I wasn't gonna post this here, but what the hey...some of you might enjoy it...at least I hope so :). And, sorry guys, Firefox may have messed up some of my formatting.
Characters: Sam Winchester, Dean Winchester
Spoilers:“What Is and What Should Never Be.”
Disclaimer: Supernatural and its characters belong to Eric Kripke. No infringement intended - just dabbling in your sandbox, Mr. Kripke, sir.
Summary: One-shot tag/missing scene from WIAWSNB set in “The Wake-Up Call” universe. Sam knew exactly what it cost Dean to resist the Djinn.
This is a gift fic as requested by the lovely Nana56. Thank you for having such confidence in me and for all of your kind words. I don’t know if this was what you were hoping for, but its all for you! Connected
“Yeah, I think I saw a place a couple of miles back. I’m gonna go check it out.”
“Wait, n-n-n-n-no. Come pick me up first.”
“Nah, I’m sure its nothing. I just wanna take a look around.”
The line went dead.He hung up on me. Typical. Stubborn, stupid idiot. Always rushing into things wearing his bravado like a badge.
Sam swore again as he paced the short distance from wall to wall of the cramped motel room. Fixating on the phone lying on the bed where he’d tossed it moments ago, Sam calmed himself with deep breaths and slow counts. Still standing, hands propped on his hips, Sam weighed his options. He could give Dean an hour and then go looking for him or he could get a head start and look for him now. Two small problems. He had no car and he didn’t know where Dean was; only that he was in some abandoned building alone with the Djinn.
But, the Djinn might not even be there. Even if it was, Dean could take care of himself. Dean was awesome at their job, better than Sam, and maybe even Dad. But, things happened, unforeseen things. It could get the drop on him; he might get distracted by a victim--not to mention that Djinns have god-like powers. Which brought him full circle.
“Big idiot, why didn’t you just pick me up,” he muttered to an empty room.
Sam sat down on the edge of the bed with a huff. Picking up the phone, he itched to press Dean’s designated speed-dial. If Dean was already in the genie’s lair, that could give away his location. Better not call. He’d give Dean thirty more minutes and then he’d go looking for him. He’d "borrow" a car and go looking for his brother. How many big, empty buildings could there possibly be in this town?
Sam didn’t have to wait a full thirty minutes to figure out something was wrong--terribly, awfully wrong. He’d just picked up the phone to check the clock for the tenth time when he was struck by the first vision. It knocked him flat on the bed, breathless, wide eyes staring at the ceiling as the images played before them. Emotions flooded through him, but the feelings weren’t his.
The new connection between him and his brother had developed into something quite strong over the last year. Necessity--self preservation--had forced Dean to learn Missouri's shielding tricks to keep his thoughts and feelings tightly wrapped and hidden away. Safeguarded. However, if the emotion was strong enough to shake Dean’s guard, things would
Sam heard the glass breaking as the picture fell from his brother’s fingers. It was as clear as if he were in the room himself. Hope and the pain of a loss that would never heal washed through him, a bittersweet mixture of longing and fear.It can’t be. She can’t be--could she? Mom. Mom.
Dean’s thoughts thundered through Sam’s mind. He blinked, tried to figure out what had just happened, tried to make sense of what he saw and felt. What was that? Then, like a flash, he was hit by another equally intense vision. Their old house? What was Dean doing there? No way. No. Way. Mom?
Radiant, beautiful, ALIVE.
“Are you all right?” she was asking.
“I don’t know.”
Dean’s soft, broken whisper echoed through the connection loud and clear. The raw quality of it made Sam’s heart ache
The voice of an angel and such love in her face, it felt so good being wrapped in her arms. The little boy inside Dean had finally quieted, finally stopped crying for what had been taken from him so long ago.
Sam heard his brother stutter, “You don’t think that wishes, can…can really…”
Then the pictures of the life they never had…and Dad
…in a…was that a...ball uniform?
The images were coming so fast, Sam was having trouble keeping up. He couldn’t process what was happening. He only knew when their mom placed a hand on Dean’s cheek and then kissed him goodnight, his brother was happier than he’d ever been. He was home.
“What the hell!” Sam gasped, tearing away from the images.
Sitting up quickly, Sam tried to fathom what he'd just been hit with. What had Dean said? Something about wishes
“No, no, oh no!” Sam cried. “The Djinn.”
Sam scrambled for his phone and, with shaking hands, dialed Dean.
“C’mon, c’mon, pick up, pick up…Dean, please just pick up.”
Nothing, no answer. Damn
. Now what? Sam drew a hand over his face, letting it linger at his mouth as he formulated a plan.
“Oh, guuhh!” he gasped, falling to his knees, hands slapping on the floor, keeping him from diving face first into the carpet.
Light, bright and searing, then…Jessica. Dean was seeing Jessica, hugging her. Pretty, smiling Jess. For one moment, she was in his arms, her breath on his cheek. And, she felt so good
, so solid
--not like in Sam’s dreams. It was difficult to discern between his own feelings and Dean’s.
Just as quickly, she was gone again. Sam became aware of the tears washing down his face. Sitting back on his haunches, he wiped them away. It’d been a long time since he’d shed any fresh tears for his lost love. Dizzy and unstable, Sam reached out to the bed next to him in time to brace for next vision.
This time, the feelings weren’t happy. It took a while to figure it out, but then Sam realized Dean was...hurt, lost, guilty. And, oh, how weird was it to be seeing himself through his brother’s eyes. This time the vision wasn’t as clear. He couldn’t quite make out what was being said; only that Dean was hurt by it, bewildered and deeply ashamed by something another Sam was saying to him. He’d never realized he held so much power over his brother.
Another hazy, fast forward and Dean was staring down at their father’s grave. Tears were slipping down his cheeks as he bared his soul to the cold, granite marker. So much weight. So much regret. Loss sharp as a blade.
“What, Mom’s not supposed to live her life? Sammy’s not supposed to get married? Why do we have to sacrifice everything, Dad?”Dean, you never mentioned yourself. Is all of your happiness tied up in those you love? Don’t you deserve happiness, too? Just for you? Will you always measure your success by the welfare of others?
Sam shook his head. He had to get a grip. These things weren’t real, he knew, it was something the Djinn was doing to his brother. Dean was in real trouble and he had to find him.Time to go car shopping, Sam
It took less than twenty minutes to find the right place. The Impala, bless her, was parked outside an enormous complex obviously empty for several years. Sam entered the same way he was sure Dean had before him. Dark, damp and vast were the first things to come to mind as he stealthily eased from room to room. It was so quiet, the drip drop of water and every echo of every shadow rebounded loudly in his ears. He was sure his hammering heart would give him away, his fear for his brother like a beacon in his soul.
Placing a careful boot one in front of the other, he cringed when he accidentally kicked something metallic. Looking down, he saw Dean’s blood-coated knife. Confirmation of his fears--Dean would never willingly relinquish his weapon. Picking up the knife, he continued onward, praying he made it to Dean in time. Suddenly the edges of Sam’s vision blurred white again.
“No, not now.”
Too late, he blocked it too late.
Dean was bringing up a knife and pointing it toward himself. Sam could see the other Sam begging him to stop. When it dawned on him what Dean intended, sickness rolled through him. A parade of loved ones flashed through his mind before Sam was able to tamp it all down. Back in the empty warehouse, he realized he’d glimpsed the room Dean was in. At least that was something. Hurrying now, Sam moved forward. There. That had to be it. A girl was hanging by her arms with an IV tube running from her neck to a bag of blood. Beyond her, two corpses, long ago dead and rotted. Dean had to be here somewhere. Had to be.
Sam’s breathing picked up to match his heart rate. His tongue clave to the top of his mouth as he crept forward. Finally laying eyes on his brother, his heart plummeted. Dean, weakly dangling by his arms like the girl. Dean, looking pale, looking dead. His green eyes dull and sightless, lips slightly parted--skin gray.Oh, please, don’t let me be too late!
“I’m sorry” whispered through his mind along with the faint flash of a knife plunging into his brother’s chest, and his own voice screaming. Blood spurt from Dean’s mouth and the vision was gone before he could tell himself it wasn’t real.
Sam rushed to his brother’s side. There was no blood pouring from his brother’s lips, but anger flashed white-hot through Sam as he took in the plastic tubing running from Dean’s neck to a bag of blood hanging beside him.
“Dean. Oh, God. C’mon.”
Sam gripped Dean’s shirtfront and shook gently.
“Hey, wake up.”
Nothing, just glazed eyes and cold skin.
“Wake up, damn it.” Sam shook Dean hard, fighting the terror threatening to take over.You can’t do this, Dean. You just can’t.
A moan. That was all at first. Just a single moan…a whimper, really. Heartbreaking, but also life affirming.
Sam held his breath, waiting, pleading for more. Dean’s dead eyes shifted and a small spark of life flickered.
“Auntie Em. There’s no place like home.”
Sam’s heart stuttered and skipped with relief. He could’ve kissed his brother just then.
“Thank God. I thought I’d lost you there for a second.”
“You almost did,” Dean rasped.
Dean winced as Sam removed the needle from his brother’s neck, flicking it to the ground. He briefly checked the purpled, swollen area where it had been and hoped there wouldn’t be any infection to follow.
“Let’s get you down.”
Sam reached up and began sawing through the ropes binding Dean’s arms, ignoring the grunts of pain it caused when the rope rubbed against his brother’s raw, bleeding wrists.
“Sam!” Dean warned.
Lightning reflexes, he whipped around, knife leading the way, cutting through the air and missing its target. The Djinn stopped the plunge that would’ve surely killed it, and pinned Sam against the stair case, forcing him to drop the knife. Sam could hear his brother straining against the ropes over his own grunts for survival. Running up the stairs, he felt the rigid wood smack his face hard as the genie grabbed his leg, tripping him into the stair steps. Sam flipped over to face his attacker, found the genie’s strong, sure grip around his throat, the other hand--glowing and sparking like a blue flame--reaching for his face.
He was losing the battle; soon he’d be under the Djinn’s spell, too. Without warning, the creature jerked upright, a look of utter surprise transforming its features. As Dean plunged and twisted the knife deeper into its back, blood gurgled and spilled from its mouth, its head lolling forward as Dean pulled the knife clear and let the body fall away.
Gasping for air, Sam looked to Dean. Wavering and looking ready to topple over, his brother clung to the doorway. A second more passed before Dean gathered his reserves and walked over to the girl Sam had seen earlier.
Reaching up two fingers, Dean felt for a pulse, then cried, “She’s still alive. Sam!”
Using the knife his brother quickly passed to him, Sam cut away the rope as Dean removed the needle from her neck. As she fell into Dean’s arms, he heard him murmuring softly to her.
“I gotcha. I gotcha.”
The urgency in Dean’s voice tore at Sam. He could see how badly his brother needed this girl to be alive, to live, to make it all worthwhile. Each life saved made the darkness easier to bare.
“We’re gonna get you outta here, okay? I got you. I got you.”
Dean’s voice trembled with effort and emotion as he cradled the girl to him. It was a toss up as to who was the more vulnerable; Sam kept a steadying hand close.
Watching Dean's profile silently, Sam had never loved his brother more.
Later, back at the motel, he listened as Dean recounted the whole ugly story. He knew this would be another scar that would not quite heal. One more on top of many. Even if he hadn’t heard the underlying pain in his brother’s voice, he’d been there with him through some of it. He knew first hand how happy Dean had been if only for a short while. He had glimpsed the struggle to choose life, their life, the lives of people yet to be saved over what the Djinn had offered. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t real; it had felt as real as anything in their lives ever had. Sam could understand that. He remembered how he’d felt in those fleeting seconds. What it was like to hold Jess in his arms, to have the nightmares be just nightmares.
This was the first time Dean had verbalized how deeply wounded he was by their dad’s death, by the loss of their mom, the struggle and the price of the job. Feelings Dean didn’t usually share. While it felt good to have his brother’s confidence, to feel this closeness with him, it was equally hard to hear, to see. The doubt and longing, the lost look weighing heavily in Dean's features--Sam was ill prepared for all of these. For once, Dean was unburdening on him, sharing his load. This was it. This was his chance to help, to support, to return some of what was owed.
No, he couldn’t heal his brother, couldn't take the pain away, but he could
love him. And, that was something Sam was
prepared to do.
“But people are alive because of you
. It’s worth it, Dean. It is. It’s not fair and, you know, it hurts like hell, but it’s worth it.”
A/N: Thanks muchly to Tidia, who is a master at cutting through the bull.