Title: Sweet Devil's Got My Soul
Rating: R for language and sexuality
Category: AU fic
Disclaimer: The following characters and situations are used without permission of the creators, owners, and further affiliates of the Warner Bros television show, Supernatural, to whom they rightly belong. I claim only what is mine, and I make no money off what is theirs. The title is taken from lyrics in Melissa Etheridge's song, "Bring Me Some Water."
He knew that the girl standing in front of him wasn't Jess from the moment he saw her. As she came closer to him in the alley behind the motel, he tried to call out for Dean, but the words could not come to his lips. Even though he could no longer feel his feet moving beneath him, he somehow found himself backed against a wall. His hands groped blindly at bricks and air.
Her hair was long and blonde and fell down her back freely. The clothes she wore looked like the ones Jess had owned before the fire had destroyed everything. Even the way she cocked her head at his silent cries for help had been taken from Jess.
A voice in the back of his mind whispered, You know it's not her. Get away while you still can.
Then she reached forward and touched his arm. Despite the warm summer air, her fingers were cold against his exposed skin. He could feel her sifting through his mind and searching for the truth about a woman he still loved. Uncontrollably, he gave a choked gasp of "No," when he realized what she was doing to him.
"Hello, Sam," she said. In that moment, it was as if she had never left him.
And with that, the whispering voice of warning disappeared beneath a blanket of another one that said, You have her back. Isn't this what you've always wanted? Isn't it?
- - - - -
A day later, Dean announced over a breakfast of greasy bacon and too yellow eggs that there was a succubus in town. "Succubus," he muttered into his coffee. "Dammit. Fuckin' succubus, man." When Sam didn't respond, Dean set the white mug down and looked across the speckled tabletop.
"What the hell is wrong with you?"
Sam, who for the first time that either of them could remember, had risen after his older brother that morning, slowly lifted his eyes to meet Dean's gaze. Even with the extra sleep, Sam's face was worn, ruddy and pale. When he answered Dean's pointed question with a grunt of "Nothin'" even his words seemed fatigued.
"You look like shit, you know."
"It's just the nightmares," Sam mumbled to his breakfast. He stabbed the sausage patty, lifted the piece of meat and then returned it to his plate without eating it. "I haven't been sleeping a lot."
"Oh?" Dean mused in a way that would have been casual if not for his knotted brows of doubt.
"I'm tired of dealing with them…" Sam sighed heavily and bit down on the corner of his peeling lips. "It…it's just easier not to sleep."
"Well, knock it off, will ya? Get some damn sleep before something happens."
Sam's nod was faint, and he looked away from his full plate to the world outside their restaurant booth window. He ran his hand over the back of his neck and scrunched his black-rimmed eyes in a silent attempt to stay awake.
Watching Sam and chewing on the remainder of his breakfast bacon, Dean realized that the gnawing worry inside him needed to be acknowledged. After all, Sam had never been that much of a liar. At least not to Dean.
- - - - -
"Dean knows you're here," Sam said to Jess later that night. He leaned against the motel door with his arms crossed. "He knows what you are."
"And what's that?"
Sam looked away from her to the ragged carpeting below his feet. She was standing by the window on the other side of the room, framed by the pale fluorescent illumination of the motel parking lot's lamp.
"Your one true love?" Jess mocked. Her lips turned upward at the corners for the barest flicker of a smile. Even though he heard the bitterness in her voice, he still could not turn away and leave her.
"If Dean finds you…" Sam began futilely. His muscles ached with the lack of sleep and exhaustion, and he wondered how much longer he would be able to stand upright if he continued on this path.
"He'll what? Destroy me? I'm his little brother's girlfriend. You wouldn't let him."
Sam walked across the small room and stood in front of her. She gazed up at him through the eyes of a woman he had once planned to marry, and as always, he felt a piece of his heart break even further when she looked at him.
Lifting her hand, she ran her knuckles over the stubble on his face, and he closed his eyes under her cold touch. "C'mon, Sam, you know who I am. Remember that time," she said, slipping her fingers down to run along his shirt collar, "when we went to that beach party, and we slipped away to go swimming together away from everybody else? Remember the waves, and how you soaked your jeans because you refused to take them off? And we kissed under the moonlight? You told me you loved me, Sam. I loved you too. I still love you. I'll always love you." With one hand sliding up his shirt, her other hand began to work at his belt buckle. The clink of the metal tongue seemed loud in the silence.
"I know what you are," Sam finally whispered raggedly.
He was already kissing her in breathy gasps and pulling at their body-heated clothing by the time he replied, "And I don't care."
- - - - -
The days passed, and Dean, having realized what was occurring, tried to follow his younger brother. However, eluding the one person who was trained the same as Dean proved difficult. There were few doubts in his mind that the succubus had found Sam and was slowly draining his energy. Yet, whenever Dean attempted to track Sam to the succubus, Sam would turn around and ask Dean to leave him alone.
"Why's that?" Dean called from the darkness. He was standing in a parking lot, unable to see Sam on the other side, yet knowing his younger brother was listening anyway.
"I need to clear my head."
"Leave her, Sam. You know what she is. Leave her while you can."
"You think," Sam replied, and there was a pinched choke, like the strangled sound of tears, "you think you understand. But you don't…You can't."
- - - - -
"Take me away from here, Sam."
"I don't know. I want it to be just the two of us like it was in California. We were so happy there, weren't we?"
They were lying naked in bed together, and their skin was still damp with the perspiration of sex. Jess ran her hand over his chest, outlining the formed muscles with the tip of her finger, and she pressed dry kisses to his upper arm. With every touch, she learned more about the dead woman she was supposed to be when she read Sam's mind.
Sam shifted in the bed, knowing that he needed to return back to the motel before Dean found him with Jess. However, she grabbed Sam by the forearm. "Wait," she said. "You can't leave just yet."
"But, I need—" he began.
"You need what? You need me, Sam. Don't you remember what it was like in California together? The happiest you had ever been was with me. We can have it all again, you know." Her hand steadily moved lower, tracing the grooves in his skin around his hips and following the dark line of hair below his navel. Although exhausted, he still felt himself twitch in anticipation, and he fought to keep his control.
"I—we—" he stumbled.
Slipping her hand down between his legs, she rolled over to place herself on top of him. She leaned down and her thick hair tented their faces, while she ran her fingers up the inside of his thigh where the skin was smooth. "We were happy in California, weren't we?" Her cold fingers then touched him, hot and tender, and he knew that he never should have tried to fight her.
He bucked upward with a sharp gasp. She kissed him, and he groaned into her mouth.
And when she pulled away, he answered breathlessly, "Yes. Happy."
- - - - -
When Sam didn't come back one morning, Dean tore the world apart to find him. After traveling around the area, Dean stopped at one at motel where, when he showed Sam's picture to the owner, the man nodded in recognition. "Yeah," the man answered in response to Dean's questions, "he and some blonde chick checked in a bit ago. He looks mighty sick, though. You here to take him to a doctor?"
"Something like that," Dean muttered in silent fury and fingered the gun concealed in his coat pocket. Before the motel owner could continue in his tired rambling, Dean disappeared out the office door and headed for Sam's room.
As Dean burst into the room and ripped the door off its hinges, the first person he saw was Jessica. She was sitting on the large bed next to Sam's reclined body and idly running her fingers through his shaggy hair. Her head snapped upward when Dean entered, and she bolted into the bathroom soundlessly.
Still shocked by Jessica's face on the supposedly demonic figure and distracted by Sam's weak form, Dean paused from shooting the monster long enough for her to get away. After he pulled himself from his bewilderment and surprise a second later, he rushed to Sam's side and shook his younger brother by the shoulders. Sam's head lobbed back and forth as Dean cried, "Sam? Dammit, Sam!"
Sam's eyes slowly opened, and he stared up at Dean through a mental fog.
"Say something!" Dean shouted.
"Dean? I? I'm…I'm so sorry."
"Look, Sam, shit happens. All right? We've got to get you to a hospital."
"It was Jess, Dean, it was Jess," Sam whispered, shutting his eyes again.
"Sam, whatever, but don't—no! Stay awake for me, Sammy, stay awake!"
Yet, Sam's eyes closed slowly, and a slurred hiss of air escaped from between his lips. Beneath Dean's fingers, Sam's body went heavy with unconsciousness.
Unable to wake Sam, Dean darted to the bathroom to take his revenge on the creature that had done this to his brother. When he entered the small, blue room, he saw that the window above the toilet was open, and Dean swore and punched his fist through the cracked drywall. The window's curtain snapped in the cold breeze.
- - - - -
At the hospital, the doctors told Dean that Sam was in a coma, and Dean demanded a cure. However, the physicians could only shrug helplessly and blame brain trauma, which resulted from lack of the body's required nutrients and sleep. Sam's body had gone into shock. The doctors' pointed questions about how Sam got to such a weakened state caused Dean to struggle for a viable story. He eventually settled on an elaborate tale of Sam being lost in the woods for days. If the physicians doubted him, they never showed it.
Using fake insurance forms and credit cards, Dean put Sam in a room by himself with his own private nurses. During the day, Dean visited his brother, and he hunted for the succubus at night. Whenever he went to the hospital, he could never bring himself to sit in the plush chair positioned next to Sam's bed. Instead, Dean sat on the windowsill across the room and looked down at the parking lot as he talked to his brother.
Sam, once a figure of effervescent energy, had been reduced to an array of tubes and machines now. Even though the screen that monitored his brain activity only showed faint blips, Dean was positive that Sam would pull through this as he had overcome everything else in his life. When the doctors suggested there was a possibility that Sam could be reduced to a vegetative condition for the rest of his life, Dean shook his head furiously and told them that Sam would make a full recovery. And when the doctors spoke of death, Dean stood up and left the room.
One day, after reading an article from an out of town newspaper that alluded to the succubus, Dean paused mid-sentence. He crossed the room and took Sam's hand in his own. There was a spark of jagged, green lines on the monitor above Sam's head, and Dean hissed a curse through his teeth. It wasn't over yet.
- - - - -
When Dean met Jess again, it was two years after she had died and a year after his brother slipped away. After she foolishly let him into the apartment under his newest guise, he pointed a gun at her. "Hello, bitch," he growled. "How's life been for you? Good, I hope, 'cause it's 'bout over."
"How did you find me?" she sputtered, backing against her kitchen table. She was wearing a different face now, one of a woman who had died three weeks ago, and she was sleeping with the grieving husband. Nevertheless, Dean had no doubt that this was the monster that had destroyed his brother.
"I have my ways," Dean grinned maliciously.
"You won't kill me."
"Really? You put my brother through Hell. I don't know what the shit you are—shapeshifter, mind-reader, succubus—but you've fucked with the wrong family."
"No," she whispered. Her fingers searched frantically on the kitchen table for a weapon and knocked over a bowl of fruit. Apples and pears tumbled to the ground. "He needs me—" Before she could finish, her body leapt backwards into the stove in an explosion of gunfire. Three black holes oozed red in her chest.
"No," Dean snarled to the slumping body with the face of a dead woman. "Sam doesn't need you. After all, he would've killed you had he ever had a fighting chance."
The girl's face melted from the dead wife to Jessica's blonde hair before peeling away to reveal the true monster underneath. On the white kitchen tiles, blood pooled in a slick, growing puddle.
- - - - -
He wrapped the body in a garbage bag that he found under the sink, so he could take the corpse to another location and burn it. With a damp dishrag, he wiped the blood off the floor and walls. Disconnected from the reality of the situation, he picked up the fallen fruit and rearranged it in the wooden bowl on the table. Lifting the body, wrapped in black plastic onto his shoulder, he was surprised at how warm it felt.
Dean had just turned the doorknob to leave when he heard a baby crying.
- - - - -
The infant, only a few months old, was screaming as Dean entered the nursery with blood still on his hands. The room, although decorated in blue balloons and chubby elephants, did nothing to ease his anticipation that there was a demon's child inside the padded crib. Swallowing back his own emotional turmoil at having to take such a young life, Dean leveled his gun at the baby. He paused when the child turned its head and stopped crying long enough to look up at him.
And he saw Sam's eyes gazing back at him.
Dean's gun fell from his hand and dropped soundlessly to the carpeted floor as his legs gave out, and he collapsed to his hand and knees. The child began to wail, while Dean vomited into the corner away from the stuffed elephants. He vomited until tears came to his eyes, and he was reduced to sobbing barks of pain.
- - - - -
Dean burned the mother and kept the child. He named the boy "Nathaniel," but called him "Nate." Unable to trust anyone to care for Nate for more than a few days, they traveled from town to town together. Every time Dean looked at the baby in the car seat next to him, Dean waited to hear Sam's laugh tumble from those chubby baby lips.
The hunts still came, although not as much or as hard because there was a child to worry about now. Meanwhile in the hospital, Sam rarely stirred, but never woke or spoke. On the actual hunting nights when Dean would have to pull out his guns and knives, he would somehow manage to find a baby-sitter, who was a friend of a friend in the town, to watch his nephew. Then, the night would be over, and the evil would be destroyed, and Dean would thank the baby-sitter and take Nate with him once again. During their long trips together, Dean wondered when the demon would erupt from his sleeping brother's only son.
- - - - -
When Dean went to visit Sam, which he tried to do at least a few times a month, he always brought Nate with him. One day, after Dean had talked to Sam about the usual events, Nate looked up at Dean and smiled through chubby cheeks.
In that moment, Nate called Dean "Dad." Frantically, Dean looked from Sam's unconscious form to the boy who had wrapped himself around Dean's torso. "Da-da," Nate said again and giggled.
In the bed, Sam began to stir more than he had done since he had been in the coma, and Dean, who was still holding Nate on his side, rushed over. "Sam?" Dean said, reaching out with his free hand to grab Sam's shoulder. "Sam, I'm here, man. Wake up. C'mon, it's time." As Sam struggled to move, Dean turned his head and shouted to the hallway, "Hey! I need some help in here!"
The nurses came running, and when they saw Sam's activity, they paused, before Dean told them to remove Sam's breathing tube. He wanted to hear his younger brother speak again.
After the breathing tube was gone, the nurses waited by the monitors, and there followed a pause that felt like years before Sam awoke. His eyes moved sluggishly around the room, loosely bobbing in their sockets before at last focusing on Dean. Sam groaned in pain and attempted to pull his hand out from beneath his hospital blankets. When he finally got his hand out, he reached forward with weak fingers and grabbed Dean's coat.
"Dean?" Sam croaked.
"Yeah, Sammy," Dean replied as the nurses smiled with tears in their eyes from the other side of the bed. "I'm here."
"What the…what the hell happened?"
Before Dean could answer, Nate tugged on the back of Dean's hair again. "Da-da."
"Dean?" Sam's voice cracked on that one syllable. "You have a son?"
Nate clapped his hands together eagerly, while Sam waited in his drug-induced daze. Two sets of Sam's eyes stared at Dean while he hesitated on his answer. "Something like that…look, there's something you need to know."
- - - - -
Dean heated Nate's bottle in the microwave next to the latest vitamin-fortified concoction Sam had made for himself. Although still weak from not using his muscles, Sam was beginning to walk again and regaining control of his finite movements. However, he had not spoken about being Nate's father since Dean had told him in the hospital. Instead, Sam spent time with the child, holding him to his chest while they both slept on the couch, but never acknowledging that the boy was his son.
After laying Nate down for a nap, Dean entered the living room in the small apartment that he was renting while Sam recovered. "You want something to eat?" Dean asked, setting the empty baby bottle on the coffee table.
Sam shook his head and struggled to push himself to a sitting position on the couch. Seeing his younger brother's difficultly, Dean hurried over and grabbed Sam under the arms. "Watch it. You don't want to overdo it," Dean warned as he propped Sam upright.
"I'm not dying. You don't have to treat me like I am."
"Yeah, well, I'm not going to pay for your hospital time anymore. Maxed out all my damn credit cards. You are one expensive bastard."
Dean picked up the bottle and walked over to the sink. From his position on the couch, Sam looked out the window where children from the apartment downstairs played with a bright red ball. He brought his fist to his mouth, and his breathing made a hissed noise over his knuckles. Finally, he said, "What happened to his mother?"
Dean turned off the water he was using to wash Nate's baby bottle and glanced over at Sam. "What do you mean?" he asked.
"Jess…the…succubus," Sam replied. "Did she just…leave him behind? You never said."
Chewing on the corner of his lip, Dean paused before answering. He sighed heavily and walked over to the couch where Sam looked up at him. Finally, Dean answered, "I killed her."
"You did what?"
"I shot her. In her apartment when I found her. I didn't know about Nate."
"She was Jess and…she was his mother and—" Sam began in protest.
"She was a fucking demon. Don't you dare start defending her now," Dean snapped. "She would've kept right on killing. She had to be stopped. You know that, and I know that."
Sam swallowed back his harsh words of argument, knowing the truth that Dean spoke. However, there was still a nagging question on his mind, and he asked, "If you had to do it again…and you, you knew that she had a baby, would you have done it again?"
Dean turned his back to Sam before he answered, "Yes."
- - - - -
Sam took Nate to the library and explained dinosaur fossils at museums. Dean took Nate to the auto shop and played blasting classic rock. Sam taught Nate the alphabet through picture books and how to count to one hundred. Dean taught Nate about different animals and the colors of the world through pool balls.
One night, Nate looked up from watching Sesame Street where a furry little monster hugged his mother, and he asked about his own mom. Sam snapped his newspaper shut and left the room in an emotion that Dean couldn't distinguish between anger and sadness. Putting away the notes he was compiling about a water spirit, Dean pulled Nate onto his lap and explained in the best way he could that Nate's mother was dead.
"But you still have me and your dad," Dean said.
"But no mommy?"
Dean shook his head. "No mommy."
There was never going to be an easy answer to the question asked by the child of his brother and a demon.
After Nate was asleep, blonde hair falling in his eyes and a stuffed elephant tucked beneath his arm, Dean and Sam argued outside. Sam refused to tell Nate that his mother was a supernatural being. Dean rebutted that Nate deserved to at least know the truth.
"The truth?" Sam laughed hoarsely and kicked a rock. It clanged against metal somewhere in the shadows. "Fine," he snapped after a long pause and jabbed his finger into Dean's chest. "Then you tell my son that the only reason he's alive is because his father fucked a demon that looked like a dead woman. See how well that goes."
Dean was silent for the rest of the week.
- - - - -
Nate entered kindergarten, and he was sent home two hours after arriving because the teachers said that he was "bothering the other children" and "causing a disturbance in the classroom." At home, seated at the kitchen table, Sam asked Nate what had happened.
Moodily, Nate replied, "Nothin' much. Dad, it's nothing."
"C'mon, Natey, spill it," urged Dean, who was spending a few weeks in Sam's apartment between hunts. Once Nate had gotten old enough that he didn't need the constant care of two parents, Dean had returned to the hunts which occupied more than a night or two. Yet, whenever he found the time, he traveled to Sam's place to spend time with both his brother and nephew.
"Just what?" Sam asked, leaning forward and causing the wooden kitchen chair to creak quietly. Against the refrigerator that displayed photos of the three Winchesters and Nate's finger-paintings, Dean slouched with his arms crossed.
"Just…this," Nate replied, and he pulled at his cheeks. His skin began to tear, and before Sam or Dean could stop him, the young boy wore their deceased father's face on his six year old body.
"How—how do you know who that is?" Sam sputtered as the color drained from his face.
"I saw him," Nate's voice said from John Winchester's lips. "In your head."
Sam's mouth gaped open, and he fought to control his breathing as his dad looked across the table at him on a body that still hadn't shed its baby fat.
"Well," Dean muttered and picked the dirt underneath his fingernails with his switchblade, "this sure is interesting."
- - - - -
After sending Nate to the small living room where he watched cartoons, Sam paced the kitchen and wrung his hands together through a string of curses. Dean, glancing at the stick figures Nate had painted of his family, dug in the refrigerator and opened two beers. He passed one to his younger brother, who drank it greedily and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand after his first gulp.
"He's going to be okay, Sam," Dean said, sitting down at the table.
"He's…he…He's just like she was. What if he kills people? He's my responsibility, and God, he's just like she was—"
Sam, standing by the kitchen sink, paused long enough to look over at Dean, who had propped his feet up on a chair, and he waited for Dean to speak.
"He's not like her," Dean said. "At all. Yeah, so he's got some issues," he continued and gave a nonchalant shrug. "But it's nothing we can't handle—all right? You know why he's not like her?"
"I don't know," Sam replied, wiping his eyes with the heel of his hand. Somehow, there were tears in his eyes even though he didn't remember starting to cry. From the other room, Nate giggled at the flashing cartoon characters.
"Because you're his dad, and he's not going to be an evil bitch we have to hunt down. He's your son. We both raised him, but you're still his dad. A bit off? Yeah," Dean scoffed. "So are we, y'know? But, hell, Sam…he's not evil."
Sam gave a choked laugh, causing Dean to wonder if he was going to cry or laugh at the truth of their situation. "He's gonna be okay?" Sam asked, and Dean nodded silently from the table. "He's going to be okay," Sam repeated in reassurance to himself.
"He's going to be okay and so are we," Dean responded. "We're going to be okay with him, too."
"Yeah," replied Sam as high-pitched cartoon theme music and Nate's childish laughter trickled into the kitchen. Nate's cup stood next to the sink, and Sam ran his fingers along the plastic edge where elephants paraded on the sides. The rim of the cup was still sticky from dinner's grape juice, and Sam smiled before he could stop himself. "All right," he said, turning back to face Dean. "Let's do this."