Title: If You Love
Rating: PG-13, language
Characters: Lisa Braeden, Sam Winchester
Spoilers: Takes place prior to "Appointment In Samarra," so S6 spoilers for sure.
Summary: “Call him. Call him and tell him to come home.” Written as a birthday gift for feliciakw -- afraid this isn't quite a match for your prompt, my dear, but Sam had other ideas. So yeah. Happy Birthday a week late! :)
If You Love
The knock on the door startled Lisa. No one should be knocking at 11:00 at night, not even her neighbors. And Dean . . . Dean wouldn't knock. Unless. . . .
Swearing under her breath, Lisa made for the door.
Ben poked his head out of the hallway, hair sticking up in all directions. “Mom? What's--?”
Lisa waved a hand at him, forcefully. “Get back in your room, Ben. Right now.”
She didn't pause to see if he'd obeyed; one of the things that had stuck from the year Dean spent with them was Ben's heightened willingness to trust his parents' judgment. For good or bad.
The knocking, measured but firm, continued until she opened the door. On the chain, not that that would matter if . . .
It was Sam. He smiled at her, a little sheepishly. “Hey. Sorry to show up so late.”
Lisa found herself looking past him, scouring the suburban darkness for another figure. “Um . . . where's Dean?”
He looked at her blankly, eyebrows quirking inward as if she'd asked him the wrong question, or one she should know the answer to. “He's not here. It's just me. Can I come in?”
She almost stepped back to let him enter, but her inner alarm was pinging. Instead, she unlatched the chain, stepped out onto the porch, and let the door close behind her. “Ben's asleep. We can talk out here, right? It's a nice night.” It was at least above freezing, which was nicer than the past month had been.
After a second, Sam's stance eased. “Sure. How is Ben, by the way?”
“Fine.” Lisa looked up at Sam's face, shadowed by the cast-off streetlight glow, trying to gauge his mood. “What's going on? Dean send you?”
Sam's hands went into his pockets. “No.” He blew out a long breath. “He doesn't know I'm here.”
Something was wrong. Very, very wrong. She let Sam's words hang like smoke in the air, while she tried to figure out what. “What's happened? 'Cause unless it's life or death, I'm not interested.”
There was a much longer pause. Lisa felt the hair standing up on the back of her neck, and told herself that it was just the cold.
Finally, Sam sighed again. “It is. Life or death, I mean. He's--” Words seemed to fail him, and he hunched his shoulders in his dark jacket. “He thinks he needs to fix me. He's trying really stupid things, and it's going-- Lisa, eventually it's going to get him killed.”
The pain in his tone sounded real enough. She chewed on her lip, thinking. “How's that any different from a normal hunting life?” Dammit, she didn't mean for the words to come out so bitterly, but. . . .
Sam sat, suddenly and heavily, on the porch step. “Because it's not going to end. A job is just . . . a job. We finish it. Go on to the next one. This is a, a mission. He's not going to stop.” He looked up at her, and she saw his throat move as he swallowed hard.
Lisa crouched beside him, starting to see for the first time the baby brother that so absorbed Dean. “What do you think I can do about that?”
“Call him. Call him and tell him to come home.”
It wouldn't work. She knew that, even as she imagined the phone call, imagined his husky voice on the other end of the line. “I can't do that. He wouldn't believe me.”
Sam put a heavy hand on her shoulder. “You don't see him every day. He's always looking at his phone, trying to work up the courage to call you.”
She could see that in her mind, Dean's closed expression lit by the screen of his cell. Her throat closed.
“If you called, he'd come.”
Lisa shook her head. “I can't make him stop doing what he thinks he has to do.”
Sam nods. “That's all right. Just get him here. I'll disappear again, and he'll have to stop.”
She let herself think about what that would be like. To have Dean back in her bed, at her table. To see that particular grin on Ben's face. To . . . “If you disappear, he'll never stop looking.”
Sam growled, really more of a comically frustrated huff. “Maybe not. He's a stubborn jerk. But if I'm gone long enough, maybe he can find a way to settle.”
Lisa turned her head, looked him in the eye. “Sam. We already tried that, when you were dead. You see how well it worked.” His jaw twitched. She continued remorselessly. “I'm not doing this. Dean chose you. This isn't my problem.” Anymore. Shit. She breathed in a slow breath, willing the tears that choked her throat to freeze, to melt away.
Sam just looked at her. When he spoke, the word was soft. “No?”
She shook her head.
He cleared his throat. “I could give you something to help. There are spells, potions--to forget. To bring contentment. They're hard to find, but not dangerous.”
She could feel herself shaking, between the hope he kept trying to offer and horror at his actual suggestion. “Goddammit, Sam, are you asking me to drug your brother? To keep him with me by, by poisoning him and lying to him? What is wrong with you?”
Sam stood, and suddenly Lisa felt stark naked. She hadn't picked up the revolver on her way out the door. Not that it would help unless she was willing to kill him. She scrambled to her feet anyway, evening the height difference a little.
“I'm asking you to help my brother live.” Sam's voice was still quiet. “If you really love him. Will you?”
He was looming. It was like facing an enormous wall that might topple over at any moment, crushing her underneath. It was all she could do not to run. “No,” she said instead, standing carefully still. “I don't know why you're here, Sam, but whatever you want, I'm not the one who's going to get it for you.”
For a moment she was sure he would hit her. Instead, he shifted his weight. Shrugged. “Can I tell Dean you miss him?”
“Tell him whatever you want.” Lisa slid a step to the right, between Sam and the door.
Sam stepped off the porch. “Tell Ben hi for me, okay?”
It sounded like a threat. Her heart jolted against her sternum. “Sure,” she said. “Thanks for dropping by. Drive safe.”
He smiled, a slash of white teeth in the dim light, and walked away.
She stood there, breathing hard, until his footsteps faded and the night returned to its dim quiet.
Next thing she knew, she was inside, slumped against the closed door. Ben stood over her, eyes enormously wide. “Is Dean okay?” he asked, and held his breath for her answer.
She pulled him down to sit on the floor with her, and wrapped her arms around him. “Yeah, Ben, he's fine. Sam just needed to talk for a minute.”
He's still against her side. “Is Dean coming back?”
“No, baby.” Lisa held him tightly, and found that she was okay with her answer. “Not yet.” Not like that. Never like that. Not while I still know how to say no.