Writer's Note: Tag to S05E04 ("The End") & canon divergence. I wrote this awhile ago to a livejournal prompt and rediscovered it in my files. I have no idea who prompted it though - I had just c&p'd the prompt and not the prompter (because I'm stupid). So please: if you recognize the prompt, I'll give credit super immediately. Here it is: "5x04 AU. Past!Dean is still in 2014, and future!Dean is still alive. Somehow they rescue Sam. Sam is recovering in Chitaqua, and the Deans kind of compete for his attention and growl jealously at each other for the chance to take care of Sam." The italicized portion is not featured in this story. A different dynamic surfaced!
"I win, so I win," Lucifer said, a slight smile pinching the corners of Sam's mouth.
"You're wrong," Dean promised, a tear sliding down his cheek and dropping to the earth.
"See you in five years, Dean."
Lucifer turned his back on him, leaving Dean bereft of hope.
Out of the corner of Dean's eye, he saw his own dead body suddenly grab the colt and roll over on the ground to angle it at their brother.
"Lucifer!" He shouted, pure fury in his voice. At the sound, Lucifer turned around sporting Sam's confused expression. The colt exploded and Dean watched, stunned, as Lucifer actually jolted backwards clutching his stomach. He stumbled until he hit the building's exterior and hunched over in... pain. Dean watched his future self stand up slowly and start bearing down. Lucifer whipped his head up and stared at him with hatred.
"You," he spat, blood starting to cover his lips.
Dean could see Sam's white suit turn deep red as Lucifer covered the gunshot wound with Sam's hands. He watched in horror as his future self blocked his view of Sam as he stepped directly in front of their little brother's crouched body.
"Yeah," his future self said harshly, cocking the colt for another shot, "Me." He directed the gun straight at Sam's head, triggering his past self.
"NO!" Dean shouted desperately as he started running towards them.
"DEAN!" A voice cried out. It was Sam's voice. It was their Sam.
Dean ran faster and watched his future self hesitate, staring down the barrel at his brother.
"Dean! Shoot me! NOW!" Sam gasped. "Do it! " Sam begged once more before collapsing to the ground. "God, please," Sam sobbed, curling his body against the mud as the rain continued to pour down on them. "He's still in me, Dean, please!"
It was a cruel mimic of their father the night he'd been possessed all those years ago. Sam hadn't been able to do it but Dean had no doubts that his future self could.
Just as Dean reached them, he heard his own low voice.
"I'm sorry, Sam," he said and lifted the colt to fire.
"NO!" Dean shouted as he reached out and ripped his future self back by the collar, jerking him off his feet and landing him back on the ground. "SAM, FIGHT HIM!" Dean yelled at his crippled brother as he stepped over his future self and landed a punch to the face before grabbing the colt from his limp hand. He turned around and slid into the mud at Sam's side.
"SHOOT ME!" Sam cried, his face contorted into pure pain and anguish. Dean bent over his brother, looping an arm underneath his torso and cradling his neck and head with his hand. Sam cried out in pain but leaned into Dean, grabbing his brother's jacket.
"Sh-shoot-" He gasped.
"He's still inside?"
Sam's panicked eyes stared into Dean and he nodded.
"De- Dean, p-please. Kill me," he whispered weakly.
Dean bit his lip and felt tears rolling down his face as he pulled Sam into his arms. Sam shouted out in pain.
"Shh," Dean's voice trembled, "It's okay, hold on to me, Sam," he whispered as he braced Sam tightly in his arms.
"Kill me," Sam whispered back, "Kill me now, Dean."
"Just hold tight," Dean said, his voice strangled as he pushed the Colt's barrel against Sam's shoulder.
"Deep breaths, Sam, c'mon do them with me," he coached. On the third breath, Dean fired and felt Sam's body buck in pain and scream directly into his ear. He grabbed Sam and held him as his brother rode out the shock and pain of the wound now in his shoulder.
"God damn it," Dean cried, realizing it hadn't worked.
"Dean," Sam whimpered, grasping at his brother. "I'm sorry - I'm so sorry - let me die, please!"
Dean realized Sam thought he was torturing him for having said yes. He looked into Sam's terrified hazel eyes and wiped the kid's hair back from his face. His hands were bloody.
"Shh, Sammy, no," Dean sniffed, holding Sam's head steady and secure, "I'm trying to get him out. I'm so sorry-" Dean choked as he pulled the trigger again.
The Colt went off again and Sam screamed in pain, jolting under Dean's hold as the pain in his thigh - the next location Dean had decided to shoot - exploded out and shot pain up and down his entire body.
Suddenly a white light began to emit from Sam's eyes and mouth and Sam began to seize in Dean's arms.
"C'mon, Sammy, c'mon," Dean repeated over and over as he rocked Sam in his arms, watching the white light start to stream out of him. "Oh god," Dean gasped as he noticed the light wasn't completely leaving Sam's body alone.
Without spending time to think on it, Dean shot the Colt into Sam's other shoulder. He felt Sam's body shake at the impact.
"Get OUT of him, you bastard!" Dean screamed.
And just as fast as it had started, it stopped. The light disappeared and Sam's body sagged into Dean's arms. The rain kept falling. The sky thundered. Dean dropped the Colt dumbly and checked Sam's pulse. It was barely there... but it was there.
"What did you do?" Dean heard his own threatening voice behind him. Dean turned his head to shout back at himself.
"He's still alive! I need your help!" Dean shouted, turning back to Sam. The rain and his own tears were blurring his vision, but he laid Sam down on the ground and pulled his jacket off. He saw his future self step over to Sam's other side, studying Sam as if he'd never seen him before.
"C'MON!" Dean yelled, wrapping his jacket around one of Sam's shoulders to keep pressure on the wound. His future self looked up at him and Dean saw the disbelief in his own eyes.
Cas limped down the rickety stairs to the basement in one of the compound's main buildings. It was a little further off along the forested southwest edge of camp. Usually reserved for supply surpluses, it had been empty and unused for awhile. It was musty and dry, the earthy smell pungent given that the floor was packed dirt.
Cas shifted his arm and winced as he reached the landing. He pushed the fabric of his sling wider on his shoulder and pushed on. He could hear low voices in one of the chambers and moved in that direction.
Cas's breath caught at the sight of the man who'd said yes to Lucifer. Unconscious, lying on a cot with Past-Dean sitting on the edge, palm resting protectively on his chest. An IV of blood stood nearby - pumping into the man to keep him alive. His Dean, the one meant for these times, was off to the side somewhere beyond his line of sight. As he approached, he could hear what they were saying - their voices echoing around the subterranean level.
"- and you get outta dodge-"
"Where?! The croats are everywhere and I can't leave my people-"
"Your loyalty stands with-"
"Bull shit. My loyalty to Sam ended with his. He said, 'yes,' to Lucifer. He brought all this upon us."
Cas stumbled to the threshold of the chamber and glanced in to see his Dean sitting at a small table. He held the Colt steady and angled at Sam. He looked up, immediately sensing Cas's presence.
Cas winced and gave a sarcastic wave as he moved into the chamber and settled down onto a wooden chair next to the door. He sighed and looked at the two of them. He was exhausted, but he knew he had to be here.
"Dean," he said tiredly. He got both of them to look directly at him. "No, now Dean."
"Put the gun down. Lucifer's not in 'im."
Now-Dean shifted uncomfortably in his chair.
"Doesn't mean he won't wake up and say, 'yes,' again," he replied, dripping contempt. Cas pursed his lips and folded into himself defensively.
"Just what exactly do you think went down in Detroit, huh?" The other Dean piped up. Cas turned to look at the alternate version from the past. His aura was... so different. So much softer. So much more love in him than the current Dean. As if in evidence of Cas's observation, Past-Dean moved his hand up to Sam's neck, then head. Soft touches and gentle reassurances of his presence even though Sam was unconscious.
"You think Sam wanted to say 'yes'? You think he was given a choice?"
"Weren't we?!" His Dean shouted, standing up in anger so he could tower over the past version of himself - and his brother.
Cas watched with fascination as Past-Dean moved to cover Sam's body with his own, perceiving his Dean as a threat.
"Sit down, Dean," Cas ordered lazily. "Sam is unconscious. You don't shoot unarmed men."
"Huh," Now-Dean huffed skeptically as he turned back to the chair. Past-Dean turned around to look at Cas.
"You don't shoot unarmed men?!" Past Dean repeated, outraged, "How about you don't shoot your fucking brother!" He yelled back at... himself. Cas saw his Dean flinch at the sound of his own voice shouting at him.
"What the hell happened to you?" Past-Dean asked, sounding sick to his stomach. His Dean was about to speak up but Cas got there first.
"Sam's absence happened to him, Dean."
Both of them looked back at him and Cas shifted in his chair. He felt like he owed his Dean an apology, but he knew he was only speaking the truth.
"Dean," he said quietly, speaking to Now-Dean: "Sam suffered in Detroit. And you weren't there to save him. Lucifer broke your brother."
Cas stopped, knowing his words stung.
He looked over to Past-Dean, the Dean that seemed to be pouring every ounce of energy into his little brother. The Dean that exuded that magnetic, intense force of goodness... Cas had forgotten how much he had cared for Dean.
He sighed and looked back to his Dean.
"If you can manage it, take a lesson from your younger self here," Cas sighed as he stood up, "and try to remember what it was like to save lives and not sacrifice them," he finished wearily as he stepped out of the chamber.
Writer's Note: Thank you for reading! Please comment/review if you can!