Summary: Dean makes a Christmas wish while coping with Sam not having a soul but as he makes a final choice on his next move, he learns that sometimes wishes do come true. Upset/angsty/big brother!Dean /Soulless/angsty/emotional!Sam
Spoilers/Warnings: No real spoilers but I'll toss up a tissue warning and also some mild language and a little dark mood but it gets better.
Disclaimer: I don't own the boys or anything to do with Supernatural. This is just for fun.
Author Note: Okay, this was supposed to be light, fluffy and short. It…changed. Plot bunnies tend to write themselves and while I don't do 1st person POV often, Dean decided he wanted to talk and when Dean talks…we listen. Enjoy.
SPN SPN SPN SPN
Twas the night before Christmas and all thru the house nothing was stirring not even a mouse. Well, that wasn't quite true since I was stirring and probably would be for awhile despite the urge to just drink a bottle of Jack and go down for that long winters nap everyone talks about.
It's been forty-eight hours since I screwed up a bet with Death and lost my last chance shot at getting my brother's soul back. Forty-eight hours since I got back to Bobby's place just in time to stop said little brother from killing the next thing to a Father we still have.
I've hated this Panic Room from the first time I had to chain Sam down in here to bring him down from the demon blood addiction Ruby got him hooked on. This is the third goddamn time that I've had to chain Sam to this bed in here and I swear it'll be the last because even soulless when he looks at me while cuffed and strapped down to it the look breaks my heart.
I've let Bobby keep him drugged to both keep Sam calm since when he wakes up he fights to break free and to buy me the time to at least have this time. The day after is plenty of time to work up the guts for what I'll have to do next.
"Dean, don't do this," Bobby's outside the door and I know he's concerned but I can't tell if he's concerned for what he knows I'm considering or if he's concerned generally.
I know what trust he had in Sam he lost the other night and I suppose I don't blame him. He's watched Sam and me grow up so to have the kid go Menendez on him would change how you look at someone. I know that feeling. I mean, I've had 'em on and off since the night my brother let me get turned into a damn vampire but I'm managing to put those thoughts behind me since learning that my normally overly emotional baby brother lost his soul between the Cage and being freed.
Have I forgiven him? Ask me that if I had gotten his soul back and I'd say yes…now…I'm too tired to care and just want this one last thing before I have to decide on what the hell I'm going to do with him.
Once I realized that Sam had no way of telling right from wrong, that he saw everything in basic black and white with no middle ground and that he'd kill anyone to accomplish what he needed then it pretty much made up my mind that letting him run loose was out of the damn question because I knew I couldn't watch him 24/7. Sooner or later he'd get past me and someone would die.
Last year I thought living without my brother was the hardest thing I'd ever done. Tonight I realize that this is the hardest thing because while I couldn't live without him I also couldn't do what would need to be done and just go on with my life.
Christmas Eve used to be our favorite time as kids even if Dad didn't always make it back from a hunt on time. Sure, Sammy lost a lot of his innocence for the night the year he was eight and learned the truth but I could usually still get a smile outta him.
Even soulless, even without the ability to show an ounce of true emotion I'd still been looking forward to this year. Now I wish I could skip it but I'm determined to have at least this one last night with him…even if it kills us both.
I'd snagged a tiny little tree from a tree lot and used some leftover lights and decorations from the big tree in the living room and I'd put the single gift under it knowing that it was set up if he wanted it. Now to just convince Bobby that I knew what I was doing."
"Just lock the door and come back in the morning," I tell him, knowing he didn't like this plan from the moment I decided to lock myself in the Panic Room with Sam for the night but needing it to just be the two of us and not wanting Sam drugged again for it.
"You've seen him. You can't control him if he wants out he'll…" Bobby didn't like it and the rational side of me that my Dad trained knew it was a mistake but this was still my baby brother and I wanted this night with him.
"He can't get out unless you unlock the door so just stay upstairs and don't come down no matter what you hear," yeah, that sounded real good and I can tell he's winding up for a fight when I see Sam beginning to twist and wanting Bobby out. "I know what I'm doing, Bobby. Trust me."
Yep, the last time I said that it ended with Sam going into a hole in the ground for however long and coming back without that piece of him that makes him Sammy.
"Be careful…idjit," Bobby takes one final look before shutting the heavy door and I know even as he's locking it that he's remembering Sam with that knife at his throat and I know that any way it goes I'd have to get Sam out of here soon.
I wait a couple minutes after the door's closed and locked to release the breath I was holding and look down at Sam. I hate the padded cuffs that keep him chained to the bed but also know that right now he's lethal but now it's just us so I unhook 'em then sit down on the floor across from him to wait.
I'd prepped the room as best as I could with what I had. Both duffel bags, some blankets, some food and water, his gift, the wooden box from the trunk of the Impala that held what little of his childhood survived the fire and my .45 that I'd emptied the clip of all but two bullets.
Leaning back against the wall, I debate on writing a letter to Bobby since I'm half certain he suspects what tomorrow will bring so instead I go back to what I normally did on Christmas Eve after Sam had fallen to sleep. I write my Christmas wish.
It had just started out as a fun way to get Sammy to write a letter to Santa. He'd write his letter while I was doing my Christmas wish letter then I'd 'mail' them both. I'd taught Sam an early lesson that Pastor Jim had taught me. If you burn a letter it will get received by those who need to have it. Not sure if he really bought it but he'd laugh and that's usually all I wanted.
Tonight as I consider my wish it's actually harder to write than I thought it would be. What do I want for Christmas if I could have a wish? Duh. My little brother awake and giving me those same big puppy dog eyed looks that he did when he really wanted something from me or he was too emotional.
I wish I could have Sammy back in any way, shape, or form that involved him having some human emotion. I wish I could take back the last years of his life so that he could have normal…so that he didn't have to be so damn scared that I'd lost faith in him…even though I screwed up and tossed my amulet away.
"I wish I could just have him back."
Huh, I wasn't even aware that I'd said that out loud until I heard my own voice echo in the Panic Room then I write two more wishes down since I'm being honest.
"I wish he could forgive me for letting this crap happen to him and I wish that no matter what happens tomorrow that Sammy's safe and we can be together wherever we end up."
Damn, I'm breaking my own no chick flick rule and I'm totally unaware of the tears until I hear him speak.
"What's…wrong?" he sounds wiped and I know he's still got those drugs in his system but the monotone still breaks my heart but I shrug just so he doesn't have to know how bad this hurts me.
"Nothin'" I tell him, coughing as a way to break the emotion that I wasn't expecting to feel this heavily this soon and I hear the bed creak as he realizes the cuffs are off. "I took 'em off, Sam, but the door's locked from the outside and it'll stay that way until in the morning."
I know this kid so I know even soulless that he won't like being locked in here. Too many damn memories for him but without the pure Sammy reaction he just stares at the door for a moment then looks back at me.
"Why?" he asks in that voice that I've almost gotten used to hearing and I can also hear his confusion because he doesn't understand why he'd loose and why I'm in here with him. "You…didn't get…"
"No, I didn't get your soul back because I lost the bet so you nearly killed Bobby for nothing," I see something in his eyes but shrug it off to the dim light in here as I nod to the tree. "It's Christmas Eve and yeah, I know you said that it was nothing but it's just you and me so suck it up and open your present."
He hasn't heard that tone from me in awhile and even I'm surprised that I could make my voice still sound that gruff, that harsh when inside I'm breaking but I watch him eye the box warily then take it to sit down on the other side of the room.
I'm still focusing on the letter I'm writing when I get hit by a ball of wadded up wrapping paper and I simply lift an eyebrow at him. "Really?"
"A new laptop?" this is the first time I've heard surprise from him since I woke up to him a few months back. Clearly he wasn't expecting me to replace the laptop that got smashed when Cas totaled that piece of crap he liked to call a car. "What're you doing, Dean?"
Now there's the Robo-Sam I've come to know and…I won't say love but adjust to and I just shrug again. "You were bitching so much I just decided to buy a new one," I wait a beat to tell him what else I did. "There's a DVD in it for you."
I feel his eyes but I don't bother looking up as I add a small note to the letter to ask whoever's still on our side upstairs to give my brother a break and give him peace when I hear the DVD start to play.
A lot of the home movies we had when I was small got destroyed in the fire and Dad wasn't big on that type of stuff afterward but a few things did survive that Bobby and Pastor Jim kept. Finding those, I spliced together something that I know wouldn't mean anything to him as he was right now but at the time I did it I still had hopes that my Sammy would come back.
My brother's first real steps, his baby chatter, his first real Christmas with snow and toys, the first time he learned to ride a bike here at Bobby's…so many memories that I still had engrained in my brain that I often wonder if Sam had forgotten had been recorded.
I laid the letter with my wishes in the copper bowl I'd brought down just for this purpose and light it. I see that Sam's eyes are still glued to the computer screen as it showed Dad teaching him how to build a Snowman and I see his face is twitching much like mine does when angry and I can't tell if he's upset or what since reading Sam right now is hard.
Knowing I only have so long before he tries to get out of the Panic Room, I open the box to find what I'd put in there a few years ago and slid it across to him. "Dad's pocket watch. He'd want you to have it."
When Sam was still a chubby baby and up until he was about six if he couldn't sleep or had a bad dream our Dad would give him the old watch that he said had been his own Dad's and Sam would nod off while listening to it.
I'd thought Dad had gotten rid of it or sold it but when I cleaned out his truck I found it with a note to give it to Sam when I thought he was ready for it. Hell, I think it's too late for it now but I want him to know that Dad loved him…even at the end.
Letting the DVD come to its end, he picks up the watch to stare at it before finally looking at me fully then lets his eyes drop to the .45 on the floor next to me and I know the moment Sam understands because it's in those damn eyes.
In all his life, I've watched those eyes light up, fall, and look hurt too many times. Tonight I watch as my little brother realizes what will more than likely happen. "That for me?"
He asks it so matter of factly that I want to scream at him. I want him to feel something, anything as he considers if I plan on using my gun to kill him because Sam knows as much as I do that he's too out of control to be let loose and that I won't let Bobby, Rufus or anyone else do the deed. I want him to feel something but I know he can't so maybe that's why it doesn't hurt as bad as I thought it would when I simply look at the .45 before pushing it toward him.
"Yeah, in a way," I tell him, not missing the brief look of open confusion then I offer the same smile that I did on the night I killed Zachariah. It was the one I always used to assure Sam that things would be fine. "I can't give you anything else, Sam. I can't do anything else for you. I know that this isn't your fault. That it's not your fault that you can't feel anything for me, or Bobby or that you don't understand the consequences of the things you do now. I know all that, little brother…but I also know I can't watch you all the time. So here're the choices I'm left with…
"I can chain you up down here, drugged to the damn high heavens to keep you and the world safe from Robo-you or I can kill you," I hear my voice break even as I scrub a hand over my face to dry it of the tears that I don't care if he sees now or not. "Those are the two logical choices. Then there's the third choice and the one we're going with."
"What?" Sam was staring between the gun and me even as I think I hear my cellphone going off.
As much as I want to go to him now, to hug him like I would when he was still that chubby toddler chasing after me I know I can't so I lay out the blanket and pillow before meeting his eyes one last time. "In the morning, you're going to use that .45…on me because I can't kill my little brother and I can't live knowing that someone did kill you so you're going to take me out, Sam…then when Bobby opens that door you're going to give him the letter on my duffel and you're going to walk out of here and I pray to God that something I taught you comes back before someone does kill you."
There was no denying the open shock on his face this time which relieves some of my concern because I know that even a small piece of my brother is still able to be shocked. I could say more to him but I know it won't help and he won't understand the emotions in me so I just roll over and fall to sleep and miss the sound of my phone and my name being whispered by a boy I'd raised, I'd loved and tried to hard to protect as he was left alone to think on what I'd said and what I'd just given him.
I'd left Sam a letter too that explained it all. Every damn piece of emotion, of feeling and anything else that I should've told him all his life I wrote out. I felt safe doing it now because with not feeling, while he had the memories, he couldn't comprehend the emotions to go with them. I knew he'd at least read that I was proud of him. That he'd grown up to be a better man than Dad could've dreamed and that even if Dad didn't say it, I loved my pesky pain in the ass little brother.
I'm asleep sooner than I expected to be and I miss what Sam might've done the rest of the night since I know he hardly ever slept now and to be honest I didn't expect to wake up since I'd given my soulless T-1000 baby brother my gun and orders to kill me in order to get free so waking up with an aching body from sleeping on the floor all night, a pounding head from too much emotion and the sight of the open Panic Room door made me sick, furious, and emotionally exhausted to the point that I nearly picked up the .45 where it was still laying to just use it on myself.
"Dean!" Bobby sounds…well…alive which is good but he also sounds confused which for Bobby is saying a lot so I'm picking myself up to go check it out when he appears in the door. "You want to wake up so you can't tell what the hell's happening?"
I know what's happening? I went to sleep after spilling my guts to Sam's soulless self and expecting to get a .45 caliber round in the head. That's what I know so he's lost me already…not that I plan on telling him that yet. "You let him out this morning, I'm still breathing…what else is…"
"The damn door was open when I came down here, idjit!" Bobby's disgusted but I still pick something else up from him when it hits me what he said.
"Whoa! The door was open?" I'm already vowing to kill Castiel if he opened that damn door again when I see the laptop and both duffel bags are still inside the room even though Sam's has been dumped all over the floor as if he or someone was looking for something. "Was he…I mean…Sam's…"
A piece of me didn't want to admit that he was gone because I know that I'd go after him because so long as I was alive I was responsible for him.
"He's upstairs," Bobby tells me and I can't tell if he's happy about that or wary about him being loose in the house but I'm up the basement steps in a blur of emotion because I don't understand why Sam would've stayed around once he was free of the Panic Room. "Someone called for you earlier. Said you didn't answer your phone so he left ya a message and…touch one more damn cookie and I'm slapping you with a skillet, boy!"
Ooookay, Bobby's shouting like he would when we were kids but before I go find Sam, I key my voicemail to see who was calling me then I nearly drop the phone.
"Wishes do come true, Dean. Not always when we'd like 'em to or how we'd like 'em to but they do come true and I hope you get all of your wishes soon. Merry Christmas and look out for Sam."
I hadn't heard from Chuck since the night before I went to Stull Cemetery to be with my brother. I'd tried to find the geek turned would be Prophet of the Lord since then but it was like he'd dropped off the face of the damn planet. Chuck leaving a message for me was the last thing I was expecting to hear…no, not true. The voice from behind me was the last thing I expected to hear.
Soft, unsure, and shaking. Three things that my brother's voice hasn't been since I first saw him again. Turning slowly, I'm surprised that Sam's still here but then I see his eyes and feel my chest tighten when I find myself looking right into huge, wet hazel eyes with full on puppy dog eye power and I realize he's been crying.
Robo-Sam wouldn't cry if you held a lit match under his hand. He just didn't have the emotion or knowledge to know when he should cry and I could see right through his attempts to fake it. No, this wasn't fake. This was pure, 100% Sammy which meant if I knew my brother…and I did…that his next move should be to…
"I'm sorry," the tears were there alright and all I had to do was make one move toward him to start one huge chick flick moment but I'm willing to ignore that the moment I feel him really hug me back.
The night I woke up after the Djinn attacked me and I hugged my brother, his return hug felt…wrong. It was awkward which was something Sam had never been when I hugged him because the kid had been emotional from day one of his life. That night warned me that something was off with my brother. This told me something had gone right because even as I try to pull back to look at him fully, I feel him hold on as if scared to let go.
"Sammy," there it was and I feel him relax because I hadn't been using his nickname very often since realizing what was wrong with him. Now as I hold him back at arm's length, I understand why his duffel was tossed. He'd been looking for his oldest hoodie…even though I swear we tossed that out even before Lucifer was an issue between us. "You…okay?"
He's shaking and I realize he's been awake a long time because now that he's clearly got emotions going full tilt he's looking exhausted and I'm nudging him toward the sofa in the main living room just as he latches onto my arm to make me sit down too.
"Woke up," he murmured, eyes shifting to me then over to where Bobby was standing in the door and I feel his fingers tighten on my arm in a way that I recognize. Sam's scared and I realize he's gotten more than emotion back…he also still has his memories of what he did while soulless which means he remembers nearly killing Bobby. "Woke up downstairs…you told me to kill you, De'n but didn't wan' to…I'd never hurt you or…but I did and I should…"
Yep, Sammy's running on fumes and memories. He used to ramble like this as a kid when he was scared but it'd been awhile since he's shortened my name like that so I know that somehow after I went to sleep something happened to Sam.
"Hey, easy, Sammy," I'm pushing him back the moment I feel him to go to move cause I know he's next move will be to bolt from the house. "No one's mad at you and…" damn, he can still do that bitch face even when exhausted and I have to be honest with him. "Alright, Bobby's still a little…pissed but he'll cope once he sees who aren't going to go nuts on him again. Sam, what happened in the Panic Room after I fell to sleep?"
Sam's looking at me with eyes that remind me so much of when he was younger that I wonder just what else might have happened when he seemed to think a minute then shrugged while glancing to the tree as if searching for something. "Chuck was there. Said to tell you that he was sorry he was late and that what happened to me shouldn't have but that you wished to make it better so it would be," he finally looks back at me with that little smile that he used when unsure of how I'd take something. "I felt it hurt…but not like it did when I came out of the Cage…just a little then I just wanted you but I knew I needed to put your present on the tree so that's where I was when Bobby came down and…"
"How much sugar has he had?" I have to ask because Sammy's too hyper even for waking up with a soul again though I really have to figure out what the hell happened because I can't see Death giving in like that and Chuck's too geeky to scare the Angel of Death unless…nah, that's too far fetched even for my brain.
"He was downing that sugar coated crap you bought when I found him," Bobby replies and I see that aside from being tired, having a soul again has also returned Sam's appetite though it's been awhile since he's wanted sugar coated anything but I'm still too thrilled to see and hear emotions in him that I'll overlook that.
I'm about to suggest he tell me what else Chuck might've said when I see his eyes land on the tree again and I look to see what he's fascinated with when I see the tree lights glinting off of something that I haven't seen since I tossed it away in a fit of self loathing.
"Chuck said it was alright to give it to you now," Sam murmured as I stand to go take my amulet off the tree, feeling the weight of it in my hand before I slip it back on to feel another weight lift off of me a second before I pull Sam back in for another hug.
"I'll ask how long you had that later but right now you are still the world's most awesome little brother," I tell him, feeling the tears in my eyes but ignoring that in favor of focusing on the tired but still shaking little brother I'd gotten back. "You in there again, Sammy?" I have to ask even as I feel him tense a little as he understands what I'm asking and I hear Bobby hiss a warning at me.
Sitting back down I lightly place a hand on Sam's neck much I used to when he was younger and just needing to know he wasn't alone when I feel him lean into me and I know he'll be asleep in minutes as months of constant action is now catching back up to him.
"He said I'll remember some things more clearly than others but…that I'll be okay so long as you're around because big brothers always look after their pain in the ass little brothers," Sam was quoting me and I swallow the lump before lightly squeezing his neck.
"Yeah, you'll be fine, Sammy," I promise him, knowing I'll keep that one because I wasn't losing him again and I'd rip the lungs, heart or wings off the next son of a bitch who even looked cross eyed at my brother. "Go to sleep and you can tell me what you want after you wake up."
Sam's reaching for something behind him on the couch when I see my old leather jacket which makes me wonder if he got it out of the Impala or if a certain geeky writer/Prophet or whatever the hell Chuck was had been snooping in my car but I know what he wants so I let him have the jacket to use as a blanket as I sit back on the sofa because I know in this stage Sam won't sleep unless I'm near him.
"I'm…hungry," he mumbled, rubbing his eyes in a way that brought back way too memories and I just rub his neck until I feel him relax more. "Are we…good, De'n?"
Now there's the million dollar question. Are we good? Last night on Christmas Eve I wished to have my little brother back, complete with puppy dog eyes and a soul. I expected to die without getting that. Looks like wishes do come true because one look at Sam now, just hearing him talk tells me that somehow he got his soul back.
Do I think it'll be easy in the coming days? Hell, no. We're Winchesters and there hasn't been an easy day in our lives since I was four years old but so long as I know my brother's safe and I know that when I look at him now it won't be those same cold eyes looking back at me then I'm certain of one thing…
"Yeah, Sammy, we're good," I tell him, not missing his smile as he falls to sleep. "Merry Christmas, little brother."
I got my wish this year. I got my brother back and I'll burn anything to keep him this way. Now to just figure out what that demon's up to, avoid our Grandfather, convince Bobby that Sam's okay and decide just what Castiel's not telling me and things'll be great.
Bobby's slipped out to give us privacy and I hope to start cooking something. I just sit back on the couch while being careful to keep a light touch on Sam's neck to let him know that he's not alone in case he wakes up with a nightmare and consider the return of my amulet and Sam's soul.
"Thanks, Chuck," I whisper, knowing deep down that it was heard just like I know my wishes got to where they needed to be as I close my eyes fully for the first time in months and fall to sleep without seeing anything in the room and relaxed with knowing that Sammy was safe and at peace…just like I wished for.
The clock on the mantle begins chiming and as soft music is turned on somewhere in the house I drift off knowing we were safe and thinking in the music I hear another sound before I drift off fully…
"Merry Christmas, guys."
Author Note: This one took a turn all on its own. I intended for light and fluffy and it went off on its own. I still plan on light and fluffy sometime, lol.