Chapter one : The Hardest Part
And the hardest part
Was letting go, and not taking part
It was the hardest part
– "The hardest part" by Coldplay.
A slight beeping sound could be heard in the background.
It was still hard to believe that it had all came down to this in the end, even after years of hunting and hundreds of stiches in crappy room motels. Even though he knew instinctively that it will all end here he still can't believe it, apparently there really is a difference between knowing something and believing it.
He feels detached from the world like he is a ghost, a specter of what he once was and will never be again.
A rattling sound echoes every time his brother takes a breath and he wonders if this breath will be his last, when – nit if –the simple calming rhythm of the heart monitor will stop.
The sound of a pitiful whimper reaches his ears and he has to stifle one of his own in return.
He hates the waiting, the uncertainty of it all, waiting for someone to deliver the killing blow. He wants to help, can't stomach the idea that there are a bunch of strangers saving his brother's life while he just sits there helplessly, but there is nothing he can do and in the end all that is left is to wait.
They had tried countless times to remove him from his brother's side but he refused time and time again – technically speaking no one should have been allowed in the room from the first place never mind the fact he is a patient here at the hospital too and he shouldn't be out of the bed- in the end the nurses let him alone because he looks wretched and pitiful.
Maybe they shouldn't have allowed him here after all, for he doesn't know what's worse, not being able to see his brother, or seeing his brother and not recognizing him because all he can see is a frail, pale body and he can't find a trace of his – larger than life – big brother there at all.
His brother who is hooked up to every medical machine the hospital has to offer, who looks ashen and—No, he can't think about this right now.
He looks about the room trying to distract himself, but there is nothing in the room besides the bed and the numerous pieces of equipment. Even the stack of thorns he is sitting on – which has no relation to a chair whatsoever and is probably designed specifically for the purpose of torture – can't distract him from what is really going on.
But in the end it's all useless; he can't escape the truth, he would give anything to close his eyes and let oblivion take him from this harsh reality, except that he knows what will be waiting to greet him in the dark creases of his mind and any reality is better than the horrible visions his mind conjures.
He wishes Dad was here. He remembers how he felt betrayed and disappointed every time his father left his brother and him alone to fend for themselves while he went out for a hunt, those days he felt like he lost both of his parents in the fire all those years ago.
But it wasn't until now that he realizes how untrue that was; now that he has lost his father for real, he notices his absence. God how he longs for his comforting presence, Dad might not give him a hug but a reassuring hand on his shoulder would do wonders to Sam right now, he wants his father there to promise that everything will be all right.
He even misses the fights they used to have, how they fought about stupid and useless things, about things that seemed important then and there but holds no meaning now.
Now that he can't talk to his father anymore, can't shout and scream, can't blame him for everything going wrong in their lives and most important of all he can't ask him for forgiveness. He can't do any of that now, not again, not ever, because his Dad is gone. His Dad, the one that held strong against everything time and fate threw at him.
He can't believe his father is dead, he always thought that Dean was the one who believed John was an invincible hero, but it seemed that there was a part of Sam that believed that even though his dad was no hero, he would always be there to protect them.
But now Dad is dead and Dean is dy—is sick, Dean the one who had taken care of him all his life – of both their lives really – and the least Sam can do is to take care of Dean, now that Dean can't do it himself, he owes it to him he just doesn't know what he is supposed to do.
The only thing he can do is to not give up on his brother. So he holds his brother's hand tight in his own and prays.
Suddenly the hand in his grip twitches slightly and before he could rejoice in this fact for more than half a second, a blaring noise sounds deafeningly in the room, as though all the contraptions connected to his brother are wailing at the same time.
The moment he looks up he can see why all the machines are going crazy, his brother is having a seizure, a full blown seizure right in front of his eyes, he lets out a horror filled scream reflexively and backs away, staring in morbid fascination and before he could do anything more, doctors and nurses rush into the room.
Everything is in chaos around him, he doesn't know what's going on, can't hear anything except for the earsplitting screeches, he doesn't even know right from left, the only thing he knows is that Dean is still seizing and twitching and jerking and–
And a motherly nurse with sympathetic look in her eyes, blocks his view of Dean. He tries to go around her, but to no avail, she is holding his shoulder tight, anchoring him in his place. She is saying something to him but he can't hear her, he wants to see Dean, to make sure he is alright, but Dean isn't alright he is having a seizure.
And at that thought all the strength leaves Sam, he has no desire to see Dean like this, one glance was enough for a life time and he is certain that the image of his brother jerking and twitching will forever be engraved in his mind, that's why when the nurse starts to guide him out of the room he follows her obediently.
She takes him to the waiting room, and sits beside him. She doesn't say anything and neither does he, and that's how the time passes. He knows the real reason she is sitting beside him is to ensure he doesn't run away or do anything stupid.
He had seen the look everyone at the hospital gives him, they had suggested he take a session with a grief counselor more than once and he knows he won't be able to refuse again. They had already called CPS and if it wasn't for the fact that he himself is still admitted to the hospital, he would have found himself at a foster house by now.
After what seemed like days but was probably only half an hour the doctor responsible for Dean's case came into the waiting room. Sam doesn't know his name but he saw him enough times to recognize him. He nodded at Sam and Sam understood the gesture for what it was and quickly followed the doctor out of the room leaving the nurse behind.
He was going to ask about Dean's well being when the doctor beat him to it, probably already knowing exactly what Sam was going to say.
"Dean's seizure is over, and we have him on Carbamazepine to reduce the possibilities of another fit occurring." It didn't escape Sam's notice that the doctor didn't say anything else about Dean's state, like he wanted to spare him this information.
But Sam is nothing if not stubborn, so he asked the doctor anyway. "Dean is going to be fine now, right?"
The doctor tried to hide a wince and failed miserably, he gave Sam a sympathetic look and took a deep breath, which meant 'let's sit down and have a cup of hot chocolate, I am about to give some bad news'.
"I don't want to sit down." Sam said abruptly interrupting the doctor before he even began. And then he lowered his voice considerably. "Say what you want to say already." He said almost pleadingly.
The doctor looked like he was about to protest but then he shook his head and didn't object; apparently he realized that some battles couldn't be won. "I'm worried about the head trauma. I am afraid there's an early sign of cerebral edema."
When the doctor noticed the confused look on Sam's face he elaborated. "Cerebral edema is the excess accumulation of fluid in the intracellular or extracellular spaces of the brain, most people with this degree of injury wouldn't have survived for hours let alone this long. Your brother is a fighter, alright. But you need to have realistic expectations. I am sorry son."
"So" and here Sam took a deep breath to steady his offbeat heart. "What you're saying is he isn't going to make it."
The doctor looked torn not wanting to give false hope and also not wanting to crush the boy in front of him, so he settled on indecisive statement instead. "I will be honest with you, Sam, the odds aren't in his favor, but nothing is set in stone." The doctor gave his shoulder a firm but gentle squeeze before continuing in a soft voice. "You can go stay with your brother now, until we know more."
Sam nodded, the doctor didn't say it, but Sam grew professional at reading between the lines and it's not like the doctor was trying to hide it that much either. Dean wasn't going to make it, or so the doctor believed anyway. He wanted time to comprehend everything, and thankfully the doctor seemed to get that because he left after patting his shoulder twice.
Sam suddenly felt like he couldn't catch his breath, he felt like the walls were closing on him, he had to get away, he needed to get far away from the white walls, the bustling doctors and the sterile smell – the smell of death like an omen forewarning of what is to come – he can't take it anymore.
He had to get out of here, to smell fresh air.
So he took off running, bypassing everyone in the hallways until he reached the hospital doors and he kept running still. He ran and ran until he couldn't run anymore and just let it all go. He sat down on the ground in some dark alley and cried from the unfairness of it all.
He didn't know how long he sat there crying his heart out; it could have been hours it could have been minutes he just knew it felt like forever.
Suddenly without any warning he got the feeling that he wasn't alone. No, it wasn't a feeling, he knew beyond any shadow of doubt that someone else was there. He didn't know where the certainty had come from but it was there.
He looked up trying to find who had invaded his solitude but fortunately or unfortunately in this case he didn't need to try hard, there was a man kneeling right in front of him.
He had this air about him like a man who owned the world and had nothing to fear or to lose. And Sam instantly knew that the man wasn't all he appeared to be. Maybe it was the eerie smirk, or the unsettling look on his face, or maybe even the disturbing emotions flickering in his eyes, either way he caused the hairs on the back of his neck to rise and a chill to travel down his spine.
The stranger smiled. "Well, well, well, if it isn't little Sammy. I must admit you are a bit on the short side, I expected you to be taller, but that is hardly anything to be worried about, it can be easily remedied after all."
"What are you?" asked Sam because there was no doubt in Sam's mind that the being in front of him wasn't human.
That's when the stranger's eyes flashed a yellow color like puss, Sam didn't show any outwardly reaction to this at all, he already knew there was something other worldly with the stranger and although some distant corner of his mind was telling him that he should be wary of this being, Sam couldn't bring himself to actually listen to it, he was barely aware of that part as it is.
"Smart I see. I knew I liked you for a reason." Said the creature with a smug smile as if he had proven something he already knew was true.
"What are you? And what do you want?" repeated Sam in an uncharacteristic show of bravado. He knew he was defenseless and had no weapons on his person but he also knew he had nothing to lose, nothing to live for and maybe this is for the best, maybe then he wouldn't have to watch Dean die.
"You can worry about what I am or what I want later, what you need to get that big brain of yours concerned about is what YOU want."
Sam tried not to get intrigued but he couldn't help himself, he knew he was being lured but he was already caught hook, line and sinker.
"What do you mean?" asked Sam in a small voice any sign of his earlier bravado gone in the face of all the enticing possibilities that invaded his mind.
"Well for the sake of explaining things think of me as your own personal genie I can give you wealth beyond your comprehension, give you love or" and here the stranger gave him a knowing look like he can read Sam like an open book. "Or maybe even heal someone who is at death's door?"
Sam's breath hitched in his throat, this man or creature or whatever couldn't be offering exactly what Sam was yearning, wishing, and hoping for all along.
This must be a joke or a prank or a– a– something. But when he looked into the stranger's eyes he knew the being was serious.
And again Sam couldn't stop his breath from hitching in his throat and this time the stranger didn't try to stifle his mocking smile in return.
This couldn't be real, if it weren't for the stranger watching his every move like a hawk he would have pinched himself, as it is he is still very tempted to pinch himself anyway.
Why would this being offer to do such a thing? He didn't want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but he is a Winchester after all and it is a proven fact that nothing good ever happens to them without consequences. He couldn't possibly be doing it out of the goodness of his heart, it occurred to Sam then that the stranger hadn't said anything about it being for free and Sam should have known, he learned a long time ago never to assume things it was rule number two in 'The Hunters Guide For Dummies'.
"And of course you want something in return?" he asked warily.
The creature gave one of his infuriating smirks again.
"There is no reason for you to worry; all I want in return is a small price. You won't even have to give it to me now. Ten years sounds good? Ten years of living your life fully without any repercussions." The stranger didn't even try to deny that he was asking for payment in return, and oddly enough that fact comforted Sam; at least he knew the stranger was being straightforward with him.
"What makes you think that I would want to work with a monster like you? Why shouldn't I just kill you right now?" He was obviously bluffing but he didn't want to come across as too eager lest he would be taken advantage of.
But apparently it was too late for that, Sam should have known that no matter what he wouldn't have been able to hide the hope and worst his willingness to do, pay and give whatever it took to have his big brother by his side again, so he shouldn't have even tried.
And for the first time since meeting him, something other than amusement flashed in the being's eyes, something more akin to fury than anger.
And before Sam could even scoot back half an inch he found himself thrown roughly against the wall and suspended there and within seconds the creature was right in front of his face occupying his personal space, his face was so close to his own they were breathing the same air and their noses were almost touching.
He stared Sam in the eye. "Listen here, Sammy boy, I like you, I really do." and if Sam could move any part of his body at all, he would have flinched at those words. "That's why I have been easy on you, taking my sweat time, trying not to intimidate you but apparently I shouldn't have done that." He said slowly almost calmly with a condensing smile on his face.
"Now let's get something clear, your brother is either dead," Sam recoiled "or is well on his being there. And the only thing that could save him is standing right in front of you, so you either start showing me some respect or you better start running back to your brother, who knows maybe you will even get the chance say goodbye, if it's not too late already." He waited a minute to make sure it all stank in before continuing in a false cheerful tone. "So, why don't you drop your games and stop pretending, because both you and I already know that there isn't anything you wouldn't be willing to do for your brother. Understand?"
The invisible force gluing him on the wall started to tighten on him until he couldn't take his breath, his lungs were crying for air and there was nothing he can do about it. Black spots were appearing on the edges of his vision and started to eat it all up, until all that he could see was a black abyss that was trying to pull him in and swallow him whole. And right when he thought that this was the end, the invisible bonds released him from its snare and he fell to the ground like a rag doll.
The monster was staring at him intensely then he made a motion with his face urging Sam to answer his question – which apparently wasn't rhetorical – Sam nodded weakly to show his acquiescence and it felt like the minute motion had sapped out all his remaining strength and suddenly the fear that had been absent all this time made its presence known and Sam wished it would pull a vanishing act again soon.
The creature nodded satisfied with his silent answer and then he smiled warmly and all traces of fury and evilness vanished from his eyes like they were never there.
"Now let's return to the original subject." He paused and a serious look entered his eyes. "I want your soul, Samuel Winchester."
Sam's eyes widened comically in a show of pure horror, he must have heard that wrong.
"I know it might sound scary but it's more than worth it right?" said the creature seeing the horrified look on his face in the same tone a car dealer would use to sell a beat up truck.
"My soul?" cried Sam and the creature nodded in acquiescence.
"W– what does that even mean? You want me to be your s– slave?" Sam said in a shaky voice.
He shook his head as if truly disappointed by the question. "No, nothing like that. Where would you get such distasteful idea? Those who make deals with the devil shall be damned for all of eternity."
"H– hell" spluttered Sam weakly and then his brain finally caught up to another part of the sentence. "You are the d– devil?" He said in a horrified whisper.
Oh god this can't be happening he was talking to the devil, the real deal, who probably made a living out of eating babies' hearts and sacrificing virgins on full moons and …
The creature gave an amusement filled chuckle. "Oh, Samuel, you flatter me, really you do. Geez you kids with your stereotypes, because I want your soul doesn't automatically make me "The devil", ah adolescence." he said with the air of a parent exasperated from his child's constant questioning.
And Sam breathed a sigh of relief, and then the creature continued. "You need to be sure of what you are saying before you blabber the wrong thing to the wrong people, Samuel. However that doesn't mean you were exactly wrong you see I am a demon, not the Devil, but close enough."
Great, thank God, it's not the Devil. It's only your everyday common demon that is very reassuring, he thought sarcastically. It doesn't matter anyway he decided to concentrate on one thing at a time and the fact that demons do exist had to take a back seat right now
Sam took a moment to compose himself before asking. "If you are a demon then why are you helping me?"
"Ah Sam, I thought we have been through this just now. I am helping you because I want your soul in return. It's easy to understand isn't it? I am sure you have heard about the law of equivalent exchange before; your soul for you brother's well being, a life for a life?"
"And what exactly happens to my soul after I'm de– after you collect it." He said instead.
The demon gave a truly devilish grin and wasn't that full of irony. "Well, you tell me Sam, what do you think souls do in Hell, exactly?"
"Torture." said Sam detachedly and strangely enough he didn't stutter this time. The demon didn't grace him with an answer to that, but in this occasion the silence was more telling than any words.
"So," said the demon with a winning smile, "Do we have a deal?"
"What?" said Sam breathlessly, "N– now? Don't I get like um…time to think about it?"
"Of course, you got all the time in the world but I doubt that dearest big brother of yours has that much time, in fact his time is almost up." He said it in a casual tone like he was talking about the weather, but his smug smirk showed his true thoughts on the matter.
And that was all the incentive Sam needed to hear, the mention of Dean was all that was necessary to close the deal and the demon probably knew it too. Sam's fate was sealed the moment the demon showed up and offered to cure his brother, Sam knew then that he would do anything to save his brother's life and that hadn't changed in the last ten minutes.
He steeled his resolve and took a deep breath. "I'll do it." and he was pleased with how steady his voice sounded.
"Fantastic." said the demon smiling. "But before we make this official, there is a little detail I may have omitted before." the demon made sure to look Sam in the eye before continuing. "If you agree to the deal, Dean will lose all his memories and before you ask, yes that includes you, your parents, hunting, and everything in between. And if you consent to the deal then you can't ever under any circumstances tell Dean the truth or he will drop dead before you get more than one word out, do you understand what I am saying?"
Sam was reeling from the news. "All his memories? But– but if he lost all of his memories, if he didn't rem– remember me, then how –how," Sam took a deep breath and tried again, "Then I would lose my brother anyway."
"Samuel," Said the demon sounding upset, then he gave a sigh, "I am really disappointed in you; how could you say that? Would you rather your brother be dead than alive?"
And Sam couldn't take it anymore he partially exploded. "But it would be pointless. It would still feel the same, and in the end I will still lose him and Dean he– he won't even be my brother anymore; he would live his life without knowing that he has a family, a past, an ambition, an identity. How can you ask me to give all that away? Like it has no meaning, like it never existed, like he never existed."
And even though Sam was shouting silent tears were leaving tracks on his cheeks, he knew he should be strong – Winchesters don't ever cry after all, or show any weakness for that matter– but he couldn't stop and he didn't care anyway. All he wanted to do was sob his heart right out.
"And is that really a bad thing, Samuel?" continued the demon not even slightly putt off by his shouting. "Think about Dean, won't it be better for him to forget? How do you think Dean would react once he learns of his father's death, his idol, his hero, his everything? And what would happen when he learns that his little baby brother whom he had raised and protected all his life would die because of him? Or what if he thinks that you have become one of the things he was raised to hunt, that he needs to put you down. It would kill him, wouldn't it?"
Some faraway part of Sam's brain noticed that it was weird that the demon could come up with so many reasons on the top of his head, how it sounded more like a premade list than an improvised speech, but the rest of Sam's brain was concerned with the real possibility that Dean might not remember him at all. And now he realizes that was what scared him the most.
"I just want him to remember me." 'To ruffle my hair, hold me in his arms and to love me' went unsaid but hung heavily in the air nonetheless.
The demon looked tired now, like he had expected Sam to agree with him ages ago. "Just for once Samuel, don't be selfish and think about Dean. He sacrificed everything for you; don't you think it's time for you to do the same? Dean would be free from hunting, free from chasing after his parents' killer, trying to avenge a mother he barely remembers and a father who saw him as nothing more than a soldier. Dean threw away his life and dreams to take care of you, to follow in his father's footsteps, is that really all you want for him, now finally he would be free from all the responsibilities he had no desire to carry, but still they were placed on his then too small shoulders. Can you not be satisfied with the knowledge that Dean is happy and safe? Can't that be enough?"
If Sam was paying attention he would have noticed that the demon knew about his family more than he should and that the demon used the word killer instead of killers which would mean that his parents were both killed by the same monster, but Sam wasn't paying attention or more accurately he was concentrating but not on those stuff, he was focused on Dean and what was best for him.
"And there is no other way? Can't you heal him without taking his memories?" He didn't want to sound selfish but he couldn't help but ask.
The demon sighed and his eyes softened, he crouched until he was at the same level with Sam and he made sure to look him in the eyes, "No, Sam, there is no other way. It's your decision in the end, but believe me it will be better this way." He squeezed his shoulder once and gave Sam a minute before continuing. "Dean's time is running out Sam, and whatever decision you make you have to do it now, so what will it be?"
It finally dawned on Sam what he was about to do and frankly he wasn't surprised with his decision at all. Maybe he should be worried about what Dean would want and that he would never have chosen to lose his memories, but Dean can't decide anything right now, Dean is dying and now it's Sam's turn to make the decisions for him. And as long as Dean is safe and happy then he can't ask for more.
"He won't remember anything from before?" Sam was stalling, he knew it, the demon knew it. But he just couldn't let go.
"No, he won't." Thankfully the demon didn't call him on his stalling and humored him.
"And I can't talk to him again?"
"I am afraid not."
"And he will be safe and happy, right?"
"Yes, he will be happy."
He looked the Demon in the eye and his voice didn't waver at all, "I agree. But I want to be able to say goodbye first." He said in his strongest voice like he was demanding, instead of asking permission.
"I will give you an hour to say goodbye, after that I will take Dean somewhere else where he will be able to live his new life. Deal?"
Where? Sam wanted to ask so badly, but he held his tongue. "Deal." he said instead.
"Great, pleasure doing business with you, Samuel."
"What are we supposed to do now? Don't I have to sign a contract or shake hands or something?" Sam said before he could change his mind or something.
"Or something." muttered the demon in a quiet voice and a strange smile on his face. "All you have to do, Samuel is hold still." And Sam did, he was standing stiff as a log barely even daring to breath.
This was it.
He could hear the blood roaring in his ears.
And the demon was getting closer to him.
This was it.
And he could almost feel his life shattering all around him.
And the demon was leaning down.
This was it.
And he was frozen in time, frozen in place.
And he knew what the demon was planning to do.
This was it.
He knew there was no going back, not now, not ever.
And the demon was almost touching his lips now.
This was it.
It was the end and he hoped Dean would be able to forgive him.
And then the demon was kissing him.
This was it.
So what do you think? should i continue?
Don't forget to leave a review, i would love to hear your thoughts.
And have a nice day.