Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, but thrilled to get a second season! Oh, and the song lyrics belong to Simple Plan.
A/N: I always thought it strange that with everything he'd been through, Dean had never had a meltdown of sorts. So, maybe he had. This was supposed to be a oneshot, but it got too long, so it's two chapters. Dean's POV.
Warnings: A tissue warning, I guess. Some language, and a lot of Tortured!Dean. And you may resent Sam and John after reading this…
I try to make a sound, but no one hears me.
I'm slipping off the edge,
I'm hanging by a thread,
I wanna start this over again.
How could this happen to me?
I made my mistakes,
Got no where to run,
The night goes on
As I'm fading away.
I'm sick of this life,
I just wanna scream
How could this happen to me?
Simple Plan - Untitled
Chapter One – Impossibilities
You always want what you cannot have. For John Winchester, it was closure, revenge. For his youngest son Sam, it has always been another life, a normal life. For his oldest – Dean – it was a family. A real family. One that actually cared you were gone. One that actually stopped fighting long enough to notice you were gone. That you were about to die.
"Well, if you wanted me to just stay out of the way you shouldn't have brought me there in the first place!" Sam yelled at the top of his lungs. "I never wanted to go anyway!"
"I'm your father, and you'll do whatever I tell you to do! And when I say get the hell out of the way, you don't get in front of the damn poltergeist and start taunting it, you get out of the way!" John yelled back, and Dean couldn't help but wonder if their family's secret could possibly still be a secret at the volume those two were screaming at each other. This fight has been going on forever. Well, since Sam turned thirteen, at least. So that would make it a little more than a year-long fight. Seriously, Dean was getting sick of it. The fights were bad, and once they were over, it didn't usually get any better; doors slamming, long, angry silences, a lot of tension in the air, and him, getting caught in the middle. It's been getting worse and worse and Sam was only fourteen, for crying out loud. Dean hated to think how bad things would get if Sam didn't realize how important their job was, how important hunting was, and not only to their father. He wished Sam would understand, and the sooner the better, that doing this together, as a family, made them stronger, and that stupid fights like this one only got them hurt. And he had had the bruised ribs and the concussion to prove that. His head was pounding already, and he only assumed the shouting match wasn't going to make it easier on him.
Dean scrambled out of bed, fighting the sudden nausea – and unfortunately lost. His breakfast. All over the bathroom floor. He groaned, cleaning up the mess, and fighting the urge to add to it. He hated throwing up. When he was sure his stomach was once again content, he got slowly to his feet, leaning heavily on the bathroom sink. He washed his face, taking a sip from the water and spitting it out, trying to get rid of the horrible taste in his mouth. He closed his eyes, resting his head against the mirror, and listening. For a second there he didn't hear any shouting. Was now a good time to get out of his room and let them know how miserable he felt? He grimaced at the renewed shouting. Nope. Not the right moment, he thought, and threw up again.
Dean rested his head against the wall, too tired to get up, the heels of his hands pressed against his eyes. Man, this was a bad one. His head was throbbing. Any more shouting, and Dean felt his head would explode. He had to get out of there. He had to get some fresh air and some freaking quiet or he was going to bang his head against the wall just so he could pass out and have some nice, quiet, sleep.
He got gingerly to his feet, swaying lightly as he made his way back to his bed and sat heavily down on it. He stared at his duffle, opened at the feet of his bed, clean and dirty clothes protruding out of it. What was he doing? Oh, yeah, getting dressed. He slowly pulled his jeans on, and then slumped back on the bed. His throat felt raw. Man, he hated throwing up. Why was he getting dressed again? Oh, yeah, the shouting. It's been two days already, guys, could you knock it off already? Or at least take it down a notch? Putting a shirt on, not even sure if it were a clean one, he scrambled out of the room.
"Hey, dad, I'm going outside for a moment, okay?" he said, popping his head in the kitchen. His father grumbled, not even looking at him. Dean sighed and turned to the living room. "Sammy, I'm going out for some air." But Sam just turned the volume on the TV up. Dean pressed his fingers to the bridge of his nose, and got out.
In all fairness, Sam had a point to his argument this time. It was too soon for another hunt. Dean honestly didn't think he was up to it. Of course, if anyone had asked, he'd say he was, but he knew he wasn't. He just wanted to stay in bed and have someone bring him coffee and cookies and… here goes that stupid stomach again. He stopped, taking a couple of deep breathes to make sure whatever left in his stomach actually stayed there. It was just a stomach bug, he kept telling himself. A forty eight hours kind of thing, that's all. Okay, so maybe a seventy two hours thing, but still… Sam had a point. Going after a Raw this early after the poltergeist thing… On the other hand, his father had had a point too. The longer it took them to find the damn thing and kill it, the more kids got hurt.
Dean walked slowly, huddled inside himself, and pulled his jacket tighter around him to keep warm. He would have to go back soon, before the rain started. He could already hear the sound of distant thunder. Dean slumped against a bench, slouching, catching his breath. The headache was still there, but at least the nausea was gone. The fresh air seemed to be doing what it should. Dean closed his eyes for a moment and sighed. Time to get back, he thought, but didn't get up. A squeaking sound caught his attention and he opened his eyes, quickly turning to the source of the sound. Just a couple of swings swinging. Probably the wind, he told himself. It was getting colder. He got to his feet with a small grunt as the first of the tiny drops hit him on the nose. He quickly wiped it off and started back to their apartment. He never made it there. Something jumped him from behind, and he fell, hitting his head hard against the ground and blacking out.
Dean woke up with a moan, trying to bring his eyes to focus. He let his head fall back, too tired and weak to keep it up, as he tried to take in his surroundings. It seemed like a dark, damp cellar. Dean groaned, closing his eyes. His head hurt, his hurt ribs making it difficult to breathe, and he couldn't move his hands. Well, that caught his attention. Snapping his eyes open, he forced the dizziness away and took a better look around. Well, shit. No need looking for the Raw. Only, it didn't exactly look like a Raw Head. Last time he had seen one, it looked bigger, nastier. Then again, last time he had seen one, he had been fourteen, and was used as bait. Maybe I still am, he thought, trying his hardest to bring his brain to focus, surely, dad won't use Sam as bait. Dean would never let him. So that must be it, they went hunting for the Raw, and he was bait. Good. That meant dad and Sam would burst through those doors any minute and teach this bastard what it meant to mess with a Winchester. He just had to stay conscious and wait. That's it. Any moment now… Come on…
Dean gulped. Any moment now, guys… he thought, seriously, now would be as good a time as any… The Raw seemed to have noticed Dean was awake. It made a gurgling sound that sounded somewhat like laughter, and drew nearer. Dean's heart was racing, and the fact that his hands were chained to the wall above his head and felt like rubber didn't help things much. He grimaced as the Raw licked the blood from the side of his head. Ew, gross! Dean jerked his head away, but the Raw didn't seem to appreciate the gesture. It dug its claws deep in Dean's side and Dean couldn't help the cry of pain that escaped his lips. Damn, since when did Raws even had claws like that anyway? Dad, where the hell are you? Dean thought as the Raw put its clawed hand on his face and bashed his head against the wall once, twice, three times. Stars were bursting in front of his eyes. The only thought still in his head was to stay awake. Just stay awake, Dean, you can't fight this thing if you're dead, right?
Sam slammed the door as hard as he could. He knew his dad hated it when he slammed doors like that. Even better. Damn that stubborn man! Couldn't he see that Dean wasn't well yet? And couldn't he possibly come up with a better plan than using them as bait? Seriously, the guy had some really screwed up priorities! Sam glanced at Dean's bed. Good. He wasn't here. Last thing Sam needed was for his smartass, annoying brother to take their father's side. Good little soldier, only thing he'll ever question their dad about was how high he should jump. Sam snorted angrily. Seriously, Dean, time to grow a backbone, don't you think? Sam thought angrily as he kicked his shoes off and changed into a T-shirt and some sweat pants before getting in bed. Damn good thing Dean wasn't there. He really didn't feel like getting a lecture right now. He let out a little angry grunt and pulled the pillow over his head, going to sleep.
Sam woke up at the sound of a car horn. He glanced at the little clock on the small nightstand between his and Dean's beds and cursed, jumping out of bed. Great. He's late. Why the hell didn't Dean wake him up? He said he would set the alarm! Well, that's what you get when you let other people do stuff that's important to you, Sam thought, quickly getting dressed. And where the hell was his brother anyway? Sam thought. He glanced at Dean's bed. It was unmade and messy. Well, he couldn't have gotten out that long ago then, Sam thought irritably, stomping into the bathroom. No time for breakfast, thanks to his thoughtful brother. Grabbing his school bag, Sam rushed out of the house, cursing all the way to school. No way was he wasting more time waiting for Dean to take him. Just because his brother didn't think school was a big deal didn't give him the right to make that same decision for Sam. He's going to have to talk to his older brother about that. Just because Dean didn't give a damn if he flunked every subject and gave up on the idea of college when he was ten, didn't mean Sam had any wish to imitate him.
Dean was trying his best to fight his growing panic. His teeth were clattering, and it was getting so much harder just to keep his eyes open. He was freezing, and could do little more than glare at the Raw as it came ever so near, waiting. It wouldn't have to wait too long, Dean thought bitterly. The water was already up to his chest. His throat was raw from yelling all night long. His eyes were so heavy, but he couldn't pass out. He just couldn't. He had to wait just a little while longer. His dad would come. Sammy will find him. Surely, they noticed he didn't come home last night, right? He had told them both he was going out, Sam would never go to bed without knowing he was there, would he? The Raw made an eerie clicking noise, and Dean did everything he could to just hold on. Help was on its way, he was sure of that. Man, his dad would be pissed at that thing. You're going to be toast, you stupid bastard, just wait till my dad and my brother get here. You just wait…
The water was up to his neck now. That was what woke him up. His head dropped, and he got a pretty good idea what a fish felt like before he jerked up and pushed himself farther up, standing up on his frozen legs with tremendous effort. He looked around. The cellar wasn't very big, but it was big enough. Filling it up with freezing water all the way to his chest when he was on his feet took a hell of a long time. Too long. His father and brother should have been here by now. They should have been here a hell of a long time ago!
And that's when he knew. No one was coming. If he wanted out of this, he would have to do it himself. If he wanted to get out of this alive, he'd better think of a way to move his freaking hands, get out of those damn chains, and kill the bastard that kept punching holes in his side, before he lost too much blood or drowned, or both. No, if he's going to live through this, he had to do it on his own.
Sam dumped his schoolbag unceremoniously on the kitchen table, and not very gently, and flung the refrigerator door open. Great. Nothing. Not a damn thing to eat. Someone must have forgotten to do the shopping. Again. Slamming the refrigerator closed, Sam started for his room. He was even angrier than he had been that morning. Not only was he late for class, he was completely unprepared for the pop quiz they had in third period, and remembered he had a test that day only at his lunch hour. That was just perfect. First time he ever failed a test. There goes my GPA. Dean would probably just tell him not to have a hissy-fit, the jerk. Didn't even pick him up from school. Wasn't it enough that he didn't wake him up on time? No, he had to be a complete ass and make Sam walk home from school in the pouring freakin' rain. Perfect. It was just a freakin' perfect day.
"Sam?" Sam stopped at the sound of his name, but then gritted his teeth and kept walking. "You're leaving puddles all over the floor," Well, Jeez, dad, really? Haven't noticed, Sam thought bitterly as he got in the bathroom and peeled off the clothes that clung to his skin.
"How was school?" his father asked him after he'd gotten out of the shower and changed his clothes. What would you care anyway? Sam thought angrily, if it were up to you, we wouldn't even be in school! Just a waste of freaking time, isn't it? No use for math and history and science while we're hunting, right dad?
"There's nothing in the fridge." Sam snapped instead. John raised a brow and opened the refrigerator. There was the pot roast Dean made four days ago, and a bucket of chicken from KFC they bought the other night, and… he raised his brow again. The mushroom soup he had made for Dean was still there. He had told his son to finish it last night, so he would get some more strength before the hunt tonight. John reached for a beer before closing the refrigerator door.
"Where's your brother anyway?" he asked, looking at the time. It was almost seven in the evening. "He should have been back from school hours ago. I told him I wanted to get an early start on that Raw."
"You should know, he's your perfect soldier, isn't he?" Sam snapped, and it was all John could do not to slap him across the face. He was just about to shout his reply when the front door flung open and his eldest walked in, soaked through and through. John cried out for him, but Dean ignored him, walking unsteadily past his father and his brother, and into the bedroom and the adjoined bathroom. He locked the door behind him, closing the lid on the toilet and crashing down. Man, once he would be able to feel again, he was so going to be sore all over… Dean ignored the knock on the bathroom door, ignored his father's voice. It barely registered in his head anyway. There was only room in his mind for two things right now: 'Cold', and 'Ow'. Dean sat on the closed toilet seat until he was pretty sure his feet could carry his weight again, and then tried to get up. Nope. Not quite yet. He leaned his head against the wall, closing his eyes. No, can't close eyes. Can't sleep. Sleep bad. Sleep dangerous. He forced himself to open his eyes, teeth still clattering, and reached for the shower. He stumbled inside and sat on the tiled floor, again resting his head against the wall. He wondered, if he wished really hard, would the hot water start by itself, or would he really have to get up and turn it on. Well, that would just have to wait, wouldn't it? Dean stared at his shoes. Gotta take these off. Damn. His fingers felt numb as he forced his shoes off his feet and then peeled his jeans off with great effort. He cursed, pulling himself up, and turned the hot water on all the way, letting it spray over him as he gritted his teeth and did his best not to cry out as he worked to peel what was left of his shirt off him. The water washed away the blood from his head, his hands and his torso as Dean just sat there in his underwear and tried his best not to fall asleep. The banging on the door didn't even register. Nothing but those two thoughts – 'Cold', 'Ow'. Though slowly it just turned to one thought. 'Ow'.
Dean suddenly realized he didn't really like the idea of sitting around in water anymore. Kinda' had enough with that for a while. He staggered out of the shower, barely remembering to turn the now not so hot water shut, and grabbed a towel off the rack. It wasn't even his. Oh, who cares. He dried himself off, gritting his teeth at the pain, and looked at the wounds to his side. They were quite deep. Damned Raw. The bastard was just plain lucky it was dead or Dean would definitely… do something… once he could get his brain to focus on anything other than 'ow'. Oh, and the 'cold' thing was definitely making a comeback.
Dean stumbled back to the sink, opening the small cabinet above it, and took out the first aid kit. He fixed himself up as best he could, which wasn't saying much, and sat back on the closed toilet, bloodied towel discarded on the floor. There was something he needed to do. He had a plan. Been thinking about it all the way back home. Now, if he could just remember what it was…
"Come on, sport, you're wasting time. We need to get going. That Raw isn't going to kill itself, you know." Oh, yeah. That.
Dean scrambled to his feet, unlocking the bathroom door and got back into the bedroom. His mind raced, only it seemed to be stuck in neutral. Getting dressed seemed to take forever. He looked around the room. Most of his stuff was still in his duffle. Good thing he wasn't much for unpacking. He picked his walkman off the nightstand, shoving it in the duffle along with the first aid kit. Anything else could just stay. He lifted his duffle and quickly dropped it back. Taking out a couple of shirts and a pear of jeans, he tried again. Better. Still heavy, but better. Dean tried to divide the weight between both his shoulders, but the gash on his left one just hurt too much. He gave the room another look-round. Oh, the AC/DC tape, couldn't leave that. He quickly tucked it in his back pocket and got out of the room. Shouts again. Maybe it was a good thing he couldn't really focus.
His father and his brother were standing by the door, arguing. What else was new? Dean thought as he pushed through them. His father stopped him.
"I'm really disappointed in you, Dean." He said, "Those guns had better not jam. And you'd better remembered to charge up those tazers!" he growled. Dean stared blankly at him, saying nothing. "Well, go wait by the car, I'll deal with you later!" his father snapped, letting go of his arm. Dean opened the door and stepped back out into the rain. He started for his father's car, but didn't stop once he got to it. He kept going, hastening his step a little as he saw the bus pulling into the bus stop. Someone stopped it for him, and he thanked them, panting.
"Where to, kid?" the driver asked him. Dean reached in his pocket, fishing out a twenty dollar bill. That, and some change, was all he had.
"How far is that going to take me?" Dean asked.
"…Now go get your jacket and get in the car!" John finished. Sam glowered at him. "Now!" John bellowed just as Sam was about to speak. Sam narrowed his eyes angrily and shuffled back to the bedroom. He cursed as he stumbled over Dean's duffle and nearly fell. The stupid jerk! How difficult is it to just tuck the damn thing under his bed? Sam thought angrily, kicking the duffle, and then cursed again at the pain in his foot. Just perfect, Sam thought as he started out of the room, turning the light off. And then he thought of something. Dean's laundry may be ripe sometimes, but it was never that hard. Turning the light back on, Sam went back to his brother's duffle. A couple of shirts and a pear of jeans were tossed on top of it. Sam crouched, pushing the shirts away, and sucked in his breath at the sight of all the weapons and ammo and the distinct lack of Dean's clothes. But, if all the weapons are here, than what's Dean carrying? Another disturbing thought crossed Sam's mind and he rushed outside.
"Sam, you didn't take your gun." His father reminded him, but he ignored him. Sam blinked in the darkness, trying to see through the rain. His father had the keys and the Impala was locked. Dean was nowhere to be seen. "Sam, come back here and get it!" his father called out to him. No way. It couldn't be. It just… couldn't. Dean wouldn't just pack up and leave. No freaking way. He'd sooner believe the earth was a square raspberry bubble gum. Now, if it was his father that just up and left, he could see that happening, but Dean? No. Freaking. Way.
Sam slowly made it back to the house, still ignoring his father as he rushed back to their room. He crawled down under the bed, but there was only a sock there. Okay, and a book and some dirt. Wait, a book, really? Sam shook his head, he'll tease his brother about it some other time. Right now, the lack of Dean's usual mess was more alarming. Turning quickly to the closet, he opened the door with such force it nearly fell off its hinges. There were a couple of Dean's sweats, mostly his training clothes, and his school stuff. Everything else was Sam's.
"Sam, what the hell are you doing? Come on!" his father rushed him. But the words just got in one ear and out the other. Dean was gone. Dean left. The sky was purple. See, that actually made more sense. Flowers could talk. That also made more sense than his older brother walking out on him. Dean wouldn't even let him cross the street on his own until he was eleven. How the hell could he leave?
Sam fell heavily on his bed, staring blindly at Dean's shirt on the floor. He just couldn't process the thought. It couldn't be. Dean was the one that kept telling them to stop fighting, that the family is what mattered most. More than the hunt. More than anything. How could he freaking leave? "Sam! Didn't you hear me? I said get a move on, now!" Sam's eyes watered, his throat constricting. "I'm not letting you stay here, so just cut the act!" John snapped at him. "Your brother and I need you, so just…"
"He's gone." Sam said hauntingly.
"What?" Sam raised his eyes to meet his father's.
"Dean's gone." He repeated again, though he couldn't make himself say it out loud.
"Yeah, he's getting soaked out there, waiting for you to drag your ass to the car!"
"No, dad, Dean's gone." Sam said slowly. "He left." John blinked, a grin crossing his lips. Right. Dean leaving. He'd sooner believe turtles could play pro-ball or that the most important thing in the universe was, in fact, forty two. But the look on Sam's pale face made his grin fade quickly. He frowned, rushing outside, calling out to his eldest. There was no answer. He ran to the car. Nothing. Looking both ways up and down the street, still calling out to Dean. There was no one there. The street emptied quickly once the rain got heavier. John felt like someone had sucker-punched him. And then he just felt angry. Very angry.
Sam cried out to his father as he found the bloodied towel and the torn and bloody shirt on the bathroom floor. And then John forgot his anger. Now he was just apprehensive. And then worried sick.
A/N: So, what do you say? Ready for the last part? Review to let me know what you think.
A/A/N: If you can, I'd recommend listening to the Simple Plan song 'Untitled' after reading this, or at least reading the lyrics. It really captures the mood.