A/N: Disclaimer - Supernatural and its characters are a copyright of Eric Kripke and Warner Bros. And my own personal disclaimer - please be aware that this oneshot is kind of…well…sensual. If that kind of thing will offend you, it may be best if you do not continue on. There's also a few curse words in there, but nothing too bad. Takes place in Season 1, sometime after Home.
Special thanks to my betas sUnKiSsT and chanc.
A/N #2: Just so everyone is aware, this was written long before the episode "Sex & Violence" aired, so my portrayal of a Siren is different than what was on the show.
He listened in thrall to the song of the siren,
Her voice like a star as it flew through the air.
He drowned in her eyes as she called him to follow,
And likened the sun to the gold of her hair.
She swept up her arms and held him close to her,
Her soft lips caressing the lines on his brow.
He could not resist her, a magic had trapped him,
And nothing could save him, for she had him now.
She pulled him down with her into the clear water,
He gasped as death started the grip on his soul.
His life ebbed away as she dragged him still further,
And laughed when she saw she'd accomplished her goal.
poem written by Charlotte Lester
Sam woke slowly, to music. It was barely audible, but he knew it was there.
"Do you hear that, Dean?"
Soft. Melodic. Comforting. It filled his senses, its warmth soothing, covering him, leading him.
"I don't hear anything."
And yet, something felt…wrong.
"…Dude, there's nothing there."
"It's there. I can hear it."
He drifted in a comfortable haze, the music a blanket, promising him comfort and security. He wanted to stay buried in it, lose himself in the folds of its succor. Yet…
"Where is it, Sam? Where's it coming from?"
"…I don't know…"
Twenty-two years of instinct, hard-wired into his very being, screamed at him. Something wasn't right, because he could feel it wasn't right. Something hidden – past the solace, behind the blanket. It was dark and lingering, just out of reach and wrong.
"Stay here. I'm gonna go take a look outside."
"Just…humor me, all right?"
He pushed against it. The music was alive, an intangible presence, and when he pushed it rose in volume, as if anticipating his desire to be rid of it.
No, that couldn't be right.
Sam gritted his teeth, drew on what little strength he had managed to build up, and pushed.
Finally it quieted, ethereal chords fading. Not gone, he could feel it wasn't gone, and Sam's gasp of relief quickly turned to a whimper of pain. The veil of contentment the music had imparted dissolved, leaving the reality of aching joints and muscles swollen from disuse in its wake. Not to mention a pounding head.
There was nothing like waking up injured, not knowing where you were, how you got there, or how you got that way, to bring the world spinning into focus.
Or, at least, somewhat focused. He knew he should open his eyes, evaluate his status, but the rampant jackhammer methodically trying to dig its way out of his skull said otherwise. Concussion?
Yeah. A minor one.
How screwed up was it that he knew what one felt like? Sam had lost count over the years how many times he and his brother had been knocked senseless. Vengeful spirits, rampaging werewolves, name the evil and it was safe to say that he and Dean had tangled with it and been knocked unconscious by it. It happened frequently enough that they avoided hospital visits for anything less than life threatening, instead preferring to lick their wounds in the privacy of motel rooms. Dean liked to joke about the thickness of Winchester skulls. Being hardheaded was useful, especially in their line of work.
But having a hard head didn't dull the pain any. The tiniest movement sent agonizing spikes lancing through his brain. It hurt to even think about opening his eyes, so for a long time he didn't. Instead, he focused on his other senses, applying the techniques his father had drilled into him.
Instinct taking over once again, Sam concentrated on his hearing. Water lapping against a solid surface – behind him. A shuffle – to his left. Breathing. At least he wasn't alone. He wondered vaguely if he'd passed out on the floor of their room – what city were they in again? – and Dean had left him where he was just to get back at him after their fight earlier.
But where was the water coming from? And what exactly had he and his brother been fighting about? They had been arguing so much lately that it was difficult to remember.
Feeling now – he was on his back, arms lying above his head, shoulders pressed against something that felt cold and wet and slimy against his skin. Wrists stinging, numb fingers, and why did his arms feel so…heavy? There was no reason for them to feel this heavy.
Movement again caught his attention and he realized fingers were pressing against his neck. Feeling for a pulse?
Well, at least Dean felt bad enough to make sure he was still alive.
The smell that assaulted his nose, however, was far from smelling like Dean. Instead of the familiar mix of gun oil, leather, and whatever-kind-of-soap-the-hotel-of-the-week offered, there was a different scent than that of Dean. Sweet, floral…feminine?
What the hell was going on?
Slowly, cautiously, he opened his eyes. It took his vision adjusting to realize he wasn't really lying down. In fact, he was sitting up; the surface he had thought was beneath him was actually behind him. No, supporting him. His arms had been drawn above his head, elbows slightly bent, wrists bound.
That's why his arms felt so freaking heavy.
Lifting his head proved to be more difficult than he had expected, and the sudden movement made his head reel. He let it fall back, knocking painfully against the – wood? And okay, maybe his head wasn't that hard. The connection made him wince and he hissed in pain.
"Shhhh." A gentle hand touched his face, the relief it wrought so overwhelming that it was almost painful. "It's all right, Sam. I've got you."
Cool fingers caressed his cheek, every stroke sending pleasant tingles through his fevered brain until his whole body practically thrummed with pleasure at such small sensations. His fear faded until there was only Sam, Sam and the gentle, soothing touch.
"So? People drown all the time, Sam. Doesn't mean it's our kind of gig."
"Drowning is one thing. Drowning with no body of water around to do the trick, that's another."
"You got anything on the victims?"
"Malcolm Kuenstler, 28, drowned in his own bed; Gerald Croux, 47, drowned in his living room chair; and Cody Prescott, 19, drowned in his pickup, parked in the woods."
"Water nymph maybe. Or a Nix."
"I don't think so, man. No sign of struggle and like I said, no body of water around to sustain them. Both Kuenstler and Croux were home alone at the time. Doors locked, windows shut. Croux's house alarm was even set. Now autopsies did report evidence of 'sexual' activity on or around the time of death."
"I checked. Still doesn't fit the pattern."
"Fine. So what's that big brain of yours come up with? Any connections between the victims? I mean, besides doin' the nasty with whatever it is out there killin' em?"
"I have a theory."
The music, faint as it had been before, grew clearer with her touch. Was that possible? His name again, the familiar voice lowered in a whisper. He felt cool lips press against his temple and Sam rolled his head nearer the embrace.
There was no second-guessing. He knew who it was.
"Croux was a widower – married twenty years, lost his wife to cancer. Kuenstler's fiancé died at the hospital after getting caught in a hit-and-run, and Prescott lost his high-school sweetheart to a car accident last week."
Sam found himself leaning forward, into her welcome palm. It was like coming home, as if the past six months had been nothing more than a waking nightmare.
Jess. Beautiful, loving Jess. She was here. Everything was all right now. Jess would take care of him...
"So we've got three victims – all of them male, all of them just having lost someone they love."
The fingers – Jessica's fingers – ran lightly through his hair and Sam felt all the tension in his body melt away. She could always do that to him. Nobody could make him weak like Jess. Nobody had completed him, or made him whole, not since…
His eyes welled with unshead tears. Jess…
He couldn't stop his lips from moving, breathing her name over and over again as if it were his only lifeline.
Jess…she was here…she was alive…she was…
"Uh, well, Sirens date back to ancient Greece and they did only kill men, but that's just about the only link I can find. They preyed on mariners who sailed too near their islands by enchanting them with their voices and luring them to shipwreck on the rocky coast."
"What'd they look like?"
"There's so many different theories it's hard to say. In Greek mythology Sirens were birds with women's heads, feathers and scaly feet, sometimes with manes of lions. Tenth century Byzantines also compared them to birds, describing them as having the upper body of a sparrow and the legs of a woman. They're even linked to mermaids by the early Romans."
"Mermaids? How the heck did they go from looking like a bird to looking like a fish?"
"Got me, but I did find out this - whatever their form, every culture depicts Sirens as being able to transform into beautiful women, capable of seducing their victims with their bodies as well as their voices."
"Great. Like a musically inclined succubus. Well that should be easy. So how do we kill it?"
"Uh, I dunno."
"Well, the lore's kinda vague. Some post-Homeric authors wrote that Sirens were fated to die if someone heard their singing and escaped them."
"Which means either nobody's ever escaped a Siren or the legends are a load of crap."
His confusion mounted. Jess…? She wasn't… isn't…
"Don't you see? Dad wants us to pick up where he left off. Saving people. Hunting things. The Family Business…"
"…I gotta find Jessica's killer…"
"…Are Sirens even real?"
"I think there's enough proof to say it's a possibility. They're mentioned in the writings of Homer, Euripides, and Plato, not to mention Sigmund Freud…"
"Christopher Columbus, then. Guy who discovered America? Said he saw Sirens in his travel across the ocean."
"Well he obviously lived to tell the tale."
"Yeah, but he lost some of his crew along the way…"
It was the hand gliding down his body that finally broke through the mind-numbing shock and immediate longing her touch ensued.
Sam jerked away as his memory returned, the feeling of euphoria immediately draining from his body upon breaking contact. Awash with pain now he cried out, slumping back against the pillar.
Her hands found him again, her soft voice making sympathetic sounds to calm him. He tried to lurch away, managed little more than a feeble jerk of the head. "Get your hands off me!"
The tone was wounded, and so very much like Jessica's. Hearing it made his heart seize and his throat threaten to close. "No," he murmured, denying the truth of her kneeling in front of him. "No. You're not her. Stay away from me."
A gentle hand on his cheek and "Jess" raised her eyes to his. No. It wasn't her. If he had doubted it before, there was no question now. Her eyes were blue, had always been blue, but now they were different. Still soft, seemingly compassionate and full of grief for him, yet the warmth he had embedded in his memory and had always associated with her gaze was gone. In its place was something…else. Something ancient. Inscrutable.
"You're right," she whispered, and damn if her voice wasn't soulful. "I'm not her." She leaned over him, and Sam had to force himself not to lean into her intimate proximity. "But I can be."
Goosebumps had sprung down his back and up his arms. "What do you want?" he snapped angrily. Yeah, anger. Anger was good. Anger or any other emotion that served to distract him from the way her hands were kneading and teasing their way up his calves.
"I want to help you." She spoke softly. Her voice was hypnotic. Carrying him. Leading him...
"Don't fight me, Sam." Her lips brushed his cheek, her lashes fanning his skin…
"Don't shut me out." The room was suddenly stifling, and he couldn't seem to get enough air…
"I can help you." He was lightheaded. The gentle hand on his chest would have brought him to his knees had he been standing.
What was she doing to him? He felt his body flush with warmth, soothing the ache in his heart and calming his mind, unlike anything he had ever known or felt. Music filled his ears - an ethereal fanfare calling to him, fueling his longing for the illusion to be real.
But it wasn't music…no, it was so much more… It touched his mind, sang to him possibilities. It promised him fulfillment to every desire, enticed him with the secrets to every dream he had ever had.
And her voice…she was still speaking, her silken tone merging with the alluring rhythm as if they were one flawless, endless composition he couldn't even begin to comprehend. "You've been in pain for so long. Just let go."
The sadness in her voice compelled him.
God, did he want to let go.
Normal life, happiness, safety – he had long ago accepted the fact that those were sacred things lost to him. And he alone was responsible for it.
His mother…Jess…they were both dead, in one way or another because of him.
Missouri had confirmed it - the demon that had killed his mother had been in his nursery the night she was killed. And Jess? … Oh god…
As if living with the memory wasn't bad enough; seeing her again, even a creature with her face and body, made Sam's throat tightened in anguish. For a moment he was back in Palo Alto, his soul a bleeding pulp of grief and guilt, as he watched the fire erupt on the ceiling above him. Dean had pulled him out, made sure he was safe, but Sam had done nothing to save her. Just like that, the love of his life had been stamped out of his very existence.
"I gotta find Jessica's killer."
He could have prevented it. No matter what Dean said, had he not hidden the truth from her, that he'd seen her death time and time again in his dreams, perhaps if he had told her, or at least not left in the first place, Jessica would still be alive.
But no, he hadn't told her, and he'd left her all alone to fend for herself while he went on a wild goose-chase with his brother. Jess, an innocent in their world, had been ruthlessly murdered before his eyes, and he had had the power to prevent it.
Dean should have left him there, left him to die with her. There was no hope for a future without her. It didn't matter that he was still young, that he could have found passion and love in any woman's arms along the road. Hell, Dean did it all the time. But it was Jessica's arms he wanted around him and Jessica's face he wanted to caress. He wanted to wake up to the scent of her hair and live the rest of his life with her laughter to fill his hours.
Raw, unmerciful grief hit him full force now, slamming into him with enough violence to make his body tremble.
"That's it. I can help you, Sam. Please. Let me help you."
She was offering. She wanted to help him. She could take away the pain. He could be with her again. Be happy.
Dark eyes studied him, and suddenly he couldn't breathe again, although this time it was his own body he found himself wrestling against. His heart pounding convulsively, Sam fought the rush of desire that surged through his veins at the sight of her. Siren or no, she was every bit as beautiful as the day she died. The dress she wore did nothing to hide the sylphlike figure beneath and he couldn't stop his eyes from sliding over her, past the swell of firm breasts to her long, shapely legs. And her face…god, he missed her face. He wanted to touch the delicate curve of her cheekbone, run his fingers over the smooth arc of her eyebrows. He wanted to run his hands through her curls, caress…
No. He had to stop, had to get a hold of himself.
It wasn't Jess. She wasn't real.
He couldn't give in to her. Dean was still out there. He'd be looking for him. Dean would come. His brother…
Sam's mind rebelled against itself, the raw, yearning hunger warring with reality. This wasn't coming from him. This was her. The melody in his head, clear and captivating, entranced him, threatening to sweep away his only remaining discernment in a tide of ecstasy.
The siren song, he realized, and crap - now wasn't the time to prove the legends true.
"I think we should skip this one, dude. Call Caleb, or Pastor Jim. Let somebody else handle it."
"Are you serious? You're telling me you actually want to skip out on a hunt?"
"We're not skipping out. We're just…being safe."
Dean had been right. From the very beginning, Dean had been right, and all Sam had done was throw it back in his face.
"Drop the big brother act, Dean! You can stop trying to protect me. I can take care of myself."
"Are you even listening to yourself? What is it with you and this hunt? Why can't you walk away?"
Part of him knew that he had already been under the creature's influence by that time, but the other part of him screamed he should have known. He should have fought harder, recognized the signs, acknowledged his connection to the previous victims – he should have listened to his brother!
"Would you listen already? Don't you think it's a little odd that we've been here this long and we're still no closer to finding the thing that's killing people?"
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know, Sam. It's almost like…like it's playing with us. Keeping us here. Showing up, killing some poor lonely bastard and then disappearing, like some freakin' game of cat and mouse."
She was close now, so close he could feel the rise and fall of her breath. She straddled him, knees pressing firmly against his hips. His pulse leaped at her nearness.
"It was you all along, wasn't it?" It was a stupid question, of course. They had marked their quarry as a Siren before Warden died, and that was a picture he was not likely to forget. Barging in on the guy…uh…getting to know his soon-to-be killer on the kitchen table and Sam gathered enough that he had to keep her talking, else he was going to be an eligible candidate for her next victim very, very soon. "You. You killed those men."
Jess – no, the creature – smiled and tilted her blonde head so that it rested against his forehead. Even that small touch fired his need for her. The music was melting his resolve faster than he could build it back up.
"I released them," she amended. "They were so hurt. So lonely. I rescued them, took away their pain."
Her hand was on his face now, her fingers just behind his ear, thumb delicately tracing the line of his cheekbone in smooth, languid motions. "It was what they wanted."
The room was spinning. Sam tried to pull away, but whatever influence she had over him was stronger. Her song lapped at his awareness, her touch leaving him flushed and disoriented. He needed to fight it, to fight her, but it was difficult to think, to even remember why he was fighting.
One thing was for certain. He needed to get loose, distance himself as far away from her song as possible, before he gave in. It was taking everything in him not to respond to her. His body already felt heavy with need, every move strained and seemingly harder than it should have been.
The effort of battling her will must have been evident on his face. She smiled as if his predicament seemed only to amuse her, and leaned into him, ghosting cool lips over his own.
Sam allowed his eyes to flutter shut, the feel of her lush, full lips grazing his enough to make his body tighten. It had been far too long; he'd forgotten what they felt like.
How many times had he wanted this to be real? For Jess to be alive? To be with her again?
Would it really be so bad to give in?
Her thumb beneath his chin, she kissed him deeply and Sam almost forgot that his survival depended on not yielding to her. Like a long-forgotten delicacy that he had thought never to taste again, her kiss was both familiar and sweet.
And so very unwelcome. Somehow, he pulled away from her, breaking the uninvited lip-lock. "What are you doing?" he demanded angrily. "I said get your hands off me!"
If his outburst surprised her, she showed no sign of it. Instead of answering, she settled herself in his lap, wrapping her legs around him with strength that would have surprised him had he not known what she truly was.
He ignored her, or tried to, but the press of her body against his in such an intimate embrace was making it difficult to form a coherent thought. She rubbed her cheek against his, her hand venturing down his length.
Sam blushed even as revulsion filled him. He tried moving away from her, his eyes wide, his lips snarling, and leered at her. "You make my skin crawl."
She bent to his mouth in response and, holding his face between her hands so that he could not turn from her, kissed him until she could feel his body struggling against her.
But the more he struggled, the longer she held on. With the very urgency of her mouth she compelled him to contribute, moving one hand behind his neck to hold it stationary while the other slid up to tangle in the length of his hair. Sam wrenched, trying to pull away. It was a futile struggle, one she almost found endearing.
Jess stopped, scant inches from his ear. "That's not all I could do with your skin."
He swallowed. Her breath was cool, sending shivers through him that had nothing to do with the temperature. "Go to hell," he hissed.
"Sammy, Sammy, Sammy," she cooed, and then there it was again; that touch, the one that disarmed him, sent spine-tingling jolts of pleasure raking his body, making him forget about resisting. He slumped boneless against his restraints, panting, shoulders shaking in anger.
"No one knows you better than me, Sam." Jessica's voice. God. It was still talking with Jessica's voice. "I know how alone you feel, how empty you are inside. You blame yourself for what happened."
"No." Stop. For the love of God, stop.
"But you do. You can't hide it from me. You see me every night in your dreams. You cry out to me. You wish you would have died with me."
His walls were crumbling. The need was unbearable. "Jess, I…"
"Sam," she interrupted him, "I can't stand to see you in pain. Please. Let me help you."
Those cool fingers grazed his collarbone, snapping him out of her web with her intent. "Get your hands off me!"
He did not want to give this…this thing anything, let alone access to his body, yet he sat spellbound as slender fingers made quick work of his shirt buttons.
Raising a hand, Jess ran her fingertips down the uneven contours of his chest. Sam gasped with both fierce annoyance and shame at the sheer exhilaration her touch left behind. Both hands now, sliding sensually down his shoulders, across his collarbone, trailing his ribs and abdomen until finally her hands brushed the hem of his jeans.
When she stopped he was breathless and almost frantic. "My brother's gonna kill you, bitch," he stammered.
She silenced him by capturing his mouth in fierce retaliation, assaulting him, seducing him. It was a kiss of unadulterated passion, no restraint, and she heard him release his breath with a gasp.
Dean had never felt so helpless. The creature was tormenting his brother. It all made sense now, why the previous victims had been lured so easily to their deaths.
Son of a… No wonder his brother hadn't been acting like himself.
They'd pegged the creature early on but had difficulty tracking it, spanning several towns and two counties before finally settling for a good, old-fashioned stakeout outside the residence of a potential target. Eric Warden's wife committed suicide after discovering his affair and, according to the family, he was inconsolable.
Apparently, a Siren could be very convincing when it came to the said inconsolable. Especially when it took the form of its intended victim's lost loved one. The heart-broken and grief-stricken didn't stand a chance.
Warden was already drowning on his kitchen table when they broke in the door and got off the first few shots, but nothing phased it.
Overall, it was probably on his top ten list of worst-jobs-ever: Warden died, the thing vanished, and the next night, Sam did too.
It had been a full twelve hours of scrambling frantically to locate his brother, from the small spatter of blood on the nightstand in their wrecked motel room to the vacant marina in the River District. Sirens and their freaking water fetish. Dean wasn't just tired and worried anymore, he was tired and worried and downright pissed off.
His anger rose, chasing away the undercurrents of fear at seeing "Jess" violate his brother. Sam was a strong fighter, a good soldier, but he was - first and foremost - a man. Even as he struggled against her, his brother had as little control over his emotions and body as a cornered animal. And all of his helpless fury and frustrated despair reflected in the amused depths of the creature's eyes.
"My brother's gonna kill you, bitch!" Sam's angry voice carried even over the steady lapping of the water.
Dean felt his jaw clench. He couldn't wait to put a bullet in that pretty little skull.
"I'm going," he said tersely into his cell.
The voice on the other end snapped at him before he had time to move. "Not yet, you idiot!"
"Caleb, that thing is getting frisky with my brother!" he bit back in a furious undertone. It was hard to convey his anxiety to his friend while whispering. Even harder to vent it tucked behind rotted crates at the far end of the dock. "I'm getting him."
"Hold it Winchester. Don't you understand what's going on?"
"No, I don't, damn it!" he swore. "All I know is if I don't get in there…"
"Listen to me," Caleb cut him off. "You said yourself this thing had some kind of hold on it's victims. If it is a Siren, she'll be controlling him with her song; getting' into his head. You can't go breakin' a connection like that without turnin' a human's brain into malt o'meal."
"You mean if I kill her…"
"You could kill Sam."
Dean swore again. They'd already gone through all the options, some more than once, writing off most of them, but Dean had to end this now. "So then what? How am I gonna waste her?"
He could practically hear the other hunter's jaw grind in helpless frustration. Evidently, Caleb didn't do helpless well either. "You can't. Either Sam has to resist her or you wait 'til she's done with him."
"You got any better ideas?"
No. Sick realization clenched his gut. He snapped the phone closed. No way. He'd think of something before she got far enough.
He wanted to die. Exhausted from fighting, tormented hormones stealing his strength; Sam's head bowed when she released him.
Death had to be better than this. This was drenching humiliation. He writhed beneath her, felt with every touch his desperately guarded control slipping. Her song was overriding his reason, singing sweet promises of fulfillment in his mind, beckoning him. He felt mindless. Vulnerable.
Then, through the pounding chorus in his ears, he heard it; a small snap, somewhere behind him. No…to his left…Somewhere in the room. Something that shouldn't have been there.
He didn't have time to react. Jess ran her hands through his hair at the nape, distracting him. His head arced back, following the tug of her fingers, exposing his throat. His breath came in ragged pants as she kissed him, softly at first, pulling away and returning again and again with gentle, passionate ease.
His defenses were close to breaking point and she knew it. She knew it in the way his demeanor changed. It wasn't a change so much a subtle shifting within him. Slowing her pace, she moved her mouth from his and nipped his neck. Though he lay limp and breathing heavily, Sam arched into her bite. She trailed her kisses down his throat, swirling his nipple, and lower still.
When all he could do was moan and did not react to her dominating touch other than to turn into it, she then dared to move her body, testing his desire by pulling away slightly.
Sam pulled at his restraints, unintentionally lurching forward. The primal urgency he had worked so hard to contain, to keep in check, now flared to life with renewed and painful intensity. His brow glistened with sweat and his shoulders rippled with the strain of fighting for control.
It hurt. God, it hurt.
He swallowed a groan when her fingers released the button of his jeans and sought out the source of his agony. Sam was helpless as his body betrayed him. He writhed beneath her, reason fighting for life amidst the desperation.
The music was so loud in his ears. He couldn't think, couldn't breathe. "No!" he rasped, the sound of his voice as vexed and hoarse as his attempt to wrench free of her.
"Don't fight me, Sam." She nipped his ear, gentleness gone. Her hands working him, she pressed her body against every inch of him and was rewarded with his throaty whimper. She moved her mouth back to his neck and he tossed his head, rolling it against the support, a low, keening moan building from his very core.
Bucking against her, Sam, so swollen with wanting, was lost.
"Kiss me, Sam," she urged him softly. He responded to her command and their lips met in a frenzy of furious passion as for the first time since her seduction had begun, Sam willingly opened his mouth to her.
He desperately drank her in; her kiss like nothing he had ever experienced. Relief assailed him, as if he had been suffocating below water and his head finally broke the surface to inhale sweet, badly needed air. Fire and passion, pain and pleasure, joy and release, all of it followed, too powerful and too fast for him to suppress. Her mouth was cool and wet and the music in his ears deafening. And he could think of nothing else except how he wanted to be cooler, wetter, and the music louder still.
It was Jess who ended the kiss and they both gasped for air.
So Sirens breathe, he thought hysterically.
His stomach was in knots; his skin aflame, the burn touching every nerve and every thought until he thought he would go mad if the fire was not put out. Above all, he wanted to touch her, needed to touch her for his very life. He knew what he had to do, and once he had begun, there would be no turning back. "Let me touch you." His voice was a murmur, almost a plea.
He could feel the creature's victorious smile. "I can't," she whispered, clearly enjoying the control of touching him and restricting him from touching her. "If you were free you may run away. And then I'd be all alone. You don't want to leave me all alone, do you?"
"I won't run," he entreated, his voice low and husky. "Please. Please let me touch you."
She deliberated that, assessing his intent; then Sam watched desire flame softly into those deep blue orbs. She wrapped him tenderly in her arms, holding him to her, pressing her lips against the skin of his naked shoulder in a tantalizing caress.
He didn't feel her shift her weight, didn't feel her arms trace upward toward his bound hands. Without sparing so much as a glance at them, Jess swiftly began to work the cords that encased his wrists. He grunted, leaning into her, his body shuddering.
Suddenly he was loose. Heaving forward, he cupped her elbows in his hands, urgently pressing her as close to him as possible without smothering her while at the same time lowering them to the floor. The tables had turned and now Sam was leading her, claiming her lips in a bruising kiss that held none of the former slow, gentle seduction. His hands slid beneath her dress in a firm caress to span her back, moving upward to cap her shoulders, then back down to claw at the material that kept him from touching her perfect skin.
Free of the barrier, she hissed in pleasure as his mouth suckled her. In moments his own shirt was removed and Sam had her pressed against to the floor without resistance.
"Don't worry, Sam," her silken voice whispered, "I'm going to make sure no one hurts you again. Ever."
Dean held his breath. Sam was still fighting, but his little brother's resolve was slowly being broken down. He only barely struggled now, the movements he did manage dulled with the kind of exhaustion that only comes about after you've been fighting for far longer than even your body's hidden reserves. Dean could no longer hear what the creature was saying, but the pained expression on his brother's profile was enough to make him want to break cover and open fire.
But no, Caleb had been right. If there were any chance of freeing Sam, he'd have to wait for it. Even if…even if he had to wait until they were finished to revive his brother.
"Come on, Sam. Come on," he muttered.
He should have insisted they leave, should have gotten Sam outta there and someplace safe. He'd put the pieces together; known Sam was a potential victim. No one carried the weight of pain and loss like his brother did. Sam might as well have been walking around the Siren's hunting grounds with a giant red-and-white target around his neck.
It wasn't fair. Why Sam? After everything he had already been through.
His brother's life had changed irrevocably since Jess. Grieving heart aside, Sam had carried much more than just sorrow and regret with him when he agreed to go back on the road with Dean – the kid carried guilt. Dean knew it, had known it even before Sam's vision sent them to Lawrence. Sam denied it of course, and even with Dean's prodding he rejected talking about it. That was a wonder in itself since the kid wanted to talk about everything. And not just talk, no - Sam's usual was to take it apart, study it, examine every freakin' little piece and then try to put it back together again. The kid lived to talk things out.
Dean grimaced. He really should stop thinking of Sam as a kid. It wasn't a kid that he pulled out of that fire in California and it wasn't a kid that now moved from hunt to hunt with feral determination in an effort just to forget.
But whether he admitted it or not, Sam hadn't forgotten. Jess may have been gone, but she certainly hadn't left him.
The days were better than the nights. Dean knew that during the day it was easier for Sam to subdue his thoughts. Daylight brought conversation and activity, traveling and brotherly banter. Even losing himself in the research of the hunt wasn't an uncommon pastime for him. But at night, alone in his thoughts, Dean knew Jess was a much more formidable adversary. The nightmares that had Sam crying out her name in his sleep were a testament to that.
Facing Bloody Mary had helped some. And, though grudgingly, going home also helped. At least Sam had come clean about his so-called, deep-dark secret. And, okay, Dean hadn't been expecting that one, but his brother had finally seemed to come to terms with himself after helping both Charlie and Jenny. Sam always had found the effort of helping himself easier by helping others.
But in another sense, Sam hadn't been himself at all since Lawrence. Not that Dean had taken to seeing Mom again well either, but Missouri's little slip-up about Sam's nursery being "where it happened" had sent his brother into full-out brood mode.
Sam's 'funks' were legendary in length – so naturally Dean saw the subtle changes in his brother during their current hunt as just the way Sam dealt with the wear-and-tear of the job. It wasn't until his brother really started to lose it in the last week that Dean made the connection. Not that Sam had made it easy. Dean noted several times Sam would just stop and stare at an empty corner or chair for several moments. A little of his color would drain and his jaw would go slack - the phrase "as if he'd seen a ghost" would have applied, if only that were the case - but when Dean asked what he saw, Sam would provide only the usual, "nothing."
A quiet, mopey Sam, complete with dewy eyes and eyebrows furrowed in deep thought, usually followed the "nothing". Once, Sam had even taken off around a corner to chase something, calling Jess's name before Dean finally caught up with him.
Dean bunched his fist, helpless and hating it. The Siren had marked Sam, chances were, it had been following them since their arrival, and Dean hadn't protected his little brother from it.
The Siren was apparently tiring of trying to seduce the younger hunter. Either that or she'd decided talking was the way to Sam's heart. She pulled away and Dean's hope spiked. Had his brother succeeded? Dean hadn't exactly thought about what would happen if Sam actually did manage to withstand her. Lore said that Sirens were fated to die if a human heard their song and escaped them, but since when was lore one hundred percent reliable? Would it even work? And if it did, would she just shrivel up right there? Cast herself into the water like the Sirens in Homer's Odyssey? Or would it only weaken her, take away her power and leave her open for the kill?
Dean didn't have to wait long to find out.
It was time.
Rolling onto his side he took Jess in a fierce embrace, mouth crashing against hers. For a few precious moments they were all legs and arms, tangled together in wild need. His hands were in her hair, capping her shoulders, slipping down her arms until he took her hands in his and held them to her sides, pinning her solidly to him…
…before crying out, "NOW DEAN!" and caught a glimpse of the creature's eyes widening in shock and betrayal before his world went white.
He couldn't think - his brain felt like it was on fire; he couldn't see - there was something wrong with his eyes, and suddenly hands were curling around his biceps, pulling him away from the Siren's body.
Or at least attempting to pull him away. Sam's iron grip restraining the creature didn't slacken even as his vision blurred and winked out. There was no way he could let go, not until he knew she was dead. Dean was there. He'd heard him. He was sure of it and didn't pause to think what would happen if he were wrong. Dean was there and he had to give him time.
It wasn't until he felt familiar fingers gently prying his own from the – corpse? – that he registered her music had gone silent. He shut his eyes, searching for it, feeling for its presence, finding nothing. Only then did he surrender the death-hold and the sound of something hard hit the floor.
His brother's voice. Rough and etched with pinpricks of concern, but still, his brother's voice. His mouth twitched and he turned into the warmth that was planted at his back. Real warmth. Real safety.
"Damn it, Sam, that smile better be because you're happy to see me because if it's not…"
He didn't finish and Sam's laugh pitched into a groan.
"You hurt?" Joking aside, Dean was all business.
He managed a nod, head rolling as his body was pulled upward. "I'll live."
He made it to his feet without incident, swaying only slightly when a total vertical position was achieved. But Dean was solid at his side, an arm around his back to steady him.
Dean might not have been among the most patient of men - what Winchester was? - But when it came to Sam he never seemed to complain, something for which Sam was grateful for at that moment. When it felt like he could move his body without the floor falling out from beneath him, he worked on clearing his vision.
Water, he was facing water. Since he hadn't been able to see the water before, Dean must have turned them around, perhaps purposefully maneuvering them so that Sam's view of the dead creature was blocked. He moved his head in an attempt to see over his brother's shoulder.
"Sam, don't." Dean's quiet voice stopped him. "It's not her."
He felt like leaning harder into his brother but resisted, if only to save face in lieu of the sudden fondness he was feeling. It was a slap in the face sometimes to realize just how much he had missed the older Winchester. Even after the danger was over, Dean was still protecting him.
"Got her in the back. Iron round to the heart…well, assuming she had one to begin with."
But Sam was too focused for the attempted joke to hit home. "That doesn't make sense. We both shot her with iron back at Warden's place. What was different?"
"Resisting takes away her powers."
Sam's head felt sluggish and heavy. He knew that should have made sense, but he was too tired to wrap his muddled thoughts around it. Maybe later, after a shower and some sleep and…
"So how'd you know I was there?"
He blinked before it finally registered Dean had asked him a question.
"I thought I heard you."
"You thought you heard me? Dude, I didn't make a sound."
"Maybe I know what to listen for."
That shut his brother up. So much unspoken but nothing really needing to be said.
They limped on for a few moments before Sam abruptly spoke again. "She thought she was helping me."
Dean started at the revelation. "Excuse me?"
"Jess…or, whatever she was. She knew things, Dean. Things I haven't even told you. She…"
"Sam." Rock solid now, Dean turned his brother so that they were facing each other. After what he had just been put through, it was obvious Sam was going to crash on him, sooner probably, rather than later, but he would prefer the crash to be someplace where it was easier to pick up the pieces. Like back at the motel.
Hands on his shoulders, tight to keep Sam from shaking apart and holding his brother at arm's length, Dean used his best weapon to pierce through his brother's doubt. "Look at me. It wasn't her. Period. I don't know what she said to you, man. Hell, I can't even understand what you just saw or just got put through. But it wasn't her, Sam."
Sam dipped his head, it was humbling sometimes knowing just how much of an effect he could have on his brother, and Dean heard the dejection in his voice when he whispered, "Yeah. I know. But I wanted it to be."
Dean sighed and gave his brother's shoulders a brief squeeze, not oblivious to his pain but knowing that to give him the comfort he needed now would be an invitation to open the floodgates of, apparently, a great deal of much needed and too-long-put-off grieving time. "Come on," Dean replied instead. "Let's get you back to the motel. You could use a shower."
Sam's laugh sounded strangled in his throat. "A cold shower."
"I didn't need to hear that." Dean made a face of mock disgust. It was Sam's way of telling him he saw his intent, and was willing to roll with it.
They reached the car and Dean was folding him inside when Dean asked, "How'd you convince her to let you loose?"
Sam just looked at him.
"Damn, I wish I had those puppy dog eyes of yours sometimes."
For those of you interested, my inspiration for the Siren came from the pilot episode for Aquaman, which never aired but is available on iTunes. Smallville and Supernatural fans alike should be able to appreciate it as we are blessed with both Smallville's "Green Arrow" and Supernatural's "Jessica Moore" as the main characters.