Many thanks to all who read and reviewed and to "Guest Sarah" and my other "Guest" reviewer. :)
This is dedicated to "Pandora Jazz" who specifically asked for a "Sam waking-up" chapter, though it's probably more Bobby than Sam. Hope you like. :)
Dean's head fell drowsily on to the starched bedcover, his brother's hand securely clasped in his own. He had been here for two days straight now; forty-eight hours of keeping vigil over his unconscious little brother. The doctors had assured him that Sam could awaken at any time and he hadn't wanted to leave his side in case he freaked out at not seeing him when he opened his eyes.
Dean didn't see any of this as a chore; his place was right here. He didn't understand the why or the how or the wherefore, but there wasn't anywhere else he wanted to be. It was all perfectly logical to him. Sam was his responsibility and he was Sam's. They looked after each other. End of story.
He couldn't imagine them ever living a different life to a hunting one, but even if one day that should happen and others were to come into their lives, in ultimate analysis it would always boil down to Dean and Sam, Sam and Dean!
"Soul-mates share the same Heaven," Ash had stated on their visit to his solitary Road-House Heaven, and he and Sam had exchanged embarrassed glances, knowing full well that the soul-mates the computer genius was referring to, was them.
Sam stirred fretfully, his body on its path to consciousness, distracting Dean's mind from his thoughts.
He heard a noise outside the door of the room and he wearily raised his head to greet whoever of the medical staff had come to fuss around his brother, but the person who came through the door was a well–known face.
"Dean," Bobby nodded matter-of-factly as he entered the room. "How is he?"
Dean had had forty-eight hours of free time to do nothing else but review the whole Stull Cemetery affair, and the red-hot anger that had filled him had cooled a little, now that he was certain that Sam would recover.
"Bobby." Dean acknowledged, waiting for the older man to speak first.
"I would have come sooner but I got a visit from your angel buddy telling me that I'd be better waiting a while before facing the "lion in his den," I believe is what he said.
Dean was torn between his love and respect for Bobby and his memory of the easy way he had gone along with Sam's crappy idea of spending the rest of eternity in the Cage but Sammy was safe now and there was no point in taking it out on the older man.
It had been, was and always would be Dean's job to look after Sam and he couldn't really expect anyone else to feel as fiercely as he did for his brother.
Dean turned his attention back to the figure in the bed. "He's gonna be okay. Luckily enough the sword didn't perforate anything that couldn't be patched up. He should be waking up soon, or so they've told me."
"You wanna go get a coffee or a bite to eat. I'll keep watch over sleeping beauty here for you," Bobby offered knowing that nothing would tear Dean away from his brother's side until he saw him awake and talking.
If there was anything that Dean and Bobby shared it was their dislike of chick-flicky moments but Bobby knew that this thing between him and Dean would be hanging in the air unspoken if it wasn't thrashed out.
As if Dean had read his mind, he said "It's okay, Bobby. You don't have to explain. We can just put it all behind us. Sam's gonna be alright and that's all that matters to me now."
Devil of a boy, Bobby thought to himself. He's a psychic now too!
"Why didn't you say anything, boy? Why didn't you just say no to what your brother was planning? We would have tried to come up with somethin' else."
Dean smiled ironically. "Everyone sure seemed okay with Sammy's little idea and I went along with it because I knew I would never have let Sam do it anyway. I thought my crappy little plan would have more chance of success if I was the only one in on it. No offence, but a secret is such only if you don't tell anyone else. Sammy's life and after-life was at stake here and I was taking no chances of any details getting out. So I pretended to agree with everything that was said; just for show."
"Well, you certainly fooled us all. We thought you were good to go with Sam's plan. Great acting boy; though I gotta say that you couldn't be certain that your plan would've worked. What if you'd killed Lucifer and Sam had died too, which is what usually happens with a vessel."
"Dean shrugged his shoulders unconcernedly. "For whatever reason, it worked, but if my little scheme had gone wrong and Sam had ended up in the Cage with Lucifer then there would have been one very pissed Devil and two Winchesters in the Cage along with him. If Sammy had gone down, he wouldn't have gone down alone. Even in the Cage he would have needed his big brother to give him a basic course of "How to survive in Hell 101"
Bobby looked at him incredulously. "You would have jumped in after your brother?"
"You really think I would have stayed behind and lived out the rest of my life knowing what was being done to Sam. Maybe you don't know me as well as you think," Dean answered with a touch of hostility, turning a glare on the older hunter.
Bobby just stared at him, shaking his head slowly. "No, boy, maybe I don't!"
The squeak of the door opening coincided with Sam's return to consciousness. He wanted to open his eyes but his eye-lids seemed to weigh a ton and they wouldn't collaborate with his wishes. He knew that Dean was at his side. No need for open eyes there, as his big brother had his hand solidly clasped between his own. His eyes could open whenever they were ready. Dean was sitting by his side and that's all that mattered.
His ears were back to normal however and he listened in as Bobby began to talk.
He had wondered what the Hell was going on when Dean had asked Lucifer to embrace him for one last time and he had sensed the Devil's utter surprise as the angel blade had penetrated his angelic essence. Sam had felt the excruciating pain of the blade pierce his body but then he had fallen into blessed unconsciousness.
He wasn't quite sure exactly what had happened but he was certain that he was going to find out soon.
Dean had killed Lucifer. The fallen angel could conceivably be killed with the angelic blade but surely he should have died too, or maybe not! Whatever had happened, Lucifer was dead and he was alive, and he had Dean to thank for that.
"….but if my plan had gone wrong and Sam had ended up in the Cage with Lucifer…..then he wouldn't have gone down alone….."jumped in after your brother"…. "You really think I would have stayed behind and lived out the rest of my life knowing what was being done to Sam."
What was Dean saying, Sam wondered to himself, as he zoned in on snippets of his and Bobby's conversation?
He would have jumped in after me! He felt the panic rising in his chest at the thought. Dean had already suffered in Hell for him. Once was enough.
"No..." Sam said, his voice coming out as a whisper but it was loud enough to get Dean's attention.
"Sammy," Dean whispered in the voice he kept for when Sam was injured, the same tone he had used since Sam could remember understanding it.
Bobby took his cue. He knew that the moment was exclusive to the two brothers and he quietly exited the room.
"Sammy," Dean repeated again brushing back the sticky hair from his brother's face." You with me, bro?"
"Present and accounted for," Sam slurred, his brother's touch soothing him.
"I heard what you said to Bobby," Sam continued tiredly.
"I said a lot of things to Bobby; anything in particular?" Dean joked. Now that his brother was awake, his cockiness had started to make a tentative return.
"About jumping into the Cage after me. You know I never wanted you to do that. I wanted you to go and have a good life with Lisa, "Sam replied tackily, his tongue feeling enormous in his mouth.
"I get it that Bobby might not know everything about me but I thought my Stanford, geeky, genius little brother did," smirked the elder.
Sam didn't have to hear Dean's words confirming what he would have done. It was exactly what he had been trying to avoid. There had been no point in both of them suffering the same fate.
But just in case Sam didn't get it Dean made it very clear. "If you had finished up in the Cage you would have had company and if you had been killed along with Lucifer you would still have had company because a gun to the head does the job. You go, I go little brother!"
"And where you go, I go too, Dean" was Sam's whispered reply, as his long fingers wrapped themselves around his big brother's hand.