Okay so here's Dean's POV of Into the Light. I would've posted it as a second chapter, but I'm currently in the process of expanding on Sam's POV and maybe making it into a much longer story. So be sure to follow the original version if you're interested. Otherwise, thanks for reading and thanks for reviewing!
Into the Light
My little brother is dying again, and I can't do anything to stop it.
The screams of falling angels pierce the night air as I struggle to support Sam's weight. It's horrifying to watch as they plummet into the ground, so I don't. Instead, I focus all my energy on the only thing that matters right now.
Even with all the weight he's lost since beginning the trials, Sam is still heavy as hell. I can hear the pained moans that escape his lips as I try to move him, and I can see the way he folds in on himself, trying to escape what I know can only be agony. A moment later, the whimpering stops. His eyes flutter closed, and suddenly he's still, way too still.
"SAMMY? Sammy stay with me dammit," I scream, trying not to think about how far away the passenger door is. I'm on the wrong side of the goddamn car and I can feel my little brother slowly slipping away and it's too much, it's all too much. I can't lose him again. I won't survive it.
"Sam, please. Please!" I know he probably can't hear me, I know he's probably too far gone inside his own head, but I can't stop myself from screaming anyway. And then something erupts inside me and I'm on my feet. Suddenly Sam is light in my arms and I am able to haul him to the far door. I try to be gentle, my movements calculated and sure as I fold his too long legs into the Impala. And then I'm slamming the door and sliding across the hood to the driver's side like something out of a fucking movie but I don't even process it. All I'm conscious of is the sound of the engine thrumming to life and the short, ragged gasps of my brother in the passenger seat as we speed towards what I can only hope is salvation.
It takes Sam two slow, everlasting, agonizing days to wake up. And when he does, he's thrashing across the bed and fighting desperately against the breathing tube despite my pleas. I'm trying to soothe him, trying to stay calm but I've never seen my brother in this much pain, and I never want to see it again. I'm relieved at how quickly the nurse injects more pain meds, but it still seems like an eternity before Sam slumps heavily back into the pillows. I lean in close, barely catching the quiet whimpering that still slips past his defenses. Fuck. I reach to squeeze his hand, simultaneously swiping at the sweaty strands of too-long hair that have stuck to his forehead.
"I'm here Sammy, I'm here," I mutter as I feel him relax into my hand. And then he's unconscious, and the endless waiting begins again.
Sometimes I think that, in a way, hospitals have always been our second home. It's a sick thought, but there's no denying the countless hours we've spent staring at blank walls and listening to the dripdrip of the IV and the ever present bleep of the machines. And no matter the hospital, no matter the town, it seems as though everything is always the same. The monotony is unbearable. I'm currently staring at yet another colorless wall, counting down the seconds until my brother wakes again. And wondering how I'll face him when he finally does.
"I'm sorry, but at this point the best we can do is to try to make him as comfortable as possible."
It had taken me a full minute to process what those words meant, but it had only taken a second to punch through the wall right next to the doctor's abnormally large head. He had gaped at me, stunned, turning his head to stare at the hole left in the drywall, then immediately whipping back to stare at me like a fucking cartoon character. Like he was expecting an apology or something.
What a fucking idiot.
This so called expert had no idea who my brother was, had no concept of all the hell we had been through together. This was just another blip, just one more speed bump on a long and battered road. But we would make it. We always did.
Doctor WhoGivesTwoShits stared at me for a minute longer, looking like he was about to piss himself, if he hadn't already. And then he was practically sprinting down the hallway, tripping over his feet like a fucking marionette doll and casting terrified glances over his shoulder at me.
I've been sitting next to Sam's bed ever since, just waiting for security to show up. But they haven't come. I'm almost disappointed. I would've like to have seen them try to drag me away from my brother. I almost smile at the thought, but then I look down at the bed again.
Sam's face is almost as expressionless as the wall, so I shift my gaze back and forth between the two. I'm slowly going insane. I know it's been at least 24 hours since I've slept, and my eyes begin to droop as they slide back across Sam's prone form. Just a short nap, I tell myself as I sink into the cushioned chair. Just have to rest my eyes for a second...
It'sthe faintest of noises, just a slight rustle of sheets, but I'm ripped from unconsciousness, lurching towards Sam's bed before my eyes are fully open.
"Sam?" I cast a glance over his body, looking for any signs of pain, but it seems to have faded for the most part. I latch onto his hand, needing the contact.
"God Sammy, you scared me for a minute there," I try to laugh, to make it all better, but my voice cracks and I can feel the pressure building behind my eyes.
"S'ry," he slurs. The ice chips are in my hand before he can even think about talking again, and after I'm satisfied he's had enough, I throw the cup aside and perch gingerly on the edge of the bed. I can feel my gaze lingering, I know I'm worrying him, but I can't stop staring. I don't want to think, but reality floods my mind anyway. My brother is dying. Again. And this time is so much worse. Because I had saved him. I had gotten to that church in time, had stopped him from sacrificing himself. It was all supposed to be okay again. Yes, the gates of Hell were still open, but we could keep going, just like always. It was an ugly world, but it was ours, and I was willing to keep fighting for it, as long as my brother was next to me. But he now he wouldn't be...
I'm so wrapped up in grief that I barely even register the question Sam murmurs at me.
And with that name comes even more pain, more anguish and I'm fighting to keep my head above water because everything is so fucked up and I can barely breathe anymore. I shift away from Sammy, trying to organize the jumbled words that pour from my mouth.
"I can't...I don't know where he is Sammy. He won't answer my prayers, he won't...he's just...gone." My eyes drop to the floor as I attempt to summon some kind of strength, trying to somehow reclaim my role as the big brother and provide a little comfort.
"Look, I'm sure he's...he's fine. Let's just worry about you right now, okay? Let's just...get you better." My own poisonous words almost have me doubled over. I'm sick to my stomach, wondering how I could give such false hope, wondering which one of us I was really trying to comfort.
"Yeah, that was my next question," Sam croaks out. He still sounds awful. And his next words only makes it worse. "What's wrong with me? I mean, I feel better than I did obviously, but that could just be the drugs. When can I leave?"
God I can't do this.
The reply is lodged deep in my throat and part of me wishes I could just let it choke me, strangle me, so I won't have to answer. Because once I tell him, it makes it real. Once he knows the truth, it means I can't hide from it anymore. And I'm not ready to face it. Not now, not ever. My baby brother is dying.
I know that whatever I' say next doesn't make much sense, I know I'm rambling and barely coherent at this point, but Sam gets the gist. I can't help the plea that escapes my lips at the end of my shitty explanation. "Sammy I can't lose you. Please." It's pathetic. Weak. I have no right to beg him for anything.
I barely hear his empty reassurance that it'll all be okay. It won't be. Maybe not ever again.
It should've been me.
The trials were supposed to be my burden, my responsibility. One I would've taken willingly. Instead, the weight fell on my little brother, and I couldn't shoulder enough of it. Couldn't shoulder any of it. Dammit. Sammy was supposed to grow old. He was supposed to finally be free of this waking nightmare. He was supposed to get out.
It was all I ever wanted for him. I know without a doubt that if it had been me in that church, standing over Crowley, I would've finished it. Even if Sam had burst through those doors as I had, even if he had begged and pleaded, I still would've cured the King of Hell as my brother watched. He might never have forgiven me, but at least he would've been able to find something more. At least he would've had a chance at the life he had once craved and always, always deserved to have. The tears start to fall then, I can't hold them back anymore. This isn't how it's supposed to end.
And then I'm shaken from my useless grieving by the impossibility of Sam's next sentence.
"Dean I...Dean you should've just let me die." It's whispered so quietly I almost don't hear it, but I'm off the bed in an instant, grief turned to rage in under a second.
"Fuck no, Sam. That was never an option. I said we would figure this out. So we will." I'm pacing, immediately furious at myself for giving up so quickly. For a second I wonder where the fuck I disappeared to just now. Dean Winchester doesn't just lay down a die. That's never been an option. It's not over. My brain is suddenly running on overdrive. There has to be something. Anything. Come on Dean. Think.
I can practically see Sam's denial, radiating off of him like a fucking beacon, so I lash out again before he dares to reply.
"You're gonna be fine. You'll make it. You're gonna live Sammy." I meet his eyes and it all becomes clear. And then I'm shrugging into my jacket, grasping for the keys to the Impala and reaching for the door in one swift move, barely registering Sam's strangled cry. "Dean don't! DEAN!"
But I'm already gone.
The rain pelts my windshield as I fly down the open road, the purr of the Impala the only thing keeping me grounded, keeping me from losing my head completely. There's a sickening sense of deja vu, an ugly memory that I've kept locked away in the darkest corner of my mind, but it breaks its way to the surface now as I arrive at the crossroads, screeching to a stop and practically throwing myself from the car.
I slip across the gravel on my way to the trunk, open it, and dig around for what I need.
Graveyard dirt. ID. Black cat bone. Yarrow.
I stuff the contents hastily into the waiting container, my fingers fumbling with the lid. I'm shaking, but I tell myself it's just from the chill of the rain that soaks through my worn jacket and seeps into my skin. I reach the middle of the crossroads and check to make sure I'm alone, dragging in a few deep breaths. Satisfied, I start digging.
I can't do this.
I can't make the same stupid mistakes all over again. So much has changed since I made that first deal. I am not the same person. I can't be the same person.
I slump to the ground and watch as the container slips from my hands and lands on the gravel with a soft thud. Shitshitshit. I can't do this to Sammy again. It's not fair. There has to be something else. Anything else. My brain is working frantically again and I rub my hand over my ragged face, feeling the scars and rough lines that weren't there when I stood at a different crossroads all those years ago. I dig my knuckles into my temple, wishing for some kind of revelation. Anything. Come on Dean. Come on. Save your brother. Save him. Do your fucking job.
It's no longer my father's voice ringing in my ears. Hasn't been Dad's voice in a long, long time. Instead, it's my own. I know my job. No one else has to tell me. And it's my own will, no one else's, that finally drags me to my feet again. I wipe the dirt from my jeans and drag myself forward, back towards the Impala, shoving the offending container abruptly back into the trunk before climbing behind the wheel.
I hesitate for a moment. I have no plan. No options left. No direction. I close my eyes against the tears that threaten to spill once more, pushing them back behind my eyelids. You are not giving up. You are not giving up, dammit.
The Impala roars to life beneath me and I take off in the opposite direction from the hospital. I have no idea where I'm going, but anywhere is better than sitting in that goddamn room with the faded walls, waiting for my brother to die. I'm so focused on holding myself together, knuckles turned white against the steering wheel, that it takes me an extra second to register what's in front of me. I slam on the brakes, my baby whining in protest as she comes to yet another screeching halt. I stare at what I've just stumbled across, blinking rapidly, willing myself to believe it.
I've found it. The revelation I've been looking for. A goddamn miracle.
Sam's still sleeping by the time I get back. His eyes are sunken too far in, the lines of his face too harsh and jagged. I'm standing on the opposite side of the room, trying not to look too closely when he flies awake, howling out my name with a much stronger voice than he had last night. The corners of my mouth turn upward slightly as I move to stand beside him.
"Calm down drama queen, I'm right here."
And suddenly he's yelling at the top of his lungs, the sound bursting from him like a fucking grenade. "WHAT DID YOU DO? DEAN, WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO?"
I'm thrown for a moment, shocked by the sudden outburst, but I recover quickly, moving to grab his arm and reassure him. He lurches violently away from me, his voice now lowered to a volume I know to be lethal.
"Tell me what you did. Did you make another deal?"
Thank God I can answer that question honestly. The shattered look on his face tells me everything, tells me exactly what another deal would've cost. And I know I made the right decision this time. Sam seems satisfied with my answer. He watches me closely, waiting for the subtle signs he's somehow been observant enough to connect with the lies I tell. But there's nothing for him to find.
His next question still catches me off guard.
"So then why are you so calm today? I'm still dying, aren't I?" This can also be answered honestly. For the most part. I tell him what I can; about how his body is healing on its own, how it's a miracle. And it is. It truly is. I can feel the moisture in my eyes again, but I refuse to make this into any more of a chick-flick moment. I watch the myriad of emotions that flit across Sam's face before he finally looks at me again. And what I see there gives me hope. It is pure determination in those eyes, and I've never been more proud of my little brother.
"Okay," he says, "Then I guess we've got work to do."
Yeah Sammy, yeah we do.
Well I finished that a lot quicker than I thought I would. Thanks for reading, remember to review if you have a minute!