Title: What's Fallen Between
Pairings/Characters: Dean/Sam, Lilith, mentions of Castiel, Urial
Warnings: Wincest, swearing
Spoilers: 3.16 No Rest For The Wicked, 4.01 Lazuras Rising, 4.04 Metamorphasis, 4.14 Sex And Violence
Word Count: 3,799
Disclaimer: Don't own - just playing in somebody else's sandbox.
Summary: Things haven't been right since Dean came back from hell, add a hellhound that Sam can hear and things just got worse.
A/N: Written for my_sam_dean
. Her prompt was: claw, scent, cloud, "It could be worse."
Dean pulled open the door for the rest stop bathroom and froze, his heart turning over painfully in his chest.
The large black dog was turned away, facing back towards the dark forest surrounding the roadside rest stop. He could hear its heavy breathing as it tilted its snout up to scent the air.
His mind was screaming for him to slam the thin, wooden door shut and barricade it with whatever he could find in the sparse bathroom. But there was nothing in the room behind him but a couple of urinals and three stalls without doors.
There would be nothing to keep the hellhound out except for the pathetic knob lock and his own body.
He swallowed down the urge to call for Sam. It would be a useless gesture at best and a horrific mistake at worse, if the hellhound decided to go after his brother.
The blaring sound of a car horn broke him from his stupor and his head automatically turned toward the sound. Not that he would be able to see anything, the parking lot was on the other side of the shabby wooden building but it was habit to look for the source of a sound.
A split second later, his mind caught up with his body and his head snapped back towards where the hellhound was. If Lilith had sent it to track him down and drag him back to hell, he wanted to see it coming. He wouldn’t be able to fight it off anymore than he had the first time, but he wasn’t going to shut his eyes and pretend it wasn’t coming for him.
He wasn’t a coward; it wasn’t possible considering just how often he purposely placed himself in the path of death. It didn’t matter how loudly his heart was thudding in his chest, he wasn’t going to shirk away from this. His only hope was that his brother wouldn’t get tired of waiting for him and come looking, staying, instead, in the Impala with the music still blaring and completely oblivious to what was happening until it was all over.
Only when his gaze fell on the place where the hellhound had been, it was gone.
He scanned the tree line for any sign of it, any movement but nothing was to be seen. “God damnit!” Dean hissed low and wiped a shaky hand over his face. “Now I’m jumping at shadows.”
He should have excepted something like this. Ever since Bedford and the fucking Siren and Sam’s venom induced accusation of him being too afraid of Lilith to go after her, the nightmares about his time in hell had only gotten more vivid. The problem was, he wasn’t afraid of facing Lilith, or Hell for that matter, it was what he could have become if not for Castiel pulling him from the pit. He was scared because he had enjoyed torturing other souls and he had been good at it, so damn good. He was terrified because when they faced off against Lilith, if they lost and he ended up in the pit again, he didn’t think that even an act of God would save his pathetic ass again.
The loud sound of the car horn sounded again and this time Dean recognized it as the Impala’s. Apparently Sam was getting impatient and if he didn’t get a move on soon, his brother was going to come looking for him and really, didn’t need Sam to find him looking as spooked as he felt. Especially if he didn’t want to be stuck trying to dodge another caring and sharing moment. He, they, didn’t need something else poisoning the air between them, not with Bedford only a week behind. They had only just started speaking again without it seeming like a chore and they had yet to touch or kiss or even share a fucking bed.
No, they most definitely didn’t need this added to the mix.
“Just a shadow.” He grumbled and forced, his still shaky, legs to move him out of the doorway. “A cloud crossed the moon and I’m tired and I’ve been dwelling on Hell to much lately and…”
His voice choked off as he glanced up to sneer at the offending cloud, only to find the bright night sky clear. His gaze instantly dropped back to where he thought he had seen the hellhound.
Hesitantly, he took a step, then another and then another to the spot. He needed to know.
“I hallucinated.” He muttered desperately, “I’m tired, I’m worked up over all that shit I did. I hallucinated.”
The State of South Dakota had determined that it would be more economically sound if they spread pea gravel out around the bathrooms at roadside rest stops instead of concerning themselves with grass maintenance. Dean wasn’t sure he entirely agreed considering someone still had to come out and clean but he wasn’t a legislator and never would be so usually it didn’t matter to him either way. Only, right then, it worked to his advantage as he kneeled down and could clearly make out the claw marks gouged into the gravel, almost if, whatever, hellhound, had made the marks, had sprinted away.
He glanced around himself, trying to peer into the dark forest surrounding him, looking for movement or the flash of blood red eyes. But if it had been a hellhound, why hadn’t it taken him? Why had it been scenting the air when it should have known he was in the bathroom if it had tracked him all the way to the building?
Unless it wasn’t after him.
Unless Lilith had decided that Sam was a bigger threat to her then she must have over the better part of the last year and had decided to use her pets to take care of him.
“Fuck!” Dean growled and broke for the car. Maybe they couldn’t out run a hellhound but they weren’t that far from Bobby’s. If they could make it to his place and his ghost shelter then maybe he could keep Sam safe while Dean, and, hell he’d even kiss up to Ruby to get her to help, went after Lilith himself.
Sam was getting out of the car as he rounded the building at a sprint, “No! Get in the…”
The rest of his warning died in his throat as an eerie howl rent the air.
He would have faced the hellhound, would have stood between it and Sam and accepted his place and his dark side in Hell if it would give his brother time to get away but he couldn’t pinpoint where it was. The sound seemed to surround them and echo back and forth between the building at his back and the forest.
“What the fuck was that?” Sam hissed as he spun slowly in place, trying to locate the source of the howl.
“You heard that?” He demanded and instantly started trying to push him back into the passenger side of the car. “Get in the car!”
“Dean what the fuck?”
Dean growled low in his throat, pushed Sam’s offending hands off of him and shoved him back towards the open door. He snarled and grabbed the sides of his open jacket and shook him. “Get in the car, Sam!”
Sam stopped struggling against him and gripped him by the biceps. “Dean?” His voice was sharp but there was a hint of concern, of fear, in it’s depths. “What was that?”
He wasn’t sure what to answer, his mind still whirling with the knowledge that one, the hellhound wasn’t after him and two, Sam had heard it which meant it was after Sam. “Just get in the car.”
He shook his head, “No. You’re white Dean. White. And you’re shaking. What the hell is it that’s got you so scared?”
“I’m not scared…well not for me…”
His mouth snapped shut as the hellhound howled again and although he still couldn’t tell where it was, it sounded closer.
“Get in the car.” He pleaded as the sound faded away slowly. “Please Sam.”
Sam narrowed his eyes and started shaking his head.
“Please. I’ll tell you when we’re in the car.”
He opened his mouth but seemed to think better of arguing any longer. Instead he silently released his hold and climbed into the car.
Dean forced himself to walk around the front of the Impala, his pride already burning for having to have had practically begged Sam to get in the car and because he knew his brother was right. He probably was as white as a sheet and no matter how much he’d like to think otherwise, he could feel the fine tremors racing up and down his body.
He climbed into the car, shut and locked the door, Like that will stop it. and revved the engine.
He threw the Impala into gear and couldn’t find it in him to be pissed at himself when the tires squealed as he pulled out of the parking spot.
“Hellhound Sam.” He growled but didn’t risk turning to look at his brother’s reaction, to intent on getting them out of the empty rest stop and back on the highway towards Bobby’s. “And you heard it.”
“How do you…”
“Know?” He snarled, “You forget that I’ve been serenaded by one before? Plus I got the added bonus of seeing it on the other side of the washrooms.”
“You saw it?”
Dean could feel his temper rising as the adrenalin worked through him, ignoring the urge to lash out at his brother, knowing it was the fight or flight reaction. He could understand his brother’s incredulous tone, it was one thing for Dean to hear and see it, he was supposed to be in hell, would be if it hadn’t been for Castiel. But Sam had heard it and, as far as Dean knew, Sam hadn’t been making any deals recently. Besides which, he had already told him that no demon would deal with him.
“Yes I saw it.” He risked a glance at him as they started around the last curve that would take them back to the highway. “What I want to know is why you saw…”
“Dean!” Sam yelled out in warning and slammed both hands against the dash, his gaze riveted out the windshield.
It was instinct to use both feet on the brake before he had even fully turned back to see what Sam was yelling about. “What…”
The hellhound was standing in the middle of the road, it’s blazing red gaze turned directly towards them and even though he couldn’t hear it, he could see that it was snarling.
“Fuck!” He hissed and gauged the distance between the Impala and the dog. It was about thirty feet away, maybe, if he floored it, he could get the car moving fast enough that, even if he couldn’t kill it, he could stun it long enough for them to get away.
“There’s a second one.”
Dean’s head snapped towards where Sam was pointing and he could just make out a darker shadow moving through the trees by the side of the road.
Sam turned and looked at him. “What the hell?”
He shrugged, “Make any deals recently?”
It had been a weak attempt to bury a serious question in a joke, no matter what Sam had told him about demons not willing to deal with his brother, he needed to know.
Sam met his hard gaze straight on, “I was going to ask you the same thing.”
He couldn’t help it; deflection had been the way of his life since their mother had died. “I’m not the one cavorting around with one.”
He jerked like he had been hit and pain flashed in his eyes before they darkened. “Well at least I’m not running from them.”
“I’m sorry you’ve seen me running lately?”
“Lilith.” Sam growled slowly, drawing the name out.
Dean’s hands clenched on the steering wheel, “News flash Sam. I’m not scared of Lilith. I’m scared of…” He snapped his mouth shut and shook his head. “You know what? Forget it.”
“There are two hellhounds not fifty feet away.” He waved his hand, blindly, towards the front of the car, “I’m pretty sure we’re both gonna be dead really fucking soon so I think you can cut the bullshit and tell me.”
His temper boiled over, tired of hiding the truth, tired of his brother thinking he knew him so well. He threw the car into gear and turned to face Sam, “I’m petrified that if I go back to hell then I’ll be coming back for you. And trust me, you think I’m a bastard now. I’m nothing like what I’ll be like then.”
Even in the shadowed interior of the car, Dean could still make out the shock and hurt in his brother’s face.
“You’d hunt me?”
He laughed hollowly, “To a demon you’re my mate. While I was torturing souls, Alistair let me know that once I was ready he’d let me come back here to collect my mate. You Sam.”
Dean had expected him to blow up, or freak out or something. Something beyond the utter silence his confession had got him.
“Well it could be worse.” He finally said quietly.
Dean blinked in shock, “It could be worse? How in the hell could it be worse than knowing that?”
“You were planning on coming back for me.” Sam shrugged and Dean could just make out a slight blush to his cheeks, before he stiffened and his eyes hardened. “You’re mine now bitch!”
He shifted until he could see out of the driver’s side window, his body tensed.
The girl was maybe eight with light blonde hair and a skinny little body that looked almost malnourished. She kind of reminded him of the little girl that Lilith had rode just before he had gone to hell, the little girl Sam had almost killed. She slipped out from between two trees, another hellhound at her side.
It was instinct to reach out and snag Sam’s sleeve when he heard the passenger door open. “No Sam!”
His brother started to pull against his grip, “Let go Dean! This ends now!”
Dean twisted until he could get his other hand on Sam and heaved himself backwards until he had him pulled across the seat.
“No.” He managed to push and pull until he was laying over Sam and could reach the door handle and slam it shut. “No!”
Sam was twisting and bucking under him, trying to throw him off. “God damnit Dean! Get up. Get up!”
“I can stop her!”
His knee connected with the side of Dean’s head and bright spots flashed in front of his eyes. “Stop.” He grunted, “Sam stop!”
He wrapped his arms around Sam’s legs and held on. “You’re not ready!”
Sam began to fight him move viciously, his breath coming in sharp pants, “The hell I’m not!”
In truth Dean didn’t know for certain if what he was saying was correct or not. He knew that his brother had been sneaking out with Ruby and exorcizing demons again and God knew what else. He very well could be ready to face Lilith and this might be the only shot they got of her without a horde of demons flanking her. But Dean knew hellhounds and there were three of them and he wasn’t risking his brother’s life unless they were forced into having to fight her now.
Speaking of which.
He didn’t understand why the hounds weren’t attacking. Why Lilith wasn’t.
“Sam wait.” He bit the inside of his thigh. “Wait!”
Ow! Fucker!” Sam spat but he stilled, finally.
Carefully he lifted his upper body so that he could see out the windshield, keeping himself ready in case Sam tried anything while he wasn’t completely trapping him.
The road ahead of them was empty. He swivelled his head, expecting to find Lilith’s face pressed up against one of the other windows but each one showed nothing but dark, silent forest.
“What?” Sam demanded and started to struggle again. “Up Dean! Up!”
He didn’t believe that Lilith or her little pets were gone but he didn’t want to keep fighting with Sam. At some point he had knocked his knee against the steering wheel, his head was pounding from Sam knocking his knee against Dean’s head and if he was going to be completely honest, at least silently, his nightmares had been keeping him awake for more hours than what was healthy for the lifestyle they led.
“Okay.” He tried to shift and almost ended up in the foot well as Sam bucked up trying to wiggle out from under him. “Okay! Jesus Christ Sam hold the fuck on!”
He waited until his brother had stopped moving again and then carefully pulled himself up until he could get his hands and knees on either side of Sam’s body. He leveraged his body up and glanced down and back at him. “You were in such a rush. Move.”
Sam narrowed his eyes, “And I’m going to get up how?”
He rolled his eyes and reached for the passenger door handle. Ignoring the warning screaming in the back of his head that opening the door could be a bad, bad, idea, he pushed it open. If Lilith was still out there, lurking somewhere out of sight, she was going to get them, in the car or not.
“Get your ass moving.”
Sam wiggled and slid down the seat and Dean ignored the burst of want in his blood. Now was not the time to be getting a hard on.
“You’re an idiot.” He grumbled as his face became even with Dean’s.
“You’re a suicidal ass.” He hissed back and followed him out of the car.
Sam snorted, Pot, Kettle.” He turned a slow circle, “Where the hell did she go?”
“I don’t know.” He muttered and made sure not to add that he was glad she was gone. “I’d rather know what the hell she’s playing at.”
“Making a point probably.” Sam grumbled and ran a frustrated hand through his hair. “Letting us know that she’ll decided when and where she’ll meet us.”
“Well isn’t that fucking sweet of her.” Dean growled low, “Bitch.”
Without warning Sam grabbed him and threw him against the side of the car. “What the hell were you thinking? I could have stopped her! All of this, this angels and demons shit, would be over.”
He let himself go lax against the Impala, preferring not to start fighting again. “And what if you couldn’t beat her Sam? What was I supposed to do if she killed you?”
He narrowed his eyes, “You could try believing in me.”
Dean swallowed hard and risked being pushed away by settling his hands on Sam’s hips. “I don’t like you’re powers…”
Sam snorted but didn’t make any more to get away from his touch.
“Fine, I fucking hate them. But it has nothing to do with not believing in you Sam. I just…” He shut his eyes; there was no way he could do this while looking at him. “I don’t want you down there Sam. I couldn’t live knowing that you were in hell, going through what I went through.”
His eyes snapped open and he stared hard at him. “She would take your soul Sam!”
“I have to make her pay Dean!” He snarled back.
“Why? Why is this so important to you?” He demanded, “And I mean beyond the seals and the apocalypse. If it were just that then you’d leave it for Castiel and Urial and the other angels. But it’s like a personal vendetta with you. Jesus, you remind me of dad.”
“Because she took you!” He yelled and then sighed in frustration. “Because you suffered and were tortured and started to become something that still gives you nightmares.” His anger seemed to drain out of him and he let his head drop to Dean’s shoulder. “Because I couldn’t stop her.” He whispered, “Because an angel got you free but at any moment she could take you back to fulfil the contract.”
“Sam.” He leaned his cheek against the side of his head. “Don’t. You know why I did it. I’d do it again, even knowing what was waiting for me.”
“Because of me.”
“Sammy.” He kissed the side of his head.
There was nothing he could say to that because in a way Sam was right, it was because of him that Dean had ended up in hell but it had been Dean’s choice. The problem was that he also knew that that little fact wouldn’t make any difference to his brother.
“I can’t let her have you again.”
Dean sighed, it was a pointless argument, he would go to hell for Sam in a heartbeat and Sam would face Lilith, ready or not, for Dean. They really were each other’s weakness.
“Okay.” He whispered, “Okay. We’ll face her together.”
Sam lifted his head, “What are you saying.”
“No more hunts that aren’t demon related. From now on we focus on her alone.” He gently took Sam’s chin between his fingers. “You and me. Castiel, Ruby, they come second and no longer between us.”
“Meaning?” Sam pushed low.
“Meaning that she trains you but hunts are done with me.”
He dropped his hand to the side of his neck and buried his fingers in Sam’s hair. “He’ll flit in and out as he sees fit and he’ll be pissed but he won’t be threatening you again.”
Sam snorted, “Yeah, right.”
“Look Sam, you know he told me that I’m the lead in this war against Lilith and he has to listen to what I say. If I say that you’re using your powers then he’ll have to deal.”
He shook his head, “Ain’t gonna fly.”
Dean shrugged nonchalantly but could feel his anger start to build again. He had buried it because it was an angel telling him, the angel that had dragged his pathetic soul out of hell, buried it because Sam’s demon’s powers had never sat well with him but the truth of the matter was, that he had gone to Hell for Sam, there was no way he would stand idle and let Castiel kill him. “He kills you and neither is he.”
“You’d take on the angels.”
It wasn’t a question and hadn’t been meant as one. “You’d take on Lilith.”
He pulled until Sam’s forehead was resting against his, “You and me, Sam, back to back the way it’s supposed to be. No more secrets, no more lies, no more bullshit.”
Dean pressed his lips against Sam’s briefly before pulling back and smiling. “Okay.”