Nicole (novembersguest) wrote,
Nicole
novembersguest

  • Location:
  • Mood:
  • Music:

An Act of Deliberation, Chapter 10


Title: An Act of Deliberation
Author: November’sGuest
Characters: Sam Winchester, Dean Winchester
Category: AU/Angst/hurt!Dean
Rating: T (PG-13)
Spoilers: Possible spoilers for any of Season 1-2.
Disclaimer: Supernatural and its characters belong to Eric Kripke. No infringement intended – just dabbling in your sandbox, Mr. Kripke, sir.
Summary: Sam works to stop a deadly vision of his brother.

Read Chapter 1/Chapter 2
/Chapter 3/Chapter 4/Chapter 5/Chapter 6/Chapter 7/Chapter 8/Chapter 9

Chapter 10: It’s Easier to Run

"Easier To Run"
by Linkin Park

It's easier to run
Replacing this pain with something numb
It's so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone

Something has been taken from deep inside of me
The secret I've kept locked away no one can ever see
Wounds so deep they never show they never go away
Like moving pictures in my head for years and years they've played

If I could change I would, take back the pain I would
Retrace every wrong move that I made I would
If I could stand up and take the blame I would
If I could take all the shame to the grave I would
If I could change I would, take back the pain I would
Retrace every wrong move that I made I would
If I could stand up and take the blame I would
I would take all my shame to the grave

Chorus:
It's easier to run
Replacing this pain with something numb
It's so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone

Sometimes I remember the darkness of my past
Bringing back these memories I wish I didn't have
Sometimes I think of letting go and never looking back
And never moving forward so there'd never be a past

If I could change I would, take back the pain I would
Retrace every wrong move that I made I would
If I could stand up and take the blame I would
If I could take all the shame to the grave I would
If I could change I would, take back the pain I would
Retrace every wrong move that I made I would
If I could stand up and take the blame I would
I would take all my shame to the grave

Just washing it aside
All of the helplessness inside
Pretending I don't feel misplaced
It's so much simpler than change

Repeat chorus

Fifteen minutes into his drive, Sam found himself pulling over to the side of the road. He was just outside the next town, the soft glow of lights already visible. His hands shook and a vein running along his temple throbbed thickly with each heartbeat. The brunt of his anger had worn off and he was just now questioning the wisdom of his flight. Dragging a hand through his hair, he blew out a long, forceful sigh. What was he doing? Where did he think he was going? The only home he had ever known was waiting behind him in a crappy motel. Dean. His brother. The man who would sacrifice anything for him – had already sacrificed so much for him. Images of his brother’s stricken face battered his pride and drained his will to stay angry.

Sam, wait. Please, man, don’t do this. Take a swing at me if it’ll make you feel better.”

Recalling the desolation reflected in Dean’s eyes, Sam winced inwardly. He’d looked so vulnerable and beaten. He had done that to Dean. Guilt had barely taken hold when anger bloomed once again. Anger and shock. Shock that Dean had been involved in his friend’s death and anger at the long kept secret. Dean had no right to keep this from him. All this time together, all the things they had shared with each other and still his brother was keeping important secrets. Why? Why would he do that?

And what if I tell you and…you leave?”

With a groan, Sam buried his face in his hands. Anger dissolved into full-fledged guilt. That’s exactly why Dean had done it.

“I’m such an asshole,” he muttered aloud.

Pulling a U-turn on the barren highway, Sam hit the accelerator and headed back the way he’d come. Back to Dean. Back home. As the Impala cruised smoothly down the darkened road, he began to worry. When he’d left, Dean’s pallor had rivaled top-quality copy paper and he’d looked ready to topple over at the slightest misstep. What would Sam find when he got back? Visions of Dean passed out on the floor with more damage done to his brother’s already battered body tormented him. He pressed harder on the pedal and didn’t dare glance at the speedometer.

“Damn it, Sam,” he railed, slamming a palm against the steering wheel. “What were you thinking? Good job, by the way. He finally lays himself bare and you go off and do exactly what he was most afraid of. He’ll never trust you again. You blew that to hell and back.”

Seeing the motel up ahead, Sam’s heart lurched painfully. His throat tightened against the knot lodged there and sweat broke out along his upper lip. What would he say to Dean? What could he say that would erase the heated, careless words?

What was it, man? You think she’d make a good lay…is that it? You took one look at her and decided to play hero so she’d sleep with you? Or were you punishing me for not being there, huh? Which is it?”

Sam, it wasn’t like that. Yes, we went out a few times, but it was never like that. I swear. And I would never do that to you.”

His and Dean’s words echoed to him. Something about the way his brother had looked – had sounded – niggled at Sam. Had his brother actually cared about Hannah? He put the car in park and cut the engine, eyes glued to the darkened window.

“Huh.”

Dean surely hadn’t gone to bed…not after all that. Why are the lights off? What other reason…Sam’s stomach dropped. Fumbling to pocket the keys, he hastily exited the car and half-jogged to the motel door.

“Dean?” he called, still digging in his pant’s pocket for the room key.

Using a fist, he banged loudly on the door.

“Open up, man!”

He jammed the key into the lock and pushed the door in.

“Dean?” he called, as he flicked on the light.

His heart failed for a second. The room was empty. Running to check both sides of the beds and the bathroom, Sam found no sign of his brother. His breathing picked up as he scanned the room and noted Dean’s duffle, meds and other formerly strewn-about things were missing. Both hands fisted in his hair and he circled around hoping a second look would tell him something new. Panic didn’t even begin to describe the freak out Sam was approaching.

“Oh, n-n-n-no, this isn’t happening. What do I do, what do I do?” he whispered, his brain scrambling for a plan.

He’d only been gone a half hour. How far could Dean have gotten? Maybe he could still catch up to him? His phone. He’d call him. Sam gnawed his thumbnail as he listened to the ringing filling his ear.

“Come on, man. Pick up. Please, Dean, pick up, pick up, pick up.”

He froze in place when he heard, “Hey, this is Dean. You know what to do.” Beep.

“Damn it, Dean!” he yelled.

Throwing his own stuff together, Sam fought the tears threatening to break loose.

“You’d better be okay when I find you, jerk, or I’m gonna kill you myself.”

For the second time that evening, Sam slammed out the door, jumped into the Impala and slung gravel every which way as he sped after his wayward brother.

Hours later found the sun peeking over the horizon, spilling its warmth across the landscape, but no Dean. Sam didn’t know what else to do. He didn’t know which way his brother had gone or in what car. Finally, he’d been forced to pull into a service station for gas. Out of ideas, he pulled his phone out again and punched Bobby’s number with unsteady fingers.

“This is Bobby, what can I do for ya?” came the tinny voice.

“Hey, Bobby, it’s Sam – have you heard from Dean?”

“No. What’s going on, Sam? I thought Dean was with you?”

Sam gripped the phone tighter and blurt, “Bobby, something’s happened and I need your help. Dean’s gone and I don’t know how to find him.”

“Gone!? Why would Dean-”

“Look…I really don’t want to get into it on the phone.” Desperation filled his voice as he pleaded, “Can…can you just please help me find him?”

“Okay. All right, Sam. It’s gonna be okay. We’ll find your brother. Give me your locale and I’ll meet you there.”

Relieved, Sam gave Bobby what he needed and hoped to God Dean was sleeping it off somewhere safe and would call soon.

oooOOOooo

Lying curled on his side in a motel just over the California border, Dean stared at his phone laying silent in its place on the tiny table next to him. He hadn’t turned it on since he’d left the motel he’d shared with Sam and now he was afraid of what he’d find if he did. A message from Sam would mean his brother had gone back to the motel and found him missing and would be worried. No messages would mean he’d kept on driving.

Sooner or later he was going to have to turn it on. He needed to make some calls, see if anyone knew how to help him. Maybe give Bobby another try. But to make a call would mean facing his fear of what would be on the phone or not, as the case might be. And, he would have to uncover his ears, let the chiding voice of her fill his head.

He couldn’t get rid of her and couldn’t shut out her voice. He was in agony and slowly going insane. Sometimes she was content to taunt him with whatever weakness she somehow knew he possessed. Other times, she’d put her hands on him, burning his skin raw where ever her touch lingered. She was no longer deterred by salt or any protective trick he tried. Eventually, he’d given up and just accepted that she wasn’t going anywhere.

Dean didn’t know how much more of this he could take. Images of Sam’s outraged face lingered before his eyes. The betrayal his brother felt had been written on his features plain as day. It cut Dean to the core. The anger and accusation in his brother’s voice had dug deep beneath his layers of protection. He’d failed Sam. He’d failed Daniel and Hannah. He seemed to have a talent for it and he could easily see why he always ended up alone. The only thing he could do for Sam now was stay away until this was over.

God. He was tired. So tired of carrying this burden, so tired of paying for his mistakes, so tired of hurting. He wished he could sleep if only for a little while, escape the helplessness inside…just be numb for a while. But, every time he slept, he’d dream of Hannah. Dean would see her trusting eyes; feel her warm hand slipping away. Sometimes she’d morph into Daniel, sometimes Sam. He’d be forced to remember all the dark places in his past. Sometimes the dreams wouldn’t stop when he awoke, but play on in the light of day. Though he knew Sam was better off without him – safer – he couldn’t help but wish for his presence.

Squeezing his eyes shut, he whispered, “Sam, help me.”

oooOOOooo

Before Bobby reached the motel door, Sam had appeared from behind it, looking frantic and worn in the bright morning sun.

“Man, I’m so glad to see you. Thanks for coming down, Bobby.”

Clapping the young man on the back, Bobby said, “No problem, Sam. You mind if we go grab a cup of coffee while you fill me in. You look like you could use it and I know I could.”

Fifteen minutes later, Bobby was wrapping his fingers around the hot cup of fresh brew and peering at Sam from under his ratty ball cap.

“Listen, uh, Sam – Dean called me just a few minutes before I got here.”

“What?! Dean called you? Bobby, what did he say?”

Sam’s eyes were wide and worried. It tore at Bobby’s heart in a way that didn’t happen very often to the old hunter. The incredible bond between the brothers was something rare and precious. John’s boys had earned a permanent place in his heart and he hated seeing them go through this.

Taking a sip of the hot coffee and setting it aside, he met Sam’s eyes and said, “He wanted to know if I’d found another way to kill the Culpa Moh – asked some questions about the black magic ritual I told you about…and then told me to tell you not to look for him.”

Grimacing, Sam’s hands fisted and he bowed his head for a few minutes.

“He didn’t sound good, Sam. He kept shouting at someone in the room with him, but I couldn’t hear anyone else but him. Then he told me to tell you he was sorry and he doesn’t expect you to forgive him. Said for you to not look for him because he was a danger to you, that he couldn’t control it.”

Sam rubbed his tired eyes and said, “God, Bobby. I really screwed up. This is my fault…”

The look on Sam’s face tugged at his heart. It was almost as desolate as Dean’s voice on the other end of the phone. Whatever had happened between the two must’ve been pretty ugly. Sighing, Bobby took off his cap, smoothed his hair and settled back, ready to get down to business.

“All right, Sam. Tell me what happened.”

Sam spilled it all, left nothing out. He told Bobby about the Culpa Moh taking Dean over and choking him, about the creature tipping him off to his brother’s guilty secret and then his brilliant plan for getting Dean drunk enough to make a slip about the secret. How he had goaded his brother into talking about Hannah and everything that had happened. When he got to the part where he’d shouted at Dean and then walked out, he couldn’t look the other man in the eyes anymore. His guilt was too strong and new. Once he’d finished, he finally forced himself to meet Bobby’s patient gaze. Instead of condemnation, he found understanding.

“Sam, you couldn’t have known what Dean would do. Your brother has never been one to run away from a problem in his life. It’s just this damn demon screwing with his head. It’s got him running scared – he’s convinced that it’ll use you to get what it wants.”

Thunder clouds in his eyes, Sam said, “It’s using me to get him alone, to poison his mind into doing what it wants.” Looking out the window, he whispered, “We’ve gotta find him, Bobby. We’ve gotta find him before it’s too late.”

oooOOOooo

Clicking the phone off, Dean tossed it onto the other bed. He couldn’t help getting a room with two twins. It was calming even if Sam wasn’t there…this way he could pretend. Rubbing his hands across his face and over his head, he slumped forward in defeat. That was it. The last contact he had to call. No one knew of anyway to help him. Most had never even heard of the creature. Apparently, Bobby’s ritual was the only way to end this nightmare and that was just too much of a risk for Sam. One mistake, one wrong move, and his brother could end up dead. Their dad had taught them to be very careful to avoid black magic, said it was an unpredictable danger that rarely worked out the way it should or without consequences.

It had been four days since he’d left and he was no closer to having the answers he needed. Four days of listening to a mangled, dead chick tempting him with a more final and permanent solution. Four long days of sleepless nights and a steady diet of liquor. He tried to eat, but he couldn’t keep much down and really had no interest in food anyway. His body was growing weaker along with his mind and his will.

Hallucinations had kept him company these last two days. It was confusing and he couldn’t keep track of what was real and what wasn’t anymore. And, the longer he listened to Hannah, the more sense she made. Dean was no longer upset by her constant companionship, but almost comforted by it. It was better than listening to her screams in his nightmares. Better than being alone.

Hannah leaned against him and purred, “How much longer is this gonna go on, Dean?”

Glancing at her from the corner of his eye, he didn’t bother to answer. He took another swallow of whiskey and resumed staring at the phone. Disgusted, she slid off the bed and stretched out across the other twin, the phone just inches from her stomach.

Pouting, she said, “Boy, you’re just no fun anymore. Still thinking ‘bout calling Sammy? Well, go ahead, do it. Call him, bring him here. I won’t even say I told you so when you wrap your fingers around his throat and choke the life out of him.”

Voice rough, he clipped, “Sam’s smarter than that. He’ll be ready this time.”

“Yeah? You sure about that, Dean? Willing to bet Sam’s life on it?” she asked, all smug confidence. “Suppose you’re right and Sam can protect himself from you, what then, huh? The only way to make this end is for you to die or to do the ritual. How stupid do you think that creature is? You think it’s just gonna walk right into such an obvious trap? And suppose the magic works, you think taking it down won’t result in someone’s death?”

Dean pushed himself off the bed, but it was too fast and his hand flew out to catch himself on the table as his head spun in circles.

“Look at you, man. You can’t even take care of yourself, much less your brother. Come on, Dean. Don’t let Sam down. You know what you have to do.”

When he didn’t answer, she called out, “Hey, where you going?”

“Out.”

Walking across the room, Dean stumbled out of the room into the crisp night air. Funny how such scorching hot days could give way to chilly evenings in this part of the country. He shivered against it and started walking. He’d ditched the car he’d taken as a precaution and now it was time to find a new one.

oooOOOooo

Six days. It had been six days Dean had been missing. With each passing hour, Sam’s stomach knotted a little tighter, his nerves stretched a little farther. He didn’t know how much more of this he could take without exploding on someone. He had an awful urge to beat something. Really hard. Earlier that morning, he’d had to apologize to Bobby for snapping at him. But Bobby seemed to take all in stride. Sam didn’t know what he’d have done without him there to help follow leads and provide a steady diet of support. They took turns canvassing the area, Sam in the Impala and Bobby in his truck but there was just so much land to cover. On the fourth day, a motel manager along Route 10 had recognized Dean’s picture, but that was it, their only lead. Sam was getting desperate. Most of the other victims didn’t last past a week’s time and his brother had been fighting against it for almost two now.

Jumping when someone pounded – or, rather, kicked the door – Sam was up and opening it in two strides. Bobby, both hands occupied with food and drinks, tried to shuffle past him.

“Here, let me get that,” he offered, taking the tray of drinks. “Ellen called while you were gone. She’s says she heard from Dean a couple of days ago – asking the same questions he asked you, but that’s it. That and he sounded pretty shaken up.”

Setting the food on the table, Bobby turned, saying, “Almost a full week of nothing but that damn demon whispering in his ear is enough to rattle any man’s cage.”

Nodding his head, Sam clenched his teeth against the pain the realty of the situation brought. As his frustration mounted, so did his desire to tear this creature apart.

“I’ve been thinking. Dean’s been heading west, toward California, you don’t think he-” Sam paused, licked his lips and continued, “you don’t think he’s headed for San Jose, do you?”

“Well, I guess anything’s possible, Sam.” Then, catching a look at his young friend, asked, “Hey, you all right? You look a little pale.” Bobby’s concerned eyes locked on Sam’s face.

“Uh, yeah. Yeah, I think so. Head’s just been pounding since you left.”

Eyebrows rising, Bobby asked, “Didn’t you say you get headaches before your visions?”

“Not usually prolonged like this. Normally they hit pretty fast. Ahh!”

Sam pinched his forehead and bent forward.

“Sam?”

“Bobby, I-”

Sam gasped again as he lost his normal eyesight to the blinding light washing over and through him. He felt strong arms supporting him to the floor as the first images came.

A quick flash of a motel sign, then Dean entering a door with the number five. Fast forward, Dean’s flipping his phone shut and, in a moment of rage, smashes it against the far wall. Flash to Dean hunkered in the corner of a run-down room, leaning against the wall – his arms wrapped tightly around himself, knees to chest. He’s shivering.

Sam,” he whispers brokenly. A close flash of his haggard face betrays the anguish and hopelessness taking over.

Now he’s sitting on the edge of a bed, a bottle of Jack Daniels sitting loosely in his hand and his Desert Eagle lying beside his hip. Behind him, cooing soft words in his ear is a grotesque, twisted version of Hannah. Dean’s shoulders are slumped and his head hung low. A week’s beard growth covers his face and he looks gaunter than before. Blood-shot, red-rimmed eyes leak slow, fat tears that trail idly down both cheeks and get lost in the brown-blonde stubble. Picking up the gun, he pulls back the hammer and rests it on his thigh. Taking a long pull from the whiskey, he swallows and swipes at his wet cheeks with the back of his hand.

I’m sorry, Sam,” he croaks. “Forgive me.”

Swiftly pulling the gun up to his head, Dean squeezes the trigger – sending bits of brain, blood and hair flying out the other side of his head and all over the wall. Falling back, his green eyes flash and then dull. As the last tear slides carelessly into his bloody hair line, Hannah sits back laughing.

But, not Hannah. Her features morph and change until suddenly a great black beast replaces her, emerald eyes glowing and cat-like. Its head flies back and it catches Dean’s soul as it flees his body, sucking it down with greedy pleasure. Then the creature twitches and flexes, growing larger and larger until it’s twice its original size. Splitting straight down the middle, it leaves behind two smaller sized creatures instead of one.

Jerked back to reality, Sam is met with Bobby’s worried face peering down into his. His chest heaves with pants and he pushes past Bobby to the bathroom. Falling to his knees in an exact imitation of Dean nearly a week ago, his body retches repeatedly until his stomach is empty. Still shaking from the memories, Sam makes his way back to his bed and sinks down on it. It’s all he can do to keep from breaking down in front of his friend.

“Sam, you okay?”

He can only shake his head weakly and swallow.

“What did you see? Was it Dean?” Bobby hates to press, but they’re losing time.

Somehow, Sam manages to say, “Yeah.” Then, he turns watery eyes up to the other man and continues, “He’s gonna kill himself, Bobby. I saw Dean kill himself.”

He pauses as the emotions well and get stuck in his throat. Taking a place beside him, Bobby rests a hand on his shoulder.

“We’ll find him, Sam. Did you see anything that could help us?”

Sniffing loudly, he remembers the hotel sign and the room number. “Uh, yeah.” Shooting to his feet, he grabs his laptop and pecks at the keys as he continues, “Yeah. He’s at the Night Owl, room number five.” It takes only a minute or so before the needed information appears on the screen.

Bobby’s leaning over his shoulder, saying, “That’s quite a drive.”

Sam couldn’t help smirk a little. “Yeah, but if we start now, we can be there late tonight.”

The other man doesn’t bother to ask if Sam’s up to driving, only nods and helps gather what they might need to take along.

Hours later, Bobby snores softly beside Sam while the Impala eats up the miles separating them from Dean. His vision replays in his head in a loop. Each frame moving through his mind torments him relentlessly. He can’t get the image of his brother paralyzed with hopelessness in the corner of that room out of his head. Dean’s eyes had been empty and lost. All the usual Dean-like fire gone, smothered by guilt. Sam will never forgive himself if they don’t get there in time to stop it all from happening. There are too many things left unsaid between them.

Shaking his head clear, he rolls down the window and lets the cool night air spill into the car. Breathing it in, he sighs and chases the thoughts away. His time is better spent thinking ahead. Even if they make it to the motel in time, how will he convince Dean to let them do the ritual? How can he help his brother forgive himself? Sam wishes he could take his words to Dean back. Wishes he could make it all right for him. He doesn’t want to see his brother suffer anymore.

“What’s on your mind, Sam?”

Bobby’s voice startles him and he jumps.

“I though you were asleep,” he smiles.

“I was. Now I’m not. What’s on your mind?”

“I was just thinking about Dean. About what he’s going through right now…the things I said to him. Bobby, if he dies, those will be the last words between us. Man, he deserves better than that.”

“Did you mean it?” Bobby asks.

“Of course not. I was just angry, surprised…confused. But Dean doesn’t know that.”

“C’mon, Sam. Who’s taken care of you your whole life? Is this the first time you’ve said things – hurtful things – to your brother?”

He thinks about that for a minute.

“Well, of course not, but-”

“But nothing. Once we kill that thing and your brother gets back to himself, he’ll realize you didn’t mean any of it. Dean never could stay mad at you anyway.”

Nodding, Sam concedes the point.

“So…you think he’s mad at me.”

Scoffing, Bobby says, “No. He’s probably hurt, probably blaming himself more than he should – but I doubt he’s angry with you.”

“He should be. I pushed him into telling me. Told him nothing could make me leave and then when he does confide in me, I do the one thing I promised I wouldn’t. How do I make up for that?”

“But you didn’t leave him, Sam. You came right back.”

“Yeah, well, Dean doesn’t know that,” Sam says on a sigh. “That’s why we gotta find him, Bobby. He has to know…”

The sentence hangs unfinished, but Bobby nods, knowing what Sam is trying to say. Both men fall silent, lost in their own private thoughts. The miles bleed together as does the landscape and finally Sam allows the other man to take over.

He didn’t think he could sleep, but is surprised when Bobby reaches over to shake him awake.

“Sam, we’re here. Motel should be a mile or two up ahead.”

His stomach flip-flops as he pushes himself up in the seat. His heart feels like it might burst right out of his chest. Anxiety triggers a flood of endorphins and he has to wipe sweaty palms on his jean-clad thighs. Unbidden, the picture of Dean lying in a circle of blood springs to mind. Oh God, he’s thinking, please, please let us be in time.

Spotting the motel, Bobby pulls in and barely gets stopped before Sam is springing from the car. Running like his own life depends on it, Sam quickly finds room five and doesn’t bother to see if it’s locked. Kicking it in effortlessly, he screams just as Dean is bringing the gun to his temple.

“NOOO!”

The boom from the powerful revolver shatters the night air along with Sam’s cry.

TBC
AN: Yes, another evil cliffie...forgive me? Well, you had to know it was gonna end there, right? Such a perfect spot. Anyhoo, I hope you've all made up with Sam and wanted to snuggle him just a little in this chapter. He probably needs it about right now. Don't worry about Dean, I'm taking personal care of him myself :).

To every single person who read and reviewed, my most heartfelt thanks. I sit and clap happily when I see those reviews coming, so never think I don't look forward to them.

Mady and Tidia, you gorgeous ladies, thanks a million. You're both AWESOME.

Special thanks to Sweetie0704 for the banner :).


Next.....

Tags: an act of deliberation
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 25 comments