And All The World Drops Dead

Word Count: 11065

Rating: R

A/N: This story was never intended to be read by anyone other than me. I feel that writing this was a way of sorting through my own issues with sexual abuse, so this story feels... intimate. However, a Fic Challenge came up on OhSam and I wanted to take part. This story has become a fill for cherry916's prompt: Gen. Season 2. Gordon does more than just try and blow Sam to bits and pieces and he's a more formidable foe than even Dean realized. Much h/c with tied!up Dean trying desperately to save Sam. Cherry, I hope this doesn't disappoint.

WARNINGS: I'm afraid there is not as much comfort as there is hurt, and there are very sensitive issues being dealt with, including rape (maybe not terribly graphic but brutal), violence, a whole fuck-ton of swearing, forced haircutting (I think it's time I admitted to everyone, and myself, that I have some sort of weird... thing with Sam's hair) and character death (NOT Sam or Dean). Now, posting stories that deal with subjects like these makes me very nervous, so I would appreciate any feedback that anyone has.

XXX

His tongue might actually be the foulest-tasting thing in the world. Thick and furry and Jesus, has he been chugging sour milk and munching on chalk or something? Maybe he's somehow turned into a zombie, 'cause, man, his tongue tastes like it's rotting. It feels like there's a layer of mould growing on it.

It makes Dean want to throw up. He's wondering if maybe he already has. It kind of tastes like he has. What the hell was he drinking last night?

The fogginess of thick sleep ever so slowly recedes (but not enough) and other body parts start vying for attention. No wonder zombies are so freaking homicidal, if this is how they feel all the time. His head is pounding like his brain is actually throwing itself against his skull in an attempt to escape and all his muscles feel bruised and swollen, like something has been tenderising him (man, he really hopes that something hasn't been tenderising him). God, this must be the hangover to end all hangovers. The King Hangover. There is no way in hell that he is ever. Drinking. Again.

He gropes kind of wildly at the space beside him. He's not sure what he's looking for but a few gallons of water and a dozen packets of painkillers sound really fucking good right now and, as long as he didn't manage to piss Sam off last night while intoxicated – and if he did he really hopes that Sam's not being a bitch about it – the kid has probably been awesome and left something that will make him feel less like the living dead on the bedside table for him. Sammy's good like that. Dean can't hear him moving around so maybe he's gone to get coffee. God, coffee. As soon as his stomach stops thinking that expelling all of his internal organs is a good idea, he is totally going to murder some caffeine.

But instead of knocking the alarm clock from the night-stand or finding some magical hangover cure, his fingers scrape on cold cement. He hears a wordless noise of bafflement leave his mouth and then footsteps, heading towards him.

"Smmm?" he tries to say but he's got no saliva and he's still considering salting and burning his zombie tongue so it comes out all garbled and raspy. He gets a laugh in response that is definitely not Sam's.

"Sorry, guess again."

Dean's fingers clench automatically into a fist. His stomach joins in and for a moment he has to battle the urge to spew up his last dozen meals. Fuck. Double fuck and shit. He had been hoping that he'd never run into the owner of that voice ever again.

Well, time to act like he's not dying. He forces his eyes open in an extreme victory of mind over matter and is immediately glad that the only source of light in the room is a single naked light bulb that hangs from the ceiling as though from a noose. He doesn't think his brain could handle anything brighter.

The white splotches clear from his vision after a few blinks. Gordon Walker is crouched a few feet from him, back-lit in an eerie kind of way, poised deceptively casual with his elbows resting on his knees, hands dangling between his legs. His body is blocking most of the room but on either side Dean sees grey brick walls. The floor Dean is lying on is cement and damp. He can see water-marks on the walls and figures this place must have flooded during the last heavy rainfall.

Gordon's face breaks into a grin, slow and sharp, when Dean makes eye contact.

"Howdy, Dean," he says brightly, voice echoing off of empty space. It makes Dean's head pound harder. "Long time, no see."

Basement, Dean's mind supplies helpfully, before he's distracted by the sight of a handcuff snapped around his left wrist. He follows it with his eyes to where the other cuff is clipped around a pipe that runs vertically up the wall, plumbing probably, and now that he's seen it he's wondering how he didn't feel it before because it's so tight it's threatening to cut off the circulation to his hand.

Something's wrong, besides the obvious, because he should have noticed all these things a moment after waking, should have had the situation assessed and a plan formed before he even opened his eyes, but his mind is still bogged down and whatever the problem is, it's on the tip of his tongue but he just can't figure it out. Get it together, Dean, and you call yourself a hunter.

"Gordon." He finally addresses the older man warily, forcing himself up onto one elbow (because he's so not going to lie on the freaking ground in front of this sonuvabitch). "Thought you were still enjoying prison. You didn't drop the soap, did you? I hear that's a bad idea."

Gordon shakes his head in a parody of fond exasperation. "Ah, Dean," he says. "Still the same cocky bullshit. How's that working out for you?"

Dean glares and tries to stop his vision from splintering into a dozen head-splitting kaleidoscope images, and Gordon's smile widens, teeth gleaming white in the dim light.

"I thought about you while I was inside, y'know? You and -" His lips draw back in a sneer. "- Sammy. Lot of time to think in there. I wouldn't bother with that, by the way."

Dean's fingers stop their – what he thought was pretty sneaky – search of his clothes for lock-picks or weapons.

"Nothing around here that's going to help you, Dean-o." Gordon looks positively gleeful, the bastard.

Dean scowls at him, ignoring the way using his facial muscles makes his head feel like it's going to pop. "Pulling the same trick twice, Gord-o?" He mimics the hunters nickname. "You must have a pretty limited imagination, or did someone in prison beat out your last remaining brain cells? Remember what happened last time? Sam kicked your ass and you ended up as someone's cell bitch."

Gordon laughs, as if Dean's just told a hilarious joke, like the one about the two nuns on the cobblestone road – that one had Sammy in fits – Jesus, Dean, focus, what's wrong with you? - and what the hell is so funny?

Gordon pulls himself together. "Somehow, I don't think Sammy's gonna be saving you this time."

Dean doesn't have time to think that over – his mind feels like the sludge left at the bottom of the coffee pot – before Gordon stands, looking inordinately pleased with himself as he steps to the side and Dean sees what the hunter was blocking from his sights.

Sammy.

It is a basement, a fairly average-sized one. There are metal stairs against the far wall leading up into what must be a house. The basement's not big enough for this to be a factory or office building. It's entirely unfurnished but for a large solid desk in the middle and, in front of that, a heavy-looking wooden chair.

Sam sits with his head lolled forward, hair obscuring his face. His shoes and belt are missing, wrists bound to the chairs armrests with coils of rope, ankles bound to the chair legs. He's not moving, hasn't made a sound through Dean's conversation with Gordon, and Dean can't even see if the kid's breathing in the grim lighting.

There's an explosive mix of ice cold fear and red hot fury battling it out under Dean's skin and a traitorous little voice in his head is hissing; Well you fucked this one up, Dean, the one thing you had to get right, the one order that tops all other orders: Watch out for Sammy.

He automatically pulls forward, trying to close the distance between the two of them, straining to see whether Sam's chest is moving or not (it fucking better be) but he's yanked back by his cuffed wrist and the movement arouses the nausea he'd forgotten about, sloshing thick in his stomach. He needs a moment just to breathe so that he doesn't up-chuck everywhere, and in that moment he realizes that if Sam were dead Gordon wouldn't have bothered tying him down.

As much of a relief as that it, he's not exactly going to be celebrating while that could still change any minute. He feels his features twist into a snarl as he looks up at Gordon's gloating face.

"What'd you do to him?" he demands.

Gordon looks like the cat that got the canary or whatever that stupid phrase is (the hunter that got the monster) as he grins at Sam's unconscious form (and you can just keep your filthy eyes off of him, you psycho sonuvabitch).

"Oh, he's fine," the bastard says mildly, "No worse than you."

The pieces fall into place (and fuck, it's totally embarrassing that it took him this long to figure it out); the nausea the heavy feeling in his limbs, the pounding in his head.

"You drugged us," he realizes.

Gordon snorts. "I was surprised at how easy it was. You boys must be losing your touch."

Gordon turns. His footsteps are loud on the damp concrete floor as he passes Sam and covers the distance to the desk in six long steps.

"Sam!" Dean hisses behind Gordon's back. He's not stupid enough to think that the hunter can't hear him, but Sam knows that Dean wouldn't hiss at him if he wasn't clear to make some sort of sign to show that he was okay without their captor seeing.

Dean watches the kid's fingers, white from loss of circulation. One twitch for I'm screwed, two for I'm fine, and three for I've got a plan. But Sam doesn't react at all, just sits there with his head bowed, God freaking damn it.

Dean tugs on the handcuffs but they're solid, no room to even dislocate his thumb to slip them (which he'd rather avoid because it hurts like a bitch, he knows from experience, but a dislocated thumb is nothing compared to Sam's life).

The pipe on that wall seems unbreakable too. It barely shifts at all when he leans his full weight against it, and even though Gordon told him not to waste his time – as if he's going to listen to that douche-bag – Dean frantically checks himself for a paper-clip or something. (There's gotta be something. Winchesters are more resourceful than fucking McGyver. This is their fucking speciality.) But there's nothing. Gordon's proving to be a much more formidable foe than Dean gave him credit for.

"You know," Gordon says, his back still turned, and over his shoulder Dean can see the wicked-looking knife the man is holding up to the light, as if checking it's sharpness. He's not, Dean knows. Gordon wants him to see for himself how sharp it is and that motherfucker's sharp. "Prison really was an educational experience for me. I learnt lots of new tricks there, like how to really make a man scream."

"Gordon..." Dean warns, but it's not like he can back that up.

Gordon spins on his heel and steps up behind the chair Sam is tied to, resting his knife almost casually against the back of Sam's neck. (Sam doesn't move. Don't fucking move, Sam. You can wake the hell up but don't you dare jerk your head back into that knife.)

Gordon cocks his head to the side, smile malicious and teasing. "You don't really think I was the bitch in there, Dean? Isn't that Sammy's little nickname?"

Dean bares his teeth. "Leave him the fuck alone," he spits.

Gordon ignores him, letting the knife trail over Sam's shoulder as he rounds the chair. "I bet this is just killing you, isn't it, Dean?" He clucks in mock sympathy. "So helpless over there, while I've got little brother right where I want him."

"I swear, if you touch him-"

"Want me to give you a run down of how prison works?" Gordon cuts him off flippantly.

A wordless noise of aggression frees itself from Dean's throat. If, by some miracle, he gets them out of this alive, he's gonna kill the bastard, like he should have done last time, but no, Sammy had to pull his whole upstanding citizen act, which, yeah okay, Dean thought it was pretty cool (and hilarious) at the time but see where that's got us, Sam? If it wants to kill you, you kill it, and that's exactly what Dean's going to do, as soon as he Houdini's his way out of these freaking cuffs. (Come on, miracle. Any time now...)

Gordon crouches down beside Sam's chair, looking up into the kid's face. "Decided to join us, huh? Good. I want you to hear this."

Dean snaps his gaze to the top of Sam's head. He can't tell from his position but the kid must be awake. "Sam?"

He gets a moan in response and Sam's head bobs a bit. If he feels half as bad as Dean did when he woke up then that's probably as much as he's going to get for a while. Dean turns back to Gordon.

"Let him go. You're wrong about him. He's got nothing to do with anything. He's a hunter, damn it!" he tries, a little desperately but come on, this situation is fucked up and it's bound to get worse so a little desperation is in order.

"I think we're a little past trying to change my mind, Dean-o," Gordon says lightly. "Kid might not have turned yet but it's coming. If you were half the hunter your father was, you would have put him down already."

Dean bristles at the mention of his father and unwillingly those words come back to him; Save Sam, or you're gonna have to kill him. He shakes it off. "You're out of your mind."

"You're the one not thinking straight, letting your emotional ties get in the way of your better judgement. You know what he is, what he will be. If you had done your job, we wouldn't be here."

"I know what my job is," Dean snarls, rattling his cuffs against the pipe angrily. "And it's not killing innocent people."

Gordon shrugs. "Where were we? Right, prison. Fun place."

He moves his knife to Sam's wrist, hovering in the gap between the bindings and Sam's shirt sleeve. Dean holds his breath because he can swear and threaten the bastard all he wants but Gordon could slit Sammy's fucking wrists in a second and leave the kid to bleed out right in front of him and there isn't a single damn thing he can do about it except maybe keep his mouth shut now and not antagonize the psycho.

"The first thing they do when you get there," Gordon continues brightly, twirling the knife on it's tip. Dean watched a small bead of blood well up on Sam's wrist. "Is take your clothes. It's a bit of a power trip for the guards. You know that saying, 'the clothes make the man'. Your first day is all about breaking you down."

In a quick movement that has Dean lurching forward, Gordon slits Sam's shirt up to the elbow.

"Usually they give you prison-issue over-alls, but I'm all out." Gordon carries on up to Sam's shoulder and then down the other side until Sam's button-up shirt falls away.

"What are you doing?" Dean demands, hauling himself up onto his knees as Gordon moves down to the ankle of Sam's jeans.

Sam's still awake, Dean can tell, but he's not really moving apart from an occasional flinch, like an afterthought, and Dean's not sure how aware he actually is of what's going on.

Gordon doesn't bother answering him, just methodically slices up the leg of Sam's jeans, blade getting uncomfortably close to Sam's groin as he reaches the top. Dean doesn't know what to do. As much as he is really not liking this forceful undressing of his brother (Geez, kid, could you look any more vulnerable?) it definitely beats watching Gordon carve him up. Plus, it gives him more time, to search for something useful (even though he's already covered the area surrounding him and all of the hiding spots in his clothes) and to plan (which, hello Dean, you're handcuffed to a wall. What the hell are you going to do?). So apparently he's just going to have to sit here and hope that Sam's not actually as drugged up as he seems and is right now formulating one of those brilliant plans of his... yeah, he may as well be pinning his hopes on Gordon winking at him and saying 'I was just messing with you' while he lets Sam the fuck go.

So yeah, Dean just sits there on his knees and watches as Gordon finishes his shredding, leaving Sam in his white t-shirt, boxers and socks. Sam's head bobs a little and he makes a small confused noise. Dean sees a shiver run through the kid and he doesn't know whether it's because of the damp basement air or if Sam's aware enough to realize that he should be scared but either way it makes him want to rip Gordon's lungs out.

Gordon seems to have forgotten him for the moment, focussed on pulling away the torn clothing, and Dean would use that to his advantage if there was any fucking thing around here to give him an advantage. No, Gordon planned this well, got the drop on them both (somehow, Dean still hasn't put those pieces together) and put Dean entirely out of commission with something as stupidly simple as handcuffs (it's kind of embarrassing really), leaving Sammy alone and defenceless.

Fuck but Dean had underestimated the crazy hunter. He didn't even know the dick was out of prison. (Should have kept track, should have known. What a fucking failure as a big brother, Dean. Does this look like keeping Sammy safe?)

Gordon stands abruptly and curls his fist in Sam's hair, yanking his head up sharply.

"Not fading out on me, are you, Sammy?" he taunts, spitting the nickname like a foul word, face close to Sam's. "We're just about to get to the good part."

Dean watches Sam's eyes roll dizzily, on the verge of passing out (don't you do it, Sammy, c'mon, you gotta stay awake, you gotta help figure out a way out of here) before his gaze focuses on Dean ('Atta boy). Kid frowns at him with this kind of frightened bafflement, like he can't quite make sense of what's going on but has figured out enough to know that it's not good.

Dean's eyes slide of Gordon but the older hunter seems content to just watch for the moment so he switches his gaze back to Sam, shifting slightly so that the handcuffs are more visible.

"Having a party over here," he says, and watches Sam slowly – too slowly, man, what did Gordon slip them? - decode his words into 'I'm stuck, what about you?'

Sam shifts in the chair, tensing when the bindings stop his movement. His gaze wanders up to Gordon's face before it slips back down, as far as it can get with that douchebag pulling his hair. He looks foggily confused by the sight of ropes and his lack of clothing.

"Needs music," he mutters finally, slurring slightly, and Dean's stomach drops because that means that Sam's trapped too, not that he was really expecting anything different but a guy can hope, right? Especially now, when he's got nothing else to fucking do.

"Listen to you two," Gordon cuts in. "So cute with your little code words." He shakes his head mockingly and moves his knife to settle under Sam's chin, pressing lightly against the soft skin by his jaw. "Maybe I should cut out your tongue."

Sam's breath catches, eyes dark.

"Leave him the fuck alone," Dean growls. "Or I swear, you'll be sorry you messed with us."

Gordon rolls his eyes. "Little clichéd there, don't you think?"

"I'm not fucking kidding."

Gordon ignores him in favour of turning back to Sam. His hand is still clenched in Sammy's hair, probably the only thing stopping the kid from impaling himself on the knife, and Sam's eyes roll slowly up to look at him with only vague comprehension.

"I've just been giving Dean a run-down of prison life," Gordon says, all casual and friendly, except there's nothing casual about the way he trails the tip of his blade up the side of Sam's face. It's all precision and perfect control, just the right amount of pressure to threaten without breaking skin. He's toying with them.

Sam blinks up at him, then at Dean, and shit, whatever Gordon drugged them with, the bastard must have given Sammy a larger dose than Dean. He's sure it didn't take him this long to leave la la land but Sam's still more out of it than in.

Gordon's knife makes it to Sam's hair-line. "They don't do the whole forced haircut thing any more," he says musingly. "But you know, I kind of like that part. Want a haircut, Sammy?"

What the fuck? Dean smacks a fist against the concrete, handcuffs rattling against the pipe. "Oh come on!" he exclaims loudly. "What the fuck are you doing?"

Gordon huffs a quiet laugh, smirking as he traces the tip of the knife along Sam's scalp. Out of it he may be, but Sam must register what Gordon's saying because his eyes seek Dean out frantically, which makes Dean all the more pissed off.

"You touch one freaking hair on his head and I'll tear you to pieces."

Gordon laughs openly this time, loud and booming and echoing off of the stone walls. "See, I knew there was a reason I didn't gag you. You and your impotent threats make this so much more fun."

"You bastard, I swear-"

The knife slides smoothly through the hank of hair Gordon's grasping, barely an inch from Sam's scalp. Sam's head drops back down to his chest without Gordon holding it up and Dean really isn't kidding, he really is going to fucking kill this asshole and he's going to fucking enjoy it.

"Whoops," Gordon taunts, dropping the severed clump of hair onto the damp concrete. "Must've slipped."

Dean growls and Gordon grabs another chunk of Sammy's hair (Sammy's fucking hair. What the hell is wrong with this guy?) and runs the knife through it. He lets the strands slip through his fingers, scattering them over Sam's lap.

Dean yells and threatens and pulls desperately on the handcuffs (fucking stupid things, fucking stupid lack of a paper-clip, fucking gonna kill this god damned asshole who dared to touch Sammy) and Gordon just keeps on slicing, hair sprinkling the floor around the chair and tumbling over Sam's shoulders, and Sam makes a sound that's dangerously close to a whimper and tries to pull his head away, bangs still hiding his face.

"Aw, what's the matter, Sammy?" Gordon coos in Sam's ear.

"You're a fucking nut case, you know that?" Dean jumps in, determined to pull Gordon's attention away from Sam while the kid still has most of his hair. "You wanna finish up playing hairdresser so we can get to the part where I kick your ass?"

Gordon pauses, straightening slowly so that he looms up behind Sam, and looks down at Dean (and yeah, Dean really wishes there wasn't a bracket holding the pipe to the wall that stops him from standing 'cause seriously, how threatening can he look on his knees?).

Dean glares, putting on his best 'come and get me' face, and Gordon... Gordon smiles. He fucking smiles, all slow and malicious and freaking hungry or something.

"Yes," he says softly. "We should move on to the next part."

Dean freezes from the inside out. Something with teeth and claws clamps down on his stomach and his lungs make a spontaneous decision to go on strike. Gordon's going to kill Sam. He can't breathe and Gordon's going to kill Sam and there's nothing he can do about it but sit here and not breathe and fucking watch, Jesus fucking Christ, what is he supposed to do?

"Don't you fucking dare-" he starts, but Gordon's lowering the knife. He drops to one knee and before Dean has a chance to ask what he's doing, Gordon's slicing through the ropes holding Sam's ankles to the chair, then the coils at his wrists. Dean has to remind his lungs to do their job. (It's not over yet.)

Sam lists forward, like a marionette with slack strings. Dean sees him catch himself, avoiding a face-plant on the unforgiving concrete floor, but then Gordon shoves his shoulder and Sam falls to his hands and knees with a gasp, white underclothes bright in the dim lighting and dingy setting.

Gordon doesn't give him time to recover before he swings his booted foot (and Dean bets they're steel-capped too, the freaking sadist) up into Sam's ribs.

The air leaves Sam in a 'whoosh' and he collapses onto his side, curling up around his injury without even enough breath to moan. (Dean thinks he might have heard something crack, shit.)

Gordon stands beside him, listening to Sam's ragged gasps. He tosses the knife away, which is somewhat of a relief, and Dean watches it skid into the shadows of the far corner.

"Get up," Gordon orders flatly.

Sam's eyes seek out Dean's, still foggy but more aware than before (nothing like pain to give you an adrenaline rush). His gaze travels to the cuff on Dean's wrist, then around the room and damn it, Sammy, move! Do something. The bastard's going to fucking kill you.

"Get up!" Gordon breaks up Dean's silent rant with a roar and another kick to Sam's ribs.

Sam grunts and finally (fucking finally, come on, Sammy, shake it off) pulls himself back up on his hands and knees.

"That's it," Gordon coaxes. "Get up, you filthy monster. This is your one chance. You think you can beat me with whatever powers that demon gave you? You wanna show your brother what a freak you are? Bring it on."

Dean's straining against the cuffs, as though being a few inches closer will make any difference. "Shut the fuck up! You don't know anything about anything! He doesn't have any powers!"

Gordon ignores him (seriously, he's gonna get some sort of complex from all this dismissal) in favour of watching Sam drag himself to his feet, unsteady and wavering, and really, all Gordon's gonna have to do is, like, breathe on the kid and he's gonna fall over. They are so screwed.

Sam throws the first punch, taking both of them by surprise, connecting with Gordon's jaw hard enough to snap the man's head back, and dear God, maybe some of Sam's fuzziness is just an act. Dean can barely ring himself to hope but it's all he's got at the moment so come on, Sammy, show the sonuvabitch what you can do.

Gordon swings back and Sam manages to duck in time but Gordon's ready, not about to underestimate the kid twice. He follows up with a kick to the stomach that sends Sam stumbling backwards and then he's on the floor again.

"This isn't even a fair fight!" Dean tries to argue as Gordon advances. "What the fuck are you trying to prove?" Get up, Sammy. GET UP.

Sam doesn't get up. He barely manages to push himself up on his arms so shit, the grogginess must have been less acting and more drugs (of course, that Winchester luck couldn't let them catch a break). Gordon grabs the back of Sam's butchered hair and pulls his head up. Sam's hand reaches up to try to break his grip but Gordon slams a fist into the kid's face and Sam moves instead to try to shield himself as Gordon starts raining blows down on him.

Dean yells and swears and tries to dislocate his thumb even though he knows it won't work, 'cause shit, it's starting to look like Gordon's gonna fucking beat his brother to death right here in front of him and he has to do something, even if his something is a whole lot of nothing, damn it.

Sam, face bloody now and Dean's not sure where it's all coming from but fuck there's a lot of it, finally finds an in, grabbing Gordon's ankle and tugging. It's not much but it's enough to throw him off balance and Sam follows with a shove that puts Gordon on his ass.

Sam scrambles back and drags himself to his feet, out of breath and dripping blood down the front of his t-shirt. He spits a mouthful of it onto the floor.

Gordon gets up slowly, not because he's injured, he's just dragging this out, taking his time. He knows he's going to win this fight. Dean knows it and Sam knows it too, because when Gordon takes a step forward, Sam backs away. Sam's not a wimp or weak, he can hold his own in a fight against pretty much anything but he's also smart (freaky smart usually, when he's not being an idiot just to piss Dean off) and retreat is kind of his only option here, or it would be if he had options, fuck.

Dean can see the kid's eyes darting back and forth but Sammy's coming up as empty as he did. There's nothing in this room that Sam could use to defend himself (of course not, Gordon had this all figured out, probably sat in his cell, stewing and planning), except Gordon's knife, which is too far away – Gordon would never let him reach it – and maybe the chair, which Gordon is blocking and anyway, that chair looks heavy and Dean's not so sure on whether Sam would even be able to lift it in his state.

"See, Sam," Gordon starts. His back is to Dean so he can't see his face but his walk is like a tiger, slowly closing in on it's prey, backing it into a corner with an almost hypnotic sway. This is Gordon The Hunter. "Before, it wasn't anything personal. You were just a job, like all the other monsters. I would've made it quick, after getting some info. You know how it is."

Sam backs into the corner of the wooden desk that sits in the middle of the basement, large and imposing, jumping as he hits it, as if it might be a person behind him, as if Dean wouldn't have fucking warned him, Jesus.

He stumbles around it but then Gordon's right fucking there (Did time just skip a moment?), his hand snaking out to fist the back of Sam's hair (What is it with this guy and Sam's hair? Must have a fetish or something and isn't that a creepy thought?) and then he slams Sam face first into the desk.

Dean's whole chest lurches along with his stomach. The sound of Sam hitting the desk is overwhelmingly loud in the echoing basement, a sharp smack that reverberates off of the walls, and Dean hopes like fuck that nothing just shattered in the kid's face.

Sam slides to the floor in a heap, bones turned to water. He's not quite out but close enough, hands feebly moving to cover his face as he moans out a thin agonized sound.

Gordon turns so Dean can see his face, the light bulb directly above him casting ominous shadows, making him look more monster than human. He looks at Sammy (at fucking Sammy) like he's lower than scum, like he's one of the monsters they hunt. And then he spits on him.

"Now it's personal," he says.

Suddenly everything's moving too fast and Dean feels like he's stuck in slow motion or fucking freeze-frame, like those dreams where you're trying to get somewhere but you never get any closer.

Gordon drags Sam up by the back of his t-shirt. Dean's not sure whether Sam manages to shove at him or if Gordon simply staggers under the kid's dead weight (it's probably the latter) but both of them go down this time, out of sight behind the desk, and Dean can't see, can't fucking see, and even though he can't do jack shit, he needs to see, needs to be here with Sammy 'cause Gordon's gonna kill the kid, he knows it, and he needs to be here so Sammy knows that he's not alone, needs to be here because it's the only fucking thing he can do, shit, and he hears the sound of flesh striking flesh a few times and it's impossible at this point but he really hopes that it's Sammy getting those punches in.

Gordon finally reappears with Sam in tow and shoves the kid against the desk, bending him over it with a fist in his hair until he's pressed flat against the desktop. Sam struggles but it's weak at best. Kid's probably seeing more than stars; A knock like that must have brought the whole freaking universe flashing before his eyes, and there's blood streaming from his nose and mouth. Gordon leans over with him, pressed against his back so his mouth is right by Sam's ear and when he speaks he's looking straight at Dean.

"You know how they punish people in prison?"

Sam whimpers, fucking whimpers, and Dean would kill Gordon just for making that sound come out of Sam's mouth but he's already got a huge fucking list of things he's going to kill the dick for. Sam's hands are scrabbling at Gordon's grip on his hair, and Dean refuses to put the pieces together, to think of the answer to Gordon's question, because Gordon might be a sick fuck but he can't really be planning to -

Elbow pressed hard into Sam's back, holding him against the desk with one arm, Gordon reaches down and Dean can't see what he's reaching for, the stupid desk is in the way and the stupid cuffs won't let him stand up but Gordon's fumbling with something and there's no way, no way he's going to, nah, he wouldn't-

Sam chokes on a gasp, eyes flying open, struggling harder but Gordon's got him good, and Gordon leans back over him and laughs.

"Gonna make you scream like the demon bitch you are."

Dean loses it. Gordon thrusts forward and Sam screams and Dean's vision is suddenly clouded with red. He can hear the pipe he's cuffed to groaning and screeching from the strain as he desperately pulls against it, the thin metal slicing into his wrist until it's a mess of broken skin, dripping blood down his fingers but he doesn't feel it and Sammy won't stop screaming and he thinks he might actually literally explode from the rage that's tearing through his blood.

"You motherfucker!" he bellows. "You motherfucker, I'm gonna fucking kill you! Let him go, fuck, you let him go, you fucking bastard, I'm gonna kill you!"

He's in an all out battle with the wall he's cuffed to, kicking his feet against it and pulling and he really doesn't give a damn if he rips his fucking hand off because Jesus, fuck, what the fuck, what the fuck? And Sammy's making these choked off little gasping sounds between screams that are gonna be haunting Dean's dreams for the rest of his life, he just knows it, and Gordon's fucking grinning and grunting and nothing Dean yells at him makes him stop.

"Fuck!" He smacks his fist against the concrete, hard enough to send sharp rods of pain up into his wrist, and he lets his head crack back against the wall, caught in a horrifying trap of furious despair.

Sam's screams eventually quieten down to sobs, harsh and brutal, and the desk shakes with the force Gordon is slamming against it, and the kid's got his hands up over his head but he's not fighting any more, just crying and hiding his face and it's too much. It's all wrong and too much fucked up in one place and time and how the fuck is this happening?

"It's okay, Sammy," Dean calls desperately because these handcuffs aren't coming undone, this pipe isn't breaking and his stupid hand refuses to tear itself off so what else can he do but fucking lie to the kid? "It's all right. I'm here, Sammy, it's okay, please..."

He doesn't know what it is he's pleading for. He thinks he might be crying himself and he really doesn't give a fuck, even though Gordon's watching him, only watching him, with this mad gloating look in his eyes, the fucking... fucking... there's not even a curse word strong enough to describe him.

It feels like days have past before Gordon finally finishes with a deep moan, fingers clenching so tightly in Sam's hair that it jerks his head up so Dean can see Sam's face in a mess of blood and tears and sweat, just for a moment before Gordon lets go and steps back. Sam falls to the floor behind the desk.

Gordon fixes Dean with a triumphant smirk as he does up his belt, before sneering down at his feel, at Sammy. He crouches down out of sight and Dean hears him whisper something but he can't make out what.

Then he stands and heads for the stairs, scooping up his knife as he goes. Dean feels like he's frozen in place (regardless of the cuffs) by the horror of what has just happened, but also paralysed by relief. Maybe it makes him a terrible person, a terrible brother, but as soon as he woke up and saw Sammy tied to that freaking chair he knew that his kid brother was going to die, and now Gordon's going and Sam's still alive so there's a win in here somewhere if he looks for it really fucking hard. His throat hurts from yelling and there's nothing he can threaten Gordon with that he hasn't already screamed at him and he can't follow through on anything anyway so he stays silent and watches Gordon leave.

The older hunter's boots clang on the metal steps. He doesn't look back but Dean can see him smiling and the door closes behind him with a bang.

The room is oppressively quiet, except for Sam's harsh breathing, pained and stuttering from behind the desk, and Dean's, adrenaline and horror-stricken. All Dean can see of Sam is one of his hands, freckled with dark spots that must be blood, and he doesn't know what to say. What the fuck is he supposed to say?

"Sammy?" His own voice surprises him, sounds out of place, loud but hoarse in the silence. Reflex wants him to ask Sam if he's okay but fuck, of course he's not okay. Dean doesn't understand how this just happened. This isn't supposed to happen.

"Sam?" he asks again, when the lack of response has started to freak him out. Gordon probably had at least a dozen weapons on him, carefully concealed by his clothing. He could have slit Sam's throat while he was whispering something to the kid and now Sammy might be choking on his own blood just out of Dean's eyesight. "Sammy, answer me. Come on, kid."

He runs his cuff-free hand down his face, not entirely surprised to find it wet, and leans his head back against the wall, closing his eyes as he listens hard. Come on, Sammy...

"Yeah, just..." Sam's voice comes eventually, muffled like he's got his arm over his face, thick and rasping from sobbing and screaming. Fuck. "Jus'... gimme a minute."

The minute turns into several before Dean finally hears movement. He opens his eyes in time to see Sam's hand vanish behind the desk, then Sam pulls himself up. Kid's got his head down and he's shaking so bad Dean's surprised he can stand. His bare arms look almost white in the thin lighting and his underclothes are splattered with bloodstains, soaked into the t-shirt's collar, dripped down his front. Dean determinedly doesn't look at his boxers as he slowly rounds the desk, hands clutching it as though it's the only thing holding him upright.

It is, it turns out. The desk ends and Sam takes all of two steps unsupported before he falls to his knees with a bitten off cry.

"How bad?" Dean asks, leaning as far forward as his cuffs will allow, God damned stupid cuffs. Sam needs him and all he can do is kneel here.

Sam breathes for a moment, hair falling in a curtain over his eyes. "Think m'ribs are busted," he murmurs finally, and his hand flutters up to his face like something might be busted there too but he doesn't offer anything else and Dean doesn't ask.

Sam tries to get to his feet but moans and gives up pretty quick, choosing the easier option of crawling, and the sight of it makes Dean's blood boil. Nothing, no one, should have had the chance to reduce Sam to this beaten, broken thing that he sees now. He doesn't know if he's angrier at Gordon for doing this or himself for not stopping this.

Sam pauses by the chair he was held in when his hand lands on a clump of damp hair, fingers curling around it for a moment. Dean can't see his face with his head bowed the way it is but the kid's perfectly positioned for him to see his hair and it renews his fury all over again. It's a mess, longer hair interrupted randomly by short hacked at patches, dishevelled and stiff with sweat. Dean's relieved that Sammy's bangs are still intact (which is kind of weird 'cause he's always moaning that Sam should cut them so he doesn't have to flip them out of his face sixteen million times a day) but he's not sure whether a motel room barber shop will be able to fix it, or even a professional barber shop, without cutting off most of the rest of the kid's hair just to even it out.

Then Sam moves on and Dean forces down his rage so that he's got some semblance of control going on by the time the kid reaches him. It's hard to maintain though, especially now that he can see Sam's injuries up close. One of his eyes is swelling shut, bruises forming on what was once clear skin. His nose is still dripping blood steadily down his chin, that and a split lip that Dean can tell will require stitching, maybe the cut about his eyebrow too, and the gash across his cheekbone is probably going to scar, the way it's torn open. He reeks of blood and sex and Dean wants to throw up.

"Sammy," Dean says, reaching out but stopping before he makes contact. He doesn't know how to continue. He wishes he had some clothes he could give the kid.

Sam's eyes flick up to his, flat and dulled by the shadows thrown from the single light bulb – or are those just Sam's eyes now? - then back down. He shifts himself so he's leaning against the wall beside Dean, resting his head against it and turned on his side with one arm clamped over his ribs. It looks uncomfortable but Dean's had broken ribs before and he knows there's no such thing as comfortable when they're involved, not to mention...

Dean's eyes flash down involuntarily and catch on the dark stains on Sam's thighs before he wrenches his gaze back upwards. They're both silent and still for a moment, shell-shocked, Sam's shaky breathing and a dripping pipe forming some sort of hypnotic rhythm, then Sam mutters something, voice too shattered to make out, and reaches awkwardly for his damp and blood-speckled sock.

"What-?" Dean starts but then Sam pulls out a paper-clip and Dean is stunned into silence. It's like... like finding the Holy Grail or something, this tiny miracle that's too little, too late to change anything that's happened but still miraculous enough to be their saving grace. It's 'rescue' and 'escape' twisted up into a bit of metal.

"He di'n't check m' socks," Sam mumbles, fumbling the thing as he moves it to the cuff around Dean's wrist.

Really, it's ridiculous that Sam thinks he can even attempt to pick the lock himself. His hands are practically vibrating, he's shivering like they're in some sort of giant freezer rather than a slightly chilly basement and his pupils are so dilated his eyes look almost black. Yeah, he can't be thinking too clear right now. Kid's in shock, probably got a concussion too, bruises darkening and blood drying on his face.

Dean should really be doing some first aid but there's these bloody handcuffs to take care of first and it's not like he has anything useful on him.

Slowly, Dean reaches out and covers Sam's hand with his, gently prying the paper-clip from his grasp. Sam doesn't resist, just lets him take it.

"I got this, Sammy," he says.

Sam glances at him, then away, curling back against the wall. Dean follows his gaze to the desk and wants to say something to stop the kid from looking but there's nothing (nothing that will make this right) so he focuses on the lock.

His hands are shaking too, he realizes. He doesn't notice until he sets about twisting the paper-clip into the proper position, so it takes longer than he'd like to get the cuff off of his wrist. He contemplates taking the handcuffs – Never know when they might come in handy – but once his wrist is free, he forgets about it completely because Sammy.

He raises his unshackled hands to the sides of Sam's face, turning it into the light (away from The Desk) so he can better inspect the injuries. It's automatic.

"It's not too bad." He's lying, of course. That's automatic too. But it's not as if he's going to tell the kid that it looks like he smashed face-first into a brick wall at high speed.

Sam just kind of stares at him, like he's got no idea what Dean's talking about, and Dean moves one hand to scrub at his own face. He needs to say something.

"Sammy-"

"Don't." Sam reacts to something in his tone, a lot faster than he's reacted to anything else so far. He closes his eyes, swallows roughly and tips his head back against the wall. He's wrecked, Dean can see it plainly. Kid looks a few moments away from passing out. Dean can tell that staying conscious is a battle for him. "Just... don't. Not now. We gotta go."

"Damn straight, we gotta go. Go rip Gordon's fucking head off," Dean mutters, low and dangerous, glaring murderously at the door at the top of the stairs.

"No," Sam kind of gasps, eyes flashing open.

"Sam-"

"Please don't leave me alone down here." It comes out in a rush, like if Sam doesn't say it fast enough, Dean will be gone by the time he's finished. His hand tangles in Dean's shirt sleeve.

So, fuck. Well, he didn't really think that through. No way in hell is he leaving Sam alone in this basement but the kid's got a point. He's not getting out of here without Dean's help and Dean can't exactly help if he's busy pounding Gordon's face in. Sam comes first and Sam needs to get out of here.

Dean rests his own hand over Sam's on his sleeve, twisting their fingers together. "I'm not leaving you," he says, quick to reassure, pulling himself together. Priorities, Dean. Escape now, revenge later. Even if he really really wants to kill that sonuvabitch right the fuck now. "I'm getting you out of here, okay?"

Sam nods but his grip doesn't lessen any, as if he's still worried that Dean might just run off. It's the shock, or the concussion. Sam knows that Dean wouldn't just ditch him.

"Okay." Dean plots their path, looking from the door at the top of the stairs and back to Sam. This is gonna suck. "Lets get going then. You ready?"

Sam nods again. He sure as hell doesn't look ready for anything other than a coma but he lets go of Dean's sleeve.

Dean stands and takes a brief moment to shake the pins and needles out of his legs. How long have they been here anyway? His watch and phone are gone so he can't check. Then he shrugs out of his leather jacket. It's not enough but at least it's something to combat the shock, though the struggle to get it on Sam makes him wonder if it was really worth it. Kid seems to appreciate it, even though getting his arms through the sleeves leaves him sweating and gasping (damn near sobbing really, but Dean doesn't say anything and gives Sam a moment to compose himself while he checks out his own wounded wrist.

He really did a number on himself. Now that he's inspecting it it's starting to really hurt and he can see some spots that will need a few stitches. Damn. But he's got other things to worry about now, how he's gonna sew up his own wrist – 'cause Sam sure ain't in any state to do it – is just going to have to be figured out later.

Dean intends to wait for Sam's breathing to calm down a bit but Sam's impatient.

"Lets go," the kid says, even though he's still panting, demands really, in his own ragged kind of way, and Dean doesn't argue.

There's probably no way he can get Sam standing without hurting him so he just goes for the easiest option; he crouches down and puts his hands under Sam's arms, checking to make sure Sam knows what he's doing before, as carefully as he can, he pulls Sam to his feet.

Sam moans what sounds like a smothered scream, stumbles and lists against him heavily. Dean can feel every shudder through the thin fabric of the kid's t-shirt as he quickly redistributes his weight to stop them both from falling. He really hopes that a brief head-rush is responsible for this near-faint because Sam's heavy and injured so if Dean has to carry his brother out it's gonna be hell on his broken ribs, and on Dean's back, and it will take a lot longer than either of them want.

"We'll do this again," Sam murmurs into Dean's shoulder, sounding vaguely delirious.

"What?" Dean asks, because what?

"Every day until you tell me what I want to know," Sam continues dully, not moving his head from Dean's chest. His eyes are closed. "That's what he said before he left."

A full body shiver shakes Sam in his arms and Jesus, kid, why are you telling him this now? Now, when he's trying so hard to be gentle and to not let his rage carry him up the stairs to Gordon so he can kill that sonuvabitch in the worse way possible (which he hasn't quite figured out just yet but he will because he's Dean fucking Winchester and he knows how to get freaking creative with this sort of thing).

"Yeah, well, just forget about it," Dean orders gruffly. He can't quite stop his hands from gripping Sam tighter. "I'm getting you outta here and he's not coming anywhere near us ever again." Except for when Dean kills the bastard, and then Sam's gonna be far away, somewhere safe.

"Okay." Dean takes charge again when Sam doesn't answer, because Sam needs him to. "You ready to move?"

Sam nods against his shoulder and lets Dean manoeuvre him into position. This is easier; doing, planning, not thinking about what's happened, just thinking about what's going to happen, how they'll escape, trying to guess what that door up there will open into.

Dean carefully pulls Sam's arm over his shoulders and clamps down on his wrist, snaking his other arm around Sam's waist. Sam's head lolls forward, giving Dean another glimpse of his massacred hair. He raises his gaze and determinedly stares forward, because he needs to focus, not let himself drown in his rage.

Without the rage, he feels empty. Hollowed as if this one terrible thing has stunned the rest of his emotions out of him, or maybe he used them all up in the unfathomable time they've been in this basement. Everything feels different now, feels diluted and warped. He's in some kind of suspended state of disbelief and the only two things circling his head are Get Sam Out and Make Gordon Pay.

It's a slow walk across the damp concrete. He uses most of his energy just holding Sam upright. (Did he mention that Sam's heavy? Even if he looks unbelievably fragile right now.) They pass the chair, littered with the torn remains of Sam's clothes and scatterings of butchered hair. There's blood smeared on the floor.

Dean gives The Desk a wide berth, even though it would be the most direct route to the stairs. No way in hell is he making Sam get any closer to that thing than is necessary. He's got this crazy urge to salt and burn it, as if that would somehow put the memories to rest, but no, that desk is going to haunt them and there's nothing he can do about it.

The stairs are harder but Dean's impressed. Sam's obviously just as, if not more, eager to leave than he is, and as many times as Sam wavers, threatens to fall or just black out completely, half the time he manages to catch himself before Dean needs to.

It's that Winchester determination. The kid's a mess but he's holding it together, for now, at least, and Dean's so fucking proud of him Sam's paper-clip is, like, literally saving their lives and that thought is so ridiculous that Dean almost wants to laugh hysterically. But it's not actually that ridiculous because paper-clips have got them out of serious trouble before so maybe that hysteria is coming from somewhere else. Whatever.

Reaching the top of the stairs feels similar to what those crazy people who climb mountains must feel when they get to the top, a great feat of endurance and will, but what's he gonna do, throw a party? This isn't even the finish line and he can't see Sam's face but the shake of his shoulders makes Dean think that the kid might be crying. Whether it's pain or shock, Dean's not sure, but it reminds him that no matter how much Sammy seems to be holding it together and how close they seem to be to escaping, this isn't over yet and just getting out of this house isn't going to fix it.

There's a bit of a dilemma now because he needs to pick the lock to the basement door and the easiest way to do that is to crouch down so he can see what he's doing. The light's limited enough and Sammy is actually better at picking these kind of locks than he is, so this is going to be tricky. But the real problem is what he's going to do with Sam. He can't hold him up if he needs both hands on the paper-clip.

"Sam," he starts, but the kid must be with it enough to decipher his train of thought because he makes an effort to hold more of his own weight.

"Mm," he mumbles resignedly, swiping a shaky hand over his eyes before looking up, as if he's embarrassed about crying in front of Dean. Jesus, this kid. So Dean brings a hand up to Sam's face, cupping his cheek gently and using his thumb to smudge the tear trail there.

"It's okay, Sammy," he murmurs.

Sam lets out this hiccuping sob and Dean thinks that maybe the kid's just reached his limit and they're headed for meltdown in three, two... but Sam just takes this deep wavering breath and pulls himself back together, this fucking kid, Dean doesn't know how he does it, how he's doing it, but they're still on a timer so Dean gets back to work.

He carefully leans Sam against the wall, standing because getting him to sit down and then stand up again would just be cruel, broken ribs and all. He meets Sam's eyes, bright in the dim light and in contrast with the blood on his face.

"Just... stay still," he orders gently. "If you feel like you're gonna fall over, tell me. All right?" No way is he letting Sam tumble down these stairs.

Sam nods wearily, bracing himself with one hand flat against the wall. Dean waits a moment to make sure he's steady before he gets down on one knee to inspect the key hole.

He has to twist the paper-clip again to make it fit and it's fiddly and tedious and he makes it take longer by trying to be quick about it but fuck, he just wants to get out, get Sammy out, find his baby and keep driving until all of this is a long way behind them.

He takes a deep breath, checks to make sure Sam's not in any imminent danger of toppling over, and refocuses. He slips the paper-clip into the hole, letting his training guide the movements of his fingers, holds his breath until...

Click. The door unlocks smoothly. Dean exhales and slides the paper-clip into his pocket, hauling himself to his feet. He feels old, older than he did when he first woke up down here. He grabs Sam, who kind of startles at the contact but doesn't freak out or anything, just leans into him as he readies them both for walking again. Sam feels small, Dean realizes. He feels like he's ages but Sam feels young and broken, and shit, that's just so wrong.

Anyway. Dean forces himself to think forward. This is going to be the hard part. The harder part. He doesn't know where Gordon is in the house, doesn't even know for sure if it is a house, it could be anything really but either way, Gordon's out there somewhere and they need to get by him.

"Okay, Sammy?" Dean murmurs into the kid's hair.

Sam makes a wordless noise that Dean optimistically translates into, 'Yup, still here, ready to go.'

"Just let me do the work. Keep your feet under you and stay quiet."

Sam nods against his chest. Dean pulls him closer and edges the door open.

He's greeted by the barrel of a shotgun, Gordon looming behind it.

"Think I'm stupid, Dean-o?" Gordon grins.

Dean barely has time to register the malicious gleam in the hunters eyes, the way Sammy tenses up against him before he's shoving the kid aside, leaping back to avoid the door that Gordon slams inward. Sam yelps (because being pushed into a wall when you're as messed up as he is has gotta be a dozen different kinds of painful but it beats being fucking shot) and they both struggle to avoid falling down the stairs, and the gun goes off with an explosive bang that leaves Dean's ears ringing like that might just actually be all he'll be able to hear for the rest of his life. He swears he feels the bullet graze past his cheek, a swift rush of heated air against his skin. He launches himself forward.

He lets the rage he's been trying to smother break free and it's so intense that he actually goes blind with it – he always thought that was just a turn of phrase – but that's okay, because his fists seem to be drawn to Gordon's face like magnets and he feels them connect over and over before the butt of the shotgun nails him in the stomach. He doubles over and falls back, feels himself teeter on the edge of a stair – he's gonna go down, shit, he's gonna go down – then someone grabs his shirt, pulling him back and his vision clears in just enough time to register Sammy before Gordon grabs the kid by the shoulder and spins him roughly into the wall. Sam crumples, sliding down a few steps.

Dean fucking leaps forward and grabs a hold of the bastard's fist as he raises it to strike and he twists and he takes a lot of satisfaction in hearing Gordon hiss. (Not enough though. He wants to make this sonuvabitch scream.)

He doesn't waste time. Manoeuvrability is fucked on the stairs, torture is a drawn out business and no way is he risking Sam just so he can get a few more hits in. Keeping his grip on Gordon's arm, he tugs hard, pulling the dick away from his kid brother so that he trips down a couple of steps, then he raises his fist and, as hard as he can, smashes it into Gordon's face, sending Gordon tumbling down the stairs.

Gordon rolls, out of control, clanging against each step. He loses his grip on the shotgun about half way down and it clatters to a stop in the middle of the stair case. Gordon continues to the bottom, sprawling onto the concrete with a sickening crack.

Dean steadies himself on the guard rail, adrenaline slowly draining from his system as the basement falls silent around him. He jumps when Sam appears next to him, because how the hell is that kid back on his feet? But recovers quickly when Sam sways, and grabs his arms to keep him upright.

"You okay?" he kind of demands, trying to get a good look at Sam's face.

Sam either refuses to meet his eye or is just too tired to lift his head but Dean can tell that the kid's looking at Gordon, spread out and unconscious, face down with a small halo of blood around his head.

"Izze dead?" Sam asks, words slurring together. He sways again.

Dean guides him down onto the top step before he can fall. Kid lets himself be man-handled without protest, leaning his head against the wall as soon as it's close enough.

"Hang on a minute," Dean says, and waits for Sam to acknowledge him. When he doesn't, Dean squeezes his shoulder gently and crouches down on the stairs. "Hey."

Sam blinks at him from under tangled bangs.

"You with me, Sammy?"

"Mm," Sam replies non-committally, eyes sliding closed.

"Hey!" Dean says sharply, and Sam's eyes open again. "Sorry, kiddo, no sleeping yet."

Sam looks at him for a long moment, like he can't figure out why Dean would be so cruel as to not let him give in to unconsciousness, but eventually he seems to understand and makes an effort to open his half-mast eyelids, or at least, the one that isn't swollen shut, sitting up a little straighter.

"That's it. Just, stay awake and I'll be right back."

Sam nods and Dean squeezes his shoulder again before starting down the stairs.

He goes slowly, making his footsteps soundless. He's pretty sure Gordon's out for the count but he'll be damned if he makes the mistake of underestimating him again. He picks up the shotgun on his way and checks to see whether it's still loaded. It is. They're probably lucky that it didn't fire off any stray bullets during Gordon's tumble.

The closer he gets, the more sure he is that this battle is over. Finally, once he's at the bottom of the stairs, there's enough light to clearly see the unnatural angle of Gordon's neck. The sizeable gash on his forehead is still bleeding a little but there's no heartbeat to pump the blood out.

Dean feels a strange mix of relief and disappointment. Gordon's dead, which he's freaking ecstatic about, but it was too quick and simple an end for such a monster. Dean wanted him to suffer.

Dean thinks about shooting the body at his feet anyway but it would be a waste of a bullet so he settles for booting the cunt hard in the ribs. Gordon may not feel it but it makes him feel better.

Then he turns away because the only thing that matters now is bleeding and broken at the top of the stairs. Dean takes the steps three at a time until he's back by Sam's side. They should leave, someone may have heard the gunshot, but Dean sinks down on the stair beside Sam anyway. Kid's still conscious because he's stubborn like that and he looks from Gordon's still form to Dean.

"He's dead," Dean says, even though Sam must know that. It's not like Dean would have left Gordon alive down there.

Sam lets out a shaky breath, covering his face with his hands. Dean slings a careful arm over the kid's shoulders and pulls him in against his chest and Sam twists his hands into Dean's t-shirt and fucking clings to him as he cries, and Dean sits there and holds him, babbling a chorus of 'it's okay, I'm here, I got you, Sammy, it's okay' and he promises himself that somehow, in some fucking way, he's going to fix this. He is going to fix this, just fucking watch him.

The End