Title: Bump in the Night, chapter 2: Sam
Warnings: Violence, abuse, drug use, addiction. Dark!Fic
Characters: Adam, Sam, brief Ruby.
Word Count: 3897
Summary: Adam has lost both of his brothers. It's almost a shame that only one of them actually died.
Disclaimer: Keep them away from me. Kripke is a massage therapist compared to my cruel tortures. :(
Author's Notes: I revisited the dark place because you asked me to. I came out even worse than when I went in. v_v
Sam knows. Sam knows that he knows, and Adam knows that Sam knows that he knows, and Sam probably knows that Adam knows that Sam knows that he knows. But neither of them says anything, because apparently Pretend is the official Winchester family game and everyone is just so goddamn good at it that no one knows when to stop. Adam is getting better at it all the time, and the thought sickens him.
It's three weeks after he first sees Sam's dark (dark, dark, dark) side that he finally saves up enough courage in his chest to down a spoonful of reality. "Hey, Sammy," he starts, gently, softening him up for the ambush to come. He seems to like it when Adam calls him that. Dean told him once that Sam used to hate that name. "Who is that girl?"
Sam's head snaps up from reading the Ancient Tome of Whatever, and his deer-v.-headlights look stays on his face just long enough for Adam to commit it to memory before he schools it into a careful mix of nonchalance and confusion. Don't do it, Sammy, he mentally begs his older brother.
"What girl?" Sam asks, and you did it. Damn you, Sam.
Adam gets up off the bed. "Do you really think I'm that dumb?" he asks, not really wanting an answer, and Sam sighs.
"Adam… no I don't think you're dumb, I just… there is some stuff about this job… about me… that you're not ready for."
Adam tries not to sound as hurt as he is and fails miserably. "So, what? You don't trust me?"
"It's not that," Sam tries for soothing, but Adam will not be soothed.
"Then what is it?" he says, his voice approaching outdoor levels.
"Adam," Sam says, frustration starting to drip into his tone. "There are just some things it's better for you not to know. Safer for you not to know. I'm just… I'm trying to keep you safe. That's all."
Disbelief is written all over Adam's face in neon-green highlighter. "Safe? Jesus Christ, Sam. What part of any of this," he says, gesturing wildly to the guns on the table, the newspaper clippings and protective sigils on the wall, the knives on the dresser, and the salt on the doors and windows, "is safe? Don't give me that safe bullshit."
Now, Sam is angry, and Adam has to try very hard not to back away from him as he stands up. "You want to talk bullshit?" Sam says. "I'm not the only one who's keeping secrets around here, am I?"
Adam isn't as good at Pretend as Sam, and his own headlights-gaze lingers much longer than his brother's. "What do you mean?"
"What were you and Dean doing while I was dead?" Sam asks, cutting right to the chase.
"What do you mean?" Adam asks, again, because his brain is too busy running in circles like a panicked chicken to think of anything else at the moment.
"What was it," Sam asks, starting to encroach on Adam's personal space, and oh, oh no, don't do it, don't do it, not you too, please. "Blood magic? Human sacrifices? You were trying to bring me back, weren't you?" he accuses, and Adam is so relieved he practically laughs. Sam could not be further from the truth.
"No, nothing like that," Adam says without thinking, and Sam's eyes widen, because oh shit, he just admitted that something was happening.
"Then what was it?" Sam presses on, and Adam decides the best defense is a good offense.
"Who is she?" he says, less of a question, more of a challenge. He stands his ground.
The two of them stare each other down for a few seconds before Sam offers a compromise. "Alright, fine. We've both got secrets; you spill yours, and I'll spill mine. Deal?"
Adam really has to think about this. He wants Sam to know, because he wants Sam to understand. But how is that even possible? How could Sam ever understand this? There is just so much that telling him will shatter, ruin, break beyond repair. This revelation could very well destroy Sam, destroy both of them and whatever relationship they still have left, and damn it all, Adam suddenly sympathizes with Sam's need to keep secrets from him, because some things are so great and terrible that there is no right way to learn them. But he can't ask Sammy to trust him if he isn't willing to reciprocate. So it is with a shuddering, unstable breath that he takes the tiny, dim flame of trust that still burns, puts it on a candle and gives it to his brother. "Deal."
Adam doesn't remember his exact words; just a whole lot of rambling and half-hearted justification and frenzied explanation, delivered in a halting stream-of-consciousness monologue because Sam did not do anything while he spoke. He never interrupted, never asked questions, never even seemed to react to Adam's guts spewing out of his mouth and landing all over his feet. Adam's brother could have won millions of dollars in Poker tournaments with a face like that. When the revelation was finally over, Sam still sat, utterly still and silent, and for a second Adam wonders if time has stopped, or if maybe Sam died mid-speech and rigor mortis has already set in.
"No," is the word that breaks the silence and turns Stone Silent Sammy back into a person. "No. That wasn't Dean."
Adam closes his eyes. The flame bends over and quakes, growing dimmer. "Sam…"
"No," Sam shouts without raising his voice, carrying conviction harder than steel, and Adam can see it now. Sam will just give a casual flick of the wrist, and Adam will go flying into the wall. Maybe there will be a stray peg to hang coats or keys on and he'll land on it, choke and cough up blood as it stabs into his back and bursts from his front. He'll look down and bits and pieces of him will still be stuck on it, with more and more of him leaking out of the hole that it made, and he'll just hang there until Sam has a use for him or decides to finish him off.
"That wasn't Dean," Sam continues. "I know Dean, better than anyone. He would never do that." Adam's eyes open again, and he notices that Sam is not looking at him as he speaks. "He was possessed."
"I tested him. Dipped his fingers in Holy Water while he was asleep," Adam says, knowing even as he says it that it's useless.
"Then it was a shapeshifter, or a magic spell… something." Adam just stares at the ground. He should have known. This is too much, so very, very too much for Sammy to handle. Adam is trying to tell his brother that his Hero was a Villain; that God was mortal. What else could he expect? Sam thought he knew Dean better than anyone, and he was probably right, but there was one thing about him that Sam didn't know because he couldn't: what Dean was like without him. "Adam," he says, finally looking at his baby brother. "I'm sorry… for what happened to you. But that wasn't Dean. You know that, right? That wasn't Dean."
Adam understands. It's playtime again. "Okay," he says, sounding like almost means it. He's getting better and better at this game.
"I've gotta go," Sam says, quickly standing up and grabbing his jacket. "I'll be back in the morning."
"Okay," he says again, and it's not until the door has closed that Adam realizes Sam left without giving him any answers to his questions. He's pretty sure he isn't the first to note the irony; demons that make deals have no choice but to hold to them. It's the human deals you have to watch out for.
He learns, eventually, and the revelations are so profound that he literally does not know what to do with them. There is just so much that he doesn't know, so much about this life and this hidden shadow-world that is only learned by experience and word-of-mouth that Adam can't help but hate the Hunters of the world for being so goddamn stingy with their secrets. Sam is working with Ruby. Ruby, who saved his life. Ruby, who is a demon. Ruby, who is a trustworthy demon. It seems like it should be an oxymoron, but again, there is so much that Adam doesn't know that he has no choice but to take Sam at his word. Besides, there are lots of stories about demons who aren't really evil… surely they have to have some basis in reality, right?
Their formal introduction is more than a little awkward on both ends, but at least Ruby gives him a present. "Here you go, squirt," she says, and Adam bristles at the pet name as she hands him an ancient-looking knife, strange runes carved into the blade. "Think of it as a peace offering. I'm not exactly a people demon, but I like Sam, and Sam likes you, so I figure we might as well get used to each other. This knife can kill demons. It's the only thing besides the Colt—and darling Sammy, here—that can do the job. It'll come in handy, so learn how to use it." Adam wants to test it, but the only demon around is Ruby, and Sam probably wouldn't appreciate that. He takes her advice, though, and starts training with the knife as much as he can. It helps take his mind off of other things.
Things like Sam, who is convinced that he can bring Dean back if he just finds the right demon. Things like Lilith, who is apparently one of the most powerful and ancient demons in existence, who escaped from Hell when the Devil's Gate opened and has a special place in her personal torture chamber for Sammy and himself. Things like the Apocalypse, which is apparently scheduled to start any time now, just as soon as one of the countless demons now roaming the earth finds the On switch.
The one thing he can't take his mind off of is… well… the signs. He sees them growing in Sam every day. Skipping meals, personality changes, sneaking out at all hours… sneaking, even though Adam knows about Ruby. Other people might miss them, but Adam doesn't, because Adam has seen the signs before. There was a period when he saw them every time he looked in a mirror.
When Adam was 14, he broke his ankle during a basketball game and had to have surgery to fix it. Nothing major, but it laid him up for much of the summer, and it hurt like a bitch, or it would have, anyway, if not for the lovely painkillers they prescribed him. Adam liked those; since all his friends were out of town on various engagements, they really helped to pass the time. He liked them so much, in fact, that he decided to tell a little white lie to the doctor about the severity of his pain in follow-up visits to ensure that he got some more. He started skipping meals, forgetting engagements, forgetting pretty much everything in favor of zoning out and floating around in a haze. And even though he never exactly wound up selling himself on the streets or pawning off possessions to pay for his habit, it wasn't one of his finest moments—in fact, it was arguably the lowest he had ever sunk in his (old) life, and he still occasionally berates himself for how stupid he was being and how much he could have lost if anyone found out. But he was lonely and bored and maybe even a little depressed, so he let his stupidity carry him right into the middle of an addiction to prescription narcotics.
His mom wasn't around enough to notice his descent, but ironically enough, that simple fact made her realize what was happening to him sooner, as she came in to talk to him one day and found a boy so far removed from her mental picture of him that she knew he had to be sick. It was only after a more thorough check-up that she realized what his real problem was. She sat him down and told him that she knew. She knew because she, too, once had a very similar problem. Adam didn't see what the big deal was, because he was still functioning just fine, and it wasn't like he had class or anything important that he was missing, but she held firm and insisted that it stop. And in the back of his mind, Adam knew she was right—school was starting again in a couple of weeks, and Adam had no intention of stopping on his own.
He expected punishment. He expected lockdown, constant supervision, and some seriously epic lectures on the evils of drug use. What he did not expect was for his mom to take him to the beach. A few days after she found out, she put in some vacation time at the hospital, and just took off with him. Naturally, the pills were left behind, and what followed was simultaneously the best and worst vacation he could possibly imagine. His mom forced him to go cold turkey, which was the same way she had to do it, and Adam was fucking miserable for days. Everything hurt, he was constantly nauseous and was lucky if anything that went into him didn't leave through the same door. He hated it, and he hated her for putting him through it. Yet she was there with him every step of the way—rubbing his back when he puked, holding him while he shook, silently absorbing every vile, hateful, hurtful comment he threw at her and reassuring him that it was okay, that everything would be okay. And eventually, it was. It took up about half their 'vacation' but Adam's body eventually rid itself of the narcotics and his need for them, and a tired, weak, ten-or-so-pounds-lighter Adam finally left the hotel with his mom to go enjoy the beach for a few days. It was great; hanging out, playing miniature golf, relaxing on the sands with her… he couldn't remember another time when they just came together as a family and enjoyed each other's company like that. But strangely enough, it was the drive back to Windom, when the two of them just talked, and talked, and talked, that he remembers most of all. He got to know his mom in ways he never realized he didn't, and never felt closer to her than in that moment.
Sometimes, he kind of wonders if maybe that's why Sam and Dean are so fucked up, and why he is so weak—Sam and Dean (not Adam) had a father to make them strong, while Adam (not Sam and Dean) had a mother to make him good.
So Adam sees the signs of addiction in Sam. But Adam is nobody's mom, and he doesn't think Sam will appreciate whatever hairbrained scheme his baby brother cooks up to help him get rid of his habit. But he has to try. He has to, because his mom did it for him, because she loved him, and because he loves Sam, loves him so goddamn much that it hurts. And because Sam is it for him, even if the reverse isn't true.
It happens on a Thursday, like everything else seems to. It's October, and just getting cold enough to break out the heavy-duty jackets. He pinpoints the source of Sammy's addiction in a silver flask, and snatches it while Sam is showering, hiding it under his mattress. He doesn't open it, because he isn't sure he wants to know what's inside. It takes Sam about an hour to realize it's missing.
"Where's my flask?" he asks.
Adam looks up at him with a quizzical tilt to his head. "Where's your what?" He is better than Sammy at Pretend now, though probably just because Sammy's off his game.
"You know what," Sam seethes. "You're the only one who could've taken it. I know exactly where I left it, and it's not there. Now, where is it?"
Adam gulps. God, this was such a terrible idea. "I don't know."
Sam tosses his hands into the air. "Damn it, Adam, this isn't funny. I need that thing. You don't even know what's in the damn flask!"
"I'd know if you'd tell me." He maintains his cool.
Sam falters. "It's medicine," he says.
"For what?" Adam presses.
"The headaches I get from living with you," Sam deadpans, though his voice is a little less steady than it could be. Amateur.
Adam shrugs. "Got plenty of Tylenol if you can't find your booze. That is what's in there, right?"
Sam responds by beginning to tear the room apart. He opens every drawer, pulls out anything inside and tosses it to the ground. He tears the mattress off of his own bed, and eventually turns to Adam's stuff. Adam remains carefully calm, sitting on the bed as Sam tears through his possessions, scattering his clothes through the kitchenette in their hotel. This was apparently the wrong thing to do, however, as Sam notices him maintaining his position. "Get up," he commands.
"What for?" Adam asks, but Sam again chooses to answer with action as he grabs the mattress—with Adam still on it—and heaves it over his head. Adam slides off and lands on his feet, and moves just fast enough to snatch the flask before Sam, holding it away from his brother.
"Give it to me, Adam," Sam growls, his voice low and dangerous.
"Tell me what it is!" Adam demands, his heart pounding in his ears because damn it, this isn't how things were supposed to go.
"You don't. Need. To know." Sam looks like he is about three inches from setting Adam on fire. But no… Sam wouldn't do that. Sam wouldn't kill him over this.
"I spilled all my secrets," Adam says, still holding the flask away from his brother. "I got nothing left to hide. So why are you still hiding stuff from me?"
Sam's voice is a deadly hiss, full of venom. "I'm doing this to protect you. That's all you need to know."
"Bullshit," Adam spits.
"Just give it to me!" Sam shouts and makes a grab for it. Adam ducks underneath him and dives into the bathroom.
"No! This is crap, Sam; I don't know what you're on, but it stops now." He unscrews the flask and pours the contents into the toilet, and feels his stomach and heart clench together like they're trying to merge when he sees the deep, deep red of the liquid that comes out.
"You idiot!" Adam turns his head only to run into Sam's fist, slamming into his jaw and knocking him into a wall. The flask clatters to the ground, spilling the remainder of the liquid on the floor, but Sam isn't done yet—he grabs Adam by the shirt and throws him with every ounce of violence the enormous man can muster. Adam flies out of the tiny bathroom, destroying a partition with his face and landing on a glass table which shatters on impact.
When he regains his bearings, his first thought is: this should hurt.
He can see his reflection in the broken glass. There are multiple lacerations on his face, fresh and dripping, and he looks like he ran himself through a paper shredder. His jaw seems to be slightly crooked, maybe broken. There are cuts and bruises and entirely too much blood… but no pain. There is only pseudo-sensation, an imitation ache that simmers at a low boil just below his skin. Every sensation seems distant and dull, like it has to cross the entire universe to reach him and by the time it arrives, it is cold and tired and doesn't even remember why it came. There is no sense of betrayal, no rage, no sadness. Just a strangle, sickly feeling as something inside of him vomits, shits itself, and dies. The fire is out.
When Sam emerges from the bathroom, there are streaks of red dribbling from his mouth to his chin and even down his neck, and Adam recognizes the shade. Oh. Blood. Interesting. His brother has a wrecked expression on his face and an apology loaded and ready to fire. "Oh my God… Adam, I am so sorry, I can't believe…" A simple click cuts him off, because Adam has something else loaded and ready to fire, and he is aiming it straight at Sam. His hands are steady. "Adam," Sam says, eyes wide. "Adam, what are you doing? Put that down…"
"No," Adam says, his face twisting into a hollow smile. "No. You're not Sam."
"Adam," Sam has the gall to look heartbroken.
"No," Adam whispers, an exhale so fierce that it probably carries bits of lung out with it. "You're not Sam." He keeps right on smiling, if the twisted, empty expression on his face can be called that. "I know Sam," he says, following it with a laugh that is as dark and humorless as Hell itself, "better than anyone. He would never do that." His voice cracks near the end, but his teeth are clenched and one finger is on the trigger. Blood from his forehead runs into his eyes, but he does not blink. His hands are steady.
"Adam… please, put it down. You don't want to shoot me…" Sam starts to approach him, very gently. He doesn't get far.
The shot is impossibly loud in the small hotel room; the bullet slams into the wall next to his head, showering him with exploded plaster. Sam freezes in horror. "Never point a gun at anything you're not ready to kill," Adam says, the false smile slipping off of his face and leaving a wasteland in its wake. His voice is flat and devastated as a tornado-ravaged Kansas plain. His hands are steady.
Sam pleads with him, part afraid, part soothing, part sorrowful. "I can explain this, all of this, I promise. I am your brother, I swear to God…"
"My brothers are dead," Adam says, no fluctuation, no emotion, no change. He gestures towards the bathroom. "Go."
Sam, with bits of wall sticking to his face like powdered sugar on red icing, raises his hands and complies, staring at the ground the whole time
Adam follows him. Stares at him with lifeless eyes. His hands are steady. He takes a stuttering breath, opens his mouth, but nothing comes out. He tries again, and succeeds. His voice hitches when he speaks. "My brothers are dead," is all he says, because there is nothing else to be said.
Nothing else to be destroyed.
Nothing to be done.
His hands shake.
"Ma'am, please, calm down. Tell me your location one more time."
"I'm at the Taj Motel on Highway 47."
"I've got a unit headed there now. You said there were shots fired, correct?"
"Yeah, yeah, one shot, about a minute ago, and—AH!"
"Ma'am! Ma'am! What happened? Are you alright?"
"I just… oh god... I… I… I heard another shot."