Author: Tyranusfan PM
Everyone knows Dean's weak spot. Set after the events of 4.10 Heaven and Hell. Rated T for severe Sam whumping and some coarse language.Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Hurt/Comfort - Dean W. & Sam W. - Words: 5,129 - Reviews: 51 - Favs: 93 - Follows: 9 - Published: 11-30-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4687904
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This is set a few days after "Heaven and Hell," and the events surrounding Anna. The demon Alastair seems to have been killed, so Dean believes that here. Whether or not he comes back is up to the show.
Thanks to geminigrl11 for the fast beta. I own nothing. Reviews welcomed.
Dean couldn't sleep. He'd been trying, desperately, since getting in bed almost three hours before, but he couldn't settle his mind. He only felt slightly better about everything since confessing to his brother about what he'd done in Hell. Slightly, as in, not really better at all.
Sam was sleeping well enough. His little brother's soft snoring from the other bed would normally have been enough to lull Dean to sleep, but not this night.
Talking to Sam had helped, in a way. At least he didn't have to fight off the well-meant but taxing attempts to help. Dean didn't have the energy to hold them off. With all that had been happening the past few weeks: Sam's abilities, Samhain getting loose, Uriel threatening to both send him back to Hell and kill Sam if they didn't surrender Anna, Alastair finding him again---
Alastair was the last person---demon---that he'd ever wanted to see roaming the Earth. Still, as terrible and horrifying as his time Dean spent in Hell with the ancient demon had been, he was actually more worried now. Sam's crazy mental exorcism had no effect on him and even Ruby's knife was useless. Alastair, it seemed, was even more powerful than Lilith. Thankfully, Anna seemed to have killed him during her transformation.
But, there were more like him where he came from.
Anxiety tied his stomach in knots. The dangers he and Sam faced seemed to be multiplying, hemming them in on all sides. Castiel couldn't be trusted to listen to reason. Ruby couldn't be trusted, period, no matter that she had saved Sam's life.
These troubling thoughts chased each other in Dean's mind as his eyes drifted shut at last.
What sounded like a muffled explosion jolted Dean awake. His eyes snapped open in time to the see the motel room door splinter and blast inward, scattering the carefully laid salt line. Four men, each easily twice Sam's size, poured in through the open door. Dean considered briefly that they were being robbed or arrested---not like that was outside the realm of possibility---but one glimpse of their black eyes told him otherwise.
Sam, as deeply asleep as he had been, reacted faster. He raised his hand toward the intruders, halting two of them in their tracks and starting one of his instant exorcisms, but the other two charged on unimpeded.
Dean's brain kicked in at that moment. He snatched Ruby's knife from beneath his pillow and threw it. The blade buried itself in one of their attackers' sides, dropping him with unearthly light exploding from his mouth and eyes. The other demon leapt forward in a flying tackle that caught Sam in the midsection, driving him off the bed and into the far wall.
With Sam down, the other two demons, now free from Sam's mental hold, turned on Dean, dragging him out of the bed by his ankles. The last thing he saw was a fist descending toward his face.
Dean woke beside Sam in a small, circular room with one door and two cots. Sam roused moments later. After checking each other for injuries---and noting with dismay that none of their personal items were present---both men examined their new surroundings.
The walls were concrete, showing signs of water stains…and a few other blemishes that Dean preferred not to think about. The heavy door was steel, dead-bolted from the outside. Sam inspected each of the three locks, but with no tools, they couldn't pick them.
There was just barely space for them to stand shoulder-to-shoulder between the beds. Above them, there was a small window, clearly too high for them to reach and far too small to escape through, near the ceiling, letting light into the room.
"At least we can see sunlight," Dean muttered. "We'll be able to keep time."
"I wonder if that's good or bad," Sam mused, continuing his circuit of the room.
The first day passed without incident. They checked virtually every inch of the room but had found no viable escape route---Sam checked the small window anyway, finding it barred and only a few inches wide. No one visited them, but sometime before they'd regained consciousness, some thoughtful creature had left a loaf of bread and a bowl of water for them. Sam tested the water, making sure it wasn't poisoned. The rations were better than nothing, though Dean's stomach was growling loudly by the time night fell.
As the room began to grow dark, they eyed the cots warily. Finally, Sam broke the silence. "You sleep first. I'll keep watch."
Sam held up his hands. "I promise I'll wake you in two hours so I can sleep."
Mollified, Dean sat on one of the rickety cots. "All right. Be careful."
"Not too many ways to get into trouble in here," Sam shot back with a smirk. It was short-lived, since both of them knew that Sam was wrong.
At sunrise the next day, Dean woke Sam. There were sounds coming from beyond the door, and they gathered themselves, ready to make a break if the opportunity arose.
Their opportunity came just a few minutes later, but it didn't go the way they wanted. The same possessed goliaths that had taken them entered the room. Two of them immediately seized Sam, subduing him after an all-too-brief struggle. Dean moved to intervene, but an invisible force flung him against the wall and pinned him there.
The demon who pinned him grinned malevolently, then ushered the others and Sam out of the room.
"Hey! Sam! Where are you taking him?" Dean received no answer. When the door swung closed and latched again, he was released and slid down the wall. He jumped to his feet and went for the door, hoping to find a crack or something that might allow him to get out, or at least see where Sam had gone.
"Sam!" He pounded on the door, but again there was no answer.
Great. Separated, it would be difficult to fight back or plan an escape. It also meant he wouldn't be able to help Sammy if anything happened. That was worse than being locked up.
Dean gave up on the door, pacing back and forth in a tight circle between the cots and trying to listen for any sounds from outside the room. Damn it! Where'd they take him?
A few long minutes passed while Dean fumed silently. He had almost given up and sat down when it started. The first noise that came through the locked door was a cry, like surprise mixed with pain. Mostly pain.
It was Sam.
"Sam!" Dean launched himself at the door again. As he pounded, the cry became a full-fledged scream. His brain went on autopilot as the scream was followed by another, then another. Dean's fists did their best to batter down the steel door, adding percussion to the cacophony. Sam's screams were getting louder.
God, what are they doing? Dean hadn't heard his brother scream like that since--- Jesus, I've never heard him scream like that….
The awful cries went on for hours. Dean dented the door and even chipped the wall, though it cost him two sets of busted knuckles. Finally, as the sunlight began to dim, Dean settled against the far wall, head in his bloody hands. He hated the sounds coming from outside, but couldn't tune them out. Sam was being tortured out there, and there wasn't a damned thing he could do about it.
Darkness settled over the room when the screams stopped. Dean was on his feet immediately, shaking out cramps from sitting still for so long. He heard footsteps, then yelped as he was flung backwards, flattened against the wall.
The door opened, rusty hinges squealing in protest, and the demons entered again, carrying Sam by his arms. Dean was glad to see his little brother struggling, however ineffectively, against their grip, but that was all he could be happy for.
Sam's gray T-shirt was sliced open in dozens of places, soaked through the front with blood and sweat.
"What the hell'd you do to him?"
The possessed men ignored him, hurling Sam cruelly to the floor. They turned without a word and left.
"Sammy?" Dean scrambled to his prone sibling's side, moving to turn him over onto his back. Sam's arms where covered in blood, sticky rivulets running from under his shirt all the way from his shoulders to his hands.
Sam whimpered at the touch, flinching weakly away. Dean froze. He needed to help, but it seemed just touching added to the pain.
"Sammy, talk to me, man… What can I do?"
His brother's eyes cracked open, taking too long to focus on Dean's face. He licked his busted lower lip before whispering. "Tired…."
Dean forced himself to be calm, analytically looking Sam over for a way to lift without hurting him. He settled on Sam's back, gripping as gently as he could. His little brother wasn't so little anymore. The muscle Sam had packed on during Dean's time away made it a little harder to heave his deadweight up onto the cot.
Sam gasped at the motion, his body starting to shake. Dean looked around, but there were no blankets in the room. "Take it easy, bro. I got you."
The view of Sam on his back was even worse. His wrists were bruised and bloody, probably from some kind of restraints, and his torso--- Dean squeezed his eyes shut for a moment, steeling himself. "Okay, Sam…I'm gonna take a look, okay? Try to stay still."
He reached for the hem of Sam's shirt, blinking in surprise when Sam tried feebly to bat his hands away. His brother was too weak to do much more. Panic showed on the kid's face. "It's okay. It's me, Sammy. I'm not gonna hurt you."
Dean lifted the shirt gently, wincing when the fabric pulled against dried blood and made Sam gasp. He almost threw up. Sam's shoulders, chest and stomach were covered in dozens of gashes, each no less than six inches long, and each one carefully cauterized. Some detached part of Dean's brain realized that that was the only reason Sam hadn't bled to death. The demons had apparently wanted to make sure he lived through the experience. Blood was everywhere.
The horror only sank in when Dean realized that he'd seen the pattern before. On his own body. Over and over again, each time worse than the time before. This had been part of what he'd endured in Hell. One of the first torments the demons subjected him to. The only difference was the cauterization. He couldn't bleed to death in Hell, but Sam could here. They had clearly adapted the technique for a live human.
"Christ, Sammy…what--- What did they want?"
Sam frowned, struggling even to shake his head. "Can't…."
Dean lowered the shirt carefully, moving up closer so he could heard the hoarse words.
"Can't, Dean…can't tell you."
"Said…they said…if I tell you anything about it…they'll kill you."
Dean frowned. "Can you tell me who it was? Do you know?"
Sam shook his head. "Don't know. I…I won't…let them hurt you again…."
"Forget about that, Sam," Dean admonished sternly. This was so not the time for his brother's masochistic martyr complex to take over. "You're the one they're hurting. I gotta do something."
Paradoxically, a small smile formed on Sam's pain-lined face. His eyes were starting to droop. "You can…take first watch."
Dean blinked, suddenly remembering that it was dark in the room. He nodded. "Yeah, kiddo. I can do that. You just rest, okay?"
Sam was already drifting off, but not relaxing into sleep. His body was clenched, muscles corded as his hands kept alternately shaking and balling into fists. Whatever else the demons had done to him, it wasn't fading away now that he was resting.
Cursing under his breath, Dean ran a calming hand through Sam's hair, pressing his forehead against Sam's sweaty brow. He had seen this enough himself to know how much pain the younger man had to be feeling, even though the version Dean had endured had gone further and longer. Still, he had never wanted Sam to experience these things.
He couldn't let the demons take Sam again, that much was certain. It would only get worse if they continued.
Stopping them was easier said than done. The next morning, the demons returned. Dean was once again easily pinned to the wall as they dragged Sam out of the room. To his credit, the kid actually put up a decent fight, but the brutes had too much of an advantage.
"No! Damn it, take me! I'm the one you want!" Dean shouts were ignored. He didn't actually know what they wanted, but it was worth a try. They acted as though he wasn't even there, except one of them replaced the small bowl of water by the door with a full one. Dean didn't spare it more than a glance.
The day went essentially the same way. Sam started screaming minutes after being taken out, Dean's shouts and threats were ignored, and the horrible cries were heard nonstop through the daylight hours. At dusk, the screams stopped. Dean once more found himself slammed against the stone wall, and the door opened.
Sam wasn't fighting now. His feet dragged uselessly behind him as the demons brought him in and dumped him almost gleefully in the center of the room. They turned and left without giving Dean so much as a passing glance.
Once released, he scuttled over to his brother's side, mouth dropping open at the new damage. Sam's back was soaked in blood this time as well, making the act of lifting him onto the cot torturous for both of them. Sam cried out as if Dean's hands were branding irons, his arms fighting back without any strength. Dean bit back tears as he took too long to get Sam's flailing body up and settled on his side, trying not to aggravate the injuries any more than he had to. Any more than he already had.
Sam's back was covered in the same slices and gashes as his chest and stomach. Hundreds of deep cuts, each carefully fused before the next. The lines of melted flesh crisscrossed, forming a sickening pattern across the broad back. He looked like he'd been mauled repeatedly, his tormentors taking the time to close each wound in between.
"Sam?" Dean looked up into Sam's glazed eyes. He was panting, sweat pouring off of him, but the kid was unresponsive. "Sammy? Hey, can you hear me? Come on, bitch, say something. You're scaring me."
His brother's eyes cut toward him, taking a moment to focus. The panting didn't abate much, but his muscles visibly relaxed. Sagged, really. The kid was exhausted. "I…really…need a drink."
Dean was taken aback by the absurdity of the statement, until he saw a glint of humor in Sam's eye and faint smirk. He got the message. Beaten, not broken.
"Sure, Sammy," he murmured, rubbing Sam's bloody shoulder carefully. "Anything you want here at Chateau Winchester. All you have to do is ask."
He got an eye roll for that. "Then…I have a complaint…for the manager."
"Beds suck," Sam wheezed. "No cable…and the staff…bunch of dicks…."
The humor faded fast. Sam was in agony. Dean saw it in his eyes. He weakly pawed at Dean's wrist with one clenched hand. "Thirsty…."
Dean nodded, squeezing his sibling's hand. "That I can do."
He rose and retrieved the water bowl from the floor, bringing it over to Sam's cot. He was about to offer it when he paused. "Just a second."
Dean hadn't even looked at new bowl all day. He sniffed it. Hopefully, they haven't poisoned it--- He dipped one finger and brought it to his lips. It wouldn't do much good for him to get sick from anything they might have spiked the water with, but it was better that Dean get sick than Sam. His brother was going through enough. Like the other bowls, the liquid tasted bland and lukewarm, but otherwise all right. I hope.
Scooping some water into his palm, he reached over and let Sam sip. Blood from the freshly re-busted lip smeared onto his hand, but Dean ignored it. Sam took some of the water, but even that small movement drained him, and he settled back, brow furrowing in pain.
Dean used the remainder of the water to dampen Sam's forehead, then ran his hand through the sweat-soaked, matted hair. "It's gonna be okay, Sammy. I promise."
Sam closed his eyes, drifting either into sleep or unconsciousness.
"It'll be okay," Dean repeated, hoping Sam wasn't lucid enough to realize that he was lying.
Every day brought more of the same. The fourth and fifth passed slowly, with Sam's screams the only break in the monotony. Dean tried and retried every conceivable escape method. He even used his cot as a battering ram to attack the door. It was a futile gesture, but at least he was doing something besides fighting off hunger.
The morning of the fifth day, he managed to scale the wall up to the tiny window, even though he knew it was too small to slip through. It was barred in any event. He worked one of the bars loose before his limbs grew too tired to hold him, and he used the metal rod to try and pry the locks off the door. One of them was coming loose just as night fell and Sam was dragged back in the room.
Sam's injuries had multiplied, as they did every day. This night, everything between his neck and his kneecaps was a bloody mess. His torso, arms, legs, nothing had been spared. The thin gray T-shirt and sleeping pants were shredded to tatters, leaving Sam all but nude save his boxers. What little cloth remained was stained deep red.
There was no way to move Sam without inflicting more damage, so Dean didn't even try. He took what laughingly passed for a mattress from his destroyed cot and slid it up as close to his brother as possible, then just slowly rolled Sam onto it, resting the kid's head on his thigh.
Blood had splattered up onto Sam's face, so Dean ripped a piece of his shirt sleeve, soaked it in the refilled water bowl he'd gotten that morning, and tried to clean around Sam's eyes and mouth. Dull, pain-filled eyes cut toward him, and Sam tried to speak, but only succeeded in triggering a fit of raspy coughs.
"Easy. Don't talk, man. Your throat's probably had it for today," Dean soothed, helping Sam sip some water. Even if they got out of this somehow, which Dean seriously doubted at this point, he feared Sam's voice would be permanently damaged from all the screaming.
Sam settled, breathing evening out a little as the coughs faded. Dean could feel Sam's pulse racing, even while resting. That wasn't a good sign. He stroked Sam's cheek, taking a moment to brush some loose, bloody hair out of the kid's eyes. Tears marked his own cheeks, but he didn't give a fuck if anyone saw the undying affection in his eyes or his movements. Sam saw it, that's all that was important. They were well past appearances and bravado now.
"I don't know what they want, Sam. I've tried everything to get them to say something to me, but they act like I'm not even here. Did they say anything to you?"
He got a slight nod in response, and noted how Sam's eyes looked away sadly.
"I don't suppose you can tell me, huh?"
Sam shook his head. Of course not, Dean grumbled silently. That was probably under the Don't-Tell-Your-Brother-or-We'll-Kill-Him category. Sam stared intently at him, his piercing gaze attracting Dean's full attention. His brother's hand came up to his face and pushed Dean's hand down onto his mangled chest, palm up. He watched as Sam mimicked drawing letters on Dean's palm one at a time with his index finger, looking up at the end of each word to verify comprehension.
It was a game they used to play in the back of the Impala, long after Dad told them to sleep. They could talk for hours silently. Dean nodded minutely at the end of each word, not knowing whether they were under surveillance and not wanting to blow this opportunity. Sam spelled out three words. Don't do it.
Dean frowned, dropping his head so hopefully only Sam could see and mouthed back. What?
Sam spelled out three more words, even as his eyes were drifting shut, exhaustion finally claiming him.
Not for me.
Dean blinked at that, not understanding. Unfortunately, Sam was out, and there was nothing to do for now. He let Sam sleep. Better for unconsciousness to claim him than to keep him awake and let the pain throb through him. Whatever else they were doing to Sam out there, the effects lasted all night.
They'd just have to try again in the morning. Hopefully, they'd have time before the demons came.
The next morning, the demons came early, while the sunlight was still dim in the room. Dean woke groggily as the door creaked open, then was jarred awake as he was batted aside and they pulled Sam off the floor. His brother's muffled groan spurred him to try and intervene, since the demons had failed to pin him this time, but as he tried to sit up, the third possessed thug forced him back down beneath his booted foot.
"Please…leave Sam here. Take me," Dean begged, not caring how pathetic he sounded. The demon cocked his head in apparent confusion, then dropped his foot, crouched in front of Dean's face, and spoke to him for the first time since they were brought to their prison.
"Take you where? We have you right where we want you, boy."
With that, the demon smirked and rose, leaving without looking back. Dean scurried to get up before the door closed, but days on only bread and water left him weak. He got to his feet as the locks were snapping into place.
Dean moved toward the door, listening, hoping to catch some clue as to what the demons wanted with them, if anything. He doubted Sam could take much more. How the younger man had endured for as long as he had surprised him. This was different than Dean's time in the Pit. Had Dean's body been physical there, he doubted he'd have lasted a week, let alone years. Sam's resistance floored Dean.
The screams started, right on schedule. They weren't the same as the previous days. So far, Sam's cries had been reluctant, as if he were making the demons work to hurt him, fighting back. Now, they were more panicked, desperate. Dean closed his eyes and sagged against the door. He knew what it meant.
God, they've broken him.
This couldn't go on. Dean had to get their attention on to him before it was too late. He banged on the door. "Hey! Listen to me! Hey!"
As if in reply, Sam's screams changed. They started to grow louder, more high-pitched, like they were building to a crescendo---
No. No, no, no! They were killing Sam. Dean could feel it. "Hey! Damn it, take me! Leave him alone you bastards!"
The cries grew even louder. Dean pounded on the door, rattling it so badly that he thought it might actually fall open. He heard the shouts pause, only to feel his stomach clench at the next sound.
"Sam! Sammy! Damn it, leave him alone! Please!"
Sam didn't answer his calls, just went back to those awful screams. Dean rammed the door with his shoulder, not stopping even when his shoulder popped. "Stop it! Please, stop!"
His eyes snapped open and he jackknifed up, all but falling into Sam's arms.
"Dean, talk to me."
Dean blinked, his surroundings finally registering. He was back in the motel room. They were both back. "Sammy?"
His brother looked scared shitless. Dean could relate.
"You were having a nightmare, man. I thought you were going to take out the bed for a second the way you were hitting it."
"The bed?" Dean panted, trying to catch up. He was hitting the bed? It wasn't a door? His eyes shifted to the clock on the nightstand. "What---?"
He turned back to Sam, who wasn't covered in his own blood, and who wasn't outside the room screaming his head off. Dean grabbed Sam by the shoulders and pulled him into a bear hug. "Thank God…."
Sam was tense in his arms, worry radiating off of him. "Were you--- Was it a dream about…Hell?"
Dean relaxed his grip, pulling back and giving Sam room. He kept his hands on Sam's arms, wanting the contact. He stared for a moment, then shook his head, uncertain. "More or less. I dunno…."
His brother watched him, clearly concerned. Dean's breathing slowly went back to normal, and he reeled himself in enough to let Sam go. "I'm okay."
Sam rocked back on his haunches, still watching. "You sure?"
Taking another long look at him, Dean swallowed loudly. Sam appeared to be free of any injuries. Was it only a dream? It seemed far too intense for that. He frowned, rolling the thought over in his mind, but nodded. "Yeah. Go back to sleep."
His brother seemed to want to say something, but closed his mouth and moved back to his bed, sitting on the edge. "Actually…I'm not that tired. Anything you want to watch on TV?"
Dean looked at him, snorting at that. He heard the unspoken message loud and clear. I'm here if you want to talk. But the tired lines on Sam's face spoke louder. The kid didn't sleep nearly enough anymore.
"You look like crap, Sasquatch. Go back to bed before you fall over," he said gruffly, throwing Sam a forced smirk to soften the blow.
Sam frowned, but complied, reluctantly rolling back onto his pillow, but facing Dean this time.
For his part, Dean pushed himself against the headboard and rubbed his hands over his face. Sam's okay…he's okay.
He spent the rest of the night with some home gym infomercial. Sam dozed off an hour or so later.
Dean stepped out into the morning sun, adjusting the strap on his duffel. He'd stayed awake until just after dawn, then packed up the room. He had no intention of spending another day there.
He'd swept the room with the EMF while Sam was getting ready. There was no sign of any spirit activity. The salt lines were unbroken. There was nothing to suggest that what Dean had experienced had been anything more than a very severe nightmare.
Sam was fine. Dean had paid close attention as Sam stepped out of the bathroom to get dressed after his shower; there was no evidence of any scars, besides the few that were supposed to be there and a few new ones Sam had gotten while Dean was away. Sam still hadn't told him about all of them. Certainly nothing like the horrible injuries Dean had seen the night before.
The close scrutiny freaked Sam out a little, and half-jokingly asked if Dean was turning into a perv. He shot back that Sam shouldn't flatter himself and suggested that they go get breakfast.
Anything to get them out of that room.
Dropping his bag into the open trunk, Dean circled the car, heading for the driver's seat. Sam would be along as soon as he got his shoes on. As he neared the door, he noticed a folded piece a paper had been left under the windshield wiper. He glanced back at the handicapped sign on the curb, but he'd just moved the car to the spot, he couldn't possibly have gotten a ticket that quickly.
He opened the note. Definitely not a parking violation. A message was burned into the paper, yellowing around the edges of the charred letters.
Alastair was not the only one who saw your potential, Dean.
Be careful whose side you take in this war.
Next time, it won't be a dream.
Dean's blood ran cold. He spun, scanning the parking lot, but saw no one. He was alone. He reread the note, barely able to breathe.
Sam emerged from the room, closing the door and heading for the trunk. "We're all packed. Room's clear."
When no answer was forthcoming, Sam called out again. "Dean? Something wrong?"
Dean looked up at him, blinking in confusion. Sam pointed to the note in his hands. "What's that? A ticket?"
"No," Dean muttered, reading the note again. His brother was staring at him with that worried look again. Dean could feel the gaze on him. Sam doesn't need to know about this. He shook his head, crumpling the note in his fist.
"No, not a ticket, Sammy. It's just a warning."