FREE SPIRIT

Chapter 11

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Brake stood outside the door, a smirk stretched across his thin lips. He squinted through the vents in the small metal door, watching intently through the darkness as the terrible events unfolded within the chamber behind it. Those two people, whoever they were, were curled up, gasping pathetically for air as their precious oxygen was taken away from them.

He took a deep, satisfying breath of the air that was being denied his victims and silently congratulated himself on a job well done.

As their oxygen ran out, their lungs would begin to constrict giving them a few moments of perfect agony before unconsciousness released them into merciful oblivion.

That would teach them to interfere with his plan; his beautiful revenge.

He was concentrating so hard on admiring his handiwork, he didn't hear careful footfalls approach behind him, surprisingly light for one so big having to manoeuvre in a space so small. He didn't see the shadow that loomed up over him either. But he did feel the butt of the handgun that smashed into the back of his skull, instantly sending him into the oblivion he was gleefully planning for his trapped victims

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The already limited vision that Dean had in the gloom and the blackness was fading. His chest burned, feeling like it was tearing itself apart from the inside as his body cried out for air; every forlorn gasp felt like he was inhaling molten steel. Heart pounding furiously, his desperate breaths had become nothing more than empty, twisting spasms.

Dean was vaguely aware that Leylaani had gone silent; her body slumped limply against his, but he couldn't see her. All he could see was crackling spots of light on the periphery of his sightless eyes; a deathly firework display against the black backdrop of his predicament - a trick of an oxygen–starved mind. Dean guessed that those specks of light would probably be the last thing he would ever see; and that kinda sucked.

He could no longer hear the shriek of the frantic sylph. Everything was drifting, ebbing and flowing like the song of a rising tide; although they were trapped in a tiny room, the sound was muffled and distant, drifting over them from a million miles away, receding along with his waning consciousness.

Gradually, his unseeing eyes slipped closed. His mouth yawned one last, long fruitless gasp, and everything began to shut down.

His jaw slackened, no longer trying to drag in absent air. The fire in his chest had gradually faded, leaving just softly smouldering embers. Dean's world became dark, silent stillness; with Leylaani in his arms.

It felt surprisingly good.

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It was therefore with a mixture of alarm and disappointment that he suddenly felt a harsh thump to his chest. It echoed through him like a drum, and was followed by Sam's choking voice above him; "Dean, c'mon, breathe dammit, breathe."

A heavy presence fell across his face, tightening around his lips and he felt his chest swell, filling with sweet, warm air. He flinched as something hard and powerful began to pound relentlessly on his sternum, and it hurt; oh man, it hurt.

But then it stopped. Dean would have breathed a sigh of relief if he'd been able to. Something soft and intensely annoying was tickling his face, and, grimacing, he tried to rock his head away from it, only to have some great heavy ham-fist tug his head back upright and pinch his nose in an iron grip. The same presence, heavy and stiflingly warm, covered his face again, and another strong gust of sweet warm air was forced into his starved lungs.

He suddenly convulsed in shocking, paralysing pain as his heart leapt back into action and beautiful life-giving oxygen began to flood around his body. Yawning a despairing gasp, his back arched violently and he flailed briefly, head rocking from side to side in voiceless panic as he tried to make sense of his surroundings, blurred and unfamiliar through nauseously swimming vision.

"Dean, oh thank God," Sam's voice cracked over a harsh sob as he sat back on his haunches, placing a flat hand across Dean's forehead to still him.

As Dean's eyes gradually drifted back into focus, he began to realise what had happened. He had been brought back by Sam. Sam, who had knelt there beside Dean's lifeless body, frantically blowing great gusts of his own air into Dean's empty lungs and pumping life back into his heart with those great big, bruising sasquatch hands of his. Sam, who had worked tirelessly until he had brought Dean back from the brink, as if failure wasn't even an option to consider.

Dean lay still for a moment, panting softly as his aching, shocked body began to relax under his brother's comforting touch. He could feel the crumpled jacket that had been folded up beneath his head, infused with Sam's faint scent. He could hear Sam speaking softly, but he had no idea what the words were; that voice was all he needed to hear to know that everything was going to be okay.

Finally, Dean's mind began to catch up with the rest of him. He gathered his wits and made shaky attempt to sit up, scratching his nose to relieve the lingering itch left by Sam's shaggy bangs as he did so.

Reaching out, Sam's long arms circled Dean's shoulders, and helped him up, pulling him back to lean against his own body. Dean felt his brother's flat palm, come to rest over his tender, bruised chest, a subconscious reassurance that he could still feel the heartbeat that had been so terrifyingly absent for those awful moments.

"Thank god," the words were choked out through clenched teeth; "we thought you were gone dude." Sam inhaled shakily as he tried to compose himself.

Dean glanced around him from his vantage point tucked underneath Sam's chin, to see that he had been dragged out of their small, dark prison, and was laying on the floor in the corridor. Behind the wall of pipes he could just see the mangled remains of the metal door and a pair of feet laying spread-eagled across the floor.

Brake.

"He's dead dude," Sam explained softly; "I dropped him with the butt of the gun, but Bobby said that even though that sylph thing flew away after we got the door open, once he came round, he'd still have control of it." He hesitated momentarily; "so we had to …" Sam glanced absently down at the gun lying spent on the floor beside him.

Dean coughed miserably, "S-sa … s …" He interrupted, determined to excuse Sam from having to relive the terrible thing he'd been forced to do.

"Shhh, don't talk, Dean, just breathe," Sam reassured, rubbing the abused planes of Dean's chest; "get it back under control. The ambulance is on it's way."

A brief silence fell between the two, punctuated only by Dean's harsh breaths, each one like heavenly music to Sam's ears.

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"Sam," Bobby's voice spoke up abruptly from behind them.

Sam turned round toward the voice, and Dean stiffly followed his gaze toward Bobby who knelt hunched over Leylaani's body as it lay motionless on the floor before him.

Dean tensed as a bolt of panic tore through him; his mind had been so addled, he hadn't even remembered she was there.

Bobby looked back across to Sam, his distraught face somehow managing to look a worse shade of nauseous grey than Dean's.

"Where's that goddamn ambulance," he croaked; "I can't … she's not breathing …"

The brothers saw a mist of tears form like a veil over the older man's eyes.

"I think she's gone."

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tbc