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And the Ground Shook (20/22) - My Little Corner of the World
sams1ra
sams1ra
And the Ground Shook (20/22)
Disclaimer: I don't own them, they own me.
Rating: Gen, with very mild language.
Category: Gen.
Pairings: None.
Characters: Hurt!Dean, John, Sam.
Summery: "Don’t you give up, you hear me?" John demanded, pulling Dean to his feet. "Whatever it is, I'll take care of it, okay? I'll clean up the mess." John said, and quickly added, "And you can bet your ass you're gonna be right there, cleaning it up with me. And cleaning the car. And the house. And whatever the hell else I tell you, you got that?" Dean didn’t meet his eyes, and John's heart was racing.
Comments: Are loved and coveted. Seriously, you'll get cookies.
Notes: Pre-series, AU. Not a deathfic. Lots of Dean-whumping, though. 
This is the one, guys, what you've been waiting for? Hold on tight, you ain't in Kansas anymore...

And the Ground Shook


Chapter Twenty – And The Ground Shook

Not long after that, they came to a crossroads where five different tunnels met. Dean never even hesitated; choosing the one to his far left. John stopped him.

"Wait,"

"It's that way." Dean said simply.

"What is?"

"The scepter. I know where it is." Dean said. John raised a suspicious brow.

"How?" he demanded. Dean shrugged.

"I just do."


It's powerful, and Dean can feel it. He's figured it out years ago. He used to think everyone could feel things the way he did. He used to think it was natural, normal. It took a few hunts for him to realize his father and brother couldn’t feel things the way he did; that they couldn’t sense supernatural power from a distance the way he could.

There was such power buried here, it practically made the walls resonate all around them, but no one else seemed to see or feel it the way Dean did.

He led the way, growing stronger, more confident the closer he got, bolstered by the knowledge that it will all be over soon.

The tunnels were cool, dark and dry, but not too dry. Yellow moss covered some of the walls and parts of the ceiling. The place smelled of rot and decay, and Dean could feel the chill in his bones, feel the threat. The danger.

"Are you sure we're going the right way?" Sam asked, his voice resonating in the darkness.

"I'm sure," Dean said, and then stopped, glancing over his shoulder. "Why?" he asked. Sam shrugged, looking agitatedly around.

"I don’t know," he said, "it's just… I have a really bad feeling about this place." Sam said and Dean rolled his eyes.

"You do realize you just jinxed us, right?" he asked, trying to make his little brother smile. But Sam was too nervous. He was feeling it, too, Dean realized.

"I'm serious, man. This place… it feels… wrong. Evil." Sam licked his lips, looking at his father. "Maybe we should rethink this."

John scrubbed his face, readjusting his gun, and looked at his oldest. There was something in Dean's face John hasn’t seen in a long time, something that made the father ache. Fear. Uncertainty. Helplessness.

This was Dean's last chance.

But not Sammy's.

John glanced at his youngest, hesitating for a moment.

"All right," the eldest Winchester said, his mind made up. "Sammy, I want you to double back. Get out of here. Wait for us outside." He ordered. Sam and Dean exchanged glances.

"What?" Sam asked, unsure he'd heard right.

"You heard me. I want you out of here." John said authoritatively.

"I'm not leaving you guys alone!" Sam shrieked.

"You are, if I say so!" John snapped.

"No! I wanna help!" Sam insisted.

"Sammy," Dean's voice was gentle, soft, "I think the best way for you to help is to wait outside, okay?" Dean asked, "I'm serious, Sammy, I want you out, or we're not going any farther." Dean said as Sam opened his mouth to protest. "I'm not kidding here, Sam, get out!" Dean said firmly as Sam tried to protest again. Sam scowled.

"Right. Because the last few times we separated ended up just peachy." He said sarcastically. Dean shook his head, but John bit his lip. Sam did have a point. They had to stick together. He wanted both his sons close.

Seeing his father hesitate made Dean even more firm. "You need to leave, Sammy."

"Who died and made you the boss of me?" Sam protested. "You don’t give the orders around here." He said, looking at his father. Dean simply crossed his arms over his chest stubbornly.

They kept arguing, each refusing to surrender, refusing to listen. Sam wanted to stay, Dean wanted him to leave, and John was torn between the two; wanting Sammy to be safe, but reluctant to send him off on his own. But as soon as Dean pulled the weary, exhausted card, leaning against the wall of the cave, resting his head on his arm with his eyes closed, Sam caved and turned back.

John stared at his oldest for a long moment as Dean still leaned against the wall.

"You okay?" the worried father asked. Dean gave a slight nod, pushing away from the wall.

"I just want this to be over already." Dean said wearily.

"Me to, kiddo. Me too." John said, putting his hand on Dean's shoulder. "Ready to go?" Dean nodded.

They started walking again, deeper into the cave, and John could feel himself developing an ulcer. Was it a smart idea to let Sam leave on his own? Maybe we should've escorted him back? No, he's a man. He's a professional, he knows how to handle himself. And still… maybe we should go back with him, just to make sure…

John glanced over his shoulder every now and then, still hesitating. Until he realized Dean kept very close to him, much closer than he'd usually allow himself to walk by his father. Dean was scared. Dean was the one facing the unknown here. Dean needed him more right now. Sammy will be fine. Oh, God, please let Sammy be fine

John cleared his throat, garnering his son's attention. "You know, uh… I was thinking," he said, running a hand through his hair. He couldn’t look in Dean's eyes, he just couldn’t. "Maybe Sammy was right. Maybe you should go back, too. Let me do this. I'll get the scepter. There's no way she can tell…" John started but let the sentence hang as Dean shook his head.

"I can't go back." He said. John gave him a small smile.

"Sure you can." He said calmly, "Go back. You and your brother wait for me by the car. I can get the scepter. No one'll know…"

"No, Dad, I mean I can't." Dean stopped him again. John frowned. Dean smiled that smile of his that said 'I'm so screwed', and John could feel his blood pressure rising. "Even if I wanted to…" Dean shrugged, shaking his head a little, "I can't." he said. "I can't turn back."

"What are you talking about?" John demanded. Dean pressed his hand gingerly over the symbol on his chest, smiling bitterly.

"I can't…" he shook his head again, looking into John's eyes. "It won't let me." Dean swallowed, trying to keep the smile on his face. "Every time we double back… Dad, it hurts so bad I can't breathe. We have to move forward. We have to finish it, Dad, or..." Dean didn't finish the sentence. He was tired, tired of being in pain, tired of being tired. One way or the other, this was going to end. John scrutinized his son for a long moment before nodding.

"Then let's stop wasting time." He said.


"Well, that's definitely not something you see every day." John said, peering out from the large, oval shaped hole in the rocks. Dean sat leaned against a large stone pillar, eyes closed, catching his breathe. He was exhausted. He just wanted to sleep; close his eyes and sleep and wake up and realize it had all just been a nightmare. That this wasn’t real. That this wasn’t really happening to him.

They had been going downhill for a while, and then started climbing back up. Going uphill was far more exerting than it should've been. John insisted that he'd drink more. Dean figured drinking would probably help him keep sharp, but he was just too damn tired to reach for the water bottle.

The air was different here. Damper. Easier to breathe somehow, without all that dust. The ground was covered with rocks, gravel and smooth pebbles. Little beetles and ants scattered around searching for food in between the large pillars, stalagmites, and stalactites protruding every now and then. John walked headfirst into one when he was too busy making sure Dean was still on his feet to look where he was going. That was going to leave a mark. Some of the rocks were covered in soft, red moss. Most of them were smooth and large enough to sit or lie on.

It was colder here, too, and both Winchesters found themselves shivering lightly. And once they got where they needed to get… Well, it wasn’t exactly what they'd expected. Whatever power lay in this place was so strong, so palpable, that even John could feel it now. There was a ring of faded protection symbols. And if you looked past that… well, that's when things started to get interesting.

How light got in there, neither Winchester had a clue, but the place was lit by a soft blue light; like the light of a full moon shining in the desert. The light illuminated a rather large pool of dark water. Somewhere towards the farther end of the rancid water was a slightly elevated ground made of rocks, pebbles and fallen pillars. There was a small, somewhat flat rock that almost looked like a pedestal standing crookedly near the middle of the elevated land. And on top of that…

The damn scepter looked so ordinary and unremarkable it was almost disappointing. Just a sixteen inch long wooden rod. Well, that's all John could see from where he was standing anyway. Looking away from the scepter, John turned to his son.

"Ready to get this thing over with, champ?" he asked. Dean nodded lightly. He looked back the way they came. The faded symbols shone a faint blue, but Dean guessed his father couldn’t see that. Or anything else that just didn’t feel right. "Dean?" John asked when Dean showed no intention to move.

"What if Bobby was right?" Dean asked all of a sudden, catching his father off guard.

"What?"

"Maybe we shouldn’t do this?" Dean didn’t look up at his Dad, "I mean, someone obviously bothered enough to protect this thing, what if…"

"Dean, don’t." John stopped him before he could go any further. The eldest Winchester crouched next to his son. "It's okay." John said, trying to sound far more convincing than he felt. "It's gonna be okay." He promised. At that, Dean looked up at him.

"But what if it's not?" he asked in a soft voice, a bitter smile on his lips. "What if I take this thing, and, I don’t know, release a demon or something?" Dean demanded, his voice cracking a little. "What if people die because of it?"

"Don’t worry about it." John said. Dean looked incredulous.

"How can I not?" he demanded, shrugging John's hand away from his shoulder. John lifted Dean's chin, making him look him in the eye.

"You just worry about the Leech, okay? Let me worry about the rest." He said. Dean looked at his father for a long moment, clenching and unclenching his jaw. He was the first to look away. "Dean?"

"I can't." Dean said in a small voice.

"Yes, you can." John said firmly. "Listen to me, we've come this far, you bet your ass you can, you hear me?" This was it. The last chance of reason. If that didn’t work, he'll order Dean to take it. And if that didn’t work, well, not that he really wanted to do it, but he could still kick his son's ass if he needed to.

Dean exhaled slowly, rubbing his eyes with the heels of his hands, and turned, glancing at the scepter. His father didn’t see it, that much was obvious. "Dad,"

"Don’t you give up, you hear me?" John demanded, pulling Dean to his feet. "Whatever it is, I'll take care of it, okay? I'll clean up the mess." John said, and quickly added, "And you can bet your ass you're gonna be right there, cleaning it up with me. And cleaning the car. And the house. And whatever the hell else I tell you, you got that?" Dean didn’t meet his eyes, and John's heart was racing.

"But what if Bobby's right, Dad? What if it's not worth it?" Dean asked, his voice barely above a whisper as he looked over his father's shoulder at the twinkling lights his old man didn’t seem to be able to see, as he felt the power resonate all around him, nearly suffocating him.

"You don’t listen to Bobby, you listen to me, understand?" John said, a little harsher than he'd meant to. Dean shook his head.

"You really can't see that, can you?" he asked, his voice breaking as he jutted his chin toward the shimmering pool and the near blinding light surrounding the scepter. John frowned, looking in the direction Dean was pointing.

"What?" he asked. Dean ran both his hands through his short hair, entwining his fingers behind his neck. "See what, Dean?" he demanded. Dean stared at him for a long moment, and then gave him that smirk again, the smirk that foretold trouble was coming. He gave a small, resigned nod and started for the water's edge.

John caught him by the elbow.

"What's wrong?" John asked worriedly. Because there was something wrong. It was written clearly across his firstborn's face. Dean smiled at him.

"It's okay, Dad." He said, "This is for Sammy, right? This is going to save Sammy." Dean said, and John's heart skipped a beat. Something was wrong. Something was so very wrong, and for some reason, he couldn’t see it. It unnerved him. Hell, it scared the crap out of him. The way Dean was talking, it was almost as if…

"Dean,"

"You're right." Dean stopped him. "We can't give up now." He said confidently. "We'll clean up the mess later. This is for Sammy."

John didn’t want to let go of his son's arm. He didn’t realize he had until Dean was already by the murky pool. John's heart was pounding so fast it ached. Dean spared a glimpse over his shoulder, sending his father another reassuring smile which only managed to do the opposite.

Dean hesitated for a moment as he reached the water, glancing at his father one last time. He considered taking his boots and socks off, to keep them dry, but he had no idea what lay under the water, and he didn’t really want to find out.

John took a couple of steps forward so he could see better. His palms were sweaty, the cold making him shiver.

Taking a deep breath, Dean stepped in the water. He hissed as the cold bit his flesh. The water was freezing, sapping whatever warmth he had left right out of him. He waddled along, feeling the sharp rocks under his feet, and thanked God he decided to keep his shoes on.

His teeth were clattering now, as the water reached his thighs. His muscles screamed in protest, willing to give in. Dean glanced back at his father, hands wrapped around his body in a weak attempt to keep warm, to keep going. John took a step closer, smiling, nodding Dean on. It might have been reassuring if it weren’t for… No. He couldn’t think about this. Not now.

If he were honest with himself, Dean would admit that he was scared. He tried his best not to freak out and turn around. He couldn’t turn back anymore, and he knew it. His heart was racing a mile a minute, his mouth dry. It's for Sammy, he reminded himself, for Sammy. Dean repeated that in his head like a mantra.

Thigh deep was as deep as it got, though now that he was out of the water, it was somehow even colder.

Well, not too much left to be done now, Dean figured. Nothing to do now but reach out and grab the damn scepter. Just stretch his arm, pick it up. That's all. So why was it so damn hard to do? Dean swallowed hard, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. He was shaking, and not only from the cold.

That’s it. Moment of truth.

Dean reached out, eyes closed, and wrapped his fingers around the Scepter of Amara.

He held his breath, body tense, and waited.

Nothing happened.

Dean opened his eyes, released his breath. He glanced back at his father, but couldn’t see him in the dark, blinded by the light of the scepter.

He looked at the scepter in his hand.

Just a scepter. A piece of wood.

It felt warm in his hand. Warm and fragile. And dusty, and a little bit sticky. Gross. He looked at his father again, even though he couldn’t quite see him, and smiled, holding the scepter out for his Dad to see, before turning back.

It happened so fast he didn’t even realize it was happening at first. The pain was so sudden, so fierce that it didn’t register all at once.

A gut wrenching scream resonated around and it took Dean a while to realize it was him doing the screaming.

Dean gasped as he fell to the ground, bucking, twisting and writhing in pain. It almost felt like there was someone there, attacking him, ripping him apart from the inside out.


John cried out, his stomach lurching, as he launched forward towards his son, trying to rush to his aid.

He slammed forcibly against something he couldn’t even see. Some sort of invisible barrier, and how cliché was that? But it was like a solid wall, stopping him from helping his son.

A solid wall, made of nothing but air.


Dean was on his back now, convulsing and screaming, and it was so much worse than anything the Leech has ever done to him. So much worse than anything that's ever been done to him put together. It felt like his life was being sucked out of him in the most painful way.
John was screaming now, yelling and screaming in rage, trying to push past air that didn’t allow him passage to his suffering child. And then John froze.

Just froze, staring in horror.

Because there was something coming out of Dean.

Soft, blue light, illuminating from the inside of Dean's chest, all the way up from chest to throat, coming in slow wisps out of his mouth as Dean screamed himself hoarse. Soft blue light shining from the inside of his skull, slowly flowing out of Dean's nose as he fought for breath.

John had never in his life fought more fiercely than he did now, fighting the barrier that was keeping him from helping his son. He pushed and kicked and yelled, but the air might as well have been solid. He screamed in frustration, trying to force his way through the condensed air.

Wisps of blue light left Dean's body, hovering just above him for a moment, and it was almost beautiful. It could have been beautiful if it hadn’t been so goddamn terrifying. The light lingered for a few seconds before it started traveling up and slowly fading away.

And then the ground shook.

The light left Dean's body, and the ground shook.

Literally.

It shook violently all around Dean, rippling, as if made of water.

Dean passed out, the scepter rolling away from his limp fingers. It kept rolling on the rock covered ground until it was stopped by a pebble.

The barrier holding John at bay was gone as soon as the scepter rolled away from his son's hand, as soon as the light faded and the ground stopped shaking, catching John unprepared, and he actually stumbled for a moment until he regained his balance.

Once the barrier was gone, nothing could stop the distraught father from getting to his unconscious child. John started running. He ran towards his too still son, splashing around as he crossed the icy water, cursing as it slowed him down.

He fell to his knees next to Dean, shaky hands looking desperately for a pulse he couldn’t find. Fighting back the burning tears and rising panic, John tried again, feeling himself lose control and start to cry in relief as he found the weak thumping of his son's heart. John quickly wiped his tears away, listening for Dean's breathing. It was labored, but Dean was breathing, and there wasn’t a sweeter sound than that in the entire world.

John pulled his boy to him, cradling his head in his arms. Dean was cold to the touch, but it wasn’t too surprising considering the temperature of the water and the air around them. He hesitated for a moment, unsure whether it was safe to move Dean around or not. Dean's eyes fluttered, but didn’t open.

"Dean? You with me, kiddo?" John asked urgently. A whimper was his only answer, but for the moment, it was enough. John ran his hands over his son's body, trying to figure out if Dean was hurt. He pushed Dean's shirt up and felt a lump of tears stuck in his throat, choking him.

The Leech was gone.

John hesitated a moment longer, before reaching for the scepter. He touched it gingerly, quickly pulling his hand away, but nothing happened. He touched it again. Still nothing. He turned it over in his hands, studying it. Nothing. So he put it back in its place. The Leech was gone now, no reason to take the scepter away from the symbols protecting it, if there was even anything left to protect.

He slipped one arm under Dean's knees, the other under his head, and lifted him, cursing, because Dean may have lost weight recently, but he was still damn heavy. It didn’t matter though. John needed to get his son to safety, and nothing was going to stop him.

TBC

A/N: No, it wasn't Dean's soul sucked out of him, in case you were wondering. This is my attempt to explain why Dean, the firstborn, isn’t the one with the powers and supernatural abilities. More will be explained later on. I hope you enjoyed this chapter. This epic story is nearing it's conclusion, and I'd very much appreciate you letting me know what you think about it. Thanks.




Where it all started >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> 5 >> 6 >> 7 >> 8 >> 9 >> 10 >> 11 >> 12 >> 13 >> 14  >> 15  >> 16  >> 17  >> 18  >> Search & Rescue II 

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Current Mood: hopeful hopeful

15 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: May 21st, 2007 05:49 am (UTC) (Link)
You know, that's a really big complement, that you called it an episode, even if you didn't mean to. Thank you so much!
(Deleted comment)
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: May 21st, 2007 05:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much!
And no, they don't really need the scepter. You'll find out why soon, if you hadn't figured it out already ;)
ysbail From: ysbail Date: May 16th, 2007 07:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
OMG - hurting and scared and Dean is still doing things to protect his brother.

I need to know what happens next ... really.

More soon please.
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: May 21st, 2007 05:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry it took me so long to reply, but I did update really quick, so I hope that makes up for it ;)
arianstarr From: arianstarr Date: May 16th, 2007 10:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Seriously, what do I have to do to get you to post the rest of the story asap? My firstborn? Cookies? Anything? lol - you've got me on the edge of my seat again.
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: May 21st, 2007 05:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Hee
No need for your firstborn, but chocolate chip cookies would be nice. lol
arianstarr From: arianstarr Date: May 22nd, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
*offers you chocolate chip cookies*
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: May 22nd, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
*takes a cookie*
I posted the epilogue btw =)
*munching happily*
kamikaze_redux From: kamikaze_redux Date: May 17th, 2007 02:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Holy shit you are awesome. That was absolutely flooring. So good. I don't want it to end.
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: May 21st, 2007 05:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!
But it is going to end very soon...
coell From: coell Date: May 17th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, quite a punch in this one. I'm very looking forward to the conclusion.

<3 <3 <3
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: May 21st, 2007 05:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you.
(Deleted comment)
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: May 22nd, 2007 05:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad you're enjoying this. I posted the epilogue.
15 comments or Leave a comment