"Boys, I have just seen Sister Abigail," Bray Wyatt said. "And she has a dream. A wish. A… need. And whatever she desires, we will make it hers."
Bray stood before Rowan and Harper in the dingy kitchen of the Wyatt Family compound. Moments before, all three of them had been seated around the kitchen table, quietly eating their usual breakfast – a bland gruel that Bray said contained a particular grain foraged nearby, that Sister Abigail favored.
But that gruel was all over the floor now. Bray had stood up rather suddenly and flipped the table over, leaving Rowan and Harper, as usual, awestruck and bewildered. Bray had stood before them for a long while, laughing and apparently entranced, before he made his announcement.
"She needs Ambrose," Bray continued. "Craves him in our ranks. She is desperate to unleash his power. "
Rowan and Harper stood silently before Bray as they had so many times before. But this time, there was fear in their eyes. Yes, their faith was strong as always, but still, they trembled at the thought that this time they might not be able to satisfy their leader.
"I know what you're thinking, boys. We have tried and we have failed. But our dear Sister Abigail, she understands. And she will bring us new power. And with that, we will bring Ambrose to Sister Abigail's chamber, and he will enter."
Bray dropped to his knees, laughing once again. He locked his eyes on Rowan and Harper and picked up a glob of discarded gruel off the dirty kitchen floor. He sucked his gruel-covered fingers into his mouth, still laughing as some of it dribbled down his beard.
"Come on, give me two more plates...I'm feeling it today, I can do it," Dean urged, looking up at Roman, sweat already darkening the front of his gray t-shirt as he lay on the bench under a bar already loaded down with a large amount of weight. "Grab those 45's, willya?" he asked impatiently, even as Roman shook his head and gave him a halting look. "What's the matter, afraid somebody might beat your record, there, big man? Huh?" he gloated, deliberately pressing Ro's buttons.
Roman straightened up suddenly and walked away, taking several deep breaths to center himself. "Seth, talk some sense into this fool, please. Or don't, I really don't care either way. Fucking moron's gonna break himself in half trying to be Mr. Bigshot...can't beat my record...sonovabitch..." he grumbled, his griping sounding like a stream of growling as he walked away.
Seth looked longingly at Roman for a moment, hoping he was kidding, but when Ro angrily swung the door to the locker room open and it hit the wall so hard it echoed throughout the whole building, he swallowed hard and turned back to Dean, who by then was busy loading the plates onto the bar himself. "Dude...nooo, no, do NOT...come on man, what's wrong with you? You know better," Seth pleaded as he rushed over and began taking off the extra plates.
"HEEEEYYYYYYYYY, STAHHHP," Dean exclaimed, grabbing Seth by the forearm and pulling him away. "I don't need you guys' fucking help, ok? If all you wanna do is hold me back, then why don't you just do us all a favor and go the FUCK away too...just like your best buddy just did," he spat, nodding in the direction of the locker room.
Seth didn't know quite what was happening or how to best respond to it. All he knew was that something about Dean was different, and for the first time, he found himself intimidated by his admittedly quirky, yet basically good-natured friend's actions. Everything about him seemed to have been cranked up a few notches all of a sudden out of seemingly nowhere. Over the last couple of days at the gym, he had made amazing gains in strength, and seemed to be getting more powerful by the day. Not only that, but Seth and Roman had both noticed Dean's uncharacteristic outbursts of aggression that were far beyond anything either of them had witnessed from him before.
Roman was becoming more and more suspicious of him having a drug problem, but any time he got in the same room with Dean to try to confront him, Dean's alpha-male posturing would drive him to the brink of losing control and he would have to excuse himself to go punch something in another room. Roman may not have understood everything that was going on in Dean's head, but he knew enough to know that lashing out at him in anger was not the right thing to do. That would give him exactly what he wanted, and Ro was not about to be his puppet, for any reason.
That left Seth to be the reluctant peacemaker between the two, and the added stress meant his patience and his nerves were both wearing thin. "Seriously man? I'm just trying to keep you from doing something stupid. You know damn well you can't just increase your max bench by 90 pounds in one day- you're gonna fucking hurt yourself."
Dean straddled the bench and sat down, ignoring Seth's pleas to stop. He lay back and grabbed the bar, getting ready. "Look, if you're not gonna spot me, then get the fuck out. I'm dead fuckin' serious, man. I don't have time for this shit. I'm doing this," he said, glaring at his bewildered friend.
Seth sighed heavily, but took his position standing over the bar behind Dean's head nonetheless. "Alright man, suit yourself. I can't let you do this alone though. Just promise me you'll let me know if it's too much, ok?" he said, highly concerned.
"Yeahyeahyeah, sure, whatever," was Dean's reply as he stabilized himself and got ready to lift. Seth helped unrack the bar, and as soon as it was off, Dean struggled valiantly to keep the weight from coming down on top of him. He growled loudly and planted his feet, resisting with all his might, but the bar dropped down onto his chest, pinning him underneath it.
A bolt of panic shot through Seth as he watched it happen, knowing he wasn't going to be able to lift that much weight off Dean by himself. He lifted his head to yell for Roman's help just in time to see the Samoan making a beeline toward them. Just as he got to the bench, Dean redoubled his effort and somehow managed to not only lift the bar off his chest, but then went on to do several reps with it, his face a twisted mask of effort as he growled loudly. He then re-racked the bar by himself and sat up, sweat streaming down his reddened face. "See, I told ya I could do it. Fuckin' bunch of non-believers," Dean said bitterly, leveling his gaze at Roman, who was standing next to him, staring in disbelief. "You know, maybe it's time to find some new workout partners. You guys obviously aren't on the same level as me anymore," he said, picking up his hoodie and water bottle and walking out the door, leaving Seth and Roman standing there speechless.
As he left the gym, Dean walked to the street and got into a taxi that happened to be conveniently waiting at the corner. As he slid into the back seat, he looked out the window to see Seth and Roman standing outside. As the car pulled away, he turned back around to tell the driver to take him back to the hotel, but when he looked in the rear view mirror all he could see were two lamb eyes looking blankly back at him. He heard a strange but familiar sound before everything went dark.
When Dean awoke, it was still pitch dark. The taste of dirt filled his mouth. The air around him was hot and heavy with rotten dampness – each breath felt like breathing under water. He felt the overwhelming urge to run – to stand, to move, to do something – but each time he tried, a strange weakness overwhelmed his body.
After what felt like an eternity, a dim light shined into the room, revealing the dirt floor beneath him and what appeared to be the walls of an old barn. After the light appeared, Dean heard the far away sound of laughter. Slowly, the light grew brighter and the laughter became louder and closer.
"Dean, oh Dean," a familiar voice taunted over the laughter. "Where are you, Dean?"
Dean's heart began to race. He struggled to move but he still couldn't. He knew that voice. Who the fuck was it? What were they going to do? He had to get the fuck out of there.
"I think I know where you are, Dean," the voice continued, closer this time. "Don't you?"
"The fuck… are you… talking about?" Dean mumbled. Even that minimal exertion made him start to cough.
The laughter continued and the light kept growing brighter until he heard footsteps nearby, entering the room where he lay. He looked up and saw the Wyatt Family approaching. What the fuck was going on? How did they get him here?
"Oh Dean," Bray said, shining his lantern on Dean. "I think you know where you are. You're home."