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Hell's Embers

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A/N:

Inspired by a prompt I received some time ago.

Sadly, I’ve ‘deleted’ the requested prompt, and can’t remember the prompt-giver’s name.

But it’s been about:

Abused Sam in a domestic relationship with Lucifer/Nicolas and Dean to the rescue and to pick up the pieces.

It’s practically the first 9 chapters or so, where the domestic abuse is prominent.

Furthermore, there will be ONE brief interlude of Bottom-Dean along the story.

After writing that, the story took its own course while plotting, and things got out of hand, and … well … let’s say, it turned out to become a bigger project and not so much about the domestic violence anymore, but a story about a life-despising Demon-Dean and how he learns that life is precious, when he starts to experience feelings towards a certain human (Sam).

For the second time, since he’s topside, Dean starts to care about someone else but himself, and if that clusterfuck of emotions ain’t enough yet, he will have to learn to take care of himself (in other ways than before), or he will get Sam killed.



I SO SUCK AT SUMMARIES …

I hope you’ll enjoy though 😉


Upon the story:

Hell’s Embers

 

Chapter 1 ~ The Beginning

 

Hi, my name is Dean Winchester.

I'm Aquarius slash Demon .

I enjoy fires, torturing souls, and frisky women (and men).

And I do kill, because it’s fun and I enjoy it as fuck.

Aside from that, I love to cause chaos and mayhem and all the other stuff a demon does to sate its practically limitless needs when it comes to sex and blood.

I’m a handsome, funny guy. A loner among my kin, since my folks are mostly annoying (as fuck) and don’t have any sense of decency.

I do what I want, as I want, when I want, and hellhounds (or myself) shall tear apart, who does not comply.

Though, my black soul, and my damned existence aren’t as bad to handle and neither it is bad to live with all its merits, but , I am tired . Said soul craves rest and peace and quiet. Said soul longs for its endless sleep.

And that is, what brings Dean Winchester here …

 

*****

 

It has taken him eons to track it down.

After getting to know, that Samuel Colt’s Revolver hadn’t been destroyed and must still be – somewhere – on this planet, he eventually managed to get a few leads on its location.

Latest info he’s got and which he’s currently checking out, leads him to Manning, Colorado.

The Colt is supposedly in the hands of a hunter named Daniel Elkins. As far as he is concerned, Elkins must be old – though, he knows better than to underestimate a man with his reputation.

No matter in which age, hunters are dangerous humans. Killing-machines even. No matter, if you’re a monster or a hell-born creature like Dean Winchester.

The past few leads had been a bust (to put it nicely), and Dean’s a little frustrated by now.

Not even the pretty blonde from last night had managed to lighten his mood. Nor the shaggy-haired young man who had been with her. The bar-fight he had provoked between two rivaling biker-clubs hadn’t helped any either …

Sure, there’s been weapons, and blood. Broken bones and shattered teeth … but it’s always the same with humans, isn’t it? Watching them kill each other has lost its magic.

Meanwhile, sex is practically the only remaining reason for him to stick around humans anymore. That, and his hunt for the Colt.

Dean sighs.

Three hours to go, and he’s growing more and more impatient. His fingers are drumming against the steering-wheel along the tunes of some mullet-rock-song blaring from the speakers. The cassette-tape is worn down and some of the lines come out squealed and painfully wrong.

It’s about time to finally find THE COLT.

Not, that Dean is running out of time, or something like that. He actually, has got all the time he needs – an eternity (literally). But he’s fed up.

So fed up.

Life is boring. – If you can call the existence of a demon a life anyway.

Probably not.

Dean is not so much a philosophe, so he spares himself the strain of thinking about shit like that. He can’t have himself spraining his cranial cells, can he?

There are nicer ways to spend his time with, and to wreck his brain with other more pleasant thoughts.

For example: What he’s going to do with Elkins once he has found him. And, if there will be any hot chicks or guys around to spend quality-time with.

He’s not had a gang-bang in a while …

Maybe, if this ain’t another bust, and he’ll get a hold of the colt, he’ll visit one of the local clubs or bars. It doesn’t have to be a respective nightclub, or even a bordello. Dean can work with practically every kind of place, where humans tend to gather.

It only takes a little smoking around and seducing on his side to tip things off.

It’s real fun. Honest to god fun.

Then again … Last time, it had gotten a little out of hand, and had called half a dozen hunters onto the play-board, who – as aftermath - have been tailing him for weeks.

Not, that it would really matter. And it had been kind of fun too …

They can’t kill him. They could try though …

But, he likes his meatsuit (it’s the original, and not second-hand like those other douchebags who are calling themselves demons are wearing), and he doesn’t want to get smoked out and sent back to hell. It’s one hell of a hike and exertion to find a loophole and get back upstairs – Not to mention, that he’d have to ban his way through purgatory.

Not that a common exorcism would work on him anyway … if it is supposed to work, it needs to be done with a very specific one.

If it happens, that they own knowledge about it, and it would work, besides hunters tend to burn the bodies once they’ve killed the monster, or exorcised the demon, things would get super-shitty for Dean. Means, his meatsuit would be gone for good. Dean can’t have that – again.

It had happened once, and it had taken him months to track down that creepy hoodoo-priestess down in Mississippi to fix the issue.

So, nope. He’d rather not invite any hunters to this gig.

Dean cranks the volume up with a heavy sigh. This ain’t going to be any fun.

 

*****

 

It’s late afternoon. Still three hours to go though.

Sam’s glad that it’s one of these lazy Tuesdays. Only regular costumers are sitting at the counter or in their regular seats; drinking their coffees.

He wipes over the counter-top and board behind him; then starts on refilling the coffee-machines, and the display with cakes and pies.

“Sam?”

Sam’s gaze shoots up; a jolt runs blazes down his spine at the tone his name is spoken in. “Yeah?”

Nicolas’ head appears in the pass-through from the kitchen. His ice-blue eyes glisten softly in the dim light. There’s a soft smile playing on his lips, though, his eyes remain untouched by emotions – nearly cold. He props his elbows up on the wooden surface and leans through the opening a little more.

“Could need a hand over here, Sweetheart.”

Sam swallows. He let his look roam through the diner; assessing if anyone of their costumers is going to call for him anytime soon.

He knows this expression. Knows what lingers behind his partner’s request.

“Sure.”, Sam says, when his gaze settles back at Nicolas’ soft features and he smiles back warmly.

Sam unties the black apron around his waist and puts it on the stool hidden under the counter, before he leaves his territory and vanishes through a narrow door, which leads him straight into the kitchen.

Sam eyes the neatly clean room, until Nicolas steps inside his line of view. He approaches him, and within a matter of seconds, he’s right up in his personal space and backing him up against the stove.

Nicolas’s hands are all over him the very moment he crushes his lips into Sam's, and forces his tongue between Sam’s sealed lips; pushing and tearing at his shirt and the belt fastened to his loose jeans.

Sam moans involuntarily.

“C’mon. – Cold room. Now.” Nicolas doesn’t leave room for discussion. It is an unmistakable order, and Sam’s going to obey.

Nicolas ain’t as tall as Sam; missing an inch or two on 6ft4; but he’s definitely stronger – all fit and well-built. He’s packing quite some muscles. And he’s an ex-con. Charged for robbery and attempted murder. Discharged five years ago.

It sounds worse than it is – really. Nicolas is a nice, sweet guy – mostly.

Nicolas manhandles him into the cold-room and pushes the heavy door shut as soon as they’re inside.

Complete darkness surrounds them.

He doesn’t lose time to get Sam’s belt open and pants down; while he pushes him up against the refrigerator to their right.

Nicolas grunts in frustration, when the waistband of Sam’s boxers catches on the firm curve of his butt and he ain’t able to pull them down in one go.

“Wait.”, Sam tries to slow things down to a less frantic pace; tries to buy himself time to adjust, and maybe get into the mood too.

Nicolas crushes their lips together again and muffles Sam’s protest; before he’s turning him around. He presses his denim-clad front up against Sam’s bottom.

“C’mon, Babe.”, he moans and squeezes Sam’s hips; digs his fingers into his flesh. “You know how I want it.”

“Wait. Nick.”, Sam pants, while scrambling with his hands over the sleek surface beneath him to find leverage.

Nicolas doesn’t wait.

The tell-tale of a zipper is heard, and shortly after a strong hand settles between Sam’s shoulder-blades. He is pushed forward and down over the cold refrigerator.

Sam shudders.

Nicolas’s other hand comes down at the small of his back.

Sam doesn’t even get time to think, or adjust, when he feels a blunt hardness breach him. The following burn shoots up his spine and clouds his mind with dull pain.

 

*****

 

Nicolas ain’t always like this.

It’s just … today is a real bad day.

And usually, Nicolas is real sweet and nice and attentive. Sam’s certain, he’s going to be sorry for it later on. He’s always sorry.

But Sam understands, you know? Nicolas has been through quite a lot in his life. He’s served in the army, had seen people die; had seen his friends die on the battlefield. He had lost grip and came off the right path when he returned from this hell. It had been hard on him to get a foothold in a world without guns and the constant fear of getting killed by snipers, bombs, mines or something else wherever he’d put foot on – and to be forced to kill.

Nicolas’s time in the army hadn’t been easy. And the government had done nothing to help him to get over it.

HE’s got a purple heart, some money  and a few nice words on his way out. And that had been it.

So, Sam understands, that this life is hard on Nicolas, and that – sometimes – he has anger-management-issues. He gets, that this must be as hard on Nicolas as it is on him.

And, Sam loves him. – At least he thinks that he does. Sometimes it’s hard to love Nicolas – specially on days like today. But, Sam is loyal. He can’t just leave his boyfriend; drop him like a wet sack of potatoes.

It wouldn’t be the right thing to do. – Not to Nicolas.

So, Sam pushes through it, like he always does. He sucks it up and stands his man – for Nicolas. This day will pass like any other day – no matter if it’s a good or a bad one.

And tomorrow? Tomorrow, when Nicolas ain’t as frustrated and angry anymore – at himself, Sam and the world -, when he’s blown off enough steam and is the Nicolas again, Sam knows and loves, today is going to be forgotten.

 

*****

 

Hail the devil and his folks.

Dean’s touching down in Manning later than expected – due a gruesome encounter with black-ice.

Not that he’d be late for anything anyway. But his schedule is tight, and he won’t start slacking. Not now, when he’s closing in on the home stretch.

All he needs is a halfway decent mattress, magic fingers and porn to lift his rotten mood.

Said and done. Within fifteen minutes, he finds himself a motel; and twenty minutes later, he’s settled on a soft mattress in front of a crappy TV from the 70s; watching porn that’s at least as ancient.

Dean’s not one to judge – he’s seen a lot; done nearly everything a demon can do – but why? Why not – at least – Casa Erotica instead of hippie-porn? If you get where he’s coming from?

Not, that he’d really mind, but is THAT MUCH body-hair truly necessary?

Dean’s so not in the mood for this. Not today.

He’s frustrated all over again.

He’s not in the mood to move and get his laptop. Not now, where he has just crashed on the bed, with M&Ms and a double-cheese-burger and fries and beer.

Damn it.

If he doesn’t want to end the day by jerking off to bushy Velma and lanky Shaggy going at it in their Volkswagen-Van, he needs to get up.

Dean uncaps the bottle of beer with his teeth and takes a long swig from it.

He tilts his head to the side and rises an eyebrow at the scene unfolding on the TV-screen.

Yep. He definitely needs to get his laptop.

 

*****

 

Sam’s walking a little funny.

There’s even a slight limp.

But that’s nothing that won’t go away over the next couple of days and with an extra-set of painkillers.

Nicolas’s still at the diner, working on the books and doing the monthly accounting, so Sam hurries up to pick up the steaks and cake from the local supermarket on his way home; which Nicolas had reserved and Sam is supposed to pick up.

Imagine Sam’s face, when he removes the wrapping paper from what’s supposed to be steaks and finds filets.

Of all days, such a trivial error has to happen today.

For a moment – a very long moment – Sam’s mind is blank. Empty.

Hurriedly, he wraps the filets back up and takes them with him into the storage room, where there’s the refrigerator. Sam goes through its contents, his lips quivering and skin bristling.

A breath of relief falls from his lips, when he spots what he’s been looking for. He dumps the filets inside and pulls a package with frozen steaks out.

They’ll have to do … Thing is, he has to defrost them FAST … Sam curses and closes his eyes briefly. This day doesn’t have to get any worse.

Once back in the kitchen, he unpacks the frozen steaks and puts them on a plate, then into the stove and turns it up on low temperature. He only has to manage to ease them apart.

While he’s waiting for the frozen meat to unfreeze, he prepares salad and the vegetables. The cake wanders into the fridge, along with the apples he has bought.

*****

It’s only a few minutes before the rattling of keys is heard, that Sam had set up the pan for the steaks. When Nicolas’s coming into the kitchen, Sam’s putting the steaks into the preheated pan.

At least dinner is saved – for now.

Nicolas throws his jacket over the couch and toes off his boots without words.

Sam’s skin starts to tickle again, and a chill runs down his spine, when he – more feels than hears – Nicolas come up behind him. He tenses for a moment, but relaxes instantly, when his boyfriend places a gentle kiss to the nape of his neck and wraps his arms around Sam’s middle.

He rests his chin on Sam’s shoulder and gazes at the pan. “Sam?”, he asks softly.

Sam hums, spatula in one hand and pan in the other one. He’s in a rather unfortunate position, he realizes.

“What was that back at the diner?”, Nicolas asks expectantly, but still soft.

Sam swallows around the building lump in his throat. “What do you mean?”

He feels Nicolas shift and the hold around his middle tightens. “You didn’t get hard.”

Sam takes deep breaths through his nose; tries to not give away the rising panic in his guts. He clears his throat; not trusting his voice.

“Sorry ‘bout that …”, Sam answers as calm as humanly possible.

Now, Nicolas hums and his hold eases before he let go and straightens up behind Sam. “Okay.”, he chirps and pats Sam’s butt playfully. “Any chance I can grab a shower before Dinner’s ready?” He sounds like his Nicolas – but days like these can be elusive.

Sam thinks for a moment – strains his brain to get the gears going asap. “Rather not.”, he answers, despite that he knows better than that.

He doesn’t have a lot of choices here, though. Nicolas takes about fifteen minutes in the shower, means food will be cold by then; the steaks chewy.

He hears Nicolas clicking his tongue. “’kay. – I’ll set the table then.”

 

*****

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 2 ~ The Diner

 

Sam’s up early – like always.

He’s taking his morning-run. Not really because he enjoys jogging; but more because it’s expected of him. As soon as he gets back – Nicolas’s still in bed and asleep – he hops under the shower, gets dressed in light-speed and starts to prepare breakfast.

Sam’s behind his schedule – about ten minutes late, since he’s slept in. He casts an anxious look at the clock above the kitchen’s door.

Usually, sleeping in ain’t a problem – except when it is. And today is a day, where it could become a problem, since Nicolas have had a bad day yesterday.

Sam doesn’t want to tip him off.

Luck seems to be on his side.

He doesn’t tip him off.

Everything’s neatly prepared, just like Nicolas likes it to have.

Sam is having chopped fruits and coffee. He has popped in pain-meds before Nicolas got up. Now, on top of his nervous stomach, he’s slightly nauseous too after chugging them down without having breakfast first.

Nicolas goes with scrambled eggs and bacon – like always.

They unlock the diner’s doors by seven in the morning; a hand full of costumers already waiting to get their coffees to go.

 

*****

 

Benny turns up an hour later, along with the pies his wife – Andy, short for Andrea - bakes for the diner’s Pie-Wednesdays every week.

Benny is a huge, sturdy guy. He looks a lot like a tattooed bear, but is a big softy. Specially, when it comes to Andrea and their daughters. Also – he’s an amazing friend and trusty employee.

He too is an ex-con. That’s probably why Nicolas had given him a chance to get back on track with his life by offering a job.

After Sam and Benny have set up the pies behind the glasses of the displays, they check the storage and cooler-room for food (due the expiration-date).

Sam’s the one checking, and Benny’s taking notes on what they are running low on, and what has to be replaced. It always amazes Sam, how Nicolas trusts him with Benny. How he’s not cautious when the both of them are taking care of things together – without him.

He’s sure, it wouldn’t be the same with someone else but Benny.

Sam figures, it’s because Benny’s not swinging that way and is happily married to Andrea and utterly devoted to his family.

 

*****

 

Dean heads out first thing in the morning, to get some info about Elkins and where exactly he’s going to find that bastard.

Because, you know what? Elkins can’t be tracked down by a spell.

That sucks.

Big style.

Fucking Asshole.

He’s so going to rip that moron’s guts out and let him eat them. Because he’s a fucking asshole. That’s what he is. A damn fucking dumbass hunter.

Dean figures, it’d be a good thing to start at the local – one and only – diner. Specially, since they’ve Pie-Wednesday. What’s just awesome. Because, today is Wednesday.

He deliberately waits until the big run on the pies is over, and when it seems as if there are mostly regular customers left, he enters.

The bell above the door jingles happily.

What’s annoying, but Dean can’t rip that thing off the ceiling, can he? Well, he could. But he really shouldn’t do that.

Aside from the fact, that it’d be real rude, it may makes it harder to get the info he wants from these people.

Of course, the first thing that catches his attention is the pie. All kinds of pies.

Dean is in pie-wonderland. He can’t help but grin like an idiot at the display before him.

“Oh, babies …”, Dean murmurs. Saliva gathers in his mouth when he eyes the sliced luscious pieces of heavenly bakery.

There’s a snort, which rips him out of his delicious thoughts. “I’d take apple- or the one with cherry and vanilla-cream.”

Dean peers up and meets a set of gleaming hazel-green eyes with flecks of brown and golden. They’re deep pools of sparkling crystals in the otherwise grey world, which is surrounding him. He let his look travel towards the man’s rose lips, which curl into a friendly smile.

“Is that so?” Dean licks his lower lip and the tip of his tongue pokes out between his teeth – only a little.

“So. – Coffee?”

“Sure.” He keeps staring, transfixed, for mere seconds, before he trains his attention back at the pies. “And … A slice of apple-, one of the cherry-vanilla-one and a pecan would be fine.”

The man stares at him amused; his nose twitches. His smile morphs into a broad grin. “Sure thing.”

If Dean wouldn’t be a fucking demon, he might think it’s kinda cute. But gladly, he’s not NOT a demon, and the waiter’s smile does so not warm his stone-cold heart, but surely does something to his lower department.

He has to admit, those lips, wrapped around his cock? Yeah, that’s something he could think of. Feeling those lips at the base of his dick; down the guy’s throat?

Hells yeah.

His gaze trails towards the man’s name-tag.

Dean will see about that later – Sam would definitely make a nice desert. He hasn’t had a guy in a while. Specially not one who has a few inches on him and is handsome as hell.

Sam places a mug on the counter and fills it with coffee.

Dean takes a seat and watches him prepare his pies. Meanwhile he starts to slurp his coffee. His look catches on the waiter’s ass. Yeah, he could definitely work with that. The way the denim is hugging his butt nicely tight.

Yummy.

Saliva gathers in Dean’s mouth because of a very different reason than the pies placed before him.

“Thanks.” Dean gives Sam his most charming smile and winks at him.

Sam blushes. Fucking blushes.

Man, would he blush the same way, when he’s on his knees? Cock buried deep in his throat? Would those eyes shine in an equally sweet way when they’d tear up in the process of choking on him?

Dean shifts. He’s growing hard. Achingly hard.

He can’t have that now.

LATER, he tells himself. After all, it looks as if he’ll be around town for a while.

Dean empties his coffee, still his eyes on Sam, when he turns around towards the coffeemaker to place the carafe on the heating-plate.

“Refill, Hotshot?”, he asks and shoves his mug towards the counter’s edge.

Sam looks at him over his shoulder and nods. “Whatever you want.”

Oh boy. Naked. Covered in cherrypie and cream; bent over the counter and a cherry on top. That’s how he’d want him.

Sam’s still wearing this blush, as if he is able read Dean’s dirty mind. Ain’t that sweet? Dean definitely has chances at this one. This ass is gonna be his. He’s so going to ruin the guy for everyone else.

A mischievous smirk plays on his lips, when Sam walks up and refills Dean’s mug.

Sam blushes more – if even possible.

Dean’s eye-fucking him. That’s what he is, and he’s damn well not trying to cover it up.

Sam’s supposed to know.

He doesn’t seem hostile to Dean’s attempts of flirting. Sam definitely seems interested, even though he doesn’t show it right away.

Dean’s not leaving his eyes from mister shy hot-stuff, while he slurps his second cup of coffee and eats his pies; knowing, that the other man can feel his heated looks all over him.

It makes Sam visibly squirm and nervous. It’s amusing, how the human’s body responds to him, without Dean even touching him.

Everything’s just fine. Better than fine. He’s got sex on a stick right in front of him. What makes it even more delicious is, that the guy doesn’t even know how fucking hot he is.

Like already mentioned: Everything’s fine, until a tall, broad frame blocks his view.

The sturdy guy clears his throat.

Dean’s gaze wanders up the firm chest, meaty neck and bearded face, until he’s met with a pair of blue cool eyes; staring down at him expectantly.

So not his type of guy … so not cute … and neither does he look like the kinky kind of man.

Dean leans back a little and swallows the bite of pie he’s chewing on.

“Doesn’t happen that you’d know about someone called Daniel Elkins?”

Sturdy-guy keeps staring at him. “Who’s askin’?”

His gaze flickers to the man’s name-tag. Benjamin. Nice to meet you too. “He’s been friends with my Dad.” Dean shrugs. “Served together. My dad passed away a few months ago, and … he’s left something for the man.”

Benny gazes down at him a little longer, before his shoulders relax and the tenseness in his neck’s muscles drains away.

“Oh.” He clears his throat. “I’m sorry for your loss, pal.”

Dean tries real hard to look somehow sad – grieving even.

Embarrassed silence.

Until Benny speaks again. “Elkins has a cabin in the mountains. – No one knows where it is.”

Dean nods and hums. “Too bad … Maybe someone knows though? Children maybe? Grandchildren? Someone else I could ask?”

Though, big-sturdy seems to have relaxed some, he still looks suspicious. He shakes his head. “Not gonna tell. – If you wanna meet him, you can come here. – He’s stopping by every four weeks on a Friday.”

“When was the last time he’s been here?”

“A week ago.” Benny is still wearing this careful expression, as if he’s trying to figure out what Dean really wants.

Dean ponders to hole up in town for three weeks. That’s not been the plan though. “Didn’t intend to stay around for too long, ‘ya know?”

Benny purses his lips. Then shrugs. He’s got that take-it-or-leave-it-look plastered to his face. “There’s a hunting store down the street. Maybe Barry knows more, but I doubt it. – Town’s folks ain’t very fond of strangers asking questions.”

Always the same old song about towns like these.

So not thrilling.

Means, Dean’s gotta go hiking and try to find the guy. If not, he can still find him at the diner in about three weeks … What’s not thrilling either.

Dean hates hiking.

He hates hiking nearly as much as he hates witches.

Dean leans back a little and looks past Benny, who instantly shifts to block his view from his desert on two legs anew. With a sigh, he stuffs the last piece of pie into his mouth and washes it down with the remnants of his coffee after barely chewing it.

“Hey, Sam!”, Dean calls past Benny, acting as if he’s not right in his way.

Sam turns on his heels and locks eyes with deep green ones.

“What about you wrap me up all the cherry-vanilla-pie you’ve got and get me the bill, Hotshot?”

Again, the guy’s cheeks taint a deep red upon the nickname. “Sure do.”

Gotcha. By the end of the week, he’s got the guy’s nice ass stuffed with his cock.

Benny rises his hand and Sam stills in his tracks when he starts off on making a beeline for the kitchen’s door. “I’ll take care of the order, Sam.”

Spoilsport. Dean’s face grumbles.

 

*****

 

Dean takes a trip down to the hunting-store; buys a second-hand Baretta 92FS and tries to draw out information about Daniel Elkins and his lair.

No luck though.

Either, ‘Barry’ doesn’t wanna tell, or he truly doesn’t know. Dean figures, it’s the former. Under other circumstances, he’d get the guy to talk. A little torture loosens everyone’s tongue. He too could possess him – drain it out of him.

He could.

But he doesn’t.

Dean can’t afford to cause attention in any way, which could possibly lead hunters to him and what he’s after.

Not yet anyway. Not until he’s holding THE COLT in his hands.

Besides, he can always come back if nothing else works, can’t he?

So, Back to the drawing board.

 

*****

 

Nicolas and Sam drive home together that night, leaving Benny to lock up the diner.

Sam can’t put his finger on it, but it is something about how Nicolas’s closeness makes his skin itch. The silence, his boyfriend is giving him, speaks volumes. Something must have upset him.

It’s not yet clear what.  

Maybe the costumer who had returned his burger, because it’s been ‘cold’. What it definitely was not.

Maybe, ole Caleb, who came in drunk and broke a set of dishes.

Maybe the green-eyed pie-guy had set him off. The man had been eye-fucking him, until Benny had stepped in. If Nicolas had picked up on it ... IF he had, Sam’s in quite some trouble now.

So, he sits in the passenger’s seat of their truck; tense as shit.

If so, he has to be prepared for a rough night …

 

*****

 

They’re barely in the house; door closed behind them; when Nicolas stops in his tracks and Sam nearly bumps into him. He turns on his heels; his eyes burning with anger as he looks into Sam’s.

“What did you do?”

Sam swallows. His mind blank for mere seconds. What did he do? “What do you mean?” If he shows fear, or anything like it, Nicolas will take it as proof that Sam had done something.

Nicolas’s lips form into a thin line. “With the guy this morning. What did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything.” Play it cool, Sam. You can still make it out of this unscathed. Be smart about it.

Sam rarely is smart in situations like this with his boyfriend. It’s hard to be clever when it’s about Nicolas, and Sam fucking things up.

“He’s been hitting on you.”

Sam shrugs; tries to keep playing it cool. “He did. – I didn’t return any of it.”

Nicolas’s eyes narrow; a thin line appears between his brows when they knit together.

Anger turns into rage.

Sam can sense it. He’s walking a narrow path on tiptoes.

“If you wouldn’t have done anything, he wouldn’t have been eye-fucking you.” Nicolas’s voice is too calm; nearly serene.

It’s eerie.

The room fills with tension. Sam can hear his own heart’s beats echo in his ears; can hear Nicolas’s harsh breaths.

Maybe, it’s because of their nearly dark surroundings, which make every sound seem so loud and unmistakably clear.

Sam?”

Sam swallows. “I didn’t do anything. I promise, Nicolas. – I’d never do anything like this. You know me …”

“Do I?” Still, there’s this tone to Nicolas’s voice which promises trouble. It’s low and threatening; though he manages to edge his words with worry.

“I’m sorry if you think-“, Sam starts.

Nicolas’s back-hand hits him across the face, and sends him reeling to the side. His cheek and cheekbone instantly start to burn hot and turn deep red.

There’s no time to sober up, or catch a thought or breath, before punch two sends him to the worn-down carpet floor.

Sam manages to puffer his fall with his hands. White, hot stabbing pain lances through his left wrist, which connects first with the thin layer of woven fabric beneath him.

Sure. Nicolas’s not thinking that Sam had done something wrong. He knows that Sam had done something wrong. He should’ve known from the start, that there’s no getting away from a punishment. Specially not, when he’s saying the wrong things.

“You noticed, and you didn’t do anything about it.”, Nicolas hisses through gritted teeth and lungs for the collar of Sam’s shirt. “You’ve put on those jeans, so everyone has to look at your ass. You damn slut.”

Buttons pop.

Sam doesn’t have time to protest, or apologize. Nicolas doesn’t let him have time for anything, for that matter. He never does.

Another couple of buttons pop from his shirt and he hears and feels fabric rip, when Nicolas tears at it. Then, he let go of his shirt and a split second later (at least it feels like a split second later) there’s a hand in his hair; gathering it. The hand wraps into a fist. And before Sam can process what’s happening, he feels himself getting dragged over the rough fabric of the carpet. He scrambles to get his hands and knees under him to take some of the strain from his scalp.

He manages to enclose Nicolas’s wrist with his long fingers. “Please.”

Sam knows, Nicolas’s not talking – neither is he bargaining with him – when things go awry like this. And the more Sam’s going to fight whatever Nicolas’s about to do, the worse it will get.

Though, his instincts tell him to at least try. “I swear, there’s been nothing.”

If only, Nicolas would let him explain and would listen to what he has to say.

“Shut the fuck up.”

Sam grunts, when carpet turns into wood beneath him. He slides along. There’s no leverage to gain on the smooth surface.

“No …” Yes. Sam knows what’s coming. He knows.

Wooden floor turns into tiled one.

He feels himself released all of a sudden, and he slumps down onto the tiles. The lights are switched on.

The white of the tiles is blinding bright in the artificial light.

Somewhere around him, Sam hears water getting turned on. His mind is all fuzzy and his vision blurry.

“Nicolas. Please. Don’t do this, don’t.”, he babbles away – over and over again. Because, he’s a chickenshit. He could try and act up; could try and land a good hit; get out of the bathroom and … yeah, what then? Where’s he supposed to go?

There is nowhere to go. Not for Sam.

Sam’s not sure how much time passes from landing on the cold tiles and getting hauled up again by his hair.

Nicolas doesn’t say anything, when he drags Sam towards the bathtub. He manhandles him over the edge and doesn’t spare him time to take a deep breath, before Nicolas’s hand shifts to his neck, and Sam’s pushed under the surface.

Icy water fills his nose and mouth and muffles everything around him. He scrambles for leverage with his hands; struggles to come back atop the deathly liquid.

Water splashes everywhere, soaks his clothes and his pants; makes everything slippery wet.

Just when Sam thinks he can’t hold his breath anymore, he’s yanked back.

Sam gulps in air and finally gets a firm grip on the edge of the tub. He strains his muscles; breathes harshly.

The pressure against neck increases again, and Sam tries to brace himself, but he’s in a rather unfortunate position; and he slips. His chest connects hard with the edge and then he’s pushed under again.

It feels like an eternity. An endless amount of time seems to pass, despite his struggle. Sam’s lungs burn with the need for oxygen. Until he can’t but try and breathe.

It’s an instinct.

So, Sam sucks in water; swallows it. Feels his nose and the back of his throat fill …

His vision greys out and smooths over into blackness, when he feels himself ripped backwards …

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 3 ~ The Home

 

Sam barely registers what’s happening around him.

There are warm hands on him; hard, rhythmic pushes pressuring his chest. Something is covering his lips; it’s warm and smooth.

He coughs and sputters. Water gushes from his nose and mouth past his bluish lips and down his greyish skin.

The hands are gone all of a sudden, and something covers his neck and cheek.

There’s a distant voice. It barely makes it through the roar in his ears and fog in his mind. Words get lost somewhere between his ears and brain and drift away. Too fleeting to catch onto a single one.

Sam feels himself getting moved; rolled over onto his side.

He can’t stop coughing.

Can’t - for the love of it - suck in a proper deep breath, as it instantly starts to tingle in his chest. All that’s coming from his throat and lungs are wet gurgles and wheezing sounds.

God, he’s hurting all over.

He’s shivering; his clothes soaked in cold water.

For a brief moment, Sam had been certain, that this time, he’d die.

 

*****

 

Dean growls at the screen of his laptop in annoyance.

Bad weather ahead. Snow-rain and stormy winds are forecast for the upcoming two days.

Dean hates hiking. But you know what he hates more (beside witches)? Hiking during shitty weather.

Not that it’d do him any harm. It sure doesn’t. Still, it sucks to go out there when it’s cold and ugly. He’s going to freeze his ass off. (Yes, even demons freeze.) And this, he hates too. Just like when it’s way too hot (what reminds him of hell).

Dean could wait it out.

He could.

He’s got all the time in the world …

 

*****

 

He’s a little late today, so there’s already Benny’s car parked behind the diner, when he pulls up beside it and parks it next to his employee’s.

Nicolas glances over at the empty passenger’s seat and his features harden. Guilt strikes his features, and his eyes become wet. His upper lip crinkles a little and his eyebrows draw together tightly.

Is this sorrow?

Anyhow.

He tears his gaze away, grabs his bag from the backseat and the keys and gets his move on. Nicolas leaves the car and enters the diner through the back-entrance, which leads him straight to the kitchen.

Inside, it’s already smelling like coffee and sweet, fresh bakery.

Benny’s stopping by in the kitchen, as soon as he hears noises coming from there, when the fridge is being opened. He watches Nicolas for a couple of moments.

The way he moves; how he’s holding himself ...

Benny’s face darkens; his eyes become hooded and worry becomes evident in them. Before he can ask where Sam is, Nicolas explains.

“Sam’s sick. – Ain’t feelin’ well. He’ll stay home today.”, he tells him way too calm.

Benny eyes his boss for a long second.

Nicolas avoids his employee’s reproachful eyes, when he sets eggs and bacon on the counter.

Benny shifts his weight onto his left foot and pushes his chest out. His fingers curl into tight fists at his sides. “’kay.”

He doesn’t seem to believe a single word, but keeps his lips sealed tight. He can’t get involved in this; can’t start an argument with his boss. Because Benny knows very well where it’d lead, and he can’t afford to lose this job.

 

*****

 

It’s warm and comfortable. Way too warm and comfortable to even think about getting out from under the covers.

Sam’s floating somewhere between waking and warm, soft slumber. An involuntary sigh passes his lips. And then, with a gasp, his eyes snap open and he bolts upright.

His heart is hammering violently in his chest.

Fuck.”, Sam curses and swings his legs out of bed; twists his upper body and neck to stare at the empty side of their bed in disbelieve. “No, no no.” This is worse than bad.

When did Nicolas get up? Why didn’t his alarm go off? How couldn’t he notice? And why the hell did Nicolas let him sleep and leave him behind?

Thoughts flings through his skull and bounce off its boney walls.  

Then, his look lands on a note on Nicolas’s pillow.

Sam swallows. Only now he notices, that he’s shaking and that his eyes have teared up with hot, salty fluid. Once, the levee breaks, there’ll be no holding back. Sam can’t allow this to happen.

His lips quiver, when he rounds the bed on weak legs and takes the note from the pillow. He blinks the tears away, which blur his vision.

‘I’m sorry, Baby.

I didn’t mean to hurt you.

Rest. Sleep.

I’ll pick something up for dinner.

I love you, Sam.’

Sam swallows – again.

Tears well up and gloss over the hazel in his irises, and a sad smile creeps onto his lips. He can’t yet tell, if it are tears of joy or relief …

 

*****

 

The storm’s hitting Manning late that afternoon.

Dean has decided to sit it out and wait for the weather to clear, before he’s taking on a hike through the woods and mountains. So, he chills out in the crappy motel-room, watches anime-porn and only leaves, when his hunger for burgers and french fries gets the better of him.

Besides, he’s aching to woo the waiter from the diner; pathing a way into his pants, for when he’s done in town.

To his big disappointment, Hotshot isn’t seen anywhere in the diner. Only huge-grumpy and the blonde, blue-eyed guy, who’s obviously the cook are around. Blue-eyes seems to be a multi-tasker, since he’s helping out behind the counter and with serving the dishes.  

Besides his obvious observations, a crappy mood is coming from the Benjamin-guy and Blondie and is tickling his senses.

It’s disgusting. The sour mood is corrupting his double-cheese-bacon-burger and curly fries, and is saturating it with a bitter taste. Even the beer is all shades of shallow on his tongue.

How Dean hates humans and their emotional swings.

Since Hotstuff ain’t working today, he won’t stick around for too long. He’s got his mind set on the young waiter, and if he is not here to get ensnared, there’s no reason for him to spend money unnecessarily.

 

*****

 

Nicolas is all nice and sweet, when he comes home from work.

Nick brings Chinese take-out – which Sam rarely gets, since it’s not one of Nick’s favorite foods – and chocolate, which he puts on the kitchen-table. Since the house lays in darkness, he goes to find Sam in their bedroom.

And he does.

Sam’s fast asleep under the covers; his cheeks slightly flushed.

Nicolas kisses his forehead and temple to rouse him – what works immediately (thanks to his proper training). Ever so tender, he threads his fingers through Sam’s hair and pets him. He helps him sit up and hauls him out of bed.

“I’m so sorry, Sam. – I can’t even …” Nicolas sighs; his head hangs low, as he stands before his younger boyfriend. He holds himself like a heavy weight is bearing down on him.

Sam’s not saying anything for a long time, and just stands there; feels Nicolas’s gentle hands holding him by the hips as if to steady Sam and himself at the same time.

“It’s okay.” It really is. Sam understands it.

“It’s not. And you know it.” Now, Nicolas looks up and meets his eyes. “I’ve fucked up. Again. And … ‘sorry’ doesn’t cover it. – I’ve hurt you. I Could’ve killed you.”

Sam tries to smile – he really does. And he wants to look reassuring – so bad. So very bad. Because, this ain’t Nicolas’s fault. Not really. It’s the fault of what has happened to him for years and years, and Sam can’t blame him for anything here.

Nicolas is as much of a victim, as Sam might is.

Well, Sam’s not really a victim here – he figures. After all, he knows Nicolas and his temper and that things can set him off easily – when he’s in this kind of mood. He should’ve been more careful. Should’ve gotten Benny to take the man’s orders.

But he didn’t.

He’s not been thinking.

And truth be told? It felt good to have someone’s attention, who is not Nicolas. It felt nice to get proof, that he’s sexy and still hot – despite that he’s taken.

So, actually, he did something wrong. He’s been kind of betraying Nicolas.

So, it all boils down to the same.

Sam had deserved his punishment. Even though, it might have gotten a little out of hand.

Sam draws in a shuddering, deep breath. “I’m good. I’m fine.” He finally manages to offer an honest smile.

He knows, Nicolas is sorry. He knows, his boyfriend regrets what he’s done last night, and he knows, Nicolas didn’t mean to.

Nicolas blinks at him; his eyes wet, and filled with sorrow and regret. He cups Sam’s face in his hands and rubs with his thumbs along Sam’s cheek-bones.

“You really shouldn’t forgive me, you know? – You should’ve bolted as soon as I’ve been out of the house.”

Sam shakes his head. He’d never do that. He wouldn’t leave Nicolas alone in this. He knows, his boyfriend is hurting in ways Sam can’t even imagine – sometimes, can’t understand, to be honest.

But he tries.

He wants to help him to get over the trauma of his past. Wants him to feel good and free of all the things he’s suffered through. And maybe then – when Nicolas’s healed – he will be able to leave him.

But not now. Not as long as he ain’t well.

Because, Sam sometimes feels, as if he’s the only thing able to ground his boyfriend. He’s the only one capable of keeping him from doing something stupid.

Nicolas knows that.

“I wouldn’t.”

“I don’t deserve you.” Nicolas’s words are dripping with embarrassment; an apological smile forming on his lips.

Nicolas is so pale; looks like put through the wringer.

Sam reminds himself to not get too bold … but: “You’re right, you don’t.” There’s no venom behind his words; as he speaks them softly and calm. He chuckles and his smile becomes wider. “You brought Chinese?”

Nicolas smirks. “And chocolate, Baby.”

Sam’s face lightens up. “Sweet.”

“Not as sweet as you are.”

 

*****

 

That night – after dinner and a dozen of apologies from Nicolas; and a hundred of promises, that he’ll do better, Nicolas crashes. He breaks down.

He cries his eyes out; is nothing like the angry, wrathful man who he has been last night. There’s nothing left, but a whimpering, self-loathing mess, curled up in Sam’s arms, seeking comfort.

 

*****

 

Nicolas wouldn’t let Sam go back to work for another day.

He’s not ordering him to stay at home, if you’d think that. Nope. He seems so worried about his boyfriend’s health and wellbeing, that he’s pleading him to stay home and chill out in front of the TV.

Nicolas’s offering all the comfort he can muster, so Sam’s able to feel safe and loved again; to regain his trust and to show that he stands up to his promises of doing better.

He’s not saying, that it won’t happen again though. Nicolas can’t.

And Sam knows that as well – because, sooner or later, it is going to happen again. Sam appreciates Nicolas’s honesty about it, even though he doesn’t tell him out loud, that maybe – high likely – he’ll beat the living shit out of Sam again, when everything becomes too much; when there’s too much of anger getting piled up.

Sam’s not a fool. He knows, this ain’t healthy. He knows, he’s probably stupid and naïve to think, that things will get better. But Sam hopes.

He also hopes, that Nicolas will go to the meetings he’s signed himself up for, two towns over. Some anonymous group of people who suffer from PTSD and anger management issues. A group of people, where Nicolas may be able to talk about all the things, which are pressuring him every so often and are tipping him off.

So, maybe, things will get better with time.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 4 ~ The Break

 

Things are good for another week.

Sam’s back at the diner and doing his job. He’s happy and joyful – nothing able to dampen his good mood.

Nicolas had his first meeting yesterday evening. Sure, he’s been worked up, when he had come home, but that had to be expected. What Sam had not assumed, was, that Nicolas would pop in one of his pills a psychiatrist had prescribed him a while ago and that he’d down them with half a bottle of whiskey.

Nicolas didn’t make it out of bed this morning. Hadn’t been able to.

So, Sam’s alone with Benny.

He’s serving the costumers, while Benny tends to the kitchen and prepares the ordered meals.

Sam doesn’t mind. He figures, Nicolas deserves some downtime. It must be hard to talk about his past with strangers and bring experiences back to the surface, Nicolas had been so fond of keeping buried for years.

Benny – on the other hand – doesn’t seem to be as forgiving, when it comes to his boss.

So, when the business calms down and there’s only two regulars left in separate booths, Benny leaves the kitchen, to join Sam behind the counter, who’s currently wiping the surfaces with a damp cloth.

“You got a minute, Sam?”, Benny asks quietly.

Sam peeks up and nods. “Sure.”

Benny nods at him; a gesture to follow him into the kitchen and the storage room.

He does.

Once there, Benny leans with his back against a shelf with canned foods.

Sam’s a little anxious. He dearly hopes, Benny’s not going to quit. He’s not sure, he and Nicolas would be able to handle the diner on their own. Besides, he likes Benny. He’s a nice, decent guy.

Though, mostly quiet and thoughtful, he also knows how to handle Nicolas’s mood-swings better than anyone else. Knows, how to talk him into calming down, when a costumer is acting up. He’s always smoothing the waters.

On the other hand, Benny also knows when it’s time to be done with talking and to start acting. Specially, when a drunk Caleb appears and starts to make trouble.

Sam.”

Sam leans back against the other shelf, where onions and potatoes are stored. He sighs. “You don’t wanna quit, do you?”

Benny shoots him a weird look; asking why he should. “Nah. – Look … It’s about Nick. “

Sam perks up. Did Nicolas treat Benny wrong? “What happened?” He’s growing more anxious.

Benny chuckles; he seems reluctant. “Nothin’, Sam. Nothin’ happened. I mean. Nothing between me and him anyway.” Hesitance gives way to honest concern. “I usually try to not get involved in personal affairs of others. – But I like you. And, I know what he’s doing to you.”

Heat creeps up Sam’s spine and cheeks; taints them in a bright red. He can’t, but break eye-contact with Benny.

“I don’t know what you’re talkin’ about.”, Sam murmurs, getting unbelievably redder by the passing second.

Benny sighs and shifts his weight. The wooden shelf behind him groans in disapproval.

“The bruises? You, taking a day or two off, because you’re not well? The haunted look in your eyes every now and then; when, in return, Nicolas’s mad all day? – I know what this is. And I don’t like it one bit.”

Sam swallows. “He’s going to meetings now.”

Benny makes a weird sound at the back of his throat. Appreciating that Nicolas does something about it, but somehow doubts that it’ll work.

“Sam. – I just want you to know … I won’t do anything, ‘kay? But I know people who can.”

Sam really appreciates Benny’s concern. Rarely someone had ever been concerned about him. Or had liked him enough to be worried.

Except for his mom, of course – but she’s dead.

And his uncle Bobby – who he has lost contact with ever since he got together with Nicolas.

He pries a smile to his face, before he looks up and meets Benny’s eyes. Benny looks like a beaten puppy at him.

“You deserve better.”

How could Benny know that? Maybe, this is exactly what Sam deserves.  

“He’s getting better.”, Sam says softly, “He’ll get better. – And I love him, Benny.”

He nods. – Not really in understanding, but accepting that Sam’s dearly believing what he says.

“You sure it’s really ‘love’? – Or do you feel obliged to stay with him?” It’s always about asking the right questions at the right time, instead of making accusations. So, Sam won’t get lured into defending his boyfriend.

Sam has to give Benny credit. He’s a clever guy. “Look … It’s not that bad … Nicolas’s just having troubles at the moment. He doesn’t mean what he’s doing.”

Benny doesn’t say anything to that. “Just so you know. – I’ve connections. If you … if you need help, you just have to let me know, and I’ll help.” Because a beating, wouldn’t do Nicolas any harm. Let him taste some of his own medicine.

 

*****

 

Dean swings the door to his room open and slams it shut behind him.

He toes off his muddy boots and shrugs off his wet; dirty clothes on his way to the bathroom. All he needs, is a hot shower, food and a good lay.

He’s damn frustrated.

Wherever Elkins has his cabin, it doesn’t look as if he’s going to find it by wandering the woods. There’s too much territory to cover for one person – or demon in this case.

He’ll have to wait for Elkins to show up at the diner.

What’s quite annoying.

On the other hand, he could use his last couple of days in this town, to get his hands on that hot waiter back at the local diner. He’s been trying to flirt his way through to him, but the guy’s been avoiding him those past couple of visits, as if he’s the plague. Sam has always sent huge-sturdy to serve his table.

What’s annoying too. Because, he really fucking wants to fuck that guy. – BAD.

So, either, he’s really not interested, or, he’s too shy. Or … he’s that kind of guy, who has a boyfriend he’s absolutely loyal to.

What would suck big-style. These type of people rarely let themselves get lured into betraying their partners. What really would be a pity.

On both sides, of course.

Dean could give him the night of his life

 

*****

 

Long story short; Dean showers, gets dressed in a fresh set of clothes, puts on his dark-brown leather-jacket and climbs behind the wheel of his black beast. Namely, a 67’ Chevrolet Impala. The one and only constant in his forsaken life, and the only home he’s known ever since.

She’s his treasure. The only girl who is truly worth his devotion and love.

 

*****

 

It becomes pretty busy and crowded in the diner in the evenings.

People pick up take-aways, or come to have dinner after work there.

Benny can barely keep up with the orders Sam impales on a small wooden square, pierced by a long nail in its middle. Sam has his hands full up front with serving drinks and plates heaped with delicious, nicely arranged bearings.

The door’s bell jingles all the time, and Sam’s peeking up at the door to see who’s coming in or leaving every time.

To his annoyance, when the bell jingles the next time, it’s green-eyed-flirticious. The man is constantly trying to woo himself into Sam’s pants. So far, Sam has done a great job in avoiding the guy. Tonight, though, it seems as if he won’t be that lucky, since Benny’s busy in the kitchen and he’s the only waiter.

Sam feels flattered, sure, and if he wouldn’t be taken, he might consider trying his luck with the man. After all, he’s an image of a role-model, and there’s – under all that cocky behavior – something soft lingering in those forest-green eyes.

But as it is, he’s with Nicolas. And, therefore not interested.

Sam hurries back behind the counter, to grab another two plates with burgers and fries from the hatch, when the newcomer chooses the booth at the very back; close to the toilets and exit, which leads directly to the parking lot.

He handles two more orders, before he walks up at Green-Eyes table; pad and pen in hands.

“What can I get you?”, Sam asks, in his usual friendly way.

Instantly, a broad grin splits the man’s face as he looks up at him and leans back, one arm resting on the back-lean. The black shirt he’s wearing stretches over his firm chest.

“Let’s start with coffee and coke, Hotstuff. And the menu please.” He still grins at him; eyes shining bright.

Sam nods. “’m right back.”

He’s not right back. It takes him a total of thirty minutes until he’s back with the coffee, coke and menu.

“Sorry for the delay.”, Sam apologizes and fumbles for his pad and pen.

“Busy day, huh?” Their new regular is not pissed in the slightest.

Sam’s damn glad for that. Dealing with yet another prissy costumer ain’t what he needs. “Yeah. – Our cook’s sick. Benny had to take over in the kitchen.”

Dean’s lips pucker and he nods. “No worries. I’ve brought time.”

Sam chuckles and smiles a little embarrassed. “That’s nice. Thanks.”

Dean pats the menu. “Hey, what about you take care of the others and give me some time to go through it?”

Sam huffs out a breath. He squirms inwardly under the man’s attention, when his look roams across his chest and down his long legs, then back up to meet his eyes.

“You sure?”

Dean shrugs. “Sure thing. – Don’t you worry.”

“’kay. – I’ll be back in a couple of minutes then.”

Sam’s not back within a couple of minutes. It takes him way longer than he would have liked to.

“Sorry for the wait.”, Sam apologizes the very moment he’s back at Dean’s table.

“Like I said. No worries, Gorgeous.” Dean’s upping his wooing-the-waiter, who blushes violently at the softly spoken nick-name.

Sam clears his throat; eyes on Dean and nod towards the menu. “What can I get you?”

Fuck food. A blowjob would be just fine. “Can’t decide. – What’d you recommend?”

Sam draws in a breath; tries to not look annoyed. “You look like the cheeseburger-kind of guy. With extra-bacon. Onion rings. Coleslaw maybe?” His gaze flickers towards the empty glass of coke. “And another coke?”

Dean nods. “Sounds great. – But … Coleslaw?”

“You look like you could use something healthier than all the red meat and fried food you’re stuffing into your body since you first came here.”

Dean snorts. “Do I look as if I need rabbit’s food?”

Sam eyes him for a moment. Gives him an extended visual once-over. Nope, he doesn’t look like it -not in the slightest. But, Sam can’t help himself, when he waves at Dean’s belly.

“Looks like a little bump is growing there.”

“Dude, that’s baby-fat.”, he protests – he doesn’t feel intimidated though – if anything, he’s a little amused. “And it’s damn cute.”

“You’re what? Like 35?” Sam snorts a laugh.

Dean shoots him a look instead of answering.

“Whatever you say, man. – Just tellin’ the truth.”

Dean eyes him curiously. Is this the way this guy flirts (or tries to)? Or … Does he attempt to be funny?

Nice. – That’s real nice. – Then, I guess, I’ll take the salad too.”

Sam nods and takes his notes. “Gonna take a while though. 45 minutes?”

Dean doesn’t beat an eye at the announcement. “No problem. – Bet it’s worth waiting.” He winks at Sam and watches him become unbelievably redder.

Sam’s called to another table, close to the entrance.

It’s nice to watch him walk up to Dean, but it’s even nicer when he can watch the man’s backside, when he leaves.

Fuck, this ass is worth quite some effort and trouble, Dean decides.

 

*****

 

Dean waits patiently for his food to arrive. He takes his sweet time devouring it – just like he is planning on devouring Sam.

Soon, more people start to leave, than to come into the diner.

Dean orders a milkshake when Sam comes to ask him if everything’s okay, and if he needs something else.

More people leave.

The diner starts to clear.

Dean’s quite full already, though, he orders a slice of cake and another coffee; buying himself time.

It’s quite a surprise, when Sam comes by his table again, and instead of stopping beside it, he slides into the seat opposite of him. He puts his pen and pad down on the table in front of him and crosses his arms over his chest, when he leans back and addresses Dean with a determined look.

“Look. – It feels real nice to know I’m not off my game.”, Sam starts.

Dean looks back at him blankly.

“But. – I’ve a boyfriend.”, Sam continues. “And I’d appreciate if you’d not try and flirt with me. – My boyfriend doesn’t like that.”

One of Dean’s eyebrows rises slowly. He does everything to not let his I-don’t-fucking-care-about-your-boyfriend-expression show. His gaze flickers briefly towards Benny, who’s getting himself a cup of coffee from one of the carafes.

He has to assume, that this Benjamin is said boyfriend. “He?”, he asks in disbelief.

Sam shakes his head, snorts and chuckles at the same time. It’s quite a cute sound. “No. – Not him.”

Dean’s lips pucker and his second eyebrow rises.

“I’d appreciate if you’d back off though.”

Dean keeps eying him. “Is this the nice way to throw people out of the diner?”

“No. Of course not. – You hanging around and ordering what you order, just so you can hit on me? – The tips you leave me?” Sam quirks a smile and unfolds his arms. “I’m really flattered, but the excessive flirting has to stop, man. – Or, you’ll get in quite some trouble, when Nick finds out.”

Dean purses his lips. He recalls, he had the opportunity of meeting this Nick the other day at the diner. – When Sam’s not been here.

He nods. “Can’t promise anything, but I’m sure I can cut down on the flirting, if you insist? At least when ‘Nick’ is around?”

Sam snorts a laugh.  

Dean chuckles warmly.

“Fine. – Guess that’s a compromise.” Sam will have to live with it, hoping, that Green-Eyes isn’t thinking about settling down around here.

 

*****

 

When Sam comes home, it’s to Nicolas on the couch, watching a football game on TV. He wrestles two bags with Styrofoam boxes and a big grocery-bag through the kitchen-door and places them on the kitchen-table.

His first way after that – before everything else – he heads straight for the couch and leans down, to kiss Nicolas’s cheek. “’m back. Sorry for bein’ late, been one hell of a day.”, he whispers breathlessly.

Nicolas grunts. “Sorry for not getting’ up and bein’ there, Baby.”

Sam shrugs. “It’s fine. – Took leftovers from the diner with, if you’re hungry?” His gaze darts towards the beer-cans on the couch-table.

Nicolas smells a little, but not too bad.

“C’mon, sit down a couple of minutes. You sound exhausted.” Nicolas pats the space beside him.

Sam ponders that for a moment, and decides that it’s a good idea. He could rest his feet a little. They hurt like hell. So, he rounds the couch and slumps down beside his boyfriend with an exhausted sigh. Sam let himself sink into the soft pillows and leans into Nicolas’s side, who holds his arm out invitingly.

Then they talk.

Sam tells him about everything that’s happened in the diner, except for the green-eyed guy of course. Nicolas’s not doing well as it is, and Sam doesn’t want to cause mayhem.

After all, there didn’t happen anything between the two of them, and he’s hopeful, that the man is going to hold his horses in the future and that there would be no reason for Nicolas to freak out again because of him hitting on Sam.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 5 ~ The Mistake

 

Another week passes, before shit hits the fan again.

Truth be told, Sam had noticed the anger boiling under Nicolas’s surface. He had known, that rather sooner than later, his boyfriend would need to blow off steam.

This time around, it isn’t because of their new regular coming to the diner, and flirting the living shit out of him.

It’s because of nothing – really.

Sam’s done preparing dinner; sets up the table for himself and Nicolas and places the pot with Mac and Cheese and the bowl of salad in the middle.

It’s not, that Sam has messed up any of the food. In fact, it tastes delicious. More than that even.

And though … things take their turn for the worse fast.

Nicolas puts a huge heap of cheesy heaven onto his plate, while Sam sticks with the salad. He has had a lot of chocolate lately (Nicolas had been feeding him immensely), and sugared coffees. Not to mention all the Chinese takeout and leftovers from the diner.

Sam has to get a grip on his eating-habits again, specially, since he’s skipped his morning-runs two times during the past week.  

Not to mention Nicolas’s mood, and the way he’s watching him like a hawk from across the table. One wrong move or word could set him off. And Sam reaching for the Mac and Cheese could become a massive failure fast.

Nicolas takes a bite from his serve and pulls a grimace. The disgusted noise rumbling from his throat, instantly causes Sam to look up.

Nicolas’s grimacing at him.

“Is that Gorgonzola?”, Nicolas shoots him a punishing look.

Sam lowers his fork and nods. He may shouldn’t have tried something new … Not today anyway. “Yes.”

Fire is flaring up in his boyfriend’s eyes. And anger. Definitely anger. His lips form into a snarl.

Sam can see it happening before it actually does.

The plate with Mac and Cheese is wiped from the tabletop and skids across the floor; losing nearly the entire content, before it shatters into pieces. The pot follows, when Nicolas pushes it out of the way, while lunging across the table.

No words. No words at all, when he pulls Sam half-way across the table, before he drags him to the side; and before Sam is able to process what is happening he’s thrown to the ground, and feels hard knuckles connect with the side of his head.

 

*****

 

It’s a constant routine by now. Dean heads to the diner on a daily basis when the evening-business is at its peak.

So, here he is, waiting for his food, while sitting in the booth at the very back.

Something is off about his waiter today. Sam is barely making eye-contact; he is sort of cheery (but not by heart, and certainly not the way he usually is), and on top of that, he’s got a bruised jaw and is slightly favoring his left foot and leg. Aside from the way he’s holding his upper body, Sam seems okay though.

A very unlikely thing happens to Dean, when he watches Sam leave his table.

Despite the very darkness in Dean’s heart and soul, the fact, that Sam – the guy whose pants he wants into – got hurt and is visibly shaken – and him not knowing about the circumstances – pinches something in his chest.

The fact, that something or someone had hurt the very someone he intends to put his claim on (for one night only of course) makes him slightly uneasy. No one fucks up his plans.

Dean growls inwardly.

Aside of someone fucking up his plans … who’d mess up someone hot like this? Who’d ruin a fuck-worthy creature deliberately?

That’s just wrong. So very wrong.

It has to be about fucking. Arousal is one of the spare positive emotions he’s able to feel. So, that has to be it. He doesn’t care about Sam’s character, or anything that adds to it. He cares about the body he won’t be able to enjoy in all the ways he wants to, when the human is all fucked up.

He doesn’t like them bruised and aching.

That’s no turn-on – not in the slightest. It’s actually pretty disgusting.

He likes them nice and clean and physically unharmed, so they can keep up with him.

Dean starts to eat; takes his time to think while chewing the piece of burger slowly, rolls the food around in his mouth.  

But he wants that guy.

He can’t just NOT not want to fuck him. He’s put so much work into this already. He’s supposed to be his trophy when he finally gets to own the Colt. A nice wrap-up before putting an end to this entire clusterfuck he’s calling an existence.

Of course, Dean could find someone else to have sex with. He’s a charming, hot man with impressive crown-jewels. He’s dancing the horizontal mambo like no one else.

But, it wouldn’t be the same. Some easy pick-up on his way out – that’s out of discussion. He loves the challenge.

And this Sam definitely is one hell of a challenge. Despite that he’s not resistant to his attempts of flirting, he’s faithful towards this Nicolas-Guy. And Dean’d be damned if he can’t break that hindrance. He’s always been able to worm his way through every damn obstacle in his way.

“Can I get you something else?”, Sam’s voice bans its way through his thoughts and tears him out of his mind.

Dean blinks. He looks at his plate. The burger and fries are already gone – he had not even realized until now. He gazes up at Sam, way darker than he intends to.

The guy isn’t even looking at him; instead, keeps staring at his pad.

Then, he puts his nice-guy-face on and smiles. “It’s Pie-Wednesday, ain’t it?” As if he doesn’t know. “What ‘bout a slice of apple-pie and some more coffee?”

Sam nods; notes his order and is about to turn his back on Dean, when a strong hand wraps around his wrist and holds him back. Sam can’t suppress the flinch it causes and the hiss, when fingers clamp down on the bruises there.

Dean refuses to let go. His eyes narrow instantly, and his expression changes into something darker.

Sam’s startled and his gaze flickers up to meet the other man’s eyes. He can read a question in them, but ain’t sure what exactly Flirtilicious is asking.

Instead of letting go, or following the wordless plea to let go, Dean pulls Sam’s wrist towards him and reaches with his other hand for the sleeve, which is barely hiding the bruises at this angle. He swipes them up a notch.

Sam stares down at him, like a deer caught in the headlights.

Dean stares up at him, with an unreadable expression on his face.

Then he let go.

Sam pulls his hand back. “I’ll be right back with the pie, Sir.”

Sam is damn glad, that he’s not asking questions, or calling him out on it. He can’t use any more problems at the moment, and he’s so not in for another round of being Nicolas’s punching-ball.

On the bright side, Nick has an appointment with the anonymous group tonight. Sam’s going to catch a breath then. Maybe, tonight’s appointment with those people is going to take the edge off of Nicolas’s mood.

Benny is giving him weird looks. He knows. It feels as if he can look right into his head and sees what has happened last night.

Sam gets the apple pie and coffee.

Dean orders another slice later and then another one.

Nicolas leaves around 6pm, but not without snatching a kiss from Sam and a gentle touch to his lower arm.

Dean orders a milkshake. First a strawberry-one. Then a banana-milkshake.

When Sam comes around once more, Dean casts a brief glance over his shoulder, to where Benjamin is hanging around behind the counter; a close eye on him – or Sam. Dean’s not quite sure.

Dean usually wouldn’t care, but he – as already mentioned – isn’t supposed to cause attention just yet. Despite that, he reaches out for Sam’s lower arm, wraps his fingers around it and scoots over, while dragging Sam into the booth beside him.

Again, this look, like a deer caged by its predator; like there ain’t a way out, is carved into his features.

“You’re beat, Hotstuff. Looks like you could use a break.” Dean does smile – but it’s not an honest one. Sam’s supposed to tell him how this has happened and whose fault this is, so he can take this someone – if there’s a someone whose fault this is – down.

Dean has an assumption. He noticed Sam’s reaction to Nicolas-Guy earlier. But he needs proof, before he can make a move – of what kind ever.

Then, MAYBE, those bruises will be gone and no new once are going to appear. Which means, if he’ll stay a couple of more days in town, he’ll have the opportunity to get fucked senseless; or fuck Sam senseless. Depends on how kinky he is.

Sam rises back to his feet. “Look, I’d appreciate if you’d stay away from me.”, he tells him quietly. “Knock it off, okay? There won’t happen anything between the two of us.”

Dean snorts. “I’m not asking you to come home with me. I’m telling you, you look like shit, and that you are in desperate need of a break, man. You look like you’re about to faint.”

Sam opens his mouth to tell him that this is none of his business.

Neither of them had noticed Benny coming towards them.

“As much as I don’t like this guy …” Benny gives Dean a disapproving glare and places a cup of steaming hot coffee and a piece of pie in front of Sam. “… he’s right. – You look like death warmed over. So, you better keep sitting here for a little while, eat the pie, drink the coffee, and then you’re going home. – I’ll lock up.”

“But -“ What is Nicolas going to say about it, if he’d head home earlier and let Benny lock up the diner? After all, it’s always Nicolas’s call if they’re calling it a day earlier and let Benny do the cleanup.

“Sam. – He won’t know.”

Alone the idea of going against one of Nicolas’s rules let his insides churn and twist.

Someone calls for a waiter.

Benny pats Sam’s shoulder and takes off, but not without giving Dean a warning glare beforehand.

Sam eyes the coffee – it seems appealing. Not so the pie. It’s stuffed with carbohydrates. Even the filling – despite it’s made of apples.

Eat up.” Dean inches towards the window, giving Sam space. “My name’s Dean by the way.” He extends his hand towards him.

Sam takes it, gives it a firm squeeze and then reaches for the coffee. “Sam.”

He drinks it slowly.

They are silent.

Dean doesn’t make a move on him; figures it might be misplaced at the moment. So, he keeps his mouth shut and his hands off of the guy beside him.

Sam shoves the pie over towards Dean. “On the house.”

Dean can’t decline that. There’s always place for more pie in his stomach. Specially, when it tastes that good. And it’s for free.

When Sam’s done with the coffee, he takes off the apron which is fastened around his waist and gets to his feet. He can’t keep sitting here – not so close to Dean. It’s just wrong.

Nicolas wouldn’t approve.

And damn. Sam is aware of how weird that is. He shouldn’t feel bad just for sitting beside another guy.

But he does, and currently, he can’t change how he feels about it. Neither can he stop the popping up thoughts in his mind, about what could happen if Nicolas catches them here like this – even though it’s no compromising situation.

Dean looks up at him, when Sam’s about to move out of the booth. “I can drive you home.” The words are out, before Dean has time to stop himself.

Sam stills and eyes him. He’s so damn tired. And he’s aching all over.

Not a good idea.

Not at all.

Then again, Nicolas’s not home yet. Those meetings last about two hours and the time driving there and back home … it’s gonna take him three hours minimum, if he doesn’t decide to go for a drink with one of the others.

“C’mon. – I’ll give you a lift. Won’t try anything, promise.” Dean can’t believe his own words. He’s a little surprised about himself. Usually, he doesn’t give anyone a lift – specially not in his Baby. And surely not without sex in sight.

He’s greeted with silence and an exhausted, lingering gaze.

“I won’t even try to get you to flirt back.”, Dean offers, but there’s mischief sparkling in his eyes.

Dean’s charming smile; face plastered with adorable dimples, does the trick.

Sam’s lips curl up slightly and he gives a weak nod. “If you don’t mind?”

Dean’s smile widens. “You lead the way, Hotshot.”

What earns him a major-bitchface.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 6 ~ The Drive

 

The drive isn’t a long one – or shouldn’t be. If Dean wouldn’t take wrong turns on purpose to extend their journey.

Sam’s sitting in the passenger’s seat, slumped against the passenger’s door and his forehead rests against the cool glass.

“So, this Nicolas-Guy is your boyfriend?”, Dean asks. He’s not the very subtle type, he has to admit.

Sam blinks and keeps his gaze fixed at the passing buildings. “Yeah.”

Dean hums. “He gave you that ‘hickey’?” He steals a glance at Sam, analyzing his reaction, if his question is causing one.

Sam doesn’t beat an eye. “It’s real nice of you to take me home. – But, I’d rather not talk.”

Dean hums again. “Fine.”

Maybe, the silence should be tense.

But it ain’t.

That’s irritating Dean.

If anything, it’s comfortable. At least to Dean it feels that way. With the guy in the passenger’s seat, all quiet, and with those weird vibes coming from him …

… it nearly feels soothing.

They eventually reach their destination. Dean pulls up at the other side of the street, across the house Sam’s waving at.

Sam looks over at Dean.

Dean looks over at Sam. He doesn’t kill the engine.

“Thanks for the ride, man.” Sam’s reaching for the handle.

Dean smiles. “You’re welcome.”

Sam nods at him. He opens the car’s door and climbs outside.

“So, we’re gonna see each other tomorrow? Same time, same place?” Dean chases away his mind’s attempt on making him give Sam another cute nickname. He also bites back flirty comments.

This is a first for him. But, he figures, right now, Sam wouldn’t be in the mood to have sex, or would be open for any innuendos or attempts on flirting. Even if they’re only one-sided.

Sam barely flirts back. – Only sometimes, and – as it seems to Dean – only accidently, when he forgets about his boyfriend. Or, when retorts leave his mouth unfiltered by his brain.

“Sure. – You might reconsider ordering a burger though. – Or have it with salad instead of something deep-fried.” Sam winks at him. “Or else, your eating-habits are gonna give you a heart-attack someday.”

Dean chuckles and shakes his head. If only Sam knew.

Sam smiles at him; his face all cute dimples and gleaming eyes.

It does something to Dean; causes irrational emotions he can’t remember ever having.

A pang of this something let his heart beat a little faster and makes his skin all tingly and sensitive.

“See you tomorrow.” He pats the top of the car and turns his back on the black beast and its driver without looking back.

Dean waits for Sam to vanish behind the door. He bites his lower lip and frowns. “Damn it.”, he grumbles and punches the steering-wheel. “What the hell’s wrong with you?”

He so has other things to take care of. Like Elkins and the Colt.

 

*****

 

The next day, Nicolas is sleeping in again, due taking his pills with a lot of alcohol the previous night.

Sam keeps up his daily routine though.

Prepares breakfast for Nicolas, goes on his daily morning-run (despite that he’s feeling like crap). He grants himself the liberty of adding sugar to his coffee and a double dose of painkillers.

What he shouldn’t have done, since it’s carbohydrates, and he feels bad for it as soon as he has finished the coffee. Means he’ll have to cut short on whatever they’re going to have for dinner – or he’ll have to run extra-miles tomorrow, which Sam’s not sure he’ll be able to do.

Him, gaining weight, is the least he needs now. – Specially if Nicolas notices.

Sam’s well aware, that something like that shouldn’t be an issue in a relationship. Him, gaining a couple of pounds, or losing them. A small voice at the back of his mind keeps telling him, that that’s the last thing that’s supposed to matter. It also keeps whispering to him, that he shouldn’t let Nicolas control him like that.

But –somehow – he is grateful for the support.

Nicolas’s rules are keeping him in shape.

Back to the issue at hand.

Sam can’t find the car’s keys.

So, in order to be at the diner in time, he decides to walk there, and not waste more time on searching the keys, which Nicolas might have in the pockets of his jeans, which he’s still wearing. He could search him. Nicolas sure wouldn’t wake – he’s out cold. But, there’s the possibility that he will need the car, and if the car won’t be there, he’ll get pissed.

 

*****

 

Benny’s already preparing the kitchen and coffee is already filling the carafes, when Sam finally passes the diner’s threshold.

He apologizes for being late (thirty-six minutes by the way, but who would count?).

Benny gazes at him suspiciously and nods, before he offers a ‘no problem’ and a ‘good morning’.

 

*****

 

Dean decides to wait for Elkins to show up at the diner.

It’s easier and less straining. Besides, he’s not a hard-working man. He’d rather choose the easy way, than the complicated one. – Except, when it comes to sex, of course. That’s where he makes exceptions. Like mentioned, he likes the challenge.

So far, it had always worked out for him. And, for Sam to fall for him and eventually give into his attempts, he needs a little more time.

 

*****

 

Dean’s all back to be his cocky self when he takes his regular place in the diner. He flirts the living hell out of Sam as soon as he notices, that his boyfriend isn’t around. He also offers to give him a ride again when his shift is over.

Sam’s hesitant about it, but let himself getting talked into taking the offer by Benny and Dean’s constant nagging about how much more comfortable it is to not have to walk.

 

*****

 

So, Sam’s taking the offer, but asks Dean to park the car down the street.

Dean’s not stupid, he knows exactly why Sam wants him to let him out of the car at the crossing. Usually, he is not one to hide away or beat around the bush. Dean’s a straight forward guy – most of the time.

He can make exceptions though, since he understands Sam’s issues when it comes to getting seen in a stranger’s car by his boyfriend. Besides, Dean can sense Sam’s resolve crack.

Dean tunes down his flirting, and settles with being his charming self.

Which makes the drive a relaxed journey. Sam loosens up a little. They even chat.

Sam’s a damn ninja, when it comes to hiding his emotions. He’s an even better actor, Dean has to give him that much. Even though he can look right through his façade.

Sam’s tense; nervous even.

So, when Dean pulls up beside the curb, right after passing the crossroad, Sam practically scrambles out of the car, gives him a hurried ‘’till tomorrow’ and is gone, before Dean can come up with an answer.

Knowing, that he’s done something very wrong, by letting someone – specially a guy – take him home, Sam’s all nervous and shaky, when he walks through the house’s doors.

Unlucky Sam, Nicolas’s in a beyond miserable mood – and drunk.

Nicolas is fucking plastered. And mad – for no reason actually. He’s lucky, Nicolas doesn’t know he didn’t walk home – alone. If he’d do, he’d be more pissed.

Clever Sam, avoids to let himself getting dragged into a needless discussion about the perfect consistence of noodles. But, something’s boiling in his guts. Something, that’s been building up for quite a while now.

Something, that won’t allow him to let Nicolas treat him like scum any longer.

Because, Sam’s temper is limited too. He can’t always be forgiving and nice and understanding. He just can’t.

So, when Nicolas is throwing the bowl with spaghetti at him, Sam has enough. For once, he’s charging Nicolas and is throwing the first punch.

He needs to gets in the first hit. It’s going to buy him leverage – time even.

Sam’s surprised about himself. He’s got a pretty nice left hook, which sends Nicolas off-balance.

“You know what? – I’ve enough. I’m done letting you beat me up; I’m done with your dictatorship and you hurting me. I’m done. Just done. – Fuck you, Nick! I’m gonna fuckin’ leave!”

He doesn’t hit Nicolas again, since he’s already feeling sorry for the first time around.

A mistake, Sam’s not going to make twice.

As fast as his temper hits its height, as fast it drains from him; deflates, and leaves him drained as the rush of adrenaline subsides.

Sam turns on his heels and makes a dash for the closet in their bedroom. He doesn’t own a lot of things, but what little belongings he owns, he will take with him. And that money he has saved in case he needs to get away.

Maybe, he should’ve waited until tomorrow; should’ve stayed at home and take the chance to vanish without Nicolas even knowing until he comes home from the diner. But Sam’s afraid, that he’ll change his mind as soon as everything has calmed down.

He’d talk himself into forgiving Nicolas. His mind is going to come up with excuses and that he has to understand Nicolas’s actions.

Sam tears the closet’s contents apart; pulls a shabby, huge leather-bag from it and starts to stuff clothes into it – starting off with underwear and socks.

“What the fuck are you doing?!”, Nicolas growls from the doorway, “You think you can leave? Just like that? You think I’ll let you get away after hitting me? After offending me?!”

Sam sucks in a deep breath and stills, with a shirt in his hand and the other one in the bag. He knows, he has hurt his boyfriend’s ego.

“I’m leaving.”, he answers and pushes the shirt into the bag; then turns to head back to the closet. “I can’t do this anymore.”

He can hear Nicolas approach him from behind.

“You’re NOT. You can’t, Sam.” His voice turns hesitant; pleading even. The added “Please” sounds so desperate. It nearly makes Sam overthink his decision.

Sam turns around to face Nicolas; look him in the eyes. “You can’t stop me.”

“You’ve no money. No place to go. Where are you gonna sleep?” He still is desperate, but there’s something threatful bleeding into his voice.

Sam bites his tongue. Nicolas’s not supposed to know about the roll of money at the very bottom of his bag.

“Everywhere’s better than here. With you.” Sam knows that the last words must hurt badly, but can’t hinder himself from spilling them.

Nicolas deserves to know what a shitty boyfriend he is, and that Sam would rather sleep under a bridge than under the same roof with him.

That triggers something in Nicolas. His expression turns grim. Desperation gives way to wrath. “You’re gonna stay.”, it’s an order – unmistakably.

Sam zips the bag up and gives his soon to be ex a determined look. “I won’t.” He grabs the bag; throws it over his shoulder and attempts to move past Nicolas.

Nicolas puts a hand on his chest; strong and solid; evidence of authority. A trait, which also mirrors in his eyes.

“Let me.” Sam tries real hard to not let hesitation and fear show in his voice. “Let me pass.”

Nicolas shakes his head and his lips form into an angry snarl. “Let’s talk this out.”

“I’m done talking. – Get out of the way.”

He shakes his head. “I won’t.”

Tension is evident in the house. It’s holding it in a vice grip.

“Nicolas. Please. – Don’t make me do something I’d rather not.” Sam’s so tired. He doesn’t want to fight; either physically nor verbally. But he will if he has to.

Sam just wants to go and never come back. He wants to sleep – for once – without having to be afraid of what to wake to the next morning.

“What? What do you think you could possibly do? Punch me again?”

Sam bites his lip, hard; his grasp on the bag’s slings tightens. He doesn’t want to get physical, but if he has to, he damn well will. He just looks at Nicolas. Looks him deep in the eyes.

It’s not as easy as it seems. He – at least – kind of still loves him. Or it is as Benny had said, that he feels obliged … Right now, Sam’s not sure, and he doesn’t want to think about it either.

“If I have to, I will.” Sam takes a step to the other side to slip past Nicolas, who gets back into his way again, blocking his exit.

“You won’t.”

Nicolas reaches for the bag – probably to take it from Sam, but Sam takes a step back and turns to the side. “I’m not gonna stay. – And you can’t make me. If I have to, I’ll call the police.”

Nicolas chuckles comically. “You mean Fred? Or Louis? – My drinking buddies?”

Sam swallows. Yeah, small town. Nicely, Nicolas reminds him of the little fact, that he’s practically besties with the police around here. They will turn up on their doorstep, will come inside and Sam will be able to get out of there. But thing is, Nicolas’s a manipulator – something, barely someone notices about him. He’s going to talk the cops into ‘having an eye on him’, since he’s worried sick, and is going to come up with some story they’re gonna buy.

Everyone – except for a few people – are eating from the palm of his hand.

A few, like Benny and his wife.

Sam ponders for a moment, to call him; ask Benny for help. But then again, if he gets Benny involved, he might as well is going to lose his job at the diner. And Sam knows, Benny can’t afford that.

Nor can’t the man afford to get his reputation in town ruined. Sam’s sure, Nicolas’s going to ruin it, if he’d step in – get between the both of them.

“You’re an asshole.”, Sam tells him nonchalantly.

“Don’t take that tone with me.” It’s a fair warning; one, Sam won’t get again.

“I’m takin’ whatever tone I want. – ‘cause, this’s over. We’re done here.”

It doesn’t take more for Nicolas. It’s the drop of water into boiling-hot oil.

Nicolas lungs out.

Sam dodges the punch swiftly and swings his fist at Nicolas. Though, he’s not fast enough; moment of surprise long gone, since Nicolas’s counting on him to fight back this time around.

It’s quite a struggle. A mess of arms and legs entangled and twisted in awkward angles.

Sam’s practically a civilian; not trained in the ways Nicolas is, and certainly not as fast. That little of self-defense-classes he had, ain’t enough. It just has to go all wrong …

Sam’s paying a hurtful lesson. Not only, because Nicolas is going to beat the living shit out of him. He’s going to show him his place – thoroughly.

 

*****

 

Like every day, Dean heads out later that day. After sleeping plenty, watching porn and jerking off to mentioned porn (while thinking about Sam) and taking off the edge (multiple times).

Weirdly, it has become a pleasant routine.

His highest propriety still is to get his hands on Elkin’s Colt. But, Sam’s some sort of priority too now. – The guy is becoming more like an obsession.

Dean doesn’t like that. Because, he needs to have him.

As much as he needs to have the Colt.

He can’t even tell why he needs the man that bad. Why he’s craving his presence. More than anyone or anything else he’s ever wanted to possess.

Dean’s not even sure, if he’ll be done with Sam after fucking him senseless. Maybe, he should stick around longer. He’s sure, he’ll be satisfied and over the guy, when he once had him in all the ways he imagines it.

Still – momentarily, it doesn’t look as if Sam’s going to give into his attempts of seduction anytime soon.

Dean just has to keep trying. He’s going to succeed. He always does.

 

*****

 

So, as soon as Dean enters the diner, and notices the lack of Sam, his mood turns sour as hell. He’s instantly pissed and is barely holding back the growl rumbling in his chest. Specially, when he finds his booth occupied by two teenage-boys.

There’s only Benny behind the counter, and an obviously stressed cook in the kitchen - if his cursing and yelling is anything to go by.

Benny – of course – looks a little stressed, when he comes up to Dean’s table to take his order. The man looks like usual; acts like usual. But Dean wouldn’t be Dean, if he couldn’t tell that something’s off though.

It takes Dean a moment to realize, what the thing is, that’s off about the expression in Benjamin’s eyes.

There’s only one way to find out if it’s Sam’s absence that’s bothering the guy ...

“The usual.”, Dean tells him before he can ask. “Where’s Sam?”

Benny gazes at him. The careful friendliness cracks at the mentioning of Sam’s name and worry leaks through and fills his blue eyes.

Sick. Won’t come to work for a couple of days.” He sounds strange – as if he’s not even trying to hide that he’s doubting that Sam’s ‘sick’. He’s emphasizing it in a way, Dean doesn’t like at all.

Sick?”, Dean asks; not giving away that he’s intrigued by the way Benny emphasizes his words. “What a shame.”

Now, Benny pulls a grimace. “Look.” He puts both of his meaty hands flat on the table – with a little more force than necessary. “He really doesn’t need another dick in his life, pal. – He’s got his hands full with the one in the kitchen.” Benny nods his head towards the back, fixing Dean with a warning glare.

Dean doesn’t even flinch. “You don’t think he’s sick?”

Benny’s eyes narrow. “None of your business, understood? You, trying to charm your way into his pants only makes things worse.”

“Who says, that that’s what I’m doin’?”

“Tell me, you don’t.” He addresses him with an expectant look.

“Why would you even care?”

“’cause he’s my friend, and he’s already got enough on his plate as it is. Sam doesn’t need a guy, who’s promising him roses and, instead, throws him into a thorn-bush.”

“Roses have thorns.” Dean points out.

Benny growls at him, his fingers flex against the tabletop. His lips twitch.

Dean clears his throat, sighs and leans back a little. He eyes Benny for a long minute. Then, he nods. He reminds himself to not fuck this up.

He still has to get the Colt, and therefore, he needs to be able to come back here. Dean can’t just tear into the man’s body and gut him, because he’s growling at him; and threatening him; AND telling him what to do.

Dean decides to ignore all of that. “When’s Sam gonna be back?”

Benny’s lips form into a snarl. Anger mingles with the concern in his eyes. “Didn’t you hear what I was sayin’? Keep your fuckin’ hands off of him. – Stay away from Sam.”

“Look. Man. I don’t know what you think.” He looks up at him, with open, wide eyes, laying all his I’m-a-trusty-buddy-expression into them. “But I’m not trying to hurt him.” He pauses. “It’s quite the opposite.” Yeah, Dean wants to make Sam feel fucking amazing – and he damn well will.

“So, you tellin’ me, that you’ve fallen for him? You wanna be his fuckin’ knight in shiny armor?”

Dean swallows. Nope. That’s not what he wants. “Yes.”

Benny nearly seems to buy his shit-talk. But only nearly.  

“Sam won’t leave Nicolas. – He won’t betray him. You should move on. Get as much miles between this town and your ass, before my boss gets a whiff of what you’re tryin’ with Sam.” Benny gives him a meaningful look. “He’s got friends in town, and he knows what buttons to push to get them to do what he wants them to do.”

Is this a fucking threat? “What is he? – Some small-town mob-boss?”

Benny chuckles bitterly. “Nothing like that. – Just a very manipulative person you’d rather not want to get involved with.”

‘That why you’re keeping your feet still, while your boss is fuckin’ your friend up on a regular basis?’, Dean wants to ask, but doesn’t – even though, it takes him a lot to not bash the guy’s head in right here and now; break his nose on the tabletop and ram it right up into his skull.

“Ah.” Dean pulls a grimace. “Guess I’ll decide myself who I’mma gonna get involved with or not.” He puts on a calculating smile. “But thanks for the warning.”

Someone calls for Benny. “There in a moment!”

“Guess I’ll only stick with fries and a milkshake today.”

 

*****

 

Nicolas lurks through the pass-through more often, when he notices the role-model enter his diner. The guy stalks into his territory as if he’s owning this place.

Nicolas’s lips curl downwards, as he keeps watching the man for mere minutes despite the hive of activity around him.

This is the guy hitting on what’s his. The guy, who attempts to alienate Sam.

Unlucky guy, really.

Sam knows who he belongs to - mostly. Sam’s not going to fucking leave him, because of some obscure man crossing their paths.

At least, Nicolas will make sure of it.

When he’s done with Sam; when he’s showed him thoroughly, that there’s no one else but Nicolas for him on this planet, Sam won’t even look at any other man beside him anymore. Then, when Sam finally understands, that it is only Nicolas who he really needs; whose approval and attention Sam should be craving, everything will be okay again.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 7 ~ The Pie

 

If there’s one thing Dean doesn’t like – besides witches – it’s when someone gets in his way. When someone takes away something he craves; something he wants to own.

Dean is not good with dealing well when it comes to this kind of things. Never has.

 

*****

 

The upcoming three days, Sam’s still ‘sick’.

Dean catches a glimpse from a bruise adorning Nicolas’s jaw. He also kinda ‘stalks’ the man, since he’s got nothing better to do – and because that guy simply pisses him off.

Every move the guy makes; the attitude he’s evincing; the way he pulls his wallet from the back-pocket of his jeans. How he spins the ring on his left ring-finger with his thumb, when he’s talking to one of the costumers.

Hell, even the guy’s fucking smile sends chills of hot anger up and down his spine. Not to mention his voice

How bad Dean wants to bash the guy’s face in. Break his nose. Crack some ribs. Simply, because he’s a pain in his ass – and probably in Sam’s too (literally).

Nicolas heads out early in the mornings and returns home late. Yesterday he attended some sort of meeting two towns over. He seemed rather drunk that night.

There are no signs that anyone is home. There are no lights on; no music; no TV. Nothing, that would let on, that someone else but Nicolas is living in that house.

Elkins is supposed to turn up at the diner tomorrow night too.

Dean’s a little torn.

And he’s pissed.

He has put so much effort into coming closer to Sam and finally, something had started to form between them, which would allow him to claim him as his trophy. Now, though, he won’t get to have that, since his trophy ain’t around and therefore weren’t exposed to his charming smugness and adorably sexy looks. Of which, by the way, he’s certain would’ve worked their magic soon.

That’s what Dean keeps telling himself.

But, in fact, a tiny fragment of his evil, dark soul, experiences emotions he hasn’t had in decades – centuries even. And that has got nothing to do with primal needs. It goes deeper than he’d ever admit and it certainly raises feelings he would deny of owning if someone would ask him.

Concern. About a situation or person.
Longing. Which isn’t linked to basic needs like food or sex.
Warmth. That fuzzy kind, good memories or a loved person cause.

Dean’s already forging a new schedule on how things are supposed to go down from here on, since he’s not planning on sticking around longer than necessary. After all, it doesn’t look like he’ll get to have Sam. And he starts to feel in an eerie way about Sam’s absence at the diner and everything that’s connected to that human.

Besides, he’s so not interested in experiencing any positive emotions – except sexual ones. It – somehow – is disturbing his gravitation. And who, if not Nicolas, is the best available valve to blow off some steam? After all, it’s the guy’s fault, that he’s not going to be able and claim his trophy after his win.

Nicolas is practically denying him his last wish.

He’ll wait for Elkins to show up at the diner, will follow him to his cabin and then, he’ll give that Nicolas-Guy a nice goodbye before heading back out to snatch the Colt from the hunter.

Easy as that.

 

*****

 

This evening – after his visit in the diner – he hangs out in the Impala, which is parked at the opposite side of the road at the back of the diner where their cars are parked, and – yet again – waits for Nicolas-Dick and Big-Sturdy to close up and go their ways.

This time around, though, it looks as if there’s some sort of drama going down between the both of them.

Dean can’t hear and see shit in the dark, from that distance, but he can make out wild gestures in the dim light of the lanterns.

He reaches over towards the passenger’s side and takes the half-empty bottle of Jim Beam; unscrews it and takes a long swallow.

Nicolas and Benjamin eventually go separate ways after what seems like a round of yelling at each other. While Benny keeps standing there, beside his car, Nicolas-Dick climbs into his vehicle and takes off with squealing tires.

Definitely pissed.

Dean huffs and is about to turn the key in the ignition, to start his Baby and follow Nicolas, when Benny takes off with determined strides – into his direction.

So, Dean waits and his eyes narrow.

Yep. Big-Sturdy is definitely aiming for him and the Impala. So, he cranks the window down and waits for the man’s approach.

When Benny reaches him, he leans down to gaze inside the Impala and at his driver.

Dean gazes back at him. He can’t tell why, but he’s tense all of a sudden.

“If you really wanna do something useful – instead of hanging around in the diner, up front or back out here – you should pay Sam a visit. If it’s like you said, that it’s not what I think you’re trying, you knock on his door and check on him. Make sure, he’s really sick and that he’s fine.”

Dean keeps staring. Wow, he didn’t expect that. If anything, he would’ve thought, the guy would try to mess him up a little, so he’d stay away from the diner.

“Why wouldn’t you?”

Benny’s lips form a thin line. “I’ve a wife. Two daughters. – I can’t do shit without Nicolas’s friends getting the torches and pitchforks and make our lives hell. – I may can afford to lose the job, but I can’t let him ruin our lives here.”

Humans and their social bonds. They’re ridiculous.

“Yeah, guess, maybe I’ll do that.” Not that he hadn’t planned that already. Well, not to check on Sam per say; not to make sure the guy who makes him feel all hot and bothered is okay either. More like, beating the living shit out of Nick-Dick.

“Good. – And do it soon.” Benny pats the top of the car and straightens back up. “Wouldn’t hurt if you’d beat the shit outta my boss when you’re at it.”

Dean’s skin bristles in anticipation. Yeah, beating the shit out of someone with his own hands – he’s not done that in a while. And the fact, that – for once – he’s got someone’s approval and that it most likely is going to be a guy who actually deserves to get his ass roughed up – makes him feel … good?

Dean shakes himself;  disgusted by the thought.

What earns him a curious glance from Benjamin, who’s still leaning against the Impala. “So, you’re in?”

In what? Did Big-Sturdy tell him something else and he missed it, or does he want to make sure, that Dean’s going to take care of the Nick-Dick-Issue? “We’ll see. – Not before tomorrow though.” And with that, Dean fires up Baby’s engine. “Got some business that needs to be taken care of.”

Benny seems to get that Dean’s only been waiting for Elkins to show up and that he’s never intended to stick around, and that he’s been damn right about Dean and his intentions about Sam.

He fumbles in his Parka for something and then pulls out a napkin. He holds it towards Dean. “My number. – Call me if something’s wrong with Sam … and in case …” He sighs.

Dean snatches the napkin and pulls a grimace. He’s definitely no knight in shining armor, intending to take care of anyone else’s problems beside his own. He discharges it beside the bottle of Whiskey. And since he won’t get to have sex with Sam, he doesn’t see a reason for him to even care what has happened to the guy, or what is going to happen to him.

It’s not as if Dean Winchester is attempting to ascent from the dark side.

After all, he is what he is.

A demon. A hellish creature.

 

*****

 

Nicolas’s furious – again.

The guy, who Sam has mentioned during their last ‘session’ had been at the diner again. He’s been asking Benny about Sam (Not that he’s spying on anyone. Him, to overhear Benny telling the stranger that Sam’s sick, has been a circumstance.). Had been hanging out way too long too; ordering a meal and snacks; always gazing towards the hatch whenever Nicolas had been shooting drilling glares into his direction.

He is handsome, Nicolas has to admit. The stranger is a pretty easy-on-the-eyes type of guy. Younger than him too. Strong and agile and self-conscious about himself and the effect he has on others.

This guy is a thorn in his side.

A threat.

Nicolas has to make sure, that Sam knows his place well, when he will let him off his leash.

So, when he comes home, he’s furious and angry at the world, but mostly at Sam, since he must’ve done something to make the stranger come to the diner each day. He must’ve done something to make the stranger ask for him.

Nicolas locks the door behind him, puts his bag on the kitchen-table and unfastens his belt. While he walks towards the bathroom, he flips switches to enlighten the rooms he’s passing through, and pulls the belt – slowly – from the loop-holes.

When he stops in front of the bathroom’s door, he folds his belt in the middle. For a moment, he stands there and looks at the belt in his hand; the buckle digging into his palm.

Nicolas’s nostrils flare and he changes its position, so he’s holding the belt where it’s folded in half. The buckle makes a clinking sound, when it nudges against the door’s frame.

Nicolas can’t discipline the stranger, but he damn well can train Sam.

 

*****

 

Dean isn’t brooding.

He’s not sulking.

So definitely not.

It’s just, that this motel sucks. This town sucks. The people here suck. Well, maybe not all of them, but the majority though.

And, he’s still pissed, and close to throwing a tantrum. He’s restless and agitated and so fucked up right now …

What is mending the turmoil of battling emotions is the fact, that it will all be over soon. After getting the Colt, there’s only one more job to accomplish, before his restless black soul is allowed to find peace.

Okay, there are two jobs.

First, Nicolas.

Then, Alistair.

But then … then there’ll be blissful nothingness and eternal sleep. Once, he’s put that bullet into his head, he’s going to be free of this annoying existence.

 

*****

 

Despite, that the diner is well visited this evening, the booth at the very back – Dean’s regular seat – is empty.

Again, there’s only Benny out front and there are noises coming from the kitchen, which tell him, that Nicolas is there as usual.

Benny doesn’t come around to take Dean’s order this time. Instead, he comes right up with a double-cheese-burger, extra bacon and a side of fries, along with coke and coffee. As a topping, he’s giving Dean an expectant look.

Benny’s not asking, if he’s remembering their talk from last night; neither if they have a deal or not. He’s obviously expecting – though Dean hadn’t agreed on anything – that Dean’s going to pay Nicolas and Sam a visit. And he’s – if Dean is reading him right – expecting him to do that today.

Dean’s not amused. He doesn’t like to get pressured. Though, he gives him a single nod and a look that’s supposed to let Benny know, that he’ll do what is expected of him.

Dean probably has to reschedule his plans for tonight a little bit - again.

Not a bad thing to do, considering, that he wants to take his sweet time with Nicolas, and afterwards with Elkins.

 

*****

 

As foreshadowed by Big-Sturdy, Elkins shows up.

The man sure is in his sixties and he’s limping; favoring his left leg. He’s wearing a dark parka and heavy boots. Snow-flakes; caught in his short grey hair, instantly start to melt away under the warmth inside the diner.

Dean watches the reflection of the man in the window.

Elkins looks stiff, when he plants his butt on one of the stools at the counter and pulls off his thick gloves, which he stuffs into one of the several pockets of his parka. He brushes with his hand over his hair and wipes his palm on his jeans.

Dean snatches a glimpse of a knife’s hilt and a speck of a holster fastened around the man’s middle, when he unzips the parka and shrugs it off.

Benny pours the man coffee into a mug.

Dean gives the man another several minutes to acclimate, before he slides out of the booth and walks over to the man. He claims the unoccupied stool beside him.

Elkins? Daniel?”, Dean asks in a casual – innocent – way, as if he’s not quite sure the man’s the man he’s looking for.

Elkins turns on his seat and gives Dean a quick visual once-over. He’s a sceptic, Dean can tell. He’s assessing him with a leveled amount of curiosity, but mostly, he seems suspicious.

“Depends on who’s askin’, boy.”

Dean chuckles sheepishly and puts on a shy smile. “Dean. Dean Winchester.” He extends his hand.

Elkins doesn’t take it.

“It took me a while to track you down, Sir.”, he starts to explain; deliberately addressing the man with ‘Sir’, as he knows guys like Elkins like if there’s shown respect. “I am not sure if you are the Daniel Elkins I am looking for, you know? I mean … My dad has left a letter and a package for a guy named Daniel Elkins and there’s been an address written on it, but I couldn’t find anyone under that name there … so I started to research and-“

He’s cut short, when Elkins rises his hand to stop him and gives him a cut-to-the-point-look. “Your Dad?”

Dean nods; shifts anxiously on the stool and chuckles again, a little embarrassed, with a side of excitement. He nods again.

John Winchester, Sir.”

Elkins frowns. “You got the wrong guy.” Then he nips on his hot coffee. “I don’t know anyone by that name.”

Dean’s face falls; disappointment covers his features; hiding his true face and emotions from the man.

“Oh …” He swallows and casts his look down; he let his shoulders slump, as if a sudden heavy weight is bearing down on them. “I’m sorry …”, he murmurs. Then he looks up, locks his eyes with Elkins’ and straightens up; acting as if he’s found a thought giving him new hope.

“It must’ve been years. – Decades. – Maybe you just can’t remember him. I mean … He left me a stack of letters and the package, which I was supposed to bring to the post office and send them on their merry way. Only yours came back ….”

Elkins chews on the insides of his cheeks. Dean’s attitude seems to nag its way through Elkins’ iron barrier of defiance.

“I mean …” Dean sighs heavily, his face falls again. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bother you … I’ll just … I guess I’ve to keep looking …” And with that, he attempts to slide from the stool, but is stopped by a hand on his shoulder.

“Let’s have a talk, boy. – Tell me something ‘bout your dad.”, Elkins offers; his face softens a little. His defensive behavior cracks.

Dean nods; smiles a little. “Yeah.” Despite the made-up story he has in store about John, matching some points of Elkins’ history, where they could have met – he can’t possibly remember shit.

Elkins and John Winchester have never met.

So, they talk.

Elkins swallows the bait, thrown towards him. He asks about the package; and what’s inside. Dean tells him, he doesn’t know, since he never thought about opening it up – it’s not his.

Elkins tries to find similarities between his life and John’s. Only Dean knows, that it’s to no avail.

They move to the booth Dean has been occupying.

Things become less tense. They tell each other stories.

Elkins’ barriers crumble to dust under Dean’s charms, when they start to spike their drinks with Whiskey from the elder man’s flask – which Dean assumes must be spiked with holy water.

At least the slight burn let Dean figure as much.

He’s not a common demon, so, holy water does shit. Neither does silver, or the ex-hunter murmuring a passage from an exorcism. Or anything else that’s supposed to reveal a supernatural presence.

He’s too old; too powerful.

Not even an exorcism would work on him – expect for pissing him off, since it would cause utter discomfort. It’d take something very special to send him back to hell.

 

*****

 

So, they sit, tell each other stories, joke even.

At some point – while Elkins is taking a leak - Dean gets the chance to slip a tracker into the pocket of Elkins Parka, which he has abandoned on the bench and left behind – out of carelessness.

 

*****

 

The diner empties, until it’s only Dean and Elkins as the only costumers left.

Nicolas comes up to their table; rag hanging from his shoulder and two plates with each a slice of pie on it. “Last round, pals.”, he tells them and places the bill on the table, and addresses Dean in particular when he talks.

Elkins smacks his lips. “Gotta get goin’ anyway.”

Dean nods. “Yeah, me too.”

Nicolas keeps standing there for another moment, waiting. “So, last round. – What can I get you guys? It’s on the house …”

Elkins shakes his head. “Nah, thanks, Nicolas. – Gotta head back.”

“You?”, he eyes Dean, giving him a you-better-do-so-as-well-look.

“Sure. – Have to pack my things anyway.” Humans are so easy. He can read Nick-Dick like an open book. The guy knows – or at least – is aware of his approaches on Sam. Dean bets, the guy is fuming on the inside and his friendly smile is only a well-built façade to cover what he really thinks.

Nicolas seems satisfied with their answers. “So, I assume, you’re leavin’ town?”

Dean nods. “Tomorrow mornin’.”

An answer, which seems to please Nicolas even more. “Hope you enjoyed your stay – and our food. You’re the double-cheese-burger guy with extra bacon …”

Dean is a little surprised. He chuckles – but only for the sake of it. Obviously, Nicolas has been having an eye on him too, just like he had one on Nicolas.

Elkins excuses himself. “It’s been a pleasure to meet you, Dean.” He extends his hand. “I’m sorry I’ve not been the guy you’re looking for.”

Dean takes it and gives it a strong squeeze. “Me too. Guess I’ve to keep looking.”

Elkins puts on his Parka and zips it up. He nods his good-bye at Nicolas.

Nicolas nods back. “See you next month. And. Watch out for the boars.”

Elkins snorts and waves at him. “G’night.”

Dean makes no attempt to get going though. Instead, he keeps staring at Nicolas.

Nicolas’s friendly smile fades as soon as the jingle of the bell is heard, and Elkins has left the diner. His eyes narrow and the mask falls from his face.

Who is now staring down at Dean is not a friendly cook; nor a business-man. Who Nicolas is now, is a stone-cold guy, who has seen too much; lived through too much, and is certainly not going to let Dean get away that easy.

“Watch your six on your way out of town. I don’t appreciate strangers rolling through, who think they can have what’s already taken.”, he tells Dean coldly. “And I’d strongly recommend: You don’t come back here.”

Dean doesn’t like when someone’s threatening him. It makes his blood boil and his black soul revolt.

He – other than Nicolas – manages to keep his facial expression free from negative emotions. Though, his smile stays, it turns – somehow – cold and measured.

“Sure thing.” Little does little Nicky know, that they won’t be seeing each other for the last time.

Not only does the guy take away his trophy, he also dares to threaten him, Dean Winchester, a Demon. “May I can get the pies wrapped up?”

“Sure thing, buddy.” Nicolas grins down at him. “I’ll go get you something.”

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 8 ~ The Predator

 

Don’t threaten a Winchester.

Don’t take away his price for a nicely accomplished job.

Don’t treat him like an idiot.

Don’t call him ‘Buddy’.

 

*****

 

Dean waits in the Impala until Nicolas and Benny leave the diner through the back; then waits some more and eventually follows the usual route to Nicolas' house.  

It’s a calm neighborhood; barely people on the streets after nightfall. The house to the right of Nicolas’s inhabits an elderly, half-deaf woman, and the one to the other side, is harboring some guy in his mid-forties, who is working at the local cinema until late at night.

The only neighbors Dean has to be worried about are the ones across the street. It’s a couple with two little children. The only ones who’d probably call the police if it would get too loud.

Yep, he’s done his research.

Usually, Dean wouldn’t bother, but in this case he has to, since he still got business to do around town. He can’t have the police tail him, in case someone notices that something is going on in Nicolas’s house (before he’s done) and therefore will call them for help.

Dean parks his precious Baby around the corner – just in case if he gets carried away and things get out of hand.

He doesn’t intend to sneak into the house like some first-grader or a burglar. Dean is a damn professional. That’s why he comes up front only thirty minutes after Nicolas has gone inside, and knocks on the door like some regular person stopping by to pay a friend an unexpected late-night visit. (Or so.)

So, yeah, he rings.

Twice.

Then waits.

He knocks, after an acceptable amount of waiting for someone to come and answer the door.

Eventually, the lights get turned on, so does the one on the wall to his right. Footfalls are heard from the other side of the door, and eventually, he hears the muffled rattling of keys and a lock slide open.

The game’s on.

Dean’s done playing nice, so he doesn’t bother to put on his casual charm – which wouldn’t work on Nicolas anyway.

As much had the man made clear earlier.

The door opens. When Nicolas gazes outside, he cocks an eyebrow and swings the door open wide.

“What the hell are you doin’ here? Have you been followin’ me?” Nicolas squares his shoulders and pushes his chest out.

Dean shrugs; unimpressed. “Thought I’d stop by, pay Sammy a visit. Tell him goodbye.”, he answers swiftly. The words barely have left his mouth, when he’s stepping right into Nicolas’s private space and is shoving him inside.

Obviously taken aback by the stranger getting physical without forewarning, Nicolas stumbles for a moment.

The front door slams shut, as soon as Dean is inside.

Dean doesn’t let Nick-Dick catch his breath, nor does he give him time to think, when he shoves him further down the hall.

“What the hell!” Nicolas’s heel catches on the rag and he staggers, but regains his balance once more. “Get the fuck out of my house!”, he snarls; charging Dean.

Nicolas doesn’t get far. He's barely at arm’s reach, when Dean swings his fist at him, beforehecanget too close. His knuckles connect with Nick's nose. The sickening sound of breaking bones cuts through the air.

Dean sucker-punches him; hits him once more square in the face, before he distances himself and goet a good look at the caused damage.

Instantly, blood starts to gush from Nicolas'  nostrils and he clutches his nose with both hands.

Dean sighs dramatically and shakes his hand out.

The hall is a cramped place with way too less space to work, so, Dean doesn’t hesitate for a second, when he decides to take this to the next room, which looks as if it’s a living-room and kitchen. He grabs Nicolas’s shirt by the collar and drags him there with determined strides.

When they reach the middle of the room, Dean let go of his shirt and uses his powers to keep Nicolas on his knees.

“First. – No one threatens me. Specially not some human scumbag like you.” Dean waits for Nicolas to blink away tears from his watering eyes and until he looks up at him. Once, he’s sure the guy can see him well enough, his eyes flash black for mere seconds.

Nicolas’s gasped exhale is proof that he’s seen it. “What the fuckin’ hell.”, he breathes and sits back on his haunches.

Dean shoots him a vicious smirk. “Oh, boy. Hell got nothing on me.” Dean saunters over to the small kitchenette and starts to go through the drawers. “Nice house you’ve got here.”

He clicks his tongue and purses his lips. His eyebrows lift and then his eyes narrow at something in the drawer he’s currently going through.

“Not sure how you can even afford such a nice place … and the diner … Man … you haven’t even got any bank debits. No hypothecs. No home loans. – At least not that I’d know of …” Dean gazes up and draws the long slender knife from the drawer; then lifts it to show Nicolas what he’s found. “You don’t seem to owe anyone money either …”

“None of your business.”, Nicolas hisses; breathing heavily through his mouth. He lowers his bloody hands.

“First, you know, I’ve thought, I’d gut you; let you eat your own intestines …” Dean saunters back towards Nicolas.

“What do you want? Money? What?”

“Honestly?” He grins amused. “I wanted Sam. – Dude, I’ve been so close. You know? Sooner or later he wouldn’t have been able to resist my charm. – But then …” Dean sighs and makes an act of playing with the knife between his fingers, “… then you messed him up. – You’ve beat him. And you know, what I like even less than when someone’s threatening me?” Dean gives him time to think; not really expecting an answer.

“What I like less than that, is, when someone damages the purchase, dude. You don’t damage the purchase. You just don’t. How am I supposed to fuck him thoroughly when he’s all messed up?” Dean makes a disgusted sound, shakes his head and rounds Nicolas once, who focuses on him like a hawk its prey. “Right. I won’t get to fuck him. – Point is. You fucked my plans up.”

Nicolas snorts – or at least tries to. “Sam knows who he belongs to. He’d never touch someone else but me.”

Dean gives him a weird look, then points at himself. “You kidding, right? Look at me. I’m sex on a stick. Everyone falls for me sooner or later.”

“You’re way over your head, freak.”

Dean stops dead in his track and frowns at Nicolas. “Did you just call me a freak?” Within an eye-beat, his eyes flash obsidian – and stay that way. “’cause of those?”

Nicolas’s lips twitch.

To Dean’s surprise, he doesn’t seem too scared, as if he’s seen someone like him already. “Oh.” Realization hits him. “You made a freaking deal, didn’t you?” He points the knife at Nicolas and continues to circle him.

Nicolas blinks. “You can’t kill me.”

Dean chuckles. A little pissed. A little amused. “Sure I can kill you.”

“No, you can’t. I’ve seven years left.”

That makes him snort a laugh. “Dude. – My business has got nothing to do with your business. I kill whoever whenever I want.” Deal or no deal. It doesn’t matter.

“You’re gonna piss your boss off.”

Dean stifles a laugh. “I don’t have a boss, douchebag.”

That makes Nicolas’s attitude falter – obviously. His eyes widen slightly.

“Though … Now that I’m thinking about it … I won’t kill you.” He puckers his lips. “I’ll let the hounds rip you to shreds and drag your soul to hell.” He shrugs. “That’s way better than killing you. You knowing when your time’s going to be up; hallucinating and going crazy days before your deal comes due.” Yep, that thought is quite satisfying. Dean always loved to watch a collection going down.

“Doesn’t mean, I’m not gonna mess you up. – You’ve offended me. You’ve called me ‘Buddy’.” He huffs. “You’ve taken my price away.” He wiggles his head. “Well, you couldn’t know that Sam’s supposed to be my price, but still. It pisses me off.”

Dean rounds Nicolas once more; a thought, the spark of an idea, blooming at the back of his mind. Only, he’s not sure if it’s a good one.

“Speaking of. – I’ve told someone that I’ll check on Precious. I s’pose he’s still in the house somewhere? Basement maybe?”, he asks, searching Nicolas’s face and posture for signs of him being right with his assumptions.

Nicolas stays perfectly still, except for the brief flicker in his eyes, which fix him with a deadly glare.

“So, in the house, but not the basement.” Dean licks his lower lip and tips with the pointy blade against his cheek. He hums softly. “Do I really need to carve you up?”

“You said you’re not gonna kill me.”

“I won’t. – But, you know, I know how to inflict pain without killing.”, he points out. One swift move forward and a fast motion and a flick with his wrist, and before Nicolas can realize what’s happening, the sleeve of his shirt is cut and saturates with blood.

He hisses through gritted teeth and grunts. “Fuck you.”

Nicolas’s not afraid of him – not really.

“Do you want me to search the house?” Dean’s a little annoyed now. He had thought, Nicolas would freak out as soon as he’d see his eyes. That he’d spill his guts, plead to not get hurt.

No such luck.

Nicolas only shrugs; not bothered by the threat swinging in his voice.

Dean’s eyes narrow. “Did you … kill him?” Because, that would – for what reasons ever – piss Dean off even more. It makes something tear at his very soul if Sam’d be gone. The very thought makes his blood boil.

He urges the up-bubbling emotions (which you could damn well call flashes of hurt) back into the depths of his mind.

Nicolas’s nostrils flare and there’s a tiny twitch of his eyebrow.

So no. He didn’t kill Sam. He wouldn’t. He’d be alone if he’d kill him.

Obviously, the guy is no one to get spooked easily. But, he damn well is afraid of something. He’s afraid of being aloneDying alone …

“Fuck this.”, Dean snarls impatiently and rolls his shoulders. Physical pain is going to do shit to the guy. What’s going to hurt Nicolas-Dick though, is taking away that human play-thing, he is so badly depending on.

“I’m just going to take away what you own. What you love.”

Dean lands a well-measured punch to the guy’s temple, which sends him straight into unconsciousness.

He tugs the blade into his belt and nudges the unconscious form with the tip of his boots – just to make sure.

Nicolas doesn’t move.

It’s not fun, when they aren’t awake, but Dean kicks the guy anyway and makes sure to get the right angle and break at least a couple of ribs.

He grunts satisfied.

Usually, Dean has a plan, and he sticks to that plan – no matter what. Of course, he also is flexible when it comes to altering said plans if necessary (What happens more often than not).

This – actually – shouldn’t be one of those cases. Specially, since he’s changing it within a matter of seconds, and without really thinking it through.

He really shouldn’t do this.

He does it anyway.

He’s not only a master of physical torture. He also knows how to inflict psychological pain, which – by the way – sometimes is the more joyful way to make humans suffer.

And in this case – Dean’s sure – it’s a more satisfying way to let the guy wallow in mental agony, even though he won’t be around to watch.

Dean’s not sure what to do with Sam though. As much as he likes to torture and kill, and inflict negative sensations to humans’ souls, it doesn’t feel right to do such a thing to him.

So, maybe, he’ll just get Sam, put him in the trunk of his car, and will think about what to do with him after he’s gotten the Colt and has put plenty of miles between Manning and them.

He just needs to make sure, that Nicolas’s not going to see his soon to be ex-boyfriend ever again. What would be a lot easier, if Sam would decide to not go back to him, if Dean would drop him off a couple of towns over at a bus station.

Since he can’t be sure about Sam not doing such a stupid thing, and ruining his attempted torture in the process, Dean might have to come up with something else.

First things first.

He’ll cross that bridge when he gets there.

New plan:

Get Sam and store him in the trunk.

Drag Nicolas into the backyard.

Set the house on fire. Then the diner.

Go, get the Colt.

Killing Alistair would have to wait until he has come to terms on how to proceed with Sam. If he would decide to go back to his partner, he might have to consider killing him.

 

*****

 

The door of the first room Dean attempts to check, is obviously locked. Why else would someone lock a door from the outside with a bolt, if it’s seemingly not a room, which has admittance from the outside.

Only when you want to keep something (or someone) in. Would explain the lack of activity in the house when Nicolas’s been at the diner … and when he’s not. Locking Sam away is the only explanation why he’s not been seen in days – in case he’s not dead of course.

If Nicolas’s delusional, though, there is the possibility that he’s killed him, and is living with a corpse under this roof, believing that Sam’s still alive …

Wouldn’t be the first time something like that had happened …

Well, at this point, Dean’s perfectly sure it’s Sam who is kept in that room, behind that door – dead or alive. Things might be easier, if he’s going to find a corpse though – because then, he wouldn’t have to worry about what to do with the guy. He’d just leave his body inside, when he burns the house down.

Nicolas would surely go bad-shit-crazy.

A filthy smirk crawls on Dean’s lips and let his eyes light up with glee.

He’d definitely stick around long enough to see that look on Nicolas’s face.

Anyway. Back to the point.

Dean pulls the bolt from the latch and tries the handle. The door’s locked. He rattles on it, but it doesn’t give an inch.

Looks like the lock has been changed – actually, it looks as if the entire door has been replaced.

What a kinky bastard. - Keeping his boyfriend on lock-down in their very private sex dungeon.

Dean rolls his shoulders, takes a step back and his eyes change back to emerald-green. If Sam’s not dead, he might as well doesn’t want the man to freak the fuck out. He can’t have him crying for help upon spotting a pair of obsidian eyes.

It only takes a flick of his wrist and a snap of his fingers to tear the door from the wooden frame. It splinters where the latch is embedded and bursts open with a loud crack. The door bangs against something hard and swings back a fraction.

Disappointment settles over Dean’s face, when he sees that this ain’t a dungeon. It’s far away from being anything like a dungeon.

It’s a damn fuckin’ bathroom. And it reeks like urine and …

“Jesus.”, Dean chokes out and covers his mouth and nose with his hand. He gags. The sickening odor burns in his nose.

When he switches the light on, there’s a sharp inhale heard.

Dean takes a step inside and takes a look around.

There’s a toilet, sink and to his left, there are shower-curtains pulled closed around a bathtub. The room is remarkably clean – even though the smell would let on, that he’s walking into the filthy toilet of a run-down truck stop at the side of some long-forgotten road.

The sound of skin moving over a smooth surface cuts through the lingering silence like a sharp knife.

Dean doesn’t say anything, while he assesses the room for another minute, before he moves further inside.

Maybe, he should just get the gas and set the building on fire.

It’s not like he has a conscience, and it’s not like he’d actually care if there’s something alive left inside … but … no, he won’t.

Dean curses at himself. He won’t burn the place down with Sam in it. The thought doesn’t rouse any pleasantly arousing feelings at all – what’s quite weird. Usually, he’d be head over heels to see someone burn and writhe in agony while getting eaten alive by the flames.

Grilled flesh would definitely smell better than this …

Another sound cuts his trail of thoughts short. It’s muffled and close … He gazes at the curtain to his right and pulls a grimace.

If the smell is anything to go by, he’s not sure he even wants to see what’s its cause. Not if it means it’s Sam. Because, if it is, there’s no way that guy is getting anywhere near his car. Not even the trunk.

There’s no way to get around this, if he wants to go along with his plan, so

Dean yanks the curtain aside and his attention is instantly drawn to a very human-looking buddle of flesh and bones.

The sharp stench of urine intensifies abruptly, and he gags again. Dean’s not suffering from OCD, or anything like it. He’s not even a very tidy person when it comes to places he goes; or sleeps – except when it comes to Baby, and when it’s about places he attempts to have sex at.

But this is just disgusting.

How he hates humans and their excretions.

“Fuck. Dude.” Dean swallows back bile. “That’s just … disgusting.”

Despite that he can’t see the human’s face, due a shirt – or whatever – pulled over his head and fastened with gaffer tape around his neck, he bets that this is Sam. The human shifts and lifts his hands up, which are taped together by the wrists. He holds them up – in an attempt to shield his face and head as it seems.

The guy is a meaty heap of filth.

Dean breathes through his mouth.

He eyes him for a moment longer, then shakes his head. Nope, no way the human is coming anywhere near the Impala. Not like this.

He won’t leave him here either. The need to make Nicolas suffer is stronger than the disgust he is experiencing right now. That guy is coming with him. It just takes some preparation.

A full-body-shudder courses through Dean upon even thinking to touch the human.

Dean pulls the knife from his belt. “You better hold still for this.”, is the only warning Sam gets, before he goes down on him with the sharp blade.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 9 ~ The Fire

 

The guy is quite some work.

Sam doesn’t struggle a lot, or puts up a big fight, but still, making him move the way Dean wants him to, is no fun at all.

Once the clothes are cut off of the human’s tall frame, Dean makes him stand up on his shaky legs.

Humans are so fragile, Dean thinks briefly, a simple not carefully measured touch bruises their skin to hell. An unpremeditated handling, and you snap their neck, or break their bones …

Only this … this has done one human to another.

Sure, Dean wallows in their agony; enjoys when they’re falling apart in the midst of well-measured torture, but he is never going to understand why a strong human would hurt a weaker one. Where is the fun in this? Wouldn’t it feel more satisfying to find themselves an equal?

With a sigh, Dean tears himself out of his thoughts. He has to get his move on, if he wants to get this over with tonight.

Dean examines the human’s bare body briefly. There are ugly bruises littering the man’s entire form; and a set of angry, with blood crusted welts stretch all over his back.

Some seem to be a couple of days old; others look as if they’ve been inflicted recently. Finger-shaped bruises cover Sam’s bicep and shoulders, and the telltale of another dark bruise is peeking out from under the fabric of the makeshift bag where it’s fastened around his neck.

He doesn’t bother to remove the shirt wrapped around Sam’s head – for now, he’ll leave it on him. Dean figures, as long as Sam has no clue who he is dealing with, it’ll be easier to get him to the car and into the trunk. As long as he assumes it’s Nicolas – because who else would come inside the room if not him – he won’t consider to try and run.

Dean doesn’t give a shit that the water is cold when he first turns it on. It’s a necessarity to get the human less smelly asap – or at least as clean as possible, so he wouldn’t mess up Baby’s trunk.

Within five minutes Sam’s showered (more or less neatly), and is not smelling like an urinal anymore.

Deciding, that it’s a little hard to get the human into a set of fresh clothes with his hands bound, he cuts the gaffer tape off.

All the while, there are no noises except for muffled and choked sounds coming from Sam, along with raged breaths every now and then. Dean doesn’t talk, when he leaves Sam standing – wet and dripping – in the bathtub to get clothes.

When he comes back, Sam’s still standing in the same position; waiting.

Dean only grunts and thrusts a shirt into the man’s wet hands.

Sam follows the wordless order and puts it on; so does he with the sweats and the hoodie Dean hands him one by one. Without anyone telling him to, Sam crosses his wrists in front of him.

Dean dismisses it though, as he assumes Sam won’t try anything stupid. Instead, he takes one of Sam’s bruised wrists in his hand and makes him step out of the bathtub. Without paying attention to any of the injuries, or even thinking about treating Sam more careful, he yanks the hoodie’s hood over his head. He ushers him out of the bathroom and over to the kitchen, where he pushes him down on one of the chairs.

He thrusts a pair of boots – which he finds in the hall and have to belong to the human - into Sam’s lap.

Dean snatches the keys from the kitchen-table and stores them in the pocket of his leather-jacket. If he’s not mistaken, they will grant him admittance to the diner later on.

Obediently, Sam pulls his boots on and ties them up.

Dean waits – rather impatiently – until he’s done; simultaneously having a close eye on the unconscious human only a few yards away.

It may be an inconvenient moment to think about this, but – intimate intercourse. It’s Nick-Dick’s fault he won’t get to celebrate his win after getting the Colt, and by the looks of it, there’ll be no way he’d have sex with the guy anytime soon.

Probably never – depending on what he’ll do with him, once they’ve left town.

Aside from the fact, that the human may as well won’t be interested at all in a session of erotic tango, it’d be disgusting. Like already mentioned, Dean prefers them unharmed and clean. Sam is everything, but … THAT.

So yeah …

Dean grunts and pulls a grimace at the very thought.

Sure, he could make the guy do as he wants, and he sure could make him take it – but that wouldn’t be the same, would it?

Nope.

And that’s another reason, why Dean’s mood down-levels some more – briefly.

Their next stop is the backyard.

First Dean takes Sam out back and makes him sit in the snow, on the ground. He then goes in again and drags Nicolas outside, who he dumps not far off from Sam.

He’d rather not leave the both of them out under his watch, but he has to get the gas from Baby’s trunk. Since carrying the cans down the street may cause attention, he decides to go and get the car instead.

It would really be easier, if he would burn the house down – with Sam in it. He just can’t get himself to do that very thing.

Once, he has her parked at the back of the house, he climbs over the wooden fence which barely reaches up to his hip – typical small-town-backyards.

As much as Dean hates this kind of towns, he loves that they don’t give a shit about safety and securing their property properly.

Dean checks if Nicolas is still unconscious.

He is.

Once he’s got the jerry cans from the trunk and has placed them close to the house, he focuses back on the Sam-Matter. Without forewarning, or telling him what’s about to happen and what he’s supposed to do, Dean grips Sam’s bicep and hauls him to his feet.

A muffled whine makes its way through the gag and fabric, which are shielding Sam’s senses from his surroundings.

The man’s swaying slightly; still breathing heavily – Dean figures. He should consider removing the gag. At least that’s what it sounds like, when Sam’s trying to breathe. Something, he’ll take care later on – right now he’s got other things that need to be tended to.

It’s time to burn something down. – Dean loves to burn things, and he can’t wait to come to the fun-part of this.

A huge bonfire is about to happen.

He manhandles Sam towards the fence, helps him climb over it and urges him towards the open trunk.

Now, Sam seems to notice, that something’s off and that he may not is dealing with Nicolas. Or, that he’s dealing with Nicolas, and that his boyfriend is taking him away from the familiarity of his home.

Because he’s going all rigid and his breath catches, when Dean pushes him down into a sitting position and Sam lands with his butt and a thud inside the trunk.

There’s a tenseness in his muscles, when Dean hauls his legs up and tugs them inside, which tells him, that the human is freaking out – at least internally.

Well, this has to wait too, he’ll explain (more or less) things to him, when he knows what to do with Sam. When he’s made up his mind.

Dean slams the trunk shut and climbs back over the fence.

A visual once-over tells him, that Nicolas’s still out cold.

His lips twitch, when he casts his gaze at the jerry cans and the house. They curl into a vicious smile and Dean rubs his hands in anticipation.

Now, the fun-part shall begin.

In under thirty minutes, he has soaked the carpet and the couch in the living-room with gas. He cracks the window in the kitchen, and the one of the bathroom open. It doesn’t need any more preparation, to let the house go up in flames and burn it to the ground within a reasonable amount of time.

The fire-department won’t be able to take it out fast enough – specially, when nearly at the same time, at the other side of town – another place is going to turn into a massive torch.

A pack of lighted matches do the rest.

And, so to make sure, it’ll be Nicolas to blame, Dean wipes the cans clean, so they won’t find any stranger’s fingerprints on them. Instead, he makes sure, there’ll be plenty of Nicolas’s all over the cans, before he leaves them beside the unconscious human.

Then, Dean gets behind the steering wheel and waits, until he can see hungry flames, and smoke decent from the cracked-open bathroom-window.

After all, he needs to make sure that the fire will keep going and that it gets enough oxygen, so it can feed and grow.

What would he give to stick around longer, but now, that the game is on, he can’t afford to waste time by staying and watching. One last longing look, and a heavy sigh later, Baby’s engine roars to life, and Dean drives off in a moderate speed.

 

*****

 

Sirens are blaring in the distance, when Dean pulls the set of keys from his pocket. He doesn’t bother to park his car somewhere at the back – hidden from everyone’s sight. Nope.

He goes in through the front; switches on the lights, and fires up the stoves and fryers in the kitchen. On his way towards the display on top of the counter – with all the delicious pies – he knocks over two containers with used oil.

It’d really be a waste to let the pies burn, so he takes his sweet time with wrapping them up in Styrofoam containers and with storing them – carefully – into paper-bags which he finds under the counter.

Dean figures, there’s also good use for the money in the register. There’s no need to let it go to waste either. So, he empties the register and stuffs the bills into the pockets of his jeans, while nursing on a piece of pie.

He throws an absent glance through the hatch into the kitchen.

The oil in the fryers is boiling and the stove’s plates gleam in a deep red.

Dean hums and frowns. This shouldn’t take as long

And as if fate has heard his thought, one of the fryers finally catches fire and ignites a knock-on effect.

Satisfied with how this is working out, Dean scoops up the last piece of pie and stuffs it into his mouth. He hums delightfully before he swallows it down, and takes the two bags he has prepared.

As if he’s got all the time in the world, Dean strolls through the entrance of the diner with a happy bounce in his every step and a slight swing to his hips.

 

*****

 

Back at the house, the firemen are working frantically on getting the roaring fire under control and prevent it from spreading.

An ambulance is parked down the street; flashing its blue and red lights. The doors at the back are wide open; the driver waiting patiently behind the steering wheel. He runs a hand through his short grey hair and brushes over his neatly trimmed beard.

He casts a look into the side-mirror outside the window and examines his reflection.

His light-grey eyes flash white, and a dirty grin forms on his lips.

 

*****

 

Twenty miles south-west of Manning, a black muscle-car – with the engine running - is parked at the side of the road.

There you go …”, Dean murmurs to himself, as he eyes the screen of his phone attentively.

The tracker – insofar Elkins hadn’t found it and has thrown it away somewhere along his way – is working just fine. According to the red – unmoving – dot on the screen, Elkins must be another twenty miles up north in the woods.

Dean places the phone beside him on the passenger’s side and casts a brief look over his shoulder in the backseat. He pulls a grimace.

Taking the human with – literally kidnapping him – might haven’t been one of his brightest ideas. He should’ve just left him in the house and let fate work its magic.

The knowledge of Sam being dead and the finiteness of his death – as the ultimate weapon in this kind of torture - might would have hit Nicolas harder than knowing that his boy-toy is still out there somewhere. Because, if he knows that Sam’s still alive, he might start looking for him; Sam’d be trailable.

Fuck.

Shit happens, when you’re not sticking to your plan (and when weird emotions are involved), or when you’re changing it last-minute because you can’t make up your fucking mind over a damaged human.

Dean knows that he has fucked up.

He’s got rules; well, more of guidelines to be honest.

What had he even been thinking? – And that, right there’s the problem. He hadn’t been thinking at all, because if he had, he would’ve left Sam behind. Because all that you-don’t-mess-with-a-Winchester-and-call-him-names-crap and taking the human with him, with whose absence he wants to punish formerly mentioned asshole, is just some weird way of his subconscious to not let go of a being he is intrigued in.

That’s the true reason behind it all, and why he had come up with the ridiculous idea to take Sam with him in the first place.

Not that he’d ever admit that to anyone, let alone to himself. He’s a demon, for hell’s sake. He can’t feel anything, but hate, wrath, rage, fury and arousal. He’s been forged in the fires of hell. There’s no love. No devotion – except towards their master. And certainly, there’s nothing like sorrow, or worry towards another being.

Dean always goes against better knowledge; and now he’s in a quandary.

Now he’s got a hurt human in the trunk of his Baby, who is probably in need of medical attention.

God, how can he be so stupid? After centuries of roaming the world, he truly should know better than to do such stupid things.

He reminds himself, that he’s got time to work this out and take care of the issue(s) later.

For now, he has to focus on Elkins and the Colt.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 10 ~ The Cabin

 

Dean is not a complete idiot. – At least he demands that he is not.

He knows about a human’s needs and how their bodies work and react to stress and shock. So, since he won’t decide just now, what exactly he’ll do with the human in his trunk, he might as well have to – at least – offer fluids to him.

The only fluid he’s having around at the moment is Whiskey. He knows it’s suboptimal, but it’ll have to do until much later on.

Elkins’ cabin is only a hundred yards up ahead the snowy dirt-road. He’ll have to walk the rest of his path, since he doesn’t want to give away his arrival and cause the hunter’s attention in the progress.

Besides, he’s already behind his schedule. According to his timed plan, he’s already supposed to be on the road again since about an hour.

And that’s exactly another reason, why you don’t change plans last-minute. It ruins the schedule. Not that it would really matter, but in this case it just does.

And not because of some important reasons; not because someone’s hot on his heels. Nope. It’s simply, because, Dean had said so.

Anyway.

It’s time to get the party started.

… But first …

Dean takes the half-emptied bottle of whiskey and gets out of the car. He stalks through the thick snow towards the trunk and opens it.

The human lies on his side – just like Dean had tugged him in – in a shivering tight ball.

Since it’s stark night, Dean’s not too worried about Sam catching a glimpse of his face. He, as the demon he is, isn’t bothered by the darkness, but the human won’t see shit. As much for the makeshift sack covering his face.

Dean nudges the man’s bicep, since – despite of the shivering – he doesn’t move otherwise. It causes him to flinch away from the poke.

Good. Hypothermia is not going to be a problem yet. – Though, he might will have to get him into the backseat when he’s done with Elkins. What annoys him a little.

Dean makes a disapproving sound at the back of his throat and pulls a knife from his belt.

“Hold still.”, he gives Sam a fair warning, before he starts to cut through the gaffer tape wrapped around his neck and the shirt, which is keeping it in place.

He’s not very gentle, when he tears the fabric off of the man’s head and removes the gag from his mouth.

Wary huge eyes stare up at him; pupils dilated due the darkness, or because of shock – Dean’s not sure; doesn’t really care either. Without a further word, he dumps the bottle with alcohol into the trunk and slams it back shut.

That’ll do for now.

He pats the trunk-deck. “Don’t try shit.”, he says, loud enough so Sam has to hear it, “I’ll be back.”

 

*****

 

Something heavy lands close to him on the trunk’s floor, and then, it’s slammed shut once again. The loud sound echoes through the narrow space he lies curled up in, and makes his ears ring painfully.

Sam can’t stop himself from shivering. He’s never been that cold before. The icy chills raking through his entire body are getting to him; make him feel loopy and drowsy and all kinds of weird. Leaving his physical condition aside for a moment, he’s sure he’s about to go crazy.

His thoughts are all over the place and his mind sure is playing tricks on him – has been for a while, he figures. After Nicolas had knocked him out, and after waking to absolute darkness, gagged and his wrists bound, he’s been on the brink of panicking – and is ever since.

He’s been trying to get out of – what he supposed – had been their bathroom. He had tried to get the thing - covering his head - off, and he had nearly managed to do so. Only, Nicolas had caught him, after causing quite a mess in the bathroom on his frantic search for something sharp, and had wrapped – what he supposes had been some kind of tape – around his neck to keep the fabric in place.

That has been about the second time he’s been freaking out big style. He had thought he was going to suffocate. But he didn’t – unluckily.

Sam can’t tell how much time has passed since he had first woken up. He can’t tell if it’s been days or weeks. Though, he thinks it must have been days – if Nick had been giving him one meal a day.

First, when the bathroom-door had been opened for the last time, he had thought it’s Nicolas again. He truly, honestly, had thought it’s Nicolas. He had been preparing himself mentally for another session of punishment and conditioning. But those hands on him had felt different; the treatment had been different. – Though not less rough.

And then, when he’s been manhandled outside and he had been forced into – what he bets is a trunk – he’s damn sure that either this is Nicolas having decided to kill him so that no one else ever would lay hands on him, and dump his body somewhere in the woods, or that this isn’t Nicolas at all.

Maybe, Nick had hired someone to get rid of him …

At this point – Sam has to admit – that he doesn’t really care in whose trunk he is and for what reasons. He’s hurting, he’s freezing and he just wants this to be over.

He doesn’t care if it’s Nick or someone else. He doesn’t care if that someone has mercy and kills him before he’s thrown down some ditch; or if he’s not dead before that happens.

Sam just wants this to end.

With a sigh, he starts to fumble for the heavy thing which had landed not far away from him. His fingers are pins and needles and stiff as hell; he barely feels anything.

Sam eventually finds what he’s searching for and when he traces with his fingertips over the smooth surface, his mind tells him that it has to be a bottle. What makes him frown. Because, that’s not what he thinks someone would give him, if he’s supposed to end up dead.

His thoughts drift back to the bottle in his hands, and he takes a deep inhale; relishes the feel that he’s finally free of the fabric and tape obstructing his airways.

Sam sniffs and moves his dry, fuzzy tongue over his gum and teeth. His hands are shaking, while he unscrews the bottle. Immediately, the warm, sharp scent of alcohol spreads. He scrunches up his nose at the smooth burn in his nostrils, though guides the opening to his chapped lips and let a small rivulet of the liquid wet his lips and tongue.

Sam coughs and spills some of the Whiskey in the process.

 

*****

 

Overpowering the hunter and tying him up – back down – to his desk is not hard.

Finding the Colt ain’t either. Dean just has to look for the best warded place in the building and he finds it nearly instantly.

For once, things seems like they’re going as planned.

He’s not a man of great words or huge speeches when it comes to his foes. He doesn’t tell Elkins his plans, or how hard it’s been to find him; or how he has managed to track him down. Neither does he remind the retired hunter of his stupidity to trust some random stranger and let his guard down.

That wouldn’t be him.

They both know where they are coming from and where they are standing.

Good versus Bad.

It doesn’t take great explanations, nor hints on either side. No big words before the great end.

Elkins knows, that there’s no escape, and Dean knows that Elkins knows.

The man’s fate is settled – was settled as soon as he’s got the better of the elder man.

There’s nothing left that has to be said.

Dean has respect for the man and his life and the great efforts he’s taken on to hide the weapon from whoever would want to get its claws on it. For a human – to refrain from seeking others company and all the things they are longing for so badly to make their lives worth living – it’s a great deal – probably one of the greatest sacrifices one could make.

So, yeah, Dean has been thinking about gutting the guy and feeding him his intestines. He has been promising bloody murder and that he’ll make him suffer for what he’s let him go through to get to him and the Colt.

But Dean actually will do no such thing.

Yeah, he’s a moody demon. He’s changing his mind more often than someone might think he would …

He doesn’t see a point in making the old man suffer, since he’s got what he’s been looking for. But, if he wouldn’t have found the Colt here, and Elkins would have fought him – he definitely would have laid his hands on the man and would have made him spill his guts.

Dean sets the weapon, wrapped up neatly into a cloth of leather, beside the hunter’s hip on the table. He checks the revolver’s cylinder.

Six bullets.

He empties the cylinder into his hand and eyes the bullets for a second, before inserting them again.

Dean’s gaze flickers up and catches on the hunter’s eyes.

He doesn’t ask if he has any last words.

 

*****

 

The Colt securely stored in the inner pocket of his Parka, Dean climbs back behind the steering wheel of the Impala; feet sticking outside. He knocks his boots against the door, before he pulls them inside and slams it shut.

He is about to turn the key in the ignition; a satisfied smile on his lips, when his thoughts drift towards the human in the trunk.

Fuck.” He groans annoyed and punches the steering wheel once. He nearly forgot. That’s definitely dampening the upswing of his mood.

Dean can’t leave the man in the trunk – he’s gonna freeze to death before their next stop, and then he’d have to deal with a corpse … He ponders the thought. It would definitely solve THAT problem.

He can’t though.

Shit.

It’s not as if he suddenly has found his conscience or something … it’s just … he can’t, okay? Ain’t that peachy? He’s not even got an explanation why he can’t fucking let the human die, letting alone kill him …

Another groan and a twitch of his left eyebrow later, he finds himself deciding, that he has to move his breathing luggage from the trunk into the backseat. If he feels like it or not, doesn’t matter.

A dead Sam is no good Sam – not yet anyway.

He could dump the human in front of an ER. Someone would surely find him.

Dean adds the possibility to his mind-list of other possibilities.

It doesn’t matter if Sam’s going to live or die; or if he’s going back to Nicolas or not. – Dean won’t exist long enough to see Nicolas getting dragged away by hellhounds; and he won’t be able to watch him suffer through the loss and grief Sam’s absence would cause.

Yup, like already mentioned, Dean’s quite moody and changes his mind a whole of a lot often. He’s a restless, chaos-ridden soul, who barely gets to stick to formerly made decisions.

Except, for the one thing he really craves so badly, he would never change his mind about:

Him, killing Alistair, and finding rest and endless sleep in his own death.

Again, he comes to the conclusion, that he didn’t think the Sam-Matter through. He might should have just turned on his heels and ran off as soon as he had noticed that something had been shifting inside of him and had dared to throw him off his path. Specially, since those weird, converse emotions are surfacing more and more often, after he had crossed paths with the human.

 

*****

 

When he opens the trunk, the first thing he notices is the strong smell of Whiskey, which let on, that Sam must have spilled it, instead of drinking. The nearly empty bottle in the human’s clutches proofs as much, when Dean eases it carefully out of Sam’s hands, to not spill the rest of its contents.

Sam’s unconscious; his breaths even and his heartbeat a little too quick.

“C’mon …”, he groans; eyes only on the bottle as he rises it. Dean is inspecting the meager leftover of alcohol. A small whine escapes him. “You’ve wasted the real good stuff, man.”

It’d really be a pity to waste what’s left, so Dean chugs down the last swallow and throws the empty bottle into the trees.

He smacks his lips; then trains his attention at the human.

Dean eyes him for a long time with pursed lips, before he decides that he has to move him into the backseat and that there’s no way he can leave him in the trunk. Not for another couple of hours, which he plans on spending on the road.

All the while, the two halves inside him, battle for dominance. It’s like in one of those old stories his mom hat told him … Not, that Dean really is able to remember her. It’s more like a feeling he’s got, which – sometimes – triggers emotions which are probably connected to memories he can’t reach – no matter how hard he tries.

Anyway – said story is about two halves making a whole. A soul, which harbors two wolves. A white and a black one …

Dean doesn’t really feel like believing any of this crap, but there has to be at least a little truth hidden in it, since – ever since he had laid eyes on Sam – he sometimes feels weirdly stricken. As if – indeed – there are two wolves, battling for the upper hand.

Shoving the unwelcomed thoughts aside, he sets to work.

Dean opens the door at the back, takes his duffel out and returns to the trunk. He eyes the human some more.

If only the human wouldn’t be so banged up, he’d get to bang him … Again, he pulls a grimace and grunts. If there wouldn’t be the word ‘if’, huh? Again, the emotion of feeling robbed of his sensual afterparty soaks his mood with rage and buttresses his plan on not letting Nicolas have his boyfriend back.

It’s easy to maneuver Sam out of the trunk and into the backseat – despite the human’s size and weight. Sure, it’s a little cramped in the back, and it takes quite some folding limbs and shoving mass, but he makes Sam’s body fit.

It looks far from comfortable, but it doesn’t have to, has it? He doesn’t need to be comfortable to not freeze.

Dean returns to the front, knocks the snow from his boots and slides behind the steering-wheel in a graceful motion.

With the engine running and the heater cranked up high, it’ll get warm soon enough.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 11 ~ The Smelly Eden 1

 

Dean doesn’t spare the human a single look while he drives; doesn’t bother to check on him, or make sure he’s still alive either.

After all, he doesn’t need to. He can hear his shallow breaths and the slow beats of his heart – not that that would be of any interest either (he keeps telling himself that, but deep down, he knows it’s not true).  

Now, that there’s no use for the human, he’s nothing but a heap of flesh and bones – worth less than a starved, stray dog on the streets of Bulgaria (Again, his big black wolf keeps whispering really bad bad things to him).

Still, Dean’s mind is occupied with that very human and is wrecking its wheels to come to terms on how to handle him, and how to proceed in general.

He could still dump him at a hospital.

He could take care of his injuries himself.

He could also deliver him from his pitiful existence.

He could.

But, Dean’s still pissed because he doesn’t get his well-deserved awesome sexy times, and for that, he won’t leave the human anywhere, where people would find him, and high likely figure out his emergency contact – which would turn out to be Nicolas Munroe.

Because, the last thing Dean wants right now, is for Nick to get his ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ back (and because, there are so no other reasons for him to decide to keep Sam with him – for now).

So, he has to keep the human with him for now. Or, he has to kill him. Or let him die, what actually would be the same as killing him. Killing Sam might even be more humane, than letting him suffer before nature would take its course with his body. – And Dean’s not only thinking about Sam’s current condition aka situation.

That way, or another, Dick-Nick won’t get to see Sam ever again.

But then again, Dean wouldn’t either. His white wolf wouldn’t want that.

 

*****

 

It’s another hour, before Dean decides to take the next exit and stops at a gas-station.

Since Sam has spilled his beloved Whiskey, he’s in dire need of more. And when he’s at it, he can get snacks and water for the human. Maybe juice would be better; or Gathorade.

Sam’s condition doesn’t seem that bad, even though he’s still out cold, and definitely doesn’t require a visit at a hospital. They’d only ask unnecessary questions. There’s no need to wake sleeping dogs.

Humans are maggots, you know? Wanna know everything, even when it’s none of their business. Specially the authorities. They suck as fuck.

Back to the matter at hand. The human – Sam. All he needs is fluids and sleep. Maybe antibiotics too … Dean’ll see when they get there. If it’s really necessary, he’ll get meds, but until then, Sam will have to deal with as it is.

Dean’s pit-stop doesn’t last longer as it takes him to fill Baby’s tank, grab two bottles of low-price booze, water bottles and a couple of chocolate-bars.

Once he’s back behind the wheel, in the cozy warm (HOT) atmosphere of the car, Sam starts to stir – as if he’s noticed Dean’s return.

 

*****

 

It’s warm. No, it’s actually hot.  Very to the contrary to the former place he’s woken up before.

The surface he’s resting on is softer, and there’s music playing. It smells of pie and leather, with a faint touch of alcohol.

He feels sweaty and – despite the comforting warmth – weirdly uncomfortable. His entire body aches, and his head feels heavy and his mind is stuffed with scratchy cotton and pointy needles. What let him get aware of the confusing sensations in his feet and legs. They’re kinda numb, but also feel like pins and needles are poking his skin from the inside.

“Hurts.”, Sam thinks can hear himself slur.

There’s a grunt, which definitely doesn’t come from him.

God, he’s so hot; so unbearably hot.

His fingers scrape over leather, until they find the soft fabric of his hoodie. Sam tries to pry his eyes open, but they would only open to thin slits – too less to make anything out, except for shady dark shadows.

Sam whines. His fingers find the zipper and try to grab it. But his fingertips are damp and don’t quite obey his mind’s orders. They don’t feel right. The zipper doesn’t feel right.

“Sam?” Sam doesn’t say that either, but the voice who he hears is familiar. He thinks he should recognize it.

Ngh.”, is all that Sam gets out through gritted teeth. His throat hurts too … and his mouth tastes foul, as if something has died in there.

He needs to see; needs to get the hoodie off, maybe his pants too …

His back is on fire. It burns and stings, and itches at the same time.

“Stay still.” The someone’s voice let him still and his hand sinks down beside him in defeat. “You’re gonna fuck the upholstery up, dude.”

Sam gives a damn about what he does to whatevers upholstery. He digs his right heel into a hard surface. He does the same with his left, but there, it’s all soft and shielding to his foot.

Sam needs to sit up, but at the same time wants to stay horizontal.

He shifts, tries to get his elbows under him. To no avail.

“Told you to stay still.”

Oh yeah, there’s been an order. How could he forget …

 

*****

 

“Damn it.”, Dean growls, gazing holes in the human’s body. “Can’t you just …” die? Dean growls and twists in his seat further, until he can reach the man with his outstretched hand and lay it on his thigh. “You don’t stop writhin’, I’ve to fuckin’ knock you out.”

Because, if he doesn’t stop, he’s gonna tear the wounds on his back open; which are gonna soak through the hoodie and are gonna mess up the backseat. Dean’s not hot on cleaning the mess up; and he certainly doesn’t want to patch up the guy’s back either – which he will have to, if he doesn’t keep still.

Nope, he’ll have to patch it up anyway.

Dean curses again.

“You suck.”, Dean grinds out through gritted teeth, when he pushes the man’s leg back down to stop him from gaining leverage. Not even for a human it’d take a lot of effort to do that. Weak, and still so fucking stubborn. He let his hand stay where it is, until the human calms down again.

It doesn’t take long for Sam to give in; heavily breathing, and drifts back into unconsciousness.

As soon as it seems, as if Sam’s not going to resurface anytime soon, Dean fires up the engine and drives off into the dawn of day.

 

*****

 

Sam’s condition goes from zero to nuclear in less than a few hours.

It’s one state over and shy after noon, when Dean stops again. This time, in the parking lot of The Smelly Eden Motel, far off the highway or any other lively place.

This place, ain’t unknown to Dean though. He hadn’t thought about making a pitstop here, but under the present circumstances, he figures, it’s the safest place to hole up for a couple of days.

It’s – kind of – a safe place to hole up every now and then.

Truth be told, he’s not fond of stopping here, but, it’s the closest he can get to a place where he’s known as for what he is, and where he is – more or less – accepted.

The owner may will ask questions, but he won’t call any authorities, or rouse the attention of hunters. He may will try and snatch a peek at the living luggage Dean’s dragging around, but that wouldn’t mean, that Castiel will intervene, or truly give a shit about a human in Dean’s company.

The man on the backseat is becoming more restless now.

Sam’s heartrate is a little too quick, and his breaths raged – though, he’s still unconscious. Dean supposes, he’s starting in on an infection induced fever.

He can’t but roll his eyes in annoyance. Clearly, he overestimated the guy’s immune system and strength. All hopes to not have to intervene in Sam’s healing-process are out of the wind.

Then again – a little break won’t hurt Dean. He is a demon, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy to stretch out on a mattress after driving for hours.

So, a motel-room, mattress, porn and a hot shower it is – insofar the motel has hot water. Ain’t as if that’s a given in places like these. And specially this one.

The Owner – Castiel – ain’t quite human himself, and he sure has no clue about what it takes to make someone comfortable around him. – He’s like an autistic teenager sometimes. He’s taking mostly everything Dean says literal and asks stupid questions whenever he’d throw a joke or funny phrases at him. Damn, the guy doesn’t even get a single reference.

What probably comes with being an Angel. – Not even a century among humans has changed any of Feather’s attitude.

Gladly, Castiel is very teachable, and therefore, Dean is sure he’ll at least get two things which he hopes for. Porn. And magic fingers.

And this time around – during his stay – he won’t fix shit around the motel. Not again.

 

*****

 

He gazes at the backseat, lost in thoughts for a long moment, before he grumbles a “You better stay put.” towards Sam, before he tears his attention away from the human and across the parking lot towards a door where there is a board mounted which reads ‘OFFICE’ in huge letters.

It’s not only the fact, that he knows Castiel, that he decided to stop here. It’s also because, there are always only a few to no rooms occupied. Sometimes, normal people would stumble upon the motel, but usually it’s creatures who choose to hole up here from time to time.

Mostly, when hunters are on their tail, or if they’ve gotten wounded and are in dire need of undisturbed recovery.

Sure, you could use this place to drag your bait here and do whatever you want to it. – But, that’s a thing Castiel doesn’t tolerate – for what reasons ever. After all, it’s not as if hunters would come here on purpose, or are even aware of the existence of it.

Castiel’s ‘rules’ when it comes to the motel, make his brain tingle with doubt, that the angel will let him stay here, when he’s got such fragile company. So, he’ll have to make sure, that the Angel doesn’t get any wrong ideas about why he shows up on his doorstep with a beaten-up human.

Dean can’t fool him either. As naïve the Angel may be, he’s as smart.

Dean doesn’t bother to knock, before he enters the office. After all, the door ain’t locked, what’s as much as a ‘welcome and step in’ to him.

The office is small – like real small. The walls are painted in a stark white which has seen better days – just like the furniture.

There’s a desk; neatly arranged pens and all the shit you need as a clerk on it. To the left is a file cabinet – a small rusty thing, with a coffee maker on top.

Behind the desk, on the wall is a huge corkboard with a road-map of the state and a couple of red pins and above it – in a neat line – are the available room-leys hanging from rusty hooks.

To the right is a door, which stands agape. A withered metal-shield reading “PRIVATE” is dangling from a nail driven into the wood.

“Cas?!”, he hollers, sure, that the angel ain’t far. He’s probably somewhere in the back, looming over some ancient book in the “PRIVATE” area.

The angel does a lot of reading – mostly about the psychology of humans. Not that that helps him any to understand certain behaviors better. If anything, it only confuses him.

Though, that’s none of Dean’s business either, and he – actually – thinks it’s pretty funny.

A muffled thump is heard, and then footsteps.

A moment later, the door to his right creaks open, and a man with dark hair and bright blue eyes appears. He’s wearing suit-pants, a white shirt and a blue tie.

The Angel’s features stay unreadable, but his upper full lip twitches in a way, that tells Dean that Castiel is not amused to see him.

They make eye-contact, and the Angel’s right eyebrow rises a little. His eyes glow icy blue for a moment.

Dean’s flash black.

“The room at the end? As usual?”, the Angel asks clinically.

Dean nods and watches him taking his seat behind the desk.

Castiel opens the ‘guestbook’ and fills out the date and time.

 “And I’ve luggage.”

The announcement let Castiel still and he gazes up. “As in luggage you mean company?”

Dean rolls his eyes. What else? “Yep.”

Castiel lays the pen down and gives Dean a visual once-over, then leans back. “You know the rules.”

“I’m not here to torture or kill. – Just need a place to lay low.”

The Angel purses his pouty lips and his eyes narrow in suspicion. “It does not happen, that the fires in Manning have to do something with your appearance at my sanctuary, and that your company is a human called Samuel Singer, who – according to the news – is missing?”

Wow, the angel is smarter than Dean has given him credit for. Aside from that … “It’s already on the news?”

“Local news.”, Castiel explains curtly.

Dean scoffs. “Manning ain’t even in the same state.”

“I do have my connections, and your lust to use fire to cover up your tracks did not go unnoticed by several parties.”

“You mean hunters?”

“And such.” Castiel clears his throat and sighs heavily. Then he leans in a little and picks his pen back up. “Aside from the attention you have drawn. – You know I do not support violent behavior in this place. And I certainly am not fond of harboring humans. Specifically, ones, who the authorities are looking for.”

“The human is hurt.”, Dean tells him; calling to the Angel’s hereditary need to protect all kinds of human existences.

That doesn’t pull any strings as it seems, because Castiel tells him: “Then you better take him to a hospital.”

Dean’s eyebrows furrow and his lips turn into a thin, hard line. “That’s out of question.”

Castiel’s eyebrows rise a little higher and he makes a small, surprised sound. “Mind to explain why this is the case?”

Dean wants to tell him, that it’s none of his business, but he guesses, that’d be the wrong call. And telling the Angel the truth ain’t gonna happen either. Specially, since it won’t influence his decision – wherever he’s allowed to stay or not – in a positive way.

“Look. It’s complicated. – So, if you don’t want me here? Fine. I’ll go find another motel. – But the human? …” Dean gestures over his shoulder and towards the door, “… the human ‘s in a bad shape. – He needs some place to stretch out and where I can have a look at his injuries. And really – the last thing he needs are the authorities on his heels.”

Castiel scoffs. “You mean, on your heels? – Why would you even take him with you in the first place?”

Dean can’t tell the angel that either. He won’t be fond of Dean’s reasoning, so, he figures it’s better to keep that to himself.

“So, do I get a room or not?”

Castiel eyes him for another moment. Then nods. “Fine. – I will grant you to stay.” He continues to write where he has stopped before, and fills out the room’s number and that a ‘Dean Hetfield’ is renting it. When he’s done writing, he lifts his gaze back up, and fixes Dean with a stern stare.

“I will charge double, as you have a human companion.”

“What? Why?”

“Because, if the human dies here, I will have to take care of certain things. – And as you see, my Business is not flourishing.”

Dean snorts. “Maybe you should consider changing the Motel’s name, dude.”, he grumbles and shakes his head, while fishing for his wallet. “That’d be a good start.”, he continues, while going through the bills.

“Eden smells heavenly, Dean. – I do not see any issues with calling it The Smelly Eden.”

Again, Dean snorts. “I bet you don’t.” He counts the bills and pulls some out. “Three days – for now.”, he tells Castiel, and puts the money on the table, then adds two extra-fifties. “And I need antibiotics, antiseptics and gauze.”

Castiel gives him an expecting look after eying the money on the table and tilts his head to the left.

Dean’s eyebrows furrow in dismay. He adds a twenty-dollar-note.

Still, the Angel stares.

Strained silence.

Dean’s annoyed, but he gives in. “How much?”

“Well, I will have to drive into town and pick up mentioned supplies. – I suggest you honor my efforts more … correctly.”

Correctly. My ass.”, Dean grumbles, fuming.

 

*****

 

Sputtering grumbled curses and wishing the Angel’s ass to hell, Dean emerges from the ‘OFFICE’ and walks with the room’s keys in hand down the porch to the very end, where he unlocks and opens the door of Room No. 9.

As seedy as the room looks, as pleasant does it smell. – So yeah, it may smell like Eden, but that doesn’t make up for the appearance at all.

The wallpapers have an ugly pattern – where there is wallpaper – and the walls beneath have all shades of yellow. There are years of filth painting the walls and worn-down carpet.

But Dean has to give Castiel credit for the clean beddings.

After parking the Impala in front of the room, he first moves his bag and the bags with pie from the trunk inside, and then manhandles a feverish, uncoherent human out of the car and drags him inside, where he dumps him – not very gently – on the bed furthest from the door.

He arranges the human’s position a little, takes care, that his mile-long limbs are on the bed and under the covers.

Sam makes all kinds of unsexy noises. Well, they would be sexy, if it were for them having sex, but they don’t, so all the sounds the man makes are utterly annoying.

Dean then takes care of business in the bathroom, turns up the heater, snatches the remote from the TV and slumps down on the bed closest to the door. On the way, he shrugs off his leather jacket (where he still carries the Colt) and throws it over the end of his bed.

He fumbles for coins in his jeans-pocket and dumps a hand full on the nightstand, on which a box sits, that’s reading “Magic Fingers”.

He glances over at the other bed.

Sam’s facing the other side of the room; his body shaking under the covers as if he’s cold. And he’s still making those pathetic noises …

Dean pulls a grimace and switches the TV on, then inserts one of the coins into the “Magic Fingers Box”. The bed starts to vibrate.

He turns up the volume, until the sounds from the TV are covering up Sam’s moans; then flips through the channels, until he finds what he’s looking for.

Porn.

Time to get some well-earned relaxation and down-time.

Dean sighs contently and leans back against the pillow, one of his hands traveling over the buckle of his belt. He slowly opens it – onehanded – while watching the pretty redhead losing her undergarments slowly.

Dean’s manhood is already hardening and he bites his lip while working the fly open and pulling the zipper down.

A muffled grunt from the other bed disturbs the heat pooling in his lower department – but only briefly. Dean gets himself back on track, and his attention is trained back on the screen entirely, when the girl starts touching herself.

“Fuck.”, Dean breathes and fists his cock; gives it a gentle squeeze.

He works himself to full hardness; taking his sweet time; enjoying the screenplay and noises coming from the woman and her partner.

Until another grunt, and a pained whine pipe up loud enough for Dean to hear over the moaning and grunting from the actors.  It definitely throws sticks and stones in the path of his ministrations.

“Damn it.”, Dean murmurs and flicks his thumb over the head of his cock; then returns it to the bundle of nerves beneath the slit.

Another sound from the other bed pours water into the fire.

“Jesus fuckin’ Christ, damn it.” He wipes his head around to glare at the human, but keeps caressing his sex with his thumb.

The man is obviously oblivious to what Dean is working himself up to. And even if not, Dean wouldn’t give a shit.

He turns the volume up some more, but Sam seems to have set his goal on not let Dean have any fun, because he keeps making those utterly annoying noises.

Little Dean does not seem flattered either. Not even a rougher manhandling gets him back to where he has left off.

With an angry grunt, Dean tugs himself back into his boxers and jeans, zips them up and swings himself out of bed. He makes a beeline for the bed the human is writhing on.

“Okay buddy, tell you what.” He rounds the bed, so that he’s in Sam’s line of view. “Either you shut the fuck up, or I’mma gonna dump you in the bathroom.” Because, with the door shut, he’s sure he won’t hear anything from the human, and he could have his sweet time with himself.

To his surprise, Sam has his eyes wide open. They are hazed over with a glassy veil of fever, when they lock with his. The expression in them does something to the pit of Dean’s stomach; fills it with an unfamiliar ache.

Please.”, Sam breathes and blinks up at him – through him – Dean’s not certain. “Let me go.”

“Sure thing.”, Dean states; then bites his lower lip; thinking. “I’ll let you go.” He reaches for the covers.

Sam flinches away from the narrowing limb almost immediately. “Don’t.”

Dean arcs an eyebrow and decides to not pay attention to what Sam’s saying. The man’s sweating profusely, and he’s going to dehydrate if he doesn’t cool down at least a little.

The covers have to go.

“Don’t.”, Sam repeats and shifts away on the bed.

“Bathroom.”, Dean commands aka informs the human where his next destination is. Because he sure as hell ain’t gonna deal with that crap.

Sam’s breath hitches, when Dean yanks the covers off of him. “Please, don’t. – Not there.”

Their gazes lock again, and Sam’s hand catches Dean’s wrist when he moves to get the human into a sitting position.

The sudden physical contact makes Dean freeze and his attention snaps back to the human’s face and eyes; the quivering lips and the plea written all over his face. His skin tingles in a foreign way, where Sam’s skin and his touch. It’s pleasant – kind of – and unbearably annoying at the same time.

Sam’s eyes become all shiny and he let go of Dean’s wrist as if burnt. “I’ll do what you want. Just don’t … not the bathroom, ‘kay?”

Dean grunts. “You’ve brought that on yourself.” He leans down and grabs Sam by the shoulders.

A sob breaks Sam’s plea to please not touch him.

Nick. Wait. – Wait.” He brings his hands down on his chest and belly; fumbling with the fabric of his hoody. “Wait. – We can do it here. We can.” His hands find the hem of his pants and he hooks his thumbs into the waistband. “I won’t fight. I promise. I won’t fight.”

Dean’s only confused for a moment. He brings his hands down on Sam’s and stops him from tugging the pants down – even though he doubts he’d get them down any further by himself.

Stop.”

Sam halts; his entire body shaking. His gaze flickers towards Dean’s hands and then back up to look at him with huge, open eyes. “I can’t do this anymore. I … I don’t want to, okay? – I can’t be who you want me to be. Not anymore.”

Sam sounds so vulnerable … it drives right through his stealth chest and black heart. It rouses a weird emotion of something deep inside him.

Dean doesn’t like it. Not one bit. It makes him feel filthy and wrong.

“You gotta understand. – You gotta understand, that I’ve to go.”

“Sam.”

“Please.”

“Sam. – Stop it.” Who on this godforsaken earth can take so much rambling?

Sam’s hands wiggle free from Dean’s and he lays them on top of his – gentle and careful, as if he’d break them if he’d use any more force. “I can’t love you anymore, Nick. – You have to let me go. I’m … Please let me go.”

Dean pulls his hands away as if burned and eyes the human beneath him with a deep frown. He clears his throat, gingerly, not trusting his voice if he wouldn’t do so.

“I’m not Nick.”, he states. He’s not anything like Nicolas either. Will never be.

Sam stares at him – so confused, as if Dean’s the crazy one here.

“You’re runnin’ a fever.” Dean takes a step away from the bed. “You’re burnin’ up.”

Sam’s chapped lips crease and he moves his head slightly to the side, as if he needs to get a better look at Dean. Rather irritated he gazes at him with furrowed eyebrows.

“You won’t let me go, will you?”, he asks; his voice breaks. Sam draws in a long shuddering breath, and his features change from expressing pathetical pleas, to fearful recognition.

“I’ll get you something to drink.”, Dean murmurs; all of a sudden uncertain on how to handle the injured human and how to act towards him.

This is utterly weird. Dean feels utterly weird.

 

*****

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 12 ~ The Smelly Eden 2

 

Dean returns with a glass of water from the bathroom. All the while, hazel-eyes keep lingering on him and his every move.

Dean feels emotionally stripped down; exposed somehow. It makes him feel insecure, and Dean rarely feels insecure about anything.

He sits down at the bed, beside Sam’s hip and lifts the glass; showing it to Sam.

“I brought water. You should drink.”

Sam only frowns at him, as if he’s talking some foreign language he can’t understand.

When Sam doesn’t make a move to reach for the glass, Dean groans and extends his hand to slip it under Sam’s neck and make him tilt his head up, so that he won’t spill the water all over himself and the bed.

Dean sets the glass against his lips; with Sam watching him curiously, never breaking eye-contact. The human doesn’t fight him, when he makes him drink half of the glass, before putting it away and on the nightstand.

Sam’s skin is burning hot and sweaty against his palm.

He just keeps staring at Dean – in wonder. Or confusion. Well, Dean figures it’s a mixture of both.

“Do you know where you are?”, Dean eventually asks.

Sam shakes his head once and his eyebrows draw together until they form a line between them.

“You know who I am? Do you remember me?”

Sam hesitates and keeps staring at him in that eerie way. He eventually nods.

“Nick.”

Dean scoffs and washes a hand over his face. Peachy. He knows, Sam’s out of it and practically hallucinating shit, since the fever is high enough to boil his brains – probably. But, seeing his ex-boyfriend in him?

What the actual hell?
Dean’s nothing like that guy. He’s damn hot – which, by the way, he wouldn’t call Nicolas at all.

“I’m not Nick.”, Dean tells him and reaches for the water again.

Sam keeps frowning and eyes him in confusion.

Drink.” Dean let him empty the glass and moves to get another one.

When he returns to Sam’s side, he puts the glass on the nightstand, moves over to his bed and takes the pillow from there with him. Dean ignores the flinch and increasing shaking from the human, when he makes him sit up; holds him in an upright position and arranges his and Sam’s pillow against the headboard.

Once that is done, he drags Sam up on the bed and eases him against the headboard.

The human whines and gasps his way through it, until the pain in his back seems to level out again.

“Drink.” Dean pushes the glass into his hands. “All of it.”

Sam examines the clear liquid.

Dean shifts impatiently onto his left foot and gestures at him. “You’re supposed to drink this.”, he tells him and addresses him with a stern look.

 

*****

 

It takes the Angel the better part of two hours, before he shows up on the doorstep of Room No. 9 and knocks.

Dean would never admit the wave of relief flooding through him, when he opens the door and spots Castiel with a plain white plastic-bag in one hand and a smaller one – made of paper – in the other one.

He lifts them. “I organized what you have been asking for. Including bonus-supplies for the human.”, Castiel states clinically and his gaze flickers past Dean’s head into the room. “How is he doing?”

Dean all but tears the bags from the Angel’s hands. “Peachy.”, he says and slams the door shut with his foot.

Dean dumps the bags on his bed and empties their contents there.

The paper-bag contains meds. Not only antibiotics, antiseptics and dressings, but also some sort of salve and several kinds of painkillers.

The stuff from the plastic-bag is mainly food and soft-drinks.

Dean puts the twinkies aside – they’re officially his now.

He takes the bottle with antibiotics and painkillers, takes one of each out and returns to Sam’s side with the bottle of orange juice.

Sam’s still conscious, but is mumbling incoherent shit the entire time; which, by all means, not even a demon with an extraordinary well hearing would be able to understand.

Sam swallows the meds.

Then, Dean returns to read the labels on the bottles. The painkillers are supposed to get the fever down too – what a pleasant side-effect.

He might have needed a thermometer too … well, but now it’s too late for that. He’ll have to rely on his intuition about this.

After Sam’s not calming down and does continue to writhe and shake and make pained sounds, Dean makes him swallow two more painkillers – including one of his very private stock.

Dean doesn’t need painkillers. He’s a damn fucking Demon, for hell’s sake. But – every now and then – he enjoys the high with which his body is reacting to the opiates.

Anyway, he feels generous today, so he’s willing to share with the human. Besides, he won’t check on the welts on his back, before he hasn’t calmed down. Castiel would give him shit, if the human starts screaming.

So yeah, it’s not only because he feels generous, or does have pity with the pathetic being in front of him.

 

*****

 

It takes another hour, before the human is pulled into unconsciousness and is lying motionless in a drug-induced sleep, so Dean is able to check him thoroughly.

Sadly, he can’t (well, he could, but he’s not going to) cut off the hoodie from him, since it’s the only clothes he has with. So, Dean pulls it off of him with less to no care.

Ichor mingled with blood, has soaked the back of the piece of clothing and  sticks to the wounds. One of the welts looks bad. It’s angry red and radiates heat.

It doesn’t have to be mentioned, that Dean doesn’t give a shit about it, does it? (Deep down he does care, but what would that do to his reputation if he would admit that?)

Dean rolls the human onto the stomach and starts to drench his back with the antiseptic fluid, so he can remove the fabric more easily.

Once he has peeled the fabric from the wounds, he let it dry and gets the first-aid-kit from his duffel, which is a remnant of his former human-life. He doesn’t even know why he’s still carrying it around, though, now, he’s somehow glad he hasn’t thrown it away yet.

The wounds are too old to stitch them up, so the suture kit will be of no use, but the scissors and tape will get in handy.

When Dean has everything laid out on his bed, and examines the human’s back intently with pursed lips; he catches himself observing (marveling) his relaxed features.

He decides to let the wounds breathe, since Sam won’t wake up for another period of time and won’t run the risk to injure himself further.

 

*****

 

Night drags over the land and with it, dark clouds veil the skies.

In the motel room, the small lights on both nightstands are on, and the air is filled with the scent of antiseptic and the silent snores of two men.

Dean sleeps on his back; remote control laying limply in his hand. On the TV plays ‘The Waltons’; the volume silenced.

Sam’s still on his stomach; seemingly in a fitful slumber.

Sudden bleeps break the silence and the telltale of a phone vibrating rhythmically against a solid surface is heard.

Dean startles awake and without opening his eyes, he scrambles for the device on the nightstand. He wipes over the display to silence the alarm and grunts and grumbles something unintelligible, when he pries his eyes open. He discharges the phone beside him on the bed and digs the balls of his palms into his eyes; then rubs over his face.

He moans in discomfort and rather annoyed and breathes in deeply, before blinking his eyes open and directs them over towards the other bed.

He grimaces and swings his legs out of the bed. Still half asleep, he fumbles with the pill-bottles he has discharged beside his bed, checks the labels and takes one of the antibiotic pills.

Dean gathers the gauze and tape from the floor and slumps down on Sam’s bed. He dresses the welts as good as possible.

“Sam.”, he grumbles hoarsely and pokes the man in the bicep and shoulder.

The only response he gets is a grunt.

“Med-time.” Dean pokes him again, then shakes his shoulder. “Juice.”

Sam stirs a little, but settles down again immediately.

Dean sighs heavily. He actually doesn’t want to move – like at all. “Fine …” He thinks for a moment; ponders the thought of letting him sleep and try again later.

He dismisses the idea though, as he figures that the human will get worse if he doesn’t get more fluids and the meds into him.

Not fine.” Dean gets up again and rolls Sam onto his back. He gives him a decent slap across the face.

Sam whines and his forehead furrows, but he doesn’t open his eyes.

Another slap to rouse the human.

It doesn’t work.

“Wakey wakey.”

Sam murmurs something.

“C’mon. rise and shine, Bitch.” Dean pats Sam’s cheeks, determined to get the human awake enough, so he will be able to swallow the pill and juice.

Sam’s eyes crack open and settle to thin slits. There’s barely any hazel visible.

It probably has to be enough.

Dean sneaks his hand in between the pillow and Sam’s neck and tilts his head up a little.

“Open up.”, he orders and pushes the pill in between his lips. “Swallow.” He sets the bottle with watered juice to Sam’s lips.

The human drinks dutifully and swallows the pill.

“There you go.”, Dean grumbles and lowers Sam’s head back. His gaze trails down to the man’s throat, watching the muscles beneath bruised skin work when he swallows.

He gives him a few minutes and let him drink again and when he figures it’s enough, Dean gets up and rolls the man back on his stomach.

 

*****

 

Dean repeats the procedure of having Sam drink a few times during the night. Around midnight, and when he becomes more restless again, Dean gives the human something for the fever and one of the opiates to keep him under.

Dean figures, it’s more relaxing when the human is out cold; so, he gets to have his well-earned rest too.

 

*****

 

The winter-sun is barely up, when there’s a knock on the door.

First, it doesn’t rouse Dean. He’s too deep under and way too far into dream-land.

Again, someone knocks, this time, more demanding.

Dean groans, before he’s even thinking about flexing a muscle, or move an inch. “On my way!”, he growls in a half-shout.

He senses – even though he’s still half asleep – an angelic presence not too far away.

Dean pads over to the door; rubbing his eyes and face. He squints at the closed door and unlocks it. He barely has his hand on the handle, when it’s pushed down, and is shoved open.

Dean makes a step backwards and grimaces at the being on his doorstep. “Cas?”, he grunts not very appreciatingly and steps into the doorway to block the Angel’s line of view, whose nosy look immediately darts into the room.

“I brought supplies.” He holds a bag in hand and lifts it slightly. “For the human.”

Dean still squints at him. He rolls his eyes. “You gotta be fuckin’ kiddin’ me …” A glance at the clock in the small kitchenette tells him, that’s not even nine in the morning – aka, way too early.

“He’s out cold. – Won’t need anythin’ for a while.” Dean pries his eyes open a little more and blinks at the Angel expectantly.

Castiel tilts his head and looks past Dean into the room. The bed, on which Sam sleeps, is not in his range of sight. He cranes his neck a little.

A beat of silence follows.

“Anything else?”, Dean asks and is about to slam the door shut without paying attention to the bag in the Angel’s hand.

A foot hinders the door from closing.

Dean’s attention snaps to the fancy black shoe in the way. “Cas.”, he growls a warning. “Back off.”

The Angel clears his throat and his flat palm comes down on the surface of the door. “I demand to have a look at him.”

Dean cocks an eyebrow. “What for?”

Castiel’s eyes gleam icy blue. A warning to not make him use his powers, which Dean is certain he won’t. It’d cause the attention of his brothers and sisters, of whom he knows Castiel is kind of hiding away.

Dean doesn’t know anything about the reasons behind it though, and he actually doesn’t give a shit either. It’s none of his business.

He flashes his black eyes at the Angel, telling him not to tempt him. “He’s fine. – There won’t be any dead humans found on your property.”

Castiel’s lips crease and he pushes at the door; keeps his foot right where it is. “I am afraid, I need to have a look at him.”, he repeats.

With a sigh, Dean steps back and opens the door.

Castiel slips past him and inside the room.

“Be my guest.”, Dean mutters and closes the door as soon as the Angel is inside. “… if you insist.”

The Angel places the bag with supplies on the small table by the window and makes a beeline for the bed the human is occupying.

“Since when do you care?”

“I always care.” Castiel pauses. “When it is about you bringing an injured human to my place.”

“When did I ever do such a ..” he wants to say ‘stupid’ … “… thing?”

Never.” And that seems to be exactly the point, why Castiel is showing interest.

He leans down a fraction and places his pointing- and middle-finger on the man’s temple, then closes his eyes briefly. “He does have an infection.”, he sounds as reproachful as the glare is, with which he addresses Dean. “And a fever.”

Dean shrugs. “I know.”, he answers nonchalantly. “Ain’t my fault.”

Castiel retreats his hand and straightens back up. He wears a thoughtful expression. “You did not mention how badly he is hurt.”

Dean sniffs. “’cause it’s none of your business? – Besides, it looks worse than it is. Nothing that can’t be fixed.”

Castiel keeps glaring and eventually tears his gaze away from the abomination. “It is irritating that you consider taking a human with you, if not for sexual intercourse. An injured one on top of that. It has to raise my suspicion.”, he explains clinically.

The Angel keeps eying the demon intently, as if he demands an explanation.

“We’ll be gone in less than a week.” Dean offers, in hopes that it’ll save him from an explanation. “If it’s our stay that’s bothering you.”

No such luck.

“Did he offend you?” Castiel turns on his heels to face him. “Do you intend to kill him?”

Dean stares back at the Angel in bewilderment; as if the assumption is an insult to his very person.

“What did he do, that he deserves your wrath?”

As if Dean is killing everything and everyone who he has wrathful feelings about. Wait. Yeah. Usually, he does.

Though, Dean feels offended. “Are you feeling alright?”, Dean huffs and shakes his head. “Would I fucking patch him up, if he had pissed me the fuck off?”

“Would you – please – abstain from using such strong words?”

Dean gives him a weird look, then gestures at the door. “You’ve seen him. – He’s … alive … so … if you don’t mind …”

Castiel stays right where he is. “I strongly suggest you do not break my rules, Abomination.”

As if the guy would be powerful enough to take him on … “Sure thing.”

Dean opens the door and waves at Castiel – complimenting him outside with a wave of his hand towards the outside. “If you don’t mind …”

If someone else would talk to him that way, he sure as hell would’ve already torn that someone to shreds. With Castiel it’s somehow – different. They aren’t friends or anything close to it, but the Angel is the allegory of integrity.

Dean respects that. He respects him. – like he barely respects anyone else.

And Castiel pays him respect – even though he calls him an abomination (and a whole lot of other things from time to time). Weirdly, Dean doesn’t mind if the Angel uses offending names to address him, since he – somehow – manages to always emphasize them in a very deferential tone.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 13 ~ The Spark

 

It takes another entire day, before Sam’s condition improves and he becomes – somewhat – coherent more often than not.

He even recognizes Dean as Dean and not as Nicolas during those episodes.

Sam asks him where they are and how come that he’s with him, and he wants to know what has happened. Either, he doesn’t hold long enough onto consciousness to find out, or, he simply (what Dean figures) Sam’s too out of it to memorize what he’s telling him.

As for, coming to terms about what to do with the human, Dean haven’t made a decision yet. Though, he has to admit, the option to kill him or to let him die due fate taking its course with him is definitely out of question by now.

The human – somehow – has managed to worm his way through Dean’s hard shell, and has made himself a tiny home somewhere close to his heart. Dean can’t tell why that’s even possible. – Neither would he admit, that such a thing is possible to happening to him either.

After all, Sam is just a delicate human, and there is truly nothing special about him (aside from the fact that he’s hung like a horse and has quite a nice ass).

Maybe, it’s because of that gleam in his eyes. The way they glisten like billions of crystals in the sun, when he smiles (that goofy drug-induced smile). Or, it is because of those adorable dimples plastered on his face, which manage to enlighten the entire room like a hundred-watt bulb.

It could also be because of the vibes Dean senses coming from the human every so often. They’ve been there before – at the diner – too, but he had managed to push the perceptions away back then. Now, it’s a little more difficult, when he’s shamelessly delivered to Sam’s constant presence.

Not that any of this could warm a demon’s heart – fewest of all Dean Winchester’s …

He can’t keep persisting, that – whatever it is the human does to him – is because the guy is hot as fuck and because he wants to pound that ass into next week. If he’d be more honest with himself, Dean would acknowledge those emotions and feelings for what they are: Affection.

Sure, Sam is practically a stranger, and they don’t know each other at all.

But you know, it’s this weird kind of thing, which tends to happen every now and then. When you cross paths with a person you don’t know at all, but you’re instantly drawn to?

It doesn’t have to be in a sexually arousing way.

Sometimes, you’d meet a person, and you instantly know, you’re vibe-ing on the same wave, even though you’re so very different?

It’s like Fire and Ice.

Light and Dark.

Sun and Moon.

It’s that irrational feel that you belong.

And if that’s not one of the weirdest things ever happened to Dean – of course, if he’d admit to himself that something like that could possibly happen to his rotten, foul, dark soul coming straight from the pits of hell.

 

*****

 

Gladly, Castiel has filled the run-down vending machine on the porch with snacks, lemonades and sodas. – What’s a miracle itself, since the thing had been out of order for … practically forever.

He’s sure it has got to do something with Sam.

Seems like the guy has the ability to gain strangers sympathies with nothing more than a beat of his long, dark eyelashes.

It’s ridiculous.

Dean hates it.

Anyway.
He won’t let himself think about it more and wreck his brains into mental exhaustion over it. It makes him feel all worked up on the inside, and that’s something he hates too.

Dean craves peace and quiet. So, he tries to keep the wolves sated and calm by trying to not think about anything that’s going to set off another turmoil of thoughts and feels.

He is about to grab a pack of chips from the vendor and add them to the stock of ‘supplies’ in a plastic bag, when he hears the Office’s door squeal open and close.

Dean looks up and spots Castiel coming his way. He groans internally, but doesn’t let his annoyance show.

“How is Samuel?”, the Angel asks straight away when he reaches him.

“Good morning to you too, Feathers.” Dean tugs the chips into the bag. “Better.”

Castiel gestures towards the Office. “It does happen that I have been cooking.”

Dean cocks an eyebrow. Really? “Cooking?”

Yes. – And, it happens, that I do have leftovers.”

The angel is not very subtle. Dean has to take the hint. “By, ‘you have leftovers’, you mean, you’ve been cooking, so the human gets something else in his stomach than soft-drinks and snacks?”

Red creeps onto Castiel’s face and makes his cheeks blush. He gives a curt nod.

“There is the possibility, that this had been my trail of thought last night. Yes.”

Dean scoffs. He’s gotta be fucking kidding him. “Nice.” And it rouses an eerie emotion in his chest, and makes his heart beat a little faster and clench a little tighter. – For all he knows, it could be something like jealousy tugging his strings.

If Dean Winchester would be able to feel jealousy at all.

“I will stop by later, when I have heated it up.”

Dean nods. “Thanks.”, he grumbles and his lips twitch. He leaves the Angel behind without a further word.

The feeling that’s definitely not jealousy gives way to anger.

 

*****

 

Sam sits at the side of the bed, elbows propped up on his knees and head in hands.

He feels miserable. So utterly miserable.

He’s nauseous and hungry at the same time, and his head is pounding away as if someone is slamming a sledgehammer against his skull from the inside.

Sam can’t recall what has happened after ending up in the bathtub, bound and gagged. Okay, there are snippets he remembers, but there are – by far – not enough of them to get the greater picture.

He knows, he’s not with Nicolas anymore, and he knows he’s not home. He also thinks to know, that he is with DEAN, and that he’s been sick and that Dean had been taking care of him.

Sam’s just wondering why he isn’t at a hospital, but – what he figures is – a motel-room.

And as if things couldn’t make any less sense, or become any weirder, he thought he caught sight– some time he had woken briefly – of a stranger with blue gleaming eyes.

Sam considers it as a hallucination, since that’s the only reasonable explanation.

Weirdly, he can’t get himself to give a shit about his whereabouts and who he is with. What’s probably because of the pills, which he supposes Dean had been giving him.

There’s a set of pill-bottles on his nightstand and bottles of water and soda-cans.

All empty, but one.

Sam’s brain is too foggy and he’s too exhausted to grab one of the pill bottles and read the labels. He doesn’t feel like moving at all.

But his bladder calls for release, so – sooner or later – he has to get his shit together and move, so not to wet his pants and the bed.

The last thing he wants is to make a mess – of himself and the bed. Hell, he doesn’t know how to repay what’s been done for him so far. He’s already in the man’s depth, and can’t afford to owe him more.

Sam has no clue how to afford to make up for the expenses he has caused so far.

He shifts and winces at the aches the movement causes. His legs don’t feel as if they will carry his weight. Though … he needs to go.

Sam curses inwardly and makes his arms and hands move. He pries his eyes open to the bright daylight cast through the two middle-sized windows. He squints and blinks and thinks he can feel himself sway a little. The room around him spins slowly to the left and when he lifts his head, his vision starts to swim and his stomach tilts.

Once, he’s sure he’s not going to pass out just yet, he braces himself against the mattress and assess his surroundings.

There are two doors, of one he’s certain is going to lead him outside. So, he’ll have to make it to the other one – which gladly – is way closer. Careful, to not cause another movement that would cause vertigo to pipe up again, he reaches for the nightstand and pulls himself to his feet.

He gives himself a moment to adjust to the change in height and then starts to walk along the wall, with one hand against it.

Sam finally makes it to the bathroom and to the toilet.

The place is surprisingly clean – considering where he is and how the carpet looks like.

He takes care of business and makes a stop at the sink to wash his hands and face and spares himself a look in the mirror.

He looks like death warmed over – twice.

Sam braces himself against the sink with his hands on either side and his lower belly and huffs out a breath.

He can’t believe that he’s still alive. TO be honest, he had thought Nicolas was going to kill him – or gets him killed. He thought, that’s the end and he’s going to die. Either by Nick’s hands, or because he’d take it too far this time around.

Sam can call himself lucky, as it seems – even though he has no clue how and why a stranger would care enough to look for him – if he had been looking for him – and why he’d bother to get him out of there – and not calling the authorities or an ambulance.

Yeah, it’s weird, but Sam decides to worry about the whys later.

Maybe, there’s a valid explanation.

Sam makes it back to the bed – barely – without passing out. He slumps down on it and let himself fall back across it; legs dangling from the mattress. His back aches a little; but it’s not too bad. He throws an arm over his eyes to shield them from the merciless brightness of sunlight.

 

*****

 

Dean keeps his gaze lowered, when he enters the motel-room.

It’s fuck pissing cold outside.

Dean hates the coldness at least as much as he hates heat – and witches. He pushes the door shut behind him and sits the bag down on the table. He unzips his jacket.

The rustling of fabric causes his attention, and he looks up and straight to the bed he knows the human is supposed to sleep on.

To his surprise, he’s not sleeping anymore and he must’ve been on his feet not long ago, since the lights in the bathroom are on and the door stands agape. Another unmistakable sign is, that the covers are all messed up and that Sam is sprawled out on his bed on top of them.

“Dude. What the hell?!”, he snaps. Sam’s going to mess up all the effort he’s put into keeping the wounds on his back clean and patched up, if he’s rolling around on his back on the bed.

Sam startles and gasps; throws his arm off of his face and bolts upright. His head snaps towards Dean and he stares at him with huge eyes.

“Hey?”, Sam chokes out hesitantly.

“I’ve spent the past couple of days to fix your back.”, Dean points his finger at him and addresses him with a stern look. “You better not mess up my handywork.”  

Sam’s eyebrows knit. “Sorry …?”, he murmurs and shifts; uncertain what to say, or how to act.

“Yeah, you better be.” Dean pulls the bag of chips and a Mars from the bag and throws it towards Sam.

Sam doesn’t catch them; he’s too slow.

A moment later, a can with coke follows, which bounces happily across the mattress and eventually rolls against Sam’s thigh.

“Thanks.”, Sam nods at him and quirks a careful smile.

Dean doesn’t return an honest smile. If anything, you could call it an annoyed, forced reaction of his face, when he curls the corners of his lips upwards. – The act of a smile doesn’t reach his eyes. They remain cool and hooded.

Sam takes the can and pops it open. It foams a little, but he is able to slurp the bubbles away, before he spills anything.

“You doin’ better.”, Dean notices and takes a Seven Up from the bag. “That’s good.”

Sam hums with his mouth full of coke and swallows. “Yeah. Thank you.” He takes another greedy swallow. Until now, he hadn’t been aware of how thirsty he is.

Dean walks over to Sam’s bed, snatches the pillow he had borrowed him, and flops down on his. He flips a coin into the ‘Magic Fingers Box’ and turns on the TV.

Sam shifts and moves up on his bed to lean against the headboard and watches Dean curiously. He’s been expecting a lot … but not … this? Dean acting all gruff and clinical as if Sam’s none of his business, though, caring enough to bring him fluids and food …

It raises more questions than answers.

“So …”, Sam croaks out and clears his throat, “What … what happened?” Because he has no fucking clue. “And … where are we? Did you bring me here, or … Why am I with you?”

Dean’s eyes do a roll in their sockets. “Somewhere around Elk Mountain, Wyoming.”, he answers absently, as he keeps flicking through the channels, to keep himself from experiencing unappreciated emotions considering Sam.

“Your boyfriend went all shits of crazy.” Dean can hardly tell him the truth, can he? Ain’t as if he can tell him that he’s a Demon, and he’s only gotten Sam out of there and had taken him with him, because of revenge for Nicolas being a sassy bitch towards him. “Got you out. – We’ve left the state. Now we’re in a Motel. Elk Mountain ‘s about twenty miles up north.”

Sam listens intently. The man’s tone is strained and negative vibes are radiating from him in thick waves. What makes Sam ponder if he should ask further, or wait until he’s going to tell him what has happened on his own accord.

“That’s … nice of you …” God, he’s so awkward sometimes. Sam trains his gaze at the coke in his hands and frowns at it. “I guess …”

“I know. Am I not a sweetheart?” Dean starts to switch the channels down again; not really paying attention on what’s on the screen, as he’s too occupied with not feeling anything, and ignoring the fact, that Sam’s coherent enough now, to pick up on stuff.

Sam chuckles embarrassed. “Guess you are …” He sucks in a deep breath and steels himself. “Okay. So. – Sorry to bother you …” Because Sam has quite the feeling that he’s bothering Dean, and that Dean isn’t fond of having him around at all. That raises some more questions, which he needs answers to. “But … Why didn’t you dump my ass at a hospital?”

Dean’s finger on the remote stills.

Sam goes rigid; feeling his skin bristle and an electric jolt coursing from his neck down into his tailbone.

The atmosphere shifts and Sam can’t but feel displaced and bad about himself. As if he’s the worst scum ever, for even daring to ask a question like that, and as if it’ll have bad consequences for him – even though he can’t tell why he would feel that way.

“Figured you wouldn’t want to go to a hospital.”, he answers and keeps switching in between channels. He’s not yet sure if he wants to continue watching The Waltons, or if Mc Gyver is a better choice to spend the upcoming minutes – until Sam passes out again - with.

Sam nods and frowns some more. There’s the possibility that he had told Dean to not take him there, since he can’t remember a lot. He must have been pretty out of it, and if he had thought he’s still with Nicolas, he might have told him to leave the authorities out of the game.

“Guess so …”, he mutters and licks his dry lips. “So …”

“Why don’t you drink up, pop in the antibiotics and painkillers and sleep some more?” Dean’s words are venomous; as if he expects Sam to do just that and at the same time, they’re meant as a warning …

Sam has no clue what’s going on. How to react. But he sure wouldn’t want to appear unthankful, so, he takes the pills, empties the coke and crawls back under the covers where he waits for the drugs to make him drowsy and to pull him back under the warm, pleasant covers of unconsciousness.

Dean breathes a sigh of relief, when the human’s breaths even out again.

He hadn’t spent a single thought on how to explain things to Sam.

He hadn’t had it in him to get up with a plan on how to track down Alistair either.

Thing is, he’s got the human with him – for now. He wouldn’t want to get the guy involved in his business, let alone give away what he is and what his plans are.

It’d only complicate things for Sam, Dean tells himself, even so he very well suspects, that it will rather complicate things for himself a little more too (now, that the human has managed to come emotionally close to him). He’ll have to explain shit to Sam, even though there’s no point in doing so. After all, Dean will stop to exist soon.

So why mess up Sam’s life by destroying the illusion of a non-supernatural world?

Dean’s feeling a headache dawning on the horizon of his mind.

All the thinking lately makes him fucking weak; the sparks of emotions he’s experiencing make him even weaker.

He can’t have that.

It’ll mess up his plans. Specially, if he keeps the human around longer than necessary. And at the same moment – when thinking about parting ways with Sam – it makes him feel as if he will be missing a damn limb.

That sucks.

 

****

Chapter Text

Chapter 14 ~ The Ignition

 

Sam sleeps through until knocks rouse him from his slumber.

Dean’s attention snaps from Sam (who has so not been watching him sleep) to the door.

Dean swings out of bed and saunters over to open it; under Sam’s careful watch, of course. While Sam gets himself into a sitting position, Dean opens the door and let their visitor in.

Castiel.

“I am bringing the soup. As promised.”, he announces and his face lights up upon spotting the human awake and coherent – obviously less feverish and aware of his surroundings. “I see you are awake.” Castiel walks past Dean, without paying him much attention, as it’s mostly drawn to the human.

Sam pries a nervous smile to his lips and greets him with a nod.

Dean slams the door shut with more force than necessary, what let Sam’s look trail from the Angel back to him. Sam gives him a questioning look.

As if he’s trusting Dean. As if he’s his anchor in stormy seas.

Then, Castiel talks again, and Sam looks back at him – still sleep-drunken and confused and irritated by the attitude the stranger is showing. As if Sam’s supposed to know him, and as if the stranger knows Sam.

“Hey.” Again, he steals a glance from Dean.

“Hello, Samuel.” Castiel smiles casually and places the pot with steaming soup on Dean’s nightstand, then goes straight for Sam’s. “I am Castiel. An-“

“An absolute douchebag.”, Dean stops him from probably revealing himself. The Angel can’t know that Sam can’t know that Dean’s a Demon – or anything about the existence of monsters for that matter. “He won’t remember you.”

Sam scoots back, until he’s leaning against the headboard; then reaches back and flinches at the aching pull the movement causes, and arranges the pillow against his back.

“Oh. Yes. Of course.” Castiel still smiles.

Sam feels more and more misplaced.

“Tomato-Rise-Soup.” Castiel reaches for Sam and Sam pulls away, eying the man suspiciously for a moment, before shooting Dean a weird look.

“What is this?” Sam’s heart is beating hard in his chest. “Why am I here? And who is this?” He points at Castiel. “Why are you both acting so … weird?” A thousand of ideas a rushing through Sam’s brain. From just being delusional and still hallucinating, to having ended up with a human trafficker and his companion.

“Your suspiciousness is justified. – But, I can assure you, we are not – and this is not – what you are – perhaps - thinking.”, Cas reassures.

Sam doesn’t buy it. “How would you know what I think this is?”

Dean groans and washes a hand over his face. “Castiel is the owner of this joint. – It’s a safe place. That’s why we’re here and not in any other motel.”, Dean steps in before the Angel is able to say something stupid. “I know him for a while now. – He’s a weirdo, but not dangerous.”

Castiel glares at Dean. “I am certainly not a ‘weirdo’ and I can be very ‘dangerous’.” Because he always has to set things straight, of course.

“Now’s not the time, Feathers.” Dean waves at him and gives him a pointing look. “And back off. You’re scarin’ the fuckin’ shit out of him.”

Castiel examines Sam for a very very long minute.

Sam stares up at the Angel in quite the same manner.

Castiel eventually seems to get it, and he nods to himself. “Sure. Of course. – Well.” His features derail for the shortest of moments.

“So …” He’s outnumbered here. So, even if this is nothing of what he thinks this is, it can surely be something worse – or become something really bad. Sam clears his throat. “Okay. – Thank you for … the soup.”

Castiel smiles again – it’s kinda creepy though. “You are welcome.”

Sam smiles too – or at least tries. Then he’s waiting for the stranger to back off, because he can’t inch backwards any further, and the guy gives him the creeps, if he’s being honest.

Now, that he thinks about it closer, and the way Dean is looking at him, Dean could be a creep too.

Castiel eventually follows Sam’s internal prayer to distance himself. “I am pleased that you are feeling better.”

Sam still smiles and nods at him. “Yeah … me too … Thank you for … you know … taking care of me?” He looks from Castiel back at Dean and can’t help the anxious lines appear on his face, when he’s – once again – met with an expression in those green eyes, of which he can’t tell what it’s supposed to mean.

Castiel seems to get the hint after it takes him an eon to understand that he’s the reason why the human is all tense. Only, when Dean comes up between them, and partly blocks the way between Castiel and Sam, Sam seems to relax a little.

“Can I have a word with you? Outside?”, the Angel asks, when he turns to face Dean.

Dean shrugs. They can, but he’s feeling a little hesitant about leaving the room, since the human is better (and could try and bolt through the window of the bathroom).

While the two of them have their talk, Sam tries to sort his thoughts and ideas and tries to match them with his assumptions about what’s going on.

He can’t hear anything but their hushed voices, no matter how hard he tries to understand what they are talking about.

Sam eyes the pot with soup suspiciously. Then, his gaze travels towards the bathroom and tries to get his rational mind to work more properly. He has the brief idea to climb through the bathroom window into freedom. But there’d be no point in it.

He wouldn’t get far. Not in his condition and high on pain meds.

Sam sighs and pulls the duvet up to his chest, when a vicious chill erupts at the base of his spine and spreads with lightspeed all through his body.

Running away ain’t an option – yet. Even if it’d turn out to become some twisted situation, where Dean wouldn’t be a regular handsome guy, but some human trafficker, who’s on the hunt for lost souls to collect and sell.

Everything feels just so surreal, and that’s scary as hell, Sam decides.

Maybe, he just got thrown from the frying pan into the fire …

 

*****

 

To Sam’s great surprise, nothing bad happens after Dean comes back inside – without the other guy. Not even after they eat the soup, or after his meds and another nap, which lasts until the late evening.

Sam visits the bathroom two times, and Dean redresses the welts on his back. He rubs some strange smelling salve on his bruises and tells him, that they’ll fade faster if applied regularly.

Dean’s real gentle, when he tends to his wounds. And so careful … Sam catches himself drifting off and letting himself get distracted, instead of paying attention to what the man is doing, multiple times.

Sam reminds himself every time – on the brink of drifting off - to stay alert.

Things can get awry fast – he had been there, done that.

Sam’s not mad that they’re not talking at all. He wouldn’t know what to ask and what to talk about without pissing Dean off. To the contrary from when he’s been visiting the diner, Dean seems to be in a foul mood all the time.

So, maybe this is the real Dean, and the one at the diner had only been a façade … for whatever reasons, Sam’s not sure. It just doesn’t make any sense.

 

*****

 

Dean isn’t fond of having the human around. He’s not fond of thinking to drop him off in the next town, at a bus station, either. But he’s well aware, that he can’t keep Sam with him either. Certainly not, since he’s doing remarkably better.

Dean Winchester, always with the inner conflicts.

It’s exhausting. All of it. Not only his emotions and the way he feels about the human.

So far, he has managed to keep him away from the radio and TV. He’s just glad there are no newspapers around, in which Sam could find a picture including the search appeal of himself.

“Thought I could drop you off at the bus station tomorrow.”, Dean speaks up, when Sam comes out of the bathroom, freshly showered, his hair damp. “Or drop you off along my way, if you wanna save money.”

Sam straightens his hoodie and stops in his tracks. He looks taken aback and surprised at the offer. “You would?”

Dean scoffs and looks up from the TV and over at Sam. “Why wouldn’t I? You’re doin’ better, and I’ve to get movin’.”

Sam tilts his head to the side and examines him for a long moment. Dean can feel his looks on him; all over him; INSIDE of him.

Sam nods. “That’d be great.”

Dean’s glad – but curious – about why Sam wouldn’t ask any more questions about what has happened and about his situation in general. Dean figures, waking up to the company of a – more or less – stranger is supposed to be alarming and scary as fuck. Though, so far, Sam hadn’t shown a lot of concern about his whereabouts and who he is with.

He hadn’t asked unnecessary questions, or had been prying. He hadn’t even tried to leave the room.

It’s like he just accepts whatever is going to happen to him. – What pisses Dean off. Because, HELLO? How is the kid supposed to survive out there with less than no fight in him? How is he going to manage and build himself a new life?

Dean gives Sam time to think. When there are no questions asked, or demands made, he continues.

“Cas is gonna stop by tonight; bring clothes and a jacket for you.” Dean pauses and looks back at the TV, but gestures at the nightstand beside Sam’s bed. There’s money. Bills and a couple of coins. “For the ticket.”

Sam follows the gesture with his eyes and a faint red taints his face. “Thanks. – That’s nice of you.”

Dean grunts. Sure, it is. Dean’s a nice guy. If he wants to. “Nothing to thank me for. Just … don’t go back to your boyfriend, will ‘ya?”

Sam’s face loses a few shades, and he looks down at his toes, which dig into the carpet. “I won’t.”

Dean dearly hopes so. He would love to pretend that he doesn’t give a single shit about where Sam will go and what will happen to him.

“I’m headin’ north-east. South Dakota. – Like I said, if there’s family around, or friends where I can drop you off …”, it’s as close to showing that he cares, as he can get.

Sam shakes his head. “No. – Thanks. I’ll be fine at the bus station.”

Dean doesn’t look at him, but quirks an eyebrow. He doesn’t have the impression that Sam will be fine.

“You sure?”, is what he actually asks, but what he really wants to know is, if there’s truly no family or friends, or if Sam just wants to get away from him as soon as possible. And if there’s no family or friends, where he wants to go and how he’ll manage with no money and only the bearings he’s wearing on his body.

But that’s not really his business.

“Yeah. I’m sure.”

“Good.” Good talk. Better than any of the none-talks they’ve had so far. Actually, it’s been the longest conversation between the both of them those past couple of days.

 

*****

 

Dean has no clue where the anxious feeling and emotions of threat come from, when he shoulders the duffel he has put together for Sam. He takes his in his other hand.

Sam’s standing in the doorway of the motel room and is waiting for Dean, with keys in his hand.

Dean takes one last sweep through the room, before he leaves.

Sam locks up behind them and returns the keys to Castiel, who is sitting in his Office and is reading in a book.

Sam says his thanks and hands him the keys.

The atmosphere in the small room is filled with awkward tenseness, when he leaves and joins Dean, who is already waiting in his car with the engine running.

Sam settles down in the passenger’s side and takes care to not put too much weight on his back when he leans back.

Dean chews the insides of his cheeks and lays his hand on the gearstick, then shifts it with more force than necessary into drive.

They are both quiet during the drive, until they reach the bus station of Elk Mountain.

There’s not a lot to see. A small log lodge with a tiny porch and the signs that this is a bus station. Dean parks in one of the three parking lots in front of the lodge.

Both men sit in silence, until Dean sighs. “So. – The meds are in your duffel. An extra set of clothes to change … gauze. – A couple of water-bottles.”, he says out loud, what he’s going through in his mind’s list. “You’ve got the money?”

It’s the first time Dean looks over at him. For once, when Sam looks back, he thinks he can see something else but annoyance in those pretty greenish eyes.

Sam nods. “I … You’ve an address? I mean … when I’ve managed to get a job; a roof over my head. – I’d like to pay you back, you know?”

Dean’s lips purse and he turns in his seat. “I’m a loner; always on the road. There’d be nowhere you could send it to.” He shrugs and tries to cover his uneasiness with a smile.

“Huh.” Sam licks his lower lip nervously. “But … If I’d like to get in touch with you. – I mean … you’ve done a whole of a lot for me. More than … than anyone has so far. – We could … I mean, I could call from time to time? So I’d know-“ Sam takes a deep breath. “- that you’re okay.”, the last words rush out of him.

Dean eyes him curiously, and can’t help the cocky smirk creep onto his face. Oh, that’s sugary sweet, isn’t it? He chuckles. Being the bad guy is pretty cool, isn’t it? He’s been acting like a dick, and Sam’s still nice to him. “Oh, Hotstuff.” He sighs again. He’s real cute, ain’t he? With those pretty huge colorful eyes and sinful lips. In another life, maybe, Dean would give him his number and tell him to call.

“I’ll be okay.” One way to go, Dean.

He watches the human shift; waits for him to finally get a grip and get out of the damn car.

Sam seems to eventually get, that Dean doesn’t want to have to do something with him after he leaves.

Sam finally decides to get his move on; exits the Impala, grabs the duffel from the backseat and offers a grateful and apological smile when he turns once more.

Dean nods at him, to go on, and watches until Sam vanishes in the lodge. He grits his teeth behind pursed lips and sets his jaw.

How come, knowing that this is the last time he sees Sam, drives something cold and icy right through his chest and into his dark heart?

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 15 ~ The Bus

 

Dean’s knuckles are white from gripping the steering-wheel hard.

He keeps his eyes trained on the snowy road before him; his jaw still clenched tight and the wheels in his head wrecking themselves.

“Damn it.”, Dean grumbles and a snarl forms on his lips. He’s already on the road for about two hours and haven’t looked back once. Though, his mind keeps drifting towards the human, who is probably on the bus already and on his way to god-knows-where … He can’t shake off the eerie feel, that something ain’t right, and he can’t – for the love of it – tell what it is.

It’s not as if he can rule out his emotional wasteland of darkness not being involved in what he experiences right now, or that he’s having this feel of threat linger upon his shoulders, because he let get himself emotionally involved with a human.

Dean curses again and stirs the Impala towards the side of the road and puts her into park. The further he moves away from where he has left Sam, the more wrong he feels.

He bites his lower lip hard, until he can taste copper on his tongue. Usually, he can rely on his instincts. If they tell him, something is wrong, then, something is damn wrong.

He pushes the gear stick back into drive and reverses his Baby, until he’s on the opposite lane of the road; heading back south.

 

*****

 

Sam takes a seat somewhere in the middle of the bus; with the duffel in his lap. He trains his gaze outside and watches a hand full of people getting in line to get on the vehicle.

He sighs heavily; his breath fogs the cool window, where he rests against it with his forehead. He’ll go to Bessemer Bend – a three-hour drive with the bus – as it makes some stops in smaller towns on the way.

He has no clue what he’s going to do there, or where to hole up. There’s no one he knows. No one alive he could call – except for his uncle, Bobby.

Well, he’s not really his uncle, but he’s the closest to family he has. Though, he hasn’t had contact with the old man in years – since he came together with Nicolas, actually. What’s probably been one of his biggest mistakes.

Sam would rather bite his hands off than call Bobby now. Because, you don’t dump family because of some obscure guy wooing you. You don’t leave their number, because the man you’ve fallen in love with doesn’t like them.

It’s Sam’s own fault, and he will get himself out of this. And then, when he’s got a job, and apartment, and when he is back on track with his life – then, and only then, he’ll call his uncle.

 

*****

 

Dean puts the gas pedal to the metal. It’s a risky endeavor speeding along like this, on snowy, icy roads, but he’s a good driver, and his stealth horse is glued to the surface beneath its tires like the plus and minus pole of a magnet.

She can make it – will make it.

 

*****

 

Sam’s sunken in thoughts, when the bus stops somewhere around nowhere at one of his regular stops. There’s nothing more than a pole, which has a plate on it, which reads ‘BUS STOP’ and ‘Fortitude’ on it.

Outside, a delicate girl – not older than twelve – stands beside the pole.

She’s wearing a fluffy looking hood; beneath it, golden locks fall over a neat coat with furry linen. Her legs are clad in thick woolen stockings and unnaturally clean white patent leather boots.

She doesn’t have anything else on her – not even a purse.

The girl’s face contours in an artificial smile, showing perfectly white teeth between rose lips.

She shows the driver her ticket and walks down the narrow isle between seats.

There are plenty of empty ones she could occupy, but the girl stops beside Sam and eyes him for a very long moment. Her hair bounces when she shifts her weight to her toes and then back on her heels.

“Can I sit here?”, she asks cheeringly and flashes her white teeth at him.

Sam – who only gets to notice the girl now – looks over; startled out of his thoughts. “Huh?”

“I don’t want to sit alone, Mister. – Can I have this seat?”

Sam nods. “Sure.” He cranes his neck and straightens it to lurk over the seats. There’s no one else getting on the bus as it looks like.

“Shouldn’t you be in the company of an adult?”

The girl shrugs, her golden locks bounce again, and she slips onto the seat beside Sam. “I’m older than I look like.”

 

*****

 

Dean reaches Elk Mountain in record time. He puts Baby into park and makes a dash for the counter in the Lodge, where they sell tickets.

The clerk is an old, wrinkly man in his sixties – maybe seventies.

“Hey.”, Dean greets him with his patented charming smile. His eyes narrow instantly and the smile is wiped from his face.

His eyes flash black.

The man on the other side of the counter straightens up too and takes a step back. He shows his true nature after another moment of surprise.

Winchester.”, the demon states nonchalantly. “What a pleasure.” His lips curl into a sly grin; showing his yellowish teeth to him.

“Where is he?”, Dean snarls and slams both hands – palms down – on the counter before him.

The demon chuckles. “Where’s who?”

That fucker knows exactly who Dean is asking for. “The human you’ve sold a ticket to. – What have you done to him?”

“If it would’ve happened that I’ve sold a ticket … I guess …” It shrugs and clicks its tongue. “Then, he might as well is on the bus I suppose.”

Dean’s nostrils flare. He swings one leg onto the counter and slides up, and then down on the other side; getting the hindrance between them behind him.

The demon inches back, it’s lips quiver in anticipation. It got a winning grin on its face and the left corner of its lips tugs up.

“I don’t have time for your bullshit.”

“Oh, my bad. Because, see. I’ve got aaalll the time in the world.”

Dean squares his shoulders and before the demon can make a move, Dean has him by the throat and pushes him back and up against the wall.

“Spill, or I’m gonna send you right back through that hole you’ve crawled out of, Asshole.”

The demon’s smile falters and Dean can feel its adam’s apple pop against his palm. It rolls its eyes.

“Fine. – He is on the bus. Bought a ticket to Casper.”

That’s way too easy. There’s no teasing, no bargaining. Nothing a demon would usually do. If that doesn’t smell like a damn fucking trap.

“Why are you here?”, Dean asks and pushes his thumb into the side of the Demon’s throat. “What’s your purpose?”

“I’m here, because you are. – and for my purpose: Ain’t it obvious?” It curls its bony fingers around Dean’s wrist and tugs. “Now, let me go.”

“Did Alistair put you up to this?”, Dean hisses at him.

The demon’s lips twitch.

So, yes. “What does he want with the human?”

It whimpers, when Dean tightens his hold on it.

“We’ve been following you. Have been for a while. Lost your track every now and then, until one of ours stumbled upon your presence down in Manning. – The order is, to not let you out of our sight.”

Dean pushes his jaw forward and lifts his chin; examining the Demon closely. He tells him with a look to keep going.

“We’ve lost you after Manning. Only knew, that you’ve taken a human with you. – Alistair has commanded to keep an eye out for the both of you and report to him as soon as either of you turns up.”

Dean snarls. “Does he know yet?”

The demon nods jerkily.

Shit. Fucking damn it.

He reaches with his free hand into the inner pocket of his jacket and retrieves the Colt.

“Guess it’s time to test this. – After all, I can’t have Alistair know that I know.” Killing the demon won’t stop Alistair from getting to know that Dean knows, but it sure will delay things, until Dean’s able to get a hold of Sam.

 

*****

 

Casper ain’t that far away. Two hours tops.

Though, with the bus having its own tour with a buttload of stops in between, and since he has to follow the bus’ route, Dean calculates that he’s going to catch up with it on the 220 around Bessemer Bend. It’s supposed to stop there for twenty minutes to wait for a connection train at the railroad station.

He dearly hopes, Sam doesn’t decide to get off the bus before that. Then again, Bessemer Bend is one of the first stops, which has a Rail Station and a Bus Terminal. If he decides to go somewhere else but Casper, this would be one of the stops, where Sam could change his route easily.

Besides, covering that much ground, and trying to figure out where he had left the vehicle and had taken off to would be a bitch.

Also, Sam could be trailed by demons. For what he knows, there could be one with Sam right now. They could receive message from their master to intervene and do god-knows-what to him.

“Fuck.” Sam knows shit about Dean and the whereabouts of the Colt. But, if they assume that it’s in Dean’s possession and that Sam has been around to witness anything at all, Alistair will suspect that Sam knows something about it.

It makes Dean mad all over again and lifts his temper to new heights.

 

*****

 

The girl still smiles.

Sam glances at her every so often; still wondering every now and then how come, that a delicate girl travels without a caretaker across the state.

He shoves those thoughts aside – even though he doesn’t like himself for it – since he’s got other matters on his hands. Sam needs to figure out where and how to go from Bessemer Bend.

He needs money.

Needs a place to sleep and hole up – recover some more too.

And, he needs food.

Sam has an account, where Nick uses to – used to – transfer his monthly wage on. He has to manage and get access to that money; get his old bank card disabled and organize a new one – with a new code.

Once that’s done, he can look for a small apartment around town, or move somewhere else.

Though, until then, he needs a plan on how to short his time being without fundings.

“My name’s Misha and I’m 11 years old.”, she talks up and looks at Sam expectantly. “What’s your name?”

Sam’s thoughtful features soften instantly when he looks back at her.

Surely, a whole lot of things are giving Sam the creeps lately (even that tiny girl). He tries to push the up-flaring anxiety towards the back of his mind; and keeps telling himself, that he shouldn’t act like such a damn pussy.

He’s a grown man after all; nearly 34 years old. He has to get a grip on himself.

That tiny girl sure isn’t going to eat him alive.

“My name’s Sam. I’m 33, about to turn 34 soon.”, he answers with a soft smile.

“Where are you going?”, the child asks and gazes up at Sam with big trusty eyes and that artificial smile which gives Sam the creeps.

“Bessemer Bend.”, he answers truthfully. “What about you?”

“Holidays at Granny’s.”, she answers cheerfully. “She’s already waiting for me in Casper.”

The answer levels Sam’s worries about the girl. At least she’ll get picked up. He wouldn’t have to bother about her, because he sure as hell wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about her whereabouts.

“That’s pretty cool. You’ve to be excited, huh?” He smiles down at her too.

She nods vigorously; her blonde curls bounce happily with the motion.

“You know …” Though there’s one more thing bothering Sam, “… You shouldn’t talk to strangers – or ask to sit with them when there are a whole lot of other empty seats. It could be dangerous.”

The girl chuckles and waves at him sweetly. “You don’t look dangerous.”

Sam snorts. “Not all dangerous people look threatening.”, he points out.

She pouts at him. “I have a very good knowledge of human nature.”

And even that looks so cute … and makes the tiny hairs in Sam’s neck stand up.

Sam cocks both eyebrows at her and grins. “That’s good.” He nods at her. “Why don’t you tell me something about your Granny?”

 

*****

 

Dean knows he shouldn’t, but he’s kinda losing his shit right the fuck now.

Half way through his drive, he decides to take a shortcut to Bessemer Bend. He just has to try his luck and get there before the bus does; and hope, that Sam hasn’t left it yet.

God, he’s so stupid. He should’ve taken the human to where he wants to. He should have known, that Alistair isn’t stupid enough to follow the breadcrumbs he has set up for him before he went to Manning.

He growls at the road stretching before him.

Dean shouldn’t give a shit about the human. He never gives a shit about humans. But this one … SAM … he can’t tell why, but with this one it’s different. He just can not not care. And he can’t let him get injured or killed, because he got in the line of fire.

Sam won’t stand a chance.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 16 ~ The Revelation

 

Bessemer Bend, Bus terminal. Ten minutes until the bus is supposed to arrive at ‘Platform 2’.

Dean has the Impala parked in one of the lots, among a lot of other cars, so – if a demon (or demons) are on the bus, or close by – they won’t spot his Baby instantly. For his own appearance; he’s thrown himself into a long cloak, scarf and a hood pulled deeply into his face, while he sits on a bench on ‘Platform 2’.

Dean keeps his senses alert; catches on everyone passing by, or who is hanging out around here. So far, he’s pretty much the only person waiting for the bus – or any other means of transport – for that matter.

The place feels too empty. There’s little traffic and way too less people on the streets. And it smells like death and traces of sulfur.

Something is definitely off about this place.

Dean wonders how they could know that he’ll come here. Or, they don’t know about Dean, and this is where Sam’s planning on getting off the bus and on a train. Which means – if this is the demons’ doing – they know about Sam’s plans.

They might try to extract him from here and bring him somewhere else to interrogate him properly. Maybe, even Alistair would decide to be around for it.

Which – honestly – would open new possibilities to him, when it comes to Alistair. It could. But Dean won’t act on it.

First, he has to get Sam out of the way and some place safe.

But knowing, that Alistair is after him; is a very good thing to happen. Means, he won’t have to track this bastard down. He’ll just let him find him when the time is right.

After all, postponed is not abandoned.

There’s a season for everything.

Now is just not the right one to try and kill Alistair. It’d put the human’s life on the line.

So, Dean waits patiently for the bus to arrive.

The damned thing is pulling up in front of him five minutes too late.

Dean rises slowly to his feet and fights the urge to lift his head and reveal his face, when the bus finally comes to a stop.

 

*****

 

The girl – Misha – gets out of the row of seats to make space for Sam as soon as the bus comes to a halt.

“’s been nice to meet you, Mister.”, she says politely.

“It’s been nice to meet you too, Misha.”, Sam answers in an equally polite tone. “Have nice holidays.”

She chuckles and waves at him.

Sam waves back at her. “And be careful. – Don’t talk to strangers.”

“Right.”

“Right.”, he mumbles to himself and his smile slowly fades, when he exits the bus.

The girl – Misha – takes her seat again. Her eyes roll back in their sockets, until only the white is visible anymore. Her smile turns into a broad, vicious grin, as she watches the tall human walk away.

Short behind Sam, a pretty brunette with high heels and a tall lanky man exit the bus.

Once outside, Sam slings the duffel over his right shoulder and closes the Parka’s zipper. Honestly, he doesn’t pay much attention to his surroundings; he’s too sunken in his wonderland of thoughts and occupied with forging a plan.

He doesn’t notice the man in the long cloak approaching him, nor the woman and the man hot on his heels, whose eyes flash black for a split second, as they spot the quickly narrowing threat.

 

*****

 

Dean recognizes the two people behind Sam almost instantly as what they are. Demons.

He speeds up as he aims right for Sam, who isn’t even paying any fucking attention to anything around him.

Dean pulls the hood, covering his face, back with one hand and reaches for the gun fastened to a holster under the cloak with the other one.

His face is a grimace of anger and fury, when he cocks the gun.

The demons snarl loudly; their eyes pitch-black, as they are about to lung for Sam.

Dean growls animalistically and flashes his teeth at them. “Sammy!”, he yells in a guttural manner, “Down!”

Sam’s head snaps up, his eyes wide and alert all of a sudden, as he stares right into Dean’s green ones, which turn to obsidian within one blink of his eyes.

“Get the fuck down!”, Dean’s voice thunders; his expression a promise of bloody hell; his upper lip curled into a snarl.

Sam drops to the concrete, before the creatures behind him can get a hold of his Parka which they are reaching for, and throws his arms over his head.

Two shots ring out a second later, and then, Sam’s pulled back up to his feet by a strong hand to his bicep.

“C’mon. Get movin’.”, a voice to his left growls. The bullets with engraved pentagrams are only going to hold them in their hosts for so long.

“Dean?”, his voice sounds too high-pitched for his own liking.

But Dean is already dragging him away from the two twitching bodies on the ground, of which Sam only manages to catch a glimpse.

Dean stops abruptly, and so does Sam when he bumps into him.

Before them, a group of people has appeared – out of the blue. They look casual, but they are all wearing black eyes.

“What the hell?!”, Sam shrieks and attempts to take a step back, but Dean’s hand only closes tighter around his bicep to hold him in place.

Dean points the gun at them. “I wouldn’t if I were you.”

The one in the middle, flanked by two demons on each side, snorts comically. “You know what we want.”

“It’s not here.”

“But you know where it is.”

“Yep. Happens that I do.”

“Give it, and we may let him go.” The Demon gestures at Sam, who stares blankly back at the unearthly creature.

“Fuck you.”

It chuckles. “My boss is not going to be amused.”

“Well, tough toenails. I’m neither.”

The demon snarls at him; then growls. “You can take on one. – Maybe two …”

Dean chuckles and shrugs. “I can take on all of you dumbasses – onehanded. Blindfolded even.”

The group laughs and one of the women giggles hysterically. “No, you can’t.”

Dean’s lips twitch and he squares his shoulders. “Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus, ...” Dean clicks his tongue and does as if he needs a moment to think, “… omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii, omnis legioooo …” He rises both eyebrows at the demons, as they start to squirm in their hosts.

Black smoke worms its way out from one of their mouths and the body it has been possessing slumps to the ground.

“….omnis congregatio et secta diabolicaaaaa …”, he continues to recite what he knows by heart.

The leader makes a guttural sound. “You guys want more?”

Dean can call himself lucky, that neither of them is equipped with any weapons they could use against him. And for their powers, they’re equals. Neither of them could harm Dean with their psychic abilities.

His only – and so far – most powerful weapon is the Exorcism. Aside from the Colt of course. Which he can’t put to use, since he’s only got five bullets left, and two of them he’s going to need for Alistair and himself.

They know that he’s got nothing on him, except for the gun in his hands. And Dean knows that they know. He also knows, that they don’t want to go back downstairs. Because, well, it’s hell there.

Dean draws in a deep breath to continue and expel them. “… Ergo, omnis legio diabolica, adiuramus te…”, his voice trails off, as they smoke out one after another, on their own accord.

Sam keeps staring; rooted to the spot; holding his breath. “Fuck.”, he breathes.

Dean tugs on him. “C’mon. Let’s get the hell outta here.” He turns to face Sam, his eyes still black as night.

Sam stares at him; into the black sea of his eyes, and gulps down a breath, as the blackness bleeds away and reveal gleaming green gems in the late winter-sun’s rays.

“You can freak out all you want later. – But right now we have to leave.” He gives Sam an intensive look.

Sam nods shakily and let himself be dragged away from ground zero and towards Dean’s Impala, who opens the passenger’s door as soon as they reach it.

“Hop in.” Dean pushes at Sam, until he’s seated; pulls the duffel from him and stores it on his way around the car in the trunk, before getting settled behind the steering wheel.

Dean doesn’t waste time with unnecessaries, and starts Baby’s engine. He maneuvers her backwards with squealing tires and leaves quite some rubber on the asphalt, when he speeds off and hauls ass to get him and his freight out of town as fast as possible.

 

*****

 

There’s tense silence.

Only Baby’s engine is heard inside the car.

Sam stares straight through the windshield; every now and then he swallows audibly and opens and closes his mouth as if to say something, but seems to decide against it.

Dean steals curious glances at the man riding shotgun. He figures, he should give Sam time to digest what he has just witnessed. He’ll ask shit when he’s ready …

It takes another fifty miles, before Sam seems to overcome his state of shock.

What were they? What are you?”, Sam asks in a whisper without looking over at Dean.

“Demons.” Now that the cat is out of the bag, there’s no reason to keep shit from Sam. Now, he needs to know. More or less everything.

Demons.”, Sam repeats emotionless.

“Yep.”

“You are a Demon.”

“Yep.”

“You gotta be fuckin’ kidding me.”, Sam murmurs and shifts in his seat. “You gotta be fucking kidding me.

“Nope.”

Sam draws in a shuddering breath and swallows.

Dean steals another glance. It looks like Sam’s gonna be sick.

“I’m … You’re … I can’t …”, Sam stammers. “Why?”

“Why what?”

“Demons aren’t real.”

“Well, I am very real, Hotstuff.”

Then, there’s silence for a very long time.

“That guy – Castiel ... He a Demon too?” Sam sounds hesitant when he asks; still doesn’t dare to look at Dean.

Dean snorts. Far from it. “Nope. Angel.”

Sam nods. “Angel.”

Silence settles between them again.

“So … Angels and Demons …”, Sam talks up again, “So … the devil? God? They real too?”

Dean snorts a laugh. “I don’t know about God. – But Lucifer’s on lockdown for all I know.”

Sam leans his head back. The laugh that follows sounds on the border of hysterical.

“You’re a Demon …”

Dean hums approvingly. The exclamation fills him with pride.

“You’re … and I am … And … So … What now?”

Dean shrugs. He has no clue. “I don’t know.”

Sam blows out a long breath and blinks. “Where are you taking me?”

“I don’t know.”

“Are you … are you gonna kill me?”

Oh man … “Don’t think so …”

“You don’t think so …”, Sam mutters to himself and bites his lip.

No, I’m not, okay?”

Okay.”

That’s it? It’s that easy? “Anything else?” Dean glances over at Sam, who is still training his gaze out of the window.

Sam shakes his head.

“Good.” Dean reaches for the radio and pushes the cassette tape in; then presses play and cranks the volume up.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 17 ~ The Colt

 

Dean wonders, how Sam can sleep – in a situation like this, with a creature like him right beside – and fitfully at that.

Dean looks over at him again, rolls his eyes at the man, and then he moves them to shoot a glance into the rearview mirror, where the setting sun is disappearing behind the horizon.

He turns the volume down a little.

So far, Dean has no idea where to go and where to hole up. It’s not like he has a safe place in petto; somewhere he can take the human to – and where the Demons won’t be able to track them down.

For now, they have to keep moving.

 

*****

 

It’s around midnight, when Baby starts to crave gas, so no matter that Dean doesn’t want to stop, he has to.

He pulls off the highway and takes some side-streets until they pass through a small village and ten miles further is a gas station, where he gives her a refill and buys soft drinks and Twinkies.

Sam doesn’t wake for any of it.

They’re back on the highway, when Sam stirs and shows first signs of waking.

“’bout time.”, Dean grumbles and takes a huge swig from the whiskey-bottle in his right hand. “Can’t believe you’re able to sleep like this.”

Sam smacks his lips and pries his left eye open, with which he gazes at the driver’s side. “’s not as uncomfortable as it looks like.”, he mutters hoarsely.

Dean puts the bottle between his thighs and his hand back on the steering wheel. “You are aware, that I am a Demon, right?” Because, somehow, Dean feels a little offended by the lack of reverence the human pays him.

Sam squints his second eye open.

Dean can feel Sam’s examining looks on him.

“You could have killed me when you gave me a ride home. You could’ve left me with Nick. You could’ve let me die back at the motel, but you did quite the opposite. You’ve taken care of me. And you could’ve gotten rid of me, when taking me to the bus station. – So … Something tells me, you’re not as bad as you want me to believe you are.” Sam pauses. “You could’ve let them get me ...” A pause again. Sam yawns and rubs both his hands over his face. “But you didn’t.”

Dean makes an annoyed sound.

“I s’pose not all Demons are evil …”, Sam murmurs, more to himself than Dean.

Another annoyed sound and an eye-roll. Sam definitely gets this all wrong. ALL Demons are dicks. And so are Angels. It just didn’t happen yet, that he had the opportunity to meet any of them.

Sam’s getting a completely wrong picture of his kin. That’s a fatal error, which is going to get him killed.

Just like a deer raised by humans. At some point, it’s set free, and because it’s stupid enough to trust humans and wouldn’t run when catching a whiff of a hunter, it gets itself killed.

Dean has to set some things straight right the fuck now. He lifts his hand to stop Sam from whatever he wants to say.

Listen. I didn’t rip you away from your boyfriend, because of the goodness of my heart. He offended me. Taking away his boy-toy only seemed fair and worse than killing him.” He can still feel Sam observe him. “I’ve patched you up, because Cas would’ve not been amused, if you would have died at the motel. I can’t afford to get banned from there. And for the not-killing-part: You didn’t piss me off, that’s why I haven’t killed you …” Dean senses Sam shift and look away. “…yet.”, he adds meaningfully.

There’s a beat of silence.

Sam seems to collect and reorder his thoughts. “You came for me, when they have been after me.”

Dean shrugs. “Yeah, well. I’ve put a lot of time and energy into cockering you up. – It would’ve been a waste of my time – and money – if I would’ve let them get you.” Point.

“Oh.”, Sam breathes. He sounds genuinely disappointed.

Bingo. Dean Winchester, always pushing the right buttons.

“So, you’re gonna drop me off somewhere else?”

Dean sets his jaw. “No. – They’re after you too now.”

Silence.

“Why?”

“Because they think that you know something about something.”

Sam hums and thinks for a moment. “But … I don’t know anything.”

“Damn straight. You don’t. and we rather leave it that way.”

“So … I’m staying with you? For now?”

That’s going to become a serious problem. Dean had not planned on letting the human tag along. He’ll be in the way more often than not.

“For now. – Yes.” Dean clears his throat. “But. If you piss me off. At any point. – I’ll serve them your ass on a silver platter.” No, he won’t, but the human doesn’t know that. “And if you can’t keep up with me, you’ll be left behind.”, he warns him. That won’t happen either. He just doesn’t want Sam to think that he’s a nice guy.

Because Dean really isn’t. He’s as bad as the others – probably even worse.

 

*****

 

Dean needs to hide the Colt.

That’s his number one priority at the moment.

If he loses the weapon, he might lose everything he’s been searching for and working on. Aside from the fact, that he won’t be able to kill Alistair, neither will he obtain eternal peace (what is still his goal).

He has to get imaginative …

They stop at another gas station during the night.

Dean tells Sam to stay put and that he’ll be back in a couple of minutes. Sam nods at him – he hasn’t spoken ever since their little talk about Dean being a bad-boy.

He parks the car at the back, retrieves his bag from the trunk and vanishes in the man’s toilet with it.

Dean locks the door and then sets to work. He shrugs off the cloak and lays it over the two seedy sinks, on which he lays out his suture-kit, gauze, tape, the Colt and his sharpest knife.

Dean rolls his shoulders as he eyes his reflection in the mirror.

“That’s gonna be fun.”, he murmurs at himself and pulls off his shirts.

 

*****

 

A couple of minutes turn into forty-five.

When he comes back to the car, Sam’s leaning against the hood, with his butt parked on it. He looks a little worried and pale.

“Are you okay?”, Sam asks and pushes away from the car, when he spots Dean, who is aiming straight for the trunk, with his bag in hand.

Dean grunts. Even though he’s a Demon, he’s not completely prone to pain and/or discomfort. His body is pretty much alive – to the contrary of his fellow-demons, who can also possess dead humans.

Well, Dean could too, but it wouldn’t be the same.

This is his true vessel, and he wouldn’t give it up in a life-time. Maybe, that’s one of the reasons, why he is capable of experiencing emotions a run-of-the-mill demon wouldn’t.

Plus, when he smokes out, his vessel won’t remain as some lifeless, rotting corpse.

It keeps breathing and its heart keeps beating – it’s just … soulless.

Dean supposes that has got something to do with the Hoodoo-Chick who had fixed his body all those years ago.

It doesn’t really matter to him though.

Things are as they are supposed to be. Let’s call it fate – or whatever.

“Are you okay?”, Sam asks him again, when he doesn’t answer, and instead focuses on putting the bag back into the trunk without showing too much discomfort.

“’m fine.”, Dean answers and gestures at Sam to get back in the car.

“You don’t look fine.” Sam sounds and looks honestly worried.

“I will be. – It’s …” He thinks for a moment, and bites back a wince, when he climbs back into his Baby. “… a demon-thing.”

He can hear Sam repeat a thoughtful “demon-thing”, but spares himself and Sam any further explanations. Besides, it’s better the human doesn’t know – in case they’d manage to get the drop on them.

 

*****

 

They are back on the road for a while.

“That demon-thing seems painful.”, Sam remarks in between chewing the insides of his cheeks and lips off.

Dean clears his throat.

“How about your back?” It hasn’t gone past him, that Sam’s changing his position more often, and that he tries to not touch the lean with his back.

Sam shrugs.

“You haven’t taken the antibiotics yet. – And your painkillers.” It’s not as if Dean would pay attention to it – except that he does. “Didn’t I tell you to take them twice a day?” Going against one of his orders is an absolute no-go.

Sam blinks at him owlishly. “Excuse me, I’ve been a little … distracted? You know, demons and stuff …”

“Oh, don’t get that tone with me, Hotshot.”

Even though it’s in the middle of the night and dark as fuck in the car, Dean can practically see how Sam’s face flushes.

“Just because you’re a Demon, and probably able to snap my neck with a snap of your fingers, doesn’t mean that I’m not allowed to say what I’m thinking.”, Sam shoots back.

“Guess that attitude is why you’ve landed gagged and blindfolded in that bathtub in the first place, huh?” Dean is well aware of the affect the mentioning of said happening must have on Sam, and that it’s probably a painful low-blow. But, at this point, he doesn’t give a shit.

He can hear the human swallow and suck in a deep breath.

An excuse dances on the tip of Dean’s tongue, but he bites it hard.

End of story.

 

*****

 

Sam is awful quiet after that. – To be honest, too quiet for Dean’s liking. He must have hit a bad nerve.

He can practically feel the air between them sizzle with something much worse than rage, or indignation. If Dean is supposed to guess, he’d say it is bone-deep hurt radiating from Sam.

On the plus-side, Sam gets his pills from the duffel in the back and gulps them down with an entire bottle of water. And if Dean’s not mistaken, Sam chugs down two painkillers instead of one.

Good boy, ain’t he?

Doesn’t change, that Sam’s silent treatment is tickling Dean’s insides in a very unsexy way.

 

*****

 

By dawn, Dean feels utterly horrible – and he can’t even tell why. Okay, he can, but he ignores the reasonings of his white wolf and gives the black one the pass.

Because you know what? Dean’s a fucking demon, and he doesn’t have to play nice; and he sure doesn’t need a guide who tells him what’s right and what’s wrong. Most of all: He is not supposed to feel regret, and he sure as hell won’t start now with any of this shit.

Though …

He shoots a lingering look at the sleeping form in the passenger’s seat.

The position ain’t good for the man’s back. Specially not, when his back is torn up, and has only recently started to heel. Him riding shotgun; being damned to sit in that very position for that long, might mess with the progress the wounds have made.

Besides, someone has to check on the dressings, and the formerly badly inflamed welt has to breathe, or else it’ll start to macerate again.

So, Dean starts to look out for a decent Motel …

 

*****

 

Dean manages to track one down short before dawn.

He gets them a room on the first floor at the back of the two-story-building and parks his Baby out of plain sight.

Sam sleeps through all of it – again – until Dean wakes him with a cool hand to his forehead and a softly spoken “Hey, Buddy”. It sounds fond and nearly loving.

Sam’s eyes open immediately and he straightens up in the seat. He looks straight at Dean with bleary eyes and blinks. “Yeah?”

“Motel.” Dean withdraws his hand and dumps the keys in Sam’s lap. “I’ll get the bag.” He doesn’t sound as soft anymore.

Sam nods and reaches for the keys. “I can take mine.”

Dean only shakes his head at him and tells him with his look that he got this and Sam should go check out the room.

Sam follows the wordless order.

Dean gets their bags, while watching Sam out of the corners of his eyes; noticing the drag in the man’s very step and the stiffness in his movements.

When he enters, Sam’s already on the bed closest to the door.

Dean grunts. “Nope.”, he says and startles Sam with the bite in his voice, “That’s my bed. Move over.”

Again, Sam drags himself up and over onto the other bed, where he slumps down, toes off his boots and rolls over onto his stomach with a muffled grunt.

Dean drops their bags beside his bed, toes off his boots too and locks the door. “Don’t you sleep yet. – We’ve to check on your back.”

Another grunt.

Dean grunts back and returns to his duffel where he goes through it until he pulls out a spray can. When he starts to shake it, Sam turns his head into his direction and eyes him for a moment, before he averts his gaze again.

Dean paints the walls red. He draws sigils of all kinds – which he has memorized some time ago – onto the walls, windows and door. Not even the bathroom stays unscathed.

When he is done, Dean dumps the can back into his bag and gets Sam’s pills from the duffel – along with one of the soda cans he has bought on their last stop.

He arranges the items on Sam’s nightstand.

“You need to lose your jacket and shirts.” Dean knows Sam’s not asleep. His breaths are too fast; not even enough. “Your back has to breathe. – And you should take your painkillers.”

Sam’s forehead wrinkles and it takes him a moment, before he starts to move and sit up at the bedside. Without words, he gets his upper body undressed, takes the pill and soda Dean is handing him, and swallows it under Dean’s scrutinizing watch.

A shudder courses through Sam’s body.

“You cold?”, Dean asks –the softness of his words gets lost somewhere between his mind and lips and it comes out gruff.

Sam blinks up at him and casts his look down to his feet after a moment. He looks sad. Then, he shakes his head. “Thanks.”

Dean hums and nods to himself. He gathers the clothes Sam has thrown on the bed and arranges them at its end, then turns the heater up. Because Sam seems to be cold, even though he wouldn’t tell.

“I am cold.” Dean justifies his action and perches on his bed.

Having the human around is going to be so much fun.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 18 ~ The Hide-Out

 

Dean let him sleep for hours. He watches over him – kind of, not that it’s worth mentioning anyway. Nor would he admit that to anyone. Not even himself.

He rests his hand on his stomach above the navel and his fingers flex. The cut, hidden by layers of fabric, is nearly healed by now. In a couple of hours, nothing will let on, that there has ever been a wound in the first place.

It doesn’t even feel uncomfortable anymore. As if it never had happened. Though, it pinches every now and then – just a little. A reminder of its presence inside him.

It calms a certain part of Dean, to know that the Colt is safe and at the same time so close to him.

 

*****

 

Dean calls Castiel around afternoon – since there’s no one else he can ask.

If it only be about himself, he wouldn’t bother to try and find some place to hole up. But he has some seriously fragile freight, which he can’t put at risk by being his careless self.

Castiel is surprisingly helpful, as soon as he hears that the human is still with Dean, that Demons are on their tail and that they need some place to stay for a couple of days – or even a week. A place, like the Smelly Eden is, which is shielded from heaven’s and hell’s radar for as long as no one sticks their noses out.

Castiel suggests to return to the motel, but Dean denies. The demons knew they’ve been somewhere around Elk Mountain, and he’d rather not go back there. The more people would get involved, the more unpredictable the situation would become.

Castiel gives Dean coordinates.

 

*****

 

They are back on the road before nightfall. Dean heads into a store and buys canned foods, instant-coffee, whitener and an electric kettle. For Sam, he gets sandwiches, so he doesn’t have to live on junk food for the rest of their drive and until they reach the coordinates.

Besides, he hasn’t seen Sam eat anything … That’s not healthy for a human’s body, and is not supporting its abilities to heal itself.

Ten hours later, they reach the coordinates Castiel has given him.

Sam has only taken a few bites from the sandwich, but he has drunk fairly enough. Not, that Dean is monitoring what the human is consuming – no way.

They reach a Cabin, in the woods (how cliché), when the first rays of the morning-sun appear on the horizon.

The insides are painted with wards and sigils – a lot which Dean doesn’t recognize, but he feels the pull of them, when he enters.

Means, it has to be demon-proof.

They set up the place hastily.

Sam moves outside and around the cabin – without being told so – and gets logs inside to start a fire. He stores canned foods in one of the empty cabinets and fills the generator out back with gas.

Dean takes care of the fire and goes through his small arsenal. Let’s say, he busies himself with shit, until Sam finally sits down on the worn-down couch beside him.

“We’ll stay here for a couple of days.”, Dean says, while sharpening his engraved machete. He puts it down on the small table before him and reaches for one of the smaller knives – it too has an engraved blade.

“You should carry this.” Dean holds the weapon towards Sam. “It won’t kill, but slow them down.”

Sam eyes the blade for a moment, then takes it. “Thanks.”

“Have it on you at all times.”

Sam nods. “Okay.”

“About earlier …” Dean doesn’t know what’s riding him; he really doesn’t.

“It’s okay.”, Sam blurts out before he can go on. “You were right.”

Okay, that takes Dean 1.) aback, and 2.) all the wind out of his sails. “I wasn’t. – But, okay. If you say so …”

Sam leans away from him slightly and tugs his hands in the pockets of his Parka.

“You know, if you have any other questions … about … you know … me and … Angels …” Because Sam has to have questions; a whole lot of questions. And Dean still haven’t given him the monster-talk yet.

But Sam shakes his head. “No, thanks.” He sighs tiredly.

Dean eyes him suspiciously. “Are you … sulking? Brooding?”

“I’m being silent. – And yeah, I’m thinking a lot.”, Sam admits. “That doesn’t mean I’m sulking.”

Dean hums. “I’m not used to socialize with humans, except it’s for fucking, or getting information, ‘kay? So, bear with me; cut me some slack.”

“Will do.”, Sam simply answers.

Silence. Long. Weird. Silence.

“You sure you don’t wanna know shit about stuff?”

Sam shrugs. “Guess I’ll find out anyway. Sooner or later. Why not figuring out things while I go?”

Wow, Sam’s taking the entire supernatural-shit very well – considering things for him have changed from zero to hundred in under three seconds. And he’s being stupid as fuck.

“’cause it could get you killed, idiot.”

Sam shrugs again. The carelessness behind his motion makes Dean’s anger boil.

“I’m just tired.”, Sam eventually says and smiles a tired smile while he stares into the flames. “I guess.”

“You’re sleeping one hell of a lot. Even for a human that’s ridiculous.” He wants to say it’s pathetic, but refrains from doing so.

“Guess so.” Again, a shrug.

Dean’s nostrils flare. “Fine. – So, I suppose you wanna go back to sleep?”

Sam sighs heavily and leans back. “Where are you gonna sleep?”

There’s the couch and a lone mattress in the far-right corner. No beddings or blankets though.

“I don’t need to sleep.”

“But you’ve slept back at the Angel’s motel.”

“Only, when my vessel is tired out.”

Sam nods. He has got a look, as if he’s filing away the information in a huge library in his head.

“You take the mattress.”, Dean decides. “Where did you put the coffee?”

“Counter.”

“Aren’t you going to eat something before you take a nap?”, Dean asks, when Sam gets to his feet and rounds the couch at his back.

“Had the sandwich. Besides, I’m not hungry.”

Dean doesn’t pry; doesn’t point out, that he hasn’t had the entire sandwich. The man’s gotta know what he needs and doesn’t need. After all, humans are stupid, but not that stupid.

 

*****

 

Days go by.

Sam doesn’t talk a lot, for which Dean’s grateful – mostly. But it’s also kind of unsettling.

He has no clue what to do with a human (who is not asleep), when he or she is not beneath him; moaning and writhing in blissful arousal and pleasure.

He doesn’t have a clue what to do with himself either. He can hardly whack his meat in the human’s presence, and the toilet outside at the back ain’t a very nice place for it.

Most of the time, Sam is lying on the mattress and is staring up at the ceiling, when he’s not getting logs, or warming up one of the cans for the both of them.

Despite that Sam’s back is healing just fine, it doesn’t go past Dean, that he’s looking kinda sick sometimes.

 

*****

 

“You’re looking horrible.”, Dean tells him, when they’re sitting with their bowls on the couch and are having lunch.

Sam’s poking around in his serve. “My stomach isn’t used to fast food and … such things.”

Dean’s eyebrows rise a fraction and he beats his lashes at Sam. What a delicate princess, isn’t he? “You could’ve said something. – I could’ve bought something else.”

“It’s fine. I’ll adapt.”

Dean doesn’t quite buy it, but won’t question it either. “What is it you normally eat?”

“Fruits. Vegetables. Meat. Sometimes other things.” He pauses and scoops up a spoon full. “But mostly vegetables and meat.”

“Proteins.”, Dean muses. No carbohydrates.

Sam nods. “And usually, I’m going on morning-runs.”

Dean’s lips twitch. He’d not recommend that just now. Besides, he’d have to go with Sam, and Dean certainly is not a very athletic type. Most of all, he doesn’t do running.

But he could deal with a little sparring. Wouldn’t be that bad with Sam, he figures, and he’d have an excuse to get his hands on the man.

“No morning-runs. – But I could show you a couple of moves? Self-defense maybe?”

Sam doesn’t seem hostile to the suggestion. “That’d be cool, I guess.”

“Awesome.” This could be a little fun after all.

 

*****

 

They shove the couch and table aside, so that there’s enough space.

Dean takes his stance with a cocky smirk plastered to his face; way too excited.

“Don’t hold back.” He flashes his black eyes at him. “I can take whatever you’ve to give.”

Sam only looks at him and gives a sharp nod. He stands with his feet rooted to the wooden floor.

Dean – on the other hand – shakes his arms; rolls his shoulders and loosens the muscles in his legs. “C’mon, Hotshot. Try me.”

Oh, and how Sam tries him. It’s like flipping a switch. From stiff pole to dancing twister in a matter of seconds. Dean has to give him credit for the left hook Sam delivers to his jaw – which, honestly, takes him by sheer surprise. He dodges the next blow.

Sam dances back a few steps and lifts his hands; giving his face and head cover.

Dean could really blow the human off of his feet with a single punch. He could use his demonic powers on him. But he doesn’t. That wouldn’t be the point of what he tries to archive.

“Sweet.”

Sam quirks a grin.

“You didn’t tell, that you know how to fight.”

Sam shrugs and his face returns to the façade of emotionlessness. “Had some training.”

Uhuuu, I can see that.” Dean licks his lips. He figures, he can level up a little; make it more interesting for the both of them.

Dean charges Sam and fakes an attack, but actually uses his other fist.

Sam dugs away and serves a punch to Dean’s ribs, which knocks all air out of him. “Oh, you sneaky bastard.”, he grinds out through gritted teeth and drops to the floor, and wipes Sam’s feet out underneath him by swinging his leg.

Sam falls and rolls off the floor and back to his feet in one swift motion. “You’re holding back, aren’t you?”, he pants.

Dean gets back on his feet too. “Maybe.”

Sam’s lips twitch. “You really shouldn’t.”

Oh, Dean really should. He doesn’t want to break the guy’s bones. “Fine.”

Sam grins. Dimples appear around his eyes. “Fine.” His eyes lighten up.

Dean does hold back. He’s playing around for a while, but in the end, he has Sam pinned beneath him, with his lower arm across his throat and Sam’s legs pinned down with his.

Both men are panting heavily.

Sam pats with his left hand against the floor. Three times. “I’m done.”, he chokes out and pushes at Dean’s chest to get him off. “Off. Get off of me.”

Dean chuckles and stays for another couple of seconds – to proof his point, before he rolls off of Sam. “Not bad for a human.”

“You’ve been holding back.”

“Don’t wanna break you.”

Sam huffs.

Dean snorts. “What?”

“Been nice though.”

“Blowing off some steam ‘s always nice, Hotstuff.” Dean sits up and looks over at Sam, who’s laying on his back, his chest heaving like crazy.

 

*****

 

Things become easier after that.

Dean’s less of an asshole, and Sam’s less pensive.

They talk more – about vanities, but they talk. Dean finds it a little freeing and the mood in the cabin is lighter.

 

*****

 

It’s in the middle of the night, when it happens.

Everything is calm. Too calm. Outside the cabin, flora (as much as there can be under the thick layer of snow) and fauna seem to stand still; all birds gone; no deer in sight.

And maybe – only maybe – it’s Dean’s fault. He has left his guard down. He hasn’t paid attention to a lot besides Sam and his social skills, when it comes to communication and his behavior towards the human.

So yeah. It’s probably his fault, that Alistair gets the drop on them; surprises him.

One moment, Dean is musing about the past few days and how he is going to deal with the Sam-Issue, who is sound asleep only a couple of feed away on the mattress, and the next, the door to the Cabin bursts open, and Alistair stalks in as if he’s owning the place.

Sam jolts awake.

It doesn’t matter, that Dean’s on his feet the very moment, and it doesn’t matter, that he’s going straight for the knife which is fastened to the belt at his back.

Worse even, it takes him completely unprepared; and way too long to react. The intruder doesn’t leave Dean enough time to get in between him and Sam as some sort of hindrance, if the demon decides to go for the human first.

Dean is slammed into the wall and pinned there, and Sam’s held down against the mattress by Alistair’s powers.

Icy blue eyes are roaming the room, while he slips a tracking-backpack from his shoulders and let it fall to the floor. “Look, look. – What a nice place. Home sweet home.”

Dean snarls at him; his gaze flickers towards Sam, who’s staring back at him in a mixture of panic and curiosity.

That bastard is wearing Nicolas Munroe as his meatsuit, though, that doesn’t hinder Dean on recognize the rotten soul within the vessel.

Nicolas licks his lips and rolls his jaw. His eyes turn white and a mischievous grin appears on his lips after clicking his tongue three times.

“You really thought you could hide?”

Dean shrugs; hiding his unease behind a cocky smile. “Thought I’d lay low; play house for a while. You know, do stuff.” … like planning how I’ll take you down and make you eat your own cock.

Alistair’s lips twitch and he straightens up, then tugs his hands into the front-pockets of his jeans. “Let’s get down to business. – I know what your plans are, so … not to be a spoilsport, as I enjoy our little games every now and then … but you’ve taken things too far.”

Dean’s look is drawn to Sam once again, and Nick follows it briefly. “As much as I would enjoy killing you and ending this farce. – I can’t. I shouldn’t. And you know that. Though, I can’t have you kill me either, boy.”

Dean seals his lips. This is about the Colt. – Alistair has to want it as bad. He won’t get it though.

“Neither am I going to take your new toy from you.”

Dean’s not sure for a moment, if he’s addressing Sam or the Colt, until Alistair rolls his eyes at him and groans.

“The Colt, boy. The Colt.” He waves over his shoulder at Sam. “Not that pathetic excuse of a fuck-toy.”

“If you didn’t come to kill me; or get the Colt. – What do you want?

“I do want the Colt, Dean. And I will have it. In due time.” Alistair’s sneer widens and he winks at Dean. “I want you to get back in line. Accept who you belong to. Who you are supposed to serve.”

Well, shit. Dean Winchester will never serve anyone – or anything – ever again.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 19 ~ The Attack

 

So far:

“If you didn’t come to kill me; or get the Colt. – What do you want?”

“I do want the Colt, Dean. And I will have it. In due time.” Alistair’s sneer widens and he winks at Dean. “I want you to get back in line. Accept who you belong to. Who you are supposed to serve.”

Well, shit. Dean Winchester will never serve anyone – or anything – ever again.

 

*****

 

“This is your chance. – Come back with me and we will forget about the mayhem you have caused. Or.” Alistair gestures behind him. “Since I assume I can be very certain, that you are caring for the human you’re dragging along: I see myself forced, to make this a warning example for you.” He pauses and gives Dean a meaningful look.

Dean’ eyes narrow; his nostrils flare. He tries to break free from Alistair’s powers over him, but he can’t.

Alistair has quite some centuries of hell on Dean. Dean doesn’t stand a chance in a face-off, without a proper weapon.

Therefore, the Colt.

“Sam got nothing to do with this. – He doesn’t have to get involved.”, Dean hisses. “Let him go.”

“No can do.”, Alistair sing-sangs and tilts his head to the side, waiting for Dean’s answer. “If you join me without a fight, I may consider letting him live.”

Dean knows it’s a lie. Alistair won’t. He’s going to kill Sam no matter what. They’ve been at some similar point a long time ago.

It had cost his partner’s life. It had ruined him. Destroyed him. “No.”

“What a pity.” He sighs in a mocking way; seemingly didn’t expecting any different answer from Dean. “Guess, then I’ve to teach you the hard way. Again.  – May you will understand then, that there is no point in trying, Dean. That the only place you truly belong to is hell. As my pupil.”

“You mean, your pet.”

“Isn’t that quite the same?”, Alistair mocks and turns his back on Dean, when he reaches for his backpack. “So, I brought a little something for the both of you.”

Dean strains his muscles; his eyes flash black and he tries – with all he’s got – to fight against the invisible bindings. They won’t have a replay from back then. He won’t get someone else killed – not another innocent soul should suffer for his stupidity.

Not again.

“No need to fight, Dean. – I upped my powers a little for this scenario. Though, I’ve to say, when I heard about you, coming to get the human and safe him from my men’s clutches? I changed my plans a little. Thought, it won’t have the same effect on you, if I’d just torture and kill your toy-boy.”

He shrugs and continues to go through the backpack. Alistair puts two long, thick nails – which look from the last century, or even older – onto the floor beside his feet.

“These aren’t just any nails, you know? – The tale says, they’ve been forged by a blacksmith in Nazareth – specially for God’s son. To keep him on the cross. It is said, he’d have been able to rise from it, if it weren’t for them.” He hums appreciatingly. “I’m curious if they said the truth … Guess we’ll find out?” Alistair glances up at Dean for a moment to wink at him, and then continues to go through the back pack.

Alistair extracts a hammer – which looks at least as ancient as the nails -, a golden bowl and a transparent bag containing a mixture of herbs and other things – more disgusting things.

Dean wants to beg him to let Sam leave. To just – kick him out of the Cabin and let him run. Sure, it’d be dangerous out there too, for the human. The cold, and possible frostbite, since there’s NOTHING for miles.

But he’d at least have a chance.

He doesn’t beg. Dean knows, if he does, Alistair will know, that there has some emotional bond formed, and he’ll work with that.

So, he keeps his mouth shut, and tries to give Sam ‘reassuring’ looks every now and then. Because, he’ll get them – Sam – the fuck out of there.

“So, you think, if you hurt the human – or kill him – or whatever you’re planning to do – I’ll go with you?”, Dean keeps his voice as calm as possible, “’cause, I gotta tell you, that’s not gonna happen. You kill him, I’ll kill you.”

Alistair chuckles amused, while painting a circle on the wooden floor, and places the bowl in its middle. He then adds the bag with herbs and other things.

“No. – I’m not killing him. Torture – well – I supposed that’ll be up to you.” Alistair pulls a spearhead -from the bag and shows it to Dean. “This is – supposedly – the spear’s tip, which has killed Jesus.”, he announces proudly.

Dean’s eyes darken and he flexes the muscles in his neck and jaw. He catches Sam’s intent questioning and frightened stare once more.

Dean would love to tell the human, that he’s got this. But that’d be a lie; a very wrong promise. He’s got nothing against Alistair – except for the Colt he keeps hidden on his insides.

He can’t even trade it for Sam’s freedom, since Alistair seemingly doesn’t care about the Colt as bad anymore. He’s got other priorities now – obviously.

Alistair gets to his feet and saunters over to Sam with the spearhead in his hand, whose eyes snap towards him.

“No.”, Sam grits out. “Fuck the hell off.”

Alistair snorts. “He’s got some fire in him, huh?” He keeps his eyes on Sam, but talks to Dean. “I will. When I’m done here.”

Alistair kneels down and places the tip of the weapon against Sam’s lower arm. “That’s gonna sting a bit.”

Sam grunts and grits his teeth.

Alistair nicks his skin, until he’s drawing blood, then withdraws the blade and gathers it with his fingers. Still mumbling ancient words, he walks over to Dean and presses the bloody fingers to his forehead.

“Stop it.”, Dean tells him.

Alistair draws some of Dean’s blood and returns to Sam, smearing it across his forehead and mumbles the same ancient words.

“Don’t you fucking dare touch him!”, Dean yells at him.

Alistair doesn’t pay him any attention, when he strides back to the bowl and sets its ingredients on fire with a snap of his fingers. He lays the spearhead and nails into it and keeps chanting, until the fire turns bluish.

A content sigh falls from his lips, which takes out the fire almost instantly.

He takes the nails from the bowl and the hammer from beside his feet and straightens up. Then, turns towards Dean and walks up to him.

There ain’t no him, if there ain’t no you, from now on.”, he sneers and a triumphant expression settles on his face.

Dean snarls and growls at him.

Much to Alistair’s amusement. “Don’t you worry. – It won’t hurt for too long.” And with those words, Alistair places the first tail to Dean’s open palm and locks his gaze with Dean’s.

To Dean’s huge surprise, it doesn’t hurt at all, when the blunt tip of the tail tears into his flesh with the first strike of the hammer. He screams at the demon furiously nonetheless.

Across the room, Sam’s back arcs from the mattress and he howls, as if it’s him feeling the pain kept from Dean.

Alistair picks the second nail and moves over to Deans other hand, still staring at Dean, who rips his gaze away from white eyes and towards Sam, who is writhing in Alistair’s unseen clutches.

“Sam!” His head snaps to where Alistair places the nail to his other hand and then at the demon. “What the fuck are you doin’?!”

He ignores him, and with the first blow of the hammer, Sam cries out again.

The nail drives through his flesh and into the wooden wall.

And Sam screams again.

Dean does too. Though, all he hears are Sam’s agonizing cries.

When the nail’s head is nestled against Dean’s palm, Alistair takes a step back and eyes his handywork as if it’s a piece of art.

Dean’s heavily panting and still growling and howling at the demon before him.

Sam’s screams become whimpers.

Alistair stays unimpressed. He starts to pack his backpack; stores everything – except for the nails – neatly inside the tight fit. He groans and casts Dean an annoyed look.

“Stop.”, he orders.

Dean is forced to obey.

“I’ll send every demon. Every single hellhound. Every creature related to hell. After you. – I s’pose you will figure the rest out by yourselves soon enough.” He pauses. “I’ll even give you and your human a head-start.” Alistair waves at him. “And now: Sleep.”

Almost immediately, Dean sags in his invisible hold and his eyes flutter shut.

“There you go. That’s way more … not annoying.”, Alistair mutters to himself, and slips the slings over his shoulders. He fixes Dean with an empty stare, and slowly, the nails start to retreat from wood and bloody flesh.

The demon walks up to his unconscious opponent and pulls the nails all the way out with his hands. Then restores them in his jeans’ pockets.

He doesn’t say anything, before he leaves the cabin and vanishes into the woods.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 20~ The Bond

 

First, he realizes, he’s horizontal. On a very uncomfortable, hard surface. His hands are aching and stiff – pretty much like the rest of his host, just a little more achy, he realizes.

It only takes a milli-second to recall what has happened, where he is, and that he has no clue how much time had passed since Alistair had sent him off to sleep.

He groans, along with his eyes snapping open. Dilated pupils rapidly adjust to the dim light of dying embers, and dark green rings turn into clearly visible, bright circles of emerald, spiked with hints of obsidian fires.

“Dean.”, it’s breathy and hacked and strained. “C’mon …”

It doesn’t sound as if it’s directed at him.

“Sam?” Dean moves sluggishly, when he stems his weight onto his lower arms and knees. “Fuck.” Alistair’s powers still linger within him, and make his host feel heavy and hard to control.

“Dean?” Sam doesn’t sound any better from seconds before, but this time Sam’s definitely talking to Dean. “You okay? – What …”, his voice breaks.

Dean manages to sit back on his haunches and clear his head enough to make himself look at his hands. They look unharmed, aside from the crusts of dried blood covering them. Then, he gazes too where Sam had been when they’ve been attacked.

His eyes grow immensely wide and his breath catches for a moment, when his look catches on Sam, who is not on the mattress anymore, but about to crawl across the floor towards him.

There’s blood practically everywhere.

On Sam’s resting spot, and dark red smears across the floor where he has managed to crawl. His hands are a bloody mess with holes in each one of them. Blood is still oozing sluggishly from the holes, and is dripping onto the floorboards.

Dean’s at his side in a moment and makes Sam roll onto his back and hauls him into a sitting position.

“Fuck.”, Dean curses again and keeps one hand on Sam’s shoulder to steady him. He’s a clammy, trembling, bloody mess. “Shit.”

This looks fucking bad. “Hold them up.”, Dean tells him softly and let go of his shoulder to help him rise his hands up above his heat’s level. “Hold them like that. – I’ll get the med kit.”

Sam stares at his hands, then at Dean, with huge, glassy eyes. “Think I’m okay.”, he murmurs, “Doesn’t even hurt that bad.”

And Dean can’t help but huff out a laugh, which sounds a little hysterical. “You’re in shock, Sammy. – That’s why you aren’t feelin’ anything.” And that’s not even the worst part.

It’ll hurt like hell later, and on top of that … If this is what Dean thinks it is … those hands are torn to shit.

Muscles, tendons, nerves, bones.

Dean barely makes it across the room to his bag, when Sam sags back to the floor and his hands sink down on his chest and stomach.

“Dean.”, Sam breathes, when Dean’s back at his side with a black, small bag. “’s Sam. My name’s Sam not Sammy.”

“Whatever you say.” Dean curses under his breath. “Stay awake.” He opens the bag and gets out gauze and other supplies. Dean let his gaze trail to Sam’s face, whose eyelids are fluttering. “C’mon. – Stay awake a little longer.”

Sam moans and hisses when his fingers twitch.

God, they’re gonna need a hospital. Dean can’t heal others – that’s not what demons are designed to do, but he wishes he could. He has to patch those hands up as good as he can, and needs to get him to a hospital.

Maybe those hands can be fixed, and won’t turn into useless limbs.

“Hey, buddy.”, he causes Sam to reopen his eyes, when they dare to slide shut. “Look at me, huh? Keep your eyes on me.”

Sam squirms, when Dean reaches for his left hand and moves it carefully. “Hold on. I’ll get you somewhere they can help you.”

Sam doesn’t seem to hear.

He puts dressings over the bleeding wounds and wraps the gauze tightly around it. Dean does the same with Sam’s other hand, always keeping an eye on his face, to make sure he’s not passing out on him just yet.

“C’mon, buddy. You’re doin’ real good so far. – Stay with me here. Don’t pass out.”

Sam blinks. His eyes become wet with tears.

Dean guesses, that’s all he can await as a response at the moment; though, it’s not satisfying at all. This should’ve never happened. He should’ve never let this happen.

He hurries up to get their bags packed – well, the necessary things anyway. Dean doesn’t have time to take everything with them. All the while he keeps talking to Sam, keeping him more or less conscious.

 

*****

 

Dean pulls up at the next best ER an hour later. He’s been breaking speed-limits and been pushing his Baby to the limits.

Sam’s barely awake beside him; sweating profusely and mumbling shit Dean doesn’t understand.

“They’re gonna fix you.”, is what Dean keeps telling him on their way, “It’s nothing more than a damn papercut, you know?”

He says awfully often “It’s not that bad.” and “You’ll be fine.” In between “This wasn’t supposed to happen” and “I’m gonna kill that bastard.”.

So, he drags a Sam, who is barely holding onto consciousness, into the ER. Within seconds – after him drawing attention by a yelled “We’re needing fuckin’ help over here!”, they’re surrounded by nurses, who are pushing him aside and Sam into a wheelchair, before they get a gurney and roll him out of Dean’s sight.

One of the nurses thrusts a chart into his hands and tells him that he needs to fill out the forms.

Dean does – hastily –with what he knows; or what he suspects. After all, he doesn’t have a clue about intolerances, allergies and Sam’s fucking blood-type. Hell, he doesn’t even know his birth date or all the other shit they wanna know.

So, he returns the chart after what seems like an eon, but are actually only five minutes and vanishes in one of the corridors in search for a restroom.

Dean gets himself cleaned as good as possible, and then locks himself in one of the stalls.

He hates to do this, but under those circumstances he has barely another choice, does he?

So, he leaves his body; turns into thick, black ropes of smoke, and vanishes in the venting system.

Dean goes on the hunt for the head-nurse; or any other nurse, which has the keys to the drug-storage.

He needs to stock up on medical equipment.

They’re gonna need medications and all kinds of things, since Dean doesn’t play on staying long enough for Sam to be able to walk out of the hospital on his own two feet.

If demons and other creatures are after him, they need to get the hell out of there as soon as they’ve patched Sam up. And he can’t – even though they won’t be after Sam – leave him there.

If this has been some sort of bonding-ritual Alistair had performed on them back at the cabin, he’ll need Sam to break the curse/spell or whatever this is.

And even if he wouldn’t need Sam for it – Alistair could change his mind if he’d leave Sam at the hospital, and assume, that he doesn’t care as much as he has assumed. And then he’d probably kill Sam.

He can’t let any of this happen.

That’s why Sam has to come with him – hell or high water.

 

*****

 

Dean finds himself a pretty nurse on the second floor to possess. He uses the young woman, to pack up her shopping bag with saline drips, tubes and vein catheters, along with meds to apply through said equipment, and a bunch of pill bottles and morphine pens, along with adrenaline- and epinephrine shots. Simply, all the things he might ‘s gonna need now, or later on to keep the human alive, in case something unpredictable is going to happen.

Dean tells himself, it’s just in case, but fears, that things will get more complicated from now on. Specially, when he won’t back off and return to be Alistair’s pupil aka pet. The great torturer of damned souls.

The entire endeavor is a walk in the park, though he has not left his original vessel for a very long time. Dean let the nurse store the bag in the Impala’s trunk, which he hasn’t locked in wise forethought.

He walks the woman back to where he had smoked into her and returns to his true host the same way he has left it.

 

*****

 

An hour later, a doctor comes into the waiting area and asks for a Dean Bonham; Samuel Bonham’s brother.  

He asks him to follow and Dean does. They halt offside the crowded area in the corridor. In his hands, he carries a set of forms.

“I’ve went through your brother’s papers. – In the forms you’ve filled out, you are noted as his emergency-contact.” Though it’s a statement, it’s supposed to be a question.

Dean nods. This gets annoying fast.

Though, it doesn’t happen that you’d know his blood type? Birth date?”, the doctor – short and bald, and with these annoyingly bushy eyebrows, asks him. He’s obviously suspicious. The way he asks and what he sounds like; he’s smelling the rat.

Complications and all kinds of delays have to be avoided. As soon as Sam’s fixed, they need to leave.

“We’ve been raised apart. – Found each other just a couple of weeks ago.”, Dean explains reproachfully.

The doctor instantly rears back (mentally) and appears embarrassed and offers an apological smile. And, of course – as the caring human he is – he apologizes verbally too.

“What are the odds? – With Sammy, I mean … – He couldn’t move his fingers … like at all …” Dean tries to sound like a bloody layman; like a relative who has no clue what he’s asking or talking about. He’d rather appear like a total idiot; proof to them, that he’s a not very smart weirdo, so they won’t start questioning any suspicious behavior of him, nor the fact that he knows jack-shit about his brother.

The doctor nods, then shakes his head.

“We have stabilized him. – It looks worse as it is, I have been told. He’s been taken to a MRI instantly. – Your brother is getting prepared for surgery right now. We need your consent for the surgery though, Mister Bonham. Samuel is too out of it to sign anything, and since this isn’t exactly an emergency, we need an authorized relative to sign the papers.”

Dean stares at Short-Bald as dumbfounded as he possibly can. “So, my Baby Brother is going to be okay? His hands are going to be okay?” He let his lower lip quiver.

The doctor eyes him for a moment – in a weird way, when he calls Sam his baby brother. He’s probably assuming what Dean wants him to believe. That he’s not a very smart guy, who only recently got in touch with his younger brother, and is scared to lose him again.  

“A colleague of mine will do the surgery. – According to the MRI we took, it looks like the damage can be minimized, or completely repaired. But we can not be sure. We’ll see when he’s out of surgery and when he wakes up.”

Dean’s not happy about the way the man sounds, but doesn’t show it. He has decided to play dumb.

“And … Officers are on their way. We had to report this to the local police.”

This is going downhill fast. Even with his limited knowledge about medical stuff, he figures the surgery and until Sam is set up in a room, will take longer than the authorities need to show up.

“Okay. – Where do I have to sign?”

 

*****

 

Dean sometimes hates when he’s right.

The officers show up and take the offered room Short-Bald shows to them, to have a talk with Dean.

They ask a whole lot of stupid questions. Sadly, the police-men aren’t as stupid as their questions. In fact, they seem to be clever about their ‘interrogating-tactics’, even though they demand, that this is not an interrogation.

So, Dean plays dumb, and tells them some believable story about how he got to know that Sam is his brother, how they’ve found each other over some website, and that they’ve decided to take some bonding-time out in the woods in a cabin they’ve rented.

Since telling them, that this has been a hunting-accident (because that’d really be utterly unbelievable), is definitely out of question, he goes with his younger brother getting lost in the woods, finding him two days later – in his actual condition - and taking him straight to the ER.

He dodges their trick-questions with totally dump answers or counter questions, until they repeatedly roll their eyes on him, and tell him to not leave town in case they have further questions.

The entire ‘interview’ takes close to two hours. Two hours, in which they finish the surgery and have Sam set up in a room.

First, they wouldn’t allow Dean to go visit him, but he’s persistent (in a very charming, but still dumb way) and doesn’t back off, so they eventually let him be and show him to his younger brother’s room.

One of the nurses on duty gets him a comfortable chair and a blanket, in case he wants to stay.

Dean accepts the nice gifts with a sweet flirtatious smile, and let it work its wonders on the nurse and her coworkers. They won’t suspect, that something is off; that neither he nor Sam are going to stay for the night. Actually, Dean is planning to wheel his little brother out of here in about three hours, when they’re changing shifts.

Until then, he hopes, Sam will be awake and coherent.

And if not – Then, he’ll have to make him.

 

*****

 

Dean glances from Sam’s face to the clock above the door’s room, and back.

Sam’s still out – thanks to the amazing narcotics they used to keep him under during surgery. One of the nurses checking on him, has told Dean, that he probably won’t wake until tomorrow morning.

How annoying. It pisses Dean off – big-style. Demons – or whatever else – could be coming for him right the fuck now, and he can’t do shit about it. Not yet anyway.

Okay, he could. He could leave and never look back. Let fate take its turn with the human. If he dies by Alistair’s wrath, it could be fate.

But fate (if something like that exists) sucks. He doesn’t believe in fate anyway. And even if he would. Then, he’d say, fate is influenced by what you do with yourself and the people around you. Fate is affected by what and how you manage things coming at you.

Fate isn’t something that’s bound to happen in one way or another to someone or something. Fate is alterable.

Means, for those who aren’t as poetic, that it’s on him what Sam’s fate will be.

Means, he has to wake Sam, and therefore, he needs to take another trip to the storage with the drugs. Just peachy.

So, Dean positions himself in the chair in a way, so that he’d look as if he is asleep in case someone walks in on him while not occupying his body, and waits for the regular visit of the nurse.

In the meantime, he has awful much time to watch Sam breathe, with that ugly canula in his nose which provides him with extra-oxygen. He has time to stare at the thick bandages in which his hands are wrapped up and rest on top of the covers, on his lower belly.

Dean has enough time, to memorize every line; shadow and mole where Sam’s bare of fabric.

Dean supposes, he should be disgusted by the human. He’s hurt; far from flawless and therefore tainted and supposed to be everything but hot.

But, fact is, even though there are ugly wounds on his hands, and that there are still yellowish, fading bruises littering his body, it doesn’t affect Dean in the way it usually would.

He’s not disgusted at all; not even a little bit.

Which is a miracle itself.

Dean feels himself gravitating towards the human. And no, not only in a sexual way. He thinks, he kinda likes him and his attitude sometimes. Specially, when Sam goes all shy and blushes like a virgin when Dean is giving him nicknames.

Finally, the entering nurse puts an end to his trail of thoughts, and Dean gets his chance take her for a ride down to the storage room to get the meds.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 21 ~ The Getaway

 

As Dean had foreseen, Sam doesn’t wake on his own accord.

It makes him nervous and agitates him. After all, he doesn’t know how much head-start Alistair has decided to give them, before he’d sick his underlings after them.

Sam is seemingly in a deep, drug-induced – fitful slumber, which Dean – sadly – has to end right about now.

The wheelchair is in position beside the bed, and he has detached Sam from all the wires and tubes, making sure no alarms would go off in the room or at the nurse’s station up front.

The cocktail Dean has put together, when riding the nurse, would send Sam’s body into overdrive in a matter of seconds, as soon as it takes hold of course – what would take five minutes tops, if he has dosed it right.

Well, Dean hopes he has, and doesn’t catapult Sam’s heart into cardiac arrest.

That would be a real bad thing to happen …

Dean pulls the syringe from the back-pocket of his jeans and pulls the needle from it. He connects the syringe to the vein catheter in Sam’s crook of the arm and hesitates for a moment, before he empties it into his bloodstream.

Swiftly, he removes it, and seals the vein catheter with a red small screw-thingy. Knowing, that this won’t be a nice awakening, he hoovers close, with both his hands on Sam’s shoulders.

There are no signs of Sam waking, before his eyes snap open and he sucks in a gasped breath when his mouth falls open. Okay, to a human there’d be no signs.

But Dean can hear it – sense it. It’s the way Sam’s heart speeds up and his breaths are becoming deeper and faster, until it reaches the brink of ‘too-much-too-fast’. For a second, Dean thinks, he has dosed the meds wrong and that he is going to need the second – prepared – syringe still stored in his jeans.

He doesn’t though.

Sam jolts awake, and as assumed, he tries to sit up straight on instinct, but Dean’s hands are warm and reassuring and strong, when he holds him against the mattress and pillow.

Sam’s eyes are darting through the room frantically, and his arms fly up to fight off whoever is above him.

“You’re okay, Sam.” Dean isn’t as calm as he sounds. “Calm down. We need to go.”

Sam’s head snaps towards him and he blinks. It takes him a moment to recognize Dean and another moment to feel the dull pain in his hands.

Sam moans and his face twists in a way, which tells Dean that the gears in the man’s brain are kicking into drive and are trying to figure out where he is and what has happened.

“Sam.”, he draws his attention.

Sam’s eyes flicker around the room, then settle on Dean once more, with an utterly confused expression in them.

“We need to go. – Now.”

Dean’s not sure if the human really understands what he’s telling him, but Sam nods, and he has to take that as a ‘Fine. Let’s go.’ Even if it seems half-hearted.

Sam’s compliant, when Dean pulls and pushes until he’s got him in a sitting position on the bed. More than that, he’s working with him, when it’s about getting dressed in a pair of boxers, sweatpants, two long-sleeved shirt and his Parka.

Sam is standing on wobbly legs, when Dean helps him up and turns him to sit down in the wheelchair.

Dean pushes the blanket in his lap and tells him to take care of it.

This is actually easier as he had thought, to be honest. But maybe, the shitstorm is gonna hit them full-force, when the drugs, and the drowsiness wear off, and when Sam realizes in what a mess he’s been dragged into.

Dean tugs the Parka’s hood over Sam’s head. “Keep your head down.”

“They’re after us, aren’t they?”, Sam asks, when Dean pushes the wheelchair towards the door.

Again, Dean has to say, that Sam is weirdly calm about all of this. And for a brief moment, he is wondering, if the human even cares what’s happening to/with him – again.

It’s probably the drugs though … He’s going to start to care, when they’re out of his system, Dean thinks, but isn’t quite sure. Sam has always been a little passive; except when they’ve been sparring.

He’ll just wait and see and take it as it comes.

Still waters run deep.

“They’re after me.”, Dean corrects him and walks around the wheelchair to open the door. “You just happened to get in the line of fire.” And, he’ll fix this.

Sam has his bandaged hands in his lap and keeps his head lowered as he’s been told, while Dean has one hand on the handle to stir the chair towards the elevators and the other one rests heavily on Sam’s shoulder.

“You still good?”, he eventually asks, when he shoves him inside and presses the button for the ground-floor.

The hood moves. Sam is nodding. “Think I’m gonna be sick though.”

Dean curses internally and his lips crease. He squeezes Sam’s shoulder. “Hold on – You can puke all you want in the parking lot.”

Again, the hood moves in a motion that is letting on, that Sam is nodding.

Sam pukes before they reach the parking-lot; in the corridor which leads to the exit at the back. He nearly throws himself sideways over the armrest of the wheelchair in the process.

Oookay. – I guess, that’s okay …” Dean looks around. The corridor is empty. “Just … get it all out.” Better here than in the Impala, he muses. He wouldn’t want to clean puke from the upholstery.

Sam murmurs something like a ‘sorry’, but it’s a little slurred.

Dean gives Sam another minute or so. “Deep breaths.”, he reminds him. “You good to go?”

The hood nods, and Dean shoves the wheelchair down the corridor and out of the building.

They lose the wheelchair at the back, and Dean guides Sam (who is clutching the blanket with his lower arms to his chest) across the nearly empty, barely lighted, parking lot towards the Impala. Once there, he let Sam elan against the passenger’s side, while he opens the back-door and stuffs their bags into the small space between the front and back.

“There we go. – Try and get comfortable.”, Dean steps aside and let Sam sit down, with his feet still outside the car.

Yeah, that’s not going to work this way, Dean realizes, when Sam starts to struggle with the blanket and his long limbs to get inside the car.

“Wait.” Dean snatches the blanket from him, rounds his Baby and tears the back-door at the other side open. “C’mon, buddy. – I’ll help a little.” He’s barely done talking, when he’s got a firm grip under Sam’s armpits and is dragging him backwards.

Sam huffs. “Thanks. I guess.”

“You’re welcome.”, Dean mutters, while folding the blanket to a pillow. He tugs it under Sam’s head and slams the door shut. “Sorry for the hurry; but I’ve a feeling that we’re running out of our head-start-time here.”

Sam doesn’t answer. Dean’s not even certain he can hear him mutter through the door. He pats the top of the Impala, rounds it once more to close the door on the other side, and then crosses over to the driver’s side at her front.

They barely make it past the city limits, when Baby’s heater craps out on them.

What’s just fucking awesome, isn’t it? Can’t probably get any worse at this point.

Until it dawns on him, that a crapped out heater is a real bad thing, considering he’s having fragile company.

And it’s night. And winter. And cold.

Dean doesn’t have night-vision per say. He sees a hell of a lot more in the dark than a human would, but it’s not that much better.

If it would just be him, he’d give a damn. Sure, he doesn’t like freezing his ass off, but it doesn’t affect him or his vessel’s bodily functions. He has to fix it – he could probably fix it. But not right now.

And since he’s practically responsible for the human bundle in the back, he has to pay that temperature-issue attention. Sam definitely is going to get cold and freeze, and human bodies aren’t designed to work properly under a certain degree of temperature.

There are no blankets beside the one which is stuffed under Sam’s head, and there are way too less clothes to keep Sam warm enough until he has got the heater fixed.

Dean can’t stop anywhere and get them a motel-room either. Not yet.

They have to keep moving for a while.

Damn it, Dean doesn’t have a clue where to go, since he has to pay attention to Sam’s condition – and the fact that he’s human – too. If it where only Dean, he’d just ‘vanish’ in some underground-place where creatures of all sorts seek shelter.

It’s an unwritten rule, that there is no backstabbing among the outcasts.

But, there is Sam. And he can’t bring a human there.

The Cabin is out of question; that’s one of the places they’re going to look for them first. He doesn’t want to drag hell’s breed to The Smelly Eden either. Alistair is going to let his folks patrol the area around Elk Mountain, and he wouldn’t want their attention drawn to Castiel’s place.

He and the Angel aren’t friends, but they aren’t foes either.

So, Baby it is – for now.

As much as he loves her – she’s a guzzler. There’s no way in denying that, since they are – once again – short before hitting the ‘E’.

Dean casts a wary glance into the rearview mirror.

Sam’s eyes are half-open. It’ll take a while – probably – before he’d get cold. Maybe, there’ll be enough time to gas the Impala up and find some dirt-road to park her and fix the damn heater.

 

*****

 

Said and done.

Dean gases her up three towns over and drives down a backroad and from there onto a dirt-road, where he finds a nice place behind a group of trees.

The heater is fixed soon – just a loose wire by the way, and when he climbs back into the car and starts her, she’s blasting them with heated air. Dean waits, with the vents turned up high for a while, until he’s growing uncomfortably hot, to level them down.

“Sam?”, he asks, kneeling on the front-seat and leaning into the backspace of the car. He pats Sam’s cheek lightly and then rests his hand on Sam’s chest. “You okay back there?”

Sam’s face twists in discomfort and shadows of pain, when he looks up at Dean. “Guess so.”

“Are you still feeling sick?”

Sam shakes his head. “My hands hurt a little.”

No shit Sherlock. “I bet they do.” Dean shifts. “I’ve brought some stuff. Gonna hook you up on an IV, you drink a little, and then I’ll give you something, so they won’t start to hurt more?” It’s not really a question. He’d do what he’s telling Sam anyway – no matter the human’s opinion.

Sam nods. “Sounds like a plan.”, he murmurs. “Are my hands gonna be okay?”

Dean has no clue. He didn’t get to talk to the surgeon, or any other doctor for that matter after the ‘interview’. “Of course. – Just flesh-wounds.”

Sam hums. “And … that guy … Alistair? – What did he do? A spell, or curse? What was all that?”

For a human, Sam’s not stupid and obviously not as unknowing as he had assumed. Dean’s a little stunned, he has to admit.

“A curse probably.”, he answers. “But I’m not sure yet. – We’ll figure it out though.”

Sam hums again, obviously still high as fuck. “Do you know what sort of curse?”

Dean huffs a laugh. He has zero clue. “Nope. – But we’ll figure that out too.”

Sam sighs heavily and blinks. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah …” Bitterness mingles with his light tone. “I’m fine.”

Sam examines him – even though it’s dark and he can see shit, it seems as if he at least tries. “You sound fine. – I guess that’s good.”

Dean gnaws on his lower lip. “I’m sorry I’ve got you into this situation.”

Sam shrugs. “Me too.” He yawns. “For bringing me into this.” A pause. “If we don’t know where to go … there’s still my uncle. Bobby. He’s been into weird shit when I was young. – Always had those creepy books I wasn’t allowed to read. And a whole lot of other things, I shouldn’t touch.” An amused sound rattles from Sam’s chest. “I guess, he’s not been as crazy as I thought he is.” He snorts.

“At least he won’t think I’m hallucinating.”, Sam adds and shifts.

Everything in Dean screams ‘Hunter’. And he really doesn’t do hunters. But, if he can’t figure out where else to bring Sam, he might have to consider visiting this uncle of him. It’s probably safer than the Impala, even with Dean around.

“So, he’s a hunter?”

Sam’s forehead creases. “I don’t know. – What do hunters do?”

Dean snorts. “They hunt me.”

“Oh. – I guess, then we shouldn’t go see Bobby.”

Probably not. “We’ll see about that.”

“If he is what you’re saying, he might is going to shoot you. – Or do one of these exorcisms from his books.” Sam sounds sleepy.

“So, you’ve read them, though you weren’t allowed to?”

Of course.” Sam chuckles. “I’ve been a nosy brat. – Wanted to know what’s so bad about them in the first place.” Another sigh, this time lighter. “But maybe, you’re right. Maybe he’s a hunter. – He’s kept some engraved boxes in a locked closet. Man, he’s been so mad at me, when I’ve picked that lock.”

“I bet he was.”

“He said they’re cursed. – I’m not supposed to touch what’s in them. – I didn’t believe him back then. Thought it’s one of his drunk weirdo-paranoia-fits.” A pause. “And I’ve teased him about his arsenal in the basement. And that ‘apocalypse-proof’ room he has kept them in.”

“Guess, you owe the man an apology then.”

“I probably do.”

Sam keeps talking softly; tells Dean things about Bobby which had seemed bad-shit-crazy, but seem to make a lot of sense now. Dean gets a saline drip and other things from the bag in the trunk and puts them on the dashboard, so they’d warm up faster.

Sam keeps babbling along about his uncle and how sorry he is, that he has not called him once in years. He describes him as a gruff, but nice guy, and that now, that he thinks, that Bobby hadn’t been the town’s drunk with totally weird hobbies, he’s so sorry about the things he had said to him when he’s been his bratty, sassy teenage self.

Dean listens; if only with one ear, while he tears clothes from his bag, which he drapes over Sam’s legs until they’re like a thick patchwork-blanket. He hooks him up on a saline drip, which he mouths to the handle above the door and administers painkillers, antibiotics and a mild sedative to it.

The sedative may be not necessary, but Dean rather have Sam sleep in that cramped place, than whimpering because of his aching joints.

While Sam is out for the count, Dean watches over him, with an Athame in his hands. He twists and turns the blade between his fingers and thinks. It’d only take a small cut to make proof of what he thinks Alistair has done.

But he decides to wait, until tomorrow.

He’ll wait for Sam to wake up und to come around, before making any move that involves him.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 22 ~ The Roadtrip

 

One question (aside from a few else) is plaguing Dean the most, since Sam had recovered enough after getting away from his abusive boyfriend, and learning that Demons are real. That hell and heaven are real. That there’s more to this world than Starbucks and Subway

Sam could’ve tried to make a run for it. Could’ve tried and fight Dean at multiple occasions. He could have at least tried.

But that did never happen. And it doesn’t seem as if Sam is going to put up a fight anytime soon either. Dean’s not thinking about the physical aspects. He’s thinking about the mental ones.

Where Sam’s mind should scream at him to stay attentive and get the fuck out of there, and seek out the first best police station.

Why wasn’t – and still isn’t Sam freaking out? Why doesn’t he at least try to get as far away from Dean as he possibly can?

Okay, right now, he physically can’t, and he kind of couldn’t back then – for a while at least. But in between? There would have been enough chances, wouldn’t there?

Dean had turned his back on him more often as he could count. Damn, he even had given him a fucking knife to defend himself if needed. He could’ve gone after Dean; could’ve stabbed him to buy himself time and get away.

He could’ve tried to get along on his own. Could have bolted, because, Dean’s a fucking Demon, and obviously, Dean’s not the only Demon on this planet.

But, nope, all he’s been doing is sleeping. Fucking sleeping in the company of a Demon, who could snap his neck every given moment.

Sam was supposed to freak out about it. He still should be freaking out.

Specially, when Alistair had shown up. Sam could have begged for his life; could’ve tried to bargain – but that, he didn’t do either.

So, why the heck did he stay with Dean in the first place? Why did he take – everything that has happened so far – as a given?

Your normal human would scream and yell and have a mental meltdown – would have had at least after waking up in that motel-room with a stranger.

How stupid – or desperate – must a human be to stay with a Demon?

 

*****

 

Galion, Ohio …

They’re just passing through with a short stop at a diner, where Dean picks up their breakfast and fresh coffees.

When he gets back, he seats Sam in the front and puts the open styrophoam container with scrambled eggs in his lap.

“So. – You’ve been very talkative last night.”, Dean speaks up while putting their coffees on the dashboard. He is only asking, because he is wondering if Sam remembers any of it.

“Yeah. I know.”, he answers and eyes the eggs with an odd expression. “I remember that.”

Dean frowns at him. “Aren’t you afraid I could use any of the information against you or your uncle?”

Sam shrugs. “You could. But I don’t think you will.”, he answers softly and cups the container with his thickly bandaged hands. Then, he scowls at them.

“Why would you think that?”

“’cause, you’re one of the nice guys.”

Dean nearly chokes on the stripe of bacon, which he has shoved into his mouth greedily, before unwrapping a plastic spoon.

“I’m not a nice guy.”

Sam hums – probably at the eggs and not at Dean. “You’re right. Probably you’re not. – Doesn’t change, that I think that you’re not going to hurt me or Bobby.”

Dean growls in disapproval. He doesn’t like that Sam’s right about that. “But I could.”

“I don’t doubt that.”

Dean just doesn’t get the human. He holds the spoon in Sam’s range of sight, what causes Sam to look up from his steaming breakfast. His scowl turns into a bitchface.

“I don’t think I can eat with a spoon, Dean.”, he tells him flat out and rises his bandaged hands, so for him to see.

“Hm.” Sam’s right. He can’t. What is he thinking? “You’re right. That’s not gonna work.”

As much has to be said: Dean is enjoying feeding Sam way too much, while Sam is visibly embarrassed and a little pissed about it. He tries the airplane-thing too, but Sam’s not very amused and that earns him another bitchface.

Sam’s not mad for long, Dean notices, because, as soon as he is done with the coffee, Sam’s his old, silent self again, who stares out of the window and watches the scenery fly by, as soon as they drive off.

 

*****

 

Dean stops at a Walmart and gets blankets, since they are going to spend the night in the car again, and he can’t leave Baby’s engine running. First, because, it attracts attention, and second, it costs gas.

It’s short after nightfall, when Dean finds them an abandoned barn on an abandoned farm, where he hides her from plain sight. He knows it’s a little early to stop for the night, but he’s not certain if they are going to find another fitting place.

Sure, they could keep moving, but Dean still has no clue where to. They would be driving – more or less – in circles.

Maybe, they should go to California – it’s warm there and there’s the beach and frisky women … which, by the way … doesn’t sound as promising to him anymore since Sam’s accompanying him.

Anyway.

He won’t let his thoughts drift towards those shores.

He turns in his seat. “Guess we can remove your vein catheter.”

Sam looks back at him and shifts a little too. “Sure.”

Dean helps him to strip out of the Parka and removes the catheter. Then helps him put it back on and zip it up.

“So, front, or back, Sam?”

“Where do you wanna sleep?”

“Told you, I don’t sleep. – I’ll just close my eyes for a couple of hours.”

Sam sniffs. “Uhu.” Dean can tell, he doesn’t believe a word he’s saying. “Sometimes you snore.”

Dean looks at him, a bit offended. “I’m not snoring.”

“Sure you do.”

“I’ve a crooked nasal septum, dude.”

There’s a spark of amusement glinting in his hazel eyes. “Can’t you fix that? I mean … you’re a demon … so …”

Dean stares at him – as if he’s just insulted the Impala. “That’s like telling Merilyn Monroe to get rid of her mole!”, Dean exclaims.

Sam huffs a laugh and dimples appear all over his face. His eyes light up brightly and he throws his head back a little. “That’s been fake, Dean. – She didn’t have one.”

Dean sucks in a sharp breath, glaring at Sam, who still beams like a hundred-watt bulb. “No way. – That mole? That made her fuckin’ hot.”

“Maybe. – Your snores aren’t hot though.” Sam chuckles lightly.

Dean still addresses him with a mad look. “Maybe not. But it makes me cute. – Girls dig scars and cute, charming guys.”

Sam stares at him incredulously and a little … hurt all of a sudden. “Thought you dig guys …” He looks into his lap and at his hands briefly.

Dean shrugs casually. “I dig both. – It just happens, that women fall for me more often. Plus, I’m picky when it comes to men.”

Sam nods, and eyes Dean with an obvious mixture of suspicion and interest, as if he’s trying to figure him out. Strip him out of his shell and gain a peek at what lays hidden beneath.

“So … anyway … can I have my painkillers?”

Dean’s gaze lingers on him a little longer and then he nods. “Sure. – So, front, or back?”

Sam thinks for a moment. “I guess, I’ll take the back. – If we have to leave – like fast – I guess it should be someone in the front, who’s able to turn the keys and handle the steering wheel?”

Smart boy. Dean nods and winks at him with a charming smile on his lips. “Just for the record: You’re right up my alley, Hotshot. – And that means a lot.” Because, Dean Winchester sure as hell wouldn’t pound everyone’s ass.

Sam can’t control the heat creeping up his neck and face, tainting it in a deep red.

Dean loves doing this to him.

 

*****

 

In the morning, first on Dean’s to do list is, to check Sam’s hands, redress them and maybe not wrap them up so that they look like amputated limbs of the marshmallow man.

“You tell me, when it hurts.”, Dean tells Sam, while he covers his lap with a towel and guides Sam’s hands on top of it – palms up. “You can have the good stuff, if it’s too much.”

Sam pulls a face. “I’ll be fine. Let’s get this over with.”

Dean is careful, when he cuts the bandages off with the scissors from the med-kit. He’s gentle, when he unfolds the white gauze and when he maneuvers Sam’s hands the way he needs them.

There are only three stitches on either side of his left and right hand. The wounds look good so far, not infected at all. Though, they’re oozing a little watery blood.

“Maybe, we should leave them open for a while?”, Sam asks, as he stares at them with a frown. He moves his pointing-finger a little and hisses. It seems to hurt.

“Nah. Not just yet. We disinfect them, let the antiseptic go dry and then we’ll wrap them back up.”, Dean tells him in a tone, which makes clear, that anything else is out of discussion. “We can leave the bandages off, when the wounds are dry and have healed a little more.” He looks up at Sam and meets his eyes. “You think you can wiggle them a little?”

Sam pulls a face. “I don’t think I wanna try.”

Well, at least he’s being honest. “’kay. – You ready?” He holds up the bottle antiseptic fluid.

Sam is still pulling a face. He says “Yes”, but the expression on his face is yelling NO.

“On three?”, Dean asks.

Sam nods.

“One.” And there you go. Dean pours a generous amount over both of Sam’s hands in a swift motion.

Sam hisses, but doesn’t pull his hands away. “Fuck.”, he bites out through gritted teeth. “You said on three.”

“I did.” He smirks and points at himself. “Demon, remember?”, he asks, way too joyful.

“Demon, my ass.”, Sam grunts. “You’re a jerk. That’s what you are.“

Dean snorts. „You’re very welcome.”

They are silent, while they let the antiseptic fluid dry off and Dean redresses and bandages Sam’s hands.

“There’s one more thing, Sam …” Dean’s left nostril twitches. “I have a suspicion what Alistair has done … and … therefore … We should try something out to have proof.”

Sam eyes him curiously. “You mean ... You wanna hurt yourself to see if it’ll hurt me?”

Dean’s lips twitch. Yup, exactly what he’s suggesting. Again, he’s surprised about the human’s wits.

“You know, I’ve had the same idea. – He has said that, there ain’t no me, if there ain’t no you … and … after what has happened afterwards …” Sam draws in a sharp breath. “Why would he do that anyway?”

Dean growls. “’cause he’s a great big bag of dicks, and he’s getting nostalgic in his old days.” He won’t pour his heart out – not that he has one – to Sam. He won’t tell him about his partner – lover even – who he has lost to death decades ago. Neither is he going to bring his brother up, whose soul is slow-cooking in hell.

Sam nods. “Okay. – So … let’s do it. It won’t take more than a paper-cut to proof what we’ve already figured out.”

Dean was hoping he’d say that. “Perfect. Then, let’s do this.” He takes the Athame from the glove compartment and locks eyes with Sam, when he nicks the skin of his lower arm; drawing a little blood.

Instantly, Sam twitches and makes a sound of discomfort at the back of his throat. Blood wells up from a tiny cut on his left lower arm. His face grumbles. He has probably hoped he has assumed wrong.

Sam groans.

“Awesome.”, Dean murmurs and restores the Athame in the glove compartment. “Just …. Awesome.” Yep, Dean had hoped it’d not be that way too.

 

*****

 

They spend another couple of nights sleeping in the car and cruising through several states during the days, with no destination in mind.

Dean organizes a laptop, because he had forgotten to take his with, when they’ve fled from the cabin.

In Dean’s case, organizing means as much as he steals it from an internet café from an unmindful guy. When he comes back, he pushes it into Sam’s lap, opens it and tells him to start looking.

“For what exactly am I looking?”, Sam asks him, while Dean speeds off.

Dean shrugs his right shoulder at him. “Spells, curses, rituals. – Everything and Nothing.” He steals a glance at his shotgun-riding buddy, who stares blankly at the screen.

“Password?”, Sam asks and brushes with his pointing-finger over a ‘peace-sticker’ in the lower right corner beside the keyboard.

“Oh …” Things have been easier a decade ago, where passwords weren’t a big problem, and where people weren’t so determined to keep their secrets secret.

“It’s stolen.”, Sam states and his gaze flickers from the screen to Dean.

“So? The end justifies the means. – We can’t stop in one place for too long, and we have to figure out what exactly Alistair has done so we can counter it.”

Sam blows out a sigh. “I know.” He licks his lower lip. “Give me your phone.”

Dean side-eyes him. “What for?”, he asks suspiciously.

“Gonna crack the password. – What else do you think I’m gonna do?”

Dean shoots him another look, nods and fumbles in the inner pocket of his Jacket for his phone. “Fine. – But, don’t mess it up.”

“Sure.” Sam takes the phone from Dean’s hand in a feather-light grasp. Their fingers touch for mere seconds when they brush. It sends a bristling feel over Dean’s skin and raises goosebumps all over his body. “Where’s the charging cable?”

 

*****

 

So, Dean drives, and Sam works on making the laptop usable for them. He eventually manages – due whatever magic his fingers and brain are working on that thing – to not reset the password, but to add another user to the device.

It’s hours into their drive, when Sam pushes the laptop shut with an annoyed sigh.

“Everything I find is New-Age-Stuff.”. Sam exclaims and shifts in his seat. “Wiccan-stuff and … Just nothing that’s even remotely similar to what Alistair has done. – Besides, what did he do? We should probably figure out, what category of witchcraft the ritual counts to, first?”

“Is this a real questions, or are you just thinking out loud?”

“So … I’ve tried to find something about curses in general, since I don’t know anything about … THIS. – And I think, I’m missing a link or lacking some special knowledge to put the pieces together …”

So, it’s the latter …

“We should stop somewhere, and you should start looking. I can drive for a while.”, Sam suggests, sunken in thoughts.

“Nope.” No way someone else but him is driving the car. “That’s never gonna happen, Sam. – You do the research, I do the driving.”

Sam blinks at him. “What? Why? We’d be faster this way.”

“Probably. Maybe. I don’t know. – But, what I do know is, that the only person who gets to drive the Impala is me.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“Probably. Maybe. – High likely.”

“I’m not gonna crash your precious vehicle.”

“She’s not a vehicle.” How dare he?

“’She’ is a heap of metal.”

My Baby is so not.” What the hell is wrong with this guy? Doesn’t he see her beauty? How precious she is? “And now stop talking about her like this. – She can hear you.”

“If you say so …”, Sam mutters and shifts again. He’s staring at Dean in a weirded-out fashion. “Anyway. – Maybe, you could give me suggestions, so I know what I’m supposed to look for?”

“Well, it definitely ain’t Wiccan.” Dean thinks for a moment. “You could look up a library close by?”

Sam snorts. “I don’t think we’re gonna find a book with this kind of info in a regular library.”

Sam’s right. They won’t.

Neither of them is saying something.

Motörhead is playing quietly over the speakers.

“I was wondering …” Dean clears his throat gingerly and he adjusts his grip on the steering wheel. “… Why aren’t you freaking out?”

Sam slumps back in his seat and rests his bandaged hands on top of the laptop.

Dean gives him time to maul this over in that giant brain of his.

“Honestly?” Sam purses his lips. “I don’t know.”

“You’re not scared?”

“Of what?”

“Me? Demons? The whole supernatural stuff? The ritual?” Because, it does scare Dean in some ways. It let him experience deep emotions – mostly worry. – What’s a new. And it makes him feel …frighteningly human … somehow. It reminds him of things he lived through when his soul had still been untouched by hell.

“I don’t think I’m scared of you. – I’m … I don’t know. It doesn’t feel wrong to be with you. Besides, where am I supposed to go? There are Demons on your tail – what means, they’re on mine too. And for the rest … I don’t know exactly how to feel about that either.”, Sam explains calmly. “I guess, I’m still processing.”

Dean overthinks that; let it sink in. Sam seems honest, and though, Dean can tell, that he’s not telling him everything that’s going on in his mind. What’s not a bad thing, since everyone needs his secrets and doesn’t have to share every little tiny bit with the class.

“You’re … way too calm about this shit.”

Sam chuckles and nods. “Yeah, that’s surprising me too.”

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 23 ~ The Decision

 

After another week of healing, it doesn’t look like there’ll be serious, long-lasting damage to Sam’s hands. He can wiggle his fingers, even though it seems to hurt a little. The wounds are dry and crusted and Dean has removed the stitches this morning.

They are looking good. They are healing just fine – what seems to be a greater relief to Dean, than it is to Sam. The human doesn’t seem to care as much about his body.

Though, they’re spending their nights in the car and are giving motels a miss, the money in Dean’s wallet is draining away like leaves down a river.

On the research-side ain’t anything new either. They’ve stopped at a rather huge library in Fort Peck, Montana, in hopes to find something useful there, since the website tells, that they’ve extraordinary encyclopedias and ancient journals.

Turns out, the picture of one of said Journals on the page, is fake (a wood engraving, showing, what’s obviously supposed to be some kind of supernatural creature). Besides, not everyone is allowed to enter the section with this kind of stuff.

So, they break in late at night and go on the hunt for said Journals and books.

After hours of searching, they come up empty though, and frustration leaves them annoyed and pissed as fuck. At least, it leaves Dean annoyed and pissed as fuck. He wants to burn that place down. And if it wouldn’t have been for Sam, he might have.

That past week, there’ve been a few close calls too. They had an almost-encounter with a hellhound a couple of nights ago, and short after that, a witch had thought she could smuggle a hex-bag into Dean’s jacket when walking past him in a Seven Eleven.

Not to mention the tentacle-creature waiting for them at a crossroads somewhere around nowhere. That one had really been a bitch to kill, and Dean had barely managed to do so. Though, he’s been careful to not get injured, he couldn’t avoid getting flung around a little.

The bruises this has caused are now evident on Sam’s side and his right shoulder-blade, along with a few scratches, while Dean’s feeling freaking amazing in his host.

“You okay over there, Sammy?”, Dean glances over at the passenger’s side, where Sam sits – curled up, with his arms around his middle – and has his head resting against the cool window.

“Nope. – But I’ll live.”

“I should check you over.” He already did – right after the encounter, when Sam has been squirming and gasping in the passenger’s side. And then again, this morning, making sure he won’t miss an internal bleed.

Sam’s lips curl into a faint smile. “You already did. – And you said it yourself. – Only bruises. Nothing painkillers and sleep can’t fix.”

Dean snorts. “You can’t keep taking painkillers. Who knows how long it’ll take until we counter the ritual. – Meanwhile, your body could get addicted to that crap.”

Sam squints at him. The remark seems to finally feel it worthy to turn his head and look over at Dean.

“You sound concerned.”, he states nonchalant.

Dean huffs a snort. “Yeah well, you seem to take it way too easy, Hotstuff. – Someone has to be worried if you aren’t.”

“Guess I’ve grown on you, huh? Big bad Demon.” Sam’s faint smile turns into a knowing smirk.

Dean would love and wipe that smirk out of Sam’s face with a well-measured slap, or punch. “You haven’t grown on me.”

Sam looks back out of the window. “I think I did. – Your dark, evil heart just can’t handle this kind of emotions.”

Dean glares at him. Sam’s right, but that doesn’t mean that he’s allowed to call him out on it. “Fuck you too, bitch.”, he snarls.

What only makes Sam’s smirk widen.

 

*****

 

Dean decides, that it’s enough.

They need some place to stop, and where Sam can stretch his Gigantor-body out on a comfortable mattress and not in the back of the car.

And for that, they need money; which, they don’t have – yet. The credit card he’s been trying to use at the gas station yesterday night has been declined.

Snapping the guy’s neck, who has been behind the counter hadn’t been his first mean of choice, but he didn’t see another option. Dean can’t have any authorities on their asses, on top of everything else.

Sam hasn’t talked to him ever since. He’s definitely pissed, even though he seems rather sad than anything else. High likely, it’s a mixture of both …

“What did you expect me to do? Let him call the police?”

“What about not killing the guy? – He could have had family? A wife. Kids.”

“So?” Dean doesn’t see a point in giving a fuck.

“So, what? – He’s been innocent!” Sam’s voice becomes louder. “We shouldn’t be killing innocents! Stealing – okay. But no killing!” Now he’s downright yelling at Dean.

“I have the feeling, you’re forgetting who and what you are talking to here!”, Dean yells back and jumps in the breaks.

The car’s tail breaks out a little, before it comes to a stop.

Sam braces himself against the dashboard and gasps. He sobers up fast. “I know who and what I’m talking to. I just don’t feel like giving a fuck about that just now, you know? We don’t kill people!”

“I do as I please!”, Dean yells back, and with that, Sam wrenches the door open and practically jumps out of the car and takes a few steps towards the ditch.

“Get back in the car!”, Dean hollers after him.

“No!”

“Get. Back. In. the. Damn. Car!”

“Go fuck yourself, asshole!”

Is that the long overdue mental meltdown? … Or is it just a fling … “I would, if it weren’t for your constant presence!”

Sam throws his hands up in the air; his back still turned on the car.

Dean’s nostrils flare and he makes an animal-like guttural sound in his throat. “You get back in here right the fuck now!”, he commands again and the passenger’s door flies open.

His little demonstration of power does shit to Sam – obviously, because he’s glaring daggers over his shoulder at Dean, instead of obeying.

“Don’t make me stuff you in the trunk again!”, he warns, equally angry and frustrated.

Sam keeps staring.

“Don’t think I wouldn’t!”, he ads after a moment.

Sam seems to think about it dearly, before he folds himself back into the car; fuming. “You’d put me back into the trunk?”, he asks ruefully.

Dean takes his first deep breath since Sam has left Baby. He didn’t even notice his heart beating like a horde of rabid stallions until now. He rolls his shoulders.

“Trust me, I would. – And now shut the fuck up and go back to research. Do something useful for once.”, Dean hisses when he shifts the gearstick back into ‘D’.

 

*****

 

That night, long after dusk, Dean pulls up in front of a bar with a neon sign reading ‘PLAY POOL’ in one of its windows. It looks a little shady and despite the snowy weather, there are bikes parked out front.

Sam gives him a questioning look, when Dean kills the engine and gets ready to leave the car.

“What? You wanna wait out here, or are you comin’?”

Sam looks down at himself; the jeans he’s been wearing for the past four days or so, and the shirt he hasn’t changed in days either. He sniffs at himself.

“You’re not smelling.”, Dean tells him. “Not more than usual anyway.”

“You think that’s a good idea?” Sam’s not only worried about his odor …

Dean grimaces. “No. – BUT, we need money, and I’m going to hustle pool and get what we need, so we can – for once – crash in a real bed, and have a hot shower.” He pats Sam’s thigh. “We’ll be out before you know it.”

“We could also try and get access to my bank account.”

“Tempting. But we won’t. – It’d give away where we are.”

Sam sighs heavily. “Fine. – What’s the plan if something goes south?”

Dean shakes his head. “Nothing’s going to go south. – You’ve me at your side.”

Sam gives him a wary look. “That’s exactly what I’m worried about.”

Dean’s a little offended. He’s not that bad, is he? “Now I’m hurt.”

He gets a huffed “Ha.” as retort. Sam doesn’t believe him and Dean can’t be mad about that.

 

*****

 

They’re in the bar for almost an hour, before Dean finds himself someone to hustle against. Sam is hanging out at the bar in the meantime, and is nursing a beer, while intently examining the surface of the wooden counter.

“Can I get you something else, Honey?”, the female bartender puts her wrinkled hand flat on the counter before him.

Sam smiles up at her. “Nah, thank you, Ma’am.”

She chuckles, her voice roughed up by years of smoking and Whiskey. “Do I look like a Ma’am to you?” She smirks. “’m not that old.”

“Sorry. – I didn’t mean …” He sighs. She actually looks like a Ma’am to him. The woman could be his mother.

Martha – that’s what her nametag reads at least – waves at him. And if ‘Martha’ isn’t a name for an elderly fine lady. “It’s fine. – So. You look a little sad? Thoughtful?” She shrugs. “It doesn’t happen often, that youngsters like you are showing up here. You’re not really looking like a tourist, nor like someone who’s running from the law … So … what brought you here?”

“Don’t you pester our patrons, Martha.” A grizzled old man appears in the doorway from behind the bar and leans against the doorframe.

“I’m better than a psychologist, Nathaniel.”, she says and side-eyes him offended.

Nathaniel pushes away from the doorway and limps over to them. “You look as if you could use something different than beer. – Bourbon? Whiskey maybe?”, he offers.

Sam shakes his head sheepishly. “Nah, thank you. I don’t do the hard stuff.”, he says apologetically.

“See?”, Martha says triumphant. “If I’d have to guess, I’d say you’re more the coffee-kind-of-type?”

“If you have some? That’d be great. I didn’t read it on the card though … so …”

 

*****

 

Dean’s always having a watchful eye on Sam, who’s sitting at the bar; staring holes into the wooden counter, and is about to get coaxed into a conversation with the bartender and an old guy.

He quirks an eyebrow into their direction, before focusing back on the game. His opponent is quite drunk already, but he’s holding his own.

The guy is not as good as Dean, who’s playing him like a fiddle. A hundred dollars are on the table already. That’s quite something, but still not enough. If he doesn’t want to kill someone else, and become a target of Sam’s silent treatment and his sulking again, he might as well has to earn money the old fashioned way.

When they reach the 200 dollar mark, and the guy is becoming more and more unsteady on his feet, Dean decides that one more game is going to be enough. He can’t help himself, when he’s glancing over at Sam again, who is working on his second coffee, and is still chatting with the bartender and the old guy.

Sam chuckles and laughs and his smile is all bright and his eyes glisten with joy, and even if no one else can see the way he’s beaming; Dean definitely does.

It makes Dean’s heart ache a little. 

“Dude. Your turn.”, his opponent knocks with his billiard cue on the green of the table.

Dean still ogles Sam over the distance, while rounding the table. “Yeah, thanks.” He fucking knows whose fucking turn it is.

It’s just … these strangers make Sam smile – like honest-to-god-smile. And Dean wants to be the one who is capable of doing that. He wants Sam to smile at him like this too. Okay, maybe not exactly in that very way. – But, in a very similar one … only with a little more … affection.

And that’s so fucking fucked up. Because he’s not supposed to want Sam smiling at him like that.

Dean slurs a curse, when he loses this game and begs the guy for a rematch. He even staggers over his own feet, when he walks down the table to place the three remaining balls into the triangle.

Of course, the drunk Hillbilly reeks a win and that he’ll have three hundred dollars more in his pockets when he’s leaving. Only Dean knows, that money is already his.

They barely have started their match, when Dean catches sight of a girl – in a sharp red dress – training her attention at Shaggy at the bar, while she’s approaching him. Her dark brown – well styled – hair bounces a little, when she hops onto the stool beside Sam.

Dean sinks a ball in the left upper corner – only it is the wrong ball.

Hillbilly-guy chuckles and rolls his shoulders, when he takes his stance at the opposite side of the pool table. He licks his lips greedily.

Dean only pays him enough attention to see that the guy’s angle is all wrong, and that he won’t hit the ball the way he likes to.

Meanwhile, Red-Dress has her hand close to Sam’s bandaged one, which is resting on the counter beside his coffee-mug. She’s talking to him, and Sam’s talking to her. No way, Sam’s digging women. He’s not obviously gay, but Dean has assumed, that women aren’t his thing

It’s Dean’s turn again, when he tears his sharp gaze from the brunette bitch and on the table. It takes him a moment to figure out what Hillbilly-guy’s move had been.

He doesn’t let himself get distracted by Red-Dress’s laughter, nor Sam’s chuckles, which are clearly audible over the soft country-music.

Maybe, he hits the ball with a little too much force, but he still manages to get the ball in the hole, what causes his opponent to pull a pissed off grimace.

Dean takes a step back and returns to survey Sam and the woman.

Now, she’s having her hand on Sam’s, and Sam doesn’t do shit about it. He let her.

His heart is beating a tick faster, and his chest is slightly heaving with every breath he takes. His grip on the cue tightens massively. Sam’s lips seem to be stuck. His human is gonna need a damn fucking crowbar to pry that stupid smile off of his face, when they walk out of here.

Dean’s mind is reeling.

Holy hell – is this jealousy?

Giving a shit about blowing his cover and the act of a drunk idiot, he speeds things up, before Red-Dress is getting wrong ideas; before SAM is getting a wrong idea.

Within ten minutes, the game is over, Dean has won a wad of money, and ….

… He’s about to make his way over to Sam, when ha huge hand lands on his shoulder and holds him back.

“You’ve been playing me.” Hillbilly-guy stares him down. “I want my money back.”

Dean turns around. “I’ve won. Square and fair.” He shows the bills to him and then let them disappear in the front-pocket of his jeans. He then addresses the guy with a warning glare, which he let flicker briefly at the hand on his shoulder.

“Back off.”, he warns him.

Hillbilly-guy has no clue in what kind of trouble he is getting himself into, if he doesn’t follow Dean’s well-meant advice.

“First, you’re givin’ me the money back.”

Dean bites his lower lip. He won’t. Neither does he want to get in a fight.

“You know what?” Dean relaxes his shoulders and puts on a soft smile. His voice drops an octave. “You see the girl in the red dress at the bar?”

Hillbilly-guy’s look travels towards her; his expression changes and the anger in his eyes drains away. “Yeah?”

Dean parts his lips – just a little – and a puff of black oily smoke leaves his mouth and floats towards the man’s, who breathes it in. “Ain’t she beautiful?” He still looks at the man. “Doesn’t she have this special something? – Look at those legs … her hips. Her breasts. – Her lips and doe eyes? What do you think how she’d feel around you?”

“Amazing.”, Hillbilly-guy answers breathlessly.

Dean hums. “Definitely. – But … let me take care of Shaggy over there first, huh? I’m sure, when he’s out of the way, she’ll only have eyes for you.”

The man nods, eyes fixed on the girl, who is now inches closer to Sam than she had been before.

“Yeah. Yeah. Sure.” His eyes are glazed over.

“That’s my man.” Dean pats his shoulder and turns on his heels to continue his walk to the bar.

Sam looks up, as if he’s sensing his approach, and his smile falters; the brightness in his eyes dies away. “Time to go?”

Dean nods, wearing a fake-smile. He’d rather rip the woman’s heart out and squeeze it to mush instead of acting like a nice guy. “Yeah, sorry about that.”

Sam’s already slipping his hand out from under the woman’s and gets to his feet. He offers an apological smile, when he extends his hand towards her.

“’been nice to meet you, Anna.”

She looks a little disappointed, when she reaches for Sam’s hand and shakes it. “It’s been nice to meet you too, Handsome.” She winks at him.

Dean thinks, he’s going to be sick. Damn fucking bitches.

Sam nods at her and takes off towards the exit, while Dean stays there for a moment longer. A small flake of black smoke escapes his mouth and the woman breathes it in.

Dean leans in, so his lips are close to her ear. “You see that guy over there?”, he asks seductively. “Hillbilly-guy. With the woodchopper-flannel?”

She nods and breathes a ‘yes’.

“Ain’t he handsome? – Tall and strong; with this touch of ‘something’? Deep blue eyes. Huge hands. The telltale of a potbelly?”, he asks, “Imagine, how he’d feel inside of you? Stretching you wide.” He opens his mouth to continue, but …

“Dean?!”, Sam hollers for him from the entrance, “You coming or what?”

Dean straightens up and pats her shoulder twice. “Have fun, Anna.”, he tells her, and with that he’s gone and hurries up to get the hell out of there, before shit hits the fan.

 

*****

 

That night, they sleep in a motel with nice mattresses and an eternal reservoir of hot water. While Sam seems to have the most relaxing sleep in weeks, and is instantly out as soon as his face hits the pillow after a very long shower.

Dean not so much.

The next morning, they sit together at the small table in the room, having breakfast.

Well, Dean does have breakfast, Sam’s somehow brooding and only picking around in the pancakes he has brought him. As if Sam’s been the one staring at the ceiling for hours instead of sleeping.

“I was thinking, we should go see uncle Bobby.”, Sam speaks up and sighs heavily. “We don’t have anything on the ritual and I think, maybe he can help.”

Dean had been thinking quite the same for a few hours now. Not even if he would’ve wanted, he couldn’t have gotten any rest (not mentioning sleep), since his thoughts have been dragged back to the bar every so often – more specifically, to the way he had felt about Red-Dress hitting on Sam.

What really shouldn’t concern him anymore. The girl is out of the way, and they sure as hell won’t stop at that bar ever again.

So. Bobby aka Robert Singer. It’s risky. The man could be a hunter. But, he could also be some nutty civilian or wanna-be-witch.

Neither of the options rouses gleeful anticipation within him.

Sure, there’d be still Castiel, who he could call. But, the Angel only has heaven-related lecture, as far as Dean is concerned; nothing that includes curses, spells or other related stuff for that matter.

“I’ve been thinking the same … Maybe, you should test the waters before we visit him, though …”
Sam nods – more to himself. “Yeah, I’ve been thinking to call him. – Don’t want to get him involved, if it’s not necessary.”

 

*****

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 24 ~ The Salvage 1

 

Dean gets Sam a none-trackable payphone and books the motel-room for another night, despite that they aren’t going to stay there for that long.

Sam dials Bobby’s number, of which he hopes hasn’t changed since back then, and activates the speakers, before putting the phone on the table, so Dean would be able to listen too.

It takes two rings.

-Singer Auto Repair, Bobby here.-

For a moment, Sam holds his breath. “Hey … Bobby.”

There’s a sharp intake of air heard on the other end of the line. -Sam? Is that you?-

The guy sounds exact the way, Sam had described him. Old, gruff and grumpy.

“Yeah … I’ve been-“

But Sam’s cut short. -What the hell ’ve you been thinkin’, boy?! Did you lose my damn number?-

Sam sucks in a sharp breath through his teeth and his gaze flickers from the screen to Dean and back down.

“I’ve … been busy … and – look. I’m sorry. I’ve broke up with Nick, and since then, everything was a little chaotic.”

Dean figures, chaotic is an underestimation for the mess they are in.

-I bet it was. – Nick called. Told me, you went missin’. That you took off with a strange guy.- A pause. -He’s been devasted. Thought, you’d come to Sioux Falls.- Bobby doesn’t sound very pissed when he tells him that. -At least, I’m glad you’re not with that dick anymore. But, I’m still pissed, that you didn’t call me.- His tone softens some.

Sam clears his throat. “That wouldn’t be how I put it. I didn’t just … take off with a stranger. – It’s … more complicated than that.”

-As if I wouldn’t know. – Your house burnt down.-

Sam shoots Dean a terrified look and mouths a ‘did you?’. “Oh …”

Dean shrugs. Of course, he did. Who else would have? So, seeing no point in denying his tat, he nods.

-You didn’t know?-

Sam huffs sheepishly. “Nooo. – I didn’t.”

-So, now, tell me, you’re callin’ because you’re on your way to the Salvage, right?- Bobby sounds very strict. He puts it as a question, but actually, it’s an order. He awaits Sam to come to Sioux Falls.

“Kinda, yeah …” Sam swallows. “I just … - What do you know about demons?”

Dean facepalms and shakes his head. One way to go, Sam. Very subtle to approach the topic.

There’s a beat of absolute silence. -Demons?- Bobby sounds cautious all of a sudden. -Why would you ask about Demons?-

“Bobby. – This is important. What do you know about them?”, Sam insists.

-What do you know about them, son?-

Dean sits up and let his hand fall from his face.

Sam clears his throat. “Are you a hunter?”

God, a little more with feeling and a little less direct would do the trick too, Dean assumes. But he doesn’t know Old-Grumpy, so … yeah. He should keep his lips sealed and let Sam handle this.

-What do you know about hunters?-

Hunter’, Dean mouths and leans back with an unreadable expression.

Sam washes a hand over his face. “Bobby. Just tell me. Are you, or are you not a hunter? Do you, or do you not know about demons? This is important.”

Again, there’s only silence and a few heavy breaths coming from the speaker. -What if I told you, that I am a retired hunter, and what if I told you, that I know about creatures lingerin’ in the dark?- Bobby sounds careful.

Sam shares a brief look with Dean. “Then, I’d have to tell you, that I’ve gotten involved with a Demon. – That I’m with one right now … actually.” He waits anxiously for an answer.

-You are with one. – Right now?-

“Yep.”

-Boy …- It’s hissed.

“He’s got black eyes. Besides, he told he is one.”

There’s a sharp intake of air heard. -Okay. Listen to me, Son. This is important.- Bobby speaks hushed. -Tell me where you are. I’ll come and get you.- There’s the rustling of clothes and papers heard.

“Bobby. Wait. It’s … complicated. I … We’re on the run. They are after us.”

-Who is after you? And who is ‘us’?-

“It’s me and Dean. And other demons are after us. I told you it’s complicated, and I wouldn’t call, if we wouldn’t be in massive trouble. Look. There’s a demon called Alistair, he did something, and now, we’re kinda-“

-Stop.- Bobby stops his rambling. -Are you implying, that this Dean is the Demon, and that he’s with you, and that the both of you are on the run from other Demons? Is it listening right now?-

Yup, sums it up pretty much.

“Not only Demons, Bobby. – All of hell’s creatures are on our tail. At least that’s what he said.”

-Who is ‘he’?-

“Alistair. Their … boss?”

A row of very colorful curses rumble from the grizzled man’s mouth. -You try and dodge that Demon-Dean and come straight here.-

Sam rolls his eyes.

Dean does too. “He can’t.”, he says out loud. “It’s either the both of us, or he is not comin’.”

Sam tries to shush Dean and his hand flies towards Dean to cover his mouth. Dean pats his hand away.

“It’s up to you, if Sam’s going to die, or if he’ll live.” Dean swipes over the display and ends the call.

“What the hell?!”, Sam jumps up from his chair.

“He’ll call back.”

“He can’t call back, you moron. – We’ve called without ID, remember?”

Dean’s lips form an ‘oh’. “Oh.” Yeah, that’s true. He can’t. Well, that sucks. His little speech and hanging up may as well has pissed the hunter off.

Sam snatches the phone from the table and stalks towards the door. Before he opens it, he turns to face Dean and addresses him with a pointing look.

“You stay here. – I’ll talk to Bobby and – hopefully – he’ll listen to me, so he won’t try to exorcise or kill you as soon as we put foot on the Salvage.”

Dean’s lips twitch. “Oh, boy. You know, it makes me all tingly when you take control like that.” He wiggles his eyebrows at Sam, accompanied by a dirty look.

“Jerk.”, Sam hisses at him and slams the door shut, as soon as he’s outside.

 

*****

 

Half an hour later, Sam returns; his face a bright red – which is very unlikely coming from the cold. He throws the phone on the floor and twists the heel of his boots into the screen until it breaks.

“He’s expecting us.”

Dean’s already busy with getting their bags packed. “Figured.”

“He’s …” Sam makes a tzk-ing noise behind his teeth. “… Just go easy on him, okay? – And please … don’t snap his neck, or do anything else stupid. I don’t want him to get hurt.”

Dean cocks an eyebrow and turns far enough to look at Sam. “Pinky Promise.”

“I mean it.”, Sam says.

“I mean it too, Hotstuff. – And now get your stuff. I wanna get out of here.” They’ve already been in this place for too long. Hell’s spies are everywhere. They could already know where they are.

 

*****

 

They are on the road only thirty minutes later; though, this time, with a promising destination at the end of their journey.

Half way there, Dean stops at a diner. Not, because Dean’s hungry, or because he feels a pressing desire to fill his stomach with junk-food. It’s because Dean is well aware, that Sam hasn’t eaten anything since their lunch yesterday.

“Burgers? Fries? A Salad?”, Dean asks, “What can I get you?”

Sam shakes his head. “Not hungry, but thanks.”

Dean gazes at him in disapproval. “What is it with you and your weird eating-habits? – It’s a miracle, you’re not carrying a scale around with you, to measure which amount of what gets into your cakehole or not.”

Sam stares at emotionless; defiance in his sparkling eyes.

“Not to mention, that you’re checking the nutritional information whenever I get you something.” He’s really not as annoyed as he sounds. To be honest, Dean’s a little concerned. He knows a thing or two about eating disorders, and if that’s not some sort of one, a lightning shall strike him down right about now.

“Excuse me, but I’m not a Demon, and I can’t afford stuffing my ‘cakehole’ with artificial junk and greasy, sugar-loaded food all the time. – I’ve to be cautious about what I eat and what not.”, Sam tells him utterly serious.

“So, a salad it is?” Dean’s not going to back off. Sam’s going to eat something, even if it means, that he’s going to force-feed it to him.

With a sigh, Sam nods. “You won’t bring it up for the upcoming 24 hours, if I have one?”

Dean shrugs. Maybe. “Yes.”

“Breadsticks?”, he asks, before he exits.

“No, thanks. – And no dressing please.”

Dean pulls a disgusted face. “Sure.”, he mutters, “Why do I even bother asking.”

He’s back in lightspeed, even though he has parked the Impala right in front of the diner, where he could keep an eye on his Baby (and Sam) through the huge windows the entire time.

“Maybe, you think that’s healthy. But it’s really not, Sammy.”, Dean tells him, when he hands him the container with lettuce, tomatoes and sweet corn.

“It is healthy. And don’t call me that.”, Sam mutters and takes the plastic-fork from Dean’s hand.

“What? Sammy?”

“Yeah. I’m not a damn chubby ten-year-old, Dean-o.”

Dean cringes at the nickname. “Don’t call me Dean-o.”

“Well, then, don’t call me ‘Sammy’.”, Sam grumbles and sticks his fork into the luscious green leaves.

“I call you whatever I feel like, Hotstuff.”

Red creeps high up on Sam’s cheeks, and Dean grins from ear to ear. “You’re so cute when you’re blushing, Hotstuff.”

Sam ignores him and stuffs a fork with lettuce and a piece of tomato into his mouth. His ears are burning up and turn bright red.

 

*****

 

They arrive at the Salvage somewhen during the night.

Singer’s property is surrounded by a worn-down chain-wire-fence. The driveway is secured with an iron inlay in the ground. Dean can feel a slight tug, when he drives Baby across it. He notices a hand full of sigils and charms on their way towards the house, which is surrounded by wrecked cars.

There are lights on inside, and on the porch.

Sam straightens up, when Dean puts her into park. He becomes visibly tense beside him.

“Relax, Sam.”, Dean reaches over and pats his thigh reassuringly. “I’m not gonna hurt your precious poppa.”

Sam shoots him a weird look. “You know. – It’s not only you who could hurt him. He can hurt you too, Dean.”

Dean snorts a laugh. “I bet he can. He shouldn’t though.” He gives him a meaningful look. “Wouldn’t be good for you.”

“That’s … reassuring, thank you very much.”

“You’re welcome.” Dean winks at him and puts on a cocky grin.

They barely manage to get out of the car, when the front-door of the house opens and Robert Singer appears, with a shotgun in hands, on the porch.

“I wouldn’t come any closer if I were you.”, he shouts towards them and waves with the shotgun in their direction. “Won’t do shit to you, but sure ‘s gonna slow you dumbasses down.”

Sam freezes and gazes up at Bobby with huge, surprised eyes. “What?”

“You really thought I’d be that stupid and let two black-eyes come that close to me without precautions?”

Sam swallows hard.

Dean sighs heavily and groans, but doesn’t move either.

Bobby examines Sam, then Dean and waves his gun at them. “Come up here, so I can see you. Slowly. And, don’t do anything stupid.”

Both men obey. They walk up towards the porch’s steps and halt there, when Bobby gestures at them to stop. 

“Christo.”, he says loudly.

The word doesn’t do shit to reveal Dean’s true nature, but for the sake of it … He shifts them to black when he blinks.

Sam’s stay hazel – of course.

“Satisfied, Old-Grumpy?”, Dean asks with a smug grin. “It’s only me you’re supposed to be cautious about. – Sam’s still his boring human self.”

Sam turns and address Dean with a punishing glare. “You done?”

Dean shrugs and sighs satisfied. “So far, yep. I am.”

“I’m not possessed. And I’m … me.”, he looks back up at Bobby. Sam looks around cautiously. “Can we come in? – Think it’s not safe out here …”

“Sam’s right.”, Dean takes his foot on the first stairs of the porch. “We should go inside.”

Bobby grunts. He doesn’t move an inch, nor, does he lower his gun. “You.”, He addresses Dean, “Are definitely not coming inside. – Sam?” He turns his attention on his surrogate nephew.

Sam washes a hand over his face.

Just peachy. Dean has no intention to stay in the car, where it’s damn fucking cold.

“He’s no threat, Bobby. Please. – If he would want to, he could’ve snapped your neck by now. – Please.”

Dean be damned, that puppy-dog-look Sam has in store is capable of melting permafrost. “He’s right. – I’m not interested in killing a hunter.” Not right now anyway. Though, he could do with a blowjob. Not from Robert Singer though … “Besides, I’m freezing my balls off out here.”

Bobby eyes him for another moment, before he lowers the shotgun and waves at them. “You stay in my line of view.”, he points at Dean. “Don’t try anything. – I know the exorcism by heart, and I’m not reluctant to use it and send you back downstairs.” It sure ain’t an empty threat.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 25 ~ The Salvage 2

 

They sit in the ‘living-room’ aka ‘library’ aka ‘office’.

Sam and Dean are occupying the couch, while Bobby is sitting enthroned in the recliner, with the shotgun in his lap; at a ‘secure’ distance.

“Christo.”, Bobby mutters again.

Dean’s eyes flash black in response (for the sake of it) and shoots the hunter an annoyed glare. “And you’re sure your place is demon-proof?”

Bobby nods. “As far as I’m concerned it is. – That’s why I’m wondering how you managed to get onto my property, and how you’re still sitting on my couch and not writhin’ in agony on the floor.”

“Feel lucky, I’m not. – ‘cause it sure wouldn’t be me writhing on the floor.” He nods towards Sam. “It’d be Sam.”

Bobby’s lips twitch under his beard and he looks at Sam. “Why?”

Sam clears his throat. “’cause … That demon I’ve told you about … Alistair … he did some sort of ritual on us …” Sam thinks, tries to get his thoughts and what he’s about to explain in order.

“Now, why would he do such a thing?” Bobby asks curiously.

“Because he’s a son of a bitch, and annoying as fuck.”, Dean answers right away. “Here’s what we know:-“

“Tell you what. – I am toasted, boys. – We’ll talk in a couple of hours, when I’ve caught some shuteye.” He assesses Dean cautiously, and then trains his attention back at Sam, who he too, examines intently.

“Since Demons aren’t sleeping, I’ll leave the recliner to you. The TV doesn’t have a remote. – Sam, you can take the couch if you want. Didn’t have enough time to get the spare room upstairs all set up.”

Sam smiles at him gratefully. “That’s okay, Bobby. Thank you for taking us in. – Guess it’s not easy to accept a demon under your roof.”, he says softly.

Dean wants to snort, but suppresses the urge. He even has a snarky remark in petto, but bites that one back too. This is a delicate situation. Dean is aware of that. He doesn't want to tempt the hunter to kick them out.

“I’m tolerating it. – For now.”, Bobby points out and gets up with a gruff grunt. “You know where to find blankets.”

Before Bobby leaves the room, he stops in the doorway and turns to face Sam once more. He offers a soft smile. “I’m glad you’re back, boy. – Good to see you livin’ and breathin’.”

Sam smiles back at him. “Good night.”

“Good night!” Dean calls after Old-Grumpy, and gets up and settles down in the recliner. “That went down better as I thought it would.”, Dean says, when Bobby’s footfalls have faded away.

Sam only hums and stretches out on the couch, with his feet dangling from the side-lean and his head cushioned on the other one.

“Don’t you wanna get a blanket?” Because, even for Dean's conditions, it feels slightly chilly. “And a pillow?” The side-lean doesn’t look comfortable at all.

Sam only hums and rolls over onto his side, so that he’s facing away from Dean; sticking his ass out right into his drection. Dean can't, but admire those firm globes hidden by offending denim.

Sam mumbles something into the cushioning; seemingly already half asleep.

“If you tell me where to find them, I’ll get you one.”, Dean suggests quietly.

His only answer is a content sigh, shortly followed by muffled snores.

A fond smile tugs on Dean’s lips and he stays in the recliner for a while longer, before he gets up and silently starts to move through the house on the hunt for a spare pillow and blankets.

Dean eventually finds blankets in a closet in the corridor on the upper floor; though, no pillows. So, he grabs the three blankets and moves back downstairs, before the creaking floorboards cause Old-Grumpy to come out of his room.

Sam has turned onto his back; arm dangling from the couch and his fingerstips are brushing against the cold floor. His mouth is slightly agape. His shirts has ridden up a little, revealing a slither of pale skin and the waistband of his boxers.

A smile lights up Dean’s face at the sight before him. He grants himself a moment of ogling the sleeping man before moving closer.

Dean puts the blankets on the table and takes the one on top, which he folds into a neat pillow. He sneaks his hand between the lean and Sam’s neck and lifts his head gently. Then tugs one of the blankets under his head and neck.

Sam doesn’t even stir.

Then, he picks up Sam’s hand and places it on his lower abdomen, before he drapes the two remaining blankets over Sam’s sleeping form and tugs him in.

“Staring much?”, Dean asks with his voice lowered and straightens up.

“Havin’ an eye on you. Heard you sneakin’ around.”, comes Bobby’s gruff voice from the hall – he speaks quietly too. “Makin’ sure you won’t do shit to Sam.”

Dean shakes his head. He turns around to face the gruff hunter. “Thought you’re asleep, old man.”

“Not as long as someone’s not missin’ a damn single squealin’ floorboard.” Bobby rubs a hand over his beard and lifts his worn-out ballcap to scratch his scalp. “Sam wouldn’t have stepped on a single one; knows them by heart.”

Dean sighs and let his shoulders relax. “I’m done sneaking around your house anyway.”

“Good. And don’t even think touching my booze.” And with that, Bobby retreats into the shadows, and vanishes on silent feet towards the stairs.

And people say, demons are scarry.

 

*****

 

Dean doesn’t touch Robert Singer’s booze. But, he does touch several books from the shelves. The old man has quite an impressive collection. Some books are older than Dean; probably even older than Alistair – and that demon is a Methuselah.

Honestly, Dean’s not much of a reader. He’d rather watch documentaries. But in this case, he’ll have to reorientate, even when it sucks. Dean finds himself quite interesting reading material, in form of an old book about bonding-rituals, which require more than a hand full of herbs and blood.

It even comes to his mind, that Alistair may has altered the ritual to make it fit his purposes. If so, it’ll get a whole lot more difficult to break or reverse the curse or spell.

He turns the TV on and levels the volume down until it’s only a low rumble, so he has a little light while reading.

 

*****

 

Bobby’s not overly loud, when he comes down the stairs, but it’s noisy enough for Dean’s senses to kick in, who wasn’t aware of drifting off and falling asleep at all. Though, he must have, because he gasps awake and his eyes fly open.

He instantly looks over at Sam, who’s still out like a light, and then towards the hallway, where Robert Singer is shuffling into the kitchen – not paying the men in his living-room any attention.

Dean rubs a hand over his face and squints at the book in his lap. He gives his mind a moment until his bleary vision clears, before he puts the book aside and gets to his feet.

If he’s lucky, Old-Grumpy is going to share his coffee with him. If not … well … he’s still got a bottle of Jack in the trunk.

Lucky him, he doesn’t have to head out into the cold. Bobby hands him a mug without getting asked and gets the coffee maker started.

“Five minutes.”, he grumbles and gets two more mugs from the cupboard above the sink. “Fridge. Eggs. Bacon.”

Dean frowns at him, then at the small fridge in the right corner of the kitchen.

“Milk.”, Bobby says gruffly. “Cupboard. Sugar. Fluor.”

Dean gets the requested items without questioning and puts all of them on the counter beside the stove. By then, the coffee-maker is done, and Bobby takes the carafe to fill the prepared mugs.

That’s the first time, Old-Grumpy makes eye contact with him. “Say stop.”

“Stop.”, he tells him, when the mug is filled with three quarters of black liquid.

Bobby fills one to the brim, and the other one only half-full. Then, he gets the milk and fills up the half-full mug with milk. Dean watches, when he adds three spoons of sugar and swirls the spoon around, until the sugar has dissolved.

He waves at Dean. “Sam’s.”, he tells him and hands him the mug with milky coffee. “Breakfast in forty.”

Bobby pulls a flask from the back-pocket of his jeans and spikes his coffee with its content. Dean holds his mug beside Bobby’s. He definitely gets the hint, and spikes his too.

“Thanks.” He tries to make eye contact again with the elder man, but Bobby doesn’t bother, so Dean returns into the living-room with both mugs and puts Sam’s on the couch-table while he perches in the recliner.

He takes small sips from his coffee, before he decides to wake Sam.

“Rise and shine, Sammy.”, he teases while shaking his shoulder, until Sam starts to stir and pat his hand away.

Sam grumbles something and squints his eyes shut tight. “Go away.”, he grumbles again.

“Your uncle is making breakfast, and it’s gonna be ready in about ten.”

Sam pries his left eye open. “What?”

“The Salvage. Bobby’s house. Breakfast.”

Sam groans. Slowly, he seems to remember where he is and what they are doing here. He sniffles and sits up slowly; wincing, when the movement causes strain to the bruised areas on his body, and hands, which are still sensitive.

“Hurts.”, Sam winces and flexes his stiff fingers. He moves them carefully for a few minutes.

Dean pats Sam’s thigh. “I’ll go get your pills.”, he tells him.

Sam let his eyes fall shut again and nods. “Thanks.”

Dean is fast with getting their bags from the car, which he dumps beside the front-door. He gets Sam’s pills from the duffel and is back at his side not much later.

He’s still moving his fingers and hands carefully, when Dean slumps down beside him on the couch, and offers him one of the painkillers. Sam takes it with a grateful sound and downs it with a huge gulp of his coffee.

 

*****

 

Fifteen minutes later, Dean claims a chair beside Sam and opposite of Robert Singer at the small table in the kitchen. There’s a pan with scrambled eggs, bacon and a plate with stacked pancakes, maple sirup, butter and a loaf of bread.

Sam keeps nursing his coffee, and gets himself a refill, while Bobby and Dean are digging in.

Dean doesn’t miss out on Bobby’s scrutinizing looks, which he casts towards Sam every so often.

“Pancakes.”; Bobby gestures at the pancakes and then clanks his fork onto Sam’s empty plate. “No blueberries … but still pancakes.”

Sam smiles at him tiredly. “Thanks. – Just … just coffee for now.”

Bobby looks over at Dean, who looks back at Bobby. Bobby seems to try and communicate with him without words, but Dean doesn’t get what the grizzled guy is asking him.

Dean reaches across the table and forks up two of the pancakes and places them on his plate, along with two stripes of bacon. He shoves a huge bite into his mouth and groans blissfully while chewing and rolling it around in his mouth.

“They’re awesome.” He nudges Sam’s elbow with his. “You should try them.” … Just in case, Bobby expects him to do something about Sam not wanting to have breakfast.

Dean seeks out Bobby’s look, trying to ask if that’s what he had wanted from him. But now, Grumpy-Old’s expression is unreadable.

“Not hungry. – I’ll wrap some up for later though?”, Sam asks, addressing Bobby.

Seemingly soothed by his exclamation, Bobby nods. Dean knows, Sam won’t have them later either – because ‘carbohydrates’. He’d bet his ass, even if he’ll go and get them, he’ll dispose them instead of eating.

“I’m all ears, boy.”, Bobby speaks up, when he is finished with breakfast. “Tell me what’s happened. From the beginning.”

And Sam tells him that he has broke up with Nick, and that Nick is not Nick anymore. That Alistair is probably still possessing him and then continues from when he woke in The Smelly Eden. He leaves the fact out, that Castiel is an Angel though; nor does he mention the Colt or any of the personal things Sam had gotten to know about Dean.

He sticks to the facts of which he seems to assume that Bobby has to know them for figuring out what ritual Alistair had done.

Dean keeps his mouth shut, except for adding, that he thinks, that Alistair altered the ritual so it would fit its purpose. He also tells him about the nails, hammer and spearhead he had used.

“So, you’re tellin’ me, that if he gets hurt, you will too?”, Bobby asks cautiously.

Sam nods.

“You sure? He could be playing you.” Bobby gestures towards Dean, but keeps his eyes on Sam.

“We have proof.”, Sam’s tone doesn’t leave any doubts.

“I’ve no reason to.” Dean really hates it to be left out. More so, getting treated as if he’s not even here. Though, this time, he’ll let it slip. “… trick Sam into something. – There’d be nothing in for me.”

“So, you’re telling me, you’ve been saving Sam out of sheer sympathy and decided to shelter him because you suddenly have found remnants of your withered heart?”, Bobby bites out accompanied by a punishing glare.

Dean’s eyes narrow. Anger flares up in his guts and make his heart beat faster. How dare the old man, questioning his actions. “Maybe, there’s a chance, that he has grown on me.”

Sam gives him a surprised, slightly weird look.

Bobby snort. “Oh, is that so? – Or, maybe, you’re using him, to get to me?”

Dean rolls his eyes at the old man. “I didn’t even know you exist until Sam told me about you!”

Sam shoots up from his chair and shoves it back in the process.

Dean snaps his mouth shut. So does Bobby. Both keep staring daggers at each other.

“Could we please not fight? – I don’t expect the both of you to become best buddies, but … Bobby, you know there’s not only black and white out there. And, we need him to sort this out. So, please. – I trust Dean. And, I don’t expect you to trust him, but I’d wish we could call it a truce.”

“He’s a Demon, Sam.”

Sam gets his puppy-dog-expression into the game and that obviously checkmates Old-Grumpy.

“Truce?”, Dean asks and tries real hard to look as trusty as possible.

“Fine. Truce. For now.” Bobby grumbles and sighs heavily. “So, it doesn’t sound like a run-of-the-mill bonding-ritual to me.”, he thinks out loud. “It’s nothing I’ve ever heard of before either.”

Sam sits back down.

Dean wants to point out, that he has already mentioned what Old-Grumpy has just said, but swallows down whatever snarky remark wants to pry itself past his lips.

“Besides the ritual. – I think we have some more things to sort out, before we start on anything.” Bobby gets up from his chair and takes his plate, Dean’s and Sam’s. “First. – I wanna – need to know – how come that Demon-Dean is able to walk around unbothered on my property and in my house. – Second. We need to know who and what is after you – besides demons. And, one of you should write down whatever you’re rememberin’ of the ritual.”

Sam nods.

Dean groans. He’d rather not tell the hunter about anything that includes his abilities, but it looks like as if he has to.

“Since I’m assuming, that you’re gonna stay for a little longer than a few days, and you barely fit on the couch anymore, I’d suggest we finish preparing the spare room upstairs.” Bobby turns to Sam when he puts the plates into the sink. Then, he looks over at Dean. “You, I’d rather have you down here.” As far away from as Sam physically possible, he leaves unsaid, but Dean can very well read between the lines.

 

*****

 

They set to work not long after.

Bobby starts going through one of his books which contains curses.

Dean writes down what he remembers from the ritual; Sam adds several details every now and then. Like fragments of the words the demon had used, or what he smelled, when Alistair had set the bowl’s ingredients on fire.

Once, that is done, Dean writes down every creature connected to hell and demons, which are coming to his mind. There is quite a hand full of them; exclusively the ones who exist in the void and of whom no one really knows what and how many there are.

Of course, it would require breaching the void, so they can enter this world. Dean is not sure if Alistair is capable of letting such a thing happen.  

He obviously doesn’t know all the creature’s designations, like the tentacle-thing which had attacked them, but he draws small sketches of those he can’t name. – Dean’s definitely not an artist. His sketches are – by all means – not any better than the drawings of a six-year-old.

“That’s not even …” Sam frowns at the piece of paper, where Dean has drawn an octopus, when he walks past the table. “… is this supposed to be the tentacle-creature from the crossroads?”

Dean blinks up at him. “Something wrong with it?”, he asks, not ready for any criticism when it comes to his amazing skills.

Sam shakes his head. “Yes.” He frowns at the sketch and shakes his head again. “You’ve drawn an octopus … with ten tentacles by the way. – It didn’t even have eight, and it was walking on four crab-like legs, and the tentacles sure came out of its back.” Sam puts his finger on the drawn eye. “It had a real head and I’m sure, it had eyes like a spider …”

Dean groans and leans away from the table, still staring up at Sam. A little pissed now though. “So, you could do it better?”

Sam nods. “Definitely.”, he tells him flat out and sits down beside Dean, then takes the pen from his hand, takes an empty sheet of paper and starts to draw.

Fifteen minutes later, Sam is done, and shows it to Dean. “I’d say, it looked like that.”

Dean has to admit – that’s amazing, and yeah, Sam’s sketch definitely has more in common with the creature than his octopus. “Wow. – That’s … Didn’t think you’d watch it this close …”

Sam pats his shoulder and his hand lingers between his shoulder-blades for mere seconds before he pulls back. The casual touch – even though brief – makes Dean’s skin tingle where Sam has touched him.

“Don’t worry. – You’ve been occupied with fighting it off. – I’ve had time memorizing what it looked like.” And then, Sam smiles at him reassuringly. Smiles – even with his eyes – and those tiny dimples around them. His smile is genuine and honest … and so sweet.

Dean can’t but smile back at him. An honest smile. Not cocky; not flirtatious … Not faked in any way.

They stare in each other’s eyes, and for a second, Dean has the feeling that they’re having a moment. A moment, where Sam is able to look straight into his soul and vice versa.

Within a blink, the moment is gone and Sam tears his gaze away and at the papers on the table. “We could try something. – You tell me what they look like, and I’ll try and draw them?”

Dean’s eyes widen. An idea enlightens his thoughts. “I could show you.”, he says.

Sam looks back up at him and he tilts his head to the side. “Show me?”

“Yup. – We could try. I mean, I can make people show me stuff. Guess it could work the other way around too.” He shrugs. Maybe that’s not a good idea, now that he thinks closer about it. He probably shouldn’t have mentioned anything. Sam’s going to want to try now – Dean figures. “I’ve never tried it though.”

Sam seems to ponder the idea for a moment; he zooms out for a moment. Then his eyes clear again, and he nods. “Yeah, let’s try it. – No harm done, if it doesn’t work, huh?”

Their conversation rises Bobby’s attention. “Woah. – Slow it Sam.”, he looks up at them, from his book and over the top of his reading-glasses, from where he sits behind his desk. “No one’s gonna try anything, as long as we don’t know that it’s safe.” Safe for Sam, Dean hears Old-Grumpy add in his thoughts.

“I’m not gonna hurt Sam.”, Dean tells him and leans back to catch Bobby’s glare of steel. Now, he’s truly offended, and shows it in his voice. “It can either work, or not. – There’s no catch. And I wouldn’t suggest it, if it’s dangerous.”

Bobby keeps staring and only blinks once.

Dean – of course – stares back. Because, he’s gonna fucking win this battle, hell or high water.

“Probably. But, maybe, you’re gonna plant some weird shit into his mind that’s gonna bite him in the ass later on.” Bobby is really thinking about nearly everything, Dean notices. Good for him, to not be as trusty as Sam obviously is. But, it’s also annoying and the assumption that he would do anything to hurt Sam, feels like pins and needles in his soul.

Sam sighs annoyed.

“I wouldn’t!”, Dean’s voice high-pitches, when he barks back at the elder man. “I could do whatever I want to you or him. Right now. I’d only have to blink an eye, or snap my fingers, and the two of you could be pinned down, so I could have my sweet time torturing the fuck out of you, until you beg me to end you!”

Sam cringes visibly beside him.

Bobby swallows audibly and stares at him with wide eyes.

“You should pay me some respect, old man, before I decide, hanging out with the both of you ain’t worth my time. – Because, I sure as hell could give a fuck about Sam. – I don’t need to hang out here; try and undo the ritual. I could give a damn about getting stabbed, shot or mauled to shreds by hellhounds.” He’s heavily breathing, when he’s done with his small speech. “It would do shit to me.”

He and Bobby stare at each other for a little longer, before Dean gets up with an angry growl, snatches his jacket and pulls it on, while making a dash for the front-door.

Sam doesn’t get a chance to say or do anything. Dean wouldn’t let anyone stop him anyway. And before he can reach out and catch a clear thought among all that rage and anger, Dean finds himself behind the steering wheel of his Baby and her engine is running.

 

*****

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 26 ~ The Coalescence

 

Dean has a responsibility – at least it feels like one. He’s responsible for Sam, that’s why he really shouldn’t leave the Salvage. He shouldn’t step foot outside the property.

If this is truly holy ground, and if this place is shielded from everything supernatural, as Old-Grumpy pretends, he could lead hell’s army here – if they don’t already know where they are. Which, Dean dearly hopes, they don’t.

Neither will they – according to Robert Singer – be able to track them down, as long as no one does something ‘stupid’ aka leaving the Salvage.

Leaving, and putting himself back on demon-radar, would definitely be something very stupid, if he’d raise their attention.

He doesn’t get to think any further though, when the door at the passenger’s side creaks in its hinges and is opened, and the very next moment, Sam slides into the space beside him, wearing his Parka.

Sam pulls the door shut and looks over at him.

“Are we leaving?”, he asks – simple as that. No, what are you doing, or where are you going. Nope. Sam simply wants to know if they are leaving. They, for hell’s sake. As if he doesn’t care to leave this safe haven behind and go back on the road with him. Out. Into the danger.

It’s ridiculous. But that’s – obviously – how it is. Easy as that.

Dean kills the engine and shakes his head. “No. We’re going nowhere.” Because, honestly? Where should he go? Should he keep running? Should he risks Sam’s life, because some old, gimpy hunter is giving him shit?

He doesn’t want to keep running. He’s tired of running. He’s tired of hunting too.

He needs to get the ritual undone – so Sam won’t go down with him -, put a bullet through Alistair’s heart, and then … then he’ll get the peace he deserves.

Eternal sleep.

It sounds easy, doesn’t it?

It would be. If it weren’t for the Colt being inside him, and the fact, that he’d hurt Sam fatally, if he’d try to get it out all by himself.

Obviously, it’s not that good of a hiding place after all. – Considering the circumstances.

So, change of plans – again .

“So, we’re doing this mind-melt-thing, or what?” Sam smiles at him softly, and sounds so fond and trusting.

Dean’s getting a little nauseous there.

Sometimes, Sam manages to make him forget who and what he is, so easily. He makes him feel as if he’s just some regular human. Talks to him, as if he’s not a dangerous hell-forged creature, who has the power to take him out like a light.

 

*****

 

Bobby is nowhere to be seen, when Sam returns - with Dean in tow - to the living-room.

“Bobby is sulking.”, Sam explains and slumps down on the couch. “He doesn’t want me to let you into my head.”

Yeah, Dean got that. “And what about you? – You think I’m gonna plant my evil seed in your grapefruit?” Huh, that sounds dirtier than attempted.

Sam snorts.

He obviously doesn’t get how serious Dean is about his question. Okay, he wants to plant his seed inside Sam – but … that’s a whole different story, and will probably never happen.

“I’m being serious.” Because he really is.

Sam chuckles delighted. “First: You planting your seed in … wherever … sounds a whole lot like some nasty bible-porn-thing – what would probably be right up your alley. But no, actually, I don’t think I’ve to worry.”

Dean examines him; eyes him from tip to toe. So, Sammy knows a thing or two about bible-porn, huh, interesting....

Sam’s attitude ain’t healthy. Because, hello, Dean’s a Demon, and he shouldn’t try the entire bonding-thing with a Demon.

“You should worry. You know, when this is over … Other Demons aren’t as nice as me. – They torture, kill, rape. They do the real bad stuff – because it’s fun.”

“I get that you’re one in a million, Dean. – Sure, you have your flaws – obviously. Like, back at the gas station when killing that guy because the credit card didn’t work. – You’re a Demon after all, and I know that too. But, that doesn’t mean, that you can’t keep demon-you under control.” Sam shrugs. “Back at the bar. For a moment I thought, you’re going to disembowel Hillbilly-Guy. – But you didn’t. I don’t know what exactly you did. – But you didn’t kill him. And that means something.”

Sam still looks at him; open and sincere that he believes what he’s telling him.

Dean thinks for a moment, if he had ever mentioned ‘Hillbilly-Guy’ to Sam. As far, since he is concerned he hasn’t. Weirder is, that Sam’s using exactly the same term he has made up for the guy.

Maybe, only coincidence. Or, it has a deeper meaning (which Dean really would love to think).

“I thought about killing him.”

“I bet you did.” Sam clears his throat and looks aside sheepishly. “So. – How does that mind-melt-thing work?”

Dean rises an eyebrow at him. “I’ll give you a tiny bit of my smoke.”

“And how does that work?”

Dean thinks for a moment. Should he really take advantage of the situation? Everything tells him not to …

“We have to kiss.”

The blush creeping on Sam’s face is the brightest so far. And the cutest. Even his ears turn a deep red. It’s mesmerizing how bodily functions betray humans all the time.

Kiss …”, Sam mumbles; nearly chokes on the word. “That’s not some … weird thing to get some fun out of this for yourself?”

Dean purses his lips. Yes, it definitely wouldn’t be necessary to kiss. “No.”, he asks innocently.

Sam nods to himself. Dean watches him cautiously.

Excitement makes his chest flutter in anticipation.

“I understand if you don’t want to though …” Sure, Dean’s giving him a choice. He might even tell him, that they don’t really have to kiss … maybe.

“Okay.” Sam swallows and looks everywhere but Dean. “I mean, it’s okay to do it … like that.”

Yes. Yes. Yes. Dean likey.

Finally, Sam gets his shit together and looks over at Dean, uncertain and obviously nervous.

Dean likes that too. It’s an as sweet thing, as getting a virgin to make out.

They always taste best like this, and he bets his ass, that Sam’s going to taste better than anyone else so far.

“I should go brush my teeth first.” Sam practically jumps up and flees from the room and up the stairs.

Dean checks his breath. Not that bad. A tang of sulfur, but that’s nothing what brushed teeth could make go away. Neither would an entire bottle of Listerine – even if he’d swallow it …

Besides … Dean’s perfectly fine as he is. Sam would be too, but he has taken off too fast for Dean to tell him that.

He will literally take Sam’s minty breath away …

It takes Sam way too long to come back downstairs. When he reappears, he’s wearing different clothes, is definitely showered and probably has – too – brushed his teeth.

Sam appears all nervous; shifting around in the doorway for a moment, before he finally decides to rejoin Dean on the couch. He seems uncertain what to do with his hands, as he’s rubbing them over his jeans-clad thighs until he intertwines his fingers and rests his hands in his lap.

Dean can’t blame him, after all he’s the epitome of male perfection.

“I’m ready.” Sam murmurs. “I guess.” He’s all awkward about himself.

He guesses he’s ready. So damn adorable – what, by the way, his dick thinks too.

Dean chuckles and eyes him amused. “We’re not on a date or something, you know?”

Sam blushes all over again. “I know.”

Dean smirks at him. “It’s just a kiss.” He knows he’s teasing, but can’t help it. That’s who he is.

Sam blushes harder. “I know that too.”

“I’ll make it worth your time, you know? Well, except for the monsters I’m gonna show you. But other than that, you get to kiss the hottest guy in the state.”

Sam chuckles, his face is all dimples and shit.

For a very brief moment, Dean thinks about telling Sam that they don’t have to kiss for this … but then again …

“Let’s get started?”

Sam draws in a deep breath and shifts, until he is facing Dean fully. “How do you … you know … should I sit, or … should I rather lay down?” God, he’s jittery as hell.

Dean reaches out with his hand and cups Sam’s jaw. “Just … relax. – I’ll take the lead, Sammy.”, he whispers huskily. He looks deep into Sam’s eyes; dives into those deep pools.

And for once, Sam doesn’t protest against the nick-name. He even leans into the touch – only a little and his eyelids flutter for a moment.

Dean leans in and runs his thumb over Sam’s cheek; so gentle and tender; pulls him in a fraction, while he leans in further.

First, it’s only a brush of his lips against Sam’s – barely there. And still ... it feels amazing; mesmerizing.

The air becomes electric; pickles their skins and loads the atmosphere around them with foreign energies.

Sam still goes with it; chases after Dean’s lips, when he pulls back a that little bit, to give Sam a chance to back out. And then, he seals his soft cushions over Sam’s; tilts his head and pushes his other hand along the nape of the human’s neck to where hair starts to tickle the skin of his fingers.

He feels one of Sam’s hands come to a rest on his lower thigh and then, it moves upwards an inch, when he goes with Dean’s forward-motion.

Dean knows the purpose behind why Sam’s lips part; why he’s granting a piece of him entrance, but that’s not what Dean is thinking about just now.

He wants to taste and feel and savor the moment.

He pushes his tongue past Sam’s lips and he feels him freeze for a moment, before he goes with it and laps tentatively at Dean’s.

Their kiss deepens; becomes hungrier and Dean's grasp at the pack of Sam’s neck tightens to steady him, when he pushes against his wet lips and lays his other hand on Sam’s hip. 

God, Dean's tempted to push Sam back the entire way; lay him out and rid him from those useless clothes to feel him for real; make him his.

His black wolf howls; demands MORE. But Dean shouldn't; can't; won’t act on those feral instincts to claim and dominate.

As much as Dean enjoys this; as much, as he would like to continue kissing Sam, and maybe let this turn into something more touchy – that’s not why they are doing this, and Dean definitely doesn’t want to push things too far, or take that much advantage of his human.

God, but Sam tastes even better as he has imagined, and it’s real hard to not go with his instincts and needs. So, instead of fucking around, he let a generous amount of black oily smoke drift into the Sam’s mouth, while he keeps kissing him.

Sam’s grasp on his thigh tightens, and Dean feels Sam’s left hand come down on his shoulder, which travels towards the back of his neck. Sam’s fingers close over the back of his head and he holds onto him as if it’s about life or death.

And then, Dean shows him the hellish creatures he has come across during his time in hell and on earth.

When it is done, Dean calls the part of him he has been sharing back into his own body.

Both wolves howl pitifully at the loss of connection.

Sam’s grasp on him loosens, and he eventually let go and pulls back; heavily panting. His eyes are open wide and for a moment, Dean thinks something has gone wrong during the procedure; since Sam seems ‘stuck’ (for the lack of finding a better word for what it looks like) for a couple of seconds too long.

But he blinks, and his pupils react to the daylight almost the same moment; and then, Sam’s back with him. He looks a little bewildered; spooked even, but Dean figures that’s pretty normal considering that he’s just got a sneak peek from hell.

“Wow.”, Sam breathes and licks his lips.

Dean clears his throat and leans back a little. “Best kiss ever, huh?” No, he’s so not suffering from an exaggerated opinion of himself.

“I’d say …” Sam huffs out a breath. “… weirdest kiss ever. – But yeah, I guess, that’s been pretty nice.”

“Nice?” C’mon, Dean’s a fucking damn good kisser. Without the entire smoke-thing (and a littlemoretouching), it could have been perfect.

“Okay, better than nice. – Though weird.” Sam smacks his lips. “Is that sulfur?” He gazes at Dean curiously.

“Sure it is.” Dean winks at him and leans back completely.

“Nasty …” Sam pulls a grimace and runs his tongue over his teeth behind his lips. “Leaves a furry feeling behind.”

Dean snorts. “You just got a taste of hell. It’s supposed to be nasty, Hotstuff.”

 

*****

 

Sam gets himself a coffee, before he settles down and starts to do the sketches.

Meanwhile, Bobby honors them with his presence again and since Dean seems unoccupied besides ogling Sam while he draws, he orders him to give him a hand with the spare room upstairs.

Of course, Dean would’ve loved to tell him, that he has no interest in ‘giving him a hand’ anywhere, but he figures that’d be the wrong thing to say to the old man.

Probably a good thing, because the ex-hunter, suffering from chronic gruffness, is one grumpy bastard. Dean’s not amused, though, he does whatever he’s told, so to not start another discussion – today.

He figures, there has been enough drama for one day.

Besides, Robert Singer seems to have issues with his left knee, and Sam … well, he’s still fucked up from the encounter Dean had with tentacle-thingy, so he wouldn’t want HIM to drag the heavy boxes and shit into the basement. Old-Grumpy doesn’t look like he’s able to take the tour downstairs and back up more often than three times tops …

Oh, but no one should get the wrong ideas here. Dean’s still not a nice guy, and he certainly ain’t fond of moving shit – which is not his shit – through a building – which is also not his – because he feels obliged to.

Dean Winchester is only obliged to himself, and no one else. Well, maybe not only no one else, but Sam too – a little at least.

 

*****

 

Last but not least, he carries their duffels upstairs and stores them in the lone closet on the opposite wall from the two beds.

Dean takes a trip to the bathroom in the corridor, with a change of clothes and shower gel, to get showered and look decent again, after taking a turf for the dust-bunnies under the beds and finding remnants of them in his hair.

Once done, he goes back downstairs and joins Sam on the couch again, who is still making – very detailed – sketches of the monsters Dean had shown him.

“I’ll go make dinner.”, Bobby announces and dumps a book into Dean’s lap, when he passes by. “You’ll do the readin’.”

Dean huffs out an annoyed breath. That’s gonna be a damn long evening.

“Is he always like this?”, Dean grumbles.

“He is.”, Sam mumbles without looking up. “You’ll get used to it. – And … just so you know … the rougher he treats someone, the bigger the chance that you’ll grow on him. – He’s got a soft core.”

“Soft core. My ass. – More like shards and meat-hooks if you ask me.”

A grin tugs on Sam’s lips. “You’ll get to like him too.”

Dean honestly doubts that.

 

******

Chapter Text

Chapter 27 ~ The Sweetest Thing

 

Three days pass by. They’re nothing more than a flaw of time filled with reading, naming the creatures which may are after them, and finding a way to undo the ritual.

They’ve shared their work fair and square.  

Sam is supposed to find out what the creatures are and how to kill them.

Bobby is researching how to ward the Salvage further against the creatures Sam reads about.

Dean is onto figuring out the ritual – which is probably the master-project of their entire endeavor.

 

*****

 

Dean and Sam share the spare room upstairs. Dean occupies the bed closest to the door; remaining a barrier between whatever would dare to come through it, and Sam.

 

*****

 

They are all ready to call it a day and retreat to their rooms, when one of Bobby’s phones – safely stored in one of the drawers of his desk – go off.

When he pulls it out, Dean can see a label on it, which reads ‘questionable’.

Sam perks up too, when Bobby starts to talk.

“Wait a sec.”, Bobby says quickly into the phone, the voice on the other end of the line only a distant frantic murmur to Dean and Sam, as he leaves the house through the back door.

Dean shoots Sam a curious look, and Sam shrugs at him in response. “How am I supposed to know?”

“You’re his nephew.”

Sam rolls his eyes. “Happens, that I only got to know a few weeks ago, that there’s more to this world than flora and fauna. Days, since I got to know, that Bobby’s a hunter. – Who knows what else I don’t know about him.”  

Okay, he’s right. Nonetheless, Dean’s nosy as fuck. “So … How come, you obviously spent time here, but never smelled the rat?”

Sam shrugs. “What? That supernatural stuff is real? Are you kidding me?” He pauses. “And, he’s not really my uncle. More like a stepdad.”

Dean’s eyebrows rise high on his forehead, because, he could’ve sworn there are a few resemblances between them. Maybe it’s some naughty family-incest-thing …

Sam can obviously feel Dean’s awoken interest, and his intrigued gaze drilling into his temple.

“So, means, your mom and dad and your mom and his brother?” Dean wiggles his eyebrows and gives him a naughtily dirty look. Then he clicks his tongue.

“Dude.” Sam’s shooting him a weird look. “No!”

Dean won’t back off, if he’s not offering a little insight in his family’s history. “Woah, a threesome?” What a kinky family.

An even weirder look.

“Are you shitting me?” Dean snorts. Sam’s going to give in and spill – probably sooner than later, because Sammy over there is already squirming and getting redder by the second. “Did your mom had a gang-“

“STOP.” Sam looks over at Dean in defeat and sighs along an eyeroll. “Fine.”

“Look, I’ve been in foster-care for a long time, until Mom adopted me, after her husband and son died. She’s been the local Sheriff here in town. Long story short, she and Bobby got married, then she got sick and died. I’ve been seventeen back then. I took the wrong turn after that. Got involved with … the wrong people.”

“But you’ve been living here …”

“No. – I’ve been living with mom and Bobby in town. – We had a house there. Mom’s house. The Salvage had been Bobby’s business. – I’ve come here after school sometimes. Had helped out a little with the cars …”

Dean hums. Explains, why Sam had never get dragged into the hunting-business and everything. Old-Grumpy probably kept that stuff from him.

Plausible. But Sam’s a smart guy, and sure has been a smart kid.

“Like I said. I thought Bobby is nuts.”

A beat of silence.

“What about you?”, Sam asks tentatively.

Dean snorts. “About me?”

“Yeah. – Your family … or I mean … before you became a demon?”

What is he supposed to tell him? “Can’t really remember anything from before. – Then there’s been hell. My soul got tortured …”

Sam frowns at him. “How come you ended up in hell?”

“A deal. With a crossroads-demon, to get someone back from the dead.”

The question about ‘who’ he wanted to resurrect is written all over Sam’s face.

Dean chews his lower lip. “Can’t remember who. -That’s what centuries of hell do to you.” He shrugs. Besides, he really doesn’t want to go into detail about it; and much less he wants to remember. “You forget about things.”

Sam casts his look into his lap.

“Then – Castiel – that Angel. He pulled me out, but he’s been too late. I’ve already been turned.”, Dean explains further. “Since then, I’m prowling around.”

“Trying to find a way to kill Alistair?” Ever the smart man. “And … what about the Colt?”

“Yup. – And yeah. The Colt is capable of killing him, so …” Dean shrugs. “… and killing me, by the way.”

Sam looks back up at him, irritated. “You’re telling me that, because …”

Because, I’m tired of this world, and … my plan, before all this happened, … was to get the Colt, kill Alistair and then ….” He gestures into the air before him. “… end myself.”

Irritation gives way to horror? Is this disappointment and … something else, Dean can’t put his finger on. Because, there’s a buttload of emotions bubbling up to the surface of Sam’s face, and all of a sudden, he looks a little angry.

“Why would you want that?” More irritation; with a hint of concern.

“’cause I’m fucking tired. I’m bored. And all I wanna do is sleep.”

Sam shakes his head in obvious disapproval. “But … with what you’re capable of … even though you’re a demon … you could have a purpose. You wouldn’t have to be bored. You could use your powers to help people. Hunt other bad things.”

Dean snorts. Ain’t that cute. “Sam. I am what I am. There’s not any other purpose than torturing humanity, you know?”

Sam doesn’t seem to approve, because he’s looking in a very determined way at him. “There could be.”
“But, there isn’t.”

“You could try though.”

Dean groans. Sam doesn’t get it; probably won’t ever get it. He’s not going to try anything, except for going through with his plan.

“You could take off, kill Alistair and off yourself. If you’re such a bad guy – as you say – you’d give a damn about me. You wouldn’t care if I die. – But you do. Or else, you wouldn’t be here.” Sam is still looking at him in that determined way. “You’ve already said it yourself: I’ve grown on you.”

Dean growls at him. “Why would you want me to change my mind?”

“Maybe, because I care, and because I see more in you than only a demon, Dean Winchester.”

Oh boy. How can someone so adorable be such an annoying little shit at the same time? Besides, he’s got nothing on that.

“I’ll go grab a shower. You should too. You stink.”, Dean tells him and rises to his feet; he gives Sam a warning look, before he leaves him behind and moves upstairs.

 

*****

 

When Bobby comes back with an unreadable expression, he announces, that they will get company around noon tomorrow, and that this company is going to stay at the Salvage for an uncertain amount of time.

Dean’s not flattered.

Sam seems somehow excited. As if this entire hunter-thing and getting to know others of their kin besides Bobby, is like a trip to wonderland.

Bobby sits back down behind his desk and leans back with a grunt. “He’s an Angel, so you know. – I guess, when he’s going to stay, you’ll find out anyway.”, he adds and pulls a bottle of Bourbon out from under the table. “With that stick up his ass and all …”, Bobby rumbles grumpily. “It’ll be fun to have him around.”

Dean snorts. “Guess they’re all the same then …”

“Can’t tell, he’s the only one I’ve come across so far. – Gladly.” He takes a swig from the bottle. “You did?”

Dean nods. “A hand full, yeah.” Then sighs. “Only one I’d trust though.”

“The guy – Angel – who comes tomorrow. – His hide-out has been burnt down by Demons. Also told me about increasing demon-activity and all kinds of creatures crawling out of their holes.”, He says it heavy with meaning.

“You think, that’s because of us?”, Sam deadpans.

“You bet your balls on it, boy.” Bobby nods. “Looks like they’re looking for something.”

I’d stake my life on, that that’s about us.”, Dean snarls.

“Considering the circumstances, you shouldn’t be using this idiom.”, Sam states along a pissed glare into his direction.

Well, did Dean miss out on something? Is Sam still disappointed about his announcement, or is he just pissed about it in general? Because Dean doesn’t let Sam sweet-talk him into changing his mind; to try and find another purpose?

Well, fuck this. Saving strangers and killing monsters ain’t something exciting, much less satisfying.

“Excuse the fuck out of me, Sammy, for you not liking my decisions.”

A glare. A very very murderous glare.

“Okay, so.” Sam looks over at Bobby. “You think, he could help? – If he’s an Angel, he could, right?”

“Nope. – He’s more or less a rogue Angel. That’s why he’s coming here. Heaven’s little soldiers won’t be able to track him down on the Salvage.”

Sounds familiar to Dean, but he keeps his lips sealed. He’ll get to know the Angel soon enough.

Sam looks over at Dean and examines his blank expression; probably trying to get confirmation of what he is assuming too.

But Dean keeps his cool. “I’ll go catch some shuteye.” He gets up and turns in the doorway. “You comin’ or what?”, he asks Sam.

“I’ll be up in a couple of minutes.”, Sam tells him, “I’ll go grab another coke.”

As told, Sam turns up in the spare room ten minutes later with a diet coke in hand; grabs his sweats and a shirt and changes into them in the bathroom, before he returns again and crawls straight under the covers of his bed.

 

*****

 

It’s the little things, really.

The way, Sam moves, how he tugs strands of hair behind his ear, or the way he looks, when he has just woken up and is gazing blearily at Dean; not yet fully awake.

The smiles, though, are the sweetest thing about Sam. And his eyes are the most colorful, beautiful irises Dean has ever gotten to lay eyes on.

Of course, that body – well – what can Dean Winchester say? Despite its flaws (aka scars) is one hot shit of firm flesh and soft skin. At least, Dean figures it is firm flesh, since he doesn’t get to see a lot of meat under all those layers of clothes Sam is wearing.

And then – what’s probably a little weird, Dean has to admit – is Sam’s huge hands. How his fingers encircle the mug of today’s choice nearly all the way. They are the hands of a working man, strong and firm, but also so soft and shielding.

Dean can’t stop ogling him. Can’t, for the love of it stop watching Sam and thinking about how he’d feel; pressed up against him; skin against skin. How it’d feel to kiss him again; taste him for real, without another purpose than kissing; than feeling.

Hell forbit, he does not only think about the sexual aspect of it.

And, thinking, about what Sam has said about the entire purpose-thing.

“Earth to Dean.” Sam’s voice tears through to him.

Dean’s eyes clear from the haze of thoughts and with the next blink, he’s back to reality. “Yeah?”

“You know, it’s creepy when you stare at me like this?”

“’m not staring.”, Dean murmurs offended. “I’m …” … undressing you with my eyes and eating you alive?

“Eye-fucking me?”

Dean flashes his teeth and a broad grin at him. “I’ve been eye-fucking you right from the start.”

Eyeroll.

That one bitchface, where Sam pulls up his left eyebrow. “But you haven’t back at the Motel, or … after that.”

“You’ve been … disgusting, to be honest. – With the gashes and bruises … that’s not how I like humans.”

Sam’s eyes narrow. Disappointment bleeds into his eyes and chases away the amusement from moments before. He looks a little upset now, but Dean can’t help it. He’s telling Sam the truth, or is he supposed to lie?

“That’s not how you like them.”, Sam repeats absently. “Huh. Interesting.”

Not so cool to let Sam know that – obviously.

“Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t bang you now, you know?” That doesn’t make it any better as it seems, because Sam looks aside and pulls a grimace. “If you’d be interested? I’d be all in, Hotshot.”

“Nah, think I’m good, Honey.”

Did he just …? “Don’t give me pet-names, dude.”

“What? – You’re givin’ me pet-names all the damn time.”

“Yeah, but that’s … okay if I do that. – You on the other hand … Calling me ‘Honey’ feels just … OFF.” Yeah, definitely off, and so wrong.

“Fine.” A self-satisfied grin tugs on Sam’s lips. “So, I guess, Sweetheart won’t be okay either?”

“Gross. That’s just … stop it.” Dean’s definitely grossed out, but at the same time, something warm and fuzzy spreads in his chest.

“Whatever you say.” Sam snorts. “Cupcake.”

Dean shoots up from the couch. “You know what? I think I’ve to check Baby’s radiator antifreeze.”

Another snort. “See you later.” Followed by a winning grin.

“You know how to kill the mood, Bitch.”, Dean grumbles.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 28 ~ The Spellwork 1

 

Bobby gives the Angel instructions on what sigils to draw onto himself with lamb’s blood - so that he’s able to get past the wards guarding the property. But they’ll only work temporally. He warns him, that it’s not going to last, and that he should put them on short before stepping foot on the property.

Bobby washes some of the sigils inside the house off has Sam replace them with other ones. So, they won’t affect the Angel, Dean assumes.

Meanwhile, Dean continues his research on how to undo – what they’ve found out so far – is – in fact – a wicked spell. And as assumed, it’s not a run-from-the-mill-spell. It’s been definitely altered.

For the used items. Using the nails, hammer and spearhead, had been necessary to form the bond between a supernatural creature and a human – as it seems. A supernatural creature as a not-run-off-the-mill-demon like Dean is.

For one, because, the spell would only have worked for so long, and for another, to strengthen the bond formed between the both of them.

For what they know now, it’s probably hard to counter. – What a surprise.

At least they have proof of their assumptions now, and they’re done guessing around. Aside from all that, they’re no closer to a counter-spell. Sadly.

 

*****

 

Squealing wheels.

The high whine of an engine roaring up before dying out.

A car’s door is slammed shut, and no minute later, a dark-haired man in suit-pants and a beige trench-coat comes blasting through the front-door with a whoosh of powdery snow around him.

Bobby’s leaning in the doorway of the kitchen, unmoved by the sudden intrusion. And because Bobby’s that cool about it, Dean and Sam don’t throw themselves into fighting-mode either.

Nonetheless, Sam gets to his feet a second later and takes two long strides towards the hall, and the panting, doubling over man there.

“Castiel?”, he asks – not very surprised.

Dean kicks back in the recliner and continues reading in the book in his hands. “Thought so.”, he mumbles and skips a page further.

Castiel straightens up, while Bobby shuts the door and tells him to take his shoes off and to not make a mess of the floor – he’s just cleaned it up. Like two months ago …

“You know each other?”, Bobby asks a little confused.

“Yeah. – Kind of at least.” Sam tilts his head to the side.

“What a small world!”, Dean hollers from the living room.

“Hello, Dean.” Castiel pulls off his shoes and places them beside the door. “Hello Samuel.”

“Hey.” Sam greets him. “Are you okay?”

“Yes. Thank you. I will be fine.” Castiel straightens up.

His hair stands off in all directions; his blue tie amiss and white shirt all messed up with the lamb’s blood on his chest.

“You sure? You look …” Sam takes another step towards the Angel. “… like you’ve been put through a wringer.”

Castiel draws in a deep breath. “I am certain. – Thank you for your concern.”

Dean follows every movement of the Angel and Sam out of the corners of his eyes; examines their mimics and the postures they are holding each other in. Specially for hints of nonverbal conversation.

It’s probably ridiculous, but there’s a pang of jealousy, when Dean notices the barely-there smile Castiel’s lips form when he gives Sam a visual once-over.

“I see you are doing good.”

No shit. Of course, he does. Dean’s taking good care of him. He’s watching out for Sam. And for himself by the way. He’s extra-careful with himself lately. Takes care to not bump into stuff and shit, because he knows Sam’s going to take the brunt of it.

Sam chuckles and nods. “So … come on in. – Sit down.”, Sam invites the Angel into the living-room, while Bobby gets the booze and glasses from the kitchen.

When he returns, Castiel is sitting on the couch with Sam, and Dean staring daggers at the Angel from where he has his butt parked on Bobby’s desk. – What Old-Grumpy obviously notices, because Dean’s getting utterly weirded out vibes from the old man, which cause him to tear his gaze away from Castiel and towards Bobby.

Bobby looks aside swiftly. “So. – Tell us what happened.”

 

*****

 

They come to the conclusion, that the attack on The Smelly Eden is connected to Alistair and his hunt for Dean; also, that the sudden demonic-activities all over the states have to have something to do with it too.

Much to Dean’s dismay, Bobby puts up a cot in – as what Dean considers is – their room, for the Angel.

What bothers Dean more is, that Sam doesn’t seem to mind at all. If anything, he looks excited about having the Angel with them in the same room. He’s so damn fucking nice to Castiel, it makes Dean nauseous.

On top of that, the Angel gets a whole lot of Sam’s attention – which of course – cuts short the attention he pays Dean.

What the hell is Sam expecting? That they’re going to throw a damn slumber-party? Listen to the Backstreet Boys and talk about their feelings?

But, the best part is Castiel mentioning the purity of human’s souls, and how fucking beautiful Sam’s is (Castiel of course says it more elegant and mushy). What fucking pick-up-line is this? Did Castiel come up with that by himself, or is it just … random shit spilling from his full lips?

Speaking of full lips: Those lips may feel nice around a cock and to kiss, but they sure lack experience. – Experience which Dean definitely has. (And the Angel doesn’t.)

And still, Sam’s chatting with Castiel and blushing every now and then, and isn’t that ridiculous? The two of them have no common basis. Not like Dean and Sam have. They shouldn’t be getting along THAT fine, should they?

And on top of that, Dean bumps with his hip into the edge of the counter in the bathroom, when his bladder is so full he feels like he’s going to burst any moment, giving Sam a nice bruise. Of course, he apologizes, and Sam just waves him off and tells him that it’s not bad and shit.

But it is bad and shit.

Of course, Castiel notices what’s going on, and then Sam tells him about the spell and shit, and Castiel looks so fucking concerned. Like honestly concerned.

And Dean’s just: What the actual fuck?

Castiel usually doesn’t give a shit, as long as it’s not about his angelic ass getting a serious beat-up. And that pisses Dean off (too). Because, what reasons would there be for Castiel to fucking care, if it’s not for him having a crush on Sam.

Because this could really happen, right? Angels can develop feelings (outside of sexual attraction) and fall in love (how sick is this?), and that’s just freaking awesome.

That entire Angel/Demon-Thing is just so unfair.

If an Angel gets a human pregnant, the outcome is a Nephilim.

But, if a Demon gets a human pregnant, you get some retarded thing you rather wanna hide in a basement.

Because, obviously, Demons are abominations and scum and everything but holy.

Well, fuck that shit. Dean’s not going to have it. He can have this. He can have Sam (not only for sexual purposes).

Castiel doesn’t know yet (just like Sam doesn’t know yet either), but Sam is Dean’s.

And Castiel can go where the sun doesn’t shine and get himself another human to stick his holy dick into gracefully.  

 

*****

 

Dean is so not sulking. If someone would ask him, he’d demand to be pensive. Because, he is fucking pensive, okay?

And who could honestly blame him?

They have a lead on how to counter the spell (because, countering the spell is obviously something different from reversing it.), since it can’t be undone.

Bobby is working on something right now actually. But they can’t know if it will work, and if it will last. They will have to wait it out, as soon as the counter-spell is done – for god-knows how long.

Sam – in the meantime – is done with figuring out how to kill the creatures (which are not demons, like that tentacle-thingy).

Castiel is just looking pretty (like those fucking tree-toppers at Christmas) and is always standing in the way. Mostly between Dean and Sam, blocking his view.

 

*****

 

Turns out, they don’t have all the stuff they need for Bobby’s counter-spell, despite Old-Grumpy’s immense hodgepodge of witchy stuff in the basement and at the attic.

Yeah, it’s definitely no collection, it’s a chaotic mishmash stored in half-rotten boxes. Only Bobby knows where to look for what.

Anyway.

They’re lacking a holy thing; and Sage. Sage won’t be a problem – even though it’s winter, but the holy thing is a little harder, since a rosary or a flask with holy water won’t cover it.

They need something equally holy as the nails and spearhead are.

Of course, Castiel comes up with an idea nearly instantly. Some crap about Items which got touched by god. Sadly, all of them seem to be lost, or in heaven’s or hell’s possession, as they are too sacred to be kept around humanity.

So, they’re breaking their heads and search for ‘things’ which are holy enough to do the trick.

Of course, there are quite some supposedly holy items scattered all over the planet – but, they’re only allegedly holy.

Like, splinters from the actual true cross, to which Jesus had been crucified, or of Noah’s Ark. Pieces of Jesus’ Burial Shroud; or stones from his tomb.

Sadly, Castiel can’t tell if they’re the real deal. He – at least – would have to be in the same room as the Items.

“What about Fulgurite?” Sam slumps back and tosses the book on the table. “It’s formed by fusion when lightning strikes sand or ... rock.” He shrugs. “Probably easy to get our hands on and … the crystal could be seen as holy. – In some cultures it definitely is … It’s been believed – and some indigenous people still do – that those ‘crystals’ have been touched by their gods.”

Sam lifts his hands. “I’d have nothing else, and I don’t believe that we’ll get our hands on something ‘real’ on E-Bay.”

“Sam’s right.”, Dean agrees and rubs with the heels of his hands over his eyes. “I think it’d be worth a shot.”

“I could go with whoever will head out to get this Crystal. We would know in an instant, if it does fulfill the requirement and therefore if it is worth the risk of extracting it from where it is kept.” Castiel suggests matter of factly.

Of course, the angel would brag with his angelic powers. And then, he’s looking at Sam with this … look. “Where would we find such a Fulgurite?”

Okay, Dean has to admit he doesn’t know what this look means, but it’s so positive and appreciating and … as if Sam’s some bright shining light in the darkness.

Dean doesn’t like it at all. Because, sometimes, he gets the feeling, that the Angel is attempting to flirt with Sam.

Sam shrugs. “Museums, Expositions or private people … Have to check the web.”

 

*****

 

They eventually find an article with a collector, who poses with a huge Fulgurite on a picture, and he doesn’t even live that far away. All it would take is a four-hour drive there. Two  – if everything goes as planned – to get the crystal and another four to haul ass back to the Salvage.

If it goes down smooth and easy.

 

*****

 

Dean can’t get any happier, when Bobby and Castiel decide to volunteer and get the crystal. It’s not as if either Dean or Sam could go with them anyway. They’re on hell’s most wanted list and not supposed to leave the property.

Nearly as important as getting that Fungus-Whatever, is to get some quality time with Sam – alone. Without the Angel.

 

*****

 

That night, Dean walks in on Sam and Castiel.

Well, he doesn’t really walk in on anything; but it’s definitely a compromising scene unfolding before him, when he enters their room.

Sam is standing with his back towards him; jeans pooling on the floor around his ancles, and his boxers tugged down a fraction.

Castiel is squatting in front of Sam, hand on Sam’s bruised hip, and his head pops to the side to see who is entering.

“You gotta be fucking shitting me.”, Dean groans. “What the hell?”

Sam tenses visibly.

Castiel got this I-couldn’t-harm-a-fly-expression on his face.

“I was examining the bruise and attempted to heal it, since it is bothering Sam greatly.”, he explains calmly; obviously not getting what’s wrong with it.

“Is it, Sam?” Why didn’t he the fuck tell him? Not, that he could change a damn thing about it, but … Dean would like to know – needs to know.

“I offered my assistance.”, Castiel answers.

Woah. Castiel offers his assistance? To Sam? To help him with a none-life-threatening injury? He didn’t back at the motel, had claimed it could draw the Angel’s attention. And now it doesn’t?

A fucking bruise is worth blowing his cover?

“It’s sore. – I thought … if Castiel can fix it, or speed up the healing …” Sam’s twisting his upper body to look at Dean. He’s definitely embarrassed and has this guilt-stricken look on his face.

Dean grunts; his expression twists into a grim grimace. “Does it work?” He waves at Sam’s midsection. “Besides, I thought, you using your powers on as much as a paper-cut, ‘s gonna send your Bros on your tail?”

“I am certain, Bobby’s wards are shielding me efficiently.” Castiel stands back up with a sigh. “It does not work. – It is your injury, not his. I suppose, the spell does not allow supernatural powers to interfere.”

Fun freaking tastic. “Sucks.” It truly does – somehow.

 

*****

 

Bobby leaves early that morning to stock up on food, as they’re running low on … actually nothing, before he and Castiel would leave.

He comes back with bags full of … healthy shit. Fresh vegetables, fruits and yoghurt. Diet coke (okay, that’s not healthy, but something Sam’s consuming in huge amounts if available). Protein-bars with low amounts of carbohydrates.

Dean comes to the conclusion, that Bobby must have picked up on Sam’s hipster eating-habits and that he too must smell that something is off about it.

Good.

When (there’s no question ‘if’) push comes to shove, Dean’ll have an ally against this very different kind of monster.

Anyway.

It’s about noon, when Bobby and Castiel leave and they’re finally on their own.

Dean chops two apples into slices and cuts out the core; then puts them on a plate and takes them with him into the living-room, where Sam is relaxing on the couch and watching a documentary about the deep sea and devilfishes and huge octopuses.

Totally boring.

Dean places the plate with apples on the table and snatches one of them. “Meal is ready.”

Sam spares him a fleeting side glance. “Thanks.” He reaches for the apples and takes a slice too.

“So, what are we gonna do with our time until they come back?” Get a little closer and close the distance on the couch between the both of us? Kiss? Make out? Maybe have sex?

Because, Sam has to have blue balls by now – just like him. Going without sex that long isn’t natural. And jerking off ain’t the same. Besides, they barely have any privacy, except for the dingy bathroom.

Sam side-eyes him again; amusement glinting in his eyes. “You have something in mind?”

Oh, hells yeah, Dean definitely has quite some things in mind. But, none he’d recommend to himself to act onto. So, he only shrugs.

“Dunno. – Have fun?”

Sam’s lips curl into a grin and he glances at Dean again -this time his look lingers. “Yeah?”

Dean has no clue what to do with this. He’s getting mixed signals here.

And, Sam’s blushing again.

Of course, Dean could be straight forward; could tell him that he’d like to make out, grope him … “You tellin’ me, Sammy. – I’m flexible.”

The answer doesn’t seem to rouse anything; Sam even seems a little disappointed.

“You still haven’t told me what has happened in Nick’s house. – Why you’ve burnt it down. And the diner too, by the way. I’ve been reading the articles online … so … I know.”

Okay, of all things … why do they have to talk? “Already told you he pissed me off and I wanted to get back at him.” Long story short. For this, he has to haul his ass over his own shadow. “Maybe, I liked you already. – Figured it’d be a pity to let your hot ass go to waste.”

Sam snorts. “Is everything about sex for you?”

Dean shrugs. No. Not anymore. “Don’t know. – Looks like it, does it?”

“Can Demons fall in love?” There’s a spark of something in Sam’s eyes. It seems as if Dean’s answer to this question could change everything – or maybe nothing. It seems, as if – whatever is going to happen, or not – depends on Dean’s answer.

And he really can’t answer this question. How is he supposed to know? “I don’t know. – Maybe. Maybe not. – If so … I’d rather call it an obsession with something or someone, not quite love.”

Sam thinks. Dean can see the wheels in his head eating up miles. “So, something like that never happened?”

“Not that I’d know of. – Why are you asking?”

“Duh …” Sam blushes harder. “Just … curious I guess.”

Chickenshit. “Are you asking, if I’m capable of loving someone or something?”

Sam makes a half-shrug. “You’re loving your car. – So, I thought, maybe, there’s the possibility to love something else too.”

“Well, I love pie and bacon-cheese-burgers and chili-cheese-nuggets.”

“You know that’s not what I mean.”

Yeah, Dean knows. Subconsciously, he tries to worm his way out of this conversation, so not to face the impossible. “I honestly don’t know. There’s a first time for everything, I guess.”

Something in Sam’s mind seems to settle into place, as it happens to mirror on his face and in his eyes.

“I wouldn’t have thought it’s possible that a human can grow on me either.”, he adds cautiously. “And you did …”

Sam hums.

For a long time, there’s only the speaker from the documentary heard, and the boys chewing the apples.

“You grew on me too.”, Sam says quietly, without looking over at Dean.

Dean nearly misses it.

It makes the impression, that Sam stuffs his mouth with another piece of fruit, before he can say something, he’d rather keep to himself.

Warmth pools where his heart is supposed to remain stone-cold. “So, you like me?”

“I guess. Yeah.”

Sweet.” Isn’t it? “‘cause, you know, I like you back.” Easier to say, as Dean had actually thought it would be. To smooth his words over and to not let them sound too meaningful, Dean adds a dirty grin.

Eye roll. But the redness on Sam’s cheeks stays and looks as if it’s burning real hot. Dean nearly asks if they can make out now. Would probably be the wrong call … Okay, it would definitely be the wrong call.

But, what if Dean would try? What if he’d … ease Sam into it?

That’s worth a thought. Definitely. He could take advantage of the situation. Who knows, when they’re gonna be to themselves the next time?

Dean waits a while, until Sam’s completely focused on the TV again, before he sneaks his arm up on the back-lean. He too trains his gaze on the TV, while working up to inching closer; close the gap between them.

Sam squirms a little.

Either he’s noticing what is going on, or his subconscious is tickling his senses. Seems like Sam (or/and his subconscious) doesn’t seem to mind, though, or else, he’d already given him one of his bitchfaces of doom.

Instead, when Dean comes another inch closer, Sam squirms a little more; shifts his hands into his lap and intertwines his fingers.

Which are – by the way – fucking trembling.

Soon, they’re only inches apart, with Dean’s arm right behind Sam’s shoulders; so close, the sleeves of Dean’s shirt must be tickling the tiny hairs at the back of Sam’s neck.

Sam scoots down a fraction, so that his neck is resting against the pillowed curve of the back-lean and the back of his head on Dean’s lower arm.

Looks like Sam’s not going to complain; it’s more likely a sign to go on? Or Sam giving his approval?

Dean has no clue. Things like that had never been this complicated. He won’t stop now though, so, he scoots over all the way, until his thigh is flush against Sam’s.

Both are still staring at the TV, it doesn’t seem as if either one is really seeing what’s going on there though.

Dean’s hand sneaks slowly towards Sam’s shoulder, now that he’s in the right position, until his fingers brush Sam’s shirt.

Sam shifts; leaning a little against Dean’s side and tilts his head, until it’s touching Dean’s shoulder.

So far, it looks somehow stiff and tense and awkward. Where Sam is definitely the stiff one, and Dean is so not.

Another vague amount of time later, Sam starts to relax against Dean, and Dean settles his arm around Sam’s shoulders; holding him.

Which – just for the record – does not count as snuggling.
This is only the prelude to them making out.

Sam eventually rolls his head around and gazes up at Dean. And he really shouldn’t have looked back at Sam, because he’s met with the relentlessness of the ultimate puppy-dog-eyes of doom.

Dean shifts too then and tilts his head down, brushing their noses together.

And then, Sam takes matters into his own hands, when he moves forward and presses his lips into Dean’s. And he’s definitely demanding and not asking, when he opens his mouth and dives with his tongue into Dean’s.

A moment passes, before Dean reacts to the intrusion and starts kissing back; taking control as he is used to. The angle is all awkward and really not fun, but Sam tastes so fucking good.

Both move in perfect sync, when Dean leans in and pushes gently – their lips never parting – until Sam is on his back and Dean’s above him; blanketing him.

Dean does everything him possible to not grind down on Sam, though he feels his (very hard) arousal straining through layers of fabric.

Fuck. Sam’s all soft and shielding and so perfect against him; in his hands.

Everything is just fine, until Dean puts more of his weight on Sam; when his hands become more demanding; when he puts more force into the kiss and nips on Sam’s lips; grazes his teeth along his chin and neck in between tender kisses and kittenlicks.

“Dean. Wait.”

And Dean stills, tilts his head up to look at Sam, and doesn’t really like what he sees. Only now, he notices the human’s racing heart and gasped breaths; discomfort drawing his face in tight lines.

“Sorry. I’m sorry. – I can’t …” Sam pushes at his chest; desperate to get into a sitting position.

So, Dean sits back on his haunches and pulls Sam with him, holding him by his shoulder and crook of the neck.

“You okay?” This is disturbing. Has he done something wrong? Too much teeth? “What’s ….”

Sam’s gulping in deep breaths. “I’m … I felt trapped I guess.”

Huh. Okay. Usually, the humans he’s with, enjoy when he takes charge and ‘cages’ them; makes them give themselves over to him; takes the lead and teaches them how to let go and let him take control.

But, Dean gets it – somehow he honestly does.

“It’s just … Nick’s been … I mean … you know.”

No, Dean doesn’t know, and neither does he have to. He knows, humans can be monsters too – sometimes they’re even worse than Demons.

“It’s fine.” Dean’s not quite sure what to say; what’s the right thing to do. “You don’t have to explain.”

“I’ve killed the mood.” Sam’s all awkward; still trying to catch his breath and making sense of it all, as it seems. “I didn’t mean to.”

Dean shrugs. He tries to come up with something – anything. Is he supposed to ask Sam? Or should he rather ignore the panic attack?

He clears his throat, while keeping his hands and eyes on Sam. What are they supposed to do now? What do humans do, when things get awkward?

Dean uses to leave when things don’t go the way he’s imagined them; when he doesn’t get what he wants. Under different circumstances with a different person, he would take off and never look back; would claim it to be a misunderstanding.

Sam’s obviously struggling.

He doesn’t feel like leaving him to it. Not Sam. “You want a coke? – ‘cause, I’d like a coke.”

Sam’s head jerks up. He smiles embarrassed. “That’d be great.”

Dean grins at him. “I’ll be right back.”

He hurries up to throw logs into the heater, get the cokes and grabs chips on his way back. Sam’s a little shaky there; looks a little beat and anxious on top of it.

But he’s smiling at him and leans back into his side, when Dean has sat back down. Dean wraps his arm around Sam’s shoulders, after handing him his diet coke and leans back with a content sigh.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 29 ~ The Spellwork 2

 

They kiss and make out occasionally for the rest of the day, with Dean being super-careful about not caging Sam in any way. Still, he can’t get himself to let Sam take the lead. It’s simply impossible.

He’s holding back. Like, for real.

Dean doesn’t even try to get anywhere near Sam’s lower department, and he’s weirdly satisfied with just kissing (and cuddling) and making out.

He even doesn’t care, when Sam falls asleep, with his head in his lap and clinging to his thigh with one hand. Dean just keeps his hand buried in Sam’s hair and massages his scalp.

What’s weirdly satisfying too.

 

*****

 

It’s dark outside, though not late, when Dean wakes Sam to move upstairs. The beds are – though old – more comfortable than the couch.

Of course, there is the issue of two separate single-beds.

Sure, they could make it fit on one of them. Dean’s not certain, though, if Sam wants that; or if it’s even okay to ask (or attempt) to sleep in the same bed.

Sleeping in the same bed is something very different from kissing. Sam could easily misread Dean’s attempt to sneak under the covers with him.

His worries and ideas about how to approach the topic – though – seem completely unnecessary, when Sam changes in his sleep-gown right there beside him, slips under the covers, and inches to the far side of his bed. Sam pats the place beside him and just looks.

He too seems to have very similar worries about this; overthinking if it’d be okay to share a bed, and if he’s going to make the wrong impression if he offers the empty space beside him to Dean.

Dean walks around the bed and gestures for Sam to scoot over to the other side, because, Hell would freeze over, before Dean’s going to be the little spoon; and he sure as hell ain’t going to turn his back on the door.

 

*****

 

Dean doesn’t sleep that night. Besides, he doesn’t need to anyway, and – to be honest – Dean doesn’t want to miss out this. On holding Sam; being the big spoon despite the too many layers separating their earthly shells.

Sam presses back into him, fits himself into the curve of Dean’s body and lays his hand on Dean’s, which is resting against his midsection.

This feels so damn good – even without sex, it’s invaluable. “You good?”, Dean whispers into the nape of Sam’s neck and breathes him in deeply, before blowing his warm exhale across his neck.

Sam shudders. “Better than fine.”

“Good.” Dean smiles and closes his eyes.

 

*****  

 

Sam’s out as a light only minutes later.

He sleeps through until the early morning hours, when Bobby and Castiel come back from their excursion.

Dean can hear the front-door; muffled voices; people moving around downstairs and trying to keep it quiet while they do so.

Footfalls on the stairs and the corridor outside are heard soon after. By the sounds of it, it’s Bobby and his gimpy leg heading for his bedroom.

Castiel doesn’t come upstairs until an hour – or so – later. He tries to be silent – and to human’s ears he is – but not to Dean’s, who keeps his eyes shut und his breaths even, when the Angel enters.

He can hear a sharp intake of air, when – what Dean supposes – is Castiel seeing them under the covers together. Dean grins into Sam’s hair – can’t help himself.

Because, yeah, Sam’s his.

Castiel retreats from the room, closes the door and has not again been heard or seen in there again.

 

*****

 

Dean waits for Sam to stir, before he eases out from behind him and gets his day-clothes. While he slips into them, he can feel Sam’s eyes on him – all over him.

Behind Dean, Sam starts to move too and get a fresh set of clothes. They share looks, while they move around the room – neither saying a word.

It pretty much looks like they don’t have to – communicating with only their looks.

They come to terms – again with only shared looks – that Dean’s going to head downstairs first and that Sam will follow in a couple of minutes.

 

*****

 

Downstairs – Bobby’s not around yet – Castiel is sitting in the recliner in the living-room, the Fulgurite in his lap. He’s staring through the doorway into the hall; waves of disturbance rolling from him, edged with anger.

Dean pretends to not see him. He’s pretty sure, Castiel is going to confront him – and probably Sam – with what he has seen, and Dean’s not yet ready for this kind of shit.

Though, his chest swells with pride, that he’s got to spend the night in Sam’s bed and that the Angel is out of the game now.

As expected, he hears the rustle of fabric, and the creak of a loose spring, followed by footfalls approaching him.

Dean gets two mugs from the cupboard and fills them with the – already cold – coffee from the carafe. He then puts them into the microwave.

“You want some too?”, he asks casually.

“What did you do?” It sounds heartbreakingly reproachful.

Dean keeps his gaze trained at the mugs in the microwave, going in circles, while they’re getting heated up.

“What do you mean?”

“You and Sam. – What did you do?”

Dean purses his lips. “I don’t know what you are talking about, Feathers.”

He can feel the Angel’s eyes narrow and drill holes into the back of his skull. “You sure do know what I am talking about, Dean.”

He opens his mouth to give him a snarky reply, when Sam swings around the corner with a joyful “Good Morning.”

The microwave pings.

“Samuel.”, Castiel states.

Dean turns around, looks past Castiel and his face breaks into a fond smile, when he catches Sam’s happy face.

“How’d it go?”, he chimes and pats Castiel’s shoulder while brushing past him and going straight for Dean.

Dean is caught by surprise, when Sam sneaks an arm around his lower back and puts a peck to his temple.

The kiss makes his skin tickle all over; his soul buzzes in glee.

“Good Morning.”, Sam whispers before he let go and gets the coffees out of the microwave.

“Good. We had success and it happens, that the crystal carries – indeed - what we will need for the counter-spell.”

Dean doesn’t have to look at Sam to know he’s smiling. He can feel it.

“That’s good.” Sam hands him the coffee. “You want coffee too?”

Castiel is about to shake his head, but then smiles tightly and nods. “That would be very nice, Samuel.”

Fucking bastard. Of course he wouldn’t accept coffee from Dean. He grimaces.

Sam prepares a mug of coffee for Castiel, warms it up and gives it to him; then sets up the coffee maker, so Bobby would get freshly brewed one.

“Samuel, may you have a minute?”

Oh yeah, you try your luck, Feathers, because Sam’s not going to listen whatever it’s about.

Sam shrugs and takes a swallow from his coffee. “Sure.” He doesn’t move from where he leans against the counter though.

Dean grins at Castiel and wiggles his eyebrows at him. Because, he’s the damn fucking winner here.

Outside?”, the Angel requests.

Sam’s smile falters. “Oh … yeah. – Why?” He thinks for a moment. “Oh.”

Or, Sam’s so head over heels that he doesn’t get what this all is about.

Then he clears his throat and pushes away from the counter. Sam casts Dean a look, asking.

Dean doesn’t really know if he’s asking for approval, or if he wants to know if Dean will be okay on his own. Dean just winks at him and shrugs.

So, Sam gets his jacket and follows the Angel onto the porch.

All Dean can make out are muffled voices, and then, Bobby comes downstairs – grumpy as always; his first way towards the coffeemaker.

“Where’s Sam?”, he asks without looking at Dean. “He still asleep?”

“Nah. Cas and he are having a talk. On the porch. So I don’t hear shit.”

Bobby grumbles something and spikes his coffee with booze from his flask. Then he hands the flask to Dean, who takes it gratefully and spices up his brewage too.

 

*****

 

It takes half an hour, before they come back inside.

Sam’s going for the coffee once more, and Castiel returns into the living-room, but not without shooting Dean a murderous glare.

“What did he want?”, Dean asks – despite that he can very well imagine why Castiel had wanted to talk to him alone.

Sam huffs out a breath. “Guess he wanted to talk sense into me.”

“About what?”

You.” Sam sighs and fills up the mug with milk and adds sweetener. “Probably walked in on us while we were sleeping?” Sam doesn’t look over at him.

He doesn’t need to, for Dean to notice that he is pissed. “Let me guess. – I’m an abomination and I’m no good? Not made for relationships and can’t actually requit feelings?”

Sam nods. Again, a sigh; this time heavier. “Pretty much sums it up.”

Dean puckers his lips and leans his hip against the countertop, fixing Sam with an expecting gaze. “And?”

Sam shakes his head lightly, then looks over at Dean in bewilderment. “Nothing. – I told him, that I can take care of myself. And … that it’s my business with who I decide to share a bed.”

Sam tries his best to put up an honest smile, but fails so miserably. He notices that Dean notices.

“Sam.”

Sam rises his hand. “You guys have beef with each other? ‘cause, the way you’re acting around each other …” He seems as if the thought troubles him.

“I’m a Demon, Sammy. He’s an Angel.” Dean grins at him and chuckles. “We are aught to have beef with each other. Don’t confuse a cease-fire with a peace-offering.”

Sam blinks. “You’re aught to like torturing and killing people. – Yet, you wouldn’t do that to me. And you haven’t done it back at the bar, because you knew I wouldn’t like it. What’s that telling us?”

Dean’s left nostril twitches and he shakes himself. “You want me to be friends with him?”

Sam snorts amused. “No. I mean … it’s not impossible, is it? – I’m telling you the same as I’ve told Cas: Just because someone told Demons and Angels – a very long time ago – that you’ve to dislike each other, doesn’t mean that it has to stay that way. – At least not between you and him.” Sam blinks his long lashes at Dean and smiles softly.

Instantly, Dean’s body starts to flood with comfortable warmth.

“I think, if it wouldn’t be for him being an Angel, and for you being a Demon, you’d get along just fine.” He pauses, examines Dean’s face. “And yeah, I think the both of you could become good friends. If you wouldn’t hold onto where you’re coming from.”

Dean snorts a laughter. “And what did Feathers say about that?”

“He thinks it’s ridiculous.” He gives a can’t-blame-him-shrug.

So does Dean, but he won’t tell that Sam. He’d rather have him believe that there’s a chance for him and the Angel become friends. Everything else would only lead to too much drama, and Dean’s not into drama.

He’d gladly skip that and get down to business.

Where business means, countering the spell, kill Alistair and … do that thing Sam – he’s mostly certain about - won’t be too happy about.

After all, Sam really seems to have a huge crush on him (hell forbid he’d call it more than that). Sam’s going to get over it though. Humans always do.

Dean has to stick with the plan. Besides, even considering that there’s any kind of future for the both of them is unthinkable, is it? Demons and humans … they don’t fit.

Him and Sam … it’ll be nice as long as it will lasts, but at some point it’ll be over – respectively, at least, it’s going to be over when he finally gets to have his endless sleep.

“I could give it a shot.” Dean smirks and pats Sam’s shoulder. “Bobby told me to tell you we should come into the living-room when we’re done with the coffee. – He wants to talk with us about the ritual; fill us in on what has to be done, how we’re gonna do it…”

Sam nods and smiles. “Let’s.”

 

*****

 

Bobby fills them in on how the ritual is supposed to go down and what needs to be done before they can actually start in on it.

It’s not a big deal; certainly not as dramatic as what Alistair has done to cast the spell, but it’s supposed to work – hopefully.

They schedule the counter-spell for later that day, as soon as they are done with the preparations. Preparations, which include to put a sharp edge onto the Fulgurite, so it’d be able to be used as blade – or needle. Main-thing is, it’ll be touched by the blood of both men, while Bobby chants.

They work together.

Bobby goes over the counter-spell again, while the others move furniture. Sam gets the labeled jars with herbs and the owl’s skull.

Once, everything is moved out of the way and enough space for two grown men to lie down in a circle of salt in the middle of the living-room and a huge bowl placed outside of it, along with the jars, they can start their performance.

Well, Bobby can.

Castiel stands by and watches, while Dean and Sam get into the white ring and lie down, with Sam holding the sharpened Crystal between the both of them.

“You ready, boys?”

Sam only gives a jerky nod.

Dean reaches over and lays his hand on top of Sam’s, in which he’s holding the crystal. He squeezes it gently.

“Sure, let’s get the party started.” Dean is all eager to get this over with.

Sam, on the other hand, seems a little nervous about this.

“Sam?”, Bobby asks.

Sam swallows hard. “Yeah, I’m fine. – Let’s do this.”

Bobby nods and takes a deep breath, before he takes different ingredients from different jars and throws them one after another into the bowl while, at the same time, reading the chant from a paper in his left hand.  

Like bespoken beforehand, Sam draws the crystal across his palm (beside the scars from where he’s been hurt by the nails) at a certain passage of the spell; then Dean does the same.

Sam winces, as he feels his skin break, when Dean cuts into his own palm.

“Sorry, Sam.”, he murmurs.

They take each other’s wounded hands, so their blood can mingle.

Castiel takes the crystal – wetted with their blood – from Dean – careful to stay outside the circle - and hands it over to Bobby, who lays it into the bowl and throws a set of matches into it. Instantly, the herbs catch fire.

The Fulgurite starts to gleam, and the flames turn blue and then white, before they extinguish with the last spoken word.

They all stay, frozen, in their positions; waiting.

Dean blinks and looks over at Sam, who turns his head to look at him in return. Then, they look at Bobby, who’s staring at them anxiously.

“Did it work?”, he asks.

Sam shrugs. “I don’t know. – How do we know if it worked?”

Dean shrugs too. He has no clue. It’s not as if every spell – or counter-spell – causes fireworks and magic flitter. Though

“Do you feel something?”, Bobby asks.

Sam props up on his elbows, his blood slick hand slips from Dean’s in the process. “No? Should I?”

Dean mirrors him and groans. “It probably didn’t work.” Then he looks over at Sam. “You okay?”

Sam nods. “Yeah, I guess.” He chews his lower lip in a way, Dean hadn’t noticed Sam doing so far. It feels kinda … OFF … somehow.

“Back to square one then.”; Bobby grumbles and gets to his feet awkwardly; his joints popping.

“Damn it.”, Dean snarls.

“We can try again.” Sam shrugs this off like a lottery ticket being a miss. And that feels OFF too.

Dean pulls something from the back of his Jeans. A bandana. “C’mon. Let’s get you taken care of first, before we hit the books again.” He’s already reaching for Sam’s hand and wraps the bandana around it.

Bobby hands him another one, for Sam’s other hand.

“It’s just scratches.”, Sam mumbles and sighs, staring at his – yet again – getting wrapped up hands.

Dean’s look tells him, that it doesn’t matter, and that he’s going to wrap them up anyway.

 

*****

 

They try two other spells, of which not one does work how it’s supposed to.

One gives Dean – and therefore Sam – a disgusting, itching rash. The other one – which includes drinking a potion containing each other’s blood – makes Sam sick to the stomach.

He spends the next two days mostly in bed, or on the toilet puking and shitting his guts out. It doesn’t have to be mentioned, that the bathroom upstairs is all Sam’s, right?

Dean’s not going to set foot into this room again, until it’s smelling less like a gas-chamber and more like a heather of flowers.

Bobby’s pissed beyond limits, since he can’t figure out what has went wrong with the spells. He works them over and checks the ingredients he has added. It should have worked. It should, except, that it didn’t.

Dean can’t blame Sam, when he tells them, that he’d rather not try something else out for another couple of days.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 30 ~ The Solution

 

Bobby comes up with other ideas, but since Sam’s past few days hadn’t been all lollipop and candy-canes, he figures, it’d be better to get professional help.

Professional help in form of a witch.

A white witch, but that doesn’t change Dean’s general opinion on them. Dark witches. White witches. Something in between … It doesn’t matter. All of them are sneaky bitches, and he trusts not a single one of them.

Even though Dean expresses his discomfort (very clearly) with getting a witch involved – even when it’s a white one, who does not pull her powers from hell – he has to give in, since he’s outnumbered.

Three against one.

Means, they’re going to try out the counter-spell, Bobby will get from that witch.

 

*****

 

Sam’s all but well. He’s still recovering from the last round of their attempt to counter the spell.

Smart Dean has pushed his bed right up to Sam’s, so it’s more comfortable for the both of them.

Currently, Sam’s in bed again, dozing along, while Dean launches on his bed and massages and pets his scalp and neck.

“Water.”, Dean says quietly, reminding Sam to drink.

Sam groans; seemingly annoyed.

“Sam.”, he says flatly, “Water. Now.”

“I’m not five anymore.”

“But, you’ve lost a lot of fluids those past couple of days.” Dean knows, that Sam knows, but tells him nonetheless. Again. To be fair, Sam’s not drinking insufficiently, but he could definitely rehydrate more and faster.

Instead of doing what Dean wants him to do, Sam leans over and rests his head against Dean’s shoulder and sneaks his hand on his thigh, where he draws circles with his pointing-finger into Dean’s jeans.

What a little shit. As if petting him would let Dean back off, or forget about it.

“Bobby’s making soup by the way. – I expect you to eat that too, when it’s done.”

“Dean.”

Sam.”

“You’re so annoying.”

“Only because you are.” Dean pushes at Sam until he sits back up.

Eventually, Sam decides to drink the water.

Dean’s a little more satisfied though, and as soon as the glass is empty, he leaves to get a refill.

“You know, …”, he says, when he reenters their room with the glass in hand, “… You should drink Gathorade, or Juice.”

Sam pulls a grimace.

Electrolytes, Sam. And energy.”, Dean adds. Sam’s not shitting him here. He knows exactly, what Sam is doing, and Dean doesn’t like it one bit.

“Okay.” Sam says, before Dean reaches the bed. “Watered Juice? Half/half?”

Dean nods. “Fine. Watered Juice.” It’s a compromise – Dean is aware of that. It’s by far not enough to feel truly satisfied t, but he’ll deal.

So, Dean gets watered juice. Three quarters apple juice, one quarter water. On his trip to the kitchen, he checks Bobby’s progress on the soup and decides to wait for it, as it’s not going to take much longer until the soup is done.

Sam drinks the juice up, and eats half of the soup, before Dean allows him to scoot down and take a nap.

 

*****

 

What pisses Dean off is: Castiel.

The Angel is surveying him and Sam; their interactions. He’s got this sharpness to his look, whenever Dean turns up and comes close to Sam.

Eventually – when Sam helps Bobby to prepare the living-room for another attempt to counter the spell – Castiel pulls Dean with him into the kitchen by the collar of his shirt.

He’s a little of a lot surprised, to put it mildly, and he sure is no one who let himself get pushed around, but he let the Angel be.

“What the hell, Cas?”

Castiel looks him straight in the eyes. “I want to apologize.”

Dean grunts. Really? What would an Angel apologize for? Except for acting like a dick towards him ever since he has seen Dean and Sam together.

“You do?”

“Yes. I do see now, that your intentions with Samuel aren’t as unclean as I first thought.”

“Huh.” Unclean. Dean squints at him. “You do?”

“I am aware now, that you truly seem to feel something for him.”

“Wow.” His black wolf is a rebellious one; can’t take when someone points out that he can experience other emotions but the bad ones. – Or what people consider are bad ones. “Okay. – Apology accepted.”

Castiel looks at him, as if he’s not done yet; as if he’s expecting him to say something else.

Dean’s not the caring and sharing type. Never has been. “That all?”

“Yes. No.”

Dean feels like some insect getting examined under a microscope.

“I was taught that Demons can not experience love. – I have never seen a Demon being capable of it either. – So, yes, I have been suspicious about you and your intentions. I have to admit, that I’ve been wrong.”

Is it Christmas? Easter? His birthday? Dean hums and nods at Castiel. Or, does he expect him to say something?

“We done?” Because, Dean really doesn’t know what the Angel expects him to say.

Castiel clears his throat. “No. – I want us to have a drink together.”

Dean pulls a grimace. “A drink?”

“Yes.”

“Why the hell would you want that?”

“Because, Samuel said something to me, and I may consider that he is right.”

Well, look at that. An Angel and a Demon walk into a bar … the worst joke ever. It instantly makes Dean suspicious.

 

*****

 

Lucky them (Dean’s being sarcastic), tonight is a full moon.

According to the witch, the herbs and ingredients have to be bathed in the full moon’s light for a night, before they can put them to use.

Means, Sam and the others are going to be eager to try the spell out tomorrow.

Well, Sam seems more anxious than eager for that matter. And Dean is just pissed off, because he doesn’t have a very good feeling about this. Be it, because the counter-spell comes from a witch, or because – so far – it had always gone south.

 

*****

 

Sam’s up and about first; stealing a peck from Dean. When he attempts to turn around and just fucking leave him, Dean catches him by the wrist – gently – and pulls him back onto the bed.

Sam doesn’t put up a fight. He chuckles and laughs and pushes at Dean until he’s nestled back into his chest.

“C’mon, Sammy. – We’ve nowhere to be.” Dean wraps his arms around Sam and pulls him close.

“The spell.”

“Fuck the spell.” Because, somehow, fuck it. And then again, don’t fuck it.

On one hand – if they succeed – Dean’s going to be free to take off and hunt Alistair down; to proceed with his plan. On the other hand it means, that he’ll leave Sam behind. And to be honest? He sure is going to miss him.

The thought of breaking up – though no sexual intercourse has happened so far – gives him a serious heartache. Is it even breaking up, after only sharing a bed and kissing?

Is this, what they have, a thing?

Dean sighs heavily. It probably is a thing, and the way Sam’s giving him goo goo eyes tells him, that it’s a huge thing to Sam.

It’ll suck big-style to leave him with a broken heart.

But, there are things that need to be done. He can’t just throw all of what he’s gained so far away, because of ominous emotions he experiences towards a human.

“But-“

“But …” Dean steals a glance from the watch on the nightstand. It’s shy after seven in the morning; the sun not even up yet. “… The spell won’t run away.”

“I’ve told Bobby, I’d take care of the herbs.”

Dean rolls his eyes. “You can do that later on.” He nuzzles into Sam’s neck and kisses the tender spot right beneath his ear; knowing that it would distract Sam and let him reconsider leaving Dean’s side.

No such luck this time around.

Sam pushes away from him. “I need to get the herbs before the sun comes up, and spoils them.”

Yeah, about that. Dean grunts and rolls over onto his back. “Fine. – Do what you gotta do.”

Sam kisses him long and slow, before he gets out of bed.

And then, when Sam has left him, it dawns on Dean, that maybe, Sam thinks Dean has changed his mind about his plan to off himself. Maybe, Sam is assuming – due the thing between the both of them – that Dean won’t go through with his plan.

Fuck.

This would be a real bad thing to happen, Dean supposes. He probably won’t only break the human’s heart, but crush it to pulp, when he gets to know, that he will not not off himself.

Fuckedy Fuck.

Dean’s certain – though – that Sam’ll get over it. Right?

 

*****

 

Right.

Sam keeps looking at him with goey-eyes; all soft and sweet and hopeful.

Dean can’t break it to him just yet. – Not as long as the spell ain’t done and not until he’s finally free of the bond, so he goes with it.

 

*****

 

After nightfall, they get everything set up for the ritual.

It’s not a biggy. Four lines, which have to be said by Dean and Sam, while the herbs are getting burned and blood has to get shared.

Within ten minutes it’s all over and done, and nothing has happened at all.

Again, a fucking bust.

To be honest, Dean’s getting a little impatient about this; and pissed off. He had truly thought, this could work – after all, the counter-spell had come from a witch.

Of course, Bobby’s calling said witch to let her know that it didn’t work. He sounds pretty worked up about it, when she demands that the spell has to work, and if it didn’t, they must have done something wrong.

So, Bobby goes over the ingredients, checks the labels on the jars with herbs, Sam’s about to carry back downstairs and store them in the basement.

There’s a constant flow of swearwords falling from his lips the entire time. He goes over the jars a second time and a third. Then he calls the witch again; reads the spell to her; maybe – so he thinks – it got pronounced wrong.

It hadn’t.

He keeps sputtering curses, which would let the devil himself turn all shades of red, while he gets books from the shelve again and hands one to each, with the unmistakable order to get back to research.

Dean can’t shake off that feeling, that Sam’s not even a little mad that the spell hadn’t worked. He seems perfectly content with how it turned out, along with going back to research.

Dean feels like he should feel more irritated about it, but he doesn’t really have a nerve to think about it further. They still need to find a way to undo this, so Dean can continue with his plan.

Sam bumps with his shoulder into Dean’s playfully.

Dean bumps back into his, while keeping his attention on the book in his hands. Only a faint smile ghosts over his face.

“How about you two lovebirds focus on research?”, Bobby reminds them grumpily.

Dean looks up instantly and cocks an eyebrow at the old man. “I’ve been thinking, we might not be able to counter the spell – or reverse it. What if I’d kill Alistair? Would the spell be undone? After all he’s been the one casting it.”

Bobby stares at him in disbelieve. “You can’t kill a White-Eyes, boy. Except, there’s somethin’ you’re not tellin’ us?”

Dean purses his lips. Why hadn’t it occurred to him earlier? Only issue is, he can’t get the Colt without putting Sam’s life on the line …

He can feel Sam staring at him and when he looks over, Sam’s addressing him with a venomous glare. He seems to so not like this idea; stares at him, as if Dean’s about to fuck something up …

“What?”, Dean asks.

“What, what?”, Sam hisses back – with at least as much venom in his voice as in his eyes.

Dean decides to let Sam’s attitude slip for now, and looks back at Bobby. “If I’d know how to kill him. - How are the chances, that if Alistair dies, that the spell is going to die with him?”

“Fifty/fifty. – I’ve come across a few cases where it has worked. But, with a demon on the plate, and a spell as strong as this one … I wouldn’t bet my ass on it.”

“Is it possible to capture a demon?” Sam’s out of venomous, defiant stares as it seems. “Interrogate him?”

Dean snorts amused. Cute. “Sure you can. – Just not a White-Eyes – believe me, when I tell you, that you don’t wanna capture Alistair. We’d all end up dead tryin’.”

“Dean’s right.”, Bobby agrees instantly. “No way to trap one I’ve ever heard of.”

Dean chews the insides of his cheeks. Trying to lure Alistair into a trap is out of question. That’s way too dangerous. He wouldn’t even know how to hold him captive.

“It would need immense amounts of angelic power to capture Alistair.”, Castiel tunes in on their conversation. “Along, with heavenly equipment to bind him.”

“I’d say, we try to kill him, and see if it works.” Dean shrugs. “At least then, his underlings stop hunting our asses.” He can feel Sam staring at him again. Dean has to admit, that his staring makes him rather uncomfortable. “If it doesn’t work, we can still continue trying the whole magic-think.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”, Sam blurts out.

“I do think it is a good idea.”, Bobby throws his arms into the air. “Best we’ve had so far. IF we find a way to kill that son of a bitch.”

“Happens that I know about a weapon which is capable of killing Alistair.” Dean grins broadly.

Castiel’s eyes widen and he straightens up. “You are in possession of the Revolver, aren’t you?”

“Revolver?” Bobby’s all ears.

Sam only glares holes into Dean’s temple. He can fucking feel him drill them into his skull.

“The Colt.”, Dean exclaims smugly.

“You gotta be kiddin’ me.”, Bobby sputters, “You know where Samuel Colt’s Colt is?”

Dean’s smirk broadens. “I don’t only know where it is. – I’m its actual owner, actually.”

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 31 ~ The Match

 

Sam is avoiding him for the next couple of hours. While Sam sulks along beside him, he, Bobby and Cas are discussing on how to get the Colt out of him, without getting Sam killed.

It’s crystal clear that Dean can’t just cut it out of himself – as formerly planned. He could cause lethal damage to Sam’s insides. After all, he’s not been very gentle when storing it inside of himself. ‘s been a pretty messy ‘surgery’, with a whole lot of intestines which had to get stuffed back into his belly.

Sam keeps his lips sealed, and has this pissed expression on his face.

Dean tries to lighten his mood a little. Throws cocky grins at him; wiggles his eyebrows. He lays his hand on Sam’s thigh, and Sam pulls away from his touch.

Dean tolerates it, until he starts to feel pissed too. “Who the hell pissed into your cornflakes?”

Sam turns his head and simply glares at him for mere seconds, before he finally answers. “You still planning on killing yourself?”, he asks calmly, looking at him dark and threatening.

Dean tilts his head to the side. So, this is all this is about.

Bobby and Castiel look over at Dean, obviously surprised.

Then Sam looks at his uncle and the Angel. “Yeah, ‘cause you know what his big plan is?” He gives them time to answer.

They don’t. They only stare.

“He had plans to kill Alistair and then himself.” Sam looks back at Dean. “Right, Dean? That’s the great plan. – It just happened, that I’ve gotten in the way, right?”

Dean stares at Sam. He’s getting a little unfair here. He has never promised Sam anything, and he has never made a huge secret about his plans either. He even has told him about it.

Though, as threatened, Sam may have thought, Dean would change his plans because of him.

No can do, Sammy.

He’s been putting a whole lot of work into this; has been on the hunt for the Colt for decades, and now that he’s got it, he’s supposed to do what? Just forget about it?

No can do either, Sammy.

“Can we – maybe – not talk about this now?”, Dean asks, because he dearly doesn’t want to talk about this in presence of Bobby and Castiel. “I can’t do shit, as long as I don’t have the gun in my hands. – So, why the riot?

“And when you’ve got the gun in your hands, Dean? What’s going to happen then?”

This sure is a trick-question. Dean feels as if he can’t give the right answer to that. No matter what he’s going to say, it’ll be wrong.

“Then, I’ll kill Alistair.”

“And then?”

“Then … I don’t know …” Because he knows better than to tell Sam that his plans haven’t changed. At least not right now.

Castiel and Bobby look forth and back between the both of them.

Sam huffs out a breath; licks his lips and shakes his head. “You know what? Fuck you, Asshole.”

And then, Sam’s on his feet and dashing out of the living-room.

Dean sits on the couch, dumbfounded; staring after him confused. “What did I do wrong?”

Of course, he knows what he did wrong, he just can’t understand why Sam has to be so dramatic about it. Maybe, it’ll take a while to get over Dean. Of course it will; he’s a great guy, with lots of benefits. That doesn’t mean, Sam won’t find someone else to be with, who is at least as awesome.

“You’re a god damn idiot, boy.” Bobby washes a hand over his face.

Castiel only stands there, staring at Dean, as if he’s a unicorn puking flitter and farting rainbows.

“Sam’s just being … fucking dramatic.”, Dean exclaims annoyed. “I’m sure, he’ll get over it.” Because, he really should be able to get over this, and Dean really shouldn’t need to explain himself.

Bobby cocks one of his bushy eyebrows. “So, you’re bein’ serious. – What Sam said is true …” Dean can’t read Old-Grumpy’s face at the moment. It’s kinda … emotionless, and though he looks pissed at the same time.

“Yup. – Been working on this for decades, and I’m not gonna stop now. – So, what’s wrong with it, if it’s like Sam has said?” Dean can’t see such a big issue here.

They should be glad, that a Demon is eager to get himself killed; is planning it even – for good. Like, no coming back ever. Not from where he is about to go.

Sometimes, Dean is wondering, if he’s simply going to seize to exist, or if there’s some place he will go. Some place other than hell, because he sure ain’t be going to heaven.

“You’re such an …“ Asshole probably. “It’s damn wrong, that’s what it is.”, Bobby snaps at him. “You can’t just woo someone, and then just leave– Besides, WHY the fuckin’ hell would ‘ya wanna kill yourself?”

“For fuck’s sake, Bobby!”, Dean groans. Not him too. “I’m not just wooing Sam! I like him!” He rises his voice involuntarily. “And I’m not just leaving him.", he clears his throat; calms down his racing heart. “And, the rest is none of your business.”

“It is late.”, Castiel throws in, “May we should head to bed.”

“You guys don’t need sleep.” Bobby gives the Angel a pointing look.

Oh yeah, Old-Grumpy is not gonna drop it.

“As hard as this is to say, Dean. – You might be a Demon; but you’re – mostly - not a bad guy.”

Dean cocks an eyebrow at him. Are Sam’s everybody-loves-me-vibes rubbing off on him? What the fuck?

“How would you know? – I’ve tortured, killed – because it’s fun. I’ve done a whole lot of evil things, old man.” He pauses; but Dean doesn’t get the shocked expression he expects. Bobby’s just looking at him.

“So?”

“I’ve been disemboweling humans; ‘ve been dismembering them – limb by fucking limb. Have made them eat their guts. Have ripped lungs out and have done shit you can’t even imagine.” Should he get a little more graphic? Would that get Bobby to understand?

“You haven’t done anything since you’re at the Salvage.”

“Just ‘cause I didn’t get a chance to.”

“Whatever. – Just wanna tell ‘ya – I think it’d be a waste if you’d be gone. – You’ve a whole lotta potential. Watchin’ you and Sam? You bein’ all sweet with him? – Gotta say, that’s not very demonic.”

“I’m not sweet with him.”

Bobby rolls his eyes at Dean. “Sure you ain’t. – I’ll go get some shuteye. – The two of you can keep brainstormin’ on how to get the Colt outta you without killin’ my boy.”

 

*****

 

First, Dean thinks, he should go upstairs and try to mend things with Sam. But then, he figures, it might not be the best idea. Maybe, he should give Sam time to cool down; let time work its magic.

Of course, Dean doesn’t let himself get fooled. This might as well will be going to be a huge issue for Sam; maybe even a greater one as Dean had thought.

He has to get some things straight in his mind; has to sort things out and overthink … stuff.

So, he stays downstairs with Castiel, who gets Bobby’s Bourbon and two glasses.

“We can use the time, to have our drink now.”, Castiel says – so not awkward, “And discuss how to retrieve the gun from your abdomen.” He puts the glasses down and fills them with amber liquid.

Dean groans inwardly.

Castiel is way too eager to drink with a Demon …

 

*****

 

Turns out, drinking with the Angel isn’t such a weird thing.

Besides, Castiel can hold his liquor as good as Dean can. They are down to a second bottle of booze by the time, they are done discussing on how to get the weapon out of Dean.

A surgery.

It’s that simple.

A surgeon is going to remove the Colt as damage-free as possible from Dean, and then is going to switch to Sam, to stitch him up.

Only thing which might get a little tricky is, that they are going to need a surgeon.

And an operating room.

Or the necessary equipment, to set one up.

The issue is the surgeon. One, who’d ‘understand’ what’s going on. Who, wouldn’t freak out when pulling a weapon out of a guy’s body; who miraculously is going to heal himself, and then move over to stitch the other guy back together – which bears the wounds of his scalpel?

That sure ’s gonna be one hell of a fun-party.

Maybe, Bobby knows someone who knows someone …

Hopefully.

Since the issue with the Colt is as good as solved, they move on to the funnier part.

Castiel and Dean empty Bobby’s stack of booze. And they do actual fun.

Dean stifles a laughter. “Who do you want on your basketball team in heaven?”

Castiel frowns at him. “Angel do not play basketball …”

Dean snorts. “Not literally, dude.”

“Oh.” He hums. “I think I do not get the reference …”

Sometimes, Castiel is no fun.

Peter, Feathers.”

Castiel frowns some more. “Who is Peter? And why would I want him on my – none-existent baseball-team?”

“He can deny Jesus three times, Dude.” Dean chuckles and shakes his head.

Castiel bursts with laughter.

“I’ve got another one: What does an angel say when he goes to heaven?”

Castiel snorts and wipes tears from his eyes; then shakes his head. “What?”

“Well halo there!”

Both snort and cackle.

“I do believe I have a good one too.” The angel exclaims loudly. “Have you heard about the dyslexic devil worshipper?” Castiel stifles a laughter.

Dean shakes his head; catching his breath.

“He sold his soul to Santa.” Castiel pats his thighs. “What does the devil say, when he reads a joke?”

No clue, but Dean’s sure, Cas is gonna tell him any moment now.

“That was hell-arious!”

It’s not hell-arious, but Dean laughs anyway.

Castiel seems to have a run with his rather not ‘funny’ jokes. “What’s the Devil’s favorite brand of Mayonnaise?”

Dean just looks at him.

Hellman’s, Dean. Hellman’s!”

Dean rises his pointing-finger. “How do you get Holy Water?”

“You boil the hell out of it!”, Castiel shoots back and both roar with laughter.

Neither of them hears the heavy footfalls on the stairs, until Bobby appears in the doorway; his head a deep red – which matches perfectly his red-blue-plaid pajamas.

“What the fuckin’ hell’s goin’ on here!”, he roars angrily.

Both laugh again.

Bobby’s look lands on the empty bottles on the table. His face turns even redder. “What the fuck! Is this MINE?!”

“We’ll get you new one.”, Castiel chuckles and sniffs.

“You … you get me what??? – Jesus fuckin’ Christ on a damn stick!” Bobby yells at them. “This’s been 24 year old barrel-aged Whiskey, you idiots!”

Again, they laugh their asses off.

“This Bourbon’s been forty years old! Are you even aware …? It’s invaluable!” Bobby’s close to a heart attack now. “You drank the entire bottle!”, he sputters and clutches his chest with his right hand.

“I will account for this, Bobby.” Castiel stifles a laughter – again. “We will compensate your loss greatly.”

“We will.”, Dean adds; his lips twitching.

“I better hope so, or I will kick your asses all over the Salvage! And now shut the fuck up! There are people who need to fuckin’ sleep!” Bobby turns on his heels.

“Copy that!”, Dean calls after him, and Castiel follows swiftly with a “Yes, Sir!”

 

*****

 

They tune down the volume after Bobby’s visit and try their best to be as quiet as possible.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 32 ~ The Promise

 

He and Castiel reveal their glorious outcome of brainstorming to Bobby, as soon as he has had his first coffee.

He grumbles something about Angels and Demons and that they don’t mix well with alcohol; accompanied by a couple of not so nice things.

Bobby gets his phone after a third refill of steaming coffee and starts to call people from his contact list. He’s certain, that someone would know a ‘surgeon’ or at least a ‘doctor’ who would be capable of getting the gun out of Dean and stitching Sam up as soon as it’s done.

Sam comes downstairs way after noon; the imprints of the pillow visible on the left side of his face; his hair messed up and with dark circles under his eyes.

He too, seems as if he’s not gotten a whole lot of sleep last night.

“We have a solution, Samuel.”, Castiel chimes beside him, when Sam gets coffee.

Dean doesn’t say anything for now. He’d check Sam’s mental state by watching him interact with Cas, before making his move. He sure gets why Sam’s pissed off, but can’t imagine why it’d bother him that much.

They’ve made out for only a couple of days, and nothing profound has happened between the both of them. Sam shouldn’t be experiencing such hard feelings.

“And that would be?”, Sam murmurs and adds milk and sugar to his coffee.

“A surgery.”

Sam turns around and looks past Castiel, at Dean. “Oh, really? A surgery? Like … in a hospital? With a surgeon?”

“Yes.” Castiel is definitely proud of what they’ve come up with.

No. – Probably not a hospital, and high likely not a real surgeon.”, Dean steps in to explain things a little more detailed. “We’re gonna set the room in the basement up as operating room. We’ll get all the equipment we need … including a doc who’ll be able to do the surgery on the both of us.”

Sam’s face darkens, his eyes become hooded. “So, you guys have already decided that that’s how it’s supposed to go? I’ve no say in this? – You don’t even consider asking for my consent?”

Castiel’s smile fades.

Dean groans inwardly and washes a hand down his face. Yep, the thought of Sam not approving had appeared to him. “We thought, you’d appreciate our efforts to undo the spell.”

Sam’s lips crease and press together tightly, as if hindering himself from saying something he’d rather not wanna share with them. “I do.”

His answer is too short. And definitely not honest. Dean can tell by the way, his left eyelid twitches. What reasons could Sam probably have, to not want the spell gone? What the fucking hell …

… Oh. OH. Fuck. Of course, he wouldn’t want the spell to be broken. Because if it wouldn’t bind them together anymore, Dean’d be able to go through with his plan.

Even if the surgery is only half the rent, there’s still a 50/50 chance that killing Alistair would undo the spell and path the way to Dean’s death.

Wow.

Well, fuck my old boots!

Dean may have had quite some chicks (or guys) with a crush on him after spending a night together, but he doubts that any of them would have cared as much, if they’d be in Sam’s situation.

“We don’t even know, if killing Alistair is going to work.”, Dean tells him softly. “It could still not undo the spell. – And we’d be back at square one.”

“And what if it works? What’s gonna happen then?” Sam’s eyebrows rise unbelievably high on his forehead. “You’re gonna kill yourself? – Just like that? – And I’ve been what? Only a … stopgap?”

No. why would you think that?”

“’cause, you’re acting like I am one. – You don’t – for one moment – think about me. You don’t even consider, that I’m not cool with you dying – No matter if you’re a Demon or not.”

Dean wants to give Sam a slap – so real bad – So he might wake up from the dreamscape he’s wandering through. Like Dean has thought, it’s worse than only a crush.

Sam has probably fallen in love with him.

Like – for real.

Son of a bitch.

How does he change tack now? He needs the Colt out of him and kill Alistair; hoping, that this would do the trick to undo the spell.

“Sammy.”, Dean breathes.

“Don’t Sammy me. – And I mean it. – Why don’t you give a thought about what I’ve said, huh?” Sam brushes past Castiel. “And get your head out of your ass, Dean!”, he hollers back over his shoulder at him.

 

*****

 

After Sam’s little scene, Dean truly thinks about what Sam has said.

Still, he can’t just abandon what he’s been working on for so long, can he?

Sam is truly giving him a hard time here. He makes him think about stuff he’d rather not want to break his head over.

He has already made his decision a long time ago. Dean wouldn’t even know where to start, if it’d be about continuing with his existence; what to do with his eternal life …

Even if he’d have a chance on being with Sam for decades? What then? What when Sam dies – even at an old age?

What would it do to Dean?

He can’t go there. He won’t let something like that happen to himself.

He has found his peace with dying. He just doesn’t want to drag Sam down with him, that’s the only reason why he’s still around and hasn’t cut out the weapon and has put a bullet to his head, after offing Alistair.

 

*****

 

Dean decides, that Sam doesn’t have to know that he’ll pull through with his plan. Hell or high water.

He’ll just … won’t let him feel it either.

Someone might call it lying, and it ain’t the most elegant solution to his little problem with Sam, but it’s the only way to outrun a nuclear drama going down on the Salvage.

 

*****

 

Bobby gets into contact with someone who has contact to someone else, who might be able to reach out to a doctor who is familiar with the hunting-business and would be able to help them out with the surgery.

Thing is, this doctor is pretty old. Like – damn fucking old.

Bobby’s number and his request are getting passed on to said doctor, and he will call and let them know, if he is willing to help them out. Bobby has been warned, that it may take a couple of days, and that he shouldn’t get nervous in case it’ll take a little much longer. But the contact of the contact who knows someone who knows the doctor had assured him, that he will get in touch with him.

Now, they only have to wait, or they’d have to think about something else on how to extract the Revolver from Dean.

 

*****

 

When Dean walks out of the front-door onto the porch, Sam’s sitting on the bench under the kitchen-window. He’s got a blanket over his lap and slung around his feet. The thick parka let him look as if he’s got a few pounds more than he actually has.

Dean sits down beside Sam and stares into the distance.

“You’re right. – I’ve only been thinking about myself.”, Dean talks up. “I haven’t even thought about how you’d feel about this … Not for a second.” He clears his throat and looks over at Sam; testing his emotional waters, before he continues. “And for that, I’m sorry. – And … you’re probably right. I should’ve thought about you too, Sam. It’s just … I’ve been on this for years. This ain’t easy for me …” God, how Dean hates to go down that road. He’d rather not talk about all that touchy-feely stuff. It’d be a whole of a lot easier if the problem would have a physical form and he could just kill it.

Lucky him, Sam jumps on the bandwagon. “I know. – I just …” He sighs heavily. “Maybe, you could just promise me to think about not killing yourself? Try to see, that you are worth to carry on with your … existence? Even if I’m not the reason for you to decide to not go there … I’d be happy if you won’t stick to your entire plan.”, Sam’s so calm, it’s a little creepy – and so different from a couple of hours before, when he’s been so angry with Dean.

And then, Sam gives him the puppy-dog-eyes of doom. Sure, Dean falls for them – if only temporarily. As long, as Sam is going to think that he’s got the upper hand, and he’ll get Dean to overthink his decision, Dean’s on the winning side, so why the hell does it feel as if he’s losing?

“I guess I can promise you that.” Dean smiles fondly. “Come here.” Dean sneaks his arm around Sam’s shoulders and pulls him in.

Sam goes with it and scoots closer. “You wanna make out?”

Dean snorts and grins at Sam, who is tilting his head back, so he can look him in the eyes. God, those gems of hazel … Dean feels as if he can’t ever get enough of looking into them.

“Hell’s yeah, Sammy.”

 

*****

 

It’s only hours later; in the middle of the night.

And Dean really hadn’t planned on it. Honestly not. Hadn’t even thought about the possibility of it ever happening.

They’ve been showering together; been having quite some fun under the hot water.

That tongue-fucking sort of fun.

Sam has been having his hands all over Dean; never really losing skin-contact; always keeping a hand somewhere on him, and vice versa.

Dean can’t get enough of Sam’s skin against his; wants them to spend eternity like this.  Only the both of them; nude and warm and tied together.

They’ve been touching; fooling around a little too. Though, so far, Dean hadn’t even wasted a thought to go any further than a handjob, or blowjob even, since Sam has some issues with him holding his head while Sam’s going down on him; let alone guiding his movements.

Dean has to admit, that he has learned to be a little more sensitive about some things - considering Sam at least. He is wary of Sam’s reactions – even the little ones – to whatever he does, or how he acts.

Because, he has gotten to know, that Sam is a damn good actor and he’s not afraid to pull all his aces out when it’s necessary. He’s doing very good with covering up emotions – at least he thinks so.

But Dean has also learned to look past his façade. He has to admit, he can’t always read him, but sometimes, he catches glimpses of the turmoil of emotions going on in Sam.

He’s definitely not doing as good as he wants everyone around him to believe. Actually, he’s feeling miserable a lot. Dean just can’t exactly tell why and what triggers it.

It’s like flipping a switch sometimes. Sam seems all good and happy, and the next moment, sadness and hurt bleed into his eyes for the fraction of a second, before he puts his poker-face on, so no one would notice.

Weirdly, Dean feels the urge to talk with Sam about it; try to make him open up to him. But then he decides against it, because what’s the point?

Dean won’t stick around any longer than it takes to get the Colt out of him.

So, they are showering; making out under the hot water; their heated skins against each other.

Their hard fleshes captured between them in a snug fit; both eager for sweet friction.

Sam moves his hand over Dean’s bicep and down his arm to where his hand rests on the small of Sam’s back. He grasps it and guides it way down to his butt and to where his globes part.

Dean moans into the kiss and nips at Sam’s lip playfully. “You’re killin’ me, baby boy, you know that?” Because, Sam so fucking does. With every movement, every touch.

Sam seals his lips over Dean’s and guides his hand further.

When Dean’s fingertips brush over Sam’s puckered entrance, Sam pulls back, just enough to look Dean in the eyes.

They are obsidian.

“I want it.”, Sam whispers into his mouth. “Want you to ...” He blushes.

Dean swallows down saliva and his breath catches at the request. A smile dances on his lips. “Fuck you?

Sam nods; sucks in his lower lip and bites it. His ears turn a deep red and he looks aside sheepishly.

Fuck. Dean groans. He searches Sam’s face. “That what you want?”

“I … yes. That’s what I want.”, he whispers and looks back at Dean, open and sincere.

Dean brushes over the furled opening tentatively. He swears he can fucking feel Sam’s heat around him already. “You’re gonna tell me, if you change your mind?”

As bad as he wants this, he wouldn’t want to make Sam do anything he doesn’t want to or isn’t ready for yet.

Sam nods.

Dean looks him deep in the eyes, searching for hesitance or doubt.

He finds none.

“Should we take this to the bed?” Dean’s uncertain if the shower is a proper place for their first time.

Sam shakes his head. “I’d like it here.”

Dean moans. God, Sam’s just perfect, isn’t he? So many dirty things they could do together and so little time …

“’kay.”, he breathes and withdraws his hands to settle them on Sam’s hips. Then he leans in and kisses Sam long and gentle; holding onto his hips a little firmer. “Turn around, Baby Boy.”

Sam turns in Dean’s hold, facing the tiles. He spreads his legs to grant better access.

“You’re gorgeous, Sammy.” Dean kisses his shoulder and steps up behind him until he’s only inches from him apart.

Dean guides one of his hands up at Sam’s side and across his back, until it rests over his spine; then traces a line down towards his cleft. “You’re special.”, he whispers into his skin.

Sam shudders – what Dean hopes is in anticipation. “Spread them a little wider.”

Sam obliges.

“Where do you keep the lube?” Dean pulls Sam’s hips back.

“We won’t need it. – I wanna feel you.”

Dean growls – a sound not quite human, when he presses his front into Sam’s back. “Don’t wanna hurt you.”

“You won’t. We’ve plenty of water. – You’re gonna prep me; I’ll be loose enough.”

Dean licks his lower lip hungrily. “It’ll hurt though.”

“Maybe …” Sam makes a sweet sound, when Dean sheathes his achingly hard manhood between Sam’s cheeks, “… I enjoy a little pain.”

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

Dean hums. He had thought Sam’s the vanilla type of guy. He can’t push away the feel of doubt though. So, he asks – has to ask. “You sure?”

Sam pushes back against him, to prove his point. “I am.”

Dean moves the showerhead, so that the warm water is raining down on them – mostly Sam, then returns to kiss and lick Sam’s shoulders and neck, while teasing him with gentle touches of his fingertips, until he sneaks one of his hands between the both of them and Sam’s firm globes.

“Relax.”, Dean tells him softly – barely above a whisper, when he nudges at his entrance with his finger. “Relax for me.”

Sam’s muscles flex and he starts to tremble, when Dean enters him carefully. He’s so soft inside; smooth; shielding. HOT VELVET.

Dean moans with Sam in union. “Yeah, Babe. That’s it. Let me in.” He rests his forehead between his lover’s shoulder-blades. “There you go, Sweetheart, just like that.”

Fuck, Sam’s opening up to him like they’re made for each other. Soon, he adds a second finger; moving them slowly; stroking his insides. Sam’s so hot inside; a damn fucking furnace. And so unbelievably soft.

Sam moans; his fingers flex against the tiles.

Dean preps Sam for what feels like an eternity; turns him into a quivering, needy mess; drags his fingertips over the tender bundle of nerves occasionally. 

“You’re so good, Baby Boy. You’re perfect. So perfect.” He mumbles nothings into Sam’s skin, until he withdraws his fingers to replace them with his leaking hardness. Dean hesitates though and Sam picks up on it instantly.

“I’m good.”, Sam breathes, “Give me what I need.”

“Sammy.”, it comes out like a whimper, when he eases into him slowly; inch by slow fucking inch; stopping every now and then to give Sam time to adjust (and himself) “God. Sam.” Until he’s buried to the hilt.

Sam’s shaking and gasping. “Move.”, he breathes, “Please … move.”

Fuck. Sam’s so tight. Dean’d love to follow his plea instantly, but can’t. Wants to hammer into him relentlessly.  He fucking can’t, because if he does, he’d instantly blow his load and the fun would be over.

“Give me a sec.”, Dean pants heavily.

But Sam pushes back at him.

Brat.

Dean digs his fingers into his hips to hold him still. “Don’t … don’t move.”

Sam immediately stills for a moment and whines, before tries to get Dean to move – again.

Sam.”, Dean growls and sinks his teeth into the crook between his neck and shoulder to make him obey. “Told you to not move.”

And then, Sam moans. He just moans and melts against him; but holds perfectly still as soon as his back is nestled  flush against Dean's front.

"Make me.", he tells Dean breathlessly.

Dean pulls out a fraction – tests his luck and sinks into him again; drawing a guttural sound from Sam.

Hold still.”, Dean pants, when he pulls out a little further, before jerking his hips forward.

Sam grunts and moans with every following thrust; starts to push back; impaling himself.

Dean curses.

Even though, it’s no fancy surroundings; no super-kinky scene, Dean already considers this his best sex ever since he’s back topstairs. Sam fits just perfect around him; squeezes him in all the right places. They’re in perfect sync when they move; sensing each other; feeling each other; knowing what one another craves – needs.

And then, it’s over way too soon. Sam chokes on his warning that he’s about to come; clamps down around Dean and tears him with him, when he tumbles over the edge.

Dean wraps his arms around Sam to steady him, when his knees wobble and legs tremble.

Sam's muscles flutter around him; milk him dry, while he can’t stop pulsing and  twitch inside Sam untilhe’s spent.

They both pant heavily.

Neither has noticed the water running cold.

 

*****

 

They go at it two more times that night and fall asleep in each other’s arms.

Sam falls asleep.

Dean not so much. He stays awake, watching over the human in his arms.

 

*****

 

Good News are sometimes bad news.

Always depending on who’d ask …

The doctor calls and after a short sum-up of what is needed from him, he agrees to help, along with giving him a list of what will be needed, since he does not have access to an operating room or anything similar to it.

Bobby should call when they have everything prepared, then the doctor – whose Name Bobby still doesn’t know – will come to the Salvage and help them to set everything up the way he will need it.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 33 ~ The Surgery

 

It takes Bobby a week with the help of a fellow-hunter – Rufus Turner – to organize all the items they will need to set up an operating room in the basement.

Bobby and Dean clean the ‘Panic Room’ in the basement out and treat every surface with bleach, before setting the room up with two operating tables and life-supporting machines; along with other medical equipment they might need.

 

*****

 

Sam’s anxious.

He feels torn between the surgery and Dean. Chances are high, that Dean’s going to take off, kill Alistair, make sure the spell is broken, and then, he’d leave him. For good.

For Sam, the only chance to interfere and stop this – or draw this out – from happening, is to not let the surgery happen. It’s his only leverage.

They haven’t talked about Dean’s plan since Sam had last brought it up; it’s never really been the right time to approach that topic either.

God, Sam’s so scared. Not for himself. For Dean.

He loves him. He can’t let him walk away and … and do THIS. Even if Dean’s not loving him back in the same way Sam loves him; and even if Sam can’t be the reason for Dean to not go there – he can’t let that happen.

To him, it doesn’t matter, that Dean’s a Demon. He knows, it’s probably twisted and weird, but … Aside from snapping the Clerk’s neck at the gas station … Dean’s not been killing anyone.

Sam knows how ridiculous that sounds. He’s justifying Dean’s actions – or trying to – by putting it on the fact that he’s a Demon. That – deep down – he is evil. Or, at least a part of him is.

But he can change, right?

He already has.

Dean doesn’t have to be evil. He can feel – something like – love and affection and … isn’t that a start? Maybe, he can learn to figure out how to live a life without the need to kill innocent people, because it fits the situation better than trying to worm himself out of it.

Maybe, Sam thinks, he’s just fucked up.

First Nick – a manipulative sociopath – and now Dean – a suicidal Demon.

Maybe, Sam has some sort of helper syndrome. Maybe, he’s in serious need of therapy.

Though. He’s not wrong with Dean. He can’t be.

He just needs some more time to figure out how to show that to Dean. Show him ways of … god, not even he himself knows what and how to show him, that he doesn’t need to die; that he could do good things and that they can fulfil his needs as well. Right?

Maybe, if Dean gets a chance to do good things – since he isn’t only driven by anger and greed and such – he’s going to see and feel that good things can be satisfying too.

But maybe, Sam’s wrong with his assumptions, and he’s just high with whatever messengers are flooding his brain and are fogging his mind. Maybe, he’s seeing things too positive – because if he’s honest with himself, he often does that.

Mostly, when it comes to people he likes or falls in love with.

Like he liked Nick.

He has thought for a long time, that it’d get better and that … one day, Nick’s going to learn a way to cope. Other than treating Sam like shit.

Maybe, he’s got Stockholm Syndrome.

Or, he simply loves to fall in love with bad boys.

Yeah, Sam’s messed up. He knows that. He’s a freak.

No doubts there.

Sam stops himself from thinking shit like that. He needs to come to terms with himself. If he’s gonna try and sabotage the surgery, or if he’ll let it happen. – Without getting himself killed of course.

Sure, he is aware, that only because Dean will be able to put the Colt to use, doesn’t mean that killing Alistair is going to undo the spell. Chances are 50/50 that it’ll work – or not.

But, does Sam want to take that Chance?

He doesn’t know.

Sam honestly doesn’t know.

 

*****

 

It’s a lazy morning.

Dean and Sam are still in bed, though, they’re already awake. The spare room is theirs alone, ever since Castiel had walked in on them for the first and only time.

Sam rests his head on Dean’s chest, listening to the rhythm of his heart, while Dean cards his fingers through Sam’s hair.

Sam wonders more often than not – since they started to get intimate – about Dean’s flawless body; about the heat it generates. How it is possible to hear his heart beat; feel him breathe, when he’s ‘only’ possessing this shell.

Sam wonders about a lot of things when it comes to Dean, but doesn’t ask. He has the feeling, that he doesn’t need to. Because, it’s like he senses some of those things which make him wonder. And the rest … Sam’s certain, at some point, he’ll get to know what he is missing.

He had come to know, that watching people tells him more than demanding answers to his questions. He just has to be patient about it.

“So … You okay with the surgery?”, Dean’s voice is husky.

“Have you thought about what I’ve told you?”, Sam asks and pushes away from Dean’s chest to look up at him.

Dean tilts his head. “I have.”

“And?” Because, Sam needs to know; needs to hear it, however it’s good or bad.

“I think, maybe you’re right.”

Sam’s honestly surprised. He wouldn’t have thought that Dean would even consider it. After all, Dean had seemed so very determined about his plan.

“Maybe?” Sam can’t hold the stupid smile creeping onto his face, back.

Dean nods and smiles too. “Yeah. – I think, maybe, I should think about other options.”

Sam’s smile widens. Butterflies – captured in his chest - flap with their wings. “Guess, then I shouldn’t worry so much about the surgery, huh?” Dean thinking about other options – that’s probably more than Sam can ask for; and it fills him with joy and hope.

“You shouldn’t.”

Sam lowers his head back down again with a sigh. “Breakfast?”

Dean hums. “In a couple of minutes?”

Sam sighs and nods. “Sure.”

 

*****

 

Bobby calls the doc later that day. It takes a couple of tries, until he picks up though. Bobby let him know that they’ve everything they need, and that they’re as ready as can be.

The doc will come around tomorrow noon; not mentioning from where he comes and how long his drive will take. Obviously, he’s set on staying anonymous until he shows himself personally to them.

 

*****

 

The next day, nearly on time, an old Buick Pick Up Truck pulls up in front of the house.

Bobby has his shotgun ready, while lurking outside through the window; waiting for their visitor to exit the car.

Sam stands right behind him, because he’s nosy (aka nervous) as hell. He hasn’t slept well – has been awake every other hour – plagued by nightmares, only to get lured back into a light slumber by Deann who would start to shush and pet him as soon as he had stirred.

The supposed doctor rummages around beside him after killing the engine. Sam can’t tell what exactly he’s doing, but it looks a lot as if he’s looking for something, or putting something together. Therefore, it takes quite some time, until the man finally emerges.

Bobby has been told, that he’s old.

What’s not quite covering it. It’s an understatement.

Sam – seemingly his uncle too – had assumed, that the man would be in his sixties.

The doctor definitely has outgrown of his sixties; he must be in his late seventies or early eighties already. His movements look stiff and the walking cane to his left doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence either. He’s limping; dragging his left foot a little.

“Oh boy.”; Bobby murmurs, as he watches the man round the car in snail-speed at the front and wrench the passenger’s door open with quite some effort.

“I’ll go help him.”, Sam states, assuming, that the old man is bringing more than his cane as bearings, since he has told Bobby, that he’ll bring the necessary meds. 

Bobby shoots him a look.

“What? He’s looking as if a breeze of wind’s able to knock him off his feet.” Because the man really does. He is tall, sure, but looks a little too slim for his height; and on top his injured leg. He can’t let the man drag his bags on his own.

“Yeah, could be an act though. If he’s able to cross the threshold, I’m all into helping him inside with his luggage.”, Bobby explains quietly. “Let the others know our visitor has arrived.”

Sam rolls his eyes.

“And don’t you roll your eyes on me.” Bobby warns him.

Bobby’s right though. They don’t know the man, and there’s a reason for hunters – as Bobby – to be suspicious about strangers. Sam really gets it. He does …

But he’s also certain, that a fellow-hunter wouldn’t recommend the doctor to Bobby, if he’s not a decent, trustworthy man. Okay, Sam has to admit, he doesn’t have a lot of experience with monsters and all that – except for what he’s gotten to read about them recently – but his gut tells him, that the man is no danger.

Nonetheless, he follows Bobby’s order, instead of heading outside and helping him.

When he comes back downstairs, with Dean in tow, - Castiel nowhere to be found upstairs - the supposed doctor is already in the hall and handing his long black coat to Bobby, who has discharged his shotgun somewhere. Two black bags and a backpack are sitting to the doctor’s feet.

Castiel is about to shut the front-door, when Sam steps from the last stair.

Kind of looks to Sam like this has been planned … Keeping Sam out of the line of fire, in case this isn’t a human.

The three of them – who he considers are his friends – aren’t as subtle as they may think. And Sam – by all means, even though his fuck-ups in the past – isn’t that stupid.

He groans inwardly. Is he that useless? Do they see him as something fragile? Does he look as if he can’t handle stuff?

“This ‘s Sam.”, Bobby takes a step aside and introduces him with a soft smile. Then he gestures at Dean. “And Dean.”

The tall grizzled man, with way more wrinkles than anyone could count, looks up through his shaggy grey hair and gives both a fast visual once-over. “Hello, boys. – I’m Charles.” Even though he’s old and makes the impression of a regular elderly person, his grey eyes are sharp; his mind alert.

He gazes around. Assessing; analyzing. “Before we go down to business. – I’m in desperate need of a toilet.”

Dean cocks an eyebrow at the man.

“Sure. – Down the hall to your right.”, Bobby nods behind him. “We’ll be in the living-room.” He gestures to his left. “You want coffee? Sandwiches maybe?”

“That’d be fine, thanks.” Charles changes the cane from his left to his right hand and then leans it against the wall. “I’ll be right back.”

Sam’s taken aback, when Charles straightens up to his full height; brushes past them and aims straight for the door where he’d find the toilet. His strides are long and he doesn’t look as stiff anymore; his leg doesn’t seem as bad either. Actually, he looks pretty agile and lanky for a man of his age.

Dean’s eyebrow rises higher and he gives Bobby a questioning look. “The blind shall see, the lame walk …?

What earns him weird looks.

What? Only because I’m a Demon, doesn’t mean I don’t know about the Bible’s Greatest Hits.”

 

*****

 

Dean launches on the couch, with Sam only inches beside him.

He can feel Sam’s tenseness; his nervousness. It’s radiating from him in thick waves, so Dean inches closer and rests his arm behind Sam on the back lean to offer support. Even though there is no physical contact, he can tell, it calms Sam down immediately.

Bobby’s occupying his chair behind the desk, and Castiel stands in the middle of the room, looking lost (like most of the time).

They are discussing the Charles-Matter; keeping their voices low. When they hear the door down the hall open and close, they fall silent.

Charles eventually comes into the room; with a slight bounce in his steps.

He claps his hands together, rubs his palms, and looks into the round. Charles’s examining gaze first settles on Castiel. “I guess, you’re an Angel.” He looks over at Dean. “And you’re the Demon.”, he continues; not yet taken his seat in the recliner, which is obviously meant for him.

Charles seems decently amused and obviously trying to hide his excitement. He walks over to the recliner and sits down with a relieved sigh. “Nice.” He moans, when he let himself sink into the soft cushions. “The car’s seats are killing my vertebrae.”

He takes a moment, before he sits up and reaches for the coffee. “Thank you.” He addresses Bobby with a grateful smile. “So …”, he says after a careful sip. “… What is the plan?”

Dean leans forward a little. “Getting the Colt outta my guts.”

Charles grins. “Yes. – I know I am supposed to cut the weapon out of you, and stitch him back together.” His eyes land on Sam and he winks at him. “You are the hunter, I suppose.”, he addresses Bobby and then cranes his neck a little to look at Castiel and winks at him. “But … you … apart from being the prettiest thing ever crossing my path; what’s your role in this?”

Sam snorts.

Castiel stares at the doctor in bewilderment. “I am a friend.”

It’s Charles’s turn to look bewildered. “Seriously?” He looks over at Dean; stunned. Then he points with his finger at Castiel and then Dean and mouths a “The both of you? Seriously?”

Dean’s eyebrows furrow. “Yep.” What did the guy think? Dean’s their captive and Castiel’s the guard?

Sam reaches over and places his hand on Dean’s thigh; obviously catching onto Dean’s change of mood almost instantly.

“Nope, Handsome.” Charles look follows Sam’s hand, and where it comes to rest. His eyes widen briefly, and realization settles in them. His gaze flickers from Dean to Sam and back. “I’m not judging. Just … surprised.”

“I wanted to know, when exactly you have planned to do the surgery?”

“We’ve been waiting for you to come here; check the equipment if everything is as you are going to need it.”, Bobby explains.

“Okay. Let’s cut to the point.”, Dean inches forward a little; eying the doctor carefully. “We haven’t been expecting someone as old. – No offence, but I doubt you’ll be able to perform the surgery.”, he says quietly.

Sam hisses at Dean. “Dean.”

Bobby kicks back in the chair and groans annoyed.

Dean doesn’t look over at Sam. No way Old-Slinky is going to lay hands on Sam; let alone perform a surgery on him. He wouldn’t let him set a broken bone either.

Charles just looks at him blankly. He doesn’t seem to take it personal. “I have eyes like a hawk and the ears of a fox. – My hands are steadier than the ones of a thirty year old.”

Dean. Charles drove all the way here.”, Castiel cuts in. “He is willing to help us; and I believe him, when he says he can perform a surgery.”

“So, you’ve been a surgeon?”, Dean asks expectantly.

Charles shakes his head. “Not since the war.”

“Dean.”, Bobby says warningly.

“What? He’s supposed to take care that Sam’s not gonna die. – Excuse my scepsis, when a well-aged human claims to be able to perform a surgery. A surgery he’s never done before; and he certainly didn’t do surgeries for the past forty-five years or so.”

Dean can feel Sam squeeze his thigh firmly – probably to get him to shut up. But Dean gives a shit. Sam’s life depends on it. That’s nothing he’s playing with.

“You are right.” Charles takes another sip from his hot coffee. “I didn’t perform any surgery in years. – Except for extracting bullets and stitching hunters up. – And I understand that you’re not fond of some old guy operating your mate. And I really hate to break it to you: But I think you don’t have a lot of options here.”, Charles explains and leans back in the recliner. “It’s either me, or no weapon.”

Charles shrugs at him. “And hey …” He waves at him and Sam. “By the way … I think the two of you are real cute together.”, then winks at them. “Wouldn’t have thought that’d be possible either.”

Charles is definitely referring to their relationship.

“You seem pretty self-confident.”, Dean mentions.

“Because I know what I am capable of and what not. If I’d think I wouldn’t be able to do this, I wouldn’t have agreed to come here and help. – After all, this is practically pro-bono.”

“You usually charge?”

Charles looks at him expectantly. “What do you think I’m living off, Handsome? – All the love and thanks hunters leave me?”

Dean kinda likes that guy already. His lips twitch. “Then, why would you take this job anyway? IF there’s nothing in for you?”

Charles snorts. “Nothing in for me? Getting to perform a surgery on a Demon, to get a weapon out of him, who’s got spellbound to a human, who I’m gonna need to stitch up? – And as the cherry on top, I get to meet an Angel? Are you kidding me?” He grins at Dean. “I haven’t seen an Angel since I’ve been a kid. Haven’t been in the same room with one ever.”

“You’re a weirdo.”, Dean stares at him in bewilderment. “Normal people RUN.”

Charles shrugs. “Where’s the fun in running away from weird stuff, when it can be so much fun?” He practically beams at Dean.

Yep, weird as fuck.

“Guess, I’ll give you permission to perform the surgery.” Dean relaxes back into the couch, covering Sam’s hand on his thigh.

“So, back to business, since that seems settled. – I’d say I’ll eat the sandwiches, get to take my afternoon-nap and then, I’ll go check on the equipment you got and the room itself. – I suppose you have already treated it with bleach as I told you?”

They nod.

“Good. – If everything is alright, we can schedule the surgery for tomorrow morning?”

They nod again.

Dean squeezes Sam’s hand gently, reassuring him that this will turn out okay.

 

*****

 

Sam offers his bed to the grizzled doctor, who takes it gratefully and lays down for a couple of hours.

Dean wouldn’t have thought he could ever get anxious about something.

Specially not about the life of a fragile human.

But this is about Sam, so he damn well has the right to feel – at least – a little nervous.

 

*****

 

Dean and Sam are only wearing boxers and robes.

“It’ll be okay.”, Sam tells him, when they head downstairs the next morning and he squeezes Dean’s hand. “You’re not nervous, are you?”

Not that Dean would ever admit that. He chuckles embarrassed for getting caught and shakes his head.

“You are nervous.”, Sam grins at him and tugs on his hand to guide him around and towards the basement.

Dean snorts. “As if you aren’t. – Didn’t even eat the midnight-snack I’ve gotten you.”

Sam has to be fasting for this; haven’t been allowed to eat and drink anything since midnight – not that he seemed to be in the mood anyway.

Sam scratches the back of his head. “I’ll have a burger, when I wake up, I guess.”

Dean snorts. Sure. “You? A burger?”

Sam turns a deep shade of red. “You’re right. More like a salad with fried chicken stripes.”

Dean squeezes Sam’s hand back, when they take the stairs into the basement.

Bobby, Cas and Charles are already there.

All three are wearing scrubs.

A grin splits across Dean’s face. “What a pretty collection of nurses we’ve got here.”, he sputters; barely able to suppress the laugh bubbling up his throat. “And a doc of course.” He shoots Charles an apological look.

“I do believe, I am no nurse.”, Castiel states; muffled by the face-mask he is wearing.

“Shut up and get on the tables boys.”, Bobby commands.

Sam elbows Dean into his side playfully. “C’mon. Let’s get this over with.”

Dean snorts. “Sure, Sweetheart.” Nothing better than getting this over with.

They lose the robes.

Dean takes the operating table to the left.

Sam scoots up on the right one.

The doctor hooks Sam up on the equipment; and lays a vein catheter on his left lower arm.

The machines are bleeping away.

“I’ll give you something to relax. – And then I’ll administer the drugs for the anesthesia.” Charles smiles behind his mask and the skin around his eyes crinkles in the process. “You’ll fall asleep in a few minutes and then I’ll set a central vein catheter – just in case we’ll need it.”

Sam nods nervously, then looks over at Dean, who’s looking back at him with a soft smile.

They lock eyes.

Dean winks at him, as he keeps looking over at Sam, until the drugs start to do their magic and Sam’s eyes flutter shut.

The doc checks the monitors and then heads for Dean. “You sure you’re not wantin’ anything?”

Dean shakes his head. They’ve been over this. The drugs won’t work – besides, it’s not as if he’s going to feel more than discomfort – his time in hell has steeled him.

“We’re prepared for … you know …” Dean clears his throat. “… any complications?”

Charles pats is shoulder and nods. “If anything goes south – anything at all – we’re ready to call 911, boy. Don’t you worry.”

Dean nods. “And You’re sure, the drugs work and Sam’s not going to wake during … you know …”

Charles nods. “We’ll take care of it, don’t you worry. He’ll sleep through it just fine.”

Dean blows out a shuddering breath and nods; tries to relax as good as demonically possible. He’s well aware of the dangers of a surgery performed in a basement and the general circumstances, and even though it’s supposed to be a clean cut, you could never be sure about it. He hopes, it’ll go down as they expected  it to.

 

*****

 

Technically seen, it’s not really a complication, if there is a chance of the ‘complication’ happening, right?

It’s not because the doc’s hands aren’t steady, or because the light ain’t bright enough. It’s just … that the Colt – due it’s long stay within Dean’s body – got kinda stuck by scar-tissue and fibrous connective tissue.

Of course, Dean starts to become a little impatient. This is already taking way too long, and Bobby and Cas have their hands full with changing swaps and gauze they are stuffing into Sam’s stomach to staunch the bleeding.

“What the hell takes you so long?”

“How long have you had that think inside you?”, Charles asks back in disbelieve, while trying his best to not nick the colon with his scalpel. That’d cause one hell of a mess; and even if Dean’s able to handle a little sepsis due the leaking out digesta, Sam surely won’t.

“Where you going to just … rip it out of yourself?”

Dean gazes down on himself, to where the doc has his hands inside him. “That was the plan.”

Charles shakes his head. “Well. – I need to be careful here.”

“The blood transfusion will be empty in …”, Castiel reports, “… about now.”

Charles groans. “Exchange it. – Turn it up slow. – Hook him up on a saline drip over the vein catheter in his arm as well. We need to keep his fluid leveled.”, he orders swiftly.

“Sew me back up.”, Dean groans; sensing a disaster starting to enfold.

Charles shoots him a stern look. “No. – I am close to get it. – We’re nearly done.”

Dean drops his head back with a groan and clenched teeth; turning his head over to looks at Sam.

 

*****

 

Charles truly retrieves the Weapon only fifteen minutes later, and puts it into a plastic box on the floor beside him.

He hurries up to get his gloves changed and sets to work on Sam, while Castiel stays with him as his assistant and Bobby moves over to Dean and starts to sew him back together.

“You don’t need to sew me up, grandpa. I’ll be fine.”, Dean grumbles and is about to sit up.

“Yeah, you will deal just fine. But we don’t know if Sam will.” Bobby pushes him back down. “You call me ‘grandpa’ again, and I’ll mix laxatives in your Chili.”

“Does that mean, you’ll make Chili for dinner?” Because, Bobby’s Chili Con Carne is the best he’s ever had. He’d sell his soul for it, if he hadn’t already.  

Bobby shoots him an annoyed look. “If you’re bein’ a good little demon, I might will.”

Dean cocks an eyebrow at him, but doesn’t protest and waits patiently, until he’s sewed up and ready to go.

Dean’s long done, when they’re still working on stitching Sam back together on the insides. He sits on the table; legs dangling from it, and watches as they work; the cut from the surgery already healing.

Half an hour later, Sam’s – of course – still unconscious, but the machines bleep rhythmically, in a relaxing pattern.

Dean’s ready to get Sam upstairs, to let him wake in his comfortable bed and not on the hard operating table, but Charles recommends to leave him here, where they’d have everything in arm’s reach.

“You said, he’ll be fine.”, Dean exclaims offended.

“I said, Sam’s stable. Which doesn’t equal that he’ll be fine.”

Dean swallows.

“He received two blood-transfusions; lost a lot of fluids. – There might be a reaction to it. And even if not, I’d rather keep him hooked on the monitors and oxygen until he wakes.”

Dean scrunches his nose up. “Fine.”

He eyes the heap of bloody swaps, gauze and cloths on the floor.

Bobby has gone upstairs with Castiel to get dressed in other clothes and get the garbage bags.

Dean could help them clean the mess up, but it only takes a quick look at Sam to decide to not go anywhere until he has woken up. – Well, not until he’s borrowed Bobby’s gun-cleaning-stuff from upstairs.

“You better stay here too. Don’t do anything. I don’t want you to pull the stitches or injure yourself, as I have to assume, that it will also affect Sam. Just … stay with him, and watch him.”, Charles pulls the surgical cap from his head, along with the mask. “Call, if something seems off about Sam. Take his temperature every thirty minutes. If it rises above 101.3 you’ll get me immediately.”

Dean nods. “I’ll do.”

Bobby and Castiel return with a roll of garbage bags.

“When is he supposed to wake up?”, Dean asks and moves over to the table to get his robe. It’s a little chilly in the panic room.

“In about two to three hours I suppose.” Charles strips out of his surgical apron and drops it to the floor. He pats Dean’s shoulder. “I gotta visit the peepee-ranch, since about half an hour, so …” He clicks his tongue, let his eyes roam the room quickly, nods to himself, and then he’s out of the panic room.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 34 ~ The Disappearance

 

Cleaning the Colt is … disgusting.

Dean probably shouldn’t have hidden it inside his body. He has not thought about the amount of cleaning it would take … Now there’s a whole lot of blood and what the doc had called fibrous tissue.

This is so not fun.

But he’s got the Colt and Sam’s still out like a light, but seems good.

So, everything’s peachy, right?

 

*****

 

One and a half hour later, Sam’s still down under, and Dean’s nearly done with cleaning the Revolver. He shoots glances at the clock ever so often and keeps telling himself, that there’s still time until Sam has to wake up for good.

So far, Sam hasn’t even stirred; nor have the numbers on the monitors changed. And so far, his temperature is pending between 100.1 and 101.2. – So, Sam’s definitely showing a reaction to the transfusions. Though, if his temperature won’t rise any further, everything should turn out okay.

While Dean puts the Colt back together, his look flickers towards the monitor which mirrors Sam’s heartrate and oxygen-levels.

His blood-pressure is a little low and his heart-rate has sped up slightly during the past ten minutes. It’s not yet time, though, he checks Sam’s temperature with the in-ear-thermometer.

“Damn it.”, Dean hisses through gritted teeth. Of course, this couldn’t possibly go down without complications. 102.1. Not good. So not good.

Dean puts the thermometer aside and cards his fingers through Sam’s hair and tugs it behind his ears. “Don’t you dare and fuck this up, Sammy.”, he whispers a half-hearted threat. He takes in Sam’s relaxed features and reaches down to grasp his hand. It’s overly warm, so is his forehead, when he places a gentle kiss there.

“I’ll go get the doc.” Of course, Sam can’t hear him. He tells him nonetheless. “I’ll be right back, Baby Boy.”

Dean heads upstairs and tells the doc – who is lying on the couch, relaxing his aching back – that Sam’s vitals are slightly accelerated, and that he has hit the 102 mark.

The doc is up on his feet and heads straight for the panic room, with Dean hot on his heels. Charles goes for his bag and pulls two vials from it, along with a syringe.

“I’ll give him something for the fever. – We’ll have to have a close eye on his heartrate.” His gaze flickers to the monitors, when he heads for Sam’s bed. He measures the amount of meds carefully and then applies them to Sam’s bloodstream over the vein catheter.

“His temperature should drop to a more moderate level within the next fifteen minutes.”

Dean nods, reaching for Sam’s hand again and holding it loosely. He shoots the doc a worried glance.

“Don’t worry. – We’ve everything under control, Handsome.” He winks at Dean and smiles. “This ‘s a common reaction. Nothing out of the ordinaire. Nothing we can’t treat.”

Dean chews the insides of his cheeks. He dearly hopes so.

 

*****

 

He has the chair pulled up close beside Sam; never letting go of his hand.

Sam’s mouth and nose are covered by an oxygen-mask now, as the oxygen-saturation has dropped below a certain level. Looks like as if this circumstance is bothering Charles decently.

Dean doesn’t need the monitors to know about Sam’s heartrate. It’s still too high, so is his temperature which refuses to drop below 102 despite the meds Charles has already administered.

Looks like Sam’s not going to do this half-assed.

Charles shifts in the rather uncomfortable wooden chair at the other side of the bed, tapping with his pointing-finger against his cheek.

To Dean, it looks like, as if Sam’s oxygen levels aren’t supposed to drop at all. The doc has to be worried about something, or else he wouldn’t have decided to stay in the panic room with them, when there’s a way more comfortable couch upstairs for him, where he could relax some and put strain from his obviously aching back.

“It’s not yet bordering on dangerous.”, Charles speaks up, as if he is able to sense Dean’s distress. “It can still be a reaction to the anesthesia.”

“According to Bobby he’s never had any surgery, nor an anesthesia … so …” Dean sighs and leans in a little; squeezing Sam’s hand again. “When does it start to border on dangerous?”

Charles swallows. “They shouldn’t drop under 93 percent. – If they do, we’ll need an ambulance.”

Dean nods – more to himself. “A blood-clot could cause that, right?”

“It shouldn’t. I gave him something to prevent him from having a thrombosis along with the meds before we started.”

Dean chews his lower lip.

“Why don’t you get yourself a coffee or something?”

Dean shakes his head. He’s so not going to leave Sam’s side. “Shouldn’t he be awake by now?”

“If he won’t wake within the next three hours tops, we’ll take him to the hospital too.”

Dean doesn’t like the sound of Charles’s voice. The doc doesn’t appear to be so cock-sure of himself anymore.

“But I don’t think we’ll need to. – It just takes him a little longer to come back.”

Dean’s lips twitch. He dearly hopes so for the doctor.

 

*****

 

Sam’s truly taking this to the limits.

Only, when the second hour turns into the third, his fingers twitch; eyelids flutter and he starts to stir.

“Sammy.” Dean’s on his feet, and is hoovering close to him instantly; making sure, his face is the first thing he’ll see when he opens his eyes. “Hey, Babe.”

 

*****

 

Everything’s so fuzzy and heavy; and actually, Sam has no serious intentions to move or open his eyes. He’s so tired; he’d love to drift back into darkness and blissful slumber. God, he just wants to sleep a little bit longer.

Maybe then, the weird feel in his chest and the heaviness in his head would be gone.

Something squeezes his hand. First gentle and careful, then a little stronger and more demanding. A voice crawls its way through the thick layer of fog engulfing his ears; shielding him from his surroundings.

Sam thinks, he can hear himself moan.

The voice keeps coming back; speaking words; luring him further and further away from comfortable nothingness and towards bright awareness.

An eerie ache, deep down in his lower belly, makes itself noticeable. Its uncomfortable and pulsing, and the more he feels his mind surface, the more palpable the ache becomes. But so does the voice.

“Dean?”, he croaks out, before truly processing who the voice belongs to.

It only can be Dean. No one else is calling him ‘Sammy’ and ‘Baby Boy’.

Dean’s voice demands, that Sam should open his eyes.

Damn. God. The ache is morphing into actual pain way too fast.

Sam hears himself whimper. He doesn’t want to sound so pathetic. But it hurts.

A cool hand covers his forehead and Dean speaks again. This time, he sounds a little gentler when he asks him to open his eyes.

Sam tries, but they feel so heavy. He just needs another moment; only a minute, to follow the plea. It takes way too much effort to pry his eyes open to thin slits.

“There we go.”, he hears Dean say. “Show me those pretty eyes, Baby Boy.”

Sam opens them a little more, tries to see if this is really Dean talking to him; being so close, he can smell his cologne.

If only he wouldn’t be so tired, and his vision that blurry … but he thinks he can see a pair of bright green eyes before him.

“Did it work?”, Sam slurs – at least he thinks he does. He really hopes, they don’t need a second go on this. He’s not sure he could do this a second time around. Because, this really hurts bad.

It looks like a shadow creeps over Dean’s face; his features change, but Sam can’t be sure. Maybe it are his eyelids drifting closed again, which push those shadows over his vision.

“Everything is okay, Babe.”, Dean answers. But that doesn’t tell Sam, if it had worked. “Are you in pain?”

Dean sounds pissed. Is he pissed? Maybe it hadn’t worked, and they’ll have to try again.

“Are you in pain?” Calloused palms cup his face and tilt his head.

Sam can’t suppress the pained grunt, when he manages to shift his hand under the covers and rest it on his belly, where a weird fabric covers his lower abdomen from one side to another. He had thought he had only been wearing boxers.

Again, the same question echoes through his head; more demanding and with a high level of concern.

Sam manages a jerky nod.

Someone says something. It’s too distant to understand a single word; but there’s a second voice too now, and then, Dean hisses something.

And all Sam can do, is whine and squeeze his eyes shut.

Is it normal to be hurting like this after a surgery? If so, Sam dearly hopes he won’t ever need another one.

He doesn’t have it in him, to open his eyes again. His mind and body are so exhausted.

And then, there’s Dean again, his hands still on him, telling him, that it’ll get better in a couple of minutes.

Sam sniffs and makes a small sound.

Then, Dean is shushing him, and the pain slowly starts to fade into a bearable ache and then blissful painlessness. Though, he only gets a moment, before he’s dragged under and away from the noises surrounding him; and his body gets enveloped in covers of soft, cozy warmth.

 

*****

 

The next time Sam surfaces, he feels fluffy (yeah, fluffy) and warm and not so tired anymore. Though, everything around him feels like cotton and his limbs heavy.

A moan falls from his lips.

Dean. Dean. Dean.

Fabric rustles somewhere beside him, and the surface – what must be a mattress – dips down.

“Baby Boy?”

Yeah, Dean’s here – with him. That’s good. Good enough for Sam to let himself drift off again.

“Don’t go back to sleep just yet.” He feels Dean’s warm breath against the shell of his ear, when he whispers to him. “I need you to know something.”

Wow, isn’t Dean expecting a little too much from him right now?

Sam wants to warn him, that, maybe he can’t stay awake long enough to hear what he’s gotta say. He wants to ask what he needs to tell him. But all that comes from him are totally unintelligible sounds and slurs.

“Shush.” Dean’s hand covers his chest and he feels his warm soft lips against his temple, before they return to his ear. “It’s okay, Baby Boy. – You don’t need to say anything. – I just …” Oh, why does the tone in Dean’s voice tips a feel of threat off in Sam’s very core. “I just want you to know … that I … I love you, Sammy. I want you to remember that. I love you, and I will never stop loving you.”

No. no. no. This doesn’t feel right. Is Sam going to die? Did something go wrong during the surgery, and is he now dying?

Why else would Dean tell him this. Why else would he …

Panic rakes its claws into and through him and Sam tries to drag himself further towards the surface. He can’t let himself get drowned by exhaustion again.

This is too important.

Dean makes another shushing noise; pets his hair, and then, something tugs on his lower arm. Something cool spreads through it.

“I just want you to sleep a little longer, Babe. It’s too early for you to wake up.” Dean’s words fade away slowly.

Sam wants to protest. He doesn’t need any more sleep. And it certainly is not not time to wake up.

“I love you, Baby Boy.”, he repeats and Sam wants to tell him, that he loves him too, but before he can finish the thought, the words get lost and with a final gasp, his breaths even out.

 

*****

 

Sam comes to himself slowly. It feels, like he needs to dig himself out of between huge cotton-balls, which try to push him back under.

Samuel.”

Sam groans. Not Dean. So, actually not so important to fight against the cotton-balls and sleep, he tells himself.

“Samuel. – You need to open your eyes.” Castiel. It’s gotta be Castiel.

Sam wants him to know, that he doesn’t really care and that he needs to do nothing, because he’s still so tired and everything is so confusing (and at the same time not). He feels, as if he’d feel better after another couple of hours of sleep.

A hand comes to rest on his shoulder. “Charles said, when you wake the next time, I need to make sure you answer some questions.”

In his actual state of mind, Sam doesn’t give a fuck.

“Are you in pain?”

What a stupid question. – Is it a stupid question?

Sam tries to figure out if he’s in pain. He comes to the conclusion, that he is not, so he shakes his head.

“Very well. – Do you know who you are?”

Is the angel kidding him? Of course, he knows who he is … so he nods, because his throat and tongue won’t obey his mind’s commands.

“Do you know where you are?”

Sam nods. Because honestly? He doesn’t mind and doesn’t care where he is, as long as he can go back to sleep.

“Very well.” Castiel seems satisfied. “You are allowed to continue your rest now.”

All Sam can manage is an approving grunt.

 

*****

 

It’s dark, when Sam wakes again.

This time, without the heaviness bearing down on his every bone and muscle, and with his mind less clouded. Even though, he doesn’t open his eyes instantly, his surroundings seem clearer.

He decides, that opening his eyes is worth a shot.

The big light is out and only the dimed shine of the small lamb on the nightstand is dispersing a little brightness.

“Dean?” He figures, if someone is with him, then it’s going to be Dean.

“Sam.” The voice is way too gruff and sounds older than Dean’s. “You’re finally awake.”

Bobby. It’s Bobby. He sounds as if he hasn’t slept for days. And he sounds relieved.

Sam tilts his head to look into the direction, the voice has come from.

“Hey, boy.” Bobby appears beside him. “How are you feelin’?”

Sam thinks for a moment. How is he feeling? “Exhausted.” Probably. “Still kinda tired.”

Bobby hums. “I bet you do. – He’s drugged you good.”

Sam frowns up at him, when Bobby comes closer. “Who? – Where’s Dean?”

Bobby’s gaze darkens, as much Sam can make out with his obscured vision.

There’s a beat of silence and the rustling of clothes, when Bobby sits down at the side of his bed. His hand comes down on his shoulder, squeezing it reassuringly.

“Why don’t you rest some more? – I’ll get you something to drink. You’ve to be thirsty.”

Is that sorrow? Is Bobby feeling sorry? And if so, for what?

“Where’s Dean?” Because that’s what really counts. “What happened?” Did something happen?

Bobby exhales heavily through his nose and casts his look on the floor for a moment. When he looks back up, he holds Sam’s stare. “Sam … I gotta tell you … Dean’s gone.”

And then, he tells Sam about Dean drugging them all. He must have mixed something into the Whiskey last night. And that he had hooked Sam up on a saline drip spiked with Morphine and a sedative to keep him under.

Dean had done some blood-magic, to blast Castiel out of the house. He has landed one state over, in a barn. From there, it had taken him two hours to find a phone and call; and four more, to ‘borrow’ a car and return to the Salvage.

Bobby keeps telling him things, but all that repeats in his head, in an endless loop, is, that Dean’s gone.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 35 ~ The Hurtful Truth

 

The hurtful truth is, Sam’s been wrong all along.

Dean had never planned on thinking about not following through with his plan; he had never intended to overthink any of it. That, Sam’s certain of now. Dean’s been lying to him.

Dean has been lying to his face. And Sam had believed him. Sam’s not sure what makes him sadder (and angry at the same time).

And now, … Sam just feels lost. How could he have been so wrong about Dean? How couldn’t he have seen this coming?

The latter question is easily answered. He’s been seeing Dean through pink glasses. Sam just hadn’t wanted to see the truth behind those pretty green eyes and adorable freckles.

Dean is a Demon after all. Demons lie. All the time. Sam doesn’t know what he’s been expecting anyway. Why would Dean be any different?

Because he damn well is different.

He might have been lying to him, but he’s also been feeling something for Sam – except, of course, Sam’s been imagining things.

The weirdest thing is, he’s not sure how to feel now. He thinks, he should be angry; maybe even devasted. But all Sam experiences is an empty, deep, dark pit inside his chest. And it grows; and hurts whenever he dares to think about Dean – or for that matter – thinks about something connected to him.

It hurts bad. Like someone had reached right into him and holds his heart in an iron grip; squeezing it so tight it bruises. It feels like its bleeding.

Under normal circumstances he’d try to run it off.

Right now, he can’t.

Sam can’t even get up on his own yet. He’s trapped in this bed, except he calls for Bobby (or Castiel) to help him move.

The doc is still around too; obviously wanting to make sure, that Sam’s recovery is making progress even though he is healing slowly.

Respectively, that he hasn’t messed up the surgery.

Because, obviously, Sam’s supposed to get up on his own by now; move around; keep down solid foods too. What’s not the case.

Sam’s sure, that’s got nothing to do with the surgery though. He’s almost certain, that, it’s his psyche playing up; reminding him of that one thing he can (truly) control.

Sam misses Dean.

He worries about Dean.

Dean’s out there right now; probably hunting down Alistair.

He had tried to call him – multiple times. First, Dean had let the phone ring. Then, Sam’s calls had went straight to the mailbox.

He has left him three messages.

The next day, when Sam had decided that pride ain’t that important, he had called Dean’s number again. But by then, the number had been non-existent.

Sam’s sure, Dean had listened to the pathetic messages he has left him. Had heard him (kind of) beg to call him back and to let them talk about this.

Right out pathetic, really.

Dean could’ve at least picked up and told him to go to hell – or whatever. Everything would be better, than not knowing where they stand.

He doesn’t want to be a clingy psycho-lover. He really honestly doesn’t. But he’s so mad in love that, Dean not telling him that it’s over, makes Sam hope.

And yeah, he knows how stupid that sounds. Dean’s take-off is an actual break-up. Sam just can’t wrap his head around it.

Dean had told him – Sam thinks he can remember that – that he loves him. And if he loves him, how come, he’d go away? Leave? Leaving him without anything but those damn three words?

Sam’s torn from his chaotic emotional wonderland of thoughts, when dull pain blooms along his shin, which intensifies slowly.

Sam hisses and groans. He shifts and tugs the covers from his leg, where a bruise is surfacing slowly.

 

*****

 

Dean curses violently, when the rotten piece of wood connects with his shin and splinters. “Fuck.”

He swings the machete at the translucent creature charging him once more.

It bares its pointy fangs; thin, white lips stretched tight over them, when it rips its mouth open wide. It’s long limbs flail; sharp claw-like fingers – which look very well solid - slicing through the air aimlessly.

The thing – a deity, looking a lot like a night-hag, and though not quite – which they haven’t catalogized when doing the entire sketching. Truth be told, Dean’s never seen anything similar like it. Therefore, he has no clue how to kill it, since it’s got no solid form.

Where the blade cuts through it – supposed to chop into its flesh - , the deity’s form swims and gives way to the engraved metal.

It screeches; pulls back and charges Dean again.

 

*****

 

The pain in his shin levels to a dull pulsing ache.

Sam hisses again, when he moves it a little; tests how severe the injury is. Looks as if nothing’s broken.

Lucky him.

Sam wiggles his butt and legs, until he’s in a half-sitting position and pushes the covers off of himself all the way. He has barely settled back into the pillow, when a burning sensation flares up along his left flank and sends his head reeling.

“No.”, he hisses and groans; clutching his side.

Obviously, being careful ain’t on Dean’s agenda anymore. Or – someone, or something – had gotten the drop on Dean.

The burning sensation turns into a sharp sting and he can’t hold back the surprised cry ripped his chest.

 

*****

 

Dean clutches his side and snarls at the deity only mere feet in front of him. The odor of burnt flesh fills the air.

His look screams bloody murder; his nostrils flare.

Within seconds, the burning and stinging sensation subsides and Dean sobers up. He pulls his hand away and looks down at himself, where a cauterized gash is peeking through the torn fabric of his shirt.

He’s not up for playing around, knowing, that every injury he gains, gets passed on to Sam.

It swings its claws at him again, but this time, Dean dances back and to the side.

Under normal circumstances he wouldn’t give a shit; he’d just try over and over again, until he’d be lucky enough to figure out what kills the creature. He can’t do that now though, knowing, that Sam’s going to pay the price dearly.

So, there’s only one option: RUN.

 

*****

 

The door to Sam’s room swings open, and Castiel dashes inside.

“Samuel.”

“I’m okay.” Sam’s not okay, but he’s sure, it could be worse – considering Dean seems to be in a fight with some monster, who’s got damn sharp teeth … or claws. Hot teeth or claws. At least, there won’t be a bloody mess for his friends to clean up.

“What happened?” Castiel rushes towards him; his look instantly goes to where Sam’s hand is covering his side.

“Dean’s in a fight? Probably?” High likely. Sam’d bet his ass on it. He muffles a grunt.

Castiel’s pale fingers wrap around Sam’s wrist, and he eases the hand away. He tugs up the intact fabric of Sam’s tee-shirt and reveals a long, cauterized gash.

The look on Castiel’s face darkens and turns into something feral; an expression, Sam hasn’t seen on the Angel so far.

“I will go and get the doctor, Samuel.”, Cas tells him and puts a hand on his shoulder.

“No. wait. It’s not that bad.” It actually hurts like crazy, but Sam doesn’t see a reason to cause mayhem, because of a bruise and a minor cut. It’s not even deep. Besides, they can’t do anything about it, but patch it up.

Sam has to admit, it’s a weird feeling to not know what’s going to happen next. He could drop dead any second; could die because Dean gets stabbed, or shot or ripped to shreds of whatever creature he’s facing right now.

It makes him feel utterly … helpless.

 

*****

 

Castiel gets Charles nonetheless.

Another claw-mark appears across Sam’s chest, before they are done dressing the one on his side.

After that, no more wounds appear.

Sam assumes, Dean got away – or killed whatever he’s been having a stand-off with. Again, Sam thinks, he should be angry at Dean; that he’s supposed to feel something. But – eerily – Sam doesn’t feel anything. Anything at all.

 

*****

 

The upcoming days are pretty much the same.

Bobby comes around to bring breakfast. He helps Sam into the bathroom down the corridor, until he can manage to go there on his own.

The doc stops by twice a day, to check on Sam. On the third day – when Sam starts to move around on his own, he attests, that Sam’s well enough for him to leave, since it doesn’t look as if he’s needed anymore.

 

*****

 

Another couple of days later, Sam’s well enough to head downstairs and launch on the couch to watch TV.

Despite that Sam’s physical condition is improving greatly, he can feel his mental state derail more and more. Not in a total crazy psycho-way … just … he doesn’t feel like himself.

He plays it cool though – at least on the outside. On the inside, he thinks, he must look like he’s torn to shreds – at least that’s what he feels like.

But Sam sucks it up.

He’s already forging plans.

One plan.

Because, that’s all he can do right now. Stare blankly at the TV and come up with plans on how to track Dean down.

Sam’s been thinking about getting a job; about carrying on with living; about finding himself a place to live and forget about all what’s happened; forget Dean – mostly Dean. Because thinking of him – it hurts. Not thinking of Dean hurts too.

Sam CAN’T get him out of his mind. He’s perfectly sure, he won’t ever be able – he’d have to cut him out of himself.

So … since it’s like it is, Sam won’t turn his back on the supernatural world and won’t forget about what had happened.

In fact, he’s planning on diving right into it.

He’ll start with reading whatever he can and memorize as much as possible of it. And, as soon as he’s up to it, he’ll start his physical training.

Sam’s certain, that this is going to become the more difficult part, because, that means, he’ll have to eat – regularly – or else he won’t be able to build up stamina and muscles.

Once that’s accomplished, and he’s leveled up his fitness – and doesn’t die somewhere along the road, because of Dean getting hurt fatally – he’ll go down to business.

He’s going to track Dean down.

And then …

Well, Sam’s not sure what to do then …

Probably kick Dean in the balls; beat the living shit out of him; or sense into him.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 36 ~ The Other Side

 

Approximately six months later …

Bobby had called.

Bobby had called and had spoken on his mailbox; had left him multiple messages and texts. He had let him know, that Sam has left the Salvage and can’t be found.

Sam hadn’t taken off without leaving a note though. He’s written a short letter, where he let Bobby know, that he’s looking for Dean and that neither he nor Castiel should try and look for him.

He has made sure that he won’t be found.

And, obviously, truly, Sam can’t be found. His phone-number doesn’t exist anymore; no GPS; hell, he has even managed to not be trackable by spells.

After the first couple of times, when Sam had still tried to reach out to him, Dean had shut down his phone; removed the SIM-card and had stored them in the glove compartment in the car. Every now and then, he would check on it; see who had tried to get in contact with him; and he’d listen to the voicemails ‘people’ had left.

Dean had been tempted to delete Sam’s too, but couldn’t get himself to do so. And then, after a while, he had started to listen to them occasionally – just so he’d hear Sam’s voice again.

 

*****

 

So, Sam’s down to hunting.

That’s fucking awesome, ain’t it?

Peachy.

Dean’s doing a damn fucking happy step-dance.

Because WOW, really? Haven’t he had enough of supernatural shit those past couple of weeks? Does he have to go down that road?

He has decided to become a hunter? Just like that? Sam’s jumping into super-hunter-pursuit-mode?

What the actual fuck?

And where the fuck does that leave Bobby? Doesn’t Old-Grumpy have any powers over Sam? Hasn’t he managed to talk him out of it; forbid him to go out and prey on creatures? Shouldn’t he have seen it coming?

He could’ve at least locked him in that fancy super-proof-room in the basement. After all, Bobby knows how dangerous the things are, which lurk in the shadows. He has to know about the dangers – specially with the bond between him and Sam – and that there’s the high possibility, that Sam’s going to get himself killed.

It crosses Dean’s mind, that if he manages to get himself injured, while Sam’s on a hunt – maybe in the middle of a fight – that that could turn out as a death sentence. Briefly, he wonders, if he should seek Sam out; make him stay away from him – for good.

Dean’s not sure, if he’d be able to stay away from Sam though. – It’s been hard enough to leave the Salvage – and Sam for that matter. He’s not sure, he could do that again.

Oh, well, Dean couldn’t be any less pissed.

He sniffs and places the tip of his knife against the demon’s throat.

It is – She is – tied up to a wooden chair in the middle of the cabin he and Sam had been occupying all those months back, when Alistair had gotten the drop on them.

Dean figured the location is kinda fitting.

“I swear.”, the Demon pleads, “The hunter has been asking for you. ‘s been looking for you.”

Hu …” Dean purses his lips. “And he’s killed him?”

She – a sweet young girl; dark hair; chubby; a sweet face; dressed like some Trekkie – frowns up at him. “He’s been exorcised.”

Dean thinks for a moment.

So, Sam’s capable of exorcising Demons. Sweet. So far, as it seems, no killings though.

“Tell you what. – I’ll let you go.” Dean pulls the knife back and tugs it into his belt, then moves outside the devil’s trap painted on the floor.

The female Demon stares up at him in bewilderment. “What?”, she asks, astonished. “Just like that?”

He wiggles his head; then shakes it.

A vicious smirk spreads over Dean’s face. “Nah. – Not just like that, Bitch. – You’ve got a message to deliver.”

 

*****

 

Dean’s a fucking fantom.

Sam doesn’t even feel like coming anywhere close to him, no matter what – and how many – Demons he captures, but he’s not going to give up.

This way, or another, he’s going to track Dean down; get him to face Sam and then … Sam doesn’t know what’s going to happen then. The only thing which feels like it’s the right thing to do, is to not let Dean kill himself.

So, he carries on.

Sam’s been working up to summon Crossroads-Demons, as they seem to be higher up the food-chain than the common black-eyes.

He’s had two so far; had improved his ways to torture them without hurting the vessel too much – at least, when it looks like the vessel is able to survive without a Demon inside it.

Truth be told, Sam’s been pretty shaken, when he got to know, that they’re sometimes riding dead bodies; or severely injured people, and that there’s no way of saving them.

The first couple of times, he had barely handled it – had been puking his guts out all over the places he’s been holing up.

Now, though, he’s more ‘inveterate’.

Sam’s not sure if that’s a good thing or not. He’s afraid, he’ll lose his conscience along the path; that he’s going to care less and less about the people who are possessed in order to find Dean.

He catches himself getting impatient more often now; doing more harm than ‘necessary’.

Right now, he finds himself on a crossroads again – somewhere around nowhere. The motel he is staying at, is about twenty-five miles down the highway, of which he had pulled down of three miles ago.

Sam turns the small wooden box in his hands and squats down to place it in the small hole he has dug. Then, he pushes the loose dirt back into the hole with his hands and recites the incarnation-spell.

Two short lines …

It’s really that easy. Sometimes, Sam’s wondering, why people don’t do this more often. They could have everything – at least for a certain amount of time …

Sam sighs when he straightens back up and brushes his hands off on his parka.

Then he waits.

Doesn’t take long for the Demon to appear, by the way. Only a couple of blinks later, a man in a neat suit is approaching him; his eyes gleam in a hellish red.

Sam cards his fingers through his hair; his lips twitch, when the Demon stops a few yards ahead of him. Only an inch or two outside the devil’s trap he has drawn with rock-salt (and filled with epoxy resin) and hidden beneath the dirt.

Damn it.

The thing’s mischievous smirk drains from its face. “Singer.”, it says.

Sam cocks an eyebrow at the creature. He hadn’t thought he’d get this famous that fast.

Anyway.

Sam sneaks his hand under the Parka and towards his lower back, where the hunting-knife with the engravings – Dean had given him a while ago to defend himself – is tugged into his belt. He doesn’t even get a chance to draw it, and lung for the creature to drag it with him inside the circle, when it throws its head back and ropes of black oily smoke vanish into the night’s sky.

“Fuck.” Sam watches the lifeless host crumble to the ground. He stands there – frozen. What the hell just happened?

 

*****

 

Sam summons two more Crossroads-Demons that night. At the same place.

Without avail.

Both smoke out, as soon as they recognize him and before he can get them anywhere close to the hidden devil’s trap.

That night, Sam gets drunk. Completely smashed.

He makes a stop at the liquor store not far away from his motel room; pays for two more days; locks himself in, and blasts a rich amount of brain-cells down his mental drain.

Not once, he let himself get anywhere near sober those couple of days.

Sam eventually leaves the motel behind and heads back south until he crosses the border of Kansas, where he lays low for another week. Again, he tries to summon a Demon, and fails once more.

After that, no matter which crossroad, or where, he doesn’t get to face another hellish creature.

 

*****

 

It’s another week later, when he changes his tactics.

Sam looks out for demon-signs or weird happenings which could be connected to a demon riding some poor human.

Lucky him, he eventually finds an article. Multiple deaths, where partners had tortured and killed their loved ones. Entire families had gotten slaughtered.

All of the ‘murderers’ claim, that they’ve not been themselves, and that they have felt as if they’ve been trapped inside their bodies and were only able to watch.

 

*****

 

It is – in fact – a demon messing around.

It doesn’t take Sam long to track that bastard down and eventually lure it into a trap. Tough thing is, Sam’s a little off his game lately. He has issues to keep his ‘issue’ under ‘control’ ever since getting a hold of Dean fades further and further into the distance. – And with it, his reasonings why he has to stick to his schedules, training and diet.

 

*****

 

Sam doesn’t get to know anything.

The demon doesn’t know anything about Dean or Alistair.

But, it does know, how to get out of bindings and a devil’s trap.

Long story short: The demon gets away – nearly unharmed – and Sam with an ugly gash on his chest.

For the quick learner he is, Sam manages to stitch himself up, as soon as he’s back at the motel-room of the week. The stitches aren’t pretty, but they’ll do.

When he’s done, and has cleaned up the mess he has caused, he gets undressed and heads for the bathroom, where he’ll take a much-needed and well-deserved hot shower.

Sam manages to relax his aching muscles under the hot spray of water. He hunches his shoulders forward; keeps his back towards it and let it cascade down his spine.

Soon, the dirty, reddish water turns clear and when it starts to cool, Sam lathers up his hair and rinses it clean, before it gets too cold.

Sam gets dried off and dressed in more comfortable clothes. He skips brushing his teeth and shaving for once, as he’s so ready to hit the hay.

As soon as he’s settled under the covers, and the lights are off, his mind is all but ready to shut down and fall asleep. He’ll do all the thinking on how to proceed tomorrow.

He’s not so lucky though.

It only feels like seconds after his eyes drift shut; on the border to drift off into a sweet blissful slumber, when a burning sensation lances through his left lower arm.

Sam’s wide awake in an instant and his body jolts into an upright position, before his mind can follow the instinctive reaction to the sharp pain.

He hisses; feels something cut into him and the warmth of blood welling over his skin and tickling his hairs. His heart beats a little faster; his breaths come in short puffs.

Sam scrambles for the small lamp on the nightstand and switches it on, before training his gaze at his left arm, to see.

His eyes take a second, before they focus on the shallow gashes marring his skin; and another one, before he realizes, that those gashes aren’t random.

They are cuts, representing actual letters and spell two simple words.

DON’T FOLLOW’, Sam reads and his eyes narrow. “Fuck you too, Dean.”, he mutters angrily.

Sam keeps staring at the cuts and blood for a very long time. He sucks in his lower lip and bites it; chews on it for at least as long, before he decides what to do.

He’d wish, he could let Dean know, that he doesn’t give a fuck about what he wants Sam to do. Sadly, Sam’s not able to send Dean an equal message back, despite that he’d love to. So, he does the only thing he can.

Sam turns the bedside-lamp off and lays back down. Despite exhaustion and sleepiness, Sam’s not about to fall asleep anytime soon. Instead, he stares – with wide eyes – at the ceiling.

 

*****

 

Another indefinite amount of weeks later …

Dean’s pretty busy lately.

Now, he knows ‘where’ to find Alistair. There’s a place he seemingly likes to stay every now and then since he’s top-stairs.

Okay, it’s not that much, what Dean knows, but at least he knows about this place.

He only has to figure out what and where this place is, and when Alistair is going to be there. – Aside from a few other informations of course. Like, how many demons will be there and are there guards or wards protecting that place and Alistair …

Dean has holed up in a small nice town; in a very nice small motel smack in the middle of it.

Currently, he’s sitting in the town’s only diner and is wooing Maggie – his waitress – once again. She’s playing hard to get – a challenge so to say – but Dean’s getting there.

Constant dripping wears the stone.

Even when she’s a little older than his usual prey.

Maggie is a nice piece of granite; refuses to give into his charms and sweet words.

Maggie ain’t a youngster anymore; surely already in her late fifties, but she definitely got something … Maybe, it’s her hazel-eyes with flecks of golden in them. Maybe, it are those adorable dimples or her soft-looking chestnut-brown hair (it has a few grey spots, but who the fuck gives a shit?).

Dean’s been playing this sort of game multiple times since he has left the Salvage and Sam behind. He had found himself someone nice in nearly each town he had stopped in.

Though – truth be told – he’s only had been interested for so long, as it had taken to get them to give into his charms.

Long story short: Little Dean doesn’t seem too eager to get anywhere near someone, who’s not SAM.

It’s frustrating, embarrassing, and unsettling, and so not Dean.

And don’t you think, he hadn’t tried – HARD. Dean had. But … in the end, he couldn’t.

Maggie brings his order.

Double-Bacon-Cheese-Burger with onion rings and French fries and an extra-coke, when the phone in the front-pocket of his jeans starts to vibrate.

First, Dean decides to ignore it, and have his burger before it gets cold. It’s not that he’d know anyone important who he’d be eager to get in touch with.

The vibrations eventually stop, and start again after a couple of minutes. Weirdly, they appear more urgent now; more demanding.

They stop again.

Dean’s not even half through his burger, when his pocket starts off in a rhythmic buzz once more, and he dumps his burger on the plate with a groan. He wipes his fingers on the napkin and pulls the phone from his pocket.

Without looking, he picks up and moves it to his ear, while licking along the front-row of his teeth and sucks off the remnants of the tasty sauce from his fingertips.

“Yeah?”, he snaps.

A beat of silence.

“Hello? Is this Dean?” Female, maybe in her thirties, self-unconscious as fuck, but has a cute voice – Dean assesses.

He straightens up and his forehead furrows; gaze trained at the fast-cooling food before him. “Yes. – And who-“, the fuck, “-are you? Where’d you get this number?” Dean’s pissed.

There’s a sharp intake of air coming through the speaker. “This is Doctor Martha Grey, Memorial Hospital, Fort Carson.”

Dean’s eyebrows draw a tight line. Did he ever have a hookup there? If yes, did he give that chick his true name and number? – Not that he could remember. And even if, he’d surely could remember if he’d ever had a kinky doc. On top of that, he figures, if so, she wouldn’t introduce herself that formal.

“Okay …” Because, what’s Dean supposed to say?

“A few weeks ago, a John Doe has been admitted.”

Dean’s frown deepens. Nice – so none of his business though. “What’s got that to do with me?” Could he possibly be in someone’s contact list except for Cas, Bobby and Sam (and a hand full of hook-ups of course, who he’d never attempted to call back)? High likely not.

“We have found a phone in John’s personal belongings, and it happens, that you are the first person I have tried to call, and who actually picked up.” She’s careful about the choice of her words. “Besides … your number is the only one, which pops up in his contact list … so …”

Interesting. “So?”

“So, we are looking for relatives and/or friends of our patient.”

Dean puckers his lips and sighs heavily. “You’ve got a description of said John Doe, Lady?”

Doctor Martha Grey clears her throat. The rustling of papers is clearly heard. “Young man, 6.4ft tall, about 180 pounds, probably in his thirties, green-brown eyes, brown hair.”

Dean shifts and pushes the plate with the burger from him; suddenly more nauseous than hungry. His mood shifts immediately.

Sam’s been admitted a few weeks ago; and they just now thought about going through his phone? They don’t have his name; which probably means, they can’t ask him, or Sam can’t answer.

“Healed incisions on the inside of his lower left arm?”, Dean asks; his body getting ready to move.

The doctor hums. “Yes, Sir. – Along with several other older scars.” Relief swings in her voice.

“How bad?”, he asks; his voice a little softer than before.

“First, I’d need to know how you’re related to him. – And, I’m afraid, I need an ID to proof who you are, before I can tell you anything.”

Fuck. “Just … tell me how bad.”

The doc hesitates. “Bad.”

“Where exactly is the hospital? – I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Dean’s already pulling the wallet from his pocket and clamps the phone between his ear and shoulder.

She gives him the address. “I am sure, John will be happy to see a familiar face.”

Dean swallows around the growing grapefruit in his throat, which is constricting his airways.

So, Sam’s conscious. He has to be, if she tells him, that he’s going to be happy to see a familiar face, right?

Fuck. Damn it. Shit. Son of a damn fucking bitch.

Sam. His name’s Sam. And I’m his brother.” … ‘cause boyfriend – or none-blood-related people – probably won’t get to know shit.

 

*****

Chapter Text

A/N:

The topics and descriptions of how the characters feel about certain things (treatments), do in no aspect mirror the author’s beliefs. I do not attempt to let psychiatrists look ‘bad’, neither does the writer judge how they decide to treat their patients and what they think is good for them.

They studied those things & I assume most of them know what they are doing. They deserve our respect.

Besides that, I’m sorry, I had to split ‘The Clusterfuck’ chapters up, or else the entire thing would’ve had close to 10 000 words – what’s definitely a little too much for my liking. It also makes proof-reading annoying.

But, I’ll update the chapters quicker, so you hopefully won’t have to reread the previous ones. 😉

 

Chapter 37 ~ The Clusterfuck 1

 

Turns out, Fort Carson is in Colorado, and Dean’s near Cedar Rapids, Iowa – a 13-hour’s drive with a whole lot of construction zones in his way. If he goes there straight. What he can’t.

He needs to take precautions.

Like, Fake-IDs, which would proof that they’re relatives, and an insurance number for Sam (which is going to be fake too, of course). Everything, that wouldn’t scream FRAUD the very moment they’d lay eyes on them and start to look shit up. Dean has to assume – since Sam’s a John Doe in their system – that the authorities have already been involved.

Their – foremost Sam’s papers - have to be temporarily waterproof. Dean can go off the radar any given time; Sam, who’s human and has to deal with human shit, not so much.

Two years ago, he would’ve laughed at himself for even thinking about shit like that. He would’ve thought of himself as a wimp; a weak, emotional ‘being’.

When it comes to Sam, he doesn’t give a shit about that. Not when it’s as serious as it had sounded on the phone.

Because, fuck, it’s bad. And if a doctor says it’s bad, it has to, right?

Therefore, Dean won’t make it there until late afternoon, when calculating two stops for gas and the small detour to meet Ash and the amount of time it’ll take to get their ID’s done.

Not even, if he floors the gas petal.

This sucks. He wishes, he could teleport; zap himself to the hospital.

Thousands of thoughts and emotions swarm his mind and body, and despite the open windows, and the not so warm temperatures outside, Dean’s hot all over. His insides are on fire; the pit of his soul filled with smoldering embers.

He’s been recalling, what he’s been doing those past weeks. Where he has been, and if there’ve been any fights.

And yeah, there have been. Hellhounds, for one, and a circle of witches had tried to get the drop on him. But there have been no injuries – except for minor bruises and a few scratches. Nothing severe. Nothing, that could’ve caused Sam to end up in a hospital.

But that doesn’t mean, that he’s not been hurt. Maybe, he has had an encounter with some demon, who didn’t take Dean’s threats too serious (because, yeah, of course there are idiots out there too). Or, Alistair hand a change of mind, and had sent hell’s besties after Sam too.  

A weird emotion of threat mixed with anxiety rules over him; makes him nervous and jittery – inside. Not knowing, what has happened to Sam and in what state he will be in, when he finally gets to see him – after nearly an entire year – does things to Dean.

Coldness creeps into his limbs.

Maybe he shouldn’t have left … Maybe, he should’ve stayed with Sam, and maybe he should’ve included him. After all – almost a year later – he’s not really a lot closer to get to Alistair as he’s been before. And he definitely hadn’t made things better – by the looks of it.

Besides – since quite some time – he’s been thinking a whole lot about NOT pulling himself out of this equation. He’s been thinking, about – actually – refraining from killing himself.

There are several reasons for that (not really), aside from Sam. Because – what if Dean would give it a shot despite of all the things which could go south? Despite the fact, that Sam’s going to grow old, but Dean won’t?

He can still end his existence later on, right? In case it doesn’t work out, or Sam dies … he has the Colt, and he still can off himself at any given point – after Alistair is dead, of course.

There’s not really a profound reason to not go back to Sam – try to make it up to him and all that shit – AFTER Alistair is dead. Because, that bastard really deserves to be put down (and to break the spell of course).

There are a few things he has to think of. Most of all, he shouldn’t lose his shit just now – he’ll have time for that later on.

He’s going to call Bobby and let him know, that Sam’s ‘okay’. Because, he can’t let the old man keep worrying, right? It wouldn’t be fair.

Fair. That’s quite a word for a Demon.

Truth be told, Dean’s been thinking one hell of a lot about what Sam had said to him. He had been pondering the idea of doing good stuff, instead of what he’d done before – what he still does (on occasion, because he just can’t help it).

And it sort of works – to his huge surprise.

Dean’s still short-tempered and his mood-swings ain’t getting better either, but he’s working on that too. He’s still himself – but though different – sort of. At least he doesn’t snap necks just for the sake of it; or because he simply feels like it. He thinks before doing something, that might’s not a nice thing.

Hey, he has even helped an old lady across the street (she didn’t know first, that she wanted to, but once on the other side, she didn’t seem that mad anymore) … and he haven’t killed the hosts of the Demons he had been torturing. – Neither did he left them to die.

Nope. He’s been dumping them in front of ERs insofar they’ve been surviving his interrogations.

He’s doing more things the way humans do them – the way, SAM would handle them, if he’s being honest.

He asks for stuff – instead of just taking it. He doesn’t lure people to do shit by letting them breathe in a junk of himself – except it’s necessary. Okay, to be honest, sometimes, Dean just can’t help himself and let people have a little fun though.

It’s not as if he’s doing harm to any of them …

What’s not bad – for starters – is it?

So, he calls Bobby about half-way through Nebraska, when he stops to gas Baby up and grab a few snacks.

Old-Grumpy showers him with quite some nasty, not very polite names before Dean can utter a ‘hello’.

Dean let him. He probably deserves it. No. Dean damn well deserves it.

Bobby would only stop, when Dean finally tells him that “It’s about Sam”.

These three words. So harmless, if it weren’t for the both of them knowing that they aren’t harmless at all – considering the world they’re aware of living in.

“What happened?”, is what he asks after a sharp intake of air.

Dean can’t tell him; he himself doesn’t know yet. “No clue. Sam’s been admitted to a hospital weeks ago. – I know nothing so far. They wouldn’t tell me. But I’m on my way.”

Silence from the other end of the line. “You’re on your way? – Means you’re goin’ there?”

Dean growls inwardly. Yeah, what the hell does ‘I’m on my way’ would mean other than that he’s on his way? “Yep.”

“Did they say somethin’? How is he?”

Dean pulls a grimace. “I’ll know when I get there. Wouldn’t tell me anything.” … except that it’s ‘bad’, which he surely won’t tell Bobby until he has seen Sam himself.

“’kay. – Tell me where to, and I’m on my way.”

“No.”, he says, before thinking about it closer. It may sound selfish, but Dean’s sure, if he and Bobby are going to show up there, Sam’d rather choose Bobby than him.

Which he honestly doesn’t want to happen.

He has quite some things to set right with Sam; and he can’t have Bobby around for that. Chances are high, that he’ll have Sam’s back and talk him into not listening to Dean, or something like that.

He knows, it’s not fair to Sam and that he’s taking away a solid shoulder to rely on, but Dean needs to get a lot of things out of his system before he let go of Sam, if Sam wants him to let go – of course.

“What do you mean ‘NO’?” It’s a justified question. Why the hell not?

Dean bites his lower lip and grips the steering wheel hard. “Look.” C’mon Winchester. Something, anything to keep Old-Grumpy’s ass parked at the Salvage. “We don’t even know what happened. Maybe, I’ll have to bust him outta there and we’ll need a place to go …”

Bobby hopefully gets the hint, even though, Dean might be lying to him. He’s not yet sure if he’ll take them to the Salvage; if he’s only going to dump Sam’s ass there; or if he’s just going to ride into the sunset with Sam. (He’s pretty sure, the latter won’t happen, but even a Demon can hope, right?)

We?”, Bobby’s pissed again. “What do you mean, ‘WE’? You drugged us, took off. You left Sam. – He’s been … hurting, devasted. – You stay away from him.”

The hell Dean’s going to stay away from Sam. “I know you’re mad.” Dean, you can do this. Jump over your shadow, and for ONCE, don’t be a dick. “Mad probably won’t cover it. – But, look … I only called to let you know that I know where Sam is, and that I’m on my way there, and … That I’m gonna bring him back to the Salvage.” … maybe.

“Who says Sam’s willing to see you? Talk to you? Go with you?”, Bobby asks curiously. There’s venom dripping from every syllable.

“He’ll have to, Bobby.”, Is all Dean says, before hanging up and throwing the phone on the seat beside him.

One thing is for sure, whatever has happened to get Sam into a hospital and into whatever condition, he won’t leave him a choice. He’ll talk to him; set things right; maybe take him back to the Salvage and make him stay there, until Alistair is dead and the spell hopefully undone.

Dean’s not going to take any chances anymore. He needs to know, that Sam’s going to be in a safe place, and that he is going to stay there. Even if it is going to require drastic measures to make sure of it.

 

*****

 

Dean’s a nervous, emotional mess, when he pulls down the parking lot of the hospital and finds a nice place for his Baby at the very back. Where – hopefully – she’d be as safe as she can be. Without some asshat messing her up by slamming a car’s door into her side.

Dean takes their new-born IDs from the glove compartment and stores them in his wallet; then heads straight for the reception where a nurse pages the doctor in charge – Martha Grey.

It’s only a couple of minutes Dean has to wait, but they feel like an eternity, and worse than hell, actually, until a stocky, slightly chubby woman in scrubs appears, who is calling for a ‘Dean Frehley’.  

She has her black hair tugged into a tight bun and her long, golden earrings twinkle, when she stops in her tracks and looks around the foyer.

Her clinical expression softens, when she spots Dean, who is hurrying towards her.

“Dean Frehley?”, she asks, when he skids to a halt in front of her.

“The one and only.” He fumbles for his wallet pulls out his and Sam’s IDs out, and shows them to her. “Proof enough?”

She stifles a surprised laugh. “Yeah … well. Okay.” She casts a brief look at the IDs, then waves at them. “We can do this in my office.” The doctor says and gestures to follow her.

Dean shakes his head. “I wanna see Sam.” Fuck the office-talk. He’s been driving for the better part of an entire day and he certainly ain’t eager to let any more time go to waste.

“Before that, we need to talk.”, she tells him and tugs on the sleeve of his leather-jacket.

Dean doesn’t give an inch. “We can talk later.” Right the fuck now, he has to make sure, that it’s truly Sam they’re talking about, and that Sam’s okay.

“Your brother’s not going anywhere, ‘kay? – We need to talk first.”, she tells him, and before he can protest, she’s ushering him down the corridor towards the elevators.

On the third floor, they get off and head down another corridor, until they pass through a door, which reads ‘Psychiatric Ward’.

Confusion hits Dean unfiltered. He has run a lot of scenarios through in his mind, but surely not one, which would lead him into a psychiatric ward.

He reaches for her shoulder to stop her, before she can open the door for which’s handle she is reaching for.

“Wait. – I’m here for Sam. My brother.”, he tells her; confusion seeping through. “You called me …”

Doctor Martha Grey casts a look up and over her shoulder to meet Dean’s eyes.

The sorrow in her eyes let him stop mid-sentence.

“Yes.”, she answers, and smiles at him in a very odd way. “I know. – I’d rather not talk about this out here.”

Dean nods. Okay. Sounds not very promising. – Promising as in ‘let’s blow this joint and hightail out of town promising’.

They enter and Dean sits down on a leather-couch.

Her office – just like the ward – don’t look a lot like hospital. It’s kinda ‘cozy’. The colors are soft pastels, which paint the walls and create a comfortable atmosphere. The furniture isn’t clinical at all. The chairs are cushioned and there are plenty of colorful pictures and accessories.

Dean takes a look around the generous office.

“You’re a shrink.”, he declares – a little dismissive, because he can’t help it.

She chuckles and nods. “I am a psychiatrist, yes.” Doctor Grey waves at him and reaches for a file, which she has obviously prepared beforehand.

“I’ll get a nurse later, so you can do the formalities together; fill out forms …”, she trails off, while she opens the file. “… You know your brother’s insurance number, right?” Doctor Grey lifts her gaze to look at Dean.

He nods; his throat clogged, when he watches her lower her gaze back down to read in the file.

So …”, he wills his vocal cords to operate with his mind, “… I’m … I think this’s a misunderstanding.”

The doctor shakes her head and tugs something from the file. “I’m almost certain it isn’t.”

It’s a picture, which she shows to Dean. A portrait, taken of Sam – obviously after he’s been admitted.

“Is this your brother?”

The light isn’t really favorable, and surely everyone would look horrible on a picture like that, but … Sam looks awful.

He’s pale, and his hair covers the left side of his face – mostly - where a bruise lingers dark and angry behind greasy strands of chestnut-brown hair. A pair of dull, empty eyes stare back at him; framed by dark circles.

Dean doesn’t have to see more of him, to know, that something’s so very wrong.

He only nods. Yes, he is. But that can’t be.

Sam’s not supposed to … look like that. He shouldn’t be here either.

Dean’s face changes into a grim grimace.

“What the hell happened?” He looks up, when the doctor tugs the photo back into the file. “Isn’t he … He doesn’t look as if he’s in a coma … So …” Why haven’t he told them who he is? And how come, he had ended up here?

She sighs heavily and leans back. “I hoped you could fill in the blanks?”

Dean nods. Then shakes his head. Then nods again. “We … haven’t seen each other in nearly a year now.” His features derail for a moment. “We haven’t parted at the best of terms, you know …”

She hums and lowers the open file onto the table, before she leans back. A flash of disappointment crosses her features.

“Did he have problems in the past? – Considering his mental health? Anything you’d know of?”

Dean shakes his head; bewildered and now more nervous and anxious than before. “No. – He’s never … I mean, he has had a boyfriend, who’s been kind of an ass. Sam’s been struggling for a while, I guess, but he’s been doing better.” Dean’s definitely referring to Nicolas. “… he’s had panic attacks.” Dean holds her scrutinizing gaze. “… Why do you ask?”

She clears her throat, then pries a smile to her face, which surely is supposed to look soft, but it turns out a little bitter.

“Because Sam has - what I’d call a psychotic break caused by – what I assume –a severe trauma.” She makes a pause.

“A psychotic break? Sam?”, Dean asks in disbelief. No way. No fucking way. Sam haven’t had a mental meltdown when he got to know about demons; neither, when he had learned about monsters, nor after everything that has happened between and after that.

Sam’s a tough guy.

She nods pensively; still eying Dean as if he’s the solution to the problem. He feels a little invaded by her intent, searching looks.

“Doc. – Just tell me what’s happened. Whatever he’s done, I’m sure there’s a valid reason.”

Doctor Grey eyes him some more – not less intent.

“Your brother has been brought into the ER after a car-crash.”

Dean straightens up and frowns at her; alarmed.

“A hit and run, as it looks like. The driver of the other car hasn’t been found, as far as I am concerned. The car, which hit your brother’s had been stolen … So … Anyway. He must’ve had a guardian angel, since he’s got away with two broken ribs, a concussion and bruises – nothing severe.”

She pauses again.

Dean stares at her. Fine. But that doesn’t explain why he has ended up here. “Doesn’t sound as if it’d require a stay on at psychiatric ward to me.”

“True. But, after he had recovered, he had tried to kill himself. – He has shattered the mirror in the bathroom and has managed to open one of his wrists, before we could intervene. Sam’s been highly aggressive towards the nurses when they tried to help …”, she trails off, visibly troubled and unlucky with the choice of words.

Dean snorts. “Sam wouldn’t harm a fly, doc. – I doubt that he’d get ‘aggressive’ towards anyone.” Nope, Sam wouldn’t. Neither would he attempt to kill himself. That wouldn’t be the Sam he knows.

“Maybe ‘aggressive’ ain’t the right word. Maybe, ‘desperate’ would fit better. I am not sure, since he won’t talk to anyone since the incident. He’s been moved here after it …” Doctor Grey bites her lower lip. “I think, that – for whatever reasons – he has given up.” Her eyes narrow slightly. “Your brother is suicidal, Dean. – He has tried to bite his wrists open only a few days later.”

Dean scoffs. “What?”

“I know, this may be hard to believe. – Most people are very practiced in hiding such feelings from their relatives; close ones.”

Dean wants to tell her real bad, that Sam must have his reasons to act the way he does; and that he sure ain’t suicidal. And then, he wants to go to Sam’s room; drag his ass out of here and kick it into next week, so he’d get his shit back together.

Because … All Dean can think of is: WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?

There honestly ain’t a lot more he can think. This feels surreal and wrong, as if he’s been catapulted into a badly written, awfully dramatic C-Movie-Spinoff-Fanfiction of some chick in her mid-thirties who tries to escape her boring day to day life.

He swallows. “Can I see him now?” Dean won’t believe a single word, until he sees it for himself.

She sighs. “Yes.” Then nods. “One more thing though.”

Dean casts her a what-is-it-look and a questioning there’s-more-look.

“Sam has gone on a hunger strike. – Furthermore, the medications he gets, make him sleepy and loopy at the beginning. Which should fade by the end of next week, and he should be more himself again.”

“You drugged him?” Now, Dean’s getting a little uneasy – and angry, what’s clearly audible in his voice. “You drugged my-“ He stops himself from saying mate. “-brother?”

There’s a brief flicker of something in her eyes. “It’s been necessary.”

“I wanna see him. Right-“, the fuck, “-now.”

Doctor Grey nods. “Of course.” With a sigh, Grey gets to her feet. “Ten minutes only, though. We’re past the visiting-hours, and Sam needs rest.”

Rest, my ass. They don’t know it yet, but as far as Dean is concerned, Sam’s not gonna stay here any longer than he thinks is necessary. – What – by the way – is no longer than it takes to haul his ass to the Impala.

Whatever it takes to fix Sam, he sure as hell is gonna do a better job at it than the doc does. ‘cause, giving him drugs? Really?

So, he follows her – wordlessly – out of the office and along the corridor, until they stop in front of a greenish door with the number 307 on it.

“He will get better, as soon as the medication works.”, she tells him, when she’s turning around to look at Dean once more. “I promise.”

The doc sounds sincere.

Dean doesn’t believe, that their treatment will fix anything though. He’d rather take matters into his own hands. An assumption of which Dean thinks only proofs itself, when they enter the room and his eyes immediately land on the bed, where Sam’s wrists are restrained by padded leather-cuffs to either side of the bed.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 38 ~ The Clusterfuck 2

 

It’s all a blur.

Colors bleed into one another. The walls and furniture feel like they’re one thing, and though they are not. Everything seems to be one huge pulsing being, and Sam’s in it’s very middle. His mind and body buzz in union with his surroundings.

The mattress – so soft and though firm beneath him – and on top of him the covers … it’s like a cocoon, and though it’s not. It’s everything and nothing.

Everything around him exists, despite that it feels like it doesn’t. It’s eerie and though soothing, Sam has decided a while ago.

He feels like floating most of the time. Sometimes, that feeling would start to fade, and then someone would come; then there’d be a pinch, and he’d start drifting again.

Sam can’t remember – well, he can – but on a very different level as it seems. Everything before the state he is in now seems so far far away; nearly out of reach. He’s able to look at his past from a distance.

Sam decided, that that’s a good thing too; because he came to know, that it makes all the things that had happened less bad; they make him feel less bad.

It’s not, as if it would matter anyway.

Sam is through with what people would call a life.

He’s been searching for a purpose for a very long time – another purpose than the one and only which had counted for him as the most important anyway.

To find Dean. And to kick his ass.

All too soon, it started to feel like a fight against windmills, to be honest. Dean must have made sure, no one would tell Sam anything.

So, Sam had started to live with knowing that Dean’s still out there – somewhere – on the hunt for Alistair. He had even tried to move on – as good as possible anyway.

But then, there’d come those constant reminders of Dean; a hurtful feel of loss and grief.

Here a bruise.

There a scratch …

Mostly little things; nothing too painful or severe.

And Sam had started to think, that maybe, it’s better to die than carry on living like this. Obviously, he can’t live with Dean, but neither can he without him. He couldn’t even get himself to think of Dean as his ‘ex’.

And maybe he’s just crazy, or stupid or both. A normal person, would’ve moved on, right? Someone not as idiotic as him, would’ve said: Fuck this shit. Fuck Dean. He can go, where the sun doesn’t shine. If he doesn’t care about me, why am I supposed to care about him?

But it’s not that easy, when there are hard feelings involved. It’s never easy, when you love someone as mad as Sam has fallen for Dean.

Sam doesn’t like to think about Dean. It always hurts.

He rather keeps on floating and drifting, until he’ll get sucked into merciful darkness.

Sometimes, sounds make it through the cloudy haze engulfing his mind and earthly shell. He’s well aware, when the room’s door is opened and when it gets closed. When someone talks to him, or touches him.

Sam could answer. It’s not as if he’s been robbed of the ability to speak. He just had decided, that he doesn’t want to.

He doesn’t want to listen. He doesn’t want to use his vocal cords – or any other part of his body for that matter – at all.

He’s done with this. So done.

---

Sam seems to be out cold under an egg-yellow comforter; his eyes closed. Dean knows better though. His breaths are a little too quick; a little not deep enough.

Dean bites his tongue hard, so to stop himself from sputtering insults at the doctor, who is standing in the doorway. He examines Sam’s motionless form while he walks over to him; not paying attention to anything else.

It takes Dean a moment, but he eventually reaches out and brushes strands of hair out of Sam’s face, and ghosts with his fingertips along Sam’s sharp jaw and the fading bruise.

“He’s lost weight.”, Dean states without looking anywhere but Sam’s face; his prominent cheekbones and three days worth of scruff. “From when I’ve last seen him.”

“Since he’s here, definitely. – For before – I can’t tell. But he’s not been in a very good shape to start with.”

Dean swallows down a growl and casts a reproachful and then defiant look her way. “We’re good. I’d like to be alone with him.”

She nods. “Press the call-button if you need anything.” Though, she seems hesitant, she leaves the room and closes the door behind her.

---

There are voices, who interfere the soothing buzz surrounding him. They break those calming waves like a stone dropped into silent waters.

Sam catches echoes of footfalls. They are heavy; vibrate in the atmosphere and charr in his ears in a nearly painful way.

There’s a low, husky voice so very close to him. It swings in the same way as the buzz and seems to float upon those waves and washes over him.

Though it’s disturbing, it sure ain’t quite nice either.

It takes Sam a moment to recognize it; get the thought of it being familiar through the thick haze of fog.

“You shouldn’t have come.”, he hears himself say. Even his own voice sounds all alien to him.

The voice, deep and comforting says something, but Sam loses the meaning of it somewhere between one section of his brain and the other.

“Go away.”, he tells him.

Dean has no right to be here; see him; even talk to him. He has left him; abandoned him; and then he had taken care of, that no one would help him find Dean.

And now, that he’s practically accepted the inevitable, he’s supposed to find new hope?

No, thank you very much.

---

Dean quirks an eyebrow. “Figured you’re not asleep.” Though, definitely dopey. “So … wanna share with the class? How come you’ve ended up here; and wouldn’t tell them shit about you?”

The only answer is a twitch of Sam’s nose.

Dean snorts. “You ready to ditch this place?”, he keeps his voice soft and low.

Sam wiggles his nose.

“Don’t tell me you wanna stay here.” Dean’s almost certain he doesn’t want to; isn’t supposed to want to stick around a bunch of crazy people.

---

Sam’s not quite sure where ‘here’ is. But he’s almost certain, that he doesn’t want to go anywhere, except into the light maybe. If there’s one at the end of his tunnel anyway.

“Why’d you come?”

Dean says something about ‘home’ and that he’s going to take him there, and that he’ll make sure Sam’ll get better and that he’s going to take care of him.

Sam laughs hysterically – inwardly.

Maybe Dean’s going to take him ‘home’, but even if he really cares that much, it’s only going to be Dean dumping him at Bobby’s – probably.

No, thank you very much. He doesn’t need that either.

Sam only wants to get rid of the despair and pain, and this place seems as good as any to him. He wouldn’t want Bobby to see him like this – a disappointment. ‘Cause, that’s what he is; that’s how he feels about himself.

He hadn’t managed to do a single thing right in his life – not ever. He had screwed up constantly; had made the wrong choices over and over again.

Back when he’s been younger, getting involved with the wrong people; landing on the streets; doing whatever it took to survive in the big bad city. And then, when he finally had gotten a grip on his life again; had an apartment, a job, normal friends, he had taken off with Nick – and everyone knows how that had worked out. Then came Dean

His mom – Jody – would rotate in her grave; she’d be so utterly disappointed in him and what he has made of his life.

Sam just wants to vanish in a sinkhole and never come back.

Sadly, it’s not as easy. The ground wouldn’t miraculously open up and swallow him. It doesn’t work that way. If he wants to do something about his presence on earth, he has to do it himself.

Dying ain’t easy too, as it turns out. He’s been drinking himself into oblivion on multiple occasions; had thought about putting a bullet to his brain. But, that ain’t easy-going either.

Sam just couldn’t pull the trigger; as if this tiny spark of hope, the will to live and survive had still its foot in the door and made it unable for his rational mind to close it.

The car-crash. Another thing, Sam wouldn’t understand. No one would get out of that heap of dented metal and broken glass as unharmed as he did.

The doctors called it a miracle. Sam swings with rough luck.

He seems to have a very special guardian angel watching over him – one, that’s fighting his fight and won’t let him give up that easily.

Some people would call him lucky.

Sam doesn’t feel lucky at all.

---

Sam scoffs. Fuck you too, is what it sounds like. “Home …”, he murmurs.

“The Salvage? Bobby?” Dean frowns down at him; trying to will Sam to open his eyes by staring. “Won’t you even try and look at me?”

“You’ve left. I thought we’ve got something. And then you left. And I was kinda alone. I’ve tried to make a life; tried to hunt. Did hunt. It didn’t work though, I guess. I don’t need you. Don’t need anyone.”, Sam rambles and continues babbling weird shit until his voice fades away.

“I think you do.” Back then, leaving Sam at the Salvage had seemed a brilliant idea. He thought, Old-Grumpy and Feathers would be enough – if necessary – to catch Sam’s fall.

Obviously, he’s been wrong. Maybe, leaving Sam behind had caused quite some damage; and then, taking care, that he won’t get a chance to find Dean has sealed his deal. 

Sam grumbles something and sighs deeply.

 “I’ll bust you out anyway, Smartass.” Because Sam’s no nutcase, and Dean sure won’t make the same mistake twice.

“Don’ you dare, Asshole.”, Sam grumbles.

“Oh, Baby Boy. You’ll see where that attitude ‘s gonna get’cha with me.” Dean’s not offended; okay, maybe a little bit. But not too much. Sam sure wants to sound mad; and he probably is; of which Dean is aware.

But now, Dean’s here, right? He’s here and he will fix this since he figures, it’s at least partially his fault too. And even if not – he couldn’t get himself to leave Sam as long as he’s like this.

“Leave me be.”, Sam murmurs.

Oh, Sam maybe wishes it’d be that easy. Dean has no intention to leave him be; nor let them continue to pump him full of psycho-shit-pills and stupid shrink-talks.

That ain’t gonna help Sam one bit. Not with all that crap poisoning his system. To get back to his senses he needs to be sober.

 

*****

 

Exactly ten minutes after Dean had been led into Sam’s room, the doctor knocks; creaks the door open, peers into the room, and tells Dean that the time’s up.

Well, Dean Winchester doesn’t give a shit. “Tell you what, lady. As I see it, you guys only managed to drug him, cuff him and fuck shit up worse. – He’s barely coherent, so how is that medication supposed to help him, if he’s not able to work through his problems with a clear mind?”

Doctor Grey stares at him – stunned – for a long moment. Then her features morph and end up at the borders of annoyance. “Well, as I explained before: It takes time for the medication to work. It’s common, that patients are sleepy first, but they’ll get better. Feel better.” She’s definitely offended now. “The meds we are giving your brother will make him more open for suggestions.”

Wow, brainwash 2.0. Peachy.

“What you’re doing is to brainwash him.”, Dean tells her straight away. “He’s not going to stay here. I’ll take him to his uncle. It’s a quiet and nice place to recover, where he’s surrounded by people who know him, and care about him. He’ll have what he needs there. And if it turns out, that he needs other support than his family’s, he’ll get it.”

She stares at him defiantly. “I don’t think so, Mister Frehley. Only because you are his brother doesn’t mean you can take him with you, because you think we’re not treating him right.”

Dean snorts. He’s tempted to flash his black eyes at her; spook her a little. Scare her off, and make her sign Sam’s papers, so they wouldn’t have – yet again – authorities look for him, because he’s vanished from a hospital without a trace.

Doctor Grey steps into the room, and then closes the door behind her. “I do understand, that you’re upset. But it’s for the best if Sam stays here for a while longer, where he’ll be watched 24/7. You won’t be able to do that at your uncle’s.”

The doc has no clue what they’re able to do. He’s sure – would stake his life on it – that Bobby would do everything humanly possible to help Sam get through this episode of stupidity.

“You’ve no idea what I’m capable of.”

She stares at him, an unreadable expression on her face. Slowly, but surely, her expression starts to shift and deform, until a vicious smirk tugs her lips skywards.

“Is that so, Winchester.” She sighs dramatically, and her eyes turn obsidian.

Dean tenses, instantly shifting into a defensive stance between HER and Sam. He snarls at her; followed by a very non-human sound.

Dean can’t believe, that he hasn't sensed the darkness within her earlier; that he has missed the rotten odor of her foul soul, which -just now - penetrates his nose....

“I would’ve liked to keep your little boy-toy a while longer – as my very personal lab-rat. – ‘s fun to watch how human minds react to several kinds of ‘medications’; and how they influence their bodies.”, she sneers.

 

 

*****

 

Alistair – he’s wearing the driver from the ambulance as his host again - thrones in his wooden, ancient looking, armchair behind a huge desk. Before him, a set of pens – neatly arranged, a brass bowl and a knife right beside it.

Not far off to his left, in the giant, generously furnished room, are two equally big cages (with enough room for a tall, grown man to stand upright), of which only one is not occupied at the moment, as it’s the one, the ambulance driver is usually held in.

Each of the cages contains a chair; a cot, a table and two buckets.

One of them inhabits a tall, blonde, blue-eyed guy in trucker clothes. Nicolas Munroe.

He sits on the chair, at the table, staring at a plate before him. On it is a burger and fries. It smells and looks freshly cooked, but from where a bite is missing, maggots well out from between the meat and lettuce and writhe their thick short bodies as if they’re in agony.

A young man, barely twenty, walks through the huge wooden door at the furthest end from where Alistair is sitting and approaches him.

“Master.”, he says, when he stops in front of the desk and lowers his head briefly to show Alistair his honors, “Dean Winchester’s human has survived the hit and run – as you wished. Dean has arrived at the hospital as you have foreseen.”

Alistair quirks a satisfied smile. “Looks like Dean’s about to get back on track.” His smile widens and turns malevolent, when he leans back and tilts his head to stare up at the ceiling; where a pentagram made of human parts is mounted.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 39 ~ The Clusterfuck 3

 

Room 307, Psychiatric Ward, Memorial Hospital, Fort Carson, Colorado …

Dean squares his shoulders; not letting the demonic bitch out under his watch. “S’pose you’ve been involved into the hit and run? Made sure Sam’s gonna end up in hospital? To what … Lure me here? – This a trap?”

Doctor Grey shrugs. “Pretty much sums it up, yeah.” She winks at him. “Have a message to deliver, ya know?”

Dean’s eyes narrow and he guides his hand behind his back, where his demon-killing-knife is tugged away. “Who says I’m takin’ the message?”

She cackles and waves at him. “Alistair wants to remember you, that: There ain’t no him if there ain’t no you. Oh, and – I’m supposed to add, that there ain’t no you without him either. Aside from that, you aren’t supposed to stay away from each other for too long, Dean.” She wiggles her nose. “Alistair said, you’d know what that means.”

Seemingly, there seems to be more to the spell as formerly assumed. If it works both ways, then, maybe, Sam’s urge to seek Dean out and the resulting condition he is in now, isn’t only Sam’s messed up mind, but maybe – too, or entirely – the spell’s doing.

What’d be freakin’ awesome, ain’t it?

The doctor hums. “I’m also supposed to let you know, that he has probably forgot to mention, that – the longer you’re separated – the worse it’s going to turn out for your human.” She gestures at the bed. “Probably the reason why he’s ended up here in the first place.”

Dean growls at her; his fingertips brush along the blade’s handle. She could be telling the truth. It’d be alike Alistair to only fill him in on half of the deal and leave him to figure out the rest.

Dean should’ve known, that there had to be more to it; way more. He should’ve known, that Alistair would consider every single possibility about Dean’s actions; that he’d make sure that there’s no getting away for him – not even when he’d take precautions and leave Sam somewhere ‘safe’, where someone would have an eye on him 24/7.

“And now? – What’s supposed to happen now?”, Dean asks carefully.

The doctor smirks at him. “Well, the easiest thing would be for you to come with me and submit to Alistair.”, she proposes; but obviously doesn’t count on it being that easy. “Or, things continue to be as they are. You’re hunted; tied to the human, drag him around with you; might as well get your host fatally wounded and the human dies … Or, he’s gonna die when his time’s up. No matter how or when, his soul’s gonna go to hell. Except – of course – you come back. Then, Alistair considers to let his soul off the hook. Oh, and … there’s another detail you might not be aware of, Dean.” She sneers at him. “Since your souls are bound together, yours will be ripped from your host too and you’ll be dragged back right into the pit with him. Either way, you’ll come back and rejoin us.”

Dean snorts. “Sam’s soul can’t be on hell’s list.” No way in hell that’s possible. Sam’s never done something – at least Dean’s sure of it – that’d get him there.

She smacks her lips and clicks her tongue. “It actually is, you know? Due a few ‘failures’ in his past, Alistair has managed to get him on it.”

Dean reconsiders drawing the knife. But, he too has a message that needs to be delivered. “Well, let Alistair know, that he can go and fuck himself.”

“Whatever.” She rises both her hands in surrender. “I’m only the messenger.”

Dean nods. Yep. Doesn’t mean, he’ll let her get away that easy though. After all, she’s been touching Sam; had been harming him. And that’s something, Dean won’t tolerate.

Blackness bleeds into his eyes.

She takes a step back; her face flushes a deep red. “Woah, easy there. – Like I said, I’m just the messenger.”

“… and, you’ve laid hands on Sam. – Can’t let that go without setting a warning example for the others. Can I?”

She takes another step backwards.

“I’ve learned a few tricks, you know? Been reading books; studying stuff I’ve never heard of before.”, he tells her with a vicious smirk. “So I won’t have to kill the host in the process of torturing our kind.”

Dean extends his hand towards her and crooks his fingers, as if he’s wrapping them around her throat.

She stiffens and cranes her neck; her throat works against an unseen force constricting her airways. He’s  grasping the demon’s aerially form.

The doctor chokes up black smoke.

“But, don’t you worry. I’m not gonna kill you. – I’ll just make you regret.”, he ads and shifts his weight.

Dean’s telling the truth. He’s not going to kill her; but he sure is causing quite some damage, which will take the demon a whole lot of time to heal from. He’s twisting the being’s molecules and rearranges them.

Dean’s not sure how exactly it works, but it does – and that’s all that counts. He doesn’t need scientific explanations for any of this. Important thing is, that it works, and that he’s capable of doing it.

It doesn’t take long, until the black smoke starts to pour richly from the woman’s mouth in thick ropes, saturated by red gleaming tendrils. Single blackish, emberlike flakes part away occasionally and turn to dust, as they float hellwards.

Minutes later; when there’s no darkness left inside the host, she sinks to her knees, panting and visibly confused.

“Can I get Sam’s papers now? And the things he had on him, when he came in?”, he asks, uneasy as fuck; though satisfied, while he let the blackness in his eyes linger long enough, so the doctor would catch a good view of them when she looks up at him in confusion. “And his file from your office – pretty please.”

 

*****

 

The sun has already vanished behind the horizon, when Dean hauls a barely conscious/coherent Sam into the passenger’s seat of the Impala, and dumps a bag with bloody clothes and his personal belongings into the backseat.

That’s been easier than he has originally thought it would be (busting Sam out, not dragging him to the car, of course). The doc – definitely caught in the throes of post-possession – had made Sam’s discharge easy-peasy. No arguing. No ‘you can’t take him with you’. No ‘he can’t be released in this condition’. Nothing.

Only awkward stammering and a shaky handshake as a goodbye; a softly murmured excuse and a bag with meds – which Dean sure won’t let Sam get anywhere near– except for the painkillers.

On his way out of town – past the city limits – he sends the paper bag with pill-bottles out the window.

Despite the comfortable temperatures, and Sam wearing clothes, Dean has him wrapped in a flimsy comforter – just in case.

He ignores the shit Sam’s babbling, and though it’s annoying as fuck, he doesn’t turn on the radio. Besides, the music would only distract him from his thoughts. Sam’s murmurs aren’t, as they are too low and gibberish to make anything out.

It’s like a low hum along the engine’s rumble. – Barely noticeable if you’re not paying attention.

Anyway, while driving and thinking, Dean keeps one hand on Sam’s lower thigh – close to his knee; letting the warmth of his palm soak through the multiple layers of fabric.

Yup, Dean’s an awesome multi-tasker.

 

*****

 

Dean might be an amazing multi-tasker, but he’s not Bruce Allmighty. So, as bad as it sucks, they need to stop for the night soon.

Sam’s getting way too restless for the passenger’s side and Dean rather not put him into the back, where he can’t keep an eye on him (can’t touch him, would be more accurate). Besides, they still have five-hundred-miles ahead of them, and Dean doubts that Sam’s going to be good while driving for another seven hours – not in this condition.

He might as well ‘s going to even extend their stay at the next best reasonable motel they come across – until Sam’s more coherent and less confused with his surroundings.

 

*****

 

“This one looks nice enough.”, Dean mumbles to himself and unconsciously squeezes Sam’s knee, when he stirs Baby down from the highway; following a sign which promises that the advertised motel five miles down the road has air conditioning and room service.

Sam moans beside him, when he hits a particularly huge pothole.

Dean steals a glance from Sam, pushing the gas pedal a tiny bit further against the metal.

His forehead creases and his lips twitch, and then – after not uttering a single sound for the past twenty miles – he starts mumbling again. Though not in that dreamy, floaty way. It’s more agitated, confused even.

“You can stretch out in a few, Sammy.”, Dean whispers and pulls his hand from Sam’s knee to place it on the steering wheel, “I bet they’ve nice rooms. – Comfortable beds – better than the one you’ve had in that hospital …”

… and, Dean needs to call Bobby; let him know that he’s got Sam, and … that they’ll reach it – if Sam’s condition gets better and they’ll be able to drive through tomorrow – around midnight.

 

*****

 

Twenty minutes, and a grumpy clerk later, Dean pulls the Impala up in front of the last room, with the room’s keys tugged between his teeth.

He hurries up to get inside and prepares the king-sized bed; pushes covers back and arranged pillows; before he heads back outside to get his most precious luggage inside first.

Dean leaves the room’s door open – after all, it’s only a few yards from the car inside – and wrenches the passenger’s door open.

Sam’s – seemingly – out cold again.

“Hey, Babe.”, he murmurs and cups Sam’s face in his hands, after leaning inside.

Sam’s eyelids flutter briefly, but won’t open.

“We’re here. – Time to get you some place comfortable, huh?” Dean tries real hard to let it sound light and even a little cheery, but the worry in his voice lingers. He gives Sam a moment, in case he makes it through to him, to understand what’s going to happen.

“Fine. – I’ll get you inside then …” Dean’s more talking to himself than Sam.

Dean’s careful, when he eases Sam’s legs out of the car. Miraculously, they aren’t deadweight. So, maybe he’s not as out cold as Dean had assumed he is. Gently, he maneuvers Sam out of the car and into a standing position.

Sure, Dean is taking a whole of a lot weight from him, but it’s still easier to walk Sam into the room, than to drag, or even carry him.

Once they reach the bed, Dean makes him lie down; pulls off his shoes and throws the comforter over Sam, before he heads back outside and gets his duffel.

Dean sets up salt-lines and wards in lightspeed; casting concerned glances towards Sam, until he’s done. He checks them over, and only, when he’s certain that everything is in place and safe for the two of them, he changes in a fresh set of clothes, switches the big light off and the small one on the bedside table on and gets Sam’s file and laptop from the duffel, before he climbs onto the bed.

It’s not as creepy as someone may think, to watch another person sleep – or half-sleep. But Dean can’t help it.

The newly found closeness to Sam settles something inside of Dean – makes him feel at peace; as if this is how it’s supposed to be; as if this is all he needs. And with that, also the threat of losing this something, comes swinging his way.

He doesn’t know how long he keeps watching after Sam’s breaths even out, and he finally seems to be asleep and not only dozing along.

Best thing he can do, is to let Sam sleep it off and keep a close eye on him.

So, Dean flips the file open. The first couple of pages are a general anamnesis of Sam’s physical state when he’s been brought in, followed by daily reports about his progress and further on, notes from the doctors and nurses, along with dates and daytimes, when which medication had been administered.

He studies the file thoroughly.

When he’s through with it, he gets the laptop and starts to look up the drugs they’ve given Sam during his stay on the psychiatric ward, in case the Demon had used drugs, which would send Sam into withdrawal.

As it looks like, none of them require a slow wean-off – lucky them.

Now, that his biggest concern is out of the way, Dean goes through the patient information leaflets again. He knows, the recommended dozes in the leaflets are sometimes different from the ones doctors decide to subscribe, so he does some more digging on the web; visits different chat forums, as some side-effects doesn’t make it in the leaflets.

Dean rather sticks with experiences people – aside from the pharmacologic studies – have made. It’s no surprise that he finds quite some reports about patients showing effects from the drugs, which aren’t enlisted in the leaflets.

After discontinuing with mentioned medications, people more often than not seem to have episodes where they would experience anxiety, confusion, disorientation and would feel exhausted and tired. Some report, that it’d take them weeks until they’d be their old selves again. But they’ve been on those drugs for months or even years, and not on the exact same dozes as Sam has been; and certainly not on all of them at once.

Sam had only gotten them for days; a little over two weeks tops.

So, maybe, he’d recover faster with less side-effects.

Dean’s head is whirring with all the information he tries to put together and figure out what’s to be expected.

Since Dean needs both of his hands; but at the same time experiences an urge to get way closer to Sam – make bodily contact in some way – he gets under the covers too and moves his right foot, until it’s brushing against Sam’s shin.

It’s a barely-there touch, but enough to sooth his wolves immediately.

Turns out, the crap the Demon had been giving him for the past ten days – or so – has been quite a cocktail. – If she wrote down everything correctly, that is.

With an annoyed groan, Dean flips the file and laptop shut and puts them on the nightstand.

That’s just fucking awesome.

Wouldn’t he have had his head up his ass for way too long, and wouldn’t he have been ignoring the fact, that – aside from the spell – there’s more between him and Sam than only physical attraction and some sort of connection on a very different level, all of this could’ve been averted.

If he’d only have admitted to himself earlier, that this ain’t only Sam needing him, but that it’s pretty much the other way around too, the two of them could be ‘happy’ (considering the circumstances of course, and all the things they’d have to sort through).

Sam’s mind has been set on sticking with Dean; on going all the way with him – no matter what lies before them.

And Dean had taken off; had ran away – yet again; telling himself, that it’d be better for Sam that way; that it’d be less dangerous. But that’s not true. He’s been thinking about himself – what’d be better for him; what wouldn’t cause pain and grief over losing Sam somewhere along the way, instead of facing the obstacles before them, and trying to figure out a way about how to outrun them.

Dean feels miserable. Worse than that even.

The message the Demon had delivered is true. Because of the spell there might be no Sam without Dean; but there’s no Dean without Sam either (and that’s definitely not because of said spell).

Only now – way too late – Dean starts to realize, that he wouldn’t be able to carry on with his existence, if he’d let something happen to Sam; if he’d get separated from him by death and heaven and hell.

Because – and that’s not even so hard for Dean to admit now – he loves him. Maybe, he had fallen in love with him the first time he had seen him at the diner. Maybe, making Sam his ‘trophy’ had only been an excuse for wanting him; for what his soul had been craving for so long.

Maybe, that’s been the reason, why he couldn’t let Sam go after leaving him at the bus station; not knowing if he’d be okay.

So, yes. Dean needs Sam in more ways than one. The realization, that positive feelings are a feature and not a bug, may come too late though …

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 40 ~ The Pizza

 

Sam’s not stirring once until the late afternoon of the following day.

Dean’s been watching him like a hawk, until he had decided it’s time to call Bobby. For that – and to not interrupt Sam’s beauty sleep – he leaves the room; though, doesn’t go far as he keeps pacing between the Impala and their motel-room-door while he fills Old-Grumpy in on what has happened; where they are and that Dean’s planning on arriving at the Salvage by tomorrow night.

As bad as he wants Sam to have a nice comfortable surface to rest and come to his senses again (and have a talk with him with no one else around), there’s the nagging feeling that they shouldn’t stay at one place for too long until they’re back in the safe havens near Sioux Falls.

 

*****

 

When Dean comes back inside from his fifteen-minutes talk, Sam’s eyes are open and he’s staring at the ceiling.

“Sam?”, Dean asks and pushes the door closed behind him.

Only, then, Sam blinks and directs his attention towards him. “Dean?” He’s moving a little uncoordinated and slow, when he scoots up under the covers and props up on his elbows.

“How’re you feelin’?” Dean could say a whole lot of things, but figures, none of them matter right now.

Sam blinks at him and then looks around the room. His head moves a little like the one of a wobbler’s.

“Don’t know …”, Sam murmurs; obviously confused. “Weird.”

“’s gonna take a while until the drugs ‘re gonna wear off.” Dean sounds a little gruff, despite that he doesn’t mean to. He shrugs off his jacket; throws it over the chair and walks over to Sam’s side of the bed. “Thirsty?”

Sam’s look travels up Dean’s body and settles when he meets his eyes. His pupils are blown wide; leaving only a thin circle of hazel.

He nods jerkily.

That’s a start. Sam’s not freaking out yet. Doesn’t try to punch him in the face, or yell at him. Neither does he look in any way troubled or mad (what’s probably because of the drugs still running the gears in his mind).

Dean takes the prepared soda-can from the nightstand and sits down at the bed beside Sam’s hip.

He opens it.

Sam frees his hands from the duvet and takes it carefully. He’s a little shaky. “Thanks.”

Dean grunts his ‘you’re welcome’ and watches Sam drink. When Sam holds the can towards him, Dean takes it and sits it back on the nightstand.

Silence.

Sam licks a droplet of the sweet fluid from his lower lip.

“I thought we’d get back on the road tomorrow morning?”

Sam’s nose twitches and he nods; then blinks again, as if to focus his vision; but his pupils stay dilated. “Where to?”

“Bobby’s.”, Dean answers softly. He’d like to touch Sam; cup his face and kiss his lips; face; draw him into a hug and never let go.

Sam tilts his head to the side, as if he doesn’t understand. “Yeah. – Guess that’s good.”

Fuck this.

Dean leans in and – however Sam wants this or not – he wraps his arms around him and pulls him against his chest.

Sam goes with it; though, it takes him a moment to return the hug.

Dean presses him close and buries his nose in the crook of Sam’s neck; breathes him in deeply.

It’s so damn good to feel Sam; smell him. God, how he has missed this; how he has missed getting physical with him; feeling the heat radiating from Sam – like a damn furnace.

Only, when Sam gasps, Dean’s aware that he’s actually crushing him. Dean draws in one more deep breath, before retreating, but let his hands linger on Sam’s biceps before letting him sink back against the pillow.

Sam stares at him owlishly; his face slightly flushed. He looks so young with his big eyes and pink lips.

“You’ve to visit the bathroom?”

Sam wrinkles his nose; then nods. He pushes the covers off and Dean get up and makes space for Sam to get his legs out of the bed.

“Easy, Tiger.”, Dean whispers, when Sam practically jumps to his feet, only to end up reeling and swaying.

Dean’s hands shoot out and he steadies him. “Easy. – Just, take it slow.”

Sam fists Dean’s shirt at his back to steady himself. “That’s good. Hold onto me.”

He merely nods at the encouragement.

They walk slowly.

Sam’s more than only unsteady on his feet.

Though their trip is a short one, it’s quite a challenge with Sam seeming to become weaker and weaker with every step he takes.

“You’ll be fine on your own?” Sure Dean wouldn’t mind to help him with THAT, but considering that they can’t just pick up where they’ve left off before he had gone on his solo-adventure, he wouldn’t want to push his luck with Sam accepting his presence.

He’d rather bite his dick off, than make a wrong call and do something Sam might is not going to be good with as soon as he’s his old self again.  

Sam nods. “I’ll be fine.”

Dean’s not sure if Sam’s only repeating what he has just told him, or if he’s really gonna be fine.

“I’ll leave the door ajar.”, Dean tells him, when he stops in the doorway and let Sam take the last few steps under Dean’s watchful gaze.

Sam hums.

Dean hesitates for a moment, before making space, so he can lean the door on. He waits patiently until he hears a flush and rustling of clothes; then muffled footfalls, before he opens the door again.

When Sam’s in bed again, Dean suggests to Sam to drink some more, and Sam obliges.

When it comes to food though – if you can call protein bars food anyway – Sam simply wrinkles his nose; shakes his head and turns on his side.

“Are you hurting?” Because his broken ribs sure still hurt like a bitch.

Sam shakes his head. No. “You shouldn’t have come.”

Dean eyes him intently. “Why?”

“Because you left. – Was a pretty clear statement.”

Dean snorts. “I left because I thought it’s better that way.”

“Was it?” Sam lowers his gaze. “Better? – I mean … I know you only promised to think about my suggestions. – Did you think about them?

Dean purses his lips. “I’d rather talk about that, when you’re more … less drugged.”

Sam hums and swallows audibly. He blows out a shuddering breath. “We can talk about it now too. – I’d rather do it now than when we’re at the Salvage. – So you can take off and do your thing again. – I’ll be fine on my own.”

Dean snorts – only half amused. “You’re kidding, right? – Doesn’t look as if you’re capable of taking care of yourself.” He pauses. “I’ve read your file – from the hospital. They thought you’re suicidal and supposed to be watched 24/7.” Despite the rising anger, he keeps his voice soft.

“They probably got it wrong.”

Dean snorts – again. “I’m sure they did.”

And then, Sam wouldn’t say anything else.

 

*****

 

Dean calls the room-service and orders pizza a while later. He had assumed he’d get something a little bigger and fancier for that price.

So, Dean calls them again and demands to talk to the manager – because, honestly? This tiny pizza-thingy with one stripe bacon and one fucking pepperoni ain’t worth what it costs.

Sam doesn’t beat an eye, while Dean’s discussing (not very quietly) matters with the way too young snotty pimple-face standing in their doorway.

A year ago, Dean would’ve snapped that pratty asshole’s neck – or would’ve ripped his heart out, for treating him like an irksome guest. He has to remind himself, that the guy doesn’t know who he is dealing with, and that – despite that he’s a pain in the ass – is only a human doing his job.

So, in the end, Dean’s paying what they’re charging for the poor excuse of a pizza, and promises him to give the motel one hell of a review.

 

*****

 

As suspected, Sam sleeps through until the next morning, when Dean wakes him around eight. Sam’s utterly slow, when he moves around the room – rather disoriented – as if he’s not quite sure what he’s actually doing.

Aside from that, it takes eons until he’s done and ready to go, since Dean abstains to say anything as he watches Sam putting on his jeans two times (the wrong way) and fumbles with the belt, until he’s got it right.

It would be real fun to Dean, if this would be a regular hangover and if the severity of the situation wouldn’t weight that heavy.

All the time, Sam barely speaks a word, even though Dean tries to coax him into having a solid conversation.

So, it’s mainly Dean talking, and Sam – maybe – listening. Dean can’t tell for sure.

As soon as they’re seated in the car, Dean pulls up in front of the office; hushes inside and is back out only a few minutes later. He then parks Baby a little offside behind the building.

“Sorry, forgot something in our room.”, Dean tells Sam.

Sam quirks an eyebrow and gives him a disinterested glare. “Okay.”

“I’m back before you know it.”

“Okay.”

Dean hesitates. He’s not sure if it’s a good idea to leave Sam on his own; in the car; where he will be out of his view. – But, he really truly has to do this.

“I’m not goin’ anywhere, Dean.”, Sam grumbles and scoots down in the seat, until his knees touch the dashboard.

“Hope so.”, it’s not really meant to be a warning, but it definitely comes out as one.

Dean eventually makes himself leave the car and hurry back towards the motel-rooms.

 

*****

 

Sam waits for a while, before he inches up in the seat and casts wary looks into the mirrors and over his shoulder. He searches the glove-compartment, but finds nothing but two cell-phones and meaningless papers.

He bites his lower lip and his forehead creases, when he twists in his seat and casts a searching look into the backseat, where he instantly spots Dean’s duffel.

Again, Sam takes a surveying look around, before he shifts until he can reach the bag and starts digging through it.

A part of him had feared, Dean wouldn’t leave his weapons unattended and in Sam’s company. Lucky Sam, though, Dean trusts him enough – or he just has forgotten to lock them in the trunk – when he finds what he’s looking for.

The Colt.

Sam holds the revolver in his hands and eyes it thoughtfully. He still has doubts about this; sure he has. But there’s not going to be another way.

Swiftly, Sam tugs the Colt behind his back and scoots back down in the seat, where he waits patiently for Dean’s return.

 

*****

 

Half an hour later – and only minutes after the blaring fire alarm goes off all over the place - Dean slides back behind the steering wheel and fires up his Baby.

He licks his lips nervously. When he pulls onto the road, heading back towards the highway, he feels Sam’s looks drilling holes into his profile.

“What?”, he snaps; his lips twitch; waves of excitement rolling off of him.

“You set the motel on fire.”, Sam states blankly, still staring at him with an unreadable expression.

Hells yeah, he did. Selling pizza that’s way too expensive and taking honest costumers to the cleaners ain’t very nice.

Dean squirms a little and licks his lower lip. But he’s set the fire-alarms off before he lighted up the curtains … and bed. So, it’s only half as bad, right?

“I’ve activated the alarm before I did something.” No one’s gonna get hurt.

Sam still stares at him. “You deactivated the fire sprinklers, didn’t you?”

Of fucking course he did, or else, setting the building on fire wouldn’t make any sense, would it? “Yes.” Dean doesn’t feel sorry at all. Neither does he have to look over at Sam to see him roll his eyes at him. “What? They’re defrauding honest people by charging twenty-five dollars for three fuckin’ slices of pizza, Sammy. – That ain’t fair.”

“You set the motel on fire, ‘cause they charged twenty-five bucks for the pizza?”

Dean nods. “Damn right. – And the pizza wasn’t even good. And, I’ve still been hungry.”

Sam sighs heavily and hums, before he trains his gaze out of the window and watches the passing scenery fly by. “Okay.”

Okay?”, Dean asks – not sure what to think about it. Either, Sam’s still too drugged to argue, or he truly doesn’t care.

“Yep. Okay. – Sounds reasonable.”, he answers absently.

Dean steals a glance at him. “You’re being sarcastic.”

Sam hums again. “Probably.”

 

*****

 

They make a pit stop at a gas station, which has a small diner at the back.

Sam’s still ‘hanging in there’; curled up into a tight ball (it’s unbelievable, how such a giant can make himself that small); he looks miserable and tired and still exhausted.

“You wanna come?”, Dean asks nonetheless, when he kills Baby’s engine and looks over at Sam, with a concerned look.

Sam shakes his head and grunts. “Nah. I’m fine, thanks.”

Dean arcs an eyebrow and his left nostril twitches. “What do you want? – Guess I’d not take the salad though.” ‘cause this place looks a little … filthy … to put it nicely.

“A coffee maybe. – And something small.”

Dean is tempted to reach over and lay his hand on Sam’s thigh. He is tempted to lean in, make him look at him and place a gentle kiss to Sam’s lips.

He wants him to feel better – so bad. But it feels, as if there are worlds between them; as if an invisible veil is parting them.

Dean eyes him for a while.

Sam doesn’t look back at him; just keep staring into nothingness.

“I’m sorry, Sammy.”, Dean finally says; still not sure if he’s allowed to breach the veil. “It wasn’t okay that I’ve left; it wasn’t okay that I’ve drugged ya’ll … I should’ve stayed with you.” His words drip with regret; what makes his black wolf howl and rebel.

Sam shifts in his seat. “I understand it. – Really. I’d only have been a millstone around your neck; I’d been holding you back.”

Dean’s frown deepens. “Look at me.”, he orders softly. It’s not okay for Sam to say that; much less to think it.

Sam eventually does look at him; and is met with a pair of huge sad eyes and a not honest smile.

“It’s not okay to understand any of it. – And I get that you’re pissed.”

“I’m not pissed.”

Okay. “But you’re uncomfortable.”

Sam shrugs. “I’m sad, Dean. – I’ve been looking for you; tried to get a hold of you. And you knew it. You could’ve told me that it’s over. That … whatever you thought we had – what I thought we had – is over. It’d only would’ve taken a few minutes to tell me. And now, that I’ve finally considered it finished – for me – you’re showing up?” He shrugs again and looks back out of the window.

“That’s just not fair.”, Sam adds silently.

“Looks like I’ve made the right call though. I’ve showed up last minute, Sam. – ‘cause, getting yourself killed? That’s not a solution.” Dean knows what he’s talking about.

Sam snorts a laugh. “Looks like a very valid solution to you though.”

“Well, as it is, I’ve changed my mind.”

Dean can tell, Sam’s not believing him; wouldn’t believe anything considering this topic, no matter what he would tell him.

After all, Demons lie. Dean had lied to Sam. He had made him believe, that he’d truly consider to not follow his plan and overthink shit.

So, yeah, actually, Dean can’t blame him for not trusting him.

“Is that so …”, Sam grumbles. “Guess we’ll see if you’re tellin’ the truth this time around.”

Dean wants to tell him, that he is. He’s still set on killing Alistair; but wants to give their ‘relationship’ a try too – with all its merits. He doesn’t intend to back out of it again; won’t run away from what he’s feeling once more.

“I’m gonna stay; and whatever we do about Alistair, we’ll do it together.” Little does Dean know, that his words will come true in the future. Little does he know, that – in a while – together will become very literal.

Sam casts him a reproachful, lingering look. “Wow. – Nearly sounds as if you mean it.”

Dean’s lips form into a snarl. Of course he fucking means it. He pries a smile to his face even though he feels everything but smiling.

“You’ll see, Hotstuff.” He’ll show Sam how bad he means it.

 

*****

 

Dean gets them burgers and fries; coffee for Sam and two cans of coke.

Dean hands Sam one of the containers and starts to devour his burger.

Sam eats a couple of fries and takes a bite from the burger, before he closes the container, but keeps it in his lap.

What earns him an unsatisfied glare from Dean. “Dude. – That can’t be everything you’re eating.”

Sam sighs. “It actually is. – Unless you want me to puke in the car.”

Dean honestly doubts that. It’s a rotten excuse for Sam’s bad eating-habits. “It’s potatoes.”

“Fried carbohydrates. Triglycerides. Two bites away from a heart attack.”, Sam explains calmly.

Dean snorts and swallows the bite. “It’s vegetables. – There’s even salad, onions … tomatoes.”

“Dean. – Just stop it.”, Sam sounds more determined now. “I’m not hungry.”

Dean shifts in his seat, puts his burger into his container and twists his upper body, so he’s facing Sam completely. “Whatever your problem is, not eating doesn’t solve it.”

“But it’s the only thing I’ve control over.”, Sam blurts out in a hiss – obviously unintended, because his face instantly turns red and he seals his lips.

Huh. Interesting. So, this eating-thing is about control. “And that’s got nothing to do with Nick-Dick? – Did he ‘condition’ you to be like this? – Or, was that the only thing you’ve been able to control during your relationship with him?”

Sam wipes his head around and glares at him. “Why would you care all of a sudden?”

Well, Dean should’ve started to care way earlier; shouldn’t have been such a chicken-shit about getting involved with Sam. “’cause I do. – So far, I’ve let it slip. I won’t do that in the future though.”

Sam snorts a laugh. “That’s rich. – So, you think, you can turn back up; bust my ass out of the hospital – and now you’re what? My caring boyfriend? My boss?”

“Sammy-”

“Don’t Sammy me. – You’ve lost your right to Sammy me.”, Sam snaps.

“Doesn’t mean, that I can’t win back that right.”, Dean grumbles. Sam may not be aware of it just yet, but Dean’s not going to back down and he won’t let Sam ruin himself any further.

Even though, Sam might not be okay with it.

Sam has always been Dean’s; from day one on. But now, it’s official.

Dean’s not hungry anymore. He flips his container shut and puts it in the back; then starts nursing his coke.

They sit in perfect silence for a long while.

“Maybe, we can stop at a motel? – Continue our drive tomorrow?”, Sam suggests quietly.

Dean frowns at him; the tiny hairs at his neck rise and his skin prickles. “You ain’t feelin’ good?”, there’s more worry in his voice than he intends to let slip.

Sam shifts. “Kinda. – Yeah.”

Dean’s not stupid. Something’s off.

Sam has never once – while on the road – suggested to stop somewhere; has never complained about anything, or said out loud – let alone admit – that he’s not doing well.

Though, but maybe, Sam’s truly not good and the motions of the car are making him feel worse.

“Sure.”, Dean answers. “Let’s see what we can find.”

 

*****

 

They find a motel in the next town. It’s actually a bed and breakfast, and the owners are an old couple. All but two rooms are rented and Dean has the choice between two single beds and a king-sized one. He sure should take the one with the two singles, but decides against it.

Dean gets them the keys and pays, while Sam’s waiting in the car.

Once, they’re in the room – Dean ushers Sam inside. Without having to tell him, Sam goes to lay down and let Dean handle their luggage and half eaten meals from the diner.

“There’s a grocery store down the road.”, Dean tells him, when he closes the door behind him and puts the Styrophoam containers on the small table. “I’ll go and get you some of that healthy stuff you’re craving so much.”

Sam sighs and tilts his head to look at Dean. “That’d be nice.”

Wow, pretty easy. Sam’s obviously not in the mood for another discussion.

“Apples would be nice.”, he tells him then.

Dean nods. “Apples it is.” He holds Sam’s look for a while longer. “Anything else?”

He shakes his head. “Thanks.”

“Only apples?” … that’s not even real food. It’s pretty much a snack, not a solid meal. “You know, you look horrible. – And aside from that, you can live on that crap for only as long.” God, does he really sound like a mom? But that thought only affects him briefly. “Have you seen yourself in the mirror lately?”

Sam only frowns at him and gives him a none-of-your-business-look.

Dean sighs heavily. Fine. “Whatever. – I’ll go and get your fuckin’ apples.”, he grumbles under his breath. He’s not yet sure how to deal with Sam’s ‘disorder’. Should he give in and cut him some slack for now? Or should he start right away with his ‘treatment’? If only he’d know what the treatment is anyway.

Dean has no fucking clue.

Sam’s not going to starve to death right the fuck now and he sure won’t drop dead instantly, but it’s a pressuring matter, and Dean rather not wait until things become palpably bad.

Though, apples may be a start. At least it’s something, right?

“You stay put.”, Dean says and looks back over his shoulder before reaching for the door’s handle.

Sam cocks an eyebrow at him. “Where am I supposed to go?”

Dean nods. Right.

 

*****

 

As soon as Dean is out of the door, and Sam hears the Impala’s engine roar, he gets up from the bed and walks over to the window. He tugs the curtains aside and looks outside; surveys the parking lot for a few minutes, and then retrieves the Colt from where it’s hidden behind his back.  

Sam chews the insides of his lips, as he stares down at the Revolver; examining it carefully. With a deep sigh and a breath to steel himself, he checks the chambers.

Five Bullets.

He empties them into his hand and eyes them carefully; just in case Dean had exchanged them. Looks like they are the originals.

Sam reloads the Revolver and walks over to the bed, where he sits down; weapon in his hands. He still has time to back out of this.

He doesn’t need to pull through with his plan.

But then again – what good would it do? Even if Dean would tell the truth and he has changed his mind – what Sam honestly doubts.

Is he truly willing to kill Dean (and therefore himself)?

All of a sudden, he’s not sure anymore. Not because he’s afraid of a little pain, or to die. He’s not certain, that he wants to end Dean’s existence, when there’s that tiny spark of hope left; which calls to him; tells him, now that Dean’s back, that there’s still a chance.

Still, he could use one of the other guns.

Sam’s too chicken to put that barrel to his own head and pull the trigger. And though, he just wants to end this. He just wants this martyrium to stop and get a little rest.

‘cause he deserves to rest, right? After everything; all his missteps and failures …

Ever since Dean had left, he’s feeling down. So unbelievably, utterly low. And then, after not being able to find him; get a hold of him; face Dean – it had all went downhill so fast.

Sam can’t even tell when it actually had started to become this kind of bad.

There’s just this nagging hopelessness simmering in his guts; the strong feel, that there’s no way out of this, except for ending it.

 

*****

 

Dean really fucking hurries, because he so has no good feeling about leaving Sam alone at all. He can’t – for the love of it – tell why. It’s a weird nagging thought, that he’d do something stupid again.  – Maybe because he knows what has happened and what Sam had attempted at the hospital.

Therefore, heading out to get fucking apples hadn’t been a good idea after all – even if Dean meant well.

It’s no thirty minutes later, that he finds himself back at the motel and in front of their room, with a bag of apples, bananas and some other fruits in it.

He takes a deep calming breath, as he stands in front of the door – since he sure won’t walk in on a blood-bath or something.

So, he steels himself, puts on his cocky smile and enters, only to freeze two steps further.

The door swings shut behind him and the smile drains from his face rapidly, as he sees Sam sitting on his side of the bed and holding the Colt in his hands.

“Sam?”, he asks curiously; the blood in his veins runs cold.

Sam doesn’t look up. He only sighs.

The calmness radiating from Sam and how it’s drowning everything in the room, are frighteningly eerie. Dean instantly senses, that something is utterly wrong.

“What’re you doin’?” Dean takes him in; the slight bow of his back and hunch in his shoulders. The way, Sam holds the weapon in his hands as if it’s something fragile; the way he stares at it.

Sam swallows audibly; then takes the Colt in one hand; barrel pointing to the ground. “First I thought … you know … shooting you with it. – I thought … it’d make this stop … Help you to finally find your peace too.”

Dean’s next breath catches somewhere between his throat and lungs.

He swallows again and something in Sam’s throat clicks. “But now … Maybe you have changed. Maybe, you don’t wanna die anymore. – And I can’t …” Sam licks his lips. “… I can’t drag you down with me, you know. Not, when there’s still a chance for you, even though mine’s long gone.”

“It’s been tearing me apart – on the inside. I know it sounds weird as fuck … but … even though I – somehow – knew you wouldn’t stay with me … I thought maybe it would work. Maybe, you’d truly like me enough, so you’d reconsider your plans …” He shrugs and rises to his feet.

“Sammy, put the gun down.” Dean’s not afraid for himself. Far from it.

Sam’s trembling all over; he looks weak on his long legs. This ain’t right; this ain’t Sam talking – not the one he has gotten to know; not the one he has fallen for.

Sam huffs and shakes his head. “I couldn’t kill you, even if I wanted. And that’s pretty fucked up, isn’t it?” He doesn’t look up; only adjusts the gun in his grasp and moves his thumb over to the cock and his pointing-finger onto the trigger. “’cause – in some weird fucking way I still love you. Even though you dumped me like a hot potato. Even though – deep down – I knew you don’t like me the same way.”

Sam wrinkles his nose and slowly lifts his head to face Dean.

Dean’s nostrils flare. He lowers the bag with fruits to the ground and raises his other hand towards Sam. “So, what’s the plan, huh? – You said, you won’t kill me. So, why not putting the gun away?”

Tears spring to Sam’s eyes and blur his vision. “Because I’m that kind of fucked up. I’m not right in my head. – Probably never have been. Just … since you’ve left … and after your warning to not follow you … I tried, but I couldn’t stop thinking about you. It felt like losing my grip, Dean.”

Dean clears his throat gingerly and takes a tentative step towards him.

Sam’s hand is shaky, when he lifts the Colt and points it into Dean’s direction. “Don’t.” Because – Dean being here now – won’t change a damn fucking thing. Sam can’t allow to let this happen to him again.

“Sammy. Put. The. Gun. Down.”

But Sam doesn’t. His grip on the weapon tightens and his finger on the trigger trembles. “I’m so sorry.”, he chokes out, before he turns the Colt’s barrel against himself.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 41 ~ The Choice

 

“Sammy. Put. The. Gun. Down.”

But Sam doesn’t. His grip on the weapon tightens and his finger on the trigger trembles. “I’m so sorry.”, he chokes out, before he turns the Colt’s barrel against himself.

 

*****

 

“Sam. – I’ve been telling the truth.”, Dean spats at him, both hands held up in surrender, “I’m not gonna leave again. – I’ll stay. Wherever you go, I’ll go too.” He swallows hard; tries to push the growing lump in his throat down. “I haven’t been lying. For what it’s worth, Sammy, I wasn’t. – And I’m not gonna lie to you ever again.”

Sam sniffs. Tears stream down his face; his eyes red and puffy. “I can’t.”

Yes. – You can.” Dean shifts his weight; eyes locked with Sam’s. “’cause you’re not alone. – You’ll have Bobby. You’ll have me. – This ain’t you talkin’. This ‘s the spell, Baby Boy. You’re a smart kid; think about it. – You’ve been doing a little better since I’m around again, right?”

Sam doesn’t seem to consider thinking about anything Dean is saying; and though … he can’t pull the trigger; can’t get himself to end himself.

What means, that Dean has still a chance to avert this. His gaze flickers to where the barrel digs into Sam’s temple.

“There’s more to the spell than only what we knew back then. – Trust me, Sammy. You wouldn’t even think about suicide, right? And you’ve been in much worse situations than this one.” God, Dean wishes he’d have more experience in talking people out of doing stupid things instead of making them do them. “You’ll see. This ‘s going to get better. You’ll do better the longer we’re staying together.”

He just needs one damn chance to charge Sam.

“So, I AM an actual Millstone around your neck.” Sam sniffs again; finger on the trigger tightening. He hiccups and nearly chokes on his next shuddering breath.

Jesus Christ on a fucking Stick. Sam’s getting it all wrong. This is not where Dean wants this conversation to go.

“You’re not. – I didn’t know when I came for you in that hospital.” Dean feels searing heat behind his eyes and they start to become wet and an unfamiliar itch appears where a tear gathers “Sure, they called me. – But that doesn’t mean I would’ve been able to stay away from you much longer. – I’ve been missing you, Sammy. I’ve been craving your closeness too. I’ve been longing for you.”

Sam sobs and shakes his head. “Don’t do this.”, he pleads desperately.

“It’s the truth. – I know I’ve been stupid as fuck; and I sure don’t deserve your forgiveness. Just. Hear me out. Think about what I’m telling you. This ain’t you. – You wouldn’t give up that easy.”

Sam grimaces as if all the emotional pain he’s experiencing turns physical. “You don’t know me.”

“The hell I do, Sammy. – I know you better than you think. I know you don’t want this. You don’t wanna mess up this pretty room and you don’t wanna give those nice old people a cardiac arrest by painting their walls red. Neither do you want to do this in front of me, do you? – If you believe it or not; it’d do worse things to me, than torture ever could.” He pauses to take a breath. “Don’t you get it? I love you.”

Sam shakes his head vigorously. “Stop.”

Dean slides his left foot forward, as if he’s setting foot onto a newly frozen lake. “Bobby’s gonna be devasted. He’d never forgive himself. It’s gonna eat him up; ‘s going to blame himself.”

Sam stifles a whine. “Bobby’s got nothing to do with this.”

“He sure has. He’s your family. He loves you.”

“I’m a fuck-up.”

“Sam. – I don’t know why you’d think shit like that. But I know, that that’s not true.” For what it’s worth out of a demon’s mouth.

“You don’t know about the things I’ve done; how often I’ve failed him.”

You think you’ve failed him. – As far as I’m concerned, Bobby’s not thinking that way.” Dean draws in a deep breath. “And for me.  – You’ve made me better, Sam. You’ve helped me see myself different; think different.” Dean shifts his other foot forward. “I’ve changed. Because of you. I’m still changing – because of you. What do you think ‘s gonna happen if you’re gone? If I’m not hearing your small nagging voice at the back of my mind anymore, pointing out what’s wrong or right, Sammy?”

Please. Stop.”, Sam begs.

“I can’t, Baby Boy. I won’t.” He damn well ain’t going to let Sam do this.

Sam is searching Dean’s face; his hand trembles more violently. The internal fight within him is written all over his face.

“Stop calling me that.”

“’m not. – ‘cause I know you like it; you need it. It makes you feel safe, doesn’t it? It makes you feel cared for; That you matter.”

Sam’s breath stutters.

“I promise, I’ll make you feel that way every fuckin’ day of our shared future.” Dean means it; he will. He’ll do everything to make Sam feel safe and cared for. He’s going to fix all the things he has messed up, and what Nick had messed up.

He’s going to fix everything. Dean just needs a chance to do so.

Sam deserves all the nice things; and Dean will give them to him. Even though, it might turn out, that the way Sam’s feeling about him is only because of the spell – or partly because of the spell.

Maybe, the bond, Alistair has cast upon them, is causing Sam’s emotions towards him … then again, it might not.

Before their encounter with the demon, Sam had stayed with him too; hadn’t thought about leaving and had thought of him as a nice guy.

Though, his obsessive behavior, probably is caused by the spell; the feel, that he can’t live without Dean.

Doesn’t matter to Dean though. It simply doesn’t matter. He knows how he feels about Sam and what those feelings are, and no matter if –the spell is undone – and Sam’s going to feel different about him, he will find a way to deal with it.

“I promise, Sammy. Just give me a chance to proof it to you. – You can still blow your brains out, if it turns out that I’ve been lying to you.” God, Dean’s getting more and more desperate, the longer he watches Sam pointing that damn weapon against himself. “I promise I won’t stop you then.” Hell, he damn well will stop him. A little lie right the fuck now won’t hurt anyone. Besides, Dean won’t let it get that far - ever again. “Don’t make me beg.”

Sam shifts his weight; the nuzzle of the revolver is not digging into his temple as hard anymore.

“Sammy. Please.”

Sam stares at him pleadingly. “Why can’t you just let me go.”

“I already told you. I won’t. I can’t.” Dean swallows arund the lump in his throat. “Please, put the gun down. Please.”

Dean watches him shift again and how Sam withdraws his finger from the trigger and eases the Colt away from his head. A heart-wrenching sob falls from Sam’s lips. Exhaustion overwhelms his willpower and he sinks to his knees; the gun slipping from his hand and lands on the carpet with a soft thud.

Dean’s chest expands with a relieved breath and he crosses the remaining feet to Sam’s side. He kneels down too, shoves the Colt out of Sam’s reach and wraps his arms around him.

“There you go.” Dean cups the back of Sam’s head and pushes his face into the crook of his neck. “There you go, Baby Boy. – I’ve got you.”

Sam slumps against him; hot tears spring to his eyes and trail down his cheeks; wetting Dean’s cool skin and soak his shirt. He melts bonelessly into Dean’s e brace.

“I’ll take care of you. I promise.”, Dean whispers and cranes his neck to place a gentle kiss to Sam’s head. “Just, let me take care of you.” He shushes him and buries his fingers in Sam’s hair. “You’re going to be fine, I promise.”

Sam hiccups against him; shudders.

And Dean just holds him and waits patiently as they stay on the floor like this. For minutes – or hours; Dean can’t tell; doesn’t care either.

He gives Sam the time he needs to calm down; and then, when his wailing subsides and Dean figures, it’s somehow safe to draw away, he pulls back and sits back on his haunches; hands still on Sam.

“C’mon. – The bed’s more comfortable.”, Dean whispers softly.

Sam won’t look at him, but nods jerkily.

Dean helps him up and manhandles him gently onto the bed. He pulls the boots from Sam’s feet and hurries into the bathroom, where he gets a roll of toilet paper. When he’s back, Sam has curled up on the bed and has his face half-buried in the pillow.

Dean toes his boots off and loses his jacket, before he crawls onto the bed beside Sam. “Look.”, Dean tugs the toilet paper into Sam’s hand; who takes it; rips off a couple of leaves and blows his nose.

He discharges the snot-soaked crumpled-up piece beside the bed; still avoiding to look at Dean’s face.

“Sleep a little.”, Dean says softly and inches closer. “It’ll be better when you wake up.”

Sam only sniffs and buries his tear-struck face back in the soft pillow; raises his hand and covers the exposed half of it; shielding it.

“C’mon.” Dean offers him his chest, by lifting his arm and getting a little closer. “Don’t tell anyone, though. Can’t have people think that I’m a softy.”, he tells him lightly.

Sam chokes out a laughed sob, but doesn’t move.

So, Dean closes the remaining gap between them and pulls Sam into his arms, where Sam – a little hesitant - tugs his head under Dean’s chin and buries his face in his shirt.

Dean hums contently. “Better than a fuckin’ pillow.”, he murmurs and shifts until he’s more comfortable and in a better position to hold Sam in. “I’m proud of you.”, he whispers and allows himself to close his eyes and relax too.

“You’ve been through so much and you’ve never stopped fighting. I know you can’t see yourself like I see you – yet. I know, you feel like something utterly worthless; that everyone has to see you like this …” Dean sighs deeply.

Sam shudders in his arms.

Dean wants to tell him more; feels the urge to convince Sam that the way he sees himself ain’t the way others see him – like right the fuck now. But he knows, that it’d only overwhelm Sam; that right now, ain’t a good time nor place to attack him with all this.

Sam wouldn’t be able to take it the way Dean means it. He’d only think, he’d say those nice things, because he feels guilty; or has to say them, so Sam won’t try shit again.

Dean will have to let time work for him.

 

*****

 

Eventually, Sam falls asleep in his arms, when exhaustion due the residues of the drugs in his system, and the emotional burn-out he’s just gone through, take their toll on him.

Dean stays with him and keeps holding him; relishes in the warmth of Sam’s body and his softness. The way he feels against him; his unique scent and warm exhales against his chest.

Sadly, the peacefulness gets rudely interrupted by the soft buzzes of Dean’s phone in the pocket of his jeans.

He groans inwardly; and only reluctantly pulls his upper hand from Sam to reach for his phone and pull it out from its hiding. As expected, it’s Bobby.

Old-Grumpy definitely has a classy timing.

Dean picks up nonetheless. “Hey.”, he says hushed, before his opponent can start yelling curses, “We needed to make a pit-stop.”

There’s a soft exhale. -Is Sam okay?- Bobby mirrors Dean and keeps his voice low.

“Yeah. – Just … Look, I can’t talk right now, but I’ll call you later, ‘kay?” He wouldn’t want to wake Sam. “He’s just fallen asleep.”

There’s a beat of silence and then a voice – other than Bobby’s – says something. Bobby seemingly covers the speaker of his phone when he answers who Dean assumes has to be Castiel.

Bobby grumbles something about annoying Angels. -Fine. – The room upstairs is ready anyways. Stuff I need to get?-

With ‘stuff’ he probably refers to something special. “Nah. – Just stay on call, ‘kay? We need to talk; gotta tell you things before we arrive.” He wouldn’t want Bobby to get a heart-attack when he first lays eyes on Sam again after a year; and neither does he want Bobby going to ban him from the Salvage (not that he’d be physically able to do that to Dean anyway).

He will stay with Sam no matter what – with or without Bobby’s blessing. But he’d rather do it with knowing that Bobby’s okay with him sticking around too.

-I will. And you watch out for my boy, understood?-, Bobby asks gruffly.

Dean muffles a snort. “Sure.”, he whispers.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 42 ~ The Return

 

Dean calls Bobby later on and gives him a rough recap of what has happened, while Sam carries on sleeping. When that’s done, he gets the Colt; retrieves the bullets and returns them – separated - to his duffel.

Dean casts a hesitant glance towards Sam, before he picks up the duffel. He’s a little uncertain about leaving the room – if only for a few minutes – in order to keep the weapons from Sam, and store the duffel in the trunk. – As far as possible away from him.

He puts the bottles with painkillers on the bed.

Fear over Sam trying something idiotic again eventually wins, and Dean makes fast work of getting his weapons out of the motel-room.

 

*****

 

Dean eventually takes a shower; as quietly as possible; peels apples and cuts them into slices, along with bananas, even though Sam doesn’t look as if he’s going to wake anytime soon.

 

*****

 

An hour later, Sam surfaces from his slumber, and as if flipping a switch, Dean changes to mother-hen-mode. He helps Sam sit up – despite that he doesn’t need any help with it -, gives him juice and water and puts the paper-plate with sliced fruits on the bed, before settling in beside Sam and switches the TV on.

Dean puts one arm around his shoulders and tugs him close.

They aren’t talking at all.

Dean finds them the National Geographic channel and decides that they are going to watch a documentary about the Grand Canyon. Sam doesn’t protest, so Dean figures it’s okay with him.

The plate with sliced fruits finds its place in Sam’s lap.

Sam is kinda tense at first, but relaxes noticeably as the documentary carries on, until his head finds a comfortable position against Dean’s shoulder.

They watch and eat. Dean is attentive to what and how much Sam is consuming; taking care that he himself isn’t the one eating the lion’s share of what he has prepared.

“I’ve never been there.”, Sam eventually speaks up, his voice hoarse. “The Grand Canyon I mean. – Have you?”

Dean’s been to a lot of places. “No.” but not there. He has never felt the urge to visit any of earth’s wonders, and feels a weird curiosity about how they’d look in real life and not on a way too small screen.

Sam hums curiously.

Dean gets where Sam’s curiosity comes from. He had quite some time on his hands and had never considered going to those seemingly beautiful places; it’s never occurred to him to put them on his agenda.

But now, with Sam maybe, things are a little different. “We could go there, you know? – When … after we’re done with Alistair and all that shit.”

Sam tilts his head up to look at Dean’s face and blinks. “We could?”

Dean chuckles. “Sure. Why not? – We’ll have plenty of time.” Adding – more or less valid – reasons to Sam’s list in his fight against his inner demons haunting him, is going to be one of several ways to make him hold on.

“Haven’t seen the world’s largest Ball of Wool either.” Dean shrugs. “Maybe it’s worth a shot.”

“It’s twine.”, Sam snorts.

“But it’s the biggest. And it’s wool.”

“What’s so spectacular about it? And I’m sure it’s not made of wool.”

“That it’s wool. – And it’s big. – Ever thought about how many sheep they had to shear?”

Sam leans his head back against the headboard and glances at Dean a little amused. “No, I actually haven’t thought about that. ‘cause it ain’t made of wool.”

Sam lowers his head back against Dean’s shoulder. “It’s not wool. It’s made of sisal.”

“And sisal is made of hemp.”, Sam adds.

Dean rolls his eyes. “Smartass.”, he grumbles.

Sam sighs heavily.

“You’re gonna tell Bobby?” Because, how is he supposed to look his surrogate father in the eyes, knowing that he knows, that he has fucked up again; that he’s a coward.

Dean shifts and clears his throat. “I’ve already talked to him; but didn’t tell him details … Just … that you’ve had – kind of – a mental break and that it’s probably because of the drugs they’ve given you. – Told him, that you’ve been on suicide-watch at the hospital though …” ‘cause, he can’t leave out such important stuff. Bobby has to know – just in case. He too should have a close eye on Sam’s behavior, even though Dean figures it’s just temporary (due the spell).

“There’s something else I have to tell you.” Dean can’t keep it from Sam. “That doctor – at the hospital – has been possessed. It had a message for me …” Dean clears his throat.

Sam shifts beside him.

“Due the spell. – It’s not just what we already knew, how it affects us – you mostly. There’s more to it.” Dean pauses.

Sam makes a small – not very surprised sound.

“If we’re not around each other – physically – you’ll start to feel weird and down … and … the way you’re feeling now, is probably because of the spell. ‘cause I’ve not been with you for so long …” Dean tells him quietly.

“Means, about nine months is the absolute maximum for us to stay apart without me going bat-shit crazy …”, Sam murmurs and sighs heavily.

“We won’t let it get that far again.”, Dean reassures him and kisses the top of Sam’s head. “We’re gonna stick together until the spell’s reversed; undone or whatever.”

“And if it can’t be?”

Dean huffs out a breath. “There’s always a way. We just gotta figure it out.”

Sam sucks in his lower lip; tensing up beside Dean again. “I … have to tell you something too …” He squirms and pushes away from Dean and the comfort he’s offering.

“What do you think you’re doing?”, Dean asks.

“You won’t like what I’m gonna tell you.”

Dean pulls him back against him. “Can’t be that bad.”

Sam hesitates. He chews his lip harder; frowns deeper. He exhales softly. “I’ve …”

Dean hugs him tighter. When Sam doesn’t continue, Dean starts to frown too. “You can tell me, you know …”

Sam sucks in a deep breath. He seems to think real hard; Dean can practically hear the wheels in his brain rattle. “I’ve been having sex with others.”

Dean snorts lightly, as if the rising anger and jealousy aren’t existent at all. As if he’s not feeling a pang of hurt where his heart lingers, instead of fussy warmth.

Though, he’s – internally – stricken with conflicting emotions; he catches up on that brief flicker of ‘something’ in Sam’s voice – Dean just can’t tell what this something is. Somehow, he doesn’t quite believe that that’s what he’s been meaning to tell him.

Sam shrugs beside him.

“That’s what you think ‘s that bad?”

Sam nods. “Yup.”

Nope. Sam’s a damn bad liar.

Dean hums. For a moment, he thinks about confronting Sam with the lie, but decides, that it may not be worth a discussion this early on. He might as well is going to find out anyway – whatever it is Sam reconsidered to tell him. Or, he’s going to tell him – eventually – on his own accord.

“You’re not mad?”

Dean overthinks to tell him, that he’s mad about the lie, but doesn’t do that either. Like already mentioned, it’s too early for them to have a fight – since it might could end in one. Dean’s well aware of his temper and that he can get very hotheaded about shit.

He wouldn’t want to make things worse again. “No, I’m not.”

Vibes of disappointment stir Dean’s senses. “Doesn’t mean, I’m not jealous though.”, he adds after a moment; just in case that’s the reason for Sam’s sudden ‘sadness’.

Sam doesn’t say anything for a long while.

““I think you will leave though. – For good. Once – at least – when Alistair is dead, there will be nothing left to tie you to me.”

“There’s plenty that ties me to you. – No matter if we counter the spell or not; if killing Alistair is gonna help. I’m gonna stay with you. I’ve promised.”

Sam doesn’t seem to believe him. “Sooner or later you’d get tired of it – of me.”

“Or, you’re getting tired of me.” Because that’s a very real possibility. “However – Right now I’m not about to get tired of you.”

Sam elbows him weakly.

“Are you feeling better?”, what’s Dean actually asking is, if Sam’s still feeling the urge to off himself, but can’t get himself to voice it.

Sam shrugs. “I guess, yeah.”

Dean hums. “You want some more fruits?”

Sam shakes his head. “Nah, thanks.”

“Soda?”

Another headshake. “So … what now?”

“We watch some more TV? – Sleep. And tomorrow we’ll drive to the Salvage.”

“And then?” Sam’s voice is so small; sounds so uncertain.

“We’ll figure it out as we go, I guess.” Dean tugs him closer and puts the plate aside, so they can scoot down a little bit.

 

*****

 

The next morning, they check out early and are on the road by nine.

Sam still looks so very miserable, it makes Dean’s chest ache. He’s all pale – nearly ashen and his thin lips have a faint shade of blue in the clouded sun’s light.

Only now, Dean’s attention catches on Sam’s thinness – for a lack of better description of how Sam’s formerly proper shape appears to him now.

To someone who doesn’t know Sam better, it might look natural – that that’s how he is. But Dean knows better. This is not how Sam’s supposed to be.

 

*****

 

 

 

Chapter Text

A/N:

This is more or less a filling-chapter …

Chapter 43 ~ The Habit

 

It’s only one stop and three hours later, when they reach the Salvage and put foot into Bobby’s house after such a long time.

Sam finds himself wrapped up in Bobby’s arms as soon as he crosses the threshold, who squeezes him so tight, it steals Sam’s breath.

“Good to see you, son.”, he grumbles in that familiar gruff way; for which the soft pats to his back make up and show the much needed softness and appreciation his words lack.

“Good to see you too.”, Sam murmurs back with a soft smile.

All that Dean gets is a half-hearted handshake and a grateful look that Dean has brought Sam back in one piece.

Castiel, who first holds his distance, firstly greets Dean with a nod, and a weird wink in his direction  (what confuses Dean to no end). Then, when Sam and Bobby part, he steps up beside Old-Grumpy to offer his hand for a handshake.

“I am happy too, Samuel.” His smile is tight.

“I’ve been cookin’.”, Bobby announces before any awkward silence can claim the space between the men gathered in the hall, “Pasta Bolognese. – So … It sure is still warm.”

Dean sees the gears in Sam’s mind start to work; trying to figure out an excuse why he can’t eat with them; can’t join them – or whatever.

“Thanks.”, Dean steps forward and takes Sam’s hand in his. He’s not going to let Sam back out. “We didn’t have anything yet.”

Sam squeezes Dean’s hand and casts him a threatful glance. “Yeah. – Pasta sounds good.”

 

*****

 

Old habits die hard.

Dean gets it; he knows that too. But watching someone else stumbling over them and not being able to interfere and make things better, or make them go away, is a very special kind of hard. First and foremost, because it’s causing such an alien-like emotion.

He knows, he can’t change how Sam’s feeling about food – things – from one moment to another. He knows, it will take time.

And that itches him too. He wants to solve the issue right the fuck now; can’t let it take the time it needs. He wants Sam to be fixed. He wants him to be good and healthy as soon as they get up tomorrow.

He’d love to make all the troubling stuff, Sam harbors in his thoughts, go away with a simple snap of his fingers.

Dean knows, it doesn’t work like this. He feels the urge to rush things.

But, he also knows, he can’t; shouldn’t.

This is something he doesn’t feel like being able to hold his horses about. Though, he will have to try and be patient.

What’s kinda hard when it’s about Sam’s wellbeing.

 

*****

 

Later that day, it’s late evening, and Bobby is storing away the leftovers, when Dean walks into the kitchen, with a bottle of Whiskey in hand.

Sam’s out like a light again; fast asleep in the bed upstairs. No wonder. The drugs – and all the physical and emotional stress – are still weighing heavily on him.

“How long?”, Bobby asks without looking behind him, while he puts the boxes into the fridge.

Dean stops in his tracks, before he can reach the old man and tilts his head. He knows exactly what Old-Grumpy is asking, though … “How long, until what?”

Bobby makes a noise which sounds a lot like a quiet snarl. “Until you take off again.”

“I’m not planning on leaving.”, Dean tells him right away. “I’m gonna stay here. – If that’s okay with you though.”, he adds more hesitant. “And if not … If not …” Dean swallows. “… Sam’s probably going to leave too, if I will.”

Bobby snorts annoyed. “Huh. – You think?” Doubt is clearly audible in his voice.

“I know.”, Dean answers a lot softer as he expects from himself, “Even if he wouldn’t want to, I’d take him with me. – There’s …” Dean pauses briefly. “… the spell doesn’t only affect him physically …” And then Dean fills him in on what the demon had told him back at the hospital; what he didn’t want to tell Bobby over the phone.

Bobby turns around and leans against the counter; crosses his arms in front of his chest and gives Dean a pointing look.

“Drugging me is one thing – for what I’ll be getting’ back at ‘ya by the way. – But when it comes to my son. – Boy, you better not pull a fuckin’ stunt like that again.”, Bobby warns him. “I get why you’ve left. I get why you’ve been actin’ the way you did. – Doesn’t mean that I’ve ‘ta like it though. Doesn’t mean I’mma gonna watch him ruin himself all over again. – Not this time. And if I have ‘ta, I’ll lock him up in that room in the basement.”

He pauses and his facial expression hardens. “I really thought you’re – despite that you’re what you’re – different.” Now, Bobby sounds disappointed.

Dean is different. He has changed. “I am.” He clears his throat. “At least since I’m with Sam; and I don’t wanna go back to how I were before I met him.”, he admits, though his black wolf doesn’t like that one bit. To the contrary, his white one purrs deliciously.

“I hope so.”, Bobby grumbles. He pushes away from the counter and walks over to the table.

Dean gestures with the bottle at Bobby. “I’ve brought a peace-offering.”, and he dearly hopes it works and is gonna smooth the tides a little.

“Cas already made up for it. – Was gone for two days straight without saying a thing, and when he came back, he’s had some quite special liquors.” Bushy eyebrows rise high.

Oh yeah. Dean has totally forgotten about that little fun-night with the Angel. – At least, he hasn’t been thinking about it for months; what doesn’t mean he haven’t had thought of making it up to Old-Grumpy before his mind has been too occupied with other matters.

So, yep, one of the first things – besides looking for Alistair – was, to get his hands on some very special liquors.  

Dean honestly doubts, Cas would’ve been able to get his hands on something like THIS. It’s practically straight from hell – or rather, out of the storage of one special crossroads-demon.

Hadn’t been easy to get into Crowley’s lair and scavenge his stock of centuries old Scotch and well-aged Brandies.

But Dean actually has, and since then, he’s been driving around with quite some fine bottles of booze in his trunk.

“There’s more where this is comin’ from.” Dean quirks a smile. “Practically ravaged hell’s boss of crossroads.” He lifts the bottle a little and turns it, so Bobby has a good look at the label. “Older than you, Bobby.” … about a hundred years older.

Bobby eyes the bottle and pulls his lower lip over the upper one. “And there’s more of that?”

Dean’s smile morphs into a sly grin. “Right outside the house. In my trunk.”

 

*****

 

They drink then.

Dean gets the other bottles from the trunk and stores them in Bobby’s ‘secret’ hiding place under the desk, before heading back upstairs to join Sam.

Carefully – so not to wake him – he climbs into bed beside Sam and sneaks his arm under the pillow, where his head is resting on. Without making him stir, Dean draws Sam closer and turns over on his side.

Sam hums in his sleep and nuzzles into Dean’s chest.

 

*****

 

Sam’s doing better by day five on the Salvage. He’s sleeping less and looks healthier than before.

Castiel announces, that he’s been finally able to sell the remnants of the Smelly Eden – rather the property it’s been built on.

After all, it is not like it is of any use anymore since the day the demons had destroyed it, and it has gotten popular among hunters. Specially, since they’ve found left overs of books from his library – not only those about human’s psyches – but also about Angels and Heaven. And even though, most of them won’t be of any use to those who found them; they must assume this place has been a lair of the supernatural.

So, nope, Castiel refrained from building it back up, and instead decided to sell it and find himself another place to continue his business.

 

*****

 

They barely have time alone, when they are not in their bedroom. Of what Dean’s certain, should upset him; but doesn’t. He even enjoys his time with Bobby and Cas, and even more he enjoys his alone-time with Sam after they head to their room.

And that enjoyment isn’t even about sex. They haven’t had any so far, and not because Sam’s pushing him away, or makes the impression that he doesn’t want to.

That’s all on Dean – what surprises himself immensely.

He even feels like telling Sam things he hasn’t shared with anyone; which he hadn’t dared to think about himself ever since digging himself out of his own grave. He’s been shoving all those things away.

His little brother.

The people he has lost, while hunting the very things, into one of which he’s got turned into.

After that, his lover.

All the pain and aches of his past linger buried – six feet under – at the very back of his mind’s cemetery. A place, Dean keeps hidden well and won’t – or hasn’t yet –been ready to visit.

He’s been lying to himself for so long; has been telling himself, that he can’t remember shit. He still likes to pretend; because old habits die hard. But he also knows, to let go of the past and all the lingering pain there, he needs to face those memories and the hurt they carry.

So, Dean kinda knows how Sam must be feeling about certain things – or at least, he can relate to it. What – he figures – should make it easier for him to work with Sam on those things. But in fact, it makes it harder.

He thinks, if he starts talking about it to Sam, Sam eventually is going to open up to him about what has caused his habit. Which makes him punish himself due controlling what he is – and is not – consuming .

But to get Sam there, he has to get himself to open up too, and as bad as he wants it, he just can’t get himself to tell Sam any of it.

 

*****

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 44 ~ The Mind’s Graveyard

 

It’s a particular bad day.

Sam’s been kinda miserable in the morning (and a little distanced, Dean has to point out); has skipped breakfast and lunch, and – except for brief moments – there barely has been anything close to a smile on his face.

Seems like, pointing out Sam’s eating-issues – even though Dean is careful about it -, is making it harder for him to deal with it. Dean has the slight feeling, that now – that Sam knows, that Dean’s aware of it, and is watching him like a hawk – he’s even more anxious about what he fills his stomach with and with what rather not.

Sam’s more restless too – somehow. Specially, after having eaten something.

And. As bad as it may has been before – now, Dean can practically feel Sam’s façade cracking and crumbling. It’s like he’s losing what little control he had left – at least, Sam defines it as control.

Dean’s pretty certain, that his disorder is controlling him, and not the other way around; Sam’s only feeling as if he has control.

And not only Dean notices, that things are getting more out of hand lately.

Obviously, Bobby and Castiel become aware of it more often than not too by now – but neither of them has yet tried to talk about it with Sam.

God, Jesus fuck. Dean wonders, when he’s gotten so hyper-aware and sensitive to how and what others feel or what troubles them. Well, he has always been aware of it – for that matter -, but he has never truly cared about it. Now, he does.

Though, mostly his black wolf keeps quiet for most of the time, sometimes he arises from his slumber and snarls at him, for letting it come that far.

Dean does his best to ignore the lingering darkness which comes with his tainted soul and trains his attention towards the good things.

What doesn’t mean, that he’s turning into a saint. Hell NO. He still loves booze and porn. Though, the porn he has in mind mostly contains Dean himself as the main actor and Sam as his overly amazing, hot sidekick.

He still thinks – sometimes – to knock Castiel one, because he’s just so annoying at times it’s nearly unbearable.

And for Bobby – well … he’s Bobby. Old. Grumpy and gruff. But he doesn’t make Dean feel as if he’s not welcomed. Actually, he treats him the same way he treats Sam and Cas – despite his huge fuck-up (drugging him, blasting Cas away and taking off).

It nearly feels, as if those people are friends now. – Well, except for Sam of course. He is and will always be more than that.

 

*****

 

Yeah, Sam feels miserable. He can’t even tell why.

It’s a nice day, he’s at the Salvage, and Dean’s right there with him, always close, watching out for him. Cas and Bobby are around too – occasionally – when his surrogate father ain’t making Cas help him with a car out back.

Nowadays, he seems to take care of hunter’s cars, instead of civilian’s vehicles.

They too look at him in a weird way sometimes; well knowing what’s off with him.

And maybe, that’s exactly why he feels so miserable and why he feels his emotions derail more often now. The harder he tries to work against his mind and make himself act normal when it comes to food, the lesser works.

In fact, it makes all a lot worse to deal with.

Sam had always thought, it’s about control. That HE is the one controlling what lands in his belly or not. But in fact, Sam starts to realize, he doesn’t have control over it at all, because IF he would, he could eat whatever he wants to, or feels like – without feeling like crap afterwards.

So, Sam comes to the conclusion, that he doesn’t have control at all.

Whatever this is (he is well aware that it’s a disorder, but can’t yet accept that) has control over him.

Sam’s a little struggling at the moment.

He tries to figure out how to solve this issue; how to make his mind work with him here; so, the others don’t worry so much anymore. And he himself can finally catch a break too.

 

*****

 

Sam shifts a little beside Dean.

They’re on the couch watching a movie, Bobby and Castiel are working on a car behind the house.

“You know, you don’t have to stay inside with me the entire time. – If you want to, you can help them with the car. I’m sure, you’d enjoy that.” Sam sighs. “Bet you’d be a bigger help to Bobby than Cas is.”

Dean snorts. “Workin’ with Old-Grumpy? And our favorite tree-topper? No thanks, Hotstuff.” Besides, he’d always be with Sam in his thoughts; he’d be utterly distracted the entire time. It’s not as if Dean thinks, that Sam’s going to try anything again, but he also can’t be sure that he won’t.

Better safe than sorry.

So, he’d rather stay inside and keep him within eyesight.

Sam hums and snuggles tighter into Dean’s side.

There’s silence for a while.

“I’ve had a little brother.”, Dean finally has the guts to say it out loud. “The deal I’ve made … I’ve done it to save my brother.”

Sam only breathes beside him; doesn’t move at all; nor does he say something.

Dean’s grateful for that. “Adam’s only been fourteen. – Had nosebleeds a lot; always pale … turned out he’s had a sickness; bad sort of leukemia. Aggressive and shit. He wouldn’t have survived that – back in the day at least. Medical procedures haven’t been developed that far yet. So, I’ve cut a deal – and voila, Adam’s been getting better after that. Only to get hit by a car exactly one year after I’ve sealed the deal.”

Dean huffs out a humorless laugh. “They’ve never caught the guy.”

Sam gingerly clears his throat and sneaks his hand on Dean’s thigh and squeezes it gently, instead of using words to tell him how sorry he is.

“And when they came to get me, when my deal came due, the first face I saw downstairs has been Alistair’s. And the first thing I’ve heard, has been his voice. Welcoming me; telling me, that when I’m a good pupil, that I’ll get to see my baby brother.”

A pause.

“’cause, you know, he ended up downstairs too. – I’ve got to know, that Alsitair’s been hellbent to get a hand on his soul too …”

When Dean doesn’t continue, Sam tilts his head to look at him. “Did he keep his word? – Did he let you see him?”

Dean snorts angrily. “Yeah. He did. When he’s been done ‘teaching’ me, he let me have my turn with souls. And the first one was Adam’s.”, the last words barely make it out of him.

Instead of using words, Sam moves and crawls onto Dean’s lap; calves along Dean’s thighs. He wraps his arms around him, and nuzzles with his nose into the crook of Dean’s neck.

It takes Dean a moment to react; to wrap his arms around Sam too; burry his face in his chest, and presses him so tight that his takes Sam’s breath away.

Dean can’t stop the tears from wetting his eyes; can’t make them go away and though not capable of letting them spill from his eyes either.

And then, Sam does shush him; cups the back of his head and tug Dean’s head under his chin, just as Dean has done so often with Sam’s.

“It’s okay, Dean.”, he whispers; hot breath catches in the small space parting them. “I’m here. I won’t go anywhere.” Sam sounds so sincere and determined about it.

For the first time, Dean finds comfort other than in booze or sex; never has allowed himself to draw this kind of honest-to-god solace from another person.

This is a first. And it feels so damn good to know, that it won’t be a last. That he is allowed to be – if only temporarily – the weaker link of their bond, and that Sam would catch him too, when (not if) he tumbles and falls.

For the first time, Dean is not alone with his grief and aches.

 

*****

 

When the both of them have calmed down, Dean urges Sam off of his lap and they come to terms, that they’ll withdraw to their room.

Dean sends Sam upstairs, while he moves into the kitchen and prepares sandwiches; fruits and arranges cans with sodas on a plate too, to take them with. He doesn’t feel like facing Bobby or Castiel for the rest of the day and Sam’s probably going to head to bed soon too.

When he enters their room, Sam’s already sitting on top of the covers, cross-legged and waiting for Dean. He looks up and smiles softly at him; though, his smile falters a little, when he spots the tray with food.

“Don’t worry.”, Dean tells him and places the tray on the floor beside their beds. “I’m not gonna push. – Just wanna make sure, in case we’re getting hungry, that neither of us is gonna have to head downstairs.”

Sam relaxes a little at that. “Thanks.”

Dean flops down on his side of the bed and tugs on Sam’s leg, so he scoots down too and stretches out beside him, until their shoulders are leveled.

They lay there for a while; staring at the ceiling, and holding hands; only being there in each other’s company.

“I’d like to make out with you.”, Sam eventually whispers into the silence and turns his head, watching Dean’s profile.

Dean’s lips curl into a grin. “Is that a request?”

Sam shrugs. “It’s a suggestion.”

Dean rolls onto his side and lifts his head to look back at Sam. “Nice suggestion.”, he says huskily and leans in until their lips brush. “I’d like that.”

He rests his hand on Sam’s stomach and moves it until his fingers meet sharp, denim-covered hipbones. They curl around his flank and Dean leans over a little more, so that he’s chest to chest with Sam; then tips his head slightly and presses his lips with tender force against Sam’s.

“Like that?”, he asks lowly.

Sam hums. “Kinda.  -Yeah.” He too moves his hand, until it covers the small of Dean’s back and urges him to move closer. He looks up at him with huge trusty eyes.

Dean goes with it; not breaking eye-contact, while he shifts his leg, so it’s slotted between Sam’s. His hand moves a little higher, until he feels the telltale of Sam’s ribs through the thin fabric. Then, seals his mouth over Sam’s again; presses his hips up against his body.

Sam makes a small sound. “That’s better.”, he whispers into the kiss.

“You sure that’s okay?” Because, is it? Sure, they’ve been sharing brief kisses or pecks, even small touches, every now and then – but it’s always been far from ‘making out’, since they’re back together.

“I wouldn’t have asked, if it weren’t.”, Sam answers, slightly breathless and guides his tongue tentatively over the seam of Dean’s lower lip.

Dean’s gentle with Sam; keeps his touches nice and tender, though he hungers for so much more. He wants to feel his skin; wants to suck and lick his way all over that smooth skin.

Once, or twice, Sam bucks up against him; feels his equally hard member through all the fabric; the hitch in Sam’s breaths, when he moves against him with more pressure.

Dean refrains from doing anything about it though. He doesn’t want to rush things between them; wants to take it slow and explore their newly found intimacy.

Sure, Dean would love to fuck around right the fuck now. He has been running around with blue balls more often than not those past couple of months. Hell, he’s so damn fucking ready for some serious release and a proper lay like he’s never been before.

But the timing doesn’t feel right. There is too much going on in his own mind and in Sam’s right now, and he doesn’t want it to happen, because he’s so fucking pent up with sexual tension; or because he feels like a nice lay is going to ease some of his tenseness away.

Maybe, later on, when they’re both back on track and things between them have cleared some more – not that anything isn’t clear … it’s just … Dean can tell, that Sam’s still anxious that Dean might take off and leave again.

And if they’d have sex right now – Dean’s white wolf muses – it would throw Sam off even more; would make him more afraid; could probably think, that Dean’s just sticking around for a fuck before he takes off again.

No.

Before anything like sex is going to happen, he wants Sam to trust him; wants him to believe, that they are together – like together together. For good. That Dean won’t run off again.

So, there won’t be happening anything else but kissing – and maybe – a little groping.

 

*****

Chapter Text

A/N:

Sorry for the chapter title – couldn’t come up with something ‘fitting’. All that came to my mind were the words ‘Flitter’ and ‘Poof’, and since I’m very uncertain about naming it ‘Flitter’ I decided to stick with ‘Poof’.

Chapter 45 ~ The Poof

 

Castiel has found himself a place, which he’s going to turn into something similar like The Smelly Eden. Just not … as ‘small’, and it’s going to harbor cabins instead of motel rooms.

It’s somewhere around nowhere in the woods, near Hardwick, New Jersey, and only findable when you’ve got the coordinates (or you’re a nerdy blood-splatter-fetishist).

To be more specific, we’re talking about an abandoned summer camp, which is supposedly haunted due some massacre back in the eighties committed by a Voorhees-Guy.

Dean is already wrecking his brains with suggestions on how to call it. “Abandon All Hope” sounds very fitting to Dean, but no one but him seems to get the joke. Neither does “Red Haven” or “Final Destination” or “Camp Blood”.

Castiel – for the moment – sticks with ‘Camp Forest Green’ – and ain’t that a classic‘I’m Castiel, an Angel of the Lord-Thing’?

Besides, Bobby seems a little wayward – and though relieved – that he’s getting rid of one of the occupants in his house, which probably doesn’t feel like his alone anymore.

Everyone has their stuff all over the place, mingled with Bobby’s – and even to Dean, who is not a very tidy type of person – it’s sometimes annoying.

 

*****

 

Sam is having a damn good couple of days – well, insofar not looking miserable but not healthy either, are good days.

Dean can’t be any happier about that development though.

It looks as if Sam’s improving – at least when it comes to the throes of the spell.

So far, Dean didn’t have ‘time’ to think on how to proceed with the Alistair-Matter; it doesn’t itch him in the slightest at the moment. He figures, it’s better to take on one matter at a time, and at the moment, Sam getting better is all that matters to him.

 

*****

 

Alistair launches in his softly cushioned seat, eying the cages to his right. He’s got a thoughtful expression on his face; eyes empty and with a far-far-away look in them.

The cages lie half in the shadows; their occupants only partly visible.

“Nicolas.”, Alistair says casually.

In the shadows of one of the cages, something moves and slowly emerges.

Nicolas Munroe’s blue eyes dull and empty, as they focus on the demon, who has called his name.

“I thought about offering you a deal, Nick.” Alistair purses his lips; eying his host-on-occasion thoroughly from tip to toe, before he catches Nicolas’ gaze and locks eyes with him.

Nicolas tilts his head; questioning. “Yes? Master.”

Alistair’s lips twitch. “I will let you go; annul your deal, and promise you that Samuel will return to your side.”

Hope flickers across Nicolas’ face. “You will?” He’s greatly surprised.

Alistair purses his lips and nods. “Under one condition.”

Nicolas swallows – hard – and nods curtly. “Yes, my Master. – I will do whatever it takes.”

A broad grin splits his face slowly. “Well, then.” Alistair flicks his wrist and Nick’s cage unlocks with a soft click and swings open.

Nicolas steps out and stops, eyes on Alistair. “What do I have to do?”

“Kill the man who stole your love.”

Nicolas does not know, that Alistair’s intention is not to have Dean Winchester killed; he does not know, that the demon doesn’t want him to succeed.

“He is a demon. How am I supposed to kill him?”, he asks hesitantly.

Alistair hums. “I will tell you how.”

Nicolas draws in a deep breath and nods again. He’s shaking. “Will Sam be mine again – for sure?”

The demon shrugs and then nods. “Of course he will. If you succeed he’ll be all yours. The both of you will be united.”

 

*****

 

Like already mentioned, Sam has a couple of good days

They are sitting on top of the hood of some beat-up Chevelle at the very back of the Salvage; bathing in the warm sun; both chilled beers in hands.

“I don’t know what my problem is.”, Sam talks up. “I don’t know why I am like I am. – What makes me do what I do.”

He doesn’t have to get more specific. Dean knows instantly what Sam is talking about and what he means by ‘problem’.

“I don’t know how to solve it either. – First, I thought I am controlling it. But now … I guess it’s the other way ‘round.”

Dean keeps his lips sealed.

“I think, it started with Nick though … somehow. When he started to change … when he started to …” Sam looks at the bottle and then back up into the distance. “First it didn’t bother me. I’ve ignored his remarks about food and stuff and … I didn’t really care what he thinks. But the longer it went on – the constant nagging – I don’t know …”

Sam doesn’t keep talking.

“You just went with it.”, Dean continues. “You started to avoid food you knew he’d harass you about, so he wouldn’t have reasons to nag.”

Sam shrugs and nods and shrugs again. “I guess, yeah.”

Dean hums. He too stares ahead; look focused on the line of trees a few hundred yards away. “But … you’re aware that what he did – it’s been wrong. You know, that he’s not been right, right? It doesn’t matter what size you have.” That’s not really true. Dean wouldn’t want Sam to become a 600lbs man; but neither does he have to be skinny.

In fact, a little more fat, and a soft belly would look good on him. He’d rather have a chubby Sam, than a toothpick-Sam. ‘cause, damn, his bones dig through his fuckin’ clothes and poke Dean all over when they’re cuddling.

Besides, this ain’t healthy.

“I wouldn’t care if you’d get chubby. – More erotically usable area, if you’re askin’ me.” Dean can’t help the sly grin upon the very thought of having more of Sam. He glances over at Sam and nudges with his knee against his.

“Sure.”, Sam snorts.

“Definitely, Baby Boy. I do.” Dean empties his beer. “You comin’ back with me?” He has to lend Bobby and Cas a hand with a car, a hunter has brought this morning.

Sam shakes his head. “Nah. – Gonna stay a wile longer. You go. I’m sure I’ll find my way back without a tour-guide.”

Dean pats Sam’s shoulder playfully. “You sure? ‘cause, you know, I’m an awesome guide.”

“I grew up here. – I bet I can do without one.”

Dean pulls a disappointed grimace. “Okay, fine. If you don’t want my company …”

Eyeroll.

Bitchface.

“Okay.”, Dean huffs, “Fine. – Some more precious alone-time for you, and for me gruff Old-Grumpy and annoying Virgin-Angel.”

Sam tilts his head and thrusts his jaw forward. He squints a little against the bright rays of sun. “You can’t make me feel bad, just so I start to pity you and keep you company for hours, where my only support is to stand by and watch as you guys get all oily.”

Dean purses his lips. Sam’s right, that’s been the plan.

“Picture, when you’re done with the car, what it’ll be like under the shower afterwards – with me. When you’re all dirty and you gonna need a thorough clean-up.”, Sam suggests; hitting home.

Dean’s eyes lighten up. Fuck yes. “A clean-up, eh?”

A shit-eating grin creeps onto Sam’s face. “A clean-up.”

“So – only to be clear. When we’re talkin’ about ‘clean-up’, you actually mean, we’re gonna clean our pipes, right? Not only scrubbing my back and shit?” … like old couples would do. Dean licks his lips.

“Guess you’ll have to wait and see.”

“I’m gonna hold you to that, Hotstuff.”

Sam blushes.

 

*****

 

Sam doesn’t stay out on the yard much longer.

To be honest, he doesn’t like to be alone with his thoughts at all, but that doesn’t mean, he has to keep Dean from doing something else than keeping him company.

Sam likes how Dean starts to open up to others but him too – little by little at least. He’s not always his cocky self and doesn’t tease Castiel all the time. Though, Sam has to point out, that it makes the impression, that Cas – mostly – doesn’t get that Dean’s actually insulting him; or trying to provoke him.

Sam’s not entirely sure what the constant taunting is about; except, that it’s sometimes funny – though kinda mean – and what Dean tries to accomplish, since Cas obviously doesn’t get it most of the time.

So, Sam heads back to the house, where he goes on the hunt for thrilling reading material (yes, ancient lore and myths are actually very interesting).

He makes himself a sandwich and grabs a coke.

After a while, he puts the book aside and moves over into the kitchen, where he starts to ‘cook’. It’s a ragout with a whole lot of vegetables and herbs and rice as side dish. Sam finishes his sandwich while moving around in the kitchen – never far away from the stove to have a close eye on the softly boiling food.

 

*****

 

When night breaks over the Salvage, Dean, Bobby and Castiel come inside.

They wash their hands and faces in the kitchen’s sink and then sit down at the small table, while Sam gets plates, forks and knifes for them.

Dean shoots him a curious look, when Sam only sets the table for three people.

Sam looks back at him pleadingly. “I’ve had a sandwich.”, he explains quietly, when he turns around with his mug in hands.

Bobby and Cas stare at Dean; obviously waiting how he is reacting to it. Freaking weird, how a human and an angel wait for a demon to take the lead.

Dean’s lips form a thin line. “Okay.”, he says lightly, smiles a small smile, and starts to fill his plate to the brim.

The others follow his example, while Sam sits down with freshly brewed coffee in a huge mug.

Dean notices when he takes a careful sip – the way Sam’s lips curl downwards slightly, and the tight line between his brows – that he hasn’t sweetened it.

Probably, because Dean had raided the cupboards and had gotten rid of all the fake sugar in the house, which Sam is usually using.

He knows he’s playing dirty, but doesn’t give a single fuck.

Sam is going to use real sugar instead of a substitute from now on, until – at least – he’s not looking like a damn stickman anymore.

So, when Dean has shoved the first heaped spoon of rice into his mouth, he gets up and brings Sam the sugar box from the cupboard from above the sink, along with a spoon and an expecting look.

Sam pulls a face, but follows the wordless order anyway.

They then eat, and Sam drinks his sweet coffee.

A part of him is grateful for Dean’s support and ministrations; his carefully measured pushes into the right direction. Another part – though – kind of hates him for throwing the sweeteners away.

It’s not as if Sam’s doing all this (or not doing all this) because he wants to. It’s a damn curse – this entire disorder-thing he has going on.

 

*****

 

Dean gets his promised thorough clean-up an hour later; under the shower; with Sam on his knees before him and his dick buried deep in Sam’s throat.

Warm water is raining down on them; rivulets form, where drops draw together and stream down their heated skins.

Sam’s a fucking virtuoso; knows exactly where to put pressure with his tongue, when he’s swirling it around his crown and dips it into his slit to lick all the salty precious precome up.

And, holy hell, fuck. Sam is looking up at him with his huge eyes; all innocent and shit, as if he’s not doing something downright dirty.

Dean sucks in his lower lip and bites it; muffles a growled, needy moan, when Sam goes down on him faster and with more suction; lips wrapped tight around his manhood.

All the while, Sam doesn’t touch himself once; though, Dean can spot his eagerly erected member each time Sam pulls off of him.

Dean tangles his fingers in Sam’s wet hair; blackness bleeds into his eyes as he feels his orgasm approach in seven-mile-boots.

Sam hums around him; his throat flutters against the intrusion, when he swallows Dean down once more; as if he’s been born for this – for Dean. His grasp on Sam’s wet locks tightens and draws a moan – dripping with equally pleasure and pain – from him.

And fuck, that’s got Dean hot. Knowing, that with only a few tugs on Sam’s hair, or a slightly firmer hold on it, can make his lover come all over himself without even touching him.

Because, not only Sam knows what buttons to push to get Dean all hot and bothered. Dean too knows, what Sam needs to tumble over the edge with him.

But that’s not what Dean wants – not like this. So, he guides Sam’s head back and pulls his hot mouth off of his hardness.

Sam’s looking up at him; questioning and with a hint of confusion. His lips are wet with saliva and water; red and puffy.

Dean bites his lower lip a little harder and helps Sam to his feet.

Backs him up against the tiled wall warmed by the hot water.

He cages Sam; makes his breath hitch and his body shudder, when he presses their bodies together, one hand between them; fisting their manhoods in a tight grip.

Sam throws his head back against the tiles and his eyes flutter shut; his mouth falls open; when Dean starts to move his hand. He knows, it won’t take too long, until Sam comes. – Can see it because of the deep red flush on his face; can feel it, in the way he’s tensing up and holding onto Dean.

“Fuck, Sammy. -C’mon, wanna see you come with me.”, Dean pants huskily and his fingers close firmer around their shafts; jerks a little faster. “Wanna see you fall apart for me, Baby Boy.”

Sam gasps and his toes curl; and that’s when Dean let go too of the tickling heat in his lower belly, and allows his own climax to happen along with Sam’s.

Their knees go weak.

Both breathe heavily.

Their skins oversensitive and bristling where cool air touches it.

Dean slumps against him, hand still on their twitching cocks; caged between their sticky bodies. He nips along Sam’s neck and shoulder; leaving a tender love-bite just beneath that spot.

Sam tips his head and rests his forehead against Dean’s shoulder; hot breath catches between his mouth and Dean’s skin.

“Water’s getting cold.”, Sam murmurs.

Yep it does. Dean doesn’t give a shit. He hums.

They stay there for a while longer, before they separate; finish their shower and head to bed.

 

*****

 

Alistair circles his host-on-occasion; examining it closely.

Nick is kneeling there, on the perfectly clean, dark brown tiles; his shoulders bowed and head hanging low; hands folded in his lap; shivering; waiting.

His clothes are filthy beyond recognition. There’s barely a space, where there’s no blood or dirt clinging to him.

The air is moist and saturated with sulfur; the smell of blood and sweat.

The back of Nicolas’ shirt is torn to shreds and saturated with blood. Beneath linger jarred welts and blistered burns.

“I do think you are ready.”, Alistair says – more to himself.

Nicolas gives a jerky nod.

“You will be greatly rewarded.”

Nicolas nods again; his lips trembling. “Yes, Sir.”, he chokes out and swallows. “With my soul.”

Alistair grins. “Yes. With your soul.”

 

*****

 

It’s early; the sun barely up and therefore it’s not yet too hot.

It’s still cool inside the house; a comfortable chill before the temperature is going to rise – bordering on a nearly unbearable level of heat and sweat.

Dean enjoys the way Sam’s curled up into his side; head resting on Dean’s chest; feeling soft puffs of air brush against his skin with each exhale.

He keeps his muscles relaxed and his breaths even; doesn’t follow the urge to rub over his itching nose in favor of not waking Sam.

Everything is fucking beautiful and calm and comfortable.

Everything is just perfect.

Dean’s relaxed features tighten and morph into the ones of discomfort.

His eyes snap open – they’re black as the darkest night.

He blinks and they turn back to that deep emerald-green.

Dean draws in a deep breath; fills his lungs as if he’s trying to scent something. Though, what tickles his senses ain’t lingering in the air.

Sammy.”, he whispers and shifts to draw away from under him. Sudden distress claims his chest and makes his heart beat faster.

The threat he’s sensing ain’t close – but close enough to tick off his wolves.

Sam eventually stirs, when Dean’s warmth disappears and his head gets cushioned on a pillow instead of his lover’s chest.

“Stay here.” Dean slips out of bed and snatches his clothes from the bed’s end.

“What’s goin’ on?”, Sam asks, his voice raspy. He tilts his head; hair messed up greatly. He blinks and when his mind finally decides to kick off its wheels and start to process what’s going on, he shoots into a sitting position.

“What is it?”, he asks, more awake and alarmed.

“Don’t know. – You stay inside, I’ll go check it out.”, Dean murmurs and buckles up his jeans, then, he hurriedly pulls on his tee and boots.

Sam moves around on the bed, fishes his set of clothes from his end of the bed and starts to work his long limbs into them too.

“You’ve got the knife?” Dean turns around and addresses Sam with a worried, though fiery look.

Sam nods and reaches for the drawer of his nightstand; then shows the engraved knife to Dean.

Dean then gets the Colt, checks the bullets and stops before putting his hand on the handle.

“Good. – Wake Bobby and Cas. I’ll check the house and yard.”

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 46 ~ The Drop-Off

 

Dean wouldn’t have thought to find THAT.

After checking the house and the wardings, he has moved outside. The darkness he senses leads him past wrecked cars, down the driveway and towards the gate.

From the distance, he can smell the sulfur and blood already. If anything, he’d think, he’d see a horde of hellhounds or/and demons circling in on Singer’s property.

But what is revealed to him, as soon as he walks out onto the driveway, is a human. A human, carrying hell’s odor; poisoning his surroundings with it.

And it’s not ANY human.

Despite the sickening odor of rotten meat mingled with hell’s unique reek, there’s a familiar smell lingering.

Nick Munroe’s.

A growl rumbles in his chest, when he stops in his tracks; only yards from the gate and the kneeling being in front of it.

Dean looks around; examines the surrounding area carefully. He strains his senses; tries to make out any other presences.

It’s only him and the human scumbag though.

They’re gone. They’ve left the human there, before Singer’s gates and have disappeared as it seems.

The demonic presence he has felt before is fading rapidly and only the remains, which are clinging to Munroe’s soul remain.

Dean’s attention is drawn back to the beaten up pulp of flesh and bones, when it makes a pitiful sound.

Nicolas whimpers again; cranes his head a little to look up. Dirty blonde hair covers most of his face, though, Dean would recognize it anywhere.

You?”, he spats out and takes a step towards him. What the fuck? Dozens of other questions whirl through his mind like a thunderstorm.

Footfalls hitting gravel enter his range of hearing. They’re too heavy to be Sam’s – plus, there’s a slight limp, where the boots drag through the gravel where their owner ain’t able to lift them enough.

Bobby.

The old man approaches him fast from behind and stops right beside him; heavily panting; eyes on the beaten up creature.

“What the hell?!”, he sputters breathlessly, “Who the hell’s that?” He cocks his shotgun and trains it at the man.

Nicolas lifts his hand; shows his empty palm to them, while he braces himself against the ground with the other one. “Please …”, he whimpers, “… please help me.”

Dean snorts. No way in hell. That bastard can rot right where they’ve dropped him.

“Balls.” Bobby takes a step towards the man – to him, his identity still unknown.

Dean puts his hand on Old-Grumpy’s shoulder to stop him. “That’s Munroe, Bobby.” He shakes his head. No way in hell that freak is coming anywhere near Sam.

He can hear Bobby swallow. “What?”

“Nicolas Munroe. – Sam’s ex.” Just in case, his last name doesn’t ring a bell. Dean looks over at him and turns on his heels.

“How’d he come here? – Is he … possessed?” Is this some weird-shit demon-play to trick them?

“Don’t know, don’t care. – Nah, he’s human. The demons are gone.”

Their eyes meet. Confusion is evident in Bobby’s.

Dean’s remains cold and uncaring.

“Well, we can’t leave him here.”, Bobby grumbles and lowers the shotgun.

Dean reminds himself, that Bobby doesn’t know shit about what exactly has happened between Nick and Sam and in what state he’s been in when he found him. That he’s not only been manipulating Sam, but also has been an abusive asshole.

“He’s human, Dean.”, Bobby says, as if that has to mean something to him; as if it’s an excuse.

“No way he’s getting anywhere near the house as long as Sam’s there.”, Dean tells him coldly, with an icy stare.

“Excuse me, but that’s my house.”, Bobby stares at him – hard. “And as far as I am concerned, boy: I’m the one who gets to decide who gets in and who not.”

If only Bobby’d know.

Dean can’t really say anything without giving away what has happened between Sam and Nicolas, and he sure doesn’t want to tell things Sam doesn’t want to share. No matter, how mad he is at Nick-Dick … he can’t tell Bobby even though he’d love to.

He’d probably compromise Sam; would make him feel ashamed about himself; and that would maybe do much worse to him. Sam’d feel utterly embarrassed; ashamed … Dean figures. It’s Sam’s part to tell his surrogate father – if he wants to tell him.

Then again … if Dean doesn’t intervene, Bobby is going to drag that bastard into the house; … what could trigger shit too – maybe worse things than embarrassment and shame on Sam’s part.

Though, when he grants himself another moment of thinking, he comes to the conclusion, that he might as well should talk about this with Sam (first); see how he handles the news and how he reacts to it, before making a move and causing a shit-storm.

Dean understands, that Bobby will not not help Nicolas, only because Dean says so.

No matter how hard this is, he’ll have to let Sam decide if Bobby is supposed to know. Dean’s sure, when Bobby gets to know what that guy has done to Sam, he happily is going to dump that shithead somewhere in the woods and let him rot there.

Dean clears his throat. “You’re right. Your house. Your rules.” He rolls his shoulders and sighs heavily.

Bobby quirks a bushy eyebrow. “You gonna help, or what?” It’s not really meant as a question – rather like an order.  

Dean shoots a glance over his shoulder towards Nicolas and then looks at Bobby. He swallows back a snarky remark about paralympic hunters and … well … no, he actually doesn’t want to help. But he can’t let Old-Grumpy drag that piece of shit inside on his own either.

“I could help with stuffing him into a trunk; drag him into the woods and skin him alive, that’s what I could help with.”, Dean growls. ‘Cause with THIS he’d definitely help with.

Bobby gives him a judging look; with hints of disappointment.

Okay, so nope; no skinning the dickwad.

“Nope. I can’t.” No way in hell he’s gonna help that sick fuck one bit. “I’ll go get Cas to help you though.”, Dean tells him; his green eyes burning with hell’s fires. “What I’m gonna do is talk to Sam and let him know, that his piece-of-shit-ex has turned up on our doorstep.”

Bobby grunts his approval. “You do that.”, he mutters.

 

*****

 

Bobby ain’t stupid.

By now, he got to know Dean; sometimes even knows what he’s thinking without saying anything. He just has to look him in the eyes and knows what’s going on in his mind.

And – Bobby knows, it’s weird as fuck to trust a demon, but he is convinced, that Dean would do nothing that could hurt Sam; consciously at least. He also knows, that Dean’s possessive as fuck though he does his best to not let that part show and make it obvious to him and Cas.

Bobby trusts him with Sam.

He fuckin’ trusts a demon with his surrogate son.

But he does. Damn, he’d trust Dean with his own life too – even after such a short amount of time. – Never in a lifetime he would’ve thought that such a thing is possible to happen.

After all, he doesn’t trust people easily – much less a demonic creature.

Bobby also thinks, that Dean’s possessiveness is the reason for his overreaction right now; his demonic nature with all its merits seeping through the cracks.

Sure, Bobby has never liked Nicolas – hell, he has known in an instant, that something’s off about that guy, and after Sam breaking contact with him, he knew he’s been right.

That doesn’t mean, Bobby isn’t supposed to help him. – After all, Nicolas is human, and just because he’s a fuckin’ dick doesn’t mean that he has to suffer death.

Of course, he could dump him in front of an ER, but that may turn out positively negative. Authorities would get involved, and if Munroe is going to spill his beans to them, they may turn up on the Salvage.

What concerns him more is, what it’d do to Sam and in what situation that would bring him.

He can imagine, that this ain’t easy on Sam – having his asshole-ex with him under the same roof – but he’s got to test the waters with that guy before he – or Sam – decide if it’s okay for Munroe to stay with them for a while; or not.

Involving the authorities has to be avoided – for now. Bobby decides, depending on in what state of mind Sam’s ex is, he’ll come to a decision later (of course, not without involving Sam).

 

*****

 

Dean is certain, that this ain’t easy on Bobby either, and that Old-Grumpy is probably taking more aspects into consideration than him right now.

Doesn’t change anything about how he feels about Munroe. He’d rather not have him anywhere close to Sam.

When Dean enters the house, he hollers for Cas, who comes – practically – flying on angel’s wings into the hall.

“Samuel is upstairs.”, Castiel blurts out almost immediately. “What’s going on?”

Dean nods towards the front door. “No demons. – But Bobby needs help; they’ve dumped a human in front of our gates.”

Castiel tilts his head and frowns at him. “Who? And Why?”

“Sam’s ex. – The one Alistair’s been riding for a while. Don’t know yet.” Dean brushes past Castiel and stops at the foot of the stairs. “I’ll go talk to Sam; tell him what’s going on.” … prepare him.

Dean doesn’t wait for a confirmation.

Half way up the stairs, Sam is already coming his way. “What happened?” Sam has the knife in his left hand; ready to use.

Dean lifts his hand and nods at him move up the stairs again. He doesn’t want Sam to even catch a glimpse of that dickface.

Sam’s look lingers for a while longer, before he turns around and heads back upstairs where he stops in the corridor.

“Sammy.” Dean draws in a deep breath; steeling himself for however Sam’s reaction is going to turn out. “They’ve dumped Nicolas in front of our gates.” There’s no way to tell him that gently.

Color drains from Sam’s face and for the briefest of moments it looks as if he’s going to pass out, when he puts his hand against the wall to his left to steady himself.

Dean reaches for him, but Sam shies away from the hand. A row of emotions cross his face then, but Sam sobers up fast within a few blinks.

Nick?”, he asks in disbelieve. “Why?”

Dean nods and reaches for Sam again. This time, he doesn’t flinch, so Dean invades his personal space by taking a step forward and putting his hand on Sam’s shoulder; then neck and jaw. He gives him an intense look.

He feels Sam tremble.

“You gonna take him to the hospital, right?” He’s not coming inside, right?

Dean can tell that this upsets Sam; that this may become worse than he had thought it would. “Not yet.” Because, what’s the point in lying? “Bobby’s going to check out his injuries first.”, Dean tells him what he thinks will happen next.

Sam nods and swallows. “’kay.”, he murmurs and looks aside – somehow embarrassed. He too seems to figure it’s a reasonable move and it’s witty to not hurry things.

Dean rubs his thump against Sam’s cheeks; tries to make him look back at him with the gentle touch.

“I can tell Bobby, Sammy.”, he whispers, “You’ve valid reasons to not want him to stay here. – He’s going to understand if he knows what has happened.”

Sam shakes his head. “I don’t want him to know. – Don’t want anyone to know.” He still can’t look Dean in the eyes. “Don’t tell him.”

“I can get rid of him.”, Dean offers, “Thought I’d ask for your permission first though.”

Sam snorts and smiles a little, when he looks back at Dean. Then he shakes his head again. “No …”

Dean grins faintly too. “You know I could. I’d love to, actually.”

Sam shakes his head again. “He’s … I guess he’s been through hell already …”, Sam stutters; searching for reasons to not let Dean do just that. “He’s probably paid his due.”

Dean’s not happy with what Sam thinks. He shouldn’t forgive Mister Assface – ever. But, he won’t argue with Sam about that just now.

“I just … I won’t want to see him though … so …” Sam swallows; his eyes veiled with unshed tears, “I’ll just stay in our room.” He searching Dean’s face – a question in his eyes.

Dean knows, Sam can’t – shouldn’t – stay in their room at all. Just because Munroe is around. This is as much Sam’s home as it is Bobby’s, and Munroe has no right to cut down on Sam’s freedom like this.

Dean takes a step closer until their chests are touching. His hand finds the back of Sam’s head and he tilts it down to place a reassuring, lingering kiss to his forehead. “That’s okay.”, he whispers, “Lets go inside.”

Sam nods jerkily.

Dean shoos him into their room and makes Sam sit on the bed.

“What now?”, Sam sounds so uncertain; so young, it makes Dean’s heart bleed.

That’s a legit question. What now? “I don’t know. – We’ll figure out why they’ve dropped him here. – Guess it’s not because Alistair suddenly cares about humans. Everything he does has a purpose. Or he just wants to spice things up.” … again. “He knows you’re back with me.” Or vice versa. “Maybe, this is meant to be a distraction of some sort …” Dean needs time to brainstorm that out.

Dean sits down beside him and pulls him into a side-hug. “I won’t let him get near you.”

Sam’s lips twitch. “I know …”

“You sure you don’t want Bobby to know?”, because Dean is positive that he should. He sure wouldn’t give a shit about Asshead if he’d know and therefore, wouldn’t even consider letting him stay in his house. Bobby would be head over heels about Dean’s suggestion to skin him; maybe even lend him a helping hand.

Dean’s black wolf roars eagerly at the very thought.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 47 ~ The Fearsome Visitor

 

Sam’s surrounded by people who wouldn’t let anything happen  to him. He knows, Nick is not a threat to him here – in this house, with those people.

And though, he pretty much feels threatened; experiences an unsubstantiated fear when it comes to Nick – even though if he is not in the same room as him.

His heart is hammering away in his chest; his hands shaky and his legs weak. His mind is on a high with all the messengers flooding his brain.

And that, despite that it’s been hours since they’ve brought Nick inside.

Not even Dean’s presence seems to mend his upset nerves.

He wants to sleep; wants to flee from this place and drift off towards dreamland, but he’s so high awake; so on edge … he can’t.

 

*****

 

Dean curses himself.

He has wrapped himself tight around Sam; spooning him from behind; carding his fingers through Sam’s hair repeatedly. He’s still trembling; his heart still beating fast; and despite that he can’t see Sam’s face, he very well senses the burning tears in his eyes and the occasional swallow to try and hold back sobs.

Dean doesn’t know how long they stay like this; doesn’t care either. He’d stay with Sam in this very position until the end of times; until he’s feeling better, but he doesn’t get better; doesn’t relax a single bit.

“Why don’t you try and sleep?” If Sam’s mind gets a little break, he might feel better afterwards.

“Can’t.”, Sam murmurs and sighs shakily.

Dean chews his lip. “I’d have some pills to help you relax.”, he whispers, “What’d you say?”

Sam squirms a little. “I don’t know …” He’s not sure that’s a clever idea. As much as he craves to find rest, blissful nothingness also means unawareness of what’s going on; what’s happening.

“You’ll be fine.” Dean doesn’t want to pry … But he can’t stand Sam feeling like shit either. “I promise.”

Sam shifts. “You’ll not be far?”

Dean snorts. Sam’s damn fucking cute, even in this messed up state; maybe, that makes Sam even cuter. “I’ve nowhere to be, except with you.”

“’kay.”

“Okay.” Dean gets the pills from the duffel stored in the closet, along with the glass of water on the nightstand.

Sam takes them and settles back down on the bed, where he curls up on his side. Dean takes his place behind Sam again and wraps him up in his arms; holding him tight.

“Try and let it go, Sammy. – You’re safe.”, Dean whispers into his ear. “I’ll be here.”

 

*****

 

And Dean’s there with him, when he wakes up.

Sam’s all groggy and a little disoriented, but it only lasts a couple of minutes and his head clears from the fog of the sedatives soon.

Sam hums and smacks his lips; not yet remembering anything but blissful nothingness. He presses himself back into Dean’s chest and cradles his hands; holding them close to his belly.

“Hey, sleepyhead.”, Dean draws him closer and nuzzles into the crook of his neck, “you better?”

Sam hums again and his stomach growls.

Dean doesn’t leave his side immediately. He waits for Sam to wake up fully and shake off the last tendrils of sleep, before he starts to move away and sit up.

It’s shy after five in the afternoon by now, and Dean’s belly starts to protest against the lack of food too. Funny, how he’s gotten used to regular warm meals (which don’t come from a diner or drive-through).

“I’m gonna make sandwiches. You want some?” Dean already knows the answer, but asks nonetheless, “Think there are still bananas too … Could make you peanutbutter-banana-sandwiches?” Because he knows Sam loves them and can hardly resist them either.

Again, he’s playing a little unfair, and still, he doesn’t give a shit. He’d feed Sam peanutbutter-banana-sandwiches all the time, but he’s afraid that Sam’s going to be fed up with them then. What’d make it harder to get something solid into him, if he’s having bad days.

Sam sits up and yawns, then rubs a hand over his face and squints at Dean.

The battle in Sam’s mind is visible all over his face.

“I’ll prepare some; make us coffee, and you can still decide when I’m back.”, Dean smiles warmly at him.

Sam nods back gratefully. “Thanks.”, he rasps and leans back against the headboard.

 

*****

 

Dean is carrying an utterly sour face, when he returns – close to an hour later – with a tray in hands. On it, two plates with sandwiches, two mugs with steaming coffee and water bottles.

Sam immediately catches onto his bitter mood; but doesn’t say anything at first. He let Dean put the tray down between the both of them and settle down again.

Sam clears his throat; not trusting his voice. “Did you have a fight? With Bobby?”

Not exactly. More of a discussion. After spotting that human fuck-up asleep on the couch in Bobby’s living-room, cleaned up and dressed in a set of clothes. And not anyone’s clothes. Nope. It’s the ones Sam’s been wearing a couple of days ago and are supposed to be in the laundry.

“Nah.” Dean pries a smile on his face. “Don’t you worry.”

And of course, those circumstances set off a ray of sunny curses and Dean demanding to – at least – lock that dipshit up in the basement. After all, they have no clue why the demons have brought him here and why they’ve let him live.

This could – despite his condition – be very well some sort of trap. And even if not, Munroe doesn’t deserve a fucking soft lair, when he’s held Sam in a fucking bathtub for nearly an entire week.

So, yes, Dean has every right to be sour and bitter and fucking furious.

Of course, Bobby and Cas can’t know why that guy sets him off like this. They probably assume it’s his demonic nature coming through, or whatever. Doesn’t mean, that he has to hold back though, when it comes to dickhead downstairs.

“Dean.”, Sam doesn’t buy it.

“Sammy.”, he sighs. “It’s nothing. Really.”

Sam chews the insides of his cheeks and examines Dean’s face curiously.

Dean really tries to get an honest smile on his lips; swallows back down acrid bile which lingers in his throat. “C’mon, lets eat.”

Sam still eyes him; uncertain. He draws in a shuddering breath. “How is Nick doing?”

Dean pulls a grimace. Is Sam honestly worried about him, or does he only want to know if the guy’s capable of moving around the house? “He’s asleep. – They’re gonna move him into the panic room in the basement. Keep him locked up for now.”

Sam’s shoulders lose a little of the tension and his features relax visibly. “’s he hurt bad?”

Dean can still feel Sam’s looks on him; how he’s trying to read him. Not bad enough. “He’ll be fine. Physically.”

Sam nods. He looks a little stricken. Probably he’s not sure if he’s supposed to feel glad, or unlucky that he ain’t gonna die.

Dean doesn’t have those worries though. He’d happily slice that guy’s throat, if he’s not gonna die the natural way.

Deal or no deal. Nick’s going down.

“Bobby said he’s disoriented. Frightened.” And that’s quite satisfying. “He and Cas are going to talk to him, when he’s better. – And then, they’re gonna drop him off at a bus station or mental institution – depending in what condition he’s in.”

Sam takes another deep inhale. “So … he’s only going to stay a few days?”, he asks, sounding hopeful.

Dean nods. This way or another, yes, he’ll only stay for a couple of days. “Until they’ve questioned him. Maybe he knows shit about Alistair and his plans; or he has overheard something.” What’s not a bad idea after all, though, Dean hates that that bastard is going to stay under the same roof as them.

“Good.”, Sam smiles faintly and reaches over the tablet and puts his hand on Dean’s thigh, squeezing it. “That’s good.”

Dean growls. It’s not. It’s so not. ‘cause Nick-Dick deserves so much more than a few months with Alistair. Dean could truly make him pay; regret that he’s ever been born.

Sam retreats his hand and takes the coffee. “C’mon. Let’s have lunch.”

Supper.”, Dean corrects him. Lunch is way overdue. “And yeah, you’re right. Let’s eat.”

 

*****

 

When Dean goes downstairs the next time, with the tray and dirty dishes, Munroe is gone from the couch, so Dean assumes Bobby has made true to his word and has locked that scumbag up in the basement. And since he can’t spot Castiel anywhere, he figures, he’s got to be with him; having an eye on him.

He nearly runs into Old-Grumpy when taking his turn into the kitchen. “Woah.”

Bobby sucks in a sharp breath. He hasn’t heard Dean’s approach either as it seems. “Stop sneakin’ around the damn house like a fuckin’ silent fart, boy!”

Dean sputters an excuse. “So, I guess he’s in the basement? Doors locked and shit?”

Bobby nods and let Dean pass. “Why don’t you tell me what’s really up? – Sam didn’t come downstairs once. – I mean, I know he ain’t hot seein’ his ex, dick or no dick, but I haven’t thought he’d be so … not caring since Munroe’s injured …”

Dean groans and rolls his eyes. “’s Sam’s thing to tell you. Not mine. I promised I won’t.” He doesn’t turn to face Bobby. Old-Grumpy may read him then and he wouldn’t want him to confront Sam with the issue – just yet. “All I can say is, that I don’t want that bastard anywhere near him, and Sam sure won’t want to run into him accidently either. I can’t blame him, if he wouldn’t want to come downstairs as long as Munroe is around.”

Bobby’s eyes narrow. “Then I guess … Me and Cas are gonna make it a quick interrogation as soon as he’s up to it?”

Dean’s shoulders sag in relief. “Yeah. – That’d be great.” He could interrogate him too; could make him spill way faster, since he wouldn’t go all soft on that guy. But Dean doesn’t trust himself with that. He’d high likely won’t be able to stop himself from ‘interrogating’ him and Sam may not appreciate that – no matter what he has done to him in the past.

 

*****

 

Sam doesn’t sleep for the better part of the night, so, they talk, or just hang around, cuddle and make out a little.

Dean figures, taking off the edge is going to tire Sam.

It doesn’t.

Sam doesn’t look like he’s going to fall asleep anytime soon – not even after Dean had made him come a second time.

It’s kinda frustrating.

Isn’t he supposed to pass the fuck out?

And because Sam’s such an awesome boyfriend, he demands to return the favor and teases and rubs Dean through his pants, until he creams himself like a damn teenager.

And guess what? Dean’s passing out right after, no matter how hard he tries to stay awake.

 

*****

 

It’s in the earlier morning-hours.

Sam has fallen asleep somewhen after Dean; curled up against him. He has had a restless sleep though; tossing and turning; waking Dean every now and then, when he’d move abruptly.

“Sammy.”, Dean groans and reaches over to feel for his lover.

Sam whimpers in response; makes another pitiful sound, when he touches him; fingertips brushing across Sam’s back.

“Sam.”, Dean says again; more awake now. “It’s okay.”

He chokes out a breathy “No” and gasps. “Please …”

Nightmare. Awesome.

Dean pries his eyes open and turns over to face Sam. “It’s okay, Baby Boy.”, he whispers, his voice all hoarse and shit. “I’m here.”

Another whimper and a moan. Sam pushes his head into the pillow; his shoulders. His back arcs slightly from the bed.

“Sweetheart.”, Dean murmurs and props up on his elbow; his hand finding Sam’s chest. He rests it above his heart; shirt soaked with sweat. “C’mon.”

Sam’s skin is glistening with a fine sheen of sweat; hair damp and sticking to his forehead.

Dean’s eyes narrow; he moves closer; worry clouding his beautiful green irises. “Baby Boy.”, Dean whispers and leans in, “C’mon, wake up, Sammy.” It’s just a damn fuckin’ dream. Still, he sounds soft and caring, but still … “Babe.”, he says more demanding.

Sam only makes a strangled sound as if he’s choking. “Please … don’t …”

“Sammy. Wake the fuck up.” A whole of a lot more demanding, but still kinda soft. How does he wake him, without slapping him across the face?
Dean has no actual clue how to do that.

He’s debating with himself, if he should consider slapping him though. He can’t. So, he does the only other thing he figures might could help.

Dean leans in and covers Sam’s lips with his, swallowing his next sounds. “C’mon, Sammy. Wake up, Baby Boy.” He kisses him again.

And finally, eventually, Sam’s eyes snap open and he gasps awake.

“Sammy.”

Sam chokes back a sob and turns over; buries his face in Dean’s chest. “Sorry. I’m sorry.”, he murmurs into his shirt.

Dean pats him; tugs his head under his chin. “Don’t be sorry, Baby Boy. It’s okay.” He shushes him and holds him so tight, he may will leave bruises behind. “I’m here with you.”

The damn levee breaks then. Sam starts wailing and sobbing into his chest; shirt soaking with tears.

 

*****

 

In the basement, Castiel leans against the heavy iron-door and watches the human on the cot, who has his back turned towards him.

Nicolas’ breaths are even and deep, as if he’s asleep, but his eyes are open and despite the drugs in his system, they are clear and bright; he’s high awake.

He closes his eyes.

Nicolas has been a little out of it, he has to admit. The pain a tad too much to bear; though, his mind set on getting his love back, and in the process, winning back his soul too – as soon as Deanmon is out of the way.

That very thought; that one person – SAM. The only reason why he’s been clinging to life all along, why he hadn’t given up when with Alistair. The chance, that he can get him back. – That’s what’s spurring him on; that’s what keeps him going.

He can have him again; can make it better this time around. Nicolas will change. He will stop to drink and do the things he has done to his love.

He can be a better man than he’s been – if it’ll help him win Sam’s heart back. And if not? Well, he’ll just have to make Sam love him again.

He doesn’t only get to have a couple of years with Sam; he can have the rest of his life with him, as soon as he has gotten rid of that abomination.

Alistair has promised him that; had assured to him, that he can have him back.

So … for now, he has to be patient; has to wait until he’s better and until they let him out of this room.

Nicolas doesn’t know how – or when – he will get his chance, but he is certain he will get the opportunity to rip Sam away from those people and the demon.

 

*****

 

Sam falls asleep again, when there’s nothing left inside of him. Dean holds him through it; whispers sweet things to him; pets and strokes his head and back.

Eventually, the call of nature becomes too strong to ignore it anymore, and he eventually has to leave Sam’s side to visit the toilet. When he is done with his business, he doesn’t head back to their room instantly. Instead, he makes a little detour to the kitchen to get some juice for Sam, so there’ll be one when he wakes.

Weaponed with a bottle of orange juice, one with apple juice and a can of coke, Dean takes on his journey back upstairs. Short before reaching the stairs, Castiel comes his way – looking a little fucked up too.

They share a look, and Dean stops at the foot of the stairs.

“I think, something is wrong.”, Castiel tells him hushed. “Something is not right with the man.” Means as much as, we’ve to stay alarmed as long as he’s at the Salvage.

Dean gives him a curt nod. He gets those weird vibes too, and he hasn’t even seen him up close. “Did he say something?”

Castiel shakes his head and gives him a meaningful look. “He is heavily drugged.”, he explains, but something seems to not fit well with him. “Mostly staring ahead. – His mind may have taken damage from the possession.”

No shit, Sherlock. Yep, odds are, that Alistair has messed up his brains good. That’s what demons do when they possess people.

“I think, they didn’t dump him here because Alistair decided to show a little heart. – There’s a reason behind it, and I’m damn sure we won’t like it.”, Dean tells the Angel about how he feels about their ‘visitor’.

“You think he sent the man to kill Samuel?” Castiel seems to think about the possibilities too. Good.

It would fit Alistair’s usual gameplay. “Don’t know. Guess we’ll have to stay alert and wait and see. – Maybe he’s just meant as a distraction.”

Castiel’s lips form a thin line.

The Angel had planned on leaving tomorrow – starting to visit and rebuild his new ‘Sanctuary’ – or how Dean likes to call it ‘Camp Blood’. Dean’s not keen about that. He’d rather have Castiel around a while longer, since they can’t know what is going to come next – if something is going to come next.

Maybe, Alistair is just fucking with them; trying to cause chaos, and maybe there’s not really a huge master-plan behind Nicolas’s turn-up.

Dean may could use angelic help if things get awry.

“Would you … reconsider leaving tomorrow?”, Dean asks – a little uncertain. He is not used to ask favors. Right about now – though – he figures it’s a good time to start with it.

Castiel gives him an offended look. “Of course, I will not leave. Not, when my friends may need my support.”

Dean quirks a thankful smile. “Thanks, Cas.” He pats the angel’s shoulder.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 48 ~ The Clash

 

Sam keeps having nightmares (more like night-terrors).

He only leaves their room when he really has to, or when Dean is making him go for a walk, or to watch a movie downstairs.

Though, Sam keeps acting totally uneasy and jumpy when he’s not in the safety of their room. It bothers Dean greatly.

Munroe – according to Castiel and Bobby – is doing better – physically. So far, he has barely spoken; hadn’t reacted to inconvenient questions of the both of them.

Dean doesn’t want to get involved with that guy, but it’s already been days, and he’s getting more and more impatient.

 

*****

 

Bobby balances a tray with one hand. On it a bowl with hot Chili and three bottles of water for their ‘visitor’ who is still locked down in the basement.

By all means, the man doesn’t seem like a threat; quite the opposite actually.

He unlocks the panic room, pulls the heavy door open and looks inside.

Nicolas is sitting on a wooden chair by a small table Bobby has put in there. He looks up at the grizzled hunter and his lips curl into a sincere smile. “Hey.”

The shelves and closet with the weapons are cleaned out – of course – and have found a temporary new home at the attic for now.

Bobby steps inside and closes the door behind him. “Hey, Nick.”, he greets him too, though can’t hide his aversion completely. He still doesn’t like that guy.

Now even less after Dean letting on, that there must have happened something severe between that man and his son. Bobby figures, if Sam’s so reluctant to tell him (and had made Dean promise him, that he won’t tell Bobby either), there must have happened something real bad between the two of them.

Bobby places the tray on the table and takes a seat on the second chair, opposite of Nicolas. “We need to talk. – Get to know a few things – maybe important ones. Maybe you’ve picked up on information during your time with Alistair, which may could be useful to us.”

Nicolas reaches for the bowl and the spoon and nods. “Yes.” His face falls and he let the spoon sink into the Chili before he looks up and makes eye contact with Bobby.

“I’ve been wondering …” He clears his throat. “’s Sam here too?”

Bobby rises an eyebrow at him. “Why?”

Nicolas has an utterly sad expression going on; his shoulders bowed as if there’s a weight bearing down on them. “I want to apologize.”

That definitely seems to get Bobby indulged. He gives him a questioning look. “I can let him know, that you’re sorry.” No way in hell – knowing how Dean has reacted to the man, and Sam barely making it out of the room – he’ll let this guy come face to face with Sam.

“Look … Mister Singer …” Nicolas shoulders sag some more, “… I’ve been a mad man. I’ve done … things to Sam. – I …” He huffs a breathy, wet lough; tears gather in his eyes and make them shine. “… I hurt him. – He needs to know how damn sorry I am for all of it. That I regret everything, and that if I could, I’d make it undone.”

A tear trails down Nicolas’ cheek.

Bobby just stares at him blankly; totally unimpressed. That’s more words than the man had said all together in the past couple of days.  

He draws in a deep breath. Nicolas is confirming what Bobby has been thinking.

Bobby leans in a little. “Tell you what: You’ve hurt my boy. You don’t get to ask for forgiveness, and I won’t let you tell him shit; neither will I tell him anything of the things you’ve just said.” He’s getting a little angry here; not shying away to show it either.

Munroe is supposed to know, that there’s no such thing as forgiveness for him in this place. Bobby – at least – won’t let him off the hook at all.

Neither should Sam. He knows it’s not quite fair, and he is not supposed to make decisions for him, but under those circumstances, he might as well will.

Nicolas nods to himself and lowers his gaze. “I understand.”, he murmurs and sniffs. “I deserve that.”

There’s a pang of guilt in Bobby’s guts, upon examining the broken man before him; because he sure is broken – there is no denying that.

“You eat. – I’ll be back later with a friend of mine. We have some questions for you.”

Nicolas nods timidly. “Yeah, of course.”

 

*****

 

As if on cue, Bobby walks in on Sam in the kitchen, who is preparing the coffee-maker.

“Hey, boy.”, he greets him; walks over and pats his back when he stops beside him; and gets mugs from the cupboard. “How’re you doin’?”

Sam shrugs and fills the coffeemaker with water, then turns it on. “Good, I guess.” He’s not, but what is he supposed to say, so to not make Bobby ask inconvenient questions he doesn’t want to answer.

“Nick told me what has happened between the both of you.” It’s not the entire truth, but not a lie either.

Sam’s breath catches in his chest and he tenses up beside him. He swallows. “He did?”, Sam chokes out. His face first turns pale and then bright red, before it loses a couple of shades again. “What … what did he tell you?”

Bobby clears his throat. “I know it’s not been pretty.” He doesn’t have to know details; wouldn’t want to know any details, because if he’d get to know them, he might reconsider taking the man out into the woods and let Dean skin him alive. Hell, Bobby’d even help with it.

Sam scoffs, as if that’s an understatement. “It wasn’t.”

Bobby side-eyes him; weighing what he says next carefully. “One word, and he’s out of the house.”

Sam squirms. He clears his throat. “How’s he doing?”

The coffeemaker starts to gurgle; the strong smell of coffee fills the dingy kitchen.

“Good – I guess. He’s healing just fine.”

“And mentally?”

Bobby takes his time to choose his next words carefully. “Relatively stable.”, he answers. “Said that he’s regretting a whole lotta things that went down between the both of you.” Yeah, he told Nicolas that he’s not going to tell Sam, but that doesn’t mean shit.

Nicolas may not deserve forgiveness, but that doesn’t mean, that an apology ain’t gonna mend some of Sam’s anxiety and pain.

It may lull Sam in a wrong sense of security, but that doesn’t mean, that it does the same to Bobby or the others. He, Dean and Castiel are going to have an attentive eye on things.

It’s just – he doesn’t want Sam to feel caged in his own home. He wants him to feel free to go wherever he wants (within the borders of the Salvage of course, until they’ve found a solution about Alistair).

“He said that?” Ain’t as if he hadn’t heard apologies from Nick all the time. It practically means nothing to him. Those words come over Nick’s lips too easy.

“He did.” Bobby gets the sugar and milk. “I take it, he’s been apologizing a lot?”

“Kinda.”

“Like I said. – One word, and we’ll get him somewhere else.”, Bobby tells him, as if it’s that easy.

But Sam knows it’s not. Neither he, Dean nor Cas are supposed to leave the Salvage, and Sam wouldn’t want Bobby to go with Nick on his own, of what he’s certain his surrogate father would.

“Nah. – It’s fine. I can handle it.”

Bobby watches him; sees the line forming between his brows, which tells him, that it ain’t fine and that it’s hard to handle for Sam.

“I won’t think you’re weak, if you tell me you can’t, you know?”

Sam feels flattered – and like an absolute fuck-up at the same time. His dad, he’s been fighting monsters; has faced worse than a Nicolas Munroe, and he’s not freaking out all the time about it.

Dean and Castiel have faced horrific stuff too – he’s sure of it – and they don’t suffer from nightmares either.

Sam has to handle this; he can’t be that weak; can’t be the weakest link in their ‘community of weirdos’. For once, he doesn’t want to be the weirdest weirdo among the weirds.

“Bobby.”, he sighs, pushes the thoughts toward that very dark back of his mind and looks him in the eyes. “I’m fine.”

Yeah, he is. Sam just has to get a grip again.

 

*****

 

Dean writes down questions and tells Bobby and Castiel what to ask Munroe when they’re going downstairs to question him. He also tells Bobby to not go too easy on him, knowing, that Old-Grumpy has a soft core and would refrain from hurting Munroe – ‘cause, after all, he’s still human.

To Dean that’s quite a joke, but he keeps his bubbling anger and fury buried down deep, afraid that once he’d let the darkness within him resurface, it’d take a bad turn.

Besides, what bothers him more is, that Sam’s cutting down on his food-consumption again. And again, he seems more troubled than not, and he’s also sleeping more during the days and tends to lay awake during the nights.

 

*****

 

Nicolas Munroe doesn’t have important information for them; can’t answer a single question which Dean had noted and which Bobby and Cas have been supposed to ask him.

All he tells them is, that Alistair hasn’t been riding him the entire time, and that he’s been kept – mostly – in a cage in some fancy room. He tells them bits and pieces of what Alistair has done to him and some things he has witnessed.

When they ask about a spell, which Alistair has cast while riding him, Nicolas only shakes his head and gets a lost expression; telling them, that he doesn’t remember anything about a spell. That he can’t remember anything from when Alistair has been possessing him.

But his stories seem scrambled more often than not, and he’s entrapping himself in contradictions every now and then.

What’s not a surprise to Bobby at all. He has quite some experience with such stories. Demons mess with human’s brains; they don’t always grant humans glimpses of what they are doing – depending on what they’re onto.

Dean doesn’t buy that though. He knows how possession works and what Demons leave behind and what not. He is certain, there has to be something he knows. If not about the spell, then about Alistair’s whereabouts.

So, they decide to keep him for another day or two, before bringing him to the train station in town. Nicolas seems very okay with that. Besides, they can’t keep him locked up forever.

Also, he’s not threat – nor seems goo-goo-brained – at all. He is polite, patient and seems to take whatever he has coming.

 

*****

 

Later on, neither Bobby nor Castiel can remember leaving the door to the panic room unlocked. Both are convinced, that they didn’t forget to close and shove the bolt into the latch after leaving.

Neither of them would even consider that Munroe has – due a little distraction – managed to sabotage the door with a tiny spell Alistair had shown him.

Based on the dim light coming from the vent above him – which provides the room with fresh air – a new morning is dawning.

His best chance to sneak out and get what is hidden for him outside the gates.

 

*****

 

All hell breaks loose, when Bobby heads into the basement before even considering a coffee, to check on their ‘visitor’ like he does every morning.

Lightning strikes him when he spots the open iron-door and the lack of its occupant nearly gives him a heart-attack. Not to mention, that the blood in his veins run cold and he sees white for the briefest of moments.

“Balls.”, and a summary of other colorful curses sputter from him, when he turns on his heels and hurtles back upstairs.

He swallows hard instead of calling out for Cas, Dean and Sam, having to assume, that Munroe could still be somewhere inside the house.

“Damn it.” He dashes into the living-room aka library and gets his shotgun from above the fireplace, then scrambles to get the rounds with rocksalt from a drawer in his desk.

Once he’s got the pockets of his plaid sleeping-gear stuffed, he sneaks upstairs, while ‘praying’ for Castiel, who tends to spend the nights on the attic, where he’s built some sort of angelic fortress.

The angel appears out of nowhere, right behind him and if it weren’t for his flapping non-visible wings, he would’ve caused another attempted attack on Bobby’s heart.

“He is not in the house anymore.”, Castiel announces loud and clear.

Bobby curses again, equally loud, when he raises his hand to knock on the door. He’d rather not walk in on the boys without a warning.

Before he can rasp his knuckles against the worn wood, the door cracks open and Dean lurks through the gap.

“A little less loud?”, he asks; his voice low; and gives the two of them punishing glares, “Sam just feel asleep an hour ago.”, he hisses a little uneasy. He hasn’t slept those past days, too occupied to watch over Sam’s sleep and having his senses all over the place, in case Alistair decides to make a move – or whatever.

“Munroe is gone.” Bobby tells him. “Don’t know since when.”

Dean’s eyes widen slightly.

“Dean?”, comes a sleep-drunken voice from somewhere behind him.

He growls a curse. “Everything’s fine, Sammy.”, he says hushed, in hopes that he’d just turn over and drift off again.

The rustling of clothes tells him, that he’s not that lucky, though.

“Someone already checked the yard?”, he asks sharing looks with Bobby and Castiel.

Both shake their heads.

“Figured I’d let you know before we head out.”, Bobby grumbles.

Bare feet shuffle over hard-wood inside the room and Sam appears behind Dean, lurking through the gap too; hair disarray and the imprints of the pillow all over the left side of his face.

“What’s goin’ on?”, he asks and blinks at them tiredly.

“We apologize for waking you, Samuel.”, Castiel tells him apologetically, “We would have not interrupted if it would not be of importance.”

Dean rolls his eyes at the angel. “I’m downstairs in five. – He’s probably gone for a while now. Gotta check the yard and woods …”, he grumbles at them, before he turns to give Sam a dark look.

“Nick’s gone?”, Sam sounds anxious and high awake within a matter of seconds. He takes a step back and swallows hard.

Dean nods. “We’ll find him, don’t you worry.”

 

****

 

Dean is dressed and downstairs within five minutes, with Sam hot on his heels and knife in his hand. They’re arguing as the climb down the stairs.

Dean tells him repeatedly to stay put and inside the house, while Sam demands to go with them and help search the yard.

Dean is so not happy about that.

The handle of the front-door makes an awful sound, when it’s pushed down from the outside.

Sam stops short on the last stair.

Dean falls silent midsentence.

Bobby and Castiel tense up.

Their heads snap around to look towards it; they are holding their breaths.

The door swings open and Nicolas Munroe appears in the doorstep, who too gets to a halt when he spots the crowd ready to go on a manhunt.

“I’ve been taking a walk.”, he says quietly; as if it’s nothing out of the ordinaire, “catching fresh air.”

All four stare at him in disbelief.

He meets everyone’s eyes and his gaze settles on Sam’s; a soft smile forms on his lips. “Hey, Sammy.”, he says, a little breathless and kinda happy. His eyes light up.

Sam’s eyes widen slightly and he stares at him; unable to greet him back. He holds his breath.

Dean takes a step sideways and back, closer towards Sam and builds a barrier between him and Munroe. His eyes darken and features harden.

“It’s Sam.”, Sam mutters; his voice thin, “Only Dean gets to call me that.” He tries to take a breath; but somehow, it gets stuck in his throat.

“Damn straight.”, Dean growls; eyes flashing black to underline what he’s just said.

Nick’s gaze flickers towards him – only shortly – before it returns to settle on Sam. His smile falters. He opens his mouth and takes a step towards them; ignoring Dean completely. “Sam.”, he says, “I’m … You’re looking great. You’re doing good?”

Sam nods jerkily and claims the stair behind him to keep the distance.

Dean takes a step forward and puts his flat palm against Munroe’s chest, stopping him from trying to get closer to Sam. “No.”

Nick looks past Dean. “I’ve missed you.”, he says; his words heavy with hope.

“Sam hasn’t missed you.”, Dean tells him flatly and pushes him back.

Nick’s lips form a thin line and he addresses Dean with a punishing stare. Then, he looks past him again and addresses Sam with utter disgust written all over his face.

“So … you and him?”, Nick asks and huffs, “A demon?” He looks over at Bobby, anger flaring up in his eyes, “And you … you tolerate that? Under your roof?”

Bobby stares at him blankly. “I’m actually supporting it.”

Nick’s nostrils flare. “You choose a demon over me?”

Sam’s hand finds the banister and he holds onto it. His hands are shaking; and he exhales a shuddering breath. His heart is beating so loud in his ears, it muffles every other sound around him. His vision starts to swim and his chest starts to feel tighter.

“Eyes on me, dickwad.”, Dean orders, and Nick follows. “You don’t get to talk to Sam. – He’s not interested in anything you’ve got to say.”

Nicolas huffs out a breath and shakes his head. “Last time I checked, he’s been able to talk for himself.”

“As far as I know, last time he’s been saying what’s on his mind, you gagged, bound and locked him up in the bathroom.” He pushes Nicolas back and digs his pointing-finger into the man’s chest, “You hurt him.

Bobby’s eyes become huge and his grasp on his shotgun tightens.

The atmosphere thickens and a dawning disaster seems to approach fast.

Dean and Nicolas share death-stares.

Castiel steps forward and lays his hand on Munroe’s shoulder, breaking the spell. “I will relocate him in the basement.”

Munroe breathes in deeply and nods. “Sure. – Relocate me then.”, he mutters and sneers at Dean.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 49 ~ The Prophecy

 

Castiel ‘relocates’ Munroe into the basement and makes sure that the door is securely locked this time. For a moment, it feels as if there’s magic, when he touches the bolt; but the feel is too brief and before he can latch onto it; figure out if there’s truly magic involved; it’s gone.

He frowns at the door for mere moments, but dismisses the thought of something being wrong; putting it on the general situation and that he may is oversensitive at the moment.

After all, he has barely been using his grace or angelic powers for that matter for mere decades.

He may as well be experiencing one of his phantom-feels.

 

*****

 

There’s nothing but the roar of blood in his ears; can’t hear; can’t comprehend what’s happening. All he feels are hands on him; pushing and prodding.

Sam can’t breathe; can’t for the love of it, get air into his lungs. Everything is too tight; too narrow; too stuffy. He can hear – very distantly – his own wheezing breaths saturate the haze in his mind.

So, he is breathing, but it doesn’t feel like it.

Sam’s suffocating; his heart thrumming violently.

He feels something shift around him; or he is shifting; Sam’s not sure; can’t tell what’s happening. His vision swims and blurs; eyes unable to focus on anything.

Those hands are still on him; something wraps around his chest from behind and he’s jostled and pulled upright. Somewhere at the borders of awareness, he thinks he can hear Dean’s voice talking to him.

It’s gentle and soft, though his words seem edged with hurry and concern.

Sam moves with it; goes with the motion, when he feels himself dragged. His legs follow on auto-pilot, and suddenly, there’s fresh air and bright daylight.

He’s moving down again – at least his head does – and he subconsciously registers a change in height. But, he is not falling; or he is, but if so, someone is guiding his fall and he feels his butt connect with something hard.

God, he still can’t breathe; it’s all still too narrow.

His vision clears for the briefest of moments, and black and white dots start to dance before them.

 

*****

 

Dean curses under his breath when he manhandles Sam outside the house and onto the porch. Sam’s staggering along; wheezing and panting as if something is constricting his airways.

They reach the porch’s steps, when Sam’s legs give out under him and Dean takes over his entire weight and guides him down onto the steps to sit.

He shushes him, keeps talking to him, in hopes he makes it through to Sam.

Dean lowers himself behind Sam and sloths him between his spread legs; holds him close to his chest to make him feel his warmth and breaths.

It takes a fucking eternity, until Sam’s finally winning the battle against the raging panic-attack.

In the end, Sam’s sitting on the steps; arms propped up on his knees and head in hands. He’s trying to take deep calming breaths.

Dean’s sitting behind him; chest pressed flush against his back; instructing him to mirror his breathing-pattern, while he has one of his arms wrapped loosely around Sam’s middle and his other hand rests against Sam’s solar plexus.

“That’s good Sammy. – There you go.”, he whispers gently.

A shudder courses through Sam’s body. “’s not. – I’m a fuckin’ liability.”

Dean shushes him. “Don’t wanna hear bullshit like that, Baby Boy.” Because that’s so not true. “Not ever again. – And now focus on breathing instead of thinking stupid things.”

Sam draws in a deep – though jagged – breath and shakes his head. “I’m fucking weak.”, he protests barely hearable.

Dean bites out an annoyed “Shush”.

“’s true. – Don’t see you or Bobby break down and have a fuckin’ panic attack.”, Sam tells him quietly, “And you’ve seen worse. Been through worse.  You were in hell. Bobby has faced monsters.”

Dean frowns. He feels tempted to slap Sam over the head for saying idiotic nonsense like that. Instead, he thinks for a moment and gives himself time to push the up-bubbling anger back down.

“Sometimes humans are worse than monsters. Nicolas Munroe has been your monster. – For years.”, Dean speaks softly, “We’ve had plenty of time to deal with our shit. I even have had decades to figure out how to deal with it. You haven’t yet. You’re allowed to have mental breaks every now and then, Baby Boy. No one’s gonna blame you for that; no one is thinking of you any less.” He sighs heavily.

“I’m just … so messed up.”, Sam mutters, “I don’t even … know myself anymore. I feel like I’m lost …”

Dean draws him closer. “Then, we’re gonna find you, Sam. – I’m gonna help find yourself again – I’m no psychologist and don’t know a whole lot about psychology and shit. – But, man, I love you. And I’ll be damned if I can’t help you with that.”

Sam shakes his head and chokes out a laugh. “You’re way too nice for a demon.”

Dean snorts. “I’m sorry I’ve to break it to you, but … I’m nice to you. And Bobby and Cas sometimes. – But don’t expect me to play nice with others.” Because he’s still – damn well – a Demon.

Sam sniffs. He reaches for the hand covering his solar-plexus and grips it tight. “Thank you.”

 

*****

 

Sam’s in a bad place after that.

Won’t – CAN’T – eat, is jumpy as fuck and shaky like a leaf in the wind. It takes major-effort to get Sam to eat the soup Bobby has been cooking especially for him.

Old-Grumpy is grumpier than usual after the events of this morning and seems sunken in thoughts most of the time.

Castiel leans in the corner beside the fridge, with his arms crossed in front of his chest, and looks a little thoughtful too.

When Sam excuses himself, and heads upstairs, the tenseness lifts among the three of them, and everyone seems to relax gradually.

Dean doesn’t go with Sam right there and then. He’s got stuff to talk about with Bobby and Castiel.

He wants Munroe gone, and he’ll have Bobby approve. And even if he doesn’t, he’ll take that bastard and drive him into town. If he’s lucky, he won’t make a stop somewhere along the way and give him the well-deserved good-bye-punch and break his fucking nose (a couple of bones too) - again.

Bobby clears his throat. “I’ll drive Munroe into town later.”

“He may still have information. – I do believe it may be hidden somewhere in his mind for self-protection.”, Castiel throws in and pushes away from the wall. “He may not remember the spell, but there is the possibility, that the memory lingers buried in his mind.”

Dean scoffs. “I bet it ain’t. – Alistair’s not stupid enough to dump his meatsuit in front of my feet, knowing that he could give away something about that spell.” He knows Alistair better than anyone. And it’s true. Alistair is a clever, wicked Demon, existing way too long to slip up on a failure like that.

Castiel blows out an audible breath. “We may consider, that Alistair is planning something. – He may consider us reacting that way. It could be a trap.”

“We’ve been over that.”, Dean snaps at him, “That’d just be one more reason to get rid of him. Better now than when it’s too late.”

“Cas is right though. – I am sure, since they obviously know now where you and Sam have holed up, that this might as well is a trap.”, Bobby throws in.

He’s probably thinking the exact same thing as the others. They should’ve brought Munroe to the ER instead of the house in the first place.

“I don’t give a shit.”, Dean growls. “Even if it’s a trap.”

“I’ve the feeling, that Demon is playin’ you like a fiddle, Dean.” Bobby rises his bushy eyebrows and addresses him with a concerned look.

Well, Dean doesn’t care about that either. “I don’t fucking care.”, he hisses. Munroe has to go, that’s all he knows. “Specially, since we don’t know how he got out of the damn panic room, if neither you or Cas have forgotten to lock the fuckin’ door.”

He knows, he has a point there too. Though, all three of them are certain, that it’s not been some demonic force setting him free.

"There may have been magic involved." Castiel tilts his head slightly. "I do believe I have felt something."

Bobby looks up alarmed. "The panic room is supposed to be magic-proof."

Castiel nods pensively."What would explain, how he has managed to escape."

“What doesn't matter now. I'm more worried about the fact, that he didn’t bolt.”, Dean continues, “He came right back after his ‘walk’ and ‘sunbath’.” He rises from the chair and shoves his back with his calves. Munroe is a psycho-weirdo in general – who knows what’s going on in his fucked up mind anyway.

There could be a whole lot of reasons for him to not flee. Maybe, he wouldn’t try to run for the hills, because he knows that Sam’s here. And considering his reaction when he saw him this morning, he’s damn sure, that guy still feels attached to Sam.

Another very good reason to get him as far away from the Salvage as humanly possible.

“What if they are waiting for one of us to leave the Salvage; if they’re just waitin’ for an opportunity to attack us in the house?” Bobby shrugs. “What if they’re waitin’ for one of us leaving the Salvage, to attack the person who is leaving with Nicolas?” He gestures towards the window. “Taking a hostage maybe? Nick’s probably the bait; or he’s a tickin’ timebomb.”

To Dean, it doesn’t really matter either. He’s certain, Alistair won’t try to kill HIM. If anyone is in danger, it’s Sam and Bobby. Cas, for sure, can stand his own.

“Fine. Let’s say this ‘s a trap, and they’re waiting for one of us to leave.” Dean thinks further, “You’d be an easy game, considering you’re Grandpa-Pa-Olympic.”, he addresses Bobby, who glares right back at him.

He addresses rhe Angel with a pointed look. “You – If Munroe pulls a stunt while you are taking him, it could cause Angels to pick up on your activities and they could track you down.”, he tells Castiel.

Castiel nods. That’s right.

“Alistair knows, I won’t let Sam drive anywhere with his ex, and I bet he doesn’t know that there’s an Angel hiding away here; or that there’s anyone else beside me, Sam and you – including Nick-Dick – in the house. Into which he can’t come, since it’s badass-warded.”

That’s about right too, and they all know it.

“Which means, you are volunteering to take the human away from the Salvage.”, Castiel states with pursed lips. He doesn’t seem to like that idea. “And bring him into town?”

“It’s the safest way, ain’t it? – Even if it’s a trap, they can’t take me on. Alistair doesn’t try to capture me; he wants me to come back to him – more or less – out of free will. He knows, trying to lock me up and force me do do what I’ve done in hell before, won’t work. I’m just gonna escape again.”

“Something’s not right though.”, Bobby grumbles and rolls his shoulders uneasily. “I don’t like it.”

“Letting Munroe stay is out of question. – It’s either him here, or I’m gonna grab Sam and leave. He’s not going to spend another night in this house, with that bastard downstairs.”

Bobby definitely approves of that, but still, he hesitates and pulls a grimace. “I didn’t say I wanna keep him here. – If it looks like a trap, smells like a trap, it high likely is a damn trap, boy.” He pauses and shares looks with Cas and Dean. “All I’m sayin’ is, no one of us should go out there with Munroe half-cocked. – And even if you’re as invulnerable as you say…” what he clearly seems to doubt, “… Sam’s not.”

“Don’t you think I don’t know that?”, he bites out through gritted teeth, the anger and fury barely containable, “You think I’d put Sam’s life on the line? All I’m thinkin’ about here is SAM.”

Bobby stops himself from rolling his eyes at Dean. “I didn’t say that, Dean. – What I’m sayin’ is, Alistair wants to get to you, and he knows, he can get to you through Sam. So, even if he won’t try to kill you, all it needs for him to hurt you is to hurt Sam. And since he’s dropped his abusive ex here, I figure that’s exactly what he’s got in mind.” He looks at him intensively. “He’s pushin’ you off the rails, Son.”

Dean opens his mouth to say something, but snaps it shut. ‘Son’, wow, really? And if that doesn’t make Dean’s heart all warm and fuzzy. “What do you think we should do then?”

“I don’t know. You driving Munroe into town sounds legit to me. – Just wanted to point out that there are some things we’ve to put into consideration; and stuff we shouldn’t forget to think about.” Bobby shifts his weight. “Just tellin’ you: No one’s gonna be mad, if that shithead ain’t arrivin’ at the train station unbattered.” His eyebrows rise even higher on his forehead, and gives him the ‘you-get-what-I-mean-look’?

“I will be available too.” Castiel straightens his trench coat, “If you need my support; if something happens, you can pray to me.”

Dean eyes him curiously. After all, that’d mean, Cas would get himself back on Heaven’s radar. “Dude, your Bros and Sisters are gonna find you if you’re teleporting around outside the property. – You sure you’d want that?”

Castiel straightens up. “So it shall be. – If I will have to come to your help, I may will not return to the Salvage, so not to lead them here. – If they pick up on my activities.” He gives Bobby a look. “I will vanish and may consider getting in touch with you after an accurate amount of time has passed.”

Wow, Dean’s flattered – a little. Though, he’s sure, Castiel is only suggesting it, because he doesn’t want anything happen to Sam.

“So, that’s settled then.” Bobby pushes away from the counter. “I’ll pack a duffel for our little ray of sunshine downstairs.”

Bobby disappears in the storage room to put a bag together, so Munroe wouldn’t have to go without food and water on his little trip to ‘somewhere’.

When Old-Grumpy is out of ear’s reach, Castiel clears his throat. “There is one thing I need to tell you, in case I will have to leave in a hurry.”

Dean looks up at him and frowns. “What’s that?” He’s not in for a chick flick moment with the angel. He’s had his fair share with Sam already. Well, he doesn’t mind chick flicks with Sam, but that doesn’t mean that the same thing counts for others.

“When I have pulled you from hell …”

“You’ve been way too late, dude.”, Dean interrupts him with a scoff.

Castiel waves at him. “When I have pulled you from hell, and saw what you have become; what I was supposed to prevent from happening and after I could not reach your younger brother … Heaven thought we were too late to stop Hell from taking over. – Now I think, that we have been wrong.” He pauses to take a breath. “May, your younger Brother has not been who we thought he is.”

Dean stares at him blankly. “And …” He chuckles nervously. “… What did you think he is?”

“We suspected, that Adam is supposed to become your light in the darkness.” Again, Castiel takes a pause and tilts his head slightly, encouraging Dean to think for himself about what he is saying. “I do believe now, that this light may be Samuel.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”, he asks confused.

“Heaven has been acting to avoid a prophecy from happening. A prophecy which would bring darkness over our father’s creation. – I have been sent to maintain balance between heaven and hell. – I do believe, that this prophecy has not been about you and Adam. I now think to know, that this prophecy is about you and Samuel. – That he is your guiding light through the dawn of darkness.”

Dean still stares at him. He’s fucking kidding him, right? “And you’re tellin’ me this just now … because?” … because, knowing shit a little earlier (like right from the start), may have averted some of the troubles they’ve went through.

“Because I thought you are already lost; as your brother – Adam – is. I have not been sure, if I am right with my assumption – at first. But I have been watching you and him, and now I am almost certain, that they have interpreted the old engravings wrong.”

It hurts to hear his Brother’s name; pains him to think of his baby brother, who is still caught in hell; turned into the very thing he is too.

Of course, Dean had considered busting him out from hell’s clutches, but what good would it have done? Adam would not have been Adam anymore. For what he had witnessed back then, his Baby Brother had turned into one of the worst of his kind … and even though he was/is a demon too, and didn’t bother back then, something in him had told him to not free Adam and take him with him.

Dean swallows hard and blinks at Castiel. “A prophecy? Huh? – Somewhere I can look that one up?” Because he doesn’t believe in shit like that, because it’d mean fate truly exists – and Dean can’t have that. Besides, if it’s true what Castiel says, he sure could use a little heads up about what lays before them. “A way, Alistair could’ve found out about that prophecy?”

Castiel looks a little irritated for a moment, but finally starts to get where Dean’s coming from. “As far as I am concerned, only Heaven does have admittance to the tablet, and only the scribe is capable of reading it. Angels – except for a few – are not allowed to lay eyes on the tablet. – But, you do have a point in assuming, that Alistair is aware of the prophecy.”

Dean rolls his eyes. Fuck. Would’ve been too good to be true if there’d be a chance to get this tablet in his hands. “Something else I should know?”

Castiel shakes his head. “This is all I can tell you.” He lays his hand on Dean’s shoulder and smiles warmly at him. “You and Samuel. – You are one. You belong together. The two of you may are broken in different ways, but together you are whole.”

Why the hell does he has to get this cheesy about it? Not even the insult in his last sentence sounds like one.

Dean doesn’t ask why Castiel had waited for Bobby to disappear to tell him all that. He probably thinks, that it’s the best if as less people as possible know about the prophecy. An information like that may pour water into burning oil and cause chaos between the worlds.

“Are we done?”, it doesn’t come out as gruff as he wants to; Dean can’t help the smile either, which curls his lips skywards.

Castiel nods. “I do believe we are. – Assuming that Alistair may know about the prophecy too, might be a fundamental lead on what he is up to.”

 

*****

In the basement, Munroe is sitting with his back towards the door; hands in his lap and a vicious smirk on his lips.

In his hands, he holds a handgun; the metal gleaming beautifully in the spare light. 

He can’t believe that it had worked; that neither - specially Dean Winchester- hadn't picked up at the little magic trick he has pulled off, nor noticed the weapon tugged into the front of his jeans.

Nicolas would bet his soul on it, that - due whatever Alistair had done with the weapon beforehand- he could have waved it around in front of everyone's eyes, and neither would have seen it for what it is...

Praise to bewitched demonic  Powers, right?

"You'll be mine again.", he murmurs to himself.

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 50 ~ The Bad Patch 1

 

Dean is not done thinking about what Castiel has told him only hours ago – yet. Castiel only knows those few bits and pieces, of which he has told him, but it’s enough to stir certain fears to surface.

Alistair has to know about the prophecy – why else would he have set his mind on making Dean’s life hell if not for some greater plan? If there supposedly exists a counter-part to Dean’s darkness, and this supposed counter-part is drawn to hell too, then it’s crystal clear what path the prophecy is foretelling.

So, it’s only logic to assume, that there has to be an opponent to Dean’s darkness. Maybe, Sam is truly this light, which the prophecy mentions, and if so, it’d be clear as day, that Alistair would want this light to vanish, so hell would be able to claim the upper hand and enslave humanity.

Another reason to hate Alistair and fight against him. Even though he’s a Demon, Dean dearly enjoys human goodies and wouldn’t want to give the world as it is now a miss. But that’s only of secondary importance.

Of course, neither Castiel nor he do know exactly what else is written on formerly mentioned tablet, but he has the feel that Castiel may be right with his assumptions.

Slowly, all the pieces start to fall into the right places to reveal a greater picture.

This is not only Alistair wanting Dean to return to hell and be his pet – along with Adam. This is bigger than this. Way bigger. He wants to raise Hell and defeat Heaven, and as it seems, Dean is supposed to play a huge part in it.

That would be a profound reason, why Alistair haven’t killed Dean, and why he is so death-set on getting him back.

 

*****

 

“You’ll be careful, right?”, Sam asks; sitting at the table in the kitchen and watches Dean prepare coffee for the both of them.

He still looks like hell. Dean ignores the fact though, not wanting to rub it under Sam’s nose the entire time.

Dean chuckles. “Hey, it’s an hour tops. – I’ll be back before you know it. Besides, Nick is human. What’s he supposed to do?” Of course, he knows he has spent some quality time with Alistair, and that he could’ve picked up on some magical things during his time with him.

Sam pulls a grimace. He can’t think of anything right now, since common exorcisms and stuff won’t work on Dean. But still … “I don’t know …” He gnaws on the insides of his cheeks.

“See?” Dean shrugs. “He’s powerless against me. – He can’t hurt me, therefore he can’t hurt you, Baby Boy. Plus, if he would’ve wanted to make a move on me, I’m certain, he already would have tried something.”

Sam’s features harden. “He could be waiting for an opportunity to get you alone.”

Now, Dean grimaces too. “I know.”, he sighs. “But I’m sure he’s ‘harmless’. – I wouldn’t do this, if I’d think he could harm me – and therefore you.”

“What about obduction?”

Dean gives him a weird look. “They aren’t aliens, and we’re not in ‘Signs’, Sammy.” He snorts. “They can’t kidnap me; they can’t hold me.”

Sam nods to himself. Still, even though it seems impossible that something bad could happen, he’s still worried. Specially since Dean had told him about the prophecy and being a light in his darkness and all that.
Sam can hardly believe any of it. He’s everything but a light. How is he supposed to be such a ‘pure’ thing, when he’s so full of doubts, self-hatred and shame? It feels impossible to be anything but a failure.

“Nuhu.” Dean puts the mug in front of Sam. “Stop it. I know what you’re thinking, and it ain’t true.”

Sam reaches across the table, locks his eyes with Dean’s and takes his hand. “Just … be careful, okay? I’ve a damn bad feeling about one of us leaving the Salvage right now – specially with Nick.” He sighs again. “Why not wait a few more days; figure something out?”, he is damn near begging him.

Dean’s face darkens and he shakes his head. “No. – Nick’s going to leave today.”, he tells Sam determined.

Sam nods and pulls his hand back to cup his warm mug.

 

*****

 

There is a swarm of crows sitting in the treetops surrounding the Salvage. They are silent; observing. It seems so natural, it wouldn’t raise any bypassers attention.

Well, as long – at least – as no one notices their white eyes, of course.

 

*****

 

It’s no fifteen minutes later, when Nick appears – under Castiel’s guidance – in the hall. His wrists are cuffed behind his back, and he’s wearing a dark expression on his face and an even darker one hoods his eyes.

Sam’s sitting just around the corner at the table, out of anyone’s view who’d enter or leave the hall, with Bobby and Dean.

Dean gets up as soon as he hears them approach and kinda waits for Castiel and Nicolas to get into his range of view before he bows down and kisses Sam goodbye.

Nick-Dick has to get the hint just fine.

“See you in a little while, Baby Boy.”, he says loud enough for Munroe to hear. That bastard is supposed to know who Sam belongs to now, and that Dean’s going to be the best thing ever happened to him. That Sam is as happy as he can be with Dean.

“Be careful, Dean.”, Sam whispers and chases after Dean’s lips to pull him into another lingering kiss. “I love you.”

“Love you too, Sammy.” He smirks down at him and places a peck to his forehead. “You’ll see. Nothing’s gonna happen.”, he lowers his voice when he tells him that, “I’m back before you know it.”

Bobby looks everywhere but the two of them …

When Dean turns away from Sam, his face hardens and dark shadows gather in his green irises. “We ready to leave?”, Dean addresses Cas and ignores Nicolas, who is drilling holes into him with his looks.

Castiel nods.

Nicolas’ lip twitches; his features stay unreadable though, when he follows Dean out of the house and to the car.

He can call himself lucky, that Dean’s letting him shove his sorry ass onto the backseat, instead of stuffing him into the trunk of his Baby. Nicolas grunts when he is manhandled inside, and he slides over behind the driver’s seat.

They’ve barely crossed the gates of the Salvage, when Nicolas finds his tongue. “So … you and Sam.”, he says quietly.

 

*****

 

The tops of the trees surrounding the Salvage erupt, when a black sleek car pulls through the gates of the Salvage and into the unprotected outside-world.

The sudden rustling of leaves and wings tears through the otherwise silent area, when crows spread their wings and start to follow the Impala – hidden from plain sight.

 

*****

 

Dean casts a brief glance into the rearview mirror.

“How’d you do it?”, he asks, when Dean doesn’t say anything, “Are you using your demonic powers to make him like you? Or is it magic?” He shifts and leans against the door slightly; hands moving behind his back.

“I don’t need to do anything.”, Dean tells him equally quiet, “He loves me.” Dean can’t help the smugness when he breaks it to the dickwad. “Probably, ‘cause I don’t treat him like shit. – ‘cause I respect him. – You know, that stuff, where you worship your partner and not beat the living shit out of him?” Eat this, bitch.

Nicolas licks his lips and huffs out a breath. “I was a dick, yeah. Gotta have to admit that. – But people can change. I can change.”

Dean scowls into the rearview mirror. Sure, thing. “Little too less, little too late, Buddy.”

“It’s never too late.” Nicolas sounds utterly sincere. “I still love Sam. If I’d get a chance to proof myself to him, I’m sure he’ll forgive me. Sam’d give me another chance.”

Dean snorts annoyed. “Hate to break it to you, but you won’t get any chances with him ever again.” He can’t keep his eyes from flashing black. “He’s mine now, and that’s gonna stay that way.” … until death shall tear us apart – if Dean can’t find a way to make Sam immortal too (without turning him into a monster, of course).

“I know him way longer than you do, Dean.”

“Definitely. But you don’t know him as good as I do, Shitface. – Sam’s done with you. You better find yourself someone else.” Dean tries real hard to not pull over and put an end to Munroe’s pathetic life right now. That guy will never see Sam  again.

He’s poison.

Nicolas shakes his head and scoffs. He mumbles something. He shifts again; his shoulders and arms move suspiciously – unseen by Dean, who keeps his eyes dutifully on the road.

Dean frowns and once more, he directs his gaze into the rearview mirror, catching a glimpse of Nicolas’ face; the smugness written all over it; that triumphant grin when he briefly meets his eyes in the mirror.

Can’t that knucklehead keep his fucking ass put? He’s driving Dean insane with all the moving around behind him.

A road sign tells them, that there are only five miles left until they pass the city limits of Sioux Falls.

Despite the huge trees seaming the road, and the vents turned down low, it’s damn fucking hot inside the car.

There’s a soft click of metal against metal.

“Stay put, Asshead. Stop movin’ around back there, or I’m gonna put you in the fuckin’ trunk.”, Dean snarls over his shoulder. He should’ve put him there in the first place – would save him from having to listen to his bullshit.

A vicious grin creeps onto Nicolas’ face. He stills and the tension in his shoulders drains away almost instantly. He flexes the muscles in his arms while he whispers something gibberish.

“You know, Alistair said it won’t be easy …” Nicolas straightens up.

The tiny hairs in Dean’s neck rise and his skin begins to tickle all over; his demon-senses kicking in. Though, it’s a tick too late for Dean to get Baby to a smooth hold. His foot is already hoovering above the break; ready to push it down.

“… He’s been damn fucking wrong though.”, Nicolas hisses and yanks something out from behind his back.

Everything happens so fast; too fast for a demon even.

Dean catches a glimpse of shiny silver in the rearview mirror, and a split second later, a loud pang rings out.

 

*****

 

Sam is busying himself with their laundry in the basement.

He’s about to move their washed, wet clothes from the washing machine over into the dryer, when a weird feeling spreads through his right flank.

His eyes widen at the familiar sensation and he gasps; steels himself for what’s to come. “No.”, he breathes, when the feel intensifies within moments.

Sudden dizziness fogs his mind and balance and he staggers slightly. “Shit. Shit. Snit.” That’s not supposed to happen.

He drops the hamper and wipes his head around towards the stairs.

Sam curses under his breath and takes off towards them with huge strides. He barely reaches the first step, his hand on the banister, when searing pain lances through his side and sticky warmth starts to pour from him and saturates his thin tee-shirt.

His free hand comes down over the dark-red blooming spot on the fabric and he gasps again.

Sam curses; screaming for Dean in his mind.

It’s been a trap. It’s been a trap and Dean’s out there, and no matter how hard his lover demands to be unbreakable, Sam is scared for him.

 

*****

 

White hot pain tears through Dean’s side from the back and the vicious projectile daring to penetrate his precious host goes right through him and lodges somewhere before him inside his beloved Baby.

It’s only a moment of distraction though, and he jumps into the breaks. The car’s tail breaks out and they slither sideways for a moment, before the rubber catches on the burning hot asphalt again.

Though, Baby keeps drifting and spins once – twice even. One of her wheels goes through when it gets a slippery grip on green grass and for a moment, Dean thinks he’s got her back under control, but then she fucking betrays him in the worst way ever.

The tire keeps spinning in the grass, until it meets soft soil, while the other three have a solid surface beneath them.

Baby can’t, but move into the very direction of the road’s shoulder and towards the trees. Lucky her – and Dean – she misses them by an inch and stops with her front cushioned in a group of bushes.

Not as shaken and momentarily disoriented by all the flinging around, as Nicolas is, Dean twists and struggles onto his knees and lungs into the backseat, before his passenger can get any wrong ideas and pull the trigger once more – eventually this time with more precision and a lethal outcome.

Munroe may be slower with sobering up, but he’s not as slow as Dean would have liked. He’s still clutching the gun in his hand.

They struggle. Dean growls at him; holds the wrist of his weaponed hand in a vice grip. His tries to get a hold of Nick with his demonic powers to pin him down; disarm him, but – miraculously – he can’t grasp him. It’s like he’s got a fucking shield of protection wrapped around his mind.

Dean instantly recognizes it for what it is – magic.

“Damn fuckin’ stupid bastard.”, Dean hisses through gritted teeth. He can already feel the shot-wound starting to close up. “You’ve just shot Sam.”, he snarls, “I’m gonna rip your fuckin’ dick off and shove it down your damn throat.” Oh, once he’s overpowered Munroe, he’s going to do so much worse to him. So much fucking worse.

 

*****

 

Sam claims the stairs slowly. He’s already starting to feel lightheaded when he reaches the top. The pain in his side almost too much when he finally steps through the door and pushes himself down the narrow corridor and towards the hall.

He puts more pressure on the wound on his front; knowing that it’s doing nothing at all for the blood-loss, as there is an equally vicious wound at the back of his side, from which blood is pouring like from a faucet.

“Bobby!”, he hollers despite knowing that he can’t hear him. He’s behind the house, as a hunter has turned up only minutes after Dean had left, to get his car fixed. – But maybe he has come back in …

Eventually his fuzzy mind recalls, that it’s not just him and Bobby.

A loud ‘Cas’ dies on his lips, when the Angel comes thumping down the stairs. “Samuel?”

“Something went wrong. – Dean’s hurt.” … and so am I. Not that it’s necessary to lift his hand from his shirt to show all the blood there. It has already started to soak through and allover his shirt and jeans and covers the better part of his right thigh.

It’s threateningly warm and slick against his skin.

Castiel crosses the remaining feet between them and instantly slips his arm under Sam’s shoulder to steady him. “It will be okay, Samuel.”, he says – way too calm.

Sam’s legs give out under him and Castiel takes over his entire weight. He scans his surroundings; weighs where the best place to put Sam down might be. He decides, right where they are, on the floor seems okay. So, he lowers him down carefully.

“There’s an entrance wound and an exit wound.”, Sam mutters; knowing it’s probably hard to notice under all that blood. “He’s been stabbed …” he hisses. “Or shot … I don’t know.”

Castiel tears the shirt off of him to see where exactly he got hurt. He clenches his teeth, gets to his feet and hurries away towards the kitchen. Moments later, Cas returns with clean rags, which he puts under the shirt and presses onto the wound.

“It does look like a gunshot-wound. – Went right through – close range – from behind probably. The wound on your front looks very big.”

Sam swallows and if he wouldn’t feel so dizzy, he may have considered to roll his eyes at his Angel-Friend. His breath shudders when he exhales. Sam can feel cool sweat spread all over his body; soaking his clothes.

“You are not allowed to go into shock, Samuel.”, Castiel tells him and looks at him sternly, as if Sam has the capability of controlling his bodily functions. “I can not heal you, and I am not seasoned with injuries I would have to fix without using my grace. I need to get Bobby.”

Sam nods at him jerkily. “Sure. – Go get ‘im.”, he slurs. His eyelids start to weight more than they are supposed to.

“Samuel.”

It takes quite some effort to keep them open. “Yeah.”

“You will not lose consciousness, while I am gone.”, he orders him.

Sam huffs; would love to snort and chuckle, but damn, his flank hurts bad. Under other circumstances this might be funny as hell. “No, I’m not.”

 

*****

 

Dean wrenches the gun from Munroe’s hand, who chases after it. It falls down and slips under the front-seat, out of their reach. Dean lands a nice punch to his opponent’s head and sends him reeling, which buys him enough time to entangle from the man’s limbs, wrench the door on the driver’s side open and stagger outside.

He gives himself a second to catch his breath and regain control over his whirring thoughts, before he rips the door to the back open and lungs inside. He gets a hold of Nick’s ancle, who’s desperately scrambling to stay in the car and fumbles blindly for the lost gun.

Dean growls and snarls – more animal than human – and drags the man outside by his leg, who lands with a low thud on the mossy ground; face down. Munroe kicks out and meets Dean’s jaw with the heel of his boot. It’s not enough to break bones, but Sam’s going to have a pretty nasty bruise from it.

Dean curses loudly and yanks at the man’s foot to drag him further away from Baby and towards the trees.

“You damn fuckin’ moron. Son of a fuckin’ bitch.”, Dean snarls at him and let go of his ancle. “You have no idea what you’re doin’.”

Munroe twists and rolls onto his back, stares up at Dean and levels the supposedly lost gun at him.

Dean freezes right to the spot; his nostrils flare.

“Oh, I know exactly what I’m doing, pal. – I’m going to kill you. Gonna get my deal annulled and Sam back.”, he pants and cocks the gun.

Dean’s lips twitch. “What? Alistair promised you that?”, he spats.

Nick shifts and aims the gun’s nuzzle in between Dean’s eyes. “Damn straight. We’ve made another deal. I’mma kill you, I’ll get my life back; have decades instead of years with Sam left.”

Dan scoffs. If it weren’t for Sam, he’d charge Munroe right the fuck now, no worries about the outcome.

He has to figure something else out.

“You can’t fuckin’ kill me, Asshole. – Not even Alistair can.” Dean rises both hands slowly. This would be ridiculous, if it weren’t for the severity of the situation. “You kill me, you kill Sam, so you know. – We’ve a bond-“

“Oh, shut the fuck up.”, Munroe snarls at him angrily while getting back to his feet. “You can’t lie yourself out of this. I’ve a deal with Alistair and he’s bound to keep his word.”

Dean stares at him. “Alistair doesn’t do deals. Every crossroads deal – every single one – is held by one demon. And one demon only. Lilith. Alistair doesn’t have a say in any of it. He can’t let you out of any deal. It’s Lilith you would have to bargain with.”

Praise to the devil, that douchebags like him love to have conversations before going at it. Dean can work with that, until he comes up with something better.

“He told me, you’d be lying. – Gotta tell you what though. – I don’t care. This is it for you.” Nick wiggles the gun at Dean. Triumph (and a tiny bit of craziness) bright in his eyes.

“I’m not lying on the ground, bleeding to death, am I?”, Dean growls at him. He slowly reaches for the hem of his shirt and lifts it, where a small stain of blood has formed on the fabric. “See?” He shows him the healed wound; only a faint scar left. “You can’t kill me.”

Nicolas sneers at him. “It will. Slowly. The bullets are poisoned. Alistair told me everything. I know, a common bullet can’t kill you; neither does an exorcism.” He shrugs. “But I guess, one of them to your brain is gonna do the trick too. Speed things up.”

Dean shifts, bone-deep horror gripping his heart tight. “Poisoned with what?”

Nicolas shrugs. “Doesn’t matter, does it? You won’t live long enough to find out what it’ll be like to die slowly.”

Fucking damn shit. “You put a bullet to my brain, Sam’s gonna drop dead too. – No happy future for the both of you. Sam’ll be dead; his soul in hell. And you, you’re gonna rot there too, man. – The hounds are gonna come for you; rip you to shreds and drag your damned soul to hell.”

Nicolas chuckles and hums. “I give a shit – actually. If I can’t have Sam, no one will.”

The obviously honest meant announcement, makes Dean’s skin crawl. “Guess we’ll see about that. – There’s no future, neither here, heaven, nor in hell for the both of you - together.”

Nicolas shrugs. “That’s not what Alistair has promised.”

Dean scoffs.

About time to pray for Castiel. He’ can’t make a single move; Nicolas could pull the trigger at any given moment. Even though Dean’s fast, there is the possibility that he’s not THAT fast, and he can’t risk catching another bullet.

Fuck, he prays Sam’s not alone right now, and that his friends are working on patching him up.

Still, he hesitates.

“You know what? I’ll give you a choice, Dean-o. – Head, or heart?”

 

*****

 

Sam’s barely conscious, when Castiel returns with Bobby hurtling after him. They burst through the front-door.

His hand is resting loosely on top of the buddled up, blood-soaked rags.

Bobby gets to his knees beside him on the worn-down floor. “Cas. First aid kit; suture kit. In the kitchen under the sink.” He takes in Sam’s pale, clammy skin; how it stretches obscenely from his hip-bones to the bows of his rips.

The Angel doesn’t lose time, and follows the order immediately.

For the first time, he sees clearly, what’s hiding beneath too wide shirts and other loose clothes. It takes his breath away. Though, not the right time to worry about Sam’s weight.

Bobby first has to fix his injury – and hopes dearly, there won’t turn up others anywhere on Sam’s body.

“Sam?” Bobby’s hovering close. “You hear me, boy?”

Sam swallows and nods. His jaw hurts. It feels swollen. It almost hurts worse than his flank, but only almost.

Bobby holds Sam’s look for a moment longer. “I’m gonna have a look now and stitch you back together.”

Sam nods again, unable to use words. His tongue feels heavy and thick against his gums; mouth dry.

He tears his gaze from Sam’s face and trains it at the clothes and all the blood. His guts churn, when he pulls the rags away and reveals the now – only – sluggishly bleeding wound.

Bobby curses under his breath.

“Damn it, Cas! Hurry the fuck up!”

Castiel startles him, when he dumps a black small leather-bag and a bigger one beside the grizzled hunter. “Dean is calling for me.”

 

*****

 

How long can it possibly take the Angel to fucking pop up?

His mind is slowly but surely running out of ideas on how to keep his monologue going, however to decide for a bullet to the head or heart. He can call himself lucky, that Nicolas had been listening to his bullshit for as long.

He’s gotta give him credit for being a patient man.

Nick glowers at him. “You’re stalling, Demon.”

Dean shrugs. “Yeah well, gotta buy myself some more precious seconds, don’t I?”

“Fine. If you can’t decide, I will.” Nicolas is all smug; chest pushed out; high on his dominator-trip. He acts as if he’s thinking for a moment. “I’d say, a bullet to your heart – considering that you’ve stolen Sam’s – is only fair, ain’t it?”

Munroe lowers the gun slightly and levels it with Dean’s chest. His pointing-finger on the trigger tightens slightly and he exhales slowly.

“Goodbye forever, Dean.”

 

*****

 

Surrounding the human and demon, crows sit scattered all over the place – at a safe distance – in the trees; white eyes trained at them.

Waiting.

Surveying.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 51 ~ The Bad Patch 2

 

It’s last-second.

Literally.

One moment Dean thinks, he is about to lose the most precious living being ever stumbled into his life, and the next one, he’s certain, he’s never getting this lucky in his entire life again, when Castiel flaps his wings and materializes behind Nicolas Munroe to strike him down with two fingers to the back of his head.

Dean wants to smack the Angel one, and pull him into a bearhug at the same time. Honestly, he’s not yet sure what he’s gonna do as soon as Cas is getting close enough.

So, first things first. “What the hell took you so long?!”, is what bursts from Dean after holding his breath for way too long, shortly followed by “How’s Sam?!”

His eyes travel towards the scarlet-colored smears on Castiel’s trench-coat and the blood covering his hands.

“Bobby is taking care of him.”, Castiel tells him as emotionless as always, as he stares down at the unconscious male to his feet. “I believe he is in good hands.” Then he looks up.

Dean’s already on his way towards him, still not entirely certain if he shouldn’t clock Cas one.

“What happened? Have you been ambushed?”

Damn Angels. “Long story short: Ali taught great-big-bag-of-dicks a few tricks.”, what sums it up pretty much.

“Thanks, Cas.” Dean skids to a hold only a foot away from Nicolas, and pats Castiel’s shoulder, “You’re a life-safer.”

“Now, I will have to disappear.” There’s a hint of sorrow in Castiel’s voice. “Do you need something else before I vanish?”

Dean thinks for a moment. “Help me get Baby back on the road, and Munroe into the trunk?”

 

*****

 

Balls. – Sam. Damn it.” Bobby just can’t not curse; both of his hands covered in blood, as he stitches layers of muscles and skin back together. He’s nearly done with Sam’s backside already.

Sam makes a small sound, signaling that he is still conscious, just as Bobby is expecting him to.

“You’ll feel like shit for a week, but you’ll live.”, he tells his surrogate son gruffly.

Bobby ties the last stitch and sits back on his haunches, when it’s cut through.

Done. Now, it’s all about the cleanup.

Sam murmurs something unintelligible.

“I’m sure Dean’s fuckin’ peachy, Son. – Don’t you worry ‘bout him.” Bobby climbs back to his feet; all stiff and awkward. It’s not as if he ain’t worried about Dean, but if Sam’s alive, Dean has to be too. Besides, Dean’s a damn demon. Nothing can hurt him that easily.

He eases Sam back onto his back and makes sure he’s still with him.

“Stay put.”, he tells Sam, as if he’d go anywhere, “I’ll be right back.”

Bobby is right back, with a bottle of water and three blankets. He props Sam’s legs up on two of them and then moves to Sam’s head and pillows his head on the remaining one. With Sam barely coherent and surely in no condition to work with him, he can’t get him anywhere without help.

After all, Bobby’s not forty anymore.

“Drink somethin’.” Bobby helps Sam lift his head a little and sets the unscrewed bottle to his lips.

Sam obliges – of course. It’s not as if he has a choice anyway. He lifts his shaking hand to reach for the bottle himself.

The cool liquid feels good on his thick tongue and against his dry throat. “Thanks.”, he breathes heavily. He blinks sluggishly at Bobby, who’s still holding the bottle and urges him to drink more.

Pearls of sweat cover Sam’s skin. He’s not sure if he’s hot, or cold. It’s a mixture of both somehow. His skin feels as if it’s on fire, but deep down – in his very core – he’s freezing cold.

Sam’s heavy panting is the only sound heard in the house for a few moments.

Bobby’s calloused palms are gentle against his neck, when they shift and he adjusts his hold on Sam’s neck and head.

“You’re goin’ to be the death of me, boy. One day, I swear you will.”, he’s only half joking.” You empty that bottle and I’ll let you have the best drugs I’ve in store, boy.”

Sam attempts to smile, but ends up grimacing. “No.”, he mouths and moves his head a little in an attempted headshake, but squeezes his eyes shut and grunts, when the motion sends the insides of his skull spinning like a merry go round.

“Easy, Sam. Easy.” Bobby gives him time to recover a little, before he let him drink again. “I’ll go get the pills.”

Sam mouths a ‘no’ again; defiance in his eyes. “I’m good.”, he presses out and swallows. “Dean.” He reaches for Bobby’s hand, which is resting reassuringly on his chest and holds it tight. “Dean.”, he pants, as if talking takes special effort.

“I’m sure – whatever happened – he’s back soon. – Got Cas to help him with whatever came up, Son.”

Sam blinks up at him again – instead of nodding or shaking his head, Bobby supposes.

“Don’t be stubborn about it.”

Again, Sam blinks. “I’ll wait.” He sniffs, the fingers of his free hand flutter over the bandaged area on his side; his hands sticky with his own blood; getting the crimson fluid everywhere. With the other one he’s still holding onto Bobby’s.

“’v never been shot.”, Sam half laughs. “’ve not even been there for it.” Amusement let his face light up.

Bobby snorts and shakes his head. “Nice to know that you think that’s funny, Idjit.”, he murmurs. At least one of them can laugh at what has just gone down.

Sam’s eyelids drift close and open again to thin slits after a moment. He honest-to-god fights the darkness closing in on him.

Sam tries hard to stay awake and keep his eyes open. Deep down, he knows that Dean is okay and that he’ll come back to him. He knows that – somehow.

But still … he could get cold feet again; could blame himself for what has happened. Maybe, it’s an irrational fear, considering they aren’t supposed to separate due the spell. It would get him killed in the long run, and Dean … Dean loves him too much to let that happen.

Sam tries real hard to hold the anxiety at bay. He can’t need that right now.

But still – and even though he feels himself drift towards unconsciousness – the fear threatens to overpower him.

 

*****

 

As if Hell and Heaven have conspired against him, Angels have to turn up.

They barely have Baby back on the road, and Munroe put into the trunk, when Heaven’s guardians have to make their appearance.

It’s not, that Dean wouldn’t have a chance against them, or that he’d mind to gank some Angel-Ass – after all it’s been quite a while since the last time he did. But, honestly? NOW?

Dean’s in a little bit of a hurry, ‘cause you know what? His other half has just been shot. Because of him. Because he had underestimated a human. Again.

Maybe, all that sleeping, eating and loving – actually acting like a damn human being – is making him soft; letting him get sloppy. Maybe, his attempt to act and be more human than demon, are messing with his intuition.

Aside from that.

Bobby’s all alone with Sam; without a second pair of hands to help.

All of that can be thought about through later on.

Right now, there are three Angels standing before them – about ten yards away– with their angel-blades drawn. They’re not looking very cherub-ish; no half-naked, cute, cuddly, chubby, tiny wingmen with bows and arrows.

Quite the opposite.

They’re tall and wearing greyish and beige suits with white shirts – all business so to say.

You should never underestimate Heaven’s Soldiers though. They’re as dangerous as Demons; some of them are even worse.

So, that’s it.

Three of Castiel’s favorite brothers and sisters come flying (probably literally), to take their most favorite sibling prisoner. It’s kinda hilarious to Dean.

“Leave, Dean. This is not your battle.” Castiel flicks his wrist and an Angel-Blade slides from his sleeve.

“Dude. No. – They are three. You’re one.” Dean scoffs. He hasn’t seen Cas fight so far, and he’s almost certain, that he’s a perfectly fine fighter, but he won’t leave Castiel hanging.

After all, he came to safe his – Sam’s – ass, knowing that it could cause Heaven’s attention. So, it’s partly his fault too. And, Castiel is his friend; you don’t leave friends hanging.

“Besides, it’s done faster, when we work together, and you can flutter off to Camp Blood sooner.” Dean smirks at him and winks his way. The corners of his eyes crinkle and blackness bleeds into them, until they’re covered entirely.

Castiel’s eyes take on a bright blue glow and he smiles back at his demonic friend. “So shall it be, Brother.”

All warm and fuzzy – Dean hates (and kinda loves) that single words (coming from someone other than Sam) can make him feel loved (it’s really disgusting).

“Running with the devil?!”, one of the Angels – the female one flanked by two males – calls their way, when they start to narrow.

Dean bites back a remark. After all, this is Castiel’s show.

“I do run with whoever I want.”, Castiel hollers back – totally oblivious to the reference.

Dean could turn this into a very amusing conversation …

Cas side-eyes Dean. “Do you not carry a weapon?”

Dean snorts. “I’m gonna use one of theirs.”, he gestures towards the crowd of three.

“Huh.” Cas lifts his hand with the Angel-Blade. It reflects the sun; the gleam makes it look noble.

Now, Dean wishes he’d have one too – even if it’s only for bragging. A little trophy … A shit-eating grin creeps onto his face.

“You will receive fair judgement if you lay your weapon down and come with us.” Now they are only a yard away; standing before them defensively.

Castiel straightens. “I will not return to heaven.”

Dean rolls his shoulders and flexes his muscles; getting ready.

“So shall it be.”, the female Angel says.

Then they are charging.

Dark clouds drag across the sky, which hadn’t been there before; hiding the sun. Lightning flashes above them; and a soft, cool breeze comes up.

Thunder strucks.

The atmosphere changes. The hot-stuffy air is dragged away by the up-picking winds. The smell of rain follows it suit; though not even one drop has fallen yet.

It’s as if Heaven already mourns over its foreseen loss.

Again, Dean finds himself sidetracked by what’s going on offside their fight. Even though it’s a bit of a game to him and not really a fight, he reminds himself to keep his head in the game. He wouldn’t want to get stabbed – and therefore get Sam stabbed.

Castiel takes one of the male Angels down with the blade to its heart. His eyes gleam up and a blinding white light saturates the poor bastard’s skin, when its grace and angelic soul (or whatever) get blasted from its host.

Dean dodges a blow from the female Angel and swiftly out-dances an attack from the remaining male one.

This could be so much fun if he weren’t in a damn hurry. He could draw this out; make it last until he’s fed up.

Dean’s got somewhere to be though. So, no more messing around.

Castiel jumps in and goes for his Sister.

Overpowering his Brother ain’t as easy – after all, he’s got to get his hands on the Angel-Dick to make this work. Nonetheless, after bringing him down with him, a tiny bit of struggling and rolling around a little, Dean eventually manages to slam his palm against the Angel’s forehead and let his black wolf take control.

He’s burning the grace right out of the Angel.

And then, first huge drops of rain start to fall.

 

*****

 

The Impala’s tires squeal and sputter gravel in all directions, when the car barges through the Salvage’s gates and speeds towards the house. The breaks make an ugly noise, when they force Baby to a stop, so close to the porch, that less than an inch remains between her bumper and the wooden construction.

Dean’s out of the car the very next second her engine dies with a gurgle, and flings himself with a graceful slide over the hood; He slitters across the sleek black metal with his butt and leaves a bad scratch behind, where a metal application on his jeans carves into her.

Dean doesn’t give a damn; it’s nothing he can’t fix and he has no clue what he’s going to find when he puts foot into the house. It’s an unnerving, utterly unsetting feel he’s got going on right now.

Sure, Castiel had said, that Bobby’s got this (more or less), but still.

The bullets are poisoned – according to the dumbass in his trunk – and he has no clue how true that is, and in how far it will affect Sam’s body.

The bullet has gone through, and he sure has bled plenty (what would wash most of the poison from the wound), but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t leave anything behind.

Another thing he has to pull into consideration is, that he himself didn’t bleed a lot, so he could still be poisoned without feeling the effects of it. But Sam sure is going to … IF it works that way.

There are way too many ifs, and he has no clue what the odds are.

A simple injury can easily be dealt with, but poison – in connection with the spell – may be not.

God, this entire spell-thing is so damn complicated.

Dean swings the door open forcefully and bursts through it. He skids to a halt; nearly stumbling over Bobby and Sam; Bobby who is kneeling on the floor and Sam who’s lying sprawled out there, his legs propped up to help his body let blood flow towards his heart.

There are bloody smears all over the floor around them; gauze and blood-tainted equipment scattered all around Bobby; a heap of crimson rags.

“Sam?”, Dean hurries around and let his knees slam into the hard-wood-floor when he goes down. His hands find Sam’s face instantly.

Sam’s eyes are only open a fraction; his skin cold and pale and sweaty.

“Bobby?” He tears his gaze away from Sam’s face and looks up at Old-Grumpy.

“He’ll live.”, Bobby sits back on his haunches with a groan. “Just couldn’t get him off the floor …”, he grumbles apologetically.

“The bullets probably have been poisoned.”, Dean tells him right away. “Douchebag said so at least.”

Bobby curses – again with a “Damn fucking Balls”. “Any chance he said what sort of poison?”

Dean shakes his head, looking back down at Sam and rubbing his thumb along his cheekbone. “Sammy.”

He wants him to know that he’s here with him.

Sam’s throat works as if he’s trying to say something, but is losing his battle against blood-loss and exhaustion.

Dean bows down and kisses his lips gently. “’s fine, Baby Boy. – You’re allowed to pass out, ‘kay? Me and Bobby are gonna get’cha upstairs and on the bed.”

He doesn’t get a real answer, but he’s got the feeling that Sam – at least - hears him.

Dean looks back up at Bobby. “We’ll get him upstairs, cleaned up and settled, and I’m gonna tell you want happened. – When that’s done, I’m gonna need your panic room for a while …”

Bobby’s look becomes super-sharp. “You’ve brought him back? Alive?”

A devilish smirk curves Dean’s lips into something utterly vicious; the soft bows of his eyebrows take on a ‘spikey’ shape – what let him look totally evil by the way. For a moment it seems, as if he’s going to show his true face.

“Can’t kill him in case Sam’s been poisoned. – Besides, I’m done being nice with that guy. I’m gonna show him what it means to mess with a Winchester and what’s his.”

 

*****

 

A lone crow lands before the gates of the Salvage; unable to pass through. It blinks its white eyes and picks at the gravel – just like a normal bird would.

It eventually spreads its black wings and swings them gracefully; rises into the skies and returns to the treetops to join its swarm.

 

*****

Chapter Text

A/N:

This chapter will be very graphic, when it comes to violence and torture. Dean will not go easy on Nick and we will see a very dark side of Dean Winchester.

Chapter 52 ~ The Clean-Up 1

 

Though, Dean experiences an unspeakable urge to drag Munroe into the basement, he takes his time with Sam.

Dean’s careful, when he eases Sam off the floor and carries him upstairs, with Bobby taking the lead to open doors and straighten the ruffled up covers of the bed, before Dean arrives with his precious freight.

Sam is drifting in and out of consciousness multiple times. Dean can feel it; sense it even while he carries him and maneuvers him carefully, so not to bump with his long legs into walls, doorframes and whatever else is in their way.

When he reaches their room and bed, Bobby is already getting washcloths, towels and a bowl of warm water, along with a pair of freshly washed boxers. He – just like Dean – figure, that it won’t take more, considering the current temperatures.

Boxers and the thin covers are going to be enough.

Dean lays Sam out on the bedside furthest from the door and arranges him, so that it’s looking comfortable. He doesn’t bother to try and pull the clothes Sam’s wearing off of him. Instead, he takes a knife and cuts his way through until they’re in shreds and – together with Bobby – they ease them out from beneath him, until he’s bare-ass-naked.

He and Bobby work in silence, while they wipe Sam clean, redress the makeshift bandages, put the boxers onto him and cover him with a sheet.

“Someone should stay with him.”, Bobby says, when he’s gathering the dirty washcloths, shredded clothes  and towels from the floor.

Dean nods. Of course. Just not him. He’s got something to do – they need to know if the bullets have truly been poisoned and if so, what kind of poison had been used. Or else, prettying Sam up and making him comfortable would’ve been futile.

“You go sit with him. – I’ll bring water, coffee … clean up downstairs, and then I’ll take care of little Nicky from the trunk.”, his voice is hard, but his hands are gentle, when he brushes his knuckles along Sam’s swollen jaw and his cheeks until they end up tugging a stray lock behind Sam’s ear.

The tender touch makes his lover shiver and turn his face into his hand.

“If that’s okay with you?” He looks up to meet Bobby’s eyes.

Bobby nods at him. “Deal.”

Dean nods back. Deal. Then looks back down at Sam, who still has his head turned to where the back of Dean’s hand rests against his cheek. Sam’s eyebrows furrow, when Dean pulls back.

“I’ll be back, soon, Baby Boy.”, Dean whispers, before he turns to leave the room. If he’d stay any minute longer, he might not be able to leave.

“Dean?”, Bobby calls softly after him.

Dean stops and gazes over his shoulder towards the bed. “Yeah?”

“Do what you gotta do, Son.” Bobby gives him a dark look.

“Promise.”

 

*****

 

Dean doesn’t have to be told twice.

He prepares water, one of the bottles with an isotonic soft-drink from the storage room (just in case Sam will wake up and Bobby has him drink something), coffee and the bottle of whiskey (so Old-Grumpy ain’t so grumpy), and takes them upstairs.

Dean can’t, but stay a few more minutes; sitting at the side of the bed and have his hand rest on Sam’s solar plexus to feel him and let Sam feel Dean.

Sam’s still fighting his losing battle against consciousness; is dancing right along the border of drifting off and open his eyes.

Stubborn little (huge) bitch, really.

Dean tears himself away from his lover’s side though. He has to. So, he heads back downstairs and cleans up the mess in the hall.

Once the wooden floor is squeaky clean and no traces of blood left, Dean takes a couple of minutes and grants himself two glasses of Bourbon. He savors the golden liquid; sips it and washes the lingering taste and smell of Sam’s blood from his mouth.

When the last glass is emptied, he moves on to what he’s looking forward to:

Giving Nicolas Munroe his well-deserved punishment and squeezing every littlest bit of information out of him.

 

*****

 

Dean’s not gentle.

He’s brutal, when he drags a still unconscious Munroe by his hair from the trunk and literally throws him to the ground. When he let go of his scalp, there’s a tuft of blonde hair sticking to Dean’s fingers.

Sadly, Nicolas is not yet aware of what is done to him.

With a grunt, he grabs his captive by the feet and hauls him up the porch, through the hall and narrow corridor and downstairs into the basement, where he secures the limp human to a sturdy wooden chair with ropes and cuffs.

Beneath the chair, plastic sheets are laid out. Dean doesn’t want to mess the panic room up – after all, he’d have to clean it, and he’s so not into housework or the cleaning-stuff.

For what Dean has in mind – though – a chair ain’t the real thing, but he might as well has to work with what’s available.

He’ll make up for the unfavorable position with his tools though.

Next thing Dean gets, is the bag he keeps hidden under a lid at the bottom of the trunk. He dumps it inside the panic room, then moves to clean off one of the workbenches in the basement, outside of the panic room.

He drags it inside, closes the door and sets the utilities of the bag up. He lays out different tools – most of them unidentifiable to normal people.

Once, Dean is done with it, he gets two buckets. One empty and one filled with cold water and ice-cubes.

When he’s got everything in place, Dean decides it’s time for Nick-Dick to wake up. Hence, the water with ice-cubes.

Dean dumps it without hesitation over the unconscious human, who wakes with a start; gasping and sputtering.

“There we go, Nicky.”, Dean nearly purrs. “God morning.”

The bucket lands with a loud clank on the concrete.

Nicolas growls and howls and gasps and shakes his head vigorously. He curses.

Dean saunters over to the table and picks up a knife. – Honestly, he had wanted to use his fists, beat him up a little before moving onto the sharp and pointy things in his repertoire.

But he refrains from doing so. If he busts his knuckles, he’s going to bust Sam’s as well and he doesn’t want to hurt him further.

Nicolas stares daggers at him; shows his gritted teeth. “Let me go.”, he growls.

Dean chuckles darkly; doesn’t bother to turn around and have a look at his captive. Instead, he lays the knife back down and trails his fingers along every other utility on the wooden surface.

“You are going to tell me everything you remember from when you’ve been with Alistair. – You’re going to tell me, what kind of poison Alistair has used on the bullets.”

“The hell I am.”

“What poison did he use?”, Dean asks again and picks up a device which looks a lot like a larding needle, only more ‘pointy’ and with an eye at the other end. A very long, threat – like a thick yarn - is pulled through it.

Beside it its smaller bowed sibling.

“Go fuck yourself!” Nicolas is not going to cooperate. Dean knows that. He just wants to give him one last chance. One chance to show Dean that he’s at least partly worth of a slightly faster – less painful – death than Dean had originally planned.

Dean’s kinda glad he doesn’t and keeps up his attitude.

Maybe, if he’d show Sam to Nicolas; would show him what he has done, he might reconsider acting the way he does.

No. Dean won’t. He doesn’t need to.

There are other ways without giving chances.

“Fine.”, Dean chirps cheeringly and puts the needle back down. “You don’t need to tell me.”

Dean turns on his heels and strides over towards Nicolas. He stops short before him; stares him in the eyes; bows down and puts his hands on top of Nicolas’ wrists.

He gets his face right in front of Nicks, who presses himself into the wooden chair.

“Back off!”, Nicolas hisses at him.

“You’ve real bad breath, you know that?”, Dean states and pulls a grimace. “Gotta admit … it’s not as bad as mine though.” He chuckles and the grimace turns into a vicious grin.

“Sammy doesn’t seem to mind all the sulfur though. Sometimes, I’m wondering, if he’s just being nice, or if he kinda likes the taste of it …”, Dean whispers softly; nearly seductively and licks his lips.

Now it’s Nicolas’ turn to grimace after a nose-full of Dean’s exhale.

Dean chuckles again and takes a deep breath. “And now, take a nice deep breath for me.” With his next exhale, a well-measured portion of black smoke passes his lips.

Nicolas holds his breath.

The oily smoke paths its way inside him relentlessly anyway. It bypasses his mouth and nose and penetrates him through the eyes.

“Show me.”, Dean breathes and relaxes his features, while Nicolas’ contour in plain terror, as Dean grasps the man’s mind and saturates it.

A cry dies on Munroe’s lips, his mouth wide open.

Minds are very complex. You don’t get to see ‘pictures’ per say. It’s not as if watching a movie, where you’re sitting back and let those moving pictures pass before your eyes. Most memories are bound to emotions, so, if you find the emotions you find the memories you’re looking for.

Once you’ve managed that, and the mind is a neatly sorted one, it turns into some kind of movie. It’s real hard to describe though and an art in and of itself to ‘see’.

Plus, it’s way more strenuous, than one may expect too.

It’s hard work – even for a demon.

Anyway, Dean surfs through Munroe’s mind, latches onto emotions which carry him towards memories. There are a whole lot of negative experiences in his past. But also good ones.

Out of respect, Dean tries to not look too close, when one of them drags him into a scene between Sam and Nicolas – that very day, hour, minute, when things have started to spiral southwards.

He can’t stop himself from getting a few glimpses though, and what he ‘sees’ there only spurs him on to make that asshole pay.

He eventually finds what he is looking for. The episodes, where Alistair has been riding Nick, and when he’s been holding him captive, up to the time, when he had offered the new deal.

And damn, Nicolas had not been lying.

He doesn’t remember anything from when Alistair had been possessing him; didn’t get a gist from his plans either. Nor does he know what poison the demon had used to cover the bullets with. But Alistair had told him that they are poisoned, and that those bullets are designed to kill powerful hell-bound creatures like Dean.

Though, one good thing does come out of his little trip into Nick’s mind.

Dean now knows where Alistair’s lair is located.

He doesn’t leave Munroe’s mind without causing a little chaos and leaving a little damage behind. After all, Dean’s a demon, and he’s set on letting Nicolas Munroe feel the way Sam must have felt all these years.

So, before Dean leaves, he roughs up Munroe’s pain center in his brain – just enough, so he’d feel every single touch as if there are thousands of needles against his skin. He leaves it bare and unprotected; takes the ability from him to try and cope what he has coming.

Dean inhales deeply; calls the part of him back and it returns and vanishes in his mouth.

He exhales slowly and pulls back. Straightens up and takes a step away from the man and the chair.

It takes a few seconds, but the veil of incoherence vanishes from his eyes then, and he gasps ‘awake’ from his little trip down memory lane.

“What’ve you done?”, he pants – definitely not so cocky anymore and definitely frightened.

Dean shrugs and reaches out; snaps with his finger against Nicolas ear – barely touching it.

Nicolas yelps and flinches as if electrified. “What have you done?”, he asks again, now panic saturating his voice.

“Making sure you’re gonna hurt real bad, buddy.” The smirk drains away and his features turn cold and unreadable.

Munroe yanks on the cuffs and squirms in the ropes holding him in place, when Dean turns swiftly and get the small needle with the thin yarn. When he turns, he shows it to Munroe.

The human scumbag freezes; his eyes wide and shiny. “What’re you doin’? What the hell are you doin?!”

“I can’t have you scream too much. – See, Sam’s in no good condition. He needs his rest, and I don’t want to hinder him from getting it. – Neither do you, do you?” Dean’s eyes stay black.

For once, his black and white wolf do not argue. For once, they have the same opinion on how to proceed and are agreeing with what has to come.

“No.”, Nicolas breathes and pushes his back into the lean; grips the wooden side-leans of the chair hard. “Don’t. – Don’t. Please.”

Dean saunters over to him; still showing the needle and turns it in his fingers. When Nicolas attempts to scream for help, Dean seals his mouth with an invisible grasp to his jaw.

“Looks like the spell Alistair has taught you ‘s been only temporarily, huh? – Unlucky you.”

The first stitch is set swiftly. Dean doesn’t tie it too tight though. He wouldn’t want to suffocate that poor human, in case something happens to his nose. So, if Munroe attempts to breathe through his mouth later on, he will be able to – if he’s got enough balls though.

He sure is going to have to tear his skin and flesh a little in the process, but Dean’s giving him a chance here, isn’t he?

(Not really. – He leaves Nicolas the choice between pain and more pain.)

Once he’s got Munroe’s mouth stitched shut, he takes a couple of steps backwards to get a good view of his handywork.

“See? Wasn’t that bad, huh?”

Munroe is breathing heavily through his nose; sweat all over his body and blood oozing from the stitches which trails down his lips and chin.

Dean returns to the table, sets the small tool down and picks up the larding needle. “And now, let’s make sure, you ain’t goin’ nowhere, huh? – Can’t have you pull another stunt on me. – By using whatever magic Alistair has taught you.”

It’s not pretty, when Dean sews Munroe’s arms to the chair. There’s blood and muffled screams and the faint smell of fresh piss filling the air. Dean moves on to the man’s legs; who’s by now on the edge of passing out.

Dean undoes the ropes from around his feet, which tie them to the chair and forces them together at their ancles. He pulls off his poots and socks and examines them for a long moment; holding the larding needle so it’s clearly visible to Munroe.

“First I thought I’d blind you, you know? Just like you’ve done with Sam, when you put him into that bathtub with that ugly shirt over his head. – But I’m thinkin’ …” He looks up at him, a dirty, cold grin on his face, “… I want you to see what I’m up to.”

Munroe let his head hang, so his chin meets his chest and shakes his head. “Fuck you.”, he growls through the stitches, which tear at his flesh. It’s vague, but Dean gets the gist.

“Nah, I’m gonna fuck Sam, you know.”, he purrs and sits back on his haunches, gripping Nicolas’ right ancle forcefully.

Munroe finds his strength and tries to yank his foot free.

“Nah, nah, nah, Buddy. Don’t hurt yourself.“ Dean digs the tip of the larding needle into the tender skin behind the string of tendons above his heels.  “One … Two …”

Dean bites his lip and pierces through skin and flesh.

Munroe mewls; whimpers, screams (well, not really, but he’d do if he’d be able to open his mouth wide enough), makes pathetic sounds all the way, until he’s through with the thick end of the larding needle.

Dean does the same to his other foot and ties a tight knot into the yarn, before he repeats his actions three more times and Munroe’s ancles are sewed together tightly.

Dean thinks it’s a pity, that Munroe passes out before he’s done, but doesn’t really give a shit either. He’ll come back for him later.

It’s time for a break and to visit Sam; let Bobby know, that they don’t have a clue about the used poison.

Dean dumps the larding needle and rest of the yarn into the empty bucket under the table and makes his way towards the door, when he stops short with a hiss.

He nearly forgot …

Dean pulls the gun from behind his back – the gun Munroe had used on him. He flips the safety off, and rounds the chair; then squats down behind it and aims the gun, so he’s got about the angle Nicolas had when he shot Dean.

If Nicolas doesn’t know what the poison was and how it works, they have to find out the old-fashioned way.

So, he shoots him; what of course rouses his captive momentarily; then takes his time and let Nicolas lose enough blood (or what he figures Sam had lost of his blood) and then stitches him back up.

 

*****

 

Dean goes to wash his hands and scrub them clean. He’s got a few drops of blood on his shirt, so it has to go into the laundry. Lucky him, there’s still the humper with washed – not yet dried clothes – of him and Sam in the basement.

Because, he really doesn’t want to show up at Sam’s side with anything of Nick on him.  

He pulls on one of the damp shirts and heads upstairs.

Sam has finally passed out; his breaths even. The sheen of sweat all over his skin remains though. If it weren’t for the pale skin and sluggish beat of his heart, Dean would assume he’s simply asleep.

Bobby has hooked him up on a saline drip, when his blood-pressure had decided to drop near a dangerous level, and because he’s that awesome, he’s added a little (really just a tiny bit) of morphine to it.

Bobby straightens up from his chair and wipes his head around, eying Dean surprised. “You done?”, he blurts out. “Already?”

Dean nods. Then shakes his head. “He can’t tell what kind of poison he used, nor how it works.”, he states bitterly.

Bobby groans; his face falls. “You’ve got any idea what it could be?” Please tell me you do, stays unsaid.

“Nope. – But we’ll know how it works soon.” Dean shrugs. “Promise.” He clears his throat and sits down at the side of the bed, right beside Sam’s hip and takes his hand. “I take it; no signs that he is been poisoned?”, Dean asks carefully.

Bobby shakes his head. “Maybe we’re lucky and – due the bullet goin’ right through and him bleeding like a stabbed pig – there ain’t much of it left in his body. Not enough to make him damn sick anyways.”

The grizzled hunter obviously has the same hopes as Dean has. Though, neither of them dares to let them lift their moods too high.

Even though Sam doesn’t show signs of poisoning yet, it still can happen. This still can go awry.

Bobby leans back in his chair. “If you don’t mind. – Before you go back to do your thing, get me sandwiches? And a coke.”

 

*****

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 53 ~ The Clean-Up 2

 

Over the next hours, Sam remains so deep down under, that he isn’t aware of Dean and Bobby checking on the gunshot-wound and stitches twice, so they wouldn’t miss anything at all. Signs of poisoning could show in a change of his skin’s color around the wounds.

So far, so good.

Though, Sam’s starting in on a low fever and he’s sweating profusely now, so, they exchange the empty saline drip with a new one, so he wouldn’t lose too much fluids after the threatening blood-loss he has experienced.

His heart's beats are off though. As if it has issues to keep it’s rhythmic pace.

Dean’s sitting with Sam every once in a while, when he’s not in the basement, monitoring Nicolas’ condition.

He too is sweating a little. But that could be because he’s in severe pain; or because of the blood-loss. It doesn’t mean anything actually – but it could, considering, Sam does too.

Bobby doesn’t ask questions, nor does he go downstairs to see what Dean’s doing there. He doesn’t even stick his nose out of the room.

 

*****

 

Dean returns from one of his visits in the basement. He can’t proceed with his revenge on his captive for now – no matter how bad he wants to.

He has to see how his lab-rat’s health is developing.

So, he settles down in the chair Bobby has occupied before he has gone downstairs to stretch his aching bones and get himself something to eat.

Dean’s grateful – though Sam’s unconscious – to have a little alone-time with his man. He runs his fingers through Sam’s sweat-damp hair and over his cheeks, where the ugly bruise doesn’t reach.

He hears Sam’s heartbeat accelerate slightly and watches his eyes move under the eyelids.

Sam’s about to wake up, but Dean doesn’t pry – he waits patiently. And even if he doesn’t wake, it’s fine too. Probably better if he’s asleep for a while longer. Not only because Dean got business in the basement, but also – as long as he’s asleep – he won’t be hurting.

Finally, his eyes crack open to thin slits and he swallows weakly. “Hey.”, he cracks out, his lips curl into a faint smile. “D’n.”

Dean puts his most charming smile on. “Hey, Baby Boy.” He runs his knuckles along the side of Sam’s face. “How was our majesty’s slumber?”

Sam’s lips curl up some more. “How was our knight’s vigil?” His voice fades rather fast, his last words barely above a whisper. But still, he smiles.

“Peachy. – Had a PCP-Stripper over, bursting with flitter, Sammy. Should’ve seen his ass. All perky and firm …” His grin widens and he rests his warm palm on Sam’s shoulder. “You in pain?”

Sam blinks and offers the telltale of a headshake. Then, he scrunches up his nose as if he’s smelling something funny. “Weird.”

Dean’s eyes darken slightly. “What’s weird?”

“Lightheaded. Heavy.”, Sam mumbles, “’s all …” He opens his eyes a little wider, “… blurry.”

Could be because Sam has gotten shot, or it are signs for the poison kicking in. “What’s heavy, Babe.”

Sam squirms slightly and squints his eyes shut. “Body.”, he answers, accompanied by a moan. “’s so … heavy … and my eyeballs are on fire.” It’s slurred and not very distinct. 

“Your eyeballs? On fire?” Now, Dean’s not sure if it ain’t the morphine talking too.

Sam swallows. He squirms again. “’ve you been shot?”

Dean sighs, his face falls. “Yeah – Look, … I’m gonna tell you, when you’re better, Sammy. – All you gotta know for now is, that everything’s fine and that we’re safe.”

Sam hums and let his eyes flutter shut; his breaths even out again and the beats of his heart decelerate and settle into a slow rhythm.

So, burning eyeballs, huh? – Definitely a reason for another trip into the basement.

Dean waits until Bobby returns, and then stays a little longer, before he heads into the basement again.

To his surprise, Munroe is awake – more or less.

“’bout your eyes.” Dean let the door ajar when he stalks over to him. He tips his chin up, so that he’s looking at him.

He examines his eyes carefully. Stares into those blue irises as if he’s trying to figure out by himself if there’s something wrong with them.

“Do they hurt?”, he demands to know.

Nicolas squints at him and blinks. His eyes are at least watery as if they’re irritated, and they’re a slightly bloodshot.

“DO your eyes hurt?”

He blinks again and nods vaguely.

Dean purses his lips. “What else?”

Nicolas mumbles something muffled – not able to voice words with his sewed shut mouth.

Dean rolls his eyes at him. Damn it. He’s got to stick with yes and no questions for now. “You hot?”

It’s rather cool in the basement, and due the blood-loss, Nicolas should feel cold rather than hot. Dean moves his hand to cover the man’s forehead.

Fever. Definitely higher than Sam’s. Peachy.

Nicolas nods.

“What about your eyes. – You have problems to see me?”

A headshake.

Sam’s is a couple of hours ahead of Nick-Dick, but his fever ain’t as high – yet.

“You’ve got a headache?”

Nicolas shakes his head. No.

“Does your achy breaky heart feel weird?” Because it sure does sound weird.

He gets an uncertain shrug as answer.

Fun-freaking-tastic.

At least something. If Sam – what he has to assume - experiences the same symptoms, the poison ain’t designed to harm Dean – or any other demon for that matter. It’s supposed to harm humans.

What’s not really helping, but it’s narrowing down the possibilities. He knows, Alistair has been using poison every now and then.

Dean has an assumption about what the poison could be, but can’t be sure. He knows, Alistair had been using one of those potions to assassinate certain people, which he had called key players in the big game. Dean has always been wondering (but hadn’t cared) why he’d kill humans like that and not just send minions to do the job.

Now, he figures, he probably should’ve asked questions; should’ve been more attentive and should have tried to get to know stuff about Alistair’s business.

“Fine.” Dean let go of his chin and turns his back on the man. “I’ll be back, Buddy. Don’t wait up.”

It’s definitely worth a shot, even if it’s a long one.

He’d blame himself in the aftermath if he wouldn’t at least consider the option of being so lucky (and Alistair so stupid) to use a poison Dean might know something about. But maybe, Alistair has no clue that Dean has knowledge about those assassinations and that he’s been using poison to get those key-players out of the game …

Or, Alistair is aware of what Dean might have gotten to know. If so, the antidote might not be harmless, and Alistair is taking his chances with it. Could be, that he’d hope that the poison is going to kill Sam, and if not, that there’ll be side-effects to the antidote which are going to render Sam ‘useless’.

Be that as it may.

A ‘useless’ Sam is better than a dead Sam. Where ‘useless’ is a very bad word for everything considering Sam. Sam’s never going to be anything like that to Dean.

Dean doesn’t bother to stop by upstairs and let Bobby know, that he’s going to leave. If this is the potion Alistair had used on the bullets, they’re running out of time.

There won’t be any big signs, except for feeling unwell, until it’s too late. What's hard to tell, since both have been shot and are bound to not feel good.

All Dean knows is, that the victims have dropped dead – heart attack – out of the blue, without great forewarnings, within 72 hours.

He needs the antidote; has to get all the ingredients together. He goes through Bobby’s stock of weird shit. Lucky him, he finds most of what he’ll need – if he remembers it right.

Sadly, one is missing though … What doesn’t surprise Dean in the slightest. He wouldn’t have dreamed of finding a virgin’s heart at a hunter’s house.

Sam’s so going to hate him for what he is about to do – if he’s ever going to find out.

 

*****

 

When Dean comes storming back through the front-door – almost an entire day later; a black plastic-bag in his hand, he’s confronted with a very mad Robert Singer.

“Where the hell have you been?!”, he yells at him; charges him as if he’s going to run him over and stomp him to death as soon as he reaches Dean. He only shoves his pointing-finger into Dean’s chest tough; right up between his ribs, where it hurts most.

“Outch.”, Dean yelps and pats Old-Grumpy’s hand away. “Just went out to get somethin’ for the antidote.”

Bobby glares at him. “You didn’t tell me. AND, you lied. You know what this is?”

Dean’s not really sure if Bobby’s disappointed or angry – probably he’s both. He can’t get himself to give a shit right now though – he’s got more important matters on his hands.

“I don’t. I didn’t.” Dean pulls a face. Bobby won’t appreciate what he’s done either, so he’d rather keep the details to himself. “Not really. – But I think I do know now.” He lifts the bag. “You wanna discuss this now, or do you let me put the antidote together and save Sam’s life? Cause, if we’re not hurrying the fuck up – and if I’m right – he’ll have a heart-attack within the next twenty-four hours.”

Bobby freezes and whatever he is about to say gets stuck in his throat. “So, you do know?”

“No. – But I hope I’m right about this, ‘cause if it is what I think it is, we have the solution ahead of us.” Dean really doesn’t have time for long explanations.

“Do I even wanna know what’s in the bag?” Bobby nods at it and takes a step back, eying it suspiciously.

“You don’t wanna know, old man. Trust me.” Dean gives him an intense look.

 

*****

Within four hours, the antidote is cooked up, and the ground-floor of the house reeks like shit – probably will for days … All hopes about Bobby not going to ‘notice’ are in the wind, when he comes downstairs for a couple of brief moments and see if Dean’s finally done, and what’s engulfing his house with stink. 

Okay, he’s not freaking out about it, per say, but he damn well loses quite a couple of shades of color and sputters curses as he goes.

“Oh boy.”, Bobby chokes out when he enters the kitchen and makes a choking noise. He throws his arm up and buries mouth and nose in the crook of his elbow.

“Damn it.” But, what wouldn’t he do for his boy to not die from some devilish poison.

The antidote smells bad. Like, real bad. It smells worse than hell’s torture-dungeons, Dean has to admit. For some human being it must be sickening to put it mildly. 

“I know. Sorry.” Dean knows that he doesn’t have to apologize for stinking the house, he does nonetheless.

“’s okay.” Now Bobby starts to get a little green around his nose. “think hav’ta step outside for a moment though.”, he says, rushed and slurred, already on his way towards the front-door.

Dean puts the filtered liquid into the fridge to cool it down faster (and staunch the stink – hopefully). After all, he can’t pour the hot antidote down Nicolas’s throat.

Who can tell if it’d work then?

Dean hears distinct retching from outside.

He grimaces and gags. Dean can stand a lot of smells … but vomit … that’s just gross.

Anyway, he hurries up to get the pot with stinky material behind the house, opens all the windows and doors to let the breeze do some ‘refreshing’.

Dean hurries up to get dressed in fresh clothes, as he figures he has to stink too. He wouldn’t want to go visit Sam upstairs and make him feel sick in case he wakes.

When that mission is finally accomplished, he sneaks into their room and sits down on his side of the bed; high up, with his back against the headboard and comps through Sam’s hair soothingly.

Sam tilts his head into the gentle touches.

He’s still running a fever and it seems to have risen since he had left.

Where there has been a decent sheen of sweat are now huge droplets pouring out of Sam’s skin.

He murmurs something.

Dean shushes him and starts to massage his scalp instead of stroking through his hair. “Rest.”

Sam draws in a wet breath and makes a sound at the back of his throat. “Dean.”

“I’m here, Baby Boy.”, Dean whispers and moves his hand to cup Sam’s cheek.

Lines of distress appear on his love’s face. Sam squirms and arcs his back slightly. “Hurts.”, he moans hoarsely. “’s … make it stop. Please, make it stop.”

Dean’s face darkens and crinkles of worry dig into the edges of his eyes. “What hurts, Sammy?”, he asks softly.

Another moan, followed by a whimper passes his lips.

“Sam.” Dean leans forward slightly. “What hurts?”

“Everythin’.” The lines of distress on his face change to ones of hurt. A shiver curses through him, from tip to toe.

His black wolf growls in union with the white one. “I’ll make it go away, Baby Boy. – I promise. I will. – You just gotta hang on a little longer, okay?”

Dean casts a glance at the clock. A little less than twenty hours – if he’s counting right – is what they’ve left.

Sam doesn’t seem to understand; or hear him. Or he does, and is too out of it to answer.

“Sammy.”, Dean breathes and bows down to place a tender kiss to the crown of his head. “Just a little longer, Baby.”

Of course, he could give him morphine, just like Bobby had done, before Sam had started to get worse.

Now, they don’t know if administering morphine could speed up or worsen the affects the poison has.

So, they shouldn’t give him any meds for now – except the ones for the fever, as they are absolutely necessary to keep Sam from boiling his brain to mush.

If the antidote is going to work on Munroe, he’ll give it to Sam too, and then, Sam can have as much morphine as necessary to ease the pain.

Eventually – even though Bobby’s not back yet – Dean decides to leave Sam’s side. As much as he hates the very thought, he has to. The antidote sure has cooled down enough by now to give it to Nicolas without burning his throat.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 54 ~ The Clean-Up 3

 

Turns out, a sewed shut mouth is no good when trying to get liquid through mentioned sewed up mouth.

It’s a little of a mess, but Nicolas swallows it down after some ‘persuading’ from Dean.

Munroe too, is a feverish, writhing and hurting mess by now. Maybe, if they are lucky, the antidote is going to kick in within a reasonable amount of time …

 

*****

 

Dean’s a little surprised, but utterly relieved, when Munroe shows first signs of improvement only two hours after administering the ugly, oily liquid.

The raging fever has leveled down noticeably, and his heart isn’t galloping in a threatening speed anymore.

Dean doesn’t waste any more time after his check-up on Munroe and hurries to get the antidote from the fridge and upstairs.

“It’s working.”, he blurts out; barely through the door and inside their room, where Sam’s restlessly sleeping, and Bobby sitting beside him in the chair, one hand on Sam’s.

Dean’s not even close to the bed, when Bobby’s already on his feet and working on propping Sam’s head up on an extra-pillow.

“You sure?” Of course, Bobby’s uncertain and anxious about it. Who wouldn’t? Dean is too … kind of. Though, the excitement over something working out – for once – in the way they want it to is overweighing his worries.

“Pretty damn sure.”, Dean confirms.

Bobby can very well read between the lines, and sense the hint of hesitation. But he also trusts Dean and his judgement, when it comes to Sam. He knows, he’s as scared as he is to lose Sam or hurt him unnecessarily.

Bobby is certain, if they’d have more time, Dean wouldn’t make Sam swallow the antidote just now. He’d wait and see how Munroe’s condition develops and if there are going to be side-effects to the antidote.

That’s why he doesn’t question, when Dean puts the glass with stinky liquid to Sam’s lips and makes him drink it. Truth be told, it takes quite some coaxing.

Sam seals his mouth shut after the first taste and scrunches his face up in disgust, but he eventually listens to Dean, when he tells him that he has to drink all of it; and that it’s going to save his life if he obliges.

What tiny bit of coherence is left within Sam, it seems to understand the importance and urgence linger in Dean’s every word.

 

*****

 

Dean doesn’t leave Sam’s side after administering the antidote; doesn’t dare to.

If something bad is going to happen, neither he nor Bobby are going to be able to stop it – no matter if Nicolas would show the same side effects earlier.

Sam’s heart-rate is still quick and there are some weak beats scattered among the strong ones. It even sounds a little arhythmic every now and then – just like Nicolas’s had.

Sitting there and waiting for something to happen (no matter if good or bad) is driving Dean insane (on the inside). While he launches in the chair beside the bed and keeps staring at Sam with an unreadable expression, his insides are a turmoil of emotions.

And though, he manages to keep a tight grip on the leash of his wolves.

 

*****

 

Quite contrary to Munroe, Sam’s not coherent for hours.

Bobby couldn’t help but take a peek at their captive, after Sam hadn’t stirred once until the early morning-hours of the day after they’ve given him the antidote.

Dean’s close to losing his shit by then, because, Munroe is doing so much better than Sam does. And if that’s not so very unfair.

How come, that bad guys always get to fall onto the butter-side of life? How come, they’re the lucky ones, while good people – like Sam – have to go through hell?

Okay, they’ve given Sam a small doze of morphine earlier, when his heartbeats finally started to fall into a less threatening pattern; but by far not enough to keep him under.

 

*****

 

It’s around noon, when Sam finally shows first signs of improvement and that he’s going to wake up soon.

He’s swallowing more often; takes deeper breaths and his eyelids flutter every now and then, as if he’s about to open them at any given moment.

Dean can’t help but try and coax him out of his slumber. He wants to – needs to – look into those colorful irises and see – for real – that Sam is better; that he’s feeling better. He needs him to say a few words; to talk to him, so Dean can be sure that he’s going to be okay.

Later on, he might wish he hadn’t, as Sam’s awakening is going to reveal a devasting side effect of the poison, or antidote.

 

*****

 

For Dean, it feels like decades, until Sam finally surfaces for good and opens his eyes. He’s too sunken in thoughts to first notice Sam staring his way.

Dean’s eyes are blacker than the darkest of nights, as he drowns himself in the sea of thoughts his mind is harboring.

“Dean?”

Only, when Sam’s weak voice penetrates his mind, Dean’s eyes clear and turn into their usual, livid green.

Dean sucks in a deep breath and blinks. A soft smile replaces the emptiness on his face. “Hey, Baby Boy.”, he says softly and changes from his seat onto the bed. “How’re you feeling?”

Sam smacks his dry lips. “Like I’ve got hit by a truck.”, he murmurs and squints his left eye shut. He shifts and hisses. “Sucks”

Dean nods. “’bet it does. – You want something for the pain?” He moves his hand to cover Sam’s forehead and check his temperature (as if he hadn’t several times before).

“Nah.” Sam shifts again and squints his other eye shut, before he opens his left one to gaze up at Dean. “’d you get hit in the head too?”

Dean’s smile falters a little. “Nope. – Does it hurt?”

Sam gives a nod. “Kinda …”

“It’ll pass. – The bullet’s been poisoned. Could be from that, or the antidote.”, he explains. “Something else?”

He shakes his head. “Don’t think so.”

Dean chews on his lower lip and tilts his head; guides his hand to cover Sam’s cheek and jaw and let his lips curl up a little more. “Good. – So … you feel up to drink something? – ‘cause I got some artificially blue Gathorade here.”

Dean takes the bottle from the nightstand and shows it to Sam.

Sam moves his lips; runs his dry tongue over his fuzzy teeth and pulls a grimace. “Yeah.”

Dean let him take careful sips. “Good? More?”

“More.”

Satisfied with the answer, he let him have some more, before putting the bottle back onto the nightstand.

“You sure you didn’t get hit?” Sam squeezes both eyes shut for long seconds, before he opens them again.

“’s your headache so bad?”

Sam shakes his head. Exhaustion evident on his face. “Nah … It’s my eyes. They don’t focus somehow … ‘s weird.” He sighs tiredly.

Dean cups Sam’s face and puts his thumps under Sam’s eyes, then pulls his lower eyelids down gently and stares into them.

There’s nothing to see. They ain’t reddish or anything. It instantly worries Dean and makes his guts churn and make space for a deep black pit.

He eases his eyelids back up and his thumps follow the bows of his cheekbones.

Dean smiles at him fondly.

“That’ll probably pass, Sammy.”, he tells him, despite the eerie feel Sam’s declaration rises within him.

Sam nods and sniffs. “Can I have some more to drink?”

 

*****

 

A huge weight lifts off of Bobby’s shoulders, when he enters the room and sees, that Sam’s actually awake, and – on top of that – even drinking.

He’s got his fingers wrapped around a bottle of Gatorade, but only barely. The majority of its weight lays definitely in Dean’s hand, who is holding it slightly tilted, so that Sam can drink.

“Hey, boy.” Bobby’s eyes are all bright and filled with happiness; his lips curved into a broad smile. “Look who’s decided to join the livin’.”

Sam tugs kitten-like at the bottle to pull it away from his lips, and Dean follows the wordless plea. He eases it away from Sam’s lips and guides it down until its bottom touches the covers. Dean keeps holding it too, just in case Sam let go and so the precious fluid wouldn’t get spilled on the bed.

Sam smiles and he directs his look towards the door. “Hey.”, he greets his surrogate father.

Bobby shoots Dean an irritated look.

Sam’s kinda staring through him instead of looking at him; into his eyes even, and of course, Bobby senses that something is not quite right, but is checking in on Dean if he knows.

Therefore, the slight shake of his head, when he locks eyes with Bobby. He doesn’t want to wake sleeping dogs, or make a fuzz over something that’s actually nothing.

Dean’s going to check in on Munroe later on and see if he too has issues with his eyes, or if something else is wrong with his lab-rat in the panic room.

“How ‘Re you doin’, Son?” He’s still looking at Dean when he comes closer.

“’m good.”, Sam licks his lip to catch a droplet of the blue liquid. “’ust exhausted.”

Now, Bobby gazes at his surrogate son.

“And … Vision’s kinda blurry.” Sam shrugs casually, as if it’s nothing bad at all.

Again, Bobby looks over at Dean with a questioning look, who, again, shakes his head.

“Yeah, probably nothing we should worry about.” Besides, he doesn’t want Bobby to accidently mention Munroe, or the basement, or anything related to that guy.

Their captive will be gone before Sam’s back on his feet.

Of course, Old-Grumpy gets the hint. “Yeah, probably not.”, he murmurs; clears his throat.

The atmosphere grows a little tense in the room. “You have a moment?”, Bobby asks and addresses Dean with an unreadable expression.

 

*****

 

Sam’s head is all fuzzy and his thought’s scrambled. It’s a gooey mixture like too many eggs in a too tiny pan, where solid and liquid components have mingled but aren’t yet boiled through.

Everything since he had collapsed in the hall, with Castiel at his side, is blurry.

He knows, it’s been a close call – probably. High likely, considering that poison has been involved. But, as it seems, Dean and Bobby had managed to get an antidote and fix the issue.

Sam’s feels too exhausted to ask or listen to the story behind the entire happening. He’s just glad that Dean’s with him, and that he himself is still alive.

Right now, that’s all that matters.

He can ask all the questions he has later on, as it seems as if neither Dean nor Bobby are in any hurry, or worried badly. They seem to still be safe at the Salvage.

Only, when he hears their muffled voices through the closed door, a frown forms on his forehead, and he strains his ears. Maybe, he can get a hint of what they are arguing about, and of what they don’t want Sam to get witness of.

Plus, he kinda needs to pee. Weird, that only minutes ago, he didn’t have to, and now, that he’s alone, the urge to visit a bathroom grows immensely with every passing second.

He sighs heavily.

If only, he wouldn’t be so tired, and his limbs weren’t too heavy to move them.

Sam doubts, that his legs are going to carry his weight out of the room and to the bathroom one door further at the opposite side of the corridor.

He blinks a couple of times to try and get his vision to focus, but it’s without avail. His eyes won’t follow his mind’s orders.

The arguing is still hushed, but becomes a little louder and heated.

Sam strains his ears some more, but it’s practically impossible to make anything out. So, he braces the muscles of his lower abdomen against the pull in his lower belly, and waits – more or less patiently – for one of the both to come back.

To his surprise, flexing his muscles – or shifting in general – doesn’t cause any pain. In fact, it’s only discomfort he is experiencing. What’s probably because they’ve given him heavy duty painkillers.

Until one of the both decide to come back, he’ll work to free his legs from the covers, so he’s ready to go as soon as the door opens.

 

*****

 

Dean more carries than walks Sam into the bathroom down the corridor.

Sam doesn’t complain about being in pain, but after making it to the bathroom-door, Sam’s sweating and panting heavily, and his limbs have become useless extensions of his torso.

What may have been discomfort at first, now definitely turns into hurt.

Dean is super-careful, when he lowers Sam onto the lid and let him catch his breath, before he orders Sam to wrap his arms around his neck and hold onto it. Together, they stand back up.

Sam’s fucking shaking; his legs all weak and wobbly, when Dean pulls his boxers down in one swift motion when he lowers him back onto the toilet.

“Thanks.”, Sam croaks out hoarsely and wipes over his face after letting go of Dean. It takes him a moment to regain his composure (or what’s left of it).

“You good?” Dean knows, of course, Sam’s not good. He’s all pale and kinda shocky and Dean Winchester hates to see his man like this.

He keeps a hand on Sam’s shoulder, just in case he decides to pass out, and so he wouldn’t slide from the toilet.

Sam nods. “You think …” He sniffs and blows out a shaky breath, “… I could take a shower or something like that?”

Dean eyes him incredulously.

“I stink.”, he explains, still out of breath, “I feel filthy.”

Yeah, Dean gets that, but Sam doesn’t stink that bad and ‘filth’ is relative too. Ain’t as if he’s going to turn into a greasy filth-ball after only two days of not seeing a shower.

“Yeah. – Nope.” Not happening. Who knows if the eye-thing is the only thing that’s not right with Sam? What if the poison has weakened his heart, or has done any other damage.

He won’t let Sam overdo himself after those strenuous days of battling blood-loss and poison. Aside from that, Sam doesn’t look anyhow near being able to hold out long enough to have anything like a shower. Dean’s not even certain if he’s going to make it back to the bed without blacking out on him.

“I can get a washcloth, and you can brush your teeth.”, he eventually suggests. “Don’t think it’s a good idea to move around too much.”

Sam opens his mouth to protest; Dean can see it all over his face when he looks up at him.

“No way. – You barely made it onto the toilet. – No way you’re ablet o stand long enough for even a five-minutes-shower, Sam.”, Dean tells him softly, but though firm. “You don’t smell that bad.”

Sam’s lips twitch and he thinks for a moment. The protest drains away from his face and he nods.

So, Dean gets everything Sam’s going to need to get cleaned up and to brush his teeth – right where he is, on the damn toilet.

Dean’s really patient, while he waits for Sam to get done with his business and all that, then cleans up the bathroom, gets a fresh pair of boxers for Sam and then – again – more carries than walks him back into their room.

They’re barely past the doorframe, when Sam collapses against him; his legs finally giving out.

“Whoa, tiger.”, Dean wouldn’t be Dean if he wouldn’t have seen that coming; and tightens his hold on Sam, before he can slip from his grasp. “Easy, Sammy.”, he adds, when Sam tries to get his legs back under him. “C’mon, I’ve got you.”

Sam doesn’t exactly work with him here, when he tries to entangle his legs and the arm from around Dean’d shoulders.

“Don’t be a bitch and let me help you.”, Dean tells him still soft, but a little more strict.

Without further ado, Dean scoops Sam up in his arms as if he’s weighing nothing and carries him the last few yards to the bed before he lowers him down on it.

Sam’s face is tainted with a bright red, as he stares up at him with bleary eyes. He’s definitely embarrassed, but Dean decides to ignore it. “Thirsty?”, he asks, instead of addressing Sam’s shame and all the negative emotions which certainly come with it.

Sam nods and closes his eyes for a moment. When they open again, they don’t look any less bleary and definitely more shiny.

Dean let him have water, and a little bit of juice, and then offers a pill to him.

“Painkillers.”, he declares. “The good ones.” Because Sam’s going to need them.

First, Sam’s pulling a face and shakes his head in defiance, but Dean’s not going to let it go.

“Sam. Take the fuckin’ painkillers.” His eyebrows furrow in that certain way, when he starts to get impatient and a little angry, and that telltale of a determined growl let the muscles in Dean’s throat and jaw work.

Of which Dean barely makes use against Sam, and Sam knows, it’s not to threaten him (or maybe it is); it’s more that kind of growl, which tells him, that Dean’s concerned and that he is sure of knowing what’s best for Sam right in that moment and that Sam is so not in any position to argue with him over whatever is on his personal agenda.

Not taking them is definitely out of discussion.

With a sigh, Sam obliges.
It’s not as if he’s got much of a choice, and he too rather gets loopy and falls asleep, before the meds are wearing off for good, and he starts hurting for real.

Sam would rather skip that part. Though, he doesn’t like to fall asleep; not when he has ‘just’ woken up and had barely time to wallow in Dean’s attention; his touches; his voice.

As if reading his mind, Dean gets on the bed beside him, so that they’re touching, and slips his arm under Sam’s neck; then he inches closer.

“Better?”, he asks.

Sam hums and tugs his head against Dean’s shoulder. “Tell me what happened.”

Dean purses his lips. “Nick thought he could get out of his crossroad’s-deal if he’d kill me.” What’re you gonna tell Sam if he’s asking about Munroe? You tell him that you’re holding him captive in the basement for further torture?, Bobby’s question echoes through Dean’s mind, along with bits and pieces of their argument from before. “I’ve killed him.”

Easy as that.

Dean feels Sam’s elbow nudging his ribs weakly.

“Not the short-story you and Bobby came up with to spare me uncomfortable details. – Wanna know what’s happened.”

Dean glares down at Sam from the corners of his eyes. Clever little bastard his human is. He can’t help the pride, nor annoyance which go hand in hand when it comes to Sam’s witfulness.

“Fine … So …”, he tells him everything, except for little Nicky in the basement and everything including and considering him – well, except that he’s dead of course. AND, he’s not going to tell him shit about the virgin which had to die and safe Sam’s life-

He’s going to leave Sam the illusion of Nicolas Munroe already being gone.

Somewhen half way through the end, when Dean’s about to tell him about the antidote, Sam drifts off.

Dean stays a while longer, until he’s certain he can move his arm out from under Sam without waking him. He sneaks out of the room and down the corridor.

When he hears voices from downstairs, he stops short and listens.

It’s that Rufus-Turner-Guy Bobby is with. Sounds, as if they’re in the kitchen or living-room.

Dean thinks for a moment, before he moves further on silent heels; outstepping the loose floorboards in the corridor and those of the stairs.

They are in the kitchen. Nice.

Means, if he takes a sharp turn, the guy with the constantly-fucked-up car won’t even catch a glimpse of him. So, Dean eases swiftly from the stairs and into the narrow corridor leading him towards the basement, to finally get to finish what he has started.

 

*****

Chapter Text

Chapter 55 ~ The Clean-Up 4

 

With the door of the panic room shut, there barely make it any sounds upstairs.

Besides, Nicolas can’t really scream, and Dean is talking too low for anyone outside that room to hear.

First, he cuts through the stitches from Nicolas’ mouth.

The man stares up at him – through him even. It’s like he can’t see him.

“You’re going to answer some questions, Asshole.”, Dean says quietly. “And don’t try and scream for help. – Or, I’ll cut your tongue out.”

Nicolas only breathes heavily and eventually nods.

“Seems as if you can’t see me. Is that true?”

“Yes.”, Munroe moves his lips carefully.

“Tell me what it is like. – What it feels like. What you see, and what not.”

Nicolas tilts his head back. “I can see nothing. – It’s dark.” Weak. Breathless. Whiney and pathetic. “My head hurts.”

Dean nods. “Looks like karma’s a bitch, huh?” He’s referring to when Nicolas had put that shirt over Sam’s head, so he would see shit. “Something else?”

“You stitched my damn legs and arms together. You shot me.”, Nicolas answers, his voice lowered, “What do you expect, you fuckin’ retard?”

Dean cocks both eyebrows at the man. What an attitude, huh? “Seems like you’re not doin’ so bad.”

“Let me go.” It’s not demanding, yet, not a sincere plea. “I’ll never come back.”

If only … That man is a liar.

“You’ve had your chance, when I’ve intended to dump you at the train station. Yet, you decided to go against me. – Said, if you can’t have Sam, no one will. And I suppose, if I will let you go, I can’t be sure that you won’t try something.” Dean pauses and takes a step back. “You’re bonkers, Buddy. I can see it in your eyes. You won’t just drop it; you can’t drop it. – You can’t live with knowing, that you won’t be together with Sam; that there’s no chance of you laying hands on him ever again.”

Dean licks his lips. “You’re a mad, dangerous man, Nicolas. – You will try to get to Sam. And I can’t have that; won’t allow it.”

Nicolas snorts; cocky annoying attitude resurfacing.

“I understand humans like you.” Dean shrugs. “I get it. I really do. – You are obsessed with one thing; and one thing only. I’ve been like this too for a long while.” Dean admits. “If you can’t get what you want, you destroy it. Burn it down. So no one else can have it either.” He pauses. “I’ve changed though. I’ve honestly changed, and the reason is Sam. He made me change; made me think about things from a different perspective. – But you? You won’t. You’ve had your chances to change – multiple times.”

Nicolas only listens and stares from where he supposes the voice comes from. “You done with your monologue?”

Dean huffs out a breath and shakes his head. “See? You don’t listen …” Not that it would safe Nicolas in any way now. That train’s long gone. “You’re still certain, that I’m gonna torture you for a while, and then I’m gonna let you go, right?”

“Sam won’t be happy if you’d kill me.”

Dean shrugs. “Sam thinks you’re dead. – Didn’t beat an eye when I told him.” He purses his lips. “He seemed relieved.”

Nicolas shakes his head in denial.

“And he’s never getting’ to know, that you’ve been here; what I’ve done, or where you’ve gone, Buddy.”

Munroe swallows hard.

“I’ve had time to think. I’ve been considering several scenarios.” Nicolas swallows, a weird smile blooms on his face. “My deal’s not due yet. – Alistair said, you can’t kill me before my time is up. He said, in case you capture me, I just have to hold on long enough. – And that I will. – And even if it won’t be that way. Even if I would die … going to hell?” Nicolas shrugs and his grin widens. “Fine. I’ll just turn that into my plan B. I’m gonna turn into a demon. I’m gonna become what you are. We’d be equals.”

Dean shoots him an incredulous look.

“And then, I’ll go after you and take Sam back, you know? – I’m going to have him. Doesn’t matter if it’s before my deal, or after. – I’d come back for him anyway. Even when it’s not as a human. It doesn’t matter.” He shrugs again. “Nothing matters anymore. So, go on and kill me, so I can go to hell and get my powers.”

It’s as if someone has fucked the guy’s brains out, right? Hell ain’t Disneyland. “Turning a soul into a demon takes decades, are you aware of that little fact? ‘cause … Sam’s going to be an old man or even dead, when – if – you ever come topside again.”

Nicolas leans back. “Guess it’ll do me certain favors, since me and Alistair aren’t strangers.”, he snickers excitedly. It looks as if he’s already picturing his afterlife.

Him, Sam and a cute hell-hound-puppy hopping across a meadow, with flowers in their hair; happily chirping birds, and a whole lotta cute shit like that.

… “I’m sure he’ll find a way to let me have Sam – in whatever way possible.”, Nicolas continues and sighs satisfied.

Dean just stares. He can’t but stare at the stupidity of the human before him. Aside from that. – Just to set things clear:

Dean’s not scared that Alistair would make true on whatever he had promised Munroe. He’s not afraid, that Munroe and Alistair could become best buddies downstairs. Nor does it bother him, that Nicolas believes any of his ridiculous fantasies.

What makes Dean uneasy, is, Munroe’s obsession with Sam.

He’s seen this kind of crazy love (requited or unrequited doesn’t matter). Most of the souls going to hell, and feeling so drawn to another person (or soul), don’t forget about them; they don’t let their past-life go.

They are dead-set to stay with them; return to them; whatever and however; that it doesn’t matter what they are or who they have turned into. What wouldn’t be such a bad thing, if it weren’t for those twisted souls and their twisted, obscurely weird needs.

Dean has never heard of one of them doing something good to or for the person they’re so madly obsessed with. Even those souls, whose second half had been left behind on earth, and with which they had been sharing profound feelings of love and unique bonds, haven’t managed to get over their – once pure and honest – dark and twisted obsessions with their mates.

Not once.

What doesn’t matter actually, since Nicolas doesn’t have any bond with Sam. Not that he will ever share one like that with him.

It’s his obsession, which scares the hell out of Dean. Humans like him; they turn into demons and when they come back topside, they destroy what they’ve loved so badly. They rape, kill, burn – whatever it takes.

And Nicolas Munroe’s soul seems to be right up this alley.

So … “Damn it.”, he curses out loud through gritted teeth and growls at him. … So, even if he’d kill him; Munroe might as well will go to hell; will be tortured for decades and maybe – after centuries – he’ll come back topside to get his revenge on Dean and his ‘happy times’ with Sam.

Dean hums. Decades. Centuries … His eyes narrow. That’s quite a while though. So, even if Munroe doesn’t forget about Sam … There’re so many things that could possibly happen, or not happen …

He thinks for another moment, before turning towards the table and examines the laid-out utilities there.

“Guess, then I’ve to make your remaining time as a human worth living, huh?”, Dean asks, “As I see it, you’re head over heels to become what I am.” An evil smirk creeps onto his face, when he stalks towards the table and picks up one of the knifes, which hunters usually use to skin their prey.

He turns on his heels to face Nicolas, his eyes black. “I’ll happily give you a little taste of what’s to come downstairs. – And when we’ll meet again – from one black-eye to another – you’ll tell me what’s been worse. ‘cause you see … pain up here …” He turns the knife in his hand, “… is a whole lotta different from down there.” Dean gestures with the tip of the knife to the floor.

 

*****

 

Dean takes his sweet time with Munroe, after sewing his mouth shut again.

He had intended to listen to his symphony of screams and whimpers interrupted by venomous curses and insults, but when there’s a knock on the iron-door, interrupting his private, intimate session with his captive and a very quiet Bobby who asks him, if he may turn the volume down a little because he can damn well hear Munroe upstairs, Dean cuts down on his enjoyment.

He wouldn’t want Sam to get to know what he’s up to with supposedly dead little Nicky.

Soon, stripes of bloodless skin lay scattered on the plastic sheets. Only due Dean’s demonic powers, there’s not as much blood flowing from Munroe’s wounds as it’s supposed to. After all, Dean wants it bloody, but not so bloody, that he’d have to scrub the floor when he’s done.

Plus. He’s got something else in mind now.

Like most artists, the muse comes to him while he works, and so, Dean decides to not kill that dumbass bastard; well, at least, he tries not to – hellhounds shall do the work when the deal comes due; can’t – won’t – take away the lill’ pups’ chew-toy after all.

But, what he is going to do is: He’ll make that retarded son of a bitch hurt a lot more. He’ll cauterize his wounds; get back into that messy mind and screw it over, so he’ll be caught there, without being capable of communicate with anyone.

And when that’s done, he’ll drop him at an ER, two states over.

 

*****

 

Dean doesn’t have a clue how long he’s in the basement, when someone – high likely Bobby – comes knocking.

The interruption ain’t a bad thing though, since he’s almost done and ready for a break before getting Nicky ready for their journey.

Dean eyes his newest creation in astonishment and grants himself a minute, before he wipes his hands on a cloth and heads for the door to lurk outside.

Of course, it’s Bobby, and he’s wearing a wary expression. “You’ve been down here for almost 24 hours, boy …”, he says carefully – in a tone, Dean has never heard the gruff man speak in before. “Sam’s been awake several times; has been askin’ for you …” He clears his throat. “Told him you went into town to stock up on painkillers and … other stuff.”

Dean stares at him for a moment; still lost in blissful thoughts. Then he nods. “I’m …done here anyway.” He clears his throat too – a pang of guilt exploding in his chest.

Bobby’s beard twitches and he nods. He seems relieved – kinda at least. “So … he’s …”

“No.” Dean moves, so he is able to open the door a little more and allow Bobby a look, but Old-Grumpy only shakes his head.

“Nah. – Don’t need ‘ta see.”, he murmurs.

“I’ll have to head out later though.” God, why doesn’t the guilt go away and why the hell does he feel shame cut through his guts like a million of razor-blades? “Have to take care of Munroe’s … body.”

Bobby takes a step back and nods; avoiding to look Dean in the eyes.

“I’ll get cleaned up and I’m gonna go upstairs.” Dean has to clear his throat again; because something is building up there; clogging it. “You’ve got a list?”

Bobby snaps his head up and cocks an eyebrow. “List?”, he asks irritated.

“Yeah. – With things we need. Figure it’s not safe for you to leave the Salvage … So … Since I’ve to head out, I may as well can stop on my way back and pick up what we’re running low on?”

Irritation gives way to bewilderment. “Yeah … of course.” Bobby stares at the half-open iron-door for a moment, then looks at Dean. “I’m gonna make a list.”

 

*****

 

Sam’s awake, when Dean comes into the room with strawberries, juice and a mug with warm creamy coffee.

Instantly, Sam’s lips curl into a joyful smile and his eyes get a bit brighter. He looks better; almost as if he has just woken up; wouldn’t it be for the lack of color of his skin and the slight trembling of his limbs.

Sam half sits half lies on top of the covers, with his upper half propped up on several pillows against the headboard; clad in only loose shorts, since it’s at least as hot inside as it is outside during this time of the day. His right hand rests loosely on the bandaged area covering his flank.

Dean’s reminded, that there are other issues which need to be dealt with, aside from the one in the basement. He’s just not sure if now is the right time to address the matter.

A part of him is pressuring him to pick up on that topic right away (namely his black wolf) and talk to Sam about it. But another part (his white wolf) keeps whispering, that now ain’t the right time and that he should wait until Sam’s better.

Thing is, Sam won’t get better – or it will delay his getting-better – if they both keep ignoring the obvious.

Dean stares for a moment, before he let his gaze roam all over Sam’s body and let it settle on his face and rose lips; then he looks into those colorful pools of hazel. Dean’s lips curl up too.

It looks as if Sam’s looking back at him and for a moment, it seems as if he’s not seeing through a blurry haze anymore.

Only, when Dean comes closer, and Sam’s eyes don’t focus on him anymore, but seem to stare right through him and focus on something behind him, the small spark of hope gets extinguished.

“Thought you’ve left.”, Sam says softly and pushes himself up a little. “Bobby said you’ve been to town, but I could tell he’s been lying …”

There’s a hidden question, which Dean’s not sure how to answer.

“Yeah, sorry. – Have been held up …” He hates himself for lying to Sam, but what is he supposed to tell him? That he’s been enjoying himself in the basement with Nick? That he’s gotten carried away with torturing a human – innocent – guy?

Nope. Thank you very much. Dean doesn’t intend to ever tell Sam anything about it.

Sam’s smile fades away and worry lay his forehead into deepening lines. “Did Alistair send something after you?”

Dean chuckles and he sits down at the side of the bed and places the tray in Sam’s lap. “Nothing I haven’t been able to deal with, Baby Boy.”, he answers softly.

Sam blinks and his eyes focus slowly – or try to. Dean’s not sure. “I’ve brought strawberries. Coffee.” He reaches for Sam’s hand – which covers the bandage and moves it to the bowl.

All Sam does, is pulling a grimace.

“Sammy.”

“I know.”, Sam sighs and he blinks at the bowl with red fruits.

They both know, it doesn’t change a thing.

“I’m gonna eat them. Promise.”

Dean gets back up and rounds the bed. He sheds his jeans and shirt and gets on the bed, right beside Sam, so that their bare shoulders are touching.

“I know.” Nah. Sam would try to wiggle his scrawny ass out of this, but Dean’s not going to let him. “I’ll take care of it.”

Sam lifts his gaze and looks into his direction; his face all open and vulnerable. “I’m sorry.”

Dean knows that too, still, it doesn’t change a thing. Sam telling him, that he’s sorry that it is as it is, only makes it kinda worse for him to ‘make’ Sam eat. After all, he knows, that Sam’s feeling miserable about it.

“We’ve to talk about this at some point, you know?”, Dean has to tell him, because HE has to talk about it.

After all, it starts to get super-obvious, that Sam has an eating-disorder of some sort, and they have to find a way to deal with it and make it better, before it gets a chance to become worse.

Dean thinks, he’s been tolerant and accepting for long enough now. All his ministrations and efforts haven’t done shit to add more meat (or fat) to those bones.

Sure, he noticed Sam’s tries to get better too, but still … somehow, it doesn’t work.

Sam blows out a heavy sigh and he gets that sad, beaten-puppy expression. “Now?”, he asks uncertain.

Dean wants to recoil; tell him that. No, not now, but soon. But … “Now seems to be as good as any other time, don’t ‘ya think?” He hates himself for pushing Sam to talk about it now, since he’s still recovering. Maybe, it’s even a little unfair …

“What … I mean … What do you expect me to do about it?”, he sounds helpless; hopeless kind of even. “I’m trying … I really am. I just can’t …”

Dean thinks for a moment, before he says something. “Is it because you think you’re getting fat if you eat?”

He knows, they’ve already talked about this – at least they’ve brushed the topic.

Sam thinks for a moment too. “Not really? I mean … I don’t know. A small part maybe. – It’s just … It feels as if I’m not supposed to eat whatever I’d like to. It feels just wrong.” Then he shakes his head. “It feels good to not have a full belly.”, he answers. “I’m not really concerned about my weight, I think … It’s …” He hums, thinks a little harder.

“I don’t want to get fat either …” Huge trusty eyes catch Dean’s. “I feel like I am in control. But I know, that I am not … It’s hard to explain.” Sam licks his dry lips and blows out a long breath. “And yeah, I know that it’s not healthy either. – I can’t help it … not anymore …”

Dean waits patiently for Sam to continue. Even if Sam might not know – consciously – what makes the hairs in his neck stand up in sheer horror when it comes to food, Dean might be able to get an idea about it, if Sam keeps trying to explain.

“I just feel bad, when I’m eating regular food with you guys. Or when I’m eating at all.– It’s like I’m doing something totally wrong. And I’m feeling proud, when I manage to not consume anything the entire day. There aren’t a lot of reasons for me to feel proud about myself, you know? It’s not as if I’m accomplishing anything at all – except for the food-thing.” Sam thinks again, this time longer. “I’m just … here … you know? I don’t have a purpose. I’m just an unusable weight, which gets dragged along … - And it’s just getting worse.”

Dean nods to himself. Conditioning, is what comes to Dean’s mind almost immediately.

“But I also feel bad, when I’m not eating regular food, when Bobby’s been cooking, and then I feel even worse. I feel as if I’m insufficient; not able to make anything right … Like I’m a loser.”

“So, no matter what you do, you feel as if you’re doing the wrong thing.” It’s not a question at all; more of a statement, or Dean saying out loud what he’s thinking. “That you’re not enough.”

Sam shrugs and lowers his head some more. “Yeah, I guess … kinda. I don’t know. – I just feel wrong … and somehow … somehow, not eating makes me feel better.”

“But you managed to get over it for a while … Bobby told me, you’ve been training, and that you’ve been drinking those protein-stuff. You’ve even been eating properly …”

“There’s been a purpose – more important than anything else.” Sam looks back up through long bangs of hair and smiles reproachfully. “Had to find you – no matter the cost, you know. That’s been more important for a while.”

Dean nods. Okay.

“And I couldn’t go and hunt demons, when I’m not strong enough. I had to eat, to gain muscles and weight … I wouldn’t have survived it I weren’t strong enough.” Sam looks back down at the bowl on the tray. “I had to.”

“Dean.” Sam sighs and looks away briefly. “I don’t know what’s the problem with me. – I just knows it makes me feel stronger; more stable – in some kind of way …”

Dean nods again. That’s a lot of words, but no real information behind them; not even between the lines.

He clears his throat; a thought occurring to him.

Dean sneaks his arm around Sam’s shoulders and closes the small gap between them, so he is side-hugging Sam properly. “Was it that way before you’ve met Nick?”

Sam thinks; than squirms a little beside him, but Dean keeps his arm where it is and shifts his hand to rest it on Sam’s shoulder.

“No … it kinda started with him; not instantly, but when he started to become … different.”

“How, did it start?”

Sam avoids to look into Dean’s face then and trains his gaze at back at bowl. He squirms some more and seems to become antsy.

Sam shrugs. “I can’t really tell. – He’s been dropping comments on what I’d eat – I guess?” He shrugs again and clears his throat. “I haven’t really paid attention to what I’d eat; only when Nick started to make remarks about it …” A heavy sigh falls from his lips.

“Can we … maybe … not talk about this?” Sam sounds so utterly sad, Dean nearly gives into the plea.

“Baby Boy.” He twists around; reaches for Sam’s chin and makes him look at him. “You don’t have to be ashamed, you know that, right?” He smiles; hopes, that Sam can at least hear it in his voice, since he’s not able to see him properly.

Sam nods.

“And you can tell me every fucking thing.”, he adds softly. “I’m not gonna judge. I’m gonna listen, and maybe, talking about it is going to get us to the bottom of this. And even if not, it’s gonna help me understand.” He rubs his thump along Sam’s jaw. “I wanna understand, Sammy. – So I can help.”

A sad smile curls his lips skywards and small dimples dig into the edges of his eyes. “I know.”

Sam turns his head away from Dean’s touch and leans over to tug it into the side of his neck.

What little he knows about Sam and Nick’s relationship – if you can call it that anyway – makes him think, that Sam’s not been Munroe’s partner – or mate. Munroe has been – even if maybe unconsciously – ‘conditioning’ his ‘pet’.

He had started nagging; had dropped a comment here and a remark there … real subtle and shit. He’s been easing Sam into some fucked up ‘headspace’, where he’d feel insecure about himself more and more; up to the point, where he’d completely rely on Nicolas’ judgement.

He’d praise him for ‘acting’ or ‘dealing’ with things the way Nicolas had made him think are the right ways to deal with Sam’s newly arisen deficiencies (which had never ever existed in the first place).

Nicolas has been pushing Sam’s self-esteem further and further down to that very level where he’d become emotionally dependent on Nicolas’ praises and his opinions on nearly everything.

A manipulator so to say. A very good one at that too … considering Sam’s lingering ‘issues’.

Once Dean has gotten rid of Munroe, he’ll have to do some research. There sure are plenty of communities and other forums treating topics like that on the web. He’ll have to read and look this up thoroughly before trying to do something about Sam’s ‘disorder’. After all, Dean doesn’t want to worsen things …

“Nick’s been an asshole. – He didn’t deserve you at all.” Dean tugs Sam closer and kisses his hair. For now, he knows enough; won’t ask any more questions, which will make Sam feel miserable.

“And now, let’s have some strawberries.”, he whispers softly and makes Sam tilt his head back up and look at him. “Right?”

The smile on Sam’s face is all wrong and forced. He nods. “Right.”

 

*****

Chapter Text

A/N:

I’ve been deleting and rewriting this chapter multiple times. I restarted writing this over and over again …

Chapter 56 ~ The Clean-Up 5

 

Sam munches away on his strawberries – agonizingly slow. They’re sweet and ripe and juicy. So is Sam (if you’d ask Dean).

It’s not an easy task to watch him eat the fruits. Honestly not.

Dean haven’t ever been aware of how sexy strawberries can be – and how hot and bothered they make him, while watching Sam eat them. He’s never ever going to see strawberries as the innocent, healthy food they actually are.

Wherefore, ‘eating’ doesn’t quite describe how Sam’s lips are worshiping those luscious fruits.

Dean’s wondering briefly, if he’s about to develop a food-kink.

The way Sam’s devouring the strawberries … damn, that’s hot. It’s like watching live-porn … it only feels so much more intriguing.

Dean shifts slightly. The seam of his boxers digs uncomfortably into his overly sensitive – rapidly hardening – flesh. He sucks in his lower lip and bites it, with his gaze glued to Sam’s reddish lips and the strawberry on which he’s suckling so to not get any juice onto the sheets or himself.

What a damn fucking pity – honestly.

Dean’d love to lick those sweet juices from Sam’s body …

Damn. There are so many ideas popping up in his mind, about what he could do with those fruits and Sam …

Fuck.

Sam sucks the fruit into his mouth and chews it slowly; his fingers already in the bowl, on their hunt for another one.

Dean swallows; watches Sam hungrily.

By the time Sam’s done with another strawberry, he’s so fucking hard, he’s capable of cutting glass.

Dean palms himself through the boxers and stifles a groan.

Oh, fuck this shit. He can’t fucking take this anymore.

Dean lifts his hips and tugs his boxers off; then reaches for the tray. “Wait a sec.”, he says hoarsely and gives Sam time to take his hand away.

Sam stills and casts his huge eyes into Dean’s direction. “Yeah?”

The very next moment, he feels the weight of the tray lifted from his lap, and then the covers are pulled away.

He makes a surprised sound and swallows the half-chewed berry, before it decides to take the wrong pipe. The question what’s going on, dies on his lips, when something much heavier settles across his thighs.

Sam feels Dean’s warm breath against his lips, before they’re covered by velvet softness.