sketchydean

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The Wanting Comes In Waves

All Sam/Dean, All The Time


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Shadow
smalltrolven

Fic: Shadow In The City (Sam/Dean, NC-17) 3 of 4

Part 2
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~~*~~
“Damn I wish I could take a picture of this,” Dean says.

“Go ahead, I won’t tell anyone,” Sam teases.

Dean lets go of Sam’s hips and saunters back to his jeans on the floor and digs out his cell phone. When he turns around and looks he gasps, because this Sam is not one he’s seen before. He looks like a barely contained animal caught in the lights of the city spread out below them. Sam writhes on the window seat cushion. “C’mon Dean, get back over here,” he demands, hand stroking his hard cock.

Dean takes several pictures and tosses the phone somewhere, he doesn’t care where, and stalks back towards Sam. “You are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,”

“Enough talking, fuck me already,” Sam says laughing and arching his back to present himself to Dean.

Dean arranges himself between Sam’s legs and pushes forward into him. “Think anyone can see you Sammy?”

“Don’t care,” Sam says between punched out breaths as Dean speeds up.

“I hope someone does, so they can see you taking me like this, Sammy, so good for me,” Dean purrs.

“Dean, more, please,” Sam whispers.

“Wish you could be loud in here, think of how it would echo with these high ceilings, all your filthy words bouncing around, coming at us from everywhere,” Dean says speeding up his thrusts. “Here, c’mon, stand up. Want you to look out the window, while I make you come.”  He pulls out of Sam with a slick pop and steps back to help Sam up, he bends him over at the waist and pushes back in.

“Oh god that’s good, keep going, right there, Dean,” Sam says in a louder and louder voice.

“Sshhh, Sammy, hush,” Dean says, stroking his lower back in a gentling brush and holding one hand over Sam’s mouth briefly.

That just makes Sam arch his hips up a little more and then Dean is hitting his prostate with each thrust and Sam loses it, writhing on the end of Dean’s cock, thrusting into his closed fist and coming all over the towel they’d put down. Luckily he manages to bite into the window seat cushion, muffling most of his cries of pleasure.  Dean isn’t too long in joining him in window seat bliss, pistoning his hips a few more times as Sam tightens during orgasm. “Still so tight for me after all this time Sammy, god, love you, love fucking you.” He’s still deep inside Sam when they both hear a quiet knock at the door.

“Sam, Dean, you guys awake? Macky and I heard the noise again,” Sarie says through the door. They separate quickly and a bit painfully. Sam pulls on his boxers, leaps into bed and pulls the covers over himself as Dean yanks up his jeans.

“Just a second Sarie, we’ll be right there,” Dean says. He grins over at Sam as he pulls on an inside-out t-shirt and opens the door. Sarie comes in, holding a weepy, scared looking Macky.  “Can you show me where?  Sam will hold Macky while we go look. Can you be a brave big girl and go in there with me?” Sarie nods and hands her sister over to Dean, he walks her over to settle her in next to Sam on the bed.

Babesne appears in the doorway, a tall shadow lurking behind her. “Dean everything okay?”

“No, uh the girls heard the scratching,” Dean answers before turning around, seeing the indistinct shadow lurking behind her shoulder he yells, “Babesne, get down!”  Babesne drops to the floor like her puppet strings have been cut. Dean throws the fireplace poker across the room at the shadow. A man’s hand catches it at chest level and steps into the light.

“Why do you throw things at me?” The tall man asks in a heavily accented voice. Dean thinks it’s maybe Spanish.

Babesne gets up slowly with some help from the man.  “Dean, this is my husband, Sergio. No need to throw things at him.”

“Sorry, couldn’t see you in the hallway. Thought you were something else,” Dean answers, coming forward to shake hands.

“Someone else, or something else?” Sergio asks, one dark eyebrow raising as he shakes Dean’s hand. He stalks past Dean into the room and sets the fireplace poker back in the stand.

“Someone,” Dean answers, patting his gun. He passes Babesne, holding onto Sarie’s hand and heading down the hallway with her by his side.

“Sam, do you want me to take Mackenzie?” Babesne asks, giving him the most hairy of hairy eyeballs for his obvious sex-hair and the awkward way he’s making sure to stay under the covers as much as possible.

“No, uh, she’s good here, I’ve got her,” Sam answers, cuddling up the very sleepy Macky next to him the bed. He’s trying not to be embarrassed about how the room must smell, or how both of them must look. He concentrates on the little girl next to him on the pillow instead of meeting Babesne’s eyes. “Nice to meet you, Sergio,” Sam calls out as they leave without closing the door.

“Guess it’s you and me Macky,” Sam whispers, gently brushing the red curls out of Macky’s face, staring with wonder at how translucent her skin seems on her now closed eyelids. He’s glad that she’s sleeping again, dealing with a crying, upset baby on top of everything would be too much to handle. Especially without any pants on.

Down the hall, Dean and Sarie approach the girl’s bedroom. “Okay, kiddo, here’s what we’re gonna do. We’ll go in, and you stay behind me no matter what. If I tell you to do something, you do it, no questions. Got it?”

“Okay. The sound came from by the big windows. By the one that opens, it was on that side,” Sarie says, pointing to the right side of the bay of windows.

Dean nods and straightens up, shuffling Sarie behind him, they start into the room, and Dean hears a strange scratching near the window, just like the girls had said. It sounds like ten raccoons trying to claw their way in through the window frame. Something like claws screech on the window pane, making him shiver. They move a few more paces closer, then the sound stops. Dean turns back to Sarie, putting his finger to his lips in the universal shhh symbol.   Sarie acknowledges it with the universal zipped lips symbol. Dean raises his gun and quickly opens the window with his left hand.

The curtains billow out in the sudden wind, the room’s air currents disturbed by the sudden gush of hot summer night air. Dean leans out into the window to peer out onto the ledges on either side. Something slashes at him as he’s pulling his head back in, snagging his ear and tearing into the side of his head. “Ahh!” Dean yells, taking a step back to get away from his attacker, bumping into Sarie.  She falls down on her bottom with a soft thud, but makes no other sound, crab-walking backwards to get out of Dean’s way.  By now, Dean has fired a shot out the window in the direction of where the attack came from. He hears an impact sound, and then some departing scratching, scuttling noises. He strains to see in the dim night, and all he can catch a glimpse of is a man-sized shape moving away from the window and disappearing from view around the corner. He yanks the window closed and latches it.

“Go check on Sam and Macky,” Dean says, ushering her out the door and towards the guest room. Once he hears her greet Sam, he runs straight down the hallway, heading into the living room. He finds a balcony door that’s open and glides through it, out of the corner of his eye he sees the creature or whatever it is, heading straight down the building at a blinding speed, disappearing down in the dark after a few stories. Dean comes in off the balcony and locks the door behind him, running back to the guest room where the girls hopefully are still safe with Sam.

“Sam, you okay?” Dean hollers as he runs towards their room. He hears a muffled giggle from Sam and smiles at the sound.

“Fine Dean, just got attacked by a tickle monster, that’s all,” Sam answers, covered in Sarie, desperately trying to keep the covers over his still mostly naked body. He looks up and sees Dean’s head, blood still dripping down his neck.  Dean meets his eyes and nods a head in Sarie’s direction indicating he’s going to go clean up before she sees the goriness. This was already scary enough for her tonight. Down the hall two doors is a large bathroom where Dean cleans up as best as he can, holding a soaked towel to his head. Luckily the towel is a deep maroon, plush and soft, so it’s soaking up the blood flow and disguising it.

“I’m gonna go check on Babesne and Ann,” Dean says as he sticks his head in the door.  Sam nods in acknowledgment and cuddles both now sleeping girls closer.

Dean stops for a moment to take it in, the sight of his bare-chested brother holding Sarie on one side in the crook of his arm, her head pillowed on his bicep, other arm curved around Macky where she sleeps on the pillow. Sam’s got a peaceful smile, even though his eyes hold a look of worry.  “I’m okay, don’t worry,” Dean says in answer to the silent question.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” Sam asks in a whisper.

Dean shakes his head, because he can’t say it, not out loud at least. I wish you could have this for real Sammy, I wish I could have it with you somehow. He tries again to send the gist of his thought through his expression, and by the way Sam’s face changes, Dean guesses most of the message got through okay.

Dean checks on the still-sleeping Ann and heads to the kitchen guessing Babesne must still be awake.  He hears clattering, and water filling something that was empty. She’s making tea again. “Hey, uh, everyone is okay. You and Sergio alright? Hope I didn’t hurt him with the poker,” Dean says.

Babesne turns to look at him, her eyes red-rimmed with anguished tears, they open in fear when she sees the blood on Dean’s head.  “Ay yi, your head Dean, come here,” Babesne says, gesturing for him to step to the sink.  She takes the towel out of his hand and turns his head to the light.  “Something got you bad, we need to clean it.”  She bustles around for a while, grabbing some alcohol out of the liquor cabinet, and pushing at his back to get him to bend over the sink while she pours it over the open slash marks.  Dean hisses and grips the edge of the sink until his knuckles go white.  Dabbing at the cuts with the towel, she puts his hand back onto it. “Hold this tight, I’m going to mix you up something that will help. Stay here, don’t track blood around my clean house,” Babesne says, disappearing out through another door that leads to her living quarters.

Dean catches a glimpse of a riot of colors and patterns on the walls and furniture and a man sitting in a dark recliner side-lit by the blue glow of a TV.  He hears a snatch of conversation between them, mostly drowned out by a TV program with lots of gunshots, seems like Sergio missed all the real-life excitement after the whole fireplace poker catching.  She soon returns with a small blue ceramic bowl and another towel. “Come sit so I can reach you better,” she says, tapping the back of one of the kitchen table chairs with the bowl.  Dean pushes off from his lean against the counter and lowers himself with a groan into the chair, any movement making the wounds throb with the feeling of all his blood wanting to escape nownownow.

“This happen to you a lot?” Babesne asks, obviously trying to distract him from the pain of her applying a pungent smelling paste to the wounds.

“Yeah, I guess,” Dean answers through gritted teeth, determined that he’s not going to make a noise, or show how much this hurts.

“These are deep, you probably really should have stitches, but I know you won’t go to the hospital right now, and tomorrow will be much too late to help. The salve I put on you will work, by morning you should be okay.”

“Thanks, uh…for the help,” Dean says, trying to relax a little now that she seems to be mostly done. Then she lifts up the back of his shirt without warning, drawing some design with a wet finger on his skin, mumbling what sounds like Latin.  “What was that?” he asks.

“Think of it like the activator for the salve, it starts it working like it’s supposed to,” she answers, setting the bowl on the table between them.  Dean peers into it, nose wrinkling up in disgust as he smells it too closely.  He’s not going to try and guess what all is in this stuff, but at least it seems to have stopped the bleeding. Head wounds always bleed the most, it’s going to be a bitch to get all the blood out of his hair tomorrow.  Babesne turns to the counter to fiddle with her tea.

“I’m gonna go get the girls back into their beds. Night,” Dean says, leaving quickly, because he doesn’t want her saying any more Latin over him, or touching his skin. He shivers a little remembering the cool wetness of her finger drawing the shape on him, can feel the containing circle still tingling under his shirt.  He gets to the door of their room and sees that they’re all deeply asleep, and doesn’t have the heart to move them. But he notices that there is not much room left on the bed for him.  He tucks both of the girls under the covers and changes quickly into sleep pants and a new non-bloody t-shirt and gets in on his side of the bed.

Dean has to scoot Macky over a little to get enough of his pillow uncovered to lay his head down on a folded-up towel just in case the bleeding starts again. He covers Sam’s hand that’s on Macky’s back with his own. Sam stirs and turns towards him slightly but doesn’t wake up. In the light from the hallway Dean can see his brother’s profile, his face so relaxed and young in sleep like always. But there’s a curve to his smile that hasn’t been there for a long time, and it’s from spending time here with these kids. He falls asleep thinking about ways to get Sam more kid-time in the future since it seems to be so good for him.

~~*~~

“Where’s Ann this morning?” Dean asks as sits down at the kitchen counter in the same bar stool as yesterday.

“She was feeling much better, so she’s gone to Connecticut for the day, one of her charity fund-raising events. A high tea I believe. She won’t be back until late afternoon.”

“Do you mind if Sam and I look around, do our Helper thing?”

“Yes, that’s why you’re here, get to it. Sarie will be back from pre-school at noon, so you have a few hours without interruption.”

“Where’s Macky?”

“Down for her morning nap, she’ll be up in about an hour,” Babesne says, setting a china plate with some layered egg concoction on it.

“Guess we kinda missed out on everything this morning, can’t believe we slept through the kids waking up.”

“You had an exciting night. We’re early risers, that’s a household with children for you,” Babesne says, laying a fork down next to the plate.

“Man, I remember those days. Sam used to be up with the sun when he was little. And if he was even there, my dad wouldn’t get up, he drank a lot back then. So I got to try and keep a toddler quiet at 5:30 AM to not wake him up,” Dean says, starting to eat the eggs and falling into his memories.

“How old were you?” Babesne asks, pouring a cup of coffee into one of the green mugs and setting it in front of him.

Dean wraps his hand around the mug with a grateful sigh. “Uh, guess I was almost five.”

Babesne shakes her head and clicks her tongue disapprovingly. “It is hard to imagine Sarie taking care of Macky as you did for Sam. I can see why Sam would say what he did to Ann the day you met them in the park. He said that you were the best thing in his life, and I believe it. He has been very lucky to have you as his older brother.”

“I uh, well he wouldn’t agree with you a lot of the time. And he’s the reason I’m still even here talking to you, if he hadn’t saved me, over and over again, gave me a reason to keep going the rest of the time, I pretty much just wouldn’t be alive. You know how people say they have their own internal North Star, he’s mine.”

“I will say the same thing to you that Ann asked Sam yesterday. Does your brother know that, what you just told me? Does he really know that’s how you feel about him, how you describe to someone else what he means to you?”

“I’m gonna go ahead and guess no,” Dean says, sipping at his coffee to briefly hide his face, knowing it is probably guilty.

“You know what you need to do, correct?”

“Yes ma’am, I do,” Dean says with a nod.

“Let me know if you two find anything, or if I can help you’re investigating. I’m here to keep the girls safe, and I need to be involved,” Babesne says, turning back to the sink and the rest of the dishes.

Knowing he has been dismissed, Dean makes a quick exit out of the kitchen with a full coffee cup and a plateful of eggs for Sam and him to share. He heads back in to the guest room they were assigned and finds him still under the covers, but at least his eyes are open, staring out at the blue summer morning Manhattan skyline.

“You ready to get going on this?” Dean asks.

“Yeah. I just crashed so hard last night. Something about the post-adrenaline of the whole CPR and hospital, all that caught up with me. Why’d you let me sleep in so late?”

“I’ve only been up myself for like twenty minutes. How’s the shoulder doing?” Dean asks.

“Still sore, not worse though. You know how old injuries are when they get aggravated,” Sam answers, twisting and stretching the injured arm gently.

“But not worse, though. That’s a good sign right?” Dean asks.

“I guess. Uh, that coffee for me?” Sam asks, reaching for it with a hopeful expression he knows will work even if it’s really Dean’s coffee.

Dean hands over the mug with an exaggerated eye roll. “Look, mugs, not china cups and saucers, but the plate is china.”

“They’re like real people or something,” Sam teases.

“So, uh, everyone is gone, except for Babesne who told me to make you eat breakfast and Macky, who is taking her nap for maybe another hour. So if we want the place quiet while we’re searching, we oughta get a move on.”

“Wow, we actually slept in, on a job. When has that ever happened?” Sam asks, sitting up and starting in on consuming the eggs.

“I’m blaming it on the bed. That’s gotta be the nicest thing I’ve ever slept on.”

“No kidding. If we ever have a place again, where we stay and live for a while, we need one of these beds,” Sam says, pulling back the covers and standing up to find where his jeans landed last night.

“I think the word you were searching for there was ‘home’, Sam.”

Sam stops in the middle of pulling his jeans up. “I know. But it means two different things to you and me, and I was trying to be more accurate.”

Dean doesn’t answer that, because what he wants to say would take way too long, and not come out right anyway. But it reminds him of what Babesne was just bugging him about, what he needs to make sure Sam knows. That will probably be a long conversation, knowing Sam, so he decides to put it off.

As they search through the public areas of the penthouse, carefully examining objects and opening doors, running the EMF over everything, Dean’s still thinking of how to bring it all up to Sam.

“Hey you okay, Dean?”

“Yeah, just hoping the batteries last on this thing. This place is bigger than I thought,” Dean answers.

“Just, you have that look you make when something’s really bothering you,” Sam says.

Dean sets down the EMF meter and leans against the office desk. “Well, it’s something Babesne said this morning, and I’m trying to work it out.”

“About the Black Pullet or the girls?” Sam asks, coming over to sit in the desk chair, looking up at his brother.

“No, not about them. About you. We kinda talked about it, that first day in the park,” Dean says, knowing that he’s stalling and being dumb about this. Sam won’t tease him, so why’s this shit so hard to talk about? He grabs the back of his neck with one hand and rubs the skin until he maybe feels a little better.

Sam sees his brother’s self-comforting tell and sits up straighter in the chair. He leans forward and puts his hands on Dean’s knees, rolling closer with the chair. “Just spit it out, Dean.”

“We were talking about you and I said how I’m the lucky one to have you, not the other way around. That you’re the reason I’m still here since you keep savin’ my ass over and over. I got real mushy, even called you my North Star, said you were the reason I keep going. She asked me if you knew all that, and I thought you might not.
So now you know,” Dean finishes, spreading his hands out like he’s giving Sam a present.

Sam looks up at him and smiles. “I didn’t know. Like you said the other day, I hoped it was how you felt. It…uh, it feels really good to hear it from you. Thanks.”

“You’re welcome. Can we get back to work now?” Dean asks, hoping Sam will just let it be for a while.

“Yeah, yeah. Chick-flick over with for today,” Sam agrees with a quick nod, letting go of Dean’s legs and standing up, yet still in Dean’s space. He leans in to steal a quick kiss that reminds Dean of last night, when Sam was in the window before they’d gotten down to business. It’s cute that he thinks he’s actually stealing kisses that Dean would gladly give him.

After a thorough examination of the many rooms of the penthouse, they’ve only found one thing of interest. A locked safe in what looks to be the office or study. It was the only thing giving off any EMF, but the reading was quite high.

Sam brings his breakfast plate and empty mug to the sink where Babesne is washing some artichokes.

“Hey, uh, thanks for saving me breakfast. That was one of the best frittatas I’ve ever had. So, we checked the whole place out, and have a question about the safe in the office. Would it be possible to get that opened?”

“Yes, of course. But I do not have the combination. It will have to wait until Ann returns this afternoon,” Babesne answers, drying her hands on her apron.

“One last question, there was one door, looked like an exterior one, maybe a stairwell, but it was locked, we need to get that opened,” Sam says.

“That’s the penthouse roof access door. We keep it locked because of the girls, it’s quite safe up there, but the Merrell’s think it’s better to not tempt fate. Although I tell them of course that is not how it works, but do they listen?” She asks, untying her apron and hanging it on a hook in what Sam now knows is the broom closet.

“Do you have a key for that so we can go up and check it out?” Sam asks.

Babesne is about to answer when the kitchen wall phone rings loudly between them. She steps over to answer it and her face goes white as she leans heavily against the counter’s edge. “Thank you officer. Yes, we will be there soon. Which hospital again? Thank you sir,” Babesne hangs up and sits heavily into one of the kitchen chairs, head in her hands.

Sam is at her side with a comforting hand on her shoulder in a heartbeat. “What happened?”

“The van, it was a drunk driver. My husband. Ann. Both were just flown to a hospital.”

Sam’s heart sinks as he realizes, the sigil on the van, the one that Macky noticed. We didn’t check it yesterday because of Ann and everything, but it’s got to be connected. “Are they going to be alright?” Sam asks, because Babesne doesn’t need to think about that at the moment.

“The policeman said he didn’t have details beyond it being serious in one case and not as bad in the other, but he was not sure which of them, I have to go, Sam. I have to go right now. He needs me.”

“What can we do? Do you want one of us to drive you, and one of us to stay here with Macky?” Sam asks, squeezing Babesne’s arm to get her attention and hopefully comfort her somehow. Even though Sam’s had enough of those kind of phone calls for more than one person to bear, he knows another person’s presence and sympathy do actually help.

“I’m not sure. I just need to get there,” Babesne says, sounding breathless and totally lost.

Sam realizes she’s in no state to make decisions and finds Dean in the girl’s playroom. “Dean, there’s been an accident. Sergio and Ann are in the hospital, I’m going to take Babesne there. You okay with Macky alone, or do you think we all should go together?”

Dean looks up from examining a stack of Sarie’s drawings. “Uh, let the kid sleep, it’s gonna be crazy enough. Someone needs to be here when Sarie gets home from school anyway, otherwise we’d have to pull her out, and that would just delay getting to the hospital, so you guys go. I’ll be fine here.”

“Day two of me hanging out in hospitals and you babysitting. Starting to seem like a pattern yet?” Sam says, starting to head back to find Babesne.  Dean is all of a sudden holding him from behind and whispering in his ear.

“It’ll be okay. Just get back here safe,” Dean says, letting Sam go.

Sam turns and brushes their lips together like he’s answering Dean’s unsaid questions and also making a promise to return safely.  Dean doesn’t hear from him until after Macky’s woken up from her early afternoon nap, and he’s trying to coax her into eating some fruit and yogurt for a snack. His phone buzzes on the table with a message from Sam.

meme ann being released

Sam doesn’t get an answer back to that for a little bit, then his phone starts downloading a picture of a yogurt covered Macky and Dean grinning. He shows it to Ann who laughs, stopping when the pain is too much from her broken ribs. Babesne decides to come back with them as Sergio is going to be under sedation until at least noon the next day.  The evening passes uneventfully, with the girls subdued and serious because of all the worry surrounding their mother. They go to bed without protest, especially when Sam and Dean promise to check in on them and leave the door open.

Sitting in the library or family room, the one that’s not formal, comfortable on the couch with some mugs of tea that Dean’s insisted on adding whiskey to, Babesne stares out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the twinkling night skyline. She finally sighs and turns to face both of them and nods as if she knows words need to be exchanged.

Sam interrupts the silence with some questions he’s been holding onto since they returned from the hospital. “I don’t understand why the attacks are on Ann? Is it because she’s vulnerable because she has no Protector now, or is it just to get to the girls through her somehow?” Sam asks.

“I cannot say,” Babesne says with obvious reluctance.

“Can’t or won’t?” Dean asks, a hard edge in voice.

“Can’t. Because I do not know. Good night, Dean,” she says with finality, standing up from her perch on the upholstered chair, she turns to Sam and with a smile she clasps his hand briefly. “Thank you Sam for your help today.”

~~

Left alone in the now quiet apartment, they check all the doors and windows once again and head for the bathroom that’s closest to their guest room.

“So I guess the bad guy isn’t Sergio after all, huh?” Sam says through his mouthful of toothpaste.

“Were we suspecting him?” Dean asks.

Sam bumps him out of the way and spits and rinses. “Well, I was a little, just because of the sigil that the girls said was on the van. But we hadn’t checked it out yet, and now the thing is totaled.”

“Tell me you’re not feeling guilty about this,” Dean says with exasperation, gesturing with his toothbrush.

“A little, maybe. I just feel like we’re supposedly “Helper’s” and we’re not doing a whole lot of helping,” Sam answers with a shrug, wiping the toothpaste off the mirror that Dean just flung around.

Dean glares at him and finishes brushing, once his mouth is unoccupied he answers, “Ann wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for you giving her CPR, the girls would have been all alone in the park with their mom dead on the ground if we weren’t there for them, we are helping. Just not as completely as we’d like to, okay?”

“Fine, whatever. Where’d you put my bag?”

“Oh you’re welcome your highness for bringing it in for you. It’s over there,” Dean answers, pointing at a side chair next to a mahogany dresser. “You’re getting’ used to the high life already aren’t you?”

“Yeah, kinda. I mean I did just drive to Connecticut and back in a Bentley,” Sam says, knowing exactly how jealous Dean is going to be.

“Dude! You didn’t even tell me. That’s just cold,” Dean complains.

“Pipe down, I took some pictures when I was waiting at the hospital. It’s quite a car, there was some really beautiful wood trim inside, the leather seats were so soft and adjustable a million ways, and it drives so smooth,” Sam says, trying so hard not to grin at the jealousy passing over Dean’s face.

“That is so not fair. I was hanging out with the girls wiping yogurt out of my head wound. Then when we had our little expedition to go get my baby from where we parked her it took like an hour to even get out of the house.”

“Did you guys walk all the way down there?” Sam asks.

“Yeah, I didn’t want to deal with drivers or taxis with the car seat issue, so I loaded up that stroller contraption with both of ‘em and we hiked it. Sarie talked my ear off the whole way, especially when I was trying to park Baby downstairs in the garage. It’s tight down there.”

“Now that’s what we need pictures of. Dean Winchester pushing a double stroller on the streets of Manhattan,” Sam says, unable to repress the giggle that’s pushing its way out of him.

Dean frowns at him for a long moment and then lets loose with his own laugh.  “It was pretty ridiculous. But fun in its own way. Brought back memories, ya know?”

Sam’s heart sinks at the way Dean’s voice changes when he says the word memories. Because he could be thinking of strollers in relation to a baby he never got to have or their parents or even himself. “Please tell me you didn’t push me in a stroller.”

“What? No way. We didn’t have room in the Impala for one. We did have a backpack for you though. You got too big for it before I was big enough to haul your ass around though. That was all up to dad.”

“Well what were you thinking of about stroller memories then? It’s okay if you don’t want to say,” Sam hedges, knowing it’s probably mom related.

Dean wiggles down further under the covers and wraps his legs around Sam’s like he needs the connection before he answers. “I remember wishing we had one for you, like all the other families seemed to. I was obsessed with them for a while, and I remember having a big fight with Dad about how you needed one. But he was right, our life just wasn’t stroller compatible.”

“Oh Dean,” Sam says, overwhelmed with such a deep feeling of sadness for that little boy fighting for what his baby brother needed.

Dean disengages their legs and rolls over to face the door. “That right there is why I never tell you this stuff. I can’t take the pity dude, cut it out. What’s done is done,” He says in a closed-off voice.

Sam lays there on his back, feeling like he’s made a bad situation even worse, just like always. He rolls over on his side to face Dean. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. Not pity Dean, compassion. I’m just sad for little you, having to worry about all that taking care of babies stuff when you were just a little guy yourself. I know what’s done is done. But that little guy is part of you and I care about how he was treated. Does that make sense?”

Dean doesn’t answer for a while, and for a minute Sam thinks he’s fallen asleep, but then a big sigh bursts out of him, sounding rough and broken. Sam takes a chance that it’s safe to pull him into his arms and hold him without any other words being said.

They’re awoken several hours later by a yelling Sarie and Macky, the sound getting closer rapidly as Sarie bursts in. “The noise is happening again. And it sounds louder and the window started moving up this time,” she says in a rapid fire terrified voice, her eyes huge, Macky’s face buried in her sister’s neck like she’s trying to hide from everything.

Dean’s already out the door, jeans pulled on in a flash, raising his gun before Sam’s around the bed, so he stays with the girls again. Getting them up on the bed and tucked under the covers to stay warm and feel safer.

“Is Dean gonna be okay this time, Sam?” Sarie asks with a trembling lip.

Sam lies as convincingly as he can ever manage with kids. “Yeah, he’ll be fine. We all will be, just try and be calm, it’ll help your sister.”

“Macky says this time is different,” Sarie says with a sad voice.

“Did she say different how?” Sam asks as Babesne comes in the room.

“That it’s bigger and stronger, that it might get in,” Sarie says, obviously on the edge of crying.  Babesne comes over and sits on Dean’s side of the bed.

“You go, Sam. I need to do my job, and he needs you more,” she says, indicating the doorway with a nod of her head.

Sam gets up and loads his gun. “I will be right back. You sit tight here.”

Sarie just looks up at him with big sad eyes and nods. Macky waves a chubby fist, but Sam can’t tell what that means, and Sarie isn’t translating this time.

Sam runs down the hallway to the girl’s bedroom, speeding up faster when he hears Dean’s angry cursing. He skids into the room and sees his brother being pulled out the window which has been completely shattered, large pieces of glass litter the hardwood floor. “Dean!” he yells, crossing the room in a heartbeat and firing at the shape that is on the ledge outside the window. After taking several rounds in the chest, the creature’s claws (hands?) suddenly let go of Dean and it is out of sight in an impossibly quick amount of time. Sam drops his gun to grab onto the back of Dean’s legs barely preventing him from taking a header out the window. Sam braces himself against the wall and hauls Dean back in, both of them falling back onto the floor in the midst of all the glass.

Neither of them speak for a moment, and then they turn their heads to look at each other. Sam is first to speak, only because Dean is still marshalling his energy to deal with the pain from the attack. Seeing the pain flickering across Dean’s face before he hides it, Sam asks, “Where are you hurt?”  He doesn’t ask are you okay, because Dean would just say ‘yeah’, he asks for specifics in the hopes that maybe Dean will give him a straight answer instead of running around bleeding all over the place.

“Back of my legs, and I think some of the glass cut my back,” Dean answers in a shortened breath ending in a wheeze.

“Stay still, let me get up, and then I’ll help you,” Sam orders.  He sits up slowly to avoid jostling the broken glass they’re lying on top of. Sam stands up in stages, carefully placing his hands remembering the cut on the palm of his hand that never healed. Finally he’s vertical and is able to shake the glass off his back. He leans down and grabs Dean’s outstretched hands. “On three I’ll pull you up, one, two, three,” Sam says, smoothly pulling Dean up to standing. Dean groans and swears and the glass shards fall off in a dramatic crash. Sam retrieves his gun off the floor.  “So, uh what happened?”

“You just saved me from being a red stain on the sidewalk twenty stories down, that’s what,” Dean answers.

“Before that,” Sam says with a smile, getting an arm around Dean’s waist to support him as they start walking out of the room. He shuts the door behind them to block out the noise of the hot night wind coming in the broken window.

“I heard the noise again, but like the kiddos said, it was a whole lot louder this time, the thing got its claws under the window and yanked it up. That’s when it broke, the thing’s arms went through the window when the window moved so suddenly. Pretty sure it didn’t mean to do that. And then I guess it was mad because I was there, so it grabbed me and started trying to yank me over the edge.”

“We’ve got to go see how the girls are, can you make it that far?” Sam asks, slowly walking them down the long hallway.

“Where are they?”

“Our room, with Babesne I hope,” Sam answers.

“I don’t want them to see the blood,” Dean says.

Sam looks behind them at Dean’s back and lower down, the jeans are shredded open from the thighs down, as well as his skin, and big claw marks are on either side of his hips. “Damn. I liked those jeans,” Sam says, trying to distract Dean from the pain.

Babesne calls out, “We are fine in here, just take care of him. Supplies are in my bathroom.” She’s obviously overhead them and is trying to protect the girls from seeing Dean’s injuries as well.

Sam supports his brother through the kitchen and into Babesne’s living space, finding a tidy blue and white tiled bathroom that’s well-stocked with what he needs to take care of Dean. “There, that little blue bowl, that’s the stuff she put on my head last time the thing got me. But she said some words that activated it or whatever,” Dean says.

“Well, I’ll leave that for after I’ve disinfected everything,” Sam says, while he wonders what the hell is in the magic formula, it might be a good thing to add to their first-aid kit. He helps Dean into the tub and leans him against the wall, still barely standing, and sits himself on the edge. Sam reaches up to undo Dean’s jeans, and he doesn’t react at all, no jokes, not even a twitch, that’s when Sam knows it’s worse than he thought. He pulls the remains of the jeans off and helps Dean step out of them, throwing them into the trash can. They’re not anywhere near mendable.

“Okay Dean, I have to wash the blood off, ready?” Sam asks, hand on Dean’s flank to steady him. Dean grunts almost inaudibly and Sam runs the water over Dean’s legs with the hand-held shower spray.  Over the sound of the water, Sam can hear his sharp intake of breath and a few whimpers. The blood swirls as it mixes with the water, always such a beautiful color which maybe makes him weird, given his addiction issues, but he rationalizes to himself that it’s because it’s part of Dean, and that’s why it’s beautiful.   Sam sees that the scratches are in two main areas, several inches long in twin parallels and jagged, so they can’t be stitched.  “Don’t think it’s deep enough for stitches, but it’s got to get disinfected, here it comes, hold onto me if you need to,” Sam says, ready for him to grab hold, but Dean doesn’t, he just clenches his fists tighter against the shower tile wall, shivering slightly with the effort to hold himself up. “Okay, all done. Can you sit here while I go ask Babesne about the magic words?” Sam asks, folding a towel and setting it on the edge of the tub. Dean sits slowly with some assistance, he grasps Sam’s hand briefly before letting him go.

After the words are said and the salve is working, Dean’s injuries are covered in bandages and Sam helps him into some sweats. They make their way back through the still-dark hallway and back into their guest room. Babesne is curled up on top of the covers with the girls tucked in, snuggled up together. They’re thankfully solidly asleep again. Babesne carefully gets up and meets them at the door. “It might be safer if they slept in here again tonight,” she says. “Thank you again, you are more than Helpers, just as Mackenzie said you were.”

“Just doing our job,” Sam says, helping Dean into his side of the bed.

She speaks some words and draws a sigil on their door in some oil she must have had in her pocket. Then she quietly closes the door with a wink.

Part 4

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