Summary: 9x02 Tag – Come Darkness, Come Light 'verse – Dean felt his stomach clench at the icy blue glowing back at him from his little brother's eyes. It appearing as though Ezekiel was trying to surface while Sam was still very much awake and alert.
Disclaimer: Not mine
Warnings: Spoilers for season nine and usual language
A/N: It seems this 'verse will fluctuate between long stories and short little snapshots attached to episodes throughout season nine. I hope you'll continue to enjoy these AU jaunts as much as I do.
We just saw it from a different point of view. Tangled up in blue... ~ Bob Dylan
Sitting across the table from him, Dean scanned his little brother over the rim of his glass, searching for any signs of bullshit in Sam's impromptu speech about how good he felt, about how happy he was with his life.
But for the first time in a long time, Sam looked truly happy. Dean's little brother seeming relaxed and content and at peace as he stared back from the opposite side of the table.
And even better than looking happy, Dean's kid looked healthy, too.
Yeah, Sam was still scruffy.
And yeah, he seemed tired.
And his voice maybe sounded a little more congested than Dean liked.
But overall, Sam looked better than he had even a few days ago – Dean's kid less pale, less weak; his appetite returning, his aim improving; his stamina increasing, his unsteadiness decreasing.
It was just the reassurance a worried big brother needed that he had made the right decision in allowing an angel to possess his sick little brother, his dying little brother.
Because whatever Ezekiel was doing inside of Sam, it seemed to be working.
Sam was healing and recovering and bouncing back.
And Dean was relieved, was as thankful as he was tormented.
The big brother barely able to look away from the miracle that was Sam...but also barely able to meet the kid's gaze.
Because if Sam knew what he had done...
Dean sighed, reminding himself that it was worth it.
Anything was worth it to save his little brother.
Dean sighed again as he continued to focus on Sam, knowing the exhaustion he was seeing in the kid's face could be attributed to a rough day of tangling with demons.
A day that had been especially rough for Sam since it seemed Dean's little brother had been getting his ass kicked three against one until he had been knocked unconscious.
Until Ezekiel had showed up...
Dean swallowed at the thought, thankful the angel had saved his brother...but still uncomfortable with the idea of Zeke inside of Sam without Sam even knowing.
Still hating the secrets and the lying and the repeated mind wipes.
Because eventually that shit was going to catch up with him, and Dean knew he had to tell Sam before Sam figured it out himself.
...or worse – before someone else told him.
Dean swallowed again at what a fucking nightmare that would be and leaned back in his chair, nursing his drink while he continued to watch his little brother.
From the opposite side of the table, Sam smiled at him in that soft, sweet way the kid always did when he was feeling sappy – in that way that made Dean somehow love him even more – and then turned his attention back to the books and papers sprawled in front of him.
There was silence after that.
The Batcave filled with the whispers of pages being turned and shuffled, with the scratches of pen against paper as Sam furiously jotted notes from his research.
Dean swirled the dregs of his drink around the bottom of his glass before completely downing the amber-colored liquid and then standing to pour himself more.
Sam arched an eyebrow but said nothing, waving off Dean's silent offer for a second round and pointing to his own glass, his first drink only missing two sips.
Dean twitched an affectionate smile at his lightweight little brother – a quality that had always been strangely endearing about the kid – and crossed back to the table.
The big brother sitting and staring into the space just beyond Sam's left shoulder as he relived the events of the day...from Tracy's wounding words hurled at Sam...to Abbadon's taunting and manhandling...to his brief conversation with Zeke...to his even briefer triage of Sam...to convincing Kevin to stay at the bunker...to now.
Dean sighed, taking a drink. "Been one hell of a day, huh?"
Sam nodded distractedly.
Dean snorted. "'Course I guess that describes pretty much all of our days..."
Sam hummed his agreement and nodded again, pausing in his research to rub his eyes.
Dean took another drink, cataloging his brother's gesture as a classic sign of a tired Sammy...and then frowning when Sam dropped his pen with a soft thunk on the notepad and reached for his face.
The kid now rubbing his eyes with both hands...and the big brother now officially on alert.
"Hey. What's wrong?"
"M'eyes hurt," Sam reported, his words muffled behind his hands as he covered his face.
Dean's frown deepened. "Hurt how? Like you're tired or been reading too long or – "
" – no," Sam replied but offered no other details as he continued to practically dig at his eyes with his fingers.
Dean cringed. "Alright, Oedipus. Chill with the rubbing..." he scolded, setting his glass on the table and reaching to pull Sam's hands away from his face. "C'mon. Stop. Let me see..."
Sam sighed but did as he was told, lowering his hands and blinking at Dean.
Dean leaned closer over the table, taking in the kid's puffy eyes; the whites inflamed with spindly red streaks angrily crowding the corners and Sam's irises...
Dean felt his stomach clench at the icy blue glowing back at him from his little brother's eyes.
"What the hell..."
Sam's eyes widened at Dean's murmured comment. "What? What's wrong?"
Dean shook his head.
Because it appeared as though Ezekiel was trying to surface while Sam was still very much awake and alert...that's what was wrong.
But no way in hell could Dean tell Sam that.
Not to mention why would the angel's eyes glow now when they hadn't before?
Maybe a residual effect from earlier when Zeke had revealed his true self to the demons before smiting them?
Or maybe not.
Which circled back to the original question...what the hell?
"Dean..." Sam pressed, becoming more agitated by his brother's silence. "What?"
Dean countered with a question of his own. "Can you see me?"
Sam tilted his head, much like Zeke had done back in that diner. "Yeah, I can see you. Why?"
That meant Sam was still in control, was still front and center.
So what the hell was Ezekiel doing?
Because those icy blue eyes were continuing to glow bright and clear even as Sam squinted against the pain it caused.
"I am gonna kick his ass..."
Sam frowned at Dean's quietly growled promise, recognizing a pissed big brother when he saw one.
Dean shook his head.
Because Sam didn't need to worry about that...and Dean had other priorities right now.
"How do you feel?"
Sam hesitated, clearly wanting to pursue whatever was bothering Dean even as his own eyes ached and burned.
"Sammy. Answer me."
Sam sighed, seeming to complete a quick internal inventory, and then shrugged at his brother's question. "I don't know. Tired..."
He paused, considering if he should share the rest.
Dean knew the signs of a little brother tempted to downplay.
Sam shrugged again. "I guess maybe I'm a little sore from being thrown around. And my head hurts...obviously."
Because yeah...Sam had been knocked out a few hours ago, so of course the kid's head was throbbing.
Which was why Sam should be resting instead of researching...but that was another issue on the big brother radar that would be dealt with as soon as Dean's little brother's eyes stopped glowing blue.
Sam suddenly moaned and then winced in pain as he ducked his head. "Jeez. My eyes are really burning..." he commented, reaching again for his face. "Like this cold burn, you know?"
And actually, no...Dean didn't know.
But he could see it.
Could see the angel's light continuing to glow blue in his little brother's eyes before Sam once again closed them and started rubbing.
Dean clenched his jaw, pissed that his kid was hurting because of something Ezekiel was doing.
That was not part of this deal.
Zeke knew better than to hurt Dean's little brother, and Dean would demand a fucking explanation the next time the angel surfaced.
But that wasn't happening now.
Right now, Zeke wasn't surfacing and Sam wasn't going to hurt a second longer.
Not on Dean's watch.
"Stop," the big brother ordered, the word growled through gritted teeth...but apparently loud enough to be heard by an angel within.
Because in the next instant, Sam gasped, then froze.
Dean was immediately on his feet, crossing to stand beside his brother.
"Sammy..." he called, reaching for his kid, settling his hand on Sam's back. "Hey. Look at me."
Sam exhaled a shaky breath before lifting his head, slowly lowering his hands from his face and opening his eyes – that familiar hazel green shining up at his big brother.
Dean sighed, feeling a wave of relief wash over him. "There you are..." he whispered to his little brother. "You okay?" he asked even as his gaze swept over Sam.
Sam nodded, blinking rapidly to clear the lingering pain, the gritty burn, the hazy focus.
"Yeah, I guess. But...what the hell was that?"
Dean snorted, resisting the swear-filled rant that was building within. "Good question," he replied instead.
The big brother saving his rage to unleash later on an angel who had fucked with the wrong kid – Dean's kid.
"Are you okay?"
Sam nodded once more at the repeated question; knowing he had worried Dean, had scared his big brother.
Hell, he had scared himself.
Because what the hell was that?
"Okay," Dean agreed after giving Sam a second once over and rubbed his brother's back before reaching to close the books still sprawled on the table. "Bedtime."
Sam gave a startled laugh at the announcement. "What?"
"You heard me..." Dean returned, his tone reflecting how serious he was. "You're still recovering from the effects of the trials, Sam. And you've been through a lot today on top of that. This will wait..."
Dean vaguely gestured at the closed books; at the papers shuffled in various piles on the table; at the pen and notepad with scribbled notes.
"But I say your body trying to burn its own eyes out..."
Sam cringed at his brother's description, that reality still freshly felt as his eyes ached.
"...is a good sign that maybe you should call it a night and go to bed," Dean concluded.
Or maybe it was a sign that an angel had lost his fucking mind.
Either way...it was Sam's bedtime.
Dean would deal with his little brother now...and with Zeke later.
Sam sighed as Dean pulled his chair back.
Dean arched an eyebrow. "Waiting..."
Sam snorted and stood. "You know I'm bigger than you now."
"And?" Dean prompted, his tone reflecting how little that mattered in this situation. "I'll always be older...which means – "
" – you'll always be awesome?"
Dean chuckled at Sam's conclusion, echoing their conversation earlier in the day back in that diner. "Yeah," he agreed and nodded, nudging his little brother in the direction of their rooms. "I'll always be awesome."
Sam smiled in the soft, sappy way he had done earlier in the evening and rubbed the back of his hand over his eyes.
Dean frowned. "You sure you're okay?"
Sam nodded as his brother switched off the lights. "Yeah. I just hope whatever that was...was the first and last time it ever happens."
"It will be," Dean promised as they entered the hallway, determined to review a few ground rules with a certain angel inside a certain little brother. "C'mon..."
Sam smiled again, falling in step alongside his brother as Dean affectionately squeezed his shoulder.