Title: The In Between
Genre: h/c, drama, brotherly awesomeness
Summary: AU version of Swan Song. There was another destiny Heaven and Hell had never considered.
A/N: Dedicated to Whumped!Sam/Awesome!BigBrother Dean Month. I had actually written most of this before Swan Song aired. I finally decided to dust it off and shake it loose. Mega hugs and love to sidjack and Heidi.
“This is a bad idea.”
Sitting on Bobby’s bed in the den with his head down, a small, sad smile tugged at the corner of Sam’s mouth. It was the tenth time in the last hour that his brother had said that.
“It’s our only idea.”
Abandoning his pacing, Dean came to sit next to Sam on the bed. “You don’t have to do this.”
Throat tight, tears building, “You don’t believe that anymore than I.”
“Sam…” Desperate. Pleading.
“Don’t,” he pleaded back. “We’ve been over this, Dean. I have to be the one.”
“Yeah, well, I don’t like it.”
Another sad smile. “I know.”
They sat there silently for awhile, shoulders brushing. According to their destiny…the one that they were about to royally screw, their whole lives have been building up to this.
All of their losses, all of their wrong turns were predesigned to get them to this moment.
But tonight they would make their own destinies. Tonight they would call on the devil, and Sam would say yes and Dean would say no.
“You think I’m strong enough?”
Dean’s voice was hoarse, but confident. “I know you are.” After a moment he added, “But if you should need an extra hand…”
Sam turned and met his brother’s eyes. “You’ll be there.”
With tears in his own eyes, but unwavering conviction in his voice, Dean replied back, “Damn straight I will.”
The war was over. The Winchester boys had done it. Castiel stood in awe, taking in the scene as his wings relaxed and disappeared behind him. Sam had said “yes” to Lucifer and was able to overcome him long enough to shove him back into his cage. It was an ambitious plan. Some…most would have said an impossible one without a world-ending scenario.
But then, they probably had never met the Winchesters.
Fires were burning the land even as rain fell from the night. Sam sat shaking on the charred ground in a daze. He looked lost. He looked scared. He looked up and searched for the only one that could help him.
“Saaam!” That one was already running towards him at full speed, crying out a little brother’s name, his little brother’s name…that had just saved the world. Eyes focused firmly on his soaked and shivering younger half, Dean’s feet pounded quickly through flames and smoke. Castiel could feel the emotions rolling off of him as strongly and as intensely as he could feel the heat from the burning field—an overwhelming urgency to get to his brother, worry, relief, and….
Sam barely had a trembling arm lifted when Dean dropped to his knees and wrapped his own arms tightly around him. “Jeezus, Sammy, are you alright?” He pulled away and started checking him over, not waiting for a reply. Castiel had never known him to be patient. “Lemme see you.” He brushed wet bangs from Sam’s eyes.
Blinking dazedly, Sam looked up into his brother’s worried face with tears and big brother fix this in his eyes.
Shuddering violently, Sam lowered his gaze and hooked trembling fingers into the front pocket of Dean’s jacket.
Frowning, Dean palmed both sides of his brother’s face. “Hey,” he ducked his head, trying to get a better look at him. “Talk to me.”
Castiel watched as instead…
…he leaned forward and buried his face in his big brother’s chest.
Looking down at the younger man, Dean brought a hand up and cupped the back of his head. Sam had been a little boy the last time he had hid against him, trying to escape the remnants of a nightmare.
The nightmares had raged and changed throughout the years, as had the bond between them, but one thing would never change again. “I’m here, little brother,” he said brokenly, laying his cheek against the top of Sam’s head. He started to rock him then, comforting him the same way he had when he was a child. “I’ve got you.”
Bobby woke to rain on his face and Castiel leaning over him. Quickly rising to his feet, he searched out the boys. He didn’t care that he had just died. He didn’t even care if the world had ended. All he cared about were his boys.
Finally, he spotted them through rain and flames on the other side of the field.
Castiel spoke for the first time since resurrecting him. “They did it.”
Tears and pride filled the older hunter’s eyes. Of course they did. “Sam?” he asked with a lump in his throat, because Dean had his arms wrapped around him, rocking him, and he hadn’t seen him do that since….
When he didn’t answer him right away, Bobby turned to him. “Cas?”
The angel frowned and placed a hand over his shoulder.
The world owed the Winchesters a debt it would never pay, or even know to. People would go about their night as they did every other night, completely unaware that they owed their lives to two brothers clinging to each other in a burning field.
Wordlessly, protectively, Bobby and Castiel stood over the boys. No comfort could be offered that they didn’t need more from each other. No outside comfort would even be enough. The rain was growing steadier and harder, knocking back the flames and soaking them all thoroughly—but it went unnoticed. Somewhere in the back of their minds, both man and angel knew they should get them home, get them dry and warm and safe, but they found it impossible to move—their eyes and hearts locked on the scene before them.
Heaven and Hell had used everything at their disposals to push two souls apart and send them on their destined ways. Heaven and Hell. But, unaware to them, deep down in between it all…in between the insecurities they had planted, the lies, the hurt and betrayal they had spun around the boys…another destiny had laid in wait and held fast.
A destiny forged by blood and love and free will.
A destiny that was never written, but felt.
A strong wind howled through the land and Dean closed his eyes and held his little brother tighter.
A destiny that would rival all.