Title: What Could Have Been
Disclaimer: I do not own Smallville or Supernatural
Summary:When Dean goes to confront the Djinn he wakes up in a world he doesn't recognize, one in which he doesn't hunt, his mother is alive, his brother hates his guts, and he's married to a beautiful, pregnant, and somewhat scary Chloe Sullivan-Winchester. He's sure he's switched places with the Dean of this reality to try and mend the broken relationship with his brother----but he never thought he'd grow to enjoy the 'other' Dean's life---or fall in love with his wife. When its time to go, will he really want
“What the hell are you doing?”
Rummaging through Chloe’s cookware in near desperation, Dean had forgotten all about his brother and his trip to the bathroom. He pulled out a large, sharp knife and turned to Sam. “Is this silver?”
Sam frowned, pausing, looking at him warily before nodding. “Mom got those for Chloe’s birthday.”
“Good.” Dean strode towards the front door. “I need you to stay here with Chloe and keep an eye on her and the kids until I get back.” Opening the door he stormed through it and headed hurriedly out into the darkness towards the Impala.
“Wait—what?” Instead of staying inside the house, Sam quickly locked the door behind him and hurried outside as well, reaching Dean’s side as he unlocked the Impala’s driver’s door. “Dude, where are you going?”
“None of your business Sammy.” Dean got into the driver’s seat and before he could even put the key into the engine Sam had gotten into the passenger’s seat. “Stay here, Sam.”
“No.” His elder brother frowned. “What in the world are you doing taking a large silver knife out in the middle of the night? Where are you going?”
“To the butcher’s.” Dean grounded. “Now get the hell out. I’m not playing.”
“No.” Sam frowned.
“Sam! Chloe’s in danger and if I don’t get this fucker before it attacks her I’ll lose her!” Dean snapped, hands clenching the steering wheel. “So please, get the fuck out of my car!”
“Chloe’s in danger?” Sam asked, eyes narrowing. “Why is she in danger? What is after her?”
“I don’t have time for this.” Dean growled, starting the engine and speeding off towards the butcher. He ignored Sam’s many questions, and while he got a questioning look from the butcher, the chubby old man had sold him the jar of lamb’s blood without any problems.
Sam hadn’t been as easy. “What the hell bro?” The brunette wanted to know after they’d been driving in silence for a couple of hours. “Why do you need a silver knife and lamb’s blood? What’s going on? What does this have to do with Chloe being in danger?”
“Look, Sammy.” Dean began, pressing down on the accelerator. He needed to get there and kill the fucker before it could somehow hurt Chloe. “I didn’t want to drag you into this since you’ve lived a normal life up until now, but if Chloe’s in danger than I’m not going to play it safe anymore.”
“What do you mean I’ve lived a normal life until now?” Sam asked, warily. “What’s going on Dean? What sort of trouble have you gotten yourself into?”
“I haven’t gotten myself into any problem. Problems just won’t leave me alone.” Dean sighed. They were almost there, only half and hour more if he kept at this breakneck speed and the fuzz didn’t tail them. “You will find this hard to believe, but you know all those things that people say go ‘bump’ in the night?”
“Yeah…” Sam didn’t seem to know where this was going.
“Well, they really do bump, and there are people, like me, who bump back.”
There was silence. “That’s it. I’m calling Chloe. You’re drunk or something.” Sam pulled out his Blackberry and began to dial Chloe’s number.
In a second Dean had grabbed the phone from his brother’s hand and thrown it out of the window, the cellular breaking to a million pieces of impact and disappearing in the distance at the speed they were going.
“Dude!” Sam exclaimed, looking back at the dark road behind them. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
“Just sit tight, Sammy.” Dean ordered. “You’re the one who wouldn’t get out of the car, so you have no one to blame for this rude awakening but yourself.”
Sam frowned, leaning back against the seat. “How much farther until wherever it is you’re going?”
“Half hour max.” Dean responded, turning the volume up on his radio, Highway to Hell fittingly enough playing loudly.
“I can’t believe you still listen to this crap.” Sam muttered under his breath, folding his arms over his chest, obviously trying to get as comfortable as he could since there was no way out of this.
“Sammy,” Dean couldn’t help but smirk. “Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole.”
As they drove in silence, in the dead of the night, towards a hunt, with only AC/DC to accompany them, Dean could almost forget that he wasn’t in his own universe.
They finally made it to the ruins that he’d visited in the other universe, the last place he remembered before waking up in this life, and Dean couldn’t help but shiver as he held the silver knife dipped in lamb’s blood. He would have been able to give this all up if it’d meant a normal life with his family, but the djinn was going to hurt his wife, and he’d kill anything that thought it could touch his Chloe.
“Where the hell are we?” Sam whispered as he kept up with him, voice low as if sensing something was wrong with this place—though not exactly sure what.
“Shh.” Finger to his lip, Dean led the way down the winding, stone stairways into the darkness below only penetrated by a flickering light in the middle of a vast room.
They reached the bottom of the stairs and Sam’s gasp echoed throughout it.
All over the room there were people strung up, like the ones that’d momentarily appeared in Dean’s closet, all in various states of decomposition and hooked up to IV bags. The stench of death and decay caused Sam to cover his mouth and bend over, heaving, almost throwing up right then and there.
Dean covered his nose with one hand yet tightened his grip on his knife, wondering where the Djinn was. It wouldn’t be too far from its victims and source of food, he knew that much, so the hunter knew to be on the alert.
Any shifting of shadows could be the creature he’d come to kill.
There was movement from one of the victims, and hazel eyes widened as he saw the woman in white. She was pale and nearly life, but doing her best to try and wiggle free.
Footsteps could be heard coming down the stairs, and Dean grabbed Sam, pulling him into the relative shadows behind some crates. Motioning for his brother to be silent, they watched as the Djinn appeared, walking toward the crying woman.
The humanoid monster placed its hand on the woman’s head and she whimpered as that funky light Dean remembered oh-so-well surrounded her, and then she was unconscious.
Turning his back on the scene, Dean lowered to the ground, eyes wide. “Djinns don’t grant wishes.” He whispered to himself. “They just make you believe your wish is true---but you’re in a coma instead.”
“What the hell is that thing?” Sam whispered in horror, looking terrified.
The Djinn turned and went up the stairs, disappearing above them.
“That light.” Dean whispered. “It starts the illusion and puts you into a coma.” His body froze. “I’m in a coma.” His heart was hurting him. “None of this is real.”
“Dude, let’s get out of here before that thing comes back!” Sam wasn’t listening to him, nearly shivering by his side. “We have to call the cops and---.”
“You’re not real.”
Sam turned to him with a frown. “What are you talking about?”
“I wished for a life in which mom hadn’t died. You’re just a part of that wish. You’re not real. None of this is real.” Dean announced, and those words were the hardest to ever push past his lips as he stood up once more. “You’re not my brother. Mom’s not alive, and Chloe---.” He felt the pain throb within. “Chloe was just a creation to keep me happy while that fucker sucked the life out of me.”
“Look, Dean, I don’t know what---.” Sam began.
“This is all a hallucination.” Dean pressed on, and suddenly the world around him began to flicker, one second he felt like he was hung up as well, pain in his wrists, life draining, and then he was standing again. “I’m strung up somewhere, aren’t I? That’s what she was trying to tell me!”
“Dean---.” Sam tried again.
And then Dean trained his knife to his heart. “What happens if I die in the hallucination, Sammy? Do I wake up in the real world? Is that it?”
“Dean, stop it!” Sam looked desperate. “Put that knife away. I will not let you make Chloe a widow and the kids fatherless!”
“Chloe isn’t my wife!” He snapped, knowing Sam could hear the desperation in his voice. “She isn’t even real! The Djinn just created the perfect woman for me so that I wouldn’t want to find out the truth!” He closed his eyes. “But this stops now.”
“Would it be so bad?”
Dean’s eyes flew open and his hands trembled when he saw Chloe walking down the stairs, holding a sleeping Risa in her arms, Johnny grabbing onto her skirt as they made their way to him.
“Chloe.” He whispered, heart breaking as he saw all he’d ever wanted.
“Would it be so bad if this isn’t real? Dean?” Chloe asked, looking so sad as she stood before him, his mother, Lois, Clark, Gabe, everyone he’d met from this lifetime coming down the stairs and circling him. “You’re happy here, Dean. Can you say the same thing about your other life?”
“No.” He whispered truthfully, drinking in the sight of her hungrily.
“Then why would you want to return there? Why would you want to leave here? Leave me? Leave your family?” Chloe looked ready to cry, looked like she wanted to come closer but didn’t dare frighten him.
“This isn’t real.” Dean didn’t care that unmanly tears were forming in his eyes. His heart was being torn apart. “You’re not real.”
“Yes I am.” She argued, entreating him. “You’ve held me in your arms, you’ve kissed me—how can you say that I’m not real after all that?” She looked so hurt. “I love you. We have a family together, a life---a happy one.”
His whole body trembled with his desire to drop the knife and embrace her. “I’ll die if I stay here.”
“It’ll seem like an eternity on this side.” She promised, taking a hesitant step towards him. “Everyone dies in the end, that’s the life of a mortal. But you----you can live long and happily before your death. How many other people can be said that they were offered this?”
He was wavering and he knew it.
“Dean, honey, we can be together forever.” Chloe whispered. “You, me, our children, your family and mine----happy, together.”
He was silent, letting her words war with him, wanting them to convince him. Even if he would die---he was here, he was happy.
The woman strung up behind him whimpered.
He kept his gaze on Chloe, only on Chloe. She was all that mattered, she was all he could see. “Chloe?”
“Yes baby?” She whispered softly.
“I love you.” He whispered, finally telling her that.
Tears sprung up to Chloe’s eyes and her bottom lip trembled as well. “I love you too.” She looked away, closing her eyes tightly, before passing Risa to her father and then walking towards Dean and placing her hands on his chest, looking up into his eyes, tears skidding down her pale cheeks. “I’m sorry. I love you too much to let you do this.”
“It’s okay.” He whispered, loosening his hold on the knife and passing it to her. “I love you too much to do it too.”
Agony covered her face and she lowered her head for a moment before looking back up at him and kissing him hungrily, desperately.
Dean’s arms went around her, drawing her near. He knew he’d signed his own death decree, but as long as he was with her he didn’t care. He’d take the time he had living with her and their little family happily.
Chloe finally pulled away, sniffling, before looking up at him nearly blindly behind the tears fogging her gaze. “I wasn’t saying sorry to you.”
The eyes of those around her went wide in horror and they rushed forwards, but before they could reach her, Chloe had shoved the blade deep into Dean’s heart.
First there was pain in his heart, and then everything was black, and when he finally was able to open his eyes again, Dean felt nearly dead, his wrists above him and hurting him like crazy.
But he didn’t care.
Because she was still there, face close to his.
“It didn’t work.” He whispered, voice painful, throat scratchy and dry. “You’re still here.” He closed his eyes in relief. “Thank God.”
“Dean!” Sam’s voice caused Dean to open his eyes once more. “You’re awake!”
“Sam-my.” Dean tried to talk more, but it was so hard to just keep his eyes open.
“I think he’s hallucinating. Blood loss will do that.” Chloe turned to Sam, frowning. “Did you check the others?” She finally finished cutting at the ropes that’d been used to string Dean up, and he would have collapsed to the ground if Sam hadn’t caught him.
“Other than the one you came for, everyone else is dead.” Sam grunted under Dean’s weight, yet talked to Chloe.
She shook her head and looked around. “We should get them out before it comes back.”
Sam nodded, beginning to drag Dean towards the stairs.
Dean struggled. Where was Sam taking him? Where was Chloe? He couldn’t see her anymore. And why were they wearing different clothes?
He turned his head as far as he could, and noticed that Chloe was behind him, arm around a barely conscious young woman in white. The woman he’d kept seeing.
Were the woman in white and Chloe acting together?
And where were the others?
They’d been there just a couple of minutes ago, hadn’t they?
He’d ask her all the many questions in his mind once they got back home and he made sure that the kids were safe.
“Dude, you had me worried for a moment back there.” Sam whispered to him, helping him up the many stairs.
Dean wanted to open his mouth and give off some smart-aleck answer, but he didn’t even have the strength to do so. He was barely keeping conscious as it was.
“Hey, Nameless Guy, we got company!” Chloe cried out loudly.
Sam turned at that, and Dean froze when he saw the Djinn below them, stalking towards the stairs rapidly, furiously.
Dean’s heart raced in terror.
The girl Chloe had been helping up the stairs began to cry as the Djinn hurried towards them, but Chloe just placed her down on the steps and turned her back to them. “Tall, dark and handsome. Get them out of here.”
“Wait!” Sam called out. “What are you thinking of---?”
But Chloe didn’t answer. She rushed down the stairs and picked up a piece of wood and twirled it in her hand, meeting the Djinn half-way before charging it.
Dean wanted to scream for her, wanted to struggle, wanted to do something, but he couldn’t. He was losing consciousness.
The last thing he saw before darkness took over was Chloe being thrown into the wall and the Djinn charging.