The Things that Change Us

Chapter 16

Chapter 16

Dean

Dick angels, hell spawn demons and the devil himself had nothing on this girl.

That was a damn fact.

Okay, so she had issues with me, fair enough, I got that but why involve everyone else? Why lay that on her sick son and my anxious brother?

Her bogus smiles and syrupy statements weren't fooling anyone. Every word she spoke was laced with bitter sarcasm. 'It's so good to finally meet the two most important people in Dean's life.' Please. Give me a freaking break. Usually I would roll my eyes and tell whoever it was spinning such crap exactly where to go, but with Ben and Sammy in the room I had to keep biting my tongue - and that was getting harder by the second.

Her denials were awesome. 'I'm being nice, I'm doing and saying everything you wanted me to do and say. Now, pass me the plates…please'.

Acidic.

Manipulative.

Bitch.

'Lisa-'

'Dean pass me the plates!'

It was always the same; every single time I followed her into the kitchen to have it out with her in a controlled whisper, the second she raised her voice, it was all over. Done.

Any why? Because my brother was fragile and she knew it. She was actually using that to shoot me down and shut me up, fully aware that nothing; nothing could piss me off more.

'I don't use Ben against you.' I snarled at her when she pulled the vegetables out of the oven. 'Do not use my brother against me.'

'Can you carve the meat?'

'You don't want to go there with me. I'm telling you right now.'

'I know who comes first Dean. I'm aware. You don't have to keep proving it to me.'

'I'm here aren't I?'

'Physically maybe. Kind of.'

All I could hear from the dining room was nothing; silence. Strained, tense silence.

'This isn't fair on S- Ben and Sam. We can talk about it later but right now-'

'Right now I play perfect housewife and you play perfect boyfriend right? Yes, I got it.' She picked up the carving knife and pulled the simmering tray of meat towards her. 'And that's what I'm doing.'

'No, you aren't. You are making everyone in the freaking house uncomfortable.'

'Oh well I am so sorry Dean. Really, I am. Wouldn't want your family feeling uncomfortable would we?'

'You,' I pointed a finger at her, 'don't understand a damn thing.'

'Can you get everyone in the dining room please?' There was that sickly sweet smile again. You know, the fakeass one that absolutely no one bought?

'Are you going to be normal?'

'Get everyone in the dining room!' She yelled loud enough for the whole street to hear.

That was it. Enough was enough. Sam would be freaking out right now and that was absolutely not on. Not in my book. 'You know what. You keep acting like this and I will be out that door before you can even blink.'

And so the tears began again.

Fan-frickin-tastic!

I couldn't deal with that right now, she wasn't up for it anyway and I had to check on everyone else. The first person I laid eyes on when I stepped into the living room was Sammy – his face drained of all color and sitting as stiff as I had ever seen him. Bobby's right hand held onto his shoulder in support and Ben had his head buried in a book.

'Dean, I think Sam and I should leave.' Bobby said when he saw me, giving me a very pointed glare. He was right of course. For Sam's sake, they had to leave. Definitely. Pity hearing the words almost destroyed me. I had such high hopes for this night. 'I'm sorry about the food...' he added.

'No, it's okay. It's fine.' I tried to smile.

'Should I go and see mom?' Ben asked me, eyes overflowing with the kind of innocence exclusive to kids his age – and my kid brother.

'Yeah, that's probably a good idea.' As Ben left the room, I sat down on his chair. 'Sammy.'

He lifted his head.

'I'm sorry.' I said to him.

'For what? You didn't do anything.' Out of nowhere, he stood up – like as if all of a sudden some force had taken him over. 'Say thanks to Lisa for us? For having us?'

'Yeah.' I frowned.

'You ready?' He asked Bobby way too fast causing us to share a concerned glance.

'I might be over a bit later-'

'No.' Sam said to me too quickly. 'No, you stay here. You have to stay here. Don't come.'

'It's okay Sam. I will if I can.'

'No!'

'Okay. I'll call you later then?'

'Only if you can.' Bobby interrupted before Sam could argue.

Sam

I had to get out, I had to get out, I had to get out of here and now! God dammit I had to leave. Where was the front door again? I knew this was a bad idea, right from the very start. Why didn't anyone listen to me? They should listen to me.

Did I tell them? I forget. Maybe I didn't. Maybe that's why.

Why wasn't Bobby moving? Why was Dean looking at me like that? Why could I hear footsteps approaching?

Oh my God, Lisa was back in the room. She said something, I saw her mouth move but I didn't hear her words. My thoughts were too loud, they were making too much noise. Dean - I could hear him, and he said, 'They're leaving.' then 'Why do you think?'

That's all I heard; all I could hear. Bobby's hand was still on my shoulder, even now that we were standing; I could feel that, but I was lost. The door; I forgot where the door was.

'Dean?' I interrupted them I think but he could show me. He could help me.

'You okay?'

Oh no, now my breathing was loud and raspy and fast – a bit too fast and deep. Get a grip, come on. Just get to the door, get out of there and everything will be fine.

'Sam?' Dean again. My head was spinning but all I could see was him. Everything else was a blur. 'Sammy, sit down.'

'No!' Just show me where the door is! I should have said that - why didn't I say that? Why couldn't I speak anymore? My chest hurt. Dizzy. Hard to breathe. Another hand on my other shoulder.

I can't breathe.

'Sam.' Not Dean's voice, someone else's. Not Bobby's or Ben's or even Lisa's. 'Sam.' Oh God, I knew that voice. All too well. 'You'll never see your brother again. It's you and me...Forever.'

Lucifer.

I spun around both ways even though it sounded like his voice was inside my head. Was it really him? Was he back for me? I couldn't go back. I couldn't. 'Dean!'

'I'm here, it's okay. You're okay.' Thank God. My brother was in front of me, it was him grabbing hold of my arms but my eyes wouldn't focus. 'Sit down.'

'Sam.'

'He's back.' I reached out for Dean so I could clutch onto him and never let him go. 'Dean, he's back.' It was like I was blind even though I could still see blurry colors swirling in front of me.

'Sam, what?' Now he was freaked, I could hear the fear in his voice. 'What do you mean?'

'Sam.'

'He's back. Dean, I can't. I can't go back there. Please.'

'Sammy! Stop! Look at me.'

'He's back for me!'

'No he's not! Look at me. Sam, look at me. He's not, I swear to you.' Someone was shaking me; I think it was Dean because it felt like Dean. 'Sammy, breathe. Breathe. Everyone step back! Sam, listen to me. Sam!'

He was yelling now. I couldn't make him angry. He had too much else to deal with. So I tried to control my breathing and I tried to focus on him again. He was telling me to look at him so I had to. To make him happy…so he wouldn't be angry at me. Because he had other things to deal with.

'You're okay.' He said again. Why was he always saying the same thing over and over? 'Sammy come on, breathe buddy. Breathe and look at me. Look at me.'

Focus. Deep breaths, find his eyes and focus.

Okay, shapes were starting to form around me. Things were getting clearer.

'Good one. Good job Sammy.'

Wow, Dean was so close to my face. I jerked my head back and saw him smile. His eyes were red and wet but he was smiling at me. 'You okay?' He checked as I shut my eyes tight and opened them again. I could see. Everything was back to what it was like before.

I waited for Lucifer to speak to me again.

'Sam?' He seemed shocked when I jolted. 'Hey, easy.' It was Dean, not Lucifer, Dean.

'I'm okay.' Where was Bobby? Lisa and Ben were staring at me but no Bobby. When I twisted my neck to look behind me, I saw him. He was there, rubbing my shoulders.

'Bobby's here.' Dean smiled. At least I had them both with me. That's what kept me breathing properly.

So much for the staying strong thing. Once again I had made it all about me. Lisa was upset, Ben was upset, Bobby was upset and my brother was upset yet here they all were surrounding me because I was the one freaking out. I forced myself to meet Lisa's eyes. No longer was she wearing the fake smile, instead she was staring at me in shock. 'I'm sorry.' I said to her. 'I'm really sorry I came back.'

'Sammy, no.' Dean let out a sob. I didn't mean for that. Bobby squeezed my shoulders as I closed my eyes again. I was still so screwed up.

'It's okay.' I smiled at Dean when I opened them again and wiped my nose with my sleeve. I didn't even know it was running. A few tears ran down my cheek. 'It's okay.' I nodded to him as if repeating the words would make him believe it.

'I'm going back to the Motel with them.' Dean said to Lisa.

'Okay. I'll pack you another bag.' This time she didn't sound phony, just frightened – or something.

'No Dean, I swear, I'm okay now. Stay here. You have things to sort out.'

This time Lisa spoke to me, 'Sam, it's fine. Really.' Her smile was genuine for once. 'I'm the one that needs to apologize. I'm the one that's sorry. I was being selfish.'

And again I had no idea what to say.

'Dean, can you help me with a few things before you go?'

When he looked at me, I knew what he was asking and I nodded. She wanted to know what the hell all that was about. I couldn't blame her but I didn't envy Dean having to explain it either. Still, if he thought she needed to know, who was I to suggest otherwise? Whatever helped.

'We'll meet you back at the room.' Bobby said to him.

'Okay. I won't be long.'

This time when Lisa hugged me I didn't feel like stepping back. For some reason, I leant into it and held onto her tightly. I felt bad for what happened but more than that, I felt guilty she was going through stuff because of me. That would have to change.

After tonight, that would have to change.

Later, when Bobby stopped fussing over me and we settled back into the comfort of our room; waiting for Dean to arrive, I said the words I didn't expect to say so soon:

'It's time we go home.'

(To be continued…)

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