Disclaimer: I own nothing (save one spoiled and pregnant Jack Russell and a ridiculous amount of shoes) and aspire to much of the same in the future. You could sue me, but really, what would be the point? All you'd get is Happy Bunny memorabilia and my favorite Michael Antonios. And I doubt they're your size. P.S.-Used without permission. But considering what I did with them, I bet you knew that.
Warning: Here lies Wincest. Nothing graphic, but enough to warn you about, and hints of some kinky stuff. If that disturbs you, well, it's a free country, and they're fictional consenting adults. Get over it. Or if not, you are hereby invited to click the little green button pointing to the left, and go read MRSA, a fabulously excellent SPN fic by Janissa11, and guaranteed 100 percent Wincest-free.
Feedback: Yes, please. Normally I would not post Wincest here, and if you want to read the rest of my stuff, you will have to go to the Sam/Dean Slash Archive (I post under the same pen name). But I got the impression (from the severe lack of reviews) that no one really liked this fic, and I am curious why. Feel free-feel encouraged, even!-to tell me what you hated, in excruciating detail. But be warned, any flames due to Wincest (since you already know from the above paragraph that it's in here) will be mocked.
Author's Note: (written upon finishing the fic) Very nervous. Have chewed fingernails down to elbows. Muse is sitting in my computer chair eating the good chocolate and laughing her ass off. Smug bitch. She gave me a title and the Eagles' Hotel California and 2nd person Dean POV and more caffeine than any living creature should ingest at one time and not a hell of a lot else. My eyes burn and sleep won't come and there is nothing but the keyboard and the screen and the soft click of my fingers dancing in tandem, the way they never could until I stopped trying to make them, creating my own piece of someone else's universe.
So I write.
Sunrise, Arizona is sometime after Chicago and just before Palo Alto, and you know it's a long blank space to have, months between the time you knew it was going to be over sooner than you thought (hoped? Because how could you hope that Dad would be missing one second longer than necessary?) and the last stop on a road that you know your brother was never meant to join you on again. You don't care about the blank space because Sammy's really going this time, he's had enough of demons and crusades, and there's only Sammy and Dad-everything else is filler, Sunrise just one more town closer to sooner or later, everybody's gonna leave me, you're all that's keeping me from breaking apart.
It's sometime before the demon is really killed at last (hopefully somewhere on the highway yet ahead, but maybe not, he has already eluded you for so long), and sometime after Sammy is stained with the guilt of not having killed your father and ended it all, and just about the time that levitation becomes as natural as breathing and a vacant expression sets up camp on Sammy's face, moving right in complete with bags yet to be unpacked under eyes so glazed they should come with rainbow sprinkles.
The visions are all the time now, like watching a split screen TV, and Sammy had you convinced that he was handling the stress and pain and the psychic x-ray doublevision okay until the Impala tried to charge the highway divider, and now it's bad enough that he only offers the token protest of 'jerk' when you tell him he's not allowed to drive.
There is a gas station with cold beer and warm peanut M&M's and fluorescent lights that could kill an epileptic, and it's sometime after midnight but years away from dawn when you pull off the highway. It's almost painful to watch the meter as your baby is sated, there was a crisis and cheap gas was scarce before the car was old enough to vote, but the $3 a gallon stuff, seems they won't be running out of that any time soon. It doesn't matter, this is all on Hector Aframian's dime and Sammy is haunted by things far more dire than oil and politics, and you're entirely too tired to care.
Another mile or day or year later sleep has you pinned with an iron spike in your forehead, demanding bitch, your voice is gravel and glass and you feel a sudden urge to check your eyelids for light leaks. There won't be anywhere to stop except there is, and the place is run-down and old, a mission in past years now reincarnated as something much less devout, and maybe you'll get one last adventure from the ruins before Stanford rips your family apart again but at this point all you want out of life is a bed.
You smell flowers from the ditch on either side of the highway, sickening-sweet like rot. The mission bells are ringing, and that amuses you as much as anything does these days. You pull in and look up at the door, heavy carved wood that was barred a second ago, but now it's open, and there's a woman standing there, long straggling blond curls and one of those ageless faces…she could be sixteen or forty. Sammy grunts and swats at you when you nudge him awake, but you say the magic word-Bed-and he is doing a zombie shuffle for the doorway.
The ageless girl calls herself Alys and leads you to the desk. You sign in with a fountain pen and ink that smells like old blood, and the clerk just smiles when you ask how much for the night. We'll settle up later.
There are electric lights but no one seems to be using them. Instead the halls are lit with red candles set in niches, hot wax beading on the adobe walls. You hear voices, whisper-hiss in the shadows. Oh, yeah, there are bones to burn in this place. Alys opens the door and there is one room. One bed. One room plus one bed plus you and Sammy and that is an equation that hasn't added up correctly since Chicago; the sum of these parts is usually quiet despair.
But Sammy collapses on the bed without even kicking out of his sneakers, and the part of you that is intrinsically selfish, the hunter part that is out to take the world for whatever the world is stupid enough to put up for grabs, whispers in your ear…It's just one night…
Yeah, one night on the Karmic MasterCard. Buy now, pay forever.
But you crawl in next to him anyway.
You wake to the vague memory of sunlight, like it is something that has forgotten this place. There are other memories, less vague, and the sweet straining ache in your thighs is mute testament to the things you did together while half-asleep, under the horrified gaze of the crucifix hanging crookedly on the dusty wall.
You rub at the greasy mark on your hip, where the cheap red wax stained your skin, and wish desperately for a shower. You want the smell of him off you. You haven't done this much since Chicago, you always feel dirty afterward; he is using you and you are using your body to tempt him into one more hunt and one more highway; you are using each other and now you feel like a whore, even though there's no cash on the nightstand.
It wasn't like that before, it was candy and music and safety and love; this is so much less, a grasping shadow of what you could have had, and that pisses you off. You put the anger on like armor, buckling it into place so it can't slide away the next time he dimples at you, but you know it will. You know you always give in to Sammy, more than you should; the memories of his whisper, pleaseDeanbabyletmein, the memory of his pleasure, Ineedyoujustyoujustlikethat, are proof enough. You always give in, and you always will, and you hate the weakness.
You wonder with that selfish part of you if you aren't almost glad he's going back.
The courtyard is lit with fairy-lights twinkling in the trees, the first proof of civilization you've seen so far. The lights are blue, casting sharp shadows, and its night again, no moon. You find Sammy checking out. The clerk is refusing his money. There'll be plenty of time to settle up later.
The back of your neck has always had a finely tuned weird-shit barometer and right now it's signaling a severe storm warning. Let's go, you tell him. Come on, college boy, we're burning daylight. Except there is no daylight.
You step outside. The Impala is gone. So is the highway. All doors lead to the courtyard, and as you and Sammy race through the halls, room to room and doorway to doorway like demented cartoon characters in a hotel comedy chase scene, but every exit only leads you back in. The mission bells are ringing, and dammit, this isn't amusing anymore. Alys approaches and you see her eyes gleam red for just a moment in the light of the candle she holds. It's time for dinner. Won't you join us?
Maybe later. She eyes you up and down like meat. But first, we insist on having you as our guests for dinner. It's almost midnight.
And you think that being touched by her would be something nightmares feared, so dinner sounds good in comparison. Until you step into the courtyard and see what's on the menu…still wiggling, no less…and your stomach shifts into reverse.
The dinner guests are flickering.
One minute you were choking up a lung and the next you are seated at the table next to Sammy, enjoying a bloody five-course meal, and thinking that it is goddamn lousy timing for another one of your mental black holes. Or maybe it isn't. Maybe you don't want to know what they did to you in that blank space, to get you to sit here and pretend to smile and drink champagne, and feel dinner squirm down your throat.
There are mirrors suspended over the table, hung by what you can't see, heavy with ornate frames in dark gold and angled to provide the best view, and you don't want to know what you'll be seeing in them, or who the after-dinner entertainment is going to be. You ask the steward for a beer and he looks at you like you're dogshit on a new sneaker. I'm afraid we don't carry that, sir.
One moment the lady sitting across from you is a vivacious flapper with shining dark hair, and you're thinking that they don't make tits like that anymore. The next she is bones and rags. The other guests, or maybe they are prisoners, are losing grip on their forms-only Alys is still animated as ever, licking blood off her wrist and inquiring about dessert.
There is dancing afterward. The others stay as late as they can, one song after another, that eerie speed-up-slow-down that spirits have matching the tempo of the music exactly, so that you start to wonder if the music is coming from the same place they are, one that doesn't quite mesh with the rest of the world.
You don't want to go back to that room with the knowing icon on the wall. You want to stay and wait for daylight-The freaks always come out at night, Sammy-for the spell to break, for the sun to rise, for both of you to get the fuck out of this place and come back with gasoline and matches. And guns. Lots of guns.
But sunrise doesn't come. Alys blows out the candles and sends you both to bed. It's always night here. Always the same night. Forever.
You stagger down the corridor to your room, drunk on wine and confusion and disgust. You wonder if maybe you have died, and this is hell.
Sammy climbs into bed with you, and it seems that the whole world is centered in the weight of his hand at the small of your back. You wonder if maybe you have died, and this is heaven.
You wake to night. The same night. Again. Forever. And you're hung over.
You're pretty sure there are no hangovers in heaven. And if this is hell, you'll be leaving right the fuck now, thanks. And if it's just one more salt and burn, well, the bitch shouldn't leave all those damn candles lying around, because you know just what to do with them.
So does Sammy. The thought stains your cheeks like greasy cheap wax. You wander out into the courtyard, half horny and half terrified. You're late for dinner, but the supernatural stir-fry they're serving isn't exactly your bag anyway; a simple man with simple tastes, you like your food to be dead before you eat it.
They started the entertainment without you, and whatever is torturing Sammy is not keen on being interrupted. Well, ain't that just too goddamn bad?
You tackle the dark shape bent over your baby brother, and it throws you into the wall by way of a courtyard tree. You feel something tearing as you pull yourself to your feet, lips of skin peeling back to drool your blood on the pretty white tablecloth as Alys helps you to your seat. Shh, she whispers, stroking your hair back from your forehead, and the touch of her hands feels greasy and black, like you are contaminated now. You'll get your turn.
And then a burning voice hisses, They'll never need you, not like you need them, and you know that this place is a million miles from Palo Alto, and you're not meant to see the sunrise again. The Demon turns from you, a mocking flash of yellow eyes. Sammy is the one he is here for, you're just the icing on the cake, or the bait in the trap, and you've been protecting him from this moment all your life, but now all you can do is sit and bleed and watch.
Sam's looking at the demon.
The demon's looking at Sam.
The walls start to tremble and one of the gilded mirrors cracks down the middle and Sam's still looking at the demon.
The terror and hatred and…evil is so thick in the air you can almost taste it and suddenly everything's dimmer except for the evil yellow of it's eyes and the demon's still looking at Sam.
Sam's knees start to shake and his eyes start to bleed but there's a cruel and stubborn twist to his mouth and he's still looking at the demon.
You hear a rumble like thunder or maybe the devil's laughter and his eyes are burning now, so searing fucking bright that it should be stripping flesh from bones and the demon's still looking at Sam, won't look away from Sam…and then you realize, it won't look away because it can't.
Sam's looking at the demon, and then, with no Colt and no Devil's Trap and no further ado, the demon just…dies.
And the world ends. Or your grip on the world ends.
You wake up bandaged. There are new scars layered on top of the old, but you're floating on a gentle cloud of codeine and Sammy tells you that you slept for two days. Damn, dude, if you wanted to rest, you could have just said something.
And it's wrong. It all feels wrong, the world's marching to an unfamiliar beat and you're a half-step out of sync with everyone else. It feels like it did before Chicago, back when you thought it was going to be you and Sammy and the highway, world without end, amen.
The mission is empty. The ghosts have been freed, or banished, maybe. You're not sure which and don't really care, except for Alys, and Sammy assures you that he dug up her bones and lit the match himself-that bitch won't be coming back.
Your baby is just where she should be, tempting chrome and lonely upholstery, and you tell her how sorry you are that the ghosts took her, and that you'll never let it happen again. And you know you're probably lying, because without Sam to watch your back, who knows what will happen? But you don't say it. School starts in two days and there is not enough time to say everything that needs to be said, and you don't do the emotional thing anyway, and Sammy isn't nearly as much of a girl at these moments as he was a year ago, and only says, Let's hit the road, old man, we're burning daylight.
So you drive.
You think it just might kill you if Sammy chooses Stanford. Or that maybe you'll just wish it had. Sammy isn't meant for this life, never was, and you know that, somewhere deep down inside you've always known, and you've ignored it for twenty-two fucking endless years but you can't ignore it now. You tell him so. Sammy, I'll take you back. I can't keep you here. Dad…and now it's dead…I'll take you back.
You know he'll say yes, to Stanford and a life of normal not-afraid-of-the-dark. That 'yes' has been sitting unspoken for a year, things will never be the way they were before-could be-I don't want them to be, between you on the bench seat and written in blue neon script so bright it burned your eyes, no, you're not crying, it's the fucking light, can't anyone see that? His rejection of everything you've ever known is blinding you. But he isn't saying yes and suddenly the neon is unplugged and the tubes are smashed and the whole world is reduced to four words. Four words, and they are candy and music and safety and love, and they piss you off too, of course. You wouldn't have it any other way. Asshat, my name's Sam.
This is not Sammy anymore, Sammy was lost to you in that place of greasy black and magnesium white when he destroyed a demon with just his thoughts, and it is appropriate that the name is shorter when the man has been stripped down too. Sammy carried a laptop with all the answers and a longing for normal and innocence and guilt for too many things that couldn't be changed and heartbreak in his eyes, Sam carries only himself, but with confidence now; and sometimes a sawed off .45 loaded with rocksalt-he is a Winchester, after all.
Sammy's nightmares came screaming to life without his consent, but Sam is all that's left and he kills nightmares. The visions belong to him now, he does not belong to them, and if his eyes are colder, his smile is just as wicked and bright as ever, and there is another monster and another highway and no talk of Stanford anymore, and what more could you ask of your brother?
Well, maybe one more thing, but not right now because you are sleeping while Lars and the boys keep time with the growl of the engine and the singing of tires on wet pavement.
Right now it's Sam's turn to drive.
This is Crack!fic written at the Chronic Insomniac's Point Of No Return. I'm not sure what else it is, exactly, but the run-on sentences alone are probably grounds to have me committed (I'd much prefer it if you didn't). True, one day when I'd had too much coffee to see me through work, after too many nights of not enough sleep, I was feeling a little crazy and stream-of-consciousnessy, and the muse sat me in front of the computer and said, 'write, btich.' I have no idea where this came from…you can ask the muse when she's slept off her chocolate hangover, because I am so totally and fully blaming her for this one, you guys. This is post-Devil's Trap, since television is a fond dream here (it was cable or a DSL line, and as you can see, I chose wisely) and I'll have to wait for the next DVD box set to write anything current. And, as mentioned above, Hotel California was shamelessly ripped off (but not the actual words, because I don't do songfic). Well, I did, once, but we don't talk about that. Anyway…
Great big hugs for Veronica (IHeartJensen) the uber beta! Lightning fast return on this, and apparently it is not so straightjacket that it made her brains leak out her ears, so I feel relatively safe in posting it.