Summary: Kate (the vampire from "Dead Man's Blood") convinces a powerful witch to kidnap and torment the brothers after John Winchester shoots Kate's mate with the Colt. Under the witch's spell Sam turns into an inhuman monster and Dean suffers a psychotic break. From there things only get much much worse.

Please review! Let me know if I should continue or if I should put the plot bunny out of its misery. Sleeping pills stuffed inside a carrot should do just fine.

A/N: The American Heritage Dictionary defines "double bind" as "A situation in which a person must chose between equally unsatisfactory alternatives; a punishing and inescapable dilemma."

I love the Winchester men, but it's time for some major angst up in here.

Timeline: This takes place after "Dead Man's Blood" and before "Devil's Trap."

Spoilers: Dead Man's Blood, Devil's Trap

Disclaimer: I don't own "Supernatural" or Sam, Dean, or John, so please don't sue me. Im poor.

And my sister and I once again heartily apologize for hiding in the bushes around Jensen Ackles' house with that tranquilizer gun, and, oh, the duct tape, it was just for emergencies, you understand...

The Double Bind

by Silver Ruffian

© 2006

Chapter 1 Taken

Don't turn your back

To the dogs who hound you

Don't turn your back

Don't show your profile

You'll never know

When it's your turn to go

(Don't Turn Your Back, Blue Oyster Cult)


"Oh God, they're coming for us..."


Sam can barely feel his brother's hand on his shoulder. He remembers walking into the cabin, dropping his pack onto the bed, and then somehow he's on his knees, pain flaring white hot between his eyes. Dean kneels beside him, but Sam can't really see him. Dean's a vague blur behind the white haze of pain.

"Sam, what's coming for us?"


Dean flinches as hot sulfurous breath scorches the hair on the back of his neck. The smell is so strong it threatens to take his breath away, and he breathes thru his mouth, panting in short, sharp bursts. He hears whispered voices curving in the air all around him and senses something is coming, crackling with energy, pushing darkly thru the air behind him.

It never even occurs to him to move away from Sam. Shielding his brother from this thing is an easy decision, one that he would do over and over again with absolutely no regrets, no matter what the outcome. It's way too late to shag ass, so I might as well get this party started, Dean thinks. He coughs so hard that he almost doubles over, but he shakily gets to his feet and reaches for the .45 tucked in the back of his waistband. He turns to face whatever the hell this thing is, but he never makes it.

Sam feels the headache suddenly loosen its grip and fall away. His vision clears, and he slowly pushes himself up on one arm. He hears Dean make a strangled, gasping noise. Sam looks around just in time to see his older brother sink to his knees next to the bed, a dazed look on his face.

Sam flinches as a voice inside his head whispers, the sensation like a stiletto slipped into his brain.

Don't make me hurt your brother, Sam. Stay here.

"Sa-Sam-m...guh...go..." Dean stares blindly in Sam's direction, his breath rattling in his throat. He falls forward on his hands and knees, his forehead brushing against the worn hardwood floor.

The air behind Dean shimmers purplish-black, and impossibly long, slender fingers reach down and grip him underneath his jaw, fingers curving around his throat, yanking him upright back onto his knees. Dean's entire body twitches uncontrollably as soon as he's touched. His eyes roll to white and he goes completely limp. She pulls him back to her, resting the back of his head against her thigh.

Hush, boy, Azareth whispers, bending her sleek white head to his ear. Her golden eyes take on a reddish tint. Ssshhh...

Sam backpedals towards the door. His stomach rolls greasily; it takes an effort for him not to vomit from the sulfur odor. He gets to his feet awkwardly, slamming his shoulder against the door frame in his haste and she just stands there, staring at him with those unsettling eyes, one hand holding Dean by the throat. The long purplish black lace dress she wears moves and flows like a living thing. She raises one eyebrow, quirks the corners of her mouth upwards as if to say, All right, now what? I've got your brother.

She kneels down behind Dean, She keeps her eyes on Sam, but she doesn't seem too worried about him making a move on her. Sam doesn't doubt that with those hands she could effortlessly wring Dean's neck if she wanted to. He'll move when he has to, and he can only pray to God that when he does he'll be quick enough. He'll have to be.

She steadies Dean with one hand on his shoulder, tilts his head to one side with the other hand.

With his eyes closed, his head cradled in her freakishly long hands, Dean looks like a small sleeping child held by an adult, unbelievably fragile looking. If he were conscious and armed he'd go medieval on her unnatural ass just for that. She kisses the side of his neck with an air of absolute ownership. Her lips pull and tug at his skin, up the taut line of his neck to his earlobe.

The message is clear: he's hers now. Possession is nine tenths of the law, all right, and she can and will do whatever the hell she wants with him. When she straightens up again it's a slow, supremely confident movement. Her eyes never leave Sam, and her unnaturally long fingers remain curled around Dean's throat.

Dean doesn't respond. He doesn't groan, grunt, or snap at her to get her damn hands off him, you frigging bitch freak. He's a rag doll, a marionette with the strings cut. His head lolls to one side in her grip, his arms hang limply at his sides. His eyes are closed and Sam can't even tell if he's breathing or not.

Behind Sam, outside the cabin door, it's bright sunlight and warm breezes outside. What's taking place inside the cabin might as well be on another planet, light years away.

Running would be the smart play. Turn around, get the hell out of there, as fast and as far away as possible.

And that's exactly what he can't do, not without his brother, not whileshe's got her damn handwrapped around Dean's throat.

Sam's throat is raw, his chest aches with every breath he takes. He tells himself that he couldn't run anyway, doesn't have the lungs for it, when in fact he does.

She's smiling, a smug, unpleasant expression, like she knows Sam's not going anywhere, and the bitch is right. He can't, and he won't.

Sam takes a few stumbling steps towards her. She raises her free arm, gestures at him, and right about then the headache slams into him, an ice pick between the eyes, driving him to his knees. The last thing he hears through the darkness that settles over him is the hyena-like sound of Azareth's laughter.