Author: Zoicyte aka Johnnyjosh
Pairing: Dean/Sam implied
Beta: Unbeta’d at the moment, will repost after it’s corrected.
Spoilers: Season 2
Disclaimer: I don’t own Supernatural or its characters, and am making no money from this.
Warnings and Notes: Yaoi, lime, language. OOC, TWT, AU, General Weirdness. This was just a little something that tickled my funny bone after watching a rerun of ‘Tall Tales’.
Summary: Time’s almost up, and Dean’s deal comes due. But it seems that sometimes the right words spoken at the right time can mean more than you ever thought possible.
“ ” Speaking
* * Thoughts
~~oOo~~ Change of scene or POV
*No, this isn’t the end. I can’t give up! * Sam thought to himself as his fingers moved rapidly over the keyboard. He’d been sitting in front of his laptop for the last 2 hours, trying in vain to cross-reference some bits and pieces from his father’s journal in a valiant last-minute attempt to save his brother from having his soul claimed by the crossroads demon. But as much as he hated to admit it, there seemed to be little hope of breaking the deal with that red-eyed bitch, while keeping Sam himself from having his life taken once again.
He sat back on the small couch that occupied one corner, looking around the cheap hotel room he and Dean were currently occupying. The curtains looked like they were from sometime in the fifties, and had probably last been taken down and washed around that time. The carpet was worn down to the point you could probably sweep it like any floor, and the wallpaper looked like a mosaic of water and food stains, peppered with what looked like too many smudged, greasy fingerprints around the light switches. It was an overall depressing effect, and the last thing Sam needed right now was more of that.
The only thing that looked like it had been updated in the last 10 years was the large bed in the center of the room. The brothers had asked for a room with two singles, but were told the only one empty was undergoing some much-needed repairs. Sam had bit his tongue to hold back a sarcastic retort, but Dean felt no need to be so polite. The younger Winchester chuckled softly as he remembered Dean’s comments, and the manager’s defensive reply, which had escalated into an argument that nearly had them being denied a room. Only Sam’s attempts at smoothing things over had stopped the balding, sweaty man with a large gut that told of too much greasy food and beer from kicking them out. He’d reasoned with his brother once they were down the hall and out of earshot, that while the law was still seeking them, they had to lay low and take advantage of places like this, where they wouldn’t be noticed or remembered.
Another sigh passed the younger Winchester’s lips as he glared down at his laptop, looking like he was angry at the contraption for holding out on him. With a shake of his head, Sam leaned forward again and started to search once more.
As he typed, the brunette was forced to remember Dean’s at first occasional questions about his progress at finding a way out of the deal. First the older man had asked at the six-month mark. Then again at three, finally starting to ask once a month after that. But this last month had been the worst. Dean had started asking once a week, and finally, this last week, it had been an unvoiced question, a near-pleading look once a day whenever Dean found Sam on the computer. But all that had stopped yesterday, and Sam knew that Dean had resigned himself to his fate.
*Mind you my brother’s not stupid,* Sam thought with a wry smile. The elder Winchester hadn’t let his brother out of his sight for more than a few minutes at a time, and never with the car at his disposal. Sam knew that Dean was worried he’d go out and find the crossroads demon, then try to offer himself up as a sacrifice. He had to admit, it was tempting, for Sam was terrified at the prospect of having to be here, alone, while his father was God only knew where, and Dean was in Hell. He couldn’t stand the thought of his entire family being lost to this life, and him having to carry on with nobody lean on when he needed them. Sam closed his eyes, jerking back and pinching the bridge of his nose as he felt a now-familiar flood of shame at his own weakness. This wasn’t about him right now, it was about Dean.
Speaking of his brother, Sam chuckled as he thought about the other man, and what he was doing. Even though it was probably his last night of freedom, rather than drinking it away in the company of some woman, the elder Winchester was out trying to follow up a lead on their latest hunt.
It seemed that they’d found another trickster, from the way people had been dying in rather…poetic fashion, usually based on some kind of bizarre urban legend, or story from one of those ridiculous supermarket tabloids. Dean had joked that it was a good thing they’d run into that last one, as they hadn’t been fooled into fighting with each other this time around. Sam had come back with one of his own, saying if he hadn’t seen the other killed with his own eyes, he’d swear they were dealing with the very same trickster they’d fought before. Dean had agreed, saying this one had the same interesting style as the other, and again it was going to be a shame to have to waste him.
Sam closed his eyes and sighed, almost wishing Dean would have taken tonight for himself. At least then Sam would have had the chance to say a few things to Dean, things that, before this deal, he never would have been able to say. He would have offered to go out to the bars with his big brother, sharing some laughs and making sure that Dean had something good, some fond memory to take with him and keep in his heart until Sam was able to free him. And he would free Dean, even if he had to go back, open that gateway to Hell with the Colt, walk in there and drag his brother out with his own two hands. He didn’t care how many other specters and demons he freed in the process, they’d deal with that later. All that mattered was getting Dean out of the clutches of that demon.
He jumped as his cell phone rang, picking it up and answering quietly. “What happened?”
“A couple was found dead up here at the local lover’s lane,” Dean said, sounding amused. “There were scratches all over the car, the driver’s side window was smashed, and there was even a hook left hanging from the door handle.”
Sam blinked, his expression incredulous. “You’re kidding…right?”
“Nope, and get this,” the elder’s voice wavered, and Sam scowled as he knew Dean was trying not to laugh at the situation. “They were both married, and cheating on their spouses! This is definitely our guy, Sammy. We got another trickster with the knack for poetic justice on our hands. Man these guys have got style.”
“Dean, this isn’t funny, people are dying, and all you can think about is this thing’s sense of humor?” Sam admonished, brown eyes narrowing at the sound of Dean’s low chuckle in his ear.
“Come on, Sammy, you have to admit it is kind of funny, in a…sick and twisted kinda way.” Dean smirked, imagining the look on his younger brother’s face right now.
“No, it’s not,” Sam growled, then shook his head. “Sick and twisted is right, Dean. I think our other situation has given you a very bitter sense of humor.”
“Yeah, most likely,” Dean said flippantly, though his gaze hardened, the muscles in his jaw clenching.
Sam sighed, regretting the words as soon as they were out. “Look, I’m sorry,” he said quietly. “Why don’t you come back for now, there are too many cops around there for my liking, we don’t need any of them recognizing you. The last thing I want is you getting hauled off to jail...tonight.”
Dean sighed and nodded slowly, hearing the pain in his brother’s voice as Sam uttered the last word. “I know, I’m heading back now.” He snapped the cell phone shut, then glanced over at the group of policemen examining the car, blinking as one seemed vaguely familiar. He watched the man polish off one candy bar, only to immediately unwrap another and start eating it. “Nah…” Dean shook his head, quickly making his way back to the Impala and dismissing the similarity from his mind.
As he walked away, the cop with the candy bar turned and smirked, watching Dean leave. The man had dark, wavy hair tucked under his hat, nearly long enough to brush his collar. He also sported a moustache, something he didn’t have the last time he’d met up with the Winchester brothers. “Well, seems the best place to hide is still in plain sight, isn’t it?” He chuckled, waving off one of the other officers that looked up at his words.
Sam sat back on the couch, glaring at his laptop once more, before he closed the screen he’d been working on, instead bringing up a map of the city. He pinpointed where each of the attacks had occurred, then tried to figure out where this trickster might have set up shop. “I hope it’s similar enough to the last one that its range is limited…” He murmured, remembering the last one had been right at the center of all the chaos it was creating. This time around it seemed to have a somewhat wider range, and that worried Sam, because it meant there was a larger area for it to hide in.
He was still working on it several minutes later, when the light from the Impala’s headlights lit up the curtains. Sam glanced up, then shook his head and shut down the computer. He knew that if they didn’t find it tonight, and that seemed unlikely at this point, then he was going to be busy with…other pursuits for some time to come. He mulled over that thought for a few seconds, then came to a decision. Getting up, he walked over to the door and opened it, smiling faintly at Dean’s look of surprise. “Hey.”
“Aw, you that eager to see me?” The older man recovered quickly, walking in and giving Sam a quick slap on the back as he passed him.
“Oh yeah, sure,” he shook his head and scowled, slapping his brother on the arm. “How silly of me, to think I was actually worried about you getting picked up. Never mind that every cop in this town must be out on the streets right now, looking for someone, especially a suspicious stranger, to pick up and question about the recent murders.”
“Come on, Sammy,” Dean chuckled, holding his arms out at his sides and giving a cocky grin as Sam all but slammed the door shut and locked it. “Gimme a break, I was careful. Hey, I made it back in one piece, didn’t I?” He asked, before he walked over and dropped onto the couch, one foot lifting and resting on the coffee table. “So, got anything new on this thing?”
“No, I haven’t been able to figure out where it’s hiding yet,” Sam sighed, moving over and stopping in front of the coffee table. “And… I’m not going to bother with it anymore, either.”
“Say what?” Dean tilted his head, staring up at his brother. “Sam…” He got to his feet, frowning as he walked around the table and stood in front of the younger man. “What’s that supposed to mean? You’re not gonna bother with it anymore? What, are you just giving up?”
“For now, yeah, I am,” Sam said, voice growing hoarse as he set his hands on Dean’s shoulders. “I have more important things to think about. Maybe I can get back on its trail some other time. But right now, I just want to focus on you, and how to get you out of the deal with that red-eyed bitch.”
Dean shook his head quickly, grasping his brother’s wrists. “Sam, listen to me, we can’t just give up on this thing, we-”
“Yes we can, Dean!” Sam said insistently, tilting his head down as his hands lifting to cup the sides of his brother’s face.
Dean stiffened, eyes widening as an image flashed in his mind of Sam trying to kiss him. “What are you doin’?” He tried to take a step back, swallowing as Sam followed with a step of his own.
“I’m not letting her take you away Dean,” he said quietly, tears filling his wide brown eyes. “We’ve lost too much already. Mom, Dad, our friends, and now… No.” He shook his head quickly. “I’m not losing the only person I have left that I really care about.”
Dean sighed, then reached up to grip Sam’s arms gently. “I know Sam, but we’ll find a way out of this. Come on,” he tried to pull away, only to be pulled around and backed against the wall. “Sammy?”
“You always do this!” Sam held his brother there, fingers digging into the older man’s shoulders slightly. “Why?” He was nearly sobbing now, but he didn’t care. “You pull away when something happens, withdrawing and trying not to admit that it’s affecting you. You’re always ‘okay’, and trying to keep that game face on, no matter what.” Sam broke off there, lowering his head, tears streaming down his face. He slid one arm around Dean’s shoulders, the other splayed against his chest.
“Sam,” Dean murmured, closing his eyes against the tears that were threatening to fall from his own eyes. He raised one arm, hand gently cupping the side of his brother’s neck, where it met Sam’s shoulder, as he sighed heavily.
“I can’t do it anymore, Dean. I’ve tried, but this is the last night I had to come up with something, and I’ve got nothing!” He wrapped both arms around Dean’s shoulders then, pulling the older man closer. “I can’t keep my game face on anymore. I’m scared, Dean. Scared of losing you like we lost everyone else.”
“It’s okay, Sammy,” Dean tried to reassure his brother, arms going around Sam’s waist, as his hands started to move in slow circles over the other’s back. “We’ll find a way. It’s gonna be alright.” But even as he spoke, Dean felt the words were a futile denial of his fate.
Sam knew it too, and it only made his sobs more heart wrenching as he leaned against Dean, pressing him more firmly against the wall. “No, it’s not. Because I can’t stop it, Dean, not before it happens, anyway.” He lifted his head and gazed at his brother intently.
Dean looked up at Sam, a tear escaping despite his efforts, sliding slowly down his cheek. He frowned at the other’s words, narrowing his eyes slightly. “Sam, I don’t want you doing anything stupid, you here me?” He growled, hands fisting in the younger man’s shirt. “You promise me that you’re not gonna go make a deal to get me back!”
“I can’t promise anything, Dean,” Sam whispered, closing his eyes as he rested his forehead against his brother’s shoulder. “Except that I’m going to do whatever it takes to get you back.”
“What good will it do if you bring me back, only this time it’s me that has to carry on alone?!” Dean shouted, grasping Sam by the waist and reversing their positions. He pinned Sam to the wall roughly, glaring up at him. “You think I want to lose you, again? I don’t, Sam. It…” He pushed away from his brother and took a few steps away, body tense, shoulders shaking slightly.
“It what?” Sam asked, voice barely above a whisper as he watched him. After a moment of awkward silence he cautiously approached his brother, hands grasping his shoulders gently. “Dean-” He started to speak, only to be cut off as the other man whirled around to face him.
“It nearly killed me!” Dean roared, eyes wild, tears flowing freely as he fisted his hands in the front of Sam’s shirt. “When that bastard stabbed you, and I caught you, saw the blood on my hand when I touched your back, I…” He shook his head, eyes closed tightly as he tried to get himself back under control. “It was like my heart was being ripped out of my chest. Then, when you were…” He took a shaky breath, then pressed on, “dead, I wanted to die, too. I’d failed the last person, the only person in the world I had left that I really wanted to protect. The last person I loved was gone.” His voice was hoarse as he spoke, and he didn’t resist when Sam’s arms slid around him and pulled him closer. “Bobby tried to get me up and moving, saying we had to stop what was happening, and I couldn’t even make myself care, Sam. I said right then and there to Bobby that the world could end, I just didn’t see a point in carrying on anymore.”
Sam rested his chin lightly on the top of Dean’s head, tears still falling as he hugged his brother. “I know, Dean, I feel the same way right now, and it hasn’t even happened yet,” he gave a wan smile, looking away. “I’m terrified of losing you, and it just feels so hopeless right now. I just can’t bring myself to care anymore about anything else.” He sighed heavily, closing his eyes. “That’s why I say we forget about the trickster for now, and split the time we have left between some brainstorming, and…”
“And what?” Dean lifted his head and looked up at his brother skeptically, not pulling away, just leaning back a little.
“And doing something normal.” Sam said quietly, giving Dean a small smile as he set his hands on the other man’s shoulders. “You pick for tonight, I get to choose tomorrow.”
“What about the brainstorming? I know you said you don’t have anything to stop this, Sam,” the older man said, resignation in his voice as he looked down. “You would have told me by now if you had a way to break the deal.”
“I’ve got a few ideas, but I just need some time for it to…come together.” Sam said, giving his brother a pleading look. “I know it’s getting close to the wire, but I’m not giving up on you Dean. I just-”
“I know,” Dean cut him off, putting a finger on Sam’s lips. “You’re working on it, and you need a bit more time, right?”
Sam nodded slowly, giving Dean’s shoulders a light squeeze.
Dean sighed, then chuckled softly. “Alright, and in the meantime,” he slanted a look at his brother. “You said I get to choose tonight’s activities, right?” A smirk settled on his lips that had Sam rethinking the wisdom of his words. “Then I say we head down to the local tavern, play some pool, get soused, and see about a little…after hours entertainment.”
Sam couldn’t help but laugh at his brother’s suggestion, which so closely mirrored his earlier thoughts. He knew he’d end up staying out of the room for a while if his brother did pick up a woman, as he would spend the time trying to formulate a better plan for saving Dean than the two dangerous options he had now.
Both men jumped as they heard a slight sound coming from outside the room door. “What was that?” The brothers whispered in unison, each drawing his gun as they made their way slowly toward the door. Sam wrenched it open, and Dean lunged out, gun raised.
“There’s…nothing here,” Dean said, scowling as he looked around. He lowered his head, spotting three candy wrappers at his feet. “Jesus, this place is a dive,” he muttered, kicking at the litter.
“Okay then, now that we’ve had our requisite scare, let’s go,” Sam smiled faintly, shaking his head.
“Yeah,” Dean narrowed his eyes, then turned and walked back into the room, grabbing some salt and laying a line across the windowsills, then one across the doorway. “Let’s just take a few precautions before we go. Not that this’ll do any good if the trickster’s nearby, but still,” he shrugged, putting the box away, then grabbing his jacket. “Alright, let’s have some fun, shall we?” He grinned, punching Sam lightly on the arm before he walked outside.
Sam just rolled his eyes, grabbing his own coat and shutting the door, then locking it. “Yeah, let’s go.”
As they walked to the Impala, a shape took form in the alley between the rooms and the office. The same cop that had watched Dean earlier peered out at the retreating forms, pondering what he’d overheard. “Well Dean, seems like you’ve gotten yourself into quite the pickle this time, haven’t you?” He said, then smirked as he decided it might be amusing to keep an eye on the two men for the next 24 hours.
To Be Continued…
Yes, I know, there’s countless fics around here about getting Dean out of his predicament, I hope mine isn’t too unoriginal XD. Read and review!