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The Wanting Comes In Waves

All Sam/Dean, All The Time

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Rankle & Gall - Part 7 of 7

Back to Part 6

They continue chanting the words in unison, not ceasing the repeating of those odd syllables. Sam can sense a power building that’s different than any other spell work that he’s done before. But that doesn’t stop him. Jody hands him a paintbrush and a small jar of herb-blood-pigment mixture.  It’s all ready to use, except for one more ingredient - Dean’s blood. Sam takes up a knife from the altar table and approaches Dean, where he crouches down and slices into the arm that doesn’t have the Mark. He lets the drops of blood fall directly into the container. Jody bandages up the cut on Dean’s arm as Sam mixes the new blood in with the paintbrush.

She holds up the enlarged drawing of the symbols Sam must mark on Dean’s body. First over his heart, a large circle with what looks like stylized claws on either side pulling it apart. Sam dips the brush in the deep red mixture and paints it on in one go. He’d practiced earlier with water. The symbols are simple, but part of the ritual is doing them all in one flowing motion, so that they become one with the body. The next few symbols go elsewhere: on Dean’s torso, one on his throat, third-eye on his forehead, and then the final one surrounding the Mark on his forearm. This is the hardest one, the one that took the most practice, its four lines interlocking and weaving in knots and bundles, encircling the whole oblong shape of the Mark. Even though he’s still chanting the Ozian words, Sam feels like he’s holding his breath almost the whole time that he manages to complete it perfectly, his hand steady as a rock. Because it has to be. This is for Dean.

He hands the brush over to Jody, and she repeats the procedure on Sam’s skin, except for the design on Dean’s forearm. She winces a little when she has to brush over some of the worst bruises and scratches, reminders of why they’re doing this dangerous task.

One last step, before it gets serious. Sam takes a ceremonial knife, passes it through the flame burning on their impromptu table altar three times, then he quickly slices above and below the Mark on Dean’s arm, catching the blood that trickles out in a wide, flat bowl. The blood looks thicker than it should, and darker, and it seems hesitant to exit Dean’s body. Sam squeezes his brother’s hand into a fist, hoping the circulatory system will help them out a little, he just needs a few more drops. Finally enough has gathered in the bowl. Jody hands him two small pieces of towels for bandages that he ties over the wounds to stop the flow of his brother’s blood.  They can finally stop repeating the words, but they seem to keep echoing around the space, swirling around, nearly visible. Jody notices, raising her eyebrows at Sam in surprise. Sam shrugs, because he has no explanation.

His senses are on high alert because of being in ritual space already. But now the scent of Dean’s blood in the bowl becomes overwhelming. It slowly dawns on him that his mouth is watering and his heart rate is speeding up. His gut turns over when he recognizes the feeling, - he’s reacting to demon blood for the first time in many years. Their guess, based on all the research, was that there had to be some process going on inside of Dean that was turning him slowly into a demon. That was what it had felt like these past few days that he was losing Dean, just as they were rebuilding their relationship. He’d probably overlooked a lot of things because he and Dean were still weaving themselves back together anew for this last time. Sam pushes down the visceral need that’s been reawakened deep inside, the scent of the blood mingled with the scent of his brother nearly overwhelming him.

Sam stands up slowly, his ribs aching from the strain of unsupported movement, and places the bowl of blood on the altar, eyes never leaving the surface of the deep red liquid catching the shimmers of the candlelight. “Now for the part I’m dreading. Remember, don’t get too close to the edge of the circle. And let me do the talking.”

“Got it. You okay, Sam?”

He can’t answer, using everything he has to stuff down the need to lick everything out of that bowl right then and there. Regardless of Jody watching him so closely, of his brother lying on the floor so still he might as well already be dead. He clenches his fists tightly, digging his fingernails into his palms, concentrates on the small bite of pain he can still feel deep inside from last night. The pain brings him back to himself. The old reliable.  “Yeah, just got a little light-headed from the herb smoke, I’m good now.”

The usual herbs are set afire in the small ceremonial bowl, a specific design drawn in chalk on the floor in the center of the empty devil’s trap, with the candles set in the right places. He slices a small cut in his palm and adds a few drops of his own blood to the bowl set in the center of the design, speaking the words,

Attenrobendum eos,
ad consiendrum,
ad ligandum eos,
potiter et solvendum,
et ad,
congregontum eos,

Sed mane, et iubeo

coram me Cain.”

He steps back out of the trap. Nothing happens for a few long beats; Sam and Jody look at each other across the room. Sam lifts one hand up in a signal to hold and wait. Then the candles dim as if they’re being turned down on a dimmer switch, the pressure increases in the room until their ears feel like they’ll pop. “He’s resisting,” Sam says. He remembers the pulling feeling inside himself when he could tug demons around with his mind and concentrates on willing that back into working, feeding it into the summoning spell. “Here he comes,” Sam hisses in triumph, blood trickling down from one nostril.

“Samuel Winchester, we finally meet,” says the grandly bearded man standing in the center of the trap.

“Cain. I suppose you know why you’re here,” Sam answers, pulling himself up to his full height, and pushing his will at the demon’s will, which is invisibly beating at the edge of the trap. He’s years out of practice, but it comes raging back out of the instinct to protect Dean.

Cain stares at Dean lying on the ground across the room, his forearm shining red with the Mark, now the brightest thing in the room. “Your brother tried to kill you yet?”

“No,” Sam says, filled with how proud he is of the strength of his brother’s resistance.

“Impressive,” Cain says in a slight drawl.

“Yeah, he is. We need you to take it back,” Sam states his request simply and with authority.

“Yes,” Cain answers without a moment of pause.

“Just like that?” Sam asks in surprise, feeling there must be a catch, he’d thought this would be the hard part.

“Once it was gone, I could feel again, for the first time in centuries. I could feel the loss of my love, my guilt, my desire for revenge. And the enormity of what I’d done to her, for her, it all overwhelmed me. So you are in luck, Samuel. The only thing I want is the Mark back, and the Blade held firmly in my hand. My vengeance against Abaddon will not be swayed this time.”

“So you’ll take Abaddon out if you get the Mark back?”

“Yes. And then I will disappear again. Crowley or no other, shall ever find me again. My deal with Dean to slay me was inane, - I should know better by now, that God’s punishment is eternal.”

“You swear no harm to those of us in this room?”

“I swear. On the memory of my Colette. I only long for Abaddon’s blood on my blade.”

“Crowley has the Blade.”

“I know. I shall deal with him separately.”

Sam nods at Jody and they drag Dean closer to the trap that Cain is contained in.  Sam nudges just Dean’s limp arm into the trap across the boundary with his foot. The Mark suddenly glows even redder.  Cain reaches down and takes Dean’s hand in his.  A line of red veins appear, a network of them expand, linking the Mark on Dean’s forearm to Cain’s hand; the red flows up Cain’s forearm and the red of the Mark flows through, disappearing slowly from Dean’s arm, leaving only a faint outline of the design on Dean’s skin, still framed by the painted-on design. The Mark pulses bright and whole on Cain’s arm again, and he stands up, letting go of Dean. Sam quickly pulls his brother’s arm out of the devil’s trap.  He stands and looks at Cain.

“Your brother will not survive the loss of the Mark. I wish that I could regret it, he was an exemplary man. But in the end just a man. Will you release me now as you promised?”

“Don’t worry about Dean, I’ve got him covered,” Sam says, crossing into the trap to tip over the ceremonial bowl, and stating clearly, “Dimissa es de manu mea.” He scrubs his toe at the paint on the floor as he steps backwards out of the devil’s trap.

Cain bows his head in thanks. “Thank you, Samuel Winchester, you are indeed a man worthy of your brother’s love and devotion.”

“Thanks, Cain, tell Abaddon we said hi when you see her,” Sam nods and grins.

Cain grins, a slow, deadly grin full of murderous intent. “I shall indeed, goodbye.” He raises his hand in farewell, the Mark glowing hot and red on his arm, and blinks out of existence.

Sam blows out a relieved sigh, and turns around to look at his companion. “Jody, this is the last step, you ready?”

“Yeah, are you?” she asks, looking at Sam with concern, he seems to be wavering a little on his feet.  Sam looks at her with a weak smile and nods.

Sam comes back to her side at the altar table and adds several herbs to the bowl with Dean’s blood. He begins repeating the Ozian words again, Jody’s voice joining him. “Omnizee, furstedfree, warnessthee”

He swirls the bowl to mix the herbs, picks up the knife, passing it through the candle’s flame three times again and cuts himself on the arm, lets the blood drain into the bowl to combine with Dean’s.

He repeats the words one last time, adding the contents of another smaller glass of the full moon blessed salted holy water, “Omnizee, furstedfree, warnessthee”

The contents of the bowl begin to glow with a green that reminds him of the Oz witch that had killed Charlie. He crosses back over to kneel beside Dean’s still form.

“I would only do this for you, Dean.” He tips the bowl back and drinks half of it down in one gasping gulp. The power from the hint of demon blood flows through him, reawakening his senses, his powers reigniting as well as his desire to have this done. Jody moves over behind Dean’s head and lifts it up so that he’s almost sitting, she braces him against her legs. Sam tips Dean’s head back and pours the remainder of the bowl’s contents into his mouth. He holds Dean’s mouth closed and pinches his nose shut too.  Dean gasps and inhales and swallows all at once, coughing and spluttering.

The faint trace of the Mark that is still showing on Dean’s forearm glows briefly red, but much paler than before; the outlined design that Sam had painted glows the same green as the bowl, the colors mixing and swirling in the oblong of skin contained in the design. Sam bends down and bites Dean’s skin in the center, drinking in the mixture of blood, remaining power from the Mark and the effect of the Oz spell. He sits back on his heels, head thrown back in a silent scream.

Jody’s hands clench tighter on the top of Dean’s shoulders, she knows she can’t interfere in this part. Sam controls himself just enough to suck at the cut in his arm he’d made for the spell, bringing in enough of his own blood to equal the amount he took from Dean. He’s just able to pull a still limp and pliable Dean into his lap, completely out of Jody’s hands now, all up to Sam.

Sam cradles Dean in his arms, just as he has so many times when Dean’s been dead or near-death. He leans down and seals their mouths together. He kisses Dean at the same time he releases the mixture of magic and their mingled blood into Dean’s mouth, desperately willing Dean to wake up, to take it in, and to accept it. Finally Dean seems to come back to himself, the mixture in Sam’s mouth is being absorbed into Dean’s too, - it’s sinking into both of them, and the taste left behind just a coppery reminder of shared blood. Then it’s just a sleepy yet desperate kiss.

Dean pushes Sam off of him after a while and opens his eyes, asking in a thick, groggy voice, “Sammy, did I take the blue pill or the red one?”

“Yeah, yeah, Dean, you’re alright now, I gotcha,” Sam says, holding Dean in his arms and running his hands up and down his back.

“Where are we?” Dean asks, sounding cranky.

“At home, we’re in the dungeon. You’re free, Dean.”

Dean tries to sit up on his own, but his muscles aren’t cooperating. Sam assists him to sit, holding his shoulders steady. “You’re okay, Dean, let’s get out of here.”

“’kay,” Dean agrees. Jody steps behind him and holds him up briefly, while Sam stands. They both help Dean to rise and Jody steps back as Sam holds him in a close hug.

“You made it, Dean,” Sam says, bursting with the joy of having saved his brother.

“Tired, Sammy,” Dean mumbles into Sam’s neck.

“I know, c’mon,” Sam says, holding his brother up around the waist and walking out of the dungeon.

Jody stays behind to snuff out all the candles.  She looks around the room and shakes her head at what she’s just witnessed. It’s not much different than the other times she’s spent with these boys, but what she just saw pass between them is something extraordinary; the reverberations of the spell and the power and the transfer still echo in the room.

Sam gets Dean settled on their bed, wiping the bloody designs off with a warm washcloth, paying special attention to the bite mark that he’d just made on his brother. He doesn’t need Dean to get an infection after all this.

“What happened?” Dean asks, sounding weak, but not far away like he did before.

“I got Cain to take the Mark back from you. He wanted it back, and he’s off to take out Abaddon,” Sam says, wrapping a fresh bandage around the bite mark on Dean’s arm.

“You summoned him here? What the hell, Sam? What else is there? Because I know there’s more,” Dean says, sounding like he’s starting to get angry.

“So, the absence of the Mark kinda rearranged your soul, Dean. It pretty much left it in pieces, because of how the Mark changes someone, so I needed to give you a little part of mine to bandage you back together until you can heal yourself. We’re now soul bonded, by the way.”

“Is that what the bad taste in my mouth is?” Dean asks.

“Yeah, that’d be our blood, some herbs and the magical aftertaste,” Sam answers, taping up the bandage on his own arm.

“How did you figure all this out?” Dean asks.

“Charlie. She brought the spell with her from Oz. A witch there saw us, and saw the future, what was gonna happen with you and the Mark. She said it was going to kill both of us.”

“You took a risk like this on the word of a witch?” Dean asks, almost sitting up off the bed in a incredulous panic.

Sam sits down next to Dean on top of the blankets, trapping him in on one side. “Even without what Charlie said, I could see it was killing you Dean. You were less and less yourself every day. Cain just told me you’d die after he took the Mark back. So, I had to. I had no other choice.”

“You had no other choice? How about just letting me die killing Abaddon? How about that choice, Sam?” Dean demands.

“Oh, listen to you! You’re really going to throw that up as a solution? Dean, this is why I took on the Trials in the first place, you and your heroic death wish! If you’d let me finish the damn third Trial, Abaddon wouldn’t even be here to be a problem. I thought the idea was we both get out of this alive. Together.”

“Yeah, but you should have at least asked me. I mean this soul bond thing is forever, right?” Dean asks, twisting around like he wants to jump out of the bed and run away from this new thing between them.

So? And what about you and me isn’t?” Sam asks, with noticeable emphasis on the pronouns to catch Dean’s attention.

Another ‘So?’ from Sam, yet another one to deal with, to read and process and understand. Dean hesitates to take on the consequences of the obvious answer to Sam’s question. He goes through all the usual arguments in his head, and comes up with the only real objection that’s ever rung true to him. “True, but what if you decide you need to take off and be ‘normal’ again?”

Sam stands up abruptly, looming over Dean, lying in their bed. “God damnit, Dean, when are you gonna get this through your head? I. Am. Not. Going. Anywhere.”

Dean grabs at Sam’s wrist to hold him from thinking of walking away. “But you deserve more than me. You always have. And now you can’t ever get that.”

Sam shakes his wrist free of Dean’s weak hold. “Would you stop? Don’t you ever listen to me? I don’t want some mythical normal that’s waiting for me out there. You are my normal. I want you. I need you. There is no one else ever that has even come close. And I don’t ever want to look when I’ve already got you. I mean, I do have you, right?” Sam sits back down on the bed and looks down at his brother’s face.

Dean rolls his eyes and laughs. “Yes. Idiot.”

“Good. Then cut it out. We’ll figure the soul bond thing out. Maybe it’ll end up being a good thing, who knows,” Sam says, shrugging even though this is probably the biggest thing that’s happened since Sam’s soul got rehabbed after being re-installed.

“I’m still angry that you took this risk though. Without even asking me first. What if it had hurt you somehow?” Dean asks, turning over on his side so he can curl around Sam and put his head in his lap.

Sam holds Dean’s head in hands and looks down at him, searching his face for the truth. “Would you have agreed to try? Yeah, didn’t think so. Sometimes we save each other when we don’t think we want it or deserve it. What was it you told me? Get used to it.”

“Not the same thing, Sam, not even close,” Dean says, staring up at Sam, mesmerized by his changing eyes as usual.

“Yeah it was. It was even worse than you just dying in some hospital bed like I was.  Dean, Crowley was going to have you under his control basically forever. As a killing machine. I couldn’t let that happen to you again, not after Alastair,” Sam says, looking down into Dean’s eyes, begging him to understand what he had to do.

“So now I’m under your control instead? And that’s better?” Dean asks, lifting his head out of Sam’s hands and struggling to sit up on his own.

Sam helps him get rearranged even though he doesn’t want it. “You are not under my control. Why would you think that? That isn’t how this works. I don’t control you, you don’t control me, we’re just bound. We can see inside each other better.”

“Even though you have your powers back?” Dean asks, arms crossed in front of chest, frown on his face.

“How do you even know that? Yes, they are back, it’s from drinking your blood, Dean, you were that close to becoming a demon. I swear, though, you are absolutely not under my control.”

“Guess I know because the soul bond told me so. But you don’t have the mind whammy thing like that Andy guy?” Dean asks.

“What? No, I mean, I don’t think I do. But if I do, I promise I won’t use it on you.”

“Okay,” Dean says, accepting Sam’s promise easily, maybe because of the soul bond, maybe because he’s beyond tired or maybe because he believes Sam.

“Just like that? Okay?” Sam asks, surprised that Dean’s acceptance came so easily.

“Yeah. You were right about the you and me thing,” Dean says, scooting back down the bed so he’s in sleep position.

Sam racks his brain, what Dean could be referring to, they’ve said so much, and then he remembers his words from a few moments ago, “What forever?”

Dean’s fading fast now, his tenuous hold on reality slipping, so he says what’s always on the tip of his tongue, always being held back unsaid. “Yeah. You and me against the world, until it’s over for us both.”

Sam bows his head under the weight of Dean’s words, feeling them penetrate his skin, flow into his veins and expand and take root in his heart. If this is what soul bonding means, he’s all for it now. Since Dean’s given him this, he needs to return the favor before Dean passes out completely. “Yeah, you and me Dean, always. Listen, get this, you’ll like this bit. I’m pretty sure that now that we’re bound, if one of us dies, we both do.”

“Why would I like that Sammy?” Dean asks as Sam lies down beside him and pulls the covers over the both of them.

Sam turns his head on the pillow and looks over at Dean. “We get to our Heaven at the same time. No fuss, no muss, no waiting around, no time to sell your soul or whatever.”

“Huh, guess that’s a pretty good deal,” Dean says, voice slipping off into sleep.

Sam listens to his brother’s steady breathing for a moment. “You said recently that we keep each other human. And I guess we still do.”


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Wow. Great story with the brothers really being brothers. I felt like I was able to work through a lot of my Season 9 frustrations thanks to your dialogue. They never do it on TV, but I'm not sure I've ever burned anything badly enough that I didn't just scrape off a layer or two of black and start eating. ;)

Great job with the effects of the Mark on Dean. I wanted to yell, "Don't do it, Sam!" when Dean was insisting on sex without the Demon cuffs.

I loved your elaborate ritual, and the way you worked in Sam's former addiction, and all the little pieces - Charlie, Jodi, soul bonding, their shared heaven. So much research and detail. Impressive.

Loved it! Thank you!

Thank you so much for this great comment. Glad to hear the story worked for you. I know what you mean about the burning food thing on tv, but in the map of how the bunker is laid out that I have stuck in my head, it would take a really long time for the smoke to reach where they were talking from the kitchen. It is very weird realizing I have a map in my head about a fictional secret society's underground lair...

This was amazing and exactly what I needed to come to terms with this season. And it is also exactly what the boys should do, talking things through at last and finding a way to fix things between them. I am so grateful you gave this to us, since the show's been such a disappointment in regards to the brotherly relationship. I loved to see them both open up and working through everything that's built up between them, getting back to them

I also love you for giving us a solution to the Mark issue - you wove in such wonderful details, like Charlie's spell and Jody helping out. The ritual rang so true, and you know how much I like the whole soul bonding thing! Nothing better than Sam and Dean together forever, in this life and their shared heaven. :) 'I mean this soul bond thing is forever, right?' 'So? And what about you and me isn’t?' Perfect. *happy sigh*

Also, I'm now craving lasagna like crazy... ;)

This was an amazing fic, hon, and it was an absolute delight to read. I could have happily continued reading for ages. Maybe you could consider a timestamp? I would love to know how the bond will affect them, and how they'll recover from the Mark and its consequences, and I definitely wouldn't mind some more cozy domesticity, either. :)

In any case, thanks so much for this, you did a fantastic job! ♥

Thank you so much for you great comment! I'm glad it helped you come to terms with s9, it definitely helped me. A soulbond update timestamp, maybe complete with Dean's lasagna recipe, let's say I've got it on the list...

Oh my, I'm actually tearing up at the end. I love a good Sam and Dean fic, and yours definitely fit the bill. I'm so happy that the boys found a way out before Dean went all demon and started to do Crowley's bidding in earnest (yup next season is worrying me). Thanks so much for writing and sharing such a great story. Kudos!

So glad to hear you enjoyed the story. Thanks for your comment!

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