Disclaimer: not my characters; just for fun. Title from "Jar of Clay" by Pinmokey.
Warnings: far in the future. Disturbing. Dark. Majorly AU.
Pairings: Sam/Bobby, Sam/Dean, implied Sam/crossroad's demon, implied Yellow-Eyed demon/Dean
Point of view: third
Dedication: SadeLyrate for assuring me this was worth posting.
He paints a mural, covering the south wall. The blood drips down, leaving tear-tracks on the faded white; he blends it together with his hands.
They whisper in the back of his mind, hovering close to the forefront. They murmur and laugh, pointing out any spots he missed.
She comes, as he had known she would. "Lovely job, dear," she says, tracing the drying blood. "It's beautiful." Her eyes shimmer crimson in the moonlight streaming through the window.
Sam smiles at her. "I'm glad you like it," he responds, reaching out to touch her face. His fingers leave smears of blood on her pale skin.
"Keep up the good work," she tells him, twisting her fingers in his long, dark hair. "He's coming by later."
Excitement thrills through him. "Really?"
She smiles. "He wants to see your mural."
The dark man with golden eyes enters from the north door, his ebon cloak swirling around him. The crown of bone rests on his brow.
"Sammy!" he calls jovially, clapping Sam on the back. "My sister tells me you're painting me a masterpiece." He eyes the wall. "Beautiful," he breathes, stepping forward to touch the dried blood. He turns back to Sam. "Well done, son."
Sam straightens at the praise, smiling at his master. "Thank you!"
The dark man reaches out to trace Sam's jaw. "Such good work deserves a reward, I think, Sam. It's time you had your brother."
He paints a mural, covering the eastern wall. His paint this time is some poor bastard's innards, his ground up muscle and guts.
Outside, it's storming. He dances in time to the thunder, to the rain lashing at the window. He hums a triumphant tune—he's getting his brother back tonight. After years and years apart, he's finally pleased Master enough.
The man in the corner whimpers. Sam turns to face him, then walks over and crouches down. "Bobby," he says, "it's not so bad as all that." Bobby flinches away when Sam runs his fingers through the long, matted, dark-gray hair.
"Guess what?" Sam whispers, like it's the greatest secret in the world. "Dean's coming home."
Bobby groans and deflates, the last of his defiance finally gone.
Sam feels when Master brings Dean into the house. He reaches out and pulls Bobby close, curling up beside him. "Dean's here!" he says, euphoria rushing through him. "He's come back to me!"
Bobby shudders in his arms. Sam nuzzles the old man's neck, licks at the sweat beading on his skin. "He's back," Sam murmurs into Bobby's flesh. "It's been so long…"
The closer Master brings Dean, the more excited Sam gets, until it's better than Christmas and his birthday and when he finally let Master become Master all rolled into one. His hands grip Bobby harder, digging into his muscle, but Bobby makes no sound.
Master enters and Sam rises, peering around him. Master smiles at him. "You've been a good boy, Sam, the best son a father could hope for. So, now I'm going to reward you." He pats Sam's cheek. "Turn around, m'boy."
Sam does, anticipation making his gut clench. He doesn't know what to expect, but he knows it'll be good, better than good, the greatest thing since ever—
And it is.
Dean's kneeling beside Bobby, sucking on his neck and looking at Sam. Master claps Sam on the shoulder and whispers, "He's yours, Sam."
Sam hurries over and falls on Bobby's other side, not taking his eyes off Dean. Dean pulls back from Bobby, who groans; Dean smiles, purring, "Hey, Sammy."
Leaning around Bobby, Sam grips Dean's arm. "Dean!" he says, and Dean's whole face lights up.
He paints the western wall in gold and silver, twirling to music only he can hear. Dean stands next to him, watching with gloriously alive eyes, an indulgent smile on his face. Bobby cowers in the corner, shuddering and trembling anytime Dean's gaze turns his way.
"Give me some of that music, Sammy," Dean says, and Sam grins at him, holding out a hand. Dean grips him hard and pulls him close, reaching up to tangle his fingers in Sam's hair.
"Missed you," Dean whispers. "Couldn't touch you." His hand fists in Dean's hair. "Was alone, Sammy."
Sam nuzzles Dean's neck, murmurs into his skin, "We're together now." Master kept his promise—Sam was good, so he got Dean back.
Dean moves sinuously next to him, in time to the music; Sam watches, grinning. He's whole, now. The great empty space that even Master couldn't fix is filled.
Dean's come home.
The northern wall is bare of all decoration, Master's decree. Bobby is still huddled at the base; Master will get rid of him soon. He's the last link to Sam Winchester there is.
It's dark outside, like always.
Sam listens as Dean and Master speak. "Be a good boy like your brother, Dean," Master whispers, trailing a cold hand down Dean's cheek. "I rejoined the two of you—I didn't have to. I probably shouldn't have. But Sam'd earned a reward."
"I understand," Dean answers, moving into the touch.
Sam doesn't, not really, but he's got Dean back. That's all that matters.