Summary: This was written for hoodie time sick dean prompt #9: Dean meets a soul he tortured down in Hell.
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural. This is for entertainment only and not for profit.
Dude passed out right after Dean finished carving the first letter.
Better you than me, Dean thought as he stared at that face. I'm not getting back on that rack. No damn way, no damn how.
This guy was a big one, nearly as tall as Sammy. He had a bigger canvas this time, so Dean made the initials a little larger this time, about three inches tall, three inches wide.
Dean didn't know how long he'd have to work on this one. Alastair hadn't said anything, and usually he would have indicated special handling.
The other symbol, the one he carved into the kid's right shoulder, well, that was done on a whim. Alastair really didn't care about stuff like that. As long as the job was done and the souls were tortured, Dean pretty much had free rein. Besides, the Cross of Confusion was pretty cool. Blue Oyster Cult. Dean was especially proud of how straight he'd cut the lines of the cross, and that curved part was damn near perfect.
Dean looked down at the bloody scalpel and smirked slyly. Well, it was time to continue on. Slicing off one of sleeping beauty's ears ought to wake him right the hell up.
He turned towards the voice behind him.
It wasn't Alastair. It was some bitch. A young one, with long auburn hair. She looked fresh and thoroughly fuckable. Dean felt heat pool in his belly; he was already half hard. He didn't remember seeing her around before, but that didn't mean anything. The fact that she was running around loose and not on a rack meant something, and it really bothered him that he didn't know exactly what.
The words she spoke froze Dean where he stood: "Emglan nostus daemon eturtmnim orous."
Dean blinked. A low dull ache flared behind his eyes.
"That's enough." She smiled as she took the scalpel from his hand. "We're really impressed with how well you did." Her eyes were bright with wonder. "I didn't think you were actually going to cut Sam, sweetness."
"Sam?" Dean whispered. He stared at the man on the rack.
Oh, God…it…it was…
"Now now." Rosalie patted Dean's arm. The two black eyed demons came out of the mirror and flanked Dean, one on either side. They held his arms, but he couldn't take his eyes off Sam.
He'd done that…done that to his own brother. The blood, the carvings…
The other two possessed ones walked around the rack undoing the straps that held Sam down.
Dean groaned as her fingers found the stab wound in his side. Her fingertips pushed their way in, past the lips of the wound, and dug into his flesh deeply. The pain was sudden and sharp.
Rosalie smiled as she worked her fingers into him.
"That's the whole point of this little exercise," Rosalie whispered. She pulled her fingers out and licked slowly at the blood that coated her fingertips.
Spots of blackness darker than night bloomed around the edge of Dean's vision, swallowed him up whole. Her voice slithered through the darkness that rose up and threatened to drag him down. "I want you to remember what you did to Sam, Dean. I want you to remember the beast you have inside you." She pushed something sharp and silver into his hand. "If you decide you can't live with what you did, you can always come home."
Dean's knees buckled, but he never felt it when he hit the floor.
Rosalie's chuckle was light and cheerful. Her breath scorched Sam's right ear, hot and sulfurous. "Wake up, Sammy boy. Wake up."
He didn't want to. Didn't want to see, because his body was already telling him that the damage had been done.
Dean…Dean did this to me.
"Here. Call whoever you like." Sam recognized the shape and the weight of the small object she pushed into the left front pocket of his jeans. "I imagine you won't be able to get away from Dean fast enough.
Dean's ashamed of what he did down in Hell. Both of you need a little reminder, that's all. You'll remember, Sam. You will.
The pain in his chest and shoulder burned bright and white hot. Sam opened his eyes, and the pain doubled as he sat up on the rack. His vision blurred as he stared down at his chest.
Dean marked me, Sam thought dully. He cut me.
The things in the blood red mirror wall stared at him, and Sam's head bobbled a little as he stared back at them. Some were impossibly tall and thin, others were broad and squat. Long slender things whipped and snapped in the air behind them. Sam couldn't see any real details, just outlines of their shapes, and he was grateful for that. What little he could see hurt his eyes.
They were impatient; Sam could tell.
The show wasn't over yet.
He slid off the rack sideways. The pain from the cuts travelled down his spine, all the way down to the soles of his feet. Sam sank down on his knees.
There was blood on the floor, and all of it came from Dean.
He sat up against the opposite site of the rack. Dean had something in his hand, something silver and bloody. It was in his right hand, and Sam stared stupidly as Dean's hand moved in and out.
Dean moaned, a soft, desperate sound, and at first Sam couldn't believe what he was seeing.
Stabbing himself…he's stabbing…
Sam raised himself up. His feet slipped and slid on the blood as he rounded the corner of the rack.
Some of the things in the mirror drew back.
"No. No! Stop that, stop it ---"
Sam reached out and missed as Dean's right hand moved again. The knife slid into Dean's skin again. Dean groaned, but he would not stop.
Sam grabbed Dean's hand the second time and managed to pull the knife back, but even in his present condition Dean was stronger than he looked. He tightened his grip on the blood slicked knife.
"Sam…get…get away…from me…" Dean whispered hoarsely. His knife hand jerked inwards again. Sam jerked it back and finally wrenched it free from Dean's hand. Sam threw the knife into the far corner.
"No. No, I'm not leaving you."
God, there was so much blood.
"Bad," Dean breathed. "Don't want you seeing me like this…"
"It's okay. Dude, it's okay! Doesn't matter…." Sam spotted the pieces of his shirt on the floor. He balled up the remnants of his shirt and pressed it to Dean's side. Dean flinched.
"Does…matter," Dean slurred. "Didn't…didn't you see…what I did… to you…"
Dean stirred feebly. His eyes flickered open, the whites of his eyes rolling wildly
"Dude, it's okay. It's all right."
"…not okay…not all right, y'hear me? Not…it's not…"
"That's….that's what…I am….it's what I did…you really think…I woulda stopped myself? Is that what you think?" Dean shook his head, wide-eyed. "Don't you get it? This is me, Sam…this is…me…." Dean whispered dully.
"Hold on, you hear me? You're not dying on me, Dean, so you hold on."
Dean shuddered. He was so damn pale. "Don't wanna hurt anybody else…I don't "…if I kill myself I go back…" Dean laughed crazily. The sound raised the hair at the back of Sam's neck. "Can't…can't win for losin', huh?"
"Fireman's carry, dude." Sam snapped. "Right now. We're going."
Putting on a show for these hellbound sonsabitches was not an option.
Sam stood up with Dean slung over his shoulders. Christ. He nearly stumbled underneath Dean's extra weight.
"Fuck you, Sam grated out. "Fuck all of you. We're not putting on a show for you. I'm not rejecting my brother, you hear me? I'm not."
The things in the mirror drew back.
First one step and then another. "Bitches better not be here when I get back!" Sam yelled. He carried Dean out, and he didn't look back, but he was struck by one thing. There were demons in the mirror, but their reaction was very human.
Sam recognized the emotion. It was surprise.
Six months later
The rent needed to be paid for this month, and he could keep out just enough to make it for the next two weeks. The rest goes in the kitty. Three more months ought to do it, Dean thought. He put the key in the lock and stepped inside his darkened apartment.
Dean turned on the lights and froze dead in his tracks.
Sam sat at the table near the window, right next to Dean's duffel on the floor. Sam had Dean's Colt 1911 in his hand, and as Dean watched Sam very slowly popped the clip and slipped it back into his pocket.
"Hey," Sam said softly. He opened his jacket, put the gun in his side waistband. Dean caught a glimpse of the W he'd carved in Sam's skin and very pointedly looked away.
Bobby Singer sat on Dean's bed. " 'bout damn time you showed up, princess."
Dean was speechless for once.
Bobby rolled his eyes. "Don't look so shocked. Next time you run away, try not to hide at a garage." He quirked an eyebrow. "Garrett's Garage? Doesn't matter if it's in another state. I got people who deal with my salvage yard nationwide."
All Dean could do was stare at him. It was damned awkward. Bobby finally broke the moment by standing up.
"I'll leave you two alone so you can catch up," Bobby drawled drily. The stare he gave Dean was direct and unwavering. "And if you ever pull a disappearing act like that again, I'll kick your ass from here to Tacoma, Washington. You don't ditch family like that, you hear me, boy?"
"Yes sir," Dean muttered.
"Good," Bobby nodded at Sam. "I'll be outside if you need me."
Sam nodded back. The silence deepened as Bobby closed the door behind him.
Dean opened his arms wide. "You wanna take a swing at me? Kick my ass. Okay. Have at it."
"Maybe later," Sam drawled.
"Okay then." Dean went over to the closet, pulled the door open and fished an envelope out of that show box on the top shelf. He tossed it in Sam's direction; Sam caught it with one hand.
Sam frowned. "What is this?"
"Sixty five hundred dollars." Dean sat down on the corner of the bed. "Been working double shifts at the garage. I should have another twenty five hundred in another month or so, more after that."
"Dean, what the hell is this for?"
"Come on, Sam." Dean rolled his eyes. "Did IQs drop while I was gone? That's for your plastic surgery. I knew you were still staying with Bobby. I called Ellen. She told me you were. She threatened to kick my ass if I didn't come see you, but I couldn't." Dean nodded at the envelope. "That's for you."
Sam looked at the envelope and shook his head. He put it down on the table and pushed it away from him. Dean's face fell, then just as quickly, he slipped his mask back on again.
"I need a damn drink," Dean finally huffed. He went over to the fridge and pulled out two beers. He was careful not to look at Sam below his chin as he handed the bottle off to his brother. Sam caught the look.
"So," Sam said slowly. "What have you been up to?"
Dean shrugged. "Working. Pulling double shifts sometimes. Got another job on the side as a driver at a limo service." Dean lifted the bottle to his lips and drank half. "Tips are pretty damn good."
"And after you sent me the money you were gonna kill yourself, weren't you?"
"Yep." There it was no. No regret, no hesitation.
Sam inhaled noisily. "Why?"
"Why?" Dean barked laughter, short and humorless. "What, did you miss the memo or somethin' Sam? You saw what I was like. What I did."
"Dean, we gotta talk about this. You've been gone for five months."
"And you should have let me stay gone."
Sam shook his head. "Not an option."
Dean smiled bitterly. "Okay. Is this the part where you tell me that life is a gift and I should hold onto each precious moment?" Another bitter chuckle. "Well, believe me, pal, some of those moments weren't so damn precious."
Dean put the bottle to his lips and took a swallow. His hands shook so badly he leaned forward and gripped it tight with both hands.
"So what do you expect me to do now?" Sam said quietly.
"Do? I expect you to get up and leave with Bobby. And not to look back."
"If I do leave, you're coming with me."
"Hell I am."
"You still don't get it, Sam." Dean stared at the floor. "I bawled like a bitch the first day, and it wasn't because I was sad I was hurting people. Dean lifted his head up, and the mask slipped. The expression on his face was open, vulnerable. "I…I cried…because I was afraid. I was afraid I'd fuck up. I was afraid it was a trick and Alastair would put me right back on the rack."
"I enjoyed it." Dean wiped at the corners of his eyes. "I enjoyed every single friggin' moment of it. And you know what? If Rosalie hadn't stopped me, if she hadn't…I would have started in on you again. I was gonna rip into you until there was nothing left."
"You should hate me for what I did. You should be running away from me."
"That's exactly what Rosalie said."
"You stupid, stubborn sonofabitch!" Dean exploded. "Haven't you been listening to a fucking word I've said?"
"Yeah," Sam said slowly. "I have. You ditched me and Bobby before I could tell you what else she said to me." Sam pulled his shirt and jacket collar away from his neck so that Dean could get a good look at his initials.
Dean stared at the marks. "You should hate me for that," he whispered.
"I don't," Sam said softly. "I never could."
"You're just saying that. There's no forgiving something like that, Sam. There's no ---"
"I killed a woman, Dean."
"Just before…just before I broke the final seal. She was an Obstetrics nurse. She was human, but she'd been possessed by one of Lillith's demons." Sam leaned forward, clasped his hands together. "Ruby said I needed a boost. Told me I couldn't kill Lillith without draining this woman's blood. I tried to fool myself into thinking that Ruby was responsible for that, but…I would have…I would have killed that nurse anyway. I needed to kill her. I wanted the rush her blood would give me."
Sam looked horribly young and vulnerable. "Could you hate me for that?"
"No." It was the truth. The absolute truth.
"Rosalie told me that her sponsors were never going to let you hurt me too badly. They just wanted to give me a few new scars. She said each and every time I looked at these scars, I'd remember what you did and I'd want to get away from you."
Dean inhaled deeply. His chest hitched painfully as he finally straightened up and looked Sam in the eyes.
"I learned a lesson all right. Just not the one she wanted me to learn," Sam said quietly. "Every time I look at these scars they remind me of what you went through down in hell. You did that. You died for me. And now that you're back, I don't want to lose you again. That's why I'm not getting them fixed. You keep your money. I ditched you for a demon, and I did that of my own free will. After all I've done, I should be asking for your forgiveness. You shouldn't want to be around me after this."
For a moment Sam's face twisted, out of control with grief, before he settled himself. Tears ran down both cheeks. "All I want…I want my big brother back."
Sam stood up and walked over to the door. "That's all. That's all I ever wanted. "
He closed the door gently behind him.
Bobby grunted softly as Sam slid into the passenger side of the Chevelle.
"Well?" Bobby rumbled.
"Dean doesn't believe me. He thinks I hate him." Sam looked tired and worn around the eyes. Kid's aged right before my eyes, Bobby thought.
The older hunter shrugged. "There's always Plan B. We can go in and hogtie him, drag him back kicking and screaming."
"No. I can't do that."
"It's always an option, kid," Bobby said mildly.
"I screwed up, Bobby. I did." Sam leaned forward, put his elbows on his knees and rubbed his hands over his face. "He doesn't believe me. He never will."
"Oh, I wouldn't say that, kid," Bobby drawled.
Sam startled as the passenger side opened. He was suddenly pressed forward into the dashboard as Dean pushed his way in.
"Sorry. Coming through. Sorry," Dean muttered. He tossed his duffel onto the bench and sat idly tapping his right knee with his fingers.
Bobby turned on the ignition, and the Chevelle rumbled into life. "Idjit."