Title: Darkness I Remember
Setting: AU-ish. Pre-Civil war era.
Summary: They'd meet again one day. Years later when Dean showed up ragged and bloodied on Sam's doorstep, making a request… and Sam would learn the truth.
Word Count: 3,438
Note: After three years I finally finished this sequel! This was originally posted separately but I decided to just add it to this fic as a second chapter, since it's been three years, and most people probably don't care to look up the original. So here we go!
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or any of the characters. Everything belongs to Eric Kripke. Beginning poem is Sylvia Plath's "Whiteness I Remember"
I hung on his neck. Resoluteness
Simplified me: a rider, riding
Hung out over the hazard, over hooves
Loud on earth's bedrock. Almost thrown, not
Thrown: fear, wisdom, at one: all colors
Spinning to still in his one whiteness.
It was near the end of August; sometime when he could feel the brisk September chill starting to creep in over the fields and settle into the crisp night air. The leaves that still desperately hung would only be on the branches for a few more weeks until they finally dropped. Already rustic yellows and oranges littered the shadowed grounds around the crypt. The tombstones behind him were nothing more than hard, black shapes in the dark. No moon shone in those dark hours, the stars seemed to blink out all at once; the only light - a small lamp that was brought to witness this one final task. It would buy them time. Maybe that would be all the future needed.
The night it happened had been just like any other. Except it had been hotter.
Samuel Colt remembered that.
Remembered the night he came back.
It had been a warm night, much warmer than had been previously that summer, wasn't strange in anyway, it was just a different type of heat. They didn't get the wet heats very often. The air felt humid as he walked home that evening, his shirt sticking to his skin as he broke out in a light sweat, jacket tucked under arm as he walked from the office towards home.
Sam never did mind the distance. To him it wasn't much of one. A lot of people though, thought a horse would have made the journey easier, but he liked the walk. The small company he had started had an office in the town he had moved to, his home on the outskirts. All he had to do was follow the road, led only by the stars and the moon. The lamp he kept burning bright on the porch led him back safely every time.
He didn't fear the night nor what was in the dark. Shadows were just shadows, nothing to jump at. And he was more than confident that he could hear anyone coming up on him; especially on a windless night like this, with nothing but the dirt road in front of him and the crops lining both of his sides. He was safe as he'd ever been. And with the firearms he had been working on finally taking off, he had even less to worry about, especially with one sitting snug by his hip.
They had given him his patent. And he had finished his first model. Sam had confidence in his work, and already there were definite signs pointing in his favor.
The revolver was a new design, needed less time loading than the current weapons being used, and could fire in rapid succession if need be. He was proud of it.
Sam turned his head briefly when the Anders' dogs started howling. They lived half a mile from him, but the dogs came in loud and clear. They had been starting up more and more recently, the youngest Anders child even making up stories about the dogs fighting off monsters in the night.
He sighed and continued on his way. His porch lamp was getting closer as he kept moving towards home. It was comfortable and affordable. Didn't mind it was small. He was saving his money to put towards the guns, and if they were as much of a success as he believed they would be, then maybe he would upgrade to a bigger house. If he were ever married, he would need the room.
The warm night, the patent, the house, all of that and everything more was forgotten as he came upon his porch. Orange light from the lamp's wick highlighted a dark shape hunched in his doorway. His heart sped up, and the hand that had jumped to his revolver fell just as fast.
He knew the man.
Beneath the dirt and the blood he still recognized him, would always recognize him. Flying up the steps, Sam knelt down quickly, knees cracking on the heavy wood, feeling for a pulse he prayed he would find.
His pulse was weak, but it was there. He was hanging on. Sam ignored the blood that seeped onto his clothes as he lifted Dean's slumped form.
When he was finished, Sam was left with bowls and towels saturated with blood and dirt. Dean's chest had been fully wrapped and bandaged, blood thankfully clotting from the long, harsh wounds decorating his body. His arms and legs were bruised, the left ankle swollen.
What happened to you, Dean?
The wounds didn't look knife inflicted, or even bayoneted. The smooth edges of either of those weapons couldn't have carved so jaggedly into the wounds Sam had cleaned, wounds that Sam prayed weren't going to get infected. But given the amount of heat pouring from Dean's body and the fever that had taken up residence, he was worried.
Dr. Anders just might be paying a house call.
Sam sighed as he rewet the cloth from Dean's forehead with cool water. How many years had it been since they had last seen each other? It had been long, too long, but even still Sam could remember everything about the day they met, the night they spent together, Dean's skin, his taste, the way Sam felt when he was inside of him. He remembered everything, and now to meet again…like this? Dean was thinner now than he had been the day they met, the circles under his eyes were darker… Sam wondered if his eyes would be any duller or if the set of his shoulders would be more weary, more heavy with whatever responsibilities he carried. And where was his contingent? He'd travelled with a group of soldiers before, but where were they now? Why was Dean alone?
Too many questions, and while Dean slept they would remain without answer.
It would take two more days for him to wake. Dr. Anders would come and go, keep the wounds clean, give him this when he wakes up, I'll ask about for his regiment…
The fever wouldn't break for a week.
He couldn't understand anything Dean said when he first awoke. He was disoriented, his speech slurred, he stayed awake only long enough to focus on Sam's face. A small smile was all Sam was graced with before he slipped back into unconsciousness.
More days would pass, and he would be more coherent. Fever talk, Sam called it. Sounded like delirium, Dean would be understandable but then wander off on his own, his eyes would lose focus on the wall behind Sam's head while he muttered quietly about blood and sick yellow eyes.
"Missed ya Sammy…."
A cool, moist towel wiped the sweat from Dean's brow.
Sammy. No one had ever called him that before. Sam, Samuel, but never Sammy. He kind of liked it.
He watched Dean swallow, unfocussed eyes trying to keep Sam in sight.
"Thought about you. Always you. Your face, hands…eyes. Love your eyes…"
"Sleep. You need to rest."
Dean's eyes shut on command, and a small smile tugged at his lips. "Missed your voice…"
He watched Dean make his way down the stairs, tilting his head he called back over his shoulder to Sam. "Maybe we'll meet again someday."
Sam kept his vigil, watched as his shoulders set like the weight of the world had come down on him as soon as he set foot off of Sam's property. "Maybe."
And they would. Years later when Dean showed up ragged and bloodied on Sam's doorstep, making a request in a comet's wake, and Sam would learn the truth.
Sam lost count of the days. He lost count of how many times Dr. Anders made house calls. Lost count of it all until Dean's fever finally broke. It could have been only a week, or it could have been months. He didn't know. The only calendar was in a room he hadn't been in since Dean arrived on his doorstep.
When Dean's fever broke, Sam wasn't prepared for what he heard.
Dean's men were dead. All of them. Everyone Sam had seen on the day he had met Dean were gone. No funerals, no burials, just dead. Laid out where they had made their stand. Slaughtered.
They met something bad. Real bad. Didn't know how to kill it.
"Kill what?" asked Sam. There was something off in Dean's voice.
"A demon. It's not…couldn't exorcise it…"
"My bag. I had a bag…"
Dean told Sam the truth. About every creature that went bump in the night, stories that weren't actually stories after all. It made Sam think. Think about the monster Dr. Anders' children kept talking about, the thing that kept their dogs howling. Of growls in the night that weren't…normal.
The old witch trials in Salem, the churches preaching about demonic possessions.
The year Sam met Dean, his small town hadn't been taking care of soldiers – they were patching up Hunters.
He could have told himself that Dean was still sick, confused about what happened, but his conviction, wounds, and Sam's own faith wouldn't let him shrug this off. Dean came to him for a reason, out of any other contacts he had, Dean chose to come to Sam. A man that he had only met once, and had since moved from the old town.
Sam left to search for the missing bag and found it; a saddle bag dropped near the corner of his house. Old leather, ragged, and heavy. When Sam laid everything out on a table, he was presented with a myriad of materials. Dean had since fallen back into uneasy slumber, consciousness still too taxing.
Sam recognized the holy water, the crosses, spikes made from pure silver, and books. Many books.
Myths. Lore. Demonology. Grimoire. Key of Solomon.
A journal. A full journal, filled with different monsters one after the other. Signs, omens, physical traits and characteristics, ways to kill each one.
Contacts. A whole list in the back, with names and addresses of people Sam assumed were like Dean.
He closed the journal, and waited for Dean to wake.
"That's why? Why you came here? Is it even possible?" Sam stared at Dean as he made his request. So that's what he wanted. A gun. But not just any gun, a weapon that could kill anything.
"How am I supposed to do that?"
"I know you can, Sammy. There's got to be a way. It's been done before," said Dean. "There are rumors, about a knife that disappeared during the Plague. They say some witch bargained with the devil then tried to change her deal. The knife was all she had when the hounds came."
"A witch? I won't use witchcraft to create this for you."
"Spell's probably lost anyway. I'm not happy about trying to re-create it, but I have to kill this thing. What else could you use to kill a demon?"
From the bedside drawer, Sam pulled out a worn, leather book, emblazoned with a golden cross.
Dean had been with him for three months and while he continued gaining back his strength, Sam studied. He ordered new books from the libraries he knew of, he talked to priests, he wrote letters to Dean's old contacts for information. He learned, he compartmentalized, he kept studying, searching. The information seeping into his head as easily as the mechanics for his guns. During that time Sam had acquired more knowledge than he knew what to do with.
He was in the church basement when he found it. When everything he had learned came together, when he knew.
Halley's Comet was a month away.
A celestial event that only happened once every seventy-five years, once a century.
He had time to prepare.
The new Colt was built from scratch. He imbued it with Latin in every breath. Words of scripture, of faith, of wards against evil, and of the protection of the just and holy. He prayed to God to bless it against evil.
He carved a pentagram into the handle; more protection, as well as an homage to the Devil's Trap that he read about in the Key of Solomon.
He imprinted designs into the metal work, and finally he inscribed it.
Non timebo mala.
I will fear no evil.
Fourteen bullets were made. Fourteen were numbered, inscribed, woven, and blessed.
Halley's comet passed.
Dean's ankle wasn't fully healed and he walked with a bit of a limp. Dr. Anders told them that it would heal in time and for Dean to stay off of it as much as possible.
It was because of that reason, Sam told himself, that he didn't tell Dean about testing the Colt himself.
He had been wondering, researching, making rounds before coming home to Dean from his office. Dr. Anders' dogs still barked wildly at night, and ever since learning what he had from Dean, Sam had been suspicious.
There shouldn't be anything out there at that time of night. The children still shouldn't be talking about monsters. But the barking continued on. And when Dr. Anders mentioned that a wild animal had killed one of his dogs, Sam knew it was time.
It didn't take long to find it.
It was a ghoul. A decaying, violent creature that preyed on the dead and small children; the field behind the Anders' home separated them from the cemetery, but it was a distance a ghoul could still travel. The dogs had likely been the only thing between the Anders' children and a gruesome, violent death.
One shot. And the creature lay dead at his feet.
It had lit up from the inside, a loud crack, and light. It wasn't how normal bullets killed; the gun would work for Dean.
He followed the road back to his house. The night sky was wide and clear, letting the moon light up the snow that had fallen on the fields. Snow crunched beneath his boots, and for once it was the only sound he heard. The Anders' dogs were silent that night. No more monster to protect their family from.
When Sam walked up his drive he was surprised to see Dean sitting on the porch steps. The porch lantern highlighted the worry lines creasing Dean's forehead, and the depth of his green, green eyes when he turned them on Sam.
"The cold isn't good for your ankle."
"What did you just do?"
Sam sighed. He'd been hoping to avoid this.
"I had to test it. Something's been scaring the doc's dogs for months, and yesterday it started killing."
"I could have handled it."
"Not yet you can't."
Sam watched Dean grit his teeth and look away. Sitting down beside him, he contemplated the man next to him. One of the biggest things that struck him about Dean was his sense of guilt. It poured off of him, for his lost men, for every demon that escaped… for bringing Sam into his world. Dean took being responsible for things he couldn't control to a level Sam had never seen before. He really did carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. Sam remembered seeing that weight settle when Dean left him the first time they met.
"It really works?" Dean inquired softly. The beginnings of any anger that had first colored his voice had faded.
Dean was silent, his jaw still tight. Sam waited for the guilt to come again.
"I came for a gun," Dean said eventually, "not to make you a Hunter."
"I'm not a Hunter."
"When I leave I want you forget about this. Forget this life and go on with yours; like I never showed up. Never came to you with this…never brought you into this."
"You came here for a gun," said Sam. "Said it yourself."
Dean looked at him then, eyes wide and searching Sam's for…something. His eyes were green, so green.
Lips on his, rough and weather-chapped pushed soft yet insistently against Sam's mouth. It was different than kissing a woman, Sam thought hazily. Dean's lips were soft-looking but hard. Instead of smooth skin, the rasp of stubble grazed his face. Sam hadn't kissed a man since Dean.
It was almost exactly how he remembered. Only a different room, different wounds, different position. He'd taken Dean on his stomach the last time; but because of his ankle they turned on their sides, spooned together; Sam's cock sliding into him, the way eased with oil. Dean's hips rocking back into his, pulling Sam's hand around his hip to stroke his hardness; tip leaking as he moaned in pleasurable sighs.
Sam had never forgotten this. What it felt like with Dean; how hot he was, how tight. Maybe one day they'd be able to do this without Dean being injured.
Six months since Dean showed up his life again, he left it.
The sun was rising slowly over the horizon as he watched Dean finish tacking the horse.
Sam stood at the bottom of the porch, waiting. Dean was taking his time. His packing delayed as long as he was able. Once again they found themselves saying good-bye.
But it wasn't like the last time.
This time they had gotten to know each other. Care about each other. It was harder to let go. Especially now that Sam knew what Dean was going back to. He knew about the Hunt. The danger. But in a way, he also understood it. By Dean doing what he did, he was protecting people. Keeping them safe from all the things they thought were just stories and legends. He respected Dean for that. But he couldn't help but feel that it was a lonely life.
Dean swung himself up onto the saddle and looked at Sam, patting the front of his coat. The gun was there, in a holster under his arm; and Sam understood. It was as close to his heart as he could keep it.
"Take care of yourself, all right?"
Dean smiled, "Always."
Sam didn't think he would see Dean again after that but, like the last time, he was wrong. The man had a habit of showing up out of nowhere, once or twice a year. Even when Sam moved, Dean still found him. He never asked how. It wasn't important.
Dean always came back from time to time, did so for four years.
And then nothing. A year went by with no visit from Dean. Then another. And another. The years kept coming, but not Dean.
Sam never saw him again.
The first year Dean didn't show up a worrying nag entered into Sam's stomach. Increasing every year. It burned.
Became so painful that Sam decided that whatever took Dean would burn too. He started looking. Researching. He sought out other Hunters everywhere he went. Business trips became something more. And after years he found it.
A creature unlike any other.
Sam took a breath and broke out of his reverie. He had a task to do this night. It was what brought him there to the small graveyard he stood in. The crypt in front of him stood dark and silent. Reaching into his jacket, he pulled out the very gun he had made for Dean.
It had been in Azazel's possession.
Sheer luck put it back into Sam's hand.
He looked at the crypt in front of him. He would see to it that the Devil's Gate remain closed. Azazel would not open a portal to Hell.
The doors to the crypt he had replaced with heavy iron. The lock – unique. Only with the gun could it ever be opened, and he'd make sure no one would ever find the gun.
Five churches he had seen built around the area, and for every one he laid tracks of iron. Connecting. Intersecting.
A Devil's Trap.
Nothing getting in.
Nothing getting out.
For Dean he would do this. His death would mean something. Sam only wished he could have seen him, one last time.
Stepping forward, he placed the Colt into the lock and closed the Gate tight.
'Even though I walk through the darkest valley,' Sam thought,'I fear no evil; for you are with me.'
They'd see each other again one day. He could feel it.
Destiny was a funny thing.