Title: History of Violence

Author: Black Wingedbird

Muse: Amy

Betas: Amy and Carikube

Standard dis, SPOILERS for Playthings, WARNING for graphic death of an animal.

Author's Notes: Proving once again that everyday occurances can be translated into Supernatural fanfiction. Rest in Peace, little opossum.

"If I turn into something I'm not, you have to kill me. Please. You're the only one who can do it. Promise. Dean, please."

The memory of Sam's words splintered against his heart and Dean shivered. He blinked, bringing the road back into focus. Broken yellow lines slid beneath the headlight's glare. Dean tightened his grip on the steering wheel and glanced at Sam.

His little brother was slumped against the window, blanketed by shadows. His face was lax, his hands limp in his lap. He was silent. Asleep.

Dean took a deep breath and rubbed the back of his neck. The future scared him. Somehow, they'd gone from being the hunters to being the hunted. Evil lurked behind them all the time, creeping forward every so often to nip at their heels. It drove them, cast a looming shadow over them, breathed heavily upon their necks. Sometimes it felt like they were losing ground, like the things they did slay were only pimples on the ass of this yellow-eyed son of a bitch. Sometimes, hunting felt useless.

And Dean was tired.

He was tired of chasing ghosts, of being chased, of looking over his and Sam's shoulders every minute. His guard was always up, he was always on alert, always ready for a fight to the death. The tension made him ache, both body and soul. He was exhausted.

"Dean, stop!"

Dean stomped on the brakes and swerved to the left, just barely missing the open door of a red sports car. The Impala's nose dove to the ground as the tires slid over the pavement, filling the air with the putrid stink of burning rubber. "Jesus!" he yelled as the Impala rocked backward on her haunches. "What the hell?"

Sam twisted in the passenger seat, one hand on the dash to brace himself. "They hit something. I can't see anyone in the car. Come on."

Dean reached over and dropped open the glovebox, catching his hunting knife as it slid out. They approached the car slowly. Smoke curled out from under the bent hood. Shards of glass littered the gravel and pavement. Dean flexed his hand in the air, above the knife tucked under his belt. "Hello?" he called out.

Sam was right; there had been an accident. Moths fluttered about the one headlight that was left. The windshield was dented and cracked. As they drew closer, Dean could hear the car pinging softly, sending out an alert that the door was open while the keys were still in the ignition.

Then they heard the crying.

"Hello?" Sam approached the car, glass cracking and popping under his feet. "Are you hurt?"

"Over here," a woman replied, her voice coming from the shadows on the passenger side of the car. "Help me!"

Dean followed Sam through the light beams and into the weeds growing alongside the road. A woman was kneeling in the darkness, bent over a long, dark shape. "It jumped right out in front of me," she sobbed, her entire body rocking. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to…"

Sam put a hand on her shoulder, which only made her cry harder. "What happened?" he asked. "Are you okay?"

Dean approached the form, his jaw clenched with dread. The woman's hysterical rambling faded into the background as he narrowed his eyes, using the moonlight to focus on the shape's features. A long body, long, spindly legs, a long neck, a long face, tawny fur-

"…hit a deer! I think I paralyzed it. It's still alive but it can't get up!"

Dean let out a breath and looked at Sam. "She okay?"

Sam met his gaze, his hand still on the woman's shoulder. "She's not hurt. Just upset."

Dean looked back to the animal. It lay flat on its side, chest heaving as it breathed through its mouth. Bloody foam leaked from its lips and nose. Long eyelashes batted as it blinked, its eyes wide and searching, unseeing. It groaned and raised its head, looking straight through Dean, then fell flat again with a grunt.

"We need to get it to a vet," the woman blurted, reaching out a shaky hand and gently stroking the animal's shoulder. "I didn't mean to hit it…"

The scent of blood was all around them. The deer's ears flicked in response to the woman's touch but it made no move to get up. Dean looked at Sam. "You get her out of here."

Sam lowered his gaze to the deer, his eyes large and dark in the pale light. Finally he nodded and stood, tugging gently on the woman's elbow. "Come on," he said quietly. "We'll take care of the deer. You need to get checked out."

"No, I feel fine," she argued, rising to her feet slowly. "Please, I want to help. I think it's dying…"

As if on cue, the animal began thrashing, squealing every time its head crashed against the ground. Bright red foam splashed through the air, the smell of defecation grew strong. But still, its legs never moved.

The woman sobbed harder, nearly doubling over in Sam's grip. Dean cringed inwardly. "Sam, now," he ordered, slowly, reaching for the knife.

Sam managed to turn the woman around, murmuring his encouragement. They moved slowly, the woman leaning on Sam. When they were out of sight, Dean slid the knife from his belt and stared down at the animal.

It looked straight ahead, lying flat as it gasped for breath. Its nose sparkled as it flared.

Dean tightened his grip and knelt down, sinking to his knees next to the deer. He let his gaze roam over it, appreciating the chance to see the elusive creature up close. Its thick fur was coarse and caked with dirt. Its white belly looked swollen, a smooth roundness connecting the front half and back. Veins stood out on its bony, delicate legs. Tiny hooves were split on the front, giving the appearance of being two toes instead. Dean traced his way back up, over the animal's shoulder and up its neck, noticing the white, downy hair in its oversized ears.

Then he locked gazes with it.

Moonlight glinted off its protruding eyes, reflecting snowy clouds of pain and agony. Fear. Helplessness. Searching blindly for mercy.

Searching for mercy.

"If I turn into something I'm not, you have to kill me. Please. You're the only one who can do it. Promise. Dean, please."

He'd made that promise to Sam because he knew it'd never come to that. He'd said it because it was what Sam wanted to hear, because Sam was hurting and Dean would give anything to fix that. Including his life.

So if fixing the game made him a selfish bastard, then so be it. Dean had spent his entire life protecting Sam. Too much had been lost. Too many lives screwed all to hell, if not lost completely. When the time finally came, Sam would live to see a new dawn, Dean would make sure of it.

The deer groaned, a low, gurgling sound of suffering and readiness. Dean reached out, running his fingers across the animal's cheek. It closed its eyes. "It'll be okay," he whispered, then placed the blade against its throat.


They left after the paramedics arrived. The woman was fine, physically. But she never stopped crying, was crying still when they left. The paramedics never mocked her, Sam never mocked her, even Dean had been quiet.

Too quiet.

Sam looked over at Dean in the darkness and broke the heavy silence. "You okay?"

Dean stared straight ahead, his knuckles white over the steering wheel. "Yeah," he said, his voice even and dull. Tired. "Why?"

Sam shrugged, his shoulder knocking against the window. "Just thought you'd make some snarky comment about how the girl was over-reacting, something about Bambi dying." Something Dean-like.

Dean shook his head, his eyes never leaving the road, staring blankly ahead. "Not tonight."

He wouldn't ask Dean to talk about it. "Thanks," he said instead, quietly. "You did the right thing." And in front of them, the road stretched on.