Rating: R (language, violence)
Length: under 30K total; this chapter, 496 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 .
Master table is here. Prompt for this chapter: today.
5. Day is Done
Night had fallen by the time Bobby's house was in some semblance of order, empty shotgun shells collected off the floor, books and papers back in their semi-stable piles instead of strewn everywhere, and their own wounds cleaned and bandaged. Bobby tapped his longneck across Sam's in salute, and they sat in silence for a moment on the steps, listening to the July symphony of cicadas as they looked out over the junkyard where they'd both literally faced down their own ghosts throughout the course of the day.
Sam cleared his throat. "So, uh, I guess the fact that the ritual worked means this really was that Rising of the Witnesses that you were talking about, huh?"
"'Fraid so." Bobby took a swig of beer. "Damn, I wish your brother was here."
"Me too," Sam said quietly. He rolled the bottle back and forth in his hands, the gauze wrapped over one palm dulling the sensation of the cool glass on his skin. It had been so close in there, so very nearly ending in disaster with spirits popping up faster than Sam could shoot them down. If he hadn't dodged the heavy table heading for him, he'd have been trapped against the wall and unable to defend Bobby, and then they both would have been lost. In addition to the constant ache of missing Dean, dulled only fractionally after three months without him, it would have been so much easier today with another hunter.
"Yeah, I know, kid." Bobby's gruff voice softened a bit. "Makes me worried, though."
"Me too," Sam replied with his head down. "There's still two months left."
"You sure about that?" came the sharp reply.
He nodded. It was the first thing he thought about every morning when he woke up, the last thing on his mind as he fell asleep. "It hasn't changed."
Bobby shook his head. "Let's hope it stays that way." He took a long pull from his bottle. "Because if this was one of the signs of the Apocalypse, it didn't just start at random. Something pretty heavy had to go down, probably in the same place Dean's in, and God help him if he's caught up in it somehow."
Sam shuddered. He couldn't imagine what it would take to set off the chain of events leading to the End of Days, but the thought of Dean being caught in the crossfire somehow was horrifying. "You think he's—" all right was a dumb thing to say, given the circumstances, even if it was what he meant.
"Your brother's one of the strongest men I've ever known." Bobby clapped a hand on his shoulder. "You both are. You're gonna come out of this all right."
"I hope so," Sam muttered into the mouth of his bottle. Today was probably only a preview of coming attractions, and he needed his brother with him to face whatever might be coming.
Especially if it was the end of the world.