Title: Staring At The Sun
Type: AU – very dark fic
Rating: R. Definitely R
Pairing: Sam/Dean (Wincest? Yep. It's very very mild, but it's there. Ye have been warned.)
Characters: evilDean, Sam, John, and Mary Winchester, mention of Bobby Singer, YED, hunters from the Vatican, Tessa the Reaper
Warnings: Weirdness, cursing, descriptions of physical torture, character death(s) and oh yes, the angst.
Timeline: AU 2nd Season, all the way up to "Heart". Hollywood Babylon, Folsom Prison Blues, What Is and What Should Never Be, and All Hell Breaks Loose (Parts 1 and 2) never happened.
Spoilers: In My Time of Dying, Heart
Dedication: To shaedowcat. I'm gonna erect a cat temple in your honor, darlin'!
A/N: I wanted to post this before Supernatural's season finale. I don't think Sam is the one that's gonna turn darkside. I think it's Dean, although the results won't be as drastic as they are in this story.
Summary: Dean is becoming what he was meant to be.
It goes on for nearly a week, and he can't understand it. It's not Bobby, and it couldn't be Sam. Dean can't see either one of them doing it, he just can't, so when he walks back into Bobby's house at dusk each day he keeps his mouth shut and he doesn't say a word.
And the next day it's like Christmas morning all over again, and not in a good way, either. Kinda par for the course for the Winchesters, but hell, even Christmas on the road with Dad wasn't this bad – most of the time. Dean's come to expect waking up at dawn with a knot in his stomach, going out to the Impala and finding something new that hadn't been there the day before.
Rebuilding the car helps occupy his time, keeps his mind carefully blank. He loses himself in the process; it's about the only thing in his screwed up life that he can put his hands on and actually fix. Everything else is so fucked up to hell...Dad's death, that destiny shit with Sam...
Right now, it's like that game he hated when he was a kid: one step forward, three steps back.
The first day there are dents in the trunk.
It looked like someone had taken a crowbar to the damn thing.
The next day, dents in one of the door panels.
The day after that the windshield was smashed all to hell.
On the third morning Dean just stands there, stares blankly at the damage. He puts one gloved hand on the Impala's roof, sways on his feet as he leans over. He closes his eyes as he puts his forehead to the cool metal. His pulse throbs heavily at both temples and for a moment he wonders if he's having a stroke.
For a moment he hopes he is.
He feels trapped inside his own skin, like a bug in a bottle. It's crazy, mental fucking crazy, but that's the only way he can even begin to describe it. Feels like he's pounding his fists against thick, clear plexiglass. It flexes, but it doesn't break. He curses and he screams, and he yells until his throat aches and his chest hurts and nobody hears a thing.
Watch out for Sammy, Dean…
Sure, Dad, you know I will…you're scaring me…
Don't be scared, Dean.
Dean raises up, gives a long, slow blink. He runs his left arm over his eyes, and his skin is wet when he pulls his arm away. Huh.
He looks down and the crowbar feels good and solid in his right hand.
The next day he finds dents in the roof.
Sometimes, in the quiet of the afternoon, when Bobby's away, gone into town for one damn thing or another, and Sam's inside the house, either on his laptop, or sleeping (and the kid's sleeping way too much lately), Dean sits cross legged on one of the rusted hulks out in the auto yard and stares up into the sky, at the sun.
As a kid he liked the color yellow. Well, he had, up until the time he saw his mother bleeding on the ceiling of Sam's nursery.
Yellow is the color of his mother's hair.
Yellow is the color of the flames that licked and rolled over her body.
Yellow is the color of John Winchester's eyes in the backwoods cabin that night.
Yellow is the color of Dad's funeral pyre.
Dean hates the color yellow with a passion.
He sits there and the sunlight warms his skin. He rolls his tight, aching shoulders and he lifts his head and he stares straight into the sun, and he shouldn't be able to do that, and he never even thinks about the impossibility of the whole damned thing. The color fills him up. It holds him in place, quiets the screaming inside him.
Fingers lightly stroke the side of his face, and he relaxes even further. He knows his father's touch, recognizes John's broad fingers as they softly, gently card his short dark blonde hair. That was something the old man hadn't done since Dean was a very small kid. He'd killed his first fugly when he was nine, and after that there were a few affectionate touches, not that Dad had been all that touchy feely beforehand, anyway.
The skin around those yellow eyes crinkles slightly, and the sun's color deepens to dark gold when notDad smiles.
"My child, I have such plans for you," that deep velvet voice rumbles, and it sounds like Dad, and it doesn't, and Dean just doesn't care anymore.
He thinks about it all the time for a while. Thinks about how it would feel to slap the clip into his Colt, put the muzzle in his mouth and pull the trigger. It's not so much about dying, really. He doesn't even realize he'd be leaving Sam behind. There's a pressure building up underneath his skull that won't go away, and it nags at him. It needs to be released.
Dean cleans every weapon they have with care and patience, and he thinks about using every one of them on himself, every single time. He could have done it just as easily with his Bowie knife; slit the thin skin at the inside of the elbow, slit it deep and wide enough, with no chance of stopping the bleeding then.
Only amateurs go for the wrists. Cry for help, my ass.
His mother lies bleeding on the ceiling of Sam's nursery and her pale, waxy face is a mask of horror and sorrow.
...sorry...Dean...I'm so sorry...
But he's only four years old, so small and helpless, and he can't do anything but stand there and stare up at her. He can't stop it, and he can't take it back.
Those nights Dean ducks his head and whimpers, rough and low, in his sleep. He tosses and turns in Sam's arms and Sam tightens his arms around him, just enough to let Dean know that he's still there. Sam rubs small comforting circles between Dean's shoulder blades with one hand and whispers softly to him, "I'm here, Dean. It'll be okay. I'm right here."
Sometimes Dean settles down. Sometimes, he doesn't.
Those nights are the worst.
After Madison Sam seems different. Broken. He's quiet, too quiet, in a way he'd never been, even after Jessica, and Dad. Sam stares off into the distance like he sees something over and over again that he can never, ever forget.
Sam's stopped talking about hope.
Dean's glad about that, at least. He was tired of hearing about something he never really had anyway.
It all goes straight to hell when they get caught at that truck stop outside Las Vegas, Nevada.
As they walk out of the diner something stings the front of Dean's shoulder. He looks down and sees a feather sticking out of the front of his jacket.
Damn pigeons. He tries to brush it away and his fingers don't work right and suddenly nothing does anymore and the ground comes up to meet him in a rush...
Dean wakes up with a splitting headache and double vision, unable to move. The men move around him as they tighten the restraints holding him in the chair. The red headed woman in the pearl grey pantsuit kneels in front of Dean, wets her thumb from that silver flask in her hand. She makes the sign of the cross on Dean's forehead, right between his eyes.
They stare at Dean in surprise, and despite the headache Dean stares right back.
They don't hide their faces, which is how Dean knows that he and Sam aren't meant to leave that place alive.
They speak Italian when they use their satellite phones. Dean doesn't know how he could understand, but he plays dumb, and they don't bother stepping into the other room.
He hears it all.
"It's them. The ones in the dreams." Grey Suit says huskily. Dean recognizes the tone of her voice. Hell yeah, he's sounded that way many times himself, after hunts that went well. "The boy shot that woman. And this other one…he's killed time and time again, in Mis-sou-ri, and O-re-gon." The names sound foreign in her mouth. "These two are monsters, and if they're not now, they soon will be."
Sam's bloodied, but defiant. He ignores the men as they move around him. Dean looks at Sam, and tells him with his eyes that it will all be okay.
Dean doesn't believe it either.
They've done this sort of thing before. That much is obvious. They use good old fashioned brute force and blunt force trauma, just enough, applied with a skillful touch. They know all about which nerve endings in the body can be tweaked just enough with expert fingers.
There's a reason the soundproofing in the room is state of the art.
Sometimes there are drugs in what little food they're given, and more drugs in the water.
It's all for the Greater Good.
Many times Dean lies there, half-conscious, bleeding in so many places he can't count, hurting so much he can't feel any of it anymore, and that cold hard floor feels like a soft distant pillow against his back, and he can hear Sam whisper to him.
"It's okay, Dean. It'll be all right."
Sam shouldn't have to say that to him, and Dean hates himself for it.
The gags go on when the bastards finish for the day or night. The gags come off when it's time to confess.
Sam and Dean never do.
Dean stares at Grey Suit with absolute hatred in his eyes. "You do not talk to one another," she says smugly. "You will talk to me. Confession is good for the soul."
Fuck you, Dean says with his eyes. He says it out loud as soon as the gag comes off.
They break two fingers on Dean's right hand.
The cell's pitch dark when the lights are out. Dean's chained to one wall, Sam to the other. The only light comes from the night vision surveillance camera set in the upper far corner. It's an unblinking red eye that sweeps the cell from one brother to the other in the dark.
Dean stares at the last place he saw Sam before the lights went out, and Sam stares right back at him. Sometimes, somehow, Dean sleeps. And the first thing he does when he wakes up is to look right at Sam.
After a while they lose track of the cycles of light and dark.
Dean curses. He curses whenever they touch him. He curses whenever they touch Sam. Dean curses inside his head as they pull him gasping and sobbing out of the water tank filled with holy water. He pulls breath into his lungs as soon as he's able, and he curses them all. He curses and lunges at them as far as the chains and the restraints will allow when they beat Sam, and even though Dean's gagged, his words are pretty clear.
He curses the Greater Good. He curses God.
The only one he doesn't curse is Sam.
Sam's heart beat grows slower. A beat, then a pause, and just when Dean thinks there won't be another one it comes, even slower than the one before.
Sam feebly pulls air in and out of his lungs the same way.
"Sam? Please, don't give up..."
"Sam...don't leave me...please…"
"I can't stay, Dean. I...can't..."
Tessa comes into the room, and Dean bites back the growl-scream rising at the back of his throat. He curses instead. Sam looks up, dazed, and he doesn't struggle as Tessa takes him by his shoulders and helps him out of his body, to his feet. His body continues to breathe, light, shallow breaths.
Dean bristles as Tessa looks down on him with something like pity in her eyes. He doesn't need her pity. He needs Sam, and he and Sam need to be left the hell alone.
"You take him," Dean breathes, and he bares his teeth, his smile bright, terrible to see, "and I will hunt you down, bitch. I will kill you all."
Tessa kneels down in front of him, and Dean jerks back, growling, wild-eyed, when she tries to touch the side of his face. "It doesn't have to be like this, Dean," she says sadly.
"It does. It will be, if you take him."
"You can come with him, Dean. I'm here for you both."
"Leave us alone now, bitch. This is the only warning you get."
Tessa's face hardens. She stands up, steps back. "So be it."
Sam takes one last shuddering breath and is still.
Sam and Tessa disappear.
Dean doesn't scream out. He can't. He goes silent, the way he did years ago, when he was a kid, when Mary Winchester died.
He goes silent, and he watches the restraints burn and blacken as they fall off his wrists and ankles, and he silently kills every living thing in the house.
Grey Suit dies last. Dean pins her up against the wall, her stockinged feet barely touching the floor. She tries to spit in Dean's face, but she doesn't even have enough moisture left in her body for that. Dean burns her up, inch by agonizing inch. It takes hours, and when the bitch is ashes the only regret Dean has is that he can't resurrect her and do it all over again.
Some time later Dean sits on the floor cradling Sam's body in his arms. Something tickles at the back of his skull, insistently demanding his attention, but he doesn't turn around. There was a time he would have obeyed instantly, with all his heart. Not now, not after this.
"Come on, son," and the Demon's firm hand grips his right shoulder. "It's time to go."
Dean brushes his lips against Sam's cheek, puts the side of his face against the top of Sam's head. Sam's still warm, pliant, and Dean can pretend he's just sleeping, if only for a little while longer.
"This isn't a request, Dean. Get up."
"You knew this would happen," Dean says softly. He stares at a space somewhere past Sam's feet. "You knew all along. You could've saved him. You could've."
"You're first born. My first born. It was you all along, don't you realize that?" Broad strong fingers grip Dean's right shoulder, and Dean doesn't move.
"I'm going to kill you all. Every last one of you," Dean says, and his voice is filled with a terrible calmness. A certainty. Energy gathers beneath his skin, crackles up to the surface. The hand on Dean's shoulder blackens up to the elbow. The fingers shrivel up, and bone melts away into nothing.
Wide-eyed with fear, the Demon curses and jerks back, cradling its host's damaged arm. "You can run and hide now," Dean drawls slowly. He shakes his head. "Won't make any difference where or how far. You're dead."
He adds insult to injury and doesn't even turn around as the thing goes away.
At approximately six thirteen that evening the house Sam Winchester died in goes up in a rolling fireball that soon spreads to the houses on either side. Gas lines underneath the houses ignite and soon the fire spreads half a city block wide.
Blocks away Dean stands in the crowd of gawkers and morbid curiosity seekers and watches the first responders go to work. News helicopters buzz overhead like annoying flies. He remembers that at one time, a lifetime ago, he wanted to be a firefighter.
They'll put out my fire, he thinks to himself, then he shrugs.
I can always start more if I want.
Officer Peter Davidson, Las Vegas PD, has his hand on his belt as he approaches Dean from the side. He's seen that face somewhere before, those distinctive green eyes, that mouth. On-line database, wanted poster at the post office maybe. Oh, well. Won't hurt to pull this kid aside, run his ID, check him out.
Dean turns, and his stare freezes Davidson in his tracks.
Davidson struggles against the unseen pressure that holds him in place. His fingers twitch, and he's actually able to able to raise his hand high enough to brush against the grip of his service revolver.
Dean sighs and shakes his head. Davidson's body does a 180° turn from the neck down. His neck cracks, and his head's held firmly in place, facing front. The rest of Davidson's body faces backwards. Dean releases his hold and the cop's twisted body slumps bonelessly to the ground.
There's a five second beat, and then naturally, some of the sheep finally notice, and that's when the screaming starts.
Dean reaches out with his mind and stops the engine of one of the news helicopters buzzing around overhead. The pilot's good; he struggles with the controls and he nearly misses the crowd. Dean gives the copter a not so gentle nudge and it spirals down out of control into the people standing behind the barricades.
Dean walks away humming Metallica. The heat of the explosion warms his back, and the screams are deafening. Some of the survivors try to run past him and he nods to himself. They're jerked backwards, into the fire.
He thinks about the many times his family put their lives on the line to save people. They never got paid, and they never got thanked.
Oh, well. Life's a bitch.
Sometime during the night Dean puts Sam's body away for safekeeping. He's not about to bury him deep in the cold ground, and he can't bring himself to burn him. The preservation invocation comes easily to Dean in ancient words, older than Latin, and he stands there over Sam's body and shifts it to another plane of existence, somewhere, somewhen. He can always call it back. Perfectly preserved, frozen in time, just waiting for the day when Sam's spirit can occupy it again.
Murdered souls go to Heaven. Sam's there. So is Mary, and Jess. Dean might even get to see Grey Suit and her partners again, not that he wanted to do them any favors in the first place.
Dad's in Hell. A little side trip down there would be sweet.
He has places to go, people to see. He's a force of nature, something that shouldn't be, but is. He can do anything, go anywhere, and he knows it.
Heaven and Hell, and every point in between.
He has work to do.