(the time has come)
to soothe the pain of wasted years

Missy Bender was used to being underestimated.

Before she was taken from her family, they'd tried to shelter her from the hunt; daddy and the boys got to play, and little Missy got left in the house all alone. She'd shown them what she was capable of when that police lady showed up, of course, and when 'Dean' broke into their house. But it was too little, too late, in the end – she found herself locked in a cupboard and by the time that she was let out, social services and her newly allocated psychiatrist had already arrived.

After the first three days in the nuthouse, she had taken pencil to paper and immortalized in her memory the face that had stolen her family from her. She didn't ever want to forget what he looked like, knew that the first thing she did when she got released would be to track him down and hurt him like he'd hurt her. After all, his brave rescue attempt had given her exactly the information that she needed – whoever 'Sam' had been to him, Dean would die for him.

She spent years flitting between mental institutions, attending her therapy sessions with a ruthless patience – listening when they asked her questions, and offering them the right answer time and time again. That same piece of paper was never far from her; kept in her trouser pocket, hidden beneath the mattress, tucked between the pages of her journal.

She had no doubt that, out there in the real world, Dean had probably forgotten all about her. She had no doubt that he and Sam, wherever they were, would have moved on with their lives.

Missy never forgot.

As the child of a hunter, Missy had been taught a particular set of skills from a young age. She'd shot her first gun at the age of six, daddy bracing her for the kick – she knew how to kill, quick and clean, and she knew how to drag it out. She also had contacts.

She was smart about it, introduced herself as Mel, told people that she was looking for her half-brothers ("they don't know about me, and now that my mother's gone, they're all I have left…"). It was amazing how many people fell for a sob story and a bat of her eyelashes.

Her search led her first to Singer Salvage and one Bobby Singer, and then, when she followed the man on his infrequent journeys from his house, to a small house in an even smaller town, about an hour's drive from Sioux Falls. She settled into the cheap little car which she'd bought with some of her parents' inherited money, and she watched.

It took her only half an hour to confirm that this was the house which Dean (and Sam, too, as luck would have it) resided in.

She was pleased to see that they looked considerably more world-weary than the last time she'd seen them. Dean looked older than she'd estimated him to be, worry lines creasing his brown; but the biggest change was in Sam. He no longer looked like the healthy young man that her father and brothers had caged – he was much skinnier than she remembered, and seemed to flinch at the slightest movement, shoulders drawn tight as if seeking protection from the world.

The only time he ever seemed to relax even a fraction was when Dean was pressed to his side or gently touching his shoulder, slight yet reassuring touches. Something had happened to him, that was for sure, and Missy couldn't help but be disappointed that she'd missed it. Still, it would make her task all the more enjoyable.

They were clearly settled here, Dean no longer as paranoid as he'd been all those years before, and she would revel in the knowledge that she was the one taking that comfort from them.

Missy followed the boys for a further week, utilizing all of the skills that she'd been taught as a child, and learnt their routine – the little things that she was sure that they must do week after week. She'd booked herself into a motel room, scouted out an abandoned warehouse that was hers for the taking, and made all of the preparations required for her plan to be put into motion.

Then it was just a case of waiting.

Dean worked at a garage during the week, but he went home for lunch every day other than a Thursday, when he accompanied his co-workers to the local bar for a burger and some fries. It was sadly mundane, the way they'd settled into this normal, benign life. She'd been expecting something far more challenging.

By the next Thursday, she'd perfected her plan. She parked her car in the now familiar space, and waited for Dean to go to work, before calmly approaching the house and letting herself in. The key to attacking in a suburban area was never to show hesitation, but simply act like you belonged there. That was one of the first things that her father had drilled into her, and one that she'd taken care to never forget.

As she'd expected, Sam was in the kitchen, measuring out ingredients for what looked to become kind of pie. Fingering the handle of the hunting knife strapped to her leg, she quietly made her way into the small room, standing in the doorway next to the fridge. For a long moment, she thought that Sam was blissfully unaware, and then he turned to her and frowned, cocking his head like a confused puppy.

"You've lost your touch," He informed her senselessly. "I don't recognize this face. Who are you supposed to be this time?"

Missy blinked, caught entirely off guard, before quickly coming to two conclusions – that Sam was clearly insane, and that she could use that to her advantage.

"Missy Bender." She replied honestly, slipping the syringe filled with sedative from her pocket as carefully, and as sneakily, as she could manage.

Sam frowned, and then nodded thoughtfully.

"Okay. Someone whose life we destroyed – that makes sense." He turned back to the pies, apparently completely at peace with the concept of a girl (one who was, undoubtedly, determined to get revenge) lurking in the corner of his kitchen. "Dean said that I need to ignore you. I think that he's almost convinced himself that if I do, you might just fade away and he'll get his old little non-psychotic brother back."

Raising an eyebrow, Missy grinned a little, moving slowly to cross the kitchen floor.

"No, Sam. I'm not going anywhere."

Sam nodded as if the response was to be expected, still kneading the pastry in his hands as if everything was completely normal. "I know that. I told him. He said that if this was the price he had to pay to keep me in his life, then he was fine with it… I just. I hate to think that I'm holding him back, you know? What I went through with you shouldn't have to affect him. It's not fair."

Missy paid no attention to the words. Instead, she finally stepped close enough to grab Sam's arm, spin it around and – in one quick movement – inject the sedative straight into his arm.

For a moment, he looked at her in complete and utter bewilderment, and then he staggered lightly. Missy wasted no time in ducking under the arm she'd just injected into, casting the empty syringe to the floor as she did her best to support the taller man's weight; he was lighter than she'd expected, all sharp bones pressing into her side, but still more than she was used to carrying. When they'd done things like this back home, it had always been daddy or the boys that had done the heavy lifting.

By some miracle, she managed to stagger her way out of the house – barely managing to shut the door behind her – and drag Sam out to her car, where she unceremoniously shoved him into the backseat. It took her a few seconds to rearrange his gangly limbs to make it fit, and it was with a heavy sigh of relief that she finally slammed the door shut behind him.

"Everything alright?" A neighbor called, waving her gardening shears in the air.

Missy fixed them with a breezy smile. "He's having some trouble with his new meds, you know how it goes. He asked me to run him by the hospital and see if they can sort it out for him."

The woman nodded sympathetically, her grey curls bobbing around her head. "Tell Dean that he's just to shout if he needs anything, y'hear?"

"Will do, ma'am." Missy smiled, carefully climbing into her car and sticking rigidly to the speed limit as she drove through the estate.

She didn't stop grinning until she reached her destination.

The warehouse that Missy had carefully selected had three main selling points: it was abandoned, creepy and fairly rural. All three of those factors combined served to make it highly unlikely that a random stranger would stumble upon her little setup. The place itself was large, leaving Missy more than enough room to comfortably (for her, at least) arrange Sam in a chair and bind him carefully with as much rope as she'd managed to collect.

The vials of sedative that she'd collected from her stint in the nuthouse, carefully hidden inside a slit in the bottom of her mattress, had been carefully measured and re-administered between the syringes to allow for a dose that would keep her captive dozy but not entirely unconscious. The entire point of her game was to make Dean suffer through something worse than what he'd put her through; it would hardly be as effective if little Sammy didn't scream.

The man in question jolted awake just a few minutes too late to launch an escape attempt whilst Missy was trying to work out the best knot to use, a startled gasp passing his lips when he realized that he was tied up. His face paled at the seemingly horrifying epiphany and, even supported by the chair he was tied to, he wavered dramatically. For a moment, Missy thought that he might faint. Instead, he closed his eyes and visibly pulled himself together, apparently succeeding in reigning in the crazy.

"Is this a new game?" He asked blearily, his eyes barely managing to lock onto her, the effects of the sedative making themselves known.

"You could say that," Missy smiled, running the flat of her hand over his face gently, soothingly. After a few seconds, he leant into the touch and Missy smiled, pulling her hand back to deliver a hard punch to his cheek; the blow hurt a surprising amount, sending a roar of pain through her arm and up into her shoulder, reverberating through her collarbone. "We could name it, 'make Dean pay.' Sounds fun to me."

Sam spat a mouthful of blood onto the floor, but determinedly turned his head back to face her.

"Don't you touch him," He told her aggressively. "I might not like to remember the things that have been done to me, but I sure as hell wouldn't struggle to put those lessons to good use if you hurt him. Dean's off limits – I figured you might have learnt that in all of our time together."

Missy smiled, running her fingers down the man's face once more.

"And I would have figured, with all of the time that you spend with Dean, you'd know that the best way to hurt him is to make you suffer… and that? Well, that's going to be the fun part."

She delivered another punch to his face, ignoring the second blast of pain through her arm, and laughed when his chair rocked unstably. She was going to enjoy this, perhaps even more than she had expected.

Sam spat out another mouthful of blood just as calmly as he had the first, apparently unfazed by the pain that must have been resounding through his face.

"You're not Lucifer." He told her firmly, seemingly relaxing back into the seat.

"No," The young girl told him, delight making her eyes seem almost manic in the light provided by the single, naked light bulb suspended from the ceiling. "I'm much worse than Lucifer. I, Sam, am your-"

"Worst nightmare?" Sam grinned, leaning further back into the seat. "I doubt it. No, no, don't be offended – I'm sure you're more than qualified for whatever means of torture you planned to dish out. It's just… Dean'll kill you before you have a chance to do much."

Missy prepared to sneer a response, but Sam's grin only widened.

"Did you even think to turn off the GPS on my phone? I mean, don't they teach that in 'Bad Guys 101' or something?"

Missy refused to let her surprise, and anger at herself, show on her face, choosing to remain calm and unfazed instead. "And if I want him to find us?"

"Well," Sam replied, eyes honest and solemn. "Then you're clearly either suicidal or stupid."

Missy figured that, while Sam was obviously holding his crazy in check just to try and get a rise out of her, the older man had kind of had a valid point about the GPS. If she was honest, she hadn't even realized that phones had GPS (in fact, it had taken her a few moments to accurately recall what it was). Clearly she'd been locked up too long.

Nonetheless, she was determined to use it to her advantage. After all, her intention had been to cause Dean pain by hurting his brother; surely that would be easier if he was there to see it. The younger man's blind faith in the elder just made it all the more sweet – she could see it now; Sam not wanting to see his brother hurt, and Dean having the same problem. If given an option of saving his brother and dying himself, or simply walking away, she figured that both of them cared enough to die a hero.

She didn't plan on giving either of them that option.

Unfortunately, she also hadn't factored Dean's arrival into her initial plan (torturing Sam and then delivering the pieces back to his brother). She'd known, logically, that he would try and save the day, but hadn't realized just how easy that would be. Thankfully, she was adaptable – it just meant that she had to get as much done as she could before she arrived.

She started with tipping his chair so that he landed on his bound arms, her grin widening when Sam gave a surprised (and distinctly hurt-sounding) shout at the action; this was followed by getting her steel-toed boots in on the action, repeatedly kicking him in the stomach whilst he tried desperately to twist away or curl into himself.

Oh, yes. She was really going to enjoy this.

The distant creak of the gate gave Dean's presence away, and she expected him to do what he had last time – sneak around and try to scope the area out. Instead, he sauntered right through the front door.

He looked surprisingly calm, considering the fact that his brother was bound and beaten in the middle of an abandoned warehouse with a girl standing over him clutching a knife.

"Sammy," He called evenly, never taking his eyes from her. "You doin' okay?"

"Been better." The younger man reported flippantly, and then, clearly proud of himself, lifted his head to continue. "It's not Lucifer. I thought it was another trick at first, but I figured it out."

Dean pulled his eyes from hers from the first time to smile at his brother, face filled with what appeared to be genuine pride. "You did good, kiddo."

He turned back to her then, eyes cold and flat and a hell of a lot scarier than they'd been when she'd been a kid who thought her daddy was invincible.

"Missy Bender, huh?" He asked carefully, casually stepping a little further into the room. "The kid from that hillbilly human-hunting family? Taken to the nut house?"

There was no empathy in his voice; no sorrow for what he'd done to her and her family. Missy's hatred for him grew.

"If you come closer," She warned, brandishing the knife. "I'll kill you."

Dean smiled, rolling his eyes in his brother's direction as if annoyed and bored by the death threat; then, in one smooth movement, produced a gun from the back of his pants.

"If you don't step away from my brother," He mimicked. "I'll kill you."

For the first time in a long time, Missy hesitated. Yes, her father had raised her a hunter – she knew how to hunt and track, how to kill. But she also knew that a gun was quicker than a knife, and she knew the look of a predator when she saw one.

"Who do you think would die first?" Dean asked, shrugging a shoulder. "Because I'm not letting you near my brother, sweetheart, and I can promise you that if you try I'll pull this trigger without a second thought."

Missy didn't doubt him.

"How did you figure out who I am?" She asked instead, not loosening her grip on her knife. It might be inadequate protection, but the familiar weight of it in her hand provided a strange comfort to her.

Dean shrugged. "You really though that we'd have forgotten about you? We've been tapping your records ever since they first sent you to Riverview. We figured you'd want revenge."

"You ruined my life." Missy snapped, anger making her jerk her knife down to her side. "You took everything from me - my home, my family... my freedom. You deserve to be punished for that."

"Your family tried to kill my brother." Dean said calmly, with another shrug of his shoulders. "Hell, they were probably going to eat him. They deserved to be locked up. You're just lucky that I didn't kill them all when I had a chance."

Missy's anger grew at the man's nonchalance and her grip around her knife tightened. For a split second, she seriously considered backing down and letting Dean retrieve his brother and go on his way - and then she remembered the look on her father's face as the police officers had loaded her brothers into the van, and she was whirling towards the younger brother before she even thought twice - slamming the blade down in the general vicinity of his heart.

In the same instant that the sharp point broke Sam's skin, pain exploded in her own shoulder and she stumbled back - the world whiting out for a long second. When she regained her sense, she was crumpled onto her bottom, one hand clutching at her shoulder, trying to apply pressure to the blood blossoming from the bullet wound.

"-it's just a scratch." Sam was saying, batting his brother's hands away as Dean crouched over him, one hand making short work of the ropes binding his brother, even as the other fussed over the chest wound. Missy was reminded of the mama cat that one of the psychiatric hospitals had kept, fussing over its kittens every time one of them unbalanced on their teeny-tiny legs. "You shot her before she could do any real damage."

The younger man turned to her then, and she expected anger - she honestly thought that one of them would kill her. After all, she'd given them every reason to - her intent had certainly be to deliver the same fate to Sam. Instead, Dean followed Sam's line of sight and sighed.

"In my defense," He told her sharply. "I said I'd kill you, so from where I'm sitting a through-and-through to the shoulder is letting you off lightly, you understand?"

Missy nodded dumbly.

"Good. So, here's how it's going to go down: I'm gonna get Sam out of here, and when we reach home, I'm gonna lock the front door. If you really want to go through this again, I'm sure that won't bother you much, but hear me now - next time? It won't just be a shoulder wound I give you." The older man nodded, seemingly happy with his instructions, before turning his back on her completely.

For a moment, Missy just sat there, and then she saw the blade of her knife glistening in the dim light just a few feet before her.

She'd messed up with Sam, but this was the opportunity that she needed to get her revenge on Dean. She lunged forwards with all of the speed she could manage, releasing her injured shoulder to scramble for the small object, stumbling to her feet and driving the knife forwards, towards the place that Dean had been standing only seconds before.

Instead of her blade making contact with his chest, she had the perfect view of the butt of his gun swinging towards her head, and then darkness.

When Missy woke up, she was alone; someone had tied a make-shift bandage around her shoulder, and her previously tossed aside jacket had been bundled around her. Woozily, she got to her feet and stumbled to the car.

She didn't go back to the Winchester's house.


Written for a comment-fic meme over on the ohsam community on livejournal:

"From Season 1, Missy Bender spent a long, long, long time in mental hospital after mental hospital and it's been almost 8/10 years since Dean took her family away from her. When she finally gets out she goes looking for revenge on Dean's only remaining family, Sam. Gen preferred but will take slash as well."

A little bit rushed and completely un-betaed, but there you go.

Reviews are love!