Author's Note: I really like time travelling stories. Really, they are so much fun to write and once I saw this prompt over at OhSam, I knew I had to write it. I'll post the prompt at the end in case anyone wants to be surprised. Spoilers for the beginning of season 8. Please enjoy this story!
"The future is an opaque mirror. Anyone who tries to look into it sees nothing but the dim outlines of an old and worried face.
When it happened, there had been a flash of light that encompassed your vision.
Your name on echoed in your ears as you felt yourself being pulled into some sort of dark void. You had seen Dean for a brief second, rushing towards you, hand outstretched, ready to pull you to safety like he had had done ever since you were born.
And then, there was darkness.
"Son of a bitch." A deep voice growls and instantly, you are up and alert. You may be only 12, but you've been training for a few years now and you can take down anyone or anything that tries to get in your way. You reach for your gun only to realize that you weren't carrying one when you had encountered the void. The man before you holds his hand aloft in a placating fashion. His eyes are red-rimmed, he can barely hold himself steady, but there's an aura about him. He's dangerous and if it came down to fighting him, you know you wouldn't be able to win. "Easy, Sam, easy."
"How do you know my name?" You hiss, panic threatening to tear at your sanity because you have no idea where you are or what the hell is going on, but you want to go home. "Who are you?"
"I'm a," He hesitates and something akin to grief flashes across his green eyes. "I'm a friend of your father's." He offers you a hand, but you slap it away. What, does this guy think you're stupid or something? You may be a kid but there was no way you were going to fall for that one!
"Prove it." You fold your arms across your chest and wait. The man chuckles dryly, his expression changing to one of pride though you have no idea why. You've never met this guy before but he seems to know an awful amount about you.
"Okay, so," He shifts his body weight and for a moment, you think he's going to collapse. This guy hasn't been sleeping and it's amazing he's even forming coherent sentences. All his body wants to do is crash and yet, he seems to be operating on sheer willpower alone. "Your mom died in a fire on your nursery ceiling in Lawrence, Kansas when you were six months old. After that, your dad got into the life. Your first hunt was a vengeful spirit of a 80 year old grandma who was pissed off her pie shop was being demolished—"
"Dad told you all of that?" You ask him, because you hadn't known that John ever talked about you. He was always disappointed in you, was always criticizing you. But here was a man who knew you, who knew of the hard work you had done. Then, in the brightest smile you've seen in a long time, the man just beams and tells you,
"He's proud of you, Sam. He was always proud of you. Your big brother too."
"You know Dean?" You press, hope blooming up in you. This man could bring you back to Dean and John would never have to know about how you screwed up this simple reconnaissance mission. No disappointment, no anger—nothing.
"Yeah," The man tells you, smirk tugging on his lips. "You could say that." He pauses to look at you. "Now, why don't we figure out what the hell happened to you, okay?"
And somehow, you manage to nod.
Because despite this guy's frightful appearance, you feel in your gut that you can trust him.
Something isn't adding up.
For one thing, you're pretty sure that you've hopscotched 18 years into the future because computers are now small enough that you can take them anywhere with you and TV has high-definition and cellphones are now things called "smart phones" that get the internet on them. It's pretty confusing to be honest, but at least you know what happened.
"The void must've sucked you in," The man—he refuses to give you a name which is odd, to say the least—tells you, scanning his books. Some of them are ones that you own back in your own time. "What were you hunting?"
"We weren't," You answer, taking a sip of the apple juice—your favorite brand—that he got for you. "It was just a mission to check out this warehouse. My dad wanted my brother and I to look into it." A thought pops into your head. "Hey, we should call them! They might be able to help—!" You reach for the phone, only for it to be swatted out of your hand.
"No!" The man shouts and you startle. The tone he uses is dripping with venom. It's a tone you've heard your father use only once on a vampire that almost killed Dean. It's a tone that means not to mess with whoever was using it or you were going to pay with your life. Seeing your expression, the man settles and runs a hand through your hair. "I mean, it's been 18 years. I don't think your dad or your brother would have the same number, do you?" You nod at the logic, but something is off.
It's the first clue.
The man—still refuses to disclose his name—takes you down to the local precinct where a guy named James is being held. According to what info the man had been able to gather, James claimed he was from 1955 and he had the clothes to prove it. The cops thought he was crazy of course, but it was a lead. You stay on the other side of the interrogation window—you're too young to be in there—and idly turn on the speaker.
"Listen to me, you sick son of a bitch," The man's voice is murderous and you wonder why. James is leaning as far back in his chair as possible as if he's trying to hide, but the man is relentless. "You're holding out on me. You tell me what you know before I get angry."
"I did!" The frightened guy shouts. "The woman offered me an escape and I took it, but I never knew that I would end up here." Tears well up in his eyes. "Please, I just want to go home."
"Who was the woman?" The man circles him and after a few seconds without a response, the man grabs the younger man's hand and twists it behind his back. It makes a sickening crack and the he cries out. You gasp—you've never seen such violence used on a victim before. The man seems to be possessed by some sort of force. "Who was the woman that took Cas?"
"Cas?" You echo and immediately, you know something isn't right. You turn off the speaker and head down the hall. Throwing open the door, you watch in horror as the man breaks James' other hand. "Stop!"
The man meets your gaze and for a few seconds, there's nothing but animosity. He drops James' arm and the next thing you know, he's charging at you. You manage to dodge and are about to punch him when he grabs your neck and drags you to the wall. Slamming you against it, his fingers tighten their grip. Squirming, you try to cry out but nothing comes out but a strangled whisper. Then, it clears—clarity, then regret in the man's eyes. He drops you and crosses to the door, whispering a broken apology on his lips.
And more than ever, you want to get home.
You find it accidentally.
After he apologized profusely for what happened and promised to stay out of your way, you decided to figure out what was wrong with this guy. Going through the man's duffel, looking for some sort of clue as to what triggered the episode in the interrogation room, you find it. The familiar weight brings comfort as it lies in your open palm. The cool bronze feels good, but as your mind processes what this means, a dam of worry and fear unleashes inside you.
This man . . . this scary guy who was going to kill that victim in the interrogation room is your big brother. Your goofy, funny, charming, happy big brother turns into that broken, sleep-deprived man that attacked you in the other room. If this was Dean, where were you and John? Why wasn't he wearing the amulet? Had something happened between the three of you? Had you died?
All you have is the amulet, an unhinged hunter and uncertainty.
And it scares the hell out of you.
You want nothing more than to take the amulet and run because whoever that was in the other room couldn't be your big brother. Dean didn't hurt people who weren't evil. He didn't suddenly snap and talk about people that no one knew. He didn't torture people for information! He never hurt you ever!
Dean was your big brother and sure he had his moments, but underneath it all, he was a good guy.
The man in the other room couldn't be him.
"Sam?" Wordlessly, you turn around, the amulet dangling from your fingers and you see him process the fact that you know now. "I can explain—"
"Explain what?" You begin, feeling grief well up within you. "Explain how you stopped wearing the amulet? Explain how you lied to me when I got here? Explain how you torturing that guy and how you just charged at me—"
"That's enough!" Dean interjects sharply and you shake your head sadly because you understand now. Dean's become like your father. He's turned to anger and rage to channel his sadness into. Maybe you left him because of this, because you swore you would get out of this life and it's self-destructive tendencies.
But deep down, you had always hoped Dean would follow you.
But now, here was the proof—your older brother was going to end up just like your father and you were powerless to stop it.
"What happened to you?" You demand, tears spilling from your eyes and you try to wipe them away but more simply fill their spot. "Dean, I don't even know who you are anymore." You're sobbing now, clutching the amulet for dear life when arms wrap around you. A comforting hand rubs circles on your back.
"Sam, none of this is your fault," Dean assures you, his voice kind and gentle, like your Dean. "Look, things happened, okay? We're not exactly on the best terms right now. And I haven't been dealing with it as much as I should, but that's my problem—"
"It's our problem," You insist. "Dean, you're my brother. We fight things together, remember?" He shoots you a rare grin.
"Yeah, Sam," He tells you. "I remember."
"Am I dead here?" You whisper and quickly, your brother shakes his head.
"No, no," He replies quickly. "God, no. You just went out to check in on a friend of ours."
"I left you like this?" You exclaim and Dean chuckles.
"Dude, you didn't know," He assures you. "It's okay, Sam. Really."
"Tell me what happened," You demand, gripping his arms. "I can help you!"
"You are," Your much older answers with a small smile. "Just being here is all I need, okay?"
"I promise, okay?"
A promise is sacred for them. They don't have much else to give since they travel around so much, but once a promise is issued, it's practically law. It's a sign that deep down this angry, gruff man, his older brother is still there.
"Okay." You hug him tightly. Out of the corner of your eye you see the dark void opening and while you're relieved to go home, you want to help this Dean. You settle for hugging him tighter.
And then before you know it, you feel the void tugging you again.
When you wake up, the warehouse ceiling greets you.
"Sammy!" Your brother's voice echoes and you sit up, vertigo assaulting you briefly. A flashlight beam hits your face and you groan. "Sam, thank God!" Dean is at your side in seconds, a strong arm pulling you up and into his safe embrace. It's your Dean—happy, funny, not suffering from any trauma Dean—and you couldn't be more grateful. "You okay?"
"I'm fine," You assure him, beaming as you meet his concerned gaze. "What happened?"
"Hell if I know," Your brother replies. "There was this blonde woman and she just grinned at me and led me to you." You recall briefly James' testimony of the woman asking him if he wanted to escape. A friendly creature wanting to grant someone's wishes? "You had me worried, man. You were gone for an hour—"
"That's it?" You question, confused. You had spent much more time with the other Dean, of that you were sure. Maybe the void had dropped you off at a different point in time?
"It just felt longer."
"Where were you?" You just grin.
Dean tilts his head to the side, confused, but you just laugh, take his hand and lead him towards the Impala.
Who said destiny was set in stone? Who decreed that Dean would have to become that broken man he met in the future? No, Sam would do his best to prevent that.
He and his brother were in this together, no matter what.
And 18 years into the future, Dean smiled softly at the amulet that the younger version of his brother had dropped as he was taken back to the past. He pulled out his phone and hit his speed dial and waited.
"Hey, Sam? I'm . . . drowning. I need your help."
Maybe all he had needed to ask for help was just a little reminder from the past.
Author's Note: The prompt was as follows, "Kid!Sam time travels forward and meets current!Dean (without current!Sam, preferably, but I'm not that picky). Dean's having a bad time with his PTSD. Sam freaks out and is generally scared of the big gruff hunter who's trying to help him get home. And then he finds the amulet tucked away somewhere. Or maybe he sees a picture of himself and Dean. Or he's just smart enough to put two and two together. Whatever the case, he figures out that this is what his big brother becomes and he's terrified. Bonus points for wee!Sam witness torturer!Dean." I hope you guys enjoyed this! I tried to do my best with the prompt and I liked the way it came out. Please review if you have a second!