This Sacred Line
Back on solid ground, Dean dropped to his knees. Stomach turning.
Both Sam and Castiel nealed before him, but he raised his hands to them.
There was a reason he despised flying.
Holding his stomach, waiting for it to calm. He let the day run wild through his mind.
"..I'm going crazy again, Sammy.."
The hunter blinked. Dean sighed, shaking his head.
"The floor didn't fall on it's own..but I know neither of you saw him." He gazed down, ashamed for failing what he had promised not to. "..and before that, I go and get my leg nearly chewed off!"
Sam watched his brother, feeling the guilt weigh him down. "Dean, you're not going crazy."
"Then how do you explain that woman..doll, thing!?" He looked up, brows furrowed. "I instantly assumed she was a survivor. Murdered by some psychopath!" He sighed, looking past the two. "...and, even though she wasn't. She was still lost, and...and I couldn't do anything.."
Sam took Dean's shoulder tightly. "We put her at rest, Dean. She's better off dead than wandering this place! ..We did all we could.."
As Dean lowered his head, he ran his hand slowly over his face. Sam blinked hearing a low mumble.
At first he thought it was his brother, but he kept his attention down.
When he checked the angel, he was preoccupied by worrying over Dean.
Ignoring the two, Sam looked behind him.
Alchemilla Hospital was in bold above the doors. Sticking out from the dull white of the building.
"..How many lost people do we have here?"
Castiel never moved his gaze from Dean. "Many..I fear we may not be able to save them all." When Sam looked to him, he was positive he was counting the freckles on his brother's face. ..Some things never get old. "But there is hope."
Sam nod softly, returning his gaze back to the hospital.
Mumbling was heard again.
He gripped his shotgun tight.
The lobby of the building was typical. Chairs sat against the wall, magazines scattered around them.
Windows leading into other rooms were in pieces. Some covered in blood.
Dean's trigger finger twitched. He felt vulnerable without his gun.
"There's nothing of importance here." Blue eyes scanned over the area carefully. Dean and Sam were positive he was glaring through walls. "But the second floor, is..oozing with the lost." He looked to the ceiling, sadness in his eyes.
Dean blinked. "Can..can you hear them!?"
The angel nod in reply. Beside Dean, Sam perked up. He took that as a good sign.
"Come.." Castiel began down the hall. "We must hurry!"
Elevator down, the three were forced to take the stairs again. Luckily, these ones were intact so the climb up was easy.
When they stepped into the hall, doors ran along both walls. On each, there was a letter and number.
Sam twitched softly, the mumbling growing louder. He could almost hear words.
Before him, Castiel covered his ear. "..The voices are louder here. They must be trapped inside!"
Dean held his hand to Sam. "Knife." Sam gave it up quickly. When the oldest took it, he looked down both halls. "Alright. I hate to say it..but it'll be easier to split up."
He pointed to his left. "Cas, those rooms are yours."
He kept his finger to the left, but moved it to the other wall. "Sam, yours."
He then looked to the right. "I've got these...will meet in the middle." He looked back at the two. "Be careful! And whatever you do...try to save them.." He quickly rushed off.
Castiel fluttered away, and after taking a breath to calm his nerves. Sam moved on as well.
Three rooms down, the screaming of the lost were being drowned out by the voices of others. Sam certainly didn't envy the angel.
He ignored them, carrying on as best as he could though.
Luckily for him, his rooms had been empty.
..Until the fourth.
Entering. He stopped in his tracks.
Before him stood a nurse. No normal nurse of course.
She looked as if she belonged in a corny porno.
Her shirt left nothing to the imagination and her skirt may as well have been a belt!
She was no where near attractive though. For her face was completely gone. Warped in on itself. Her skin was mapped with veins and dirty all over.
The weirdest thing about her, was her stance.
She stood like a dancer, frozen in time. Her legs, stretched and bent at weird angles. She was almost nealing before the hunter.
While one hand, was stretched out before her. As if reaching to take Sam's hand, her other was held over her head. In a death stroke.
Gripped in her hand, she held a scalpel.
Sam eyed her cautiously, shifting his shotgun slightly.
The scrape of jacket on shotgun, jerked the nurse from her "slumber". Sam jumped back, as the nurse twitched, then fell still.
The murder weapon had been lowered.
Sam held his breath, inching closer to open the door once more.
If the nurse didn't move, then he had no reason to shoot.
"..Michael turned on me. Called me a freak."
At the familiar voice, Sam gasped loudly. Shifting and training his gun around the room quickly.
The nurse screeched loudly as she dug the scalpel into the ground. Jerking it out, she twitched to her feet and advanced on Sam.
Finding he was only with the nurse, he aimed and fired.
The shot knocked the nurse back. Sam shot again, blasting her into the ground.
She twitched her final time.
Relieved, Sam lowered the gun. Studying the room, he furrowed his brows in worry. Hallucinations were definitely something he didn't need now..even if they were just voices.
His gaze stopped on a cage in the back.
Inside, something twitched wildly.
He raised his gun and approached cautiously.
When he was a foot away, the twitching stopped momentarily.
Sam leaned close, narrowing his eyes.
The cage jerked suddenly. "Well, that's cause you're a freak." They were Dean's words, but the Devil's voice.
Sam screamed and fired again.
Pulling back from the fifth stab, Dean sighed in relief when the nurse finally fell still. He eyed the knife, then slipped it into his belt loop.
He studied the nurse, sitting on top of her. If she moved again, he at least had the upper hand.
His gaze stopped on the scalpel. "..Gotta fight fire with fire." He picked it up quickly and slipped it in beside the blade.
A scream broke him from his concentration. Looking up, a shot followed after.
Quickly he rushed from the room.
Picking the nearest door, he slammed it open.
He was greeted by another shot!
Luckily, he stepped sideways, barely missing the shot. His ear suffered the most damage. With how loud it was ringing, he was sure he was deaf now.
One hand over ear, he held the other out, approaching Sam slowly.
In the back, by a now bloodied cage. Sam sat, legs curled up tight against his chest. Sitting on his knees, the shotgun rest, trained on the door. His eyes were wild as he gasped with each panicked breath.
"What happened Sammy? Are you hurt?" Dean glanced at the nurse. "Did this bitch hurt you!?"
"I..I..I heard him, Dean!"
Dean blinked, stopping his walk. He stood by the nurse. Every now and then, glancing her way. Cautious if she moved. "Who did you hear?"
Sam swallowed, tightening his hold on his gun. Dean noticed he was shaking and sweating hard. He had never seen his brother in such a way.
..Not since Hallucifer..
His heart began to race. He kept himself calm though. "..Sammy, was it.." He let the sentence fade, not wanting to continue.
In his head, he prayed loudly!
Seconds later, Castiel fluttered in.
Dean pointed to his brother. "Fix him!"
Castiel looked to Sam quickly, eyes wide. He blinked, seeing no damage. "..Dean."
"..He's hearing Lucifer again.."
Castiel nodded and stepped up to Sam. Sam stopped him though, pushing himself to his feet. He held out his hand.
His shaking had calmed, along with his breath.
"It's..it's alright now, Dean!" He pointed the gun to the cage. "I got him!"
Dean grimaced, while Castiel looked on sadly.
Sam took a deep breath, then sighed, lowering the gun. "..I..I think I'm good now." He looked as Dean stepped up and took his arms tightly.
The two stared each other in the eyes.
Sam blinked as Dean glared.
"You certainly weren't good a minute ago...you damn near had an attack!" He cupped Sam's face in his hands. "Don't you lie to me either! I'm the one who's suppose to be suffering this time!"
Sam chuckled. It came out weak, but his smile was genuine. He pushed one hand from his face and took the other in his own hand.
"I'm fine Dean!" He shrugged, tightening his hold. "..You're right, I almost had an attack. But..as fast as it came." He shook his head, chuckling. "I'm okay!"
"..And it is written, that the first demon will be the last seal."
Sam gasped. A sharp pain shooting through his head. As fast as he calmed, he again began to panic. He couldn't understand it, but before he could figure it out. He fell into his brother's arms, unconscious.
After Sam fell unconscious, Castiel took Dean's arm and the three fluttered off. When they landed, Dean blinked, realizing they were still in the hospital.
Castiel nod towards the bed. "He'll be alright. I just want to keep him close, while we continue." He headed for the door. Dean turned on him quickly.
"Woah, slow down!"
The angel looked back. "..Dean, we don't have time.."
Dean raised his hand, looking to Sam. "Shut up about the lost for a second! My brother just heard Lucifer and you're more worried about monsters we're never gonna save!" He let his hand drop. "Help someone you have a chance at saving..."
"No..he's not enough. He's not..good enough.."
Dean shot a look to Castiel. Castiel stared hard. "What the hell is that suppose to mean!?"
"..I have to make things right, Dean. For Heaven, for all the innocent people I killed. I have to save people now. Good people!"
Dean was raging on the inside. He kept himself calm though. His heart still racing from Sam. "..And Sam's not good enough?" He leaned forward, resting his weight on the bed. He looked over his brother sadly. "Has he not saved enough people for a spot in Heaven yet?" He slammed his hands hard on the bed, jolting his brother. Quickly he turned on Castiel and advanced. "I doubt you can even count the lives he has saved! The lives he died for!" He took the angel's coat collar and slammed him into the wall. Castiel reacted as he did in the hotel room. "My little brother took in the Devil and he fucking won! And..and that's not good enough!?"
"..You don't understand.."
"Oh, I understand Cas..Heaven just doesn't want an ex demon running around upstairs." He shoved the angel, stepping backwards towards the bed. "..That's fine. I don't care." He turned his back. "Go be a hero then..go earn your "wings"." He nealed at his brother's side. "I'll stay here and be a hero for someone that matters!"
For a moment, Castiel stayed against the wall. ..Then vanished.
Resting his elbows on the bed, Dean put his hands together and closed his eyes.
Lashes fluttered open as Sam slowly came to.
Turning his head, he blinked seeing a blurred Dean fast asleep at his side.
The hunter was down on his knees with his head resting in his arms, which were crossed on the mattress.
Beside him, he could see a hand resting on Dean's shoulder. He blinked a few more times. "What happened, Ca.." He stopped, noticing the figure bulkier than Castiel. Not even wearing a trench coat.
When his vision finally cleared, he gasped! Shooting up against the wall.
The man looked just as he did when he escaped Hell. He smiled softly, hand never leaving Dean. "You're looking well." He glanced at Dean. His smile brightened. "He got out, good.."
Sam pushed more into the wall. He glanced at his shotgun resting on the desk near by. John chuckled softly. "I'm not possessed nor a ghost. It's all me." Sam looked back at him, blinking. "..I need to talk to you son."
Suddenly, the room rocked. Then it shifted and became twice it's size.
The white color it once was, began to drown in red as blood dripped down the walls. The window was now barred up and the bed he rest on, was dirtier than it had been before.
Through it all, Dean didn't stir. Sam's heart quickened. Leaning onto his knees, he took Dean's hand.
"He's fine." John smiled softly. "It's just your nightmare. ..But it doesn't have to be that way." He raised his hand and pet it softly through Dean's hair.
The hunter shifted, groaning softly.
Sam grabbed and jerked John's hand away. He stopped, realizing what he was holding. John's smile darkened.
"What's wrong Sammy? I thought you two shared everything?" He jerked his arm away. Sam moved to grab it again, but John took his wrist tightly.
He leaned towards Sam, smirking. "Or perhaps you'd like to bury this little lie too, hmm? Hide this along with the others. Pretend it still doesn't bother you?" John looked over to Dean. "..I wonder what he'd say? What he'd ask.." He looked back to Sam. "Tell me, why does this still haunt you?" He tightened his grip, causing Sam to wince. "What did I do to be remembered so wrongly!?"
Sam pulled back, fighting the grip. John held tight. "..I still blame you for all you did to us when we were children. The way you put us behind your hunts. ..The way you left us alone.." He glared, looking John in the eyes. "The way you made Dean grow up too fast!"
John nodded softly, then jerked away. He returned his hand to Dean's head. Sam moved to stop him, but stopped himself.
"I always hoped you'd turn out like Dean, but you just had to rebel." He pet Dean softly. Under him, Dean stirred more. "..Had to become a big college kid. But ya see how that turned out? ..Did you ever know how hurt he had become?"
Sam shifted his gaze down sadly. He remembered what Dean told him about that night. ..The look on his face! He'd never forget such terror.
"Don't you know, that's just another regret on my mountain of regrets?"
John chuckled. Sam glared up, but moved his gaze to Dean, hearing him whimper softly.
"..I regret everything I ever did..everything I still do, everything I might.." Dean whimpered again. Sam pulled his knees to his chest. "I regret listening to Ruby, opening the gates of Hell and releasing Lucifer..but you know what I regret most of all?"
John tilted his ear towards Sam. His gaze preoccupied with watching Dean struggle under his hold.
"Leaving him alone with you!"
When John looked up, he was greeted by the barrel of a shotgun. Before Sam could pull the trigger though, a sword plunged through John's stomach and chest.
Sam stumbled back against the wall, startled. He blinked, blood splattering his face.
Before him, John struggled to breathe. Coughing and gasping up blood. He looked to Sam.
Sam's heart wrenched, seeing softness in his eyes.
"P..Please...say..say you'll for..give me.."
Sam opened his mouth. But only stuttered.
The sword plunged deeper, ripping a gurgled moan from the older man.
A tear ran down Sam's face. "I'm sorry..."
The man was jerked back and thrown into the nearest wall. Sam cried out, hearing the crunch of bones. He averted his eyes, but out of the corner, he saw the killer.
The man was tall, near height of his blade. His head was obscured by a large pyramid shaped metal helmet.
The only clothes he wore was a cloth wrapped around his hips like an apron.
His skin was pale, covered in old claw marks. Marks from his victims perhaps.
Sam didn't want to, but he returned his gaze forward. If he was gonna die, he might as well look his killer in the face.
He took his brother's hand softly. The hunter still hadn't moved.
The man kept his blade at his side, blood pooling on the floor.
Sam figured he was doomed forever now. Stuck staring at this monster, surrounded by the stench of his dead father, and the whimpers of his unconscious brother.
He didn't feel fear though, but relief.
So he closed his eyes.
He shot up from laying down. Gasping and sweating hard.
He looked beside his bed. There was nothing!
On the wall. Nothing!
He cried out in relief. Then looked to his brother.
Dean was awake now, still sitting on the ground. He was against the wall though, staring at a crack in the floor.
He looked exhausted.
Sam quickly climbed from the bed, and dropped to his knees in front of him.
"I'm so sorry for setting Lucifer free! ..and trusting Ruby over you! and..and..most of all, I'm sorry I left you alone with Dad!"
He grabbed his brother's knees, gripping tight. He was shaking with fear. His thoughts of Dean screaming at him for lying. The sadness and hurt in his eyes when he thought Sam couldn't see.
"If I could go back in time...I'd never leave you alone like that, ever! ..Do you believe me Dean? Please, say you'll believe me!"
He was practically begging, but he didn't care. All he wanted was forgiveness from his brother. The forgiveness he just couldn't give his father.
Sam took a breath and held it. Dean looked up to him slowly.
He had tears in his eyes.
Nothing more was said, nothing more had to be.
The brothers quickly embraced, and held each other tight.
Dean pet Sam's head, nodding softly. It's all he could do, without breaking down more.