Written for the summer of evil Sam fest at the evil!Sam comm on LJ. All the prompts were songs and mine was 'Dreams of a Witches Sabbath' by Berlioz.
In the final movement of Symphonie fantastique (1830), described by Berlioz as a "diabolical orgy", a lovelorn artist who has attempted suicide by opium poisoning (but not with a lethal dose as intended) has a tripped-out vision of witches, sorcerers and monsters assembled at his funeral.
In Sam's nightmare the shot is always dead on. I've got plans for you, a familiar voice whispers as he pulls the trigger. Plans for you…plans… He watches, helpless, as the bullet pierces Dean's heart and blood sprays black against the light from the streetlamp. Dean drops silently from the end of the pier, dead before his feet leave the ground and Sam reaches the edge just in time to see him disappear beneath the dark, frigid water. Sam wakes every night in a cold sweat with his brother's name strangled in his throat.
It doesn't matter what Dean promised Dad, Sam knows that now. Sam's infected with a demon virus? Dean's going to wait it out, kill him at the last, possibly too late, second and then off himself. Sam's possessed and brutally murdering people? Dean's going to wait it out, not kill him at all and only avoid being killed himself because Meg's a lousy shot.
There's a dark destiny in store for Sam; Dad knew it, the demons know it and Sam himself is sure of it. The only one not with the program is his brother. The next time Dean refuses to do what needs to be done might well be his last, leaving no one between Sam and a free fall into whatever havoc that yellow eyed bastard is grooming him for. Sam's not having that. If Dean won't keep his promise to put him down Sam's going to take care of it himself.
Waiting for Dean's shoulder to heal seems like the right thing to do and so Sam waits, but it's like he's suddenly walking a tightrope over a precipice he'd never even known was there. To look at Dean, to listen to him, you'd think he's forgotten that just a few days ago he'd almost died at his brother's hand. Sam hasn't forgotten; every bit of that night is forever seared into his memory like the scar from his bullet is permanently branded onto Dean's skin. His brother's putting on a good show but Dean's got tells, try as he might to hide them and Sam can see right through him. Dean's scared and Sam doesn't know if it's of him or for him, but he thinks that it might be a little of both. Dean's already fractured from the loss of their father and Sam's not about to pile the weight of Dean having to put him down on top of that.
Ditching Dean isn't going to be easy, but his arm is almost back to normal and it's got to be done. Offing himself while Dean's on a burger run and having him come back to find his little brother's brains spattered against ugly wallpaper just isn't an option. From past experience he knows that disappearing into thin air will be enough to drive Dean out of his mind. Actually being dead? He doesn't even want to think about what Dean would do then.
How he's going to do it is the next question. No matter how far he runs or how carefully he hides his tracks Dean will hunt him down eventually. If he blows his head off, slits his wrists, jumps off a bridge or drives his car into a telephone pole Dean will find the crime scene photos and Sam's not going to subject him to that. A drug overdose would be safe. Choking on puke isn't going to show up…Sam stops and shakes his head. It's possible he's not thinking too clearly right now. He'll get a good night's sleep and work on his plan in the morning.
In the end, Sam decides that the wilds of northern Maine are the place to go if you want to commit suicide where even the best tracker in the world will never find you. He's miles from the closest trail and only the whistle of wind through the trees mars the complete and utter silence. The trees are bright with fall colors, the air is clear and rich with the scent of pine and Sam thinks there are worse places to die. On the wrong end of a bullet from your brother's gun is one that springs immediately to mind. He's almost shot Dean to death twice now and there's no way to be sure it won't happen again, all Dean's protests to the contrary. Demons have plans for him after all; plans that have already come to fruition with some of the other psychic kids. Despair and rage expand to fill the space inside him, forcing all that was hopeful and bright out of Sam until it dissipates on the breeze.
The trunk feels almost comfortable as he settles against it, leaning his head back to enjoy one final moment of peace. He breathes deeply; once in, once out and gets down to business. The white powder looks almost innocent in its small plastic bag, liberated from a drug dealer before it could be cut. It's as pure as Sam could get and should be more than enough to do the job. He also appropriated a larger syringe than the addicts he's observed would normally use. If the quality of the poison he's putting in his body doesn't do the trick he's sure tripling the amount will make up for any shortcomings.
How to tighten a tourniquet one handed was one of the earliest first aid techniques his father taught him and the length of rubber digging into his skin just above his left elbow pops his veins out nicely. He knows a spoon is the usual vessel for heating but he's got a small metal measuring cup instead. Quantity, after all, is his failsafe.
The needle slides in easily, the slight tremor in his hand not enough to mar his aim. He draws back slightly and red infiltrates the clear liquid. As Sam presses the plunger he'd swear the blood begins to boil and a storm breaks out behind his closed eyelids. It's not supposed to be like this, he thinks as the lightning strike agony of a vision assaults his brain and he allows himself a brief moment of satisfaction when he catapults into the dark before it manifests.
There's a drum beating in the distance, volume rising and falling with its tempo. Sam counts the beats; soft and slow, thunderous and swift, each heralding a fresh surge of heat through his body. He's parched, tongue desiccated and lips about to flake off so the swirling wind can whisk them into the atmosphere. He thinks he'd be okay with that. With no lips rain could fall right into his mouth and wash his thirst away. His eyes are open but they won't focus and though there's movement in front of them, he can't make it out. Being dead is turning out to be different than he'd thought.
Hands lever him up from ground he didn't realize he was lying on until his back is once again resting against the tree. He can't distinguish the smudged features of the slight figures crouching in front of him but one's light, the other dark. He thinks they're talking, but the sound flutters away on crimson butterfly wings. Something drips on his tongue, warm and thick. It's not the water he's been craving but the liquid slides slickly down his throat, clinging to his tissue and intensifying the inferno inside him like he's swallowed kerosene. His vision clears, the pain splitting his skull subsides and the blurred forms become women, then spirals of smoke disappearing into the trees.
Sam surges to his feet with a gasping intake of breath. The rhythmic pounding turns out to be his heart; each thump circulating a slow flow of magma through his bloodstream. He closes his eyes against a wave of dizziness and only his hand braced on the tree trunk keeps him from going down again. Each beat calms him, grounds him and though he feels like the blaze in his veins should be visible through his skin it's not. The tree holds him up until his head clears and he slowly straightens, eyes focused on the shimmer of heat around him. There's a flask on his belt and he pours its contents down his still dry throat, staggering when it hits his stomach and explodes outward. His body can't contain the burst of heat and he hurriedly stumbles back as the tree bursts into flame. He stares in horror as the branches that sheltered him wither and die while the strong support of the trunk is crisped to ash. A bell sounds in the distance and Sam whirls, staring down the path that's opening up in front of him. Trees loom over the narrow trail, hiding the fact that the ground is the color of old blood. It's dim in the distance, lit only by leaves shining like lanterns in the trees, their multicolored hues forming patterns that swoop and twist before shattering into new designs. Sam's starting to regret death by overdose. If his entire afterlife is like this, he's going to be pissed.
There's movement down the path, heading his way faster than his eyes can track. He doesn't have a weapon but he holds his hand out like that will protect him. Sam shakes his head as the blur comes to a stop. It's a little girl in a white dress smiling up at him. Her blue eyes stare earnestly and blonde hair hangs down her back.
"Hi!" she says brightly, words writhing through the air in shades of evening fog.
"Hi, yourself," Sam responds slowly. Red stains dot the girl's dress and her lips curl up in a way Sam's not quite comfortable with.
"Come on," she urges in her high pitched voice, tilting her head down the trail. "Everyone's waiting for you."
"Where?" Sam asks, but she's already a blur in the distance, speeding back the way she came.
The flask at his belt sloshes though he's sure he emptied it. Dry mouth is a side effect of an overdose, but not one he thought would carry over into death. It must have though, because he's so damned thirsty. He drains the flask again, gulping warm liquid that does little to assuage his thirst. The trail lights one portion at a time, winking on and off in no particular pattern. Sam shakes his head and begins to walk.
The trees are breathing, trunks expanding and contracting, iridescent leaves fluttering around the whoosh of exhalation. They crowd the trail as they take air in; shrink back as they release it. It's the strangest thing Sam's ever seen and that's saying something. Most of the leaves cling tightly to their branches, spinning ridiculously bright shards of light into Sam's eyes but some dive toward the ground in pairs of red, yellow and white that stare hungrily as they drift past. Further into the woods other gazes follow his passage but they are black against the gloom beneath the trees, more sensation than reality. He could find them, drag them down the kaleidoscope path, but they're just biding their time. They'll walk alongside him soon enough.
And so they do. Eventually, Sam spots the women who were with him when he woke flanking him on either side of the trail. They don't speak or break stride and their eyes only turn his way when he lifts the flask to send another jolting slug down his gullet. There's a buzzing in his veins, stronger each time he drinks, like the blood running through them is about to spark into a life of its own. He's so caught up in the sensation that he doesn't see the demon until it's almost too late. The path in front of him switches from darkness to light and it's waiting there, claws extended, moments from eviscerating him. His hand comes up reflexively, ready to push it back, but before he can make contact the demon bursts into flame. It's gone in seconds, just a flutter of ashes that spin into a vortex and vanish. Sam sways slightly, mouth bone dry again. The flask is at his mouth before he realizes and he drinks desperately, the liquid steadying him but not coming close to slaking his thirst.
"Wow, that was neat!" The little girl is back, staring at Sam expectantly. "Do it again!"
She sets Sam's teeth on edge and he edges toward her, narrowing his eyes.
"Not to me," she giggles, dancing out of his reach. "Come on, we're going to be late!"
With that, she's gone again, leaving Sam to yell, "Late for what?" into empty air. The bell that faded into background noise during his walk is getting louder the further he gets along the trail. A few more strides see him out of the woods and onto an extremely empty street. He moves ahead carefully. Where there was one demon there could be more but the town is still, silent, abandoned. He can feel eyes on him, just like in the forest, but he sees nothing 'til he rounds a corner and comes upon the bell. The little girl is hitting it with what looks like a human femur and she gives it one last booming blow when she sees him.
"Yay, you made it!" she yells, grinning from ear to ear. Dropping the bone, she scampers down the dusty street, disappearing through the wall of the house at the end. Sam follows slowly, stopping when he reaches the house. He rests a hand on the wall, pushes and slides through. He backs up immediately at the scene in front of him but the wall doesn't open to let him out.
Sam's pressed against the wall but he's also lying, still and pale, on a table across the room. The little girl sits by his head, swinging her legs back and forth and scratching the ears of the biggest, ugliest dog Sam's ever seen. The women from the woods, blonde and brunette, stand on either side. Every breath they take is in unison, each movement synchronized. They're totally different except for how they're exactly the same and cold calculation stares out of both pairs of There's a man leaning against the wall opposite Sam, arms folded, a smirk plastered on his face. Sam's never seen him before. He's never seen any of them before.
"Who are you?" he snarls.
"Come on, Sammy," the man says and the inflection makes Sam shudder. "I think you know who I am." His eyes bleed from brown to yellow and Sam lets his breath out in a whoosh. "But for now, why don't you just think of me as the ghost of Christmas yet to be."
"What is this?"
Yellow Eyes shrugs and shakes his head regretfully. "You didn't make the cut, kiddo."
Sam tries to swallow, staring at his lifeless body. The flask hangs heavy on his belt and he reaches for it without thinking, hand freezing halfway when every eye in the room follows the motion. It's not just Yellow Eyes any more. The women's eyes are solid black, the little girl's pure white. He's never needed a drink so badly in his life. "What. Is. This."
"It's your funeral, silly." The little girl smiles happily at Sam and goose bumps erupt on his arms. He lifts the flask and drinks, not missing the way Light and Dark's teeth bare in identical smiles.
How many chances am I gonna have to see my own funeral? Dean's voice echoes through Sam's head, convincing him that this is just a figment of his heroin infused death scene. It has to be. If this was Sam's funeral, his brother would be here- one way or another.
"Oh, he's here, sport." The demon's yellow eyes track across the room and Sam's gaze follows them to a doorway he hadn't even noticed. And Dean is here. Of course he is- staring at Sam's body like it's the end of everything.
Sam's heart cracks but it also lifts a tiny bit too. Dean's still alive; hasn't done anything stupid. His mouth is moving and Sam can't hear what's coming out but he can see it, twisted clots of reddish black spewing from his lips.
"It's not worth listening to," Yellow Eyes says dismissively. "Just 'whine' this and 'woe is me' that. I'm sure you've heard it all before ad nauseum."
Sam's a little disturbed at how the thing seems to know what he's thinking but doesn't let himself be distracted. There's a darkness forming behind his brother, growing until it's vaguely man shaped and Sam's keeping his attention squarely on that. It looms over Dean, threatening and malevolent, white eyes glowing over a mouthful of wickedly sharp teeth. Dean doesn't notice it, even when one scaly arm wraps around his waist and the other circles his throat. The creature's pale eyes lock with Sam's as it tightens its arms possessively, lips curving up as Sam tries in vain to move forward.
"Let him go." Sam's voice is low and flames flicker in his tone. The demons aren't impressed.
"We don't technically have him yet, slugger," Yellow Eyes says with a smirk. "Alastair just wanted to cop an unofficial feel of the goods before they're his for keeps. Ghost of Christmas yet to be, remember?"
"What the hell are you talking about?" Sam grates out. Alastair's hands begin to wander and Sam belly twists into white hot knots.
"Ebenezer Scrooge? Workhouses and poor crippled kids and spirits that showed him how fucked up his life was going to be?" Yellow Eyes just shakes his head at Sam's incomprehension. "All right, I'll be plain." He waves his hand at Sam's corpse, at Dean, at the whole scene. "This hasn't happened yet."
"He didn't find me?" Sam's head spins. Of course he didn't. Where ever this is, it isn't New England. His corpse is wearing different clothes and they don't look like something Dean put him in after he died.
"Not only that, but you're not dead, kiddo."
"No," Sam says. "No. I'm definitely dead."
"Yeah, and why's that?" The women speak in tandem as they move toward Sam. Each takes one of his hands and turns it palm up, using their free hand to trace the blue lines running up his forearm. "Because you filled yourself with poison? Did you really think," their voices mock, "that anything you put into your veins could overpower what's already there?"
Sam shivers though he's not remotely cold. "What the hell are you talking about?"
"You're one of us, champ," Yellow Eyes says with satisfaction. "Or, you will be. Work in progress and all that." When Sam only looks more confused, the demon sighs. "It's a vision, Sam. A vision on drugs, but still. You didn't beat it. You're in it. You know…headache, see the future, try to change the future, everybody dies anyway?"
"No." Sam begins to protest but just then Dean spins out of Alastair's grasp and practically runs out the door. "Where's he going?" Sam's panicking. The look on his brother's face bodes nothing good.
"Oooh, oooh!" The little girl's waving her hand wildly. "I know this one too!" She folds her hands in her lap and recites: "He's going to find a crossroads so he can sell his soul to get you back."
"He wouldn't," Sam says, trying to rush after his brother, because in spite of his denial he's stomach droppingly certain that Dean would. He can't break the hold the women have on him so he turns hard eyes on the head demon, suddenly sure that that the damned thing's telling the truth. And even if it's not, he can't take that kind of chance. Not with Dean. "You already took my father, there's no way I'm letting you have him too."
"Oh, Sammy." The demon's smile is chilling. "You're going to put him right in our hands. Dean gave us Daddy, you gave us Dean and Dean, in turn, will give us you. The circle of Winchester life. And make no mistake, Sam. John was just the door prize. Dean is the jackpot."
"iMy/i prize." Alastair speaks for the first time, his silky voice a shock as the words spool from between viciously hooked teeth. Sam shudders as the monster's eyes lock on his. "Daddy's been a lot of fun, but your brother…the possibilities…he's going to be deliciously exhilarating to break."
"You. Can't. Have. Him." Sam spits the words as his rage flares. The women gripping his hands explode, blood spattering his face before they ignite, turning into writhing pillars of flame. It happens too quickly for the others to react, fire jumping from one to the next until all are ablaze. Sam's vision shimmers with the heat, becomes cloudy from the swirling ash. Hot air surrounds him until his skin should be blistered black but it's like he's cocooned from its effects. The house collapses around him and a blast of superheated wind picks him up and propels him back through the town and along the trail. The scenery is a blur and the trees Sam desperately grasps at in a vain attempt to slow himself down dissolve beneath his hands. The wind spins him until his vision dims and finally goes dark just before one last whirlwind sends him hurling to the ground.
Sam's sight slowly returns, blurry at first but then with clarity he's never known. He's beneath the tree he thought he'd died under. It's still green and uncharred; its demise, like his, a figment of his hallucivison. There's no flask, no trail, just a measuring cup, a used syringe and a beautiful, sunny day. A clear stream rushes over rocks a dozen feet away, but the gurgling water doesn't tempt Sam in spite of his overwhelming thirst. He'll drink enough to get him back to civilization, but that's not what he craves, what he knows he needs to be strong enough to save himself and, in the process, save Dean. He licks his lips, still tasting the blood that had spattered into his mouth when the demons exploded. The flask is gone, but he knows now what was in it. His blood has cooled but warmth still pulses through him, overcoming any disquiet at the thought of what had fueled his power. He's fresh out of demon blood, but there's plenty more where that came from and Sam can find sources for it, oh yes. Hell's not getting its hands on any more Winchesters, no matter what he's got running through his veins. Or maybe because of it. The first demon he runs into is going to give him blood and answers.
Sam rises to his feet and stretches, feeling hollowed out, empty of his old doubts and fears. He's not going to hurt Dean, he's going to save him. Sam's blood begins to heat as the memory of Alastair's hands roaming his brother's body flashes into his mind. He heads through the woods, sunlight turning to shadow and back as he passes. Sam doesn't notice, lost in rage, already making plans. Behind him the forest is awash with colors; red, orange and yellow everywhere, like the world has already started to burn.