Title - Unfinished

Summary - In a prison of tortured souls and endless nightmares, an opening of twinkling darkness cuts through the haze to the final showdown.

Part of 'The Dark Horse' series

"In hell there is no other punishment than to begin over and over again the tasks left unfinished in your lifetime." - Andre Gide


The dreaded fairytale notions, the ultimate be good beacon is nothing like anyone could ever imagine. It is not hot and fiery where those who did not seek salvation are damned. There is no labor or physical torment. Hell isn't what John Winchester thought it would be, what he signed up for. Never did he imagine it to be as dreadful as it was. He'd much rather take the biblical interpretation any day.

It's easy to lose sight of who are you when down south. It's difficult to be able to tell the difference between the harsh reality and the endless nightmares of emotional torture. Flashes of everything horrible constantly flicker in your mind - the happy memories so far gone that they seem like long-lost dreams. There is no sunshine or rainbows, no tiny bundles of joy to keep a person sane. There is just the cold, ruthless dream that one cannot wake up from no matter how hard they try.

In the darkness, the tortured mind only sees the worst things. He couldn't even recall how many times he watched a gorgeous blonde woman die. Her body pinned to the ceiling with a large gash across her abdomen and fire bursting to life around her, licking her flesh. Her horrified expression was forever burned in his retina. He knew she meant the world to him, but in the pits of the nightmarish hell, he couldn't for the life of him remember her name.

Two small boys were often remembered as well, his nameless boys that he felt overwhelming love toward. They were always beaten and bloody, pale and dying. Their young faces held knowledge beyond their years of a cruel world. They had known loss and feared more than most in their young lives. They never appeared to him old and wiser but as two small children of seven and three with dirty black and blue faces caked in blood and dull eyes pleading. Their voices, their cries, were always, "Why, Daddy", "Please, Daddy", "Help us, Daddy" directed at him to feel the weight of guilt that always washed over him when he saw their faces.

There were other flashes of men dying. Sometimes they were marines in a war being shot and killed, nameless men who he used to call comrades. In another war, there were countless of nameless hunters, ones who he had hunted with and gone to for advice. Their throats were slashed or clawed up beyond recognition. As clear as day, he would always see the one that pleaded for his life that he had murdered in cold blood. Sometimes he could feel the heaviness of the gun in his palm, could feel his finger press the icy trigger before he could stop himself.

"Please… Ellen and Jo… I… John… please… help me..."

Then there were the yellow eyes that would visit him with taunting words of how he failed his family. He hated the eyes with a passion, wanted to murder them like none before him. The monster would sit with him at times, mocking him with harsh realities and goad him about how his precious boys would be brought down to their knees before him.

"You know, Johnny, you should've let the kid die. He would have been much better off. All suicidal with the weight of his brother's life on his shoulders… you did that to him."

He couldn't tell how long he had been in the depths of hell nor did he even want to know. Trapped in his mind, there were rare times when he would be snapped out of his reverie. Others down there, suffering like him, would scream out inaudible pleas. It was those short moments in time when he wasn't a he but rather John. John who could remember his wife's name was Mary and his two sons were Dean and Sammy. It was during those mere seconds he could see his sons laughing and smiling. John, himself, could smile at the happy memories before being thrown back into his trance of unbearable delusions where he was unable to remember Dean and Sammy for who they were.

In the middle of watching the seven year old dying in a hospital bed, he had become John once more. It was as though a whiff of cleansing air had washed over him. Looking around, there were no luminous yellow eyes and the pitch darkness lifted. At the end of a narrow corridor was a twinkling darkness of warm air which shone brightly on the rushing spirits and demons gliding out.

Drawn to the twinkling, John followed the mass of mists and apparitions. The humid air hit John's face, warming him for the first time in… however long he was down in the arctic trenches of hell. The first thing John noticed was the gravestone peeking up out of the ground until his gaze locked on his son. Dean - no longer the seven year old perishing while placing the blame on him, but the grown man whom he had saved out of love.

Hovering over his son was the yellow-eyed son-of-a-bitch with the colt pointed at Dean. Blood boiling, John stepped towards the demon that sent him to hell and back. Wrapping his arms around the demon that tormented him for months on end, John knew that he could spare Dean the time to get away or finish the job that was started over twenty years before.

Wrestling Yellow Eyes, John was pushed to the ground and a whirl of black smoke filled the sky before finding its host once more. John watched out of the corner of his eyes as Dean rounded the gun and pulled the trigger, the kill-all bullet shooting out of the barrel and connecting with the demon. Bursting with fiery lights, the body fell to the floor - the eyes no longer the sickening yellow but that of cool blue. It was finally over.

John staggered up, his eyes glued on his oldest. Emotion suffocated him, his heart swelling with more pride for his son than he thought was ever possible. John knew no words to say but none were needed. Dean, his baby boy, with a gash on his forehead and his whole body trying to keep himself together. Reaching out, John laid a single hand on his son's shoulder as a ghost of a smile appeared on his face.

Turning his head to the right, John saw Sammy standing there shock-shelled. Sammy was alive and well and not some demon minion. Dean had succeeded and saved his younger brother, just like John knew he would. Offering the boy a soft smile, he turned back to his oldest and gripped his shirt. Feeling a tear run down his face, John took this moment to step back. His gaze still locked on his son as a tunnel of light appeared in front of him. Mary was there, surrounded in a glowing beam. Her hand reached out, her eyes brimming with tears, as her hand slid down his arm. Looking over Mary, the last thing John saw was Dean staring at him with a longing look plastered on his face.

I've had this idea in my head since the finale but needed to fine-tooth hell quite a bit. This is my first 'dark fic' so please tell me what you think. Did I get the emotions? Do be honest.