Author's Note: This was written for this wonderful prompt on OhSam "Set any time (but not season 9). The world is ending, and this time it has nothing to do with the Winchesters, nor is there anything they can do to stop it. Dean is determined that they're both going down together; him and Sam with a beer on the hood of the Impala. So no, Sam's not going to bleed out on the side of a road all by himself. That's not happening. Cue a frantic race against time for Dean to get to Sam before its too late, maybe they're talking on the phone or maybe Dean keeps getting phone messages because Sam's having phone issues."
I knew I had to get it up before Christmas since tomorrow; I will be focusing on multiple updates for "25 Days of Hurt Sam". So, this story is set at the end of season 7 (after Sam's wall is fixed but before they find out Bobby is a ghost) and to all you scientists out there, please forgive any errors I might've made, as I am not a scientist. Also, this has a few spoilers from season 8 though they are mild and it is slightly AU for season 8.
"Trust me and take my hand
When the lights go out you will understand."
—Three Days Grace, "Pain"
You know, after everything he's been through, this is not the way he pictures the end to be. After beating the apocalypse, after showing those angels what "free will" really meant, only two years later, Dean realizes it's all for naught. Sure, they have saved the world, but the universe is mysterious and even they couldn't do anything to stop this—an asteroid roughly a mile wide will hit the Earth's surface at 30,000 miles per hour. Originally, the scientists had theorized that it would miss the planet with a small margin, but something had jolted it into the perfect position to demolish San Francisco.
But it wasn't just San Francisco that would suffer the consequences—the whole world would feel the asteroid's effects, sooner or later. It's like the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs and it's funny how this is how it all ends. Out of all the ways Dean pictured that he would go out, being taken out by an asteroid that had the raw power of a one million megaton bomb sure wasn't one of them. Sure, he wasn't in the immediate blast zone—they were in Oklahoma when the news hit a week ago—but the force of the impact would send enough dust up to block out the sun. Without the heat, the Earth would quickly become inhospitable. No one would survive in the long run.
And for the first time in his life, Dean Winchester is completely helpless to fix this situation.
All the world's scientists were working together to try and push the asteroid out of orbit—funny how impending doom could mend fences and bring everyone together—but their attempts had failed so far and tonight, at approximately 10:00 pm, the world would end.
Dean knows where he wants to be when it happens. On the hood of the Impala in an empty field, a cold beer in his hand, glorious stars shining above him and his little brother beside him. It's the best way to go out—the only way really—and he's accepted his fate. Sure, it sucks and no, he doesn't really want to die, but there's nothing he can do. There is a slight problem though with his plan . . . Sam isn't back yet.
It's already 9pm and Sam isn't here.
His little brother left an hour ago to go scavenge up some beer—most of the stores had shut down as people chose to spend their time being with loved ones rather than being at their 9 to 5 jobs. Dean didn't blame them—everyone deserved to spend their last few days however they wished—but it did worry him that his brother was not back yet and he hadn't called to give his ETA. They were, after all, on a time crunch.
"C'mon, Sammy." He hits his speed dial and listens to the familiar ringing as the calls get connected. He paces a bit in the motel room and tries to keep calm. Sam is fine. Dean knows Sam is fine. His little brother is going to walk through that door at any second and—
"Dean. I was going to call you." Ragged breath, voice strained and suddenly, Dean knows there's a worse way to go out. He recognizes that tone—his little brother's signature "don't worry but I'm probably dying from this wound" tone and fuck, this cannot be happening to him.
"Sam?" He's already got the keys for the Impala in his hand and he's leaving the motel room and thank God, his baby is fast because who knows how far away Sam is and with the clock ticking away, they don't have much time. "What happened?"
"Looters," His little brother wheezes, coughing wetly and Dean knows it's blood that his little brother is expelling right now. "Guess they just freaked out? They took the car and the beer." Leave it to Sam to sympathize with his attackers and rationalize their actions. Then again, that was Sam in a nutshell, always understanding, always willing to give someone a chance, regardless of how badly they treated him.
"How bad?" He's flooring it now, the Impala's engine is straining and Dean pats the dash, willing her to go even faster. As if she knows what's at stake, the speedometer jumps up and they speed down the deserted road. "Sammy, how bad?"
"Think it got my . . ." He groans, chilling Dean to his very core. "Lungs." His little brother exhales shakily, but it dissolves into wet coughs. The eldest Winchester forces himself to keep his cool for Sam's sake, even though he wants nothing more than to scream up at the sky about how fucked up this is. Why couldn't the universe just give them a break? Why did it always have to be like this? "D'n?" His little brother's slurred voice, thick with sudden exhaustion spurs him to push the car even more, as dangerous as that is.
"Sam, listen to me," The older brother keeps his voice soothing and calm as he knows freaking out will not help his baby brother. "I need you to tell me where you are."
"East. Dirt road," Sam mumbles. "S'dark D'n." With his name, Sam's voice fades out and no, this is not happening. He is not listening to his brother slip away.
"Sam!" He barks. "Sam, stay with me, okay?"
"M'not goin' anywhere," His little brother replies, almost petulantly. "S'cold." That sends a shiver down his spine and he should be there—he was supposed to be there when it all ended. They were supposed to go out together and now Sam is bleeding out who knows where and Dean is by himself with no idea how to fix this.
"You put pressure on the wound right?"
"Pressure?" Sam echoes, childlike and Dean assumes that there must be a head injury too because his little brother is too out of it for the disorientation to just be caused by blood loss.
"Sammy," He flashes back to when Sam was only one and was just learning how to walk. Vague memories of standing across from his brother with his hands outstretched, beckoning the youngest Winchester to come to him filled his mind. How many times had he called his little brother's name? How many times had Sam fallen down and cried and needed his big brother to make things better? "I'm coming to help you, okay?" He grips the steering wheel tighter. He has no idea where Sam is, but he has the general direction and with his brother, he almost has a second sense.
He won't let Sam die alone.
Not now, not ever.
"S'kay, D'n." Sam comforts, as if he knows what Dean is thinking right now. The truth is, it's not okay. It's almost 9:30, Sam is bleeding out on the side of the road and Dean isn't there to try and make this better.
"Just . . . keep talking to me, all right, Sammy?" His voice cracks and he wipes away a stubborn tear. What if he won't make it in time? Would Sam bleed out in the cold without his older brother to comfort him?
"Uh-huh." Sam hums his agreement and there's silence on the other end of the line for a few minutes.
"Sammy? You with me?"
"M'kay." Sam's voice is faint and Dean knows he's losing the battle with unconsciousness. Then, strongly, "D'n, m'sorry."
"Sam, you have nothing to apologize for," He quickly interjects. He's scanning the road now as he's pretty sure he's close to where Sam went—the lone grocery store that still has someone working in it is up ahead. "Okay? I just need you to hold on until I get to you."
The line goes dead. His last connection to his baby brother is torn from him. Frustrated and desperate, he redials, but it goes straight to Sam's voicemail.
"Fuck!" He curses loudly as fury courses through him.
This is not the end, it cannot be the end.
Life; however, isn't fair.
9:45 and he sees the slumped over figure on the side of the road. He stops the car and jumps out, sprinting to his baby brother who is as white as a ghost, save for the crimson puddle that surrounds him. He must have a collapsed lung and they can't treat that—no way they would even make it in time to a hospital for them to do something before the end—and no, Sam cannot be dying like this.
"Sam, no—" He tugs his baby brother's form into his arms and it's so wrong, how his younger sibling barely reacts to his touch, like he cannot really feel Dean, like he's too far gone for anything to reach him. "Please, Sammy." Murky hazel eyes meet his and Sam smiles softly, blood dribbling down his lips, yet he doesn't seem to notice as the youngest Winchester moves his hand to rest on Dean's arm, squeezing it gently.
"It's okay," He's crying now, but it doesn't matter. Sam's fading away and suddenly, it doesn't matter what happens. His whole world is leaving him so he welcomes death. "I'm here. It's okay, Sam."
"Love you." Sam manages to say with clarity, before his head slumps to the side, seemingly exhausted by the effort. His eyes flutter shut and Dean feels the heartbeat under his fingertips grow slower and slower until with a final exhale, it stops.
At 9:55, Sam Winchester dies.
Under a starless sky, Dean holds his brother's broken body and sobs.
And the clock ticks on.
"Well, cutting it a bit close, aren't you?" Crowley smirks as she emerges from the darkness. His angel—though, he supposes, she never really was truly his. For a short time, they had fulfilled a need in each other and though that time was long past, she still managed to bring a small jolt of excitement to his life. "Hello, Naomi." She stands there, arms folded across her chest. So serious, Crowley remarks. She just needed someone to loosen her up, teach her how to unwind.
"Don't delude yourself into thinking I came to see you just for myself." She informs him coldly and he laughs dryly. Her feistiness hadn't changed in the few hundred years it had been since he had seen her last. Her brown hair was pinned into a bun and she wore a suit that didn't flatter her, but Crowley could see the beauty hidden beneath the clothes. She is still the same angel that he shared a few passionate nights with such a long time ago.
"Ah, come now, love," He coos, enjoying how riled up she gets. "Did our time together mean nothing to you?" Her icy gaze meets his but he doesn't back down.
"I was naïve then," She mutters. "I know better now."
"Sure you do, my dear," He chuckles dryly, sitting at his desk. Since the news of the Earth's destruction, Hell has been unusually quiet. His demons are out, enjoying what last pleasures they could before it all ended, though he does wonder, where did demons go if Hell no longer existed? Had God planned for that? "Now, why are you here if it's not to finally confess your feelings to me on the eve that the world ends?"
"I want to make a deal." At that, the King of Hell perks up.
"A deal? Why?"
"I can stop the end of this world," She explains quickly. "But I require not only the powers of Heaven, but also of Hell."
"What kind of spell is this?" He inquires, as he hadn't known there was powerful enough magic to counteract this.
"Old magic," She confesses quietly. "Our Father left it behind and we kept it, thinking we had no need of it but now—" He holds up a hand to silence her.
"And what do I get out of this?" Because, that was what really mattered at the end of the day—that was what the difference between him and her. Angels deluded themselves into thinking that they were truly selfless, but demons were always straightforward. For every action, there is a price—that's the way of the world.
"I will . . ." She bit her lips nervously. "I will grant you a year without the Winchesters bothering you."
"A year?" He repeats and she nods her head.
"Do we have a deal?" She snaps impatiently and he nods. Though he wasn't going to truly deny her—perhaps she was his weakness after all—a Winchester free year is quite a gift. No way is he going to turn that down.
He shakes her hand.
"Let's get to work then," He remarks. "We haven't much time."
At 10:00pm, there is a bright flash of light that consumes everything on the planet. Clocks spin backwards as the day is reset, thanks to the demons pooling their black magic and coercing every witch to cast the same spell in sync. Everywhere at once, angels appear and erase the memories of those who lived to hear about the asteroid. The day is reset and though he isn't sure why, but Dean awakes that morning with a jolt, his eyes darting to his confused sibling.
"You okay?" Sam asks, brow furrowing. "You're pale."
Flash of blood, ragged breathing, hold on Sam—
"Dean?" His little brother persists, now leaning down to his level. "What is it?" He searches his mind, but it comes up blank.
"Nightmare," He mumbles, because that's must be what it was. "You . . ." He can't quite put his finger on it, but he feels like he lost Sam, though he has no idea why. He can't even remember dreaming about anything.
"I'm fine," Sam assures him with a grin and a pat on his shoulder. "You should eat more vegetables. I bet you wouldn't dream such weird stuff if you did." Dean rolls his eyes and that earns a laugh from his brother.
Dean isn't sure what happened, but he's grateful. Sam is his world, after all. Maybe he just needed a little reminder with all the crap that they had went through recently.
"You wanna get breakfast?" It sounds like the next logical step in their day, though he can't help but shake the feeling that he's forgetting something. Then again, it mustn't be that important if he couldn't remember it, right?
"Sounds good. Pancakes?" Sam ventures.
"Yeah," Dean nods, his voice still shaky as he tries to get rid of the foreboding that he woke up feeling. "Yeah, pancakes sound great." His little brother shoots him a concerned look.
"You sure you're feeling okay?"
"Yeah," He manages to get out, voice stronger now, more confident. "Fine."
"Good." Sam beams and Dean feels the last bit of the foreboding leaving his system. Everything is okay, everything is fine. He has Sam and as long as he had his brother, they would take this crazy world one day at a time. Together, they were unstoppable.
We're stronger together.
And with a grin, Dean moves to grab the keys, while teasing his baby brother about being a girl and taking so long to get ready. Sam calls him a name in return and the eldest Winchester laughs heartily.
This life he has with Sam—this is what he fights for.
And whatever happened that caused him to feel so freaked out, he's going to let it go because he has his baby brother by his side and everything is okay. Tomorrow, they could find new creatures to hunt, but for now—for this brief moment—they would just take time to bond as brothers.
Because at the end of the day, being brothers was all that mattered.
Author's Note: I struggled a lot with this piece and the ending especially. I love how it came out though and I hope you do too. Please review if you have a second!