The title translates to with God willing.
If I was Lakhota, my name would be Barb Dances Too Often With Italics and Metaphors . This one didn't turn out like I planned, but, that'll teach me to plan where Dean is concerned. Pre series, written for the spn_gen ficathon. Why did Sam feel he needed to remind Dean about the name of God during Phantom Traveler ?
Dean can't remember the name of God because he can't remember God.
God in His heaven would not let his brother die in the middle of some damn cornfield. It's so cold, and moonless, and they've been cold so long because Dean couldn't move Sam; he was afraid Sam's back was broken.
The thing lurking the fields flinched at the name of God when Dean ran into it an hour ago, just before he found Sam. Fourteen year old Sam, broken amongst the broken remnants of a harvest long gone, frost and starlight and sharp edges of stalks left dangling. The ground had crunched underfoot, hoarfrost hollows giving way under his boots and slowing him to a stumble. He and Sam had been flushing the thing out, whatever it was that had been eating pets and leaving clawmarks on barnsides and stalking the residents after dark. Panting and marking, never seen until Dean headed it off. Face to face in the rutted track of an irrigation ditch, a twisted thing with a blunt head and sunken eyes, the face vaguely equine and the body that of a bent bulldog. It was much bigger than a bulldog - the head reached chest-height on Dean, and the whole package balanced on legs that bent all the wrong ways. Two-fifty, maybe three hundred pounds. Mutant family pet or Black Shuck, he didn't much care so long as he got a chance to shoot it. They'd come out with their crossbows because there was less chance of attracting attention or hitting someone's cows. It was no good if Farmer Brown whipped up a posse to chase them out.
Dad would come. He'd realize sooner or later when no one met him at the crossroads a half mile away that something had gone wrong. He'd look for them, he had to. They'd be easy to find. Dean had run down and left marks on the narrow gravel entrance, several hundred yards to the south.
Half an hour in the cold is so long.
Dean wasn't sure where the thing went, but if it attacked again, he feared he wouldn't be able to move fast enough to do anything. He felt so stiff with hypothermia, and his muscles were so locked, he didn't think he'd be able to do more than just sit and stare. His eyes would be frozen open. He realized too late that he should have kept moving, but to do that he'd have to leave Sam on the ground. He couldn't do that. Ever.
Sam had been awake when he'd found him, lying partly on his side, fingers dug into the frozen soil. Blood on the side of his face. All he'd been able to say had come in a rush, teeth clenched against cold and pain, one never doing enough to override the other. DeanIcan'tfeelmylegs. Dean had stood and stared, feet braced apart, crossbow dangling from gloved fingers. The idea had crystallized and then grown, finally translating itself into something he had to grasp. He wouldn't allow this. This would not be how things went.
If you knew Sam you wouldn't let this happen.
Dean had some hazy idea that he was going a little nuts with being too cold and too tired and probably too worried, because he seriously couldn't remember the last time he'd tried talking to God. Talking to God was for people who didn't know how to arm up and pound the beans out of things that went bump in the night. There were plenty of things that shouldn't have happened and they'd made it through anyway, and he could have argued early on that if God was anything like he'd heard, the things they'd spent their lives chasing wouldn't need so much chasing. He also would have argued that things just shouldn't happen to Sam, because if there was anybody who deserved this frantic, running in the dark, uncertain life, it was him and not Sam. Sam was good at all this but wasn't meant for this, there was a difference, and Dean could finally discern the finer points of that now that he was trapped between Sam and a cold place.
If you could see Sam you would keep him safer than this.
Dean had known the names of God before Sam had known his own. An afrit would flinch before Allah, and a bhut before Shiva; that was the way of things, it was elephants all the way down forever and ever amen. None of these came to him now, even though he'd been able to wield Christo as a nearly visible talisman earlier, the air cold enough to hold the name still and heavy. All his ends justified his means and his weapons were never chosen casually.
"Hey Sam, we'd better get out of the cold soon or we're gonna catch our death ." Laughing meant pulling more air in, and it made his chest ache because his body wasn't warming it enough before it hit his lungs. It was well below freezing. Moving his jaw was almost impossible; he couldn't really feel it anymore. He'd have been warmer if his jacket and the sweatshirt he'd been wearing under it wasn't covering Sam instead. If he kept Sam's head covered, Sam wouldn't freeze. It was a bitch to hang out in the cold in just a tee, and not remember any of the names of God. He'd managed to roll most of Sam's upper body into his lap; he shouldn't have moved him, but he'd freeze otherwise. He wasn't sure how Sam had been hurt, since Sam hadn't stayed conscious enough to tell him, but the not-feeling-legs thing was all he really needed to know.
If you knew how cold Sam was you would make sure he was found.
He paused to think about that. He wasn't exactly sure what made him cut straight across the field. The acres of cut cornstalks were just numerous enough and high enough that he would have missed Sam had he circled around in the trees like he'd meant to. Like he was supposed to. Flush it out, corner it, skewer it. Burn it.
Sam was still shivering, so that was okay. Dean had quit shivering and he knew that wasn't okay. It was so odd how cold could make you burn while it numbed you.
"C'mon Sam," Dean said. "We're gonna be late. God can't see us."
Well, that was really stupid, he thought, closing his eyes. Someone had told him God could always see you. When you're sleeping, when you're awake, when you're bad or good so begoodforgoodness - no, that was Santa.
Something rustled behind and to his right, and he felt a dull alarm but it was more because he couldn't turn his head than because the Shuck might be getting ready to get a good grip on the back of his neck. He couldn't remember what he was supposed to say, a name, a name that would keep them safe.
"Sam," he whispered.
Something did get a good grip on the back of his neck.
It was a warm hand, followed by the sound of his own name, and then their father was kneeling beside them and asking Dean what'd happened. He remembered telling his father that Sam's back was maybe broken, and then John was already uncovering Sam and checking him, practiced hands running along spine and ribs. Not broken. Maybe wrenched, maybe pinched nerves, but nothing broken. A concussion. John had already swung Sam into a fireman's carry and was telling Dean to put his jacket back on and hurry. Dean was slow to follow; his knees wouldn't unfold at first. His eyes wouldn't stay open.
"Dean!" John shouted.
Dean's eyes snapped open again.
John already knew the one instinct Dean would never ignore, no matter what shape he was in: the same thing that made him freeze himself to keep his brother warm. "Stay with Sam. Sammy needs you."
Dean stumbled to his feet and followed. Followed the order, went where Sam went. It was about a mile to the car.
John ended up bundling the boys together after shoving his nearly insensible older son under a hot shower back at the hotel, because Dean wasn't able to maintain a decent body temp of his own. Sam had since been awake, grimacing in pain, and was able to admit to having been barrelled into from behind by their quarry. He imagined being hit by a truck would have been easier. All the feeling was coming back in pins and needles and inches, measured in aches and pains. He slept with his head tucked under Dean's chin, arms curled against his chest, cradled close with one of Dean's arms around his shoulders. When his dad awoke him every couple of hours to make sure he responded, neither boy had moved.
"Dean," Sam said, pulling his brother back with the urgency in his tone. It was important to tell Dean this, to reaffirm it, and he wasn't sure why. "It's Christo ."
Sam doesn't actually remember that night in the cornfield, but some part of his subconscious did.
Dean leaned back over the seat, infusing his response with more emotion and impatience than he meant to. "Dude I know, I'm not an idiot!"
They were 35,000 feet up. With a frickin' demon . And Sam's Latin sucked, and they were so screwed, and Dean was wondering whether drinking enough holy water would give him the chance to actually piss on a demon so he wouldn't have to keep carrying the water around in bottles. He had a right to be tense. And he remembered all the names of God.
If you knew Sam you'd get us out of this.
It couldn't hurt to put the idea out there. It had worked before.