Anyway, thanks to wynefred and womanofletters for their invaluable help on this one and for being awesome betas.
This is super sad, I gotta warn ya. It's a death fic. Have some kleenex ready. ;)
Title:Time And Mercy Is Out Of Your Reach
Summary:The boys are ambushed by an old foe.
Warnings:Spoilers for Season 7. Warnings for angst and character death.
Disclaimer:Eric Kripke still owns Sam & Dean. Dammit.
Author's Notes:I can't give enough thanks to my betas: wynefred and womanofletters. This fic would not be what it is without their input and advice (not to mention enthusiasm). Thank you ladies! I look forward to working with you again in the future. *hugs*
Btw, the title comes from a lyric from the song "Oh, Death".
Sam felt something was wrong the instant he and his brother, Dean, stepped into Rufus’ cabin, but it was already too late. Call it a hunter’s intuition, but there are some things you just feel with your gut. Like when you’re about to be ambushed and there’s no way out.
Dean had entered first and before either of them could even react on the instinct to fight or run, Sam was shoved against his brother’s back. Several figures in the darkened cabin moved at once. Dean barely regained his balance and pulled his gun before it was knocked out of his hands.
Sam had recovered from stumbling into his brother and then was being restrained, arms pulled painfully behind his back by two men. He tried to fight them off, but they were strong - beyond human strong. Sam twisted to break free and it did work for a few seconds, long enough for him to turn and throw a few punches that seemed to have little effect. In the dim light coming from the lone lantern by the fireplace, he could barely make out his brother fighting off several figures himself. There was a person standing near the light who wasn’t joining in the fight at all, but calmly watching, his body in silhouette.
Sam didn’t have time to concentrate on this though. He had his hands full with his attackers, along with keeping one eye on how his brother was faring. When his eyes became accustomed to the light in the cabin, Sam realized they were far too outnumbered. Within seconds his arms were once again forced behind his back and he could see Dean had also been restrained.
The calm figure by the lantern now stepped forward out of the shadows. It was Edgar, the Leviathan they had once thought they’d killed under a falling car in Bobby’s scrap yard.
“That’s better. It’s taken some work to find you two.”
Dean never failed to find a clever comeback.
“Sorry to be such a bother,” the older Winchester smirked.
“Oh, not at all,” said Edgar, “All it took was finding a few allies.”
And with that several men stepped out of the shadows from the other rooms, black demon eyes shining.
Sam passed a knowing look to his brother, “Great. A bunch of backstabbers. So much for our protection.”
Edgar continued, “You really didn’t expect every demon to be a loyal Crowley follower, did you? Turns out some of them are quite willing to work on our side. What the boss doesn’t know, won’t hurt him. Mr. Roman cares about results and that means you two out of the picture. You guys have been on the demon’s ‘Most Wanted List’ for a long time anyways. We get you out of the way and they help transport us in and out. It’s a perfect operation. Textbook.”
Sam could tell that his brother was working on a way out of this. He’d hate to admit it, but he hadn’t seen this one coming. After getting a promise from Crowley that demons had been given the “hands off” signal for the two of them as long as they killed Dick Roman, he had hoped they’d be free and clear. Fighting the Leviathans was tough enough without demonic interference. But this looked to be a rebel band of Leviathans and demons, with
Edgarin charge? Sam didn’t quite believe that one.
Right on cue, Dean piped up with a witty remark. “So what happens now? We become Leviathan souffle? I gotta warn you, I’ve been eating a lot of TexMex lately. I’m liable to be spicier than you can handle.”
Edgar was unfazed. “Oh, I don’t think that will be a problem. We haven’t been ordered to eat you.” With that he motioned to the men holding Dean. Catching him unawares, they shoved Dean towards Edgar. At the same time, Edgar stepped forward, thrusting his right hand out and straight into Dean’s lower left side.
Dean grunted and groaned, his face pulling tight with pain. Sam yelled out, “Dean! No!!!” as he strained against the arms holding him. Edgar leaned in close to Dean’s ear, looking up at Sam knowingly and smiled, “Your old friend, Meg, says howdy.” With that he pulled his hand out of Dean’s gut while simultaneously pushing the elder Winchester back, causing the hunter to cry out. Sam’s captors shoved him forward, just in time to catch his falling brother in his arms. They collapsed to the floor together, Sam breaking their fall with Dean’s head cradled in the crook of his left arm.
Sam looked up, nauseated at the sight of Edgar's bloody right hand. Strings of muscle, sinew, and skin hung from it in a soppy, gruesome mess. The Leviathan flung the handful onto the wooden floor and then licked some of the blood off his fingers in satisfaction.
Edgar smiled wickedly, “We’ll be back for you, Sam. Meg’s orders.” A black-eyed demon came up behind him and they disappeared, along with the others in the room.
Dean was panting with pain and for a few seconds Sam could do nothing but stare in horror at the vicious wound in his brother’s side. It was like one of those wounds you only see in slasher flicks or war movies.
Snapping out of his shock, Sam hurriedly pressed his hand to the gaping wound. The warm, red blood flowed between his fingers and began to pool on the floor. Dean’s blood.
He pulled down the small blanket from the couch, pressed it where his hand had been, and tried to stop the flow of his brother’s life from leaking out. Dean groaned sharply and his breath hitched.
“You can let go now, Sammy.”
That did it. Sam looked down into his brother’s eyes and his face crumpled into anguish. Dean was saying goodbye. Dean was dying and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it.
There was nobody to call for help.
There was Sheriff Mills, but she was too far away. Truth was, there was no time. Dean’s breaths were getting more and more labored, his eyes taking on an empty look. Sam choked back a sob and willed for a miracle.
A miracle that would never come.
“Re-mem”, Dean struggled to say. “Remember...our deal.”
Sam simply nodded his head, tears dripping from his cheeks in the process.
After he’d gotten his soul back, the two of them had made a pact: no more demon deals or trying to bring each other back from the dead. The Winchesters had cheated death more than they deserved. Besides, it wasn’t as if they didn’t know what heaven was like. Sam only hoped they would end up there together like they had before.
Because there was really no doubt in his mind that he would be following his brother shortly.
They’d gotten careless, complacent. The one thing their dad always stressed you never let happen as a hunter. Using this cabin again and again had been foolish. All Sam could think, as he held his brother in his arms, was that Dean was meant to die saving the life of someone, not gasping his last in some remote, rundown cabin. Dean deserved better than this.
Back arching from the pain, Dean was trying to hold on. He’d given Sam permission to let him go, but he was still trying to stick around as long as he could. For my sake. Dean always was a fighter, holding onto life until the bitter end.
Sam saw something in Dean’s eyes. Regret? Sadness? Guilt?
They’d always been able to read each other. It had saved their lives more times than Sam could count. Now that silent communication helped his brother express all the things he couldn’t say, but wanted to.
“It’s okay, Dean. I know.”
Sam held on tighter, making sure Dean knew he was there, that he wasn’t alone. Dean gripped Sam’s jacket sleeve with a ferocity that surely came more from the pain than from actual physical strength. It was enough to make the younger Winchester want to cry out for mercy. But he stayed silent except for his choked off sobs and sniffles. He would provide what comfort he could in his brother’s last moments.
He laid the palm of his hand along Dean’s left cheek, a tender touch that would never be allowed at any other moment. Dean’s breathing was getting shallow. The end was near. Chick flick moments be damned. They needed this.
Dean’s eyes focused on Sam’s one more time and a slight smirk formed on his lips before the final breath of life left his body. His eyes closed peacefully, belying the pain they had held only seconds before. Sam held his breath, willing for Dean to somehow have one more breath himself, but it never came. Seconds ticked by and Dean laid still, his head a heavy weight on Sam’s arm.
Letting out a shuddering breath of realization, Sam bent forward and pressed his face to his brother’s forehead, the tears once again flowing.
Sam let out a shaky, “Dean,” as if saying his brother’s name would somehow bring him back, would back up time so this had never happened. He raised his head and looked down at Dean’s face. It was so peaceful. Something Sam rarely saw except when his brother was deeply asleep. There would be no waking up this time.
“I’m sorry,” Sam sniffled. He carefully pulled his brother’s still clenched hand from his jacket. Dean felt heavy, all that muscle and bone now limp and lifeless. Sam shed a few more tears and then couldn’t help but chuckle as he heard Dean’s voice in his head calling him a girl. “Yeah, well...you’re still a jerk,” Sam said in the now too quiet cabin. Clutching Dean to his chest, Sam allowed himself a few more broken sobs before he got control of his emotions.
It was time to finish this chapter on the Winchesters.
Sam dug out his phone from his jeans pocket and sent a final text to Sheriff Mills, asking her to give them both a proper hunter’s funeral.
Fortuitously, Dean’s gun was lying on the floor within reach. Sam picked it up, feeling the familiar cold metal. He looked down at the beautiful engraving in the barrel. He’d always admired this gun and he knew why it was his brother’s favorite. It was the right size for Dean’s hand and perfectly balanced.
Pressing the gun to his temple, Sam looked at Dean’s face one last time. He prayed that just this once, God or the Fates or whatever ran this show called life would offer up some compassion. He prayed that he would see his mom and dad, maybe even Jessica, but most of all he wanted to spend whatever eternity he had with his brother. His finger curled around the trigger as his eyes closed.
“I’ll be with you soon, big brother.”
A deep breath and a shot rang out through the cabin.
Thanks so much for reading. Remember, my Crazy Muse loves feedback and cookies in equal amounts. ;)