Title: Turn Off Your
Series: Can I Call in Dead?
Characters: Sam, Dean, and two OD (original demons)
Disclaimer: I don't own the lovely Winchester boys.
Summary: After a vision, Sam and Dean go off for their first true hunt since Dean rejoined Sam. However, not all is what it appears to be.
Notes: This is an AU fic, in which Dean leaves for school and Sam is left with John. However, Sam has developed his "gifts" a few years earlier. Please keep in mind that this is not the normal Sam you're used to—this is a bitter Sam who is completely resigned to his fate. Sam is eighteen and Dean is twenty-two. If you want get a good mental image of how Nyx is, I kind of picture him as Michael Jackson. Now, isn't he a lot scarier? Many hugs and kisses to my wonderful beta lucywiggin. This is the last part to this little arc; however, I don't think I'm done with the series yet. Title taken from Busted's song "Falling for You".
Dean closed his eyes and counted backwards from ten. He felt a gentle probing in the back of his mind before it was gone. He frowned at the feeling; the probing wasn't harsh or cold, instead it felt like a familiar song he just couldn't remember all of the words to sing along with.
"You can open your eyes, Dean." Missouri said, a smile on her face.
Dean blinked and looked as his younger brother. Sam was still in meditation, but a happy grin adorned his brother's face. "That's all?"
"Your end is done. Sam's just closing up the holes in his walls that John's death left. He should be back with us in about ten minutes. How about you, Dean? Feel any different?" Missouri asked, handing him a glass of water.
"Not really… I felt something… familiar at the back of my mind for a moment, but then it was gone."
"Then Sam did his job right. Did you think it was going to hurt?" At Dean's slightly guilty look, Missouri continued on. "Honey, I trained Sam, and I should hope he would be able to make a mental connection with his own brother. It ain't supposed to hurt the person who willingly agrees to synch with the psychic. Now if it had hurt you, well, then you and your brother would have been in trouble."
Sam snapped out of the trance with a gasp. Missouri and Dean both looked at him worriedly.
"Sam?" Missouri asked.
"Something... Tried to connect with me when I was finishing up patching the holes that Dad left. It felt familiar, but I just can't place it."
Missouri looked worried. "Did you get all the holes patched?"
"Yeah, I did… It didn't want into my mind. It more or less just wanted my attention." Sam looked confused.
"You okay, little brother?" Dean looked worried. He didn't quite understand every detail about the situation, but he knew enough.
"Yeah, I'm fine. It's gone…" Sam's voice trailed off and his face became empty.
"Sammy?" Dean asked.
Sam's only response was a short gasp of pain before his eyes rolled back into his head and he collapsed boneless to the floor. Dean shook Sam briefly, frowning when he didn't respond, before looking at Missouri with an "I don't know what just happened but I better find out now" expression.
Missouri frowned as she looked at the unconscious hunter. "Sam had a vision, Dean. A bad one, by the looks of it."
"Thought you had sh—stuff around here to make those not bother him. Do they always make him fai—collapse?"
"Only in his bedroom do I have wards up to prevent visions from occurring. And no, they don't always make your brother collapse. In fact, he's been doing better with his visions. They normally happen at night, that's why I have the wards up. A vision during the day… It's not odd, not for your brother… but to make him collapse…. I just don't like it." Missouri looked puzzled.
When Sam woke up two hours later, Dean was seated in a chair next to him. Sam knew he shouldn't be surprised, but still… Big brother was back. "Dean?"
"Sam, what happened? Missouri told me you had a vision…"
Sam looked confused for a moment before he shook his head. "I did. I saw an old farmhouse… Looked like it was haunted by something."
"Know where it was?"
Sam hid a grin at how battle-ready his brother sounded and felt. "Yeah… Winter Crossing, Wyoming."
Dean frowned. "That's convenient."
Sam looked out the window, his eyes distant. "Too convenient…"
Dean snapped his fingers to get Sam's attention. "You feeling okay, Sammy?"
Sam grinned at Dean. "Feeling better. The holes that Dad left are gone and I feel… rested, which means that the link really did do its job. We're synched now, big brother."
"So, if I were to go downstairs, you could find the exact place I'm at?"
"It's not that exact of a science, I would know you're downstairs, and since I know Missouri's house, I could probably tell you what room, but I'd get a fix on your emotions and follow that lead. I'd be like a dog following a scent. Your emotions are sharper in my mind, making it easier for me to find you."
Dean nodded and stood up. "So everything is fine? Good, I'm going to see what's for dinner. You were out for a while, Sam."
"Hey, Dean?" At Dean's raised eyebrow, Sam smiled. "Thanks, big brother."
Dean made a face at Sam, but he walked away from Sam feeling pleasantly surprised.
The next day, Sam and Dean thanked Missouri for allowing them to stay with her. Missouri shook her head at the younger Winchester at his many words of thanks, reminding him that he and Dean were always welcome in her home. As Sam started the Impala up, Sam dropped his mental walls for just a moment and Missouri was given a rare glimpse into the soul of the young psychic. She heard his confused thoughts about this case and the quiet longing for John, but at the same time, Missouri felt the hope and content that she knew Dean had instilled in his little brother. Missouri watched as the boys drove down the street with a sigh. She was glad that the boy she loved like a son (Missouri would deny to anyone who asked that she was starting to become fond of Dean) was well on his way to repairing the holes in his soul that John's death left.
As Sam drove, Dean played the role of navigator. John Winchester had made sure that both of his sons could use a map effectively, but the job of navigator used to fall on Sam. Dean was always too busy learning whatever he could about hunting, Sam had just wanted to read, and even a map was better than nothing. When Dean left for school, the job of navigator fell solely upon Sam's shoulders. Considering the fact that Dean hadn't been on a "road trip" in four years, Sam could forgive him for telling Sam to get off at the wrong exit.
"You know where the house is, but you don't know how to get there? What happened to the lovely sense of direction that you had when Dad was in trouble?" Dean's voice was purposely light.
"I had a clear link to Dad after the vision. I told you before I'm not a bloodhound, but when Dad was in trouble, I could have found him anywhere. The visions and the empathy work in tandem. If Nyx had stuck him in the middle of the busiest part of China, I could have found him. If you were in danger in Winter Crossing, I could find you without a problem. Visions tell me where to go, not how to get there."
Dean finally decided to ask Sam the question that had been bothering him for a while. "How do you know Nyx?"
"Nyx met us when I first came into my powers. He claimed he could make me better, claims that I still have so much more I could learn, more that I can do."
"No offense, Sammy, but you're pretty damn effective the way you are."
"That's how Dad felt about the situation."
Dean stared out the window for a minute. "How did you and Dad stop him the first time?"
"It was… complicated," Sam said after a long pause, "And I'm not quite sure how to explain it to you without you getting pissed off at me or Dad."
"Dad used you as bait."
Sam winced at Dean's flat tone. "Yeah. I was in the middle of an unclosed Devil's Trap and when Nyx stepped into it, trying to get closer to an "unconscious" me, Dad closed the circle and I got out as quickly as possible. Then we just did an exorcism. We weren't sure if it was going to work or not, but when Dad said 'amen', Nyx was gone so we figured it work. Evidentially, we were wrong."
Winter Crossing looked like every town Dean had visited in his childhood. It had seven churches, four bars, a police station, a library, and about twenty people out milling about for no real reason than that there simply wasn't anything better to do with their time. Sam grinned at the four-story library and for a moment, Dean saw the man that Sam could have been: a student at Stanford, buried head deep into books on subjects that Dean could only hope to comprehend. Whereas Dean and John had a certain intelligence when it came to hands-on things (the things that Dean and John could build out of a pile of junk amazed Sam to no end), but Sam had an intelligence that came from memorizing facts and applying them in ways that made sense only in his head. Sam turned his head to Dean and raised an eyebrow and Dean shrugged in response. Sam rolled his eyes and walked away from the library.
"What's up, Sam?" Dean asked.
Sam absentmindedly rubbed at his temples as a group of little children passed, prattling rather loudly. "Damn."
Dean frowned at the kids and grabbed his little brother. "Let's get you out of here. We'll figure out a plan somewhere where little brats aren't around."
Sam closed his eyes, knowing that Dean would not let anything happen to him. "It isn't their fault… Little kids are more open with their emotions. They're loud and vibrant. Adults are more closed-off, tight-lipped."
"That's good to know in the future, Sam. If I ever need you to quit cold turkey, I'll throw you in a room with suit wearing accountants."
A sudden scream made both brothers turn around and look. On the top of the library was a young woman around Sam's age standing close to the edge. An older woman darted out from the crowd that began to form around the library. "Jenny, don't jump!"
Jenny tilted her head, made what Dean could swear was direct eye contact with Sam, before taking a step off the building.
As her head hit the pavement, Sam's eyes closed and he collapsed.
"I'm fine," Sam assured the paramedics. The one paramedic frowned at Sam and looked at Dean.
Dean stood off to the side. "I'll keep an eye on him. It anything happens, I'll take him to the ER. Sammy just can't stand the sight of blood."
The other paramedic nodded and Dean watched as his brother got out of the ambulance. The brothers watched as the ambulance drove off.
"What happened, Sam?"
Sam's face was puzzled. "I felt everything she felt… I felt her die. It's happened before, that's why I can't go to the hospital, but… She felt empty before hitting the sidewalk. It didn't feel like a human had just ended her life. I wanted to save her, but the sheer feeling of emptiness just… it overwhelmed me. I've never felt anything like that."
Dean looked as upset as Sam but for completely different reasons. "Well, Sam, while the paramedics were checking you out, I talked to the old woman who yelled out to Jenny. Turns out she was living at Redder's House. There's been some strange things happening there. Sounds like your standard poltergeist to me, but I could be wrong."
Sam only offered a rueful smile. "Let's go check it out. Oh, Dean?"
Sam offered his brother a small grin. "Catch."
Dean caught the object and looked down: keys to the Impala. "Sam?"
Sam opened the passenger side door. "The keys are yours. Go buy yourself an atrocious keychain of some naked woman."
Dean grinned at the keys and slid into the Impala. "You know what this means."
Sam's eyes widened as he realized what he had just surrendered himself to as Dean turned on the radio and found a classic rock station in three seconds flat. "Shit."
But Sam's words lacked any heat as he felt the surprised happiness he felt radiating off his brother.
Dean was sure that the Redder's House was lovely… if they had arrived twenty years sooner. The old Victorian house had large areas of ivory paint missing from it, no front door, and was missing glass in most if its windows. Dean concluded that it looked like almost of all the haunted houses from his childhood.
"A nice easy hunt to get back into the swing of things, Sam?" Dean asked his younger brother with a grin.
"I hope so," Sam said, gazing at the house like it had offended him in a past life.
"You picking something up, Miss Cleo?"
"My premonitions and then that thing with Jenny…" Sam said, trailing off.
"I only had flashes of what was going to happen. Normally, I'll see an entire scene."
Dean frowned. "Are actual scenes as painful as the flashes?"
"What do you mean?" Sam looked genuinely confused.
"Sam, you fainted like a girl after your vision. I've never seen anything knock you on your ass as fast as it did."
"It's the price of power. Dad once asked Missouri that same question. He wanted to know why my visions hurt me while everything else didn't affect me. She explained it as the price of knowing the future—I'm getting a direct vision of something no human is supposed to see. Everything has a cost and I'm not exempt from paying it." Sam looked perplexed though. "It's been a while since I passed out, though. Something about this is just off…"
Dean blinked. "Well, this entire situation just sucks."
The dead leaves hanging from the trees blew in the wind and Sam focused all of his attention on the house in front of him. Dean blinked at the serious look on his little brother's face. "Sammy?"
"Something isn't right," Sam said, starting at the house.
"Do you have any idea as to what that may be?"
Sam started to walk towards the house, still frowning. "Whatever it is, it's familiar. I know this…"
Dean frowned and followed Sam closer to the house. "Sammy, I know I'm rusty, but I don't like this. This doesn't feel right, even for a hunt." Sam was about to put one foot on the steps when Dean grabbed his arm and tugged him backwards. "No way, psychic boy. Never thought I'd say this before, but we're doing research before we even set foot on the steps."
Sam tilted his head but allowed Dean to pull him towards the Impala. "Just not the library, Dean. Drop me off a motel… I'll do research from the motel room."
Dean was sure that, after spending four years in college, he had gotten better at researching the supernatural. He was very annoyed to find that unlike colleges with their easy to use scholarly journals, finding information out about things of the supernatural nature was still as hard as he remembered it to be.
And it didn't help if the librarian looked at you like you were Satan. The librarian really didn't take too kindly to out-of-towners asking about the town's newly revealed dark secret.
Dean stood up from the computer and the librarian ran over to check on it as soon as Dean had vacated the seat. She gave him one last glare as Dean grabbed his stack of papers and quickly walked out of the library. He hoped that Sam had more luck finding information out than he had.
"Okay, so Redder's House was built in 1904. Joseph and Margaret Redder were the initial owners of the house. When Margaret died in 1921, the house was passed along to their only child, Annabeth Redder. Annabeth died in 1945—with no children or a husband—and the house sat empty until 1978 when the community tried to fix it up and make it a shelter for abused women," Dean flipped the page of the print out he was reading as Sam stared moodily out the window, "They gave up the project in 1979 due to insufficient funding. Since then, Redder's House is a popular place for teenagers to hang out and rebel against society. Some try to live there, like Jenny…"
"But this is the first time anyone has ever died because of Redder's House." Sam said, quietly filling in opening.
"Right," Dean frowned, "How did you know that? Sixth sense kicking in?"
"No, the research I did from here pretty much confirmed what you said." Sam said, staring out the window again. "I don't get this. Why did I get a premonition of a seemingly innocent house?"
Dean and Sam stood and stared at Redder's House as the sun slowly began to set.
"You sure you want to go in, Sam?"
"There isn't anyone in there, Dean. My empathy won't bug me." Sam said as he walked up the steps. Sam pushed open the door with his telekinesis and Dean walked in first. Sam frowned; he had felt something ping at his mind when he walked through the door, but whatever it was, he just couldn't quite figure out.
The house was covered in dust. Most of the furniture had been destroyed through the ages. Sam absently pushed all of the broken beer bottle debris out of the way and Dean grinned. Sam's head suddenly snapped to the staircase on the other side of the room.
A pale feminine figure appeared in front of the staircase and bowed to Sam. "Hello, precious."
Sam took three steps back and Dean put himself between the figure and his brother. Sam shook his head. "No. You're dead. When we killed Nyx, Dad and I banished your sorry ass, Irore."
Dean flexed his hand and glared and Irore. "Seems your enemies have an issue staying dead, Sammy."
Irore turned her attention to Dean. "You must be big brother. You were absent the last time we met with precious."
The use of the pronoun 'we' did not escape Sam's attention. "Nyx is here, isn't he? You two are never far from one another."
Irore gave Sam an eerie smile. "Unlike you, precious, I know when I should give up the fight. Nyx is powerful. Not as powerful as the demon who killed your mother, precious, but still very powerful. Swearing loyalty to him made sense and if you had any, you would let him train you. You could take down that demon you swore revenge on, precious! You and Nyx would be unstoppable!"
"Sammy isn't buying what you're selling. And stop calling him 'precious'. It's scary as hell." Dean grabbed his brother by the arm and started to leave. Dean was suddenly aware of the fact that Sam wasn't moving. When Dean turned to find out why, he saw that Nyx had appeared right next to his little brother. "Go away. I have no problem killing you too."
Nyx titled his head at Dean, watching as Dean once again, tugged Sam to stand behind him. "Oh, Dean, how silly you are, but I will admit the big brother bravado is a nice touch. Precious belongs to us more than he does you. We'll train him. Take him off your hands… You can go back to the normal life you had before he walked back into it. You have my word, Dean, that no demon shall ever harm you."
"Two words for you: go away." Dean said, reaching for the blessed blade he kept in his boot. He had enough of this shit.
Nyx's face was no longer jovial. It appeared downright dangerous. "If you reach for that knife, it will be the last thing you do."
Irore stood next to Nyx. "I'll take the older, Nyx. He looks to be… fun."
Nyx grinned at the shorter demon. "Have fun, Irore, just don't kill him."
Sam shook his head and pushed Dean away from him. "Don't hurt him, please."
Nyx smiled softly at Sam. "Oh, precious… If you come with us, we promise not to hurt him."
Dean grabbed Sam's arm. "If you even consider that deal, Sammy, I'll kill you myself."
"Oh, big brother has some bark… wonder if you have any bite as well." Irore grinned as she summoned a knife and threw it at Dean. Dean ducked and rolled, but unfortunately for both him and Sam, he rolled away from his little brother. Dean turned towards his brother just in time to see Nyx grab him around the throat. Irore moved to block his view. "See, big brother, precious doesn't block Nyx the way he did you in the beginning. The telekinesis doesn't even faze Nyx."
The pause Dean took to process this was all Irore needed to hit him over the head with a poker from the fire place. Sam watched as his older brother dropped to the floor. The pause Dean took to process this was all Irore needed to hit him over the head with a poker from the fire place. Sam watched as his older brother dropped to the floor. Before Sam could even attempt to help Dean, Nyx thew him into the same wall. As Sam slowly slid down it, he lost his battle for consciousness.
Sam groaned as he woke up. He tried to stretch, but quickly found that his hands were cuffed together as well as his legs. He was leaning against a wall in a small dark room. Sam guessed, looking at all of the empty jars along the shelves, that this was once used as a root cellar, but like everything else in the house, it was covered with a dust that hadn't been disturbed for a half a century. Sam shivered involuntarily, uncomfortable with how empty and weird the room felt. He couldn't put a finger on why the room seemed so off. It felt like no one had stepped foot in the room for ages. Sam heard footsteps coming towards him and he hoped that it was Dean. Sam frowned suddenly, realizing two things: a) Sam couldn't feel Dean at all (which, to be honest, Sam wasn't that worried about… synched or not, Sam could only get a good feel on someone sans premonition if they were in a fifteen foot radius, without there being many other people around… besides, Dean could take care of himself) and b) whatever was coming closer to Sam had a decidedly empty feeling to it.
As Nyx entered the room, Sam cursed very colorfully in four different languages.
Nyx clapped delightedly. "Very nice, precious! One of those languages was Ancient Greek. You would have done so well in college, precious. You would have been the perfect language student."
Sam called Nyx something in Latin that just doesn't have a translation to do it justice. "Drop dead, Nyx."
"Oh, you and your dear father tried that once. Didn't work, did it?" Nyx made a great show of displaying himself to Sam.
Sam glowered at Nyx and the cuffs around his legs shot off towards Nyx. Nyx shook his head as he stopped the cuffs from hitting him in the nose. Sam broke the screws in the cuffs around his hands and he glared at Nyx as he stood up. "Rot in hell."
Nyx grinned at Sam. "How does it feel, precious, to know that you manipulated your brother into coming with you?"
Sam shook his head. "No, you're wrong. Dean came with me because he wanted to."
"Please, precious… Think about this for a moment. Why would Dean choose to go on a "road trip" with an emotionally stunted freak of a little brother? I mean, Dean, he got away from the life you hated. Admit it, precious, you were jealous of Dean. Dean got the life you wanted, the life you thought he didn't want. He got the friends, the education, everything you ever wanted but were denied. You went to get him because you were jealous that big brother could live without his little brother. You, precious, you didn't know a .45 from an AK-47 without big brother Dean around. You're worthless without him. So you took him away from the life you desired. You always knew that you, precious, were the one chink in an otherwise unbreakable suit of armor. You could probably ask him to kill himself and he would do it with a smile, all because you asked, precious." An invisible force slammed into the demon, but Nyx only grinned as he continued his assault. "Your father, may Satan bless his soul, was stuck with you and he knew it. He used you, precious, used you because you weren't Dean. Sure, you have nifty little parlor tricks, but in the end, that's all they are. Parlor tricks. Dean? He's the real hunter of the family. The dedicated one. The one your father was so proud of. You? You were the second string and he had to live with you because you were the only thing he had left. Trained you so that you wouldn't become a danger to anyone. You, precious, are worthless to everyone: the father who you would have forsaken in a heartbeat and the brother who never could forsake you."
Sam shook his head, his voice bitter. "No, you're lying. Demons always lie."
Nyx carefully titled Sam's chin up. "Oh, precious, unlike your family, I could never lie to you. I need you, precious. If you were to disappear, precious, Dean would go right back to his normal life and never think about a hunter's life again."
The empty glass jars on the shelves all shattered and Nyx smiled at Sam. "Very impressive, precious."
Sam glared at Nyx and all of the shreds of glass began to levitate around Nyx. The demon tsk'ed. "Now, precious, if you keep misbehaving, something bad may happen to your brother."
The shards dropped to the ground and Sam paled as he slid down the wall. He had forgotten about Dean. How could he have forgotten about his older brother? Sam was used to hunting solo… He'd been doing it for over a year, but to forget about Dean like that… "Leave him alone, Nyx. It's me you want."
Nyx knelt down in front of Sam. "Silly, silly precious. Everyone knows that the best way to get to a Winchester is to kill another one. Now, I killed you father and I really don't want to kill your brother, but precious… It's time to face the facts. You aren't human. You never were. How could such a creature be human? You were marked from the moment you were conceived. Sure, John and Mary Winchester were you parents, but only in your conception. The blood that runs through those veins? You and I both know, precious, that you aren't human. After all, how do you think demons are created? Sure, a few sell their souls to Satan for power, but others… They find children with power; children like you and make sure that nothing about your life will be normal. So that they can give you the life that will force you to sell your soul and your power to something to save your sorry ass. At the tender age of six months, you were baptized in your mother's blood, cementing your future and erasing any hopes you had of enjoying a normal life. Now, precious, you have a decision… Try to continue living this lie you call a life, always wondering if what I told you is truth, always looking over your shoulder, making sure that you haven't become the prey. Or, precious, choose me. Choose a life of freedom, of power. I'll train you. You'll be unstoppable. What say you?"
"What about my brother?" Sam asked, staring at a spot in the wall above Nyx's head.
"You don't have a brother, precious."
"What about Dean?" At Nyx's look, Sam elaborated. "If I come with you, let you train me… Do you promise that nothing will hurt Dean?"
"Precious, I swear that no harm will come to Dean Winchester. In fact, precious, he'll have no recollection of you ever coming and getting him from college. It'll just be another day for you brother."
Sam hung his head.
Irore grinned as Dean woke up. Her grin did not falter as Dean realized he was chained to the wall and began to fight against the restraints. She politely coughed to get his attention. "Hello, big brother."
"Where's Sammy?" Dean asked, glaring at the demon.
"What? You don't want to talk about something else? Worrying about precious will cause you to get grey hair earlier. You know, big brother, you could let precious be… Let us have him and you can go back to Virginia Tech and enjoy a peaceful life."
Dean shook his head. "I left Sammy once. I'm not doing it again."
"Precious seemed to have done well without you, though. Got along with your father well enough. Precious even developed some gifts for hunting." Irore grinned as she walked towards Dean. "You know, big brother, I wonder why Sam never tried to contact you while you were in school. I bet you tried to get in contact with him many times and yet, nothing ever became of it. How many times did you call or send a letter? Hmm? After all, you Winchesters still have a post office box in Lawrence and I know your father was big on checking in there every four months or so…"
Dean glared at Irore as he continued to struggle with the handcuffs. "Shut up, bitch."
"You know, Nyx is talking to precious right now… By the time he's done with precious, you won't have a baby brother anymore. He'll have joined us. Nyx is filling precious' head with all kinds of lies… You may as well walk away, big brother, because when Nyx is done, you'll be an only child with no ties left to the hunter's life."
Dean's eyes were cold. "Go to hell, bitch."
Irore titled her head. "I've been there, big brother. It's a very interesting place. I'm sure your father is enjoying it as well."
Nyx smiled. He could all but smell how close he was to break precious. "Dear precious, what can I do to help you?"
Sam looked up at Nyx and smiled softly. He stood and looked Nyx straight in the eyes. "You truly want to help me?"
"Of course, precious." Nyx could feel how close Sam was to joining him.
"Then leave me and my brother alone!" Sam threw everything he had into one large telekinetic push. Nyx stumbled back from the sheer onslaught of power from the young hunter. He knew that Sam was powerful, but the raw power the boy hid inside was astonishing to the demon.
Nyx glared at the young hunter. "You will regret that, precious. Your brother will suffer because of your foolishness."
"If Dean dies, Nyx, you won't have to worry about me joining or not. I don't care if I have to drag you down myself. You take Dean from me and you will die." The fact that Sam leaned against the wall, heaving great gulps of air into his lungs as he tried to fight off a huge-ass migraine only took a little from the threat he issued Nyx. Sam's eyes flashed, even as his legs gave out. "And another thing, what the hell? Did you think lying to me would make me join you? If I wasn't John Winchester's son, I would have been dead the moment I got my abilities—Dad would not have let me live a lie like that. I know that people can be gifted without being evil. I even know a few people like that. I know I'm my father's son. I am not the spawn of whatever you were trying to pass me off as."
Irore smiled as she tasted the residue in the air from a large psychic discharge. "Hmm, seems precious is more powerful than Nyx thought…"
Dean looked at her. "What do you mean?"
"Relax, big brother. Precious is still alive. Looks like he's more powerful than Nyx and I both thought…" Irore looked thoughtful, still attempting to figure out how strong Sam's psychic discharge was. "I'm not sure if I want to mess with this. I signed up to help Nyx, not to get my ass sent back again."
Dean stared at Irore. "What?"
Irore shrugged. "I'm a demon. I serve myself. I got sent to hell because of Nyx once and I don't want to risk getting sent back again."
Dean couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Loyalty isn't part of your personality description, is it?"
"Only to myself, big brother." Irore said. She briefly looked around before shrugging. "Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. Nyx's plan isn't going to work the way he thinks it is."
Dean only stared as she disappeared from sight.
"You know another thing that pisses me off, Nyx?" Sam seemed to be gaining more strength vocally even as his knees gave out and he collapsed to the floor. "It really, really pisses me off when people play with my head without asking. And it really pisses me off when you kill an innocent person just to try and get my attention."
Nyx was staring at Sam and a slow smile appeared. "Such power you possess, precious. No wonder He marked you when you were so young. It will be so wonderful when I bind your gifts to me."
The color drained out of Sam's face. "What do you mean? You can't do that!"
"Oh, precious, I can." A bowl of something appeared in one of Nyx's hands and a dagger appeared in the other. "You see, this is a blood ritual. I need your blood, the blood of your father, and my blood to complete it. Now, precious, I know you're a curious boy and would love to know more about what is in your past and destined for your future, but I don't trust Irore any more than I would trust any other demon. So…"
Sam paused, content for a moment to know that Nyx had just slipped and called John his father. Sam's bravado earlier had just been that—a false front that Sam created on a prayer and a hope. Sam glared at Nyx. "Leave me alone."
"But, precious, you're so weak. So ready to have your gifts be controlled by me. Cheer up, precious; your gifts will still be yours. You just won't be able to use any of them without me knowing or allowing you to do it. Especially that lovely telekinesis of yours. That's a rare and powerful gift you have, precious. I can't wait to use its full power to my advantage." Sam tried to stand up, but Nyx moved faster. Sam found himself pinned to the wall with Nyx have a vice-like gripe around his wrist. "Now, precious, I only need a few drops of blood for this to work…"
"You only need a few drops of blood from me but you kill my father? What the hell?!"
Nyx smiled benevolently. "Oh, well, I knew he wouldn't be around much longer, even if I didn't kill him, so I just wanted to make sure that I had enough to make the ritual work. Besides, you're the important one, not him."
Sam managed to stay quiet when Nyx yanked his arm further than it actually extended. He stayed silent when a bowl was positioned under his right wrist, too exhausted from the telekinetic blast to do anything else but watch. When Nyx slit his wrist, Sam didn't even blink. When Nyx slit his own right arm, Sam just leaned helplessly against the wall and still did not say a word. When Nyx added John's blood to the mixture, well, if Sam's glare had any power, Nyx's head would have been orbiting Pluto and the rest of his body scatted between Earth and Pluto. However, when Nyx activated the spell and began to brutally enter Sam's mind, Sam didn't feel at all bitter or less manly for the scream that he let out.
Dean's heart froze when he heard Sam's scream. He struggled against the chains holding him to wall. Irore could have left one parting gift and loosened the cuffs for him. It was the least she owed him after knocking him out with a fire poker. Dean steadily tugged at the cuffs and frowned when the entire house went silent. "What the hell?!"
Dean took at deep breath just as the shit hit the fan. He looked around worriedly as everything began to shake. Dean felt the cuff around his wrist shatter. All of a sudden, everything was calm. Dean didn't even pause to consider what had just happened. He took off running towards where Sam's scream had originated. If Sam had died, Dean was going to resurrect his body just so he could kill him himself for being so stupid as to let Nyx take his life.
And if Nyx killed Sam, well, Dean was going to enjoy taking the demon apart piece by piece.
When Dean found Sam, his little brother was staring absented-mindedly at a splatter of black blood on the wall. "Looks a bit like a butterfly, doesn't it, Dean?"
Dean walked towards his bother and kneeled by his little brother. Dean was a little alarmed at the spaced-out on his brother's face and when someone's face was that pale, it was never a good sign. "Little brother? What happened here?"
"Nyx tried to tie my gift to him. Looks like I was a bit more powerful then he thought I was… am..." Sam paused in his answer and held up his wrist. "Look, Dean, I'm bleeding. Blood is such an interesting color…"
Dean didn't even hesitate as he ripped a relatively clean part of his shirt and started to bind Sam's wrist. "Sammy, I need you to talk to me here. What happened?"
"You just asked me that," Sam insisted as he watched Dean bind his wound, "Nyx tried to do a blood ritual. He wanted my gifts. He…"
Dean wasn't sure it was possible for Sam to turn even paler, but Sam liked going that extra mile and always doing the exact opposite of what most people expected. Who would have thought that Sam would manage to live without his big brother without killing their father? "Sammy?"
Sam swallowed and leaned completely against the wall, staring to put the pieces together as he came down from the high that came with using such a large amount of psychic power in a short time period. "Nyx tried to enter my mind by force. Evidentially, there's more power behind my gifts than Missouri and I ever thought. As soon as Nyx got past my walls, some part of my mind recognized him as a threat and forcibly threw him out. It was a defense mechanism, I think. I don't think I could ever access that much power again unless something similar happened again... at least I hope I can't." Sam seemed to completely focus on Nyx's blood stains on the wall. "Dean…. I blacked out for a moment and Nyx was splattered on the wall… "
"Woah, little brother. This is not your fault. Nyx deserved to die—just think of the way he killed Dad. Nyx deserved a worse way to die and you just did the world a huge favor for getting rid of him." Sam nodded and Dean spared his brother a small grin before he continued. "Now, little brother, how much of yourself went in to this little defense mechanism of yours?" When Sam turned away, Dean got his answer: too much. "All right, let's get you out of here. Then I say we burn this house down."
Dean watched as Sam struck a match by his hands, wondering just how long it had been since Sam used his hands to burn something down. As if sensing his brother's thoughts, Sam turned to Dean. "You know, it's been longer than I care to admit that I've used my hands to strike a match. I'd use my telekinesis, but I think I'm completely tapped out."
The two brothers watched as Sam dropped the match in the middle of the living room where Nyx and Irore surprised them before the two of them headed outside for a cathartic viewing of the burning of the Redder House.
Sam was leaning against his big brother as the two of them watched the Redder House burn to the ground. Dean frowned at how pale his little brother was in the firelight. He was sure that he stopped the bleeding on Sam's wrist. "Sam? You okay?"
"If you just called me 'Sam', I must be dying." Sam said.
Dean jostled his brother. "Cute, Sammy…"
"What, Dean? What do you want to ask me?" When Dean looked innocent, Sam frowned. "You feel nervous, Dean. Tense around me. There's something you want to know, so ask me before you make my headache worse."
"Something Irore told me is bothering me… Why didn't you try to contact me during those four years?"
Sam sighed softly. "Do we have to do this right now?"
"No, Sammy, we don't." Dean sighed, before he frowned as Sam made a move to sit up. "Sammy!"
"I'm fine, Dean. Why didn't I get in contact with you? I never got your address to visit you. When I picked you up when Dad… left… I had found your address in his journal. It was scribbled quickly on a back of one of the original journal entries and I had no clue what it was. It was only after I used MapQuest and saw how close it was to Virginia Tech that I realized it was your address." Sam caught the look Dean was giving him out of the corner of his eye. "What? I stayed far away from the original entries in the journal… When I used it, it was only to figure out what we were hunting at the time. After you left, Dad and I had a crash course in respect for each other. I left the personal part of his journal alone and Dad eventually gave me the Impala and let me be by myself for a while."
"Why would Dad try so hard to keep us apart?"
Sam smiled. "He was so proud of you, Dean. So proud that you got out of the hole he created. That you loved me enough to live four years by yourself just so that you could pull me out of the mess too. Dad loved the scholarships you earned on your own; that you could and would stand up for what you wanted and not let everyone walk all over you. Any time anyone asked what happened to you, you should have seen the smile on his face. He would tell them tales about you that would last for hours. I think that keeping me from learning that you were trying to contact me was his way of protecting you. He was letting you live the life you wanted, without ties to hunting. Dean, you can't deny the fact that if you and I had been in regular contact, the first time a call was an hour late or a letter a day late that you would have left school, trying to find us and make sure that everyone was okay. This was Dad's way of making sure that you were okay."
Dean didn't say anything after that and if Sam ignored the moisture in his brother's eyes, well, it was because they were good brothers to each other. After a few minutes, Sam quietly spoke. "What happened to Irore? Nyx said she would show up if something happened to him."
"Evidentially, she was afraid of you." At Sam's skeptical look, Dean elaborated. "She felt your first telekinetic… blast and decided she didn't want to tango with you and she disappeared."
Sam blinked and stared. He was used to weird supernatural happening around him, but a demon running just leaving because she was too lazy to deal with him was a new one. Sam caught Dean looking at him again. "What, Dean?"
"You're not going to go all emo on my ass right now, are you? 'Cause, man, I know Redder House is in the middle of nowhere, but I would like to get out of here soon before someone realizes a house is on fire. Besides, I don't have any marshmallows to roast." Dean stood up and Sam was proud that he didn't fall over without Dean supporting him.
Sam shrugged and held his arm out to Dean and grinned softly when Dean immediately grasped it and pulled Sam to his feet. Dean didn't let go until Sam nodded that his brief dizzy spell has faded. "Okay, psychic wonder, let's get you into the Impala. Of course, you know this means I'm driving."
Sam grinned good-naturedly. "Sure you can drive, but only if you get me the aspirin out of the trunk and stop feeling so happy about a chance to drive the Impala. She's only a car."
Dean paused from reaching into the trunk. "You called her a 'she'! Sammy, I'm so proud."
As Sam sat down in the passenger seat, he tried to ignore the headache that was demanding some attention and Dean's glee over not only getting to drive the Impala, but also to hear Sam call her a girl. Dean sat down in the driver's seat and handed Sam the requested medicine and a bottle of water before he started to drive away from Redder's House. "Seriously, Sammy, how are you?"
"All things considered? I'm good. I have a headache and I'm tired, but that's nothing a good, long sleep won't cure."
"And your… reserves?"
Sam had to give Dean credit for not cringing too horribly after saying that word. "After a good night's rest, or should I say a good day's rest, I should be able to function okay. I'll need to stay away from crowds for a while, though. Probably need to stay away from cities and the like for a week or so."
Dean nodded, taking all this into consideration. "All right then, little brother. Where to next?"
Sam shrugged as he closed his eyes and rested his head on the glass, for the first time in a while, feeling safe and something close to content. "Wherever you want to go, big brother."