A/N: Inspired by Shinedown's Sin With a Grin. This is not a song fic, but you may recognize lines from the song and some…background noise if you listen close. Hope you like. I wanted to get this posted before Friday since work is about to get completely insane right before I take vacation. This one goes to Skag Trendy. Happy birthday sweetie!(in two days). Sorry I'm not gonna be around, but I hope you like your little pressie! I'm setting this up like Moments in Time and Winchester Single Shots(check them out if you get time!) and there will be more chapters with different inspirations when the music and the muse collide again.
Chapter 1: Venom and Rope.
Sam lifted his head from where his chin rested on his chest. He felt the bite of rope as he tried to move his hands. Sam blinked rapidly, belatedly wondering why his vision was tinged red in his right eye. He felt blood, warm and sticky, slide slowly down his jaw.
Sam blinked the red haze away, annoyed at the itch the drying blood left behind and his head swiveled, until he laid eyes on…
"Dean!" Dean was slumped in a matching position, leaning against another large rock, head down, hands tied. Blood was meandering slowly through his stubble and dripping off his chin. "Dean."
"Look who's awake." A gravelly voice said from behind Sam. Sam gasped as he felt the heavy weight of a coil of rope settle against the top of his shoulders around his neck. It was given a savage yank which pulled Sam's head back against the boulder. He gasped as the rope was pulled tight and cut off his air. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Dean's head shift slightly before stilling. Voices began droning around him, little more than whispers. Sam's wrists left bound, his feet cut free, and the rope was pulled again, forcing Sam to use his numb hands to leverage himself up from the leaf strewn ground. He felt another tug on the rope, and choked as it burned the skin of his neck and again made his breathing stutter.
"What are you doing?" Sam ground out, hoping that Dean would wake, hearing Sam's cries.
The whispers in the background changed to a chant, a two syllable sound like "ahyah" repeated over and over in both masculine and feminine voices. Shadows swarmed in the trees around the clearing and Sam felt the sound would make him insane. He got no answers from whoever was controlling the rope around his neck, but it did slacken slightly and Sam pulled in a breath that turned quickly into a sickening feeling as he realized that the rope laid against his back in the shape of a long cylinder. A noose, it's a freakin' noose. Oh god, Dean, please wake up! Sam flew into a rage, his bound hands and arms trying to deck whoever was controlling the rope. His body snapped around, his eyes frantically trying to see the shadows in the woods, the source of the maddening chant. The rope tightened painfully and a heavy booted foot slammed into the backs of Sam's knees, driving him forward. The rope choked him unmercifully, his vision swimming and turning black at the edges, as he caught himself on his hands and knees. The chant doubled in it's intensity, and the gravelly voice sounded out again. "Take a good look at agony." And the rope pulled painfully tight, jerking Sam back to his feet, his legs throbbing where the boot had connected. Sam gagged and tried once again to resist. The figure he hadn't seen yet, the one behind him, snarled and rounded on Sam.
Sam gasped as he took in a figure in a red robe, the hood completely shrouding his face and making his body shapeless. "Time to hang." The figure said, wrapping the end of the rope around a hand ringed with black tape.
"No! Why are you doing this?!" Sam gasped out against the pressure at his throat. "Who are you?"
"Oh Sammy, thought you'd know me by now. Look inside Sam. Ya see, I'm inside, with two black eyes."
"Meg." Sam snarled, looking again towards his brother as Dean's head moved. "DEAN!"
"You're whining Sam." Meg snarled, the host's gravelly voice dancing with mirth. "Ya see, I'm out for a little fun Sammy. I'm a demon. I know how to sin with a grin." Meg said with a singsong voice.
"Time for a little fun!" She snarled and pulled viciously on the rope, dragging Sam over beneath a large bare branched oak tree. The chanting grew to ear bleeding levels, the tones changing, growing louder, deeper. Frenzied. Another robed figure emerged from the forest around them, his voice leading the chant.
"Ahyah. Ahyah. Ahyah."
"Step up Sam." Meg said as she whipped the looped end of the rope up over a large branch of the tree and caught it effortlessly. She yanked on the rope, forcing Sam to stretch to his toes to keep from suffocating. She tugged the rope and forced Sam to look up into the top of the trees as the rope cut into the sensitive skin just beneath his chin. "Come on Sam….up, up, up." Meg sing-songed again. She pulled on the rope and Sam staggered up on to a small pillar of stacked rocks. The pillar shifted under his weight and Sam forced himself to steady, or risk falling off and breaking his neck. Meg tied the rope off to another stout tree limb.
Dean finally groaned and shifted on the ground, raising his head. His bloodshot eyes cleared and he writhed in his bound position as they lit on Sam, standing on the shifting pile of rock with the noose stretched tight. The drone of the chanting broke through the haze that surrounded Dean's mind and he looked worriedly at the surrounding woods, seeing the shadows shift.
"SAM!" Dean cried.
"Dean!" Sam gasped. "'S Meg."
Dean focused on the red shrouded figure before him, the one who crouched down and lowered the hood to reveal a clean shaven black man with a malicious grin on his face.
"You bitch!" Dean ground out, "let 'im go!"
"Aw, such the spoil sport after your little trip downstairs huh?" Meg cocked her host's head to the side as a big hand reached out to clasp Dean's jaw line in a tight grip. Fingers played over still sluggishly dripping blood. "C'mon Dean. Don't tell me you don't think Sam can handle the little test? Nothing like the hangman standing on a twisted 2X4." Meg moved to Sam's side again and poked him in the thigh with a finger. Sam's sneakers rolled on the surface of the rock as it shifted and he gave a strangled sound before putting his still bound hands out to balance himself.
"Time for a little fun! Whaddya say Sammy?" Meg snapped her host's meaty fingers and two robed figures came out of the woods as the chanting continued in the background, rising to another pitch.
"AHYAH,AHYAH,AHYAH, AHYAH, AHYAH!"
The two figures walked up to each brother, their hands clasped together beneath their robes, the red fabric rustling as if they were twiddling their thumbs. They looked at their targets, eyes shining with mirth beneath the shadow of the big hoods. Human eyes. Each one pulled their hands apart and out of the big sleeves of the robes, showing the snakes clasped gently in their hands. Sam gasped, seeing the man hold up the snake with the red and black rings on it's rust colored skin. The red rings were surrounded by yellow.
The man began to whisper, Sam blocking his fear of the snake to catch the words. "Thank you for the venom, did you think it would paralyze?" Sam shot his eyes to Dean, seeing the man looming over him, holding another snake high. The snake held over Dean's form writhed, catching the moonlight. Sam saw it's similar rings, noticing that the red was surrounded by black instead of yellow. Sam flinched as the snake was settled just above the noose and coiled around his neck to compliment the rope biting into his flesh. He felt the cool flesh of the snake and fought against the urge to break down and scream. The snake's head lifted as it slithered contentedly around the rope, bouncing gently off Sam's lifted chin.
Sam's eyes shifted to see the man drape the other snake around Dean's neck. Meg walked back over and leaned down, petting the head of the snake with a finger. "It's funny, Just get lucky enough to pick the right snake and people think you're a God." she nodded at the cloaked figures still lurking and they came closer, the chant building in the night to a roar. Dean's eyes met Sam's and shifted to the snake, seeing the same thing Sam did. One was deadly, the other harmless.
"Sammy." Dean said, his voice nearly drowned out by the chant.
She nodded her host's head in the direction of Sam and tisked beneath her breath. "Pick the wrong one and …ouch. Oh well, ya win some ya lose some." she stood from her crouch and walked over to Sam. "Oh Sammy. It's been such fun playing with you…ya made my night." She raised her host's arms above his head and joined in on the chant, before bending down and pulling a small rock about the size of a baseball out of the side of the pile that Sam stood on. The rocks shifted and Sam's footing became even more precarious, his body swaying as the rope tightened and his breath turned into a ragged wheeze. The snake hissed angrily at the intrusion, tongue flicking against Sam's racing pulse as the snake writhed against the rope.
The chanting fell to a hushed silence as they waited for Sam to fall. Dean's eyes met Sam's and he saw the same thing he felt, resignation, fear for his brother. Meg walked back to Dean and pulled a dagger from the folds of her robe. She turned the blade to face Dean and plunged it into his upper shoulder, severing the head from the snake in the process.
Her host's eyes flickered black, and a gasp went through the cloaked figures. She snarled and turned to them, growling before she pulled the host's head back and left him choking on a cloud of black smoke. It shifted through the trees and disappeared into the night. Two puncture marks appeared on his left wrist and black lines quickly trailed upwards, as the man gasped and choked, the flesh of his arm turning black. He fell to the side, eyes open and staring just past Dean. The cloaked figures scattered and disappeared into the night, some screaming, some ranting in foreign languages.
"Dean!" Sam cried, forgetting about the shifting rocks, the snake still wound around his neck, still alive and deadly.
Dean reached his bound hands to his shoulder, panting heavily and pulled the dagger from the wound with a wet, sucking sound and a cry of pain. He flipped it in his hands and used the bloody blade to cut the ropes, standing after he cut the bindings on his ankles. He wavered on his feet, going to a knee against the boulder, his numb hands barely stopping a face to stone plant. The body of the snake fell limp to the ground.
"Sammy. Don't move. 'M gonna get you outta this."
"Dean," Sam whispered with a trembling voice. "help me."
"Okay. I'm here now. Gonna get that thing off you." Dean said, swallowing hard as he looked at the snake who had wrapped itself tightly around Sam's neck and the rope.
"Dean, it's the poisonous one." Sam whispered, swallowing terror as a rhyme flitted through his mind- Red on yellow...- flinching at the snake's disturbed hiss. The rocks shifted beneath Sam's feet, grinding off one another. The snake pulled back, mouth open. A flick of Dean's wrist had him slicing deep into the neck of the snake with the dagger, sending head and body to the ground in two separate places. Sam's feet shifted on the rocks and his weight came down against the rope and Dean, rocks scattering beneath their feet. He began gagging, slowly strangling.
"SAM!" Dean cried, trying to catch Sam's weight and get it off the rope. "SAMMY!" Sam's eyelids fluttered, only the whites showing now as his face turned a mottled shade of red-purple. Dean lifted up on Sam, wrapping an arm around his middle and reaching for the noose with the dagger. He slowly- too damn slow!- managed to saw through the rope and sent him and Sam to the ground, jarring his painful shoulder as they landed on the rocks Sam had been standing on. Dean blinked away the black spots crowding his vision and rolled Sam onto his back. Sam's lips were parted, blue. His chest wasn't rising and falling and he was no longer wheezing.
"Sam, don't you do this!" Dean reached for the rope biting harshly into Sam's neck and pried enough room beneath it for two fingers. His nails scratched Sam's neck and made the rope slick with blood. Dean pulled at the rope, praying for it to loosen. Finally the knot gave a little and the rope slackened. Dean lifted Sam and worked the hideous device over his head, tossing it away. "C'mon kid, breathe!" Dean said as he opened Sam's tortured airway, his fingers touching swollen rope burns. Sam sucked in a shallow, wheezing breath, and released it on a harsh cough before pulling in air in ragged pants.
Dean eased his body behind Sam and lifted him, relief streaking through him when Sam's breathing eased just a bit. " I gotcha, I gotcha." Dean panted with Sam, feeling his shoulder flare intensely.
"De-" Sam started, the word dissolving into another coughing fit, eyelids fluttering before finally opening.
"Shh. 'M here."
"I know. Jus' sit tight." Dean said, tightening his arms around his little brother in relief.
"BOYS!" a voice rang out in the night.
"Over here Bobby!" Dean called slightly breathlessly. He sagged when he saw the older hunter's form emerge from the trees.
"Aw, shit! We get separated for an hour and here ya both are, beat to hell." the older hunter scolded, even as worry flooded his features. He quickly pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and stuck it between Dean's black jacket and his green over shirt.
"We'll be alright. Let's just get the hell outta here." Dean stood on shaky legs and reached for Sam, Bobby following suit and looping Sam's other arm over his shoulder. They began a slow trek out of the woods and toward the Impala.
"What the hell happened Dean? I mean, I hear this ruckus and then there's this bunch o' nut jobs runnin' through the trees screamin' bloody hell."
"It was Meg. Bitch was playing with us…again."
"Got away." Sam rasped from his position between them, struggling to hold his head up and keep his feet moving.
"Don't worry. We'll find that bitch again." Dean said, "Then I'm gonna make her see what happens to a snake charmer when they ain't quite so lucky."
A/N: Like I said, this was for Skag Trendy's birthday. There's a reason for that. Check out her Hunter of the Shadows. It was a birthday present for me and is a completely addicting read. Gonna finish talking her into letting me play with the boys how she has them now. Look for Hunter of the Twilight as my next full length fic, and part of the Shades of Night 'verse although it may be a while. Please review!