Salt And Burn
Summary: Right before the final fight with Dick Roman, Sam surprises Dean with the chance to do something he has always wanted to do while both Winchesters try to hide concerns over how this fight will turn out. /( A little moment between the brothers before that final fight, some angst, some humor)
Tags: It's not really tagged to 07x23: Survival of the Fittest since it's set inside the episode but just like a missing scene between the boys.
Warnings/Spoilers: No real spoilers but still if you haven't seen the last couple episodes then read with caution.
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural, the Winchesters, or anything to do with them. I merely write the boys for entertainment.
Author Note: This did not turn out like I planned so there's probably another one coming but I wanted to give Dean a chance to finally do what he's been wanting to since Season 1. Again, I planned on fluffy and light but it took a serious note with some fluff mixed in. Read, enjoy, and review if you like. Thanks.
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"Dean! Dean? Dean, where are you?"
Dean Winchester groaned, a strong desire to either bang his head into the nearest wall or do the same to hi annoying little brother who was calling for him from the front of the cabin they'd been using ever since the Leviathans had burned Bobby's place to the ground.
It was only a short time before he and Sam finally confronted their current evil bastard nemesis of the year, Dick Roman, and all his black gooed up monsters from Purgatory.
They'd gotten all the key elements that was supposed to take him down but the hunter in Dean, the one who had learned the hard way that things could always go wrong, was more than a little leery that something in this could or would go wrong and he'd end up losing…
As Sam yelled for him again, this time the tone plainly showing his mind disgust at being ignored, Dean sighed while running his fingers through his short hair in a tired motion. This would be one of the few times that they were basically facing the unknown alone.
Oh, they had a newer more pacifistic Castiel willing to at least go in with them but Dean would've preferred the Angel back to his old self since he could be counted on as some type of backup because a huge part of Dean knew his Father would be rolling over wherever he was at the idea of his sons using a demon like Meg for help.
"Any help in a shitstorm, Dad," he muttered to the empty bedroom that he'd been sitting in for the last hour since he and Sam had finally melted Bobby's flask and gave his spirit a final send off.
Struggling to bury the pain and loss that act caused in him, Dean tried to remember that it was the only thing they could've done since on top of the Leviathans trying to eat America, he did not need Bobby's ghost going vengeful on him and the moment he learned how close the older man's spirit had come to hurting Sam, Dean knew that would be coming soon.
Now he sat alone while Castiel followed Meg around like a puppy and Sam…he wasn't sure what his brother was doing or what he wanted so he decided to ignore it all for a little while longer until the bedroom door opened. "What, Sam?" he asked tightly, fighting the urge to snarl since he understood that Sam would be hurting too but he was in no way ready to face any chick-flick moments right then.
"Umm, could you come out back a second?" Sam sounded tentative, almost as if knowing his brother was on the edge of a very foul mood and wary about bothering him. "It…it won't take long and…"
"Not now, Sam," Dean sighed, laying back on his bed to try to get some rest before he faced whatever but could feel that his brother was still standing in the door. "Sam…"
Taking a deep breath Sam chose to just risk it. "It's sort of important, Dean," he put in, taking a step further in the room when sharp green eyes pinned him.
"Sam! In a few hours we'll be facing who knows what and I just had to essentially burn Bobby for the second time so I don't feel like roasting marshmallows," Dean snapped, not meaning to sound as harsh or mean as he knew he must sound by the way his brother's eyes dropped but he was too tired and raw from everything recently to bury it then. "Just…just go get some sleep right now," he urged, closing his eyes not only because they were burning but so he didn't have to see the pain in Sam's.
"Yeah, alright, Dean," Sam murmured, backing out of the room to look at what he'd been holding then chose to go outside alone if only to avoid the tension he could feel inside the cabin.
Hearing the soft tone told Dean that he had sounded as mean as he thought he had because he recognized his brother's tone as the one he got when not wanting to piss Dean off more…something Sam had started to do right after Dean's return from Hell.
Accepting that the kid was back to being pure emotional now that his mind and soul were all in one piece again, Dean blew out a breath then went out to find Sam. "Hey! Do not do that!" he snapped the moment he noticed Castiel and Meg. "We don't know where she's been."
"Get this over peaceful, mooning and poetry reading Angel away from me, Winchester!" Meg shot back, wondering if dealing with Crowley wasn't such a bad idea after all.
Turning away from Meg, Castiel looked between Dean and the door before cocking his head with that funny little smile he had now. "Dean…I think it's time you went and smelled the coffee."
"Say again?" Dean was blank while Meg groaned.
"It's smell the flowers, dingbat," she corrected then wished she hadn't when the Angel turned back to her.
"You said you didn't like flowers and…" the Angel replied curiously, really not understanding this young woman or why Dean suddenly took off out the door while wishing Meg good luck. "I can go get you some if…"
Hoping they could get through this job without Meg killing Cas, Dean was only too glad to leave the cabin. His gaze landed on the newly returned shiny black 1967 Chevy Impala and his smile relaxed.
A quick glance also told him that Sam had been in the car because his box of vintage cassette tapes had been moved just a little but what drew Dean's eye was the soldier in the backseat ashtray. He knew that would have been what drew Sam to the car since that little toy had been such a huge part of their lives.
"Sam?" he called, sniffing the air when he smelled burning wood from the back and headed that way only to frown.
Sam appeared to be crouched in the front of the small fire pit while holding something in his hands. He also appeared oblivious to the world, the fire, or Dean.
"Hey, Sammy?" Dean moved up so he was standing just behind his brother. "I'm sorry I snapped earlier but I just wasn't ready to face things yet. Wasn't anything toward you."
A small nod at least showed that Sam was listening but it was several moments before he looked away from the fire to glance back and up at Dean and the fire reflecting into deep pools of hazel told Dean that he was either going to have to walk away or swallow his pride.
"I just wanted…needed a chance to do something with you before we went to do this in case we don't come back," Sam told him, the hitch in his voice was quickly hidden but not before his brother heard it.
"Hey, nothing's going wrong on this job, Geek-boy," Dean returned firmly, not really believing that but needing Sam to because he always tried to shield his brother from thinking the worst. "We got it all covered. We're gonna send Dick Roman packing and then we are going back to hunting monsters, witches, vampires…all the fun stuff."
Thinking of the days when those things used to be the hardest creatures they'd fight, Sam chuckled then felt the strong grip on his neck that was his brother's way of offering support without breaking his no chick-flick rule too much. "You…you aren't going to do anything stupid, right?"
That was Sam's biggest fear. That his older brother would lose his temper and act rashly or do something, anything, that might cost him his life and leave Sam alone to face the world and his failures.
"Sammy, I'm going to be fine and so are you," Dean promised, recalling other times when they'd been younger and he'd promised his brother that same thing. He prayed that he could keep it this time. "Now, what was so important that you wanted me out here in the middle of the damn…Sam…is that what it looks like?"
Having held out what he'd been holding, Sam knew the instant Dean recognized the white stuffed bear because if Sam hated clowns then his brother had a serious aversion to that fabric softener teddy bear.
"Yeah, it is," he smiled, nodding to the bear. "I've been looking for one in places we'd stop and the other day while you were trying to find junk food without corn syrup in it I went next door to that thrift store and found this one."
"Uh-huh," Dean grunted then eyed the stuffed toy with suspicion as if waiting for it to attack or something. "So, what do you expect to do with it then?" he asked warily, knowing his brother and supposing he deserved some payback for all that clown pranks he'd pulled on Sam over the years but blinked when Sam merely turned to look at the fire.
Staring at the flames for a long moment, Sam slowly looked back toward Dean only this time his expression was more grim. "Remember after that Rawhead? What you said in the hospital?"
Dean remembered the time he'd nearly electrocuted himself only too well but his memories of in the hospital were more sparse except for the fear in his little brother's eyes and then he did recall what he said. "Huh, yeah, I remember what I said, Sammy," he nodded, slowly taking the toy bear to give it a hard stare. "I said we really needed to hunt this thing down."
"I thought…maybe…before we did this last fight with the Leviathans that…we could have one final salt and burn…just in case," Sam coughed to clear his throat and to cover the break in his voice when he felt Dean nudge his shoulder.
Dean knew Sam had his doubts and big brother instincts also warned that his brother was scared that one of them wouldn't be coming back but this time Dean was determined that both he and his brother would be coming back or at least Sam would come out of this because he was not losing Sam again.
Though right then he decided it was time to put the dark thoughts aside and to focus on something far more important. "Yeah, we're going to salt and burn this critter and when we get done handing Dick his ass the next thing we hunt down is that damn duck," he decided firmly, waiting a beat before he heard his brother laugh to flick his lighter to life. "Sam, what day is this?"
"What? It's Thursday, why?" Sam didn't understand why his brother was asking that until it hit him and he groaned but did smile as the stuffed toy hit the fire. "At least this one wasn't six foot and suicidal."
"Thank God for that cause I wasn't looking forward to that again," Dean chuckled, watching the fire burn before looking next to him at the young man he'd practically raised and wishing he could tell him how proud he was of him. 'Soon, after this is over,' he told himself then slung an arm around Sam…which wasn't easy considering his brother was four inches taller, and gave him a quick one armed hug. "Bear's toast, Roman will be soon. Now, let's go gather up the troops and get it done."
Sam nodded but as he turned to follow Dean back to the cabin he gave the fire another look and bit his lower lip as he thought he saw flickering images in the flames…images of red eyed monsters and a cold feeling in the pit of his stomach that just screamed at him.
"Sammy! You coming?" Dean shouted, refusing to go back into that cabin until he had backup so he didn't have to deal with Cas and Meg alone.
"Yeah, I'm coming, Dean," he called back, shaking his head and putting it out of his mind as being too tired and still being wary after all that had happened to him.
Burning the bear that had always been his older brother's one obsession had been something that Sam felt had to be done. He knew the reason Dean hated that bear and had hated it ever since Sam had been a small child and a lady their Dad had let watch them once had put a much larger sized version in Sam's bed and it had scared him. From that day on his brother had vowed to burn that bear and tonight he'd gotten his chance.
It had had also given them a chance to reconnect in a way that Sam felt they hadn't been in a few years. Now as he watched Dean pace outside the cabin waiting for him, Sam felt in his pocket for something he'd pulled out of a tiny pouch in his duffel.
He felt the small object press into his hand and decided to wait until they were done with this to give it back to his brother. "Fresh start," he murmured, hoping after they'd dealt with this that they could get a fresh start and go back to hunting the evil things they'd been taught to hunt. "Right after Dean salt and burns that duck," he decided, feeling relaxed until Dean opened the door just as several vases of flowers came flying out. "Right, this should be fun."