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The Wanting Comes In Waves

All Sam/Dean, All The Time

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The Gospel of Dean , part 1 of 2

Fic title: The Gospel of Dean
Author name:  smalltrolven

Genre: Wincest, death!fic (sort of but not really), curtain!fic, firsttime!fic
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Rating: NC17
Word count:  14,300
Characters: Sam, Dean, spiritDean, Bobby, Crowley
Warnings: Sexual content, character death (sort of), set post S6 in a slightly AU
Summary:   Dean dies, Sam drives and gets a surprise ghostly passenger who loves to talk and ask questions.  The King of Hell pays back a debt and Heaven’s reward is finally granted.
Disclaimer:  I only own these words, that’s it, nothing else.
Authors Note: Other titles were Gone, But Still Talking or Gone, But Not Forever
Read it here on AO3
And I’m Gone, Gone, Gone……..
 Gone Riding
 ~ Chris Isaak
It’s a surprise that Dean dies in such a mundane way, getting hit when he’s crossing the street back from the diner they always go to in Sioux Falls.  Holding two coffees and a bag of muffins and humming loudly to himself.  Sam always figured it would be something exciting and dramatic, more fitting to their lives, that Dean would go out with more of a flashy exit, like maybe Y.E.D. would have dramatically reappeared and killed him.  Not that he’d thought about it a whole lot, but he just never figured his brother would be mowed down, in a crosswalk no less, by a drunk driver at 11AM on an unseasonably warm Tuesday in March.

Sam’s there waiting in the Impala’s passenger seat (of course) and sees the whole thing happen, and is undone.  He sees Dean smiling at him from the middle of the street.  Suddenly he sees Dean fly up into the air and hit back down, neck at an all-wrong angle, arms and legs at impossible degrees.  He’s at Dean’s side in an instant, but it’s too late, he’s already long gone, instantaneous death a gift in this case.  Sam feels nothing but loss, the absence of Dean, he can’t think, he can’t breathe, can’t function.  He hasn’t felt so alone in a long time, not since all those years ago when the hellhounds took Dean away from him.   Sam’s silent cries and refusal to let go of the body are disturbing to the crowd of strangers, but no one tries to pull them apart.  Not until the paramedics show up.  Then there is a bit of a struggle that happens, the police are called and Sam finally comes to himself just enough to at least let go.  Dean’s body is taken away in a body bag strapped to a stretcher.  He doesn’t care at all but there is a period where he’s pretty sure he hasn’t breathed for a bit too long.  He checks out for awhile, not able to really function beyond calling Bobby who comes immediately.

Bobby makes Sam eat and drink something, gives up on trying to talk to him, and helps get Dean’s body released from the officials.  Together they place it (him) in the back seat of the Impala.  Sam follows Bobby back to his place, driving on autopilot, not listening to music, or thinking about what’s (who’s) in the back seat behind him.  Just driving, following Bobby’s tail lights, back up the familiar road to the crowded, familiar salvage yard.  He can’t think about what’s (who’s) lying in the back seat, it’s not Dean, it’s just a body.  But where is his brother?  He knows Dean’s gone, all he can feel is the absence, the lack, the strange not-there-ness . 

They get back early in the evening and pile up branches to give Dean a hunter’s funeral  complete with sky high flames that Dean so would have loved.  All Sam can bring himself to say is a quiet goodbye with near constant tears streaming down his face.  Bobby reads out several translated ancient prayers that he finds comforting and that’s it. Dean’s just gone. No more Dean, not ever.

Sam hangs out at Bobby’s for a few weeks, until he can’t stand drifting around aimlessly anymore where everything reminds him of his brother.  He decides to leave and go start a life somewhere that won’t remind him of what he’s lost and will never have again.  Bobby doesn’t say anything but he’s just so damned glad that Sam didn’t go to the crossroads to make a stupid demon deal , he couldn’t have dealt with that again.  He sees how hard this sudden, pointless loss is for Sam, and has no idea what would really help him.

“Thanks Bobby for everything, I’ll be in touch when I get settled someplace.”  Sam can’t really meet his eyes, knows he’ll cry or something worse if he does.

“Bye Sam, you’re always welcome back here if it don’t work out.”  Bobby gruffly pulls him in for a crushing hug.  “Dean would want you to try and be happy, don’t you forget that.”

“Yeah, I know, I know.  I’ll try, that’s all I can promise, right? See ya later Bobby.”  Sam shuffles off the porch, gets in the Impala, speeds out onto the road with a gravel-filled rooster tail Dean would have been proud of, and then turns the radio on.

And hears Dean’s voice over the old rock music being broadcast.

Loud and clear, obnoxious and beautiful.

Just hearing Dean just say his name again is a gift, a hell of a surprise, but a goddamned gift.

Dean’s voice is there, present, with him, just talking to him nonstop about the memories they made together, even responding to him when he finally manages to bring himself to talk back to the voice coming from the radio.
Sam can’t believe it at first, thinks he is definitely hallucinating or back at Bobby’s in the spare room, just dreaming, but he figures out finally that it really is happening.  As he drives further and further on, and the more they talk and interact, he notices that Dean’s body begins to appear beside him over in the passenger seat where he’s supposed to be sitting.  At first insubstantial, then becoming more and more visible.

Not casting a shadow though.

He can now see all the faces that spiritDean makes as he talks and listens, giving him the raised eyebrow for so many things, and that wide infectious world-killing grin, and all the other little ones in-between that he’s missed more than anyone could imagine or he could ever explain.  It gets harder and harder to drive because all he wants to do is look at spiritDean’s face, and not ever look away again.  So he pulls over in a big pullout on the side of the highway, so what if he doesn’t make the mileage goal he had today.

spiritDean tells him things that he’s never shared before, so clearly, with all his emotions and feelings on display.  It’s remarkable is what it is.  It becomes addictive.  Day after day, Sam drives on, only stopping occasionally to gas up or get some food, mile after mile of driving, getting all his questions answered to his satisfaction, finally, one after the other, with the truth, and all in his brother’s voice.  It’s as if Veritas Herself is riding along with them in the back seat or something. It’s scary talking to spiritDean like this, almost like there are things he’s learning, emotions he’s seeing that he’s not allowed to.  Sam figures it must be spiritDean’s choice somehow, otherwise he wouldn’t be here.  He knows that as stubborn and closed-off as Dean was in life that for him to be this way afterwards has to be his choice.
Sam makes Dean start over back at the beginning, once he gets the picture of what’s on offer here, he’s going to write down for himself the whole goddamned Gospel of Dean, right from the source, unfettered by all of Dean’s walls and hang-ups.  Maybe Chuck can publish it as a separate Winchester Gospel book at some point he thinks to himself with a heavy load of sarcasm. 

 The first thing Sam asks is “What was it really like raising me, without Dad around so much, I know it fell on you most of the time, how did you even manage to deal with it?”  spiritDean answers with a hint of pride,”It was terrifying and wonderful and so rewarding, having so much responsibility when I was so little, but then I got to see you grow up into such a man, beautiful and strong.  I always knew that I couldn’t ever give you enough of what you deserved, but I always tried to do my best to make you happy and make sure you knew you were loved.  Those teenage years though, they just about did me in, I came so close to murdering you, you have no idea.  Always such a little bitch,” spiritDean says fondly.

They talk about Sam’s college years and spiritDean tells him how very deeply hurt and angry he was for a long time, that there was a time he didn’t think he’d survive it.  But he managed to get through Sam leaving for Stanford by remembering how proud he was that Sam was going to make something out of his life, that Dean had done such a damned good job, raising Sam, making sure Sam was his own person enough to be able to choose to walk away. Being so impressed with his brother that he’d been so smart and sneaky too, applying to college and getting in with a scholarship and all that helped too. 

“I swear I was prouder than any other parent at your high school graduation Sammy, you doing that well after all those schools, moving around, and hunting on top of it.  You’re really something.” spiritDean says with a little awe in his voice.  All Sam can do is accept the praise and smile.

“What did you do while I was gone?  You never told me much about those years, why didn’t you ever call me?” spiritDean sighs, “Lots of pointless driving Sammy, feeling sorry for myself, missing you every second, drinking way too much, too many quick pointless fucks.   I did lots of hunting with and without Dad, man I went everywhere, got rid of so many evil sons of bitches I lost track.  But I started getting into bar fight after bar fight just to get the anger out.  Taking too many risks on hunts, so much that Dad even wanted me to quit.  I had so many fights with Dad mostly about him driving you away from us, he was always proud of you, but he never really understood why you left.  I ended up splitting with Dad I thought for good, just a few months before I came to Stanford for you.  We didn’t part on very good terms. Probably why I was so set on finding him again, so we could get right.  I never called you after that first year, because it hurt too much, you were moving on with your life, I didn’t want to mess that up for you.”

“But I wasn’t though Dean, I was just pretending to myself that I could get away from the life.  I never really wanted to be away from you, I hope you know that.  Sometimes I wish I hadn’t gone to Stanford at all, knowing what I could have had was harder in a lot of ways.  But then you were there and we were, well we were good together for a long time.”

“That’s why I was so amazed and happy when you stayed with me for all those years. Every day you were still with me felt like a goddamned gift.  I think I finally knew and trusted that you were staying with me for good not too long after Dad died, right after we had our first run-in with Gordon Walker.”

Dean tells Sam what it was like to see Jake kill him, catch him and hold him as he died, screaming his name out, holding vigil for days, pushing Bobby away, and deciding that the only thing he could do was try and make a deal with the crossroads demon.  How he knew that Sam would be beyond pissed at him, but that he just couldn’t see how life without him would be worth living. 

He even talks about what dying and going to Hell was like for him, maybe more than Sam wanted to know, but now he finally knows the whole story.    Sam can see now that their hell experiences couldn’t have been more different, but still had a whole lot in common.

The best and the worst though is when he talks about the betrayal he felt with Sam going to Ruby while he was gone.  He tells him that he understands why he did it, but he was so hurt it was hard to truly forgive him for a long, long time.  The forgiveness came after Sam was finally re-souled, and that’s the favorite part that Sam comes to ask about again and again, spiritDean obliging and smiling that fond smile full of love, the one only Sam ever gets to see.  Talking on and on about the renewed love and trust and admiration he had for Sam, how in awe he was of the strength he had to master Lucifer, and  his Hell memories and un-souled memories like that, reintegrating himself into the man he is now.  The pride and love beaming out from spiritDean is like a balm on Sam’s battered soul.  He wishes, how he wishes that Dean had said even a quarter of this stuff to him when he was alive, how different things might have been between them. 

When Sam stops to get some sleep, he doesn’t want to even get out of the Impala, in case Dean isn’t there when he comes back.  The first few nights he just crashes in the back seat.  But Dean sees how rough around the edges he’s getting and assures him he will be there in the morning, he’s not going anywhere without Sam, and to go get a nice big king-size to stretch out in at the next motel.  So Sam does, but the room doesn’t feel right, the bed too big and lonely so he goes back to the front desk and asks for two queens instead.  That feels more normal, and he opens up his laptop to write down all that spiritDean shared with him today.  He names the file Gospel of Dean, smiling to himself thinking what Chuck would think about all this.  He doesn’t ever want to forget it, all the details, that make up what his brother means to him, all the love that had been hidden in plain view, and all the obnoxious humor and wit that he misses  as much as anything else about his brother.

In return for all the caring and sharing he gets from spiritDean he tells him whatever spiritDean wants to know about.  All the normal conversational restrictions are gone between them, they no longer hold back on the emotion and deep feeling between them, all of it gets laid out plainly and what a healing thing that is, maybe for both of them, but definitely for Sam.  So spiritDean asks question after question, wanting to fill in and complete his knowledge of Sam.  
He wants to know what it was like being raised by Dean, Sam tells him what it meant to him that his brother had sacrificed having a normal kids life for him, how even though he felt so different and apart from the other kids he always knew he was loved, completely loved by Dean.  That all the good things that ever happened to him as a kid were all because of Dean.

“What really made you leave me for Stanford, did you even miss me at all?” spiritDean asks, suddenly intent.

 Sam gathers himself together, because this is the big one, the one they’ve danced around all their lives, they’ve never talked about, but he trusts this open communicating thing they have going and decides to finally risk it.  His brother’s dead, it’s not like anything will really come of it, maybe he’ll piss off his spirit, but it seems like the right thing to finally tell the truth.   To finally voice his most deeply held secret.  He hesitantly tells him about his attraction to Dean, how much he wanted him, how it made him feel to see him with all those girls, how he felt so pulled-apart and wrong when he was a young teenager going through the hormonal storm of adolescence, how he had to get away from it, try and outgrow it, how he didn’t ever want Dean to know and think less of him for it, and that was why he had to push him away in the year before he left for Stanford. 

“That was where my desire for normal came from, not wanting to be in love with my brother. Who I could never have, and could never hurt that way.  And yeah I missed you, you jerk, more than I’d imagined possible, every damned day.  Missing a lover that I’d never had.  A brother I could never replace.  I never loved Jessica the way I loved you, I always held my true self back from her, saving something to give to you, just in case you ever wanted it.”
spiritDean loudly gasps when he hears all this but doesn’t say anything yet, just smiles and looks at Sam with a new expression Sam’s never seen before, more considering and evaluating, like Dean’s never really looked at him before.

“So what did you think when I showed up to take you away from Stanford to look for Dad?”

“I was really surprised, angry and thrilled all at the same time.   I liked knowing that you needed me with you and wanted me to help you.  I was grateful that you wanted me around after I’d hurt you so badly.  It was hard to stay with you for all those years afterwards, and not hard at all at the same time.  A lot of it was really fun just being together and hunting like we were always supposed to.  What was hardest of all was dealing with not showing the desire that I still felt for you.  Man I struggled with that every damned day, you have no idea.”

  spiritDean gathers himself together, image becoming momentarily much stronger, more real looking and tells him matter-of-factly and more than a little sadly “You couldn’t have been more wrong and all you would have had to do was ask or say something, Sammy I wanted you right back, since you were seventeen.  Guess I was good at pretending too.” 

Now it’s Sam’s turn to gasp, he’d had no idea Dean had felt the same, had always hoped, but told himself it was delusional, and could never bring himself to risk the relationship he had with his brother. “So that’s what the parade of girls was for huh?  Maybe if you’d picked up a few guys I would have gotten a clue that it was even a possibility.  I always figured you were King of The Heteros Dean.”

“Naw”,  spiritDean grins at him, “I only ever picked up guys when you were away at Stanford, not too often, just when I’d see a guy that really reminded me of you, too tall, floppy, annoying hair you know the type.  They didn’t like it too much that I’d call them Sam though.”

Sam’s eyebrows are raised so high they’ve disappeared under his bangs, “Huh”, is all he says.  His mind is racing with all these confusing thoughts of what might have been, how things would have changed, would it ever have happened, how he’d never have even known if spiritDean hadn’t told him.  They both look at each other, trapped in thoughts of what might have been.

spiritDean then asks him haltingly “I want to know what it was like when Jake killed you, and how did you feel when I brought you back.”  

Sam shakes his head and sighs, doesn’t Dean know all this already? “Well, It felt awful, worse than that, no physical pain has ever hurt so much before or since, and I was so confused when I woke up, to be gone and then back all of a sudden, with you acting so damned strangely.  When I figured out you’d made a deal, at first I was just so mad at you for doing that for me, the same exact thing that you were so upset about Dad doing for you.  But then I realized that you were just taking care of me the only way you knew how, and I had to try and do the same in return. But I couldn’t, that was the worst part, worse than the dying even, that I just couldn’t save you.”

“Now that you know about when I died and went to Hell, well I want to know what happened to you while I was gone.  You told me part of the Ruby story, but could you tell it again, the whole thing, well, you can leave out the sex part this time thanks.”

“When you died, I wished that the hellhounds had taken me too, or that Lilith had been able to dust me right there like she tried to.  I really didn’t want to go on Dean.  And I almost didn’t, I was so reckless, I drank so much, I drove when I was drunk, I threw myself at demons constantly, and then Ruby was there, whispering that she could make it better, make it all mean something.  I was weak and so lost without you Dean, I couldn’t see any way to get you out of Hell, so I started listening to her, and she convinced me I could get back at Lilith.  That was all I could see then, a path to revenge, it was all that kept me going since you were dead and gone.  The sex part of it was wound up with the blood, I didn’t really want her, not like I wanted you, I called her Dean so many times while we were doing it, she stopped giving me shit about it.  When you came back I could barely look you in the eye, I knew I’d betrayed you so fundamentally, being with Ruby and even worse the blood.  I kind of knew what I was doing wasn’t right, but I was stubborn and so messed up with the blood, so set on revenge, and you were so strange after Hell, so unlike yourself, I just couldn’t pull myself out of it.  I tried a few times, I really did, but I wasn’t strong enough.  I failed you.  I’m so sorry Dean.  I’ll never forgive myself for it.  It’s the worst thing I ever did in my life.”

spiritDean doesn’t say anything for a while, just looks at him sadly, “How did you feel when I gave up on you and called you a monster? ‘Cause that’s the worst thing I ever did in my life.”

Sam wipes his eyes of the few tears that had gathered, “I’d never felt so low, and I knew you were right Dean, of course I did.  But I was so wound up with that damned blood, it was like being on PCP or something, all I could do was get mad and beat the shit out of you.  I totally understood why you left that awful message on my phone telling me I was a monster.”

spiritDean puts a hand on Sam’s arm, a feather-light touch that he can barely feel, “I never did Sam, I called you from the beautiful room when they wouldn’t let me leave and told you we were still family and that I was sorry.  God damned angels, they must have fucked with the message.  I was hoping that hearing that would stop you somehow, because they had me locked up so I couldn’t get to you.”

“Oh god, that’s just.  What a shitty thing to do.  Man do I ever hate angels.  I wouldn’t have gone through with it, killing Lilith, if I’d heard the real message.  I really hate that we were such pawns like that.”

“What happened when we split up? When I told you I couldn’t trust you anymore? And after that, why did you even agree to get back together with me? “

“That was the hardest thing I had to do, just walk away from you like that.  I almost turned around so many times before I got in that truck.  I just got a shitty job in a bar, tried to lay low and think about things.  Some hunters came and messed with me, tried to get me to drink demon blood, and when Lucifer came to me in my dreams, it seemed like I deserved it.  I was so glad when you called me and asked me to come back.  I wasn’t sure how much longer I could have kept saying “no” when I was without you.  I came back because you asked me Dean, because I knew we belonged together, were stronger together.  I knew that was the only chance we had to win.”

“What did you think of our shared heaven?”

“The first thing that I saw when I came to, I was lighting fireworks with you in that field we burned down, but you were there as a younger Dean the age you were back then. That’s really my all-time favorite memory of us.  I think Zachariah manipulated the other memories we were shown, just to break us apart.”

spiritDean can only answer, “huh, I never thought of it that way, I suppose he did have that type of power, especially there, guess it worked.”

“Hey Sammy can you ever forgive me for throwing away the amulet?” spiritDean asks hopefully.

Sam answers him incredulously, “Yes, Dean of course I forgive you, I do” and he pulls his shirt away to show him he’s wearing it against his skin. 

“Where did you, why didn’t you, when did you,” spiritDean splutters. 

“I kept it Dean, I dug it out of that trashcan when you walked out that door, it still meant something to me even if it didn’t to you.  I haven’t been wearing it long, didn’t start to wear it until after you died.  I wasn’t sure you wanted it back from me or not, and I didn’t want to know if you didn’t.  I couldn’t have taken that. I didn’t want you to know that I had it until I was sure you wanted it back.” 

“I always wanted it back Sam, the day I killed Zachariah I wanted it back, but I’d let you down by not believing in you, leaving you like I did, giving up on us being strong enough together, and deciding to say yes and all that, I couldn’t even bring myself to hope that you had it, much less that you’d ever give it to me again.  I never felt right without it, never felt like me again.”  spiritDean reaches for the amulet, touching it with reverence and a shiver runs through Sam at the contact.

“Dean I meant to give it to you before we went to Detroit.  But I chickened out.  It was such a strange time and I didn’t want to push you.  It seemed like it would have been asking too much.  It was enough that you were letting me say yes to Lucifer, that you trusted me to at least try.”

“I’m just glad that you have still have it. Tell me about the day you jumped in the pit, I never heard the whole story from you” spiritDean looks at him nervously.

Sam hesitates at first, “First, Lucifer showed me a parade of people from my past, it he made me realize how my whole life I’d been manipulated.  The end goal of all of it, everything they ever did to me was so that I’d end up accepting Lucifer into my body.  He made me/us kill them all, we just ripped them apart.  Then I was riding in the background as Lucifer practically beat you to death. I couldn’t believe that you were there, I was so surprised Dean.  At just about the last minute, I saw our life together in the Impala from toddlerhood up to present day flash through me in this flood of memories.  It was the damndest thing; you know it was all triggered by seeing that stupid plastic toy soldier that’s always been jammed in the ash tray in the back seat.  But it was an overwhelming force, all those memories flowing through me at once, filled with all the powerful emotion.  All of it was there everything we’d ever shared, all the love, joy, affection, desire, solidarity, brotherhood.  It was enough for me to get hold of Lucifer and manage to get him to the edge of the pit.  It was so hard to see you crumpled there, barely alive next to the Impala and just jump in.  I did it for you, you know.  To try to make up for betraying you before, for starting the apocalypse in the first place, for not being the brother I should have been.”

Sam can feel an echo of a touch when spiritDean strokes his neck now, just like he used to when they’d drive all night and he thought Sam was asleep.  He murmurs against his neck “Sam, my Sammy, you’re too much, too good, you know, I never deserved a brother like you.”  Sam falls asleep in the front seat with spiritDean murmuring in his ear and not quite feeling him stroking his hair.

Sam isn’t sure if this is real or if he’s gone completely crazy from the overwhelming all-consuming grief of losing Dean.  He doesn’t care though because he is sure that hearing all of this from Dean’s spirit is making him feel whole again, it is filling up the Dean-sized hole inside him that’s been making him feel so lost and helpless.  Having Dean with him like this, doesn’t feel like a bad, evil thing, something to be exorcised or salted and burned.  It feels like a gift, getting this uncensored Dean is like getting a chance at being with him in the way he’d always wanted to, closer than brothers, two halves of the same whole, all that.

He knows that he’s dealing with some version of a spirit tied to the world with an object, the Impala, of course it would be the Impala for Dean, what else could it be?  And he knows it’s selfish to keep Dean around, that he should probably get rid of the Impala so that Dean can move on to whatever comes after life, but he doesn’t want to, not ever.  Because it’s the Impala, his home, his biggest reminder of Dean and their life together.  He can’t talk to anyone about it, Bobby would just tell him to ditch the car or incinerate it, and there really isn’t anyone else that he knows of that has ever dealt with this kind of thing.  As long as Dean isn’t malevolent or violent or taking over his life, what’s the harm in having his dead brother riding shotgun?  As long as he doesn’t crash and kill someone else what does it matter?  Once the original shock has worn off, he’s taking it in stride, after the life he’s had this isn’t so strange, driving around with his brother’s ghost, and there hasn’t really been a safety issue since that first day. 

The only thing he can see might be a problem would be depending too much on Dean’s spirit for companionship, preventing him from making new friends, God knows he needs some friends now.  But he doesn’t want to lose this last connection with Dean, its hard enough being in the world without his brother by his side, the ache and pain of losing him was almost too much to bear at first.  Bobby had him on what he thought was a discrete suicide watch during the weeks he stayed there.  No, he’s not ever going to kill himself, but he’ll admit to himself that he’s still working out what exactly he’s got left to live for.

The next morning before Sam starts driving again he asks, “Dean do you think this is okay? You being here with me like this?”

“Yeah Sammy I really do.  It was my choice to be here with you.  I’m not some vengeful spirit or poltergeist.  Tessa the Reaper tried to get me to go with her this time (again), but I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t make myself go.  I told her there was still something I had to do with you.  She wasn’t sure I could ever move on to what’s next if I didn’t go with her right then or not.  But I told her they’d made an exception for me before, they’d have to do it again.  There wasn’t much else I could do Sam, there was too much we hadn’t said to each other, I couldn’t leave things like that, so that you’d never know.“

“Never know what Dean?” Sam asks him softly.

spiritDean gathers himself together, becoming more solid, seeming to take in a deep steadying breath, “Know that you’re the only thing in my life that made it worthwhile, being with you all these years was the best most important thing I did, and I don’t regret it at all.  The time I spent with Lisa and Ben was nice and helped me survive, but it wasn’t even in the same ballpark as it feels to be with you.  I just couldn’t leave you without you knowing that I love you Sam, I always have and I always will.  I always wanted to tell you.  There was never anyone else that I loved as much as I love you.”

“Same here Dean, I love you too.” Sam says fervently.

“Good that’s good, thanks Sam, but let me finish.  I know it’s probably hard to hear all this now when we can’t do anything about it, but damn Sam, you are one beautiful, amazing man and I hope you can find someone who appreciates you, someone that can be with you the way I always wanted to be, take care of you, make you feel good, all that stuff.  I want you to be happy without me somehow.”

“Dean, oh man, Dean, god thanks.  I didn’t know all this, not really anyways, and now that I do, I’m not sure if it’s better or worse.  Now I know what I’ve really lost.  I don’t think I could ever be happy with anyone else, I really don’t. We had a chance, you and me to be truly happy together, and we screwed it up, by holding back all this from each other. How stupid was that?  I can’t believe we let all this slip by without grabbing onto it.  God Dean I wish I could go back in time a month and tell you all this and have you tell me all of this, what would we have done differently do you think? “

“Everything Sam, pretty much everything.  I’d have been able to do this.”  spiritDean leans over and kisses Sam.  He can feel a very cool light pressure against his lips but that’s all.  “Oh god Sam, I can’t believe we’ll never have this, now that I know, oh it’s too hard.”

“Dean, shit, why did we do this to ourselves?” Sam asks sadly.

“Sammy I wish we hadn’t been so stupid about things, but what can we do now?”  spiritDean asks searching Sam’s face for a reaction, a suggestion, a solution anything but this endless feeling of sadness knowing what they’d missed out on.

“Dean I‘ll think about it, maybe there’s some way, someone we can ask to help us. Some pagan god or goddess of love or something that would be interested in our story.  I don’t know if we can fix it, but I sure know I have to try.”

“Shit now would be a good time for Cas to pop in and fix things wouldn’t it?” Dean said sadly.

“Yeah, it would, but he’s gone and no other angel was ever on our side really. Except, hey, what about that Joshua guy, remember he said he was rooting for us?”

“I guess we could try praying to him or something like we used to with Cas.  Oh Joshua who art in Heaven, please let me come back to life so I can have gay incest with my darling brother, or something like that.  I’m sure that would go over really well Sam.”

“Dean, I don’t think the angels or God for that matter really care about that stuff, it’s all society’s rules, not God’s rules.  How about Crowley, he kind of owes us after we inadvertently helped him out with defusing god-Cas.  He’s still King of Hell, thanks to us.”

“You want to ask a demon for help?  I don’t know Sam, remind you of anything that didn’t work out too well for us in the past?”

“This would be different, there isn’t anything he’d be getting out of the deal, and I think he doesn’t like knowing that he owes us.”

“Well you have a point there,  maybe it’s worth a try just so long as you don’t offer up your soul or anything dumb like that, okay? “

“Yeah Dean, like I’m dumb enough to try that one again.” Sam says derisively.

“When did you ever do that?” spiritDean asks sharply.

“I told you this before, when I was trying to get you out of Hell, they wouldn’t take me though. Told me they had you and me right where they wanted us.”

“Damn, we really are messed up aren’t we?” spiritDean shakes his head slowly.

“Yeah, I figured that one out on my own.  Hey, um, Dean, why do you think it took you dying and being a ghost for us to be able to talk like this?  I always wanted to be able to be honest with you, but you never let me.  You know, the whole no chick-flick moments bit.”

“I think it was because of the whole part of myself I was trying to keep hidden from you Sam, I didn’t want you to ever figure out how much I wanted you.  I didn’t want to wreck what we had, risk our friendship over that if you didn’t feel the same way back.  It was too much of a risk, probably the only thing I ever chickened out about in my life, but it was just inconceivable to me that I could lose you completely again.”

“What do you mean again?” Sam asks with concern.

“Well, when you were at Stanford, I figured that was it. No more Sam for me, ever.  And it probably would have worked out that way if I hadn’t come and gotten you when Dad was missing.  I wouldn’t have gotten those years with you.  They would have belonged to Jessica and you having a normal life.  I’m sorry I screwed that up for you Sam. I really am.”

“Dean, shit are you still feeling guilty for that?  There is no way you can still believe that, not after what we found out from Brady!  C’mon man, he was going to kill her, those were his orders from Azazel, it was all just a matter of timing.  You coming and getting me had nothing to do with it, I never thought that, not at all. So just stop it already, sheesh.”

“Alright, fine, maybe you’re right about that.  Well the other time I didn’t have you was when you were in the Cage, and man that was so much harder.  Because that felt permanent, you were gone from the world, for real, and it seemed like that was it.  There wasn’t going to be a trick I could pull to get you out, lord knows I tried everything.  I was obsessed for months about it Sam, did I ever tell you how many hoodoo priests and Satanists and other magician types I ended up seeing those first few months?  No, well, there was nothing anyone could do though, but you know that.  I think if you hadn’t shown up when you did, I was close to drinking myself to death. I really was barely going through the motions at Lisa’s house, I don’t know why she didn’t throw me out a million times.  There’s no way that you can tell me that not having you for a whole year, just completely gone doesn’t show what a risk it was to tell you all this feeling and wanting crap when you finally got your soul back.  I couldn’t risk it Sam, not after what I went through just to get you back all the way.  Man, I was just so happy to have you back, I couldn’t imagine having you leave when I told you what else I wanted.  I’m sorry I chickened out, I hope you can understand.”

“Ok Dean I get it, I get it now, I guess I see why.  I just wish, it could have been different.  But what did you actually do to get my soul back, you never told me the whole story because you were worrying about breaking down the wall in my mind.  I kinda want to know now.”  Sam shifted in the seat trying to get more comfortable.

“I, uh, went and saw Death and asked him to help you get your soul back.  I figured he was the most powerful being we’d ever met and it was worth a shot asking him to help us.”

“You what? How did you?  Don’t you have to be dead to be able to talk to Death?”

“Yeah, well, I was, dead that is.  Just temporarily though. No big deal.”

“No big deal! Goddamnit Dean, that’s just too much.  What if they’d brought me back and you‘d have been dead, what would I have done then?”

“Sammy it was the only thing I could do, I didn’t have a choice.  We were at the point where soul-less you was gone terminator on us, he’d tried to kill Bobby for chrissakes.  I don’t know what I would have done if getting your soul back hadn’t worked, because you were too dangerous to be out there alive running around in the world.”

“Ok, fine, so you didn’t have a choice, I believe you, but still, tell me how did you die temporarily?”

“I went to an old doctor friend of Bobby’s and Dad’s, he set me up with some drug that killed me, and they revived me with those electric paddles when my time was up.  Tessa sure was pissed when she saw me!  While I was with Death he made me choose between bringing you or Adam back, which I still don’t really feel guilty about and it wasn’t a real choice for me, I think it was Death’s little joke or something.  To get your soul back I had to be him for a day and wear his ring.  That was hard because I had to kill people who maybe didn’t deserve to die, like this little girl that was sick, I screwed it all up to hell, but he did it anyways, because he thought I’d learned a lesson about the natural order and when things need to die, they need to go a certain way and stay dead and all.  Guess I didn’t learn it too well though since I’m sitting here talking to you about how to bring me back.”

“That is what we’re talking about isn’t it.  This is pretty serious stuff Dean.  Especially since your body is burned up and gone.  So that rules out the black magic, voodoo, zombie sort of spells we know about.  I wouldn’t have wanted to do any of that sort of thing anyways, we’ve seen too many times how it never works out quite right.  That would be worse than anything Dean, if I had to put you down like one of those spirits gone wrong.  I can’t even imagine it.   Guess we do have to try asking Crowley.  Something tells me he’ll do it if he can, I bet he wouldn’t want you down there messing about in Hell anyways.”

“Hey who says I’m going there?  I thought we’d gotten ourselves a free pass back into Heaven.  Well, maybe not with all that we did to defeat god-Cas.  Oh who knows, all I know is I want to be with you, together, somehow.  That’s worth it to me to ask Crowley to pay us back.  Remember how to summon him?”

“Yeah of course I do, bet Bobby would be wishing right now he’d never taught us all this if he knew I was considering it.  Well, what the old man doesn’t know won’t hurt him, right?  I think we have all the stuff I need in the car already.  Just have to find a good quiet out of the way spot to do the spell where I won’t be interrupted.”  After driving until just before it starts to get dark, Sam pulls in to an abandoned looking field way on the outskirts of the last town they’d passed through behind some trees, shielding them from the road.

“I wish you could do it in here, in the car so I could be with you when you talk to him.”

“Well, I hadn’t thought of that, you sure you want me lighting stuff on fire in your car? Plus the drawing in blood that I’d have to do on the seat and all?”

“Yeah, yeah you’re right, just like roll down the window and do it next to the car okay? Maybe I’ll be able to hear you.”

“Okay.  Um, Dean, what should I ask him for, you have to be exactly clear with what you ask of a demon right?  Do I just ask him for you to be alive or what?”

spiritDean seems to think about it for awhile and then replies, “Say this exactly this, it has to be exact Sam, otherwise Crowley can screw us over: Crowley, you owe us a debt, a blood debt, in payment, bring Dean Winchester back to me healthy, whole, alive, and just as he was before he died on whatever the date was that I died and fully remembering all that’s happened since that time.  Do this and your debt to us is repaid.”

“How do you know that will even work?”

“It will, trust me, this info is coming from sources I have over here on the other side. Don’t ask me who, just trust me okay?”

“Alright I do, I mean, if I can’t trust you who can I trust, right?  Hey Dean, can you promise me something? If this works we can keep talking like this, being like this together?  I mean, it would be amazing just to have you back here with me alive, but I don’t think I want to go back to how it was before.”

spiritDean grinned widely at him, “Of course not you dork, I’m with you all the way from here on in, no matter what happens.  You’re stuck with me dude.  Not going back Sam, you and me man, you and me, that’s all that’s worth coming back for.”

“‘kay Dean, thanks.  I love you. And I really hope this works.”

“I love you too Sam you big mushy ball of Sasquatch, I hope it works too, you have no idea.”

Read Part Two