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Fandom: SPN
Rating: PG-16 (language/adult themes)
Category: Dean,Sam (gen)
Words: 4164
Disclaimer: Don't I wish! :-D
Summary: Sometimes there is nothing that can be said that can make it right. All the Winchester brothers can do is keep going forward, and try to be there for each other. Will it be enough?
Spoilers: Set after at least 2.05 (but is still on track even post-Crossroad Blues)
AN: Finally things are starting to happen. *g* I haven’t had anyone beta this, so any and all mistakes are mine.
Previous Chapters: Chapter 1, Chapter 2

Make It Right
Chapter 3


“Diana?” Sam asked, keeping his voice quiet. He’d stepped outside, far enough away from the motel room that hopefully he wouldn’t wake Dean. Ice clanked loudly in the ice machine, making him start even as he kept an eye on the door, and he sighed.

Sam? Is that you?” Detective Diana Ballard asked, and he could hear the concern in her voice over the line. Sam huffed a soft laugh, then frowned in annoyance when he felt warmth slide down his upper lip. Dammit, his nose was bleeding again. Pulling a Kleenex from his pocket (he was never without them nowadays), he dabbed it against his nose as he brought his focus back to the cell phone.

“Yeah, it’s me. Do you have a second?” he asked.

Of course. What’s up?” she asked, her voice part curious and part reluctant. Her tone made him smile.

“I’ve been thinking about what you said, and was wondering…?” Sam paused, not sure how to ask. He’d been over and over things in his mind, and he’d certainly had plenty of time to think. But he needed her help, or someone’s help. Someone on the inside.

Wondering about what? Are you and your brother okay?” she asked, and Sam was touched. She hardly knew them, yet the question rang as sincere.

It was nearly three in the morning, the witching hour, his brain supplied, and the highway beside the motel was devoid of cars in either direction. He’d known she was working the night shift, and when the best time to call would be. Things were so much easier now that he had a computer once more.

It was a moonless night, with only stars, the pop machine and the stark red neon of the vacancy sign to illuminate the parking lot. Sadly, even those lights were giving him a headache. There were only a few other vehicles in the lot, evidence that they’d stopped during a slow time, and the majority of those were either motor homes or cars towing motorcycles and three wheelers. One old Oldsmobile, tucked close to the motel, was hitched to a U Haul trailer, and idly Sam wondered if its owners were moving, and if so, were they moving to or from?

“We’re good. We’re fine. It’s just… You know that murder in St. Louis?” Sam asked, and pulled the tissue from his nose to see if it was still bleeding. It was.

Yes? What’s going on, Sam? Is there something you want to tell me?” Diane began, and Sam’s eyes widened.

“No, no. Nothing like that. Okay. Just hear me out on this, okay, because I know it’s weird, but I want to talk about it. I’m hoping it might help Dean,” Sam said, and began to explain, in depth, about the shape shifter they encountered, how they’d heard about it, how they’d begun tracking it, and what they’d found down in the sewers.

He was candid about how it had taken Dean’s shape, and what it had done, and got as specific as he could when describing the clumps of… flesh? Or whatever it was that they’d found scattered throughout its… nest?. After he was done, Diane was silent for a moment before speaking.

Just what do you think I can do?” she asked, and he could hear the humor in her voice. At least she was intrigued.

“Yeah, yeah. Laugh all you want, but Dean’s got an arrest warrant for murder, and with what we do, we need to stay off the grid. You know?” he replied, but was smiling himself.

Seriously, I do have some friends in St. Louis, but I’m not sure what you’re looking for,” she offered.

“Here’s what I’m wondering. That shape shifter… It took Dean’s shape, but it still wasn’t Dean. It accessed some of his memories and stuff, but that’s not something he’d get from DNA, that’s… something else,” Sam said, processing as he spoke to try to best articulate his thoughts.

“So, I’m wondering… That DNA evidence they say was from the other murder scene? Is there any way you could get someone to check that against some of those clumps? That was the shape shifter's skin. As in shedding. It was nasty stuff, and I’m sure it all got bagged and tagged,” Sam said, and Diane grunted in agreement as he paused.

“I’m thinking, if the DNA comes up the same on all those clumps, then they’re *his*, not Dean’s. Some of those looked a couple of weeks old, and we were only there a couple of days. Maybe we can prove it wasn’t Dean’s DNA at the scene. Couple that with Rebecca’s testimony about how she *thought* it was Dean, but later learned it wasn’t... What do you think?” he trailed off, knowing it was weak.

It’s pretty thin, Sam,” she said regretfully, but still thoughtful.

“Yeah, well, the murder charge was supposed to be buried with the Shape Shifter. Case closed,” Sam replied.

I can see where that’s a problem,” she agreed, and he could tell she was distracted.

“Do you need to go?” he asked politely, his hopes plummeting. So much for wild ideas of things that might help Dean out. That’s what he got for living off coffee and Red Bull anyway.

No. Sorry, Sam, I was writing down notes on what you said. I don’t know what I can do to help get the case against Dean dropped, but I think my friend’s got enough of a connection to some of the techs down there… Do you know what precinct?” she asked abruptly.

“I don’t. Sorry,” Sam apologized.

“Nah, that’s okay. Because of what happened here, I’ve got enough to give him the ammunition he needs to get the inquiry reopened… Is that okay?”

“Yeah, the warrant’s out there, and now with Sheridan’s inquiries, they know Dean’s still alive… Go for it,” he said, and something about it felt right. Whether it was a psychic thing, or just his anxiety for his brother finally manifesting into tangible efforts, he didn’t know, but it felt good.

Sure thing. You saw I got the charges against the both of you dropped?” she asked.

“I did. Thanks,” he said, and meant it. Unfortunately, Dean was now in the fed database, which was a whole different can of worms, but still…

Yeah, well, nothing like a world view change to shake the cobwebs out of the attic,” she replied dryly. “I gotta head out, but I’ll get started on this. I see you’ve got an unlisted number… How about just trying back in a couple of weeks? With the backlog, it’s going to take a bit to get anything rolling.

“That’d be great,” Sam said, relieved. He didn’t care how long it took. He just wanted Dean cleared, and that DNA thing… It was the only angle he hadn’t thought to explore.

You two be careful out there,” she said, and at Sam’s laugh, hung up. Sam stared at the phone for a second, before the glare of the keypad was too much, and bit at his lip.

“You’re being industrious for three in the morning,” Dean said from the shadows, and startled Sam enough that he nearly dropped the cell phone to reach for his gun.

“Jesus, Dean!” he said, and realized Dean’s eyes were on the tissue he was still holding to his nose.

“Scared you? I see you were keeping the motel staked out,” he said, his voice flinty, and Sam knew he was screwed.

“I didn’t see you come out,” Sam said, and could see by Dean’s expression that he was officially busted. Great.

“That’s what I was hoping for,” Dean replied, approaching Sam with that slow, lazy walk he got when he was in a particularly predatory mood. “Thanks, by the way,” he said, and Sam felt like a butterfly pinned to a board.

“For what?” he asked, even though he didn’t want to. This was Dean’s dance.

“The time to snoop through your stuff. Allergies bothering you this time of year?” Dean asked in a good mimicry of a commercial, and pulled out the mostly empty Benadryl bottle.

“Dean…” Sam began, but Dean put his hand in the air to cut him off and nodded towards the motel room.

“No, Sam, no more bullshit, and no more of your trying to weasel out of talking to me. I’ve been patient, but this,” Dean said, and yanked Sam’s hand with the tissue away from his face to reveal that the nosebleed was finally starting to taper off, “is *not* a good sign.”

Dean grabbed Sam by the back of his jacket and directed him towards the door, and Sam jerked away, angry and embarrassed and frustrated that Dean could force *talks* when he felt like it, but Sam couldn’t do a thing to help his brother without making things worse.

The lights were still off when they entered, the reason why Sam had thought his brother still asleep, and when Dean turned them on as he crossed the salt lines, following behind, Sam had to put his hands to his eyes to block out the light.

“Turn it off. Turn them off,” Sam hissed, the light like knives in his eyes. Dean flipped the switch off.

“I know you’ve been self-medicating to sleep, Sam,” Dean started out, his face hidden in the shadows, his back to the partially illuminated windows as he sat on the bed nearest the door. Sam sighed as he sat on the twin facing his brother, and ran his good hand through his hair. “Two beers, though? Dude, you are such a lightweight,” Dean said with a mock disappointed sigh, and even in the semi darkness, Sam could see him shake his head.

“What else could I do? Not sleep? We saw how well that was working,” Sam said bitterly, feeling like a child and resenting the hell out of it.

“No, I’m not complaining. You’re a cranky bitch when you’re exhausted, so I appreciate the effort,” Dean said, and Sam marveled at how he could want to smack his brother, even when he was trying to ‘help’.

“Wow. Well, Dean, I’m really glad we had this heart to heart, but I think I’ll go to sleep now,” Sam said and leaned forward to jerk his shoes off. It would have been a nice way to leave the conversation, too, if his headache hadn’t chosen that moment to amp up and give him a fit of vertigo almost strong enough to have him falling off the bed.

“Oh, we haven’t even started, little brother,” Dean said softly, and Sam marveled at his brother’s ability to sound equally pissed and worried in the same breath as he caught Sam’s shoulders before he could topple forward, and eased him back on the bed.

It gave Sam an odd moment of nostalgia to sit quietly as Dean unlaced his shoes and pulled them off his feet. He held his breath to keep the emotions at bay as Dean propped up the pillows behind Sam without even asking and let his hands linger just a second on Sam’s shoulder, making sure he was steady, before pulling back to sit across from him.

“Look, what do you want me to say?” Sam asked wearily. He didn’t want this to be about him. How did it always end up about him?

“How about the truth? For once. Unvarnished and unedited. Shock me, Sam, and explain to me how you’ve been trying to hide the nosebleeds, the constant headaches, and pass yourself off as hunkey dorey,” Dean said, and stilled. “Or did you think I’m that stupid? That I really wouldn’t notice?” he asked, and the hair raised on Sam’s forearms. Oh yeah. Dean was pissed.

“I don’t think you’re stupid, Dean… I was just hoping for preoccupied,” Sam replied cautiously.

“Yeah, well, I may be, but I’m not blind. What is going on with you? Are you having visions?”

“I don’t know,” Sam replied and leaned his head back, letting his eyes close wearily.

“What do you mean ‘you don’t know’? That doesn’t make sense, Sam,” Dean pressed.

“I mean, I’ve been…” Trying not to see Jess everywhere. Trying not to fall apart. Trying to pretend I’m normal. Trying not to lose you, too. “Trying to hold them back,” Sam finally said.

“You can do that?” Dean asked, shocked. Sam snorted bitterly.

“Actually, I don’t think so. I think that’s what the visions are – my weird ass abilities forcing themselves whether I want them or not,” Sam said tiredly. Jesus, his headache just kept getting worse and worse.

“Then why bother trying?” Dean asked, puzzled, truly trying to figure out what Sam was telling him.

“Because it was sort of working for a while. But I think I’ve been sort of having them anyway – just not quite remembering them,” Sam said with a sigh.

“Your dreams?” Dean asked softly.

“How did you know?” Sam asked, startled.

“Because you keep waking me up, dork. Even with your booze pill combo pack, you’ve been muttering in your sleep… It almost sounds like Latin, but I can’t make out what you’re saying.”

Sam sighed again, and pressed his good hand against the bridge of his nose, trying to hold off the pain. Even with no lights on in the room, it almost felt too bright. His heart was pounding, and Sam realized he was panting slightly.

“Sam?” Dean’s voice said, and Sam realized he must have called his name a couple of times. Whoops.

“Yeah?” Sam replied, his voice gravelly.

“I don’t think this is the answer,” Dean said, and came to sit beside Sam on his bed. “Look at you. This is really messing with you. I know the visions suck, man, but I think you gotta let them happen.”

Sam laughed bitterly, and brought his other hand with the cast to his face, pressing against his forehead, fingers clutching at his hair. The pain suddenly multiplied, and Sam lurched forward, gasping for air as his world became nothing but the throbbing behind his eyes. He jerked again, and knew he cried out in pain, but could barely hear his own voice as he tried to lighten the tension and say, “Good, ‘cause it looks like I’m getting one.”

He suspected he hadn’t gotten the words out completely, though, but wasn’t sure. His body spasmed, and he knew he was making awful sounds, but damn it hurt, and dear God just let it start already. Then, through the pain, his awareness was sucked away, and the vision began.

*~*~*

She sits at the table, not commenting on how odd her parents are acting. Her little brother is busily throwing his food on the floor and smashing his spoon against the high chair. No one is correcting him, other than to pull the spoon out of his hand, and no one is picking up the food or paying him attention.

Instead, they’re watching her, staring as she eats her dinner. As if they’re waiting for something. “What?” she asks, and wipes at her mouth. “Do I have something on my face?” she prompts, trying to get some reaction out of them.

“You want some more milk?” her step mom asks, and she shakes her head.

“No thanks,” she replies, and feels scared, all of a sudden. She decides she is thirsty after all, and pulls the glass to her to take a sip, and stares in shock as it slips through her fingers and falls to the floor. Her brother jerks, but is oddly silent, and now she is terrified.

She stands so fast she’s toppled the chair, and is trying to back away. She’s feeling dizzy and disoriented, and when she looks at her parents, they aren’t surprised. They’re just *watching*.

“Mom? Dad? What did you do?” she asks.

“What we should have done before,” her father replies solemnly.

She’s panicking now, trying to head for the door without turning her back on them. “No. Please! You can’t…” she says, and feels the world tilt as she falls to her knees, jarred enough that she knows it should have hurt when she hit the linoleum, but it doesn’t.

“Please don’t do this. Dad, I’m not evil,” she begs, tears running down her face, her words starting to slur. Her little brother is staring at her silently, and she hates that her parents are letting him watch this, even if he’s likely to be too young to remember.

“I don’t want to do this! I’m not a bad person!” she tries again.

“This has nothing to do with you being evil,” her dad says, and both of her parent’s eyes are oddly expressionless. He’s saying it like it’s okay she’s evil, not that she’s *not* evil.

“Is this about what’s been happening lately?” she asks desperately. “I’ll make it stop! I promise. I’ll find a way!” she says, and tries to reach out even as she’s falling further to the floor, only barely holding herself up. The room is beginning to dim, and both her mom and dad are still seated at the table.

“Dad?” she whimpers and can no longer even hold her head up. The terror has begun to float distantly away, and she finds herself too numb to care when her dad says, “He’s your father now.” A hand touches her shoulder from behind. There is someone else in the room.


*~*~*

Sam gasped and arched on the bed, horrified, and automatically reached out in a near blind panic, not really clear what he was reaching for. Dean grabbed his hands and held them tight enough to burn, to make his broken hand ache, but it was an anchor. He was afraid he was going to be sick.

“Easy. Deep breathes. Come on Sam. Take it easy,” Dean said, and Sam tried, but suddenly it was back, the pain worse than before, and pulled him under before he could even get a word out.

*~*~*

She’s drifting, senses warped. She’s so hungry now, and his face is drooping, running like fresh paint in the summer sun. The voice she’s listened to for so long is just a buzz, humming in her ear, words no longer distinguishable. She knows she’s been given something, quite a few somethings, really, and she feels herself stretching out beyond, reaching, grasping, reeling…

She’d felt the tug, earlier, and pulled it to her. “Am I evil?” she tries to whisper, but her lips are too parched, and she wouldn’t be able to form the words even if they weren’t. He understands anyway.


“No,” he replies, and she can feel his grief.

“I don’t to be alone. Please don’t leave,” she begs in her mind, and starts at the sound of skittering feet, all around her. “I didn’t ask for the Sight.”

“I can’t stay. Do you know where you are? Can you think of anything that might help me find you?” he asks, and it hurts, but his need to help her is stronger, and he’s trying to see, but it’s through her eyes, and he can’t make any sense of what he’s seeing. He’s starting to lose touch of what is him, and what is her, and knows he has to find a way to break the connection.

“Chicago,” she slurs and pulls him in closer to her. “I think.”

“What’s your name?”

“Pamela Lyon,” she replies automatically, and starts to seize. Something is stuck into her mouth, and he’s seizing right along with her, and he’s starting to shut down, and he can’t seem to get a breath. Everything’s blurry, like an impressionist painting with the brush strokes too far apart to make it congeal into anything tangible.

A dark haired woman, with brown eyes and round cheeks, swims into his vision, the first clear image he’s seen. She takes his face in hers and looks into his eyes.

“Wake up,” she says in a gentle voice, laced in a heavy accent he can't quite place, and he does.

*~*~*

He felt sunlight against his face, the next time he was aware. He swallowed, and let his head fall to the side, slowly opening his eyes to look for Dean. That was the way he'd always done it. Find Dean first, then figure out the rest later.

“Sam? Are you awake?” Dean asked, and knelt beside Sam, letting his hand run through Sam’s hair soothingly. Sam tried to swallow again, and nodded.

“So… You won’t be trying to suppress those anymore, right?” Dean asked after a pause, and even though Sam hurt all over, he couldn’t help but smile as he closed his eyes wearily.

“Right,” Sam agreed, and knew he was already drifting off again.

“Sleep all you need to, little brother,” Dean said, and Sam again felt the warm rough touch of Dean’s hand against his face. It felt comforting, so much like things used to be, and he was deeply grateful when Dean brushed a finger against his wet lashes and didn't say anything.

*~*~*

Sam hated describing these visions to Dean, because they touched on so many of his own fears and made it feel so personal. He understood why he was having them of her, because clearly she was like Sam, but he had no idea who had taken her.

Worst case scenario, as far as he could tell, was that the Demon itself was the stranger in the room. Clearly, her family had turned the girl over to someone or something, and based on how much she was begging not to be evil, it certainly seemed like they wanted her for nefarious purposes. A cult, maybe? That ‘Father’ reference… A possessed priest? Do priests even get possessed? Satanists?

“Dude? Nefarious?” Dean interrupted, looking highly amused. Shit. He’d said that aloud, hadn't he?

“Dean,” Sam warned, but with little energy, as he stared at Dean who was currently choking on his breakfast.

“What do you expect? My God, you’re a nerd,” Dean said, and while Sam appreciated that he was trying to lighten the mood, all Sam could think was Now, have to find her now. She’s dying!

Sam took a big gulp of his coffee and stared at his oatmeal. He’d actually put a decent dent in the bowl, and was feeling somewhat human, between that and the shower.

“I hate Chicago,” Sam said quietly.

As soon as he’d explained the details of both visions, Dean had automatically started packing up for both of them, with a curt ‘Dude, get cleaned up’ when Sam tried to help. As soon as Dean finished up his meal, they were hitting the road. It turned out Sam had slept for nearly eight hours. A record, really, but still, it felt like wasted time. He would have rather slept in the car.

“I know you do. I’m not too fond of the place myself,” Dean replied, his look direct and scrutinizing. “Good job getting a name. That’s going to help a lot,” he said after a moment.

“Yeah, especially since her parents don’t seem like they’ll be filing a missing persons report anytime soon,” Sam agreed, ridiculously warmed by the compliment.

“That’s a first, though. Isn’t it? Interacting with the person?” Dean asked. Sam pursed his lips and nodded.

“It seems like they had her all loaded up on drugs. I think that might have been the reason why. She…” Sam said, and paused to try to find the right words. “It was like she’s shifted. Like she was seeing things, but out of whack. I think she sensed me, and that’s why I had the second vision. Somehow she knew I was there.”

“Okay. That is officially creepy,” Dean said, yet still smiled automatically up at the waitress as she delivered the check. He handed her the credit card with a wink to take with her, before she could walk away.

Sam yawned wide and nodded. How could he still be so tired? “Yeah,” he agreed. “You’re telling me.”

“You ready to hit the road?” Dean asked as the waitress came back.

He signed the receipt without really glancing at it, not even pausing to calculate what tip to add. Dean had always been good at numbers of all sorts, something Sam envied. It amazed him, how Dean always called him a geek. Dean was incredibly smart, and sometimes Sam just wanted to shake his brother when he pretended not to be. Which was, oh, usually most of the time.

“Definitely,” Sam said and stretched his arms over his head, feeling his back and shoulders pop.

“Jesus you’re tall,” Dean said seriously as he watched Sam’s hands nearly brush the ceiling. “How’s the weather up there?”

“Oh my God. Tell me you did not just say that,” Sam replied, following his brother outside. Dean turned that polished smile of his on Sam, all bright and playful. Dean was so good at acting like everything was normal. Sam marveled at it. Really, it was a gift. A gift he truly appreciated about forty percent of the time, and wanted to return the other sixty.

“Try to get some sleep,” Dean said as they both got in the Impala.

Sam didn’t say anything. He’d been so tired he’d nearly tripped twice just heading back to the car. Yeah, he could definitely use the rest. He just hoped he didn't dream. Especially since Dean had stolen his Benadryl.
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