Chapter One: Darkness Abounding
Expanded Summary: Post-Asylum. Dean and Sam are investigating a place they're sent to via those baffling text message coordinates. After an accident occurs, Dean gets amnesia. Sam struggles to take care of Dean, who has to basically relearn the harsh reality of the world they live in with the monsters prowling close behind. Sam also battles with his conscience. Should he remind his brother of the gruesome past and let him return to the crusade against evil? Or will he let Dean remain absent of cruel memories, and start life anew? Sam doesn't have much time to debate, as a vampire has set his eyes on a vulnerable Dean.
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural; it's as simple and distressing as that.
A/N: This is my first attempt of a chaptered story for Supernatural, and I'm pretty excited as well as wary about it. I'm going to update as soon as I can, although I might do a Supernatural holiday story or so first. I won't beg for reviews although feedback, comments, suggestions, complaints, constructive criticisms are all welcome and definitely appreciated (maybe not so much the complaints, but hey- it's your opinion). Feedback truly helps me know where I stand as a writer and what I need to do to be a better one.
Warnings and otherwise: This is a work in progress. Let me know if the rating should change. Oh, and this will contain no slash/wincest, but sometimes I may overdo that whole brotherly love thing…I'll try not to…they're just so fricken cute together.
"Ever wonder what our theme song will sound like?" Dean inquired casually. Sam shot him a quizzical look, raising an eyebrow.
"The way I see it," Dean began, "Someday someone's gonna spin-off a show about us and what we do. We'll probably end up pretty famous; especially me, since I have the most sex appeal," he finished with a slight grin on his face.
"I have sex appeal!" Sam said defensively, sounding like a little boy who urgently needed to be heard. His voice echoed down the creaking halls of the old manor they were in.
"Nah, what you have is that 'kicked-puppy-you-wanna-hug' appeal. Some chicks like that, Sammy, so don't worry," Dean turned to face Sam, patting his younger brother on the head.
Sam quickly swatted Dean's hand away.
"Aw, does puppy wanna play?" Dean mocked with a widening grin.
"Moron," Sam sighed.
"Jackass," Dean quipped.
The two brothers had been wandering the halls of a worn house for nearly twenty minutes. They were there following a set of coordinates sent in another mysterious text message. Sam still did not trust this method of ghost hunting, but Dean wasn't going to ignore it and miss the chance to perhaps finally find their dad.
They weren't yet sure what they were looking for, but had all intentions of finding something. After all, every place has its secrets. Every closet has its monsters. The Winchester's knew that fair enough.
It had been easy for the boy's to break into the condemned grounds. "No Trespassing" signs had become a renowned and often laughable welcome sign for Dean and Sam. They could understand, however, why it was so easy to break in. The looks of the isolated manor had a way of warding off visitors on its own without a discouraging iron gate.
The manor had aged beyond its years. Its front columns looked as though they were struggling to hold up the roof, crumbling away itself. Against the many windows were rugged looking shutters, found mostly detached and hanging by a rusted nail. The windows themselves were foreboding. The darkness within the frame was so vivid you could almost feel the shadows pushing you away. For some, however, those shadows seemed to motion you into their dark lair.
Scraps of wallpaper hung scarcely to the walls as if they had been clawed out. The brothers took more time watching their step than they did searching for the unknown. Broken chairs, table halves, shards of bookcases and messily draped furniture cluttered the rooms and hallways.
Dean circled the stairwell with his flashlight, noticing what would have been a rather decorative carpet covering each step had it not been for the dust accumulating over it.
"So, do you wanna check this floor and I'll take the top?" Dean asked, and a sudden smile curved on his lips. "I like being on top," he added, jokingly referencing his friendly female expeditions.
"Um…how about we just stay together?" Sam suggested with a hollow chuckle. He tried not to sound too hopeful.
Dean tilted his head. Using the flashlight as some kind of interrogative device, he shined it on Sam's face and studied his squinting expression.
"We'd cover more ground if we split," Dean said, waiting for the logic to seep into Sam's apparent disapproval of separating.
"I know, it's just…" Sam paused as he remembered their last hunt at the Roosevelt Asylum. He remembered the anger taking control of him, shooting his brother with rock salt, and finally almost murdering him with a thankfully unloaded pistol. He feared if they separated, some other spirit might rattle his brain again and make him say things he didn't want to say, or twist the truth. "I think it'd just be best if we kept in each other's sight, at least…until we find out what we might be up against,"
Dean took a moment to realize the fear dwelling in his kid brother's eyes. As an older brother, he had a knack for understanding when Sam was scared. Sam's eyes told him more than words could. He didn't think Sam was really scared about what they were hunting, but he had a feeling it had something to do with parting from him.
Sam gave a sigh and shrugged his shoulders anticipating a response from Dean. Dean nodded.
"All right, Sammy," he began, taking the first few steps upstairs. He turned around briefly and looked down over his brother with menacing eyes. "But don't look at my ass."
A quick smile came and left quickly to Dean's lips, one Sam returned fully while shaking his head while following his brother upstairs.
The upstairs was no better than the rest of the manor thus far; in fact, it was worse. It was blatant the floorboards beneath them were rotting away and probably had been for quite some time. They'd passed several rooms, all which doors had been left open. All of them were primarily the same, mostly empty with all the curtains tightly shut. No light was wanted inside, that was obvious.
The two meandered through the long hallway, darkness abounding. Their flashlights did little to help them see. Reaching the end of it they saw a door. It was the first room that appeared to mind having company, so it was exactly what the Winchester's were looking for. Dean was first to inspect it. He was usually first to jump into things. Sam came to expect it.
The doorknob was frigidly cold and the door creaked as it opened. The door hinges seemed so agitated that the brothers wondered if it would snap out of place. Thankfully it did not and they were spared what might have been an unwelcome ruckus.
"Oh look," piped the eldest brother, "More darkness,"
The room revealed an old mattress sitting diagonally on a dilapidated bed frame, a desk with drawers missing, some scattered about the dusty floor, and tattered drapes blocking out the moonlight. Dean stepped forward into the room, the pitiful light from his flashlight as his guide. He took no hesitation in whipping open the curtains to allow more natural light inside the room, and as he did the shadows seemed to shriek, running into corners.
"Dean," Sam's voice broke softly, though he tried to sound firm. "There's nothing here,"
"We haven't even checked out the rest of the house, Sammy. Don't be so pessimistic," Dean cheerily told his younger brother who could only roll his eyes.
"It's Sam. And maybe you shouldn't be so optimistic. Look around. There is nothing here to suggest a haunting, no stories running about this place even in tabloids. This manor has been empty and uninhabited for a long time,"
"Why would dad send us here then?"
"Who says he sent us?"
"Ohh," Dean forced a laugh. "That's right. We're chasing coordinates sent by some ghost, probably as a result of some bogus conspiracy against us. Those tricky bastards. They'd have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for us meddling kids."
"Go to hell," Sam spat with annoyance.
"Been there. Done that. Don't recommend it," Dean retorted.
Sam paced lightly around the room for a few moments, thoughts heavy on his mind.
"Maybe…maybe dad doesn't want to be found," Sam said, and immediately regretted it after catching his brother's burning glare.
"What the hell," Dean censored himself before swearing as he took on a more serious question. "How do you come up with something like that?"
"It's simple. He's not here. He wasn't at the Asylum. He wasn't even at our old house, after you begged him to come. You need to accept the possibility that maybe he's abandoned us,"
"Bullshit," Dean turned away from his brother as if turning away from the truth he didn't want to face. "He wouldn't just abandon us, not like that. Not like you did,"
Sam bit his bottom lip and closed his eyes, instantly knowing Dean referred to Stanford. He said that to hurt me...he didn't mean it…
"Then where is he?"
"Why are you asking me? Aren't you supposed to be the all-knowing, psychic one?"
"Whatever. Good luck hunting what's not here. I'll be in the car," Sam decided to ignore his brother's imprudent comment.
"Leave then. But if I find something cool I'm not coming back for you, Sammy,"
"Sam. And don't bother coming back at all," the youngest brother said lowly, not sure where the vacant words came from. He was letting his anger affect him, something he was desperate not to do. Had the events in the Asylum done more to him than he suspected?
Sam didn't want to prolong the argument any longer, so he did as he said and left, shutting the door behind him not waiting for Dean's response.
I shouldn't have said that.
A thought crept into Sam's mind.
You said it to hurt him, like he hurt you.
It was like he was hearing a voice: a voice coming from inside his head, but not the voice of his thoughts. They were someone else's thoughts. It was someone else's voice.
"What the…" Sam spun around in the nearly complete darkness, his flashlight a meek aid to see his surroundings. "Dean?" Sam peered down the hall. The door was still shut and Sam hadn't heard it creak open.
You won't catch him when he falls...
Sam heard the voice again inside his head. That foreign voice…what was it?
"Sam. And don't bother coming back at all," he said it loud enough so Dean could hear him, but quiet enough for it not to encourage a response. Dean watched as Sam closed the door behind him, and only when he heard it click shut did he soften his expression to a sympathetic one.
I can't do this by myself…why do I push him away?
You always caught him when he fell. You can't catch him forever.
Dean struggled within himself for a moment, wondering where this strange…voice…erupted from inside his head. Or was it in his head?
The flashlight's pale glow crossed over around the room as Dean searched for a potential source for this voice. It was then he saw it.
"Another door…" Dean said below a breath, as if to confirm it for himself. He didn't see it before. It was partially hid behind the desk. He looked around the dark room realizing he was alone, listened for a moment. He didn't hear anything. "Weird." He brushed it off, hesitantly.
He moved the desk, scrapping it across the feeble wooden floor, until he had enough room to open the door. He clasped the doorknob steadily and slowly turned it.
Who will catch you when you fall?
The voice hollered at him, but he already opened the door. It was too late.
Sam accidentally dropped his flashlight and it clicked off. Left in complete darkness, he crouched to the floor and felt around for it. Wary of the voice, he was slightly frantic in his search. It couldn't have rolled that far from him.
Finally, his hand grasped the flashlight and before he turned it on he saw something slide by him.
That's one thing you learn when you spend most of your life in the dark, how to see shadows move.
He hastily clicked the flashlight back on, in the direction of the swiftly moving shadow. The beam of light struck the door, the door to the room where Dean was.
"He is falling. He isn't coming back…"
This time Sam heard the voice. It wasn't just in his head but all around him, almost choking him it was so loud, so close…too close.
Instantly, his heart skipped. He knew his brother was in trouble. He felt his brother was in trouble. Without a moment's hesitation, he ran.
Then, he heard something else, something harshly familiar that he hated to hear.
His brother was screaming.
The door seemed so far away. Sam swore it wasn't that far away before. He continued to run and once he reached the door he didn't bother using the handle. He slammed his body right into the decrepit door, crashing to the floor along with it.
A light shone into his eyes. Sam focused, narrowed in on it as his vision cleared. It was Dean's flashlight, unoccupied.
"No," Sam could barely exhale. He stood up, his body sore, and saw the other door, swung open with a faint light coming from it. He stumbled over to the door and saw the floor was missing.
Not missing. Broken.
Splintered shards of wood remained along the borders of the small room, a closet maybe.
Sam examined the gapping hole, using what courage he had to look down into it. He stepped cautiously to the very edge, grabbing the doorframe to keep his balance. And there he was. Not one, not two, but three floors down. Covered in rubble, hardly recognizable below rotting floorboards and a haze of relocating dust was where his body remained motionless.
"Dean!" Sam yelled at the top of his lungs, hoping his voice would reach his fallen brother. "Hold on, Dean, I'm coming for you!"
I watched as the young hunter struggled with the sight of his fallen brother. His eyes glossy with fleeting hope, his fists clenching to hold onto what elusive faith he might have that his older brother, much like in his youth, was still invincible.
How foolish mortals are…
I hesitate to arise from the shadows and make myself know, at least outright. I much rather toy with the shadows in their hearts, masking the fears they desperately try to hide. It makes for a much more suitable kill in the end. And as for the fallen…you shall soon be mine.
And you, young hunter…only suffering awaits…
To be continued… (I sure hope someone wants it to be, lol)
Thanks for reading!