the enemy's gate is DOWN (enderspeaks) wrote,
the enemy's gate is DOWN

One of Us Will Die Inside These Arms

Title: One of Us Will Die Inside These Arms
Author: eschatologies
Rating: PG (some violence and swearing)
Fandom: SPN, gen (Dean, Sam, vague season 2)
Word Count: 1200ish
Summary: I selected si_star_x’s prompt for the hoodie_time Writing Between the Lines Challenge:

The blood is still seeping through his fingers, through the slash in his shirt and the balled up material that Sam pulled out of nowhere. There’s a burn and throb, the flames licking through his muscles and up through tender flesh.

“Stop squirming,” Sam mumbles, his own hands shaking as he fingers the clasp on the first aid box and tugs it open. “Be a man, Dean.

I’m about two days from the deadline and don't foresee any time between then and now where I'll be able to work further. Thus, this is unbetad and I’m really not happy with it. My apologies to si_star_x - I wish I had done more!

The name above the manager’s office reads ‘No-Tell Motel,’ and Dean isn’t sure if it’s supposed to be ironic, or whimsical, or unapologetically true.

Whatever the case, it should have been an indication as bright as the flickering neon piping through its letters that the bland constancy of the past few weeks was about to come to an end. It should have reminded Dean that their string of moderately fair luck was wearing thin and that when the universe deigns to flagrantly comment on the numbing repetition of highway motels, Dean’s finely honed skills of observation should give him a heads up.

Instead, Dean waggles his eyebrows and shoots a lecherous grin at Sam hunched in the passenger seat and pulls the Impala in front of room number two. When that doesn’t prompt anything more than a roll of Sam’s eyes, Dean does his best to trip Sam on the way from the trunk to the motel door.

“Jesus, Dean,” Sam huffs, getting his gangly-as-fuck limbs back under his body. Sam sulks a bit more, waiting for Dean to unlock the room and because Dean is an awesome big brother, he doesn’t push it any further.

Sam’s grumpy a lot lately. Basically, whenever he is awake he’s kind of a raging bitch, which is all the time because the nightmares are that bad and Sam is too damn stubborn for sleeping pills or an alcohol induced blackout.

It bears repeating that Dean is an awesome big brother for not getting on Sam’s case (that much) about it. Dean’s got his own shit to worry about.

Which brings us back to that string of moderately fair luck. And by luck, Dean means that no one has needed stitches in a few weeks and they haven’t been bleaching bloodstains out of dingy white motel towels in the last few towns.

(Don’t confuse Winchester luck with good luck, because there was still Sam’s header into that tombstone a few states back, and the resulting mild concussion. And that plate of chili-cheese fries in Omaha. The aftermath of those was just brutal. Oh, and Sam’s nightmares, and the visions, and the last words John Winchester spoke to Dean, and the yellow-eyed fucker still out there, and…)

But, still.

It’s probably the run of injury-free successful hunts that catches Dean off guard hours later when they’ve tracked this week’s knife-wielding demonic psycho to an empty lot at the edge of town. It dodges Dean’s left hook and for just a moment, Dean puts too much weight on his right leg and tips off-balance, and the demon uses that miscalculation to slash across Dean’s gut. The fucking machete slices clear through Dean’s Henley and t-shirt, and then Dean is on his back, blinking up at the dusky, burnt-orange sky.

Dimly, he hears three rounds blast in stuttering succession from Sam’s pistol, and the fwump of a felled body hitting the dirt nearby. Atta boy, Sammy. Dean tries to roll to his feet but the flare of agony in his gut is too much, and he ends up flopped back on the dirt.

Dean’s head swims and everything kind of goes gray at the edges and he thinks he’s probably going into shock because he should be able to hear Sam moving around. Sasquatches aren’t that stealthy. He must close his eyes at some point, because all of a sudden Sam is hovering overhead, pressing Dean’s own hands to his belly (fuckfuckshitfuckdammit) and saying something that Dean can’t quite make out.

Something about the duffle bag. Dean blinks again and Sam is gone. It’s not a great sign that he’s losing time like this, but another languid blink and Sam has returned, and he pats Dean’s cheek a little harder than necessary.

“You with me, Dean?” Sam’s got that creased frown all over his face, eyes tinged with panic, and a streak of blood on his forehead near his hairline.

“Sam. You’re bleeding.” Dean licks his lips. He feels like he’s underwater, his senses all dulled except the steady throb in his abdomen and the tickle of blood down his sides. He’s drawing in hitching breaths, and can’t seem to keep his legs still or his eyes locked on Sam.

Sam’s fumbling with the duffle off to Dean’s left, but he shoots Dean a worried (and even creasier) look. Dean recognizes that one, it’s a mixture of equal parts my brother is an idiot and why are you always on the verge of bleeding to death it’s so not cool.

“No, I’m fine. It’s yours.” Sam shoves something under Dean’s hands and tells him to keep pressing.

Dean presses weakly down on his stomach, arms trembling with the effort, but it’s not doing much good. The blood is still seeping through his fingers, through the slash in his shirt and the balled up material that Sam pulled out of nowhere. There’s a burn and throb, the flames licking through his muscles and up through tender flesh. Dean lets his eyes fall shut.

“Stop squirming,” Sam mumbles, his own hands shaking as he fingers the clasp on the first aid box and tugs it open. “Be a man, Dean.



There’s a thick silence following Sam’s clipped, stern, and spot on imitation of their father and Dean forgets to breathe. Eyes closed, memory bleeds into the present. Dean can feel John crouched over him, hand firm on Dean’s shoulder grounding him through the pain like that time in Montana, with the mudslide and Dean's broken leg. Dean takes a steadier breath, relaxing into the comfort of knowing there is someone else looking out for them, able to scoop up the reigns when shit hits the fan.

Or, you know, there used to be. Before. Back when they weren’t alone, orphans, scrambling for footing or a semblance of control. Fighting destiny is fucking exhausting.

For a few bitter seconds, Dean wishes with his whole heart that John were really there. He wants to stay hidden behind his eyelids and let John fix this mess. But then Dean feels Sam’s trembling hands at his neck, feeling for Dean’s pulse and swearing under his breath.

“Come on, man. Open your eyes. It’s just a scratch, nothing to write home about,” Sam lies, voice still gruff. Dean knows Sam only assumes this false bravado, this echo of John, when the situation is spiraling out his control. Sam unconsciously invokes their father’s authority to bring Dean back from the edge. Dean feels a surge of adrenalin and he wants to fight it, he really does.

And then Sam drops the act, and he sounds all of six years old when he speaks again, pleading and lost and scared. “Please, Dean. Don’t…”

Dean flutters his eyes open and blinks purposefully. Sam comes into sharper focus.

“Okay,” Dean huffs, concentrating on stilling his body. “I’m okay.”

He clearly isn’t okay in the normal meaning of the word, and Sam understands. Sam sighs with relief, and starts to pull supplies out of the kit.

It kinda pisses Dean off that he has to communicate, I’m here, Sammy, I’m with you and we’ll be fine, as if he isn’t the one laying in a rapidly expanding pool of his own blood. It’s another weight tossed onto Dean’s back, saddled alongside everything else. And it’s really fucking heavy. But Sam has been Dean’s charge since diapers. Sam can’t do his job unless Dean is doing his.

So it goes.
Tags: character:dean, character:sam, fanfic, gen, spn
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