A/N: Here cometh the final chapter. So please, is my poor DeanClone even still alive? *implores desperately*
A/N 2: FYN, I've got no knowledge whatsoever about voodoo, so please bear with me. Should the hairs of your neck stand on end merely because of my poor insights into witchcraft or the like, I'll consider my goal of creeping you all out achieved, anyway. ;-) LOL
Three hours ago:
The very first thing I realize again sends chills through my whole body and brings me back to full attention in no time, Sam's anguished screams.
Next I notice I'm already standing, or with my unsteady legs, rather hanging uncomfortably from my wrists. The witch has got me shackled to the mucky wall somewhere in the deep cellars of the mansion. I tug at the manacles like mad but there's no give.
"SAM! Sammy!" I shout enraged, pulling on the chains again for emphasis. "Leave him alone, you bitch!"
She never stops the low humming I take in just now as she looks briefly at me over her left shoulder. In the dim light I can see her lips moving and beyond that, Sam strung up opposite of me. Yet, what exactly she does to him is blocked out by her haggard, robe-clad figure. He gasps breathlessly, hardly audible above the summons she's probably reciting. Sam doesn't even try to break free – or not anymore. He's getting weaker by the minute, and it's driving me crazy.
"You hear me?" I yell once more. "Why don't you take on someone–"
The cruel smile when she half turns to me shuts me up immediately. In combination with that wicked-looking knife poised over her head, ready to strike, and the evil glint in her eyes, it leaves no room for false interpretation.
I hold my breath and look daggers at her. Not in the least impressed, the woman just turns her attention back to Sam, brings the blade down and deftly severs his shirt with it, nothing more. Relief floods my system but something tells me, it's not yet over. Comes with the job, I guess; and at times I truly hate to be right.
Sam flinches away but there's nowhere to go when the voodoo-priestess runs her hand smoothly over his well-defined torso. She tilts her head to the side and moves her fingers up his front again, this time digging her nails in mercilessly. He pants and breathes through the pain, holding his head high and proud – good boy. Even from the other side of the room I can see the bloody marks on his chest.
"You are so dead, bitch," I hiss through clenched teeth, barely containing my wrath.
Ignoring me completely, she reaches inside her robe and rubs a dark liquid into the cuts. Sam makes no sound at all, and I'm not sure which scares me more, Sam screaming or suffering silently. I for one prefer my brother not suffering at all, period! Afterwards she opens her right hand and blows some sort of powder straight into Sam's face. He coughs a few times before he starts swaying on his legs, held upright only by the chains at this point.
Then she prowls across the cellar like a predator out for prey until she is standing right in front of me. This close, I get my first good look at her larger-than-life appearance. With her long grey mane tied in a firm knot, she's old, very old but her effortless movements belie her real age. I'm painfully aware of the knife she is still holding in her hands while she graces me with a smile which makes the hairs in the nape of my neck stand on end. The witch leans in and whispers, "You're quite mistaken, boy. The one to die will be you," as she almost gently nicks my left arm with the blade. It doesn't really hurt but it's enough to draw blood.
A few moments later she returns to a more or less incoherent Sam hanging limply from the shackles, and deliberately smears crimson droplets on his fingers. "Your brother needs to be put to rest," she tells him. "There's no haste, start slowly. Give him time to see it too. His blood is on your hands already," and she seals my fate with a chaste kiss.
"Sam! Don't believe her. She's tricking you, man. Don't you believe her!"
She opens his manacles and watches him glide bonelessly to the floor before she places the knife into his right hand. Clearly content with herself, the voodoo-priestess leaves the basement.
I try to reach him, get through to him. "Sam, come on, dude. Don't let her control you. You are stronger than that." There's sweat on his brow though and his eyes stare ahead unseeingly.
"SAM!" I hope I'll get to strangle the bitch when she returns; because return she will, that much is obvious. She'd hate to miss the showdown.
When Sam pushes off the ground, leaning heavily against the wall behind him, he acts like in a trance. His movements are coordinated but it's not him, not really. Despite that, the way he flexes his fingers around the shabby hilt, balancing the blade tentatively, getting to know his weapon… it's entirely hunter's instinct. Dad would be so proud of him now.
Once again I call his name, pull anxiously on the chains, anything to make him snap out of it but there's no recognition in his features; neither at his name nor at my voice. In the background I can see the witch standing in the doorway, her eyes fixed on Sam. Nothing like getting slaughtered in front of an audience. I nod menacingly in her direction, try not to swallow too thickly, lest my mask of bravery slip away. She isn't fazed one bit, I can tell it by her sneer.
Sam's pace gets steadier with every step he takes, almost as if his determination grows with increasing proximity. Desperately I work on the manacles, yanking and twisting my bleeding wrists in a last-ditch effort to get free. The sight of Sam, driven by some weird delusion, looming half an arm's length in front of me with a wicked-looking knife, is getting to me more than I'd ever admit. So does his dull gaze when he slices into my forearm, expanding the previous cut. In a curious stupor he watches the blood running down my limb and dripping from my elbow, then he repeats his endeavour on my right side, carving even deeper. Involuntarily gasping at the painful incisions and Sam's lifeless stare, I don't even notice the woman's approach.
"Well done," she whispers approvingly in his ear, her voice husky. "He almost sees it now. Take him there, you know how."
She hovers next to him like a scavenger waiting for the feast as he presses the blade into my flank, slowly, careful to avoid vital organs, not yet ready for the kill. My jaws are clenched so tight, I'm afraid I might crush my teeth if I'm not dead soon… but I'll be damned before I give that friggin' witch the pleasure of hearing me scream.
The smile she throws at Sam makes my blood turn to ice water, what's left of it anyway. It's creepy and cold, filled with a hunger that can never be satisfied; all the while she encourages him to rip the knife free. An instant later he pulls it out, observing my watering eyes impassively.
"He's ready to go now." Her words barely register in my pain-hazy brains but his contemplating nod does. I refuse to break eye-contact with Sam and he hesitates. For the fracture of a second I allow myself to believe there is still hope, I even think I see something like recognition in his eyes.
"Kill him!" she snaps, his expression turns dispassionate again and he plunges the knife home, full force.
I scream. I can't help it, inevitably scrunging my eyes shut. A moment later the cry dies with the last of my breath…
… but the agony never comes.
Experimentally I blink at first, and then open both eyes entirely. I can't tell who's more surprised, me, the witch or Sam. She's staring at him wide-eyed, her shaking hands disbelievingly clutching the blade protruding from her chest. The front of her floor-length white robe quickly turns crimson with the adrenaline-rushed gushing of her blood. She opens her mouth to say something, gasping for breath, but then collapses sooner than she can make a sound – dead before she hits the ground.
Sam shakes his head vehemently over and over, and bit by bit his hazel eyes go back to normal. With his clearing senses, his whole posture changes as well until he is completely Sam again – and realization dawns of what happened.
"Dean! Oh God," he stammers, horrified at the sight of me chained up and injured by his own hands.
"I'm fine, Sammy," I reassure him but he only gives me that 'yeah, right' look before he opens my shackles skilfully. He rips his shirt off entirely and presses the shreds against the wound in my side, using the arms of his top to tie the make-shift bandage around my body. I can't suppress a heart-felt grunt when Sam pulls the fabric tight. It's not perfect but it'll do until we're back in the motel. The other slashes are hardly bleeding anymore, so I forego covering them in favour of giving him a quick once-over in return.
Sam looks a little worse for the wear; yet, apart from those five fingernail scratches on his torso, he seems okay. I'll flush them out thoroughly with peroxide as soon as we're back, no stalling. With the unnatural fever barely gone, I don't believe he's in any condition to fight off an infection.
"How?" I ask curiously, although I'm not sure I want to know the answer.
"I don't know," he offers honestly after thinking about it for a moment. "One second I was completely… I don't know… enthralled and then she yelled at me and…" he shrugs helplessly. "I guess, it's the one thing she couldn't make me do, kill my brother, not in a million years."
We burn her bones right there in the cellar along with her altar. The fire won't spread past the deep walls, preventing the stately home from going up in ashes and becoming her final victim.