Sam openly cursed leaving his brother and his dad, no matter how much the two of them royally pissed him off. Leaving the perceived safety of his family because he didn't want to be a Hunter only to land in a place far worse... how big of an idiot could he be? Especially since he was well aware of how many things would love to eat, kill or otherwise maim him just because they could.
It wasn't all bad though. He was protecting an innocent girl looking for her dad, though for some reason the things here seemed to avoid him. He just couldn't figure out why.
Sharon, from what he understood, was the 'innocence' of the creature that inhabited Silent Hill. The last good part of something that had become corrupt and evil.
And it was pissed.
Breathing heavily, the two of them went into the asylum. It was there that Sam first laid eyes on the Seal of Metatron, which Sharon had ripped out of the warped body of a madman. And that was when the first vision hit Sam like a brick to the head.
"Sam!" cried Sharon.
He could feel the seal in his hands. He could see a vision of Dean and his father searching for him, Dean more than John. He could see Bobby reaching out to the other hunters trying to locate him.
And that was when the scene shifted. It shifted to something much darker.
You do not belong here.
Sam saw a vision of a girl in a rather old fashioned dress. Her skin was as pale as death itself, her eyes as black as night. Her hair was lanky, as if it had not been washed or taken care of in years. Her lips were blacked by who knew what.
How did you enter into my domain, Vessel of the Mourning Star?
Who are you?
I go by many names. Demon. Monster. Darkness.
You are Alessa.
No. I am what is left of Alessa after the woman destroyed that which harmed the innocent. All that remains is for the girl to reclaim the darkness that is left willingly.
And damn herself in the process.
Alessa...whatever her name was...had a cold smile, as if privy to some joke only she was aware of.
As if you have any room to talk, Vessel of the Mourning Star. However I may be willing to make an agreement with you.
I won't make deals with demons!
Even if it means sparing the pain of another?
Sam paused. It was in his nature to help others, especially the innocent...and Sharon was innocent.
What is your demand?
When the girl finally reclaims the darkness that is left, and defeats the last bastion of evil that scarred Alessa's soul with hate, there will be a chance. A chance for you to spare her the burden of bearing my power.
By taking me into your soul, and the burden yourself. Do that, and you will always know when you are growing too close to the darkness.
What do you get in exchange?
Not everything in this world is painted in black and white. I may be full of wrath, but that does not make me evil.
If I do this. If I agree to harbor your power...will you let them go? Will you let me return to my family?
If you survive until the end, you may return to the 'real' world...but a part of your soul will remain here in my keeping, until I have need of you.
Sam weighed his options. In the end his desire to save another from having to bear the curse of darkness.
Fine. I'll bear her burden, if only to save her soul.
Even if it meant damning his own.
Sam staggered, unaware of his surroundings. He had taken the Seal of Metatron into his body...and the power of the darkness into his soul. The thing that called itself "Alessa" removed a chunk of something from his body and kept it in Silent Hill. And until it was returned, he would never be whole.
He barely heard the voice of someone calling out to him...and eventually passed out right in front of another hunter.
By the time Dean and Bobby got to him, he was already lost. His soul was trying to sort out some form of balance as the thing had taken the darker parts of his nature into it...all while carving it's true name into his soul, waiting for the moment when it would call in the debt and awaken once more.
Sam would wake up a few days later...and he wouldn't remember anything about Silent Hill or the bargain he struck with the entity that claimed the area.
Several years later...
Sam didn't know what to do. Because of him, Dean was going to hell and there was nothing he could do. He had even tried to make a deal for Dean's soul in exchange for his own, but the demon wouldn't even take it.
Dean was out getting drunk and laid, since he wouldn't have a chance once he fell into the pit.
He sighed, before his eyes happened to meet that of the mirror. It was a perfectly ordinary mirror, nothing supernatural about it. Except when Sam actually looked into it, he saw something that made him want to reach for the Colt, if that bitch Bela hadn't stolen it.
His eyes were black as night, and his skin looked corpse pale. His hair was several shades too dark, as if it were covered in a thick lair of soot or ash.
The longer he stared at the strange, almost demon-like version of himself, the more he remembered an odd quote.
The more you stare into the Abyss, the more it stares into you.
Suddenly he jumped, realizing there was someone there.
"Who are you?"
"Why Sam, don't you remember? The bargain we struck? The promise you made that day?"
Memories crashed into his mind, and if he hadn't experienced that and more over the years he would have thrown up.
"Not anymore. That name died when Sharon retook the darkness that survived and reclaimed her soul. Now, Samuel Winchester, there is the small matter of a bargain we made."
"I don't care. You can have my soul if you want, demon, but I want something in exchange."
The 'other' him looked somewhat amused.
"What makes you think you have any choice?"
"Because I'll shoot myself right here and now otherwise," he stated flatly.
The thing smirked.
"Fine. What is it you want, Vessel?"
"How do I save my brother?"
"Dean's soul is doomed to the pit...however there is another game you were never aware of that came into play the moment he struck that deal. There is nothing I can do to reverse the deal...however I can be of use the moment he is released from hell."
Sam looked at the thing in disbelief.
"Released from hell?"
"The first seal in Hell to a very special cage will break the moment your brother does and spills blood in the pit. Once that happens, the Heavenly Host will bring him back, at no cost to you."
"How do I know I can trust you?"
"When have I ever lied? You asked that I release the girl and her parents, and I did. I even let that child stained in the beliefs of that cult go. I sent you back to your family, and removed the memories of that place until it was time to settle up our bargain," said the thing.
Sam was silent, because the thing was telling the truth. He even had chats with Sharon, who still kept in touch with him after he saved them.
"Are you absolutely sure Dean will come back? That he won't remain in that place forever?"
"The demons won't release Dean until he spills blood, and heaven will bring him up after that. Like I said, there is another game that has been running in the background since before you were even born. If you truly want to save your brother once he returns, then you must hold up your end of the bargain."
Sam sighed. He remembered that the thing had held a part of his soul 'in trust' until it was time to collect, so it would always be able to find him.
Hearing the Impala coming up the road, Sam got up and held out his hand.
"Fine. I'll stick to the deal we made that day."
The thing grabbed his arm, and he could feel something go into his body. A darkness that seemed to dislike the demon's blood in his system, replacing it with something else. Something that was dark...but at the same time wasn't evil. Not in the same sense a demon was. And Sam remembered all too well how foul a demon's soul felt.
This thing, whatever it was, wasn't a demon.
Can I least get a name?
My name...Vessel...is Za'afiel.
And with that, the being disappeared with Dean none the wiser of what happened.
But Sam would remember. And even after trying to sleep it off, he would always catch a glimpse of that place. That parallel dimension called 'Silent Hill' out of the corner of his eye...and the guardian that the entity had created to protect itself and bring swift justice to those that so richly deserved it.
The only thing Sam couldn't figure out was why the thing called it Za'afiel, which meant "Wrath of God". That was the name of an angel! Why would something so dark have an angel's name?
The name bugged Sam so much that he started looking more into angels whenever Dean and Bobby weren't exactly watching him. All the times Ruby tried to seduce or corner him, he would inexplicably get a massive migraine and have to leave. So while he waited for whatever it was to pass, he would read.
And what he read about the angel that personified the "Wrath" of god made him wonder if he had made a deal with the devil...except this one at least did have some compassion.
Za'afiel was there when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed...in fact it was right there next to Uriel and Gabriel setting the place ablaze.
However history couldn't seem to make up it's mind about whether the angel was male or female. Apparently it had no preferred vessel, instead selecting one soul to act as it's host until God was appeased.
That was when Sam slowly began to delve into Silent Hill...and one of the lesser known stories about the area.
Alessa wasn't the first one to fall prey to Za'afiel.
There was one before her, only the first time the angel left after destroying the problem. Apparently it hadn't been very thorough, because the Order came right back in full force and nearly took the area.
So Za'afiel must have come back on orders, and this time decided to let none escape except those who had nothing to do with the Order at all. And she used Alessa as her conduit.
You are actually interested in why I chose Alessa?
Sam almost jumped.
I find history is fascinating. Why did you pick her? I mean her body was burned so badly there wasn't any chance she could live a normal life.
God sent a message to Micheal through the gardener, Joshua. He said since I missed the last vestige of the Order that I was to go back until it was wiped from the records of the world, and that I was no longer under Heaven's jurisdiction.
He threw you out?
You misunderstand. He knew I was uncomfortable in Heaven...it's too bright and militaristic. I actually told the gardener that I preferred Earth because at least here I didn't have to live with the hypocrisy and the lies. So my Father gave me a reason to stay here and not have to deal with Micheal or his sycophants. I would rather be the warden of a pocket dimension only barely connected to this one than have to deal with that.
Sam thought that one through. He could understand...barely.
Do you have any idea why I've been getting migraines?
I'm not about to let this vessel become corrupted by the taint of hell. If you allow Ruby too close she will convince you to imbibe demon's blood, and angels as a rule do not tolerate their filth. Your soul is inhabited with enough darkness just having me in it. You don't need to add more. Would you prefer I did something else? It won't be as pleasant as giving you a migraine.
Why do I have an ominous feeling about that other option?
It's your choice. Migraines, or Truth.
Sam still had the Seal of Metatron in his body, though he didn't remember it. If he wanted, he could see the true nature of things through Za'afiel's eyes. However not everyone could handle that sort of information.
Could you just tone down the migraines? It always feels like I've been drinking too much and it's really annoying.
He could hear the angel's snort. He didn't know if it was a yes to his request...he was still surprised it had deigned to talk to him.
Sam was angry and confused. Dean kept dying and the day resetting. He had seen his brother die in ways he only thought happened in the older cartoons, and there was nothing he could do to stop it.
And to make matters worse, he kept getting the nasty migraines Za'af seemed to favor.
Finally he couldn't take it anymore.
How do I get out of this town without Dean dying?
It's about time you asked. I recognize this sense of warped humor, and frankly I think it's time we give him a dose of his own medicine. Let me take control and we'll force his hand.
Sam debated on the idea, but the angel had already agreed not to hurt Dean or Bobby. Finally he let it take control.
Dark Sam, as he had come to call that form, managed to hide it's black eyes...but there was the distinct sense that there was something sinister in their depths.
Dean didn't notice until it was too late that Sam had knocked him out cold, grabbed their things, and put them all in the car. He turned the ignition on, since if he had allowed Dean to drive it was very likely whatever curse or spell was on him would have blown up the car and reset the day.
By the time Dean woke up, they were already long gone and Sam was back in control.
He looked pissed.
"What the hell Sammy?"
Sam's grip on the Impala's steering wheel was tight.
"Something in that town kept killing you and then resetting the day so that I would have to relive you being killed."
Dean's anger started to bled away.
"How many times?"
"I lost count after thirty. And a lot of them wouldn't have looked out of place in Looney Tunes or Tom and Jerry. And if I hear that damn song one more time I'll be the one to end you," said Sam tightly, thinking of how many times he had to wake up with "Heat of the Moment" blaring in his ears.
"So the reason you're driving and knocked my ass out...?"
"I wouldn't put it past whoever's doing this to kill you by blowing up the car once you turned on the ignition," deadpanned Sam.
Dean paled, before he said "Good call Sammy. I'd hate for anything to happen to Baby."
...Is your brother really that obsessed with his car?
He damn near had a heart attack when that semi crashed into it. He wouldn't dare hurt his precious car.
Za'afiel seemed amused by this information.
That was when whatever it was that was doing this struck. A car slammed right into Dean's side of the car, killing him on impact.
Sam woke up again, with that damn song blaring in his ear.
Oh it was so on now. He was not letting this go until he had punched the bastard responsible in the face.