Author Note: Mini scene set-up: Dean awakens after what he believes is a simple ordinary day. What is happening? Certainly not how we left poor Dean. Trust the author.
Dull pain seemed to be aching from one end of his overly tired body to the other as Dean Winchester groaned, shifting to find a more comfortable spot on the bed only to find another spot of pain.
Considering his current lifestyle and profession he couldn't place the pains since he hadn't ached this bad since the last time a seriously pissed off vengeful spirit had trounced his ass. That had been years ago and it had been eighteen, almost nineteen, months since he'd retired from hunting to settle down with Lisa and Ben in a normal nine-to-five job.
"God," giving up on moving, he merely went to throw an arm up to cover his pounding head only to be surprised as how tight the muscles in his upper left arm seemed to be. "What the hell?"
Opening one eye slowly, he saw that he was in the bed that he and Lisa shared but a look down made him frown and his mind seemed to rebel a little as he tried to place all the slashes, bruises, cuts, burns that he could see as he shed the blanket to reveal that he was still in the sleep pants he'd taken to wearing occasionally
Struggling to sit up on the edge of the bed, Dean fought to put foggy memories together while rubbing the back of his neck restlessly. His last memory was of going to work at the construction site. He worked a full day…flashes of hazel eyes seemed to hit him along with pain over his heart then there was a flash and nothing.
"Well, this sucks," he decided, pulling himself to his feet but having to grab for the wall to stay upright as his head seemed to pound and he thought he recalled passing out like this at the old Bender place recently but that couldn't have been possible.
Staring at himself in the dresser mirror, Dean was surprised to see much more than a days worth of beard had grown. He also noticed the deep shadows under his eyes then his attention went to his chest and he lightly traced what seemed like a new wound on his shoulder and again he flashed on hazel eyes, cold toneless voice then his back burned and he nearly fell except for the sudden hand on his bicep.
"What're you trying to do? Start bleeding again?" Lisa asked with a gentle smile as she lightly eased an arm around him to help him back to the bed. "You should be in a hospital."
Confused at why he'd be in a hospital, Dean didn't refuse the help but hissed as her hand pressed to the small of his back and a memory of another kind popped back to him but this time he thought he could also see Sam shifting, trying to refuse to let Dean look at his back before they left Bobby's for…
"What…what happened?" he finally asked, twisting away from her light touch as if not wanting it but not understanding that emotion since they'd been together since the night Sam…since the night…
Nodding as if understanding his confusion Lisa handed him a glass of water. "You got jumped the other night after work by some wannabe muggers. They beat you pretty bad and might've done worse if a few of the guys in the construction crew hadn't come by," she told him, biting her lip in concern while running her fingers back through his short hair. "The doctors wanted to keep you but you insisted you'd be fine here at home."
"Huh," Dean mumbled, taking the glass but not drinking, as his nose seemed to pick up a faint odor from the glass. "Guess I've lost a step or two in eighteen months. I used to be able to take on multiple zombies or ghosts without blinking now I get took out by muggers," he chuckled then as something came to mind. "Sammy'd laugh himself silly over that."
Catching the slight change in expression on Lisa's face in the mirror Dean kept silent about it since he could recall that his brother was a sore subject with the woman even though he couldn't understand why. "Where's Ben?" he asked easily and this time did see the change. "Lisa?"
"Oh…I sent Ben to stay with my folks for a couple weeks while you heal," she responded quickly, nudging his hand with the glass. "Drink up so you don't become dehydrated."
Lifting the glass, memories of ice cold water being thrown in his face made Dean frown and he sat the glass down to try to stand up, feeling Lisa grip his arm again with a little more strength than he'd given her credit for. "No, I'm…fine," he waved her off to head for the bathroom. "I…I just want to shave first then maybe eat and try to figure out why my head's screwed up."
"Dean, you need to sleep," Lisa objected then as if considering it changed her mind about arguing and leaned up to press a kiss to his mouth, frowning only slightly when the former hunter tensed and eased away from the touch. "I'll fix breakfast. Yell when you're done."
"Yeah, thanks," he nodded absently, missing the change in the woman as he turned to enter the bathroom. "Okay, think. None of this is gelling."
As he reached for his electric razor, the mild pain on his neck made him hiss and lift his head to look in the mirror. Glancing up as he normally would, it took all of three seconds for Dean's gaze to shoot back to the glass then he was spinning around while trying to keep a grasp on the sink to make sure he stayed standing. "Mom?"
Certain it was whatever was making his head throb, Dean was certain that when he turned around and opened his eyes again after quickly shutting them that he would not be facing the slightly upset looking spirit of his late Mother.
The last time Dean had seen the spirit of Mary Winchester had been in their old home in Lawrence, Kansas and she had saved them from whatever else had been residing in that home. He and Sam had both believed she had used all her energy doing that and had hopefully moved on but there have been a few times in which Dean has wondered about that since he has learned so much more about deal making.
Right then he was struggling to focus on what he knew couldn't be real even though this was how his Mother had look the last night of her life, how in some way he would always remember her. "Okay, got a concussion or something, that I know but I've had plenty of those without ever seeing…you."
"Dean," Mary's smile was sad much like it had been that night in the old house when she'd faced her grown-up sons but unlike the pain and guilt she still felt then the sadness filling her heart now was so much deeper because of why her boys were being hurt. "You're not imagining this even if you do have a concussion," she told him, reaching up to lightly stroke a hand over his cheek much like she would when he was a toddler. "My time is brief but I need you to focus."
"Riiight, focus," Dean smirked, rolling his eyes much like Sam would without even realizing it. "I got beat up by muggers. Dad would be so proud. Now my Mom's ghost is in my bathroom and…sonuvabitch…" he hissed as his neck seemed to burn as Mary's spirit got closer. "Got used to my damn back but this is…hey, Dad teach you some ex-Marine language or what?" he had to twist to look back over his shoulder at the unique and unexpected curses being used from a woman that he barely remembered swearing when she'd been alive.
Mary knew her time was limited, she knew some of what was happening and what she needed to do to get Dean back on track but she still felt her blood boil as she looked at her eldest son's back. She'd suspected what she'd see at the small of it but it was the newer, much more raw tiny looking mark at the base of his neck that made long since dormant hunter's emotions come out.
"I knew some words that could make your Father blink, Dean," Mary finally replied, lifting a hand to lightly lay it on Dean's neck and felt him go tense but was quick to put her other on his back to reassure him. "It's okay, honey. It'll hurt but just for a little bit."
"Yep, heard that before," Dean gritted, the knuckles on both hands going white as he gripped the sink against the pain that was burning his neck but then as that pain began to dim and he thought he heard the soft voice of his Mother speaking to him the hunter's memories began to pop out at him. "What the hell?"
Dean recalled losing Sam to the Cage eighteen months ago, he recalled going to Lisa and Ben, getting the construction job and doing the whole nine-to-five during the week, football, soccer and barbecues on the weekends thing.
He knew that he'd never really adjusted to it but he'd coped…he thought they'd coped until he began picking up the vibes of being watched, of being tracked and Lisa first accused him of being too sensitive, of allowing his near obsession over his brother push him to the edge and then that last fight where they'd both said some very nasty and hurtful things before he'd stormed out to head for Bobby's only to have…
Pain burned his neck and again it seemed like fire and pain blurred his thoughts but then he focused on something his Mother just whispered in his ear and he shuddered. "Sammy."
"I know it hurts, Dean. I know what you probably see or will see before this stops hurting but he needs you," Mary's voice was soft as she worked what little energy she had to both ease her son's pain and take away the influence that was clouding his mind. "Sam needs you now."
Sammy. The mention…the thought of his little brother made Dean fight harder to bring his thoughts into focus since Sam had always been what would make Dean fight to survive, to fight not only for himself but also for his little brother.
While the pain in his neck began to ease slowly he could recall the ambush at Bobby's place. He recalled waking up at the old Bender place with a very different, very cold and near totally unemotional, memory whacked Sammy using him for a punching bag,
He recalled Kathleen Hudak's arrival, locking his little brother in that damn cage that they both hated so much then things went fuzzy until he was back to Bobby's with his chest in agony and Sam showing a little more emotion but still not back to normal when he remembered something Castiel mentioned about Sam's soul being gone which would explain something but not the way his brother had angel proofed not only their room but also his own arm when something else began to click.
The mark on Sam's stomach, the way he shifted away from letting either Dean or Bobby see his back, the way Sam had scrawled a sigal on his own arm to keep something from messing with his head and Dean knew that Sam was protecting himself from Angels because those marks were Enochian and that began making him edgier.
"I…wasn't mugged," he whispered, knowing this was true even before he saw his Mother's nod in the mirror. "Sam…I did see Sammy," trying to think, Dean stared at his own reflection and saw his brother's eyes as they watched him take the phone call that would bring them back to… "Lisa…Ben…I saw Sam shoot Ben and felt so betrayed that…"
"Did you feel betrayed or did you feel what they made you feel?" Mary countered, moving her hand from Dean's neck to see most of the mark had vanished and what remained now was marred. "What is the last thing you remember, Dean? What did you see before you went out?"
Those last thoughts were far away and painful but Sam's expression, the near pain in those usually emotional eyes had tore at him only moments before Sam had shown him the knife that had been held in Ben's hand then there was pain and he thought he could recall hearing Sam calling to him then yelling at someone to leave him alone…that he'd…go back if they left him alone.
"Sonuvabitch," he snapped, closing his eyes to finally finish clearing his mind of the fog and allowing the memories to return despite the pain and ignoring the more familiar back pain as he stared at the mirror and his Mother. "I got suckered into coming back here. Lisa and Ben…oh crap…Sam knew going in that something was wrong and I wouldn't listen to him because I doubted him. He's…where is Sam, Mom?"
"I'm not sure," Mary admitted with a sigh, seeing the jerk in Dean's jaw muscle that was so much like his Father that she had to smile. "My Father has him, Dean. I don't know why or how he came back but I know that he won't ever get what he wants because if I could come back for anyone it would not be him."
Pausing as Dean quickly shaved without nicking himself too much considering how much his hands were shaking, Mary waited and tried to put together what she needed him to know since she could feel her energy leaving her.
"Sam's memories were coming and going because of a mark on his neck like what you just recently had to deal with but mostly because of what's on his lower back which I think you know about…Dean," Mary was quick to grab a retreating arm. "Now you focus on dealing with this, getting out of this house and finding your brother before they can wipe out his mind or hurt him so much worse again," she urged, turning him to face her and smiling as she looked up at this young man who looked so much like John that she had to wonder if either of them had even known that. "Find Sammy, get him away from my Father and help him because you can get your Sammy back if you fight for it."
Swallowing hard against the deep emotion that he hadn't felt in a long time, Dean closed his eyes as he felt the soft touch of his Mother's kiss against his cheek then nodded when he opened his eyes to find himself alone again but could still smell the leftover effects of the same perfume he could recall smelling when he'd been four years old.
"I'll find Sammy, Mom," he promised softly, feeling his fingers close into fists at the voice calling him from downstairs and he struggled not to snarl but to make his voice sound level. "Yeah, be down in a second, babe," he called back, deciding to ignore any wounds that might need treated as he pulled a black T-shirt on, then reached for a long sleeved overshirt before looking out the window.
Now with his memories back in place of his recent days, Dean felt his arm where a lump seemed to be in the muscle of his arm to realize between his neck, he snarled at what that meant, and his arm that he'd been drugged to believe all was well with Lisa when it was far from it.
Knowing his duffel bag was probably still in the Impala which was probably back in the garage or at least Dean prayed it was because he'd kill if anyone touched his car, he went into the closet to the spot in the back that he'd personally refixed to have a fake wall to remove the small bag that would have at least what he'd need for this moment.
Considering the last eighteen months of living here made his wonder if it had been real at all or if he'd been set up from the start. Thinking that perhaps Lisa and Ben hadn't been real at all since he'd arrived this time made him sick if he thought too hard on it but at that moment he was considering Sam's shot when he took out the boy.
Single shot to the heart which led Dean to guess if he had to that his brother had loaded his weapon with silver rounds and that meant shapeshifters. If that was the guess then Dean was equally pissed because he knew his brother hated those things and had ever since they'd been kids and that last encounter back when Sam was twenty-two hadn't helped that issue any for either of them.
The emergency bag didn't hold everything a hunter needed but it did carry a silver knife, holy water, a spare pistol with three different types of rounds but what Dean reached for were the silver ones before slipping the weapon into his belt at the small of his back and made sure it was covered by his shirt before taking a deep breath, flicking the black band on his wrist and thought of his little brother and the way Sam had seemed to have been wearing his the last time he had seen him here.
"Dean! Are you coming?" 'Lisa' called again from the bottom of the steps, sounding a little concerned.
"Yep, on my way," Dean called back, making a final fist before heading downstairs while silently praying that Sam could hold on a little longer while he figured out a way to handle this.
In the kitchen, 'Lisa' finished preparing food while eyeing the small vial of amber liquid she'd used in a few dishes. True, Samuel had told her to play before killing Dean and that had been her first intention after picking up the knife since this latest blunder had wasted all the hard work she'd put in the last eighteen months not to mention the boy, while not her biological child, had grown on her.
It was when he arrived with one of Samuel's stronger trainers that it was suggested to draw it out by removing a few of Dean's more recent memories, placing the smaller much less obvious mark on his neck to help the process along that she knew exactly what to do.
She could keep Dean believing this happy life while Samuel and the others did what they wanted to the younger man until it was time and then Dean could watch as his own precious brother did kill him very slowly by using skills that not even Hell had taught Dean.
Turning from the stove when she heard a step, she was all smiles. "I thought you'd gotten lost on your way downstairs or maybe wanted breakfast in bed since Ben's not here," she teased, deciding to see how much of this new drug would be needed to get the hunter pliant before she took this game to a new level.
"Nah, just a little stiff," Dean refused to even show how that image made his stomach turn especially since he still wasn't really aware of how long he'd been literally sleeping with the enemy.
Looking at the plates of food, the same slight odor touched his nostril and knew he was being drugged. Having gone down that route before in his life and refusing to let it happen again he decided to steer clear of the food but did take a plate to the dining room table.
"Hey, I was thinking…maybe I'd go see Bobby since it's been awhile," he smiled thinly as he heard the other plate clatter to the table but when he looked up her face was tight but calm. "Lise?"
"Umm, I thought you wanted to stay away from him since it only reminded you of…of things," she argued, cursing that this had come up but was glad that when she silently whispered the words in her head that he seemed to tense while rubbing his neck uneasily. "Besides, I was thinking that with Ben away that we could maybe concentrate on other things."
Disgust filled him but he played the game while moving around the table slowly, his smile a half grin that Sam would often call in their teenage years his on the prowl grin. "That could be arranged," he agreed, feeling the burn on his neck but not as intensely as before which he took as a good thing as he reached in the pocket of his shirt. "I do have something for you though that I've been meaning to give to you."
"Well, aren't you sweet," 'Lisa' smiled, turning to hold out a hand since he motioned for her to. "Does this require candlelight or music?" she asked with a soft laugh that turned into a painful scream when the silver bracelet hit her palm and before she could throw it off a strong grip closed her hand around it. "What?"
"My Mom's bracelet, babe," Dean's green eyes were now hard, serious and far from friendly as he glared down into the slowly realizing ones of the 'woman'. "My Mom was a hunter or so I've now learned so almost all the jewelry my Dad had left of hers is pure silver. Guess your reaction answers my question and answers why Sam shot Ben with a goddamn silver bullet to the heart."
Shocked silence stunned her for a short time then 'Lisa' quickly tried to use the spell to regain control of the mark on his neck since she'd been told the one of his back was only for others to touch but gasped as his fingers tightened around hers and the silver was burning through flesh.
"Dean…stop. This isn't…you," she tried, not understanding why it wasn't working when he smiled. "Dean…"
"Shapeshifters working with hunters, demons, and whatever the hell else good old Gramps has with him. Two questions before I put a bullet in your damn heart," Dean growled, feeling the burn but ignored it even though even knowing what it was also made him sick.
Realizing that her plan was close to falling apart 'Lisa' knew it was time to resort to Plan B and that was to kill this hunter before he did kill her. Shifting with an agility that in Dean's current shape he wasn't prepared for, she let her head slam forward in a classic headbutt that forced him to release his grip to reach up to grab his forehead.
"Sonuvabitch!" Dean snapped, pain not an issue at that moment as he dodged the rake of well-manicured nails across his face and quickly lunged to cut off her move to bureau where he figured some type of weapon was hidden. "How long after I got here did you bastards replace the real Lisa and Ben?" he demanded, grabbing a handful of long hair but grunted when he forgot that a shapeshifter could be stronger than a normal human but kept his grip.
"Honey, they were dead shortly after you came before you almost said 'yes' that time," she sneered, seeing the shock enter his eyes as that dawned on him and he understood. "You've been living with 'monsters' since the night I answered that door."
Enraged and guilt-ridden at the same time that by entering their lives he'd cost Lisa and Ben their lives, Dean knew he needed to concentrate on this fight because he'd fought many shapeshifters and none had been easy fights…for either him or Sam.
Still keeping a hand in her hair, he gave a jerk that pulled her closer to him but wasn't expecting her to grab a heavy statue off a stand and bash him in the head with it until he was seeing stars and felt a swift kick to his already broken ribs as she rolled to her feet.
"Why?" he gritted, twisting before the next kick to use a leg to sweep hers out from under her but wasn't fast enough to beat her back up but was able to block the blow to the back of his head by throwing his arms up and getting a hold of her arm to toss her into the glass front curio that had just recently been added to the décor. "Why'd they have to die?"
"Because people needed a way to control you, Dean," she replied, face bloody from the glass but looking at the shard of glass in her hand before smiling. "You needed to be kept in reserve for a very special purpose but I think you've become a bit too problematic for that now."
Body still aching from Sam's original attack, his chest hurting like fire and his breath not coming right Dean knew he was close to losing what edge he had when he saw the tell of her next move and was able to move to avoid the glass shard gutting him but still felt it cut through both shirts and his side but hunter instincts made his reactive move possible as his elbow came down on the back of her neck and he heard a small crack and a cry which bought him time to dive to the floor, pulling the spare .45 from under his shirt and firing.
Screaming as the silver round struck not her heart but her knee, the shapeshifter laid on the floor twisting in pain as Dean slowly climbed to his feet being very careful to keep it trained. "Where's my brother?" he asked in a hard voice, seeing surprise fully in its eyes then a calmness that worried the hunter. "Where's Sam. I know he was here. I know Samuel took him so my question to you before I put the next goddamn round in your heart is…where is my brother?"
"How'd you break free?" 'Lisa' countered the question, knowing if she could buy enough time that things would end differently. "I know the drug wasn't strong enough but…that damn mark…he said…"
"Yeah, about that…" taking a quick look, Dean saw the pad and pencil that had been knocked to the floor in the fight and kicked it over to her. "Draw what the hell's on my neck then tell me who put it there and if there's one on Sam? Is that way he scrawled that anti-Angel thing on his arm?"
Debating of a course of action, 'Lisa' did finally take the pencil and sketched as best she could what the tiny symbol looked like to her then did the one lower and also the one she'd seen on Sam's stomach before falling back to the floor. "You know it?"
Firing another silver round into her other knee just to assure himself the time to look at the drawings, Dean felt his blood run both cold, hot then ice cold because while he knew intimately what the mark on his lower back had been it terrified him that someone still existed who could put it on his little brother and he prayed when he had the chance that he wouldn't find one there.
The other two marks were less familiar though Dean knew both were Enochian, which pissed him off since that meant only someone familiar with the ancient Angel language had been messing with them. The tiny one that was on his neck that Mary's spirit had taken much of the effects from seemed familiar to him and as Dean struggled to place it he began to snarl.
"Angel binding magic," he gritted, realizing that in some way it was an Angel version of the same damn brand that Alastair placed on his back in Hell but it was the other mark that had been drawn that drew his attention because as Dean had learned in all his dealings with Angels each had his or her own signature when making a binding mark and he knew this one. He knew it only too well. "Sonuvabitch."
Fury was building much faster than Dean knew was wise so he struggled to control it as he stamped a foot on the mark he didn't know, the one he'd seen on Sam's stomach. "What's this one from?" he demanded sharply, knowing it was Angelic but almost afraid to hazard a guess on what its use was.
"Beyond my paygrade, hotstuff," 'Lisa' smiled, still in pain but knowing she'd heal only to tense as the weapon was aimed at her heart. "Don't you want to know where they're holding your baby brother?" she teased, not missing the look that entered his gaze at it turned dangerous.
"Samuel and crew aren't stupid enough to trust you with that," Dean knew that even if he hated it because that would cost him time that he simply didn't have. "You might know what this other mark is though so tell me that or I might just place a call to the nearest hunter I know who wouldn't mind dealing with you."
His weapon never wavering, Dean was suddenly surprised when his head started buzzing and that mark on his back, the one that he hadn't had to deal with since returning from Hell…or not much anyway since Lucifer was locked up, began to burn. "What the hell?" he muttered, feeling his legs get wobbly but fighting it to focus on the shapeshifter. "What is the mark on…"
"It's the spot where your brother, your precious little brother, had his soul jerked from his body after he was pulled from the Cage whole, healthy and begging for you."
The voice was smooth, deep with a touch of a Southern accent that had always grated on Dean's last nerve almost as bad as Alastair's had but this one Dean hadn't needed to hear quite as often and he'd believed he never would again since he'd only heard it in Hell.
"Seth," Dean spat the name like a curse as he turned to slowly face the vessel of the demon who had once been just another servant in Alastair's torture rooms in Hell but clearly had somehow gotten promoted. "How'd you get up here?"
The vessel, a young man of about Dean's own age and build but slightly taller, suited the demon so to speak since when he'd been alive he'd been tall, lean and very mean. Shrugging, he glanced around the house before returning his gaze to Dean. "Boss needed a hand. Guess who got promoted after the poster boy of Hell jumped ship?" he sneered, raising a hand the weapon in Dean's hand was thrown across the room. "You won't need that, Dean."
Swearing violently, Dean's gaze moved to behind the demon where the door was but gut instinct told him that he wouldn't make it that far even as the sudden agony in lower back reminded him of the day it was embedded there and he crashed to the floor, refusing to scream because he wouldn't give this son of a bitch that satisfaction.
"Where's…Sam?" he gritted, knowing Seth should not have the power to control the brand or hurt Sam but gasping when the demon's hand touched his neck pain erupted and his heart pounded in his ears. "How're… what're…argh!"
"You'll see your brother soon," Seth promised, blue eyes flashing black for a moment as he smiled while running a hand back through blond hair that reached his shoulders. "After all, it'll be like a family reunion even though at the end Sam'll end your life…unless I get my way because you and I have years of payback to catch up on, don't we Dean?
"I mean, you didn't think I'd forget it, did you?" he asked, pleasant face growing hard as his mouth curled up in a cruel smile. "No, I survived Hell, I survived all the backbiting down there for this one moment and while what I did to your little brother was some payback it wasn't anything to the debt I owe you."
Body in searing, brutal agony, Dean could feel it going numb as the brand was worked correctly which would also leave him aware but powerless but he struggled to lash out with a weak fist that was merely grabbed and squeezed until he nearly screamed as he thought his hand was breaking. "You touch…my brother and…I'll…"
"Oh, I know. I've heard it but this time you won't pull any miracles outta that hat, not Angels coming to the rescue, nothing will save you and this time both you and your brother will pay the price," the demon vowed, taking a hold of Dean's short hair to jerk his head up to meet his eyes. "Your little brother was interesting to play with, your cousins and my friends are having fun now and before Samuel and Crowley are done, before they get what they each want you will both wish you were dead but I will make sure you last much longer."
Slamming Dean's head down into the floor a few times, he watched as the hunter's eyes rolled back in his head before going limp then he stood up to snap his fingers. "Take him back, chain him down and do not let anyone in that cesspit touch him but me," he growled at the two demons who appeared and just as quickly disappeared with the unconscious Dean.
"What happens to me?" the 'Lisa' shapeshifter asked, still laying on the floor where both knees were healing. "I did what was asked of me so what…"
"Be thankful I have new toys to play with or I'd take my time with you," Seth snapped, running his fingers along the lapels of the silk jacket he'd been wearing since being called up. "Heal and be gone from this hovel or once they turn the younger human they just may let him loose on you as a test."
Scowling after the demon vanished from the house Lisa laid still and not for the first time wondered just what the hell was in store for the Winchesters.
Back in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at Bobby's:
"A phone call would help, Bobby!"
"I did call you, you old fool! Now shut the hell up before you make me blow up my house!"
"I meant a phone call before all hell broke loose and this is our last resort!"
Bobby Singer tossed the final ingredient into the bowl on his desk before throwing a book at the grumbling bearded black man standing to one side. "I called you after I got bushwhacked but you're so damn slow that didn't do me any good," he growled, hating this plan but after not being able to reach either of the Winchester brothers for seventy-two hours he decided it was time to try a different route. "Now shut up and don't shoot the son of a bitch."
"I can't very well shoot him since he controls your damn soul…which have I mentioned lately was about the stupidest thing you've ever done?" Rufus Turner shot back, leaning against the fireplace as a lit match was tossed in the bowl with a bright poof then…
"Funny, that's what the boys told him when he did it. Hello, Singer. Have to say this is a surprise since I thought you'd be out partying or something."
The well-dressed, Scottish accented if rather short man who had appeared in the poof of smoke seemed amused by the spell that summoned him if not as amused by the Devil's Trap that held him. "Really, is that really needed?" he looked down with a headshake.
"Depends, you gonna willingly tell me what the hell you did what you did for and where the hell the boys are?" Bobby demanded, coming around the desk even as Rufus was hissing at him.
Crowley, the former King of the Crossroad demons and now new ruler of Hell, lifted an eyebrow. "Try phrasing that in a way that makes sense to even you, mate," he urged, sighing. "What did I do?"
"Oh, don't you play that crap with me you weasley little blowhard!" Bobby snarled, feeling like at least trying a punch if he thought too hard on Sam right then. "You yanked Sam outta that hole in the ground, you swiped his stole to turn him into…I don't know what then have the guts to make him try to kill Dean while working with that demented old coot of a granddad they had!"
"Oh, so that's what this is about," now that he knew what the junkman turned hunter was raging about he could handle it. Beginning to chuckle soon Crowley began to laugh fully until he nearly fell to the floor. "You think that I…getting Sam out of the Cage…Sam's soul…killing Dean…you think I did all that," he struggled for breath until he finally looked up. "Sod off, Singer. I'm a bit more refined than just ripping a soul out to turn my favorite Moose into Robo-Moose."
Seeing the wariness on both men's faces, Crowley rolled his eyes. "Got news for ya, mate. Why don't you yell for Castiel if you want to know who pulled Moose from the Cage and 'borrowed' that bright little soul of his cause his pretty Angel feathers ain't so clean now and that's also why the boys won't be making it out of this one," he vowed, looking around then back to a stunned Bobby and Rufus. "Got a chair or am I just expected to sit in on this meeting of the unminds standing?"
Debating on if he should be believe the demon or not, Bobby slammed a chair into the Devil's Trap before hitting the desk in frustration. "Balls!" he snarled.
Elsewhere in the dark:
Cold, pain, flashes of light pulsating in random patterns along with a burning in his veins woke Sam Winchester.
The pain wasn't unfamiliar and he was still aware of his recent memories which is what made him tighten his arms only to feel them strapped tightly to a metal frame that on basic instinct both his memory and his body knew wasn't good for him if he intended to stay free.
A needle inserting into his arm made his eyes snap open to see Samuel Campbell leaning over him while talking about his 're-education' with what Sam knew wasn't human.
"This time I don't want him to break the conditioning," he was snapping to someone over his shoulder. "No matter what, no matter when he's confronted by them or anything else he doesn't remember a damn thing or I'll just have the damn demons mind wipe him completely so I won't have any of these problems!"
"Huh," Sam grunted, feeling dry lips cry and bleed but not paying that any heed as he fought to focus his eyes. "Gonna be…hard to torture…me…when I still…can't feel…thanks to you," he pointed out, lips thinning as something burned his left hand but his right was still curled into a tight fist.
"Maybe," Samuel conceded, grabbing his younger grandson by the chin. "I've got good men who can do it but then maybe it'll take listening to Seth torture your brother that'll break you."
Hazel eyes snapped to meet Samuel's gloating ones. He knew the demon's name and while his inner self cringed at it he began to realize with some concern that the drug in his arm again was making him care less at the mention of his brother.
"Leave Dean be," he tried to argue when Samuel nodded to the technician near him and the heavy leather half mask that served as a gag in Hell was sealed over Sam's mouth to both cover any residual screams and as a means of punishment when something over his grandfather's shoulder caught his eye and took what little bit of hope Sam did have away.
"I'm…sorry, Sam," Castiel murmured, reaching two fingers out to touch the younger man's forehead and hearing the scream long after it ended and Bobby Singer began shouting for him.TBC
Author Note: This took a few turns I wasn't expecting. What is Castiel's ultimate reasons for what it appears he's doing? Is Crowley telling the truth? Who is this new demon and what is his connection to Dean? Will Sam survive this without losing it all? Come back for the next Chapter to see.