I'll keep us together, whatever it takes ( Sam one-shot ) It was all over now. Really over this time. He'd made sure of that. How? Don't ask. Just ... don't. Because every time he stopped to think about it, it made him sick to his stomach. He hadn't told Bobby what happened, not everything. He couldn't. He was afraid that if he did, he'd be seen as a monster. And maybe that's how it was supposed to be. Maybe that was who he was supposed to be, but it's not what he wanted. But he had to ... he had to do it to save Dean. He had to keep them from taking his brother back. The only justification he had for his actions was that Dean would've done the same for him - if he was able. Sam had even flashed back to a certain confession that'd been made by his better half what seemed like ages ago - "The things I'm willing to do or kill, it's just uh ... it scares me sometimes." - That worked both ways. Maybe in the beginning the scales had seemed unbalanced. Dean had knocked himself out to get Sam to care: to get him to commit to this lifestyle and to his family. Well he'd succeeded, and now that desperate need to keep his brother around had made him do things he never thought he could ... and that wasn't such a good thing.
Truthfully, he was ashamed, but he couldn't focus on the consequences of what he'd done when Dean was still unconscious. Although when he came to, Sam knew he wouldn't be able to look him in the eye and explain how he'd finally freed him. He dreaded the moment when his brother asked him how, because he had no idea what he'd say. But right now, he just wanted him to wake up. After everything he'd went through ... after everything they'd been through, it couldn't end like this. Yeah, so maybe Dean had lost his Challenge. Maybe he wasn't supposed to come back, but he did. The rules had changed a little bit, but he'd still pulled out of it fair and square. They hadn't used any form of demonic power. There'd been no witchcraft, no favors, no deals, no nothing. Dean had come back all on his own. So they'd thought that they crawl up out of the Pit and drag him back down there because it wasn't meant to be? They'd thought wrong. Sam had meant it when he said that he wasn't going to let them take his brother again. Not as long as he was still standing.
There would be serious repercussions, but he'd deal with them when the time came. This wasn't Dean's battle to fight anymore; it was his.
Not only was he supposed to be in the clear now, but the night terrors were supposed to be gone - erased. That had been part of the arrangement. Sam was skeptical about whether it'd all be an instant fix or not, but they'd see soon enough. Anything was better than nothing at this point. He'd settle for just keeping Dean alive, but he hoped that the rest had been amended in the process. 'Cause he'd gone to Hell and back to see to it that this got done right. No more loopholes or 'oops! i forgot to tell you blah, blah blah.' He'd used everything he could, and he'd exploited it to his advantage at every turn.
It was a rough road, physically, mentally, and emotionally. All the while, Bobby had sat with a comatose Dean while Sam scrambled for a way to bring him back. In the end, it'd worked out better that way. This he'd needed to do on his own, because if anyone else was with him, he might've hesitated. Not because he wanted his brother back any less, but because they would've tried to talk him out of it. No more deals though. No more expiration dates. There was no longer a time limit on their lives. It was almost as if they'd been given a clean slate ... until the next pissed off demon came along and tried to do everything in its power to ruin that.
He'd finally convinced Bobby to go out and grab something to eat. The guy kept hovering, asking if he was hungry or wanted a drink. Every time he'd refuse. Finally he'd gotten so fed up that he'd agreed just to get rid of him, no offense. The guy meant well. Sam just didn't feel like he deserved it right now, and his appetite was pretty much nonexistent.
So here he sat, alone with Dean's body. The most physically challenging part had ended about seven hours ago, and there'd been no change. He was breathing though. It was steady: not choppy or staggered like it had been the night he'd stopped ... Sam's eyes came to a tight close as he tried to shake the image from his mind. Dean just looked like he was sleeping, except he wasn't tossing around moaning and groaning or screaming like he usually did when he slept. He was at peace. For the first time in weeks, there wasn't anything horrible internally terrorizing him, which led Sam to think that maybe he'd been successful in his venture. If that was true, he couldn't say that it hadn't been worth it. That wouldn't make it easier to live with, but it would numb the pain and beat back some of the remorse that was plaguing him. If only he'd found another way. If only he'd had enough time to find the most desirable solution instead of-
It'd started with nothing but a finger twitch. Then Dean's head moved slightly to the right. He was waking up. Slowly but surely, he opened his eyes, though they stayed squinted to block out some of the light that was streaming from the lamp on the nightstand.
Sam couldn't mask his enthusiasm as he leaned forward in the chair that he'd plopped right beside his brother's bed. That's where he'd been stationed ever since he'd gotten back from doing ... you know, whatever it takes. "Dean ... you're awake. How do you feel? I mean, do you feel alright? You don't feel funny or weird or anything, do you? You're not in pain?" He probably should've stuck to one question at a time, but he was just so relieved. A part of him had started to believe that ... forget it. Dean was back and hopefully better than ever. What he had done or what he had thought didn't matter, at least not in the grand scheme of things. His personal issues would continue to bother him for awhile, but when didn't that happen? The most important part of all this was that his brother was okay.
"Whoa, chill out Dr. Quinn. I'm fine." Dean shoved himself up into a seated position before he gave Sam the suspicious eye. "Though I gotta say, you look like crap. What've you been doing?"
Sam shook his head while a strained laugh fell from his lips. Unbelievable, but typical Dean. They'd been fighting for his life, but he was worried about him. "Nothing. You know, just ... nothing. I think I just need to get some sleep. I'm pretty beat." He'd already started to push back his chair, even though he was reluctant about taking his eyes off his brother. That's about when Dean busted in with ... "You were as giddy as a schoolboy when you first saw that I was awake, and now you want me to go back to sleep?" So it did sound a little silly, but Sam was tired. He could blame his odd behavior on that for the time being. He was sure the other was too groggy to argue.
"Yeah. That's what I'm saying. Look, don't worry about it, okay? I had a weird dream. That's all." The corners of his mouth drew up into a smile, before he gave Dean's shoulder a small pat. "Seriously, get some rest. I think we should sleep in tomorrow." The hidden meaning behind those words being that they would be able to sleep in now, because it should be a tranquil night. Guess only time would tell. As for Sam, he'd already climbed into bed and reached over to switch off the light. "I'll tell you everything in the morning." The reassurance was spoken quietly in the dark. He hadn't wanted his brother to see the expression on his face when he said it: the haunted look in his eyes. If they could get through tonight, they could get through the next, and the one after that, and the one after that ... and nobody would ever have to know how it all was made possible.