First fic I've written in quite a bit but this one was screaming to be written after the season 8 premiere.
Thanks to Tree66, Ziggy and SPN_Hunter_67 for all giving it their stamp of approval before I published. :)
Some dialogue has been taken directly from the show for obvious reasons, I hope.
Sam twisted the dial on the radio, finding a new station since the one he'd been listening to had died out a few miles back. Music came blaring through the speakers, the lyrics slightly familiar.
We're going down, down in an earlier round, and sugar, we're going down swinging…
Sam reached for the knob. Dean would kill him for listening to this. His hand paused in mid-air.
Dean is gone.
His hand began to tremble and he viciously switched the radio off. Gripping the steering wheel with both hands, he took a deep breath and remembered where he was.
He still couldn't wrap his mind around that fact, wasn't sure if he ever could. His brother was gone, he'd disappeared right in front of him and Sam had no idea where he was. Nobody to contact, nobody to ask. What few hunters he did know wouldn't have any answers for this. They'd never been up against Leviathans before. The only person who might have an answer was Crowley and there was no way in hell he was going to help out a Winchester unless something was in it for him. Dean was gone.
Stop kidding yourself, Sam. You know what happened to your brother. He's dead.
Sam shook his head as the road in front of him began to blur. He'd been denying the fact for days. Dean had to be somewhere; he couldn't be dead, not now. Not after everything they had been through. His big brother was invincible, nothing could stop him. He'd been to Hell and back. He could survive anything, would always be there, and would never leave his little brother alone.
He's dead and you know it. A weapon strong enough to take out a Leviathan and you don't think it could take out those standing right next to it?
A sob escaped his throat, the tears he'd been holding back for days threatened to consume him.
Something darted across the road in front of him and Sam slammed on the brakes, too late. There was a thump against the Impala and then everything was still. Sam jumped from the car, wiping at his wet eyes. A dog lay in the middle of the road, bleeding and broken and Sam began to cry again.
Everything you touch gets broken, everyone you love dies.
Sam knelt next to the dog, warily holding out his hand. "Hey, buddy. You gonna let me help you?"
The dog sniffed Sam's hand and gave a weak whimper.
"I'll take that as a yes."
Sam opened the trunk of the Impala, eyes avoiding the pile of Dean's things, and fished out an old towel Dean had used to dry the Impala with. Dean would kill him for using that on a dog.
Dean is gone.
Sam swallowed hard and returned to the injured dog. The dog offered no resistance as Sam wrapped the towel around him and loaded him into the backseat of the Impala. Add that to the list of things Dean would kill him for.
Dean is gone.
Sam gave the dog a quick scratch behind the ears. "Hang in there, okay? I'm gonna take care of you."
Yeah, the same way you took care of Dean? And Bobby? And don't forget Jess?
Sam floored the Impala and sped toward the nearest town.
Sam burst through the door of the veterinary hospital, clutching the injured dog to his chest.
"Help….I need help. The dog needs help."
"That way!" The woman at the front desk pointed him toward the back as she hurried that way herself. Sam followed her into an examining room.
"He just...he just came out of nowhere, right in front of my car." Sam gently laid the dog on the table. "We need a doctor. Are you a doctor?"
"The doctor's coming, sir. I'm not sure….."
Sam heard the doubt in her voice. "You're not sure, what? This is an animal hospital. You save animals!"
"Save this animal!"
Please save him. He doesn't deserve this.
"Okay, Roberta, can you escort this gentleman out, please?"
Sam whirled around at the sound of a new voice. The vet was giving him an accusatory look as if she knew who he really was.
Guilt washed over him. "I did this."
"Come on." Roberta was leading the way from the room. Sam followed but paused at the door to look back as the vet began examining the dog.
Please, don't let him die because of me.
Sam sat on the edge of the chair, feet tapping nervously, hands clasped in a poor attempt at prayer. Old habits die hard and in moments of desperation he still found himself offering up prayers to someone he no longer believed in. Oh, he believed God existed, just not for Sam Winchester.
Waiting for news of the dog reminded Sam too much of the last time he had been waiting like this and the news then had been the worst. Bobby hadn't made it and Sam had been worried the grief would consume his brother.
Now he was worried it would consume him. Dean had made him promise time and time again that if anything ever happened, he would move on with his life. No attempts at deals, like the time Dean went to Hell, no bargaining with Crowley or whoever else was in charge of Hell at the time. Dean had made the same promise and had even attempted to keep it when Sam jumped into the cage but it hadn't worked out.
I know what I promised, Dean, but how am I supposed to go on?
He felt as if the walls were closing around him, making it hard to breathe. He had to get out. He couldn't sit there one more minute waiting for the inevitable. The dog was going to die. One more death on his hands, one more victim to mourn.
The vet returned to the waiting room just as Sam was ready to bolt for the door. He got to his feet as she approached.
"He sustained some serious internal bleeding, there's at least two leg fractures that I can see right now but with some TLC, he should pull through for you."
Sam almost couldn't believe what he'd heard. He exhaled loudly. "Thanks, doctor."
He wondered if he should go now when the vet said: "You're gonna take the dog?"
No, I'm not taking the dog! Do you want him to die?
"Look, I…..I would. He's not mine."
"He's not anybody's."
I can't take him.
"I….I spend a lot of time on the road."
"Don't you think you're responsible?"
In more ways than you know, lady.
"Why do you think I brought him here?"
The vet turned to Roberta at the front desk. "Roberta, could you hand this man his trophy on his way out?"
Roberta smirked and returned to her work.
They were mocking him.
I just lost my brother while we saved your freaking world and you...
"Well, maybe if you were such an upstanding guy you wouldn't have hit him in the first place?"
Sam lowered his gaze. She was right, of course. He'd been wallowing in self-pity, not paying attention to the road. He owed it to the dog. Otherwise, who would take care of him?
"Fine. I'll take him."
"There's my hero."
She turned away, walking back toward the examining rooms.
I'm no hero.
Sam stood there uncertainly for a minute then he turned to Roberta. "Um, can I take him with me today?"
"He'll need to stay overnight but the doc's orders say if he's okay in the morning, you can take him then."
"Um….okay…can I…do you think I can see him before I go? Let him know what he's gotten himself into?"
Roberta smiled. "Sure."
The dog was snoozing peacefully as Sam pulled a stool up next to the table he was lying on. Roberta was still standing in the doorway.
"Can I have a minute?" Sam asked.
"Just make sure you check out with me before you leave. I need to get your info in case we need to get in touch with you."
Sam nodded and waited for the door to close. He reached out and touched the dog's head. "Hey, buddy. Looks like you're stuck with me. Sorry about that."
The dog continued to snooze.
Talking to a sleeping, probably drugged up, dog. Just one more thing for Dean to….
Dean is gone.
Sam dug his fingers into the dog's fur.
"I'm supposed to live my life and I don't even know what that is anymore."
Sam sometimes wondered if he'd never come back how things would have been for Dean. Could he have found a happy life with Lisa and Ben? Or would he have been pulled back into hunting eventually? What was Sam supposed to do now? How was he supposed to keep hunting without the one person he'd always trusted to have his back? Why should he keep hunting when everything he touched ended up hurt…..or worse? But how could he just give up on the family business?
Dean is gone.
"I have no family," whispered Sam.
Sorry, Sam. You are well and truly on your own.
Crowley's words echoed in his head as Sam began to weep. He wept for the loss of his brother, his comforter, his rock. Without Dean, he was only one half of a whole. How was he ever supposed to go on that way?
"Dean, I can't."
He covered his face with his hands, forgetting where he was, lost only in his grief. Something wet and sloppy brushed across his fingers. Sam jerked backwards, almost falling off the stool before he realized the dog was awake and licking his hands.
When the dog saw he no longer had any barriers, he began licking Sam's face, covering him in dog slobber and Sam began to laugh. It was something that felt so incredibly wrong to be doing with tears still drying on his face but at the same time it felt so incredibly right, in fact, it felt normal.
Dean is gone.
"I have to try."
Thanks to imademonhunter on Twitter for suggesting Fall Out Boy as a band Sam would like but Dean would make fun of. Lyrics from Sugar, We're Goin' Down.
Thanks for reading!