Summary: 1-shot. After another brutal loss takes its toll on the Winchesters but with the Trials so close to completion & Crowley up to no good, Dean finds Sam alone in the kitchen shooting glasses and worries if this loss might've been too much on his brother & tries to bring him back around. *Worried/angsty/big brother!Dean & Limp/sick/angsty/upset!Sam* Spoilers included so beware!
Warnings: Some for language but that's all.
Spoilers: There are spoilers up to this past episode so be wary reading even though I try to keep them light this one does contain a few huge ones.
Tags: 08x22 Clip Show
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. This is written for pure entertainment and enjoyment.
SPN SPN SPN SPN
He was tired. Emotionally and physically spent and he knew the worst was yet to come but still Dean Winchester tried to get some sleep.
After making sure his sick, recently refevered little brother had gone into a semblance of a sleep, Dean managed to flop face first onto the memory foam mattress in his room with faint dreams of a full night's sleep.
Since he'd been a brother for thirty years, he'd become attuned for sounds from Sam. Even if he was falling down drunk, hurt to the point of being in a near coma or so tired he could hardly keep his eyes open or his brain clear Dean could hear a sound from Sam and wake up.
While that was easier when they shared a room and Dean had taken to staying in Sam's room more as his brother's condition from the trials got worse, he could still wake up even with a room, a closed door and very thick walls separating them.
So the first sound he heard in the supposed to be quiet Men of Letters base had heavy green eyes snapping open. Listening harder to see if he'd heard coughing, choking, moans, or puking, Dean had almost convinced himself that he'd been dreaming when the next noise had him shooting off the bed, grabbing his weapon and bolting out the door.
The second trial had really done a number on his younger brother so Dean was used to Sam throwing up in the middle of the night or waking up coughing or then even more fun time of when his brother would wake up screaming with nightmares.
Those sounds he was used to hearing. Those were sounds he knew would be more normal. The sound of glass breaking from somewhere within the base on the other hand was not a sound that he should hear.
A quick look in Sam's room had Dean frowning because the bed was a wreck as if Sam had been struggling. There were a few bloody tissues on the floor as well as the contents of what appeared to be all of Sam's duffel.
"Huh," he grunted, keeping the gun held steady as he followed the increasing sounds of breaking glass right after a more tiny pinging sound when he realized it was coming from the kitchen. "Sam? Hey, why aren't you in bed?" he asked, pretty sure his brother was making the noise even if he wasn't positive how or why yet. "You get sick or…uh-huh. This is different."
Dean stepped in the stopped as the pinging sound happened again right before another glass shattered and he narrowed his gaze as this scene slowly registered.
Sam Winchester, dressed in a pair of sleep pants and his standard grey T-shirt that he'd been sleeping in more, was sitting with his back against the sink while he tried to steady the blue/black pistol in his hands as he shot at the array of glasses that he'd set up across the room.
"Sammy?" he lowered his weapon now that there wasn't a threat while noticing that every cabinet in the room was opened and nearly every glass they had was either sitting in piles across the room or shattered into glass shards on the floor. "Umm, what're you doing?"
"Shootin'," came the soft, way too slurred reply as Sam steadied his gun hand between his knees to stop the shaking and shot again…with a tiny ping instead of the normal sound that should've gone off.
Running his hand along the back of his neck, Dean let his eyes move between his brother and the mess of glass before taking a careful step into the room since he hadn't bothered to yank on his boots before investigating the sounds.
Crouching down near where Sam was sitting, he took a moment to look at his brother more closely to try to see what he was dealing with.
Sam looked pale but that wasn't anything new since he was always pale when sick. The shaking hands, sweat soaked hair and the way his T-shirt was clinging told Dean that his brother's fever was back.
A pile of paper towels were piled by Sam in case he would need them but it was the bottle of whiskey near Sam that really made Dean worried since his brother didn't drink hard liquor as a rule and since he'd been sick like this he hadn't taken a drink.
"You drunk, Sammy?" he asked curiously, narrowing his eyes at the weapon as it pinged again only to miss the glass by a mile and the little projectile bounced off the wall, coming back to hit Dean's leg.
"Nope," the reply was instant as he scrunched up his face as if in serious concentration and tried another shot, not turning his head.
Letting his tongue run over his teeth as this sank in, Dean didn't smell whiskey and so ruled that out but did move the canter away just to be safe. "Huh, I'd actually be happier if you'd said yes," he admitted, finally reaching over to remove the pistol from Sam's shaking fingers to turn it over in his hands. "That would make sense as to why you're sitting in the kitchen at 4:00 in the morning shooting all the glasses in this place with a BB gun."
"Didn't think you'd like it if I made real holes," Sam muttered, a little more clear but still the way his tone was so low and the occasional slur concerned Dean. "Didn't feel like goin' to the shootin' range so I…just shot him here."
"Okay, you are so out of it, little brother," Dean decided, placing the old BB gun that he'd bought when Sam was too small to hold a real pistol aside to sit down on the cold tile next to him. "He? Who're you shooting, Sam?" though he thought he had a good idea on that even before Sam spoke the next word.
"Crowley," the name was said between clenched teeth as Sam glared at the million pieces of broken glass while fisting his hand as if it was around the King of Hell's neck. "Want him…dead. Want him to hurt. He killed Sarah…cause of…us, De'n."
Feeling like slamming his head into the sink or drinking the whiskey himself, Dean cursed himself for not considering this would be what woke his brother up.
Not the fever, not the pain he was almost constantly in now, now coughing until Dean was afraid he'd break a rib or lose a lung or even throwing up what little food he'd gotten his brother to eat.
No, it wasn't any of those 'common' things that had sent his already emotional baby brother looking for glasses to shoot in lieu of the King of Hell. It was the memory of Sarah Blake dying in front of them less than eight hours ago that was making Sam react like this.
The past few days hadn't been easy on Sam, well on any of them really if he considered that their Angel pal had gone MIA on them again but Dean needed to focus on Sam now and worry about what Castiel was going later.
They'd been trying to find a way to cure a demon and had been on the right track when a stupid error, alright Dean would admit that he hadn't considered any way that Abbadon could escape with a devil trap scrawled bullet in her head, had caused them to lose their only demon.
Then losing the Demon Knight from Hell didn't seem as vital right then when Crowley revealed he'd been killing people they'd saved.
Tommy Collins, Jenny Kline and finally Sarah Blake were all people that they'd saved over the years but out of those and who knows how many more Crowley had killed or will try to kill it was Sarah who'd meant the most to Sam.
"Sammy," Dean wasn't sure what to say that he hadn't already.
They'd tried to protect Sarah from Crowley. They're prepped for any kind of demon attack but a simple witch's hex bag had been what killed the first kill that Sam had allowed himself to kiss or admit attraction to since Jessica died.
Even through eight years of pure hell, Dean suspected that his brother had thought of Sarah every once in awhile just as he'd still think of Madison and he knew Jessica would always be in Sam's heart.
The difference between all of them sadly was that while Sam had seen Jessica pinned to the ceiling of their apartment, while he'd been the one to kill Madison to save her from the werewolf curse…Sarah had been the first girl he'd known and cared for to die in front of him all because Crowley was pissed and trying to hurt them.
Sam was upset and had been but wasn't being as open as Dean was used to him being at times like this. Then the matter of Crowley offering to stop killing people if they stopped the trials and handed him the demon tablet was an issue because while Dean knew there had to be a way out, Sam was getting tired and worse he was getting scared and this last death might have been too much for him.
"Sam, I know it looks bad and I won't tell you that it won't hurt because losing Sarah is bound to but we tried our best to save her. You know that," when he didn't get a response but heard a sniffle because Sam seemed to have buried his face into the crook of his arm Dean reached over to grip his brother's chin so he could find his eyes under too many bangs. "Sammy, look at me."
Waiting until Sam slowly lifted his eyes so they locked with his, Dean saw the tear tracks on pale cheeks as well as huge hazel puppy eyes still swimming in liquid and it took all his strength to keep from just pulling Sam forward and holding him until those went away.
"I know this looks bad right now and I know it looks like Crowley's got us by the short hairs but I promise you that we will put an end to him without having to hand over the tablet or stop the trials," he carefully tightened his grip enough to keep Sam from lowering his head and so he'd keep looking at him.
"Crowley's trying to hurt you, little brother. That's why he wanted us there with Sarah. He knew she meant something to you and he wants you to hurt. He wants you to break but there's no going back now, Sammy.
"You've told me that before and we both know that if you stop the trials now there's no going back for you," and that was Dean's biggest reason to finish this.
The trials had been hurting Sam from the start and he was getting worse now every day. To stop now, leave them undone, he knew his little brother would die and that wasn't something Dean was willing to allow to happen.
"I know you're hurting and damn it, Sammy, I wish to God that I could take it away from you but I can't," struggling to keep his voice from breaking at the pain he could see in Sam, Dean wasn't aware when it slipped into the gruffer, more husky tone he used when more emotional. "I never should've let you do these damn trials but I am going to see you through them."
His body aching and nauseous while his mind worked overtime in too many directions, Sam's grief over Sarah's death was huge. He fully accepted the guilt even though his more rational side knew his brother was right as well but he was just so damn tired now and every time he closed his eyes he could see Sarah's eyes as she choked to death and he could do nothing but watch.
"She had a kid, Dean," he whispered through tears, not bothering to slash them away on his face since the fever that was back made it impossible to feel them. "Sarah had a one year old little girl who won't understand why her Mommy isn't coming home again. How is that right? How is it right that Sarah died just because Crowley wants to hurt us?"
The tight ball in Dean's chest felt like it got even bigger with that since he knew how much Sam's huge heart would feel for that little girl because Sam had only been six months old when their own mother was killed and he still felt that pain.
"It isn't right," he began slowly, needing to handle this carefully for both their sakes. "What Crowley did to Sarah wasn't right. It wasn't right that she died and that her little girl won't have her anymore just like Tommy's brother and sister won't have him anymore or Jenny's family has lost her.
"None of this is right, Sammy. Hell, it wasn't right how Mom died or how we were raised or how you lost Jess or any of the rest of the crap that's gone on in our lives but there's only one way to stop it and make sure that Crowley and Hell can't do to anyone else what they've done to us," he leaned closer so that their foreheads touched, his usual way when Sam was small and sick to make certain he had full attention. "We shut the bastard down."
Slowly calming down, Sam let his eyes blink until he finally felt the drying tears on his face and caught the equal amounts of hurt and determination in Dean's shining green eyes as he listened to the firmness in the husky voice he'd grown up trusting.
Sam knew he'd worried Dean tonight by not directing answering if he was still with him on the plan to do this. A huge part of Sam didn't want anyone else they knew to die because of them. They'd lost so many friends already without knowing people they saved were now being targeted just because they'd met the Winchesters once.
"Is this how Dad felt when Meg killed Caleb and Pastor Jim?" he asked suddenly, the closeness allowing him to hear the sharp breath Dean took as those memories were brought back. "She killed 'em to try to stop Dad, to get the Colt but…he didn't stop."
The memory of the day that bitch, in her blond form then, had called to allow their Dad to listen as she slit Caleb's throat wasn't far from Dean's memory even after eight years and he had to swallow hard to get past the lump in his throat. "Yeah, probably," he nodded. "Dad didn't stop because, well by that point I don't think he could, but he also knew that Jim and Caleb wouldn't have wanted him to.
"This is different because these people weren't hunters but in some way I think once you're even brushed by this stuff that you're never the same and I think Sarah knew that sometime something would show back up," Dean hated to bring that up but the moment the woman asked what was wrong and didn't slam the door in Sam's face he suspected she thought that something, someday would come back.
"We can't take back what was done but we can stop Crowley from doing it again or doing worse but the only way to do that is to finish this," he saw the brief flash of doubt and pain as he reached out to grip one of Sam's shaking hands to grasp it while using his other hand to squeeze the back of Sam's neck. "Demons lie, little brother. You think for one damn instant that he'll stop the killing if we stop? You think he'll keep any type of truce if we give him the tablet?"
Sam had been down the demon road before and had learned those lessons brutally so he wasn't stupid enough to think Crowley will keep any bargain. It just took getting it spelled out to him in his brother's own way to make it come clear in his foggy brain.
"No," he whispered, feeling the grip on his neck tightens a little and blew out a shaky breath. "No…he won't, but it didn't hurt to dream for a night that we could save people, deal with Crowley and I'd still get out of this alive."
It took only a second for that last comment to register before now sizzling green eyes shot back to his and this time when the grip on his wrist tightened there was no mistaking the strength his brother had or the panic in him.
"Don't go there, Sam," Dean warned, voice going deeper while he felt his heart drop at the thought of that and the simple fact that Sam was now thinking that he wasn't going to come out of this alive. "I thought you said there was a light on the other side of this crazy tunnel and that you'd show me it was there, huh? You're coming out of this with me, baby brother or…"
Already an emotional mess over Sarah and what's been happening, Sam flexed the fingers of the hand Dean had an impossibly strong grip on to return the grip as much as he could right then. He needed to stop the next few words or he knew he'd shatter.
Since doing the second trial and since the effects began getting worse and worse, a part of Sam knew his odds of surviving the final one would be slim and since learning what the final trial would be he'd known those odds had just dropped dramatically.
They'd seen the tapes of the priest trying to cure the demons and still didn't have all the answers but what Sam did know was that in his current shape he wouldn't have the strength to fight to cure a demon, if they could find one, and survive the last spell.
He just hadn't brought that up to Dean…until now and knew by the way his brother was tensing that he was winding up for a fight and Sam couldn't do it.
"No! We're going to find a way to do this, close the gates and for you to stay alive," Dean refused to believe otherwise.
He'd watched his brother die in his arms in Cold Oak and he'd seen him fall into a goddamn pit with Lucifer and Michael. Neither of those events led to good things for them and he would not stand by helpless again and watch his brother sacrifice himself…he wouldn't lose Sammy again.
"You are not sacrificing yourself over this!" he snapped, lowering his voice the moment he felt Sam tense but he wasn't fast enough to keep the tremble from it.
"But it would be alright if you were doing them and you needed to make the sacrifice?" Sam countered quietly, knowing that would shut his brother up and didn't miss the hiss or the way his eyes narrowed. "Dean, if our roles were reversed and this was you…would you take that final jump if it slammed Crowley away for good?"
Lips thinning and deciding whether or not it was a good time to slap his brother in the head for turning the tables on him, Dean took a couple deep breaths before meeting Sam's eyes again and seeing that they were more tired looking now but calm.
"Me making that sacrifice is fine, not you," he shot back, waving away the retort he knew would be coming because they'd already had this fight on the night of the first damn trial. "Fine, but I am not giving up on you and I will see us both through this. Just don't give up on yourself."
Giving a half nod, Sam let his head rest back against the sink while still feeling his brother's hand on it and felt safe. "How can I? I've got my big brother at my back."
Dean stilled then smiled. The one real smile he rarely offered anyone except for Sam and usually the one he gave right before he called do-over on the no chick moment rule he'd had since childhood. The one that only Sam could normally make him break.
"You're damn straight your awesome big brother has your back, Sammy," he replied firmly, making his voice more steady as he gave another squeeze to Sam's neck before giving in to the urge and pulling the younger man forward so he could get both arms around him. "I will always have your back."
Never failing to be startled when his anti-emotional, no chick flick moments older brother hugged him fully, it took Sam a couple of seconds to relax and return the gesture.
Then in just a moment, all the buried emotions in Sam seemed to break and he latched on tighter, closing his eyes against the burning tears that were coming again. "I'm…Dean…"
"Do over tomorrow, little brother," Dean murmured, feeling his brother shake now and just shifted more so he could get a better grip on Sam since he knew from years of dealing with his over emotional sibling that the best way to handle moments like this was to let him go and deal with the fallout later. "We'll get over this and I will always be there to protect you."
Feeling like a child again who'd gone running to his big brother after a bad dream, Sam started to ease away only to feel Dean's grip tighten again. It was meant to warn not hurt and slowly as the pain, fears, grief and emotions poured free he began to relax more while the grip he had on Dean didn't lessen as if scared his brother would leave.
"It's alright, Sammy. I'll be right here with you," Dean promised softly, recognizing when Sam began to fall into a half sleep and gave a slight smirk when his brother turned into his neck with a sniffle that was way too much like five year old Sammy would do. "Sam, I swear if you get snot on me I will end you…after I make you help me clean this mess up," he chuckled, trying to get more comfortable on the hard cold floor but didn't feel like waking Sam up to move him.
He'd slept in a lot worse places than sitting on a floor while Sam slept…he just might not be moving too much in the morning.
Unaware of when he moved more into Dean's side, Sam's eyes opened briefly but instead of seeing the kitchen he saw the smiling happy face of Sarah and swallowed hard.
Whether it was a dream out of exhaustion or not, Sam liked to think it was her way of saying she was alright now and while he knew he'd keep the pain of her death with him, use it in this final fight he slowly let go of some of the guilt while moving a hand as if to touch her.
"Goodbye, Sarah," he whispered then mumbled something under his breath as he fell to sleep fully.
Staying silent until he felt Sam relax fully, Dean eased his hand down but kept his hand over Sam's wrist so there'd still be some contact in case he woke up startled.
He'd heard the goodbye but he'd also heard the rest and thirty years of translating Sammy-speak gave him a good idea as to what he said and he slowly bit his lip while fighting not to laugh. "Yeah, yeah, you can cut Crowley's tongue out before we do anything else with him," he replied, figuring that accent was finally getting under Sam's skin though Dean had dealt with Alastair so the King of Hell's accent really didn't bother him…all that much.
"Go to sleep, Sammy," he murmured, adjusting his arm as Sam moved before closing his own eyes to think of Sarah himself.
Dean knew the pain would stay with his brother and even after they did this it wouldn't ease that pain. All he could do was help Sam finish the trials and hopefully knowing that no other demon could hurt someone else would slowly help.
Reaching up to wipe a sudden streak of wetness off his own face, Dean sighed. He wasn't oblivious to grief or loss but he was a bit more careful about whom he showed it for. Bobby, Jo, Ellen…Sam, sure, those were the ones among many he'd grieved for.
He cared in some way for every person they saved or helped and he especially had a fondness for Sarah since she'd made Sam smile really for the first time since Jessica and she hadn't run screaming when she found out what they did.
Sarah was another goodbye in the big book of goodbyes that the Winchesters had built up over the years and he hoped that she'd be the last entry for a long while as he slowly drifted off while thinking of how he'd convince Sam to clean this mess up but knew he'd end up doing it because that was also just another thing awesome big brothers did…clean up the messes their pain in the ass little brothers made in the middle of the night with dreams of shutting Hell for good in his thoughts.
A/N: I hope everyone enjoyed this tag to Clip Show. It changed from what I was originally intending but since I enjoy writing big brother Dean and brotherly schloop as I like to call it I sure hope this one turned out well for you guys. Look for more stories soon and be sure to look me up on Facebook under morgana07. Thanks!