Title: In the Lap of the Gods
Author: Disasteriffic Kaz
Info: Massachusetts is a lot more inviting without bands of angry little Fae to ruin your day. Post 6x14 "Mannequin 3: The Reckoning" a little hurt, a little comfort and a lot of awesome from our boys and Bobby.
Author's Note: Last Chapter! Sorry for the delay but my Muse was arguing with me. Lol Hope you've all enjoyed the ride!
Beta'd by the always awesome JaniceC678 :D– Friend and Muse's co-conspirator.
**Follow me on Facebook as "Disasteriffic Kaz" for frequent fic updates or just to chat!
~Reviews are Love~
"Bobby?" Sam said it so soft it was barely audible but Dean heard him.
Dean shrugged. He nodded to another tunnel entrance thirty feet away and partially hidden by a small group of boulders but there was no sign of the older Hunter. He pulled out his zippo, opened it and muffled the click in his hand. "Bombs away." He said softly, spun the wheel and lit the end of the fuse on his pipe bomb. "'bout eight seconds." Dean told his brother and leaned up slightly to throw it out into the cavern.
Sam took one of his own, lit the fuse and threw it out toward a large group of the creatures. He moved to let Dean back around him while counting in his head. He had almost turned away when movement in the corner of his eye caught his attention. Sam looked back around and gasped in a horrified breath as Bobby eased into view around the screen of boulders from the other tunnel and prepared to light his own pipe bomb. Sam had reached 'three' in his head and there was no time; he sprinted out of the tunnel into the open. A cry of surprise went up from the pukwudgies as he ran and tried to reach Bobby in time.
"BOBBY!" Sam shouted desperately as the count in his head reached 'one'.
Bobby looked up, the lighter in his hand falling away from the fuse of his bomb to see Sam barreling toward him with wide, frightened eyes. "Sam?" He felt a moment of fear for what Sam was thinking, and then the younger Winchester slammed into him. A heartbeat later, there was an explosion and then another and then they slammed into the tunnel wall and rolled behind the boulders. "Shit, Sam!" Bobby pushed at him and looked up as nails clattered into the stone above them and fell around them. He went cold with the knowledge he had almost walked right into it. He would have been shredded by Dean's homemade explosives if not for Sam.
"Sam?" Bobby asked again.
"That…really hurt," Sam said through clenched teeth and tried not to whimper with the pain exploding through his left shoulder and back.
Bobby eased the larger man off to his side and fumbled for his flashlight, shining it over Sam's back where he lay face down on the ground. His jaw fell open as he saw nails embedded through the boys' jacket and seeping blood while guilt coiled sickly in his gut. "God, Sam. You…shit. Dean?"
"Over here!" Bobby shouted in reply to Dean's plaintive, worried call. "Easy, Sam. Take it easy," he soothed as Sam panted and grunted in pain beside him. Bobby curved a hand over the back of his head into that shaggy hair and felt his resentment and fear of the boy fall away because the sociopath who'd tried to gut him…that bastard would never have risked death to save him like Sam just had. "You're gonna be ok."
"Sam!" Dean scrambled around the boulders and into the tunnel.
Bobby watched the blood drain from the elder Winchester's face. "Dean, he's ok. I think."
"Doesn't look ok," Dean growled and dropped beside his brother. "Sammy? What the hell were you thinking?"
"Saved my ass," Bobby said and moved his hand aside so Dean could get a better look at him. "I would'a walked right into it if he hadn't linebackered me."
"Always gotta be a damn hero." Dean shone his own light over his brother's back and grimaced, counting seven nails in all and knew that, as bad it was, it could have been a lot worse. "Out now or out later, Sam?"
Sam breathed in and out a few times, trying to overcome the burning pain and nodded that he'd heard. He tried to move and this time couldn't stop the whimper as he sagged back to the tunnel floor. "Now."
"Alright." Dean squeezed the back of Sam's neck, offering comfort and looked up to Bobby with a measuring gaze. It took a moment but Dean saw what used to be there in their adoptive father's eyes there again, honest love and concern, and Dean added his name back to his list. "Gotta finish cleaning out that nest in there. You watch him."
Bobby pulled out his gun and handed Dean both his bombs with a firm nod. "Nothing's gettin' at him. Go on." He spoke it hoarsely around the lump of emotion in his throat. Only an idiot wouldn't have realized that Dean had judged and forgiven him in the space of a heartbeat, and Bobby went a little cold with the knowledge that Dean had truly stopped trusting him with his little brother, even if only for a little while. He watched Dean stalk back out into the cavern and knelt next to Sam putting a hand on his uninjured shoulder. "Just try an' breathe through it, son."
Sam's breath hitched in his chest at Bobby's words. He closed his eyes and dropped his forehead to the cold, dirt floor with relief. He jerked when he heard Dean's gun fire. "Dean?"
"Easy. He's alright," Bobby soothed and craned his head to keep the elder Winchester in sight as he moved through the cave. "I can see him. He's just takin' out the stragglers."
Dean stepped over dead pukwudgies littering the ground like deadwood and grinned. His homemade shrapnel bombs had done the job as nearly every dead creature he found was pincushioned with iron nails. "Some days I love my job." He saw one of the creatures a few feet away roll to its back and rows of quills emerge pointed at him. "Nope." Dean fired three rounds into it and gave its shoulder a kick to make sure it was dead. He cleared the rest of the cavern, sighing with regret that he didn't get to use any more of his pipe bombs. Dean's head jerked around, heart pounding in his chest at the sound of gunfire coming from behind him where he'd left Bobby and Sam. He broke into a run and slid into the tunnel.
"Couple stragglers," Bobby told Dean and left his light shining on two dead pukwudgies further down the tunnel.
Dean nodded and took a breath to calm his nerves as he knelt next to Sam again. "Thanks, Bobby," he said gratefully. "Sammy?"
"Still here," Sam said softly, afraid to speak any louder and make the pain worse. "Can we…take them out now?"
"Yeah, buddy." Dean set his gun aside and steeled himself. "Gimme some light, Bobby." He slid his pack off his back and dug through it until he found the pliers he'd brought in case he needed to adjust any of his handiwork. He braced a hand on Sam's bicep and grimaced. "Try not to move too much, Sam."
"No…no problem." Sam rested his forehead on the ground and concentrated on not twitching.
Dean took hold of the end of the first nail with the pliers and pulled it out with a sickening squelch and tossed it away as Sam heaved for air. "Alright, little brother?"
Sam nodded and brought his arm around under his face. "Keep...keep going." He took a mouthful of his own sleeve to bite down on and closed his eyes gratefully when he felt Bobby take hold of his other shoulder.
Dean went about his work grim-faced, for every time Sam jerked, groaned, and otherwise suffered in pain because of him, helping or not, making Sam hurt made him hurt, and he would have given anything if he could have reversed their positions. "Almost, buddy. Two more." Dean leaned over and felt as gently as he could around the last two nails and shook his head; a half inch more to the right and Sam would be dead or dying.
Bobby kept a firm grip on Sam's shoulder, feeling him tremble with pain and exhaustion. He kept his attention on the tunnel and cavern as best he could, not wanting any survivors sneaking up on them like this. He suffered silently with Sam, feeling responsible and pretty damn foolish for how hard he'd pushed Sam away, and, as Dean had put it, kicked the kid for something that wasn't his fault.
"Ok, help me sit him up." Dean set the pliers aside and slid an arm under his brother's chest while Bobby quickly took Sam's good shoulder. They rolled him over, and Dean pulled until Sam was leaning against his shoulder. "You still with us, Sam?" He smiled when he felt his brother's head nod into his shoulder.
Bobby pulled Sam's jacket off gently. "Gotta make sure the bleeding's under control before we do anything else."
Dean nodded. "Grab some water from that lake while I get his shirts off."
"Ok, buddy." Dean pulled at the back of his brother's shirts. "Really getting the crap end of this job, huh?"
Sam snorted a weak laugh and bit off a groan while his brother tugged his shirts up to get a look at his back and shoulder. "How bad?"
Dean took in the bloody skin and numerous punctures with a tight smile. "Good news; your questionable good looks are safe." His smile widened when Sam managed an actual chuckle. "Bad news is you're gonna look like a pincushion for a while."
Bobby picked up some sort of hand-fashioned bowl as he stepped over the pukwudgie corpses and went to the edge of the lake. The fires still burning lit the water enough to send light rippling along the roof as he knelt and cleaned the bottom of the bowl of whatever had been in it. He held the bowl under the water to fill it and stared in surprise as the temperature around him dropped and frost began to form at the edge of the small lake.
"What the hell?" Bobby breathed. "Oh, balls!" He let the bowl sink and reached behind the pack on his back as he stood, pulling free a sawed-off shotgun. "Dean! At least one of the little bastards is still alive!" Bobby's eyes widened as glowing shapes rose slowly from the lake water and solidified into men. He was suddenly grateful he'd brought the shotgun along after Sam found that obscure line in the lore; pukwudgies were rumored to be able to control the spirits of the Maushop Indians they killed. "Tei-Pai-Wankas. I'll be damned."
Dean looked out over the boulders into the cavern and cursed. "Shit! Ok, time to get up."
"S'colder," Sam murmured tiredly and got his eyes open. "Tei-Pai-Wankas?"
"You know…" Dean hefted Sam to his feet and steadied him while he swayed. "…just once I'd like your research to be wrong. Bobby!" he yelled and watched the older man backing toward them away from the ghosts. "Use a bomb!"
Bobby rolled his eyes. "Right. I should'a thought of that." He turned to shout over his shoulder. "They're back there with you, ya idjit!"
"Dammit." Dean growled and leaned Sam up against the wall of the tunnel. "Get ready to run." Sam gave him a short nod and Dean bent, scooping one of his pipe bombs from the floor and ran out to meet Bobby. "Lighter!"
"Here!" Bobby pulled out a Zippo and flicked it open, lighting the flame as Dean reached him.
Dean slid to a stop and held the fuse out to the flame. It sizzled to life, and he flung the bomb up in a high arc over the lake. "Time to go."
Bobby fired a salt round into the growing number of ghosts before turning and following Dean's sprint back to the tunnel. "Hope you're counting!"
"Six, five, whatever! Just run!" Dean ran around the boulders with Bobby on his heels.
"Got your bag." Sam handed it off to his brother and didn't argue when both men bracketed him, grabbed his arms and pulled him along the tunnel at a run. A few seconds later there was another explosion as they went safely around a bend.
Iron nails and the rock salt Dean had added in would shred the ghosts at least temporarily. "How long is this one?" Dean asked Bobby as they moved as quickly as they could with Dean's flashlight lighting the way.
"Not much further." Bobby gave a glance to Sam's pale face. "I'll take him up with me."
Dean snorted. "No offense but how you plan on pulling his heavy ass up the cliff?"
"I can climb," Sam protested and rolled his eyes as both men told him to shut up in unison. "No respect."
"Nope," Dean agreed cheerfully. He blinked, adjusting his eyes as they emerged into the cave's entrance once more and the daylight filtered in. "Go grab the lines." He took all of Sam's weight, letting Bobby jog ahead.
"Still another pukwudgie somewhere." Sam groaned as his shoulder pulled painfully. He turned in surprise as a strange cry went up in the tunnels behind them.
"I think the last wedgie standing just found the nest. Crap." Dean pulled Sam along to the mouth of the cave. "Stop squirmin'."
Bobby clipped Sam's line back into his harness and attached his own. "It's gonna be pissed."
"Get him up!" Dean ordered and ignored Sam's protests as Bobby swung him out of the cave and starting hauling them both up the side of the cliff. Dean pulled his pack off his shoulders and looked out the entrance. He took a deep breath and made a grab for his own line, teetering on the edge for a moment before righting himself. He clipped it into his harness and bent to his bag.
Dean pulled out one of the pipe bombs and his Zippo, flicked the wheel and waited. He could hear the strange cry coming closer and a moment later a single pukwudgie appeared, running from the tunnel with rage twisting its strange, grey face. It was followed by a small army of Maushop spirits that swept out into the cavern entrance behind it. He lit the fuse of the bomb, stuffed it back into his bag, and stood. Dean swung the bag by the straps and let it sail into the center of the cave.
"To the Bat-rope!" Dean grinned and swung out into the open air. His stomach dropped dizzily, but he kept his eyes on the creature and its pet spirits, counting down in his head. He looked up, seeing that Bobby and Sam were clear, took a breath and let himself slide quickly down the rope. The bomb exploded as Dean dipped below the base of the cave entrance. Iron nails and salt flew out into the morning air and showered down around him. Dean heard the pukwudgie's scream cut off and chuckled.
"Dean? You alright, son?" Bobby shouted down worriedly. He tightened his arm around Sam when the boy shifted, trying to see his brother for himself. "Sam…dammit, stay still."
"Dean?" Sam ducked his head around Bobby's arm and finally got a look at his brother twenty feet below.
"I'm fine!" Dean waved a hand briefly and started pulling himself up the line until he could see into the cavern again. The spirits were gone, and what was left of the pukwudgie was riddled with nails in a bloody stain across the floor. "No more cliffs…ever," Dean said breathlessly and started the climb back to the top. He easily outpaced his brother and Bobby and rolled over the edge back to solid ground once more. He sorted out the lines and called down. "Bobby! Let him go! I'll pull him up!"
Sam nodded at Bobby. "I'm ok." He did his best to get his legs to cooperate and walk up the cliff with Dean pulling from above. He wasn't surprised that Bobby kept pace with him, staying at his side and reached out to steady him each time he faltered.
Dean pulled and grunted with the strain of getting his giant of a brother over the edge. He let the line go and dropped to his knees, taking Sam's good arm and pulling until he was safe. He held a hand out to Bobby as the older man's head popped up and gave him a helping hand up.
Sam lay back on the stone, letting the sun warm his face and decided taking a nap right there didn't sound like such a bad idea. He groaned when Dean pulled on his arm. "M'good here."
Dean snorted. "Dude, you're not sleeping on a damn cliff. Come on. Sit up."
"Aw, let him lay there for a minute." Bobby got to his feet and put a hand on Dean's shoulder. "Gotta get these lines up before we go anywhere."
Sam sighed gratefully and let his head thump back wearily. The punctures in his shoulder and back were a burning pain that made him twitch, and he could tell some of them were still bleeding sluggishly. "So…you over your fear of heights now?" He cracked his eyes open and looked up at his brother with a smirk. "Saw you pull that Tarzan."
Dean chuckled and settled beside him. "Hell, no. I just didn't want to end up full of holes like you. I know how to duck." He rubbed a hand over his hair and down his face as it reddened. "I was gonna clean up those wounds, but, uh…I kinda blew up the first aid kit."
Sam looked up at him in surprise and his face split in a grin as he started laughing. "You blew it up."
"I was in a hurry!" Dean protested and glared down at him. He frowned and put a hand out, laying the backs of his knuckles against Sam's throat. "Dammit."
"I feel fine." Sam assured his brother, annoyed that he did in fact feel a fever brewing.
"Now I wish I'd sterilized all those damn nails before I used them." Dean groaned and got to his knees while Bobby finished coiling up the climbing lines. "Come on."
Sam sighed with resignation and gave Dean his good arm, letting him pull him to his feet where he swayed. He fought not to go to his knees as dizziness washed over him. "Sorry."
"Take it easy, son." Bobby reached an arm around Sam's waist to help while Dean pulled his brother's arm over his shoulders and grimaced at the feel of his blood-stiffened shirts under his hand. "We'll take it nice and slow."
"Forgot my jacket," Sam mumbled with his head, suddenly having trouble keeping his eyes open. "S'in the cave."
"We'll get you a new one." Dean tightened his grip on Sam's wrist and traded a concerned glance with Bobby. "Just keep walkin', dude."
Sam blinked heavy eyes open and was surprised to find Bobby, rather than his brother, sitting next to him. "Dean?"
"Getting more ice," Bobby reassured him and wiped the cold, wet cloth over Sam's forehead again. "Your fever spiked. Whatever was on those nails Dean used wasn't good and neither one of us can remember the last time you had your shots."
Sam grimaced. "Not a dog."
Bobby chuckled. "Fine, Tetanus shot then. Stop it." He pushed Sam's hand away when he tried to grab the cloth. Sam had passed out in the car on the drive back while his temperature shot up, leaving Dean to quietly panic even while he smiled and denied it. "How's the pain?"
"Ok." Sam could feel the pull of surgical tape and bandages on his shoulder and down his back but the pain was dulled. "I don't…remember you giving me anything."
"You weren't exactly coherent at the time." Bobby shrugged and smiled. Sam's fever had gone high enough that he and Dean both had had a terrified moment where they thought Sam's wall was cracking again. He rolled his eyes, finding it a little ridiculous that a fever induced seizure was actually a relief for them. He wrung out the cloth and looked at Sam's fever-flushed face. "Sam, I'm sorry."
"Huh?" Sam opened his eyes again, not realizing he'd closed them, and frowned up at the older man. "You haven't done anything."
"Shut up, Sam." Bobby scowled, but there was no heat in it as he wiped the cloth over Sam's face again. "I've been an idiot. Stubborn, pig-headed…well, you get the idea."
"Bobby, you don't..."
"Yeah, I do. I know you don't…can't remember it, and I guess that's a good thing." Bobby shook his head. "I wish I could forget."
"Bobby, what did I do exactly?" Sam asked. Castiel hadn't given him details, and Dean had, of course, put an embargo on Sam digging in to any of the things hidden behind the wall, but he needed to know this…all of it. "Please."
Bobby shook his head. "No way, son." He clasped his hand around Sam's shoulder, and the decision to refuse him was easy because telling him could kill him, and Bobby had finally remembered in the last day just how much he loved this kid; his kid. "Doesn't matter. It wasn't you." He met Sam's now shining eyes and nodded. "It wasn't you, ok? It ain't important."
Sam had to close eyes as the trust and the love he'd missed shone once more in Bobby's eyes. He hadn't realized just how large an ache it had caused inside him to see only mistrust and fear there. He nodded. "Ok."
Bobby sighed as Sam's breathing hitched with emotion. "Take it easy, son. Dean'll smack me if he finds ya like this."
"Like what?" Dean asked as he came into the room with a full ice bucket. "What'd you do? What's wrong?"
"Nothing. Nothing," Sam said hastily and wiped a shaking hand over his face. "Just…the fever messing with me. I'm ok. We're ok."
"Uh huh." Dean gave Bobby a long look as he came over to the bed and set the ice bucket down.
"Oh, stop glarin' at me." Bobby rolled his eyes and moved. "I'm gonna go rustle up some food."
"Thanks, Bobby." Sam smiled up at him in gratitude and then groaned when Dean sat and shifted the bed. "Ow."
"Quit whining, princess." Dean smirked. "About damn time you two buried the hatchet." He took the thermometer off the nightstand and tapped Sam's face with it. "Open."
"Dude. I'm fine…mmf!" Sam scowled and cursed around the thermometer when Dean shoved it into his open mouth. "Jerk."
"Bitch." Dean grinned and put the cloth Bobby had been using back in the bowl next to the bed, adding some ice. His eyes quickly scanned his little brother, mentally cataloguing the injuries from his bruised and thorn scratched throat to the holes lining his back and shook his head. "You really took a beating on this one, dude." He laid the cold cloth over his brother's forehead and smirked when Sam's eyes fell closed on a moan of relief. "Lucky for us, Barry the surly lodge owner's letting us stay as long as we need to. You're gonna need a few days."
"No, I can…I'm good," Sam argued and pulled the thermometer out. He didn't want to hold them up.
"Relax, Sammy." Dean took the thermometer, read it, and tossed it back to the table. "You're not going anywhere 'til you get outta triple digits."
"Dammit." Sam flopped back into the bed. "Everything hurts," he admitted finally in a tired voice.
Dean nodded. "I know. Just get some sleep." He tugged the cloth down so it covered Sam's eyes, squeezed his shoulder, and got up. Dean needed some time of his own to get over the guilt of letting Sam get this damn hurt and the relief that Bobby finally seemed ready to accept that what Sam had done without a soul wasn't his fault.
"S'gonna be ok, Dean," Sam said sleepily from the bed.
Dean huffed out a soft laugh and shook his head. He didn't believe that, not for one minute. There were too many things stacked against them…against Sam, but somehow Sam always managed to hold on to hope. "Yeah, Sammy," he said softly and sat where he could see the tv and keep an eye on his sleeping little brother. "I know."