The Worst Thing
Summary: Dean comforts Sam as the memories of hell threaten to take him over. Traumatised!Sam, Protective!Dean. Set right after 7:01. Chapter 1 gives Sam's POV and chapter 2 gives Dean's.
A/N: I'm absolutely loving Season 7. Is it just me or are the writers taking some cues from the fan fiction? If so, it's about time. Here's my first tag, enjoy!
A/N: Lots to love and hugs to Ericka Jane and Clair Beaubien who did the editing and gave me feedback.
Disclaimer: I don't own or profit from Supernatural; but I love to act like I do.
Dean has developed a ritual to get me through the nights when the sheer terror of the memories of hell threatens to take me over.
If my nightmare is bad, he gently shakes me out of my sleep and then calmly assures me that I'm only dreaming. Once I accept that the horror I was experiencing was only in my mind, Dean nudges me gently until I move over. Then he sits on the bed beside me and chats easily about any random issue that comes to mind.
What stands out to me the most about these times is his hand on my shoulder, or my arm, anchoring me in reality. The contact does so much to sooth me that I often find myself close to tears with gratitude for my big brother, who is determined to stick by me, even if I'm losing my mind.
Now if my nightmare is unbearable, Dean will sacrifice even his prized masculine dignity to comfort and reassure me. On those nights, I cry for Dean in my sleep, begging him to come and rescue me from the unrelenting agony the devil is inflicting for his own amusement. On those nights Dean literally hauls me out of the clutches of whatever torturous trap Lucifer is using to ensnare me, and he does whatever is necessary to make me feel safe. Although Lucifer continuously tells me that Dean can't hear and won't come to help, I scream for my big brother anyway. If anyone cares enough to risk facing the forces of hell to save me, it's Dean. And the day I stop believing that my brother will rescue me is the day that I resign myself to an eternity of agony and pain.
Tonight was one those nights when I scream out in unbearable desperation, figuring that Lucifer has me beaten. Then I feel the pressure on my shoulders as Dean forces me awake, effectively tearing me out of Lucifer's grasp.
I wake up screaming, gasping for breath and looking into my brother's worried face.
"It's just a dream, Sammy," he assures me as I try desperately to bring his familiar features into focus.
I grab his shoulders, needing some indication that he's real and not just an aberration Lucifer has conjured up. The Devil knows that for me to see my big brother and have him disappear before my eyes will hurt me deeper than any physical pain he can inflict.
Confused and desperate, I burst into tears.
"Dean," I say, hoping and praying that he won't evaporate out of my grasp.
"It's me, Sam," Dean whispers, squeezing my shoulders. "I'm right here."
To prove it he brings his hand to my face; his cool palm lingers on my cheek before smoothing my hair back from my forehead.
"It's O.K.," Dean soothes, knowing I'm torn between the sheer relief of seeing him and the crippling fear that he'll disappear from my sight the moment I let myself believe that I'm with him. "I'm not going anywhere."
"Dean?" I ask, uncertainly, gripping his arm tighter.
"It's me, Sam." Dean palms both sides of my face so we're literally eye to eye.
"Dean, it was awful. He..." I try to tell him what Lucifer was doing to me; but I can't find the words to recount the unspeakable pain I was being subjected to.
"It's O.K.," Dean pulls me into his arms. "Big brother's here now and nothing's going to happen to you."
Relief has me weeping like a baby, clinging desperately to the only person I know will protect me even from an enemy as diabolical as Lucifer. My big brother will shield me from Lucifer's agony and torment like he's shielded me from every threatening situation, being, or thing for my entire life.
Dean will look after me like he's done throughout my childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, protecting me from harm, comforting me through pain and loving and caring for me no matter what.
"He can't hurt you, Sammy," Dean says running a soothing hand down my back. "I got you away from him and he can't hurt you anymore."
Yes, I'm out of Lucifer's cage but getting Lucifer out of my head seems like an impossible task.
The thought barely passes through my mind before Dean's big brother radar hones in on it.
"I get it, Sammy," he said knowingly. "Escaping physically is one thing, now we've got to work on the psychological part."
I can almost laugh at the thought of my hardnosed, practical brother talking about psychology.
But Dean is dead serious and he releases me so we can make eye contact again. "Whenever it happens, you have to remember that it's just a dream, Sammy," he instructs gently.
I nod silently, tears still streaming down my face.
"And all you have to do is to call out for me. I'll hear and I promise I'll wake you up. Got that?"
Tearfully, I nod again.
"And no matter how bad it gets Sam, if you remember anything, or if you feel like you're slipping back there, even if you're wide awake, just talk to me about it and I'll make sure you know what's real and what isn't, O.K.?"
I close my eyes and breathe in deeply trying to shake off the lingering fear and focus on drawing strength from the one person who can get me through anything.
"It's worse than I can tell you," I whisper, eyes still closed. "It's more horrible than you can ever imagine."
"There's nothing you can't tell me, Sammy," Dean says earnestly. "I don't care what he did to you or what he put you through, you can talk to me."
"I can't," I murmur, fear coursing through my veins.
"Yes, you can," Dean insists, holding my arms for support and reassurance. "Tell me Sam, what's the worst thing that happened, what's the worst thing you went through?"
The horror of the memories grips me, causing me to gasp and stammer.
"Say it, Sammy," Dean encourages softly. "Once you say the words, it loses its power."
"The worst thing," I whisper urgently. "Was knowing that I'd never see you again and knowing that I was completely separated from the one person that meant more to me than my life."
Dean pulls me back to him and holds on tightly while I cry with shuddering sobs. Nothing that Lucifer had done to me had hurt me like the unbearable grief of being eternally separated from my big brother. For all the creativity Lucifer had employed to torture me, it was losing Dean that had been my undoing.
My revelation is met with a deathly silence; but I can feel Dean trembling against me even as he holds me tight, rubbing my back to offer comfort and assurance. He bows his head on my shoulder, inhales deeply and squeezes me like he thinks he can hold himself together by keeping me from falling apart.
We stay like that for a long time before Dean exhales loudly and turns his head to speak, but he doesn't let me go.
"You did it, Sammy," he says, his voice breathy and shaking. "You took his best shot, you faced your worst fears and you're still standing. I'm right here Sammy and you're right here with me. That bastard threw everything he had at you and you survived."
Relieved, I hold on to my big brother, shuddering slightly as the tears keep streaming down my face.
"Of course I survived," I say, making no attempt to hold back the tears. "I learned from the best."
TO BE CONTINUED