Summary: A rough school, an angry gang, and violent retribution leave Dean broken. Can his family find a way to bring him back from his dark world? Hurt/angst Dean and Sam. Teenchester. AU. RATED M.
Don't own any rights to the Boys, songs, or Ridley James' Brotherhood AU.
This story steps outside the bounds of Brotherhood approval and is not approved of by the Brotherhood creators. If you do not wish to delve into a dark story of violence, rape and torture that in any way involves Brotherhood characters, then please do not read this story.
After Chapter 13 was posted, the Brotherhood creators expressed a wish to the community that future stories involving the Brotherhood avoid the topics found in Dragonfly. Dragonfly is all but written and a revamp to exclude the Brotherhood would be most difficult at this point. Not impossible, but difficult enough that I choose not to do so and can only offer apologies to Brotherhood fans who have found offense, and to the creators of the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood creators and I have talked. I offer this disclaimer as some measure of a compromise to prevent further upset to those involved with the Brotherhood fandom.
I do not condone in any fashion, the abuse, violence, rape, torture, etc. that occurs in this story. That such things occur in the world we live in is horrifying. The aftermath of such deeds lasts a lifetime for those affected, both directly and as collateral damage. I wish I could say many of the sorts of events I've depicted in Dragonfly are an exaggeration of reality, but unfortunately, I know better. I really didn't mean for the brutality the boys experienced to be the focus, but rather how the victims and family deals with these terrible events and the psychological impact events like these can have. This is a disturbing topic and some readers may find it beyond what they care to read. My writing is graphic in some scenes though I try to be as light-handed as I can, when I can.
This disclaimer will appear with every chapter.
Rating: M. Warning. Some chapters have very mature themes of violence, torture, rape, murder, and attempted suicide.
Breaking the Wings of Dragonflies
In this farewell
There's no blood
There's no alibi
'Cause I've drawn regret
From the truth
Of a thousand lies
So let mercy come
And wash away
What I've done
—"What I've Done", Linkin Park
May 14th, Louisville, KY
The cold was unforgiving as it bit through Dean Winchester's grimy t-shirt, making him shiver. Though cold, the wind brought a crisp freshness to the air, a smell of new beginnings and second chances. But he knew his second chances were lost.
Standing on the barrier wall of the bridge, Dean looked into the dark swirling water far below. He gripped one of the truss' metal aged support beams. He wondered if the bridge was high enough that hitting the water would kill him or if he'd sink deeply into the water and drown. Either case was acceptable so long as finality was the result.
Hot droplets of tears streamed down his face. His father had taken away his brother, Sam, Dean's only source of comfort and strength in the bleak world he was adrift in. Then his father had abandoned Dean. He could still feel the restraints on his ankles and wrists, still feel the bite of the needle into his arm. He felt as if his world had crumbled.
"Son," Officer Pete Darling said calmly, not wanting to startle the young man. The young man was skinny, pallid, and dressed in fairly new jeans, a ragged green t-shirt, and worn black boots. Darling could see rich dark blond stubble on his face. He looked like he'd been on the streets at least a few weeks, if his almost beard was any measure of it.
Dean flinched but didn't turn. Instead, he nudged himself closer to the far edge of the wall. God, he hated heights. He couldn't quite bring himself to take that final step. His courage had been lost, had been ripped from him violently, humiliatingly, painfully. He prayed that the despair that swallowed him would grant him the strength he needed for this last, fatal act. At least then her screaming would stop.
"Could we talk, son?" Darling's voice was earnest as he asked gently. "If you're going to jump, could a minute more hurt anything?"
"I don't want to talk," Dean whispered. He didn't know if he could be heard above the whistling wind. He didn't really care.
"You look scared," the officer said, concern lacing his words. "You look like you think you're alone. You don't have to be either." Darling watched the young man intensely, measuring any reaction his words provoked. He would know soon enough how determined the youth was to end his life.
Dean turned his head just enough to see the man. The police officer looked in his early thirties, was almost six feet tall with shortly clipped chocolate brown hair, and probably played football when he was younger. Lacking the stereotypical spare tire at his midsection, his waist was trim and he obviously worked out regularly. His face was clean-shaven and had a slightly rounded look, inset with caring hazel eyes.
A cop. The last resort. Isn't that ironic? Dean wanted to laugh. I'm standing here as my last resort, and the last resort shows up.
For just a moment, Dean wished he had on the warm-looking coat the officer wore and he wished he wasn't standing on the bridge, shivering in the numbing wind. When the man shifted slightly, Dean glimpsed a silver badge on the man's shirt and the black leather holster with the 9-mm nestled inside it. Automatically Dean identified it as a Smith and Wesson third generation 9x19 mm Luger, aluminum and stainless steel, 10 shot semi-automatic pistol. A nice gun with a weight of 809 grams, length of 190 mm with the barrel making up 102 mm of that length. His father had one and Dean had practiced regularly with the 9-mm on the range and used that gun a few times on hunts. Those hunts left him exhilarated and feeling invulnerable. That Dean was gone now, destroyed in the warehouse.
"I am alone." Dean's voice was flat and matter-of-fact. There was no one left to turn to. Any of them would take him to his father and his father would abandon him again to that place of restraints and needles and drugs, to that place which smelled of antiseptics and him. The smell of him had made Dean strike out, had made him run. He vowed he would not be helpless again. Never again. No matter the cost, no matter whom he hurt, he would never again be so helpless that he couldn't save them.
That vow turned to bitter ash as he stood on the bridge. He'd already failed them. There was no going back, no changing what had happened in that warehouse. He bowed his head as that knowledge shredded his soul and ripped out his heart. He choked back a sob. Scared and alone, the cop had said. Yes. He was. There was no remedy for his torment or his shame except to step off the bridge. He would feel as if he could fly for those brief seconds, then the water, and maybe even the world, would surge around him and the fear and aloneness would be forever gone. His heart ached with that desire.
Darling saw the conflicting emotions of pain, anger, and fear cross the young man's face and knew in that instant he had a chance of saving the youth. The youth—teenager, he amended after consideration—hadn't yet crossed that line; he wasn't sure he was ready to die. If Darling could keep him talking, if Darling could get close enough, he could save the teen. Darling made a discreet gesture to his partner, Pongo. Pongo, a black man in his late twenties, gave a sharp nod and readied himself.
Darling shuffled cautiously forward as he asked, "What's your name?"
The young man didn't answer and Darling chewed on the inside of his cheek. That was usually a bad sign. Maybe a fishing trip. "You say you're alone. What about your mom?"
The officer's question brought Dean's attention back to the bridge and to the cold wind he shivered in. His determination to end the screaming, the horrible memories, and the anguish swelled. It was his fault. It was all his fault.
"She's dead." Burned alive, slit open, and pinned to the ceiling by some monster. But I can't tell you that. You wouldn't believe me anyhow.
Darling winced and wondered how long ago the young man had suffered her loss. Could his mother's death be the reason he was on the bridge? "Your dad?" Darling asked hopefully but feared the answer would be the same.
Dean's voice turned bitter. "He's the one who stole what I needed, what I had left. He's the one who left me. To them." Dean's hold loosened on the truss. The metal was icy cold and he could feel the crackled paint beneath his fingers. If he could just bring himself to the wall's edge, to feel nothing but air beneath the toes of his boots, he could do it. He could make that last step into the night and he thought maybe he would whoop with delight as he fell, knowing it was almost over.
"Who is 'them'?" Darling asked. He kept an attentive eye on the young man's face and stance. Asking the wrong question could be fatal.
The young man seemed unaware of the decreasing distance between them. If Darling could just get close enough to pull the teen to safety, maybe they could help him find his way back to hope.
Dean squeezed his eyes shut a moment and shook his head. "Doesn't matter." Even with the fresh air caressing him, he could still smell … him. For a split second he thought he'd puke and he gripped the truss tighter. The bile rose in the back of his throat and he forced it down. He didn't want his last few minutes preceded with him spewing his guts all over the bridge. He didn't want anyone to think he'd puked because he was afraid to jump. Especially, he didn't want Sammy to think that. He wanted Sammy to think of him as finally regaining his courage and doing what he had to do. He prayed Sammy would understand but knew he probably wouldn't. At least this would be the final betrayal of his promise, of the trust Sammy put in him, and he wouldn't fail Sammy ever again.
Trying to keep the young man talking and distracted, Darling said, "This would be a lot easier if I knew your name."
Instead of answering, Dean focused his gaze past the officer. He could see the police cars parked to block traffic, their blue and red lights tiny spinning lighthouses in the night. A news truck, its roof bristling with a satellite dish and antennae, had positioned itself beyond those spinning lights.
He cringed at seeing the news truck. One of the main rules was that he wasn't supposed to draw attention to himself. Both of you, just keep your heads down and stay out of trouble. I'm sure the two of you can manage a little while longer. His father's voice sounded tinny in his memory. Distant and even a little derogatory. He'd failed. He hadn't done what his father told him. He'd failed his father. He'd failed Sammy. He'd failed Isabelle.
Darling saw the teen wince as he looked toward the lights and people gathered at the end of the bridge. The young man didn't want attention; he wanted to stand on the bridge in solitude, take a deep breath, and plummet to his death. Darling was determined he wasn't going to let that happen. A far away look drifted into the young man's gaze, suggesting the teen was lost in his memories. The officer tried another tack as he inched forward. "What happened to your hand?"
Dean inhaled sharply, those memories returning in brutal flashes. The warehouse. The chair. The handcuffs. Her screams intermixed with the jumper cables and the beatings. The…table. What they did to him on the table. What they did to Sammy.
Darling saw the young man shudder as his grip tightened on the support beam until his knuckles were white. This was the source, the officer knew. Whatever had happened to the teen's damaged hand was tied to why he stood on the bridge contemplating suicide. This knowledge could be useful if Darling handled it carefully.
Bringing his right hand up, Dean stared at it. Gleaming skin traced the reconstructive surgeries. The scars would have faded soon enough, given time. Most of his scars did that, turning into nothing more than faint reminders of the injuries. If only the scars left inside him would have so readily faded. He tried to bend his fingers; the index finger and middle finger didn't bend very well and the tendons for his ring finger and pinky were too tight, causing them to pull in toward his palm. The doctors had been steadfastly working on the repair of his hand as bones and tendons healed but his hand didn't really work quite right yet. Had he had two or three surgeries for his hand? His dad had said after two (or was it three?) more surgeries, his hand would be like new. His arm looked unnaturally thin and pale, the cast having come off…he wasn't really sure when, but not that long ago. He recalled unwrapping the white bandages that covered the incisions from the last surgery. Those incisions were all but healed now. If nothing else, he had been careful to keep them clean while they healed. Standing on the bridge, it seemed ludicrous that he'd been concerned about infection and scarring on his arm.
The last cast had been blue, he recalled. He'd almost gotten red, then decided against it, afraid it would fade to pink and he'd feel really silly with a pink cast on his arm. He shook his head a little. No, he knew it wouldn't fade. I didn't want to be reminded of her blood. Blue was better. Blue was…Caleb.
Beneath his jeans, his right leg was like his arm. Thin. Pale. Recently broken but now healed. His body had finally gotten used to the lack of the extra weight of the cast and his hip no longer twinged when he walked a lot. If he still had the cast on, he'd sink faster in the water he supposed. He started to turn his head back to look out over the water.
Darling saw the fear flicker across the youth's face as the youth stared at his damaged hand. His countenance softened into sadness as his fear shifted into less frightful memories. Whatever happened to the young man's hand took him out of the present and allowed Darling to get that much closer to him. He hated doing it, but he had to keep the young man's attention away from the present if he could, so he asked again, "Son, what happened to your hand?"
Dean swiveled his gaze back to the officer. His eyes flicked over the man, distractedly noting the officer had moved closer. "They were fixing it. Doesn't matter anymore. Everything's still broken," he said. He shivered again. He was so cold. The water would surely be icy. A smile tugged at his lips. The cold water would help him die that much faster. Hypothermia would steal his consciousness and he'd simply fade away.
Why was he was letting the cop talk to him? Why was he letting him move closer? The cop couldn't do anything. The police never could. Not true. They helped get you away from the warehouse, his thoughts scolded him.
The youth's green eyes filled with hopelessness. "You tried to save me, but you were too late. They'd already done this to me. Made me like this."
The officer furrowed his brow. "Made you like what?"
"Broken," Dean said as his gaze shifted from the officer and back to the night. He wanted to deny it, but if he wasn't broken would he be ready to fall into the distant water's embrace? He felt some modicum of courage creep into him and he inhaled deeply. Like she had inhaled before she'd betrayed me.
Yes. He was ready. He could do this.
"You're not broken," Darling said and took a step closer to the teenager. The young man's stance had changed and the lines on his face had shifted to grim determination. Shit. This is it, Darling thought and motioned to his partner.
Dean began to laugh as he let go of the bridge's support beam. "I'm standing on a bridge, getting ready to kill myself. If that's not broken, then what is?" He sobered suddenly. "Broken," Dean whispered, drew on that courage he'd wrenched from the depths inside himself, and stepped off.
—See "Paper Tiger" by Ridley James to understand the reference of "Blue was…Caleb"