Title: Who killed Tabaqui
Rating: PG 13
Characters: Dean, Sam
Word count: a lot
Spoilers: for s6, the basics
Warnings: Language, some blood is spilled.
Summary: Do not mess with Mowgli's brother. You can be pretty sure his teeth are sharp
a/n: yep, this, too, started as a fill of the hoodie_time h/c meme. The prompt was Dean gets bitten by a werewolf (an actual wolf, not SPN's version). He wants to/tries to off himself so Sam won't have to, but Sam finds out and won't let him. Super bonus points if Dean turns and remains sane, and thinks Sam is his alpha. Gen, por favor. It was prompted by an anonymous reader, and I hope she likes it.
I know enough about dogs and wolves and their behavior to know instantly why Dean-as-a-wolf would not kill his brother.
It turned out that it had been the other type of werewolves, the furry one, not like the one Sam had had the hots for.
Sure, that was mean, but it was kinda not important anymore to be nice, right? Because killing yourself with a silver bullet would certainly erase the guilty feeling Dean had after thinking this kind of thoughts about Madison.
He'd liked her. She'd been like Sam.
It'd been a hunt that had gone sideways faster than a flag in the wind, one second Sam was motioning Dean to go left, the next second Dean had been on his back, a huge furry face with yellowish eyes in front of him, claws ripping at his chest, trying to get him to let go of its throat so it could in turn rip out Dean's.
He hadn't let it, even though it had clamped its fangs in his upper arm when he'd lost some of the strength due to the pure weight of that freaking thing. Damn, those fuckers were huge.
In hindsight, he should've let the thing kill him then; it would've been much easier than this now.
But he didn't, and Sam had patched him up and doused him in holy water and had raised another Hell on earth to find a freaking cure for this.
Because there had to be, in Sam's mind. There just had to be. Life couldn't throw him so much shit, not after all the shit they'd already waded through those last six years. Shows how much of a good guy Sam was. Still believing in something like a balance in life.
Dean knew that was bullshit. Life sucked, and if you're lucky, there were some less sucky episodes before you died. But that didn't change the overall suckyness.
So now here he was. At the end – maybe even the real, final end this time – of his road, sitting in a motel and loading his favorite gun with one silver bullet. He'd take it outside, behind the motel in the little piece of forest, put his gun against his heart and pull the trigger.
Maybe that wasn't a good way to die, but he wouldn't let Sam do it, not again, not once more would he let him witness his brother die and not once more letting him kill a loved one this way. He wouldn't. He knew it wasn't much better, Sam finding his body when he woke up from the sleeping-pills and read the note Dean'd leave on the bed. More than a note, a letter. Dean knew it would be hard for Sam, because fuck, they'd gone through this shit so often. He'd begged Sam in the letter to remember that life could be good, too. That he'd at least try to find a way to live without his brother, find a way to live.
But that was all he could do. Dean'd waited, waited through all the weeks till the next full moon. Wanted to give Sammy all the time possible before ending his life, and he'd wait until exactly six minutes before midnight. But he wouldn't let Sam take him down. He wouldn't turn, murder somebody, only for Sam to hunt him. He wouldn't do that to his brother.
And maybe that's selfish, but Dean'd never said that he wasn't.
Once more he turned towards his sleeping Sasquatch-brother, taking in his features. Not because he was freaky, or something, but because he never really did look at Sam. Because he knew him so well. It's like looking at a huge tree – you stand close and all you see is the bark, but take a few steps back…
Sam looked horrible. Dean probably did too, but he wasn't in the mood to look in the mirror. There were bags under Sam's eyes, and his skin was pale and looked unhealthy. His hair was disgustingly greasy and hung over his pillow, like sticky little worms. Sam needed a haircut nearly every day of his life, but now he also needed some fresh water and soap.
Dean knew his brother was looking like that because he'd used every inch of his patience to find a cure, failing every day. He was a wreck.
It would hurt to leave him.
But there wasn't anything Dean could do. Except that one thing.
Dean stood and went to the door, refusing to look back, not even a little. It wouldn't do any good, and he needed all the resolve he could get. Assuming the rumors were true, suicides went to Hell. Dean refused to think about that. There were 'friends' down there that he didn't really want to meet again. And if by some bizarre miracle he didn't go to Hell, his luck would turn out to send him to Purgatory, where he'd probably meet other stuff that remembered him. Heaven – if there ever really was a place like that – would be barred for him as well, wouldn't it? Even if not, that wasn't something he was looking forward to. He didn't really know the score in the big Angel-War, but him being up there would certainly be anything but restful.
Ah, no use in thinking about that one. Because Dean knew he'd earned his ticked to Hell this time. Not because he was a werewolf, no. But what he'd done, all his life and even worse, after his life, wouldn't offer any choices as to where he was heading.
He hadn't equaled the score yet, and even though he'd known that for what he'd done off the rack he could never save enough people, he'd been hoping to at least balance out the bad stuff he'd done while alive.
No use in thinking too much about it. Death had said that the next time he died, it would be final, and if Dean wasn't so sure he'd be heading back to there, it'd actually be appealing.
Stopping. Finally. No more running. From death and life and consequences, no more pain, no more worries about Sam. Getting to rest. Forever.
But that wouldn't happen. One way or another, he wouldn't be allowed to rest, and Dean knew that. Either some angel would interfere and make him his bitch or – much more likely – a demon would make him his bitch until he'd be able to turn the table and take some measure of control. Become what he'd been meant to become from the day his father offered his soul for Dean's life.
Dean shuddered but braced himself, squared his shoulders. His dad had been in Hell for hundred years, Sam's soul had been in the cage with Lucifer and Michael for even longer. And even if Sam was barely holding it together these days, their father had escaped - escaped! Hell while Dean had needed to be rescued. After only thirty fucking years he'd given in, not even making it to fifty. And he'd picked up that knife with so much relish and he'd begun ripping and cutting and tearing to make someone pay for his pain, anyone, no matter who. Or what.
He was weak, he knew that. He wasn't half the man his dad had been, and not even a quarter of the man his brother was. Dean was a whining, sniveling little piece of shit with a gun, and he hadn't deserved to live when his dad had died, not then but certainly not now.
So yeah, he knew where he was heading. And he wasn't sure if it was better or worse to have an idea of what it would be like, but he swore to himself to be better this time, to man up. Dean would go back to Hell, but he'd go there with his head held high, he'd not give in. If it meant eternity on the rack than he'd take it. It was what he deserved, after all. It'd been his fault that Sam broke the last seal, and he'd take the punishment for that.
Not gladly. But… well.
Before he could lose his nerve again, he started walking.
With his gun tugged in the waistband, he went over into the small cluster of trees. It wasn't much of a hiding-place, but it concealed him from most people and from the street. He didn't want watchers.
There was a sturdy tree right in the middle, a pine of some sort, with rough bark and a thick trunk. Dean leaned his back against it, took a deep breath. Still some minutes to go. He'd set the alarm in his cell so he wouldn't miss it, wouldn't accidentally turn before he could kill himself.
He'd press the gun to his chest, right over his heart, and he'd lean against the tree because he wouldn't want to hurt someone else if the bullet passed through him. And it would, because the barrel would be right there, right against his heart.
Dean looked at his cell. One minute. One minute of life. Some last thoughts? Not really. He hoped that Sam wouldn't shatter like he did the last time Dean died, but there was no other way. Sam tried everything, and now, once again, the time'd run out on the Winchesters.
Thirty seconds before the alarm would sound, Dean gripped the pistol and steadied his hand. No, of course he didn't want to die. He'd kinda gotten used to living once more, even his constant churning nightmares of Hell had ebbed up a lot since he started helping Sam with his Cage-memories. He'd even gotten very close to calling Lisa again.
Didn't matter. No choice.
Twenty-five seconds before the end of Dean Winchester, he heard a curse from somewhere behind him. Heard somebody large stumble through the trees, panting, and he knew it was Sam.
Of course it would be. Sam would wake, right at the wrong time, because that's what usually happened in their effed-up lives, and he wouldn't even pick up the letter. Sam would know what's going on, so he wouldn't waste a fucking nano-second with reading some letter. He'd run right out, he'd find the tree and -"You fucking asshole!" there he was. Sam grabbed Dean's arm, yanked the gun out of his fingers which was ridiculously easy to manage, and pressed his brother against the rough tree.
"No! No, you … you don't get to do this. You don't. I won't let you, I won't let you. No!"
"Sam… Sam, if there was a way…"
"We'll find it! Maybe… maybe there is a cure like for the vampirism. I'll watch you, I swear I will. I'll tie you up so you won't hurt anyone, and…"
"And if it doesn't work?" There was the shrill beep of his alarm, but it was lost to them.
"It will. I'll make sure!"
"Sammy. The risk's too high. Please, Sam. C'm on. Gimme the gun, Sam."
Like a little boy with a hissy-fit, Sam held the gun up and away from them, still keeping Dean pinned. The anguish in his face made Dean's heart ache, the reminder of that man being a little stubborn child made him want to cry. A deep, sharp ache spread from Dean's core, tingling in his fingers and itching on his skin.
That wasn't just …
"No, listen. There'll be something. I just have to look harder, longer. There will be a cure, there must be. I'll find it, and I'll keep you safe, I swear, I will!"
"Sam, I think…"
"Dean, look, I know it's selfish, but I… I… I" he took a deep, shuddering breath "I can't. I just… I can't…"
Dean tried to listen, to pay attention, but he sure as fuck didn't hear anything except the fire in his veins and the sheer pain in his joints. He groaned and sank to the ground, twisting away from Sam, trying to get it under control. Somehow, he had to stop this, had to, had to, had to, had to.
"Dean" he might've heard, like underwater, like those voice-change-thingies you see on TV, swampy and darker than Sam ever sounded. He tried to grab that voice, tried to hold onto it. A hand clamped on his shoulder and he screamed with the pain, sucking in air through his nostrils, filling his senses with leaves and grass and shrubbery and pine. And the smell that came with the voice. He held it in his head, held tight with everything he had in him, gripped it, wrapped it into the sound that was Sam, that was home, family and life.
He held on to it when his joints snapped into new positions, when his bones grew and shrank. Held it while his organs churned and burned and grew and changed, and he held it while his brain exploded with sound and smell, burning his memories and shattering his psyche, killing his core. He held on to it when everything in him burned so bright that nothing could hold him anymore, that he slipped away to escape this agony.
He wasn't aware when all was finally silent and black.
Watching your brother suffer was never easy. You might think that Sam'd gotten used to it, but it always hurt him nearly as much as Dean. Maybe more, but right now Sam wouldn't take bets on that.
It'd probably be a draw, because while it really, really must've sucked to hurt so much that Dean was writhing, moaning, groaning and growling, sometimes even screaming in agony, standing close and watch, all the while thinking that he probably would have to kill Dean soon…
Yeah, well, he felt a load of sympathy for his brother in hindsight, for living with that possibility for over a year.
Dean was turning, right in front of Sam, and even though it would be merciful to put him out of his misery, to kill him now, before he hurt somebody and before Dean was in more pain than he was now, Sam couldn't do it.
Three times already he'd lifted the gun, aiming for the heart, but every time he'd let gravity pull the weapon back down. Because what if?
What if Dean wasn't evil when he'd turned?
Dean had promised to let him try everything possible to save him, and even though Sam was still pretty pissed about the sleeping-pills, he'd kinda expected it and doped up with caffeine-pills before. When he'd woken without Dean in the room, he'd known. Sam hadn't bothered to read the letter, he'd known where Dean would go.
Living so close to each other left its marks on both of them, and even though Sam would be the first to admit that it was pretty unhealthy and more than weird, the way they were raised and the way they clung to the other, it also made them pretty predictable.
So yes, Sam'd known, he'd run and he'd reached Dean just in time, and he'd been prepared to do it, to shoot Dean because it wouldn't be fair to let him die alone. Nobody should die alone.
He'd been prepared, determined even, but his determination for saving his brother out-won the promise of killing him.
Oh, he'd do it. He'd do it right here. But… not if there was even an atom of a chance that he didn't have to.
Dean was still shaking in pain, long shudders ran over his body. He still looked basically human, but already his face had started to transform, his bones shifted. The back wasn't broad anymore but, well, narrow, the shoulders had shifted so they sat flat against his ribcage. While Sam was watching, the body stretched and shifted once more heels moving upward and the femoral bones shortening so much that Dean's knees were closer to his body. His hands turned into paws, his nails grew while his fingers shortened and his thumb disappeared. Hair started to spread.
It looked so unbelievably painful that Sam was once again tempted to shoot. The noises his brother made were nothing like the screams when Dean'd been ripped apart by the hellhounds – they were much worse. Sam was glad that Dean was unconscious.
One more stretch-shift-shudder, one pained moan more and the body nearly bent in half, only to stretch again, one final scream when finally the fur made its way through once-human skin all at once, and the huge, furry wolf-like thing on the ground lay still, covered with Dean's shirt and jeans in a way that was ridiculous and should look funny but wasn't, didn't.
Sam raised the gun again. There wasn't much choice now, was there?
Praying for the first time in years to a god he knew existed but wasn't sure cared to take his brother's battered soul, Sam took aim and tightened his finger on the trigger. This was a werewolf, and it would attack and kill Sam in the blink of an eye. He didn't want it to be the last memory of Dean. He very much wished he hadn't witnessed the turning-process either, but that couldn't be helped. So, this was a… an animal. He'd put it down. His brother was already dead. Right?
Sam shifted, aimed again. Stepped a little to the side, to get a better angle, he told himself, and finally exhaled, knowing that at the end of this exhale, he'd pull the trigger and kill his brother.
And that was the moment the wolf opened its eyes.
Leaves, grass, resin, green. Mouse, human piss, cat's piss, dog's piss. Night, it smelled like night. Some crickets, not right there but nearby, a cat hunting somewhere. Sharp bitumen, smoke, metal, sweat … human…
His senses were filled to the brim, and the wolf finally opened his eyes. It was dark, he couldn't see much but there was a huge shadow right in front of him, smelling like… like fear, like sorrow. Like… pack, family, home his mind provided, and instead of growling and snarling and attacking as he'd braced himself to do he relaxed.
Family, pack. Safe
The shadow shifted. It was human, and the wolf wondered a tiny second why a human made him feel safe, but he wasn't made for much introspection. He was hungry.
He whined a bit, stretched. He ached, but it was more like when he'd run a mile after… after…prey, food his mind provided, than anything sharp and broken or injured. He was sore, but the human in front of him pack, family wasn't the cause. Something was wrong with him, though. There was something … he was stuck in something.
The wolf stood and yawned and shook out his fur. He stretched his front legs and his back legs and his spine, shook his head a bit and sniffed himself. There was something cloth, clothes, stuff all over him, and it didn't belong there. His tail wasn't free to move, he couldn't talk like that! Growling, he started gnawing on the stuff, glad when it turned out to be easily removed. A loud ripping sound, some more growling and tearing to get rid of the boxer-shorts stuff that was constricting his tail and he could stretch himself much easier. He felt good. The shirt cloth-thing on his back, though, didn't get off him so easily. He tore at it with his teeth, scratched himself and rubbed all over the ground until it finally disappeared from his body. Panting, he took stock of his surrounding again. The human pack, family was still there, waiting for him.
Food. He was hungry. There must be something to eat around here, right?
Mouse No, too much trouble, too little meat. Rat Hmmm, better. Maybe? Cat The wolf sneezed. No, definitely not cat. It was too far away anyway.
So, rat it would be. He licked his teeth and turned in the direction of the rats he'd smelled, when a sound voice stopped him.
"Where do you think you're going?"
He was a wolf, and wolves don't wonder about much. Basically, they wonder about food, sex and family, not always in the same order. So he didn't wonder why he knew what those sounds words meant, he just knew them.
He turned and looked at the human pack, family again, trying to assess him better by angling his head this way and that. The strange smell of steel and …something gunpowder, danger, safe wafted around the human man and he strained his eyes on the gun thing in his hand.
"Uh…" the human said. "Uh… what're ya … what's… do you… can… Dean?"
DeanDeanDeanDeanDean his ears said, and SamSamSamSamSam his mind answered. Brother, pack, family, safe, home
He sat. Maybe the Sam wanted to hunt with him?
Yes? he cocked his ears a tiny bit. Telling Sam he heard him. Come hunt? he said with a glance over his shoulder, letting his tongue play across his lips and wagging his tail a bit in invitation.
Sam didn't move. Right. Maybe he was a bit slow? The wolf stood again and took two steps, looked back. Ah, pack, family, brotherSam had cocked the steel, powder, danger, safe gun and was aiming in the direction the wolf was taking.
Good, he understood then. He'd hunt with Dean now, great! Happiness, simple and pure, spread in his body, warmed him and he needed to show Sam how cool it was that they were going hunting, even if it was gonna be only rats.
The wolf jumped around, playfully hopping over to the Sam, wagging and yiffing like he'd done… maybe? as a pup. He froze when the gun danger danger danger rose up to aim at him, and everything in him seized into cold.
The Sam brother, pack, family was aiming at him? Why? What'd he done? Why was Sam angry? He'd just woken, how could Sam be angry?
The wolf whined, flattened his ears and lowered his tail. No hunting? No play?
The gun lowered, and with the threat gone, the wolf could take in the smell of his brother. Fearfearfearfearfear it screamed.
Why was Sam scared? He sniffed a bit, only a bit, but there was nothing that hadn't been there before. What could the Sam be scared of? There was only … was Sam scared of the wolf?
Yes? he said, ears tipped slightly back, not looking into Sam's eyes, trying to be small and unthreatening.
"Dean… can I… would you…"
Yes? he said again, this time looking – peeking – a bit at his pack, family, brother Sam. The large man looked at the gun, put it on the ground and went into a crouch.
He was gonna cuddle, yay!
The wolf lit up inside again, and trotted over, not being able and not wanting to resist the draw of contact.
The Sam was reaching out to him, like he didn't know the wolf. But that was silly, the Sam was pack, family, safe, home, brother, how could he not know the wolf? So he only licked the finger for a moment and stepped inside Sam's personal space, because that's what you did with family, right? He leaned into Sam's body, showed him that he liked this, that Sam would be safe with the wolf. When the hand tentatively touched the fur behind his ear, the wolf groaned in sheer bliss and closed his eyes, wagging a bit and then he shoved his head against the Sam's brother family home chest. He'd been too strong, though, or the man was surprised, because Sam overbalanced and fell to the ground, but he was laughing, and the wolf was happy too, and he jumped on him and licked his face, which was wet and salty and he panted happily when the Sam wrapped his fingers in his coat and hugged him, whispering "DeanDeanDean" and "Thank you, thank you, thank you" in his ears. The wolf didn't understand why Sam was thanking him, but he was happy, even though he didn't really like being restrained like that. He wiggled free and he licked Sam some more, jumped away and at him again, because yes, this was fun and he was happy, but he was also hungry and maybe the Sam would go hunting with him now? Please?
"Ok, buddy, wait up. I'm coming, ok?"
Yes he said again, because he'd always wait for the Sam. It's what pack does.