|Waiting for Sam to come for him again was making Dean stir crazy.|
They’d prepared, as much as they could. Dean now had symbols inked on his wrists that Kyle hoped would do their job and hide him from Sam once it was done. Dean wanted to explore the greatly enhanced power inside him, but Kyle had warned against it.
“If you use it, he might be able to sense it. We can’t take that chance.”
So Dean paced or cleaned guns, or obsessively researched whatever he could find to research. On day two, Bobby knocked on the door.
“There’s a spirit haunting a farm on the edge of the next town. Wanna help me take it out!”
“Sure!” Dean was on his feet in a flash.
“Be careful.” Kyle warned.
Dean ruffled his hair, smirked and left.
An hour later, Kyle grabbed his jacket and a gun and took off for a walk around the wards. Dean wasn’t the only one who was tired of sitting around.
“Where’s Danny?” Ryan trotted up to where his sister was standing, looking out towards the boundary.
“He went to get the ball. He missed an easy save. He’s such a klutz.” Katy shook her head.
Ryan looked through the trees, but Danny was nowhere in sight. Katy began to pick up on her oldest brother’s concern.
“Hey squirt, get back here now!” She yelled.
“Stay here.” Ryan began to run in the direction of the boundary.
“That’s an order, Katy. Do as you’re told, for once!”
Katy stood still, her eyes brimming with tears, not because Ryan had shouted at her, but because she could hear the fear in his voice.
He raced through the trees, screaming his brother’s name, heart pounding in his chest.
“Ryan!” Danny’s frightened shout spurred him on, and he burst from the trees to see the biggest dog he’d ever seen dragging Danny away from the town. His shirt was torn and streaked with blood.
“Fucker!!” Ryan screamed at the animal.
“Never cross the boundary, Ryan, no matter what.”
His mothers words echoed in his head, but he didn’t slow his pace. His brother was in danger, and nothing would stop him from helping him. He swore he felt it as he crossed the wards, leaving behind the safety of layers of protection that surrounded the town, but he didn’t stop. He hit the dog full on, knocking it over and its grip loosened on Danny.
The beast was on its feet in seconds turning towards it’s attacker.
“Run! Raise the alarm!” Ryan yelled at Danny as it leapt towards him. He braced his arms to try and stop the vicious teeth reaching him, but a shot rang out, and the dog yelped and fell heavily on top of him.
“Ryan? You okay?” Kyle raced over, pushed the dog off the boy and helped him to his feet. “Yeah, I’m …”
“No!” Danny screamed as another dog appeared.
It leapt at Kyle, knocking the gun out of his hand and pinning him to the ground, snarling and slobbering. He raised his knees, trying to push it off, and yelled at the kids.
“Get out of here! Now!”
He cried out in pain as the dog snarled and bit deeply into his side, ripping him open.
“Ryan!” Danny yanked on his arm, trying to pull him away, but Ryan was looking round for the gun.
The dog bit down on Kyle’s shoulder as they rolled together on the sparse grass, tearing the skin from his collar bone.
Another shot rang out, hitting the dog and knocking it away from Kyle.
“No, no, no!” Katy was crying.
Ryan looked frantically around for the person who shot the second dog, but all he saw was Katy. The gun hung from her hand, and tears were streaming down her face.
She stared Kyle and at the dead dogs, and screamed.
“Katy?” Ryan approached her warily. “Give me the gun, sweetie.” His hand curled around hers and she surrendered it without objecting. She sobbed, and he gathered her up in his arms, reaching for Danny and pulling him close too.
“Get back inside the boundary, okay?”
The two younger children stumbled towards the boundary, clinging onto each other. They stumbled as they went, but they weren’t letting go, not for anything.
Ryan ran over to Kyle, and pulled off his own jacket, pressing it against the terrible wound in the man’s side.
The sound of voices reached them through the trees, followed by a handful of the men from town, and Carl, one of the hunters who’d arrived with Dean.
“Kyle! Hang in there, okay? You’re gonna be okay, man, just hang in there.”
Hands lifted him, and he was too tired to wince or cry out. Too tired and cold, he thought, as he passed out.
Dean slammed into the clinic a couple of hours later. Carl had made sure Kyle was as comfortable as he could be, and taken off after Dean and Bobby to bring them back.
“How is he?” Dean asked the doc who shook her head and squeezed Dean’s arm.
“He’s been waiting for you.”
Dean took a ragged breath and walked into the room, sitting down on the bed. He looked past the bandages soaked in blood and took Kyle’s hand.
“Hey man, you look like shit.”
Kyle raised a smile, aided by the morphine in his system.
“I wanted to finish this together.”
“We will, right? We will.”
“Kyle shook his head.
“I need to tell you something. Let me say this, okay.” He coughed, blood coloring his lips and Dean moved closer. “I love you, always have. I know you never belonged to me, but it doesn't matter. I needed you to know how I feel.”
“I’ve always known.” Dean brushed a kiss across his forehead.
Kyle was gone before Dean could tell him he loved him too.
Dean didn’t have long to wait until the next time Sam came for him and this time, he welcomed it.
“You don’t get to tell me no, Dean. That’s not how this works, you know that.”
“The rules have changed, Sam.”
Sam snorted with laughter.
“Says who? You, Dean?”
Sam smirked at him.
Dean stared back at him, unwavering, eyes clear.
Sam’s brow creased, and his fist flew out, catching Dean square on the jaw.
Dean raised his hand to the spot and rubbed it.
“That’s the last time you ever hit me, Sammy.”
Dean closed his eyes and took in a deep breath, focusing on the kernel of power Kyle had helped him find. It grew, blossomed in his chest, and he felt warmth spreading down his limbs, electricity crackling between his fingertips. And then he was there, no longer a shade pulled across the miles for Sam to torment, but there in the flesh.
Sam took a step back, trying not to let the confusion that flooded him show on his face and his eyes widened as Dean opened his and looked at his brother through emerald orbs. Dean raised his hand and Sam slammed against the wall behind him.
“You had no fucking idea what you were doing when you pulled me out, did you? For once in your life, you had no research to fall back on. Nothing! You walked into hell to get me out and you accepted your fate without understanding what you were doing. Do you know why you can’t stand to have me around but you can’t bring yourself to kill me either? Because you made me, Sammy!”
Dean pushed with the heel of his hand and Sam gasped as the pressure increased on his chest.
“Flesh of the mother, flesh of the father, blood to blood, life to life, love to love. We shared it all, apart from the blood the demon fed you when you were a child.”
Sam blinked at him, and Dean didn’t see confusion anymore.
“You son of a bitch!! You knew!” Now it was his turn, and his hand flew out, cracking across Sam’s cheek.
“I ... I didn’t know ...” Sam swallowed. “I knew you needed some of my strength to pull you through but I didn’t know ...”
“The demon fed you his purpose when he fed you his blood. The only purpose you gave me was to survive. It’s innate, it becomes part of your genetic make up and no matter how you try, you can’t escape it.”
Dean flicked his wrist and Sam slammed against the opposite wall with a sickening thud.
“Payback’s a bitch, Sammy.”
One more flick, and Sam was laid out on the bed, just as Dean had been so many times over the past two years. Leather snaked around his wrists and ankles and waist, wrapping tighter than required to hold him down, digging into his skin. Sam raged, but Dean was stronger and his struggles only served to tighten his bonds.
Dean picked up the knife that had fallen from Sam’s hand, and grabbed the black fabric of Sam’s pants. He sliced straight up from ankle to crotch, not caring that the tip of the blade scored a line up Sam’s perfect skin. He sliced away Sam’s clothes until his brother was naked in front of him.
“You tasted me so many times, and all I gave you was my pain. I had no idea the opportunities I missed. I could kill you right now. Pull your beating heart from your chest.”
“Then do it!!” Sam screamed at him. “Just fucking do it!”
Dean climbed on the bed and straddled Sam’s chest.
“It’s not that simple, Sammy. You die now, and we're back to a war in Hell. The world can't go through that again.”
He took the knife and cut his arm, holding Sam’s mouth forcibly open while he held the wound over his face, making sure several drops of blood slipped down Sam’s throat. He waited until his brother swallowed convulsively. Dean swiped his fingers over the cut and pushed them roughly into Sam’s mouth.
“See, Kyle figured out that it’s like programming a computer. We couldn’t erase the original purpose the demon gave you. Only way to do that would have been to kill you, and that’s not part of the plan. But we could give you a new purpose, an upgrade. It’ll over-ride the original, and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it. Unless you want to kill yourself which we know isn’t gonna happen. Still like the taste?” Dean moved his fingers around to coat every part of Sam’s mouth with his blood. It wasn’t necessary for the ritual, but it felt damned good having the upper hand for once.
Dean climbed off and wiped his hands, picking up the knife again before turning back to his restrained brother.
“Dean!!!” Sam roared, wrenching an arm free as Dean ran towards the door.
“See you around, Sammy.” He pulled up the hood of Sam’s old hoodie, and found the stairs, taking them two at a time until he emerged through a fire door into fresh air.
He’d seen how Sam could appear and disappear and wondered if tapping into his enhanced power would help him do the same. He closed his eyes, took a breath and thought of Nowhere.
Back in the penthouse suite, Sam wrenched himself free of his bonds and raged. Doors slammed open, and demons ran in, falling to their knees in the face of Sam’s terrible anger.
“Wipe that fucking town off the map!” He roared.
The second he was alone, he staggered back to the bed and sat down on it heavily, his head in his hands. His skin crawled and vision swam.
“What did you do to me, Dean?”
The attack came without warning. Strong as they were, the town's defenses began to crumble under the strain despite the efforts of Bobby and the local pastor.
Dean didn’t have time to celebrate his new found abilities, as he picked up the demon killing knife and out into the street, hunters running to join him.
"Get the kids to safety and lock down the wards!"
Lucy was already herding a group of a dozen children towards the local tavern and the cellar that had been purposefully prepared for just such an event.
Ryan peeled away from them, running towards Dean.
"I can fight!"
"Go with your mother." Dean dismissed him and turned away, but Ryan grabbed his arm.
"Let me fight." His face was earnest, but Dean blanched.
He took his spare gun out from his waistband and handed it to the boy.
"I know you can fight, but I need you to protect the little kids, okay?"
"Keep them in the cellar in the back, and hold the line until I come for you. Now go."
He'd been younger than Ryan when John had put a gun into his hand and taught him how to kill, how to protect Sam. The boy had already seen too much, suffered too much and he wasn't going to use him as cannon fodder.
Dawn was close to breaking but the sun wouldn't stop the force that was determined to slaughter the town.
The battle raged, and Dean's forces slowly fell back, tightening around the town centre. Blood ran down his face from a gash in his forehead, and his hand flashed out, Ruby's knife lashing across the throat of a demon and then plunging into its heart. Dean had long gotten over the innocent body dying. There were plenty who'd gone over to the demon's side willingly, and he didn't have time to interview each attacker before deciding whether to kill them or not.
"We're losing." Bobby was suddenly at his side, growling in his ear.
"Get out who you can. The kids are in the tavern."
"What about you?"
"I'll cover your back."
Bobby stared at him, and Dean smiled and squeezed his shoulder.
"See you on the flip side."
Bobby put his hand on Dean's and nodded, eyes bright.
"Damn straight you will."
Then he was gone, and Dean strode towards the mass of writhing demons that were closing on the town. He had nothing left to lose now. Sam was gone, lost to him in every way possible and his attempt to save him, and save the world had failed. He missed Kyle's support, missed having him by his side, but even as he thought that, he could have sworn a hand clasped his shoulder.
"Fall back!" The order was expected. What was not expected was their commander staying to face the enemy alone.
Dean had nothing left to lose. It didn't matter anymore if anyone knew about the power inside him. All this time, he'd kept it hidden, using it only when he was alone or with those he could trust implicitly. He'd gotten to know how Sam had felt, having something inside him that he had to keep hidden. Now, Dean's power was enhanced but it wasn't anger and hate that fueled it. His need to save the people he'd grown to love, swelled inside him, and he raised his hand and unleashed it. Emerald fire sliced through the billowing smoke of the massed demons and they howled in rage. He tried to target each one, but his grasp on the energy that he controlled wasn't yet precise enough and they slipped from his grasp.
He could wound them, though, and did so over and over, lashing out and cutting through the swirling mass that pressed around him. At least they were distracted now. The longer he could keep them away, the more chance the others had to escape.
A demon got through his defenses, swirling around his legs and bringing him to his knees. He yelped, but struggled to his feet, power whipping out and holding the offending demon in his grasp as it squirmed and tried to escape. He concentrated, not knowing what he was doing, letting instinct guide him. In his mind, he set fire to the thing, and in the grip of his power, it burst into flames, burning up and disappearing with an agonized wail.
Dean didn't have time to rejoice in his new found ability, didn't have time to think as the others had surrounded him while he was distracted and he sank to his knees, wrapped in a blanket of power that was getting harder to keep intact. He had to fight, had to make sure that Ryan and Katy and Danny were safe, that Bobby and Lucy got to have a life together, that Kyle hadn't died in vain.
He felt one of them peel off and streak in the direction of the town, and hoped that the fleeing hunters could deal with it before it did too much damage. He unfurled the energy around him, stopping the others from following, standing tall against the onslaught as they tried to wear him down. He could feel himself fading. Perhaps there was one last weapon he had to use against them that would kill them all, annihilate them so they could never hurt anyone again. Keeping his shield intact, he gathered what strength he could inside himself, forming it into a tightly wound ball. If he was going to die, he was going to take as many of the black hearted sons of bitches with him. He hunkered down and closed his eyes, the heat inside almost too much to bear, but he pulled it in even tighter, until it was almost ready to blow.
He bowed his head and when he spoke, he didn't know who it was he was talking to anymore. "This is for you, man."
As he breathed out, fire sizzled down his arms and he let it all go …
White light surrounded Dean, burning the demons in the air until there was nothing left but silence and a soft breeze ruffling his hair. He blinked, and looked up from where he lay on the ground, looked up at Sam. Silhouetted against the sunrise, his brother would have struck terror into the most hardened of hunters. His eyes flashed gold and he strode forward, looking down at Dean.
Sam's outstretched arm lowered and the implication hit Dean like a freight train. Sam had saved him, saved them. As Dean watched, Sam's gaze snapped away from him towards the town, and he raised his hand again. His eyes narrowed as he concentrated, and the air lit up again briefly.
"Why?" Dean asked.
Sam glared at him and without a word, turned and strode away, disappearing into the distant heat haze.
Once the dust settled, and the dead had been buried, Dean and Bobby headed back to the salvage yard for a few days, with Lucy and the kids in tow.
Ryan was helping Dean check the spark plugs on the Impala when Dean saw a familiar figure standing in the field beyond the salvage yard. He took the wrench from the boy’s hand and spoke quietly.
“Ryan, go the back way into the house, through the cars. Tell Bobby he’s here, and that I said to stay put. That goes for all of you.” He put his hand on Ryan shoulder.
Ryan nodded at him, swallowing nervously.
“Yeah, that’s Sam.” Dean replied and gave Ryan’ shoulder a gentle push to get him moving.
He waited until he heard the screen door bang before he moved towards the figure standing in the knee deep grass. He climbed over the fence and walked closer, stopping just inside the warding barrier.
Emotions warred in him. The Sam that stood in front of him in an oversized jacket, his hands thrust deep in his pockets bore little resemblance to the Samael who’d tortured him, but Dean knew that his brother, his Sammy, was long gone. He’d said goodbye to his brother the day he’d burned Kyle, let go of the memories of Sammy that had bound him to Samael, discovering that he’d already mourned the loss, and now all that was left was to mourn the man who had ultimately saved him.
He steeled himself and stared at Sam.
“What do you want?”
Sam hunched his shoulders forward a little and he looked at Dean.
“I want to know ... I want to know what my purpose is.”
Dean snorted. In the weeks that had followed their last confrontation, all demonic activity had ceased. The hunters still waited, ready to move into action if they needed to, but there had been an eerie lull, and it was almost as if the world was holding its breath.
“You keep doing what you’re doing, and someday you’ll work it out.”
Please. Dean stared back stonily. Samael ripped that word from him so many times it felt like razor blades in his mouth to say it yet it came so easily to Sam. So Dean said another word that meant death to his friends and allies in the past. It felt so damn good to say it and know that he was free.
“No. The day you work it out, come back and find me.”
Sam nodded unhappily and Dean tried not to smirk at the great threat to mankind, the long awaited anti-Christ standing in a cornfield looking lost and unsure of himself.
“I don’t want to do this alone.”
“We can’t always have what we want.”
Dean steeled himself and turned, walking back towards the salvage yard. No, not always, but for the first time since Kyle died, Dean’s heart was filled with hope. He almost stopped when he heard Sam’s quiet sad goodbye.
“Miss you, Dean.”
It wasn’t until he was well out of Sam’s hearing that he murmured to himself under his breath.
“Miss you too, Sammy.”
Thank you so much to all three wonderful artists for the amazing work they did for this fic. apieceofcake, ysbail and ladyamarra all had unique ideas for the art work, and with their different styles and incredible talents, made more art than I ever imagined for my story. I get a real thrill every time I look through it!
So many thanks go to my long suffering beta, seleneheart. I’m amazed that she doesn’t run away screaming every time I say “I’ve signed up for another Big Bang challenge …”.
Thanks to the mods of the apocabigbang for running the challenge. It gave me the chance to run with a dark, angsty WIP that had been hanging around my hard drive and my head for a long time.
As for the story …
Why Kyle instead of Castiel? This fic was conceived right after the end of season three, long before I knew angels were going to become part of the story on the show. I briefly considered making him Castiel instead, but the character of Kyle was already too strong in my mind, a broken, fallen angel who does what he can to help Dean, and it wouldn’t have worked. Kyle’s named after one of my all time favourite movie heroes, Kyle Reese, from The Terminator. In the movie, Kyle crosses time for Sarah Connor, in the fic, Kyle falls from heaven for Dean.
I think this is a story I’ll come back to at some point, even if it’s just for my own entertainment. I’d like to explore what’s going on in Sam’s mind more, and I enjoyed writing Hendriksen which I haven’t done before.
If you got this far, thanks for reading!