[identity profile] acidquill.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] verse17_17
title: though i may not wear a crown
author: [livejournal.com profile] acidquill
disclaimer: don't own em.
rating: pg-13
characters: Sam, Dean
word count: 1,466
notes: finally, another episodic fic! this one's for 3.11 so there are quiite a few SPOILERS. wasn't intending to do this one next, but I was watching last night's ep and this pretty much fell in my lap.

Sam hates Asia. And waking up to Asia is even worse. It's not like he's never figured out exactly why Dean likes them, other than he knows it bugs the hell out of Sam. But he has to admit, watching his brother lip synch is pretty funny. Dean's gargling? That's not funny at all, it's plain gross. But Sam nows if he says anything, Dean'll find some other way to get under his skin - probably chew with his mouth open at breakfast or give him a wet willie while they're driving.

Damn kid.

They hit the diner they spotted last night for breakfast. Sam makes a face at Dean's choice of breakfast.

"You're just jealous Sammy. You're getting too old to order this stuff. Metabolism's gettin' slow." Little jerk even reaches over the table and pokes him in the stomach. When the waitress asks Sam what he'd like, he grins. He leans over and pats, more like thumps, his brother on the head twice. "I'll have a short stack."

Dean gives him the finger.

That night, Sam just wants it all back. He's holding his baby brother. Dean is. His little brother is dead. It isn't supposed to end this way; they were supposed to have more time. Sam hasn't found a way to save Dean yet, and now. Now he'll never get the chance. He feels like his heart is being ripped out of his chest.

Sam wakes up and the pain is still there. His head and arms feel empty. It takes him a minute to register Asia playing again in the background, but by then he's already seen something that can't be right.

Dean. Smart mouth, annoying music, and all. He's alive. Sam fights the urge to grab Dean to make sure. It was so real. He could still feel the phantom of Dean's blood, slick over his hands. But his brother was here. Solid and whole, close enough to touch.

The two of them go to breakfast. Sam's shoulders tense every minute they're in the diner. This is too weird, even for them. He's still trying to convince himself that he's wrong about the dream or vision or whatever the hell it was when Dean steps off the sidewalk.

Sam will never, never, get the image of his brother flying over the top of that car out of his head.

The next morning, it's worse. He remembers two different days, two different ways he's lost Dean. And the ache in his chest hasn't gotten any better. Not even when Dean's just over on the next bed. Still alive.

Sam's supposed to be the protector. He should be able to stop this; he’s the oldest - it's his job. But every morning he wakes up and he's failed.

The days he keeps Dean in their room, it's electrocution, the snap of a broken neck in the shower, one of the guns misfiring before Dean even gets started taking it part to clean. On the days he can bear to let Dean leave, it's a botched gas station robbery, the slice of a broken beer bottle in a bar fight, getting crushed against a brick wall when a car swerves to miss a dog.

He's seen his brother die more ways than he knew was possible, from getting knifed on their way back to the motel by some crazy homeless man, to just plain stupid shit, like the damn desk or that arrow of Donna's. Things that seem too fucked up to happen. If Sam. When Sam gets out of this damn time loop thing, he's never going to be able to sleep again.

It seems so simple, once he's noticed it. All this time and the bastard has been right there. Knowing. Eating his fucking pancakes and listening to Sam spill his guts. Sam wants more than a stake through the thing's heart; he wants it to bleed. Wants to make that sonuvabitch's misery last as long as he can draw it out. He deserves that much. Dean deserves that much.

Dean pulls at his sleeve, "Come on Sam, Sam! We can find another way to do this."

He's past listening. He shifts his grip on the stake. Gotta make this count. It's too late for begging or deals. There's not another way. It's way past time to just stop thinking and finally be able to save his brother. He presses on the stake and feels it bite into flesh. The Trickster looks up at him; Sam could swear the thing looks sorry. "Can't let you do that kid," he says.

And snaps his fingers.

It's Wednesday. Wednesday.

Sam has never been so glad to see the middle of the week in his life. They eat breakfast, and for once Sam doesn't give a goddamn about who's eating what or whether Dean wipes his mouth with the back of his hand.

Finally, they're home free. He can pack up his brother and get the hell out of this town. Let the Trickster do whatever the hell he wants. Sam's willing to take one for the team. As long as he's got Dean, the rest of the world can look after themselves for a while.

He's making the bed when he hears it, doesn't register the sound at first, just thinks how familiar it is. Like a gun going off. He's tucking in the corner of the sheet and oh god, Dean. Sam stumbles out of the room and takes the stairs two at a time. But it's not enough.

Everything Sam's gone through, and this is it. Dean gets shot down by some punk in the parking lot. The fucking parking lot. He holds his brother tight, closes his eyes. And doesn't wake up.

The joke's on you Sam.

He takes Dean's body back to Bobby's. It's the only place he knows he can go to. Bobby helps him with the arrangements, like he did with their dad, and they burn Dean's body just as the sun's going down. Sam is gone the next morning.

Bobby won't stop calling. Sam's long since stopped picking up; he hasn't talked to the man since the very first time. Bobby'd told him to come back, come home Sam. The only thing that kept Sam from laughing was Bobby's voice, rougher than usual. Strained. It didn't make a difference though. Sam's never had a home. He sure as hell doesn't have one now.

He wakes up in the mornings to silence. He goes entire days without speaking, with the ache of missing Dean pressing in on him like the tide. Sam knows what he has to do. There's only one way to fix this, and Sam's not gonna stop until he has the Trickster pinned down like a fucking butterfly on a board. He'll make the bastard erase the months he's spent alone. If it's the last thing he ever does.

Sam thought he could be stronger than this. He wants to be cold and calm and untouchable. But when he's looking at the Trickster, the one hope he has of getting his brother back, Sam breaks.

"All I want is my brother. Please."

"This is the world without him Sam. This is what it's like. Hell, I liked Dean. Sure he was a scary little bitch with that stake, but he's a good kid. That's not what this is about." The Trickster looks sorry again; Sam wants to punch him in the face.

"Sometimes you just gotta face facts, you can't save him."

Sam loses it. He shoves the Trickster away. Snarls, “Why don’t you let me worry about that?”

The Trickster cocks his head. Squints his eyes like he’s trying to see something that’s just not there. “You know what, this stopped being fun about two months ago.”

Sam wakes up and thinks, No. Not again. He can’t go through another day knowing that his little brother is gone. Then he hears the rustling coming from the bathroom and God. Oh God. Dean’s alive and Sam thinks he’s losing his mind.

It’s Wednesday. That Wednesday.

Sam surges up off the bed and pulls Dean into a hug. His brother puts up with it for longer than Sam figured he would, then wriggles out of his arms. “The hell Sammy?”

“Nothing dude, just had a bad dream.” Sam doesn’t want to let go, but catches himself before he can grab onto Dean’s sleeve.

He gets dressed and packs his duffel. When Dean asks about breakfast Sam vetoes the diner and promises they’ll hit up a McDonald’s while they’re on the road. His brother seems satisfied and starts toward the stairs. Sam looks back at the room once, the place that’s been his hell for too long, and feels the weight finally lift off his chest.

- end

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October 2009


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