Title: Dead Roses
Rating: PG-13. Language, violence, disturbing images
Disclaimer: Supernatural is not mine
Summary: The gun shakes wildly. You can hear your teeth chatter. You can’t feel anything. (Sam centric, post 2.04)
The gun in your hands spasms involuntarily and you can hardly see straight enough to aim. Your brother’s form is in front of, face pale, eyes cold and he doesn’t move out of the line of fire.
“Do it,” he dares. “Come on, Sammy, it’s not like you haven’t pulled the trigger before. One tug is all it will take. Silver should work.”
The gun shakes wildly. You can hear your teeth chatter. You can’t feel anything.
“Sam, it’s better for you this way.”
It kills you inside to know that everything, all of it is still for you.
“Dad told me to take care of you, Sam.” Dean takes three steps forward, grabs the gun and places it on his forehead, right between the eyes.
His hands are so fucking cold.
“Do it, Sam.” Dean orders. “It’s for the best.”
Your trigger finger falters. The gun drops. There’s a haunted look in Dean’s eyes. “I thought so…”
You’ve never seen Dean cry before. You should have realized something was wrong right there on the side of that quiet highway with your brother’s foreign tears sliding down his face.
You’ve never seen Dean cry before. Not he was seven, sitting the emergency room with his left wrist bulging awkwardly, not when he was twelve and his best friend was found on their doorstep minus a head they never did recover and not even at his father’s funeral where his body smoldered in front of their eyes.
But here he is, tears dripping slowly from his eyes like you never thought was possible and the scene is so wrong it burns.
You don’t actually have to look for jobs anymore. They start finding you. Somewhere along the way, you started attracting demons and poltergeists and vampire just by being there.
The dark forces flock to the two of you with a wild reckless abandon and a hunt’s barely over when the next one finds you. Dean plows through them with a quick and deadly efficiency that has started to scare you.
You could have sworn that your brother had been getting better, but with each successive kill he’s shutting down piece by peace and nothing you do seems to make him smile.
“Why didn’t you do it, Sammy?” Dean asks on night when you’re hovering on the edge of sleep. “Sam, why can’t you just do it.”
“What…” you mumble, unwilling to hear him. “Dean…”
“You would have done it if it were Dad. You wouldn’t have even flinched.”
“It’s not going to get easier Sam,” he says softly. “I don’t know how long it’ll be, but I can’t hold on forever.”
“You’re going to have to do it, Sam. Before I’m too far gone for you to stop...”
Sometimes you can pretend everything is normal.
Like when you’re driving cross country at ninety miles per hour and Metallica’s blasting from the Impala’s speakers. Like when Dean’s teasing you for being the dorky little brother you are.
Sometimes things are so good, you can forget how Dean’s ghostly white skin shines in the light or how you haven’t really felt warm in since the hospital or how the laughter grows hollow and less real with each passing day.
Sometimes you can fool yourself, but those days are getting farther and farther apart.
You can see the hole in Dean’s chest. Not a big one, but it’s clear the bullet sliced clear through Dean’s chest and came out the other side. You don’t think he even notices. Just keeps moving towards the attacker (human, it was human) with an almost animal fury.
“I said DOWN!” the guy roars, but before he can get the second round off, Dean’s on top of him.
“You just lost it for us,” Dean hisses, “We’re trying to help you people and you have to go fuck the whole hunt up.”
“Dean!” your voice sounds impossibly loud in the silence. “Dean he’s human.”
Dean doesn’t hear your plea until you grab your gun from your waistband and click off the safety. He stands up slowly and turns to face you and for a long moment, you can’t see any of your brother in his eyes. The guy knows an opportunity when he sees it and scrambles off.
“Go ahead, Sammy, ” he says, voice breaking just a little. “do it.”
You can see Dean again, still there, still fighting, lurking behind those cold eyes.
The gun starts to shake.
The thing about angry spirits is they don’t all start out angry. It happens slowly. The world chips away at what they used to be until nothing is left but their anger and their hate and their rage. So the dead attack the living because they’ve got everything the dead used to have, everything that made them real and human and alive.
There are no benevolent spirits. There are no friendly ghosts and the dead definitely are not to be trusted.
You learned that from your brother.
“Dean, I’m not going to kill you.”
The thing's your brother again, what’s left of him at least, standing in front of you, inches from tears. It’s the only thing he’s ever really asked for. “Sam, please.”
Dean collapses where he stands, face crumpling as he falls and you’re at his side before he can hit the ground, grasping both shoulders firmly. “Can’t you finish it?” he begs. “It’s just like any other job.”
Only it’s not any other job. It’s your brother, broken though he might be. Still here because your father made a deal with the devil himself. “I’m here, Dean,” you mumble into his shoulder. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m not going to let you do anything you’d regret.”
The tears are back on Dean’s face. Your brother doesn’t cry unless he’s a step away from losing himself.
“It’s going to be all right,” you say shakily. “I promise, we’ll get through this together.”
You can’t help but feel it might be the biggest lie you’ve ever told.
The next autumn you make your way back to your mother’s grave, a bouquet of roses clutched loosely in your hand. Dean hovers back by the car, waiting for you to do your thing.
It’s not until you’re on your way back that he starts towards the grave.
You tell yourself he needs time, he needs space, he deserves privacy at least. You turn to the Impala determined not to watch and you start tracing designs into the slightly cracked window pane, devil’s trap after devil’s trap.
The reflection in the black paint catches your eye and despite yourself, you watch as Dean bends down to touch the earth.
And you try not notice how the grass underneath him suddenly seems to wilt or how the fresh white roses slowly whither and die.