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SPN ficlet: Surprise

August 25th, 2011 (07:44 am)
Tags: ,

Title:  Surprise

Disclaimer:  Not mine.

A/N:  I can’t even remember when I wrote this, but I’m guessing in the S1/S2 era, given that’s when it seems to be set.  I also don’t remember why I wrote it, but it’s a short, mostly pointless brotherly love and h/c ficlet.  Beta provided by sendintheklowns.

Summary:  Dean thought nothing could surprise him.  He learns the hard way how not true that is.


Dean was pretty sure he'd seen everything.

From spirits to corpses to black dogs to freaky assed scarecrows.  Hell, he'd seen werewolves and vampires for crying out loud.  Vampires, which weren't even suppose to exist.  He'd seen demons and death and the inside of a prison cell, so really, Dean was out of things that surprised him.  Things that pissed him off, annoyed him, unnerved him a bit--sure, those things all came with the territory.  But surprises were something he'd given up on his fifth birthday during which the only surprise he'd gotten was Sammy puking all over the motel room floor.

So hunting the spirit in the swamps of Louisiana was nothing special to Dean, just one case in a long line of boring, typical cases, and he'd fully anticipated the spirit to bitch and moan about being destroyed (didn't they all?) and maybe even start throwing a few things, so none of that was a surprise.  Flying through the air, hitting the tree--yeah, that was all about par for the course, as well Sammy getting throttled by ghosty-hands.

But they salted and burned the son of a bitch and that was that.  No surprises there, no nothing.  So when suddenly the ground gave out from under him during the walk back, sending him sprawling forward, flinging supplies all over the marshy ground, well, that may have been a bit of a surprise.

There was a flurry of activity as he tried to right himself, to stop his downward progress, and he thrashed in the underbrush.  Cursing, he scrambled to his feet, or tried to, before he realized that it was just ground.  It wasn't even just the marshy crap they'd been sloshing through all night.  He'd thought the suction-like material was mud, thick and gloppy, so imagine his surprise when he realized it was a whole hell of a lot more.


He swore, using his hands to anchor him to the solid ground.  In the darkness, he'd totally missed it.  "Sammy!" he called back, looking to where his brother had been trailing him.  "It's quicksand!"

And as if all that wasn't bad enough, Dean was in for a second surprise of the night.

Because in the darkness that shrouded the swamp, he could see that the quicksand spread far across the path, far enough to trap just about anything that meandered by.  Even 6'4'' Sasquatch little brothers.

He swore again.

Because as much as it sucked to have his feet swallowed by the stuff, Sam had managed to fall the whole way in and was submerged to his shoulders, his head strained back, his body painfully still.


Sam grimaced, attempting to smile.  "Yeah," he managed.

Fear taking hold, Dean thrashed again, harder this time, desperate to pull himself free and get Sam to safety.  The more he moved, the less he could, and it wasn't until he heard his brother call out that he slowed.

"Stop! Dean!" Sam said, and his face looked stricken.  "The more you move, the tighter it is."

More than that, the more Dean moved, the more Sam sunk in--Sam wouldn't say that, but Dean could see that it was true.  His little brother was now chin deep in the sand.  

"Are you sinking?" Dean demanded, the fear singing through his body.

Sam swallowed, nervously.  "Only when I move."

"Then don't move," Dean said curtly.  "I'm going to get you out."

This time, Dean heeded his brother's advice, letting his legs go limp beneath him.  It seemed to take forever, but finally the pressure eased, and he slowly, carefully pulled himself free.

His bottom half sandy, but extricated, Dean couldn't suppress his grin.  "Okay, Sam," he said.  "Your turn."

Sam didn't reply, still struggling to keep himself still and above the sand.

Moving along the edge of the sand, Dean worked his way to where Sam was.  Once he was as close to his brother as he was going to get, Dean realized his next predicament.  Getting Sam out would be no easy task--not with quicksand pulling thick on every side and the fact that his little brother was not so little.  More than that, both of Sam's hands were fully submerged, which left dragging Sam out by the scruff of his collar.

"Okay, Sammy," he said, gentle and smooth.  "We're going to try this, okay?"

Sam nodded imperceptibly.  

"You let me do all the moving.  I just want you to stay still," Dean instructed.

In assent, Sam didn't move.

With a steadying breath, Dean reached out, nabbing the sliver of Sam's jacket that was still visible.  Digging into the sand, Dean got a tighter grip.  Reaching back with his other hand, he anchored himself on a tree.  Then he began to pull.

At first, nothing.  Then, a slight movement.  Sam's body shifted up, a little higher.

Encouraged, Dean tried again, straining harder.

Sam's shoulders emerged.

Then, without warning, the tree behind him cracked, and he was sent reeling as he struggled to find his balance.  Instinct took over, and both his hands went to stabilizing himself.

In the ruckus, the sand was stirred, and Dean watched in horror as his little brother dropped deeper into the sand.

Sam, for as calm as he'd been, panicked.  As the sand filtered in his mouth, his brother tried to move, and that would be his death knell.  Dean yelped, reaching out frantically, but Sam sank deeper until he slipped beneath the sand entirely.

Alone, Dean's heart pounded in denial.  Sam had just been swallowed whole. Sam was gone.  Sam was going to suffocate.

Dean couldn't let that happen.

Leaning forward again, he plunged his hand in again, desperately seeking any part of his brother.  At first, there was nothing, just the grit of the sand.

Then, something hard.  Something solid.


His fingers closed down, strong and unbreakable.  Willing himself to still momentarily, he let the sand around him go lax only a second before he pulled with all his might.

And that was his third surprise of the night.  

He would never know how he did it.  He would never know where he got the strength.  Just that Sammy had needed him and somehow Dean had gotten him free.  Freak adrenaline thing, maybe.  A brother's love, quite possibly.  But Dean didn't really care which one it was as long as it meant Sammy was out and free and....


Sam needed to be alive.

The momentum had thrown both of them backwards, and Dean scrambled out from under his brother's prone form.  With shaking hands, he cleared away the sand from Sam's face, trying desperately to get some reaction from his little brother.


Just sand and stillness and this wasn't a surprise that Dean was ready to take.  Not now, not ever, not--

Then Sam gasped.  Rasping and painful, his body lurched upward and Dean felt his own chest clench.  Rolling his brother to his side, he patted him hard, encouraging the coughs that now shook Sam's body.

Time passed, but Dean didn't know how much.  He didn't care.  Finally, Sam's coughing eased, and the younger brother seemed to sag in exhaustion.

Dean was all about that one.  They both needed to get back to the motel and clean off.  Clean up and sleep for the next 24 hours.

Fumbling, Sam struggled to sit up, his breaths still deep and gasping.  "That was interesting," Sam said finally.

Dean snorted.  "So that's what you call it."

Sam shrugged slightly.

Dean shook his head, standing and offering a hand to his brother.  Sam, sheepishly, accepted the help, getting uneasily to his feet.  "I would have thought someone with all the visions and stuff would have seen that coming."

Sam glowered.  "It doesn't work like that," he said.  "You know that."

Dean rolled his eyes.

Sam sighed.  "Maybe one day it'll surprise us," he said finally.

"Dude," he said, trying to gather his things and looking pointedly at his brother.  "I've had enough surprises for one night."


Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: August 25th, 2011 06:51 pm (UTC)

So intense!
Love the way you write these two, you capture their relationship very well - especially from Dean's POV.

(also, I'm a horrible failure at writing your prompt! I keep trying and failing...I'll try again tonight, but you can request a second prompt, too, and I'll do that one tonight, too, to make up for my failtasticness)

Edited at 2011-08-25 06:52 pm (UTC)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 26th, 2011 02:59 am (UTC)
sam don't belong

Sometimes I really do miss these two :) If only that show didn't terrorize my sanity so much, maybe I'd be able to watch again. But I'm glad you liked it :)

(And I know you've had some computer issues and I've always known your muse has many influences to consider, so I'm not too worried :) I'll be happy to read what you come up with whenever you do, no extra prompt needed.)

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: August 26th, 2011 12:42 pm (UTC)

I miss season 1 Sam and Dean a lot...much as I do love more recent season Sam and Dean - all for different reasons. 'Cause the show has changed a lot over the years (sometimes they feel like entirely different shows)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 26th, 2011 02:14 pm (UTC)
find me

They really do feel like different shows now. Maybe I'll come to accept that someday :) Until then, I just need to get the last of these random fics off my computer and should probably finish up a few unfinished fics languishing on my hard drive for proper closure.

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: August 26th, 2011 03:14 pm (UTC)

I think that's why I can still enjoy the show is that I just view it as a new show. I'll be mad at it for awhile for how different it's gotten or how weird, but I still love the characters and the plots are generally interesting (even if I think that angel thing has gone on too long)

I look forward to seeing your other fics :)

Posted by: dtwilight (dtwilight)
Posted at: August 25th, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC)


Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 26th, 2011 02:59 am (UTC)
skin limp lights

Thank you :)

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