Banner by: Sani
Once Jo got home Dean told her he had to run out and take care of something, that he’d be back soon even though he knew if things worked out the way he’d planned he wouldn’t be coming back at all. He rummaged through his mother’s cabinet looking for silver.
If he was going up against the Djinn he needed a weapon and since he was currently a civilian, his mother’s silver would have to do. He heard a noise on the steps and moved away from the drawer and against the wall.
He watched as a shadow with a baseball bat turned the corner and he grinned. Sam always with his baseball bats. He was about to swing when Dean grabbed him and pinned him to the ground without any fight at all. Sam grunted and Dean spoke as he shook his head.
“That was so easy, I’m embarrassed for you.”
“Dean? What the hell are you doing here?”
He stood and held out a hand which Sam ignored as he pulled himself to his feet.
“I was looking for a beer.”
“In the china cabinet?”
He flicked on the lights and glanced at the table littered with silver utensils and such.
“That’s Mom’s silver.”
“Wait, you broke into the house to steal Mom’s silver?”
This really hadn’t been what he had in mind. Now his brother thought he was an even bigger douche then before. Great.
“It’s not what it looks like, okay? I didn’t have a choice.”
“Oh, really? Why? What’s so damn important that you’ve gotta steal from your own mother?”
Dean could see the anger rolling off his brother in waves.
“You want the truth?”
“Yeah. Yeah, I do.”
He wanted to tell him the truth, but he knew this Sam wouldn’t believe him. He sighed and met his brother’s eyes as he spoke.
“I owe somebody money.”
“A bookie. I lost big on a game. I’ve gotta bring him the cash tonight.”
“I can’t believe we’re even related.”
Dean didn’t have time to argue this out with the pod Sam. He needed to find the Djinn and fix things before it was too late.
“Sam, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that we don’t get along. And I wish to hell that I could stay and fix it. But I’ve gotta do this. People’s lives depend on it.”
He looked over at the chine and grabbed a large knife, fingering the edge to test the sharpness. Sam’s eyes widened slightly.
“What are you talking about, Dean?”
He waved Sam off as he headed toward the door.
“Nothing. Forget it. Just, uh…hey, tell Mom I love her.”
Worry etched into Sam’s voice as Dean opened the door.
He paused for a second and spoke before walking out of the door.
“I’ll see you, Sammy.”
He got in the impala a sat there for a second before starting her up. Before he could shift the gear into drive the passenger door opened and Sam plopped into the seat next to him. He glared at his younger brother.
“Get out of the car.”
“I’m going with you.”
“You’re just gonna slow me down.”
Sam crossed his arms over his chest.
Apparently his stupid brother was stubborn in every reality.
“This is dangerous, and you could get hurt.”
“Yeah, and so could you, Dean.”
He let out a frustrated growl.
“Look, whatever stupid thing you’re about to do, you’re not doing it alone. And that’s that.”
Dean was at a loss for words. He was beyond confused at this point. Ever since Sam had come to town he’d made it perfectly clear how he felt about him. No illusions there. So why was he tagging along on this journey through what he was sure Sam thought was insanity?
“I don’t understand. Why are you doing this?”
“Because you’re still my brother.”
Dean paused and felt pride well up inside him. He moved the car into drive and a small smile played at his lips.
Sam turned toward him and frowned.
“What are you calling me a bitch for?”
Dean made a face.
“You’re supposed to say, Jerk.”
He sighed as he sped down the road.
As they headed toward the highway Sam noticed a paper bag on the seat next to Dean.
“What’s in the bag?”
He rolled his eyes and lifted the bag.
“You don’t wanna do that.”
He glanced inside the bag and disgust immediately filled his face as he pulled out a jar of blood.
“What the hell is this?”
“Yeah, I can see that it’s blood, Dean. What the hell is it doing in here?”
“You don’t really wanna know.”
“No, I do really wanna know. I really, really do.”
“Yeah, well, you’re gonna find out sooner or later. I needed a silver knife dipped in lamb’s blood.”
Sam held a hand to his head trying to figure out if Dean had finally lost his mind or if this was one of his ridiculous jokes.
“And you needed a silver knife dipped in lamb’s blood, why?”
“Because there’s this creature, a Djinn, and I have to hunt it.”
Sam nodded to himself. Yup definitely crazy.
“Okay, stop the car.”
“I know how it sounds.”
“Great. Just stop the car.”
“It’s the truth, Sam. There are things out there in the dark. There are bad things, there are nightmare things. And people have to be saved, and if we don’t save them, nobody will.”
“I wanna help you, all right? I really, really do. But you’re having some kind of psychotic breakdown.”
Sam took out his phone and started to dial a number when the phone was ripped out of his hands and tossed out the window. He looked from his hands to Dean with shock on his face.
“What the hell was that, Dean? That was my phone!”
“I’m not going to a rubber room, Sammy. We’ve got work to do.”
“But I was just trying to help you out! I don’t want you to get yourself hurt!”
“What, you protect me?”
He chuckled lightly.
“Oh, that’s hilarious. Why don’t you just sit tight and try not to get us both killed?”
Sam glared at Dean before turning away from him, body stiff as they continued down the road. Well hell this was gonna be a long few hours.
Sam glanced over the locations and cross referenced them with the map on the computer as he mentally catalogued the last few things Dean had said to him over the phone. He squinted at the second location from the bottom and his eyes widened.
He jerked back in his chair and the frantic movement and shout of his voice startled Bobby and Jo.
“I know where he is!”
Jo scrambled from her position and moved over to where he was looking at his computer screen.
“How and where?”
“When I talked to Dean he mentioned he was going to be checking out a warehouse and that’s the last I heard of him. I’ve been cross referencing the addresses on Google earth and there’s only one warehouse left on the list I haven’t checked. He’s gotta be there.”
Bobby nodded and shrugged on his jacket.
“Alright, let’s get this show on the road. Grab the address Sam and let’s head out.”
He nodded as he pulled papers together, tossed on his jacket and turned to grab a weapon. Jo handed him his gun as she pulled a silver knife out of her bag and motioned toward the door.
They both looked at her and she glared at them.
“You’re both out of your damn minds if you think I’m not coming. I can grab Dean while you two take care of the Djinn. It makes sense and we don’t have time to argue about it. Dean’s running out of time. He’s been gone close to fifteen hours.”
Bobby grunted but through the door open as he went to start the car. Sam hesitated before speaking.
“Jo…just stay behind us, no listen I know you can take care of yourself, but it’s not just you in there. I told you earlier Dean’s already angry with me…if anything happens to you or the baby…I don’t think he’d be able to deal so just this once fall back. When you seen Dean grab him and get gone got it?”
She swallowed hard and nodded.
“I got it.”
He nodded and their eyes met for another few seconds before he broke contact and moved out the motel room door. Jo let out a long breath and followed behind him. Everything was gonna be okay. They’d get there and find Dean. It would work itself out…it had to…
Dean pulled up outside the building he found the Djinn in the first time around and parked the impala. He glanced over at the passenger side seat and Sam was out cold. He grabbed for the flashlight he brought, turned it on, and shined it in Sam’s face to wake him up.
His face scrunched a few times before he opened his eyes and held up a hand to block the light from his face. Dean shifted the flashlight and Sam glanced around at the abandoned warehouse with a distasteful look on his face.
“Where are we?”
“Well, we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
When Sam didn’t laugh Dean sighed.
“And you think something’s in there?”
“I know it is.”
They got out of the car and slowly made their way into the building. Sam followed his brother’s lead and walked into the first room. There was nothing there but a few boxes and some junk. Dean shined the flashlight around moving deeper into the room.
“See? There’s nothing here. Look, Jo’s gotta be worried sick about you. Come on, let’s just go.”
He glared at his brother and when he opened his mouth again Dean cut him off.
They stopped walking and all of a sudden a cry echoed through the building. Dean turned towards his brother to make sure he wasn’t the only one hearing the noise. Judging by the look on Sam’s face he wasn’t.
“What the hell is that?”
“Stay behind me and keep your mouth shut.”
He continued searching through the rooms, a petrified looking Sam following his every move. If the situation were different he’d be making fun of his brother right now. They turned the corner and Dean stopped in his tracks as he saw three corpses hanging by their wrists in front of them.
Sam stumbled back, horror on his face as he spoke.
“What the hell?”
He looked up, and across the room from where they were standing was the girl in white that he’d been seeing all over town. She was pale and her dress was covered in blood and dirt.
Dean jogged over toward her, Sam hot on his heels. Dean tried to process what he was seeing. There was a needle jabbed in the side of her neck leading to an IV bag, filled with her blood. The girl jerked awake, crying out. He heard a scraping noise and frantically looked around the room for a place to hide.
“Dean, what’s going on?”
He nudged Sam and they ran behind a wall just as the Djinn moved into the room and approached the girl. Dean’s jaw tightened as the girl’s soft sobs broke through the quiet of the room.
“Where’s my dad? Please, no…don't...where’s my dad?”
He watched as the Djinn put his hand on her face and she immediately went unconscious. It took the nozzle from the IV bag and squirted the girl’s blood into his mouth. Sam made a disgusted noise and Dean saw the Djinn’s head jerk up in their direction.
After a couple of seconds he turned back around and went upstairs. Dean let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding. They moved back toward the girl and Sam was still reeling from everything that had just happened.
“This is real? You’re not crazy?”
Dean ignored him.
“She didn’t know where she was. She thought she was with her father. What if that’s what the Djinn does? It doesn’t grant you a wish, it just makes you think it has.”
“Look, man, that thing could come back, all right?”
Dean wasn’t even facing Sam as he glanced around the empty room. His blood running cold as realization finally dawned on him. He wasn’t in another reality, he was here locked up in this warehouse being bled slowly. This life…his family here, it was all in his head.
Sam’s pleading voice finally got his attention. He glanced at his brother, swallowing hard as he spoke in a low voice.
“What if I’m like her? What if I’m tied up in here someplace? What if all this is in my head? I mean…maybe it gives us some kind of supernatural acid and then just feeds on us, slow.”
“No, Dean, that doesn’t make sense, okay?”
“What if that’s why she keeps appearing to me? She’s not a spirit, but it’s like more and more, I’m catching flashes of reality. You know, like I’m in here somewhere and I’m catatonic and I’m taking all this stuff in but I can’t snap out of it.”
Sam was practically frantic now as he grabbed at Dean.
“Yeah, okay. Yeah, yeah, you were right, I was wrong. You’re not crazy, but we need to get out of here fast.”
Dean pushed him away, anger and pain on his face.
“I don’t think you’re real.”
Sam let out a frustrated grunt as he grabbed onto Dean’s shirt again.
“Dean, you feel that? You feel this? I’m real. This is not an acid trip. I’m real, and that thing is gonna come down here and kill us for real. Now, please…”
He shook his head and shifted back.
“There’s one way to be sure.”
He pulled out the knife and Sam’s eyes widened.
“Whoa, whoa. What are you doing?”
“It’s an old wives’ tale. If you’re about to die in a dream, you wake up.”
Sam shook his head, but didn’t move to take the knife away from his brother.”
“No, no, no. That’s crazy, all right?”
“You’re gonna kill yourself!”
He finally took a step forward and Dean held the knife out stopping Sam’s movements. He held up his hands palms up.
“Or I’m gonna wake up…one or the other.”
“Look…this isn’t a dream, all right? I am here with you now, and you are about to kill yourself, Dean.”
“No, I’m pretty sure…”
He hesitated for a second and made a face.
“Like, ninety-percent sure. But I’m sure enough.”
He closed his eyes, lifted the knife, and went to bring it down when Sam’s voice echoed through the empty room.
Dean stopped, opened his eyes and suddenly his mother walked into the room dressed in the same white nightgown she’d had on the night she died. Right behind her was Jo with their daughter in her arms and Jessica at her side.
Dean wavered and lowered the knife slowly as the look on Sam’s face softened. His voice was quiet, and the look on his face spoke volumes.
“Why’d you have to keep digging? Why couldn’t you have left well enough alone? You were happy.”
He opened his mouth, but before he could say anything his mother was in front of him calm voice speaking to him in only a way she could.
“Put the knife down, honey.”
He gazed at her, sadness filling his heart, voice breaking slightly as he spoke.
“You’re not real. None of it is.”
She touched the side of his face and he leaned into the touch as tears pooled in his eyes. God he wanted to say to hell with the real world. To hell with a world that only caused him pain and killed the people he loved…but he couldn’t. No matter how bad he wanted this to be real it wasn’t and it never would be.
“It doesn’t matter. It’s still better than anything you had.”
“It’s everything you want. We’re a family again. Let’s go home.”
He sniffled slightly as a tear slid down his cheek.
“I’ll die. The Djinn will drain the life out of me in a couple of days.”
“But in here, with us, it’ll feel like years…like a lifetime. I promise. No more pain, no more fear. Just love and comfort and safety. Dean, stay with us. Get some rest.”
He opened his mouth when Jessica approached them.
“You don’t have to worry about Sam anymore. You’ll get to watch him live a full life.”
His heart clenched at the words. That had been the only thing he ever wanted for his brother. A life full of happiness where he didn’t have to worry about demon’s and monsters hunting down the people they loved or using Sam as a pawn in their games.
A life where he could do whatever he wanted. Where he wasn’t stuck on the road. Someone who didn’t have a short life expectancy, but what would happen to his Sam. The one that was probably searching for him if he gave up.
Who would protect him and who would take care of his family? He felt a hand on his face and his eyes focused on Jo who was cupping his check, tears in her eyes as she leaned in giving him a soft kiss.
“We can have a future together…how am I going to raise our daughter without you? I love you, Dean. Please…”
He looked back at Sam and his will was crumbling. He couldn’t do this, why did he always have to make the hard decisions? Why did he have to be the strong one? He was so tired of being the rock…He could hear the tears in his brother’s voice as he spoke.
“Why is it our job to save everyone? Haven’t we done enough? I’m begging you. Give me the knife.”
Dean looked around at everyone, his emotions weighing down on him as a battle of wills took place inside of him. He took a step back and glanced up his eyes meeting Sam’s, then his mother’s and lastly Jo’s. Tears were flowing freely down his face, voice broken as grief filled his entire being.
He lifted the knife in one quick motion and stabbed himself in his chest. Dean jolted awake. Eyes trying to open slowly. He could feel the weight against his wrists that were bound above his head. Soft hands on his cheeks were moving his head forward.
“Dean! Dean! Oh, god baby…Come on, hey. Wake up. Wake up, damn it.”
He could hear the soft feminine voice full of worry and at first he thought it hadn’t work, but as he finally got his eyes open he saw Jo’s anxious face, tears in her eyes. She let out a heavy breath and he tried to give her half a smile, but his mouth wouldn’t cooperate.
“Auntie Em…there’s no place like home.”
“Oh, thank God. I thought I lost you for a second.”
“You almost did.”
Jo swallowed hard as she pulled the needle from Dean’s neck and attempted to maneuver closer to him.
“Let’s get you down.”
She was in the middle of cutting the ropes around his wrists when Dean saw the Djinn over her head.
She turned and the Djinn immediately grabbed her by the throat as Dean struggled against the ropes. Right as the ropes came lose Bobby and Sam came charging into the room. Sam grabbed the knife Jo dropped came up behind the Djinn and stabbed it in the back.
It turned howling before crashing to the ground. Sam caught Jo as she stumbled, her hands clasping his arms tightly as she caught her breath. Bobby moved over to Dean who’d fallen on the floor after the ropes broke. He helped him up and they moved toward Jo and Sam.
Once they all caught their breath Dean glanced up and slowly moved away from Bobby approaching the girl still hanging by her arms. He shook his head and then his eyes widened as he saw a tear slip down her cheek.
“She’s still alive. Sammy help me.”
Dean took the needle out of her neck as Sam cut the ropes. Her arms slipped down and Dean fell to the floor with the weight of her in his arms. He looked down on her tears in his eyes as everything crashed down on him at once.
She groaned slightly and he cradled her against his body as she woke slowly. Bobby, Sam, and Jo stood there watching him and their hearts broke. Whatever happened while Dean was out, he was far from okay.
“I’ve got you. We’re gonna get you out of here, okay? I’ve got you…I’ve got you.”
He hastily wiped a tear from his eye as he tried to stand, Sam coming over and helping him. They made their way up the stairs and out to the car. Bobby and Jo had agreed to drop the girl off at the hospital as Sam loaded Dean in the impala and promised they’d meet them back at the motel.
When Bobby’s truck was out of sight Sam got in and started the car. He pulled out onto the road as Dean laid there quietly. He glanced at his brother worry filling him. Dean was never this quiet.
“You all right?”
His voice was hoarse when he spoke.
“Yeah, I’m all right.”
He paused and when he continued there was awe in his voice.
“You should’ve seen it, Sam. Our lives…you were such a wussy.”
Sam chuckled lightly as he turned his eyes back on the road.
“So, we didn’t get along then, huh?”
Dean winced as they hit a particularly rough spot in the road.
“I thought it was supposed to be this perfect fantasy.”
Dean shook his head.
“It wasn’t. It was just a wish. I wished for Mom to live. And Mom never died, we never went hunting, and you and me just never…you know.”
Sam nodded. It made sense, but it kind of hurt to know the only thing he and Dean had in common was hunting. Especially with everything that had been going on lately.
“Yeah. Well, I’m glad we do. And I’m glad you dug yourself out, Dean. Most people wouldn’t have had the strength, they would’ve just stayed.”
“Yeah, lucky me. I gotta tell you though, man…you had Jess, Jo and I had this gorgeous little girl…Mom had woulda had more grandkids.”
Sam hesitated before speaking trying to figure out how bad his brother’s psyche was screwed up from this.
“Yeah, but, Dean…it wasn’t real.”
“I know. But I wanted to stay. I wanted to stay so bad. I mean, ever since Dad…all I can think about is how much this job has cost us.”
He turned to face Sam.
“We’ve lost so much. We’ve sacrificed so much. I managed to pull Jo into our families mess and now I’m just afraid all the time that she’s gonna be next. I’m terrified that she’s gonna die or the baby’s gonna get hurt. Everyday Sammy…she’ll never have a normal life and no matter what I do, how hard I try neither will my kid and I saw what a normal life would be like…and they deserve that…”
Sam frowned at his brother’s words. That didn’t sound very promising. Dean’s train of thought was accurate, but he’d always at least tried to be hopeful before and the fact that he sounded so broken right now…well it scared Sam more than anything ever had.
He took a deep breath and spoke in a strong voice.
“But people are alive because of you. It’s worth it, Dean. It is. It’s not fair, and it hurts like hell, but it’s worth it. We’re not gonna let them win and I promise you we’ll get that yellow eyed bastard.”
Dean titled his head to the side and grinned at the determination he heard in Sam’s voice.
“I know we will Sammy and you know I’ll be by your side when we do…and uh just for the record. I’m glad we do to and I’m glad I’m back.”
He cleared his throat and sat up slightly before continuing.
“No matter what happened in the past, or what happens in the future, you’re my brother and I ain’t going anywhere.”
Sam swallowed hard as tears pooled in his eyes and he blinked rapidly to make them go away.
“Thanks Dean and same here. I know I’ve messed up and everything with Jo…I can’t begin to understand how that makes you feel, but I swear nothing like that will ever happen again. I just…I need to know where okay. That you don’t hate me cause…”
“I don’t hate you, and we’ll be fine.”
“Good…cause you know I…”
Dean cut him off and held up a hand.
“No chick flick moments Sammy jeez…bitch.”
The first real smile appeared on Dean’s face since he’d woken up. His body ached, he had a serious bone to pick with whoever let Jo come out here to get him, and he was exhausted, but he was home and fairly content for the moment and that was all that mattered.