God, It's Me, Sam Winchester
Summary: After the end of Faith, Sam visits a Church to offer thanks for his brother's life while praying Dean has been healed after his final run in with the Reaper. Fearing the worst, he chooses to talk to the one person he hopes will listen to him. Upset/nervous!Sam & Big brother!Dean
Tags/Spoilers: While not a direct tag to the first season episode Faith, it does happen directly afterward and will have mentions of things that occurred in it so in case no one has seen it yet, be aware of that.
Warnings: Mild warning for language.
Disclaimer: I don't own them. This is only for fun.
Author Note: I wanted to do one with Sam after 'Faith' but this took a weird turn so I might be doing another one. Not sure. The end was a surprise to me too since I wasn't expecting him to show up, lol. Enjoy.
SPN SPN SPN SPN
Stepping into the Church that sat on the corner across from the community hospital of a small Nebraska town, Sam Winchester hesitated just inside the door before slowly making his way down the center aisle to pause in front of the rows of candles.
Looking around he noticed the statues, the stain glass windows and other relics that reminded him of another House of God he used to go when he'd been small…before things between his Dad and Pastor Jim got strained.
Feeling a little uneasy despite being a believer and still trying to pray, he knew it had been a long time since he'd actually been inside a Church. The last had been the day of his late girlfriend Jessica's funeral service. He'd been afraid after the most recent events that he'd be back in one for the same reason.
Today he decided to drop in to pay his respects while his older brother was across the street getting some final tests run to be sure his heart was fully healed and that he didn't have any side effects from what they'd been facing in the past week.
Growing up with a hunter for a Father, Sam had quickly come to understand that death was also close at hand. He'd seen both his Dad and brother hurt to the point where he feared that he'd lose either one of both of them before he was even in his teens.
Lighting a single candle with a hand that he was still surprised shook this much, Sam sat down in a pew in front then finally dropped his chin to his chest and finally let himself show the emotions that he'd been bottling since the night he been forced to face the most terrifying thing in his life…the death of his brother.
Getting out of hunting, leaving the family business behind at the age of eighteen when he enrolled in Stanford, Sam had let himself forget how hard hunting could be emotionally and physically. He'd been dealing with nightmares over Jess's death and a few things that he'd rather not let Dean know about but the night they encountered that damn Rawhead is when it all came crashing down for Sam.
He'd taken the two kids they'd rescued out of the rundown shack while leaving Dean to handle the Irish hobgoblin thing. Sam had never once considered that anything wrong would happen…until he heard the sounds from the basement and he found his brother lying still, unmoving and barely breathing in a puddle of water.
Sam could still recall the icy cold fingers that gripped him when the doctor at the hospital finally explained to him that the shock to Dean's heart had caused irreparable damage and that the brother who had raised him, had taken care of him and who he still looked up to only had about a month to live.
For Sam, to see Dean looking pale and frail while in that bed hooked to wires and machines it brought him back to when they'd been younger and his brother had been seriously hurt while on a hunt. This time though they both knew there would be no getting better…or at least Dean did when he tried to make light of his situation as if already knowing how close to breaking Sam had been.
Dean had always been strong and knew what it would take to keep Sam calm but there was just so much he could do when it needed to be accepted that soon Sam would be on his own. It was this fate that Sam wasn't ready to accept so he began calling every friend, acquaintance or mutual associate them or their Dad ever had to see if there wasn't some magic healer or cure that would save his big brother.
It had taken several days of phone calls, messages and bitter frustration and silent fears until he finally had gotten the call from Jefferson about Roy Le Grange, a faith healer in Nebraska that had been known to work miracles.
Maybe if Sam had known or suspected how Le Grange worked his miracles he might've reconsidered it but at that point he was too fixated on saving his brother to give it much more thought even if Dean was pissed when he learned that Jefferson's 'specialist' was a blind faith healer working out of a tent.
Running his fingers over the rubbery black band both he and Dean wear, Sam recalled his brother's hesitance to go when the older man called him up on the stage and his own relief when after a brief moment of panic when Dean collapsed a local doctor informed them that she couldn't find anything wrong with Dean's heart and that was when things began to get weird and Sam soon remembered the rule that if something appeared too good to be true than it usually was.
Learning that Roy's wife was managing the miracles by a spell that allowed her to control a Reaper and that for every person he saved someone else died, Sam knew Dean regretted how his life was saved…especially after Sue Ellen died at the hands of the Reaper after Sam broke the link that bound the Reaper when she'd turned it on Dean and that meant that the girl they'd met, Layla, would die of the brain tumor that she'd been waiting for Roy to heal her of.
Sam knew that Dean felt guilty even though Layla's last visit to him had calmed things down a little, he couldn't regret the choice he'd made or whatever it was that did save Dean…be it a Reaper or something else which is why he chose to come into the Church rather than pace the hospital waiting for the last round of tests to come back.
" 'Sammy, you're wired tighter than I was after I fried myself with that taser and caused this mess so go find a decaf coffee shop until I'm done,'" Dean had urged, feeling tense again himself since he still had doubts about being healed like he was and half expected these tests to bring bad news so he wanted Sam out in case it was bad.
Leaning back in the pew, Sam glanced up at a stained-glass window as if feeling something or someone watching him but after a quick look assured him that he was still alone he let out a shaky sigh. "Hi God," he began softly, feeling weird speaking like this but needing to get some of the bottled emotion out and also needing to express his gratitude for whatever spared Dean's life when Sam knew his brother should've died this time. "I know it's been awhile since I came to Church or spoke to you but…my friend, Pastor Jim…you know him, always said you listened so I hope he's right.
"My name's Sam Winchester and I'm sure Pastor Jim probably spoke to you about my family a lot when I was a kid because he always said Winchesters needed all the help we could get. Anyway, I wanted to thank you for helping my brother," he bit his lip while closing his eyes and still seeing Dean in that hospital bed and hearing him tell him to take care of his car of he'd haunt Sam's ass. "I know what I did, finding that faith healer, might not have been a good thing or the right thing to do since I know that how he was healing was also killing people but…Dean…God, Dean's my brother. He's been my rock, my protector, the one who raised me and loved me for as long as I could remember so I couldn't let him die."
Feeling his eyes burn, Sam reached up to rub them and ignored the wetness he found since he'd only cried once and that was the first night he was alone in their motel after leaving Dean in the hospital and he'd been unable to get their Dad on the phone.
Dean had always been the one to have the answers. He'd always been the one to know what to do, who to talk to, who to con and how to keep them surviving on times when their Dad didn't return right away. It had been Dean who kept the bullies away from Sam at school or taught him how to defend himself. He covered for him with their Dad, played middleman as much as he could when the fights between Sam and John got too bad and then finally supported him as much as he could the night Sam left for school.
"I know Dean's cocky, arrogant, pushy and probably a half a dozen other things that would give him some black marks up with you but…there's more to him than that," Sam wasn't aware when he began rubbing his arms against the chill of the Church since he'd left his jacket in the Impala and only wore his zippered hoodie. "He's kind when he has to be, he's given up so much for me and our Dad and no matter what he says he's loyal. He's my big brother and I couldn't imagine my life without him even if I did leave him for four years I guess I knew in my heart that I'd go back because Dean's right. It's in our blood, hunting I mean and that's what got him hurt.
"We'd been hunting this thing that had taken two little kids…Dean gets pissed off whenever little kids are involved or hurt. He says it's because they remind him of when I was little," this time Sam's hands fisted because he did know why his brother always took cases with kids so personally. "He's been my big brother from the first moment I opened my eyes to look at him so I couldn't face him dying. I don't know much about Reapers and I understand why Dean lived but I also like to believe that you spared him because you see that no matter how brash he is on the outside he does good…we do good work and…please let these tests come back alright."
That was Sam's biggest fear now and why he knew his brother had kicked him out of the hospital. If having the Reaper turned on him when Sue Ellen realized that he and Dean were trying to stop the deaths redamaged his heart then they were back at square one and this time Sam was out of options other than face the truth.
Looking up to the ceiling, Sam closed his eyes against the tears he realized was blurring his vision. "I came here today to thank you for saving him in the long run and to ask you to please…let him be alright. Please let these tests say Dean'll be okay and that the Reaper didn't hurt him again. I know I said a lot after Jess died but…I can't lose my brother. It wasn't until he came for me in Stanford that I realized how much I missed him, how much I needed him even though he'd choke me if I ever went to say that to him so…please…I'm thankful for everything you've done for us because Pastor Jim once told me that you were always watching over us because he asked you to but…please let Dean be alright. Please…"
Twisting at the unexpected voice, Sam quickly slashed his face to wipe any tears away before his brother could see it and was glad that Dean was still in the shadow of the doorway.
"Dean…I…um…wasn't expecting you to be done this soon or…" Sam began, knowing his brother's rule against chick flick moments would keep him from commenting too much on anything he might've seen or heard or at least he hoped so since right then Sam wasn't feeling too emotionally steady as he tried to steel himself for the coming news.
Having come looking for Sam at the most logical choice when he didn't find him inside the Impala or the nearby coffee shop, a strong feeling told Dean where his little brother would be.
Of the two of them, Sam had been the one always more fascinated by the lessons Jim Murphy taught about God, religion and prayer. Dean knew his little brother had often prayed as a child and he assumed some part of Sam still believed.
Dean's belief in a higher power was thin. He remembered his Mom telling him that there were Angels watching over him but he lost a lot of faith the night she died and things got worse with their Dad but he never discouraged Sam's belief in God or Angels so when he needed to find him now, he headed for the Church and stopped just inside the door the moment he heard Sam's voice.
Standing in the shadows, Dean listened to his brother speaking to God or whoever else was listening. He listened to the words but it was the trembling shoulders and the way Sam kept rubbing his eyes that tugged at Dean's heart because as the big brother who had raised this kid he recognized the signs easily enough.
Every emotion that he knew Sam had been shielding from him during this whole mess was coming out now and the thought that Dean might still be hurt was scaring him and he was too tired to hide them anymore.
Listening to Sam's voice break toward the end told Dean it was time to break in then waited a moment to give Sam the chance to cover the emotions that were now rolling off him before striding forward.
One look told Dean that Sam hadn't been sleeping and he'd either been too sick, too weak or too focused on the Le Grange's to see what he normally would've been all over.
"Pastor Jim would be proud to know that all those lessons he gave us paid off on you," he chuckled, lightly nudging Sam over in the pew to sit down with a slow grimace since his chest still tended to ache but felt Sam tense when he noticed. "Get any advice from above?" he asked, feeling like he needed to keep up the façade until he noticed the way Sam's fingers were gripping the material of his jeans as if he wanted to grip something else if he didn't keep them occupied. "I mean, other than not stand in water while using a high voltage taser."
"Dean…" Sam hated it when his brother tried to play everything off as a joke even though he understood it was his main defense mechanism. "I know you're still upset with me over taking you to Roy but…"
Stretching his legs out in front of him while also laying his leather jacket between them, Dean considered things before reaching over to lay a hand on the back of Sam's neck and felt the tenseness there. "Do I like knowing how Roy saved me? No. Do I like thinking that a sweet girl like Layla will probably end up dying because Roy saved my life instead of hers? No to that either," he admitted slowly then tightened his grip just enough to keep Sam sitting still when he felt him begin to move. "However, I know why you did it, Sammy. I know this scared you and I know you're scared now."
"I used to pray every night for God to keep you and Dad safe and even after I went away I would pray that you were safe, that God would protect you," Sam murmured, staring at his hands rather than his brother since he wasn't ready to see his eyes. "This time while they were working on keeping your heart beating and then when they told me you were dying, I just prayed. Prayed that I could find a way to save you when I couldn't get Dad to answer or…"
Shifting green eyes next him while his eyebrows shot up in surprise. "You tried to call Dad?" this surprised Dean since he knew how his little brother and Father had gotten along the last time they'd been together. "Why would…"
"Because you were dying," Sam snorted, turning on the pew to stare at his brother while his fingers ran through his hair restlessly. "Because he's our Dad and should know in case he gave a damn enough to actually show up for you and because…because I…didn't want to be…alone when you…if I…Dean, I thought you were dead in that shack!"
Not expecting the sudden outburst or by the way Sam was shaking more, Dean blew out a breath along with his strictest rule when he used the grip he still had on Sam to gently tug his brother into a full hug that he held longer the first moment he heard the quiet voice break into a soft sob.
"Hey, your awesome big brother is tougher than some littler 100,000 volt taser and a Rawhead, Sammy," he chided easily, keeping a hand on Sam's neck until he felt him begin to relax a little. "Besides, all this drama is for nothing because that's why I was lookin' for you. The pretty little Doc next door says I'm fine. My heart checks out and as far as she can see and determine that other diagnosis was an error because none of the tests show any damage."
Easing back enough that he could make eye contact with Sam, Dean smiled one of his rare smiles that he usually only offers when it's just him and Sam or he needs to reassure his brother. "In other words, all is good and my heart can stand the next issue of Busty Asian Beauties so all that talking or praying or whatever you're doing worked. We stopped anyone else from dying and I'm fine."
"You're…" Sam felt stunned then relieved and decided to risk the lecture or complaints when he grabbed onto Dean for another hug, too tired to realize when the motion was returned or to notice when the leather jacket was put on him to help stop the chills. "You're really okay?"
"She said I could have as many double bacon cheeseburgers as I want and not worry about it so yeah, little brother I'm fine and so are you and we didn't need Dad to do it," Dean assured him, seeing tired hazel eyes watching him and knowing it was time to get both him and Sam to a motel, find some bad food and then sleep though he had a hunch Sam would be asleep before they hit the motel in the next town. "Sam?"
"Yah?" the tired voice warned Dean that his little brother had been worn too thin and the moment Sam began shortening his words he knew it was time to get the kid to the car.
Keeping a firm grip on Sam's arm in case the kid decided to fall to sleep while walking, Dean made sure his jacket was on his brother then lightly squeezed his neck in the same way he would when they'd been younger and Sam was looking for support or just to know his brother was close..
"You know that no matter what else may happen that I'll always watch over you and I'll never leave you alone if I can help it," he spoke quietly because they were close to broaching way too many emotions than Dean was comfortable with. "That you'll always be safe so long as I'm around, right?"
Nodding, Sam blinked sleep filled eyes at his brother even as Dean was shaking his head and digging for the keys to the Impala while Sam moved his eyes back into the Church as if seeing something his brother hadn't. "Thank you," he whispered to what he hoped had been listening to him then muttered a sleepy protest when he was bundled into the passenger seat of the car that was more home to him than any other place had ever been. "De'n?"
"Yeah, Sammy?" looking over, Dean was silently counting in his head before his brother was out fully when he noticed Sam pulling the collar of the battered leather jacket up.
"Don't die, 'kay?" the whispered request made Dean swallow since he knew that in their line of work he couldn't make that promise but this was for Sammy and he'd always swore to do what it took to keep his brother happy.
"Nah, I'm gonna be with you until you're old and gray and I'm chasing hot little nurses in the old hunter's home," he returned, flipping a cassette tape into the radio but kept the volume turned down as he spun the wheel to take them out of town.
So intent on his own thoughts of the past week and what might be ahead for them, Dean missed the shadow standing outside the Church that watched the 1967 Chevy Impala leave town.
Stepping inside the Church, the tall man with graying black hair paused a moment since it had been many years since he'd been inside a house of the Lord then he quietly stepped to the candles to light two near the one lit earlier.
"I'm sorry I wasn't here for them and I wish I didn't have to let them face what's coming alone but thank you for sparing Dean's life and keeping him in his brother's life," he whispered, placing a worn and battered photo next to the candles he'd lit that showed a family that never should've been torn apart so violently twenty two years earlier.
"I'll pray to whatever is up there that listens and to their Mother that you protect Dean and Sam while I can't," he reached up to wipe the single tear away as he thought of the two grown young men he had watched leave the Church and struggled to recall when they'd stopped being the small boys he could tuck into the back of the Impala while on the road. "Mary, protect our boys until I can do better for them both."
Giving another moment of silence to his memories, John Winchester slipped back out the way he came to disappear into the night while praying he could save his sons because he knew that neither would be able to survive without the other and he would not lose another member of his family to the demon that changed and ruined the lives of his boys.