Why is it so freaking dark?
The dark wraps itself around him like a never ending inky blanket.
Dean shifts, feels fur against his face, his cheek is warm pressed to something fuzzy, soft.
He comes to awareness and for the first time he feels the dull throbbing pain in the back of his skull.
'Uhhhhhh', he manages as he cracks open his eyes.
Nope, the room's still spinning.
Gingerly he pulls himself into an upright position, touches the back of his head, winces.
'What the hell happened?'
It takes him four seconds to get his bearings…
It takes him five to remember…
'You know sometimes I get flashes…'
Comes the voice, a voice he has loved his whole life, a voice that meant something to him.
That had once meant strength…courage…protector…
'Of the future you might say…or of some parallel plane of existence, some other world…'
A voice that meant heart and soul…
'It was 22 years ago when I saw it…22 years ago…you know what I saw little baby Sammy…'
A voice that meant truth…
'I saw you.'
A voice that meant dad.
'And you were killing me.'
A voice that now belonged to a monster.
The monster from his nightmares, from the darkest recesses of his mind. It was the darkness he'd tried his whole life to hide from.
Sam wriggled against the force. He couldn't get free, he couldn't get out. He couldn't make sense of all this. This wasn't his father. But he had his face, his mannerisms, immediately he is torn back to the shape shifter that morphed into his brother in one of their earlier cases. That must be what had happened, something had morphed into his father, the big bad had morphed into his dad, that was it.
Only why did Sam have the sickening feeling it was more than that. So much more.
What did it mean, he was killing it? What the hell was going on?
Sam struggles in the darkness to work out where he is. It's too dark to see, he can see only the moonlight on the person below. Only the moonlight…
The face of his father looked up at him, it snarled, bearing his father's teeth, the teeth Sam remembered being chipped and recapped after their too close brush with a poltergeist in Oakland, the lips that had hushed goodnight to him all those times in the darkness now sneer up at him, cold and suddenly alien.
Sam feels sick.
'What…' he gasps out, terrified of the answer, 'are you?'
'I'm your father.'
'You're not my father.' Sam vehemently spits out.
'Alright I guess you're right, I'm not your biological father, but I am your father in every sense of the word.'
'What do you mean?' Sam questions desperately.
'Oh Sam, Sammy, Sammy, Sam…' the beast murmurs shaking its head back and forth and stalking absently across the floor. 'I'm surprised at you, really I am, you'd think with that great College education you'd have worked it out by now…it's like that time when you were four and you spent the longest time working out how to do up your shoe laces, you were so good at the big things Sammy, the big problems, not so good at the little more obvious ones though were you…you weren't so good at those.'
'Stop with the mind games.' Sam snarls, figuring the shape shifter is downloading his father's thoughts like he did Deans. 'Where.is.my.father?'
'I told you, right here…I knew it would come to this you know…eventually, I just knew it'd come down to us Sammy. You see Dean, he's very good, very aware, too good at seeing things introspectively, he figures them out Sam. He and I were always more similar that way. But you…you were the threat, you always have been. I'm not your father.' He walks through the shadows, and stands stock still so Sam can't even see his face anymore.
'22 years ago I was in San Antonio, I was living the high life, you know raping, murdering, and you know what Sammy, I was getting away with it, every time they tried to put me in jail, I'd turn into someone else, so they weren't looking for me anymore, sometimes for the fun of it I'd let them put me in the slammer, then I'd turn into a guard, and walk on out of there. Oh I was good Sam, I was so damned good.'
Sam feels a shiver run up his spine, he can't move, why can't he get his arms free, he's pinned.
'I used to get flashes, like I said, of the future. Little tiny fragments of visions. A flash of my victims, of who would be my next kill. It was all rather entertaining really…'
Sam frowns in the darkness. A shape shifter with premonitions, this is a new one.
'So one day, I am burying my latest conquest, pretty little thing, screamed more than I liked, but pretty all the same…and I saw it. I saw a flash, it was like none I'd had before Sammy…'
'Don't call me that.' Sam spits out, unable to handle the way this thing that isn't his father speaks in the exact tone, and way his father had.
It ignores him.
'It was you Sammy. I saw you. And you were killing me.'
Sam's heart stops! What?
'You were putting a bullet right here.'
Sam can't see but he knows the thing is gesturing to its' temple.
'I started getting these flashes more and more, I would see you writing in a book with your name on it…Sam Winchester…I saw you laughing with Dean, I saw you kissing your little Jessica, I saw you sitting around having freaking Sunday dinner with your family. Your mom was beautiful in these flashes I had, she'd be smiling at you, doting on you men. It made me sick. This was your future, it wasn't mine anymore and you were taking mine away from me. All I knew was that you killed me. You were going to kill me. One night I saw how it happened, I had her in my arms, I had my hand across her mouth, I was trying to rape your Jess Sammy. You broke into the bedroom, screaming, you shot me Sam. Bam…' He holds his fingers up like a gun to his temple, 'right between the eyes.'
Sam inhales sharply, oh god.
'I had to find you of course. I had to destroy you, you couldn't be allowed to exist, it was a while before I'd had enough visions of your future to find you. Eventually I saw your address in a vision of you writing some form for law school or something. And I had it. I had waited a long time to get that address Sammy, I waited a long time for you.'
He begins pacing again, the voice that belongs to his father but at the same time couldn't be more different.
'So I drove there, to Kansas, Lawrence, nice suburban little town. I drove to the house, I had no idea how old you'd be if I'd be murdering a kid, an adult I didn't care, but you didn't look very old when you shot me in my visions. You couldn't have been more than 20. I pull up at this house, and I climb onto the roof and through the window. I was in your closet a good hour before they came to put you to bed. I heard their voices you know, voices I knew so well, they felt almost like my own family.'
Mary carried Dean in, I could see them through the crack in the door, 'Come on, let's say goodnight to your brother.'
Dean kissed your forehead, 'Good night Sam.'
Mary smiled down at you her smile so sickeningly sweet, I wanted her beneath me right then and there, I wanted her screaming and lifeless, but I had waited long enough for you, for that moment, I couldn't move yet, 'Good night, love.' That's what she said Sammy, incase you ever wanted to know, what her last words were to you, 'goodnight love.'
Sam struggles to stop the tears that are stinging at his eyes. No.
And then I saw your father, ah John, strong, stupid, living in his perfect little uncomplicated world, and you know what, I wanted to destroy him.
'Sweet Dreams Sam.'
He wandered out and I stayed for a while, just watching you. I stood over your crib. You looked at me Sam…you looked right at me…and I have never hated anything so much in all my life. I figured I'd just strangle you, or smother you. So much had led to that moment in your room. I was about to take my destiny and yours in my hands and change them.
But your mother had to ruin that. I almost had you when she came to the door, I couldn't believe my luck when she believed I was your dad. But then she had to ruin it with the screaming and the second appearance in the doorway. I didn't want to kill Mary like that Sam, I at least wanted to have a little fun with her first but you were too important, and I couldn't let you live and she wasn't letting you die. Stupid woman got in the way, she stood between you and the crib. So I stabbed her. I slashed her open Sammy. And then I burned her, I pinned her to the ceiling and I burned her.'
Sam lets out an anguished cry 'NOOOOOOOOOOO!' He struggles and struggles and he still can't move. Oh god no. Why? He wants to kill this thing more than he's ever wanted to kill anything in his life.
'Amazing how I developed these skills, I could fling things onto the roofs and not normal things, things like people. Using my eyes. I don't know what I am Sam, you see, I'm special, something about me is unbelievably rare to have these abilities. I loved it Sam, watching your mother up on that ceiling, staring down at you, her only concern for you. And then I heard your Dad running up the stairs and I was back in the closet, opening it long enough to see him stare up at Mary, and then I lit her up like a Christmas tree. Oh the look on his face, it was a classic.'
Sam chokes back sobs as his body heaves silently. Why can't he get down?
'Then your Dad grabbed you Sam. I didn't know what to do. No, he couldn't save you, I needed you dead. But then I realised, in changing your future, in murdering your mother, maybe I could have changed my own. He gave you to Dean. Poor kid, innocent bystander really. And John stood there screaming like a banshee, and I saw it Sam. I saw my moment. I threw open the closet and he looked at me, and he knew, he knew I'd killed his wife, and I smiled and when he reached out to grab me, I smiled, and you should have seen his face Sammy…'
He practically laughs with glee. 'You should have seen his face when he saw himself staring back at him.'
Sam's heart sinks to the bottom of his chest and he can't breathe as he realises the implications of what this 'thing' is saying.
'I lit the place up. And I stood for a while in the flames, making sure he was gone. And when I was sure. I ran outside and I grabbed you two. And I had a future for a while, I was John Winchester. I hadn't planned on keeping you alive Sammy, but then I figured what the hell, sometimes I get lonely, being a sadistic life form can get oddly lonely sometimes. So I figured I'd raise you and Dean, and we'd all kill things together, if I played the grieving husband well enough, and if I killed enough things then I knew I'd survive. No one would find out. Turns out I enjoyed it, the hunt. But I can't tell you how many times I wanted to let those big bads we hunted kill you. A few times I even let you wander off, sent you to the danger spots, but oh no as usual Dean had to step in and go all big brother, protecting you. And I let him, till you went to College, I liked it having you out of the way for a while. To be honest I kind of liked Dean, we had fun together, he has some of the killer instinct you know. Still I followed you to college. Told Dean I was on hunting trip, to go on one alone, I couldn't take the risk, even knowing I'd changed our futures somehow, that you wouldn't kill me, you'd be the age you were when you had killed me in my vision, soon. And it was confirmed, when I saw you with her, with Jessica, and I knew, the game was going to be up. I knew I couldn't let you live much longer, I couldn't let you live.
Strange as it is Sammy, I felt the two of us were linked, forever, it was twisted, I hated you, but a part of me loved you, loved the kid I had brought up even knowing you were going to destroy me, even knowing I had to destroy you. What a stroke of luck for me that Dean was so concerned with my lack of contact that he showed up to get you. It was all so perfect. But you needed to be stopped. So I burned Jess first, hoped that would change your future once again, stop you from killing me. But nope the visions kept on coming. And I knew it. There was no way out.
You had to die.
It had to come to this Sam.
It had to come to right here.
This is where it had to happen I think I knew that from the very first moment, from that night as I stood over your crib.
Do you know where you are Sammy?
Can you taste your own death in the air?
It's your destiny.'
Sam can't talk. He doesn't know how the hell to respond to this. His father was dead, the man he thought was his father wasn't really his father in the first place, he'd been brought up by the very thing that had killed his parents and girlfriend.
The term, keep your friends close and your enemies closer suddenly became all too chillingly real.
Sam wanted to kill the thing, he wanted to choke the life out of it with his bare hands. His whole life had been a lie, a desperate, horrendous lie.
And so had Deans.
But in that moment it occurred to Sam how little he would care if it took his life right now, at least the pain would end, pain that all seemed to have stemmed from him. It was his fault. Everything was his fault.
His mom, his dad, his brother, his girlfriend, had all been punished for something his future self was supposed to have done. And because of that their lives, so many lives had been destroyed, had been senselessly taken.
'Are you ready Sam?'
Light suddenly filled the room and Sam finally looked down and realised where he was. He didn't notice the blood soaking his chest, nor the grinning face of the man he thought was his father, this was his room.
It was his nursery, and Sam was pinned, pinned to the ceiling.
He didn't even notice the flames.
Dean ran, he ran faster than he'd ever run in his life out of the hotel room.
His brother, his stupid, foolish, irresponsible little brother…of all the idiotic moves to pull, of all the ridiculous actions to take…he'd knocked him out…and left him…to stop him…to stop him protecting him…
Dean feels sick.
The impala isn't there and Dean knows immediately that Sam has taken it.
'YOU IDIOT SAMMY!' He screams as the heavens open and rain begins to hurl from the sky like a sprinkler in a garden. 'WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!'
Sam feels the flickering of the fire, it singes his clothes, and his fingertips are nearly burning.
Oh god, what does he do?
What the hell can he do?
Below him the monster pulls out a cell phone and smirks before dialling it.
Sam closes his eyes, he is thinking of giving in.
He should give in.
His dad's voice…no the monster's voice has him freezing.
'Dean, Dean it's dad, you have to come, we're at the old house, help me, it's Sammy…'
'DEAN IT'S HIM!'
At the other end of the phone Dean grips the receiver so hard his knuckles turn white 'SAMMY? DAD? What's going on?'
'Get here now Dean…'
'No Dean don't listen…'
'Dean hurry.' His dad cuts Sammy's screams off.
Dean jumps out of the way as the car he flags down draws to a stop…
'I'm on my way.'