Gaelicspirit (gaelicspirit) wrote,
Gaelicspirit
gaelicspirit

Night of the Hunter, Part 10A/10, PG-13, Dean, OC, GEN

Title: Night of the Hunter
Show: Supernatural
Author: [info]gaelicspirit
Genre: GEN
Characters: Dean, OC (with appearances by Sam, Bobby, and Castiel)
Rating:PG-13 for language, violence, and one mature scene in chapter 1
Spoilers:Season 5, bridges episode 5.02 Good God, Ya'll to episode 5.04 The End.
Summary:Hunting isn't something Dean can simply quit. Even if his family walks away; he's survived worse than loneliness. He's survived Hell. But when an ancient and dangerous breed of vampires and a mysterious hunter cross his path, Dean learns that Hell was just the beginning.
Disclaimer: They're not mine. More's the pity. Title of the story comes from a 30 Seconds To Mars song of the same name.
Warning: This story is definitely PG-13 and might be considered borderline R in some parts for language, violence, and one mature scene in the first chapter. I trust you know your tolerance level.

Author's Note: Thanks for coming back!  I promised that Sam would return, and for those of you who have been waiting, he's here at the end of all things. Okay, well, not all things. I suppose I always feel a bit (overly) nostalgic when wrapping a story – especially when the creation of it has felt slightly epic to me.

I should note: this is a chapter to bring everything together. It's not meant for action; a bit of angst is the order of the day. And a sense of completion. But after the events that transpired in the previous chapter, I hope you won't mind.

I want to thank my dear friend thruterryseyesfor giving each chapter a sanity read, exclaiming at the scenes where I needed her to exclaim and pointing out the flaws that inevitably occur due to writing at light speed. You are truly good for me, mo chara.

To Janet, for whom this was written, and everyone else who has given me their time reading this story, I hope you've enjoyed the journey.

Chapter 9



A revolution has begun today for me inside
The ultimate defense is to pretend
Revolve around yourself just like an ordinary man

The only other option is to forget

30 Seconds to Mars, R-Evolve

www

CHAPTER TEN

Kansas City, MO

Tired wasn't a big enough word.

From the moment he'd hung up with Bobby, sitting along the side of that darkened road, Dean had wanted nothing more than to get to Sioux Falls. However, it seemed having a celestial destiny was going to take precedence over anything Dean wanted. After Cas left him outside of Waterville, Dean set his sight on a cross-country trek. Maine to South Dakota was a trek.

Might be time to re-think the value of angel transportation, Dean thought as he passed the Jehovah's Witness outside the run-down motel tucked back into the Bottoms of Kansas City.

Dean spared a thought for Castiel as he dropped his duffel on the floor. The angel had been focused on finding God, on proving Raphael wrong. Cas needed the archangel to be wrong. Dean could understand that, could sympathize, even, since it would really help his situation if the big guy were hanging around somewhere.

The thing Castiel seemed to sometimes forget was that Dean was Michael's very human vessel. Despite the drawback of the news Raphael shared – and despite Dean informing the angel that he needed to get to Bobby's – Castiel had been relentless in his quest to keep moving, keep searching.

But Dean simply had to stop. Just for a night.

He was too close to Lawrence for his liking, but he knew if he didn't stop now he was in danger of making a mistake; now was not the time to take risks. Being healed from the wounds left behind after his latest battle with the nosferatu had not, apparently, included an angel-sized Red Bull shot of energy.

Castiel was anxious. It radiated through the phone lines as he urged Dean to help him find the Colt. The fucking Colt of all things. His father had practically killed himself to get it and now Castiel thought it would be powerful enough to defeat the devil.

Body aching, demanding at least four hours of sleep, Dean wearily wrapped his arms around the damp-smelling pillow. It hadn't taken long for Hell to creep back in to taint any sleep he'd been able to catch in the small pockets of time Castiel had allowed him to rest. If he could just get four hours nightmare-free, he might actually be able to function with a clear enough head to make it to Bobby's tomorrow.

Armageddon could wait until he found out how the hell Noah had survived that inferno.

He'd almost relaxed enough to drop over the edge of when his phone vibrated. Growling, unwilling to open his eyes, he reached blindly for the phone and practically bit off his words into the receiver.

"Dammit, Cas, I need to sleep!"

"Dean. It's me."

His heart froze. His breath caught.

Three weeks. Three weeks of too much blood, too much doubt.

Three weeks and a choice made. Three weeks and needs changed.

"Sam?" He sat up, squinting blearily at the digital read-out of the alarm clock. "It's a quarter past four."

"This is important." Sam's voice held that note of entitlement he always got when he'd discovered something he knew Dean didn't know. When things were going well, it ticked Dean off. When things were off – as they were now – it put him on instant alert.

"Gimme a sec," he grumbled, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed and pushing to his feet.

Setting the phone down on the bed, he shoved a hand through his hair. He almost didn't want to pick the phone back up. It had taken this long for him to accept that he was better off without Sam. It had taken this long for him to not want Sam there. He knew how easy it would be to go back on that. He knew how easy it would be to just stop being alone.

Tugging on his jeans – something told him he'd feel more balanced if he were clothed for this conversation – he took a breath and picked up the phone. Ears alerted, he could now pick up the hum of the highway behind Sam's breathing.

"You driving?"

"Yeah," Sam replied, sounding slightly startled to hear Dean's voice so abruptly. He'd clearly been caught up in some pretty heavy thoughts.

"You okay?"

Sam paused. Dean lived four lifetimes in that pause. "Yeah, I'm okay."

"Where'r you headed?"

"I, uh…," Sam faltered, and Dean could practically see him flex his mouth back in a helpless, humorless smile. "I don't really know. Just…away."

"From?"

"Where I was."

Pressing his lips closed, Dean dragged his free hand down his face. He had to be careful here. He wasn't Sam's big brother right now. Sam had walked away from his brother. Had chosen a life separate from hunting.

Dean couldn't handle this conversation the way every instinct inside of him was screaming at him to behave.

"Okay, Chief, what's so important you had to interrupt my beauty sleep?"

"Where are you?"

Dean hesitated. He wasn't sure why. Instinct? Wariness?

"What's going on, Sam?"

Whatever he'd been expecting Sam to say, the words Lucifer told me I was his vessel were not on the list of possibilities. He stood for a beat, listening as Sam described the dream of Jessica, knowing how seeing her would have simultaneously ripped out his brother's heart and enticed him to sleep forever.

He wandered to the room fridge he kept stocked with beer – always the first supply on his list to acquire when arriving in a new town – and felt a fist close around his heart. It was a wall of defense, protection…something real that he could count on, lean on as he let his brother's voice wash over him.

"So," he said, reaching in for a beer. It was five o'clock somewhere in the world. "You're his vessel, huh? Lucifer's wearing you to the prom?"

"That's what he said." Sam sounded wound up. Anxious.

And for good reason: Satan just said he wanted his body. That was not normal. And yet, Dean couldn't bring himself to react with anything other than, of course. The universe seemed destined to screw with them. Pitting them against odds decidedly never in their favor.

And he had a feeling it started with his deal. The deal he made to bring Sam back, to make sure he was kept in the world. For this? To be the human condom for the Angel of Darkness?

"Just when you thought you were out, they pull you back in, huh, Sammy?"

"So, that's it?" Sam sounded pissed. "That's your response?"

Dean knew what his brother wanted to hear. He knew Sam was looking for a big brother rallying cry of they'll never take us alive! He knew Sam needed him, needed reassurance. But he couldn't give it to him. Too much had happened.

He simply didn't have it in him to placate Sam with assurances he didn't believe, faith he no longer had.

"What are you looking for?"

"I don't know. A…little panic? Maybe?"

Dean sank down into a chair, feeling his bones creak like the seventy-year-old man his soul truly was. He huffed slightly. "Guess I'm a little…numb to the earth-shattering revelations at this point."

"What are we gonna do about it?" Sam demanded, his eagerness setting Dean slight off-balance.

He took a sip of beer. "What do you want to do about it?"

Sam's voice hardened around his next words. "I want back in, for starters."

"Sam—"

"I mean it," Sam snapped, cutting him off. "I'm sick of being a puppet to these sons of bitches."

Dean closed his eyes, listening, his heart rebelling. Sure you are, now that it's touched you. Now that you're scared. Now that it's personal.

He forced himself to bite his tongue against the onslaught of words that stepped on each other in their rush to tumble free. You were pretty happy walking away before. Didn't matter that I was being dogged by a fuckin' archangel with Armageddon staring me in the face.

He exhaled slowly.

"I'm gonna hunt him down, Dean."

Bitterness climbed over Dean's imprisoned words and colored the ones he let loose. "Oh, so we're back to revenge, then, are we?" He heard an echo of his own caution – not to Sam, but to Noah – reverberate back to him. It's not just about revenge. It can't be. "Yeah, 'cause that worked out so well last time."

Sam bit down on his reply. "Not revenge. Redemption."

Dean suppressed the need to roll his eyes, clenching his jaw as he filtered Sam's demands. "So, what? You're just gonna walk back in and we're gonna be the dynamic duo again?"

Doubt saturated each word. Sam hadn't left because he was bored. He hadn't left because he didn't want to hunt anymore. He left because he couldn't. Because he couldn't be around the demon blood and not thirst. Not hunger. He didn't have the control Noah had. He couldn't hack it. And it would get him killed.

Dean was sure of it. It would get Sam killed or it would get Dean killed.

Apparently zeroing in on the source of Dean's hesitancy, Sam pressed, "Look, Dean. I can do this. I can. I'm gonna prove it to you."

Dean rubbed his forehead. This was Sam. His Sam. He couldn't let him do this. He couldn't let him come back. Not now – not like this.

And the hell of it was, Dean didn't want him back. He didn't want to lose himself inside of the role he played around Sam. He didn't want that constant, gnawing fear that he was going to lose Sam. Again.

And this time, no one would want his soul in exchange.

"Look, Sam. It doesn't matter. Whatever we do. I mean, it turns out that you and me? We're the, uh, the fire and oil of Armageddon."

He stood up, turning to face the window. He needed to move. This was too hard. What he was saying, what he was about to do? It was too hard.

"On that basis alone we should just pick a hemisphere. Stay away from each other for good."

"Dean, it doesn't have to be like this!" He could hear Sam's desperation, vocal fingernails clinging to a ledge of reason. "We can fight it!"

Turning away from the window to pace in a tight, four-step pattern, Dean nodded.

"Yeah, you're right. We can," he said, swallowing hard and forcing himself to say the rest. "But not together. We're not stronger when we're together, Sam. I think we're weaker. Because…whatever we have between us? Love, family, whatever it is…they are always gonna use it against us." He felt the fist around his heart squeeze, the ache intensifying as he felt Sam listening, felt Sam's denial. "You know that. We're better off apart. We got a better chance of dodging Lucifer and Michael and this…this whole damn thing, if we just go our own ways."

"Dean, don't do this."

He'd expected anger in Sam's voice. The plea held there, the pain layering the words, caught him by surprise and he almost relented. Almost changed his mind and told Sam where to find him.

And then an image flashed across his mind's eye. An image of blood splattered across a battered face, spreading across a rough-hewn floor. An image of Noah pressing his forehead to Luke's. And image of a knife cutting cleanly, ending it all.

And the memory of how easily that could have been him and Sam rocked through him once more.

"Bye, Sam," he choked out, hanging up the phone before Sam's voice could draw him back.

It's for the best, he reminded himself. It's for the best.

www

Somewhere outside of Kansas City, KS, the next day

Give yourself to Michael. Say yes and we can strike.

Dean pulled the Impala to a stop beside a small grove of trees. The air was clean, cool, coppery-bright with the after burn of morning. The leaves had yellowed with the departure of summer and the world seemed to be holding its breath in anticipation. Dean glanced through the windshield; his present day surroundings held a sense of innocence, a sense of peace, when compared to the horrific, Croatoan-infected reality of the future he'd just witnessed.

Before Lucifer gets to Sam. Before billions die.

He turned off the car and let the sound of the cooling engine crowd out the sound of Zachariah's voice in his head. He had to hand it to the angels – they had some pretty nifty tricks up their sleeves. Time travel wasn't one he'd expected, but it had certainly done the trick. Though, admittedly, not the trick Zachariah had been hoping for when he propelled Dean into 2014.

They'd almost had him. Almost. He'd almost backed himself so far into a corner of stubborn independence that he practically handed Zachariah the victory he'd been vying so desperately for all this time. But the answer, Dean knew now with a certainty born of witnessing his own death, must be no. He could not become Michael's vessel any more than Sam could become Lucifer's.

Once more, Castiel had rescued him. Just in time. Keeping a promise. Saving him from a darkness he couldn't begin to fathom.

Taking a slow breath, Dean climbed from the car, shutting the door decisively behind him. He couldn't remember a time when he wasn't at least a little bit exhausted. It seemed he wasn't meant to have a break; he simply had to keep going. Keep fighting. Keep surviving.

However, thanks to Zachariah's tactics, he now knew that doing it alone was not the answer. He'd made a mistake. He'd let pain and doubt and circumstance cloud what he knew in his gut to be right. He and Sam, they had their issues, sure. Some that would take time to work through. But being separated like this, it had made them weaker, not stronger. The angels had sensed that weakness and exploited it. And he would not let the angels work this wedge any further.

He was going to fix this.

Dragging a hand across his mouth, Dean leaned against the hood of the Impala, waiting. He was nervous, he realized. It was a rare sensation. He hadn't felt like this since John had returned to hunt with them for that short time before his death. He'd made the right choice; he was sure of it. But time had passed and much had happened; he was flat-out nervous about seeing his brother again.

He'd sent Sam coordinates and two words: meet me. He knew his brother would find him. John had made sure they could always follow coordinates. He knew Sam would be confused, uncertain, but he had no idea how to explain what had just happened to him. Especially over the phone. He needed to see Sam again to know how to tell him about…everything.

A shiver of memory caused beads of sweat to gather along his hairline. He'd been skinned alive, ripped apart. He'd been food for nosferatu. He'd survived the death of his whole family.

And nothing, none of it, matched the mind-numbing horror he'd felt seeing Lucifer stare out at him from his brother's eyes.

He tried to decide what he should tell Sam; it was hard enough to process the idea that two guys from Kansas were the chosen ones for the universe's ultimate cage match. Telling Sam he'd seen him – seen Lucifer – kill without mercy, without thought….

Dean swallowed hard as the sound of an approaching engine cut the quiet. He glanced to the right; Sam had nabbed a beater this time around. He didn't move as Sam rolled to a stop, waiting as his brother unfolded himself from the car and began to approach, his whole being radiating anxiety.

Rotating on his hip, he met Sam halfway.

"Sam."

Sam jerked his chin up, his eyes betraying his uncertainty. Dean pulled out the demon-hunting knife Sam had carried since Dean returned from Hell. He watched as Sam's eyes shifted to the sharp blade nervously.

I'm not gonna use it on you, ya freak, Dean thought as he handed it over to his brother, handle first.

"If you're serious," he said, keeping his head lowered, his movements slow, voice modulated, instinctively trying to alleviate Sam's nervousness, "and you want back in…you should hang onto this. I'm sure you're, uh," he glanced up at Sam, "rusty."

Sam took the knife, but wouldn't meet Dean's eyes. The echo of their last conversation hung heavy in the air between them. Dean watched his brother. It had only been a month since he'd seen him, but it felt like longer. The Sam he'd seen in 2014 had been his brother's shell only. The person standing before him, the essence that made Sam so vivid and real and vital had been missing.

And standing in that garden, surrounded by the sickeningly sweet smell of roses, Dean had been swamped by memories of his brother, of being stronger because he had Sam there to fight for, to fight beside him. He'd known that there was good in the world because Sam was alive. Alive, alive, alive.

"Look, man, I'm sorry," he said, his voice brisk with emotion. Sam blinked, finally looking back at him. "I don't know. I'm…whatever I need to be," he finished helplessly. It was so hard to say I need you. Especially when it wasn't really need as much as it was right. "I was, uh…wrong."

"What made you change your mind?"

Dude, I've got so many answers to that question, I don't know where to start.

"Long story," Dean evaded. "The point is…maybe we are each other's Achilles heel. Maybe they'll find a way to use us against each other, I don't know." He shifted his weight, glancing to the side and seeing an abandoned house, a blood-smeared floor, a hunter slouched against the wall, tears on his face, as he uttered the broken confession of a brother's downfall. "I just know we're all we've got. More than that," he looked back at Sam, narrowing his eyes slightly against a ray of sunlight slipping the cover of clouds. "We keep each other human."

With those words, Sam relaxed. It was instantaneous and pervasive, sending relief through Dean as he regarded his brother carefully.

"Thank you," Sam said, a small smile ghosting his lips. "Really, thank you. I won't let you down."

The sincerity in Sam's words spiked an ache in Dean's heart. Before he'd returned from Hell, he would have said it wasn't possible for Sam to disappoint him. But things had changed.

"Oh, I know it," he said, drumming up a pale shade of cockiness in his tone. "I mean, you are the second-best hunter on the planet."

Sam's grin stretched a bit with his nod. They were quiet a moment, getting used to breathing the same air again.

"So, what do we do now?"

Dean lifted a shoulder. "We make our own future."

"Guess we don't have a choice," Sam replied, returning the shrug.

Dean glanced over Sam's shoulder at the car his brother had arrived in. "What do you want to do with that thing?"

Sam followed his gaze. "Leave it?"

Dean shrugged, his lips folding down in a quick frown. "Works for me. Got anything in there?"

"Just my bag. One sec."

Dean turned and headed toward the trunk of the Impala, waiting until Sam jogged up with his duffel.

"Dude," Sam frowned, pushing a few things aside to make room for his bag. "Is this…dynamite?"

"Uh, yeah." Dean waited until Sam pulled clear before slamming the lid closed.

"What the hell did you need dynamite for?"

Dean moved around to the driver's side, pausing a moment before opening the door. "Vampires."

Sam blinked at him, eyebrows up. "Come again?"

"Just get in the car, Sam," Dean grumbled, absentmindedly rubbing his neck where the ropes had dug in. Thanks to Castiel's magic touch, the wounds had healed without scars, but the memory of the pain wasn't going away anytime soon.

Sam did as he was told, closing the door in unison with Dean and adjusting his legs so that he fit comfortably in the seat that had always been his. Dean looked over at him for a moment, finding that it was just as strange seeing Sam sitting there again as it had been seeing the seat empty.

"What?" Sam asked, self-conscious.

"Nothin'," Dean mumbled.

"You look tired," Sam commented.

Dean huffed, twisting the ignition and listening to the Impala rumble to life. "Yeah? Well, you would, too, if you had to take on half the population of County Evil by yourself."

Sam let his comment slide, resting his arm on the door frame as Dean pulled out of the grove of trees. "Nightmares?"

"Let it go, Sam."

"Just asking is all."

"Well, don't ask."

"It's been a few weeks, Dean—"

"Exactly!" Dean snapped, pulling out onto the highway and heading toward the interstate. "It's been weeks. And since you're the one who walked away, I get to ask the questions."

Sam pulled in a slow breath, tucking his chin against his chest as if trying to taper his anger. "Okay. Fine. Ask."

Dean hadn't expected Sam to agree so quickly. He didn't know which question to ask first. Where had he been all this time? Had he been alone? Had he missed this life before Lucifer dropped by? Had he missed Dean?

"Did you get a job?"

Sam nodded, rubbing his thumb along the interior of the window frame. "Yeah. A bar."

Dean smiled slightly. "I pictured you waiting tables."

"Kinda," Sam grinned slightly. "Met a few people."

"Female people?"

Sam rolled his eyes. "One track mind, I swear."

"What? Hey, it's possible, even for you."

"Did you meet any female people?" Sam jutted his chin forward, then held up a hand to pause Dean's answer. "Who weren't working poles, that is."

"Classy," Dean glanced askance at his brother. Their familiar exchange was starting to ease the ache in the center of his chest. Like muscles long dormant starting to warm up again. "I met one," he confessed, face clouding as he thought of Ali. "Didn't work out so great, though."

"She shot ya down, huh?" Sam quipped, leaning back against the door in that way he had that always made Dean want to make sure the thing was locked.

"Not exactly," Dean replied. Then, just to wipe the smirk off of Sam's face, continued, "She got turned into a vampire and I had to cut off her head."

"Jesus, Dean," Sam exclaimed softly.

"Been a busy month," Dean offered.

"Where…how did—"

"So, Cas thinks the Colt can kill the devil," Dean interrupted.

"Wait, what?" Sam did a double take at Dean's abrupt left-turn in topics.

His fingers moved down the window's edge to worry at the fold of leather near the door handle – the same spot, Dean registered, that Sam always rubbed when he was distracted, unfocused, at a loss.

"He had me running over hell's half acre looking for Raphael – not the turtle, the angel," Dean tilted his hand in Sam's direction.

"Yeah, I worked that part out on my own, thanks."

"Cas said Raphael would know how to find God. Literally."

"Wait, so you guys went up against an arch angel?"

"Yep."

"And he told you the Colt – as in Dad's Colt – could kill Lucifer?"

"No, that part came after."

"I think you're gonna have to start at the beginning," Sam muttered, shaking his head and looking out through the front window.

Dean merged with traffic and then reached over to turn on the radio. The fact that things were comfortable with Sam was both reassuring and disconcerting. Part of him wanted to make Sam work a bit before finding a comfortable groove. The rest of him knew that it wasn't possible to grow up like they had and not find that groove immediately.

It didn't mean that the hurt wasn't still there. It didn't mean that Dean accepted Sam's choices. It didn't mean that Sam understood what drove Dean. But they were family. And no matter what happened outside of that, they were kind of family that would always reach out a hand to stop each other from walking blindly into traffic.

Dean just hoped that one day he'd be able to trust Sam again.

"Dude, grab me a cassette."

"You and your damn cassettes."

"You've been out of the game awhile, so maybe I should remind you about the rules," Dean teased. "Driver picks the music—"

"Dean, is this…blood?"

Dean closed his mouth and looked over to see Sam holding two cassette cases with smears of dried blood on them.

"Uh, yeah," he answered, looking away, his mouth pressing into a grim line. He could feel Sam's eyes on him.

"Yours?"

Dean shook his head. "Not that blood." He remembered Noah slouched, nearly unconscious from blood loss, blowing cigarette smoke out through the opened window.

"But…there was other blood that was yours?"

"Hey, you were the only one who stopped hunting, Sam."

Sam sat back, quiet for a moment. "Is it Cas'?"

"No," Dean replied, not elaborating.

"Dean—"

"Put a tape in, Sam." Dean cut him off.

He was suddenly not ready to talk about what had happened to him while they were apart. Not the vampires, not Ali, not Noah; that would come soon enough. He heard Sam sigh with mild frustration; after a moment "Ride the Lightning" filled the empty spaces between them.

"Where are we going?" Sam asked.

"Bobby's."

"He got a job? Lead on where the Colt is?"

Dean tightened his grip on the steering wheel, looking out through the side window. "Not exactly."

Sam went quiet again. Dean felt the muscles of familiarity and family begin to grow stiff again. He'd expected too much, too soon. Neither of them was ready for the details.

"You know something," Sam said after awhile, his voice so quiet, Dean was tempted to turn down the music to hear him better. "I don't think either of us will ever really be able to stop hunting."

Dean glanced over at him. "You get a job in that bar of yours?"

"The freaking world is ending, Dean," Sam snapped, rubbing at the dried blood on the cassette. "It was on the news, in the papers…everywhere."

Dean stayed quiet. The end of the world hadn't stopped nosferatu from using a small college campus as a smorgasbord. Evil is as evil does, he supposed.

"I, uh…," Sam exhaled a soft, humorless laugh. "I alerted Bobby to some…events. Knew it was demons. He sent some hunters."

Dean shot a look in Sam's direction. Something in Sam's voice….

"I don't know how, but…," Sam licked his bottom lip nervously, "they found out what I'd done."

"What do you mean, what you'd done?"

Sam lifted sorrow-filled eyes to meet Dean's quick glance. "That I started the apocalypse."

"No," Dean shook his head once, decisively. "You didn't start it, Sam. I did."

"You didn't kill Lilith," Sam argued. "You didn't turn Lucifer loose."

"I broke the first damn seal, man," Dean pointed at his chest. "This is not on you."

"Yeah, well. That's not the word on the street," Sam informed him. He glanced quickly at Dean. "I didn't kill them, if that's what you're wondering."

Dean felt an arrow of shock slide through him – partly because Sam nailed a concern he'd not been ready to voice. "I know that."

Sam looked out through the front window. "There was this girl working at the bar," he said softly. "She told me…she said that no one has ever done anything so bad they can't be forgiven." Years falling from his face, his eyes, his voice, Sam turned to Dean once more. "You think that's true?"

Dean rolled his lips against his teeth, weighing his words. He thought of Noah standing in the abandoned house, looking down at him and saying you made a deal to save your brother…I vowed to kill mine.

"I hope so, Sammy," he said quietly.

They drove on, the light outside turning the prairie that stretched out on either side of the highway to a tin-like yellow. Sam quietly exchanged tapes when one ran out. They stopped for gas and food, speaking only about the essentials – get me a soda, where's the next exit, hand me a napkin – and not touching on the sensitive subject of what happened when they were apart. Dean didn't ask Sam about the hunters he'd encountered; Sam didn't ask Dean about the blood on the cassettes.

They just drove, letting the road decide if their bond would be mended or if time and circumstance had done too much.

Completed here in Chapter 10, Part B: Souix Falls, SD later that night

Continued here: Part 10B - Souix Falls SD later that night


Tags: author: gaelicspirit, fanfic, supernatural, what do you think?, writing
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