Author's Note: To celebrate my cold being almost gone, I figured I would post this story. Written for this prompt, "AU from Season Eight. The Alpha Vamp wants Dean back. Bad. And what better way to get to Dean than through Sam? Sam is taken from Amelia's home, and she just thinks he's gotten skittish and ran. (Not that she blames him; she's a mess, right?) The vamps have Sam, but no matter what they do to him, he can't tell them where Dean is. When Dean returns from Purgatory, Sam is nowhere to be found . . . until Benny gets word through the Vampire Underground that Sam is, indeed, somewhere. And not a happy place, either." I love Benny and frankly, I miss him a lot. I hope he comes back soon! A few warnings in here for torture and blood. If that makes you squeamish, don't read. So, I hope you enjoy!
"I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don't know where it goes
But it's home to me and I walk alone."
Green Day, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"
The limp form in the chair lifts his head, blood dripping down from his nose. Bruises litter his face; his left eye is swollen so bad that he can barely see. Yet, in his stance, there is an aura of defiance. The way he refuses to lower his gaze, to cower and beg for his life. It's all very dignified really and the Alpha Vampire must give credit where credit is due.
Sam Winchester is one hard guy to break.
"Y'gonna kill me t'day?" He slurs through bloody, cracked lips. Their exchanges always start the same way. It's been three months—three months of trying to find out Dean Winchester's location, of trying to fulfill his desire for revenge. He had given them fair warning the last time they met. He had extended them the same courtesy he had for any creature that had helped them. But, now it was time to finish off these two annoying hunters.
Only, he had been able to find the second half of the pair. Despite his vast contacts all over the globe, no one could locate Dean Winchester, which left the Alpha Vampire with two options:
Either kill Sam and be satisfied with that or wait until he could take them both out.
Which led to him now standing before Sam, as he had done so since the first day that he had captured him. His body had broken down since then. He's a mess of bruises and broken bones coupled with anemia, but he was alive, something that required great restraint from the Alpha Vampire, something that Sam should've been grateful about.
"Tell me where Dean is," The Alpha Vampire started calmly. "And I will let you go." Muddy hazel eyes met his defiantly.
"I don't know." He spat out with deliberate care, a spark of the ruthless hunter flaring up in his gaze. Sighing softly, the Alpha Vampire motioned for his blades to be brought forward. Really, torture is beneath him, but he had to find Dean if he ever wanted to have his quest for revenge ended.
"I warned you, Sam."
And with that, he plunges the knife into Sam's ribs.
The real world is nothing like Dean remembers it.
It's bright and easy and the people all walk so slowly, like they have nothing to be worried about, like they take their safety for granted. People smile at him occasionally—him, a stranger who could kill them within a few seconds and hide their body in a place where no one would ever find it again—and he just walks on, hurrying past. His body never rests; he's always waiting for the next attack that never comes. He thought getting out of Purgatory would be better, but being in this world where suddenly nothing makes sense is infinitely worse for him.
He wishes Benny was still here. The vampire got it; he understood. But they had parted ways and now it was up to Dean alone. Here in this crappy motel room, he stood, trying to gather his thoughts and figure out what his next move is.
He wishes Cas was—
"No." He hisses in pain, because honesty, he couldn't allow himself to think about that, not now.
He has to find Sam.
On the walls pinned everywhere—something they picked up from John, he thinks with a weary grin—are articles and possible leads on where his little brother could be. His brother had ditched his phone and the backup one for whatever reason. He seemed to be underground. Something must've happened after he and Cas got zapped to Purgatory. Something that had made Sam go underground.
Still, his brother left traces of himself along the way—clues for his big brother to follow and so far, the only thing he had that was a constant was a name.
"Good for you, Sammy." She's pretty, that much the eldest Winchester can see from her driver's license picture, but had his little brother really ditched him for a girl? Maybe nothing supernatural caused his brother to go underground. Perhaps, Dean being gone, perhaps that was motivation enough.
Maybe Sam had chosen to try and capture that elusive "normal" that he had been hunting for most of his life.
Images of Stanford and Jessica and I'm done hunting, Dean filled his mind. Traitorous thoughts, loud voices and a door slammed that had taken almost four years to reopen echoed in the room. No, there has to be some explanation; some logical reason for his little brother to quit hunting.
Amelia would know the answer.
"Texas, it is." He pulls out the Impala's keys—thank God Sam had the common sense to leave his baby in their storage unit because honestly, if he didn't have her to calm him, this world would probably drown him—and heads out the door. The sunshine blinds him; children laugh as they run in the sprinklers.
And Dean Winchester feels lost.
This isn't his world anymore.
"I'm losing my patience, Sam." He places the blade down on the silver platter that his second-in-command holds up, frowning distastefully at all the wasted blood. If he were a weaker creature, the youngest Winchester would be dead by now with the way his blood was all over the place.
"S'not m'problem." He mumbles, wincing through the pain and trying to suck in a breath. The Alpha Vampire resists the urge to snap his neck and tries to figure out what his next step is. Plunging knifes into noncritical points in his body obviously hadn't loosened Sam's tongue. He doubts intimidation would any better.
"Where is Dean?" He's getting tired of this. Too much wasted blood; too few results. Perhaps he could contract this out? He's sure Crowley would love a chance to crack Sam Winchester, but would he actually leave him alive?
"Told you," He wheezes, yet he still exudes an aura of cockiness after all this time. How could he do that? This is why the Winchesters were the bane of nearly every supernatural creature's existence. They were so damn annoying, even driving the most calm of creatures to go insane in their presence. "I don't know." Hissing, he reaches out and grabs Sam's neck, crushing it ever so slightly—enough to make it hard to breathe, but not enough to kill.
"If you don't tell me, I will kill you." A spark of something flickers in those hazel eyes. Finally, he would get the answer he had been seeking. He lets go and stands back, waiting with a confident grin.
"Don't know." Sam tells him and something within the Alpha Vampire snaps. Grabbing the bloody knife, he lets the rage take over.
He's tired of waiting for his revenge.
"Sam?" Amelia hands him a cup of tea. She's petite and much weaker in spirit than Jess was. She's a veterinarian though and judging from the way her dog follows him and stares up at her like she's freaking goddess or something, she must be good. Her voice is soft, with an undercurrent of sadness that threatens to bubble up and over at any second. Still, she plasters on a smile and acts like nothing is wrong, something Dean can relate to. "He left about three months ago."
"Why did he leave?" At her hesitation, he lowers his notebook and waits. "Did he tell you?"
"No," She confesses, taking a sip of her own tea. "I just woke up and he was gone." With a bittersweet grin and the sparkle of unshed tears in her eyes, she meets his gaze. "Sam and I, we weren't the best people to be in a relationship." Dean nods encouragingly. "But we were both broken and we needed some reason to keep going."
"Broken?" Dean echoes, perplexed.
"My husband died in the war," She runs a hand through her hair as she exhales, fighting for control over her emotions. "And Sam told me that his brother died as well." She laughs nervously. "He always felt so guilty about it, even though I know there was nothing he could've done to change it."
"Did he . . ?" Sam thought he was dead? Was that why Sam had disappeared and sought out the normal life? At Amelia's concerned look, he coughs and forces himself to focus on the here and now. "Did he tell you how his brother died?"
"The war, I think." She guesses. "We never really did get into it. We were trying to be in the here and now."
"Yet, he didn't tell you he was leaving?" Sam wasn't the kind of person who left without warning. Unlike Dean, he took time to say his goodbyes, to tie up his relationships in a neat little bow.
"Sam and I were a couple, but the romance was really secondary," She begins with a soft smile tugging up the edges of her ruby lips. "Really, our relationship was about surviving. When we met, we were both drowning. Together, we managed to stay afloat." She stirs her tea, liquid coming perilously close to passing over the edge. "So, no, he didn't tell me." Her eyes lock onto his. "I think I always knew that he would go though. I got better, but Sam never really did."
"What do you mean?" Dean's riveted by this other life Sam had. Normal for Sam . . . it somehow had gotten as fucked up as their hunting lives. What had happened in the year they had been apart? Where was his brother now?
"Whenever Sam woke up, for the briefest of seconds in his eyes, I could see this flicker of disappointment," She explains calmly, like she's reliving the moment all over again, turning it over in her mind to see if she missed something. "Like he kept expecting to wake up and be somewhere else." She chuckled softly, tucking a strand of her hair behind her ear nervously. "I think he only stayed because he saw how much of wreck I was."
"I'm sure that's not true," He assures her, actually meaning it for once. This woman's pain—it's as palpable as his own. So, she and Sam had saved each other, had they? If that's the case, he owes her a debt for helping his baby brother when he could not. "Any idea on where he could've gone?"
"No," She mumbles. "I don't know where his brother is buried either, but I think he would've gone there." She rises and smiles apologetically. He follows her lead as they head towards the front door.
"Well, thank you—"
"Agent Hagar?" Her hand tugs at his sleeve and he leans closer to her.
"When you find Sam," She pauses, grinning. "Could you tell him, thank you?"
And for the first time since he returned, he finds himself smiling along.
"What?" The Alpha Vampire growls as one of his many minions hesitantly enters the room. She grimaces and bites her lower lip, clearly worried about the news she's about to share. He turns from his desk and faces her. She's got her pale hands wrapped around her, as if that could protect her from his wrath. Her chestnut hair blocks her face, serving as a barrier from him. Foolish thing, he thinks with a sinister smile, there was no way for to escape. "Speak. Now."
"Sir, we've had a breach."
The smile vanishes, replaced with sheer fury and disgust. He calmly strolls to her and then in a flash, pulls out his pocketknife. In a matter of seconds, the woman's head is rolling around on the wooden floor.
It seems Sam Winchester still has friends looking out for him after all.
"Benny?" Dean calls, excited to see a familiar face. The vampire waves to him as he comes to stand out from the shadow of the tree by the motel. Moonlight illuminates his path and Dean can't help but feel relieved. Finally, someone who understood what it felt like to be back in this world where there was no distinct line between good and evil, between survival and enjoying the thrill of the kill. Here, there were way too many shades of grey, enough that it made Dean feel like he could drown in it.
"Hey, Chief." Benny returns in that easy accent of his. They hug, each happy to have reunited with their former partner in Purgatory.
"What brings you here?" Dean motions for him to head inside, but his friend shakes his head dismissively. Puzzled, the eldest Winchester takes in the vampire's appearance. His clothes are dirty around the edges and there are a few injuries on his hand. Had he been in a fight? "You in trouble? Hunter after you?" He would set anyone who went after Benny straight. True, he's a vampire, but the guy had saved his skin more than once and had proven himself a friend that Dean could count on, something he's been seriously lacking lately. At his ally's silence, the eldest Winchester prepares himself for whatever bad news is about to be revealed.
"I, uh, found Sam."
That takes the older brother completely by surprise.
"You . . . what?" He hadn't remembered even asking for the vampire's help on finding Sam. Still, this is a good thing, after all. "Great. Where is he?"
A pause. Benny shifts uneasily.
"Here's the thing, Dean." He begins softly, trying to find a way to say whatever it is that he has to say.
"The Alpha Vampire has him."
And just like that, the world around him—the world he had been starting to put back together—crumbles.
"Unless you want to end up like her," He gestures down at the decapitated woman on the floor uninterestedly as he tries to wrap his mind around what has occurred. A leak? Here? How could that be possible without him knowing it? "I suggest you bring me some good news."
"I do have some, sir," The young man replies, a bit confident, which elicits a dry chuckle from the Alpha Vampire. "We've managed to get a lock on Dean Winchester." Whirling around, the Alpha Vampire grins maliciously.
"You have?" He questions, astonished somewhat. He had almost given up all hope on finding that blasted Winchester and finally enacting his revenge. But now . . . now it was as if his patience was finally being rewarded.
All the pieces were falling into place.
"Yes, sir," The man nods. "From our intel, he's headed this way. Shall we send a group to intercept him?"
"No," He shakes his head furiously. "Let him come." He grins, loving the way his plan is finally coming together. Patience did end up being rewarded, he supposes.
"As you wish." He bows, but the Alpha Vampire waves his hand for the man to come closer. "Sir?"
"And Sam Winchester?"
"Barely breathing, sir." He reports. "You really did a number on him." Chuckling sinisterly the Alpha Vampire nods. This is just too perfect! He couldn't have planned it any better. Dean would rush in ready to save his brother, only to find that it was too late. He would be begging for death by the end.
It's simply too perfect.
"Make sure he stays alive until Dean reaches here."
"Yes, sir." With that, the man leaves, the door shutting behind him.
For the firs time in three months, the Alpha Vampire grins.
His plan is finally being set in motion.
"You know you can't come with me." Dean states somberly.
"I know," Benny replies, almost petulantly. "The whole mind power thing from the Alpha wouldn't really help you." At that, the eldest Winchester chuckles dryly. The Impala sped along, headlights illuminating the asphalt road that would take him to his brother's side. Three months with the Alpha Vampire . . . that brought nothing but a feeling of foreboding into Dean's system. Would Sam even be still alive by the time he got there? It is a miracle he's even still alive now though, Dean admits.
"Did you hear anything about his condition?" He wills the Impala to go faster and revs the engine. It levels out at a marginally higher speed, the most he can ask for without risking his baby's engine.
"Nothing good," Benny mutters darkly. "But he was being kept alive."
"That's all that matters then," Dean replies coolly. "I'll deal with the rest, whatever that may be." A pause as he lets the words sink in. It's no longer about running for survival anymore. Now, he has to remember how to take care of someone. He has to recall the feelings of peace after a battle being done instead of the constant fear of another attack that he had been used to for a year. It's been some time, but for Sam, he can be that person again.
He will be that person again.
"You wanna tell me how you pissed off the Alpha Vamp?" The eldest Winchester chuckles dryly.
"It's a long story." At that Benny laughs dryly.
"That I don't doubt."
It's a brief respite between two friends before the battle comes. In Purgatory, these moments were treasured and hoarded, called upon by Dean's mind when he needed some sort of encouragement to keep pushing on. Sam always came first, but when the memory of his brother failed him, Benny and Cas kept him going. Now though . . . would he even survive tonight? He would be damned if Sam died, but he himself?
Did his life matter?
In the grand scheme of things, what had he accomplished? He's gone to Hell, started the apocalypse and made a lot of wrong decisions. Still, it was Sam who pushed him to keep going, to keep breathing if not for his own sake, than for his little brother's. He would save Sam and damn it all, he would walk out of there with him. He had so much to ask his brother, so much to tell.
It couldn't all end tonight.
The radio plays some Metallica, as if soothing him before his next fight. He pulls over onto the shoulder, knowing that this as close as he can get before the Alpha Vampire can get control of Benny. The vampire nods his head and gets out of the passenger seat.
"Thanks." Benny's face in the dim moonlight shows some surprise, but he nods his head.
"No thanks needed, Dean," He assures him in that accent of his. "Go save Sam."
That's all the encouragement he needs before he's speeding down the highway once more.
The Alpha Vampire stands before Sam's broken body. The young man's chest is barely rising; his skin so pale it rivaled that of a corpse. Numerous cuts still oozed blood, while some had scabbed over. Bruises were the only color to be seen on his face; his forehead glistened with sweat under the lights.
It's too perfect, really.
"Yes?" He keeps his eyes on Sam. He hadn't needed to give up his brother after all. Too bad that he suffered all this for naught. His life would end tonight, as would his brother's.
"Dean Winchester has arrived."
"Let him come."
In the silence of the room, the Alpha Vampire waits.
His revenge is close at hand.
The mansion is much too quiet and Dean knows this is a trap, but what is he supposed to do? Watch and wait for an opening when Sam could be dying? No way, no how. He would do this his way and at all costs, he would get his baby brother out alive.
He sees a door ajar and light streaming out of it. It's where Sam would be, no doubt, but also he knows he would be ambushed if he went in. Grinning tiredly, he pulls out his machete and his dart gun, loaded with dead man's blood. He's as prepared as he can be for this.
He steps into the room.
"Welcome back, Dean." The Alpha Vampire coos and a light flickers on, illuminating his baby brother's battered form tied to the chair. It pains him to see Sam so pale and injured. God, how many cuts are there? He can only make out a few visible ones, but coupled with what had to be internal injuries, those were enough to do permanent damage. Blood litters the floor and all Dean wants to do is kill he bastard that did this and then take his brother to safety.
"What the hell did you do to my brother?" He growls venomously. He doesn't know what other traps are in store for him here and he can't risk screwing up with Sam in such a precarious position. One false step and his little brother would be dead.
"Let's just say I got a tad impatient waiting for you," He replies cheerfully, so happy that it sends chills down the eldest Winchester's spine. "I'm glad you're back, Dean, really." His lips curl upwards and reveal sharp fangs. "Now we can have some fun." A pair of arms comes up from behind him and suddenly, oxygen becomes scare for the hunter. Grimacing, he points his gun backwards and fires. There's a groan and suddenly, the arms are gone as the vampire falls to the floor. A woman attacks next; Dean dodges her roundhouse kick and quickly leans into her next attack and swings his machete. Her head hits the floor, but immediately, two other vampires are on either side of him. Dean ducks and fires off his gun twice more. One of the vampires gets hit and falls to the floor. The other quickly moves out of the way and suddenly, the gun is flung away from him. Hissing, the vampire moves in for the kill and quickly, Dean plunges the machete up and into the creature's chest. The vampire freezes for a few moments, giving Dean his opening to retrieve the gun and put him down. Pulling his machete up, he faces the Alpha Vampire, blood dripping from the tip of his weapon.
"Bravo, Dean." He congratulates, clapping his hands together.
"Let Sam go." The older brother demands, pointing his gun at the Alpha Vampire, itching to pull the trigger.
"How fast can you pull that trigger, I wonder?" He muses. "Faster than I can snap dear Sammy's neck?"
"Do it and you won't live to regret it." He threatens, ready to make a move if the vampire dares to lift even a finger against his baby brother. The Alpha Vampire chuckles, shaking his head sadly.
"See, Dean, this is where we differ." His hands move closer to Sam's neck. "You always think there's a way out. You think you can deal everything away." He smirks. "You can't though. You can't win everything."
It happens fast after that.
The vampire's hands crush Sam's windpipe and Dean fires off the gun, already moving forward to his baby brother. Even with the dead man's blood in his system, the Alpha Vampire still manages to keep his grip, though it loosens. Sam's body bucks as it fights for survival and after what feels like an eternity, Dean is there prying off the vampire's fingers and pushing him away.
"Sam!" He unties his brother and his limp form falls into his older brother's outstretched arms. He's so cold—deathly cold—and still and fuck, how much blood has he lost?
"What will you do?" The Alpha Vampire rasps, though still clearly pleased. "You can kill me and risk the time it takes to get Sam to help. Or, you can save Sam and have to deal with me later." He laughs, as if this is the best thing in his whole existence. "What will you choose?"
"Sam?" His baby brother's pulse is faint, but there. His chest is moving, though it's shallow. He has time, but not enough to take care of things here. In Purgatory, it wouldn't have mattered. Killing your enemies was the only thing you could do, but here he knows he has to let the Alpha go for now.
His baby brother is more important—will always be more important.
"Tick tock." The vampire rasps and Dean pulls Sam into his arms—he's so much lighter now—and begins to walk away. Pausing at the doorway, he doesn't even spare the Alpha a glance.
"I will kill you." With that, he storms out of the room.
"Looking forward to it." The Alpha Vampire chuckles.
Those Winchesters are something else.
The hospital calls it a miracle.
Sam lost nearly half his blood, was severely malnourished and dehydrated, and yet, he was alive. His breathing is shallow, his face bruised and his body covered in bandages, but Dean will call it a win. As long as Sam keeps breathing, that's all that matters. Who knows how many monitors and cords are hooked into his baby brother, but the beeping of his heart is all that matters.
"Fuck, Sam." The adrenaline from the fight, from rushing Sam here finally wears off and now Dean is left with the uneasy relief. Sam is hurt badly—he's not disputing that—but at least he's alive. As long as his heart keeps beating, they could deal with anything. "You scared me."
Purgatory; what Sam did when he wasn't being held captive—none of that matters to Dean. So long as they could be brothers again and somehow survive in this fucked up world, that's all that mattered. In time, Dean would tell his baby brother the truth about Benny, about Cas, about how out of place he feels in this world that no longer makes sense and in turn, he has to trust that Sam will do the same with him.
They're brothers, after all.
A year apart couldn't change that.
"You know, Sam," He coughs nervously, clearing his throat. It's been awhile since he's had to do the bedside manner routine, but for Sam, there's nothing he won't do. "Anytime you want to wake up would be fine by me." He hesitantly grabs his brother's hand within his own, squeezing it and silently offering support.
Sam sleeps on.
"Fine, but don't complain to me when you think it's boring." He wants a response, a typical protest accompanied by a classic, Sam Winchester "bitch face" but he doesn't get that.
But, the hand within in his squeezes back ever so slightly, enough to prove that it's owner is still alive.
It's a good sign, enough to give the eldest Winchester hope.
With a grin, Dean launches into the story how he got his hands on the best pie in the country.
Three days, four hours and 37 minutes later, Sam Winchester wakes up.
"You're back." He breathes, a relieved smile gracing his features and lighting up the whole room.
And suddenly, the world seems right again. The uneasiness melts away with the sight of Sam—alive, thank God—filling his vision. Sure, there will be the nightmares, the pain of losing an ally but between the two of them, Dean knows they'll overcome it. They'll destroy the Alpha Vampire and somehow fix whatever mess the world had gotten itself into because that's what they did. Together, they were stronger.
"Yeah, Sammy," Dean assures him, voice clogging with emotion. "I'm back."
Together, they could do anything.
Author's Note: By far, the longest one-shot I've ever written. Hope you enjoyed it! Please review if you have a moment!