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It Scares Me Sometimes

April 27th, 2007 (05:17 pm)
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Title: It Scares Me Sometimes

Summary: Protectiveness isn't just a trait for big brothers.

Disclaimer: I don't own these guys.

Rating: PG-13 (gen, Sam, Dean)

A/N: This fic is oddly inspired by Act 3, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet, namely the Zefferelli film version from the 60s. I highly recommend you checking it out (that scene alone is on youtube and I adore it). And from that comes a really different piece for me--and I'm a little skeptical on how it came out, but in the end I kind of had to write it. Just be warned that Rambo!Sam makes an appearance and Dean may in fact be a little limper than usual (and rest assured this will not be my norm...if you don't know by now that limp!Sam owns my soul, then you don't know me all that well). Thanks to Gem for the beta, sendintheclowns for the prompting and response, and Brenna for being her :)

-o-

It Scares Me Sometimes

Sam had always heard that being a lawyer was a stressful job, that it took lots of time and energy and that many lawyers, especially very successful ones, had weakened personal lives as a result.

He had taken it seriously, worked very hard in college, but the thought of it really made him laugh. Because at the end of the day, despite all the so-called perks of the hunt, Sam knew without a doubt it was the most stressful thing he would ever do.

The hours were hell. The traveling was wearisome. The close quarters was grating. The research was complicated.

And the hunt itself? Could be long, painful, mentally trying--and those were hunts that didn't involve one of them being the victim.

Downtime, therefore, was invaluable, and usually quiet and understated, punctuated by bouts of inebriation and raucousness (on Dean's part anyway). Sam preferred to catch up on his email, to check up on his friends (though he didn’t reply much to them anymore, but he still checked their Facebooks and MySpaces to make sure they were okay). And Sam never begrudged his brother any of that, because he needed it. They needed it. They needed anything to take the edge of.

Tonight it was a bar, which was mostly for Dean's benefit, although Sam could not deny the appeal of the alcohol. This hunt had been more than somewhat trying, and they were both bruised and weary from it, mind and body. A temporary escape seemed like the best possible cure.

Shifting on his bar stool, Sam couldn't help but think that it was his body maybe more so than his mind, at least this time around. He wasn't sure why supernatural entities had such a love of throwing people against walls, but both he and Dean had seen their share on this last hunt, and Sam was definitely feeling the after-effects.

Even Dean seemed subdued, downing his beers at a slower than average rate, glancing only half-heartedly at the blonde at the end of the bar. Sam had little doubt this would be an early night--for both of them.

He was almost done with his first beer, and already he felt the twinge on his bladder. Dean was almost done with his third, and their energy was abating. "You want to head out soon?" Sam asked, leaning over to talk to his brother through the din.

Dean made a face, then sighed a little. "Yeah, I guess," he agreed. "Let's just finish one more round and then we'll call it a night."

Dean so rarely wanted to leave early that Sam wasn't about to dispute the terms. "I'm going to run to the bathroom," he announced, sliding away from the bar. Dean merely nodded his reply, motioning the bartender for another refill.

Weaving his way through the crowded bar, Sam found his way to the bathroom. The music was loud and the smoke was heavy and there were various groups around the darts and pool tables. Clearly, it was a very popular local spot, and the familiarity between the other patrons made Sam ache all the more to leave. The last thing he wanted was to feel isolated. He and Dean against the world.

It had always been that way, for as long as Sam could remember. They had each other, they had family, but nothing more. In the months since John had died, Sam had learned more and more about the value of family, about taking advantage of it, and he did cherish Dean.

But they needed more, there was no doubt in his mind. They needed people beyond themselves, if only for their sanity. Yet there were no friendships to be had, or at least none that could be maintained. They couldn't do normal, not with what they did; it was too dangerous for them and for others.

The discovery of the Roadhouse and the network of other of hunters had surprised them both, and there had been a time when Sam had thought they could find solace there. But with Sam's demonic connections, from his gifts to his possession, those contacts seemed to be drying up fast as well. It figured that Sam—the one who wanted normal—was the one who would keep them from any semblance of it.

And he wanted it not just for him--but for Dean. Dean thrived in community, with someone to be loyal to. And Sam knew that he wasn't always enough.

But it didn’t matter. Not tonight. They were together, they were okay, they had some beers, and they were going to go get some sleep. Things always seemed better in the morning.

With a resolved sigh, he pushed open the door to the bathroom. It was dingy and didn't seem all that sanitary, but it would do, though Sam was careful not to touch more than he had to. The music and voices were muffled from the outside room, and for a brief second, Sam relished the reprieve. However, when he headed back out, the noise seemed louder than before and the air seemed far too choked with smoke to breathe.

As he maneuvered his way past the bulging crowd around the pool table, he brushed someone's shoulder. He expected to move on, but the owner of the shoulder turned fully into him, effectively stopping him.

"Excuse me," Sam said, trying to move beyond.

The man clearly would have none of it. He puffed his chest, trying to loom, which was never easy with Sam's height. Sam stepped back, surprised.

The man raised his eyebrows, looking Sam straight in the eye. "You going somewhere, son?" he asked.

Sam could smell alcohol on his breath, though his words were clear and his gaze piercing. Another man joined him, standing shoulder to shoulder with him, effectively blocking Sam's path.

"I didn't mean anything," he said simply with a smile on his face. "No harm, no foul, right?"

The man returned his smile, but Sam could see a mischievous gleam in his eyes. This man wanted to fight. Taking in the rest of his body, Sam regarded the muscles and the height and figured he had the muscle to back up his words.

"Well who's to say no harm?" the man asked, his tone insolent. "You hit me in the shoulder."

This was nearly laughable, but Sam restrained himself. "It was an accident."

"I'm not sure that's good enough," he said, raising his chin in defiance.

Looking at him, then at the guy's buddy, Sam suddenly felt tired. He just shook his head. "I'm not interested, man."

The man edged closer, bumping into Sam. "What? You won't fight me?"

Sam paused, thinking through his words carefully. "Not tonight, okay?"

"What's the matter, kid? Too scared to take up the challenge?"

Sam smiled blandly. "We just want to enjoy our beers," he said, trying to politely weave passed the man.

The man snickered. "Aw, just trying to enjoy your beers, then you'll go home and get some sleep like a good little boy, I'll bet."

Muffled laughter erupted from the man's cohort, who was shaking with glee next to him.

Eyeing them both warily, Sam willed himself to stay calm. This wasn't worth it. Not tonight. Two drunk men were hardly worth exhausting his already depleted energy. Not to mention the fact that Dean would never let his brother fight alone, and Dean had enough bruises as it was.

He shook his head and moved to slip by them again. He was met this time with an unforgiving shoulder, keeping him firmly in front of them. "Look, guys," he said. "I don't want any trouble, okay?"

By this point, the altercation was attracting attention from a few people around them, and Sam could see Dean standing tensely at the bar, looking for a sign that Sam needed his help.

Sam looked again at his antagonists and pursed his lips. The taller one, which was the more dominant of the two, stood eye to eye with Sam, and his shoulders were even broader. He was thoroughly beefy, though it was clear from the ridges in his t-shirt that it was pure muscle. His face was squared and roughly shaven, and he had the gleam of a fighter in his eyes.

If Sam had been inclined to fight, it would have been a formidable match, especially if the smaller one, who was still taller than Dean and just as well-built, decided to join in on the fun. He figured they could probably take these two, if by nothing else, the element of surprise, which would undoubtedly be theirs, though not without a pretty significant effort on his own part.

But it was a moot point. Sam wasn't a fighter. He wanted to get his brother and get out, settle in a warm bed and sleep until the aches in his limbs went away.

"Man, I'm not going to do this tonight," he said simply and this time shouldered his way passed the two men, returning to the bar, his beer, and his brother.

"Coward!" came the call from behind him with a mocking lilt but Sam didn't even flinch as he positioned himself at his stool, picking up his beer and taking a sip.

There was another burst of raucous laughter from behind him, but Sam ignored it, fully content to let the crowd think whatever it would. He didn't have anything to prove to anyone, especially a bunch of partially inebriated thugs and fight-hungry bar patrons.

It was pretty clear Dean wasn't so sure.

His brother looked at him hard before turning his eyes to the victorious jeers. "You going to take that, Sammy?" he asked, his voice low.

Sam clenched his jaw. "Let's just finish our beers and go home," Sam said.

"Chicken!" came another call, and Sam felt Dean stiffen next to him.

"Sammy," Dean hissed, and Sam could feel Dean's frustrations bleeding over to him.

"Let it go, Dean," he insisted again.

But Dean wasn't listening. "You think you're so tough?" Dean said before Sam could stop him, strutting across the room, his voice cutting through the crowd.

The man and his friend stopped, turning curiously at the new voice. "You talking to me?" the bigger man asked, his eyebrows arched.

Dean moved forward, keeping his body tall. "Looks like it."

Crossing his arms across his chest, the man seemed to consider this. "You going to fight because junior over there is too chicken to?" he asked with a nod toward Sam.

Sam tensed and started to move forward, but Dean's voice stopped him. "This is just between me and you. You seem awfully fond of picking fights. So I'm just offering you what you asked for."

"Kid, I wouldn't do it," the friend advise with a knowing tilt of his head. "Terrence here--he's not some amateur. He's a prizefigther. KO'ed a guy in the first round last week."

Dean feigned being impressed. "Well, then, I guess he would have no reason to be afraid of some little old guy like me," he said, with a cocky grin plastered over his features.

There was a small shift in the bigger man, and Sam could easily see that this man wasn't as drunk as Sam had first thought. He was proud and tall and from the brags of the smaller man, it seemed likely that he had no intention of losing.

He didn't doubt Dean's abilities, but he doubted Dean's judgment sometimes, and his brother's pride wasn't big enough to cover just how tired and hurt he was.

The pair of them though seemed to be continuing to size each other up, and the crowd was growing more and more attuned to the action.

Sam took his chance to intervene. Stepping forward, he put a restraining hand gently on Dean's arm and his other went out in a placating gesture. "Look, we don't want any trouble. We're just leaving now," he said, softening his gaze at the gruff man's domineering stance.

Terrence looked him over again before scoffing. "Whatever," he said, with an indifferent shrug of his shoulder. "I knew you were both chickens from the get-go."

That was enough to make Dean start forward again, but Sam gripped him unflinchingly.

"Dean, come on," Sam said, a hint of a whine in his voice. He looked pleadingly at his brother. "Let's just go. It's not worth it."

Dean eyed his brother for a moment, before looking back at Terrence. The man was laughing now, chalking up a pool cue, and his buddy was patting him victoriously on the shoulder. A group of onlookers were chuckling around them, casting amused glances at the brothers.

Gritting his teeth, Dean shook his head. "We're Winchesters, Sammy," he muttered. "We don't take that crap."

Sam gripped his brother's arm, hoping to convey how much he wanted to leave before this escalated out of control. But Dean, in true Dean fashion, ignored his brother, easily shaking off Sam’s hand as he moved back toward the pool table.

Approaching Terrence again, Sam was left helplessly on the sidelines. The crowd immediately parted and encircled them, forming a tight enclosure that made Sam all the more nervous. From the eager looks of the faces around him, Sam realized the crowd wanted this just as much as Terrence did. Hell, given Terrence's ease at picking the fight, this was probably a regular occurrence. Cheap entertainment in rural America. If Sam wanted to stop it now, he'd probably end up ensnared in an entirely different fight.

Dean and Terrence walked lightly around each other, each watching, each waiting. There was a hint of humor in Terrence's eyes, and as Dean took in his opponent, the same spark lit in his.

Sam stifled a groan. His brother was looking forward to this. Which was totally not what either of them needed at this point, Dean was just too proud to see it. It was a little like being a kid again--watching his big brother step up to the plate for him. No matter how good Sam's intentions were, his brother was still fighting his battles, and that guilt and shame panged inside of him.

Terrence's disposition mirrored Dean's, though Sam suspected his feelings were a bit more justified. The man seemed to be in impeccable shape, and the toned muscles suggested he could certainly back up his bravado when it was called for.

It was Terrence who lashed out first, a simple punch that Dean dodged from easily. Finding his opponent quicker than he anticipated, Terrence followed it with another, an uppercut this time, which again Dean avoided.

This time, Dean dallied back with a jab so quick that it made Terrence paused and fondle his jaw.

The crowd held a collective breath, seemingly a bit surprised by the punch, and waited for Terrence to act. Terrence flexed it, opening his mouth a few times before smiling down at Dean. "Not bad, kid," he said.

Dean returned the comment with a smirk. "I eat my Wheaties."

Sam wanted to cringe--Dean was far too cavalier and it made him uneasy, though the crowd chuckled good naturedly.

With a nod, Terrence resumed his circling, this time raising his hands, ready for combat.

Dean took his cue, and ramped up his level of readiness, his hands bobbing as he bounced on the balls of his feet. He waited, patiently, for Terrence to strike again.

On the sidelines, Sam waited too, his heart thrumming painfully in his chest. He trusted his brother, and he had to admit that Dean looked cool and comfortable out there--no one would guess his brother had just been beat to hell the day before.

Terrence jabbed right, then followed it up with a quick left, both of which Dean ducked away from. But then the fighter took a foot to Dean's knee, catching it. Dean staggered a bit and Terrence landed a blow with his right.

There was a look of confidence on Terrence's face, but it vanished in a blank surprise as Dean surged upward, hitting a series of punches that left Terrence reeling. A foot to the abdomen, and the crowd was catching Terrence and pushing him up with shouts of encouragement.

Terrence worked his way back to Dean, the humor fading from his eyes. A cold power replaced it and he charged with a flurry of punches that Dean couldn't totally block.

Dean dropped low, though, and Sam knew what was coming. A strong punch to the gut doubled Terrence over, and Dean again followed up, with another volley of punches that had the crowd jeering and clapping.

Sam could sense it--Dean was winning, and he was also holding back. For as egged-on as Dean was, for as prideful as Dean was, he wasn't malicious. And Sam respected that, was even a bit relieved, but Terrence was increasingly angry, increasingly frustrated, and Sam wasn't sure what boundaries the fighter would maintain himself.

Terrence shook himself, then went after Dean again with a renewed vigor. The crowd's chants rose and fell with Terrence's advances, and it certainly wasn't helping Terrence's mood, though it seemed to invigorate Dean. His brother was eating this up.

Dean was moving fluidly and Terrence's punches found little purchase while Dean's were sharp and expertly placed. They went at it until Terrence found himself on the floor again, where he looked up with a growl.

Then it happened. Terrence's hand reached out, finding a deserted beer bottle. In a simple movement, he shattered it on the floor clutching the unbroken end in his hand. Rising again, he moved toward Dean again.

The crowd gasped a bit, whispering in excitement, as Terrence held the broken bottle and wielded in front of him like a knife.

Sam tensed, and it took every ounce of restraint he had not to jump in there and break it up right now. But he could see the look in Dean's eyes--beyond the weariness was a determination that Sam couldn't reckon with, would never be able to fight against. He’d have to let his brother fight this out.

Terrence was lashing out with the bottle now, jabbing at Dean with its sharp end, and Dean was dodging in earnest, avoiding the swipes with forced agility. Dean kept his distance, kicking occasionally, but careful not to put himself in harm's way.

Finally, one of Terrence's swings caught Dean's arm, ripping through his shirt and drawing blood, which the crowd responded to in a rise of cheers. Sam tensed and waited for someone to do something, to say something, to make this stop, but the entire bar was watching them now, and Sam could feel a mob-like mentality taking over.

Dean pulled the limb in, flinching, but clearly not willing to show his weakness. But it had unnerved Dean, Sam could see that much, and Terrence's aim went closer.

It had gone on long enough. Sam wasn’t going to sit by and let Dean do this anymore. No matter how well Dean was maintaining appearances, Sam could tell the fight was taking a toll on his brother. And no matter how the shard was thrust, lightly and easily, it was still inching closer to his brother than he felt comfortable with. Screw Dean's pride; it was time to go.

"Okay," he said, stepping between them. He faced Dean and pushed him back, not letting Dean force him away this time. "That's enough."

Neither Terrence or Dean were hearing him though, and they attempted to continue to fight despite Sam's interference. They were lashing and dancing and Sam tightened his grip. As Sam was not worn out from the spirited fray, he easily forced his brother into stillness, preventing him from advancing forward or from wiggling his way free.

Terrence, unimpeded, was still swinging his piece of the bottle, lazy arcing circles that had only grazed Dean's shirt before. This time, however, Sam's interference prevented Dean from dodging, even disrupted his center of gravity so he fell forward.

Sam felt the impact as all the air escaped Dean's lungs and Dean went very still in his arms. He wasn't sure what had happened, but he could feel that something.

Sam’s eyes met Terrence’s, and there was a moment of shock before the older man pulled away, ducking into the confidence of his friend. The crowd was hissing a mixture of boos and cheers and Terrence whisked away on their cries.

Dean leaned more heavily into him, sucking in a greedy breath before staggering away. He was groping to the bar, leaning substantially on it, and Sam followed him, reaching a supporting hand to his brother. He just wanted to get Dean out of here, he wanted to get them both in a motel, warm and safe in beds.

Glancing out over the crowd, he found them turning their attention toward Dean. Someone tossed a rag to him, cheering on the fact that he was still standing.

"Good fight, man."

"Impressive showing!"

"I saw the dude knock someone out last week--but you're still standing."

Dean grunted, fingers gripping the rag and pressing it hard against himself, and Sam took another step toward him, his relief wavering dangerously. "Dean?" he asked, his voice low, his eyes probing.

But Dean pushed away from the bar, taking an uneven step forward, grinning at the crowd. He waved, and the crowd cheered. Someone was ordering a round, but Sam ignored it, ignored everything, he just wanted to get out of there. "You okay, man?" Sam asked, edging closer again.

There were murmurs of concern amid the cheers.

Dean was holding the rag to his stomach, pressing it firmly against the wound. "It's nothing, really," he was saying, his voice smooth and easy, but Sam could feel his brother lurching to the right.

The crowd was tittering, some laughing, some murmuring in impressed awe. The night had certainly been more entertaining than most, and nothing ended a night better than knowing everyone went home no worse for wear.

But Sam noticed the change in his brother an instant before everyone else. Dean tensed, looking up at Sam, his eyes communicating the story well enough, and Sam barely had time to brace him before Dean went down.

Though surprised, Sam managed to control his brother's descent, among fresh murmuring from the crowd. With Dean on the floor, the crowd closed in closer, and Sam moved to move the rag still resting on Dean's stomach. When he pulled it away, the atmosphere of the room shifted, and all Sam saw was blood.

He was shaking, trembling with it. Dean was hurt, hurt bad. The wound was deep and the blood was flowing freely now, dripping now down Dean's side. The gash was longer than Sam had realized; a mottled line of red crossed Dean's entire abdomen. The placement was hauntingly familiar and for a moment, Sam couldn't breathe.

No. This wasn't happening. He'd already been here, already done this. Jess had been on the ceiling, but the cut was the same, long and across the belly. Then there'd been flames and blood and the last time Dean had bled so much he'd been in a coma.

Dean looked...dead. Dean looked dead.

And suddenly Sam didn't hear the crowd. He didn't see their concerned looks or their prying glances. He didn't hear or see or feel anything except a growing rage in the pit of his stomach.

He looked up, toward the door, where Terrence had exited. Where Terrence had exited like a victor. Where Terrence had walked out after hurting (maybe killing) his brother. And that wasn't okay.

Then Sam's reason snapped, and all he could see was the blood on the rag in his hand, the blood on Dean's stomach (Jessica's stomach, Mom's stomach) and the smug look on Terrence's face. There was no way Dean was going down like this, in some seedy bar, at the hand of some full-of-himself, hot-headed prizefighter.

With a yell, Sam was pushing through the crowd, throwing those that hindered him aside. He was charging, full speed, his destination singular and focused. There were hands and arms, pulling at him, trying to stop him, but they were no match for him. He pushed them aside with ease and stumbled toward the door.

He was breathing cool night air before he realized he was outside.

"Terrence!" he screamed, his voice ringing in his own ears.

He tripped over his own feet, but didn't stop moving. In the distance, he could see the burly man leaning against his motorcycle, talking quietly to a friend.

"Terrence!" he screamed again, closer now, and he could see the surprise clearly on the man's face.

His chest heaved as he came to a stop in front of him, and the older man studied him appraisingly. "Kid, you oughta get back inside before you do something you'll regret."

But Sam would not be deterred. He advanced onward, closing the short distance between him on the man.

"You think you can run away?" he sneered, stepping closer. "You think you can just walk away and leave my brother bleeding?"

Terrence clenched his teeth and forced a smile and shook his head. "What happened to your brother, kid--"

Sam's advance didn't stop, didn't even slow. Sam didn't even flinch. His voice was thick and low, gravelly with emotion. "You think I’m just going to let you leave like nothing happened?"

Terrence laughed and exchanged amused glances with his friend.

Sam stalked forward. "You call me a coward? You're the one who walked out before anyone had a chance to see what you'd done," he seethed. "So before tonight's over one or both of us is going to be joining Dean on that floor." With that, Sam shoved the bloody rag into the man's face, rubbing it fairly over the broad jaw.

This got a rise from him. Terrence leaned away in disgust, before shoving Sam's hands away and standing to his full height. He had only an inch on Sam, but he was substantially bulkier. His muscles were taught beneath the t-shirt and his presence was formidable.

Reflexively, Sam swallowed. The crowd from inside had followed him, and they grew silent as Terrence made his stand. They had passed the point of no return, and they both knew it now, the whole crowd knew it.

Everyone tensed. The air thickened and the temperature raised a few degrees.

Terrence moved forward, shaking his head slightly. "You’ll regret this, kid," he said, his voice now the soft and dangerous taught of the fighter that he was.

But Sam’s eyes burned with rage, and he did not back down. Terrence stalked forward, and Sam pulled himself fully erect.

It was Terrence who threw the first punch, an exploratory jab that Sam easily dodged. It was all the incentive Sam needed to plow forward, the last of his reservations gone, and he attacked the man in earnest.

Any lesser fighter would have quickly been subdued by Sam’s attack. It was fast-paced and brutal, employing every tactical strike Sam had ever learned in his training. He went for the vulnerable spots, raining down on Terrence’s jaw, his nose, his kidneys, even grappled for his throat.

In the flurry though, Terrence regained his bearings, and sailed out with a sharp kick to Sam’s stomach that made him pause enough to lose his offensive. The older man followed up with an uppercut to the jaw, which sent Sam reeling back into the crowd.

Things blanked out, but only for a moment, and Sam found himself being pushed upright, hands patting him and voices urging him onward.

Terrence dabbed only briefly at his bloody nose before turning cold eyes on Sam. Sam was ready when he charge forward, easily rolling with the man, and they both stumbled backwards, breaking the circle, which morphed around them to follow the action.

Sam kept his feet, but barely, and Terrence landing only glancing blows to his face and shoulder. Stepping out of the way, Terrence’s momentum threw him off balance and Sam delivered a combination of punches to his face.

It wasn’t enough to stun Terrence though, who used his lowered position to slam his head upward into Sam’s chin with enough force for Sam to go down on his backside.

Pain flowed through Sam’s body and he struggled to catch his breath, but he had no time before the fighter lashed out again, this time with a foot to Sam’s side.

Sam curled away from the blows, dodging the worst of them. With a burst of adrenaline, he surged upwards, tackling the older man and sending them both sprawling to the ground where they met each other with a flurry of fists and feet. The close vicinity did not allow either of them the chance to move.

Sam managed to gain the upper position, straddling the large man, but he was hoisted from his spot with a vicious punch to his kidneys that knocked the air clear from his lungs. Sam could not stop himself from gasping, which was the opening needed for Terrence to push him off, catching him again in the stomach with enough force to send Sam reeling and stumbling.

He struggled to keep his feet, but the damage was done. His body was slowing down, betraying him. If he was going to end this, it had to end quick, but he couldn’t catch his breath and blood nearly blinded his left eye. The world was blurry, the edges faded completely, and the cheers and jaunts of the crowd were nothing but a distant buzzing in his ears. Instead, he kept his focus trained on the man in front of him, the man who had hurt his brother, the man he had to make sure never hurt anyone else.

Terrence was making a strong advance, as if sensing his opponent's growing weakness. Sam blanched a little, swallowing, before steeling himself completely. Terrence's eyes were stony and unforgiving, and Sam could almost see the reflection of his brother's fallen body in them, and his anger throbbed.

Right before the man got to him, Sam ducked to the side, using his hands to pull Terrence's legs out from under him.

Surprised, Terrence had no time or means to stop his rapid descent, and he hit chin first on the pavement.

The crowd audibly gasped but Sam didn't slow down. Expertly, he flipped the man over, using his sizeable legs to pin the man's arms to the ground. Then he took his fists and pounded hard into his face.

The eyes, the nose, the jaw--it didn't matter--Sam aimed for them all with precise and forceful blows.

For the man's smart mouth. For his arrogant nature. For his prideful overtures. For mocking him. For hurting Dean.

He was moving without thinking now, punch after punch, right and left alternating in even slams, his fists not even feeling the soft flesh break to blood beneath him.

"Sam!"

It was distant, and Sam thought he was probably hearing things so he didn't stop, couldn't stop. He had to end this, he had to end this now.

"Sam!"

It was more real this time. Far too real.

"Sam, stop!"

Somehow he finally obeyed and his mind struggled to make sense of things. There was blood from somewhere, blood from everywhere maybe. Stunned into silence, Sam looked up past the bloody shirtfront and straight into his brother's eyes. "Dean?" he asked.

It didn't make sense. Dean was bleeding on the floor. Dean was dying. Dean was dead. So how was Dean standing here in front of him?

Realization washed over him with a numbing horror. Dean was alive. Dean was okay.

He looked down.

Terrence was not.

Terrence was a mess. The older man's face was covered in blood, so swollen that his features were barely recognizable. His head lolled loosely to the side, thoroughly unconscious from Sam's beating.

Terrified, he looked at his hands and found them also covered in blood--his opponent's or his own, he wasn't sure, but he could feel them aching, could feel the splitting skin on his knuckles as he stretched them out in front of him.

Dean hesitantly moved closer, pulling Sam away with his meager strength.

His body unable to move on its own, Sam let himself be pulled off, his legs fumbling to stand.

"We have to get out of here," Dean hissed to him, and Sam finally took in his surroundings.

The crowd was staring at him, a little too surprised to be irate. As Dean pulled him farther away from the bloody mess at his feet, Terrence's friend was on his knees beside his friend, trying to rouse him.

"Sammy," Dean whispered, his voice breaking in weariness.

Sam couldn't move though, not on his own, and he couldn't take his eyes off the man who lay limp on the pavement.

"What the hell is your problem, man?" the friend asked, looking up with deadly eyes at Sam. "He didn't mean you any harm."

It wasn't quite true, Sam knew that on some level, because that man had attacked Dean, had killed Dean.

But Dean was standing next to him.

"You son of a bitch!" the friend yelled, launching himself up over Terrence's body and flying at Sam. He attacked with strong blows, if not well-placed ones, but Sam was too shocked to try to avoid them.

Dean pulled again, harder now, using his other arm to shove the other guy away. "We're not the ones who started this," Dean said, his voice wavering a little.

Sam turned his eyes to his brother and saw how Dean was barely standing, how Dean was about to fall over, and he was overcome with relief and remorse. He couldn't let Dean stand there and try to fix this, he had to get Dean out--now.

"I'm sorry," Sam mumbled at the friend, ducking his head from his crowd, and moving with a newfound swiftness.

He yanked Dean with him, bulldozing through the crowd, which budged under his strength. There was yelling now, at him, disparaging remarks, but Sam didn't listen. He just wanted to get his brother out of there.

They broke into a run, moving faster away from the crowd, before their sense of justice overcame their shock. At the car, Sam shoved Dean into the seat, ignoring Dean's protests that he was fine, and slammed the driver's side door behind him as he folded himself behind the wheel.

"Don't worry, Dean," he said, shoving the key into the ignition. "We're going to be fine."

He wasn't sure if he was talking about the injuries Dean had sustained in the fight or the mess Sam had just left behind, but he needed to say something, do something, and this was it.

"You okay, Sammy?" Dean asked from the other seat, and Sam tried not to feel the intensity of his brother's gaze.

"You need to keep pressure on the wound," Sam said, reaching a long arm across to his brother's stomach. "How deep is it?"

Sam's hand found contact and Dean winced. "I'll be fine," the other brother lied, his voice was weak and a little slurred. Dean's adrenaline was gone, and his older brother was fading fast.

"You need a hospital?" Sam asked, pressing hard on the already bloody shirt.

When Dean didn't answer, his heart leapt into his throat and he turned his full attention to his brother. Dean's eyes were glassy, eyelids halfway drawn, and he mumbled something when Sam lifted Dean's shirt to inspect the wound.

It was long and bloody, but not too deep. Not fatal. Sam's hand shook, his brother's blood coating his already red hands, and he moved to look in Dean's eyes. "You have a concussion too?"

"No, I just like passing out for fun," Dean snarked, managing to sound sarcastic even in his weakened state.

Sam didn't even take the time to glare--his fingers were shaking with nerves and his stomach felt twisted and cold.

There wasn't time for this. There wasn't time for any of this. He didn't know how the crowd would respond, if Terrence was even okay, and he needed to take care of Dean.

Keeping his hand steady on Dean's stomach, he started the car. "Just take it easy," he soothed. "I'm getting you out of here."

With that, he pulled away, doing what he should have done in the first place, and put Terrence and the bar and all its angry patrons behind him.

-o-

By the time Sam pulled into the motel they'd been staying at, Dean was groggy beside him and the terror and shock had given way to numbness inside of him.

Methodically and quickly, he got them both inside and had Dean draped across one of the beds. First aid kit in hand, he pulled Dean's shirt off of him and got to work.

They didn't talk; Sam murmured assurances and Dean cast his brother weary and uncertain glances, as if he wasn't sure what Sam would do next.

Sam ignored it though, as best he could, and kept his focus on Dean's injury. In the dim motel room lights, it was less scary, though there was more blood than Sam liked, but it cleaned out easily and the blood had slowed substantially when he got to it.

"The stitches will hurt," Sam said, a little apologetically.

Dean swallowed hard and looked down at his bloody stomach than up at his brother. "You sure you're up to this?"

And that cut Sam just a little deeper, made his numbness more pervasive--Dean was still worried about him, which was how it always was, but it couldn't be this time. He'd let this happen. He was the one who'd got them into this. He'd come so close to losing his brother over the last year and a half and here he was again, pulling his brother back from the brink. There was no hospital, no faith healers, no ventilators, but there was blood and the terrifying reality that he'd almost failed.

Sam just stared, didn't even have the strength to smile, before he looked away and grappled for a needle and thread.

Beneath him, Dean shifted. "Sammy?"

"It's fine, Dean," Sam replied flatly, keeping his eyes down. His hands shook as he prepped the needle and he needed a few steadying breaths before he approached the gash on Dean's stomach.

For once Dean was silent, probably from the pain, and Sam felt the hard muscles of his brother's abdomen tense as the needle made its preliminary dip. He pulled it smooth and fast, not wanting to prolong the agony for his brother any longer.

In and out, a steady, slow process, painful for them both. Dean's breathing was rapid and strained and Sam could feel sweat collecting along his own hairline.

By the time he'd finished, there was a neat row of stitches across Dean's belly, and Dean was all but unconscious on the bed. Sam, careful not to wake him, scanned his brother for other injuries, probing his head and deeming the cuts and bruises there not bad enough to do much with. He cleaned it all, the trickles of blood on Dean's face, the knick on his arm, and covered the cuts with bandages, carefully taping the one on Dean's midsection.

When that was done, Sam tried to make his brother more comfortable. His skin felt cool, maybe a little clammy, so Sam pulled his brother to a sitting position and helped him into a clean t-shirt.

"I can do it myself," Dean muttered.

"I know," Sam said softly as he guided Dean's arm through one of the arm holes. Dean was a bit more awake when Sam tried to get him into some sweatpants, scowling at his brother.

"You some kind of pervert?" he growled, and clumsily managed to sit enough to do it himself.

Sam watched him, beginning to unmake the bed. Once Dean was dressed, Sam returned to his side. "You think you can get around to the other end of the bed?"

Taking most of his brother's weight, he eased Dean into the bed, fixing the covers over his brother.

"Sammy, you need to be okay," Dean said, blinking sleepily. "You scared me tonight."

Sam found himself struggling to breathe. "You, too."

Dean looked like he wanted to say more, wanted to talk, but the lure of sleep was too strong.

"Just rest, okay?" Sam said, patting him gently on the shoulder.

Sam was more than a little relieved when his brother's eyes drifted shut and stay there. He watched a minute more, making sure Dean's breathing was even and steady, reassuring himself of his brother's life.

-o-

Sam didn't know how long he stayed by his brother's side, watching him. But he finally made his way to the bathroom and turned his attention to himself.

Looking the mirror, he was appalled and more than a little surprised. He was a mess.

His face was bruised, and dried blood spotted down his face from his nose and mouth. His skin was pale and sallow looking, made more starkly pale by the sheer red that coated all of his hands.

Holding his hands in front of him, he flexed them, feeling the cuts on his knuckle give painfully in the various coats of blood that covered them.

Not knowing what else to do, he stripped himself of his blood-stained clothes and started the shower. When it was hot, he slid in.

Sam barely felt the water as it rained down on him; he barely felt anything at all. He stood, letting the water soak him, letting it wash him clean.

He let his head drop, feeling the spray soak the back of his head, and his eyes studied the floor. On his own body, he could see bruises forming, large and dark up and down his torso. His feet were mottled from the pressure of the scuffle and a steady stream of red was swirling down the drain.

Sam was retching before he could stop and before he could make any attempt to control it. His body curved with it, and it took him to his knees.

Not much came up, just the remnants of the meager dinner and the traces of beer that burned up his esophagus. The water diluted the vomit, taking it down the drain in streaks of watery brown and yellow.

Spent, Sam fell to the side, his back against the lip of the tub, and he couldn't stop the tears from coming.

Long, hard sobs shook him, too deep to be loud, and he was choked with the silence of his grief. He felt like he was drowning, the water running into his nose and eyes and mouth but he didn't move, didn't even try to turn away.

He couldn't think, he couldn't process it. He remembered Dean and the blood, that feeling of all encompassing rage.

Oh, God.

He didn't want to remember. There’d been so much death. And Dean had already been taken from him—twice. He couldn’t even process it, didn’t even want to think about it, but the truth was there—everyone he’d loved was gone. Everyone but Dean.

He couldn’t lose Dean.

The tears didn't stop, and not even the spray of the shower could overcome his grief.

He let it cover him, let it immerse him, and he wished it would drown him.

-o-

Sam wasn't sure what woke him, but he came to with a start, and realized he was cold.

Squinting upwards, water blinded him, and he came to remember he was in the shower. The steaming water had long since turned icy, but it poured down on him with the same intensity.

The fight. He remembered the fight. He remembered beating someone senseless. He remembered the lax body beneath his.

He could be a killer.

No.

He remembered Dean. He did it to save Dean.

His mind tripped. Dean. He needed to check on his brother.

Fumbling, he managed to turn the water off. Climbing out of the tub was harder, and he crashed gracelessly onto the tile on the other side.

He found his clothes on the toilet seat and he groped heavily for them. It took some work, but he wiggled into them without standing, though he could barely feel the fabric on his icy skin.

Sam was shaking so hard that he dropped back to his knees three times before he finally was able to pull himself with the vanity. His knees were wobbly and he could hardly see straight. His vision was hazy around the edges and his breath was coming in shallow gasps.

Sitting hard, he crashed onto the toilet seat and let his head rest in his hands, elbows on his knees.

He just had to breathe, just had to catch his breath, just had to figure this out.

Whatever this was.

This was him falling apart. This was him losing control. This was him nearly killing another man in cold blood. Nothing supernatural involved. Just pure, cold blooded, human emotions.

No, that wasn't right Sam thought, his shoulders shaking with a muted laugh. This was hot-blooded rage. It was passionate defense. It was because he loved his brother so much that he would kill for him.

Dean had told him once that he'd do anything for his brother and his father, that it almost scared him how he didn't even hesitate. Sam had understood, he had, but he'd never understood like this. He'd understood when Dean had been electrocuted and Sam had tracked down a faith healer to cure him. He'd understood when the Demon had Dean against a wall and he was powerless to stop it. He'd understood, but never like this.

It'd never been blind rage. It'd never been an utter loss of control and power. It had never been so violent.

His chest felt tight with it. This was what the Demon wanted. All the other children ended up like this. They all killed people in the end--even Andy, probably even Ava for all he knew. And he'd almost killed Terrence, a man he'd hardly known, for rising to a fight that Dean had picked.

Sam ran a hand over his face and tried to keep his thoughts from running to far. Was this the beginning of a slippery slope? Had he just condemned himself with each punch he'd thrown?

He couldn't think about that. He couldn't. After all, what would he do with it? He'd already tried to run from Dean, and Dean had found him anyway. He'd tried to ask Dean to kill him and he'd broken his brother's heart. He knew what mercy killing could do to someone, no matter how justified, and he wasn't sure Dean could survive it anyway.

No, this was up to him. Saving Dean was up to him. Dean had pulled him from the fire every day since he was six months old and it was time for Sam to start pulling back.

His resolve was shaky, but it was there, and it was enough to bring him to his feet without falling down.

Slowly, on cautious legs, he made his way back into the room.

The clock on the table said 3:41, and Sam's mind tried not to compute just how long that meant he'd been in the bathroom. Dean, however, appeared oblivious to Sam's plight, thank goodness. He was sleeping peacefully, face lax and features at rest, one arm still curved protectively around his stomach.

Sam couldn't stop himself from feeling for Dean's pulse, and Dean shifted a little as Sam held his wrist, but Sam set his hand gently back on the bed and Dean lapsed into deepness once again.

His legs suddenly seemed to stop working and Sam stumbled backwards and sat hard onto his own bed. He didn't know what to do, how to make sense of this. He knew what he'd have to do, though. He'd bundle Dean up in the morning and drive far and fast, only stopping to make Dean comfortable. Sometime he'd call the local hospital and see if Terrence had had to be checked in, to make sure he hadn't killed him.

He wasn't sure what he'd do if he had.

For a second, Sam thought he might throw up again, but his stomach pains eventually subsided, and he rolled onto his back.

What was he going to tell Dean about all this in the morning? How could he look at his brother? How could he look at himself?

Dean would forgive him, he was pretty sure. Dean wouldn't even think to blame him. No doubt, Dean would be a little uncertain, perhaps a little tentative, but Sam was sure that his brother would joke his way out of awkwardness within the day.

But that wouldn't change what Sam had done. That Sam had lost control. Completely and totally.

Dean didn't understand. Dean didn't understand what it felt like to know the darkness wanted him--not dead, but alive for its own nefarious purposes. Dean didn't know what it was like to see people die in his mind and not always be able to stop it. Dean didn't know what it was like to know that the biggest risk to the safety and happiness of those around him was himself.

Dean tried, but he didn't understand. Dean didn't understand that Sam needed to know Dean could end him, not because he didn't trust Dean to save him, but because Sam didn't trust himself.

And how could he? After tonight, after nearly losing Dean, after nearly killing for Dean, how could Sam possibly be saved?

Sam sighed, trying to remember how to breathe. He looked at his brother in the dark and relaxed slightly.

But there was something Dean would understand--that deep need to protect his brother. It was the same feeling Sam felt, the same desperation that had provoked Sam to action tonight.

Because, when he thought about it, if the roles had been reversed, Dean would have done the same thing. Terrence wouldn't have gotten out of that bar unscathed no matter what; the man had made that mistake the moment he decided to not let Sam pass.

After all, Dean had killed for him before. Killed without hesitation. And then his brother had told him, a little shell-shocked and scared, that there wasn't anything he wouldn't do for his family.

The memory made Sam's head hurt a little and sadness settled over him.

Sam didn't like to fight, and it took a lot to push him to it, but he loved his brother as much as his brother loved him. Maybe tonight wasn't a sign that he was dangerously close to becoming a demonic henchman. Maybe tonight was just proving that Sam was a Winchester after all.

It didn't make him feel a lot better--he'd still nearly gotten Dean killed and beat a man within an inch of his life. Those were sins in and of themselves, and ones he'd have to atone for. He wasn't sure how, and he wasn't sure how he'd deal with himself, but he felt some solace in knowing this wasn't a burden he shouldered alone.

His eyelids were growing heavy and he felt himself sinking into sleep. He cast one more sideways glance at Dean, who was still relaxed in sleep.

Dean was alive and well, bruised but breathing, and Sam would do anything to make sure he stayed that way.

-o-

Sam slept a little that night, in vague spurts of near unawareness, but he kept himself up for Dean, rousing his brother sporadically to monitor any possible ramifications of the blows to his head. It was a familiar practice, tried and true for the Winchester family, and though Sam did not relish it, he took to it with a natural grace.

Besides, sleep had ceased to be his refuge since Jessica's death. Too many things could happen in his sleep, which he never liked to admit, so he preferred to spend his time researching, working, something to make it seem like he avoided sleep because there was too much that could happen while he slept.

At seven, he gave up the ruse of even trying to sleep and pulled himself to his feet. Standing over his brother's bed, he couldn't help but feel regretful. Dean still looked awful--bruises and scrapes on his face and his coloring was still off from blood loss and exhaustion.

Gently, he checked his brother's pulse, but it was still steady and unfaltering. Dean would bear the bruises for awhile and would undoubtedly scar, but he would live to tell the tale. And he had no doubt that when he did retell it, it would be five guys, not one, and in defense of some poor young woman, not his chicken of a little brother.

The thought made Sam smile for a moment, but it ended in a sigh. He couldn't shake the feeling that this was his fault, all of it. Dean never should have been involved, though Dean would never let himself be uninvolved. And look what had come from Sam's choice?

At least Dean would be okay.

Sam didn't want to think about Terrence.

Bloody images flashed through his mind and his knuckles ached.

He didn't have a choice. He had to think about Terrence. He had to know if he'd killed the man, if he'd seriously injured him--something.

Assuring himself Dean was asleep and fine, Sam found his cell phone, still stuffed in the pockets in the jeans from the night before. He snagged the phone book before heading outside.

The morning was gray and dew drenched the grass, leaving a mist on the cars in the lot. Leafing through the phone book, he found only one hospital in the area. There were a few clinics and a few family practices, but not much. He'd call around, see what he could find, and hope that his search turned up nothing.

He wasn't quite that lucky. His first call to the hospital was the only call he made, and when he learned Terrence McGrew had been admitted there, his heart had sunk.

He'd killed many things, he'd been in fights and used weapons, but he'd never hospitalized someone before, not of his own volition.

The fact that Terrence was in good condition and would be released today was some consolation, but the reality of it still settled heavily upon him.

But that was that. Terrence would survive, and the Winchester brothers would disappear onto the road again. It was simple and resolved.

Sam felt anything but.

With a sigh, he went back inside.

To his surprise, he found his brother sitting on the edge of the bed, blinking heavily and trying to find his bearings. "You feeling okay?" he asked, moving quickly to his brother's side. He lingered there, taking in Dean's clenched jaw and furrowed brow. Clearly his brother wanted to get up, and Sam knew better than to coddle him.

"Peachy," Dean grunted, letting his eyes close as he tried to gather his senses.

Sam smiled sympathetically. "You should take it easy," he commented. "You had quite the night last night."

"I'm fine," Dean said, somewhat dismissively as he pushed himself to stand, wincing as the change in position stretched his stitches.

"You rip your stitches, you won't be," Sam warned.

"I'm fine," Dean said again, his voice tinged with impatience and denial. "Besides," he said, looking at Sam cautiously, "you don't look so good yourself."

The sentiment almost made Sam want to smile--it was so like his brother. Even when Dean as beat to hell, broken and bruised, his first concern would always be for Sam. Sam knew the feeling, but it didn't mean he was about to let Dean turn the tables on him. He wasn't ready for that. Not yet. Maybe not ever. "I'm fine," Sam echoed his brother, his voice more insistent. "They're just superficial."

Dean looked hesitant, a little critical. There was a question in his eyes that Sam could see he wasn't sure he wanted to ask. "What happened last night?"

A flash of concern shot through Sam. He didn't really want Dean to remember all the details, but if his brother didn't remember anything, then the head wound may have been more serious than Sam had anticipated. "Big guy at the bar--picked a fight. He didn't play fair."

"I remember that," Dean said with a grunt, his hand protectively covering his midsection. "I mean with you."

Sam's heart skipped a beat. "Me?"

"Yes, you," Dean snapped. "I passed out for two minutes and come to to find you beating the crap out of the guy."

Sam's pride flared. "I can fight just as well as you."

"I know that. But it's not like you. You would have killed him, Sam."

The words made Sam blanch. He hadn't wanted Dean to remember. He didn't want to remember.

Sam's silence seemed to urge his brother's suspicions. "What happened?" he prodded again. "You scared me."

The admission of Dean's fear made Sam flinch a little and there was a sting of tears behind Sam's eyes. "I thought...I mean, I saw the blood," Sam said finally. "I saw your blood and I thought you were dead. I thought some drunk looking for a fight had killed you and I couldn't just let him walk out like that. I couldn't let him get away from that. I couldn't lose you like that. And I just lost it--I lost all control. I didn't even know what I was doing after that."

Sam's voice trailed off and he looked dejectedly at the ground, waiting for his brother's response. He wasn't sure what he expected--disappointment that Sam lost control, that Sam hadn't focused on his brother's injuries rather than his brother's attacker--there were many things Sam had done wrong last night, and he knew it. He just wasn't sure he was ready to face up to them.

No words came, nothing came, and Sam finally looked up, surprised by the look on his brother's face.

There was a mixture of subtle pride and real empathy. "I know how you feel."

Sam raised his eyebrows. "I screwed up last night," he said in a rush. "I shouldn't have let you fight him at all, I shouldn't have let you fight him alone."

Dean just shook his head. "What happened between me and him was my fault," he said. "It's my fault he got the drop on me."

"But if I'd just fought him in the first place, if I'd just lived up to the Winchester name--"

"Sammy, I would fight all your battles for you if I could. Without hesitations. I didn't fight because you were too chicken to," Dean said with an emphatic shake of his head. "I fought because he tried to pick a fight with you. I wasn’t going to sit there and let him do anything to you."

Sam stared, struggling with the nuanced difference in Dean's take on the story. "You were trying to protect me?"

Dean grinned weakly. "Yeah, and I sure did a bang up job," Dean said. "You can thank me later. Right now I just want to go to the bathroom."

But Sam barely heard him. "Let me get this straight," he said. "You fought Terrence to defend me?"

Dean looked at him, his arm still cradled over his stomach. "No one messes with you, Sammy. Anyone who ever looked at you wrong as a kid, I made sure they knew better."

At this Sam looked surprised. "You mean all those times I caught flak for being the new kid, you—"

"Took care of it." Dean shrugged.

"But they didn’t do anything," Sam said.

"That’s what I was making sure of," Dean said. "I don’t take chances with things like that."

Sam fell silent, letting his gaze drop to the floor. He remembered his own rage, his own desperation. "Yeah," Sam agreed. "I know what that’s like."

Silence passed between them. Then Sam let out a breathy laugh and shook his head. "Dean?"

"Yeah?"

"Next time I walk away from a fight, let me walk away from a fight, okay?"

Dean winced, taking in the bruises and cuts on his body. "You got it," Dean said. "I could do without the stitches and the bruises."

"You could at least trying winning next time, you know?" Sam said.

"You could stop looking like such an easy target then," Dean snapped. "Every bully from here to Timbuktu has always seen those damn puppy dog eyes and figured they could take a shot."

"Dude, I’m three inches taller than you and I work out every day. I’m hardly an easy target."

"Like anyone could see from the way you slouch your shoulders and all the layers you wear."

Sam rolled his eyes. "Let’s just remember who saved who last night, okay?" Sam asked, clapping Dean hard on the shoulder.

Dean grunted and glared. "I was just letting you build a little self esteem, you’ve been kind of on this doom and gloom serenade for awhile. Wanted to distract you with something."

Sam rolled his eyes. "Sure you did. You need some help getting to the bathroom?" he asked, mocking sympathy in his voice.

"Touch me and you’ll be the one needing help," Dean griped, moving away from Sam and bed and advancing toward the bathroom at a slow and cautious pace.

Sam just laughed, his eyes on his brother, ready to assist if he should need the help.

But Dean’s walk stayed solid, if slow. When he made it to the door, he paused, glancing back at his brother. "Thanks," he said. "For everything."

The numbness from the night before eased off of him completely. "You, too," he replied with a small smile before Dean disappeared into the bathroom.

Sam stood there for a long time, heard the shower run, listened to the sounds of his brother cleaning up. Exhausted, he sat back on the bed, allowing himself to lay on his back awhile longer. He wasn’t proud of what he’d done. He wasn’t proud he’d lost control, nearly killed someone. But he knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that for Dean, he’d do it again. He’d do it every day until he couldn’t do it anymore, and at that point, he knew it wouldn’t matter, because the end would be here anyway.

Comments

Posted by: supernaturalfun (supernaturalfun)
Posted at: April 28th, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)

What a great look into the brothers! I especially liked that you not only showed Sam giving the guy heck (and we all know that brother is more than capable) but showed the aftermath - and how he felt about it after the fact. And Dean's reaction as well.
Great fic!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 1st, 2007 11:15 pm (UTC)
fallen

While Sam is capable, I don't think he likes to fight and he certainly doesn't enjoy killing. The hunt never appeals to him on the level, much less a bar fight. So while I think he'd defend Dean without question, he wouldn't be without guilt for it.

Thanks!

Posted by: Amy (mellaithwen)
Posted at: April 28th, 2007 11:48 am (UTC)

MADE OF AWESOME, brilliant story, great writing, ah just love it sooooo!

limp!dean HELLO

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 1st, 2007 11:16 pm (UTC)
limpified

Look! Dean's limp!!

I did it!!!!!

What's funny is that this isn't the limp!Dean fic I've been playing with for like MONTHS. But it's limp!Dean all the same and I'm so thrilled you liked it.

However, I am in need of a limp!Sam fix right about now...

Posted by: Amy (mellaithwen)
Posted at: May 3rd, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC)
spn: tough call

was that a none to subtle hint, faye? :P

Posted by: percysowner (percysowner)
Posted at: April 28th, 2007 02:47 pm (UTC)

That was incredible. It's good to remember that Sam can go dark not only in a supernatural way, but also just by being human. Wonderful look at the brother's relationship.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 1st, 2007 11:17 pm (UTC)
alone

Everyone has darkness inside of them--I think Sam doesn't want to deal with his because it scares the crap out of him. Maybe with good cause.

Thanks!

Posted by: nerthus (nerthus)
Posted at: April 28th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC)

Wow; this was so powerful; gritty and violent and intense, just kept me glued to the edge of my seat reading. I loved the boys in this, loved seeing Sam realize just how far he WOULD go to protect his brother, sort of taking a walk in Dean's shoes for a change since it's usually the other way around. Great job!!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 1st, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC)

Dean is always pegged as the one who would do anything for his brother, but I truly believe Sam's the same way. He's just maybe more understated about it at times.

Thanks!

Posted by: Jo (apieceofcake)
Posted at: April 28th, 2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
Dean pain BUABS

That was powerful & nicely done..and limp Dean *g*

Thanks :-)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 1st, 2007 11:19 pm (UTC)
Sam

Limp!Dean...I really didn't know I had it in me. It was actually really hard to me to do, but I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

Thanks so much!!

Posted by: Becky (ewanspotter)
Posted at: April 28th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
SPM Aim to Misbehave

Aww, poor boys. They're very fracked up, aren't they? This is excellent. I love the tie in with Romeo and Juliet. There's so much powerful imagery in that scene.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 1st, 2007 11:20 pm (UTC)
longway

They are soooooo messed up. I think it's why we all love them. And why our fic must be so dark and sadistic. Because if they're this messed up as it is, it takes a lot to mess them up more.

YAY Romeo and Juliet! That scene is so well done in that version--it's very raw and evocative. It seemed to fit the boys well.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 1st, 2007 11:23 pm (UTC)
golden slumbers

You have NO idea how flattered I am that my fight scenes are terrible! I worry about them so much because quite frankly I have no idea what I'm talking about half the time. I don't know what the moves are really called, I don't know how fighting really works--everything I know is based off of what I've seen.

And you liked the vomit! That so makes me laugh. But yeah--part of this fic was about showing how the violence would affect Sam. He's capable, but I don't think he likes what he's capable of. He doesn't want to go that far. Some of it is just who he is, some of it is undoubtedly tied to his destiny and fear of being evil. He'd do anything for Dean, even if there is an emotional cost for himself.

And I adore big brother Dean. I'm sure he was always wary of kids who may want to pick on Sam. That and drunk men at bars looking for fights. Or inmates who look at his brother wrong. That's just DEAN. Sam worries about Dean too, just not quite so overtly.

Posted by: kliqzangel (kliqzangel)
Posted at: April 29th, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)

I love the fact that it was Sam sticking up for Dean for once to go along with Dean sticking up for Sam. It's always nice to see Sammy returning that brotherly love because we don't get to see if enough I think.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: April 29th, 2007 03:10 am (UTC)

I agree. I'd really like to see more of this kind of balance on the show.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 1st, 2007 11:25 pm (UTC)

The boys desperately love each other, they just show it in backwards ways. They are boys after all. And I think we do see Sam being protective of Dean, but it's just in a different way. When push comes to shove though, I think Sam would do just about anything for his brother.

Posted by: Cynthia (coell)
Posted at: April 30th, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
supernatural colt kills anything

Good story!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 1st, 2007 11:25 pm (UTC)

Thanks!

Posted by: sunrize (sunrize83)
Posted at: May 2nd, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC)

Wow, Faye. This was terrific. I hardly know where to begin.

The last thing he wanted was to feel isolated. He and Dean against the world.

I loved your observations about the isolation Sam and Dean must feel. Between the job, Sam's "abilities," and their history with the law, they really are cut off from everyone but themselves. And as you noted, we've seen that it's not just Sam that needs community. If HB and FPB showed us anything about Dean, it was that he thrives on fitting into a group. And how hard must it be for Sam to know that he's now a part of what keeps his brother from having that? Good stuff.

"You think you can run away?" he sneered, stepping closer. "You think you can just walk away and leave my brother bleeding?"

I love that you showed how this feeling goes both ways. That's it's not just Dean who would kill for his brother. I think we've seen hints of this with Sam--not as obvious as with Dean, but there. I think Sam cut corners during "Faith" because of just this feeling. What mattered was saving Dean. He didn't stop to look too closely at what the fallout might be.

I've always thought that this would be Sam's path to the "dark side." That any "evil" in him would come from good motivations--saving others, especially Dean. I could so easily see the YED twisting that to corrupt Sam. It was great seeing you explore that, seeing Sam questioning himself. Something like this would definitely shake him up.

I think you had the characterizations picture perfect in this. Sam's horror and regret after the fact. Dean's fear, then worry, mixed with a sense of pride. I'm just sorry poor Sammy had to break down alone in the bathroom with no comfort in sight. :)

Excellent job on this. I really enjoyed it.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 7th, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC)
intense

I can't believe I haven't responded to you...I've been really bad about keeping up with things. And now that school's out I find myself with hours on end to do nothing but get myself into trouble on the internet :)

What's interesting to me is how the season finale brought this to light--Sam's words to Dean about how he'd do anything for him--it was one of those things we of course always knew but it felt so good just to have it out there. I think Dean knows it too on some level, always has, but I'm not sure he's realized that Sam needs him just like he needs Sam. That it's really a reciprocal relationship. The fact that Dean hasn't really acknowledged it isn't fair to what Sam has given and is willing to give when it comes to his brother.

Anyway, sorry I'm so tardy on this.

Thanks :)

Posted by: lorely_lane (lorely_lane)
Posted at: May 4th, 2007 09:38 pm (UTC)
big gun

*blinks* How on earth did I miss seeing this until now? *ashamed*

Great, great story. I have much love for kickass!Sam and you wrote his fight with Terrence wonderfully - gritty and rough. Plus, I liked that while Sam was good (frighteningly good even) at kicking ass he still had to work for it. As good as the boys are, they certainly aren't going to breeze through every fight.

Nice touch with Dean's injury mirroring Jess's wound. It was just the thing needed to push Sam over the edge and made for some fabulous imagery.

The aftermath really kicked the story up a notch, imo. Sam's reaction to the violence and his own part in it was very visceral. These bits were especially nice:

He could be a killer.
No.
He remembered Dean. He did it to save Dean.

This was him nearly killing another man in cold blood. Nothing supernatural involved. Just pure, cold blooded, human emotions.
No, that wasn't right Sam thought, his shoulders shaking with a muted laugh. This was hot-blooded rage. It was passionate defense. It was because he loved his brother so much that he would kill for him.


I liked that you dealt with some of the finer nuances involved in violence/killing/murder. Sam's been so scared of being a killer that he's been painting events with an awfully big brush (e.g. Andy) that it's nice to see this looked at more carefully. It's still scary and dark but a different kind of scary and dark.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 7th, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC)
zonked

Well it's okay you missed the fic since it took me like MONTHS to reply to you.

*is sheepish*

Writing fight scenes is weird for me. I don't know anything about fighting except what I've seen in movies and read myself. So knowing they work is very exciting.

And the only reason I could really do limp!Dean was that it provided a great outlet for Sam to explore some of the questions and doubts he has when it comes to his own darkness--he needs to grapple with that, moreso in the coming season than ever before.

Have you finished your fic yet? I don't recall see a conclusion...

Posted by: lorely_lane (lorely_lane)
Posted at: June 9th, 2007 12:21 am (UTC)

Errr... yeah, no conclusion for my fic yet. I've been having trouble going from outline to prose - I know exactly what I want to happen but there's about two pages that just won't come. *sigh* I really do need to finish, I do know. Thanks for poking me about it ^_~

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