Chapter 1: Chapter 1
I took some liberties with the Canon timeline. The Ruby story happened "several years ago" and the episode "And Then There were None" 6x16 happened before this story.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
I lived a lifetime in a cheap motel underneath a portrait of a hookah shell. I carved my name on the window pane and sent my conscience right on back to hell.
The bed was nothing but a fabulous tangle of bare arms, legs and crisp, white bed sheets. The blissful silence was interrupted by a hard banging at the door.
"Time to get up, sleepy heads, we got a case."
Briana lifts her head from under the pillow just as a magnificently muscular arm pulls it away and whips it at the door with a grunt. With a groan, she drops her head back to the bed. She can't even remember what city the three of them are currently in. "Sam, as much as I love that brother of yours he is not my first choice for an alarm clock."
As the same arm snakes its way around Briana’s waist, Sam Winchester, his voice husky from a late night and little sleep, asks "Well, Ms. Rhodes, would you prefer the alternative?" He proceeds to pull her close to his bare chest and press his lips over the soft curve of her neck.
She's practically purring when the pounding returns, only louder. "Sam! Briana! I'm about to leave your sorry asses behind," Dean barks through the door. Now it's Briana's turn to whip the pillow.
Sam reluctantly rolls out of bed and pads to the bathroom wearing nothing but his birthday suit. As she enjoys the view, Briana can't help but wonder how her life took such a fabulous turn. Several years ago, while accompaning her surrogate father Rufus on a hunt for a Khan worm, the second worse day of her life turned out to be the very best as well. The memory of losing him that day still feels raw at the edges, but that was also the same day Sam Winchester entered her small orbit.
At the age of eleven Briana’s father was killed by a Wendigo while the two of them were camping. Her father had always told her to call his friend, Rufus Turner, if there was ever a problem. Rufus took her in without hesitation.
If Briana were to bet money, family would've been the last word anyone would use to describe the two of them sight on seen. Rufus, a gruff no nonsense man with a greying beard and Briana with her head of flowing, curly brown hair, pale skin and quiet demeanor certainty looked different but, looks can be deceiving. Under his leather exterior was a heart that was quick to love and Briana's soft blue eyes could turn cold as steel in mere seconds at the slightest hint of a threat. They were a family that balenced each other out well. He may be gone from her day to day life, but Briana prides herself on the hunter she's become because of his teachings.
The name "Winchester" was common in her household (in a hunter's world, that's defined as: a string of sorry looking motel rooms) but up until that fateful day that's all it was, a name. Briana felt sparks the moment she shook Sam's hand.
They parted ways after laying Rufus to rest but he never left her mind. Sam kept in contact through texts and emails. At first, she thought he felt an obligation to her now that she was truly all alone, but after awhile she realized he felt the same spark. It was as though she had known him her whole life. Texts led to long phone calls, which led to secret rendezvous. Eventually they had to come clean to Dean. It was difficult at first, being in love is not typically a good thing for the life of a hunter but they make it work. Briana can hold her own with each of them and has proved helpful in many ways.
They know they run the risk of their vulnerability being used against them by some creature or monster but the same risk is there for any loved one. The two of them have been through many things together and it's only made them stronger.
Briana snaps herself out of the memories, singing softly to herself as she joins her handsome Adonis in the shower.
Hey Darlin, can you dance with me tonight. Let me hold you tight in my arms....
Thirty minutes later the three of them are dressed and on the road while Dean explains the case. Briana hardly listens as she gazes out the window, something about a couple eating each other...literally. Yuck. Buckle up, its gonna be a long one, she thinks to herself as another nameless town tumbles past the window.
All song lyrics credited to Louden Swain
Just because I'm sad don't mean that I'm unhappy. Because I'm a sinner, don't mean I'm not a saint.
As Briana replaces her pant suit with a much-preferred set of flannel pajama pants and a well-loved Louden Swain t-shirt, she hears Sam enter Dean's adjoining room. Heading over, she snags three bottles of beer from the green cooler perched on the counter and joins the brothers at the dinette table.
Dean is giving a rather gruesome description of his trip to the coroner's office. "Dude, those two started eating and just kept going. Their stomachs were full."
"Well there isn't anything else we can do tonight. Bri and I can finish going through these files so you can get going," Sam says as he grabs his laptop.
"Sorry?" Dean asks, clearly confused.
"Go ahead, release the Kraken. We'll see you in the morning," Sam smirks.
"Uh and where am I going?"
"Dean, it's Valentine's Day, your favorite holiday. What do you call it? Unattached drifter Christmas?"
Dean pauses briefly before responding, "I guess I'm just not into it this year."
Briana’s sarcastic rebuttal dies on her lips when she gets a look at the empty stare Dean gives Sam.
"So you're not into bars full of lonely women?" Sam asks his brother incredulously.
Ignoring his brothers ribbing, Dean gets up and grabs another beer. As he lifts the green bottle to his lips he stops and looks at Briana before whipping his head to the side to look at Sam. "Wait, shouldn't you be showering Briana with flowers, taking her to a fancy dinner followed by cheap chocolate and dirty sex? The makings of a perfect Hallmark Holiday?" This is followed by a sneer of his lip and a cock of an eyebrow.
Briana looks at Sam just in time to see an "Oh Shit" look spread across his face before she lets out a loud laugh. "Excuse me, Dean, have you met me? Since when have I ever been one for anything so cliché or needy? We don't need a designated day of the year. We tell each other how we feel every day." She turns to wink at Sam and the panicked look leaves his face.
Having lost her mother in childbirth, Briana has never had any female influence in her life. It is kind of funny when she thinks about it though. Briana and her father were very open and affectionate, she was never afraid to discuss anything with him. When she lost him, it took some time to adjust to Rufus who was the complete opposite. He was also open to her questions and more than willing to teach her the ways of the real world but there was not much affection. Despite Rufus's rough exterior, Briana still felt equally as loved as she did when her father was alive.
"Ugh, true enough, you do feel more like a third brother at times," Dean says as he leans back on the counter, taking a long drag of the brew.
"Hey, I'll take that as a compliment," she retorts.
"Come on," he says as he returns to the table "are we going to work or what?"
Briana grabs the bag of take out they had picked up before getting to the motel and tosses a burger at Dean. "If you still insist on depriving some poor, lonely soul the pleasure of your brief, but memorable company, then at least eat something."
"Hey, thanks, Sis, always looking out for me," he says as he unwraps the patty.
His green eyes still contain a bit of dullness to them that makes her heart ache a little. Before he can react, she cups his face in both hands and lays a quick kiss on the trail of freckles across his nose. "Always," she says.
"Ugh, you didn't get lipstick on me, did you?” he cries while wiping at his nose.
"Again, Dean," she retorts, "have you met me? When was the last time I put anything besides chapstick on my lips?" Chapstick and Sam is what she thinks silently to herself. As if he can read her thoughts, Sam turns a bit flushed. He opens his mouth to comment when Dean's phone buzzes.
"Agent Marley. Um hm, ok we'll be right there. Thanks." He throws his phone down with a deep sigh. "Looks like it's going to be a late one, that was the coroner and he has two more on his table."
Briana pushes to her feet with a groan and heads back to her and Sam’s room to put the damn pantsuit back on. Dean, meanwhile, leaves the burger on the table untouched.
Several minutes later, the three of them are headed down yet another drab hallway. Briana is several steps behind the boys, giving her a clear sight at the way Sam tenses as a man in a suit passes them. His gaze follows the man down the hall with a swivel of his head. His nostris are flaring and his pupils are wide.
"You okay?" Briana and Dean ask in unison.
"I'm fine," he says with a few deep breaths and another glance backward.
Briana doesn't believe him but she doesn't push.
The coroner was kind enough to give them carte blanche at all four victims's remains and files. The most recent two was a murder/suicide by gun shot. As Briana is examining two of the hearts, something catches her eye. She pushes them towards Sam and he studies them under the magnifying lamp.
Sitting back with a huff he states, "I think theses markings may be Enochian."
Dean immediately stands and dials his phone. Before he can finish reciting their current location Castiel has appeared in front of Dean. The two stare at each other intently before hanging up their respected phones. Briana and Sam exchange a look before turning their attention back to the man and Angel.
"Alright, let's get this party started, my favorite Angel has arrived!" she cries as she throws her arms around Castiel in a brief hug.
He stiffly leans into her hug, "Hello Briana," he tells her. Castiel's still growing accustomed to Briana’s unabashed need for affection.
He nods to Sam in greeting before studying the hearts. He determines they're a mark of union left by none other than Cupid.
Briana thinks that maybe some day her life will cease to surprise her but she doesn’t think that will be happening any time soon.
"Well Bri, you may be getting that fancy dinner after all. There's no other more appropriate place to find a rogue Cupid on Valentine's day than some uptight restaurant," Dean tells her with a slap on her back.
Briana bites her bottom lip before turning to the other three. "Guys, you go ahead I have something I want to do before tonight. I'll walk back to the hotel," she tells them as she stripes off her latex gloves and washes her hands.
She misses the look of concern that washes over Sam's face. Just as Briana had done earlier, he chooses not to push and gives Briana her space.
Song lyrics credited to Louden Swain
There's a raincloud and it's heading back my way. There's a valley where they're giving out heartbreak.
Not for the first time this weekend, Briana hears Dean yelling at her from the other side of a door.
"Don't be getting your pink panties in a bundle," she yells back "I'll be out in a minute!"
With a deep breath in, she checks yourself in the mirror. For some reason Briana had the overwhelming urge to look well….not like one of the guys. As she gives herself one more glance over, she thinks it may be a nice change of pace to her usual attire of flannel or unattractive pant suite.
There wasn't anytime to squeeze in a bit of research on the topic of fashion so Briana had left that task up to the saleswoman. Her lack of fashion sense certainly wouldn't have put together the outfit convering her body now.
The boots are Briana’s favorite part. They're black, reach almost to her knee but they have a sensible heel in case they need to take off on foot. One can never be too prepared in this line of work. The hem of the loose maroon skirt reaches mid-thigh and the Charcoal grey shirt is layered with a badass black leather waist legnth jacket. Briana braces yourself for Dean’s smart mouth and opens the door. Instead of teasing her for appearing so feminine, Dean lets out a loud whistle.
"Ah, can it," Briana says with love in her voice. “Are we all ready to go, Ladies?" she asks. Briana lifts her head to look at Sam and her next comment leaves her incapable of forming words.
Briana swallows down a squeak that's trying to escape her throat. Sam's across the room looking at her, mouth slightly open as if she were a water fountain in the Sahara Desert.
“Um, I think I’ll give you two a minute…or ten. I’ll be in the car,” Dean stammers as he fumbles with the door handle.
As Sam continues to stare at Briana, she can feel the warmth spreading from the tips of her ears down to her toes. Just as Briana begins to worry he doesn't like the changes in her, he lets out a moan and in the length of a heart beat their bodies collide in the center of the room. His beautiful mouth is immediately on hers, tongue licking past her teeth. Meanwhile, his hands begin to slide down her body over her skirt then up under the hem. The immediate pressure of his long probing fingers on her ass sends sparks sizzling through to her core and she lets out a moan. His hands still. He growls out her name when he discovers the one thing she omitted from her wardrobe this evening.
He stares into her eyes with a hunger she's never seen before. Briana allows her body to communicate the message her mouth is finding difficult to convey with words. With a grind of her hips she turns her attention to Sam's mouth. Her skin tingles from the rough fabric of his suit coat and she inhales the intoxicating scent radiating off his neck. The scent that's all Sam. Normally so tender and attentive but this, this is something new. All Briana can hear is the rapid drum of his heartbeat.
While Sam's hands explore, she works swiftly on his belt buckle and zipper. With a sigh she releases his hard, throbbing cock. Sam lets out a deep growl as she brushes a thumb over his damp slit, making Briana moan Sam's name.
In one fluid move, Sam hikes her into the air with hands pressed firmly to her ass, seats her onto his full length and pushes her back against the wall. The sudden heat, and the way he fills her completely is almost too much to bare. As she often does, Briana marvels at how her body is truly molded to fit perfectly with Sam's.
With her legs wrapped tightly around Sam's waist she meets him thrust for thrust. Her fingers tangle in his hair as he begins to suck and kiss over her neck and collar bone. They both let out a moan, not caring who may hear. Briana can feel the tight coil begin and by the stutter of Sam's thrusts she knows he's just as close. Locking onto Sam’s lust blown, hazel eyes is all it takes to push Briana over the edge, seconds later Sam follows.
Briana buries her face in his neck, clinging to his broad shoulders, she hangs onto him like a life boat as they ride the waves together.
After a moment of leaning on the wall to catch their breath, Sam sets Briana down gently and cups her face in his hands. "You look amazing," he whispers. The smile that flits across his face is shy despite the fact they'd just gone at each other like cats in heat.
"What this? Just something I threw together," she says with a smile on her lips. He leans down and gently kisses her. Not wanting this moment to end but knowing it must, on a sigh, Briana says, “We better get going.” Sam waits at the door while Briana pops back into the bathroom to freshen up.
Back outside, Dean and Castiel are leaning against Baby. The smirk he gives them makes Briana blush. The heat in her cheeks is a little unsettling. When has anything sexual ever made you blush? she thinks. Typically, Briana matches Dean barb for barb but she can't bring yourself to do it this time. She pulls her hand out of her jacket pocket and the contents fall to the ground. Before she can bend down, Dean grabs the long, slender tube. Damn, she thinks.
"Well what have we here? I think this lipstick must be yours, Briana, it's not Sam's color."
Briana snatches it out of his hands, feeling the blush on her cheeks growing hotter she snaps, “It is not lipstick! It's lip gloss, there's a difference," she finishes quietly.
He holds his hands up in surrender and heads to the driver’s side of the car.
Still feeling like a foolish girl, she turns her attention to Castiel who's holding open her door. "Hi, Castiel," she says as she wraps him into a hug.
"Hello Briana," he replies and then pauses. He turns those piercing blue eyes onto her and just stares. Briana's witnessed this intense look plenty of times but she's never been on the receiving end. She understands why Dean tends to get fidgety.
"What?" she finally asks.
"Nothing," he says in his deep, resonating voice, "you look very nice." He leans in closer to Briana’s neck and sniffs unabashedly. "And you smell very pleasant as well."
Briana smiles brightly. With a hand on his shoulder she says "Thanks, Angel! What a nice compliment."
The four climb into the car, the brothers in the front and Briana and Castiel in the back. Dean catches Briana’s eye in the rearview mirror. "Uh, yeah you do look very, uh, different," he stumbles.
"Thanks Dean," she says with a laugh, "once again, I'll take that as a compliment."
Dean gestures towards Sam with his hand and says, "Little Brother, you might want to check your door."
Sam looks down, sees his fly is still open and zips up. "Shut up and drive," he says with his face forward, jaw tense.
As Castiel studies Briana intently, she returns his gaze and waits patiently. Finally, over Baby's rumble, he says with a slight tilt of his head, "I don't think I've ever seen your hair so...fluffy."
Again, Briana laughs. Typically, she keeps her hair in a French braid or a pony tail but today she opted to give her curly, brunette locks a little love. They're washed, conditioned and aside from a little clip behind her right ear, her hair flows freely past her shoulders and land softly half way down her back. Briana can still smell the slight floral scent of the spray gel she tried for the first time. "I should really cut it short. Long hair can be a determent in our line of work," she explains.
"Yeah, but then your boy toy would have longer hair then you," Dean snarks.
As Dean steers Baby out of the parking lot, Sam looks back and throws Briana a wink...followed by a middle finger at his brother.
Song lyrics credited to Louden Swain
And it's hard to think cause you pushed me to the brink and I'm trying to think but I'm numb.
Back at the hotel, Briana immediately heads to the bathroom and turns on the shower. After their meeting with Cupid she feels very dirty and not in the good way. As she waits for the water to warm she takes stock of the evening's events. On the plus side, she thinks, they aren't dealing with a rogue Cupid as Castiel had originally suspected. On the minus, that means there's something bigger at hand.
As bad as that may be, Briana's more concerned with the impact this case is having on the four of them. The blonde, voluptuous waitress was able to deliver Dean his usual burger and fries with nary a come-on or leer. He drenched it in ketchup and then left it untouched. Castiel, of all people, was about to take a bite from the burger when Cupid arrived. Briana tries to recall ever seeing Castiel eat and comes up short. Dean's lack of appetite concerns her just as much as how violently he'd reacted to the creepy Cupid. Her train of thought is interrupted when Sam pops his head through the bathroom door.
"Room for one more?" he asks, his dimples prominently showing.
"For you, always" she replies as she steps into the shower.
It's been a very long day and the hot water feels good pelting down on her sore muscles. Sam steps in behind her and begins to rub her shoulders with his long, deft fingers. She leans into him with a sigh, tilting her head to the side, sending him a not so subtle hint. Sam receives her hint loud and clear and leans down to slowly kiss up her neck, stopping to nibble on her earlobe. His right arm comes around her shoulder to pull her against his wide chest.
They stay that way for several moments, his arm across Briana’s chest, both of her hands holding his wrist. It's a tight squeeze in the stall but it only heightens Briana's sense of security. She's always felt completely safe in Sam's arms. The life they lead doesn't allow many peaceful moments like this so they've learned to soak them in as long and as often as they're able to.
Briana begins to hum under her breath as Sam reaches for the shampoo. They go about washing as they discuss the day. When Briana raises her concerns about Dean he brushes them off and yet, there's something disconcerting about the look in Sam's eye.
Briana isn’t sure if he's trying to convince her or himself. "Maybe the stress of what happened between him and I has finally caught up to him." Briana doesn't need to question what he's referring to. Sam's involvement with the Demon Ruby may've happened before their meeting but she's all too aware of how it's affected the brothers's relationship. "I don't know" he says with an exaggerated shrug, "it's not like he'll talk to either of us about it anyway. Right now," he says taking both of Briana’s hands, “I don't want to worry about my brother, or monsters or whatever comes next, I just want to be with you, Darlin."
Briana makes a conscious effort to push the case and her concerns about Dean aside and instead, concentrates on the here and now. Her and Sam. He's right, she thinks, everything else can wait.
Briana resumes her humming as she scrubs her hair. The humming soon turns to words as she rinses away the shampoo. Hey Darlin’ won’t you be with me tonight? Won't you make me feel like I'm the one? Briana’s words are cut off by a soft, tender kiss.
"Are you making a request?” Sam asks as he leans in again.
Before their lips meet again, Briana brushes away a stray strand of wet hair threatening to drip into his keledescope of colors. "Don't need to, you already make me feel that way."
In the morning, Sam returns to the clinic for yet another victim, while Briana and Dean bury themselves elbow deep in case files at the police station. Briana's having a difficult time concentrating because her mind keeps replaying the encounter with the cupid.
"Dean?" she asks.
"Hmm?" he responds without looking up.
"Is there, is there anything...." she doesn’t understand why she's suddenly at a loss for words. "Are you okay? Since starting this case you've been a little more distant. More than usual, that is," she adds.
"Ah crap, I'm fine, Dr Phil." He runs a hand over his face and finally lifts his candy apple green eyes up from the file in his hand. For possibly the hundredth time she thinks, damn John wasn't the best father but he sure knew how to make beautiful babies.
"I know you and Sam are big on the whole 'Let's talk it out' thing but that's not me. I'm just tired and am very ready for this case to be over with. We deserve a vacation."
"Hey that 'thing' works pretty well for us. I can't agree with you more, though.We need a break," she says, closing the file in her hand and adding it to the large pile. "But on a serious note, Dean-"
He puts up a hand, palm out before she can finish, "I know, I know-"
"I'm here if you need me," she finishes anyway and to emphasize her point, she grabs his hand.
He attempts to stare her down but she's had enough practice with Castiel lately that her hold doesn't waver. He relents by taking his hand back and grumbles, "Let's get outta here."
Back in the car, Dean calls Sam to fill him in on what the two of them had found. “Finish up there and meet us back at the motel.”
Sam's beaten them back to the room but only, it seems, by a short amount of time. He's at the far end of the room, setting down what appears to be a brief case. The moment he turns around the hairs on the back of Briana’s neck stand up. Something seems off to her. He still smiles when he sees her, moving forward to give her a kiss but he only briefly looks her in the eye before averting his glance. His face appears a little pale and the worry lines on his forehead are very deep.
"What's up, Buttercup?" she asks as lightly as possible.
He gestures to the brief case. “I got this off a demon leaving the clinic," he says on a shaky voice.
"You okay?" Dean asks.
After a deep breath, Sam says "Yeah, I'm fine." I'm Fine. There aren't two other words Briana hates to hear more coming out of a Winchesters's mouth. It's always a giant load of bullshit.
True to form and quick to avoid any emotional exchange, Dean replies, "Alright then, lets crack it open."
There's hardly time for them to turn their heads away from the blinding light that comes streaming out of the case.
"What the fuck was that?" Dean cries.
"A human soul," they hear from behind. "It's all starting to make sense."
They turn to find Castiel, holding a take-out bag in one hand and a half- eaten burger in the other.
"How does any of this makes sense and when did you start eating?" Sam asks.
"Exactly," Cas says as he takes another bite. "This town is suffering from starvation. Specifically, Famine."
"As in the horsemen?" Briana asks, her voice rising.
"Famine does not always mean food, everyone is starving for something. Food, sex, attention, drugs, love." Castiel explains. "The cherub made them hungry for love and then Famine came along and made them rabid for it."
"Okay," Dean says stepping closer to Cas, "but what about you?" Dean grimace as Castiel takes another large bite from the messy burger. A large piece of lettuce falls to the floor an inch from Dean's boot.
"It's my vessel." The Angel's words are muffled around the massive amount of burger and bun. "It seems Jimmy's appetite for red meat has also been touched by Famine's effect."
Hardly recognizing her own voice, Briana begins to speak from memory "And then will come Famine, riding on a black steed. He will ride into the land of plenty. Great will be the horsemen's hunger for he IS hunger. His hunger will seep out and poison the air."
Sam and Dean both look at her a little perplexed.
"What? I read the Bible," she reminds them matter-of-factly.
"That's right," Castiel replies around a large swallow. "Famine is hungry, he must devour the souls of his victims. The word is, Lucifer's sent his demons to collect and deliver those souls."
Once again, Briana looks to Sam and an unsteady feeling washes over her. She blindly seeks out his hand and it feels cold and clammy. He suddenly breaks her grip and heads into the bathroom, leaving the door ajar.
Briana begins to pace the room as the discussion continues around her. She catches a word here and there, trying desperately not to stare at Sam as he stands at the sink. Something about War's ring and doing the same to Famine.
She finds it hard to concentrate because Sam is still in the bathroom and she knows something is on the rise. Dean seems to finally notice and asks if he's good.
Sam leans against the door frame. Briana’s heart drops to her stomach, and she feels the blood drain from her face and she fights the urge to run to him as the pieces begin to fall into place.
"Guys," he says on a shaky breath, "I can't go."
"Why not?" Dean asks.
As Sam looks at Briana, she knows deep in her gut, "He got to you. You need it as badly as Castiel's shoving that burger down his gullet."
"Need what?" Dean asks.
"Demon blood," is all Briana can manage, the urge to go to Sam is overwhelming.
Briana sits on the bed numbly as she listens to the sounds of Dean handcuffing Sam to the bathroom pipes. Dean leaves the room and she all but runs in there. She crouches before her sweet Sam and takes his face in her hands. He tries to pull away from but she tightens her hold. "I gotcha, Baby."
His face has grown even paler, the corners of his mouth are turned down in a frown. The worst is the look in his eyes. He just appears defeated. "I don't want to hurt you," he whispers.
"You would never hurt me. The last thing I want to do is leave you alone but I want to help Dean and Castiel. The faster we get that bastard, the faster I can be back with you. You're strong Sam." He tries to turn away and pull from her grasp but she only tightens her hold on his face. "You are, Baby. You've gotten through before and you'll do it again but this time, I'm going to be there with you. I love you."
Before she loses her nerve and takes a seat beside Sam on the cold tile floor, Briana presses her mouth onto Sam's trembling lips. She doesn't pull away until he softens slightly. She briskly stands and with one more look back, she silently passes all her love and support to the man she loves.
Lyrics credit to Louden Swain
And if you think I can save you then I'm throwing you the rope but I'm up against the wave.
The ride is painfully silent. Once outside the diner, Dean and Cas go over the plan but the only voice Briana hears belongs to Sam echoing in her head, "You gotta lock me down, and lock me down tight." The small amount of air in Briana’s lungs is being forced out by a constriction in her chest, the weight of it steadily increases as the seconds tick by. The vast space of the Impala’s backseat seeming to close in on her. Briana fumbles for the door, "I need to get some air," she says as she propels yourself out of the car.
Distantly she hears Dean mutter, “Watch your six."
Briana hides in the shadows, bracing herself against the cool brick of the building. Glancing back at the car, she can see Dean and Castiel deep in conversation. Briana hopes Castiel can help Dean sort out whatever's been bothering him. If anyone can, it's Castiel. He has a knack for presenting a counter point to a problem, or in some cases, stating the obvious. She turns her back to the men in the car, she just can't stomach watching Castiel eat another burger. In an attempt to quell her nervous energy, she begins to pace.
Her pacing morths into a long stride forward when Dean exits the car and heads to the diner. The plan was for Castiel to go in, get the ring then return to the car. Briana's instincts are telling her something isn't right and she pulls out Ruby’s demon blade as she falls into step behind Dean.
Inside the dark diner, the two hunters are quickly overpowered when they're distracted by the sight of Castiel hunkered on the ground shoveling raw hamburger into his mouth. Briana swallows the bile that rises and turns her attention to an even more vile sight. Before them is a wretched looking skeleton covered with dry, paper thin skin.
Everything starts to feel like a bad acid trip to Briana. Castiel's completely oblivious to his surroundings as he shovels strips of raw burger into his mouth by the fistful, swallowing it down like a snake, forgoing chewing all together. Dean's face is contorted in agony, sweat beads his forehead as he listens to the disgusting creature that is Famine spout nothing but obscene, hateful things at Dean.
Briana struggles with the demons flanking her with a vice like grip on her arms. Her only concern is helping Dean and Castiel. Feeling utterly helpless, her mind scrambles with some kind of Hail Mary play. Her blood runs ice cold when she hears Sam's voice, "Let them go."
Standing before them is Sam. His mouth is smeared with demon blood, his shoulders are square and even. Even from the distance across the diner, Briana can see the fire in his stare. His broad chest rises and falls with each deep breath. If this were a different set of circumstances, Briana would feel pride upon seeing her warrior.
Pride is not what Briana is experiencing, the feeling bubbling up in her chest is, most certainly that of fear. Not fear of him but fear for him. She can only imagine the battle raging within him. Briana feels as though she's five years old again. Wanting desperately to curl up on the ground and cry out for her Daddy. She instantly shoves the feeling down; her father is long gone and can't help her now. Briana knows she must turn her fear into a more helpful emotion, like anger, if she's going to be of any use to her boys.
"Have at them, please be my guest," Famine growls.
"Sammy, no," Dean pleads. Briana closes her eyes in anticipation of what's to come next. She doesn't know if she has what it takes to conceal the terror rolling inside her. It takes her a moment to realize the painful pressure on her arms is no longer present.
Her eyes snap open on Sam’s firm "No!" His face contorts again in concentration, arm extended as he squeezes out the existence of the demon souls within the Horseman. A brief struggle ensues and with a deep rumble, Famine is gone. Left in his wake are three hunters and an Angel all in their own state of despair. Castiel's beside Sam and before Briana can even take one step forward, they're both gone. Even though Dean's still in the room, Briana has never felt so alone in her life.
Briana spends the race to Bobby's beside Dean in a constant trembling state. In a drastic reversal of roles, he makes several attempts to get Briana to talk but she's unable to form a coherent sentence. If she weren't on the verge of losing your mind, Briana would undoubtedly have found Dean’s efforts comforting.
"Cas will take care of him until we get there," he says while Briana concentrates on her breathing, suppressing a panic attack. In. Out. In. Out. Repeat.
At long last the Singer Salvage sign becomes visible. Briana shoots out of Baby before Dean's able to come to a complete stop. Sam is all she can think, must get to Sam. He needs to know she's there.
The smell of the iron door of the panic room, as it has coutless times, turns Briana’s stomach as she leans her head against it, hands splayed out in front of her. How many times have you been here, listening helplessly as a loved one cries out? She asks herself. She's willing what little strength she has in reserve, to Sam. With each muffled cry of agony, she feels a hot iron strike down to her soul. "Help! Dean? Cas? Bri, Baby, I need you. Please, if you can hear me, help! Dean, get me out of here!"
"Dean, that's not Sam in there, not really. He just needs to get it out of his system."
Dean's leaning against the wall looking as shattered as Briana feels, chugging a bottle of Jack Daniel's like it's water. Dean cuts Cas off without looking at him, "I just need to get some air," and with that, Dean is gone.
Castiel turns around to face Briana. She takes several deep breaths and wills herself to tune Sam out, concentrating on the steel blue eyes in front of her. Castiel has always had a calming effect on her but on this night, she finds it rather lacking and that alone makes her want to crumple onto the floor in a heap at his feet.
He suddenly wraps his arms around Briana and holds tight. At first, she stands there in shock, Castiel doesn't typically initiate affection, he's just barley starting to tolerate Briana’s constant need to touch. It only takes a blink of an eye and she's returning the embrace, clutching at his trench coat. She knows Castiel is speaking because she can feel the words reverberating through her chest but she can't understand the actual words because she's now openly sobbing.
Typically Briana's able to maintain an even keel on her emotions. She tries her best to act as a counter weight to Dean’s trigger-happy finger or a sounding board to Sam’s thought process during a problem but today, her resolve is gone. She feels like a live wire.
Briana takes a moment to let it out and allow yourself to be vulnerable. She knows she's safe with Castiel. When she's able, she pulls away from him. Before she can make a move, he's drying her tears away with a tap of his finger to her forehead. She blinks, "Thanks Angel, I'm sorry to fall apart on you like that."
"No need to be sorry, Briana, I'm glad I was here."
She runs a hand down Castiel's arm and tucks her fingers into his dangling hand, she's not surprised when his hand doesn't move. "How're you doing, Honey?" she asks. "This wasn't exactly a cake walk for you either."
As he answers his fingers fold around hers, "I never ate cake, only burgers, but to answer your question, I am fine."
On an exaggerated sigh, she says "Ugh, those words again!” She shakes her head, “I'm glad you're doing okay but I hope you know I'm here if you need anything."
Ignoring his quizzical expression, she gives his hand a squeeze "Could you please sit with Sam? I would really like to check on Dean but I don't want to leave Sam alone," she hesitates before adding, "unless, you would rather go to Dean?"
"No I think he may be more receptive to you at this moment," he says sadly.
She takes a few more shaky breaths, squeezes and releases Cas's hand, plants a quick kiss on his cheek and turns back to the door.
"Sam," she says in what she hopes is a strong voice, "Baby, I'll be right back. There's something I need to take care of. Cas is right here, he won't leave you. I love you, Sam."
Briana slowly makes her way outside in an attempt to gather her thoughts. Time to put aside your own fears, she tells herself, there's nothing that can be done for Sam. All they can do is wait. It's time to switch gears and focus on what Dean needs.
All Briana can see as she walks outside is a dark outline of Dean, despite this, she's still able to actually feel the pain radiating from him. He's pleading towards the open sky, "Please, I need some help. Please." A deep shiver runs through her as the older brother echoes what the younger brother's been saying since their return.
He doesn't hear her approach from behind. "Help's been here all along, Dean."
He spins around and runs a hand over his face, "Oh hey, you should, you should be inside. A storm's coming," as if on cue, thunder rumbles in the distance.
"I think it's safe to say the storm's been raging for the last two days," she quietly says as she takes another step towards him.
"Bri, I love you but I just can't..."
Briana lays a hand over his heart, "Dean I know you don't want to talk, I just want you listen then I promise I'll leave you alone with your whiskey." She takes his silence as permission to continue.
"You're not alone, Dean. Let me repeat that, you are not alone. I know that we've all made some pretty piss poor decisions but we've made those decisions for the right reasons. We love each other, we're family, and we need to stick together. This isn't just your fight. We're in this together. I've never met anyone as strong as you but even the strongest will eventually break without support."
"Bullshit, you heard him, I'm dead inside so what does it matter? Let em take me down!" he says angrily trying to turn away from her.
She grabs his arm and turns him back around, "Dean Winchester, I could give a flying fuck what that bag of bones said, I know damn well what and who's standing in front of me. Dead inside? Hardly. A wise man once told me ‘you fight until you don't have anything left then you fight some more because that's what we do’. I know Sam's hurt you bad but I also know you'll forgive him because, well that's what you do when you love someone unconditionally."
Briana pauses to take a deep breath because she's fighting the urge to cry again and she refuses to do that right now. "I'll tell you something," she continues when she thinks she's able to with a steady voice, "if I ever meet God down here I hope I have the balls to tell him what a fucked up plan he laid out. It isn't fair for you to bear the burden of his damn world. That's his plan but that doesn't stop you because you're Dean fucking Winchester and...and," her words falter as she runs out of steam. She punches him lightly on the chest with a closed fist, "And damn it, I love you," she tells him as her voice breaks but she keeps it together.
Even though her arms are itching to wrap around him in an attempt to take away his pain, she refrains.
She swipes at her eyes, irritated with her own weakness, "Alright, this wraps another episode of Dr Phil." The corners of his lips twitch slightly and Briana takes that as a win, "Please, Dean, take care of your heart. I love you, Brother." She places a hand gently on his cheek, gazes into his eyes then turns on her heel to leave him to his silence as promised.
Dean startles her when he breaks that silence with a raspy voice, "Hey, if anyone has a big enough pair it'd be you, Sister."
She turns back around and gazes up at him with a raised eyebrow.
"Big brass ones,” he tells her. His hands are rounded as if he were carrying a couple of melons at hip level.
Her face breaks out into the first smile she's felt all day. "Thanks."
"What, no hug??" he asks.
No need to ask her twice. Briana stands on her tip toes and wraps her arms around is wide shoulders, pullling him down to her level. She squeezes him tight and tells him she loves him, with a kiss to his scruffy cheek, and that she's proud of him.
"I'm proud of all of us" he tells her.
I rewrote this chapter several times and I'm still not sure I'm happy with how it turned out. I really didn't want it to end up sounding really cheesy or preachy.
Chapter 6: Epilogue
Little bit of smut and fluff to end the story.
It's a fine line, marking the divide. I could exit, ride into the empty space but then I see your face and I now I can't describe. It's been a long time and I'm right by your side. I'm right by your side.
Briana awakens to feel every muscle and joint on fire. The pain fades as she looks down and sees Sam. Late last night, Castiel finally relented and told her it was safe to go to Sam. He was still in pain and crying out but she could feel her Sam returning little by little. When he first realized Briana was in the room he begged her to leave, pulling from her touch. "Please, I don't want to hurt you, you need to leave!"
After a bit of a struggle, she was able to take both his hands into hers as she sat beside him on the ground. "Guess the accommodations aren't to your liking," she'd said dryly as she looked at the single bed thrown up side down against the opposite wall. "I'll have to speak to the management team."
"Please. Leave. I'll only hurt you. I hurt everyone I love." Sam had tried again, unsuccessfully, to pull away from her.
"Sorry, Baby, you should know by now you're stuck with me. I'm not going anywhere. We're in this together, thick and thin. So just hush up and lay your head down."
He'd finally given in and laid his head in Briana’s lap. His breathing was still ragged but Briana began to do what she does best; talk. As she combed her fingers through his hair, she talked about the day they met, how proud of him she was the time he took out the clowns at Plucky Pennywhistle, and she talked about her dad and Rufus. Briana was pretty sure Sam never understood a word she'd spoken but it was the only thing she could think to do for him.
As she gets her bearings now, Briana figures Castiel must've stopped sometime in the night after they'd both fallen asleep. Under their bodies is a soft blanket (ah to have Angel mojo) and another draped over Sam's body.
Briana attempts to stretch out her neck but the movement wakes Sam and he begins to jerk his body as if he's in the middle of a nightmare. "Shhh, it's okay, I gotcha, Baby. I got you, I'm right here," she whispers to him as she combs her fingers through his damp hair.
It takes a few moments but he calms and his eyes flutter open. Briana's relieved to see his soft, yet tired, blue green eyes staring back at her. He sits up against the wall with a groan. "Tell me about it,” she comments.
"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," he says quietly "I fucked up so bad."
Briana moves her body so she can look him in the eyes. Sam's eyes have a way of keeping her grounded. "Stop! What happened was out of your control. We all were affected by Famine but the important thing is we stuck together and now we need to keep moving forward."
He drops his head into his hands and says Dean's name.
"Dean'll be fine, the two of you can duke it out later, right now all we want is you to feel better." She pulls his hands away and leans close to his face. "Let me help you, I want you to know how loved you are."
Briana moves to straddle Sam's thighs. With her fingertips, she brushes away the hair that's fallen into his face then lets them trail down his cheek. She gazes up at him and leans in for a kiss. She pushes away the memory of the last kiss they shared while he was handcuffed and adds more heat.
It takes a beat before he reciprocates, still hesitant. She reaches down and pulls his shirt off. Briana ghosts her palms over Sam's chest, laying down soft kisses in their wake. She pauses briefly as he pulls off her shirt before continuing down his lean, muscular body. Marveling at every scar and ripple. She spares little time with his belt buckle and zipper. He lifts his hips so she can pull his jeans down over his bare feet. Next, Briana stands and removes her own jeans and kicks them to the side. Sam starts to get up but she gently pushes him back down.
"This is about you," she tells Sam as she crouches before him. She resumes her kisses and caresses at his chest. When she reaches his hips she first kisses and then sucks at each pelvic bone, running her tongue through the deep grooves made by his slim hips.
Sam’s soft sigh turns to a moan as she moves to his thighs. She gently nudges his knees apart and moves into the space. She lays more gentle kisses to his inner thighs, feeling the heat radiating from his cock. Briana kisses and sucks a little at his sack which elicits another satisfying moan from Sam. "I love you so much, Darlin."
She grabs his hard, erect cock in one hand while the other rubs along his thigh. First she dips her her tongue along his wet slit then wraps her lips around his warm head. Tasting the salty bitterness, she slowly swallows him down. Her gag reflex could use some work but she's never heard any complaints from Sam. While Sam growls her name, she bobs your head a few times.
Meanwhile, his hands have made their way to her hair, making her hum over how gentle his fingers are sliding over her scalp. When his grip begins to tighten and his breathing becomes heavier she pulls off with a satisfying pop. The need to kiss Sam's grown urgent and she gets to her knees and leans in, pressing their bare chests together.
Sam pulls Briana’s head towards his mouth with a firm hand at the back of her neck. The other hand slides down her back and around her hip in order to grip her bare ass tightly. This time it's Briana’s turn to moan. God, his touch feels so damn good.
His hand moves from her ass to her front, his long fingers trail down to her hot, wet center. With a groan, she presses onto his finger, grinding her hips. The hand that was on her neck has moved to her back, she begins to tremble with desire as he adds a second finger. Through her haze, she ponders at the number of hours she's spent watching those fingers fly over a keyboard.
As Briana feels herself quickly approaching climax she leans Sam back against the wall. A deep ache is left when his fingers pull out. Briana straddles his hips, lines up and sinks down onto his cock. They moan in unison as she buries him to the hilt.
She wraps her arms loosely around his neck and begins to rock her hips slowly. Unlike the night in the motel, she needs this to be tender. Briana wants to convey how much she loves Sam through every kiss, thrust and moan. She wants him to know he's safe. Safe to be himself, safe to let his gurad down and it's okay for him to stumble sometimes. She wants him to know there's nothing he could do that would make her leave him. Nothing.
She looks deep into his eyes. What were blue green not ten minutes ago are now dark brown with flecks of gold. He smiles at Briana, leaning down to kiss her. Tongues exploring, teeth nipping at lips. Her pace quickens as the heat builds. Now Sam is meeting her thrust for thrust. Their foreheads rest together as they gaze into each other's eyes. "Hey Blue Eyes," he says, “I love you so much."
She tries to reply but all that escapes Briana’s mouth is a deep moan that turns into Sam's name. She holds his gaze and squeezes yourself around his girth. That's all it takes for the lovers to cry out together. Briana can feel Sam’s warmth fill her as her own muscles contract in that beautiful spasm. It never ceases to amaze her how in tuned the two of them are, often climaxing together.
Briana’s hips slow and then stop. They remain that way, fused together as she continues to kiss Sam. She runs her hands through his hair and down his back. She hopes he can feel how much she loves him. Briana doesn’t even realize she is softly singing.
There's one life I've ever known. Much I've changed but not outgrown. I'm trying to make a go alone but I can't see without your stare when your voice is never there. There's a void hanging in the air at home.
She pulls herself off Sam while he wraps the two of them in a blanket, tucking Briana tight against his solid body. Wrapped in Sam's arms is Briana’s favorite place to be. He kisses the top of her head. With his finger, he begins to trace the tattoo on the inside of her left wrist. The blue inked symbols are the closest Castiel could come up with to the Enochian translation for 'home'. "So Bri, I know it was the effect of Famine's touch but I must say, you were pretty hot in those boots." The smile on Sam’s face is beautiful as it stretches across his face. His eyes are bright, his forehead is smooth and the red tinge to his cheeks is broken only by his sweet dimples.
With a contented sigh, Briana tells him she'd be happy to wear them again real soon. To herself, Briana thinks how sometime when the need for a hot shower and a toothbrush isn’t forefront in her mind, she'll take some time to think about what the true meaning behind her own starvation was.
Until then, Briana's happy to be here, safe and wrapped in love.
Lyrics credit to Louden Swain
Thank you for sticking with me until the end! This was my first piece of fanfic and I would really love feedback.
Look me up on twitter @lydrewsmom