Title: Open Wounds
Rating: PG - Gen - hurt!Dean
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Sam POV. Sam is forced to learn more about his abilities. (early S4)
Sam didn’t see it happen.
He was crouching in the pitch black of the house’s basement but he knew something had gone wrong just as soon as he was done reciting the incantation. It had all been easy at first but by the end each syllable felt jagged in his throat as he struggled to finish it. And as soon as the last word had left his lips the damp dirt floor trembled under his hands and a shock of cold shot down his spine like ice water.
Standing up slowly, he felt the entire house heave again, creaking on its ancient foundation and causing the basement stairs to shift alarmingly to the side. Sam took the steps three at a time, going as fast as he could before the entire thing gave out beneath his weight. He gripped the doorway as the structure rocked one more time, the cracking plaster hissing down like rain as the house finished expelling the spirit that had inhabited its walls.
Dean had been given the easy side of the job. All he had to do was seal up each window and door with wards and salt so the thing dwelling inside couldn’t escape before they had gotten rid of it.
“It-It worked,” Sam muttered as he rubbed the throbbing ache between his eyes. “Christ, it actually worked.”
The gutted living room was wrecked. The sagging fireplace had crumbled and collapsed across the floor with the sputtering fire still smoking amongst the broken brick. Sam realized he was holding his breath when he stepped into the musty kitchen, water shooting against the walls like wayward fountains and the tiled floor cleaved in two as it jutted towards the ceiling.
He had expected some damage but nothing like this. Maybe a few pictures off the walls and a couple cracked mirrors, but the place looked like a bomb had gone off. His thoughts raced as he rationalized that surely his brother had managed to get outside before the incantation had been finished. Stopping at the shattered front door, he saw the front porch was completely gone, the dry rot of the wood now scattered across the weed choked driveway. The car was right where’s Sam had last seen it, glittering dully in the porch’s miraculously working lamp as a freezing drizzle blew in with a coming storm. His cell phone was dead in his hand, the battery drained and the electronics fried.
With a deep breath, Sam decided to try to locate his brother the old fashioned way.
“Dean!” he turned in a full circle. “Hey, Dean! You out here!”
He didn’t hear a thing besides the occasional trickle of the glass falling from shattered window panes. Half sliding down the former porch, Sam hissed as his jeans and flesh caught on a exposed nail. Pausing to carefully detach himself from the sharp shard of metal, he realized he could hear something.
It was faint but he quickly recognized it as the slow and steady beat of a heart and it wasn’t his.
“Is-Is that you?” Sam clasped his hands over ears to make the sound louder. “Where are you?”
Slowly he looked under his feet and understood with a churn in his stomach that it was coming from directly under his feet. For a few seconds he frantically searched the debris, wondering how he could hear it at all. It had to be some kind of hallucination. It had to be some kind of… But then the sound changed, the weak thud shadowed by his brother’s voice. It was incoherent but desperate, and it was right then and there that Sam knew he’d found Dean.
And he was standing right on top of him.
Sam grit his teeth as the first bent piece of plywood slid away. He hadn’t even touched it but it was lifted and flung as if several men had tossed it aside. The power in him flickered and began to burn, turning his skin hot and coating him in a sickening sweat. Crumbling plaster came away next along with what was left of the front door. Sam was using his hands by then, hefting the heavy wood frame and ignoring the splinters that dug into his palms.
Unable to catch his breath, he paused when he saw his brother’s hand. Coated white from the plaster and cold to the touch. Sam quickly uncovered an arm and then in a burst of fear lifted the rest of the debris in his way with a heave of energy, the frenzied noise careening through his mind sending it all crashing back into the house.
“I'm here,” Sam knelt down, hands trembling on his brother’s blood streaked face. “Can you hear me?”
Dean’s eyes slowly opened, wetting his lips in an attempt to speak he started coughing instead. Sam winced at the horrible sound, wet and deep in his chest. Sam touched Dean’s T-shirt realizing the pale fabric was now dark, heavy and sticky with blood. But as he cleared more of the debris away he discovered something much worse.
“Tried to get out,” Dean wheezed. “Didn’t quite… didn’t make it…”
“Don’t try to talk.”
Sam was trying to make sense of what he was seeing but he’d never seen a wound this bad. One of Dean’s legs was mangled, his knee and ankle in two different directions and the denim shredded to expose his thigh. Without thinking, Sam lay his hand on the raw muscle, ripped and pumping blood down into the sawdust like the water he’d seen flowing from the sinks in the kitchen. Dean suddenly stiffened, whatever shock his body had been in wearing off and letting the pain come in full volume.
“It’s bad,” Dean rasped in a sob that caught in the back of his throat. “It’s bad…”
“It’s not so bad,” Sam heard himself say. “Don’t try to look. It‘s not so bad.”
Sam rubbed his bloody hands over his face twice trying to think of what he could possibly do as his brother lay dying right before his eyes. He was startled when his brother let out a sudden sound, Dean's agonizing pain rippling through the air and brushing against Sam like a physical thing. Dean did it again and it was so much weaker it made Sam clench his jaw. He moved his hands to Dean’s face, forcing him to focus as if sheer will alone would keep Dean whole.
“I'm going to get you out of here,” Sam said. “You're gonna be okay.”
“We should… we should salt the place first,” Dean said. “…Too many damn windows.”
“We did that, Dean. We did that.”
“Sam, is that you?”
Sam felt a flash of terror as he realized his brother was going fast. Dean’s breathing had quickly been reduced to short and frantic gasps as his lungs flooded to drown him in his own blood. His pupils had dilated to black, his hands attempting to make fists as he blindly tried to find Sam and hold on to him, the shaking grip pulling Sam closer as if Dean slipped further away.
“No,” Sam said. “No.”
His brother abruptly stilled when Sam placed his hand firmly on his forehead. Everything around him dimmed. The frigid rain vanished and even the fire spreading in the house from the shattered hearth seemed to quiet.
“No pain, Dean.”
Sam closed his eyes. He had no idea why he just said what he had but he said it again, this time formed large whole within his thoughts, loud and clear so he knew Dean could hear it too. His skin started to burn hotter and he vaguely wondered why Dean wasn’t flinching away from the scorch of his touch.
Sam could feel it now, flowing through him and down into the damaged body sprawled under him. The blistering heat in his hands turning warm and softening from fire to calm. He could hear the furious pound of Dean’s heartbeat begin to slow, his muscles relax and the horrible struggle to use his lungs begin to ease.
But Sam could see it all now.
Every ripped artery and every snapped bone laid out like a pulsing map. Dean let out a whimper as Sam slid his hand into the exposed muscle of his thigh. There was a strange sound, like meat sizzling on a hot pan as the searing touch moved into the raw gleam of the wound. With a gasp Sam could feel the muscles begin to close in over his probing fingers, kitting and fusing as he willed it. Without opening his eyes he slid his other hand underneath the wet T-shirt finding another opening below the sternum before pushing his hand into the gape of flesh. Dean began to jerk violently but Sam didn’t stop, he squeezed and spread his reach until the painful tug of his energy began to falter, turning him inside out until soon he‘d be hollow and empty…
“S-Sam,” Dean stammered. “Sammy…”
Sam’s eyes flickered open when he started to see nothing but white. A pure bright white he knew was a sign that he may be about to lose consciousness. But he wasn’t done yet. With a growl of frustration he pressed harder into Dean’s thigh, faintly aware that his brother’s stifled moans had turned into weak screams. His hands turned into fists, clutching bleeding flesh and feeling it throb as it was forced back into shape.
“Dean...” Sam heard his voice, light and far away. “Did you see that?”
He didn’t recall laying down but he was numb to the sharp debris digging into his back and shoulders. The fire was big now, reaching through the broken windows and licking up the sides of the demolished house. The heat of it was comforting against the icy rain splattering against his face. Someone was saying his name over and over. Lifting him up and taking him away from the welcome warmth of the blaze. He wanted to ask them to leave him alone for now.
Because he had done it.
He’d taken the power he used to rend and obliterate and he’d used for something else. No one had ever told him anything about what lay waiting in his blood except that it could be used to end all things. He heard the car door open and the familiar feel of the cracked backseat against his cheek. But as the crackle of flames receded so did the cold and ice. Soon there was nothing left except the strong thud his brother’s heartbeat. It was steady again, each vessel and vein flooding the body with blood instead of draining into the dirt.
He felt hot tears run down his face as he heard himself start to laugh.
And as he faded away he hoped it wouldn’t be for too long.
He couldn’t wait to tell Dean what he could do now.