A/N: This little piece has been something that's lingered on since I was writing The Darkness Inside. A sequel to that will be coming, but until then, I've finally gotten around to producing this little thing.
The pressure from the just barely too tight collar on his neck had become such a presence in his life he barely felt it. The rusted chain attached to the collar hooked to the wall, not allowing him to stray far from it. Not that he tried anymore. He used to try all the time. He'd pull and yell and scream until he was punished. The scars remained on his back, decorating the increasingly pale flesh. They always favored the whip, lashing his back until he bled and then doing it some more. He would scream and beg for them to stop but they wouldn't. Not until his body went limp and his voice gave out on him. It was always the same two who did it. Two large men, one with wild black hair and matching beard and a bald one with a beard as red as fire. They didn't like him to begin with. The dark haired on especially hated him and took great pleasure in any chance he got to hurt him. There were times he thought he had been going to die...but in the end the boys were always called off. The man who would sit in the rocking chair and watch everything unfold called the shots. He would send the boys out and clean him up, cooing at him with his low Southern drawl and telling him the pain could all stop. All he had to do was learn to obey.
The ones he called Harper and Rowan were the savages but Bray Wyatt was the actual monster.
His knees begged for mercy against the old wooden floor but he didn't dare move from his position. He kept his gaze at the wall, not wanting to look at the room that had become his home. Even if he left the room right then and there and never came back every single detail of it would remain burned in his brain. It was terribly lit, the single light bulb that hung from the ceiling doing nothing to counter the constant dimness it was shrouded in. The bed was big but the mattress wasn't much more comfortable than the floor he was kneeling on now. The only other piece of furniture in the room was the old rocking chair in the corner by the window. The curtains were always drawn unless Bray decided he had been good that day and opened them to let the sun in. Very rarely was he ever actually let outside. He couldn't even remember the last time it had happened now. Days blended together for him. He used to try to count how long he had been in here. But in the end, it had become as futile as trying to escape. He was meant to be there forever.
With a sniffle he moved off his knees and curled up in the fetal position. He couldn't take being on his knees any longer. He wanted to just go back to sleep. Sleeping was the only way to actually escape the living hell he was trapped in. In his dreams he could go back to the life he had before. He could go back to when he had been free. Life hadn't been great by any means but at least he had freedom then. He had been free and had been...someone. Just someone. The name eluded him. His own name eluded him now and he tried to blink away fear fueled tears. He had a name. He wasn't just "little lamb" or "darlin" like Bray called him. But what had it been? How could he forget? Was he just losing his mind? Would he forget everything else about him before this room? Or had he already forgotten and everything he managed to think of was just some dream?
He groaned and squeezed his eyes shut tightly. He forced himself to think. To reach out and reclaim the memories before they went away too. In his mind he could see the little shit hole apartment he had grown up in. It had been up on the third floor and the stairs leading up to it had been old and rotting. There was no air conditioning for the summer and the heat hardly worked in the winter. His room hadn't been much bigger than this one and the springs in the old mattress that laid on his floor had been broken long before it had come into his possession. His mother had been an alcoholic junkie who whored herself out to feed her habit and occasionally pay the rent and maybe just maybe get a few groceries so he could actually eat. She never bought enough though, instead saving the money all for herself. All to often he would spend his days hungry and sometimes he got so desperate he had to steal food just so he wouldn't go insane from his stomach growling. His clothes never fit right and he remembered his teachers always getting mad because he never had any of the supplies he needed. Other kids pushed him around and made fun of him because his mother was a whore.
All of this was springing to mind but no name. Still no name.
His mother's boyfriends had always hated him. It didn't matter who they were. A pimp, a drug dealer, a fellow junkie, that one butcher shop's owner she had an affair with-every single one of them hated his guts. And he hated them right back. A few kept their hatred just through looks but most knocked the shit out of him. It was hell but he soldiered on, trying to just make it to the age of eighteen so he could move out and find a shitty ass apartment of his own. He had a job and saved every penny he could, dreaming of a life away from his mother and all her bullshit.
But then she had brought home Bray and everything had gone straight to hell.
"Dean, this is Bray. Bray, this is my son Dean."
There it was. There was his name. It was the only time he had ever heard his mother say his name with any kind of true affection. She had been trying to impress Bray. To show him she was a good mother (she wasn't) and that she was more than some junkie whore (she wasn't). She looked so pleased with herself, looking back and forth between them, oblivious to the real meaning behind their stares. For Dean he felt his insides curl under the weight of Bray's gaze. The guy was strange enough with his full on beard and stupid fedora and the Hawaiian shirt but his stare...there was something horrifically wrong with it. He mumbled something under his breath and tried to just go off to his room. He wanted less than nothing to do with any of her boyfriends to begin with, so having one that creeped him out didn't help anything. But before he got too far a hand grabbed his wrist and turned him around. He jumped at the touch and his insides froze as Bray stared at him. Blue eyes gleamed hungrily. A demented little smirk crossed his lips. Dean had been struck at that moment with the notion that this man was the wolf and he was the prey and he didn't like the feeling one bit.
"It's nice to meet you little lamb." Bray took his hand and brought it up to his mouth, ever so lightly kissing his knuckles. "Your mother's told me a lot about you."
Dean tried to say something back. He wanted to be nasty and sarcastic but the weight of his stare wrapped weights around his throat and silenced him. All he could do was yank his wrist free and run to his room. He slammed the door shut behind him and locked it for good measure. The skin on his wrist tingled from Bray's touch and he tried to rub the feeling away. This wouldn't last he told himself. Her boyfriends never did. This guy would get sick of her just like all the rest and then he wouldn't ever have to see his creepy ass again.
Except that didn't happen. Weeks went by and Bray remained a constant presence in his life. Bray followed him around, adding creepy little comments here and there but mostly he just watched him. Dean tried to avoid him but no matter what he did or where he went, Bray was right there. And his mother refused to see anything wrong with it.
"He's just trying to get to know you," she said when he made the mistake of voicing his concerns to her. She had been getting dressed to go out and work for the night. He sat on the edge of her bed, fingers picking at the frayed edges of his jeans. "He's going to be your step father one day-"
"Did he propose?" he interrupted, not bothering to hide the hysteria the mere idea of that caused.
"Well no..." For a moment the delusion she had built for herself nearly came crashing down. In that moment Dean knew she had in fact seen the way Bray looked at him. It hadn't gotten past her that there were absolutely no innocent intentions on Bray's front. Which made her shaking it off that much worse. She was being willfully oblivious to feed her own selfish desires. "But he will. He loves me. And he loves you. Like a son, not anything gross or anything." She turned to him and smoothed down his mop of curly dirty blond hair. "I know I've dated some bad eggs but it's different this time. Please don't ruin this for me."
How she had said that hurt. He could literally feel her blaming him for her other relationships not working out. And it was bullshit. How was it his fault she had such shitty taste? He wanted to scream that at her. He wanted to grab her and shake her. To beg her to help him. He was her son. She had to help him instead of giving some creep an all access pass into his life. But she walked out of the room before he could do any of those things and he bit down on his lower lip. A gaping hole opened inside his chest but he didn't let himself cry. He didn't want to cry over her. Anger was the emotion he wanted to feel. "Fuck this," he muttered. He stood up and went to his room, slamming the door shut behind him. He couldn't stay there. He knew that right then. He grabbed the bag he used for school and dumped everything out of it so he could start throwing what clothes and possessions he had in it instead. He packed in a frenzy, not even realizing his door had been opened until the sound of Bray clearing his throat reached his ears. He whirled around, heart leaping up to his throat as he saw Bray leaning against the doorway.
"Where do you think you're going little lamb?" He was minus his fedora and dumb Hawaiian shirt for once, leaving him in a black sleeveless shirt and spotless white pants. Those blue eyes had to come up and look into Dean's when he had turned around, leaving an unfortunate clue about to where his gaze had been just moments before.
"Don't call me that." Dean zipped up his bag and threw it over his shoulder. "I have a fucking name. You even remember that?"
"Little lamb suits you so much better." Bray only looked amused by his anger. "You still didn't answer my question."
"It's none of your business." Dean tried to push past him but Bray stayed right where he was. "What the fuck man?"
"I don't think you need to be going anywhere."
"Who said it was up to you?" Dean tried to leave but Bray once against blocked him. "Mom call off your boyfriend!"
"She just left." Bray smirked at the look on Dean's face. "You really think she would have helped you anyway?" He chuckled softly. "I heard your little argument. I don't think she's interested in anything you have to say."
Dean swallowed nervously. That wasn't the conversation he wanted Bray to hear at all.
"You're scared of me." It wasn't a question.
"No." Such a lie that was. The mere weight of Bray's eyes on him made his skin crawl and his stomach twist uncomfortably. He hated the way he felt. Being afraid made him feel weak. And being weak was something that he noticed this Wyatt guy preyed upon. He was totally taking advantage of his mother's weaknesses and if he wasn't careful the same would happen to him.
"No?" Bray didn't believe him. That much was obvious. He took just a single step forward and Dean instinctively took two back. Fuck. He hadn't meant to do that. He tried to scowl and save face but it was too late. Bray saw right through him and he took it as an invitation to step the rest of the way into the room and shut the door behind him. "You sure about that darlin?"
"Yes." He lied yet again. "He gripped the strap of his bag so tight his knuckles turned white. "Now get out."
"Why don't you make me?" Bray kept coming forward, forcing him to back up against the wall. "Come on darlin." His creepy eyes danced in amusement. "You want to hit me don't you?" He pressed himself up against Dean, his tongue darting across his bottom lip as Dean's breath caught in his throat. "You hate me. You hate the whole world actually." He tilted his head to the side as he studied Dean. He took in every shaky breath, every slight tremble, how he could feel how hard his heart was beating because they were so closed together. Dean wanted to push him away. His mind screamed for it. But his body refused to listen. He could only just stand there and hang on to every word Bray said. "You're filled with such anger. And I know why you're angry. The world has already chewed you up and spat you out. Your father's left you, your mother is a useless whore and not a single person wants to save you." He put a hand on Dean's chest and moved his face so close to Dean's their lips were nearly touching. "I know what it's like. My mother left me all alone in this world and my daddy...well he was a mean old drunk. Fancied himself the toughest man in the world until I made him burn."
Dean had a feeling he meant that literally and it terrified him. His mother had brought home some sick fuckers in her day but Bray was beyond anything he had ever encountered.
"I could make her burn too." The confession he just made hadn't been enough. No, now Bray had to go and say that and Dean could only stare at him dumbly. "Just say the word." His hand moved down from Dean's chest to under his shirt. He trailed his fingers lightly over Dean's stomach. "You know you want it." His fingers pulled on the waistband of Dean's jeans and they were suddenly not just talking about killing his mother. "Just say it."
"Leave me alone."
The plea wasn't allowed to be finished. The distance was closed completely and Bray's lips captured his. It's not Dean's first kiss but it might as well be because he can no longer actually recall the other ones before it. He felt Bray's hand slide down past his jeans and shuddered. He doesn't remember how he got away that day. And he doesn't remember how long the cat and mouse games continued on. He faintly remembers running away from home, too scared to stay and find out just how far Bray would take things. And he remembered Rowan and Harper being the ones who dragged him home. He didn't know who they were and screamed and shouted but they stuffed a dirty, oil stained rag into his mouth and bound his hands behind his back. His mother had been passed out on the couch when they got him home and they brought him to his room, where Bray was already waiting. Bray had stood before him, not taking his eyes off him for a second. Dean rose to his knees, struggling to get the rag out of his mouth and his hands free from his restraints.
"Did you really think you could run?" Bray's voice didn't hold the amusement that it normally did. It was harder and filled to the brim with rage. His eyes matched his tone and Dean squirmed under his gaze. "Did you really think there was anywhere that you could go where I wouldn't find you?" He reached down, threading his fingers in Dean's dark blond curls and yanking back roughly. "I'll always find you little lamb. No matter where you run. No matter where you hide. You want to know why?"
No. Dean didn't want to know at all. He tried to shake his head to show that but Bray didn't allow him to move an inch.
"Because you're mine." The fingers that weren't holding Dean's hair trailed down the side of his face. "My poor lost little lamb."
Dean tried to shake his head again. Bray smirked and yanked the rag out of his mouth. In desperation he tried to bite Bray's hand. It was a mistake he still regretted to this day. Bray brought his hand back and smacked him across the face so hard his lip busted open on impact. The cry of pain barely left his mouth before he found himself being dragged to his mattress by the hair. "No!" He kicked and dragged his feet against the floor. "Let me go! Let me go!" His struggles didn't stop him from being thrown on to that old, broken mattress. Bray was on him in an instant, forcing his way between his legs. "No no no!" Dean knew what was coming. He felt like he had seen this or been here before but he couldn't remember. Anything before Bray was either lost completely or fuzzy, resembling a dream he once had rather than a memory of something real. Everything with Bray though was clear as day.
The kiss was searing and brutal. Bray sucked at his bloody lip, not caring if the inside of his mouth still tasted like oil from the rag. Hands ripped at his clothes and Dean soon found himself without his pants and the tattered remains of his shirt just hanging off him. Bray freed himself from the confines of his pants and pushed himself inside, making him scream. The screams were swallowed down like they were nothing. He felt himself rip and tear under the assault and he screamed again. The pain was like nothing he ever felt. He knew that at least. Pleas for Bray to stop tumbled past his lips. But he didn't stop. He wouldn't stop and neither would the pain. The pain...god help him the pain...
"No." His voice was a hoarse and foreign sounding to his own ears. He sat himself back up, trying to shake off the memories. He didn't want to remember anymore. "No." He had to make it stop. "No no no." He slammed his head into the wall, not caring how it hurt. This pain was nothing.
Bray's voice made him stop in his tracks. He hadn't realized the other man had come in until just that moment. His stomach twisted violently but he held back the urge to throw up. He shakily moved to his knees, eyes down at the floor because he couldn't bear to keep eye contact. He heard Bray walk towards him and he couldn't hide the shudder that went through him. Captivity hadn't taken away his repulsion though it didn't do him a lick of good. Nothing he liked or didn't like made a bit of difference here. He didn't matter. He was there for Bray's amusement. That was all he was good for. He was a pet or a toy or whatever one wanted to call him. And he wouldn't get to be anything else.
"You know what day it is little lamb?" Bray seemed to be in a good mood today. He went to the corner and grabbed his rocking chair. "It's a very special day." He dragged the chair until it was right in front of Dean and sat down. "It's our anniversary actually."
Dean still refused to look up at him. What was he supposed to do with that information? Be happy? Expect a present? He didn't even know what anniversary this was.
"Three years." Bray answered the question for him. "It's been three years." A hand threaded through Dean's hair and yanked his head back. "I would have baked a cake but I've never been much good with desserts."
Three years. As the hours and days slowly ticked by it had felt even longer so the low number shocked him.
"I haven't meant to keep you on the chain this long." Bray's hand went to the collar around Dean's neck. "But you've been so stubborn that I just can't trust you running around free. You think you can go home. You think there'll be someone there to save you even though you know better." He let go Dean's head and looked back to face the door. "Harper! Bring her in!"
Dean blinked in confusion as the door opened and Harper dragged his mother in by the arm. His eyes widened and he pulled against his restraints. "Mom!"
She flinched at his cry, her expression filled with confusion and mistrust.
"Mom! Mom please help me please..."
"...Who are you?"
Three simple words sapped everything he had left in him. He just stared at her, unable to speak or even cry now. She didn't know him. His own mother was staring at him like he was a stranger she had never seen before in his life. And Bray just laughed. It's a high-pitched, self-satisfied fucking giggle. In the three years Dean's been apart from her Bray's made her forget about him. Or maybe she forgot on her own. She never wanted him anyway. She probably jumped at the opportunity to forget.
"Don't worry darlin. You still got me." Bray got up and kissed Dean on the forehead before leaving the room with his mother and Harper. The click of the door shutting made Dean scream. He screamed and banged his head against the wall again, not stopping until his voice was hoarse and he felt too woozy to even move.
Time passes. He doesn't know if its three days or three weeks or three months or even another three years. When Bray does return though, he's whining and pawing for any kind of contact because he can't stand to be alone anymore.
He doesn't remember the things Bray has done to him.
He doesn't remember having a life outside the room.
And in his mind, he certainly did not ever have a name.