SPN FIC: Into the West, Part 1/?
Title: Into the West 1/? By: wolfling Fandom: SPN Rating: PG this part, but probably NC-17 in future parts Pairing: Sam/Dean Spoilers: up to AHBL part 2 Word count: 3533 Summary: Dean finds out how far Sam is willing to take both of them to break the deal. Author's Notes: And this is the other fic I wrote for a fic exchange this holiday season. It's written for opprobrium for spn_holidays. It's inspired by a combination of two of her prompts: Sam/Dean with an alpha and possessive Sam. Ideally a Sam who is consumed with breaking the crossroads deal and as a result becomes slightly obsessed with Dean. It wouldn't hurt to have Sam going a little darkside. and Sam/Dean Western AU. Featuring ancient Indian burial grounds, chaps,and Dean being the baddest ass that ever lived yet so very in love with his only brother.. As you can see, this is not the whole story; it seems to be growing more into one of my epics and since I tend to write at the pace of an arthritic turtle at times, what you're getting is the beginning of the fic, with a promise to continue with it until it's finished. Many thanks to kayteaenbee for betaing.
The first thing that Dean was aware of was his head. It was throbbing in time to his heartbeat and he wasn't completely convinced it wouldn't just break open or explode if he tried moving. Just to be on the safe side, he lay very still and concentrated on trying to think past the throbbing.
He was outside -- he could feel a slight breeze ruffling his hair and clothes, and he could smell the grass he was lying on, and feel it tickling as it brushed against his skin. It was night, he thought, judging by the certain quiet heaviness the air seemed to hold. It was a sensation he only associated with the dark.
He had no idea where he was. Trying to recall what had happened brought foggy memories of drinking with his brother, and Sammy's eyes being dark and intense, all out of place with his smile and the seeming lightheartedness of the situation.
Considering his current location, it was pretty obvious in retrospect that Sam had been hiding something and that Dean should have really picked up on the little clues. But things had been so grim and dark lately that it had felt good to let his guard down a little and have one night where they just enjoyed themselves and didn't worry about anything more serious than finding the next mark to hustle at the pool table.
Dean gave a snort of bitter amusement, then winced as it reverberated around inside his skull. If there was one thing that he should have learned by now, it was that letting your guard down any time only led to bad things. Like waking up who knows where with a head that felt three sizes too big and ready to pop like a balloon at any second.
Slowly, carefully, Dean managed to roll over onto his back without his head falling off. This was a great accomplishment and he took a moment to relish it before attempting the next feat: opening his eyes. When he did open them, he found himself staring up at a clear night sky full of stars.
A familiar groan coming from beside him had Dean carefully turning his head to see Sam sprawled on the ground beside him.
"Sammy?" he managed, his voice sounding hoarse and rusty. Dean cleared his throat and tried again. "Sam? You all right?"
He got an incoherent grunt in reply, but his brother was moving, flipping over onto his side to face Dean. "Yeah," he muttered, his eyes still more closed than open, like his lids were too heavy to hold up. "You?"
"Just peachy." He gingerly rolled to his side in a mirror image of Sam's position, which brought him close enough to reach out and touch if he wanted.
"Good," Sam breathed out a sigh. His eyes drifted all the way closed again and he looked about ready to fall back asleep.
"Hey!" Dean winced as his own yell made his headache pound all that much harder. He grabbed and shook Sam's shoulder. "No sleeping," he continued in a much quieter voice. "We gotta get up, figure out where we are, what happened."
One of Sam's eyes popped open again to look at Dean. "Already know," he said sleepily. "'Splain later. Need to rest now." His hand came up and closed around Dean's wrist where he was still holding Sam's shoulder. "You too. Spell takes a lot out of you..."
"Spell?" Dean repeated, alarm running along his nerves. "What spell? Sammy, what did you do?"
"Kept you safe," Sam murmured, satisfaction dripping from the sleepy words. "They won't be able to take you now." He sounded like he said something else, but his voice was drifting off as he was and even Dean couldn't make out those last words.
Dean stared at his brother, who was now snoring softly, and contemplated shaking him awake to demand more answers. Two things stopped him however; first, if Sammy was conking out while lying on the hard ground when they were god knows where, he must have been really wiped. And secondly, shaking him awake would involve a whole hell of a lot more movement than Dean was really wanting to indulge in just then. In fact, aside from the not knowing where they were or what was going on, Sam's idea of a nap right there on the ground didn't really seem all that bad.
So not that bad, in fact, that he must've actually drifted off himself because the next thing he knew, someone was throwing water on him.
"Hey!" he sputtered, rolling onto his back and holding an arm up to try and block any further attempts at dry land drowning. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Sam doing pretty much the same thing. "What the fuck, dude?"
It was dark, but there was a lit lantern on the ground a little behind the figure standing over them, casting light and shadows in crazy patterns. The figure's -- a man, Dean judged by shape and stance -- face was in shadow so Dean couldn't make out any of his features beyond the fact he had them. What he could see of the guy's clothes showed they were simple and well used, but of good quality and a little bit old fashioned. He was holding a large silver flask that glinted in the lantern light.
Beside Dean, Sam was frowning up at the stranger too. "Did you just splash holy water on us?"
"You're not demons." The guy seemed a little at a loss at this revelation.
"Yeah, thanks for noticing," Dean said grumpily. "Why would you think we're demons?" Not that there hadn't been instances where there were good reasons to check -- and even one or two when the answer had been 'yes' but still. It was one thing for family to do it. Another for some total stranger.
"Oh, not much," the guy replied. "Just that you're lying in the middle of an old Indian burial ground, where people reported seeing strange lights in the sky out this way earlier tonight. And there's sulpher residue all around the perimeter of the area." He crossed his arms over his chest, which not so incidentally took his hands out of view. "What was I supposed to think?"
Dean didn't want to take his eyes off of the guy, not knowing what his next move would be, but he did chance the briefest sideways glance at his brother. There was something in Sam's eyes -- a certain dark knowledge that wasn't quite guilt -- that made him pause. "Sammy?" he asked, his own eyes narrowing in suspicion, "what did you do?"
"What I had to," Sam replied, all of his stubbornness clothing each word. "To give us time to save you." He turned his attention to the stranger who was still watching them closely, hands out of sight. Dean had no doubt he was reaching for, or already had hold of a weapon. "This is going to sound like a crazy question," Sam said, "but what year is it?"
"1835," the stranger answered with a frown, giving Sam a curious look as Dean's reality spun sickeningly.
Sam, meanwhile, took this news with a calm nod and a tiny sigh of relief. "It worked," he said, more to himself than to anyone else. Then before Dean could get himself together enough to ask what the hell?, Sam was giving the stranger a sharper, closer look. "Can I ask what your name is?"
Dean thought his head was reeling before, but that was nothing compared to how he felt when the stranger answered, "Sam Colt."
Dean thought he was being extremely patient. Above and beyond the call even. He stayed silent while Sam talked with Colt and managed to convince him that even if they were possibly certifiable, they weren't evil and that he should help them.
He stayed silent as Colt took them back to the farmhouse he was using as a base, stayed silent until they were alone in the room given to them, with Colt's promise that they'd talk more in the morning.
But when the door closed behind them, Dean's patience ran out and he turned to his brother and said, "You going to fill me in on just what the fuck we're doing here, Sammy?"
Sam sighed and slumped tiredly onto the edge of the bed, and for a moment looked like he was going to refuse. But then he sighed again and looked up at Dean through his bangs. "Where do you want me to start?"
"Oh, I don't know," Dean said sarcastically, not letting the whipped puppy act get to him, "how about the HG Wells thing?"
"It was a portal. Some places have weak spots and certain kinds of energies can sometimes break through." He gave a half shrug. "I found a way to break through."
"You found a way to break through?" Dean echoed in disbelief. "Just like that? How?" And why? was also on the top of Dean's question list, but one thing at a time.
Sam's jaw tightened. "I just did," he finally said, the words bit off.
"Yeah, that's really informative, Sam," Dean shot back. "Gotta think that if you're not telling me, it's something I'm not going to be happy about." He paused, a familiar chill of fear tracing up his spine. "Colt said there was sulphur all over the area. Did you...." He trailed off, not sure himself how he was thinking of completing that sentence. Just that all the options were not good.
Sam was quiet for a long moment before answering in a soft voice, "No one got hurt." Which wasn't exactly the most reassuring response that Dean could've hoped for.
"Sam-" Dean began, fear making his voice sharper than he may have intended.
"No one got hurt!" Sam repeated more vehemently. "I did what I had to do and no one got hurt, okay?" He sighed again and softened his voice, looking up at Dean with wide, earnest eyes. "I'm still just me, Dean. I haven't given up anything or taken on anything that wasn't in me already. I promise. Just... let it lie at that? Please?"
Dean had never been able to ignore that look on his brother's face and he found himself caving again this time. "Fine," he said with a sigh of his own, rubbing a hand over his face. "We'll leave 'how' alone for awhile and move onto 'why'."
Sam went from puppy dog pleading to stubborn determination in the blink of an eye. "To save you."
Of course. That was Sam's motivation for everything lately. Dean hated whenever the conversation turned to it because inevitably, they ended up fighting and it stirred up all kinds of feelings that Dean was a lot happier ignoring.
But it didn't look like ignoring was an option now. "So sending us into the past is going to save me? How?"
"Well, for one thing, your deadline is a year from when you made the deal to bring me back, and we just added an extra 173 years breathing space," Sam said with a slight smile.
"You're assuming I'd want to live in a world without cars, classic rock and M&M's."
"It's gotta be a lot better than hell though," Sam shot back..
Okay, that was definitely a point. Dean grudgingly acknowledged it with a tilt of his head to the side. Before he could say anything though, Sam was continuing.
"But moving the deadline from impending doom to distant problem is more a fringe benefit than the reason." He leaned over and pulled an old leather bound book out of his duffle bag and handed it to Dean. "I found this while I was researching for a way to break the deal."
Dean looked down at the book. The cover was plain leather, dry and cracked with age. He opened it up to a page at random and saw that it was all handwritten, the ink faded -- in some places to nigh illegibility. But nonetheless there was something familiar about it.
A second later it clicked exactly what it was. Dean stared at the page a heartbeat longer to make sure, then looked back up at his brother. "This is your handwriting."
"But this, it's...."
"173 years old," Sam finished for him. "I know. It's how I knew to look for this option. I wrote this for myself, telling me where to look." He looked up at Dean, eyes earnest. "The answer to breaking the deal is here, Dean. We just need to find it."
Sam being earnest was as hard to resist as Sam using his puppy eyes. But still... "Journals can be faked. It could be a trap."
"Maybe, but I don't think so. There's stuff written in there that no one but me would know, the kinds of things I would put in to prove it to myself. And then there's this...." Sam took the book carefully back from Dean and pulled something out of the back which he handed over.
It was a photograph that looked as old as the journal. There, in sepia tones, was a picture of Sam and him. Sam was sitting in a chair and Dean was standing beside him, one hand laying on Sam's shoulder with a comfortable possessiveness. They were both dressed much as Colt had been, in period clothing of cowboys. In fact...
"Dude, am I wearing chaps?"
Sam rolled his eyes. "Dean-"
"I mean, come on. Chaps? That's just so...."
"What?" Sam asked curiously when Dean paused.
Which caused Sam to give him another eye roll. "Yeah, because sleeping with your brother makes you really straight."
"That's different," Dean protested.
Sam gave him a look that clearly said, Really?
"I don't have to wear chaps to sleep with you."
Sam stared at him for a long moment and then shook his head. "We're losing focus here. We can talk about the sexual orientation of your wardrobe later. But for now..." He nodded towards the journal and the picture, "Sure, those could be faked, but I don't think they are. And the information was good enough to get us here. Keep your eyes open for traps if you want, but for now can't you just go with it?"
And dammit, there was Sam giving him the earnest puppy dog eyes. Twenty-nine years old and Dean still had no defense to them. "Guess I don't really have much choice, do I?" he grumbled, giving in as he always did, though less than gracefully. "Not like I can go steal a DeLorean and drive back to the future or anything."
Graceful or not, Dean's acceptance caused Sam's shoulders to relax, and he gave Dean a heartfelt if weary smile. "A DeLorean's not your style anyway."
"True." He crossed over to the bed and sat down beside his brother, close enough for their shoulders to brush. "Guess I'll just have to suck it up and wait until you can mojo us back to my baby."
Sam leaned against Dean, heavy enough to give away how exhausted he still was. "I will," he said softly. "I promise. We're going to find what we need to break your deal and we're going to go back to our own time and kick some major demon butt. And then... and then..."
"Then we'll have lots of sex," Dean finished when Sam faltered.
Sam laughed softly. "We do that anyway."
"Well, yeah, but that just means I'm probably right." He reached up and ruffled Sam's hair affectionately. "Look, you can barely keep your eyes open. Get some sleep. I can grill you some more in the morning.."
Sam nodded and they both got ready for bed silently. Within ten seconds of Sam's head hitting the pillow, he was out like a light. Dean hadn't thought he'd be able to sleep himself, what with everything he had to think about, but Sam's even breathing was better than a sleeping pill, lulling him into sleep before he realized it.
If he dreamed, he didn't remember any of them.
Sam was still out cold when Dean woke the next morning so he left him sleeping and headed out to the house's kitchen.
Colt was already there, sitting at the table with a cup of coffee and a plate that had the remains of breakfast.
"Morning," he greeted Dean. "Coffee's on the stove."
Dean nodded his thanks, his liking for the man growing at the unsolicited offer of caffeine. He went over to the wood stove and poured himself some in one of the mugs set out on the nearby counter.
"So," Colt said as Dean sat down at the table and took his first sip of the hot bitter brew, just the way he liked it, "your brother's still asleep?"
"Yep," Dean replied. "Apparently yanking us back in time takes a lot out of a guy. Who knew?"
"About that..." Colt began leadingly.
"Still trying to figure out if that's true or if we both are crazy?"
Colt tilted his head. "I probably wouldn't have used those words, but yeah, pretty much."
For an answer, Dean dug into his jeans and pulled out a handful of change, handing a couple of pennies to Colt. "Check the date."
He watched Colt do so, watched the man frown a little when he read it, turning the coins over in his hands as if looking for a loophole. Finally, he sighed and handed them back to Dean. "Well, if you're crazy, you've put a lot of effort into your delusions," he admitted.
"We're thorough, but we're not that thorough," Dean replied with a half-grin. "Look, I know it sounds crazy -- it sounds just as crazy from where I'm sitting -- but it's what happened." He hesitated before continuing, but this was the guy who made the gun that killed the Yellow-Eyed Demon, so he definitely qualified as an ally in Dean's book. "Sammy and I usually work alone, but I'm not afraid to say we're probably a little out of our depth here. Any help you'd be willing to give us..."
Colt smiled faintly. "I suppose there has to be some reason why I found myself in that burial ground last night. What do you need?"
"Well, aside from the basics of not sticking out like a sore thumb or a bad Marty McFly impression, um, I'm not exactly sure, really," Dean admitted. "Sam's got this journal that apparently he wrote himself in the future -- and just thinking about how that works makes my head hurt -- but he hasn't really gone much into the specifics with me yet. Though if it doesn't have something to do with breaking demonic deals, I'll be real surprised."
Colt cocked his head and regarded Dean thoughtfully. "Your brother went and made some deal with the devil?" he asked.
He better not, or I'll kick his ass from here to hell and back, Dean thought darkly, but he knew that Sam hadn't. Well, was pretty sure he hadn't. Yet, anyway.
He must have taken too long to answer because Colt frowned at him. "Did your brother make a deal with the devil?"
"No," Dean replied quickly, then coughed. "Uh, I did." He continued quickly, explaining the necessity. "It was for Sam. There was... He was... He'd... died. I couldn't let that happen so..." He trailed off with a shrug. "This is where you tell me I'm a damn fool, I'm guessing."
Colt was silent for a moment, staring down at his coffee cup. "When my sisters died, I would have done anything to bring them back. If I'd known how to..." He looked up at Dean. "Yeah you're a fool, but it's a foolishness I can understand."
Dean nodded. "Thanks," he said, meaning it. It was nice to have someone actually understand and not get angry at him for saving his brother's life.
"So your brother is trying to break your deal," Colt said.
"Yeah. Hopefully without getting himself killed. Again." He'd pretty much given up on trying to get Sam to stop because yeah, that had been working so well. "He's pretty determined.." Dean waved a hand at himself. "As you can see."
Colt smiled a little at that. "Okay. I reckon I can be your native guide to the 19th century. Beyond that, I suppose it will depend on what your brother has in mind how much help I can be."
"Hell, how much help I'll be depends on what Sam has in mind," Dean said. "But thanks. Having a guy who make a gun that kills demons on our side definitely makes me feel better, no matter what Sam is planning."
Colt gave him a puzzled look. "What kind of gun?"
"Y'know," Dean said, gesturing. "The colt. You made it for a hunter? The gun that can kill anything."
"I'm sorry, Dean," Colt replied with a serious expression. "I don't know what you're talking about. I'm not a gunsmith. I don't make any kind of guns – much less demon-killing ones. You've got the wrong man."