Sam woke up the next morning feeling good. It was strange...he almost forgot what feeling good was like. Not only did he feel relatively happy but he felt well rested and relaxed. He stretched and turned to face the other bed and that was when his emotions did a summersault. In one blink of the eye he remembered everything. The vampires, the torture, Lenore's words...and what the demon did last night that finally convinced Sam that he was Dean.
Because no random demon would ever get up through all that pain just to check on Sam. That hand on his shoulder last night...Dean had been doing that ever since Sam could remember. When Dean was worried he would get up when he thought Sam was sleeping or on the verge of sleep, place a hand on that exact spot on his shoulder and look him over, probably to convince himself that his little brother was okay. And whether Dean realized it or not he had done the same thing last night.
And suddenly it was like everything was falling into place. Other than some shoving, the demon had never physically harmed Sam. When Sam had been attacked by one of those ghouls, the demon had come running up with an urgency that no other run-of-the-mill demon would ever care to have. It had been Dean, worried about his little brother, enraged that he was being split open by the ghoul. Dean had saved his life and had taken the time to gently patch Sam up, just like countless other times. But Sam had been blind to it; he had refused to believe Dean even though his gut had been telling him otherwise. No wonder Dean didn't really talk to him for the few days afterwards, Sam would have been pissed off too in his situation. Add demon to that equation and you've got a really moody older brother.
But he had gotten over it; he had still been working with Sam even though Sam was treating him like crap. What other demon would stick around like that? Hell, Dean even slept on Sam's doorstep the first evening. Even Ruby, (or fake-Ruby according to Dean) would storm off during Sam's outbursts with no intention on telling him when or if she would be back.
Sam felt bile making its way up his throat. This had been his brother all along. Demon or no demon, there was nothing Dean could do to make him deserve that behavior from Sam. If Dean could still be a brother to Sam when he was now a demon, there's no reason Sam shouldn't either. Hell, he should be kissing Dean's ass right now. Dean turned into this...turned into a demon for Sam, to save Sam's life. Sam had to hear him out, listen to his whole story and find out their plan of action. Because there was no one Sam trusted more than his brother.
But first he had a brother to take care of and apologize to.
When Sam turned around though Dean was already awake, his green eyes staring straight at Sam. Sam knew that Dean was just waiting for Sam to take back what he said yesterday, to turn around and deny that he was his brother.
Getting up from his bed Sam grabbed the first-aid kit from the nightstand and then walked over to Dean's bed.
"Scoot." Sam ordered him but Dean just looked up at him warily and Sam sighed. Sam knew Dean was hurting but he was a demon, he could fight through the pain and move over to give Sam a few inches to sit down on the bed. "Scoot over Dean so I can try to help you."
Dean was still giving Sam that look but he did as he was told and gritted his teeth as he shifted in the bed. Sam didn't fail to notice how his teeth were stained red from the blood that had come up from his throat yesterday. The younger brother's heart clenched at the sight and god, did he want to cry right now at seeing his brother like this. Demon or not, his brother in no way deserved this pain.
Sam sat down and opened the kit, trying to figure out which wound he should work on first when Dean finally spoke.
"You gonna take that back again?" He croaked, knowing that Sam would understand what he was referring to.
Sam had to let Dean know that saying his name wasn't a mistake this time. He looked right into his brother's bloody face. Dean had changed his eyes to black, as if challenging Sam to deny once again that his brother couldn't possibly be this demon. With all the blood on his face and those black eyes, Dean made for a pretty horrific sight but Sam's gaze didn't waver. He took Dean's whole face in and locked eyes with him.
"No. I'm not going to take it back Dean."
Dean stared at Sam for a few more moments before simply nodding his head once and falling back against the mattress. Sam proceeded to work in silence on Dean's wounds, flinching each time along with his brother. Sam bandaged what he could, gently moved Dean onto his side so he could work on a few more wounds. The whole time Dean remained still, letting Sam do his work and not protesting in the slightest.
When Sam was satisfied he got up and cleaned up the supplies before grabbing his jacket and the Impala's keys. Dean immediately shifted in bed at the sound of the keys and glared at Sam.
"What the hell are you doing?" It was probably meant to sound threatening but it barley came out more than a whisper.
Sam tried not to smile but failed. "I'm going out to get us something to eat for a change. What do you want?"
Dean smirked. "Thatta boy. I don't care, surprise me."
Rolling his eyes, Sam stepped out of the motel.
It wasn't until Dean was digging through the bag of food that Sam was finally brought out of his shock. It was when Dean finished the burger and grabbed the small container at the bottom that did him in. Dean opened the lid and grinned exactly like Sam remembered.
"Hell yes, you did remember the pie!"
But Dean wouldn't get to eat his pie in peace because that was the moment when Sam broke down, actual sobbing. Not just sniffles but full on collapsing to the ground and crying his heart out complete with big fat tears. Everything had caught up to him. This was his brother all along. The guy he had beat to a pulp the first day he met him, had thrown him out into the cold and forced him to sleep on the doorstep, had spat in his face whenever he had claimed to be his brother and had flat out screamed at him that he was a disgusting piece of shit that belonged back in Hell.
Sam had done all those things to his brother while Dean had simply taken the beatings and not fought back. How could Sam not have realized this was Dean during the first five minutes he was with him? It was so obvious...
"Sam...Sammy what the hell?" It was Dean's voice that brought Sam back to reality and had him looking up at his brother through red-rimmed eyes. Dean was staring at him from the bed with a look of amusement, annoyance and...also some worry. Through all this Dean still worried about him.
"I know I like apple pie better but cherry's good too. No reason to throw a bitch fit about it."
And that was such a Dean thing to say that Sam couldn't help but let out a laugh. Of course Dean, being the macho guy he was and now a demon on top of that, wouldn't run to his side and cry with him, but that comment showed Sam that he not only still worried but cared about him as well.
"I'm sorry Dean." Sam repeated himself from earlier and looked into his brother's eyes. His brother's eyes that he kept green for Sam.
Dean just nodded, shrugged. "Okay." He said and Sam knew he was forgiven. Sam had just treated Dean like shit and Dean didn't even hold it against him.
Before Sam even registered what he was doing he was up off of the ground and wrapping his arms around his brother. He buried his head in Dean's shoulder and held on tight before remembering that Dean was a demon and he was probably going to violently toss Sam off of him for doing such a thing.
But Dean just remained as still as a statue, not moving as Sam held on tighter and relished in the feel of Dean being here. He let Sam hug him for a whole minute before giving Sam a one-armed pat on the back. It wasn't hugging but it was something, Dean was trying to make some effort to show that he cared and that meant the world to Sam.
Dean pulled away after his pat on the back and stared at Sam. "Got that out of your system now, you cry baby?"
And when Sam laughed, it was his first true laugh since Dean had died.
"So...what do we do now?" Sam asked after they were finished eating. After his meltdown he couldn't believe how good he was feeling. He felt awake and alive, relaxed and happy. He felt like he had a purpose in life again and there was a reason to keep going.
And it was all because of Dean. It didn't matter if Dean was human or demon or a horse with four heads, Sam was going to take him any way he was. Sam trusted his brother no matter what and he was going to go with whatever plan Dean had. Dean said he wasn't going to hurt Sam, that he couldn't hurt Sam and he believed him. He had to. Because if he couldn't trust his own brother who could he trust?
Dean shrugged, "We continue to hunt."
"Stuff," Dean rolled his eyes. "You know, like vampires, shapeshifters, demons and ghosts. Things that go bump in the night.""
Sam decided to ignore Dean's sarcastic remarks for now. "Why would we waste our time on hunting random cases? You said it yourself that something bad is going down and we have to stop it."
Dean raised his eyebrows comically high. "Oh, so now you're on board huh? But that comment alone tells me that you're not ready. I mean look at you, you look disgusting."
Feeling embarrassed, Sam covered himself up with the blankets on the bed. "Shut up." He croaked out, not used to Dean's new blatant ways of saying things. "I was kind of busy falling apart after losing my brother."
Dean pointed at himself with his thumb. "Yeah, and now you've got him back. So you have to get busy getting healthy and back up to hunting par before we go after Lilith. Plus, I need your trust."
"I trust you!" Sam blurted out, knowing he sounded ridiculous.
"Just because you finally realized I am who I say I am doesn't mean you instantly trust me."
Sam was confused. "But you're my brother," he defended himself, sounding like a lost child.
"Yeah, and I'm also a demon. I'm going to do things that you don't like. I don't hunt like I used to when I was human. We're going to have to get used to being partners again and develop a hunting pattern. By doing these routine hunts we can learn how we work together again and develop the trust that we once had, alright?"
Sam nodded, trying to merge old Dean and new demon Dean together. They were the same person, yet they were entirely different. "You know that was pretty insightful. I mean, coming from demon and all."
Dean seemed to enjoy Sam's new attitude because he smirked. "See, demon or not I'm still awesome."
It was Sam's turn to roll his eyes now, but he never denied the comment. He decided to change topics by bringing up something that had been on his mind since their trip to Lenore's.
"You know what I'm wondering? How come those vampires just had a case of holy water sitting in their fridge. What would they need that for?"
Dean leaned back in his bed like he was enjoying telling these stories. "I told you something bad was going down. I'm not lying. Lilith's trying to break the sixty-six seals and she's sending a bunch of her demon cronies out to do the nasty work for her. They're everywhere and they've probably been causing a lot of trouble to Lenore and her clan. They've got to know something's up with the increase of demons lately and they needed to be ready."
Well that made sense. "So what are these sixty-six seals you keep mentioning?"
"Well there are actually hundreds of seals. But sixty-six need to be broken for Lucifer to run rampant over the world and kill us all." Sam cringed at the thought and Dean actually chuckled. "The seals are a bunch of random things, but all that really matters is the first seal and the sixty-sixth seal. The last seal that needs to be broken is killing Lilith, which we can't do. The first seal is broken when a righteous man sheds blood in Hell. That was all set to be me. And yeah, I shed blood and they thought everything was going to be fine and dandy. But then I found out their plan and I stopped myself from being that first seal."
"But if you did shed blood, then weren't you the first seal after all?"
Dean grinned. "Nope, this is where the fine print comes in. There's tons of righteous men that get sent to Hell from deals like mine and torture others. The whole thing is that the man has to get sent back to Earth after he sheds blood. That is what actually breaks that first seal, it's the icing on the cake."
"You did come back to Earth though, so I'm not getting what you're saying."
Dean's eyes flashed black and Sam took that as a sign that Dean was getting impatient.
"I said, the MAN has to come back to earth. Guess what? A bunch of angels were planning on pulling me out to start the whole thing so that's when I just let it happen. I didn't fight it anymore and I became a demon. That disqualified me from the race, I guess you could say. Because I wasn't a man anymore Sammy, I was a demon. So I knew I could come back to you now without setting off this whole thing."
"Angels are real?" Sam sounded astonished. When Dean was human he would never even consider angels being real, now here he was talking about them like it was no big deal.
"I guess." Dean shrugged. "Never saw them but all the demons would gossip about them. Hey, they're for the apocalypse so they're no better than demons. Sound like a bunch of dicks actually."
Sam thought about this for a moment. "Why'd you try so hard to turn into a demon? You know that they'll find someone else to break and send up here."
Dean nodded. "Yes, but they wanted me, I was the best man for their job. Now they're going to have to settle with sloppy seconds. This buys us more time too. And anyway, how the hell do you think I would be if I came back human? There's no way I would be in any shape to fight this looming apocalypse off."
"You would have been broken." Sam supplied for his brother. "And that's what they would have wanted, right?"
"Exactly," Dean was grinning now but his eyes never changed back from black.
"So this whole demon thing is kind of saving us both." Sam thought back to the not-Ruby and how she was slowly making him slide into a violent mess who would do anything she asked of him. "Thank you for that, by the way. For stopping the Ruby imposter. And for saving me that time with the ghoul too."
Dean once again shrugged off Sam's gratitude. "No one screws with you but me. I'm the only one that can teach you how to fight this war and we're gonna come out winning." He then changed his eyes back to green as an afterthought.
"No." Sam found himself saying suddenly. "Don't do that."
"Don't help you? Sammy what the f..."
"NO." Sam stated louder this time. "Don't change your eyes to green for me."
"Wasn't doing it for you," Dean hissed defensively.
Sam smiled, feeling that familiar surge of love for his brother. "Sure you weren't. Anyway, keep them black. It's who you are now and I accept that and I have to get used to them. I mean, you're obviously more comfortable too by keeping them natural."
Dean didn't waste any more time as his eyes flashed back to demon-black. "Damn straight. You know how aggravating it is to try and keep them human for so long? It feels like you've got a migraine."
Sam frowned. "Why didn't you tell me that?"
"Because you were being an annoying ass that's why. And you're still annoying."
"Well I'm honored that I'm not an ass anymore at least."
"Keep up this conversation and you will be."
Sam laughed out loud, feeling warm and safe inside even though the apocalypse was practically hovering around them.