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

Rating: G

Synopsis: A one-shot about the breaking of the deal.

Author's note: Ever since I saw Silent Hill the first time, the phrase that makes up the title of this little blurb got stuck in my head. And it suddenly hit me. If Kripke thinks that the good forces work through humans ... then why not this?

She appeared in between two breaths, when he sucked in a breath at the sight of the darkness that had come to claim him and until he exhaled in a shudder of fear of what lay ahead, that was when she appeared before him, radiant and warm and fierce like a lioness protecting her cup. And she spread her arms and fire arose around her, engulfing everything but him. Her fury shielded him, the means of her own destruction became the destruction of his damnation and he heard the pitiful whine and death throes of the darkness when her light devoured it, swallowed it whole.

The burden of the world, of a lifetime, lifted from his shoulders and left him dizzy and exhausted and oh so afraid. His knees gave in beneath him and he dropped down on them, the soft bedding of the forest floor cushioning him.

The warmth of her love engulfed him like a soft embrace, warming him, raising his spirit, and for a moment he feared that he had died anyway, but would go with her instead. His fear shifted to hope, to longing, but he knew it was not to be.

And then he felt her hand on his cheek, soft, warm, alive, and he looked up at her, tears running freely down his face. He grasped her hand, pressed it hard against his cheek, needed to feel her, to revel in her love for him. She gave him strength, she made him see his worth in a way he never had before. She lifted his spirit and she set him free.

"Free." Her lips moved, her blue eyes sparked with love for her firstborn, and she smiled, pouring all that love, all that pride over him like a golden shower that drenched him and soaked into him, warming him from the inside out.

"Live." Her voice, husky and well remembered, her hands on his face, her lips pressed briefly against his brow.

"You are well protected, my love."

And then she was gone and he was alone, kneeling on the forest floor, the distant, frantic calls of his brother reaching him, and he felt her warmth still in him, felt her love lift him, and he rose to his feet and headed toward the sound of the one person who depended on him, the one person he could not live without. And far away, a church bell struck the hour, twelve deep gongs that seemed to vibrate through the ground, seemed to stir nothing but him. It was over. The deal was done and his brother was still alive and he was protected, shielded, because she loved him, because she believed in him. She had returned from the dead to save him one more time and he could not allow her sacrifice to go to waste. He had to live, to conquer, to win this impossible battle. And he needed his brother by his side.

The End