The Things that Change Us

Chapter 21

Chapter 21


I heard his screaming. It almost crippled me. They were horrifying blood curdling screams which echoed down the phone so loud and thick it felt like I was in the very next room. But I wasn't and I needed to be. And this was precisely why being so damn far away was a monumental mistake – and disaster.

I gave it three minutes. Those three minutes felt like five centuries. Bobby basically ordered me not to touch my phone until he called me back. It was best to give him time to settle Sam down before being interrupted he told me. Well three minutes was longer than long enough and if my brother was screaming like that I wanted to know the hell why. And help him if I could.

Even if it was through a freaking phone.

Bobby didn't answer. He could be a stubborn old coot at times. What did he think? I would get in the way? Well screw that. This was about Sammy and when stuff was about Sammy it was about me too. I had every right to know what the hell was going down over there.

So I called my brother not really expecting him to answer. I pictured Bobby putting him to bed, reading him a bedtime story and rubbing his forehead for some not-so-crazy reason. Maybe it was because of their newfound fantasy of domesticated bliss or maybe it was because I was a bitter son of a bitch. Either way though, Sam I don't think needed that kind of thing. Sam I think needed me.

When the call connected I took a step back. 'Dean!' Was my brother's desperate greeting. My whole body jolted with fear at his terrified tone.

'Sam, are you okay?' When he didn't answer, I added; 'Where's Bobby? Put Bobby on.'

'I can't.' Was he crying? He was. He was crying. What the hell was going on in that house? Automatically I grabbed my jacket from the hanger in the cupboard and the keys from the dresser ready to make the move to my car.

'Why not?'

'Because I killed him.'

'You-' What did he just say? Christ did my stomach drop to my feet. With a hitch in my voice and my body frozen still, I whispered 'No, Sam, you didn't.' He couldn't have. He just couldn't have.

'Yes I did!' He shouted too loud for my ear to handle, 'I did Dean, he's dead! Bobby's dead!'

'Fricking hell Sam! This is exactly why this wasn't a good idea!' I shrieked in response still not believing his words. 'Look.' I had to calm down and get him calmed down as well. Both of us needed to think properly. 'Tell me what happened? Is he breathing? What's going on?'

'He's DEAD!'

'Sam! Listen to me! Take a deep breath and listen. You need to go to him and check his pulse? Have you done that?'

'He won't wake up.' He sobbed.

'Have you called the paramedics? I'll call them. Just – stay on the line okay?' Darting over to the cordless phone on the nightstand, I dialed the number with a shaky hand while still listening to my brother's frantic breathing and crying. Holding two phones to each ear didn't strike me as strange, although it was a little confusing, especially when Sam spoke.

'Dean, you think maybe…'

'What Sammy?' I asked as someone on the emergency line answered.

'Cas could heal him?'

Cas! You idiot Dean! I recited off the address to the operator with lightening speed even though I had no idea of Bobby's condition and hung up. I couldn't take Sam's word as fact; not in his state. Anyway I wouldn't. Bobby had to be alive…and if Sam was right and he wasn't then Cas could not only heal him, he could zap me over there within a split second.

'Good idea.' I said while he continued to sob. If that sound alone didn't hurt like a million more gunshots to the chest. 'I'll call for Cas, but in the meantime just go over and check his pulse okay? You remember all this don't you? You know what to do.'

'No. I don't.'

'Then get a bowl of water and throw it on him.' When life threw you lemons…'Go now Sam. Do it.'


The water made Bobby alive again. He coughed and spluttered and kicked his foot out as he sat up. Thank God Dean knew what to do. Probably wasn't the recommended way to wake someone up but at least it worked. 'The paramedics are on their way.' I said to him nervously while helping him rest against the bookshelf.

'I don't need no paramedics.' He told me. 'Call them back and cancel.'

He really did seem okay. I mean he tested his jaw to check if it was broken and winced when he moved but overall he seemed just like normal Bobby …albeit banged up…by me.

'I'm so sorry.' I said standing back when he pushed my hands away from him. 'I thought you were Lucifer.'

'I know.'

If only it was the devil. I couldn't have done it to the devil though; I never did.

Just to Bobby.

I reached onto a shelf behind him and pulled a tissue from a dusty, bent to hell box and handed it to him. The blood was still dripping from his split lip. 'Are you alright?' If the guilt wasn't ripping me to pieces, being a useless, worthless and inadequate piece of crap was. Not only had I hurt him, not only could I have killed him but now that he was alive and in pain, I didn't even know what to do to fix him. And he sounded mad. I couldn't blame him. I did smash him hard enough to send him flying back into the wall knocking him out cold. He had every right to hate me.

'I'm fine. Just call the paramedics and cancel. Please.'

Before I could make a move Dean called my cell again. Bobby struggled to work his way up the shelves into a standing position while I greeted my brother with: 'He's not dead. He's okay.'

'Oh thank God.' He sighed in sheer relief. 'Look buddy, I can't get hold of Cas. I'll keep trying but I think I should head on over there.'

'You don't have to come all this way. Bobby's fine. He-' Our older friend snatched the phone from my hand cutting short the rest of my words.

His voice edged with grouchy authority as he spoke. 'Dean, don't you even think of coming here boy. Everything is handled. You just stay there. I'll deal with this.'

I slumped down on the couch and wiped my eyes. God knows I needed my brother. God knows Bobby needed his help with the psychopath that was me but for reasons I couldn't quite comprehend, Bobby didn't think it was a good idea. And even though I didn't understand why, I was in no shape to argue…with anything. What did I know? Every action I ever took was wrong. It was time I listened to others because they obviously saw things I didn't. This story of my life; my immense screw ups due to my desperate need to put my own thought processes above anyone else's had to stop right now. And to do that I had to quit listening to myself and listen to Bobby and Dean. It was my only hope.


'Everything is not handled though is it?' I replied leaning the phone in between my shoulder and cheek so I could use two hands to shove my shirts into my bag. 'Far from it by the sounds of it.'

'There are going to be setbacks Dean.' Bobby said to me. 'It's not going to be all apple pie and roses. We knew this when we left.'

'Yeah we did. Exactly. That's why it was a dumbass idea.'

'You need to stay there.'

I straightened up and returned my right hand to the receiver. The phone call before - before Sam lost it; he was trying to convince me not to move to Sioux Falls. And now; even though my brother was screaming for reasons I still didn't know and a life-threatening situation that I still knew nothing about occurred, he still didn't want me there.

'Why do I need to stay here?' I questioned him. 'Why are you so hell bent on doing this alone?'

'Because it's for the best. For everyone.'

No, that was not possible. Sam and I apart was never for the best. Never. 'For you, you mean?'

'How is it better for me? I'm talking about the two of you.'

'How?' My socks were the next to go in, then my jeans. T-shirts after that.

'Because I think if you are around, he won't ever recover. He leans on you too much and he needs to learn to stand on his own two feet. In the meantime, you can live your life with Lisa and Ben instead of sacrificing it for something I can do just as well.'

Toothbrush and shaver.

The reverberation of the sirens through the line caused me to breathe out and Bobby to breathe in. 'I don't need no paramedics.' He grumbled.

'Just let them check you over, have a good night's sleep and I'll be there by the time you wake up.' I said to him stepping into the bathroom and pulling items from the cabinet.

'So there's no talking you out of it?'

'I don't know why you're even trying.'

'And this thing with Lisa? That's it then?'

'She can come down later.' Where was my toiletries bag? Bottom drawer, that's right. Lisa moved it there only last night.

'And if she doesn't?'

'She will.'

'Dean, if she doesn't?'

My reflection in the mirror caught my eye. Finally Dean Winchester stared back at me. He'd been lost for so long, reduced to nothing more than a functioning eighth of a man. During the past year when my little brother was…gone, I would have done anything to have him back. Anything. Now that he was, I would still hold true to that. Not only because of any promise to myself or otherwise, not only because I wanted to, but because it was me. It was who Dean Winchester was. Plain and simple.

'If she doesn't she doesn't.' I said.

'So that's it then? You are willing to throw away everything you have with them for your brother? '


'You'll never change.'

'I never want to.' I smiled at myself.


'You're mad.' I stated to Bobby after the paramedics left and gave us the all clear. Hard bang to the head, a few cuts and bruises but nothing serious. I'd jumped head first into a conclusion and forgot all my senses. Thinking back I did know what to do. I did remember all my training and experience but at the time I froze, panicked and lost my head. Those words just about defined me now. My reactions to crisis left me feeling empty and disheartened. What I had left; my courage, my ability to handle situations under intense pressure and my competence was gone. I had nothing. I was nothing.

'I'm not mad.' He was pulling my blankets down for me like I was a kid. Worse; a baby. If anything, I should be the one getting him into bed. Making sure he was tucked up and feeling okay but no, the injured, bloodied and bruised old man was 'taking care' of me. And I hated it. With a passion.

'I can do this.' Standing there like a pathetic idiot watching him dote was getting me pissed. He was cringing when he leant over the bed, screwing up his face when he puffed the pillows. I couldn't handle much I admit but getting into bed I could do. 'Let me do it.'

'Done.' He said proudly. 'Brushed your teeth?'

Was he for real?


'Yes.' I frowned like a petulant kid.

'Okay. Good. Lights out in five okay? I'll be back to check. Call me if you need anything. '

I need you to back off, I thought but didn't say. Even though every rebellious fiber in me kicked to free itself, I remembered my promise to do as instructed. They knew best; I didn't. So I climbed into the lumpy yet most comfortable bed I'd had in a long while and leant over to switch off the lamp. Dean would be here in the morning. All I had to do was close my eyes, get through the night terrors when I could sleep and the dark and torturous hours when I couldn't and by the time the sun rose, he would be here; with me and for me. The selfish pangs never stopped hammering at my guts but Dean was determined. He was coming to Sioux Falls for himself as well. He as good as said as much. And that made it okay.

He would be here by daybreak. Thank God.

Things were always that much better when my big brother was with me.

(To be continued...)

Not even a cliffhanger. See, I can be nice sometimes :)

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