Author's Note: I really enjoyed writing this piece, despite its serious subject matter. To those of you who happened to find this story, it is a companion piece to "Dawn" which I suggest you read. Fair warning, this piece deals heavily with the subject of suicide. If this bothers you in any way, please do not read. Thanks! Please enjoy!
"Even if I say
It'll be all right
Still I hear you say
You want to end your life
Now and again we try
To just stay alive
Maybe we'll turn it all around
'Cause it's not too late
It's never too late."
—Three Days Grace, "Never Too Late"
Heaven had been nothing but a load of crap.
It hadn't been paradise and while Dean conceded that it hadn't been Hell, it sure wasn't what he had pictured it to be. Trapped forever reliving some of your greatest hits? How was that "eternal peace" or whatever Heaven claimed to be? Not to mention that fact that all of Sam's memories had been him on his own—fucking Flagstaff, Sam? Really?—while Dean's had been about family, the one thing that kept him going.
"Figures." He muttered darkly as he pushed the Impala down the dirt road at an alarming speed. He wanted nothing more but to get away—get away from Sam who kept looking at him like he would break at any second, get away from the pain that Sam's lies had brought him, and get away from the weight on his shoulders. The world was ending and Dean had no idea how to save it. He was damned if he gave into the angels and damned if he didn't.
And Sam . . .
He loved his brother. Yeah, that love was hard to summon at times because it was being crushed by all the hurt and pain that had consumed him since last year, but it was there. At the end of the day, Sam was his little brother and there was nothing he wouldn't do for that kid.
His phone rang and Dean ignored it with a pang of sadness and a twinge of anger. It was Sam, no doubt, probably asking him to come back and that he was sorry. God, the oldest Winchester was sick of that word.
I'm sorry, Dean.
Sorry didn't make things better. It wouldn't prevent the world from imploding and for once it wouldn't make things right. He thought he was over Sam's betrayals, but now . . . after Heaven, Dean wasn't so sure. Doubt consumed him. Maybe he hadn't secured a place in Sam's life. After all, Sam had wanted out since—
"No." He hissed, hands tightening on the steering wheel. He couldn't think like this. This was what Heaven wanted—to think that his little brother no longer cared for him. Without realizing it, he reached for the amulet, only to not feel it.
Right. He had thrown that out.
Guilt washed over him, not for the first time. Throwing out the amulet and storming out definitely wasn't on his list of "smartest moves ever". He shouldn't have let his emotions get the best of him, he should've thought before he—
His phone beeped and sighing, Dean pulled the car over to the side of the road and pulled the phone to his ear, ready to hear what Sam had to say. The phone; however, began to ring again and slightly perplexed, Dean answered it.
"Dean? You with your brother?" Bobby's voice was full of concern, bordering on the edge of hysteria and that immediately set the older brother on edge.
"No," He replied, guilt consuming him now. He never should've left! What had he been thinking? "What's wrong?"
"Balls," Bobby cursed. "What the hell was that boy thinking leaving a message like that?"
"Bobby!" Dean interjected, panic threatening to engulf him. His grip on the phone shook slightly. "What's wrong with Sam?"
"He called me," The gruff family friend began. "Said he was sorry for everything and that this was the last mess I would have to clean up for him—"
"No." The oldest Winchester breathed. This couldn't be happening. Sam wouldn't do something like this, would he?
"He left me coordinates, Dean," Bobby continued. "I think he's . . . I think he's going to kill himself, son."
And the fragile hold on his sanity that Dean had been able to maintain since the apocalypse began crumbled in that very moment.
Head rolling on his shoulder, eyes glassing over, blood covering the ground, begging—shouting, pleading—for Sam to open his eyes because this wasn't the end, this couldn't be the end! Sam's fate wasn't to die in his arms in a dirt road!
Dean shook his head, forcing those horrible memories of Cold Oak out of his mind. Sam wasn't dead—not now, not on his watch. There was still time to stop whatever fucked up plan his little brother was attempting to put in motion. His heart began to pound as adrenaline coursed through his veins.
Take your brother outside!
Watch after your brother.
Look after Sammy.
You have to save Sam.
All these years, his one mission in life had been to keep Sam safe. How could he have so easily abandoned that in the face of this crisis? True, Sam's betrayals had hurt, but Bobby had been right. Family wasn't there to be perfect—they ended up hurting you somehow, but you moved past the pain and fixed whatever damage had occurred.
And now . . . now it might be too late.
Sam could be lying in a ditch somewhere bleeding out all because Dean had been too damn stubborn to admit that he was still hurting. When was the last time he had even talked to Sam—really and truly talked to him about something non-hunting related? Weeks? Months? Possibly before Hell? He had screwed up and he had to own up to that and fix it.
"Where is he?" With one hand, he spun the car around in a hasty U-turn and floored it. Speed limits be damned, he had a little brother to save and later knock some sense into. Sam truly thought that it was best if he was dead? How could he think that? Even after everything, Dean still loved the kid. Bobby did too, though the two of them had a rough time showing it recently. Yeah, he had lashed out a few times—more than a few times at his brother, but he had never expected . . .
Then again, ever since Anna had shown up with her grand plan to circumvent the apocalypse, he had seen the odd glint in Sam's eyes. He had known his brother had been fully willing to go through with her plan. Ever since then, there had been the long silences when he would catch Sam staring at nothing, seemingly lost in thought. Maybe, his brother had taken one hit too many and didn't have a reason to fight anymore.
Bobby prattled off the coordinates and Dean nodded grimly as he floored it and willed his baby to go even faster. Sam was in the nearby area. There was still a chance—no, Dean would save him. That was his job, after all. Screw the angels, screw the apocalypse—this world wasn't worth saving if Sam wasn't there to share it with him. Call it cheesy, if you must, but it was true. Sam had always been the one constant thing in his life, the one person he never had to keep a guard up around. His little brother knew his darkest secrets and accepted him anyways. When had Dean stopped doing the same?
"You bring him home, you hear me?" Bobby told him fiercely, his voice breaking towards the end. "You bring that idjit brother of yours home alive."
With that, he hung up the phone, listened to Sam's voicemail and prayed that he wasn't too late.
Sam turned to face him, a nervous grin on his face and relief surged through Dean's system. Even though he had talked to Sam on the phone, part of him still feared that he would be too late. Without a word, he bridged the much too long gap and pulled his little brother close in a bone-crushing hug. This was real. Sam was still alive and he was still standing here.
They could still work this out.
"Sammy." God, how long had it been since he had called his brother that? Sam hesitantly wrapped his arms around his older brother and returned the hug. After a few moments, Dean let go, though kept himself only at arm's length.
"I'm sorry." He interjected first. Sam appeared puzzled and tilted his head to the side in slight confusion.
"You are?" He echoed. "For what?" The eldest Winchester caught a glimpse on the gun as it shone in the sunlight. He grimaced, aware of how close it had come. Sam had been ready to go through with this, but for some reason, had stopped.
"For making you think that this," He gestured to the gun. "Was the only way out."
"Not your fault," Sam replied.
"It was, Sam," He insisted forcefully. "I've been treating you like crap because I wanted you to feel bad—"
"I should feel bad!" Sam interrupted. "I started the apocalypse—!"
"Technically," Dean began with a small smirk. "I did." Sam huffed a laugh and ducked his head.
"Really? Now you're getting hung up on technicalities?"
"Yeah," Dean replied, feeling at peace for once. This was what his and Sam's relationship had used to be like—easy, free. It was this state that the eldest Winchester wanted it to become again. He would make it that way if he had too because today had been too much of a close call.
"Dean, I'm sorry." He glanced at the gun and Dean followed his gaze. It was the old pistol that John had given Sam on his 13th birthday. It was only fitting, he supposed, that Sam somehow went out in a way that connected him to his family. When Sam had died, Dean had thought about putting his first gun to his head too.
But he hadn't given up and while there was no demon deal to fix this—not that he would've let Sam sell his soul to do so—he was determined to give his brother a reason to keep going, even if it was only one day at a time.
"Just . . ." A surge of emotion blocked his voice and he swallowed, forcing himself to be composed. "Just promise me that if you think about doing this again, you wait until you talk to me, okay?" Sam nodded. "I mean it, Sam," Dean growled, voice hard. "Because I deserve something more than a message on a phone, okay?"
"Good," He said, the burden on his shoulders feeling lighter for the first time in months. He had forgotten what it felt like to be able to count on Sam, to trust him to have his back. For too long he had let anger and rage blind him to the truth. Sam had made mistakes—everyone made mistakes—but he had learned from them. In the end, that was all Dean could hope for. "Let's get to Bobby's then."
They headed to the car.
"It was Castiel who stopped me," Sam said later, quietly over the strains of Metallica that filled the familiar space. "I was about to pull the trigger when he showed up." The engine purred, seemingly content now that its owner was happy and Dean sent a silent prayer of thanks out to their angel. If Castiel hadn't shown up when he did, Dean would be taking a corpse back to Bobby's.
"What did he say that changed your mind?" He had never seen the angel as the type to talk somehow down from the ledge. Especially considering the fact that Castiel never seemed to understand people at all. Still, angels could perform miracles, right?
"He said . . ." Sam smiled softly before letting his gaze rest on the changing scenery. "He said that we were friends and that if I did it, you would just follow me."
"Damn right, I would." Dean agreed and Sam frowned.
"I lived with you dead before, Sam," Dean interrupted sharply, the memories sending chills up his spine. "I won't do it again."
"Dean, you could have a life—"
"What life, Sam?" He questioned. "I'm a high school drop-out who only knows how to hunt. What life could I have that would be as good as I have now with you?" Sam opened his mouth to protest, but then closed it swiftly. With a shy grin, he added:
"You're such a girl."
"No, Samantha, it's just you rubbing off of me." They both chuckled at that and it felt good. It felt good to laugh and pretend that just for this moment that everything was fine in the world. All that mattered right now was that they had each other and an open road of endless possibilities, if only for the moment.
A few moments of silence passed.
"Hey," The eldest Winchester interjected. "I meant it when I said that it was us against the world." He grinned. "From now on, you go somewhere? I'm coming too." He turned his head to look at his little brother's astonished expression. "That okay with you?"
"Yeah," Sam replied softly. "Yeah, of course."
They drove on, towards the setting sun in the horizon.
Author's Note: I might write one more story with Bobby's POV. Let me know if you'd like to read that. Otherwise, I hope you enjoyed it! I loved writing it. Please review if you have a moment!