Disclaimer: Not mine. I'm just playing. I'll put'em back when I'm done.

Rating: G

Synopsis: Over this soul, Hell hath no dominion. Enough said.

Author's note: A tag to No Rest For The Wicked. I was such a mess after seeing the Finale, I simply had to write this little piece to make myself feel better. I hope it does the same for some of you.

He screamed until his throat was raw, fear and agony so strong – he couldn't put it into words even in his mind – rippling through him with every twist and turn of the chains and hooks holding him captive. He screamed for his brother because logic no longer applied and sense no longer mattered. He was terrified to the very core of his soul, terrified that this would be all he would ever know now; fear and pain and solitude so immense it drove him mad. He had no concept of time, only agony, abandonment and terror.

He stopped screaming when he heard the sounds, wanted so much to close his eyes and be still so they wouldn't find him and hurt him more. And then the light hit him, so searing bright that he had to squint to tolerate it. And the sounds. Like giant wings flapping and the light was warm and soothing and healing...


All Sam could do was clutch his brother's body to him, unable to let go, unable to face the abyss of sorrow and loneliness ahead of him while the knowledge of where Dean was would slowly drive him mad.

Bobby was there, but he had no sense for him, could do nothing more than sit there and rock his brother and cry his damned eyes out. "Dean," he whispered for the umpteenth time.

"Sam," Bobby tried, laid a tentative hand on his shoulder, which he shrugged off.

"Don't touch me," he bit out. The pain was too much to contain, too strong to bear. It hurt so bad and nobody and nothing was going to take ...

He stopped, froze in place, listened hard for a second, then released his harsh hold on his brother, looked down into his brother's dead eyes and ...

Dean's pupils contracted, his upper eyelids fluttered so lightly, he would have missed it if he hadn't been looking for it. His fingers, slick with blood, slid onto Dean's neck. Then he looked up to meet Bobby's eyes. "He's got a pulse," he gasped. "Jesus, Bobby, he isn't dead. Call 911."

Bobby didn't question him, yanked out his phone and called the paramedics while Sam pulled his jacket off, bundled it up and tried to stanch the bleeding. He couldn't believe it, kept feeling for the pulse and kept finding it, weak and feeble but there.

"Hold on, Dean. Please, hold on," he kept whispering, desperate with hope, terrified that it was a flutter, yet the weak pulse was there every time he touched his brother's neck.

And the paramedics arrived in record time, the two men taking over, doing good work, hooking Dean up to a transfusion while bandaging his wounds.


St. Mary's Medical Center ER
Evanville, IN

They waited for hours without end while Bobby paced and Sam just sat, waiting with baited breath and fear clutching his heart. Dean had lost so much blood, had been so badly torn up.

When the doctor finally came out, he shot to his feet, unable to stand the waiting any longer, terrified of the verdict. "How is he?"

The doctor, Michael something or other, gave him a tired smile. "He's alive," he said. "He's weak, the lacerations were bad and he's lost a lot of blood, but he's alive and he'll remain that way if he fights."

Sam nodded, on the brink of tears again. He couldn't speak at first, couldn't say what needed to be said.

"Can we see him?" Bobby said for him.

"Yeah. I think it's best if one of you or both stay with him for the duration. Talk to him, encourage him, give him something to fight for," the doctor said and led the way.


Sam sat beside his brother and held his hand while he waited for more than the almost mechanical rise and fall of Dean's bandaged chest, something that would tell him that his brother was still in there, that his soul wasn't in Hell.

The hours passed and his vigilance wore him down, but he stayed put, refused to move, would neither drink nor eat while he waited, still afraid, still lost without his brother.

"Talk to him, Sam," Bobby said quietly. "Keep him with us."

He sniffed, wiped the back of one hand under his nose, tried to decide what to say, how to let Dean know how much he needed him. "You know ..." He sniffed again when his voice broke. "I keep thinking back to the last time we were in Indiana, remember that?" It was hard to talk, hard to get the words out without drowning in the fear, but he needed to talk, needed to keep Dean with him. "I must have been ... I don't know ... ten or something. Dad had that job lined up in Fairfield and he dumped us at this motel and there were roaches everywhere. And you made it into a game to see how many of them we could catch and throw outside." He stopped, pressed his lips together into a thin line while trying to get a grip on his need to bawl like a damned baby. Happier times. Those had been happier times. "And you caught that monster roach, remember that? It was huge, almost as big as my damned hand. And it scared the crap out of me, but you kept it for a bit, said you'd make it our pet since we couldn't get a dog."

Sam stopped when Dean's hand jerked. For a second he eyed Dean's fingers, searched for more, hoped against hope that his inane chatter would get a reaction, but the jerk didn't repeat itself. He shifted his attention back to Dean's face, struggled to get a hold on himself again for a moment, then managed a ghost of a smile.

"But you let it go in the end," he continued. "And I told dad about it when he got back and he laughed. Remember that? He said it had been a good hunt, that things had turned out okay. He was in a good mood that night. And I was just so damned glad he was back, because I didn't want a damned roach as a pet. And ... you just looked so damned happy that night, man. Just like ... nothing in the world could ever hurt you."

Sam sucked in a breath when Dean's hand suddenly tightened around his. It wasn't a feeble grip either. It was tight. He stared down at Dean's hand wrapped around his for a moment, then looked up again and realized that Dean's eyes were open and he was watching Sam. And, dammit, he was actually smiling a little. And it was then that Sam knew everything would be okay. Because Dean wasn't gone after all and that was all that mattered to him.

The End