Title: In My Time of Mourning
Written For: Ashley/ taintedlust in the whattheficathon
Fandoms: Supernatural/Tolkien (References to others.)
Word Count: 1503
Summary: What Sam did after "No Rest For the Wicked".
He doesn't remember the after.
All he can recall are those few moments where everything had gone to absolute shit.
Dean's screams echoed throughout the room--pain, rage and absolute terror--and he stood by, unable to do anything but watch as his brother was ripped to shreds and dragged to fucking hell in front of him. That was when his mind had been overwhelmed and an unrelenting, overpowering blanket of rage enveloped his thoughts and spurred power the likes of which he'd never felt through his veins.
He was always too fucking late.
Too for Jess and for Dad.
Too late for Dean.
The last thing he remembered was watching as Lilith fled in fear, the sheer fury at his inability to finish her once and for all, to avenge the people that she'd so ruthlessly destroyed.
After that there was only the soundtrack of Dean's last agonizing moments playing on repeat in his mind, superseded only by the crippling and bitterly absolute fact that could not be ignored: Dean was in hell.
And that is what occupied his thoughts.
Sam would never be able to recall what happened after, what Bobby did to make him move out of that goddamned house, or how he ended up staring at the ceiling of some sorry excuse for a motel.
But he knows this: he's getting Dean out.
Bobby says, "Yes, I'll help." But his eyes, the way he avoids his gaze says everything.
He knows Bobby's willing to indulge him for now and he'll make do with that until Bobby begins to push and tell him to let go and forget, until he gets the accusations that it's impossible and that Dean wouldn't want him to throw his life away.
He'll storm the gates of hell if he has to but there are plenty of leads he has to follow, possibilities he has to consider first (and it's not so much getting into hell as getting out because most people forget that the gates are to keep things in).
"Sam, those are just myths. You know that!" Bobby shakes his head, rubs his face wearily.
"We've spent our lives fighting myths, Bobby!" Sam argues hotly.
"There's a difference between Hades and Hell, Sam. And I'm sorry to say that you're no Herakles or Orpheus."
"But there's precedence! It's been done before and it can be done again!" Sam glares, his jaw is set stubbornly and his face is flushed with emotion.
It's more animation and life than Sam has shown in awhile and Bobby is sorry to have to play devil's advocate.
"Orpheus failed," Bobby reminds him. "And there's been some who argue that Herakles might've bungled it and Alcestis wasn't the one to come back, you know that. Though I'll grant you that the rest of it sounds just about right, taking someone else's place and all," he adds to soften the blow.
Sam doesn't falter. "Every myth has a grain of truth," he persists as he return to his research.
"Sam," Bobby begins hesitantly.
Sam knows this conversation.
"Bobby, I'm not going to stop," he interrupts with absolute certainty.
"It's been months, boy, I know that. You Winchesters," he mutters with flits across Sam's face, the first time Bobby's seen anything other than single-minded determination, anger or frustration in a good long while.
"Did you find something?" something not unlike hope hides under the holds up a small, white card reluctantly.
"My contacts got something. There's a fortune teller, pretty good one from what I've heard, if anyone can get your answers it's her."
Sam takes the card. "Cardiff? Guess you're taking care of the Impala for me."
His fingers itch with the compulsion to reach for his gun.
Why does it always have to be creepy little girls?
"Death is not as permanent as most think." She smiles eerily as she flips a card which bears the image of Death, a dark-haired woman who--paradoxically--wears an ankh.
"A pagan goddess, for example, revived a sailor that had fallen in her domain." Another card. Calypso illustrated by crashing waves.
"A witch recalled a loved one from the clutches of Osiris."
"The Captain snatched from Death by the Bad Wolf."
"The Young Harper, reanimated by the Captain."
"So many others and yet what you ask, Samuel Winchester, is not something that any of them can accomplish." Her dark, solemn eyes hold no sympathy nor pity.
"I won't accept that."
Her lips stretch in an approximation of a smile. "I didn't think you would."
"So?" he challenges. "Is that it? You're going to tell me about people who succeeded where I failed?" he hissed angrily.
"They didn't make deals with demons," she comments with detachment.
He clenches his fists, angry without anything to channel his ire into.
"Have you never wondered why it is that your family has been singled out? Why the supernatural seems so drawn to you no matter what you do?"
Sam glares and purses his lips. "The Demon wanted me to open the gate."
She frowns at him, seemingly annoyed. "And what is it that makes you so special?" she demands of him.
She flips a card, a woman with blonde hair gazes at him serenely.
"Your mother," she informs goes him.
He goes cold. "My mother's dead."
"And so is all of her family," she says in an even tone. "Everyone except for you."
"What does this have to do with anything? How the hell is this supposed to help Dean?!"
This time, her smile was sly. "You have to go back to the beginning."
She sends him to Canada.
Quebec to be exact.
He trudges through the wilderness of the eastern Canadian forest, laden with supplies against hunger, exposure and demons.
The first week is miserable
The second is torture. Time wasted. Seconds of perpetual torment that Dean has to endure.
He doesn't know how much longer he can wait.
Sam awoke in the middle of the night at the end of the third week. The fog was thick and there was something inside the unbroken circle of salt that he'd laid down.
It was beautiful and utterly inhuman. Flawless features that glowed brightly in the shadow of the night. It was sitting, completely at ease and watching him with gemlike eyes that burned with starlight.
"Leave our forest, adan." It's voice, melodious and enchanting, was more insidious than that of a siren.
Sam found his voice as his hand tightened around the metal of the gun he always had at hand. "I came for answers."
The being's expression did not change, remaining disturbingly neutral. "There are no answers here for one such as you."
Sam frowned, disquieted and angry. "What the hell does that mean!?"
It emanated disapproval. "You are maeldîr," it spoke. "Stained one. You have been touched by evil and have brought it here, to our sanctuary."
"What are you?" Sam spoke in a hushed voice.
The being stood in one graceful motion. "I am of the eldar, your people call us elves."
"Elves?" Sam repeated skeptically.
"We have walked these lands for longer than you can fathom, seen great good and even greater evil. Leave this place, do not return. It is only by the grace of your bloodline and that of your mother that we do not dispatch you now, but it will not be so if you come again. You have dealt with the servants of the Dark One, your kin made covenants with them, you will find no aid here."
"Wait!" Sam called desperately. "Please," he entreated without knowing why.
The elf paused, it's gaze became measuring. "Less than the smallest of drops," the eldar murmured. "My people's blood runs within you and it is so very little that your language has no word for it."
At this, Sam jaw fell in astonishment, he gaped.
The elf's eyes twinkled faintly with amusement as he stepped towards him so that they were separated by a foot of distance. "We will give you no aid," he repeated. "But I will give you my blessing, young one, for you walk in shadow. I pray to Eru that I will not regret it." His fingers trailed across Sam's forehead, fluttered above his eyes, and wrote arcane script inches from his skin before ending with his hand over Sam's heart.
Sam was paralyzed by intense heat and a white light blinded him. Echoes of an ancient language were the last thing he heard as he fell unconscious.
Sam awoke alone in the morning, the previous night could have been dismissed as a dream or vision except he was a Winchester and his things had been packed by someone other than himself.
He left without hesitation, still set on freeing his brother.
But something had changed, he felt lighter and there were the faintest stirrings of what he would call hope if he could remember what the emotion felt like; he had been so long without it.