Title: Alone
Author: Dhvana
Series: 1) The Monster Under the Bed, 2) A Little Help From Bob, 3) The Temptation of Dean, 4) Questions Without Answers, 5) Don't Lose Your Head, 6) Retribution and Remorse, 7) The Return of an Old Fiend, 8) Undulating Dynamics, 9) Personal Weirdness, 10) On the Road Again, 11) Doubletalk, 12) The Golden Agenda, 13) The Rescue of Dean
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Sam/Dean, but the Wincest is implied and unrequited (so far)
Summary: Dean fights for his life while Sam makes a decision.


Dean was mere seconds away from sleep when he heard footsteps stomping down the hall, rousing him from any possible rest. The door to his bedroom was thrown open and hit the wall with a bang that startled him even though he'd sort of been expecting it.

"Dean Winchester, what do you think you're doing?"

He groaned, turning in the bed so his back was to her, and pulled the blanket up over his shoulders.

"Dean, did you hear me?"

"The entire county heard you," he muttered, squeezing his eyes shut and hoping he could wish her away with the power of his mind.

He couldn't.

"Boy, you'd better not be sassing me or you'll spend the rest of the day washing a bar of soap out of your mouth. Now get your lazy butt out of bed! You've got work to do!"

Goddamn psychic harridan--couldn't she just leave him the hell alone?

"I'm trying to sleep," he growled.

"I know what you're trying to do, and it ain't gonna happen. Get out of that bed, or I will get you out of bed."

"Look, back off!" he snapped, rolling over to glare at her. "I'm tired. All I want is a couple hours sleep and then I'll do whatever it is you want me to do."

"This can't wait a couple hours!"

"The hell it can't! I'm exhausted! Just leave me alone and let me sleep!"

Missouri's eyes flashed with an inner struggle, her irritation at him battling against her understanding of why he didn't want to get up. Understanding won. Sighing, she sat down on the edge of his bed and patted his knee in sympathy. "I know you're tired, sugar, but you can't sleep. You've got too much to do."

"Let Sammy do it," he grumbled, burying his head against the pillow.

"He's got his own job to do without having to worry about doing yours as well."

"Then I guess it won't get done."

"You really want to be responsible for that?" she asked, her voice filled with sadness and a hint of anger. She could only put up with him and his sullenness for so long.

Dean shrugged, not really caring one way or another. "Is there an answer I can give that will get you to leave me alone?"

"Yes. Tell me you'll stop acting like a five-year-old and get up."


He could practically feel the air around her snap as the last of her patience disappeared.

"All right, that's it. I'm not listening to any more of this," Missouri said, again sounding like her usual no-nonsense self. "Your brother's on his way. If you're not up and ready by the time he gets here, I'm going to dump a bucket of ice water on your bed. Let's see how well you sleep then."

"Go ahead and try, see if I ever do anything for you again."

"You're not doing this for me. You're doing this for yourself, and for your brother. He can't make it without you."

"He's a big boy. He'll be fine."

"He's got more brains than you, I won't deny it--" Dean shot her a dirty look. "--but that doesn't mean he hasn't got his own flaws to deal with. That's why he needs you. His flaws are your strengths. And as for your flaws--boy, you'd better hope I don't wring your neck for the stunts you've been pulling lately."

"I don't know what you're talking about," he said, exuding the innocence of an angel as he met her eyes. She swiped him across the shoulder, and he cringed. It had been a lame attempt to begin with, but he'd been keeping his fingers crossed that she was ignorant of the full extent of his recent stupidity. He should have known better. "Fine," he sighed. "I'll get up. Just give me another fifteen minutes."

"Does this sound like a negotiation to you?" she asked as she rose to her feet and pulled the blanket off of him. "You're getting that pudgy body of yours out of bed right now."

That got his attention. "'Pudgy'?" he demanded as he sat up. "Did you just call me pudgy?!"

Missouri smirked. "It got you up, didn't it? Though I have to say, a few more sit-ups wouldn't hurt you. Now," she said as she folded the blanket and set it across the foot of the bed, "after Sam gets here, you be sure and smooth things over with him or you can bet there'll be trouble ahead."

"Pudgy," Dean muttered, still giving her his death-glare and she rolled her eyes.

"Did you hear a word I just said?"

"I heard, and I'll have you know I have never gotten a complaint about my body. Several compliments, but not a single complaint, and believe me, I've been in the position to get complaints if there were any complaints to be gotten."

"Dean!" she snapped.

"What? Oh, fine," he said with a voice that clearly implied he was just humoring her. "I'll play nice with Sammy."

"I don't doubt that," she said, looking him over with knowing eyes. "But I'm talking about you coming clean with him."

"I'll tell him what he needs to know."

"You'll tell him everything. Not that there's much he hasn't already learned," she said with a shake of her head, "but it's best that he hears it from you."

Dean swallowed hard past the lump that had appeared in his throat at the thought of explaining everything to Sam, and he stared down at his hands. "He won't understand," he said softly. Missouri sat down next to him and placed an arm around his shoulders, pulling him close to her in a motherly embrace.

"I know, baby. It's going to be rough, but you've got to trust that he loves you enough to forgive you."

"What if he doesn't? What if he can't?"

"I should be telling you you should have thought about that in the first place, but you're a man, and I know men don't always think with their heads, so you're just going to have to pray with all your heart that everything will work out." Her body grew still and she tilted her head to the side as if listening to something. "I've got to go. You think you can stay awake or do you want me to sit with you until your brother gets here?"

He shook his head. "I'll be okay."

"You sure? Because if you fall back asleep, I won't be able to wake you up."

"I'll stay awake," he said, giving her a weak smile. "Sammy needs me, right?"

"That's right, child. He sure does." She kissed his forehead before standing up and he shivered, immediately missing her warmth. She walked to the doorway of the bedroom and paused to glance back at him. "If things don't work out between you two, you can always come to me until he's ready."

Dean tried not to appear too horrified by the suggestion. "Thanks, but that's a little too close to home for me."

Missouri smiled. "Where do you think you are now?" she chuckled and disappeared into the hall, leaving the bedroom door open behind her.

Dean raised his eyes and looked around the room. He didn't know why he hadn't seen it before, except that he'd tried not to think about it for so long, he'd almost forgotten what it looked like, but she was right. He was in his childhood bedroom. He was home.

The first thing he noticed was the airplanes--the room was filled with airplanes. The walls were papered with airplanes. The lamp on his dresser had an airplane built into the stand and the lampshade pictured little airplanes soaring through the clouds. The rug on the floor next to the bed was in the shape of an airplane. Model airplanes hung from the ceiling, little plastic and metal toys he vaguely remembered watching his dad build on Sunday afternoons. His sheets, his blanket, his pillows--all were covered in airplanes. His childhood was filled with airplanes.

No wonder he hated the damn things so much.

It was strange to think he must have loved them at one point. Maybe he'd even wanted to be a pilot. Imagine that--him, flying through the air, and actually happy to be there. Things certainly had changed in twenty-three years.

And some things never changed.

A baby's cry from down the hall grabbed his attention and he jumped to his feet. "Sammy?"

He quickly walked across the room but was stopped at the threshold by an invisible barrier. He somehow knew that all it would take was a little push and he'd be back where he belonged, but he couldn't resist a last look towards the bed. He longed to lay his head back down on the pillow and take a small nap--not more than fifteen minutes, twenty tops--and then he'd get up and help Sammy. Just fifteen minutes wouldn't hurt anyone, especially not his brother. In spite of the crying coming from the hall, he knew Sam wasn't a baby anymore. Sam had grown up and could take care of himself--he had been for all those years before Dean showed up, and he'd been doing pretty well for himself ever since.

Just a little bit of sleep, that's all he was asking.

"Dean! Don't make me come back up there!" Missouri's voice snapped from downstairs and he rolled his eyes. Looked like sleep would have to wait.

"All right! I'm coming!" he yelled and pushed through the barrier.

But when Dean woke up, he was alone. His eyes searched the sparse white room hoping to see his brother, but no matter where he looked, Sam was nowhere to be found.

Don did most of the driving as they made their way across the country to Enchanted Rock. Dean didn't wake up once during their journey, and Sam drove only when Don's exhaustion and injuries overwhelmed him. He would have taken the wheel a little more often, but he was only able to stay awake for a few hours at a time, and his burnt arm made steering difficult. They tried to stop only when necessary, but it still took them thirty-five hours to make what was supposedly a twenty hour trip. By the time they neared Fredericksburg, both Don and Sam were about ready to pass out in their seats.

The warrior drove them directly to Enchanted Rock where the lone figure of an old man was waiting for them at the base of the hill. Sam didn't need a formal introduction to know that this was the spirit his brother had nicknamed 'Bob'. Even without the waves of power flowing off of him, Sam would have guessed Bob's identity by the fact that there just weren't a lot of elderly wizened Indians hanging around the State Park first thing in the morning.

Exhausted, wounded, he and Don carried Dean over to the spirit and set him on the ground at his feet. Kneeling down next to the unconscious man, Bob placed a hand on Dean's forehead and whispered a few words. Dean's eyes flickered open long enough to focus on the old man and then closed again.

Nodding, Bob stood up and looked at Sam. "You can take your brother to the hospital now."

Sam stared at him, eyes wide with disbelief. They'd driven for two days straight without stopping to reach this spirit, all three of them wavering somewhere between life and death but pushing on anyway, and that was all he was going to do? Somehow, Sam had been expecting more, like for Bob to perform some sort of mystical Native American ritual that would have left Dean on his feet and walking around as if nothing had happened. To say he was disappointed was an understatement.

"That's it? You touch him and we're free to go on our merry way? I thought you were going to save him!"

Bob looked at him, the mischievous wrinkles surrounding his ancient eyes deepening with sympathy and sorrow. "I will be visiting Dean when he needs me, and there are already others watching over him, but as for saving him, that I cannot do. Your brother must save himself. If he chooses to live, he will live. If not, he will die. All I can do is anchor his spirit a little more firmly to this world and give him the time to make that choice."

"You were supposed to help him!" Sam shouted, wanting to wrap his hands around the old man's throat and throttle him.

"I did all that I could do."

"It's not enough!"

"Sam," Don said, placing a restraining hand on his shoulder. Bob just shook his head.

"You may not understand now, but you will. Take your brother to the hospital. As his body heals, the connection to his spirit will grow stronger, and he will be better able to fight for his life."

"And what if he doesn't last that long? What if he dies in the hospital? Hell, he may not even make it to the hospital. What if he dies on the way there?"

"I think I know someone who can help with that," Bob said, eyes twinkling as he turned to the warrior. "Donovan, she's been waiting for you."

The air shimmered in front of them and a woman with long curly dark red hair and rich brown eyes stepped forward. Laughing joyously, she threw herself into Don's waiting arms, tears streaming down both their faces.

"I've missed you so much," she said, covering his mouth with kisses. "I was so worried."

"It's all right," he smiled, cupping her face in his hands. "I'm safe now. I'm with you."

"I was watching you the whole time."

"I know. I could feel you with me."

"I was hoping you would," she said, lifting her hand to trace the cut on his cheek. "You're hurt."

"It's nothing that can't wait a little longer. Right now, we need to get Dean to the hospital. Sam," he said, keeping an arm around the woman's waist, "this is my Amanda. She'll be able to help us. Amanda, this is Sam."

Amanda immediately disengaged herself from Don and wrapped her arms around Sam's neck, pulling him into a hug. "It'll be all right," she whispered into his ear, and his eyes widened to feel a soothing warmth pass from her body into his, his weary power welcoming and accepting hers. Leaning back, she smiled at him. "I can see we have much to talk about."

He nodded numbly, not knowing what to think anymore. Unhelpful Indian spirits and women who appeared out of thin air were both beyond his comprehension for now. He just wanted this whole ordeal to be over with, for his brother to be safe, for his own body to be healed, and for his heart to stop hurting, though he knew that last one would be a long time in coming.

"We should go," Don said, and he nodded. Both the warrior and Amanda thanked Bob for his help. Sam tried, but as far as he could tell, the old man hadn't done anything. However, Bob didn't appear to expect any thanks from him. He just gave Sam an all-knowing smile and vanished.

They carried Dean back to the Impala and Amanda sat with him in the backseat as they drove to the hospital, his head on her lap, one hand remaining in constant contact with his heart. By the time they reached the emergency room and Dean was wheeled out of sight, a little color had returned to his cheeks. Sam knew it was all her doing. He just didn't understand how, and as a chair carried him away and doctors and nurses began fussing over his wounds, he forgot to ask.

Almost a full forty-eight hours later, after his injuries had been looked to and he'd finally gotten some sleep, Sam found his way to the room where Dean's body was lying unresponsive against the sterile blankness of the bed. Machines beeped steadily at his bedside while tubes traveled from bags of liquid to disappear into holes in his arms. The doctors had told him his brother was in a coma and there was no way to determine when or if he would wake up. Sam hadn't believed them before, but seeing how fragile he looked in his bandages and hospital gown, he realized that his brother's spirit was still struggling to find its way home.

The angry part of him hoped that struggle included long periods of torture and vast amounts of pain. The rest of him agreed.

Amanda and Don had been keeping vigil over Dean while Sam slept, but once he appeared, they walked over to him with somber expressions on their faces.

"Though I don't like leaving you here unprotected, it is time for us to move on," Don said, one of Amanda's hands wrapped securely in his own. The cut that had once stretched from his cheek to down beneath his shirt was little more than a faded red line. Sam knew that she'd helped with that. She probably also had something to do with the fact that his arm looked less like the skeletal claw that he had been sporting and more like a normal arm. He made a mental note to ask her about it later, but right now, he had something more important on his mind.

"I want to come with you," he said, his voice desperate as he spoke to her, figuring he would have a better chance of appealing to Amanda than he would to Don. "There are so many questions I don't have the answers to and I know you can help me find them."

"Sam," Amanda began, her brown eyes filled with compassion, and he quickly shook his head, putting a stop to her protest.

"Please. I can't keep doing this, muddling my way through whatever is going on inside of me. I need to know what's happening. You don't even have to tell me everything. Just give me enough to get by."

She thought about it for a moment, then sighed. "I can try," she said, "but I wish you would stay. He needs you."

Sam followed her gaze to where his brother lay and stared at him, searching for even a hint of forgiveness in his heart. He found none. The wounds were too new, too deep. He couldn't even see the first step that would lead him towards forgiving Dean. All he saw when he looked at him was a stranger who happened to share his blood. Everything else he had once hoped to see was gone.

He turned back to Amanda. "Dean has always been the strong one. He'll survive without me."


"No matter what you say, I am not staying here. I need answers. I can either get them from you, or I will try to find them on my own."

She and Don exchanged looks, the warrior giving the barest nod of consent, and she sighed. "You may come with us, but I wish you would rethink your decision."

"There's no point. My mind is made up."

"All right. If he is anywhere near as stubborn as you are, then maybe he will do fine on his own. Why don't you say good-bye," she said, pausing to place a hand on his arm as she guided Don towards the door. "We'll be waiting for you outside."

Knowing he should at least try, Sam walked over to the bed and looked down at his brother. The kind thing to do would be to offer up words of encouragement to speed his recovery, but Sam wasn't feeling particularly kind. The pain of Dean's betrayal remained fresh in his heart and the resulting anger continued to burn brightly. He didn't fully hate him, not yet, but his near-hatred had the possibility of becoming concrete if he stayed much longer.

He leaned over his brother's face and stared into his closed eyes.

"I hope you live," Sam said softly to ears that may or may not have heard him. "I hope you wake up alone and wonder whether or not you will see me again. I hope you come back as whole and as strong as you ever were so you will have the strength to endure every day knowing that I will never forgive you. Maybe then you will begin to feel even a fraction of the pain you caused me. Maybe then you can understand why it is I had to leave.

"Good-bye, Dean."

With one last look at his sleeping brother, Sam turned around and walked out of the room, the door closing behind him.


Next story in series - A Learning Experience.