krisomniac: (spn dean chews pen)
[personal profile] krisomniac
OMG, two story posts in one night. The world must be coming to an end.

Title: Like a Fiddle
Author: [livejournal.com profile] krisomniac
Rating, Warnings, Disclaimer: PG. None. Sadly, none of this is mine
Spoilers: Through Lucifer Rising
Summary: Words and roads. Sometimes things fall apart, sometimes they don’t. Coda to 4x22
Wordcount: 1,200
Author’s Note: For the incomparable [livejournal.com profile] deirdre_c on the occasion of the anniversary of her birth. You’re an amazing person, Dei, in life and in fandom. Don’t ever change. My only thought writing this was to give you happy, wrestling, post-finale Winchesters. I didn’t quite get there, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.


They were cruising on I-70, somewhere between hell and Pittsburgh, PA, engine of the borrowed car screaming in the afternoon sun, when Sam’s hitched breathing finally slowed and his clenched fingers relaxed in the folds of his shirt. Dean’s first and only plan, half-formed as they ran from the blinding light of the cracked-open doorway to Lucifer’s tomb, to get as far away as fast as they could, seemed to be working so far. He exhaled.

“Sammy?” he said, partly to make sure Sam was still there, with him. Partly to fill the silence that echoed over the sounds of the road.

“Quieter.”

“Sam?” Dean whispered.

“Not you.” Sam glanced in his direction. “Him. He’s quieter, now.”

They drove for a while without speaking, while lines on the highway disappearing under the tires as they went. The mountains were still standing, the trees still green, and no angels had come swooping out of the sky to spirit them away. So apparently, Dean figured, the world wasn’t quite over yet.

“You can hear him?” Dean asked.

“Not words, exactly.” Sam frowned, trying to explain. “You know when Castiel first tried to speak to you?”

Dean shuddered and quickly looked Sam over for bleeding nose or ears.

“Well, I guess he was an angel once, too.”

Dean’s next thought was of Jimmy, and he pushed the car faster away.

~

They had turned the radio off after the first report of broken gas mains back in Maryland. There would be time later for news of death and destruction, for confusion and fire raining from the sky. For now, all they needed to know was this. Fall back and regroup. Together.

The needle on the gas gauge was drifting down towards empty. “Gonna need to refuel soon,” Dean said. Sam nodded.

~

Dean walked out of the convenience mart with two coffees, a bag of beef jerky, some chips and a Snickers bar. The car was still drinking down gasoline on one of his last stolen cards. He lifted the back to see what Ruby had stashed in the trunk, saw the blood, the cut end of rope, and closed it quickly.

Sam was leaning against a tree, looking out over the spring-damp sunset and rolling hills. “She was a nurse,” he said without turning around. “NICU. She had one of Lilith’s demons inside her.”

“I—“

“She screamed all the way from Cold Spring until we, until I…. The demon let her see everything we were doing, everything we were going to do.”

“That must have been horrible.”

Sam nodded tightly. The pump shut off and they got back into the car. It made Dean’s skin crawl a little to be driving Sam around in the same vehicle he and Ruby had used, and he amended the plan to include stealing a new one at the first opportunity.

“Jerky?” he asked handing the bag to Sam.

“Only you would think of food at a time like this.”

“…was hungry,” Dean managed to explain while chewing.

Sam left the bag untouched.

~

It was brand new, black and shiny, and Mr. McDaniels (according to his mailbox) really should have put it in the garage, or at least somewhere less visible if he didn’t want to lose it… to a good cause, of course, Dean thought as he opened the Mustang’s starter with a neat click.

Sam grabbed the food from Ruby’s car, left everything else behind. Dean pretended to be concerned with the clock on the dash, with adjusting the vents and turning off the radio, but he never lost sight of Sam. He watched every movement, looking for some change, some sign.

But t wasn’t there. If anything, the kid was calmer than Dean had seen him in weeks. Quiet. Accepting. Resigned.

Sam closed the door. “Bobby expecting us?” he asked, without questioning what lay at the end of the road.

“Yeah.”

“He know what happened?” Sam paused for just a microsecond. “What I did?”

Dean lay his foot on the accelerator a little too hard, and their heads snapped back against the seats as the engine roared to life. “You didn’t—“

“You’re gonna wake the neighbors,” Sam said in the same, controlled voice.

“It wasn’t you,” Dean insisted, when he’d eased the car onto the highway, settling into the speed as he settled the wild thumping of his heart. “It was her. It was the blood.”

Sam only shook his head and stared at the trees passing by.

~

The car slipped across the double yellow lines, and Dean brought it back into their lane with a start. His eyelids were heavy despite the caffeine fire in his veins, and the sky was starless, clouded-over and dark.

“Pull over,” Sam said, “I’m driving before you get us killed.”

Dean wasn’t sure whether Sam had slept in the last six hundred miles either, but he shrugged and eased the car to the side of the road.

Sam got out and closed the door behind him. For a moment, he just stood, leaning against it in the cool night air. Then he came over and perched himself on the hood next to Dean.

Dean shivered. “All quiet on the airwaves?”

“Yeah.” Sam closed his eyes. “Has been for a while.”

“You okay?”

“I think I am.”

“Because I figure you’ve got a lot more brooding to go.”

Sam shook his head as he shrugged. “Look, I know things got pretty messed up back there, and I know what you said on that voicemail—wait. You weren’t wrong.” He frowned and swallowed. “But that part, it’s over. Ruby’s gone, and even if she wasn’t, I can feel that it’s done. The thing is, Dean, I realized when that door opened, that if I had to do it again, even knowing she was the final seal, I would’ve done it all the same.”

“Done Lilith?”

“Yeah.”

“How come?”

“It was the only way to be sure.”

“Sure of what?”

“That your contract was really null and void.”

Dean stood in silence, staring up at the clouds. He could feel the enormity of Sam’s words creeping under the blanket of the sky. For a long while, no one said anything. Sam was warm beside him, his breath falling quiet and even. Finally Dean turned towards him. “They played us good, didn’t they.”

Sam smiled. “Yeah, they did.”

“And now we have an apocalypse to stop?”

Sam ran a hand through his messy sweat-dry hair. “Looks like.”

“So it’s just another day at the office.” He grinned. “We’d better get going,” he said, though part of him wanted to collapse with giddy relief. He didn’t know where it came from, but it hit in a wave that made his knees wobble and he leaned heavily against the car. Lucifer was free. Angels and demons were readying a war that humanity was going to lose. Everyone they knew was going to suffer, maybe even die, but for the first time in a very, very long time, everything felt right.

Sam pulled him away from the driver’s side door and climbed in. Dean crossed the beam of headlights and got into the car beside him.

“Trust you to finish the thing I started,” Dean mumbled, exhaustion overtaking him at last.

“What do you think little brothers are for?”

Pondering exactly that, Dean let his head slip to the side, and he fell asleep somewhere in Wisconsin to the sound of Sam’s soft humming and the low thunder of their tires on the road.
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