Dead in the Afternoon - Sam's ViewThis is a featured page

Dean's last words kept coming back to me as I drove us back to the Bunker.
'I gotta say somethin'... I'm proud of us.'
How could he be proud of me? I'd spent the last few months pushing him away. I said I didn't trust him. I said we could work jobs together but that's all... God help me, I even told him we weren't brothers any more. And now it was too late. No way to say I was sorry. No way to ask for his forgiveness; no way to try and fix things. How could I have said all that? How could I have even thought any of it?

I don't remember much of that ride home. Oh I remember my knuckles clenched so hard on the wheel that my hands kept cramping and I had to peel them off the steering wheel to let the blood flow through them and I remember looking back in the mirror at Dean laying there, so pale and still on the back seat. Part of me kept thinking he'd move and open his eyes and smile at me an' I'd know the last few hours weren't real. Hell, I thought I saw him shift position more than once in the shadows caused by the backwash of other cars' headlights but when they disappeared, so did the movement. I even pulled over a couple of times and went round to the back and checked on him. I thought... I thought maybe he was still breathing, he was just unconscious an' I'd made a big mistake. But he was cold and getting colder each time. I lifted his eyelids carefully but he wasn't here, not any more... The last time I did that, I lifted him up and sat on the back seat an' just held him for a while. Stupid, really; the police could've stopped and then I'd have had to explain why I was holding a body but I needed to be with him. I'd spent too much time... Then I went and sat in the front and I broke down. Again.

I must've fallen asleep. I woke up and the sky was just starting to lighten before dawn arrived. I went back to Dean and checked on him again. He was still quiet, cold and very dead so I covered him carefully with a blanket and' drove back to the Bunker.

I kept wishing it was me who'd taken the Mark, me who was laying back there. Dean should've been driving the Impala, not me. We all know we've got it coming but it shouldn't have been his turn, not this time... Metatron! Dealing with that bast**d was next on my to-do list. I saw him sink that angel blade deep into my brother and I heard Dean gasp and groan. He twisted it hard inside Dean before he pulled it out, covered in bright blood, and then the skank smiled and shrugged his shoulders as I went running over. Dean was in bad shape. Then the whole building started to shake and I looked up at Metatron and I saw red! I got up and drew my own angel blade and lunged at him but he disappeared and I went back to Dean.
I started babbling about fixing him up but he said, "Sam, listen to me. It's better this way."
I couldn't believe it. He told me the Mark was turning him into something he didn't want to be. I brushed it off, told him we'd deal with it later and helped him up. I just wanted to get him away from here, take him home, fix him up...

...Dean was getting weaker. I had to take more of his weight as we stumbled along through the warehouse an' his breathing was roughening, hitching more and more.
He said, "hold up, Sam" and pulled me to the side and sat down on a wall. I waited for him to catch his breath and he half-smiled through his pain and looked up at me.
'I gotta say somethin',' he said and he clapped me on the shoulder.
'I'm proud of us,' Dean said and he held the side of my face and smiled at me.

I looked at him. I wanted to tell him we were brothers an' I was sorry for the last few months but I didn't. I don't know why. Maybe it was the shock of him being stabbed; maybe part of me still didn't forgive him even then. Maybe I was just too f**king stubborn. Probably it was all of them, I don't know. Then the moment was over an' it was too late. Dean just looked ...strange for a second and then his hand slipped from my shoulder and he fell forward against me.
'Hey, Honey, come on, wake up!' I said as I lifted his face up and looked at him. His eyes were closed and his mouth was open a little but it didn't look like he was breathing.
'Dean!' I said and shook him gently.
No answer.
'Dean!' I shouted and shook him harder but he didn't respond. I knew he was gone and I could feel the tears falling. I held him tight against me and sobbed. I'd lost my big brother an' worse, I'd never told him how I felt, how wrong I'd been to push him away when he was only looking out for me, like he'd done forever.

It was like the blinkers dropped from my eyes when I held him there. I realized now how desperate he must've been when he saw me dying in the hospital 'cause I felt the same; I realized I'd been lying to myself as well as to him when I told him I wouldn't do what he'd done to save me. An' worse, I knew the truth was always there but I'd buried it down deep so I could hit out, hurt Dean for letting an angel possess me; that same angel who used me to kill Kevin... But none of that was Dean's fault, I knew that; Hell I'd always known it, just like I knew he blamed himself for everything and that was the real reason he took off and took the Mark from Cain. Sure, Crowley screwed Dean over but I helped him didn't I, when I told Dean I wouldn't ask him to stay? I helped when I saw the mood he was in and pretended I didn't care an' I helped a lot when I let Dean believe it was all down to him. I didn't even try and find out what was going on with him after that, not until it was too late...

I should've told him we were brothers and always would be. I should have. No excuses this time.


We got back to the Bunker and it was a hot day, full of sun. The sort of day Dean loved, when we could kick back after a hunt and sit on the hood with a few beers and just talk about nothin' and everythin' - the last game, the last film, the last...

I picked Dean up and carefully lifted him of the back seat and onto my shoulder. He was still loose but I could feel stiffness just starting to creep into his arms and legs. That shocked me again. I still couldn't process that he was gone. Just when I thought I was getting used to it, something happened and it hit me again, as if I'd been holding my breath in the meantime in case he woke up.

I laid Dean out on the table so I could clean him up. He was a mess. Metatron had given him a real beat-down and his face was covered in deep cuts but they had all stopped bleeding now, of course. I cleaned his face of all the dried blood but I couldn't face cleaning the deep wound in his chest, not now. His clothes were bloodied but dry too so I left them alone. He needed to be in his own room so I lifted him up again on my shoulder and took him there.

I hadn't been in Dean's room for months. I laid him down gently on the bed and looked at his face. He looked peaceful. You wouldn't think he'd died in great pain after trying to make peace with me and I couldn't even respond.
'I'm sorry, Dean,' I said softly. My voice echoed strangely in this room, or maybe I was just self-conscious standing here, saying things which I should've said to him a long time ago?
'Where are you now?' I asked him. I knew he couldn't hear me but I needed to speak, to fill the void between us. Was his spirit trapped at the warehouse where he died? Damn it! I'd have to go back and check. Spirits didn't go on to Heaven now and I couldn't leave him to wander alone but it might be months before he showed up. It took Bobby a long time. Even Kevin took a while to find his way back to the living...

I looked around. The room wasn't exactly how I remembered it. Dean must have moved things around and it was unsettling to see the subtle and not so subtle alterations for the first time. I felt like the interloper. When we first got here he was all excited to show me his new room and how he'd personalised it. He hadn't even mentioned it this time, but then why would he? We hadn't, no, I hadn't talked about anything not strictly business for months now. Dean had tried but I closed him off every time... The bedside table looked wrong and I couldn't work it out at first but then I realised what had changed: there was only the crinkled photo of Mom there. The other one of me, Dean and Dad was gone. I went over to see if it had just fallen off but it wasn't on the floor. I opened the top drawer and saw a photo there, face down. I picked it up and it was us. I put it back and closed the drawer and left the room. I needed a drink...

...I sat at the table and started in on getting drunk fast. There was plenty of whiskey but after a couple of large ones I knew it would be a big mistake. My thoughts were already spiralling down. Dean always said I was a happy drunk but I wouldn't be this time. I didn't want to get drunk thinking about everything that had gone wrong, all the things I'd done that I shouldn't have and everything I should've done and didn't. I needed to try and fix things. I needed Crowley. He'd started all this off and he could bring Dean back. I finished my drink and then went to find the book to summon him. He'd make a deal with me or else...

I did the summoning ritual but Crowley was a no-show.
'You can't do this, Crowley! You have to show, you sonofab*tch!' I shouted to the empty room. There was no answer. I'd figure it out later but right now I needed to see Dean, tell him I was doing everything I could to bring him back...

...I opened the door to Dean's room and saw ...Dean, sitting up in bed! Crowley was standing off to one side but I ignored him. I felt a moment of pure exhilaration as I walked in but then it vanished like the illusion it was. This couldn't be him. Dean was dead.
'Heya, Sammy!' it said.
I stopped dead at the sound of its voice - Dean's voice. My hands bunched up automatically.
'It’s good to see ya, Bro, but y' didn’t do anything stupid to bring me back, did ya?’ it said, half-smiling at me just like Dean would.
I ignored it. 'What's going on, Crowley?' I said but I was still looking at whatever had possessed my brother.
'I brought your brother back, just like you wanted, Moose.'
'But you never came to me. You never made a deal! How come he's back?'
'Hey, I'm here y' know,' it said. 'Talk to me, Sammy!'
I shook my shoulders; the sound of it using his voice, invading my brother's body without his consent was getting harder to ignore.
'Who are you? What are you? Where’s Dean?' I said.
It moved the First Blade to point in my direction and I took the magic knife out of my jeans. It looked down and seemed ...surprised to see the First Blade and it dropped it onto the bed. Then it raised its hands palms out towards me.
'Sam, it's me - really!'
'No, you're not Dean! You can't be - Dean's dead! I saw him die. I held him at the end... I held him!' I couldn't help it; I felt the tears fall again but I was determined not to let this ...thing get any further under my skin.
'Sam, I don't know how but I'm back,' it said. 'Trust me!'
'Cas hasn’t brought you back and this sonofab**ch didn’t make a deal!' I said, nodding at Crowley.
‘Charming!' he muttered.
I ignored him. ‘You're possessing my brother's dead body, you bast**d! Get out of him! Leave him in peace!'
I raised the magic knife and time seemed to slow. It looked at Crowley and he nodded and touched its arm and I threw the knife at it but they both disappeared and the knife passed through thin air and slammed into the opposite wall, vibrating backwards and forwards with the force I'd used.
'So much for being my brother, you sonofab**ch!' I shouted. I sat down on the bed and wondered how much worse things could get...

Cas turned up later. I'd gone through the bottle I'd started drinking earlier and I'd cried some more; then I'd opened up another one just before he got here.
‘Metatron told me Dean is dead, Sam! - Is it true? I need to see him.’
I drank my whiskey.
‘He’s not here, Cas. Some bast**d thing rode off in his meatsuit.’
‘Sam, what do you mean, something took him?’
‘It was a revenant… or more likely a demon - something! I’d summoned Crowley to make a deal to get Dean back and he didn’t show. The next thing, I walk into Dean’s room and his body’s sitting up and there’s Crowley, smarming everywhere. It wasn’t Dean. Then Crowley and… it disappeared, just like demons do.’
I poured another whiskey and drank it straight off.
‘Sam, it could have been Crowley who took Dean away. It doesn’t have to mean he was a demon too.’
‘Maybe,' I said. 'But I never made a deal with Crowley so how could this happen? You didn’t do it and I’m pretty sure God isn’t answering any prayers so it has to be a fake. Dean’s dead… And I never even got to tell him how sorry I am…’
‘Dean would have forgiven you, Sam,’ Cas said, gripping my shoulder.
I shook Cas’ hand off. ‘Yeah, he did. He always does. He said… he said, “I’m proud of us,” just before… just before… he died… and I couldn’t even say anything back to him. I couldn’t even tell him… couldn’t even tell him how much he means…’
‘Sam, no matter how bad things get, Dean is always there for you. He understands.’
‘Cas, don’t you see - that just makes it worse! I told him we weren’t brothers! He saved my life again and all I did was push him away. I pushed him so hard he went and got the Mark of Cain! I should have been looking after him like he always does for me and I didn’t. I didn’t even try and find out what the Mark meant or what it was doing to him until it was too late! Now he’s gone and…’ I couldn't go on and I looked away so Cas wouldn't see my tears. I stood up and went to leave the room but Cas grabbed my arm and said, ‘wait, Sam!’
‘I can hear Dean. He’s praying,’ Cas said.
‘What for?’
‘Be quiet! It’s… faint. It is Dean I think. Mostly.’
‘What does that mean, Cas? What’s he saying?’
‘You’re not going to like it, Sam.’
‘Tell me, Cas!’
‘It is hard to explain. I can feel it is Dean… But there is something else there too. Something… dark.’
‘What was he praying for?’
Cas hesitated again. ‘Well, he was praying for forgiveness and… he wants to die, Sam. He wants to… not exist anymore. He needs our help.’
‘What can we do?’
‘Well, you could try summoning him?’ Cas said.
‘So you do think he’s a demon then?’
‘I don’t know, Sam. Something is different with him but it couldn’t hurt to try.’
I did the summoning ritual and the thing possessing Dean's dead body appeared inside the devil’s trap I'd drawn.
‘Sam, why have y’ done this?' it said. 'Y’ should’ve let me be. I’m… unclean. I shouldn’t be here!’
I couldn't talk to it, wearing my brother's face like it owned it, pretending to be my brother, but Cas was smiling at it just like it was Dean. Like nothin’ was any different.
‘Hello, Dean; it’s good to see you,’ he said.
‘Heya, Cas,’ it said, smiling back at him. ‘So, you beat Metatron huh?’
‘With your help, Dean; I couldn’t have done it without you. You… distracted him for long enough so I could find the angel tablet and break it and now he’s locked away in angel prison.’
‘That’s real good,’ it said. ‘But I’m not me anymore, Cas, y’ know that. Angels and… demons don’t play well together and that blade up your sleeve, well, it’s making part of me angry an’ I don’t wanna hurt ya.’
I couldn't believe Cas was talking to it! It was a betrayal ...of Dean, of his memory. Then it turned to me.
‘Just let me go, Sam. I’m gonna try and do that ritual to throw me into that other place where there’re no angels or demons. Maybe I can live there. If I’m lucky, maybe I can die there? Or there’s always Purgatory. I ain’t stayin’ here to be another Cain.’
I felt like I'd been sucker-punched! That was Dean, wasn't it? A demon couldn't mimic him like that, could it? I could feel my eyes burning again. Cas moved forwards and held out his arms to hug it ...him.
‘Don’t, Cas, please!’ Dean said.
The First Blade was vibrating in his hand and he dropped to his knees.
‘No, I won’t hurt them!’ Dean shouted.
Cas and I both flinched away from him instinctively as he swapped the Blade into his left hand and raised it high. I saw the terrible hurt flit across his face as he saw us do that and that more than anything convinced me it was Dean - no demon could fake that emotion. Then he chopped down onto his right arm, cutting twice across the Mark. He screamed and then collapsed to the floor inside the devil's trap...

...I must have dozed off. I'd been driving for a long time the day before and lack of sleep combined with the whiskey must have knocked me out but I guess some small noise must've woken me 'cause I looked up to see Dean was awake and half-sitting up in bed, looking over at me. His eyes were inscrutable 'cause they were black as coal and it shocked me again, even though I'd seen them earlier, but it was really Dean so I had to deal with it. I smiled as warmly as I could. He blinked and his eyes went back to normal and he looked almost happy.
‘Dean! Man, it’s good to see you!’
He sat up fully and I reached over and hugged him, hard.
‘What happened?’ he asked.
‘You collapsed after you cut your arm. Why'd you do it, Dean?'
'I thought it might... break the connection? Stop the Rage inside me?'
'You went real deep, Dean!' We both looked at the large bloody dressing covering most of his lower right arm.
'I thought you might lose your arm but Cas used some of his mojo to heal it enough.’
‘He’s OK, ain’t he? I mean he ain’t got much to spare,’ he said.
‘He’s fine, don’t worry. He had to go back to Heaven but first he went inside you and looked at your soul.’
‘Invasion of privacy, Sam?’
‘Sorry, Dean, but we wanted to check how much of you is really you, while we could.’
‘And?’ he asked.
I hesitated. ‘You are a demon, Dean, but not like any other demons Cas has ever met. He says your human soul is still there but there’s a shell of darkness around it.’
‘And we don’t know how to fix it. I’m sorry, Dean. I’m so sorry for everything that happened the last few months. I…’
''S’ OK, Sammy. You were right to be pissed at me lying to ya. But I couldn’t let y’ die without tryin’ everythin’ I could.’
‘Dean, Gadreel lied to you and pretended to be Cas’ friend. It wasn’t your fault about Kevin. You were only looking out for me, as usual.’
‘It was my fault, Sammy, but that’s somethin’ I’ll have to deal with.’
‘Dean, don’t take this on as well as everything else!’
‘Leave it, Sam, please! What happens now?’
‘Well, business as usual, Dean, I guess. Until we can find a cure for you.’
I was smiling at Dean and it almost felt like old times. Almost. He tried to smile back but the smile never quite reached his eyes and I saw how lost he was, how scared. Then the blackness spread all over his eyes. I don't think he even noticed it. He seemed to be listening to something only he could hear. I shuddered inside as I though of his words earlier, when he talked about going to that other place where there’re no angels or demons, or even Purgatory. I wasn't going to let that happen but I also knew Dean and once he's made up his mind, well it wouldn't be easy keeping him here if he didn't want to stay.

...And then there was the demon side of him. I'd been possessed before. I knew how evil demons could be but at least my soul was separate from them inside, even when they controlled me. This time the evil was a part of Dean, something he couldn't get away from... I'd keep trying for Dean's sake but all I could think was what if we can't save him? And my thoughts slid to Purgatory...
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whatUseeintheshadows Really great POV story 1 Jul 29 2014, 8:41 AM EDT by spnfanforever
Thread started: Jul 29 2014, 7:09 AM EDT  Watch
Wow... I loved this story from Dean's POV and now it was really neat to get a look at those same events from Sam's view. The beginning was so depressing, with him bringing his brother's body home and all the thoughts of what he should've said before Dean died. And then all the emotion filled denial when he saw Dean back alive. Very nicely done. And finally you could see the love, determination, and fear at the end when he knows he has Dean back but realizes that things aren't going to be easy with their current situation.
Great job. Both pieces are well-written, in-character, and go together nicely.
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PigNaPoke Wonderful idea... 3 Jul 29 2014, 3:01 AM EDT by spnfanforever
Thread started: Jul 27 2014, 2:54 PM EDT  Watch have the same story from both Guys' views!! Nice interpretation of Sam's feelings and guilty conscience ! Obviously Dean's inside view was more surprising and all fresh in the way you described how aDemon sees and travels etc. - very cool! I would expect Sam to be a bit more pissed, but he was always better at hiding that emotion. But still a very good counterpoint. And I always enjoy your writing style very much.
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