Sammy in Captivity
A/N: Here it is – the last chapter. Thank you everyone who has been reading and reviewing. You're all awesome! Of course, special thanks to SecondStarToTheRight18 for her help with editing. You are awesome!
(I'm trying to do a follow up story for this, but it's proving difficult, so I'm crossing my fingers that it one day becomes post-able.)
Sam doesn't wander or pick up books to read. He just sits on the couch with his legs drawn up to his chest, chewing his thumbnail into non-existence and watching everyone that enters the library.
Jason stays put too. It's like being in their room at the facility but instead of walls and a locked door, it's the outside that holds them prisoner, the threat of being caught holding them in place.
When there are two hours and sixteen minutes left until they're meant to be found, they take another trip to the water fountain, and when there is one hour and 42 minutes left, Jason sees Sam jerk his head up from the arm of the couch. Sam blinks a few times and shakes his head slightly.
"Falling asleep," he mutters. "Gonna go to the bathroom, okay?"
Jason nods. He doesn't need to go so he stays with his book. Sam hovers, like he wants Jason to come, before finally turning and heading off.
At one hour and twenty-one minutes, however, Sam still hasn't come back, and Jason wishes he had gone with him because sitting here waiting all alone is getting scary. Two minutes later, Jason gets up and traces Sam's path to the bathrooms. They're right at the back of the library, a stall on either side of a small hallway and a glowing green EXIT sign over a door at the end.
Jason looks at the doors at his sides. Both of the latches say 'Vacant' so he pushes them both open one at a time. No Sam.
He stares at the exit. Maybe Sam figured out that he's not useful any more and decided to leave. Maybe he thought he'd have better luck on his own. But it doesn't seem right. He can't picture Sam ditching him after all this time, and this is where Sam's brother said to wait. Sam wouldn't just take off.
Jason is frozen by indecision, staring at the door. Sam couldn't have gone back to their seats, Jason would have seen him. So he must have gone out this door. There's nothing for Jason to do but take a look.
He pushes the door open.
There's a moment, a strangely long one, when the two Keepers on the other side look at him, surprised and unprepared for his arrival, then Sam claws the girl Keeper's hand from his mouth and yells, "Run!"
The moment breaks. Jason doesn't run. He doesn't fully understand why, instead of following Sam's orders, he throws himself at the Keepers, but it's something to do with Sam and a terrible, angry despair at the sight of his friend in the hands of the people who have kept him locked up for one year, eight months and nine days, after he's tried so hard and gotten them so far away. It's not fair and Jason doesn't think, he just lunges, swinging a fist into the girl Keeper's face.
The girl reels, though Jason doesn't think it was a very hard hit. It's just so unexpected, it takes them all by surprise. Jason has always been so good, so harmless, not even enough of a threat to warrant the locking of his door.
Sam recovers from the shock first and elbows the Keeper in her stomach. She folds over with an, "Omph!" and Sam twists out of her grasp. In the same movement, he pulls up his knee and sends a kick to the other Keeper. It's the young one and he folds over too, all the way to the ground. They're in an alleyway, Jason notes belatedly. The Keepers must have known they were here, must have been waiting for them.
The girl is still on her feet. She throws a punch that goes wild when Sam dodges out of the way. The Keeper on the ground makes a swipe for Sam's ankle and he dodges that too.
Sam's so fast. Jason's just as stunned as he was by his own punch. It makes him wonder how the Keepers caught Sam in the first place.
"Run!" Sam yells again, eyes briefly on Jason before the Keepers demand his attention. He ducks a blow and blocks another one with his forearm. The young one latches on to his wrist and Sam spins, using the Keeper's grasp and his momentum to send the Keeper skidding to the ground. Sam tries a kick to the girl's stomach but she catches his foot and shoves, sending Sam stumbling backwards a few steps.
Jason doesn't know what to do, doesn't know how to fight. The Keepers are focused on Sam, ignoring him as they tackle the more obvious threat, and he just hovers on the sidelines, unsure.
The girl Keeper advances on Sam before he can catch his balance, pulling something from the pocket of her black jacket with one hand as her other closes around Sam's wrist.
She smoothly pops the cap off a syringe with her thumb, at the same time as she pulls Sam close and wraps her thick arm around his chest, pinning him back against her.
There's a metal trash bin next to Jason. If the Keeper gets the needle into Sam, it's all over. Jason knows exactly what he should do.
He snatches up the trash bin's lid, realizing that it's heavier than he expected. He just needs to give Sam a chance. He lunges forward, swinging the metal lid the same way he swung his fist, sending it crashing down on the back of the girl Keeper's head.
It clangs against her skull and bounces off harder and faster than Jason thought it would, forcing him to drop it. The girl stumbles and Sam gets a better grip on her arm, somehow managing to flip her over his shoulder despite the size difference. Jason sees the air rush out of her lungs as she hits the ground.
The young Keeper growls, scooping up the trash bin lid and raising it towards Jason. He barely has time to flinch before Sam's in front of him, taking the blow with his arm. He hears Sam gasp and knows that the hit has done some damage but Sam barely pauses. He shoves against the lid, sending it back into the unprepared Keeper's chest and shoving him backwards. Sam grabs Jason's hand and they run towards the mouth of the alleyway.
Jason trips. He's not sure if that small stumble actually made much difference or made all the difference to the outcome but a split second after he rights himself, there's a shattering crash, and he turns in time to see Sam drop in a shower of broken glass, his hand slipping from Jason's grasp.
The girl Keeper stands over him, the neck of a destroyed bottle in her hand, the young Keeper right behind her. There's a pause as they all wait for Sam to get up but it quickly becomes obvious that he won't. He lies sprawled among the glass shards on the ground, eyes closed. A sluggish stream of blood drips from his temple to the concrete.
The girl Keeper huffs out a breath, rubbing her chest. Keeping her eyes on Sam, she pulls a cellphone from her pocket and presses a button before holding it to her ear. "Where the fuck are you?" she barks into it. "We've got them. Bring the damn van around."
There's no point trying to fight without Sam. The Keepers regard Jason cautiously but make no move to stop him when he sits down, crossing his legs on the concrete beside Sam, feeling the cold seep through his pants. There's nothing he can do but watch the blood drip into a growing puddle on the ground until the van arrives in the mouth of the alley, reversing in and stopping a few feet in front of them. The other two Keepers climb out.
"What'd you do to it?" the bearded one asks, nudging Sam with the toe of his boot, then bending down to retrieve the keys from Sam's drawstring. Jason fights the urge to growl at the Keeper like the animal they think he is.
"Damn thing's fast," the girl grumbles. "Had to hit it with a bottle."
"That one's more trouble than it's worth, if you ask me," the blond Keeper says, kicking at some broken glass.
"No one asked you," the girl snaps. "Let's get them in the van before someone sees us."
The two Keepers that have just arrived pick Sam up while the girl opens the back doors of the van. Jason gets up and gets in without prompting and finds Sam thrown roughly on top of him.
"You know," says the Keeper with the beard, leaning on one of the open doors. "I reckon he's right. We should just mark that one down for autopsy. It's too fast, like you said, and too smart. It managed to get your keys without you noticing."
The girl scowls, "It won't happen again."
The bearded Keeper shuts his door. "It won't," Jason hears his voice say firmly. "When we get back, we'll do the autopsy. We can't risk it escaping again."
The girl shuts her mouth but keeps her scowl. Jason looks at the pinched down-turned lips until she slams the second door and traps them in the cold metal darkness.
Autopsy. Jason's not sure exactly what it means but he knows no one comes back from it, knows that it ends in a big black bag, and even his door is locked while it's carried out.
Jason jumps a little at the faint whisper, feels Sam shift so he's not on top of his any more, or maybe he just fell with the sudden forward motion of the van.
"I still have... a key, took it off th' rest o'them. Here." Jason feels Sam's hands at his waist and starts to pull back in confusion before he realizes that Sam is clumsily pushing a key into the opening for the drawstring in his pants, the only place possible to hide something. "It's for Solitary. Recognised it."
Jason doesn't really understand what good it would be, unless, maybe he could slip out at night when the Keepers are asleep and lock himself back up in the morning.
Sam shifts again, and this time he hisses in pain. He stills quickly and Jason hears him take a deep breath in the dark.
"Told you to run," he mumbles, and Jason's not sure if he's complaining or complimenting. He says nothing and the silence drags, the rumbling of the engine fills the small space.
"You were really brave," Sam says, so that clears that up, but Jason shakes his head. He wasn't brave. He was scared and confused and ultimately helpless.
Sam must sense his movement, and his thoughts, because he says, "My brother, Dean, he once told me that being brave doesn't mean you're not scared. It means you decided something was more important then being afraid. You helped me. You didn't have to."
Sam goes quiet again, passed out maybe, and Jason adds up the minutes as they pass until the van stops. It took one hour and 52 minutes to get here, and if Sam's Dad and brother are following, they should be one hour and ten minutes behind them.
The Keepers open the doors and Jason shuts his eyes against the initial burst of light.
He opens his eyes and sees that Sam's leaning against the van's wall. He looks sickly pale, green-tinged against the blood that coats the side of his face, but awake and looking at the Keepers.
"Out," the bearded one orders, so Jason gets up and gets out of the van. The bearded Keeper reaches in and pulls Sam out by his arm. Sam staggers and for a moment looks like he might pass out or throw up but he manages to find his balance and keep his feet as the bearded man pulls him towards the front door of the facility. The young Keeper fiddles with a small grey box mounted to the wall by the door, lifts the cover and presses some buttons before opening the door and standing back so Jason, Sam and the bearded one can pass through.
"All right," the bearded man say to the group of Keepers who have followed through the door, "You two-" he motions to the young one and the blonde one "-go start the procedures, get the files, then start moving the subjects." He gestures to Jason, "Take that one, put it in Solitary until we're ready to move out."
The two Keepers head off, one grasping Jason's upper arm to steer him along. Most kids fight when they're being taken to Solitary but not Jason, even though he doesn't like the hand on his arm. He thinks about the key Sam tucked into his clothes, probably useless now, if they're moving to a new facility with new locks.
"You're with me," he hears the bearded Keeper say to the girl. "Lets do this autopsy quick and get out of here before someone comes."
Sam must know what autopsy means because Jason hears the sudden sound of struggle behind him. He turns at the foot of the stairs to see the Keepers trying to drag Sam to the Chair.
"No!" Sam cries, "No! Let me go! I didn't tell anyone, I swear, let me go!"
Panic brings strength, Jason knows this, but it doesn't bring it for long enough. He sees Sam's adrenaline rush leak out of him, struggles slowing and the first strap buckles over his wrist before the Keeper with his grip around Jason's arm pulls him forward and he forced to begin to climb the stairs.
There's an hour left before Sam's Dad and brother find them, and Jason thinks they're going to be too late.
Solitary is dark and cramped and suffocating after only ten minutes, but it's safe. He fiddles with the key Sam gave him and thinks that Sam needs more time, just a little bit more time, and Jason's the only one who can give it to him.
He thinks that he's already too close to Autopsy himself, a terrifying thought. Another step out of line and it could be the end, and on top of that, he doesn't even know what he could do to distract the Keepers for fifty minutes. He's scared that if he tries, it could all go wrong.
Then he thinks about Sam telling him that being brave means something is more important than being afraid, and this is important.
He slips the key into the lock and turns it before he has the time to rethink the action. The door slips open.
He still doesn't have a plan by the time he reaches the stairs. He can see Sam in the Chair, strapped down, still fully-clothed. It seems as if the Keepers aren't going to bother stripping him because they're already in their doctors' clothes; gowns and masks and gloves. The two Keepers that the bearded one ordered to begin procedures are no where in sight, probably still moving files.
He's too late, Jason thinks despairingly. The two Keepers are already holding medical equipment, a small knife and something that looks like a drill, and leaning over Sam. They're going to cut him open and Jason can't do anything.
Something bubbles in his chest, hot and molten. His head pounds with a sudden powerful rage that he has never felt before and he feels his whole body come alive with a tingle that is somehow both frightening and reassuring. He can't let this happen to Sam, he won't let this happen to Sam. He doesn't even know what he's doing, it's like an instinct, halfway down the stairs and too far away to stop the descending blade, he throws his arm out and feels the hot thing inside him shoot out of his fingertips.
The knife is suddenly somehow embedded in the bearded Keeper's chest, torn from his grasp and turned against him with enough force that he stumbles back a step, and Jason knows it's because of him, because of the thing inside him that must be what the Keepers have been looking for all this time, but he's found it first.
The Keeper looks down at the blade, sunken so far in that there's only a tip of the handle sticking out, then his gaze moves slowly up to Jason, and he falls as if in slow motion, tipping backwards and Jason isn't good with expression but even he can see that the man's eyes are empty to life.
The girl spins around and Jason tries to fling whatever it is in his veins at her but she heads towards him, a snarl on her lips. Jason's head pounds harder as he tries again, but it's not working.
The girl reaches the bottom of the stairs and Jason's ready to turn and run but the door she's passing opens with a bang as it hits the wall and a man appears. Jason doesn't know where he came from but he's not a Keeper. His timing is perfect and he grabs the girl Keeper and has a gun to her head before Jason can even twitch.
"Not so fast, sweetheart," the man says. He's younger than he looked at first glance, maybe not even out of his teens, with short, spiky, blond hair and green eyes. He's earlier than expected but this must be Sam's brother.
"You're gonna tell me where my brother is or you're gonna feel my bullet rip you head off," Dean growls at the girl, pressing the gun so hard against her temple that her head tips to the side.
She doesn't have time to answer because Sam yells, "Dean! Dean!" and Dean spins around to follow the voice, taking the girl Keeper with him.
"Dad!" Dean calls over his shoulder, eyes on the back of the Chair that he's traced his brother's voice to.
An older man appears through the front door. The electricity must have been disabled somehow because there are no flashes of red and blue, no cracks in the air.
"Take her, she's one of them," Dean says, and thrusts the Keeper towards his father, glancing back just long enough to make sure she's been caught and restrained by his father, then he's sprinting towards the Chair.
"Dean!" Sam cries again, but Dean stops to crouch down and place his fingers on the neck of the Keeper Jason killed.
Jason looks back to see Sam's Dad leading the girl Keeper out the door, not quite sure what to do. A moment later, a bang echoes through the room, then two more. He decides to go after Dean, who's frantically unbuckling straps.
"It's okay, Sammy, I got you, shit," he's rambling. "Shit, what did they do to you, Sammy? What'd they do?"
Jason sees Dean's eyes flicking up and down, taking in Sam's bare feet and ragged white clothes, the scratch across his cheek and the dried blood that stretches down one side of his face from the bottle wound. Dean's eyes linger on the injury, or maybe on the short stubble of Sam's hair. It's like he's trying to fit the image of the Sam he remembers onto the Sam that's in front of him. "Jesus, Sammy."
"Get me out of this chair," Sam pleads, and Jason realizes that he's crying.
"Yeah, just a minute, Sammy, gonna get you outta here." Dean goes back to the straps. He's done the ones over Sam's ankles and the one at his waist. He takes the forehead strap off carefully and Sam hisses when he moves on to the ones at his wrists.
"Sammy?" Dean pauses, looking up at him.
"Think it's broken," Sam gasps, looking down at his left arm.
"Okay. It's okay." Dean unbuckles Sam's wrist with the utmost care. "Gonna get you all fixed up."
He unbuckles the one remaining strap and Sam practically throws himself into his brother's arms, his wounded arm held protectively to his chest, and Dean wraps him up in a hug that's somehow both fierce and gentle, dropping to his knees when Sam crumples.
"Hey, hey, it's all right," Dean murmurs, rubbing a hand up and down Sam's back. "I'm here now. Fuck, kiddo, I missed you so much... so fucking scared."
Sam sobs into his brother's chest. "They were doing experiments on me, took my blood and put all these things on my head, and they injected this stuff into me and I- I don't know, I don't understand."
"Shh," Dean hushes him, though Jason can see a slow tear edge it's way down Dean's face, "Everything's going to be okay, I got you, Sammy, I got you."
"All clear," a voice says, and they all look up. "Those four were all of them, it seems, I've dealt with three and that one-" Sam's Dad jabs a thumb at the bearded Keeper on the floor, "-ain't gonna give us any trouble."
He kneels down beside Sam and Dean. He doesn't try to separate them but puts a hand to the side of Sam's face, gently turning his head towards him.
"Hey, kiddo," he says, softer than Jason expected. Sam's Dad has a voice for yelling, he can tell, this big bearded man in a leather jacket. "It's okay now. They aren't ever going to hurt you again. Dean's gonna get you out of here. I'm just gonna clean up the mess, then I'll come meet you."
Jason isn't sure what mess he means. Maybe the Keeper on the floor, or the others, wherever they are.
"Were they...?" Sam asks hesitantly, looking at the bearded Keeper's body.
Sam's Dad shakes his head, "People. Sometimes they're the worst of all."
"There's other kids here," Sam mumbles, slumping a little. He looks like he's having trouble focusing on his father's face. "Heard them."
A frown creases Sam's Dad's face, "Didn't see them?"
Sam starts to shake his head but stops and closes his eyes for a moment. "Nuh, jus' Jason." He flops his good hand towards where Jason stands and Sam's father and brother look up at him as though they're seeing him for the first time.
"Jason," Dean repeats, not quite a question but Sam answers anyway.
"We were in a room together. He helped me get out. Dad, he's been here for almost two years."
"One year, eight months, nine days," Jason corrects. He rubs the back of his hand with his thumb, not sure he likes all the attention on him.
A glance passes between Dean and John, unreadable.
"No," Sam says, catching the glance and apparently reading more from it than Jason could. "No, Dad, we can't just leave him here. He saved my life."
They're planning on leaving him? Jason doesn't want to be alone. He thinks of Sam's hand grasping his as they ran, how much safer he felt, knowing that Sam was sticking with him.
"Sam," Dean says gently. "We can't take him with us. There must be someone looking for him, a home-"
"I'll make sure he's taken care of," Sam's Dad cuts in, "And all the rest."
Sam slumps, seeming to understand that this is an argument he can't win, but he looks up and meets Jason's eyes. "Jason... thanks, for..." Sam trails off and Jason knows that Sam knows what he did, that he moved the knife without touching it. "It'll be okay now," Sam finishes, and Jason somehow understands that he should never mention the knife to anyone, not that he was planning to.
"Okay, kiddo, lets get you out of here." Dean carefully shifts his grip on Sam, gathering him up in his arms, and stands.
"I'll meet you when I can," Sam's Dad says. "Go to the motel we passed on the edge of town. We'll figure out our next move when I get there."
"Yes, sir," Dean says, and heads toward the door, carrying Sam effortlessly.
Sam gives Jason a small wave with his good hand as they pass and Jason lifts his hand automatically.
He should say thank you. Sam saved him, and the rest of the kids here, after all, but Jason doesn't make a habit of talking and Dean's already heading out the door. He hopes that Sam knows what a difference he's made.
Sam's Dad disappears into the Keepers' room without a word. Jason goes and sits down on the bottom stair. He hears a car engine rumble to life and head off, and knows that Sam is gone and he'll probably never see him again.
He sits very still and waits for someone to take him to his mother.