Disclaimer: Nothing's mine.
Author's Note: Sorry this is so late. I don't even have an excuse; it was written. Still, here it is now… the last chapter.
For reviews, thanks to SPNxBookworm, Kirabaros, godsdaughter77, SandyDee84, L.A.H.H, sylvia37, scootersmom, sammynanci, SPN Mum and Bundibird.
Chapter V: Asgard
Nobody tried to stop me. Apparently those jötnar weren't very bright. Or maybe they were just that drunk. They were pushing past each other to get into the hall, waving their swords and yelling about traitors and two-timing Æsir and traitorous Vanir and a whole lot of other stuff that made me realize Sam's life depending on me coming back with Thor and Loki. Fast.
It took a good couple of hours of trudging through knee-deep snow before I finally saw them. They were lounging – Sam was suffering for the sake of their stupid piece of hardware and the sons of bitches were lounging – next to Thor's chariot, Thor staring idly up at the sky and Loki reading a book.
"Hey!" I yelled. "Heads up!"
They looked up. Thor's face burst into a huge smile. "Dean Older Brother!"
"Here." I thrust the stolen-and-now-recovered hammer at Thor, clutching the one from our time to my chest. I hadn't left it with Sam because Gabriel would probably have spouted some crap about the world ending if the two hammers were used against each other and refused to rescue him. "You have your freaking Mjölnir. We've kept our end of the deal. Now come get Sam."
Thor snatched the hammer, his fingers curling possessively around the handle as he carefully examined every inch.
"Can't you do that later? They could be killing Sam in there."
"Mmmm," Thor mumbled, not interested in much other than his hammer. He was stroking it in a way that was positively creepy. If I waited a little longer, he'd probably start singing it a lullaby.
I turned to Gabriel for help.
And I stopped short when I saw his eyes, gleaming like opals as he looked me up and down.
Son of a bitch.
The son of a bitch.
"You're going to let them have Sam."
"There are casualties in war, Dean. You have the hammer from your time. I can send you back."
"You… No. This isn't some spur of the moment thing, is it? You lied to us. You were never going to go back for him. You just wanted me to bring you that stupid hammer and you were counting on Sam giving me ours so you could send me back."
"I'm sorry about your brother –"
"Sorry? Yeah, I'll bet you are. You think I'm just going to let you do this?"
"Do you think a puny mortal can stop me?"
"Puny mortal? Well, yeah. I'm a mortal. Thank God. I'd never want to be one of you. And compared to the Incredible Hulk over there, I'm puny. But my brother won a battle of wills with Lucifer and dragged both Lucifer and Michael into the Cage in time to prevent the Apocalypse. And I am older, wiser, and not a hippie. So, yes, I do think I can prevent you from abandoning my brother. You keep your end of the bargain and help me get Sam out, or I'm going to make you." I drew a shaky breath. "You weren't this much of a douche in our time." He looked like he was wavering, and I added, "Can you stop being Loki and be freaking Gabriel for five minutes? You're an Archangel! You're supposed to help people who deserve it."
"You think your brother deserves my help?"
"I think you promised not to abandon him here. And I think if anyone deserves a break, Sam does. And I think I have our time's Mjölnir and you were desperate to prevent the hammers being used against each other."
"You would never win against Thor."
"I don't have to. I just have to throw the hammer at him and then, if what you said is true, we're all dead. If you don't want that, you're going to have to come with me and get Sam."
Gabriel sighed. "Fine. It's not like those giants can kill me permanently." He turned to Thor. "We have to go."
Thor looked up, clutching the hammer possessively to his chest. "Go where?"
"For Sam. Thrymr still has him." When Thor just looked at him, Gabriel added, "Sam helped save your hammer."
"He helped restore Mjölnir." Thor nodded sharply. "A noble act! I knew there was something likeable about that young man. Come!" He hefted the hammer, raising his head and looking into the distance like he was going to bring the castle down through sheer force of will. "I am going to kill the villain who kidnapped Mjölnir!"
This time, as we went back, there was no sneaking around.
I led the way.
The falling snow had completely covered my footprints and the wind kept shifting the landscape, so I could see how they might have had trouble finding it on their own. But I didn't need a map; Sam was in trouble and all I needed was my big-brother radar to tell me how to get to him.
The doors at the main entrance were huge and at least, from what I'd seen, a couple of feet thick.
Thor punched through them like they were paper.
Loki and I trailed behind him as he marched into the hall where the feast had been on earlier. It was empty now. The remnants of the feast were still on the tables and a few stragglers hung around, sniffing at the wine glasses.
Thor seized the nearest one and shook him.
"Where is Thrymr?"
"In the dungeons," the guy squeaked. "With the prisoner."
Thor nodded grimly, flinging the jötunn away. The heavy pine table splintered as he hit it, but I couldn't feel much sympathy. They'd probably done worse to Sam.
Thor turned away. Then, with a frown, he turned back and picked the guy up again.
"Where are the dungeons?"
The jötunn's directions were accurate, probably because he didn't want Thor coming back and questioning him some more.
The dungeons were deep underground, no sun penetrating, the only light coming from the torches in the walls. I felt a stab of nervousness at the thought of Sam trapped in this place.
We heard voices. Thor spent a second waiting with his head cocked before he went in the direction of the sound. A door showed up, he smashed through it, and then we were in a big room. It was hot – horribly hot; there was a huge fire blazing in the hearth that took up the entire far wall.
And Sam was there, sitting on the floor near the door. He was shirtless and barefoot, wearing just the jeans he'd had on under his dress. And they were ragged now. His hands were pulled behind him, chained to an iron ring in the wall. His face was puffy and covered in blood, eyes swollen almost shut. They'd probably been interrogating him, trying to find out where Mjölnir was.
I clenched my fists, but I forced myself not to attack anyone. That was the reason I'd brought Thor and Loki, after all.
As they strode past me into the room, I dropped to my knees next to Sam.
Sam's lips moved. No sound came out, but I knew he was trying to say Dean.
"Yeah, it's me," I told him, patting his cheek gently. He winced, and I felt broken bones shift under my fingers. Crap. "Sorry, kiddo. Looks like they did a number on you." I ran a hand over his chest, and I almost threw up. Sam's ribcage was shattered. "I can't move you, Sammy, I'll hurt you worse. Just hold on for me. We'll get you to help."
Somewhere behind me, Thor was yelling, the giants were shrieking, and bones were being broken. I leaned over Sam, shielding him as much as I could from the sight.
It was over very quickly, and Thor and Loki were next to me, bending over Sam. Loki was clutching a necklace.
"Brísingamen," he said, in answer to my look. "Freyja will have our heads if we return without it."
"Whatever. How's Sam?"
"We must take him to Asgard," Thor announced. "Odin will heal him."
"Asgard?" The only place I wanted to go was home. "Why can't you fix him?"
"I am not a healer."
"But Loki –"
"Is not a healer either," Loki interrupted, eyes boring into me with sudden intensity. I reached down and smoothed Sam's hair, as much to calm myself as to reassure him. "Your Gabriel may have been. Loki is not. We will take him to Odin."
"But… what if he doesn't survive the journey?"
"We will be swift." Thor bent, scooping Sam up easily, ignoring his small cry of pain. He shook his head at my protest. "This is faster than if you try to carry him. You can bring the Mjölnir from your time. Come."
Thor left, but I held Loki back for a moment.
"What the hell? You know you can heal him. I've seen Angels heal worse."
"If it were dire, I would."
"Dire? What, did you not see Sammy?"
"He's hurt, Dean, but he'll live until we get to Odin." Loki hesitated, and then said, "If he gets worse before Odin can get to him, I'll heal him. But if it's not an emergency, I can't blow my cover. Nobody here knows I'm Gabriel."
"Your cover –"
"He'll be fine. Let's go."
Sam was fine. Thor laid him down in the back of his chariot, bundled in furs. I stayed next to him, one hand on his jaw to feel his pulse. Sam was mostly out of it. Occasionally he stirred and hissed in pain, but he settled down when he realized I was there.
Thor lifted him out again when we got to Asgard. I trailed after him, still carrying the hammer, as he took Sam to an empty anteroom and lowered him to a chaise-longue. (It was a Thor-sized chaise-longue, so for Sam it was almost as good as a bed.)
"Wait here," Thor said. "I will bring the Allfather."
I sat by Sam. "Don't you dare die," I told him. "I came all the way back from Purgatory. You're notallowed to die."
Sam didn't respond, and a few minutes later Thor was back with Odin.
He wasn't wearing the floppy hat this time. He was dressed casually, with a patch covering one eye.
He waved me away from the chaise-longue so he could take my place, but he didn't make stupid objections when I went around to the other side and sat back down. That alone made him better than any doctor I'd ever seen before.
The other thing that made him better than any doctor I'd ever seen before was that he didn't waste time talking. He tilted Sam's head to the side and pressed lightly on his ribs, eliciting a soft whimper.
I patted the arm closest to me.
Sam settled down, and Odin shot me a keen glance. "You are Dean Older Brother?"
"Yeah." I was starting to get used to people calling me that. "That's me. And this is Sam Little Sister." Odin looked doubtful. I didn't explain; there were more important things to worry about. "Can you help him?"
"Of course. His injuries are severe, but not complicated. The healing process will use up much of his energy, so I expect him to be weak for a few days."
I bit back a sigh. Angel healing didn't leave weakness behind. But Gabriel wasn't helping us, and this was Sam's best chance.
"OK. Do it."
Odin gave me a look that said he'd been planning to do it anyway. He laid both palms flat on Sam's chest and murmured something under his breath. His hands glowed and Sam jerked. I patted Sam's arm again.
A moment later, Sam blinked his eyes open.
His voice was exhausted, and when he tried to push himself up he gasped and fell back. He didn't look like he was in pain, so I just shook my head.
"Easy, Sammy. You've had a rough day."
"Yeah, I can see that."
"Can I sit him up?" I asked Odin.
"It will do him no harm."
"Good. Let me do the work, Sammy." I pulled him just high enough that he could use my shoulder to support his head. "OK?"
"Yeah… Thanks," he added to Odin, who shook his head.
"No thanks are needed. My son and I owe you a debt. Had you not helped Thor recover Mjölnir, the jötnar might have overrun Asgard. You showed great courage… Both of you." He got to his feet. "Thor wanted to speak to you. I will send for him."
As soon as the door had shut behind him, Sam slumped even more wearily against me.
"Hey… You OK, kiddo?"
"Really, really tired."
"Yeah, Odin said you would be. We don't have anything to do right now, though. Just wait for Gabriel to zap us back and stash the hammer somewhere, and then we can take a couple of days off. We're due some downtime."
We didn't talk much after that. Sam shut his eyes and buried his head in my shoulder. I rubbed his back and hoped he'd fall asleep, because the trip back to our time would be easier on him if he wasn't conscious for it.
When Thor came in a few minutes later, though, Sam sighed and opened his eyes, though he didn't move.
"Hammer functional?" he asked.
"Mjölnir is unharmed. Thanks to you and your brother. Odin tells me you will recover."
"He's going to be fine," I said firmly. "Just needs to not be insomniac for a few days."
"I'm fine," Sam agreed, settling himself more comfortably against me. "I'm glad you got your hammer back." Thor inclined his head in acknowledgement. "Is Loki going to send us back now?"
"I am," Loki's voice said. He came into the room, nodding at us. "Unless you want to stay here a few days longer? I'm sure Odin will be happy to provide the best care for Sam."
"He may be happy to," I said bluntly, "but he can't. Sam's already got the best care."
Sam smiled up at me, sappy and dewy-eyed, and Gabriel nodded. "All right, then. It's time to go back to the twenty-first century."
We were back in the warehouse, near the runes I shouldn't have touched. Mjölnir was a heavy weight in my hand, and Sam was practically deadweight in my arms.
"Sammy?" I asked, lowering us both to the floor.
"I'm fine," Sam whispered, hoarsely and untruthfully.
Sam curled into me, and his next words were addressed to my top button. "I will be fine."
I nodded. I could accept that answer. "Damn straight you will."
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