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Cross To Bear

By Zafona

Adventure / Drama

22 Years-Old

Six Years Later

Dean exhaled shakily, keeping perfectly still and waiting for the right moment. His team was scattered over the rooftops of abandoned buildings, they were stationed specifically to take out a rather large menace to the families living nearby.

Outside and away from the major cities were sectioned off pieces of land. Defenses were built out of necessity, walls of steel and concrete for the lucky ones, volunteer armies for the rest. People gathered in these safe zones since the calamities started, Dean, his family and friends, and many others were fortunate enough to find refuge early on.

As the years had passed many able-bodied people chose to fight and defend what was left of humanity. They volunteered their abilities and learned combat skills; they had to, if they wanted to survive that is. Dean was ready to volunteer immediately. His brother, boyfriend, and closest friend was in Heaven trying to fight for them all, how could he do nothing? Jet was at his side in a heartbeat, the feeling about Cas was mutual, it seemed.

They had been the youngest to join the squads and were trained by veterans, soldiers, and anyone willing to give them a shot. Dean shone in those six years, his leadership abilities were good and he had a lot of potential. Jet was tenacious and incredible at split second decisions; something he proved was one hell of an asset in the field. Dean and Jet worked best when they were together and so they were hardly ever separated.

Sam trained from early on, as soon as Mary would let him. He was smart, a tactician at heart and one of the bravest boys the volunteers had seen. Much like his big brother, Sam had potential as a leader but he was young. They were hesitant to let him out into the field, and if the world didn't need more fighters Sam wouldn't have been authorized to go that day.

Dean had been in different units before and he'd been out on the battlefield, but most of them were large. There were usually ten people, bare minimum, on a team but none wanted to go. There was a demon threatening the livelihood of their settlement, it'd come around almost a month previous and wasn't going anywhere. Dean was the only one left that was willing to try one more time before their families would have to evacuate. It was his first time leading a team and all he had were three other people with him; Sam, Jet, and Meg. But he wouldn't want anyone else on his first crew.

He could hear over his headset as his teammates argued back and forth.

"I'm telling you this would be easier if we had bungee cords..." Jet muttered across the frequency, his discomfort something Dean understood more than he cared to admit out loud.

Sam scoffed in response, a sound Dean was all too familiar with. "And where are we supposed to get those, smart guy?"

"Fuck, I wouldn't even know where to get them if the world hadn't gone to shit. Wal-Mart? My money's on Wal-Mart."

"Jet would you shut the fuck up, please? We're in the middle of a job."

"C'mon babe, don't be like that."

"Don't you 'babe' me,"

"If you're old enough to go out on a job then you're old enough to be called babe."

"That's not my issue, you jackass. Besides, you were two years younger than I am now when you first fought these things, don't talk to me about being old enough."

Jet snickered, very clearly enjoying poking fun at Sam, "Maybe I was, but you're not me, kiddo."

"I will kick your ass, you know."

"Could you guys stop?" Dean grumbled into the microphone, unable to deny the smile it brought to his face. Hearing Sam and Jet's banter was probably the highlight of his day.

"Lighten up, Dean." Meg chattered, he couldn't see her from his perch but he knew where about she might be. "I for one think they'd have bungee stuff at a Sport Chek."

"But Wal-Mart's got everything," Jet argued playfully, right back on the subject like it hadn't at all changed. "I mean, you know, if good quality isn't what you're looking for."

"Pretty sure 'good quality' is important in bungee cords, bro." Dean laughed, "Now can we focus please? This bitch ain't gonna kill itself."

"You got it, man." Jet came over the headset loud and clear, Dean could see him stand up and make the first move as he usually did with the big ones. Jet ran to the edge of the rooftop as the earth shook and the sound of falling buildings filled the air. He didn't hesitate for a second, a trait that Dean sorely wished he could possess. Heights were his least favourite thing. Give him a sand demon, or something that really likes to burrow, but goddamn it when he had to fight something huge or flying.

Jet leapt off the seven story office effortlessly, he free fell for a few seconds before firing a grappling gun. Dean could only see a large fin of the beast but by the sound it made he knew Jet's hook was embedded pretty deep.

The demon they faced was something similar to a turtle, it had a tough shell and nearly every part of its exposed skin was impenetrable. And if it wasn't impossible to break then it was a part that healed almost immediately. Meg told Dean about that type of demon, it dragged its belly along the ground because that was the weakest part of it, slow to heal and very vulnerable. Dean had tried to tell older teams about what Meg had explained to him but they didn't trust her, so they wouldn't listen.

Meg's acceptance was a difficult path but Dean defended her every step of the way that he could, though not as swiftly as Sam had. The moment people turned against her as they discovered what she was, Sam stood across from their guns and told them to shoot him first. Castiel would have defended her with every last ounce of his being, Sam felt he could do no differently and the scene he made was more than just inspirational to Dean. Sam wasn't wrong and before he knew it, Dean stood opposite his comrades' barrels with the same fire in his eyes that Sam held.

He wasn't sure how that would have ended if it had played out entirely. Dean was sure that if his dad hadn't shown up to stop the insanity, all three of them would have been shot dead.

As it stood now, Dean and his crew were the only ones willing to fight the large monster that had leveled half of what was left of the city. It was all based on Meg's intel and Sam's planning. They needed to flip the thing onto its back, which was step one and if done right then the rest would be cake.

Dean rushed to the edge of his building and watched as Jet swung around the monster's front legs, losing momentum as he went. Meg caught Jet's hand just as he reached the end of his swing and threw him back around for another loop. As soon as she let go she flew to the demon's face, by now it was aware of them and attempting to stop the human around its knees. She posed as a threatening distraction as Jet touched down on the ground and headed for its back legs next.

Sam waited like Dean did, both wielding blades and watching with anxious thoughts. Jet and Meg had the hard job, the really dangerous work of getting so close to the beast. Dean could tell, even from the distance he was away from Sam, that his brother was worried. Dean wanted to reassure him but that would have to wait, he couldn't take the chance of distracting the ground team.

Jet managed to get around one leg before Meg called to him over the headset; "I gotta do it now! Jet, start climbing."

"I only got one leg done!"

"Doesn't matter, it's getting out of control."

Dean bit the inside of his cheek as he watched Meg break the pavement, one blow after another while dodging the demon's attacks. A beam of energy launched from its skeletal jaws, barely missing her as she broke apart the ground. Jet, meanwhile, climbed up onto the monster's tail end and clung for dear life to the jagged spikes that lined the base of its spine.

"I've got one shot at this, Jet you better not fuck this up."

"Don't worry about me, I got it."

Meg poured her energy into the earth beneath the concrete, a crucial spot that Sam had chosen based on her abilities. Most of the city had sewers underneath but not where they'd ambushed the turtle-demon so close to the outskirts. They felt the ground shake before a surge of magma burst out in a concentrated geyser, knocking the back end of the beast up.

Unfortunately the demon was the type that swam in rivers of fire in Hell, so the lava did no damage. However the plan was only to get part of it airborne, which took a lot of fire power. As soon as its rear was off the ground, Jet jumped again. He fired a second grappling hook from Dean's gun; it wrapped around a spike and gave him something to swing from as he passed just next to the retreating flow of magma. As Jet was out of sight from Dean's position all he could do was pray that his friend made it out from underneath that demon before it shook the ground with its landing.

"I made it!" Jet shouted, adrenaline fueled from a will to fight and complete terror.

Meg dove to the side Jet emerged from and caught him midair, taking him with her as she sailed over the monster's back again. Two hooks caught in the thing with thick rope wrapped around its legs as well as under and over it were all Meg needed. Jet let her take his ends of the ropes and held onto her as she used all her strength and momentum to turn the beast over.

Dean swallowed thickly as he watched the turtle's back start to tip, its one free stumpy leg swung in the air as the thing was forcefully pulled over.

"Get ready, Dean. It's our turn." Sam spoke seriously over the line but Dean could hear the excitement in his voice. He wished he could feel it too but the idea of diving off the building wasn't at all appealing to him.

"Right…"

"You have to jump, you know that right?"

"Shut up, Sam, I know." Dean grit his teeth and stepped back a few times, a running jump was what he'd need to make sure he landed enough to its center.

"Okay, go!"

The moment Dean heard Sam's voice he was running; he pushed as many fears out of his mind as he could. If he could fly through Hell he could jump off a building, no problem. Or at least that's what he repeated to himself as the edge came up.

By the time the earth was shaken by the demon's fall Dean and Sam wouldn't have been affected. The two dove off the rooftops and angled their blades for the demon's belly. Just because its underside was softer didn't mean it was easy to get through. The brothers cut their way into it and did all they could to destroy its insides.

It was by far the most disgusting thing Dean had ever done; all he could think as he swung his machete was a varietal loop of 'This is fucking nasty. Gross. Ew. I hate this.' He knew Meg had joined in when the demon really started to shriek, her demonic side was the best weapon they had.

After what felt like an eternity later, it was finally dead. Dean crawled out through its open mouth after piercing its brain several times. He was dripping with gore and the only thing he could do to keep himself from vomiting was spitting out the blood and guts that went by his mouth. "Oh my god…" he groaned weakly and wiped his face with an equally messy hand. "Holy shit that was fucking gross…"

Sam laughed meekly and dropped down to the ground, sitting with his legs splayed out in front of him as he leaned back on his hands. "I can't believe we did it."

"You guys were incredible," Jet cheered from several feet away. "Great plan, Sam."

"You know, killing it would've gone faster if you had jumped into it too." Sam frowned at him, irritated but too relieved to really complain that much.

"Hey," Jet's playful warning tone rang out as he pointed a finger Sam's way, "My deal was to jump first and swing around its legs, run around its feet, climb on its back, and swing under it – nearly getting crushed and past fuckin' lava. I think I earned the right to boycott swimming in its organs."

"You did a great job," Dean reassured him, "If I had to choose between flying around in the air over and over again or jumping once into a monster's guts, I think we all know what I'd pick."

"I also think we all know who did the most work." Meg cocked an eyebrow at the boys, all three of whom smiled sheepishly at her.

"Thank you, Meg. We'd be dead so many times without you." Sam was starting to catch his breath but he still sounded pretty tired. "Let's head home before more demons come through here."

Jet walked up to him and stuck out his hand, pulling Sam to his feet. "Good plan, as usual." He grinned and before Sam could devilishly try to hug him he started walking.

"Leave him gut free, Sammy." Dean laughed and slapped his brother on the back, "You can hug him later."

Sam rolled his eyes, "Sure, but only because he'd be a bitch about it."


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