So here is the last Chapter of "Control"… finally!
I want to thank everyone who reviewed along the way, the reviews really make a difference, and even pushed me to do a total re-write on this final chapter. I'm much happier with how it turned out compared with the first version!
I also want to say thanks to both Mishka and Melja for sending me encouraging words to keep going when I was stuck. And extra special thanks to Carocali for her feedback on this final chapter.
CONTROL - CH 8
"…Now, enough about Sam, it's time we take care of you." The man shifts his gaze intending to make eye contact, but Dean quickly turns away and shuts his eyes. "Open your eyes." The man says impatiently.
"No." Dean turns to face him, eyes shut. "You're not gonna take me like that. You want me out of the way, you're gonna have to do it by force!"
"Fine," the man reaches out, grabs Dean at the throat, and lifts him off the ground, "I have no problem with that."
He throws Dean across the floor. Dean's chest hits the cement and scraps against its ripping texture until he hits the wall. Anger rises in the man's voice. "How did you know to close your eyes?"
"You think I couldn't tell how you got in last time?" As Dean attempts to stand he feels himself being grabbed from behind. He's lifted clear off the floor and re-planted firm on his knees.
"You're smart. Too bad figuring out how to stop me is accelerating your death, not prolonging it." The man grabs Dean's right arm and twists it behind his back, holding him so he can't move.
"What I don't get is Sam," Dean continues. "You couldn't have made eye contact. No matter what you say, if he knew you were there, he'd have figured out the impulses weren't his own. He would have overpowered you."
Dean feels the man's cold fingers comb up his neck and into the back of his hair. They grip at his scalp tearing and knotting their way into a solid hold.
"I didn't need eye contact with Sam. His abilities create an open gateway for that sort of thing. I could connect to them from miles away. That's how I found him. That's how I got him here."
"That damn trek through the woods!" Dean thinks out loud. "The way Sam lead us here. That wasn't intuition…"
"Knowing the truth doesn't alter your current situation, and I'm sorry Dean, but it's time for this situation to end."
The man arches his shoulders back sharply, cracking his neck, then stretches his mouth wide. His eyes glaze over becoming almost reflective, and two sharp fangs protrude from his mouth. He lowers them to Dean's neck and drags them across the skin, feeling for a spot to enter. When he comes to the lower part of Dean's neck, he stops. He begins to push them into the skin, then shutters, pulling in a sharp gasp of air. The glazed look drops from his eyes.
A thin stream of blood slides down each fang and pools in the indented skin of Dean's neck. The man lifts his mouth, and watches as the blood continues to drip. Dean feels the man's grip on him tighten and then let go. The man wipes the blood on Dean's neck away with the edge of his hand, revealing unbroken skin. He jerks sharply, his chest pulling in and up towards his neck, then drops to his knees. His upper body falls forward to reveal the wooden stake sticking out of his back. Dean turns to see the man cringing, with Sam leaning over him, both hands still clasping the stake. The man wipes the blood from his mouth and turns to Sam.
"You shouldn't have done that," the man scolds Sam.
"Why, don't like what it's going to do to you?" asks Sam.
"No, you won't like what it's going to do to you." The man glances at the amulet which dangles from Sam's neck. Sam looks down at it, the focus dropping from his face as he tries to piece together why it's on him. He reaches a hand up and touches it, however his hand quickly moves from the stone to his chest as he feels a sharp pain shoot from his back out through all his limbs. Sam begins to gag slightly as a small amount of blood trickles from his mouth. He feels the man's thoughts enter his head.
--Remove the stake from my back.-- He instructs. Sam hears the words, then feels the command move through his head and out to his muscles. His fist involuntarily tightens around the stake, then pulls it from the man's back. Both men cry out in pain as the action is completed. Sam falls slightly forward, he looks to Dean.
Dean can see the confusion and fear in his brother's eyes. He rushes at the man and grabs him by the throat.
"Stop it!" Moments after he grips the man's neck he hears Sam choke out two soft breathy words behind him.
"Dean…. stop." Dean turns to see Sam gasping for air, and realizes that whatever pain he's causing the man, he's simultaneously inflicting on his brother.
"Sam?... shit." Dean lets go of the man's throat and instead grabs him by the shirt collar, he pulls him close.
"That's enough! Let Sam go!" Dean demands glaring down at him. The man smiles slightly.
"You made eye contact." The man enters Dean's head. --You're the one finding it hard to breath.-- Suddenly Dean struggles for breath. He lets go of the man's shirt and clutches at his own throat as he drops back onto the floor. --You're going to help me finish this Dean.-- The man instructs as he begins to regain his strength.
-I won't.- Dean resists.
--You don't have a choice.-- Dean feels the man's voice moving through his mind, grasping hold. --The book of the amulets, upstairs on the dresser. I need it.--
Sam, slowly recovering, pushes himself back upright. Pain continues to run throughout his body, but he briskly dismisses it as his focus fixes on Dean. Sam watches as his brother fights for air. Without hesitation he grabs the man by the shoulders and pushes him to the floor.
"Enough!" Sam shouts, having no impact. Dean continues to struggle as the man ignores Sam and feeds Dean more instructions.
--Get the book and bring it to me.--
Sam feels the need to save his brother build with an intense energy in his chest. Without understanding what he's doing, he pulls the energy up to his head, and forms a solid thought, --Release Dean.-- The thought almost seems to take physical shape. He feels a clear tunnel form between his own mind and the man's, then the words shoot through and force themselves into the man's thoughts. Sam senses the two energies meet, his own will overpowering the man's control of Dean.
The man jerks slightly as his connection with Dean is severed, and Dean falls forward gasping for air. The man immediately attempts to repeat his instructions, only to find he can't regain contact. He turns back to Sam, furious.
Sam senses another tunnel form between them, but this time it's coming from the man. --Let go of me!-- Sam feels the man's words push into his head, but quickly blocks them. He pushes the words back out, then mentally severs the tunnel the man has formed.
Sam is both overwhelmed and exhausted by what he's done. He doesn't fully understand what's going on, but can sense a more wide spread change in his body. His thoughts race as he tries to comprehend what's happening to him. All he can be sure of, is that the man in front of him is to blame.
"What did you do to me?" Sam demands with a fierceness. Again, a tunnel is formed and Sam's firm request for answers races into the man's head, linking the two of them together for several seconds.
Sam's mind works like a computer downloading files as an overload of information siphons into his head. Everything which could potentially answer his question is rapidly relayed to him…
…all the events, all the research, all the plans. The experience punctuates with Sam understanding the man's final intensions, he is to be transformed and controlled for his abilities.
The knowledge hits him abruptly.
This whole time, the entire time he had been strapped to the table, Sam had felt himself not only dying, but changing. He felt his veins and blood shifting in physical make up, his senses heightening to an acute awareness, and his abilities developing a clarity and strength, but he had chosen to ignore it all for fear of what it actually was, to ignore what he was becoming.
Sam focuses his mind back to his surroundings. He runs his tongue along the underside of his upper teeth and stops when he feels the beginnings of short fangs protruding at the front. Enraged, he grabs the wooden stake from the floor, and raises it single fisted above his head. As he begins the downward motion, the man reaches up and grabs hold. The two struggle, but Sam slowly wins, the stake lowering to the man's heart.
"We're bound to one another, kill me, and you die too," the man warns.
"Fine by me!" Sam says with a growl and pushes the stake slowly into the man's skin. As it pierces through, both men cry out in pain.
"Sam no!" Dean shouts and also grabs the stake, bringing it's movement to a stop.
"Let me do it Dean!" Sam insists through gritted teeth. "He has to die!"
"But you don't! There's got to be another way." Dean's thoughts turn to the book. The man had wanted it for some reason, if there's a way to break the bond of the amulets, the answer is in that book. Suddenly Dean hears Sam's voice in his head.
--You're right Dean, we need the book.-- Dean's eye's widen. He hears Sam, yet Sam didn't speak.
-What the…- Dean thinks, thrown by what he heard. Then Sam's voice comes again.
--Same as him, Dean. I'm in your head same as him. Now go get the book.-- Dean briefly looks down at the man, who is struggling to overpower Sam and remove the stake pricking his chest. Dean pauses, needing to judge if Sam will be strong enough to control the situation until he returns. --Dean, I've got him. Just go!-- Dean briefly glances up at his brother, then takes off out the basement door and up the stairs. He barely reaches the kitchen when he again hears Sam.
--Dean, I've been in this guy's head.-- Dean sprints through the living room, then takes the steps upstairs two at a time, listening to Sam the whole way. --His original plan may have been to use me for my powers, but I'm also a safety net, and by shoving that stake in his back, I've put him in danger. He wants the book so he can move to plan 'B'.--
"And what's plan 'B'?" Dean asks out loud as he enters the bedroom.
--To steal my life force and abilities as his own.--
"I don't like plan 'B'." He locates the book and begins skimming the pages.
--Don't worry,-- responds Sam, --he can't do anything until after I die and transform.--
"Oh, well… so long as it's not until after you die…"
--Our other advantage…--
"We had a first advantage?"
--I have to die from blood loss. If I'm killed another way, the bond won't form, I'll just die.--
"So we have no advantage. Got it. Now enough with the monologue of info, how does he do it?" Dean asks. There's a slight pause, then Sam answers.
--He stabs me in the throat with a wooden stake, then performs… sort of a transfusion.-- Sam finishes reluctantly.
"Sort of a transfusion… Sam?"
-- He absorbs all my blood into his system directly through an open vein.--
"All your blood? Okay, so… we'll wanna avoid that. What's he need the book for?" Dean continues to skim the pages for anything that might help."
-- After he stabs me, he has to state an incantation to induce the transfusion. He can't remember it. Dean, I need you to find the incantation.--
"What? Sam, I don't mean to be a pain in the ass here, but how will that help you?"
-- I think I can reverse it on him, stab him first. --
"Wait. It's here." Dean carefully reads the passage he's on, which describes in detail the exchange Sam just described. "You're right. You can flip the whole thing, kill him, steal his life force and powers."
-- And the incantation?--
"There's two parts," Dean begins. "The first part induces extreme blood loss." Dean pauses and thinks to himself. -I wonder if that's anything like Xtreme Mountain Dew?-
--Dean, I can hear your thoughts.--
"Right, sorry. After you stab him, first you think, 'The power is in the blood'. Then you say, 'Release your blood.'
--That's it?-- Sam asks, his voice coming through a little shaky.
"No, that just makes him bleed. To absorb his blood, take his life force and powers, you think, 'The power is mine', then say, 'Give me your blood'.
--So maybe if I… if I do the first part and not the… -- Sam's stops mid thought.
"Sam, you okay?" Dean jumps in immediately concerned.
--Yeah… yeah fine. If I do the first part of the incantation, but don't do the second part … I'll be able to kill him and sever the bond without absorbing his life force and powers.--
"From what it says here, I think you can do that, so long as the draining process isn't too far in."
--Meaning?-- Sam questions weakly.
"Meaning if you've lost too much blood, Sam… you won't survive," Dean states firmly.
--But… ah…-- Sam's voice becomes increasingly breathy and choppy. -- But… I should be okay right? Cause… cause a… -- Sam struggles through his last few words.
"Sam… what's wrong?"
--Ah… no… he… no… --
"Sam? Sammy!" There's a moment of silence, then Dean hears Sam cry out in pain. The sound rushes through his head, accompanied by a sharp, cutting feeling which runs down his right wrist and across his hand. Dean grabs his hand, but the pain is already gone. "What the…?" Dean pauses, somehow knowing the pain he just felt came from Sam. "He's in trouble," Dean whispers.
He turns and runs out of the room, then rushes down the stairs towards the main level of the house. Halfway through the living room, he hears Sam.
Dean comes to a halt in the middle of the living room. "Sammy?"
--I need you to distract him… distract him so I can stab him.--
"Sam what's wrong? Talk to me."
--I messed up. Just distract him, I'll take care of the rest.-- Dean glances briefly at the shelves of books that surround him. --And Dean, don't let him in your head. You've read the incantation… he'll know.--
"Got it. I'm on my way." Dean grabs some collateral from one of the shelves, then rushes through the kitchen and back down the basement stairs. As he shoves the basement door open, he tries to heed Sam's warning. He knows he can't afford to make eye contact with the man, but also can't pull his site from what's in front of him.
The man is backed up against the heavy table holding Sam before him. Sam struggles weakly, and pointlessly. His left arm is twisted up behind his back, his right arm hangs pined to his side. The man pulls him close, keeping an arm wrapped around Sam's chest. In his hand he holds the wooden stake. He presses it threateningly to Sam's throat. Dean assesses the situation, suddenly noticing Sam's right hand. There is a deep gash which runs vertically across his wrist and down through his palm. The blood drains from it quickly, dripping to the floor, forming a large puddle. Dean unconsciously rubs his right hand, as he consciously confirms his earlier suspicion. He has only a second to absorb the full image before Sam's voice enters his head.
--Dean turn away!-- Dean feels Sam's order enter his head and shoot through to his body, it takes hold of his muscles, commanding him to move without his consent. He immediately turns away.
-Shit Sammy.- Dean thinks as he takes in the amount of blood his brother has lost. With little time, he re-assesses their overall situation.
"Give me the book." The man demands. Dean, who has no game plan, improvises his way forward.
"I'll give you the book," he agrees, "but you have to release Sam."
"Fine," the man lies. "Bring it here." Dean keeps his eyes from the man as he slowly approaches them with the book. He focuses his thoughts and talks to Sam.
-Sam, I'll distract him,- Dean glances at the growing pool of blood on the floor, -but you've lost too much blood. You're gonna have to complete the full incantation and take your chances on what it does to you… got it?- At first there's no answer, then….
--Yeah,-- Sam says, resolve in his voice. --I got it.-- As Dean hears Sam's confirmation, he takes a final step towards the man, and holds out the book.
"Open it," he man snaps. Dean opens the book and slowly starts to flip through the pages waiting for the man to catch on. It happens quickly.
"This isn't the book!" The man yells as he presses the stake into Sam's neck, pricking the skin open. Sam gasps sharply as his eyes clinch shut. His face contorting in both pain and anger. Dean briefly considers grabbing the stake, but instead chooses a different tactic.
"I read the book, as soon as you know the incantation, you'll kill him!"
--Dean, no!-- Sam's voice enters Dean's head in a confused panic.
"You've read it?" The man asks, realizing the information he needs is within his grasp. "Look at me!" He commands. When Dean doesn't respond, the man chances removing the stake from Sam's neck. He reaches out, stake in hand, and grabs Dean by the face.
-Now Sam!- Dean signals. Sam grabs hold of the stake, and pulls it from the man's hand. The man moves to take it back, but is too late. Sam plunges it upward, through the flesh, into the man's throat.
Sam pushes the necessary words at his enemy. --The power is in the blood.--
"Release your blood!" Sam expels the words with force, then releases the stake. He steps back as the blood begins to pour in severe amounts from the man's throat. Dean looks to Sam waiting for him to say the second half of the incantation, but Sam only glances nervously at him.
"Sam, what are you doing? Finish the incantation!" Dean shouts. Sam continues to back away, shaking his head.
"Sorry Dean," Sam gets out shakily, "I can't take a chance on what I'd become."
"Sam no!" Dean moves towards him, but Sam quickly enters his head.
-- Stay where you are Dean.-- The order shoots through Dean, seizing all of his muscles. He tries to speak, but can't even move his lips. He turns to his thoughts and silently begs Sam to save himself.
-Sam, please… you've lost too much blood… you'll die.-
--I can't Dean. I can't become what we hunt.-- Dean is about to argue when both of their focus is violently pull away.
The man lets lose a torturous scream as massive amounts of blood drain from his system. He pulls the stake from his throat and throws it to the floor, but it does no good. The blood continues to flow, emptying him completely. His flesh turns grey and leathery, retracting and shriveling in on itself. The man clutches his chest and drops to the ground as his top layer of skin cracks apart into crumbling ashen flecks. He writhes in agony, while small bits of him chunk apart leaving gaping crevices throughout his body. Finally the screaming stops. His body tenses, and comes to a still.
--Huh,-- both brothers think. --Xtreme blood loss.--
Just as fast as their focus had shifted to the man, it shifts away. Sam gasps loudly and clutches his chest, the pain in his body evident. Dean watches powerless, as Sam staggers backward and slams into the table he had earlier been strapped to. The moment he hits, he drops to his knees. Dean struggles to break free of Sam's hold on him, but is stuck in the confines of his restricted muscles.
-Sam… let me go.- Dean begs. Sam shakes his head slightly as weakness overcomes him. He falls forward, throwing his hand out to brace himself up. Sam feels his hand land firmly in warm thick liquid. He glances down to realize his injured hand is palm down in the pool of his own blood. Sam feels his insides start to shift, and his chest pulse rapidly. He glances up at Dean with confused, panicked eyes. Dean, finally stops his struggle against Sam's hold, as his brother's fear consumes him.
"Dean," Sam barely finishes whispering the name, when his head cocks back sharply. He hollers in agony as his entire body shutters brutally. Sam's face tenses in anguish as the pool of blood which his hand rests in draws itself up into Sam's veins. The puddle retracts, the liquid flowing up Sam's wrist and back between his severed skin, until the floor is clean of blood. The entire time Dean struggles to get to him, but Sam's hold remains. Finally, Sam's head drops back down. He gasps heavily, and briefly looks to Dean. Dean feels Sam try to speak, and waits for words that don't come. Sam's eyes flicker shut, his arm gives out from under him, and he collapses flat to the floor. As Sam hits, Dean is immediately released.
Dean staggers forward, stopping as he realizes he no longer senses Sam's presence. -Sammy?-
Dean kneels beside his brother. Placing a hand on his back, he slides it around Sam's side and down beneath him, onto his chest. He gently rolls him over, then pulls his kid brother into his lap. "Sammy?" Dean waits, Sam's lies motionless. Dean presses his fingers to Sam's neck, feeling for a pulse. He feels nothing. He leans forward and holds his cheek near Sam's mouth. Again, he feels nothing. Dean clinches his eyes shut as the anger slowly fills him. His lips tighten and a slight snarl peaks his upper lip. When he opens his eyes, they fall directly on the amulet which is lying a top Sam's chest. Dean's jaw tremors. He sits back up.
"You're fault. You're fucking fault!" Dean reaches out for the amulet with every intension of ripping it from his brother's neck. As his hand darts forward, Sam suddenly jerks upright, clinching his chest, and drawing in a long painful sounding breath. Dean moves away slightly, disoriented by his brother's sudden and unexpected recovery.
"Sammy?" He reaches out again, this time grabbing Sam by the shoulders and turning him towards him. "Hey… hey! You okay?" Sam continues to gasp for air, slowly bringing his breath into a controlled rhythm.
"I… I…" Sam starts between breaths.
"Slow down…" Dean insists, placing a hand on Sam's shoulder, "catch your breath."
"I… don't know what happened, Dean. I just put my hand in my blood. I didn't say anything, but … " Sam pauses, as Dean gazes at him, noticeably concerned. "It was like… it was calling me, the blood… and then I thought 'Give me my blood', and a it came to me. I mean… is it just me, or was that incredibly gross?" Sam asks finally looking at his brother. Dean smiles slightly before responding.
"Ah.. no, it wasn't just you."
"Okay… good… so long as we agree." Sam collapses back down into his brother's lap sliding his hands over his face. He breaths heavily, then lifts his hands away and looks at them. "The cut's gone." The cut on Sam's right wrist and hand are gone, completely healed. Dean takes Sam's hand and looks at it.
"Sit up," Dean instructs. Sam pushes himself up. "Hey, slowly." Dean cautions. "Lean forward, let me see the back of your neck." Sam does as he's told.
"Where he bit me, is it still there?" Sam asks, fully aware of what his brother is checking.
"No. It's clean, just like your hand." Dean pushes Sam's shirt back into place and looks him over examining his condition.
"So um… ya think… am I free?" Sam asks.
"I'm not sure. But he said the amulet would stay on you until the bond was broken," Dean rolls his eyes slightly, "or all eternity." Sam glances at the amulet, then at Dean. They exchange a look, then Dean reaches out and grabs it. He gives it a harsh yank. Sam winces a little. It doesn't break free.
A look of open concern flushes over Dean. His hand drops away from the amulet as his eyes fix on Sam. Sam raises an eyebrow, staring at Dean as if something's wrong with him. He reaches behind his neck, unclasps the necklace, and tosses it to Dean.
"Right," says Dean, "didn't think of that." Sam puts a hand on Dean's shoulder and smiles. Then he braces himself a bit on Dean and stands. "Hey, you okay to do that?" Dean asks.
"What? Stand?" Sam sees Dean's continued concern, and lets up a little. "Yeah, I'm okay… really." He holds out a hand to his brother. Dean grabs it and pulls himself up next to Sam.
"Hey, um… grab my bag, will ya?" Dean asks.
"Sure," Sam agrees, a bit surprised by the request, and walks over to get the bag on the floor by the table.
Dean stares at the man's body, hate filling him. This guy had brought him to levels of helplessness he'd never experienced. Dean steps over to the remains and notices that the amulet is no longer on him. It's lying on the floor, just under his neck, unclasped. Dean stoops down and picks it up. Now holding both amulets, he stares at them briefly, then looks up at the man's shriveled body. Dean stands, slides the amulets into his pocket, and eyes the floor. When he sees what he's looking for, he steps over the man's body and picks it up. Dean rolls the wooden stake in his hand, its tip still covered in blood. He lifts it above his head, and slams it down fiercely, straight into the man's heart. He steps away, and over to Sam. Sam raises an eyebrow.
"Just making sure," Dean explains.
"Uh, huh," Sam says, fully aware Dean's actions were purely about vengeance. "So uh…" Sam's words drop short as he cringes, then moans. He grabs hold of Dean's shirt, and falls slightly forward, simultaneously clutching his chest. Dean freaks, unsure of what his act of vengeance may have just caused.
"Sammy!" He cries out. Sam drops the act, stands up straight, and smiles.
"Yeah Dean?" He says with a big grin on his face. Dean punches him hard in the chest, truly mad. Sam buckles forward for real.
"Jerk! I can't believe you did that!"
"Just lightening the mood," Sam says rubbing his chest.
"It wasn't funny!"
"It was a little funny," Sam says with a laugh.
"For you maybe!"
"Oh well, yeah for me. Of course, for me." Sam laughs some more and puts a hand on Dean's shoulder. Dean shoves it away.
"Get off me." He shakes his head, a slight smile escaping his lips.
"Come on," Sam says hitting Dean's shoulder, "let's get out of here." Sam heads for the door. Dean follows, but then one minor point occurs to him.
"Um… Sammy… do you know how to get back to the car?" Dean asks remembering the ridiculous hike to get here.
"Uh… not exactly," admits Sam, "but I found my way in."
"Actually, Xtreme vampire dude found your way in."
"Oh yeah. Well… you like hikes, right?" Sam smirks and heads off.
Dean sighs, "I hate this day."
The end ; )
Please -please review, they really do make a writer's day, and this being the final chapter, I'd love to know your thoughts - especially if you enjoyed it!
I have some thoughts for a sequel, but I'm not sure yet... anybody interested?
ALSO- I just posted the first chapter to my next story:
"Energies and Ice Cream"
It's sort of a mix of snarky banter and angst. Here's a quick teaser. Hope it's enough to convince you to check it out.
Dean entered the empty convenience store. He slowly approached the counter, stopping abruptly as his eyes caught site of the floor. There was a small pool of blood, and a long smear of blood trailing away from it which seemed to lead towards the back of the store. Dean stepped closer, drawing his gun. He stooped down to inspect the floor. In addition to the trail of blood, there were several bloody handprints smashed and smeared into the dirty cream colored tiles. He was about to stand back up when his eyes landed on an object tossed on its side, next to the counter.
Dean reached out and picked up Sam's phone. It was covered in blood, and still open. Nausea tightened its way into Dean's gut.
"Shit Sammy, what the fuck did you get yourself into?" Dean flipped the phone shut and slid it into his back pocket. He stood up and slowly followed the trial of blood, making his way to the back of the store. "This better not be your blood. This better not be your damn blood." The trail curved through the isles, and finally lead to a closed door marked 'Employees Only'. Dean raised his gun and prepared himself for whatever might be inside.