Disclaimer: Don't own supernatural.
Warning: Contains M/M slash and male pregnancy.
A flash of brimstone fire made Sam's breath pick up. Coming to rather groggily, he knew he had to be still asleep and if not, he was having a vision he hadn't had in such a long time that it was like experiencing it for the first time again. His eyes widened seeing flashes of people getting burnt alive until he found himself in what looked like it used to be a city. The whole thing was in ruins and seemed to be nothing that was left unaffected. His eyes nearly popped out when he saw another version of himself who looked a bit older than himself. He was pretty sure he was gaping as well.
"What-What's going on?" Sam barely managed.
The other Sam was looking at his rounded stomach with something like longing and for a second, Sam had assumed that he entered what looked like the twilight zone. Weird things always happened in that show and yet things always happened to either him or Dean so he knew that this wasn't much of a stretch as his life had usually been lately.
"I'm you," the other Sam just said.
Sam wished that he made up his mind and told him more. The other Sam looked several years older than him and had a makeshift bandage around his hand. Sam took a deep breath to keep from asking what the hell happened here. Was it something that hit globally and he found himself wondering what the hell happened to have caused this.
"I bet you're wondering what the hell happened to this place?" The other Sam asked.
Sam nodded sheepishly realizing that he would have never gotten to that point if left to ask it himself. The other Sam just smiled sadly as though it was something that he got used to a long time ago. Sam couldn't think of himself getting far too used to loss, killing things was getting hard these days knowing that he had a half angel growing inside of him. What if the creature wasn't hurting others? He couldn't make a decision to kill the thing like he had been raised to if the creature was good.
"I'm Sam Winchester and getting a good look at you, I'm being led to believe that you're not from my time line at all." At Sam's confused look, the other Sam just shrugged. "I never got pregnant and I believe that in your time line you probably admitted to loving the one thing I wished I cherished when I did."
Sam found himself nodding and his mouth was dry at the thought of not having known the kind of love he did have before losing it. It was okay though because he still loved him so much. This other Sam would never know the kind of pain he had losing Gabriel but he would never know the love that Sam still had. He still loved Gabriel with his whole heart and was actually grateful for the time he did have.
Other Sam sighed.
"Well things happened the way we planned. We got the rings and I chose to say yes to Lucifer so that we could get him back into the cage. It didn't work as well as I hoped I guess. My fault though-I'm sorry we both set Lucifer free, there was no reason not to do what I did. I sent Lucifer back to the cage and Michael came along-"
"Adam was punished as well?" Sam blurted out before he could stop himself. He put a hand over his head as he got flashes of what looked like hell and knew there wasn't a time he had been in hell but flashes of his skin burning so bad his skin fell off? Meat hooks? He could never imagine the extent of the torture the other Sam had gone through. "So you got what we deserved. What happened next."
"Everything," Other Sam explained shortly. "There was a civil war in heaven and Castiel really tried to stop it but he went about it the wrong way. He opened the gate purgatory and ended up releasing vicious monsters known as the leviathans. Those creatures eventually led to Dean going to purgatory for a whole year and even then we couldn't stop fighting. It's not good. Eventually people found out, ordinary ones who didn't hunt and they freaked. The government likes to control everything so when they got involved, this was the result. Things went nuclear. People running for their lives. Hell the Croatian virus made a comeback and Dean."
Other Sam paused and Sam shook his head. Something happened to Dean and he wasn't willing to allow himself to believe how far it would have gotten in the end. He couldn't go through losing Dean again and yet he realized that he was doing the same to him. A burning sensation in his chest let him know that there was no way that he could make his brother understand because in the end he knew they both couldn't go through another second without the other brother alive. But Dean still had Castiel, he told himself. He still had the angel and if he ever got his head out of the clouds and wasn't at Lisa's beck and call, he'd see it.
"Dean couldn't go on. He already lost Castiel to Purgatory and if you really want to think about it, we lost Bobby. We lost a bunch of people but you know how love is and I don't think Dean ever stopped regretting not loving Cas when he could."
"And I suppose he was stuck with Lisa?" Sam found himself asking.
Other Sam laughed but it didn't sound happy at all. His other self was so cold and Sam realized if it had been any other way, he could have ended up the same way.
"He had her forget him after Crowley sent his goons to try to distract us so he could get to the souls for his own reasons. I being the brother I thought I was didn't want Dean alone after my plan to jump into the pit to stop Lucifer. I shouldn't have made him promise that because he tried so hard but he always loved Castiel. I think it was at first sight too although he never saw that-"
"I knew," Sam quickly interrupted. At the other Sam's look, he continued clearing his throat. "I know they both do. Just like we both loved Gabriel. It seems the only difference between us is the regret. But I know the one thing that will cheer Dean up is Cas and there is no one else he has ever loved greater-"
"Stupid," Other Sam said with such disdain that Sam paused to blink. "He loves us. He watched over us all his life. Don't expect him to be happy because if he lost us then the pain would be blinding compared to any other pain in the world."
"But he loves Cas too," Sam pointed out.
"He loved us first," Other Sam retorted with a cold calculating smile.
Sam nodded but that didn't make him feel any better. Before he could say anything else, he grabbed at his head as flashes of people screamed in his head. The sound of bombs going off and of fires stemming from buildings made anything he ever seen look pitiful in comparison. Blood, gore, and every injury he couldn't even imagine flashed before his eyes. Other Sam was gone and before him stood someone else and Sam found his breath catch in his throat.
"Hello Sam I am. Did you miss me?"
"Gabriel?" Sam couldn't stop himself, he flung himself at the archangel and cried. Despite his best efforts, he knew Gabriel wasn't really there and that did nothing to stop the shaking of his shoulders as he sobbed against the love of his life.
Ever the comforter, Gabriel seemed to understand and just held him.
There was nothing else he could do.
Sam looked up spooked but found himself back in the car. He shot Dean a grateful look and hugged him close, tightly as though he might break. Dean sighed into the hug but that didn't stop him from dropping a small kiss to his temple and ruffling his hair up.
"Come on Samantha," he said lightly and went to get up. Sam held on tight. "Sam-"
"Listen Dean, I want to talk," Sam quickly told him.
Dean looked annoyed already but Sam wasn't going to let that stop him now.
"I know you must hate what I'm doing. I know it."
"Well you could always let go-"
Sam shook his head, pulling all the more tighter until Dean seemed to give up and allowed Sam to hug up to him. He gave him a look without saying that this better be the last chick flick they had in a while and Sam nodded grateful for the chance.
"I know I'm going to die and nothing will be compared to the idea of losing me. I know you don't think you could accept your nephew afterwards and I understand Dean," Sam quickly continued before Dean could cut in like he wanted. "I'm so sorry that it has to be this way but I'm never saying yes to Lucifer. I'm not. I wish I could say I'm not comforted by the idea that it's me instead of you but I am. I knew that there was going to be a risk when Lucifer was set free that I wouldn't be here at some point. Hell I wasn't really thinking about surviving after I killed Lilith actually and the fact that I'm alive now says so much. But I want a promise."
"Sam how could you think so little of me?" Dean asked and even though he looked mad, he knew anger had nothing to do with it. "I love you Sam. You're the little brother I got to see grow up to do great things. Okay, so Lucifer and Lilith. Hell even Ruby wasn't so great but you have done great things and you are head strong. You can stand up for yourself. When you were away at college I knew that you were safe but I couldn't relate to anyone. I can't relate to anyone but you and to have you gone-"
He cut himself off and quickly did so to control the overwhelming urge to cry. Still it was more emotion that Sam has seen since the death of their father. Even when he was talking about Hell it wasn't like this. He sighed into Dean's shoulder and Dean continued after a moment's pause.
"I'm not going to have much left and I'm losing you. I know the baby isn't at fault but it's not supernatural so I can't just go and blame a demon or some other ugly ass thing and that's what's got me in a rut. For so long I thought that dad choosing revenge over being a father was really selfish of him. I never spoke of it but I basically raised you and now I realize what he's been going through all those years. The only difference is that I don't have the revenge. What will I do? Huh Sammy? You are my world, the one I've always relied on and-"
"I know," Sam finally said tearfully. " I know but can you try to love the baby? Can you? You and Cas are godparents and I knew without a doubt there would be no one else-"
Dean nodded, cutting him off.
"I will Sammy. I'll try to love the baby with all my heart. Just do me a favor and don't give up okay?"
Sam nodded enthusiastically and Dean smiled although Sam knew it was put in place for him.
"That's my boy. Now let's go."
Dean had already left with Bobby and Sam was to stay behind to wait for Cas in case he came to the meeting point. He knew that Dean couldn't wait much longer since this was the meeting point for Pestilence and if he left, they'd have no idea where he was. He fought to break the word he had given that he would stay here and instead opened the lap top to see what he could look up that looked worthy of their attention.
"Dean is not going anywhere so don't worry. Nothing bad will happen to him with Cas coming to get him and he has Bobby. You think that he will honestly allow any harm to come to himself now that he knows you need someone to be there for you? Come on, it'll be okay baby."
Sam looked wistfully at the Gabriel manifestation, recalling his dream. It was more like a nightmare but the thing that hadn't changed at all was one of them was going to die. This time it wasn't going to be Bobby, Cas, and definitely not Dean if Sam could help it.
"I think you're worried about Dean so much because it means that you don't have to focus on yourself so much," Gabriel continued. "That's what you're doing. You don't care about yourself as long as you don't have to focus it but the truth? You are deadly terrified of the idea of dying. You go on and on about giving the baby life and choosing to let our son live but the thing is, you know it's gonna hurt to do it."
Sam shook his head and quickly tried to bury himself in his research although he caught a glimpse of the frown Gabriel liked to sport when he was upset with something. He quickly took a deep breath to calm himself down. Dean wasn't going to die and he wasn't going to think about what could possibly happen in the next couple of weeks-only Gabriel was absolutely right, he realized with sudden dawning.
He didn't want to die.
He was terrified of it. He never thought it would happen to him. He never even thought that he would become pregnant with a baby he could come to love so much and yet not even met yet but he had done that too. He loved his baby and he thought that would be enough but the thing was, he wasn't concentrating on himself, and he was too busy trying to make sure Dean would be alright. He had to make Dean see that he loved Cas and always had. He had to make sure that Dean didn't feel anything akin to anger with him about what happened. Everything was Dean, Dean, Dean.
He was focusing on anything but himself.
He let out a huge gulp of air as he remembered what not only Gabriel had told him but Castiel. He would most likely die right after the birth and the baby-God the baby normally didn't even survive past three hours after birth. There was never anything else. Why was Gabriel trying to get him to see this reasoning of all times. He felt a slight kick in his lower abdomen and held his hands around his stomach. He didn't want to lose him, didn't want him to die.
The baby was his entire purpose for this and whether he died or not, the baby was the one that had to make it.
He was terrified but knowing that the baby would survive made everything he was doing worth it. The baby would help with Cas and Dean. The baby would help with easing them out of the pain and heartache. And last but not least, only the baby would remind Dean what life would be like if he didn't have to hunt and raised a family. He would be so much happier with Cas and a baby of his own even if he couldn't carry it himself.
Grabbing a towel and wiping at his face, he knew it was the hardest thing he was ever going to do.
But it was worth it.
Gabriel's baby was worth everything.
His cell phone rang, making him jump before snatching it up and answering it.
"Sam? Where's Dean?"
It was Cas.
Sam tried to control himself and his reactions knowing that Cas didn't need to be worried and focused instead on explaining where Dean and Bobby had went. He promised so Dean had told him the location so he was happy that Cas was actually almost there and on a bus so that he didn't have to worry about Cas potentially crashing a vehicle. Nothing against the angel but he couldn't drive a car nonetheless even attempt to operate one.
"Sam, Pestilence is vigilant. I'm getting there as soon as I could but you don't realize what he could do and-"
"I'm on it," Sam quickly interrupted. He couldn't let his brother get hurt no matter what promise he kept.
"Sam think about it for a second. Dean wanted you protected and if you do anything, Dean will be mad-"
"Dean is with Bobby and could be suffering right now Cas. I should have known that and made him take me with. He and Bobby are the only family I have left and I can't lose that!"
"What about you?" Cas sounded irritated and Sam could see the line of worry even though it wasn't portrayed. Seeing it for what it was made things easier.
"Cas Dean is my brother. I would really like to think of you as a potential brother-in-law even if Dean hasn't gotten a clue yet. I just want this all to end and for things to stop taking advantage of my remaining family. I want you to go straight to this address I'm going to give you. If you don't see me, head right inside okay?"
There was a pause and then-
"You see me as someone who could be good for your brother Sam?"
Sam nodded and added, "Could? I know Cas and that won't change a million years from now because I'll always think the same. The question is could you promise me something?"
Cas sounded restricted but he of course gave the affirmative making Sam breathe easier.
"It's going to be hard on him when-when I'm gone and I know you are the second most person-angel that he trusts and I just want you to promise me that you will be there for him. Be there for him when I can't-"
"I can't do that Sam. You need to think and-"
"And what? The baby is born and I die. That's the end of the story right? No and I know it. You know it too. Dean is going to hate life and I just need you to show him how pleasant it could be when I'm not there. Love him a little extra for me. Give him my love and take care of him okay Cas?"
Cas seemed to take forever but finally, he seemed to be agreeing with him much to Sam's relief.
"I promise you Sam. Dean won't be harmed. You have my word." There was a slight pause before he continued. "I'll meet you there but Sam be careful, you aren't having the baby yet-"
"If anything Cas I love you too. Not like you love Dean or Dean loves you but as a brother. I love you like a brother."
He hoped Cas didn't call him on anything when he got there, Sam hoped as he ended the call. Because underneath all the fake confidence he realized that there was going to be a time where they will truly be fine. It broke him up because they should be more than fine but he also knew it would take time.
Time that wasn't on his side.