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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

Fic: Promised

May 28th, 2007 (06:55 pm)
Tags: , ,

Title: Promised

Summary: Winchesters made promises. Usually promises they couldn't keep. Post ABHL2.

A/N: I'm really not so sure I actually like this fic a lot or that it says anything new or noteworthy. But this is what the aftermath of AHBL2 inspired me to write, so I figured since Gem and sendintheclowns took the time to read it over, I'd go ahead and post it for better or for worse.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.



Winchesters made promises. Usually promises they couldn't keep.

Not that they didn't try. Not that they didn't mean them when they said them.

Dean promised to always look after his brother. He promised to protect him, to take care of him, to keep him safe. He promised to save him, to save him from himself, from hell, from everything bad that might come.

Dean knew that he would always try, on all those fronts, but they weren't promises that he could ever really guarantee, no more than their father's promises to take care of them, to avenge Mary. No more than their mother's promises that angels were watching over them and that everything would be alright.

When Sam was very young, he had promised to never leave, to always be with Dean, to be just like Dean.

Then when Sam was a teenager, their dad promised to never let Sam come back.

Sam, not to be outdone, promised never to come back.

It was a string of broken promises, all with good intentions, but all broken anyway. Good intentions or bad intentions, Dean wasn't sure it mattered. Not anymore. Because broken promises cut deep either way.

But Dean had never broken a promise like this one.

He knew that now, as he watched Sam sleep. He knew his failure as it settled in his bones and body. It made him weary.

He could still hear Sam in his head, telling about a new kind of devil's trap and some kind of exorcisms that might help them push the demon's hand. It was the latest theory in a long line of theories, but none of them had gotten anywhere yet.

Two months, five days in, and Sam was no closer to finding a way to undo Dean's deal.

Dean sighed. Leaning back against the headboard of his bed. Sam was leaned over on the table, his head resting on his hands, the laptop still open, his page still on the screen. He was asleep, but it wasn't a restful sleep. Research was all Sam did anymore, day and night, whether they were on a hunt or in between. Dean would wake up in the middle of the night and find Sam bathed in the glow of the computer screen. He worked through breakfast, lunch, and dinner, only eating when Dean reminded him.

Dean always reminded him. Always tried to get him to put the laptop away. Once he even threw it out, tried to convince Sam he'd lost it, but Sam had stolen another one, a faster one, without even skipping a beat.

Sam was snoring now, a thin string of drool escaping his parted lips. Dean wanted to wake him, to put him to bed, but he knew as soon as Sam was awake at all, he'd be back to the research, and Dean couldn't risk that.

His brother was obsessed. His brother was desperate. And Dean realized just how badly he'd broken his promise.

"I'm sorry, Sam," he whispered softly. "You were supposed to let it go, little brother. You were supposed to live a little. That's what second chances are for."

Sam mumbled, as if he'd heard his brother, and shifted, turning his face more into his hands, but didn't wake.

Dean closed his eyes. Sam didn't see this as a second chance at life. He saw it as a second chance to save his brother. A second chance to be the perfect hunter, the perfect son, the one he'd never been able to be in his first chance at life.

The demon had said maybe Sam wasn't all Sam, and for awhile, Dean had been suspcious.

His brother was more violent now, less merciful. And Dean knew some of that had to do with what he'd been through--being killed was fairly traumatic, after all.

But more of it had to do with Dean. Had to do with the fact that Dean had pushed his brother into a corner and left him no way out. Sam just wasn't able to accept it--yet.

Dean opened his eyes and looked at his brother again. In the exhausted, slack features, Dean saw the brother he knew and loved well. An open, honest kid just looking for love and acceptance and understanding. It was all still there, but what Sam was willing to give for it was different. Before Stanford, Sam had only gone so far for his family. After Stanford, it was something different.


Now Sam had nothing held back; he gave it all completely and totally to keep his brother with him.

Because Sam couldn't live without him.

Sam couldn't be alone.

Not now. Not at the end of everything. Not after losing everyone. Sam had died, and all the kid could think about was keeping Dean from dying too.

Dean laughed. It shouldn't have surprised him. It was the same desperation that had driven Dean to make a deal with a demon, the same selfish fear of being alone, of facing life without the one person who mattered.

The worst fate imaginable.

The fate he'd condemned his brother to the moment he kissed the demon on the crossroads.

For all the times he'd called Sam a selfish bastard, he knew none of it held a candle to him.

Because if Sam couldn't save him, if Sam failed--then Sam would be destroyed.

He brought Sam back to life, brought him back from the dead, only to kill him slowly.

Sam was self destructing. At this rate, he wouldn't make it a full year.

At this rate, Dean wasn't sure he wanted him to, not like this. Not emaciated and empty.

But Sam was alive. Sam was here with him. Sam was his for as long as that could last. Dean couldn't quite regret that, not yet.

The smell of death was still too real, the gray cast of Sam's skin was still too fresh.

When he'd sold his soul to the crossroad demon, he hadn't done it to give Sam a second chance. He'd done it to give himself a second chance. To give them a second chance.

Two months, five days had passed. Two months and five days where they hadn't found a way out. Two months and five days without either of them really living.

That left nine months, twenty-five days to find some way out of it. This wasn't hell or heaven or even earth, just purgatory, and Dean knew that when the crossroad demon came to collect, she'd been getting two souls instead of one.

Dean would do anything to keep that from happening.

So would Sam.

Dean almost smiled, tears stinging in his eyes.

This time they'd fight for each other. This time they'd do it together. This time, they had no choice. That was a promise he'd keep, they'd both keep, or die trying.


Posted by: girlfan1979 (girlfan1979)
Posted at: May 29th, 2007 01:48 am (UTC)

Beautifully told, and I love the gift-of-the-magi aspect to your story, as well as the repeated metaphor of promises, broken and keep.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 30th, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC)

I think Bobby hit the nail on the head--the Winchesters are always primed and ready to sacrifice themselves for one another, without even considering the consequences.


Posted by: Devan (ibelieveinsam)
Posted at: May 29th, 2007 03:32 am (UTC)
Dean Hugs Sam

I really loved this. You didn't sugarcoat anything. Dean's deal was both selfless and selfish. He left Sam with quite a burden on his shoulders. I can see Sam being just how you described him next season, determined and less likely to give mercy.

This was perfect:

Dean knew that when the crossroad demon came to collect, she'd been getting two souls instead of one

That's so sad yet true, because in a lot of ways Dean sold both of their souls when he made that deal. Nicely done :)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 30th, 2007 10:00 pm (UTC)

Dean's deal was totally in character and totally right and wrong all at once. How could he NOT bring Sam back? But to bring Sam back and condemn him to the fate that Dean himself was trying to avoid? It's just not easy, though I don't doubt Sam would have done the same for Dean in a heartbeat.

Which is why those two need to work TOGETHER to get out of it this time--so there's no more tug of war over who gets to sacrifice more first.

Posted by: The Chicken Whisperer (tiffosis)
Posted at: May 29th, 2007 03:35 am (UTC)

I thought that was very well written. Good job!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 30th, 2007 10:00 pm (UTC)

Thanks so much!

Posted by: Darth Alby the Lobster (albydarned)
Posted at: May 29th, 2007 03:53 am (UTC)

Every time I see that you've posted fic, I do a VERY happy-dance, because I adore your work THAT MUCH. So when I saw this, I squeed and was joyous from beginning to end.

This is all SO TRUE. Sam's not going to let anything else enter his thoughts until he's saved Dean. And he WILL save Dean, or else he'll die trying. There's no single Winchester brother, not anymore. Sam and Dean are a package deal, and if one of them goes, the other one is going to follow. An excellent fic, as always!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 30th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)

Awww...you flatter me. Thank you!

And at this point in their lives, they're completely codependent. They can't exist apart from one another. Losing one would drive the other to an early grave.

Posted by: squishy is the new shiny! (teithiwr)
Posted at: May 29th, 2007 09:01 am (UTC)
[spn] got you

He brought Sam back to life, brought him back from the dead, only to kill him slowly. Ouch. It's both wonderful and terrible to see how obsessed Sam is with saving Dean. I love the hopeful note you end on, though - they'll be there for each other till the end. ♥

And every time I think about the reality of one year in terms of days, it makes me all nervous.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 30th, 2007 10:02 pm (UTC)
golden slumbers

Well we do know that Sam will save Dean somehow (if they plan on a season four). And I don't think Dean thought through his deal at all--not about the consequenes of what it would do to Sam.

And I don't doubt for a second Sam will do anything for his brother.

Posted by: squishy is the new shiny! (teithiwr)
Posted at: May 31st, 2007 12:17 pm (UTC)
[spn] brothers writing

Yeah, I'm sure Dean didn't really understand the consequences of his deal for Sam - he just didn't understand that it's as impossible for Sam to live without Dean as vice versa.

And oh, Sam will definitely do anything for Dean. ♥

Posted by: dreamhorizon (dreamhorizon)
Posted at: May 29th, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)

Hi Faye

Well I am sure I love this fic...I promise!

Seriously though, I think you have hit such a true note with this one and captured the consequences and emotional repercussions so well. I can easily imagine Sam changing as you described and how the deal was really for both souls. Simply perfect!
thanks for sharing

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 30th, 2007 10:03 pm (UTC)

Well I'm glad you liked it! It makes me feel like it was worthwhile after all.

And I do hope we see some angsting from Sam like this in the coming season. We deserve it by this point, don't we?

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