WARNING! This story contains a character death. Read with caution — and maybe bring a tissue.
Thanks go to Snarkymuch2 for beta'ing this story and for encouraging (forcing) me to write it.
The Phone Call
Sam's hands gripped the steering wheel so tight his knuckles turned white. He was still reeling from his short meeting with Amelia. She had done little more than look at him before she turned and left, leaving Sam staring after her in shock. By the time he had gathered his wits about him and followed, she had disappeared. Sam could have followed her back to the house, but that wouldn't have been fair on her or Don. He had already torn apart their life together once. He couldn't do it again.
He flicked the radio on and fiddled with the dials, hoping to find something decent to listen to. He stumbled upon a college rock station, and he sat back and enjoyed the music. It made a pleasant change from Dean's usual mullet rock.
He was just relaxing into the drive, when it happened. He saw bright lights in his side window, that blinded him and then he felt the impact. The car slammed into the front of Sam's with the force of a wrecking ball, sending the car into a spin. He jerked the wheel, trying to control the car, but it was no good. He collided with a telephone pole, and the front of the car concertinaed around it. Sam shot forward and his head collided with the windshield. There was agonizing pain and then everything went mercifully dark.
When Sam awoke, it was a moment before the pain reached him. Then it came, washing over him in searing waves. It seemed focused on his chest, and rallying his reserves of courage, he looked down at the damage.
He wished he hadn't looked.
The steering wheel was pressed against his abdomen, pinning him in place in his seat. He couldn't see his legs, but he guessed they were also hurt, as they were hurting like hell. The worst damage was to his chest though. There was a jagged piece of glass protruding from the right of his chest. Judging from the width of the visible piece, it was in deep, and that was what was slowly sapping the life out of him. He could feel it as if it was a physical entity. He didn't have long.
He was in serious trouble, and he knew exactly who he needed.
"Castiel!" He had intended to shout, but as he drew breath, pain seared through his chest and his vision grayed for a moment. He tried again, and this time it came out quieter but much less painfully. "Cas, I need you!"
He waited, biting his lip, for the sounds of the angel's arrival, but there was nothing, no sound of fluttering wings, no dry voice calling his name, nothing.
"Please, Cas," he said. "I'm in trouble, and I need your help."
He waited again, but there was no response.
A tear welled in the corner of his eye and slipped down his cheek. The angel wasn't coming. It wasn't the first time he had denied Sam's call, but Sam had never needed him as desperately as he did now.
He thumbed away the tear and worked to focus his mind. Castiel wasn't coming, which meant he needed someone else's help.
He reached tentatively for his phone in his left pocket, and sighed with relief when his fingers closed over the plastic case. He eased it out of his pocket, trying not to jostle his injuries anymore than was necessary. He held the phone out in front of him and dialed with a shaking hand.
"911, what is your emergency?" a cool voice asked.
"I've had a car accident," Sam said. "At the corner of Park and Main, Kermit."
"Are you injured?"
"Yeah, my chest is pretty messed up, and there's something wrong with my legs."
"Okay, I have dispatched a unit to you. They should be with you soon. Are you the only one injured?"
"There was another car," Sam said, wincing as the pain in his chest seared. "But I can't see it now."
"Okay, sir, don't move," the operator said. "Help is coming to you. Now, I need you to stay on the line until they arrive."
"I can't do that," Sam said. "I need to make another call."
"Please, sir, it's really better if you—"
What exactly was better, Sam didn't know, as he hung up the phone. He needed to make another call, an important call, and he needed to make it before it was too late.
His fingers shook even more as he scrolled through his contacts. Coming across the one he needed, he pressed the call button, and a moment later, a familiar voice answered.
"You done hanging up on me now?" Dean asked.
Sam smiled. The old argument about the text message seemed like it had happened a lifetime ago, when in fact it had been less than an hour. The dire nature of his immediate predicament took priority.
"I'm done," he said.
"Good. Can we talk about what happened now?" Dean asked.
"Sure," Sam said. He was happy just to hear his brother's voice; he didn't care what they spoke about.
"Martin tried to kill Benny."
"I figured." Sam had assumed that was what had happened. Martin was still a few pancakes short of a breakfast, and Sam knew it. In hindsight, he realized he should never have brought Martin into the hunt knowing he wasn't the full ticket.
"Oh, you figured," Dean said scathingly. "Pity you didn't 'figure' it out sooner, then Martin would never have been involved, and Benny's granddaughter wouldn't have been dragged in to this mess."
"Is she okay?" Sam asked.
"She'll live," Dean said. "No thanks to you."
"Dean, can we not talk about this now," Sam said. "I don't want to fight."
Sam could feel the darkness creeping over him, and he knew he wasn't going to be able to hang on much longer. He didn't want his last words with his brother to be a fight. He wanted more than that.
"Remember that summer when we were kids?" he asked.
"What summer?" Dean asked. "Sam, what the hell are you talking about?"
"You remember. I must have been eight or nine. Dad was after that water spirit in Maine, and he rented us a cottage for the week."
"Yeah, back in Gilead. What's that got to do with anything?"
"Remember how much fun we had?" Sam asked. "We had the lake right on the back of the cottage. We spent every day swimming or attempting to fish."
"Yeah, you got a fishing hook stuck in your finger," Dean said. "Dad whaled on me when he got home because it got infected."
Sam's smile faded. He had forgotten that part of it. To him, that was the greatest week of his childhood. It was like having a real vacation, like being part of a normal family. He had forgotten the tirade their father had gone into about him being injured. He wondered if all his happiest childhood memories had such a dark twist to them for his brother.
"I'm sorry, Dean," he said sincerely. "I never meant for you to get into trouble."
Sam heard Dean's heavy sigh through the phone. "I know you didn't, Sam. It was just one of those things. Which isn't the point, the point is why you're suddenly eager to play happy families. What's going on with you, Sam?"
"I'm just thinking," Sam lied. He noted that his voice was growing quieter. He was losing his strength. "I just thought it was time we talked about some of this stuff."
"Okay," Dean said skeptically. "What else do you want to talk about?"
"Do you blame me?" It felt important to Sam that knew whether or not Dean blamed him for the direction their life had taken.
"Blame you for what?" Dean asked.
"All of it. Mom, Yellow eyes, the fact you never had a real childhood."
"Sam, what are you talking about?" Dean asked. "I don't blame you for any of that stuff. You were just a baby."
A tear tracked down Sam's cheek and he let it fall. There was no one there to see anyway.
"Thanks, Dean. Really, for all of it. You always went without so I could have. I appreciate it."
"Okay, now I know something's wrong. Are you drunk?"
Sam seized on the explanation. "Yeah, I've had a few drinks."
Dean chuckled. "Well, how's about you take your drunk ass off to bed and get some sleep. I'm on my way to you now anyway. I'll be with you soon."
Not soon enough, Sam thought. Dean was going to be too late, but at least he would be there to take care of him after. His number was in Sam's wallet as next of kin for accidents and emergencies. Someone would find Dean and tell him what had happened. Dean would take care of his body. He wondered idly whether he would get a hunter's funeral. He hoped so.
A wave of pain swept through Sam, and he found his breath was harder to catch. He gasped.
"You okay, Sammy?" Dean asked in a concerned tone.
"I don't feel so good," Sam admitted.
"How much did you drink?"
"A little too much, apparently."
"Okay, Sammy. You close your eyes and get some rest. I'll be there soon."
Tears streamed down Sam's face as he imagined the scene he would never live to see. Waking up in a motel with Dean ready to help and mock in equal measure as he suffered through his hangover. It had happened before, but it would never happen again. Sam could feel death's touch on him, gripping him tight and preparing to sweep him away.
"I love you, Dean," he said in a choked voice.
"Right back at ya," Dean said, and Sam could hear the smile in his voice.
"I'll see you real soon," Dean said. "Now close your eyes."
The hand gripping the phone dropped down to Sam's side, and dutiful to his brother's wishes, he closed his eyes. With a last breathy exhale, he became perfectly still.
Dean was looking forward to seeing his brother again. Sam seemed to have forgiven him for the text message thing, and things could go back to normal between them.
It would be fun to see Sam though his hangover, with copious teasing involved, of course.
As he pulled onto Main Street, he was met with a police officer guiding traffic. There had apparently been a nasty accident on the corner, and a Ford was crumpled around a telephone pole. A fire crew was working to free the driver.
Thanking his lucky stars that it wasn't anyone he knew in the car, Dean swerved around the cordon and continued on down the street.
~ THE END ~
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