Title: Need Some Light
Rating: PG-13 … just to be sure.
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural and do not make any money with this story.
Summary: Tag to Jump The Shark. What if Adam hadn't been dead when Dean found him?
Word count: 3068
Characters/Pairing: Adam, Dean & Sam (this chapter just Adam and Dean)
Warnings/Spoilers: Spoilers for Jump The Shark. Story goes AU in the middle of the episode.
Author's Notes: Hi guys! *waves* Everyone should write a 'What if?' fanfiction to 4x19 because it's fun and this here is mine. I had this story planned ever since I saw the episode and a few weeks ago I finally decided to start type it down. It's not finished yet, mostly due to me having to focus on my bachelor's thesis at the moment, but further 3000 words have already been typed.
In this first chapter I've tried to stay as close to the episode as possible although it will of course veer off in another direction at some point. And this is my first SPN fanfiction although definitely not the last, seeing as I'm also working on an AU of the season finale. :)
Also, I'm from Germany and English is only my second language, so there may be (read: probably are) a few mistakes due to that and the fact that I don't have a beta. So, feel free to point them out and I hope you enjoy the story nonetheless!
Great, Dean thought, I got trapped by a freaking ghoul!
"Son of a bitch!" He swore. He repeated it again when he tried his cell phone and got no signal.
Thoroughly annoyed, he looked at his surroundings. It was dusty and dark. Everything in the beam of his flashlight looked grey and decidedly unwelcoming. The crypt seemed old but blood and various meaty body parts on the ground suggested recent use by someone – or in this case, something. Dean knew ghouls loved places like this one, full of dead people and usually devoid of living ones. And he knew that he never should have come here on his own. It had been a stupid decision and now he paid the price for it. His phone was not working and he had no way of contacting Sam and Adam to warn them about the ghoul. Or to tell them to get him out of here.
Dean's gaze drifted to the tunnel he had come through. It was blocked with dirt and it would probably take him days to get all the dirt out of the way without a shovel. He saw no other tunnels leading out of the crypt.
Dean sighed in resignation and looked at the coffins. He randomly chose one and walked over to it, careful not to step into the blood or on any other human remains that were scattered all over the floor. Maybe he would get lucky and discover a hidden passageway in one of the coffins. It was worth a shot.
Pushing the lid aside, Dean stared straight into the sunken face of Kate Millegan, Adam's mother. He closed his eyes, the sadness for Adam's loss almost overwhelming. Dean knew their chances of finding Adam's mom alive had been slim from the beginning on but he had not given up hope for his brother's sake. He dreaded telling Adam about this. The kid would be devastated.
Dean sighed and gently closed the lid again. Kate's body had been mutilated, and it made him wonder since when ghouls went after living people. Usually, they were quite happy with hanging around graveyards having only the dead for company; and as a food resource. Dean had never heard of a ghoul actively hunting humans before and it made him uneasy to think about such a creature running around outside, maybe wearing the missing officer's face right now, looking for new victims. His brothers were probably on top of the menu.
"Dammit!" Dean swore. He looked again at the bloody remains on the floor. Out of their two missing people, Kate was lying in the coffin he had just opened. That would make the person on the floor the officer who had worked the case with Dad all these years ago, Dean guessed.
He went over to another coffin, not expecting to find anything. When he opened it, Dean almost stopped breathing. The coffin was occupied and frightened pale blue eyes stared up at him, squinting in the sudden light.
"Please, don't hurt me!" Adam pleaded and Dean could do nothing but stare in shock and confusion at his little brother. He could see that Adam was lying on the side of the coffin that was as far away from Dean as was possible. Adam's clothes were torn and he was curled in on himself, hands pressed to his stomach. He was coated in dust and blood.
"Why don't you just kill me! Please, just get it over with!" Adam's voice trembled and shook with suppressed fear. He closed his eyes and turned away from Dean and something inside of Dean clenched at the sight. He had no doubt that this was his real brother lying in a coffin in front of him, left to die with no hope of getting rescued because a ghoul was walking around outside with his face. Which meant that Sam was now alone with a ghoul impersonating their little brother and with a second ghoul most likely on its way. Just perfect. They had to get out of here, and fast, otherwise Sam would be the ghouls' next dinner.
"Hey," Dean said softly, trying to think of a way to explain everything to his brother as quick as possible, "Look, Adam, I'm not here to hurt you, okay? My name's Dean and –"
"You're my brother?" Adam asked, his voice full of surprise. He opened his eyes and looked at Dean with such a hopeful and open expression that Dean felt uncomfortable.
"Er, yeah? How come you know about me?" Dean asked, perplexed.
"The monster," Adam explained, "It … it suddenly looked like me. And it told me it would phone my brothers, Sam and Dean. It wanted to lure them – I mean, you – here. I never knew I had brothers."
Suddenly, Adam's eyes narrowed and the hopefulness turned into suspicion.
"You're just screwing with me, aren't you?" It was more a statement than a question.
"I know you things can look like anyone you want. You're not my brother. You're just looking for another way to hurt me. So come on! Take another bite, why don't you?"
Adam's voice sounded so defiant and more courageous than he probably felt that Dean could not help but be proud of his little brother. It was a good sign that Adam did not trust him that easily. The kid learns fast, Dean thought and smiled at Adam in a way he hoped looked reassuring.
"I don't know how to prove it but I'm not the monster. Me and Sam, we got a call from you, asking for our help. We came here instantly and met you." Dean shrugged.
"But that wasn't me," Adam said, still wary. "It's the monster."
"Yeah, I know that now," Dean replied. "It's a ghoul, actually. Normally, they only go after dead people. We didn't know some preferred their meals still fresh. Ghoul-you has been tricking us all along. We had no clue you were missing. And now Sam's alone with it, thinking it is you. We have to get out of here."
"I've tried," Adam said, "But there's two of them. One is always close by, making sure I can't escape."
"Well, both of them are gone now. The second ghoul trapped me, closing off the tunnel that leads outside. We've got to find another way. Come on, up with you."
Dean put a hand under Adam's shoulders and helped him sit up. Adam looked even worse than Dean had initially thought. Dark shadows underlined his eyes and his skin was colored blue and green in several places. Blood had turned the shredded t-shirt a dark brown and the way Adam held himself told Dean that his ribs had to be badly bruised, maybe even cracked. Add to that the fact that the ghouls had most likely not bothered to provide Adam with food or water it was no surprise that Adam had trouble standing up. He would have fallen had Dean not grabbed him.
"You alright?" he asked worried as Adam was gripped his shirt tightly. He was breathing heavily.
"I'll be fine," Adam murmured. "Just a dizzy spell."
Dean gave him a moment to catch his breath and adjust to standing upright and used the time to look his brother over once more. The wound on Adam's stomach seemed to be the most serious injury and Dean guessed that Adam's medical training had kicked in and prevented him from dying of blood loss. There were a few other wounds, mostly on Adam's shoulders. Upon a closer look Dean saw they were bite marks. He felt sick.
"Alright," Dean said and tore his gaze away from his brother's tortured body. "As far as I can see our only way out is up. I want you to stay here while I try to smash the glass okay?"
Dean pointed to a dusty glass mosaic of an angel on the ceiling. Adam nodded.
Dean left Adam leaning against the coffin and went over to another one that was situated beneath the mosaic. He wrenched a wooden bar from the coffin, then climbed upon the closed lid.
"Holy crap," he mumbled and looked up at the angel. Dean took a deep breath and rammed the end of the wood into the glass. It shattered immediately, shards raining down around him. He hit the glass again and again until there was nothing left of the mosaic. Satisfied, he looked back at Adam who gave him a shaky thumbs-up. Dean grinned, positioned the bar in the newly made hole so it could function as a handle and climbed down to help Adam.
"You ready to get out of here?" Dean asked.
"You bet." Adam's gaze fell upon the coffin that held his mother. "But what about my mom?
We can't leave her here!"
"You saw your mom?" Dean asked shocked, remembering the state Kate's body was in.
"Yeah …" Adam hesitated. "The monsters made me look at her. She was already in the coffin when they brought me here."
Dean squeezed Adam's shoulder in sympathy.
"One looks like her," Adam added and Dean could just perfectly imagine how they must have gotten Adam here. His youngest brother would have had no way of knowing that he was not talking to his mother but to a monster. Silently, Dean cursed his father for making Adam and Kate so vulnerable by trying to protect them.
"I'm sorry, but we can't take her with us now. It'll be difficult enough to get you out of here on my own. But I promise you, when Sammy is safe and those ghouls are dead, we'll come back here and get your mom. Is that okay?"
Adam glanced again at his mother's coffin. He nodded.
"I just … I just don't want her to stay here forever. Forgotten," he said quietly, trying to explain.
"I know," Dean said. He squeezed Adam's shoulder gently again, careful not to aggravate the wounds there. Keeping his arm around Adam, he supported his little brother and together they slowly made their way over to the former glass mosaic. Dean helped Adam climb on the coffin. They both looked up.
"That's pretty high up," Adam noted.
"Yeah," Dean said and glanced at Adam. There was no way his little brother could haul himself up there, not with the injuries and the weakened state he was in.
"Think you can manage if I lift you up?"
Adam looked doubtful and slightly queasy and Dean could not blame him. Just the idea of raising his arms with bruised ribs made him shudder. But they had to get out of the crypt and that was the only way.
"I'll try," Adam said. He took a deep breath and slowly raised his hands towards wooden bar. His face contorted in pain and Dean came to respect his little brother all over again.
"Alight, I'll lift you on three," Dean said and placed his hands on Adam's hips. "One, two – three!"
He lifted Adam as high as possible and thankfully Adam managed to grab the wood. Dean helped him as much as he could to get his legs up and over the edge. He was sure Adam would not be able to summon the strength for a second try at this. They only had this one chance. Luckily, Adam's feet finally found solid ground and a moment later Adam was out of the crypt. Dean breathed a sigh of relief and swung himself up and above ground. Adam lay curled up on the ground, groaning in pain and coated in sweat. Dean wished he could do anything to lessen the pain.
"Hey," he said softly and got down on his knees beside Adam. "How are you feeling, kid?"
"Hurts …" Adam whimpered.
"Does anything hurt more than before?" Dean asked, fearing some cracked ribs may have broken completely.
"No …" Adam tried to control his breathing. "I don't think so. I just never moved around much."
"Okay. Come on, I'll help you get to the car."
With that, he carefully helped Adam stand up. His little brother leant heavily on him but Dean did not mind. He knew how hard their little stunt must have been for Adam and he was proud that his little brother had gone through with it despite the enormous pain he must be in.
"You did great there, you know," Dean told him. Adam just snorted.
"Doesn't feel like it."
"Still," Dean smiled, "Not everyone could have done that after what you've been through."
"Thanks, I guess."
They reached the Impala a few moments later. Dean carefully helped Adam into the backseat before he went over to the trunk and opened it. He tossed his flashlight inside and grabbed two water bottles.
"Here," he said and offered Adam one. "But don't drink it all at once. Just take small sips. Otherwise it'll all just come back up. And I swear, little brother or not, I'll kick your ass if you puke in my car."
Adam chuckled weakly and took a small sip from the water bottle, Dean's watchful eyes never leaving him. He sighed, a blissful smile on his face.
"This tastes like Heaven," Adam said and took another sip. Dean snorted.
"Believe me, Heaven's not all it's cracked up to be."
With that, Dean closed Adam's door and got in the front seat He adjusted the rearview mirror so he could keep an eye on Adam and gunned the engine.
"You know, I'm curious," Dean said after a few minutes of tactfully ignoring the speed limit. "What made you trust me?"
He looked at his little brother through the rearview mirror. Adam shrugged.
"The ghouls never wanted to help me escape," he explained. "Though I wasn't completely sure I could trust you until I saw the Impala and you made that comment about me better not ruining the upholstery. I remember Dad telling me something similar. He loved that car."
"Yeah, he did. It's the closest thing we have to a home."
Dean looked back at the road and made a left turn.
"When did he die?" Adam asked, quietly.
"The ghouls told you about that?"
Dean briefly glanced at him and Adam nodded.
"It was about three years ago," Dean said, not feeling too comfortable talking about that subject. "He made a deal to save my life. And before you get any stupid ideas, those deals always backfire. One way or another."
"Made a deal with whom?"
Disbelief was crossing Adam's features and Dean couldn't help but laugh at his brother's expression.
"You've got a lot to learn, kid," he said, chuckling. "Ghouls are not the only bad things out there. They're not even really dangerous, normally. At least not for living people. No, there are worse things to be scared of. Shapeshifters, Wendigos, Vampires, Werewolves … Almost every monster you've ever heard of is real. As are demons. Welcome to my life."
Adam's only reply was another gulp out of the water bottle. Dean could live with that.
The house was dark when they arrived. Dean could not make out any movement behind the drawn curtains but he knew Sam was in there and most likely in trouble. He looked over his shoulder at Adam. His little brother was half-asleep, head pillowed uncomfortably on the window.
Adam looked blearily up at him.
"We're there," Dean explained.
In a matter of seconds Adam looked wide awake. His gaze drifted to the house and Dean realized how weird and painful it would be for Adam to go back in there and not only meet his ghoul self again, but also the impersonator of his mother.
"Alright, here's the plan," Dean said, decision made. "I'm going in there, take care of the ghouls and get Sammy. You'll stay here."
"What? No!" Adam exclaimed, outraged. "You can't leave me here! I'm going with you!"
Dean sighed. He had expected as much.
"Look, Adam, I'll be honest here," he said. "You're a liability. You don't know how to fire a gun and you can barely stand, let alone fight at the moment. I don't want to have to worry about you on top of everything."
Adam got the exact same look Sam got whenever Dean told him something painful but irrevocably true and it reminded Dean of the fact that their time was running out.
"Adam, look –"
Adam cut him off. "Well, I'm sorry my mom was more into the helping people stuff and not the hunting business and didn't show me how to shoot monsters. Maybe you should've just let me rot in that coffin if I'm such a terrible inconvenience."
"Now, wait just a minute. I never said you were an inconvenience."
Dean paused to gather his thoughts. When he continued his voice was quiet. "I'm just saying that you lack experience and I know that's not your fault. We'll rectify that, trust me. But as of now, I'd feel better knowing that at least one of my brothers is safe. Also," he added and looked into Adam's eyes, "I don't want your memories of your mom to get anymore twisted by the ghouls than they already are. They'll play games with you and I don't want you to get hurt. Okay?"
For a moment neither brother moved, both staring defiantly at each other. Then Adam sighed. He nodded slowly and lowered his gaze, tears in his eyes. Dean wished he could do more for Adam but at this point leaving him behind was his only option.
"Adam." Dean waited until Adam looked at him, eyes shining with grief. "If I'm not back in fifteen minutes I want you to take the Impala and drive as far away as possible, understood?"
Adam looked like he wanted to protest again.
"I mean it. Don't come for us."
"Okay," Adam said quietly.
"Don't worry," Dean said, trying to lighten the mood, "That's just worst case. Believe me, I'm gonna kick those ghouls' asses right back into hell. And you'll get to meet Sammy. You'll like him."
With that, Dean got out of the car and made his way over to the house, shotgun held ready. He could feel Adam's eyes on his back, never leaving him, until he opened the door quietly and stepped into the darkness of the Millegan's home, ready to make the ghouls pay.