Summary: Some actions are inevitable and Dean doesn't know what he's done until it's too late. Pre-apocalyptic.
Characters: Dean, ofc, assortment, Sam (gen)
A/N: Inspired by a dream about dead pilots and Nathan Fillion (of Firefly and Serenity fame) – changed a few details and characters, and hey presto, Dean awakes in the twilight Zone.
Disclaimer: I don't own the show or them boys. Not for profit.
Dean awoke suddenly, head snapping up from cold glass, as a rush of murmuring washed over him.
He realised the cold glass was in fact a window and that it was on the wrong side of his face to be the Impala's passenger side. He didn't entirely remember being in the Impala in the first place…
His body froze, iciness feeling its way from deep inside, heart creeping up his throat in a slow build up of dread as one eye slid sideways to take in the view at the window and get a clue to his location.
Or lack of it as it turned out.
His eyes widened and mouth parted in a shocked scramble of a frightened and silent dumbness. Instead of words, a loud gasp found its way and fluttered out of him causing the man next to him, who was half perched on a seat, to turn and look at him before pushing back up and peering over the several rows of seat in front of them.
"I'm on a plane?" he whispered to himself as he brought his hand up and proceeded to prod at his chest and arm. He shook his head, trying to clear the fog webbing its way around him, and coming up with nothing. He most definitely did not get on this plane and why could he not remember where he thought he should have been before he fell asleep because he sure as hell wasn't here.
"Urgh, yeah" the man next to him said, throwing him a look that said 'Where the hell have you been, man?'
My sentiments exactly, Dean thought.
"Why?" he asked, disorientated and yes, slightly panicked as he turned suspiciously to the man.
"You're flying somewhere?" the guy guessed with a nervous laugh and shrug of his shoulders.
I'm on a plane
I'm in the sky
Sammy's not here…
"My brother" Dean said, his voice breathless as he felt his panic rise.
Think happy thoughts… driving in the Impala, Mandy the over indulging barmaid from their stop at a rundown motel and bar only a week previously, sparring with Sam, seeing Sam, hunting with Dad…
Sky… Okay, Metallica, he thought, C'mon Dean, you know your shit. He started humming to a random song, hands clutching at the hand rests, in weak, but proven Dean Winchester attempt at keeping it together.
It worked before, goddamit… but then Sam had been sat by his side and not a man who was looking at him like he'd just escaped from a mid-air asylum.
"How the hell would I know?" the guy snapped, glancing back across the seats towards a commotion and the same murmuring that helped lull him out of his slumber, "You've been sat next to me since we took off. And, seriously man, I think we got more problems then that at the moment."
"Why? What's going on?" Dean asked as he broke off from his hum.
"I don't know" he confessed, hand holding tightly to the back of the seat directly in front of him, "Something's going on up front though."
"Like what?" Dean asked, raising his own head and peeking above the seats.
There were three air-stewards – one man and two women, hovering around the cockpit door that was parted open slightly, but not enough for him to see into. All three looked startled and upset with the smallest, eyes wide and stricken as though she had just witnessed something too terrible for words.
I've woken up on a plane that's gonna crash…
He returned to humming Metallica again, louder than previously, but it did nothing to soothe his fraying nerves and peeking panic.
Sammy, where are you?
"What am I? Psychic?" the guy shot out.
Anonymous male 0 : Sammy 1
"All I know is three went in, then came out, then went back in with another guy," the man said continuing. "I think he was a passenger from the back end of the plane. Anyway those three," he gestured to the three air-stewards, "came back out. Something's going down."
The man turned and glanced at Dean once more.
"What's your deal? You on something?"
"God, I hope so," Dean said quietly.
He watched the three air-steward's break apart. The taller female, with brunette, tight hair that was pulled back into a neat bun, slowly made her way down the isle. She kept her eyes ahead, avoiding questioning looks from passengers, and held her back and shoulders straight.
If Dean hadn't been in throes of a self-confessed panic, because by god he was up in a tin can in the freakin' sky for Christ sakes, he would definitely be trying it on with her. He wondered, briefly, if air-stewardesses went in for that whole mile high club thing. And because it was ridiculous to be thinking of that right now he found himself laughing despite of himself.
She slowed down and unexpectedly stopped right next to the seats that Dean and his anonymous companion sat on.
"What's going on?" the man asked, letting his body fall back fully into his seat.
She leant down, ignoring him, as she leaned over the seats so that her face was closer to Dean.
Well, maybe she is after all…
He jumped in surprise and pushed himself further into the corner of the seat and the wall where they met each other, his subconscious mind trying to grab hold of the remainder of the song with hungry hands, as something told him this had nothing to do with a random nookie in the bathroom.
"They need you."
"They do?" he asked in weary tone. Maybe it shouldn't have been a surprise – he had just woken up on a plane that he had no recollection of getting on in the first place.
"Why?" the man next to him jumped in. "Who is he?"
"Mr Winchester, please" she pleaded, eyes pooling with tears. "He asked for you specifically."
Shit, Dean thought, they know my name. Again, should he have been surprised? And what could he do – refuse to go? It's not like he could walk off the plane by his own free will. He stood slowly, not really knowing what he was going to step into, and effectively forced the man to stand and step out into the isle.
"Listen lady," the man said. "If you've got it into your head that this guy can save the day by, I don't know, fly the plane maybe, then think again 'cause he didn't even know he was on one in the first place," He paused and glanced back at Dean, shrugging. "No offence."
"None taken," Dean responded as he worked himself past the tight gap between the seats.
The air-stewardess took a few steps back to enable Dean and the man to exchange positions.
"It's nothing like that," she assured him and Dean was quietly impressed at her sudden re-composure.
"Hey, listen man" the man said, as Dean finally pushed past him. He leant forward slightly, hand at his arm and whispered into his ear, "Be careful. Four went in and only three came out."
Dean tensed slightly. He knew the man was right and he just wished he had some kind of weapon, missing the feeling of pressure in the small of his back. Although, he thought, opening fire on a packed plane was probably not the best idea.
"Just trying to help, man" the guy said, giving him a knowing nod.
"We'll, you're not" Dean muttered, shaking the hand off.
He followed the air-stewardess down the isle, but before they finally reached the door to the cock-pit, he reached out and lightly touched her arm.
"Tell me what the hell I'm walking into" he quietly demanded.
She turned slightly and he caught the sympathetic look in her eyes as she broke out into a sad smile.
"Just do as he says and it'll be okay."
She turned away and took a few more steps to the cabin door, reaching out with one hand, and pushed it further open.
"Go in" she instructed him.
He paused and threw her a weary look, eyes tight with suspicion, eyebrows raised.
"Please" she pleaded again.
He sighed, pushing past her, and entered into the small refines of the cockpit. He gulped as the first thing to assault his vision and senses was the sight of the blue and cloudy nothingness of the sky in front of him that left him feeling light headed and his body weightless and suspended in mid-air.
"Okay, what the hell's going on and what do you want…" his demands slowed and trailed off with his voice as he took in what else was before him at the controls of the plane, "… with me?"
Both pilots's laid unresponsive at the controls and for all their sakes he just hoped that they were merely unconscious. The thought and situation that was rapidly unravelling around him actually made him laugh in a startled and disbelieving chuckle.
"Are they…?" he couldn't bring himself to say the word and wasn't entirely too sure who he was asking, the words and his own inner thinking finding their way out loud.
"Dead? Yes" a voice answered from behind him.
He turned and found himself staring at the two other air-stewards he'd seen talking to the woman who'd approached him. The female was freely crying and clutching at the male's arm. Next to them was another man, who Dean didn't recognise, in casual clothes. It was this man who nodded and spoke.
"Don't worry. It's on auto pilot" he assured him.
"What the hell's going on?" Dean demanded prickly as anger and annoyance built up within his voice.
If there was one thing Dean hated – it was being a pawn in someone else's game.
"Looks like they were poisoned" the man provided with a gesture of his hand towards the two dead pilots.
What the hell? He though there supposed to be a fucking goddam rule about pilots not eating or drinking the same thing to prevent this type of shit from happening. If there wasn't, there should be.
"Okay," Dean said slowly, trying to stay calm and reason out the spiralling events. "The pilots are dead, the plane is on auto pilot… but what do you want with me and more importantly – how the hell did I end up here in the first place?"
Before anyone could answer, the male air-steward suddenly swayed on his feet, falling against his smaller colleague. He clutched at his chest with one hand as he gagged and choked.
"Mikey!" the girl shrieked, grabbing at him with both arms. "What's wrong?"
The first air-stewardess reappeared at the door.
"Oh my god," she gasped.
Dean rushed forward and grabbed at Mikey and helped the girl lower him to the floor. By now Mikey's face had turned a frightening shade of red and Dean reached down as he fumbled to unclasp the air-stewards tight neck line.
"He can't breathe," the girl shrieked, tears falling and dripping on to her friend's uniform.
Mikey's hand shakily rose up and grasped hold of Dean's arm, surprisingly tight, as he entwined his shirt sleeve between his fingers.
"Tea!" he gasped out.
"What?" Dean asked confused and slightly nervous at how not in control he was. This was somebody else's moves.
Or maybe, hopefully, just like that song he one heard, he was in fact dreaming he was awake.
"Had… the… tea…" Mikey managed to gasp out slowly before his body went slack and sagged in the girl's arms.
The cabin filled with a disturbingly creepy and quiet silence now that the strangled gasps had ceased. He was broken out of his own shocked silence by the abrupt cry of the girl as broken sobs suddenly erupted out of her shaking form.
He turned quickly to the air-stewardess still standing and ground out, "Get on your intercom and tell everyone to stay the fuck away from the tea."
She didn't move straight away so he continued to stare at her as her eyes darted around and then finally settled back on to him.
"Now!" he added loudly.
She nodded, eyes wide and sparkling, before turning on her heel and stumbling out of the cabin.
He turned back to the girl who still crying hard with gulps that made her own breaths too hard to catch.
"Hey," Dean said, lightly touching her arm. "What's your name?"
"Lisa," she gasped out with a shudder.
"Okay Lisa, my names Dean," he said, trying to regain her attention and calm her, even though he was on the verge of falling head first into a great big black void of panic himself. "Listen, there's a whole lotta people out there who are relying on you and your…"
"Patti," she offered with another expel of breath.
"Right, they are relying on you and Patti on keeping it together."
Patti's voice was heard drifting through the cabin in a muffled mumble of instructions. Her voice was calming amidst the stormy chaos. If it had been him, he probably would have ran down the isle, battering cups and plates from unsuspecting traveller's hands.
"It won't do any good" Dean heard from above and he turned and glanced up to look at the man who still hadn't introduced himself.
At first Dean had thought he was a doctor, who'd been called from his seat, to check on the pilots after they had fallen ill, or as it turned out, keeled over and died on the controls. But now he wasn't too sure. From his crouched position on the floor, he caught the man's eyes as they flashed from a normal chocolate brown to an unnatural shade of green and then back again, informing Dean that this man wasn't entirely human.
Dean stood and faced the man in front of him. Apart from the brief flash of the eyes there was nothing else seemingly out of place. It appeared the eyes were all he had needed to know.
"What do you mean?"
"Everyone on this plane will die," the man continued, a small smile on his lips. "Unless you comply."
"What do you want?" Dean asked unflinching. He stayed where he was, not backing up or moving away, even though both were pushed up in each other's personal space.
Patti reappeared at the cabin doorway; a small boy of five or six clutched tightly to her hand and Dean took this moment to glance away. He caught the devastated face, tears threatening to fall, before he turned back and continued with his stand-off.
Patti released the boy's hand and he ran to the man, sliding his hand up and into his own, as Dean continued to stare unblinking.
"You do what we ask," the man said smiling. "And we will reward your world with a life-time of coca cola."
What the hell? Was this thing really bargaining with soda?
"Are you serious?" he asked incredulously.
"I might be, I might not be," he laughed with a shrug and then slowly tilted his head quizzically. "Do you really want to try my patience and find out?"
"And what if I don't… comply?" Dean asked.
The man leant in closer to him with their faces only inches apart. His breath was hot against Dean's skin, his words soft and silky, as his lips brushed his ear.