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Fic: Consequences Part 4/4

Woohoo, it is DONE. Note, that I didn`t promise it is GOOD. :-p

Title: Consequences - Part IV: Resolutions
Author: Astri
Ratings/Warning: Gen, PG 13
Characters: Sam, Dean, minor OC
Spoiler: references to Faith, Devil's Trap, All Hell Part II
Word count: 4.108
Total word count: 17.122
Summary: The search for the demon has taken its toll on Sam. After a hunt gone wrong he is faced with a difficult decision. How will the brothers cope with the aftermath? And will their enemies use the opportunity to strike?
AN: This is a future fic, started last year but thanks to a few minor tweakings, it`s hopefully back on track with the show`s timeline.
Thanks to andromakhe001 for the beta and to legoline for inspiration and support.
Disclaimer: Sadly the Supernatural universe and boys don't belong to me. If they did, nobody would ever see them again. Ever. ;-)

Part 1 - Part II - Part III




Consequences IV: Resolutions


Dean was moving along quietly in the darkened house, following Sam, who was waving a little gadget around. What did he call it again, EMF-meter? He thought it looked more like a busted up walkman, though he had to admit it was pretty cool.

His heart was hammering in his chest in fear but also in anticipation. Being cooped up in their little motel room had gotten more and more difficult lately. At times he had felt almost suffocated by it. Physical training had been a welcome distraction.

Fighting, pushing his body to the limits it could go and beyond, that's when he felt truly alive. Sparring with Sam, he had been hard pressed at times to rein himself in, remembering Sam was his brother - not the enemy.

He also seemed to be regaining parts of his memory, disturbing ones; how much pressure you'd have to apply to a human windpipe to effectively detain your opponent, the best spot to strike to shatter kneecaps.

It scared him. Sam was a capable fighter, able to hold his own and he knew Dean, even when Dean didn't know himself. But Dean wondered what would happen if he unleashed against a normal person. Running on demonic adrenaline might make him stronger and more resilient but it also made it a lot harder to get a handle on his emotions - especially the anger part of them.

In his own research he had come across an entry about Wendigos, nasty critters by all accounts. Once human their most basic instincts had turned them into monsters. Was this what was in store for him? Had the demon with the soulless black eyes been right?

Dean didn't voice these fears to Sam anymore. Every time he tried, Sam had gone into deep denial. No, not under any circumstances would Dean Winchester go evil, even if he, Sam had to tie him down and talk him into submission. Dean was almost convinced Sam could do it.

Just then he felt a shiver of anticipation. They were not alone any longer. "Sam?"

The younger man turned around and looked at him questioningly.

"Do you... do you feel that?"

"What?"

"Something's here."

Sam looked dubious but couldn't ignore the feral glint in Dean's eyes one way or another. He checked the little gadget again. "You sure? I got no readings."

"I`m sure." Dean's muscles were trembling, readying themselves for... there. Running on pure instinct he threw himself left, right in the path of the creature coming out of the shadows.

For a moment he felt something earthy beneath his fingers, soft and hard at the same time. But then the creature was on him, its hands reaching for his throat. Dean tried to shake it off but it was strong so they remained locked together in some eerie mockery of a dancing couple.

Sam yelled something Dean couldn't quite make out and he doubled his efforts to get free. Finally hooking a leg behind the creature's foot and toppling them both over, Dean managed to get on top of things, so to speak. He stared at something which probably constituted a face yet looked more like a child had molded it from mud, before he started reigning blows on it's oddly silent frame.

Again Sam yelled and this time Dean was able to make out the words. "Hold it." No shit, Sherlock, what do you think I'm doing here, he thought angrily. Sam though seemed to have something in mind, brandishing a little lighter as he came closer.

Obviously the creature didn't like that very much and threw both of them off. But Dean was running high on freaky demonic adrenaline now and was back up in a second.

He grabbed the thing's arm and twisted viciously, looking with some disbelief at the ripped-off limb in his hands. The action elicited something of a high keening sound from the creature at last, bringing It to its knees once more.

Sam used that moment to shove the lighter in its face, where Dean now saw a curious symbol written on the forehead. The flame melted the clay-like skin and this time the creature howled outright before dissembling into dust, as did the arm Dean still held onto.

"Whoa... what the hell was that?"

"A golem.. .undead being made of clay, inhumanly strong..." Sam panted heavily, "...they are mythological creatures out of the Talmud and the Cabbala."

"Didn't look very mythological to me... ," Dean snorted.

"Well, I haven't actually seen one before either but in our job... you never know." Sam shrugged.

"And that thing on his forehead? I'm guessing that made it live?"

"Basically yeah, it's sort of a magic word: "emeth" meaning "truth". You only need to cancel out the first letter, then it reads "meth" which means death."

Dean stared at him. "You do get laid occasionally, don't you?"

Sam stuck out his tongue. "Shut up. For one if you had all your memories, you`d know this too. And secondly contrary to popular belief reading and gathering knowledge does not make one a geek."

"The hell it does, it's the fucking definition of ´geek´," Dean said with utter conviction.

"Coming from the guy who practically soaked up their textbook in ancient history," Sam said with an evil grin

Dean looked a bit shaken by that little titbit. "That's a lie."

"No, it's not. I caught you sneaking it in the bathroom once." Ha, and what good times of big-brother-tormenting had come of it.

"Well, it's babes and battles. That's much cooler than clay-guys with letters on their forehead." No, Dean did not sound in any way petulant, he did not.

"Whatever... geek." Sam made a little "zing" gesture in the air, like he was counting down points.

Dean made his own mental note to get the little bitch back but for the moment chose to be the bigger man. "Well, anyway, we make one hell of a team...," he grinned, "...with my animal magnetism and your psychic egg brain we're just like..."

"... Beauty and the Beast?" Sam prompted jokingly.

"Hey... ," Dean protested. He punched his brother lightly on the arm, then joined him in laughter.

A clapping sound interrupted the light moment. "Very well done. I gotta say I'm impressed how quick you're adapting."

Dean stiffened. "You."

The demon bowed mockingly. Dean groaned, not enough to have a stalker from hell, it also had to be one with a flourish for drama. The only thing missing was a fucking cape.

Sam made a few threatening steps towards the demon, putting himself between it and Dean. "You leave him the hell alone."

"Tsk tsk. Don't wanna share your big brother, Sammy? That's not very nice of you."

"Don't. Call. Me. Sammy." Each word was pronounced carefully.

"Aw Sam, don't be like that. We're all friends here. It's not like you're not welcome on our side too. Got a standing invitation as it is."

Sam tensed up, his hands balling into fists.

Dean decided to intervene. "Glad you enjoyed show. Now go to Hell and stay there."

The thing laughed. "Sooner or later your garden variety golem or vampire isn't gonna cut if for you anymore. Maybe then we can talk."

Dean's hand gesture didn't need a verbal translation and Sam sniggered.

The demon looked slightly insulted but chose to concede for now. "All right but I'll be back." The tone was light but all three present knew it for the threat it was.

* * *




The next couple of weeks were like an emotional roller-coaster ride.

Dean was prone to violent mood swings. Sam tried his best to diffuse the tension by cracking lame-ass jokes - the one about comparing Dean to a pregnant chick had gone over especially well - but that had always been Dean's forte.

Sam attempted to talk about things but, while the old Dean would have cracked under the patented Sammy-pressure by now, but this new and improved version was still a stranger to him in many ways. One that terrified him on occasion if he was honest with himself.

A week ago the brothers had exited a bar late one night, giddy and a bit drunk after an evening of genuine fun with a few rounds at pool and embarrassing stories about Dean's childhood, when they had stumbled right upon a rape-in-the-making.

Some big burly man held down a girl not even half his size - or age - her clothes ripped and tears streaming over her face. Dean had gone pretty much postal then, dragging the guy off the sobbing girl and beating on him with reckless abandon.

After fruitlessly attempting to get him to stop, Sam had been forced to knock his brother out with an empty beer bottle. Not that it had made a difference. They called an ambulance and fled the scene but Sam later found out that the guy died en route to the hospital. Sam had wrestled whether he should tell Dean or not, finally deciding against it.

How long 'til letting loose at the monsters that haunting the night stopped cutting it for Dean, he wondered. Oh yes, their success ratio in hunts had gone up. They were more efficient and deadly than ever.

And of course there was "Joe", as Dean had nicknamed the demon who had taken up the habit of appearing after a particular vicious hunt and giving Dean another spiel about how it was all just a matter of time and how he was destined for darkness. Sam would never admit it out loud but he worried about Dean starting to buy into it.

Nor did he voice the suspicion that a lot of these hunts had been set-ups, orchestrated to drive Dean to do more violence. But then, judging by the grim look on his brother's face, it wasn't necessary.

Sam just felt so alone nowadays. He had lived with the fear of turning evil for so long and now his big brother might have him beat there. It was unthinkable, no matter how angry or annoyed Sam had been with the guy, he had always viewed him as some kind of anchor to this world. Timeless and indestructible, like a damn stubborn rock that refused to budge.

Of course rationally Sam knew that wasn't true. God, this whole mess had started out with Dean being anything but indestructible but the pressure was just too much sometimes and rational thought fled under its crushing weight.

"Hey, earth to Sam. Did you hear a word I just said?"

Dean's voice brought Sam out of his reverie. He sounded like he was barely holding onto his patience. Nothing-new there. Sam sighed but tried to keep the mood light: "Of course, I did. You were talking about polar bear mating rituals."

His attempt at joking was ignored. "I found a new job for us. Cody, Wyoming. Three bodies have popped up over the last two days. Looked like they got mauled by a bear."

Sam frowned. A new job already. They had finished their last one mere hours ago and Sam had been looking forward to getting some rest. "Maybe they were."

"Were what?" Dean asked distractedly, already pulling out a map to gouge the best route to Wyoming.

"Mauled by a bear. Maybe it was something completely natural," Sam said defensively.

"Dude, we're talking ripped to shreds here." Dean's voice was coloured with pure disbelief.

But Sam didn't miss the hint of excitement either. He muttered under his breath, "Not like you get a shortage of these lately."

Bang! The laptop slammed closed, making Sam wince. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing." Sam looked away.

But Dean stalked closer. "No? You got something on your mind, spit it out. I do all the work here..."

Now Sam got angry too. "Excuse me? I seem to recall it being my shot that finished off that shape shifter. Just because I don't rejoice in maiming things like you do lately doesn't mean I'm slacking off."

"Oh man, not that again," Dean waved dismissively, ".. .they're monsters, killers, it's not like I go around beating up on humans."

"Oh yeah, tell that to the guy from the bar. Because he would surely think differently. If he were still alive, that is." No, no, no, no, no, no. Sam hadn't meant for that to come out, at least not the way it did.

"I... killed him?" Dean looked at him wide-eyed.

He seemed so child-like at that moment, it was breaking Sam's heart. "Shit... Dean... I didn't mean..."

"Did I kill him?" Now Dean's voice didn't waver, it just sounded... empty.

"Yes but... Dean... no damnit... Dean... ," the last was said to keep his brother from bolting out the door but it was too late. When Sam came charging into the parking lot after him, Dean was already throwing the car in gear. Sam was left to stare after the Impala's taillights.

He dropped to the ground, defeated. What the hell was he supposed to do now?

* * *




Dean had been driving around aimlessly, finally stopping in front on an abandoned warehouse. He didn't know why and he didn't really care. A killer, murderer, that's what he was now. Maybe Joe had been right all along.

At the thought of the thing, Dean clutched his new protection charm. Sam had been adamant that they cover their asses on all possible angles. First had been the rituals. Dean had nearly bolted at the thought of taking a bath in a mixture of strange herbs which had not exactly been chosen for their enchanting smell. At least the ritual hadn't demanded he and Sam take the bath together because good luck fitting into a tiny motel bathtub next to the Ginormitron.

Step two had been taking countermeasures against the demon's psychic powers. Dad's friend Joshua had been able to help with that, providing them with a "how to" manual to create powerful repellent charms.

These amulets had to be forged by the brothers themselves, which had resulted in them being functional if not very aesthetically pleasing. In fact Dean's amulet ended up looking like a vaguely disfigured mermaid while Sam's bared resemblance to a teapot-shaped blob.

Dean had snarked that if everything else failed the demon might at least die laughing upon seeing the embarrassing protection charms.

Well, time to find out. He got out of the car and entered the building, already knowing who or rather what he would find in there. And sure enough there was Joe, leaning against a pillar.

Giving him a friendly smile. "Hello Dean. All by your lonesome this time, I see. Do I sense trouble in paradise?"

"Why don't you do me a favour and go fuck yourself." Dean was so not in the mood for games right now.

"Awww Dean, why do you insist on making things so hard for yourself? Accept that you are one of us now."

"I'm not high on joining clubs, sorry. And yours sucks."

"Now, you know better than anybody about some of the perks we offer. After all, you do enjoy your new powers, don't you?" The handsome human face was twisted into an ugly smile.

Dean swallowed. Not wanting to answer because it was true, he did enjoy being faster, stronger, deadlier. And sometimes it felt as if there was nothing holding him back, not even... Sam.

As if It had read his thoughts, the demon spoke again. "Your brother will always hold you back. Too afraid of his own dark side to embrace yours."

"No, that's not true. He cares about me." Even amidst the chaos in his mind, the many blank spaces still left in his memories, a part of Dean was sure of it.

"But for how long? He is disgusted with you already for killing a human. Can you promise it won't happen again? How long until love turns to fear and hate?" The words sounded so earnest, as if that creature of darkness truly had Dean's best interest at heart.

"Never gonna happen." A third voice suddenly sounded from the doorway. Dean had no idea how Sam had found him so quickly but he sure was glad to see the kid.

Which was more than you could say about Joe. His pitch-black eyes shot daggers at the younger man. "Leave, he is ours now."

"I repeat, never gonna happen." Sam said it proudly, full of defiance. He narrowed his eyes. "It`s time you left us alone for good."

The thing snorted. "Are you threatening me, foolish child?"

Dean's gaze travelled between the two of them, alarmed. But Sam didn't seem afraid. He stared intently at Joe, as if trying to pin him with his gaze.

And curiously enough an odd look appeared on the demon's face. A dawning comprehension. "No, that can't be..."

Dean didn't understand what was happening. He looked questioningly at his brother: "Sam?"

By way of explanation the younger man pulled a little book from his pocket, throwing it to him.
"Read."

"What are you...?"

"Read." It was forced out between clenched teeth and now Dean could see the sheen of sweat covering Sam's face, his brother never breaking eye contact with the demon.

And Dean just opened the book and read, trusting Sam. He quickly deduced he was doing a banishment ritual, designed to send dear ole Joe right back to hell. Usually though, you would need a Devil's Trap to keep the demon in place while you did that. Well, looked like Sam and his freaky psychic- ness had that part covered.

Joe roared, flexing his body as if fighting the confines of an invisible cage. And by the looks of it, he'd succeed soon. Dean spared a glance at Sam who had blood running from his nose and mouth by now.

Dean was reading faster but he already knew it wouldn't be fast enough. Then it happened, Sam fell down to his knees with a shout and the demon came charging at him. It grabbed his fallen brother and started choking him. Sam could only claw weakly at the constricting fingers.

Feeling the now familiar rage rise within him, stronger than ever before, Dean yanked out his consecrated - thank you, worrywart Sam - hunting knife and threw it clear across the room, watching as it embedded itself into his opponent's body, right between the third and the fourth rib. Yes, that was the sweet spot.

The demon roared in pain, letting go of Sam momentarily, which proved to be a mistake because Sam used the opportunity to reach for the knife and drive it in even deeper, twisting viciously while doing so.

Joe cried out in agony. Its hands were pressed against the wound, trying to staunch the steady flow of the pitch-black blood. But it was no use. The demon dropped to its knees, defeated. Dean knew the wound was fatal, had known so before. The demon seemed to know it too, as he regarded the brothers with such hatred they instinctively recoiled.

Its black eyes focused on Dean. "You... I offered you power, to be someone. You were nothing... Now you'll stay nothing forever."

Dean shivered slightly but didn't respond; only staring back defiantly.

Dying, it turned its attention on Sam. "And you. Do you even know what you did? Who paid the price for your little stunt? Want me to tell you?"

Sam glanced uncertainly at Dean, then back at the demon. "You're just trying to goad me. You don't know anything."

It laughed, coughing up more of that oilish, black blood. "Don't I? It was your little friend Sarah. Do you think she knew, lying broken and alone on that street? Do you think she knows now and curses your name?"

"Shut up, shut your mouth." Dean yelled. While he couldn't remember this Sarah, Sam had told him about her. About what she had meant to his little brother.

Sam seemed to fall into himself, deathly pale. "That's a lie. You're lying; she died months ago, long before I even thought about the ritual. It can't be...," he shouted hoarsely, his voice still rough from the choking earlier.

The demon laughed weakly. "You stupid little fool. Do you think something as powerful as time has to follow your measly definition of it? That it even cares? The powers you sought out know no boundaries like this."

Sam shook his head. "That...that makes no sense. I don't believe you."

"Believe what ever you want, little Psychic boy. Won't change the truth. Let me tell you a mostly forgotten fact about about this spell if yours…it doesn`t choose a sacrifice willy-nilly," more blood was coughed up, "…most people just think that, think of a random, faceless shadow when the time comes…not you, though… you thought about her for a second there, your freshest loss…didn`t you?" The demon smirked weakly.

Sam crawled backwards, his hands outstretched as if to shield himself. "No, no, no, no, no....," he kept repeating it like a mantra. But the demon couldn't hear his pleas anymore.

Dean tried to pull his little brother into his arms but Sam pushed him away. At the moment he almost hated Dean. Dean who lived while she had to die. Dean who had gotten himself stupidly hurt again, forcing Sam to do this ritual and Sarah had paid the price for it. Only, he could never hate Dean because he'd always love him more.

It all seemed so unreal, so impossible but this time Sam couldn't deny the truth, echoing from within him. He had traded Sarah for Dean, even if one had died long before the other might have. And he would have to live with it. But he would do so with Dean by his side. As painful as it was, the alternative was even more horrifying.

He wondered if she knew and if she forgave him. Sam hoped so. Sarah had been like that, loving and generous. He could never made it right again, taking her from this earth. He knew he would never forgive himself.

Sam broke down into silent sobbing. He didn't know how long it went on but after a while Dean made another tentative attempt to reach out to him. And this time Sam let him. Let himself be held in the comforting embrace while Dean kept murmuring reassurances. No, he would never forgive himself. But maybe in time, he could forget.

* * *




Dean kept his distance as Sam knelt and placed fresh flowers on her grave. It wasn't his place to be there. That belonged only to Sam. So he just watched Sam's bowed head, the slight shaking of his shoulders, giving the other man the space he needed right now.

Finally his younger brother stood and walked back to Dean. He didn't look back at the grave and both knew it would be the last time either of them came here. Sam wordlessly passed by Dean on his way to the car and Dean followed him in equal silence.

When they reached the Impala the younger man opened the trunk and pulled out their father's journal.

Dean's eyes searched his face, trying to gauge Sam's state of mind: "You okay?"

Sam didn't answer at first, his thumb absently caressing the leather-bound book. Then he nodded.
"I will be."

"That psychic thing you did to the demon… ," Dean started uncertainly, they hadn`t talked about the events in the warehouse yet.

"Don`t count on it for future reference," Sam said evenly, "…it drained me. I do it two, three more times, tops and you got a vegetable for a brother."

Dean gave him a friendly shoulder bump. "So, nothing changes then."

Sam grinned back before he turned serious again. "No, I guess it doesn`t. Which means we still have one or two demons to kill."

Dean smiled. "At least."



- The End -

Comments

( 11 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )
exitosus
Jul. 10th, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC)
Awesome. Good job. Thanks for sharing =D
astri13
Jul. 10th, 2007 09:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you, glad you liked it. :)
(Anonymous)
Jul. 11th, 2007 05:22 am (UTC)
Thank God! I loved this story when I first came across it and am so glad you finished it for us. I love the way it ended. Even though I saw the Sara thing coming it was very nicely done. I also love that things aren't perfectly back to normal. Dean is still stronger, deadlier (how hot was that throwing of the knife right into the heart!), and more feral with the real and proven fear of killing someone if he let's go and even better doesn't have all his memories back. He's lighter in the angst, even more of a handful, but still with the brotherly banter but with it more equal somehow. I like them like this. Sequel???????
astri13
Jul. 11th, 2007 11:01 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. I didn`t know anybody would still be interested in it seeing as it has been nearly a year but I didn`t want to leave it hanging.

Even though I saw the Sara thing coming it was very nicely done.

That`s great to hear because I`d feared readers would just go: "what the fuck? that doesn`t make sense." But it was really planned like this from the start.

I also love that things aren't perfectly back to normal.

I am a happy ending kind of gal but I didn`t want to make it too neat.

Sequel? Oh boy. My writing list grows and grows. :)
belleimani
Jul. 13th, 2007 02:52 am (UTC)
Fantastic, well thought out and well written!
astri13
Jul. 13th, 2007 10:11 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, really glad you liked it.
belleimani
Jul. 13th, 2007 12:29 pm (UTC)
You're welcome!
a_phoenixdragon
Dec. 17th, 2007 07:44 am (UTC)
Gorgeous dear! From beginning to end - sheer perfection! Thank you...

*hugs*
astri13
Dec. 17th, 2007 12:26 pm (UTC)
Woohoo, thank you. Makes me so happy to read. :)
kuhekabir
Jan. 21st, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC)
That was just brilliant, I really loved it. Thanks for sharing :)
astri13
Jan. 21st, 2008 02:46 pm (UTC)
*bows* *beams* Thank you muchly.
( 11 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )