A/N: This is a quick sequel to Knockin' On Heaven's Door, as a request (well, sort of) from Dead-Knight-of-Darkness. Won't say too much because I don't want to spoil too much from Heaven's Door but it does show what happened to Sammy after that story ended. This is technically a sequel but can be read as a standalone too. Please feel free to read and review, I love reading the feedback, praise or otherwise. So long as it's constructive and not malicious, I can take criticism! DISCLAIMER: I do not own Supernatural or any of the characters.
Not Without My Brother
Sam leans against the door of the sleazy motel room, a bottle of Jack in his hand. The space is ramshackled, looking as if the lone twister which had passed nearby had somehow made its way into Room 26 of The Bluebird Motel. Sam doesn't seem to notice the mess, or care. He hasn't eaten or slept since it happened, passing his days in a drunken stupor. He doesn't care that he has been staying at the same shitty motel for weeks now (the proprietor had been suspicious, but several fraudulent credit cards had been enough to keep his trap shut). All Sam does care about is that his brother is gone, and there's no way he can bring him back.
It has been almost a month since the fatal crash had claimed Dean's life. At first, reality had not really sank in for Sam, despite the fact that he had actually seen his brother's body as it was loaded into the ambulance. The young man had finally been led into the second vehicle (only Dean's would not drive off with a wailing siren), numb from the shock. He sat dutifully as he was being treated for his own injuries, filled out insurance forms, and eventually was discharged. It wasn't until he had paid for a week's stay at the latest dump when the reality finally sank in. No older brother sleeping in the bed next to him; because Sam, out of sheer habit, had requested a double room, one bed for himself and one for his brother. Only this time, there would be no Dean snoring beside him. No Dean watching Dr. Sexy, MD, while blatantly denying that he was a fan. No Dean eating greasy take out, hogging the hot water, helping him research for a hunt…
And Sam had finally broken down. He collapsed to the floor and sobbed, harsh, uncontrollable gasps. For what seemed like hours, the young man grieved his brother, crying as he never had for Jess, or even his father. It was as if something had been taken from him, the very air he breathed. Without his brother, he was nothing; a half without a whole.
It was almost immediately after his break down that Sam had turned to the bottle. At first, it was beer, guzzling two-fours within an hour; and when the beer failed to provide intoxication, to numb the intense pain in his chest, he turned to the harder stuff. Nights were spend guzzling quart after quart of whiskey, scotch, anything he could get his hands on. He consumed only enough to sustain himself, eating mechanically, as one would gas up a car; at nights, when he did manage to drift off, his sleep was plagued by nightmares of his brother, crying out, begging Sammy to come help him. But the worst were the pleas: Why did you abandon me, Sammy? Why couldn't you save me? I've done everything for you, gave up so much for you. And this is how you repay me? You return the favor by letting me die? Fuck you man… And Sam would wake up, drenched with sweat, knowing in his heart that his brother would never think such hurtful things, but always having that sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach: what if he's right?
Sam wakes up, eyes bloodshot from drunkenness and the tears he sometimes still sheds for his brother. Beside him lays the now empty liquor bottle, its contents staining the already dingy carpet. He slowly opens his eyes, already feeling a monster of a headache coming on. He sits up, fighting the urge to vomit, rubbing his temples gingerly…
And stares face to face with his brother.
Around him, the air is freezing cold.
Dean stands before him, a look of sadness in his emerald eyes. Sam double takes, wonders if this apparition before him is the result of a serious case of alcohol poisoning, decides to just accept the fact that his brother is standing before him. Even so, he gently calls his name: "Dean?"
Dean smiles. "Yeah, dude, you expecting someone else?"
For the first time in weeks, a genuine smile spreads across Sam's face. "Geez, man, it's so good to see you! I've been going crazy since you've gone."
"Yeah," with a quick glance around the trashed motel room, "I've noticed. You know you have to pay for this shit once you leave, right?"
Sam looks down (so briefly, as if in any moment, he may look up and find his brother gone), a look of guilt on his face, the face which Dean has noticed has aged so much in the past four weeks. "Yeah, well, it hasn't been easy without you man."
Dean softens at the sight of his younger brother, the pain in his hazel eyes. "I know, Sammy," he says softly. "That's why I'm here."
"Let me guess. You want me to get over my pity party and move on. So that you can too."
"Well, if you put it that way…"
Sam smiles faintly, and feels a new wave of grief washing over him. He misses his brother's wise cracks, his playful jibes, the practical jokes; how he had never failed to make him laugh, or at least smile, no matter how low he had been feeling. And he breaks down again, aware that the spirit of his beloved brother is watching, and not caring in the least. Dean wishes he could reach out and comfort his brother, to gently lay a hand on his shoulder, but he can't. He has not been a spirit long enough to accomplish such an astronomical task. But watching his brother in such a distressed emotional state leaves Dean feeling helpless, and angry; he should be able to protect his brother, even after death, and he can't. One stupid, fucking action, one he had taken for granted in life; and he can't do it.
Sam ignores his brother, still crying uncontrollably. Dean waits a moment for his brother's sobs to subside, and when they don't, he tries again to call out to his brother, this time more forcefully: "Sammy!" And Sam finally looks up, tears streaming down his flushed cheeks.
"Look, man, I know how you feel. I saw you die in my arms in Cold Oak, remember? Yeah, you were only gone a day or two, but that pain, it was real. It was intense. And I know that right now, you want to die. Because you know what? I did too. Hell, I sold my fucking soul to bring you back. But you want to know something else? When I made that deal, I put you in so much agony that I almost regretted it. Maybe you were breathing, but you were dead inside. And now I'm watching you do the same goddamned thing…" Dean's voice breaks and he looks away, lest Sam see the wetness in his eyes.
"What am I supposed to do, then?" Sam asks quietly, and Dean smiles sadly at his brother. "Keep on living. Find a girl, settle down, have a kid or two. You know, the apple pie life."
"And what if I don't want that? What if I only want you? I can't do this Dean. I can't. Not without my brother…"
And Sam breaks down a second time. Dean waits patiently for his brother to calm down, and tries again. "I know Sam, I told you, I know what living without you was like. It was the worst pain I had even experienced in my entire life. But seeing you like this, man, it's even worse than that. You need to live, Sammy. Move on. Have that apple pie life. You owe it to me, bro."
"I don't know how."
"Sure you do. We're Winchesters. We never have given up on each other, I don't expect you to start now."
Sam surprises himself by smiling. "Are we done with the chick-flick moments?"
Dean groans. "Dude, I was so done with them five seconds after I came in here."
The pair share a laugh, Sam thinking just how good it felt to be joking with his brother again. He looks up, and Dean smiles. "Bitch."
And just like that, he's gone.
Sam stares around him, heart at peace for the first time in weeks. Closing his eyes, he tries to relive every second of his encounter with his brother's spirit. A few minutes pass, Sam recalling Dean's pleas for him to move on.
He had agreed to it, had promised he would try, and Dean had seemed satisfied. But can he really do it? Can he ditch the job, settle down, have the white picket fence and the kids? Can he really move on without his brother? Dean has been there for every major milestone in his life, from taking his first steps to learning how to drive, and everything in between. Dean has been his father, brother, and best friend since he was old enough to remember. And now he had to say goodbye? How could he?
Sam sighs, looks at the mess around him.
And picks up the trash can.