Back from The Brink
Felicity was enjoying a little time at home. Oliver was out of town on some business for the clubs and Diggle was with him so she had decided to sleep in late and maybe do some clothes shopping. She had seen some new shoes that she wanted but she had nothing to wear with them and that had to change. She was just rolling out of bed around 11 in the morning, lounging in sweats when she got an alert on the main computer screen.
It was an alert from the offshore bank account Oliver had set up for Vigilante Ventures when Sam and Dean were in town. He had to apply a lot of pressure to set it up fast enough to get cards in one day. Once everything had calmed down after the demons Felicity and Oliver had finished setting things up the proper way. There were only 5 cards on the account, one each for Sam and Dean and the other three for her, Oliver and Diggle. She had set up alerts on Sam and Dean's cards after watching their spending habits for a few months. The alert was there to notify her of any changes. She figured Sam and Dean probably wouldn't call for help but watching how they spent their new found wealth would let her know when something was up. Diggle had told her about everything that had transpired at the warehouse fight after she had gotten him home that night. He had mentioned his concern about the demon referencing some sort of imminent demise for Dean so Felicity had decided to take some steps. She had also spent a great deal of time piecing together the lives of the Winchesters and she had passed ihat information on to Oliver and Diggle.
She had discovered about their mother's tragic death, how they had fallen off the radar after that. How the boys were never in the same school for more than a month tops; how they had traveled all across the country multiple times. Sam had somehow managed to maintain a straight A average and get a full ride scholarship to an Ivy League school through all of that. That had impressed all three of them immensely. She found out about the death of Jessica, how Sam had left school and that he and Dean had been traveling ever since. Usually under the most hideous of aliases that she had to attribute to Dean. She thought Sam would have had better taste or at least be more creative. All of this had confirmed Oliver and Diggle's initial impression of the men and had reinforced to Oliver that the brothers would never betray his trust. All this information had made Oliver feel even better that he had allowed Sam and Dean the chance to get a little peace and quiet and some luxury treatment in their lives. As the months passed though Oliver had thought less frequently of Sam and Dean, what with the constant new threats in his city and the business of running two clubs, or appearing to anyway. Felicity however had stayed concerned. She had had a feeling that Sam and Dean would be back in their lives at some point needing help. So when she saw the alert a cold shiver ran down her back.
Only one card was being used and it looked like they hadn't checked out of this particular hotel in a month, that alone was unusual. The Winchesters rarely stayed anywhere for more than a week. The hotel was located about 10 miles outside of Lawrence, Kansas, their hometown, that made Felicity sit up and take notice. She started scrolling through the purchase history of the last month, repeated transactions at the same liquor store and one or two fast food places. Lately the purchases had been mostly liquor store related. Unless they were paying cash it didn't look like they had bought food in the last week. Something was wrong, something was very, very wrong. She picked up the phone to call Oliver, hoping she wasn't too late.
Sam was pinned against a wall, Lillith opened the door breaking the line of dust that protected his brother. 'Sick'em boys. " she said in a giddy girlish voice. Dean started to scream, hideous pain filled screams and Sam couldn't help him. Over and over Dean screamed until blood started gushing from his chest. Sam woke up screaming, his throat sore from screaming. The people in the next room pounded on the wall, he ignored them and walked over the wreckage of half-eaten meals, empty cans and bottles to the mini fridge. He opened it and saw he was down to only a 12 pack of beer. That wouldn't last him the night, it was harder and harder to get drunk enough to sleep without dreaming. He grabbed the black credit card, stumbled to the liquor store and bought $100 worth of hard liquor. That would last him a couple of days. He walked back past the dust covered Impala to his room and started drinking.
"What do you mean something is wrong? " Oliver asked, he was in New York, meeting with some board members of a few charities. His clubs were doing well and he wanted to run some benefits at them for various causes not just The Glades. It was time to change the image of his family following his mother's trial. Plus it would help people invest in Queen Consolidated again as well.
"They've stayed in the same place for over a month and the last week have bought nothing but alcohol. I called the hotel and acted like a family member looking for someone and described Sam and Dean. The receptionist said Sam had been there a month but no Dean. He also said Sam was a drunk who they constantly got noise complaints about from him screaming in his room. Something is not right Oliver. I think Sam needs help." Oliver hadn't forgotten what the demon had said at the warehouse. He had also caught some undertones the night he had spent with them in the penthouse that Dean's life was in some sort of imminent danger. He hadn't pushed though at the time. Now he wondered if he should have.
"Ok, I'll be wrapping things up here today. I took the private jet. Can you call my pilot and tell him the closest airport? Also rent me a car please. I'll be there later tonight. " Oliver wasn't going to let Sam languish, he owed them too much for that.
Oliver arrived at the hotel. Calling it that was being generous, about 8 hours later. It was close to midnight, there was one flickering light in the parking lot which was really nothing more than a gravel filled open area. The motel looked like it had maybe 30 rooms tops, the billboard in front said they could be rented at an hourly rate. This was not starting out well at all. Felicity had told him what room number Sam was in but he didn't really need it, as the Impala was parked out in front of the door. Oliver barely recognized it. It was covered in dust, had several dents and looked like it hadn't moved in weeks, one of the back side windows had been busted out then taped over with a plastic bag and duct tape. Dean would have never left that car in that condition. Felicity was right, something was very wrong. He walked up to the door of Sam's room, there was a small amount of light coming from the bottom of the door. He was going to knock but thought better of it and turned the knob slightly. It wasn't locked, if they were on a job the door would have been locked tight. Oliver opened the door slightly and looked into the room, at first he thought Sam was dead. Sam lay facedown in torn up jeans, unmoving on a bed. He had a bottle of Jack dangling from one hand, his feet were filthy as if he had been walking around outside barefoot. Oliver saw all the garbage strewn about the room, the small table to one side was covered with books haphazardly placed on top of it. The slight bit of light was coming from the bathroom. It seemed as if there was only one lightbulb in the fixture and it was on it's last hours of life. As Oliver opened the door a bit more he caught his breath as he looked at the other bed. The covers were undisturbed. Oliver could probably bounce a quarter off the covers they were so tight. Laid out on the bed in some sort of a memorial was a shotgun, the Colt, an unopened can of beer, what appeared to be the keys to the Impala and a necklace that he had last seen around Dean's neck. Oliver closed his eyes and offered up a silent blessing. Dean was dead, that was the only explanation. Oliver opened his eyes and looked at Sam, how was he going to help him. Oliver ran through all the information that Felicity had dug up on the brothers and started seeing things from Sam's perspective. Their actual father had probably not been around a lot, Dean had probably been both father and brother to Sam. John Winchester had died suspiciously in a hospital when all three had been checked in after a violent wreck. Dean had miraculously recovered right around the same time as his father's sudden death. Oliver started adding a few things up. Did John make a deal to save his oldest son, just to have the oldest son make another deal to save his brother? If so where did that leave Sam? Sam had lost both his fathers, his brother and his fiance in the course of about 2 years. Oliver remembered how he felt when his father committed suicide right in front of him to give Oliver a chance at survival. He couldn't imagine feeling that amount of pain and loss over and over again. True he had lost Shado but she was not family, it hurt but this was different. He had no idea how to go about this.
As he was standing there with the door partially opened Sam started twitching in his sleep. Small twitches and movements at first but they quickly became violent and he started talking.
" No, no take me not Dean! Take me! Oh God Dean! NO NO ! " he very quickly started screaming incoherently, his voice was hoarse from screaming. Oliver's heart wrenched in pain at the sound of the fear and desperation in Sam's voice. He had been there, of course he had been. The two were inseparable. Oliver quickly crossed the room, avoided Sam's flailing arms, picked up a book and stepped into the threshold of the bathroom. He wasn't willing to risk that Sam didn't have a gun under his pillow within easy reach and the bathroom was out of any reasonable line of fire. Oliver dropped the book on the ground, Sam shot up from the bed, gun in hand and pointed it at the door. Some reflexes are ingrained. Sam was breathing hard, the gun in his hand shaking almost uncontrollably. Oliver spoke softly
Sam whipped the gun around, Oliver put his hands up..
"It's Oliver. " Oliver said.
"Dean?" Sam asked. Oliver realized he was backlit so all Sam could see was a dark silhouette and he and Dean had a similar build.
"No, it's Oliver. " He saw Sam slowly process the information. Now that Sam was facing him he could see how ravaged he was. Sam had probably lost 15-20 lbs, he had dark circles under his eyes, his hair was matted and tangled. His eyes were completely bloodshot and were barely able to focus on anything. Oliver could clearly see his ribs and he was losing muscle mass. Last time Oliver had seen him Sam was in great shape, his muscles well defined. Now his arms looked thin and weak and his shoulders were hunched forward, like he had been spending hours stooped over.
"Oliver…..Oliver Queen? " Sam asked.
"Oh. Did I hit my limit on the cards? If you want to take them go ahead. " Sam put the gun down, took a long drink from the bottle, laid down and turned his back to Oliver.
"No the cards are fine. I came because Felicity noticed you had been here for awhile and she was worried. " Oliver walked over to the table and looked down at the books. From what he could make out it looked like Sam was researching souls and hell. It was too dark to clearly make out the words but the drawings were vivid enough that Oliver got the idea.
"Tell her thanks, sorry to disturb you all but I'm fine." Sam replied in a muffled tone.
'Yes I can see that. " Oliver replied. He needed to get some sort of reaction from Sam, needed to make him move. He knew better than to ask what happened though. Sam rolled over at Oliver's tone and stared at him.
"I don't need pity, I don't need to be saved, I just want to be left alone. "
" I am not pitying you. " Oliver replied. "However I am not going to help you to commit slow suicide by drinking yourself to death either. "
"Fine. " Sam said a little heat in his voice. " Take your cards and leave. " Oliver had an idea.
"No, not good enough. I gave those to you and Dean to use to cover your travel expenses when need be. Felicity tells me that you have spent about $3000 on this room and alcohol. As that was not the intended use of these cards I want to be repaid. " Oliver said in a somewhat harsh tone. "You can do that in one of two ways, you can come with me or you can give me the Impala. I'll restore it and sell it. It should be worth at least that and I am sure someone will put her to better use than you have been. " As Oliver hoped, that turned the trick. Sam stood up or at least tried to, he was swaying way too much and had to lean against the wall.
"Don't you dare touch that car. " he said.
"Why not? You're not touching her. " Oliver made as if to move to the bed and get the keys. Sam tried to block him.
"Oliver, I'm warning you…" Sam said with a threatening tone.
'Or what? You'll asphyxiate me with your disgusting breath. You can't stop me Sam. Your choice, come with me or I take the car. "
"I'll take option C, I am not going and I am keeping the car here." Sam took a swing at Oliver. Oliver ducked out of the way, let Sam overbalance, pinned Sam's arm behind him and shoved him out the door hard enough that Sam fell face first into the parking lot. Oliver grabbed the keys, making sure not to disturb anything else and headed to the Impala. He heard Sam get up and try to rush him. Oliver allowed Sam to pin him against the wall. Sam raised a hand in preparation to punch Oliver in the face.
"Give me the keys Oliver. Now!" Sam said
"Sam, look at her. Is this how she should be cared for? " Oliver said softly. Oliver glimpsed at Sam's arm that was pulled back to punch him and he noticed a new, jagged scar that ran up Sam's forearm. It ran from Sam's wrist to inside his elbow. Sam saw Oliver's eyes fall on the scar and Oliver saw shame cross Sam's face. Sam had tried to kill himself. Oliver had to get him out of here tonight. Sam saw that Oliver realized what had happened and his gaze hardened. "Sam, is that how you treat the only home you and your brother knew for most of your lives? You leave her covered in dirt with a broken window? " Oliver didn't want to mention Dean as he was afraid that would make Sam shut down again. Sam turned his head slowly to look at the Impala. It was if Sam felt he was undeserving of looking at the car anymore, like she was a lover or family member he had betrayed. The light wasn't great but it was good enough that Sam could see the inch or two of dust on the car, he saw the broken window and saw the dents. His breath caught in his throat, he choked back a sob. Slowly lowering his arm he leaned against the wall and into Oliver.
"Fine, you win, take me where ever. I don't care. " Oliver put his arm around Sam to help support him and they walked back to the room.
"Sam, go take a shower. I'll clean up this place a bit before we leave. " Sam barely nodded, shuffled into the bathroom and shut the door. Oliver felt like he had just beat an abused dog and he didn't like it. He started thinking, he wasn't going to leave the Impala here, he hoped eventually Sam would be willing to drive it again. He flicked on the room light and was sickened by the room. There was half eaten, rotting food everywhere, Sam's clothes were thrown about, who knew last time he had done laundry. The only clean spot was the other bed. Oliver walked over to the bed and touched his hand lightly to the pendant on the necklace. "I'll take care of him Dean, I promise. " He said. As he looked around he saw Sam's cell phone and had an idea. There had to be someone else that the brothers talked to and Oliver needed to know how bad Dean's death had been. He flicked open the phone and saw a long list of calls from a contact named Bobby and Sam hadn't been answering. Oliver took a risk, stepped out of the room but left the door open so he could hear when Sam turned off the shower. He dialed the number. Someone answered on the second ring.
"Sam! For God's Sake boy answer your damn phone. " An older grizzled voice said, he definitely sounded backwoodsy Oliver thought and very concerned.
"This is not Sam, sorry, I'm Oliver. A friend of Sam's "
"Is Sam ok? How'd you get this phone?" Bobby asked
"Look Bobby, I don't have a lot of time here. Sam is alive, but I wouldn't say ok. I got wind that something was wrong and came down to see. " Oliver said.
"Wait Oliver...Oliver Queen? Rich Vigilante? " Bobby asked.
"Yes, I gave them access to an account for business expenses so to speak. I was alerted that their habits had changed so I am here. I need to know what happened to Dean. Sam has turned into a suicidal alcoholic and I need to help him. " Oliver figured if he emphasized the threat to Sam this man would stop asking questions and start answering them. Oliver heard a heavy sigh from the other end of the phone.
'The short version. About a year ago Sam was killed, Dean went to a crossroads demon and made a deal. Sam comes back from the dead but Dean dies and his soul gets dragged to hell in a year. That year ended a month ago. Sam watched the hellhounds rip Dean to shreds and drag his soul to hell. There wasn't anyway he could stop it. They tried believe me, Sam tried to sell his soul in trade but no demon will touch it. I'm guessing they have Dean and Sam where they want them. Suffering and not hunting. " Bobby said. Oliver was horrified, he remembered seeing Shado shot when he didn't choose fast enough. He knew enough about demons though to know that Dean's death had not been quick. They would have made sure he suffered in front of Sam.
"Bobby, as far as you know what is the point of hell? " Oliver had a sickening thought.
"To turn a human being into a demon through torture. Once a soul cracks it starts torturing other souls and enjoys it, then it becomes a demon. " Bobby replied in a grave tone. Oliver had remembered the demon saying something just like that at the warehouse. Sam knew that Dean was being tortured into becoming that which they had hunted. How was Oliver going to get him past that?
"Bobby, thank you for the information. I am going to take Sam home with me. I will get him past this somehow. I will keep you updated as it seems you care for him. " Oliver said
"Oliver, those boys are the closest things I have to sons. I've lost one of them, I don't want to lose the other. " Bobby replied, his tone close to tears.
"Understood and you won't. " Oliver hung up , memorized the contact number to put in his phone later and put Sam's phone where it had been. He then walked to the reception desk and asked for trash bags.
"You helping that guy in room 15? " The night clerk asked.
"Yes, he's a friend. He has had a tough time lately. " Oliver replied.
"He seems like a decent sort for a drunk. I had to call the ambulance for him once though. He came out here one night and started punching that Impala, drove his fist right through the back window. Then he took a shard of glass and started slicing up his arm. Can't have people killing themselves in the parking lot. Not good for business. Good thing he was too drunk to put up much of a fight for the ambulance guys. He's a big dude, or was back then. He's not taking care of himself lately. " The clerk handed Oliver a box of trashbags and turned back to his TV.
Oliver turned and slowly walked back to the room. He started to think of the meaning behind those actions. Sam trying to commit suicide using pieces of the Impala. One of the few things other than his brother Dean had loved and cared for. That would be like Oliver stabbing himself with his own arrows. Death through love, killing yourself using the most important thing to you. Dean hadn't been able to let Sam die, Dean would have felt that he had failed to protect his brother. Now Sam was left with the fallout of that choice and there was no way to repay the sacrifice his brother had made, at least in Sam's eyes. Oliver would have to show him there was but it wasn't going to be easy.