CLIFFHANGER

This is something that has been lurking in varying degrees of completion on my hard drive for a few months now, so I decided to give it an airing.

A little one-shot; Dean is hanging around. This is NOT a good thing.

Disclaimer: Don't own them however much I wish.

xxxxx

Laying stretched out full length on his belly across the dusty ground, Sam's trembling hands clung grimly to his brother's arms.

He barely heard Dean's gasping cries for help over the pounding of his heart; his own panic-stricken roar forced into a hoarse wail through clenched teeth by the pure backbreaking effort of hanging on to Dean's full weight. Trying desperately to brace himself; he ground his feet and knees into the crumbling earth to prevent himself being dragged further forward and over the cliff.

With only Sam's straining hands standing between him and a lethal plunge into the ravine far below him, Dean writhed wildly like a fish on a hook; flailing legs scrabbling and swinging as he tried in vain to gain some purchase on the unstable rock face before him. His despairing face, a mask of breathless panic, stared unblinking up over the cliff edge into Sam's terrified eyes.

Looking down over his brother's heaving back, Sam's blood froze when he caught a glimpse of the shifter whose surprise attack had dragged Dean over the cliff, but not before Dean had fought back furiously and returned the compliment; it's scattered carcass lay splashed across the floor of the ravine, a dizzying distance below them.

Sam stifled a terrified sob as Dean's arms began to slip through his sweating hands. Forcing himself to grip tighter, his fingernails dug angry welts into the clammy skin as he felt the bones of Dean's forearms grind under his crushing, white-knuckled grip.

"Sammy …" Dean's cry was weak; a hoarse, barely human cry of pain and ice-cold fear as he squirmed and bucked frantically still trying to find some contact with the cliff-face, and finding nothing but bone dry, crumbling soil.

The burn across Sam's shoulders was becoming unendurable, his whole body ablaze as his brother's hanging weight gradually stretched and tore protesting muscles, ripping Sam's arms and shoulders apart, inch by terrible inch as he clung despairingly to his precious burden.

He pulled harder, roaring with the effort as one of Dean's arms, slick with blood and sweat, slid out of his grip, swinging loose and forcing Sam to tighten his grip on the other arm even further. Both brothers let out terrified cries as Sam's knuckles crackled under the strain.

Feeling his centre of gravity shift, Sam gasped in shock as the ground beneath his chest began to crumble and he lurched forward again, another couple of inches toward the ravine. Once again he drilled his toes into the ground to try to anchor himself as his brother stared back up at him in horror.

"Dude," he cried, "I'm slipping; help me here, try to grab the cliff wall with your free arm."

Dean clawed wildly at the cliff face but eventually gave up, looking up at Sam in tearful defeat; his expression slowly changing from one of abject terror to one of sad resignation.

"Sorry bro';" he whispered with a hint of a smile up at Sam, making no effort to fight as his arm slid ever lower through Sam's grip

Sam's eyes widened in horror.

No; the reckless bastard. The realisation hit Sam like a sledgehammer; he's going to let himself fall so that he doesn't drag me over the cliff.

"No;" Sam screamed, through a haze of hot tears, "no, you stupid bastard, I'm not letting you do this!"

xxxxx

He'd heard of it happening before; a surge of unnatural strength in moments of extreme emotional trauma. Those stories of people lifting a car off of their loved ones and that sort of thing. He'd read the stories often enough in the local news rags, often treated them as a possible job, wasn't even convinced the stories were true; but never once did he imagine it could happen to him.

Tightening his grip even harder he gritted his teeth and pulled, ignoring the cracking and popping of separating joints and ripping tendons. Tiny pinpricks of light danced and crackled across his field of vision as the pain overwhelmed him but still, inch by inch, his fury lifted his struggling brother, dragging him up towards the edge of the cliff until Dean was able to grasp a tangle of exposed roots at the edge of the clifftop and take some of the strain.

Rolling over, Sam dragged Dean's dead weight over the cliff edge to safety.

As his rage subsided along with the anaesthetic of adrenalin, he flopped flat on his back, panting harshly as Dean's limp weight crushed down over his chest.

"Dude" he gasped from under his brother's spreadeagled body, head spinning dizzily from the pain of his wrecked arms.

"uh?" came the breathless response from the trembling lump.

"Man, you have GOT to lay off the cheeseburgers!"

xxxxx

end