Rating: PG - 13
Type of Story: General. A bit angsty.
Author's Website: Sebastian's Fanfiction.net Page
Author's Note: It feels like I've written a story long enough to cover a book, haha. It may be a bit jumpy and all over the place - it's my first fanfiction. (There might be some grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, English is not my native language. Sorry 'bout that.) Set during Season 1.
Warnings: Mentions of sexual assault and swearing.
Dean Winchester was mercilessly dragged out of his rest, and the nice dream involving a very good-looking woman he was having, as his baby brother called out the name of his late girlfriend. Again. Dean rolled over to look at the distraught shape in the other bed, knowing Sam was experiencing another nightmare. His brother twisted and turned vigorously, causing the sheets to tangle around his kicking legs. Sweat glittered on his anxious face in the faint light of a street lamp outside and Dean noticed with escalating worry the trembling death-grip Sam had on his pillow.
"Jessica!" Sam's voice was hoarse and so pained, it actually made the older Winchester wince.
"Dammit, Sammy," he mumbled softly. "Wake up already."
Dean despised every moment of this. Every single movement of distress the younger man did, the pitiful cries for his girlfriend ringing through their current resident, the fucking agony he was going through everytime he closed his eyes; it was almost too much for Dean to handle without actually breaking himself.
He knew he couldn't do anything to ease the pain of his little brother, and it scared him. When they were younger and their father had been gone longer than planned, Sam always sought the comfort and care of his brother. He would sneak into his bed when he though Dean was sleeping and curl up at his side, reassured he wasn't alone in this godforsaken world. It always made Dean feel important and.. loved. He was a piece of stability, a trust-worthy source of safety in Sammy's eyes and that's what mattered the most.
Sam had always been prone to have a lot of nightmares as a child as well. Back then, of course, it wasn't so much of a problem - Dean would just collect the crying, terrified kid into his arms and lie there, mumbling soft words and promises, sometimes humming the tunes of a classic rock song into the brown hair beneath him until Sam fell asleep again. He didn't let go of him for the rest of the night.
In this day and age, Sam would probably push him onto the floor if he tried to do that, his own dignity would commit suicide as well, but Lord knows Dean still wanted to. Just provide the same warm comfort he had in their childhood and protect Sam from his own mind. Give him some rest.
Sitting up, Dean sighed heavily and ran a hand over his face in frustration, all of this just made him feel weary. And too old for his 26 years living. He desperatly wished for his Dad to magically appear and take care of it, somehow make it all okay again.
"Well, enough is enough," he exclaimed when another cry escaped his brother. He crossed the small distance between the beds and put a gentle hand on Sam's shoulder. "Sam, wake up! Come on, Sammy. Rise and shine."
The kid flinched under the unexpected touch and Dean frowned. Tense as a violin string, not good. Not at all.
"What the hell, Dean?" Sam blinked at nothing a couple of times, "It's in the middle of the night."
"Yeah, I know, but I couldn't sleep because of your constant shouting."
Sam actually looked guilty at this, "I'm sorry. I- uh, I wasn't aware. Sorry."
"Not looking for apologies, dude," Dean said tiredly. "What did you dream of?"
The incredulous look his older brother gave him was almost comical. Until he folded his arms and glared down at him. "Liar."
"I don't want to talk about it."
"Come on, you have to," Dean urged.
Sam merely shook his head, laid down and turned his back towards his brother, putting an obvious end to the discussion. Dean huffed in disapproval, but was too tired to argue further about it. One of these days he was going to make Sam talk somehow, no question. Listening closely to the breathing from the other bed, the older man fell into a restless sleep.
# # #
The following days, the brothers drove to sunny, bright (and too friggin' hot for existing) Texas. They were looking into the odd murders of three men; they were all killed under 'mysterious circumstances' in the same area, when they had been on a date. Otherwise, there was no clear connection between the men.
Standing outside the house of the lastest victim's girlfriend, Sam sighed deeply, preparing himself. They'd already visited the other two females involved in this case and both shared a similar story. This was the last stop, then he could get a break. Hell, he needed one so bad.
The curtains were drawn and there were no signs of actual life, but when Dean ringed the bell, a small female opened the door carefully and looked at them with huge, sad eyes.
"Miss Maria Grey?" Sam asked the pale, skinny woman.
"We are from the Texas Ranger Divison, I'm officer Evans and this is officer Parker," he said as they flashed badges for Maria to see.
"Hello ma'am. The Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program of TRD has sent us out to look closer at the three recent murders in the town," Dean nodded curtly.
She closed her eyes briefly, "Are you here to question me about Thomas?"
"I'm afraid so, Miss Grey."
"Okay," Maria sighed. She was willing to go through just about anything for her deceased fiancé, if it meant they would catch the horrible killer and justice would be done.
Stepping out of the way, she let the Winchesters into her hall and lead them to a fairly large, but cozy kitchen. "Do you guys want anything? Coffee maybe? Water? It's really hot outside today."
"No thanks, we're okay," Dean replied politely, and they sat down. "So, Miss Grey-"
"Call me Maria, please."
"So, Maria, tell us what happened that evening."
"Well, Thomas and I were out on a date. He was always such a romantic, you see, it was all about roses, stars and moonlight for him," She smiled softly as she spoke, "he took me to a lovely clearing in the forrest, just outside of town. He even brought food. It was wonderful."
"Suddenly, he got up and started to walk further into the forrest. When I asked where he was going, he told me to wait there for him, he was just going to check something. A couple of minutes later, I- oh, I'm sorry," Maria's voice faltered, tears welling up and blurring her vision of the two visitors.
Her glance fell to stare at the worn-out surface of the table while she tried to compose herself and she swallowed loudly.
"Take your time," Sam said.
He tilted his head slightly, his eyesbrows drawn together in sympathy, eyes shining in understanding. Dean watched his brother warily, fighting the need to sigh as he thought about just how much Sammy could relate to these mourning women. He shook his head lightly, licked his lips and turned the attention back to Maria Grey.
"Okay, I can do this," she mumbled, mostly to herself. "Okay.. He was away for a while and I started to get worried, then I heard his screams. It was horrible!"
They nodded sympathetic.
"I called for him, but he didn't answer. I ran in the same direction he'd gone and I found him, laying on the ground. He- he was.. He was ri-," Maria forced down a sip of air into her lungs before she continued, nearly whispering as she said, "He was ripped apart basically."
She burst into tears, her thin arms pressed thightly around herself, as if she was holding herself together. If she let go, she would combust into thousands of tiny pieces of misery and Thomas wouldn't be around to puzzle her back together.
The fresh memory of her wounded, dead fiancé struck the young woman harder than she'd expected; burning an aching, oozing hole into her heart as she tried to regain control over her breathing. Maria was a dignified lady and felt a bit embarrased of her open display of emotions in front of the nice officers, but she couldn't stop herself. She missed Thomas too damn much.
Sam swallowed hard around the growing lump in his throat - It was hard to witness anyone in such pain. He wished dearly he could bring her almost future husband back. They had obviously been very much in love with each other.
Dean looked away uneasily and vowed in his head to kill the son of a bitch who did this good and painfully, then reached out to give her shoulder a warm, soft squeeze. His hand lingered there until she got a hold of her crying.
"I'm sorry for your loss," he said. It was the simple truth.
Maria nodded in a thankful gesture, almost laughing at her outburst as she got to her feet to find herself a tissue. She wondered if they thought she was as patethic as she did.
"I wasn't ready for that one," the woman admitted, wiping her face clean with a shaky hand. "I apologize, officers."
"Maria," Sam started as she sat back down, "I heard the local police thinks it was some sort of wild animal-"
She stopped him mid-sentence with a snort. "Yes, it's ridiculous really. I didn't hear anything. An animal capable of doing such damage to a man should have done more sounds, growling or roaring maybe."
"But you didn't hear anything different that night? Did you see any movements?"
She shook her head. The brothers frowned in synch; this definitely wasn't a wildlife-related accident.
The first girlfriend the brothers met said the exact same thing - there'd been nothing suspicious or different in the woods as far as she was aware. The other woman, who was married to the second victim, had felt the sensation of someone staring at them, but she never heard anything.
After a few last questions, officer Parker and officer Evans excused themselves and left the house with long, quick strides towards the black Impala.
"I bet you it wasn't an animal," Dean piped up when they got in the car, smirking as Sam shot him sideway glare. "Maria was right, animals would have been more audible."
"Yes. The police didn't find any traces of an animal either."
"Researching it is then," the blonde man sighed and put it in reverse.
Later, the boys sat quietly in the library, even Dean was oddly subdued. He'd tried countless times to make Sam laugh, or at least smile, but his brother wasn't in the mood. He hadn't been for weeks. It took a toll on Dean's humour.
"Hey Dean," Sam spoke up suddenly, motioning towards the screen, "check this out."
Dean shuffled forward on the chair, scraping the legs of it against the floor as he inched his way next to the giant he called brother, causing this ridiculously loud, screeching noise to break through the comfortable silence in the room.
"Dude! We are in a library," Sam hissed, his face heating up ever-so-slightly.
But Dean was too busy shooting a smile full of charm and suggestions at a pretty librarian passing by to even acknowledge Sam, or the annoyed glances of the reading people next to them, so he failed to look at least a little sorry. Sam stared at Dean in disbelief, before he closed his eyes in an attempt to calm his poor nerves. When the girl was out of sight, Dean's eyes darted right back to the screen to read the article presented for him.
"So, a 16-year-old girl went missing, ten years ago, while on a date," he thought out loud.
"Never to be seen again," Sam continued.
"Her Casanova was held for interrogation, but in lack of evidence, they had to release him." Dean leaned back and sighed, "You think we have a revengeful, pissed off spirit to deal with?"
"I think so, yeah. He probably killed her, hid her body in the woods and now she wants to tear every guy around into pieces."
"She sounds like freakin' dream."
Sam rolled his eyes. "She is female. Should be good enough for you."
"Shut up, Sammy."
"It's Sam," he corrected automatically, but there wasn't really any force behind it.
"Whatever. Looks like we gonna pay that forrest a visit and put this nasty bitch to sleep for good."
# # #
Dean grumbled about having to leave his precious Impala on the side of a dirt road, much to Sam's chagrin. He really didn't want to listen to his brother's complaints right now.
"Hiking is so fun!" the older sibling chirped sarcastically. "Don't you think?"
"Come on, Dean, are you gonna complain like a little girl the whole way there?" he snapped impatiently, "It's annoying."
His brother looked surprised for a scond, before narrowing his eyes menacingly. "Don't even go there, Sammy."
"Yeah, yeah," Sam waved dismissively at Dean, like he was merely a irritating child, "I don't care."
Dean clenched his jaw in growing anger and jabbed a finger in his direction. "Watch the attitude, dude."
You couldn't possibly miss the warning in his voice, but it didn't stop the youngest Winchester to give him a final, murderous look and start to walk fast into the dark forrest. His whole demeanor screamed of defiance.
"Wait for me, Sam!"
That had obviously been an outright order, which didn't really help the situation.
Sam was tired of being ordered around, as if he was some kind of solider - one of the reasons he'd left for college actually. He quickened his pace, putting more and more distance between them, just for show more than anything.
"Samuel Winchester!" Dean bellowed.
The tone and the use of his full name stopped his little brother dead in his track, instinctively doing what he was told, although he still was fuming. Dean suppressed a satisfied smirk and hurried up to him, slapping the back of Sam's head hard to express his displeasure and fixed him with a glare that would scare a lesser man senseless. But Sam was quite used to being the recieving end of those looks by now.
"Ow," Sam muttered and rubbed the sore spot with a pout, making him look all of six years old.
"Let's go, Sammy."
# # #
Why didn't he stick with the plan? They'd spent a reasonably amount of time in the extremly hot and inhumane motelroom with sweat running down like the freaking Niagara Falls, coming up with a goddamn plan and he had bluntly disregarded the whole thing when the spirit showed up. Sam caught himself running towards it, something calling him, pulling him forward - but he didn't give much effort into fighting the urge either. He simply obeyed.
"Sam!" Dean barked somewhere behind him, but Sam ignored it.
Oh god, what am I doing?, he thought frantically as he came to a halt, trying to keep the remaining distance between the ghost and himself.
She was beautiful. Her long, blonde hair reached to the end of her back and he actually wished to touch it, feel the silky curles slip between his fingers. But he didn't move. The girl smiled invitingly, her gorgeous eyes not leaving Sam's. A sense of hopelessness filled him when she got closer - it tore and set his heart apart and he almost sank to his knees in despair for her. Her sheer agony was like a harsh kick to his stomach.
"He hurt me," her smooth voice wasn't more than a broken whisper.
Sam tried to talk, but he couldn't open his mouth. The spirit's powers didn't let him do anything - somehow, he was okay with that.
"I said no, but he did it to me anyway."
What did he do?
"He- he abused me!" the spirit's angelic features suddenly twist into foul rage and she raised her voice into desperate screaming, "he took my innocence from me, my virginity was stolen!"
She began to shiver, glowering at Sam with utter hate and disgust, "You're all the same! You want to use me!"
Sam's heart picked faster and faster. Shaking his head as much as he could, he panicked, his stomach churning. He was going to be dismembered into nothing, surely. Does it really matter? A small, quiet thought asked him, but he quickly chased it away. No time for that shit, Sam.
He watched the girl carefully as he wondered where the hell Dean was, and why he wasn't saving Sam's sorry ass. Maybe he was in trouble too.
Sam suddenly gasped. Pain interrupted his reasoning, cutting through his mind like a razorblade - it rapidly became unbearable. The ghost giggled in glee.
"Stop it", he managed.
Sam almost flinched in shock; he was capable of communicating! He hadn't expected that change of events at all. Perhaps she wants to hear me scream.
"I won't harm you, not at all," he continued, grimacing as a bleeding cut appeared on his left arm, followed by a force slamming him into the dirt. "Please!"
Dean saw his baby brother getting tossed around like a ragdoll in horror, franctically fighting against the invisible weight upon him. He was completely furious.
"Don't you dare hurt him," he yelled, "I will fucking kill you!"
The ghost didn't mind Dean at all, just held him out of the way, pinned against a tree. Her focus was on Sam. She laughed hysterically at the pained moans escaping him and every now and then, she stopped to accuse the torturted boy.
"It's all your fault! YOU USED ME!"
Dean's heart skipped a beat when a strangled, pitiful scream reached his ears, making him struggle even harder, squirming and twisting to break free.
"You son of a bitch," he roared, "I hope you'll burn in hell for this!"
Sam writhed on the ground, unable to catch his breath for the intense pain in his body. The spirit was slowly stretching his muscles without actually tearing them, happy to see his livid reactions.
Dean growled darkly and with a determined yank of his wrist, he succeeded to lift the gun high enough to aim at the now flying girl and he pulled the trigger, falling to his knees when the silverbullet drilled through her. With a frustrated cry, the teenager dissolved. Dean crawled up to his little brother. "Sam!"
A rush of relief overwhelmed him when Sam gasped for air and blinked away tears, eyes wide and scared. Urgent hands ran over Sam's sore body to assess the damage, pressing on his abdomen, searching for life-threatening wounds or broken bones.
"Ow, stop that," he croaked, "you're making it worse!"
"I'm sorry Sasquatch, I gotta check."
After making sure - twice - that everything was in place, Dean helped Sam to sit.
With the fear of losing his brother slowly melting away, anger flared up instead and he stared at the kid.
"What was that about?!" he exclaimed incredulously, "We had a plan!"
"I know," Sam sighed, "But I couldn't stop. It was like a spell or something! I swear."
He felt a twinge of guilt, but refused to change his statement. What does it matter if he didn't honestly try to restrain himself from walking to the spirit? Dean didn't need to know that.
The blonde man contemplated him for a while, trying to determine whether or not he should believe that. He couldn't find any traces of lying in Sam's eyes, sighed tiredly and nodded.
"Alright. We have to go, she'll be back any minute and you're in no shape to fight her again."
With the help of his big brother, Sam limped the whole way back to the Impala, biting back groans of discomfort. They had to come back later, he decided.
# # #
"Where are you going?" Sam wondered from the bed, two days after the incident with the angry teenage spirit, putting down the book he was reading.
His muscles complained as he moved, aching like he'd run for miles. Holding weights.
"Taking care of that spirit," Dean replied cheerfully while he checked the saltlines.
He didn't want to take any chances, not when his little brother wasn't feeling well.
"I hunted alone many times while you were having fun in college, Sam."
"But.. She's too strong. You will be dead within minutes!"
"You have no faith in me," Dean said, feigning hurt before he got serious. "I'll call when it's done. Don't even think about putting your nose outside this room, or else.."
Sam starting to protest, but it fell on deaf ears as the front door closed shut.
"Please, be careful," Sam whispered to the empty room.
He tried to go back to reading, but his thoughts were all over the place and he found himself staring at the words in front of him without actually seeing them. Sam sighed in surrender and sat down in an arm-chair to await the call instead.
"Hey, Sam. No, I'm okay," Dean opened the trunk of the Impala, wiping sweat away from his forehead. He clamped the phone between his ear and shoulder as he put away the equipment, proudly telling his brother about how he got rid of the spirit. He'd kept her on a distance by peppering her with silverbullets each time she showed up and found her remains, which actually was easier than expected because the spirit had gone more and more hysterical the nearer he got. It was like she went 'cold, still cold.. Warmer, warmer, hot!' for every step.
"It was a simple salt and burn after that," he stated.
Dean grinned at the praise, a piece of him soaking it up, thirsty for it. A trait from his childhood. Starting the Impala up, he enjoyed the sound of her roaring engine and stroke the dashboard lovingly, then put the pedal to the metal, satisfied with the hunt.
Meanwhile in the motel, Sam slumped back into the bed, thankful that his brother was alright. He closed his eyes, relaxing. By the time Dean was back, he was soundly asleep.
'Jessica? Where are you?' Sam swirled around, warily and tense. Something was wrong, he could sense it. His pulse sped up as he made his way through the well-known apartment. Suddenly, Jessica stood in front of him, smiling sadly at him.
'Jess, are you alright?' he asked, opened his arms for her.
But she stepped back, her eyes widening as she cried out, a swirl of fire starting to climb up over her body, dancing over her fair skin.
'NO!" Sam yelled and reached for her, but she escaped his grip.
The blonde, beautiful woman shook her head, tears pouring down her cheeks when he tried to near her again. She was trembling in pain, but didn't utter a word.
Sam realized he was crying too, but it didn't matter. The only thing he could focus on was Jessica. Sam flinched in surprise when she unexpectedly flipped over and chrashed into their ceiling, a look of terror on her face.
'Help me! Sam, please!"
He sat up abruptly, panting hard. His eyes searched the room for any signs of danger, but found none. Forcing himself to breathe normally, he tried to grasp the reality. Jessica wasn't alive, hadn't been for months.
It was more of a statement than a question, startling him a bit; when did Dean get back?
The said man stood at the edge of the other bed, digging around in a bag. Sam shrugged his shoulders, trying to look unaffected, "It was nothing."
"Yeah, sure. You were practically screaming, but that's perfectly normal, isn't it?"
Sam let his gaze fall to the floor, uncertain of what to say. Nothing except the truth would do for his stubborn brother anyway. Sam's hands were shaking slightly and knowing Dean would notice, like he always did, he dug his nails into his palms to hide how upset he was.
"I'm just going to take a shower, then you and me are going to have a chat about this and you are gonna tell me all about it. No," he said as Sam started to argue, "it's happening, end of discussion."
With that said, Dean turned on his heel and hurried into the bathroom, leaving Sam without a chance to express his displeasure. Typical.
I don't want to talk about it, Sam thought sourly. Some things he needed to keep for himself, whether the Second-in-command liked it or not. He got up, ignoring his quivering knees, to pace back and fourth on the worn-out carpet. The room was deadly quiet, the silence almost taunting Sam as he fought the urge to throw a fist through a wall, the frustration quickly growing into proportions he could not handle.
Maybe a drink would calm him down. Yes, a drink or two sounded very tempting. Just to calm his nerves. Dean couldn't begrudge him of that, could he?
Sam snorted. Even if he did, it would be hypocritical, Dean loved to drink. A little nervous, he tried to scribble down a note.
Perhaps he shouldn't write where he was going. He wouldn't put it past Dean to actually look for him and drag him home by his ear or something similar. It had happened before. Although he was underage at the time, using a fake I.D. to get in with a couple of friends. Now, Sam admitted he had deserved it. But he would never forget the whupping he got the next day, his head throbbing along with his ass.
Sam grimaced at the embarrasing memory, unconciously rubbing his behind before he wrote out for a walk on the piece of paper. Yeah, that should do.
Feeling somewhat like a grounded teenager sneaking out, he tiptoed outside.
# # #
Sam gripped for the glass to bring it up to his lips. To his dismay, he found it empty. Again?!
"Stupid glass," he muttered, "what did you do to my drink?"
He was too wasted to realize he had drunk it all up, not for the first time this evening, and glared angrily at the innocent object in his hand.
"Boy, you should leave," the bartender suddenly looked over at Sam, frowning slightly at the state of him. "You look like hell."
"Nonsschenshe," Sam slurred badly as he spoke, "I want another drink!"
"No way, you have had enough already," the older man said firmly. He didn't want another guest puking all over his bar before passing out, it had been too much of that lately.
"Is there anyone I can call to get you home?"
"Nuh uh, not a single one," Sam shook his head until a sense of sickness overwhelmed him, "I'm all alone. In this, uh, place. In this world, in this stupid universe."
Then he felt sad. Well, that's an understatement - he wanted to curl up in the nearest corner to bawl his eyes out and was actually considering to do just that, when the bartender sighed at his melodramtic countenance.
"Yeah, yeah, I know," he huffed and leaned against the counter, "the world hates you, life's not fair, you always make the wrong decisions; I've heard it all before. I don't want to listen to it again, so please give me a damn number, will you?"
The young man narrowed his eyes and tried to scare the other man with a menacing glare, like he'd seen his brother do so often, but failed miserably; it looked more like he was having some kind of problem with his vision. Which, actually, wasn't that far away from the truth. The alcohol blurred it quite well.
"I'm not leaving," Sam decided after a few moments.
Who did this guy think he was anyway? Sam was his customer! This was outrageous behaviour for a bartender really. A bartender's job was to shut his mouth and provide alcohol for money, loads and tons of it. Not calling anyone to get the youngest Winchester home safely when he was too drunk to.
"Yes, you are."
"You are a lousy bartender! I'm not putting up with your shit, dude. I'm going."
The older man watched with a little amused smile tugging at his lips as Sam stood - with the expression of a sulking toddler on his face - swayed himself forward a couple of steps, before unceremoniously slamming head-first to the floor with a grace of falling timber. The ordeal caught the other patrons' attention and they stared in disapproval at the noisy adolescence. So much for the dignified departure.
"Need any help there, son?" the bartender offered kindly and walked up to Sam, lending him a steady hand, only to be flicked off by the giant laying on the floor.
"Shut the hell up!"
"Is everything alright, Kenny?" A wary-looking man, who had witnessed everything in silence from the bar, asked.
Sam threw some nasty words his direction as well, annoyed with the unwanted intrusion from the stranger. The man scowled, rose from his stool and approached the pair quickly - ready to step in if he was forced to.
Somehow, this infuriated Sam further. "Mind your own fucking business!"
"Don't worry, Ben, it's just another troubled young fellow with too much alcohol in his system," the bartender said, calm as ever. It wasn't the first time he had to deal with this kind of problem.
Ben nodded, but didn't leave. He could sense the frustration and anger escalating in Sam and it was rapidly increasing when Kenny yet again asked for a number to call after he'd helped the boy up on two feet.
"You're in no state to go anywhere without company," Kenny explained patiently, "I don't want you to end up unconsious in some alley. Could kill yah, you know."
"Very nice of you," Sam spat and shoke off the hand on his arm. "I can handle myself, thanks."
The other two exchanged a look. "Yeah, we can see that."
Rage made Sam's pulse beat fast, picking under his skin, and he gritted his teeth audibly. Of course it wasn't purely the alcohol or the men in front of him that caused this uncontrolled fury to flow and pulsate through his veins, but it might have been what released it. His shoulders tensed up, squaring as he tightened his right hand into a fist. With a growl, he swung it right into Kenny's jaw.
It turned out Kenny was quite a loved bartender in the small community, because suddenly Sam found himself surrounded by irate patrons. Some were shouting angrily at him and others tried to push him towards the door. He'd obviously taken one step too far here.
But he couldn't deal with all the commotion around him.
To hell with safety, to hell with everything, the tall 22-year-old thought, his rationality as intoxicated as himself, and he started kick and throw punches around him like his life depended on it. He had come to the bar to deafen the roaring guilt in his wounded soul and honestly, the physical blows worked better than the liqour did. It almost became enjoyable. The rush of adrenaline felt refreshing, sobering him up as two men tackled him into the wall. Sam wanted it to continue forever, seeking more abuse and violence from the angry guests as his already sore muscles twisted painfully, but Kenny had rushed away to call the police. They arrived too soon, if you'd ask Sam, pushing him down a table to cuff him. The bartender dropped his head in sympathy when he watched the police men shove the shouting, beaten kid outside, promising silenty to stop serve alcohol to young, frustrated people.
Sam got manhandled into a cell, wishing the police a one way-ticket to Hell, but they simply left him there to stew by himself. Okay, so now he was stuck here, great.
"I might as well sleep," he said to thin air.
After the fight in the bar, his body was exhausted. It has been a long week. Sam was too tired to think of Dean or what he was going through under his little brother's absence.
Truth is, he was freaking out. The moment he stepped out from the misty bathroom to realize he was alone, his heart started to do worried skips and jumps. Dean's eyes caught the note on the table and he almost ran over to read what it said, scowling at the lonely sentence of explanation.
"I will kick his ass into next year," he grunted. Couldn't the guy have waited until he got out of the shower at least?
Dean had patiently waited for Sam's return - he watched tv, cleaned the weapons and glanced at the clock every so often. Time passed slowly, but after two hours, Dean couldn't take it anymore. The crawling, unsettling sensation beneath his skin drove him crazy. He grabbed a gun and his cellphone and stormed to the Impala.
He didn't come back until the middle of the night - by now, he was frantic, leaving another message on his brother's voice mail. He'd looked everywhere! Every single spot where a geeky kid like Sam could keep hidden was searched, every person passing by asked if they had seen him. Dean even tried the places Sam normally wouldn't be even if he got paid for it without any luck. Devasted, Dean sank down the sofa. Totally helpless. He'd failed to do his job, to keep Sammy safe. It was his only responsibility, for god's sake!
"I'm sorry, Dad," his restrained voice was raspy of emotions.
Dean jerked awake when his phone suddenly rang, straightening up. He had managed to doze off. Eagarly, he answered. "Sam?!"
"No sir, I'm from the police station," a surprised man said. He felt his heart sinking in worry. "I'm officer Anderson. Is this Dean?"
"A young man gave me this number," the man continued, "he's in custody right now."
"What did he do?"
"Can you come to the station, so we can discuss this further in person?"
# # #
Sam felt very, very miserable. His head was torturing him, so was his body, and soon his brother would be here to skin him alive. He knew Dean would be angry. Sam had broken some major rules.
"Where is he?!" Dean's voice was strong enough to carry through the walls.
Oh no. Sam wasn't ready to meet the elder Winchester yet. He prayed for the ground to open and swallow him whole, but God showed him no mercy today. Not that he deserved any of it.
Through the window, he saw a police officer talk to his nodding brother. All of a sudden, he twirled around and stared directly at him. Sam cringed visibly and looked down, blushing. Dean is not by any means an openly emotional man - he rather have a joke about it - but the sight of his baby brother made him tearful. He blinked a couple of times, a lump forming in his throat as he almost felt sick of intense relief. Then he tilted his head a bit, narrowing his eyes to get a better look at the guy.
"What the hell happened to him?" he demanded, gesturing wildly at his brother.
Sam looked well and truly abused, sporting a split lip and severe bruising on the right side of his face. It was horrid. Dean wondered briefly what the rest of the giant looked like. He was going to smash the person who did this to Sam into pieces!
"Like I was saying, he was in a drunken fight yesterday," officer Anderson explained. "The kid started it, and apparently, he encourged the others to hit him harder. What you see is the outcome - he's battered. When the police arrived, he tried to fight them as well."
Dean's jaw dropped. "Seriously?"
That didn't sound like his Sammy at all. He almost couldn't believe his ears, but as the officer went in to detail, a sudden realization dawned upon him - his baby brother was self-destructive. He was walking down the road of deliberately harming himself, frustrated and angry. That's why he got in so much trouble.
And Dean had failed to stop him.
"What will happen now? Is anyone pressing charges?"
"No, luckily the bartender is a very kind and understanding man. He said the despair he'd seen in his eyes was enough or something poetic like that."
Dean let out a breath, the first good news today.
"Can I speak to him?"
"Sure. I'm just going to finish up some paper work, then he will be released."
The police man locked the door to the small room, which had Sam practically hyperventilate in nervous panick, and left them.
"I can't belive you!" Dean exclaimed as soon as they were alone, folding his arms.
Sam went bright red. He couldn't believe how stupid he felt under his brother's furious glare. It remind him of his father.
"I'm sorry," he mumbled sheepishly.
"Yeah, you better be! You snuck out, still not completely healed, got yourself too friggin' drunk to function and then beaten up. Not to mention arrested. Explain."
Nothing was said. Sam didn't even look at him.
"You don't have an explanation, do you?"
Sam shook his head and slumped his shoulders in shame. Disappointing Dean was something he hated with passion, always had, but he seemed to be a natural at it. One way or another, he always ended up with a upset big brother.
"You are lucky the bartender doesn't want to press charges for anything," Dean continued, "he doesn't even demand money for the damage you caused to his bar."
"Kenny," Sam muttered.
"His name is Kenny."
Dean pinched the bridge of his nose and took a deep breath. He would be guilty of murder if he didn't watch himself. Sam squirmed in discomfort when his brother went quiet, it felt as if he was planning something. Like how to bury a 6' 4" body without being noticed, he thought miserably.
"Look, I'm really sorry," Sam broke the suffercating silence. "I didn't mean to, okay?"
When Dean didn't answer, he drew his eyebrows up and gave him a pleading look under the bangs of his unruly hair. His brother could never resist that face.
"Oh no, Sammy, don't go all sad puppy on me, you deserve this."
Okay, that didn't work out ideally. Sam slouched against the hard chair and sighed. Once again, he asked himself how he could be so foolish.
The lock rustled and the same officer walked in, hiding a knowing smile as he felt the tension in the room. "You're in trouble, son?"
Sam wished he could drop down dead. They treated him like naughty kid more than a law-breaking man. Dean affirmed the question with a curt nod, "Loads."
His little brother groaned in embarrassment, but he didn't care.
"Good," the officer said. "You caused quite a mess last night."
Officer Anderson nodded and pointed at the door, "You are free to go. You can pick up your cellphone and wallet on your way out."
Sam nearly asked if he could stay for longer - he was safer here. Avoiding his brother as much as he could, he passed the police man with his head lowered.
"Thank you for taking care of him, officer Anderson," Dean shook hands with him with a serious look.
"No problem, it's my job."
As the boys walked down the hall, Sam virtually slided against the wall to keep a nice gap of air between himself and his fuming brother. It was pathetic, although his survival instinct begged to differ. He had no idea what Dean was going to do with him.
Honestly, Dean was just as clueless, but he didn't let Sam know that. Striding towards his car like a man on a set mission, while Sam dragged his feet behind him, he pondered on how to deal with his wayward brother.
"Get your ass in the car," he snarled when Sam finally caught up with him.
He gave him a pitiful look before stiffly climbing into the passenger seat, almost feeling sick. The grim expression his brother held scared him.
He didn't think Dean would actually hurt him - the guy had spent the greater part of his life keeping him safe and alive - but it didn't help the unsettling feeling in his tummy.
The ride back to the hotel was quiet and tense, worried anticipation making the younger brother nervous and he was trying hard not to fidget like some little kid. Dean, however, stared right ahead, knuckles white from the fierce grip he had on the wheel.
What would Dad do?
He already knew, of course. Dad woulnd't have let Sam get away with this shit.
But he's twenty two now, he thought in doubt, it might not work the same way anymore.
When Dean and Sam were younger and did something wrong, they got an ass-whipping. Dean remembered it as almost being therapeutic for his little brother; it released all the guilt he was holding, it taught him a lesson and he was instantly forgiven afterwards. Just what he needed, because Sam owned a conscience big enough for them both and it loved to torment him.
Dean suddenly sat straighter. Maybe Sammy felt guilty for something. What if he was trying to punish himself by putting himself in danger?
He frowned as he thought about what happened in the woods. He'd disregarded the idea initially, but it made sense now - Sam did go straight into the girl's trap. Willingly. Dean had felt the same desire to walk up to her, but he'd fought it off. Sam should've been able to as well. But he didn't. Gritting his teeth in anger, he parked the car outside of the shaggy motel.
Sam didn't wait to obey the order. He almost tripped over his own feet in the hurry to please his brother. He gulped when he noticed Dean wasn't following him, that could only mean one thing - he was too furios to handle this situation right now. Handle him.
The tall man sighed, the prickling sensation of tears behind his eyes as he flopped down on the bed. He'd fucked up big time. And his brother was royally pissed off.
Dean sat motionless in the Impala, yet again wishing for his father to sweep by and fix the problem, he would know for sure what to do. Back in the day, Dean would too. He had thrown Sam over his knee for things that weren't remotely as bad as this. But the circumstances were different now; Sam was an adult, an over-grown man, even if Dean never would honestly consider him to be one - he had tucked in the kid too many times for too many years for that. But the law said he was adult, and besides, after the whole college-thing, their relationship wasn't what it once had been. Would it be as effective?
But Sam was out of control. This behaviour wasn't typical him. Sure, the stupid antics of guilt was pure Sammy alright, but it was never of these proportions. Not this serious.
Sam didn't even like alcohol and drinking that much, for Pete's sake. Dean sighed, making a decision. This had to be done.
Minutes passed and Sam started to believe Dean had dumped him there to drive off somewhere, leaving him to care for himself from now on. Had he actually picked the last straw? Did Dean.. disown him or something?
The relief of hearing the door slam shut was quickly overpowered by fear when he got up and took in the eerie sight. Dean looked completely livid. And.. determined?
"Sam, I want you to be honest with me," Dean's tone was low and dark, sending a shiver through his little brother, "did you walk up to that crazy bitch on purpose?"
Sam's eyes widened before he could catch himself, then he shook his head.
"Uh - what? No," he lied foolishly.
"Wanna repeat that?"
"Dean, what are you talking about? I told you, I couldn't stop myself," Sam threw out his arms, looking dejected.
"Did you try hard enough?!" Dean finally snapped, rapidly growing tired of his sibling. "Because you know, Sam, she did the same thing to me, but I had sense enough to hold my ground!"
Sam stared dumbfondled at him, the silence speaking volumes.
"Yeah, that's what I though."
"Oh, come on.."
"Tell me what's up with you, Sam," Dean continued, showing no sympathy. "What caused you to become like this? You have freaked out completely."
"No, I haven't! I- it's just.. I can't tell you, Dean," unshed tears made his dark eyes shine, "I just can't. Don't make me."
"Forget it. You are gonna talk about it right now. The nightmares, the drinking-"
Dean rolled his eyes at the defiant tone and fold his arms, "I'm giving you one more chance, Sam."
Sam merely shook his head, the characteristic Winchester-stubborness written all over his face.
"As you wish."
Sam could never predict what happened next, not in a million years. He was caught off guard as his big brother launched at him, he stumbled back at the unexpected push. Using Sam's temporary imbalance and gravity to his advantage, Dean swung them around and sat down on the bed, bringing Sam down with him. Sam was too surprised to protest as he got hauled over his brother's lap and Dean moved fast to pin his legs down with one of his own, placing a heavy, strong arm around his waist. He tucked him to his hip, anchoring him safely. All while Sam blinked in confusion at the carpet.
"Dean, what are you-"
"You know," Dean interrupted and, to Sam's sheer terror, reached beneath him and flicked the button of his jeans.
"NO! You can't do this!" Sam began to struggle hysterically, but the older man had him like in a vice, "Dean, stop!"
"False, I can do this," Dean tugged the pants down to Sam's knees, quickly followed by his underwear, "and I will."
Sam blushed furiously as air lingered over his naked behind, trying to get the clothing back up with his right hand, but his brother easily caught his arm and held it down the smaller of his back. Sam bristled over how simple this seemed to be for the other man, but a sharp swat cut him off.
"I'm too old for this! I'm an adult for god's sake, not a child!" he hissed as Dean continued to smack his vulnerable ass, "Dean, I swear I'm gonna kill you! Let me up!"
A particulary harsh slap made Sam wince. His brother was truly serious about this. Sam closed his eyes tightly, trying to remain stoic. He would rather die than giving that sadistic bastard the satisfaction of hearing him cry out. Ouch, that one smarted.
Dean didn't go easy on him as the spanking went on, drawing his arm as far back as his shoulder allowed and then slammed his hand down forcefully on the increasingly heated backside. Sam's body was taut, but admirably still, and every now and then, small gasps left his lips. Dean scowled in annoyance, he wanted more reaction; more talk, apologizing, some pleading - hell, even tears. He put more strength behind his swings, causing Sam to rock forward with each connection.
The new, more intense pain was more than he could endure silently. "Ow! Stop it!"
"I hate you!" Sam roared, wriggling around the knee he was over. Dean didn't respond.
Soon the younger brother realized the stinging blows were systematically shooting down his resistance. It scared him. Knowing he was going to spill his heart out if this didn't cease in the immediate future, defensive fury filled him; explosive, dangerous and unleashed. It made him see red. Dean had to hold on to his angry brother for dear life as the struggling became more vigorious and wild, it was quite a challenge. Sam's restrained legs kicked as much as possible, which made the pair hop around the bed like crazy. He managed to break his arm free after a furious tugging war and tried to push himself up with such power and enthusiasm, it completely godsmacked Dean. Having huge trouble to keep the raging giant down, he needed to find a way for Sam to submit, and fast.
"SAMUEL! Stop fighting already!" Dean mimicked his father's infamous growl, but Sam didn't even seem to register it. "Sammy!"
"LET ME GO!"
"Quit it now."
Normally, the mere tone in his big brother's voice would have been enough to force Sam into obedience, but nothing was normal with today. With his fucking life. He just wanted it to stop, all the weird things involving him - he needed a break from it. Dean didn't understand, he couldn't - his meaning with life was this. It was Sam, Dad and hunting down the evil. He refused to think further about it. But Sam wanted more, he wanted normal, to be normal; he wished to fit in with the crowd. Having visions wasn't a thing people usually busied themselves with, predicting their girlfriend's death even less. He'd ignored it. Why did I ignore it?
Dean, who had been busy with holding him down, raised his eyebrows in surprise when Sam without further ado dropped the fight and fell back down over his lap, obviously giving his brother permission to keep smacking his aching ass. The defiance had disappeared within the blink of an eye. It was quiet for a while, the only sound was the brothers panting of exertion.
"Sammy," Dean said eventually, his voice gentle, "please, tell me what goes on in that huge brain of yours."
Sam didn't answer. He couldn't tell his brother about it, how he'd dreamt about the incident with Jessica days before it actually happened - Dean would be disgusted with him. At least he should be. He'd gotten a fair warning, but Sam had done nothing about it.
Dean sighed deeply and - unsure if it was the right thing to do - raised his hand high and brought it down smartly. Sam flinched.
"Talk to me," the blonde pleaded as he rained down smacks onto the tender flesh.
Tears finally slipped down Sam's face, but he shook his head no, the throbbing ache in his ass nothing compared to the ugly, searing pain he had built up inside.
Dean moved his aim a bit, targeting the sensitive area where thigh meet butt with the harshest slaps he'd delivered so far. He hated himself as he heard Sam whimper, but didn't stop.
"Come on, Sam.."
But his little brother was persistent. Dean cursed whatever made the guy so obstinate, because really, he was going to break before Sam if he couldn't get through to him soon. Sam was jumping with each connection now, squirming helplessly.
"Ow, I'm soo-ooww- I'm sorry!" Finally.
"I'm guessing the reason behind it all is Jessica," feeling his brother cringe, Dean pressed on, "it wasn't your fault, Sam."
"Y-yes, it was!" he gasped, strangling a sob as the burning in his rear became harder and harder to handle. "OW!"
"No, it. was. not," the older Winchester insisted, punctuating each word with a resolute swat. "You didn't knew-"
"BUT I DID!" There. It was out.
Sam was lost after the confession. He dropped his head, his body wracking by hard sobs, and truly cried his heart out. He couldn't even hear Dean anymore, didn't want to - what if he was angry with him?
The familiar guilt twisted his soul, intensified the sobbing, wrecking him completely and he started apologize. Not that Dean could tell; it was all incomprehensible babble.
"Ssssh, it's okay," Dean hushed, stroking the back of his distraught little brother. "I got'cha; calm down, buddy."
"My fault, it's my fault," Sam cried. His lungs ached for air, but he was unable to catch his breath.
"How can it be your fault? If you have to blame anyone, blame me for dragging you out of there to look after Dad."
And Sam told him. He told him about the nightmares about Jessica's death he'd had when she still was alive, he told him about the unsettling feelings he got - everything.
Dean couldn't deny he felt a bit uneasy about it.
"You're a psychic or was it a one time-thing?"
"I- I don't k-know."
Well, that was indeed disturbing. "Oh."
"Don't hate me," Sam whispered.
"What? Why would I hate you?"
"I could've saved her, Dean, I should have done something. And now she's gone because of my stupidity!"
It didn't even occur to his older brother to blame him for Jessica's death, regardless of any foretelling dreams.
"Dude, you didn't even know the nightmares were predicting something," he pointed out, "stop beating yourself up for it."
"But-" he was rudely interrupted by three quick swats and yelped in surprise.
"No, all of this stops right now!" Dean prompted. "You hear me?"
"But, Dean.." Sam felt his face heat up - that definitely sounded more whiny and childish than he intended it to.
"Repeat after me; It wasn't my fault."
"I can't say that!" Sam exclaimed, "It was because of me!"
Dean shook his head at him. This was going to be a long day. For the third time, he resumed lighting the kid's ass on fire. Soon, Sam was mewling and twisting his hips frantically to get away for the punishing hand - how the hell could Dean put such a fierce sting into his skin without using a friggin' belt or something?
Much to his chagrin, he caught himself begging for mercy. "Please, Dean!"
"You just have to say it," Dean said, almost conversationally, "then we can take care of the rest and it will all be over."
"What?!" Sam yelled, high-pitched.
"You put yourself and me in danger on a case," he didn't miss a beat while speaking, "You got into a fight and arrested, and let's not forget your drinking binge - did you really think I didn't have anything to say about that?"
"Wha--ahh, what was th-the first round about?"
"You didn't tell me what was wrong, remember? I even gave you a second chance, but you were too stupid to take it."
Well, Sam hadn't expected his brother to roast his ass for the trouble, not even in his wildest dreams. Some psychic, huh?
Within a few minutes, he was hollering. The thought of getting more after this was kind of terrifying, and he realized he was only making it worse.
"O-okay! Okay!" he wailed, "OW!"
Dean immediately stopped. "Say it."
"It wasn't my fault," it was barely a whisper.
"It.. It wasn't my fault."
Sam inhaled sharply, relaxing slightly when nothing happened. That was it.
"That's my boy," Dean said, pride swelling in his chest, warm and fuzzy. "Now, tell me about the drinking. How come you suddenly felt like getting so goddamn wasted?"
"You made me n-nervous when you said we were gonna talk about the nightmares. I just wanted something to calm myself with."
"Alright, you're an idiot, but I can understand that. Still shouldn't have left. Also, I heard you wanted them to beat you up even harder, what the hell was that about?"
Sam offered a small description of what happened last night. What he could recall of it, mind you.
"Unbelievable. I was in the shower for twenty minutes, Sam. Twenty minutes."
Then he started spanking again.
"No more self-destructive shit," he lectured sternly, "I have my hands full trying to keep you safe from whatever Hell sends our way on a daily basis, I shouldn't have to protect you from yourself!"
"I'm- God! I'm sooorryyy!"
"You gave me a minor heartattack, you know that? I looked all over for you, Sam! I was really worried about you."
It didn't took long for Sam to start sobbing in earnest, Dean's words a big contribution to his tears. Shortly after that, he was outright howling, stuttering promises and excuses to the other man. Dean wondered if the neighbours could hear them. In that case, officer Anderson might come bursting through the door with a gun drawn at any second now, thinking he was catching a murderer in action. Time to wrap this up.
"You know we can't afford the risks of drawing attention to us. Picking a fight, drunk as a sailor and getting your ass arrested is the exact opposite to that! You can obviously not handle alcohol well, so no more reckless drinking for you. And you will call that poor bartender later and apologize for everything. Understood?"
"Yes sir," Sam choked up automatically.
Dean didn't like to be called sir, not by Sam. It creeped him out a bit. But he didn't comment, just laid down a few, final swats to Sam's sit-spots to make his point clear.
"It's all over, Sasquatch. All over."
Sam hissed as his underwear was pulled back into place. His rear hurt so much. It was all he could think about, his mind trying to fully comprehend the throbbing fire back there. Dean had really outshined any punishment their father ever applied to him with this ass-kicking - hands down, no contest.
His dignity, what was left of it anyway, made him scoot further up on the bed, leaving the other man - and his lap - on the edge. Slowly, he got down flat on his stomach and closed his eyes. There was no way he was going to sit comfortably for quite a while.
Dean knitted his eyebrows together in concern, he didn't knew precisely what he had expected to happen, but this wasn't it. Sam always used to crave comfort after situations like this, thirsty for reassurance that everything was forgiven and alright. His brother was still crying, softly and quiet. It was a tragic sight - he looked so young, fragile almost. Pretty impressive when you come in the size of a sky scraper. Dean hesitated only for a moment.
"Move over," he ordered, happy when Sammy did as told, and climbed into the bed to lay down.
Carefully, Dean wrapped his arms around him and to his surprise, Sam instantly curled up into the embrace and buried his head into his chest, just like he had as a child. He could feel his t-shirt got gradually wetter as it soaked tears up, but he couldn't care less.
"Hey, hey, it's okay," he soothed, tugging him in closer, "I'm here, everything's alright; you're okay."
Dean unconsciously began rocking Sam of pure habit, humming softly. Even though he loathed seeing his baby brother like this, Dean felt better than he'd done for a long time. More useful, important.
"Thank you, Dean," Sam mumbled as he slipped into a blissful darkness.
The older brother smiled, momentarily friends with life, and continued his humming until he dozed off too.
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