"Yeah, I know that, Sammy," Dean sighed, accepting the beer from his brother he nodded toward the fire he was watching. "Just like you know what happened with Samuel wasn't your fault?"
Sam was silent for a little while as he joined Dean next to the fire that burned the body of the man who should have been their grandfather. He had very little memory of the past year but he did have some little snapshots in his mind of the time he spent hunting with Samuel and a couple of those he decided that he probably wouldn't be telling his brother.
He did recall Samuel selling them out to Crowley. He just hasn't told Dean yet that he's been having nightmares about hearing it happen since they'd been separated by then. Sam knew his brother was still being overly hyper with him remembering too fast so he doubted if he'd be thrilled to know that Sam was waking up in fear over Samuel giving Dean over to those ghouls.
"Sure, I guess though it's easier to accept that now that we know that slug was inside him," he muttered, taking a sip of beer before looking at his brother. "Hey, Dean? Can I ask you something?"
Throwing another log on the fire to be sure this body burned completely, Dean heard the change in tone that warned him that this possibly wouldn't be a good topic but decided to risk it. "About most things, sure," he nodded, lifting the bottle to take another drink. "What?"
"When were you planning on telling me that Samuel helped turn you back after I let you get turned into a vampire?"
The beer bottle froze in mid-tip as Dean felt his blood freeze. "Ex-cuse me?" he swore if that Angel opened his mouth again that he'd Holy oil his ass but one look at Sam's face told him that it hadn't been Castiel who had told his brother the one thing he had never wanted him to know about the past year. "Sammy."
Staring at the fire, Sam slowly held out a leather journal that Dean recalled seeing Samuel use. "When I went back to grab anything Samuel and Gwen might've had with them on this job I saw his bag with this and some other things. In the back…he wrote about you being turned into a vampire and that I watched it happen in order to lead us to the Alpha vampire," he watched the vein in his brother's forehead begin to throb and also he knew by the way Dean had tensed that it was true. "So it's true."
Hearing more than seeing the way his little brother's body language had changed, Dean felt like stopping the fire, killing his grandfather all over again…for the third time, and torching him again. "Sammy, it's all over. That happened during a time that you were pure hunter driven to complete the job. Hell, you would've thrown anyone under the bus to get something done," he told his brother, reaching out to grab for the shoulder he knew would be retreating. "I know that you wouldn't do that now and I told you at the cemetery earlier, it's all forgiven. Everything that's ever gone wrong, every little issue, fight, doubt, etc that ever happened between us is clear. We are clear and we start over," Dean looked into the fire for a brief moment. "You see these flames?"
"Uhhh, yeah," Sam's tone was pure bitch-mode and his older brother was glad the darkness hid his smile since he was still happy to just hear that simple tone from his brother. "So?"
"Pastor Jim always said that flames were a way to cleanse things so in a way this fire. These flames, are cleansing all the crap that's ever come between us," Dean told him, taking the book that was even bigger than the one Bobby kept but resisted the urge to throw it onto the fire and instead sit it aside to face his brother. "All the secrets, the lies, the fights, the hassles that we have ever had…" he stopped to think before blowing out a breath. "Alright, chick flick time, Sammy."
As Sam's eyebrows nearly crawled back onto his head at that comment, Dean considered how to handle this without losing too much dignity. "The first time Cas sent me back to the past, Mom told me that she wanted out of the life because she didn't want her kids raised as hunters. Seeing how Samuel was it's easy to see why she felt like that and I know how hard Dad could be but you gotta admit we had it good being raised by Dad cause if the Campbells would've gotten their hands on us…"
"They tried," Sam broke in grimly, seeing his brother's surprise reflected by the shadows cast by the fire. "Samuel didn't tell me this but…Christian did."
Not liking the tone or the implications behind it, Dean threw a look to the fire then back at Sam. "Come again? What d'ya mean 'they did'?"
"Mom's Uncle was Samuel's brother and after Mom died he approached Dad about taking us since he knew how upset and grieving Dad was but…then something happened and he…died," Sam had read between those lines even without a soul and suddenly had understood things in his Dad's journal. "They really wanted us, Dean and I think if whatever it was hadn't killed him first then Dad might have become a target," he kicked the dirt around the pyre restlessly. "Dean...Christian kind of said that the Campbells sort of knew what happened with the demon so they knew about…me…"
"We're Winchesters, Sammy and despite having Campbell blood from Mom in us we are more Winchester because not even at our worst could we be like them," Dean remarked, seeing the fire finally dying and was relieved to see the wrapped body had nearly all been cremated by the hot flames. "Like I told you, blood does not make you family. You need to earn that right and the Campbell's sure as hell never earned that."
Relieved to feel some of the tension leave Sam as he laid a hand on his shoulder to give it a friendly squeeze, Dean tightened his grip just enough to let his brother understand what he was saying. "You and me? We're family. I told you once that we are brothers. We're family and no matter how bad it gets out there with this Mother of All crap, all the monsters, anything else that will never change," he promised firmly, looking back to the now smoldering pyres before nudging Sam back so he could concentrate on making certain he got his point across.
"I meant what I said about some of us doing some really heavy stuff, Dean," Sam murmured, still uneasy about what he's been finding out about the past year and for the other things that were between him and his brother. He looked up to meet green eyes that he knew were serious when the hand that had been on his shoulder moved up to grip his neck.
"I also told you that it was over, Sam," Dean replied firmly, giving his younger brother's neck a familiar squeeze that had always meant security and peace between them. "With the way we live our lives, either one of us can walk out Bobby's door tomorrow and buy it. I won't do this crap again. You're my brother, Sammy. I have that back, I won't lose my brother again over some stupid crap that neither of us can control so one more time…" moving so he could have both hands on Sam's neck, he pulled him forward a little since it was still so annoying to have a little brother taller than him. "As of as right now, the slate is clean. No lies, no doubts or secrets and stop obsessing over the crap you did or didn't do this past year because like I said, it was not my little brother that did those things."
Still wondering what their Mom would say over all this, Sam considered what little he recalled from his time with her family. A lot of the reason he got colder, aside from not having a soul, was out of a type of self-protection since he carried no misgivings that Christian and Mark might have accepted him but he was always waiting for that knife in the back…a feeling he never had when with his brother. Not even during the dark times.
"You can honestly forgive me for the vampire thing, Dean?" he asked warily, not knowing how even his brother could forgive that betrayal but felt his breath catch when his normally no chick flick moments rule older brother gave a muttered curse about stupid little brothers before he gave a quick jerk to pull him in for a hug. "Dean?"
"Sammy, I forgave you for that already," Dean told him, surprised when he felt his brother holding on like he had right after waking up this time from having his soul put back. "Anything else you care to tell me about your time with Samuel and the Soup kids?"
Not ready for that yet, Sam shook his head and finally pushed back with a cough to allow Dean an easy break from what was heading toward a pure chick flick moment. "Not yet," he admitted, meaning that while there was he wasn't ready for it yet. "We good then, Dean?"
Content that the fires would continue safely if they weren't there to watch them, Dean gave his brother a slight shove to head them back toward the house but was careful to keep a hand on Sam's back since he knew his brother still occasionally needed to know he wasn't alone. "Yeah, little brother, all's forgiven and we're good," he promised, smirking into the night. "Now, you want to flip for who watches Bobby or…"
"Bobby can watch Bobby just fine, ya idjits!" a gruff voice snapped from the dark porch as the Winchesters approached the house. "Dean, get inside and shower off the smoke and gas smell," he ordered sternly, aiming a look at a chuckling Sam. "You won't be laughing in a minute, Sam. You two have been tearing through my library lately and everything is out of order so while your brother's getting that smell off him you can start reorganizing the books inside and I want it back to the way it was."
"Well, he's in a damn bad mood," Dean scowled, hating when the older man told them what to do but then he nudged Sam's shoulder and heard the laugh. "Guess he's doing fine then."
"I ain't deaf yet either, idjits!" Bobby snapped from inside where he went ahead of the younger men while muttering about Winchesters, morons, and loosing his hair over them.
As Dean went in to try to unbury them from this mess, Sam paused on the porch to look back. He could still see the flickering flames from where the funeral pyres still burned and he prayed that he didn't ever have to light one for his brother of Bobby anytime soon.
Reaching into his pocket for the object he'd removed from deep in the duffel he found buried in the back of the Impala recently, Sam stared at the object in his hand and wondered when he should give it back to his brother or if he should just leave it on the bed and let Dean handle it alone.
Waiting until he heard the water running, Sam eased into the room to lay the small golden medal on the bed Dean always slept in when they were at Bobby's with a shakily written note before heading down to start in the library. Sam knew that Bobby probably didn't want anyone else sorting the room but he needed to yell at him about something to keep things even.
"You can head for bed, Sam," Bobby spoke from the door, remarkably sober for a man who had gone through an entire bottle of Jack Daniels that night. "I wasn't really serious about you sorting the books or anything."
Guessing on how Dean could react to finding the medal he'd dropped into a trash can over a year ago on his bed, Sam guessed it was better if he stayed downstairs until his brother worked it through.
"Bobby…" he hesitated before finding a way to ask the one thing he'd been wondering about but had been putting off.
"Dean ain't right about a good many things but he was this time," Bobby remarked, sitting another bottle on his desk before settling himself behind it. "I told Dean once that blood don't make family and family doesn't always mean blood. You boys are my family and though either one of you will drive me to drink myself to an early grave before some monster does, I'll always stand with ya. I'm sorry for how I treated you too, Sam."
Blinking at that since he understood the older man's feelings given that while soulless he had tried to kill the man who had been like a father to them. "Bobby, you don't have to…I mean, I owe you…"
"Nothing but a clean library and not having to worry about you boys for a week," Bobby cut him off, scratching the back of his neck in an uneasy gesture before reaching up to give the much taller boy a arm armed hug that he broke at the first sound of a door slamming from the second floor.
Stepping back from Bobby, Sam readied himself for whatever reaction his brother might have settled on when Dean stepped through the library doors and the first thing the younger man's eyes noticed was that the gold amulet was hanging back around his brother's neck. "Dean…I…"
Walking into the room, dressed in jeans and a hastily pulled on T-shirt, Dean didn't give his younger backpedaling brother a chance to make an excuse or run as he strode across the room, past Bobby to grab Sam by the neck to pull him into a full brotherly hug. "I'll ask you how long you'd had this later but for right now, I'll do the chick flick moment and call do-over in the damn morning because you are the most awesome little brother and I'm not even drunk to say that aloud," he declared, lowering his voice to add in a more emotionally charged toned. "Thanks, Sammy."
Surprised by this reaction, Sam hesitated a second before returning the gesture and had to swallow the lump that formed. "It was yours and I was hoping you'd want it back one day," he shrugged, blinking to clear his eyes when a sudden flash took both brothers by surprise.
"You know I'm holding onto this for future use," Bobby lowered the camera he always kept in the desk with a smirk, deciding since it was rare for the infamous emotionally detached Dean Winchester to actually show emotion that he was catching this moment for posterity.
"Go get drunk, old man," Dean growled, breaking the hug with a cough and a gentle slap to his brother's head. "I'll help sort the books but I don't sort herbs or anything like that,"
Bobby considered giving back a line but let it go, waving both Winchesters off. "I ain't letting either of you near my stuff," he growled good naturedly, jerking his head toward the ceiling. "Hit the hay and maybe if you two can manage not to destroy anything tonight I might actually feel like making a decent breakfast since neither one of you can cook worth a damn."
Dean was going to throw a reply when he caught his brother rubbing his neck in a way that meant Sam was tired and that made up Dean's mind for him. Bobby was on his own but until he was certain that the wall in his little brother's mind was still holding up well he was sticking to Sam like glue and that meant getting him in bed when he was tired.
"Try not to drink yourself into a stupor and go wandering, Bobby," he called as he nudged Sam upstairs but still noticed the older man's grin. "Last thing I want is to wake up with a call from the Sheriff that she picked up jaywalking in your damn birthday suit again."
Sam nearly choked on his laughter as he grabbed for Dean's arm to pull him upstairs before Bobby could reach for the shotgun he was looking at.
Waiting until he heard the laughter finally die down upstairs, Bobby Singer opened the bottle of Jack Daniels, his first of the evening since he had no intention of drinking until he'd gotten both Winchesters settled for the night, and poured three shot glasses.
Touching the first one, he downed it with a hiss while looking at the second one. "Rufus, ya old fool, I told ya years ago to stay out of this business. I know you never forgave me for Omaha but I hope you'll forgive me for this one since killing you sure as hell will eat at me the rest of my days. I'll make it up by finding the bitch who made that ugly little bastard and lighting her up. Rest in peace until I get up there," he touched his empty glass to the full one before letting his eyes fall on the third glass.
"I kicked you outta here with the threat to blow your damn head clean off your shoulders the next time you stepped foot on my land and Lord knows I meant it then, John," he sighed, leaning back in the chair to look toward the ceiling. "I've been sorry for a lot of crap in my life and I was sorry to have ever met you more than once, but the one thing I can't be sorry about is those two boys you dropped into my lap."
Bobby poured another drink. "I made a lot of mistakes and I can't ever replace you as their Father but John, I'll do my damnedest to protect Dean and Sam because like Dean said, it's all a clean slate and all is forgiven. Now let's just hope that stupid Father-in-law you had didn't leave any nasty surprises for those boys down the road," he muttered, lifting his glass to toast two men he'd always think of as friends while wondering what he had to do to keep two boys who were like sons safe when something crashed from upstairs and he groaned.
"Now I remember why these two were so hard to handle when they were getting along," he muttered, tossing back the shot before heading for the stairs. "You two break anything, you're paying for it and you're cleaning the entire house!" he shouted up, chuckling when the noise stopped and he saw the light go off under the door. "Damn Winchesters will kill me before anything else does," Bobby decided, taking the thick leather journal of Samuel Campbell to begin to sort through it for the night while he mourned for the dead but was relieved his boys managed to come through this in one piece. "Now to keep them like that before they put me in a damn early grave for some of the stunts the idjits pull."