A.N. Please could I ask that you read the A.N. at the end, 'cos I'm offering a choice to all of you who have accompanied the brothers on this hunt. Till next we meet. Chick xxxx
CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE
Dean hurled himself out of the grave, grabbing at the flask of oil and looking around frantically. Where? Where is...There! Leaping across the hole he had dug, he slid to his knees by the kit bag, one hand gripping his gun, the other feeling for the canister of salt that he had put in there, not knowing that Sam had packed extra for his own purpose. Sammy! Please be ok! He was in the process of rising to his feet, when he felt the rush of cold wind around his ankles. No! Not yet!
"Never turn your back on the enemy, punk. Didn't your pops bother tellin' you that one?"
Dean spun around to face the spirit who stood grinning wildly on the opposing side of the burial hole. The sensation of hot knives being gouged down the back of his hands made Dean gasp in shock, and forced him to drop the precious items he held. The spirit blinked out of existence, appearing again next to Dean, standing so close that Dean could feel the chill of the ghostly form leaning up against his body. Cold lips brushed his ear and Dean couldn't stop the tremble that coursed through him when Clive's cruel voice whispered to him.
"Ever heard the phrase your ass is mine, pretty boy?"
Sam gritted his teeth against the searing pains shooting down his back, one hand was once again clamped in it's familiar position, trying to support his ribs and make the hurt something like tolerable. He couldn't, wouldn't allow himself to cry out with pain, didn't want to draw attention to himself. A low growl was all he conceded as his eyes locked onto the motionless figure of his brother, stood at the side of the hole he had dug, the ghostly form of Clive next to him, it's eyes fixed on his brother as it placed one glowing hand against Dean's chest, and slowly began to move it caressingly down, over Dean's body.
Rage, fear, horror, denial, fury. They served lift Sam beyond his pain, to feel none of it. The only thing Sam felt was the desire to kill, and he raised the hand which had stubbornly, determinedly, kept it's grip on the shotgun. Sam's aim was perfect, the shot rang out, and Dean was instantly alone. Sam was already moving as fast as he could towards his brother, when he saw Dean drop bonelessly to the floor. Sam's heart longed to go directly and check on his brother; his head told him he couldn't spare the time. The military voice of John Winchester barked at him in his mind. You've got a job to do boy...Do it! As Sam homed in on the grave, his eyes were already scanning around until he saw what he was looking for, and a grim smile graced his lips. His movements flowing like quicksilver Sam grabbed the salt canister off the floor, flipped the lid and poured, all in a heartbeat. A shiver down his neck was the only signal he needed to raise the shotgun and shoot into centre of the tiny orb of light which flickered into being over Dean's body, and was blown out like a candle. Without stopping, Sam put the toe of his boot under the silver flask of oil laid at his brother's side and flicked the flask straight up into his waiting hand. Using the thumb and forefinger of the same hand which clasped the flask, Sam deftly unscrewed the cap, and pored. Closing his eyes, still afraid yet to look at his brother, Sam reached over Dean to recover his brother's discarded jacket and retrieve the lighter that he knew nestled in a pocket. Sam swiftly returned to stand by the graveside and he stared down into the depths of the burial hole, catching his first sight of the skeletal remains of the man he intended to send straight to Hell. Shotgun in one hand, lighter in the other, Sam finally stilled himself, his breathing calm and steady, waiting. Sam was determined that spirit of Clive Furness would be given the time and the opportunity to realise that he was about to become truly dead; before Sam lit the fire that would turn his brittle bones to ash.
Sam began humming to himself whilst he waited, only really becoming aware of what he was humming when his soft rendition of Highway to Hell reached the title lines. Sam smiled and went from humming to singing the words to the title chorus, increasing his volume a little when he saw the first sign that the spirit was making another appearance. The ghostly figure of Clive coalesced before him, and Sam saw it's mouth begin to stretch open wide in fear when it saw Sam stood strong in front of it, his eyes cold, hard, unforgiving. The ghost shook it's head. A scream of protest echoed out from the gaping maw of it's mouth when it realised what the words were that the hunter stood singing. It saw Sam's look of triumph as he wiggled the fingers of his hand in goodbye, and watched in fear when the flaming lighter left Sam's hand and tumbled down into the coffin. Sam took a step back from the graves edge, and the salt and oil caught with a whoosh. The ghost continued to scream whilst supernatural flames hungrily began to devour it, until the thing at last exploded apart, and the world stood a little bit safer.
Feeling his own pain now returning, Sam stumbled the few steps towards his brother, letting himself drop to his knees at Dean's side. Reaching out, Sam flinched at how cold the touch of the ghost had left his brother's skin feeling. Sam moved his hand to lay it over Dean's heart, where he had first seen the spirit place it's hand. The beat of Sam's own heart slowed, relaxed, and he bowed his head in relief when he felt the gentle rise and fall of Dean's chest, and the wonderful steady beat of his brother's heart, beneath the palm of his hand.
"You're ok. You're ok. Thank God, you're going to be ok."
"Wha'?... Wha' you say?...M'ok?"
A wide smile blossomed on Sam's face when he heard the slurred words and saw the hint of green that meant Dean was opening his eyes. His own vision suddenly blurring, Sam nodded.
"That's right big brother...You are. We are."
Dean's now wide eyed gaze locked onto Sam's face, and his own soft smile grew to match Sam's, whilst he moved to place his own hand on top of his baby brother's.
Sam's smile grew even broader.
"That's right Dean, I'm here. We're together again big brother...Batman and Robin, remember? You and me. The Winchester brothers, side by side, and that's where we both belong."
A.N. I, personally, am happy to leave it here with the brothers reconciled. As the running theme was grief, it kinda seems appropriate that they come to that in a cemetery. HOWEVER, if anyone feels that they want an epilogue, then you're gonna have to let me know. End date for people to say if they do want an epilogue is : Saturday July 27. (2013 obviously :D) If there is a goodly number out there who want it,, I promise I will endeavour to write and post that very same day.
Otherwise, thank you to all those of you who have reviewed, followed, set as favorite or set up alerts for this fic. I am truly honoured that you felt it merited your time.
Huge hugs, cuddles and chick flick moments to every one out there.