TAKING THE DEVIL OUT OF THE EQUATION
By: Karen B.
Summary: Season seven spoiler warning. Short missing scene for 7X17.
"Devils can be driven out of the heart by the touch of a hand on a hand, or a mouth on a mouth" – Tennessee Williams – American Play write
Sam and I worked together to get him out of bed and up on his feet, like Cas had said he would be.
"All right. You're all right now," I soothed.
Sam blinked at me, uncrossing his eyes, trying to make sense of what just went down.
"You with me, Sammy?"
"Dean?" Sam's voice sounded strange, rough and raw and exhausted. He didn't move, except for his forehead which wrinkled when I asked him the question again.
Sam looked past me, not taking his eyes off of Cas as if they were bound and connected in some strange way now. What little color he had bled from his face, only his cheeks colored in a slight blush. "That's, that's C-Cas?" he stuttered.
"Yeah," I said, just as Cas slid down the wall and fell to his knees – a sitting duck just waiting for the devil to take a shot.
"Dean." Sam clutched my jacket, bringing my attention back to him. "When he touched me something shifted inside." Sam jolted. "Nerves, bones, muscle, organs."
"A chiropractic hell treatment," I deduced.
"W-what?" Sam cocked his head as if that would help him to understand better.
"Dude," I swallowed down the lumpy rock that suddenly found its way into my throat. "He took the devil out of the equation," I explained.
"He…he healed me?" Sam whispered in dawning as if that fact was the world's biggest secret. As if by saying the words would somehow take away the truth. "I'm healed?" he said it a bit louder, moist and shiny eyes darting from corner to corner, searching and fearing and bracing – for what I wasn't sure, but could take a good stab at it.
"Pretty sure he's not playing possum, pal," I said, trying to reassure.
Obviously not finding what he was searching for, Sam looked at me chewing on his lower lip.
"How you feeling now?" I ran my thumb over his skin that felt ice cold.
"Better now," he said, "For a while I couldn't breathe and my heart felt hotter than flowing lava," Sam panted. "The pressure…the heavy pressure straight to my core," Sam swallowed, clutching a hand to his chest.
"It's okay. You're okay now."
Sam's breathing turned jagged and his shoulders went rigid with fear. He looked confused and I wasn't sure if it was the drugs still in his system or from Cas rehab. Either way I didn't care. I had my brother back. In one piece and that was all I gave a flying freak about. And I wanted to keep him that way.
"It's so quiet. Too quiet," Sam uttered, sounding almost afraid.
"Good." I nodded. "Sam, we need to leave." I gripped his wrist and pulled his hand away from his chest. "We need to leave now."
"We can't, Dean." Sam didn't look at me. Just kept staring at Cas. "He did this for me," Sam let out an audible puff of breath through his nostrils, sinking to his knees.
"Sam!" I caught him, absorbed his weight, compensating for his lack of strength and keeping him vertical. Kid had been knocked for a loop.
Sam shuddered hard. "I didn't mean t-t-to-I'm sor-I couldn't—Cas."
"It's okay, Sammy," I shushed him. "Sit," I commanded.
Sam obediently sat back on the bed, and I squatted down in front of him.
Sam shivered harder, muttering, "Lots of quiet. No screaming. Empty. He's gone. He…he's really gone. Lucifer's gone. " At the very mention of the name, Sam's eyes rolled showing only their whites and his head flopped forward.
"Sam! No, no, no." I quickly placed my hand under Sam's chin and lifted until his eyes came back down out of his head and met mine. "Sammy. Come on buddy, pull it together for me."
For a second, Sam seemed blindly unaware, looking straight at me with a guilty expression on his face, every muscle going tight with tension once again.
"How's it going in there?" I lamely joked, lightly tapping his noggin.
Sam jerked away. "He shouldn't have done that."
"Don't give me that crappy song and dance, Sam. Cas owed us that and more," I spat angrily.
"Nobody should…nobody ever should…guh." Sam went limp, and he nearly slithered off the bed to the floor.
"You keep with me," I urged, holding him in place. "Keep with your awesome big brother." I tried to smile.
Sam raised a shaky hand and clamped it down on my shoulder. "Tell me."
We both stared at the man in a trench coat, still on his knees, eyes bulging wide and panicked and his entire body wracked with the trembles. I quickly filled Sam in, all the while, guardedly keeping watch on the hallway; sooner or later we would have company. Sam was no criminal, but I didn't think we'd be so free to leave Macadamia Manor. At least not without a battery of questions and a battery of tests for Sammy and enough pill pumping to make anyone fall madly in love with shiny whirly bling bling.
Castiel suddenly started taking in tremulous breaths and quietly sobbing as he titled, falling to his side and landing with a heavy thump to the floor.
A weird thing happened to me then. For a split second a sick bubbling feeling raced through my gut as I watched Cas now completely come unglued. Like the quick twist of a door handle, remembrance flooded me. Cas had one time been my friend, and more importantly my brother. I even kept his trench coat in teh trunk of the car. I would have died for him. To see him suffering at Lucifer's hand… I shook my head trying to rid myself of any sympathy, empathy, of any humanity. He didn't deserve that. He'd betrayed me, broke my brother's head and damn near killed Sam. I couldn't say I wasn't happy knowing Lucifer now opened fire on Cas's mind instead of Sam's. Yet there was that small part of me that wasn't totally convinced the angelic bastard deserved to be lying on the filthy floor of Willy Wonka's squishy brain factory, curled in the fetal position, and drooling like a Saint Bernard. Maybe I really wasn't a machine after all.
"He's trapped," Sam's rattled in what sounded like an emotional and physical state of shock.
I knew that. Knew Lucifer would never stop and Cas could never crawl out of his own skin, even if he could…I doubted that he would. That gave me comfort. Knowing Cas was the one drifting out to sea in a leaky, beautiful pea soup-green boat, Lucifer the only one doing the rowing.
I had my Sammy back and I was keeping him.
"We need to get him out of here," my bleeding-heart brother muttered.
"He stays!" I ordered. "He said he'd be fine. Said it was better this way," I mimicked Cas's words.
"Dean. They'll just pump him for of pills like Pez…a pharmaceutical buffet, and believe me when I say… they won't work," Sam argued further.
I ignored Sam and ignored the human part of me that told me to save Cas. Instead I said, "Your clothes in there?" I gestured toward a small nightstand.
"I…I…" Sam shook his head and frowned.
"Sam!" I snapped. "We need to get you looking like a civilian again."
Sam didn't respond, still staring at Cas, a pinched look on his face.
I moved around to the nightstand and tugged open a drawer "Yahtzee." I scooped out Sam's clothes – wrinkled and dirty and blood stained - and tossed them on the bed. Afraid if we hung around here too long, someway, somehow, the devil would crawl back up into Sam.
"Dean. Cas. He…he…"
"He saved you, Sam. I get it. Still doesn't make us even," I said, emphasizing the word 'even' and trying to sound tough.
Out of my peripheral vision, I saw Cas tighten further into a ball, staring blankly in an almost vegetative state.
"He broke through, Dean. He drop kicked the hell out of me, took all the pain into himself." Sam's eyes shifted to me, watery and sad.
Lucifer real or not had a lot of power – all the more reason to shag ass.
"We are friggin' out of here, damn it!" If I wasn't so acutely aware of the way Sam held himself because of a broken rib, I would have punched him, let baby brother know just how much I meant what I said, and said what I meant. "Let's get you dressed." I grabbed him by both arms.
"N…not going." Sam's whole body wiggled to escape me.
"Sam, yes you are." I held firm.
"Son of a bitch, Dude, cut me some slack. " I leaned in toward him, straining my eyes and giving Sam my 'dad-look' to show him just who the boss around here was. "We're going," I said, softly.
Sam bowed his head in defeat, letting me have the last word. Crazy was in the mind of the beholder and to me it was just plain crazy the 'dad- look' still affected my grownup, hippo of a brother, the way it did when he was a not-so- grownup mousey kid.
"That's my boy," I said appreciatively.
Sam was like a robot as I helped him shuck out of crazy-white and into his jeans and shoes, then ever so gingerly tugging his shirt over his head, careful of his broken rib.
"Mmmmm." Sam winced anyway.
"You hurting bad?" I helped him into his jacket.
"No, not…not like before," he assured.
"Uh-huh," I muttered, inching him to his feet.
I could see in Sam's face how worn down and tired and broken and sick he still was. Sam didn't just get a tooth pulled out of him. He got the devil pulled out of him, uprooted from somewhere deep inside. Real or not…that hurt.
"Cardinal rule, Sam. When leaving wacky-packy- whoo-whoo, we take the back way out, the stairs not the main elevators. That's three floors...hoofing it, man," I informed uncertainly. "You going to make it?"
Sam didn't answer, just pressed his lips together and pushed off the bed up to his feet, only slightly wobbly.
I smiled and wrapped an arm around his waist. Winchesters may face plant in the dirt more often than most, but they get up and keep going – without dusting themselves off.
I gave Cas one last look before we left the room. He was far-far-away, swinging on a star in lobotomy land. Long gone.
We'd gotten down the hallway and around a corner, the stairwell door just closing behind us when I heard it… Cas's agonized screaming.
"Don't hurt me. Please….stop. Stop. arrrrgghhhh. Oh, God, make him stop."
Correction, we heard it. Followed by the squeak of rubber soled feet and shouts for sedation.
Sam flinched and groaned, his breath picking up in near panic and he squeezed his eyes shut causing him to miss a step and nearly take a header.
"Hey. Hey." I grasped a fistful of jacket and pulled him up, hooked him closer to my side, kept us moving.
Though I could feel how drained he was, Sam gave me his all, followed along, keeping pace, step for step.
"I guess," Sam said.
It was a lie. "Sammy."
"Little dizzy… foggy," he admitted. "M…my…my body wants to…to s-sleep," he weakly stuttered.
"How 'bout the rest of you?" I asked.
"The rest of me, too."
"Deep breath, you're good, you're good, you can do this." I kept one hand pressed against his chest, and the other arm wrapped around him. "I gottcha. One more flight and we'll be Scott free."
Sam paused on the last landing, drew his shoulders back and glanced behind him up the stairwell.
"Sam," I warned, securing him further, afraid for a moment he was going for gold, about to beat feet back up Mount Fruitcake and try to shove Cas out of the coo coo's nest he so neatly laid himself in.
Sam didn't budge and this loafing around was making me twitchy. "Sammy?"
Sam turned around. "I got it from here, Dean," he said drawing away from me.
The look in his eyes told me not to argue. "About time your brainpower kicked back in." I trotted down the steps ahead of him. If I wasn't going to hold him up, I'd be there to catch him if he fell.
Sam followed close behind, each footstep sounding louder and stronger than the last. It was killing Sam to leave Cas there. I never could understand how Sam carried that heart around inside his chest; bitch was ten times bigger than his freakishly giant body. Kid didn't have it in him to stay angry, hold a grudge. The only person he ever really condemned was himself. Guilt poured out of Sammy just the same as blood. I envied that about him sometimes.
We weren't out of the woods yet and I quickly prepared my big brother speech to get us far away from this bughouse.
I burst through the exit door, Sam hot on my heels.
The devil wasn't the only thing that was getting taken out of the equation.