You can break someone's spirit, or you can break their soul. To Maria, the first is easy. The latter is what she specialises in. Her latest contract? Break the souls of Sam and Dean Winchester.
Set somewhere (mid/late) in Season 5, not really sure where. Couple of spoilers for that season. There will also be an OC that was introduced in a different story of mine (Everything Has Its Price) but this fic and that one have nothing else related. Lots of violence, blood and stuff. Swearing too. Cuz that's what I'm good at, and it's what I love to write :D
I know I should be focusing on the four other fics I have going, but this one refuses to leave until I have it all down. I am still working on my other fics and they will all be updated soon, I promise. I've had a lot going on lately, with my family, school and I just got back from holiday. They will be updated, trust me. Plus the fact I have two AUs floating around in my head begging to be written is NOT helping ;P
Not a hundred percent sure where this is going, so we'll just have to see. Enjoy, and please review!
Breaking someone down was relatively easy, Maria thought. All you had to do was bring them down to a level that even the strongest could not rise up from. It could be in the form of torture, emotional pain, even blackmail worked – when you were blackmailing someone with another they loved. Maria prided herself on having broken down every single person she had ever had to face. Her record stood in the hundreds. She didn't leave a man standing if there was an ounce of soul left in him.
Of course, Maria was no ordinary person. She'd never been normal. Not since she'd been through Hell. Going through Hell tended to turn even the most pure of souls into beasts. But Maria had never been pure, either. She'd been twisted from almost the moment she'd been born. She was sure of it. Going to Hell had been something she'd known was going to happen since she'd killed her first victim at eleven. She'd never worried about it.
Maria smiled as she looked over her newest challenge. This would be so amazingly fun. And she was being paid for this 'work', of tearing apart these two men until there was absolutely nothing left. How much more alluring could this job get?
Alistair never let it be unheard that he has been the one to break the man who started the Apocalypse. But seeing the man before her, Maria knew Alistair had never broken him. Alistair didn't know what it meant to break someone, she thought as she watched the man struggle in his own private cell. Where she would tear him down until there was nothing recognisable left. Alistair broke people's spirit. He ripped at them until they gave up, but that wasn't breaking someone. Maria snorted. Breaking someone's spirit was easy. But breaking a man's soul? That was something else. To do that, you had to persevere, never let up, hammer at him until there was literally nothing left. A shell, a husk. Dean Winchester's spirit had certainly been broken. Otherwise, there would be no looming Apocalypse. But Maria could see, just one glance was all it took. This man still had his soul. And she was going to break him down.
His brother had never felt the same torture Dean had in Hell. He'd never been broken – Maria smiled at the thought of worming her way into his mind and ripping it apart until he was nothing more than a mess. She would break the Winchesters.
Dean swore violently as he fought against the ropes that bound him. Locked in a small concrete cell just big enough for him to move around a little, Dean kicked and tugged on the ropes but in vain. He sighed, resting his head against the wall but keeping a watchful guard for any movement or sounds from outside. Anything to tell if someone was coming for him.
He wondered where Sam was. They'd been attacked in their motel room by one powerful demon. She'd had the skill to slam both Winchester into unconsciousness in seconds, before they'd really had the chance to comprehend what was going on. Dean hoped that Sam was okay. He'd seen his brother's head hit the wall hard, heard a crack before being sucked into a deep ocean of darkness. Then again, the crack could have come from him. His neck was aching something crazy, not to mention his head and back. His chest felt tight and his wrists and ankles throbbed with pain from the bindings.
Dean looked around. The cell really was tiny, he noticed. It was twice as wide as his body and long enough for him to rest his feet against the door with his knees slightly bent.
Who makes rooms this small?
The door was thick, solid metal with no window to let in any light. The only source of light came from the bulb dangling a few feet above his head. As he looked up, Dean noted the speaker and the small camera attached to the far corners. Watching him. Whoever this demon was, it was probably watching him right now. Again he wondered where Sam was. If the cell was barely big enough for him, he hoped for Sam's sake that wherever the demon was keeping him was bigger. There was no way she'd fit the Sasquatch-sized kid in a cell like this. At least not without severe discomfort. Dean chuckled at the mental image.
Then his smile faded. He was assuming Sam was still alive. For all he knew, Sam could be lying in a pool of his own blood back in the motel room. He knew it was unlikely, but still the possibility of it taunted him. Of course, if the demon only wanted him then all she had to do was corner him when he was alone. But you never knew with demons. The only thing you could really count on was that they were evil sons of bitches, and whatever they did, they did it for an ulterior motive. Ninety percent of the time it was to help Lucifer, or so it seemed at the moment.
Dean froze as he heard faint footsteps walking towards him. He pulled his feet back as far as he could, figuring he could kick out when the door opened and maybe catch the demon by surprise. The footsteps stopped outside the door, and then the grating sound of metal on metal resounded as it was unlocked. As the door swung open, Dean kicked out with all his strength. But the demon as ready for him. She stepped back, leaving Dean nothing to hit, and his feet thudded to the ground. The hunter glared as the female demon walked back into view, a smug smile gracing her ruby red lips.
Despite having a demon possessing her, the woman vessel was quite beautiful. She was white, but with a slightly Hispanic look about her. Her hair hung in dark curls around her shoulders and her eyes were a pale green. The woman's skin was just as pale and she wore high-heeled, calf-length boots, jean mini shorts and a sleeveless white top with a peace sign motif on the front.
How ironic, Dean mumbled to himself in his head.
The woman – demon, Dean reminded himself – folded her arms and leaned against the door casually. The pair stared at each other until finally Dean broke the silence.
"So," he started "I'll cut right to the chase. What do you want?"
The demon simply smiled and shook her head, pushing herself off the door and standing back on her own two feet.
"Nothing much. Just you. Broken and defeated and willing to do whatever I want."
"Well, sorry sweetheart," Dean laughed "That ain't gonna happen."
The demon didn't stop smiling, which usually didn't unnerve Dean. But her smile was so… different. It was cold and smug, dark and foreboding all at the same time. But he didn't let anything show on his face.
"You see, Dean," the demon said as she lifted her hand and in the process, lifted Dean to his feet "I know it will. They always say they'll never be broken. They show such bravado and courage. But soon enough they're all at my feet and ready to obey whatever order I give them."
Dean swayed as he was set down carefully, regaining his balance. The ropes around his ankles unravelled and dropped to the floor, but before Dean could even think about running he was frozen in place.
"The thing is, I've been doing this for centuries. I know what I'm doing and not once have I ever failed to break someone. No matter how long it takes, I will break you down."
Dean snarled, "I'd like to see you try. There is nothing you can do to me that will break me."
The demon smiled – again – and laughed. It was a soft laugh, gentle but full of malice and contempt. She twitched a finger and forced the hunter to follow her out of the cells and down the concrete hall outside.
"Darling, I know your past. Alistair thinks he broke you. Well, I'm here to tell you that he only broke your spirit. And I'm here to break your soul."
Sam blinked behind the cloth blindfold, staying as silent as possible to determine his surroundings and any incoming sounds. But there was only silence, and a lot of that. He sighed, working at the ropes that bound his hands.
He remembered the demon attack. She'd walked right into their room, blasting the door off its hinges. She obviously didn't like subtle. She'd then proceeded to slam his head against the wall a couple of times until he couldn't see anymore – either from blood or unconsciousness, Sam wasn't sure.
He figured the latter when he'd woken in a tiny cell that really wasn't built to hold someone his size. He'd felt almost claustrophobic in the tight space that had him pressed up against a wall with his knees nearly under his chin. Dean would laugh himself stupid if he ever saw Sam in such a situation, he knew. But a few minutes after waking he'd heard someone approach his cell. The door had been unlocked and flung open and again, before Sam could do anything, the same demon woman whipped his head against the concrete and rendered him unconscious.
Sam assumed it was a demon. He'd never seen anything else with such power. She was extremely powerful, which meant she was high ranked. Which meant she was more dangerous than a lot of other monsters they'd fought. And something with that amount of power didn't randomly kidnap people. At least, he didn't think so. So she wanted something.
Sam sighed again as he gave up his attempt at untying the ropes around his wrists. He was tied to a chair in some unknown place, thankfully bigger than the last room he'd woken up in. Blindfolded and bound, Sam wondered where the hell he was. He hated being blindfolded more than he hated monsters. More than he hated demons, and even more than he hated Lucifer. Tied up was one thing. Being blinded was something else entirely. Sam was sure it had started when he was eight. Dean had blindfolded him and left him alone in the empty motel room for hours. It was only when he'd started crying and hallucinating that something was brushing against him that Dean had come back in and freed him. The episode had never been forgotten (nor had Dean ever let him forget that it'd only taken two hours for him to start crying like a baby, even though Sam knew he still felt guilty) and even now he hated not being able to see. Anything could be happening - anyone could be there, watching him – and he wouldn't know.
A sudden voice sounded in the room, making him flinch. Sam swore under his breath and swung his head around in search of the source. But it seemed to be coming from all around him… A P.A system? Possibly.
"Sammy!" the voice said playfully, excited. A female voice. Sam figured it was the demon, and he stayed silent. If the demon could hear him, he wasn't going to let her have the satisfaction of his confusion just yet.
Laughter flooded the room, "Nice to see you're up. Not too scared there, darling? Don't worry, there's nothing there to hurt you. Though if you start feeling something…"
The voice trailed off and Sam paused, waiting. The sudden feeling of someone brushing against his bound hands had him flinching in surprise and clenching his fists. Dammit. This demon was good.
Her laughter once again swept over him, "Oh, poor Sammy. Sorry darling, but you really are just too much fun."
Sam froze, determined not to let her get the better of him again. He wasn't a child anymore. There was nothing there; she was just screwing with him.
He couldn't hold back the instinctive gasp as something licked his hands. Licked. A smooth tongue lapped at his fingers and at that moment Sam would have given anything to be able to see. What the hell was this demon playing at?
Dean was led into a large room which apparently was the centre of control. Computer screens and lights flashed and blinked, switches and buttons beside them. He looked around, but there were no windows at all in this concrete room. He was beginning to suspect he was underground – a bunker of some sort?
The demon played around with a few buttons and suddenly an image was projected onto one of the cold grey walls. Dean swore when he saw his brother, tied to a chair and alone in the middle of an empty room. A black cloth was tied around his head and instantly Dean thought of Sam's pet hate.
The demon pressed another button and began talking to Sam. Dean watched as his brother lifted his head and looked around, trying to find the source of the voice. But he quickly figured it out and remained still. Dean smirked. The bitch couldn't scare Sam that easily.
But then Sam flinched, his body leaning forward. The younger bit his lip, and Dean could just imagine the sudden fear in his brother's eyes. Whatever the demon had done, it'd surprised Sam. Dean ground his teeth as he watched, unable to move or speak as the demon continued speaking to Sam.
Then Sam reacted a little more violently. He arched his body, mouth open in a gasp of shock. Dean watched as his brother twitched and fought the restraints. Now the demon was getting to him. Quickly.
The demon turned to Dean and smiled – God, Dean wished she would stop doing that. She pointed at the screen and it flickered slightly. Dean would have started in surprise at what he saw, but mentally bound as he was he had to settle for a sudden intake of breath. What had previously been Sam alone in the cold concrete room was now Sam and something else. Something Dean knew all too well. Something that still scared the shit out of him to this day, no matter how much he denied it.
The big, shaggy mutt was chest height to Sam and sat behind the bound man. Every time it licked his hand, Sam would pull back as far as he could and fought a little harder. He did his best not to show too much of his fear but Dean could see just how scared he was. Guilt flooded back to him as he remembered his brother's torment all those years ago.
"Dean? Dean, stop it! Get me out of this!" Sam called, his voice shaking slightly. Dean had to struggle to hold back the laughter. It'd been two hours since he'd snuck in and tied and blindfolded his little brother. He figured waking up to that wasn't the most fun in the world. Since then, Sam had been calling out. Luckily there was no one in the adjoining rooms. Otherwise they might start to get suspicious, and Dean couldn't have that. His father would kill him if they had to skip town because he'd had to play a joke on his brother.
Dean had to struggle to hold back the laughter. It'd been two hours since he'd snuck in and tied and blindfolded his little brother. He figured waking up to that wasn't the most fun in the world. Since then, Sam had been calling out. Luckily there was no one in the adjoining rooms. Otherwise they might start to get suspicious, and Dean couldn't have that. His father would kill him if they had to skip town because he'd had to play a joke on his brother.
"Dean! It's not funny!" Something brushed against his hand, and Dean looked down. That stray dog, a black and white mutt, had been following him for days now. It sat beside him and looked up, brown eyes wide and begging for a pat. Dean smirked, an idea forming in his mind. He held back a laugh as he silently opened the door and shooed the dog in. It bounded inside, seeing Sam and running over eagerly. Dean watched with a hand over his mouth. Sam had sat up on the bed, but hadn't attempted to stand or go anywhere. His ankles and wrists were bound and the blindfold still firmly in place. The dog sat down beside Sam, asking with its huge eyes for some attention. Dean sniggered. When the dog didn't get a reaction, he nuzzled Sam's side.
Something brushed against his hand, and Dean looked down. That stray dog, a black and white mutt, had been following him for days now. It sat beside him and looked up, brown eyes wide and begging for a pat. Dean smirked, an idea forming in his mind. He held back a laugh as he silently opened the door and shooed the dog in. It bounded inside, seeing Sam and running over eagerly. Dean watched with a hand over his mouth. Sam had sat up on the bed, but hadn't attempted to stand or go anywhere. His ankles and wrists were bound and the blindfold still firmly in place. The dog sat down beside Sam, asking with its huge eyes for some attention. Dean sniggered. When the dog didn't get a reaction, he nuzzled Sam's side.
The reaction was instantaneous. Sam squealed and kicked out, falling off the bed. He hit the ground hard and the dog, thinking Sam was playing, jumped on him and pawed his chest. Sam cried out again, trying to kick the dog off. "DEAN!" Dean stared at the chaos that was unfolding. Sam was crying – there was tear stains on the gun rag he'd used as blindfold. His little brother was terrified and the dog pawed at him insistently. It licked his face, which only made Sam sob and scream. "DEAN! HELP ME!" It kick-started Dean into action. He ran in and dragged the dog out the door. Then he raced back to his terrified brother. Sam was struggling to sit up, and Dean helped him. Quickly he ripped off the blindfold, hating how scared Sam looked. "It's okay, Sammy," Dean said, hugging him. Sam clung on, still crying, "I thought the monster was gonna get me." Dean shook his head, holding his brother close as he quickly slipped off the ties he'd used to bind his ankles and wrists. A concerned passer-by glanced in – luckily after the evidence had been hidden behind Dean. He shook his head, willing the woman to walk on. After a moment, she nodded and walked off. Dean breathed a sigh of relief as Sam held on tighter and tighter. "You're okay, Sam. It's gone." Sam sniffed, calming down slightly. He looked up at his brother, eyes red and puffy, "It wasn't funny." Dean nodded, "No, it wasn't."
Dean stared at the chaos that was unfolding. Sam was crying – there was tear stains on the gun rag he'd used as blindfold. His little brother was terrified and the dog pawed at him insistently. It licked his face, which only made Sam sob and scream.
"DEAN! HELP ME!"
It kick-started Dean into action. He ran in and dragged the dog out the door. Then he raced back to his terrified brother. Sam was struggling to sit up, and Dean helped him. Quickly he ripped off the blindfold, hating how scared Sam looked.
"It's okay, Sammy," Dean said, hugging him.
Sam clung on, still crying, "I thought the monster was gonna get me."
Dean shook his head, holding his brother close as he quickly slipped off the ties he'd used to bind his ankles and wrists. A concerned passer-by glanced in – luckily after the evidence had been hidden behind Dean. He shook his head, willing the woman to walk on. After a moment, she nodded and walked off. Dean breathed a sigh of relief as Sam held on tighter and tighter.
"You're okay, Sam. It's gone."
Sam sniffed, calming down slightly. He looked up at his brother, eyes red and puffy, "It wasn't funny."
Dean nodded, "No, it wasn't."
Now Dean's guilt was intensified tenfold as he was forced to watch his brother's discomfort. He gritted his teeth but there was nothing he could do. He was bound by the demon, unable to move or speak. Dean managed to growl in anger and the demon glanced at him, the corner of her mouth twitching upwards.
"This is only the beginning, Dean," she smirked as the hellhound shifted to wander past Sam. His brother jerked in surprise as thick black fur flickered against his hands.
The demon flicked a finger, which allowed Dean to speak. He quickly swore in numerous languages which only made the demon laugh.
"I swear to God, I will kill you."
The older Winchester started at the sound of Sam's voice. Apparently they could communicate, and the demon wasn't stopping him. Dean shot her a filthy glare as he answered his brother.
"Sammy? I'm right here. You're fine, okay?"
"Dean, where the hell are you? No, scratch that. Where the hell am I?" Sam did his best to hide the fear twisting in his gut, but his brother knew him too well. There was nothing Sam could hide from
"I don't know where we are," Dean replied, keeping the demon in his peripheral vision whilst fixing his gaze on his brother. Sam had relaxed slightly now that the hellhound was sat by the opposite wall and not tormenting him anymore. Fire-red eyes set deep in the huge head stared at Sam, dark fur shading them slightly. Dean was glad Sam couldn't see it – they were scary enough in Hell, let alone up top.
"Are you okay?"
"I'm fine," Dean said, mostly the truth. Physically, he was fine. Emotionally? He was scared to death.
Sam twisted in the chair, tensed for a return of the sensations he couldn't see, "Do you know what the demon wants?"
Dean shook his head, "She hasn't said anything to me. I have no idea. But everything's gonna be fine, Sammy, okay? We're going to get out of this alive."
Sam opened his mouth to reply but the demon beat him to it. She laughed, a long high giggle of amusement. She shook her head, dark hair shivering, and spoke to both her captives.
"Boys," she smiled "You have no idea who I am. What they call me in Hell. I'm Maria. I'm the Soul-Breaker. I've never failed to bring someone, even the bravest, down to their knees begging. You may get out of here alive, but not the same. I will not let you go until there is nothing left of your souls, of who you are."
Dean snarled, "You won't win."
Maria laughed again, "I always do, darling. Always."
"People will know we're missing now," Sam added "Powerful people. They'll slaughter you."
"Yeah, go Cas," Dean muttered.
Maria shrugged and smirked as she switched her gaze from Dean to Sam and back again.
"I've been sent here," she said coldly, staring at Dean harshly "To deal with you two. No one else seems to be able to get you boys to do anything, you're so goddamn stubborn. I'm here to change that. Pretty soon, you'll be desperate to do whatever I ask, even if I ask you to perhaps..."
She trailed off, once again swapping her focus between the brothers until she settled on Dean again, the only one who could actually see her. He glared at her, still unable to move.
"Say yes to your respective angels? Oh, how the angels would just love that. Lucifer's just dying to get out of Hell, Sammy," Maria giggled again, directing her last comment to Sam. He growled and tossed his head in defiance. There was nothing this demon could do to make him say yes. Nothing.
"Oh, and Dean," Maria shot him a glance "Michael's quite hurt, actually. You keep denying him, it's hurt his feelings."
"Like I give a shit," Dean swore, Sam echoing his sentiments.
"Well, by the time I'm finished with you two, you'll both be wondering why on earth you didn't say yes before."
Before either Winchester could respond, Maria flipped a switch and the image of Sam vanished from the wall. The demon walked over to Dean and clicked her fingers. As she walked down the hall, Dean was forced to follow, unable to resist the demonic pull dragging him after her. She took him back to his cell, tossing him in before releasing him from the demon power she held over him. Dean tried to stand but the door was slammed shut before he could get a grip on the floor. With the door shut there wasn't enough room to get comfortable, let alone stand. Dean growled, staring up at the ceiling and the bare light bulb flickering above him. A second later it shorted out, throwing the small, cold cell into complete darkness apart from a sliver of light that entered through the gap under the door. Dean sighed, resting his head against the wall to his left.
Things really weren't going his way.
Sam was only left alone in the room for another few minutes after the communications ceased. He waited nervously, tensed for any other strange sensations that might decide to appear. But there was none. He knew the demon was just screwing with him, but it didn't make it any easier to deal with. The blindfold was scaring the crap out of him, and even though he'd tried to hide it he knew Dean understood. When he finally heard the metal door screech open, it was almost a relief. He knew it was the demon; he remembered her slight scent of rose, but at least he was getting the hell out of this room. Hopefully blindfold-free.
But he wasn't so lucky. He heard a snap of fingers and suddenly felt compelled to stand. He did so, realising the demon was controlling him. Maria – that was what she'd called herself. Soul-Breaker. Dark.
Maria led him out of the room, still blinded, until he heard the sound of metal against metal as a door scraped open. He was shoved inside by a small, thin hand and Sam hit the far wall hard (which technically, Sam thought grumpily, wasn't that far at all). He slammed into concrete and slid down, twisting to sit down heavily and face the direction of the door before it was closed with a sharp bang. Sam's feet were shoved up against the door, knees up near his chin. He sighed, pressed up against the wall as far as his bound arms to give himself extra leg room.
Sam hoped she wasn't going to keep him here long. He was starting to get a cramp in his leg, and he was sure he'd just felt someone's hand brush against his forehead.