Disclaimer: Don't own them.
Dean lay on the rack, or at least he figured he was. That may be his arm over there in the corner, he was in too much pain to try and check. He could feel the wounds inflicted by Alistair healing very slowly and it hurt even more than whatever had caused the various wounds! He didn't know how long it had been anymore, century's maybe? He knew he was forgetting things, starting to lose bits and pieces of himself to the torture. How much longer before he became one of them? The only thing he could cling to was Sammy; he was doing this for Sam. But was Sam even still alive after so long? Had it been long enough, could he give in and let go? He coughed out blood as his lungs began to patch themselves back together.
The hound sat beside the rack, staring at the soul on it with blood red eyes. This soul was different to all the others; they had felt it even as they ripped him apart. He lifted up on his hind legs, resting his paws on the rack to sniff at the slowly healing soul, seeing the damage. He lapped at the spilled blood on the rack, taking in the soul's very essence and then he pounced, sharp teeth lodging into a vulnerable throat.
Dean didn't even try to scream as something heavy landed on his chest, sharp things tearing into his throat. He coughed and choked weakly on new blood, staring up at the levels above him. He didn't have the energy to struggle and what was the point? Then the weight was gone and everything began to burn. Dean screamed, thrashing wildly as he continued to heal, it felt like molten lava was coursing through his veins, worse than anything Alistair had done to him! Was this it? Was he dying for good now? But hell wouldn't allow that so maybe this was what becoming a demon felt like, the fire destroying your humanity.
The hound sat down to wait as the human writhed and screamed even as the rest of the pack emerged from various shadows, pacing around the rack, waiting their turn to bit. When they were all done they sat to watch. Finally the screams trailed off, the body jerking occasionally, head lolling. Hours later a pair of blood red eyes opened and the hounds all perked up eagerly.
Dean lay on the rack, body aching but head clearer than it had been in years. Dean, he was Dean Winchester, older brother of Sammy and son of John. He was a hunter and had sold his soul to bring Sammy back from the dead. He blinked, feeling confused and looked around, heart seizing as he saw all the hell hounds surrounding him. But then he relaxed, feeling safe and unthreatened. He tried to move and to his utter shock he was no longer secured to the rack. He sat up slowly and cautiously, staring at his unblemished skin. He looked at the hounds and saw the way they all shifted, moving closer as if not to spook him. Taking a deep breath Dean put his hand out and smiled for the first time since dying as a cold, wet nose pressed into his hand. Dean cautiously slid off the rack and the hounds danced happily around him, pressing into him. "Hi." Dean croaked, unused to talking anymore. Tails wagged and he smiled again.
The ground shifted and then a hand broke through before another and they scrabbled at the ground, pulling the body out after. He lay sprawled on the yellow grass, coughing up the blood that had pooled in the lungs after death. He spat it out and tried to push himself up only to fail. Hearing whimpering he cracked an eye open to find the hounds milling around him. He reached out to them and shuddered as he saw his arm, how was he alive? Let alone moving even a little bit? But his body wasn't in bad enough condition for him to have been dead as long as it felt. He hissed as one of his hounds nuzzled his ripped up torso, licking at the wounds and to his surprise it actually felt a little better. Soon he was at the bottom of a dog pile as they licked him all over through his torn clothes.
It took hours but eventually Dean managed to sit up, swaying slightly as he looked around. He saw the cross marking his grave and reached out to touch it, eyes widening as he realised he could smell Sammy all over the wood. It took a bit but Dean managed to get to his feet, the hounds leaning around him to help him steady. He started walking, feeling the heat of the sun soak into his cold skin, some of the hounds running around, chasing each other happily and he smiled at the sight of his pack having fun. "We need to find Sammy." He croaked out and they all raised their heads and began sniffing the air, searching for his scent. Several of them bayed and began running. Dean took off after them and moved faster than he ever had before but it felt totally normal to be running with the pack of hellhounds. They slowed after a while and Dean looked around, grinning as he spotted the impala. He followed his nose and the hounds to a motel room and took a deep breath before knocking. Dean wrinkled his nose as a scent hit it, gross.
Sam opened the door, staring blearily and then his eyes widened and he moved clumsily for a weapon. Dean grabbed his wrists as gently yet firmly as possible, moving into the room and pinning Sam to the wall. Sam struggled wildly against him, but was obviously too drunk to fight effectively. "No….not him!" Sam slurred and Dean moved a hand to gently grasp his chin.
"Easy Sammy, stop fighting me kiddo." He whispered, staring at his wreck of a brother. He didn't look any older but how was that possible? "Shh, calm down, I'm not gonna hurt you."
"Dean's dead!" Sam choked and Dean stroked his cheek gently.
"I'm back Sam." He argued and then had to wrap his arm around Sam's waist as his legs buckled. "Okay, let's get you over to the bed." He murmured, practically carrying him over to the bed and laying him down. "How much have you drunk Sam? You reek." He pulled the covers up over his brother and several hounds jumped onto the bed, curling around the semi-conscious hunter. Dean gently stroked Sam's hair and his brother sighed, eyes falling shut at the familiar action, making Dean smile. Sam's mind may deny the truth but his body recognised him.
Dean stayed at his side all night but as the sun began to rise he found the impala's keys and went out to her, digging around and grinning when he found Sam still kept his bag in the car. He went back to the room and stripped out of his ruined clothes, getting into the shower. He looked down at his chest and found the wounds from the hounds. They looked like decade old scars and caused no pain thankfully. He soaked in the warm water, cleaning himself thoroughly and then got out to dress. He looked at himself in the mirror; he didn't look any different despite everything. Hearing one of the hounds yipping Dean started as he saw the flash of red in his eyes. Not like the crossroads demons but like the hounds. He could live with that, but could Sam? He shook it off and got dressed in fresh clothes, feeling more human now that he was clean. Once that was done he slipped from the room again and headed for the diner he had spotted across the road.
Sam woke up to a pounding head and rolling stomach. He groaned but kept his eyes closed, remembering the vague dream of Dean being back. It was never real though, Dean was dead. He sighed and shifted on the bed, freezing when he brushed against something. Hazel eyes snapped open but there was nothing there. He sat up and looked around, the room was empty. He went to move and there was definitely something there. Sam actually whimpered in fear when he felt a cold wet nose against his hand. Invisible dogs? Hellhounds…..had Lilith set hellhounds on him? The door opened and Sam turned with wide eyes to look, trembling as what looked like Dean walked in with a bag from the diner.
"Morning Sammy." Dean put the bag down, not sure how Sam would react now he was sober. But Sam didn't move and Dean realised the kid was terrified. "Sam? It's okay. I'm here, I'm back." Dean soothed, moving closer to the bed. He saw one of his pack nuzzle at Sam and his brother bit his lip, eyes wide with fear. Dean swore as he realised what the problem was. "Off the bed guys. Give him space." The hounds obeyed, moving to greet him. "They won't hurt you Sam."
"H…hellhounds." Sam choked out and Dean nodded.
"They won't hurt you Sam, I swear it." He stood in front of his brother, unsure what to do. Sam seemed frozen in fear at the moment but he was a hunter, that could change in an instant if Dean did the wrong thing.
"Christo." Sam snapped and Dean felt a brief flash of pain but that was it as his hounds whined softly.
"Not a demon Sammy." Dean gave him a small smile, hoping the red hadn't shown through with the pain. Sam swallowed nervously. Dean looked over at the table where a scattering of weapons lay and walked over to it, able to feel Sam tensing in alarm. He picked up a knife, his knife and turned back to face Sam. He had no clue what this would do to him but he had to do it. "Silver." He drew the blade across his arm, watching red human blood well in the wound even as it stung worse than a knife cut should.
"Dean? But…..it can't….."
"It's me Sammy. I don't know exactly how but they dragged me down there and they got me out. Good thing you buried me though digging myself out wasn't fun." Sam went pale at that and Dean winced. "Hey, I'm okay." Dean assured him and then Sam was moving, throwing himself at Dean who caught him. Sam's hands moved under his shirt and he let him feel the scars from the hounds. Sam stared at him with wide eyes, hunter waring with lover and brother and Dean stayed still. It had to be Sam's choice to accept he was really back. Dean let out an oomph of shock when Sam attacked. Dean fought back but only to defend himself, he couldn't hurt Sam. The hounds were milling around in confusion, barking and jumping around. Dean managed to grab Sam and shove him onto the bed, pinning him down on his stomach and Sam fought wildly against him. "Sam stop!" Dean yelled, able to feel the terror rolling of his little brother. But why….he couldn't think Dean would ever do that! "Shh, it's okay, just calm down. Not gonna hurt you, could never hurt you Sammy." Dean breathed into his ear, freeing a hand to gently rub Sam's arm. "I know it's confusing but I'm here and I'm never going to leave you again." Gradually the fight went out of Sam and he slumped beneath Dean on the bed. Dean stayed where he was for a bit, fighting his body's natural reaction to their position and the adrenaline before he rolled to his side, pulling Sam with him. Sam was trembling in his hold as Dean hugged him, whispering soothing words to him. The hounds jumped back onto the bed, piling up around them.
"D…Dean?" Sam called shakily and Dean kissed the back of his neck.
"Right here Sammy." He murmured and Sam broke, sobbing and clinging to him. Dean managed to get Sam turned around so they were face to face and Sam buried his head in Dean's throat. Dean rubbed his back gently, letting him cry it out. "I'm not a dream kiddo, I'm real and right here." Dean whispered all the reassuring words he could think of to help and eventually the tears stopped and Sam raised his head to really look at Dean. Sam lifted a hand and put it to Dean's cheek, rubbing the warm stubbly skin. Dean pressed into his touch.
"You're warm." Sam whispered in awe and Dean nodded. One of the hounds brushed against Sam again and he stiffened. "Dean…."
"They won't hurt you." Dean gently took Sam's hand and guided it to the nearest hound, placing his hand against the fur, showing him how to pet the hound, his tail wagging in response. "See? They're just fluffy puppies."
"That tore you apart." Sam answered and Dean sighed.
"They got me out Sammy. I….I was almost gone Sam. I couldn't keep fighting them. Then the pack came and…they did something to me and it fixed me. I could remember more than just your name and a vague image. I could move, was no longer tied down or anything. Next thing I'm waking up in a pine box and when I got out they were waiting for me." Sam removed his hand from the hound and hugged Dean.
"What do you mean they did something?"
"I….I ran here, with them. I asked them to find you and we just ran. And I could smell you on the cross at my grave. Then there's…don't freak out Sammy, please." He begged and Sam nodded shakily. Dean's eyes flashed the same red as the hounds and Sam's eyes widened. "Please Sam…."
Sam pulled Dean into his arms, running his hands up and down his back. "Doesn't matter if you're part hellhound or something." He whispered then kissed him. Dean moaned and pulled him closer, feeling as the hounds jumped off the bed. Dean rolled them so that Sam was on his back on the bed. Dean stared down at him with red eyes and Sam swallowed but didn't struggle. Yeah he was nervous but he knew this was still Dean. He'd had plenty of chances to hurt or kill him and he hadn't tried. Dean pressed his nose to Sam's throat, inhaling his scent, taking in everything that made Sam Sammy. He frowned slightly and pulled back, head cocked to the side. "Dean?" Sam asked, reaching up to tangle his fingers in the short hair.
"What's wrong?" Sam asked and Dean took another sniff.
"Reek of alcohol huh?" Sam asked, ashamed.
"Not that bad. It's something deeper…..Sam it smells like…." Dean bit his lip and the hounds shifted, sensing his mood.
"Like what Dean?" And then Sam froze heart in his throat. He couldn't smell that could he?
"Christo." Dean whispered, ignoring the discomfort it caused him. Sam blinked at him and then looked away. "Sam?"
"I…I should have told you. But you were dying and I didn't want you to….to hate me."
"I could never hate you."
"Even though it's my fault Mom's dead? That the demon was there for me and she got in the way? What he did me…."
"It's okay Sammy, it's okay." Dean whispered, nuzzling at him. So Sam was part demon or something, so what? He was part hellhound or something, not like he could say anything.
"What could you smell?" Sam asked softly.
Dean sighed and kissed him softly. "Sulphur." He admitted quietly and Sam flinched. "But only a little, the rest is pure Sammy….other than the alcohol."
"That a hint to grab a shower?" Sam asked and Dean chuckled.
"Only if you want." Dean growled softly, leaning in to lick at Sam's throat and Sam moaned in pleasure.
"Dean…" Sam clutched at him.
"Sam please…I….." Dean was panting for air, able to smell Sam's arousal and his own. The hounds sniffed around the bed and then quickly left the room and Dean choked back a laugh.
"Don't think they appreciate the smell." Dean answered, kissing him again.
"Huh…oh!" Sam flushed slightly. "Better than them watching even if I can't see them." Sam pushed at Dean's shirt.
"You sure?" Dean asked, hoping that Sam wouldn't say no.
Sam stared up at him and then grinned and Dean's eyes went wide as suddenly he was the one flat on his back on the bed, Sam grinning down at him. "Need you Dean. It's been hell here without you. Three months Dean, thought I was going crazy." Sam told him before leaning down to kiss him.
Dean kissed back but then pushed Sam up and Sam stared at him in confusion and hurt. "Is…three months? But…it has to have been longer than that." He said and Sam shook his head.
"No Dean. You died in May; it's the end of July now." Sam assured him, realising Dean wasn't feeling as good as he was acting. "Time in hell must be different, kind of makes sense. But you're back now and you are never going back." He stated firmly, despite the fact they both knew they would probably both end up there when they died. Dean stared at him and then nodded and Sam smiled, running his fingers through Dean's hair. "I missed you so much."
"Missed you too." Dean told him and then gasped as Sam's hand skimmed over a scar. Sam pulled his hand back but Dean grabbed it. "Didn't hurt, just sensitive." He whispered and Sam nodded, pushing Dean's shirt up and Dean yanked it off, letting Sam touch and stare all he wanted. But he eventually got tired off that and rolled them back, yanking Sam's shirt off and then froze as he found a new scar. Shaking hands traced the angry red line from Sam's right hip and up to just below his left nipple. "Sammy…." He choked and Sam shrugged.
"I messed up Dean but its healing. Stitches came out last week." He assured him, seeing how bright the red in Dean's eyes were. "It's okay, no infection or anything. Doesn't hurt." It didn't really feel much of anything actually. Something about nerve damage but he hadn't really been listening. There was a chance it'd heal eventually. "Please Dean." He arched up into him, rubbing their bodies together and Dean groaned. Dean let it go and went back to stripping Sam, running his hands over every bit of skin he could find. Sam undid Dean's jeans and shoved them down until Dean could kick them off. Dean took his time with Sam, wanting to savour the first pleasure he had felt in decades. Sam writhed beneath him, clutching at his arms and Dean saw the faintest hint of yellow deep in Sam's eyes but it didn't bother him. "Love you." He growled and Sam gasped at Dean saying the words in this context for only the second time.
"Love you too." Sam smiled and then cried out as he felt Dean's teeth in his throat, clinging to Dean. Dean pulled back, eyes wide in shock at what he'd done, a drop of Sam's blood on his lip and Sam stared at him, panting for air.
"It's okay Dean, its okay." And it was, Dean hadn't bitten that deeply or anywhere near an artery.
"I didn't…I don't know why…"He stammered and Sam pulled him down into a kiss.
"Whatever the hounds did to you Dean, it's affecting your behaviour and it's okay."
"I bit you!"
"Yeah you did and its okay. Look where you bit Dean, well away from anything that could hurt me. It was canine instinct, half expected it." He admitted. "Come on, let it go." Sam urged and Dean let his head drop onto Sam's shoulder. Sam rubbed his back gently and kissed the side of his head. "Okay, now we both need to shower." Sam slipped out from under him and pulled him up, leading him into the bathroom.
Bobby paused and then smiled as he saw Sam walk out of the diner. He hadn't seen the kid since they buried Dean. He'd lost weight and bulked up some muscle by the look of it but otherwise seemed okay. Then he froze as a second male left the diner, Dean. But that was impossible, Dean was dead. He heard Sam laugh at something Dean said and Dean grin, nudging him with his shoulder. Bobby shifted and Dean paused…was he sniffing the air? Dean looked over at him and froze, eyes going wide.
"Dean?" Sam asked and then looked over at where his brother was staring. "Bobby…Dean what do we do?"
"I….." Dean didn't know what to do. He looked down at the one hound that stayed by his side all the time, the others tended to spread out around wherever they were, watching for danger. He'd named the hound Zepplin too much eye rolling from Sam. But at least Sam accepted the pack now and wasn't afraid of them.
Bobby knew they'd seen him and were considering bolting so he moved towards them. "What the hell did you do Sam?" He demanded and blinked as he heard Dean growl as the older brother moved protectively between them.
"Sam didn't do anything!" Dean snapped at him and Bobby started, going pale as he saw the red in his eyes.
"Dean calm down, it's okay." Sam soothed, putting a hand on his shoulder and Dean leant back into him. This close Bobby could see a healing mark on Sam's throat, a bite made by human teeth.
"What are you?" Bobby demanded.
"Not here Bobby." Sam told him, gently pulling Dean back. "Come on, let's go back to the motel and talk." Sam offered and Bobby nodded warily.
Dean rolled his eyes. "Christo." He growled and then stalked back to the car. That surprised Bobby.
"He's Dean, Bobby. A little different yeah but he's still Dean." Sam told him before joining Dean and Bobby got in his car to follow them.
When he got to the boys room he found Dean pacing and Sam sitting on the bed, watching him with a small smile. "Boys." Bobby greeted them warily and Sam smiled at him.
"Hey Bobby, grab a seat. Dean's promised not to bite." Sam grinned and Dean growled at him. "No promises on the growling."
"Since when does Dean growl?"
"Since I spent thirty years in hell!" Dean snapped and Sam got up, gently pushing him into the wall, pressing his body against Dean's and Bobby watched as Dean relaxed. He'd known the boys were closer than John would have been okay with but it didn't bother him.
"Dean calm down, it's Bobby." Sam soothed, running a hand up and down Dean's arm. Dean shuddered but calmed down, closing his eyes. "Bobby isn't a threat, you know that." Sam whispered and Bobby was relieved to see no red when Dean opened his eyes.
"What did they do to you?" Bobby whispered and Dean looked at him, eyes haunted.
"What do you think happens in hell Bobby? I got out, I'm lucky."
"But how?" He asked and Dean sighed, moving to pet the hound and Bobby's eyes widened in alarm.
"They got me out somehow. They stay with us too, protect us." Dean admitted.
"Yeah, takes a bit to get used to." Sam agreed, holding his hand out and grinning when he was licked.
"You can see them?"
Sam shook his head. "Only Dean can but I can hear and feel them."
"I…" Bobby shook his head. "Only you boys."
Dean moved away and towards Bobby. "We okay?" He asked and Bobby stared at him before pulling him into a hug.
"Missed you boy. Don't you dare die again, you hear me?"
"Yeah Bobby." Dean answered and Sam smiled, relived Bobby was okay.
"You two better be coming by my place soon."
"We will." Sam promised and Bobby nodded as they settled in to just talk.
Sam rolled across the floor, slamming painfully into the wall. He coughed and struggled to get up, to go help Dean. He looked over blearily to see Dean fighting Lilith and then his eyes widened as he saw the animals snarling and snapping at the demon. Sam staggered up, gripping Ruby's knife tightly, waiting for an opening. The hellhounds dog piled her and she screamed, basically throwing a temper tantrum. Dean was snarling right alongside them, blood pouring from a head wound. The dogs pinned her down and Sam moved, shoving the knife up and into her heart. She gasped and convulsed before going still. "Sammy! You okay?" Dean demanded as the hounds milled around them, jumping up to lick their wounds.
"Bit achy. How's the head?"
"It'll heal." Dean assured him, staring at the body and Sam wrapped an arm around him.
"She can never hurt us again." Sam whispered and Dean nodded. "Come on, let's get going." He tugged at Dean and Dean let him pull him away as the pack began to feast.
"Now what?" Dean asked and Sam shrugged.
"We keep going, together." He grinned and Dean smiled back, relieved that Sam wasn't going to try and go back to a normal life or something. "Bobby's?"
"Bobby's." He agreed, knowing the pack would catch up.
"You know, seeing them eat someone….kind of gross." Sam commented and Dean froze.
"I can see them. After I hit the wall they were just there." Sam shrugged.
"They are not fluffy puppies." Sam grinned. "But they are interesting looking." Sam yanked him into a kiss and then took off for the car, making Dean laugh and take off after him.
Dean laughed as he saw Sam rolling around with four of the pack, mock fighting the hounds whose tails were wagging happily. They were obviously very happy Sam could see them now, made playing a lot easier. Bobby moved up beside him and to him the scene looked really odd as Sam rolled with something he couldn't see. Dean inhaled and then sighed. "How long have you got?" He asked softly and Bobby winced.
"Stupid canine senses." He grumbled. "Doc said six months."
Dean closed his eyes in pain. "Are you in pain?" He asked, voice hitching slightly.
"Nothing I can't handle boy. I'm leaving the place to you two. And you better do the right thing, no burial." Bobby told them and Dean nodded shakily.
"We'll miss you so much Bobby."
"None of that Dean, I ain't dead yet." He chided and Dean nodded.
They stood around the unlit pyre, the hounds all sitting at mournful attention, sensing the mood of their humans. "I….I can't do it." Sam whispered so Dean took the lighter and walked over to the pyre, lighting it and the body on it. He moved back to Sam and held him as they watched the only family they had left burn. Bobby had beaten the odds given by the doctors and had made it to two years. But eventually his body couldn't take anymore and he had died one night in his sleep. Only the baying of the hound that watched over him had alerted them before morning. "I'm gonna miss him so much."
"I know Sammy, me too." Dean whispered even as the pack threw their heads back and howled for the old hunter who always left them out nice fresh meat.
They didn't stay at Bobby's, just used the house when too injured or tired to hunt. Other hunters stayed well away from them but at least didn't try to kill them or anything. As time passed the yellow in Sam's eyes became more and more prominent until he learnt to hide it like Dean did the hound red of his own. They were the scourge of anything that dared threaten humanity which put them at the top of the demonic hit lists. But when all the hounds of hell were loyal to them it made it rather hard for hell to do anything to them.
Dean carried Sam into the house and gently lay him on the couch. "It's okay, you're going to be okay Sammy." He whispered, half pleading and half trying to comfort him. Sam's eyes rolled as he struggled to stay conscious. One hand clutched weakly at the bandage covering his stomach and Dean was alarmed by how red it was. Dean grabbed Bobby's old medical kit and opened it, kneeling beside Sam with a bowel of warm water. He gently peeled back the bandage and bit back a sob as he saw the damage. He was pretty sure that squishy thing was an organ. Zepplin nuzzled him, whining softly before laying his head on Sam's thigh. Sam coughed weakly and Dean stared in horror at the sight of blood on his lips. "No Sammy, don't do this. You can't leave me." He pleaded as he pressed a clean bandage against the wound. Sam moaned weakly, trying to reach for him and Dean grabbed his hand with the one that wasn't trying to keep Sam's organs inside his body.
"I'm right here Sammy, just stay with me." He begged. Sam smiled slightly at him and then his hand went limp in Dean's, eyes staring vacantly through him. "Sam? Sammy no!" Dean screamed, pulling him into his arms to rock him gently. "No Sammy, please. Come back." He begged but it was no use. Sam's blood slowly soaked into his clothes, the smell bringing the rest of the pack to his side as he rocked the cooling body. Dean gently put Sam back on the couch and shakily began to stitch him up as best he could. "It's okay Sammy, I'll be there soon." He promised, kissing the cool lips gently. He changed Sam's clothes and then his own, getting rid of the blood. He carried Sam from the house and then sat down in the Impala with him in his arms. He looked at Zepplin and smiled sadly. "Take me back boy, please." He whispered and then the world went black.
He staggered to his feet, the pack milling around him and fought the urge to curl up in a ball as he found himself in hell. "Find Sammy." He told them and they took off. It took a while but they finally found a group of demons jeering and cheering. The hounds pushed in and Dean saw Sam crouched, eyes yellow, as he and a demon circled each other. A flick of his hand and the pack attacked, ripping into the demons. Sam blinked and straightened, looking around and Dean stepped into view, his own eyes blood red and Sam smiled. The demons fled or were ripped apart and Sam threw himself at Dean who caught him easily, holding him tightly.
"I'm here Sammy, I've got you." Dean ran his fingers through Sam's hair.
"Why…Dean you shouldn't have done this."
"Couldn't leave you here without backup." Dean grinned and Sam smiled shakily before petting the nearest hound.
"Anything for you." Dean kissed him hard. "So…what do you say about taking over?" He asked and Sam laughed.
"I'm game if you are."