For Your Own Good
by Noel Goddard
Original Pub. Date: December 2006
Summary: This was a challenge fic for the LJ holiday community undermistletoe. The challenge was body-switch!
Something felt different as Sam awoke. In that fog between sleep and awake, Sam knew something was wrong, but he couldn’t quite figure out what it was. As the fog gradually cleared, he began to stretch, an early morning ritual that was a habit formed early in life. Dad always said that stretching kept the body limber and in good fighting form.
As Sam stretched his legs out, he realized what was wrong. His feet were on the bed. He reached his hands up and felt the headboard in the usual place. Huh. Must be an unusually long motel bed. Occasionally, they did manage to find a place where Sam’s legs didn’t hang off the bed. Of course, he didn’t remember it being that way last night.
Come to think of it, he didn’t remember much of last night. He must have had more to drink in that bar with Dean than he remembered.
He slowly opened his eyes and looked over at the other bed. Dean was clearly already up and out. He probably either went for breakfast or maybe he never came home last night. Sam couldn’t remember if Dean left with him or someone else.
Sam swung his legs out of the bed and got up to head for a shower. He sat back down quickly, feeling more than a little woozy. He couldn’t help cursing at the empty room, “Dammit, Dean. What the hell did you get me to drink last night? My head feels like it went three rounds with the Demon.”
He stumbled past the sink and mirror without a second look. He headed straight for the shower and some hot water to clear his head. As he held his head under the spray, he noticed again that something wasn’t quite right. He looked up at the showerhead. He never had to the look up at the showerhead; he always had to just duck underneath it. Maybe this was Jay’s Motel for Tall People. It was nice, in a strange way.
He continued to soak under the hot water until he could feel his skin wrinkling. Once he emerged from the shower, the mirror was way too foggy to shave, so he headed for some semi-clean clothes instead. A laundry run was definitely in order today. Nothing was actually clean, and most of their clothes would be asking for equal rights soon.
As he was rifling through his bag for clothes, he noticed the note on the nightstand. He decided to see what Dean was up to this morning.
By now, you’ve probably noticed what I’ve done. I know you’re pissed, but it’s for your own good. You’ve got to trust me on this. Before he died, Dad told me that the Demon is after you and that I have to protect you. The best way I could think of to always protect you was to be you.
Don’t try to find me. You won’t.
P.S. If you damage the goods, I will kick your ass.
Clearly Dean was drinking the same shit that had made Sam’s head all fuzzy. What the hell was he talking about? Don’t try to find him? What kind of dumbass statement was that? Knowing Dean, he was probably waking up in some bimbo’s bed this morning and wondering where the hell he was.
Sam turned to continue to rifle through his bag. It was then that he noticed that it was Dean’s bag, not his. Looking around the room, his bag of clothes was nowhere to be seen. What the hell? Sam sighed and questioned the air, “Great. I’m standing here in a towel with only my brother’s clothes while my dumbass brother has decided to take off to who knows where. Just fucking great.”
Sam dug through Dean’s duffel and pulled out Dean’s biggest flannel shirt and just stared at the jeans. He knew that he would never fit into Dean’s jeans. They were too tight even for Dean, much less Sam. He pulled on the shirt and it seemed to fit.
Realization finally hit Sam like a ton of bricks the bed, the showerhead, the clothes, the cryptic note from Dean. Sam rushed over to the mirror and swiped his arm across the fog and was then greeted by Dean’s face. “Sonofabitch. I swear to God, I’m going to kill you when I find you.”
Dean must have slipped his something in his drink last night and then performed who knows what kind of hoodoo ritual to accomplish this. Clearly, Dean didn’t think this through clearly. Now instead of being Sam Winchester wanted by Demon, he was Dean Winchester, wanted for murder in St. Louis. How the hell was that any safer?
Getting angrier by the minute, he pulled on Dean’s jeans, wincing at how tight they were. He packed up the bag and headed outside. Sure enough, the Impala was sitting there waiting for him. He couldn’t use the Impala to track Dean. As he sat in the driver’s seat, he couldn’t help but notice it was definitely a little more comfortable in Dean’s body. He whipped out his cell phone and called Ellen.
“Ellen, it’s Sam Winchester. I’m on my way to you, and I need your help… and especially Ash’s help.”
“Sam? You don’t sound like yourself. Is it really you?”
“It’s really me. I know that I’m not high on your list for helping at this point, but I’m kind of desperate. I don’t want to talk about it on the phone, but Dean’s gone, and I need your help to find him.”
Still sounding skeptical, she agreed, “Alright, Sam. You get here, and I’ll round up Ash. How far away are you?”
Starting up the Impala, Sam was firm, “If I can avoid the cops, I’ll be there in three hours. See you soon.” Sam hung up the phone and gunned the engine. Oh yeah, Dean was SO dead.
He pulled the Impala up outside of the roadhouse and turned off the engine. Thankfully, there hadn’t been a state trooper to be seen, so he’d actually made the trip in just under three hours. However, he still hadn’t figured out how to explain this to Ellen. She’d taken the whole psychic thing pretty well, but this was just really out there. Well, he’d just have to wing it. The clock was ticking on Dean, and Sam needed their help.
He walked in and approached the bar. Ellen looked up at him and slapped him before he could even speak. “Sam called a couple of hours ago, looking for you. Where the hell have you been?”
No time like the present. “Ellen, it’s me, Sam. Look, I know that I look like Dean, but hear me out. It’s me.”
Before he could even continue, Ellen had the sawed-off shotgun up and out from behind the bar. “What are you? Dumbass Demon can’t even get their names right?”
Sam begged, “Ellen, I’m not a demon. I’m not possessed. It’s me, Sam. Dean took me out drinking last night and must have slipped something into my drink. I woke up in his body. He left me this note.” He dropped the note on the bar, and Ellen just stared at it.
Silence hung in the air in the roadhouse. Jo came out from the kitchen and assessed the situation…badly. “Mom, I know you’re still mad, but shooting him isn’t the answer.”
Ellen motioned for Jo to move behind the bar. “Jo, honey, that is not Dean Winchester. I haven’t figured out yet who it is, but it’s definitely not Dean. He’s claiming to be Sam and that Dean somehow caused them to switch bodies.”
Jo looked at Sam suspiciously, “Why would he want to do that?”
Sam sighed. They were going to find out sooner or later anyway. “Dad told Dean something before he died. Something he learned about the Demon. According to Dean’s note, the Demon is after me specifically, and Dean thinks that he can protect me by being me.”
Jo shrugged, “That sounds like something Dean would do. Your brother’s cute, but he’s not the brightest in the bunch.”
Sam and Ellen both cast her a sharp glance.
Sam continued, “Please, Ellen. You’ve got to believe me. Throw holy water at me, exorcise me, whatever you need to do to convince yourselves that it’s really me, but I really need Ash’s help to find Dean. He can’t fight this thing alone. It will kill him.”
Three beers and an hour later, Ash’s slurred voice called out from the back, “Got him! You’re never gonna guess where he is.”
Sam slid off the barstool and jogged into the back. “Where is he, Ash?”
Ash took another swig of his nearly empty beer and just pointed. Sam turned to stare at an image of his house in Kansas on Ash’s computer screen. “No. He would never go there.”
Ash turned the computer towards him and caused the screen to change to a picture of the front page of the local paper. “Apparently, there was a mysterious fire in that house that started in one of the upstairs bedrooms. That nice family that you helped before? Well, the mom died in the fire and the kids suffered some smoke inhalation, but apparently they were pulled from the fire by one Sam Winchester, who just happened to formerly reside in the house in question.”
Sam whispered, “The Demon.”
Ash nodded, “Apparently so. When I put the data into your dad’s algorithm, it rang off as a possible event, but I’m not sure why it didn’t ring off sooner. Guess I don’t have the algorithm as perfect as I thought.”
Sam reached out and clapped Ash’s shoulder, “Thanks, man. I really appreciate it. I’ll head out to Lawrence now. I should be there in six or seven hours. Maybe Missouri can help fix this mess that Dean’s made.”
He turned, and two very pissed-off looking women blocked the doorway. Ellen spoke first, “You’re not going out there alone. We’re coming with you. No arguments. Load up the extra weapons from the supply closet into the trunk.”
Sam just nodded, “Yes, ma’am. Thank you.”
They drove in silence and made good time. The only comment for the trip was one from Jo shortly after they left, “It seems weird to ride in here without music.”
No one answered her. No one needed to. They drove on in silence.
By the time they pulled up outside the house in Lawrence, Sam was nearly vibrating from the tension. He put the car in park and his head began to throb with the vision. He could vaguely hear Ellen calling his name, but his mind was filled with terrible images. Images of the Demon holding Dean in Sam’s body pinned to the ceiling in what had been their parents’ bedroom in the house. Sam watched as the blood began to pour from Dean’s, no - his, abdomen. It was Jess all over again. Then, as quickly as it came, the vision was gone.
Ellen had her hand on his shoulder, “Sam, are you okay?”
Sam shook his head to clear it, “Yeah, yeah. It was a vision. We’ve got to get in there. The Demon has Dean. Load up your guns with rock salt and holy water and follow me in. The guns won’t stop him, but they should slow him down. I’m going in now.”
He was out of the car before Ellen could stop him. He heard her cursing and calling after him. He ran across the yard and tried not to notice the burned out bedroom on the second floor as a he approached the house. He found the front door open and entered cautiously. He could hear voices coming from upstairs.
He took the stairs two at a time, and noted absently that it wasn’t as easy in Dean’s body as it was in his. He burst through the door into the bedroom in time to see the Demon lift Dean in Sam’s body up to the ceiling. “Hey, it’s me you want, not him!”
Dean looked at him with both disappointment and defeat in his eyes, “Dammit, Sam. I told you not to come after me!”
The Demon snarled, “Actually, I don’t want either of you in your current states. I want…no, I need
…Sam’s soul in his body. This situation simply won’t do.” He swept his arm across the room and Dean came crashing into Sam before he could get out of the way. They landed in a twisted pile of limbs in the corner.
The Demon continued to snarl at them, “Your father told you to do this, didn’t he? Well, rest assured that he will suffer for this. He will
With that, Ellen and Jo came rushing into the room, firing furiously. The Demon howled in pain as he was hit repeatedly with the rock salt rounds. “I will be back for what is mine. Count on it.” Then he was gone in a puff of black smoke. No body left behind this time.
Dean and Sam slowly separated themselves and got to their feet, only to have Sam knock Dean on his ass again. “You, stupid son of a bitch. What the hell were you thinking facing that thing alone? He could have killed you. Hell, he did in my vision. It’s just dumb luck that Ash was able to find you in time.”
Dean rose to his feet and took advantage of their situation and proceeded to tower over Sam for first time in ten years. “I was doing what Dad told me to. He said this was the best way to protect you. Given what the Demon just said, I guess he was right. The Demon can’t do whatever he wants to you as long as we stay like this.”
Sam roared, “Stay like this? Dean, are you crazy? You are going to make this right, now.”
Dean managed to look smug, even wearing Sam’s face, “No can do, Sammy.”
Sam ran a weary hand through his, Dean’s, too short hair, “Why not? Don’t tell me…you didn’t…”
Dean nodded, “Yep, I’m afraid that the hoodoo that Dad pointed me to doesn’t have a reverse switch.” Sam just gaped, while Dean continued, “And that, bro, is why you better not damage the goods.”
Dean clapped Sam on the shoulder and turned towards Jo and Ellen, “Thanks for help, ladies. I think Sam and I can take it from here.”
Sam woke with a start. The sheets were soaked with sweat, and the room was dark. He didn’t remember coming to the motel at all. Last thing he remembered, he was standing with Dean, Ellen and Jo in the old house in Lawrence.
He stretched his legs and was surprised when his feet hung off the end of the bed. He sat bolt upright in his bed and looked at the sleeping figure in the bed across the room. “Dean, Dean!”
The older man stirred and grumbled, “Sam, what the hell? It’s not even light out. Go back to sleep.”
Sam bolted out of bed and over to the mirror above the sink. He noted that it was the same motel room where everything had started. He stared in the mirror and saw his own face looking back at him. “Thank God. Dean, how did you do it?”
Dean groaned and lifted his head on his pillow and squinted in Sam’s direction, “What are you talking about, Sammy? I haven’t done anything except drink too fucking much.” Dean’s head crashed back down to the pillow.
Sam looked around the room and considered the situation, “So, you didn’t do some hoodoo to make us switch bodies so that the Demon would come after you instead of me?”
Dean’s head lifted again, “Dude, I am never letting you do shots of Jack again. Now, go back to bed.”
Sam looked in the mirror again and laughed weakly. He headed back to bed and smiled as his feet hung off the end.
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