Summary: Gen. A possible future drabble. Sequel to “Sounds in Silence”. Dean makes a deal to save Sam. Again.
Warning: Language, Angst
Word Count: 1164
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing. Not for profit.
Author’s Notes: Vague spoilers for S2 finale and core plot for S3. Belial is a mythological demon. Andrea is an OC. Previous stories in this verse in order:
1. Line of Sight
2. Touched by Darkness
3. Sounds in Silence
Dean scratches his new beard, glancing at his watch for a third time in two minutes and pacing the length of the Chesapeake Bay fishing pier. He’s been away two weeks this time. Two weeks.
“This time I will, for damn fucking sure.”
“Oh keep your Alans on.” Dean whips around towards Bela as she steps out onto the pier. “I’m here.”
Dean doesn’t bother to yell at her for being fifty minutes late; his voice is cold enough. “Where is it?”
Bela checks him out from head to toe, then pulls out a small package from her tote bag and throws it toward Dean. He catches it, peeling the brown paper open as carefully as he can and studies the contents.
“You know, I met your dad once.”
He ignores her. “These for real?”
She ignores him back. “Have you looked at yourself in the mirror lately?”
This time Dean glares at her. She laughs shortly, her gaze nervously flitting away as she gestures toward a redwood box sitting on the ground beside Dean. “As real as the contents of that box, I suppose.”
Dean narrows his eyes. “Bela, if you’re playing me again…”
“You’ve spent months tracking down a werewolf and his mate to get me their bonded hearts… an artifact that will make my very eccentric buyer very happy indeed, and me very rich in return. I won’t bother to ask you if it was hard to kill a human because I know you’ve gone way beyond the point of caring for crap like that anymore…”
“Psycho killer bitch’s worse than a werewolf if you ask me.”
Bela carries on egging him like he never spoke. “But I know how hard it’s been being separated from Sam, hasn’t it?”
Dean’s face hardens as he looks away from Bela’s boring eyes. Picks up the box and shoves it at her. “If this turns out to be anything but what I paid for, I promise I’ll track you down and happily rip your heart out.”
Bela smirks but she can’t hide the tremor coursing down her body and Dean smirks back. He turns and leaves without another word… if he started now, he could be in Boston by midnight.
Andrea smiles and rises from her place beside Sam’s bed. Dean nods back, collapsing heavily in the seat vacated by the orderly. She quickly explains that Bobby just stepped out but Dean waves it away. He’s fine so long as someone he trusts stays by Sam’s side, and in the last ten months he’d come to trust Andrea. A little. Enough.
He squeezes Sam’s hand and pushes the wild strands of hair from his face. Sam’s eyes are open and he’s staring out the window, either unaware or unconcerned that his big brother was finally back.
“Hey, kiddo. You’re awake! Hey… it’s Dean. How’re you doing Sammy?”
Andrea is used to Dean having one-sided conversations with his catatonic brother. At first it seemed just that - a desperate man talking to himself. Then a few months ago it became something else… like he’s on a cellphone and Andrea can hear one side of a full-duplex conversation going on inside his head. She ignores it usually, but what really worries her is when it stops. Because sometimes it does.
Dean caresses Sam’s face trying to get his attention. “Sammy… I’m sorry I left. Are you mad at me? Talk to me, please?”
Nothing. Sam has his off-days, days when he’s so far gone Dean can’t reach him at all. Drives him damn near crazy.
Bobby walks in then, gives Andrea the look she knows well. Quietly she makes herself scarce and Bobby closes the door behind her. “How long since you shaved?”
Dean’s responding face is a classic ‘wtf’ that makes Bobby quit his staring and shrug out of his jacket. “Show me.”
Dean hands over the package without leaving Sam’s side, tucking his blankets and fixing his pillows and generally fussing over the boy who couldn’t care less.
Bobby whistles. “She actually found ‘em.”
“What are those? Candles?”
“Essence of Kinnikinnick three hundred years old, with a combination of Hounds-Tongue, Toadflax and Valerian.”
“Yummy. What does it do?”
“According to my source, the incense should be strong enough to provide the one ‘external stimuli’ Sammy won’t be able to ignore.”
Yeah, both men are pretty adept at catatonia-speak by now. Dean swallows, ashamed to admit that he’s slowly losing hope. After all, what hadn’t they tried in the last ten months?
“Maybe, he doesn’t wanna come back. Maybe… this is his way of doing what he’s always wanted – get away from it all…”
Before Dean can finish Bobby is grabbing his left shoulder and shaking him with all his might. “Sixty six demons, Dean… not one, not two, not four! Sixty fucking six!”
Dean sighs closing his eyes and Bobby lets go with a cruel jerk. “It’s true he let them possess him on purpose. But Sam was the one in control,” Bobby’s voice drops to a whisper then, “until that last fucking minute. And he did it for you.”
Memories of the final battle rush back into Dean’s head with a burst of fiery agony. “I told him not to do it, I begged him…”
“It was the only way to get Belial and you know that. For your soul and who knows how many others…”
“It’s not worth it, Bobby! I need my brother back. Please… tell me this will work.”
The lack of response surprises no one, and silently they get to work. Arrange the candles in a pentagram around Sam’s bed before lighting them. Dean disconnects the smoke alarm, again, and they sit down to wait. Again.
Birds chirping. Dean stretches in his chair but keeps his eyes closed, he really really hates that sound ‘cause it means it’s time to wake up, and considering how exhausted he’s been these days…
“You look like Dad.”
Dean opens his eyes.
Sam’s voice is weak and raspy from months of being unused. His eyes appear to have aged overnight, like that of a war veteran who’s seen too many horrors to last three lifetimes, maybe more. At least they aren’t dead anymore.
“Yeah well,” Dean clears his throat that’s already threatening to close up. “You look like mom, always have. So there.”
Dean hasn’t seen those dimples in ten months. Maybe more considering Sam pretty much stopped smiling in the last days of what was supposed to be Dean’s last year. And now Dean can’t stop the tears anymore. “God, Sammy…”
He takes his fragile little brother into his arms, also discretely pressing the bell to call in the doctors. Sam’s back. Everything’s going to be alright.
Dean pulls back slightly so he can look into Sam’s face. “Yeah kiddo.”
It’s hard to speak but nobody can shut him up now. “I was lost. I wanted to find my way out, I really did…”
“I know Sammy, it’s okay…”
“It was… like a maze, so dark and…”
“Shhh. It’s okay now. You did find your way out, that’s my boy.” Dean holds Sam close for a long while, burying his face in his brother’s soft smelling hair.
“The candles. You followed the scent, didn’t you?”
“Actually,” Sam sighs. “I was running away from it.”
Dean frowns in confusion and Sam makes a sheepish face. “It kinda stinks in here, Dean. And um, you’re… kinda ripe too.”
Sam chuckles burrowing back into Dean's chest tiredly, his response understood though it remains unsaid.