Title: From Yesterday, Chapter 18
Characters: Dean, Sam, and OCs
Disclaimer: They're not mine. More's the pity. Title is from a 30 Seconds to Mars song of the same name. Rated very much PG-13 for language (mostly Dean) and a couple of mature scenes
Summary: See Prologue.Part 2: Chapter 18-A
"I've got an idea."
Sam blinked groggily up at his brother, the coffee having not yet quite kicked through his whole system.
"I'd say what's got into you," Sam asked, yawning, "but I think I know."
Dean raised an eyebrow at him, pouring a mug of coffee and leaning back against the kitchen counter.
"Where's your girl?" Dean asked.
Sam looked sullenly back at his coffee. "Gone."
He felt Dean straighten away from the counter. "What do you mean, gone?"
"I woke up and she was gone."
"Why are you sitting here then?" Dean demanded. "Go after her."
Sam opened his mouth to say he had to accept that she couldn't live with his choice; he couldn't trap her in the house and expect to keep her with him by force. Before he could say anything, though, Brenna emerged from Dean's room, dressed in her jeans and one of Dean's white T-shirts, knotted at the back to make it fit better, Aislinn at her heels.
"She'll be back," Brenna stated, pulling out the other kitchen chair and lifting Aislinn onto it.
"How do you know?" the brothers asked in unison.
Brenna gave them both a dry look, then nodded toward the couch. "Her stuff's still here."
Sam stood, looking over the edge of the couch. He hadn't noticed.
"She have protection with her?" Dean asked. "A charm at least?"
Sam nodded. "I gave her a charm," he assured his brother.
"She took your gun, too," Brenna informed them.
"You talk to her or something?" Sam demanded, confused.
Brenna crossed to the fridge and pulled a piece of paper from beneath their only magnet. "Had to talk to guys at Freestate. Back soon. Took your gun," she read.
Dean looked down at Sam, his eyebrows tented in the middle. "Really, man?"
"Okay, it was a long night," Sam grumbled, sipping his coffee. "There were a lot of…emotions involved."
Brenna was silent as she poured cereal for Aislinn, but Sam knew she was smirking inside. Dean, however, sighed and glanced at him with an understanding, knowing look.
"You get any sleep last night?" Sam asked.
"A little," Dean answered, finishing his coffee, and grabbing Murphy's leash. "I'll be back in a minute."
Whistling for the black dog, Dean clipped the leash to Murphy's red collar and led him outside. Sam looked at his niece, watching her spoon Cheerios into her mouth.
"How about you?" he asked. "You sleep last night?"
She nodded. "I took him to my room."
Sam tilted his head, frowning in question. "Your…your room?" he glanced up at Brenna.
Brenna sighed, rubbing her face. "It's hard to explain," she started. "But…she has this…happy place she goes to and she can pull me in there when we're both asleep. When she's scared, it helps calm her down."
"Like…in her head?" Sam clarified, eyebrows up.
Brenna nodded. "Last night…somehow…she pulled Dean in, too."
"He was scared," Aislinn said, slurping milk off the edge of her spoon.
Sam looked curiously at the little girl. "Was he scared in your room?"
Aislinn shook her head.
Sam smiled at her. "Well, good."
She smiled back at him and Sam caught his breath. He knew that he would never be able to look at her smile and not think of his brother.
In that moment, Dean breezed back inside, closing the door behind him and leading Murphy over to his food bowl. "Like I was saying," he said, picking up where he left off, "I have an idea."
"Wait. Is this work talk?" Brenna asked, glancing down at Aislinn.
"Yeah," Dean replied, his frown indicating he'd not thought about little ears.
"Then how about we head to the store," Brenna suggested. "Pretty sure you're going to need some…remedies…before this is all over."
Dean scowled at the thought. Sam didn't blame him. Their house was warded to the hilt. It was the only place in Lawrence they both felt was safe enough to keep Crowley's mitts off. But, then again, Brenna's remedies had saved their lives more than once.
"Take Murphy," Dean ordered. "And wear charms."
Brenna opened her mouth and Sam knew without a doubt she was about to protest one of his two stipulations, but when he glanced at Dean's face – stone set against any arguments – he understood her acquiescence, though it was accompanied by a sigh of protest.
"Fine," she said, then glanced at Sam. "Maybe I'll teach Stella how to make the healing potion," she said. "Might make a druid out of her yet."
"Please, don't," Sam pleaded. "I mean, potion, sure, but I think one druid in the family is about all I can take."
Brenna raised an eyebrow and tilted her head, her hair slipping over her shoulder. "Two," she reminded him.
Sam blinked. "Right. Well, even more reason."
She grinned. "Don't worry so much, Sam," she said, patting his arm. "You're gonna turn all that pretty hair grey."
Sam self-consciously reached up and tugged at his hair.
Once the girls were dressed and gone, Murphy happy to go along for a ride, Dean flipped the kitchen chair around, straddling it and leaning on the back with crossed arms, staring at Sam.
"We summon him."
Sam drew his head back. "You're kidding, right?"
"Hell, no, I'm not kidding."
"You want to summon the King of Hell. Here."
Dean was grinning, his eyes lit by the fire of anticipation. "I want to put that bastard off his game. I want to take him to the mattresses. I want to call him out as the two-bit salesman he is."
"The mattresses?" Sam echoed, raising a brow. "You watch The Godfather last night?"
Dean leaned forward, pointing a finger at the table as if marking an invisible point on the roadmap of their lives. "Think about it, Sam," he said, his voice low and tense with belief in the rightness of his plan. "He's expecting us to resist. Hell, maybe even to run. He's expecting us to want our normal lives so badly – to protect our people so much – that we would either do what he asked or hide. He's not expecting us to fight."
Sam lifted a chin. "So, we bring the fight to him, that it?"
"That's exactly it," Dean slapped his hand on the table and sat back.
"What if they use people in town?" Sam asked. "This…demon horde of his. What if he takes over innocent people to fight us?"
"Then we don't kill them," Dean said, lifting a shoulder. "Simple as that."
"What if they try to kill us?"
Dean lifted a corner of his mouth in a soft grin. "Sam…you remember what it was like before we were professional killers?"
Sam frowned. "We're not professional—"
"You remember what it was like before demons and angels and all this shit?"
Sam sagged in his chair. "Yeah."
"You remember how to fight? How to exorcise a demon?"
Sam rubbed his thumb along a groove in the table. "Yeah."
"You remember what Dad taught you? What I taught you?"
Sam looked up, Dean's words hauntingly familiar. "I remember."
Dean leaned forward, his eyes holding the gentle smile, though his mouth was grim. "All we have to do is get them close, stay alive long enough to get them close, and then I—"
"Go super-nova?" Sam interrupted.
Dean sat back, shrugging. "Actually, I have no idea what will happen. I just know what I have to say."
"Cas said you become the light," Sam reminded him.
Dean looked down, sighed, then looked back up at him. "It's going to be okay, Sam."
Sam shook his head, looking down at his hands. "No, it's not," he said matter-of-factly. "It's never going to be okay again."
No one – nothing – had ever been more important to Dean than Sam. Sam counted on that. He depended on it. He needed to know that no matter what he did, no matter how many times he walked away, no matter how and where he searched for himself…he could always come back to Dean. That his brother would always be there.
But not if he turned into a beacon of pure light. Not if he sacrificed himself to wipe out Crowley and his demons. Not if he made defeating darkness more important than Sam.
"We get rid of these demons, we topple the balance," Dean argued. "You guys…our family could be safe."
"Yeah, well," Sam pushed away from the table. "Safe and without you."
"No, it's okay," Sam stood, holding up a hand to stop his brother. "I get it. I do. And I'm behind you, all the way. I'm going in there with you. But you can't expect me to be happy about being the only one to walk away."
Dean ran his tongue along his lower lip, saying nothing.
Sam mentally shook himself, taking a breath. "Okay, so we summon him. Where?"
Dean lifted his chin, his expression working to shift from defense to offense with Sam's words. "I'm thinking the strip mall."
"What, the one that got torn up in the tornado?"
"They haven't repaired it yet," Dean said. "I checked last night. Just a big open building with walls, no roof."
Sam nodded, picturing the confrontation. "Yeah, that could work. We arm up, maybe get there first and position some guns in different areas…."
"Rufus will want to be part of this," Dean warned him. "He's staying over at Mason's, but there's no way we're keeping him out of this one."
"Yeah, I figured," Sam nodded.
"Okay, so we head to Mason's…go from there. We got all the stuff we need to summon a demon?"
Sam had a strange, sudden burst of memory: standing in Dean's hospital room, yelling at his father across Dean's bed.
That stuff from Bobby, you don't use it to ward off a demon, you use it to summon one. You're planning on bringing the demon here, aren't you? Having some stupid macho showdown!
He swallowed hard, nodding. "Yeah, we got it."
Dean smacked his hand on the back of the chair and stood. "Let's get going, then."
Sam stood, feeling his face knot in a frown. The weight of what they were about to do sat on his heart like a familiar ache. He realized he now knew how his brother had felt in that motel room in Detroit, moments before he'd said yes to Lucifer. The pain that had been lancing Dean's heart as he'd watch the Devil take over.
Dean had paused in his rotation toward his room and was looking at Sam curiously.
Dean tilted his head. "For what?"
Sam took a breath, his fingers buried into the pockets of his jeans, eyes down. Pressing his lips closed, he lifted his head and forced himself to look Dean in the eye. "For being my brother."
Dean looked away. Sam could see the scar along his jaw ripple as he worked to keep his emotions in check. Dean didn't take gratitude well – probably because he didn't receive a lot, Sam mused. Without looking back at Sam, Dean nodded, then turned and headed to his room.
Several minutes later, they were in the Impala, both dressed for battle with jeans, boots, T-shirts and Dean was wearing John's old leather jacket. It was cresting eighty degrees and humid, but Sam didn't say a word. He knew Dean was wearing it for more than just warmth.
Sam had dropped the duffel of weapons – every one that Dean had stored in the trunk at the foot of his bed – into the trunk and was now sitting on the passenger seat, staring out through the front windshield, waiting to feel that familiar rumble.
"Listen," Dean said, then cleared his throat. "There's a letter…."
When he tapered, Sam looked over at him, marveling that from this angle, he could see none of the scars he knew Dean bore.
"I, uh…I couldn't tell her. Not facing her. But…I, uh…," he frowned, looking down at his lap. "I still need her to know."
"Okay," Sam replied, not wanting to take his eyes from his brother.
Dean put his hand on the ignition. "Can you make sure she gets it?"
"Yeah," Sam promised. Dean turned on the car. "It's for Aislinn, isn't it?" Sam guessed. "Telling her you're her dad?"
Dean nodded, pulling away from the curb, clearly not trusting his voice. Sam felt his anger surge as they drove down the road toward Mason's garage. None of this was fair. Dean being the accidental weapon resulting from a miscommunication between the angels was the most unfair destiny he could think of, out of all the destinies the universe had hooked on them.
Even Sam being one of Azazel's children through no fault of his own ranked below this one. As they pulled into the parking lot next to Rufus' truck, Sam made a decision: if there was any way to get Dean out of this one, he was going to take it. He'd gotten his second chance and it had been a damn good ride. But Sam was not going to allow the universe to take his brother from his child. Not if he could stop it.
Grabbing their weapons, the brothers headed inside, the blare of music hitting them before they'd stepped very far into the nearly-empty garage.
"Mase!" Dean hollered, glancing around appreciatively at the sigils the mechanic had painted on the walls and ceiling, adding to what had already been present. "Mason!"
"In the back!" came the reply.
Sam followed his brother past the still-dented Dodge pick-up on the lift toward the back room where Dean had spent countless hours boxing to get his strength back. The heavily ironic lyrics of Linkin' Park's In the End grew louder as they got closer and Sam found himself mouthing the words.
I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end it doesn't even matter. I had to fall, to lose it all, but in the end it doesn't even matter.
They stepped into the back room and Sam blinked in surprise. One of them had set up a table, covered with a stretch of cloth, and spread out on top were several different weapons, boxes of ammo, and holsters. He exchanged a look with Dean as the brothers dropped their bags on the table.
"What's all this?" Dean asked.
Rufus lifted a knife and pulled it from its leather sheath, inspecting the inscriptions. "Way I figure it is this," he started. "You've gone and decided to turn yourself into this angel weapon. But for it to work, you gotta have as many of them demonic sonsabitches near you as possible. Am I on the right path so far?"
Sam watched Dean nod slowly, his eyes narrowed in suspicion as he waited Rufus out.
"That means, you gotta stay alive long enough – and get Crowley pissed enough – to cast that net. I'm betting you're planning on summoning the bastard."
Sam's eyebrows went up at Rufus' assessment as Dean nodded again.
"In which case, you're gonna need some help."
"I'm not risking you, Rufus," Dean replied immediately. "You've done too much for us already."
Rufus looked at Mason. "Didn't I tell you he'd say that?"
"That you did," Mason replied.
"And I'm damn sure not risking you," Dean looked at Mason. "You're not even a hunter."
Mason scowled at Dean, but Sam saw a light in the big man's bright blue eyes. "I beg to differ," Mason replied. "I took out a ghost while you were out west playing house."
Dean frowned. "One ghost doesn't make you a hunter."
Rufus tilted his head, his brows pulled together over the bridge of his nose. "That right?" he started closing the distance between himself and Dean. "How many does it take, then? Five? Ten? A dozen? Or do you have to take out different species to be considered a hunter?"
"That's not what I—"
"Or…do you have to actually lose someone to count?" Rufus challenged, the knife he'd picked up now pointed at Dean. "I mean, we all have, right? So after you pull off this stunt and get yourself killed, will that make Mason a hunter?"
Rufus was now toe-to-toe with Dean, the point of the knife resting casually against the leather of Dean's jacket. "No, you, listen, boy," he practically growled. "You may be the one who can take these bastards out, but you're not doing it alone and the sooner you get that through your thick skull the easier this will be."
"Eh! I'm not done!" Rufus' scowl was formidable. "That man is your friend. He's crossed the line for you. Far as I'm concerned, that makes him family. And I know what you'll do for family. Now you gotta let family do for you."
"And what if he dies, huh?" Dean shot back, leaning closer to Rufus, the knife squeaking against the leather. "What if you die? Or Sam? How you gonna justify that?"
"They'll have died for a cause," came a new voice.
Sam turned in unison with Dean and felt his brother's groan of protest in his heart. Virgil was standing in the doorway, a large red bag over his shoulder, his ever-present baseball cap turned backwards, and three-days of beard covering his jaw.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Dean demanded.
"Same as these guys," Virgil nodded at Rufus and Mason.
"How did you know?" Sam asked.
Virgil's blue eyes caught Sam's and the paramedic smiled. "Brenna."
"Dammit," Dean muttered, turning away from Rufus and rubbing the back of his head.
Virgil stepped into the room and reached out a hand to Rufus, shaking it, then doing the same with Mason. "Virgil Swanson," he said. "Paramedic, firefighter, and, apparently, hunter."
Sam saw Mason grin as he shook Virgil's head.
"You're not a hunter, Virge," Dean was saying, his back to the room.
Sam could feel his brother's tension, but decided to watch this one play out. Dean might be desperate to protect them, but it seemed to Sam they were just as desperate to save him…and Sam was behind that concept all the way.
"Sorry, but I think fighting off a fuckin' druid witch and hauling your broken ass out of an abandoned mine pretty much adds me to the club."
"Oh, if we're adding saving their asses," Rufus interjected, "pretty sure we both can add marks to that column."
Rufus bounced his thumb between himself and Mason as the radio moved from a commercial break to the Beastie Boys' Sabotage. Sam bit his cheek to keep from grinning at the timing.
"This ain't a game," Dean growled, turning around to face the room.
"No," Mason agreed, shaking his head, "it's not. It's your life. It's our lives. And it's my goddamn town." He stepped forward, his lips disappearing beneath the wild dark beard. "And nobody comes into Jayhawk territory to mess with one of ours without a fight."
"You got that right," chimed in another voice.
Sam looked over at the doorway and grinned as Dean cursed loudly and kicked at the mat beneath their feet. He took off the leather jacket and threw it across the duffel bags as Jackson stepped into the room, setting his armload of holsters and weapons on the table. He picked one up and held it out to Dean who regarded him with wariness.
"I brought this for you," Jackson said. "It's a thigh holster for a leftie. I noticed you like to carry at your back, but it's awkward for you to grab it with your left hand. This way, you have your weapon right where you need it."
Sam smiled, then looked at Dean and almost caught his breath at the look of disbelief on his brother's face.
"You…got this for me?" Dean asked.
Jackson lifted a shoulder. "If you're going into a gunfight, you may as well make it easy on yourself."
Dean took the holster from Jackson and looked up at Sam, helplessly.
"Someone wanna give me a hand with this?"
Sam turned and blinked at the sight of a pale, thin, red-headed kid loaded down with two giant Super-Soaker guns over each shoulder and two more cradled in his arms. Jackson crossed the room and took the two from his arms, then led him over to the table.
"Tommy?" Dean said, his voice cracking.
Sam nodded. So this was Tommy. Somehow he wasn't at all surprised to see the kid accompany Jackson into the mix.
"What's up?" Tommy greeted. "Wait, don't answer that. I mean, I know what's up. I don't even know why I said that. I'm just nervous. This is my first hunt. Y'know, that doesn't involve, like…deer."
Dean covered his face with his left hand, dragging it down to pull at his lower lip.
"What's in the Super-Soakers?" Sam asked.
Tommy looked at him with disbelief. "Are you new?"
Sam heard Dean huff out a slight laugh. "Tommy, this is my brother, Sam."
Tommy's face cleared and he stepped forward reaching out a hand. "Tommy McMahon. Damn glad t'meet ya."
Sam chuckled, shaking Tommy's hand. "Sam Winchester."
"Holy water," Tommy said, apparently choosing to answer Sam's question.
"Are you kidding?" Dean exclaimed. "There's like…three gallons of water here."
Tommy shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans and shrugged. "Lawrence has got a shitload of churches, man." He glanced over at Mason and Jackson, who nodded in confirmation. "I mean, like, the only thing it has more of is banks."
Dean laughed helplessly as AC/DC's Thunderstruck echoed through the room. He looked around, taking in the group of people staring at him. Shaking his head, he looked over at Sam.
"This is just…nutty. I mean, next thing you know, Sorenson's gonna be walking through that door saying he wants revenge for getting possessed."
"Nah," Jackson shook his head. "He's not doing it for that. He's doing it to thank you."
Dean blinked at him. "He's not coming."
Jackson nodded. "Yeah. He is. He's just taking care of a few things."
"Like what?" Sam asked, brow furrowed.
"Like these," Sorenson chimed in, walking into the room and setting a folder down on the table. He was slightly out of breath. He glanced over at Jackson. "Sorry – took me longer than I thought."
"What…what…?" Dean sputtered.
"Warrants," Sorenson explained. "And crime scene reports. The start of them, anyway. I figured however you're doing…all of this…you're not going to be getting permission to go into wherever it is. Plus…I don't imagine everyone's going to simply shake hands and walk away."
His clipped, East-coast accent caught Virgil's attention.
"North Boston?" Virgil asked.
"New Hampshire," Sorenson replied.
Virgil grinned. "From Southie," he said, extending his hand. "Glad to meetcha."
"You as well," Sorenson nodded.
"Okay, okay, hold it, just hold it." Dean stepped into the center of the room, his hands out as if to stop traffic, unaware, Sam realized, that in doing so he drew attention to the scars he bore from the last time they survived a fight in Lawrence. "I…appreciate this. I do, but…," he looked around the room, letting his eyes rest on each of them for a moment. "Do you have any idea what you're signing on for?"
He jerked his thumb back at Sam.
"Me and Sam…we've been through this. Time and again. And we…," he glanced over at his brother, then back at Rufus. "We didn't always make it out. We lost some really good people along the way." He looked at Tommy, then over at Mason and Jackson as he spoke. "And this isn't just a ghost. It's not just gonna be burning some bones." He glanced at Virgil. "And it's not gonna be the kind of thing we can just patch up from."
Sam watched as the men stared at his brother with solemn eyes, taking in his words.
"Crowley is an evil son of a bitch. He is the King of Hell. He's not a fallen angel; he's not a fuckin' bedtime story. He is a snake, a deceptive, vindictive snake and he will stop at nothing to win. He will twist you up and tear you apart and he will smile while he does it." Dean moved toward the table of weapons, running his fingers along the barrels, the blades, and the bullets. "We took out the Devil, but we let someone else step up to the plate – someone almost worse." He looked off into the middle distance. "Someone who was human once and who knows how to play us and how to hurt us," he glanced at Sam, "and how to make us hurt each other."
Looking at Rufus, Dean concluded. "You go into this fight, there's no guarantee you're walking out. And if by some miracle, you make it through," he looked around the room again, "you won't be the same person you are now."
The room was quiet save the music that echoed off the cement walls. Sam held his breath, watching the eyes of the men, waiting them out. Virgil stepped forward first, resting his hand on Dean's shoulder, then glancing up to include Sam in his words.
"I've known you guys were out there, fighting this invisible war, for a lotta years now," he said, dropping his hand from Dean's shoulder and pulling off his hat to rub at his head. "And it always made me feel both safe…and guilty. When Brenna called, she didn't ask me to come. She just said you were doing this…this unbelievable thing. And I knew why, too," he said, dipping his chin and forcing Dean to look at him. "I knew you were doing it because you got people in this world you care about…and if you didn't do what you could to make the world safer for them, you wouldn't be you."
Sam swallowed, his eyes burning as he listened, wishing he could see Dean's expression.
"So, I grabbed my kit and I headed out here because," Virgil shrugged, "I got people I care about, too. And I can't not fight this war anymore."
"What he said," Mason chimed in.
"Right," Jackson nodded.
"Agreed," Sorenson echoed as Tommy nodded quietly.
Sam and Dean glanced at Rufus.
"Aw, hell, I just didn't have anything better to do," the older hunter shrugged.
Dean turned and looked at Sam. "What do you think?"
"I think," Sam said, glancing around the room, then back at his brother, "that Crowley won't know what hit him."
Tommy grinned. "Damn right!"
"Okay, but," Dean turned around, gazing pointedly at Tommy, who immediately calmed, "we do this smart. And you listen to Sam and me, got it? You do what we say, when we say it."
"Roger that," Virgil replied.
"What's first?" Mason asked.
Dean took a breath, looking at the holster in his hand. "We arm up."
Carefully, as though they were teaching a class, Sam and Dean walked the men through the effectiveness of each weapon when used against a demon – how the bullets wouldn't stop the creatures, though they would kill the vessel, how they had to exorcise the demon if it was inside someone they knew, and how some weapons would kill both the demon and the vessel. Sam made them memorize the Latin exorcism, handing Tommy a cheat sheet, just in case.
Dean talked them through the plan and their individual roles in it.
"Why not just draw one of those…whirly-gigs that caught the one inside this guy?" Mason asked, pointing at Sorenson. "Catch this Crowley in that net, then 86 him?"
Sam shook his head. "It wouldn't be enough," he explained. "We'd kill Crowley, sure, but his demons would still be out there, and they'd just get a new leader and come after us again."
"We need to draw them all in, get them close enough I can take them all out," Dean concluded. "And there's not a Devil's Trap big enough for that."
Sam tightened his jaw, remembering the moment in the Colorado sheriff's station when the demons had swarmed. He really hadn't thought they'd get out of that one alive. Dean's recorded exorcism did the trick that day.
Since they'd run out of anti-possession charms, Dean took a sharpie and drew Devil's Traps on Mason, Sorenson, and Jackson, noting that Tommy had added to his tattoo collection and gotten his own sometime after having met Dean. Sam had to grin at the look of hero-worship Tommy shot Dean when his brother's back was turned.
As they began to load up the shotguns with rock salt and the hand guns with silver bullets cut with crosses at the top, Kansas' Carry On My Wayward Son started playing. Sam smiled, glancing up at his brother across the table as Dean worked to fill extra clips with one hand, his right simply able to brace the clip against the table.
"This song always reminds me of you," Sam said quietly. "Remember how Dad would turn it up in the car?" Dean glanced up at him as Sam kept talking. "He'd crank it, like, annoyingly loud and you'd sing along and he'd just grin at you."
Dean smiled softly, but didn't say anything.
Sam grabbed another set of empty shells and started filling them with rock salt, singing, "Once I rose above the noise and confusion…just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion…I was soaring every higher, but I flew too high."
He glanced at Dean, whose smile widened. Nodding, Dean sang, "Though my eyes could see I still was a blind man. Though my mind could think I still was a mad man." Sam saw his brother glance at Virgil as he sang, "I hear the voices when I'm dreaming. I can hear them say…."
Sam joined Dean, grinning as one by one each of the men echoed the chorus, "Carry on my wayward son. There'll be peace when you are done. Lay your weary head to rest. Don't you cry no more."
As Tommy stepped away from the table and used an empty shotgun as a guitar to the amusement of the rest of the men in the room, Sam looked at Dean, feeling the words they'd sung hang between them like a broken promise. Dean swallowed and nodded, though Sam had no idea what he wanted to say. It was a moment held together by cracking glass, the world tossing rocks their way. He smiled as his brother chambered a bullet as if to punctuate an unspoken sentence, then slid the weapon into the holster he'd strapped to his left thigh.
"Your daddy'd be damn proud of you boys," Rufus said, clapping a hand on Sam's shoulder. "Bobby would be, too. Though," he amended, "I'm pretty sure he'd be calling you both idjits for trying to do this one on your own."
Sam echoed his brother's grin, but went still when he heard Dean's phone ring.
Dean frowned, and picked up the phone, answering it with a gruff, "Yeah."
Sam knew instantly who it was on the other line the moment Dean's eyes went cold. Someone turned down the radio and everyone stared at Dean, waiting.
"You're a piece of chicken shit, Crowley," Dean said in a low, matter-of-fact growl. "I'll tell you where you can stick your collateral damage." His eyes cut into Sam, and Sam pulled out his phone, immediately texting Stella, then Brenna. "You knew I would never give up the weapon when you tried to make that deal with me."
Sam held his breath until both women texted back that they were safe, and they were together. He nodded at Dean, watching as tension drained from Dean's expression and was replaced by the Dean Sam knew so well: cocky, confident, and ready to kick some ass.
"Bring it you twisted son of a bitch."
Dean hung up the phone, his jaw tight.
"So," Mason remarked mildly. "I'm guessing Crowley says hi?"
Dean's eyes were only on Sam. "We are taking him out, Sammy."
Sam nodded. "You bet your ass we are."
With clipped instructions, Dean had each man locate weapons on their person, grabbing the extras he planned to stash around the building. He pulled on his leather jacket and Sam saw him slip a weapon up his sleeve to catch on a hidden holster he'd fashioned there. Virgil grabbed his medical kit and Sam had the duffel with the ingredients for the summoning spell. They paused at the doorway, taking a collective breath.
"You guys sure you're ready for this?" Dean asked them.
"A smart man once said," Mason said, replying for all of them, "that we don't remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
"Pretty sure that was Martin Luther King, Jr.," Sam said.
"Told you it was a smart man," Mason said, nodding at Sam. "Point is…we're done being silent."Dean nodded, shouldered his bag once more, and heading out the door.
Chapter 18 continued in post 19-C, here.