We're not calling it Babe 21/?

Aug 29, 2015 21:11

Chapter 21

"It's his mother." Dean said.

Mac was just a baby, he was hurt and he wanted his mother.

Dean knew that feeling.

However, he had no right to compare his own experience with Mac's. Because he had caused this. He and Sam had been the ones who had emptied whole clips into Mac's mother who had only tried to protect her baby.
On the other bed Sam had gone silent with an "oh", most likely thinking along the same lines.

Mac was still sleeping but his legs were twitching as if he was trying to run. He made desperate little noises which were answered by deeper grunts coming from somewhere around the room.

Dean swallowed against the lump in his throat.

"Should we do something?" Sam asked and looked at Dean with those big eyes, fully expecting Dean to fix this. It was probably because of the concussion and the painkillers that this childhood faith in his big brother was back but Dean was at a complete loss on how to fix this.

Mac's mother was dead, they had made sure of it.

The only thing he could give him was a poor substitute. It had to be enough.

"Hey." He said in a low voice to Mac and pretended that he didn't hear his voice cracking over that one word. At least Sam didn't comment on it and just watched him with too big and shiny eyes.

Turning his back to Sam, this was easier if he pretended that he was alone with Mac, Dean rolled to his side and gently reached for the pig.

Mac didn't wake up when Dean dragged the nest closer until he had Mac pressed against his stomach.

Dean curled around him, protecting him with his whole body. With his hand spread out over Mac's belly, fingertips in the soft fur of his throat, he held him close.

"I'm here." He whispered. "I'm here. You're safe."

After a moment the sounds of the adult pig faded away and Mac's sleep became more peaceful.

"Here." Suddenly Sam stood behind him with a blanket. Dean let him drape it over them and if Sam took his time to tuck it around Mac and then let his hand linger on Dean's shoulder, Dean didn't say anything about it.

"Just tell me if you need anything." Sam said in a low voice before he went back to his own bed.

"We're good, thanks." Dean whispered back and shifted until Mac's head was tucked under his chin.

Dean didn't sleep but he didn't move for hours either. He just listened to Mac's breathing, felt the ups and downs of his chest under his palm and soaked up the heat of the body pressed against him. It was nice, he had to admit, but the warmth didn't reach the cold in his stomach.

Nothing could change the fact that this was his fault. Mac was an orphan because of him and he had almost died because of him as well.

No matter how hard Dean tried, it always ended with more blood on his hands. Sooner or later everybody around him died.

Mac made a little noise and snuggled closer to him.

Behind him Sam had gone back to watching TV. The noise washed over Dean but he wasn't paying attention and he was pretty sure that by now Sam had fallen asleep again. Why else would he stop channel surfing on an infomercial about a newer and so much better juicer?

Dean let his mind drift again when a way too cheerful voice told him that, yes, he could totally juice a cucumber with that thing, too.

Bringing Mac to a hunt had been a stupid idea. Keeping him had been a stupid idea.

He should find him a nice home with people who loved him and didn't endanger him just by being there.

Dean knew that was the right thing to do. He just didn't know if he could do it or even wanted to do it. It was selfish but he felt better with Mac around.

If he let Mac go, he wasn't sure if he could fight any longer. Mac had become some kind of lifeline to him. Without that he would just drown in the darkness of the Mark.

It was weak and selfish, he knew that, and he should think about Mac's wellbeing first but he couldn't.

He hoped and feared at the same time that once Sam could think straight again he would put his foot down and force Dean to do the right thing. Because Dean couldn't.

When it was time for the next round of pills, Dean carefully slipped out of bed.

He hadn't moved in hours so he stretched until his back popped and he rolled his neck and shoulders to loosen up the tight muscles there. After being stuck fully clothed under the covers he felt sweaty and his clothes stuck to his skin and he probably was due for a shower.

But first he had to check on his patients.

Mac was more or less awake, blinking at him with sleepy eyes but still content with lying in his warm nest.

Sam had fallen asleep with his head propped up against the headboard, the remote still in his lax fingers. On screen a woman with fake hair and fake teeth tried to convince him that he just needed to swallow this algae stuff once a day for the rest of his life and he would never have to see a doctor again. The pills looked more like dried cow pats than anything else and Dean was sure that was what they like tasted, too.

He switched off the TV and then turned to his brother to figure out how to get him into a position that didn't cause him more pain in the neck than the concussion he already had.

"Who allowed you to grow so big?" He muttered but with a little coaxing Sam rolled to his side. It was still more pretzel than a comfortable sleeping position but it was good enough for now.

When Dean straightened up he found Mac looking at him from the other bed. He didn't make a sound, he just looked at him with those eyes that were so much older than they should be.

"Right, time for your pills." Dean rubbed the back of his head, feeling uncomfortable under that gaze. It was as if Mac was looking right into his soul. It reminded him of Cas.

Mac took the pills with some soda. They should stop that before it became a bad habit but right now Dean just couldn't say no to him.

When Mac had cleaned out the bowl he carefully made the few steps over to where Dean was sitting on the edge of the bed. He laid his head on Dean's thigh and without thinking Dean started to scratch him behind the ear.

"I'm sorry." Dean said, not even sure what he was sorry for. For killing Mac's mother, for starters. For letting him get hurt. For dragging him down with him. For ruining his life. For being too selfish to let him go.

There was so much guilt piling up on him, sometimes he couldn't even breathe. With Mac it was easier, just a little bit. Just enough to keep going for a little while longer.

It was pathetic how much he relied on the pig after such a short time.

Mac deserved a better life. Mac deserved someone better.

The clock radio on the nightstand suddenly came to life, startling him out of his thoughts.

Dean recognized the familiar notes of Nothing Else Matters before his mind caught up with the lyrics.

… Life is ours, we live it our way, All these words, I don't just say, And nothing else matters, Trust I seek and I find in you, Every day for us something new …

He hummed along with a smile on his face. He wasn't sure what Mac was trying to tell him but Metallica had always helped him to calm down.

Then the needle got stuck on the broken record. He was pretty sure that nowadays nobody played actual records anymore but that was what he was hearing now, the same bit of the song over and over again. But that wasn't what almost made him burst out in tears. It was the line it was stuck on.

… And nothing else matters, Trust I seek and I find in you, And nothing else matters, Trust I seek and I find in you, And nothing else matters, Trust I seek and I find in you …

Over and over again, as if Mac wanted to drive the point home.

Dean tried to keep his emotions bottled up but the line hammered down on him, chipping away at his walls. Finally something in him broke and he couldn't hold back the tears anymore.

Mac climbed in his lap and Dean held on to him for dear life while his tears ran freely.

He didn't know how long he sat there caught in his meltdown, clinging to Mac who patiently let him cry.

Eventually his crying died down to dry sobs and then he didn't even have those left. For a while he just sat there, feeling drained and empty but in a good way.

Mac was the first one to move. He twisted until he could look up at Dean, giving him a look that clearly said: "Better now?"

"Yeah." His voice was hoarse and his nose clogged but he did feel better. "Thanks."

The radio was silent again and when he turned around to check on Sam he found him still sleeping. How he had slept through all this was beyond him, most likely Mac working his magic, but he was just glad that Sam hadn't witnessed his little meltdown.

"I need a shower." Dean announced. He needed to get away for a second to clear his head. "You good for a moment?"

Mac didn't answer but he let Dean slip out from under him without protest.

Dean took his time in the shower. He let the hot water beat down on him until it started to run cold before he stepped out. Then he brushed his teeth and shaved. A fresh set of clothes later he felt human again.

"How about some burgers for dinner?" He asked when he came back into the main room. Sam was still sleeping but Mac perked up at that.

"Of course you would like some burgers." Dean gave him a quick pat on the head before he reached for the notepad on the nightstand to leave Sam a message.

After what Mac had done earlier he deserved all the burgers in the world.

There was a diner not far down the road so Dean left the Impala in the lot and walked the short distance. The fresh air cleared his foggy mind and by the time he reached the diner he was humming under his breath again. Not Nothing Else Matters, he would never be able to listen to that song again without fighting the tears, he was pretty sure of that, but there were more than enough other good songs for him to hum.

He got the burger special for himself and Mac and soup with grilled cheese for Sam. The smell alone made his mouth water and he hurried to get back to the motel.

By now Sam was awake and for some reason he had Mac next to him on his bed.

"I swear, he's going to be the most spoiled pig in history." Dean said and opened the bag with the burgers.

"And that's totally my fault." Sam answered with a pointed look at the two burgers in Dean's hands.

Dean shut him up with the soup.

Both Mac and Sam had some appetite again which Dean counted as a good sign. Sam didn't even throw up afterwards.

"My memory is a bit fuzzy." Sam said while Dean gathered the empty wrappers and threw them in the trash. "Did you talk to Brian before we left?"

"Brian?" Dean frowned at him but then he remembered the kid with the prophetic dreams. "Shit."

Chapter 22

mark of cain, sam winchester, supernatural pet, dean winchester, season 10, bunker

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