"Sammy, Sammy!"mThe young man who lay almost comatose on the rumpled bed heard the summons as though from down a long narrow tunnel. But as much as he wanted to he could not respond. But he did let out an audible breath as he twitched, just once. That was all that Dean needed. The momentary surge of panic that had kept him frozen in the doorway was slammed aside. On his knees at his brother's side, he ran his fingers expertly over the chain that imprisoned Sam on the enormous steel- frame bed.
The chain started at the manacle on Sam's right wrist, looped around one fat bed post then through the upright steel bars to chase around the other bed post then to the manacle on his left wrist. Dean's eyes could not follow the chain as it continued from there to slither through the steel springs under the thick mattress to re-emerge at the base of the bed to the manacles clamped around Sam's ankles. From there it finally ended taut, at an enormous circle of iron embedded in the floor below the bed. It would have made moving almost impossible and then incredibly painful as Sam was stretched full out.
Dean briefly brushed Sam's sweat streaked overlong hair away from his pale face. Sam's forehead was knitted in pain even in the depths of unconsciousness. Angry tears pricked at Dean's eyes for a moment before the lock pick was in his hands, fingers dexterously at work.
But these were old fashioned bracelets and it took him the better part of an hour to get the ones at Sam's wrists open. Dried blood and other things had caked the mechanism. But eventually the chains dropped heavily to the floor. Sam whimpered a little as his ankles were freed. They were more than a little raw and bloody. Dean licked his lips as he struggled to control his rage.
Sam's back, buttocks and legs were stained brown with dried blood. There were raised welts along his back and legs. His buttocks was bruised and swollen. Dean touched the bite marks on his lower back. Nine weeks, those bastards had kept him prisoner for nine weeks. Dean wished he could go back upstairs and kill them all over again.
Sam was like a dead weight in his arms, but Dean wrestled him step by step up from the basement room to the small bathroom on the ground floor. This was going to hurt. If Sammy had screamed even once Dean would have been able to hold back his tears, but the chocked desperate sounds that came from deep inside his brother crushed his usual stoicism.
Back braced against the tiled wall Dean sat holding Sam upright under the warm shower of water. He washed away the tired tear tracks from Sammy's face. He rubbed clean his chest and back. With jaw set he reached down between his brother's legs and washed away the blood and other fluids there. Dean sat holding his baby brother still until the water ran cold.
Clean, dry, warm, soft flannel against his skin. Sammy struggled to open his eyes as the scent of a familiar aftershave awakened his battered senses. There was someone holding him, fixing him, making everything better. He fought to open his eyes again just a little and as the blurred image confirmed the truth, he struggled to speak, to just whisper the name that had been on his lips as a mantra, a prayer and finally a desperate plea for so long.
Dean tried to be as gentle as he could as he propped Sam against the two duffle bags that he had placed as pillows to cushion him on the back seat of the car. He fixed Sammy's long legs as best as he could, noting again how slight his brother's frame had gotten. His breath hitched as he caught the shine of Sam's eyes as they slit open at last. His heart ached as Sammy's lips trembled to say his name.
"I'm here Sammy," Dean's voice was harsh with emotion. He cupped one side of Sam's face for just a moment.
Sam leaned into the warmth of Dean's skin against his, but all too soon the contact was broken. But soon there was the slam of a car door and the hum of an engine. These familiar sounds lulled Sam into the first real sleep he had had in nine weeks.
At the wheel Dean quickly wiped away traitorous tears before they could fall.
Not a motel but not some abandoned hovel either. Dean kept driving looking for the perfect place to disappear for a while. One hundred and fifty miles later he had almost given up and decided to take the chance and check into a motel when he caught sight of it. The house stood a little way back from the road. The foreclosure sign in the front yard was half way covered in grunge and there was no new sign announcing that the house was on the market.
The dust was not so thick in one of the back rooms. An added bonus was an old sofa, one scarred coffee table and a dusty rug. With an old shirt soaked in water Dean cleaned up as best as he could. The rug he tossed out.
Getting Sam out of the car and into the house was a job that took all of Dean's finesse and strength. Unable to walk and half somnolent Sam could do no more than grasp weakly at his brother's shirt as Dean wrestled him through the back door.
He got Sam settled on the couch and made another trip to the car for the food he had bought at a drive through. Not the best thing, but it would have to do. Dean sat cross-legged on the ground drinking, eating and thinking. Some of Sam's wounds required cleaning and stitching, but that would mean taking off his clothes and causing him more pain. It could wait.
Evening came and with it a cool breeze, Dean had been hovering over Sam on and off, making sure his little brother was still breathing. Sam was sleeping like the dead, only the soft sounds of air going in and out of him signalled life. When the sky faded to black Dean unrolled his sleeping bag across the foot of the sofa. He wanted to be the first thing that Sam saw when he awoke.
Running always running. This was the dream that Sam had had for weeks now. Running down a deserted road, panting, gun out, sweat falling in his eyes. Then the house. It stood alone at the side of the road door slightly ajar beckoning him in. And this time as every time Sam swerved towards it. "No" screamed a voice in his head. But it was already too late. They overpowered him in a matter of seconds. His back arched at the first bite, but there were so many mouths, so many...too many.
Darkness came, then pain, then humiliation. And the feedings continued. No they weren't going to kill him he was too good to waste. Sam screamed long and loud as despair overcame him.
His eyes flew open wide in the dark shiny with unshed tears. His mouth stretched in a ugly rictus of a strangled scream. But before he could take another breath that familiar scent smothered him. Work toughened arms held him close. Not so clean clothes rubbed against his face. Sam struggled not to cry out again. His breath juddered in his throat. It was over, it was really over. It had not been some wanton dream, Dean had come through for him again, like he always had ever since he could remember. Sam rocked in that embrace moaning deep inside.
"'S okay Sammy, I'm here." Dean murmured against that pain filled sound.
He felt Sammy nod somewhere close to his heart.
"They're dead, everyone of 'em. Burned the house, just to make sure," he continued.
Again Dean felt that slight movement that meant Sam was listening.
"We'll be okay, we'll be fine," Dean whispered.
Sam shut his eyes against the pain in his back, his legs, his arms and other places. He didn't want to move, he didn't want to eat, sleep or think. He just wanted this to go on for a while.
Time seemed to slow as Dean, eyes closed, rocked Sammy back and forth whispering, cheek atop his brother head. He held Sam close knowing that there would be many nights and days worse that this one ahead, but it was a start, a respite from an agonizing nine weeks when he had hunted, searched, killed and tortured things to get to this place, this time. It would take a while but they would be alright...somehow. Somehow they were always alright.