Rating: R (language, violence)
Length: under 30K total; this chapter, 852 words
Spoilers: through the end of Season Four
Summary: What if Sam and Dean knew one crucial piece of information about the future before Dean's deal came due? Would it have changed everything, or would the end result have been the same? AU version of Season Four, written for spn_30snapshots .
The complete story is available as a PDF file here.
Disclaimer: They might be on my mind more hours of the day than not, but they do not belong to me.
A/N: In keeping with the challenge of spn_30snapshots , each of the thirty pieces to follow is a scene of less than 1,000 words; taken together, they tell a complete AU of Season Four. Thanks to kasman for beta reading!
It's a shame I have to wait until the ending
Everything I've yet to break is surely bending
Every vow I ever take is just pretending
That this mess I make is worth defending
You can always get it right next time, next time
You can always get it right next time…
--"Next Time," Barenaked Ladies
Esto no va a pasar, esto no va a cambiar
Esto no va a dejar de ser una tragedia
La tragedia del que no se quiere
Esto no va a pasar, esto no va a sanar
Porque no hay un disparo que pueda borrar la historia
Que nos corre por las venas
Que nos corre por las venas.
--"Sangre Americana," Bacilos
Master table is here. Prompt for this chapter: months.
1. A Little Knowledge
"I'm sorry it wasn't Dad," Sam said hesitantly, cautious as always when mentioning their father to Dean, even after all this time. Dean had really thought he heard their father's voice on the phone, and Sam could only imagine what it was doing to him now to find out that it had been a trick.
"Yeah, me too." The corner of Dean's mouth twisted up. "Guess he could have told me what to expect down under, huh?"
"Don't talk like that," Sam snapped, feeling his temper wearing thin once again. It was bad enough that the crocatta had separated the two of them and almost sucked the life right out of him in the process, but to come back to this same old topic was like picking a still-healing scab off a wound. "You're not going to Hell, Dean."
"Yes, I am, Sammy." Dean's head lifted, crystal green eyes piercing through Sam. "I know that I am, and you know it, too. I'm going to Hell in two weeks, and I'm getting back out in four and a half months. There's nothing we can do to stop it, so we might as well focus on other things."
"Other things?" Sam's voice was rising, but he was powerless to stop it. "There's nothing that's more important than keeping you alive."
"Sam, please." Dean sounded so tired that Sam had to stop and look at him. "I don't want to spend my last few weeks fighting with you over this. Not when I know it's not gonna be permanent. Not when there's evil things out there we need to be fighting."
"Four and a half months is bad enough," Sam said incredulously. "There's got to be a way—"
"There isn't. I try to break the deal, you die. I go along with it, I get out. Yeah, it's gonna suck, but what can we do?"
Sam stared back at him. The thing was, he knew it was only for four and a half months. He knew it like he knew his name and his birthday and that his mother and almost-fiancée had been killed by the yellow-eyed demon that Dean had plugged after making a deal to resurrect him. He knew it like it was something that had already happened.
But he didn't know how he knew, which meant he couldn't trust the knowledge. Not after being played by the Trickster for so long, not when he didn't have any reason to believe it was true.
"Do you think it's a vision we've both had?" he asked hesitantly.
"You're the one with the visions," Dean retorted. "Have you seen me getting pulled out of Hell?"
Sam shook his head. "I just know that you'll be out," he said. "No specific date, no time or place, just four and a half months."
Dean quirked up the corner of his mouth. "You better have a six-pack and a couple of pies ready for me, Sammy. I'd ask you to keep a hot chick on standby, too, but I'm not sure I trust you to pick one out."
Sam wrinkled up his nose. "I don't think beer and pie really go together."
"I don't think I'm going to care too much at that point," Dean replied with raised eyebrows.
Sam swallowed hard. "Dean, I can't—"
Dean rose to his feet and took a step forward, looking him in the eye. "Let it go, Sam. For me?" He paused and then lifted an eyebrow. "Consider it my last wish if it makes it easier."
Sam pressed his lips together, physically holding back the words, aware that he was producing a prime example of what Dean loved to call his bitchface. He'd been trying all year to find a way out for Dean, and to just give up like this and trust that everything was going to work out for the best was not something either of them was used to doing.
But Dean was the one with his head on the block, and if he could be so calm and accepting of it, maybe Sam could, too. Four and a half months would probably seem like an eternity while they were living it, but there would be a light at the end of the tunnel. Whatever happened, they'd be together at the end of it, and they could work it all out. "Yeah, I'll try," he finally said.
"That's my boy." Dean clapped a hand to his shoulder. "Now, it's time to see what lucky lady in this town is going to help me get lucky tonight." He waggled his eyebrows and headed for the door.
Sam automatically rolled his eyes and followed after. God, I'm going to miss him, he thought, realizing that it was the first time he'd allowed himself to think that. He drew in a deep breath as he shut the motel room door behind them, feeling the desperation and urgency of the past eleven months subside to a dull roar in the back of his head.
Yeah, it would suck, but they could make it through. Dean would get out in four and a half months. Everything would be all right.