Time Keeps on Ticking

Title: Time Keeps on Ticking
Author: leah_elisabeth
Word Count: 7598
Rating: Teen
Warnings: The usual violence and gore. Unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Artist: thefriendlypigeon

Summary: Dean is gone. He disappeared in a splatter of black leviathan goo. And Sam is lost and grieving. Until he finds two young children on the edge of the road, scared, still smelling of the fire that stole their mother's life.

Author's Note: This is my submission for the Sam Winchester Big Bang. I want to say thanks to two people, my sister for being my beta and my phenomenal artist, thefriendlypigeon on Tumblr. Her artpost can be found here. Please go and give her some love! She managed to completely capture my vision exactly and I feel so blessed to work with someone so talented.

Sam didn’t hit a dog that first night. He was in the car, white line fever clouding his brain. He hadn’t eaten, hadn’t slept, not since the moment he saw Dean disappear in a cloud of black goo. He wasn’t sure what had pulled him back to Kansas. Dean wouldn’t be there. He couldn’t exactly go home when he hadn’t called it that since he was 6 months old. To be honest, he was hoping a tree would pop out of nowhere, or an icy bridge would cause him to fishtail and slide over an embankment. Because then it wouldn’t be his fault. It could be an unavoidable accident and Dean couldn’t blame him for taking his own life to join him in death. He shook his head and tried to get his blurry eyes to focus, as much as he wanted to die, he didn’t want to hit another vehicle. With his luck, he would survive the crash and have to live with the guilt of yet another death he had caused and that he couldn’t prevent.
A flash of light lit up the side of the road and it blinded Sam, igniting the migraine he had barely been keeping at bay. He jerked the wheel hard and felt a lurch as he hit the soft shoulder.

He couldn’t stand the closeness of the vehicle anymore and he shoved the door open and vomited strings of bile into the dirt at his feet. When he finished throwing up, he cradled his head in his hands and tried so hard not to give into the sobs that were waiting like a lump in his throat that he couldn’t swallow.

“Why do you have my daddy’s car?” A small voice asked from a few feet away.

Sam shot upright in shock, his head protesting and threatening another wave of sickness at the quick movement. There, right beside him in the ditch, was a small boy, and one that seemed familiar. He was perhaps three or four years old. His face was black with soot and marked with tear tracks. and he practically reeked of smoke. He had a small baby, less than a year old, desperately clutched in his arms. The baby was asleep but as Sam watched, it screwed up its little face and its eyes began to flutter open.

“Shh, Sammy, you’re ok,” the little boy soothed although he sounded on the brink of tears himself. And suddenly Sam knew exactly who they were and when they were from.

“Dean?” He asked incredulously.

The little boy, Dean, he had to be, glared at Sam suspiciously. “How do you know my name?”

“I’m...uh, I’m your uncle. Your dad let me take your car because he wanted me to keep you safe,” Sam hurried to reassure him.

“Daddy tells me everything,” Dean’s glare grew deeper and Sam would have struggled not to laugh if he wasn’t so damn tired.

“He didn’t have time. He was really busy. And if he trusts me with the car, he must trust me to take care of you too,” Sam said softly, trying not to spook his brother.

“Did he save mommy? Did he take her to the hospital?” Dean asked quietly, new tears slipping down his face.

Sam breathed a sigh of relief that this Dean was from before John had told him about the evil things out there. Dean still trusted easily and quickly.

Suddenly, little Sammy woke up fully and started to cry and Sam found himself with an armful of...himself. He blinked down at the little squalling face in front of him and for a second, was worried that the universe would explode from the paradox. But nothing happened except for the child continuing to cry in his arms.

“You hafta feed him,” Dean said seriously. “Mommy gives him milk but Daddy says boys don’t have milk so we hafta go to a store. Unless Daddy gave you bottles. Did Daddy give you bottles?”

“No, Da….John didn’t give me bottles. I guess we’re going to the store.” He stood up, Sammy still in his arms, and opened the back door.

“Hey,” Dean said. “Why’d you take our seats out?”

Sam remembered belatedly that he was in no way prepared to transport an infant. “Someone stole them…” he said faintly.

“Maybe someone had a baby on the side of the road and they needed a baby seat in a hurry,” Dean mused. Sam relaxed again. This Dean was much easier to lie to.

“I’m gonna wrap you up in blankets and strap you in as tight as you can. You can hold Sammy. Just until we get to a store and can get you a better seat.” For a second, Sam wasn’t sure if he should keep going or turn around. He didn’t really want to take the kids back to Lawrence in case whatever force had brought them through time was a) evil and b) looking for them. So he decided to go back the way he came until he found a small town and he knew he shouldn’t have too much further to go. “I’ll drive really slowly and carefully.”

Sam strapped them in as best he could but he was still hyper vigilant while he drove. Finally, he saw the town up ahead and breathed a sigh of relief. It was the middle of the night so nothing was open so the car seats would have to wait. He looked back at little Sammy and wondered if he was eating solid food yet and if he could give him regular cow’s milk or if it had to be real baby formula. He looked at the lights of the only gas station that was open and knew he’d be lucky if the milk was fresh.

He almost left the boys in the car. Dean and Sammy had both fallen asleep in the back seat and they looked so peaceful. And Dean wasn’t wearing any shoes and the gas station manager would probably notice and maybe call the cops. But what if he noticed the kids in the car and the lack of proper seats and called the cops then? His hands started to shake on the wheel. He’d just gotten his smart, capable, grown-ass brother killed. How could he possibly think he could keep these two alive?

“Are we home yet?” Dean yawned from the back seat. And Sam felt his hands stop shaking. Dean needed him. Little Sammy needed him. And he was done with letting his family down.

“We need to get milk for Sammy,” he said softly. “But I can’t leave you in the car. I’m going to have to carry you both.”
Dean just reached out his arms and nestled into Sam. Sam scooped both of them up and cradled them in one arm. It was awkward but if Dean held onto Sammy, he could hold them both and still have an arm free for paying.

Sam ignored the stink eye from the guy sitting at the counter and headed straight to the back for the dairy coolers. He rooted around before he found the carton with the farthest due date and started to head back to the counter. He stopped when he realised Sammy couldn’t drink out of a cup. He wandered a little bit, was almost ready to buy a pair of rubber gloves and see if he could make a bottle, when he saw one shoved onto a shelf with a bunch of off brand painkillers. It was dusty and had obviously been there for months if not years and it was exorbitantly priced but Sam could almost weep with relief. He looked down at Dean, half dozing on his shoulder, and grabbed a couple boxes of Mac and Cheese and some cans of spaghettios. He set those things down on the counter before he spied a box of lucky charms. He grabbed those too and then stared down at the raised eyebrow of the pimply faced teen behind the counter.

“Will that be all?” the kid smirked at him.

“Yes,” Sam glared, “that will be all.”

The kid rolled his eyes but packed up Sam’s stuff and named a price that nearly had Sam gasping. But he paid without complaint, not wanting the kid to remember them.

He strapped the two back into the car quickly before driving to a motel on the edge of town. He again debated leaving the kids in the car just to run in to book a room but again, he was worried that someone might notice and call CPS on him. So he picked them up again for a few minutes. He booked a double room out of habit.

When he opened the door, Dean was awake again. “Where’s Sammy going to sleep? He’ll fall out of a big bed,” Dean scowled.

“Shi...I mean oops, sorry. We’ll all sleep in the big bed, like a sleepover. I’ll be on one side and you’ll be on the other so Sammy can’t roll out of bed.” Dean nodded, his eyes already closing again in exhaustion. He set them both down on the couch, Sammy clutched tight in Dean’s arms. Sam quickly grabbed a facecloth from the bathroom and wiped Dean’s face and helped him out of his clothes and gave him one of Sam’s giant t-shirts to sleep in. Sammy’s sleeper was filthy and stunk of smoke so Sam pulled it off him and wrapped the baby in one of his soft, worn flannel shirts. He deposited the both of them in the middle of the big bed. Dean was asleep instantly but Sammy was awake and looking at him, just whimpering softly, not really a full blown cry.

Sam picked him up again and cuddled him close while he cleaned the bottle and warmed it up a little in the microwave. Sammy snuggled in and watched his face. Sam was surprised to see a look of sorrow in the baby’s eyes.

“Do you know what you’ve lost?” Sam asked softly. “It’ll be ok. You’ve got Dad to protect you and Dean is the best big brother in the whole world.” The baby smiled at hearing the name of his favourite person in the whole wide world. Sam had to hold himself back from vomiting again as he saw the hint of red still staining the baby’s first four teeth and he remembered what else had changed that night.

He fed Sammy the bottle in grim silence. Sammy only got halfway through before his eyes started blinking slower and longer until he dropped off. Sam set him down beside a sleeping Dean and smiled fondly as his brother pulled the baby closer in his sleep. He went back into the bathroom and quickly hand-washed their smoky clothing so at least he would have something for them to wear when he took them shopping the next day. That done, he stripped down to a t-shirt and boxers and climbed into the bed, giving into his need to have them close. He had time to think to himself, “what the hell am I going to do?” before the exhaustion he had been fighting finally rose up like a wave and swallowed him whole.

Sam didn’t know where he was when he woke up in the morning. There was someone in the bed with him and he could hear an oddly familiar child’s voice trying and failing to whisper and a baby’s giggle. He opened his eyes and propped himself up carefully on his elbow to see little Dean with his arm engulfed in one of Sam’s huge socks leaning over his baby brother and laughing.

“Is that the tickle monster?” Sam smiled softly, thinking that maybe he has a blurry memory of Dean doing the same thing to him.

“Yeah,” Dean sat back and blushed. “Sorry I used one of your socks. I couldn’t find anything else and I didn’t want Sammy to cry and wake you up.”

As if on cue, Sammy’s little face scrunched up tight and he started to wail. “It’s ok,” said Sam. “You were very resourceful. I’m up now. Let’s get Sammy some food.”

“Sammy is stinky too. Did Daddy give you nappies?” Dean held his nose.

Sam took a careful sniff close to the baby to find that yes indeed, he very badly needed to be changed.

“Shi...crap. I guess we’re giving Sammy a bath before food.” Sam sighed. He picked up Sammy, cringing as he could feel the heavy wetness of the baby’s diaper. The bathtub was too big. So that left the sink. Sam was glad he had had the presence of mind to get a room with a kitchenette. He started the water running and then realized he didn’t know what temperature it should be. He ran his fingers under the water. Was it too hot?

“Mommy uses her elbow,” Dean piped up from behind him. Sam jumped.

“Jeez kid, you’re quiet.”

“Daddy says I’m too loud,” Dean pouted.

“Well, it’s ok if you’re a little bit loud. Then I always know where you are,” Sam said, taking Dean’s advice and testing the water with his elbow. It was definitely too hot. He added a little more cold before turning the water off and turning his attention to the hazardous part of the job, undressing baby Sammy.

The first layer came off just fine. Sammy kicked his legs and gurgled, enjoying his unclothed state. He held his breath and reached for the first adhesive strap holding that disposable diaper together.

“You’ll hafta get something to wipe him,” Dean offered, dragging one of the kitchen chairs over to the sink to supervise. “If you don’t, poop will get in the water and Sammy will still be stinky. And he might try to eat it. Sammy always puts gross stuff in his mouth.”

Sam sighed and rolled his eyes, but he was really glad that Dean had apparently been paying attention to how his mom took care of the baby. He bet Dad probably had been thankful too. “You’ll have to grab the toilet paper from the bathroom. I’ll buy something better later.”

Dean hopped down and was back in a flash and Sam psyched himself up again to open the “gift” little Sammy had deposited. It was so much worse than he could have imagined. He choked and gasped.

“Wait, you gotta be careful,” Dean reached toward the diaper. But he was too late as Sam felt a warm sprinkling on his chest. His first instinct was to jump back and freak out and rip his shirt off but Dean calmly moved the diaper back over little Sammy until he was finished peeing.

“Sammy always does that. Once he got me in the face!” Dean confided, eyes huge.

Sam sighed, suddenly too tired to care about a little baby pee. It could have been worse, He disposed of the diaper quickly, wiping Sammy’s butt quickly, eventually wetting some of the toilet paper to get the last bit off before he slid the baby into the water. Sammy immediately squealed and laughed and slapped both his hands down on the surface of the water, drenching both Sam and Dean.

“Sammy, you shouldn’t do that. You already got him dirty. You don’t need to get him wet too,” Dean lectured. Sammy just squealed at him again, splashing harder and screaming with laughter. Sam felt himself smiling suddenly, It surprised him. But apparently Dean hadn’t been joking when he had called him a cute kid who could get whatever he wanted with a look. Looks like he wasn’t even immune to his own charms. The smile froze and dimmed as he remembered that his brother, his grown-up brother, was still gone.

Young Dean took the washcloth from Sam’s hand and started up another game with Sammy, this time imitating a sea monster, one that apparently loves hugs. Sammy loved it. The squeals were deafening and, if Sam hadn’t needed to change all his clothes before, he certainly did now. At least the copious amounts of soapy water were diluting the baby pee.

“Hey, Mister,” Dean asked suddenly.

“Yes, Dean?” Sam asked as he rubbed soap carefully into Sammy’s hair.

“What’s your name?” Dean looked up.

Sam wasn’t sure what he should answer but eventually decided to tell his brother the truth. “It’s...uh...it’s Sam.”

“Really? Did Mommy and Daddy name Sammy after you?” Dean gasped, eyes wide.

“No,” Sam chuckled. “But we were named after the same person, your mom’s dad, grandpa Samuel.”

“Whoa, cool!” Dean said, letting go of Sammy for just a second to quickly hug Sam with his soapy hands. “I like that name! But I can’t call you both Sam, that will be too confusing. Can I call you Uncle Sam?”

“Sure, kid,” Sam managed to speak around the lump in his throat.

“Awesome,” Dean grinned. “I always wanted to have an uncle!” Sammy squealed and splashed more water, trying to pull the attention back onto himself. Sam grinned down at the little one and laughed and continued washing him.

The next wrinkle occurred when it was time to get Sammy out of the bath water. Sam definitely did not have anything resembling a diaper and Sammy was much too young to go without. He looked around before finally grabbing the paper towel. He put a couple layers of it against Sammy’s skin for absorption before swaddling him up in an old t-shirt. Hopefully they could pick up something before Sammy started to soak through all the layers.

“He’s going to get all red and ouchy,” Dean glared up at Sam. “He needs a real nappy.”

“I know, but I don’t have any,” Sam said. “We’ll just have to hurry.”

“Daddy always keeps one in the ‘pala’s glove box,” Dean said.

Sam closed his eyes, not wanting to figure out how to explain to Dean that while yes, that was his Daddy’s car, there had not been any diapers in the glove box for many years.

“I already checked last night after you fell asleep,” Sam lied. “We’ll change him into a real one right after we go to the store.”

“Alright,” Dean said seriously before running to pull on his slightly cleaner pajamas from the night before. “We better get going.”

They were out in the car in record time. Sam strapped them into the back seat and gave Dean Sammy’s bottle. He drove to the store carefully, watching for cops all the while. The last thing he needed was to get pulled over.

Sam was surprised at how painless the shopping trip was. The boys sizes were on the tags in their old clothes and Dean was actually a big help when it came for finding stuff for Sammy. Apparently Mary had been teaching him to read all the packages when she was doing stuff for Sammy so that he could feel like he was helping. Sam felt such a rush of love for the woman that he had barely gotten a chance to know, just for loving him and taking care of him so well, and for allowing Dean to be a part of everything. It’s entirely likely that that had saved his life.

They were checked out in record time. Sam helped Dean on with his new shoes and instructed him to stick tight as he picked up all the bags of things he had bought them, Sammy still cradled tight in his left arm. “Can you open the door, kiddo?” Sam asked. “I don’t think I can manage.”

“I’m a big boy, Uncle Sam. I can do it,” Dean scoffed before pushing the door open.

“Thanks, Dean,” Sam said, making sure that Sammy was held tight in his arms. Sammy looked up at him, a quizzical look on his face. The baby looked over Sam’s shoulder and screamed. Sam nearly panicked. This was unlike any cry he had heard thus far. This wasn’t a hungry cry or a dirty cry or even a tired cry. This sounded like pure terror to Sam. Dean was crowded right up against Sam’s knees and for a second, Sam thought he might trip over Dean. What exactly would happen if he squashed his infant self, Sam wondered, a little hysterically.

Thankfully, he didn’t have to find out. He managed to keep his feet, even with his vision obscured by the giant bags he was carrying and the infant, screaming like a banshee in his ear. Finally, he reached the car and set down the bags. He packed them into the trunk as quickly as he could, worried that Sammy had still not stopped screaming. The baby’s face was purple and his little fists pounded against Sam’s chest. He wasn’t trying to squirm away, it was more like he was trying to dig a hole into Sam’s chest and hide there.

“It’s ok, Sammy,” Dean piped up. And it was at that moment that Sam noticed what had gotten Sammy so worked up. A man stood there, too close, not acting, just watching.

“Who the hell are you?” Sam asked.

The man grinned, sharklike, and his eyes flickered to black. “Hand over the baby and no one needs to get hurt,” he snarled.

Sam gulped, realizing his vulnerable position. The demon killing knife was in the trunk he had just closed and the gun tucked into the back of his waistband wouldn’t do much good against a demon. He felt Dean’s hand pulling the keys from his fingers and heard him unlock the door. Sam quickly handed the baby down to his brother. “Strap in as tight as you can.”

And then Sam turned to face the demon. “What do you want with the kid?”

“Sammy Winchester, you of all people should know how important you are,” the demon grinned.

“”Yeah, and I also know how much I don’t want my past self to be in the hands of demons,” Sam stood between the demon and the impala and refused to move an inch.

“I would have prefered to do this the easy way but I should have known better. The Winchester’s never do anything the easy way,” the demon growled and threw himself at Sam. Sam blocked the first punch but the second threw him back against the door of the impala, denting it and shattering the window. Sammy’s frightened wailing started anew.

Sam choked and gasped for breath before throwing himself back into the fray, cracking the demon’s jaw and driving the air from his lungs with a quick combination. It barely needed any time to recuperate and Sam knew that time was absolutely not on his side. It got in a quick jab to the ribs before Sam decided to go for broke. He drew his gun and shot several times in quick succession at point blank range, throwing the demon back. He threw open the driver’s door and was immediately thankful that Dean had put the keys in the ignition after opening the door. He revved the engine and squealed out of the parking lot as the demon straightened up and took a step toward the car.

Sammy went blessedly silent as Dean squeezed him tightly in his arms. Sam wanted to heave a sigh of relief but knew that if there was one demon that knew that Sammy and Dean were in the future and vulnerable, there were probably already more demons gunning for them. He drove for as many hours as he could before Sammy started fussing and Dean could no longer keep him entertained. Truth to be told, Dean was rapidly reaching the end of his rope too. Sam could see him wiping away tears as he tried to sooth Sammy’s increasingly desperate cries. He pulled over into the first hotel he saw upon entering Lebanon and was nearly overwhelmed by the smell when he reached to pull Sammy out of Dean’s arms.

“I’m sorry, Uncle Sam. Sammy got your stuff all dirty. He’s just a baby,” Dean sobbed when Sam wrinkled his nose, remembering that Sammy was still wrapped in paper towel and one of his t-shirts and had been going sans diaper for all the hours of their escape.

“It’s ok,” Sam said softly, pulling them both out of the car and into his arms again. Dean clung to the both of them, still trying so very hard to be brave. It just about broke Sam’s heart. Thankfully, the motel was so seedy that the disinterested clerk didn’t bat an eye at the frazzled giant checking in with two sobbing children that smelled strongly of urine.

He piled them into the room as quickly as possible, setting Sam and Dean in the empty bathtub and spilling a thick line of salt across the bathroom door before he rushed out to bring in the clean clothes and diapers and other necessities. He put up every protection rune he could come up with and spread more thick salt lines at every opening until he was satisfied that they were as secure as they could be.

Sam stripped the children out of their soaking clothing and put them in the bath together. Sammy refused to let go of Dean so Sam was not worried that he’d drown. There was none of the fun of the morning bath. Sammy was quieter but tears still threatened. Sam just felt numb. His brain isn’t quite sure how to cope with it all. Dean is still gone, disappeared in a rain of black leviathan goo, but his brother is here, young and innocent, only just experiencing his first brush with true evil. And Sam isn’t alone but he really really is. He puts a diaper on Sammy and puts him in one of the sleepers before warming up another bottle and feeding it to him. Sam had also picked up some snacks and things, potato chips and the like. He had been planning to take the boys to a diner for a proper meal after the shopping trip but he didn’t really want to take them out now where they might be exposed and hunted again. He gave those to Dean and Dean practically inhaled them, leaving nothing but crumbs. Then he sits on the couch, wavering, eyes almost closing of their own volition. They end up huddled together on the bed, Sammy falling asleep in his arms, Dean a warm lump under his arm. Sam sighs as Sammy’s eyes fall shut and his even breathing suggests he is finally asleep.

“Uncle Sam,” Dean whispers. Sam managed not to jump but he was a little surprised that Dean hadn’t fallen asleep too. The kid was exhausted.

“What is it, kiddo?” he asked softly.

Dean struggled to hold back the tears. “Can we call my mommy?”

And Sam’s heart shattered. “I’m sorry,” he said softly. “I can’t.”

“Will I ever see her again?” A big fat tear rolled down Dean’s cheek.

And Sam wanted to lie to his brother and tell him that everything would be alright but he couldn’t. He couldn’t make a promise that would make the kid resent him later, even if Dean didn’t know who he really was. “I don’t know,” He said eventually.

And Dean broke down. “I miss her so much,” he sobbed.

“I know, I know,” Sam tried to sooth him. But he was tired and on edge and holding his brother but not and he cried too. And they clung to each other and cried like their hearts are breaking until Dean fell asleep and Sam pulled himself together and promised the Dean that he has lost that he will be stronger.

They got a few hours of respite and Sam was nearly ready to drift off to sleep himself when a knock came at the door. The sound startled Sammy awake and he started up again with the screaming from outside the store.

Sam was instantly wary. He placed Sammy into Dean’s arms and grabbed the demon killing knife from the bedside table before going to the window and trying to see who was at the door.

“I know you’re in there, Winchester,” a woman’s voice called. “I can hear you screaming...well one of you anyway.”

Sammy heard her and hiccoughed into silence. But it was too late. Sam could feel a spell building up like pressure behind his eardrums. And suddenly the door burst apart into matchsticks and a woman stood there, hand outstretched and hair rippling from the backlash of the power she just unleashed. She stepped forward, unconcerned with the salt she stepped over and easily walking through the devil’s trap under the doormat.

Sam cursed as he realized that she was in fact human, probably a witch.

“Look at you, the formidable Sam Winchester. I think you’ve lost weight. You look tired, sick. Losing your brother must really be taking it’s toll on you,” She laughed.

“Shut up,” Sam snarled. “You don’t get to talk about him.”

“Touchy touchy,” she winked at him before taking a few steps toward the bed.

Sam maneuvered himself in between her and the two children in the bed and he brandished the knife at her.

“I love that you think that will stop me,” she giggled before she waved her hand and her power ripped the knife from his. “This could be very useful. I can feel the power in this blade. We’ll have a lot of years waiting for this little munchkin to grow big enough to hold the Morning Star and it might be helpful to have something that keeps the demons from deciding that I’m expendable.”

“You can’t take him.” Sam stood firm between her and the two on the bed.

“I’d like to see you try and stop me,” she waved her hand again but Sam was too fast, striking out at her hand before she could put real power into her spell. He gripped her hand and pulled her in close. She fought to pull away from him but her strength was no match for his. He twisted her wrist and the demon killing knife clattered to the floor.

“Cast a spell at this proximity and you’ll get caught in the backlash,” Sam growled at her. “Try to throw me away from you and I swear I will rip your arms off as I go.”

She frowned, finally taking him seriously. She whispered a few words under her breath. It wasn’t much but the knife rose from the ground and lunged for Dean where he gripped Sammy tightly and wailed.

Sam couldn’t stop it but he released the witch and threw himself onto the bed to cover the two. He grunted as the knife plunged deep into his muscled shoulder. He forced himself to relax, pretending to be unconscious until the witch was lulled into a false sense of security and came to shove him off of Sammy and Dean.

The moment she touched him, he exploded into action, ripping the knife out where it was imbedded in his shoulder and ramming it into her heart. She looked up at him, surprised, choked once, and collapsed to the ground.

Sam stood, blood loss already making him a little dizzy. He balled up one of his shirts and pressed it hard to his bleeding shoulder and grabbed a hand towel from the bathroom, tying it around the whole thing. “Dean,” he barked. “We have to go.”

Dean could only clutch Sammy to his chest and cry and Sam remembered that this Dean wasn’t a soldier. He had only just barely been given the mandate that would drive every sacrificial act and so many bad decisions in the future. He still had no idea what it would mean to look after Sammy.

“Dean,” he spoke softer. “I have a better place for us to go. I know someone who can help us. And she has ways to help you get back home to your...dad. But you need to carry Sammy for me. I need to grab the heavy bags and my arm is hurt. I don’t want to drop your brother. Can you do that?”

Dean nodded.

Sam grabbed only what couldn’t be replaced and hustled them out to the car. The witch was dead but he didn’t know who else might be on their tail. He cursed when he remembered that he still hadn’t installed the carseats but he really couldn’t afford to get pulled over in this state and it wasn’t safe to keep wrapping them up in one seat belt. Thankfully, he had the foresight to get seats that could be easily installed and, though his shoulder was quickly screaming at him and he could still feel the blood dripping down his arm and hand, it wasn’t as much of a delay as he thought. Sammy was sleeping by the time he finished and he thought Dean might follow him after they got on the road. He sent off a quick text announcing their intent to visit and advising a supernatural lockdown and then got on the road.

Sioux Falls was only about 6 hours away and normally, Sam would have no trouble driving that distance. But it felt like a red hot metal rod had been shoved through his shoulder and the road in front of him was barely visible through the heat haze that descended not long after he got on the road. Later, he thinks the only reason he didn’t get lost is because they’ve driven this road so many times. The blood from his shoulder had slowed but not stopped entirely. He knew he was in trouble, that he was in no fit state to be driving. But he needed to be safe, he needed to save Dean. He needed to make sure Dean doesn’t lose his brother. He never wanted Dean to have to suffer grief because of Sam.

Sammy screamed suddenly, piercing and frantic. And Sam jerked the wheel to get the Impala back in its lane in the nick of time. Dean had been asleep but he jerked awake and started crying. Sammy laughed and grinned at Sam, completely content now that their lives were no longer in imminent danger. Sam looked around for landmarks and noted with relief that they were less than an hour from Sioux Falls. He crawled into the back to console Dean and feed the two again. He slowly worked on draining a bottle of water, trying to keep it from coming back up. And he also bandaged his shoulder. But he also glared suspiciously at every car that passed and he was too jumpy to properly rest. He wasn’t ready to start driving again when he did, but at least he felt alert enough to get them the rest of the way without killing them all.

Jody was there at the door when he pulled up. She immediately took baby Sammy from him, cooing down at the infant. And Sammy immediately worked his magic and stole her heart. Dean was a little harder to coax. He clung to Sam’s leg and watched the woman holding his baby brother like a hawk.

“I baked cookies,” she admitted sheepishly. “Once I finished the lockdown I had time to kill and I didn’t want to sit around worrying. Do you like cookies, sweetheart?” She directed the last at Dean. Dean nodded slowly and let his trusting nature back out and followed her happily to the house. Jody didn’t say anything until they both were up to the table, Dean sitting on a big book and happily munching away on fresh chocolate cookies with milk, and Sammy ensconced in an old high chair wiping mashed banana all over his face.

She sidled up to Sam where he stood guard at the door, watching over them. “What happened, Sam? You look like hell. Where is Dean?”

Sam closed his eyes against a fresh rush of grief. “Dean...didn’t make it out of SucroCorp.”

“Oh Sam, honey, I’m sorry.” Jody reached out to him but he kept her at arm’s length.

“I can’t break down, not yet. I need to fix this first,” Sam vowed.

“What is this? They look familiar. Are they...Dean’s?” Jody asked.

Sam laughed, trying to hide the note of hysteria in his voice. “They’re not Dean’s children. Jody, meet Sammy and Dean, formerly of November 2, 1983.”

“They’re...you?” Jody asked. “Oh my god, Sam, you were so adorable.”

Sam laughed again and then grabbed the door frame as the blood loss threatened to take him to his knees.

“Alright,” Jody ordered. “I guess it’s mom voice time. Sam Winchester, you get a shower and clean that shoulder wound immediately. Then you are sitting down and having a home cooked meal while I fix you up and then you are definitely going down for a nap.”

“Jody…” Sam protested.

“No, don’t you talk back to me, young man. I have warded against everything you mentioned and several things you didn’t. I have a good security system and I am a cop. I have a gun and I know how to use it. You are no good to these kids if you fall over. I know you want to take care of them but you need to take care of yourself too,” Jody said firmly as she ushered him to the bathroom and shoved his duffel bag in after him.

He felt better after the shower and cleaned the plate she set in front of him. Dean didn’t stop chattering the whole way through the meal and Jody listened to every single one of his stories with rapt attention. Sammy gurgled and cooed every time Dean stopped to take a breath. Sam wondered if this is what it would have been like to grow up with a mom.

It was an early night for the two children. Sam managed to get in a couple hours too but before long he was wandering down to Jody’s basement to look at the collection of Bobby’s books that she had been keeping down there. Jody was already there, reading through a gigantic tome.

“You sure you don’t want to get a little more sleep,” she murmured.

“I can’t Jody. I won’t be able to until I solve this,” Sam admitted.

Jody nodded. “I thought as much, I’ll do my best to help you research. We’ll figure it out. I have every faith in you.”

Sam ducked his head and blushed. “I don’t know why. I think I fuck up everything I touch.”

“Sam Winchester, you stop that,” Jody said firmly. “If you hadn’t been here for these kids, they would be dead now, or worse, raised by demons. The apocalypse would be happening right now. Maybe every single person on earth would be dead. You haven’t fucked this up. Those kids are healthy and happy as they can be considering the circumstances and that is thanks to you. If you can’t believe in yourself, at least listen to me when I do.”

Sam smiled sadly. “Thanks, Jody.”

“Anytime, kiddo.” She gently rubbed his arm and led him to the largest overstuffed armchair in the room. “Let’s get to work.”

Sam was exhausted, His eyes were gritty and swollen and every time he shifted, he felt fire in his wounded shoulder. But he knew what to do. If he wanted to transport himself in time, he would have been out of luck, but he found a spell for undoing the magic of time travel that would return the children to the moment they had left and it wouldn’t take much more preparation than an average summoning. Sam had most of the ingredients in the trunk of the car and anything else was in Bobby’s stash. He could do it. He could send them home and this whole thing would be over.

Sam stood, wavering, head pounding, and wandered into Jody’s spare room, half expecting the children to be asleep again. But when he reached out to touch the doorknob, he could hear the sound of giggling from inside. Jody had managed to find an old stuffed bear somewhere, probably a toy her own son had owned. Dean had it in his arms and was telling Sammy a wildly imaginative story and Sammy was completely enthralled, eyes wide and feet kicking wildly in excitement.

“Uncle Sammy!” Dean shouted when he saw him. “I need you to roar. This bear has a really deep voice but I can’t do it as good as you.”

Sam smiled and lowered himself carefully to the floor beside the boys. He growled obligingly.

“No, Uncle Sammy, a really loud roar!” Dean shouted.

So Sam gave it his all. He half expected the baby to scream but Sammy just laughed and reached for his face. Sam grinned and picked up the baby, cuddling him close. Dean would not be left out and tackled the two of them onto the ground.

Sam let out a pained grunt but managed to keep his injured shoulder from hitting the ground too hard.

“Oh no! The bear has us, Sammy,” Dean squealed.

Sam growled again, this time pretending to eat Sammy’s tummy. “I’ve got you now,” he rumbled.

Sammy shrieked with laughter and grabbed Sam’s ears tightly. Sam was laughing, the tight knot of worry clenched in his chest finally loosening. When he looked up, Jody was standing in the door, smiling fondly.

“I think we can start now,” she said softly. “Unless you need a little more time.”

“No,” Sam said. “We should get it over with. These two need to be with their father.”

“We get to see Daddy?” Dean interrupted.

“Yeah, kiddo, I can get you back to your Daddy,” Sam smiled.

“Yay!” Dean shouted. “And mommy too?”

Sam froze, not sure how to answer that question, but Dean was already running around the room, throwing dirty clothes into the duffel Sam had been using for them and he didn’t seem to need an answer. Suddenly Dean was running back to him and giving him another tackle hug.

“I love you, Uncle Sammy,” Dean said, nuzzling his face into Sam’s chest.

“I love you too, Dean,” Sam tried valiantly to choke back the tears. He suddenly wished that he could have done more, given them a truly bright memory to hold against the dark days he knew were coming. Kids liked the fair, didn’t they? He liked to think that if demons and witches hadn’t been chasing them, that he would have given them at least one good day.

“Are you going to come visit us? Sammy wants you to play with him,” Dean asked.

“I think I’ll be around, kiddo,” Sam smiled, giving a couple of those tears up as lost causes.

Jody offered to carry Sammy down to the basement where they had everything set up. But Sam wasn’t quite willing to let the two go now that there was an end date in sight.

But it was still too short a time before the two children were sitting the circle, Dean solemnly executing his task of keeping Sammy from crawling away. And the candles were lit, the chants were spoken, a rush of flame hit the ceiling, and Sam had to look away as a bright light flashed. The circle was empty. Sammy and Dean were gone.

“Did it work?” Jody asked.

“I’m still here,” Sam said hoarsely. “I suppose it might have changed the timeline but I probably wouldn’t know. I still remember growing up with my dad. And I wouldn’t remember this anyway. It had to have worked.”

“Good,” Jody said. “And now it’s time for you to get some rest. No one needs you right now. You can take some time for yourself.”

Sam just looked at her, eyes blinking slowly. Then he collapsed, sobbing to the floor. When he came back to himself, Jody had curled herself around him on the floor and he was sobbing into her stomach.

“Ssh,” she whispered. “Just let it out, Sam. Let it out. I’ve got you.”

“What if Dean needs me? Right now? And I can’t help him,” Sam sobbed.

“Sam, I know you. I know how much you love your brother and I know you would do anything for him.” She rubbed his arm, carefully avoiding his injured shoulder.

“I’m letting him down. I can’t figure this out. I’m not strong enough or smart enough. Dean needs me to save him and I’m too weak,” Sam whispered.

“Sam, you listen to me. I’ve used my mom voice a lot on you these last few days but I’m going to use it again because you need a mom right now. What happened to Dean is not your fault. And Dean would hate to watch you kill yourself in an attempt to save him. I know I cannot tell you to give up on Dean, but I can tell you that you need to make an effort to live without him. I will help you solve this problem but I refuse to watch you kill yourself to do it,” she brushed his hair from his forehead.

“What do I do? How do I just...stop?” Sam whispered.

“I don’t have all the answers, Honey,” Jody soothed. “You find another way to keep living.”

And Sam tried. He hit a dog. He met a girl. He tried so hard to be happy. But the truth was, the moment he saw Dean again was the moment his heart began to beat once more.

The Art of Loss

Art Title: Rescue
Prompt Number: S2032
Artist: kuwlshadow

Fic Title: The Art of Loss
Author: leah_elisabeth
Fandom/Genre: SPN, hurt/comfort
Pairing(s): Wincest
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 4670
Warnings: Incest, Dean is an exhibitionist. Much gore and blood. Intense emotional pain for Sammy.
Summary: Sam had lost his brother for a hundred Tuesdays, and then for six lonely months. Time is still counting down to the moment he loses Dean for good to the fires of hell. One thing Sam knows for sure, he is not letting his brother go now.

Dean was loud. Dean was always loud. But today, not for the first time, Sam was wishing for an off switch. Dean’s music was loud. His off-key singing was loud. So was the chewing as he threw gigantic handfuls of potato chips into his wide open mouth. Sam had been in silence for so long that he wanted to relish it, to cherish the time he hadn’t yet lost but after six months of silent hotel rooms, broken only by quiet gasps of pain as he fixed up his own wounds, and silent car rides when he couldn’t stand the radio and its memories, he had lost his tolerance. His ears felt bruised. He could feel his head beginning to pound as there was no break from the sound. The lights from oncoming headlights were suddenly far too bright, each one bursting into his vision like fireworks. Sam wanted to throw up but he didn’t want to deal with Dean’s yelling if he got vomit on the upholstery so his whole world narrowed to two things, trying to breathe and keeping his stomach where it belonged. It took him a little while to realise that Dean was talking to him.

“Hey, Sam?”

It also took Sam a while to realize that the car was blissfully quiet. The engine was off. The radio was off. Dean wasn’t even fiddling with his keys. He wasn’t sure if he should try to open his eyes or not. Carefully, he cracked them open, There were lights in the courtyard of the motel but Dean had pulled them into the shade of a tree and it blocked most of the direct light.

“I got a room already,” Dean said softly.

“We should keep going,” Sam slurred.

“Yeah, I don’t think so. We’re nearly 20 hours from Broward County. I can’t drive anymore without a decent night’s sleep and if that squint tells me anything, that migraine means you aren’t fit to drive,” Dean’s words were confrontational but Sam noticed gratefully that he made a practiced effort to keep his voice low and even so it didn’t strike Sam’s ear drums like a hammer.

Sam considered fighting. He had not yet deployed his secret weapon. And his puppy eyes were usually even more effective when his face was tight with pain. But he could feel the relief at finally stopping and the idea of a real bed was suddenly all he could think about.

“Just for one night,” Sam agreed.

“Just one. Then we keep going until we run out of continental US,” Dean promised.

Sam expected Dean to grab their bags but he only came over to the passenger door and heaved Sam to his feet. “I carried ‘em in already while you were doing your corpse impression in the front seat,” Dean offered before Sam could ask.

Sam tried to stifle the sharp note of panic but he couldn’t quite keep it out of his voice. “All by yourself?” he asked, his voice breaking.

“Yes, Sammy, all by myself. 28, remember?” Dean teased.
“What day is it?” Sam asked.

“It’s Thursday, really early Thursday,” Dean said softly. “It’s definitely not Tuesday anymore.”

Sam tried to feel relief but 'Dean died on Wednesday too' is all that is running through his head. But then Dean was pulling him up, his hands strong, and a firm shoulder was tucking itself under his own and Sam coul lean on this, Dean, here, alive and well.

“Close your eyes, Sammy. I know your head is killing you,” Dean murmured.

Sam obediently closed his eyes and reveled in the feeling of having someone to trust again after so many months on his own. It was almost too soon that Dean was letting him collapse onto the bed farthest from the door.

He listened as Dean stepped quietly around the room, setting up wards and salt lines, making sure everything was secure. And finally his brother came and stood beside his bed again. Dean sighed and pulled Sam’s boots and jeans off before manhandling him into a more comfortable position and pulling the blankets and sheets up around his shoulders. He turned to go and Sam’s hand shot out to grasp his brother’s wrist.

“What is it, Sam?” Dean asked.

Sam didn’t know how to say what he was thinking. “You were dead,” he finally whispered.

Dean sighed. “I know.” And then he toed off his own boots and his belt jingled as his jeans hit the floor. And then he was crawling into bed beside Sam. Dean turned his back to Sam and Sam wondered if maybe he should turn his back too. But Dean firmly grabbed Sam’s hand and dragged his arm over his side. “I’m not going anywhere,” he promised.

Sam wrapped himself tight around his big brother and finally allowed himself to sleep deeply.

Sam felt warm, warmer than he had in six months of early mornings. And he also felt rested. He couldn’t even remember the last time he had slept this well. He could smell a familiar scent, gun oil, leather, and home, and there was a comfortable weight on his left arm. He smiled as even breaths grounded him as they drifted through his slowly waking mind. Dean. His brother was still asleep and Sam indulged in a rare moment of closeness, pulling his brother tighter to his chest. Dean shifted but didn’t pull away and his ass subtly pressed closer to Sam’s very interested groin.

And if Sam had been less conscious, he might have pushed back and enjoyed whatever this was for just a little longer. But he was awake now and he no longer had the excuse he needed to stay where he wanted to be. He sighed and gently extricated himself from the bed. Dean’s eyes blinked open for a moment but when he realized it was just Sam, he snuggled deeper into his pillow and drifted off again. By the time Sam showered and was back with coffee from the shop on the corner, Dean was awake and dressed and had a case pulled up on the laptop.

“It’s a dragon, Sammy! A dragon!” Dean wiggled his eyebrows.

Sam rolled his eyes. “The Gowrow isn’t a real dragon. It might not even be a real lizard. I know a bunch of people claimed to catch it and put on animal shows. But they always ended the same way, with a staged escape and an audience too terrified of being eaten to demand refunds.”

“Hey, I can read too. But there has also been a real upswing in disappearances of household pets and livestock. And a couple of hikers have disappeared too.”

“Sure they didn’t just get lost?” Sam raised his eyebrow.

“Well, it’s possible…” Dean trailed off.

“You had ulterior motives, didn’t you. What is it? Another girl you know from your past? More twins? Or maybe a bar you want to go to? A specific pie bakery you must visit?” Sam scoffed.

“Alright, alright, maybe I did have ulterior motives. But it wasn’t for me. You were looking kinda stressed. I thought we might as well check this out. If there is a dragon, we have another epic story to add to our collection, and if there isn’t, well we can do some hiking, a little camping, enjoy a night out under the stars, no people around to attempt murder.” Dean looked up at his brother earnestly.

“You hate hiking, and camping, and the outdoors,” Sam said skeptically.

“Yeah, but you don’t,” Dean retorted.

“You’re right,” Sam replied. “But you still don’t have to do this for me.”

“I know,” Dean said. “Now get your ass in gear. We’ve seriously gotta update some of our camping gear and I want to get on the trail as early as possible so we don’t lose the day.”

The boys stepped out of the Impala at the mouth of the hiking trail. It was a perfect day. The sun was shining bright. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was warm for February but there still was basically no one out on the trails.

Sam grinned, feeling the weight of the last six months peel off him like a scab. Maybe this was exactly what he needed. The weight of his pack didn’t feel like it was dragging him down. It kept him feeling real and present, as well as strong and capable.

They hiked for hours until they got to the place with the highest incidence of reports but they didn’t see any signs of large reptiles in the forest. Sam was completely fine with that. No one was trying to kill them. Dean was making jokes. It wasn’t Tuesday. It wasn’t even Wednesday. They made camp early. Dean slipped and fell in the river while he was catching their dinner. Sam laughed for the first time in what feels like forever when his brother came back to the fire Sam built, looking like a drowned rat and threatening to roll around on Sam’s clean, dry bedding.

It was getting a little colder with the approach of night so Dean stripped out of his wet clothes by the fire. Sam indulged himself and watched. Dean noticed him looking and wiggled his ass a little.

“Like what you see, Sammy?” Dean wiggled his eyebrows lewdly before turning and stretching, every inch of him on display.

Sam blushed and clutched his jacket tightly to his lap to hide his treacherous bulge. But he couldn’t quite bring himself to look away. And Dean didn’t bother to hide himself either, just kept looking at Sam with challenge in his eyes as his cock filled and hardened without a hand on it.

“Your move,” Dean grinned.

Sam slowly released the death grip on his coat and lowered it to the log beside him. He splayed his legs out so Dean could see the tent in his jeans.

That was all the encouragement Dean needed. He licked the palm of his right hand and reached down, groaning as he finally put a hand on his cock. Sam didn’t look away as Dean stroked himself to completion, coming on the ground by the fire. And then Dean was moving, kneeling in front of Sam, pulling open his fly and pulling Sam’s own dick out the opening. Sam nearly fell off the log as Dean slowly stroked him with his come-covered hand. Neither of them said a single word but Dean seemed to sense when Sam was close and he bowed his head and sucked Sam down to the root. Sam shouted as he came down Dean’s throat.

And still, neither of them spoke as Dean tucked Sam carefully back inside his pants, licked the come off his own hand, brushed off his muddy knees and got dressed. Sam stood up and started cooking the fish and they both went on as if nothing had happened.

Sam thought it might be awkward when they got into the tent for the night. But it wasn’t. They silently went through their bedtime routines, as normally as they could considering. The tent was small considering the size of the two men who would be sharing it. Sam lay down first, still clothed in case he had to get up quickly, and he couldn’t help but freak out a little when he realized just how much of the tent he was taking up. But once Dean finished brushing his teeth in the nearby stream, he crawled into his sleeping bag and settled down, his side a long line of heat down Sam’s side. Sam tried to keep to his own space but Dean just sighed and stretched out to fill the remaining bit of tent and Sam found himself once more with an armful of Dean. For a moment, he wondered if he should expect an encore, but Dean just told him to go to sleep and snuggled down. He couldn’t think of a single complaint as he drifted off to sleep far faster than he normally would when in the woods with a monster on the loose and all the sounds of wildlife surrounding their tent. It was a chilly night, but neither of them could feel it as they wrapped up tightly in each other’s arms.

A terrifying screeching sound woke them in the wee hours of the morning. Dean shot up, face red and striped where it had been pressed into the creases of Sam’s shirt, pistol springing into his hand from under his pillow. Sam was already reaching for his knife. But it was too late. Their tent was already open to the air as six inch claws tore through the cloth like paper.

Sam scrambled out one way and Dean rolled the other. The monster was huge, scales gleaming in the moonlight, wicked claws rearing back for another strike. And it was aiming for Sam. Suddenly his knife felt very inadequate. Sam threw himself back. His foot caught in a small hole and then he was falling. The shirt across his chest whispered as it fell apart under the onslaught of the claws. Sam shouted as his skin also fell prey.

“Sammy!” Dean screamed. Then he was firing, emptying his clip in the monster’s face. The Gowrow barely flinched, the bullets ricocheting off its scales. All it did was empty Dean’s gun and draw the attention of the monster. It was like a scene from one of Sam’s nightmares. Because he could see his brother. And the monster was swinging again. But Sam felt like he was running in slow motion. Every step felt like an hour slogging through molasses. And once again, Sam knew he could not save his brother. And this time, there would be no waking up to Asia, dead brother restored. And there would be no Wednesday and the six months after with a Trickster waiting to rewind every lonely day. And the months that Sam had left to get his brother out of that infernal deal. Well, they would be gone, snatched from him like every other person he had ever loved in his life.

Dean yelled as the Gowrow’s claws found their target. Sam was seconds too late as Dean went down in a spray of blood. Sam howled like a wounded animal. A red mist came down over his vision and all he could see was the monster that had dared to take his brother away. And Sam was just plain finished letting Dean die. The knife was still small and insignificant compared to the curving blades jutting out of the monster’s paws, but Sam didn’t care. He leapt on the back of the monster and wrapped his legs around it’s thick neck and tried to squeeze. The creature roared and slammed Sam back into a nearby tree, trying to scrape him off, but Sam held on, even though all his breath had been stolen from his lungs. Then the creature rolled. Sam cried out as his ribs creaked and one cracked audibly.

But then Dean pushed himself up on an elbow, blood staining the front of his shirt and spilling down to darken his jeans too. “Sammy,” he tried to shout. And Sam found new strength. He gripped tighter with his legs and swung around so he was hanging in front of the monster. He steeled himself, gripped his knife, and thrust up into the roof of the creature’s mouth, shouting as it’s jaws snapped shut in reflex, trapping his arm.

The monster writhed, trying to shake him off, but Sam held tighter, getting his other arm around the muzzle of the creature and forcing his screaming arm to shove the knife deeper. The monster was growing weaker, it’s movements slower, and its head drifting closer to the ground until Sam’s feet could finally touch the ground. He took his last strength to drive up with his feet, finally shoving the knife into its brain. He twisted the knife viciously and the monster finally collapsed, bringing Sam down with him.

Sam’s chest heaved as he fought to regain his breath before gently extricating his arm from the Gowrow’s jaws. He had several deep punctures in his arm, but thankfully his arm was not broken and the creature hadn’t torn open any major arteries. He would live. He barely took the time to assess his own injuries before he was crouching down beside Dean, reaching out with his left hand toward his brother, his injured right arm dangling uselessly at his side.

Dean’s chest was a ruin of blood and the cuts were both long and deep. It looked bad and Sam knew that time was of the essence. He took the time to place gauze over the worst sections of the cuts and wrapped Dean’s torso in an Ace bandage before ignoring his screaming ribs and hoisting his brother up over his shoulder, hoping that Dean’s weight would be enough to stop the bleeding.

Dean swore a blue streak at him but Sam could feel himself slipping back into who he had been for those six months after Wednesday. He shoved down everything, his thoughts, his feelings, his aches and pains, the blood that slowly trickled down his right hand and dripped onto the forest floor. Nothing mattered but getting Dean back to the hotel alive. Because Sam would not lose his brother again. Never again.

Sam didn’t remember much of the hike out. Dean was in and out of consciousness but his in moments grew fewer and farther between. And Sam, as much as he ignored it, could feel himself growing weaker too. He only had one good arm to carry Dean and his other side was full of throbbing heat. He could barely move his swollen fingers and, because he had not taken the time to dress his own wounds, his life blood was slowly staining the ground.

They reached the Impala as Sam reached the end of his strength. He opened the passenger door and went to his knees as his legs finally gave out. He wasn’t even sure how he found the strength to get from the position draped over his shoulder and into the seat of the car. The trip around the hood felt like a mile and he nearly passed out as he finally pulled himself into the driver’s seat. Dean was out for real now. Sam knew he couldn’t do anything for him here. He grabbed a water bottle from one of the cup holders and managed to twist it open one handed. He chugged it back in an effort to counteract his blood loss long enough to get Dean back into town. His stomach roiled as he fought to keep it down. It did its job, keeping him alert enough to drive to the nearest hunter friendly clinic and tell them about his injured brother in the car before collapsing to the floor.

Sam wasn’t aware of time passing. They were treated in the same room after Sam put up a fight. Sam could barely feel the sensation of the doctor irrigating his puncture wounds and stitching them up, so focussed was he on watching the slide of the needle through the skin of Dean’s rising and falling chest. He hadn’t lost his brother, not yet. Sam allowed the IV because he could feel the dizziness threatening to pull him under and they promised to do it in the same room as Dean’s treatment. He wouldn’t let his brother out of his sight. He couldn’t even close his eyes. Bad things happened when Sam wasn’t paying attention. He didn’t even acknowledge the doctor when the bandages were wrapped around his forearm and when he explained the basics of wound care as if Sam hadn’t done it a thousand times before. Finally, Dean was stitched up too and a bag of blood dripped into his arm, fighting back the terrible paleness in his face. Sam felt himself relax minutely before tensing up again, reminding himself of his duty to keep his brother alive.

They wanted to keep Dean overnight but once the IV was finished, Sam didn’t see the point of keeping him in for observation and besides, the doctors were starting to make pointed remarks about Sam leaving and getting some rest. Dean woke up and tipped the argument in Sam’s favor. He didn’t want to stay any longer either.

Sam felt like he was breathing easier as soon as he and Dean were in the Impala. Sam pulled a blanket out of the trunk to cover the bloodstained leather and Dean slept the whole way to the motel. He was still pretty out of it as Sam pulled him out of the car and guided him into the motel. Dean didn’t resist as Sam pulled the torn remnants of his bloody clothing off and helped him into a clean pair of boxers. He tucked Dean into the bed and settled down in an armchair close by to keep watch. He left the bedside lamp on it’s lowest setting so he would be aware of any changes.

Fire was beginning to lick up his arm and he thought longingly about the prescription for pain pills that he had filled before leaving the clinic. But if he took drugs, they might make him sleepy and if he took his eyes off Dean for a single second, his brother might slip away for good this time. So he endured the growing pain, let it keep him awake and alert. He watched Dean’s chest rise and fall evenly.

“You don’t have to watch me, Sammy. I’m not going anywhere,” Dean rasped. Sam jumped

“Says you,” Sam snapped.

“Seriously, Sam, you were hurt too. You need to rest. Who knows what kinda shit that thing had in its mouth. I will be so pissed at you if you die from an infection before my time is even up because you’re too stupid to get proper sleep,” Dean pouted sleepily.

Sam was torn between laughing at Dean’s sleepy face and ignoring his brother. He laughed, desperately, but he stopped when he realized how close it sounded to sobbing. Dean was trying to push himself up in the bed, even though his abdominal muscles were torn and painful. Sam stood to help his brother but the sudden stand combined with his lowered blood volume had him collapsing to the floor by the bed, head pushing up against Dean’s hip.

“Sammy, are you ok?” Dean redoubled his efforts to sit up. Sam looked up at him but doesn’t try to stand just yet.

“I’m fine, Dean. Please...just let me have this. I can’t…” The words choked in Sam’s throat.

“You can’t what?” Dean asked, contented with rolling onto his side to look into Sam’s face.

“I can’t lose you again,” Sam confessed, hating the vulnerability in his voice.

“You’re going to be fine, Sammy. You’re stronger than you think you are; you’re stronger than me. You’ll make it.” Dean reached out and tangled his fingers in Sam’s hair.

“No,” Sam moaned. “I won’t. I don’t know how to lose you without losing myself too.”

“What is this about? You’ve been jumpy as hell since we left Broward County. I know it was awful to watch me die but I came right back. I’m right here. And this isn’t Tuesday.” Dean brushed Sam’s hair back to look into his eyes in the lamplight.

“This isn’t about fucking Tuesday,” Sam growled, turning away from Dean’s searching gaze.

“Then what is it about?” Dean asked. Sam still refused to look at him until Dean sighed and tried sitting up again. “Is this about what happened in the woods?”

“Jesus, Dean, you’ll tear your stitches,” Sam said as he gently pushed his brother back down onto the bed.

“Then lie down with me. I know you’re hurting. Let me help you,” Dean whispered. “I won’t do anything you don’t want me to, I promise.”

Sam finally gave in and crawled into the bed behind Dean, gently cradling his brother to his chest once more, ignoring the pain that ignited in his bandaged arm. Dean reached out and grabbed the water and bottle of pills off the bedside table and handed them to his little brother. Sam tensed to argue but Dean lightly pressed on the injured arm and Sam broke out into a cold sweat. He took the painkillers without further argument. Then they lay in silence for a while, listening to each other breathe.

“It wasn’t about what happened,” Sam said softly. “I...wanted that. I think I’ve always wanted that. But you don’t have to indulge me just because you’re dying.”

“I’m not indulging you, Sam,” Dean sighed. “If it isn’t that, then what is it?” Sam said nothing and the silence stretched between them once more.

“It was Wednesday,” Sam finally whispered. Dean didn’t move or say anything, just kept breathing evenly so as not to scare away this moment of honesty. Sam, thinking that his brother had fallen asleep, continued. “You were alive and I was so relieved. I just wanted to get out of that town. So I packed up the room while you carried stuff out. And I heard the gunshot before I knew there was anything wrong and by the time I reached you, it was too late.”

Sam paused, maybe to regain his composure, maybe to make sure Dean was still sleeping. “You died in my arms and I waited to wake up. I waited for six months but every time I opened my eyes, you were still dead. I slept. I ate. I hunted. For six months, that was all I did, that was all I was. I can’t go back. Please don’t make me go back,” Sam wept, his tears soaking the back of Dean’s neck.

Dean slowly and carefully rolled over to face Sam. “I can’t promise you anything. I can’t rewind and make a different choice. I can’t promise you we’ll find a way out of this. But here is what I can promise. I can promise to be here until my year is up. I’m not checking out early so you don’t get to either. And I will do everything I can to make sure you are prepared for this when it happens. Just tell me what you need from me.”

“I just need you,” Sam whispered.

“You have me,” Dean whispered back.

“But not all…” Sam trailed off and looked away from his brother again. “I don’t just want your body,” Sam whispered, placing his palm flat on an undamaged portion of Dean’s chest.

Dean carefully moved his arm and placed one hand against the side of Sam’s face. “You have me,” he repeated. Slowly he leaned in, sharing Sam’s air, and pressed their lips together. The kiss was gentle at first, light as a feather, and tasting of salty tears. But Sam soon broke, trying to pull his brother closer with his damaged arm. Dean deepened the kiss in response.

“You have all of me,” Dean said roughly. He pressed closer, allowing Sam to feel the willing hardness, pressing their erections together. Sam groaned and pressed their lips back together, this time opening his mouth for the filthiest kiss of his life.

Dean moaned but then winced. He slowly grabbed Sam’s hand and placed it on his own ass. “If I let this happen tonight, I will regret it. I am in way too much pain right now to act on any of this. But I promise you, once I’ve healed sufficiently, you are 100% tapping this sweet ass.”

Sam laughed, only 20% desperate sob this time, and held his brother firmly, backing off to gentle kisses once more. Sam would never be good at saying goodbye; he was not built to suffer loss. But if it was fate’s cruel joke that he lose every one he has ever loved, well at least for this moment, he can forget.

In the Darkness, Bind Them

Artist: loracine
Characters & Pairing(s): Sam/Castiel
Rating: M
Word Count: 5291
Warnings: Violence, very brief mention of non-con.
Summary: Sam feels guilty for so much, Lucifer is free, Amara is terrorizing the earth, Castiel is locked away as the vessel for the angel who destroyed Sam's life, and it is time to do something about it, even if that means using a weapon that will change everything for him, forever.

Author's Note: This was a lot of fun to write. Thank you so much to my awesome artist. She gave me lots of great ideas and I really enjoyed working with her! Please go give her some love at her art post.

The silence in the aftermath was deafening. Sam leaned against the wall, breathless, a debilitating ache spreading out from his sternum and he looked at his brother. Dean looked like he had been punched in the gut, helpless eyes seeking out his brother and looking for proof of life and beneath that, nothing but fresh grief.

“What?" Dean began before trailing off. “What the fuck? Why?” he dropped slowly to the floor beside Sam and pulled his shirt up, running practiced hands over familiar ribs.

“I’m fine.” Sam stopped him. “I mean, I’ll be fine. He touched my soul but Cas…” Sam choked off a sob. “Cas stopped him before he could do any real damage.”

“What the hell was he thinking?” Dean growled. “I don't care how bad things get, we do NOT just say yes to Lucifer!”

“He thought he was helping,” Sam tried to sit up but slumped against the pillar again as his abused abs protested.

“Shit, stay still. I'll help you when you're ready. Just...stay here for a minute.” Dean stood and ran from the room for a minute before coming back with an unopened bag of peanut M&M's.

Sam stared at them as Dean tore open the bag with his teeth and poured some into a cupped hand. “Is this some kind of Harry Potter thing? Lucifer is not a Dementor.”

“Just eat the damn chocolate already, Sammy,” Dean held his handful right in front of Sam's face.

Sam grabbed a couple and tossed them in his open mouth. To his surprise, it worked, the sweetness of the chocolate and the crunch of the peanut instantly grounding him in the here and now.

“Do you think you can move?” Dean asked softly after Sam had eaten another handful.

Sam thought for a minute and then nodded. He allowed Dean to do all the work of getting him to his feet and didn't fight when Dean guided him to his bedroom. He wrapped himself around his spare pillow, imagining that he could still smell Cas from when the angel had been living in his space. He barely noticed as Dean slipped their old hot water bottle in next to his stomach. But he sighed and relaxed as the heat further grounded him and his battered soul finally stretched out back to where it belonged. He heard Dean settle into the rickety wooden chair at his desk and finally let himself fall into sleep.

A pulse of pain and Sam knew. This wasn’t a dream.

He saw carnage, so much death and blood. There was wailing in the streets and Sam watched in horror as darkness rose and swallowed up the dead and living alike.

And then Lucifer was there, whispering in Sam’s ear, body hard and uncomfortably close, something Sam didn’t want to think about poking him in the hip. “It will only get worse. Have you forgotten I was there when she was locked away? Do you know how many worlds I watched her destroy before Father dear said, ‘that’s enough?’”

Sam was finally able to pull out of his frozen terror and he turned and pushed Lucifer away. “Get your hands off me,” he spat.

“So rude, Sammy,” Lucifer chuckled. “If that tongue wasn’t so talented, I would have destroyed it long ago, just burnt it out of your mouth and scattered the atoms across a thousand worlds. But alas, I like what I can make it do.”

Sam felt a wave of nausea and fought to keep it from overwhelming him.

“You prefer me to Auntie Amara though, don’t you?” Lucifer pouted.

“The apocalypse or complete annihilation? So hard to choose,” Sam snarked.

And Lucifer was there, right in his face, gripping his chin with bruising fingers. “You have chosen. Don’t forget that, Samuel Winchester, that you came to me for MY help and that you are the reason I walk this earth. You are the reason your little puppy can’t come when he’s called. Whatever happens next is all your fault. So you better figure out how to get rid of my aunt, and fast. Or it will be your fault when the world starts burning.”

Sam shot upright in bed and was running down the hall to the bathroom before he could even consciously plan to. He threw himself to his knees before the toilet and promptly lost everything in his stomach.

He finally managed to get his stomach under control, flushed the evidence of his sickness away and stood to wash his face. He looked at his haggard face and saw a shadow on his chin, bruises from Lucifer’s tight grip and he was vomiting again, this time bringing up nothing but strings of bile.

He barely registered Dean’s arrival but suddenly his brother was there, hand warm on the back of his neck.

“Get it out, brother,” Dean whispered roughly.

Sam roughly wiped away the tears in his eyes and looked his brother in the eye, and through voice rough and broken, said, “we need to find the answers, take them both down.

Sam found the answer after a sleepless night. At first he could barely believe it. He had seemingly been jumping back and forth between the same three sources for what felt like days. But there it was after all, another hand of God, a weapon and, with any luck, one he could wield.

“Dean,” he spoke, voice gruff from exhaustion. Dean didn't stir. He just sat there, feet propped up on the table, chair tipped back, open book lying on his chest. Sam sighed and shoved at Dean's feet. Dean windmilled for a moment before shooting upright, looking around for the attack.

“I take it you found something?” Dean growled once he realized there was no threat that needed to be eliminated.

Sam ruled his eyes at his brother and started reading. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

“Isn't that a metaphorical suit of armor? It sounds metaphorical,” Dean scowled, still out of sorts from his rude awakening.

“That's what I thought too. But no, it actually did exist. And it's here already, in the bunker. We just have to find it.”
“How do you use it?” Dean asks. “Because the other ones resulted in death by God’s glory. This face is too pretty to melt.”
“This one was made to be wielded by a human. But the human has to forge a connection with it. It says the connection must be forged with blood and soul. Which, if I understand correctly, needs to be something that nearly killed either one of us. Also, it can’t be you.”
“What? Why the hell not?” Dean exploded.
“It’s the sword of fucking TRUTH, Dean. You can’t lie while you’re wielding it. Not tell me something, do you really want to kill Amara?”
“Of course I do!”
“And if you stood in front of her right now with a knife in your hand and you knew with 100% certainty that she would not survive the blow, would you still strike?”
Dean opened his mouth to protest, but then thought better of it. “No,” he sighed.
“Besides, it is the same sword that Gadreel used outside the Garden of Eden. Maybe it will recognize the shape of his grace inside me and be more willing to accept me.”
“Is the damn thing sentient?”
“Well no, at least I don’t think so. But we need to make sure we have the best chance possible. I told you that I would do whatever I needed to do, whatever you couldn’t. So let me do this. Trust me.”
“I do. You know I do,” Dean sighed. “But that doesn’t mean I’m happy about any of this.”
“When are you ever?” Sam mumbled under his breath. He smiled innocently when Dean glared at him.

“For what it’s worth, I do have an idea about the blood and soul thing. Gimme a minute.” Dean stood and left the room, returning shortly with a folded napkin. He unfolded it to reveal a deformed bullet.

“Is that?...” Sam started.

“Yeah, it is,” Dean said. “It’s the bullet I dug out of your side on that werewolf job.”

“I can’t believe you kept that,” Sam said.

“I told you I was going to. And besides, it’s going to come in handy now.”

Sam bitchfaced at his brother but agreed. “Let me just check and make sure there isn’t anything else we need before I start looking for this thing.” He said, looking down at the page and reading to the end. He flipped to the last page and swore.

“What?” Dean asked.

“It won’t work without an angel’s grace. And I have to form a bond with one of them.”

“Shit,” Dean said. “Who can we even call now that Cas is AWOL?”

A bolt of fear ran through Sam from the top of his head to the tips of his toes. “Don’t say it,” he whispered.

“Sorry man, but you and I both know that no angels are just about to hop on down here and give us a hand. They hate us, remember?”

“But we can’t ask...him.”

“I don’t think we have any other choice.”

“Fuck!” Sam said vehemently. “I guess we’re calling Lucifer.”

Sam didn’t think he would ever get used to looking into the eyes of his friend and seeing his abuser looking back at him. It was such a familiar blue, always a colour that meant safety. But not anymore. Sam shivered as all the bone-chilling cold of the cage came rushing over him in a wave.

“Sammy, Sammy, Sammy,” Lucifer chuckled. “This must be so much fun for you. Did you think this would happen? That your “no” would mean his “yes?” His vessel can hardly contain me. It would be so much better to be inside of you.”

“Shut up,” Sam snarled. “Cas can make his own decisions. And since we don’t have him, we need your help.”

“I’ve been waiting for this day! Sammy Winchester, crawling back to me, begging for my help. Is it my birthday?” Lucifer cackled gleefully.

“Let’s just try to keep this as professional as possible. Help us defeat Amara. We won’t penalize you for your little vacation and then you can get out of my friend and back into your cage,” Sam said coldly.

“Spoilsport,” Lucifer pouted. “What do you need from me?”

“We found a weapon. The Sword of the Spirit? In order to wield it, we need…”

“Yes, I know, a soul bonded with grace. And you decided to bond with me?” Lucifer broke into laughter

“Lucifer,” Sam gritted out. “You’re the only angel we’ve got right now.

“And who’s going to do the bonding? It has to be you. Dean won’t have the conviction. I know what you’re thinking. Dean will march up to that bitch and roll over and show his belly and she’ll walk right over him. Well fine. I’m not busy unless we find another weapon. Let’s give it a shot.”

“Right now?” Sam pales.

“Well duh. Do you have the weapon in hand?”

Sam shakes his head.

“Will there be work needed to find and/or retrieve it?”

“Of course. These things usually aren’t just lying around for anyone to pick up and use. It’s in the bunker but the Men of Letters were notoriously bad at archiving, probably to make it more difficult for unauthorized persons to access dangerous weapons. The important information was passed down by word of mouth but Abbadon put a stop to the flow of information.” Sam snarked.

“Well then, why waste all that effort and energy if you can’t get it up for me? Bonds gotta work both ways, Sammy. No point in finding a weapon that cannot be wielded.”

Sam sighed and wished he hadn’t been so adamant that he meet Lucifer alone. “Fine. But only long enough to test that the bond works. I don’t want you to stick around in my head for any longer than necessary.”

Lucifer held up Cas’ right hand. “Scout’s Honour,” he leered.

“I have the stuff for the ritual in the library,” Sam cleared his throat.

“Ritual,” Lucifer scoffed. “The hell makes you think we need one? I’m the fucking angel of light. Just give me your hand.”

Sam gulped and hesitantly held his left hand out to Lucifer as if to shake.

Lucifer sighed loudly and gripped Sam’s hand firmly. Sam yelped as he felt his bones grind together.

“Don’t know my own strength,” Lucifer winked. Then he opened his alien blue eyes wide and stared into Sam’s very soul. Sam desperately help on and tried his best not to shrink away. Lucifer’s chill spread up his arm and into his shoulder and then it crushed his chest like a vice. His mouth opened as he soundlessly gasped for air and then it happened, a concussive blast knocked him and Lucifer to opposite sides of the room. Sam gasped for air as he lay on the floor, desperately trying to hold onto consciousness.

Lucifer recovered much quicker and came to stand over Sam’s body. “I knew this would happen. We used to have a special bond, you know. The bond between angel and vessel is pure and beautiful, nearly impossible to break. I mean, 180 years in a cage inflicting constant torture can do it, break it, scar it so another can never form. You have to TRUST the angel in order to form the bond. You can tell me you’ll trust me because you have no choice but I can feel your soul shrinking away from me at this moment. You can’t logic your way out of this one. I’ve had my hands all over that soul. It will always remember my touch and flee. You were lucky. The next time you might not survive this. So good luck! Call me when you find another solution.” And Lucifer turned to disappear.

Later, Sam is not sure why he did it, but he stretched his hand toward the fleeing angel and his mind somehow connected with the tiny part of Cas that was awake. Lucifer turned with a look of horror on his face as Sam focussed, remembered the feeling of the beginning of the bond, before it had gone wrong, and tried to pull in that tiny glimpse of Cas that he could sense through Lucifer’s foul taint.

“You should not be able to do this,” Lucifer shouted hoarsely.

“Never stopped me before,” Sam hissed through gritted teeth as pain exploded behind his eyeballs and blood slowly dripped from his nose.

“Cas,” Sam shouted and he held tighter to the grace he knew and trusted and he pulled it to the fore.

And suddenly Castiel the angel was looking back at him. “Sam?” he whispered.

Sam thought he might cry at the relief he felt at hearing the familiar voice in Castiel’s tone and cadence.

“It’s time, Cas. It’s you I need. Not him. You are the only one who can perform this task. It doesn’t matter if Lucifer is stronger. You’re the only angel I trust to stand by my side. I can’t hold him much longer. Please, Castiel. Throw him out!” Sam ended in a shout, blood now pouring like a river over his upper lip.

Castiel closed his eyes for a moment and Sam could see and feel the battle being waged within. Finally there was a shout from Cas, a bright white light, and then Sam’s friend was standing there across the room, empty of all but himself.

And Sam finally let go. The backlash pushed him under. His last sight as he lost consciousness was Cas, reaching down to cradle his head as Dean broke down the door.

Consciousness eluded him for a while. Every time he thought he might be ready to resurface, he remembered the pain of a psychic headache and let blessed unconsciousness pull him back under. But finally, the promise of sleep was not enough to keep him down and he opened his eyes to see two rough and weary faces at his bedside.

They both immediately relaxed into relief as soon as they noticed Sam’s eyes were open.

“How long?” Sam rasped.

Dean slid a practiced hand under Sam’s head and shoved a cup and a straw in his face. Sam sighed as cool water soothed his dry throat.

“Approximately 36 hours. Forcing an angelic bond is usually outside the realm of human ability. That you managed to bond with me while I was suppressed by Lucifer is nothing short of a miracle. It also speaks well of our ability to maintain a bond while wielding a weapon such as the sword of the spirit.” Cas spoke gravely.

“You think it will work?” Sam asked.

“I do. If you have sufficient time to regain your strength first. Dean and I will search for the weapon. You should remain here and sleep.” A look very like tenderness flitted across the angel’s face. You were right to pull me out, Sam. Lucifer was not the answer. I am grateful for your persistence.”

“Yeah, of course,” Sam smiled.

Dean stood with a quick brush of Sam’s hair and he clapped Castiel on the shoulder. “Well, enough feelings. I think it is time to get started. Sam, go back to sleep. Castiel, you get the creepy dungeon store room. Kill any rats you find.”

“I certainly do not intend to murder any of God’s innocent creatures, Dean,” Castiel frowned.

“I don’t care what you do, kill ‘em, mojo ‘em so they don’t come back into the bunker. Just keep them away from me. Damn rats with their beady little eyes and their greasy, stinky bodies and their stupid, snack-eating ways.”

“I have ensured that the rats are not carrying any dangerous diseases. That is the reason that people do not wish to have them in their homes. Clean rats make excellent pets,” Castiel replied.

Sam drifted back to sleep as the sounds of Cas and Dean bickering faded down the hallway.

When Sam awoke, he felt much better. He yawned, stretched, and walked barefoot down the hallway to the war room. Cas sat there at the table, looking contemplatively at a grey stone, about the size of the palm of his hand. It didn’t look like much but Sam could feel its power from across the room.

At his entrance, Cas turned and gathered it gently in his palm. He held it out to Sam and Sam looked closer, detecting a faint light that he hadn’t seen from across the room.

“I thought it would look more like...well, you know, a sword?” Sam said softly as he gazed at the softly glowing stone in Castiel’s palm.

“It’s more of a metaphor,” Cas said. “Sword of the spirit, so it’s spiritual, not physical. When we wield it, you are the sword.”

Sam felt like he was going to be sick. “Like the Michael sword? So I’m your vessel? You have to possess me?”

“No, of course not, Sam, I would never do that to you. Dean would not have wielded the Michael sword, he would have been the Michael sword. Michael would have been using him. I will not be the one in control. You will be. The grace is only to allow you to use the weapon without burning up. Neither of us have the strength to use it alone. True spirit involves both the grace and the soul.”

“Ok,” Sam sighed, his breath catching in his throat. “I do trust you.”

“That is good, because there is one more thing. When we create the bond for real, we will be sharing consciousness with each other. We will be seeing each other’s thoughts, memories, and desires. The bond you created with me before was small and incomplete. We will not be able to hold ourselves back from the next one.”

“That is a little bit terrifying actually. What if there are things I don’t want you to see?” Sam couldn’t look the angel in the eye.

“You should get them out into the open as soon as possible then. If we discuss them before, they will not be so much of a surprise when we do the actual link.”

Sam looked at Cas then. “What if you see something you don’t like? What if there are things about me that you can’t handle?”

“I am stronger than you believe me to be. I know you already, Sam. There is nothing within you that could drive me away.” Cas set the stone back in its box and clasped Sam’s hand instead.

“There are plenty of things that I hide from everyone, even Dean,” Sam whispered.

“We won’t know unless we try.” Cas reached out for Sam’s other hand.

“We’re doing this now?” Sam hesitates before taking Cas’s hand.

“We should be prepared for the battle with Amara. There is no reason to delay.”

And so Sam squeezes tightly and opens his mind and tries to remember the sensation of the bond when he had connected to Cas before. And as he sits there, his consciousness stretches out and entwines with the angel across from him. And he is instantly overwhelmed by a sense of infinite space. He is no longer physical, but he is light and grace and music and everything and everywhere at once. And Castiel is beautiful and awe-inspiring in this form. Sam shrinks into himself as he remembers his own soul. He is afraid to know what Cas sees. Because when he looks down at his body, he can see it all laid bare. Because there is his anger and selfishness. There is the jealousy he feels for everyone who gets to be normal. And there is the dark and sickening lust for the blood of demons and the rush of power it gives him. And deep inside is the fear of losing himself and the disgust he feels for allowing himself to be violated so many time, by Meg, by Lucifer, by Gadreel. And all of it is shot through with the craving for goodness, to be washed clean, to be bathed in grace and lifted above the stench of his own failure.

He can’t look at Castiel anymore, not when everything he is will only taint the beauty of the angel. He can feel the bond beginning to waver and dissolve.

“Sam,” he hears Castiel’s true voice and he wants to weep. “Open your eyes, Sam. See your soul through me.”

Sam opens his eyes and he does cry because he has never seen anything so beautiful. All of the imperfections he saw are still there, but they have been transformed. Each piece lovingly pulled together with gold thread and pure light.

“Do you see, Sam?” Castiel asked. “Do you see how each piece of your history has shaped you and changed you? Look at your compassion for the lonely and grieving, your fierce protection of the innocent, and your unflinching bravery in the face of danger. You, Sam Winchester, are not broken, and you are all the more beautiful because you’ve fought for your wholeness. And that is the man I fight for and aspire to be. That is the man I love.”

Sam turns back to look at the angel once more and suddenly sees things so clearly. Because there, in the very centre of Castiel’s grace, is the thing the angel wanted to hide. There is love, so pure that Sam wants to wrap himself in it like a blanket, but there is also desire, to take, to claim, to be one.

“I…” Sam begins but he doesn’t know what to say.

“I know what you must think of me. That I am no different from my brother, that my lust disgusts you. I only ask that you trust that I will not act on my feelings. I have kept them hidden from you because I cannot ask this of you. I will not force you and if you wish me to leave after we have defeated Amara, I will never contact you again. Do you still trust me enough to form this bond?”

“I do,” Sam whispers. “I can’t say that it isn’t a surprise. I also can’t say that I ever considered that you could feel that way about me. I don’t know what I feel. Cas, you’re beautiful. Your confession may be unexpected but it is not unwelcome. There is not time for this, not right now. But we should explore this after everything is over. I know that I don’t want to lose you.”

Sam is surprised to see Castiel slump in relief. He never expected that Cas saw him as anything more than the younger brother of the righteous man and the abomination, the vessel of the devil. But to find out that Cas viewed him with affection was almost too much. “So we’re doing this then,” he whispered hoarsely. “You trust me enough to see this through.”

“Yes, Sam, I do,” Castiel said sincerely and, just like that, they were back in the bunker looking at each other’s human faces.

After that moment, things happen quickly, almost too quickly. Cas forges the bullet to the sword with a thought. Dean finally stops shielding himself from Amara and, the moment he does, she calls him to come to her. Sam can see the look on his face and knows it is a relief to finally give in to everything that had been eating him up inside.

And then they are there, standing before the woman who has caused so much damage and chaos. And Sam feels sorry for her, he really does. He does not know what he would have become if Dean had locked him away instead of fighting to save him. And so he does not wish to hurt her. But he also knows the damage she has done. And if there is one thing Sam Winchester is determined to do, it is save the world and save his brother. And save his angel.

And so Cas stands behind Sam, bracing him, stone held out in the palm of his hand. And Sam reaches for the stone and their hands clasp around it and Sam can feel the bond, writhing like a live thing, worming its way into every nook and cranny of his battered soul. It feels like warmth and love and coming home and Sam knows that he will never let go of this, let go of Cas, again.

“Now, Sam,” Cas whispers tenderly, intimately.

Light shines forth, bathing Sam’s outstretched arm in flames. It is excruciating but Sam can feel the solid warmth of Cas at his back, holding him steady. The fire is on him and in him. He can taste it on his tongue and feel it in his lungs. He directs the fire at Amara and sees her crouch before him, crying, begging for him to stop, promising to keep to the shadows under the mountains and on the far side of the moon. But he has begun and it is too late for her. He cannot reign the power in, not as it consumes him. But all the while, Cas is there, his love like a pillar, immoveable.

Amara screams and Sam’s vision goes white as the flames reach her and she disintegrates into ash.

And then everything is darkness.

Everything is still darkness when Sam wakes. He calls for Cas and Dean.

“I’m right here, we both are,” Sam hears Dean’s voice from above him.

“Why’re y’ sitting in th’ dark?” Sam slurred.

The silence stretches on and Sam can practically see Dean’s thinking face.

“Sam, the lights are on. Can’t you see them?”

If Sam was less exhausted, he would have panicked. Instead he flops his hand in front of his own face, straining to see anything in the blackness. “Huh,” he says before turning over ad drifting back to sleep.

And when Sam wakes up once more, he remembers that he is broken now, that he will never be the same, that he will live his life in darkness and therefore has no claim on a being made of light. And he weeps for what he has lost.

Dean and Cas both try to speak to him, to tell him that he has not changed, that he is not in any way less than he was before, but he knows that the sword has stolen part of himself and he can not bind an angel to what he has become. Because what is a hunter who can no longer hunt and a Man of Letters who cannot see to research?

He feels his way through the halls at hours when he knows Dean will be sleeping. And Cas will respect his privacy. He eats the bare minimum of food that Dean brings him. He doesn’t speak. And Cas watches him. Sam can feel him, there on the edge of his consciousness, worried. But Sam can’t bring himself to say the words that would alleviate Cas’s guilt.

Dean yells sometimes. Sam likes to pretend he is deaf. He isn’t angry at Amara, or at God for abandoning them to clean up his mess and leaving them weapons that have such grave consequences. He isn’t angry at Cas or Dean or Lucifer or even himself. He just exists. This is his life now.

Sometimes, he wants to reach out. But they would be better off if they left him behind. Dean can still hunt. Cas can have his back. And Sam can slowly fade away. That way no one will mourn him, no one will miss him.

And maybe he would have died that way, alone and wasting away. But one night Castiel comes and sits beside him as he lies on his bed and gazes sightlessly at the dark.

“I gave you space,” Cas began. “I knew you weren’t ready to speak to me. Sam...I’m so sorry.”

“I’m not mad,” Sam’s voice creaks.

“I know. But you’re sad. Isn’t that what you say to grieving widows, to the people left behind in the monster attacks? They lost someone. You’ve lost something. And I cannot heal this. I cannot fix the damage caused by God’s glory. I thought I just needed to regain my strength. But I will never be enough to heal this hurt.” Castiel reaches out and Sam can feel him like a second skin. His hand rests gently on Sam’s shoulder. And suddenly Sam is crying, great gasping sobs. And Sam grieves for what he has lost and what he has become.

Soon, Cas sheds his trench coat and shoes and slips into bed beside Sam, holding him as he cries. Sam’s sobs slow and finally he stops crying. He pushes himself up of Castiel’s chest and looks his angel in the eye. “Thank you,” he said, and softly kisses Castiel, his mouth wet and salty from tears.

And nothing has changed. Sam is blind. Cas is helpless. It is not right. It is not good. But in that moment, it is enough.

Well, That Sucks

Fic Title: Well, That Sucks
Author: leah_elisabeth
Fandom/Genre: SPN, Hurt/Comfort
Pairing(s): Sam/Kevin, mostly platonic but could be pre-slash
Rating: PG
Word Count: 4083
Warnings: Some strong language. Very brief mention of suicidal thoughts.
Summary: All Kevin wanted was a little break from the translation of the tablet. He had no desire to take a road trip with a couple of vampires and even less interest in playing the role of snack food. Thankfully Sam is stubborn and there is no way he's letting anyone take Kevin that easily.

Author's Note: This fic was written for the spn_reversebang 2016 challenge. Many thanks to my wonderful artist, m14mouse. She did a FANTASTIC job and gave me a great idea to work with.

This was exactly what he needed. Way to go, Sam and Dean for finding exactly the extracurricular activity that would completely take his mind off of the translation of that damn tablet. He had been hoping for a decent meal out, maybe some barbecue, and a little bit of arcade time so he could use his sharp mind for something other than Enochian characters. Maybe he could get Dean to challenge him on some of the shooting games, get him to smile, even laugh. Maybe Sam would relax, let go of some of the burden his sickness was causing. All that stress had to be making it worse and he hated finding bloody Kleenex in every trash can in the bunker. A day off, that's all he was asking for.

But Dean obviously knew best. Kevin sighed and drummed his fingers in the upholstery. That was why he was sitting in a car, all alone, watching as Dean dragged his sick brother into a barn that was probably crawling with vampires to save a little girl that had been snatched earlier that day. Yup, Dean knew exactly what he needed.

Speaking of Dean, those two boys had been gone for quite a while. He knew they would at least have run out with the girl to get her out of the middle of the fight.

Kevin sighed and opened the car door. They had left a machete with him just in case a vamp or two got past them but it looks like he would now be using it to go to their rescue.
And that was the moment it all went to shit. Kevin got out of the car and began to run toward the house and, as he did, two big, strong vamps ran out of the door and straight at him. One was a tall man with a military haircut and the other was a petite blonde woman. Kevin raised his machete and got into ready stance.

The tall man looked at the woman and quirked his brow. “You want a snack for the road trip?”

“I could eat,” she snarled, fangs descending.

Kevin did his best, he really did, but almost before he knew it, he was dizzy and confused, blood dripping into his eyes from a laceration on his forehead, his hands were tied tight behind his back, and he was squished into the trunk of an old rusty Ford Escort. He really shouldn’t have gotten out of that car.

They traveled for days, or maybe it was just hours. Regardless, it was far enough that Kevin lost all sense of time and direction. He could be in the next town. He could be in the next state. How were Sam and Dean going to find him now? He was hidden from the angels and the demons for his protection but it was all going to be for nothing if he was torn apart and eaten by a couple of hungry vampires.

What had Sam and Dean been thinking anyway? He wasn’t a hunter! He had no special combat skills and he wasn’t likely to develop them while cloistered away to work on translating some damn prophecy. Heh heh, TRANslating. Oh crap, he must have hit his head harder than he though. There was no way that healthy and safe Kevin would ever make a joke that bad. Right, he’s mad at Sam and Dean. Obviously it is their fault for not being smart enough to keep him miles away from any action. He would have been fine if they had dropped him off at the nearest Starbucks, or small town coffee shop equivalent. They could go and slaughter their vampires and pick Kevin up later, all relaxed and full of pumpkin spice lattes and biscotti.
But it was too late now, way too late. Kevin was all scrunched up tight in this trunk. His nose itched and he couldn’t even scratch it, And he was hitching a ride with Vampire Ken and Barbie as road trip food.

He was so lost in thought that he didn’t even realise the car had stopped until he heard the slamming of doors. he held his breath as he heard the crunching of footsteps on gravel. He caught a glimpse of tall trees and mountains before the face of the tall vampire filled his vision.

“End of the road, kid,” he grinned, thankfully without fangs.

Kevin grunted as he was yanked out of the trunk and stood roughly on his feet. He almost fell to the ground as his feet had fallen asleep. The blonde one came up on his other side and scented his shoulder, rubbing her face all over it.

“Mmmm, I don’t know what it is about this one. He smells so...clean.” She grinned. Her fangs descended and Kevin cringed away from her. It didn’t matter though, she just pressed up against him and breathed him in. “Yeah, this one was a good choice since we’re going to be eating the same thing for the next while.”

“Awesome,” the man grinned. “Didn’t I tell you I would take care of you. Who’s your man?”

“You are, baby.” They kissed in front of Kevin’s disgusted face.

“No offence or anything, but can you kill me before you start making out? I would rather not spend the final minutes of my life puking.”

“Oh, he’s a funny guy, is he. We’re not going to kill you, moron. Do you think we’re idiots? We just survived an encounter with the WINCHESTERS! And we stole someone from their car on the way out. They’re gonna be looking for us. If we start leaving a trail of bodies now, they’ll be after us so fast. Nope, we’re going into starvation rations. We’ll drain the occasional small animal to supplement but you’ve gotta last us awhile.” The man turned him roughly around. “Take a look at your new home.”

Kevin swallowed as he took it in. There was a ramshackle little cabin made of logs and a decrepit barn standing beside it. They had obviously been deserted for many years. Dawn was just breaking behind the mountain.

“Better enjoy the view, it’s the last one you’ll ever have,” the vampire grinned, his fangs popping out.

Kevin shivered.

“Jack,” the girl swatted her boyfriend, “You’re scarin’ the poor boy. We can make it..fun.” She nuzzled back into Kevin’s shoulder. “My name’s Wanda and if you’re really good, your blood isn’t the only thing I’ll be sucking.”

“What? No!” Kevin pulled away as much as he was able with his hands still tied.

“Fine,” Wanda turned cold all of the sudden. “We’ll see if a cold day all by your lonesome will change your mind.”

Jack grinned and shoved Kevin toward the barn. “Remember, this was your choice.”

Kevin tried to fight him, or course he did. But his day from hell could only get worse and soon he stood shivering in nothing but his boxers and socks and a thick manacle was shackling his ankle to the wall.

“I won’t be much of a meal if I FREEZE TO DEATH!” Kevin shouted as Jack turned to leave.

Jack smirked at him and threw a blanket at his face before leaving and chaining the barn door behind him.

And Kevin was alone again. “What the fuck,” he whispered. “No seriously, what the fuck.” He pulled the blanket closer to him and choked on the horrid smell. It smelled like it had been home to a wet dog for 35 years, then a dead one for fifteen more. It was stiff with dirt and Kevin wasn’t certain that if he tried to shake it out, it wouldn’t crumble away in his hands. He tried to hold out as long as could, curling up into the fetal position in a desperate attempt to preserve his body heat, but he knew he wouldn’t last the night. As much as he would love to fuck over Jack and Wanda by dying before they could drink him, he had just enough hope that Sam and Dean knew where he was and were on their way to find him right now this second. And so maybe he wasn’t ready to give up just yet. He sighed and pulled the nasty blanket around his shoulders and curled up once more.

He was rudely awakened from his fitful sleep. He wasn’t sure when he had drifted off but he had finally been able to get warm enough when Jack came crashing in with a blast of bracing air.

“Rise and shine,” he shouted. “I thought maybe I would give Wanda breakfast in bed this evening. What do you think?”

Kevin groaned and hid under his blanket.

Jack laughed and tore it from him. “Come on, sleepy head, the night’s a-wasting.” He pulled Kevin up awkwardly by his arm and detached the chain that kept him from running away. “Come, my little cow. Wanda awaits.”

Kevin bemoaned whatever it was in his life that had abandoned him to such bad luck. It was bad enough that he was the only person on the planet who could read these damn tablets, he also had to be hunted by demons and angels alike, kidnapped by vamps, and even worse, lame vamps who couldn’t even drain him with dignity.

Wanda was still sleeping when they reached the room. It was cold too. Curse these vampires and their lack of heat dependance. The bed was old, and dusty. Kevin sneezed and Wanda woke with a smile and a luxurious stretch.

“Oh, my love, you have brought me breakfast. What ever could I do to deserve a wonderful man like you?”

“Think nothing of it, my little peach pit. I live to serve you.” Jack shoved Kevin onto the bed and Wanda latched onto him, dragging him down to lie in her arms. Kevin struggled but her arm was a steel band around his chest. He was going nowhere.

She sniffed him for a while again. Kevin had no idea what was so fascinating about his scent. He was nothing more than a rather unwashed kid barely out of high school. The prophet of the Lord didn’t come with a scent attractive to vampires, did it?

He wasn’t expecting it when she finally bit down into the place where neck met shoulder. It hurt nothing like anything he had felt before. It wasn’t just the razor sharp teeth biting into his flesh, it was the feeling of his blood rushing through the torn skin as she suckled. He screamed when Jack bit into the other shoulder. They drained him to the point of dizziness before handing him a water bottle and some oreo cookies and chaining him back up in the barn.

Kevin didn’t eat or drink when they left him alone. He curled up into a tiny ball of misery and let out every bit of fear and agony in desperate sobbing. No one was coming for him. No one could find him. He was all alone in the world and there was nothing he could do, nothing but lay in the filthy barn and wait for death.

“Shit,” Sam shouted. “Shit, shit, shit. We lost him? How did we lose him?”

“I dunno, man. Obviously he didn’t stay in the car. Maybe he went to take a leak,” Dean tried to calm his brother down.

“He didn’t go to take a leak, Dean, we missed two vamps and they took him from our car!” Sam has to grab on to the roof of the Impala as he’s suddenly struck by a wave of dizziness.

“Hey, hey, whoa, do you need to sit down?” Dean is at his elbow in seconds.

Sam brushes him off in frustration. “No, Dean, I don’t need to sit down. We need to find Kevin.”

“Sam, I know this sucks. I like the kid. I want him to be alright. But our priority is the trials and if we’ve lost our prophet, we need to get started on the search for the next one so they can continue the translation and you can close the gates of hell. If they’ve grabbed him, it’s not to start their new family. They’re on the run and they’ll probably toss his body like a discarded juice box the moment they get hungry,” Dean steadied his brother and tried to help him into the passenger seat of the car.

“What the hell, Dean!” Sam shoved his brother away in earnest. “Since when do you give up like this?”

“Since my one and only purpose became to make sure you lived through these trials. I gave in when you asked to hunt these vamps because I knew it would be quick and easy, in and out. And I knew their body count was climbing but we just can’t drop everything to go chasing a couple vamps across the country. Now get in the damn car,” Dean pushed him into the seat. “Look, there was a beat-up Ford Escort in the yard when we came in and it’s gone now. If I had to put my money on anything, I would guess that was the getaway car. Let’s follow up on that lead but if it’s a dead end, can we please get back to the trials?”

Sam nodded and prepared for a silent trip back to the bunker. The moment Dean parked, Sam was out the door and heading into the library. He tapped his fingers impatiently as he waited for his laptop to boot. After that, it was hours of looking for remote access security cameras so he could find a decent shot of a license plate and a direction of travel. Dean brought him a sandwich. Sam ignored it.

He could feel the hours ticking away as he called in all his contacts and gradually managed to pick up a partial trail. It went cold after crossing two state lines. Sam wanted to get on the road but Dean was being stubborn, refusing to leave until Sam had a decent night’s sleep under his belt. And of course Sam refused to do more than catnap in his chair while Kevin was still stuck out there with two vampires.

A day later, and there was still no sightings of that damn car and Sam had no idea what to try next. He had lost them in the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming. They could be anywhere. Maybe they had gone farther north and crossed the border into Canada. And he was dizzy. The world spun around him every time he looked around, and he was so hot and he was shivering under his warmest sweater and Dean was doing that thing where he brought in soup or tea every twenty minutes and tried to slip a thermometer into his mouth. Sam wrapped himself up in a blanket and tried his best to ignore him, even though all he really wanted to do was crawl into bed and let Dean take care of him.

Finally, one of the feelers Sam had put out hit pay dirt. The phone rang. One of their allies in the Rockies had remembered an abandoned cabin in the area and had gone out there on a whim. Finally, they had a decent lead.

Sam threw off his blanket and stood, intending to yell for Dean to start the car, but the dizziness that had already been threatening to take over clouded his vision and sent him tumbling to the floor before he could even open his mouth to cry out.

Sam woke up to green eyes looking down at him. “This is it, Sam. We’re giving up. It’s been three days. Kevin is gone,” Dean whispered hoarsely.

Sam took in the bags under Dean’s eyes and the stubble on his chin. “How long was I out?” he whispered.

“Almost 36 hours,” Dean dragged one hand across his face.

“Shit,” Sam cursed as he tried to leap out of bed. It was embarrassingly easy for Dean to keep him trapped on his back. “I got a phonecall before I passed out. We have a lead.”

“Sam…” Dean sighed.

“Look, I know you think it’s too late. And if this lead doesn’t pan out, I promise we can come back here and keep working on the trials. But I can’t give up yet. Not this time. And if Kevin is dead, at least I can decapitate the sons of bitches that dared to snatch a friend of the Winchesters.” Sam put all the power into his puppy eyes that he could muster. He knew Dean could never resist him when he looked this pathetic.

“Fine!” Dean yelled. “Now put those things away before the furniture starts crying.

By the time Sam managed to drag himself out of the bed, Dean had them packed and the car started and they headed out on the road. Sam could only pray that they weren’t too late.

Kevin was curled up in the corner once more. A half full bottle of orange juice was slowly getting warm beside him. He really wasn’t sure how much longer he could do this. Every time he moved his head, he was overwhelmed by dizziness. His arms were littered with barely sealed bites and, as much as Jack and Wanda said they wanted him to last a long time, they were not being very careful to keep him healthy. They gave him lots of water and other fluids but they were barely feeding him. And the time between bites kept getting shorter. His blood was hardly given a chance to recover before they were feeding from him again.

And Wanda was weird. She liked to cuddle while she fed. She would hold him and tell him how beautiful he was and how good he smelled. And, because Kevin had no defenses left, sometimes he could not resist relaxing into her gentle touch. It made the moment that she turned on him all the more painful.

The door creaked open and Kevin didn’t even bother to open his eyes. Jack may have returned for him once more but he wanted to hold onto the illusion as long as possible.

“Hey, Kevin,” a voice whispered.

Kevin could have cried. He knew that voice. He opened his eyes to see Sam Winchester peering in the door. Sam ran to his side and crouched beside him. He swayed a little as he neared the ground but managed to catch himself.

“You alright?” Kevin croaked. Sam’s eyes were glassy with fever and he had two bright spots high on his cheeks.

Sam laughed and yanked Kevin up into a hug. “Am I alright? Oh my god, look at you! You look like crap.”

“Yeah, well same to you.” Kevin was acutely conscious of the fact that he was in his underwear and he was crying again.

“Dean thought you were dead but I couldn’t give up on finding you,” Sam said softly as he cradled the boy closer.

“Thanks” Kevin whispered through his tears.

Sam had to pull away to find the key to remove the chain. Kevin didn’t want to let go of him but he also really wanted to get out of this barn and back to safety in the bunker.

Sam was looking around near the door when a blonde ball of fury shot through and tackled him to the ground. “Your brother killed my man,” Wanda screeched. She pinned Sam to the ground and stared at Kevin murderously. “This is your fault. I’m going to kill this hunter and then I’m coming over there to drain you dry. I should have done it days ago. I knew it was too dangerous, taking a hunter’s pet.”

Sam struggled to buck her off but she was too strong. She bit into Sam’s neck and began sucking furiously.

Sam shouted and fought harder but he didn’t need to,

Kevin watched in fascination as Sam’s arms started glowing. Sam writhed on the ground in pain as it traveled up his arms into his neck. Wanda drew back sharply, mouth smoking. Glowing blood dripped to the ground.

Wanda tried to stand up, to run, but it was already too late. The glow spread down her neck and into her abdomen. She collapsed to the ground screaming but the process could not be stopped. The light was burning through her from the inside out. Bright tendrils were already escaping her throat and stomach.

“What are you?” she whispered as the light overwhelmed her and she crumbled to dust. By the time Dean burst through the door, dripping machete in hand, it was all over.

Almost before Kevin could blink, he and Sam were under a blanket in the backseat of the Impala, huddled together to bring up Kevin’s core body temperature. Any other time Kevin might have felt ashamed that he was snuggling into Sam’s side with the bigger man’s arm pulling him in close but the heat from Sam’s fevered body felt absolutely glorious. Sam was also doing his best to feed him orange juice and sugared donuts. Kevin thought of refusing but Sam just looked at him and his eyes were soft and warm, and worried, and maybe a little teary, and Kevin felt himself giving in.

Finally, they let him be and he started to drift off, his stomach full, the dizziness being replaced by warmth and safety as he leaned on Sam.

“I’m sorry, Kevin,” Dean said softly when it looked like Kevin was asleep. “I shouldn’t’ve given up.”

Kevin slowly pulled one arm out of the blanket and firmly extended his middle finger at Dean. “I expect BBQ, fresh cooked, no takeout. And new music, something from this decade. And a TV in my room. And how about a blanket and pillow that weren’t used by guys long dead? You owe me big.” And he pulled his arm back under the blanket and shamelessly threw it across Sam’s waist before snuggling his face into Sam’s chest.

Dean chuckled. “You got it, kid.”

“Hey, Kev, can I come in?” Sam stands at the door of Kevin’s room in the bunker.
Kevin looks around quickly to see that there is nothing too embarrassing lying around. He kicks a couple pairs of boxers under the bed before inviting Sam in.

“What’s up?” Kevin asked.

“I just wanted to make sure you are ok,” Sam said.

“Yeah sure. They didn’t do anything too permanent. My blood volume is almost back to normal now.” Kevin grinned

“That’s not exactly what I meant.” Sam looked down.

“What do you mean?”

“I was there. I know how scared you were because I know how scared I would have been. And you didn’t have what I always did, a big brother who would walk through fire to pull me out. You didn’t even know if anyone was coming for you at all,” Sam looked at Kevin earnestly.

“That’s where you are wrong, Sam. I knew you would come for me, you and Dean. If anything, this has proved that I do have a brother I can count on. I could have given up. I could have found any number of ways to die. I could have frozen to death in that barn, torn my wrist open on the manacles, pushed Jack too far so he would drain me dry, but I didn’t. Because I know that you and Dean wouldn’t stop looking and I couldn’t let you find my corpse,” Kevin reached out and impulsively grabbed Sam’s big hand.

Sam held on hard, muscle working in his jaw as he tried to control himself. “ I just couldn’t let you down again,” he whispered. “I’m sorry that I didn’t answer any of your calls while Dean was in purgatory.”

“It’s forgotten,” Kevin said softly.

Sam smiled before standing and pulling Kevin up into a big bearhug. “You can count on me.”

“I know,” Kevin gladly returned the hug. “Now let me get back to this angel tablet so we can shut the gates of hell and get you back to fighting fit.”

Sam released Kevin and nodded. “Yell if you need me. I’m going to go and nap for a day or five.”

Kevin nodded and watched as Sam made his way out of his room and down the hallway, only wavering slightly. And then he turned back to his work. This damn angel tablet wasn’t about to translate itself.

Beneath Our Willow Tree

Summary: Jared has always been told that he is a failure of an elf. He can't do anything right. He meets the fairy, Jensen, and his whole life changes. He finally discovers where he belongs.

Author's Note: This story was created for spn_reversebang. The fantastic art and the inspiration for this piece comes from the wonderfully talented siennavie

Warnings: This story does contain description of both physical and emotional abuse.

Collapse )

(no subject)

Title: Brother Like You
Author: leah_elisabeth
Characters: Sam, Dean
Word Count: 2664
Rating: PG
Warnings: Mild Language
Summary: Based on this prompt by cherry916. "Sam and Dean are trapped in a cave. There's only so much food and water supply for one person, Dean's out of it most of the time. He has a severe concussion so he doesn't know the lengths Sam goes to to keep him alive. Sam himself is battling a busted leg that gets infected. When Dean awakens in the hospital, he now learns that Sam's fighting for his life all because he was trying to save Dean's. Cue really sick, weak Sam and guilty/protective Dean." This is set in season 2, sometime after Croatoan.

Collapse )

Fine Dining

Title: Fine Dining
Author: leah_elisabeth
Characters: Sam, Dean, Leviathan
Word Count: 5,490
Rating: 14A
Warnings: Lots of blood.  Permanent Injury. Language.
Summary: Tag to The Girl Next Door.  While Dean is off ganking Amy, something else finds Sam in their motel room and he is out for blood.

This is written for khakigrrl's prompt at the ohsam fic challenge. Sorry it is so late.
Collapse )

(no subject)

This is in response to ratherastory's meme!  I like getting to know people in the world of obsessive fangirlishness so here, this is how you play!
Comment to this post with "THE VERY NERVE!" (that's all you need do to start, seriously!) and then:

  • I'll respond by asking you five questions so I can get to know you better.

  • You update your journal with the answers to the questions.

  • You can include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions (but only if you want to).

1- What is your favourite thing about the place where you live now?
         My Church.  I am very involved with the Youth Group and the music there.  My job, the college I am at, even my apartment...especially my roommate...are all things that I could leave in a heartbeat, but I will be sad to leave my friends in the youth group, the fellow people in leadership there who have mentored me and taught me so much about myself and who I want to be, and the other members of the congregation who have been supportive and caring.

2- Tell me about your childhood home. Either the physical location or the people around you, or anything you'd like to share.
          CHAOS! No really.  I have 8 siblings, 6 brothers, 2 sisters.  I grew up in an environment with a lot of noise and very little alone time.  Fortunately, much of it was pleasant noise.  I come from a very musical family so it is not unusual to have someone playing the guitar, someone else on the piano, my dad on the recorder or some other wind instrument and maybe my younger brother on the djembe. I remember a particularly memorable conversation with my younger sister inwhich my brother played a soundtrack on the acoustic guitar.  It was quite emotional and he played right through our tears and the resolution.  It could have been in a movie.

3- What's on the top of your bucket list? Or what would be on top of your bucket list if you had one?
          I would like to go on a museum tour of Europe.  Not just the big ones, like the Louvre, but tiny little ones in villages that no one has ever heard of.

4-What book is sitting on your nightstand (or is currently first on your e-reader, if that's what you have these days)? Are you enjoying it? What are your thoughts?
           I am currently reading "I Am Number Four" by Pittacus Lore.  It isn't the best book I've read.  There is a lot of good young adult science fiction and fantasy out there and I probably wouldn't put it in my top ten favorite anything, but it is entertaining and it gives me something to do on my break at work.

5- Who has been the single biggest influence in your life to date?
Definitely my mother.  She is a wonderful woman who is always willing to talk me through my hysteria.  She has always been there for me.  She is extremely wise and gives good advice and I hope to be like her someday.