Author's Note: Written for my "making deals with demons" bingo square. This was a challenging story to write. Set in early season 2. I hope you enjoy!
"I'll shut down the city lights,
I'll lie, cheat, I'll beg and bribe
To make you well, to make you well."
—Philip Philips, "Gone Gone Gone"
"So, Sammy," She purred, leaning forward, the smell of sulfur wafting towards him. The youngest Winchester kept his face impassive, refusing to give her the satisfaction of seeing him reduced to this—begging a demon for help; Dad would be so proud—but for Dean, he would do all this and more. "You want to make a deal with me?" Her fiery hair tumbled over her alabaster skin, kissing her bare shoulder. Blood red lips curled upwards to reveal pearly whites. He wondered dimly, how many men had been sucked into her scheme.
"My brother," He managed to get out over the lump of grief that had been put in his throat since he had found out Dean's prognosis. The doctor, his face all a blur now, had solemnly put his hand on Sam's shoulders and advised him to say his goodbyes. "He's pretty bad off."
"I heard," She cooed, a wicked grin lighting up her flawless features. "Those witches can be such bitches, am I right?" She chuckled lightly, seemingly pleased with her own rhyme. "Though, I guess you know that now." They had killed the witch—a crazy woman who had been cursing girls to fall into a Snow White-esque sleep only with deadlier results. They had burned her spell books and killed her.
They hadn't realized she put one over on them until Dean coughed up blood. His brother—fearless, driven—had looked at him with such fear in his green eyes that it haunted Sam whenever he closed his eyes. Then, Dean had collapsed and Sam frantically drove him to the nearest ER. The hospital called it massive internal bleeding that could not be stabilized. Sam; however, knew what it really was—a curse. The witch's last spell, cast with the last of her being, was her most powerful and there was no way to reverse it.
Except for this last-ditch attempt.
If Dean were conscious, Sam was sure that his older brother would throttle him for this. After Dad's death, the youngest Winchester had seen how much of a toll that deal had taken on his brother. At the time, Sam thought poorly of John's choice, but now he understood. He got the sheer desperation that could drive you to take a route like this. Let Dean want to kill him for this, at least he would be alive to do so.
"So, will you do it?" She paused, seemingly considering this. She circled him slowly, placed a smooth hand on his shoulder and then spun him around to face her. Her pitch-black eyes bore into him and he wondered if he saw a trace of hellfire in them.
"A deal with a Winchester?" She echoed, shaking her head slightly at the absurdity of it all. "Really, Sammy, I would love to." Her smile chilled him to his very core.
"10 years then and my soul—" She held up a hand.
"Let me stop you right there," She interjected, her eyes flashing with something akin to regret. "My boss is making a special exception for you."
"For me?" He'd never known demons to make different deals before.
"If you only knew how important you are, Sam—" She shook her head ruefully and sighed.
"What do you mean—?" His destiny—what did she know of it? What did the demons know about it? Were the visions demonic? Was he less than human? He had to know—
"Never mind that," She told him. "Here's the deal." Sam froze, waiting for her judgment. "Your soul is off the hook."
"Off the hook?" He repeated and she nodded her head agitatedly.
"Yes, yes," She confirmed. "Now, what I do want is this." She stepped forward and grabbed Sam's hand and held it within her own. "I want you Winchesters to suffer." With a malicious grin, she squeezed his hand. He bit his lip as the bones in his hand protested against the force being exerted against them.
"What else is new?" He told her and she laughed, releasing his hand.
"I like you," She pointed to him. "You're funny and smart. Not as good looking as your brother, but—"
"What's the deal?" He was running out of time. If he took too long here, Dean would—
"Don't touch your brother for awhile." She stated simply.
"If you touch your brother," She began, stepping forward to meet his gaze. "He'll die." She chuckled. "And one more thing. You tell him about this little chat or about our deal, you'll die. Those are my terms." She smiled, satisfied with herself and began to make her way back down the path of the crossroads. "Deal?"
"Deal." He called back without hesitation. It was Dean, after all.
And then she was gone.
Dean's doctor called it a miracle.
The nurses joked about Dean having a guardian angel looking out for him. Sam smiled and played along, but he knew the truth. Heaven hadn't helped; Hell had. Still, he was content to leave it as a miracle. Due the lingering effects of the medicine, his older brother hadn't figured it out.
"S'm?" Muddy green eyes blinked at him and Sam grinned, so fucking relieved that everything was okay, that his brother was alive and okay. "Y'kay?" Even in his drugged up state, his big brother senses were still working.
"Fine," Sam said with a grin and he meant it. "Just rest up, okay?"
"S'far." Dean slurred and Sam's brows wrinkled with confusion.
"Oh." He hadn't realized that he was pretty much sitting as far away from the bed as possible. Upon finding Dean alive and not bleeding to death, Sam had almost touched him a few times. To prevent any lapses in judgment, he had dragged the chair away from the bed's side to the door. It would work for now, when Dean wasn't mobile, but he wasn't sure how he was going to make this work in the real world.
But hey, if staying away from Dean was the price for getting him back alive, then Sam would sure as hell pay it.
"Sleep well Dean."
"Would you quit staring?" Sam chuckled and let his gaze fall to the dingy carpet of their motel.
"I'm sorry," He wasn't really. "I'm just glad."
"You really think a witch could take me down?" Dean questioned and Sam shook his head, though his expression sobered considerably. Placing down his newspaper, his older brother smiled at him—his first totally happy smile since before their father died. "I'm fine, okay? Even better than before." Sam nodded his head and allowed his gaze to go back to his laptop, scanning the headlines when suddenly, he saw Dean coming towards him, his hand extended outwards to grab Sam's shoulder. The youngest Winchester jumped out of the chair and scrambled backwards. Perplexed, Dean stared at him. "Sam?"
"Sorry," He breathed because holy shit, that was close, way too close. He almost lost Dean once—he couldn't do it again. "Just jumpy, I guess." Dean didn't buy it, but he also didn't press it.
"You sure you're okay?" He had to lie, something which he hated to do to Dean. But, it was for his brother's sake that this lie had to be told.
"Fine, totally fine."
Dean was skeptical, but Sam managed to distract him with news of strange disappearances in the town over. The research wouldn't keep Dean busy for long, but it gave Sam enough of a break to try and formulate a game plan.
No more close calls.
"I mean, fuck, Sam, what was that?" Dean roared as the two of them stormed back into the motel room, blood dripping from Sam's clawed shoulder. He grimaced as he applied more pressure to it, but he tried not to agitate his brother any more than he already had. Distracting the monster so that it wouldn't get Dean was a bit of the problem. Prohibiting Dean from touching him to treat his injury? That was what was driving his brother insane. "I mean, you sit in the backseat of the Impala when we drive now. You stay on the other side of whatever room we're in and now this?" He gestured wildly to Sam's injury. "You're not going to let me fix that? What the hell did I do to you?"
"Nothing." Sam protested weakly, blood loss slurring his voice. He needed to get up, to start cleaning out the wound.
"Then, let me fix that—" Dean moves forward, a needle in his hand and Sam knew he wouldn't be able to move in time. Before he can even think, he blurted out,
"If I touch you, you'll die!"
Almost comically, his eyes widened and he shut his mouth. Dean titled his head to the side in confusion.
"What do you mean?"
"Oh no," Dean began, moving closer to his brother. "You tell me or I'll start touching your arm and fixing you up." Sam knew when he was beaten and he had to believe that this would work out somehow. As long as Dean lived . . .
"I made a deal."
"You did what—?" His brother shouted, his temper hitting the roof.
"Not for my soul," Dean calmed slightly at that. "But if I touch you, you'll die."
"For how long?"
"I don't know. She said awhile." He confessed quietly. Dean sighed raggedly and ran a hand through his hair. Sam shifted uncomfortably, his arm really starting to burn. "Dean, I had no choice. You were going to die—"
"So maybe you should've let me die!" His brother snapped and the youngest Winchester flinched back at the sharp tone. "Fuck, Sam, none of this is worth it if we can't be like we were." The eldest Winchester began to pace the length of the floor and Sam knew they were screwed.
And one more thing, you tell him about this little chat or our deal and you'll die.
He had forgotten.
The pain tore through him like fire boiling the blood in his veins and he cried out as he slumped onto the carpet. Dean was over him, shouting at him, touching him and thank God, he was okay. Looks like the deal was still being upheld and Dean would be safe.
Too bad he had to die for it, but for Dean, it was worth it.
"Sammy, stay with me!" He blinked, the pain fading away and with it, all his senses. The room darkened and he could barely make out his brother's worried visage. "Sam, just hang on, okay? Gonna get you some help."
"S'kay," Sam managed to get out. "Y're safe, D'n."
And then he knew nothing.
He was back on the crossroads and the demon stood before him.
"Looks like you couldn't uphold your end of the deal," She cooed, practically purring and Sam hung his head. "But lucky for you, my boss has a soft spot for you Winchesters."
She came to stand before him, her hands on his shoulders. The smell of cheap perfume and sulfur filled his nostrils and he tried to jerk away, only for her hands to hold him in place.
"Free pass, Sammy boy," She whispered in his ear. "Our deal is over and you still get your brother." She pressed a kiss to his cheek and then began to fade away. "Lucky, aren't you?"
"Wait, why are you doing this?" She shrugged and then her eyes lit up.
"We've got plans for you, Sam. It would be kind of hard to fulfill them if you keeled over and died on us."
And then she was gone.
He woke up to red-rimmed green eyes meeting his. Dean jumped out of his chair and grabbed Sam's hand within his own, squeezing it.
"D'n?" He dimly remembered the demon telling him something about his deal. Yet, seeing as he wasn't dead nor was Dean keeling over after touching his hand, it looked like everything had worked out. "Y'kay?" His brother chuckled wetly, relief obviously evident on his face.
"Fuck, Sam," He swore softly. "That was too close." At Sam's blank expression, he continued. "Your heart stopped. They almost gave up on you at the end . . ." He knew what it felt like to almost loose a brother. He understood what Dean was going through.
"M'kay." He whispered softly and Dean nodded his head vigorously.
"Yeah, you are," He leaned in and lowered his voice. "But dude, when you look like you didn't lose a fight with semi-truck, we're gonna talk about how stupid it was for you to deal with demons." Sam smiled softly, not willing to protest. He had known it was stupid, but hey, it had worked and now, everything was okay. Dean wasn't going to die anytime soon and Sam could stop avoiding him.
At the end of the day, Sam considered that a job well done.
"Yeah, Sammy?" There was pure love in his brother's eyes and Sam realized how truly lucky he was. He knew that he would do it all over again in a heartbeat if it meant keeping his brother alive.
"Get some rest now, okay?" Sam was already sinking into the comforting haze of sleep and he let his eyes shut. "I'll be here when you wake up."
Sam didn't doubt it. Dean would always watch over him just like Sam would do for him.
It's you and me against the world.
With a small grin, he fell asleep.
Author's Note: There we go! Again, this story was pretty challenging for me to write, but I like the way it came out. I hope you did too! Please review if you have a second.